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Kick Back at The Outback

Issue Number 11 : March 17th 2008

Oli Cotterill Vice President Finance & Activities

I am sure many of you are wondering what on earth has been going on around the back of the Students’ Union. I have been very reluctant to write an article due to many unforeseen circumstances occurring; however, finally we have some very exciting news for you all! So, here goes, I will attempt to explain the situation in a thousand words.

costing re-evaluation.

Finally, at last, some good news came our way in the form of the re-calculated tenders which were extremely reasonable which fit-

be tidying up a second pathway to Horwood, making it fully accessible and well lit.

So, what is actually going into this area and what is it going to be used for? Well, the area

Just over two years ago the Students’ Union was provided with £600000, to spend on projects which aim to improve the fabric of the building and maximising space. Students were subsequently encouraged to give their opinions and feedback, which led to several areas being identified for improvement or change. After further investigation and cost analysis two projects were approved; the creation of new toilets in K2, as well as the construction of The Bubble and the new outside area, named by yourselves as The Outback.

The Outback aims to ultimately provide an area for all to enjoy, the area will be fully equipped with electricity and water supplies providing the opportunity for it to be utilised for bands, an external space to run BBQ’s, and also, a plan for the future would be to equip The Outback with an external bar to try and further reduce the time it takes to queue up for a drink.

Plans for The Outback were originally approved almost twelve months ago to create an external area to the rear of the Students’ Union; a beautifully landscaped environment to provide a recreational area for all students to further enjoy the overall Students’ Union experience.

The original timescale for The Outback was to gain planning permission by August 2007, and complete the project by the start of October 2007. This time scale was extremely ambitious and unfortunately problems loomed in the form of the council not being happy with the original plans, requesting them to be revised. KUSU submitted a set of revised plans to the council and this time the plans were accepted and planning permission was granted. The next hurdle we faced was the fact that the prices tendered by four individual companies to complete the project were astronomically high and far exceeded our original budget. So, back to the drawing board we went, revising the scheme yet again and resubmitting the project for a

gether by winding gravel pathways all encompassed by a holly, hawthorn and evergreen honeysuckle hedgerow (obviously this will take time to grow!). Seating will be provided in the form of five huge heated umbrellas, each catering for thirty-two seats providing an abundant arrangement of tables and chairs. This informal seating will be nestled within a woodland setting of oak and sycamore trees complemented by additional planting of snowdrops, bluebells, cowslips, cyclamen and ferns. To add to the sumptuous paradise that is The Outback, we will be installing atmospheric lighting throughout the site enabling the area to diversify from a tranquil setting during the day to a lively outside venue during the evening.

ted in with our original budget. The project is estimated to be complete by the summer and ready to be opened for the start of the next academic year.

At the moment, you will have noticed the works that are currently going on outside of the Students’ Union. We are erecting the fence and installing two electronic gates, which will be open during the day but closed at night-time. The gates will be linked into the KUSU fire system and will automatically open if a fire alarm is triggered. We will also

In Concourse Issue 11 End of Semester Entertainments > Pages 4 & 5

will span a quarter of an acre, providing you with a huge amount of space to relax and unwind during the day and night. This area will provide you with the perfect opportunity to socialise with your friends, retreat for a chilled beverage on a sunny afternoon, or you could even bring down your laptop and research for your assignments using the Wireless Internet connection.

As you can see from the detailed architects drawing the Outback will be set on several levels, with three main areas connected to-

IAU Workshops > Pages 6 & 7

Finally, after one of the longest waits ever, we are up and running and ready to go with the project. I would like to use this opportunity to thank the staff of the Students’ Union, the staff within the Estates department of the University and the architects Hulme Upright Manning for all of their constant help, advice, support and pure hard-work throughout the duration of this project; it is really appreciated.

I am going to stop waffling now and let you carry on reading this fantastic edition of Concourse. I am really happy to report this news to you all and I will be constantly reporting project updates. If you have any questions about The Outback then please feel free to email me on or give me a call on 01782583704.

Student Volunteering Week > Page 8


17th March 2008

Recycling at Keele!

Michael Lawton

Milling about in the playground after the second bell rang I overheard an interesting conversation. A group of people were discussing how much they could drink. One proclaimed that he could drink 29 shots in a night, another trumped him saying he could drink 2982 pints in one night . They were all stumped when their friend claimed he could easily drink an infinite number of drinks in one night. Along came a girl who had proof she could drink infinity multiplied by infinity drinks.


