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Willy Mason talks about his body of work, cats and chicken korma indigo, page 10

No. 746

Where does your team stand? Check out the college sports matrix Sport, pages 18-19

Palatinate Durham’s student newspaper since 1948

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | FREE

Comment: Rape isn’t funny: an open letter from a student survivor

The morning trudge to the Bill Bryson Library was brightened (but slowed) by the snow Photograph: Joyce Uerpairojkit

New college plans revealed Harriet Line The University council has approved the construction of a new college of Durham University. The University plans to accommodate a higher proportion of students, taking pressure off the city’s housing capacity. Speaking to Palatinate, the ViceChancellor, Professor Chris Higgins, explained that the accommodation strategy for the University over the next few years would only take the form of college accommodation. The preferred site for the new college is the Mount Oswald Golf Course, behind Van Mildert and opposite Ustinov College. The site has space for around 500 rooms, some of which may be included in extensions to other college accommodation. The University are attempting to acquire the land, currently owned by the developer Banks Property who have plans to build family housing on the site. Initially, Banks Property proposed building 1,000 flats on the golf

course, but did not gain support from the University. The outcome of the planning permission will be decided in February. The Vice-Chancellor described the request as “urgent” stating that “we want to get it done as soon as possible which is why it’s urgent that planning permission goes through for that site.” “It’s urgent for the city as well. Some residents think there should be no development on that site, but if there’s no development on that site we can’t build another college, which doesn’t ease the pressures on the city.” Other sites that are being considered include the Leazes Road site by the College of St. Hild and St. Bede and the land by the old swimming baths behind Old Elvet. The latter is on hold due to flooding risks, pending the results of an Environment Agency survey . The Leazes Road site would see the reconstruction of the 1960s accommodation blocks that are not suitable for refurbishment. Due to planning restrictions owing to the

college’s visibility from the cathedral, it is unlikely that this will happen in the near future. A survey of this site is currently underway to assess how best to reconstruct the college. The project will see students move away from St Hild and St Bede during the reconstruction period, potentially into the new college.

500

The number of college rooms the Mount Oswald site could accommodate

Professor Higgins emphasised that the accommodation would increase the number of returning students living in college, as the number of first year students would not rise, meaning that students are distributed across the colleges. He stated, “Colleges are one of our unique selling points for building sub communities of students and the competitiveness between colleges is

great. “Internal competition helps everything – you can really focus on excellence.” The University has no plans for student expansion in Durham. A new college is also being considered for Stockton to bring the campus to a critical mass, and to solve the housing problems there. With the new bridge across the Tees, the North Shore can be developed. Alongside the new college development, the University plans to build further student accommodation on the boiler site at Hatfield College, providing more space for academics and returning students. The news comes after criticism from students and local residents about the expansion in student numbers ahead of accommodation, leading Liberal Democrat councillor David Freeman, speaking in relation to housing on Old Elvet, to accuse the University of having “consistently failed to consider the permanent residents and needs of Durham City.”

continued on page 3

Business: Interviewed: Greg Wigdortz, founder of Teach First

Food: Some alternatives to your typical winter warmers


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Editorial

Leveson is irrelevant for our generation Were you glued to a television screen when Lord Justice Leveson unveiled the conclusions of his inquiry? Have you spent the last two weeks poring over the four weighty volumes of his report? If you haven’t had the (questionable) pleasure already, I wouldn’t bother. That isn’t merely because Brian Leveson has managed to write the one thing less thrilling than a 2,000 word summative on sixteenth-century population growth. It is because the grandly titled ‘Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press’, which cost the taxpayer £3,903,000, has very little relevance for our lives and futures. Both in his analysis of the media landscape and recommendations for new regulation, Lord Justice Leveson dangerously underestimates every student’s favourite procrastination tool: the internet. Of the 1957 pages of the report, the section entitled “The relevance of the internet” covers just two. Within the section Lord Justice Leveson argues that the internet, full of bloggers and tweeters, is an “ethical vacuum”. By contrast, tabloid and broadsheet newspapers still carry a “kitemark” of respect

and gravitas. But, ask yourself, do you buy a print newspaper on a regular basis? Even if you use newspaper websites, how regularly do you check the same ones? The inevitable problem with Leveson is that, by its very nature, it was always looking backwards to find solutions for the future. Yet we, as students and future newsconsuming adults, have a very different present. Our primary sources for news are the social media time sappers, search engines like Google and a sprinkling of news websites. On the internet, anything goes. We regularly see a whole range of content from the ethical to the downright defamatory. Our social web can spread information, correct or not, faster than any news organisation. Our short digital attention spans means news or the latest amusing trend flies by very quickly. Durham’s Youtube mini-phenomenon, ‘Porting Durham’, is a prime example of this rapid transition from hit of the day to, quite literally, last week’s news. The video gained 50,000 views in its first few days but is now no longer as

hilarious or relevant as it was on the day it was published. Case in point: you won’t find any mention of the video in this edition, you’ve likely watched it by now. Obviously, this goes beyond Durham. An estimated 25 million people saw the nude pictures of Prince Harry before the Sun printed them. A pixelated image of the Duchess of Cambridge’s breasts is just a few keystrokes away. It was Twitter that initially exploded Ryan Giggs’ super-injunction. A new independent regulator with ‘teeth’ might be able to keep a keen eye on the online operations of the major newspaper groups, but the wide variety of information channels on the internet means ethical checks are an impossibility. It is an overused but relevant cliché: we are the internet generation. Student life today is bound up with the internet, as we become ever more digitally focused. The Leveson Inquiry was an expensive but noble response to malpractice in the British press. Unfortunately, its relevance to our future, and even our present, is severely limited. Charlie Taverner

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

Palatinate TV DUCK Specials

PTV Features: Movember

PTV Come Dine With DUCK

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

Editorial Board Vacancies News Editor

Want to scour Durham for the latest news and pull together the front nine pages of every edition? Always curious to find out what’s the real story behind day-to-day events? If that’s you, then you might just be our next News Editor. Some journalistic experience is preferred.

Comment Editor

The Comment section, the most contentious section in Palatinate, is looking for a new editor. We need someone with an eye for an interesting debate and a considered take on current affairs.

Indigo Editor

The Indigo Editor is in charge of managing Palatinate’s arts and lifestyle magazine. Their role ranges from training new section editors to overseeing the final production of all sixteen pages. If you’re interested in any of these positions then request an application form by emailing editor@palatinate.org. uk. Keep an eye out for more vacancies over the Christmas holidays.

Letters to the editor: University responds to data article This is a response to the article “Student email addresses freely available online” from 27.11.12. Durham University takes its data protection responsibilities extremely seriously and the welfare of our students is our first priority. 1. The article’s introduction refers to a “technical error” that has led to “contact details for every member of the University being published online.” RESPONSE: There has been no error, nor is the publication of University staff and students’ basic details (which includes their university-allocated email addresses) a new development. It is impor-

tant to note that the display of student email addresses provides an efficient way for academic and support staff to respond to students’ needs and requests. Our online email and telephone directory fulfils the University’s obligations with regard to the Data Protection Act 1998 as we clearly state the following within our Data Protection Policy: “Registration with Computing and Information Services (CIS) means that a student’s name, college, course of study and email address will appear in the University’s electronic email and telephone directory which can be viewed on the World Wide Web. In exception-

al circumstances individuals can opt-out of the directory either at the point of first registering with CIS when completing a registration form, or later by contacting the University’s Data Protection Officer, who will inform CIS.” 2. The article goes on to suggest that there is no difference between the directory’s “freely available” entries and those that are password-protected for internal use. RESPONSE: From a student perspective, there is no difference between the password and nonpassword areas of the directory. University staff have the ability to restrict viewing of their email address so that it is not available off-

site, unless viewed via the password-protected directory. This function is not currently available to students. John Kelly, Deputy IT Director Information Systems and Programmes with Computing and Information Services, said: ““Durham University takes its data protection responsibilities very seriously – the welfare of our students remains our first priority. “Computing and Information Services will, upon request, remove students’ details from both listings.”

Inside No.746 Palatinate News pages 3-9 Careers page 11 Business pages 12-13 Comment pages 14-16 Sport pages 17-20

indigo

Editorial page 2 Features page 3 Books page 4 Stage page 5

Fashion pages 6-7

Film & TV pages 8-9

Music pages 10-11 Food pages 12-13

Visual Arts page 14

Travel page 15

Editorial Board Editors-in-Chief Charlie Taverner & Olivia Rudgard editor@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Editor Joe Adams deputy.editor@palatinate.org.uk News Editors Matt Lee & Harriet Line news@palatinate.org.uk News Features Editor Sally Wardle news.features@palatinate.org.uk Indigo Editor Alexandra Groom indigo@palatinate.org.uk Chief Sub-Editor Kelsey Tollady sub-editing@palatinate.org.uk Section Sub-Editors Patrick Fletcher, Aurelien Hayman, Helen Tredget, Frances Teehan & Tom Willshaw Photography Editor Nicoletta Asciuto photography@palatinate.org.uk Deputy Photography Editors Naomi Ellis, Rose Innes, Asher Haynes & Anni Pekie Illustrations Editor James Crosland-Mills illustration@palatinate.org.uk Palatinate TV Station Manager Livia Carron ptv@palatinate.org.uk Publicity Officer Tilly Barr publicity@palatinate.org.uk Advertising Officer Natalie Carnachan advertising@palatinate.org.uk For the full team see Palatinate Online

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


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

News

Late Durham graduate in charts Charlotte Armstrong Durham graduate Jimmy Higham, has made it to No. 3 in the iTunes chart almost a year after he tragically lost his battle with cancer. Jimmy Higham, a teaching assistant who attended Durham was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour, related to testicular cancer, in 2010. He bravely underwent a gruelling course of treatment which, heartbreakingly, was unsuccessful. Jimmy died on the 17th December 2011 aged 26. A born sportsman, Jimmy represented Lancashire in Rugby Union from the age of thirteen. He attended Standish High School before receiving a sports bursary to study his A-Levels at Rossall School, Fleetwood, where he captained the 1st XV in rugby, and became captain of his house, Maltese Cross. At Durham, he was member of the College of St Hild and St Bede and played for DURFC for all of his three years. It was here that Jimmy first discovered his love for soul music. Following university, he landed his ideal job, and became a PE teacher at Wellington College in Berkshire.

No. 3

The current position of Jimmy’s cover of ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ in the iTunes chart

In March 2009, just a few months before his diagnosis, Jimmy recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ with his friend and colleague, John Walmsley, at Wellington College. Since the single’s discovery and release in November, Jimmy’s uplifting rendition has soared up the iTunes soul chart - bypassing One Direction, Rihanna and Marvin Gaye - and is currently sitting at No. 1. A group of friends and supporters are aiming to get the single to No. 1 via the Facebook group, ‘Jimmy for Christmas Number One’, created by his close school friend Gillian Mitchell. Gillian has been raising money for the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign in Jimmy’s memory. Jimmy’s friends and family are delighted by the success of his song, which is available to download on iTunes for 79p.

