Durham’s independent student newspaper
Thursday 19th June 2014 | FREE
News: New renovations announced
News: Interview with the ViceChancellor
Memorial Balloon Release by St Cuthbert’s Society (page four)
Photograph: Shawnee Mark
Residents: Durham is now a “mess”
Local residents say the University has ignored all concerns brought to them
Comment: Santa Barbara shootings
James Poole Locals have slammed Durham University for “totally ignoring” their concerns about the ‘studentification’ of Durham City.
“I used to be proud to say I was from Durham. Now I’m ashamed” Denise Dodds Local Resident
Sport: Recordbreaking year for Team Durham
At a recent public meeting chaired by Roberta BlackmanWoods, Durham City MP, residents spoke out about disrup-
tive student behaviour and the growing number of student-let houses in the centre of Durham. Many residents even claimed that they feel “forced out of the city” as one young woman explained how she was disturbed in the early hours of Monday 2nd June by a student smashing plant pots and trying to break in to her house. She told the meeting: “This is one of a string of incidents that has made our lives an utter misery during the past few years. Time after time, we have had to call University Security to break up late and very loud student parties, as well as move large gangs of drunken students away from the street outside our house. “We have also been physically threatened, neighbours’
windows have been broken, our children have been repeatedly woken up by gangs of loud, drunken students marching up our street, after which they have been too scared to sleep in their own beds and we have had to complain about piles of stinking rubbish falling out of damaged bags all over the street.” Another resident, Denise Dodds, said: “I used to be proud to say I was from Durham. Now I’m ashamed.” whilst one woman described the city as a “bloody mess”. Roger Cornwell, chair of the Crossgate Community Partnership, told Palatinate: “Last week I experienced people throwing up in the street on a Sunday afternoon – it’s just not acceptable. The
effect of studentification is clearly not ideal but it is made worse by the fact that the University doesn’t engage with us in a proper debate.”
“the University doesn’t engage with us in a proper debate” Roger Cornwell Chair of the Crossgate Community Partnership
The chair of the St. Nicholas Community Forum, Kirsty Thomas, echoed this view, saying: Continued on page 3
Editorial Graduation memories: remembering Durham With Graduation nearly upon us, it seems to be a fitting time to reflect upon the theme of change at Durham and the University. For the graduands, soon to gain their degrees and make their way, bleary eyed, outside of the Durham bubble the next few weeks will no doubt be a process of change. I too am soon to be in this situation (albeit not quite so abruptly distinct, with a further year of postgraduate study outside of Durham), I find myself looking upon the city and University anew. Perhaps this manifests itself in pausing for thought at the deep history of the city; stopping to consider buildings around the city; wondering about the traditions in the JCR meetings. Perhaps rather than seeing the city anew, we see it, after our years at Durham, palimpsest-like – just scratch the surface to see a place suffuse with memory and history. What will stay with me, and no doubt many alumni of the University, is a sense of memory of the place. This memory of the past is, of course, all the more acutely highlighted and apparent in the face of the changes that have occurred at Durham over the past few years. We
have seen a new Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, taking the place of Bill Bryson, whose name now lends itself to the Library, newly extended and refurbished two years ago, and in the midst of further changes and improvements. Likewise, we report in this edition (page three) on the new developments in college accommodation, long awaited refurbishment being undertaken in Elvet Riverside, as well as the potential for further development in the Students’ Union building, Dunelm House. This year also sees the retirement of the long-standing Vice-Chancellor, Chris Higgins, whom I had the opportunity to interview and question on a range of topics (pages six and seven), including the ‘studentification’ of Durham. Indeed, the lead story of this edition is about this, and local residents’ ire. Change in a University is often good (so often justified for the twin demigods of ‘modernisation’ and ‘internationalisation’), but not always so. Indeed, if anything, I would like to think that Palatinate has helped to publicise and rally support against so called ‘college centralisation’, and eventually broke the news of the
The best of Palatinate Online www.palatinate.org.uk
News: Hatfield Exec fails to oust Senior Man Members of Hatfield’s JCR Executive Committee have failed to oust their Senior Man in a vote of no confidence. The vote took place on 24 May amid a “heated” Emergency General Meeting (EGM) in the JCR.
Sport: Why England will not make it out of their World Cup group Ollie Creamer looks at the reasons behind why England may not progress out of the group stage in Brazil, examining the talents and the flaws of the England 2014 squad.
plans being put on hold. The colourful front-page photo, of the memorial balloon release, highlights the difficult nature of memory. Despite the tragic and premature nature of these incidents, remembrance of the lives of the individuals was key. Following the most recent death, one person quoted William Cory’s famous translation of Heraclitus to me, which finishes with the lines: ‘Still are thy pleasant voice, thy nightingales, awake; / For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take’. Happy memories of Durham live on through the memory of friends, of those people that we get to know. We ourselves retain the memory of those transient buildings, materials and people, all subject to change, in our own personal Durham. For those who are graduating in a few weeks time, look around you, and look closely: you will be seeing the last days of a Durham that will live on long after you leave. Ben Hamer
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Inside 763 News pages 3-8
Politics pages 9
SciTech page 10-11
Business & Economics pages 12-13
Comment pages 14-16 Sport pages 17-20
Editorial page 2 Features pages 3
Music pages 4
Fashion pages 5
Film & TV page 6, 7 & 8
Visual Arts pages 9
Books pages 10-11
Stage page 12 & 13
Food & Drink page 14
Travel page 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.
Hunter Davies Prize 2014 The prestigious Hunter Davies Prize for Student Journalism is awarded annually to the best piece of journalism which has appeared in Palatinate during the year. The value of the fund for this year is £125. Hunter Davies is a journalist and author, editing Palatinate during his time at Durham University. He is to receive an OBE this year for services to literature.
If you have written an article that has appeared in the print edition of Palatinate this year and would like to enter, please submit a link to the article on the Palatinate website, the issue number and date that the article appeared in the paper along with your name and college. Submissions should be sent to:
Only one article per student may be submitted for consideration. The deadline for receipt of submission is Wednesday 25th June at midnight.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Ben Hamer & Victoria Ferguson email@example.com Deputy Editor Charlotte Bransgrove firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor Justin Villamil email@example.com News Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy News Editors Gabriel Samuels, Benjamin Williams, James Poole and Tom Fenton Politics Editor Marcus Natale email@example.com Deputy Politics Editor Chloe Brookes firstname.lastname@example.org Business and Economics Editor Richard Morgan email@example.com Careers Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Science and Technology Editor Sadie Bartholomew email@example.com Comment Editor Ellie de la Bedoyere firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Comment Editor Ellen Orange email@example.com Sport Editors Emily Beech & Lawrence Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Sport Editors Thomas Dimaio & Dominic Thurlow-Wood Indigo Editor Cressida Peever email@example.com Features Editor Francesca Jaworska firstname.lastname@example.org Food and Drink Editor Diana Grant-Davie email@example.com Travel Editor Oliver Collard firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion Editor Isobel Buckingham & Katie Shuff email@example.com Film and Television Editor Jonathan Peters firstname.lastname@example.org Stage Editor Emma Dawson email@example.com Music Editors Sophia Smith-Galer and Jack Collins firstname.lastname@example.org Books Editor Kate Wilkinson email@example.com Visual Arts Editor Frances Marsh firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Sub-Editor Tom Willshaw email@example.com Sub-Editors Jordan Harries, Jacob Ratcliffe, Charlotte Hogg, Sraddha Venkataraman and Sam Courtney-Guy Online Editor Chris Somers firstname.lastname@example.org Web Editor Rhiannon Mehta email@example.com Photography Editor Megan Liadet and Venus Loi firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Photography Editors Emma Wind Illustrations Editor Harriet-Jade Harrow email@example.com Blogs Editor Katie Winter firstname.lastname@example.org Publicity Officer Olivia le Poidevin email@example.com Advertising Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
News in brief UNIVERSITY NEWS
FIFA “MUST DELIVER” ON WORLD CUP, SAYS DURHAM FOOTBALL HISTORIAN FIFA needs a successful World Cup or it could face “the deepest crisis in its history”, a leading Durham historian has said. Dr Kay Schiller, author of The FIFA World Cup World Cup: 1930-2010: Politics, Commerce, Spectacle and Identities, said the Brazil tournament could be “the most interesting in a long time.” VAN MILDERT COLLEGE HOLDS JAM BY THE LAKE On the 15th June Van Mildert College held Jam By The Lake. The gig was in association with Deloitte and was in support of Mind charity, which provides advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems. The event, which was free, started at 2pm and ended just before England kicked off against Italy in the World Cup at 11pm. DURHAM REGATTA SEES THOUSANDS VISIT UNIVERSITY The 181th Durham Regatta took place on June 14-15. Known as the Henley of the North, the event is one of the biggest sporting occasions in the North East. More than 700 crews contested races along the River Wear from 8am onwards. It is the largest Durham Regatta to date. The Regatta, which is sponsored by Core People, is the second oldest in England and first took place in 1834. Tickets were £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children.
DURHAM UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FINDS RISK OF ‘STRANGER DANGER’ TO PEOPLE WITH WILLIAMS SYNDROME NEEDS TO BE BETTER UNDERSTOOD
The risk of ‘stranger danger’ to people suffering from Williams Syndrome needs to be better understood to improve their personal safety, according to Durham University research. The researchers have called for increased awareness and better intervention techniques to educate teachers, young people and health professionals with the disorder about the risks posed by strangers. Williams Syndrome is a rare neuro-developmental genetic disorder which affects about one in 18,000 people. Approximately 3,500 people suffer from the disorder in the UK. Those with Williams Syndrome can suffer from physical health issues, such as heart problems, as well as mild to moderate learning difficulties and anxiety.
Continued from front page “Trying to talk to the University is like trying to talk to a brick wall. The University, as an institution in the city of Durham, and a major employer, has responded to concerns about the demise of a balanced and harmonious community with remarkable detachment. It is as if the life of the city is really just a backcloth to the University, and if residents want to raise issues in a perfectly civilised way, they are just ignored or treated as rather a nuisance. “The lack of interest in the place, an ancient historic city with a World Heritage Site, is quite depressing, as is the assumption that local people do not have anything worthwhile to contribute to senior management about living in a civilised community.” However, Mike Costello, a resident in the Viaduct area, was keen to point out that their concerns do not simply represent an anti-student campaign: “Our efforts are purely pro-city, not anti-student. We feel totally ignored by the University which washed its hands of this issue a long time ago. This month will be disastrous. I often have to call the police in the early hours of the morning due to student disturbances and I have to put up with wheelie bins overflowing with rubbish onto the road. These are regular occurrences on my street which has 70 students but only twelve permanent residents.” Residents voiced further outrage at the studentification of Durham City at an Area Planning Committee meeting held last Tuesday that saw two out of three applications to develop family homes into student houses rejected by councillors.
Durham County Council disclosed that for one of the applications it had received 36 letters of objection as well as a petition with over 50 signatures. One resident spoke in objection to the extension of a two-bedroom family home on Whinney Hill into a six-bedroom student house, saying: “Some of our neighbours have lived in the area for many years. One family had lived here for 40 years but they moved out this year because they’d had enough. Resi-
dents are moving out, students are moving in. This city is at risk of losing its permanent population.” The number of students living on Whinney Hill currently stands at 330, significantly outweighing the 57 permanent residents. In stark contrast to many residents, however, Paul Ford, owner of Cloth fancy dress shop, told Palatinate: “The trade and vitality that students bring to Durham City is wonderful. I can’t imagine why people would complain. Over the summer months when students leave the city will be dead. Students give benefit to the city in a wide variety of ways, not just economically. In Palatinate’s exclusive interview with Professor Chris Higgins (see pages six and seven), the Vice-Chancellor of the University responded to accusations that the
University has ignored the concerns of residents, saying: “Frankly without the University there wouldn’t be a city any more. That’s not to say that one or two students don’t occasionally go over the top and make rather more noise than is expected at a certain time of year but that has to be managed. We work very closely with the local police. They reckon student behaviour in this city is second to none. “But students will always choose to live in the Viaduct, for example, and actually that’s not something the University can stop because students are adults and they have the right to choose wherever they would like to live. There are some people that don’t realise that the students are not in loco parentis any more. He added: “What we have to try and do is make sure there is a good choice [of accommodation] which is why we want to build more college accommodation but also make sure that it is accommodation that students would choose to live in. However, many will still choose to live in a house out in town – why wouldn’t they? So it’s not something we can really control.” In a separate statement, Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden of the University, said only: “We take very seriously the concerns of residents within Durham. This is evidenced by our attendance at the Durham City Liaison Group chaired by the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg. “We are keen to work with the community to ensure there is a positive environment for all who live and work in Durham City and we welcome open dialogue.”
furbishment of our accommodation and plan to complete works that will include improvements to shower rooms at Stephenson College, the major upgrade of the kitchen and servery at Trevelyan College and new a new servery at St. Mary’s College.” Further adjustments include improving wifi networks throughout the campus. “In order to continue to deliver an excellent student experience, we are always looking at ways in which student accommodation can be improved; we are currently working with CIS to provide wireless network connectivity in our colleges with 70% of the University’s estate now completed and the remainder on target for completion later this year.” Armour mentioned that half of the Three Tuns site, formerly a hotel, and now a postgraduate residence hall has been renovated. The next phase will be external decoration and repairs on the road-facing side of the building.
“Since this is a listed building, we are currently in communication with the Conservation Officer at Durham County Council in connection with these works,” Armour told Palatinate. When asked about plans to renovate or refurbish Elvet Riverside and the Durham Students’ Union building, Dunelm House, Armour said that approval had been given for the initial phase of development for Elvet Riverside. The work is set to begin in July and includes the creation of postgraduate rooms and an open access IT facility on the first floor. The new plan for Elvet Riverside 1 includes toilet refurbishments, including the addition of an accessible facility. These follow several student complaints about disabled access into the building. “The Riverside Bar and café at the Students’ Union has recently been refurbished and further plans for renovating the site are currently being considered” Armour told Palatinate.