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In all seriousness, there are now many recycling points on Campus that we should all use


Behind the SU:- paper, cardboard, tins, plastic, and glass Hawthorns:- paper, tins/foil, plastic, and glass In front of the SU(mini site):- plastic, glass and tins Lindsay(mini site):- paper, tins and glass Top Floor of the SU in the Catering Marketing Premises and Facilities Office:- batteries, printer cartridges and mobile phones Select & Save :- batteries Barnes in front of the Pig and Rat (mini site):- plastic and glass Chancellors Building:- Save a cup units for your coffee

Other discounted student tickets available from Travel Shops:







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Students move to stop the rise of the BNP



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(All tickets available from First travel shops in Newcastle and Hanley bus stations. FirstMonth and First3Months are also available from Keele Travel Shop, Keele Students Union Building). Bus Information available on 08708 500 868. For full network visit


Whilst tucked up safely under the duvet on Sunday morning students from KARAF (Keele Anti-Racist Anti-Fascist society) have been busy leafleting Bentilee in Stoke. Out of 3 councillors two are BNP therefore we had our work cut out. To give perspective nationwide the BNP have 46 councillors and 6 in Stoke including a substantial BNP vote in the mayoral elections. A carefully planned campaign was launched in partnership with NorSCARF (North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism). Whilst student numbers weren’t as expected, we were more than supported by Mark Meredith

Just collect your salvage for a day and then when you go off to your lectures on campus drop it off somewhere, it could not be simpler Then the next time you are drinking from a can you can feel safe that your children and children’s children will be able to drink infinity multiplied by infinity tins of whatever beverage they may choose, for the rest of time. Maybe that girl was right after all… Please note the writer of this article does not condone extreme drinking.

the elected mayor of Stoke and deputy elected Mayor Councillor Mervin Smith. We covered half of the Bentilee ward, delivered over 1,000 leaflets house to house and have plans to return soon to finish the job in time for the local elections which start at

Student tickets will be issued to passengers showing a valid Keele Card, Staffordshire University ID Card or MMU ID Card. To confirm local student status in the event of a query from the driver, show your NUS Card with one of the above.

Keele Anti-Racist Anti-Facist Society

It got me thinking and dreaming in my next Mathematics lecture and I had a sudden epiphany, surely our world is finite, I mean it does not extend into the cosmos forever. Surely this girl could not drink infinity multiplied by infinity drinks since that would mean our Earth was infinitely large. So this means our resources are not going to last forever and we can not just go on drinking forever.

the beginning of May. The leaflet created by KARAF detailed the ineffectiveness of BNP councilors at delivering for the community and the racist and fascist ideas that the BNP stand for will hopefully make voters think twice before ticking the box. To finish an exhausting day many students listened into KUBE radio as KARAF’s chair Lauren Fuzi explained to Keele Students on the green show what KARAF was up to and to give the chance for students to ask questions for the guest speaker.

Looking ahead, KARAF is planning a busy few weeks before the semester is out. On Monday 17th March KARAF will be holding a debate on ‘What is Britishness?’ from 7pm in CBA0.007.

If you wish to find out more, you can find KARAF on facebook ‘Keele Anti-racist Antifascist Society’ or alternatively the society meets weekly every Wednesday @ 7pm in the S.U. lounge.

17th March 2008

Problem Loading Page


Concerned Student

That’s right. If you see this sight ‘Problem Loading Page’ at least daily or weekly on your computer browser. You’re at Keele University. That’s right in today’s digital world, Keele lags behind, as usual.

You’ll be phoning or meeting with an unhelpful sarcastically grinning IT crowd at the library so called ‘help desk’ to hear “well you are just here for academic study” shoved down our throat as though we’re internet criminals, internet gamers, illegal downloader’s or simply the usual student who knows nothing about the IT system on campus. Well its pretty simple the internet capacity on campus

is embarrassing, if you think you might watch an odd few clips of you tube, forget it! Downloading those free itune podcasts, dream on! Fancy watching programmes legally on BBC iPlayer without having to panic over your capacity limit, you’re joking!

