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Durham’s independent student newspaper

Palatinate

www.palatinate.org.uk

6

No. 762

Thursday 8th May 2014 | FREE

News: Indian High Commissioner visits Durham

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SciTech: UK energy debate New riverside safety measures are being considered. Full story on page four.

Photograph: Joyce Uerpairojkit

International students see fee increase

‘Fixed-fees’ campaign set back by £900 international student fee increase James Poole

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Comment: Cameron’s ‘Christian nation’

Sport: Hill Bailey 19 Fundraiser

A national campaign designed to abolish increases to international tuition fees has been hampered by the University’s plans to further increase fees by up to £900 for the next academic year. International students completing a laboratory-based course at Durham will next year see their tuition fees increase from £17,000 to £17,900 while classroom-based courses will increase from £13,300 to £14,000. According to the National Union of Students, these increases represent a growing trend at UK universities, as their campaign has revealed that each year 175,000 students have their fees increased “without notice, reason or support.”

David Morris, the Durham Student Union’s Academic Officer, said: “Durham has raised its fees at a consistent rate of around £700 over the last four years, though there is variation on some specific courses. “This does not appear to be directly linked to wider inflation trends. “Fees for classroom courses have increased from £11,970 in 2011/2012 to £14,000 for 2014/15, and for laboratory courses from £15,300 to £17,900 in the same time span.” Durham University’s decision to substantially increase international tuition fees has come at a time when the Universities of Manchester, Edinburgh and Nottingham have responded to the NUS’ campaign, implementing a fixed-fee system

for their international students. The increases have sparked major concern over the welfare of international students at Durham with some claiming that they are unable to cover the cost of food or travel home during holidays.

“I feel used as an international student – my fees are jacked up so that the University can make more money”

Anonymous Student

One international student at Durham who preferred to remain anonymous told Palatinate: “I am working two jobs to make up last year’s £700 increase, which means I don’t have any time for any serious extra-curricular activities because my evenings and afternoons are always busy. “I feel used as an international student – my fees are jacked up so that the University can make more money.” Another student, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “Economic hardship is my norm at the moment. “If I had known ahead of time that there would be this much of an increase to my fees I almost definitely would have gone to a different University. Continued on page 3


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www.palatinate.org.uk

Editorial

Speaking out against pressure on Palatinate At the end of three years at Durham, I have come to accept the signal failure on the train home to Kings Cross as an inevitability. No – more than that now, it is an end of term ritual. On the last day of Epiphany term, the train slowed to a halt just short of Peterborough as the barely intelligible voice on the intercom mumbled the familiar, stale apology. It was around our forty-fifth minute of stasis when the woman in the adjacent seat huffed that that was the last time she would travel with East Coast. I, however, began counting down the remaining quarter of an hour to my refund, confident that she had not heard of Delay Repay. Certainly I was not impressed with arriving home well after midnight, but I remain a loyal East Coast traveller because of their commitment to listening to and responding to fair criticism. A university is a business providing a service to paying customers. We are not entitled to demand our money back if we feel that the University has delivered less than it has promised, but as the heart of stu-

dent news and opinion at Durham, Palatinate asserts its right to question, to investigate, and to challenge. Palatinate made it into the national press over the Easter break when the Times Higher Education published a report in which former editors of Palatinate spoke out against pressure from University officials to regulate the publication of critical content in the newspaper. Palatinate frequently celebrates the successes of the University and of its students, but our responsibility extends beyond providing updates to the Durham University prospectus several times a term. We strive to provide information that is accurate and fair, and give students the opportunity to voice the issues that feature centrally in their university experience, whether for positive or negative reasons. Last term, we led the way in informing you of the University’s proposals for the centralisation of college services, investigating issues of staff pay, and breaking the news of the Vice-Chancellor’s resignation. We are pleased to be

your official source of student news and we are committed to bringing to light the most important issues for you as students of this University. The articles published in Palatinate, written by students, are an important component of the checks and balances that keep our University competitive. In this edition, we look at the rise in tuition fees faced by international students and, as we enter the exam season, Palatinate investigates the divergence in exam achievement statistics between departments. The article (page 4) is a very interesting read, but by no means a guarantee of your pass in even the most successful modules. So keep your head down this term; but at least some of the time, make sure that it’s over a copy of Palatinate. Victoria Ferguson

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

Inside 761 News pages 3-8

Business & Economics page 9

SciTech pages 10-11

Politics pages 12-13

Comment pages 14-16 Sport pages 17-20

indigo

Editorial page 2

Features pages 3

Music page 4

Visual Arts page 5 Fashion page 6

Food & Drink page 7 Film & TV pages 8-9

Books and Creative Writing pages 10-11

Stage page 12-13

Travel pages 14-15

Letters to the editor Want to see your name in print on the editorial page? We’d love to hear your opinion on our stories. If you have praise for Palatinate or a bone to pick with us, email editor@ palatinate.org.uk. Your letter could appear on this page in our next print edition.

The best of Palatinate Online www.palatinate.org.uk

News: Durham scientist warns about mosquito threat

Stage: Preview - ‘The Winter’s Tale’

Comment: The Bible and sexual orientation

Blogs: A brief summary of my degree - “Why am I doing this to myself?”

Professor Steve Lindsay investigates the increasing risk posed by mosquitos and other insects, and urges the world to “be alert”.

Indigo takes a look behind the scenes at DST’s most recent production of the Shakespearean classic ahead of its opening night tonight.

Jaspal Chana takes a look at some of the Bible’s problematic verses, and asks whether they have anything helpful to say about sexual orientation.

One of our bloggers sheds some light on the trials and tribulations of studying for an undergraduate Science degree.

Palatinate is published by Durham Students’ Union on a fortnightly basis during term and is editorially independent. All contributors and editors are full-time students at Durham University. Send letters to: Editor, Palatinate, Durham Students’ Union, Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3AN. Alternatively, send an e-mail to editor@palatinate.org.uk

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Ben Hamer & Victoria Ferguson editor@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Editor Charlotte Bransgrove deputy.editor@palatinate.org.uk News Editor Justin Villamil news@palatinate.org.uk News Features Editor news.features@palatinate.org.uk Deputy News Editors Gabriel Samuels, Amal Vaidya, Benjamin Williams, James Poole and Tom Fenton Politics Editor Marcus Natale politics@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Politics Editor Chloe Brookes deputy.politics@palatinate.org.uk Business and Economics Editor Richard Morgan business@palatinate.org.uk Careers Editor careers@palatinate.org.uk Science and Technology Editor Sadie Bartholomew scitech@palatinate.org.uk Comment Editor Ellie de la Bedoyere comment@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Comment Editor Ellen Orange deputy.comment@palatinate.org.uk Sport Editors Emily Beech & Lawrence Holmes sport@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Sport Editors Thomas Dimaio & Dominic Thurlow-Wood Indigo Editor Cressida Peever indigo@palatinate.org.uk Features Editor Francesca Jaworska feature@palatinate.org.uk Food and Drink Editor Diana Grant-Davie food@palatinate.org.uk Travel Editor Philip Whitehead travel@palatinate.org.uk Fashion Editor Isobel Buckingham & Katie Shuff fashion@palatinate.org.uk Film and Television Editor Jonathan Peters film@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Film and Television Editor Caroline France deputy.film@palatinate.org.uk Stage Editor Emma Dawson stage@palatinate.org.uk Music Editors Sophia Smith-Galer and Jack Collins music@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Music Editor Anastasia Symecko deputy.music@palatinate.org.uk Books Editor Kate Wilkinson books@palatinate.org.uk Visual Arts Editor Frances Marsh visual.arts@palatinate.org.uk Chief Sub-Editor Tom Willshaw sub-editing@palatinate.org.uk Sub-Editors Jordan Harries, Jacob Ratcliffe, Charlotte Hogg, Sraddha Venkataraman and Sam Courtney-Guy Online Editor Chris Somers online.editor@palatinate.org.uk Web Editor web.editor@palatinate.org.uk Photography Editor Emma Werner photography@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Photography Editors Venus Loi, Megan Liardet, & Emma Wind Illustrations Editor Harriet-Jade Harrow illustration@palatinate.org.uk Blogs Editor Katie Winter blogs@palatinate.org.uk Publicity Officer Olivia le Poidevin publicity@palatinate.org.uk Advertising Officer advertising@palatinate.org.uk


PALATINATE | Thursday 8th May 2014

News in brief UNIVERSITY NEWS

BURRITO BAR OPENS OUTSIDE BILL BRYSON LIBRARY From the 26th April to 30th May a Burrito Bar will be in operation outside the main University library, along with additional seating, following student requests and feedback. Paul Taylor, Deputy Director of University Catering said: “convenience is important to our students during this period and as the Library Café provision cannot be extended, we decided to supplement it with the catering trailer. ... Burrito Bars offer hot, fresh and convenient food.”

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH USING £1.5 MILLION MRI SCANNER The University’s Psychology Department has gathered its first set of results using a £1.5million MRI scanner that was purchased through a joint venture with the NHS. Using the scanner, researchers scanned the brains of twenty healthy volunteers to examine how different areas of the brain interact when faced with different visual search tasks.

NEW PRO-VICE CHANCELLOR APPOINTED

On the 7th April the University appointed a new Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research, Professor Claire Warwick who will take over from Professor Tom McLeish on the 1st September 2014. In her previous role, Professor Warwick was Professor of Digital Humanities at University College London. POSTGRADUATE TRAINING GETS £1.2 MILLION BOOST

The University has gained a £1.2 million investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSC) that will benefit PhD students in Science and Engineering. The funding will allow the University to increase its number of PhD students and facilitate collaborations with industry.

UNIVERSITY HOSTS LIVE CHAT ON SOCIAL MEDIA Last Wednesday the University hosted a live chat on the social networking site, Branch, during which students could pose questions on the topic of ‘Education at Durham’ to Professor Tim Clark, Dean of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education, Professor Thomas Ward, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and David Morris, the Students’ Union Academic Affairs Officer. Only two students joined the live chat with one initiating a discussion on assessment methods. The University plans to hold further live chats with senior members of staff in the coming months.

Continued from front page “Now I’m trapped. I can’t afford to leave the programme here and I’m not even entirely certain I can afford to get home if I decide to forfeit my degree.” Most postgraduate international students will face identical increases to their fees next year. Katherine Krick, a PhD candidate at the Department of History told Palatinate: “I do not find it morally acceptable for the University to raise the fee rate of any student during their degree. “I have felt increasingly unable to participate in the activities expected of a research graduate such as field research and conference attendance because of an inability to pay conference fees or to take time off from my part-time job.” The NUS plans to send a signed petition to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, after research showed that students who pay unexpected additional costs of £1,000 or more are three times more likely to consider leaving their programme. In October 2013 the Office of Fair Trading conducted a review into practices of the higher education sector, concluding that midcourse fee increases “appear to be at odds with the spirit of consumer protection legislation”. Their report also recommended a further “compliance review”. The University’s Dean of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education, Professor Tim Clark, said: “The University’s Scholarships, Fees and Awards Advisory Group initiated discussion of this matter at its most recent meeting in the light of the NUS campaign. “Considerations are ongoing and any recommendations will be brought forward to the Univer-

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News

www.palatinate.org.uk

Union President’s Column Dan Slavin

International students studying Physics next year will see their tution fees rise by £900 Photograph: Joyce Uerpairojkit sity’s Executive Committee in due course.” David Morris added: “I am hopeful that the University will choose to implement this policy.

“Many of Durham’s competitors are choosing to do so and I believe that many of our staff will recognise the knock-on implications for students’ financial security and wellbeing.”

contributions to the local and national economy and he has established a scholarship programme which supports students from County Durham who are unable to secure funding for their university education. He donated an historic £1 million to Durham University in 2009, the largest scholarship donation in the history of Durham University.  The donation enables  Durham University to award a Robert Young Scholarship  of  £10,000  every year  to a student for the next 32 years. Tony and Barbara Laithwaite, founders and owners of the world’s foremost home delivery wine company, Laithwaite’s Wine, will both receive an honorary Doctor of Civil Law. The couple met whilst they were both students at Durham University in the 1960s. They are major benefactors to Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, which studies hazards and risks relevant to people’s everyday lives

around the world, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and security risks. Renowned anthropologist and bio-archaeologist Professor Jane Buikstra will receive an honorary Doctor of Science.  Professor Buikstra is the Director of the Centre for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University and President of the Center for American Archaeology.   Professor Mosobalaji Oyawoye, the first African Professor of Geology, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science.  Known as “The Father of Geology” in his home country of Nigeria, Professor Oyawoye studied for his PhD at Durham University. Professor Chris Higgins, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said:  “All of our honorary degree recipients have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields.  They all have strong links to Durham and some are alumni of the University.”

