KUSU Election Results!
Issue Number 10 : March 3rd 2008
Matt Alexander Vice-President Democracy & Communications
Some students might consider the month of February to be a bit dull with all those essays and group projects to be working on. Some other students however, find the month of February to be one of the most exciting and engaging months of the year because February at Keele (and most other Students Unions around the country) means KUSU elections!
There has been a huge number of candidates come forward for the elections this year and the competition has certainly proved tough! 22 candidates came forward to run for the sabbatical positions, which are of course the President and 3 Vice-Presidents. Alongside these there has also been a very healthy level of competition between those running for part-time officer roles with up to 3 candidates running for some positions. The number of female candidates coming forward for election this year has been very encouraging and hinted that Keele wanted the woman’s touch in the sabbatical team!
The candidates have been working tirelessly on their campaigns over the last month to get students to come out and vote for them. They have been taking over the lecture halls, postering campus (a form of canvassing not helped when the University takes insists on taking these posters down!), knocking on students doors, and of course, standing outside in the bitter cold for three days during polling!
So after over a month of canvassing by candidates, the votes were all cast by 2pm on Wednesday afternoon. Knowing that their fate had already been secured within the ballot boxes the candidates withdrew to the pubs and their rooms to get some rest before the big results night.
The atmosphere at the results night was a mix of excitement and extreme nerves for the candidates! Unlike many of the nights offered at KUSU the focus of the entertainment was solely on the results rather than the music being played. At around 10:30 the night kicked off with the first set of results, which were the part-time officers. This section of the results night was headed up by members of last years sabbatical team, including the legendary Pambi, Jono and Ian! The
candidates who were uncontested for their positions were elected with little competition from R.O.N. Some of these included David Little as Entertainments Officer, Simon Chandler as Non-Portfolio Officer and Steven Kew as the Faculty Representative for Humanities & Social Science. Shortly after the uncontested posts were the contested part-time officer positions. The LGBT Officer position was announced quickly with James Bonsall making quota after just one round, entitling him to a second year in office as LGBT Officer. The Athletics Union President made 2 rounds before Roger Weston was declared elected as AU President for 2008/9. The closest competition within the part-time officer positions was the Female Gender Officer role. Three candidates put themselves forward for this role and the results made it to that many rounds. Results from the first round showed that Lauren Sheehy had an early lead with 505 votes, followed in second by Nicole Tribe with 405. Chido Silape was eliminated as she had the lowest number of votes and these were transferred amongst the remaining candidates. Even with this transfer Lauren still maintained her lead, but she failed to reach quota in the second round. After taking the result to a third and final round Nicole was finally
The Vice-President Education & Welfare results, read by Jack Corrigan, proved to provide a great deal of excitement with eight candidates competing for the role! With such a high number of candidates there was a long wait while the votes were transferred from candidates in the early rounds. After a few round the leaders were Adam Mason, Nikki Cooper, Paul O’Leary and Ben Powell. As the votes continued to transfer the leader board began to change with Nikki taking a lead over Paul after Lizzie was eliminated
The penultimate set of results for the night were the VicePresident Democracy & Communications, that were presented by Matt Alexander. The votes from the first round were a clear indication that the contest was between Mark and Rich. The elimination of Gaz gave Rich Hill the votes he needed to reach quota and was duly elected as VP Comms for 2008/9! The final set of results was for the KUSU President. This was introduced by Naz who delivered a short speech before moving onto the results. After several rounds of close competition between those in the middle of the leader board, it emerged that Matt Bowling, Sammie Chong and Talah Omran were the likely candidates for the role. As the results reached the final round it emerged that Talah’s early lead secured her victory as KUSU President!
eliminated leaving the contest open to Lauren, who is now the Female Gender Officer for 2008/9!
After this there was a short break while the rest of the votes were counted for the full-time sabbatical positions. The VicePresident Finance & Activities results were announced by Oli Cotterill. From round one Dauda Bappa had an astonishing lead over the other candidates despite not reaching quota. Mike Elsmore was the first to be eliminated with his votes transferred to the remaining candidates. This transfer
In Concourse Issue 10 Find out more about who YOU elected! > Page 2
failed to make any change to the leader board and so Tom Sharp was the next candidate to be eliminated. A large portion of Tom’s votes were transferred to Marty Harris, however it was not enough to catch Dauda on his early lead and so Dauda Bappa is elected as Vice-President Finance & Activities for 2008/9!
News from KUSU Ents > Page 6 & 7
The remainder of the evening consisted of candidates celebrating with each other over the elections period and knocking back some well earned drinks! I’d like to thank everyone for taking part in the KUSU 2008 elections, and congratulate those who were successful. I hope that even the candidates who were not successful have enjoyed the experience and will wish the newly elected officers the best of luck in their year in office. See more details on page 2 about who YOU have elected to represent you in 2008/9! >>
Athletics Union Match Reports > Page 11
See who have YOU have elected to represent you! KUSU President 2008/9 Talah Omran
Talah is your new KUSU President! Talah plans to issue a published report of KUSU’s spending as well as working to intregate students of all backgrounds into KUSU!
KUSU Vice-President Education & Welfare 2008/9 Adam Mason Adam has been elected as VP Ed/Wel for 2008/9! Adam plans to introduce fairer library fines as well as some decent toilet paper in halls of residence!
Athletics Union President 2008/9 Roger Weston
KUSU Female Gender Officer 2008/9 Lauren Sheehy
KUSU Vice-President Democracy & Communications 2008/9 Rich Hill
You have elected Rich Hill as KUSU VP Comms! Rich has proposed to deveop the idea of an online shop for KUSU, as well as investigaing a new style for Concourse, such as a magazine.