One IT technician told me they had agreed to meet union and halls council’s leaders who to them represent students. Indeed the S.U. rep did turn up however only one halls member did. In fact the University sees from this one meeting that students don’t want or need more internet for their academic study. And instead of offering more capacity to students to meet the growing amount of podcasts, free video and other legal internet activities availonline able which are used for academic and entertainment value they are looking into bringing a TV company onto to campus charge students to watch online TV. That’s it Keele,

Communication in the Twenty First Century

Alex Lucan

During the summer of 2007 the world looked on in horror as the Buddhist monks, a religion based on tolerance, peace and dignity, where arrested, harassed and beaten by the police of the Burmese military dictatorship. However while these peace loving monks find themselves locked in the dank cells and tortured by their government they can keep immortal soul’s hope alive with the thought that a Facebook group (Support the Monks’ Protesting in Burma, 395,741 members) was with them in their campaign to bring democracy to their homeland. If however foreign affairs are not to your taste then you can stay closer to home by helping look for Madeline McCann (Help Find Madeline McCann, 2,638 members) but if looking for missing children or helping to overthrow a dictatorship is still too heavy for you, let’s just take a quiz to see what ‘is my 80’s song.’ The growth of Facebook as a tool for social networking has not gone un-noticed by politicians, students and the stand-up comic. However while I have an account on said site, with a wall, quizzes and my sporting teams, the real question I have to ask after several mouths of use is, what is the point of Facebook?

The aim of Facebook, it seems to me, is to allow you to keep in contact with your friends and relations around the world, allowing to organise events and share photos. This seems to be a rather inoffensive and positive aim; bring the world closer together over shared interests. However, I am pretty sure that these social networking mechanisms where already in place before Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and other such sites were ever set up. If, for example, you want to talk to your parent or sibling most people can recite by heart at least one phone number by which to contact them with. When it comes to friends both in and outside of Keele, the phone seems to offer an even more intimate way of communicating then ‘poking’ someone on Facebook. The phone does have one major flaw, it costs and if you have a wide social network it costs a lot. We have all heard of horror stories of the arrival of the phone

Concourse Editor : Matt Alexander Concourse Issue 11 contained articles from; Oli Cotterill, Michael Lawton, Alex Lucan, Becky Taylor, Jamie Barker, Stella Wilkinson, Simi Sehgal, Roxana Rudzik, Lizzie Derbyshire, David Limmer, Tina Haack, Linsey Humphries, KARAF, Jack Corrigan

money from students the usual solution to a poor performance from Keele. If students want a better service let’s make sure students pay for it, this is rather than letting students have TV and online video free online as it is now.

I could write a letter to the VC and get a reply in a month suggesting I speak to someone far lower down of simply a secretary’s direction to current practice. So what’s the solution? Well I believe its student pressure on the University to increase internet capacity on this decrepit system and bring Keele University into the enlightened age of the online digital era. Perhaps student pressure coupled with the fact that new students will be put off Keele by the ancient internet capacity on offer, will change the Universities attitude to just how urgent this problem needs fixing.

I must apologise for what must seem like a rant at times and yes your right to assume that after a few podcast downloads and my addiction to watching several short video clips on the BBC news I have again been cut off, grrr!!!

Therefore if you agree that student pressure is the likely answer to this dismal performance by the University and demand more internet capacity for the modern student on campus then please do add your voice to put pressure on your Halls and Student Union reps to talk with the University and get a better deal for students.

bill of three figure nature, many of which are true. So let use discount the phone as being the mean to keep in social contact, its expensive, the signal can be unreliable and I’m fed up with cryptic adverts with Sean Bean telling me about their latest deals.

Having studied aboard and making friends there was the problem of keeping in contact across the Atlantic with my new friends? MSN Messenger presented itself, a free, easy way of communicating with people around the world. Now whenever I want to talk to someone I check to see if they’re signed in and start a conversation and if the conversation runs dry there are a variety of two player games to divert you attention away from the fact that you have nothing more to say to this person.

Now that I am on Facebook, I find that it serves none of its original goal. I have all my friends on it, but still I use Messenger and the phone to keep in contact with them, After the first few ‘hellos’ on my wall there has been very little written on there since. Then came the requests. To join games; Join my realm in Knighthood, become a ninja and fight against the pirates. You’ve been bitten by a vampire/zombie/werewolf. To take quizzes; What are you political party do you belong to? What is your sexual position? Weapon best suits you? And ‘What colour is your heart?’ In answering these requests, the medieval period was crap. Pirates are cooler than ninjas (I know many people will disagree). Ouch, go away you mythical creatures and stop bothering me. And I already know the answers to the quizzes, liberal, reveres cowboy, sabre and I don’t care. Why do I need to know any of this? If you need a Facebook quiz to work out your political view for you, I would say you would be advised not to have any. Who care what your favourite sexual position is, you can never be bothered to get into it and if or when you do it really not that comfortable. If a fight does break out it highly unlike that I will be able to locate let alone use a sabre to any great effect. On the subject of the colour of your heart or what type of eyes you have, if you are going to reconstruct your personality around an internet quiz written by some guy in Idaho, you might need to revaluate what makes you you. Why does anyone need these quiz or games? Some will say that its for fun and are harshness, which may be the case. Taking harshness quizzes is fun but when you do so on Facebook you then have to send out invitations to your friend to show them that you need to waste time. Why waste it on Facebook when you waste it on YouTube, laughing at a cat playing a piano or Jack Nicholson’s ad for Hilary Clinton. If you want to play a game online go to any of the free game websites, is my personal favourite or go outside. If you need to keep in constant contact with your social network, in cases they forget who you are, use any of the other method that mankind has inventive to keep in contact, phoning, MSN messenger, email and the two most radical of all, writing a letter or talking to someone face to face.