University to award honorary degrees in July Tom Fenton

Six leading international figures will be awarded honorary degrees alongside thousands of Durham students graduating from the University in July. The Congregation ceremonies will be held at Durham Cathedral and will take place from 1st to 4th July 2014. James Lancelot, one of Britain’s most distinguished organists and Master of the Choristers since 1985, will receive an honorary Doctor of Music. He introduced girl choristers to the Cathedral in 2009, and at present is President of the Incorporated Association of Organists.  James also serves as Durham University Organist.   Bob Young, a North East businessman and successful entrepeneur, will receive an honorary Masters of the Arts. His businesses have been major

With exams on the horizon, I’d like to start by wishing you all the best of luck. This is can be a stressful time for all students, but all the hard work from this year will pay off, so just try to stay relaxed and implement good study habits. Checkout the Union’s Work Smart campaign for some inspiration. I know how concerned many of you have been about the Commercial Services Review and how this may impact on the colleges. In order to keep as many students informed I can report that the review has been paused so the University can investigate the process. I will continue to keep you informed as and when new information comes to light. Later this term the Trustee elections due to take place. This is an exciting opportunity which is open to all students who will be studying here next year, no matter what your past involvement with the Union; a fresh perspective is always welcome. There are four Student Trustees on our board who are democratically elected into the role every year. Being a Student Trustee of the Union is a very important role. You will be involved with setting the direction of the Union and reviewing this on a monthly basis to make sure we are on track. The role will see you gain experience of overseeing and scrutinising a charity. You will be involved in managing the risk, setting our budgets and making sure we operate within the law. Keep an eye on the Union’s website for more information. During the Trustee elections, we will also be holding a referendum. We are proposing to make some changes to the articles of association, to bring this up to date. There will be more information about this on our website, but to sum up, if passed, it would mean: the board of Trustees would include additional professional volunteer, a reduced term of office for co-opted trustees (nonstudents) and the board would have the freedom to form its own sub-committees. We encourage you to visit our website for more information.


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News News in brief LOCAL NEWS

CHORAL CONCERT TO PREMIER NEW WORK A new choral work by Will Lang is due to be premiered by the Durham Choral Society and Orchestra, alongside the NASUWT Riverside Band next weekend. The piece, which was commissioned by Durham Choral Society, is an illustration of the people of the North East through their own songs. The concert, which will also feature Vivaldi’s Gloria and Gala and Gloria by Todd, will be held at Durham Cathedral on 10th May.

BISHOP OF DURHAM PRAISES ‘MESSY CHURCH’ The Bishop of Durham, the right reverend Paul Butler, has praised the ‘messy church’ initiative for its work in connecting children and families with the church. The initiative, which is now in place in 2,343 churches worldwide, involved children taking part in arts and crafts activities on a Christian theme. Bishop Butler said “This is not preparing people to come to church properly. It really is the church for those who gather and when it’s run really well we are seeing people coming to faith in Christ. I love messy church.” DURHAM MP SLAMS BUS STATION PLANS Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for Durham, has called for planners to go back to the drawing board after plans were announced for a new city bus station this week. The plans propose that the current bus station be demolished with the station moving to the site of Hopper House. The MP said that Durham County Council’s £6.2m scheme would detract from the city’s historic nature, calling the plans “horrible and totally inappropriate’.” BRASS FESTIVAL TO FOLLOW IN LUMIERE FOOTSTEPS The organisers of Brass: Durham International Festival 2014 have unveiled plans for an ambitious oneoff show which will see musician Jo Hamilton perform live alongside a ground-breaking visual light display. Hi-tech lighting will effectively remove parts of the building, giving fans the illusion of staring directly up at the night’s sky. The show is scheduled for Friday 18th July and will be the centrepiece of the ten-day Brass festival, which runs from 11th to 20th July.

www.palatinate.org.uk

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

In wake of accident, calls for more riverside safety measures Joe Mayes Justin Villamil Following comments by County Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle calling for more riverside safety, Durham University says it will do everything possible to prevent another accident. As reported in Palatinate several weeks ago, after an inquest heard that the death of Sope Peters was accidental, many in the city and the University began calling for better security measures. Sope, who studied Economics at Hatfield College, fell into the River Wear shortly after midnight on Tuesday 29th October 2013. The body of the 20-year-old was discovered five weeks later by emergency services and a postmortem examination revealed the cause of death to be drowning. Speaking at the inquest at Crook Civic Centre, Detective Sergeant Stephen Smythe said that CCTV footage showed Peters was last seen outside Osborne’s bar and then heading down a set of steep stairs from Elvet Bridge. DS Smythe said: “It is almost certain he stumbled down those steps and entered the Wear over the low wall at the bottom of them. “I have tried to negotiate those steps and it is difficult even when sober. The lighting is poor and there is no hand rail.” Coroner Tweddle said that he would be writing to Durham County Council in a bid to improve the safety of the steps, which he described as “difficult and dangerous.” Professor Graham Towl, Pro-

County Council and the University consider new safety measures

Photograph: Nicola Todhunter

Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden at Durham University told Palatinate that the University is working with the county coucil and police to improve safety. However, while Towl specifically mentioned that riverside improvements were included in the University’s plan, he made it clear that the University’s main issue is with alcohol consumption. As the bank along the River Wear is not owned by the University, Towl made it clear that the direct measures taking place involve alcohol awareness. “The easy availability of cut price alcoholic drinks offered by retailers concerns us in terms of the safety and security of our students and the health risks posed to them,” Towl told Palatinate. “Durham Students’ Union and

our Colleges run sensible drinking campaigns and raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol. “During Induction Week, representatives from the NHS and Durham Constabulary give presentations to our students on the dangers of alcohol, providing advice on how many units are in different types of drinks and guidance on safe drinking.” With the University still reeling from the accident, it is unclear exactly what impact any changes on University alcohol policy will have. Without being more specific, Towl told Palatinate only that: “Students needing further support may access advice or information through services including College Welfare Officers, the Students’ Union Advice Centre

or the University Counselling Service.” Sope’s uncle Lanre Peters said: “He was an absolutely fantastic guy with a promising future ahead of him, which has just been tragically cut short.” Dr Anthony Bash, acting Senior Tutor at Hatfield, said “Members of Hatfield College were deeply saddened by the death of Sope Peters. He was a popular student who is greatly missed. “We marked Sope’s passing with a memorial event to celebrate his life. “In order to recognise the hard work of the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team that helped the Police to search for Sope, the students at Hatfield College have raised about £1,000 for the charity.”

varience in the number of students taking the modules which can range from fewer than ten students to over one hundred. In Forensic Psychology, Egyptian Colloquial Arabic, Bioactive Chemistry 3 and Beginner’s Greek, for example, not one student achieved a first last year. The School of Health and Human Sciences topped the list, however, with students from five of its modules failing to gain a first. The Computer Science Department had one of the modules in which students were most likely to get a first, with the average mark for second year Web Engineering being between 82% and 89% of the year group achieving a first. Similarly, in the Economics Department’s first year Business, Accounting and Finance module, the

average mark was 75, with 70% getting a first. The Engineering Department, however, had one of the lowest overall modules, with students taking their third year BEng Thermodynamics and Fluids module averaging 48% and only 19% receiving a 2:1 or higher. Despite significant fluctuation within some departments, the results generally support the idea that whilst there more firsts in science subjects, arts tend to be more consistent, as Palatinate reported last year. Indeed the most consistent departments appear to be English and History, whose average marks are almost exclusively within the 2:1 bracket. The results come after it was revealed earlier this year that Dur-

ham degrees are getting ‘easier’, with rapid grade inflation meaning that those achieving a 2:1 or higher has increased from 65.5% in 1999 to 84% in 2012. A second year student from St Mary’s college told Palatinate, “Where there is huge variation in marks within a department, it does raise questions about the teaching. Is it just coincidental that students in some modules are less capable?” One second year Music student added, “I know that it shouldn’t affect module choices and I would like to think that I would still pick the same modules, but if I knew that no one got a first last year, it might put me off.” Check out your own department’s modules in full at: palatinate.org.uk.

Surprising marks results newly released Ben Williams

Following a Freedom of Information request, the University released a breakdown of the marks received at Durham across all modules in all departments. The results show last year’s average mark for each module, as well as the percentage of students achieving a first and 2:1. The figures show a break down of the percent of students in a module achieving a first and 2:1, along with the average mark for that module. Most surprising is that in several modules across both Arts and Sciences departments, students failed to get above a 2:1. Such discrepancies often occur due to


GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR EXAMS!

Don’t forget applications for our Undergraduate and Graduate programmes open on July 1st. Give yourself the competitive edge by being fully prepared. EY Staff will be running a number of workshops in Durham following the exam period. These will guide you through the applications process, and provide insights into the skills you need to be successful after Durham.

If you are interested in attending an event or have any questions on the schemes we offer, please contact the Durham Campus Team at durhamcampusteam@uk.ey.com. Find out more at ey.com/uk/careers

Š 2014 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.

We have opportunities opening in Advisory, Assurance, Corporate Finance and Tax.


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News News in brief NATIONAL NEWS

SCANDAL-HIT OXFORD UNION PRESIDENT USED UNION TO COVER LEGAL FEES Oxford Union Society President Ben Sullivan used £1200 to cover legal fees against The Oxford Tab in an attempt to allegedly cover up his involvement in a Christ Church drinking society, ‘The Banter Squadron’. The Union’s Librarian has resigned in protest, citing ‘repeats and constant attacks’. He has been accused by The Oxford Tab of lying, denying involvement in the society, and of bargaining to share other scandals. The decision to grant Sullivan legal fees has since been reversed in an emergency meeting.

UCU CALLS OFF MARKING BOYCOTT Almost 84% of members taking part in a ballot voted to back a 2% pay rise for next year and to stop next week’s boycott. A UCU statement said: ‘the dispute is over’. The proposed boycott was part of an ongoing dispute over a pay offer of 1% for the current year. The Universities and College Employers Association claimed: “If accepted by the remaining trade unions the increase will bring the vast majority of staff in the sector on the lowest points of the pay scale to rates equivalent to or above the Living Wage.

BIRMINGHAM CITY UNI DENIES PAYING GANGSTER TO LECTURE STUDENTS Domenyk Noonan, who was released after nine-and-a-half years in prison for illegally owning a gun, has been invited to speak to criminology students at Birmingham City University. He has claimed that he was paid for the lecture, although the university denies this. Professor David Wilson said it was common practice for former and rehabilitated criminals to speak to criminology students. Other ex-offenders who had spoken to his students included former armed robber Noel ‘Razor’ Smith and exinmate Frank Owens.

SPIKE IN NUMBER OF ENGLISH AND NON-EU STUDENTS ENDANGERS ‘GOOD STUDENT EXPERIENCE’, GLASGOW UNI MEETING MINUTES REPORT

A large rise in the number of students from England and outside the European Union at the University at Glasgow is endangering ‘good student experience’ on campus, according to the institution’s minutes. Last year saw a 16.5% increase in the number of students at the university. The minutes also say that the university is planning a “slight reduction” in student numbers in 2014-15.

www.palatinate.org.uk

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

Indian High Commissioner DUCK visits Durham University Chair’s Column

Tom Fenton The Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom visited Durham University on Monday 5th May to deliver a wide-ranging talk on the transformation of India and its foreign policy. His Excellency Ranjan Mathai gave his talk for the Durham Union Society in the Debating Chamber in the Pemberton Buildings. The address was open to all students and staff. The chamber was three-fifths full. He joins a long list of celebrated speakers in recent years including former Labour Party minister David Miliband, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, London Mayor Boris Johnson and journalist and Durham alumnus and journalist Jeremy Vine. Mr Mathai spoke of the transformation of India and the effect on its people, dwelling on the strides made in the fields of economy, social development, technological advancements and research and development. He also addressed the challenges facing India. With the world’s largest democracy in the middle of polling season, the timing of the visit is particularly apt. He said India has seen “a revolution in a slow way. “It is a revolution that goes on every day, in every village, in every town, in every place in India and it will continue…It means the empowerment of ordinary people.” Although he acknowledged India’s “remarkable achievement” over the decades since independence, he admitted that there were “serious…issues”. He told the audience that, even though school enrolment has risen from 30% to over 90% since 1947, “half of those students…cannot do maths properly and need serious retraining.” He recognised the large increase in the education budget “is not really enough.” He also said there have been “outstanding successes” in the Indian healthcare system, including the eradication of polio and the lowering of the maternal mortality rate, but admitted that “there have been failures. “The quality of healthcare has been patchy and this is obvious to anyone who has been to rural India [where] the transformation has been very slow.” He said that corruption is “one of the single most important” problems in India and is “a drag on the economy” but added that there is a large anti-corruption movement. Mr Mathai was asked why India had a space programme when

