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NEWS CUTS IN CLEANING STAFF LEAD S TO RESIDENT DISPUTES

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

RESEARCH RULES IN RADICAL RE-SHAPE

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FEATURES WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE PART OF THE HINDU SOCIETY?

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CULTURE

THEATRE: BARKING IN ESSEX

Xenia Rimmer Our university is set to be radically re-organised. In a new Transformational Change programme, dubbed ‘TxP’, University leaders hope to raise Brunel’s profile globally in terms of research. The current eight schools, which include Arts, Business, Law, Engineering & Design, Health Sciences & Social Care, Information Systems, Computing & Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Sport & Education, will be folded into three Colleges and 13 Departments. The new Colleges will comprise The College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences; The College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences and The College of Health and Life Sciences. They will teach 5,000, 6,000 and 3,000 students respectively, while the various research bodies will become three large institutes Continued on page 3...

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WELCOME TO ISSUE 2: DECEMBER SPECIAL

This Month... 04

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YOUR NEWS

The Team

Simply put, if you’re a current Brunel student, you can write for Le Nurb. There are a few things to bear in mind:

EDITORIAL

CUTS IN CLEANING STAFF LEAD S TO RESIDENT DISPUTES

BRUNEL SET FOR CHANGE BRUNEL TO BE RADICALLY TRANSFORMED FOR RESEARCH

FEATURES WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE PART OF THE HINDU SOCIETY?

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Submissions

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Kirsty Capes

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!

CHECK OUT OUR TOP TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS

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SPORT MIXED BEGINNINGS FOR BRUNEL HANDBALL CLUB

Contributors Le Nurb would like to thank the following people for contributing an article to this months issue.

News

Adrian Williams Kirsty Capes Suzana Silveira Xenia Rimmer George Bowden Angela Shine Rob Wannerton Victoria Oliphant Erin O’Neill Grace Witherden Kerri Prince Alex Mitchell Martha Salhotra Temmy Odumosu

Features

George Coates Victoria Wallis Gemma Sear Megan Hatch Robyn Fitzharris Tom Andrews Matt Cahill Lisa Boyles Will Atkins Eloise Chiles Elijah Byass Sheena Parmar Alexandra Gyasi Baljit Padda Inah Dela Cruz Kristian Miles Taji Rafferty Antony Smith Ria Dhillon S. Wijesuriya

Jack Goldstein The Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon Chadley Richards

Culture

Oliver Ronaldson Sara Da Silva Kieran Persaud Jasmin Nahar Robert Parritt Eddie Leggatt Arthur Toomer Will Moss Damyana Bozhinova Cam Griffiths Elena Morgan Antony Smith James Alder Lena Mistry Rita Ekwere Verity Agababian Rebecca Chambers Bryn Glover Laura Dunnett Martha Salhotra Aidan Milan

Sport

Kate Williams Kat Clementine Ryan O’Donovan Constance Goulletquer Aanika Khan Tramika Blackwood Gilbert Lewis

Editor

- If you like, you can suggest specific images for your article, or take your own photograph and include it with your submission. They’ll need to be separate .jpg or .png files. - Don’t embed your images into the article document - this compresses them too much for use on the page. - Any image filenames and image credits (who the photographer is) should be listed at the end of your article. - Images you submit must not be copyrighted by another individual or organisation. - Please don’t just nick pictures off Google Image Search (we can’t use them 99% of the time!) please use Flickr Creative Commons instead.

YOUR CONTACTS

Enquiries, advertising & complaints: Chadley - media.chair@brunel.ac.uk Design queries and feedback: Jo - dt11jeg@my.brunel.ac.uk News articles: Kat - en12krp@my.brunel.ac.uk In-depth articles on a given topic: Angela - pe13ahs@my.brunel.ac.uk Reviews and culture articles: Sheena - 1116194@my.brunel.ac.uk Everything sport-related Ryan - ryanodo-novan10@gmail.com

Deadlines The deadline for the January issue is

Friday 17th January 2014.

Deputy Editor Xenia Rimmer

Chief Designer

Jo Emma Gregory-Brough

Online Content Manager Eddie Leggatt

Media Chair

Chadley Richards

NEWS

Section Editor Kat Clementine

Chief Sub-Editor Bryn Glover

Sub-Editor

Temmy Odumosu

FEATURES

Section Editor Angela Shine

Chief Sub-Editor Peter Richards

Sub Editor

Rebecca West

CULTURE

Section Editor Shenna Parmar

Chief Sub-Editor Mike Read

Sub Editor James Alder

SPORT

Section Editor Ryan O’Donovan

Chief Sub-Editor Joseph Cornforth

DESIGNERS

Advertising Le Nurb is distributed eight times a year, across campus, to a network of 15,000 students.

Matthew Smith

PHOTOGRAPHY Chadley Richards

We offer great rates to advertisers, plus discounts for on-campus clubs, societies and organisations. Find out more at brunelstudents.com/lenurb or via the Editor. To book an advertising slot for September January call Bonnie Crate on 01895 267215.

All articles and pictures © their respective authors unless otherwise indicated. Views expressed are those of the writers and do not reflect the official position of UBS or Brunel University. All comments and complaints about content in Le Nurb should be addressed to the Editor in the first instance: editor@lenurb.com. Complaints will only be entertained where it can be proven that an article or graphic is: factually inaccurate; breaches the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code of Practice; breaches the National Union of Journalists’ Code of Conduct; breaks the law; or encourages readers to break the law. No complaint that fails to satisfy at least one of these criteria will be upheld. Published by: Union of Brunel Students, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH. Printed by: Harmsworth Printing Derby, Northcliffe House, Meadow Road, Derby, DE1 2BH.

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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

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Editor’s Letter Kirsty Capes Editor 2013/14

Dear Reader, The past three months have seen enormous changes come to Brunel, and with change comes, in equal measure, the scope for possibility. On a smaller scale our own internal Media re-shuffle has allowed us to begin repairing the damage sustained by Le Nurb; and of course, the biggest, most controversial change comes in the shape of Paul Thomas’ ambitious Transformational Change Project. While we have seen moments of triumph within the University and Union, there have been moments of heartbreak and tragedy too. In October Brunel mourned the death of Kamran Pattoo, a first year student in the school of Health Sciences and Social Care. Kamran’s death saw a commendable fast response from the University, offering counselling to students affected by the incident, and extended mentoring hours in Mr. Pattoo’s halls of residence.

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Every single student at Brunel has something to say and something to give. We are going to make Le Nurb the vehicle for students opinons and thoughts.

We saw that in the face of tragedy Brunel students can rally together and create a network of support and understanding that makes me feel like Brunel is more than just a place where we live and study. Brunel is a home to many of us. It is certainly a home to me. And because of everything that Brunel has given me, I believe that now is the time for me to give something back. I have been working with Media Chair Chadley Richards and Deputy Editor Xenia Rimmer to get Le Nurb back on the road. We have assembled a team of dedicated and passionate editors, who we believe have the right amount of skill and enthusiasm to make Le Nurb fantastic. Every single student at Brunel has something to say and

something to give. We are going to make Le Nurb the vehicle for students’ opinions and thoughts. If you have something to say, we want you to use Le Nurb as your megaphone. Le Nurb is here to service you, the students. But, obviously, we can’t do it alone. We have had a fantastic range of contributions for this December issue from well over fifty students. But in order to make Le Nurb the student voice that it ought to be, we need to keep on growing. That’s why we need you, the students, to send us your thoughts and opinions. Your drawings, photography, reviews, columns and tweets are all worthy and welcome additions to Le Nurb. Get involved, get talking, and make sure your voice is heard.

In a move described by Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor Julia Buckingham as “applying our knowledge for the benefit of society as a whole”, institutes will focus on Energy Futures, Materials & Manufacturing and Environment, as well as Health & Societies. To find out exactly how and why these changes will come about, and most importantly, how they will affect us as students, Le Nurb’s Xenia Rimmer interviewed Brunel’s VC and Principal, Professor Julia Buckingham... Why has the University decided to go ahead with changes to its structure? “Last year, at a time when the higher education sector was entering a period of rapid and radical change, we published a new strategy for the University. The strategy explained that Brunel needs to respond to this new environment by improving its teaching and research, with the aim of rising up the national and international league tables to the benefit of both students and staff. Among the benefits that we are seeking to deliver, those that will enhance the student experience are at the forefront of our thinking. By improving the reputation of the University we will enhance the value of a Brunel degree, which will benefit all of our students, past, present and future. Today, more than ever before, Brunel has to compete with many other fine institutions, both for students and for research funding. To meet the aspirations of our students, we have to improve the quality of our teaching and ensure that students with qualifications from Brunel are seen by employers and other higher education institutions as highly valuable people able to make a significant contribution to

their organisations. This is why, for example, we have introduced the new Brunel Education Excellence Centre and the School of Professional Development. On the research side, we have to focus on the areas of research where we are, or can be, world class. The changes that we are making to the organisation of the University are designed to help us deliver these improvements, by making it easier to spread the very best teaching practices across all our courses, and by encouraging researchers to collaborate on new and innovative projects. They are a necessary response to the changes in our sector, and are designed to give Brunel the best possible chance of growing in size, influence and prestige.” Why is now the right time? “Some would argue that these changes are overdue. Whether or not that is true, the speed of change in our sector is increasing, and other institutions are moving rapidly to re-shape themselves for the new markets they have to serve. To remain successful and to grow and improve, we have to do the same.” How much will the changes cost to implement?

implementing the changes, plus the expenses involved in moving Schools and departments from one building to another, or renovating buildings, as necessary. Many of these we would expect to incur anyway in the normal course of business, so separating out the TxP costs would be difficult and probably not very helpful. Ultimately, the TxP will ensure that we commit our resources to the right areas and projects at the right time, to support the strategic direction that the University is taking.” Which of the changes will actually be felt by students themselves, and how? “A primary aim of the project is to improve the student experience. We want to raise the quality of our teaching, provide better, more innovative and interesting courses, give additional depth and meaning to the courses that we currently offer, and ultimately give our students a tangible advantage over others when it comes to finding rewarding employment. These improvements will be felt in the way that students interact with their teachers and lecturers. We want to be more open, more flexible, more responsive, and to push up our academic standards.

“That is a hard question to answer, because we can’t say when the changes will end. We plan to have the new structure in place for the start of the 2014/15 academic year, but that will not be the end of the process; Brunel will have to continue to change and develop as the world changes around us.

Exactly how these aims are achieved will vary from college to college, but we will be looking closely to see what systems work best, and will be spreading best practice throughout the University.” The changes are due to be completed in time for the intake of new students in September 2014, but TxP has been met with mixed reactions from Brunel students.

The main costs at the moment are the management time involved in planning, consulting and

For more information on the Transformation Change Project head over to page 10...

PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL UNIVERSITY FLICKR

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04 NEWS

NEWS

PHOTO CREDIT: THE CHARTED INSTITUTE OF IT

PARDON FOR FOUNDING FATHER OF THE PC? Angela Shine Steve Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, put the question of finalising Alan Turing’s pardon to PM David Cameron during the Prime Minister’s Question Time. Referring to John Bercow he asked: ‘Mr Speaker, you presented an Attitude magazine award to the nieces of Alan Turing, the gay Second World War code breaker who helped this country to win Second World War. The Government indicated in July that they would move to give a pardon to Mr Turing for his conviction for gross indecency, which led him to take his own life. Can my Right Hon. Friend

the Prime Minister tell us when that pardon will be granted?’ Referred to as the ‘Father of Computer Science’ and acknowledged as having helped England win Second World War, Turing died of a suspected suicide from a cyanide-injected apple in 1954. His death came two years after a trial where he admitted to homosexual acts with another man. He was convicted of the crime of gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 and given a choice of prison or chemical castration. Turing chose injections of a synthetic oestrogen, which effectively made him impotent. Prime Minister David Cameron replied ‘Well, let me pay tribute to what Alan Turing and all the people that worked at Bletchley Park did for our country, it was absolutely remarkable and

crucial in winning the Second World War. Clearly what happened to him was completely wrong, and now looking back everyone can see that, everybody knows that. The specific issue of the pardon I’m very happy to look at and respond to the honourable gentleman but above all what we should do is praise Alan Turing and the people who worked for him.’ Alan Mathison Turing, a respected Second World War mathematician and computer scientist, was born in London and worked for the British Government at Bletchley Park. A student at Kings College, Cambridge, he graduated with 1st Class Honours in Mathematics. He was widely respected for his techniques on breaking German ciphers including an electro mechanical machine called

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the ‘Bombe’, which could find settings for the Enigma machine. Widely respected as the “Father of Computer Science”, the Independent newspaper in 2008 listed that the logo of Apple Computer is often erroneously referred to as a tribute to Alan Turing, with the bite mark a reference to his method of suicide. Steve Gilbert, MP, was referring to the posthumous award, ironically presented at the Royal Courts of Justice by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. The Turing Award, a widely respected honour, has been given annually since 1966 by the Association for Computing Machinery. There are widespread unofficial Turing accolades. In the UK, for example, Waingels College a specialist mathematics and computer

college in Berkshire has split its school into six houses by honouring inspirational role models. It named one house after our own Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer and creator of the Great Western Railway and another after Alan Turing, citing the latter as the British mathematician and cryptographer. Many years on, a 2002 BBC nationwide poll of 100 Great British Heroes put Turing at number 22. On 26th July 2012, 100 years after his birth, a bill was introduced in the House of Lords to grant Turing a statutory pardon. Receiving its first hearing in May and second hearing in July of 2013, it has yet to be ratified.


NEWS

CLEANING STAFF CUTS SPARK ROWS BETWEEN RESIDENTS Suzana Silveira Students from various halls around Brunel University campus are refusing to clean their dirty dishes. Residents are also worried because half of the cleaners have been made redundant, which is having a negative impact on the whole cleaning process. Mrs Melissa Ryan, Residential Services Manager at Brunel University said: “The University did reduce the staffing levels at the start of term in response to the University’s budgetary requirements.” The problem arose after students refused to clean their kitchen. At Faraday Hall, residents are trying to meet other residents half way with notes and warnings, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference, as many have been already fined £50. Even after seeing the notes, students replied saying “I am at UNI and I want

to live life, so just let me, and if you want to clean so badly then just clean it yourself!” Although a cleaning fee is within accommodation fee, one of the cleaners told us that: “We have had strict instructions to clean what we have access to and if there are dirty dishes on the counters we cannot move them because we have no time. Cleaning includes taking the rubbish out and vacuum or mop the floor if we have the time left.” However Mrs Ryan said: “The cleaning regime was altered to take account of these staffing changes without compromising standards as set out in the Residences Handbook.” Julie Gosserez, 20, a student living on campus said: “Kitchens are left dirty and the floor, after parties, are full of booze. It is not just the cleaners’ fault that there are dirty dishes around, it’s due to lack of responsibility from the students that live in the halls.” If kitchens are found dirty then

students will have to pay an extra fee, nevertheless students will continue to pay the cleaning fee included in accommodation costs even though there are less cleaning staff to clean the kitchen. The reason why the accommodation fee will not decrease is because, as Mrs Ryan says, “The accommodation fees are set by the University Finance Committee and Council meetings at which UBS is represented, and would not be affected by changes in staffing levels.” Sanchita Paul, 20, a student living on campus, said: “Common bathrooms look like prison cells”. Students from Chepstow Hall said in unison that they are not prepared to clean other people’s mess as well as paying charges and fines. The new cleaning system is clearly upsetting students living in halls, not only because sometimes their floors are not mopped but because students are not in agreement when it comes to cleaning their common areas.

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PRIZE WINNING POET TO VIST BRUNEL Rob Wannerton You might think that the most exciting thing you will find in the Library is tottering towers of business textbooks, but epic battles, questing heroes and colourful tales are going to be shadowing the shelves this December. Brunel University’s library will be hosting a talk, Q & A and signing with T.S Eliot short-listed poet Daljit Nagra, as part of the new Talk@Brunel library series. Daljit Nagra first came to prominence when his energetic and dazzling first poetry collection Look We Have Coming To Dover! was published by Faber & Faber in 2007 to great acclaim. This time he will be reading from The Ramayama, his reinterpretation of the epic Indian poem. It is the story of how Rama’s wife, Sita, was kidnapped by Ravana, Lord of the Underworld, and

how he fights to win her back. Daljit was inspired by his grandparent’s oral version of the story, but his own Ramayama is filled with his trademark kinetic wordplay and searing imagery. If you fancy a break from the rigours of study, why not take a journey to the Underworld and enjoy a night of poetry and performance at Brunel Library? The event will take place in the Research Commons in Brunel Library on Monday 9th December at 7.30pm. It is ticket only - reserve your free place at http://www. brunel.ac.uk/services/library. Books will be available to buy and be signed by the Forward Prize winner on the night.

STUDENTS WARY OF CLEGG’S PLEDGE Victoria Oliphant Nick Clegg announced that the Government would not be raising tuition fees to £16,000 whilst speaking to a crowd of 18- 25 year olds in London earlier this month.

anybody else in British politics how controversial this is.” During the last general election, the Liberal Democrats pledged not to raise fees to the proposed £9,000 but were forced to go back on their word as part of the coalition. In 2012, Nick Clegg apologised for breaking that promise in a short video. But what do Brunel students think about Clegg’s latest assurance? Sean Sweeney, 19, a first year business studies student said: “He’s already made these promises once, who says he won’t do it again?”

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking at an event as part of the launch of Wayra UnLtd, Government and Telefónica-backed academy which supports social venture startups. Georgia Miller,19-year-old Film and Earlier last month, Professor Andrew Television Studies student said: “I Hamilton said that universities should think that it’s nice that he has made be allowed to charge students higher it clear; however what position does fees, of up to £16,000 a year. it leave students in if there is another During his annual oration, the Oxford coalition and their joint party wants to University Vice Chancellor argued do it?” that fees She added: “I know more than anyboday else in should be “Student i n c re a s e d British Politics how controversial this is.” living is to fully difficult cover what each degree costs and enough as it is, why make it harder for pointed out that at Oxford, this us?” equates to £16,000 a year. During a Q&A session arranged by Kate Buck, 17, who is hoping to careers organisation Go Think Big, Nick join Brunel next September: “In all Clegg was asked what he personally honesty I don’t trust what he has thought of this idea. promised. I’m already stuck with the He said: “No, don’t worry. We’re not £9,000 fees but if it were to be raised going to raise tuition fees to £16,000”, even higher I would be paying back before urging students not to get that debt for the rest of my life.” sucked back into the “controversy” caused by the last fee hike. He added: “I know more than

PHOTO CREDIT:: VICTORIA OLIPHANT

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06 NEWS

CARE LEAVERS AT UNIVERSITY ARE GETTING A RAW DEAL Kirsty Capes Over half of 14 to 19 year old young people in care or leaving care do not know about their entitlement to a £1,200 bursary if they choose to go into higher education, a report has revealed. The report from the Who Cares? Trust, an organisation that supports children and young people in care and leaving care, also revealed that only one third of care leavers are getting the help they are entitled to when they move into their first independent housing. Care leavers are entitled to a £2,000 “setting up home” allowance, which is used for purchasing essential items like furniture, a cooker or a fridge. The local authority is also responsible for helping a care leaver find

accommodation during university holidays, but only one third of care leavers are aware of the service. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers (APPG) have recommended that social workers and personal advisors consistently share information about rights and entitlements, instead of just upon entry into care. Brunel University offers advice and support to students who are care leavers, as well as a bursary to all care leavers who have spent at lease three months in care before the age of 16. If you’re a care leaver at Brunel and you would like know more about your rights, you can contact Lesley Mortimer, Brunel’s Widening Participation Officer, at lesley. mortimer@brunel.ac.uk

OBITUARY: KAMRAN PATTOO This month, our University mourns the sad death of one of its students. On 24 October, we lost Kamran Pattoo, a “highly intelligent” first year in Biosciences. Kamran, who was 32, was a fan of his hometown’s football team, Manchester City, as well as an accomplished poet. His tutor described him as “a highly intelligent student with a great deal of potential.” University chaplain the Rev. Sally Hitchiner said: “It’s a real shock to everyone... We’re coming together as a community.” While many Brunel students have paid tribute to Kamran online, he will be remembered by his friends as a “quiet and thoughtful man, who was passionate about music and poetry”. On 14 November, staff and students took part in a Service of Remembrance, which was held on campus to pay tribute to Kamran. Any students who have been affected by the loss of Kamran remain encouraged to seek advice and counselling from the University, details of which can be found at www. brunel.ac.uk Kamran published much of his poetry online, and his family has given us permission to share some with you... Roses Life is a rose that we walk on by Trying to find our very own way. Trying to make that we want to say Trying to find our very own way. Trying to find that we wish to find

VC CALLS FOR CURB IN DRUG USE

PHOTO CREDIT:: THE GUARDIAN

George Bowden While the campus is safer than it was five years ago, the past year has seen an increase in theft, bike crime and drug-related offences at Brunel, figures discussed at University Council reveal. Vice-Chancellor, Prof Julia Buckingham’s report to Council included a detailed breakdown of crime across campus and compared campus crime with figures from the local Metropolitan Police ward. Incidences of theft, bike crime and drug-related crimes have all risen in number during the past year, but there were fewer incidences than in the 2009-10 academic year. Brunel had a greater number of bike

crimes and drug-related offences on campus than in the local community. However, there were fewer crimes involving violence, criminal and accidental damage, burglary, fraud and sexual offences at Brunel than in previous years. Brunel also fared better than the local community for all of these types of crime. Campus is much safer than in previous years though, with all crime significantly down on figures for 2009, according to the report. The Vice-Chancellor says drugs are one of the ‘main concerns’ of university management. She wrote: “The main concerns for the coming year include the need to continue to deter drug use on campus, to eradicate drug dealing and to review perimeter security and access control across the campus.”

