The problem with 38 week college room lets Palatinate, Comment, 13
James McQuillan: Apprentice joker
PALATINATE Palatinate, Profile, 11
The official student newspaper of Durham Students’ Union since 1948
Tuesday 22nd February 2011 | Edition 727 | www.palatinate.org.uk | FREE
Wikileaks reveals University’s relationship with US and Iran DURHAM UNIVERSITY
‘Experience Durham’ takes shape
Palatinate investigates the controversial proposals which will have an impact on the way student societies are run in the future Page 3
We bring you unrivalled coverage of the fallout around revelations that Durham University has received substantial funding from the U.S. State departmentin return for running seminars on Iran Page 4
Durham receives £4m research grant
The funding is to be used to research what makes our Universe tick and to critically analyse theories developed by Durham academics Page 5
The School of Government and International Affairs is at the heart of the cable’s revelations, with several department members named by diplomats Daniel Johnson & Jack Battersby
recently released Wikileaks cable has revealed that Durham University has received substantial funding from the U.S. State Department for a series of projects aimed at gathering intelligence on Iran. The cable suggests that the University received over $400,000 from the US for running a series of seminars “under the auspices of Durham University’s School of Governmental Affairs.” The cable dates from April 2008 and emphasises the usefulness of Durham’s ties with high-ranking Iranian officials as “political cover” for the projects. Originally posted as part of the Telegraph’s ongoing release of U.S Embassy Cables, it has since been removed from their website. Current members of the School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) have been named in the cable. According to the cable, sourced from the U.S. Embassy in London, it appears that these seminars were used as a plat-
form for offering “U.S. and USG (U.S Government) observers a useful look inside Iranian politics at a grassroots level.” The document alleges that Durham has “networks within Iranian academia and unofficial policy circles,” including Hesamuddin Ashena who is linked to the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps), a branch of Iran’s military founded to prevent internal dissidence and uprising. In November 2007, Ashena then became a spokesman for the Iranian National Security Council. It is believed that the University has held a number workshops and seminars with the dual purpose of bringing over reform-minded Iranian students, as well as government officials. The cable states: “Durham University’s demonstrated access to academic and civil institutions, reinforced by Dr. Pedram’s apparently successful creation of political cover with IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran] authorities for Iranian participants, gives this proposal the
strongest prospects of broad, meaningful Iranian participation given the restrictive current political conditions in Iran.” Another seminar on 24 February, “Middle Eastern Ethnicities: Defining Terms”, will also be funded by the U.S. State Department, the University has confirmed. One academic said the funding source was questionable and that people needed to know about it. “Providing transparency is the least Durham University could do to maintain its academic standards.” The Durham University Governance Initiative (DGI), which is running the seminar in SGIA, has promised three prominent speakers and invited UK and foreign PhD students to take part. It is believed that those taking part are unaware of the source of funding. A Durham University spokesman said: “The university was under no obligation to declare its sources of funding for this event to delegates. “The funding received from the US
government is administrative in nature and there is no sponsorship or branding in place.” It remains University policy to strongly advise students and academics against all travel to Iran. “Durham University does not wish to impose a blanket ‘ban’ on travel to Iran or to override any academic consideration which may be given to proposals to travel to this region. “However, we would like to take this opportunity to stress some of the sensitivities around travel to Iran for Durham members at this time and to clarify that the University is currently unable to sanction travel insurance for any University member wishing to travel to this country.” Have an opinion on the issue? Want to see the embassy cable in full? Visit www.palatinate.org.uk to voice your opinions.
>> Comment p15 for our debate on the revelations
Oxbridge look set to raise tuition fees to £9,000 a year
Leading Universities are quickly confirming that they will be charging the maximum amount in order to maintain academic standards, but Durham is yet to show its hand Page 6
indigo Cover story: The Vaccines
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Editorial Favourites, letters, corrections and editorial Editorial
PALATINATE From the archives: 5 February 1981 Contents 22.02.2011 No. 727
PALATINATE News pages 3-5 News Features pages 6-7 Careers pages 8- 9 Profile page 11 Comment page 12-15 Sport pages 17-20
indigo Reviews page 2
Cover Story page 3
“Tonight there will be a work-in in the science library in protest at the government’s proposals to implement a loans system for students.” Palatinate rallied behind the cause, urging students to spend time at the library between 10pm Thursday and 10pm Friday in support of national action against cuts: “Students are asked to adhere to library rules prohibiting food and smoking, although refreshments will be provided on the Science Site.” “All of the DSU Exec. and a couple of university policemen will be on duty throughout the night.” Senior library staff were said to be “not keen” on the proposed action.
Features pages 4-5 Food & Drink page 6 Travel indigo, page 7 Fashion pages 8-9 Film & TV page 10 Visual Arts page 11 Stage pages 12-13 Music page 14 Books page 15 Games & Photography page 16
www.palatinate.org.uk/tv Religious fanatics Features indigo, page 5
How to spot the tell-tale signs
Cage aux Folles
A look behind the scenes at Kingsman Productions’ latest musical venture.
Come Dine With Me
Four Durhamites compete to see who can host the best dinner party.
Fashion indigo, pages 8-9
Tom Ford: a man’s designer
Because men like nice clothes too...
DSU sabbatical elections: the husts
Watch candidates as they compete for your support in the 2011 ballot.
Forget Newcastle, we take a look at what Durham can offer the fashion-conscious student
Comment Palatinate, page 13
College room rent
‘Durham rejoins...’ (p6 & 7, #726)
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Sam Roseveare campaigned in an individual capacity only. The DSU had no official stance on the referendum and did not intervene on behalf of any side.
How fair are the University’s latest proposals?
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PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Durham News In focus: Experience Durham
‘Experience Durham’ takes shape
DSU President’s Column Sam Roseveare
Palatinate investigates a new initiative which has taken many student societies by surprise GETTY IMAGES
The announcement by the University has received mixed reactions to say the least, with many questioning why there has been so little consultation with student-led societies Hannah Shaddock
tudents and societies across the University have been responding to plans to introduce ‘Experience Durham’, an initiative which would coordinate cultural extra-curricular activities across the University. The ‘Experience Durham’ brand has already been informally launched and can be seen on some pages of the University’s website, promoting events and activities across music, art, and drama. Official reorganisation is yet to begin, but the initiative is soon to be unveiled, with those behind it seeking to establish it within the academic year. The programme aims to unify student groups and societies across the University, in the model of Team Durham, which has been highly successful in promoting Durham as one of the best sporting universities in the country. The plans, directed by Dr Peter Warburton, who is currently Director of Sport with Team Durham, hope to increase the profile of the rest of Durham’s extra-curricular activities, beginning with the introduction of three new sabbatical positions, for drama, music, and student media. Also intended as a long-term objective of the initiative is the construction of a ‘Student Experience Arena’, a multipurpose facility which would be based in Durham and act as a venue for large scale music, drama and sporting events. The ‘Experience Durham’ section of the University website currently features just some of many student organisations, with a focus on Student Community Action and Durham Student Theatre as two of the first societies to come under the ‘Experience Durham’ brand. A report detailing the plans was re-
leased in December, and described the main aim of ‘Experience Durham’ as “to create an environment in which everyone can reach their full potential and to maximise the University’s contribution in enriching communities both locally and around the world”. The report also includes an emphasis on increasing volunteering within the community by both staff and students, as well as improving the University’s current scholarship programme for arts students in order to attract the most talented young people from across the country, using an improved programme as a “recruitment tool”. However, the ‘Experience Durham’ plans have come under scrutiny, the
Mixed opinions: It sounds good, but I’m not entirely sure what it means or the effects it will have. Emma Jarvis, Durham Oxfam Their [the University’s] vision might not be the students’ vision. The plans may mean that students have no opportunity to shape how the future [of their society] looks. James Hubbard, SCA ‘Experience Durham’ aims to make students more rounded, more dynamic, more confident and ultimately more employable and as such, more likely to succeed in their lives and careers. Durham University There must be full consultation with students so as to ensure that nothing is imposed without the student voice being heard. Kristina Hagen, DSU
speed with which the scheme has been introduced and the lack of detailed information about the initiative provoking concern from some areas of the student body, particularly from the more prominent student-led groups and societies. Student Community Action is one of the first to be informally incorporated into ‘Experience Durham’. President James Hubbard spoke with Palatinate about his reservations, mentioning that there was “no consultation at any point” during the planning process. Concern has also arisen over the lack of communication between the University and students over the plans. Emma Jarvis, from Durham’s Oxfam group, likened the plans to David Cameron’s concept of the ‘Big Society’, saying “it sounds good, but I’m not entirely sure what it means or the effects it will have. “I’m not sure what the ramifications of this change would be and am quite ignorant about the whole programme, which I think is disappointing as there should be greater consultation with parties involved that will be affected by these changes”. Questions are also being asked about the effects of such a scheme, particularly as so many extra-curricular activities are co-ordinated within colleges, which are not directly included in the plans. However, the official report which outlines the proposals does mention gaining the support and co-operation of colleges as an important step. Additionally, there is little reference to academic societies, which are the some of the largest student groups in the University. One response by a prominent academic society said that such groups were “entirely ignored”, and highlighted the possibility that “funding, support and prestige would be targeted at other societies”.
The report detailing the proposals gives some information about the kind of changes societies would have to make, with a greater focus being placed on what they can provide to their members, through the introduction of “development plans” and closer interaction with the University staff. This is, however, one of the more contentious areas, as many of Durham’s most successful and well-known student groups pride themselves on their independence from the University. James Hubbard of SCA voiced concern at the possibility of increased University involvement, speaking of the possibility that “their vision might not be the students’ vision”.
The number of societies currently affiliated to the DSU
The official report declares that ‘Experience Durham’ aims to make students “more rounded, more dynamic, more confident and ultimately more employable and as such, more likely to succeed in their lives and careers”. Societies have welcomed the idea that the achievements of Durham’s cultural societies will be as widely recognised and promoted as those of their sporting counterparts. It is also hoped that a greater co-ordination of extra-curricular activities will attract the most talented students - and staff - to Durham. The DSU are working closely with the ‘Experience Durham’ team, carrying out a thorough consultation process, with the DSU’s Societies and Student Development Officer, Kristina Hagen collating the responses of the 190 societies which would be affected by the plans, to be presented to the Student Experience Sub-Committee.
Yesterday, I had the first meeting of the Nominations Committee for the new Chancellor. As it hasn’t really happened yet, I can only speculate how the meeting went. The list of nominations is impressive, both in terms of names but also volume submitted. It’s an eclectic Who’s who for the 21st century, (and in some parts the 20th century, as some have disregarded a value that hasn’t been articulated anywhere, but is rather necessary; vitality). One thing is clear. We’ve got some good suggestions, and we’ll get a good Chancellor. Towards the end of the week is the oSCArs, the award ceremony where the achievements of student volunteers, both within and without SCA are recognised. SCA, in my opinion, is one of the best assets this University has, and I am looking forward to seeing students rightly recognised for the hours of work they put in for community groups across Durham City and County. I’d also like to commend Palatinate in this column, despite their unflattering photos of me, and what I’d regard as infallible memories when they dutifully report my words, which are sometimes (often) regrettable. I think there have been, over the course of the last academic year (and I will write this at the end of the year as well), some really excellent, well-researched pieces. They really do, along with The Bubble demonstrate what great student journalism looks like. In case you feel that my column has been somehow hijacked by the hacks, I’m going to relentlessly return back to message. Dutifully, I should also tell you that the National Student Survey is still underway, and is accessible here http://www. thestudentsurvey.com/. It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of this survey, and the impact it has both on a national and a local level, so make sure you get your voices heard. I understand different Colleges are offering different incentives… The elections will be in full swing by now, and you’ll have hopefully be canvassed by at least one of the candidates. If you have a look at https:// www.dur.ac.uk/student.elections/ dsu/, you’ll be able to see manifestos, husts and all kinds of material to better inform your vote. I’d urge you to consider your options carefully – we’ve had record-breaking turnout this year, and it would be great to see similar numbers voting in this one. Finally, as we look ahead, it’s important to reflect on the big issues in the coming weeks. The Student Charter, a key document in University Policy, is going to be articulated and pulled together in the next few weeks and months. The landscape, to use a well-worn phrase, has changed, and as we look ahead to the relationship between student and University, then we have to consider how it will look, and what it will mean. Other Universities have announced how much they will be charging. Durham’s conversations are still on-going, as the decision is submitted to a high-level of scrutiny and thought. Watch this space…
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PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
News Durham Wikileaks revelations
The best of the comments from palatinate.org.uk
“It seems a terrible shame that Durham University is turning the way of all big business. Corrupt, greedy and morally bankrupt.” - Chris McQuillan
Former academic avoids extradition Sarah Ingrams
A former Durham University academic’s extradition has been delayed for political reasons, a leaked US diplomatic cable obtained by The Northern Echo reveals. Accused of plotting to smuggle military equipment to Iran, Nostratollah Tajik’s expulsion from the UK may have been delayed to avoid disrupting sensitive nuclear talks with Iran, according to the cable released by Wikileaks. But this is at odds with ministerial statements passed to the House of Lords four months after the cable was sent. Allegedly, the extradition was simply a judicial process and the only consideration was whether Mr Tajik’s human rights would be breached. A former member of staff at Durham University’s Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Mr Tajik was arrested at his home in Coxhoe, Durham in 2006, following an undercover string operation by US agents posing as arms dealers. The US government wanted to extradite Mr Tajik, Iranian ambassador to Jordan from 1999 to 2003, on the basis of allegations that he had tried to buy army night-vision goggles to export illegally to Iran. Mr Tajik’s lawyers denied any terrorist connections. They used all legal avenues to block his extradition until October 2008 when they argued that Mr Tajik’s heart problems meant he was too ill to leave the country. And Mr Tajik remains on bail as Home Secretaries repeatedly have not approved his extradition. The leaked cable suggests that political considerations have caused the delay. Originally prepared for Washington by the US Embassy in London in October 2009, the cable came ahead of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s visit to London for talks with Gordon Brown. It was intended to pinpoint topics likely to be discussed. In a section on Iran, it states: “UK officials may also raise the issue of Nosratollah Tajik”. “Tajik has exhausted all judicial appeals in the UK and all that stands in the way of the extradition is approval by the Home Secretary”. “Before approving the extradition, the UK wants to be sure the timing is right and will not interfere with our joint efforts [...] to engage with Iran”. Spokesmen for the US Embassy in London and the Home Office refused to comment on the cables. This revelation is the latest in a series of Wikileaks exposures about Durham University’s connections with Iran.