Naz Atkinson

Ranjan Mathai

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

poverty is still a huge issue in the country. “India’s space programme consumes a miniscule proportion of [the] budget and is…the most terrestrially orientated in the entire world. “The information technology revolution in India would not have been possible if we had not had [it]… Today we have space programmes which help us predict the monsoons which is life and death for a large number of Indians. “I would be one of those who very, very strongly believe in the importance of the space programme which has been a remarkable success story…for average Indians, be they farmers, be they fishermen, be they people who want access to TV, have better telecommunications.” The High Commissioner was asked by another student whether he thought India would make progress with LGBT rights. He replied that he “was not sure” whether a new Indian government would see it as a priority but he thought a government would eventually come up with a law to remove the current antiLGBT ruling. He described India as “a democratic country, with a young population whose main transformation has been aspiration and determination, a large economic and scientific part which speaks English…, which believes in free speech, which is not Western or Confucian or Marxist. I think this can be an example for the world. “We need to… look at India, not just as an economy in development, as a great democratic system… but also as a great culture

and civilisation.” Mr Mathai also indicated that India should be on the Security Council as a permanent member. He also called for the expansion of its role on bodies such as the International Monetary Fund. “India [has an] exceptional role as a bridge between the developed and developing countries,” he said. He concluded: “India will get there. Adjust to it as best as you can, as [the] benefits will be great... India’s transformation, I believe, could help transform much of the world.” Third year Economics student and Indian national Rishiraj Goenka, President of the Durham Union Society, said: “It was an honour to host the High Commissioner. I am very pleased that the address and question and answer session covered most issues of interest in India at the current moment. “Durham is a truly global University with a diverse international student community and we are always keen to broaden our awareness and understanding of world developments.” Daniel Gold, St Cuthbert’s Society, said: “The High Commissioner gave a fascinating insight into India’s growth, both economically and in wider terms, and also provided insightful remarks regarding India’s future.” Mr Mathai was formerly the Foreign Secretary of India between 2011 and 2013 and has been the Indian Ambassador to Israel, Qatar and France. He has had postings in a number of diplomatic missions including Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels.

Welcome back to Durham and summer term with DUCK! We, here at DUCK, know that exams can be a tad stressful so we have put together an array of exciting events just for you to make sure Durham students have something to look forward to! Destination Amsterdam is one such event! This is a brand new event which will see 100 students race across Europe to Amsterdam just in time for an after exams partaay – raising money as they go! I’ve be a part of a number of hitching events in my time (DUCK Jailbreak and Formally Lost included!) and it is by far the best way to travel. There have been the successes, such as managing to nab a lift all the way from Calais to Barcelona in an attempt to make it to Morocco or being offered bed and board on an organic farm on the outskirts of Malaga. There have also been those more sketchy moments like standing in the driving rain in Southampton, our paper sign disintegrating, or ending up back in Durham three hours into Jailbreak on a failed attempt to make it to London! But all in all these moments have formed some of my best memories from the past three years and I would recommend hitching to anyone! Sign up opens Friday at 9am and places will go fast. So… have a think, get excited and GET INVOLVED! I have had a phenomenal year with DUCK this year (and of course it doesn’t end yet – bring on Amsterdam ;) ) but we need people to continue the fantastic work that DUCK does for Charities across the UK and beyond! If you are at all interested in running for an Exec position, would like more information on how we run as an organisation or would just like to get more involved then contact dsu.duck-chair@durham.ac.uk!


PALATINATE | Thursday 8th May 2014

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News

www.palatinate.org.uk

Durham Markets to hold May extravaganza

News in brief INTERNATIONAL NEWS

James Poole Durham Markets is due to hold three additional markets this month in a bid to bring new traders and extra footfall to Durham City Centre. The additional markets have been organised as part of the national ‘Love Your Local Market’ campaign and will take place across three weekends in May. The first market, due to take place this Sunday, will give over twenty young entrepreneurs aged between 16 and 26 the opportunity to showcase their business idea to the public. The following Sunday will see Durham Markets invite over 30 businesses to trade in Durham for the first time to celebrate ‘Love Your Local Market Day’. Finally, on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May, stalls will share the Market Place with World War II living history enactors, period entertainment and military vehicles. The Managing Director of Durham Markets, Colin Wilkes, said: “Durham Market Place has a unique atmosphere and reputation, so it’s hardly surprising that we have traders from across the north-east and beyond keen to take their first ever stall here. “The enthusiasm for these markets proves that markets are alive and well in the UK, and are the ideal outlet for many businesses

BRAZILIAN STUDENT ON FLAGSHIP SCHEME CALLED BACK EARLY Over 100 Brazilian students involved with a flagship study-abroad scheme called Science Without Borders have failed the early entry requirements required for the programme. The major requirement most students failed was a test of English proficiency. Many recalled students have accused the Brazilian government of breaching contracts by calling students back early. The future of the programme is uncertain.

ERASMUS+ WILL REACH A QUARTER OF A MILLION STUDENTS

The Youth Market is due to take place this Sunday

Photograph: Durham Markets

to sell their products.” “Last year’s Youth Market was a huge success, giving young people the ideal opportunity to present their business or business idea to a buying public, and we already have some unique and exciting stalls lined up for this year.” More information about the stalls due to trade at each event will be advertised nearer the time on the Durham Markets website. The ‘Love Your Local Market’ campaign has been organised by

the National Association of British Market Authorities and will see similar market events take place in towns and cities across the UK. Brandon Lewis, Minister for Local Government and Planning, said: “Britain has a proud tradition of markets that have long been a force for good for the local economy. “Not only do markets offer everyday staples to the weird and wonderful, they offer vibrancy and

community spirit that the internet and out-of-town retail centres can’t.” Durham Markets will charge stallholders £20 per stall at the Durham Youth Market event whilst businesses attending ‘Love Your Local Market Day’ will be charged £25 per stall. Each market will be open free of charge to the public between 11am and 4pm.

campaign, to help students destress. A study-break room has also opened up in the Bill Bryson, with magazines to read and games to play. The Riverside Bar and Café have announced a new evening entertainment programme to give students a place to relax after a long day’s work. Grace Abel, Community Officer for the Students’ Union, said: “It’s important that students don’t cut themselves off from friends whilst revising. “We encourage everyone revising to enjoy one day off a week, we have lots of facilities and activities on offer and our Riverside Bar and Café offers a good social space to relax with friends.” “The bar balcony will be opened up, so students can enjoy some fresh air and great views while they unwind.” “We have three different mocktails on offer, so students can enjoy an evening in the bar without the worry of a hangover the next day!” The ‘Work Smart’ campaign will also see a range of revision

and exam tips being shared each week on the Union’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Grace continued: “Each week we will cover a different revisionbased topic - from planning, to revision techniques, and from preparing for the exam, to on the day advice. “Students can also pick up a copy of our revision timetable in the Library and the Union, which includes practical tips for

revision.” The ‘Work Smart’ campaign will run until 6th June. The Union’s Advice service will be on hand throughout the campaign, to offer support for students. For a full list of campaign events and opportunities, visit the Union’s website at durhamsu.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/ durhamsu.

Get ready to get smart with Durham Students’ Union

Gabriel Samuels Durham Students’ Union has teamed up with the Bill Bryson Library to launch a new ‘Work Smart’ campaign to offer work support and help students get through their revision. The programme, designed by the Union exec committee, will involve the sharing of revision tips among the student population with various opportunities for practical engagement. According to the Students’ Union, there will be ‘real opportunities to implement these tips’, including a weekly competition where students are encouraged to share their own work tips, with a range of prizes on offer. Throughout the campaign students will also be encouraged to leave at least one day a week free from revision, and the Union has opened up their meeting rooms as temporary study spaces. Free yoga and pilates sessions, as well as free manicures and arm massages, will be on offer at the Library throughout the five week

Sophie Cranfield’s revision tip Photo: Durham Students’ Union

To support increasing student numbers, the UK will receive nearly £100 million from Erasmus+, the updated programme allowing European students to study abroad in EU countries. Under the new scheme, which has received a 40% budget increase from last year, four million people are expected to gain study grants. the number of Erasmus students from the UK is expected to increase to about 250,000 people between 2014 and 2020. According to the European commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, this scheme will help support students buffeted by rising unemployment.

DEALS WITH CHINESE UNIVERSITIES STRUCK Two UK universities have begun offering joint programmes with Chinese institutions following a visit from David Willetts and Jeremy Hunt, the universities and science ministers. The University of Central Lancashire will set up a joint media centre with Hebei University in China, and Bangor University will create Bangor College in the city of Changsha in partnership with the Central South University of Forestry and Technology. HIGH FEES LEAD BRITISH STUDENTS TO STUDY ABROAD

According to recent data, the number of British students who would consider studying abroad has increased by 17%. The Times Higher Education noted that nearly 60% of those polled said that the reason for this interest was the increases in tuition fees in the UK. However, the most popular destination for study-abroad programmes was the US. The British Council’s director of education and society claimed a victory and said that studying abroad is important to ensure a new generation of globally conscious students.


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News

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

www.palatinate.org.uk

Senate blocks governance report

Justin Villamil According to minutes released from a Senate meeting on the 25th of February, Senate members have blocked the advancement of an interim report suggesting their reform. Senate, a body which acts as the academic governing body of the University, by broad consensus argued that the report aimed to “reduce the role and authority of the Senate.” The interim governance report claimed that “increasingly, a large proportion of the Senate agenda has been taken up with executive reporting rather than governance oversight or decision-making.” Additionally, the report claimed that feedback received indicated that Senate is an unwieldy body and that free and open discussion in meetings is a serious concern

for many. According to feedback, a number of Senators wished to begin secret votes on substantive matters, as many members in the lower levels of staff actually have their managers present when voting openly about management proposals.

“increasingly, a large proportion of the Senate agenda has been taken up with executive reporting”

Interim Report The concern is that this type of discussion gives too much power concentration and stifles real debate. Another reason for recommending reform is the nature of

power as “vested in the current committees of Senate, with decisions being made at a lower level which are then ‘rubber-stamped’ by Senate rather than being fully debated and discussed.” In order to maintain the objectivity and integrity of Senate, the report argued, reform is necessary. Specifically, the Review Board recommended an Academic Scrutiny Board constituted as a Senate committee to give an academic ‘second-opinion’ independent of the main Senate body. Further considerations included the establishment of a Senate Effectiveness Review, to look at some of the possible solutions to the problem of what the Times Higher Education termed, quoting from an appendix of the interim report, ‘a culture of fear.’ Senate, however, upon meeting reacted negatively to these proposals. Specific concerns included

the idea that the interim report “did not reflect the current principle of co-government by Senate and Council, and appeared to narrow the remit of Senate to academic quality and standards.” Senate further concluded that more members of Senate should be elected to the Governance Review Project Board to ensure that the needs of the body were more adequately represented.

Moreover, the report recommended creating new ad hoc Scrutiny Committees of Council, which would be created in the case of new, major proposals, or areas of concern. Lastly, the report would re-establish the Ethics Advisory Committee as a full Council Committee. The Ethics Advisory Committee was disbanded last year.

The Executive

“it is critically important we make sure we get this right” Chair of University Council The Senators, however, made it clear that the resolutions put forward were not intended to be perceived as a vote of no-confidence for anyone involved in the Governance Review.

Upon meeting, Council also unanimously endorsed the Senate’s decision. “Council further resolved that it would only submit a consultation document to the wider university community for comment in full partnership with Senate,” Chair of University Council Robert Gillespie said in an email circulated to all staff. According to this email, no timeline has been set, but Council will fully respesct Senate’s request for time to conduct a review. “This is a huge piece of work and it is critically important we make sure we get this right for the long-term benefit of Durham University,” Gillespie said. Until a majority of both Senate and Council agree on the measures, no document will be circulated and no reforms will take place at all until full consultation with the University at large.

Inside the governance review: a Palatinate analysis

Justin Villamil An Interim Report of Governance Review has been issued recommending a sweeping reform of University government. The Review, which was issued by a Review Board chaired by Andrew Mitchell, the Deputy Chair of Council, is comprehensive – the last review was conducted in 1983, 31 years ago. After a Freedom of Information request, Palatinate has obtained a copy. In light of the recent uproar in the Senate meeting in response to this document, Palatinate editors felt it necessary to release a breakdown of the changes that may occur to the student body. While there are some broad changes suggested for the upper rungs of University management (including the establishment of the new position of Provost), the paper is quick to stress the importance of the collegiate system in Durham. Apart from those changes here mentioned, there are suggested changes to Professional Services and smaller positions, which were not included here. The Interim Report made reference to a number of contributing factors making the governance review necessary. Citing archaic government arrangements, a lack of transparency, and information asymmetries among many other problems with current government, the report stated that there are many common grievances that are not necessarily unique to Durham.

