MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013 ISSUE 74
THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF QUEEN MARY STUDENTS’ UNION
SU ELECTIONS SPECIAL
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UPCOMING STUDENT ELECTIONS, P.10
Queen Mary Does the Harlem Shake
Haneef Rehman Students from Queen Mary bent to the will of the internet and did something that has taken the world by storm. They performed a Harlem Shake. On Tuesday, 19th of February, hundreds of students gathered in library square at 2pm and, in what
probably breached a few health and safety rules, climbed trees, hopped around in sleeping bags and wore costumes. All with the intent to wiggle their way into Queen Mary’s history. The event was organised by Arbaaz Ahmad and was a surprisingly logistical endeavour. The participants were moved back while three
NUS and ULU Page 3: an end Elections in sight?
people were filmed for the beginning of the video, then everybody was moved into position and proceeded to jump around as if House of Pain were playing live. Students were even granted permission to go on the roof of the G.O. Jones building to film the ensuing craziness. If you want to catch the video head over to QMTVs YouTube channel.
CULTURE The Bell Jar: 50 years on
The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme that blew up a few weeks ago, established by five australian teenagers on the 2nd February. It involves 30 seconds of “shaking” to the song of the same name, by Baauer, and has provoked many copies from individuals, offices, sporting associations and universities, just to name a few. The short
SATIRE The most Pope-ular candidates
videos are easy to watch and have quickly gone viral with people sharing them everywhere. In doing this Queen Mary takes it’s place among Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Ryan Seacrest and even a Norweigan army squadron as people who have contributed to the online library of Harlem shakers.
No More Heroes?
02NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM: Executive Editor Kashmira Gander
Editor in Chief Isabelle Leach
Creative Director Lloyd Ramos
Photography Pippasha Khan
Jasmine Virhia and Sarah Power, Aisha Rimi and Tash Marther
Joseph Flaig and Bethany Moffett
Stevie Rankin and James Tory
Belphoebe New and Rhiannon Evans
Lucretia McCarthy and Keumars Afifi-Sabet
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
The news on campus this week Hidden mathematical ideas will be explored in a lecture with Prof. Marcus du Sautoy on 27th March. He will look into the ‘hidden mathematical ideas that underpin the shared aesthetic values of artists and mathematicians’. Many links have been drawn between the arts and sciences, with both being drawn to the same structures and creative processes. A few famous works of art were clearly underpinned by mathematical ideas. This demonstrates how the work of the mathematician is also driven aesthetic values. Marcus Peter Francis du Sautoy, OBE is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He recently received an honorary degree from QM, in recognition of For his excellence in the field of mathematics he received an honorary degree from QM in recognition of his work and his connections. The lecture will be held in the Maths Lecture theatre from 6.30-9pm followed by a reception.
The Queen will be opening the new National Research Centre for Bowel Disease on 27th February based at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The £3m centre will bring the neglected area of science to the forefront of scientific and surgical innovation. The Queen will be accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh ad will meeting the clinicians and scientists involved in the research of bowel disorders and cancer. Deborah Gilbert, Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research, said: “We are delighted that The Queen is to open the NCBRSI. Our charity’s aim is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer, have to live with chronic bowel disease, or face life with a permanent stoma. Her Majesty’s visit will help us combat one of our biggest obstacles - that bowel disease is a taboo subject. Talking about it really does save lives.”
The programme of QM first Diversity Fortnight has been announced. There would be a range of events on different topics such as sexual orientation and disclosure, mental health awareness, age, women and success, and discussions on positive discrimination. You can also Meet your Muslim colleague on Wednesday 13th. We are also having 2 films projections including a filmdebate session with Prof Robbie Shilliams on Black Power and Rastafari in the South Pacific and we will show the award winning Call Me Kuchu.Celebrate Diversity with us by joining our events, visiting our stall on Monday 4th March in the Library square and enjoying delicious cakes, and taking part on Friday 15th in School Diversity Day or entering our Photo competition.
The annual Law and Society Lecture will host the Right Honourable Dominic Grieve QC MP for talk on Meg94 ‘The Case for the Prosecution: Independence and the Public Interest’. MEG94 is a collaborative initiative created to focus on exploring the relationship between the law, government and politics. Dominic Greieve is the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland since 2010, as well as a Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield since 1997. The event will be chaired by Professor David Ormerod, Law Commissioner for Criminal Law and Evidence. The lecture will be in Arts Two Lecture Theatre on 13th March from 6.309pm followed by a drinks reception.
Hannah Clarke and Jeremy Baily
Station Manager: Ozzy Amir www.qmtvchannel.co.uk
Managing Editor: Anna Matheson www.qmessenger.co.uk
Station Manager: Chris Smith www.questradio.co.uk QMessenger is printed at Mortons of Horncastle Ltd, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6JR. Tel: 01507 523 456. Each issue has a print run of 1,000 and costs £445 to print and deliver. Established in 2008, QMessenger is the free bi-monthly newspaper of Queen Mary Students’ Union. We are proud of our editorial independence and endeavour to always hold the College, Union and external bodies to account and to provide the best news and analysis to the students of Queen Mary, University of London. QMessenger is created entirely by students and the publication retains all copyright of design, text, photographs and graphics, along with the individual contributor. Any views expressed in QMessenger are those of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the paper, the editorial board, Queen Mary Students’ Union or Queen Mary,
Queen Mary scientists go to Northern Ireland to study genetic mutation Bethany Moffett A team of scientists from Queen Mary, University of London is going to Northern Ireland to study a genetic mutation. Identified in 2011, the 1,500-year-old mutation can cause gigantism. The study, conducted jointly with a team from Queen’s University Belfast, consists in testing the DNA of adults from East Tyrone and South Derry in order to look for the altered gene. Although the gene does not seem to affect the health of most people who carry it, some of them experience acromegaly, which determines an excess growth of muscles, cartilage and bones and
can lead to loss of peripheral vision and hormone disturbances. Marta Korbonits, Professor of Endocrinology at Queen Mary’s Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and leader of the research, said: ‘Since we discovered the mutation, a number of patients from Northern Ireland with acromegaly have been screened for it. However, we know that over two-thirds of those who carry the mutation do not develop the condition and therefore will have no idea they’ve got it.’ Researchers hope that identifying the carriers of the altered gene will facilitate the prevention of future health problems.
Professor Korbonits added: ‘Testing in the general public will tell us more about how widespread the condition has become. But further than that, it will enable us to help those carrying the mutation by providing better advice and medical follow-up to prevent disease in their family.’ Professor Patrick Morrison, Honorary Professor of Human Genetics at Queen’s University Belfast, said: ‘Anyone who is found to carry the gene will be offered confirmation of the results, follow-up advice and, if necessary, treatment to help prevent future health complications which may result from the condition.’
IMAGE VIA FLICKR CC
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
The Carnival of Lost Emotions will be held on 13th March on QM campus by The Centre of the History of Emotions and the Bart’s Pathology Museum. Join the Ringmaster and his Lost Emotions Machine and a team of historical assistants to examine the the lost emotions of past and present. ‘Emotional states such as Koro, Accedia, Lack of Moral Fibre and Nostalgia will be revealed and explored, with examples from real historical cases.’. From 6-9pm the Bart’s Pathology Musuem will become a Lost Emotions Machine to take you on an emotional journey to amaze and surprise.
David Attenborough’s visit to QM was screened on his new television show ‘Natural Curiosities’. In the episode ‘Young Wrinklies’ Attenborough visited the Queen Mary lab of Dr Chris Faulkes to look at his work with the naked mole rats, known as the ‘small bald animal with highly unusual traits’ or the ‘sabre-toothed sausages’.
The Drunken Monkey celebrated Chinese New Year last week with a traditional lion dance and a range of special drink and food offers. This was to celebrate the new year of the snake, which embodies the characteristics of the animal. This includes charming and good thinking and an appreciation for the finer things in life, as well as being money conscientious.
Alumni Awards precede Awards and Honours
Mummification explored on Mother’s Day at Barts
Two alumni of the Queen Mary community have recently received awards praising achievements made while at the university. Henrik Mathiesen, who studied history at Queen Mary between 2009 and 2012, recently won the prestigious Peter Parish Dissertation Prize, which was awarded to him by the British Association of American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH), for ‘the best UK undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation on American nineteenth-century history.’ Bilingual Mathiesen, whose thesis was entitled Foreigners in the West: Norwegian Americans and Belong-
ing, ca/ 1830-1860, came to Queen Mary after himself leaving his native Norway. Talking to Queen Mary media, Mathiesen praised the ‘friendly and positively challenging atmosphere at QM’, saying that it gave him the confidence to work on his research dissertation. Coming from the teaching and research end of the spectrum, Professor Yang Hao was recently awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award for his work investigating the commercial properties of graphene, a so-called ‘super-material’ that promises a vast number of potential uses in the future. The award comes in the form of a ‘fiveyear salary enhancement to help recruit’ research staff.
Scientists at Barts Pathology Museum will explore the depths of the Ancient Egyptian mummification process on the 8th March. Egyptologist Joyce Filer will explore the practice of desecrating, posing and photographing bodies for entertainment. Joining Filer is Peter Vanezis OBE, who is Professor of Forensic Medical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London. Vanezis also worked on the BAFTA award winning documentary Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret. Vanezis will give a lecture on his work on this documentary, which saw the first mummification of a body in three millennia, and won the award for Best Specialist Factual Documentary at the BAFTAS, but
also beat David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet and Professor Brian Cox’s Stargazing Live at the Royal Television Programme Awards for 2011. The body of Alan Billis, a taxi driver from Devon, was used in the documentary Mummifying Alan. Billis, who suffered from terminal lung cancer, had donated his body to the mummification project after he was diagnosed. Filer, who is former Curator for Human and Animal Remains in the Ancient Egyptian and Sudanese department of the British Museum, is an Egyptologist and an expert in her field. She spent over ten years at the British Museum, and was involved in the scanning of mummies excavated in Egypt. The doors for the event open at 6pm, and tickets can be purchased online.
IMAGE BY JOSEANDROXANNE
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
And they’re off! Student Elections kick off with Candidates Meeting James Tory On Wednesday the 13th February, candidates for the student union elections next month were given a walkthrough explaining to these potential union officials on how to conduct their campaigns in a fair (no using union resources or smear campaigns) manner so as to create level playing field and how the voting system works which in this case is the Single Transferable Voting system. Candidates are also being offered training by the Student Union on how to speak in public so as to avoid making fools of themselves at the Whitechapel (6:30pm 28th February) and Mile End Campus (7:30pm 4th March) Question Times. Candidates are also being advised on how to win the election, a chance to advertise themselves via QMedia and also via- a one minute video on the Student Un-
ion website explaining why they should be elected. Many positions only have one candidate standing for them, leading to nominations being reopened for these roles; however there has been fierce competition for the posts of Executive Officers, with the position of President having five contenders fighting it out. All candidate have also been given a handbook which outlines everything a candidate needs to know about an election including regulations and by-laws such how candidates will be accountable for their supporters actions and where they are allowed to put posters up. So with this meeting over, the fight to see who is going to represent our union has officially begun with voting opening on the 4th March 10am and the results to be announced at Drapers Bar and Kitchen on the 7th March 8pm.