News Editors: Matt Lee & Harriet Line news@palatinate.org.uk

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Deputies: Lizzie McAdam, James Ablett & Jillian Ward

Palatinate

New drug and alcohol rehab centre on Whinney Hill upsets residents Jillian Ward The construction of a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre on Whinney Hill is expected to be completed at the beginning of the new year, sparking controversy among the surrounding residential community. The plan to move the centre from Claypath to numbers 81 to 88 on Whinney Hill was granted in September by Durham County Council’s planning committee. The plans were approved by five votes to three.

“Not a suitable development for a residential area”

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Elvet, David Freeman An NHS press release justified the move as providing “better facilities for service users and staff” and that the close proximity to the prison “will strengthen the positive links with our criminal justice partners, provide greater health outcomes for service users and a reduction in offending within our communities.” Liberal Democrat County Councilor for Elvet, David Freeman, was one of the three who voted against the proposal to move the centre. The main reason for his opposition, he told Palatinate, is that a rehabilitation centre is “not a suit-

able development for a residential area.” The plans also received opposition from the Whinney Hill Community Group in March. The group complained it should have been more involved in the discussions surrounding the move. Freeman also claimed that the centre will inhibit residential development in the area. He said that the old school site on Whinney Hill across from the prison was “trying to get a developer to build new domestic properties” on it, but that “since planning permission was granted for the [rehabilitation] centre the chosen developer for the old school site has withdrawn interest.” Freeman also emphasised a rise in fear of crime among residents, as “the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre is to deal with a large number of clients each day, most of whom have a criminal record.” The fear of crime is thought to rise especially amongst “the old people who live in The Hallgarth”, flats between Whinney Hill and Hallgarth Street. Irene Clarke, an elderly woman living alone on Whinney Hill, agreed that she is “not very happy” about the building of the centre due to a feared increase in crime rates. “You get more cautious when you’re older,” she added. However, the NHS press release notes there “is often a misconception around treatment centres and the services they provide and we are working hard to reduce the stigma around drug use and demonstrate the value of these services [...] for the wider community.”

The new centre, opposite the prison, will strengthen links with criminal justice partners Photograph: Rose Innes Students do not seem to be as fearful of a rise in crime associated with the centre. Siri Minsaas, a second-year International Relations student and resident of Whinney Hill, told Palatinate: “I don’t see how it would lead to any more crime, because we’re right next to a police station, which is a pretty stupid place to commit a crime.” William Garrison, a third-year Maths student who lives on Whinney Hill, told Palatinate: “I’m not bothered, to be honest.” His housemate and second-year Engineer-

ing student, Michael Stewart, said that he is not afraid of an increase of crime as “nobody does drugs on Whinney Hill.” Mark Harrison, joint commissioning manager for the public health drug and alcohol commissioning team, defended the centre as being “covered by CCTV cameras”, adding that “all visits would be by appointment.” Lyndsey Waters of the Durham City Council told Palatinate that the Council “will not receive any more petitions or complaints” about the opening of the centre.

Halls of Residence that you get in any other university.” The Vice-Chancellor defended the accommodation issues, stating: “We’re not increasing the intake of students per year – what we’ve got to do is increase accommodation and to that we need to get planning permission for the Mount Oswald site. “We want to accommodate a higher proportion of students which would give us mixed communities. “Clearly a college which is just first years is not appropriate – it’s not a college.” Banks Property, who currently own the site, asked Durham County Council for outlying planning permission for sixteen self-design homes, 56 executive homes, 250 family homes, community facilities, parkland and student accommodation, while Mount Oswald Manor House

would be transformed into offices, in an attempt to free up city housing for local families earlier this year. These plans were criticised by local residents in the Save Mount Oswald Campaign at the time for being too extensive, and potentially damaging one of the “most beautiful spaces [in Durham city].” The Vice-Chancellor urged local residents to support the plans for more college accommodation to aid mixed communities. He added: “What Banks do with the rest of the site is an issue as well; clearly whatever might or might not be developed there needs to be appropriate for Durham City - I think everyone agrees we need more housing... If it does not go there, it needs to go somewhere else.”

Higher proportion of students to live in college

Continued from page 1 “Durham University in the last 20 years has massively increased its student numbers but failed to build the college accommodation to go with this expansion.” The Vice-Chancellor responded: “We have a legal obligation to sell it [our property] to the highest bidder. I think the person who has the buildings [on Old Elvet] is turning them into postgraduate accommodation – which they have the right to do and we cannot do much about that. “I would personally prefer it if these buildings were turned into private houses but they’re not under our control once we’ve sold them.” Robert Urwin, a second-year student at University College who has not obtained a place on the room ballot to live in during his third year,

remarked: “I think it’s detrimental to the college system - it’s a great advantage having first and third years living in together.

“The college system is one of the main draws of Durham, just having first years living in makes its like a Halls of Residence ” Second-year student at University College

“The college system is one of the main draws of Durham, and just having first year living in makes it like


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News

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

DSU President’s Column Archie Dallas I was hoping that this was going to be my first column of the year in which I could talk about something a bit more lighthearted. Something Christmassy perhaps, maybe involving a bit of festive cheer. But then the University published their prices to live in college next year. It will come as a it of a shock to you that some of these prices have rocketed by up by £300, with the headline price of a standard let being just shy of six grand. It’s hard to know which problems to focus on with rising accommodation prices Do you address how the three streets used to represent ‘average private accomodation’ are Hallgarth. Whinney Hill and the Viaduct (three of the most expensive areas of Durham)? Do you point out that these have been reached with practically no student consultation? Can I bring myself to even mention the email that reassuringly tells us that this represents ‘good value’?

“No-one seems to have considered the difference Bill Bryson at the library renaming ceremony at which he spoke to staff and students Photograph: North News and Pictures between a low cost and a price that we can actually Former University Chancellor has the library officially named in his honour afford”

Bill Bryson returns to rename library

No, the real problem here is that no one seems to have considered the difference between a low cost, and a price that we can actually afford. The price of living in for full board next year is going to be around £6000, however your maintenance loans will be £4500 at most. That’s before you spend a penny on a train ticket, join a society or buy a drink at the bar. These numbers don’t stack up, and it’s forcing students to fund £1500 from their own pocket, on top of tuition fees, living costs, library fines etc etc. I appreciate that it’s expensive to run a college, especially ones that are 600 years old or practically falling down. However equally, there’s no point in running empty colleges because no student can afford to live in them. Students aren’t getting any richer, and these numbers keep going up. This needs to be looked at properly, as something is going to break and I’m worried that it’s going to be students’ finances.

Matt Lee Harriet Line

Renowned author and former chancellor Bill Bryson has returned to Durham for the renaming of the main library in his honour. The name change has been in effect since the start of the year but a ceremony on 27th November in the east wing confirmed the change. He told Palatinate: “I’m so overwhelmed and more than I expected to be. This is one of the most amazing things that fulfils all my dreams.” At the event, the Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins praised Bryson’s commitment to the University and explained why he was chosen as the library’s namesake. Professor Higgins commented: “Bill Bryson is the perfect person to name this library after because of his love of books and, of course, everyone loves his books. “Bill was a wonderful Chancellor and particularly because of the

time and energy he spent with the student body.” Dr Bryson served as Durham University’s Chancellor from April 2005 until December 2011. Before he took up the position of Chancellor at Durham University, Dr Bryson was a noted travel writer who penned several bestsellers such as ‘Notes From a Small Island’.

“Bill Bryson is the perfect person to name this library after” Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Higgins

Despite having not returned to Durham since he stepped down, Dr Bryson retains fond memories of his time at the University. “It was the best years of my life and was the happiest time. It’s the biggest responsibility I’ve ever taken on.

“Because it’s a university, and a very good university at that, it means that I was exposed to really exciting things and exciting people.” The former Chancellor also had personal memories of the building which now bears his name. “I couldn’t think of a single structure in Durham that I’d rather have named after me: I’ve done a lot of research here in the seven years or so that I was Chancellor. “Whenever I had an afternoon off I’ve been here. Its fantastic as a resource and it’s the most wonderful place.” It was during Dr Bryson’s chancellorship that the library and surrounding science site underwent major redevelopment. The £11m east wing, which forms part of the Bill Bryson library, was constructed during his time at Durham even though he did not stay long enough to see it open. The need for this continued investment to maintain Durham’s academic reputation was put into

context by Dr Bryson. “There’s a university in Iowa, where I come from, called Brunel College which has an endowment of $1.7 billion. It has more of an endowment than all of the universities in Britain.

“This is one of the most amazing things that fulfils all my dreams” Former Chancellor Dr Bill Bryson

“But when you look at how British universities perform, they are top of the world.” However, when questioned about the name of the library, the former Chancellor commented that: “It would be nice if it were just called The Bryson Library, just using the last name when they refer to it – ‘I’m off to the Bryson’.”


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

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Ex-Durham academic avoids extradition to US Catherine Malpass

A former tutor at Durham University has won a high court battle to avoid extradition to the US. Nosratollah Tajik, a former academic in the University’s Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, was accused of conspiring to smuggle US arms to Iran. Mr Tajik was arrested in London in 2006 when a sting operation was performed by undercover American agents, accusing Tajik of conspiring to export US night-vision goggles to Iran without a licence. Mr Tajik, who was working as an engineering scholar at Durham University at the time, claimed that he was the middle man and that he bought the goggles for a student for a research project. The extradition process has lasted six years due to delays from the home secretary and American authorities. The Home Office voiced apprehensions that sending Tajik to America for trial could lead to tensions between the UK and Iran. There were also fears surrounding the safety of staff at the British Embassy in Tehran if extradition were to go ahead. The high court ruled against extradition on the grounds that the USA

had failed to justify why these delays had occurred. They also condemned Washington’s handling of the case. Mr Tajik commented that the ruling of the high court was a “brave decision.” He will now be freed unless the Home Secretary and US government attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court. Mr Tajik, who is also a former high-ranking Iranian diplomat, has since claimed that he has been held ‘hostage’ in this international diplomatic row.

6 years

The time it has taken for the extradition request to be rejected

Mr Tajik, who is married with two children, has claimed that the court case has had a serious effect upon his family and his own health. Alun Jones QC, the barrister representing Tajik in the case, commented that due to his heart and other health problems, his defendant may not have been able to survive the American legal proceedings had he been extradited. Mr Tajik is now living in London under house arrest.