“Dysfunctional structures, which are unfit for purpose, can create an environment in which poor cultural behaviour and avoidance, or short-cuts in due process become the ‘expected’ norm, rather than the exception” the Review Board wrote. Among them were the significant expansion of student numbers at Durham, the introduction of tuition fees by the Blair government, the increased marketisation of higher education in the UK, and a shift from block grants to competitively-won funding in research and teaching, along with a number of other factors. To conclude, the report stated that “pressures have increased on Higher Education institutions to ensure that they have efficient decision-making processes and are able to respond quickly and flexibly to changing circumstances.” Council

The main recommendation made for the University Council is the establishment of a Council Effectiveness Review by the Chair to report by the end of 2014. However, on top of this the document released would preserve the seven places on the council for academic staff, but add a requirement saying that at least two staff must come from an ‘academic’ background and two from a ‘nonacademic’ background. Additional changes include adding two more ex officio members (the core of the council) - one to represent postgraduate interests, and the chair of the Academic Scrutiny Board.

Senate

When looking at the Senate, the Review Board found many problems tied to transparency and effectiveness. Saying also that the structure of Senate, specifically the inclusion of a majority of ex officio members including College Principals stifled proper debate. “There are few members of Senate who do not have their line manager present during debates on management proposals, leaving some members feeling potentially uncomfortable about expressing dissenting views,” the Report claimed. Thus, Senate would also be expected to commission a comprehensive Effectiveness Review with an eye toward future effectiveness reviews every five years. In this case, though, the major change would come from a new Academic Scrutiny Board as an interim measure prior to more sweeping reforms from the Effectiveness Review. In the case of Senate, the Review Board decided that the Senate could be trusted to resolve these problems and restructure, but only up to a point.

The Review Board’s recommendations for the Executive appear to follow a more American model in that it would decrease the powers of the Vice-Chancellor to refocus the role. The VC, the review maintains, should have a higher emphasis on developing an external profile and management. To pick up the other responsibilities, the Board recommends creating a new role of Provost. While the document obtained by Palatinate does not set out many specifics for the new Provost role, it appears that the University academic mission is the focus of Provost power. The Provost role is more often found in American universities such as Harvard or Yale, which are focused on allocating resources and changing policies focused on academic life in these institutions. As the paper mentions, Imperial College, London recently appointed a Provost. The Board also said that the Provost role would incorporate the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, but not entirely take over the Deputy VC’s workload. Colleges

The Review Board was very keen to add that the first thing to do with colleges is to issue a formal restatement of the ambition for the Colleges and the commitment to their continuation. Though the Review Board did say that the college system did add layers of complexity and cost, they

believed that: “If our College communities are to thrive, then it is important that they are viewed not as an unfortunate ‘administrative complication’ or an unnecessary ‘overhead,’ but rather as offering unique opportunities for the institution.” Further, the Review Board stated that greater delegation of budgets and responsibilities to College principals was necessary, but also called for the establishment of a Colleges Scrutiny Committee. Hastening to add that the Colleges Scrutiny Committee was oversight and support only, and would have no role in actual policy decisions, the Review Board concluded that more transparency was necessary in the colleges and advocated committee oversight. The Review Board also wished to abolish the College Councils, replacing them with a weaker College Development Boards, which would serve in an advisory capacity. The Development Boards, in this sense, are envisioned as outwardlooking and partially fundraising entities, focused on the individual development of the Colleges. Implementation

The interim report has been submitted to Senate so far. Council has yet to meet to discuss the proposal. When a majority of both Senate and Council endorse the proposal, they will be submitted for wider consultation in the University, and will be formally adopted after revisions based on these consultations.


PALATINATE | Thursday 8th May 2014

9 www.palatinate.org.uk

Business & Economics

“Invest smart”: the rules of making money All you need to know about the investment market

Shreyas Murali

D o you remember that episode

of Friends where the group decides to buy lottery tickets? After Ross finally agrees to chip in for the tickets, Chandler asks him, “Okay, so now that you’re in, what are you going to do if we win?”, to which Ross responds, “I don’t know, probably just invest it.” Ross’s idea of investing the $300 million might seem absurd, and, frankly, boring, (as it did to Joey and Chandler) but come to think of it, investing your money is not so bad after all. Why should we risk our money? Well, smart investment takes most of the risk out of the equation and puts profit at its forefront. The smartest investment comes from a mix of shares, mutual funds and bonds. Shares are small parts of ownership of a company. When a company wants a large amount of money, possibly to grow, it takes this money from the public by issuing shares on the stock exchange. These shares are then traded on the stock exchange. The basic idea is that you buy X shares at a certain price and then sell them later at a higher price to make a profit. Companies also pay dividends to shareholders. Dividends are nothing but shares of the profit that the company makes that are distributed to the shareholders. When you start off, it is advised to invest in blue-chip companies like Tesco and Glax-

Investment Tips

Use information about the company’s quarterly earnings (profits). Typically, if earnings are high, share prices would rise since more people would want to buy shares of a profitable, stable company.

Before investing in a certain share, look at the history of the share price. Google Finance or ‘This Is Money’ show the Share prices of the past will provide more information about the volatility of share price and its general trend – upward or downward.

oSmithKline. These companies are financially sound and are quite stable during both upturns and downturns. Statistics show that holding a diversified portfolio of bluechip stocks would yield a 10% (or more) return on investment in the long-run.

“it’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price” Warren Buffett

If you are investing for the short-medium term, the key is to reduce variability in share prices if you prefer low risk. Allocate your money to shares of companies operating in different industries. If you do not mind taking risks, consider investing in small-cap companies (total value of shares issued is less). These are quite volatile but offer much higher gains. However, there have been many cases where nearly 95% of a smallcap company’s share price was wiped out. A mutual fund is a pool of investors’ money which is managed by a professional fund manager who invests this pool of money in stocks, bonds and money market instruments. The fund’s portfolio is diversified in itself as it includes a whole range of financial assets. You are essentially entrusting the professional fund manager with your money and asking them to do all the work – analysing share price history, keeping a close eye on quarterly earnings and all the things that you would have had to do if you were directly investing in shares. When you want to invest in mutual funds, you buy a certain number of units of a certain fund. These ‘units’ are analogous to shares purchased on a stock exchange in that the unit price rises and falls based on something known as the Net Asset Value (NAV) which is the difference between the mutual fund’s assets and its liabilities. The unit price is the NAV divided by the number of units. Mutual funds can be split into the following categories: 1) Equity funds (shares): These are funds used to purchase shares of different companies. These have a high risk level, but also have higher returns on investment.

2) Bonds are funds used to purchase government and corporate bonds (more on bonds in a bit). 3) Money-market funds: Funds used to purchase treasury bills. Their ratings are published by various financial websites showing the risk grade and the overall rating of the funds. Mutual fund investments average about a 10% return on investment. But the costs associated with the management of mutual funds cause the net return falls by almost 2% depending on the asset management company. In addition, you should consider your risk profile before investing. Fairly stable returns over a longer period are advised. Invest in balanced funds with 60% towards equity (shares) and 40% towards debt. Begin investing in mutual funds with high ratings. Ratings are usually available on financial websites like Bloomberg. Just like we borrow money to fund large purchases, governments and companies borrow money for funding their activities. These bonds are simple IOUs. The government or the company pays interest to the holders of bonds (the public) for the sum borrowed (the face value) at a certain interest rate (the coupon). At the end of the term of the bond (on the maturity date), the public is returned the entire sum borrowed. The yield to maturity value is the average rate of return on the bond if you bought the bond at the current market price. Currently the yield on a three year UK government bond is a meagre 1.097%. So why invest in a government bonds when they offer such low rates of return? Well, they are low level risk backed by the government. The government has a very high credit rating and there is absolutely no (or extremely little) chance of default. Moreover, long term bonds offer much higher yields and hence serve as good long-term investments. Diversifying your portfolio is essential to reducing risk and concomitantly ensures good returns. If you have anything from £10 to a few hundred pounds it is best to focus on buying shares. If you have around £1000 to in-

vest, allocate funds to different securities depending on your risk preference. If you are not averse to risk, allocate a higher proportion to shares, a slightly lower proportion to mutual funds and a low proportion towards government bonds.

the costs of failed investments now will be far outweighed by the benefits

Also consider the time horizon of your investments. If you will need the money in the short-run, invest in shares and mutual funds since you can pull your money almost immediately. Short-term bonds provide extremely low rates of return and are hence not recommended for short-term investments. Always remember that the rate of return is at most times directly related to the risk level. In the UK, it is advised to open

a Stocks And Shares Individual Savings Account. While there are limits to the amount you can deposit in your account, the ISA offers various tax-benefits and provides a great pathway for nascent investors into the investing world. Before you take the plunge into the investing world, do get a feel of how it works. A good start is to track stock prices and read financial or economic newspapers to get fairly acquainted with the economic climate. Do not forget that investing early without too much knowledge about the markets could lead to losses. However, for small amounts it is worth taking the gamble as the costs of failed investments now will be far outweighed by the benefits of a hands-on learning experience that would help you make better investment decisions in the future.


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SciTech Reader’s Scigest A QUICK LOOK AT SCIENCE

www.palatinate.org.uk

Will the lights go out for Britain?

UK energy discussed in Durham panel debate

WELCOME TO THE TABLE Element 117, a super-heavy artificial atom with 117 and 177 neutrons, is about to take the highest seat in the periodic table. The news comes after a group of scientists based at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany created four atoms of the element by shooting titanium at berkenium. The element is highly unstable and the atoms decayed after less than a tenth of a second; nevertheless the team could identify the element by studying the decay chain – making them the second team to make the discovery. It is now likely that element 117 will be officially recognised by the group responsible for maintaining the periodic table. It will lie in group 17, the halogen group. The element currently has the uninspiring temporary name of ununseptium, meaning 117 in Latin. Let’s hope it is christened with a more memorable name.

TAKE NOTE!

A report in the journal Psychological Science claims that taking notes by hand leads to better understanding of lecture material than taking notes on a laptop. The researchers provided a quiz for Princeton and UCLA students after showing them videos of talks and giving them time to review their notes. Students with written notes performed better on average in the quiz than those with typed notes. Additionally, the written notes were shorter by around a hundred words, but the words were more refined than the words in the typed notes; the authors of the report suggest that those who hand-write notes have rethought the material to make it most meaningful to them, aiding memorisation, while laptop users tend to type up the lecturer’s words directly.

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

Alistair Madden

For too long the issue of energy in the UK has been placed on the back burner. Now it is at the point of boiling over. On Thursday 6th March, a collaboration between the Durham Energy Institute and DONG Energy brought the issue sharply into focus in the form of a public debate at Durham’s own Calman Learning Centre. Before the debate itself, Palatinate was lucky enough to meet with the panellists: Jenny Saunders OBE - Chief Executive of National Energy Action, Benji Sykes - DONG Energy U.K. Wind Power, and Janusz Bialek - DONG Energy Professor of Renewable Energy, Durham Energy Institute. In two to three years, they told me, there will be a risk of blackouts during winter peak hours, however it would be nothing like the Three Day Week of 1974 to which so many other factors were attached. In our present situation, Benji explained there would be a “managed turn down of demand” which

Janusz foresaw would particularly affect industry. Yet how can there be a shortage of electricity when consumers are paying through the nose for it? According to Jenny, on average 5% of earnings are spent on energy. People are only just beginning to understand the real price of energy. Benji and Janusz agreed with this, pointing out that consumers have experienced what they want the price of energy to be.

“people are only just beginning to understand the real price of energy”

Then came the debate itself, chaired by Chris Jackson from BBC’s ‘Inside-out North East’ broadcast. To begin with, the panellists reaffirmed what they had told me with stark statistics - 22% of our electricity generating sources are due to go offline by 2020 and four million people in Britain are

currently classed as living in fuel poverty. This served as a reminder that a solution to this problem needs to be found, fast. There was also another issue to contend with - to fill our national energy deficit, renewable sources of energy will need to be used in order to keep carbon emissions low. In 50 years carbon emissions will need to stand at 50g per kWh of electricity produced opposed to the current 500g per kWh, which means major investment in renewable energy sources is sorely needed. This massive shift in our energy production is why, Benji stated, DONG Energy were committed to investing £4 billion in offshore wind technology with a further £1bn each year until 2020. Currently however, offshore wind is amongst the most highly priced forms of energy and can be anywhere from £150 per MWh upwards, whereas coal and gas cost as little as £55 per MWh. This was a factor Benji said DONG Energy and others were trying hard to address. “What about nuclear?” a member of the audience proposed.