KUSU Vice-President Finance & Activities 2008/9 Dauda Bappa
You have elected Dauda as VP Finance! Dauda plans to improve KUSU’s media and website, alongside setting efficiant budgets. He also intends to encourage more societies to start up!
KUSU LGBT Officer 2008/9 James Bonsall
You have You have You have elected elected elected James BonRoger WeLauren sall as ston as Sheey as LGBT OffiAthletics Female cer. James’ Union Gender Ofpolicies are President. ficer. Her to fight disRogers’ policies are crimination policies focused at Keele, are focused around bringing around orand to put Keele on the map in the benfits of what sport can ganising a womens’ society and the fight to reduce LGBT depresbring to an every day life to giving women a real voice in the sion. every Keele student. He plans university spectre. to extol the benefits sport can bring to aid a healthy lifestyle.
KUSU Environmental Officer 2008/9 Jason Davies
You have elected Jason Davies as your Environmental Officer. Jason has pledged to work with KUSU to improve its green performance.
KUSU Entertainments Officer 2008/9 David Little
David Little is your Entertainments Officer for 2008/9. David has proposed to offer more free club nights to students and to work closer with societies for their events.
KUSU Non-Portfolio Officer 2008/9 Simon Chandler
You have elected Simon Chandler as your Non-Portfolio Officer. Simon has pledged to support the other KUSU officers in their roles and be part of the campaigns run by KUSU.
KUSU Off-Campus Affairs Officer 2008/9 Carrie Martin
Carrie Martin has been elected by you as the Off-Campus Affairs Officer for next year. She plans to make more car parking spaces available on campus for off campus students.
KUSU Hospital Campus Officer 2008/9 Matt Tyrer
You have elected Matt Tyrer as your Hospital Campus Officer. Matt has promised to increase communication between the Hospital Campus and KUSU by working with the chair of the student nurses and midwives comittee, as well as increasing publicity of events.
KUSU Faculty Representative for Humanities & Social Science 2008/9 Steven Kew
You have elected Steven Kew as your representative for Humanities & Social Science. Steve wants every student in the school of Humanities and Social Science to have a personal tutor and to increase the relationship with StARs.
3rd March 2008
United for Justice: NoPlatform at Keele
This weeks UGM was the scene of a heated debate as students showed up in droves to discuss the enshrining of a No-Platform policy into the KUSU Constitution. Despite the surrounding controversy and the vocal minority who had attempted to lambaste the motion as a violation of freedom of speech in the lead up to its presentation, the debate itself was a joy to be a part of and perhaps the finest show of student democracy I have witnessed in my time at Keele. Arguments were presented thick and fast, speeches were cheered and booed and cheered again, and technicalities were scrutinised with near-surgical precision. Despite the relentless game of attack and counter-attack played by both sides of the debate though, the one thing which shone through for me was the way in which every student present, whether for or against, was firmly behind the core sentiment of the policy: that fascists and bigots should not and must not be allowed to jeopardise the integrity of our university or the well-being of our students. It is undoubtedly this universal love of the Keele student body for the fundamental rights of our fellow students, irrespective of colour or creed, that is to thank for the end result: an overwhelming majority vote in favour of the policy. But what does this mean for Keele University going forward? Essentially, it offers a guarantee that KUSU will be able to continue to function in the manner it has always intended: as a safe haven for all Keele students, be they black or white, gay or straight, Christian or Muslim. It acts as a safeguard against the threat of bigotry and aggression within the jurisdiction of the Students’ Union, and against the growing tide of fascist sentiment in nearby areas. Most of all though, it stands as a declaration of our beliefs and intent, a memento of the time that the students of Keele stood up and declared in one voice, “Fascists not Welcome”.I for one am proud to have been a part of it.
Black Friar closed Forever?
Last year there was a place. The place was in Newcastle, visible from the roundabout on the number 25 bus route. This was a place that we could call home between the hours of 12 and 11 (half 10 on a Sunday). A pub which gave us all that we needed. So to find that most of my last year was swallowed up in the words ‘Closed Forever’ was disturbing. This little piece of pub joy was called the Black Friar. This fine place has been serving people for many a year. Providing students and older more generously bearded types with good beer and rocking entertainment. So this is a little tribute to the place that I adored. Some fine memories were left in The Friar. Many may remember its chalkboard toilet doors plastered with drunken messages, the word of the
week, the fairly fantastic notes on Stella beer mats declaring the obvious lack of Stella in The Friar (amongst other messages) and the serving of questionable mixes of shots. Was that legal?
Never too shy to serve the slightly intoxicated or the mentally eclectic these were the folk that went down in publore. Some great bands played here rocking up in a tiny smoky venue, spilling music and beer onto its wooden floors. The piles of empty beer cans and abundance of empty Jack Daniels bottles that lined the back walls at The Friar only served to make it more unique. How many times has a drunk lost balance on the way out making a swift trip to the ground?
As always there is a rumour that there may be a resurrection of the pub after some obstacles are overcome when the management get back from holiday. Hopefully the rumours are true and once again this place can be enjoyed, and the next generation of drinkers is in safe hands.
So here’s to the Black Friar. The (possible) end of a place once cherished, to the place for students, old rockers and bikers alike. Cheers.