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;

Next Edition of Concourse: Monday 5th May

Please submit articles for this edition by 12pm on Sunday the 27th of April to VP Comms

Battle of the Bands 2008

Katie Ryan

So the third and final heat of Battle of the bands took place last night (Tuesday 12th March) with three more fantastic bands competing against each other plus a guest performance from Keele’s very own signed band BLAST STEREOS LOUD! And this was what the bands had to say…

The Smoking Kills What do you get if you put together guitars, drums, a bass, a tambourine, a saxophone, a keyboard, a viola, 3 singers and a dancer? No, not Arcade Fire…The Smoking Kills! Yes kids, this incredible collection of quirky instruments were all on stage at one time along with all of the 7 members of the band. And it made for one phenomenal music sound. It had a classic Indie/Rock ‘n’ Roll, foot tapping style which reflected their influences such as The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Clash and The Beatles. Their stage presence was captivating with the singers alternating between songs, the other members changing from instrument to the next and the infamous dancer floating around the stage with a tambourine and drumstick. She said that if she had a job brief it would be to ‘Go Nuts!’ while the others call her the ‘Female Bez’ of the group. For the first

time at Battle of the bands this year, it was great to see girls as well as guys on the stage and yet as it turns out there are also 3 couples in the band too but thankfully they tell me that they are professional onstage and all good friends nonetheless. h t t p : / / w w w. m y Bats Bats Bats Considering that this band only really started practicing seriously 4 days before their first ever gig at Battle of the Bands, Bats Bats Bats did a great job. Musically, they said that the idea is to ‘avoid all the typical new Indie stuff at the moment’ and create an original sound. And so the fact that one of the main instruments is a kids Casio synthesiser/keyboard, bought for £1 from a charity certainly supports this unique vision they have. Bats Bats Bats even renamed the synthesiser the ‘comedy keys’ or ‘little box of fun’. The 4-piece band explain that it is a collaboration of Maf-Rock and Indie who are inspired by a band, apparently no-one knows of, called Minus The Bear from America. The music was really erratic and screamy with the frontman dancing all over the stage in an insane fashion and says that is because ‘it feels weirder for me to stand still while performing’. Their final words are ‘we loved doing the gig! Thanks’.

Frankie The Eyes As it turns out the band name Frankie The Eyes is based on a guitar hero name! Quite fitting when you see how talented the guitarist is. However, although the talent is all theirs, the band tell me that some of the lyrics were made up only hours before the show along with the song titles! My favourite song was called ‘The Pink Song’ as the guys thought that it sounded a bit like Pink’s ‘Get the party started’. On stage, Frankie The Eyes channelled their energy well out to the audience and casually chatted to the crowd. This ‘super group’ are all in different bands and so this is merely an ensemble of friends getting together just to do what they love. When I asked them how they found the evening, they were really enthusiastic with ‘fab’ and enjoyable’ springing to mind in a deliberately as-pretentious-as-possible kind of way. On the whole, they were energetic and yet modest too. Their closing comment is that the band’s catchphrase is ‘Yeh Man!’

And so the winners were…The Smoking Kills!!! Now that all three finalists have been selected, they will go through to the final Battle of the Bands where the ultimate winner will be chosen after the Easter Holidays. The evening wrapped up with a professional and mind-blowing performance from BLAST STEREOS LOUD! who did Keele proud and have really sharpened their act. Hopefully we will all see you at the final Battle of the bands where I hope there will not be blood!

Well I can’t believe that semester 2 is almost over, this year is flying by. I hope you all have a good holiday and when you return lets hope the good weather comes with you so we can look forward to some lazy days in the sunshine! Unfortunately we only had one article submitted for our pages this week so I’ve filled the space with some of my favourite pics from the last 6months. Hopefully some of these will make it into the Keele yearbook....I think this years book will be the best yet! It just remains for me to say a big thank you to you all for coming out and having a good time and I’ll see you all after Easter for some more magic and mayhem. Xx jayne (ents)


Just Sit Back, Relax, Drink Plenty of Water and Enjoy the Ride Don’t Panic at the Exam Hall!!