The fact of the matter is nuclear power comes in over budget and won’t fill our energy shortfall quickly enough - two crucial requirements of any solution to this crisis.

“a solution to this problem needs to be found, fast”

The likely course of action, the panel agreed, would be a mix of renewable technologies, the development of which would aid Britain’s energy production for years to come. But what does this mean for the consumer? In short average energy costs are set to rise, and the government will have to shell out more of the taxpayers’ money on providing energy solutions that are not only secure, but also low on carbon emissions. On the face of it, this is a loselose situation but one that is imperative for Britain’s energy security and to keep our lights well and truly on.

BENEFITS OF HORSEPLAY

Young people who spend time riding or grooming horses are less stressed than those who don’t, according to a new study. 130 teenagers who were taking part in a 12-week after-school course on horsemanship, interacting with horses in various ways, gave saliva samples before and after the course. These samples were tested for the stress hormone cortisol; lower cortisol levels were observed for teenagers on the course than for teenagers in a control group. Previous research has already shown that playing with household pets is good for children because it increases their self-esteem. The researchers hope that horses will be used in new therapies to help those with mental health issues.

Renewable energy sources such as wind power could be the key to solving the UK’s energy crisis

Photograph: Megan Liardet


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PALATINATE | Thursday 8th May 2014

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IPCC: Carbon-capture or face climate catastrophe

No need to book just turn up on the night For full details visit our website

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WEDNESDAY

“Global CO2 levels have risen from 280 to 400 ppm”

It is important to remember, however, that carbon capture technology - BECCS or otherwise - is simply a healing strategy: CO2 that has already been produced is swept under the carpet and ignored. Another, easier method of storing carbon underground is to simply not burn fossil fuel in the first place. Capturing CO2 and storing it underground requires time and energy, whereas simply leaving fossil fuels underground and not burning them does not require any energy - or indeed any effort at all. It is ironic too that most supposedly

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attractive option as it has the potential to be ‘carbon negative’. Whilst CCS integrated within a fossil fuel power station has the potential to be carbon neutral, CO2 is nevertheless still produced from an initial underground fossil fuel source. In the case of bio-energy, the biomass created for combustion is derived from atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Burial of the CO2 released post-combustion effectively enables atmospheric CO2 to be isolated and buried, whilst also being used as an energy source in the process.

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combustion capture, involves burning fossil fuel in a furnace, then purifying, isolating and compressing the CO2 produced during combustion. This method is widely used as it can be retrofitted to existing power stations. Two other methods, known as precombustion capture and oxyfuel combustion, are not compatible with many older designs of stations, but are integrated into many newer designs. Both of these methods are advantageous over post-combustion capture in that the CO2 is separated whilst still under pressure, meaning that further compression is not needed before transport. The CO2 obtained is also free from nitrogenous impurities. However, initial air separation techniques required to provide pure oxygen gas are costly and require energy themselves. Indeed, anywhere from 11% to 40% extra fuel is required in order to separate and store CO2 produced during fuel combustion, depending on which of these techniques is employed. Despite this, nearly all CO2 produced from fuel combustion is returned underground from whence the carbon originally came, in the form of either natural gas, oil or coal. CCS is ‘carbon neutral’. Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage technology (BECCS) involves teaming this technology with fuel derived from plant biomass. BECCS is an

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A report published in April by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stressed that action must be taken to prevent atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from reaching 450 parts per million (ppm) - widely regarded by governments as a ‘tipping point’ towards climate catastrophe. Since the time of the industrial revolution, global CO2 levels have risen from

280ppm to modern levels of around 400ppm. To prevent further pollution, the report urges a rise in the proportion of energy obtained from carbon neutral sources from 30% to 80% by the year 2050. The report emphasises that there is ‘no option left’ but to store excess carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs using Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS). Three methods are currently used to isolate and store waste CO2. The first method, known as post-

THURSDAY

Patrick Brennan

‘green’ CCS technology has been developed over the past decades as a strategy to improve fossil fuel-extraction yields from underground wells. Purified CO2 can be pumped underground to drive out any remaining oil and natural gas - fuel that would not be retrievable using previous extraction methods. CCS is also fundamentally difficult to implement, as it does not provide any immediate financial benefit. This means there is little incentive for energy companies to raise their costs by introducing CCS technology. The benefit from CCS comes, instead, from inhabiting an overall healthier planet with a better quality climate. These long term gains alone will not fund a global effort to store all waste CO2 produced from fossil fuels. The only sure-fire way of reducing emissions is to put our efforts into fuel sources that do not liberate carbon from underground fossil fuel sources, where it is already safely locked away. Producing fuel directly from atmospheric CO2 - such as via plant biomass - is at worst carbon neutral, and at best carbon negative if combined with CCS technologies. Whilst CCS may give us an excuse to burn fossil fuels without guilt, perhaps global effort would be better placed in further developing carbon neutral energy sources, and not simply sweeping our troubles underground.

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Politics

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Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

@PalatinatePol

Euro Elections 2014: What to expect Harry Goodwin Elections for the United Kingodom’s seventy-three seats in the European Parliament are up for election later this month and so far it looks to be a three horse race. At the last European election in 2009, the Conservative Party won; securing a total of 26 seats, followed by a draw in second place between the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and Labour Party both achieving 13 seats, fourth place went to the Liberal Democrats with 11, and the remaining 12 seats were split between other minor parties. So what can we expect to see this time round? Conversely, recent polling from YouGov, ICM and Survation, has shown that the Conservative Party are being narrowly pushed into third place, with Labour polling on average 33.00%, UKIP at 24.00% and the Conservatives close behind at 23.67%.

This would be a hugely positive result for the Labour Party as it would mean that they have more than doubled their 2009 result of 15.70%. The biggest question that is in the minds of the British electorate at the moment is the UK’s membership of the European Union. In a YouGov poll in December, it was shown that if David Cameron was able to secure only minor changes to the UK’s relationship with the EU, 39% of votes would vote to stay in, and 38% would vote to leave the Union, which would be an incredibly tight result. One of the deciding factors in whether more people choose to vote for an anti-EU party such as UKIP or a pro-EU party such as the Liberal Democrats will be the highly anticipated debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg on 2nd April. Many analysts have written off the debate as a clear victory for the charismatic Farage, with many having him odds on to win the clash. However, it must not be forgotten that Clegg is a very capable debater.

In the 2010 general election leaders’ debates, on average Clegg won the first two debates, prompting “Cleggmania” to spread across the country. It is far from certain that Farage will win. The UKIP rise, however, must be owed considerably to Mr Farage, who has almost singlehandedly pulled the party into the mainstream of British politics. This approach has led to some critics within his own party, with UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen once asking Farage to resign because of a new UKIP ruling effectively giving Farage a veto over candidates. It must also be noted that although UKIP secured 12 seats in 2009, they only have 9 seats as a result of defections from the party. Nonetheless, UKIP have become a force to be reckoned with across the country, with their ability to connect with both Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat strongholds demonstrated in the previous three Westminster by-elections in England. This form is due to continue in May, at the re-

cent UKIP party conference, Farage reasserted his belief that UKIP can win the European election, though in a Guardian article released the day before, Farage claimed that Eurosceptics “cannot change a thing in Europe” and that he would not form any alliances with fascist groups such as the French Front Nationale. The Conservative Party will be hoping to repeat their efforts of 2009 though the likelihood of this, as the aforementioned polls represent, is very slim. They will be relying on their promise of an in/out referendum in 2017 being enough to persuade voters to vote Tory. However, the Conservatives, who are lagging behind in the Westminster polls, may not be in government in 2017 to fulfil that promise, which may dissuade many of the electorate. As for the Labour Party, they are enjoying fairly reasonable Westminster poll results, reaching a 7 point lead in the latest YouGov. Regarding the European elections, Labour are favourites to finish first, with all of

The Strasbourg Parliament Photograph: CherryX the polls indicating a considerably comfortable win for many of Ed Miliband’s candidates. Only recently has Mr Miliband confirmed the party’s stance on an in/out referendum, declaring such a vote would only occur if it was asked to transfer more powers to Brussels. This move may or may not be quite enough for some Eurosceptic voters. All in all, the results of the EU elections will make interesting reading, UKIP will be throwing everything at these elections, though to win a European election is not the same as a Westminster election, and that is what Farage truly wants. Labour are most likely to come first however, and the Conservatives will battle hard for second place, though it has become a reality that they may have to settle for third place. “A week is a long time in politics” as Harold Wilson once said, and with two of them left, nothing is certain.

India: The largest elections in human history

From caste coalitions to contraversial selfies, India’s game-changing elections Chloe Brookes

The world watches as the greatest democracy, by populace, some 814 million Indians across religious, caste and sectarian lines cast their votes in the 16th National Elections since India gained independence in 1947. Around the globe, vested interest in the outcome of elections in one of the world’s rising economic players, and genuine curiosity about the play of electoral politics on a vast scale has driven tourists from as far as France, Australia and the US to witness this pivotal event. Indian politics is an eclectic mix of 13 different parties spanning both the national and regional levels. However, national and international attention seems to be intently focused on the rivalry of personalities that dominates competition between the longstanding Congress Party, iconised through the leadership of the Ghandi political dynasty,

and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with the self-styled symbol of hindu-nationalism Narendra Modi at its helm. In the words of Priyanka Ghandi, this year’s elections mark a ‘fight for the heart’ of an India that is Hindu in majority but secular in its political orientation. In a uniquely massive electoral space that sees the convergence of three major world religions, 28 states and thousands of ethnic/caste groups, there is a strategic importance to balancing one’s appeal to variety of minority groups. In this way, the dynamic, charismatic Modi has become a ‘polarising’ figure for his courting of underprivileged ethnic groups such as the Dalits, and his failure to deal with the 2002 anti-Muslim riots which left 1,000 dead in Gujarat during his time as chief minister there. His impressive record of leading Gujarat through period of unparalleled economic success gives Modi a decisive edge in an electoral race

where economics is at the forefront of issues. His proposed programme of free market economics and cuts to the welfare state prompted supporters to dub him ‘India’s Margaret Thatcher’. His controversial selfie, triumphantly taken after leaving the polling booths, launched myriad news stories. As the world turns its attention to India’s democratic moment, it seems that the elections create hundreds of different stories to be told; from the explosive clash of political personalities cartoonised by the media, to the rise of regional parties and the implications of a BJP victory on relations with the West, and the dashed hopes of the Congress Party’s decade in power which has left traditional sectarian loyalties. The elections, with a recordbreaking turnout across the nation, certainly have the potential to redefine Indian political space as religious and caste; especially as Dalit

Campaigning in the 2004 Photograph: Bryce Edwards and Muslim loyalties become impor- standing Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the tant spheres of Congress-BJP rivalry. verdict is not quite yet reached; with While domestic opinion and west- 2 more days of voting and the final ern media place high expectation result being announced on the 16 of on a BJP victory to topple the long- May, history is sure to be made.


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Europe, international development and advocacy Sophie Jewsbury The European elections are fast approaching and MEP candidates are busy on their campaign trails. Last week, the leading Liberal Democrat candidate Angelika Schneider, and leading Green Party candidate Shirley Ford, both for the North East, attended the launch of ‘ONE DURHAM’. ‘ONE DURHAM’ is a new society to the university and a branch of the ‘ONE Campaign’, an international anti-poverty organisation. The candidates were there to speak about their take on international development, and to sign ONE’s pledge, committing to support the European Union’s investment initiatives in developing countries. What is international development? In the question-and-answer session at the launch, a number of issues were raised concerning the responsibility that Britain and the European Union has to create aid and development schemes, particularly in Africa. The EU development aid

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programme is a particularly significant force – it is the largest aid donor in the world. The money is directed towards investment projects in areas such as agriculture, healthcare and access to energy. In 2000, the EU set a requirement for all member states to commit to spending 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) on development aid. The UK is one of four member states to have achieved this. Angelika Schneider (Lib Dem) and Shirley Ford (Green) both stressed the importance that their party placed on maintaining investment and pressuring other member states to do the same. Shirley Ford argued for the importance of combining development assistance with measures to increase transparency in trade. It is a topical issue – the motion for the debate at the Durham Union Society last week was ‘This house would help Britain before Bangladesh’. The proposition made a case for the difficulties associated with implementing aid effectively. The need for the reform of current development projects is undeniable.