Concourse Editor : Matt Alexander Concourse Issue 10 contained articles from;
Matt Alexander, Glen Watson, Ian Stanley, Matt Tyrer, Jack Corrigan, Chris Cason, Edward Ratcliffe, Kit Codling, Michael Barnett, AJ, Jamie Barker, Simi Sehgal, Phil Boydell, Lauren Fuzi, Brendan Law, Katherine Bell, Sonia Douz
Student to run London Marathon
I am Chris Cason and now in my fourth year of study at Keele. I have completed four Flora London Marathons from 2004, each time running for charity. Hence I have raised over £4,500. This year I am planning to run the London Marathon again, I will be running it for Sense. Sense, established in 1955, is the UK’s largest organisation offering support to deafblind people and their families. This year I am looking for a time of around 3 hrs 25 min, which would better my personal best of 3.37.05 in 2006. I need to reach the target of £1500, I am asking Keele students if they can dig deep and give what they can for this very worthwhile cause. Every donation helps however small it is. The London Marathon takes place on 13th April and I will be running in a big orange wig. You can sponsor me at www.justgiving.com/chriscason
Traffic chaos at Keele: Did we vote for this?
Matt Tyrer Heath Faculty Representative
When we agreed to give our full support to the UCU in their strike action over the restructuring of SEMS it was on the condition that students’ education would not be affected. If you were one of the many students and lecturers stranded in the traffic that Thursday mornings strike generated then you will no doubt be well aware of the impact on the mornings lectures, seminars and practicals. I support the SEMS staffs’ cause, but was the scale of traffic diversion really necessary? All of the roads into Keele were suffering from serious congestion with queues up to an hour in length, resulting in many students and lecturers failing to make their first classes. Tempers were short across the range of people I spoke to, and support for the SEMS staff and UCU has been damaged by this stunt, perhaps irreparably. I urge the Union to take action about this matter, and the question of our continued support must be raised due to UCU’s violation of the agreed terms of our support.
Next Edition of Concourse:
Want to write for Concourse? You can submit articles and adverts to Matt Alexander in the VP Comms office on the top floor of the Students’ Union, or at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 17th March
Please submit articles for this edition by 12pm on Sunday the 9th of March to VP Comms
Jack Corrigan Vice President Education and Welfare
The situation with the School of Economics andManagement Studies and the Centre for Health Planning Management, continues to cause widespread anguish and anxiety throughout the student body. The University and College Union here at Keele, continue to oppose the plans designed by the University senior management. Keele University Students’ Union has continued its campaign of support for the lecturers over this issue. Following the ballot executed by the UCU, which confirmed industrial action and action short of a strike, the date of protest was confirmed. It was decided that Thursday 21st February would be the day when we would see action.
Keele University Students’ Union, led by the SEMS and CHPM action committee, opted that on the day of the event, that the best possible action would be to demonstrate on concourse, so to raise the profile of the event in the main area of people traffic on campus. Drawing in a whole plethora of campaign materials, including banners, sandwich boards and a megaphone, the KUSU campaign began to take shape.
The making of campaign materials took place in the days
Carbon Footprints and Nuclear Power
There have been several articles in Concourse, and general interest circulating around Keele itself, relating to ‘Environmental issues’ such as global warming and carbon footprints. While I’m pretty sure that everyone is doing their bit to reduce their personal carbon footprint, there can be no denying that the bulk of emissions come from industrial companies rather than from individual persons.
On January 10th the Government announced that there are to be new nuclear power stations, the first of which is due for completion before 2020. Although nuclear power at the moment provides some 19 per cent of the UK’s electricity, the current generation of nuclear power stations are due for decommissioning sometime within the next fifteen years. When announcing the new bill in Parliament John Hutton, the Business Secretary, asserted that “new nuclear power should play a role in providing the UK with clean, secure and affordable energy is in our country’s vital long term interest.”
The proposal was met with a certain level of belligerence from several groups, the protest group Greenpeace in particular being the most vocal in opposition. The executive director of Greenpeace, John Sauven, condemned the proposal by stating that: “This is bad news for Britain’s energy security and bad news for our efforts to beat climate change.”
3rd March 2008
The Demonstration of the Discontented KUSU and Keele Students act
prior to the event. The Sabbatical corridor was transformed into a campaign work shop, with placards being made to air our opinions. Slogans such as ‘Hands of SEMS’ and ‘Start Putting Students First’ were banded about and soon became added to the campaign arsenal. There is undoubtedly a time for talking, but we can become flooded by verbiage, so these placards allowed actions to do the talking. On the day of the Demonstration, concourse was transformed into a hub of activity as volunteers and
disassociation with events such as this today have been accepted as if it were a virtue, but it is encouraging to see that students do still care.’ The echo of this sentiment cannot be made enough; student involvement on this day was extremely meritorious.
The KUSU petition is still available to sign for the next few weeks in the Sabbatical corridor, and watch for the opportunity to sign it on concourse again. The petition requests; THE PROTECTION OF CHOICE FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS – NOT THE NARROWING OF COURSE CONTENT. A DEGREE DELIVERED BY MOTIVATED AND ENTHUSED STAFF MEMBERS. Please get involved and sign the petition. Restructuring Keele? Start Putting Students 1st
the engaged launched the petition ,which lays out Keele Univeristy Students’ Union rhetoric. Initial estimation suggests that over 700 people filled in the petition on this day, making it a great start for the adequate demonstration of student frustration over this issue. The demonstration came to ahead with a rally where the retinue of UCU members joined the students on concourse for a rally and speeches. KUSU President Nadeem Patel seeking to avoid an unnecessary verbose gave a quick speech commending student activism. ‘To frequently apathy and Are these claims deserved? Is nuclear power as dangerous and harmful as Greenpeace suggest it is? The balanced answer is yes and no (ok so it’s not that much of an answer but it is balanced). The emissions of a nuclear plant are obviously dependent upon a number of factors (location, size, etc), yet are probably most affected by the type of plant in question. The currently existing generation of reactors in the UK are predominantly Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGR) while the newly proposed Reactors – and the existing Sizewell ‘B’ plant – are Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR). The PWR plants in Western Europe have an estimated CO2 emission of 16 tonnes per Megawatt-hour (tCO2/MWh) of electricity produced. This may seem quite high, but when it is compared to the emissions of gas-fired power stations, which are at 356tCO2/MWh, and coal-fired power stations, which are even higher at 891tCO2/MWh, then it seems that nuclear power stations are certainly less dangerous in terms of Carbon Dioxide emissions than fossil fuel based power stations.
