NEWS BRUNEL RANKED 1ST FOR STUDENT SATISFACTION
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
INNOVATE OR DIE? UNIVERSITY’S NEW LOOK DIVIDES STUDENT OPINION Do you like the overall look and feel of the University’s new re-brand?
Do you like the University’s new slogan?
THE ULTIMATE FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
NOT SURE 33 STUDENTS
Do you like the University’s new logo?
Do you like the new colour scheme?
SUMMER FESTIVALS BREAKDOWN
Oliver Ronaldson Over the summer, Brunel underwent some incredibly dramatic changes. These were done in two forms: the structural changes from 8 academic ‘schools’ into 3 streamlined, more efficient ‘colleges’, as well as a complete renovation of the University’s visual identity, which will be used on every piece of media the University now releases. While the structural changes have the largest impact upon the student body on a day to day level, the branding is just as important. Students will only be able to judge the new college system once the academic year has started and over the long term. The branding, however, has proven to have an immediate impact on
students. Reactions to both the visual rebrand and the internal restructure, ‘TxP’, have been decidedly mixed.
top 30 universities under 50 years old, according to the Times Higher Education Survey 2014.
This rebrand is one of dramatic proportions, changing many of the key identifiers that Brunel has had since its conception as a University in 1966. In the past 50 years, Brunel has expanded to cater to over 15,000 students, 2,500 staff and a total income of over £170 million a year for 2011/12.
The strategic elements of the TxP project were conducted internally, headed by Vice-Chancellor Julia Buckingham. The external visual and communication work was completed by the worldwide communications company Instinctif Partners. As an established worldwide company with over 700 clients and 20 years of experience, Instinctif has a vast portfolio of successful projects, with a focus upon ‘gaining the market share of younger individuals’. Clients including ASOS, Graze.com and General Electric have benefitted from the work of Instinctif, helping to place these brands into an international frame. The results of the hard work of the University and Instinctif were officially
The university market as a whole has changed, with more people going to university than ever before. Brunel needed an image that demonstrated its determination to compete for the best students, researchers and grants. This had to be done on a global scale, as recently Brunel has been placed within top 500 academic institutions in the world, and previously in the
unveiled on August 1. The main change is the Brunel University London logo. Instead of the wordmark Brunel has been using, the logo is now a modern interpretation of the crest given to Brunel through its Royal Charter. This is a design trend that has been growing over the past few years, with many other companies such as the Royal Mint, and interestingly our Varsity rivals St. Mary’s adopting a similar image. The general implications of these simplifications are to suggest a streamlined, more efficient and modern visual identity. Other changes, however, have not kept as much of the original ideas. This is seen largely through the array of banners plastered on every lamppost on campus, declaring that the University is ‘Addressing society’s Continued on page 3...
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SPOTLIGHT ON BRUNEL ATHLETICS AND ITS FAMOUS ALUMNI
Contributors Le Nurb would like to thank the following people for contributing an article to this months issue.
Oliver Ronaldson Hannah Jones Marcus Stein Alex Buchanan Shakoofeh Shah Adam Feneley Molly Lempriere Erica Wilson Joanna Smith Ridafatima Hussein Arthe Kandeepan Kat Clementine Mehvish Maghribi Elisabeth Mahase
Ali Milani Eleanor Woolcott Mehdi Punjwani Ryan O’Donovan Aidan Milan Eddie Leggatt Erica Wilson Inah Dela Cruz Kirsty Capes Luke Vogel Maddi Black Yasmin Simsek Emma Jeremy Antony Smith Hannah Jones Joshua Connolly Kerri Prince Laura Brown Robert Pennington Cam Griffiths
Laura Brown Maryam Serour James Alder Natasha Levy Amika Gandhi Yasmin Simsek Joshua Connolly Becky Collins Eddie Leggatt Simon Fielding Olive Barton
Chris Rathore Fahima Patanker Rebecca Chambers Rowan Frewin Toby Berriman Xander Tyson Jasmin Nahar Kris Miles Victoria Sanusi Ellis Davies Molly Lempriere Kirsty Capes Kat Clementine
Nathan Carrington Adam Varvel Michael Darlow Wojciech Babiarczuk Dylan Brown Kirsty Jones Ben Usher Jordan Clarke Greg Palin Shelley-Ann Spooner Michael Nourmand Tim Hazel Zara Canfield Leona Sinclair Rachel Jones Charlotte Hylton Hayley Metcalfe Kingsley McDiarmid Samuel Voight Sam Fowler Olivia McCarthy Lucy Hawkes Charlie Clarke Saskia Schuler Claudia Kampmann Sara Patel Mayoor Jobanputra Marc Horrex Kirsty Capes Mehdi Punjwani Pedro Bernardini Ryan O’Donovan Aaron Lowman Eleanor Woolcott
Simply put, if you’re a current Brunel student, you can write for Le Nurb. There are a few things to bear in mind:
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!
YOUR IMAGES - 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.
Enquiries, advertising & complaints: Kirsty - firstname.lastname@example.org Design queries and feedback: Jo - email@example.com News articles: Shakoofeh - firstname.lastname@example.org In-depth articles on a given topic: Emma -email@example.com Reviews and culture articles: Victoria - firstname.lastname@example.org Everything sport-related Joseph - email@example.com
Deadlines The deadline for the Novermber/December issue is
Friday 24th October 2014.
Katherine Clementine (News and Culture) Ryan O’Donovan (Features and Sport)
Jo Gregory Brough (Chief Designer)
PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Rathore (Chief Photographer) Ben Lunato-Doyen
Eddie Leggatt (Online Editor) Oliver Ronaldson (Deputy Online Editor) Wafa Salim (Web Designer)
Section Editor Shakoofeh Shah
Chief Sub-Editor Arthe Kandeepan
Online Editor Molly Lempriere
Section Editor Emma Jeremy
Chief Sub-Editor Aidan Milan
Online Editor Erica Wilson
Section Editor Victoria Sanusi
Chief Sub-Editor James Alder
Le Nurb is distributed eight times a year, across campus, to a network of 15,000 students.
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.
Section Editor Joseph Cornforth
Chief Sub-Editor Eleanor Woolcott
Online Editor Mehdi Punjwani
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Continued from page 1...
challenges’. This somewhat replaces the original ‘Innovate or Die’, which follows Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s original approach to his famous work, although University Communications Manager Alex Buchanan points out that ‘Innovate or Die’ “is not an official slogan regardless of what Wikipedia says”.
Dear reader, If you’re a fresher; welcome! And if you’re a returner; welcome back! Le Nurb has been keeping campus warm for you over the summer, looking at all of the most important stories and bringing them straight to your hands in the form of this newspaper. Soon we’ll be bringing the Brunel gossip to your eyeballs, too, with our justlaunched media hub website, brumedia.co.uk! Bru-Media is the place to find out about what’s going on in the Union’s Media Assocation, of which Le Nurb as one-third. The other two branches are Video Brunel and Radio Brunel. Watch out for some very exciting collaborations this term! The freshers’ issue is all about new beginnings. For many of you, Brunel will be completely different to anything you’ve ever experience before: you’re moving away from home to an unfamiliar place, away from the security blanket of a family support network. To help you through this sometimes difficult time we’ve put together the Ultimate Fresher Survival Guide; it’s all about making sure you make the most out of your university experience while still taking care of yourself: finanacially, mentally, emotionally, physically and of course academically. And we haven’t forgotten about all of you weather-worn second and third years. We’ve put together some helpful advice for dissertation preparation, moving into an offcampus student house, and looking for work experience. The huge number of changes currently being undertaken at Brunel mean that it’s never been more exciting to be a student here at this fine establishment. Le Nurb will be here to talk you through the whole process - the rebranding, the new college structure - in corporate jargon-free terms.
University representatives are keen to point out that ‘Addressing society’s challenges’ is not a slogan, as incorrectly stated in previous Le Nurb publications, but part of the new positioning statement developed by Instinctif, although it is not clear what this actually means for students. University representative, Communications Manager Alex Buchanan also pointed out that the banners are not permanent, and will be replaced throughout the year with other campaign materials relating to projects such as the National Student Survey and Union initiatives. The full positioning statement reads: “Brunel University London is a leading international university which addresses the challenges facing society through ground-breaking applied research and educational programmes.
As always Le Nurb is constantly looking for contributors with a passion for this university (it is, after all, the best for student satisfaction in London!) to write for our monthly newspaper, and of course our new rolling news website (bru-media. co.uk/lenurb). It’s not just limited to writing; you can be a photographer, designer or illustrator for Le Nurb too. If you want to have your voice heard by the Union, the University and the student body, Le Nurb is the place to make that happen. Finally, I wish you all a fantastic academic year at Brunel, and hope you have an amazing freshers’ week! Welcome home, Team Brunel.
“Our students are taught and prepared for their future careers in a supportive culture of excellence, enterprise and innovation. Our work changes the lives of people around the world by bringing economic, social and cultural benefits.” Nevertheless, when asked if they liked the phrase ‘Addressing society’s challenges’ in an exclusive Le Nurb survey, 74% of respondents answered ‘no’, with one commenting that it is “ridiculous and easily misunderstood”. The most controversial change is the colour. The new brand guidelines now state that the University’s two main colours are blue and red, a dramatic detraction from the all-blue wordmark and the blue-and-gold crest. Many are disappointed at the lack of yellow in the new designs, as many associate
Brunel with the blue-and-yellow/gold of the crest and Union sports kits. These changes have not gone unnoticed by the student body. In research conducted by Le Nurb, we found that there are incredibly mixed views upon the branding overall. Of 206 respondents, 59% said that they did not like Brunel’s new brand overall, and 14% unsure. Many students voiced concerns that the new crest and wordmark logo looked remarkably similar to St. Mary’s University, with one student commenting “There is certainly a feel that the new brand is very much alike our rival St. Mary’s which is a bad thing for Brunel.” Alex Buchanan responded that those students and staff who attended the second round of focus groups were given twelve different new logo options, featuring designs with and without crests. The most positive responses were for the inclusion of a crest, according to Instinctif, with one participant commenting that “The crest is prestigious. It makes you feel as though your degree is worth something”. The University Council, which made the final decision, were shown the preferred new logo in relation to thirty logos of other universities from across the country, as part of the final selection process. Included in the list were University of York, University of St. Andrews, and King’s College London. Le Nurb can exclusively reveal that St. Mary’s University was not on the list given the council. Other students are concerned about the cost of the re-design, with one respondent commenting, “To spend that money and come up with this[?] Really disappointed.” Others have pointed out that the design courses at Brunel are some of the best in the country. Le Nurb contacted the University regarding the cost of the redesign but received no reply. Many students feel that the changes were not properly communicated, and students not properly consulted. A source for Le Nurb who has chosen to stay anonymous has explained
their frustration with the system: “I was invited to sit on the focus groups, we argued with the design company Brunel had hired endlessly regarding the colour changes. We also expressed our distaste for the red and lack of yellow to which we received no reply”. This student felt disenchanted by the lack of impact of their views, saying “I was very disappointed… what’s the point in being invited to be on a focus group if you do not listen to the students?” The University has provided Le Nurb with a selection of participants’ comments from focus group sessions. One said “Brunel is blue. Blue is Brunel”, while another commented: “I love the blue and the red. They are strong, identifiable colours” When asked to explain the student consultation process behind the rebrand, Alex Buchanan of the University’s communications department explained that students were involved in focus groups along with staff at each stage of the redesign. Alex also pointed out that while blue and yellow appear on the Union’s sports clubs kit, yellow has “not been a colour used in university branding for a long period”. He also acknowledged that the design of club kits is “solely up to the Union” and the Union would not be forced to adapt them to suit the new University colour scheme, although “We would hope that we can agree a design that everyone will support”. While the visual and communication changes were intended to energise and motivate our University to compete upon a global scale, it has divided the student body, and left a disproportionately high number aggravated and disappointed with the University’s new direction. Got opinions too? Fill in our survey! (http://tinyurl.com/brubrand) We will also welcome any reply articles, sent through to lenurb.brunel@gmail. com
HOROSCOPES Erica Wilson Eddie Leggatt Aries Don’t look up. Taurus Read the Third and seventh word of every page. It’s a hidden message, just for you. Additional deciphering may be required. Batteries not included. Gemini Don’t stress about exams, you can always cook meth in a caravan in Cowley. Cancer Bananas are an excellent source of potassium.
Leo The stars tell me that in the near future, you will win a lot of money / receive good news / find new love / enter a new phase of your life (delete where appropriate) Virgo You might want to step back and evaluateHELP THEY’RE HOLDING ME HOSTAGE AND FORCING ME TO WRITE HOROSCOPESyour relationships. Libra Libra means ‘pound’ in Spanish #knowledged #hashtag Scorpio Your nose is itchy. No, don’t itch it!
Sagittarius I’m sensing that someone reading this is related to or knows of a bloke called Mark. Capricorn Don’t worry, it’s probably not that infected. Aquarius Life is like an onion - You don’t want it in your bum. Pisces Take the nap. You deserve it; you’ve had a hard ten minutes. Were we right? Tweet us at @le_ nurbonline and let us know!
PHOTO CREDIT: JISC.AC.UK
BRUNEL RANKED FIRST IN LONDON WITH 89% STUDENT SATISFACTION The National Student Survey (NSS) results are out and Brunel has been voted first place in London with a whopping 89% of students satisfied with their overall experience.
absolutely delighted that Brunel has performed so well in this year’s survey. Not only is it a reflection of the huge importance the university places on the student experience, but it is also recognition of the exceptional effort and commitment that all academic and professional staff have shown over the past year.
Brunel climbed nearly 30 places out of 154 institutions, placing us at the top out of all the other universities in the capital. Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Julia Buckingham said: “I’m
Many subjects had overall improvements since the survey last year and faculties received high percentages of student satisfaction including Accounting, Economics and Finance, Civil Engineering, Creative
Writing, Music and Occupational Therapy. The Student Union, Vice President for Academic Representation, Marcus Stein said: “The union are committed to ensuring the continual improvement of the student experience here at Brunel, and being ranked number 1 for student satisfaction in London for the 3rd year running is testament to the hard work that goes on here. I look forward to being a part of the action.” Film and TV studies have been ranked 3rd for overall satisfaction along
with Anthropology, English, History and Politics who have all won top places with their ratings. However, the most consistent subject coming in at 100% student satisfaction was Physiotherapy, along with Brunel ranking number 1 in London for Journalism. The 2014 results have placed Brunel 5th for English in the country where 93% of students were satisfied with the quality of Brunel’s BA English programme. This performance follows the strong placing of English and Creative Writing in the Guardian
League table published in June 2014. The NSS is a national programme conducted every year since 2005. It asks students of Higher Education to rate their university on their learning experience and asses their overall satisfaction and experience whilst studying. Head of the Dept of Arts and Humanities, Professor Tom Betteridge said “We are extremely pleased with these results. The high satisfaction ratings reflect the hard work our staff have put in over the last year to continually improve the student experience”
TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE: WHAT IT MEANS FOR STUDENTS Oliver Ronaldson Hannah Jones Marcus Stein This summer, Brunel University undertook radical changes to its visual appearance and structural organisation; the most significant in fifty years, since the institution’s establishment. The changes were brought about in response to large scale revisions that have occurred to the higher education and academic research industries. Brunel has seen dramatic growth from its origins as a technical college, and has flourished into an internationally recognised institution. The university’s academic infrastructure became increasingly fragmented during its rapid expansion however, with a total of eight distinct Schools, which altogether failed to take full advantage of Brunel’s vast academic network. Furthermore, Brunel needed to put itself into a position where it could take full advantage of its world class facilities and expertise, and construct a plan to build upon them; this was achieved through a full restructuring of the departments within Brunel. On August 1st, Brunel implemented the new academic structure, merging
all eight Schools to form three new representation structure. To find out Colleges: College of Business, Arts more about Student Representatives and Social Sciences, College of and how you can get involved, visit: Engineering, Design and Physical brunelstudents.com/reps. Sciences and College of Health and Life Sciences. Alongside the three Each Vice President will ensure that Colleges, Brunel has established three there is fair representation for students research institutes to further enhance by attending relevant meetings with the quality of its research and refocus the University Heads of Colleges and its delivery, with other academics, “The Union’s colours are the aim of boosting and factoring the the institution’s blue and yellow, and Brunel’s student voice into reputation. The major decisions sports teams have invested all new structure being made within allows Brunel to heavily in kit to reflect this” their College. conduct itself in a way that facilitates inter-disciplinary Please feel free to contact Hannah, research, reduces overall costs, Leon or Marcus about your College. and increases efficiency through collaboration between the three Hannah – College of Health and Life Colleges. Sciences Leon – College of Business, Arts and The University Pro Vice Chancellor, Social Sciences Mariann Rand-Weaver, said of the Marcus – College of Engineering, project: “TxP is the most exciting and Design and Physical Sciences ambitious programme I have seen in my 23 years at Brunel. To me, TxP Brunel has also received a face lift to has taken the best of the past and match the organisational changes combined it with our aspirations introduced; the rebrand is a striking for the future, resulting in new way for the university to draw opportunities for staff and students” attention and inform the public of the ground-breaking changes that have The Union of Brunel Students has taken place. This has been achieved decided to accommodate this by throwing out all of the existing change within its own governance branding, and replacing it with a new by assigning a Vice President to each visual identity. College; their job will be to provide extra support and representation Julia Buckingham, Brunel’s Vice on top of the existing student Chancellor, says that this is a way of
emphasising the University’s ‘bold new vision of the future’, along with the monumental strategic change that has occurred.
new branding. It’s important to note that any significant changes to the Union’s colours will require the Union to consult with its membership at Student Assembly. The Design agency involved, Instinctif Partners , undertook the mammoth The rebranding has not been met task of providing the university with with entirely positive reactions the logo, positioning statements however; results from an exclusive and entire Le Nurb survey “TXP facilitates internew brand have highlighted whilst staying considerably mixed disciplinary research, true to what reviews. As of 28th reduces overall costs, and Brunel already August 2014, Le increases efficiency” stands for, and Nurb’s rebrand survey reinforcing the reported that out of strength that these new structural 206 respondents, only 29% agreed changes will enable Brunel to that they liked the overall look and feel compete on an international level. of the rebrand. When asked if they liked the University’s new logo, 60% The main sign of this rebrand is in the responded “No”, and 67% disliked the new logo. While it has kept all of the University’s new red, white and blue elements of the design, it has done colour scheme. so in a modern, minimalist fashion. This has also followed the creation of On the whole, while the intentions a new ‘positioning statement’ which of these changes are clear, its includes the statement that the effectiveness is questionable; we will university’s goal is ‘Addressing society’s not know for months how effective challenges’. There has also been a the new college system will be, and dramatic colour change, adding red the Brunel logo has been met with stripes to the University logo. mixed messages. The change in the University’s colours are very significant, as the What we do know is that this is an Union’s colours are blue and yellow, exciting time to be a witness at Brunel and Brunel’s sports teams have while these changes unfold. invested heavily in kit to reflect this. However, the Union and the University are currently in talks about how to progress forward with this
BRUNEL CLEARING BRUNEL INAUGURAL LECTURE: SIGNAL PROCESSING Erica Wilson Brunel often hosts Inaugural Lectures on campus that are free for all students, staff and members of the public to attend.
processing, the importance of more research as well as the challenges ahead and its bright, promising future.
On Thursday 2nd October, Professor Asoke Nandi, Head of Computer and Electronic Engineering at Brunel, is giving a lecture entitled ‘Signal Processing – From Particles to Genes and Brains’, which will explain the scope of signal processing and outline his own personal research within the field.
Professor Nandi has decades of engineering experience under his belt, with over 190 published papers in refereed international journals and an overall total of 480 technical papers. He has made pioneering theoretical and applied contributions to statistical signal processing, wireless communications, machine learning, and biomedical signal processing; with growing applications in genomic signal processing and brain signal processing, and Big Data.
This particular lecture will outline some of his personal research in particle physics, communications, audio, breast cancer, genes and the human brain to demonstrate the wide range of applications of signal
Before he came to Brunel, Professor Nandi held the David Jardine Chair of Signal Processing in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the University of Liverpool. In 1999 he established the Signal Processing
and Communications Research Group, and has also held positions in CERN, the University of Oxford, Queen Mary College and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Inaugural lectures often prove to be popular, and cover a wide range of subject areas, so if engineering isn’t your thing, keep an eye open for more lectures which might be more relevant to you. They’re very useful and will benefit you greatly in your academic studies. They’re also good if it’s a subject area you’re interested in, though they are often aimed at advanced level audiences. The lecture takes place on Thursday 2nd October 2014, from 5:30pm to 6:45pm at the Eastern Gateway Building. To book a place, visit http:// www.brunel.ac.uk/news-andevents/inaugural-lectures.
TATA GLOBAL BEVERAGES GIVE SUPPORT TO BRUNEL STUDENTS Shakoofeh Shah
PHOTO CREDIT: TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
Molly Lempriere On Thursday 14th of August across Britain 300,000 people received their A-level results and had to make the decision of what they could do with their lives after school. Brunel clearing call centre received thousands of calls from people from all over the country as well as a host from all over the world. The 40 student temps working the phones started taking phone calls at 7 in the morning and took their places alongside the specialist tutors from each specific subject, and the administrative staff. On the first day of clearing Brunel received over 5,000 calls over 10 hours, and was lucky enough to accept hundreds of additional students along with the students already accepted by the University. A-level results throughout Britain this year have dropped, yet for many subjects Brunel continues to rise in the league tables, such as the English BA Honours Programme rising to be ranked 6th in the country (within the Guardian University league tables) ensuring we still have demanding standards. On the first day of clearing alone Brunel managed to offer over 300 people places on various courses at university. A-level results day is an emotional day for many people, whether for the good or bad, and the students, tutors and administrative staff deal with a large range of calls from people in many
different situations. Unfortunately every year, due to the high standards, many people are unsuccessful in their pleas to attend the institution - now ranked 25th in the country for student satisfaction - with one of the highest student satisfaction rates in London only beaten by two other universities. However, alongside the sad phone calls received by the call centre there are a number of very excited calls and some bizarre ones. Brunel clearing call centre stayed open for a week after A-level results, whilst administration staff worked tirelessly for weeks before and after in order to get as many people as possible ready for their university experience. Here are some of the call centre’s favourite quotes: “I got an A in my A-level. That’s A for echo” “Can I speak to Tim?” “If you were in front of me I swear I’d hug you” “Brunel has always been my first choice” “Wait is this not Coventry?” “I know you must hear this a lot but you have genuinely just made my day” “I got a U at AS if that helps?” “I got accepted into Roehampton but wanted to check out other options and obviously Brunel is way better than Roehampton”
The Tetley Tea brand company based in Greenford announced that Brunel University would receive its 2014 Magical Moments Scholarships for the third year running. The scheme intends to encourage fair access for students to their education and promotes businesses to help create jobs by providing opportunities for young people after the company signed up to the Social Mobility Compact in 2012. The £15,000 scholarship scheme required a 300 word submission on the theme ‘Magical Moments,’ where the entrants were asked to describe a hidden moment of their day that makes it stand out from the rest. Ashley Toppin-Hector won the highest award of £3,000 where his 26 mile commute from South London to Brunel University took him along a voyage through time that he and others could experience. Ashley was asked about the scholarship and said: “I’m delighted to have been given an opportunity to participate in the competition and I’m elated that my submission was deemed worthy of the top award”. “When faced with the ‘Magical Moments’ task I really just allowed my pen to run away along with my thoughts. I would like to thank Tata Global Beverages for their kind gesture; it is very much appreciated and will prove to be invaluable; contributing towards funding for relevant CPD seminars, workshops and courses that will help me on my route to Chartered Engineer status.” Other successful students awarded
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG scholarships from Brunel University were: Tycjan Jaworski; Kane Harrison; Evangeline Chamdal; Kateri Dabreo; Joshua Maguire; Marley Edwards and Romell Dawkins.
Director of the Brunel Able Children’s Centre (BACE) which operates the Urban Scholars programme, Professor Valsa Koshy, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Tata Global Beverages for the third The scholarship offers grants for year running. The Urban Scholars students at the university who have programme has been a huge success taken part in the Urban Scholars for Brunel, ensuring pupils have every Programme and range between opportunity to excel, regardless of £1,200 to £3,000. their background or the type of school they attend. The scholarships will give CEO of Tata Global Beverages, Ajoy these students the support they need Misra, said: “Our to achieve at the “Young people should Magical Moments very highest level.” Scholarships are have access to education founded on the The Urban Scholars regardless of their belief that young Programme background or situation” people should offers a range of have fair access critical thinking, to education regardless of their writing and improvising skills and its background or situation”. aim is to enhance student academic performance and aspirations. While “We are proud to continue our doing so, the university works association with Brunel’s Urban alongside partnerships, parents Scholars programme and its proven and teams up with scholarship success in surfacing talent and raising programmes to allow students to aspirations”. reach their full potential and build their self confidence by using their “This year’s submissions were an talents, inspiration to us all, demonstrating that magical moments are often to be For more information about the found in the simplest of things, from scholarship programme please catching up with friends, to enjoying a visit: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/sse/ cup of tea or a hobby.” education/research/bace/urban
DO YOUNG BRITS JOINING ISIS POSE A DIRECT THREAT TO US? PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
Adam Feneley The perceived IS threat to Britain centres on the estimated 500 citizens, mostly young men, who left to fight for IS. There are concerns that these individuals will attempt to return to Britain, bringing attacks on civilians to the streets of Britain, motivated by our actions in the region, and relationship with America.
with recruits from all over the world. With an estimated 30,00050,000 militants fighting, IS has a shocking approximate wealth of $2,000,000,000 increasing by an estimated $3,000,000 each day. The initial funding for ISIS appears to have come from individual donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, the majority of their funds have come from looting hundreds of millions of dollars from the banks of overrun cities.
IS wield modern U.S. weapons Recently, Abdel-Majed Bary, a popular taken from fleeing Iraqi forces, and rapper from West even publishes “There are dozens of London known an annual report as L Jinny, posted journalists and aid workers called Al-Naba a photo online ‘The Report’, which being held hostage in Iraq of himself in Iraq at over 400 pages and Syria” holding a severed long, includes head. A week later attack statistics a video was released of an IS militant, and shows a sophisticated military with a British accent, beheading James command structure driven by metrics. Foley, a U.S. journalist. The video went on to show a second U.S. hostage and President Obama had earlier a threat to murder him if America announced U.S. military strikes in Iraq continues to interfere in the region. in order to limit IS advances, who had Weeks later a second journalist was taken the Mosul Dam. The dam could killed in a similar video. There are have been damaged simply by not dozens of journalists and aid workers performing maintenance procedures, being held hostage in Iraq and Syria, and structural failure would have the majority have not been made sent a 65ft high wall of water hurtling public. towards Mosul, which houses around 660,000 people. U.S. support has IS is a group of Sunni extremists allowed government forces to retake who are well organised, well funded the dam, but fighting continues. and whose numbers are swelling Britain is sending £13m in aid to region,
along with providing non-combat Tornados, Hercules transporters, Chinook helicopters and surveillance aircraft to the Iraqi government. David Cameron has refused to “put boots on the ground” in Iraq, and clearly stated Britain will not be drawn into another war. At least 500 members of the Yazidi religious minority have been slaughtered and at least 300 Yazidi women taken as slaves, around 40,000 were forced to flee into the mountains; under siege, and trapped without food or water. In June 1,922 people were killed in Iraq alone, and another 2,610 injured; the majority of them civilians. But what has been most shocking are the brutal images and videos of beheadings, indiscriminate shooting of civilians in the street, and mass slaughter by firing squads which have appeared online, amid reports of women and children being buried alive. All of this aims to establish a brutal reputation, and strike fear into opponents of IS. Under IS rule, all civilians must convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death. IS wants to establish a totalitarian state under Sharia law, which they call the caliphate, in theory this will expand its borders until they rule over the entire earth. However, the term caliphate divides opinion in Islam, to some it is an individual leader, to
some a government, and to some a condemn the killing of innocent state of mind which allows Muslims to civilians in order to establish an become closer to God. Islamic state, but there is a minority In a debate between young Muslims here in the UK. In the last few weeks for the BBC, Omar Mehteb, a Sunni pro-IS leaflets were being distributed Muslim (in theory the same sect of on Oxford Street by a group of British Islam that IS represents) stated the students. Many British Muslims have following: expressed their reluctance to call “The caliphate means a leader, who supporters of ISIS Muslims at all. should unify the concept of Ummah, between Muslims and non-Muslims For many, a great deal of power lies alike. If there is any persecution of with the quiet majority of British anyone else outside of what they Muslims, who can promote peaceful consider to be Muslim or outside of teachings from their religion, showing the Ummah then they are not the the young and impressionable that IS true caliphate because what Islam does not represent them. As with any stands for, what it extremist religious should stand for, is group, ISIS shows “We are looking for for the unification something where all of us little resemblance of everyone”. to true followers with differing opinions and of faith; after all, “When the many interpret sects can get together” concept of the modern Islam to caliph first came about, after the stand for unification of everyone, not prophet had died, why is it the case that just Muslims. this was the thing that caused division between the Ummah? [Referring to The answer is certainly not to the split of Islam into various sects] subjectively brand Muslims as We are looking for something, where terrorists, and for the Home all of us, with differing opinions and Secretary, Theresa May, to suggest sects, can get together and unify. our university societies are conveyor Now if the very thing that we look for belts for terrorism is extremely in the very beginning is flawed and damaging, along with those who caused such division, how can we look try to intellectualise a fear of Islam. to it now? Especially in the modern Persecution and accusation levelled at day where there are so many different what is an innocent majority will only sects and opinions.” lead to resentment, and adds further ammunition for those who wish to Clearly the vast majority of Muslims radicalise young people.
