There’s Power in the Unions
Issue Number 12 : May 5th 2008
Jack Corrigan Vice-President Education & Welfare
CHPM through press releases and various editions of Concourse. The Keele situation has also received local and national press coverage, notably in The Guardian where it was recently reported that Simon Morris, the Academic Registrar said whilst laughing ‘of course we are not going to let them [the union] tell us what to do ... we are going to do what we want’. This raises obvious concerns about the motives of the University in this situation.
On Thursday 3rd April, the University Council met to discuss the future of the School of Economics and Management (SEMS) and the Centre for Health Planning and Management (CHPM). It was at this meeting that the University decided to go ahead with the proposed restructuring of SEMS and CHPM, and announced plans to develop a new Business school, and close CHPM, removing it from the future structure of the University.
In response to this, the University College Union (UCU) members in SEMS and CHPM, were balloted to extended their previously established parameters of action short of a strike (ASOS) to include an assessment boycott. On Monday 28th April, the sabbatical team here at KUSU received a conformation of the result from Mike Ironside, who heads the Keele UCU Action Committee. 83% voted in favour of an assessment boycott, which will affect all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students who take modules from inside SEMS, from the 6th May 2008, which includes the assessment of final examinations and coursework. The UCU members in SEMS have not arrived at this decision easily, as they strive to protect their livelihoods and guard the institutional bedrock of the dual honours system here at Keele University. The situation has escalated to this point due to breakdown of negotiation between the UCU and the University senior management. The lecturers have stated that if the University where to open effective negotiation and a more acceptable decision reached, then the boycott could be lifted. Worryingly communication has not been brilliant between the two parties over recent weeks, due to fraying relations. Staff from within SEMS have warned that if the decision set to restructure the
school continues then continuing students will be extremely disadvantaged and will not be receiving the education they where promised. This problem is only exacerbated due to the University recruiting students for existing courses as normal, to start in September 2008. In an attempt to halt the University redundancy plans, the University has been asked by the Visitor of the University, the Right Honourable Baroness Ashton of Upholland (Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council), to take no further steps towards implementing redundancy proposals pending her inquiry into a complaint that it bypassed university rules to get the job cuts agreed. Communication between the University and the UCU has been poor since the news about the restructuring broke following a decision of University Council in December 2007. Staff in SEMS have criticised the University’s mendacious approach to this plan to reinvent the School of Economics and Management Studies and the Centre for
In Concourse Issue 12 What Makes You So Special? > Page 3
Health Planning and Management. The UCU who represent many of these staff members, have continually emphasised the deceptive actions of the University, in not adequately undertaking a consultation process. The approach to this situation from KUSU has been to support the UCU, following a decision at an emergency general meeting held in late January. Through various protest and demonstrations, we have voiced our concerns over the effects it will have on you the students, to drastically restructure SEMS in such a manner. On April 3rd, a national UCU demonstration and rally was held at Keele outside the Council meeting, where KUSU showed their support with the UCU. Approximately 300 people from as far a field as London, Brighton, Bristol and Leeds joined Keele students and staff to show their support for the UCU and students of this University. KUSU have continually been updating students on the restructuring of SEMS and
Getting Geared up for the Summer Party > Pages 6&7
The Students’ Union and the Lecturers’ Union have had a harmonious relationship in our quest for a suitable outcome which will protect learning and teaching standards here at Keele University. Through meetings with Mike Ironside, the actions of the UCU have always been transparent and supported by rhetoric of protecting the future of the Keele degree. Whilst this new stipulation of ASOS will undoubtedly create tension between the two unions, we both still strive for the same goal, to protect our members against the harmful actions of the University.
It is understandable that you may be concerned and harbour questions as to the effect this will have on you as an individual. We here at KUSU welcome any queries you may have about the restructuring of SEMS. If you feel that you would prefer to have academic advice, contact your lecturer and ask for clarity. We here at KUSU will continue to strive for a resolution which is beneficial to you the students, and we wish to achieve this in time for graduation ceremonies in July. Through avenues such as learning and teaching committees and personal meetings with both senior management and the UCU, your sabbatical team are attempting to protect your rights and students and ensure that graduation can continue as usual. Any questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org
VE Celebration Evening > Page 8
Oli Cotterill Vice President Finance & Activities
Society Awards is an annual event which celebrates the successes of all societies throughout the academic year. Being at University is not just about getting a degree; it is about enjoying yourself, learning new skills and experiencing new things. KUSU Societies have had a fantastic year and have provided many students with a fantastic amount of entertainment and support.
This year’s event will be spectacular and it is KUSU’S way of showing you just how much we appreciate the work that you do. The event is open to Executive Committee members and society members, so all are welcome to come and celebrate the success of the societies that you have been a part of all year round.
The following awards are up for grabs (Society of the Year, Most Improved Society, Best New Society, Society Partnership, Society President of the Year and Society Member of the Year). The closing date for nomination forms is Monday 12th May at 5pm. Nomination forms for these awards can only be submitted by the society President, Treasurer or Secretary. All nomination forms and more information can be downloaded from; http://184.108.40.206/DisplayPage.aspx?GroupId=101&id=1 7263 or from the posted links section of the facebook event http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=11202914542 . In addition to these awards, we will also be awarding Society Colours and Society Merit Colours. Nominations for each of these awards can be made by any member of the society but the form has to be counter-signed by the society President. This is a way for a society to recognise the achievement, commitment and dedication of society members throughout the year.