The argument put forward from Greenpeace and other Environmental groups, however, is that there are alternative methods of energy that use renewable sources. One of the most used examples is that of wind power – arguably it is cleaner than nuclear power. However, taking into account the various existing nuclear power stations currently operating in the world, and also taking into account construction and component manufacture, CO2 emissions are estimated to be somewhere between 2-20 tonnes per Gigawatt-hour of electricity produced, which is actually about the same amount of emissions of wind farms. Indeed, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed a similar internal investigation in 2000 which analysed the greenhouse gas
emissions of different generating technologies. It concluded that greenhouse gas emissions in general from nuclear power were in a similar bracket to both onshore wind power and small-scale hydropower. This interestingly provides us with a mixed version of events – if both wind and nuclear power is releasing CO2 at a similar rate then there is little argument against Carbon Dioxide emissions from nuclear reactors.
It is important to remember that nuclear power plants do not directly produce emissions within the process of producing electricity. However, the processes involved with both the construction and operation of the plants does result in indirect CO2 emissions. Nuclear power is therefore not carbon free. But as the indirect CO2 emissions from nuclear power are comparable to wind power, which is recognised as a major low carbon alternative, nuclear power too can be termed as low carbon technology.
While Greenpeace maintain that nuclear power is “bad news” for efforts to combat climate change, there is little evidence that nuclear power is a serious contributor to Carbon Dioxide emissions. In fact, the argument put forward by the Sustainable Development Commission is that within a low carbon economy the indirect emissions from nuclear power, along with other low carbon technologies, would be substantially reduced and easily maintained. While this does mean that we will have to wait for technological advances for nuclear power to be a fully integral part of a low carbon economy, this is not far from becoming a reality. The PWR plants under construction will effectively allow a sustainable power supply that will not significantly impact the CO2 emissions of the UK – quite the reverse, in fact.
3rd March 2008
Take a Look Across the Pond
Do you ever get bored by the constant nitpicking a point scoring that makes up Britain’s sleaze ridden politics? Are you constantly nauseated by the feeble attempts of our unrepresentative politicians to connect with youth culture? Then why not take a look across the pond. If you do I’m sure that you will find the political waters clearer and brighter. The swell erupting in American politics is hard to miss but if you have then I urge you to find out more about the historic events happening in the U.S. although there is still over 250 days until America elects its next president the battle for the candidacy of the Republican and Democrat parties is turning out to be one of the most heated and dramatic contests in modern politics. The fact that the Democratic Party will choose either a women or AfricanAmerican as there presidential candidate has engaged students all over the world. The current Democratic front runner- Barack Obama has partly owed his success in the early battles for his party’s nomination to the youth vote and his ability to mobilize America’s student population. The fatigue which has engulfed Hillary Clinton’s campaign also shows which way America is turning. All the polls suggest that no matter whom the candidate is, the Democrats will win the General election this November. If the international arena were to see that finally America was changing by electing an African-American, born to a white mother and black father in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia, then there may be hope not just for America but for the rest of the world. Hope for the reversal of the events and tarnished relations in the Middle East ad maybe even a step towards rebuilding Britain’s reputation among the international community. No one knows what the election of Barack Obama might bring, whether he really can as a freshman senator change the nature of Washington politics. However if history happens then I for one want to be there when it does.
Don’t look back in Angers part 7
The travel column which in no way owes its existence to nepotism and makes no mention of ‘skinny jeans’.
One of the best things about my year abroad so far has been the chance to meet people from other countries. There are a wide variety of nationalities represented here from Japanese to Brazilian however the majority of friends I have made have either been American or German. Both these nationalities get a rough ride from the British media so as I have nothing of interest to write I thought I would debunk a few myths. The Germans, contrary to popular myth are generally very friendly people – many of the first people I met were German owing to their willingness to come over and introduce themselves in perfect English – in fact they seem surprisingly willing to engage with British people considering that a number of them have suffered racist abuse and discrimination from Britons (for example one of them was kicked out of a shop by the Churchillian shopkeeper after he heard him talking to a friend in German on account of a war that ended over 60 years ago). Some clichés are true, they are very well organised, they are prompt - don’t expect to turn up to a meeting with a German 5 minutes late and expect it to be unnoticed – when a German says 7 p.m. they will be there at 6.50. They are all excellent cooks and bake tonnes of pastries and cakes and then force you (physically if necessary) to eat them. They all speak about 17 foreign languages fluently. It’s easy to forget that 20 years ago Germany was divided and that although most of them were not old enough
A Message from the Police!