08 UNION NEWS
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO - DOYEN
KERRI PRINCE TALKS STUDENT ASSEMBLY AND FRESHERS WEEK Arthe Kandeepan In March, Kerri Prince was elected as the Union of Brunel Students’ Student Assembly Chair. Despite leaving the position in favour of a paid position within the Union, Prince remains passionate about student politics and encouraging students to get involved with local and national government. I sat down with Kerri, who imparted much important information for our Freshers as well as our current students. She discusses the importance of Student Assembly, Freshers’ Week and gives us a few words of wisdom. What is a student assembly and what do they represent? “Student Assembly is the primary decision-making body of the Student Union. Elected through a crosscampus ballot, Assembly is made up of 20 Community Members, Chairs, Officers, a Vice Chair, and an Assembly Chair. They are elected by
you, and their role is to represent you. They are there to hold the elected full and part-time officers to account. It sounds rigid and boring, but some of the most heated debates I have ever participated in have been during Student Assembly. Over the last few years, Assembly has passed motions to support Equal Marriage, and to campaign on voter registration - but they have also voted down motions including one motion to celebrate the work of the Queen. There have also been a couple of occasions where an elected officer has been up for a vote of no confidence, which is a vote to remove that person from their role.” Why is it important to us as students? “It is important because it is the only official forum that students can use to raise Union issues. Not happy with a particular Academy night? Not only contact UBS Nightlife, but take it to Assembly and question your officers. Want to put forward a motion to see the four officers to wear a courgette costume for the rest of the academic year? Do it. Make it happen. It might
not pass, and the Trustee Board might overrule it - but let your voice be heard.”
that is happening around you, you need to stay on top of things. Head to Poundland and buy an academic diary. Keep track of everything you’re How can we get involved with the doing so that you’re giving yourself student assembly? time to spend doing something you enjoy. Don’t become active in 10 clubs “During Fresher’s Week and the week and societies, write for Le Nurb, have a after, nominations will be open for radio show, be an Assembly member, Assembly whereby students can stand to be a student rep, and go out put themselves socialising every forward, create “I will never forget the first evening - you will a manifesto and time I did a proper all-nighter combust! Plan design posters. your time, and and ended up in McDonald’s enjoy Uni whilst it This is usually getting breakfast” much bigger in the lasts.” Spring elections, but the atmosphere during elections What did you take away from you is great. Stand, campaign, and come freshers’ experience? to the results event! Alternatively, you can attend as a student. You can still “A headache and a sprained ankle! speak (through the discretion of the Freshers’ Week was probably the Chair!), but you won’t be able to vote.” most enlightening of my time here. You’re forced to be an adult, to think What do you think is the most crucial independently. But over the year I aspect of an individual’s first year at learnt so much more. I will never forget uni? the first time I did a proper all-nighter, and ended up in McDonalds getting “Learning to balance everything. breakfast, before my 9am lecture on With the intensity of everything no sleep. I learnt to always make sure I
had change for the vending machines before I even considered spending the night in the library. There are so many lessons to learn, and things to enjoy. Don’t focus solely on your studies and forget to have fun.” If you could give our freshers one piece of advice, what would it be? “Not to take yourself too seriously. There are thousands of students in the same position as you, all away from home probably for the first time, and they’re just as nervous. Get out of your halls room and get to know the people around you. Attend club and society meetings, chat to people on the table next to you at Freshers’, and don’t judge anybody. It’s a scary time and people might not come off immediately as well as they’d like to. Just relax, get involved, and meet as many people as you can.” Student Assembly plays an integral role within every student’s university experience, if you have any concerns or queries the Assembly can be the body to act on your words!
H.E.A.R THE OPPORTUNITY COMING! BRUNEL Mehvish Maghribi Now, you know that when you leave Brunel you receive a degree based on your academic performance. However, you also receive at graduation the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) which encourages universities to provide a well-rounded curriculum as well as opportunities for students to expand their curriculum vitae (CV) and all round experience of university. This report recognises the activities and roles students take on during their time at University on top of their studies, the UK believes it is vital students partake in extracurricular activities and opportunities offered by their University and Student Union so you can have it listed in your report if you were an officer for a society, received a volunteering award, worked
for Brunel University, and more. The full list is available on the Brunel University website and it is still being updated with various opportunities students can gain recognition.
TO HOST COLOUR DASH DAY FOR CHARITY
of our actions and being proactive in our preparations for the future through collective management and resourcefulness.
One opportunity I would like to highlight is the Environmental Working Group, where you can gain a variety of experiences that will greatly enhance your CV. Organisation and management of Green Week and One World Week activities, reviewing and implementing policies, research, campaigning, hands on activities, auditing areas of campus, gardening, and more!
You can have your participation in the working group accredited as part of your HEAR diploma and record volunteering hours towards securing a volunteering award which will also be included in the HEAR. The group will provide you the opportunity to meet lots of people in the Union and the University to run these activities and campaigns, as well as to increase your network for opportunities and experiences.
The purpose of the group is to raise awareness of how broad the environment is as a subject area and how it applies to every aspect of our lives. The skills you will gain through working with the group this year will increase your employability through having a more ‘future-facing’ mindset, to think about the impact
If you would like to know more about joining the Environmental Working Group, please email me, Mehvish, at email@example.com or find me during Freshers Week, I’ll be around to answer any question that you may have about what the Working Group can offer you. Best of luck and welcome to Brunel!
Shakoofeh Shah Brunel University is hosting its first ever #ColourDash day on Friday 31st October for the Michael Sobell Hospice fund, set up to provide end of life care for families and carers. PHOTO CREDIT: GEOGRAPHY.COM
SELFIES AND THE BLACK-OUT CAMPAIGN Mehvish Maghribi Last term, during the weekend of F.A.C.E week in May, a group of students worked with the estates management to audit a few University buildings and were treated to a pizza party by the Union for their efforts. They learned how to audit the building, to measure how much energy can potentially be saved if people proactively turned off the lights and appliances not needed over the weekend. This is the idea behind the Blackout campaign run by the National Union of Students (NUS) providing students a chance to know the direct impact their actions can have on improving
energy usage on campus. This year the campaign will continue and your participation will not only include a pizza party to commend your efforts but accredited volunteering hours and membership in the Environmental Working Group for your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). If you want to hear more about the campaign and how to join the group, please find me at the Freshers Fayre at the Student Union stalls or send me an email at environmental. firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a facebook account too if you wish to contact me through there as well! On the other hand, to all of you who love taking selfies or secretly capturing that one selfie of yourself in front of a
cool background, we have the Snap it Off Campaign for you. It is another NUS campaign and encourages students to use their phones, tablets, and cameras to take a picture of any lights left on, especially during the day time or after working hours like in the weekend. Once you take the picture, all you will need to do is either text the photo to NUS at 07725 20 20 20 with your name, date and time when the photo was taken, and the place or upload it directly to their website with the same details at snapitoff.nus.org. uk. I am working with the Union to actively promote this campaign we will be checking the website regularly for any new photos were uploaded for Brunel University and highlight those photos regularly and publically to ensure the university responds to
the lighting issues as soon as possible. This campaign was made to provide students with the platform to raise their opinions on their university’s management of resources as the current predicament students face is having blame placed on them for the excess use electricity, heating, and water when the reality is we are one community, one campus, and we need to hold everyone accountable. In this way we can encourage everyone to put their best foot forward! So this year, go out there, whether during Freshers week or during the school year, if you see a light left on that is not meant to be left on during the day time or on the weekends, then take a selfie with it and send it to NUS. Each picture sent is a step closer to improving the University’s energy usage this year.
The event will take place at the Brunel University campus. Locals as well as students are encouraged to get involved. The 5km walk around the university campus requires those taking part to raise £50 sponsorship and special prizes will be awarded to
“Locals and students are encouraged to get involved.” those who have raised over £100 for the cause. The aim is to turn up in all white clothing and at each colour station participants will be showered with different colours. At the end of the event, music and refreshments will be available for those who took part. A £10 ‘early bird’ registration is available for Brunel students along with a white t-shirt, sunglasses and a bag of colour for the mass colour throw included in the package. Make sure you get involved in this exciting new event! For more information about the hospice and to register, visit: www. michaelsobellhospice.co.uk
CHARGE YOUR PHONE AND MUSCLES AT THE SAME TIME AT NEW GREEN GYM Kat Clementine Brunel opened a ‘Green Gym’ over the summer, with outdoor exercising equipment that will charge your phone for free. The gym, located on the Crank gardens, is part of the Union and University’s initiative towards reducing their carbon footprint.
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS
Equipment included at the gym is a treadmill, cross trainer and team rower, fitted with displays that show you how much wattage you’ve generated from your workout. Hannah Jones, Vice President Student
Activities, tried the gym for herself. She said: “It was fun and challenging as on most of the exercise stations you use your own body weight to workout.” She added, “I think it could enhance our relationship with the community as both students and community members use the gym and help each other out, creating a better rapport between the two.” Freshers! Tell us what you think: is the Green gym naff or needed? If you’re going to give it a go don’t forget to share the moment with Le Nurb and hashtag your selfies with #GreenGymWorkOut
22nd September - 26th September
Campaign aims Increasing awareness of potential dangers of alcohol and drugs. Increasing awareness of the Universityâ€™s Zero Tolerance campaign. Reducing crime on campus. Reducing incidents relating to alcohol, drugs and weapons on campus. Building relations with the local community by reducing antisocial behavior of students. Creating a safer environment on campus.
Whatâ€™s On Crashed vehicles How alcohol and drugs can put others in danger Simulated recovery Confidential advice from the Medical Centre Community police Hagam Rehabilitation service Campus security
NEED ADVICE? THE ARC IS HERE TO HELP! Joanna Smith Hello! We are the advice people; if you ever need us, we are here for you. The Advice and Representation Centre (the ARC) is a Student Union service for all Brunel University London students. We are staffed by professional, experienced advisers and accredited by Advice Services Alliance, AdviceUK and Money Advice Service. We are: •Free - you will never be charged for any of our services •Independent from the university- we are not an university department and this is why we can represent you and assist you without clash of interest
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS
•Non-judgemental - we will never nag, criticise, tell you off or think badly of you or your actions. We will try to understand; we are here to help. We
DEAR BRUNEL FRESHERS...
have seen thousands of students over the years with huge variety of issues, so it’s difficult to shock us! •Confidential - we will ask you or take instructions from you before contacting anyone else outside the ARC Team. We will keep all your documents safe. We will only speak to someone else without your permission if you are at serious risk. •Practical - we will offer you practical help. This is what we do best. We understand that you may sometimes share personal difficulties and we will listen carefully; sometimes we will tell you about other services which might be best for your other problems but we will never dismiss or ignore them.
Congratulations on successfully securing a place at Brunel University London! We hope you enjoy your time with us at Brunel. At Brunel, there is always something to do and get involved in. Make sure you are not missing out on the fun! Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know: Study, study, study and study some more... Packed with a wealth of resources ranging from books, journals and articles, the university library is open to students 24/7 for group and individual study. The library has three floors/zones: the Social Study, Quiet Study and Silent Study where you can carry out research, assignments and exam preparation. If you are working on an assignment task or are revising for an upcoming examination then the Silent Study would be the place for you. Craving something to eat? Look no further, the library has its own food and drink area which can be found on the ground floor. For more information on what the library has to offer, visit: www.brunel. ac.uk/services/library Need academic despair, just ASK.
As a final year English Literature
Get involved! University life is not just all about studying. It is about self development, becoming an all rounded individual and most importantly having fun! Drop into the Brunel Volunteers shop which is located on the main concourse to embark upon exciting volunteering opportunities!
Money matters. The Student Centre will be your first point of contact with regards to financial matters. Also, you will be allocated a personal adviser who will be able to help you with academic, financial or personal matters.
Meet new people, join societies and share your interests, beliefs, or skills. If you find that you are very passionate about something and there isn’t a society to promote it, find people who share the interest and make one! Brunel will prepare you for the working world by equipping you with a degree and with desirable transferable skills such as independence of thought and confidence.
Fresher’s Flu. Really?
We all gotta eat!
It does exist! The Urban Dictionary has defined Freshers’ Flu as: “An awful illness that prevents fresher’s [...] from attending lectures in the first term”. If you are suffering from headaches, tiredness and sickness as well as exhaustion, Guess what?! You’ve got Freshers’ Flu! If you feel that you need to visit a doctor then there is a medical centre on campus. To find out more information on how to register, the opening times as well as the services, simply visit: sites.brunel.ac.uk/medicalcentre
Feeling hungry? Guess what? All of the below are on campus! Make sure to check out: Social Kitchen. Yardbird. Subway. Costa. BeActive. Aspretto and Metrobite.
Lastly... Be sure to turn up to ALL your lectures and seminars, make the right choices when choosing modules, work hard and most importantly have fun and make every moment enjoyable! Wishing you all the very best of luck for your time at Brunel University London.
•Advice on basic consumer and employment rights and obligations We can also signpost you to the University or external service which would suit your needs better. You may never need our help - you student life may be smooth and happy (like Pharrell’s tune) but if you do need us, all you need to remember is: email@example.com or brunelstudents.com/advice
•Housing: looking for accommodation,
Have a brilliant Freshers’ Week!
MONEY DOCTORS It’s that time again where saving money becomes a hard thing to do.
student, I have needed academic advice on a regular basis for referencing and revising essays. Brunel has its own Academic Skills Service (ASK) which is located on the ground floor of the library. Get help by either attending workshops or by booking a 20 minute appointment with an ASK advisor for all your questions to be answered! The ASK team are always willing to help with any query you have! All you have to do is, ASK!
•University related queries: disciplinary hearings, appeals, mitigating circumstances, taking a break from studies, problems with placements and other aspects of your life as a student at Brunel University London
We can help with: •Financial issues, like budgeting sessions, problems with student funding, financial crisis, debt negotiations, benefits eligibility and other money-related queries
contract checking, moving in/out advice, problems with disrepairs, negotiations with landlords, nonreturned deposit and other housingrelated issues.
Whether you are a first year or postgrad student, fees and expenses all add up when you start to think about commuting to and from university, weekly shopping if you live in halls, paying rent on time – the list goes on.
Money Doctors is a University/ Student Union service aimed at supporting you in navigating financial challenges you may face and helping you to become confident with your personal finances. -We aim to support you in addressing money issues before you get into financial difficulties and though we are not prescriptive with our advice and guidance, we will give you the tools and techniques to make your own financial choices.
However, don’t be afraid when Whatever the level “Get the tools and times are tough! of Undergraduate techniques to make your Brunel offers great or Postgraduate own financial choices” services and advice study, or whether for all students so you are from the you are never alone. Money Doctors UK, Europe or Overseas, we can are a friendly team set up for the assist:. students to discuss financial issues and problems in private that a student -We are a friendly, accessible and may be facing throughout university. approachable team. -If you are experiencing financial I spoke to Ingrid Samuels, who is problems we can help you get your the Senior Advisor at the Advice finances back on track. and Representation Centre (ARC) at -We can show you ways to make Brunel and she said: your income stretch and decrease “Think about having 2 bank accounts - expenditure. one to deposit all your student loans/ -We can signpost to other possible bursaries and partsources of funding. time employment “Drop In sessions are offered -Your money income and once related questions throughout the year” you have worked can be answered at: out your priority moneydoctors@ expenditure (i.e. accommodation/ brunel.ac.uk. mobile phone contract/gadget -We offer 1-2-1 budgeting insurance/travel/utilities) then appointments at either the ARC or the transfer what is left as a weekly Student Centre. amount (preferably on a Monday) into -Drop In sessions are offered your 2nd account to use for shopping/ throughout the year. socialising.” -If you are experiencing significant or more complex financial issues we can Ingrid is also part of the team at Money refer you to expert advisers.. Doctors and she shared their advice on what Money Doctors is, how they For more information or help work with students to help them to with money matters contact: budget through university and to help firstname.lastname@example.org or visit students enjoy their experience of h t t p s : // i n t r a n e t . b r u n e l . a c . u k / learning and gaining independence: moneydoctors
12 UNION NEWS
MEET YOUR STUDENT OFFICERS! my second week I just went up to the union reception to say I wanted to talk to the student president and just got involved from then on. You just have to go for it. At the end of the day this is meant to be the best time of your life.” “Experience new things, meet new people! I would definitely encourage them to get involved in the union; because I think when it comes to their university experience they’re going to run into some problems here and there. The union is there to represent their needs and interests, but we can never do that effectively if we don’t know what the problems are.” What have you achieved so far as President? “Writing the accommodation proposal that we managed to pass through last year – the university were looking to increase the rent by 4%, but we managed to get them to reduce this by 2%. As well as this we got the university to give us half a million pounds - students will decide how to spend that money - on residences. For people living on campus next year that’s something they can really get involved with.”
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS
Arthe Kandeepan Elisabeth Mahase We had the opportunity to interview Brunel’s student officers who are more than just a smiling face on a poster! They represent the student community and are here to act on your needs. Read on to find out what they said… Martin Zaranyika – President Can you give us a breakdown of your aims and what you plan to bring to the University as the student president? “One of the benefits I have this year having been re-elected, so one of the main things I want to do this year is make sure the new team are off to a good start, so in terms of educating them and supporting them with everything that happens. When it comes to first year sabbatical officers they tend to react to things as they happen. Now that I know exactly how the year pans out... it’s preparing the team as a whole and also achieving the manifesto goals that I ran on.” “Some my goals this year include working with the university to give incentives to hard working students, with the academic scholarships;
working on the worthwhile issues such as emergency accommodation and also accessing the cost of living on campus. As time has gone on the cost of living has gone up, so I think we need a clearer picture of just how much a Brunel Student spends, in order for us to inform the University.” “As well as that, we are looking at doing a space audit with the Vice President Academic Representation (Marcus Stein). When you look at the usage of the library, especially at peak times – you can’t really get anywhere to sit so we are figuring out which academic buildings we can extend the opening times for so the students have the option of studying somewhere else.” “The university is going through a governor’s review as well, so by the time the new students come in September what we are trying to do is to ensure that the new proposal that we have - in terms of what the structure will look like – is in place for them to vote on. It’s going to be a massive change as this happens only once every five years.” Do you have any advice or thoughts for our new students? “Be confident. I know it’s very difficult but try things out. You never know how things will pan out. For me, in
“Last year Costcutter was a big thing – extending the opening hours. I think last year what I really wanted to do was sort out the issues that matter but don’t seem like a big deal. Getting elected onto a national committee was a good thing – getting Brunel’s name out there. We’ve actually gone up – for the third year running we are the top for student experience in London, and tenth nationally. It demonstrates some of the work we’ve been doing over the last year.” Is there a new project or event you are really excited about in this coming year? “I know Leon [VP Community Welfare] and Hannah [VP Student Activities] are going to be doing quite a lot to get clubs and societies involved within the local community. There’s always that perception of students being the drunken people where as at Brunel we try and change that perception. Going out into the community alongside clubs and societies – to really put us in a good light. With some of the projects this year, we are going to try and make sure we have two officers working together...creating a team ethos.” How can we contact you if we have any queries? “You can contact me with the details on the Freshers’ calendar. My email address is email@example.com. Some people know that out of all the past presidents, I’m the Facebook president, so you can contact me on there, too [search Brunel Su Pres]. I’m always posting and telling people what we’re doing.” If you could tell your ‘fresher’ self one thing what would it be? “Don’t be shy! I know some people may be shy but I just say go for it!
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS Leon Evans - Vice President Community Welfare To all the Freshers starting this year, can you explain your role within the University? “As Vice President of community welfare I deal with issues relating to social policy. I can provide students with advice and can deal with more serious matters like homesickness, finance worries and anything else within our student community. I am also here to ensure that students are not only studying for a degree but also developing life skills through their university experience.” Can you give us a breakdown of your aims and what you plan to bring to the University as Community Welfare Vice President? “I want to ensure that students gain real life experiences. My main policies this year is the Brunel cooking workshop called ‘Let’s Cook’. This is designed teach students how to cook food from all around the world. Cooking is a real passion of mine, in first year I enjoyed cooking with others and getting tips and sharing ideas, and so this will be one of my main campaigns this year.” “Quality of living and the decline of standards alongside rising accommodation prices is a major issue that we aim to tackle. In terms of accommodation the university have given us half a million pounds for student refurbishment and so I am working on putting together hall committees by getting students from each of the halls to see what main things are needed for each hall and what needs the most attention in order to bring them up to a basic quality of standard.” “This could include things like locks, ventilation etc. And also general things like installing water fountains and bike sheds on campus. More bike racks have been installed already. We are also looking to bring more social space for our students. One example would be to provide a place for student parents to bring their children, to breastfeed, and look after them. Another aim is to run a Community Action Week where we get all clubs and societies to go into the local community to share their expertise and skills, which would be a higher education award and would go towards your university transcript.” Do you have any advice or thoughts
for Brunel students starting their first year of university? “Make sure you enjoy it. First year is the time to meet your friends for life. Get out as much as possible and join as many clubs and societies as you can. Don’t forget about your degree completely, but remember that no other year will be as free and open as your first year to try new things! The emphasis on first year is about getting involved and immersing yourself within the student community.” What have you achieved so far as VPCW? “We have had the bike racks installed which will be accessible outside the Hamilton Centre. We are running a ‘SSHH bus’ which stands for ‘silent students happy homes’ which will pick students up from Liquid and Academy and take you home and will be running from September. We have set out the weeks for Green Week and Community Action Week as well, so we have clear timelines to work towards than we have done in the past. We will have set up hall committee teams for the new term, you can find out how to get involved by looking on brunelstudents.com.” “We will also be having an officer ‘Come Dine With Me’! So stay tuned for that!” What changes can you see happening in the coming academic year? “We are hoping to see a move to online coursework submissions, so that coursework can be submitted from anywhere. More direct representation for students, such as mature students, part time students, off campus and students who are parents. And more face-to-face engagement with student officers rather than just being a face on the wall.” How can we contact you if we have any queries? “I am on Facebook under Brunel Vpcommunity Welfare, or you can find me on Twitter @UBSVPCW and my email is vp.communitywelfare@ brunel.ac.uk.” If you could tell your ‘fresher’ self one thing what would it be? “There are lots of things I would tell myself! But …one would be, know your limits! An ambiguous answer, but still important whether it is in terms of work load, involvement or how much you drink!”
UNION NEWS Hannah Jones- Vice President Student Activities To all the Freshers starting this year, can you explain your role within the university? “My name is Hannah and I am the Vice President of Student Activities which basically means that I represent students from sports, societies and those involved in RAG which stands for ‘Raise and Give’. Every year we elect 4 charities that we raise money for through exciting events. We have about 50 sports clubs and 104 societies so there is a lot of extracurricular activity for freshers to get involved in. As vice president, I act mainly as a voice for students and lead on campaigns and issues that affect students at Brunel to enhance their student experience at university and increase their employability by offering them opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities, such as being a member of a society or being involved in the student led media group. Can you give us a breakdown of your aims and what you plan to bring to the University as student activities vice president? PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS Marcus Stein - Vice President Academic Representation To all the Freshers starting this year, can you explain your role within the university? “I’m here to represent the academic needs of the student body when talking to members of University staff, and to ensure that your voices are heard on major academic and employability issues.” Can you give us a breakdown of your aims and what you plan to bring to the University as Vice President Academic Representation? “One of my aims is to address the effectiveness of our reps; I want to break down the social barriers between students and their reps by making reps easier to identify, and by increasing their involvement in academic societies’ events, as these represent key opportunities to engage with students. I’m also looking at ways to improve the training and support we provide our reps, and would like to increase the extent to which we recognise and reward their hard work.” “Another one of my aims is to increase support and awareness for academic societies; I think that they’re a useful resource for gauging how students feel about their course, and identifying areas that need improvement. I also believe that they can be used to create a greater sense of community when it comes to academia, by encouraging peer-based learning and getting more students to think of their lecturers as partners in their learning.” “Space is also quite an issue for students, particularly during exams; I’m looking to assess how study space is used throughout the university, and to subsequently promote their existence to students, because a lot
of the time you find these spaces are underused whilst the library is packed!” “I also want to expand on the work of our previous VPAR, and ensure that the academic support provided for dissertations is made accessible to all final year students, including those with earlier deadlines. As a former biosciences student with a dissertation deadline in January, I can’t describe how valuable this support would have been in term 1!” “I’m also aiming to make online submission and assessment prevalent this year; I’ve already made significant progress with this over the past couple of months as part of a working group.” “I also want to increase our library resources, with a particular focus on electronic copies of textbooks, so that students can find the information they need more readily.” Do you have any academic advice or thoughts for our new students? •Join academic societies, especially those relevant to your course - they’re a great way to meet students on your course who can help you out if you get stuck! •Get to know your lecturers! A lot of them are very friendly and keen to help you learn and succeed. •Find out who your course reps are! -Same goes for your personal tutor; if you encounter any problems with your module, course, or department, they’re your first point of contact! Reps are also there to push for positive changes that will improve life at Brunel. Think you have what it takes to be a rep? Visit brunelstudents. com/reps to find out more! (Hurry, nominations close October 3rd!)
What changes can you see happening in the coming academic year? “I’m anticipating a lot of changes behind-the-scenes that will benefit Brunel’s students, but will go largely unnoticed by them! One example of this includes a lot more sharing of good academic and administrative (appeals, mitigating circumstances etc.) practice between departments as a result of the University’s Transformational Change Project (TxP).” Is there a new project or event you are really excited about in this coming year? “Well I’m really intrigued by Leon’s Cook Shop project. I’m excited to see how that develops over the coming year because it’s something completely new; it’s never been done before (to my knowledge!) and I think it has the potential to really push healthy, affordable eating at Brunel.”