He has to wear an electronic tag and is subjected to night-time curfew. However, if he were extradited and convicted, his sentence could be up to ten years in jail. The Home Office have repeatedly claimed that delays surrounding Mr Tajik’s extradition were a result of his deteriorating health concerns. Hugo Keith QC, who appeared for Home Secretary Theresa May, said that delays had occurred due to the fear that extraditing Mr Tajik could be a “real and immediate threat to UK embassy personnel in Tehran.” Ministers wanted to wait and see if the US government would withdraw its request in sight of these potential problems. A US diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks in 2011 suggests that the UK Government put the extradition on hold to protect information during a time of sensitive talks on nuclear arms with Iran. Lord Justice Moses has commented on the case: “In the absence of any justification offered by the requesting state, the USA, the court could not find that there was reasonable cause for the delay.”

P

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Nosratollah Tajik taught at the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Photograph: Durham University

Stash stolen from University College MCR

DUCK Officer’s Column

Owen Shipton

Carmen O’Loughlin DUCK Officer

Around £300 worth of stash has been stolen from Castle College MCR. The theft occurred at some point between Saturday 24th November and the evening of the following day. In total, around fifteen pieces of clothing went missing. It is unclear how and when the items were taken. The room where they were being kept is normally locked and the key left at the Porter’s Lodge. On the evening of the 24th, however, the MCR was being used as a changing area for performers at Castle’s Ladies’ Night Ball.

£300

The approximate total cost of the stolen items

The room was left unlocked throughout and it may be the case that the theft occurred during this period. The items taken were mostly polo shirts and rugby tops. In a strange

The clothing was stolen from the MCR on the night of the Ladies’ Night Ball Photograph: Sophia Chan turn of events, two of the polo shirts were returned anonymously after the MCR President, Mark Shaw, sent out a college-wide email. The MCR Exec are particularly “disheartened” by the thought that the thieves may have come from

within the student body. For now, those students affected have been reimbursed for the loss of their property. A similar incident has also occurred at St. Cuthbert’s, although the two are not thought to be connected.

Christmas is well and truly upon us. Durham is buzzing with carol singers, mince pies and twinkling lights. I know some of you have bought your presents, finished your work and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy a tranquil end of term. However, for others (like myself) Christmas time can be stressful. The palaver of buying ‘thoughtful’ Christmas presents, the dilemma of trying to find a decent dress for Christmas formal, and finishing everything by the end of term can all get a little much. So this year, in the midst of my annual Christmas chaos, for perspective I’ve decided to use this column for the ridiculous things Durham students have done this year for charity. People have stripped, acted, been pied, gunged, sung, danced, collected thousands of pennies for Pudsey, grown (or drawn) terrific tashes for Movember, worn poppies, red ribbons, rag raided, jailbreaked and that’s not half of it! Through these activities you’ve raised thousands of pounds and awareness for local, national and international charities, and given that Durham terms are only 9 weeks

long, that’s impressive. If any of you have decided that the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting charities is a good thing, there will be plenty of opportunities next term, especially if you fancy spending a night in the cathedral, getting formally lost, jumping out of a plane or running a cheeky half marathon. Even if you’re not keen on taking part, you can easily take some time this Christmas for charity by buying cards from a charity shop or, if you’re an online shopper, click through our website before you shop on Amazon and they’ll donate up to 10% of your purchase price to DUCK. The difference you make to local, national and international causes is really incredible. This Christmas ‘Heel and Toe’, a local charity for children with cerebral palsy and dyspraxia, are able to put on their first Christmas play. You’ve enabled the Bowburn Youth Project to provide extra activities and services for young people in the area; enabled 144 people at Willow Burn Hospice to access a respite service; supplied books and learning resources to schools in Kenya and much more. So despite my current state of Christmas chaos, there’s one thing that this column really must say: thank you and merry Christmas.


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Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

Durham hit with early December snow

Heavy snow flurries at the beginning of last week sent Durham students scrambing for their cameras Photographs: Joyce Uerpairojkit and Olivia Rudgard


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

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The role of a student officer- what you need to know James Ablett Palatinate interviewed the current leaders of Durham Students’ Union in preparation for the upcoming elections. Nominations for next year’s student officers open in February, and the current incumbents are promoting the benefits of holding one of the four positions. Last week they answered our queries to emphasise the advantages of running the organisation.

Archie Dallas, DSU President Why did you want the position? Durham Students’ Union was starting to get on the right track and I wanted to be part of that change. What prior experience did you have which has helped you to excel in this role? Well, excel is a strong word. I was the DUCK Officer last year and so had a strong involvement in the Union, and the various changes that happened. I believed in the Union’s vision and wanted to make sure it was delivered. How would you say the increased university tuition fees have changed the way you view this role? Students are now expecting more from their University. They should be more demanding about what isn’t up to scratch at Durham. There have been a number of changes made with regards to how the DSU is run over the last term. Do you think the alterations

went far enough, and are you expecting a successor to continue your work? The changes we are making aren’t going to be immediate, but already we’re starting to see the benefits. We’ve totally changed the Union’s democratic system, and held the first Students’ Union Assembly this term with a membership far more representative of the student body. What things would you like to have achieved by the end of your term in office? I would like the University to reestablish how they regard, and treat, the student body. Crucially, students should be involved in every decisionmaking process from the beginning, not just consulted at the end. The University accepts that you can’t just ignore students who are paying £9000 a year and so are keen to restructure how they work. By the time I leave I want to make sure this is done properly. What do you think is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from going for sabbatical officer positions? The most common thing I hear is “I have no idea what they do, so I can’t do it.” The only qualification you need for this job is to care about students and be willing to stand up for them. Some of the best officers have had no previous experience at all.

Jenny James, Education and Welfare Officer How would you summarise the role in five words? Helping make students’ lives better.

What skills and experiences do you have which have helped you in the role? I was the Female Welfare Officer for Collingwood College and I am also a pretty organised person. To be honest though it has been the experience and skills I gained through the training I did over the summer which has helped the most. With regards to the welfare aspect of the position, what are the biggest challenges students face on a day-to-day basis? Finances and mental health issues. So many students are struggling with money at the moment. Mental health problems are also incredibly common – one of the main problems with this is because no-one talks about mental health in general. Those suffering can feel really alone and isolated – we need to start being a lot more open about mental health issues to normalise them. What are the most pressing issues that you think a future EWO will have to address? Making sure student representation is working as it should. I am currently looking at how the course rep structure can be improved which is a huge undertaking and something my successor will definitely have to carry on! What do you think is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from going for sabbatical officer positions? I don’t think people are aware of the massive amount of support you get. I went to so many training events over the summer that really equip you for the year. You also don’t work in a vacuum – the Union has absolutely amazing staff (and of course the other officers!) to help you every step of the way. Any advice for potential future EWOs? Get a filing system early or your life (and desk) will be chaos by day two. And try not to get stuck behind your desk [...], remember the job is all about talking to students!

be in the office at ten o’clock at night. Pick your favourite society or sporting activities and make sure you go to them every week. This is your time to relax, switch off and re-charge.

Jim Elliot, Societies and Student Development Officer What skills and experiences do you possess which have made your role easier? You have to have a love for getting involved and diving head first into new activities and new experiences to do this job. Being able to empathise with different points of view is essential. The most important thing for this job is a true passion for extra-curricular activities and student leadership. What do you think is the biggest challenge that faces Societies and Student Development Officers? Balancing your time and attention between different duties and competing interests is a massive challenge with this role. It is a difficult balancing act deciding how much time to spend, for example, working with societies or working on training and development opportunities for students or working on more general Union or University projects. There is never a dull moment! What do you think is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from going for sabbatical officer positions? Feedback from the recent Union Zone meetings suggested that there is a general lack of knowledge of what the Union and the officers do and this is a problem that we are seeking to address. Any advice for potential future societies and student development officers? People often say being a student officer is a lifestyle not a job, but it is important to schedule in some time for yourself! It is all too easy to still

Carmen O’Loughlin, DUCK Officer How would you summarise the role in five words? Exciting, rewarding, challenging, exhausting, amazing. What skills and experiences do you have which have made the role easier? Having been involved in DUCK as a college rep and on the Exec last year gave me a good base of experience, but also being a Trustee of Trevelyan JCR has been useful for the other Student Officer parts of the role. Which of the local charities have struck a chord with you? The Learning Library is a charity of which I am particularly fond. They make and lend toys for severely disabled children and young adults and we supported them through our grants process last year. What do you think is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from going for sabbatical officer positions? The third term dissertation deadline fear can put a lot of final year students off. If you manage your time wisely [being] an officer shouldn’t interfere with this. Also I think that people need to have more confidence in themselves. You get an incredible experience as a student officer, and have the opportunity to positively impact a large number of people.

Queen praises new International Security Masters Programme Olivia Rudgard Durham University’s Al-Sabah Programme was praised by the Queen at an official state banquet attended by the Emir of Kuwait. The Nasser al-Mohammad alSabah Programme in International Relations, Regional Politics and Security was launched in September to research the security concerns faced by Middle Eastern countries. The programme was funded by a personal donation of £2.5million from former Kuwaiti Prime Minis-

ter Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad alSabah.

Durham University is ‘proud to host distinguished Kuwaiti-led international research’” Queen Elizabeth II

The banquet was held to celebrate the visit of Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-

Jaber Al-Sabah. It was also attended by 150 dignitaries including the Prince of Wales and Prince Philip, and politicians David Cameron and Ed Miliband. The University’s Al-Sabah Professor, Professor Anoush Ehteshami, a member of the School of Government of International Affairs, was invited to the banquet in recognition of the programme’s role in connecting Britain with the Middle East. The Queen’s speech recognised the historically close links between the United Kingdom and Kuwait, and mentioned numerous collaborative

educational projects developed in British universities.

“The United Kingdom applauds your efforts to guide Kuwait to a future of openness and tolerance” Queen Elizabeth II

Acknowledging the educational links between the two countries, the Queen said:

“The London School of Economics and Durham University are both proud to host distinguished Kuwaitiled international research programmes.” Addressing the Emir, she also referred to a “significant year of historic change in your own region.” She added: “The United Kingdom pays tribute to your country’s leading contribution to the promotion of a vibrant democracy and applauds your efforts to guide Kuwait to a future of openness and tolerance.”