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www.palatinate.org.uk “I personally feel that this is a spectacular way of moving past cuts imposed by our own government and finding funding elsewhere.” - Anonymous
“Helping Iranian and USA politicians understand each other better sounds like quite a good thing too.” - Kevin
Wikileaks shines a light on Durham’s ‘research’ projects Daniel Johnson & Jack Battersby
.S. Government secret funding, Wikileaks embassy cables and gathering information on and promoting democracy in Iran are not usually things that are associated with the Durham bubble. However, when an anonymous reader e-mailed Palatinate on Friday 4th February making us aware of the cable, the bizarre became reality. Originally, the cable was published on The Daily Telegraph website as part of their ongoing release of U.S. Embassy cables. However, within the space of two days, there was no sign of the cable. When Palatinate called the Telegraph
news desk, they were unable to tell us anything about the their decision to take it down. It is unclear how long this has been University practice. In spite of their denial of any wrongdoing, it is unlikely that any of the participants in the seminars were aware of how the seminars were funded, raising serious questions over transparency and student welfare. In spite of our almost daily requests, no-one from the University has been made available to talk to Palatinate about the story. What has become clear, however, is that a number of senior academics within the University have fostered extremely close ties with both the U.S State Department and high ranking
academics, clerics, journalists and officials in Iran. Dr Ali M. Pedram, Director of the Durham University Governance Initiative (DGI), the body responsible for
How much Durham is believed to have received from the U.S. State Department for the seminars
organising the seminars, is frequently mentioned in the cable. He is described in the transcript as ‘a key Embassy London contact’, and is behind at least five of the proposals de-
Former Durham academic Dr. Molavi was released from Iranian prison last month, after conflicting reports regarding his whereabouts Daniel Johnson & Rowena Caine
Dr Reza Molavi, former director of the Centre for Iranian Studies (CIS), is believed to have been released from Iranian jail roughly a month ago, but there remains confusion about his arrest. According to friends of Dr Molavi, who wish to remain anonymous, it is believed that he was held in solitary confinement. He was arrested at the Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran in April 2010. Reports suggest that he is suffered from several physical illnesses in prison. A Durham University spokesperson said: “Dr Molavi was an honorary research fellow of the School of Government and International Affairs
and a College tutor at the University. His role included acting as a director of Durham University’s Centre for Iranian Studies. Dr Molavi resigned from these posts with effect from May 2010 having earlier returned to Iran for family reasons. “The University was made aware last year of Dr Molavi’s arrest in Tehran and continues to maintain contact with Dr Molavi’s family”. Dr Molavi made several TV appearances during the 2009 Iranian presidential elections and wrote an article in The Independent. In an article published in June 2009, Molavi wrote: “The official result of the Iranian election has left Iranians as well as Iran-watchers in the West baffled, disgusted and bewil-
dered. Perhaps from the start, however, Mirhossein Mousavi was destined to fail”. He was also involved in the last controversy over accepting money from Iran, when CIS received £5,000 to run a seminar in Durham, which invited a number of pro-regime speakers to the University. It is believed that Dr Molavi returned to Iran after his mother passed away, and he was due to take up an academic post in Iran around the time of his arrest. A friend of Molavi informed Palatinate that they believe he was set up in some way. Molavi is now currently in Tehran with his wife, but confusion remains over the circumstances surrounding his arrest.
tailed in the cable. Dr Anoush Ehteshami, Durham University Dean of Internationalisation and a member of the Centre for Iranian Studies, has fostered a close relationship with ‘Poloff’, a so-called “Iran Watcher” for the United States. It is not entirely clear how many of these seminars took place, but they appear to have been varied in their nature and purpose. The seminars come under a U.S. programme entitled: “Iran: Democracy Small Grants Proposals Recommended For Funding”, and so a number of the events are aimed at promoting reform in Iran by bringing over students “from some of Iran’s leading (and, by definition, socially and politically conservative) seminaries”. Other projects were aimed at “the convening in Durham of a number of Iranian local officials, from municipal councils and other locally-elected (vice centrally-appointed), sub national bodies in Iran”. The University denies any accusations of wrongdoing, insisting that the seminars are in line with ethical research practices. Opinion amongst the student body remains divided. Some have been deeply critical of the University for the lack of transparency surrounding the projects. One comment on the Palatinate website said: “Transparency and strong ethics are what’s needed, not more secrecy and poor decision making”. Others have accepted that this kind of funding is not only valuable, but is simply part of the modern day international relations. “And the University of Durham receiving funding from the US State Dept in order to conduct research into aspects of Iranian socio-cultural and political life is wrong how, exactly? If it allows the West a window into the dynamics of Iranian society, what is the problem?” To see the full Wikileaks cable, visit: www.palatinate.org.uk.
From the cable: “Durham University’s demonstrated access to academic and civil institutions, reinforced by Dr Pedram’s apparently successful creation of political cover with IRI authorities for Iranian participants, gives this proposal the strongest prospects of broad, meaningful Iranian participation given the restrictive current political conditions in Iran. The apparent strength of Pedram’s political cover was also apparenty in his recruitment to participate, in the April 2007 Durham University Workshop on Public Diplomacy, the IRGC-linked academic and cleric Hesamuddin Ashena. Pedram’s success in establishing political cover, was further indicated by Ashena’s appointment in November 2007 as spokesman for the Iran National Security Council.”
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Research grant to discover what makes our universe tick DURHAM UNIVERSITY
Deputy Israeli Ambassador urges students to “look forward” Sarah Ingrams
Deputy Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Alon Roth-Snir was invited to give the second address of Epiphany term to Durham Union Society (DUS) on Monday 8th February. Recently appointed to the position, he was invited to speak about his previous experience working for the Israeli Government and to share his knowledge on issues facing both Israel and the West. A small demonstration was staged outside the debating chambers on Palace Green before the address. Representatives from Durham University Friends of Palestine and Durham Palestine Solidarity Campaign displayed flags and handed out leaflets bearing the slogan: “Remember, there is a lot that the Ambassador isn’t going to tell you about the Occupation”. Beginning his address, Mr RothSnir said: “I am very honoured to be here” and explained that he wanted the evening to be a “conversation” and an opportunity to “explain how Israelis look at things”. He continued: “I did not come here to give you a lecture through the eyes of Israeli ambassadors […] but in order to listen to you”. Talking about the current unrest in the Middle East, Mr RothSnir said that, for a long time, it has been evident to spectators that something was going wrong. But no one could have predicted that unrest would break out in Tunisia or Egypt. He stressed that there are many factors responsible for the recent eruptions of violence in the Middle East that are nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “Even if the process finished tomorrow, it won’t stop all conflict”. “There are terrible internal and external tensions in the Middle East. The whole region is very shaky these days”. Questioned by a member of the audience about the building of illegal settlements in Gaza, Mr RothSnir responded that “the question should not be if it’s legal or wise but what we should do to move forward. “The issue of settlements is a virtual one […] not a real one” and it is not stopping the peace process from moving forward. Ambassador Roth-Snir thanked the DUS for giving him the opportunity to speak and the audience for their questions. He says that he will continue to think about the answers: “for me it is a learning curve that never ends”. Speaking after the debate, Martha Meloun, a member of Durham University Friends of Palestine, explained she was pleased by the challenging questions put to Mr RothSnir. But she stressed that a debate would have been better: “if there’s only one side represented, it’s hard to see if it’s balanced or not”. She added: “it’s important for us to be here to show that we’re part of the debate too”.
Professor Carlos Frenk has been awarded a £1.9 million grant to test the critical development of “Cold dark matter” theory Jess Gordon
urham University Professors are to receive a research grant totalling £4 million for research on both the evolution of the universe and the internal workings of cells. Professor Carlos Frenk, Director of the University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, has been awarded £1.9 million. A further £2.1 million goes to Professor David Parker, of the Department of Chemistry. The remaining £2.4m is to be divided between Dr James Baldini (Earth Sciences), Dr Rebecca Sear (Anthropology), and Dr Jan Westerhoff (Philosophy).
Recipient Professor Frenk co-ordinates research aimed at testing theories about the evolution of the universe, the nature of its main constituents – dark matter and dark energy – and the processes responsible for the formation of galaxies.
Awarded to research ‘bioactive species’
The research will provide a critical test of the “Cold dark matter” theory of the universe which Professor Frenk and collaborators have been developing over several years.
Castle and Hild Bede JCR elections go down to the wire Ettie Bailey-King
Sam Floy for his “considerable effort” in campaigning.
Recent elections for Hild Bede’s sabbatical SRC President, and University College’s Senior Man have both concluded dramatically. At Castle, Sam Floy and Chris Winterhoff were exactly tied in the first round, with 165 votes each. Once R.O.N had been eliminated, Chris Winterhoff picked up a precious six votes, winning the coveted position of Senior Man with 172 of the 338 valid votes.
“It was an incredibly closely contested election”
First preference votes received by both Castle Senior Man candidates
Vice Senior Man James Benson described it as an “incredibly closely contested election” and congratulated
At Hild Bede, the winning candidate Matt Woodhams narrowly secured the position, with just a single vote between him and his opponent Michael Hartley. In the first round, Michael Hartley picked up 46% of first-preference votes (just 3 more than his rival) but lost out when second-preference votes were taken into account. Hild Bede SRC President Sarah Unwin commented that this proves “every single vote counts”, and should spur “more people to get involved in college elections” where a single person “can make a huge difference.”
According to Frenk, the grant will support “a concentrated effort to find out what makes our Universe tick”. Professor Parker’s work, meanwhile, will focus upon the development of tiny molecular probes, designed to allow scientists to monitor the bioactive chemical species that fulfil vital functions inside living cells. Although at its early stages, the work could potentially have implications for the diagnosis of medical conditions. Professor Tom McLeish, Pro-ViceChancellor at Durham University, said: “These prestigious awards highlight the strength and breadth of the University’s expertise, which is at the forefront of research across a range of academic departments”.
Aidan’s to host BOTB An intercollegiate Battle of the Bands will take place on Tuesday 1st March at St. Aidan’s College in the main hall. The event is in aid of Durham University Charities Komittee (DUCK) who will receive 25% of the profit. Ten bands from ten different colleges will compete for a prize of £100. Ranging from Folk and Jazz music, to Rock and Acoustic Rap, each band will play for twenty minutes. The event will start at 8.00pm with a group from St. Aidan’s College (who will be chosen on February 19th) and ending with ‘Moist’ from Trevelyan College. The contest will be judged in the style of the Eurovision Song contest with a representative from each college. The doors will open at 7.30pm and the event will continue until approximately 12.30am. There will be alcohol at the bar throughout the evening and DUCK will be serving alcoholic cocktails. Entry costs £3. Jonny Johnson, the event organiser, said that “it should be an awesome event” and “nothing like this has ever ROWENA CAINE been in Durham before.”
DUCK Officer’s Column Martin Dorset-Purkis
DUCK Week 2011 – 7 days, hundreds of pies, 124 dozen donuts, several exhausted DUCK reps, countless depraved and regretted acts and thousands of pounds for charity. Huge thanks to you all for making it such a success. We’re still shaking out the buckets, but the DUCK week total is coming soon. As the hubbub of DUCK week starts to ebb away though and people vow never to eat another Krispy Kreme ever again, there is a new, potentially more vicious battle afoot. We find ourselves now in the middle of election week and four determined candidates putting themselves forward for the position of DUCK manager. The competition is fierce, the passion is high and every candidate has their own ideas for the future of DUCK. The average DUCK manager’s day is often a hectic mix of conundrum solving, gap-filling and volunteer enthusing with a lot of admin in-between. The new manager will need to be prepared to flit between modes of serious strategic and financial oversight to enthused and charismatic leader without a moment’s hesitation. Ultimately as manager, the buck will stop with you on all things DUCK. Over half of you will have done something with, for or on behalf of DUCK this year and it’s important you make sure your DUCK manager next year knows what they’re doing to ensure DUCK continues to thrive. Check out their manifestos and husts at vote.dsu.org.uk and help decide the future of your DUCK.