“I was elected this year on a set of manifesto points and I plan to see them all through! In terms of sport, we are looking at making it easier to run clubs by providing more support structures and training whilst reducing the amount of paperwork clubs have to go through in order to run. Also to provide clubs with priority booking over external bookings for training times which is important when we want to improve our performance and provide proper training.” “Secondly I am looking to establish links within the community and other local sports clubs to form a pathway to increase participation and give opportunities for coaching, facility assistance and membership. I’m having meetings to discuss improving the criteria for both sports performance programme and sports scholarships and making it accessible to our students.” “We are also working to put together an intramural programme to allow individuals who want to play sport recreationally and socially. Students won’t have to commit to a club and
past. When we raise money for each charity we never see what happens so we would like to make sure we see the changes that happen with the money we raise. Kate Taylor [RAG Chair] would like to see academic and skills related RAG events going on during the year and not just sports events, an example would be things like fashion shows. We would like RAG to have a continuous presence all year round to raise money for charities that we choose as a union!” “We are putting together a support structure for academic societies and how we can integrate them into the student rep structure. This is so that we get more of the student voice into the courses and how they are run and we plan to trial this through a select number of societies. A big feature on the Societies Guild Chair’s [Ali Milani] manifesto is getting funding for all societies. We have a number of free societies and then those that have membership and we are looking at how we can support all societies financially. Another major issue about societies is the limited amount of storage space they have which we intend to improve by doing a storage audit to see how spaces can be used better to benefit societies.” What changes can you see happening in the coming academic year? “The main change is that the University is changing from 8 schools to 3 colleges. All of the structures of the schools are therefore going to change and we as a union have had to accommodate these changes and will be changing our governance to fit in with this new structure. Each of the vice presidents will be representing each college throughout the year. As an officer team we want to be more transparent and have open office hours for students.” If you could tell your ‘fresher’ self one thing what would it be? “As a fresher I was very keen and always got involved. In first year I volunteered, became a student rep and was part of the hockey committee. I’d say to myself; spend my money wisely and budget, make friends and HAVE FUN!” How can we contact you if we have any queries?
How can we contact you if we have any queries? “You can reach me between 9am5pm on 01895 267603, or via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to help with any queries you may have, but if your query is course-related then try speaking to your reps or personal tutors first; if they do their job properly, you won’t need to contact me!” If you could tell your ‘fresher’ self one thing what would it be? “Be brave and try more things. You will never have more chances to try new things and meet new people than you do in your first year of University! And as you progress through University you’ll have increasingly less free time (and sleep!), so make the most of it!”
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS can turn up with their friends and play some sport and have fun. We aim to trial this programme with a selection of sports.” “I want to see more sports and societies raising money for RAG. We want to support our local charities this year more than we have done in the
“I am on Facebook – VP Student Activities (Hannah Jones), or you can find me on Twitter @UBSVPSA, my email is VP.Activities@brunel.ac.uk and my office phone number is 01895266622.” “Also look out for a blue t-shirt and blonde hair during freshers’ week!”
PHOTO CREDIT: ROWAN FREWIN
IT’S TIME TO RECLAIM STUDENT ACTIVISM Ali Milani Students were once feared by the world. Political and social activism on university campuses successfully ceased government support for apartheid, ended wars, toppled dictators and established democracies. Simply put, we used to wield the power to change the world. Those days, however, are long behind us. The days in which we were looked towards to lead the moral and ethical charge are now unfortunately but a fleeting memory. On arrival to university, I began vigorously searching for opportunities to involve myself in political and social movements. I had heard stories of student activism and wanted
desperately to make a difference. I believed the days in which you were ridiculed for your desire to change the world were over, for I was finally going to be surrounded by people just as passionate and with just as much drive. We were going to be the catalyst for change. I very quickly discovered myself to be in a minority. As I familiarised myself with university, I began to discover the picture I had painted for myself of university was vastly different to those of the majority of students. For most, University was now but a step ladder to a good job and a better life. I discussed on many occasions the reasoning behind why my flatmates had decided to attend university. The most consistent answer was that the rising social culture within
university had drawn them in. The social experience had superseded intellectual growth. The increase in fees has undeniably been an important factor. We were the first to be charged 9,000 pounds for an education, and we were encouraged to make the most of it. University has successfully been converted into a business. The increase in fees has not only benefited the political elite financially, it has crushed what has historically been a thorn in their side - student activism. Most troubling to me is that many do not know why they are here. Political apathy on campuses has become an epidemic. The student has become the consumer. If I may borrow a statement from Liam Deacon, ‘It’s an infuriating paradox, but intellectual institutions
are now infected by an aggressively anti-intellectual culture.’ This culture is very real and should be very troubling to all. Increasingly, university is becoming less about intellectual and academic growth and more about the “social experience.” This has had a frighteningly negative impact on our society. Students have historically fought for the rights of women, minorities and democracy; and campuses have been the moral and ethical compass of the country. We have allowed ourselves, whether through manipulation or pure laziness, to become passive, obedient and apathetic, and consequently, our rights and the rights of those we have stood side by side with has been trampled by the political elite. Education has become more a system of discipline and domination, and a
preventative measure of what it was: an amalgamation of free thought, initiative and activism. However, there have been continuous glimmers of hope in recent years. Occasionally, we see a flittering heartbeat of what used to be; political and social activism on university campuses. The student protests of 2010, the support of the occupy movement and the wave of support for BDS being significant examples. We must strive to return to the days in which we were looked to for societal progress. We must reclaim our idealism, regain our activism and rediscover our purpose. I was once described as “naïve enough to think I make a difference”; but I suggest we all become brazen enough to demand different.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF BRUNEL Kirsty Capes If you’re new to Brunel this year, there are a few pieces of information that are essential to your survival. Think of them as the Ten Commandments of Brunel, because at some point in your three (or four, or five) years here you’re going to end up experiencing one of these ten points. Listen and learn! LOCO’S AND ACADEMY DON’T TAKE CARD. If you offer your debit card to a bartender in Loco’s or Academy you will be met with a thinly veiled look of exasperation. Freshers get let off because they’re new, but it’s even more frustrating when a second or third year gets huffy because Loco’s won’t take your card. “But they accepted card last year!” No. They never accepted card, ever. Can you imagine the carnage on a Global when the queue is five-deep and there are only two card readers, each taking a minute or more to process a transaction? Total nightmare. On a separate note, your bartender will be a LOT nicer to you if you do not a) wave money at them, b) shout their name or c) push in. UPDATE: LOCO’S NOW ACCEPTS CARDS ON TRANSACTIONS OVER £5 PURCHASING FOOD AND BEVERAGES IN THE SAME ORDER. TAKE A PICTURE WITH ISAMBARD Whether you want to or not, at some point in your time at Brunel you will have to take a picture with good ol’ Kingdom, the statue of our University’s namesake on the concourse. Isambard has seen things on that concourse that would
make your armpit hair fall out so he deserves the proper respect and reverence, which equates to getting a selfie with him on the way back from Loco’s on a Tuesday night. The sculpture is by Antony Stones and was unveiled in 2006 by Brunel’s great-great-granddaughter. THERE ARE OTHER SUPERMARKETS IN UXBRIDGE While Costcutter is great if you’re in dire need of a toothbrush, sellotape or share-size packet of cheesy Doritos between lectures, it is not a good place to do your weekly shop. Despite the name, Costcutter doesn’t actually really cut costs, as found in a Le Nurb investigation last year (Cost-splutter! Amirite?). Alternatives include Tesco, Sainsbury’s and if you’re REALLY on a budget, Lidl. A lot of these larger chains do home delivery too, so you can save money AND you don’t even have to turn off Netflix. GET AN NUS CARD So you’ve seen the perfect dress/ jacket/jumpsuit/shoes at your favourite retailer in The Chimes. It’s 40 quid but hey – you’ve got your Brunel ID card. You get student discount, right? Wrong. Unfortunately Brunel ID cards don’t have expiry dates on them, and a lot of the places in Uxbridge won’t accept them due to this fact. With so many Brunel students in the area, it’s impossible to tell who’s a current student and who’s alumni. Do yourself a favour and invest in an NUS card, it’s only a tenner and some of the money goes back into the student union, which means more money for clubs, societies and nightlife! You can buy an NUS card from the Student Activities Reception on the concourse.
NOBODY LIKES A SIMMIE You may or may not have heard about Brunel’s ongoing and fearsome rivalry with St. Mary’s University – who only recently got rid of the word “College” from their name (LOL). Every year Brunel sports teams go head to head with Simmie sports teams in the West London Varsity, held every March. The event has been held annually for the past six years and last year for the first time St. Mary’s beat Brunel and claimed the trophy. As you can imagine, Brunel Sport is not best pleased about this and this year Varsity is being hosted at Brunel. It is of DIRE importance that Brunel reclaims the trophy AND humiliates St. Mary’s horribly in the process. If you’ve got a boyfriend/ girlfriend/sibling/friend currently attending St. Mary’s, be prepared to disown them. Bru-what?! DOMINO’S DOES FREE PIZZA (SOMETIMES) You may have been walking round through Fresher’s Week wondering why everyone is holding empty, flat-packed Domino’s pizza boxes. Word to the wise – GRAB AS MANY OF THOSE PIZZA BOXES AS YOU CAN NOW. Those boxes aren’t just regular Domino’s boxes. Those, my friend, are boxes that entitle you to a FREE PIZZA if you take them to the Uxbridge Domino’s. It doesn’t matter how much of a berk you look carrying around empty pizza boxes. Free pizza is worth looking like you’ve been raiding bins. The promotion only happens once a year though, so enjoy living off Mighty Meaty with a barbecue base for a month and then surviving on tea and noodles for the rest of the year until the next Fresher’s rolls around.
THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH SUBWAY This is another food-related point, but guess what, I’m a student. I like food. So sue me. When the Union of Brunel Students built the Subway outlet on the concourse a couple of years ago, everyone was pretty excited. On the opening day the queue stretched down the concourse and they’d run out of bread by lunchtime. People got so excited that they began eating Subway for breakfast lunch and dinner. This one time I ate so much Subway that I actually started sweating marinara juice (I made that up). You may not think it’s possible, but there IS such a thing as too much Subway. Especially when it is thirty seconds’ walk from your home, your place of study and sometimes your workplace as well. When you feel like someone’s standing on your stomach and trying to stomp it out of your body by way of your nether regions – that’s when you know you’ve had too much Subway. BRUNEL WI-FI IS A BIT PANTS If you’ve moved into halls already you will probably know this. For some reason Brunel Wi-Fi is like your little sister having a tantrum and refusing to come out from under the table. Imagine the table is the internet and the rest of the room is your computer. This is an accurate representation of how much Brunel Wi-fi hates you. In the first few weeks of term be prepared to stand in a VERY long queue for computer support. In other news, if you want to play MMOs or most online games using the Brunel Wi-fi you need to get special permissions granted by someone in computer support (although playing games through Steam seems to work fine). On the
plus side, though, as a Brunel student you’re automatically entitled to free anti-virus, which you can get once you’ve registered your device on the network. THE LIBRARY IS YOUR BEST FRIEND The library lives in the Bannerman Centre next to Costa, and it will save your life at least twelve times throughout your university career. It’s open 24/7 – even on Sundays – so if you wake up at 2am Monday morning remembering that essay you got set two weeks ago is due in six hours, no worries! The library will welcome you with open arms, coffee, vending machine snacks and artificial lighting so bright that it’s guaranteed to keep you awake AND looking like a homeless person. Super-duper! In all seriousness, though, the Brunel Library is a fantastic facility for books, online journals, printing and academic support. So go and introduce yourself early. You two are going to be bezzie mates by the end of third year. GET INVOLVED WITH THE UNION I may be a tad biased as the Union Media Chair, but YOLOSWAG. Getting involved with the Union, whether it’s through a job, volunteering, fundraising or joining a club or society, is the best and most fulfilling thing you can do with your spare time at Brunel. If you want to know more about what the Union can offer you, you can pop in to the Student Activities Reception on the concourse, get in touch with one of the Student Officers, or chat to anyone on campus wearing Union stash (blue shirt with “UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS” written on it).
RAISE AND GIVE Mehdi Punjwani Are you craving something more from your time at university besides academic studies and alcohol? Perhaps something that also raises money for charity and gives you a sense of fulfilment? The Union of Brunel Students’ RAG is just what you’re looking for! RAG stands for Raise and Give, and is the chief organizer of every aspect of charity work carried out by the Union of Brunel Students. Aided by volunteers, the Union works with societies and sports clubs in Brunel to organize events, coordinate fundraisers and, most importantly, have an excellent time in the name of charity.
PHOTO CREDIT: UNION OF BRUNEL STUDENTS
In previous years, RAG has worked with many charitable organizations. These are voted from a long list of local, national and international
groups that are nominated by the students themselves, ensuring a diverse range of charities that provide aid to causes close to everyone’s hearts. Last year, the charities nominated for RAG were Marie Curie Cancer Care, Mind, Breast Cancer Campaign and UK Youth. The events RAG held in the past have also been diverse. We have had events such as Brunel’s homage to TV shows Take Me Out, and Britain’s Got Talent, entitled Brunel’s Got Talent. We have also had some events suited to bolder students, like the Bungee Jump, Towel Run, and even Naked Calendars. RAG has also organized moneyraising nights out, such as Pink Night for breast cancer, and Casino Night. Aside from big events such as these, there have also been smaller, more low-key proceedings, such as the infamous coin line. These have all proven to be quite successful; just last year, RAG was set to raise over
one hundred thousand pounds, for over thirty individual charitable organizations. This year, there are a number of events being planned, all designed to involve students in RAG whilst letting them have fun and raise money for a number of charities. After Freshers’ Week, nominations for charities will be open to students, who can make them by visiting the RAG section on the Union of Brunel Students’ website. In addition to the events, there will be a focus on local charities around Uxbridge to enable a more hands-on approach. Freshers can get involved in volunteering and RAG in a variety of ways. Kate Taylor, the RAG Chair for the Union of Brunel Students, and Sonia Bhangu, the Volunteers Chair, are both available for contact by email or you can simply come along to upcoming RAG events if you want to get involved. You won’t regret it!
FAITH & SEXUALITY Eleanor Woolcott Often when people think about homosexuality and religion, they see the exclusion of the LGBT community. Although this is not always the case, we do see it across the world - most notably perhaps in places such as Russia and America – but also within British society, despite the recent legalisation of gay marriage. However, as society moves forward in its acceptance of LGBT individuals, hopefully this acceptance will also spread to the Church – the way it has in the past with other ‘ostracised’ groups, such as the Gentiles in the Biblical Book of Acts.
PHOTO CREDIT: RYAN O’DONOVAN
COLUMN: HI, MY NAME IS... Ryan O’Donovan Welcome to Hell, eager faced Freshers. No wait, that doesn’t sound quite right. Let me try again. Welcome to Brunel eager faced Freshers! That’s better. May I firstly congratulate those who of you who chose Brunel and managed to get the grades to come to this fine establishment. Well done. Pat yourself on the back, hug your friends and, of course, get monumentally smashed. At this point, I would probably be correct in assuming that your thoughts are “who the f**k is this guy?” and in all honesty, I would be thinking the exact same thing. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ryan (as you probably guessed from the by-line, gold star for you) and I’m a third year Journalism student. Convenient, isn’t it? #IKR #LOLOLOL. I also happen to be one of the deputy editors for Le Nurb. I say ‘one of’ because there are in fact two of us. Our glorious leader Kirsty, Le Nurb Chief Editor and Lord of the Brunel Media Empire (she honestly does everything and is bloody good at it) couldn’t decide on who had won the four day lightsaber duel that was used for the selection process. Apply to be part of Le Nurb next year and find out yourself if you think that I’m lying! I would tell you about my likes and dislikes but you will find that out yourself throughout the year by reading this column (spoiler: there
are far more dislikes than there are likes). Also, because listing them would be more boring than reading Nick Clegg’s diary. Which, if you did, would enlighten you about how he pees his pants in the Commons whenever David Cameron looks deep into his eyes and penetrates his soul, drowning all the happiness from him like a Dementor before using an Etonian mind trick to make him obey his every whim. Which coincidently explains your tuition fees! Honestly, it’s true… …In my alternate and therefore much, much, much better model of the world. That said, I’m going to use this column as an opportunity to invite you into that world. A world where the cast of TOWIE are in a zoo, Jeremy Clarkson is Prime Minister and One Direction are five slightly overweight and balding estate agents. Hopefully it’ll go a bit smoother than the operation on Tulisa’s lips, but I very much doubt it. The fact is, I’m a miserable bastard and I moan about a lot of things. Even my dog has gotten fed up of me ranting about the world so I’ve decided that Le Nurb is the place for a hero like me. As a famous actor once said, “I am the hero the Le Nurb deserves, but not one it needs,” or something like that. It’s probably not true either, but Gotham never really needed a rich man knocking about in a cape pretending to fight the injustices of the world in all honesty. But Batman valiantly carried on, causing untold chaos and damage and so will I.
Hopefully when the year really gets a move on I’ll have an abundance of things to moan about, from the keen people on the pool tables in Locos watching over you like Big Brother while you finish your game, to the people later on in the year that ask you about 5,489,595,484 times if you’ve done your student finance. I’m sure that you’ll love Brunel as much as I do, but, like your long term partner, you will sometimes find yourself hoping the Sarlacc that ate Boba Fett in Star Wars opens the ground and swallows the place whole. Especially when your lecturers are on at you about doing that meaningless presentation with the people you despise on your course for a module that doesn’t even count towards your degree.
Many individuals, whether religious or not, know how the Bible ‘condemns’ homosexuality. With passages suggesting that it is an “abomination” to be gay (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), it seems to make sense why Christianity appears intolerant of homosexuality. However, while any Christian would argue that the laws found in Leviticus should not be disregarded, it is suggested more than once later in the Bible (Galatians 2:15-16, Philippians 3:9-10) that faith actually comes from belief in Jesus rather than militantly observing such strict teachings. This is a reminder that cultural and historical context is vital in understanding what the Bible and other religious texts mean in regards to how LGBT individuals should be treated by some (though certainly not all) sectors of religion. Modern day antagonism towards homosexuals just shows the disastrous results that can come from taking The Bible too literally. The New Testament verses also establish that Jesus Christ should be the centre of the Christian faith and, overall, homosexuality was a subject never broached by Jesus himself.
Be on the lookout for keenos trying to kidnap you into one of their societies. You’ll be a quivering heap within minutes. Which is always considered a success during Fresher’s, right? So enjoy the week, make friends and get involved in anything you can (that’s legal). Like Ken Livingstone’s political career, being a Fresher will never happen again. If you have something that you need to moan about, then let me know. Find me at @R_O_Donovan or E-mail email@example.com with the subject as ‘Things That Irritate Me’ and I’ll include you in the next issue, if I like you .Or I might just nick your idea. Who knows?! PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
Therefore, instead of focusing on what Jesus did not talk about, perhaps the focus should actually be on what he did preach – Love. Love is one of the most commonly used words in the Bible, and is arguably one of the most important according to Scripture. In Matthew 22: 36-40 Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is, to which he responds with “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second reinforces this; ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’”. This message of love is repeated throughout the Bible, with emphasis on how God loves everyone equally and unconditionally; which is the attitude that many more churches are starting to take towards homosexuality. Even if homosexuality can be considered a sin, the message ‘God hates Gays’ sent by extremists at anti-LGBT protests is cruel, unnecessary and untrue according to the Bible. So, as we move into an age where homosexuality is far more accepted in society overall, we hope that the Church and other religious groups will show the same acceptance of the LGBT community. There are a number of stories which have cropped up in recent years suggesting that this is becoming the case; Christian music star Vicky Beeching coming out to national newspapers and the work of Reverend Elaine Sundby, author of Calling the Rainbow Nation Home and founder of the website www.gaychurch.com. They both reach out to people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality and religious beliefs, or those who are interested in learning more. In light of these and many other recent endeavours, we hope that soon the cross and the rainbow flag will be seen together in unity, rather than discord.
20 FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
PHOTO CREDIT: COLOURBOX.COM
FRESHER SURVIVAL: LIVING IN HALLS Erica Wilson Aidan Milan Whether you’re outgoing or not, uni life means getting involved with at least a small part of the community. And that community now includes your uni halls. You have to share a kitchen, and sometimes a bathroom as well, so you’re going to have to learn to share your space. But don’t worry; all it takes is a little sensitivity and common sense! It’s always at least a little awkward the first time you meet your flatmates, but the best thing to do is to not shut yourself away in your room as soon as you arrive, no matter how much you might want some alone time. Because
it almost goes without saying that down and you could end up in trouble. the first impression you make will be stupidly important. Hang out in the Actually, on that note, if your kitchen or communal area; people will flatmates are having a super cool gravitate there soon, and then you can party which you haven’t been invited start to get to know each other. If you to (the b*stards) which is keeping you really want to be in your room, at least awake or interfering with your studies, leave the door or just being noisy open, that way “Not sure if it’s yours? Don’t and disruptive people can feel eat it, ask your flatmate. Or in general, welcome to come you should try in and introduce leave a note on the fridge if a p p r o a c h i n g you don’t want to talk” themselves. them first and politely ask Once you’ve all gotten to know each them to quieten down. Of course, other there are really only three if this doesn’t work or if they behave simple rules to getting along with your threateningly towards you, you should flatmates; be tidy, be courteous, and call security, who are available 24/7 don’t have crazy parties every night on +44 (0)1895 255786 to come and because no one appreciates that, and shut that sh*t down. campus security will shut that sh*t
If you’re new to living communally with strangers, sharing space can often be intimidating, but it’s simple really: stick to your assigned cupboards, don’t take up all the space in the fridge with watermelons and giant cabbages, and DON’T EAT OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD. Not sure if it’s yours? Don’t eat it, ask your flatmates. Or leave a note on the fridge if you don’t want to talk to them. Eating a poor student’s pot noodle is the fastest most guaranteed way of securing enemies in your hall and making the rest of your year a silent, nobody-wants-to-talk-aboutit-but-everyone-knows hell. If you have any problems with your room communal areas, such as a power outage or a broken oven, you should call the Accommodation Office for your specific hall, or visit
their reception in person. It simply requires you to submit a report and someone will be sent out to fix the problem, usually very soon after. Yes, living with strangers is scary, but as long as you are constantly aware that you space is shared and remember to be courteous you’ll be able to get along with mostly everyone, and even make some good friends – remember, you need people to live with in second year, and making friends with flatmates is the best way to secure this. Don’t be the d*ckhead who is a pain to live with, because come second year you’ll struggle to find anyone willing to live with you while all your flatmates get a nice, swanky house without you. And you’ll be super hella sads.
FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
BEING AN OFF-CAMPUS FRESHER Kirsty Capes When I realised that I would be going to Brunel, I was massively disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Brunel now, but as a college student I screwed up my AS Levels and as a result got rejected from my top two choices. My utter ambivalence towards University meant that I didn’t bother checking the campus out beforehand, buying tickets to any fresher events, or even looking at my modules. Living in South London meant that I had made the decision to commute to uni and save money rather than move into halls. In the summer before my first year, I resented the fact that I was going to Brunel, because I thought that I wouldn’t get the “uni experience” that my older on-campus friends had told me about. During Freshers’ Week, the off campus contacts were fantastic and worked really hard to integrate us off campus lot into the fresher festivities. There were complimentary services like a night bus and some of them even offered to let us crash in their houses if our own homes were too far away after a night out. Feeling uncomfortable and slightly isolated, I didn’t bother with the nightlife events and only went to a couple of the daytime Freshers events. My Freshers’ Week pretty much set the tone for the whole of my first year at Brunel. Then, in second year, I became involved in Brunel Drama Society. I was encouraged to come along after someone on my course told me that they were looking for scripts to perform. As a writer this seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up and I came along to my first workshop. There, I realised that a number of people from my course were regular members. I’d never bothered to talk
to these people before because I’d always just turned up to lectures and gone straight home. My first ever visit to Drama Soc was probably the first time I’d socialised with people at uni properly since my Freshers’ Week. I was such a loner! The people at Drama Soc, especially the committee members, made me feel extremely welcome and I slotted right into the group. I began going out for a drink with the other Drama Soc members after a session. Then, I managed to get a job at Loco’s and Academy as a bar staff member. This, alongside Drama Soc opened me up to a whole new group of people who I’d never bothered socialising with before because I was so nervous about approaching people. What I didn’t realise is that uni is ALL ABOUT approaching new people and putting yourself out there. Everyone’s in the same boat, after all. Working in Loco’s helped me become more confident and through Drama Soc I made some friends for life. Throughout my second year, I became more involved in the Union of Brunel Students, joining Poetry Soc and having a go at kayaking. I discovered a serious passion for some of the issues students were facing and this led me to run for Editor of Le Nurb at the beginning of my third year. Everything I enjoy about uni I owe to the Union of Brunel Students, who work hard to support societies and clubs, and without whom there wouldn’t be a Le Nurb or Student Media. I sincerely regret that I wasted a whole year of uni being isolated and refusing to get out of my comfort zone and socialise with new people. My second and third year were fantastic because I took advantage of the vast range of student activities on offer and dabbled in student politics, which led me to my favourite thing at Brunel, Le Nurb. Taking part in these “extra curriculars” meant that I had a
reason to stay on campus after my lecture or seminar finished, and as a consequence I ended up becoming much more integrated into the Brunel community. I enjoyed it so much that I even decided to stay on and do a Master’s degree, which means you’re all stuck with me for another year! If I could give one piece of advice to off campus Freshers, it would be to not make the same mistakes I did. I know it can be hard when everyone forms groups with their flatmates, something which you can’t be a part of. But no matter how uncomfortable or unnatural it feels it is important to put yourself out there and try as many new things as possible. I was terrified turning up to my first Drama Soc session all on my lonesome, but then I realised that people are nice! They’re not going to shun you or make you feel uncomfortable – more likely they’ll go out of their way to make you feel at home. Don’t be worried about turning up to a society or club on your own, because you’re probably going to be leaving at the end of the night with new friends. I’ve also noticed that there are some unexpected perks about living at home during uni. I can honestly say that living at home has had a direct effect on how good my grades have been. If I had moved out, there’s no way I would have managed a first in my undergraduate degree. Also, after seeing some of my friends’ student houses, I’ve become extremely grateful of some of the little things my parents do. Like how there is always loo roll and hand soap in the toilet, and if I want dinner I can ask my mum to leave it in the microwave for when I get home. And there isn’t black mould growing anywhere in my bedroom. And how I’m not paying £400 a month in rent. To be honest, with the right attitude, living off campus actually gives you the best of both worlds.
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
BEING AN INTERNATIONAL FRESHER Yasmin Simsek Your first year at university is scary enough as it is, but it’s much harder if you have uprooted everything and come to a foreign country for it. If you haven’t just moved city; if you’ve travelled across the sea to this weird country they call England. Luckily for you, Brunel is one of the most international universities in London, so hundreds and hundreds of people are in the exact same position as you are right now. If you start to feel homesick, don’t worry, because there are plenty of things that can ease the transition: 1. Bring a piece of home to uni. It could be food, pictures or a certain mug or plant that reminds you of home. It will make the transition easier.
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
2. Join societies! Brunel has tons of societies and if they don’t have one for you, just start one. There are societies for almost every country and religion,
which is a great way to meet people you have stuff in common with and can talk about home with. 3. Work on your language. If you are not used to speaking English, it might seem like the easy solution to befriend people from your own country. But British people are some of the nicest people in the world and it would be a shame not to make their acquaintance. Practise makes perfect, so get practising that English language. 4. Go home in reading weeks. If your home country isn’t too far away, going home in reading week, at least the first one, is an opportunity for you to see home again for a couple of days and obviously bring your studies with you. 5. Use the contacts. As you will notice, there are people called contacts walking around campus and they are here to help you. Some of them are even specialised in helping international Freshers, so don’t be afraid to ask.
6. Befriend your personal tutor. Depending on your course, you may be bonded with a personal tutor, a teacher you can contact for help with anything really. If you befriend this person, she/he can be the one to help you through any problems, academic or not. 7. FaceTime/Skype is your friend! No matter how much you fear or are excited about uni life at Brunel, you are going to have an amazing time; it’s only a question of adjusting to a new life and it will come in time. For me, the first month was the hardest, but it helped with a visit from my mom. But what helped the most was the amazing friendships that you make in days, because everyone is equally desperate to meet new people, so you become a lot more open-minded in the first couple of weeks. The most important thing to know is that Brunel is a place for everyone and that soon enough you never want to leave!