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Crime which has risen in past year: theft, bike crime and drugrelated crime. Crime which has fallen in past year: violence, criminal and accidental damage, burglary, fraud and sexual offences. More likely to see bike crime and drug-related crime at Brunel than in the local community. Brunel has fewer incidences of all other types of crime than the local community.

ANGELS OF UXBRIDGE support the scheme.

Adrian Williams Trying to make our very own way. This is the time that we find ourself Trying to find our very own way. This is the place that I’ve been before Trying to find our very own way I have seen this place and I want some more Trying to find our very own way. I want some more right now, tell me where you want to go Trying to find my very own way. This is the time that I know is right, will take me to the place I know. Life is a rose that I’ve always said will catch you by the ring of the way. Trying to make myself in a place unseen will always catch me by the ring of the way. This is the time I’ve placed, I’ll take it all home right now. Try it if you can and try it if you see.

A group of Christian volunteers known as the Street Angels have taken to helping stray young people on Uxbridge High Street at night. The Pentecostal Church on Kingston Lane is one in a network of Street Angels, or Christian Night Initiatives, that wait outside clubs and bars in their local area offering water, flipflops and support to people emerging from them a little worse for wear. Young women who have lost or removed their shoes and are walking home barefoot are among the people that the Street Angels, typically in groups of six, offer aid to on the street. Alcohol consumption and the heat of bars and clubs also lead to dehydration. Street Angels will hand out free bottled water and guide clubbers into safe modes of transport for the journey home. Local police

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place to be judgmental – I don’t know why people do the things they do, but Beginning in the area of Halifax, West everyone needs help.” Yorkshire, the scheme was designed to Mr Pereira had to leave the Angels tackle problems with violence, sexual after starting a new job in law assaults and underage drinking. There enforcement. “I don’t want someone are now over 100 projects, with signs I banged up once to see me out on that more the street will form in “I used to think drunk students on dressed as a the future. Street Angel!” the streets were a nuisance. This Vo l u n t e e r s he joked. work has made me look at things routinely help The Angels students and wear a black differently “ teenagers as uniform with young as 14. high visibility The Angels sometimes intervene in strips and “Street Angel” inscribed on arguments or aggressive behaviour on the back in orange writing. the street and have the option to learn self-defence. The work involves late Current members are particularly keen nights, between the hours of 10PM to bring more men into the project, until 2AM, so hopeful volunteers must as it is currently female dominated. show their dedication to a committee All volunteers are also required to be within the church. members of the church. When asked why, Mr Pereira replied: “The work J. Pereira worked as a Street Angel requires a lot of maturity, so you have for a year. He said: “I used to think to be ‘living the life’. I believe every drunk students on the streets were Christian needs to do this – you need a nuisance. This work has made me a Good Samaritan heart.” look at things differently. It’s not our


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07

WILL YOU BE THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS?

BRUNELSTUDENTS.COM/ADVICE

Monday 10th February 11.00am-2.00pm

Money Doctors Yes, you’ve guessed it! X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity are on our TV screens, so this can only mean one thing! We are on countdown to Christmas.

comes in… but will you? The amount you had to borrow is eye watering enough, never mind the massive interest!

Hopefully, this will all just turn out to be a dream. This is what could happen if you don’t stick to a budget; you may have saved some money to spend now (if you did feel free to write already seen the shop your Christmas list and check it twice), but it could “Instant Credit messages are all disappear everywhere! Save 10% by applying if you don’t a few for a store card. It all sounds really follow simple tips.

2014

Atrium, Hamilton Centre Where are you living next year? House, flat, studio? Drop by at the Housing Fayre where you can meet and discuss your needs with a variety of reputable letting agents and get advice from the ARC advisers.

Meet local letting agents - NuPad, Coopers, Gibbs Gillespie and the University’s Off Campus Housing Team and register with them on the day. Have a chat with other students about their housing experience Get hints and tips on what to consider when viewing a property BEFORE you sign the contract Get budgeting tips from the Money Doctors Freebies Galore!

Endsleigh Insurance are pleased to sponsor the ARC Housing Fayre 2014

You may have aisles aching with loads of Christmas goodies, and the tempting until the bill arrives “ messages are e ve r y w h e re Try not to be – INSTANT caught out by CREDIT; DISCOUNTS; MUST so-called reduced prices. The original HAVE DEAL; SAVE 10% TODAY BY prices are often inflated before a APPLYING FOR A STORE CARD. It reduction and then slashed down to all sounds really tempting, especially their original price (sometimes for if you were as little as 10 “Try not to get caught out by so going to buy minutes the called reduced prices. The original Friday before a that jumper anyway, so sale). prices are often inflated before a why not get wIf you have reduction “ 10% off? exhausted all You apply your available for the store card and after getting funds, don’t be tempted to borrow accepted, you go mad and buy all more just to buy presents that could your presents at once! Then, the bill end up at the back of someone’s arrives, and you realise you have gone wardrobe. How many Brut gift sets way over budget and don’t have the or embroidered pillows have you money to pay it. And what about received that got forgotten about those tickets for Christmas Global after five minutes? which you still have to buy? What about your ticket home? If you are unlucky enough to get the It’s not long until you see that ad for Christmas/New Year blues when a Pay-Day loan and think that will be you return to campus in January the answer. then make sure It’s easy - you “If you’re unlucky enough to get you book a 1-2can get a 1 budgeting small amount the New Year blues when you a p p o i n t m e n t of money with the Money return to campus in January for a short then make sure you book a 1-2-1 Doctors (email at amount of m o n eyd o c t o r s @ budgeting appointment “ time. Being brunel.ac.uk) or short of come have a chat money this month you decide to with us at a Drop In on 8th January borrow just a little and pay it back 2014 (12 to 2pm, Ground Floor, next month after your Student Loan Bannerman Centre).

MONEY DOCTORS: CHRISTMAS CRACKER EVENT Brunel Money Doctors like to prepare early for Christmas and our Christmas Cracker event engaged with lots of students on 7th November. We know that you are savvy shoppers and got lots of entries for our Best Christmas Money Saving Tip with a £25 Amazon Gift Card prize. If you are still looking for ideas please take a look at our Christmas Saving Tips opposite to help feel the pinch less during the festive period. When you return to campus after the Festive holidays and you may have the Christmas financial blues then you can drop in to see us on Wednesday 8th January 2014 (12 to 2pm, Ground Floor, Bannerman Centre) or make an appointment for 1-2-1 budgeting: e: moneydoctors@brunel.ac.uk

TOP CHRISTMAS SAVING TIPS • • • • • • • • •

Remember to cash in your loyalty card points Get free tickets for your favourite BBC Shows at www.bbc.co.uk/tickets. Ask for free samples when making a purchase at a cosmetic counter they make great stocking fillers. Save a little each week to relieve the pain of all the Chrismtas Parties Make your own presents (sweets and decorations go down a storm!) Wrapper paper : buy the cheapest or use brown paper and make it fancy with ribbon and decorate it yourself. Christmas cards are another major expense, instead send free ones online Buy in the january sales so that you’re one step ahead of the game for the next year Book your xmas travel in advance so you don’t get caught out!


08 UNION NEWS

UNION NEWS

PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL VOLUNTEERS

GOOD DEED DAY 2013 Martha Salhotra Brunel’s biggest charity event of the year, “Good Deed Day” took place on Tuesday 12th November, and I can safely say it was nothing less than a huge success. Gathered in the heart of Uxbridge town centre, students from Brunel and Uxbridge college teamed up to give back to the residents of Uxbridge, showing everyone how a little bit of community spirit can go a long way! With over 200 volunteers signed up to help throughout the day’s proceedings, students from both Brunel and Uxbridge college were doing a number of pre-planned activities - ranging from packing bags in Tesco to cleaning shop windows all in the name of doing a good deed and giving the people of Uxbridge something to smile about. Boasting free tea and coffee, as well as free manicures and henna, it was apparent

that collectively, Brunel certainly put a smile on people’s faces! I myself participated in fundraising for the Mayor’s charity fund, donning my “Brunel volunteers” t-shirt and approaching members of the public to ask for donations and to make a difference to the various charities the fund supported. Signing up for Good Deed Day and being a part of such an experience made me realise the importance of volunteering but also, that I could use my skills to make a real difference to the community. If I learned anything from Good Deed Day, it was that as both students and individuals, we should support our community and represent students as being beneficial members of it. It is only by reaching out that we can show how Brunel University strives to be more than just an educational establishment, but rather an institution that can expand outside of its academic bubble. I spoke to Level 2 English student, Arthe, pictured below, who spoke

of her joy at being a part of the fundraising team: “Fundraising for Good Deeds Day made me feel more engaged with the student body and the community of Uxbridge, and I feel extremely privileged to have supported the cause. The day was a huge success and you could definitely feel that we had made a difference!”

It is responses like these which show how great a platform Brunel Volunteers is, as students are able to engage in new experiences, but also can challenge themselves and try something new! Just by volunteering for Good Deed Day I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to many generous members of the public and realised I wanted to fundraise again in my spare time - which was an added bonus! What was even better to see was the Brunel community pulling together to make Good Deed Day one to remember. So congratulations to all the acts that performed from

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across Uxbridge college and Brunel University on the day - they had the crowd applauding, entertained and most importantly, donating! I must also take this opportunity to commend the excellent organisational skills from everyone working for and with Brunel Volunteers, all of whom made it extremely easy to see the time and effort that went into making sure the day went phenomenally. Brunel Volunteers, the staff, and all the students involved truly have out-done themselves by promoting student volunteering and bringing everyone together for a good cause! I can only guess that Good Deeds Day 2014, with a little more Brunel spirit, will surpass the brilliant outcome achieved by this year’s event! I for one cannot wait to see what next year has in store for both Brunel and Brunel Volunteers. Well done to everyone who was a part of it all, and congratulations to #TeamBrunel! The Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Alan Kauffman gave a closing speech

after the performances that praised the success of the day, “Today, all those involved with Good Deed Day are giving a service to the community that is much appreciated. These activities would not have been as successful without the support of the partnership between the University, the Pavilions and Uxbridge College.” He notes, “Communities have broken down and events such as this help us to build them back up.” Priya Pallan, the manager of Brunel Volunteers, spoke on behalf of the Brunel community saying, “Staff and students at Brunel do thousands of hours of volunteering a year, which is often behind closed doors. Good Deed Day highlights the positive impact that Brunel has on the local community.” The positive feedback that Good Deed Day generated has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of applicants in volunteering at Brunel, which directly feeds back into Uxbridge and its surrounding area.


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CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX APPEAL A ROARING SUCCESS Grace Witherden A big thank you to all those who took part in the shoebox appeal!

The shoeboxes could be filled with anything from yoyos for small boys, toothbrushes, cuddly toys and sweets along with a small donation to cover transportation costs. Katie Stewart, Brunel’s Campaigns Chair said, “I’m so pleased with how much everyone has got involved and helped with the campaign; it’s been a really fun few weeks!”

This month the Campaigns group has been working hard for the shoebox appeal. Over 60 shoeboxes were wrapped in the space of a week and Malaika Oyortey, a third year English sent off to student, who sports teams, also “Thank you to everyone who took was s o c i e t i e s , part. It has been exciting to take part running the staff and campaign students to and I have been overwhelmed by the a l o n g s i d e fill up. All the Katie said, interest “ shoeboxes “Thank you will be sent to everyone off to underprivileged children in who took part in the shoebox appeal. Eastern Europe to make a child’s It has been so exciting to take part Christmas. and I have been overwhelmed by the interest that sports teams and people The appeal was run by the Mustard in general have shown.” Seed Relief Mission, who sends over 50,000 shoeboxes every year. The This is just one appeal the campaigns charity was set up by Lisa Smart working group are currently involved who has been volunteering for the in, if you fancy getting involved and company for over 5 years with ‘Love joining the campaigns working group In a Box’ being one of their most please email campaigns.chair@ successful appeals making a real brunel.ac.uk change to children’s lives.

ALUMNI GIVE BACK THROUGH HIP HOP EVENT Temmy Odumosu Former Brunel Arts student Tania Diggory returned to Brunel last month with dance floor legends Elite Force to showcase The Pioneers: A History of Dance event. It was the first time all members of the dance crew have been together at one time. The event ran over the weekend beginning the 1st of November where Moncell Durden premiered his documentary: Everything Remains Raw: Hip Hop Dance in Context. There were also performances from dancers, MCs, beat boxers and much more. Tania Diggory, a Modern Drama and Creative Writing graduate, gathered together her well-established dance crew from all over the world to come and educate the Brunelian

community about the history of Hip Hop. PHD are sponsored by Dance Aid. Their motto is: “Dance a little, live a little, save a live” - as all the money raised by the event went directly towards transforming the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Elite Force member, Bobby Mileage said: “Everywhere you go dance is huge and it brings everybody together. With this event we are supporting our own culture.” Elite Force have danced and choreographed with the likes of Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Diana Ross, TLC, Mariah Carey and many more great artists. Martyna Czapiga, 21 said: “I came all the way from Poland just for this event.” Volunteers Keira Vassallo and JoJo Coskery from non-profit radio Kane. fm were also present at the exhibition.

PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL LABOUR SOCIETY

BRUNEL HOSTS SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY Alex Mitchell Fresh from their trip to Brighton for the Labour Party Annual Conference, Brunel Labour Society members were delighted to be joined by Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP at their first event of the year. Earlier this term, Brunel University played host to BBC Question Time, the Beeb’s flagship political show, and after the event, Douglas took time to chat with Brunel Students and representatives from the Union of Brunel Students before travelling

back to his constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Scotland. After a short speech, in which he talked about the filming of Question Time and his time as Chair of a Labour Society whilst a student at Edinburgh University, Douglas answered students’ questions about his role within Parliament and the Labour Party as well as providing his thoughts on the big political issues of the day. The event was the first of many that the Labour Society will be hosting throughout the coming year, with a number of high profile political guests. Speaking after the event, Kerri Prince, Vice-Chair said: “It was great to see Douglas take time out of his packed

schedule to meet with students and talk openly about the issues that matter to them. As a society we have a packed year of events and campaigning ahead of us. We have a number of high profile guests coming to visit us in the coming months as well as planned trips to Manchester and much more. If you’re passionate about the values we believe in then I’d encourage you to join us and help us make a difference.” If you’d like to know more or get involved with Brunel Labour, join us online at brunelstudents.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook or tweet us @ BrunelLabour.

BRUNEL POLITICS SOCIETY HOSTS SEX DEBATE Kerri Prince On Tuesday 19th November, the Brunel Politics Society hosted a debate on the sex industry, with guest speakers Julie Bindel and Luke Bozier. Topics covered prostitution, porn, and consent and it was a lively debate which saw a love-in between the two speakers. In Bindel’s opening speech, she said that “we radical feminists are very pro-sex”, which led to a discussion on feminist attitudes towards the sex industry, with a general agreement that feminism is allowing a woman to do what it is that she wants to do,

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rather than what she is being forced in to. In his opening statement, Bozier talked about his own experiences with sex addiction and porn, and argued for the decriminalisation of brothels, despite admitting that prostitution and porn would only feed a sex addiction. Luke Bozier, known for his controversial views to legalise necrophilia and lower the age of consent to 13, argued the side for decriminalising brothels and allowing prostitutes to work together within a building – a practice which is currently illegal. Using examples where countries have legal brothels and soliciting, Bindel argued that there is no such thing

as safe prostitution, and also went on to state that by allowing brothels to exist, that would be giving more power to pimps. It was a thought-provoking debate, which posed questions on whether 16 year olds should be punished for having sex, what relation there is between pornography and prostitution, and what a modern feminist view is on the sex industry. Topics touched on by the audiences’ questions were popular exotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, the role of sex worker unions, and anonymity of those accused of sex offences. It was the first event of its kind organised by the Politics Society, and received a good response from students and staff who attended.


10 TXP SPECIAL

CHANGE PLANS MOVE UP A GEAR George Bowden Brunel’s ambitious transformational change project, which proposes a radical reorganisation of the university, is proceeding at a rapid pace according to its interim report. The report confirms there are now clearer outlines for the plans which will see the current system of academic schools condensed into three academic colleges and a handful of research institutes. An academic colleges working group, a team of university staff tasked with working up proposals for a new academic structure, has developed a series of potential options. The group’s preferred structure would see a College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences; a College of Health and Life Sciences; and a College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences. Complementing the three new academic colleges, three research institutes will organise around specialisms carefully chosen by the university. A separate research institute group has developed its proposals which

highlight three areas of research it believes Brunel could excel at. That group’s preferred proposal would see three research institutes covering energy futures; the environment, health and society; and materials and manufacturing. The university refers to these areas of research as possessing “critical mass”. Other working groups have been formed to consider the impact of change on university administration as well as the impact on the highest academic body of the university, the Senate. The report also notes that the students’ union has “endorsed” the approach taken to propose change and that its officers are engaged in developing the proposals through the working groups. The interim report, which details the change project’s progress so far, was considered by Senate at the end of October. The wider student body will be made aware of more details of the proposals through a series of campus-wide ‘road shows’ specifically designed to engage students in the proposed changes. As plans are still proposals, they are not set in stone and must now be consulted upon by the university’s ruling Council and Senate committees in the coming months.

