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The

River Kingston University & South West London

Issue no. 64 October 11 - 24 2013

riveronline.co.uk

Features p6 Life under the niqab

Features p20

Sports p27 Victory for KU Warriors

PORN LAST RESORT FOR STRUGGLING KU STUDENTS - £1k a film makes it quick fix for money problems - Experts worried about students sexual health EXCLUSIVE Camilla Huuse, Sarah Francis and Jonathan North THREE Kingston University students have revealed that they are making gay pornography videos “as a last resort” to fund their studies. One third-year student said he had been submitting X-rated videos online since the beginning of term to

cover his rent and living costs. “It was my last resort,” he said. “I had literally no money left. I needed to pay bills and buy food. “A friend suggested it to me initially as he knew I had to pay off some serious debt that I had built up. “It is still very embarrassing to talk about and I wish I didn’t need to do it. Once it’s on the internet, it’s there for good and that’s what worries me.” He explained that he worked for

a small London-based site and submitted everything that went online under a performance name to avoid getting recognised. Nicky Morgan, a contraception and sexual health expert, said: “If students were thinking about turning to cause there is obviously a huge risk. “People may be HIV positive and you wouldn’t know.” READ FULL STORY ON P5

All about Pixie Lott: The pop sensation talks to The River p23


2 CONTENTS News 2-16

Comment 17 - 18

Features 19 - 22

Entertainment 23 - 26

Sport 27- 28

What is The River?

The River is written, edited and produced by journalism students at Kingston University. The views expressed in this paper do of the university. What we promise: The River aims to serve the university and the local area. Our mission statement commits us to raising and addressing the issues relevant to students and local people, as well as to entertain and inform them. We aim to celebrate the achievements of students and local people alike. What we need from you:

If you have information or a story which would interest our readers, please contact us. We aim to conform to the standard codes of conduct of the profession of journalism, it is The River’s policy to print timely when we have got something wrong. If you feel you have been misrepresented or that we have made a mistake, please get in touch. editors.river@gmail.com ADD US: River Newspaper TWEET US: @RiverNewspaper

Drop in student numbers could cost KU up to £12m Joe Gallimore KINGSTON University could potentially lose up to £12m in income after a continued slump in student Admissions are down by as many each have been paying an annual fee of £9,000 over three years, according to sources. The Vice-Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, said that Kingston University generally recruits around a quarter of its students, around 1,600, through clearing. Professor Weinberg said: “The data suggests we had one our better operations in terms of calls being taken and offers turned around. In spite of all efforts it looks as if we may not have made our student number targets.” Clearing took place at a call centre in Leatherhead this year and meant that Kingston had double the number of phone lines but still failed to meet its targets. Professor Weinberg, in a letter to staff, said: “Student patterns of behaviour are changing, so some subjects are becoming less popular. Universities are competing more for students, offering inducements (laptops, fee waivers), changing their A level offers and more universities are using clearing.” FASS, Science and Business and Law were the faculties that have seen dent recruitment with the other two faculties meeting or close to their

targets. The Vice-Chancellor said that it would be better not to rely on clearing and recruit earlier in the year which was why the University was working on improving its reputation. The Government puts a quota on the number of students that universities can recruit - known as the student number control. They are however free to recruit as many students as they like who obtain A-level grades at ABB or higher meaning they have a better chance of getting in to the university of their choice. This has meant that Redbrick Universities, such as Leeds, Liverpool the best in the country, have recruited extra students. A University spokeswoman said

available in December: “Our overall target is made up of number control plus our estimate of students with high grades,” she said. “This year we have accepted more students with ABB+ grades than expected which has had a knock-on effect on our stuSince student fees were raised to £9,000 students have increasingly researched their choice of universities by looking at the National Student Survey and other league tables. Reports early this year stated that around 450,000 students had been accepted to university, 6 per cent higher than 2012, showing that despite the rise in fees student applica-

RIVERONLINE

A university spokeswoman said: University has been planning for the cuts in University funding from Government. sition and does not anticipate a need to make savings that would compromise the delivery of services to its students. “It is important to remember that the University has several sources of 2011/12 tuition fees accounted for

Kingston Uni ranked ninth worst in the UK The Times The Vice Chancellor, Julius Weinberg has seen the university drop from 101 to 111 in the league of 120, since 2012. Julius Weinberg said: “In the coming weeks we will be examining the latest table in more depth, to see what lessons can be learned for the future. “One fundamental change that we have made has been to raise our entry standards.