22 FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
ALTERNATIVE FRESHERS Inah Dela Cruz Enrolment Week, or more commonly referred to as Fresher’s Week, is an exciting time of change for new students starting at Brunel. Newcomers are treated to thrilling activities such as library induction sessions, registering with the Medical Centre, and – wait for it – attending exhilarating departmental welcome events! However, despite these obviously amazing opportunities, we all know that soon-to-be first years view Enrolment Week as something completely different. Fresher’s Week is widely painted as a week-long party that every university throws for first year students. Prior to moving to Brunel, Politics student Amika Gandhi envisioned Fresher’s Week as a time to meet new friends and “make the most of partying hard.” This notion is definitely not incorrect because as soon as the dreaded A Level results day comes along, Facebook and other social media sites are instantly plastered with invitations
for Fresher’s Events that range from campus events, parties held in local clubs and even coach raves. Monica Deol, an English student, says that she made sure she attended a range of different events, such as coach parties in the evenings and oncampus activities such as barbeques on the quad and karaoke nights in order to make the most out of Fresher’ Week. She said that clubbing was a fundamental part of her Freshers Experience because it gave her and her flatmates a chance to let their “hair down and enjoy with good music and drinks.”. Monica says that attending coach parties gave her the “chance to experience Fresher’s with other university students and visit different places around London.” History student Alex Vincett, who exclusively attended Brunel events, also says that although partying is not necessary during Fresher’s Week, it did help her get to know her flatmates better and “experience Brunel nightlife which can be a big part of university life.” Brunel alumni Robert Jones admits that he “set the bar far too high when moving into Brunel” as he expected
Fresher’s Week to be some sort of party thrown especially for him, when “in reality it was like any other night out at home”. Truth be told, Fresher’s Week has somewhat been over sensationalised. When else is it acceptable to go out every single night in a week without anyone judging you? People say you can be whoever you want to be because no one knows anything about you. With this mentality, Robert gives advice to upcoming Freshers: “Running away from your true self or attempting to convey a character to these new people will only leave you stressed at maintaining your facade at all times.” If clubbing is not something that you are interested in, there are countless other ways to have fun in and around Brunel during Fresher’s Week without the need to get drunk and party. Robert says that he found other ways to have fun, such as “going down in the evening to watch the contacts hold ‘court’ in Lancaster complex” where “forfeits for everyone got more disgusting/impressive with each night.” Eddie Leggatt, English Literature student concluded that he did not like
clubbing after going to Academy. He says: “I spent the rest of the week in a tiny bedroom in Mill Hall, playing the Lord of the Rings drinking game to the extended editions. Anybody that survives that with you is a friend for life.” While Eddie was recovering from his ‘horrific academy experience’ his girlfriend, Erica, a Creative Writing student was at their flat levelling up in World of Warcraft. She said “I went to one Academy event and that was me done for the week, so I attended lots of movie screenings. I felt guilty that I wasn’t living up to expectations but I realised enjoying myself was more important”. Alternatives to Partying While new Fresher’s are overwhelmed with the miscellany of partying choices for Fresher’s Week, students who are not into the ‘clubbing scene’ may feel like there is not anything on offer for them. This is untrue, however, as there are still a variety of things to do, both in and out of Brunel. 1. London – The city is just a train ride away from Uxbridge and it will never run out of things for you to do. Simply walking around the city and getting yourself acquainted would be an exciting experience, especially if you’re not from the area. We are also lucky that most museums in London are free! There’s the British Museum, National Gallery, Museum of London, Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum to name a few. 2. Uxbridge itself also offers students a variety of things to do. The town centre has more than 300 shops and two shopping malls for those who love to shop and a cinema. For those who want to experience the countryside, Colne Valley Park hosts a mosaic of farmland and woodland laced with 200 miles of rivers and over 60 lakes. Brunel is also only a 15-minute walk away from the Grand Union Canal, where you can find a variety of waterfront pubs, or even just nice scenery for a stroll. 3. The Union also hosts many events that do not involve drinking or partying during Fresher’s Week. In addition to various day events, there are movie screenings in the Lecture Centre starting at 6pm every day during the week: •Monday – Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy •Tuesday – The Big Lebowski •Wednesday – Reservoir Dogs •Thursday – A Clockwork Orange •Friday – The Rocky Horror Picture Show Other low-key events offered by the university includes Comedy Central Live, which is headlined by Paul Chowdry from Live at the Apollo, Stand Up for the Week in the Academy at 7-10pm and a Karaoke Night in Loco’s Bar at 9pm-12.30am, both on the 16th of September.
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
So there’s definitely something that will take your fancy!
12 THINGS YOUR PARENTS WILL DO DURING FRESHERS WEEK Eddie Leggatt The only way to get through your first month is to step back, take a deep breath, and accept some of the embarrassing stuff you’re going to do. Or, as it may be, your parents will do to you: 1. Cry when you’re dropped off at university, almost certainly in your kitchen, definitely in-front of your one cute flatmate. No cool guy persona for you. 2. They will wither turn your old bedroom into a childhood shrine – you may need the complete set of Transformers action figures and your collection of common Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards. Or seven minutes after you have left it will be claimed by a sibling, and you shall never return. 3. Your parents will order you a Tesco delivery entirely of fruit, alongside a twenty minute lecture on the dangers of scurvy. This will only stop once you promise to eat half your bodyweight in cherries, every day. 4. “When I was at university…” This will either lead to a conversation about how much they drank and how hard they partied, while you spend Fresher’s Week getting your Paladin to level 90, or they’ll talk to you about their studies as you plough into day six of midmorning drinking. 5. “Are you still alive?” “Oh, so you can answer your phone then?!” 6. Call you at an inappropriate time: You’re about to run through campus wearing only a first edition of Shelley’s Sonnets for your poetry society initiation?! 7. Send you a box of Kleenex – they know you a bit too well. 8. “So, is your room tidy?” “Of course”, you answer, as the never ending pile of dirty clothes mounts an assault on the beer can fortress. 9. Suddenly, you’re meant to care about the intricacies of your extended family: Aunt Irma’s irritable bowel syndrome has never been less interesting, or discussed in such depth. 10. They will redirect an entire day’s shipment of First Aid Africa cans and rice into your student halls kitchen, “For Emergencies”. 11. Ring you at 8 a.m. and be surprised that you’re not awake. Or sober. 12. If they miss a call from you, they’ll think you’ve been kidnapped, and your mother will call you back every fifteen minutes until you pick up.
24 FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
THE ART OF SAVING MONEY
PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA.ORG
Aidan Milan In case you didn’t already know, pretty much all of your energy not spent going to classes and passing exams and getting at least a little drunk on Student Night will be spent on scraping together enough money to live here at university. While at first, your student loan might look like the most beautiful and exciting amount of money you’ve ever seen in real life, the reality will soon sink in that rent and groceries and other boring stuff that you now need to pay for will drain that money pretty much dry if you’re not careful. But never fear, I’m going to give you all the advice you need on saving that money so that, hopefully, you won’t wind up homeless.
The first, most glaringly obvious tip we can give about being money savvy is to not, under any circumstances, go crazy in Freshers’ Week. We all know people who’ve blown their entire loan in the first week, and we think it’s hilarious. But trust me, it will be much less hilarious when you imagine these people being forced to live on Super Noodles and tap water until Christmas. Or maybe it’ll be more hilarious, if you’re that kind of person. We don’t judge. But the bottom line is, of course, have fun in Freshers’ Week, just don’t irreparably hurt your bank account in the process. But before you can survive Freshers’ Week, of the most important things you must do as a student, nay, as a functional adult, is to budget. And it’s easy! All you need to do is look at the amount of loan you’ll receive each
term and plan your expenditures. How much do you need a term for rent? How much do you need a week for food? (Hint, as little as you can get away with. Think Aldi and Lidl, not Waitrose’s and Sainsbury’s.) Use these figures to figure out exactly what you need a week, and exactly what you can get away with spending. If you want to go really mental, you can even plan out how much you can afford to set aside into a savings account or something really wild like that.
said it before, and we’ll say it again: for a place called Costcutter, it doesn’t cut any costs, and trust us, your bank account will show it in the long run. Also, while you’re busy definitely not shopping weekly at Costcutter, look for the best food deals like your weekend activities depend on it. If you continuously waste your money on fancy branded food when you could get a Tesco’s Basics version for less than half the price, then as time wears on, you will find yourself spending a lot of Saturday “You will find yourself Another tip for you nights alone on is to not be lazy. I spending a lot of Saturday your sofa with only know it’s tempting, your fancy food nights alone on your sofa” for company. And but just because Costcutter is really finally, do not be close by, and open conveniently late, lazy when it comes to shopping for it doesn’t mean that it’s the smartest textbooks, because shopping around place to go when you need to fill your and buying second hand will save you shelf on the fridge. We at Le Nurb have so much money, you might cry a little.
Check Amazon, eBay and second hand bookshops. But do not despair, for our last piece of advice concerns everyone’s favourite pastime: shopping. If you find yourself with some spare cash, you don’t have to hoard it all away like a pauper dragon, you are allowed to spend some of it, just spend it wisely. Say goodbye to designer brands, even say goodbye to Topshop, because charity shopping is your thing now. Maybe on a good day you can stretch to New Look. And Ebay is your new best friend. Not only can you buy cheap stuff there, but you can also sell all the old stuff that you don’t need. That is it, young Freshers. It’s up to you now, for this is all the wisdom we have to offer you. Go forth and try your darnedest to prosper!
FRESHERS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE
WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, WHO YA GONNA CALL? Erica Wilson Oh right, you’re new here so you don’t actually know (hint: it’s, unfortunately, not Ghostbusters). Here’s some of the most common problems you’ll face as a Fresher and the important contacts you will need to solve them! Need an on-campus Parking Permit? Have you lost your student card and need a new one? Are you having issues connecting to Blackboard, eVision, your email or the campus WiFi? Need to change your name or other details registered with the University? The Student Centre can help with any of the problems listed above, and many more. If you have any problems they can’t solve, they’re also pretty good at pointing you in the right direction. Call them on +44 (0)1895 268268 or visit them on the ground floor of the Bannerman Centre (AKA the library). As for issues or queries related to your academic studies, you should contact your Personal Tutor who will be assigned to you during your first couple of weeks. You will need to be able to access BlackBoard, eVision and your student email account while at Brunel which are accessible through www.brunel. ac.uk/intranets. This is also where you should go for online payments, such as accommodation, and to register your wireless devices to access the campus WiFi. These are invaluable resources and you can
probably find the answers to your questions or concerns here. If you have any problems you can also visit the Student Centre or the Computer Centre on the ground floor of the Bannerman Centre (Library). The ASK (Academic Skills) centre is another invaluable resource you should make use of during your degree. They are located on the ground floor of the Library and will assist you with, well, academic skills. They often run workshops and webinars on academic writing and structure, presentations, statistic and data interpretation and basic numeracy and algebra. Drop in to book an appointment with an advisor, or you can email ask@brunel. ac.uk If you’re an International student, it’s a good idea to keep the Brunel International centre in mind. They will provide advice, help and support for any international student, whether it be about fees, English-teaching courses, your Visa – pretty much anything! And they will always put you in the right direction of people who can help you. You can call them on 0044 (0)1895 265519 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org During Fresher’s Week it’s normal for everyone to party late and make a bit of noise, and obviously it’s a good idea to make friends and join in with the fun! But if this continues throughout the year and interferes with your sleep and studies, you can call Security and they will deal with the source of the noise. Remember though that
PHOTO CREDIT:BEN LUNATO DOYEN this can sometimes result in a fine, so only call if you are unable to ask said noisemakers to quieten down first. You should also call Security if you encounter any troublesome or threatening behaviour while on campus. They are available 24/7 so you should call them on +44 (0)1895 255786, but remember to call 999 in the case of a serious emergency.
new responsibility onto you, including having to manage your money. If you find yourself struggling to budget or without any money, you can go to the Student Centre, who can assist you with emergency loans. The Money Doctors are also located here, who will help you budget your money and give you advice on how to spend responsibly.
Coming to University thrusts a lot of
Just please remember not to sit on
your problems and hope they go away. There is no problem too big or too small that can’t be fixed, and don’t feel disheartened if you get confused or overwhelmed – There is an awful lot of support available and often you might not know where to go, but believe me this is a good problem to have! Talk to friends and family! Go visit the Student Centre, or email your Personal Tutor, who will help you with most issues.
WELLBEING AT BRUNEL: YOU ARE NOT ALONE Maddi Black The time has finally arrived. You’ve finished the threemonth long packing mission, successfully turned packing the car into a warped game of Tetris, and made it down the M25 in one piece. You’ve waved goodbye to tearful parents and sized up the rest of your flatmates, wondering when it’ll be socially acceptable to risk an alcoholic drink. Now what? Freshers’ week will zoom by, and before you know it, you’re a fully-fledged first year student at Brunel. There’s so much to look forward to – starting your classes, making new friends and, of course, a bit of partying here and there.
PHOTO CREDIT: COLOURBOX.COM
Starting university will be unlike anything you have ever experienced before. But it’s not all plain sailing. Many students find the jump from A Levels to a university degree challenging, owing largely to the level of independent study and organisation skills required. Not to mention the daunting prospect of living away from home. Homesickness is likely, but perfectly normal, and many may find their physical or mental health deteriorating in one way or another, and it is important that we recognise the help available for those who need it.
Medical Centre and Pharmacy Brunel University has both a medical centre and pharmacy on campus, allowing students access to a vast range of treatments on their doorstep. The Medical Centre has a daily walk in service for students between 11:30am and 1:15pm. For more info, call them on +44 (0)1895 234426. Remember to call 999 in a serious medical emergency, or call the NHS helpline 111 for less serious medical issues. Hillingdon Hospital also has A&E department for medical emergencies such as broken bones or head injuries. Disability and Dyslexia Service For students with a physical or mental disability, the Disability and Dyslexia Service can provide advice, support and facilities both on campus and off campus. Make sure you register as soon as possible if you might need support, they’re located in the Bannerman Centre (The Library). Counselling Brunel also provides a counselling service for students experiencing difficulties with university life. Whether it be stress, anxiety, depression or relationship difficulties, the counselling service can provide support for any student completely free. They also have a daily walk-in, which operates on a firstcome, first-served basis, at 1:45pm. To book an appointment, call them on: +44 (0)1895 265070 or email them
on: email@example.com. Brunel Chaplaincy and Meeting House Furthermore, Brunel’s Chaplaincy, The Meeting House, is a place for students both religious and non-religious to explore faith and spirituality and to find comfort and support from others. There are multiple chaplains available for consultation, and students are invited to relax and take time out from studies to enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee. There are a number of faith-based and wellbeing activities to take part in here, including the very popular ‘Rabbit Café’ set up by senior Chaplain, the Reverend Sally Hitchiner. Advice and Representation Centre For those students needing advice about finance, housing or academic issues, the university’s Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) can give free guidance to students who don’t know where else to turn. Drop-in sessions are always available, just call them on 01895 269 169 or visit them in the Hamilton Centre (Where Locos and Academy is) This is just a snapshot of the ‘Well@ Brunel’ initiative – Eat Well, Play Well, Study Well, Work Well and Feel Well. Brunel is committed to supporting its students in all that they do – so if you feel like you’re struggling, just remember: you are not alone.
26 SECOND YEAR SURVIVAL GUIDE
SECOND YEAR SURVIVAL GUIDE GETTING INVOLVED WITH YOUR UNION this on the website.
Hannah Jones Now that your year of partying as a Fresher and not doing any work is over, why not get involved in all the extra-curricular excitement that the Union of Brunel Students’ has to offer? The Union is a non-profit organisation that is here for the benefit of Brunel students, to ensure our students gain access to valuable personal skills and experiences outside of the academic framework, whether it be through media, sports clubs or societies. The Union currently has 50 Sport Clubs and 109 Societies. There is such a wide variety of sports and societies so you’re bound to find something you like. However, if there isn’t anything that takes your fancy, you can set up and run your own club or society. You can join any sports club you want at Fresher’s Fayre or online via our website, www.brunelstudents.com. The only requirement is that you buy a Sports Federation membership, costing £22.50 for the year, which acts as your insurance for any club you join, and then purchase the clubs standard membership, which allows you access to training, coaching and social events. Some sports clubs have an additional team membership but you can find more information about
The Union has a huge range of societies, which we split into five categories: Academic; Faith, Belief, and Worldview; Cultural; Political, Campaigning and Causes; General Interest. Similar to sports clubs, you can join any society at Fresher’s Fayre or online. Over half of our societies have free membership and are a great way to meet people with similar interests and get involved in what the union has to offer, all while making the most out of your university experience. Other ways you can get involved and do something more than just your degree is by raising money for charity. RAG, which stands for Raise and Give, is responsible for all charity work done with the Union of Brunel Students. RAG is about offering every single student the chance to raise money & have fun, all in the name of charity and it is a fantastic way to engage with new people, try new things, and really make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate! The Union has its very own Student Led media, which consists of Radio, Video and a Newspaper along with a media hub website: www.bru-media. co.uk. This is all run by the students, for the students and is a great way to report about something other than your degree.
Le Nurb is the Union’s official newspaper, the one you are reading now! Any student can apply for editorial or design positions or submit articles or content. Le Nurb has four main sections that it writes about: News, Features, Culture and Sport. Radio Brunel is a fully student run radio station. They broadcast over the internet to thousands of students and staff at Brunel and across the world, delivering a diverse range of content such as different musical genres and intellectual broadcasting for listeners. You can get involved and have your very own radio show, just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! Video Brunel is the newest addition to Student Media at Brunel; it’s a free and open platform for students to gain experience creating and presenting videos of events at both the Union and University. Want to make a difference for your course? Student Reps are elected by you to represent your views and push for change that will improve your academic course at Brunel. They help with academic issues at module, course, and department level, and give you information on how to resolve any other problems you may have. You can simply nominate yourself to be a Student Rep if you’re
interested! Nominations open in Fresher’s week and Elections take place in October. Want to be at the heart of all major decision making to do with YOUR Union? Student Assembly is something any student can get involved in. It is the Union’s main decision-making body. It creates and oversees our guiding policies, holds the Student Officers to account, and is involved in Union campaigns and development. Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month during term time and all students can attend, but only Members can vote on decisions at them. You can become a member of student assembly by nominating yourself in the autumn elections! The members of Student assembly are: the four Officers and ten Student Chairs - all elected every Spring, one student rep per academic department elected every autumn and 20 Community Members from the student body at large, elected every autumn. So if this is for you, become a student rep or a student assembly member in the upcoming elections!
Postgraduates Chair, Volunteering Chair and World Students Chair) will campaign on a variety of issues that represent the student’s views. The student leadership team and the student body have campaigned in the past for changes such as lobbying the University for Podcast Lectures, fighting an increase in accommodation fees and joining national campaigns against cuts to higher education. Another way that you can get involved in all this is by joining the working groups of these chairs: Environmental chair, Campaigns chair, Volunteer chair and World Students chair. Every year these chairs need students to join their working groups to help shape and deliver campaigns throughout the year. So look out for them at Fresher’s Fayre or contact them via email. All their details are online!
Campaigns this year! This year the Officers; Martin, Hannah, Marcus and Leon, along with the Student Chairs (Sports Federation Chair, RAG Chair, Media Chair, Societies Guild Chair, Environmental Chair, Campaigns Chair, Equality and Diversity Chair,
EVENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR The Union runs a variety of events for its members throughout the year, so here are afew to look out for: Fresher’s week, Alcohol & Drug Awareness Week, Green Week, One World Week, Community Action Week, Earth hour, Christmas Market, Housing Fayres, Superbowl, Sports Federation Ball, Varsity, RAG Week and so much more. And finally, we have something HUGE planned for the end of exams, so watch out!
from Brunel campus on a Friday night. Keep an eye out for more information on this!
Uxbridge South Councillors Tony Burles TBurles@hillingdon.gov.uk
As a resident in the local community, this means that you have representatives who you can contact should you have a problem. Your MP, if you live in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, is John Randall who can be contacted on ‘randallj@parliament. uk’. The campus itself is split into two wards, Brunel and Uxbridge South. Brunel is everything from the pond to Bishops, and Uxbridge South is from Mill Hall
Keith Burrows KBurrows@hillingdon.gov.uk
LIVING IN HILLINGDON Kerri Prince By being a Brunel Student, you’re not just a member of the Brunel community, but also the Hillingdon community too. You have rights, and responsibilities. You have representatives, bills, neighbourhood watch schemes, residents associations, and most importantly – your voice. Although it might seem at times that there are only students in Hillingdon, this is far from true. If you’re living off-campus, you may find that you’re living next to a family, or an elderly couple. Although you’re a University student and you just want to have fun – your fun may be negatively impacting on
the people you live next door to. To ensure that you’re all being good, respectful neighbours – here is a list of considerations to takewhilst you’re residing in the local community. - If you’re going to have a party – let your neighbours know. Most of the time you may get a grouchy neighbour is because they were up all night due to the loud music you were playing. Tell them, give them a contact number to contact you on should the music get too loud, and even consider inviting them to the party – they probably won’t take you up on it, but they’ll likely appreciate the offer. - Introduce yourselves to your neighbours when you move in.
Exchange contact details, as you’ll never know when you might need their help. Student houses over the Christmas period are a prime target for thieves, so a good relationship with your neighbours could help keep your property safe. - You might be travelling home after a night out either in the Student Union or in the Town Centre and you don’t realise how noisy you’re being. There may be sleeping children, so a bit of consideration from you when travelling home could make a massive difference. We will also be running a SSHH Bus (Silent Students, Happy Homes) from the Uxbridge Town Centre to various locations in Uxbridge on a Wednesday night, and
to Isambard. If you’re living offcampus, the ward split is essentially down Cleveland Road.
Judith Cooper JCooper@hillingdon.gov.uk Brunel Councillors Roy Chamdal RChamdal@hillingdon.gov.uk Richard Mills email@example.com Brian Stead Bstead@hillingdon.gov.uk
SECOND YEAR SURVIVAL GUIDE
PIMP YOUR CV Joshua Connolly Employers are demanding more from graduates than ever before. Here’s why you should focus now on the key element that will level-up your CV: Experience. Writing a CV is a fairly straightforward task for most people. Load up a word processor, agonise for an hour over which template to use, have a 10 minute undeserved tea break before soullessly breaking down your life to a list of qualifications and a few extra-curricular clubs you were in back in school. Fret not, because university is the ideal time to get more experience to add to your CV! By entering yourself into the world of volunteering, internships, work placements and part time work now rather than later, you stand to gain real benefits that are necessary to impress employers. According to the National Youth Institute (NYI), the top five benefits participants said they gained from work experience were SelfConfidence, Communication Skills, Teamwork Values, Interpersonal Skills and a Better Understanding of Society. These skills were valued by 64% of employers as found in the AGR Graduate Survey in 2010 alongside 78% who looked for a 2:1 or above.
The least committal method to obtaining these skills is in volunteering, which, according to a study by the NYI, ‘appears to offer young people a quick win…many young people believed that their skills had improved after only a limited experience of volunteering’. Voluntary work can also be the most varied, with roles from event stewarding to fundraising for charities to organising sport and activities for children after school. According to the Institute for Volunteer Research (IVR), 87% of employers believe that volunteering has a ‘generally positive effect’ on 1625 career progression. My own story with volunteering peaked during the London 2012 Olympics where I became a Ceremonies Volunteer. This fivemonth role was very hands-on and incredibly intense but provided one of the strongest foundations for learning employable skills. I was able to secure this opportunity due to my prior volunteering in a tiny community church back home and by being a Student Course Rep. And it was because of my work at London Olympic Ceremonies that I was able to volunteer for the Winter Olympics in Russia earlier this year. In my experience, smaller opportunities can snowball into much larger ones. However, whilst volunteering is recommended, 30% of employers are quoted by the IVR as feeling that
INTERNSHIPS voluntary work is only worthwhile if it was linked to the particular field of work that the applicant is applying to, and 34% of employers demand relevant experience. Therefore, summer internships and placements can provide an outlook to a future career that can woo employers. These are much more tailored towards finding an industry-specific experience that boost the knowledge credentials on your CV. If volunteering doesn’t appeal to you, you could look into working part time whilst undertaking your university course. An obvious bonus of this is you are paid to gain much needed transferable skills and understanding of working environments and also acquire work references which are a huge boost to your CV. By testing the waters this way, you not only get to feel how a job in your degree field would be like to work in on a daily basis, but you also get an early opportunity to prove yourself in this environment. In certain industries, such as finance, 80% of graduate positions were filled with those who had participated in a company internship prior to graduating. With the current numbers of graduates entering the job market going from 1,063,000 in 2001 by 430,000 new jobseekers to 1,501,000 in 2011, it will pay dividends to find future job experience sooner rather than later!
MOVING INTO YOUR FIRST HOUSE Emma Jeremy It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving out of halls; the new housemates, the new space to make your own, and, alas, the new responsibilities. Unfortunately, you will soon find out that it’s not all fun and games - it’s also new stuff for you to clean, new kinds of bills for you to pay, and new estate agents (dun dun duuun). So listen up and listen well, because these tips could save you a world of hurton the looming Oscars, coming on the 2nd of March and marking the end of awards season so we can get back to explosions and Transformers films as we build up to this year’s summer hits. Think About a Chores Rota Not everyone likes a rota, and that’s absolutely fine, but if you and your housemates are up for it it’s a great way to make sure the housework is fairly shared out (and it makes the final clean up before you move out A LOT easier if the house has been cleaned regularly throughout the year). Make Contact with ARC Living in a house with friends is a great experience, but things can still go wrong. The Advice and
Representation Centre (ARC) are great at giving advice about general issues, and can help you understand your rights if you ever get into a dispute with your landlord or estate agent. Take Pictures of EVERYTHING When you move in, there will likely be some damage from previous tenants. Even though these will probably have been recorded by the estate agent, safeguarding is always a good idea. Take pictures of any marks or damage you can see and email them to yourself soyou have a reference date too. Cross-check any problems you find with the inventory, which should be provided to you. If it’s in the inventory, you can’t get blamed for it. Think About Your Bills Most student houses allow you to pick your own internet, water, gas and electric supplier. Really think about this because choosing wisely can save you a lot of money. Also think about how often you will need to pay your bills (monthly, quarterly or biannually) and make sure you budget for this. There’s nothing worse than an unexpected bill. Think About HOW You’re Going to Pay Your Rent and Bills The bills you pay will have to come from one account, so think about how you want to do this. You can open a joint account, or transfer the money
to one person, who will then pay on behalf of everyone. Sometimes you will have to do this for rent as well, so think about setting up a standing order to whichever account you decide to pay from since it’s easy to forget about! Be Courteous of your Neighbours In halls, all your neighbours are students, but that’s not always the case when you move into student housing. Remember to keep the noise to a minimum when leaving/coming back during unsociable hours, especially if they have children. Think About Who You Invite Over Obviously house parties are great but anyone who’s ever hosted one will know that they can easily turn into a nightmare. Any damage made to the house is ultimately yours and your housemates’ responsibility, so make sure you’re all agreed if you are going to host. Don’t invite people who you know have been a problem in the past. Respect Your Housemates Seems like an obvious one but simple things like washing up your dishes when you’re finished with them and not using all the hot water can help make a massive difference to the atmosphere in your house. And no one will be mad at you!