A Parking Problem
It’s 9.50am on a Monday morning and I am just entering the grounds of Keele University for my weekly tutorial. As I drove through the medical buildings, I glanced at my dash board clock happy with my intended time keeping, allowing just enough time to find a parking space, drop off some books at the library and then head to the Chancellor’s for my 10am tutorial... or so I thought. 30 minutes later and still no parking space to be found I eventually had to succumb to my horror and complete shock by parking on the running track. Now 20 minutes into my tutorial I made my way through the muddy and slippery track (made worse by the fact that it had rained the night previously) and slowly headed to the library to drop off my short stay books. On arriving back at my car, notable much muddier and disgruntled than before, I became confused as to why I was paying a £50 parking pass to Keele university when there wasn’t even nearly enough parking facilities to cater for half the students? The situation was made even worse by the fact that each year of university I was being sucked further into debt and this money is poorly spent because I as missing out on lectures and tutorials due to the amount of time it takes to find a parking space because of the lack of parking facilities.
With Keele University embodying a campus size of 617 acres and with no train station or National Express bus depot nearby you would expect Keele to have a wholesome parking facility... but sadly it is notable undernourished. With over 6000 undergraduate students, a influx of post graduate students and numerous staff and visitors there is no wonder that Keele has such a problem in facilitating its students with adequate parking. But
5th May 2008
with this amount of body and financial flow into the university, surely something could be done to solve the problem? In an interview of 50 students at Keele University 48 out of 50 commented on the poor parking facilities at Keele University and the lack of action that is being taken to try and solve the problem.
Alice* a second year student living off campus stated that “it often takes me 20-30 minutes to find a parking space that is not on the running track”. She then went onto say “on the times that I have had to park on the running track damage has been made to bottom of my car due to the numerous pot holes that lead up to the track, if it was paved correctly or was maintained better there wouldn’t be as much a problem. I cannot even understand why it can be considered a suitable place to park cars”. But this problem doesn’t solely affect off campus residents, students living on campus also experience similar problems. James* a third year student living on campus believes that “the students are too easily penalised against, as staff are given more parking priority. If everybody has to pay the same amount for a permit then why can’t we park anywhere? The university is making so much money off its students and it can’t even offer parking to facilitate us”.
With little negotiation or action on the horizon with regards to the University’s managing this concern, and with the introduction of the new DVLA parking tickets that are slowly circulating the car parks by their remorseless administrators, parking at Keele is now set to be not only a very time costly venture but also a very expensive one. As a campus university where student well being should be the focus why are we being exploited for such a basic necessity?
In addition to the formal society awards I will also be awarding “Little Oli Awards” which will be giving special recognition to societies and individuals that I have witnessed and have been considerably impressed by throughout my year in office.
The Society Awards evening will take place on Sunday 25th May from 7.30pm in the Ballroom and there will be speeches by myself, Naz Patel (President) and next years Vice President (Finance & Activities) Dauda Bappa. KUBE will be providing the entertainment for the after-party which will be going on till the early hours. I look forward to seeing as many society executive committee and society members at the event as possible. Remember, society nominations need to be in by Monday 12th May at 5pm. Good luck with the rest of your exams!
KUSU Bars are Best Bar None!
For the second year running, Keele University Students’ Union has been pronounced regional winner (North West) of the prestigious Best Bar None award.
The award is granted to British alcohol-vending organisations who demonstrate long standing commitment to social responsibility and the safety of people using their premises.
Principally, award recognition rests upon the four pillars of licensing law: *
Prevention of crime and disorder
Prevention of public nuisance, and
Protection of children from harm
All aspects of the award are linked to how operators act within these guidelines and how best each area is dealt with.
In 2005 the programme was adopted by NUS Services and rolled out nationally for every Students’ Union venue to participate in this annual assessment. Ian King, Chief Executive, NUS Services Ltd, said:
“The rise in Unions being accredited and entering the scheme reveals that Best Bar None is clearly working and is encouraging thousands of students to change their behaviour and drink responsibly, which is fantastic.”
5th May 2008
Concourse as ‘Make your CV work for you’ and ‘Surviving Assessment Centres’, don’t miss out on workshops that provide real-life case studies and will help you develop practical skills that give you an edge over your graduate competitors.
The Deloitte and Touche Business Game and the Royal Navy Teamwork Skills workshops provide just such experience of what top firms look for when recruiting graduates.
Worried about finding a job after graduation? Fear not. This comprehensive collection of events throughout May is designed to guide you through the maze of preparing for the jobs market and life after Keele.
Simply select the workshops you would like to attend and register online at www.kusu.net/special
Plus, get accreditation for attendance and claim fantastic prizes, including: > FREE entry into the SU on Wednesday or Friday night’s for every workshop attended! > Weekly prizes including Keele hoodies, local attraction tickets and free cocktails in Barista > Chance for every student who attends 10 workshops or more to win 2 Grad Ball tickets or a free passport to Welcome events during Freshers ‘08!
A whole timetable of indispensable careersbased workshops will be held in K2 and the Bubble*, first floor of the Students’ Union throughout May, designed to help you bag your perfect job post Keele. *unless otherwise advertised > Shine at interview > Stand out at assessment centres > Learn to create the perfect CV for every job
Simply register for workshops online at www.kusu.net/special Bookings are being taken NOW – hurry as places are limited for some especially sought after sessions!
Don’t miss the fantastic Ladette to Lady workshop! Thursday 22nd May Salvin Room, Keele Hall Nominal charge £10
Teaching social skills, creating confidence
> Do you dread interviews? > Hate speaking in public? > Do you feel as though all eyes are on you when walking into a room?
If so, then this invaluable course is for you! Rachel Holland, the workshop leader, is one of the experts on the current hit TV show ‘Ladette to Lady’ and she brings her expertise as the top modern manners and social skills expert to Keele students for a full day of workshop sessions. These sessions are equally as applicable to men as they are to women, so lads don’t be put off by the ‘Ladette to Lady’ tag-line!