SCA Column Rachel Parlett
Firstly, I hope everyone is enjoying National Student Volunteering Week and you’re finding some way to get involved volunteering with SCA or in your college. For any of you who were unaware of SV week don’t panic - there is still time to get involved. On Thursday 24th, the SCA project leaders will be in the DSU Riverside café talking about their projects over drinks. This is a brilliant opportunity to find out more about the huge range of SCA projects and have a chat with some of the current volunteers. Anticipation is also building for SCA’s biggest night of the year - the oSCArs awards evening, which will be held on Sunday the 27th in Castle Great Hall. The evening will include a light buffet and drinks reception and, most importantly, a presentation rewarding the cream of the SCA crop! Another massive event on the SCA calendar is EXEC hustings which will take place at Annual General Meeting on Wednesday the 2nd of March at 7.00 in Elvet Riverside. Project Leader hand over is also fast approaching, which poses the opportunity for you to run one of our existing projects for a year. So, if you’re interested in any of these opportunities email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the office on the top floor of the DSU!
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Weird World News Speech fail India’s Foreign Minister faced embarrassment this week after reading out the wrong speech at a UN conference. SM Krishna began to read the speech of the Portuguese Foreign Minister, only stopping three minutes later when he was interrupted by an official who pointed out his mistake. In India, the blunder was met with anger, as the leader of the opposition declared that Krishna had brought “shame” on the country, and has no “moral right” to continue in his post. However, Krishna said it was simply “a mistake” and that there was “nothing wrong in it”.
Angry gardener A 73-year-old Somerset gardener has been banned from competing in his local village gardening competition because he keeps winning. David Stirzaker has won twelve cups in the last four years at the show, and was told not to enter this year because he is discouraging others from taking part. The local horticultural society organising the show said only that a “request” had been made to Mr Stirzaker. Stirzaker is taking his complaint to the Royal Horticultural Society, and argues “It is a competition … it is down to other growers to try harder if they want to beat me”.
Tiger attack foiled with wooden ladle In Malaysia, a man was saved from being mauled to death by a tiger after his wife attacked it with a wooden soup ladle. 60-year-old Tambun Gediu was hunting in the jungle when he encountered the tiger, which began to attack him, causing him significant injury. However, his 55-year-old wife Han Besau heard the roars of the animal from their home and ran to her husband’s rescue, beating the tiger with the wooden spoon until it ran away. Gediu is now recovering, and admitted that “It would have clawed me to death had my wife not arrived”.
Gypsies paid to dance A group of gypsies has been granted nearly £5,000 by the National Lottery to learn hip-hop dance. The sum will pay for specialist tutors to visit a caravan site in Cardiff and teach the travellers specialist moves. Youngsters will be expected to show off their new moves at a festival that celebrates travelling culture in the summer. The brains behind the idea are those of Isaac Blake, founder of Romani Arts, an organization which promotes gipsy cultural projects. He said: “Gipsy and traveller children don’t get many opportunities to do things like this”.
Durham undecided as Oxbridge set to charge £9,000 tuition fees Mei Leng Yew
ambridge, Oxford and Imperial are all expected to raise tuition fees to £9,000 a year for incoming students in 2012-13. It is expected that other high-ranking institutions will follow suit, but Durham is yet to confirm where it stands. This comes after Cambridge University’s working group on fees recommended to the University Council that “the level of tuition fee charged from 2012 entry should be the maximum permissible”. “To charge less than £9,000 might raise questions about our commitment to excellence since a reduced fee in the long-term could only be sustained by reducing costs and hence quality”. Oxford University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Tony Monaco, said that Oxford will charge students at least £8,000 a year. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg objected to the planned rises: “They can say what they like. They can’t charge £9,000 unless they are given permission to do so. “They’re only going to be given permission [...] if they can prove they can dramatically increase the number of people from poorer and disadvantaged
FLICKR ID: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
“They can say what they like. They can’t charge £9,000 unless they are given permission to do so.” Deputy PM, Nick Clegg backgrounds who presently aren’t going to Oxford and Cambridge”. A Durham University spokesperson said that a decision had not yet been taken regarding tuition fees. Last week, the coalition announced plans to improve social mobility. Business Secretary Vince Cable instructed the Office for Fair Access to set individual quotas to increase “the number of students admitted from state schools or colleges”. Universities who agree to take steps towards meeting such quotas will then be allowed to charge tuition fees above the basic rate of £6,000. Cable suggested that universities meet their targets by offering students from disadvantaged backgrounds heavily subsidised accommodation, a free foundation year, fee waivers or bursaries. Places could also be offered “on the basis of lower entry qualifications”
Cambridge University said it will have to raise fees to £9,000 per year in order to maintain their high standards
for those from less advantaged backgrounds. Greater emphasis could also be placed on “contextual data”, which recognises the achievements of pupils who have overcome significant obstacles. Universities’ progress would be reviewed annually and those failing to meet access targets could face fines of up to half a million pounds. Chairman of the Education Select Committee, Graham Stuart MP, said “penalising universities for refusing to
‘Reason Week’ hits Durham Hannah Shaddock
Last week, Durham hosted a programme of events exploring religion and secularism in the modern world, as part of Reason Week 2011. Organised by Durham University Humanist and Secularist Society, the week aimed to “promote and discuss
the ideas of humanism and secularism, and to enable all students [...] to assess their beliefs in the context of a modern society”. The highlight of the week’s schedule was a speech by A.C. Grayling, in association with the Durham Union Society (DUS). Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College in London, Grayling
drop their standards is shameful. To suggest that they have some sort of bias against children from poorer backgrounds is a profound insult”. Stuart claims that the new blueprint fails to address the real reasons behind the low numbers of state-educated students attending higher tier universities. “We need to improve the quality of schooling, not dumb down the entry requirements for universities”. Dr Wendy Piatt, Director-General of the Russell Group, expressed concerns
over the coalition’s plans: “Admission to university is, and should be, on the basis of merit. Any decisions about admissions must respect the autonomy of institutions and maintain high academic standards”. But Mr Clegg argued that enforcing quotas will give the government leverage over universities and help “make the university system fairer”. “This is not about social engineering. It is about creating a generally fair playing-field for all our young people”.
spoke on a variety of topics, mainly covering reason and its philosophical basis throughout history, as well the ways reason is applied in our everyday choices. There was also a talk on secularism, given by Gerard Philips, Vice-President of the National Secularist Society, and “A Sceptical Look at The Tony Blair Faith Foundation” from Richy Thompson, President of the Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies. The week culminated in a de-
bate, entitled “This House believes the Church has failed Christianity”, in the DUS on Friday. Emma Bryce, President of the Humanist and Secularist Society, explained that Reason Week did not intend to challenge the Christian Union’s ‘Rescued?’ week but was part of a wider dialogue on the nature of faith and secularism in students’ lives. Reason Week is “an alternative approach for people to question their beliefs and create a forum for discussion”.
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Durham News DSU elections
DSU sabbatical elections begin
With the annual cross-campus vote taking place this week, these worthy candidates ask for your support
The presidential candidates Name: Mike King College: Hild Bede Experience: DSU Viaduct officer 2010-11, Philosophy SSCC chair 2010-11, Social sec. Football 2010-11 Degree: PPE
Name: Danny Coleman-Cook College: Grey Experience: Grey College Senior DSU Rep 2009-2010 and 2010-11, Chair of DSU Joint Committee 2009 Degree: Politics “I will run regular surgeries at locations across both campuses” “I will protect colleges and JCRs against any actions which threaten their independence or individuality” “I would diversify theCareers Fair (not everyone wants to work in the City!)”
“A new Wednesday night in the DSU giving £30,000 a year back to ALL clubs and societies: you pay £3 entry & £2 goes back to a club/soc of your choice!” “I promise to create clear and concise student friendly reports” “Vote for me and I will make sure that your interests are represented”
Education and Welfare
Societies & Student Development Degree: Computer Science Policies: Build good connections between societies and their local/ national non-uni equivalents, include 2 ‘featured societies in DSU emails
Name: Jennifer ‘V’ Lawson College: Hatfield Degree: Zoology
And finally, your DUCK nominees:
“I am trying to meet with all 160 DSU societies and every non affiliated student group in the next two weeks”
Name: Scott Parker
Policies: Online calendar where the events of every society could be displayed with a link to a map, a week after exams for societies to run events.
“I want to encourage colleges to develop Degree: Maths their own unique, Policies: Exactly the same support for Queens and Dur- college focused welfare ham campuses, encourage twoway communication between service” colleges and DSU officers.
Name: James Timperely
“I would kindle the spark of irreverence in DUCK.”
College: Collingwood Degree: Criminology Policies: Work to split Welfare and Education into different officer roles, and have course and faculty reps in place as soon as possible.
College: St. Cuth’s
“A world class university should have world class societies. We have some of the oldest, best and biggest”
Name: Gregory Marler
“Reinvigorate DUCK with more publicity stunts.”
“I would provide a strategy and framework”
“I will work as hard as humanly possible in order to develop and strengthen education and welfare resources”
“I definitely have the enthusiasm needed”
Visit www.dsu.org.uk to cast your vote. The ballot closes on Friday 25th February at 5pm, with results announced at 5.30pm in Kingsgate Bar, Dunelm House.
Tuesday 22nd February 2011 | PALATINATE
News Durham Careers
It’s not all dark skies: You
Knee-deep in CVs? Flooded with covering letters? Sweating over the dreaded psychometric test? Heather Baker is founder of small business-to-business PR agency TopLine Communications, which has just launched a summer internship programme for outstanding graduates. She gives the inside scoop on how to get noticed as a student or graduate.
very week I receive emails from graduates or students looking to step onto the PR career ladder. I delete most emails before reaching the second paragrpah. The reason is simple: with hundreds of CVs coming through each month and just 24 hours in a day, I can only afford to look through a handful. So my shortlisting process has to be brutal. Any one of these faux pas in the covering email will see your CV dumped straight into the recycling bin.
•a simple Addressing it to ‘Dear Sir’ when scan of our website would
have revealed that TopLine is run by a woman. Similarly, if your email starts with ‘to whom it may concern’ the answer is ‘no one’. Delete.
•whenA spelling or grammar error – applying for a PR role, you want to demonstrate your excellent grasp of the English language and your fantastic attention to detail. Can’t be bothered? This does not bode well for your ability to represent the company’s values when emailing clients. Delete.
•EachMoreemailthangetsthreearound paragraphs. 20 seconds
maximum of my time. Get to the point and do it fast. A PR job requires you to communicate succinctly and clearly, so you need to show me you are capable of doing that. It sounds harsh, but these seemingly innocent mistakes tell me a lot about you in a very short time. They suggest that you have taken a
scatter-gun approach to job hunting, sending carbon copies of your CV to hundreds of employers in the hope that the law of averages will get you an interview. Unfortunately you have the laws of supply and demand working against you – when you’re up against thousands of other grads, you have to find a way of standing out from the crowd. But fear not, it’s not all doom and gloom: I have some tips on how you can grab an employer’s attention. In the covering email:
•workShowformeme,that you WANT to make it clear without
schmoozing too much, that you have been on our website, understand the company and are keen to get involved. Maybe there is something about my blog that has caught your attention, or perhaps it’s the work we did for a client that particularly appealed.
•it anTellinternship? me what you are looking for. Is Is it a job? Is it your first job? That way I can mentally match you to our resourcing needs over the next year.
•worked, Be honest on dates of where you’ve so I am not confused about whether you were an intern for a week or took a part-time job over the course of three years.
Show commitment – highlight something you’ve been doing for a while. It might be a club or a job, but show me that you have staying power.
Format it properly – don’t make it annoying for me to read your CV. If the headings are in bold, make sure they are consistent throughout. In the job search:
•perSend your CV to 3-4 companies day with a tailored and well-re-
searched introductory email. Do not blanket it out to hundreds at a time.
•onGorecruiters direct to employers. Don’t rely alone. If an employer has your CV on file, when a job opportunity arises, she will come straight to you, if for no other reason than to avoid the recruitment fee – which is 20% of your salary, so a good £3-4k saving for the business.
•makeHighlight one key thing that would me want to read on and open •seemDon’tfruitless wait for job ads. It might your attached CV. Maybe an event to send your CV in to you’ve organised went off without a hitch, or perhaps you secured coverage in the local newspaper – something other than that you have a degree and need a job. Preparing your CV:
companies that are not recruiting. But most good employers (and those are the ones you want to work for) will keep a database of candidates on file who they can contact as soon as a vacancy opens (and these open up all the time: new client win).
•toTell me when you can start – I need •andDon’t overlook the SMEs (small know this, as availability can be the medium-sized enterprises). They deciding factor when appointing a candidate.
•yourBegin with five bullets outlining key skills and biggest achievements. And be specific.
might not seem as exciting as the big names, but you’ll get far better experience where most days require ‘all hands on deck’ than you will at the bottom of a large bureaucratic organisation. And you’ll be promoted much faster.