For international advocacy organisations like the ‘ONE Campaign’, however, the positive impact of development programmes are statistically verifiable. They state that targeted development assistance and savings from debt relief allowed an extra 54 million children to start primary school in sub-Saharan Africa between 1999 and 2011. They highlight that since 2000, 6 million child deaths were averted through immunisations supported by the GAVI Alliance. They demonstrate that extreme poverty has been halved in the past 20 years, and argue that it could be virtually eradicated by 2030. The ‘eradication of poverty’ is a big claim to make, and perhaps scepticism is deserved. What seems clear, however, is that the EU has it in its power to exert a significant and positive influence over development issues, when programmes are implemented responsibly. ONE is pushing for increased transparency in the EU’s own dealings with developing countries. The pledge signed by Angelika

and Shirley at the ‘ONE DURHAM’ launch formed part of the ‘ONE Vote 2014’ campaign – ONE members are calling MEP candidates to commit to pushing these development issues, should they be elected to the European Parliament at the end of this month. So far, 129 candidates across Europe have signed. In the North East constituency, candidates from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party have declared an inter-

est in signing. ONE is hoping for an upsurge in numbers in the run-up to 22nd May. Interested in international development, politics or advocacy? To get involved with ‘ONE Vote’ and future campaigns, join the ‘ONE Durham’ facebook group, or email s.m.jewsbury@ durham.ac.uk. You can sign the petition, calling candidates to support international development, online.

Angelika Schneider signs students’ anti-poverty pledge


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The end of the world? No really, it is.

Ellen discusses the recent UN report on climate change and why we should take notice Ellen Orange

Last month the UN released a report on climate change. Same old story right? Actually, no. This time around, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that the effects of climate change are overwhelming.

The effects of climate change are irreversible. We are past the ‘tipping point’ so to speak

This is not new news; we have seen increasing evidence of this in recent years. It has been clear even in Britain with incidents of severe flooding becoming more regular. What has also been acknowledged is that these effects will be irreversible; we are past the ‘tipping point’ so to speak. Well, we will just have to adapt surely? Again, no, the solution isn’t that simple, with the IPCC admitting that we will have limited ability to adapt, and if we think of the countries who are hit the worst by these changes, they cannot afford to adapt. Heard it all before? These arguments do sound like a broken record, namely because they are. Lead figures have been saying this for years; it is even taught in GCSE Science. It is about time people actually listened. The issue now is that the UN actually need to start recognising and dealing with the problem. Accepting cli-

mate change and improving our actions is moving too slowly. Currently we are just offering token gestures. It is time to act. We are certainly too late, and much of the damage has already been done. Even if we turned everything off and gave off no more emissions, we would continue to see sea levels rise due to what we have already done. But that is no reason not to try. We can still salvage what we do have left if we tried. The problem is that noone is interested. Protecting the environment isn’t profitable, it doesn’t further peoples careers. It is usually perceived as expensive, difficult and inconvenient. The problem is that protecting ourselves from the effects is likely to be even more expensive, difficult and inconvenient than mitigating them in the first place. What we need is big change. Grassroots schemes are important, yes, but switching off your lights and turning the tap off when you brush your teeth will not help if governments and companies refuse to play their part. We need decisive legislation to protect the environment, carbon taxing, more ‘green’ incentives and most of all a push for governments to stop putting the environ-

Even if we turned off everything, and gave off no more emissions, we would continue to see sea levels rise because of what we have already done. But that is no reason not to try

ment and our future on the back burner. Perhaps I am painting the picture too bleak. There have been some

Illustration: Jack Hodsoll

brilliant achievements, for example 70% of Portugal’s energy is renewable and in 46 countries at least 60% of their energy is renewable. In Bangladesh grassroots schemes of installing domestic solar energy systems have been hugely successful, with reports of one installation every 90 seconds. (Guardian, 10th Oct 2013) This at least inspires us with some hope that it is possible. What t h e

world really needs now is a collective, international effort, so that these efforts do not go wasted. The solution is not to go back to the stone-age, but to move forward and use the new knowledge and technology we have to our advantage. If 46 other countries can do it, why can’t we? Going back to the old cliché, what kind of a world do you want your children to grow up in? I would want mine to live in a world where there is still rainforest, where they can see polar bears in the arctic, and where they can live by the sea without fears of cliff erosion and flooding. I may be romanticising but it is true. There will be little point in ensuring my children get into a good school or have the right healthcare if the world can’t even produce enough crops to feed them.

There have been some brilliant achievements, for example 70% of Portugal’s energy is renewable

At risk of going back on myself, little actions can have big returns. If you want a better future for the environment keep switching off your lights and turning off your taps. Get solar panels installed, sign petitions, lobby companies, vote for politicians who will make a difference. At the end of the day, we all live in this world, we all have a responsibility towards it. If we do our bit, and urge others to do theirs, then maybe, eventually, we will see a difference.

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Miley Cyrus: wrecking feminism? Alex Cupples

Miley Cyrus has been criticised for her overt use of her sexuality so much over the last year that you would think people would get bored of it. It would seem, however, that we are still not over her ability to create a highly sexual music video using highly unsexual build-

ing materials. Indeed, outspoken BBC Radio 1 Presenter, Jameela Jamil, recently accused Miley Cyrus and the other female pop stars like her of stunting women’s progress. In Jamil’s opinion, women in the pop industry are not empowering themselves by claiming ownership of their bodies because they are perpetuating an image of sexually available women created by men. But are the internet critics

and Jameela Jamil right to be criticising women in mainstream culture? When discussing the backlash she received from her comments at a conference, Jamil attacked the culture of “women tearing down other women” without a hint of irony. Women are arguably the greatest oppressors of women and it is disheartening to see so many women pretentiously claiming to be fighting the feminist cause whilst attacking the women who they do not think are ‘feminist enough’ to be in the public eye. Even within the music industry the behaviour of women in the pop world has been scrutinised. Shortly after Miley Cyrus ‘twerked’ herself to the headlines with Robin Thicke at the VMAs, Lily Allen released “Hard Out Here”. The track attacks the high powered men in the music industry for exploiting female sexuality to sell records. Whilst this may be a very real issue, it is not the one

Photograph: JustInLoveTrue

Jamil is trying to address. Women in the music industry must not all be instantly labelled victims and perpetuators of exploitation and it is in fact very difficult to see Miley Cyrus as a helpless victim of the industry. In interviews she appears comfortable with what she does and who she is, she said in one, “I feel like I’m one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything.” Beyoncé is another highly successful female pop star who faces attack at the hands of a few feminists who do not think she is worthy of their title. Again it is her presentation of sexual empowerment that comes under attack. It is true that Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus set an example for young girls who see women becoming successful through making themselves sexually attractive to men, but what needs to be taught, to boys as much as girls, are the rules of consent. A woman can use her body how she wants, if she has control over it

and is not taken advantage of. Accusing Miley Cyrus of being antifeminist and asking for sexual degeneration because she dresses and dances provocatively runs along the same logic as accusing women of asking for rape by, something no one who believes in gender equality would say. Modern day feminism is centred on an aim for gender equality. However, there are many branches coming off the big gender equality feminism tree which cause self-proclaimed feminists like Jameela Jamil to attack other selfproclaimed female feminists on their actions. What feminism really needs is a clear target which unites women rather than divides. The mainstream music world in which women are openly expressing their sexuality is not what we should be afraid of. We should be afraid of continuing to tell girls what they can and cannot do because of their gender.

the State and the Church should separate completely is not an easy problem to solve. Aside from the question of the Church’s role within government, there is the simple fact that Christianity is a fundamental part of this country’s cultural history and heritage. Many good

things arise from its influence - from magnificent architecture, beautiful music and inspiring art, through to good old-fashioned philanthropy. Just as the British monarchy exists relatively harmlessly, without interference, the Church can exist within the state as a benign tribute to our cultural heritage, without upsetting an otherwise fair and democratic society. In the same way we admire ancient monuments such as Stonehenge without necessarily believing in Paganism, people of all faiths should be able to feel proud of our Christian heritage without fear of it interfering with our government.

David Cameron urges us to be “more evangelical” Patrick Brennan

David Cameron has once again made himself the epicentre of a debate with his recent comments regarding Christianity and the state. In an issue of the Church Times, Mr Cameron remarked that Britain was a “Christian nation”, and that it was time for the British public to be “more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.” Through these remarks Cameron has unwittingly alienated an overwhelming proportion of the British public, but also asserted a belief that the State and the Church should remain fundamentally intertwined. These statements show Cameron to be severely out of touch with the public, as well as the values of a modern day, multi-cultural Britain. It is first worth noting that Mr Cameron is not wrong in calling Britain a Christian nation. Since the reign of King Henry VIII, the monarch has remained head of the Church of England; as such, Britain is a Protestant

country. Bishops are sworn in by the Queen under the advice of the Prime Minister and many senior members of the Church - such as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York - have seats in the House of Lords. However, recent statistics tell a very different tale. According to recent data, the proportion of people calling themselves ‘Christian’ is in steep decline, whilst the number of people calling themselves ‘Athiest’ is on the rise. Human rights campaigner Pater Tatchell, in light of the comments, drew attention to a recent YouGov poll, in which 65% of people questioned described themselves as ‘not religious’, while only 29% said they were. What’s more, modern Britain is home to many more religions. One in twenty of us is Muslim, and the number of Hindus and Jews are rising towards a million and a quarter of a million respectively. So whether or not it is technically correct to call Britain Christian, the question emerges of whether, in this day and age, it is right to. The British government represents the people of Britain, and hence people from many different faiths. Should the Church be allowed to have this much influence in the State when it represents relatively few of its citizens? Also at issue here is not just the

question of how best to represent the country’s current religious situation, but more fundamentally of how close the State and the Church should be in principle, regardless of actual statistics. Even if the country were Christian by a vast majority, would it still be right to let the Church have a profound impact on government? After all, we live in a scientific age and we reap the benefits of this - from public transport networks to medicine to a fair justice system. How right is it that our liberties are still controlled, to a certain extent, by religion? David Cameron’s main argument appears to be one of morals. In the article, the Prime Minister urged British Christians to be “more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.” My question, Mr Cameron, is since when did people of any other faith, or no faith, lack this ability to ‘make a difference’? It is here that Cameron shows how vastly out of touch he is, implying that people must abide specifically by Christian principles in order to be morally sound, and that every atheist, Muslim, Jew or otherwise, is inherently wrong for not adhering to this. The issue of whether

Illustration: Catherine Wallis


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Thursday 8th May 2014| PALATINATE

The ‘Cinderella Law’ belongs in fairytales

Sandy Thin A lot has changed since 1933: the death penalty still existed in Britain; there was no NHS and any suggestion of legalising gay marriage would have ended a Member of Parliament’s career. It was a different time and the law reflected that. However, 80 years on we find that one of the laws most affected by social setting and opinion remains unchanged. Following a recent campaign by UK charity ‘Action for C h i ld r en’, the government is considering intro-

ducting a new law on emotional cruelty to children. Known as the ‘Cinderella Law’, this will aim to combat child neglect among other issues of “emotional abuse”. Although change to this legislation is necessary, significant problems exist in the changes proposed by the NSPCC. The 1933 Children and Young Persons Act accounts for “child neglect”, but only in cases of physical rather than emotional or psychological damage. While the 21st cent ur y r e cog n i ses that the damage c au s e d by emotional abuse can be as significant as physical,

the NSPCC definition of what constitutes “emotional abuse” is simply too vague to be brought into British law. This extensive definition of emotional abuse put forward by the NSPCC covers both ends of the parental spectrum: it accounts for adults who are over-protective and adults who are not attentive enough; adults that have unrealistic expectations of their children and adults that are too liberal with their children. In all this, it seems the NSPCC are simultaneously providing very strict and very blurred instructions as to how to be a parent and, in doing so, somewhat miss the point of what it means to be a parent. According to this definition, “making fun” of a child should be considered to be “emotional abuse” and should be punished as such. While there is obviously a point at which “making fun” can become something more serious and detrimental for a child, it can often provide the basis for filial affection. If this definition was used in a legal

Photograph: DeviantArt

setting, we might find ourselves edging closer to a ‘nanny state’, the sort of nanny that not only does everything for the child but actively discourages it from doing things that may benefit its development. The danger at the heart of this issue is really that the state may begin to remove freedom and creativity from parenting. Britain’s increasing multiculturalism means it is impossible to say that there is a ‘right way’ to raise your children. While many may criticise the Amy Chua approach to parenting, described in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, for its fierce and unrelenting nature, this criticism comes from a Western perspective and regardless, it is not uncommon to find ‘tiger mothers’ in white middle-class British families. To disagree with this sort of parenting is perfectly acceptable but to make it illegal is to dismiss what is a way of life for many people. Further problems arise in how such things could possibly be monitored: are we to install surveillance in every home in the country, or would all enforcement be based purely on the testimony of the

child? Assuming the former would be too Orwellian even for the modern world of GCHQ, the sanctions and enforcement of these laws would be somewhat farcical. The failure of the Cinderella Law is rooted in overshot expectations. In seeking to prevent neglect or cruelty to children the ruling strays into realms of the unjust. It is unjust that any parent could be held accountable in court for the vague accusation that they were “making fun” of their child; it is unjust that parents should be dissuaded from encouraging excellence in their children and it is unrealistic to expect courts to distinguish with wording so ambiguous as that set out by the NSPCC. Changes must be made to the laws and legislation on emotional abuse and parenting, but the Cinderella Law is not the answer. Instead the government should seek to help rather than punish new and struggling parents with state-funded parental preparation groups or schemes of this ilk, rather than outlawing any form of parenting that strays from the NSPCC’s vision of basic blandness.