Antony Smith I was lucky enough to have two internships during the summer in between second and third year, the first being a production assistant for an independent film company, and the second as a staff writer for an online film magazine. I can tell you from my experience that it’s worthwhile, looks good on your CV and makes worrying about breaking into your industry of choice a little less daunting. Studying is all well and good, but you need to put theory into practice to stand out from the rest, and being a student is the best time to apply to be an intern while you are not paying more expensive rent, utilities or council tax. The amount of spare time and freedom you have during your course time can easily be frittered away. Enjoying uni life is all part of the experience; making new friends, having a great time on and off campus, etc. But when it comes to Reading Week and end of term you can plan ahead and really make it count, while balancing being a socialite, as well as an academic. It’s simple and doesn’t entail getting stressed out over or being a boring, shut-in recluse. Here’s some advice for you if you’re considering an internship, and why you should be if you’re not already: Weighing up Paid/Unpaid Work Those of you lucky enough to have the option to spend the summer break getting work experience, as opposed to being forced into a parttime job that is completely unrelated to your course as a necessity to make ends meet, grab the opportunity while you can. Most internships are unpaid but they typically cover your travel expenses, and sometimes lunch thrown in, so you may only be out of pocket for a day to a week until you are paid in lieu. If, for example, you apply to an up-andcoming, independent production company that starts out as unpaid, the experience in itself will speak volumes on your CV. Plus there is no harm in asking at a later stage once you’ve established and demonstrated your capabilities if you can get hired properly. Daily Quick Searches Pause your Netflix, Xbox, or other entertainment outlets and spend an hour doing some online research whenever you can. Don’t underestimate the power of Google! Entering key search criteria as “film production companies London” or “business internships London” will lead you in the right direction. Search for companies in London or a preferred local area, get their contact details and start sending out emails. Log onto company sites advertising
internships every day on the offchance a new opportunity is posted. Make this an ingrained habit. Email like a BEAST Prepare to send out an updated CV, a cover letter (a friendly yet formal introduction expressing your passion for your chosen industry, the relevant course you are enrolled on, your availability, “I look forward to hearing from you. Please find my CV attached for your perusal”, etc) and make sure you personalize the opening paragraph for each email you send to mention the company you are applying to. It can be more time consuming but avoids any obvious cut and paste jobs that seem too mechanical. You can get help
perfecting your CV and cover letter from your course contact at the PCC (Placement and Careers Centre), the ASK (Academic Skill Service) tutorials in the library or just Google “cover letter example” to get template tips. Companies and Sites to Use It’s easy to put off applying until Term 2 when March/ April is upon us. Summer creeps up on us far too quickly and deciding what you are going to do can be put on the back burner until the time eventually arrives. If you leave it to the last minute, chances are any vacancy will already be filled. However, keep emailing until you get a response. It sounds obvious but don’t stop and be discouraged if it takes a while: continue as you mean to go on. With larger companies it is best to apply in the autumn, around October to get in there quick. For more information about internships, visit http://www. studentjob.co.uk/internship For anyone interested in working in the media as I am, here are some useful sites to check out for internships and low/unpaid jobs in the media field below: Mandy’ Film and Production Directory at http://www.mandy.com
Film, Television, Video Directory for Regional Film and Video at http://www.4rfv.co.uk Film and Television Production Companies at http://www.mediargh.com
28 THIRD YEAR SURVIVAL GUIDE
THIRD YE AR
THE DREADED DISSO Laura Brown Okay, I know it’s not exactly that time of year yet, but it won’t be long before you’re spending weeks freaking out over your referencing, your phrasing, and whether to do 1.5 line spacing or double spacing. I’m talking about your worst nightmare, third years: The Dissertation. Dissertation was something I always felt intimidated by, and I was glad tutors started preparing us for it at the end of second year. Despite this, after submitting my dissertation and reflecting on the absolute blur that was third year, I realised there where a few things that I wishedI’d been told, or at least that someone would have reiterated a few thousand times. With that being said, I thought I’d extend some of my wisdom (if you can call it that) to you all.
done and how much you’ve got left. That might sounds really, painfully obvious, but what happens if you get to your conclusion and you’re 1,000 words under? Or worse still, 1,000 words over. 3. Break the work down into smaller chunks. Again, that sounds obvious – of course you have to do it in smaller chunks (unless you ignored the first tip). What I mean is, break it down and set yourself deadlines for individual milestones eg. By next Friday I will have done the research for thissection. Start as soon as you get an idea and run with it. Set aside one specific day/hour/afternoon/ evening – whatever works for you – where you just sit and force yourself to work on your dissertation.
1. Don’t leave it until the last minute – Seriously. You may have done some of your previous assignments the night before they were due (let’s be honest, I spent three straight nights in the library once) but this CANNOT be one of them. This is something that requires a lot of time and attention, and I don’t want to alarm you but it’s about five times longer than the essays you wrote over night.
4. Give yourself plenty of time to proofread and edit. Then proofread it again. And again. Basically, you’ll never be done making little changes, just get it to a standard where you feel like it’s the best it can be, and you’re happy with it. When checking for errors, read aloud. If you feel weird reading it alone in your room or the library, read it to someone else. It’s so easy to skim over mistakes when we read silently because by the time we’re proofreading we know what the work is supposed to say. By reading it to someone else, you allow the other person to pick up on little things that you’ve missed.
2. Do a detailed plan, because it will be far easier to see how much you’ve
5. Going back to the plan – make sure you submit one! I can’t speak for every
course, but for ours we had to submit a 500 word plan and provisional bibliography in November, which made up 5% of the final dissertation grade. At first, this seems daunting and 5% doesn’t seem like much, but if you don’t submit the plan you get a zero. For me the project was 65% and the supporting essay was 35%. I did well in both, but the 5% plan actually boosted my final grade from a 2:1 to a 1st. The plan doesn’t lock you into anything, so don’t be afraid to change your idea because there’s nothing worse than feeling forced to write something you no longer care about. Two of my friends completely changed their idea in January and did extremely well. 6. And finally, ask for help if you need it. Third year is tough and everybody would rather you went to them for help or advice than just burning yourself out and ending up miserable and stressed. It’s what friends are for, and it’s definitely what your dissertation supervisor is for. Best of luck, and enjoy your final year while it lasts!
THIRD YEAR SURVIVAL GUIDE
COPING WITH THIRD YEAR Robert Pennington Ah, third year. An amazing experience you’ll never forget. That tangled mix of notes, essays and forlorn hope knowing after it ends, your life will never be quite as good again. Of energy drink cans and coffee cups piling up the corner of your room. Of long nights in the library writing essays and the stinging pain as the computers are switched off before you’ve had time to save it. I can almost taste the tears running down my face now, mmm, salty. However you young’ns needn’t go it alone, with these helpful tips, your final year at Brunel will fly by effortlessly and painlessly. All right, here we go! In your final year, you must make sure to absolutely get involved with every other non-academic interest you have on the fly. A member of a society? Run for President! It’ll look just as good on your CV as that BA ever will. Trust me! Even the ones you just joined because you were pressured at Fresher’s Fayre but never got around to actually going to? Well this’ll be your last chance, don’t
regret it! You’ve got a whole week to get your dissertation in, you might never get to try fencing or skydiving again! You could even try writing for Le Nurb [editor’s note: writing for Le Nurb is the most fun you will ever have in your whole life and everyone should do it RIGHT NOW]!
for that. And if you’re not one for passing out just remember Charles
Have an exam tomorrow morning and felt like you haven’t done enough revision? Fear not! Why not get in the productive mood by sorting out all the dirty dishes or finally getting around to hoovering the carpet and making your bed? Remember, a tidy room is a tidy mind.
If that doesn’t help, you could always try taking up smoking. It’s bound to take the edge away, plus, it gives you a great hobby to do in those few minute gaps between flicking heartlessly through the chapters of your text book. Waiting in anticipation for those next few throat burning, artery furring puffs in the wind outside John Crank will see those pages turn faster than your housemate’s milk. Why not try rollies, for that extra hint of habitualisation and added dexterity bonus? Once you start you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.
Go to the pub! There are many fine pubs around Uxbridge and they’ll all be more than willing to accommodate you through this most special time. You might meet a friend there and distract each other with stunted conversation whilst your mind is on other things entirely, but fear not! By the fourth pint that essay will seem as good as done. Or you might even make a new friend. You see that guy half asleep on the Wetherspoon’s bar? He never got a degree and look how good his life is! Douglas Adams once said “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Well, with our friend alcohol you won’t even have to be conscious
Bukowski wrote six novels whilst absolutely smashed. How hard does that essay on the causes of World War 1 or that assignment on monetary control seem now?
Get ready for the best year of your life kids. Remember as well, if you hand it in late you’ll just have the grade capped and, well, you weren’t going to get an A for it anyway, were you? Good luck and God bless! See you on the other side!
IT’S NOT OVER YET! Emma Jeremy Yeah, definitely do NOT take any of the advice Rob gives above. If you want real advice, I’ve got some information which is actually helpful! Many third years find themselves looking back on their final year and wishing they’d worked harder. But in my opinion (and from experience) you absolutely do not have to live a life of isolation, holed up in the library term after term, to reach your full academic potential. In fact – I don’t really believe you have to give anything up in order to do well, and that you can even get involved in more extra-curricular activities, if that’s what you want to do. The key is organisation. In my final year at university, I worked two jobs, was an officer on two society committees, got involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, had a great social life and managed to achieve a first in my degree subject. It was stressful at times because third year is a massive step up in terms of work load (obviously I can’t speak for every course). If you’re on an
Arts degree like I was, you’re likely to have much more flexible work hours, which enables you to fit other things in. Some other courses, such as biomedical science or psychology are more like working full time, 9-5 jobs, which obviously means making time for yourself is much more difficult. The thing is, however tough third year is in terms of workload, for many it’s your final year at university, living with and close to friends, having good nightlife and a huge amount of extra-curricular opportunities to get involved in on your doorstep. It’s a good idea to make the most of it while you can! Like I said, the key is being organised. Try not to leave all your work to the last minute – most importantly your dissertation – but also your other assignments too. If you get them started early, you’ll create a more flexible work environment for yourself. Schemes like the Student Ambassador programme which involves representing the university at open days and university fairs allow you to apply for work as and when it comes up, meaning you’ll never feel pressurised to work if you don’t want to. Bar or shift work is often much the
same (if you don’t mind late nights). You should never underestimate the effect of a proper break when studying or grinding out your dissertation. Clearing your head by going out with your friends, exercising, getting involved in society events, or even working can really help your stress levels, and when you return to your uni work, you’ll likely find it a lot easier to process with fresh eyes. Working yourself to the bone does do it for some, but don’t feel like you can’t ever take a break! You are human after all, and as long as you’re organised and plan around breaks you will stay on track! We all know university is about much more than getting a good degree. It teaches you valuable life lessons and allows you to get involved in new things. Most importantly, it gives you great practice in balancing work with your other interests, something that we’ll all have o learn when we leave and start full time work anyway, so why not get in some practice now! There’s no reason why you can’t make the most of your final year while still working hard to achieve the best possible result you can!
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL BUSINESS SCHOOL
ROBIN WILLIAMS TRIBUTE Maryam Serour I don’t think a single one of us didn’t consider how kick ass life would be if we had a genie by our side. Even whilst watching Jumanji in between crapping your pants, we would’ve still killed to be a part of that game (except when it came to the dog sized spiders…so much nope). Even once we decided to grow up and take ourselves a little more seriously and steer away from Disney movies (for however brief a period it was till you were back to
singing ‘Let it go’), the likes of Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting taught us at no point in life do we ever stop learning or should we ever want to. Depression is still a taboo subject, it’s seen as a disease of civilisation but it’s not, it’s in a broken mind. Perhaps the only solice we can take from this tragedy might be to bring attention that those who suffer from depression can’t be stereotyped into a small fragment of society because it may
affect us all at some points in our lives. It is not shameful, nor dishonourable and it happens to the strongest and happiest of us. Robin Williams’ death was a shock to us all. To come to terms with the idea that the funniest, happiest man of our childhood felt such sadness and pain that was so concealed from us, highlights how much a broken smile can hide. Nevertheless, it makes no sense to focus on his end but rather the importance of celebrating his ability to always bring a smile, a cackle or
even a light hearted snort to many children’s lives. Robin Williams brought to life an assortment of different characters and was the perfect example of both a teacher and a lesson. He taught us the importance of freedom and to never take too seriously the confines of our genie lamps. He taught us to laugh at ourselves in the face of failure, or in his case, a face full of flubber. We learned how important it is to believe in redemption if you worked hard enough for it, and the significance of
being whoever you wanted to be – 60 year old woman? Easy peasy. For me, what stuck most was the quote “Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting… Make your life spectacular.” For whatever the reason it was your time, and maybe, just maybe more lives will have been saved as a result of this final twist of your own life story…Or perhaps he’s just in a jungle somewhere, waiting for someone to roll a 5 or an 8.
LE NURB RECOMMENDS ed. James Alder
Here at Le Nurb we’ve got a passion for culture, and we wanted to share some of our summer culture best bits with you. So sit back, relax and enjoy our top listens, watches, reads and listens of the summer.
Arthe Kandeepan News Chief Sub-Editor:
Kirsty Capes Editor:
“The Female Man is a novel using time-travel, assassins, librarians and robots in order to question what it is to be a modern woman, a very intriguing read… Alec Benjamin is a young, up and coming singer songwriter, his mix-tapes speak words that you would expect of someone twice his age! Beautiful and simple music. I recommend America, Paper Crown and Animal... I’ve been watching The Mindy Project. It revolves around an obstetrics and gynaecology practice where outlandish things happen, closely followed by romantic mishap.”
“I’ve been listening to The Internet’s album Feel Good. The Internet is Syd Tha Kid from the Odd Future collective and she is the most unlikely of their members. Her voice is like chocolate and her music oozes funk and feel-good rhythms… I’ve also just started the 800-page behemoth that is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton but so far so good. It’s set in 1800s New Zealand goldfields and follows a man trying to solve a huge mystery that involves fraud, theft, murder and suicide. It’s pretty epic so far… I tried the first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix and hated it, but thought I’d give the second season a try, I’m so glad I did.”
Jasmin Nahar Culture Online Editor:
Martha Salhotra Culture Sub-Editor:
“Frustratingly difficult, Batman: Arkham Origins made want to throw my Xbox controller in anguish, but you get to beat people up whilst being Batman, so that’s pretty great… Beartooth are a post-hardcore band courtesy of Caleb Shomo from Attack Attack! They’re probably the best new band I’ve heard in a very long time. Also the new Four Year Strong EP Go Down in History is fifteen minutes of awesome poppunk with breakdowns. Just wish there was more of it… I’ve been reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, set in 17th century Amsterdam, it’s about a young woman who is given a miniature version of her house and the people inside it, and it kind of predicts the future. Creepy, but in a good way.”
“The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh looked at a middleaged woman having a steamy affair with a 17 year-old boy. It was intense, gripping and only slightly disturbing… Hozier has a voice like honey and his lyrics are beautiful. I heard Sedated and have loved his music since… If you like the idea of seeing one actress playing clones of herself and unravelling an increasingly frightening genetic experiment, then watch Orphan Black. It’ll have you hooked.
Erica Wilson Features Sub-Editor: “I’ve been reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I already loved the dystopia genre but now I’m inspired to read even more! Bradbury’s way with language is extraordinary… The game Wildstar is a really fresh take on the MMO genre complete with beautiful graphics, a dynamic combat system and immersive storyline… I’ve been watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Concept: 5 assholes run a bar. It’s hilariously cringe-worthy in the best possible way!
Mehdi Punjwani Sport Chief Sub-Editor: “Tense, exciting and fraught with conspiracy, Jack Reacher’s eighteenth outing Never Go Back by Lee Child is as brilliant as the others… Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal are indignantly funny in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner; an outstanding example of British comedy… The Black Market by Rise Against is a great record, with a strong message and some outstanding tracks. Look for The Great Die-Off and Bridges.”
PHOTO CREDIT: BLUEAPOCOLYPSE.COM
Victoria Sanusi Culture Section Editor: “I don’t think I can listen to It’s My Birthday by will.i.am without dancing! The music video is funny too… Love and Hip Hop Atlanta is undoubtedly the most ratchet show ever but I can’t stop watching it… I feel like the game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is the closest I will ever get to really hanging out with Kim and I love it! I have no shame.”
James Alder Culture Chief Sub-Editor: “I got a three George R.R. Martin’s novels from before Game of Thrones for my birthday. One is about vampires and steamboats; another about a death metal rock band with a demonic curse and the third - my favourite one – is set in the future and is about a witty ecological engineer who goes around the universe saving planets from extinction. It doesn’t have the plotlines like GoT but Tuf Voyaging is an enjoyable read… I saw
Jake Bugg at Hyde Park recently and have been hooked ever since, his album Shangri La should definitely be listened to… I’ve been addicted to this game Battleblock Theatre, it’s from the same company that made Castle Crashers and it’s just mental. After being shipwrecked on a remote island you are kidnapped by giant cats and forced to put on shows where you collect gems and try not to die, all while trying to save your best friend who has been possessed by a cursed top hat, as I said mental. If for nothing else just buy it to listen to the narrator, his comments are hilarious.”
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
BRUNEL WRITER Laura Brown Brunel Writer was set up by Max Kinnings for Brunel’s Creative Writing department. It all began with a Twitter account, @BrunelWriter, which has been almost entirely student lead since its launch since its launch in 2012 – each student who is interested in curating the account is given two week’s free-reign, in which time they can tweet about their own experiences of writing, begin discussions about whichever type of writing they enjoy, or retweet things from other accounts which give information about events of jobs in the industry. While the account is aimed primarily at Creative Writing students at Brunel, we aim to provide information which appeals to a wide range of people, and have gained over 1,200 followers, including authors, students,
PHOTO CREDIT: KIRSTY CAPES
NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE
ADM IT O NE
PHOTO CREDIT: LAURA BROWN
Laura Brown The New Wimbledon Theatre is a quaint, traditional theatre which opened in 1910. It hosts a plethora of shows for audiences of all ages – including Peppa Pig, Cats, Avenue Q, Top Hat, a christmas pantomime (this year is Aladdin) and a range of operas. Aside from the show I saw (Cats) and the range of other shows which the theatre showcases, I was impressed by a number of other elements. For one thing, I found that all the seats offered a good view, from the upper circle, there was only a very small part of the stage that I couldn’t see, but, for me at least, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the show. The seats were generally comfortable, including there being just enough leg room. (I’m 5’7” and while I had enough room, someone a few inches taller might find their knees pressed into the seat in front.) In addition to this, they offer student discount! That’s right – you didn’t imagine it, students receive a discount in the upper circles, which is a nice little added extra, and maybe worth having slightly squashed knees. On top of that, it’s actually cheaper to
get to than central London, costing around £2.80 on a student Oyster, whereas central costs around £3.20 (off-peak). Granted, there are a couple more changes getting there but honestly, they’re not difficult changes, and you have the added bonus of it not being completely packed at rush hour – we didn’t get seats, but we weren’t exactly pressed into someone else’s armpit, and we could easily have a conversation without having to yell at each other. Overall, I’d recommend the New Wimbledon Theatre if you’re someone who enjoys the theatre but doesn’t necessarily enjoy some of the higher prices of central London venues. There is also a wide range of restaurants and shops in the area, so you could always make a day of it. Something else to bear in mind when planning theatre trips – some of the London theatres do tickets for £5 if you arrive before 10am and prove that you are between the ages of 16 and 25. It is worth checking this with the theatre beforehand, however, as I’m not sure how widespread this is – you don’t want to be in the morning rush hour for no reason after all... Enjoy the show!
I’ve had the pleasure of looking after the blog and the Twitter account over the summer, and now I hope to pass it on to one (or all) of you – don’t hesitate to email max.kinnings@ brunel.ac.uk if you’d like a chance to tweet for us, or contribute to our blog, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This isn’t just for those taking straight creative writing – we’d love to see the difference between those studying different variations of joint honours too, so don’t be shy! Don’t forget to check out the blog, we aim to post once a week. Get in touch, we look forward to meeting you!
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“Students receive a discount in the upper circles, which is a nice little added extra, and maybe worth having slightly squashed knees.”
industry professionals and budding entrepreneurs in the Arts. We have recently expanded our social media presence to include a blog – www.brunelwriter.com, on which we publish articles about student life and writing in general. The blog is also student lead and is still very new to the world.
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS RATHORE
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PHOTO CREDIT: GINVA.COM
OPEN AIR CINEMA REVIEW “The quality of sound and visuals were fantastic and I was towards the back of the crowd” Natasha Levy There is something not quite right with the idea of an open air cinema in London. The temperamental manner of British weather, where it can go from sunny climates to thundering rain and wind in a matter of minutes, make the thought of an outdoor screening somewhat distressing. Yet, over the break from university I found myself agreeing to attend a showing of The Wolf of Wall Street in Dulwich Park by The Luna Cinema company. Although I had been anxiously checking the BBC weather page from days in advance and questioning the
sufficiency of my standard umbrella, this alternative cinema experience turned out to be surprisingly pleasant. With the weather remaining dry, it was wonderful having the space to watch a great film underneath a twinkling starry sky rather than cooped up in a dark room knee to knee with strangers. However, with this summer coming to an abrupt end and the evenings being unseasonably chilly, dressing warm and bringing a blanket was a must. Though it’s not exactly like being snuggled on your sofa at home with a DVD, once I was settled I found it almost as cosy. Despite being in the open outdoors, the quality of sound and visuals were also fantastic- I was
towards the back of the crowd yet character Jordan Belfort’s debauchery was still shockingly clear and I had no trouble hearing every profanity screamed from the trading floor of Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm. My ticket cost £13.50, and although you’re paying a considerable amount more than your average cinema goer, it’s most definitely worth it as Luna are excellent hosts. From having attendants to welcome you to the venue, to selling comfort essentials like food and blankets on site at reasonable prices, to do this unusual night out with friends overall feels pretty effortless. There’s no
need to travel far for this experience either, with there being an abundant selection of screenings at London’s most dazzling but central spots such as Regent’s Park theatre or the top of the One New Change centre in St Paul’s. The setting isn’t the only bonus of attending an open air movie showing. Being such a unique and rare way to appreciate cinema, it’s also clear that the Luna showings attract audiences that are passionate about film, and the event becomes an amazing way to share your love of scenes, soundtracks and actors with others in a relaxed environment. Whilst I opted to go
watch one of the many contemporary films Luna has made available to see, there is also the opportunity to watch classics or nostalgic childhood favourites with films such as Grease, Back to the Future and The Goonies also on offer. I once thought of open air cinemas as a cliché of old-school American films, where college kids would watch a movie from inside their open top cars as the sun sets. But outdoor screenings are happening right here in our city, just a tube ride away at some of London’s most scenic venues. Luna Cinema is holding these events until 28 September - don’t miss out.
34 SOCIETIES SHOWCASE
JOINING A SOCIETY T
he first few days you arrive at Brunel, you immediately start to realise that there’s a lot more to Freshers than just the partying. The Fresher’s Fayre offers you a variety of societies to join and the best part about it is that it’s all in the same place. Whether you are a photographer, a musician or a feminist, your options are open!
Now the question is what society should you join? From my experience, I went around to all societies and got a taste for what appeals to my interests. My advice is to try as many societies as possible because they keep you busy; and it’s a great way to build your experience. I’m not going to deny that you will be probably get over excited and think you can cope with 10 different societies but that’s how you learn what you enjoy! Extracurricular activities are a good thing, they allow you to do things out of your comfort zone and explore new things. Try as many societies as you can because it will let you discover new things! Immerse yourself into the Brunel Experience! Want to have your society featured in the next edition of Le Nurb? Send a 100-word summary to email@example.com and we’ll put you next month’s issue!”
JOIN TODAY! brunelstudents.com
Have you always felt a little out of place? Do you have a certain fondness for ABBA? Is “Barbie Girl” just your jam? Are the girls from your country known for being incredibly beautiful? Do you drink a bit more than others? And is it often mead? Then you must be Nordic Or even if you’re not, but find this way of living interesting and appealing, then come along to Nordic Society and live life Vikingstyle!
This year, Drama Soc will be bigger and busier than ever with ongoing projects, such as a brand new radio show, original and scripted productions, online sketches, theatre trips, SO MANY workshops and more and more socials! This year it’s our mission to get you involved. Alongside this, we run weekly workshops every Tuesday at 7:30, in Anton Artaud, Room 103 packed with games, activities, guest workshop leaders, lots of laughing, and post-workshop socials. So come along to our picnic during Freshers’ week on the 17th in the John Crank Gardens, you might end up just as mad about Drama Soc as we are!
The Brunel University History Society strives to promote student’s interests in history, whether it is studied as a discipline or as a hobby. The Society provides both an academic and a social atmosphere to accommodate all members - whether they wish to engage in debates or enjoy reliving eras from long in our past, there has been events to provide something for everyone’s tastes.
Want to meet new people, have a lot of fun, and explore the amazing variety of cultural opportunities London has to offer? With a series of trips from Comedy Clubs to West End cinema, passing through Drama in pubs, tiny gigs and spoken word poetry, the English Society has an event-filled year planned. Alongside this, we run a series of writing workshops, and can help you get involved with everything from Radio Brunel Sketches to writing plays for performance. Come along and meet some great people!
Welcome to the Photography Society, Brunel. Learn from basics to advanced photography skills; sophisticate yourself with new techniques, ideas and tutorials. Create your own montage of amazing photographs amongst us. Enrich and inspire yourself and other by joining our society. Connect with us through our Facebook group and explore new friends, members, photos, articles, events and more. https://www.facebook.com/groups/photo.brunel/ Email any queries at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“The is an international program for students from all academic, social, and economic backgrounds to learn and understand global issues, the UN’s involvement in resolving those global issues, and your potential role towards helping to resolve and prevent those issues from continuing. Through this society, you can have the opportunity to practice your debating, public speaking, research, teamwork, and networking skills. Moreover, you can meet famous people working for the UN like some of us were able to meet ANGELINA JOLIE at the FCO Summit! However, we also have plenty of volunteering opportunities and activities for you throughout the year!”
LIVE MUSIC SOCIETY
Welcome to Brunel Feminism Society! We are a group dedicated to raising awareness about, and discussing feminist issues. What are feminist issues? That depends on who you ask! We welcome all people with differing views on issues that they consider to be feminist in nature; and those who aren’t sure quite where an issue belongs. We aim to create a safe space within the university where people can talk about these issues and we welcome everyone from those who just want to know what feminism is about, to those who’ve identified as a feminist for years for a number of years; so join us and join the discussion! Join us on the 16th of October for a movie night where we’ll look at some of the most interesting female characters in film history and their development. 7PM, in the lecture centre.
Live Music Society (LMS) is the core of the live music scene at Brunel. It runs the annual Battle of the Bands event where participants - either bands or solo artists compete for a cash prize. The society also works closely with UBS Nightlife to bring some of the emerging talent from Britain’s live music scene to the university. LMS also works hard for musicians at Brunel by providing them with a means of connecting with one another. This allows them to collaborate and realise any musical projects they have. If you are interested in live music, whether you want to take part or not, Live Music Society is for you!
We are a fun and friendly society. Our motto is “Inspiration for the generation” and by that we aim to share our appreciation of fashion through: “Outfit Ideas”, “Brunel Street Style” “Fashion Trend Alerts” via social media as well as tons of fashionable socials. Whether you’re an aspiring fashion designer, regular fashion blogger or just a total shopaholic, the Brunel Fashion Society is the society for you. No matter what your style is; be it the latest high street trends, vintage chic or haute couture, we have something for everyone. We are a new society that plans to have regular socials where you can meet new people and make new friends! We aim to organize new exciting events such as Fashion movie nights, Christmas dinner, Brunel’s Fashion night out, The Brunel Fashion show and more…
MODEL U.N. SOCIETY Mehvish Maghribi
BOOK: STUDENT BRAIN BOOK: FOOD BY LAUREN LUCIEN STUDY SKILLS HANDBOOK Toby Berrimen
I love the Palgrave books, their Student Planner, Study Skills Handbook and others from their selection have been faithful friends throughout my degree. They were pitched perfectly at the audience, well written, and full of useful content. In short, they were everything that Student Brain Food is not. To be honest it is difficult to find a market for cookbooks these days, with so many websites full of great advice and recipes and websites like Supercook.com that will make suggestions based on what ingredients you have in the house. While it is well known that many students come to University with no knowledge of how to cook (one friend of mine didn’t even know how to grate cheese!), anyone who is likely to go to the effort of finding or buying a cookbook is more likely to have searched online first. There are a couple of useful bits in this book, such as the sections on food poisoning, and the tips on reheating food safely. Things that I wish everyone was aware of before they started cooking; after being hospitalised by poorly handled chicken I am particularly fussy about such things! However there are also recipes that just feel like filler for the book. An entire page dedicated to boiled egg and soldiers felt unnecessary, but not nearly as much as the recipes for Classic Fruit
Salad or Fruit Pot, both of which can be summarised as “mix some fruit in a bowl”. I am really not convinced on the mixture of kiwi and banana either. Whilst the book attempts to make itself studenty by the addition of a vodka jelly shot recipe, I can’t help feeling the whole thing was a bit pointless. You would be better off with Nosh for Students by Jon May (£6.29 on Amazon), or my all-time favourite collection of simple and delicious recipes the Best Ever Three and Four Ingredient Cookbook by J. White and J. Farrow (£2.81 used on Amazon inc. post). Those looking for more advanced techniques like how to debone a bird, proper slicing techniqes etc. would be best off with The Cook’s Book by Jill Norman (About £10 used on Amazon inc. post).