Look beyond the gloom of hopelessness and
And what not to do: professional CV services Nicki Slater Current job markets are saturated with over-qualified, keen, young graduates squabbling over the few positions available like pigeons over crumbs - there is currently an average of 75 applications for one place on a graduate scheme. In the wake of this uncertain economic climate, a particularly nasty breed of opportunism has sprung up: “professional” CV writing services for as much as £800 a pop. But as another student who has launched themself into the manic world of job applications, I happened to be tempted by it. I saw a link on the Guardian’s
website offering a free CV review and clicked on it without a second thought. I had only to upload my current CV and a professional recruitment advisor would call me back with tailored CV advice. Brilliant. It took only around an hour for the phone to ring and woman with a plummy accent and florid turn of phrase asked to speak to “Miss Slatter”. She then proceeded to tear apart my carefully crafted CV. “You’ll never get a job with a CV like this, young lady”, she purred, “you’ve got it all completely wrong”. And that’s how the rest of the “review” went. The comments were deliberately vague, giving me little
to no practical advice apart from: “Times New ROMAN, darling! And Nicola, not Nicki – it’s ever so much nicer”. Hmm. I’m just not sure I should have to justify my name to a glorified call-centre worker called Agnes. However, Agnes did deserve credit for pulling off the incredible feat of rambling on for ten solid minutes while saying – well, absolutely nothing. All she did was slate my CV – she may as well have just ripped it up before my eyes and blown a raspberry at me. I reached the end of the interview feeling mildly assaulted and a lot less confident about my chances of getting a job and living a normal life. And then, with her next sentence,
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
can stand out in the crowd Palatinate gives you the head start needed to make sure you jump straight to the top of the pile. QUINN MURRAY
Test Questions 1) Which word does not have a similar meaning to “outcome”? A - affect B - result C - upshot D - effect 2) Which word means unjustifiably malicious; immoral? A - wanton B - diffident C - barren D - trite 3) Choose the word most similar in meaning to “perplex”: A - dither B - affilliate C - discomfit D - reiterate 4) Square is to cube as circle is to... A - round B - ball C - pi D - sphere 5) Colour : spectrum A - verse : rhyme B - tone : scale C - noise : waves D - waves : sound 6) Paper is to tree as glass is to... A - clear B - sand C - window D - stone Source: psychometric-success.com Answers: A, A, C, D, B, B
d read our experts’ and students’ advice on how to get a potential employer’s attention
are overpriced, unconstructive and unhelpful it all became clear. “You know, what you could do is sign up for our professional CV writing service”, Agnes suggested, as though the idea had just popped into her head. “The benefits for you would be enormous, darling. And at just two hundred pounds, I think you’ll find we’re very competitively priced”. Sorry, what? TWO HUNDRED POUNDS?! Surely that’s a ludicrous amount of money to pay to put your career in the hands of some imbecile like Agnes. But a little gentle Googling revealed even more astronomical prices. CVService.org offer a professionally written CV along with a
cover letter for £120. Pro-cv.co.uk recommend their Senior Managerial CV writing or editing package – a snip at £185. There are many more examples. But the highest price was found at alec.co.uk - their Premier CV writing service comes in at a terrifying £797 for a three-page CV. Even overlooking the absurd price tags to be found on the market, surely these services are, well, cheating. I like to think that when I’m reclining behind my shiny mahogany desk in my dream job, I got there on my own merit. My advice is to have a cup of hot chocolate, watch a soothingly vacuous episode of My Big Fit Gypsy Wedding and then write it yourself.
Tom Davie, Deputy Head of the Careers Advisory Service, says; “Paying for a CV is up to the student but they can be very expensive and you can’t guarantee the quality. From the Careers Advisory Service, you will be offered a consistent message from experienced staff and resources which we are sure are fit for the purpose.” Professional CV services are available at a cost of anywhere between £100 and £1000. Before shelling out make sure you’ve researched the company and are sure you’ll be getting one-to-one attention from a trained professional.
Psychometrics: the golden rules Clara Chang
Psychometric tests, which are designed to measure an individual’s aptitude for numerical and verbal reasoning, have become widely popular with employers (including the Civil Service) as a method to select candidates from thousands of applications. Usually, you will be allowed to take the test in the comfort of your own home, and at whatever time you prefer. However, it is essential to treat these tests as you would an academic exam, as this stage often proves to be the stumbing block. It would therefore be advisable to bear the following tips in mind: 1) Preparation is the key. This may seem obvious, but employers will expect you to know the format of the tests and to have done a few practice questions yourself. Test-runs are widely available on the internet – www.wikijob.co.uk is an excellent resource. 2) Before starting the test, make sure that you have the necessary equipment: a calculator that you are familiar with, a lot of scrap paper for rough work, and a glass of water. Create your own exam conditions by turning off your mobile and tell your housemates that you do not want to be disturbed. 3) At the start of each test, look at how many questions there are and figure out how much time to spend on each, to make sure you don’t run out of time (the test window will
automatically close when the time limit is reached). 4) As the numerical test will involve working out percentages from charts or graphs, it might be helpful to know how to use the memory functions on your calculator. This is not absolutely necessary, but it will help you save time during the test. 5) Aim for accuracy, not speed. For the verbal reasoning test, you will be required to read a short passage, and answer 3-4 questions on it. Don’t rush and make sure you fully comprehend the meaning of the passage. 6) For the numerical test, do not panic if you are unable to finish all the questions in time. From my personal experience, I only completed three quarters of the questions, but was still invited to the next stage of the application process. 7) Don’t be sneaky and ask your friends to help you, or unplug the broadband connection in the middle of the test so you can request to do it again (as some applicants have done in the past!) Employers have their advanced methods of finding out whether you have cheated or not, so don’t put your integrity at risk. You should expect to hear of the result within two to three working days. If you have been unsuccessful, don’t feel overly discouraged: treat this as a learning experience. If you pass the test and are invited to the next round, well done – and start preparing for that assessment centre! Visit www.wikijob.co.uk for more sample tests and advice.
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Durham News James McQuillan
James McQuillan: Apprentice Comedian
Palatinate got a chance to catch up with the star of the 2009 edition of the hit reality TV show, The Apprentice David Wynne-Griffith
or any avid Apprentice fans, James McQuillan certainly needs no introduction, but for those who look to reject the realityTV show media bubble he can be summed up by one example from his amusing appearance on The Apprentice last year. When asked in the intense interview round why he thought he was best suited to be Sir Alan Sugar’s righthand man, McQuillan jovially joked that he ‘could bring ignorance to the table’. On and off camera, James McQuillan is who he says he is: natural, relaxed and an all-round funny man. James Mcquillan visited Durham to give his perspective on the merits and drawbacks of reality television, courtesy of the debate at the Durham Union Society. He was joined by Raef Bjayou, star on series four of The Apprentice, Ben Duncan who appeared on Big Brother 2010 and who has featured in another well-known reality TV programme aptly labelled Ladette to Lady, and Peta Todd who is widely purported as the ‘Fourth Best Page 3 girl of all time’ in what was a lively and intriguing debate. Entrepreneurial funny man: James McQuillan lit up Lord Sugar’s face on The Apprentice 2009 with his friendly character, occasional mishaps and witty boardroom banter However, Palatinate had the opportunity to talk to McQuillan before could appeal to a surprisingly wide show, time really was of the essence. Over a year on, Mr McQuillan his debate. He talked amusingly about audience, ‘from doctors and academic “When you leave The Apprentice, you now works a day job selling a major his experiences on The Apprentice, his students in Durham, to blokes who really don’t want to waste time, as you product for a high-end market retail future career in retail and horse racing drive taxis’. need to use it as quickly as possible to merchant and also earns a wage as a On the show, Mr McQuillan gained milk any possible earning potential horseracing pundit for Channel 4. an extensive media following due that you gain off the back of it”. His lifelong love affair with the races to his self-confessed ‘foot-in-mouth’ This year, he has followed the series has meant that his subsequent entry syndrome and his inherant approach- of The Apprentice with keen interest into horse racing seems to have been a ability, which stood out in a field of and at times, distinct pleasure. As a major career highlight. However, look- “I’m skating on thin ice - and I calculatingly competitive contestants. previous contestant, McQuillan expe- ing into the future, the ex-Apprentice think Sir Alan might be waiting for An obviously charismatic ‘Mr Nice rienced a wide spectrum of emotions star is realistic about his career path. and his ideas about business, entrepre- Guy’, James McQuillan admitted during his viewing. “Racing is more of a hobby to be it to crack.” neurship and reality television. that he had gone onto the show with “It was really nice to be able to honest, as it doesn’t really pay that On the latter of these topics, Mr. a foreseen tactic in mind: “I thought watch it without having my fingers well. I get to go and have a laugh with McQuillan was decidedly ambivalent I should go along as playing the over my eyes! This time around, I was the punters and get paid at the same To Lord Sugar-: “There are a lot of as he described certain elements of buffoon, and then no-one sees you able to appreciate the show for what it time which is great but it only happens people out there riding on horses reality TV as “distasteful” as “it is surcoming late on. Obviously, I managed really is. I was also a bit more sympaonce a fortnight really”. rounded by the image that a person to shoot myself in the foot a bit at the thetic towards the contestants as they He also acknowledged that the and I’m having to sit here and look can become very famous very quickly, same time”. are evidently under extreme pressure glow from The Apprentice will soon at you- I don’t mean that without necessarily having any talent. Since the show, Mr McQuillan has dampen: “I am very aware that I got In times gone by, you had to be used his celebrity glow to enter into a my current day job principally because disrespectfully.” a footballer, a boxer or a singer to variety of different fields, including his of my role on The Apprentice and that if become famous and now you can beloved hobby of horse-racing. people haven’t already forgotten about be famous just for the sake of being He now works for Channel 4 as a me, then they soon will do”. His plea to Lord Sugar: “I’ve got famous. That said, there are some horse-racing pundit, a position which Finally, Mr McQuillan gave some such a wealth of experience. You’re good bits to reality TV, where you are comes close to resembling his dream sanguine and self-deprecating advice essentially rewarded for your talent, job. However, even McQuillan himself to Durham students looking to go not reinventing the wheel with but at the same time there is that freak confessed that his fame may soon into business or entrepreneurship. me- you’ve just got to fix a couple of show element that can put people off”. reach a ‘tipping point’ as he admitHe urged graduates “not to be afraid Reality TV shows are increasingly ted that “someone stopped me on a of making mistakes. When you leave spokes.” accompanied by the steamrolling train the other day convinced that I University you might think that you notion that celebrity life is becoming worked in their local Greggs bakery in and there are a million and one things can tick every single box. But it is the too fantasized by the hoarding masses Doncaster”. that the television doesn’t capture”. ability to stick at things and roll with On entering the Apprentice boardas fame evolves into a commodity that Although Mr.McQuilan eventuHe referred briefly to Stuart Baggs, the punches which allows you to room: “I guess its a bit like losing can be purchased or gained through ally corrected the inquirer, he did say widely recognised on this year’s become a success. a few weeks in the jungle, in the that this personified his view that “the show for his brash and outlandish “That’s the biggest skill you will your cherry- you are nervous, but in boardroom or inside the walls of the production team at The Apprentice lead statements, as “a unique inidividual”. need to be successful. Obviously this omniscient Big Brother house. you on with assumptions of grandeur However, he also attempted to condoesn’t mean going and failing all your the end it will all come naturally.” On this subject, Mr McQuilan hint- after you leave, but that really isn’t the textualize the blackened persona of exams! But it is not the end of the ed that he felt that shows such as Big case”. Mr Baggs and other shwashbuckling world if you get things wrong”. Lord Brother and The Apprentice especially, Intriguingly, he did acknowledge contestants by explaining that “you Alan Sugar’s very own ‘village idiot’ On his wife in labour: “I would’ve were definitely “attracting contestants that leaving The Apprentice has “given can spin anyone to a certain extent. If I seems to have been able to personify given anything to have had a Playfor the wrong reasons”. me a leg up in areas that I would not put a camera on you all day, we might his own advice perfectly to fashion a Conversely, McQuillan did not have ordinarily had access to”, but he see things differently than on first thriving business career. station with me to kill a bit of time” deny that shows such as The Apprentice also told Palatinate that on exiting the meeting”.
In his own words...
“I bring ignorance to the table”
“I thought I should go along as playing the buffoon and then no-one sees you coming late on”
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February
DUCK & SCA
It’s a DUCK life
UCK’s one of those things that becomes part of your university experience whether you choose it to be or not. Its presence across Durham is unrivalled and the breadth of opportunity can’t really be overstated. I think it’s likely that you were mobbed by an overenthusiastic DUCK rep dressed in shocking yellow early in your first term. I hope you liked it. We aim to please like this on a regular basis. Despite DUCK’s ubiquity, students often seem unaware of how the whole organisation works. It’s worth noting that there are lots of misconceptions about the quantity of funds raised and how this money is used. Participants often rave about the experiences they’ve had and might leave their friends wondering if they’ve inadvertently subsidised a free holiday. As director, I’ve been asked this enough times: but the presumptions just don’t add up to what DUCK is doing on the ground.
The DUCK fund Those involved with the inner workings of DUCK know that the DUCK fund is the most important aspect of what it does. Essentially, money thrown into a bucket just labelled ‘DUCK’ is going into a fund through which local and national charities can compete for money. This is the most incredible opportunity to give funds to some of the most important causes that otherwise just couldn’t function. Last year, DUCK gave the local charity Links 2 £100 to provide arts and crafts resources for autistic children. Without DUCK’s support, this simply would not have happened. What’s strange about the DUCK fund is just how little known it is. Every year, substantial quantities of money sourced through the generosity and time of Durham students makes this difference felt. It’s important to note that only a small proportion of DUCK funds actually go towards covering our expenses: the vast majority goes to frontline work in some of the most important areas you can imagine.