Jack Corrigan Vice President Education and Welfare

The next few months bring with them all the fun of assessments and examinations. The key to success during this period is to study hard, get plenty of sleep and just chillax and beat the stress.

It is all too easy to slip into bad habits around the exam period, such as getting little to no sleep at night. Think about this sensibly, if you were getting on a plane and the pilot said she had been up all night thinking about the flight to ensure she got it right, you would be more than aggrieved. This situation would make even the bravest Viking warrior do a little panic dance, as it would hinder the pilot’s capability to complete her task of getting that big ol’ jet plane off the ground. The same can be said about the average student and the average exam. If you go into the exam hall, wired off coffee and pro plus, with a night of no sleep but plenty of study under your belt, you will undoubtedly under perform, due to tiredness.

The onerous nature of University assessment is undeniable, but nothing you will not have experienced before en route to getting to this glorious institution of knowledge accreditation. In the upcoming examination roster, try to hark back to previous tests you have sat and done well in. Bask in the warmth of your previous success; wash in the rivers of your own achievement. You can do exams, you have done them before. These will be no different and will only be as progressively difficult as you have become progressively enlightened.

Unnecessary stress over the upcoming assessment period will leave you in a situation of under performing and not reaching the stars that you can potentially fly to. A circle of friends, who all suffer from preexamination stress, can create an opprobrious and harmful environment in which to study. Avoid unnecessary confrontation between peer groups, join up as a collective, watch some Neighbours on channel 5 now of course, eat some hob nobs and just spout drivel about your next fancy dress adventure or who would win in a fight a polar beer or a silver back gorilla. The message is clear here, take some time to yourself over this period don’t just become swamped by the whole experience.

Stress over exams can induce dystrophy of the mind and body and lead you down a torrid path of despair and distress. Please I implore you to sit back, relax, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep and just enjoy the ride. If you can follow this advice it will help produce an efficacious outcome with less stress and tension created in the due course. You stay classy Keele…….Classy and Relaxed Oh……..and Good Luck

Student Power makes a real difference in the local community!

17th March 2008

Becky Taylor VE Coordinator

Stafford Town Crier, Peter Taunton (pictured), came along to a Volunteer Fair on Monday 25th February and helped VE @ Keele launch a week long series of events as part of VE @ Keele’s contribution to National Student Volunteering Week, which ran from Monday 25th February – Sunday 2nd March.

By working together throughout the week with our local Police Community Support Officers, Staffordshire Fire Service, Aspire Housing and two local schools, VE @ Keele volunteers organised and took part in one-off events to highlight the positive impact student volunteering can have in our local community.

Events included Afternoon Tea for the residents of Keele village on Wednesday 27th February at The Hawthorns Restaurant, Keele University. 32 local residents turned up to this event which involved performances from St John’s Primary school orchestra and St Luke’s African drumming band. Feedback from the residents was extremely positive and VE @ Keele hopes to repeat the event next year.

On Friday 29th February a Community Litter Pick in Parksite, Silverdale involving Keele student volunteers, children from St Luke’s school, local police community support officers and Aspire housing reaped an amazing 21 bags of rubbish from the area.

Huge thanks go to everyone involved and especially to all those VE @ Keele student volunteers who gave up their time to help us make a difference in our local Community, and highlight the positive impact student volunteering can have for everyone.

Becky Taylor, VE @ Keele Project Leader said ‘These events have been a huge success with members of our local community and we would like to thank everyone who has taken part. We couldn’t have organised these events without the support of our volunteers and local police community support team. The commitment and enthusiasm from everyone involved has been incredible.’

As a way of saying thank you, the Students’ Union President, Nadeem Patel has pledged a free meal for all the students involved in these events, at our local Indian restaurant Prachee – cheers Naz!

Cause for Celebration Here at VE we are now busy planning our annual celebration evening which recognises volunteering achievement in the community. In the past our celebration evening has proven to be very popular and is considered to be the VE event of the year! The event is open to all our current volunteers, whether completing a VE Award or not! It is an opportunity to get dressed up, have fun, meet other volunteers, placement providers and university staff and is not to be missed! There will be entertainment from a live band and a DJ. Miss it & miss out!

Look out for further details of this prestigious event which will take place on Thursday 15th May in K2.