Any valuable items or push bikes can be security marked for free by the police on campus. All you have to do is bring your items to house 82 in Lindsay (where the Residential Managers are based) and they will mark them for you!
to remember it, when they were born half of Germany was under Communist rule. The most famous thing about the Germans is their sense of humour or lack thereof. Well in my experience they will laugh uproariously at anything remotely amusing so to say that they have no sense of humour is clearly wrong. On the other hand, one of them said I was funny so read into that what you will. So to our friends across the pond who were also very friendly and good fun to be with. The first interesting thing is that they found the French introverted whereas I found them extrovert and quite forward. They also couldn’t hold their drink but as in many states you have to be 21 to buy alcohol and many of them under this magic age took full advantage of the lower age restriction here and indulged themselves – with predictable and familiar results – this was probably not surprising. One criticism often levelled at Americans is that they are insular and unaware of what else is going on elsewhere in the world. Obviously if you are learning French and have travelled halfway across the world to study in France the charge of being insular doesn’t really stick, however there were a few occasions when they showed themselves not to be completely au fait with world geography. One, for instance, believed that the Rugby World Cup final was between England and North Africa, another made some unwise comments regarding Northern Ireland and the Republic (no they are not the same country!). Before you rush to condemn them for their ignorance, just consider these questions: 1) Where are the great lakes? 2) Which American city is known as ‘the gateway to the West’? 3) In which state would you find Des Moines? (indeed, how do you correctly pronounce Des Moines?) Americans find a fascination in Europe which is both embarrassing and thought provoking. As someone who didn’t want to be here in the first place and who still sometimes wishes that he was at home, to see them drinking up the French culture and zooming around like Duracell bunnies trying to see as much of Europe as possible makes me feel slightly guilty for taking it all for granted. A case in point were my friends who spent their holiday in England with the
express purpose of seeing Canterbury Cathedral, a tourist attraction that I was once dragged round by my Granny and regarded then, as now, with a small amount of interest and a large dollop of indifference. For them it was a treasure trove of literature and history, for me it was a vaguely interesting old building ( as a fully paid up member of the Church of England, Canterbury Cathedral is supposed to be my Mecca, if anything that makes it seem even less interesting). I cannot talk about Americans without mentioning politics. Some of them are more ‘political’ than others but none of them seem apathetic or indifferent to politics. Some have political views which they wear proudly on their sleeve, some are more reserved but will still give you their opinions if you ask for them. A lot of them however seem to be in a state of constant apology for their President, their fellow Americans and the state of the world today. This is a little embarrassing, and I have to say seems unnecessary and slightly insincere. They seem to be apologising because they seem think they should be apologising rather than actually sincerely believing that they should. However it was very interesting to get their perspective on certain issues and I hope that I was able to put them right on a few things too. For instance, some of the things that they had heard about Princess Diana would have made the editorial team of the Daily Express blush. It seems that all American media outlets are convinced that she was murdered, almost certainly by Prince Philip, which just goes to show you can’t believe everything that you read in the papers (even this one) and I certainly shall not be taking as gospel anything that a British newspaper tells me about American society from now on. I realise that crudely profiling nationalities on the basis of the few people I’ve met is an inexact science and is potentially both controversial and offensive, please note I did not mean to offend anyone, however I believe there is a lot of misunderstanding between different cultures, even ones so closely linked such as these and this article was my small attempt to reduce it.
The battle continues at Battle of the Bands 2008!!!
The battle continued last night (Tuesday 26th February) with the second heat of Keele’s Battle of the Bands 2008. Once again K2’s stage was graced with three very varied but fantastic bands who not only gave great performances but also let me in on their secrets backstage…
Girls That Scream The night kicked off with Girls That Scream; a 3piece ‘grimey underground’ band from Birmingham. These guys really made a stand on stage not only because the keyboard player was playing on a lime-green ironing board but mostly on account of their intensely hairsprayed and backcombed hair, dramatic make-up and their Gothic meets Motley Crue outfits. The band says that ‘the image supports the music’ and so musically, the band pulled together on elements of Drum and Bass, Dance and hardcore Rock which produced a really unique sound but for a large part of their performance it fell on deaf ears and only one song was received with enthusiasm. ‘Red Shoes’ is an insane track with an addictive rhythm and sounds like a blended version of The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Marilyn Manson. Nonetheless, however Girls That Scream have been recognised by the BBC and one of their songs called ‘Offend everyone’ will be used in a BBC Three docu-
mentary about underground bands and will be the main soundtrack come April. This is a huge step forward for the band and probably one of great relief as two of the members dropped out of uni to pursue this dream. Their final words were, ‘We had a really good gig at Keele’ and we’re glad that they enjoyed it. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=225478192
The Seconds I loved watching The Seconds on stage! This band just sounded like the spitting image of the Arctic Monkeys and played their guitars as high as The Beetles. They were energetic, in time with eachother, professional and typically Indie. The band are from Stokeon-Trent and take their influences from, on the one hand quintessential Britpop like The Jam and Oasis and on the other hand from heavier Rock like Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin. When I asked them how they feel about being compared to the Arctic Monkeys, they casually said, ‘It’s obviously not a bad comparison!’ The Seconds went down well with the Keele students and they seemed very comfortable on stage. Of course, their experience of playing at the Sugarmill and the Underground has helped. In fact, their next gig at the Sugarmill is the 20th March and I would really recommend you go to watch them. The lads were really down to earth and found Keele uni ‘dead friendly’. They are just a perfectly formed Indie band. http://profile.my
space.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=68775423 Dirty Mundays The thing about Dirty Mundays is that the one time Oasis tribute band turned ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll unleashed’ as they say, have so much variety in their band and music and influences it’s tricky to define them and their sound. However, the band say that this is the great thing about their music; ‘there is no common ground’. Not only is there a difference in ages between the members but also a huge clash of taste from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Stranglers, The Babyshambles and Black Sabbath. And yet strangely enough it all comes together to create a pretty Rocking megamix of music. One song in particular was ridiculously catchy called ‘One last drink’ and really sparked off the shy crowd. On stage, the Frontman was a true performer who happily played the air guitar and started clapping his hands encouragingly. These guys can also be found playing at the Sugarmill on the 28th March and this will be their third time to perform at this venue. They ended the interview in the words of Sid Vicious: ‘Live Fast, Die Young!’ www.myspace.com/dirtymundaysband The diversity of the different bands and the eclectic music made the night another success story. To end the evening, Keele’s very own Yukinoda Band performed a couple of their classic cover songs by Faithless, Rage Against The Machine, Head Automatica and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This was when the crowd really let their hair down and got into all the songs which of course they recognised and loved. However, the winners were finally announced and The Seconds won over the judges and the crowd entirely!!! So The Seconds will compete against the first Heats’ winners Cats in the Alley as well as one more band who will be discovered at the final Heat to come. So remember to come along to the next Battle of the Bands and support the local music scene and Keele musicians.