‘In Rod We Trust’ - NUS Election candidates turn weird Bethany Moffett In April, the time will arise to choose a new leader for the National Union of Students (NUS). The body, which is a voluntary organisation, is a group of 600 students’ unions. Its so-called ‘mission’ as they state on their website, is to ‘promote, defend and extend the rights of students and to develop and champion
strong students’ unions.’ This year, standing for election are two women, a male Tory candidate and a rod. Yes, ‘an inanimate carbon rod.’ The piece of metal is supposedly fighting for the right of all members of society and ‘not just meatbags’. It may seem trivial, but wait - in its manifesto there are calls for the training of eight million ‘death cyborgs’ as well as the creation of
an NUS nuclear arsenal. Is this the representation of students across the country? You tell me. Before you dismiss the idea altogether, Samuel Gaus, a student officer at University College London, has secured a place on behalf of the rod on this year’s ballot, presenting a human side to the campaign. Indeed, Aberystwyth computer science student Andrew Tindall,
helped start the campaign, saying that it arose from seeing ‘candidates with all the usual affiliations declaring their candidacy and launching bland campaigns that offer nothing but another rehash of the same empty slogans and promises we see every year.’ The current NUS President, Liam Burns, was controversially invaded on stage at the most recent NUS student demonstration back in November 2012. The protest, which was relatively peaceful otherwise, was not a particularly successful event. Michael Chessum, President of the University of London Union, dismissed the slogans of the campaign in particular, mentioning that real change was not going to happen under the strapline ‘Educate, Employ, Empower.’ Frustrated with the organisation, Tindall stated that ‘the NUS are alienating and distant from its members, and the leadership is decided by cliques, while locking out regular students.’ Tindall later went on to mention that ‘what started as a joke quickly snowballed into a campaign with actual reach, a hilarious amount of supporters, and a real purpose.’ Inspiration for the rod’s campaign came from a 1994 episode of The Simpsons, in which an inanimate carbon rod is made worker
of the week at the nuclear power plant in Springfield. The other candidates alongside Gaus are Toni Pearce, Vicki Baars and Peter Smallwood. Pearce, a current vice-president within further education, wishes to look at the issues of postgraduate funding, student finance and unemployment in her campaign. Baars, who has strong alliances with trade unions, is however concerned that this ‘joke’ could damage the campaigns of the other candidates, saying that ‘I think the campaign was intended to be light-hearted and comical. However, I am worried that it has the potential to undermine the other candidates. It’s concerning when the two favourites to win for the first time in many years are women.’ Smallwood however, took the campaign with a pinch of salt, stating on his blog that ‘employment and employability is something I feel strongly about. However, the creation of jobs through the construction of eight million death cyborgs is, perhaps, not the best option.’ Whether the best option or not, come 8th April, we will know who will be replacing Liam Burns whether it be an inanimate object, or perhaps a more controversial Tory in the front seat.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
On the Agenda: Palestine, BUCS divide and Prayer Rooms Joe Flaig The QMSU Annual Member’s Meeting took place on the 7th of February, with three motions that inspired intense and sometimes arbitrary debate for several hours. The Perrin Lecture Theatre at Barts and The London was packed way above its capacity of 400, with more than 515 reported attendees turning up to vote, argue and observe the motions that included one calling to ban separate prayer rooms for individual religious groups. That motion, put forward by Kevin Omwenga and argued against by Sohail Nawaz, was emphatically denied, while the other two motions were both passed. The meeting began with opening pleasantries from members of the QMSU council and Sabbatical Officers, who outlined their various and most recent successes. After the introductions had finished, the chair moved the meeting forward to the first motion, which called for QMSU to boycott security firms G4S and Veolia. Both firms currently provide services for the university, with Veolia ‘carrying out waste removal at the Whitechapel campus on a rolling quarterly contract’, and G4S providing services to the Finance department and the Library. As large, multi-national businesses, firms like G4S participate in a wide range of services, with perhaps the most well known example in this country being their security
services at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The speaker for the motion, Sam Playle, focussed instead on the activities carried out by both firms in Israel, which have been widely criticised. The motion proved thoroughly contentious, with much clarification being called for, but the issue seemed to condense in the end to pro-Israel or anti-Israel. Everyone present seemed to know their own opinions and were largely unchanged by the emotional speeches, and eventually the motion was passed, with the union resolving ‘To strongly urge QMUL to allow its contracts with G4S and Veolia to expire’, ‘To include information on its website explaining its position on G4S and Veolia’ and ‘For QMSU not to take out any contracts with G4S or Veolia in the future, until they have completely stopped providing services for the Israeli occupation.’ The next motion was called for by SABB Andy Smith, and concerned itself with the status of sports teams and competitions in the dual institutions of Queen Mary and Barts and The London. Essentially, Smith was calling for the current situation- in which separate teams exist and Barts students can play for either team but Queen Mary students can only play for their own team- to remain, but recognised that one of two options given by the British University and College Sport (BUCS) had to be picked. Of these two options, he believed that the union should choose op-
IMAGE BY LLOYD RAMOS
tion 2, which called for an on-going separation of teams but would stop Barts students from joining Queen Mary teams. When being discussed, however, the issue that is fairly straightforward on paper became overly-complicated in the lecture room, and quickly became confused. One of the issues was the scarcity of meeting agendas, and therefore any understanding of the two options being discussed (as the motion went to vote after a good part of an hour, one attendee could be heard asking ‘But what’s option 2?’), and when this combined with the passion in the room, many of those present became frustrated. Bureaucratic nuances were discussed at incredible length, amendments failed to pass, and debate devolved into issues that couldn’t even have been decided at the meet-
ing. Smith, however, consistently argued his points succinctly and effectively, and the motion was eventually passed. Despite this, the majority of supporters of the motion- who were present in their sporting coloursmade a bad image for themselves by leaving quite unceremoniously and against the wishes of Smith and the chair. Kevin Omwenga called for the last motion, which wanted the union to resolve to ‘not campaign or lobby on behalf of any special interest groups on matters that afford them special privileges’, amongst other things. Despite this fairly ubiquitous statement, the main issue being discussed was that of separate prayer rooms for individual religious groups, and many people present felt that the motion was being aimed specifically towards the Muslim stu-
dent population. Omwenga argued that separate prayer rooms would in fact instigate a sort of segregation, and that it would be far more conducive for students to integrate further with the community by attending local places of worship. Sohail Nawaz argued that the separate prayer rooms had previously been campaigned for, and stressed that he supported separate rooms for all religions, not only for Muslims. Omwenga’s point that the union should not campaign for special interest groups was defunct, claimed Sean Richardson, as he believed that is the entire point of the union. Eventually, a large majority of students voted against the motion, and it was unsuccessful. The agenda and minutes can be found at http://www.qmsu.org
Deja Vu at University of London Union Elections Tom Harris This March, the University of London Union will be holding elections. As well as the pre-existing roles of President, Vice-President and London Student editor, a vote will also be taken for the new position of Women’s Officer. While the move towards introducing liberation officers was approved by ULU senate, the Tory candidate for Vice-President, William Hall, has stated his opposition to the creation of the role. Hall, a Conservative councillor in Henley and the son of Baron Hall of Birkenhead, came under criticism during hustings last year both for opposing the creation of the Women’s Officer position, as well as for describing homosexuality as ‘a lifestyle choice.’
Liberation roles such as Women’s Officer are designed to ensure representation for marginalised sections of the student body, as well as to give students from oppressed groups the opportunity to autonomously organise their own liberation campaigns. When challenged over his position, Hall backtracked on his ‘lifestyle’ remark, going on to say that he favoured ULU having ‘someone to run liberation campaigns’, not necessarily from the appropriate oppressed groups. Opposition to liberation officers is not the first time Hall has been caught up in controversy with regard to gender, sexuality and race. During his presidency of the UCL Conservative Society, the organisation was widely accused of bigoted behaviour from fellow students
as well as from sections of the national press. Perhaps the most notorious incident took place during the Societies’ visit to a ‘Port and Policy’ event hosted in the Oxford Union, where a member heckled a woman speaker to ‘shush … you’re a woman’ and to ‘get back to the kitchen.’ Hall publically distanced himself from the heckler, denying they had been invited to the event and claiming they ‘may have found out about it from our facebook group’- a claimed questioned by UCL’s Cheesegrater, which noted the individual had regularly attended Society’s events in the past. Nor were such cases limited to sexism. Prior to Hall’s presidency, the Conservative Society had already gained a dubious reputation in regard to racism when the thenpresident, Kieran Weisberg, wrote
an article in The Caerulean defending the infamous Tory rightwinger and campaigner for the repatriation of immigrants, Enoch Powell. With Hall at the helm, this reputation worsened when UCL Tories joked on twitter about ‘not wanting muddy [mixed-race] children’, while member Thomas Elliot appeared at a party in ‘blackface’ costume and make-up. Hall’s presidency perhaps reached a peak of offence during a Conservative Society trip to Belgium. In an email to the Cheesegrater, Weisberg highlighted the behaviour of Hall as ‘standing out’ after punching fellow Tory Matthew Gibbard in the genitals and encouraging him, successfully, to expose himself in public. Weisberg went on to describe how Gibbard later complained that he ‘would
not be able to make racist jokes for three days as he would be staying with a foreign ambassador’. The sheer quantity of such incidents points to a noxious ‘lad’ culture of bigotry towards women and ethnic minorities that had become systemic within UCL ConSoc. Gibbard, Elliot and Hall were not rogue outsiders or anomalies from the fringe, but prominent and leading members of the Society. Hall is yet to address many of these criticisms, despite their relating both to his own behaviour as well as his responsibility as President. In light of Hall’s denial of the need for Liberation Officers’, questions about his record on equality and fighting discrimination are likely to continue to dog his campaign.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Pope gives up the job for Lent Mark Green The first Papal resignation has taken the world by surprise, when even the Popes advisors were astonished that he would step down from his holy duties. At 85 it is no wonder he is feeling a bit frail but every Pope in the past 600 years has taken the role to their death, so is Benedict just a drop out who leaves when the going gets a bit tough or is there a deeper meaning behind leaving as head of 1.3 billion followers? Many people have suggested the Pope has lost faith, a great possibility considering the sacred role of Pope is not one you step down from. It is also a position of great comfort, with 24 hour security and caring staff to aid with the Popes
day to day life. It is far from manual labour so stepping down is almost giving up a life of luxury. However it has been stated by Vatican authorities that the Pope has a pacemaker and evidently is feeling a bit peaky. The real reason for Pope Benedict’s resignation is shrouded in mystery and I don’t think we’ll ever find out. This leaves the Catholic Church in a bit of a dilemma, primarily a sacred role that has been seen for hundreds of years as a responsibility carried out until your dying days has been reduced to a job comparable to menial labouring in Primark or TopShop. By stepping down the Papal role has reduced in status, as a symbol of God on Earth it doesn’t seem particularly religious to hand in
your resignation unless perhaps you have lost faith. Maybe the child sex scandal and constant discussions about the proper use of condoms has worn the Pope down and has gotten too much. Granted the judgement of these events was poor however by stepping down the Pope has only provided more firepower for the ignorant amongst us who when they hear Catholic or Pope instantly think of paedophilia. So where does this leave the Catholic Church? Well this can only be answered following the election of the next Pope. However the resignation of Mr Benedict has not helped matters and his short reign only seems to have brought controversy and
scandal to an organisation which has spanned history to become one of the largest, most powerful institutions in the World. The influence cannot be underestimated and for many the Popes resignation will have shaken their faith, turning them to question the nature of the Church. It seems then that we will only understand the impact of a Papal resignation after it has happened, who gets elected will be an important factor as they will need to restore faith, stability and reputation that may have been tarnished by Pope Benedict stepping down. I also think that the new Pope will have to be stronger in responding to and dealing with scandals associated with the Catholic Church to restore reputation and belief. IMAGE BY SERGEY GABDURAKHMANOV
Is Leveson still relevant? Victoria Cavolina “It must be the full Leveson report, not Leveson lite,” Harriet Harman, Labour deputy leader and shadow culture secretary has said in criticism of the recent Conservative proposals to regulate the media. And one can understand her point. In the post-Leveson era, the need for press regulations has become ever clearer and more urgent, and Cameron’s watered down, and somewhat unappealing proposals published recently by Maria Miller, give the impression that the legacy of Leveson might not be the change that was initially hoped for. The public outrage directed towards the media following the phone-hacking scandal has been extensive, and with the Leveson inquiry completed last November, it certainly feels time for positive progress to be made. Despite this, it seems that David Cameron is determined to try and appease both the press and the public by diluting the Leveson suggestions that there is a need for a self-regulatory, supervisory body, backed by legislation, to monitor press activities. In the past, politicians, including the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary have been condemned for their close relationship with the press, particularly Rupert Murdoch and his
empire. In this current attempt by politicians to try and please every party, it looks as if press reform will inevitably be pleasing to none. Is it any wonder therefore, why the Coalition has been divided by the recent proposals, and Labour has been rather forthcoming in their scorn for the suggestions? The intention of Leveson was to discover a way to prevent the abuses that happened through the News of the World hacking, from occurring again. In the light of the horrors faced by numerous individuals, it seems that the suggestions put forward by Cameron are merely token ideas. Under the plans proposed by the Conservatives, a new watchdog, intended to regulate and monitor the ethics and actions of the press, would be underpinned by a royal charter, the same documentation used to establish organisations such as the BBC and the Bank of England. Whilst this would allow the recommendations of the Leveson report to be put into effect quickly, opposition has expressed concern at the weakness of regulations not underpinned by statute. A royal charter could be changed in the future, and would consequently alter agreed regulations and principles. The
ease with which this could be achieved has been the source of concern from many directions. If a ‘Leveson Law’ was enacted, it would be the first time that the freedom of the press has been enshrined, but this proposition is hugely controversial. There has been hesitation as to whether such a move is necessary, and whether the press could be in fact inhibited by any law. Yet in the light of the ethical questions surrounding the media, it is evident that strong reform needs to happen quickly. These initial proposals can perhaps form the foundation for discussions, as political leaders have agreed, but there is a desperate need for politicians to realise that the innate power that the press holds, is not merely a threat to politics, but imbues them with a responsibility to society. When The Sun prints tasteless pictures of murdered model Reeva Steenkamp on their front page, and private text messages between Chris Huhne and his son are splashed across the national news, it is clear that the ethics of the press need to be frequently questioned. Cameron needs to understand that for this to happen, a more rigorous form of press reform is needed than his current weak suggestions.