Rachel and her fellow consultants will be offering three specialist workshops throughout the day, which every student delegate will attend in rotation. The content of the sessions will include: Conversation Skills, Deportment & Mealtime Manners and Dress. Each program will be taught from a graduate perspective, with the aim to give every delegate the best chance to project themselves well in every potential situation, from interviews to assessment centres. For example, would you be comfortable at a formal dinner and understand the correct etiquette? Or, could you converse easily with appropriate small talk at a multi national’s corporate conference?
Preparation is key to succeeding in every situation and this series of workshops will ensure that you have the confidence to fulfil your potential. Remember, for more info and to register online go to www.kusu.net/special As well as the ever useful workshops such
Concourse Editor : Matt Alexander Concourse Issue 12 contained articles from;
Jack Corrigan,Oli Cotterill, Amie Swan, Ian Levit, Kim Topham, Matthew Doore, Marty Harris, Jamie Barker, Charlie Denis, Matt Alexander, Roxana Rudzik, Phil Boydell, Rich Wiseman, Stephen Johns.
28th May (14.0016.00): Deloitte and Touche - Business Game Want to be part of running a business? This game, run by a top financial services firm, will give you the chance to be a member of a hotel management team competing to make critical business decisions. This is a great experience for an insight into business and skills development.
29th May (09.00-13.30): Royal Navy Team Work Skills Leisure Centre Teamwork is critical to any role you might pursue in the future as well as being important within aspects of many degrees and part time jobs. This workshop will enable you to participate in problem-solving games to develop key employability skills for your CV.
14th May (14.00-16.00) Quiz the Graduates is another must-see event; start your networking here by picking the brains of successful Keele graduates. They can all advise on their individual career areas as well as passing on tips for career planning and graduate job hunting. You will have the opportunity to speak to individuals on a one-one basis as well as listening to their talk for the group.
The panel includes: * HR Specialists who can give top tips on shaping your experience and succeeding in the graduate recruitment process. (HR and Business Admin graduates)
* A Television/Radio Producer and Director with award winning drama and documentaries in his portfolio. (English and History graduate)
* A Development Consultant with expertise in enhancing the skills that really count, from
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; email@example.com
leadership to communication. (Politics and Philosophy graduate)
* A Journals Executive from Liverpool University Press can give advice on pathways into the competitive field of publishing. (English and History graduate)
* The Director of Campaigns and Communication for a large union possessing experience in management consultancy and in Westminster. (Politics and Economics graduate) * Head of Strategy for the Children’s Trust in Redbridge brings a wealth of experience in social work.
* An Army Captain with experience in policy development for the Iraqi Armed Forces in Basra incorporating liaising with NGOs and the US government amongst others. (International Relations graduate)
* An expert in Technical and Leadership Consultancy for business transformation with an IT career background from a Biochemistry degree.
* A Graduate Management Trainee currently working in business development brings a recent perspective on the challenges of the recruitment and the expectations of a graduate scheme. (French and German graduate)
* A successful self employed graduate running her own business can give a perspective on the highs and lows of this career option often overlooked by students. (French and Philosophy graduate)
* Head of Sport for Imperial with a pathway to make sports an integral part of your career, who was very involved in the AU whilst at Keele. (Geography and Sociology graduate)
* Teacher of History and Politics with a portfolio of published text books and articles will be able to advise you on career pathways and the PGCE.
* A Project Manager in the defence industry, can advise on PhD wobbles in the second year, recruitment and moving into management. (PhD Physics)
If you’d like more information, please contact the Independent Advice Unit on 01782 244800, or the Careers Office on 01782 583023
For more info and to register online go to www.kusu.net/special or join the Facebook group by searching ‘what makes you so special’
Last Edition of 2007/8 Concourse: Monday 19th May
Please submit articles for this edition by 12pm on Sunday the 11th of May to VP Comms
Concourse Charity Skydive!
5th May 2008
The Enemy Within
I’m sure many finalists will by now have seen the email sent around about possible, limited disruption due to industrial action undertaken by the UCU. They will Amie Swan therefore have also seen ‘note 1’ with its hostile attack on the UCU and ‘Trade Students and raising money for charities have always gone Union activity’. hand in hand. Until now, at Keele, fundraising events have had their feet firmly on the ground. Not anymore, I propose to What I find most disappointing about this whole sorry affair is the belief the unido a mass charity skydive, and what’s more, I’m giving you, versity has shown that it can ride rough-shod over the views of its lecturers and the students, the opportunity to take the leap and the lead. its students. Compulsory redundancies and a complete refusal to extend the conThe receiving charities will be chosen by you. You vote for sultation period are not what I consider to be what the email called ‘working hard the most deserving charity and the top 5 charities will receive to find a negotiated settlement’. The University management has completely lost an equal share of the money raised. Not only that, you get to my confidence, and I fear that my degree will be completely worthless within ten choose which type of jump you would prefer to do; there is years. The recent weeks have also led me to believe that in the future, any comthe tandem jump which means you are strapped to a qualipany I work for can behave like a ruthless 19th century robber baron, and get fied and certified instructor, and then the static line jump where away with it. I could be fired at will, without any hope of fighting my case, for to you jump solo but do not control your own parachute, also do so, is big nasty trade union action! with this jump you must dive from a lower altitude. The event will talk place week commencing 6th Oct so all students parI see ‘the enemy within’ mentality frightfully on display at Keele as shown in manticipating have the opportunity to fleece their friends/family agement propaganda note 1. This has led me to feel that I would be better off during the summer months for sponsorship money. If you can seeking possible future postgraduate study elsewhere. This oppressive, hostile raise £330* your jump will be free, i.e. the cost of the jump will environment, where the management are never wrong and students and lecturbe reimbursed to yourselves through the money you raise. ers ignored, is not the sort of attitude I enjoy, and I shall be glad when it is over. I I have a dream..... like this university, this campus, this community. But the actions of the manage...so far I have around 100 people willing to jump, I want to see if we can get 200+ people to jump and ment this last few months, topped off with the grotesque self-pity of this email, make this the largest student skydive the Midlands has ever seen. And you could be a part of that! Inhave left a bitter taste in my mouth. I sadly do not feel able to recommend Keele volvement in this event goes further than actually jumping out of a plane; if you really can’t face your fears to anyone who wishes to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate study. we do need volunteers to help with admin/fund raising/ organisation etc. For any extra information join the facebook group ‘Keele Mass Charity Skydive’ or contact Amie ‘Swan’ Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org. *£330 is a provisional price only, subject to change, but only to decrease!!!