8

News Features

News Features Editor: Sally Wardle

www.palatinate.org.uk

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

news.features@palatinate.org.uk

Are university-enforced fines fair? Chris Bosson

The size and justification of fines for misbehaviour at universities is facing criticism, above all for the use of community service as an alternative disciplinary measure. A report in The Cambridge Student openly criticised the size and arbitrary nature of many disciplinary fines. St. John’s College, Cambridge, defended its policy of using community service instead of fines, which are a more common form of punishment for students. The article highlighted that the effect of such punishment differs depending on the individual’s financial position. Many Durham University colleges employ similar measures, with community service consisting of tasks such as helping set up and clear up after college events, working in college libraries, litter picking, and gardening work. Sentences can range from one to twenty hours. However, fines are a punishment also employed, alongside more adhoc measures such as banning students from areas of college. The university-wide policy on disciplinary measures is laid out in detail in the statutes and regulations. Offences are identified as either ‘major’ or ‘minor’, according to a set of criteria. A major offence is one that “does or has the potential to cause serious harm to the University, its staff, and other students.” The Senate Discipline Committee deals with such offences. The punishment set by the University can range from expulsion, a fine of up to £250, a reduction in degree classification, or other punishments as seen fit. Usually, colleges and departments handle minor offences. Authorised University Officers can impose “any punishment […] deemed reasonable” except expulsion, and with a limit of £250 on fines. This freedom in disciplinary measures allows the form of punishments to be appropriate to the offence. These fines and community service are standardised in most colleges. However, penalties can vary drastically between colleges. Misconduct at formals and drunken behaviour are amongst the most common sources of punishment. Throwing up during formal will attract a fine of between £35 at Mary’s and £100 at Hatfield. Noise offences attract the most arbitrary punishments. Most colleges determine these based on the impact of the disturbance and number of people involved, with

fines ranging from £50 - £100 for a small group of students. Safety-related fines are often the most expensive, an attempt to deter students from engaging in such activity.

“Some fines are fair enough, but some, such as the £200 roof charge, are ridiculous.” Isabelle Beaudoin

Collingwood charges £150 for tampering with, or non-emergency use of, any fire safety equipment, whilst Castle imposes £200 for being found on the roof of the college. Within the college system, even apparently mundane misbehaviour can result in fines. Losing or not returning keys to college rooms earns anything from £30 at St. Chad’s, Trevelyan, and Van Mildert, to £60 at Castle.

Remunerative charges are generally made for damage to property, sometimes in addition to fines. When an individual culprit cannot be identified, such charges are often split between students living on a staircase or who attended a particular social. Some colleges set an additional fine (£100 at Chad’s and Van Mildert) for those who initially do not admit responsibility and yet are later found out to have been the perpetrator. Speaking of college disciplinary measures, Isabelle Beaudoin, a Castle first year, commented: “Some fines are fair enough, but some, such as the £200 roof charge, are ridiculous. “It’s true that fines aren’t entirely fair on poorer students, but community service would take up a lot of time that we need for studying. A combination of the two is probably the best system.” Pete Mercer, vice-president of the NUS, has said: “That institutions are racking up such huge sums in fines suggests that they are gratuitous, and [institutions] are treating stu-

dents as cash cows. It’s vital that universities considering levying fines take student hardship into account.” It is not uncommon for groups of

“Institutions [...] are treating students as cash cows.” Pete Mercier, vicepresident of NUS

people to be disciplined collectively. The events surrounding the Cuth’s Rugby social, as reported in Palatinate, resulted in £50 fines for all attending members. The organisers were given an additional twenty hours of community service. The club was also banned from all remaining Cup and league fixtures during Michaelmas term. Collingwood’s Sportsman’s Ball, which was held at the Radisson in Durham earlier this year, was another incident which required Univer-

sity disciplinary intervention. Several teams were reported as behaving rowdily. Witnesses claimed plates were thrown around the room and girls were seen writing on the walls with lipstick. Responsible individuals did not own up to the resulting property damage, meaning all attendees were given an hour of community service. Additionally, all teams were fined based on the number of their members present. For some, the community service took the form of an hour’s work in Collingwood library, whilst others litter-picked at the Radisson as way of an apology. A Collingwood student who attended the ball commented: “It’s unfair that people who did nothing wrong have had to pay, but at the same time the damage does need to be paid for. “If no one owned up, then sharing the cost between those who were there is the fairest way. Punishments in Durham are on the whole quite reasonable compared to some universities, so we can’t complain.”

Misconduct at formal dinners is one of the most common reasons for fines and other punishments Photograph: Naomi Ellis


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

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@PalatinateUK Palatinate

Exploring Durham’s £6m utilities bill Sally Wardle

Palatinate research has revealed the vast extent of the University’s utility bills. Durham University records show that in 2011/12, £2,213,812 was spent on the provision of gas, and £4,020,660 on electricity for departments and colleges. Reacting to these figures, one student commented, “Thousands of pounds must be wasted on unnecessary lighting and heating.” According to last year’s official gas and electricity report, from August 2011 to June 2012, 9.079,818 kWh of electrical energy were consumed in colleges alone. 1 kWh is enough to heat 20 microwave meals, so the amount of energy consumed was enough to microwave 181,596,360 dinners. However, this figure did mark an overall 4.25% decrease in electrical energy consumption by colleges from the previous year. The biggest offender in terms of electrical usage was Ustinov, making up 13.13% of the total figure, followed by Van Mildert at 9.77%. The Ustinov figure may partly be explained by the longer residence period of postgraduates.

£4,020,660

Spent on electricity throughut the Universtiy 2011/12

Stephenson College marked a significant improvement from the 2010/2011 period, reducing their use of electricity by 27.84%. In the consumption of gas, a total of 36,034,313 kWh of energy were consumed by colleges, with the College of St Hild and Bede responsible for 14% of this figure. Kate Ridley, Students and Colleges Sustainability Co-ordinator at the University, responded to these figures: “We do of course recognise that a proportion of these figures will be due to unnecessary energy use… which is why energy reduction initiatives are so important.” Ms Ridley argued that “a key determinant for how well a college is performing environmentally is the attitude and behaviours of college members.” As part of University policy, every college has an elected Student Officer working alongside a Staff Environmental Champion to combat environmental issues. However, Ms Ridley admits that the emphasis put

Students have complained that temperatures are not regulated in many University buildings Photograph: Nicoletta Asciuto on this role varies between colleges. “In some colleges the Environment Rep is a JCR Exec member and is supported by a student committee therefore enabling the environmental considerations to be full embedded within all JCR actions.” This raises a crucial question – do Durham students care enough about their environmental impact?

“A proportion of these figures will be due to unnecessary energy use” University Students and Colleges Sunstainability Co-ordinator

Living in college, with no immediate financial implications, many students show blatant disregard for their actions. Lights are often left on, and windows open. Ben Page, a second year Geography student, recognises this problem: “In terms of living in college,

from my own experiences the fact that there is no individual cost for energy consumption means people do not care for the amount of energy they use.” He adds, “Those who use significant amount of resources face no punishment.” However, one second year student, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that students were not always to blame for such behaviour, stating that colleges “don’t regulate the temperatures in the communal areas or rooms - they’re either freezing or far too hot.” In response, Kate Ridley highlights the University heating policy “which specifies target temperatures. All students (and staff) can report any energy wastage to energy. awareness@durham.ac.uk.” Though some students may be unaware, the University does have a comprehensive environmental policy, achieving the Altogether Greener Award for the Green Move Out Scheme, Green Gown Awards for Procurement and the Student Environment Group and Silver and Gold Green Tourism Awards for most colleges. Similarly, as a member of the Car-

bon Trust Higher Education Carbon Management programme, the University is attempting to reduce carbon emissions by 30% over the five years to 2013/14, A report by the University highlights the important of environmental awareness as “over half of the reduction is expected to come from changing the behaviour of staff and students in energy use.”

“The fact there is no individual cost for energy consumption means people do not care for energy consumption Ben Page

Since 2008/09, the University has achieved a 6% reduction in carbon emissions, a trend which Ms Ridley argues will continue “as many of the projects implemented come into effect.”

However, compared to other universities, it could be argued that members of Durham University are not doing enough. In June this year, Durham fell from 41st to 70th in ‘The People & Planet Green League’ which measures the efforts of 145 UK universities to limit their environmental impact. Whilst Durham scored 29.5 out of 40 for its environmental policy, it scored a meagre 6 out of 30 for environmental performance. This suggests that whilst the University is committed to improving the environment, it is currently not succeeding in practice. Ben Page was “shocked” by University expenditure on heating and electricity. He feels current university policy is not doing enough to target and engage with students: “Obviously the University has a wide range of buildings that require heating and lighting. “However, I think that the £4 million figure can only be justified if the University was trying everything to reduce their costs, and unfortunately I think they are failing on this front.”


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PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

Careers

Careers Editor: Amy Sandiford-Watts

11

www.palatinate.org.uk

@PalatiCAREERS Palatinate

careers@palatinate.org.uk

Careers over Christmas Tom Davie In his third column, Tom Davie, deputy head of Durham’s Careers Centre and careers advisor, shares his tips for the Christmas break. The Christmas vacation is a time for careers too. The winter break is a time to see friends and family and to catch up on academic reading and research, but it is also a time for careers. Applications for internships and graduate jobs still need to be planned and written for those January and February deadlines. It is also an opportune moment in time to draft and finish writing personal statements for masters courses and PhD proposals. If you are considering a teaching career then there is still time to research which institutions still have vacancies on their PGCE courses and apply to them soon.

As part of the move to the Palatinate Centre, the Careers Service has a brand new home Photograph: Durham University

Durham grad’s careers site ‘with a twist’ Jack Mauduit

Palatinate speaks to Jack Jenkins, Durham graduate and founder of Buro careers.

Photograph: Frontier Official

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre can help you with these applications, and will be open until Friday December 21 2012 and reopen on Wednesday January 2 2013. So please stay in touch with us during your vacation as our Centres in Durham and Stockton will be open, and there are Quick Queries and Guidance appointments available. May I, on behalf of the Careers Centre, wish you a restful and most productive vacation.

Tell me a little about yourself. Which college were you at? Did you play sport? What did you study? I’m a fairly motivated person, that really loves to learn and push myself to see how good I can be at different things. I enjoy reading literature, writing, playing poker, opera, going to gigs, playing 5 a side, business, making digital music, movies, going to art galleries and some other things besides.

“We operate as a directory first, job board second”

When I was at Durham I was at St Cuthbert’s, and I absolutely loved my time there. I played college football, was on the darts team (which could be pretty funny), and in final year played Mixed Lax for college, later becoming part of the university squad.

I studied Economics, and in second year I won the Lendrum Undergraduate Scholarship for being the highest qualified entrant to the university from the North East.

What is Buro careers? What sets it apart from other careers directories? Buro is a new graduate recruitment site – with a twist. We operate as a directory first, job board second, which means that at launch we were able to offer around 35% more grad schemes, internships and placements on our site than even the biggest around at the moment – companies like Milkround, Target etc. So, for example, Milkround maxes out at around 600+ schemes, while we currently have around 1000 just a few weeks after launch. And this is just the beginning – we expect to cover the entire graduate scheme, internship and placement segment in the coming year, which means it’s likely that we’ll be several 100% larger than anywhere else in the next few months. Why should Durham students use Buro? Obviously, being significantly larger has its advantages for Durham students. For starters, because we’re so comprehensive, students can save a huge amount

of time by using our specific search engine rather than trawling google or multiple smaller job boards for opportunities.