“Trying to talk to the University is like trying to talk to a brick wall” Kirsty Thomas
New renovations announced for University sites Justin Villamil
Trevor Armour, Director of Estates recently stated that new work will commence soon on accommodation in several of Durham’s colleges and in other university buildings around the city. Acting on information given by Vice Chancellor Chris Higgins, Palatinate got in touch with Mr Armour to ascertain the details. “We are currently in the process of reviewing our Residential Accommodation Strategy with a view to meeting our targets for the provision of University owned and operated accommodation” Armour told Palatinate. However, the Director confirmed that there were many projects already in the works, specifically at Stephenson College and St Mary’s College. “This summer we will again be investing in a programme of re-
SU President’s Column Dan Slavin As it is the final issue of Palatinate for this year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and say goodbye to the departing officers. Chris, David, Grace and Krystina have been working incredibly hard over the last 12 months and it would not have been the same without them. We have seen a wide range of successful campaigns and activities taking place driven by this team. Some of the highlights include; rewriting the ‘Principles of Student Engagement’ which will soon be University policy; the recent Work Smart campaign; Give it a Go; and training and development sessions for college execs to help prepare them for their new roles. For those graduating this summer I hope you are savouring you last few days in Durham. We wish you the best of luck for your final results and we hope you enjoy your graduation ceremony. With news earlier this year that the Vice Chancellor, Chris Higgins is to retire in October, I think it is right and proper to take this opportunity to wish him all the best for the future. As well as goodbyes, there are also some words of welcome for our new Officer team. The team includes; Leigh Spanner, as Academic Affairs Officer; Laura Carter, as Community Officer; Joely Charlton, as Activities Officer and Harry Inman as the Development Officer. The new team started this week and I am really excited to work with all of them to build on the work done this year. But all the soppiness aside the work doesn’t stop. The Union’s campaign that calls the University to fix international students’ tuition fees is still running. Already we have ensured that the issue is up for discussion with the VC mentioning it in his recent Palatinate interview. We are asking all students to support this campaign by signing our letter to Professor Ray Hudson. This can be found on our website. We currently have over 1,500 but the campaign group who are leading on it are aiming to match the number of signatures to the number of international students. Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days for the group around the campus. So those of you that get one enjoy the summer break and for those of you returning next year, we look forward to seeing you then.
News News in brief LOCAL NEWS
PLANS TO BUILD NEW MINE WITHDRAWN Plans to build a new, opencast mine on the border of County Durham and Northumberland have been withdrawn. UK Coal has wanted to mine more than two million tonnes of coal over a seven-year period at Whittonstall, but the energy firm withdrew the application one week before planners were due to discuss it should be granted. There had been widespread public opposition to the move.
MINERS TO MARK 3OTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MINERS’ STRIKE Miners from the Durham Miners’ Association are to mark the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike. It will take place on 21st June and will start at 2pm. All friends and supporters of the Association are invited to take part “to renew old friendships and celebrate the spirit that endured a year-long battle for the preservation of jobs and communities.” The General Secretary of the Association said: “I hope everyone will come and have a great time.”
DURHAM COUNCIL CHAIRMAN HONOURS PREDECESSOR
The current chairman of Durham County Council has honoured one of his predecessors for his lifelong committment to the city and its community. A former miner and a Second World War veteran, Bill Firby, represented his area for more than fifty years and served as chairman in the 1980s. He won 17 elections for Deerness Valley before retiring in 2006. The 89-year-old was visited by Cllr John Robinson on 13th June at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Durham. PLANS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT APPROVED Plans for a housing development on the site of the former Easington District Council have been approved despite objections from Easington Village Parish Council. Durham County Council’s area planning committee unanimously approved the application for 80 homes on the site. However Parish councillors had concerns over increased traffic, a loss of trees and the pressure the development would put on local school places. Two letters of objection had been received from local residents, voicing similar concerns. There will be 62 new two-bedroom homes and 18 three-bedroom homes on the two-hectrare site in Seaside Lane, Easington.
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Union Society votes in support DUCK Chair’s of the living wage Tom Fenton
The Durham Union Society (DUS) has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion “This House Believes that Durham University should implement the living wage for workers.” Not a single person voted against the motion when voting commenced, although three people told Palatinate afterwards that they had wanted to vote for the opposition. 26 people turned up to watch the Emergency Debate. The debate was presided over by next term’s DUS President, Joe Hill. Jack Robinson, from Durham University Campaign for the Living Wage, spoke first for the proposition. He said that “it cannot be right” to pay the minimum wage “in a university which prides itself on moral superiority, excellence and commitment to research.” He said: “We very often hear about the university promoting itself as an inspiration to the local community but more and more we see evasiveness and politics as usual when we are confronting one of the biggest issues of our generation which is a crisis, essentially, in living standards.” He added, citing figures under a Freedom of Information Act: “The University at the moment… has a £4.5 million underspend on its staff budget… earmarked for pensions and salaries. “The University therefore has a serious moral obligation to invest in its workers properly, to ensure that they do not need to run multiple jobs and that… we are conducting ourselves properly in a business… and morale environment.”
Joe Mayes then spoke for the opposition. He said: “The intentions of the proposition are extremely good… and we cherish workers but implementing the living wage will actually endanger jobs… and it is not economically feasible in the long term for Durham University to have this policy.” He disputed that there was a £4.5million underspend. Durham University, he said, had gone into its reserves to pay for staff. He said it was “financially constrained.” He added “They will cut back on low skilled workers” because having an extra cleaner or extra library worker is not helping the University hit their key targets. Therefore, he said: “You are endangering their jobs.” He said that recently St Chads had implemented the living wage but there had been a “big catch” for workers as they were “asked for concessions.” They received “fixed working hours…have taken reductions in holiday times… and so have suffered to a certain extent from getting the living wage.” He added: “Many are less happy now than they were before because they have lost the flexibility they had.” “[The minimum wage] is a sufficient way for you to live a life of dignity and respect. You can control your household budget to the extent that you can live a decent life in this community even if you are paid the minimum wage.” Hani Latif, a member of the Durham University Labour Club’s executive, spoke last for the proposition. “The opposition … is built upon misguided and misleading appeals to pragmatism.” “We need to stand up and protect our values against the
spread of faceless and valueless bureaucracy.” He cited a report from Queen Mary’s University of London which found “improvements in job quality, productivity and service delivery with very little additional cost” when workers were paid the living wage. The final speaker for the opposition was Andrew Lloyd. “We all agree that there is a serious cost of living crisis affecting this country.” But the living wage is “neither a just, equitable or fair solution to the problems we face today.” The implementation of the living wage would shift the burden of responsibility from those who should pay, those which had “the broadest shoulders” like banks and international businesses to “small businesses, universities, the struggling pubs.” He used the example of the Union bar, 24s, to emphasise his point. If the bar staff were paid the living wage, he said, “we would need to shut the bar, at best, on Tuesdays and Thursdays causing six jobs being lost and at worst… the bar would go bankrupt and shut.” He said this would happen elsewhere, including at the University. He asked: “Would you rather have the certainty of your job or would you rather risk losing it?” He described the living wage as a “sheep in wolf’s clothing.” 597 Durham University workers — 12.5% of the permanent work force and more than 90% of contracted workers — are paid the minimum wage of £6.31. The living wage is £7.65. The emergency debate was followed by a debate on “This House would cap bankers’ bonuses” which was narrowly passed.
but we will not forget him.” As Luke was an avid sportsman, the match was played by Luke’s friends and Cuth’s Men’s Rugby. According to all, the match was a resounding success, and accompanies various other means of keeping Luke’s memory alive. Two books of remembrance were created in the foyer of House 12 on the Bailey; one for Luke’s family and another for the college, which students have added to for several days. “We hope these books will serve as a permanent reminder of the happy times we shared with Luke and importantly, for us to express our sympathy for his loss with
his family and close friends. The twinned books will serve as a permanent connection to Durham and Cuths,” Chapman said. An additional memorial service was held and included a balloon launch, organised by JCR Female Welfare Officer Eleanor Harby. “Whilst it is a loss for us as a community, the personal loss is tragic,” Chapman said. Luke Pearce was an engineering student at St Cuthbert’s Society. Following a weeklong search, his body was discovered by rowers from the Durham Amateur Rowing Club. He was officially pronounced dead on the 19th of May last month.
Cuth’s holds Luke Pearce Memorial football match
Justin Villamil After several difficult and uncertain weeks between the disappearance of Cuth’s student Luke Pearce and his discovery, St. Cuthbert’s Society has put on a football match in remembrance. “You would find it hard to meet a nicer guy than Luke Pearce,” Cuth’s JCR President Serge Chapman told Cuth’s students in an email. “Even those who did not know him well, like myself, would always find him wearing a smile on his face; he was just an unbelievably warm and genuine person. “Luke’s death came too young
Column Naz Atkinson Hi everyone! As we welcome in the New DUCK Exec for 2014/2015 I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the hard work that you have put in to making money for charity this year! Collectively DUCK has donated over £200,000 to local, national and international causes, many of which were chosen by you – congratulations! If you haven’t yet had the chance to choose where some of DUCK’s money goes, now’s your time! DUCK is in the process of distributing grants from our Historic Funds. These are funds that have been collected for Charity but were not allocated a recipient cause at the time of collection. You now have the opportunity to vote for where this money goes from a list of 10 charities, longlisted by you and shortlisted by our Charities Allocations Panel. This really is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the distribution process and it means that DUCK supports the charities that you care about! For more information see the DUCKCharities Facebook page where you can find out how to vote! All that’s left to say is GET INVOLVED in DUCK! Only with DUCK will you find yourself kipping in the back of a red transit van whilst hitchhiking through France, waiting for Macchu Picchu to appear behind the mist in Peru (worth the wait!), singing, on repeat, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams during Tough Guy 2014 to remind yourself that you actually are, washing (and persuading other people to wash!) disgusting, dirty rubber ducks outside the Bill Bryson, playing Bingo with Shop Mobility, a charity we support through the Allocations Process, sitting in the back of a converted army Ambulance, belonging to the Charity RT Projects, watching students Bungee Jump for them ,and donning war paint on a train heading to Durham to prepare to race the opposing team back to the Student’s Union! All this is my DUCK Story but yours could be so much more exciting! GET INVOLVED!
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
Durham launches county’s first Pride event Tom Fenton Durham launched its inaugural Pride event on Thursday 5th June around Walkergate. The night started with a number of stores, buskers and firebreathers and then moved to Loveshack nightclub and the Slug and Lettuce. Hundreds of pounds was raised for the launch of a new charity, which is a wing under Derwentside Domestic Abuse Service that works exclusively with LGBT individuals. Phil Mullen, a 4th year student studying Geography and the media officer for the event, said: “Friends came out to each other, built stronger relationships and many now feel freer and more comfortable about themselves. “These events show you can be yourself and they make it easier for people to come out. “The event seems to have spurred on an environment of
“Friends came out to each other, built stronger relationships and many now feel freer and more comfortable about themselves”
Phil Mullen Media Officer of Durham Pride openness. “It was really good to see so many women at the event since LGBT society and Pride are often dominated by gay males. “There was a real mix of students and locals and lots of people from different age groups and sexualities. This is testament to the openness of the event. “It was really open and really safe, just how it should have been. “In addition, the bars and businesses are really backing the event — they have seen the success of the event and want to take part in it. The council is really on board. We have also had a lot of help from the police who have no tolerance for homophobia.” Ron Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham Constabulary, told Palatinate: “As Police and Crime Commissioner I take equality, diversity and human rights matters in policing seriously and want to ensure that residents within County Durham and Darlington are delivered a policing service which is equal and inclusive to all, as every person has a
News in brief NATIONAL NEWS
UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND WAIVES YEAR-ABROAD FEES The University of Sunderland has agreed to waive fees for language students studying on a year abroad. Until the acadamic year 20122013, there was a full fee waiver for students at English universities travelling abroad. Since then, 15% of full fees had to be paid by students whilst a grant worth 25% was available from the Higher Education Funding Council in England.
STUDENTS RELY ON PAYDAY LOANS TO FUND STUDIES
The Durham Police and Crime Commissioner opens Durham Pride right to feel safe in their own environment and live a life free from crime. “Reducing the impact of domestic abuse and sexual violence is one of my personal policing priorities and I was involved in the launch of a new campaign ‘Love is many things…’ in February this year, which is aimed at raising awareness of abuse in LGBT relationships. “Events such as this are important in celebrating the diverse cultures in our local communities.” One student told Palatinate: “It made me so happy to see sexuality being expressed openly, it made me realise how lucky I am to live somewhere where this is possible.” Her boyfriend agreed: “The atmosphere was great and it really captured the spirit of Pride.” One LGBT student said: “I enjoyed Pride. It was nice to meet new LGBT people in and around Durham. The turnout was impressive given that it was the first pride event in Durham and I especially liked the rainbow coloured cocktail. “I will definitely go again next year and felt that it was quite an open environment.” He also added: “In terms of improvements for next year, it would be nice to see more LGBT students there given that many did not go. Maybe through better advertising more can be encouraged to come, and the entertainment felt lacking in some instances, being quite cheesy and not particularly funny at times.” Max Morris, a PhD student in the School of Applied Social Sciences whose latest research in-
volved in-depth interviews with 40 gay and bisexual undergraduates at multiple UK universities, told Palatinate: “Although most of my participants avoid antagonistic activism and LGBT student societies, they strongly support Pride events which are viewed as more inclusive spaces (particularly for their straight friends and allies).
“It felt like the first time people could be wholeheartedly honest about who they were without any fear of repercussions in a country which still has a stigma attached to LGBT people and their lifestyles” Anonymous student
“However, while Durham Pride was a welcome contribution to the social calendar for sexual minority students at Durham University, its poor attendance will likely have been a disappointment to some. “I hope next year’s Pride is better advertised and attended, drawing in a more diverse range of students.” Another LGBT student said: “The best thing about Durham Pride was that it felt like the first time people could be wholeheartedly honest about who they were, without any fear of repercussions in a country which still, to an ex-
Photograph: Durham Pride tent, has a stigma attached to LGBT people and their lifestyles. “The fact that everyone was so open, alongside the extremely entertaining acts in Loveshack, made Durham’s very first Pride event one of my favourite nights out throughout the entire year. “Although when comparing Durham to cities with already long established Pride functions, our little northern town pales in comparison. However, it is a ginormous step in the right direction, I will definitely be going next year!” For next year’s Pride, organisers are hoping to expand the event. Mullen told Palatinate: “It will be bigger, there will be a parade through the town. We are hoping to do different monthly events as well. We have now got the ball rolling.”
As Mullen says, there is “loads of support” for open and closeted LGBT students in Durham University. Each college should have its own LBGT representative which is usually part of the Welfare Committee. In addition, there is an LGBT Society (www.durhamlgbta.org.uk). The society has a trained welfare officer and two junior welfare officers who can talk to them. If students have any concerns, they can contact the society: lgbta@ durham.ac.uk. The Counselling Service (01913342200; email@example.com between 0900 and 1700 Monday - Friday) and Nightline (community.dur.ac.uk/nightline) are also available.