IMAGE BY BISGOVUK
COMMENT07 What are Murdoch’s plans for Page 3?
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Laura Gilbert Women are there to make the world, or in this case a newspaper page, a prettier place. Are they not? Half naked Page 3 models have become a British institution, the icon of our tabloids and a smear on our media. Rupert Murdoch replied to an anti-Page 3 tweet last week suggesting the alternative of a “halfwayhouse with fashionistas” which sparked the rumour that the pictures of bare chested women on the third page of the most circulated tabloid in the country will be scraped. But what does “halfway house with fashionistas” even mean? Murdoch’s vague and ambigu-
ous alternative to Page 3 has catalysed much debate, but it is just that, vague and ambiguous. Will it now be pictures of one tit instead of two, or just women in bikinis or heaven forbid actual clothes, but they will be saying something more inspiring to young women about quantum mechanics to detract from their bodies? The likelihood is, a “halfway house with fashionistas” won’t resemble actual news and it will almost certainly have a woman on it, probably with items of clothing on that most of us wouldn’t even wear to the beach, but we can dream of the alternative. The feminists amongst us, I being one of them, would love to think this is the consequence of
years of anti-sexist campaigning and lobbying. That the masochistic society of the 20th century was finally coming to an end and with that the end for the need of public pornographic material. But more importantly, that young girls were being encouraged to follow paths that did not involve exposing what they have been led to believe are their best assets but to find fortune and success, fully clothed. It would be nice to think that teenage girls growing up in a society obsessed with celebrity culture would realise achievement through other means and that these girls had ambition to work hard, not for male satisfaction or approval, but to fulfil their potential using their
intelligence and aptitude. Murdoch’s reaction was not about female ambition or objectification, but simply a businessman curtailing a debate on twitter and if Page 3 does change, it will still be an entire page of a national newspaper devoted to the sexual satisfaction of men. The suggested change of Page 3 just diverts away from the endemic of seemingly unsexist sections in Britain’s newspapers, such as Femail in the Daily Mail or the women’s section in the Sun that appear to think women only care about relationships, the latest fashion trends or more importantly issues of breast and cervical cancer (although why men shouldn’t find those particular topics informa-
tive is interesting). Abolishing Page 3, or replacing it with partially clothed models will not fix the problem of misogyny in the media. Nor is this debate explicitly about women taking their clothes off, but about the practice of using a woman’s body to commercially market a national newspaper. Women who don’t expose their breasts in public will continue to ‘tut’ when they see a man on the bus or tube grin lasciviously at their newspaper. They will however be expected to continue to tolerate it because regardless of whether it is an embarrassing British icon, it will not change, and women are expected to accept that.
IMAGE BY JACK HYNES
The one dimensional view of school performance that can distort reality Anisur Rahman The term, ‘failing schools,’ is always in the media spotlight when exam results are released. This was the case in the summer of 2012, especially after Education Secretary, Michael Gove, released plans to turn failing schools into academies if they are deemed inadequate by schools regulator, Ofsted. Ofsted have set tougher inspection frameworks in which to judge schools. Previously, Ofsted’s ratings of a school took into consideration factors such as pupil wellbeing, spiritual development and community cohesion. However, the new framework neglects these factors, instead concentrating in 4 key areas: teaching, pupil results, behaviour and leadership. This begs the question whether it is adequate enough to make conclusions based on tangible factors and whether social factors like pupil well-being should be considered. Ms Frederick, head teacher of the comprehensive George Green’s Secondary school, has mixed views on the education change. Although
acknowledging that the school is now ‘much better at tracing the academic progress of all its students’, she argues that the government’s educational standards criteria neglects the ‘excellent work the school does with many troubled families’. The change in the Ofsted framework is likely to have a bigger impact for comprehensive state schools than independent schools. In general, students from state schools located in deprived areas are more likely to experience social problems than their middleclass peers. Issues, such as single parent families, gang culture and drug addiction are sometimes seen as synonymous with working class families. This is highlighted by the media attention towards this, especially in the wake of the London riots in 2011. Therefore, state school teachers will have to devote time and attention in making sure that the welfare of their students have as much priority over their academic education. Given that most Politicians like Michael Gove have been privately educated, Ms Frederick
said, “Mr Gove has little grasp of reality and his polices will suit a small percentage of the population.” Note that the word ‘academic’ has deliberately been added since academic education is only a strand of education, as gaining lifeskills can be incorporated in the definition of education on its own. This point is noted by Ms Frederick, who said, “Large numbers of students come from families that can be described as vulnerable who need a great deal of support and guidance and who have much greater barriers to climb.” Another factor which affects the result/outcome of the new Osted framework is class sizes. According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), average comprehensive school class size in England is 26, which is one of the highest in Europe. In contrast, the average class size in independent schools is 14. Hence, private school teachers are more likely to be able to offer each of their students more attention, which is a determinant leading to better aca-
demic success. The ability for schools to select which students to join is also a factor which needs to be considered. Unlike independent schools which have the discretion to choose which students to enter whether it be based on academic or financial ability, state schools do not select based on certain criterias. Ms Frederick adds, “Many schools will not accept students with SEND needs because they will not achieve the 5 A to C GCSE grades. However, ours is an inclusive school which we are very proud of.” The issue of excluding students also requires attention. Whereas it is up to the discretion of head teachers of independent schools to decide whether or not to expel students, state-school head teachers tend to be more cautious. Given that a student expelled from two schools may be place out of the education system, state schools are more reluctant to permanently exclude a student. Since independent school head teachers have a stronger ability to expel students, this can act as a deterrence in preventing
students behaving badly. Therefore, the public perception that private education is superior to state education depends on how many factors are taken into consideration by the individual. If one takes a dimensional view and equates superiority to exam results at face value, then in general, private schools tend to be ‘superior’ to public schools. However, one should not mistake this to competency and commitment of teachers. In most cases, state-school teachers tend to be more committed to helping students achieve the best they can. However, they do not get the credit that they deserve, given that the media (especially tabloid newspapers) tends to focus on sensationalist stories which are out of the ordinary. Ms Frederick adds, “Teachers are getting used to being blamed for the ills of society.” Iff one uses a broader definition of how to judge school performance, it can be argued that state-schools (and the state school teachers) perform a superior task, in terms of progressing students with their hands tied.
08COMMENT The Great Debate
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Does it matter if we are eating horsemeat?
IMAGE BY RON DOLLETTE
producing enough blood cells. Thankfully no trace of this has yet been found, but it’s emphasised the fact that not only is the presence of horsemeat disturbing it is also potentially dangerous. If eating horsemeat didn’t matter, why would the companies who produce the burgers and ready meals in question not have labelled them truthfully? Britain as a nation has never been entirely comfortable with nontraditional meats, particularly those we are more accustomed to see racing or running freely through fields. What this debate has highlighted is that we have an unhealthy relationship with meat if brands are more willing to lie about substituting meats than upping the prices of cheap meals. Meat is not the only source of protein and it is certainly not the cheapest. Would it not be more sensible to encourage people to go without meat and find suitable alternatives than continue to waste money on the unhealthy and uncontrolled food we’ve become accustomed to? Meat has always been a luxury but it’s now been reduced to 88p for an Everyday Value Lasagne, no wonder such a scandal as this eventually arose. So yes, it matters that we have been eating horsemeat because it’s time for us to change the way we think about the food we eat and how it is sourced.
Eating horsemeat is not the main issue with the scandal that has arisen in the last few weeks, what is important is the fact that those who bought Finders and Tesco products were not aware of what they were eating. It must be a fairly disconcerting feeling when you’ve bought what you think is beef mince and most of it is in fact horsemeat. Once again we see that businesses appear incapable of regulating themselves, it is not only bankers and journalists but the Food Standards Agency as well. Had there been tighter controls and more thorough regulation this problem would never had arisen. The underlying issue is trust. While some wouldn’t trust the cheap ready meals sold by Tesco, most would expect to be able to trust the burgers supplied to Hospitals, however if you live in Northern Ireland that is no longer the case. 40% of people surveyed said that they would no longer buy the products which have been tested to have horsemeat in them because the public no longer have any trust in these products. It is also important to note that up until last week the meat was not checked for Bute, an antiinflammatory drug for horses which can have a severe affect on humans causing aplastic anaemia where the bone marrow stops
This was a difficult response to write and I’ve fundamentally ended up channelling R. Kelly. My mind is telling me no but my body, and my heart, is telling me yes. Unlike R. Kelly, however, I felt a responsibility to go with my ‘mind’ this time, and I’ll try my best to explain myself. When confronted with the hyperbolic and overtly grisly coverage of the horsemeat ‘scandal’, I felt uncomfortable about having potentially eaten horsemeat in the past. Horses – in my opinion – are companionable animals. They are not necessarily domesticated but they are often treated as an extension of the family, and they are loved very much like the average household pet. Moreover, they are enjoyed and celebrated for sport; whether you’re a young girl starting her first horse-riding lesson or a slightly disgusting, questionably dressed, John McCririck, a universal fondness for horses is recognisable. Such a love in the UK does not traditionally extend to the dinner plate. However, if I push my personal preference aside, I realise that there is a more important issue at hand regarding horsemeat. The bottom line is that eating horsemeat is legal, and by consuming a Findus lasagne – if you would even want to - you are within the law, and so are the corporations involved who are producing and
selling said meal. However, mislabelling or failing to acknowledge that the ‘meat’ (I’ll use that term loosely) in your burger or in your lasagne comes from a completely different animal isn’t. I feel that it’s the illegality of the situation that should matter to the carnivorous masses, rather than the specificities. It doesn’t really matter on a universal scale that we are eating horsemeat, but what does matter is that the food industry is not wholly transparent - rather it is actively opaque. On reflection, what bothers me most is the significant lack of trust that now resonates throughout the public for the supermarkets, the suppliers and the companies that provide us with convenience food. Is it too much to ask that we know what is in our food, where it came from and how it’s made? It shouldn’t be but it is - that is the real problem. Interestingly, we do not know how the horse that ended up in our freezer was treated in its life, how and why it was killed. It’s even worth believing that the horse’s quality of life was better than that of the cow we thought we were eating. Can we really afford to be picky about the animals we eat if we choose to eat them at all? What is the real difference between eating a cow and a horse? It’s certainly no less healthy than processed beef, which is about as nutritious as cardboard anyway.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
QMessenger talks to Charlie Jones at Occupy Sussex Kester Richardson-Dawes
give genuine encouragement for students to give their opinions. The point should be to celebrate the community as a whole and to be seen as a positive force instead of negative. You should try to organise but be as open-minded as possible, different views should be respected and encouraged however a politicising of the cause should be avoided to create a strong identifiable group.