Would you like to win this book? Submit your best student recipe with a photo of the dish to email@example.com and you could win this cookbook and have your recipe and photo in the next issue of Le Nurb!
Rebecca Chambers This book was my saviour during my A-Level’s and the skills I picked up from it have carried me through the first two years of my undergraduate Law degree. It is a book to help study effectively with dedicated sections focusing upon academic writing, people skills, task management and planning your future. The good points about this book is that it is well formatted, easy to read and the information is set out clearly. It is also very interactive with self-evaluation tables, checklists and more. This allows you to track and evaluate areas for growth as well as identify areas for improvement to ensure you are the best ‘studier’ you could possibly be. The negative points about this book is that is very bulky, so if you want to keep a copy of it alongside you as you study as I did, then it is not good for transportation. One other point about this book is that the information is quite basic, as I mentioned I used it during my A-levels. However, it could be useful if you did not do any essaybased subjects for A-levels to ensure you are not thrown into the deep end when it comes to coursework and exams. Overall, this is an excellent book, particularly for those who have had a break from formal education or who lack basic study skills.
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN LUNATO-DOYEN
BOOK: A PELICAN INTRODUCTION: GREEK AND ROMAN POLITICAL IDEAS BY MELISSA LANE Rowan Frewin Melissa Lane’s introduction to Greek and Roman Political Ideas guides the reader through 8 key Political ideas, including Democracy, Citizenship and republic. Lane approaches this in a broadly chronological manner, giving an introduction to these ideas which is clear and easy to read, while avoiding patronizing the reader. Each chapter is broken down into bite size sections of a few pages long, each of which address key questions, definitions or thinkers. A rather lovely feature of this text is the inclusion of maps and timelines, which allow the reader to visualize the ideas with which they are presented.
PHOTO CREDIT: BBC
The book is informative and covers a wide range of ideas and thinkers- it is perfect for someone who wants an initial insight or basic overview of these ideas. Although, due to the wide scope covered by the text it does occasionally suffer from oversimplification; where I was faced with ideas that I had come across before I did sometimes feel that Lane’s descriptions were overly basic. However, as a text that presents itself as an introduction to these ideas it serves its purpose perfectly, giving a strong overview of Greek and Roman Political ideas.
GAMES: SUMMER RELEASES Alexander Tyson Wolfenstein: The New Order (Machine Games PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC) Beginning in 1981 with Castle Wolfenstein and credited with popularising the first-person shooter genre with 1992’s Wolfenstein 3D, this series with a rich heritage hasn’t been seen since 2009’s criminallyunderrated Wolfenstein. Wolfenstein: The New Order moves the classic World War 2-set action to the 1960s, in an alternate timeline where the Nazis won the war. The basic gameplay hasn’t changed much however, and you’ll still spend the vast majority of the game mowing down genetically-enhanced super-soldiers. Perhaps staying true to its old-school roots, Wolfenstein: The New Order eschews modern FPS design choices such as regenerating health and a limit on the amount of weapons you can carry. Whereas in most modern games you would be forced to duck behind cover and wait it out until you reach full health, in this you’re forced to race to the next health pack whilst dealing death from your expanded arsenal which includes standard guns and energy weapons.
Overall, this is a strong addition to the Wolfenstein franchise, and although lacking any sort of multiplayer component, the lengthy single-player campaign is well worth your time.
Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal - PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/Wii U/PC)
When Watch Dogs was first unleashed on an unsuspecting crowd at E3 2012, people were amazed. The short demo showcased a number of hacking gameplay mechanics within its stunningly beautiful open-world recreation of Chicago. Since then, Watch Dogs has been hit with delays plus a lot of negative criticism when gameplay videos emerged showing a severe downgrade in graphical quality from what was first shown. Now that it’s finally released (although the promised Wii U version is still AWOL) can it live up to the initial hype? Simply put, no. Similar to Ubisoft’s hit franchise Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs suffers from chronic simplicity and terminal blandness in its gameplay and story design. There is very little variance between missions and every single hacking mechanic can be performed with a press of a single button. This could be forgiven if the storyline was in any way engaging, but every twist is seen coming from a mile away and Aiden Pierce, the
protagonist, may be one of the leastmemorable gaming leads in recent years. A massive disappointment.
Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo EAD - Wii U) Chances are you’ve probably played a Mario Kart game at least once in your life, since the series debut on the Super NES over twenty years ago a new instalment has appeared on almost every single new piece of Nintendo hardware since. The core gameplay remains the same as ever, frantic racing with a focus on powerups that will add to the chaos as you can go from first to last (or vice versa) on the luck of a single item. The unfairness with these twists of fate never matter much as the game is so much fun to play. For this eighth entry, kart customisation is now an option but it goes nowhere near the level of a Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo. New pickups such as the Super Horn (emitting a radial shockwave that blasts players, obstacles AND items) are great additions to Mario Kart’s cartoon arsenal and the tracks with sections for anti-gravity and flying are inspired. A fantastic game that’s only hindered by weak online multiplayer, but Mario Kart has always been best when played with friends in the same room anyway.
GAME: INGRESS Toby Berriman What is Ingress? I could call it a worldwide geolocation augmented reality game based on capture the flag gameplay created by Google, but that wouldn’t do it justice and would probably leave a lot of you none the wiser. It is a game you play on your phone by walking to different locations and attempting to take control of “portals” for your team. No, not pressing a button and watching a character move on screen, you actually have to pick up your phone and carry it to different locations. These portals tend to be found at congregation points, religious buildings, or places rich with human intelligence or imagination. In fact there are currently five on campus, including the Brunel Statue and the Amenities building. A shadowy government agency called the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has been studying an energy called Exotic Matter (XM). XM is entering our world through inter-dimensional portals, and can influence the human mind. Some believe XM is being used to control us, and they form the Resistance. Others say XM enhances our minds and is leading us to evolution, these are the Enlightened. Either way XM is not just random, there is intelligence there. A communication from another civilisation? Something else?
An NIA employee leaked technology that could detect and manipulate these portals, and create fields of modulated XM to affect the minds of those within it. Rather than covering up the leak, the NIA decided to embrace the opportunity to make the public work for them and released the software as Ingress. So, Ingress is a game pretending to be a conspiracy. Or is it a conspiracy pretending to be a game? Soon you will be welcomed into the local community and meet new people who will help you get to grips with the game, or just meet for beer and cake. It is amazing how welcoming they are. Perhaps the greatest testament to how accepting and diverse the players are would be the giant field that was created overlapping the borders of Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus. Yes, you heard me, agents of each nationality cooperated to create a field that crossed closed borders between hostile countries! Roughly once a month there are major events in chosen cities which coincide with developments in the storyline. Hundreds of agents turn up and local communities organise them into coordinated teams to execute the larger strategy. It becomes a game of war with long and fierce battles for control. Remember I mentioned the NIA? That isn’t just back-story; the characters from the original story have ongoing roles and interact with players at events, on Google Plus, and YouTube.
Ingress is everything a game should be. It’s fun, it is truly social, it will show you new things and places, may even teach you new skills, and it gets you out of the house and exercising without even realising it. Plus it’s rather addictive.
GAMES: AUTUMN / WINTER RELEASES Jasmin Nahar We’re past the half-way mark of this year, but there are still loads of video games that have yet to be released. Here’s a run-down of five games to look forward to this Autumn/Winter.
Assassins Creed Unity (Xbox One, PS4, PC) Set in Paris during the French Revolution, this is a bit of a departure from previous games. It’s much more open ended, with more than one way to complete a given mission, and with tougher enemies than ever before, this looks set to be a big step forward in the AC franchise. (28 October)
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Xbox One, PS4, WiiU, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, Vita) So Arkham Knight has been pushed back to next year, but if you need your Batman fix and don’t mind it in a slightly less conventional form, then look no further than Lego Batman 3. Sure it’s not the coolest of games, nor the most difficult, but it’s a pretty fun way to pass an hour, or five… (TBC)
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4) You’re the Inquisitor, leading a group of heroes in saving the world from devastation following a massive rift in the sky. So, you know, pretty straightforward. The landscape in this game is expansive to say the least, and your individual decisions shape how it pans out, making this game one you’ll be spending a while on. (7 October)
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (3DS) Considering Pokémon games have been around since you were in primary school, this latest release, set in the Hoenn region, isn’t going to necessarily reinvent the wheel. But these games have always been great, so that’s no bad thing. So get all nostalgic, head into some tall grass, and attempt to catch ‘em all. (21 November)
Will you be Resistance or Enlightened? Choose wisely.
Destiny (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
I’ll see you on the battleground, agent. www.ingress.com
This first-person shooter is set seven hundred years from now in a postapocalyptic setting. It’s from the creators of Halo and it’s easy to draw comparisons, but with a universe and weaponry that’s wholly original and elements of massive multiplayer online games, Destiny looks set to be interesting in its own right. (9 September)
Available on Android and iOS.
PHOTO CREDIT: TOBY BERRIMAN
38 THE BEST & WORST OF UXBRIDGE
EDDIE LEGGATT TOTA L LY A R E V I E W A N D N OT A P U B C R AW L “Eddie and Ellis are doing a review of every pub in Uxbridge. Because they are plebs, they have left it all to the last day before deadline. A ton of pubs, five hours, would you like to join us?” My Girlfriend’s phone call started like this, and very soon a group of dedicated journalists had formed, sacrificing their free time for the laborious task of pub evaluation. What follows is a true show of our journalistic integrity. Ahem. While not every pub is covered, we managed a fair whack. So, sit back and join us on a virtual tour of every den of iniquity, halfway-house and watering hole within staggering distance of your Uni halls. Welcome to Uxbridge.
T H E C R OW N Found on High Street Cowley behind the Isambard complex, this bar is pretty standard. Sky Sports and BT Vision offer all the coverage you’re ever going to need, but apart from that nothing excels. Good to know where it is, as maybe some house party will wind up there, but it’s not a place you’ll regularly find Brunel students. If you do choose to have a drink here, you’ll lower the average age considerably. However, the drinks are reasonably priced, you’ll be surprised at how clean it is, and there’s never any trouble. Currently there’s no restaurant, but a dining/ kitchen area attached to the pub often offers itself up as an Indian. Stefan, rocking the cider: Unexciting. Ellis on the beer : It’s f***ing fosters, what do you think? But they do have a selection of ales, and usually a few more lagers. Eddie, on everything else: It’s £4.20
for a double mixer, that’ll do for me. Not cheap, but not too expensive.
afternoon pint and a burger, but the atmosphere as a whole isn’t one that would cap your night out.
THE FIG TREE An absolutely huge Greene King in Uxbridge central, you can also find it on St Margaret’s Lane. Drinks prices are standard Greene King, with decent deals coming and going. You can get some quite nice lager on tap – San Miguel, Peroni – and the general feel for the place is one that’s clean, bright and airy. Again very sports centric, so best to avoid it Saturday afternoons if you don’t care about the Gunners hurting their Spurs while they Never Walk Alone. However on our visit – and this gave us ample time to reflect – the service was delayed at best. The floor was sticky, the staff immensely slow, and it feels like last call happens ten minutes after sundown (a very tame 11pm). The large square building is a place you could happily have a mid-
Stefan, cider-less and sad: I don’t know, I waited for ten minutes, the entire world was served ahead of me, so I gave up. Ellis on the beer: San Miguel, in a very nice glass, it’s a shame it’s such an underwhelming atmosphere. Eddie, on everything else: Three drinks came to £11, which ain’t bad. Beyond that, I’m unenthused. And no Stefan, you can’t have my Hooch. THE THREE TUNS
Directly opposite Uxbridge Underground Station’s main entrance, The Three Tuns is an old looking stone floored pub which makes you feel a lot further underground than the two steps you went down. However this sensation is limited to the bar area, as there’s a conservatory and an outside heated smoking area. While the food is nothing amazing, and a tad pricey, their drink selection is solid and their happy hour prices, including half priced bottles of wine, is enough to make anybody smile. One thing worth noting is they are very strict on I.D., so be sure to remember it if you look anything younger than forty seven. Also, our advice is to definitely order that last bottle of wine at five to eight, and
What was that? Six quid for a bottle of wine? Every weekday between five and eight? Wow. That’s a bit cheap.
THE BEST & WORST OF UXBRIDGE settle in for the night. Stefan the Cider Guy: More to follow later. T H E G O O D YA R N A Wetherspoons which makes the perfect pitstop during those astonishingly arduous journeys into town, The Good Yarn is big, loud, cheap and well-staffed. It’s a ‘Spoons which makes the franchise, with a really pleasant mix of uni student, retiring couples, young suits and cheeky college. You’ll spend a night here with a smile on your face and your bank account intact. Food wise they have the standard Wetherspoons menu, which is absolutely huge and pretty customisable. It’s always decent, if not outstanding, and it’s pretty much the cheapest place to eat out in all of Uxbridge. In terms of drinks, they rip through different beverages, with taps changing halfway through shifts as new craft beers and ciders become available. Sometimes this is great – Yard Arm lime pale ale, for instance, made me very happy – and sometimes it’s atrocious, and you commit to drinking a pint of sour grapefruit hell disguised as a beer. Stefan the Cider Guy: There’s actual choice! Not being stuck to a Strongbow or Magners is refreshing… Thatchers Perry, Old Rosie and festival ciders? More variety than you can shake a stick at. Ellis on the beer: Ooh, Amstel. Beats Fosters! Eddie, on everything else: Grapefruit ale: I have made a terrible mistake. Erica: Seriously, you need to understand how good these waffles are! THE QUEEN’S HEAD They serve Birra Moretti, which is simply the best beer in the world. You can find The Queen’s Head just down the road from St Margaret’s Church in the middle of Uxbridge town. It’s tiny and not student central, but is welcoming, relaxed and very calm. Spirits are expensive – a whopping £4.85 for a single – and beer isn’t exactly cheap, with a pint of Moretti coming in at £3.95 a pop. While not cheap, the atmosphere is pleasant, the décor is chilled and all in all it’s not a bad place to spunk your student loan. Stefan the Cider Guy: The selection is small but fairly cheery. Ellis on the beer: Moretti saved my life before, I vote yes. Eddie, on everything else: There was Moretti, it is the hoppy liquid of the gods, and it wasn’t my round. I’m happy. T H E L OA D O F H AY For the sake of journalistic clarity, we feel the need to point out that this pub is our local. We practically are the furniture, and this may bias our opinion slightly. A mere five minutes’ walk from campus, the Load is a father-son run independent pub with personality oozing out of it. Oozing can at times be the right word, as depending on who’s working service can go from smooth perfection to begrudging admittance. Despite its
lack of thumping music or snakebite the Load is one place where you will always find a Brunel student, or fifteen. And on a Wednesday evening you won’t be able to move for clubs and societies having unofficial nights out somewhere not sponsored by UBS. Or so the entirely unconfirmed rumours go. Give it a go, if it’s your kind of atmosphere you’ll find it hard to drink anywhere else. But be warned, the place is a black hole.,
T H E M A LT S H OV E L A canal side pub about a ten minute walk from campus, this is by far the most food-focused place on this list. It’s large, smart, clean and the perfect mix between modern and traditional. Their menu is superb, a mix of traditional English pub grub and yummy desserts. Of all the places we’ve mentioned, this is the one which we’d take our parents out to – or use as a place for that vital third date.
Stefan the Cider Guy: Strong, sweet and plentiful, all of the standards, two specials in a cask, 7% pear by the pint and a tap alternative to Strongbow that blows it out of the water.
Stefan the Cider Guy: Slightly more pricey, but well-rounded in the cider department – they have Aspalls on tap and Rekorderlig in the fridge, plus the standards.
Ellis on the beer: It’s Fosters. Or Carlsberg. Lager wise that’s it – there’s a decent choice of ales, and on a Wednesday it’s £2 a pint. Their lack of choice is a bit of a flaw.
Ellis on the beer: Tad expensive, £4 for a pint of Peroni. There are more basic choices, with Carling at £3.05, but if you’re out for a meal go for the Peroni.
Eddie, on everything else: The only bar on this research trip with nine different bottles of whiskey behind the bar, and two lovely blueberry home brews. Good way to end the night, or start the afternoon. Or survive the morning. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cheap pint on campus, come down to Loco’s in the Hamilton Centre. Open 7 days a week with BT and Sky Sports, pool tables and food all day! *Prices were accurate at the time of purchase
B A R RY T H E B A R B E R A haircut should be more than just four snips and a short back and sides. It should be an experience: A ritual that you should be able to treasure, customise and enjoy now that you are away from the grasp of others making decisions for you. Why does Barry fit these quotas? Well it might be trivial but aside from the fact that he’s an excellent barber that’s been keeping the men of Uxbridge feeling good about themselves for years, saying the phrase “I’m off to see Barry the barber” to your flatmates just never gets old. That, coupled with the fact that he’s one of the friendliest and most genuine people you’d hope to meet all adds to it. See, he’s all about the experience.
D I A MO N D N A I L S PA Uxbridge boasts a large variety of Beauty Salons, ranging in services and specialities; my preferred Nail Salon is Diamond Nail Spa, a small yet inviting establishment on Windsor Street. They offer a wide selection of nail treatments, such as spa manicure/pedicure, shellac and nail polish design. I get acrylic nails done every so often and I’m always impressed with the result – They last a long time and take about 3 weeks before they even start to chip! In addition, they have a loyalty scheme, which rewards you with discounts on your 6th visit! Speaking as someone who doesn’t dress up very often, Highly recommend!
Red Iron Burger is Uxbridge’s answer to Tinsel Town. You can find Red Iron Burger in Uxbridge town centre. Probably the best burger bar I have EVER been to. They pride themselves on the fact that they sell ‘real’ food. On my first visit I tried the Sweet Chilli Chicken Burger - served with onion rings and skin house rustic chips - which was delicious! The food came in a basket with paper which gives that American diner vibe to it.
F I V E G U YS , A F U L L FAT E P I P H A N Y I recently added half an hour onto my journey into London, just so I could go via five guys. And I’d do it again in an artery choked cholesterol clogged heartbeat just to smell one of their greasy brown paper bags.
Red Iron Burger does Halal burgers so no one gets to miss out! Vegetarian burgers are available. You can even bring your veggie friends too! The only problem is you’ll be so full you won’t ever have room for dessert and there’s no way you can eat their burgers without making a mess. So no go for a first date.
What I’m trying to say here is this: Five guys is good. Very, very good, in the worse possible way. It will end diets, it will sentence you to weeks at the gym, it will turn your student loan into soft bun, melty cheese, fried onion and mayo heaven. You will come back again and again. And after your first visit, you’ll know to order a “little fry” and small chips, because their larges will feed a family of six. Too bad that, for the cost, you could almost clothe that same family.
RED IRON BURGER
Eddie, on everything else: Just go and eat their beef and ale pie. Stand up right now, walk there, sit down, order it,
I didn’t believe the hype at first, but it’s all true. Ghengis Khan pulled out of his unstoppable March East because he wanted a Big Fry double Bacon cheese. Taoist monk Jekiah Snuwaffle broke his seventeen year silent reflection when offered a peanut oil fry, skin still on and simple perfection, and it has been rumoured that Thatcher herself hummed a happy mining tune after her first bite of a Five guys tin-foil wrapped burger.
If you are crazy and want to try a MAN VS. FOOD like challenge, Red Iron provides this! With one competition consisting of eating a 32oz burger (the size of your head) winners get to have their photo on the wall of fame.
You can find them in a huge glass fronted building just next to Uxbridge tube station. Their ground floor boasts a couple of tables, piles of potatoes and peanut oil, a drinks machine with a seemingly unending amount of flavours - cherry and coconut tango anyone? - and a place where meat is made magic. Upstairs you have the standard fast-food booth layout, with white and red tiles ensuring that there’s no danger of a classy feel. Place for a first date? Not a chance. However, once you’re happy to see each other ripping relentlessly into oily heaven, pausing only to breathe and shovel in some more fries, there’s not a better place on the face of the earth.
TOBY BERRIMAN TA I PA N R E V I E W If you want a chance to stuff your face for a reasonable price, all you can eat buffets are often a good place to go. However, despite some excellent choices of food and dessert, Tai Pan on the Manpower roundabout can work out a bit pricey if you don’t know what you’re doing. For example if you turn up on a Friday or Saturday night you will be set back almost £18 for your meal (excluding drinks). The trick is to go for the lunch buffet, and get a takeaway box for just £7. Stuffing both lids of this box and holding it carefully shut means you can get enough yummy food for two or even three people (or one person if you eat like me). The down side is you won’t get the option of cakes and ice cream that are available on the all you can eat sit-in deal, however with a wide selection of tempura, prawn toasts, spare ribs, satay chicken, noodles, rice, and lots more besides, it is more than worth it. And then there is the holy grail: Duck Pancakes. Yes, you can get the ingredients for these and stuff your takeaway box full (although I have yet to see anyone dare to take more than a couple).
40 SUMMER FESTIVAL SPECIAL
HOLI FESTIVAL This summer on 28 June I attended what has become a Europe-wide festival experience. Centred on the Hindu festival of colours associated with India, Holi sees hundreds of people gather to throw powder paint in beautiful colours of green, yellow, purple and orange at strangers. The first of these European takes on the religious festival was staged in Berlin in 2012 by Holi Concept GmbH, and has been growing ever since, with this year’s event in London becoming their second to sell out. Held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park amidst the backdrop of the stadium and arenas, the bursts of colour were heightened by the modern setting. The highlight of the day was definitely - and perhaps obviously - the colour throwing, which took place once an hour to fill the air with the bitter tasting powder. This was accompanied by a selection of DJ sets throughout the day, with dancers also taking to the stage to perform traditional Indian dances to a mix of hip-hop and Indian musical influences, amongst others. DJs this year included Drunken Masters, ESKEI83, Zane Lowe and Bombay Boogie Soundsystem. Although it wasn’t my usual taste in music, it got people dancing as everyone crowded in front of the stage, which gave it a club-like atmosphere outdoors. This was unlike any festival I had attended previously, however, there were some downsides to it. Firstly, it still had the obligatory overpriced drinks and food. Secondly -and very unfortunately - it was pouring with rain, which may not be seen as a bad thing if you’re going to be covered in colour - but the lack of shelter and massive queues to enter the festival left many people starting their day soaking wet and cold. There was also a need to queue for everything during the day, from buying coloured powder paint, drinks and to visit the toilet, which became a little tiring. I worked at the same event when it was hosted in Wembley, but a few weeks after attending this one I noticed many issues with the festival. For example, the contactless paying system implemented was not functioning (repeatedly!) and the vouchers given to customers were not explained to any of the staff, leading to problems for various people who attended. Overall, the Holi festival was great fun – there was silly dancing and a
DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL: FRIDAY It’s Friday 13th, and who better to be playing Download main stage than horror-loving metallers Rob Zombie? This music is designed for theatrics, which means it does sit at odds with the sunny weather something Rob pokes fun at. The lack of stage production might come as a disappointment, but the frontman tries to make up for it, getting into the crowd and running up and down the barricades. The performance isn’t especially memorable, but between getting crowd chants going and a storming performance of ‘Dragula’, it’s safe to say that you don’t have to be a fan to appreciate the show. With the other headliners for the weekend being Linkin Park and Aerosmith, both seasoned festival headliners in the UK, it fell on firsttimers Avenged Sevenfold to open up Download with style.
PHOTO CREDIT: MOLLY LEMPERIERE chance to get completely covered in paint! I would definitely recommend going, but only buy the basic ticket as the supposed perks of the more expensive tickets seemed to cause people more problems. The event had a great atmosphere and will be unlike any other festival you attend – it’ll definitely be more colourful anyway. Let’s hope there will be better weather next time! ELLIS DAVIES 2000 TREES FESTIVAL One evening is all it took to get a sense of the 2000 Trees atmosphere. From the aggressive force of Oxygen Thief, sing-alongs with Ben Marwood, to a packed out tent of pure madness with Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - that’s just Thursday night. Welcome to 2000 Trees! Winner of the 2013 Grass Roots Festival Award, Trees is a relaxed, eclectic and brilliant little festival. At under £100, Trees has a totally unique feel and experience, combining the act and stage quality of a big festival with intimate spacing and just 5,000 people. The open nature of Trees allows you to explore new music from all sorts of genres. It was mid wander that we discovered Turbowolf. With an extremely energetic performance, lead singer Chris Georgiadis proved
himself an excellent showman. Instantly swept up in the wave of hype he created, I jumped and thrashed around for a full 45 minutes of music I had never heard. Later, The Bronx’s hour long headline set was a frantic whirl of people and music. I lost my shoes, twice. The Bronx was one of the sweatiest, loudest, most including sets I have seen in a long time. An unexpected highlight of Friday came past midnight at the bar tent. Thrill Collins, a skiffle/pop cover band succeeded in filling the tent, and inspiring the most crowd surfs of the weekend. They were fun, entertaining and just all-round brilliant. Not even on an established stage. Acts like these define Trees festival. This was not the only find of the night. Patrick Craig, Leeds based solo musician played a set on the tiny stage at Camp Turner Friday evening that had the crowd grinning the entire time. Patrick’s songwriting, performance and attitude make him a fantastic artist, one of my favourite discoveries of the festival, and definitely someone to check out. Saturday included all kinds of performances across the various stages of the site. The Cadbury Sisters, Jamie Lenman, Dave McPherson and Public Service Broadcasting all delivered stand out performances as the weekend drew to a close. As the final act of the festival, Frightened RECYCLE Rabbit’sPLEASE mix of upbeat anthems and
relaxed melodic forays provided the perfect close to an excellent festival, capturing the mood of the crowd and creating one of the best atmospheres seen at the main stage all weekend. However, although the last official act had played, Trees was not over. Camp Turner, the tiny busking stage in the center of the campsite, held the best performances of the festival on Saturday night. Firstly with the appearance of Barry Dolan of Oxygen Thief with a borrowed guitar, playing his solo material as well as requested covers. Fellow Xtra Mile Recordings artist Ben Marwood followed. This was my favourite moment of the entire festival. Marwood’s sheer humbleness is part of what makes him so good. I have never seen any other artist look so pleased and surprised to receive eruptions of applause at the end of each song. He seems to be made as happy by his fans as they are by his outstanding music. That is 2000 Trees. A unique and lovely festival that is guaranteed to make you smile for 3 full days. The variety of the acts at Trees almost ensures that there is something for all tastes, as well as being a great place to be introduced to new music in the best way possible, live. In short, forget Reading, 2000 Trees is the British music festival that you really need to experience.