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STUDENT ASSEMBLY: LIVING WAGE “NOT RELEVANT TO THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY” Erin O’Neill Brunel’s first student assembly meeting of the year took place on the 7th of November. The special guest speaker was Paul Thomas, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Brunel, who took an hour to tell us about the plans for the future of the University as part of a Transformational Change Project. He said there will be £40 million to invest into Brunel, which will fund, among other things, a new hotel on campus, a redesign of student halls (incorporating a living-room-like area) and the demolition of the John Crank building. These new changes will start to be put

into place September next year. When asked about the rising halls fees on campus Mr. Thomas said, “the standards of the halls at Brunel meet the price that students pay.” Mr. Thomas also responded to a question on the London living wage stating, “he doesn’t think it’s relevant for this part of the country.” Members were asked if they would like to stand for various positions in the Union. These included Chairperson of Student Assembly, the Student Representative on Senate and members of the Elections and Referenda Committee. Motions from chairs of specific areas of the Union were put forward and then discussed by the Assembly members. Motions for the charities funded by RAG are to be selected solely by

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students, for the University to back volunteering opportunities abroad and a mental health awareness campaign were all passed. George Coates, Radio Brunel Station Manager, put forward a motion proposing that an elected committee vote on the content of Le Nurb and Radio Brunel, as opposed to having to go through the Media Association Chair and the Student Union president. George argued that his change would allow the University’s media to be more diverse and democratic. After much debate, the votes were 15 vs. 15 and so the motion failed. Hannah Jones, Sports Federation Chair, passed a motion to eject ineffective committee members. Media Chair, Chadley Richards, updated the Assembly on Radio

Brunel, stating that it is now up and running, with a special broadcast from Uxbridge’s Mayor arranged for Christmas. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings, which take place in the Council Chambers, but only elected members can vote and put forward their own motions. For more information and to find out the date of upcoming meetings, check http://brunelstudents.com/ howitworks/studentassembly/.


TXP SPECIAL PHOTO CREDIT: PAUL THOMAS

WHAT IS THE TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE PROJECT? George Coates George Coates interrogates the corporate jargon that surrounds the mysterious Transformation Change Project, and offers his own thoughts on what Paul Thomas’ big ideas mean for Brunel.

XP: WHAT’S THE DEAL? UBS PRESIDENT PLANNING TO LISTEN TO YOUR VIEWS Martin Zaranyika, UBS President, posted the following message on Facebook last Wednesday: The University is currently planning to change the way it is structured and run in time for the next academic year. The model they are suggesting is that we move from a school based system to a College system. The proposal is that we would have 3 Colleges and 3 Research Institutes. We are looking for students to be involved in a consultation on Friday 6th, to gauge your views on the changes and any issues that we need to take forward to the University as your representative body. To get involved with the consultation, search “Brunel Su Pres” on Facebook and follow the links to the sign-up form.

PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS

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11

everything about changes to halls accommodation removed. I’m not sure why this is, maybe it’s because we were told that the rise in halls prices were reflective of how good the halls were, then told another £18 Million would be going into renovation. So are the halls rent prices just going to keep going up? There are plans to freeze the prices on the Union’s side of things, but this can only ever be temporary.

What is TxP? I’m going to insist you take a few minutes to think about The Research section of the this... bit longer… wait for it... Okay. You restructuring is aimed towards don’t know either, do you? building a more reputable University. When I went to Student Assembly as This is the least controversial of the a non student...assembler (Avenger? proposed changes. However, the Student Avengers who Assemble, if terminology used to justify it has a they’ve not called very strange that then they’ve f e e l i n g “We as students have been missed a trick), about it, left powerless and it is at the I was treated “Recruitment to an hour long Universities discretion how this of high quality presentation students” the will affect us.” from Paul implication T h o m a s , being that University COO (that’s cee oh oh not without this we won’t have high quality “cooooo” like a dove), who I believe students, or worse, don’t already. was attempting to kill my brain cells The three college idea is an attempt - counterproductive for a university to create stronger, more supportive bod, but still. structures for the schools as they exist at the present. This has been The presentation was supposed to confirmed by Thomas as having the take ten minutes - it didn’t - and it was implication that some lecturers will an ‘outline’ (hahaha) of TxP, otherwise be made redundant. The general known as Brunel’s ‘innovative’ impression, however, is that this has Transformational Change Project. the opposite effect, “The Schools Regardless, TxP is basically the plan will be diluted and lose any stability for a few changes the university is that they may have at this moment” going to be undertaking in the coming said one student, unwilling to give years. their name, she continued “how The presentation, catchily named can making teachers redundant ‘Briefing on TxP: Organising for be a decision made in the name of Transformation Success, Overview of stability?” Progress to Date’, was an instant hit. Live tweets included: The colleges are cited as being made up of schools with “Clear academic “This is what happens when people synergy”. For me, the schools of who don’t know students run Arts and Business are practically universities, a room full of students synonymous. bored and annoyed…” This isn’t a blame game. No one’s trying to point fingers here. This is “I genuinely don’t think we’ll be the just the state of universities now same University in 5 years time” thanks to slashing of budgets by the Tory government and the raising of “I thought this was going to be a 10 tuition fees. We live in a time with a minute presentation... not an hour poor economy that is only made to lecture! Get on with Assembly!!!” feel worse by the austerity imposed on the nation, and Education more TxP is broken into three parts. specifically; it’s difficult to not worry Firstly: “Establishment of 3 Colleges about profits when the Government with clear academic synergies seemingly wants to encourage a dogbetween Departments which will eat-dog university system. function as strong units”. Secondly: “Establishment of 3 Research We, as students, have been left Institutes, each centred on an area in powerless, and it is at the universities’ which we demonstrate national and discretion how this affects us. international excellence and have I haven’t been asked my opinion on the potential to be world leading as this matter, not one student has, we’re determined by comparative analysis just being told what’s going to happen. of our KPIs”. And thirdly - well, I’m afraid this is unquoted as it has been I’m a third year, so I while I care about removed from the presentation that Brunel, and want to see it flourish, was sent to me, the renovation of these changes have no real impact several Brunel buildings, including on me. As a Theatre student I just feel halls, a sports centre, and the atrium. bad for the prospective students who are deciding to come to Brunel and I asked for the presentation to then will find themselves coming to a help me write this article and I university that is drastically changing. received a censored version, with It’s not what they signed up for.


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PHOTO CREDIT: WORDPRESS.COM

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PART OF THE HINDU SOCIETY? Ria Dhillon “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return”- The Bhagavad Gita Being part of a society gives you that sense of belonging. It is a place where you know you won’t be judged, as the people you are with are just like you and they understand. That’s what the Hindu society is about. Being a fresher at University, you can feel lost and sometimes out of place.

The fast-paced lifestyle of partying During these meetings, you are also means nine nights in Sanskrit, Nava and learning can mean you don’t even reminded of the little things we miss meaning nine and Ratri meaning have time to sit and enjoy the little out in our busy lives, such as thanking nights). To celebrate these festive moments of University life. This is God. nights, Hindus gather each evening where the Hindu society and celebrate with a comes in. Welcoming “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the dance known as Garba, you with a big Namaste right person at the right time and at the right place, bringing people from (greetings in Hindi), various cultures together and when we expect nothing in return “ the society embraces in celebration. you. Not only teaching religion but, teaching The Society doesn’t you the importance of being a good Being a part of the Society takes you only provide celebratory events. person and respecting others. on a spiritual journey through the It also encourages everyone to history of Hinduism. It shows you come together and give back to The Hindu Society doesn’t try to first hand the colourful and energetic the community. Sewa Day (Selfless convince members that they are the celebrations of the religion. For Service Day) is a time where members best society, but invites you to weekly example; Navratri (a festival dedicated of the Hindu society help the less meetings, where speaking about to the worship of the Hindu deity fortunate. important cultural issues is the focus. Durga. The word Navaratri literally

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In all, the Hindu Society never restricts anyone from joining. It is there to bring everyone together to teach us about being better citizens. The purpose is not only to teach everyone about Hinduism, but also celebrate the mixture of cultures in our University and the wider world. For even when Mahatma Gandhi was asked if he was a Hindu, he replied, “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew”. This shows us that whatever culture or religion we are, being a human is what unites us all.


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LIVING SPACE Taji Rafferty

PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL UNIVERSITY FLICKR

Undergraduate students who have been able to find accommodation have no doubt begun to mark their new territory. This might mean the redecoration of rooms with posters of some singer or cult leader, the filling of shelves with an impressive collection of books... or simply not aiming when you pee. But, to quote a man I once met, who promised me he wouldn’t break my skull with a pair of snooker-balls tied in a sock, if I promised to hand him some money: ‘what d’you know ‘bout dese ends?’ I knew nothing about those ends; so, anticipating what I thought would be his offer to act as my guide through unfamiliar ‘ends’; I very plainly said ‘What do you know about these ends?’ – As you may already realise, his intentions turned out to be very different to that of a tour guide. However, it is my intention to fulfil the role that the gentleman (let us call him Rob) felt uninterested in filling: that of a guide. I intend to take you on a tour of what you will already be familiar with (the campus), but in particular, the variety of accommodation on offer for those who don’t know much about it, want to know more, or simply like tours. Hopefully, I can teach you a few things you didn’t know already – like Rob did for me – but I assure you that none of those things will be snooker + sock = pain. No - my information will cost you neither your money nor your self-esteem, it will only cost you your time (and don’t say time is money because it isn’t and Einstein says so). Although Brunel was officially established in 1966, the origins of the Campus date back to the 1920s, long before a group of sharp young Droogs made it their stomping ground. When the original architect was commissioned to design the University he had little more than a ‘weed ridden patch of scrubland’ to work with. But with a little innovation, elbow grease, and in excess of £200 million, Brunel became the spectacle it is today. It is rumoured that the Architect (let us call him Archie) initially had huge difficulties with the scrubland, as the herbicide he was using wasn’t killing the weeds. One day, Archie found that it was a better idea to just cut them down, leave them out in the sun to dry, then grind them into paper and set them on fire... but enough about the past – let’s get this tour going. As we pass through the Eastern Gateway, two large white buildings rise into the sky on either side of us. Also, let us imagine that it is a summer’s day; now watch, as the sun is reflected by the multitude of windows. This is the Business School (right) and the Mary Seacole Building (left) and ahead, over the rolling white wave of the Athletics Centre, is Bishop Complex. Completed in December 2005, it is one of the largest residences and has the

capacity to house 698 individual architectural tools that architects use two pence onto ends of all en suite students – plus a couple of friends to do their architecting (rulers and accommodation rent. Those who do who’ve passed out on the floor after pencils). This would have meant the may jump to the conclusion that it is a night at Locos. It also has the loss of accommodation for thousands a pathetic attempt at sucking a bit of added bonus of being situated right of future Brunel students, and a loss extra dough from the poor underclass above the of campus mail room; “Bishop Complex has a 698 capacity - plus enough room for a couple of situated so if you’re students. friends who’ve passed out on the floor after a night in Locos. “ the kind of Let me put person who’ll your mind take the lift at ease: instead of walking up a single flight of of profits. Luckily Archie’s friend, every two pence added to the end stairs – this is the place for you. Danny Devito, had a lucky pencil. of en suite rent goes directly into the Now let’s make our way around Danny said that Archie could borrow pocket of Danny De Vito (next to his Bishop and stop beside the river to his pencil for as long as it took for him pencils); without whom none of us view Clifton Hall. When Archie was to finish his architect drawings and would be here. designing this particular building, that he also offered his own body up Shortly after Archie had come before he had solved the weed as a ruler. This is why you may have up with his solution for the ‘weed problem, he fell into a state of heard that the Chepstow building is ridden patch of shrubland’, he began depression. Fortunately for us, he roughly 3.7 Devitos tall. Within these to experience some difficulties eventually realised that he wasn’t Devitos are 321 rooms with corridors controlling the dilation and really depressed at all; he was just of up to 11 rooms and shared use constriction of his retinas. As a result, thirsty. Some say that his realisation of bath, shower, toilet facilities and sunlight was abominable to him and somewhat inspired the location kitchen. he ended up spending a lot of time in (near the River Pinn), others say the bed eating takeout or just staring at building looks like a red faced drunk Follow the river along the stone path, weird looking shapes on the internet. staring at its own reflection in the passing through the curtain of leaves Then one day he had the bright idea river and wondering where it all went and turning left, we arrive at Faraday of making windows that wouldn’t let wrong. I don’t know what to think, Hall. It reclines along the north-east too much natural light in; for people but it seems a jolly old place to me: side of the campus and for £125.02 with similar retina problems. It also it contains 236 rooms, with shared per week, you get all the amenities conveniently fitted in with the ‘L’ in toilets/bathroom and is a short walk provided in Chepstow, Bishop and Lancaster (the name of his favourite from the Sports Centre and Gym. Clifton with the added value of a takeaway). For us, it takes no time When it came to the building of private thinking space (or toilet), as at all to travel to Lancaster, and for Chepstow Hall, which is situated well as the aesthetic value of neatly anyone who thinks they would like right beside Clifton, funding for the groomed shrubbery at the front. to stay (anyone with problems like project began to run low. This meant Anyone who stays for the entire tour Archie, for instance) the following is that Archie could no longer afford may recognise the trend of adding available: 498 EnSuite rooms, shared

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kitchen/dining room; all of which are located very close to one of the campus laundromats. From here we must head further West, past the library, the Subway and the corner shop until - across the road - we see Mill, Fleming and Galbraith Halls all lined up beside one another. They lie on the West side of Campus, stretching slowly into the sky – from which Fleming appears to be a huge noughts & crosses board. Legend has it, this design was inspired by Archie’s experience a huge green giant who threatened to grind his buildings into dust and scatter them to the four winds. Archie used dark Architect magic to create a box, which he dared the giant to get into as a forfeit for losing 5 – 2 at noughts and crosses. And so it is that the giant was to serve mankind for all eternity – telling them when it’s safe to cross. In addition to the typical amenities provided in a Hall of Residence (table, chair and kitchen sink) Galbraith, Mill and Faraday also surround a lovely courtyard within which one may, on a lovely day such as this, read, play games, or simply lean up against the wall and fill your lungs with that funny smelling tobacco Archie smoked when writing up his Book of Legends. But everything that had been accomplished thus far was soon to be overshadowed. In 2006 Archie published his Book of Legends; it was an instant success and made him a billionaire overnight. He decided he would build one more residential complex for Brunel and that this complex would be better than anything he had built before. For inspiration, Archie decided to go out into the wilderness to ‘find himself’ – so he bought a jet and flew out to Nevada, Texas. Whilst there, he began to win big and sent back wads of money wrapped in colourful designs for the upcoming Isambard Complex. Unfortunately, Archie decided to put all his money on a ‘sure thing’ and ended up getting in deep with the sharks. This resulted in the loss of his left hand. But when he came back he told everyone he didn’t mind because he was ‘a lefty,’ – in 2008, Archie had finally finished the Isambard Complex which provides 1,188 en-suite rooms and 122 studio flats and is situated to the far West of the Campus. It is said that the highest rooms of the Isambard complex originally had solid gold window restrictors, but it was later decided that these should be melted down to make Archie a solid gold hand instead. Now the day is growing dark, and like the day, and the tour, we must all go to our ‘ends’. Although many of the facts told here will be very familiar to you already I hope this tour was of some use. For those who wish to learn more about Brunel’s famous Architect, visit the website at www. archiemadeofgold.com.


14 FEATURES

POOLSIDE WAVEFORMS; THE STATE OF ART IS ON FIRE

Jack Goldstein Let’s take a look at Noel Gallagher; the reactionary elder statesman of British rock who voices his (in my view) politically incorrect opinions on society in exchange for copious amounts of hard cash. Not the outspoken Cromwellian agitations of a hardened wordsmith who grew up in Manchester amidst Thatcherism, but I believe simply the fatuous babbling of an adept businessman aimed squarely at keeping his abounding disciples frothing at the wallet with every interview he gives. His resolute opinions on the ascendancy of hiphop upon its admirers, saying it is “how you end up with these gangs of youths with hoods stabbing people” seem not only cockeyed but also inanely steeped in hypocrisy and irony. After all, are not all Oasis fans just little more than a troop of vociferous hooligans, drooling in

baited anticipation at the prospect of clobbering their own brother in-law’s head to the beat of Supersonic? No? Throughout Gallagher’s recent belch of tyrannical prattle, he has been militant, saying that it would never be his wish to give away one of his own albums for free, joking that Oasis CD sales are just about enough to keep his swimming pool filled with mineral water and that he would support internet service providers in playing a bigger role controlling illegal filesharing. Of course, Gallagher isn’t alone here and my methodical berating of him as an example may have been a little harsh; after all, he is just one of many popular musicians who believe the government should assemble a more impenetrable barrier against music piracy. As a working and studying musician, I don’t share these concerns. The result of any comprehensive label or lucrative musical artist being systematically hoodwinked at the hand of a bunch of illegal file-sharers is naturally going to upset the apple cart. How many have downloaded

music illegally; how many find it compulsive at times. Music excites me, it’s addictive and if it can be obtained quickly and easily, when I have no cash, then I herald it as a miracle. It sounds like I’m addressing an untaxed drug but what I’m really talking about is the integral, well nurtured, creative part of that Oasis CD of which Noel Gallagher rests his livelihood upon. A study I read about which was taken in 2009 showed that people who have illegally file-shared spend more on official releases per year than those who have claimed never to have accessed music illegally in their life. It takes certain astuteness and longing to be ‘illegal download savvy’ - after all, it’s an inherent result of a desire to hear music. We have masterminded our own decline as far as the CD is concerned. Many people are aware that they are just high quality WAV files and that the ability to manufacture them is indigenous to even the most primitive of home computers. Remove those high quality, pool filling WAV files and you are left with the 100% non-

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downloadable carapace. The truth is that some things are just not worth investing in and the lesson to be learnt is that instead of taking on illegal down-loaders, the music industry should be thinking about ways of making physical releases more advantageous. Unfortunately, it seems that the ‘marketing powers that be’ at the majority of major labels seem to have the artistic and aesthetic perspicacity of a low grade graphic designer and I doubt they are equipped to adapt to the changing market fast enough. The term ‘artistic freedom’ is simply pretence: an initial label marketing tool not only lab-tested on the conglomerated consumer but also aimed apathetically at the musician in the form of a blandish proverbial hook, line and sinker. It is this thus compromised “artistic freedom” that must then become the preeminent profit-making charm of the commodity that the label pushes and

that is an unworkable paradox. The point is that the physical carapace should be nurtured with the same dexterity and candor as the music itself. That way it not only becomes a paradisiacal crib for the music but also a creative and well cultivated one, lending itself to a more genuine, unified aesthetic that is an honest representation of who we are as musicians. The world is evolving and I find it disheartening that artists like Mr. Gallagher, who seems to have the aptitude to be influential spokesmen on such issues in what is a fast changing industry, should feel so strongly about one thing but so lackluster about the others. Does he really see the world in such detached, absolute terms? Does he even care as long as the cheques keep rolling in? Realistically though, in my view, if he can’t see the discernible irony in his castigation of hip hop music then I can’t see him understanding this either.