Matthew A. Doore
There is increasing media coverage which seeks to explain why people drink more often and to greater excess. In a university this question would appear to have great importance, as this is where the next generation is groomed in preparation for entry into the ‘real’ world, a generation whose progress through university is saturated with both knowledge and alcohol.
The causes for this increase commonly targeted by newspapers are cheaper drinks, drink promotions and more drinkable drinks, such as alcopops. These causes seem to be inadequate at explaining the change, at least partly because there is not a great deal of exposure to these things outside of the bars and pubs which one is in pre-equipped with the intention of drinking alcohol. It should not be denied that these things contribute to the change, but the real source is perhaps found elsewhere.
The adverts and promotions for alcohol are rarely made with the intention of producing a desire for the taste of the drink (with the exception beer adverts) but are more to do with the lifestyle behind drinking, for example an attractive group of people will be socialising and enjoying themselves, while holding bottles of alcohol. The adverts basic selling point being that if you drink this drink then you will enjoy yourself.
Is the increasing need for alcohol created in us from advertising like this, not specifically adverts for alcohol (which is not all that common) but from advertising in general?
We are shown wide ranging adverts that use pictures of attractive people or lifestyles to sell a product. In seeing them we, without realising it, compare our lifestyle with that given to us and realise we are comparatively physically, mentally and aesthetically inadequate. The often found gimmick that involves a picture of a celebrity which produces a response in us similar to “look at this lady isn’t she gorgeous –wouldn’t it be nice to look like that”. This celebrity is coupled with a product, which suggests that if we buy the product then we will be somehow closer to achieving equality with the reality in the advert.
The image of the celebrity presents a lifestyle which we shall probably never lead, but which is highly desirable and plays upon our inner-most desires to be better. The adverts often contain scenarios involving young, attractive groups of people socialising in bars that look both classy and expensive, while enjoying a drink and sharing an amusing story. We are allured by this image and consider that there must be people out there who live the life in the advert, which is full of happiness and splendour. But as it is only an image, we can only compare it to our own life, in which we do not remain young, we do not always look gorgeous and in which we are quite often unhappy and morbid.
The consumption of alcohol can create a welcome escape from this. At the point of drunken stupor we see the world differently: attractive women are everywhere, we are terribly funny, and feel good about ourselves and our image. In the moment of drunkenness we forget that our lifestyle is boring and unglamorous, we forget to compare that lifestyle with the ideal in the advert and because of this we are left blissfully ignorant of the difficulties that we must wake up to in the morning.
5th May 2008
RAG WEEK IS COMING… 24th May – 31st May
Oli Cotterill Vice-President Finance & Activities
A couple of months ago a team of three individuals, myself, Sophia Baker and Pollyanna Jones set out on a mission to bring back a RAG Week to Keele University. It is a longstanding tradition in many Students’ Unions across the country and Keele was no exception, hosting many successful RAG Weeks. Keele has not seen a RAG Week for many years but now it is time to change that! RAG stands for Raising & Giving and this event will be coming to Keele during the week of the 24th May to the 31st May. This will be a week long of fun-packed events to chill out after the exams, relax, unwind and raise as much money as we possibly can for charity.
This year we will be raising money for the following two charities, ARCH and VillageByVillage. ARCH is a local charity that is dedicated to preventing homelessness in North Staffordshire. VillageByVillage is an international development charity dedicated to fighting poverty by empowering communication in rural villages in Ghana, Africa.
NUS Annual Conference
Marty Harris Speaker of the House
Off we trundled on the NUS bus last month up to not-so-sunny Blackpool for NUS conference. My 5 fellow delegates and I were all looking forward to 3 days out of debating, deliberating and generally being badgered by NUS election hopefuls. NUS conference is the biggest NUS event of the year, with delegates from all of the affiliated Students’ Unions in the country attending to decide what the short and long term direction of our national union should be.
The Main event of the first day was the ratification of the supposedly controversial NUS governance review; the motion which would dramatically change the democratic structures of the day to day running of NUS, and how it engages with students.
The run up to the vote on that day had been considerable – the NUS leadership was charged last year to review is workings to make NUS more accessible and relevant to an apparent “average student”. In December, the NUS executive, under the leadership of the national president Gemma Tumelty asked Students’ Unions to call for an extraordinary conference to speed the transition to the new governance structures. KUSU supported the review, and passed a motion calling for an extraordinary conference at the Union General Meeting in October.
The extraordinary conference in December supported the review with the necessary 2/3 majority and with all Keele delegates voting for the motion. Matt Alexander, (Vice President Communications and Democracy) a delegate to both conferences saying “I voted for the governance review because NUS needs a change, it is tied down with expensive bureaucracy, and all too often fails to be relevant to its members”.
In addition to m e , Sophia and Polly we have had the support of Keele University Staff, KUSU Staff, KUSU Societies, AU Clubs and a whole array of students to help generate ideas, run events and give a fantastic amount of support. A huge thank you needs to go to each and every one of you for your efforts so far. So, what events do we have planned? Well, the main attraction of the week will be two carnival fete days, Monday 26th on the Concourse and Tuesday 27th at the Athletics Union. We will be having a range of fun-packed carnival games including Hook-a-Duck, Coconut Shy, Tombola, Play Your Cards Right and much much more. In addition to that, we also have on the two days, a BBQ, inflatable fun with gladiator duels, bouncy castles and bungee runs! Not to mention a Students V’s Police Rounder’s match and a 6-a-side football tournament! And that is only two days worth of fun, also included in the week of entertainment will be Jailbreak, A Special Thursday Night Quiz, KUSU Games Day and a Sponsored Sleepout. Furthermore, I will be doing a sponsored silence…yep…you did read it right! I will be silent during the whole of Pigfest. If you simply believe this to be an un-
reachable task, come and fill in my sponsor form!