in April, yet another success, was made all the more significant by the continuity of the Queen. There is no one with a better perspective on the excellent work done on both sides in the British government, having reigned for so long and witnessed so many changes. The issues which David Cameron and Her Majesty discuss in their weekly audiences must be given an unmatchable historical perspective, given that the Queen has listened to and advised twelve Prime Ministers. Britain is likely entering into a period of intense public debate about its role in the world. Though public opinion favours no side decisively, the issue of whether or not we remain in the EU is set to become an ever increasing one. Regardless of whether we do decide to leave in the next few years, and it is very realistic possibility that we will, we are going to have to rely on every asset at our disposal to react to the rapidly growing econo-

mies beyond Europe’s borders. The appeal of British culture abroad will play an important part in this process. Selling our products and services abroad will be made easier by interest in, and attraction to, positive perceptions of British way of life. It is sometimes easy to dismiss events like Royal tours as meaningless, or simply for those interested in celebrity. But the fact that millions across the world show an interest in the Queen and future King(s) should be something we should be encouraged by. The UK finds itself in an increasingly competitive and globalised world, and it is in our best interest to be noticed on the world stage. Having a Royal family which generates attention around the world is not a given, and without it, we would lose both a part of our culture and an irreplaceable asset to our appeal abroad. William and Kate seem to have further cemented the M onarchy, guaranteeing the continuance of an invaluable part of British public and political life, and that should give us confidence.

A secure future for the Royal Family Philip Naylor

It is fair to say that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of Australia and New Zealand has been a great success – but then surely all but the most churlish republican would have predicted otherwise. The Queen’s remarkable reputation across the Commonwealth is as strong as it ever was. William and Kate – and importantly their son, George – represent something of a paradox in the blend of the past and the future. Despite being members of an ancient institution like the monarchy, the young couple and the new baby are more about our future than our past. Though some support an endless march toward complete democratisation, abolishing tradition from our way of life, any bad feeling toward the monarchy simply is not finding much traction in the public. It is yet another paradox that in Britain, while our faith in elected

representatives and democratic institutions has plummeted so low; support for the monarchy remains so high. In fact, last year a YouGov poll found that people think we are more likely to make contact with extra-terrestrial life, clone human beings and develop sentient artificial intelligence in this century than abolish the monarchy. More likely than not, the Royal family is here to stay, and that gives us reason to be optimistic. Defenders of the Monarchy often put forward the argument that the Royal family deliver financial benefits because of tourism revenue. While this is true, we should not miss the broader point that our Head of State, though clearly less influential than her government, has proven an invaluable asset to British democracy. The longevity that comes with the Head of State has provided us a diplomat without comparison. The ever closer relations the UK enjoys with the Re-

public of Ireland has been led from our side by the Queen, and the 2011 state visit to Ireland carried a symbolism that could have never been equalled by a short-term, elected politician. President Higgins’ visit

Illustration: Charlotte Gurr


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Hodgson’s choices for Brazil 2014 Tom DiMaio There are always surprises regarding who gets a seat on the plane before every World Cup - usually involving Theo Walcott. However, this year, with the country already resigned to having no chance of winning the whole thing, surprise should be the order of the day. A youthful team set to explode on to the international seen, scaring opposition with the fledgling fearlessness that we so often see in the Premiership. This is what we should be hearing on the eve of the tournament. Despite this, Mr Hodgson looks set to take a team that bears too much resemblance to England squads of the past that we have grown so used to. In goal Joe Hart is the safest bet to make regarding the England line-up and for good reason. The four players making up the defence ahead of him is a slightly trickier task. With the exception of a rogue appearance from Phil Jones in Roy’s first ever match in charge; only four fullbacks have ever started for one of Hodgson’s teams; Johnson, Walker, Baines and Cole. Although it’s tough to call at rightback, I would certainly take both but perhaps favour Walker to get the nod over Johnson as the Liverpool player does tend to leave a lot to be imagined on the defensive side of things.

As for left-back it’s Baines all the way for me, Cole simply hasn’t played enough this season and despite his impressive form towards the end of the season, I would rather have youth in reserve if Baines were to get injured. Play Baines but take the highly impressive Shaw or Kieran Gibbs who’s had a quietly superb season for Arsenal. However, despite my protests I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cole on the plane. At centre back, Cahill and Jagielka have an impressive record of five wins, one draw and no losses as a starting centre back pairing for England and should definitely start whenever possible for in Brazil. It looks likely that Manchester United’s Chris Smalling will be deputising in case something goes wrong.

“Hodgson looks set to take a team that bears too much resemblance to squads of the past” In the midfield even I cannot deny giving the experienced Steven Gerrard the armband for the World Cup. The second half of his season for Liverpool has been, barring the odd slip up, superb. As for Gerrard’s partner in the

centre of the park, Roy has a tricky decision to make. Jack Wilshere is without a doubt the obvious candidate with regards to ability, but he will come into the World Cup highly unfit and it will be interesting to see whether he will play ahead Michael Carrick. It would be a real shame if England play either Carrick or Lampard to join Gerrard in the midfield, however, considering the other alternative is Tom Cleverley, let’s just rely on an unfit Wilshere for now. It is with regards to the wingers that I believe Hodgson will make the biggest mistake by choosing the safe bet rather than a potentially dangerous youngster. Few would deny Raheem Sterling a chance at the big time. The Liverpool youngster has looked superb all season for the Reds and certainly looks to be the most exciting player in the England squad. Despite this, Hodgson might well go with the steady James Milner who always plays well. I believe picking Milner over either of the other two I’ve mentioned would be a sign that Roy Hodgson is not willing to give his World Cup team some edge and would much rather settle for another average tournament, perhaps edging into a quarter-final. A similar story plays out at leftwing where the choice could be between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck. Considering that Welbeck has struggled to get

Goalkeeper Joe Hart will be on the plane Photograph: Wikipedia

into one of the worst Manchester United teams in decades and Chamberlain has looked like a powerhouse most times he’s stepped onto the pitch at the Emirates this season, it’s pretty clear to me who should start. But, I still think Roy will plump for Welbeck. As for the two strikers look no further than Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney. I still believe, despite the protests of Liverpool fans, that Rooney is the only world-class player in England’s ranks. With Wayne in

Ryder Cup: the players to watch Dominic Thurlow-Wood After what can only be described as a nail-biting finish to the 39th edition of The Ryder Cup at Medinah in 2012, golfers and sports fans alike are eagerly anticipating this year’s contest to be held in September at Gleneagles, Scotland. Perennial favourite Tom Watson will be captaining the American team this year with Ryder Cup stalwart Paul McGinley doing the honours for the European Team. There are several golfers who are worthy of a spot at Gleneagles. EUROPE

Rory McIlroy – P9 W4 H2 L3

As a former world number one, McIlroy is renowned as one of the best players in the world. However, since signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike he has experienced a loss of form, especially in the majors. Several recent positive results will give McGinley hope that one of his leading stars will have rediscovered his mojo by September.

Ian Poulter – P15 W12 H0 L3

Boasting a phenomenal Ryder Cup record of 12 wins from 15 matches played, Poulter provides the heartbeat of any European Team. Few can forget his five consecutive birdies that kept Europe in the contest two years ago and fans will be hoping that the famous ‘Poulter glare’ is back with a vengeance at Gleneagles. A definite pick! Miguel Angel Jimenez – P15 W4 H3 L8 (Wildcard)

After passing 50 recently it has come as a surprise to many people that Jimenez is staking a claim for a Ryder Cup spot. Fresh off a T4 finish at The Masters, the cigar-smoking, rioja-drinking Spaniard, has a good chance of being involved in September and would be a very popular choice. Victor Dubuisson – (Debut)

The enigmatic Frenchman has no shortage of fans on both sides of the Atlantic after his heroics at the WGC

Accenture Matchplay in February. After bursting onto the scene at the end of the last calendar, Dubuisson has now established himself as one of Europe’s hottest prospects and will be a fixture at Gleneagles in September. USA

Tiger Woods – P33 W13 H3 L17

No preview would be complete without mentioning the world’s best player. Woods has often been discounted as a poor Ryder Cup player however his singles record is one of the best and is guaranteed a spot at Gleneagles if he stays injury free upon his return from a back operation. The legendary “Tiger roars” are an important asset for the American Team. Jordan Spieth – Debut

If McIlroy’s form has dipped in recent months, it is the complete antithesis to the meteoric rise that Spieth has experienced in the last year. Having started last season as an amateur he gained his first victory

at last year’s John Deere Classic. Already this season he has come close at The Masters and looks like a cert for a seat on Tom Watson’s plane. Jimmy Walker – Debut (Wildcard)

Jimmy Walker would be unknown to many European fans however would be a dangerous asset in the American side. He currently leads the standing in FedEx Cup points and the statistics show that he has the best short game in the US in 2014. Despite his perceived inexperience, Walker will be a solid member should Tom Watson reward his excellent form. Bubba Watson – P8 W3 H0 L5

In April, Watson successfully held off his countryman, Jordan Spieth to win his second green jacket at Augusta National. His captain and namesake Tom will be hoping that he can replicate this form throughout the coming season. The American faithful will be hoping that the mercurial Watson will lead from the front.

‘the hole’, Daniel Sturridge has certainly earned the right to start for England this season. A heap of goals for his club has shown he is an out and out goal scorer and is definitely England’s most promising forward. Hopefully Brazil will be the story of a plucky, if perhaps unsuccessful, England side featuring Sterling, Wilshere and Chamberlain, rather than another monotonous second round dump out featuring Cole, Lampard and Andy Carroll.

SUMMER 2014: DATES FOR THE DIARY CYCLING: 5th -27th July will see the 101st Tour de France. The first two stages will take place in Yorkshire. ATHLETICS: The Commonwealth Games this year will be held in Glasgow from the 23rd July - 3rd August.

CRICKET: England will be looking to retain their form in May and June as they take on Sri Lanka followed by a series against India which takes us through to September. TENNIS: The French Open plays host once again to the world’s best from the 25th May8th June and of course Andy Murray will defend his Wimbledon title from 23rd June - 6th July. GOLF: The Open Championship will be held at Royal Liverpool from the 17th - 20th July with the Ryder Cup taking place during the last week of September at Gleneagles.


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Sport Sport

www.palatinate.org.uk

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

Jump at the chance to skydive

Lucia Grey Quick question, have you ever wanted to jump out of a plane? (And not even because exams are right around the corner?) If yes, then Durham University Freefall Club could become the key to turning those day dreams into reality as the club is currently offering heavily subsidised first jump courses. At £140 it’s £20 cheaper than the usual fee and £59 less than the charge to the public. Courses will be running in early June, after the end of exams so if you’ve ever wanted to try, now is an excellent time to get your foot in the door to becoming a fully licenced solo skydiver. Covered in the course fee is: third party insurance, equipment hire, club membership, accommodation and training at our local, wellequipped drop-zone at Peterlee. Six hours of ground school will train you in exiting the plane, body positioning, canopy handling and everything else you need to know, followed by a first jump from 3500 ft. After being fully briefed beforehand, your first jump will see you attached to the plane with a static line which will open your parachute for you automatically when you exit, so there’s no ripcord for you to worry about pulling. Then you’re flying your own parachute! Your instructor will watch, and

Lucy Eldred, Paul Hardy, Ralph Weatherburn and others form the base of a 14 man formation above Hibaldstow

Photograph: Mal Smith

probably film, your exit from the door and if tumbling thousands of feet wasn’t enough excitement, you will receive your very own certificate and Skydive starter magazine. The course is done on the Ram Air Progression System (RAPS), al-

lowing you to progress on to freefall after a minimum of four further jumps. As you progress through the system you’ll begin freefall and work towards moves such as back-loops and unstable exits, leading to you

being awarded your A-licence after which you’ll be able to skydive solo almost anywhere. Throughout this time you can continue to get discounted jump tickets at £25 per jump, including kit hire through the University club

compared to the £44 the public pay. Whether you want to take up the sport seriously and be the next Felix Baumgartner, or just have one unforgettable experience, email us at freefall.club@durham.ac.uk or visit our Facebook page.

and claw back the match and claim their fourth consecutive BUCS title. On the adjacent pitch the women’s 1sts were too expected to claim their Championship title having not lost to any opponent all season. However, Birmingham posted an epic performance to come from 3-1 down to beat Durham with an agonisingly close score of 11-10. It was better news for the 2nd team however, as they beat Cambridge 12-8 in the Trophy final.

agonisingly close sudden death tie break yet this wasn’t enough to overcome defending champions Stirling.