One in 50 students has turned to payday loans in order to fund their studies, a poll conducted by the National Union of Students has found. The survey, which was commissioned by accommodation Unite, also found 11% of undergraduates use credit cards and 28% have used an overdraft to pay for their living costs. Nearly half had to rely on financial support from their families. However 28% had managed not to get into any debt at all. The poll also found that nearly three in ten undergraduates and 35% of postgraduates did not feel well integrated into their university. TWO VCs KNIGHTED
Two Vice-Chancellors have been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Sir David Greenway and Sir David Eastwood are ViceChancellors of Nottingham and Birmingham Universities respectively. Professor Greenaway said he was “speechless” when he heard the news. Jessica Corner, dean of health services at University of Southampton , becomes a Dame for services to healthcare, research and education. Bob Cryan, Vice-Chancellor at University of Huddersfield is made a Commander Officer of the British Empire. NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWS ANNOUNCED
The United Kingdom’s only professor in education for deaf children is among higher education staff to win the sector’s most prestigious award for teaching and learning. Wendy McCracken, professor in the education of deaf children at the University of Manchester was one of the 55 people named by the Higher Education Academy as National Teaching Fellows on 12th June. The fellows were chosen from approximately 180 nominations made by higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will receive £10,000 to support their professional development in teaching.
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Exclusive interview with Vic
Chris Higgins sits down with Palatinate to discuss centralisation con James Poole
Last Monday Palatinate conducted an exclusive interview with the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Chris Higgins, who is due to retire on Tuesday 30th September. The interview allowed the Vice-Chancellor to respond to allegations that Durham degrees have become easier, calls for the University to introduce fixed-fees for international students and criticism for leading a university that fails to pay its entire staff the living wage. Centralisation controversy
Perhaps the most controversial University policy to have surfaced during Higgins’ seven-year tenure has been plans to “centralise” the services provided by Durham colleges. However, last Monday the Vice-Chancellor claimed that such plans are “just a rumour,” saying: “There’s never ever been any thought or talk of what people call ‘centralising’ colleges. This is just a rumour. The facts are that we had a University-wide consultation – not just with colleges but right across the University. We looked at what’s good and bad. “Of course there are some bits which are absolutely brilliant. However, these brilliant standards are not uniform across the University. Where it’s not uniform, we’ve got to make sure we get a uniform, base-line standard.”
“This is what everyone wants - delivery of services where they are rather than centralisation” Chris Higgins
The Vice-Chancellor went on to recognise the concerns of students, staff and alumni surrounding the possibility of “halls of residencestyle” colleges, adding: “If we look at everything that’s come out of the review it says that we must continue to deliver services effectively through colleges. We may end up with
Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins more people delivering services in the colleges. “For example, wouldn’t it be good if every college had someone who could fix things quickly rather than having to get someone from Estates [and Buildings] to come out and fix it? This is what everyone wants – delivery of services where they are rather than centralisation.” Legacy
Higgins’ seven years at Durham have been a period of great academic success for the University, with Durham placing 80th in the Times Higher Education World University rankings last year. However when Palatinate asked the Vice-Chancellor what he felt the University’s greatest achievement had been over the last seven years, he said: “It’s very hard to say because so many things in the University are better than they were but most of them perhaps are not perfect yet. I think there are three key areas of success. “One is promoting an excellence
“The ViceChancellor job as it is is frankly too big” Chris Higgins in research and education and linking the two. We’re getting a worldwide reputation for this and I guess it’s shown by the league table results in the Complete University Guide. “The second area is enhancement of facilities. The University seven or eight years ago was quite run down – mostly financially. We’ve come a long way. Again, there’s still distance to go. I think the library is now fantastic. Our ability to bring together student services has also greatly improved. They were all scattered around the whole place. Disability was on the Hild Bede site on the top of a hill – not very sensible. “The next thing to happen is on New Elvet – we’re beginning the refurbishment of Elvet Riverside
Photograph: Durham University
seriously over the summer. We’re hoping to completely redevelop the whole of the New Elvet area. “The third thing is the student experience and that’s of course related with employability. When I first arrived of course there were all sorts of wonderful student activities - as there always has been in this University. However, it wasn’t really coordinated and perhaps was not providing the best experience for students, so we put a framework for managing it in our University strategy. “Anyone who has seen what I have in the last few days I think will agree that we’re now probably the best university in the country for extra-curricular activities, both in terms of participation and at an elite level.” Governance Review
Moving away from the ViceChancellor’s summary of his progress in office, Palatinate discussed a recent report which suggested sweeping reforms to University government, including that the Vice-Chancellor’s powers
be reduced and a new position of provost created. Asked whether he supported the suggestions that the ViceChancellor’s powers should be reduced, Higgins said: “Nobody’s suggested that at all. The Vice-Chancellor’s role in an international university like this now is something that cannot be done by one person with all the external and internal stuff you have to do. In America it’s been the case all the time that they’ve had a president and a provost, with the president being the equivalent of Vice-Chancellor. This more or less splits the external and internal duties. “Personally I believe that we should move to this model – Imperial [College] has done it, I believe the LSE [London School of Economics] is moving in that direction and a few others are as well. I think it’s certainly what we must do to maintain our status as an international university.” When Higgins was pressed further on the potential impact of the report’s suggestions, he responded:
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
ce-Chancellor Chris Higgins
ntroversy, international student fees and the governance review “The role of Vice-Chancellor will still be the head of this organisation, it won’t reduce their powers; what they will have is a provost who they delegate much of the internal, academic operations too. In a sense we have that now, I have a Deputy Warden who I delegate a lot of the running of the colleges to and a Deputy Vice-Chancellor who much of the internal work gets delegated to. “I personally think converting the Deputy Vice-Chancellor role into a provost and giving them more internal authority is the right thing to do because the ViceChancellor job as it is is frankly too big. But Council have to decide that, it’s obviously not up to me.” International Fees
Palatinate also questioned Chris Higgins about the University’s average annual increase of £700 to international students’ tuition fees, despite campaigns organised by the National Union of Students and Durham Students’ Union calling for an end to in-course fee increases. When asked whether the University will implement a fixed-fee system for international students the Vice-Chancellor said: “I suspect so. We’re considering that at the moment. Clearly fees will increase but I think it’s unfair for a student to have an increase in their fees once they’re signed on. So we’re working on that now – the Fees Advisory Board is looking at how we set our variable fees. “I very much hope that we will have a system whereby once people have come in they know what their fees are going to be.”
Average annual increase increase to Durham’s international tuition fees over the last four years
Living Wage Campaign Another campaign that has recently played a prominent role in Durham has been the Durham University Campaign for the Living Wage, which has now gained 806 signatures on an online petition. Durham is currently one of only five UK universities not to pay its entire staff the living wage. Palatinate asked Higgins
whether he believes the University will pay all of its employees the living wage at some point in the future, to which he responded: “I’m sure it will and of course it’s something that’s being looked into by our new Director of HR. It’s slightly complicated in Durham for a variety of reasons. The job market here sees the University as the favoured and biggest employer because the terms and conditions we offer are already far better than almost anywhere else around. “It’s not just the wage, it’s the extra conditions we give people – pensions, overtime and all those
Percentage of students graduating with a 2:1 or above in 2012
extra things. Actually if we went straight to the living wage and lost all of those things, a lot of the staff would be worse off. So it’s actually rather complicated. Apart from anything else it doesn’t look good to be one of five universities that’s not paying the living wage even though most of our employees are very satisfied with what they get.”
better to start with how could we stay at the same percentage of 2:1s? And also I think the quality of our teaching here is improving all the time and our students work bloody hard. We’re not reducing standards.” Student Media
Earlier this year Palatinate published a report that revealed the Vice-Chancellor had attempted to influence the editorial slant of the newspaper by sending a direct e-mail to one editor in 2011 and offering to write an article in a print edition of the newspaper. When asked whether he feels the quality of journalism has changed at Palatinate during his time at Durham he responded: “This year’s been very good. The quality goes up and down though with the different editors and the editorial team. I think it depends how people look at Palatinate. The way I look at it and the way I hope the Students’ Union look at it is that its main purpose is like all of our student societies – to ensure students get experience being the best they can at something, in this case journalism. So it’s not solely
about providing a paper, it’s about allowing students to edit, write and learn as they do it. “I think one or two editors have thought that their job is not so much as a trainee journalist but as a way of trying to make political points and I don’t believe that’s what Palatinate should be – it’s there for trainee journalists.” Durham’s Future
Looking ahead to the future of the University in an increasingly competitive market, Palatinate asked the Vice-Chancellor what he believed would be the biggest threat to Durham’s status as a world top 100 university. He said: “Ultimately, money. The government in this country is attacking resources for both research and for teaching whereas if you go to China there are vast amounts of money going into Chinese universities. But also in the States a lot of the universities are getting a lot more philanthropic money. Some, like Harvard, are getting more than they know how to spend. “It’s not necessarily about competition from within the UK,
it’s competition from the rest of the world. How do we stay ahead of that competition? It will ultimately come down to money.” Post-Durham life
When asked about his life after Durham, Higgins said: “I’ll have to move out of Durham as it’s such a small place that it would be unfair on my successor if I was still around. I’ve got a house in Suffolk and I shall be moving back down there when I vacate here. I’m not looking for another big job. There are one or two serial Vice-Chancellors but why would I ever want to go to a university other than Durham? There is also the possibility of a government job but I’m not interested in that. “My original love was for music. I run the National Youth Choirs and I’m sure I shall get involved as a trustee in helping young people in music and the arts. I’m sure I shall have involvements with University alumni and probably do some non-executive directorships.” Chris Higgins’ departure from the post of Vice-Chancellor will come just six months after an announcement was first made.
Returning to the University’s academic profile, Palatinate also spoke to the Vice-Chancellor about recent statistics released by the Durham Student Registry which revealed that the proportion of students gaining a 2:1 or above has significantly increased during Higgins’ time as Vice-Chancellor. In 1999 just 65.5% of Durham students graduated with a 2:1 or above, compared with 2012 which saw 84% of students graduate with a 2:1 or above. The statistics prompted claims that Durham degrees are getting easier but Higgins said: “First of all it’s a rather strange assumption to jump to just because of the figures. If we look at the external examining system and everything else we have in place there’s no way that it could be manipulated. It’s a very rigorous assessment. And secondly, you have to think of standards of students when they arrive. On most courses now the minimum requirement is A*AA – the same level as Oxford and Cambridge. “We get a fantastic crop of students here - if they’re much
Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins recently announced his retirement
Photograph: Durham University
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
News in brief
Energy Minister visits site of carbon emissions research
KING’S COLLEGE FIRST US UNIVERSITY TO ACCEPT BITCOIN King’s College has become the first university in the United States to accept Bitcoin for tuiton fees, starting in the autumn. The University, which is in Lower Manhattan, New York City, charges $15,950 a semester for 12 to 18 credits. In the digital currency, the University will charge around 28 bitcoin.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PROFESSORSHIP BANKROLLED BY SENIOR CHINESE FAMILY A charity which gave £3.7 million to Cambridge University is run by members of the family of former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The charity donated the money in order to fund a professorship for Chinese development studies. The donation from the Chong Hua Foundation given in January 2012 raises questions about whether China is buying influence at the University. One academic accused the University of allowing China to “appoint a professor at Cambridge”. The Wen family is believed to have amassed £1.6 bilion through its access of the Chinese economy and banking system since the 1980s.
TOP US UNIVERSITY SEES SHARP RISE IN NUMBER OF INDIAN STUDENTS University of California, Berkeley, has seen the number of Indian students being admitted double in the past five years. Last year, there were 1300 applicants from India, of which 500 were admitted. Berkeley, which came 5th in the 2013 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, has a total student population of 35,000. BUSINESS SECRETARY CALLS FOR MORE UK STUDENTS TO STUDY IN CHINA
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has said he wants to see more British people studying or taking internships in China from 5,400 today to 80,000 in 2020. The Liberal Democrat politician has urged UK companies to support a British Council target to create a more equal flow of students between the two countries. In a conference at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, he said that 20 times more Chinese students are sent to the UK than the other way round. He added that France sends 8,000 students a year to China. In a letter to Chief Executives of FTSE 100 companies, he said: ”We must raise our game”. He pointed out that the lack of language skills in the UK costs the economy £48 billion.
On Friday, Energy Minister Michael Fallon visited the site of cutting edge research into Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and gave recognition to the leading role that a Durham research institute has taken in its development. 1km under the North York Moors lies the Boulby Mine, where the £1.75million project houses detectors designed to carry out ‘Muon tomography’ used to measure the effectiveness of CSS. CCS is a process that revolves around the ability to capture and subsequently store – either off shore or under the sea – carbon dioxide that is emitted from factories, power stations and other industrial facilities. Whilst it is not a perfect solution, many experts believe that it could fill an important shortfall whilst Britain and other
countries transition to more sustainable forms of energy. The work being researched at Boulby Mine concerns the ability to measure how effectively the Carbon Capture is by mapping the sub-surface structure and then calculating how much carbon dioxide is escaping into the atmosphere. “The muons begin life in the upper atmosphere, the result of collisions between cosmic rays generated in supernova hundreds of light years from Earth, and nitrogen or oxygen atoms,” Professor Jon Gluyas, of Durham Energy Institute, one of Durham University’s nine research institutes, said. “They penetrate through almost all surfaces and substances, much more powerfully than X-Rays and can be used to make three dimensional images of objects.” Muon tomography has already been used to image deep volcanoes and pyramids. Professor Gluyas added that “CCS is a possible solu-
tion to preventing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere by capturing it and compressing it into a fluid. “This could then be stored underground, such as in the depleted oil and gas fields under the North Sea’s bed. The process could reduce emissions from fossil fuel power stations by up to 90 per cent.” The current research hopes to expand its application beyond this to map deep sub-surface storage facilities such as CCS. The Minister said of the project that “It is fascinating to see how the innovative CO2 monitoring technology being tested at Boulby Potash Mine could help to reduce the costs of Carbon Capture and Storage.” This national recognition for one of Durham University’s nine research institutes shows the continued importance and leading role that Durham’s research plays in addressing national issues. Mr
Fallon also emphasised the important role of universities in this type of cutting-edge research when he said: “The UK is ideally suited to the development of a CCS industry with excellent storage potential in the North and Irish seas as well as world leading CCS research like this being undertaken by UK universities. We want to see a strong and successful CCS industry which has the potential to support a diverse energy mix and help us to achieve our climate change targets in a cost-effective way.” The Durham Energy Institute was founded in 2009 to focus on research seeking to tackle the energy challenges that face society today. Their work has focused on issues such as bio-fuels, carbon capture and storage, renewables, shale fracturing, smart grids and networks, low carbon transitions, energy risk, and energy for development.