cantly higher than other universities grouped around Kingston in the league tables.” This is in hope to recruit ‘high quality students’ which in turn will improve the calibre of the University. The University is currently assessing all the courses they offer and the academic structures it has in place. Mr Weinberg also said they have plans to improve the IT system. “We’re investing heavily in our IT systems - for our students, good IT is as essential as food and drink,” he

£97.8m of Kingston University’s total £203m income.” Other sources of income according to the university include a government grant of around £74m, research grants which are approximately £3.3m and other investments worth around £29m. On October 1 students could withdraw in writing from Kingston without paying any fees for the year. It is not known how many students took advantage of this or just what impact this would have on the

said. Dave Perry, computer science: “That’s so bad. 9th worst doesn’t sound good for any future prospective does it?” Luke Hanns, human rights and criminology student, added: “I am shocked because I like Kingston. “I thought it was improving academically and the diversity was expanding.” The Times Good University Guide said Kingston ‘produced more graduate start-up companies than any other university four years in a row.’

KUSU boycotts Blurred Lines KUSU has joined a host of universities in the UK in banning Robin Thicke’s controversial song Blurred Lines. Both the track’s lyrics and video has been branded as sexist. Critics claim lyrics like: ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two’ as demeaning towards women. Thicke has also been criticised for making references to non-consensual sex. He also had a scandalous performance at the VMAs with Miley Cyrus this year.


NEWS

3

I wanted an apology

Party boy band The Wanted who allegedly soaked ex-Kingston lecturer Todd Swift (bottom left) with champagne REX

Ex-Kingston lecturer and poet Todd Swift is still waiting for the prominent boy band The Wanted to apologise for pouring a whole bucket of champagne on him from their hotel room

them called and described the event soon be in touch, to support a char-

Taylor Geall ONE evening, poet and ex-Kingston lecturer, Todd Swift, left a gym in West London after a tough workout and cold shower. As he began his walk home, he got an unexpected second shower: a bucket of champagne was poured over him from a room on the second As he stood there, shocked and

The Wanted have had a number of run-

member Tom Parker defecated into

-

writing lecturer at Kingston, had been walking beneath the band’s

moved on, as according to subse-

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ing English literature, creative writing and languages at Kingston before leaving to teach at Glasgow this sum-

The British-Canadian poet wrote

he was the founder and director of

sleep” and “unable to walk under The Wanted

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on his blog

unable to pursue the case because

band The Wanted laughing and jeer-

Dream came true for KU student Chloe Emmerson AN MA student’s dreams came true when she began her studies at Kingston University after she won €75,000 (£47,000) on the Austrian version of Who wants to be a millionaire.

degree at Kingston after having

Teresa did not want people know-

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it was broadcasted on TV, she

about it and tweeted it to all our readers: ‘Our freelancer Teresa

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Teresa Reiter CHLOE EMMERSON


NEWS

Lecturers anger at zero-hour contracts KU employs 1,000 academics on controversial contracts -

Deema Alchami and Zia Weise

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MORE than half of Kingston University’s lecturers are employed on controversial zero-hour contracts, a report revealed. -

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Lecturer Peter Finn: “You’re not promised any work” -

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In numbers: Academics on zero-hour contracts

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Edinburgh Bath Plymouth City Kingston

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These contracts suit me

Zero-hour contracts a bit like prostitution -

Dr Dave Edmondson, 66

HPL at SEC, teaching MA level engineering

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Maria Costatino, 53

HPL at FADA, teaching history of art

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NEWS Catarina Demony AN ADVENTUROUS exchange student drove more than 500 miles in a campervan from Germany to

Jennifer Poier standing next to her campervan CATARINA DEMONY

Five students on trial for torture and kidnapping found not guilty Sarah Francis FIVE Kingston students were acquitted of the kidnap and torture of a man with a heated screwdriver. During a two week trial at Kingston Crown Court the group were accused of assaulting receptionist Vrajesh Yadav, with a heated screw driver, a belt and a spanner in a four-hour ordeal on November 28 last year. However, the jury cleared Mohammed Afzal, 22, from Walsall, Rayad Mohammed Miah, 22, from Birmingham and Ebrahim Hassan Shaikh, 19, of Wood Street, Kingston, of robbery, kidnap, attempted robbery and attempting Gasim Gasim, 22, of Burnham Street, Kingston, was found not guilty of false imprisonment, and ily harm. Sooraj Noori, 20, of King Henry’s Road, Kingston, was cleared of false imprisonment, attempting kidnapping. Mr Yadav claimed that the students assaulted him before dragging him from Norbiton station back to their maisonette in Robin Hood Way, Kingston. He also accused them of robbing silver watch, Fendi wallet, three Visa cards, cash and a Blackberry phone. However, the jury accused him of ‘making it up’ and giving conThey returned to university in