1000

The number of vacancies on Buro just a few weeks after its launch

Because we don’t charge employers large fees to list on our site, you are more likely to find opportunities at small and medium size graduate employers – which could be difficult to find yourself. This way you don’t miss out on many opportunities which might be considerably less competitive than headline schemes from the well-known and heavily publicised Times Top 100 Employer. Students can therefore be much more competitive in the graduate recruitment market place by finding opportunities at all levels of company size. Why did you decide to set up the site? How did you go about setting up the site? After graduating in the summer of 2011, I tried to raise a £130,000 investment for a business idea I had, which got quite far, but ul-

timately was unable to achieve this. After that I took a contract with Santander in my home town of Newcastle and worked there in PPI for six months. It was during this time that I met my business partner, a Newcastle graduate and we decided to start a business together. We knew that there must be many times over the number of opportunities for graduates available on the current crop of careers sites, and we knew we could give undergrads and grads something better. Even a cursory glance is enough to know this – if you look on a competing site there are only 35 companies for the whole of Accountancy and finance – while we all know there are literally hundreds of accountancies employing graduates (probably in London alone but also around the country). It’s been a tough road. We were working around the clock – literally – I was doing enough hours for two full time jobs for at least the final 2 months. Trying to build the business around a full time job meant it took longer than we hoped – around 5 months – and a decent amount of our wages were swallowed by it as well! After finally getting ready to go live, I left my job to go full time with it around a month ago.


12

Business

Business Editor: Flo Childs

www.palatinate.org.uk

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

business@palatinate.org.uk

Law firms to steal Eurozone spotlight

Insight: Xpres Security Kurt Foseide

London’s legal elite could face similar challenges to their financial colleagues in the Eurozone Photograph: Getty Images Florence Childs

D

espite the jubilant smokescreen conjured by the 2012 Olympic Games, there is little doubt that the ongoing Eurozone crisis is the continent’s most pressing issue. While media attention is busy focusing on the upper echelons of the financial industry, scrutinising Greek banks and predicting a dark future for the JP Morgans of the world, it seems to overlook the effect on other industries, many of which are working tirelessly to prepare for the pos-

“International firms would incur a catastrophic loss”

sibility of a Greek exit. A recent KPMG publication addressed this journalistic neglect and administered a warning to interna-

tional law firms across the globe. Highlighting the various implications linked to the ongoing Eurozone debacle, it concluded that the key issue was a lack of public understanding, and that many clients failed to recognise that they were entering into contracts they could not keep. Naturally a contractual arrangement in a ‘high risk nation’ (we’re talking half of Europe at the moment) would have a dramatic impact on cash flow. If the final sum were to be paid in a devalued, or alternative, currency following redenomination, international firms would incur a catastrophic loss. A recent claim from DLA Piper has never seemed so appropriate: “We are living in challenging economic times and the Eurozone Crisis continues to be a focal concern on the international, legal, economic and political stage.” This impending fear has triggered a new surge of legal reform. The beginning of this month saw a push toward contractual definition, ensuring that clauses refer to the ‘currency of the Eurozone’ rather than the ‘euro’. This makes it more difficult for a firm to switch to a devalued currency in the event of a so-called ‘Grexit’. In ad-

dition to this, institutions such as Linklaters, Simmonds & Simmonds and Stephenson Harwood are attempting to place contract performance outside ‘high risk’ nations in order to fulfill more contractual currency

“A Greek exit could create problems for firms outside the EU”

obligations. A Greek exit could also create problems for firms headquartered outside the EU. With threat of redenomination and contagion looming above the glossy offices of the legal elite, firms are beavering away to encourage the restructuring of contracts that require payment in euros, in fear of receiving reimbursement in Greek drachma or Spanish pesetas in a few years time. Surely though, it comes down to whether a client can actually pay

at all. Law firms must ensure that their customers are able to pay in a currency that is convertible on the markets to satisfy the payment in full. This is something that perhaps needs focus in today’s climate. It is rare that the implications of the Eurozone crisis on the legal profession are mentioned in today’s media. Recent legislation though, suggests there is definite scope for change. Not only does examination of the issue highlight the importance of transparency within any industry, but it offers an insight into the legal struggles faced behind closed doors. With offices scattered across an increasingly volatile Europe, many of the city’s top tier institutions will be heavily affected by the crisis. One just has to look at the bankruptcy of Dewey and LeBeouf to understand the fragility of the current economic climate. The Eurozone’s dominance is a threat to us all and its impact on the legal profession could be lessened by improving client understanding.

P

For more, visit palatinate.org. uk

Xpres AS is a Norwegian R&D company which develops, manufactures and sells security products for electronic equipment. The company’s goal is to become one of the world’s leading companies in physical computer security through development of innovative products, sales through established distributors, and a strong focus on international marketing. This article will look at its key aims and purpose. As 90% of UK businesses have holes in their security, there seems no better time to highlight the fact that UK companies and institutions today are not covered from hardware theft during the response time of their security personnel. This has led to an alarming theft-rate for electronic equipment in the UK. The exploding growth in use of portable computers, now accounting for 2/3 of PC sales overall, has led to a startling increase in snatch-andgrab theft and burglary rates. Even companies or public institutions that already have or have added alarm systems or CCTV have been unable to stop thieves from removing laptops, PCs, projectors and TVs from the secured areas. The main weakness today is the 5 to 20 minute response time of the security personnel after an alarm is triggered or the thief is spotted on CCTV. In this short time span the thieves often get away with tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment. According to the IDC, more than 90% of all companies and institutions have already suffered from laptop loss. Even hardware that is locked in cabinets or physically secured gets stolen. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t help much either, as it costs more than 5 times the price of the hardware itself to replace a stolen computer (AEA). In addition comes the fines for losing sensitive personal data. According to Xpres Security Systems, the reason for the high number of losses is that the security solutions in the UK that have been available until now are insufficient. The company’s first product was the multiple award-winning power cord, Xpres SafetyCable, that prevents theft of computers.


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

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@PalatinateUK Palatinate

Teach First triumphs with Wigdortz Florence Childs

C

limbing to 4th place in the 2012 Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, there is little doubt that Teach First is an established member of the post-university elite. Propelled into the realms of success by founder and CEO Greg Wigdortz, Teach First will become the biggest graduate recruiter of 2013, superseding the likes of PWC, Ernst and Young and Deloitte. Since its creation in 2002, the independent educational charity has gone from strength to strength, increasing numbers from 163 participants in 2003 to over 2000 in 2011. Successful participants, many of whom, it seems, reside in Durham, undertake a two-year Leadership Development Programme designed to improve teaching skills and experience, whilst achieving a PGCE. Following the completion of the scheme, participants become Teach First ambassadors, part of an intricate education network looking to address the problem of disadvantaged schools across the UK. Teach First targets schools where more than 50% of pupils come from the poorest 30% of families in the UK, according to Income Deprivation Affecting Children (IDACI). What is most beneficial about the scheme though, is the potential for success in almost any sector. Graduates are pipelined in to finance, law and the civil service. The success of the scheme is evident, and there is little doubt that Teach First has taken Durham by storm. Palatinate was delighted to receive confirmation of an interview with Wigdortz and used this opportunity to quiz him on the core foundations, aspirations and goals of the organization. Before we begin, could you perhaps outline your background and some of your classroom experiences?

My mum was a teacher at my high school and left when I was in my second year... she knew all my teachers, they’d come round for dinner at my house and everything. Sadly, I wasn’t the most well-behaved child. In fact, I was pretty awful, I think she found it all a bit awkward. Your new book seems to appeal

CEO and founder of popular graduate recruiter and independent charity Teach First Photograph: Greg Wigdortz not just to potential Teach First recruits, but to educators, managers, businessmen, entrepreneurs. How did you manage to encompass all these fields into your one publication? Will there be another to come? I think the main point, and this is why it appeals to everyone, is that we can all instigate change. There is nothing better than feeling as though you’ve made a difference, so my new book isn’t designed to preach about Teach First, merely to suggest that we are all able to make a difference. Socio-economic background greatly affect your prospects, and Teach First is designed to buck the trend. What, in your opinion, are the greatest faults and strengths of the British education system? How is Teach First going to change this?

Interesting. Interesting. I don’t think there are any particular faults (laughs)... well, no more so than in any other system. I simply think that there is a widening gap between good and bad education. Teach First aims to close this gap. And, I guess, like many other things in this world, it’s a lack of resources. Teach First provides new, innovative ways of

teaching. There is nothing better really.

An overriding theme seems to be that socio-economic background affects our education. To what extent do you think Teach First will change this? Teach First aims to educate on education. It addresses a lack of understanding, a lack of drive, a lack of motivation and... the ability to harness academic potential. By bringing top tier graduates into the debate, there is increasing ability to reform. I interned at an investment bank this summer, alongside a number of Teach First recruits. Despite being there for just three weeks, they all received a job offer for the following year. Firstly, what do you think made them stand out? What skills had they acquired that made them so successful in a completely different industry? Secondly, do you worry that many candidates are just using the scheme as a springboard for other opportunities? I’m aware it’s used as a springboard- that doesn’t matter. The participants of this scheme help out more than most people do. Good for

them if they go on to be a lawyer or a doctor, with Teach First on their CV nothing is impossible. And in terms of their success, the selection criteria is based on a particular set of skills that are transferable to any work place. It’s beyond academia, its leadership, dedication and teamwork. The participants of the scheme receive immediate feedback during the scheme. The pupils won’t react or listen if the teacher is doing something wrong. During the construction of the business, you encountered several problems. Which was the most difficult to overcome?

Funding- at one time I wasn’t sure I’d even break even, let alone have the money to pay my staff. Dark, dark times.

“Everyone is born to teach, it just depends whether you act upon it”

Where do you see Teach First in

twenty years time? Are there any new developments in progress? Or will the format remain unchanged? Absolutely no idea. You tell meare graduates keen on this scheme? I have no idea... (I’m assuming yes, given the huge number of my friends who already have, or will be, enrolling.) We’re actually developing a similar scheme, but for social workers. I’m not sure it will have the same success as Teach First though... Finally, could you perhaps offer some advice to Durham Graduates considering Teach First. Having little, if any, experience how should they know that the programme is for them?

Relax, everyone is born to teach, it simply depends whether you act upon it. It doesn’t matter if you’re shy, confident, strict or bossy, it depends on the way in which you approach a situation. Teaching is the most dynamic profession out there, that is obvious. Embracing the challenge of it though, well, that’s something worth rewarding. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Apply now.