Some fantastic prizes will be available to be won during RAG Week. We have had loads of prizes donated from companies all around the local area including safari park tickets, meal vouchers, pottery, books, water world tickets and many more. We will also be running raffles throughout the week to win a gap month in Ghana directly volunteering for VillageByVillage.
RAG Week is going to be absolutely amazing and I hope you are all looking forward to a nice way to unwind after the exams. RAG Magazines will be on sale from Friday 2nd May which includes more information about the events, fun competitions, mini entertainment games and much more. For the price of only £1 you can get a RAG MAG and a free raffle ticket to win a top of the range ASUS EEEPC laptop! We have had many students volunteer their time to help run some of the events and stalls during RAG Week but we need many more. If you would like to volunteer to help during the week then please feel free to get in touch with me on either 07939091558 or email email@example.com. Good luck with the remainder of your academic year and I hope everything is going well!
Debate over the review was surprisingly heated, with both sides’ speeches aiming to sway the seemingly few delegates from Students’ Union from across the country, who were undecided on whether to support the review or not. There were many speeches for the governance review primarily led by the National Executive, which outlined that NUS has become too limited with old structures and is continuing to fail its members all too often. Alongside this there were many speeches in opposition of the governance review that attacked the National Executive by claiming that consultation on the review was not sufficient and that democracy had been compromised. After a two hour debate the motion went to the vote, where despite gaining a majority in favour, the review failed to gain the 2/3 majority to make the constitutional change, being only 25 votes short.
5 out of our 6 delegates voted for the review, taking forward the feeling and clear mandate from the Union meeting in October and the votes of the delegates to extraordinary conference in December.
Despite the failure of the governance review motion, NUS president Gemma Tumelty reported that the NUS leadership will return with new proposals for change over the next year,
which will no doubt continue the debate when unveiled in the near future.
The election of the NUS Executive was another key event of the Annual Conference. As predicted, current Vice President Education Wes Streeting strolled into victory as President elect, despite attracting the criticism of many in the union writing him off as “A Labour party Lapdog”. Other elections
went equally as predicted, with “Organised Independent” Aaron Porter being elected as VP higher education and Ama Uzowuru as VP Welfare, both with clear majorities. Other notable election wins were the re-election of Dave Lewis as the National Treasurer and Richard ‘Bubble’ Budden as the National Secretary.
One of the Keele’s own NUS delegates made a bold move to nominate themselves for election to the NUS’s Steering Committee. This somewhat misplaced enthusiasm was a step in the right directions of Keele having more of a voice in NUS politics. Unfortunately the candidate was marginally (!) beaten, but it was encouraging to see their interest in NUS and a desire to raise the profile of Keele to the wider student body.
By the end of the third day of Conference the long hours and overwhelming number of motions discussed had left the Keele delegates glad to return to the Calmer environment of Keele. It was an engaging experience to attend the Annual Conference and to have a say in our national union, we feel that we represented Keele in a positive way and enjoyed meeting our counterparts from the other Students’ Unions around the country.
in May 5th - Manic Monday 6th - Battle of the Bands Final 7th - Flirt Wild West Fancy Dress 8th - Quiz Night 9th - Reloaded 10th - Headphone Disco 11th - Open session 12th - Manic Monday 13th - Pool Comp 14th - Rewind 15th - VE Celebration Evening K2 16th - Reloaded 17th - Poker Night K2
The Summer of Love is Coming!
Here is your official guide to who are playing at this year’s Summer Party. Tickets are on sale now and are priced at £25 from the KUSU Box Office
The Sugababes need little introduction To date the band have sold over 2 million singles, hitting Number One five times. They’ve sold more than five million albums (including three triple-platinum discs in the UK) and have amassed more Top 10 singles than the Spice Girls, All Saints, Destiny’s Child and more Top 10 hits with original songs than any girl group since The Supremes. They’re also the first girl group since the 1980s to release more than three hit albums. They will be performing live in the ballroom with a full live band.
The Holloways are a four-piece band from North London making happy and uplifting indie pop. Best known for their single ‘Generator’ which made it to #16 in the NME’s best songs of the year 2006.The band have attracted attention in the media and a live following. NME have also tipped them to be one of the biggest bands around in the future.
Parisian trio,The Teenagers, aren’t teenagers and they may live in London, but they see the world through teentinted glasses. These sardonic sleazoids massage lo-fi synth pop with punk bass lines and cheeky lyrics. They have traveled with Justice and Crystal Castles and remixed New Pony Club, Air and Simian Mobile Disco. Their debut album, Reality Check, excels at cleverly crafted synth-pop with candid lyrics about everything you and your friends say - but never actually get to hear on a record! They are currently on a world tour performing at loads of festivals including Sonar, Glastonbury & Bestival.
5pm Wednesday 7th May Andre Williams aka Shy FX…One of the pioneers of Jungle, Shy truly made his name with the anthem “Original Nuttah” with the track reaching the UK charts and quickly became one of Jungle’s most respected producers. Shy has since set up his new Digital Soundboy venture in 2005, releasing so far a superb Shy FX and T Power album “Diary Of A Digital Soundboy”, as well a providing a choice platform for promising young drum and bass artists. Shy has also remixed and produced for a range of current artists such as Lily Allen & Dizzee Rascal. A solo artist LP is in the pipeline. Platinum-selling producers and remixers the WIDEBOYS (Edward Craig & Jim Sullivan) have been working together since 1996. The boys first breakthrough was with the Artful Dodger and Craig David classic Woman Trouble and are probably best known for their 2001 hit Sambuca. WIDEBOYS have most recently hit the #1 spot on the UK club charts with remixes of T2’s Heartbroken and Rihanna’s Don’t Stop The Music. The unstoppable-duo have also sprinkled their magic over recent hits from Taio Cruz, Snoop Dogg, Sugababes, Britney Spears and David Jordan‘s forthcoming single Move On.