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THE ALTERNATE ALTERNATIVE S. Wijesuriya The concept of alternate dimensions or parallel universes have been a focus of science fiction in many movies, TV shows and books and as such has at one point in all of our lives made us question perhaps subconsciously - the notion of what life would have been like if circumstances had taken another route. Would we be the individuals we are today? Does our environment affect our personality? Or is it inbuilt within our genetic code to behave a certain way? One may say these are mere musings of an imaginative mind. However, science has found pause to consider that perhaps alternative dimensions can coexist. A person who is you but subtly changed may be living in a

different dimension and living a life, perhaps thinking the same thought you have but coming to a different conclusion. One would say anyone who proposes these ideas for scientific purposes have perhaps ‘lost their marbles’ however once an idea is proposed it is the basis of science to either prove or disprove the concept with scientific backing. An American physicist known as Hugh Everett III was the first to propose the concept of alternative dimensions in 1954, known as the ‘many-worlds theory ‘. This was to answer why quantum matter behaved as it did, which was erratically. Quantum matter is the smallest possible discrete unit of any physical property and has been recognised to have the ability of taking on different forms known as the Heisenberg uncertainty

principle, whereby it was noted that quantum matter can take on different forms with no apparent pattern taking place to explain how. Therefore the many-worlds theory states that for each possible outcome to an action the world splits into another copy. The idea behind there being alternative dimensions therefore would be theoretically possible due to quantum matters behaviour, if there were parallel universes present and time was not linear but instead branched out to give different outcomes, matter can thus be able to take any shape it wishes to take. A theorist Max Tegmark gave support to this theory in 1997 by undergoing a thought experiment: an experiment only undertaken in the mind. In this thought experiment, Tegmark thought of a man who had a gun, in one scenario the man pulled the gun

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and sadly died, in the second scenario the man pulled the gun and due to quantum matters behaviour the gun did not fire and the man lived. Each time the man that lived pulled the gun, one of these two outcomes presented itself, therefore one man no matter how many times he pulled a gun would live whereas in the other situation the man that died would no longer have any scope for a split in dimensions, the branch would end. This is important as due to quantum matter not fitting the physical laws, physicists have researched into the final level that would answer all physical questions. Einstein after he proposed his theory of relativity spent the rest of his life researching into this theory, known as the ‘theory of everything’ which once explained would be able to link together all physical phenomena and predict

the outcome of quantum particles, therefore one would be able to predict the outcome of any experiment carried out in principle. The idea behind the ‘many-worlds theory’ is growing in acceptance with physicists and has in itself branched into other theories, one being string theory, made popular within the general public through the TV show The Big Bang Theory. In string theory, proposed by a Japanese-American physicist Michio Kaku, the manner the universe was composed is split in 11 separate dimensions. Therefore the proposal of alternative dimensions is now becoming accepted by physicists, so the next time you’re wondering what would have happened if things had not gone the way they had, perhaps in another dimension a copy of yourself is thinking the same thing.

PHOTO CREDIT: WORDPRESS.COM


16 UBS CALLS FOR TIME TO CHANGE

MENTAL HEALTH DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE AND NEITHER MUST WE experiencing some form of depressive episode, and while it is Gemma Sear more prevalent in women than men, it can affect anybody of any age, race Following the release or social background. It is commonly and subsequent recall of Asda’s misinterpreted, but depression is not ‘Mental Patient’ Halloween costume, simply being sad and it cannot simply depicting blood stained and axe be cured by doing some exercise or wielding lunatics, mental illness has ‘getting some air’. been a topic much discussion in the Because mental illness is not a media and through social networking visible illness, it is often difficult to sites. understand or recognise it – but this does not mean that mental illness is There is no doubt that mental illness not as life-changing as other illnesses, has always been something of a taboo it just means that those suffering have issue, but why are there so many an extra battle to fight on a daily basis. misconceptions about a problem that Addiction isn’t a lack of willpower, it will effect on average 25% of us? In stems from a chemical imbalance. the backlash of Bipolar isn’t “Every day 1 in 4 of us will the Halloween being badly c o s t u m e experience mental health problems b e h a v e d ; incident, it’s a change of some description.” mental health in brain charity, Mind, chemistry. But has spoken out in more attempts to the social stigmas on these conditions remove the stigma and discrimination lead to unfair discrimination. Around from mental illness. Hundreds of their 90% of those suffering from mental Twitter followers tweeted pictures of health issues will also suffer some their own mental patient costumes, form of discrimination, whether displaying everyday pictures of through their work, social life or themselves to show that people academics – isn’t it time we started suffering with various mental health supporting those who need it rather problems are not dangerous and than alienating them? crazy, but people just like the rest of us. Students at Brunel this year have In fact, every year 1 in 4 of us will chosen to support Mind as one of the experience mental health problems 4 major RAG charities and hopefully of some description. Some of those this will continue to raise awareness people will be hospitalised, medicated and reduce campus-wide stigma. or even sectioned, and many of them Now we are pledging our support to may suffer in silence. Most people the Time to Change campaign. This is will avoid seeking help for fear of one step in the right direction – but the being ridiculed or discriminated most important move we can make is against, even when this could prove to educate ourselves and understand, detrimental to their well-being. as opposed to fearing what we don’t Depression is one of the most know, because after all, knowledge is common mental health illnesses power and what better way to fight in the UK, with 9.7% of people mental illness than side by side?

Open to both Brunel sta you need to do is p counselling@brunel.ac. first-come, first-serve b

Open 8:30am-6:30pm M runs from 11:30-1:30pm

Open 8:30am-6:30pm M runs from 11:30-1:30pm

RECOGNIZE.

A safe space on campus free to pop in, relax a Tuesday 4:30-6:30pm friendly faces, board g 10am-4pm, open to all

REALIZE.

UBS CALLS FOR “TIME TO CHANGE” Victoria Wallis On November 7th, a motion I submitted for UBS to sign the Time to Change pledge was passed unanimously by Student Assembly. Signing the Time to Change organisational pledge is a public statement of aspiration that an organisation wants to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. It was a proud moment as the students of our Union recognised the importance of mental health. I felt like this could be the beginning of the change that we so desperately need. When I first came to university I was suffering with severe mental health problems; life-threatening bouts of depression left me in a haze of self-harm, numerous medications and no hope that things would get

better. Coming to university is a big step in anybody’s life and coming to university in the midst of a lifechanging illness is something that takes a lot of strength. For me, I came to university with an illness that I couldn’t quite tell people about and I had very little strength to deal with that. It was an illness that left me, on many occasions, just hours away from suicide, isolated in the confines of my bedroom, so easily unnoticed. I kept my illness very secretive because I was ashamed and embarrassed about what I was going through and worried about the reaction from the people that surrounded me. When you tell somebody about a mental illness, the initial reaction is “why are you going through this?” A question I did not have an answer for. A question that I shouldn’t need an answer for. A question that people would never ask someone who was suffering

from a ‘physical’ illness. By Student Assembly signing the Time to Change pledge, these are the attitudes we can challenge so no student ever has to feel the way I did for so many years of my life. The fear of discrimination and stigma no doubt made my condition worse and unnecessarily so. I saw on campus the same pattern as we see in society – the awareness of physical health, drinking, drugs, sexual health, all the things that affect students. However I saw no awareness of mental health. I understood very little about it which meant I saw very little hope for myself. This hope is something UBS can now begin to provide students with, as well as the support and respect every student deserves. It has been 4 years since I was diagnosed and 10 months since coming off all medication. I have now progressed successfully to my second year of university and am enjoying

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it thoroughly. I am proudly the chair of the UBS Mental Health Working Group as well as being the Student Development Co-ordinator for Mind, the leading mental health charity in the country.

“The fear of discrimination and stigma no doubt made my condition worst and unnecessarily so. I saw on campus the same pattern we see in society... no awareness of mental illness.” It is a shame I could not have seen into this future when I was in the midst of deep depression, but I guess I wouldn’t have believed myself anyway. I may

not have been able to give myself hope at the time, but maybe by speaking out I can give other people hope. By speaking out, as a students’ union we can begin to stand together and speak for (and to) those who are suffering and so unfairly silenced by stigma. It may have taken me years longer than most to reach this place in my life, but the important thing is that I am still here, and now it is my time to do my bit to ensure every student gets a second chance the same way I did. If you would like to get involved in the Mental Health Working Group and help change the face of mental health at Brunel then you will find us every Tuesday evening from 4.30 to 6.30 in the Meeting House. Alternatively, join our “UBS Mental Health Working Group” on Facebook and see how you can get involved.


UBS CALLS FOR TIME TO CHANGE

17

WHY I LOVE MY CRAZY FRIENDS

BRUNEL COUNSELLING

Tom Andrews

aff and students, the counselling service is situated opposite the medical centre. All pop in between 10am-4:30pm daily, call 01895 265070 or email brunel.uk. Alternatively, Monday-Friday there is a drop in service at 2pm, which runs on a basis.

When you think about mental health, chances are you’re thinking something negative. You’re probably thinking of the stigma attached to it, feeling sorry for those with mental health concerns, or even thinking of said people as crazy.

dISABILITY & DYSLEXIA SERVICE

Monday-Friday, situated next to Saltash Halls. There is also a drop in service which m daily. These services are available for all registered patients.

MEDICAL CENTRE

Monday-Friday, situated next to Saltash Halls. There is also a drop in service which m daily. These services are available for all registered patients.

tHE mEETING HOUSE

s for all, situated across the pond, opposite Mill Hall. Whether of faith or no faith, feel and have a cup of tea or chat. There is also a Mental Health Support Group every where students with mental health conditions or concerns can talk and relax, with games and plenty of biscuits! Brunel’s ‘Rabbit Café’ also takes place here, Friday’s l staff and students.

TIME TO CHANGE

moonlight revealing the silver linings and simple beauties of the world. Yes, there are days when some, if not all of my friends, have bad days and lose sight of these small triumphs, but do we not all feel that way at times? Is it not something innately human to feel heartache or loss or futility? I would say, in fact, it is.

When you feel you live in the shadow of your own life, it can be hard to find The truth is, many people diagnosed the strength to meet the new day. with mental health conditions are just Nevertheless, I find my friends not the same as the rest of us. I’ve never only fighting for this simple normality, been diagnosed with or suspected but fighting too for the rights of those of having mental health concerns, who suffer in silence. It is hard for my closest friends, however, just anyone to fight for the rights of others, about cover but to fight “When you feel you live in the the spectrum for those between them. shadow of your own life it can be rights while Quite why it is co n q u e r i n g hard to meet the new day” I’ve ended up your own, with such an personal eclectic inner circle is not something demons is something which I believe I’ve considered, but I’d like to think it’s can only be respected. down to the nature of our friendships. The most important thing you can I can offer them my (mostly) endless do, be it for someone diagnosed with optimism, an open mind, and an open a mental health problem or anyone heart. In return, you may question, else, is extend a hand and lend an ear. what it is I get back? In return I’m given Just being there for someone in need, a constantly renewed appreciation listening and caring, is often all they for the little things in life and a need to find the fortitude to not only profound respect for people, because take on each new day, but embrace despite sometimes seemingly it. Everyone has ‘something’ or goes insurmountable odds, my friends’ through ‘something’. It is not for us resilience, strength and courage to judge them for that, or indeed, to carries them, and often me, through fear them for that. It is for us to care, the darker parts of life to understand, and to empathise. The people you meet, even if they are When you overcome adversity, but half the friend to you that mine whether it be bullying, harassment, are to me, can be some of the most stigma or the myriad of other trials inspiring, dynamic and resilient you’ve and tribulations of being ‘different’, you ever encountered. start to see things, to see people, in a new light. It’s not the bright, proverbial And take it from me, you’ll be more light at the end of an impossibly dark grateful for their friendship than you corridor; but rather a subtle, muted ever imagined.

WHY IS MENTAL HEALTH SO HARD TO TALK ABOUT? Robyn Fitzharris Depression has had a huge impact on my life over the last few years and yet for me it is still a very closed book. I don’t talk about it with the majority of my family or friends and I even had doubts about writing this article. I generally consider myself to be an open person and have never had any issues expressing my views on politics, faith, sexuality, gender or anything controversial. Yet for some reason, whenever it comes to talking about my mental health, my fingers stop typing and my mouth closes. So why am I writing this? Opening

up and talking to somebody literally saved my life 18 months ago. Had the person I confided in then had a negative reaction, things may have been very different. At that point, I couldn’t imagine my life changing in any way; I didn’t like the person I had become and I didn’t want to keep going. It turns out, all I needed was somebody to believe in me and give me hope that things could get better. The support networks I have since established are invaluable to me and get me through the darker days. I won’t deny that it’s hard to find the words or an explanation for why I’m feeling this way. I also know that for some people, the prospect of supporting and caring for somebody with mental health issues can be daunting. However, by

talking more about mental health and starting the conversation, we can change people’s lives. Despite this initially positive reaction, the number one reason I don’t talk about my mental health is stigma. But what is stigma? I find the easiest way to explain it is by thinking how you may react if someone told you they were depressed. Some common reactions (which I have personally heard) are “Depression isn’t real, just get over it” “But, you don’t have anything to be depressed about?” “Just cheer up and it will be fine, we all have bad days” Now think about how you would react if somebody told you they had recently broken their leg, would you

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expect to hear: “Broken legs are just an excuse for people to have time off work” “But you don’t have any reason to break your leg?” “Just cheer up and it will be fine” Sound ridiculous? Exactly. This is where the stigma exists. Generally, most mental health issues are hidden and as such are already hard to talk about. When you add prejudiced reactions on top of this, it becomes even harder to speak out. However, it’s not all bad, I have had some wonderful reactions including “I’m here for you, whatever you need” “Would you like to talk about what you’re going through?” “I don’t quite understand what you’re going through, but I know it must be hard. You’re going to get through this”

This is how we all should be reacting, you don’t need to be an expert or even know the best thing to do. Often all you need to do is just listen and feel glad that your relationship with that person has hit a new level of honesty. The impact of being heard and feeling cared for is a very powerful one, everybody has different experiences but the changes you may see in somebody can be incredible. Mental health is a big part of many people lives, not just for those suffering but also their friends and family. However, we are not helpless in our fight against it. By talking about it and being supportive when people confide in us, we can all reduce the stigma people face, find ways to go on in life and we may even save lives.


PHOTO CREDIT: D CLASS FLICKR

BR BA: BYE BYE BABY BLUE Inah Dela Cruz If you haven’t heard of Breaking Bad, you’ve probably been living under a rock. The critically acclaimed TV series has won ten Primetime Emmy Awards during its run, and has been included in the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records as the “highest rated TV series” - rightly so, in my opinion. With the availability of every single episode on Netflix, the five-season series transcended America and gained a cult following across the world. But why is Breaking Bad so good? What is it about this show that continues to add to its legion of fans even after it has finished? Breaking Bad was created by Vince Gilligan, who also acts as a writer, director and producer of the show. The plot follows high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who, after discovering that he has terminal lung cancer, tries to provide for his family by starting up his

own methamphetamine production violent and adamant on keeping his show’s main protagonist, eventually business. Walt recruits his former power in the drug industry, he always becomes the antagonist. As the series student, drug-addict Jesse Pinkman seems to have the right composure progresses and his methamphetamine (Aaron Paul), because according to and is always calm and collected even business flourishes, Walt, the meek him, Jesse knows the business while in the most intense situations. and respectable chemistry teacher he (Walt) knows the chemistry. Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) who is often sympathised by the As Walt and Jesse embark on their - Gus’s consigliore - is also a fan audience, fully transforms into journey to set up a clandestine favourite. Though Mike is a hit man ‘Heisenberg’, his alias in the drug meth empire, the business. He show introduces “I can attest to its quality. The show is morally questionable, b e c o m e s characters that dark and but it is so very well written.” the audience can’t unforgivable, help but love. showing no Ostentatious lawyer Saul Goodman and does everything needed for remorse for the things that he does. (Bob Odenkirk) is the number one his job, he is shown to care for Jesse On the other hand, Jesse, the brash lawyer for Albuquerque criminals; and often warns him of danger. drug junkie without a care in the world, although he often provides comic Mike is also deeply affectionate to becomes more likeable than Walt, as relief, he is a very intelligent lawyer his granddaughter, who he spends layers of his intricate personality are who always knows how to save his a lot of time with, even leaving her unravelled with each episode. Jesse is clients. a two million dollar inheritance, shown to care very deeply for children funded from his criminal activities. and although he is as immoral as the Gustavo “Gus” Fring (Giancarlo The characters of the show are each next guy, he is aware of his unethicality Esposito) is the owner of a fried written with an astonishing level of and shows deep regret for his actions. chicken restaurant chain, Los Pollos multidimensionality. The more humanity that Walt loses, Hermanos. Gus appears to be very the more Jesse obtains, making him admirable, promoting the local DEA The character development of the the moral compass of the show. office, but in reality he is the biggest two main characters is particularly In addition to its great actors, the drug mogul in the South West of the remarkable because they change in writers and directors of the show are United States. Though Gus is very opposite ways. Walter White, the brilliant story-tellers. Breaking Bad

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forces its audience to be interactive as it uses a lot of foreshadowing and shows future scenes to make their audience think and guess what is going to happen next or what events may lead to such future scenes. The storylines surrounding the show always have a purpose and smaller storylines are almost always connected to the bigger picture. Scenes are directed and edited phenomenally, with every little detail focused upon, such as strategically placed number plates and the deliberate positioning of chess pieces. As a fan of the show, I can attest to its quality. The show is morally questionable, but it is so very well written that although it doesn’t excuse the actions of its characters, you get attached to them and still root for them even in their darkest times. With its gripping story arcs, genius directing and phenomenal actors, Breaking Bad is a show like I have never seen before and I cannot imagine that its uniqueness will ever be replicated on TV again.


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KANYE WEST: ASININE MORON OR INSPIRATIONAL GENIUS? Kristian Miles Most of you reading this article may dislike Kanye West profusely, and probably with good reason. His brash and outspoken antics have propelled him to the very forefront of modern pop culture, whilst nearly casting him out of it. But fresh out the blocks from his new and understandably dividing album: Yeezus, he is still keeping up with the controversy. A recent, and typically memorable interview with American TV host Jimmy Kimmel came about as a result of a skit by Kimmel which made light of another interview that Kanye recently took part in with Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. The comedy sketch depicted a clip from the Zane-Kanye interview in which West talked passionately about his attempted forays into fashion and his problems in regard to getting support. But Kimmel’s sketch was played out word-for-word by children dressed as interviewer and artist. In the follow-up interview dubbed ‘Kanye vs Kimmel’, Mr West accepted Kimmel’s apology and then proceeded to rant, proclaiming himself a genius: “For me, I’m a creative genius and there’s no way to word it. I know you’re not supposed to say that about yourself, but my intentions always positive.” He ended the segment with “I’m weird and I’m inappropriate at times, but if I didn’t say it I’d be lying to myself.” Any talk like this gets people riled up, but I actually think that Kanye West, the man everybody loves to hate, is completely right. There is no one else in the spotlight that has propelled pop, and hip-hop culture forward as much as he has. Some have made more money (Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent) but without this man constantly putting himself in the firing line of the media, the public, and himself, there would

be no Kendrick Lamar; there would be no Drake; there would definitely be no Macklemore singing about gay rights, and there likely wouldn’t be a successful Nicki Minaj (if she’s your thing). If you hate him that’s fine, but it’s hard to not see his presence. Does your favourite popular artist wear black and tight fitting jeans? Kanye West does. Does your favourite popular artist rap about feelings and real life experience over guns and credibility? Kanye West does. If you visit the Zara website and look at t-shirts, they are likely to be Givenchy inspired and/or black with white numbers and phrases emblazoned across them. He and his team are largely responsible for that, with Pyrex by Virgil Abloh a massive cult success which was emulated by fashion outlets worldwide. But let’s get back to the music, since that’s why he’s known in the first place. What other popular artists do you know that will not only produce consistently incredible records that both challenge and set new precedents with every era that they begin, but will spend five thousand man hours on one song, just to get it right? My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye’s third album is one of the highest rated of all time and came 8th on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Albums of All Time chart. So, does he have the credentials to call himself a creative genius? Most certainly. Why does he insist on doing that over and over again? Because, in his words, “if you’re a fan of Kanye West, you’re not a fan of me, you’re a fan of yourself.” A quote that speaks volumes about his insistent refusals to bow down to the barriers that we place upon ourselves; he is our Chinese man standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, so that if I write something that I am proud of, I can say I’m proud of it openly without being branded stuck-up or arrogant. Personally, I find that incredibly inspiring.