QMessenger: What initially brought you to begin the occupation? Occupy Sussex: The occupation is what many members of the Sussex students, staff and faculty feel is a last resort after a long 10 months of campaigning against the university’s plans to privatise many of its services in May 2012. After continually being ignored by university management and left out of all negotiations regarding the proposed privatisation plans, during a mass demonstration of staff, students and faculty on the 7th February the decision was made to occupy the Bramber house conference room; a room which provides, through private hiring, around £3000 pounds a day for the university. Q: What are the demands of your occupation? A: Over the last few days the campaign has picked up widespread national press coverage and messages of support have been pouring in from Students’ Unions, organisations and influential individuals around the country. The management at Sussex have shown a blatant disregard for the views and wishes of the campus community in the way that they have instigated these proposals. The lack of transparency and openness that has been shown from a University that has a reputation as a ‘radical’ institution, is tantamount to a management position which is eroding the spirit of Sussex. All methods used by staff and students to engage with management in discussion are being ignored. As a result of this top-down decision, and many others which have not involved adequate consultation with this vibrant and close-knit campus community, people are feeling indignant and as though all routes to ask management to listen to and act on our concerns are dwindling. We call on the management of the University to immediately halt their plans; to undertake a full and proper democratic negotiation with staff and students about the future of campus services; and to ensure that student and trade union representatives are fully represented and informed during all stages of future processes and decision making. Q: How important is it that you receive messages of solidarity? A: The messages of support we
IMAGE PROVIDED BY OCCUPY SUSSEX
have received from charismatic and respected members many different institutions around the country, and indeed the globe, have proved to be an invaluable source of morale and solidarity within our group. Some have attempted to brand our cause illegitimate because they find our occupational tactics unsavoury; however, as all prior attempts to make our voice heard were dismissed, we feel that our actions over the past week are justified, and the messages of solidarity we have received have reinforced and enriched this belief. Further than this, support from prominent figures such as Caroline Lucas, Noam Chomsky and Owen Jones raises the profile of and empowers our cause, meaning that the university will be more likely to meet us halfway with regards to negotiations. These messages of solidarity are enabling us to create a voice that the university will have to listen to. Q: How important is internal democracy for your campaign? A: Internal democracy has been a fundamental part of our campaign from the outset and this is primarily because it is a campaign led by students and staff at the university, who are the most affected group within the institution. We have successfully resisted falling behind one set leader or group of leaders in order to make the occupation open to the wide demographic of
people at Sussex University. Our power relies on our ability to be a group of different individuals with different beliefs who can unite behind this common cause. We work on a paradigm of consensus which involves holding two or three meetings a day with everyone, meaning that any decisions made are based on what we collectively as a group feels is the best course of action. Q: How much do you think an occupation owes to campaigning in advance on the one hand and spontaneity on the other? A: For us, an effective pre-campaign was essential for support. This is a campaign that has been going ten months now, but spontaneity was the medium through which we could channel this energy and frustration into actual results. Other avenues, where of course perused, this all however failed as a result of the managements dogmatic approach to our diplomatic demands. It has been said before but modern technology plays a big part in any campaigns success and use of social media allows us to keep people in the know and to build on our support network, so in this way our pre-campaigning was essential to our success in this occupation. Q: If occupation constitutes an escalated form of direct action, do you think there will come a point where more
people will be persuaded to take steps to resist government attacks? A: In truth this campaign is related to a wider context of wider cuts, in a time of austerity however it is primarily concerned with Sussex students and the 235. In a time of huge government change direct action needs to be applied for people to claim back their country. If our campaign is successful then our model can be used in other institutions to have similar effects. What the management are instigating at Sussex is part of a world-wide austerity plan which should be fought against. The marketising of university ruins the educational objectivity of university education and research which has a wider impact on society as a whole in many areas of life. We would like to take this opportunity to reach out to all other institutions to stand out against this process which is cheapening the degrees we are working for. Q: What advice do you have for others who wish to hold an occupation? A: Firstly you must make clear what the occupation is about, so that you can organise and raise support in the initial period. We also recommend learning from other student activities and movements such as in Quebec. Full inclusiveness and no domination by specific groups in the university is an essential part of this as is to meet as publicly as possible and
Q: Do you see this as necessary for other universities across the country? A: Over the past few decades the student movement has become increasingly passive and students being a part of shaping the way our institutions are run is essential. We need to start [re]taking control over the education we receive and the facilities we receive this education in. student unions are becoming increasingly about ‘drinks deals’ over the representation of our voices and so in a sense we have to be the change we want to see. Q: How important do you think it is to form alliances with workers as well as students, for example members of staff at Sussex University? A: Support from the staff and faculty is one of the major building blocks of our campaign, strength in numbers is key to the success of our campaign and the positive attention we have received has meant that the occupation will not fizzle out and can actually have a positive and lasting impact on a community which we all. Students, faculty and staff included are a part of. Q: Do you have any thoughts as to where the national anti cuts/anti privatisation movement should go from here? A: Luke Martell, head of the sociology department at Sussex stated that “Academics need to be more involved as well as support workers, the problem we have is that academics don’t believe that privatisation will effect the courses they teach and their own research, but this is not the case. The other issue is that trade unions need to change strategy, at the moment they will try and get a good deal for themselves or strike for one day, one day strikes have been shown to produce little results but perhaps use of rolling strikes might have a larger impact” Questions answered by Charlie Jones on behalf of Occupy Sussex
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Irreverent but meaningful What has motivated you to run this year? We looked at the likely opposition and the political and social climate at Queen Mary and decided that 2013 was the ideal time to run. My campaign is largely above the petty politics about which most students are apathetic, so my policies endeavour to meaningfully improve students’ living standards. What experience do you think you have to do this job? I’d been elected various positions at school, so I know what it takes to motivate a groundswell of popular support. I’ve worked in a Parliamentary office so understand the extent to which elected people can help people .
I think I have the humour and gravitas to bring some context to the role of QMSU President. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I’m 6ft 2in and have no chin, which I think is unique amongst the candidates. I am a keen debater and hopefully in the Question Times at both campuses you will see the liveliest and most coherent argument being put forward. I’ll leave the petty politics to student council, and will use the Presidency to drive through cheaper coffee, sandwiches, snacks, drinks and meal deals at QMSU bars and cafés. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? I’m a big supporter. I’ve written extensively for CUB and QMessenger and edited the Satire section earlier
this year, which received good reviews. If QMessenger would like to go weekly again, I’d support this. Rest assured that a Paddy Presidency will not try to gag the media from doing its job. How will you fund your policy to slash food and drink prices? We’ve come up with a three-point plan: increase footfall, renegotiate with suppliers, and increase turnover. It’s ludicrous that a Tesco meal deal is £3, whilst a Ground one is £4.95. It’s ridiculous that Wetherspoon’s and Subway have cheaper prices and turn a bigger profit than Drapers or the Learning Café. A Paddy Presidency will cut £1 off all sandwiches and 50p off all coffees. How do you think your offer to halve your salary in your term will affect following Presidents? My offer to halve the £24.5k salary
available to me will not bind future Presidents. But I feel it’s important to lead by example, and so I’ve said I will create ten £1,000 Presidential Scholarships to reward excellence in volunteering, sport, academia, student advocacy or within a particular society. This has proven very popular with potential voters so far. How exactly with working with Course Reps will you ensure students get involved in seminars? In my subject, History, we have an introductory first year course which sets out the basic standards expected by the department. I know other subjects have similar modules. I will work with course reps and departmental staff to make it explicitly clear from the start than everyone must be vocal and active in seminars – it’s in every students’ interests!
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Students, Students, Students. – Our campaign at New Chapter is all about the best candidates, with a track record on campaigning and working to get the best for students, clear policy that is practical and works and the experience to put into action. What has motivated you to run this year? I am the best candidate to take the Union forward. I have worked hard over the last three years to campaign and improve our University. Nevertheless there is still much to be done in terms of housing, student experience and campaigning, all of which are key points in my manifesto. What experience do you think you have to do this job? At Queen Mary I have been a
course rep, a residential assistant and a trustee. Outside of QMUL I have been a trustee for two national charities, one a multi-million pound business. My commitment to these charitable projects shows my enthusiasm for improving both the University and our Union. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? Experience and policy. I am the candidate with the credentials necessary to run a large charity such as our Union. As well as this I have the hard hitting policies surrounding Housing, Libraries, Student Services and Academics that we need to take us and our university forward. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? It is essential for promoting student activities, reporting campus
news and ensuring the university is held to account. As President I will check the media is fully supported with increased resources, devoted staff time and student journalist training so those involved have something to add to their CV. How do you think your policy to create an ‘activist culture’ will affect the many campaigning groups that exist on campus? It only serves to strengthen them. By setting aside a dedicated campaigns fund existing groups can apply directly and secure money needed to run large scale campaigns. As well as this new groups can form and begin to lobby for causes they see as important. How will you improve library services in the face of budget freezes and staff cuts?
By fighting exactly those things. I will lobby the university to look at where it’s cutting services, following consistently poor results in the National Student Survey compared to other Russell Group Universities. We should be spending more money and focusing more attention on learning resources, not cutting them further. If management are already cutting funding and working conditions, how are you going to persuade them to increase services? Bart’s students are a great example, taking matters into their own hands and volunteering to keep West Smithfield library open. However I will also look at other options, such as placing staff where they are able to work more effectively and introducing technology to make libraries self servicing.
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Practical, Progressive, Exciting What has motivated you to run this year? I’ve always been involved in the union, and have been campaigning on student issues since I started at Queen Mary. I really want to continue this and change the nature of the union to be more inclusive, creative and progressive. What experience do you think you have to do this job? Just in my time at Queen Mary I’ve won Society of the Year as President of New Turn, won Course Rep of the Year for my campaigning on academic issues and been continuously involved with the learning institute promoting Q-Review and a
QM app. I’m also a student trustee. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? Why I’m running definitely sets me apart, I’m determined to change the nature of the union and get more students involved. Also the detail and practicality of my policies, I’m not just talking about community or the student experience I have practical policies and a timetable for implementing them. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? A strong student media is essential for accountability and informing students. I’ve written for QMessenger and have a show on Quest and would fully support get-
ting as many students involved as possible. It’s a great way to improve employability, advertise events and build relationships between students. How would you fund or source cheaper and healthier food on campus? The road to progress in many areas of union policy is comparing ourselves to other institutions. It would take very little effort to compare the cost of our food to other universities, and their suppliers. Transparency is key, showing students that the union has chosen a supplier because they’re best for students. Your security policy does not include an increase in staff, is this not also necessary?
Staff cuts have been incredibly detrimental to students. A full review of all aspects of student safety is in order, including staffing. A budget is always a series of compromises, but if we can afford to pay academics over £100,000 we can afford security staff. What would be your next step to standardise lecture recordings across departments? Engaging staff and dispelling misinformation. A full campaign of videos, literature and meetings explaining copywrite, attendance and performance management issues. Staff have to be brought on board not forced into being recorded. I’ve been working on this campaign for two years and familiar hurdles have to be dealt with for good.