Expeditions Few things are more consistently misjudged than the work of DUCK’s expedition teams. It’s true that half the funds raised for each expedition go towards funding the costs associated with undertaking the trip: primarily flights and in-country costs. DUCK works hard to maintain the lowest costs possible, working with minimal overheads and using local advice to get the best price. When looking at the figures, I was stunned by the sheer quantity of funds presented to these astonishing international charities. The £35,000 given to Future for Nepal though DUCK’s an-
nual Himalayas expedition can transform the lives of hundreds of people in one of the poorest nations on earth. Every expedition also undertakes a portion of community work whilst incountry. In Jordan, Durham students teach disabled children in a desert village basic numeracy and literacy. Whilst on this particular expedition myself, I was caught by the importance of this valuable cultural exchange. One school teacher just literally could not understand why we had come so far to this place she called her ‘silly little village in the Middle East’ to help her people. This is valuable work. Previous DUCK participants have gone on to involve themselves in the charity sector and this is an important part of why DUCK exists. Last year’s manager Mel Punton is now employed by Save the Children to engage university students in fundraising for the charity. The idea behind DUCK is to connect students with causes which they take on to careers in future life.
Rag Raids and Events Rag raids are held every weekend throughout term. Ok, so maybe getting up early on Saturday to go to Sunderland isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but a free trip to Edinburgh, Manchester or London can’t really be sniffed at. The earliest student fundraising groups began life as humble RaGs (‘raising and giving’) and DUCK owes its origins to this too. DUCK’s events calendar is a fullyear epic. From college ‘Hold the Bar’ nights to central DUCK Glee performances, DUCK constantly innovates to produce the best events across the university.
Colleges Guided by a student executive, DUCK is a properly grass roots kind of organisation. We’re always looking to improve the range of activities we’re offering to students and this is enabled by the close links we’ve built throughout the university in the colleges and DSU.
DUCK has an amazing network of college reps which coordinate activities across the whole university, ensuring that each college has its own DUCK representation. DUCK has a presence within every college environment and this means providing events and giving opportunities for students to participate at another level of the DUCK organisation through their DUCK committee. The majority of money raised in colleges goes directly to support the DUCK fund and the invaluable work that it does.
Challenge Events As a student fundraising group, DUCK’s efforts to coordinate challenge events is unrivalled on the national stage. From Jailbreak to Tough Guy, it’s at the forefront of innovation around creating activities for students. For these activities, the vast majority of funds are handed directly to designated charities of the participants’ choice. Each year, bold students take part in gruelling marathons having raised thousands of pounds for charity. This year, London Marathon entrants have been raising funds for Leonard Cheshire Disability. You might not find this appealing, but there’s also a chance that it’s something someone else has always wanted to do. DUCK is a place where these opportunities are made easy: we sort out admin, track down opportunities and the fundraising and participating is left to you. Every DUCK participant has the story of when they first became aware of charity fundraising at Durham and what got them involved. When asked, one college rep said “Well, someone came up to me dressed as an emu and asked if I wanted to do a sky dive. It was kind of a no-brainer really…” Without getting soppy about it, there’s a unique spirit that invades every DUCK related event I’ve ever known. It’s that heady and indefinable mix of enthusiasm, a good cause, quirkiness and downright refusal to let normal parameters of human reason stop students from having a good time. Long may this attitude reign.
The ‘V’ word
agrees: “It’s something that allows opportunities to meet genuine people When you’re dancing in Klute with from other colleges, providing a great a drunken blonde or you’re posting a social opportunity! Inter-college forguy from the library on Floxx do you mals are a favourite, and the standard ever wonder if they’ve got the “V” of fancy dress at other social events is label? Durham’s egocentric student always amazing!” lifestyle of hangovers and cutting Adult Befriending is an altogether deadlines fine would not on the surface different project where volunteers are seem to accommodate those with the paired with an adult from a centre for “V” factor. Volunteering is typically people with mental health problems. associated with selfless do-gooders. Volunteers spend several hours a week So you may be surprised to hear that socialising with residents, perhaps goStudent Community Action (SCA), ing to the cinema or helping the person the Durham University Volunteering get to college. organisation, currently has 400 active A year of volunteering at SCA members and a further 3,000 on the doesn’t go unrewarded: the major mailing list. That means that one in highlight of the volunteering calendar five students at Durham University is the annual oSCArs. This evening is are interested in volunteering, and that a chance for volunteers to shed their muscly rugby player or flamboyant aprons and gardening gloves to be reDST actress may well be one of them! placed with glam dresses and sparkling Although the motivation for volun- heels (and that’s just the boys!) Castle teering can be to get that ‘warm and Great Hall will be transformed in a fuzzy feeling’ by helping those less for- couple of weeks, and volunteers nomitunate than ourselves, many students nated by their friends will be awarded start volunteering to meet new friends, coveted trophies. These are to be preget involved in something unique and sented by the Mayors of Stockton and to gain essential CV-boosting experiDurham and include many categories, ence. With many law firms and other such as Star College Rep and Project big companies emphasising their Leader. corporate social responsibility and So maybe the Durham volunteerencouraging volunteering to differenti- ing aspects of hard work teamed with ate themselves from other employers, laughs and socials aren’t so incompatwhat are you doing to stand out from ible with student life after all! the crowd? Volunteering isn’t all about If you’re headed for a career in picking up litter and with SCA offering teaching there are plenty of education over 40 projects, from assisting in pris- projects to get involved with, or maybe ons to tutoring A-level students, there you’re pleased to have escaped the really is something to suit all tastes. school setting, in which case the SCA Thurston is one of SCA’s most projects offering recreational activipopular projects and allows volunties to local children may be more up teers to help plan and deliver drama your street. But perhaps working with sessions to local children, culminating children isn’t your thing at all. If you’re in a termly production for friends and more sporty and keen on swimming family. The most recent showstopper or horse riding SCA has the perfect was The Lion King, and was declared a opportunities for you. Even if you’re resounding success. interested in the environment, feeling Co-project leader Luke Shackleton a bit green fingered, you’re a chef in the commented, “Volunteering is great making or you think of yourself as a because you engage directly with the modern day Picasso there’s a way into local community, and in doing so burst volunteering that doesn’t involve dishthe ‘Durham bubble’ and find out what ing out bowls in a soup kitchen! Head ‘making a difference’ really means. to the SCA office on the top floor of Also, from a purely mercenary perspec- the DSU to find out more and become tive, it gives you a passport to a myriad part of the “V” club! of social events from banal bar-crawls to the dizzying heights of the ‘oSCArs’”. His counterpart Millie Shawcrosse Rachel Parlett
The Thurston Pride at their felinest
DUCK & SCA special
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Durham News Comment
Debate with us on Twitter @PalatiCOMMENT
The problem with 38-week lets
With student budgets continually squeezed, are the University’slatest accommodation proposals fair?
Stephanie Southall hates: Overblown Award Ceremonies
nevertheless compound the view that the University has not considered the practical implications of their decision. The lack of support over the holidays will make some of those who stay feel abandoned, making remaining in Durham an impossible option. Thus, their money is wasted. Catering facilities and a support network are benefits of our collegiate system. Take these away, and there is a strong argument to live out rather than move back to college if
Awards Season is one of many symbols of rewards reaped from talent and ambition. Publically recognising talent and ambition undoubtedly encourages and inspires people to better themselves and aspire to more in life. Anyone who aspires to win one of these prestigious awards surely represents positive role models for a generation of youth that are perhaps falling behind as a result of our challenging academic climate. If we consider an undergraduate degree as a rung on the ladder of academic achievement, some may argue that if everyone gets the chance to reach this step, it loses its value and prestige; a view applicable to us as students in the wake of the rise in tuition fees and the fear that education and the reward of a degree is becoming too accessible. If we temporarily remove ourselves from this relentless downward spiral into materialism and capitalism, we might remind ourselves of something worth more than wealth, Hollywood glamour and greedy politics. It is imperative that we do not forget that there exists more to life than academy awards and academic achievement. Rather, it is the talent, drive and determination behind an achievement that matters. It is remarkable that winners of awards such as those for bravery and
you need a room out of term time. Living in halls in the holiday period when your peers have gone home can be a lonely time, and the new plan hasn’t thus far been an attractive one: our incentives to support this measure are few and far between. Another problem we have not heard a solution to is that in some colleges, many of the best rooms are let to the public over the Easter holidays as the college hosts events and conferences. What would the situation be for those living in such rooms?
selflessness do not receive the same level of recognition and do not qualify as the obvious role models in the eyes of society. According to their official website, the requirements to qualify for a Pride of Britain award are “a child or adult who has displayed remarkable courage, a gutsy neighbour who has improved your area, a tireless charity fund-raiser or campaigner or an exemplary teacher, dedicated careworker, or member of the emergency services or armed forces who have gone beyond the call of duty to help others.” It also mentions “people who go that extra mile”. These are the people that should be considered as society’s role models. Young people such as Cameron Small: the winner of the Pride of Britain award for Littlewoods.com Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2010, at the age of just twelve for his outstanding contribution to charity. He raised almost £100,000 for sick children and helping to launch an appeal to raise £20 million for a new children’s hospital. All this was achieved after being diagnosed with Evans Syndrome at the age of one, enduring over 900 hospital visits. This is one outstanding example of the calibre that should be the principal example for modern society, not the actors and actresses who cumula-
Whatever your views about the recent tuition fee rises, no one can deny that in the current climate students are being stretched further than ever before. The post-recession graduate situation remains gloomy, with unpaid debts looming on the horizon for many. Whilst £500 perhaps doesn’t seem much compared to the £9,000 incoming students will be paying for tuition, it is the principle of the imposition by the University that people have taken issue with. It is admirable that the University is working to attempt to provide an increasingly flexible experience for students however the 38 week let rule requires some further consideration from those making the crucial decisions. Perhaps next time a little communication will go a long way.
tively spend similar amounts on their gowns and suits and fancy cars for the sake of one glamorous evening at the Academy Awards. It seems therefore that in a society obsessed with popular culture and the world of the rich and glamorous, Talent and ambition are two attributes that can be channelled into success and achievement; something which is applicable in every aspect of life. And rightly so.
with it considered first and foremost from a student’s point of view. Having Katie Pavid not consulted the real people who will be affected, it seems to many that the Analysis University has failed to communicate with those it ought to be serving. The change will be beneficial to a urham University’s recent select few, although useful to those plan in which incoming who have encountered the interesting students are required to pay and somewhat challenging problem of for compulsory 38 week lets is an struggling to take most of your worldly issue which cannot have escaped the belongings home with you on a busy notice of most students at Durham, train. and naturally is a controversial topic However, is it a problem worth amongst the student body. Many have paying a compulsory £500 per year angrily claimed it is an example of the to avoid? The University has made asUniversity squeezing yet more money sumptions about the way the majority out of already stretched students, and of students spend their holiday time. whatever the University’s motives are, Of course, when you are a returning it certainly hasn’t come across well at a third year, you perhaps might wish college level. to spend more of your holiday time A large factor in the resistance is that staying in Durham, as dissertations and we already have a working system in summatives loom. place. Whilst it is certainly true that However, most first years and many longer lets are useful for some enthusi- second years have no real desire or astic returning students working over need to be here outside of term time, the holidays, or for those who come and to assume that they do is an from overseas and thus for whom oversight. Providing students with travelling is complicated, these people alternative choices in order for them already have a system in place which to spend their time and money wisely allows them to opt for a 38 week let is what the University should really be However, an issue already exists here doing, and the new rule is ultimately in that catering in colleges is decreased an unwise financial move for most. during holiday time, with most having The President of the Durham little or no self-catering facilities. The Students’ Union has pointed out that University’s current plans have not outside of term time, students will not yet taken account of this. If those in have access to their Senior Tutors, the power want to impose a permanent Nightline service or College Welfare. change on student accommodation, Perhaps issues which are less presstheir duty is to implement it properly, ing than the lack of college food, they
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Beyond a wedding dress: experiencing traveller culture their flagrant disregard for any rules and distinct lack of propriety. Upon posting eviction notices on the land they chose to inhabit, the Council received a shock the next morning when they found ten caravans in their office car park. They did not budge for a , along with 8.2 million television number of weeks. The London student viewers (Channel 4’s highest ratings protestors could learn a lot from these since the 2008 Big Brother final, real estate vigilantes. another fly on the wall peep-show), My experience of the clan leaders have been thoroughly captivated in the has been contrary to the televised past weeks by the surprise hit My Big depiction of traveller-men as sexually Fat Gypsy Wedding. aggressive thugs. The series has been compelling My friends and I feel very safe viewing and a window into a unique around them as we know that us being and normally intensely private culture. ‘country girls’, the affectionate label atI come from an area that has been tached to all non-traveller females, they featured in the programme and spent would not touch us with a proverbial two years before university working in barge-pole. a pub frequented by many in the travelOf course, traveller girls get a slightly ler community, an experience that at worse deal, scrubbing caravans all times tried the ‘excellent customer day, raising their brothers and sisters service skills’ plug on my CV. and their own brood once they get married, without the reprieve of being able to go out without their husband’s permission or escaping the house to work nine to five. Incredulity concerning the controversial courtly ritual of ‘grabbing’ seems rife, which although evidently aggressive, seems to me as less of a traveller man problem and more of just a man problem per se – who hasn’t My experience of travellers lean spent a night shifting away from the from the very bad (having garlic hip-thrusts of the dance floor lothario, bread pelted at my head when asking or firmly resisted the advances of a one particular matriarch to stop her heavy handed beau? children using the pub as a climbingOne of the most widespread frame) to very good (a £20 tip just for queries that has arisen from the pro‘Pourin da puurfect point a’ Guiness’ gramme is ‘Where do they get their one St. Patrick’s Day), something money from?’ Well in my experience, which would never happen at the colthey work, and bloody hard too. Ten lege bar in which I now toil. to twelve hour days of backbreaking, They are known throughout town sweat-inducing labour, laying tarmac, not only for their extravagance but for gardening, replacing piping, you name
“There is a huge sense of community between extended families”
Caravans are right at the centre of traveller culture. Are they a key part of traditonal nomadic life, or just a garish eyesore?
it; if it’s physical and demanding, a traveller will do it. Cash-in-hand, of course. There is a huge sense of community between extended families which I think we could all aspire to, and a proverbial kitty that parents and grandparents invest in to pay for the extravagant weddings, a literal ‘wedding fund’. The traveller’s taste of ‘outdoing’ each other at their weddings stems from the fact that it is the one day in a traveller girl’s life where she is centre of attention. The rest of her life will be spent having babies and cleaning her husband’s caravan. As a modern twenty-first century woman, I have many outlets in my life in which I can creatively
express myself, which will continue after I choose to get married. The very concept of choice does not enter a traveller girl’s vocabulary, which for the liberated females of my circle is hard to understand. While the subservient lifestyle of traveller ladies I cannot condone, the very preservation of their culture in such an environment of hatred towards them must be commended. The fact that some of the grooms in the Channel 4 programme chose not to be identified due to potential risk to business if their ethnicity was revealed shows the intense prejudice travellers face in today’s society – can you imagine if a Muslim groom or a homosexual
couple could not reveal their identity’s for fear of such scorn? Perhaps the hatred stems from an envy of their free existence when most of us are stuck behind a desk with future worries of mortgages and pensions, or a desire for such a rich sense of community when most of us don’t even know our own neighbours? This gaudy but ultimately fascinating culture must be revered, albeit from afar, and the television show, although compelling, should be seen as voyeuristic, heavily edited programming to keep us warm during our bleak winter of conformity.