PHOTO CREDIT: KIM KARDASIAN INSTAGRAM

BORN AGAIN:JANE AUSTEN Baljit Padda Is Jane Austen to be reborn, or will she take an unhappy turn in her grave? The effort to modernise celebrated works by Jane Austen has begun. In what is being heralded as ‘The Austen Project’, the scheme will see six novelists attempt to modernise the six completed novels of the legendary author. Amongst these re-workings are romantic classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, novels which explore themes of love, marriage, wealth and social rank. Am I the only one who is alarmed and startled at the thought of someone

attempting to revise the masterpieces that are Austen’s works? I think what we should be asking is – do Austen’s novels really need to be modernised? Or is this expedition borne out of a whim which hopes to follow the pattern of an ever-evolving and changing world? Part of the appeal of Austen, and what contributes to her universal acclaim, is the fact that her works are timeless, and this longevity is what thousands of teenagers who study Austen during high school and college years celebrate. We live in times of advancing technology and frequent revivals in music, pop culture and other forms of art. Surely some things ought to be left untouched and kept original, and, in my view, Austen is certainly one of them! In a recent interview on BBC Breakfast

with Joanna Trollope, the novelist read an excerpt from her new version of Sense and Sensibility detailing how the modernised Mr Willoughby gifts Marianne Dashwood with a new car, as opposed to the original gift of a horse in Austen’s novel. Personally, the alluring charm of the English gentleman bestowing a gift upon his beloved which reflects his fortune, is just not achieved by a modern Tom, Dick or Harry buying his lover a car! Perhaps it’s just me, but surely Austen’s world of dashing Englishmen dressed in their finery with their horses and carriages, all set in the picturesque downs is just too much for a modern novelist to recreate? Austen’s novels have their canonical status, but can we expect the modern revisions to be as successful?

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PHOTO CREDIT: THALIA CARVALHO FLICKR


PHOTO CREDIT: HILLINGDON COUNCIL

A LETTER FROM THE MAYOR AND MAYORESS OF HILLINGDON 2013-2014 We were so excited to be asked to write a few words for Le Nurb. We are having such a great year and it is wonderful to be able to share it with as many people as possible. We think it is important to set out what we were aiming for; last May when this roller coaster began we wanted to try to open the Mayoralty and all the associated protocol and history up to as many of the community as possible. So far the footfall through the parlour from community visitors has been 763. This includes James, Jake, Martin and the student committee teams. We must say at this point there were two excellent impromptu maiden speeches made in the council chamber from Hannah and Leon. Brunel have really taken up the challenge to support the Mayoralty. We feel so well supported by all the students. Firstly we met Priya, Eleanor, James, Martin and Jake… that probably says it all ! Once you are involved with these five and the student committees anything is possible. We have loved visiting Brunel to

see showcases, the Community for the funds …probably some of is visits to Mayors in other boroughs Engagement Project and the the questions were a bit difficult as especially where they have a very community awards, attending the they predate the birth of most of the prestigious building or artefact, for making of Fellows of the University, Brunel teams! example we made a visit to the Cutty presentations of end of course We don’t know how you all get time to Sark and of course to Buckingham degrees, the recent lecture series, study as well! Palace (name dropping!). the outstanding exhibition of Made Just a few words about the other in Brunel at the OXO Tower, the things we have done perhaps the best We are making sure that we celebrate recent business Hillingdon conference as well. We “Brunel have really taken up the challenge to support the lead by Andrew invite Mayors Mayorality. We feel so well supported by all the students. Ward and from the other Once you are involved with Brunel anything is possible” Tom Ryan, boroughs to the firework our places of display and the circus clubs daredevil way is to take a typical day or week. historic interest e.g. to the RAF bunker, performances….the list goes on and Generally this last month we have Uxbridge- you have probably all been on! been on the road with our drivers there – if you haven’t you should visit. Richard or Colin by about 8 am (yes This visit we managed to get a lookOn the lighter side you have been when most of you are still under the alike Winston Churchill to be on tap great at supporting our seven charities duvet) and often do not finish until to make a couple of Churchillian rapidly filling our charity boxes; and after 10pm so we are getting used speeches….wonderful step back in the latest extravaganza ‘Good Deed to eating our evening meal at about time…although we were worried Day’ where your efforts in being 23:45. somebody may have a heart attack as on hand to help the community in The days are packed with visits he was so like the war time PM it was the shopping centre was fantastic, to schools thanks to the efficient, uncanny! especially the final dance ‘kaboom’ demanding coordination of the outside the Pavilions. This raised an Mayor’s secretariat Sue, Shabidan, We are also dusting off EMI’s history amazing £453.70 for our charities. Jo and Patrick our mace bearer. We and have a trip arranged to bring We also had overwhelming support visit hospitals, libraries, concerts, Mayors from other London Boroughs from your quiz team last month that shows, schools, the University and to look at the history of this fantastic helped us towards raising £4,515.00 the college. The other arm of activity archive.

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This year we are taking part in the New Years Day Parade across London with a spectacular float based on the 60s! This day after New Years Celebrations may be a blur to you… but we will be showcasing Hillingdon with a massive float- try to catch us on the TV coverage… or come to London that morning. We have probably gone on far too much and you may have dropped off trying to get through our excitement about our Mayoral Year. To close, a huge thank you for all you are doing to give us the chance to be involved with University life. A special thanks to Jake, James, Martin and the student teams, Overwhelming thanks to Priya, Liz and all the staff that make us so welcome including Professor Buckingham. We hope that we can continue to rely on your support for 2014. It only remains to say: Have a happy, healthy and prosperous and successful 2014.


FEATURES

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A PRAYER Alexandra Gyasi Show unto me the skies ! For a mirror knows its Son Reflected in His heart When the Morning was begun To have ever seen His soul His eyes as He would cry And so too am I thankful For I breathed beneath that Sky. The Angels by the Dawn The manners of a path The nature of Your Heart …Your Hair ‘Un-shy’ to wrath The storms that crash the heavens Their natures and these veins The airs as they blow through me (My) reflections washed by rains

I WISH THIS Emma Jeremy In wind I find infinity grins, instincts, sins. Ifs living in skin. Pin fixings. Ticking things. In him I find nil risk, thin whims. In his itch, his kiss, light dims; night kicks in.

PHOTO CREDIT: MADE IN BRUNEL

MADE IN BRUNEL Antony Smith Where would we be without brands? Whether it’s waking up to Kenco, logging on with Apple or getting fuel from Subway... brands are everywhere. They shape who you are, the things you enjoy, your lifestyle and your community. ‘Made in Brunel’ is our university’s studentled brand. Its mission statement: to showcase the creativity from Brunel’s designers, engineers and innovators. As I am sure all of you know, what with the long-running tradition of Freshers having their photograph taken with the infamous statue on campus, the origins of our university’s namesake dates back to the expansive reputation and accomplishments of mechanical and civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. However, it is relatively easy to be blissfully unaware of the events in celebration of Brunel’s expertise that are taking place right now, what with assignment deadlines, sports team socials and letting loose in the

Academy. So let me fill you in: ‘Made in Brunel’ is the modern student initiative, originally created in 2006 to mark the 200th anniversary of Isambard’s birthday as well as the 40th anniversary of Brunel University’s Royal Charter award. Each academic year brims with an assortment of dynamic industry related events. These events lead up to the major exhibition at The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf in June to present the students’ successful endeavours to industry professionals. Previous annual themes include ‘Thinking out Loud’ and ‘Journeys Fuelled by Ideas’, while this year’s motivation being ‘Only the Beginning’. Recently, ‘Made in Brunel’ proudly boasted their first time running a workshop at the prestigious V & A Museum, the world’s greatest museum of art and design.

have been conceiving ways of developing and brainstorming solutions to effectively advertise the ‘Made in Brunel’ brand. After speaking with Rob Millar, Marketing Manager for ‘Made in Brunel’ about the significance and impact these sessions have had, he points out: “It’s all well and good seeing the shiny end product but seeing the process of how it is made provides an insight into our real-world problem-solving abilities. We want to be remembered for taking Brunel to new heights and extremes. ‘Made in Brunel’ is the launch pad into the industry and the start of something new.” Not only will this benefit future graduates in achieving their vocational goals, the results of this programme will elevate the university’s distinction and resonate throughout the collegiate circles and design community.

This Autumn, the Design Exhibition Centre in Tower A has been a hub of energetic and interactive forums. Buzzing with a host of Brand, Marketing, Book/ Publication and Events creative sessions, students

Another shining example of the forward-thinking triumphs from those taking part in the ‘Made in Brunel’ creative sessions are Sam Whyman and Andrew Guscott; finalists in the Bang & Olufsen ‘B&O PLAY Design

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Student Competition’ 2013 and the only two students to represent the same university... in the world. That, in itself, exudes excellence. What pioneering projects and feats can we expect from ‘Made in Brunel’ next, you ask? A 24-hour Design Challenge, that’s what. Scheduled for February 2014, this mind-blowing, never-done-before, radical race against the clock will see designers put to the ultimate test by coming up with solutions for live briefs as and when they come in. In light of the array of positive accolades the brand has to offer, ‘Made in Brunel’ is on course to securing an inspirational legacy for future generations to live up to. Further updates, photos and videos of ‘Made in Brunel’ can be found on the following dedicated sites: Log onto: madeinbrunel.com Like on Facebook: facebook.com/ madeinbrunel Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/ madeinbrunel

His misfit lips and girly hiss. Clinging grip. Glitching dick. I wish this: his shins sinking bit by bit in thick dirt. Fin.

FORBIDDEN LOVE Alexandra Gyasi The hurts that cut in countless ways For I was not another To look unto the sky by light And then, there is the other The way my heart would beat for him To tend almost to scare me Beneath the witness of the skies I like and then I love thee. The way a fall could pass the skies Neath stars as they would glow And love does haunt my spirit Till it’s not for sure ‘I know’ The sky within its sanity The solace of such name. But the darkness of the days that pass Midnights in the rain And love’s forever, always For skies knew such a law So let me by myself this life


Raise & A WORD FROM THE CHAIR... THE STORY SO FAR...

22 RAG: THE STORY SO FAR

Matt Cahill

What a fantastic year it has been so far and we are only half way through! Freshers’ Week this year was so vibrant and exciting; keenos old and brand new got stuck in to all activities with all the vigour and enthusiasm that the people of Brunel are famous for! All this excitement and enthusiasm made RAG’s activity not only a great success, but a downright pleasure to take part in! In Freshers’ Week, alone thanks to the Contacts and my fantastically beautiful RAGtacts, we raised just over £2500 for charitable causes! Our success was beyond the

monetary realm too: thanks to our people so thank you to everyone who week’s work we received lots of new voted! volunteers & supporters! This year Brunel RAG will continue to Delivering Freshers’ week without a support our long-term partner charity committee and friend: “This year RAG will continue to was a Childreach challenge, a support our long term charity and International. successful We will be one maybe, friend Childreach International. We heading out but it will be heading out to Africa for the to Africa c e r t a i n l y fifth consecutive summer to conquer for the fifth s h o w e d consecutive Kilimanjaro once again!” me how s u m m e r important to conquer having a committee really is for RAG. Kilimanjaro once again. I am delighted So I was ecstatic when two weeks to say that after being a participant later, following the Autumn Elections, last year, I was selected as a co-team the committee was selected! I am leader for this year’s adventure. The delighted with your choices Team trip really is incredible and I could Brunel, they are a fantastic bunch of not recommend it enough! I am also

MEET YOUR COMMITTEE 2013-2014

delighted to be offering you all the opportunity to take part in the Big Build Nepal project. Brunel students flying out to rural Nepal to build a school all in the name of charity – BRILLIANT! For this issue of Le Nurb, and those to follow, I want to provide an update on all of our activities, with the hope that you and all of your friends, team mates, or companions continue to support our efforts and GET INVOLVED! If you would like to climb Kilimanjaro, build a school, or just want to help us raise money for charitable causes, then WE WANT YOU! Email us at RAG.Chair@brunel.ac.uk.

rag.chair@

THE BIG BUILD - NEPAL Lisa Boyles

Matt Cahill RAG Chair

Kate Taylor Vice Chair

Emma Gurdler Secretary

Elijah Byass Media Officer

Eloise Chiles Club & Soc Officer

Joe Hogan Treasurer

Imagine... You wake up in a village a few hours south of Kathmandu, Nepal. You have kindly been offered accommodation with a local Nepalese family, and you share the room with your teammates from Brunel. Now you just cannot wait to get up early and have breakfast. Why? Because you are working under the tutorage of Nepalese builders on an early learning centre for the local children! The Meera Centre has been underway by university students over the past year, but this is YOUR summer experience to make a mark on it and help to complete the second floor. You cannot wait to grab a shovel and start mixing in that cement, or getting your hands right in the nittygritty of actually laying a brick wall. At the end of a slightly laborious, but immensely rewarding day, the children from the neighbouring area come pouring out of their own schools to see you. They are so EXCITED. They just want to play, and learn, and be picked up, and sing. How amazing to have an opportunity to bond with the actual children who will benefit from the work you are personally putting into their community! Once the children have gone home to their beds, it is your chance to sit around a fire and reminisce with your teammates about the wonders of that day. Each and every one bringing new challenges and experiences. This is a two-week volunteering opportunity heading out in July 2014. If this sounds interesting to you, make sure you sign up ASAP to the Big Build – Nepal for Childreach International. There are very limited spaces available!

Nick Wonacott Events Officer

Lisa Boyles Childreach Officer

For more information, please email me (Lisa) on brunel1@bigbuild. childreach.org.uk

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PHOTOCREDIT: CHILDREACH INTERNATIONAL


& Give

RAG: THE STORY SO FAR

RAG WEEK 2013

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CLIMB KILIMANJARO Will Atkins

@brunel.ac.uk GET INVOLVED Eloise Chiles The start of the academic year has seen many clubs and societies engaging with opportunity to create their own events and fundraise for RAG. The return of Netball’s Pink Night is always a massive success for RAG, so once again thank you to everyone involved! We would also like to say huge congratulations to Trampolining and Kung Fu for their 24 hour events. Running an event for RAG is not only an incredible opportunity to support some worthwhile causes; it also allows you to promote your club or society and show other people who you are and what you do. This year, our aim is to get as many clubs and societies to come up with their own events to run for RAG. The possibilities are endless. Whether you want your club or society to help out in the upcoming RAG week, host a night in Academy, run a 24 hour event or something completely different, the RAG team are available to help you plan and run any ideas you have! Why not get involved in one of our trips with Childreach International? The total amount you raise will go towards your club and societies fundraising total and could win you the award for RAG Club or Society of the year! Our first RAG week of the year was a huge success, thank you to everyone who helped our cause! Next term we will be hosting our second RAG week of the year, and we need your involvement to make it bigger than EVER!

PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL RAISE & GIVE and the amazing challenges they offer our students!

I’m sure it was a bittersweet moment for Matt but for the rest of us, it was Elijah Byass a very SWEET-sweet moment. As Our biggest event, though, had to be spectators watched to see the illIn October, we brought the ‘Line Of Coins’, where from 12pm fated Matt jump into what could only you one of the most anticipated to 5pm, we took over the concourse be described as stagnant water, we weeks of the Brunel University social and proceeded to make a line of had encountered one special donator. calendar: RAG WEEK. donated coins, as far as possible. Last After seeing Matt perform the deed, year, RAG managed to take the line he was so chuffed that he only went For the whole week, starting from from outside the Costcutter store to and donated £65 in cash – the highest Monday 21st October, we provided the Isambard Brunel Kingdom statue. single donation from a student that loads of events to day – and undoubtedly proved fundraise for the four “In October we brought you one of the most that there was still such charity anticipated weeks of the Brunel University in our community. From that charities YOU nominated for this year: Marie Curie event, we raised £500 in cash Social Calendar: RAG WEEK!” Cancer; Breakthrough donations! Cancer; MIND and UK Youth. Also we dedicated In total RAG Week raised just one of the days to our longstanding However, with your help, we managed over £3000 and we definitely could partner, Childreach International. to SMASH that record! have not done it without your help. There was so much happening so RAG Week has many purposes such here’s a quick recap. Not without great sacrifice though. We as letting you, the students, know who had just passed the Isambard statue we are; explaining our role on campus; Our night-time events included: the when RAG Chair Matt very confidently providing many great events for you successful PINK Night, and having fun. However, hosted in Brunel’s very “In total RAG Week raised just over £3000 and more importantly, we do this own Academy by the very we definitely could have not have not done it all for the great charities we lovely Netball Club, where with.I can personally tell without your help. It really is fun working with work we sold special jelly shots you: it is such fun working with RAG! Why not get involved yourself? that the RAG Committee RAG! made; our epic Line of Why not get involved Coins; and the RAG Traffic Light Party claimed that if the line reached the yourself? You too can get involved at Friday’s Global. At these events, pond, he would throw caution to the simply by checking out our Brunel the presence of RAG was strong wind and take the infamous pond UBS RAG Facebook page or just drop and a lot of money was donated plunge! You guys must have really us an email. thanks to all of you! We also had wanted to see that, because after that, Childreach International Power Day, donations were coming in thick and P.S. You can expect a RAG Week Part where we talked to people about our fast. Before we knew it we had done it! II coming soon. But I didn’t tell you. ;) partnership with the amazing charity,

So do not hesitate GET INVOLVED!

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For the fifth year in a row, an intrepid group of Brunel students will be tackling the highest free standing mountain in the world – Mount Kilimanjaro! Next August, in a climb that will take six days and span 5,895 metres, Brunel’s finest will be pushed to the limit as they raise money for one of RAG’s charity partners, Childreach International. Childreach is a charity that works in partnership with communities in the developing world, improving children’s access to healthcare, education and child rights. Keep an eye out over the next few months for plenty of big fundraising events being organised by the Kili team, with money raised going to an excellent cause. And with a record number of sign-ups this year, you’ll be sure to notice the Kili team’s efforts, so dig deep and help the cause! If you want to help raise money for disadvantaged children across the world or just want the challenge of your life, there are still spaces available to join, with all the information available on the Facebook page (search ‘Team Brunel Climb Kilimanjaro’).