12ELECTIONS Presidential Candidates
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Accountability, Transparency and Approachability. What has motivated you to run this year? Union politics is too isolated and it makes students apathetic, the union should really be the centre of student activity and it’s not. It needs to change, I want to make QMSU the kind of union that all students can access for whatever they need to get the most out of university. What experience do you think you have to do this job? Having worked for several organisations whilst at university, I have learnt to effectively project manage to deliver results. Whilst working for an educational trust I learnt to ef-
fectively engage people using a positive student voice and leadership initiatives. QM needs a union that does not simply represent students but creates opportunities for them to become leaders. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I believe that my varied experience in education working with student voice has given me a thorough understanding of its relevance and importance. I believe my management skills and developed understanding of student voice and leadership as well as my passion for the university sets me aside from others. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? Student media is a fantastic outlet
for student voice, it is the pulse of the student body. If promoted and accessed effectively, student media can transform an apathetic campus. I will make it my mission to see that all avenues of student media are consistently supported and developed. How will you improve library services in the face of budget freezes and staff cuts? Whilst these are tough financial times, the university must extend its library provisions not cut them. I will lobby the university to continue investing in all of our libraries including West Smithfield. I will also work to develop links with teaching departments is essential in keeping our libraries appropriately stocked. What are your community
plans for QM? QM has an amazing community spirit with students that really care about the local community also. I will provide better support to all societies and sports, and provide particular support to those starting community outreach programmes. I will put QM at the heart of the community in the East End. How will you acquire funding for your plans for sports clubs? The Olympic legacy has had a lasting effect in the east end of London and Queen Mary is uniquely fortunate in its location. The union should properly assist sports socs in applying for the variety of sports support grants such as ‘Sports England’ that are available to support our teams.
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Refine, Revamp, Renew What has motivated you to run this year? I feel this is the year I am best prepared to take up the role, I don’t think I was ever as prepared as I am now to effectively run the Student Union. What experience do you think you have to do this job? I have worked in management, customer service, been a society President, Events Manager and also a member of a sports team and other societies in QMSU. I feel all my experience is wellknit for this role specifically. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? My motivation behind running - passion. Passion for change in the union, passion for QMSU and passion to see
Queen Mary’s recognised for the fantastic institution it is, not just on paper but by the heartbeat of the university, its students. Great policies are nothing if you don’t love the reason you are presenting them and that I do. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? Student media is in my eyes the glue that holds our union. I think its fundamental in an era where everyone is a critic to have a central media platform available to the students.I was part of the team that first set up Quest Radio so I entirely support student media, and will do such by providing all information students need to know about their Union, its policies and what it means for them, directly to student media mediums. With recent cuts to staff at West
Smithfield Library, how will you fund extra staff for a constant 24hour library service? Fundamentally, what I propose is a 24hr study area. The proposal to make West Smithfield a reference library may support this, thus reducing staffing. During the hours in which West Smithfield is currently closed, I propose the main purpose of the library would be study therefore less staff would be needed and security maintained by the Campus security. How do you intend to unite on and off campus students? One of my main means of doing this would be more on campus events but reducing the amount of spending by the union by also involving the community. Having worked with Tower Hamlets for campus events before, I know how much they want to work with Queen
Mary. More on campus events, would give non-residents more to stay for. University is not just about the degree but the experience. You have shown great eagerness to be part of other university activities. Does this election just reflect a need to be involved, as opposed to a need to change Students’ Union policy? It definitely reflects a need to be involved. Everything I have participated in since joining QM, was because I saw an area for improvement or change to better my fellow students. In order to effect change within our Union, it will require someone who wants to be involved, to stand on behalf of the students and represent them, to be proactive. So I don’t think change and involvement are mutually exclusive in my case they work concurrently.
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Engaging. Dynamic. Refreshing. One of the key points of my campaign is to engage with students that may otherwise not feel that included in the union. By being a candidate with a different perspective to what we’ve usually seen, I think we can tap in to more students, get a more active union, and one that is all-inclusive. What has motivated you to run this year? Wanting to make an improvement to student life at Barts & QM. I’ve been involved with so many aspects of student life, I know how the Union can impact student experiences, and I want to be a part of that. Also, encouragement from so many different student groups has been great feedback. What experience do you think you have to do this job? My work with Student Council, and
particularly on the Societies Committee has given me great exposure to the needs of students and how to try and meet those needs. Along with my work on several societies, I’ve also gained great management experience from transforming the Surgical Society into the largest society at Barts and one of the best in the country. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? A refreshing perspective. My experience working on societies gives me another perspective on the different aspects of the Union. Along with other issues, I’m the candidate that can make a real difference to that aspect of the Union, to which so many students are involved in. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? I’m in full support of Student Media. It’s a great tool to promote and adver-
tise student activity, events and fundraising. At the same time it can keep students up to date with union and college decisions, especially when students might not have the time to attend Student Council meetings. Why do you think it is necessary that BL and QM sport remain separate? Ultimately, the best thing for both QM and BL students is for sports to remain separate. Any merging of sports could compromise the level at which some students can play. Both sets of sports are doing very well as they are, and any changes can bring administrative and logistical issues that may take years to resolve. Barts has a truly historical legacy of sports that continues to grow, one that both QM and BL students should be proud of, let’s keep it that way. How do you intend to provide support for societies from the
Union? I think the societies committee, along with society officers do a great job in supporting societies at the moment, but there is still a lot that can be done, especially at Barts. Ensuring societies understand the methods of funding and how to get the funding they need, links with college departments for guidance, and assistance on running great events for students. How do you intend to get the college to achieve financial stability and transparency for the Union, in a period of cuts across University departments? The most important aspect to cuts is that they should have as little impact on students as possible. Thus, effective communication with students is imperative. The college and Union should look for innovative modes of revenue, but in parallel, communicate financial decisions openly with students.
ELECTIONS13 Vice President Education Candidates
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Passionate, Enthusiastic, Hardworking. We at New Chapter want students to feel how we do. We want each and every student to be passionate, involved and help lead our campaigns alongside us. We’ll listen to what you want and actively help with your projects to make a difference to Queen Mary. What has motivated you to run this year? I believe that I am the best candidate to continue the campaigns that have been started this year whilst lobbying the College for other important changes needed to improve the student experience. We need to see better library services, greater resources, varied assessments, and a Union which is fighting fit. What experience do you
think you have to do this job? I did a brilliant job as a part-time officer and got involved with various campaigns. This year alone I coordinated the first ever Black History Month celebrations on campus, founded the anti-fascist action group, set up an award winning mentoring scheme, and campaigned for better environmental practices, amongst other things. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? Experience. I’m the candidate who as a part-time officer has proven to care about students enough to change things to better their lives. I’ve put forward education-related policy and was the only councillor that cared enough to sacrifice time to lobby senate members over proposed changes to the appeals system. What do you think the role
of student media is and to what extent will you support it? For me the role of student media is to represent the Union whilst holding both QMSU and QMUL to account when necessary. I will work with the President to ensure that QMSU Media Group is well supported both in terms of resources and staff. How will you find funding for more staff in the Appeals department? I will look to see whether the College will create staff positions in the Appeals Department through staff redeployment as research suggests we have staff in some departments with very little work and the skills of these staff could definitely be better used in departments such as Appeals. How do you plan to co-ordi-
nate ‘opt – in’ January exams? This will be a tough campaign but one I will pursue with vigour nonetheless! I believe there are enormous benefits to both staff and students to have opt-in January exams and will produce a research paper outlining these benefits before lobbying senior members of staff to help implement it! In what way do you think QM is lacking compared to other Russell Group universities? We don’t spend enough on resources, we don’t support our students enough and we don’t contribute as much to the wider community. These are things I hope to change through methods such as establishing a scheme to deliver financial education to local pupils to encourage them to continue onto University.
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Accountability, Transparency and Approachability What has motivated you to run this year? I have worked in the Education part of the Union and I find every aspect of it fascinating. I love Queen Mary and I would like to dedicate a year to give back something to the university. What experience do you think you have to do this job? I’ve been a Course Rep, Pass Mentor and International Rep for Education. All this has showed me the different efforts being carried out at QM in order to improve the institution academically and the quality of the education. I have an good understanding of what a VP
Education can do to improve the university. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I’m lucky to be running against two great candidates. However I believe I will bring more experience to the role. I have a creative and efficient mind.I think that working with Pass and International students has enabled me to learn more about the experience of students in various departments and faculties. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? I think the media should enhance the impact it has on the community. It would be amazing for the media to make sure that
they are making SAABs accountable. The media is the best way in which the Union can effectively share with students what it’s doing, and I don’t think it’s done enough at the moment. Why do you think departments should be more involved with societies? Departments are essentially the body that coordinates your degree, and thus having a good relationship with your department is vital. Societies act as a good bridge for students to develop departmental relationships whilst building a sense of empowerment and community. This is something I will build upon once elected. How do you think revision spaces can be funded and provided?
I intend to create a bookable online database that itemises available rooms, in order to make more more revision space available throughout the university at any given time. I think the issue of revision space during exam season is particularly pressing for all sectors of QM What exactly do you think course reps should do in their job role? Being a course rep for both of my departments I recognise that course reps are a link between departments and students. I think these links must be improved, this can be done through mentoring programmes and departmental socials. Coursereps must communicate to departments what students need and how best to implement it.
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Exciting, innovative, convincing What has motivated you to run this year? Not only have I enormously enjoyed being an HSS faculty rep for the past year, but it has also made me aware of how much good stuff there it still to be done at our University. I think I could really help develop Educational Practice at our University and I think I would really enjoy doing it. What experience do you think you have to do this job? Lots. I was course rep in my second year and HSS rep in my
third, and have always taken an active interest in Union activities. I am well informed, responsible and capable. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I think in terms of what our roles have been during our time at QMUL, my experience as HSS rep is by far the most relevant. I’m also incredibly proud of my manifesto policies and proposals. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? I think Student Media is of enormous importance in allowing people to expand their creativity, offering awesome op-
portunities, giving practical experience and increasing employability. As VP Education I will support it absolutely. How do you intend to standardise submissions and penalties across all departments? Lobbying the University and harassing its departments is obviously a good start, but the campaign for standardised submissions and penalties does not need to stop there. Nothing will work as effectively as working hard to show the University that this is something that the mass of students really care about. How do you intend to change the exam system, a standardised form of test which has always been used?
The fact that something is age old doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Evidence from around the world shows that optionally typing exams is becoming increasingly popular and feasible. Along with increasing exam preparation and feedback, this is a change I would really like to bring in as VP Education. How will you change and fund an increased use of electronic resources at QM? Identifying which electronic resources do and don’t work for students is an excellent way of efficiently using University funding. Equally, getting more students more directly involved in the development of electronic resources helps make more changes more relevant.
14ELECTIONS Vice President Welfare Candidates
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Sean What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Active, Engaged, Fierce. The New Chapter campaign is ready to fight for what students need. We stand on four key principles: Housing, Health, Resources and Community. We want cheaper rents, a better private housing service, social space on campus, an improved Doctors service, better college libraries, more resources and a wider QM community! What has motivated you to run this year? I’m the best candidate for the job. I think both the Students’ Union and the University need radically improving. Whilst both have their merits we need to see better services, a stronger, student led culture and a more engaging Union. All of this is in my manifesto. What experience do you think
you have to do this job? I have worked tirelessly on a number of different campaigns. In the last year I have held a committee position at QMEquality, helped establish the first ever QMSU Mental Health Festival, co-curated the Universities Diversity celebrations and worked on the LGBT History Month and feminist Festival51 calendars. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I have the proven track record. This year alone I have fought and succeeded in having the Union affiliate to Nightline, helped change the Year Abroad scheme to make it more student friendly and worked on motions which make the Union more accessible and engaging to all students. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it?
Haris What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Accessibility, Accountability, Community What has motivated you to run this year? The pressing need for reform in the way the union provides its welfare support has motivated me to fight to improve the quality and scope of the service the union provides. At present not enough students benefit from what the union has to offer, and as VP welfare I would change that. What experience do you think you have to do this job? I have been involved with various projects which range from helping young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds with
university applications to volunteering in a homeless shelter for young people, all of these have given me wide range of transferable skills which I would use to improve student welfare. What makes you stand out against the other candidates?