Are spending cuts the solution to the economic crisis?
As the cuts begin to bite, Eric Polano analyses whether the cuts are going to keep us from a double-dip recession
uch is said by politicians about how “we have to cut” in the same certain manner that one might imagine a doctor would to a patient whose leg has a deadly extraterrestrial infection. Do it now, and avoid certain disaster later seems to be the underlying logic. And surely there is a consensus amongst leading mainstream economists and business leaders that the Coalition plan is the only plausible course of action to secure the UK’s return to economic growth. Or is there? As human beings who live in a capitalist society, driven by consumer wants and needs, it is easy to forget sometimes how important economic growth really is. Indeed, when one takes into account such factors as population growth, it is imperative if one is to keep unemployment down, GDP per capita steady and most other vital signs of the economy looking good. And of course, for us students, a growing economy means more com-
cuts will only take effect from 2011 onwards, leading some to argue that they could not, therefore, be responsible for the fall in growth in the second half of 2010. But this ignores their effect on confidence”. Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (akin to winning an Oscar in the Economics world only with less Christian Dior and set in somewhat colder Stockholm), wrote in The New York Times about the “passing fad” for austerity measures which “has been fading lately, as evidence has accumulated that the lessons of the past remain relevant, that trying to balance budgets in the face of high unemployment and falling inflation is still a really bad idea”. Krugman’s concern is that “in this case, the victims are the people of Britain, who have the misfortune to be ruled by a government that took office at the height of the austerity fad and won’t admit that it was wrong”. Compound this with what Sir Richard Lambert, head of the CBI (the UK’s top business lobby) said in late January about how the government has “taken a series of policy initiatives for political reasons, apparently careless of the damage they might do to business and to job creation”. Whilst in favour of the cuts,
Sir Lambert stressed how without initiatives supporting private sector growth, the spending cuts would not only be futile; they would be actively detrimental. And according to him, the initiatives are not there. So leading economists and business leaders are worrying both about what the government is and is not doing and the growth figures do not look good. Does this mean we are doomed? Maybe or maybe not. The govern-
ment’s strategy may end up working, and I hope it does – a recent services survey showed a significant boost in confidence which is positive. My only warning is that before we start congratulating ourselves for having swallowed the doctor’s medicine, we should know certain other doctors think we may have ended up even sicker.
THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
panies willing to employ graduates as they expand the amount of people on their payroll. The question therefore that we ought to be asking ourselves is: is the Coalition plan for the UK’s economic growth credible and is it working? Many will argue that it is too early to tell on both counts. The Comprehensive Spending Review presented by George Osbourne to Parliament in October last year can scarcely be said to have had time to make any major concrete changes in the economy, and that’s probably true. But that is only half the story: for an economy, perceived change can sometimes be just as important. Let us first bring ourselves up to speed on how the UK economy is doing: the UK economy contracted by 0.5% during the last three months of 2010 (a worrying number when compared to Germany or America’s figures). The cold in December did play a role in this, but even when this is taken into account, the figures according to most analysts were disappointing. Most worrying of all, far from being a blip, the figure is one of a continuing trend of the economic recovery slowing down. Consider then what the Institute for Public Policy Research, a think-tank, said in a recent report: “Most of these
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Using funding from foreign powers is morally bankrupt
A Wikileaks cable has revealed that Durham University received US Government funding to spy on Iran HAMED SABER
Christopher McQuillan YES
hey say every man has his price. It seems that so too does every institution. Durham University claims that its involvement in recent controversy regarding Iranian and United States funding is still “remaining true to the principles of independent academic discovery”. I would imagine that Dr Reza Molavi would disagree. As was reported by Palatinate recently, former honorary research fellow and College tutor Dr Molavi resigned from the University’s Centre for Iranian Studies in 2010 for family reasons, and returned to Iran. There, he was arrested, is believed to be in solitary confinement, and reports suggest that he is suffering from an array of illnesses in prison. Additionally, there are those who believe that this arrest was pre-orchestrated, and that he was set up. I would also imagine that Durham University’s own student, Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi would disagree. Ehsan was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison for participating in anti-government protests in Tehran in 2009. Until very recently, there had been no public response from the University to the arrest and captivity of its own student. When Durham’s response did arrive, they nobly stated that they were “extremely disappointed” to hear of his conviction. I wonder, with utmost sincerity, just what “principles” the University claim they are holding to. It could be argued that these detentions occurred – or at least only became public knowledge– after the University accepted funding from Iran to hold a seminar here. But we should remember that the day the seminar was held, Tehran announced the execution of two young men it described as terrorists. Iran was hardly a beacon of political freedom and civil liberty, and the University cannot argue otherwise.
“I don’t feel like our internal student body has the capacity to support me” On one hand, the University may have accepted over $400,000 from the US State Department to run the Iranian seminars, and on the other, in 2010, were happy to accept a tidy sum of £5,000 from Iran to hold another. Last year, Dr Reza Molavi defended the University and denied that the seminar was pro-regime despite plenty of suggestions to the contrary. The same Dr Reza Molavi is now incarcerated somewhere in Iran. A Durham University student told The Guardian last year that “If universities want to hold events they don’t have the resources in-house. This highlights how British universities are forced to turn to authoritarian regimes for funding”. Yet, it is not merely the fact that the University accepted this money that makes their actions
advised course of action. In this case, the phrase is added as a note in brackets after a proposal stating that rather than the spies sitting behind a one-way mirror, the seminar NO planned to have US representatives taking part, and so the fact that s a politics student you get used they might hear and report back on to periodically seeing your de- proceedings would presumably have partment show up somewhere been fairly obvious to all involved. in Palatinate. I have no idea if we really The interest US officials showed do have more scandals or if the School in the ‘political cover’ has been read as of Government and International something dodgy, but all it’s really sayAffairs (SGIA) is just terrible at public ing is they believed that these projects relations, but you do get a vague were likely to be more worthwhile feeling of impending doom whenever (as they can attract more influential you see someone outside the skifigures) than ones run by individuals lodge (or ‘spy-lodge’ – free one there without these networks and so were a headline writers!) with a camera. good candidate of grant money. These latest allegations are possibly the worst yet: The department has been caught red-handed trying to promote human rights and democracy, training journalists and encouraging discussion of these issues in Iranian society. It goes without saying I am ashamed to be associated with such a morally-depraved department. Bizarrely these are details that have to date been played down. You’d think when suspicious grants were being made one of the more important details would be what these grants You could naturally take the were funding, but while most of the opposite tact and say that any talk early coverage seemed to be inferring of Human Rights in the cables is a a fairly straightforward ‘Cash 4 Spydevious cover for a huge conspiracy of ing’ arrangement what we’re actually spying, but while we can’t say for sure talking about is a series of seminars if academics at the SGIA devised a seand events with the aim of promoting ries of ridiculously detailed proposals discourse about democracy, human with the sole intention of using them rights within Iran (with a special focus as a cover to gather information for on women’s advocacy) and effectively the Americans (who then talk in code building human infrastructure for the about it even among themselves), I continued progression of these goals, think the idea that they thought that projects that in themselves would their plans were actually good ideas, appear to be pretty ‘not terrible’ things that would help make Iran a better to be doing. place, and they were happy to work That funding has come from the with the US to see them happen is a US government has raised some pretty reasonable interpretation. suspicions. However, the cables are Ethical implications seem to have clear it isn’t being funded out of some been well considered in the proposmysterious spy money pot but the als - the possibility that building a Democracy Small Grants programme database to help Iranian Non-Govwhich seems to have laudable but ernmental Organizations and media restrained aims, having specific outlets coordinate and link up with stipulations against using the money each other could end up being used to agitate for regime change in Iran by Iranian authorities has been confor example (something you wouldn’t sidered, and safeguards suggested. expect to find in internal correspondFrom the cable it is really easy to ence if it was actually an Orwellian see a positive side to this story and it fund devoted to undermining by any seems to have been driven by genermeans possible). ally noble aims. It’s hard to argue that While there’s the implication in spending money to build networks the cables that contacts made and and positive discussion in unattracinformation obtained would be useful tive regimes in ways that are neither to US organisations, it’s fairly easy violent nor particularly coercive is a to make the case that this element bad thing and when one proposed has been overemphasised – in part project is named ‘Iran-U.S. Civil Socibecause it’s the sexy part of the story, ety Engagement’ it’s hard to say there’s but also because the nature of the leak much emphasis on the US’s role here draws attention to it. being secretive. When we look at cables released All that really separates this from through Wikileaks what needs to be the many other ‘academic applies for remembered is that these are private and receives grant’ stories is that this communications intended for a speended up appearing in US diplomatic cific function to a specific audience. cables - which automatically makes They’re not an objective assessthe story seem much more scandalment of the proposal, but one that at ous than it otherwise would be (it several levels is designed to convince wouldn’t surprise me at all if more US officials it’s a good idea to fund the dodgy grants have been snuck out of projects. The comment that the event various departments as press releases). would offer ‘U.S. and USG observers Naturally we don’t know for sure a useful look inside Iranian politics at if these projects were ever funded or a grassroots level’ feels a lot like one of what form they eventually took, but those points made to remind people from the cables I find it difficult to that what you wanted to do anyway is take anything but a positive impresalso good for them, and the London sion of the motives involved and Embassy in passing this request back it’d be a shame if similar projects are home would also have had an interest harder to run in future as a result of in drawing attention to this to perthis one’s exposure. suade the Department to follow their Alex Parsons
“I find it difficult to take anything but a positive impression of the motives involved”
Could academia shed light on the most recent protests in the streets of Iran’s capital, Tehran?
unacceptable. It is the University’s apparently complete lack of regret for the damage it has caused. It has damaged its own reputation; that of its students and staff, and has done absolutely nothing to rectify it. A moral institution should realise that accepting funds from the Iranian government is simply unacceptable. Iran, according to the State of World Liberty index, is ranked 147 out of 159 in terms of economic and personal freedom. It executed 179 people in 2010 alone. Last month, two Iranian men were sentenced to death by stoning for homosexuality. Soheila Vahdati, who works with Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and a Iranian gay rights organisation, stated that the Iranian Government “don’t differentiate between rape and homosexual acts”. Ask yourself, is it morally right to accept money – no matter how much – from that government? Durham University may claim to hide under the guise of an intellectual institution aiming to promote buzzwords like “discovery”, “learning” and
“personal development”. The truth is quite different. Durham University is a business, and the evidence for this is clear for all to see. The University’s recent attempts to centralise the collegiate system and restrict the independence and freedoms of the JCRs stands diametrically opposed to the very point of the college system. The motivation behind all of the centralisation plans? Money saving. The Iranian seminars are simply another example of how the University’s main driving force is the acquisition of wealth; money to help facilitate, for example, the construction of the new Gateway building at the science site. The University could repair the damage. It could apologise for its acceptance of money; it could campaign for the release of Dr. Molavi and Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi; it could donate a sum of money to a human rights charity. Instead, it seems to have chosen to bury its head in the sand and hope that the problem goes away. We can only hope that our University finds somehow a conscience. Quickly.