Durham scientist wins RISE award Alexia Faus Onbargi
Professor David Parker from the Department of Chemistry was awarded the Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers (RISE) award on Tuesday 10th.June. The event took place in the House of Commons, where Mr Parker, along with other nominees were celebrated as the UK’s top scientists and engineers. The RISE awards celebrate scientists’ leading innovation in engineering and physical sciences. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), alongside the Royal Academy of Engineering, are running the campaign. The Chief Executive of EPSRC, Professor Phillip Nelson, stated: “The wealth of talent the RISE Awards shows is truly impressive and heartening. These are the strong, inspirational leaders who can ensure the long-term health of UK science and engineering.” There are four different categories of nomination and recognition within the RISE awards. First, there are the RISE leaders (runners of the awards) and they appoint the Rising Stars. Those appointed as Rising Stars are considered to be the next generation of future leaders and were elected on the basis of leadership skills, communication abilities and inspirational capacities. Another category is that of the RISE Champions, high profile
public figures (but largely nonscientific) that are paired with a RISE leader, in order to enhance the relationship between science and society. As Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: “Pairing world class science and engineering researchers with eminent figures from the worlds of politics and journalism is an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas that could not be so simply achieved otherwise.” Finally, there is the nomination and recognition of RISE fellows, people who were already Fellows of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences and who are nominated based on their work. Professor David Parker has become a Fellow of RISE and his previous work has included studying how light energy can help detect prostate cancer (2009) and creating a chemically sensitive MRI scan, which holds a chemical compound that could avoid invasive diagnostic tests in patients (2007). The RISE Awards are supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK’s main funding agency for both sciences. Furthermore, EPSRC invests approximately 800 million pounds a year in research and postgraduate studies. The Research Council also works closely with other Research Councils (though these are not necessarily relating to science) within Research Councils UK to promote the UK’s future economic, cultural and social development.
Professor David Parker
Photograph: Durham University
The RISE Awards are also supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, which promotes excellence in science and engineering whilst also trying to integrate society and engineering, through four basic principles: enhancement of economic growth, leading the profession
of engineering, fostering better education and promoting engineering in every aspect of life. Finally, Engineering for Growth also supports the RISE Awards and this partnership campaign works on promoting the economic and societal benefits of enhancing engineering.
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
European Parliamentry results:
UKIP 27.5 LAB 25.4
CON 23.9 % GREEN 7.9% LDP 6.9% Polling Data: TNS/SCYTL with European Parliament (as percentage of vote)
43% Turnout in the EU 34% Turnout in the UK Brussels’ European Parliament, awaiting fresh crop of MEPs Photograph: AmplifiedGroup
Euro 2014 and the Eurosceptic ‘earthquake’ Patrick Mason No one could have escaped the electoral drama of last month’s European elections, whether stuck in revision blues or physically isolated by stacks of books and piles of journals. The events that unfolded when the country went to vote on May 22nd shocked the establishment. There were claims of a Eurosceptic ‘earthquake’ in Britain as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) trudged ahead, taking constituency after constituency in a victorious parade that left the party’s leader Nigel Farage calling UKIP as a new national force. It is difficult to dispute this claim, since UKIP increased their share of the vote since the last election in 2009 by two million votes.
Turnout of voters in the North East for the European Elections
The Conservatives lost 236 councilors across England and came third overall in the European elections. Thus the mood in Downing Street would have been far from jubilant, but perhaps there may have been a smirk on Cameron’s face as his opponent, Labour’s leader Ed Miliband, made history through failure. Thus the Tories should not panic, as they managed to hold on to critical
levels of support, whilst panic should come from the Labour camp who, quite frankly, failed to generate the significant support expected from the country’s leading opposition party. For Ed, facing an ever-growing popular barrage of incompetent memes and ‘Vines’, his Labour party was able to just about hold a second place title. Labour pulled in 1.5% more of the vote than the Conservatives but were still left 2.1% behind UKIP. It is the first time since the 1906 General Election that any party other than the Labour or Conservative parties has won the popular vote and the first time since the General Election of 1910 that any other party has won the largest number of seats. The Labour party has been able to shift the lens away from criticisms of a stale politics by contextualizing the massive loss in the face of more successful pro-NHS, anti-austerity policies, and sticking to Miliband’s decision not to hold a referendum on membership to the European Union ahead of the 2015 elections in opposition to Cameron’s promise of holding one in 2017. Thus the Labour party has been able to shy away from its failure to eclipse UKIP by focusing on consolidating policy such as reducing the cost of living, before next year’s General Election. And what of Mr Farage; the slick, pint drinking, cigarette smoking, ‘racist’, ‘fascist’, sexist pig? Surely these cannot all be true? True, Mr Farage has faced an unprecedented level of scrutiny, he
has been twice physically attacked by protesters, once by egg in Nottingham and once when hit by a protester in Margate, part of his own South East constituency which he has held since 1999. Increasingly, the media has been incredibly hostile to Farage painting him as the devil we should all fear, all of which he himself has relished, as have allusions to his extra marital affairs, all allegations and quick assumptions seem to be driving a character in British Politics that at the moment is not deterring voters.
Percentage of the French vote that went to Marie Le Pen’s National Front
Yet Farage has opened up British politics and the establishment to serious debate. Firstly, the twin leadership debates between the far right leader and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg left the country in a quandary over some of the most important issues facing the country: immigration, jobs, human rights and extradition laws. Secondly, Farage’s intervention in British politics opens the discussion up to issues beyond those that are the strict imposition of the cadres of the leading parties and elites. Thus one could be forgiven for citing the current developments in British politics as a new era in decisionmaking and policy decision.
The UKIP victory in Britain is part of a greater consensus developing on the European continent towards an anti-establishment Europe. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front party gained a similar margin to UKIP, the former gaining 25% of the vote. Her agenda for France’s MEPs is to end rights for immigrants and pull out of the Eurozone. Similarly in Greece, the extreme right wing party Golden Dawn came in third place, although they only achieved third place, one ought to remember that in 2004 UKIP were in a similar position, and over the past two elections have crept into first place. Where does the North East fit into all this? The results of the elections in the North East were something of a surprise. Turnout was lower in the North East with a shocking 30% of voters turning out to polling stations. The two-term MEP Fiona Hall standing down meant that the former liberal seat went to Labour’s Paul Brannen and enabled the Labour Party to double their share of MEPs in the region to two, with the ascension of Judith Kirton-Darling to MEP following on from Stephen Hughes, who also did not stand for reelection. Labour in the North East was always going to do well, thus it is no surprise, for the party to hold onto at least one seat. Moreover, the national trend of decline of the Liberal Democrats was rather emphatically posed by the loss of a liberal seat in the North East to Labour by a
negative swing of 11.6%. Furthermore, dramatic scenes in our region came with the loss of Martin Callanan’s seat. Callanan, who was chairman of the anti-federalist and Eurosceptic group European Conservatives and Reformists, lost his seat to UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott. Callanan was a big name in the European Parliament and the loss of the one Conservative seat in the North East is nothing short of disappointing for Conservatives and Britons seeking to make real change in Europe. But how does all this bode for next year’s general election? With less than a year to go, all parties will be scrambling for attention as loyalties seem shot. Yet, despite UKIP’s rise in the elections for the European Parliament, the dynamic for a British electon will be very different. He is sure to face levels of scrutiny that rivalled those lodged against Neil Kinnock at the end of the 1980s. Furthermore, with a national turnout of just 34% - around half of what is expected at a national election - these elections cannot be taken as an accurate prediction of how the country will vote in less than eleven months. In an election as ideological as the European Parliament, where more radical voters tend to be attracted, one should be careful about reading too much into the success of UKIP, although it would be wise to monitor aftershocks of the Europsceptic ‘earthquake.’
SciTech Reader’s Scigest A QUICK LOOK AT SCIENCE
Europe decrees controversial ‘right to be forgotten’ Joshua Stocco
GOOSTMAN OR MACHINE A computer program dubbed Eugene Goostman, which was constructed with the aim of imitating the English responses of a 13-yearold boy from the Ukraine, has allegedly become the first machine to pass the Turing test. The test was proposed in 1950 as “the imitation game” by British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing. It assesses the ‘intelligence’ of a machine and can be interpreted in several ways; the team behind Eugene considered it to be passed when more than 30% of people, given five minutes of interrogation, mistake a robot for a human. Eugene was successful with respect to this criterion, with a pass rate of 33%. However, many remain dubious as to whether Turing’s test has truly been passed, given its subjective nature, and critics have pointed out that impersonating a child speaking in a second language is an easier task than simulating an adult using their native tongue.
WEAR AN S FOR SUCCESS
Students who take exams wearing Superman T-shirts perform better than those wearing plain clothing, according to new research. An eight percent increase was observed in the average scores of mental ability tests by those bearing the iconic red and yellow ‘S’ shield compared to a control group. The dressed up students also rated themselves as stronger and superior to other students. Professor Karen Pine, who led the study, suggested that our perceptions can be altered by our clothing because we unconsciously embody the symbolic meaning of our outer layers. Previous research has revealed other psychological links to our clothing choice. NOT-SO-DUMB BLONDE?
Scientists have identified the genetic mutation responsible for fair hair and what’s more they have found that this mutation does not affect the biology of any other part of the body. The discovery confirms that a lack of intelligence in blondes is just a stereotype. While nobody seriously thought that there was a significant scientific basis to the notion of a ‘dumb blonde,’ psychological research has shown conclusively that blond men, and blonde women in particular, are perceived as less intelligent than men and women with darker hair. So while actual intelligence is independent of hair colour, perceived intelligence is not. The genetic variation in question is a one-letter switch from adenine to guanine in a base of the KITLG gene – a surprisingly simple change that causes a drastic decrease in the amount of pigmentation in the hair follicles.
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently backed the “right to be forgotten.” This means that upon request individuals can have “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant data” removed from search results. Interestingly this does not remove the data from the websites containing it, but only the link to it in search results. This ruling comes off the back of a case wherein a Spanish lawyer took Google to court because information of the repossession of his home in 1998 showed up in search results of his name, something which he felt unjustly negated his credibility.
the ruling could pose a threat to free speech
In light of the decision from the European court, Google have created a simple form which can be filled in to request that links are removed from their search results, though as yet there is nothing similar from Bing or Yahoo. The form states that certain users can request to have results from queries including their name removed from search results. It goes on to say “we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy
rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information.” This means that the company can reject a takedown request if it deems the information to be of “public interest,” regardless of who is making the request. Superficially the ruling seems like a good idea; no one really wants pictures of themselves in their teenage years cropping up in search results when they’re trying to find employment. But there is a bigger issue here, namely that we should have a right to know about certain people’s past. Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google, said in an interview with the Financial Times, “I think it’s a question of the broad things you might value; there’s no way to get it perfect. There’s always going to be some harm. You can’t have perfect rights for everything.” The company already has mechanisms for removing material related to child pornography and copyright infringement, so responses to take down requests are nothing new. Page has also praised the court for trying to limit the information that can be removed to only include situations where people have a strong reason to object. Many of the requests submitted so far have come from public figures trying to have embarrassing personal information removed from the search engine; Page believes that many of these will be unsuccessful. “Certainly, I worry
Illustration: Carlos Luna
about the effect that [placing limitations on publication] might have on democracy over time if we don’t do [it] perfectly.” But he agrees that “everyday people” have more right to suppress search links. In addition to launching a formal process to comply with the European court’s ruling, Google has announced an advisory committee comprised of various free speech advocates, lawyers, and ethics professors. Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) has also agreed to sit on the committee. In a recent interview he spoke out against the ruling. “In the case of truthful, non-defamatory information obtained legally, I think there is no possibility of any defensible ‘right’ to censor what other people are saying,” he said. “There is no ‘right to be forgotten’ - there is apparently a ‘right’ in Europe to censor some information that you
don’t like.” Javier Ruiz of the Open Rights Group believes that the ruling could pose a threat to free speech online. He said recently “we need to take into account individuals’ rights to privacy but if search engines are forced to remove links to legitimate content that is already in the public domain, but not the content itself, it could lead to online censorship.” He highlights the fact that this goes against the opinion given by Advocate General of the ECJ, Niilo Jaaskinen, when he stated a year ago that Google should not be responsible for content published by third parties. In light of the criticism that this ruling has come under, it seems certain that there will be significant change one way or the other as internet legislation stabilises.
If only I had a heart...
Can robots truly understand human emotions? Bryony Hockin Meet Pepper. She works at the Softbank store in Japan, and spends her day talking to customers; she entertains them with jokes and can even be persuaded to dance. What makes Pepper different from the other employees is that she is a robot. Designed by Softbank with the help of Yoshimoto Robotics Laboratory, Inc., Pepper is the first robot designed to recognise and respond to human emotions by analysing expression, voice tones and body language. The development of robots capable of interacting with humans in ever more sophisticated ways has now reached a point where the idea of interacting with a robot is no longer a novelty reserved for science fairs. Leaving aside our regular conversations with automated checkouts (perhaps not the most sophisticated of robots, given their
propensity for shouting about unexpected items in the bagging area) many more humanoid robots already exist and could be a part of everyday life in the near future. We are more comfortable interacting with a machine that appears to be human, and so humanoid robots are the next logical step in technological innovation. Providing they have the right software, humanoid robots can do any task that a human can, from playing ping-pong to domestic care, and including some tasks that are too dangerous for humans to do.
up to a certain point, the more humanoid a robot looks, the better it is perceived
One such domestic care robot is Asimo, designed by Honda. Asimo can walk, run, climb stairs
and even play football, as demonstrated during President Obama’s recent visit to Japan. Something of a celebrity in the world of robotics, Asimo has toured the world with visits to science museums and even a stay at Disneyland, promoting science and maths to students worldwide. Both Pepper and Asimo have a childlike appearance and stand around 4 foot tall, perhaps to avoid intimidating those they assist. Asimo is not for sale just yet, however Pepper could be yours for a mere 198,000 yen (£1,150) once the model is released next year. Assistant and companion robots such as these may one day be able to replace domestic care workers for the elderly. Robots may be evolving to interact with humans better, but humans may take some time to adjust to having robots around. Many people who meet a robot for the first time describe them as “creepy,” a response named the “Uncanny Valley.” Research has found that up to a certain point,
the more humanoid a robot looks, the better it is perceived in terms of comfort level. However, once the robot becomes “too human”, humans become much more uncomfortable around it. One robot that may elicit this response is HRP-4C, nicknamed Miim, a humanoid robot with a realistic female face; other robots have been developed to appear fully human, with synthetic facial muscles. Although most people’s idea of a robot is the Terminator or R2D2, modern robots are in fact an extension of humans’ tool-making abilities. We may have started out learning to make machines, but now we are building machines that have our capacity to learn. Even if we don’t realise it, robots are already a huge part of our everyday lives: piloting aeroplanes, performing surgery, and perhaps one day helping in our own homes. Pepper may not have a heart, but its unique ability to interpret human emotions brings us one step closer to this becoming a reality.