Katarina: What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? Exciting, Encouraging, Educational What has motivated you to run this year? Through my involvement in student welfare, I have discovered that there are things I want to change and do in the SU. There are projects and campaigns that I want to improve and expand, and I believe I am the right candidate to do this. What experience do you think you have to do this job? As the International Welfare Representative and volunteer for Nightline I have extensive experience in student welfare. I have also been a course rep for politics,
I believe its role is twofold: to hold QMUL to account and to help students gain experience. Issues need to be highlighted in the media and they provide writers with grounding for internships along the way. As a Sabb I would fully support the media with resources and staff time. The number of staff at Advice and Counselling has reduced dramatically recently. How will you get the college to increase drop in sessions? Currently the service closes daily for a lunch break. Councillors should take lunch at different times so as to keep the service open for that period. Booking also takes presidence over drop-ins, this is wrong as drop-ins are often more important for those that have an urgent need. Exactly how will you secure
ethnic minority representation at meetings? By working with the Multicultural Officer and establishing a fully funded working group we can ensure that there is the opportunity for willing students to access Welfare meetings and make sure that minority groups are represented. I would also support this procedure for Women, Black, LGBT and Disabled students. How will you acquire space and funding for your common room policy? QMUL recently scrapped a number of common rooms at Mile End. The University is instead hiring out space to private businesses such as banks and restaurants. Students have Stratford for sort of thing. We should use our existing space, such as that below France house, as common rooms for all.
I have not been a Unionite in my time at Queen Mary, rather I am the typical student looking in from the outside wishing the Union actually did more to represent our needs. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? Student media is an important and useful tool in expressing the views of students as well as con-
tributing to our community and providing experience for students in all sorts of fields. As long as student media continues to make such an important impact on the student experience I will continue to support it. How exactly do you intend to change the appeals system? I would like the appeals system to be more transparent in terms of how they reach decisions; however it is important to not jump the gun here as there is already a review taking place of our appeals system that will hopefully solve many of the problems students have faced. As part of the Open Union slate, how will you follow through with its mantra? Open Union is about giving control of the union back to the stu-
dents. Sabbs need to be accountable for their actions and easy to contact. We will hold weekly drop in sessions and maximise the role of social media. This would maintain a direct link between students and their union. What do you think are the causes of drop outs and how can they be tackled? In many cases students, predominantly sciences and engineering drop out due to a lack of support from their departments. These students are often 1st generation university attendees and live off of campus throughout their time here, we need to do more to incorporate them into our campus community whilst offering valuable academic support through a robust personal advisor system.
a treasurer and a communications officer for ANSA Samfunn. These positions have provided me with skills perfectly suited to VP-Welfare. 4. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I have more experience in student welfare, a unique understanding of what issues International Students face, and a better understanding of the student population’s welfare needs. I am also the only candidate with experience as a part-time officer on student council, and have a great understanding of the student union. 5. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it?
The student media is great way for students to get involved, get experience and develop their skills. I think the role of the student media is to inform students on what is happening in our student union, our university and in our surroundings. I will therefore support it. 6. How do you intend to fund cheaper food and amend food contracts at QM? I would make this a real focus of my role, to redistribute the budget to better reflect what the student body wants. We are a Student Union built for Students, not a Student Union for profit. 7. How important do you think it is for QMSU to work with ULU on similar campaigns?
I think it is very important. Housing affects student all over London, and it is not a problem that QMSU can solve on its own. Through cooperation, and by taking internal and external steps to improve the housing situation, I will as VP-Welfare better be able to protect our students. 8. What do you mean by your aim to ‘increase Union pride by putting the practical skills we’ve learnt to good use’? We should all have opportunities to try out the skills we are being educated in. The SU should set up a network where students can sign up their skills to be used by the Union, the University and the local community. We will take pride in the union, by investing time in it.
ELECTIONS15 Vice President Welfare Candidates MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
What 3 words would you use to describe your campaign? “Zaloga’s Well Fair” What has motivated you to run this year? I just knew, I would regret it if I didn’t run! The experiences I will take away from this campaign process are so special, and I am proud that I have accepted this challenge for myself. The support I have received from my family and friends has been phenomenal, without them I would have never have put myself forward. What experience do you think you have to do this job? I have been involved with the union for the last three years, through being President of Synergy Dance, Events officer for Global Zero and 3rd Year Politics Course Rep. All this, has given
me a great insight into how important it is to have a more student led union and for your voices to be heard. What makes you stand out against the other candidates? I stand out from the other candidates because… I am running independently! I have been part of the Mums and Dads scheme this year and so I can identify the areas that need improving to make it very successful next year. I also have 3 years’ experience of involvement with sports societies, and I am Politics Course Rep. What do you think the role of student media is and to what extent will you support it? The role of the student media is very important and especially during the campaigning/ election
process- and I will support it and get involved. Students listening to Quest Radio, watching QMTV, reading QM Messenger can be informed on what candidates are standing for and be encouraged to get out there and vote! What sort of activities will you create for students? I will introduce more activities and events for Undergraduate, Post-graduate and International students, so you are spoilt for choice when deciding what to do in your free time! We need to bring more students together, so no one feels excluded. This will be done by supporting societies and sports to host more events, showcases and sports days at Queen Mary and also bring the departments on board to hold more socials. How will you fund disability access or increased secu-
rity access on campus? If elected, I will identify the areas where money is being wasted/ unnecessarily spent and ensure that disability and security are the main focus for improvement. How will you build campaign for awareness or make a difference on such sensitive issues as domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour and mental wellbeing? We need to work very closely with charities and get societies/ sports involved as well as all other students to build big scale campaigns for awareness and promote information for where to go for advice and support. I will organise a Mental Health & Wellbeing Awareness Week together with the support of the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
6.30pm Thursday 28 February in The Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard Building, Whitechapel
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Crazy for the divine Cara Delevingne
Ciara Judge If you haven’t heard her name you would have certainly seen her face over the past year. British Fashion Awards’ Model of the Year, Cara Delevingne is taking the world by storm and it’s not likely that she’ll be slowing down any time soon. Some say she’s the next Kate Moss and with her effortless style and tomboy attitude it’s obvious why fashion has fallen head over heels for this English model. From starring in Burberry’s A/ W13 campaigns to gracing the cover of Vogue’s 2013 March Issue it is clear that Cara’s illustrious career is just getting started. Her dark eyebrows are nearly as famous as the model herself and her face is known for its drama and aesthetic attitude but that’s not all
people talk about – it’s Cara’s personality too. Whether it is showcasing her beloved collection of onesies or pulling a silly face, fans and colleagues alike can’t seem to get enough of her. Best friend and fellow model Karlie Kloss spoke to Vogue’s deputy editor Emily Sheffield saying that “She’s larger than life but very smart, she’s got so many dynamics to her; it keeps her interesting.” Despite her signature features it is Cara’s uniqueness and bubbly personality that her colleagues always comment on. What everyone seems to like about Cara is that she doesn’t take herself too seriously in a very serious industry. She’s not afraid of pulling a goofy face and her mantra appears to be “embrace your weirdness”. Twenty-year old Cara is becom-
ing a household name in the fashion industry and with her constant updates on various social media sites, it’s not difficult to catch up with her. Using apps like Instagram and the new video editing app Vine, fans can now interact and get exclusive peeks from behind the scenes at fashion weeks and more. For someone who fell into modelling by accident her professionalism and playfulness is effortless. In the future we may even see Cara starring in films as her first love is acting but whatever path she takes, it’s clear that we’ll be seeing more and more of her. After an enormous year in 2012 walking a mighty 38 shows and becoming the most photographed model of the season - we can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in 2013.
“KISS ME!” – PHOTO FROM INSTAGRAM @caradelevingne 2013
50th anniversary of The Bell Jar Belphoebe New
IMAGE BY KRISTINA
Sylvia Plath’s iconic work detailing the crippling effects of mental illness on a young woman The Bell Jar celebrates its 50th Anniversary this month. This may be a book that many students are familiar with. Alongside Catcher in The Rye, The Bell Jar is known for its capturing of young adult uncertainty, whether in consideration of future careers, homes, lovers, or most brutally shown by Plath, the considerations of the potentialities of self. It is most tenderly in the mind that this novel resides, The Bell Jar itself an motif of encasement, illustrating the unknowable patterns of the damaged mind. Fifty years on, the novel’s effect has been so widespread amongst academic disciplines that to choose to study it under today’s attitude of ‘we’ve seen it all before’ is often perceived as unoriginal, even unwise. It is a book, seen by some, as finally interpreted, already read, a puzzle of the soul already cracked. It has not helped that Plath herself had reached an iconic status in the vein of other tragic heroes, very much the ‘tortured genius.’ As wryly observed by Woody Allen in Annie Hall, her suicide was supposedly ‘misinterpreted as romantic by the college girl mentality.’ Yet the pages cannot be truly shut on Plath’s novel, a story that has been so closely allied with her own life that it has struggled to
gain an autonomy beyond the often stifling genre of autobiography. As Jacqueline Wilson asked in a recent Guardian article: ‘Why do readers of her work always reduce it to her biography, thereby cheating her as a writer, cheating any writer, of the power to transform their lives in their art?’ The seemingly romantic connotations tied to Plath’s work have both enhanced its popularity and deemed it academically untouchable in today’s society. We cannot forget that this novel allowed truthful depictions of mental illness to be considered and in some sense related to on a level playing field, especially in young women. A voice was given here by Plath, not only in terms of relation to the real life constraints of the mind, but in the creation of the fictional self, the creation and structuring of the mind through confiding, revealing prose. Debates about where the Bell Jar lies in modern society has been enflamed by original publicist Faber and Faber’s choice of cover for the 50th anniversary edition. The cover shows a woman, perhaps the protagonist Esther Greenwood, perhaps the archetypal modern woman, applying lipstick in a mirror in front of a garish pink background, and with a font more suited to Bridget Jones than the world’s most famous depiction of the empty misery of youth. Faber and Faber’s public response to this was to reason that the cover
reflects the beginning of the novel, where Esther is: ‘encountering the conflict between new freedom and old assumptions about women’s aspirations.’ It seems appropriate to say that the uproar against the cover comes not from the demonising of conventionally feminine symbols such as cosmetics, but from the image of something that in itself has become a convention of the chick lit, placing the Bell Jar confusedly between genres, as well as gender suitability. Whatever view you take on the cover, the considerations from both sides on how the gendered aspect of the novel should be conveyed without the insight of Plath herself reflects the novel’s inclination to question exactly what is expected of youth, not only by society but by one’s self. It is a novel which asks to escape from the self, the nature of autonomy pervading the narrative acts as a tragic indicator of solitude, but also questions our need to affirm ourselves in a world that is in danger of leaving us behind, as a famous line from the novel demonstrates: ‘I am, I am, I am.’ If you haven’t read Plath’s novel, it seems an appropriate time to discover the novel and its iconic significance, to bring your own understanding to it, free from the cultural semantics it now holds. Not just Plath the tortured genius, the college girl’s academic pin up, but the writer of a truly great work of art that manages to relentlessly narrate self.
CULTURE17 Man Ray at the National Portrait Gallery
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
IMAGE BY CARL VAN VECHTEN
The accumulative result of the first large scale museum retrospective of Man Ray’s influential and worldrenowned portrait photography is nothing short of breath-taking. The National Portrait Gallery’s wonderfully curated celebration of his work includes over 150 photographs that span Man Ray’s career from 1916 to 1968, following him from New York to Paris, to Hollywood and back to Europe. Man Ray’s most celebrated portraits are here in all their glory; ‘Le Violin d’Ingres’ (1924), ‘Noire et Blanches’ (1926) and his work with the fabulous Kiki de Montparnasse, however it really is the volume of work that impresses here, as opposed to individual portraits. Perhaps the most striking ele-
ment of the exhibition is the impressive extent of the artist’s circle of contemporaries, friends and lovers, with the body of work produced in Paris in the 1920’s constituting a veritable who’s who of influential figures in the world of the arts, from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound to Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. Occasional group shots including Man Ray himself offer wonderful insights into the closeness of these relationships, with the names listed under the portraits resembling an English Literature or Fine Art student’s 2012/13 reading list. I’ve long been fascinated by the Roaring Twenties, and had some knowledge of the close-knit artistic circles that became famous for moulding a decade of exuberant culture and unprecedented personal freedom, and this exhibition beautifully doc-
uments just that; groups of wildly talented friends, responsible for some of the most famous art, literature and fashion to come out of the last century. The exhibition also skilfully captures the journey in Man Ray’s photography, from a practical tool to document his work in other mediums, through the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, right up to his experimentation at the advent of colour photography in the 1950’s, underlining his reputation as perhaps the most important photographer of the twentieth century. MAN RAY PORTRAITS The National Portrait Gallery 7th February- 27th May 2013 Student Ticket: £12 (book online at www.npg.org.uk) Tube: Embankment or Charing Cross.