Starting with Shepherd of Fire, what ensues is a show that doesn’t disappoint. Having clearly listened to the lukewarm reception that greeted their setlist in their arena tour last year, this time round they pull out all the stops. They play more off behemoth album ‘City of Evil’ than anyone would have expected, and a storming performance of ‘Second Heartbeat’ is a nice nod to their metalcore roots, making this show one for old fans as well as new. A touching tribute to late drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan comes in the form of So Far Away, and despite being a band that tend to not say much on stage it’s clear from M Shadows interaction with the crowd that this means a huge deal to them. It’s the sincerity in the performance of every song that makes this set so special. They finish triumphantly on Unholy Confessions, and as fireworks shoot from the stage as the last riff plays out, it’s no overstatement to say this show was one that will be talked about for years to come. KIRSTY CAPES SECRET GARDEN PARTY FESTIVAL Secret Garden Party is probably the weirdest festival I have ever been to. Rather than, like most festivals, place emphasis on the music, SGP offers every kind of artistic experience you
SUMMER FESTIVAL SPECIAL could ever think of. In terms of genre, the best way I could describe the kind of music SGP puts out is probably a cross between dance and alt/ indie. I was definitely more interested in the host of weird and wonderful things it had to offer instead of music. There were mask-making workshops, plays and poetry readings, a huge spa called ‘The Sanctuary’ offering everything from foot rubs to yoga lessons; fairground rides; human football matches (basically people in massive inflatable balls throwing themselves at each other); vintage clothes shops, dance tutorials and much more besides. SGP truly offers something for everyone. While I wasn’t too fussed about the musicians on the lineup I popped in to the Sons & Sons Ampitheatre to watch a couple of dance workshops (b-boy and something that looked like a mix between salsa and absolute filth) and some of the comedy shows. The actual setup of the festival was beautiful, with every tent and stall a vibrant colour, making you feel like you’d stepped into a travelling circus. The main stage audience space was dotted with giant, fifteen foot daisies. A highlight was the Emerald City, a massive structure constructed in the middle of a lake which could only be reached by boat. The air was constantly a heavy mixture of glitter and smoke, and the whole vibe was one of love and acceptance. There were no fights or laddish behaviour. Everyone seemed to be the epitome of chilled. The best part of the whole festival for me was the eponymous Secret Garden. In order to find it you had to go into the right portaloo out of one of the many rows. Rather than stepping into a manky toilet you find yourself instead in a vast field of beautiful sunflowers, spotted with handmade scarecrows. It was a strange and tranquil experience, and there were other weird hidden treasures like this dotted throughout the festival. While the emphasis on art and expression was something which I thoroughly enjoyed at Secret Garden Party, I couldn’t help but get the strong impression that to really enjoy this festival I had to be on ketamine or something, which many of the people I met through the weekend were. Unfortunately this kind of ruined the experience a little bit for me. Everyone I met was perfectly lovely and friendly, but it was a little bit like being the only not-drunk person at a party. I still took time to enjoy the huge variety of things SGP had to offer – and I did enjoy it – but if you’re thinking of going to Secret Garden Party and you’re not big on taking drugs I would suggest going with some like-minded friends, or risk drowning in dilated pupils. SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL Slam Dunk is a day festival that showcases some of the best up-andcoming bands in metal, punk, and alternative music coming out of the UK and America. The festival travels between Leeds, Cardiff and Hertfordshire, each time stopping for a day at university venues. I went to Slam Dunk South, which was held at the ‘Forum’ Student Union venues at the University of Hertfordshire. Slam Dunk is a day festival that
showcases some of the best up-andcoming bands in metal, punk, and alternative music coming out of the UK and America. The festival travels between Leeds, Cardiff and Hertfordshire, each time stopping for a day at university venues. I went to Slam Dunk South, which was held at the ‘Forum’ Student Union venues at the University of Hertfordshire. I’ve been to Slam Dunk every year for the past three years, and each time it keeps getting better. As a fairly new festival, the bands are quite small unless you really know your alternative scene, but now as it gains momentum it’s able to pull in some of the bigger names. The atmosphere at Slam Dunk was one of camaraderie, something which often happens with this kind of music. With the alternative scene there seems to be a kind of kinmanship between fans, which means festivals always give out great vibes. The main outdoor Jager stage had the biggest names playing and the fact that it was outdoors gave it a really chilled atmosphere. Indoors some of the heavier bands played smaller stages giving the impression of a big London headline gig. The facilities at the University of Hertfordshire are absolutely fantastic, and the multiple nightlife venues of differing sizes allow for a number of different stages inside one big complex. The Atticus stage was my favourite, offering crappy pop-punk of the finest order, and some great acoustic sets, too. My favourites from the stage were Modern Baseball, Neck Deep and Real Friends, all of which played great singalong crowd pleasers. Unfortunately the huge windows in this room let in a lot of natural light which somewhat detracted from the atmosphere. The bands still all played really well though. The Monster Energy stage introduced me to some really fantastic bands who I’d never had a chance to listen to before, like Heart of a Coward, who played far too early in the day for the kind of crowd they could have drawn. The Devil Wears Prada were fantastic as always, as were Letlive. Bury Tomorrow unfortunately ruined a fantastic set with the obnoxiousness of their front man, who decided to punctuate each song with a social justice message about suicide or domestic violence, all of which sounded incredibly phoney and detracted from the music. The best new discovery of the festival for me was a British pop-punk band called Decade, who played the indoor Macbeth stage. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise was the headliner, The All-American Rejects. The All-American Rejects is probably the biggest name Slam Dunk has ever had on the bill, with previous headliners being Kids In Glass Houses and Taking Back Sunday. Kids In Glass Houses actually played again this year, but were demoted to a smaller stage to make room for AAR, despite AAR’s recent decline since emo peaked and died along with shag bands. I was torn between seeing KIGH or AAR, but eventually was persuaded by my friends to stick with the latter. The last time I saw The All-American Rejects was when they supported Blink-182’s comeback tour in 2012. At that gig the frontman
Tyson Ritter was absolutely off his nut and could barely string a sentence together. He insulted the crowd, writhed around on the floor and was just generally a mess. I was expecting much of the same this time round, but I was happily proven wrong. I don’t know whether Tyson Ritter has been to rehab or whatever in the last couple of years but the whole set was airtight, Ritter not missing a single note and the whole show just obviously very well rehearsed and well thought out. Ritter wasn’t too creepy and his vocals, which are basically a carbon copy of the studio recordings, were a joy to listen to. Everyone was clearly expecting a total trainwreck and the fact that we were all proven wrong made it a real highlight to finish the day on, even though I sensed that everyone was just waiting to hear Move Along, Gives You Hell and I Wanna. The set made me go home and immediately listen to The All-American Rejects’ back catalogue. It was fantastic. If you’re still stuck in your misunderstood teen phase like me then Slam Dunk is definitely the festival for you, although I encourage you to do your research on the lineup beforehand so that you come in with a good idea of which bands you want to see – otherwise you’re going to miss some real hidden gems. And, as I have learned this year, always give the headliner the benefit of the doubt, because they may just surprise you. KAT CLEMENTINE, KIRSTY CAPES, JAMES ALDER READING FESTIVAL It was James’ third consecutive year going to Reading and he thought it was great to see that parts of the festival hadn’t changed, the main example being the atmosphere. It’s the kind of festival that if you were to fall over in a mosh pit, everything would stop and everyone would help you up, which is unlike festivals such as V Festival where you would be stepped over and trampled. He was even strangely happy to see that the campsite toilets were still massive pits of filth… A surprisingly good performance from Brody Dalle tucked away at the Lock Up stage proved she could really make it alone with anthemic singles such as Don’t Mess With Me. However, Friday really kicked off with Paramore. Despite the sound cutting out halfway through their set, Paramore handled the stage like the seasoned pros that they are, playing all the crowd pleasers that were appropriate for a big festival crowd. Who knew ginger could be so sexy? Kat definitely developed a crush on Josh Homme after his slick stage presence and moves whilst performing Make it Wit Chu. Queens of the Stone Age proved they deserved the headline spot and were “9 hours better then the first time they played Reading” moving up from a 1pm slot. The sun was out and the good vibes were contagious on Saturday. The Hives’ afternoon slot provided the perfect backdrop, with classics such as Main Offender and Hate To Say I Told You So, accompanied with large doses of showman Pelle Almqvist’s ego andPLEASE energy. RECYCLE
Secret Garden Party Festival (by Kirsty Capes)
Secret Garden Party Festival (by Kirsty Capes)
Arctic Monkeys headlined the Main Stage on Saturday, following a talented but grumpy Jake Bugg (he doesn’t seem to realise his audience are actually people) the Monkeys showed why they have had one of their most successful years to date. Starting with the brilliant Do I Wanna Know it was just hit after hit. The whole audience repeated every lyric that left Alex Turner’s mouth. Although the other members make this band what it is (guitarist Jamie Cook’s riffs are as memorable as the lyrics) it is plain to see it has become the Alex Turner show. With his slicked back hair and his swaying hips (of which a girl turned to James and proclaimed ‘with hips like that you know he’s a sex god!’) he was always the centre of attention. The only negative was that the setlist had a massive emphasis on AM and only touched upon their nearperfection of their first album, but as a band with such an impressive and well-known back-catalogue this is understandable. Jamie T and Jake Bugg surprised audiences by playing an unscheduled set on Saturday. With the rumours flying around that Foo Fighters or Muse may be turning up, we were on the lookout for clues. A sign appeared at the Introducing Stage on Sunday saying “Special Guests 2:40”. It turned out to be You Me At Six playing an additional last minute set. Sunday saw the best and worst of festival. All the best acts clashed together so painful decisions had to be made to decide which ones to see! Jungle certainly made new fans which their infectious rhythms with songs such as Time. Clean Bandit
then made the crowd go crazy at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage, especially when Stylo G bounded out to perform Come Over. A Day To Remember and You Me At Six seemed to be in competition for who could entertain the crowd the most with their sets on the Main Stage. ADTR’s Jeremy McKinnon won the contest hands down by zorbing over the crowd compared to YMA6’s plight to break the world record for most crowd surfing. Whoever decided to put the abomination that is Macklemore on the main stage at a predominantly rock festival is either a total genius or a fool. He had so little material for his hour-long set that he had to play Can’t Hold Us twice. That’s what happens when you put a flavour-ofthe-month in a headline slot. The weekend came to a close with Blink 182’s crowd-pleasing setlist that was let down by the fact that it didn’t vary much from the European tour, or even the setlist that Blink played at Reading a few years ago. Travis Barker as always was the highlight and in a moment that will go down in history: he actually spoke! Gasp. Tom Delonge being a bit out of time didn’t really detract from what was overall a solid effort from the biggest pop-punk band in the world that drew in an impressive 100,000 festival-goers. Despite the rowdy stag do’s, many elbows in ribs and thorough soaking carrying tents and bags through a muddy campsite, we’re all geared up to do it all over again next year. Highly recommended.
James: Arctic Monkeys, hands down. Kat: Seeing old indie faves The Kooks and We Are Scientists. Kirsty: Bopping like a crazy person to A Day To Remember and Adventure Club.
42 SPORT PHOTO CREDIT: TDI SPORT
SPORT HANDBALL ON THE RISE Mehdi Punjwani The London Olympics’ impact on sport in the UK was inevitably going to be significant and since the Games, participation in sports of a wider range has been on the up. Cycling, netball, sailing, swimming are amongst those who have recorded positive trends in their popularity. Alongside these is an indoor sport known as team handball, Olympic handball, Borden ball, even European Handball, but to us, simply handball. Brunel University, in particular, have been taking part in the ever-growing involvement of the sport, and I caught up with the Chair of Brunel University Handball Club, Josephine Gregory-Brough, about just what was happening this year. First thing’s first, how are you? Had a good summer? Yeah it was awesome! We came back this week from the British Beach Handball Championships; it was the second year we’ve been and it’s always good fun! Nice! Tell me a bit more about the Championships, what did you get up to? And is there a plan to go next year too? So it’s held in Bournemouth; this year there were fourteen men’s teams, one of which was ours, and twelve
women’s teams. We had a tough group, with the national English champions Great Dane Handball Club from London in our group, and Oxford University Handball Club, who are university champions, but we did well finishing seventh overall with only three members on the team having played beach handball before. It’s definitely on the cards to go back next year, it’s always awesome fun, and it’s a totally different style of handball and is brilliant on a social level.
and welcoming. I’ve now taken over as Chair, having been the Media Officer since the founding of the club, and want to drive forward the women’s team. I also want to continue Gilbert’s efforts in establishing regular competition for clubs around London and nationally, through my role as a Director on the Association of British University Handball Clubs Committee, and ensure our men’s teams continue to go from strength to strength.
Awesome, you mentioned the men’s teams competing in the Championships; does Brunel have a women’s team?
Did the Olympics prove to be an inspiration for the establishment of the teams?
We have a women’s team who, last year, finished thirteenth overall in the country. We have a lot of international girls who had gone home over the summer so unfortunately we couldn’t enter a women’s team into the beach handball champs this year which was a shame. Ah okay, good to hear, and definitely a shame. So, about Brunel handball in general, tell us a little bit about it, and about your role as chair of the BUHC. Brunel Handball was founded in 2012, after the Olympics, by Gilbert Lewis who worked tirelessly to establish both men’s and women’s teams, as well as national and London-based competition. As a result he was nominated as student volunteer of the year in the BUCS awards. The club has always aimed to cater for everyone, and we are always open
Definitely! Handball is massive in Europe! However, in the UK it’s relatively unknown. Most of our players didn’t know handball existed until they came to a taster session after seeing it at the Olympics. One of our guys, Oli Barton, now plays for Britain Under-20’s side and we have had other players, girls and boys, represent Great Britain at university level. It’s amazing that in such a short space of time, a club that was small and unknown can yield such results! How exactly do you intend to advance the university’s teams? Is it a case of simply ensuring regular competition or is there more involved? Regular competition is a big thing, yes. We finally have the markings going down in the netball hall which means we can play games at home, and the women and men are both entered into the London league for the upcoming year. The national
league structure - run by myself and four other university students in the form of the Association of British University Handball Clubs - is another important development to note. This year, rather than a yearly one-off tournament, we are implementing a national league structure which will give teams all over the country a chance to play more regularly and develop. Aside from this we want to offer more for our members - we have won the Membership Engagement Award for two years in a row now at the Union’s Sports Federation Awards and we have always listened to what our members want. As a result this year we will be focusing more on coaches and training programmes to support players at all levels while not neglecting our diverse social calendar. Brilliant! Now, I understand you and BUHC have been nominated for an award? We were nominated back in July for the NUS Sports Club of the Year Award, recognising both our developments and growth as a new club but also recognising Gilbert and mine’s involvement in developing handball at a variety of levels. Very nice, it must mean a lot to you to see your hard work acknowledged? Yeah, it really did! And taking over from Gilbert I know I’ve got massive shoes to fill but we worked together to get the club where it is today and we want to keep building on our strengths and focusing on developing our weaknesses to eventually become
a more recognisable sport within university but also nationally. Okay, so what are the aims for next year, in terms of performance and development? We would like our men’s team to reach the national university finals, and to maintain and grow the foundations of our women’s team next year. We also have a massive RAG event planned which people should look out for. Can you give us any more details about the RAG event? It’s all under wraps at the moment, but it’s going to be awesome! Looking forward to it! Finally, a message to any Freshers thinking of joining the handball club this year? Come and give handball a go! We have lots to offer all abilities and have amazing progression and development opportunities. This year we have more coaching and conditioning sessions, social and competitive play sessions, we really have something for everyone, so make sure you look out for us in Fresher’s Fayre, come to our taster sessions and give us a go! BUHC’s first fixtures are on 25th October, with the men playing UCL at home and the Women playing Roehampton University away. The fixtures for both teams are available on the British Universities & Colleges Sport website. Follow Brunel Handball on Twitter at @BrunelHandball.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ON HOMOPHOBIA IN SPORT
SPLITTING FAIRWAYS OR SPLITTING UP? WHY GOLF IS THE SECRET TO KEEPING YOUR RELATIONSHIP ALIVE Kirsty Capes Studies show that while the summer holidays are the most unlikely time for a couple to ‘throw in the towel’, the global rate of relationship breakups experiences an alarming increase in the months leading up to Christmas.
PHOTO CREDIT: HOME OFFICE
Eleanor Woolcott The first international study on homophobia has been launched with help from Brunel Academic. The report, Out On The Fields, shone light on the regularity with which gay, lesbian and bisexual (LGB) individuals face discrimination both inside and outside of their sporting dominion. The study was launched in the lead up to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia which occurred on May 17th.
ensure that sports are welcoming and inclusive to everyone, whether watching or playing, regardless of sexuality.” He also hopes that “This historic research will help us move beyond the stories and anecdotes we hear and help as we collect some hard, international numbers… We’ll be able to compare the UK with other major, English-speaking countries to see how well we are addressing this issue.” This ground-breaking study is being fully supported by many recognisable faces of gay and lesbian athletes, including Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas.
Led by sports market research firm Repucom and a number of university academics, it looked at the type of homophobia and how often such discrimination occurs among athletes and fans alike across a number of countries – primarily the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
“We need to change sporting culture so that sexuality is no longer an issue and sport is welcoming and accepting to everyone.” Thomas says.
Brunel’s own Professor Ian Rivers, one of seven experts to be involved, says; “The goal [of the study] is to
This study is open to everyone, irrespective of sexuality. To take part, visit www.outonthefields.com.
“Many athletes around the world fear they won’t be accepted by their teammates and others if they are honest about their sexuality.”
BRUNEL RESEARCH SUGGESTS TOP SPORTS STARS ARE ALWAYS THINKING AHEAD OF THE GAME Ryan O’Donovan Research at Brunel University has discovered that top international sportspeople can anticipate opponent’s actions 80 milliseconds before they move. The Anticipation Training research was led by Brunel’s Head of Life Sciences Professor Mark Williams, and aided by personal care product supplier Gillette. The research aimed to highlight the importance of precision in making sure goalkeepers were ready to save penalties during matches and in those all important penalty shootouts. The research showed that the top players can anticipate an opponent’s action 70% of the time, while less
talented players only have a rate of 52%.
The report, Out On The Fields, shone lIt looks like people who have decided that they’ve fallen out of love tend to wait until after the holidays abroad, the summer sunshine and the time off from studying or work before they break the news to their significant other. But why is it that so many people want to break up after the summer? Could it be that after spending a prolonged amount of time in each other’s company over the summer months, couples just get, well, bored of their partners? In 2009 Lee Byron found that 28% of breakups are due to a lost interest in your significant other – and spending all that time together over the summer break surely must be a contributing factor to that figure. Too much of a good thing spoils that thing, and the same goes for relationships. So: how can you survive the summer months without losing interest in your partner, resulting in a probably messy and unpleasant September break up? September’s bad enough already, what with going back to university and the days getting shorter/colder. No need to make it any worse by breaking someone’s heart! Jo Barnett, a life coach and relationship expert, thinks the key is spending time apart. “When I am making suggestions for people who want to develop really healthy relationships I am always in favour of time apart doing the things that YOU love... your own interest or passion, hobby or sport,” Jo advises. “Not only does this keep your independence, it is healthy as you’re not always relying on each other for your entertainment.”
“As a result of extensive training and experience on the pitch, the top players have developed high-refined perceptual and cognitive skills that enable them to anticipate exactly what an opponent will do ahead of the act itself.”
It also concluded that lesser skilled goalkeepers focus on less important
For Jo, spending time apart not only encourages healthy and stable relationships, but it helps couples break out of a routine, gives them something new to talk about and prevents monotony. Taking up a new sport, or spending more time doing one you already love, is a great way to ‘take a break’ from your significant other, have some ‘me time’, and develop interests external to your daily routine. And what better sport than golf? Whether you’re already a lover of the sport, or you’re new to the game, golf is an effective way to get that much-
both men and women, golf can be a valuable tool that promotes not only these vital social behaviours, but also the importance of taking some time apart from your partner. Jo Barnett advises that couples take up to five days apart to help sustain a healthy relationship: “It’s important to get a good balance... it is really whatever you are both happy with. This can be anything from a couple of days apart to having five days apart.” If you don’t quite fancy a five-day golf holiday, a few hours playing 18 holes on the green is a good place to start. A common misconception is that golf
PHOTO CREDIT: FEVI IN PICTURES needed time away from your partner. In the introduction to her book Honey, I Love Golf, But I Love You More! Jodi Walker paints the stereotype of a man obsessed with golf, and his jilted wife/girlfriend becoming increasingly frustrated as he gives more time and attention to the sport than to her. In fact, a shift in perception reveals that golf demands behaviours – patience, courtesy, commitment – that are perfect for building longterm, sustainable relationships. For
breaks relationships rather than makes them, but Jo’s advice suggests that golf could actually be the perfect way to maintain a healthy, happy relationship with your partner – especially during that September slump. So why not make it your new academic year’s resolution to play more golf? Besides the obvious health benefits, you may find that the health of your relationship (and your handicap!) will take an unexpected turn for the better.
BRUNEL HOSTS MENTAL HEALTH LEAGUE SUMMER CUP
Professor Williams told Brunel’s website, “The smallest margins can make the difference between winning and losing.”
The research showed that elite goalkeepers spend more time fixating on the penalty taker’s face during their walk-up and kicking leg, non-kicking leg and ball all milliseconds before a penalty is struck.
PHOTO CREDIT: DOHA STADIUM information. Prof. Williams added, “This research shows that those players who practice their art and train hardest have the best chance of success.”
Brunel University played host to the North West London Mental Health League Summer Cup over the summer holidays, a tournament that was eventually won by Everton in the Community’s Imagine Your Goals team. Everton IYG were joined by Brighton Albion in the Community, Hounslow Hawks, Riverside Rangers and eight other teams to make three groups, and they began the tournament with three wins out of three in their
assembly, beating the Hawks 1-0, Albion 2-1 and most emphatically putting four past The Bridge with an excellent performance. This was followed by an impressive 2-0 win over QPR in the semi-final, a tie that some had touted to go to the West London outfit, before a 3-1 victory over Riverside in the final that ensured IYG’s seventh national title, with one goal from Danny Lewis and a brace from Mark Lunt. In addition to the winners’ medals, Everton IYG also picked up the Fair Play Award for their sportsmanship exhibited throughout the tournament.
BRUNEL FUTSAL IN ROTTERDAM: A DIARY OF THE EU GAMES Pedro Bernardini
needed a result the following day on tired legs against France (University of Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne), last year’s finalists who featured 6 French National team players and one of the favourites for the title this year, and whom had already had a day’s rest and so our prospects were bleak.
PHOTO CREDIT: BRUNEL FUTSAL
With the team facing an early flight on the 22nd (7:30am) and a very tough match schedule in the EURO’s (a minimum of 5 matches in 7 days), preparations were ongoing for a month until the night before departing.
With all due respect to Brunel, the French side had 5 members of staff, we had 1. They trained 5 times a week, we trained twice if we were lucky (we had 2 slots a week but 1 slot was the day after a match which we never used if we played…). They featured 11 players who played in their National League, we featured 3. They have 6 National team players and we have 1 who plays for the England ‘B’ team (the development squad). We knew that only a miracle and a major sacrifice on our bodies would we be able to achieve the unattainable.
The squad tried to get an early night in and a lot of sleep before departing (although it was difficult due to the excitement). What we didn’t know was that the EU Games would present a serious test to our team unity… The University of Rotterdam campus is huge! Some of us thought that the Brunel campus was quite nice but wait until you see this campus. It was so big that we almost got lost there on the first day looking for the accreditation staff members! We were drawn with The University of Paris (1st seed) and Lietuvos Sportos Universitas (3rd seed). A very difficult group, much to our luck! The French team who later went on to become the Champions were highly regarded (and we had seen them play previously too…) and the Lithuanian team were well prepared, physically fit, compact and were arguably the strongest 3rd seed along with Germany (University of Munster). This didn’t, however, derail our confidence. It only made us more eager to continue proving to everybody what an excellent team we have! We had no matches on our first official day of the tournament, meaning we’d have to play 5 games in the next 5 days. Some key players such as myself, Adi and Yassin were ‘injured’ or had a few knocks. Consequently, we lacked the depth we were known for having, the squad lacked the depth it usually has and we would need to rely on the fitness of 6 or 7 players too much and also couldn’t afford any more injuries. It also didn’t help that key players; Sergio Garcia and Omar Yassin (a standout fresher) could not compete. In the afternoon we watch our opponents France and Lithuania square off against each other. It was an exciting game but we tried not to watch the spectacle but to study our opponents instead. As expected, the French team who featured 6 players from the National team (4 of whom are professionals) beat Lithuania 6-1. We also realized that despite France’s dominance, Lithuania lacked some sort of defensive cohesion and some of their players were often caught watching the ball and not their player or zone (which in Futsal is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!) but were a very good counter-attacking side. As we play a possession orientated game we had
to be very careful with this as we were at times caught sleeping in defense versus the counter-attack. It was simply imperative that we got to the court 2 hours before we play. We had 45 minutes of warm-up time before our game but we required more time to go over with our coach the best methods to exploit Lithuania’s defense and to mentally prepare for what would be the biggest game ever for Brunel Futsal! Heading into the game we were naturally very confident of ourselves as we had not lost a meaningful game for Brunel since February 2013. That is a very long time and so a winning mentality was accrued as a consequence of tasting victory too many times. We are a team which is not used to losing. Losing is not a part of our culture and we take training and development very seriously. Myself, Alex Sykes and captain Pouria Barvand tried to assume a leadership role (but as you’ll find out it didn’t necessarily work out for me or Alex). As the game kicked-off Lithuania hit the post in the opening 10 seconds of their very first attack. On the following play we almost scored from an attack led by Jake and Adi. Despite both teams being nervous (Lithuania needed a win at all costs to progress and we needed a win to qualify and to ensure a ‘rest day’), the 1st half was end to end with both teams keeping possession tidily and both teams defending half-court. We were the most dangerous team in the 1st half as we had 20 shots to their 11. Pedro, Furmaan Khan and Bradley Johnson had the best chances to put Brunel ahead but all failed to hit the target when the opportunity arose. Unfortunately for us, there is a famous saying in Futsal used in Brazil which played to its words and translated reads ‘The team that doesn’t score will concede’ and that is precisely what happened. Just when we looked like the better team and were imposing
ourselves on the opposition, Lithuania with a counter-attack on the right hand side made a 1-2 play and their winger followed with an effort which keeper Alex Sykes parried to the middle and the rebound was finished by the Lithuanian pivot. Lietuvos Sportos Universitas 1 – 0 Brunel University going into the 2nd half. At the break we were reminded by our coach, Janio Cruz that we had been behind before and we managed to turn the deficit around and win. The discourse was the same this time around and he pleaded for better finishing and calm in our attacking third. The strategy was set. Play the same way, don’t lose possession as Lithuania are good on the counter and finish when the opportunity arises. However, Lithuania got a goal right in the beginning of the 2nd half and so we opted for the strategic ‘powerplay’ The power-play is when the goalkeeper becomes an outfielder and you play 5 versus 4 to gain numerical advantage to have a better opportunity to score. The main risk with this is you leave your own goal exposed if you lose the ball as it would be open. We opted for this and pulled one back with 4 minutes remaining making it 2-1 with Furmaan Khan opening our account. However, with 20 seconds left in the game we opted to double-team pressure (leaving one of their players free as a consequence) and they scored. Final score: Lithuania 3 – 1 United Kingdom. Despite the Lithuanian side being better than almost anything we faced last season in the BUCS (bar Loughborough University in the final) it was a humbling and necessary experience to eventually be defeated. We knew it would be bound to happen in this competition despite our confidence. It was also a feeling the freshers didn’t get to taste with the Futsal team as we were undefeated Champions of everything we played in last season (BUCS Futsal Premier League and BUCS Championship). What also weighed heavily is that we
Our tactic for this game was to be as unpredictable as possible and so we took a major gamble – using the power-play early in the game and different sets from the back (3-1 and double pivot 2-2 sets) to try and throw them off guard. The match began and as expected France kept possession with intensity and we were very careful with our marking. It is hard to mark France man to man as they do not play a pre-defined set from the back. Instead, they play an advanced and unorthodox professional style of all players constantly changing directions as a team to get free to receive the ball. The ideal way to mark them is to utilize a full court full pressure but we didn’t train this enough nor did we have enough ‘fit’ players to utilize this. France got the lead after 6 minutes and we were on the retreat straight away. Instantly, we reverted to the power-play (5 versus 4 with a ‘rush goalkeeper’ in layman terms). Our inability to keep possession during the fly-keeper gifted France a further 5 open goals. We went into the half losing 6-0. In the 2nd half, we abandoned the flykeeper tactics and stuck to a mixture of full-court pressure and half-court counter-attack defense. They scored only a further 2 and we lost a heavy 8-0 to an excellent side. Strangely, this type of learning experience was one of the beauties of this competition. After the game we found out we would be competing for positions 17th to 24th and that we would be facing Ondukus Mayis, the Turkish vicechampions as they also finished 3rd in their group also. After watching them play versus Ukraine and Germany we knew that they were a good attacking side (better than us in that regard) but were hugely undisciplined defensively. The Turkish team had a day’s rest and we were still tired and deflated from
the previous night (France). As a result, we thought we’d use the boring tactic of sitting back to conserve energy in defense and use our energies only to counter-attack which we are pretty good at anyway. As the game played out – Turkey looked dangerous attacking but we presented the ‘bend but don’t break defense’ which essentially means to allow the opponents to attack deep in our half but not let them shoot (or if they do it gets blocked). For the neutral fan who has never watched Futsal they would assume we were getting dominated. For those that understand Futsal would know that we were disciplined defensively and didn’t allow them to get comfortable. The match largely played out this way and we were winners at 5-4. Our tactics worked but we were exhausted after the game due to 3 tough games being played in 3 days. We were defeated 6-3 by a good Polish team. The game was very balanced though and we were even up at 3-2 before conceding 4 in the last 5 minutes. This could be due to fatigue or simply lack of discipline but it is what it is – another loss. Regardless of what it is that went wrong. We needed to play our final game the following morning (9am) against a strong Finnish side – the Tampere Technical University to fight for 19th place (As Poland would fight for the title of ‘best of the rest’ after defeating us). A cagey and very balanced game against the Finnish champs led to a 2-1 win. They presented 2 players who play for the Finnish National team and were a very good team. Their captain is a good player. 20th position in the ranking probably wasn’t what they deserved after being placed in a very tough group, similar to us (though we didn’t perform too well). Finally, we finished at 19th place (3rd best for the ‘best of the bottom’ contest). The ability to represent BUCS as national champions in the European competition was only possible due to significant additional funding provided by The Union, Brunel Commercial Sport and Leisure and our catering partners Sodexo. Union Chief Executive Craig Lithgow said” we were very pleased that our partners at Brunel Leisure and Sodexo took very little persuading to help us support the Futsal team and enable them to compete in this competition, and in recognition of their success this year in the nationals we are in discussions with Sodexo on how their funding can help support the club through this coming season.”