parking space. Jennifer Poier, 25, thought she would save money by living in her campervan, but not everything went to plan. “It’s a shame that I couldn’t maner expected it to be such a problem over here,” she said. “It isn’t too uncomfortable in the van, but I had the feeling that I wasn’t welcome.” Ms Poier said that neighbours did not want her campervan parked near their houses. “One morning I stepped out of the campervan and there was a guy from Richmond Council who told me residents were complaining about me

living around their neighbourhood The student bought her 1990 Peugeot Ducato in May, naming it Betty after the song Black Betty by Ram Jam. She decided to drive the campervan to Kingston after driving it to Slovenia and across the Alps during summer. During her journey from Germany to England, Ms Poier gave rides to three strangers she came across, which made the trip cheaper for her. “The girl I drove to central London really helped me,” she said. “I was so

5

Making my way from Germany to England with Betty the camper

on the wrong side of the road.” She lived in the campervan for one fearing that she would get in trouble with the Council. “Betty” is now parked at Latchmere Lane and Ms Poier visits the campervan whenever she can to make sure it is safe and not damaged.

Jennifer in her camper DEMONY

Students warned of health risks in porn CONTINUED FROM FIRST PAGE “If people are in the industry already they need regular sexual should wear condoms.” Elizabeth Carse, the KUSU VP life adviser, said: “While we are entirely judgement-free of this particular example, we would hope to prevent any student putting themselves at a personal risk in any way, and support them through this stressful time. “At KUSU we encourage students to ask for help at the earliest pos-

sounds so simple and basic but often this is what people are most reluctant to do.” Another Kingston student, explained that after moving to the UK, he became “desperate for money”. He by stripping on camera. The student said he had made £1,800 on porn videos so far. “It was uncomfortable, because it there were cameras everywhere,” he said. “What I did was undress myself and perform in front of the camera, and then they put it online. “You go in and you do a photo shoot and a video of just yourself, and then they put it online to see how it goes and how many views you get. ” The student said he had only done ‘individual work’ and not performed full sex on camera. A recent outbreak of HIV among sexually active porn stars has led to calls from the Aids Healthcare Foundation for it to be compulsory for all actors to wear condoms. Mrs Morgan said: “There is an increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as psychological risks such as selfesteem, and it might also affect their future sexual relationships.”

The second student explained that he was aware of the health issues. He said: “I have heard about the risks in the business, and it does worry me. But we have to get tested to do more than the individual work.” A spokesman from the London Lesbian and Gay helpline said: “The same risks apply to straight porn as with gay porn, so they have to make sure they are protected. The main UK gay porn industry has sexual health screening.” The student would still advise fellow students to think carefully before considering a similar job. He said: “I would much rather take scholarships or loans, but the options are not there. ment and University should do more to help students, and raise alternatives. But they don’t, and I have to pay for my degree somehow.” NUS president Toni Pearce has crisis of students. She said: “Many students starting university this month are facing a cost of living crisis, with available failing to keep pace with spiralling bills for basic essentials. tem that ensures students get the support they need. “Those who do not have the rare luxury of resorting to the ‘bank of mum and dad’ are increasingly being driven to work full-time alongside their studies.” Issues around porn came to prominence earlier this year, when Prime Minister David Cameron announced that all houses in the UK would have pornography blocked, unless they choose to receive it. Although there are no precise statistics on the size of the pornography industry in the UK, a new Govern-

Being in debt causes a lot of anxiety in students REX ment report found that children who watch pornography are “more likely to develop sexually risky behaviour and become sexually active at a younger age.” stood the negative connotations surrounding pornography.

“We have no control over who watches it and what age they are, that is up to the parents and those in power to control and monitor porn sites,” he said. and put on the internet it is out of my control.”