Over the last 18 months, 5 x world dmc champions DJ Atom and DJ Pfel (C2C) have been building the reputation of the Beattorrent show as the most exciting DJ show in clubland Taking turntablism to the next level, Beatorrent is not simply a display of scratching skills. The entire 90mn show is geared towards creating the ultimate party set, touching on every style of music from classic rock to DnB, hip hop to full on electro. If you like Justice, MSTKRFT, 2 many Djs, Scratch Perverts you are gonna love these guys as they stop off for a visit to Keele during their World Tour. Starting off as a club night in London, Guilty Pleasures has gone from strength to strength with its own radio show and now a TV show on ITV1. This year they will host our outdoor party serving up a sucession of classic tunes that you shouldn’t love but secretly do!!
5th May 2008
Jamie Barker Music Editor
We Are Scientists – Manchester Academy (Live) We Are Scientists have recently followed-up their fantastic debut album with ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’, a mature slice of deeper, more eclectic, pop-rock and this added maturity shines through during the live show as well. Adventurous new tracks, such as ‘Ghouls’ and ‘Chick Lit’ are recreated perfectly and sit snugly alongside the first album material. The set is epic, with almost every song from both albums given an airing and the contrast between the two is plain to see. After the frantic pop of the first disc few people would have anticipated the second album tour to feature a saxophone solo, but We Are Scientists do like to keep everyone on their toes. Despite the more serious nature of the new tracks the band are still as playful as ever. Tonight 2,000 people witnessed W.A.S taking things to ‘the next level’.
Forward, Russia – Liverpool Barfly (Live) Sitting on their second album for almost nine months, while searching for a new record label, has led to the crowd gathered to see Forward, Russia tonight being considerably smaller than it was the last time they played on Merseyside. With diminished numbers and a vocalist suffering from a chest infection, things don’t look good for tonight’s show. But the apprehension is unnecessary as Tom battles through his throat pains and the band tear through a selection of tracks from outstanding second album ‘Life Processes’. New tracks ‘A Shadow, Is A Shadow, Is A Shadow’ and ‘Gravity & Heat’ rage with a ferocity live that doesn’t really come across on record and first album anthem ‘Nineteen’ finally gets an airing after several failures due to technical difficulties. Forward, Russia blow Liverpool away tonight and they deserve to be playing to much bigger crowds than this.
The Kooks – Manchester Apollo (Live) Joining the list of bands that’ve spent this April touring their ‘difficult second album’ The Kooks are back and tonight the new stuff sounds fantastic. ‘Do You Wanna?’ sounds great live, a suggestive anthem which throws a dancey groove into the typical Kooks sound, quite a contrast to the more laid back new tracks and older offerings like ‘Seaside’. As well as playing a large chunk of ‘Konk’ the majority of the debut album is on show tonight and anthems like ‘Naive’ and ‘Sofa Song’ still sound as vibrant and vital as they did when the band were playing venues a tenth of this size. The sky’s the limit for The Kooks and thus far they’ve kept it all about the music with none of the pseudo-celebrity posturing.
Attic Lights – Liverpool University (Live) Supporting Scouting For Girls may not be the most credible of lineup positions but who needs to be considered ‘cool’ when you have an arsenal full of tunes like these? The audience is a screaming gaggle of girls dressed for a night on the town and Attic Lights treat them to a solid slab of Beach Boys influenced pop-rock. Tracks such as ‘Never Get Sick Of The Sea’ and forthcoming single ‘God’ are airy pop songs laced in summery grooves and vocal harmonies. There’s every chance that in 6 months time Attic Lights will be teaming up with radio one, to ensure these catchy anthems fail to leave your head 24 hours a day.
Matt Alexander Vice-President Democracy & Communications On Thursday the 13th March the Showcase Showdown finally hit the KUSU Ballroom stage after months of prepping, planning, and rehearsals. The event was a fantastic success with over 250 students attending the night and raising £340 for Cancer Research.
The event was more of a cross between a talent show and a trip to the theatre with a huge range of performances. Most astonishingly of all was the number and variety of societies that were involved with the night including, ACS, Dancesport, KRAP, KUBE, Musicians Society and many more. The decorations for the night really transformed the ballroom into a different venue and made it feel completely unique to the regular events offered by KUSU. With the line up of gigantic proportions it seemed impossible for all performers to be featured, however because the event had been so well rehearsed everyone got to strut their stuff on the ballroom stage and be part of a really original night at KUSU.
SONS Ltd Showcase at Victoria Hall, Hanley, April 19th
The Dilettantes, La Dies, The Title, Raphaels, The Novellos, This is Seb Clarke, The Rough Charm + DJ sets by Chris Hawkins, Carl Barat & Didz.
Releasing four singles in March, SONS Ltd have seen them all burst into the BBC Indie Charts. This is Seb Clarke at number 1, The Novellos are at number 3 with ‘The Lady Is Not For Turning’, and Raphaels with ‘Charming Man’ at number 4. News of the Stoke music scene is spreading...
Seriously, there is so much talent in Stoke-on-Trent’s city at the moment; it seems to be everywhere you look.
To be honest when I found out about the gig, I was expecting something really good, and I got much more than that.