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
What can science tell us about the FIFA World Cup? Sadie Bartholomew
“Compared to football I think Quantum Physics is relatively straightforward.” For once, Professor Stephen Hawking is out of his depth. While most of us are content to root for the boys this summer by donning the colours of Saint George and watching the group D clashes down at the pub, the former Lucasian Chair of Mathematics has taken a more active role in following the plight of the Three Lions in Brazil; he’s undertaken a study resulting in a formula expressing the probability that England will win a given match, as well as a formula incorporating the factors to consider for taking the perfect penalty (presumably since Englishmen are notoriously bad at this aspect of football.) He does admit, however, that “it’s a funny old game” where “all mathematics, science and rational thought go out of the window”. And while it’s important to stress that his study is all “a bit of fun” (and this is according to betting agent Paddy Power, who commissioned it) – there’s certainly no need for Roy Hodgson to brush up on his maths skills – Hawking is not the only person to offer scientific analysis of the 2014 FIFA World Cup ahead of the opening matches. Scientists across the globe have contributed their own studies of some aspect of this year’s tournament, add-
ing to the deliberation and excitement surrounding the sporting event. But is any of their science actually useful in predicting how the competition will pan out? Let’s start with Hawking: a worldrenowned and highly decorated theoretical physicist he may be, but his latest project won’t bring him any commendation (only short-lived publicity); his models are completely meaningless.
He has analysed the outcome of previous tournaments – the 45 England matches since their 1966 glory and the 204 penalties taken in all the shootouts to date – and related them to several variables which he believes are ‘explanatory’, such as temperature on match day, stadium altitude and referee nationality in the case of England’s matches and player age, length of runup and goalkeeper movement in the case of penalties. But it is arguable as to whether the empirical equations he has formed from this scrutiny even count as science – many would demote them to the rigour-deficient area of “pseudoscience”. However, in his defence, while it is sil-
ly to try and form a mathematical equation with them, most of the variables he has identified will have an effect on the tournament outcome. Many have been studied in depth by others. For instance, sports scientists from participating countries with more temperate climates have been investigating ways to help their players cope with the stifling heat and humidity experienced near the equator. The conditions mean that players produce more sweat and they also become fatigued more rapidly due to an increased heart rate as the body diverts blood to the skin. The result is that players who can just about endure 90 minutes in their cooler home country are likely to tire significantly near the end of matches in Brazil – consequently there may be ‘exciting finishes’ as teams with greater stamina overpower their opponents. What other scientific analysis is available to football fans? Several researchers have tackled the Brazuca, the official ball of the tournament. The two predecessors to the Brazcua (which were also designed by Adidas, who have provided every World Cup football since 1970) were criticised for having an erratic flight path; fortunately for competitors in this tournament, researchers have unanimously concluded that the trajectory of the Brazuca is predictable. The main reason, according to NASA engineer Dr. Rabi Mehta, who is among those to conduct aerodynamic testing in
a wind tunnel, is related to the roughness of the ball exterior. “The smoother you make the ball, the higher the speed at which it knuckles” he said, referring to the “knuckling effect”, whereby the ball wobbles as it moves through the air. 2010’s Jabulani was smoother than the Brazuca and hence knuckled at greater speeds – those which coincided with the typical kicking speed of 80 to 90 km/h – thus it generally followed a capricious path that proved a nightmare for goalkeepers four years ago. On the contrary, the knuckling speed of the Brazuca is too low to have much of an effect on the average shot or pass, as with most traditional footballs. Adidas ensured this was the case by adding small dimples to the ball surface
long before the treatment is available to any brown-eyed individuals with a few thousand dollars to spare. The method is quite similar to laser eye surgery, only instead of using a laser beam to alter the cornea - the surface of the eye - the beam is instead directed into the iris. The intense ray kills off cells that produce a pigment called melanin, which is responsible for turning eyes brown. The technique’s premise is surprisingly simple. It rests on the knowledge that everyone’s eyes are, in fact, blue. However, in brown eyes this is not visible due to the masking layer of melanin. Get rid of the melanin, and the underlying blue colour is easily visible. The blue colour itself is not a result of pigmentation, but of an effect known as
Tyndall scattering, whereby only high frequency (blue) light leaves the eye, due to the iris’ absorptive effects. This technique is irreversible. Pigment cells can be destroyed, but not rebuilt. We are still a long way off being able to give brown eyes to natural blues, at least without the aid of coloured contact lenses. This raises a very interesting scenario. Imagine a future where the procedure is widely available: thousands flock to change their eye colour, to share in the exclusivity of ‘club blue.’ But with each new patient, the proportion of blue eyes in the world increases. Just a little. Over time, the fraction of blue-eyed individuals in the world - which current estimates place at about 8% - will keep rising with every
new operation that takes place. Suddenly the allure of blue eyes has faded - are they no longer so exclusive after all? Fashion is, in many ways, just a numbers game. The more exclusive something appears to be, the more highly sought after it is. When enough people have their hands on whatever is deemed to be ‘in’, that exclusivity is lost, and something new moves in to take its place. Take a recent study by the University of New South Wales. In this, participants were asked to rank men with varying degrees of facial hair in order of attractiveness, after they had already been shown numerous images of men with or without beards, against which they drew subconscious comparisons. The results were clear: the rarer beards were in the samples, the more attractive they were perceived to be. Likewise, in a sea of facial fuzz, cleanshaven arose as the victor. The study led Dr Rob Brooks, one of the study’s coordinators, to announce that we as a society may have reached ‘Peak Beard’. “Big thick beards are back with an absolute vengeance; one of the dynamics that might be important is this idea of negative frequency dependence,” Brooks recently told the BBC. This concept has been the subject of much study. In a paper published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behaviour, Alex Bentley of Durham University
the study results in a formula for taking the perfect penalty
and manipulating the geometry of the seams and the number of panels. The stable behaviour of the Brazuca is likely to result in a higher amount of shots on target relative to the total number of shots, but goalkeepers should be more competent when faced against a more calculable projectile, so there will not necessarily be more goals. Finally, several companies including Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg have been number-crunching in an effort to predict this year’s winner – of course alongside the bookmakers, who have the opportunity to make excessive sums of money from the tournament. However, nothing is certain in football – one of the reasons it is so exciting. It’s safe to say that the Brazuca may be predictable, but the football will not be.
Blue eyes: a window into the cyclical nature of trends
Patrick Brennan For centuries blue eyes have been revered for their intense colour and icy character. Be it the cold splendour of Paul Newman or the piercing youthfulness of Zooey Deschanel, blue eyes have always lent their owners an air of isolation - of dispassionate mystique. So the news of a new surgical technique, a procedure that changes eye colour from brown to blue, may come as good news to those who lust after these sapphire tones. Currently in the second phase of human clinical trials, the surgery has been patented by the California-based Stroma-Medical, and it might not be
Illustration: Patrick Brennan
used a mathematical model to show that when people copy each other randomly, with only occasional, sporadic deviation away from the top trend, fashions still follow cyclical, predictable patterns. This model can accurately predict the nature of many trends and fashions - from favoured baby names to pop music chart-toppers. Dr Bentley said, “It doesn’t necessarily have to involve any rational decisions to get all the way to the top.” A final, interesting point to raise is one in defence of brown eyes. They are, in fact, very attractive - and it’s due, again, to subconscious perception. We find people sexier when their pupils are dilated - it’s a subliminal sign of attraction - and a dark brown colour manages to trick us into perceiving someone’s pupils as bigger, and therefore more attractive. This explains the romance of a dim candle-lit dinner, where pupils dilate automatically in the low light. Why would any straight-thinking brown-eyed person ever want to rid themselves of such useful assets? Like a lean physique or a winning smile, it appears that some things are immune to the nature of fashion trends and popularity stats- we are simply programmed to adore them. And in this case it’s not the azure depths of blue eyes, but the dark allure of brown eyes that wins out.
Business & Economics
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Durham’s entrepenurial spirit
Will you be the next one to carry on the tradition?
When it comes to student entrepreneurship, Durham is making a name for itself. It will be a pleasure for all those chocolate-loving Durhamites to know that one of our fellow students, Casey Lam, has started a company called, Top Hat Teacakes which makes decadent chocolate treats. The company has been a huge success and her cute teacakes in pretty boxes are now sold in supermarkets across the North-East. If you feel inspired by Casey’s example but don’t know where to start, you might want to seek support from your university. Durham, despite its size, has plenty to offer for those enterprising individuals. Entrepreneurs Durham Society puts on networking events and workshops to teach students the basic skills they need to survive in the same sea with the ruthless business sharks. “For example, we recently held a Unilever marketing event, where the speaker, who graduated from Durham, gave us stepby-step tips on how they bridged the gap between university and the world of business,” says Jade Felber, the Brand Manager of the society. For all those always seeking a business challenge, Durham annually hosts a number of competitions. In fact, Casey Lam, the founder of Top Hat Teacakes,
Casey Lam-Durham’s own Entrepreneur and champion of business
Photograph: Casey Lam
was the winner of the Blueprint Enterprise Challenge last year. If you want not only to make money but to make the world a better place, you can take part in the £10 Business Challenge. Your team would have to implement a business project using only a start-up capital of £10. 40% of the profits are donated to DUCK and you get to keep the rest. “The challenge made me un-
derstand what it meant to make a quick start up”, says Xylona Lam, the Events & Marketing Officer of Entrepreneurs Durham, who took part in the Challenge with her business of selling second hand text books. Durham Dragon’s Den is another gem of a competition which has had a tremendous impact on the university’s business scene. “Lindsey Gleason, who won
last year’s Dragons’ Den competition, has gone on to set up her website for students wishing to study abroad at universities where they can also pursue their sporting ambitions. Jonny Miller and Dorothy Sanders, who won Dragons’ Den in 2011, landed a large international prize involving living and setting up their business in Chile,” says Professor Ian Stone, founder of the competition.
component of China’s investment fuelled growth, but this market is declining quickly. In the first quarter of 2014, house values fell by 7.7%, which in turn has caused property construction to decline by 25%. What was once a sure profit for investors is now a very highrisk market as values fall, meaning that investors are moving their money elsewhere. An important lesson the Eurozone countries can take from this is not to rely too heavily on one market, because as that market falls, other economies will fall with it. Now that the investmentdriven growth is falling, China is moving towards other markets to stabilise growth at around the 7.5% mark. To do this, stimulus packages are being utilised. Beijing has announced tax breaks for small and medium-sized companies as well as increased spending on infrastructure, allowing citizens to travel more
efficiently. This frees up more money for the Chinese consumer, as disposable income is not being depleted through paying for poor public transport ationservices. Meanwhile, businesses can try to promote further consumption, as there is not an increasing tax burden on them. This holds some parallels with Eurozone economies, as they target a steady economic growth of around 2%.
small firms who have been rejected for business loans. Despite attitudes towards the coalition government, it is clear that the Conservative-led government has a business agenda in mind as policy after policy is aimed at the use of enterprise. Further, we have seen the announcement of HS2, where completion of phase one is supposed to cost £17.16 billion. In an era of austerity, it is clear that the coalition is running parallel with the Chinese government when it comes to business and infrastructure on a national scale. Another key to the Chinese puzzle is the export market of the state. The Chinese economy can boast that it exports more than it imports, which can lead to higher domestic employment levels. This is in contrast to the majority of the Western countries where imports outnumber exports. In China, exports are valued
These stories may make you wonder how the students manage to juggle their studies, social life, and managing a business at the same time. “It was really quite tough within the five days of the challenge. I can imagine not doing any school work if I was actually occupied with a full on entrepreneur business”, says Xylona. “You can probably still find the time though. It all depends on what degree you are doing”, she adds. Jade Felber comments that, “most students spend a lot of time procrastinating, which is often when the best business ideas develop.” Despite these arguments, venturing out on your own so early in life is tough. “What I would encourage people to do is go and work for someone first. Make your mistakes and lose their money. Gain new skills, pick up your selfconfidence and networks so that when you set up your venture, you have the correct amount of resources,” argues Professor Paul Westhead, Director for the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Durham. However, in the current job market, finding employment can actually turn out to be harder than starting a company. So, just in case you fail to get on that graduate banking scheme, you might want to consider opening your own business while you are at university.
What can the UK learn from the growing Chinese economy?
The question on world economists minds is how will the Chinese economy change in order to drive itself through the 21st Century? The answer has been made clear by Premier Li Keqiang. He aims to move the Chinese economy from one led by investment to one that is fuelled by consumption. Investment in China has been prevalent in most sectors of the Chinese economy as citizens have moved from agricultural work to city-based work, in fields such as finance and technology. City population growth has been exponential in China as the middle classes continue to grow, but it is becoming clear that the investment fuelled growth in China is slowing. House building has been a key
“China grows parallel with Western economies, even if it wishes to stay away from that economic philosophy” In 2013, George Osborne announced a corporation tax cut in the UK from 21% to 20%. He has also announced that he plans to introduce measures that aid
at $2.21 trillion, with imports worth $1.95 trillion, which leads to a surplus of $0.26 trillion to spend on the domestic economy of China. Compare this with a country such as the United Kingdom, which has exports worth $503.6 billion and imports at $529.5 billion. The strong car industry has boosted UK exports. China’s economic growth is on target to hit the 7.5% rate, according to the World Bank, and the way the state is moving, it grows parallel with Western economies even if it wishes to stay away from that economic philosophy. But should Western economics try to run parallel to China? I think the answer is no, due to the daunting poverty that many Chinese citizens are faced with as a result of neglect from the government.
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
Business & Economics
Wine bar theory: A winning business formula David Gilbertson’s rules on thriving in the business world Richard Morgan
With the end of exams come two distinct forms of freedom for Durham students. There is that first freedom of being able to watch as many movies as we want without consequence, eat what we want and party all night long. But after the first week, a different kind of freedom sets upon Durham students; a threemonth period before we all come back to University for another year of learning. In this time we can intern, get jobs, travel the world or we could take the road less travelled, and become entrepreneurs. David Gilbertson’s new book, ‘Wine Bar Theory’ aims to encourage students to do just that. Using his over 30 years of experience in the top flight business world, he provides simple rules to open our eyes to the business world so that we do not have to learn the hard way. After an insightful interview with the man himself, a key piece of advice offered was, “Not to try and avoid making mistakes” but to make sure you never make the same mistake twice. Very true and often forgotten. According to Mr Gilbertson, the reason why we should take risks is that “the world is a moving game, we always have another day to put things right.” However if being an entrepreneur is not your destiny, Mr Gilbertson also divulged some excellent advice on how to shine in a company’s team. He stressed, “making sure you ask questions so you understand how you fit in to the overall picture.” This allows you to go beyond your role in the company and it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile. Rule 26 and 27 of the book are centred on manners being crucial in business. Mr Gilbertson again stresss how, “basic politeness, funnily enough, makes you stand out.” This works regardless of whether it is a supplier you are bargaining with or co-workers.