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
News Sport:Durham Comment
Premiership clubs unfazed by incoming regulations FLICKR ID: TIMOJAZZ
At £35m, the transfer of Andy Carroll from Newcastle to Liverpool was one of January’s most talked about stories Christian Seiersen
In the late hours of 31st January the financial prestige of the English Premier League collapsed after a prolonged bombardment from various offshore
bank accounts. There had been evidence of structural deficiencies in previous transfer spending sprees but the decisive blow came in the form of an £85 million splurge involving two strikers, Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll. The sheer expense and rashness of the deals marked a fitting end to a
month period that has been charachterised by top-flight teams charging around the market with the financial shrewdness of a stag party in Vegas. With only eleven Premier League goals to his name, 22 year-old Carroll’s £35 million transfer to Liverpool earned him the title of most expensive British footballer...although with a hair-
style better suited to an unemployed addict of World of Warcraft, Liverpool shouldn’t have to pay too much for the 6’3” striker’s image rights. Newcastle’s official statement declared the transfer fee was “reluctantly accepted”, a view that owner Mike Ashley is sure to reciprocate once he returns from funding his latest project, a kebabflavoured pint. Not to be outdone, Carroll’s partner in crime, Fernando Torres, commanded a £50 million fee, placing him fourth in the globe’s most expensive transfers. Significantly, the fee was £15.8 million higher than the amount Barcelona paid for Torres’ compatriot, David Villa, in 2010. The 29-year-old striker is just three years older than Torres and scored five times in the 2010 World Cup finals, with Torres failing to find the net. There is no doubting Torres’ class, but in the previous two seasons he managed only 46 appearances in the Premier League, raising questions over his susceptibility to injury. In a transfer window where it was jokingly said that Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson had declared Howard Webb was “not for sale”, Sheikh Mansour’s Manchester City restrained themselves to a £27 million flutter on Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko. However the most remarkable aspect of the January spending, which increased by £195 million on last year, is that it has occurred in the same year that the governing body of European football, UEFA, are initiating their financial fair-play rules. Starting with the 2011/12 sea-
son, European club’s finances will be checked over the ensuing three years and clubs that are operating at a loss of £40 million or more over the period will face punishments such as being banned from the Champions League. For Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea, reaching this target will prove an arduous task, seeing as their January spending on transfers alone accounted for £71 million. This also comes on the back of last season, where Chelsea reported total losses of £70.9 million. Since 2005, eleven Premier League clubs have been taken over by private owners, including Sheiks, corrupt Prime Ministers and Russian oligarchs. Premiership teams have seemingly become an accessory for the globe’s überrich, with every big cheese queueing up to dunk their hardly-earned bread into the bubbling fondue of English football. This culture of a billionaire boys club has propelled Premiership spending into a league of its own, made apparent if you compare the spending of the Spanish Primera in January, of just £23.5 million. Whilst such financial gallivanting has provided pages of tabloid fodder, it is clearly not sustainable in the eyes of football’s controlling bodies. At the beginning of the season Manchester City’s wage bill, accounting for £133 million, single-handedly surpassed their total revenue by £8 million. Unless teams can wriggle their way around the incoming regulations, the acts of financial decadence indulged in this January may have to be banished in the future to the forlorn speculation of the Sun’s football gossip column.
Is Andy Murray being held back by his entourage? Patrick Fletcher
tive from his communication with his mother. He only channels it into negative energy, which further whips up his anxiety, stress levels and grumpiness. Novak Djokovic had similar problems not long ago; his volatile temperament often translated into hostility towards his team and the crowd. Now
though, he is on top form and seems a transformed man. He has learnt to channel his emotions well by blocking out the crowd entirely, not looking to his team for help and getting the job done single-handedly with tunnel vision. This is exactly what Murray needs to do. He and his team need to realise that FLICKR ID: MIRSASHA
Andy Murray’s defeat in the final of the Australian Open last month is still fresh in the memory of sports fans across Britain, who continue to wait for another major British winner. In nightmarish fashion, the rollercoaster ride of hope and disappointment that was Tim Henman’s career seems to be repeating itself. This time, however, the nation is not affording the same amount of patience to Murray, who has come in for widespread criticism and growing doubt as to whether he is actually capable of winning a Grand Slam tournament. I myself have harboured such doubts in the past, and have come to the conclusion that whilst his ability to win a major is unquestionable, he will only do so provided a few simple changes are made. It is the nature of his entourage that needs to be revolutionised. In no other sport do athletes rely so heavily upon their coaching structure, friends and family during play. It’s difficult to imagine a footballer, cricketer or any other sportsman for that matter, gazing longingly into the crowd as if it would magically provide
them with an inspirational boost. Tennis is unique in that respect, and although coaching teams, as Novak Djokovic pointed out last month, are crucial to a player’s success, from the sidelines they simply cannot win a match for their player. This is where Murray’s problem lies. His coaching team are too prominent, he communicates with them far too often, and his mum Judy just never sits down. We are all familiar with the stereotypical tennis parent; obsessive, intense and pushy, but Judy Murray makes Richard Williams look like he follows the careers of his daughters with indifference. Don’t get me wrong, I think Judy has done a fantastic job for Andy, his brother Jamie, and British tennis in general. She has been an indispensable force in Andy’s rise to the top of the men’s game, but if she wants to fulfil her lifetime dream and see her boy win a slam, now is the time to take a step back. In Melbourne last week the cameras switched regularly between Murray and his mum, who was living every rally and was always on hand to offer encouragement to her son. Many people will wonder how this is a negative thing, and I’m sure Judy’s intentions are benign, but Murray rarely seems to draw anything construc-
Is Murray’s coaching team more of a hindrance than a help during matches?
once he is on court, it’s up to him alone to get the job done. A coaching team in tennis is vital, but its work must be done behind the scenes. Essentially Djokovic has learnt to be focused, whilst Murray is buckling under the pressure of an expectant and impatient nation, and a pushy mother. In the final at Melbourne last month Murray was unbelievably cautious, always playing the percentage game and never willing to take risks. Murray’s temperament is indeed an issue, but the only solution is to cut the chord with what is feeding it. The presence and prominence of Judy and the rest of the entourage in part provide the pressure which causes Murray’s attitude problems and the distraction that indulges them. Of course she has the right to be there and to cheer him on - but surely if she wasn’t such an obtrusive figure, then Andy would be able to work his way through a match by himself and would be forced to resolve his on-court problems alone instead of spiralling into a state of moodiness and desperation. Judy and the team need to take a step back and allow Andy to mature as an individual who is capable of rising to big occasions, realising his undoubted potential and winning a Slam.
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
News Durham Durham Sport
Durham boxing club at charity show JACK ROLO
Delight for record-breaking Durham alumni Tom Clarke JOHN QUINN
Yuto Suzuki, in the red heardguard, boxing at the show
Elation at the finish line Simon Zieleniewski
urham University Amateur Boxing Club has been quietly growing and progressing in recent years. The recent popularity of boxing in Durham has resulted in in-
Castle men dominate Novice Cup Novice Cup - Castle Hazel Scott Aiten Trophy - St. John’s Royal County Plate - Castle Women’s Reserve Plate - Hild Bede Lauren Stark
The end in sight!
creasing club members, of both novice and competing abilities alike. Even other Team Durham club members have partaken in boxing sessions after hearing of the legendary intensity of boxing training. This academic year has seen the club’s facilities improve along with the member intake. The main upgrade has
an extremely close fight, which could have gone either way. The final Durham fight saw James Cochrayne-Dyet, at 69kg, making his ring debut against a much taller opponent again from Albert Hill ABC. The fight started well with James making use of the block and parry to counter with his own jab. However, the opponent’s height advantage eventually showed as he landed more shots, causing James to lose his earlier advantage. After James received a large right hand midway through the second round, the referee decided to stop the fight; safety of the boxers being paramount in all amateur contests. Despite the results, this was a great evening of boxing and good representation from Durham University. Making a competitive debut is always the toughest part of the sport so congratulations go to James. Congratulations also go to Yuto who will now be sorely missed after heading back to Japan for the remainder of his studies. The future is looking bright for DUABC with a potential entry to the ABA National Championships and other upcoming local shows.
A Durham lecturer has set a new record for the quickest time to row across the Atlantic. She was joined by two other Durham Alumni in a six-person crew, named Team Hallin, which smashed the previous record by 20 hours and 14 minutes. Naomi Hoogesteger, 29, who teaches Modern Languages, was the only female on board the 31 day, 23 hour and 31 minute voyage, but she was treated as one of the boys. It took just three days for the men to strip off to avoid blisters. One day later she was joining them. “I had some big sores on my bum and just had to do it. My crew had stripped off the day before and were just getting on with it”, she said. “i’ve seen enough dangly bits to last me a life time”, she added! This was just one of the many sacrifices made to become world record holders. Flying fish, 30ft waves and a Russian cargo ship were amongst other hazards the crew had to negotiate; a far cry from the meandering River Wear. But the most physically and emotionally demanding challenge was sleep deprivation. The crew rowed around the clock in two teams of three. Each team had just two hours to eat, sleep and run repairs on the boat before another gruelling two-hour stint. The voyage cost each rower two stone. Team Hallin took advantage of January’s trade winds and settled currents to make the 3,000-mile journey from Tenerife to Barbados. But their boat was their secret weapon. The 40 foot long boat has a revolutionary tri-hull design that was built for both speed and stability - an important feature if they all wanted to keep dry. For ex-DUBC rower, Chris Covey, the journey provided plenty of time to consider his next challenge: how to pop the question to his girlfriend. Fortunately it went as successfully as the voyage. Let’s hope his next journey is plain sailing.
been the purchase of a training ring, finally allowing members to spar effectively and experience the gladiatorial ring environment. As a result of the improvements the club was able, on the 4th February, to enter five boxers into the Durham Mayor’s Appeal Charity Boxing Dinner at the Abbey Leisure Centre in Pity Me. Unfortunately as is sometimes the way in boxing shows, only two Durham boxers were matched to opponents, after numerous withdrawals by opponents. However, 30 supporting club members still attended to cheer on the two boxers, Yuto Suzuki and James Cochrayne-Dyet. Yuto, a student at Teikyo University of Japan, weighing in at 60kg for his fifth bout, boxed an opponent from Albert Hill Amateur Boxing Club, Darlington. Yuto was by far the slicker and cleaner boxer, landing good shots on the counter and back foot. His opponent was an aggressive and scrappy fighter but threw numerous more shots. After three rounds of good boxing, the judges scored the fight as a split decision against Yuto. This was an unfortunate result from
Crabs, crashes and competition... the 2011 Novice Cup did not disappoint. Novice rowers gather every year at the river bank for a weekend filled with drama and excitement. This year, the 12th and 13th February, was no different, bringing in all the expected drama from Durham’s newest rowers in their first races. The head to head regatta, stretching 750m down the Wear, gave a chance for the new intake of rowers to compete for the first time. Which college could stand above the rest? Some crews showed true grit, whilst others seemed to be debating whether swimming might be a better past time. Supporters on the bank of the Wear and Bath’s Bridge, watched on in anticipation and excitement to witness the close battles of their college rowers. Despite the great showcase of talents, and to the amusement of the onlookers, several crews became dangerously close to capsizing - the weekend was one not to be missed. The race course started at Collingwood’s landing station and finished just after Bath’s Bridge. As a result, there were numerous cases of interesting steering and many crashes into the river bank, mainly on the Pelaw Woods side. A strong current over the weekend also meant that there were some tricky
starts, with crews having to start as far down the course as Hild Bede’s landing at times. One of the first crews to race was Stephenson College, with their race against St. Aidan’s setting the mood for the weekend. After only a few seconds, Stephenson’s stroke managed to snap his macon oar clean in half. However in true sportsmanship, they continued to race with only two men and still managed to beat Aidan’s to the finish line! A brilliant effort from Stephenson and a truly unique race only found at Durham’s Novice Cup. At the end of the weekend a ‘Castle v Castle’ final guaranteed Castle the Novice Cup, while the Hazel Scott Aiten trophy was awarded to St. Johns after they beat Cuth’s in the final of the Women’s cup race. Any crews knocked out of the cup in their first race also had a chance to compete in the plate competition. Castle’s men raced Hild Bede for the Royal County Plate and narrowly came first; taking yet another award that day. However, the Women’s Reserve plate was awarded to Hild Bede after they beat Castle’s crew in the final. Castle’s performance over the weekend displayed an extremely high standard of novice rowing, although at times even they had their share of chaos, with one of their crews nearly sinking. With banter rife on the river side, the commentators expertly filled any
Castle taking home the Royal County Plate
lulls over the weekend. With college rivalries customary, chants and screams echoed down the wear. The weekend was a huge success. Repercussions of the weekend included the novices enduring a vast amount of blisters, and the Durham
Amateur Rowing Club boat that lost its bow ball and a portion of the bow itself! However, I’m sure any of the rowers involved would agree that the early mornings and painful sessions on the ergs paid off, and provided a fantastic weekend for all involved!
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
DurhamSport News Durham
League leaders Grey fall to brave Aidan’s GARETH CHANMBERS
Aidan’s shocked league leaders Grey with a thrilling last minute victory
St Aidan’s A
Last Sunday saw Aidan’s A, struggling for form this season, take on league leaders Grey A. Promoted last season, Aidan’s went into this match languishing at the bottom of the Premiership with relegation looming. Conversely, Grey A went into the match unbeaten in the Premiership. So, on a bitterly cold winter’s morning, the match kicked off. Strong run-
Mary’s end Hatfield’s unbeaten run Mary’s A
up the pitch with strong running from the likes of Dave Howe and James Francis, but strong defensive performances from the Grey back row, most notably Olly Cobb, kept the game tight. Eventually, however, consistent pressure around the breakdown told, and Aidan’s scrum half, Tom Sedgewick, crossed from short range. Aidan’s went into half time leading 8-5. Re-energised after half time, both teams came out swinging. With the score standing at 8-8 and only twenty minutes to play, following a Grey penalty, the tension was palpable. At a crucial moment, however, a defensive mistake in the Aidan’s back line allowed the Grey full back to break free eventually resulting in a second try for Grey. The missed conversion left the scores at 13-8.