Def Jam UK: All Stars
This Friday saw Def Jam UK giving back, not only to the Def Jam UK street team, who help make the nights here at Keele a huge success but also to Keele students, who were given the opportunity to win Rihanna and Omarion tickets.
For those of you who don’t know, Def Jam UK’s street team at Keele consists of DJ Kev T, Fed (Head of P.R), Yaw (Hip Hop Co-ordinator), Shawty, Click Click Kash (Official Photographer for Def Jam UK - Keele Branch), and myself Ejiro (Design Consultant and Journalist) Together they create ideas and promote nights here at Keele, aiding the Street Team creator and BBC 1xtra DJ, JUS:J. Unfortunately JUS:J is leaving us this year and so he designated a night to give his appraisal to his Def Jam street team, who have helped make his nights memorable throughout the year, hence the night being aptly titled, Def Jam UK: All Stars and JUS:J giving his street team full recognition and their time to shine.
Kev T was able to warm up the crowd and unbeknown to many, Shawty and Yaw are two up coming djs whom JUS:J has been teaching to DJ for over a year. On Friday, both had the opportunity to showcase their talent. Shawty went back to back with JUS: J with an explosive set before DJ Yaw took over. The crowd most certainly approved, the full dance floor being a clear indication of this. Click Click Kash has always produced great photography and videos from the Def Jam UK nights held at Keele and on Friday, he had his very own photo booth to work his magic on, whilst I, journalist Ejiro and organiser Fed, were behind the scenes “JUS RUNNIN TINGS”. The crowd were constantly hyped, which was heightened by the fact that in addition to the great music they were hearing, they had the chance to win concert tickets by simply posing for the camera! These photographs can be viewed, as always, on the Def Jam UK and BBC 1XTRA @ Keele facebook group and the best snap shot will win the tickets to see Rihanna and Omarion in March and April. Other giveaways included champagne and t-shirts, all in all, students experienced yet another successful night. Coming up on March 7th is a Def Jam UK and Ave it special…….where JUS:J will be performing along with beat-box champion, Faith SFX as well as award wining barber, Big Boy Kash who will be trimming hair all night, so boys, be sure to come down. So see you on the 7th guys.
3rd March 2008 Jamie Barker
These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid These New Puritans have spent many moons toiling over their stellar debut ‘Beat Pyramid’ and the outcome straddles the paper-thin wall between innovation and commercialism. It’s an angular, drum-heavy romp which is sure to set dance floors alight when the singles are unleashed upon the nation. ‘Numerology (Aka Numbers)’ sounds like a twisted collaboration between Art Brut and Bloc Party. It shouldn’t work, but it really does. Other tracks call more upon the dance-orientated stylings of artists like Klaxons and ‘C. 16th’ lends the Arctic Monkeys guitar techniques. The album does feel slightly repetitive in parts and instrumental tracks such as Doppelganger are slightly redundant filler material, but overall it’s a quality first offering from a band who are set for big things.
The Mars Volta – Bedlam In Goliath In an age when rock bands are name-checking Richard & Judy it’s refreshing that characters like The Mars Volta are still around to keep things un-real. ‘Bedlam In Goliath’ once again highlights the breadth of their musicianship, touching bases with several genres on its breathtaking, almost psychedelic, journey of melody. With a back-story concerning the bands misadventures with an ancient Ouija board, referred to as ‘The Soothsayer’, this is an album, and collective, with the personality to support their output. While the realism of The Enemy and Arctic Monkeys may allow us to relate, The Mars Volta may well be the kings of escapism.
Los Campesinos – Live In Brighton 19-02-08 Since quietly forming in the darkest corners of Cardiff’s educational establishments, Los Campesinos have built themselves an army of followers just outside the radar of mainstream music press. Here in Brighton the crowd bounce off the walls as the band tear through the entirety of forthcoming debut album ‘Hold On Now Youngster’. Switching their tag team vocals from yelping to whispering in seconds, all the while supping from bottles of red wine, this is the sound of (almost) controlled chaos. ‘Death To Los Campesinos’ invites the best reaction of the night and ‘Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks’ repeated closing refrain of “one blink for yes, two blinks for no, sweet dreams sweet cheeks you leave alone” sends the night spiralling to it’s climax. Their live performance more than matches the genius of the album, and these guys are the missing link between punk and pop. They’re sure to be gracing much bigger venues this time next year.
Societies, Societies, Societies
It’s not exactly a little known fact that Monday nights can start to feel a little empty of any real activity, particularly in the second semester. As soon as 6.30pm hits, you find yourself looking around, searching for something to do that doesn’t require slaving away and jotting down random notes and ideas for your next idea into a notepad. You’ve exhausted your bank account and you have a little money in your wallet, but enough to warrant you going to Manic Monday or going off campus to see a film.
LOVE : THE NAT & GEORGIE SHOW! Tuesdays 10PM until Midnight www.KubeRadio.com
This year Keele’s very own Kube Radio has a brand new trick up its sleeve in the form of its biggest show to date! The Nat & Georgie Show is an all new show hosted by Natalie Parkes and Georgie Hammerton along with Cat Bebb, Hayley Rumbelow and Ollie Hare. Each week they bring you the best of that week’s new music along with other hits from the recent past and some other lesser-known gems which are just about guaranteed to have you dancing around your room like a joy-filled lunatic!