BUCS: BRUNEL OCTOBER FIXTURES PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS RATHORE
Our weekly Brunel sport fixtures are back! Here’s what to look out for in October.
Badminton Men 1 15th Oct - Surrey (Home) 22nd Oct - Chichester (Away) Men 2 15th Oct - St. Mary's (Home) 22nd Oct - Bucks (Away) 29th Oct - Imperial (Away) (Cup) Women 15th Oct - Essex (Away) 22nd Oct - Queen Mary (Home)
Men 1 15th Oct –Portsmouth (Home) 22nd Oct – Bucks New (Away)
Men 1 15th Oct - Imperial (Home) 22nd Oct - Canterbury (Away) 29th Oct – Reading (Home) (Cup)
Men 2 15th Oct – St Marys (Home) 22nd Oct – Roehampton (Away) 29th Oct – Brighton (Away) (Cup) Men 3 15th Oct – Kingston (Home) 22nd Oct – Bucks New (Away) 29th Oct – Canterbury (Away) (Cup)
Men 2 15th Oct –Imperial (Home) 22nd Oct –Chichester (Away) 29th Oct – Surrey (Away) (Cup) Men 3 15th Oct – Imperial (Away) 22nd Oct – Portsmouth (Home) 29th Oct – Kings (Away) (Cup)
Men 4 15th Oct – Imperial (Home) 22nd Oct – Roehampton (Away) 29th Oct – West London (Home) (Cup)
Men 1 15th Oct – South Bank (Home) 22nd Oct – Oxford (Away) 29th Oct – Bath (Away)
Men 5 15th Oct – West London (Away) 22nd Oct – Royal Holloway (Away) 29th Oct – Portsmouth (Away) (Cup)
Women 2 15th Oct – St Marys (Home) 22nd Oct –LSE (Away) 29th Oct – Holloway (Away) (Cup)
Men 2 15th Oct – Portsmouth (Home) 22nd Oct – West London (Away) 29th Oct – Bucks New (Home) (Cup)
Women 1 15th Oct – UCL (Home) 22nd Oct – Sussex (Away) 29th Oct –Chichester (Away)
Women 3 15th Oct – Kent (Away) 22nd Oct – Royal Vets (Home) 29th Oct – Brighton (Away) (Cup)
Men 3 15th Oct – Imperial (Away) 22nd Oct – Roehampton (Home) 29th Oct – Chichester (Away) (Cup)
Women 2 22nd Oct – Arts (Away) 29th Oct – St Marys (Home)
Women 15th Oct – Imperial (Home) 22nd Oct – Brighton (Away) 29th Oct – Sussex (Away)
Futsal Men 1 26th Oct – St Marys (Home)
Men 2 26th Oct -Canterbury (Home)
Women 1 15th Oct – Sussex (Home) 22nd Oct – UCL (Away) 29th Oct –Canterbury (Home)
Men 15th Oct – Portsmouth (Home) 22nd Oct – Surrey (Away) Women 15th Oct – Portsmouth (Away) 22nd Oct – Brighton (Home)
Men 1 15th Oct – Brunel 2nds (Home) 22nd Oct - Sussex (Away)
Women 26th Oct – Essex (Away)
Men 2 15th Oct – Brunel 1sts (Home)
Netball 1 15th Oct – Cardiff (Away) 22nd Oct – Bath (Home) 29th Oct - UWEngland (Home)
Mixed 15th Oct – Holloway (Home) 22nd Oct – Imperial (Away)
Netball 2 15th Oct – Holloway (Home) 22nd Oct –Portsmouth (Away)
Women 15th Oct – Sussex (Home) 22nd Oct – Kings (Away)
Netball 3 15th Oct – Portsmouth (Away) 22nd Oct – Chichester (Away) 29th Oct – Imperial (Away) (Cup) Netball 4 15th Oct –Surrey (Home) 22nd Oct – Chichester (Away) 29th Oct –Roehampton (Home) (Cup)
Men 3 15th Oct – SOAS (Home) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Away) Women 15th Oct – Roehampton (Away) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Away)
Netball 5 15th Oct – Chichester (Away) 22nd Oct – Portsmouth (Home) 29th Oct – Kingston (Away)
Men 1 15th Oct – Imperial (Home) 22nd Oct – East London (Away) 29th Oct – Sussex (Home)
Netball 6 15th Oct – Imperial (Away) 22nd Oct – Surrey (Home) 29th Oct – Arts (Home) (Cup)
Men 2 15th Oct – Surrey (Home) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Away)
Rugby League Men 1 15th Oct – St Marys (Home) 22nd Oct – Reading (Away) 29th Oct – Middlesex (Home)
Rugby Union Men 1 9th Oct – Imperial (Home) 15th Oct – Portsmouth (Away) 22nd Oct – Imperial 2 (Home) 29th Oct –Hartpury (Away) Men 2 15th Oct – Holloway (Away) 22nd Oct – Chichester (Home) Women 29th October – Reading (Home)
Women 1 15th Oct – Surrey (Home) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Away)
Tennis Men 1 15th Oct – Roehampton (Home) 22nd Oct – Reading (Away) 29th Oct – Westminster (Home) (Cup) Men 2 15th Oct – UCL (Home) 22nd Oct – imperial (Away) Men 3 15th Oct – Suffolk (Home) 22nd Oct – Roehampton (Away) 29th Oct - Queen Mary (Home) (Cup) Women 15th oct – Sussex (Home) 22nd Oct – Bucks New (Away)
Men 1 15th Oct – Essex (Home) 22nd Oct – LSE (Away) 29th Oct – UCL (Home)
Mens 15th Oct – Kings (Away) 22nd Oct – Imperial (Home)
Men 2 15th Oct – UCL (Home) 22nd Oct – Reading (Away)
Women 15th Oct – Westminster (Away) 22nd Oct – Holloway (Home)
SPORTS CLUB SHOWCASE Basketball
ed. Michael Darlow Flyers, freebies and footballs being thrown at you? Must be Freshers’ Fayre! If you can’t make head nor tail of it all then have a flick through our own Sports Club Showcase, giving you an introduction to just a fraction of the massive number of sports clubs available to you at Brunel! If you like the sound of any of them look out for their events during Freshers’ Week or visit brunelstudents. com for more information!
Athletics Here at Brunel University we are extremely proud of our athletics heritage – our first international vest was earned at the London Olympics of 1948. Being one of the biggest sports clubs on campus in terms of membership, there is a wide range of athletic disciplines for people of all abilities to become involved with. There are fixtures throughout the academic year, ranging from the London Colleges Cross-Country League to the Brunel Indoor Jumps and Throws Festival to afford all club members an opportunity to compete in the Brunel University AC vest. BUCS Cross-Country, BUCS Indoor Athletics and BUCS Outdoors Athletics are the most prestigious competitions in the fixture calendar. We work together towards being successful at these championships and have excelled on numerous occasions in the recent past – including winning the Men’s and Women’s BUCS Indoor Athletics titles in 2009. The Athletics Club is also a formidable force on the social scene with events being held throughout the year for our members. So come along to the one of our socials or training evenings and join one of the largest, friendliest and most successful clubs on campus.
Badminton Badminton at Brunel is a very sociable club but also highly competitive. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced competitor, we welcome people of all abilities. Competitively, we have four teams in the BUCS league (2 Men, 1 Ladies, 1 Mixed) playing on Wednesdays with regular training sessions. Socially the club caters for all. New this year is a Social Member Competition. There’s a trip to the All England Championships in Birmingham and to NBL matches in Surrey. Also we have Active Brunel sessions, dinners and socials in Academy and Liquid. Find us at the Fresher’s Fayre and on Facebook.
The basketball community at Brunel is continually growing.
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS RATHORE
With three men’s teams and a women’s team, as well as social basketball, there’s something for players of all capabilities - whether you want to play at a competitive level or just improve your skills. One of the biggest benefits to Basketball at Brunel is the social side, and with regular gatherings as well as the annual tour it’s a great way to meet new people and play basketball!
Calisthenics Brunel Calisthenics is one of the first ever Calisthenics sports clubs based inside a UK university. We welcome all skill levels, from the beginner to the bar athlete, all sessions are catered to make sure you break a sweat and have an amazing time too. As well as getting help from experienced trainers you’ll also meet many more students and before you know it, you’ll have built up a family by the time the year ends. Hope to see you at #BrunelCalisthenics session soon!
Cheerleading Brunel Blizzards is a competitive cheerleading club, which comprises of two squads: Co-Ed Cheer and Pom Dance. We are a close group of friends that work hard, not only for sporting achievement, but also to dispel myths that cheerleading is about short skirts and chants. Besides competing at regionals and nationals every year, we cheer for Team Brunel at Varsity. Blizzards cater for all levels of experience – from beginners to professional gymnasts and cheerleaders, competing with allstar teams at world championships. We also welcome social members who can’t commit to all trainings and competitions. Why don’t you give cheer a go?
Climbing Have you ever fancied challenging yourself? Have you got a fear of heights? Want to make new friends now you’ve got to uni? Brunel Climbing is the best society for you! We spend every Tuesday and Thursday down at the climbing wall in the Sports Centre, and we’d love to have you join us! Not only is climbing an awesome activity and experience, you’d also be part of one of the most social clubs on campus! With two fresher trips coming up in the first term, we are made up of every level of climber so even if you don’t know how to climb
don’t fear! We have our own wall & bouldering room to practice as well as a NICAS Qualified Instructor to teach you, so you can learn a new skill or just use it as a great workout. We look forward to seeing you during Fresher’s Week for our taster sessions & other activities (slacklining) around campus!
Dance Brunel Dance (BUDC) encompasses creativity, fun and friendship into one. Diverse teacher and student led classes such as Hip Hop, Ballet and Pole and creative and unique choreography have made our annual March and new December shows successful. Additionally the great interest in BUDC has led Brunel rejoining dance competitions with universities such as Royal Holloway and Cambridge. However, make of BUDC what you will, whether you join in for competitions, better fitness or friendships BUDC is the place to start. For more info check us out on Facebook at Brunel Dance 14/15. Dance Love.
Fencing Ever dreamt of fighting like a pirate, or wielding a lightsaber like a Jedi Knight? Well, fencing may disappoint you. However, if you’re looking for a sport that requires athleticism, speed and a quick mind, or just a friendly club, big on socials, we’re here for you! We welcome people of all backgrounds and experience, from novices to national champions. If you’ve fenced before, or you’re simply just curious, come along and try it out! Your first session is always free. Interested? Look for our taster session during Freshers’ Week and find us on Facebook at Brunel Fencing 2014 – 2015.
Brunel Football is one of the biggest clubs on campus and one of the best to be involved with. The club caters for all, with one women’s team and five men’s teams all entered into the BUCS leagues and also an intra-mural league that all students are welcome to participate in. Alongside this, the club also has a decent social side to it for all of its member to engage with. So find us Fresher’s Fayre if you’re keen to get involved!
National Finals in their first entry to the competition last year. We’re not just all about playing though; we have weekly socials with several bigger events each semester, finishing with our season ending entry into the British Beach Handball Championships, which definitely isn’t taken as seriously as it sounds! Even if you’ve never heard of the Olympic sport of handball please come and find us during Freshers’ Week, on Facebook or on Twitter @BrunelHandball to find out more.
Whether you are a scratch golfer or a beginner, you will find Brunel University Golf Club a friendly and welcoming environment in which to develop your golf game.
Brunel Hockey is one of the biggest clubs within the university campus, with 7 teams in total: three women’s, two men’s, a men’s Saturday team and a mixed team, allowing us to cater for any ability whether beginner or experienced.
The first team currently compete in the British University and College Sport (BUCS) South Eastern division 2A and finished in fourth place last year - a position the club are desperate to improve upon. It is equally important that the needs of new golfers and also others that play socially are also met. To do this, regular practice sessions are arranged nearby as well as social gatherings on and off the golf course.
Handball Brunel University Handball Club was set up following the London 2012 Games and we have already proved ourselves to be one of the best clubs in #TeamBrunel. We have won the Membership Engagement award two years running, which shows just how easy it is to get involved with BUHC; with no trials we can offer all players the opportunity to play at the biggest competitions throughout the year, and even if you don’t want to play in those then we have social sessions for those who want to have fun, learn a new sport or keep in shape! There are both women’s and men’s sessions, with our women’s team reaching the
We are also known for being a very social club with socials every Wednesday after our games, Christmas dinner, our cave night in Academy, our pub golf in Fresher’s week and much more. We would love to see some new faces this year so if you’re looking to keep fit and join one of the most sociable clubs at Brunel, Hockey is the club for you! Come down to the sports pitches for our taster session on Wednesday and have a go!
LE NURB’S SELECTION OF THE BEST SPORT CLUBS BRUNEL HAS TO OFFER: YOU’LL FIND SOCIALS, COMPETITIONS AND EVERTHING ELSE IN BETWEEN Hour of Power Our club offers participants of our Hour of Power Brunel fitness class a chance to be part of the wider HOP community. Going for nearly 30 years strong, the workout provides a complete cardioworkout using simple yet effective movements. Our unique trademark of dynamic resistive repetitions has given people of all fitness levels a winning combination of endurance and overall well-being. If you’re looking to increase your energy output, build tolerance and increased vitality throughout the year, we run classes in 2014/15 that can cater for your personal and sports team’s needs. Give it a go! – Checkout our Facebook Page “Hour of Power Brunel” or Twitter @BrunelHOP for more information.
Jitsu Brunel Jitsu Club is a mainly noncompetitive martial arts club that teaches dynamic self-defense skills applicable in real-life situations. To us, having fun and feeling safe are just as important as busting through belt exams, so everyone from complete rookies to seasoned fighters will find their place in our club. All that is required is loose clothing and a positive attitude! We pride ourselves on being easily approachable, of which regular socials are an important part. The absolute highlights of our year are outings to regional and national jitsu events, where we train and socialise with clubs from around the country.
Judo Do you fancy trying an exciting sport? Then how about Judo! Judo is a great form of fitness and self-defence, a great way to meet new people and even compete. We meet up twice a week in the IAC, with training session varying from technique, competitive and fitness sessions. Brunel Judo club has some great success in competitions such as The London University Championships, being in the top 10 in the country and BUCS. We also have great links with other local clubs such as Hillingdon Judo Club and Premier Judo, allowing extra training sessions and chances to be graded.
Karate My name is Leona Sinclair and I am the chair of Brunel Karate Club for this year. I joined in January 2013 and, although the Okinawa Goju Ru and Jujitsu style was different to training I’d received before, I was wholeheartedly welcomed. I was also encouraged to really challenge myself, which I have
thoroughly enjoyed. The best thing about being a part of the club is the sense of unity and friendship between fellow practitioners, which develops as you all work collectively to develop as individual martial artists. We spend a lot of time together, inside the dojo training three-times per week, and outside the dojo, during our socials and regional and nationallevel tournaments. This year, we are planning to be more creative in our endeavour to have fun by doing more of the above! We will be holding demonstrations and free taster sessions during Fresher’s week so please come down and check us out! We look forward to meeting you!
Kayaking Brunel Kayakers is made up of two kayaking groups - the sprint team and the white water paddlers. If you have experience racing flat water sprint then make sure you sign up to be part of the team! The white water kayaking is for everyone from complete beginners to experts. We run regular sessions to Hurly Weir with our coach, Shaun Baker; a free style legend! If you would like to have a go then come and find us at Fresher’s Fayre and sign up to one of our taster sessions!
Brunel Rounders is a young but exciting club. It’s all about having fun, relieving stress and as a bonus getting some exercise!
Brunel Sailing Club takes on sailors of all levels, even ones who have never been in a boat!
We welcome everyone, both males and females from those who have played competitive Rounders before to those who have never played at all. So whether you are looking for a club which is easy going, allows you to make friends and enjoys the social aspect or a club that plays as a team that aims to win in matches against other universities, Brunel Rounders is for you!
Rowing Brunel University Rowing Club is a diverse club with a wide range of abilities and experience. All our members will have the opportunity to compete for the university in BUCS events both indoor on the rowing machine and on the water at BUCS Head and BUCS Regatta. We our based a short drive away at Hillingdon Outdoor Pursuit Centre and provide transport to the lake 3 times a week for all members. We had a successful year last year and won both of our events at Varsity and are looking to build on that this year.
Based at Datchet Water Sailing Club, approximately a 20 minute drive away, we have qualified instructors that have taken subsidised courses through the club to teach level one and two sailing to beginner sailors. For those that want to further their skills and for the more advanced sailors, we attend University Team Racing events across the country. Out of the water we host numerous social events such as pub sails and Academy nights.
Squash Brunel Squash club has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. At our club it is all about the enjoying the sport and the company of the other members. Squash is a high intensity sport and very good for fitness, it easy to learn how to play but very tough to master. We have three men’s teams and a successful ladies team as well as a large social section where any of our members can arrive at the open sessions and play for free! Feel free to come down to the courts during an open session and have a go. We are on Facebook and twitter, please contact us if you have any questions. Squash Love.
Tae Kwon Do
Brunel Netball Club is known for its drive, determination and passion for netball on and off the court.
Tae Kwon-Do is a martial art and Olympic sport originating in Korea. Translated from Korean, “Tae” means to jump, kick or smash with the foot, “Kwon” means fist, to punch or destroy with the hand, and “Do” means art, way or method.
We are one of the biggest clubs on campus with six teams at different league levels and a social team allowing us to cater to all different ability levels. We are known for our crazy social events that appeal to all members of the club; whether it be a fancy dress night, a dinner event, movie night, team meals; there is always something for everyone. Our Pink Night in October, which is held in Academy, is one of our biggest events as we use our club night with the aim to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This night is deemed to be one of the best nights on campus with everyone coming out in full force wearing pink and raising money for a great cause. So make sure to come along! If you love netball and are looking to play competitively or socially, with a twist of enjoying the social elements whilst getting the best university experience you can we have what you need! Come down to the Fresher’s Fayre and trial with us at the sports park on Wednesday 17th September. We look forward to meeting you.
Tae Kwon-Do uses techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence, involving blocking, evading, punching and kicking using just the hands and feet to rapidly destroy an opponent.
Rugby Union Brunel Rugby is potentially the greatest club at Brunel University. We welcome everybody of any ability, and boast that we field both men’s and women’s teams! Along with our world-class facilities and coaching we can offer any player a place in our team not only to grow as a player, but also to grow as a person. Find us at the Fresher’s Fayre or approach anybody wearing Brunel Rugby stash for more details. You can also visit www.brunelrugby.co.uk to find more information.
At Brunel Tae Kwon-Do, we have fun whilst keeping fit. All abilities from beginners with no marital arts experience to black belt champions are welcome to train with us. The style taught is ITF (International Tae KwonDo Federation), but members with backgrounds in other styles of Tae Kwon-Do are welcome also join us. For more information, contact Lucy Hawkes (President) at bruneltkd@ gmail.com
Tennis Brunel Tennis Club prides itself on the fact that we give anyone and everyone the opportunity to play tennis, regardless of past experience or ability. We offer free coaching twice a week, social drop-in sessions and free access
to courts at particular times. For those wishing to play more competitively we have three men’s, one ladies and one mixed team, as well as regular squad training. We hold regular socials and run days to Wimbledon and the ATP World Tour Finals. Please come and say hello to us during Fresher’s Week and don’t hesitate to get involved!
TROGS TROGs stands for ‘The Real Outdoor Group’. We love the outdoors and run weekend and day trips throughout the year to do activities such as Hiking, Caving, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Surfing and Orienteering. We’ve adventured everywhere from the mountains of Wales to the beauty of the Lake District, from Scotland to Cornwall - and most places in between! We cater for all ability levels and welcome beginners - whether you’re up for serious hiking or a stroll with a stunning backdrop. At the end of the day you’ll usually find us at a local pub with our feet up and pint in hand. Join Our Facebook Group “TROGs” or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Volleyball We’re the Brunel Blackhawks! Our Volleyball team is a young and dynamic team. Our goals are to enjoy playing volleyball to its fullest and being committed to games and success for the entire team. We like to create a close and friendly team environment and are hoping to increase the club in size in the upcoming academic year. Our team is looking forward to the next year and especially in seeing the new faces to join our club!
Women’s Cricket Being a small, tight-knit, femaleonly Cricket Club, we are looking for enthusiastic people who share the same passion to enlarge our club. We have already gained increasing recognition on campus and with other London Universities. We welcome those who have experience as well as those who just want to have some fun! Our training sessions are light-hearted and we organise a variety of socials throughout the year. We engage in both indoor and outdoor leagues and we are invited to take part in the yearly indoor tournament held at Lord’s. We hope to gain as many people this year and make it a great one for Women’s Cricket. Look out for us at Freshers’ Fayre or find us on Facebook.
THIS MONTH... HANDBALL B RU N E L U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
HANDS UP FOR BRUNEL HANDBALL!
SPOTLIGHT: BRUNEL ATHLETICS CLUB 42
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Kirsty Capes Aaron Lowman Michael Darlow If you’re looking for a successful, engaging, competitive and social club to join this year, you need look no further than Brunel Athletics Club. As both the largest sports club on campus and a formidable force on Brunel’s social scene, Athletics Club is in a unique position as a Brunel activity in that it really does offer something for everyone. Earning its first international vest at the 1948 London Olympics, Athletics Club has gone from strength to strength, boasting an alumni of world-class athletes and elite youth performers who began their sports careers right here at Brunel. Committee Chairman Adam Varvel is proud of the club’s inclusivity as well as its success on the world stage: “Together we work hard to create the perfect university sporting experience by facilitating athletes of all abilities. Our main focus is of course representing the University... at BUCS where we compete against the biggest sporting universities in the country.” Dozens of Brunel Athletics Club’s current members are competitive internationally, bringing Brunel to the attention of the world as one of the greatest for sport. Notable alumni include Perri Shakes-Drayton, who most recently won Gold for both the 400m and 4x400m relay events at
the European Indoor Championships in Gothenberg. Ashley Bryant was ranked best decathlete in the country last year and holds the under 23 world record for the decathlon at 8141 points. Meanwhile Aisha NaibeWey, who graduated this year with a Second Class Honours degree in Sports Science, won Gold for Brunel in the 400m hurdles event at this year’s BUCS championships and finished 5th at the British Championships, an experience which Naibe-Wey describes as “amazing”. She says, “It was great to be a part of such a high quality race as that and [it] just motivated me to maintain my standard and push even further to stay in the mix.” Obviously a born competitor, Aisha cites “the fact that I know I was born to run and be a champion” as motivation. “I felt really happy [with the British Championships result] but obviously you’re never really satisfied as an athlete until you’re the best so it’s motivated me more than ever to get faster and faster.” Decathlete and Athletics Club member David Hall agrees that being an athlete is all about being at the top of your game. “When I see others around me doing well then I always get that little push to step up and match them” Many Athletics Club alumni have cited the facilities at Brunel as something that has contributed greatly to their success. The Brunel Sports Scholarship Programme offers free access to facilities like the Indoor Athletics Centre to athletically
promising students. As a recipient of the Scholarship, David Hall has been taking full advantage of the free facilities, which he describes as “second to none”: “With the great cost that comes with starting university it has been a real help having the free access to the IAC track and gym and physiotherapy.” The Scholarship programme also offers recipients a chance to be part of the Mo Farah Academy, launched in August 2013 with the aim of providing guidance and support to top athletes at Brunel and St. Mary’s Universities. Additional perks of being part of the Athletics Club are the year-round events hosted right here on campus including the Brunel Jumps and Throws Festival. The event is open to athletes of any ability, so everyone is offered a chance to compete in a Brunel vest, and donates a portion of the proceeds to charity. Both Aisha and David also competed in the West London Varsity against St. Mary’s; with Aisha calling it “the most exciting match of the year”. Nationally, Athletics Club competes in the London Colleges Cross-Country League and the BUCS Cross-Country, Indoor and Outdoor Athletics fixtures, some of the most prestigious events in the country. In 2009 Brunel held the titles for both Men’s and Women’s Indoor Athletics events. Athletics Club isn’t all about the big names, though. Chairman Adam Varvel says, “When I first signed up for Athletics in my fresher year, I instantly fell for the hardworking and very friendly atmosphere reaching all aspects of the club”. When talking
about her experience with Athletics Club, Becky Wilby, a second year middle distance runner says “I’ve loved every minute of it, cannot think of one bad comment to make... Through Brunel AC I have met my best friends and my passion for athletics has grown even stronger, which has really topped off my experience of being a fresher at Brunel.” Both Varvel and Wilby emphasise that you don’t have to be a highlevel athlete to get involved in Brunel Athletics. Becky says, “If anyone is interested in athletics, or maybe just an easy run every now and then, whatever level of performance, I would definitely recommend you join.” One thing is for sure, Athletics Club incorporates both elite training and world-class facilities but doesn’t forget to have fun every now and then. Members repeatedly cite the friendly and welcoming atmosphere as something that makes Athletics Club so special. David Hall, who is aiming to compete at the European and World Championships next year, calls Athletics Club “a big family... everyone supports each other and just has lot of fun together.”
HAVE A LOOK AT THE SPORTS CLUBS BRUNEL HAS TO OFFER
NEW! OCTOBER BUCS FIXTURES, NEVER MISS A GAME
Any advice for Brunel’s aspiring athletes? Aisha says that it’s all about perseverance: “You can do anything you put your mind to... even though at times it may get a bit much persevere because the rewards are much greater” For more information, contact the Chair of Brunel Athletic Club, Adam Varvel, follow @AthleticsBrunel and @