“A brilliant business is a brilliant team” David Gilbertson
Mr Gilbertson recognises that the best employers are the ones that require evidence of suc-
cess from their recruits. If it is a business that buys a persuasive sales pitch from a recruit then they are taking risks to the future success of their company.
through the key business ingredient: distinction. According to Mr Gilbertson this distinction does not have to be some grand new invention, but something
Mr Gilbertson states that there has never been a better time for starting a business because of technology. It gives anyone the potential to create a inter-
changing world you get left behind.” How you discover whether something is working or will work falls under Rule 12: ‘Don’t guess.’ This means rigorous market testing to find out how customers feel about a product and what they feel could be improved upon.
“Smart businesses know, look, consider, act” David Gilbertson
Rule 28: Enjoy and you will be more productive for it! The same is true for managers who fear hiring people who are as good or better than them. That’s why a mantra of allowing homegrown talent to move up the company when ready is important for motivation and the business has better understanding of the person rather than hiring externally. Perhaps the most important tool in the arsenal of any good entrepreneur is found in Rule 2: ‘Keep it simple.’ This is achieved through understanding. Whether it is your market, your customers or a complex idea. Understanding allows you to convey a message in a condensed way that appeals to the world. Mr Gilbertson also emphasises the importance of ‘belief ’ in Rule 4. In the book he makes it clear that, “belief and judgment can prove to be wrong of course, but they are much more likely to succeed than hope and luck.” The way to tell whether you have genuine belief in a product or idea is to answer some honest questions to yourself. All of this, of course, is explained in the book. Perhaps this key personal ingredient of belief can be found
that simply separates your product from the competition. President Kennedy is quoted in the book as saying; “conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” Anais Nin
Clearly the message Mr Gilbertson hopes to express is that being unique is the only way that you can take on the big boys and their established market share in any industry. One simple way to do this is to beat them in customer service. This is an area most large companies neglect and is an area newcomers are primed to distinguish themselves on. Whatever distinction you choose, Mr Gilbertson says it’s got to be, “something your customers don’t have which would be valuable to them.” At the same time, there is often general scepticism towards starting a business. But
Illustration: Bill Butcher national business almost overnight thanks to the internet and social media. These devices mean there is more opportunity than ever before and that the brand association can often be defeated. It is not as risky as it once was because huge amounts of money do not have to be spent on marketing. He also advises that the focus should be on increasing revenue as this produces the most profit in the long run, over cutting costs for greater profit now. Mr Gilbertson’s message is not just one about how to make it in business. It is about how to stay there. And this is done by constantly moving forwards, pursuing innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and constantly questioning what can be done to improve. He acknowledges, “You can use the inspiring things other people are doing as a launchpad.” But there must be a distinction between what you do and what they do because otherwise you will always be one step behind. “If you make the mistake of standing still, in a constantly
Overall, ‘Wine Bar Theory’’ has some sage advice that even the big companies often forget: work smarter not harder. Mr Gilbertson says, “There are some businesses that confuse busy with effective.” Businesses working around the clock simply have too few resources and so as a consequence are being used ineffectively. Mr Gilbertson believes people need to push themselves, but in an efficient way and stop when it is time to stop. The companies that work best according to Mr Gilbertson are those that make people responsible and do not simply allow people to make a contribution and go home. So as we enter the summer break we should keep our minds open. Maybe we do not start that new business up this holiday. But hopefully we will read Mr Gilbertson’s book and have the entrepreneurial way of thinking on our minds, so that when we do get the hunger to begin an entrepreneurial adventure, we do so with fire in our bellies and not with fear in our hearts.
‘Wine Bar Theory’ by David Gilbertson is available on Amazon and iTunes, and in Waterstones
Wine Bar Theory-David Gilbertson can be ordered from Amazon, Waterstones and Itunes.
Thursday 19th June 2014| PALATINATE
These seemingly unrelated articles appeared by chance at the same tim but demonstrate the way that societies’ attitudes and institutions acros
#whyididntreportit: the real mons Anonymous Rape and abuse are bad, so it makes sense that only bad people rape and abuse. I expect you would not call your friends, your family, bad people. So you don’t know any abusers. You are wrong. On 12th April, #whyididntreport came quietly into existence on Twitter. It was created by Hannah G., who writes online under @ethiopienne, to open dialogue for people who have experienced rape, assault and abuse. As the name suggests, those who took part posted why they hadn’t reported their abuser. I was amongst the contributors. By the time I was 18, I had experienced sexual and emotional abuse twice. The first time I was 14, and it was a 30 year old man on the internet. The second time I was 17, and it was my boyfriend. When he assaulted me, I heard myself ask him what he was doing. There was a pause,
no. When I said I wanted to take things slow, he promised not to talk about it again. Next day — next week if I was lucky — he’d explode with irritation and impatience. Why didn’t I want to have sex? If we couldn’t, what could we do? He told me couples shared everything, gave everything, so I needed to tell him where I went and who with. I couldn’t miss his messages; I had to check my phone more often. When the pressure made me cry, he promised to back off. But it wouldn’t last. Can “yes” have any meaning when “no” is not acceptable? Humans are sophisticated creatures; we can make refusal clear without saying no. If a friend asks you over to watch a film, just saying “no” would be unusually blunt. “Sorry, I’ve got a lot of work,” or, “thanks, but I’m not feeling well” are clear answers: friendly refusals. They don’t suddenly change meaning in a sexual context; it’s the willingness to hear them that does. Young men are particularly prone to considering them an opportunity to convince. Viewing sex as a process
Rape and abuse are bad, so it makes sense that only bad people rape and abuse. I expect you would not call your friends, your family, bad people. So you don’t know any abusers. You are wrong.
and he asked if it was all right. I said that I didn’t care, hoping it would be over soon. But I never said no. And since I hadn’t said “no”, there was no rape, no abuse, no problem. That’s what I had always been told, and I believed it. Consent is not, and should never be, the absence of anybody saying
of persuasion (a) says dismal things about their sexual prowess and (b) shows wilful disrespect of their partner. Asking until someone gives in from tiredness, fear, or the hope that it will stop the pestering is not consent. The stereotype of violent men lurking in alleyways remains popular because it means that abusers are
distant villains, rather than ‘normal’ individuals. People, especially women, who are raped must have done something to make it happen. After
The stereotype of violent men lurking in alleyways remains popular becuase it means that abusers are distant villains, rather than ‘normal’ individuals
all, if people who are raped brought it on themselves then there’s a formula to avoid it happening to you, or the people you know. There’s no need to feel uncomfortable about abuse if it’s always justified. The unhappy reality is that the majority of people who are assaulted are women who know their attacker; an overwhelming 90% do. In a recent White House study, 7% of college men admitted that they have attempted or committed rape. To put that into perspective, that’s about one man in every fourteen; less than a rugby team. 63% of those are repeat offenders, with an average of 6 assaults each. Statistically, you know a rapist. Those rapists have friends and family. It’s far from unlikely that you are amongst their friends or family. According to a United Nations study: “on average, at least one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime. The number rises if they are part of multiple marginalised groups; the likelihood of police brutality is much higher for people of colour. In a survey of transgender people in Scotland, 80% had experienced domestic abuse, often specifically in relation to their gen-
der; consequently, 65% of them had attempted suicide. Mentally ill people are more likely to be victims, which renders the fondness for calling abusers and the people that defend them “insane” or “crazy” rather disturbing. Bancroft debunks this: “[The abuser’s] value system is unhealthy, not their psychology.” Just as you likely know abusers, you will know people who have experienced abuse. However, they are regularly disbelieved and unsupported. My abusers would undoubtedly deny everything. The same is true for the grand majority. Not many arrive with helpful business cards; [insert name here]: student, My Little Pony fan, rapist and abuser, please contact [number] for details. So, when I tried to tell my abuser’s friend what had happened, he called me a “condescending bitch”. He said he couldn’t care any less for either me or the 15-yearold girl my abuser hurt after me. Kind friends usually try to reassure me that most people aren’t like that, which is sweet but very, very wrong. It was not my abuser that nearly killed me; it was the reali- sation that our society is indifferent at best and actively hateful at worst. Being called a bitch and a liar was one occasion; it was followed by a discussion about how Rihanna must have made Chris Brown hit her, hearing someone say people who stay with their abusers deserve what they get, and comedians telling domestic abuse jokes to laughter. By the time an attempted rape scene in our A2 English play was met with, “I want to hit her for being such an idiot,” I didn’t have the energy to be angry. I just burst into tears. I flinch at the word “rape,” because I’m deeply afraid of having to listen to explanations of why what happened to me was acceptable, probably actually my fault and even funny. Being so frightened of your partner that you are ill is not funny. According to a recent study, only 15% report their abuse to the po-
lice and #whyididntreport explores why — because we know how we’ll be treated. The justice system isn’t made up of the magically impartial; they’re the same people who laugh and blame. Some accounts in #whyididntreport explore how police treatment was worse than or compounded trauma from abuse. Unwillingness to recognise abusers often appears in company of, “innocent until proven guilty,” which is statistically ludicrous. In England and Wales between January 2011 and May 2012 there
Photograph: Sabrina Rubin Erdely were 5,651 prosecutions for rape, but only 35 for false allegations; 111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence, and 6 for false allegations. In 38% of those false allegations, the complaint was not made by the alleged victim; amongst under 18s, that rises to 50%. Even then, in some cases false allegations do not mean that the abuse did not occur; some victims find the justice system
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
me this week. However, on closer inspection they are not unrelated at all, ss the globe attempt and fail to protect their women from sexual abuse.
sters aren’t hiding under your bed so traumatic that they retract the accusation. The real number of false abuse allegations is absurdly tiny, as part of the 15% who even report. Believe people when they tell you that they have experienced abuse. As Bancroft says, “If you are aware of...mistreatment and do not speak out against it, your silence communicates implicitly that you see nothing unacceptable taking place.” “To abused women, meanwhile, the silence
Sitting in a bare room in front of a friendly policewoman typing a Word document on an ageing computer I come to realise the difficulty for anyone to get justice in this country. Three times I had to come to this office in order to get anyone to make the report of my stolen laptop. Being a white foreigner in this office helped me in part and hindered me too, but when I think of a young Nicaraguan girl coming in to report her stepfather for rape I can only imagine how her crippling fear and shame would be met with the apathy in the officers lounging about texting and eating takeaway lunches. Reportedly there are 940 cases of domestic violence committed every month in Nicaragua, and those are only against those who have been
An overwhelming 90% of women who are assaulted know their attacker
means that no one will help.” If a current or past partner’s actions have repeatedly made you feel small and guilty, or they have
regularly disrespected and ignored your comfort, then those are danger signs. If something just feels off, even if you don’t think any of
will be met with an angry riposte, most likely littered with anecdotes of men known to be in jail for being unjustly accused of abusing a woman (one of the main clauses of the law being that anyone reported for abuse must be immediately imprisoned pending the case being treated by the authorities).
the above applies or it’s not a partner but a friend or family member, please listen to that suspicion. It’s trying to tell you something. Abuse is behaviour; it doesn’t require harmful intent. People do not have to be moustache-twirling villains, cackling about their evil plan to hurt you. Abusers are human beings, not Satan made flesh, and they deserve human consequences to their actions instead of being elevated to the status of the monster under the bed. Please, if you have experienced abuse, know that you are not alone
and it was not your fault; not one bit of it. You deserve so much better than what has happened to you. You are worth so much more than how you have been made to feel. You are infinitely worthy of your own selflove.
Have a response? Share it with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Law 779, Nicaragua
brave enough to report their abuse. 85% of the victims are under the age of 18 years old and one in four of them are girls younger than 10 years old. The most shocking of all is that 80 percent of these occurrences of rape and sexual abuse are committed by boyfriends, family members, stepfathers, or fathers. Despite the landmark Law 779 being established in June 2012 that secured the right for women to access justice and protection from violence, finally holding abusers to account, the national problem of interfamilial rape and abuse of women and minors continues to blight Nicaragua. Almost everyone has an opinion, from being antifamily to creating a new league of females who manipulate its ability to put men in prison, this law has been ripped to pieces by the media in its two years of existence. Then within less than a year, after much criticism, ‘ley 779’ was reformed, weakening its effects by introducing a mediation option between the abuser and the abused which led to lesser sentencing and increased trauma for the victim. Ask any Nicaraguan male his opinion of the ‘ley 779’ and you
80% of rape and sexual abuse is committed by boyfriends, family members, stepfathers, or fathers
The feminists reading this will be outraged to know that such stories are in fact true, wily Jezabels who use the law’s seeming belief in the ‘gospel according to all females’ to put men behind bars. But this act of misuse of the law is not without its risks. Let’s not forget the thousands of cases of sexual abuse of women and children in Nicaragua that have gone unreported in the past for fear of death on the part of the abuser who is almost always in a position of power in the family or commu-
nity. Nicaragua’s dilemma: how to create a culture of respecting and valuing women and children without creating a new generation of females, embittered by the machismo that has marked this country like so many other Latin American nations, abusing the law that has been put in place to protect them? In my naivety it has taken me to come to Nicaragua to discover the greyness that surrounds women and children’s rights. I thought that such things where two sided: victim; weak, in the right and to be
protected; abuser, evil, powerful and to be imprisoned. These characteristics still hold fast, but my belief in government in its many forms in fulfilling its duty to the people has been revealed to be not only ineffective, but an obstruction to justice. Although Law 779 is something to be celebrated; an unprecedented step towards equality, there is a long road ahead of Nicaragua’s government to bring into actuality their promises to guard the rights its women and children.