IMAGE PROVIDED BY LYRIC THEATRE
The real value of a beetle Metamorphosis Katie Edwards Returning to the London stage for the third time since its arrival in 2006 is Metamorphosis. A co-production between the Lyric Hammersmith and the Icelandic theatre company Vesturport, Kafka’s short story is given new life, and a message that is highly applicable to our time. The play tells the tale of the Samsa family, focusing on the eldest child Gregor, who is the sole financial provider for the family, who awakes one morning to find he has been transformed into a giant insect. Bringing life to this role is Gisli Orn Gardarsson (who also shares adaptation and directing credits
with David Farr), who uses his acrobatic skills to communicate this change, crawling along the walls and ceiling, defying gravity, rather than relying on make-up and costume. It is only the family members who perceive Gregor to have transformed as they repeatedly recoil from the sight of him in disgust. This raises the question of who is really at fault here? Who is the unusual one in this instance, Gregor who maintains his human features or his family who perceive him to be different? Indeed Gregor is clearly different from his family, his sensibilities and values set him apart from his relations who are driven by their need for money, and this po-
sitions him as the minority. All the performances given are wonderful, but special mention must be given to the Samsa children. Gardarsson captivates as the caring Gregor, but perhaps his performance is slightly overshadowed by his own athleticism, which is remarkable to behold, but at times was distracting from what he was actually saying. Nina Dogg Felippusdottir’s Greta begins as an innocent young girl who slowly transforms into a formidable and somewhat horrifying woman. This change is so subtle that we are not fully aware of the extent of her change until she viciously lashes Gregor, in a scene that shocks the audience. Lending its hand to these moments of horror
is the swelling score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis that envelops scenes and adds to an already intense atmosphere. The other star of this production is Borkur Jonsson’s set design. The Samsa household is shown through a split-level design with the normal downstairs that the parents and Greta occupy, while directly above we see Gregor’s bedroom that has been rotated ninety degrees so the audience see his room from what would be the ceiling, an aerial view into the room. Within this dislocated space, Gardarsson moves along the walls as though they were his bedroom floor, and placing the furniture on the walls has enhanced this. In
fact, when entering into Gregor’s bedroom, it is the other characters who seem misplaced, as though they are walking on the walls, they are the unusual ones in this context. It’s quite easy to see why this production has been so successful. The remarkable staging, consuming score and terrific performances all around come together to create a production that captivates and moves the audience. In a time when we are constantly being told about our societies growing greed for wealth in a post financial crisis age, this daring production makes for interesting and thoughtful viewing and asks to question what we should really value.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
QMessenger looks at potential Papal candidates Lucretia McCarthy and Keumars Afifi-Sabet Pope Benedict the Idle, also known by his stage-name ‘God’s Rottweiler,’ plans to hang up his cross later this week as the search for his successor races on. After a lengthy career in which Mr Pope spent the best part of eight years waving at the public and being driven around in the 2008 runner up to ‘Pimp my Ride,’ the League of Extraordinary Cardinals are once again on the hunt for next Catholic pinup-boy. We’ve drawn a shortlist of potential candidates – as we scrutinise their aptitude and credentials. Silvio Berlusconi: Here’s a man who’d love to regain a sense of diplomatic immunity, and despite labelling Italy a “shithole” he’s once
again found himself in the right place at the right time. It’s thought the thirty-nine-year-old silvertongued-sex-pest is keen on being thrust into the limelight in a bid to evade an ever-swelling wealth of criminal charges. As Pope he’s likely to take it ‘old school,’ starting with compulsory mistresses allround – which if ‘The Mail’ is to be believed – should fix paedophilia quick smart. Mario Balotelli: Fresh from the dreary shores of England, the former Iron-Man prototype excelled in his role of fireworks-safetyrepresentative by nearly destroying his house. Nevertheless, he seems to have matured during his time spent in the post-apocalyptic tundra more commonly known as Manchester. It’s believed Pope
Mario’s policies would include abolition of common sense and to be driven exclusively in a golden, armour-plated Pagani Zonda made entirely of orange chocolate. Robbie Coltrane: As the brilliant star showed on multiple occasions during the 90s, he can step to the religious role at the drop of a hat. He started as a nun; giving him empathy with the femme congregation, before climbing the ranks to pose as the big man himself. 10/10 for experience and as an actor he finds himself primed to put a brave face on anything; including the preventable spread of STIs. Tony Blair: A recent convert to the Catholic Faith, former Middle East enthusiast and public hate figure Tony Blair is thought to be making a late bid. Blair aims
to reach the top of inconveniently cross-shaped ladder having showcased sought-after credentials, which include representing the people he was elected to do so as tactfully as a sundried cucumber. Wielding a tongue slicker than Shakespeare’s Iago, according to Cherie at the very least, Blair aims to rise to the top of the chain once more. Bear Grylls: A Born Survivor, this man has scaled heights and crossed the Atlantic. Considered the sole inspiration behind the fictional character ‘Gollum,’ Mr Grylls is to nature what Hannibal Lector would be to the world of fine dining. However he’s a true boy scout at heart; desperate to get the final badge to complete an impressive set. Considered a ‘dark horse’
by pundits, he boasts experience in looking pious but luxuriating behind the scenes. Mel Gibson: The famed and later shamed Scottish warlord Mel Gibson famously portrayed Jesus Christ in the film adaptation of the Bible. Shortly after achieving worldwide acclaim the actor faced controversy for making several alleged homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist remarks; but in doing so caught the eye of several cardinals keen to sponsor his bid for candidacy in the previous papal elections. Ultimately, the League opted for a much safer option in Mr Benedict Pope. Though eight years down the line, a wiser, less abrasive Gibson hopes to complete a sensational comeback.
IMAGE BY MANGWANANI
IMAGE BY ZENNIE62
You really couldn’t make it up... could you? Wikipeasier Wikipedia have rolled out a more simplistic version of their online coursework resource for users who lack the mental capacity beyond that of a toothpick. New ‘Simple English’ happily boasts a condescending tone crossbred with the lexical ingenuity of a doormat. As to
now, it’s unclear whether the addition stands as a cleverly-disguised satirical comment on the world’s declining intelligence, or if it was genuinely developed for idiots. Kim Jong-unbeleivable After ‘The Onion’ released a satirical piece labelling Kim Jong-un as 2012’s “sexist man alive,” China’s
‘the People Daily’ ran a phenomenal 55-page photo spread of the North Korean heart-throb famously known for coming 4th in the 2001 edition of ‘North Korea’s Next Top Model.’ Pictures shown include the leader posing on a horse, and staring pensively at scenery. Thankfully, however, the soon-to-be planetary
overlord finds himself concealed in wedlock for the time being. No Nipple No Cry Prudes rejoice! In a bid to clamp down on – we’re not quite sure – North Carolina state representatives have proposed a new law to ban women from exposing their nipples in public. It’s thought the
second annual topless protest, to promote women’s equality, inspired the plans; which act to further hinder women’s equality. In failing to comply, women may face up to six months in prison, while all flabby doughnut-shaped gentlemen are thought to remain unaffected by the bill.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
Barmy Britain! Lucretia McCarthy New statistics out today reveal that there are only three people still working in the United Kingdom, taking the number of those on benefits up to a whopping 99.99% of the population. It has long been believed that most in the country are scroungers but the reports show that unemployment really is at an all time high. It is possible that the figures are a result of the recession but it is likely they come from the boom in good news stories from those sponging off the system. There are now record numbers on benefits with many intentionally getting the sack, having seen life on benefits for the utopia it really is. A great wave of redundancies has come from people telling their bosses what they actually think. The influx is believed to be due to reality TV encouraging people to actually share their feelings leading to sackings left right and centre – and that goes for politicians too. The once hailed brown-nosers famed for needing to be pushed to the limit before even a scrap of truth can be gleened are falling thick and fast, providing heart wrenching testimonials about the horrors of work that would make even Piers Morgan cringe. But the main reason is that not working day and night is bloody fantastic. One newly promoted
benefits scrounger said “I’m much better off on benefits, that’s why I left my semi in Tunbridge Wells for this council estate, I used to be a bit of an old curmudgeon but without all the hassle of work I can just watch Jeremy Kyle reruns with glee”. Another person we interviewed, referring to himself exclusively as ‘Mr. Phantom Immigrant’ said: “I love it here, everything is free! Why would I slave away as a builder when I can pick lint from my belly button and continuously open and close the fridge all day? The only down side is that new food only appears every two weeks now.” The creator of alliterative hyperbole is one of the few left working, though rumour has it the ‘cliché 5000’ operated by chimps and failed X factor contestants is waiting in the wings to knock worker numbers down to just two. A sub editor for The Daily Rag gave a statement saying “now that a machine can create all the snappy, inaccurate headlines media and memes need about benefit seekers there’s really no use in me working here” continuing, “I’ll just join the rest of the country on benefits, at least then I can validate the government’s claims” Many are hoping that with the advent of new technology and the boom in desperate interns, no normal people need ever work again.
What you missed over Reading Week •Foxes flash mob library square •Reading-week-only ‘Ground’ promotion makes coffee shockingly affordable . Students faint with the amount of money they saved.
•Campus Cat caught attempting to mate with the QMUL Mascot
•Attenborough visits QMUL; drinks seventeen pints of Red Beer
•Time travelling hermit materialises in Mile End; mugged of all equipment by students
•Study: Library ground floor officially a more vibrant clubbing destination than Drapers
IMAGE BY HELEN COBAIN
Hunt plans to roll out the new NHS Loyalty Card Keumars Afifi-Sabet
IMAGE BY JAMES FIRTH
While doctors and nurses continue to arm themselves in the war against obesity; health Minister Jeremy Hunt last week announced plans to roll out a controversial ‘NHS Loyalty Card’ in a special address to the House of Commons. Still in employment, the former culture minister, who’s also fluent in Parseltongue, outlined the specifics after gaining permission from reptilian underling James Murdoch. Hunt detailed that every visit to a local GP would entitle one with ’50 health credits,’ and every referral to a consultant would be rewarded with ‘100 health credits.’ Participation in surgery could result in the redemption of up to ‘200 health credits,’ while your demise would lead to the commiseration of ‘500
health credits to every one of up to 5 of your registered friends or family. These plans, like many coalitions proposals, however, have been criticised for their complicated nature. Unimportant general public member Samantha Bridgington expressed her anger for the new proposals, saying; “I haven’t got any more space in my purse for another loyalty card! This is insanity!” while local moron Adam McArthur asked our reporter “can they be exchanged for Nectar points?” While credit received won’t be redeemable for nectar points, it’s understood these ‘health credits,’ once aggregated may be exchanged for certain benefits; including a slash in waiting times, and the guarantee of an English-speaking Doctor. A spokesperson and part-
time man-servant to Prime Minister, David Cameron heralded the latest reforms in a short statement which read; “Jezza’s done good.” While Ed Miliband recently sparked a minor panic when a leaked copy of his Google search history indicated the labour leader was keen on acquiring one of the loyalty cards, for himself. The health minister plans to trial the basic system in the official government testing site of Grimsby over the next 12 months before rolling a reformed version to the midlands, and eventually to the whole of the United Kingdom by 2015. In the meantime, you can pre-register for your NHS Loyalty Card on the gov.uk website; that is if you can still afford an internet connection. That’s it for the satire this fortnight. HOPE YOU FOUND IT FUNNY.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
New Prime Number Breaks Four Year Drought
IMAGE BY STEVEN DEPOLO
Self filling water bottles Haneef Rehman
Haneef Rehman Prime numbers, while seeming fairly uninteresting, are pretty useful things. They are the key to data and password encryption used by banks, the military and even Facebook, and can help perform calculations at immeasurably large scales. This means that when a new one is discovered, in the maths world, it’s kind of a big deal. So without further adosh, say hello to the newest member of the family: 257,885,161-1. This marks the end of a 4 year dry spell without any new primes being found. The discovery was made by Curtis Cooper with the University of Central Missouri as part of GIMPS (or the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search), a project that uses distributed computing across many institutions to find these new numbers. As for the prime itself, it is over 17 million digits long and is part of the Mersenne series of primes. These are all of the form 2p-1, where p itself is a prime number. The past 10 discoveries of primes have all been of this kind and have all been “the biggest so far”. Finding new prime numbers is an increasingly time consuming business, despite the fact that there are an infinite number of them, and the next one will be a lot harder to find.