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Comment

Comment Editor: Florence Snead

www.palatinate.org.uk

Tuesday 11h December 2012 | PALATINATE

Deputy: David Siesage

comment@palatinate.org.uk

The problem of government faith schools Standards of education in new faith schools will be compromised by religious values

Michael Gove (right), pictured on a visit to a school in London, approved funding for three Christian schools in July this year Photograph: US Embassy London

Nick Bradley

I

n September, the Al-Madinah School in Derby officially opened for the start of the academic year. It was the first Muslim faith school to be entirely funded by the Department of Education. On the school’s website it describes a strong Muslim ethos as a means of maximising the success of its pupils. The school has caused controversy with the inclusion of an Islamic studies programme in the curriculum. Pupils will be taught Quran reading, translation and memorisation, and other Islamic doctrine. There will be an ‘opt-out’ clause, but the decision will lie with parents. Children as young as four will be taught a distorted view of the world based upon a seventh century text. The Derbyshire Secularists and Humanists group has described the school’s curriculum as “both doctrinal and confessional religious indoctrination.” Members of the local Muslim community in Derby are also unhappy

with the Al-Madinah School, complaining that the school is not Islamic enough. Kamran Raja, spokesperson for the opposition, said that the project was “a way of bringing independent Islamic education of children in Muslim communities under state control.” He also said that it “will teach a secularised form of Islam, stripped of all rules and values, and reduced to a crude universal ethos and a few meaningless rituals.”

Children as young as four will be taught a distorted view of the world

Perhaps it has been a shrewd move of the Government to fund a notably moderate Islamic faith school. It is not unthinkable that the Al-Madinah

school is the first step towards a national effort to ‘secularise’ Islam, with the aim of reducing the faith to a predominantly cultural phenomenon, like British Christianity. The headmaster, Andrew CuttsMckay, claims he wants children to grow up amongst different races and cultures, to learn to become part of a ‘multicultural’ society. Integrating Muslims with non-Muslims is surely better than segregation. The school’s website insists that it will teach “Islam in its true form which is interconnected with peace and love,” and the “true message of the Prophet Mohammed, which was about preserving with peaceful solutions and love for all human beings.” The school’s commitment to the teaching of peace and love cannot be criticised, but can the Quran be reinterpreted so easily? It must not be forgotten that for Muslims, the Quran is the infallible word of Allah. It teaches, inter alia, that the penalty for apostasy is death and that women are inferior to men. Like Roman Catholicism, Islam is repressive, and cannot, therefore, lead to peace. Like the Old Testament, the Quran teaches humans to fear a God they cannot see. It attempts to

condition humans to become subordinates in a relationship with an invisible creator. This prescriptive enslavement bears a frightening resemblance to the traditional relationship between slave and master.

The very concept of faith in schools must be scrutinized

Other studies in the Al-Madinah School, particularly the sciences, will be undermined, even contradicted by the totalitarian information relayed to them in an early medieval text. At home, it is the right of Muslim families to teach their children what they like. But is it acceptable for public money to be spent on preaching outdated religious doctrines? The question is not exclusively Islamic. In July of this year, the edu-

cation secretary, Michael Gove, approved the opening of three Christian free schools in Sunderland. Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland has released statements which say that evolution will be taught as a scientific principle to its pupils, but in another statement, Grindon Hall said that creationism will also be taught as a scientific theory. Is this good enough for any promoter of an enlightened society? Regardless of the undeniable existence of a strong Christian identity in the UK, it would be absurd to argue that fundamentalist Christian schools are permissible, but Islamic schools are not. If intellectual cultivation is to take priority over religious devotion, the very concept of faith in schools must be scrutinized. Ultimately, the sponsoring by the state of moderate and mixed Islamic faith schools such as Al-Madinah could lead to an embrace of British cultural values by the large number of Muslim communities in the UK. Alternatively, it could lead to a generation of British Muslims who have been defined by the faith of their parents coerced into believing that the Quran is a ‘perfect’ book: a dangerous prospect.


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

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The dangers of trivialising sexual abuse An anonymous Durham student urges us to avoid flippant remarks about rape

D

ear Reader, I am writing to you as a female student in my second

year. I am writing to ask you to read something that is very difficult for me to write. I am writing to ask that you stop the casual remarks demeaning women and making light of sexual violence. Throughout my time at Durham I have heard so many disrespectful comments about women and violence towards them that I almost don’t hear them anymore.

42,000

Serious sexual offences reported in 2011/12* The latest statistics from the British Crime Survey show that every year in the UK more than one million women suffer domestic abuse, more than 300,000 are sexually assaulted and 60,000 are raped*. But fewer than one in four people who suffer abuse by their partner and fewer than one in ten women who experience serious sexual assault report it

to the police. These aren’t numbers, they are people. I was raped during my gap year. I didn’t report it to the police because my attacker told me he knew where I lived and he would come back. It wasn’t ‘free sex’ as some Facebook groups like to call it, and had the man who raped me shouted ‘SURPRISE’ beforehand it certainly wouldn’t have legitimised it. I was not drunk. I was not dressed provocatively. I was simply walking home from my office job. It was scary and it hurt and the aftermath with all the doctors is something I am still coming to terms with two years on. During freshers’ week I was standing in the college brunch queue on the one-year anniversary of my attack and two of my new friends were joking about going out that night ‘raping’. They had no idea about my ordeal and I was in no rush to start telling people about it when some of my family still don’t know. So I just stood there wanting to cry. Nobody should have to feel like this. The Durham student body has long been criticised for being apathetic, with low voting figures for DSU elections and a poor turnout at the recent London demonstration against the hike in tuition fees.

As students of Durham University we represent a group of bright, educated and informed people who have enough wherewithal to form opinions about fundamental matters such as discrimination towards, and violence against, women. Jokes or comments demeaning women, no matter how harmless the intent, give credence to the idea that women are second-class citizens. We have a duty to address this unacceptable flaw in public opinion.

Nobody should have to feel like this

Please, I’m just so tired of hearing the flippant comments about rape and ‘making sandwiches’. They are not funny. Many charities and organisations are working tremendously hard to stop violence towards women, and

Soapbox

David Siesage on The Daily Mail

Merry Christmas from Comment Illustration: James Crosland-Mills

‘WORLD SHOCKED AS STUDENT JOURNALIST DISLIKES DAILY MAIL’, or ‘HOW THE DAILY MAIL WILL CORRUPT YOU’. A student journalist writing about their dislike of The Daily Mail – has anyone else got a sense of déjà vu? But hear me out. I have something fairly new to say: as liberal as you may be, The Daily Mail could turn you into a bigot in just a few clicks. And this, in a scaremongering style fittingly similar to that of the DM, is how… You like reading the occasional showbiz gossip article on The Daily Mail website. You read a piece on a celebrity wedding, or, more likely, affair/divorce/scandal/nip-slip. You notice the attention grabbing head-

this is having positive effect in the UK with domestic violence conviction rates at an all-time high in 2012. Any quick online search will give you all the statistics on rape, homicide, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage and pay inequality that you could possibly need to form your own opinions on active and passive discrimination of women in the United Kingdom and around the world. I’m not asking you to join these movements, attend

demonstrations or sign any petitions. I am simply asking that you think before you speak. You don’t know who can hear you, and what they might have been through. We are all better than this.

lines advertising other articles. You read a few. After reading an article about the ‘womanly curves’ of the 14 year old daughter of a celebrity, you see the link labelled ‘columnists’, and decide to click on it. And now my friend, the DM has lured you into its deepest, darkest lair. You see the name ‘Peter Hitchens’ – you recognise that name. Is this the intelligent liberal journalist? But isn’t he dead? NO!!!!!!! DON’T CLICK!!!! But you do. Before you know it, you are a bigot. And it’s only taken a few short clicks. The DM’s website may seem a different beast to the paper, but its celebrity focus should not fool anyone. Behind the docile, vacuous surface is the same deeply ingrained vitriol, bile and hate. Some more scaremongering: by introducing a populist ‘showbiz’ aspect to its very popular website, could The Daily Mail be making a conscious effort to convert the young to its antiquated views? Print media is struggling, so it is possible

that they have turned to the website not just for profit, but in order to recruit a new band of evil flying monkeys to continue their reign of terror. Fortunately, you don’t read one Daily Mail article and become a fascist. It is a slower process than that. According to journalist and sceptic Martin Robbins, ‘It’s like mercury in fish: it drips, drips, drips, day after day, and it eventually starts to infest people and infect people and give them a disturbed view of the world’ (sic). Whilst we should be happy it is not a quick process, the DM website is currently one of the most read news websites in the English speaking world. Their evil plan may be succeeding.

With hope,

A Durham student

*The Office of National Statistics *Figures from The Guardian

For more Daily Mail fun, visit: - Daily Mail headline generator: http://www.qwghlm.co.uk/toys/ dailymail/ - The Daily Mail song on YouTube.


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Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

Exam methods need to be modernised The University should follow suit and offer the option to word process in exams Ben Hamer

A

s an arts student in Durham, I spend most of my time working on a computer. Sometimes it is in a lecture, hastily typing down notes to aid me in the forthcoming seminar, or the night before a deadline, struggling to cut extraneous words in an essay to fit the word limit. In this computer age of ours, so different from even ten years ago, we juggle JSTOR, Google Books and Durham Library’s online resources without moving from our seats. This is not to say that the physical world is forsaken entirely in relation to work; visiting the library to get those books unavailable through the Internet is a necessity - having first visited the library website to make sure they were available, of course! Nonetheless, academically, many of us lead a very computer-based university life; ours is a thoroughly modern existence. Indeed, a number

of modules, including one of the modules I am taking, have gone ‘paper-free’ this year, circumventing the tangible altogether!

Typing should be an option as a medium for writing exams

This brave new world of typed text and printed prose is very different to that which was experienced by our lecturers and professors. Personality of writing is conveyed almost through word choice alone not cursive beauty or scruffy script. It is a world of presentational homogeneity where textual thought and expression are the sole distinguishing factors; intellect and clarity of thought shine through unhindered

by typographical aesthetics. What seems odd to me is that once a year, around May, the students of Durham shun the technological advances of the last fifty years and revert, rather archaically, to pen and paper for a few weeks. My question is this: why cannot students type the answers to their exams? Surely we should have the choice to do so? As it stands, many of us are constrained by the requirement of writing essays out by hand, having spent the best part of a year neglecting such a skill. Typing should be an option as a medium for writing exams, as it already is in every other aspect of academia. If we were taking a degree in handwriting as well as an academic subject, I could understand, but we are not. We are being tested on our learning and intelligence. The best way to demonstrate what you have learned is through the most easily transmittable medium: for some, this is handwriting, for others, the keyboard. The option to word process is already available to dyslexic and dyspraxic students at Durham, so is it not only a matter of time before the franchise is extended to one and all?

Word processing exams may seem to be advantageous to those who take such an option – what about spell check, for instance? There already exist applications that can create a secure environment for taking exams, preventing cheating and undue advantage. Typing simply offers students greater control over expressing their ideas.