The Nat & Georgie Show has fantastic weekly features including Nat’s Dudley News as well as the hilarious (and occasionally dangerous) bad joke of the week! Georgie shares his top three facebook groups he’s found each week which recently included a group listing 933 ways to say Vagina! Each week Hayley introduces listeners to a new phobia before Ollie reviews that week’s biggest cinema release! Cat introduces a new Welsh Word every week, along with that week’s best Chat-up Lines and Controversial Food of the week; a segment in which Cat will argue for a food which she loves which Georgie heates, we then take your votes to decide who is right!
At time of writing The Nat & Georgie Show is currently in talks with HMV and Zavvi (previously Virgin Megastores) who are offering Goodie Bags as well as CDs and DVDs signed by the artists and actors for listeners to The Nat & Georgie Show to win!
So tune in every Tuesday from 10PM until Midnight on www.KuBut how about if you saw a film without the hassle of leaving campus? Because the science-fiction society may just beRadio.com for the highlight of your week, every week! be the sort of thing you’re looking for.
For further details join the facebook This is a unique society in that it holds many different events throughout the week, with many major attractions http://facebook.com/group.php?gid=9175425925 throughout the year. For example, in this semester alone, they have a wonderful line up of activities, including a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, that includes several Alice in Wonderland inspired cocktails and teas, with games being played LOVE : THE NAT & GEORGIE SHOW! and a fancy dress competition. email: email@example.com They’re also hosting a scavenger hunt which promises to be a lot of fun. The events are sure to break up the monotony of everyday University life without being too hard on your wallet.
In the past, the society has also held Monday night showings starting at 7.30pm with entry costing just a pound, with sweets included. The society has played a wide variety of films, ranging from zombie movies to anime films such as “Howl’s Moving Castle”, ensuring that there really is something for everything, and that it is not just limited for those who love Star Trek or Star Wars (though fans are MORE than welcome here).
The science fiction society’s atmosphere is quite unique; rather than there being so many people that you don’t know who to turn to, this society is compact when compared to the bigger societies. There are plenty of people so there is bound to be someone who you can talk to, but it feels more like a family rather than a group of people who have been randomly thrown together.
And this really does seem to show, especially when the society plans out an evening. One such evening had the society travel to the cinema to see “Cloverfield”. Though the film projector broke half way through the showing, each member got two free tickets to a film of their choice. And even though the evening seemed to have marred by this slip up, the evening was recovered by the fact that some of the society members had a meal together before the film. It wasn’t a complete waste, and as far as I know, this community is the only one where having a meal together isn’t a chore. Why?
Because everyone knows everybody else, and if you’re new, they’ll be sure to include you and make sure that you don’t feel left out.
And that, after all, is what societies are meant to be there for, isn’t it? So why not pop in to one of their many events? It would definitely be a shame to miss out on the madcap adventures that they have lined up!
Friday Night is Music Night!
Yes that’s right, we’ve stolen Radio 2’s most famous radio programme, and turned into the theme for our next concert. On the 14th March 2008 at 7.30pm, the Keele Concert Band warmly invites you to the Chapel for an evening of film music and other well known pieces. Highlights include the theme from Gladiator, Highlights from the musical Chess and Alfred Reed’s Viva Musica. Tickets are available from band members or on the door and are £5 for adults, £4 for concessions (including students). Refreshments will be available in the Interval at a small charge. But don’t worry, we will finish with plenty of time to go to the union afterwards! We hope to see as many of you there as possible!
Dead Man Talking
I have recently been in contact with a man named Brandon Astor Jones who has been on death row for the last 29 years in Georgia, USA. I subscribe to a newspaper called the New Internationalist which is a pretty left-wing newspaper focussed on social justice issues. Anyway, I was reading January’s issue and came across an article written by Brandon. At the bottom of the article he had put his address, encouraging readers to write to him – so I did! Brandon sent with his reply a copy of an article that he has written which he wishes other people to read. He requested that I get the article published in our university newspaper. I think Brandon wants to be heard in a world where his voice is silenced, and I am more than willing to be the loudspeaker. If anyone else wants to write to Brandon please email me and we could perhaps send all the letters off in one go. My email is Laurenfuzi@hotmail.com.
The challenge of searching for one’s Genuine Self is not an act of self absorption but rather it is Compassion’s endless quest to uncover the beauty of countless others to be found therein, if one will only look. Brandon Astor Jones
Preparing for yet another cell search I began going through a large pile of newspaper articles. When I can across an old “Dear Abby” advice column I took a moment to read it. Afterwards, I gathered the stack of papers and headed for the trashcan downstairs. These words stood out to me:
‘Prisoners who have regular contact with an outside party have a lower rate of repeat crimes and are less likely to return to prison. Thus, writing to or visiting a prisoner regularly is a public service as well as a charitable act.’ This got me thinking about something I had read in the Bible many years ago:
‘when did we see you sick, or in prison and came to you. And the king will answer and say to them, assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 39-40
Lest my quoting from the Bible be misunderstood, I want the reader to know that I am not attempting to proselytise here, quite the contrary actually. In fact, I regret the need to expose what I think is a culturally disturbing phenomenon that has taken root in a part of American Christianity. It is ti be found in large areas of the African-American community, particularly amongst women.