6 FEATURES

I went to therapy after being verbally abused for wearing the niqab

Victim of verbal abuse, Saima believes that she has the freedom to wear whatever she wants REX FEATURES

KU student talks to Sawiya Ali about the recent controversies behind banning the niqab in the UK

D

ressed in black, with only her eyes visible, she leaves her home every morning to attend her lectures, preparing herself for the long journey ahead and the awkward stares. Her name is Saima Kauser, a second-year primary education student at Kingston. Last year, she made the decision to wear the niqab, a cloth that covers her entire face except her eyes. “It was an amazing feeling when I felt like I had a new identity and reHowever, the 20-year-old struggles to travel two hours from her home in East Ham to Kingston because of the verbal abuse. Wearing the niqab may look very mysterious and threatening to some people. Saima recalls a traumatic experience when she received verbal

abuse on the bus from another passenger. “The man on the bus was kicked off eventually, but I cried for the duration of my jour-

“He asked me why I bombed his country and lots of other things. Getting called a ninja has become

niqab and whether it should be allowed in public places started after a Muslim woman refused to remove her niqab when standing in court.

common sight, and many people are not familiar with it. In some Muslim countries, women wear the burqa, which covers the entire face including the eyes, which are covered with a very thin layer of fabric. Islamic texts make it clear that women should cover up, but many scholars have differing views on whether wearing the niqab is compulsory.

He asked me why I bombed his country and lots of other things. Getting called a ninja has become frequent for me too

As a result, Saima attended therapy sessions in January after she started to fear how people would react towards her. “I cannot bear to look at the faces she says. “I feel really nervous and anxious when travelling now but I am trying my best to get to grips on how things are. It feels like I am doing something wrong when I’m reThe national debate about the

The judge decided that the woman would have to uncover her face so that the jury could work out whether or not she was telling the truth. However, she refused and only revealed her face to another woman. Only a minority of Muslim women in the UK choose to wear the niqab. The most common type of Islamic clothing for women is the hijab, a head-covering worn together with long dresses. Therefore, seeing a woman covering her face is not a

Browne claimed that he believed in freedom of religious expression, but is against women having to wear the niqab. He said that young girls should not be forced to wear religious clothing and should be allowed to make their own choices. Prime Minister David Cameron

said Britain would not follow other European countries in banning the niqab. But certain institutions such as schools and colleges can continue to set their own rules if they wish. Saima, whose parents are originally from Pakistan, says she has no problem with showing her face for security purposes when entering exams, train stations, airports and getting on the bus. She feels that she has the freedom to wear what she wants in public and choose when it is an appropriate time to take it off. But what has helped her most is the respect she gets from her fellow peers and lecturers at Kingston University. She says she has faced no problems during her time studying here and feels that she has more conaround her. “There are lots of great people on my course who treat me just like


FEATURES

7

Timeline of the Niqab debate September 10, 2013

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMC) announced a ban on the niqab worn by staff or students at the college. Principal and chief executive Dame Christine Braddock hats and caps. She said that all would need to be reported the college’s decision. Muslim students were furious at the new policy at the college and demanded an overturn of the ban. A social media campaign was set up by the National Union of Students (NUS), receiving 9,000 signatures, and hundreds of students threatened to stage a lunchtime demonstration.

September 12

Birmingham Met College was forced to drop the niqab ban following the petition. BMC announced: “We are concerned that recent media attention is detracting from our core mission of providing high quality learning. As a consequence, we will alers are amazing and so respectful. I haven’t felt any different from other students on my teaching course. “I also recently got a chance to be a form rep for my group which wearing a niqab I would not have considered possible. “I just wish people could get over how a minority of women choose to dress and focus on much bigger issues such as tackling extremism and tackling those individuals who cause genuine Muslims like myself to constantly be in fear of more backlash over things we do not consider to be Omar Malik, president of the Kingston Islamic Society, condemns the idea that a Muslim woman is opshould wear. “In the society we live in, a woman who hardly wears anything has what’s wrong with a woman who wants to cover up? It should not be a problem. Islam encourages women Saad Choudhry, also a member of the Islamic society says: “What if the hijab is the next issue in the UK and it gets banned? We should have the right to defend our religion. And yes, when it is important to reveal your face for ID, then it should not be a Before deciding to wear the niqab, Saima used to enjoy straightening her hair and shopping for the latest trends in high street shops. But when she started to practise her faith, she became more aware of how modest she would need to look as a Muslim woman. Saima used to wear clothes which

she considered modest because they covered her body, but she didn’t realise that they were so

September 16

A Muslim woman refused to remove her veil in court and told the judge she would not reveal her face to any man. She agreed to show her face when giving evidence, but only to another woman. The judge allowed her to cover her face throughout the rest of the proceeding. Her lawyers argued that it would breach her human rights if she had to remove it against her wishes. The judge is expected to give a ruling on whether she will be allowed to wear the veil throughout her trial, which is due to take place at Blackfriars Crown Court in November.