OUR FOUR CHARITIES


PHOTOCREDIT: MAXIMUS W. FLICKR

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CHRISTMAS CENTRESPREAD

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HOW TO HAVE A SLEIGHING UNI CHRISTMAS Will Atkins Christmas is an important time in any university student’s life - a chance to dress up, be merry, and forget about pesky things like lectures or deadlines. It’s an opportunity to decorate your kitchen with the tackiest and most shiny adornments that the £1 shop has to offer, and a chance to get together with friends and have a ‘Holly Jolly’ good time. Whether you’re living in a house or in halls you’ll want to put on a big Christmas dinner, so here’s a few handy tips (if yule pardon the puns) on how you and your reindeer friends can have a Uni Christmas that doesn’t turn into a turkey. Pick a date While there’ll still be a few people knocking about, chances are you and your friends won’t be at Brunel on December 25th, which means you’ll have to pick a random date before the end of term and call it ‘Christmas’. This can often be tricky – if there are 10 of you in a flat it’s going to be

LE NURB’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILMS 1. The Muppets Christmas Carol 2. Elf 3. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 4. The Nightmare Before Christmas 5. Jingle All The Way 6. Die Hard 7. The Santa Clause 8. The Holiday 9. Miriacle on 34th Street 10. Home Alone 1 & 2

LE NURB’S TOP 10 CHRISTMAS SONGS 1. Mariah Carey All I Want For Christmas 2. East 17 Stay Another Day 3. The Pogues Fairytale of New York 4. The Wombles Wombling Merry Christmas 5. Wizzard I Wish It Could Be Christmas 6. Brenda Lee Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree 7. Micheal Buble Jingle Bell Rock 8. Wham! Last Christmas 9. Slade Merry Xmas Everyone 10. Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas?

tough to find a couple of hours inbetween someone’s netball practice and somebody else’s Zombie society meeting, but if you start planning it early enough it can be done. Alternatively you could just stitch up the flat-mates you don’t like and deliberately organise dinner when they can’t make it, but that isn’t very festive, is it? Decorate A key part to any Uni Christmas is going overboard on decorations. It doesn’t have to have the budget of the Oxford Street lights – some tinsel here and some homemade stars there mean any miserable Uni hall can be transformed into Santa’s Grotto for only a few quid each. An ideal level of Christmas decoration is one where no surface, wall or ceiling can be seen due to being covered by fairy lights and tinsel (beware – this may be a fire hazard). Work out who’s cooking While the old saying goes that too many cooks spoil the broth, Christmas

time is a chance for everyone to get involved and help out. Christmas dinner is a feast of meats, potatoes, vegetables and gravy – far too much for just one student to prepare on their own (especially if all they’ve cooked all year is Super Noodles), so give everyone a job and let them get on. One person does the carrots, one person does the potatoes, one person gets the sprouts, and so forth. Just make sure in advance that the designated carver has some idea of what they’re doing, and a sharp knife. Dress up It’s Christmas, which means jumpers with pictures of Santa on and party hats. Every Uni student loves dressing up, and Christmas is an absolute open goal, so get festive. Secret Santa What does Christmas mean? Presents! And what better way to celebrate Uni Christmas than buying hilarious presents for your friends? Pick a name out of a hat, go into town, wrap it up and watch the joy on your flat-mates face when you give them ‘Christmas’s

Greatest Hits’. Decide on a price range early though, there’s nothing worse than seeing people open new watches and expensive trinkets when you know you’ve bought someone a singing Santa hat. Music Nothing screams Christmas like Christmas music (in fact, doesn’t Noddy Holder actually scream Christmas?) and the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas dinner is a soundtrack of Cliff Richard, Michael Buble, Band Aid and Wham. Anything else is just plain wrong, like not eating turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day. Put up some mistletoe Had your eye on a flat-mate or just backing yourself to get lucky, nothing helps nature on its way faster than a sprig of mistletoe over the door. After a couple of eggnogs that little plant could be the difference between a Christmas miracle and a lonely Boxing Day, so if you want to spread some Christmas cheer.

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT - BRUNEL STYLE Angela Shine Brunel Dance Club gave an unexpected performance on the concourse, much to the delight of Brunel students enjoying the campus Christmas market.

is in her 3rd year of a sociology degree at Brunel and has been involved with the class throughout her student years. She said ‘We are planning a Christmas Dance Benefit on the 10th December 2013 to be held at The Academy on campus; tickets will be available on the Brunel Students website and will benefit the charity Childreach International. Tickets cost £2 in advance and £3 on the door.’

The girls wiggled in sync to Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk dirty to me’ as part of a combined effort by the Brunel Also part of the Christmas atmosphere Students Union to bring some on campus was Brunel’s own colourful Christmas spirit to a cold Community and Welfare VP James N o v e m b e r “ The class who plan all their own Ward. Wearing day. the traditional choreography wiggled in sync to ‘Santa’ suit, Dancing in Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me” James walked wrapped around the scarves draped with gold and students shaking hands and asking silver coins were Lily Woods, 21, what people wanted for Christmas. Malaika Oyortey, 21, who together ‘Someone told me I need to put more choreographed the piece, plus Grace weight on!’ he laughed. Witherden, 20, Anya Wallace-Cook, As the night sky fell on the Brunel 20, and Kelly Pells, 19. They are all campus, students were treated to the members of the Brunel Dance Club, sight of the large tree by the crossing which rehearses at Isambard Dance in Cleveland Road, all decorated Studios every night from 5-8pm. with festive multi-coloured lights. The class, who plan all their own At Brunel, Christmas has definitely choreography, have guest professional arrived. teachers as well as regular instructors to guide them in their moves. Most of The Brunel Dance Club cost £12 the girls are taking English degrees, membership and £3 per class or you with the exception of Kelly who’s can have an unlimited pass for £8 for taking a Creative writing degree. the week. For details ring Harriet on 07915 856275 or email on hs11hhd@ Harriet Dixon, 20, who chairs the club, my.brunel.ac.uk

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PHOTOCREDIT: WARNER BROS PICTURES

HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR SHOWCASES FESTIVE REVAMP D. Bozhinova Wondering how to make your Christmas break even more magical? Well, look no further… ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ tour in North London can take you to the enchanting place where visitors get to see the sets, special effects, the stunning costumes and props, as well as the animations used. What makes this place so special at this time of the year is that the studio has also launched a special snowy Christmas tour. Visitors will have the chance to see the intricate Hogwarts castle model beneath an artificial, but very realistic, snowfall. Furthermore, the Great Hall has currently faced a Christmassy makeover including giant Christmas trees and the delicious

Christmas feast. The decorations If you’re a ‘HP fan’– the books or the used over the eight big tables are movies - this will definitely be one the actual decorations seen in ‘Harry unforgettable experience for you no Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ so matter your age. If you’re going with this is definitely worth checking out! friends or family, you can get group You also get to see the hand-knitted and family ticket discounts (children jumpers that Molly Weasley gave under 4 years old go free). And for Ron and “ The Harry Potter Tour can take you those of you Harry for who know a to an enchanting place” Christmas, keen Harry the cloak of invisibility and the dress Potter fan, you can also consider the Luna Lovegood wore to the Slug Club reasonably priced gift tickets as a Christmas party in ‘Harry Potter and present this season! the Half-Blood Prince’. Visitors will also discover secrets behind the footprints ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ will take in the snow when Harry sneaks into place from Friday 15th November to Hogsmeade under his Invisibility Monday 6th January, but don’t forget Cloak. What’s also great is that you to check the calendar when you book can take pictures with your personal your tickets on the available dates. cameras and phones on nearly all of the tour. And if photos aren’t enough For more information on pricing, to take away, you can visit the Studio getting there etc., you can always Shop at any time to seek out some of check the official website: http:// your favourite magical souvenirs! www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/

PHOTOCREDIT: WARNER BROS PICTURES


CHRISTMAS CENTRESPREAD

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THE BEST CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES IN LONDON Words by Sheena Parmar

Winter Wonderland 23rd Nov - 5th January 2014

Trafalgar Square: Carol Singing 9th Dec - 22nd Dec 2013

Southbank Christmas Market 15th Nov - 24th Dec 2013

Coca Cola Christmas Truck Tour 7th Dec - 8th Dec 2013

Frosty Guided Experience 9th Dec - 4th Jan 2014

One of Europe’s most famous giant pop-up festive playground returns this year to Hyde Park for six weeks only. Explore the iconic London Park, featuring several rides and attractions including the renowned Zippos Circus as well as the Giant Observation Wheel. And if that isn’t enough, experience the true essence of the Winter Wonderland spectacular by gliding through the glistening ice rink, which is situated around the picturesque Victorian bandstand, adding a little extra to the Christmas magic.

If you fancy yourself a bit of carol singing this year then head down to Trafalgar Square to join in the seasonal music that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Carol Singing will take place beneath the iconic Christmas tree that comes all the way from Norway, a tradition that has taken place since 1947, where more than 50 groups will be taking part in the daily performances.

Christmas isn’t quite complete without experiencing the traditional Germanstyle Christmas market, this year at the London Southbank’s Winter Festival 2013. With authentically-decorated chalets, head down to check out the finest and most unique handcrafted gifts from toys to hand-made jewellery. And if that wasn’t enough, soak up the magical atmosphere while indulging in delicious treats such as the traditional German “Glühwein” (mulled wine) and famous German Bratwurst.

What’s that I hear you say? Well you guessed it! That iconic Coca-Cola Christmas truck that we all know and love is on its way around the country. And you can be there to experience that Coca-Cola festive magic! Head down to the event to get your picture taken with the famous truck and enjoy the festive entertainment, where Christmas helpers will be serving chilled Coke and Diet Coke on the day to the sound of seasonal Christmas music.

For the first time ever, embark on this captivating journey on the iconic London Eye with the new Frosty Guided Experience, brought to you by EDF Energy. Each capsule has been transformed into a wintery, frosty setting accompanied with the sounds of crackling ice and winds as well as the glittering lights congruous with the Christmas theme. On this guided tour, you’ll have the chance to learn the interesting facts of Christmas whilst enjoying the scenic view of London.

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PHOTO CREDIT: ALIASTAIR MUIR

THEATRE: BARKING IN ESSEX R. Parritt & E. Leggatt

fool of a director decided to have the eccentric comic stand still?! What a waste of a spectacular talent!

The script itself had no back-story, and such a lack of knowledge of Essex, that I doubt the writer had even seen an episode of TOWIE. There was no subtlety, no masking, nothing engaging or clever; at one point the actors read out a letter to tell the audience what was happening. As for the performances, Keeley Hawes’ (Chrissie, the wife) only appeal Lee Evans, who is most definitely a was the shortness of her skirt, which, physical comic, was only given two as a punter pointed out, gave the moments to escape from his rigid, audience a second reason to rejoice b o r i n g w h e n “Two hours and maybe seven good rich-chav she left c h a r a c t e r. the stage minutes. Now the much harder job His first the was choosing out of the remaining 113 up moment, stairs. Karl minutes the worst moments” and the Johnson opening (Rocco, scene, hobbling to the bathroom the hit man) might have been a good after a well deserved swift kick to actor but he did so little on stage I the bollocks, opened the play with wasn’t even sure if he was meant to promise. Then there was nothing be there, the only comic aspect of entertaining until a mildly amusing his character being that he was an flamenco performance to I Like You elderly hit man. Montserrat Lombard Very Much in the second half. For (Allegra, the lawyer) gave a perfect the rest of the play the incompetent performance… for the two seconds The fact that Barking in Essex made it past the first writers’ edit is a marvel. Marvel turns to miracle when you find out that it got funding, a central London stage and excellent lead actors – Sheila Hancock and Lee Evans. The “jokes” were obvious, pig- headed and offensive cheap gags.

she appeared on stage. The only two performers who had any noticeable talent were Sheila Hancock (Emmie, the mother) and Lee Evans (Darnley, the amateur crime boss). Unfortunately we only saw this excellent combination in the last two minutes of the play. There were so many bad moments in this play that it’s much, much easier to list the few good ones. From the two and a half hour performance, here are the bits you might consider staying for: The opening line: “You C**t!” The opening of this play, despite feeling forced and unnatural, was mildly amusing and promised an entertaining plot. Shame it didn’t deliver. Truly the only convincing part of Keeley Hawes’ performance was the conviction with which she cursed. Allegra’s Character. I thought that Allegra’s character was entertaining and provided some much-needed depth. If every character had been written as well as hers it would have made the play bearable. The plot would still leave you wishing desperately for a stage

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hand to drop a chandelier and end your misery. The Set Design. The design of the set rivalled the detail and creativity of a blockbuster film set. The Essex set was everything an Essex house should have been while their Third-World Country (AKA Luton) was perfectly done, from the water stained walls and almost broken ceiling fan, to the slight odour, sounds of gunshots and constant sirens. The Interaction of Lee Evans and Sheila Hancock These two really had a chemistry that made me leave the theatre with my opinion of them, as performers, higher than when I entered. I really wish I had seen them in a different play. “I can’t stand another hour in Luton” It was an easy joke but I found it quite funny. It was good That’s it. Two hours and maybe seven good minutes. Now, the much harder job was choosing, out of the remaining 113 minutes, the worst moments (we all know what it’s like squeezing 5000 words into 1000). There were many bad ones, and it

took a full bottle of wine to find them all as well as diligent journalism by my co-writer and myself. Darnley (Lee Evans) had no character in the first half whatsoever. You could have replaced him with a pineapple, carved a funky face on it, and it would have had the same effect on the play. It was only in the last few minutes of the play that Darnley became a character and did anything for the narrative. And finally, for me the most annoying moment, by far, was the silence when the main characters were waiting for Allegra to be killed. They stood onstage, static, staring at the audience with the same expression on their faces and did nothing for a full two minutes. This is a bad director taking a bad writer’s attempt at a farce and turning it into an amateur dramatics performance of Pinter. It just made me angry, depressed and - to cope with how horrendous the performance was - very, very drunk. At £30 a ticket, just don’t bother. If they’re paying you for your time, still don’t bother. One of the most painful experiences it is possible to have with all your skin intact.


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THEATRE: THE BRUNEL APPSTORE: THE WOMAN IN BLACK BATTLE BEST PICKS OF THE BANDS James Alder

Now in its 25th year, making it the second-longest running non-musical play at the West End, The Woman in Black is a stage adaptation of the famous book of the same name by Susan Hill.

Most people will know it from the film that terrified the nation last year, which starred Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, the young solicitor who has to settle the affairs of a Ms. Drablow and finds himself being haunted by a mysterious woman dressed all in, unsurprisingly, black. Whereas the film follows the book, the play is set in the future with Kipps, an old, frail man with his past looming over him (played by actor Crawford Logan brilliantly), who with the help of a young, energetic actor tells the story of what happened all those years ago. The play unfolds around these two characters as they perform this story

with the actor playing Kipps’ younger self and Kipps himself playing the other characters he met. The rapport between the two actors is brilliant; Logan is an extremely talented actor, being able to change his persona as easy as it is for him to change his costume. The timing is perfect and, apart from a slow start, the audience is kept gripped throughout. However, the best aspect of the show is how easily it scares. With just basic use of lighting, recorded sound and props, the most insignificant thing frightens. But the star of the show is definitely the woman herself. Being in the same theatre as her makes you feel incredibly vulnerable, as if she is haunting you. Whenever her presence is made on stage there is a hushed silence as everyone sits in apprehension for what might come next. With an unexpected twist at the end, the stage show keeps you guessing and completely terrified to the very end. An entertaining experience that can be easily enjoyed again and again.

Kieran Persaud

Finally shaken off that Candy Crush Saga addiction and confused about an alternative? Looking to get a little more out of your smartphone? Maybe you just need something fresh to break up the monotony of bouncing between Facebook and Whatsapp. Here are some great apps that just might help you out.

Bryn Glover So with the drinks poured, the bands prepped, and the judges ready – Brunel’s Battle of the Bands 2013 was underway again.

THEATRE: BARNUM Arthur Toomer I was in the audience for a sell-out performance of the musical Barnum at Chichester’s Theatre in the Park one fine evening this August. It ran from 15th July until 31st August and I was told that most performances were sold out. No one could have left the Theatre in the Park - which was made to resemble a circus tent and seated 1,400 people – feeling disappointed or bored. As a spectacle it is brilliant, rather like going to a real circus, with acrobats, wire walkers and people swinging about on ropes high above the audience. Barnum, played by Christopher Fitzgerald, is a somewhat obnoxious character who believes that there is a sucker born every minute. When Barnum was on Broadway, Jim Dale played the eponymous character and

Glen Close played his wife. In London, Michael Crawford played Barnum. In a BBC interview he claimed it was one of his most demanding roles. If you are making a film you use a ‘double’ for dangerous scenes but this is not the case for Barnum the stage show. One could not help wondering how many people suffered bumps and bruises during rehearsals. This made me wonder whether we could put on a Barnum at Brunel. Sadly I don’t think we could. From our Circus Society we could get people to juggle and walk on stilts. But although some might miss the odd lecture with a hangover it would not do to miss a series of lectures because we were in hospital with a dislocated shoulder – which would also make us unable to write in an exam. There is only one memorable song, ‘Follow the Band’, in Barnum. Much of the rest of the music is just average. But don’t let that put you off going; you will be thoroughly entertained and I guarantee you will enjoy it.

For the second time, UBS Nightlife hosted an event sure to impress the student body; on the 21st November, the night that Le Nurb attended the event, there was a brilliant showing from the four bands with a fully charged atmosphere in the audience. Event organiser, Arran Griffiths commented on the nights events, saying that ‘the night started off slow, but as the first act started to perform the atmosphere started to emerge. The crowd seemed to have a good time. Overall, it was a successful night’. The winner of this heat was Hot Zip, a brilliant band with a memorable vibe and they will be going forward onto the final stage of the competition and the chance to win £250. The next heat begins at ten on the Thursday 28th November and the final will be on the 12th December with four bands, including the 28ths winners, Hot Zip and a wildcard selected by the judges, performing for the win. All in all, a fantastic evening – a great atmosphere, great music, and a competition that’s really hotting up. So be there for the next night, and make sure to catch the final event in Academy on December 12th. And for those of you who have already been down and enjoyed one of the nights - you’re in luck, with Arran saying that ‘We hope that it will continue for at least a few more years.’ - so whether you’re a talented member of a band or just someone that loves music, this isn’t the end for Brunel’s Battle of the Bands.

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7 MINUTE WORKOUT CHALLENGE 1.49 | 3/5

BITSTRIPS FREE | 2/5

High intensity training is the latest health craze to hit the internet. Changing every 30 seconds for an intense 7 minutes, this app will have you moving in all sorts of ways. Although probably enough to tire out most lazy nerds, those real fitness junkies might be after something a little more strenuous. With its beautiful iOS7 style design, daily reminders and achievements, it makes sense that users turn to the 7 Minute Workout Challenge but I honestly think you can find one for free that will satisfy your fitness needs without dipping into your wallet. Just search for “7 minute workout” and take your pick!

Confused about why many seem to have cartoons of themselves involved in various escapades with their friends on Facebook? These ‘greeting card style’ comics that are infesting your Newsfeed are Bitstrips, an app that allows users to generate comic strips of themselves. I’m not a Bitstrips user but based on what I’ve seen it do to my Facebook feed, I can tell you that it currently seems the ultimate source of annoyance. That aside, I’d say it looks like a fun little way to amuse your friends and it probably beats Instagram ‘selfies’ as a way to make your bus journey a little more creative.

BlACKBOARD LEARN FREE | 5/5

DUMB WAYS TO DIE FREE | 4/5

If you’re a fellow ‘Brunelian’ with a smartphone, there is very little reason not to have this app. It has all of the information you can get from the browser version of Blackboard but set out in a simpler and more attractive manner. From timetables to push notifications for course announcements (so you never get caught out when a lecture gets re-scheduled), this app seems to have everything you need from the browser version on-the-go. It lets you handily access lectures so you can settle debates with your course mates, check on assignment deadlines or do a little revision from anywhere. Truly a must-have for any student here at Brunel!

An amazingly cute, funny and addictive little game. The game gives you 3 lives and throws waves of minigames at you with just a few seconds to complete, in which you must try your best to keep a friendly kidney bean-shaped cartoon character from dying in some dumb way. It’ll have you swatting piranhas, plugging bullet wounds with your fingers and blowing on your phone to keep a plane in the air as you attempt to save the lives of your kidney-bean friends. No doubt every game will end in frenzied swatting and slapping at your screen as you try to top your high score. For a free game you can’t get much better, my only complaint is that the in-game adverts can be a little off-putting.


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NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY Verity Agababian

to Elizabeth I, saying “this exhibition explores the story of the Elizabethans from the Queen, the nobility and gentry to many other talented individuals such as explorers, soldiers, merchants, artists and writers.” Another exhibition in the gallery belongs to Jonathan Yeo Portraits. Jonathan Yeo is known for painting portraits of celebrities and his exhibition in the gallery is a more

twentieth-century actress Vivien Leigh. Leigh’s husband at the time, Laurence Olivier, is posing next to her in the black and white photograph, taken by Larry Burrows in 1949.