Easter term However, since returning to Durham, the Palatinates have found it a lot easier to win national titles. The excellent start to Easter term has ensured that Durham cannot now be caught in the BUCS table and will finish second. Targets now for the remainder of the year according to Head of Team Durham Peter Warburton are to “(a) beat our all-time record points haul of two years ago, (b) to stay in front of Loughborough in League points and (c) to stay in front of Loughborough in Cup points.” Part of this successful start was down to Durham University’s canoeists who won the British University Canoe Polo Championships. Both sides were outside favourites which made their victory even sweeter. The men’s team had to battle through two golden goal play-offs and the women faced Championship favourites Loughborough twice. Unfortunately the men’s B team could not quite replicate as they lost out in their Trophy final to Loughborough B. In the National Rugby Sevens tour-

nament, the women’s 1sts finished 5th. The Palatinates were perhaps unlucky to be pooled in a group which contained an Exeter side which had knocked them out of the 15-a-side version of the Cup last term. Despite losing to Exeter, the 1sts responded well by beating Manchester and Newcastle comfortably to finish second overall in their group. This enabled Durham to compete for the Plate, in which they faced two super powers of women’s rugby in Leeds Metropolitan and Cardiff Metropolitan. However, unfazed by their opponents Durham destroyed Leeds 29-5 and dispatched Cardiff 28-7 to which Warbutron called their success “a magnificent achievement [which] enforces the point that women’s rugby at Durham has arrived!” The men meanwhile continued their relatively poor season by losing their final match against Bristol by one point, due to an interception try in the last minute. Despite winning the sevens tournament twice in the last three years they were unable to progress to the Plate finals.

A tumultuous Easter is settled by a successful start to summer term

Emily Beech While a lot of us spent the Easter holidays desperately avoiding revision by watching numerous pug videos and completing quizzes to find out exactly what Disney character you are; members of Team Durham were engaged in a far more rewarding form of procrastination- competing in Championship finals. Thankfully, Palatinate was lucky enough to be on hand to report on all the drama which took place down at the Surrey Sports Park. Below is a quick recap of all the peaks and troughs of what proved a tumultuous day for Team Durham. Lacrosse It was no surprise that the men’s 1st team finished off a season of complete domination with a comfortable 20-11 win over Leeds Metropolitan in their Championship final. Leeds Metropolitan did manage to stir a few nervous twitches as they took an early lead but the Palatinates soon found their stride to maintain possession for long periods of time

Volleyball It was a difficult final to call for the women’s 1st team as the current Student Cup champions came up against an undefeated Northumbria side. As expected, there was little to differentiate between the two sides but Durham eventually edged out their opponents in the fifth set to claim the title Tennis Neither the men’s nor women’s teams could pull off a match-winning performance against their opponents. The men’s match even went to an

Water polo The men’s water polo team, despite winning their first match of the day against Manchester, failed to claim victory in a winner-takes-all battle against Bristol and lost 7-9. Basketball Northumbria found consolation for their loss in the volleyball with a close 45-50 victory over the women’s 1st team which was won in the final minute by two penalty shots. Hockey In a similar vein to the women’s 1st lacrosse, the men’s 1st team could not deliver on the day of their Championship final. Despite beating Bath in the semifinal 5-0 and being undefeated in all BUCS fixtures this season, Loughborough proved to be the better side on the day.


PALATINATE | Thursday 8th May 2014

19 www.palatinate.org.uk

Annual college clash sees money raised for Sport In Action Zambia

Emily Beech Yesterday saw the annual clash between the Hill and Bailey colleges upon the pitch at Durham City RFC. However, besides it being a lot of fun

for players and spectators alike the primary purpose of the event was to raise a lot of money for charity. Last year the women’s match alone raised over £2500 and this year, with the help of sponsors Bank America who have donated £1500 the target

Photograph: Heather Kerr

was set at an ambitious £8000. Apart from ticket sales, the players have been raising funds via bake sales, souvenir t-shirts and paying a £70 fee in order to play. The Hill Bailey tradition began in 2006 in order to raise money for

Sport Steven Cox, a St Chad’s rugby player who was paralysed from the neck down during a college game. Since then various charities, particularly those with a sporting background have received money from the teams’ fundraising efforts. This year the money raised will go towards the University’s tie with Sport in Action Zambia (SIA). SIA is a non-governmental organisation whose main focus is to improve people’s quality of life through sport. Founded in 1998 SIA works with 160,000 children a week across 24 districts of Zambia. In order to facilitate this project, SIA receives guidance and funding from abroad, for which UK Sport is one of its many contributors. UK Sport helps the charity through the International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) project where students from six UK universities spend three months in Zambia working alongside peer leaders to develop leadership and sport coaching skills. Durham is the lead university within this project as it also donates financial resources and sports equipment independently of UK Sport through the money raised at events such as Hill Bailey. Last year five Durham students spent six weeks in Africa delivering sports sessions and helping impoverished communities engage with sport. Aside from its charitable assets, the women’s Hill Bailey is an essential component in improving relationships between college and university sport. Plenty of players make the transition from college to university

level as Hill Bailey enables players to participate on a higher level and enter into the tight knit community of DUWRFC. To ensure there is a fair mix of university and college players, only five 1st team players are allowed on one team whilst any university player must have played in at least two college games that year. Conversely, the men’s sides are not allowed players who play above the 4th team university level and even then, only a handful of university players participate. The focus for the men’s match therefore according to Bailey Captain Rupert Harbig (St Cuthbert’s) is to “attract people to come and watch college players […] and generally raise awareness of the quality rugby that is played by colleges. “It also allows college players to play in a match that is a higher level than a regular college game” continued Harbig. “The minimal crossover of players between college and university level is what keeps the college rugby system thriving.” Both sides certainly put in plenty of time at the training ground in order to gain bragging rights for the year ahead. However, other than being given the opportunity to either smash the Bailey or annihilate the Hill, the experience enables students to play a high level of rugby, meet and get to know players from other colleges and most importantly, raise an amazing amount of money for a worthy cause. For a full match report head to the Palatinate website.

Hatfield women leading the way in college rowing

Emily Beech The Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, or WEHoRR as it’s commonly known, is perhaps the pinnacle of the college rowing calendar. For the whole of Epiphany term the top eight female rowers in the club undergo rigorous training in order to par take in the race which see hundreds of boats travel the 6.8km stretch down the River Thames in March. All college crews put in tremendous effort both during and before the race, but standing head and shoulders above the rest is Hatfield College’s women’s eight who finished an outstanding 53rd this year. Admittedly, 53rd in a lot of scenarios does not appear sensational, but when pitted against university and international crews a top 100 finish is highly credible. Indeed the Hatfield 8 finished only six seconds behind the DU 2nd crew, beat all the Oxbridge colleges, the DU 3rds, fresher crews and came the 9th fastest IM3 crew in the country. To discover the secret behind their success, Palatinate met up with

the HCBC women’s captain Flora Emeney. “The aim was to finish in the top one hundred” Emeney enthused “and hopefully beat last year’s position [82nd]. We felt confident but we were still really surprised at how well we did. “It was the best we ever rowed. The focus on power was not consistently there in training but during the race that was certainly not the case. I think we learned from our previous races where we made the mistake of not responding to our Cox. ” Hatfield have built up a formidable reputation over years as a prolific rowing college, to which attributes most of their success. “Reputation is a big thing” says Emeney, “several freshers were good enough to row DU but didn’t want a whole year subsumed by it but they knew HCBC would still be competitive enough for them.” A large part of any boat’s success is thanks to the Cox and Hatfield being no different were grateful to have PGCE student Rhi Morgan on board. Ex-GB rower Jamie Watson as coach meanwhile was no doubt an additional ingredient to lead the crew to triumph.

The training schedule also extends far beyond that of any other college team I can think of. With two or three outings on the River Wear, one in Newcastle, two weight sessions and two ergo sessions a week; to be part of the women’s eight is an eye watering commitment. “The coach wanted us to feel like we were broken”

laughs Emeney, “and a few members did sustain some injuries.” Unfortunately the men’s crew did not even get the opportunity to replicate their club mates’ achievements as their race was cancelled while on the starting line. It is the second consecutive year the men’s event has been cancelled due to poor weather

Photograph: Jet Photographic

conditions. With their sights set on Henley this summer along with Durham, Hexham and other local regattas there are plenty more opportunities for Hatfield and their new captain Catherine Gleave to perform and potentially earn some college points.


Sport

Thursday 8th May 2014 | PALATINATE

Summer 2014

Palatinate looks ahead to the big sporting events this summer p. 17

Unusual Sports

Lucia Grey outlines the appeal of sky-diving p. 18

Hill-Bailey rugby

The annual fixture proved to be a charity success p. 19

The women’s firsts cricket team are all-smiles after beating Leeds Metropolitan University in their first match of the season

Photograph: Elysa Hubbard

Summer of cricketing success beckons Lawrence Holmes

Whilst for a lot of us sport in Easter term before exams consists merely of catching up on those matches called off due to Maiden Castle’s chronic rain problems, for Durham’s cricketers the season is just beginning. With famous cricketing alumni such as Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain, among numerous others, cricket is surely one of Durham’s most popular and successful sports. Durham boasts the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club University (MCCU) programme, coached by Hild Bede graduate and former England and Lancashire batsman Graeme Fowler, something which only five other universities (Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, Loughborough and Oxford) can claim.

P

Want more sport? Find us online at www.palatinate. org.uk

Durham is also one of just four universities to enjoy First Class County Cricket status, allowing them to compete against at least three County sides every season. This year the men’s season is already underway, after good weather allowed outdoor pre-season training to get started in the Easter break. Matt Henry, the men’s cricket club

18

Durham’s men’s cricket team has been crowned National University Champions 18 times

captain, told Palatinate: “It was great to be able to get grass underfoot so early and for bowlers and batsmen alike to get some good practice.” In early April, Durham MCCU played two First Class games, first securing a draw against Derbyshire. Durham were dismissed for 67 in their first innings but despite Derbyshire’s strong start, Durham restricted them to 428 all out and

themselves finished on 158 for 6. They then played Durham CCC, the current county champions, at the Riverside, and after a rain-plagued first day, Durham MCCU bowled the county side out for 487, before clocking up 176 for 9 on the final day, earning a second draw. Matt was keen to emphasise the usefulness of these two opening fixtures: “They allowed batsmen to get some good time at the crease and the bowlers gained rhythm.” The MCCU team then came up against Cambridge in the first BUCS match of the campaign. The Palatinates started strongly taking the first five wickets for only 37 runs. A strong rear guard performance from Cambridge saw Durham chasing 224 to win, something which they achieved relatively comfortably, losing only four wickets with three overs remaining. They then beat Loughborough by 67 runs, finishing on 236 all out. However, Durham were unable to gain a foothold in the two-day championships, losing out on crucial first innings points to Cambridge. Following two promotions last season, the men’s first and second

teams are competing in the top two divisions in BUCS this year. The first team played Durham CCC’s second team at the Emirates followed by a return two-day game at Maiden Castle. The county side showed their strength although the university side did come back strongly, needing 14 to win off the last over. However, some tight bowling from the county side prevented Durham from getting the runs they needed. Their BUCS campaign started with a narrow loss to Leeds Metropolitan firsts. Matt is optimistic for the men’s club in general: “The sides are both looking very strong this season with plenty of depth in the MCCU, meaning that there is no reason they can’t win again.” They have a T20 match against Durham CCC on the Racecourse later this season. Hannah Singleton, the women’s club captain, is equally optimistic for the women’s season, with the club fielding two teams for the first year ever: “Pre-season preparation has been going well. The first team are looking strong with a couple of freshers

really giving the team an added strength in the batting line-up.” Following the week of preseason training, the first team beat Leeds Metropolitan at Maiden Castle, a match Hannah described as “mustwin” if they were to succeed in the competition. On the back of that win, Hannah is keenly awaiting the rest of the season: “It was a really good performance from us to win it in the end with the weather against us!” “We have high expectations for the first team. After being knocked out in the semi final last year, we really aim to get to the final as we did two seasons ago.” As far as the second team are concerned, Hannah said: “We have high hopes for the new team, although there is no expectation on where the team should finish in the league.” They are playing in the league below the first team.

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