“I started questioning myself in regards to why I dressed the way

This decision has not made her feel less feminine. It has made her feel more spiritual and content with her life. She follows the religion of Islam, where women keep their modesty to protect themselves. But the choice to make that decision is down to each individual woman. “Where I live in East Ham, it was normal to see women covering their face, and having close friends who wore the niqab really member being encouraged and constantly helped by a friend called Khadija. “Seeing how content she was with life really made me want to feel that spiritually close to my It brought along a lot of changes in her as she felt she had to be more cautious of what she said to people and how she behaved because she was representing her religion. She says: “To help others understand Islam is to show them the best qualities of it – for example wishing for someone what you wish for

called for a national debate about whether the niqab should be banned in places such as schools, courts and for other security purposes. He believed that banning the niqab would give young Muslim girls the freedom to wear what they wanted. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he but supported removing it for security reasons. He said that Britain was a multicultural nation and that people should have the freedom to express their faith and identity.

September 22

In France, where the niqab is banned, two French womtheir niqabs. Under French law, only the police are allowed to confront women who wear it. They do not have the authority to remove the niqab but they can reYet since the ban was imposed several months ago, only

September 29

Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the Government would support any institution that wanted to ban the niqab for their own security reasons, but would not ban it completely. JANE GRAMMER


8

NEWS

The MiliBourne Supremacy Roxanne Hoare-Smith

How Ed Miliband would look as Jason Bourne REX FEATURES

Scorched girl left with scars

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband is looking to be the next Jason Bourne - after seeking help from blockbuster movie director Paul Greengrass to boost his public performances. Miliband had lessons with the Kingston honorary doctorate on how to act in front of the camera for the Labour Party conference in Brighton last month. The pair have known each other since the 1990s, and Greengrass, renowned for the spy thrillers, has coached him before. Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass, 58, received an honorary degree from Kingston for his outstanding contribution to television and cinema in October 2012. School of performance and screen studies professor Will Brooker, who helped arrange the event where Paul Greengrass received his degree, said: “Miliband’s body language is far

more controlled and contained now.

are, gesticulating less, and controls the tone of his voice more. “But the way Milliband comes across at the 2013 conference as slick, corny and too polished does not seem in keeping with the impression Greengrass gave as a person, as they’re aesthetically rough and hand-held, the opposite of polished and smooth.” dence was noticed by the commentators. James Kirkup reported for The Telegraph that the speech was “much often see in those weird, jerky TV interviews. The self-deprecation was good, and felt genuine and warm.” have met for coaching. They also had meetings discussing tactics on how he could achieve political supremacy

Clayhill resident Jessica Martin’s pipe burn MARTIN

Clayhill resident was left with a blistering mark from a hot pipe in her shower Claudia Argomenti A CLAYHILL resident was so badly burnt from a hot pipe in her shower, she was unable to move. First year sociology and English student Jessica Martin, 22, was scorched on her lower back by a water pipe in her shower a few days after moving in, but despite making a complaint the water temperature was unaltered for three weeks. “The water was so hot anyway. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure how bad it was until it started to really blister and I couldn’t even move because it would hurt,” Jessica said. “I couldn’t sit down properly be-

cause I was in a lot of pain. Three weeks on it’s still really red. And it was really painful, it kept weeping, it was obviously infected.” Jessica went to reception to make a complaint once she realised the seriousness of the burn, which has now left a scar. Jessica explained: “The water was always really hot. Even the taps in the kitchen are very hot. er than the water, that’s how hot it was. And that would happen in the showers and none of us wanted to be in there for a long time anyways because it was uncontrollable. You couldn’t moderate the heat or any-

Study buddies with benefits Getting what you need on a regular basis Camilla Huuse A KINGSTON UNIVERSITY student admitted that having a friend is ‘genius’, after a survey revealed that one in three young Brits are involved in these relationships.

thing. “You can’t move in the shower because the curtain will go out and I’m in the shower I have my conditioner and shampoo with me so as I bent down to get it and I’ve leaned against the pipes and it burnt me. “Obviously I was in a new area, I didn’t know where to go to, I don’t have a doctor here. So I didn’t really know what to do.” Jessica’s friends have advised her to ask for a refund but she has not yet decided what to do.. “But I just made my point on the fact that for someone who has paid all the money up front, and I’ve said. “Whether it’s because you have a busy lifestyle or the fact that you haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, a friend