The National Portrait Gallery located The portraits of Winston Churchill, in St. Martin’s Place, London, is a William Wordsworth, William welcoming setting for art lovers of Shakespeare, and a rare portrait of every kind. The admired gallery holds Jane Austen, reside in the gallery. artwork commemorating the most The gallery also contains sculptures famous and influential of the renowned writers “The National Portrait Gallery is a fantastic people in British history. Edith Sitwell and Virginia The gallery is also a part experience for students or anyone living in London, Woolf, and portraits of of the National Gallery engineers during the as many of the exhibitions are free.” art museum established Industrial Revolution on Trafalgar Square. The of the 1700s-1800s. National Portrait Gallery embraces modern section compared to the The Great War in Portraits is another artwork of every variety, including other historic displays found inside. significant feature. photography, sculptures, paintings, His portraits include Helena Bonham drawings and statues to name a few. Carter, Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Idris The National Portrait Gallery also Elba and Michael Parkinson. Yeo’s arranges the BP Portrait Award: The National Portrait Gallery was portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the 16 Next Generation every year, which first established in 1856, and was year old Pakistani girl and education is a project that inspires 14-19 year recognised as the first portrait gallery activist, was unveiled in September, olds about portraiture. The gallery’s in the world. The gallery holds artwork 2013. Mark Hudson at The Telegraph website says “Next Generation of the past, the present and the commented positively on the portrait encourages young artists by opening future. The exhibitions include: The calling it “old-fashioned and rather up opportunities to meet and gain Reign of Elizabeth I from 1558-1603, sugary”. insights from past BP Portrait Award Queens and Consorts: Likeness in artists, make and share their own Life and Death, Treason, Plots and The National Portrait Gallery is a artwork and connect with other young Murder, Benjamin Britten: A Life in fantastic experience for students or people.” Applications for the project Pictures, French Master Chefs in the anyone living in London, as many of are now open. 1930s, Bob Dylan: Face Value, and the exhibitions are open for free entry. For tickets to the exhibition events, many more. On the National Portrait The gallery also includes a Photograph or for more information about the Gallery’s website they wrote about of the Month, which, in November National Portrait Gallery, go to: www. the exclusive exhibition dedicated 2013, featured the celebrated npg.org.uk

PHOTO CREDIT: THE GUARDIAN

PRET A MANGER: MY YEAR IN PARIS

PHOTO CREDIT: FROMPARIS.COM

Rita Ekwere This year I was one of the lucky ones to escape Britain to experience the Parisian lifestyle, including what they have to offer for food, fashion, leisure and weather, but I was on a student budget, so it mainly consisted of exploring weather and food I’m currently taking part in the Erasmus exchange in Paris to study at the very prestigious Sorbonne University where I expect to leave having learnt a great deal, including more about myself (yes I am aware this is a cliché), money management and finally the opportunity to use the term ‘Je ne sais quoi’. Upon my arrival one of the first things

I noticed is that there’s something magical about Paris when it rains. Magically, your shoes are soaked within seconds and the cars speeding pass ensure that you squish like a mop all the way home and so in this first post about my exploration of Paris, I advise you to wear well-covered waterproof shoes. Transport in Paris is very good. I am usually the worst at maps and have no sense of direction, but here I feel like a walking compass. The metro is incredibly easy to use, trains arrive approximately every 3 minutes, and there are also regular trains which venture into the Paris suburbs and they even have night buses. Best of all, taxis are cheap as chips, which unfortunately is one of the British culinary classics I have been unable to find, very surprising considering they

have Marks & Spencers here (shocker, I know!).

• Pick up local newsletters from where you are staying or even the newsletters from supermarkets as In the morning the smell from the they usually contain deals or coupons bakery on my street fills the air, which which can go a long way, even if always makes me ready to eat at any they’re just for toiletries as it makes moment. A baguette is one of the things cheaper so you can spend cheapest things in Paris yet one of the more money on leisure. tastiest; • C r e a t e just add a list before “In the morning the smell from the a slither shopping to bakery on my street fills the air which ensure you of butter and saliva get always makes me ready to eat at any don’t slowly carried away moment.” begins (as you will). to slip It means from the corner of your lip. It’s true that you can make a rough estimate what they say of the food in Paris. It’s on how much your shopping will cost sublime, and makes you want to stay you and therefore you know how here forever, but in order to enjoy it, much you can spend in excess for the along with a healthy appetite you month. need a healthy pocket. So here are my • Find a Carrefour. Although tips on eating well on a budget:

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it isn’t Asda, it is fairly cheap in comparison to other supermarkets and they sell own branded goods which I have found are just as good quality as name brands but less in price. • Finally, do not buy everything in one place. Some things are better to buy in other places as they work out cheaper. For instance, I usually buy meat, fruit and vegetables from a pop-up farmers market that opens weekly near me because it’s very fresh, great quality and an even better price than the shops. Using my tips, you may not be rolling in money, but it means you can eat well and save money to use on nightlife, which we’ll discuss in detail next time! Bisous!


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GO ON, GIVE GAME OF THRONES A GO

PHOTO CREDIT: IMGUR.COM

James Alder With Breaking Bad leaving a Walter White-shaped hole in many hearts; a lot of people may be looking for a new TV series to try. Well, if you haven’t yet tried it I recommend HBO’s Game of Thrones. Based on the book series A Song of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin, it has run for three seasons, won countless awards and captured the imagination of millions of viewers. It follows the events of the fictional continent of Westeros and its neighbour Essos. The best way to describe it is as a more violent, sexual, darker version of Lord of the Rings. It follows multiple plot lines which interweave and connect and has a massive collection of characters. As it has run for three series a lot has happened and characters have come and gone. So I’m going to make a list of the main ones from the first series alone so if any readers do decide to try this

excellent series, which I really hope you do, nothing will be spoiled. To start with there is Eddard Stark, called by those close to him as Ned. He is Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. He is probably one of the last genuinely honourable men left in Westeros, and he’s played by Sean Bean which is always a bonus. He is married to Catelyn Stark, a woman who would do anything for her children, which sometimes is her downfall. They have five children together: Robb the eldest can be a bit clueless. He starts off with good intentions but things do slowly fall apart for him. Sansa is the eldest daughter and is the equivalent of a stroppy teenage girl, where throughout the season she gets more and more annoying. Bran is similar to his sister as he can throw a temper at times; however he is a really good climber as you find out in the first episode. Rickon is the youngest; all you need to know about him is that he’s played by someone who used to be in Tracey Beaker! And finally there’s

Arya. She is the general fan favourite of the Stark children. She is the complete opposite of her older sister, a tomboy who is wild and carefree and just wants to learn how to kick arse, which she really does! Ned has one other child, his bastard Jon Snow. He hates the fact that he is a bastard and Catelyn hates the fact that he is even alive. For these reasons he packs his bags and heads to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch. The Wall is a character in itself, an immense structure of ice that cuts off the Seven Kingdoms to the vast emptiness beyond. If we look to the south there is King Robert Baratheon, he is in charge of the Seven Kingdoms, a hilarious, drunken, fat mess of a man. Oh and he’s played by the fat man from those Tesco adverts. He is married to Cersei, from House Lannister. She is a highly intelligent, manipulative woman, and very attractive, and she sometimes uses her body to get her own way. Their son and heir to the throne is Joffrey. He is a whiney, sadistic “mummy’s boy” who runs

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behinds his mum’s skirt whenever his cockiness gets him in trouble. Maybe the most hated character in the series. His protection comes in the deformed face of Sandor Clegane, known as The Hound. Horrific burn marks cover one side of his face which have made him pretty much hate everyone. All he lives for is killing. Cersei has two brothers. Her twin Jaime is an arrogant cock to start with but give him time and he does redeem himself later on… kind of. He is perhaps too close to his twin. Then there is Tyrion, the definite fan favourite out of all the characters. He is constantly underestimated because of his size but in fact he is intelligent, witty and cunning. Across the narrow sea comes Daenerys Targaryen, another favourite. Along with her brother Viserys, she is the last surviving Targaryen who was exiled as a child to Essos as Robert’s rebellion overthrew her father, The Mad King. In exchange for an army, her brother marries her off to the immense Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo, who Daenerys looks tiny compared to.

Daenerys herself starts off as quite a weak character but grows stronger and more powerful throughout the series. She is also incredibly hot; every man that meets her pretty much falls in love with her. She is with Ser Jorah Mormont an exiled knight from Westeros, a wise man who knows a lot about the many different religions and cultures in Essos. That is only a sum-up of a fraction of the main characters of Game of Thrones. I haven’t mentioned the members of the King’s Council or the Night’s Watch or the endless amount of lords, knights and low-born characters that appear throughout the series. This is the thing about Game of Thrones. The books themselves are so detailed and vivid you can’t help but get lost in them. It’s such a vast series with a plotline that twists and turns so much that it is quite surprising 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!


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FILM: ONE CHANCE Xenia Rimmer To be honest, the prospect of watching a Paul Potts biopic didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. In the days preceding my visit to my local multiplex, work friends asked me “what are you doing on Friday night?” and, I mumbled “going to see One Chance with my Mum... You know? The one about Paul Potts?” The looks I received in response were either blank or pitiful. My being so unenthused, as it turned out, was doing the film an injustice. One of those charmingly British creations, One Chance is gooily heartwarming. It has a similar tone to many other modern British films: it is About Time, without the heartbreak; it is Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, without the cringe-inducing acting; it is Slumdog Millionaire, just not quite as epic. James Corden shakes off his Smithyisms to portray the overweight, dentally challenged, Carphone Warehouse worker Paul Potts. Perhaps building on life experience (if you’ve read his autobiography), Corden does shy and vulnerable very well – but his lip-synching could perhaps do with a little work. His signature humour, however, is woven throughout. A high point being during an audition in front of Opera superstar Pavarotti, where Paul finds solace in the tenor’s phone, a Nokia 6020. ‘How are you finding the battery life on it..?” With the American, Academy Award winner and The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel at the helm, one could be forgiven for expecting the film to be overly-glamorous. But the Welsh setting of Port Talbot, Paul’s everyday drudgery at the Carphone Warehouse and his Boots checkoutgirl wife Julie-Ann (Alexandra Roach) keep it grounded. Roach, best known for her appearance in The Iron Lady, is refreshing in

her role as a proper Welsh girl and (shock) is probably about a size 14 – something you rarely see on the big screen unless for comic effect – see Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy and Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones. I found Paul’s overbearing Father (Colm Meaney) very difficult to warm to, although I suspect this was the aim. With the irrepressible Julie Walters on board and a cameo from the actual Luciano Pavarotti, the film had the potential to be much bigger. I didn’t think there was enough Walters (although, can there ever be?) and Pavarotti was hugely unlikable. However, casting Mackenzie Crook as Paul’s best friend was inspired. A vastly under-rated actor, in my opinion, Crook gives the film the edge (and the added laughs) it needs. There are more twists and turns in Paul’s journey than I had ever expected. A man with the worst of luck, the film has you rooting for him all the way through. It is difficult to believe that the story is indeed, real life. The only disappointment in a biopic, of course, is that we all know the ending. Frankel’s decision to end the film just as Paul is on the cusp of fame is, in my view, perfect. The audition scene from the tenor’s turn on Britain’s Got Talent is intercut with real footage from the ITV broadcast (with a significantly less polished-looking Piers, Simon and Amanda.) Paul’s Su-Bo moment on stage has amassed over 116 million views on YouTube and is as captivating in the film as it was the first time it was broadcast, back in 2007. In all, One Chance follows the great coal-town-to-tinsel-town formula of its predecessors such as Billy Elliot. Although not quite musicalworthy, in my opinion, Paul’s story certainly carries the film and the cast complement each other well. While I wouldn’t describe it as essential viewing, it will certainly leave you with that triumphant, satisfied feeling you get when you have seen a good film.

FILM: THE FAMILY re-re-relocated innumerable times), try to lead their lives as normally as Laura Dunnett possible in their new home. Guess what? They have little success with The Family is an this; they probably can’t even spell the English-language French action/ word ‘normal’. And of course behind comedy crime film based on every great mafia/crime/mob story, Malavita, a 2010 novel by Tonino there’s the idea of family; will the Benacquista. events of the movie bring them closer together or tear them apart? You’ll So, the Manzonis are just an ordinary have to give it a watch to find out... American family This isn’t just who are placed “Oh wait a minute... This just got your usual, in the witness run-of-theinteresting” protection mill, good program and guys versus relocated to Normandy, France bad guys story. It’s a bad guys versus because papa Manzoni (Robert De even worse guys story, which is much Niro) just so happens to be a major more entertaining! And though it is ex-Mafia boss who snitched on all predictable and filled with plot holes, his mob cronies so now they’re after it’s funny, it’s dark, it’s wrong, and at him. Oh, wait a minute... This just got points it’s gruesome and though you interesting. won’t be on the edge of your seat for The Manzoni family, who I shall the majority of the movie, it’s worth a from now on refer to as the Blake watch even if only to hear the many family (yet another surname for the different intonations De Niro can put rebellious family who’ve been reon the f-word.

PHOTO CREDIT: DIGITALTRENDS.COM

FILM: GRAVITY IN 3D Antony Smith Sandra. George. And a whole lot of space. Spectacle over substance? That is the question. When it comes to going to the cinema, being the misanthrope that I am, I generally feel a sense of disdain for the other members of the audience who seem to be ignorant of their surroundings and insist on creating a cacophony of as many irritating and repetitive noises as humanly possible. Or kicking the back of my seat. But when I went to see Gravity at the Odeon in Uxbridge I was completely immersed (as promised by the series of bombastic blurbs depicting the superiority of ‘The IMAX Experience’ before the feature began). From the breath-taking establishing shot of the curvature of the Earth you will be entranced; sat in a daze with your mouth gaping open and your eyes popping out from behind your 3D glasses. The 17-minute long opening scene and significantly limited amount of cuts throughout the film’s 90 minute running time effectively hypnotises you and challenges your suspension of disbelief. The story centres around engineer specialist Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra

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Bullock) and a charismatic astronaut sage Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) on a mission to service and repair the Hubble Space Telescope. However, the serene atmosphere is disrupted by an alarming caution from Houston warning the team of an impending cloud of debris, the result of a Russian missile strike on one of its own satellites. The catastrophic collision causes Stone and Kowalsky to be stranded, separated from their decimated shuttle and cut off from Mission Control, aimlessly floating into the vast infinite of space. Their tenacious will to survive against the insurmountable odds propels them into an arduous journey to return to Earth. The performances were entertaining, with lines such as: “Half of North America just lost their Facebook” and “I hate space”. As you can expect, George Clooney delivers a witty, amiable and debonair role, whilst the source of drama is from Sandra Bullock’s character, which offers a counteraction of brusque and icy sarcasm coupled with her personal anxieties. Stone’s fear after the accident is easily relatable as the audience is thrust from a wide-angle of colossal space into a claustrophobic close-up of the inside of her helmet. The action sequences of the destruction of space stations

and shuttles by the debris which are devoid of sound maintain a sense of realism (as sound does not travel in the vacuum of space), relying on the film’s score to enhance the silent horror unravelling before you. This is definitely a contender for the BAFTA and Oscars for Special Effects and Cinematography and Alfonso Cuarón’s direction. I would, however amend the tagline that appears on the poster from ‘Don’t Let Go’ to ‘Hold onto Something’. You will be screaming for Sandra to use her opposable thumbs for goodness sake. Saying that, I have no idea how I would be able to balance myself and grip a surface in a space suit... Overall, I was blown away. I tend to agree with revered critic Mark Kermode about the overwhelmingly excessive and gimmicky use of technology when it comes to cinema, disputing James Cameron’s acclaim that it is the future. But, like Mark Kermode, I go against my beliefs and praise how Gravity is an ideal film to be presented in 3D. And, similar to the creative effects in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the visually stunning aesthetics leave you in awe and showcase the cutting-edge SFX. At the end, I felt completely disorientated and struggled to walk again. That’s gravity for you... It has to be seen to be believed.


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ARTIST: TOM ODELL Verity Agababian Tom Odell, the 22-yearold singing sensation from Chichester, is one of Britain’s newest artists to emerge onto the music scene. In early 2013 Odell won the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award, won by Emeli Sandé the previous year. He has since become one of the most talented artists to come from Britain. He has noted Elton John as one of his major influences and also supported Elton John at the 2013 iTunes Festival.

PHOTO CREDIT: DANIEL ROBSON FLICKR

Odell studied at Seaford College in West Sussex and studied piano classically to Grade 7. He said he began writing his own songs at the age of 13 but refrained from telling anyone because he thought it was “uncool”. Odell told Hunger TV “I find that I write much better songs when I’m being honest, and writing about things that happen to me. It can get a little weird though, when friends or girlfriends work out that a song is about them. But it’s amazing what you can get away with. Artistic license, I think they call it.” He also told them about his “inability to sustain a relationship with someone for longer than six months.” When he was 18 years old he would visit London regularly to play shows. He later moved to London to play as part of the band Tom and the Tides. He did not enjoy being in a band

and decided to be a solo performer because he “didn’t want to have to rely on people”. Odell has been compared to the late Jeff Buckley and his piano playing ability has been compared to that of Coldplay’s front-man, Chris Martin. His debut EP, Songs from Another Love, was released in October 2012. He has made several appearances on television, including Later…with Jools Holland. The show’s producer, Alison Howe, described his performance as a “classic” debut onto the show. His debut album, Long Way Down, was released on June 24th 2013, and went straight to No. 1 in the UK Official Album Chart. Odell’s music has also been used in many Burberry fashion runway shows. Odell has a bright future ahead of him after being discovered by Lily Allen. He is signed to In the Name Of, part of Columbia Records. After watching Odell perform, Allen said “his energy on stage reminded me of David Bowie”. Odell is currently touring in the UK between October 2013 and February 2014 and no further dates have been decided as of yet. He will be touring in cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Odell’s sound is very unique. His acoustic melodies and soulful approach to music is widely appreciated. In an interview with Cambridge News, the 22 yearold said “I’ve always aspired to be my own artist and that’s the thing I try to strive towards.”

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR Have Mercy The Earth Pushed Back

Kirsty Capes The debut effort from Have Mercy has already attracted a huge amount of critical acclaim. Personally, I find this Baltimore foursome’s ability to weave every single shade of angst and anxiety into dirty post-hardcore rhythm guitars with grimy vocals beyond belief. This album is the kind of album that you have to listen to at least four times before taking a week of alone time to think about your life and the world. Not just my favourite album of the year, but easily an album that shapes a childhood, adolescence or lifespan. Don’t listen to it before doing physical activity (I learned the hard way). The depth of meaning that can be found in such simplicity can only be heard to be believed.

Jon Hopkins Immunity

Oliver Ronaldson The fourth studio album from the London-based producer, displays a complete change in style. The brilliance of this album comes from its attention to detail, not just through being incredibly intricate, but through creating an almost physical space for these details to be heard in. Its beauty stems from its variation, with songs going from old-school techno, onto house and finally to the almost empty piano-based title track which changes the atmosphere from one of violence, noise and anxiety, into still silence with the only vocals provided by King Creosote, bringing the otherwise hectic album to a sombre and thoughtful close.

David Bowie The Next Day

Trivium Vengeance Falls

Biffy Clyro Opposites

George Coates

Jasmin Nahar

Aidan Milan

After being voted the most stylish person in British history, Bowie cemented his timelessness title and created another masterpiece in ‘The Next Day’. Another reinvention then, and this time we see a vaguely cynical return to Berlin (a recall of Heroes), thus the white block cover art, blocking the iconic Heroes cover. Tony Visconti produced, as he has done many times before for Bowie, and the finished article is a triumph. Bowie once again looks to the style of Low but this time implements the harshness of Heroes; I loved every second of this album. You just need to remember this is David Bowie, it’s not going to be what you know, but it sure is something.