VE Awards Volunteers working towards a VE @ Keele Award should by now be volunteering with an organisation registered with VE @ Keele and thinking about completing their workbooks. The deadline for completion of workbooks is 4pm on Monday 21st April. All VE @ Keele current volunteers, whether completing an Award or not, will be recognised for their volunteering achievements at our annual celebration event.

It’s never too late to volunteer! If you are thinking about volunteering, it’s not too late to find a placement and start working towards one of our VE @ Keele awards. Call into the VE office for more information and to browse through our registered placement providers.

VE @ Keele, Top Floor Students’ Union (Inside the Independent Advice Unit) Tel: 01782 583626. Email:

17th March 2008

Music Reviews

Jamie Barker Music Editor

Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair DFA Records is a label adept at giving it’s fans exactly what they want. Latest signing Hercules And Love Affair’s self-titled debut may have been receiving more press for it’s inclusion of Mercury Award winner Anthony Hegarty’s first material since his recognition, but it’s a fantastic first release regardless of the all star cast. The album itself isn’t light-years away from DFA stalwart Jamie Murphy’s own project, LCD Soundsystem. It’s an eclectic mish-mash of styles and rhythms, adding more flavour to the world of dance and helping push the field of modern dance music further and further from the repetitive pop-dance that clogs up so much of the charts.

Black Kids – Manchester Apollo (04/03/08) Supporting Kate Nash when you’re a world away from her, very specific, style could daunt most new bands, but they tear through their set with style and poise. Opening with future hit ‘Hitting The Heartbreaks’ the crowd are rightfully wary, but by the time they reach forthcoming single, and doubtless Radio 1 staple, ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ they’ve managed to win over the majority of parents and teenage girls who make up the crowd. They may be struggling to make an impact at home, but so did Kings Of Leon for a good few years. Based on tonight’s performance, come their album release in July, Black Kids are going to be America’s next big, solid gold, export.

Boy Kill Boy – Promises Boy Kill Boy’s debut album ‘Civilian’ ticked all the right boxes for the synth-pop revival it was birthed into, but while tracks like ‘Suzie’ and ‘Back Again’ set the indie clubs alight, the mainstream was already clogged up with glossier alternatives such as The Killers. With the opening of ‘Promises’ sounding suspiciously similar to The Kooks ‘Sofa Song’ it’s clear that the band have returned with a slightly different approach. They’re no longer attempting to recreate the 80’s and as a result the whole thing fits together much more easily. With big support slots with The Kooks and The Enemy lined up Boy Kill Boy are poised to succeed the second time round where they just missed out on their first attempt.

Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree There was a danger of Goldfrapp making the same album for a third time with this release but the worries of another thrusting electro-pop rollercoaster are quickly expelled with album opener ‘Clowns’. Gone is the sexual tension of previous albums and in its place is a subdued Joni Mitchell evoking masterpiece. ‘Little Bird’ continues in the same, sedate, plucked, vein. ‘Seventh Tree’ is a thought provoking piece of class that places Alison Goldfrapp in the same league as vocalists that most women can only dream of. By taking away the throttle of recent releases Goldfrapp have allowed more focus to be placed on their breath-taking talent and have in turn managed to create their best album to date.

Concourse A Book Review of ‘Whose Degree is it Anyway? Why, how and where universities are failing our students’, by Dr Robert Naylor

Linsey Humphries

Recent statistics show that one in four graduates surveyed would choose to go to a different university and six out of ten graduates stated that they would consider doing a different course. It is not surprising therefore, that Dr Robert Naylor, a lecturer at Bradford University, has written what can be considered as a guideline to the current issues surrounding the ‘national institution’ that is the British University.

Acknowledging the fact that the number of students in higher education in the United Kingdom has risen from just over 400,000 in 1965 to over 2,200,000 by 2005, proves an amazing five - fold increase in student numbers. Naylor appreciates this rise and contrasts it with information on the often stagnant resources currently available within universities. The problems associated with the contemporary university are explicated, including the decline in the quality of teaching and learning, as well as the reduced prospects of appropriate employment after such an education.

By highlighting the issues of higher education, a number of questions are raised including - What are a student’s prospects and What can make a difference? - Whose Degree is it Anyway? therefore serves as a basis to help students understand and react to the issues effecting their universities and their futures.

An insightful and provocative book, through asking the question - Has higher education lost its way and, if so, how and where? - it is not only useful to those yet to attend university, but also to those already within the institution. Detailing relevant issues including university fees, finances, quality of teaching, legal rights, league tables and differing school biases, Naylor is coherent and continuously justifiable in his argument which often hints at his own personal passion in dealing with the challenges facing universities and their arguably declining reputation.