Photograph: Naomi Ellis
Thursday 19th June 2014| PALATINATE
Life after Higgins: time for an elected Vice-Chancellor Harry Cross
Although no one doubts that ViceChancellor Chris Higgins’ early retirement is a long-planned career move, it is hard to deny that it is overhung by a severe deterioration in relations between the University Executive and almost every other university stakeholder. This has culminated in staff members threatening to resign, a Senate
The problem is not personal, but institutional
motion to reduce the Vice-Chancellor’s powers, revelations about pressures being placed on student
journalism and outbursts of anger by residents in public meetings directed at the University. The problem is not personal, but institutional. Growing resentment between Vice-Chancellors and students is currently commonplace in UK universities and Higgins is not the only one to stand down. This coincides with moves by the government to commercialise higher education, by making graduates who are attractive company employees and commercially lucrative research the end objective of university education, rather than free thinking and academia for their own sake. In universities everywhere, staff and students are discovering whether their ViceChancellor is a willing collaborator in such projects or part of an active resistance defending the soul of higher education. In the case of Higgins, his notorious centralisation plan is nothing more than a restructuring to allow individual university services to be opened to private tender, taking control away from staff and students. What is to be done? The Senate’s motion to modify the Vice-Chan-
If the outgoing Vice-Chancellor is responsible for a lack of transparency or collective decision-making, surely his former henchmen should not be the ones selecting his successor
cellor’s powers was a first attempt at an institutional solution. However, students remain systematically excluded from top university governance, including the selection of Higgins’ successor. If the outgoing Vice-Chancellor is responsible for a lack of transparency or collective decision-making, surely his former henchmen should not be the ones selecting his successor? The DSU and JCRs should call to reform and democratise the office of Vice-Chancellor. Union officials should have a say in proposing and selecting names on the final shortlist of candidates. Students and staff could then vote for the next
Vice-Chancellor from this shortlist based on a programme and a vision for Durham University. Precedents exist. In 2012, at Sci-
lainous laughter, that we saw in the YouTube videos, to the hate
and literary spectacle provided us with shocking, yet easily digestible explanations for why the tragedy occurred. The purpose of this article is not to debate the relative worth of these explanations or to suggest what society needs to do to prevent such a heart-breaking scenario from occurring again. Rather, it asks whether this need for meaning that media outlets capitalize on in the form of a myriad of articles, interviews and expert opinions numbs our humane ability to empathise with the victims of such a crime. For the countless explanations that are offered reduce a very real event to merely a cog in the machinery of the metaphoric vehicle that is a particular social groups public agenda; the brutal reality of a mass murder becomes something cold and con-
ences Po Paris, students occupied lecture halls to protest the shadowy procedure used to replace their director. At Liège University in Belgium, the university community elected their rector for the first time earlier this year. At Durham, students, disgruntled staff and a newly-elected City Council should unite behind a project that defends a healthy academic environment in harmony with its local community. Whatever form higher education policy takes in the coming years, an elected Vice-Chancellor will help guarantee that university officials act in the interests of the community they represent.
Santa Barbara shootings: stop gossiping, start empathising Jaspal Chana
With confidence I can guess that the amount of ink spilt in order to inform the world about the college shootings that occurred in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago would be enough to fill a reasonably sized Scottish loch. This is because, for a story of this nature, it is not good enough to simply report the facts. Given that the human being is of a rational nature and that a man of modernity’s pride lies in the fact that he can deduce cause and effect from any given scenario, when something truly chaotic occurs that tangibly manifests the terrifyingly mysterious, yet inescapable
darkness of the human condition, the natural response is to look for answers. It is for this reason that accompanying this tragic incident of offending death has been a slew of moral and political arguments to explain why such a horrifying crime took place. A gunman never acts in a social vacuum, and thus for an individual to be capable of acting in such an inhumane way, there must be a societal causal explanation. In this particular instance, our search for this corrosive social element has been aided by the amount of online content the perpetrator had meticulously made sure would be ready available for consummation by the figurative pointing fingers that are the various institutions that comprise the mass media. From the seemingly performed evil genius routine, complete with generic vil-
We should not get so caught up in trying to understand why these things happen that they become a morbidly fascinating form of enterntainment
filled rambling odyssey that was the 140 page memoir, this visual
ceptual: something that holds an instrumental value as a means to a particular social end. This is not to say that such interpretations aren’t important and that we should not try and learn to improve the way we publically think as a result of such an atrocity. What I am trying to say is that we should not get so caught up in trying to understand why these things happen that they become a morbidly fascinating form of entertainment. In our modern mediatized societies in which our access to global news and information comes at the touch of a few buttons, I question whether the public ability to develop such a level of expertise on a story comes at the cost of our capacity to acknowledge the people who are really involved: the victims.
Photograph of a memorial for the shootings: AP
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
Women’s football must play catch-up Katie Falkingham Since the very first game in 1865, women’s football has been largely hidden from the spotlight that has very much shone on the elite men’s game. Whilst men’s football has grown to exponential heights, with billions of pounds invested in the game and a worldwide fan base, the women’s game has struggled to gain such acknowledgement and support. However, since the FA’s takeover of the sport in the mid-1990s, women’s football has grown to become the most popular female sport in the UK. The most recent figures show that over a quarter of a million women and girls play football at least once a month, with this number continuously increasing as the success of the sport grows. Women’s football is now the third biggest sport in the UK in terms of
popularity, behind only men’s football and cricket. However, in a new 5 year plan launched in 2012, the FA hopes to lift women’s football above men’s cricket by investing a sum of £3.5million into the sport, which will help to de-
“Since the introduction of the Women’s Super League match attendances have increased by more than 600%”
velop the game at all levels, and help increase the fan base by enhancing media coverage. Team GB’s performance in the London 2012 Olympics catapulted the women’s game in the UK to new
heights, with over 70’000 spectators and 4 million television viewers watching Team GB in their 1-0 victory over Brazil at Wembley. Whilst it is a much different game to that of the men’s, women’s football started to be taken seriously when players such as Steph Houghton and Jill Scott (both local Durham girls) became overnight stars. In 2011, the FA launched the Football Association’s Women’s Super League (FAWSL), a semi-professional league created to drive the women’s game forward and to enhance its public profile. Eighteen teams currently play in the top two divisions, and the league is now covered by BT Sport, with games frequently being televised on major channels. Since the FAWSL’s launch, match attendances have increased by more than 600%, and the viewing figures of televised matches are equal to those of men’s Scottish Premier League games. The advent of social media has al-
From the archives: Durham sport in 1966 Emily Beech With the football World Cup just around the corner, talk inevitably turns to 1966, the last time Englandclutched the World Cup trophy. A lot, of course, changes in 48 years; but what did it mean to be a student playing sport in Durham in 1966? By delving into the Palatinate archives I hoped to discover what was in store for those Palatinates enjoying post exam freedom in 1966. Student loans were a distant pros-
pect, the fresher intake for the whole university was just over 800 and most surprisingly of all, our DSU was believed a ‘very satisfying’ and aesthetically pleasing building. Many things of course remained the same. The public, state school divide was then a pressing issue as ever whilst about town the Mugwump shop down Saddler’s street was still open for business. As for sport, Durham were still dominating the river and looking forward towards a strong Henley performance. Cricket meanwhile offered no sur-
prises by having numerous matches abandoned due to apocalyptic downpours. Perhaps the biggest change was the strong emphasis on athletics which appears to have played a prominent role at Durham. Today, Team Durham is undoubtedly stronger in team events whilst athletics is not nearly as extensively promoted. The College Festival of Sport was part of every 60s student’s diary. Back then, the event lasted a week and consisted of a rather different sporting line up including swimming, fencing and even a spot of punting. The festival also hosted a six-a-side football competition which allowed visiting teams from the local area to compete. This led to, rather incredibly, the unexpected appearance of World Cup legend Bobby Charlton down at Maiden Castle the following year. It certainly made for fascinating reading, to observe how sport at Durham has developed into what is now a richly established university sport scene. The improved facilities, increased participation rate and expansion of opportunities for women in particular, have changed the face of college and university sport irrecoverably. However, it seems what has always remained is Durham’s unprecedented passionate thirst for sport.
lowed fans to get closer to their heroes than ever before, adding a new dimension to sport. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in women’s football, as fans turn to their social networking feeds for the latest news on the game. It has been found that fans of the women’s game are up to seven times more interactive than those of the men’s game. The Manchester City and England captain Steph Houghton currently has more than 36,000 followers on Twitter, and whilst this is only a slight proportion of the 1.4million followers of the men’s captain Vincent Kompany; Houghton’s public profile has exploded since her crucial goals for Team GB at the Olympics. Her name now adorns many a sky blue shirt as she has become a role model and hero for thousands of aspiring female footballers. Women’s football is also highly prolific here at Durham University. Both DUWAFC’s first and second
teams won their respective leagues this season, with the firsts going unbeaten throughout the season. The sport is also highly represented at college level, with sixteen teams playing weekly across the two leagues. As the media coverage and fan base of women’s football in the UK grows, it is unknown how popular the sport will become. Personally, I believe it is difficult to see it reaching the heights of the Premier League in the near future, but with the right investment and support, women’s football will continue to grow and prosper. Global companies such as McDonalds and Coca Cola are heavily involved in the sponsorship of the men’s game, and investment from such companies would certainly raise the public profile of women’s football. The women’s game needs to be treated as an equal to men’s football for it to reach the desired level.
SUMMER SPORT ROUND-UP ALUMNI ROWERS STAR IN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Many of our Alumni rowers represented Team GB in the Rowing European Championships that took place from 30th May to 1st June. Former law student Phil Congdon, who learnt to row at Durham, won bronze as part of the squad of nine that made up the men’s eight. Louisa Reeve won silver as part of the quad of nine that made up the women’s eight; this squad was coached by another alumnus James Harris. Meanwhile, Rob Morgan coached the men’s coxless four to one of Britain’s two gold medals. SUMMER OF CRICKETING SUCCESS CONTINUES
Our women’s cricket MCCU team won a thrilling encounter with Leeds Met at the end of May to ensure a Championship semi-final berth away at Exeter, ensuring another top four place for Durham in the 2013/14 season. Durham restricted Leeds Met to 152 all out but got off to a very difficult start in the batting falling to 10 for 3. However, an excellent middle order batting recovery ensured a six wicket win for the Palatinates. The men’s seconds secured a win over Newcastle 1st team. Durham bowled well, restricting their opposition to 106. Unfortunately, the Palatinate response got off to a dreadful start as they fell to 5 for 3 and 46 for 6 until
a seventh wicket stand secured the win for Durham. This victory ensured their place in Premier B for next year. They sit in fourth place out of seven teams, having played six matches, three of which they have won. They have a run rate of 0.536. The men’s thirds won against the University of Central Lancashire to stay joint top of their table. Durham scored 206 in their allotted overs and despite a strong start of 33 off 3 UCLAN fell 44 runs short of their target. They lead the way in their league of six teams, having won both of their matches to date and a run rate of 3.12. COLLEGE ROUNDERS AND TENNINS SEASONS IN FULL-FLOW
In rounders, Collingwood A, St. Aidan’s A and Grey A all top the Premiership while Collingwood C top Division 1 having won all four of their matches. In tennis, Mary’s A top Premiership Pool A, Cuths and Hild Bede top Premiership Pool B whilst Division 1 Pools A and B are led by Cuths B and Johns A and Hild Bede B respectively. BUCS TRIATHLON EVENT
Despite it being a few comeptitors’ first open water swim Durham had a successful day with three athletes posting a top 100 finish including an impressive 13th in the women’s race.
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Team Durham launch ‘Moment in Time’ plaques at Maiden Castle
Emily Beech On the 11th June Durham’s “A Moment in Time” plaques were officially unveiled down at Maiden Castle. The wall, which can be found at the entrance to the main building at the university’s sport complex, has room for around 300 plaques to be placed in honour of sporting heroes, past and present, involved with Team Durham. There has perhaps never been a more fitting time than to begin the wall, since this year has seen the most succesful BUCS campaign in Team Durham’s recent history. Durham is now the best university in the country for team sport and second overall behind Loughborough. One tenth of the wall is currently filled and has already paid homage to legendary Palatinates such
as Gabby Logan, Andrew Strauss and Will Greenwood. However, the plaques also honour the more unsung heroes at the University such as DURFC coach and President Fergus King, who has been a key component to the club’s success over the past fifteen years. Steven Brown, who has worked for Team Durham for more than 40 years, and former professional cricketer Tim O’Gorman, who impressively represented the University in rugby, hockey and cricket at 1st team level, have also made the wall. ‘A Moment in Time’ also celebrates those who have aided Team Durham in their journey up the BUCS rankings, such as the physiotherapy clinic Connect Sports Injury, the MCC and Regional Fencing. Vice Chancellor Christopher Higgins, who was invited to unveil the wall, called it an “enormous pleasure.”
In his speech the VC congratulated the Team Durham programme for going from “strength to strength”. Indeed Team Durham has gone from being renowned in only a limited number of sports to dominating across the board. Higgins was keen to stress how this achievement was even more impressive considering the modest facilities Durham offers in comparison to rivals Loughborough and Bath. “Education at Durham is more than just getting your degree,” Higgins continued, “it is about acquiring skills such as communication and leadership which can be homed on the sports field.” Over the next three years the remaining nine tenths of the wall should become filled with even more successful and invaluable members of the Team Durham family, in order to add to Durham’s continuing success story.
tivity. “It also has been a bit surreal, but I realise that this is what I want to do – to train as an elite athlete.” McAllister-Jepps expressed the same feeling. “I woke up one morning for training and realised this is my job now. I am a full-time athlete.” The Girls4Gold training scheme is part of UK Sport’s vast sporting development programme that seeks to uncover talented athletes across the United Kingdom. Working with the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations and the English Institute of Sport, UK Sport conducts trainings camps and national trials in a number of sports across the country. UK Sport produces nearly half of all Great Britain Olympians. Lizzy Yarnold, the skeleton gold medallist of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, is a product of UK Sport. The programme is looking to develop world-class talent in canoeing and kayaking for Great Britain, and two Durham University students have the opportunity to set the standard in the sports. Both McAllister-Jepps and Winyard applied “out of curiosity” for the training scheme before Christmas 2013. They were among 700 other applicants across the country. Within five months thus far, those 700 applicants were whittled down to just twelve, with McAllister-Jepps and Winyard two of those. They have just returned from a six-week training camp. McAllister-Jepps and Winyard had never met until the third phase of training, when then they were
among 26 other applicants. They both have found it very nice having a teammate from the same university. “We get along so well, it’s nice to have someone from Durham University to share experiences and interests with,” Winyard said. She and McAllister-Jepps added that they and the other ten trainees all get along very well and share a friendly and competitive friendship. Though they are now training in canoeing and kayaking, McAllisterJepps and Winyard both come from different sporting backgrounds. McAllister-Jepps, a 2013 graduate and a member of St John’s College, rowed with the Durham University Boat Club and was an integral part of the club’s numerous successes. She has long had aspirations of succeeding at a high level as a rower, but she now finds herself and her talents adjusted to a different kind of boating sport. “When I first started the process, I was looking for something to do outside of my regular training as a rower whilst home [in Putney],” she said. “I started this to find out what they [UK Sport] were looking for. As the scheme went on, I found myself becoming more competitive. I was wanting to prove I can do this sport.” McAllister-Jepps described the training phases as “intensive”. They were put through a number of technical and strength training exercises, including several “hideous” endurance tests. Their performances were constantly monitored and evaluated by coaches. At one particular phase, she recalled, the applicants were
Photograph: Emily Beech
Promising potential to turn Tokyo 2020 Palatinate John van Vliet Most of us never reach our full potential because we do not make the most of the opportunities presented to us. Sometimes, we say no to an opportunity because it may take us to somewhere unfamiliar, different and apart from our comfort zone. This certainly is not the case for two Durham University studentathletes who have jumped at the opportunity they were not expecting, in order to find what their full potential could be. For them, it’s a new path to the same old goal. Emilia McAllister-Jepps and Taylor Winyard seized their opportunity, one that could transform them into Great Britain Olympians, earlier this year. Both have been selected to undergo an intensive training scheme called Girls4Gold, funded by UK Sport. They will be trained in sprint canoeing and kayaking, two relatively new sports for Great Britain, in hopes of representing the nation in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Not only is the sport new to Great Britain but it is also new for McAllister-Jepps and Winyard. They have embarked on a transformational road neither of them ever thought they would be on, but both are now cherishing every moment and are striving for excellence. “This entire experience has been absolutely unbelievable,” remarked Winyard, a third-year student studying Sport, Exercise and Physical Ac-
lined up while coaches observed their biomechanics and physical build. “It was a little bit like being in a science experiment,” she said. The transition from traditional rowing to canoeing or kayaking has required adjustments in how McAllister-Jepps applies her power and technique.