IMAGE BY JONATHAN MCINTOSH
Locking down on cyber espionage Haneef Rehman Cyber security is a hot topic these days, especially in light of recent breaches reported by governments, companies and individuals. But how severe are these breaches? And what will the consequences be? For those who don’t know, in the past few weeks there have been multiple reports of hacking on various levels. The mysterious group Anonymous had taken down a U.S. government website, Apple and Facebook have both been targeted maliciously by a false developer website and, in what cyber security firms have called “the world’s most prolific cyber espionage”, the chinese military has supposedly stolen data from almost 150 organisations around the world. And while these are the most high level breaches there have also been many on smaller levels. Burger King has had it’s Twitter account hacked and it’s name changed to McDonalds, Jeep has also been targeted by the same people, and the Westboro Baptist Church had claimed their website
has been compromised. All of this, along with countless other reports, has provoked U.S. President Obama to sign a new executive order, with the aim being to improve cyber security. The order allows companies and the government to share any intelligence they have on threats and work together to nullify them. In his State of the Union address, the President said the following: “America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyberattacks... That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.” And while this all sound well and good, skeptics believe it is too little and too late. Instead of creating a new authority for cyber security, as people think is a good idea, it just directs existing agencies to share their information better than they are doing. And let’s not forget that Congress needs to grant a lot of these actions, which is process that
could take a long time to pass. The cyber security train also seems to be making it’s way to England as recently the government is beginning initiatives to make the UK safe from threats too. This involves a £650 million investment to make cyber security a vital component of national security plans. GCHQ, a key aspect of the UK’s National Intelligence and security, are also training new experts in the field to help. It is very important to try and keep ahead when it comes to cyber security, as not doing so could lead to disastrous results. Let’s not forget the U.S. and Israel’s involvement in the Stuxnet virus, which infiltrated Uranium enrichment facilities in Iran and shut them down. This kind of thing could become common place if we don’t keep up with our opponents, whether they be other countries, organisations or groups of activists. In a world where data and computer infrastructure mean a lot to us it is extremely important to keep them both safe and secure from any threats.
In yet another “what can’t nanotechnology do?” moment, a US startup has achieved proof of concept for their self-filling water bottle that condenses atmospheric moisture into good ol’ fashioned drinking water. The bottle works by using a combination of superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic materials comprising of “bumps”. These cause water droplets of just microns in diameter to be caught. The droplets accumulate over time to build up a large volume. The effect was first observed in Africa’s Namib Beetle, which uses the “bumps” on its wings to collect water that then runs down to its mouth. This little guy has inspired plenty of other proof of concepts in universities and research centers, but this is the first time a water bottle has been put forward. Now that the company, NBD Nano, has reached this point, it is currently working on prototypes and seeking funding. Remarkably, they estimate that between 0.5 and 3 litres could be collected by such a water bottle per hour. This could have a huge impact on water deprived nations. Before the technology is used in water bottles, however, it is likely to be used in roofs, greenhouses and possibly even the military prior to it becoming small and cheap enough for bottles. The company states that the bottle is a “conceptual design that one day could be feasible, although it could be years away”.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
How to use LinkedIn 25th QM Law Society Workshop 5pm Venue TBC
th ‘Media Law’
QM Law Society 6.30pm
Sound of Ground QM Music Society 6pm Ground Cafe
Day of Rest
“Who needs to know, and why? Discretion and Disclosure in the University and Beyond” 7pm Francis Bancroft 3.26
The Big Quiz 7.30pm-9.30pm Drapers
Film Screening : The War You Don’t See with Q&A with Chris Nineham 5pm Blomely Rooms
Weekly Meeting Christian Union 6.30pm, Multi Faith Centre
Your chance to be the change!
T.H.W Abolish State Marriage QM Debate Society 6pm Blomely Room 1 Student Media Committe Meeting followed by Media Social 6pm Students’ Union Hub
SOCIETIES23 Societies Review: QMUL Sewa Week 2013: So far so good!
A Career in Sales Truths Explained, Myths Dismissed 12-2pm Arts 2
Shakespeare Weekend Trip International Students House Tickets £68 www.ishevents.org
Day of Rest
Andrea Scheel/Becky Adkins Now that we’re at the start of the second term, it’s time to review how the world of societies is coming along so far this year. The year started off with some pretty big changes, most notably the fact that there is no longer a Sabbs officer dedicated to societies. This means that the voluntary position of societies officer, held by Andrea Scheel, involves more work than ever. Another big change is the level of expectation of societies. Gone are the days when societies could organise one or two events a year, as now the union looks closely at the development of societies, beginning right at the start of the year with the drawing up of a development plan at a strategic meeting with Andrea. Any inactive societies can now face disaffiliation and so far this year around 25% of societies have either ceased to exist either out of their own accord or through disaffiliation to the union. This new rule was put in with the aim of improving the quality of societies at QM so that people can get more out of the groups they belong to and up to now has been effective! This year has so far seen a big push for societies to do more events for charity (other than the
occasional bake sale!) The push for charity events will continue to happen throughout the rest of the year, with closer links being made with RAG (Raise and Give) to help facilitate the giving! The fruits of the SU’s labour paid off last semester, with QM RAG raising more money than Barts RAG for the first time in a long time! The hard work put in by Andrea Scheel and other members of the SU really paid off last semester, with over 400 more students being involved in societies than last year and a higher number of events taking place. It also resulted in Andrea being awarded the Jack Petchey award for services to the student council. The prize money for this will be used on the further development of societies. In the coming months there will be a growing amount of recognition for high achieving societies in the form of both a regular recognition night which involves a wine reception with the principal and also the end of year awards for societies, which include best society, best new society and most improved society. All in all, societies here at Queen Mary are having a great year so far and it looks as though the only way is up!
Shivanie Acharya Sewa is a word that not many people are aware of; it is literally translated from Sanskrit to mean ‘selfless service’. The service is performed without any expectation of personal gain and is independent of religious or other beliefs. The intended outcome of these services is for us to remember the importance of compassion, humility and find joy in helping others, and in modern society it can encompass many aspects of charity work. With this in mind, QM Hindu Society has planned some exciting events for our biggest ever Sewa Week. This year, we’re doing everything from selling samosas for charity in Library Square to visiting a local farm to feed the animals. If you’re interested in gaining new skills, you’ve got the opportunity to learn some lifesaving skills on February 28th at our ‘Keep Calm and Save a Life’ event, but if not, we will be announcing more events and all details on our Facebook page – Nhsf QueenMary. Everyone is welcome to take part and support the QMUL community, so please get involved in making a difference, even for a few hours.
MONDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2013
City United? Anthony Tipping ‘Football is strange’. Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini is always profoundly insightful. Yet there is nothing ‘strange’ about Manchester United’s form this season. The Premier League is almost at an end and Manchester United alight at the top of the table. They sit comfortably with 12 points clear of closest rivals Manchester City. Barring something sensational, United will secure the title. On the other hand, football is indeed a game of miracles. This time last season, the gap had widened in United’s favour. They were inches from clinching the title. Yet a phenomenal display of pure grit and determination, not to mention a side brimming with class, saw City turn the tables over their rivals. Could we be pardoned to dare believe history may repeat itself? United’s splendour and unparalleled form this season can be credited to the artistry of Robin van Persie. Signed from Arsenal in the summer, he has proven a godsend, netting 23 goals for United in 31 appearances. Compare this to City’s top goal scorer, Edin Dzeko, who has scored a mere 13 goals in 33 appearances. Robin has given United the edge, soaring high where City has fallen down a chasm of its own complacency. Manchester City’s disappointing run was epitomised by their recent 3-1 embarrassment to Southampton, giving United the impetus to extend their title challenge. The season is not over yet and Alex Ferguson would be the first to reiterate this. Everything is still to play for. The Manchester derby at
Old Trafford still looms large. This game could prove as decisive as last season’s clash at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium. In the words of the always so eloquent Rooney, “We’re in a good position but we’re not going to get carried away”. What a shrewd boy. If United are to be caught, City must try to forget its season mishaps, and put on an unparalleled performance. Yet optimism should not be thrown around so crudely. Even if City were to win all of their remaining fixtures, the precondition of United losing four of their games to allow their rivals to draw level, is as unlikely as United signing Usain Bolt in the summer. By all means, place the bet and prove everyone wrong. Fergie ‘expects’ his team to push for the treble. 1999 was United’s golden year, where Manchester United secured the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, all in one insatiable sitting. It would not be such a long stretch to envision an emphatic repeat. Ferguson himself claims his current team to be in a league of its own; greater even than his ’99 squad. The man ebbs arrogance. Or is it confidence? Either way, he has the right. To suggest that any other side has a chance at catching United in the league would be naive beyond measure. Chelsea trails third, 16 points in United’s shadow. Leading the table at the start of the season, they were quick to topple from its peak. Tottenham, now just one point behind Chelsea, have a strong chance at third place, but no more. Many would love to see Manchester United crash at the last hurdle. Could we be in for a repeat of last year’s sensation? Lightning has been known to strike twice.
PRODUCED BY GOVERNMENTZA
IMAGE BY PAOLO CAMERA
No more heroes anymore: Pistorius is prosecuted Hannah Clarke Thursday 14th February, 2013. Valentine’s Day. What many consider to be one of the most romantic days of the year for lovers and couples, and the world woke up to the news that just hours before, South Africa’s shining star, Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, 26, had shot his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, 29, dead. Rewind 7 months and Pistorius was making world news by becoming the first ever double amputee to compete at the Olympics in London 2012. Rewind 6 months and Pistorius was making news and breaking records, winning 1 silver and 2 gold medals at the London Paralympic Games 2012, bringing his medal tally to 8. Both legs were amputated below the knee months before his first birthday due to a birth defect, a congenital absence of the fibula in both legs. He first hit the headlines aged 17 at the Athens Olympics in 2004, run-
ning on Carbon Fibre prosthetic blades, earning him the name of “The Blade Runner”. At the time of writing, Pistorius is due to appear in court for the second time tomorrow, Tuesday 19th February 2013, on the same day as his late girlfriend’s funeral. Fate some may argue. And though it is yet to appear whether he is innocent of the premeditated murder charge the prosecution are arguing for, whereby an individual kills someone with intent, the least he is going to be charged with, as the defence is fighting for, is culpable homicide, the unlawful negligent killing of a human being, as is ruled by South African law. Though Pistorius has been charged with Steenkamp’s murder, he is yet to be sentenced, and due to renowned delays in South Africa’s court system, it is believed the trial may not take place for many months yet. The public will wait with bated breath. What led Pistorius to shoot his girlfriend we do not know, and
may never know; he is the only person who knows what took place in those pre-dawn hours on the morning of Valentine’s Day. Many rumours from various sources are jumping around and though people may want to believe many of them, it is essential to reserve judgement until the innocent is proven guilty. Many find any of it hard to believe, such as myself; having met him at the London Paralympic Games 2012 I found him to be a lovely and humble man. This said, judgement cannot be made on first impressions. Whether Pistorius meant to kill his girlfriend intentionally, or believed her to be an intruder, the reputation of a hero has been tarnished this week. This news will always be regarded as a black cloud hanging over him and his future. Sponsors have already started to disassociate themselves with the running star. Everyone will remember the day Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend. Can the world really have heroes anymore?