First let me make it clear that I have been in prison for a
Brendan KRAP President
KRAP held its annual elections this week, and after a very tense few hours of polling a new committee has emerged with a fresh enthusiasm, and a reinforced series of ideals. As a committee, we have discussed the goals we all want to achieve in krap; we are going to work towards more variety in socials, activities, trips, & themed clubnights, to reinstate and build upon the KRAP’s KUBE slot, while improving other electronic services like our website, and more communications with members and other societies, and finally, to put more back into the membership. We are looking forward to a very productive year on the committee’s part- and therefore a very busy en-
3rd March 2008
long time. To the extent that one can, I observe a lot of what goes on onside and outside of this and other prisons. Over the years I have corresponded with a number of prisoners in other states. I can tell you rhat on the subject in question our experiences are very similar.
More than 20 years ago I started writing to Christian organisations and churches all over the state of Georgia – hundreds of letters in which I requested fellowship and/or friendship via correspondence. Nearly 3 years later, when it became obvious that there would not be much of a chance of getting any positive responses, I began to look elsewhere.
I wrote to churches in Australia and the UK. Almost immediately I started getting encouraging replies – mostly female respondants wondering did I get any visits. They range(d) in age from 12 to 86. I was amazed ar how friendly they were and still are. Our friendships have waxed and waned, but continue to grow.
Two years ago one African-American male, who lives in the city of Atlanta, started corresponding and visiting. He and I have become good friends. With the exception of him the other 98% of my friendly correspondents and associates are Caucasians in the USA, Australia and the UK. Am I the only one asking where is all of that forgiveness and Christian compassion that we hear so much about in America’s African-American religious community?
I am herein respectfully making a request of the reader: if you have a friend or an associate who is an AfricanAmerican please ask her or him if (s)he presently corresponds with or visits and African-American male or female who is in prison? If their answer is no, please ask why not?
Meanwhile, I need to make it clear that I thoroughly appreciate all of my correspondents and friends. Moreover, I did not write this piece in anger but rather with the sincere hope that together we can encourage more free African-Americans to correspond and otherwise interact with African-American men and women in America’s prisons. There is no doubt that doing so will reduce crime.
Consider this the first of several instalments. In the second, I hope to enlighten the reader in ways nit seen or heard before on the subjects of prison, prisoners and the unseen politics behind all three that places society at great risk routinely.
We must find the courage to change – here read take a logical and different approach to what politicians so smugly refer to as ‘crime and punishment’. Brandon Astor Jones, January 29, 2008 Prison series: number one
tertainments schedule for the krap members (and anyone who wants to join in)! We have just had a KAOS which finalised the handover of power from the old committee and are looking forward to Kerplunk coming up in the next two weeks, and some good fun in Horwood bar for our socials each Tuesday. No doubt you’ll be hearing more from us before long so until then watch this space, or check out our forums at www.kraprock.co.uk!
3rd March 2008
Keep your eye on the Tigers
Saturday 16th February saw the first ever women’s lacrosse match for Keele University. It began excruciatingly early (7.30am) especially for those that enjoyed one too many shots for a quid at the union the night before, but it had to be done to make the mammoth journey to Aberystwyth in time for our face off. Despite the epic and stomach churning journey we arrived (just about) on time thanks to our driver Sammie, and we were still surprisingly awake no doubt due to the adrenaline for the anticipation of what our first long awaited match had install. Our team captain AJ has been training us since October; with many players new to the sport she has done an incredible job to make us all ready to play our first competitive match against a well established team.
The first half started off well considering this was our first ever match experience however we were conceding by half time 3-5. The second half began with pressure from the Aberystwyth ladies putting the score up to a disappointing 3-7. We were not going to be defeated (especially after that early start) so the Keele Tigers pulled together and with sheer determination brought it back to 7-7, in the last 10 minutes Keele managed to score 2 more goals and keeper Lauren produced an important last minute save to maintain the final score at 9-7 for the Keele Tigers! The feeling was immense and the journey back home felt much more relaxed and everyone was in such good spirits, we even managed to get through to radio 1 and request “eye of the tiger”, how apt!
Women’s lacrosse is not yet recognised by the Athletics Union but we’re hoping after seeing our determination to preserve to not only play our sport, but also win against established teams, this lack of recognition may not last much longer. Will we see a Women’s Lacrosse team in the AU next year?
After our win. Players from left to right. Back row: Jimbo (sideline coach, thank you), Lauren Newton, Alex Boyd, Kari Payne, Anna Jenkyns, Sophie Weir, Kerry Passmore, Rachel Ball, Laura Minns, Tara Duke, Rupinder Kalsi, Harriet Cann, Harriet Bascombe, Front row: Sammie Chong, Katherine Bell, Sophie Wellock
Girls have you ever played rugby before? Ever wanted to play rugby? Keele Women’s Rugby Club is calling all girls to come and enter our first ever girls only 10s Touch Rugby Tournament. There will be no contact at all so there is no need to be scared of hurting yourself! This is an opportunity for you to see what rugby is like, have a laugh and possibly find a new sport to play! Enter a team of ten girls for the chance to win tickets to an international England Ladies Six Nations match. There will be a basic coaching session before the competition starts. We’ll have loads of goodies to give away during the day as well as providing lunch. It only costs a pound to enter!
Come along and play….the tournament is taking place on 8th March at the rugby pitches by the Leisure Centre. The day kicks off at 10am and finishes with an exhibition match at 5pm. There will be a party in the evening with the presentation of prizes. For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org So remember don’t knock it till you try it!
3rd March 2008
Super KUSU Word Search!
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A Z X V G J K U S U H J K D G G V O L U N T E E R
Sabbatical KUSU Flirt! Societies Reloaded
UGM Barista Welfare Ballroom Volunteer
Elections Concourse IAU Keele Stars
Officer Students Cheese Democracy Bubble
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