“Before Christmas if someone said this was going to happen, I would not believe them”
“Rowing was a good fit for me because I could use my power,” she said. “But it wasn’t a sport where I could go far because the talent pool is quite large in the country. I now have this door open for me in these sports.” Winyard, too, is grateful for this new sporting pursuit. She has had to take a more drastic transition to the sports of canoeing and kayaking. The Scotland native grew up playing hockey and representing Scotland in Pony Club Tetrathlon (running, swimming, horse riding and shooting). She only had one year of rowing during her first year at Castle before applying for UK Sport’s training scheme. “Even though this is an entirely
new sport, we have progressed so quickly,” she said. “Part of the reason why we were chosen was because we have the ability to change and learn a new sport.” Winyard has an additional challenge of finishing her final undergraduate exams at Durham University. “It has been a little stressful balancing exams with training. Training has had to take a slight backseat for now. But my department has been so good to me. They have been very helpful.” Winyard added, with a laugh, that she is leaning towards kayaking, because she has fallen out the canoe a number of times. The next stage for the two is to compete in national trials in September. They both aspire to finish high at the top of the rankings, which will progress them forward in training. Within a few years, they hope to land a spot on the senior national team and compete in competitions worldwide before reaching the targeted 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. As they progress, they will be selected to either canoeing or kayaking, whichever they perform best in. For now, the two are extremely grateful and proud to be in this process. “Before Christmas, if someone said this was all going to happen, I would not believe them,” Winyard said. “Now, I want it more and more.” “When I used to think about how Olympians got to where they are, it was hard for me to conceptualise that,” added McAllister-Jepps. “All of sudden, being an Olympian has become tangible. It’s quite life changing.”
PALATINATE | Thursday 19th June 2014
Palatinate Ball signs off a record-breaking year for Team Durham
Rugby girls Meg Ellery (left) and Victoria Stahle (right) show off their awards
Dominic Thurlow-Wood A week last Wednesday, all of Durham’s finest sportsmen and women descended on Ramside Hall Hotel for the annual Palatinate Ball, a celebration of all Palatinates’ sporting success throughout the university year. In addition to highlighting the achievement of every athlete, there were many individual and team awards which help to make this
Photograph: Paula Dunne
event a special part of Team Durham’s year. For many Palatinates, the evening began with a customary aperitif at The Swan; however the evening began in earnest with Dr Peter Warburton’s speech and the award of three special accolades. Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins was awarded with a honourary Palatinate in reflection of his sustained support for all of Durham’s sports stars. There were also awards for Gerald Blake and Chris
Lomas who have worked tirelessly for many years to aid the continuing success of many of Durham’s athletes. Following on from these prestigious awards there was recognition for those students who have represented their sport at a high level whilst at Durham and also for those who have given a great deal of time and effort to their University club. Half Palatinates were awarded to Ben Douglas (Athletics and Cross-
by a week in comparison to last year. It is also very likely that Murray, as usual, will have to overcome some opponents of titanic proportion such as Nadal, Djokovic or Federer. However, it must not be forgotten that the Scotsman is the only player out of that illustrious group to have made the semi-final every year for the past five years. Indeed, last year Wimbledon proved particularly unpredictable as both Nadal and Federer shocked tennis fans around the globe by being knocked out in the opening rounds. As for Murray’s new coach Amelie Mauresmo, I was pleasantly surprised to hear of his decision to appoint the past Wimbledon champion. Although it is a shame that Ivan Llendl parted company, Mauresmo
is an excellent player on grass and therefore an ideal replacement.
Sport country), Tom Kearns (Athletics and Cross-country), Clemens Chay (Badminton), Grace Ollivent (Badminton), Jennifer Shelley (Badminton), Jamie Gossage (Boats), Catherine Lough (Boats), Oscar Richards (Boats), Abbie Creswell (Canoe), Mark Ledger (Canoe), Hannah Singleton (Cricket), Elysa Hubbard (Cricket/Lacrosse/ Ski and Snowboard), Daniel Bryant (Cycling), Edward Stroud (Fencing), Josh Addinall (Football/Futsal), Spencer Brown (Football), Oliver Gill (Football), Kyriacos Pittalis (Football), Jeremy Morgan (Golf), Alex Williams (Golf), and Sarah Mack (Gymnastics and Trampolining). There were also a number of students who received the honour of a full Palatinate award, which, again, recognises a sustained commitment to a University club. In addition to this commitment, recipients of the full Palatinate have also achieved the impressive feat of representing at international level in their sports. Recipients included Anna Tyndall (Boats). Camilla Hadland (Boats), Freddie Van Den Bergh (Cricket), Will Bettle (Fencing), Mark Galloway (Hockey), Katie Evans (Lacrosse), Lucy Butt (Orienteering), Julian Aquilina (Rugby Fives), Simon Hammersley (Rugby Union), Sean Robinson (Rugby Union), Sophie Lee (Rugby Union), Jonathan Binding (Tennis). Throughout the evening speakers including the aforementioned Dr Peter Warburton and also Quentin Sloper who emphasised the importance of the team ethic of Team Durham and how this factor would enable Durham University to continue their remarkable rise up the BUCS rankings and eventually improve on the hat-trick of 2nd place finishes which has culminated in the highest points total in Durham’s history this year. The significance of team spirit was again underlined in two of the night’s Sporting Excellence awards, with Club of the Year and Team of the Year. With so many success stories this season, it will have been incredibly difficult to choose winners for these prizes, however they were deserv-
edly received by the Canoes Club and Women’s Volleyball 1st team respectively. However, with World Cup fever currently gripping the nation, it is easy to see that every great team benefits from starring individuals and this is no different at Durham. This year, six esteemed awards were given to the sportsmen and women who have excelled themselves throughout the year either for their clubs or in individual competitions. The newly created Director of Sport Award was received by Will Bettle (Fencing) and Alex Bion (Water Polo) and recognises the greatest contribution to University sport this year. Lizzie Chapman was awarded the prize of Volunteer of the Year within the valuable Experience Durham programme and Victoria Stahle (Rugby Union) received the award for her contribution to college sport. Dan Bruce (Football) who has officiated regularly on a university and college level picked up the Official of the Year award. The final awards of the night were arguably two of the most important. The Sportsman of the Year award went to the fencer Patrick Kjellevold who won an individual BUCS gold medal earlier in the year and helped the 1st team to a resounding league win. The Sportswoman of the Year award went to Clara Chau Hai Qing (Table Tennis) who has been the outstanding performer with Durham’s Table Tennis team this year. It was fitting that a night of sporting celebration was brought to an end by these awards which proved that commitment to the club and the volunteering of time were intertwined with success on the field in Durham’s accomplishments this year. A special mention must go to the outgoing Team Durham President Hannah Lowther for her hosting of the event and the Team Durham staff and students who contributed to a fine season and excellent evening. Everyone will be hoping for more of the same next year.
Outside of the big names, meanwhile, Wawrinka, who obtained his first grand slam at the Australian Open, should make a better showing than he did in the French Open since he is usually much better on grass. Last year we saw the Polish Janowicz cause a huge upset in reaching the semis along with my favourite player Del Potro. The two players who harbor the potential to replicate such runs this time round could be Bernard Tomic and Ernests Gulbis. Tomic has shown a lot of promise in recent years at Wimbledon but I think Gulbis has a much better chance on the back of a fabulous display in the French, showing he is clearly in much better form than Tomic. A fantastic character, Gulbis is great to watch so to see him do well
would be more than welcome. As for the women’s game, the British prospects, due to the absence of Laura Robson, look fairly bleak. Robson’s career has perhaps been a strange affair, as she has experienced success at the US Open and Wimbledon getting to the fourth round in each but unfortunately, apart from those runs, she regularly struggles to compete with the best. She is certainly old enough now to compete for titles. Realistically, it seems unlikely that she will ever reach a point in her career where she will be consistently progressing out of the third and fourth rounds in grand slam tournaments, but of course, in sport, there are few certainties.
Wimbledon set to be tougher than ever for Murray Harry Morgan Considering that in the last 25 years only Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, two of the greatest ever grass players, have been able to retain their Wimbledon title; Murray’s chances of retaining that coveted trophy are slim. Not only this, but Murray’s premature departure from Queen’s over a week ago now, implies he may not be able to execute a smooth transition from clay to grass this year. Grass and clay are two such contrasting surfaces that Murray needs all the time he can get out on court. Yet for Andy, the time between his first Wimbledon match and his last French Open game has been reduced
“Murray’s chances of retaining that coveted trophy are slim”
Murray certainly needs a good coaching staff behind him in order to compete with the likes of Boris Becker who is currently mentoring Djokovic or the “Djoker” as some fans are now affectionately calling him. For this reason, although many would tip Rafael Nadal, Djokovic must be the favourite this year.
Thursday 19th June 2014 | PALATINATE
Durham in 1966
How did sport at Durham compare in England’s World Cup Year? p. 17
Girls for Gold
Palatinate introduces two students aiming for Tokyo 2020 p. 18
An in depth look at the annual celebration of University sport p. 19
Team Durham PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
College lacrosse players compete for the ball during last week’s College Festival of Sport
Photograph: Emma Werner
Van Mildert win College Festival of Sport Emily Beech
With glorious sunshine and music to accompany what was a busy schedule of fixtures, the annual College Festival of Sport was undeniably a success. Bigger than last year with the addition of rounders and athletics, the tournament saw students kick, shoot and race for college glory. It was Van Mildert who signed off a successful year of College Sport by taking the overall title despite only winning one event in women’s basketball whilst claiming the women’s rugby trophy in partnership with Josephine Butler. Colleges that followed, however, were perhaps a little more surprising, with colleges such as St John’s and St Aidan’s performing above and beyond what was expected. Larger colleges, renowned for their sport meanwhile such as St Cuthbert’s and Hatfield finished rather disappointingly, for them at least, mid way down the table. Yet, despite St John’s making the podium for the event overall, the Bailey college failed to be crowned
champions of any event. Similarly Grey, who finished 4th, were unable to overcome every opponent. Perhaps the surprising results were due to the superior organisation of some of the colleges who were then more able to put out stronger sides. If so, such efforts may prove to be lucrative in the future considering the results collated at the College Festival of Sport contribute to the overall points table for the year.
It’s official: Aidan’s badger is fastest mascot on campus.
On the track, it was Hild Bede who proved the most prolific as they claimed the men’s 800m, 400m, women’s 400m and 4x100m relay. Whilst it was Grey who took home the men’s 100m final and Castle the men’s 4x100m relay; it was the St Aidan’s badger who was triumphantly crowned the fastest mascot
over 100m. Indeed, St Aidan’s won the most events out of all the colleges including netball, rounders, canoe, women’s 800m and men’s football 7s. The latter was a closely fought affair as the men from the Hill only managed to claim victory after penalties against a Hatfield side who have had a terrific season. John Snow were the only Stockton college to win an event by claiming the mixed lacrosse title. Collingwood, unsurprisingly were more fruitful as they came out on top in badminton, men’s rugby, men’s cricket and men’s basketball. In the final hours of the day St Chad’s won the mixed hockey 7s tournament thanks to some solid performances from their university players. However, with university players and a keeper in the St Chad’s squad this result was always going to be the case against a keeperless St Aidan’s 7. A thank you must be paid to all those who helped organise and run the event, in particular Tom Newman and the Festival volunteers who galantly stood in to run the hockey tourment.
1. Mildert 2. St Aidan’s 3. John’s 4. Grey 5. Butler 6. Collingwood 7. Hild Bede 8. Hatfield 9. Cuth’s 10. Castle 11. Trevs 12. Mary’s 13. Chad’s 14. John Snow 15. Ustinov 16. Stephenson
507 434 372 341 334 334 266 240 214 197 122 120 118 64 42 0
Want more sport? Find us online at www.palatinate. org.uk
follow us @palatiSPORT
The final Palatinate edition and my final column as your Team Durham President. The sporting calendar has been hectic this week. 1,700 students represented their college on Tuesday at the Festival of Sport. The atmosphere was electric, heavily aided by Purple Radio’s presence. Seventeen different sports tournaments took place and the competition ended with a sports day style event on the track. I would like to congratulate Tom Newman, College Sport Manager, the College Sports Officers and our group of volunteers for ensuring the event was a success. Tom Newman and I were privileged to attend the St Cuthbert’s Sports and Societies Formal that evening. It was wonderful to celebrate the success of our college athletes through the presentation of college colours. It is thanks to you that we run the largest intramural sports programme in the world; an impressive statistic. Wednesday began with the Zambia Cup where University hockey, netball, lacrosse, rugby and football competed against each other for the satisfaction of being named the best all round club. Wednesday also saw the launch of our Moment in Time campaign, inviting those with fond memories of Durham sport to sponsor a plaque as a record. In the evening, the Annual Palatinate Dinner at Ramside Hall gave us the opportunity to celebrate our collective seasons’ success and present some individual sporting excellence awards. Final thanks must got to my Vice-Presidents; Sophie Bingham, Alex Bion, Tom Kearns and Kyri Pittalis who have supported me all year. Congratulations to all students who have participated in Durham sport, whether at college or university level. Our programme continues to strengthen. Thank you for electing me as President and giving me this opportunity. It has been an honour to represent you and I wish Beth Barratt the best of luck as she leads you next year. We are Palatinates, we are Team Durham.