The majority of businesses conduct their affairs purely electronically

Undergraduate life is in many ways a preparation for what is to come: a career. Be it one continuing in academia or heading elsewhere, the need to be able to handwrite un-

der timed conditions is increasingly becoming redundant. The majority of businesses conduct their affairs purely electronically: communications via email, dossiers through word-processed documents, presentations through PowerPoint. Indeed, the company that I worked at last year was itself in a process of going ‘paper-free’. Academia, too, is predominantly based in typed prose. Handwriting exams at the end of the year is not only irrelevant to our futures, but could actively disadvantage students. Word processing as an option is already a reality at leading universities, with many law schools in the United States having taken typing as common practice. This idea is even spreading to the UK, with Edinburgh University following suit. My advice is simple: Durham should follow in the footsteps of the likes of Harvard and Edinburgh and embrace the change.

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Gender will never be a clear cut issue

Sweden has the right approach in challenging assumed gender roles for children Justin Villamil

I

t would appear that Sweden has handed me a Christmas gift a few weeks early. The Top-Toy Group (a Toys “R” Us licensee and Swedish toymaking giant) has responded to pressure from the Reklamombudsmannen Sweden’s advertising watchdog - and released its new holiday catalogue, which is gender-blind. Yes, you read that right. It’s gender-blind. Girls playing with toy guns! Boys playing with dolls! Madness. Anarchy. And fundamentally a brilliant step towards gender equality in today’s society. No, I’m not a new-age hippie. I recognise the problems with allowing children to choose their own genders and I also understand that one firm’s decision is probably not going to stop parents from buying blue for boys and pink for girls. I’m also American, which means I tend to look at Sweden - with its full complement of functioning political

system, economy, and ice fishing with a mixture of distrust, envy and puzzlement. But for once I have no problem looking past all this.

We should be encouraging cross-gender experiences for young children

Sweden is a country with about nine million people, which is just slightly more than the population of London. So, according to the Wall Street Journal, the government of Sweden has every incentive to put gender equality at the forefront of everything in order to maintain output. If women start dropping out of the workforce then the consequences

could be dire. This fact allows the country to justify intervention in the market and simultaneously be at the cutting edge of gender rights. But back to the main issue. Why do I think Sweden is right in doing this? Because frankly, when I walk into a shop to do some holiday shopping I don’t want to see the boy’s section (Transformers and army men) on one side and the girls section (Barbie and dress-up sets) on the other. Blue and pink. Manly and frilly. When we limit ourselves to these choices aren’t we always clamping down on experiences these children could have had? And aren’t those experiences necessary? For young children in a modern world facing a growing need to be interesting, we should be encouraging cross-gender experiences. This is how women learn to break from a stereotype and men just generally learn to... stop being cavemen (you know I’m right). Unfortunately, our capitalist society has a way of taking trends and, seeing profit, solidifying them. Companies see that there is money to be made by breaking consumers in half and marketing to them separately depending on gender and excluding tastes.

It’s not their fault, it’s just the way it is. But here’s the point: it doesn’t have to be. Somewhere along the line, someone has to break the cycle. In this case, it might just be the people of Sweden and, by extension, a government agency.

I cannot share the moral outrage that some critics seem to have adopted

But is there a line? Could we be on the proverbial slippery slope to our genderless demise? Thomas Pascoe of the Daily Telegraph thinks so, characterising Sweden’s attempts at gender-neutrality as “treating women as men” and claiming that “no boy grows up dreaming of being a prin-

cess.” There is a point to be made here. Last year Sweden deliberated the usage of a genderless pronoun. Hairdressers aren’t allowed to vary their prices depending on gender. Could we conceivably go too far in our advocacy? Has Sweden? No. I feel confident contending that gender equality measures designed to maximise freedom are fundamentally things to pursue. Practically, intervention in the market may need to be scaled back as we balance social needs with economic ones (especially for hairdressers). However, from a social standpoint I fear I cannot share the moral outrage that some critics seem to have adopted. “Some men just don’t look good in dresses” is about as far as I can go towards looking down on boys wanting to be princesses. So as our Christmas season merrily opens its arms to receive fat wads of currency, perhaps consumers could demand a higher standard than the classic 50/50 approach. In response to demand earlier this year, Harrods opened a store with toy placement based around interests rather than gender. If we can take Harrods, we can take the world.


PALATINATE | Tuesday 11th December 2012

Sport

Sport Editor: Kate Houghton

sport@palatinate.org.uk

17

www.palatinate.org.uk Deputy Editors: Rob Berkeley, Ben March, Daniel Hobbs

@PalatiSPORT Palatinate

A driving force DUGC first team captain Ben Hayden talks to Palatinate about the influences behind the golf club’s growing profile

Ed Harrison and Kate Stanley (Durham Purple) at the London 6 Pack Photograph: Craig Mercer

DUSC: waves of success Durham University’s sailors post promising early season results Bex Dawkes

Durham University Sailing Club is comprised of 3 separate disciplines: Yachting, Keelboat Match Racing and Dinghy Team Racing. This Michaelmas term has seen DUSC soar to new heights, with our teams claiming victories in all of the events so far attended. At the beginning of October, 3 students - James Dewing, Ed Harrison and Ed Thomas - travelled to Weymouth to compete in the National U25 Match Racing Championships. A great weekend’s racing saw them come away with 4th place, narrowly missing out on a podium position. Throughout November and December, our 3 Dinghy Team Racing squads have been travelling up and down the country to compete in a variety of events. Durham Red (3) kickstarted the term by coming 4th out of 10 teams at the annual ‘Angel of the North’ event, hosted by Durham and Newcastle universities. This brand new freshers’ team exceeded all expectations, showing promise for future races. The event itself was also a huge success. Thanks to the work of DUSC volunteers and squad members 65 races were sailed over the course of the weekend. Durham Purple (1) competed

in the ‘Sheffield Shuffle’ hosted by Sheffield University, and the two-day ‘London 6 Pack’ hosted by the London universities, taking away a creditable bronze medal and a 4th place respectively.

“The high level of success, despite strong competition, stands us in good stead for the remainder of the year” Thea Crawshaw First Team Captain

Durham Black (2) have just returned from the ‘Loughborough Lemming’ - hosted by Loughborough University - with a bronze medal. Some contentious issues with a lack of wind meant that our placing could have been even higher. However, the team came away with some definitive targets to work on for the rest of the season.

The 2013 BUCS Sailing Finals are hosted by Bath University at the beginning of April. Only 4 teams from the Northern Region can qualify; these will be determined at an event in February. The team racing squads have got much to work on, but hopes are high to be sending at least two teams to the National Finals. We hope to improve upon last year’s 6th and 12th placed finishes out of 89 teams. The yachting side of the club is yet to compete this year, but a BUCS training trip to Cowes at the beginning of the Christmas holidays is booked and well oversubscribed. Both the BUCS team and a boat of beginners will be receiving coaching from professional yachtsmen, to ensure that standards are high for the BUCS Yachting Finals at Easter. Weather, transport issues, BUCS uncertainty and team dynamics have all presented challenges which have been overcome by the sailing club so far this year. Attainment and focus are higher than ever on our agenda, which is why it is great to see DUSC moving from strength to strength. If our teams can continue to develop at the current rate, there is no knowing what will stop us.

Durham’s new and improved golf club took centre stage this year as it joined the University’s prestigious list of tier one sports. Joining the likes of hockey and rugby, reflecting the fact that the setup of the club has changed dramatically over the last three years. Long gone are the days of late tee times and the odd range session here and there; golf might not be a game of speed and agility but it certainly is a game of strategy, stamina and technical ability. To succeed in any sport takes hours of practice, dedication and hard work; golf is no different. With pre-season training under the squad’s belt, and weekly gym sessions underway, the golfers are trying to go one better than last year’s result of reaching the playoffs, where they suffered a narrow defeat. They may not be benching quite as much as DURFC or the Women’s Volleyball team, but as I’m sure the guys at Maiden Castle will testify, it’s quite a spectacle. Having had a solid start to the season, both the 1st and 2nd teams are pushing for new heights this year. As so often in sport, many don’t get the chance to see what really goes on behind the scenes. In reality, we don’t see the early starts from the

rowers every day, or the hours of video analysis at Maiden Castle. Equally, we don’t always recognise the work that goes is put in to make everything happen. Even if we do, I think it is fair to say that often it is taken for granted. But behind the scenes of the golf club lies one character: Albert Potts. We like to think of him as a manager; he wears all the stash – though not necessarily the trousers – and has played an integral role in the club’s development over the last two years. Working closely alongside the exec, he is passionate about sport and has a desire to drive Durham golf forward. Potts gives up significant stretches of his own time each year; sacrificing entire days off, he travels up and down the country following six lads battling the elements every week. A handy golfer, albeit not quite first team standard himself, Albert Potts epitomises commitment and is a great ambassador for Durham sport. I’m sure that every club has these figures, and without them, sport at Durham would look very different indeed.

@DurhamSailing

Durham University Sailing Club

Photographs: Andrew Bennison/Team Durham


Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

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18

Sport

The matrix: a round up of college sp Kate Houghton Ben March

Women’s Premiership Title contenders:

Stephenson A and Van Mildert A are both on 9 points Going down: Collingwood A have 0 points and a goal difference of -123 Ones to watch: Grey A could still surprise, having won the only match they’ve played so far Women’s Division 1

Badminton Men’s Premiership Title contenders:

Both Cuth’s A and Mildert A are on 6 points, taking the lead Going down: Bottom place is shared by Trevs A and Mary’s A who are yet to win a game Ones to watch: Jo Butler A, Collingwood A, Aidan’s A and Stephenson A are all on 3 points

Women’s Premiership Title contenders:

It’s neck and neck between Cuth’s A and Butler A. Both have 3 wins and 9 points Going down: Trevs A, with 0 points Ones to watch: It’s close mid-table between Castle A, Butler A, Hatfield A and Mary’s A who are all on 3 points

Basketball

Men’s Premiership Title contenders:

Ustinov A, Stephenson A, Mildert A are all on 12 points at the top Going down: With a GD of -168 and 0 points, Trevs A have some work to do next term Ones to watch: Collingwood A, on 9 points and with a game in hand, are pushing for the top spot

Men’s Division 1 Title contenders:

Chad’s A have taken the lead with 12 points Rock bottom: Jo Butler A are yet to secure a win, so are sat bottom with a GD of -79 Ones to watch: Cuth’s A, Collingwood B and Castle A are all on 9 points, so Chad’s shouldn’t get too comfortable

Title contenders: Marys A are on 12 points, double that of their nearest rivals. Rock bottom: Cuth’s A and Van Mildert B are both yet to get off the mark Ones to watch: Hatfield A have won two from two, and boast a goal difference of 37 points

Women’s Premiership

Title contenders: Stephenson A are on 12 points - 7 clear of Collingwood A Going down: Mildert A are bottom on 0 points Ones to watch: Stephenson A scored 19 goals in their four games whilst only conceding one Women’s Premiership