The Dilettantes lead by an energetic Tom Howells played some impressive new songs to set the tone, and they did. They’ve been welcomed by an enthusiastic audience which is hard to get when you play first. They opened the show with confidence and charisma to give us a hint of what the night was going to be. Un-official Stoke number 1 band La-Dies played as they usually play, although they managed to stay quite sober, which made
Some of the highlights of the night included the fashion shows that demonstrated Keele’s diversity, some fantastic Dances and lots of musical numbers varying from pop to classical.
The idea for the Showcase Showdown originated in September where students felt that there was a niche for an event that would celebrate Keele’s diversity and showcase individuals talent. The event was coordinated by the Racial Diversity Officer Shakur Ahmed along with a committee including Melissa Obosi, Shailee Patel, Leah Jervis, Sejal Kanasara, Opey Mogbeyi, Solombe MKali and Prav R. Over 100 students helped out with arrangements for the Showcase and the dedication delivered by the members really showed on the night. Hopefully there will be a DVD available of the event so that those who attended can relive the night, and those who did not attend can see what they missed out. The Showcase Showdown is prime example of the excellence that students can achieve when they work together and is what I’d like to see more of at KUSU. I hope that next year another group of students will get together to arrange a similar event because this is exactly the sort of event that we should be engaging with at Keele. their performance even better.
The new wave/blues rock local lads have been gigging around Stoke for about a year now and I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a negative review about them and from the way they played tonight it definitely makes sense. I’m not surprised Sons contacted them, the lads are professional and laid back and more importantly, they love what they do.
I wish I could write about all the bands that played last Saturday but there would be too much to say. If I’d only have to talk about one band’s performance tonight I’d talk about The Novellos. Number 3 in the current indie charts, I was absolutely impressed by their performance. Not only they played some catchy, well rehearsed songs but they gave us an amazing show.
The lads are full of energy, constantly swapping instruments, playing and jumping around the stage. According to their guitarist Mike, they were 2 different bands at the start and Sons asked them to form a single one which they did. Totally, wow.
I’m pretty sure you guys wonder when the Carl Barat comment is going to make an appearance so here it is. To be honest I think we were all disappointed.
He showed up at 1am and when everyone was expecting a down to earth charismatic chap, all we saw was an arrogant chubby ex Libertine who didn’t want us to interview him, took a few pictures with kids, put a couple songs on and ran to the next door bar. What a liberty…
5th May 2008
Musicians’ Society News & Upcoming Events
Roxana Rudzik Musicians’ Society President
The Musicians’ Society are back in force with some great live entertainment and socials lined up for you this term. With a very successful and what can only be described as ‘musically-diverse’ Open Mic night hosting by us in the Lounge on April 27th, you can expect even more talent and entertainment from our forthcoming Open Mics: 11th May (Lounge) and 1st June (Lounge).
Society Awards 2008 are soon approaching. If you wish to be considered as perhaps, ‘Member of the Year’ or to be rewarded for your efforts and achievements, then please check out the KUSU website, complete the appropriate form and then run it past me as I need to sign it for the nomination(s) to be valid. If anyone needs any help at all with completing the form then do not hesitate to contact one of the committee via Secretary Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org). Alternatively feel free to contact me on email@example.com
The process of Musicians’ Society Elections for Committee of 2008-‘09 will be starting in the next few days. If you’re still around Keele from Sept 2008 and fancy running for President, Vice-President, Secretary, Social Secretary, or Treasurer, then you may like to think about what the role entails and what you could offer for this role if elected. More details for release via e-mail to Musicians’ Society members only.
**Curious?** - A call for Diverse Musical Keele Talent!** In collaboration with BitJam, a group of local musicians who describe their sound as ‘experimental’, we shall be jointly hosting an evening of music entertainment called ‘Curious’. The FREE event will be taking place on June 12th starting 7.30pm, Horwood Bar, so this should certainly be a date considered for entry in your student diary. For more info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Music for France
Our next concert, Music for France, will be in support of our tour to France in July, in which we will be visiting Folkestone, Rouen and Paris. On Sunday 1st June at 3.00pm, the Keele Concert Band warmly invites you to Lindsay Studio 2 for an afternoon concert. The programme includes a variety of film music, plenty of Disney classics such as The Lion King and other well known pieces. As it is the weekend before the end of term, it provides the opportunity for your parents to pick up your things, and have an afternoon’s entertainment while they’re here!
Tickets are available from band members or on the door and are £5 for adults, students and other concessions for £3. Refreshments will be available in the Interval at a small charge. We hope to see as many of you there as possible!
A talk by Pierre Maxted “SuperWASP: from fixing leaks to finding planets” 7pm on Tuesday 6th May in LJ 1.76
for more details contact Joel: 07912 674919
5th May 2008
Keele Snow and Board Club
Kim Topham & Rich Wiseman
After many many months of waiting all those involved in KSBC’s charity events last year (and of course all those lovely people who donated to the cause) can finally rest assured that the money is heading to its destination. Last year KSBC members spent a week of running events and hassling people in an attempt to raise money for Children in Need and now after all of the last coppers have been counted we are pleased to say that thanks to everyone involved KSBC managed to raise over £2100. In wait of KSBC’s charity event later on in the season this appears to be a perfect opportunity to reflect and offer thanks to everyone involved last year. If you can cast your minds back a year from now you may recall that KSBC held a wee charity event in Keele’s own Pig and Rat and along with this came a collection of interesting and mostly messy competitions (which I am sure that most who took part regretted afterwards). In reflection we had the spicy chilli eating contest, the hardboiled egg eating contest, the pizza eating contest and finally the milk by the gallon contest, all pretty self explanatory and all very very messy. So a big thank you to everyone who took part in this event and to all those who participated in the contests, thank you for your cooperation, you crazy nutters. Prior to this event we had the freshly made bake sale running throughout the week on campus alongside the dedicated bucket shakers who ceased to give up hassling students on campus. A massive thanks to you guys, as those muffins and cookies raked in a generous donation as did all the contributions that people made, so thank you.