BUCS CrossCountry offers cause for positivity
some half chances but the Mary’s defence looked the stronger with Hatfield unable to keep possession for large periods. It was Mary’s who struck again next when Mike Elborn fired a ball across the D, but Tom Barratt neatly deflected it - putting the pressure on Hatfield to come back. A rousing half time team talk meant that Hatfield came back strongly; keeping the ball much better but still lacking the penetration needed to score. A mistake from Mary’s at the short corner meant that the straight drag flick found the net. Mary’s discipline came under question and Mike Elborn received his marching orders as Dave Humphreys Nick Butler felt there was one too many stick tackles. Mary’s held on with their best performance of the season and both teams remain in the title challenge. Despite aiming slightly higher than they achieved, there were still some superb Palatinate performances at last week’s BUCS Cross-country championships in Birmingham. Competing on a gruelling course, where the obligatory hills, mud and turns were made all the more demanding by strong winds and opposition of the highest calibre, the Men’s A team finished tenth out of over 40 teams, while the Women came 31st. First up was the Men’s A race, where the top six competitors from each university went head to head over 10km. In a line up packed with talent, including the Under-23 World Triathlon Champion, Leeds’ Jonny Brownlee, Durham came through strongly. Leading the way was Josh Cole, who after a great season so far, finished 47th and beat several internationals in the process. Following him was an impressive fresher duo of Michael Grimes and Patrick Vis, who Underdogs Mary’s raised their game came 57th and 73rd, and two postGARETH CHANMBERS
With Collingwood’s and Hatfield’s Hockey A teams looking like they were going to pull away in the Men’s Premiership, St Mary’s last chance of keeping anywhere near the pace in the league required them to defeat the ever strong Hatfield A on Saturday. With a replay of this game, plus two games versus Collingwood, Mary’s were looking to close the gap on the two teams ahead of them, whereas Hatfield were looking to add to their impressive 100% record which has put them at the head of the table. The game started quickly and after a mistake from the Hatfield centre midfielder, Mary’s captain took the free hit quickly and played a precise through ball to Nick Bourne, whose first touch meant he was able to pick his spot and fire Mary’s ahead. Hatfield created
ning from the Aidan’s pack created consistent quick ball play, eventually causing the Grey back row to infringe at the breakdown, conceding a penalty in front of their posts. Tom Sedgewick duly kicked the penalty, putting Aidan’s 3-0 up. As expected from a side of their calibre, Grey responded strongly. With both fly halves exchanging kicks, it was eventually Grey who got the better of their opponents when a jinking run from their full back broke the Aidan’s defensive line. After three phases of tight work from the forwards, the ball was swung wide and Grey scored in the corner. The conversion was missed and twenty minutes into the first half Grey led 5-3. The rest of the first half continued in a similar fashion. The Aidan’s forwards made good progress
In the sixty-fifth minute the game was turned on its head when Grey captain Olly Cobb was sin binned for a dangerous tackle. Minutes later, Sedgewick missed a difficult penalty kick at goal and it seemed that the match was slipping through the fingers of the Aidan’s side. However, without the physical presence of Cobb, the Grey defence found it increasingly difficult to deal with the aggressive running of the Aidan’s forwards. Strong running from the Aidan’s back row, particularly from captain Joe Tanner and replacement James Coy, won Aidan’s two penalties in quick succession, both of which were successfully kicked by Tom Sedgewick. This left the score at 14-13 to Aidan’s with five minutes left on the clock. However, calamity struck when, with only minutes to play, Aidan’s conceded a reckless penalty at the breakdown in front of their own posts. The resulting kick was well taken, putting Grey ahead by two points. In a tense final minute, the ball was successfully recycled by the Grey forwards a number of times. Just as the referee’s watch hit full time however, a strong tackle from Aidan’s diminutive fly half Jamie Leven resulted in a penalty just outside the Grey 22. With the last kick of the game, under considerable pressure, mercurial talent Tom Sedgewick kicked a difficult penalty, securing Aidan’s a well-deserved win. Anyone watching could see what it meant to both teams. Elation from the exhausted Aidan’s side and disappointment from a Grey pack who knew they had not performed to the standards they set themselves. Both sides should take pride from the high standard of rugby exhibited, and for keeping us all on the edge of our seats for 80 minutes. However, it was Aidan’s who eventually emerged victorious. grads, Martin Proctor and Dan Jenkin, who worked together for most of the race, and both finishing in the top 100. Last but not least was Cross-Country captain (and 800m specialist) Jack Hillier, who despite having only a few hours notice that he was running, ran a welljudged effort to come 109th. The subsequent 7km Women’s event was turned into a runaway victory by one of Britain’s most exciting young talents, European Champion Charlotte Purdue, who took up the pace from halfway and won by almost a minute. Further back and reaping the rewards of brave, aggressive tactics was Kat O’Mahony, who led the Palatinate charge with a top 200 finish, and was followed by Sophie Smith and Olivia Short. With four other girls closely behind, Durham showed their depth, but were just missing the extra quality up front which last year’s BUCS 10,000m silver medallist, Becky Howarth, provided. The final event of the day was the Men’s B race, which despite its slightly less competitive reputation, was still a race of the highest quality, dominated by the athletics superpowers - Birmingham, Loughborough and St Mary’s. Nevertheless, Durham performed strongly, registering three teams; the highest of which was eighth university, being led home impressively by club President Owen Walpole – who was one of four top 100 finishes. The weekend showed that there is lots more training to do, but after a strong season (which included a third place finish at the Leeds University Relays) clear improvements have been made, as attention now turns to the BUCS Indoor Athletics championships next weekend.
Impressive Durham make short work of St Andrew’s Louisa Boddy
Following a highly commendable away performance against Birmingham, Durham University X1 secured a place in the final sixteen of the BUCS competition, earning a home fixture against St Andrews. The two teams began their knockout campaign on equal footing, with both sides unable to retain possession, lifting balls and having their passes intercepted. Durham however, began to show their experience, commanding much of the play and beginning to look threatening. Nevertheless, Durham were unable to consistently break through the flat sticks of the St Andrews defence, having their early chances go wide and their first penalty corner blocked. It was Harriet Moore on thirteen minutes who was able to open the scoring for the home side when some swift passing across the top of the attacking D allowed her to slot the ball past the keeper off the rebound. Durham continued to press the opposition, and just five minutes later, Harriet Moore converted her second goal of the game with an impressive reverse stick shot into the top of the net to bring the score to 2-0. Caroline Crawford managed to extend the score line to 3-0 after some quick play down the right side allowed her to steal a cheeky goal from her teammate with a sly touch on the goal line off the initial shot. Just two minutes later, Harriet Moore claimed a well-deserved hattrick when a great through ball from Anna Thompson created enough space in the circle for the ball, which was coolly fired into the back of the net to give Durham an encouraging 4-0 lead as the sides entered half time. For much of the second half, Durham seemed unable to take control of the game, with St Andrews forcing two penalty corner opportunities, which fortunately for Durham, were saved. It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the game that Durham began to re-gain their old form, forcing their own penalty corner from which Sophie Davies ended the temporary goal draught, guiding the ball into the net from a slick corner routine. The revival of Durham spirit could be seen right until the final whistle, when another well-executed penalty corner allowed Cherry Seaborn to drill home a deflection goal and seal the match at a respectable 6-0.
PALATINATE | Tuesday 22nd February 2011
NewsPage Durham Back
In-form Palatinates secure quarter-final Tom Ryder
urham’s Hockey first XI continued the fine form they have found this season as they triumphed over Brunel to earn themselves a quarter-final spot in The Men’s Championship Knockout Competition. And though the win was not as convincing as the Palatinates might have hoped for at the outset, they fully justified their progression into the final eight, outplaying the London University for extended periods and retaining possession when it mattered most. Brunel usually play their hockey in the South East conference – effectively a division below Durham – and they put on a spirited display, but were unable to cause an upset as the host’s class eventually shone through. The opening minutes saw the best chance fall to the visitors as they were presented with a penalty corner. The opportunity was squandered though as the Durham back line rushed out to block a weak strike. Thereafter, and indeed for most of the first half, goal threats were at a premium as both sides preferred to develop play patiently from the back. Centre halves Oliver Clarke and Dan Coultas kept things organised for the home side, stretching play as Durham attempted to work it down the flanks. It was the end product which was
Durham put in a solid performance as they advanced to the quarter finals
lacking though. The Brunel keeper barely had a save to make in the opening period, with the Palatinates seemingly trying to walk it in rather than try their luck from range. It took a penalty corner to break the deadlock, with Scottish International Coultas firing home with just five minutes remaining in the first half. Another chance fell to Ali Whitehair as he latched on to a tired-looking Brunel pass, but he could only clip it wide of the keeper’s right hand post. This was virtually the last passage of
play before the half time whistle, and Durham went in with a narrow 1-0 advantage. It may have come as a result of some stern half time words from head coach Gavin Featherstone, or simply from the chance to regroup which the break allowed, but Durham emerged a changed side and turned up the heat in the early minutes of the second half. More sloppy exchanges from the visitors led to the ball spiralling in the air within Brunel’s D, but Tony Wilson was unable to find the net.
It was of little consequence however, as the sustained pressure quickly told and Durham doubled their lead, Lawrie Hill adding his name to the score sheet by scrambling the ball in from close range. This second strike served to ease the pressure on the Palatinates, gifting them some breathing space. Captain Paddy Harman began to assert himself, Hodgson and Foster pulled the strings in midfield, and before long the superior fitness of the hosts was apparent as they took charge of the match.
Netballers ease past Hertfordshire
one bit as they continually moved the ball brilliantly and created a host of chances, which were usually converted by the impressive Thorne. Thorne dodged well all game, showing early and also using the full depth of the court to great effect; seemingly scoring at will, which left the crowd wondering if she ever misses? It appeared that the Hertfordshire JOHN BURN-MURDOCH
Durham announced their presence in the BUCS knockouts with a huge 5818 victory over visitors, Hertfordshire. Durham never looked in any trouble as they swept aside their opponents with a dominant display: going in front early and never releasing their grasp on the game. The opening quarter saw the Palatinates build a 13-4 lead with a combination of a tight, pressing defence and slick, quick-paced forward play. Centre Clare Henry promptly took control of the centre court, giving her opposite number the run-around, and it soon spread through out the team as Durham’s passing game began cutting paths through their guests. Goal Defence Natalie Connor and Wing Defence Rosie Wadham regularly produced beautifully distributed
long passes that, when combined with the quick hands of Henry and Wing Attack Marie Ewing further up the court, gave Durham a very effective transition from attack to defence, often turning defence into a shooting opportunity in a matter of seconds. Durham’s defence is a real strength of the team and they were again superb throughout the match with Team Northumbria pairing Connor and Abi Ryan showing their skill and experience with frequent intercepting of Hertfordshire attacks. As a unit, Durham defended tightly and pressed the visitors back into centre court, which stalled their attacks and often led to Hertfordshire mistakes. Durham’s constant turnover of possession allowed them to build on their already healthy advantage and go into the half time break at 29-8. Hertfordshire simply couldn’t string two points together as Durham’s rampage continued into the second half, putting the game well and truly beyond reach. The link-up of Ewing, Emma Watkinson and Katie Thorne was very fluid throughout and the introduction of substitutes Jasmine Coyne and Sarah Harding didn’t alter Durham’s stride
Palatinates dominated throughout
defence had had a similar thought, and resigned themselves to it, as they looked rather dejected every time she caught the ball in a shooting position. The game ended as it started, with Durham in control - when the whistle came, Durham were up to the score of 58-18. Player Coach, Ewing, was delighted with the teams performance, “We aimed for 60 goals, which we didn’t quite achieve but we still sent a strong message. We were patient with the ball but managed to pressure them when they had it, which was key”. Ewing is optimistic but not complacent about the teams prospects: “It’s a quarter final away to Brunel next, which is a journey into the unknown”. As this was only Durham’s first season in the Northern Premier, they did exceptionally well to qualify as third seeds, but now they must make full use of their seeding and progress as far as they can. Like with any knockout tournament, no one has a right to win and Durham are looking to cause some surprises against the established Netballing universities, starting next week with franchise feeder-university, Brunel.
Having survived a couple more penalty corners unscathed, Durham found their third goal after a mazy run from Hugh Robinson lured the keeper out of his net. ‘Robbo’ swivelled, shielding the ball from the advancing net man and laid it off to Hill, who met the ball and slotted it home. The clock ticked down and the hosts eased off the gas, preferring to keep the ball in their own half. In the dying seconds however, the otherwise faultless Clarke had his crossfield pass intercepted by the Brunel attackers, who proceeded to win a penalty corner. Time was up before the visitors had organised themselves, meaning they were allowed to put every single man on the edge of the D for the last move of the game. This time the London outfit were able to find a gap in Durham’s defences and they pulled a goal back as the final whistle was blown. Durham will take heart from the result but will know that if they are to beat the tougher opposition which the latter stages of this competition will undoubtedly present, they might need to up their game. Despite sharing this sentiment, Head Coach and double Olympian Featherstone seemed fairly happy with the outcome: “I wouldn’t say we were below par, it was just a hot and cold performance. We ran them ragged at times today – it could have been 5 or 6-1 but for some reason we just didn’t shoot.” “Either way, they were a big, physical side with talented individuals. As a team we were far stronger. Hodgson and Foster in particular were the engine room…Robbo and Paddy also had good games”.
Inside sport Women’s hockey thrash St Andrew’s
Alumni break Atlantic record
Novice cup round-up
Andy Murray’s lack of Slams
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Published on Feb 27, 2011
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