Vengeance Falls is a leaner Trivium, full of blistering guitar solos and hooks that make it hard-hitting yet accessible enough to enjoy upon a first listen. The vocals aren’t as aggressive as in previous records, but it goes to show that you don’t have to scream to sound heavy. The album is produced by Disturbed frontman David Draiman, and his influence can be heard throughout, especially in the vocals which can veer somewhere in between singing and speaking, like on To Believe. Villainy Thrives and Vengeance Falls stand out especially, but this is an album packed with incredible metal songs.

With their sixth studio album, Biffy Clyro manages to work in some of the sweeping melody that they found in Only Revolutions while, with songs like Stingin’ Belle and The Joke’s On Us, Biffy incorporate a strong sense of the sharp volatility of their earlier work. While they seem to have lost some of the joy of their last album, with lyrics like ‘Hey/You can be lost/ At the same time/As being found’, Biffy have managed to lose none of their hope, and that is why Opposites is my favourite album of 2013. ‘Mon the Biff” almost goes without saying.

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CULTURE

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JHENE AIKO: SAIL OUT Rebecca Chambers Sultry songstress Jhené Aiko unleashed her much anticipated prequel to her album Souled Out to rave reviews, but is it worth the hype? Sail Out takes you on a hazy journey filled with breakups, dark thoughts and a plea for peace. The answer is yes, it is most definitely worth the hype! The EP opens with The Vapors featuring little known rapper Vince Staples whose flow perfectly complements Aiko’s soft vocals as she sings about wanting to ‘hit it again’, a reference to her love of marijuana which those who follow her on social media networks are well aware of. The highlight of the EP however is The Worst in which she discusses the tryst

most people will be in during their life span, liking somebody who is just plain wrong for you. In the dark video, she murders him and then coolly makes a PB&J sandwich and pours herself a glass of wine. She then shows of her rapping skills in Comfort Inn where she pours out her woes about a good for nothing former lover. Underground rapper Ab-Soul then unleashes his skills on WTH, which is another reference to her love for the drug. He provides the best feature of the whole EP, allowing his induced state to rant about his regrets in life. The Top Dawg Entertainment roster features again with Kendrick Lamar on Stay Ready (What a Life). This song is in three stages, showing the diversity of Aiko. Her soft vocals flow at first, followed by Kendrick’s unique style and ends with Aiko branching into a more rap influenced flow infused with a dark, eerie ending

which is reminiscent of Kendrick’s recent major label release, good kid, m.A.A.d city Bed Peace is heavily influenced by John Lennon and Yoko and she pleads for a peaceful world and in the video, she threatens not to leave her bed until there is peace in the world. The EP’s darkest point comes in the form of 3:16 AM, of which Fisticuffs Production should be highly praised. Here, she battles with her inner demons, the more uplifting version of this song was not included in this collection but can be found on YouTube and is called 3:16 PM. Overall this EP is a definite must-have for any R&B/ hip-hop fan and a great introduction to her before her album Soul Out drops. For anyone interested in hearing more music from Aiko, she has a mixtape Sailing Soul(s) which is worth a listen.

MILEY CYRUS: BANGERZ Jasmin Nahar Miley Cyrus has had her fair share of controversy, of late. Alongside attempting to twerk Hannah Montana from our memories, she recorded Bangerz. The singer’s fourth studio album, the break-away record is the first since she completely overhauled her good-girl image. The title suggests a series of party hits, yet the first song is a surprisingly soppy ballad. Getting the album off to a slow start, Adore You is a song of vulnerability; her vocals shining through without any gimmicks. It’s during the second song, We Can’t Stop, where the album picks up pace. Although there’s something odd about hearing the lyrics “we who ‘bout that

life” and “shaking it like we at a strip club” straight after a love song, it is infuriatingly catchy. It’s no secret that Miley has become a fan of hip-hop. Bangerz sees her try her hand at the genre - with mixed results. SMS attempts to give attitude and swagger in a cartoony, exaggerated way. This is perhaps intentional, but it doesn’t work well. Bringing Britney Spears to the song adds nothing to it and sounds a little ‘phoned-in’, if anything. Her attempts fare better elsewhere. Love Party Money is more successful, but the chorus isn’t much and is ruined by its repetition. She does, however, have a more genuine attitude in the verses, which makes her sound more hip-hop and less try-hard pop star. One of the best songs isn’t a hip-hop attempt, or a song in which she tries hard to be “ratchet”, but a heartfelt pop gem. I’m talking about Wrecking

Ball. When you take away the sledgehammer-licking of the video, it’s a brilliant piece of pop, where her vocal talent can be appreciated. She is undoubtedly a better singer than she is a rapper. Another absolute highlight is FU. Starting in a soulful style, it carries images of a smoky jazz bar with the singer draped over a piano. The jazz-style intermingles with a dubstep beat on the chorus and the combination works well. It’s a marvellous mash up of old-school meets new and the album could have done with more songs like this. However, overall Bangerz is really a pick n’ mix of genres, with smatterings of country and dance, although neither is particularly good on the album. In parts, it feels like an attempt to shock and to shake off her past, instead of creating genuinely good songs. Although there is clear potential for hits, they are few and far between.

LINKIN PARK: HAVE THEY CHANGED OR HAVE I? Lena Mistry When I was just thirteen, Linkin Park were my idols. At school I was officially called the ‘Linkin Park Nerd’. But, what happened? Did I grow up, or did they lose their touch? We all have to grow up at some point in our lives, and as a band it was in their nature to evolve too. Gone are the days when I used to rock out to tracks such as Crawling and In the End and many more of their great hits. To me they were the coolest band. What other famous rock band had a DJ (Joe

Haan), and a rapper (Mike Shinoda), and a screamer/singer (Chester Bennington)? I won’t say that they’ve changed a lot, but they’ve changed enough for me to see that they’ve grown just as I have turned into a young woman from just a wee-little teenager. Making their big break with Hybrid theory in 2000, Linkin Park started a revolution both in me and the world. The first song I heard from them was Crawling, and I instantly became hypnotized by the lyrics. I immediately checked out all their other songs and BAM! One minute I was just a sweet little thirteen year-old, and then I became this ‘Linkin Park Nerd’ my

school friends spoke of. I came to learn all of the band members, the lyrics, and all of their facts by heart. I knew I was into something deep and beautiful. Meteora, released in 2002, was just as brilliant as their debut album. Nearly all of my favourite tracks are from this album, and I didn’t realise my love for this band could grow any more. For three years Linkin Park was my saviour, my comfort and my sanity. I am so glad that I had such a great band to look up to during my younger years. After Meteora there came a break. I didn’t want a break. I wanted more. And

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after this break all I got was Minutes to Midnight. Don’t get me wrong, it was a brilliant album…but it was different. It was, and there’s only one way to put it: all grown up. After this release I lost track of them. Perhaps I grew up too, but now reflecting back on them I’m feeling rather nostalgic. The next two albums I sadly did not even know existed. That is how far gone I was from my cool childhood. For a very long while I stopped indulging in music, I lost all track of the rock scene and I became a different person too. Perhaps it is just society that had changed me, but either way I was no longer the ‘Linkin Park Nerd’.

Now as I look at a couple of the new videos, my love for Linkin Park is gently rekindling, and that same surge of passion and excitement is once again revived within me. From now on I am going backwards, sinking in my memories and enjoying the Nu-Metal revolution that I once lived in. Other bands I used to listen to, such as Evanescence, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Green Day, are also on my playlist right now and hope I’ll never ever let go. I am once again taking pleasure in my old favourites, sitting back and wishing I was thirteen again. Like I said, maybe it was just me who grew up, and Linkin Park has always been who they were.


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SPORT

PHOTO CREDIT: CONSTANCE GOULLETQUER

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ESCRIME C. Goulletquer Have you ever watched fencing and wondered how it would feel to put on this immaculate clothing? To see the world through this black contrastive mask? To wield a sword in your hand, as an extension of your own arm? To appreciate what being a knight or a swordfighter used to be? To feel the inherent intensity and controlled aggression of this modern kind of duel? The silence of a fencing fight is interspersed with the rumbling of feet hitting the piste; the clashing sound of the blades; the deafening noise of the guards colliding and the sharp beep of the scoring machine when a hit is made. Watching the fencer’s feet, stepping forward and back, moving fast and

slow using fluid, dynamic and rhythmic movements, we can imagine that they are dancing; partners elegantly and smartly practising their finesse, but what a perilous dance it would be. In fencing, your opponent is a mirror from which you need to dissociate at the right moment to hit. It’s like playing a game of chess - but with a sword. In this sport, your opponent is your partner. To be successful, you must analyse their style, their weaknesses and their movements to choose the right strategy; they are giving you all you need to know to beat them. It is up to you to be able to see it, to strike hard and fast at the right moment before they do! It feels strangely satisfying to hold a sword in your hand. You feel surprisingly powerful; you possess the capacity of attacking and defeating

your opponent. to do it again. It makes you feel alive. However, fencing is the sport of In fencing, that is what you fight for: gentlemen, and women too! It the fear. diverges from its deadly duelling Brunel Fencing Club is proud to origins, towards a most respectful be the perfect representation of sport. When you learn to fence, you diversity at Brunel. Our committee not only learn to fight your opponent, is the substantial evidence of this but also how to be respectful and heterogeneity. Indeed, our committee humble. Indeed, when having a fight, members come from the UK, India, you must Greece, salute your Thailand “It feels strangely satisfying to adversary and France, hold a sword in your hand. You feel and shake their and such surprisingly powerful “ hand; failing to diversity is show respect reflected in and consideration rhymes with our members. We welcome men and disqualification. women of all abilities.

We have great hope for the men’s team to finally fulfil its potential. It would truly be fantastic for them to take their revenge after being so close to winning the league last year. For our female contingent, Constance Goulletquer performed well during her last competition, on the 12th of October, by knocking out the epeeist currently 17th in the country. The women’s team has shrunk somewhat, due to the graduation of most of its members last year. Fortunately, we have experienced fencing freshers, with the women’s team ready to begin competing and top previous results.

The “F” of fencing could stand for fear: the fear of being hit. However, this is a good kind of fear - one which helps you achieve your greatest successes. It fills you with adrenaline, just as a theme park ride would. It is terrifying, but in the end you will want

Remember that you do not need to be tall or short, fit or skinny to fence, because most of all, you are fencing with your heart and your mind. Interested? Go to www.brunelfencing. weebly.com or join ‘Brunel Fencing 2013 - 2014 on Facebook.

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The start of 2013/14 has brought some exciting news for the club; two top sabreurs have joined the throng. Soji Aiyenuro and Nuno Esteves are presently 2nd and 32nd in the national ranking. They are regularly competing and getting impressive results.


SPORT

PRETTY IN PINK

BURNERS SELECTED FOR GB Ryan 0’ Donovan THREE American footballers from Brunel have been selected to represent the Great British Lions student team. Ti Ojuyah, Weston West and Samuel Udoh were all called into the squad after impressing in trials in October at Loughborough University.

T. Blackwood Once again, Brunel Netball Club took the RAG world by storm in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness and came out in force in an attempt to raise money for the charity. The annual Pink Night event, which was held on 21st October, is a tradition of the club and they did not disappoint this year. Throughout the week the girls set up a stall in the Atrium, promoting the event as well as informing the students about the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness and what everyone can do to help. As well as promoting the charity and event itself, the club had even

prepared homemade cakes to sell, allowing them to make money from this before the event had even taken place. The best way to get donations is to approach people when they’re drunk, and obviously this worked as the girls managed to raise a total of near to £200 from the night alone. In addition to the money raised from promotion, the club raised a total near to £600, with money still being counted and donated now. It just goes to show how much can be done when you pull together for a good cause and have fun whist doing it. Brunel Netball are definitely deserving of their BSOC (Big Sport On Campus) status when they pull of such big success as this Pink Night was.

SEVEN AT FIVES FOR FIRST TIME

Adam Ward Seven members of Brunel Squash Club represented at BUCS Rugby Fives for the first time in Brunel history, in both the singles and doubles tournament. After only having played the sport for a total of two hours before the tournament, it got underway as you’d have expected, with Brunel picking up

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255 students originally applied for the trials and this number was eventually whittled down to 107 after coaches assessed the player’s pre-registration tasks. These included bench presses, lateral shuffles and standing broad jumps, all of which were completed at Brunel. The players will now attend

training camps lasting two – four days, the first taking place on the 14th and 15th December. Ojuyah, who plays defence and studies Maths, said, “It feels pretty amazing to be recognised at such a high level. “Myself, Weston and Sam all work really hard along with the rest of our team to achieve the highest standards possible.” Ex-Brunel Burners Orion Modebe, Sky Modebe and DJ Ogunkolati have all made the jump from the students’ side to the seniors, and Ojuyah wants to follow in their footsteps. “I Just to GB Orion where

want to make that step up seniors like DJ Ogunkolati, and Sky Modebe and see it takes me from there.

“We have a good defensive trio going on so I reckon the week could give the coaches a lot to think about.” Meanwhile, Student Union President Martin Zaranyika told Brunel Students, “The Union is extremely proud of the boys for getting onto the GB team. “It just shows how all the work they’ve been doing over the summer has really paid off - and we would like to celebrate with them! “I will now be approaching the University to see what support mechanisms can be put in place to allow them to continue down this positive road.” The Burners next game is against the Imperial Immortals on the eighth of December at Brunel Sports Park.

BRUNEL EQUESTRIAN SOLDIER ON DESPITE NEAR CANCELLATION Kat Clementine Brunel Equestrian’s ‘C’ Team came in fourth place on Wednesday 20th November after three show jumping eliminations and weather disruption made for an eventful start to the BUCS League competitions.

up time of seven to ten minutes before the downpour were said to have been at a disadvantage when it came to doing their test after the recommencement. At lunchtime, Surrey was in the lead with 38 penalties, while Christchurch and King’s College came in with 57 and 104 penalties respectively.

There were fears that the whole competition would have to be cancelled when the weather took an even worse turn and ‘horizontal hail’ meant that all horses had to be put back into their stables.

Meanwhile, Brunel ended the dressage with 144 penalties. Spirits were not dampened despite the wet morning, and show jumping commenced in the indoor arena. There were nine jumps in total at 2ft 6 high. No competitors fell off their horses but three eliminations with competitors from Kings College, Surrey and Brunel riding Horse C, named Harry - a brown-and-white Cob, all received zero goal points. Riders receive 10 penalties when a horse refuses a jump and are eliminated if the horse refuses the same jump twice.

Those who had used their warm

With the show jumping scores added

The home competition, at Snowball Farm Equestrian Centre in Burnham, kicked off with Dressage at 10am. However, torrential rain in the midst of dressage testing meant riding was postponed. Riders who strode on through the bad weather were credited in Judge Terry Scudders’ comments.

only 14 points in 21 singles matches on the first day. On the second day, the doubles started off in the same way, with no pair collecting more than 4 points. However, on the last match of the day, a crowd gathered and silence dawned over the courts as the pair of Dan Binney and Punit Sedani were on court. For the first time in Brunel history, a game was won! Also in the doubles were Adam Hick/Adam Ward and Sam Fowler/John Roach. Matt Ancell joined them all for the singles. So in the end, we ended up last, but this could be the dawning of a new sport at Brunel.

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to the morning’s dressage tests, Surrey won 1st place rosettes with 142 penalties. Christchurch was a close 2nd with 169. Meanwhile, King’s College and Brunel came 3rd and 4th with 296 and 338. Brunel ‘C’ Team member Pouria Barvand collected an additional rosette for 7th place in the individual overall scores. Top winners of the individual scores were Carolina of King’s College in 3rd, Isabel of Surrey in 2nd and Lucyana of Surrey in 1st. ‘C’ Team Captain Emma Batchelor was very positive about the day, saying, “We did so well considering the weather conditions were awful this morning and we were all really nervous to jump. I’m really proud of my team today!” To improve on scores for the next competition she added, “We’re definitely going to have more lessons, especially for jumping as we need to get our confidence up again. “We’ll also get our dressage up to scratch as all of us could be really good dressage riders.”


THIS MONTH... NETBALL

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 NETBALL GET PRETTY IN PINK , ALL FOR CHARITY

MIXED BEGINNINGS FOR BRUNEL HANDBALL 39

FENCING

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ESCRIME

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Gilbert Lewis After a storming start to the London Universities Handball League, the first ever of its kind in the UK, Brunel University Handball Club are brought back to earth by Imperial. In early November, Brunel started off their inaugural league campaign against Middlesex. Despite a new coach and several players, both experienced and novices, making their debuts a superb performance

resulted in a 41-9 victory, with BUHC scoring 27 goals in the second half, a rate of almost one a minute. Their second game of the league came against Imperial, who in 2012/13 finished 4th at the National Championships, and after retaining most of their players were still a force to be reckoned with. After suffering injuries in training the same week BUHC were already the bare bones of a team, and a slow start meant they quickly went 4-0 down. However, after picking up the pace they reduced the deficit to 14-12 before a serious knee injury to left back and star player

Felipe De Barros Barreto, who had scored 10 against Middlesex, killed off Brunel’s momentum. They went into the break 18-12 down. The second half was a much similar story. BUHC reduced the difference to three before another injury, this time to influential centre back Dries Van Bever, meant again the score slipped, with Imperial soon boasting a 10 goal lead. With only one substitute remaining and no dedicated centre back the game had slipped out of their hands. Despite this the final minutes were the most positive for BUHC. Two goals from Matt Norris, the only player who had missed out on scoring against

Middlesex, and inspired keeping from Sean Dorling, in only his second ever game, meant they finished on a high. The final score 34-25 to Imperial. Captain Sam Crocker said of the team: ‘We played with our hearts in the game, if we play with that much heart each week we’ll win every game. Without the injuries this week then we can, and did, match them.’

SQUASH

SEVEN AT FIVES FOR THE FIRST TIME AT BRUNEL

The next game up for BUHC is against King’s College, who are likely to be an easier opposition, however with more luck and a better all-round performance Brunel believe they can be topping the table come April.

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AGGRESSIVE BY NATURE, RUGBY BY CHOICE Aanika Khan I can confidently say without a doubt that this is going to be a good year for women’s rugby. First of all we have been able to fill a team for every game so far, which is an improvement over last year. Second of all we’re only half way through the season, but we have a firm grasp on the top spot in the league with a view to get promoted, and we are contesting scrums for the first time in my three years playing at Brunel. Thirdly I think I speak for most of the team when I say we are ecstatic

to be hopefully getting new playing kit this year. We won our first match decisively 54-22 against Surrey, which has set a great standard for the rest of our matches. Our only loss so far this year has been an away match at Reading, a game all girls agreed did not feel like a loss walking off the pitch. It’s an amazing feeling that first time you really come together as a team and you know you’ve done everything you could for the rest of the players. We came home with a score of 22-5 knowing we’d put up the fight of our lives and we felt it for the next three days. We were away again the next week

playing Royal Holloway and thanks to a great comeback we beat them 2633 and we then won our last match 37-17 against Kings at home. It’s not just the score that matters though. It’s the little things like nailing lineouts, trying out new positions and seeing everyone improve.

all ability with different strengths and weaknesses. Coming to a first session can be daunting but once you start playing, you start improving, you start making friends and you start looking forward to seeing what shape and colour your bruises are going to be the next morning.

There’s a common misconception about rugby and the truth is that it can be a violent and aggressive sport. But it’s also about skill, thinking on your feet, about friendship and about giving everything you have. It’s a sport once people have tried; very few decide is not for them. Most of our freshers have never played before and we have girls of

Our next fixture is an away match against St Marys, our university rivals, a grudge match as they will be looking to even the score after they suffered an embarrassing defeat at Varsity last year, but win or lose I know we will be back on that pitch week after week giving everything we’ve got. I’ve got to admit though; it feels pretty great to be winning.

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EQUESTRIAN

EQUESTRIAN SOLDIER ON DESPITE NEAR CANCELLATION

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Issue 3 2013/14