KEELE LACROSSE MATCHES
Stephen Johns Men’s Captain
It has been a hectic last few weeks for Keele Lacrosse with all their teams being in action and all coming out winning! The men’s team after their win over Warwick 2nds were fired up for their match v Staffs which they won comfortably 8-4. The match was tense especially as Staffs had improved a lot from the last meeting but Keele took a comfortable lead that was never threatened. Stephen Johns playing in the outfield, compared to normally in goal, scored his first ever goal for the club and probably his last if he plays goalkeeper for the next two years while at Keele. Other scorers were Shez x2, Max van Praag, Max Hastings, Edward Hincks, Luke Morgan and Liam Gannon
The men’s team also had to make a long trip down south to play Gloucester. Taking a very strong squad they were confident of a Keele win especially after Gloucester’s poor record this season.
Playing on a very bumpy and inconsistent pitch Keele went to work gaining possession nearly straight away and keeping it for most of the quarter. Soon Shez got his name on the score sheet. Ironically that was the only score for the whole quarter even though Keele were camped in Gloucester’s defensive zone! The first half of the match was very physical with tempers boiling over a few times but calmed down by the second half.
After the break it was much the same for Keele but could not score. You have to give credit to the Gloucester defence who were very good but the main compliment must go to their
Before I digress further one must not forget the epic ‘Homeless for a Week’ lads, who literally spent the entire week camping outside the union. They may have been smelly at the end but as a result of their dedication to the cause they managed to raise just over £1,000. A special thank you to Payam, Tom and all others who camped outside for any duration and kept them company, it was well worth the cold wet nights and bad food.
Last but maybe not the least I think that a big thanks and congratulations should be offered to James ‘Jungle’ Stuart and Mark Bannister, as well as to all of last year’s committee, as without their guidance and organisation the money would not have been raised and we wouldn’t have been able to contribute such a sizeable donation to such an important cause. So well done everyone, your mother’s will be proud.
KSBC would also like to thank Kim Topham for writing the article and hopes that she continues to document the events of KSBC well into 2009.
Keep your eyes and ears pealed over the next couple of weeks for this year’s lot of fundraising events. Until then good luck with assignments and have an amazing Easter... and finalist’s, don’t worry, it’s almost over!
goalkeeper who was outstanding and must have prevented at least 10 goals! Finally Doug Oakman found the back of the net to make it 2-0 but soon after Gloucester scored. The final quarter was very tense with Keele trying to keep a slender lead. With dominance of possession this helped a lot and soon Liam Gannon added the third goal. As the clocked wound down Gloucester started to have more shots with Johns (stand in Captain for the match) having to make some fine saves and the defence were flat out making sure that not many chances appeared. Even so Gloucester managed to add a second with about 10mins left on the clock. Fortunately the Tigers kept their cool and sensibly ran down the clock to win 3-2. With these two wins they will be looking forward to varsity and hopefully add a third win of the season against Staffs.
The mixed team had been in action against Sheffield at home in the last match of the mixed season. It was a crucial game for the Tigers as a win would keep them on top of the league and help put pressure on Liverpool who are the only league title contenders. Unfortunately it will be Liverpool who decides who’s top as if they win their remaining games they will overtake the Tigers.
Even so the Tigers managed to gain a fine victory over Shefield. Never looking like losing the match the Tigers played some expansive and quick lacrosse, making the Sheffield defence very tired and disorganised. With Keele’s passing much improved from the start of the season it allowed possession to be maintained and opportunities became available with Liam Gannon especially taking advantage of these to score a handful of goals. Although Sheffield did have some dangerous attackers and this kept the Keele defence on their toes but Sheffield’s passing and catching were too inconsistent and so they never had fluid and continuous play so had chances few and far between.
The newly formed Tigers Women’s team had been in action as well playing their first match at home against Sheffield
Hallam. Keele were looking forward to this after their fine win away to Aberystwyth not long ago.
The first quarter was dominated by Keele with Harriet Bascombe being the prolific goal scorer and already had her hattrick after only 10minutes! Bascombe scored soon after again! Sheffield were shell shocked and so the Tigers continued their onslaught and Harriet Cann added her first goal to take Keele into the second quarter with a 5-0 lead!
The second quarter was much the same but for some unknown reason the Tigers just could not score! This allowed Sheffield Hallam to go on the attack and after some fine saves by Lauren Newton they managed to finally score.
This goal drought lead to a much improved performance in the third quarter with Harriet scoring twice to score a double hat-trick! (and so gaining a much deserved most valuable player award for the game). Keele Women’s Captain Anna Jenkyns aka AJ (who has done a wonderful job of training the women to match standard) put her name on the score sheet followed by Tara Duke.
Again the fourth quarter was like the second with no goals from Keele but also none from Sheffield Hallam. The ladies will be very pleased with the win especially as Sheffield Hallam play in BUSA and so have been established for some years. Overall all the Keele teams have had a good run of winning games recently and this should put them in pole position to rack up some wins in Varsity!
The club would like to thank Stephen Johns, Scott Little, Craig Rosenbloom, Anna Jenkyns Samantha Chong and Edward Hincks for refereeing the matches we have had recently sometimes at very short notice.
Riddle me this....
5th May 2008
can you crack these cunning riddles? The answers can be found online at kusu.net/concourse ..............................................................
1). What goes around the house and in the house, but will never touch the house? 2). What can you take more of but leave more behind? 3). What will you break when you say it? 4). What can you put in a bucket that makes it lighter? 5). You canâ€™t keep this until youâ€™ve given it. What is it? 6). What does someone have to take before you can get it?
8 4 3 9
5 2 2 5
9 5 3 2 6
4 6 5 3 6
The views and opinions contained in Concourse do not necessarily represent those of KUSU
There is power in the Unions!