Football

Men’s Premiership Title contenders:

Collingwood A look strong with 12 points Going down: Hild Bede A are yet to secure a point, but Collingwood B are only one point ahead of them Ones to watch: Mary’s A have 10 points and are a game in hand so they could still take the crown

Men’s Division 1 Title contenders:

Trevs A are on 11 points, but Johns A are on 9, with a game in hand Going down: With 0 points, Grey C look unable to compete with their league rivals Ones to watch: Chads A have two games in hand and are on 9 points. They’re piling the pressure on Trevs and Johns

Men’s Division 2 Title contenders:

The students are obviously struggling to contend with the Staff A team who lead with 15 points Going down: Mildert D and Cuth’s D are both in the danger zone Ones to watch: Aidan’s C are two games in hand and are yet to lose

Women’s Division 1

Title contenders: Cuth’s A are top with three wins. Going down: Chad’s A and Collingwood B are bottom with only one point each from three games played Ones to watch: Castle A play Cuth’s A next, a win here puts Castle joint top

Hockey

Men’s Premiership Title contenders:

Cuth’s A are on 16 points. but Hatfield A are on 14 and a game in hand so could easily clinch it Going down: Grey A have lost 5 out of 5 Ones to watch: With three games in hand and on 9 points Queens A look solid Men’s Division 1 Title contenders:

8 points ahead of Castle A in second place, Collingwood B look comfortable on 21 points Rock bottom: Chads A are currently bottom Ones to watch: Castle A on 13 points and with two games in hand are a big threat

Title contenders: Hild Bede A are on 25 points and eight wins from ten games Going down: St Johns A have 1 point from nine. Van Mildert A have 0 from seven Ones to watch: Ustinov A have only played five games and are unbeaten in four

“Our hardest game was Butler, but we’re expecting good things again. We’re aiming to win the league and go one better than last year but competition’s tough ” Dan Coward, Collingwood College badminton Women’s Division 1

Title contenders: Castle A are top on 22 points with a goal difference of 26 Rock bottom: Stephenson A and John Snow A are on 3 points, from six and three games respectively. Ones to watch: Grey A have won all six of their games and have three in hand

Squash

Men’s Premiership Title contenders:

Castle A have won 5 out of 5 and lead with 15 points Going down: Mary’s A and Grey A are yet to win any games, so will need to fight to avoid relegation Ones to watch: Collingwood A have a game in hand and a win will secure them equal status with the leaders

Women’s Premiership

Title contenders: Trevelyan A are on 9 points Bottom table: Josephine Butler have so far failed to claim a point Ones to watch: Five teams are just 3 points behind Trevelyan A, with Hatfield A & Grey A having a game in hand

Lacrosse

Premiership

Title contenders: John Snow A and Mary’s A are top with three wins, meaning 9 points each with John Snow sporting an impressive goal difference of 29 Going down: Five teams have lost each match they’ve played this season Ones to watch: Grey A are on 6 points with a game in hand, so are definitely not out of the title race yet

Ultimate Frisbee Premiership

Title contenders: Grey A and Hatfield A have started the season strong with two wins from two. Going down: Grey B have lost both their games with a goal difference of -20 Ones to watch: Josephine Butler A and Trevelyan A are unknown entities having played no games this season. Johns A have one win with a game in hand

Netball

Women’s Premiership

Title contenders: Hild Bede A and Josephine Butler A are top, with goal differences of 140 and 60 respectively Going down: Aidan’s A are bottom after failing to secure points in all five games Key Fixture: Hild Bede A play Josephine Butler A in the last game of the season

Clash of the colleges: pictured are scenes of your teams in action Photographs: Ben March, Henrietta Niekirk, Emma Wind, Shannon Little, Caroline Brewster


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19 @PalatinateUK Palatinate

port this term DUAFC dominate BUCS Women’s Division 1

Title contenders: St John’s A have won 5 from 5, Van Mildert A have won 4 from 4 Going down: Aidan’s B, Chads’ A and Hatfield B have all lost each of their 4 games Ones to watch: It’s close at the top, three teams are within 3 points of the frontrunners Women’s Division 2

Title contenders: St John’s B have won 5 from 5 Rock bottom: Hatfield C have had a shocker losing all 5 of their games Ones to watch: Trevelyan B have won 4 from 5, but their loss was a 10-0 walkover to St John’s B

Rugby Men’s Premiership

Title contenders: John Snow are top with 6 wins and a gargantuan points difference of 202, the only unbeaten team Going down: Unavoidably St Cuthbert’s A & B are bottom with 0 wins Ones to watch: Stockton dominate as Stephenson pose the greatest threat to John Snow having managed 5 wins from 6

“We’ve had a wonderful start to the season and a great influx of keen freshers. Involvement has more than doubled and our new B team is taking Division 2 by storm! Katrina Mclarty, Josephine Butler College netball Men’s Division 1

Title contenders: St Mary’s have won all 4 of their games this season Rock bottom: Josephine Butler and Mildert B have nothing to show so far Key fixture: St Mary’s will want to distance themselves from the closest competition - Hild Bede B - when the two teams face off against each other Wednesday 12 November

Relentless run of form sees footballers aim for third promotion

Palatinate Sport

Durham University Association Football Club’s (DUAFC) first team will enter the Christmas period in high spirits after an unbeaten start to the season. Wins against Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds Met, coupled with draws against Chester and Leeds, means the firsts sit in a strong position in the Northern 1A division at the season’s half-way point. After two successive promotions and unbeaten seasons in 2010/11 and 2011/12, the winning start to the campaign means the team have now gone 30 consecutive league games unbeaten. The second team, meanwhile, have had their fixture list destroyed by the weather and and have a busy second term ahead to build on their encouraging start. A pre-season fixture for the first team against Newcastle United reserves, in which they lost 1-0 but hit the woodwork twice, suggested a successful season was on the cards, and a dominant performance away at Leeds on the first day added to the sense of optimism.

Leeds scored an undeserved lastminute equaliser to punish Durham for their profligacy in front of goal, but the performance was hugely encouraging.

“It’s been a very good start, but that will mean nothing if we don’t build on it after Christmas” Spencer Brown DUAFC Club Captain

Everything then clicked the following Wednesday, when Leeds Met made the trip northwards and suffered a comprehensive 3-0 demolition, courtesy of goals from Ray Hackett, Joe Barwick and Oli Salt. Chester were next to make the trip to Maiden Castle, and they escaped with a 0-0 draw after Durham again missed a host of chances. The following week Durham trav-

elled to Liverpool, and after falling behind early on they launched a spirited comeback to come away with all three points. First, Oli Salt met Tom Spurling’s pinpoint cross with a deft left-foot finish to equalise, and then Spencer Brown headed home a second-half winner from Billy Wells’ curled delivery. The final league game of the term was against basement side Newcastle. Tom Almond’s side-foot volley secured a comfortable 1-0 win for Durham, and stretched their unbeaten league run to 30 games. DUAFC Club Captain Spencer Brown is determined to maintain the club’s positive form next term. He said: “It’s been a very good start to the season for the club, but that will mean nothing if we don’t build on it after Christmas. “The firsts will continue to push for a third consecutive promotion, and the seconds can get their season off the ground after a weather-affected start. “We’ll come back flying after the Christmas break and this will hopefully be another unforgettable season.”

Women’s Premiership

Title contenders: It’s hard to call with teams having only played one game, but Collingwood as well as combination squads St Chad’s – St John’s, St Cuthbert’s – Castle took points from theirs Rock bottom: Anyone’s guess Ones to watch: Collingwood boast the best points difference beating Trary’s 40 – 0

“It gives a sense of pride to every footballer as we can compete and compare ourselves to other colleges. Being a full club this year we are a closer knit community” Dean Mottram, St Aidan’s College football

Durham’s elite footballers have remained dominant in 2012 Photograph: Andrew Bennison


20

Sport

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | PALATINATE

College sports round up

Who’s dominating the college tables this term? p. 18 & 19

DUSC ride the waves to victory One of the strongest starts in the history of Durham’s sailing club p. 17

Rob Harris and Rob Parker compete in the C2 event, as Phil Dean goes for gold in the men’s kayak sprint Photographs: Charlie Jefferson / Alice Haws

DUCC record best result in eight years Charlie Jefferson On the weekend of the 1st December, Durham University Canoe Club (DUCC) competed at the BUCS Wild Water Race Championship achieving an impressive haul of 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. The medals, along with 18 top ten finishes, contributed to the club finishing in a fantastic second place overall. The Championship is an annual inter-university competition that sees canoeists racing for the fastest time down a section of white water on the River Washburn, North Yorkshire. The event is run by Friends of Durham University Canoe Club - the club’s alumni - who work incredibly hard to organise a superb competi-

tion, and this year was no exception with well over 300 competitors from 25 universities vying for the medals in individual and team races. Leaving Durham late on Friday night, with frost starting to form, the team knew this was going to be another cold Wild Water Race. However, this did little to dampen spirits as the club looked forward to a great weekend’s racing, with medals on the cards if top performances could be delivered on the day. Saturday was the classic event where paddlers race down a 1 km set of rapids. The time to aim for was less than 9 minutes if you were to challenge for a medal. Despite temperatures of almost 0°C, Phil Dean got the day off to a great start, producing an excellent run to win the men’s kayak category. With a time of just over eight minutes, and beating second place by

over fifteen seconds, it was a truly dominant performance. Dean then went on to lead the men’s team. With Matt Fletcher and Scott Cresswell completing the lineup, they secured a hard-fought thirdplaced finish.

6

The number of BUCS medals won by DUCC

The Durham women canoeists faced a tough task to match the men’s earlier successes. With DUCC’s top female paddler having graduated, a strong performance was needed to ensure Durham’s domination of the women’s kayak category continued. Thankfully, committed training

over the past year paid off and brilliant performances from Alison Auld and Beth Barratt secured first and second places for Durham in the women’s classic kayak event. The success continued on Sunday in the sprint races, where competitors aimed to finish in a time of around a minute and a half. Phil Dean put in another fantastic performance, winning the men’s kayak category and therefore winning the two most prestigious gold medals of the competition. Alison Auld also had another successful day, this time fighting hard for a third-placed finish in the women’s category to add to her gold medal the previous day. This was the club’s best result since 2004, coming second overall behind Nottingham Trent and gaining 68 valuable BUCS points. The result was made even sweeter

as local rivals and last year’s winners Newcastle University could only manage fourth place. This achievement marks the culmination of a huge amount of effort from the club’s paddlers, training from the club’s coach and investment from Team Durham, the Athletics Union and the club’s alumni - Friends of Durham University Canoe Club. If you would like to get involved with the club, even if you have never paddled before, get in touch with DUCC by email (canoe.club@dur. ac.uk), or check out their website, Facebook or Twitter.

@durhamunicanoe Durham University Canoe Club


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