(The book is published alongside a website ( which it should be noted, is yet to be activated as a forum for contributions and space for further exploration, as suggested within the book.)

Concert in the Chapel: The Choir you can’t afford to miss!!

Stella Wilkinson Secretary

As the second term draws to a close and the Easter season is upon us it can only mean one thing………..the Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir are ready to perform for you! This term the choir have been busy working on a variety of songs which we hope will leave the audience wanting more. The songs we’ve been working on range from classic gospel tunes such as Amazing Grace to well known musical songs from films such as Billy Elliott but we’ve put our own special “rev” twist to them to make them that little bit different. The concert will also include solo and group performances from members of the choir who can’t wait to show off their talents. The concert will be taking place in the Chapel on Monday 17th March at 7.30pm. We will not be charging for you to enjoy our concert. We look forward to seeing you there!!


17th March 2008

Keele University Gaming Association

Simi Sehgal

I don’t know about the rest of the population at Keele but I’ve always been a typical student because of my love for video games and since I’ve come to Keele., I’ve found it difficult to find a set of friends who share my passion for video games, as well as anime.

Imagine my glee when I discovered the Keele University Gaming Association (otherwise known as KUGA). I wondered how I hadn’t come across their stall in the first and second year at Fresher’s Fair. And as I signed up, I wondered whether I’d do the usual thing and pay money but never end up going to any of their social events. Well, I did end up going. And I enjoyed myself. Immensely.

It really was everything I thought it was going to be; hilarious gaming moments (Wii Sports, anyone?) challenging opponents and a good atmosphere where one could really kick back and relax. The society committee always ensures that no one is ever left out and with tournaments being held regularly, there is bound to be a game that everyone will enjoy and be able to play.

By the time you’re reading this article, the Soul Calibur tournament would have already taken place, the winner leaving with an added fifteen pounds in their pocket. Who says playing games isn’t rewarding?

KUGA holds their socials in one of the best locations available, in K2. With plenty of screens, KUGA is able to host many games at one time. For example, last semester on the first social of the year, Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, Starfox 64, and Pro Evolution Soccer all took center stage and were available to play at the same time, and with a Sega Mega Drive at their disposal, retro gamers will be hard pressed to find something to complain about.

Its always surprised me that so few turn up to these socials when there’s such an opportunity to combine socializing with play, taking a break from your work for a few hours before hitting the books again.

So on Thursdays from 5pm until 8pm, if you find yourself unable to work and you need something to do, why not try your luck at a gaming tournament or lend a competitor your support? Believe me, it’s definitely worth a visit.

The M ‘n’ R Show

Roxana Rudzik

ABOUT US: Matt B is the president of KUBE radio and Roxy R is the Musicians’ Society president. For The M’ n’ R Show the presidents unite to bring you the best in music entertainment from Keele University. With an interest for all genres of music, between them they cater for an eclectic mix of listeners. As KUBE president, Matt has seen the expansion of the radio station at Keele over the past few years, so much so that numerous awards were won for best on-line radio station. As the Musicians’ Society president and a singer/songwriter herself, Roxy has been interested in collaborating with musicians at Keele and within the local area, attempting to expand the music scene at Keele. She was also the only female on a panel of judges for the ‘Keele’s Got Talent’ Show in late 2007. More recently, however, both presidents are judging ‘The Battle of the Bands 2008’ hosted at Keele University.

Please tune in to The M ‘n’ R Show every Wednesday from 10-12midday (UK time) to find out what it’s all about. We will be playing lots of music, games such as Matt’s ‘Word Bender’ and Roxy’s ‘Roxy On The Concourse’, playing YOUR play requests, reading aloud your ‘Shout Outs’ live on air, talking about Gigs of the Week, Music News, interviewing musicians and having some live performances on the show in weeks to come. Thanks for reading this! M ‘n’ R x

17th March 2008


Womens’ Fencing One Touché Short of BUSA Trophy Final

Lizzie Derbyshire Keele Woman’s Team Captain

Keele Women Fencers produced another fantastic performance in the Trophy against Swansea this week during the semi-finals of the BUSA Trophy. Keele fought with determination and grit throughout the match, even when things began to look bleak with respect to moving into the finals. To get to the semi-finals is a huge achievement as Keele fencers had to achieve 2nd place in their league then win against Aberdeen and Leeds University to earn the place in the semis.

Foil was fought by Captain Derbyshire, Kaushal and Gupta against two experienced foilsts and one novice from Swansea. Kaushal provided a wonderful come back halfway through for Keele, however, Swansea pushed harder leaving Keele trailing by 16 points at the end of foil.

Epee was very closely fought, however, even after a personal best from Derbyshire (-2 indicator) and a great performance by Kaushal with the support of Pearson, Keele were unable to maintain or close the gap which Swansea had created. Sabre looked at first to be the finishing touch of Swansea’s victory, however Keele fencers Hutton, Parveen, Pearson and Wright pulled out an amazing performance to win sabre by 45 – 38, bringing the final score to 125 to 109 to Swansea. Woman of the Match was Wright who produced an outstanding final team performance for Keele. Keele Women’s Team want to wish the best of luck to Kaushal, Wright and Hutton who leave Keele this year. Their support and talent which they have given to the team will be sorely missed. A special thank you must be given to all members of the team, both regular fencers and reserves, who have made this season such a great success. All the best of luck for next season! Team Members: Captain Derbyshire, H. Bayliss, C. Gupta, F. Hutton, J. Hussain, A. Kaushal, K. Pearson, A. Parveen, K. White and V. Wright

Tina Haack

The 2007/2008 season has been the most successful yet for Keele Women’s Volleyball team. After forming the club only three years ago, the women’s team ‘Keele Ghosts’ found themselves top of the league! However, it wasn’t all good…despite having statistically performed the best within the league, we narrowly missed out on promotion on the toss of a coin!!!! Unfortunately for us these are the BUSA regulations but we still think that we won (almost!).

The season started well with a 3-0 win away against Liverpool John Moores and from then on the Wins just kept coming, taking us all the way to the BUSA knockouts in Aberdeen. The team spirit was high from the start having played together for the last few years and was our main reason for success. Key players throughout the season’s include Maria and Nikki, the team’s setters, and Nush and Tina as our main hitters. However we wouldn’t have done so well without the other member’s of the squad forming probably one of the most multi national teams within the AU, representing Spain, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Geor-

Cheadle 5’ Cheadle, Staffordshire Sunday 2nd March 2008

David Limmer Athletics & Cross-Country Club Captain

March 2008 is a very busy month for the Kuaxcc, as we are racing every weekend apart from Easter and some of us will be covering over 50miles excluding training!

The first of these was the Cheadle 5’, a local road race on 20minutes drive from Keele. The course was a road based with plenty of small climbs throughout the mostly rural route. It started at the local high school before and after winding our way up through the centre of the village, the course descended out into the countryside before a final shorter climb at about 2miles. After this the course descended towards halfway before flattening out over the last 2 miles back towards the school and the finish. Although weather conditions were good (sunny but not too warm), a strong cross-wind blew across course over the last mile meaning runners were working hard to maintain momentum.

Three club runners took part. Club Captain David Limmer and Secretary Chris Cason were closely matched, with the former getting a very quick start and being ahead until half way, however there was never a huge gap and the latter got ahead at halfway and slowly eased away. Chris finished 30th in a time 31:42, while David finished in 33rd in 31:57. The third Keele runner Antony Sarno also ran well finishing in 55th place and a time of 34:28 well up the field of 187 runners.

The club would like to thank Treasurer Patrick Eakin, who despite not being able to run himself still gave up his time to drive us there and back.

From top left : A. Kaushal, K. Pearson, J. Hussain, Captain Derbyshire and A. Parveen – Keele fencers after victory in Aberdeen

Keele Women’s Volleyball Heads or Tails?

Keele University Athletics and Cross-Country Club Race Report

Next Race Stafford 20 and relay 9th March

gia, and of course…England. We can only hope that next season will be even better without the need for heads or tails!

Now that the term is coming to an end, the Club is looking to recruit new members for both the Men’s and Women’s teams for next year. We’re currently organising a mixed mini tournament for charity (date to be confirmed), so for anybody who would like to give volleyball a try or just wants to come and play for fun, keep an eye out for the posters in the next few weeks. Even if you’ve never played before it’ll be lots of fun. Training still continues on a Friday night 6-8pm in the New Sports Hall, all levels are welcome. Finally, well done again girls!! And thanks to the committee, especially Nikki for her never ending emails to keeps us all on our toes :) Hope to see lots of new faces soon!


17th March 2008


Closing date 25th April

The views and opinions contained in Concourse do not necessarily represent those of KUSU

Concourse Issue Eleven 2007/08  

Kick Back in the Outback!