The third year Kingston University student said that she had been in an uncommitted relationship for nearly a year and according to relationship charities OnePlusOne and Youthnet, she is not the only one.

on a regular basis. No commitment, no pressure, just lust. “It is actually great. In the begindering where this might go or if you are the kind of person who can ben-

sexual needs – but it ends there,” she

it works, it works perfectly. I guess

asked them numerous times can you do something about it, nothing was done. You think you paid for something but you are not getting a good service,” she said. Jessica was not the only student to be burnt by hot shower pipes, and maintenance has now put foam around the pipes. ley, also got his hand burnt with the kitchen’s sink and now has a scar. “It was pretty deep and I had pains up until my elbow. I didn’t even notice until the next morning when my

wanted to apologise for any distress this has brought to students. A university spokesperson explained that the incident occurred “when a thermostat on a hot water cylinder failed, resulting in the water overheating.” “We were very sorry to learn of this and take such issues extremely seriously,” said the Kingston University spokesperson. The university and their partner, the Grosvenor Facilites Management residence, wants to ensure that this kind of accident will not reoccur in the future and that for them stu-

started on Monday October 7 said he it`s just about chemistry.” The survey also found that 53 per cent end up wanting something more and another KU student said that her relationship had started with casual sex but ended with her being emotionally attached. She said: “After a couple of months, I became jealous after seeing him with other people. I felt like I was the only one he should have been that close with.”

“This research shows that while sex without commitments – or friends amongst young people, over half of them are seeking a more secure emotional connection with their sexual partner.” -


NEWS

9

Chancellor: Degrees are a human right not a privilege

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New KU Chancellor Bonnie Greer encourages students to campaign for free education

2011. to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard The Review Show and the paper review

Deema Alchami that you’re going to vote.” UNIVERSITY degrees should be free because higher education is a human right and not a privilege, Kingston’s new Chancellor Bonnie Greer has declared. The award-winning playwright, author and critic was speaking at her

17. On the role of universities in society, she said: “You cannot run a 21st-

In her speech, she said she was change “until young people tell the pose”.

and part of this challenging century where the world is undergoing radical changes.

have to see the world as it is now and prepare our young for the future. -

her studies.

having its young people educated to the highest standard.

of this great story.” Gonsalves said: “Her experience in life and her journey though educa-

-

for free.” Ms Greer also called for the sack-

her an inspiration to all students. ties, so we’re very privileged to have

its education policies and urged lic face of the university and act as

can,” he said. voting in the 2015 general election. “They write young people off,” she

rated, she was awarded an honorary

election in 2015 young people need -

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director and will take on the new New Chancellor Bonnie Greer: ‘This university is a match for me’

Staff leave in redundancy round opted for severance and early retire-

Jane Grammer

KINGSTON University has lost more than 20 lecturers after they accepted voluntary redundancy packages rather than applying for new associate professor roles, the University and College Union said.

pal lecturers and readers to reapply for associate professor (AP) posts

-

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on record saying that that this ought son why they have to apply for their

protect the salary and grade of all existing grade 10 staff who have not However, the protection will then -

salaries.

cation for the roles due to their lack of experience in teaching, research,

Sports club too costly

to grade nine and a potentially pay cut of thousands of pounds. -

he said. fected was guaranteed a position and that the changes were vital for Kingston’s future success and the success of students. prove how we support our students, said. “Everyone is guaranteed a role and

unions.” an opportunity to reduce staff without forcing redundancies. -

student-staff ratio would increase further.

Hanette Ibrahim

selves priced out of certain sports clubs after the University reduced the sports budget by £39,000, forcing the sports membership card to increase to £35. Students have complained about the cutbacks and the expenses that come with joining certain clubs, with the University also requiring them to purchase a sports card and pay a joining fee. James Cherry, head of the American football team, said: “This is an expensive sport to play, with the referee costs, ambulances and travelling with a team of 50. The cutbacks are also hindering the setup of a women’s American football team. “Each of our players purchased their kit for £230 and league fees of £20, which is not cheap,” he said. KU student Harry

Plummer, head of the KU Snow Sports Club, said that the cutbacks have forced them to consider dropping one of their trips. “The trips attract students every year for its great learning experiences. The sports cards have gone back some of that money lost in the cuts, but still nowhere near the £39,000,” he added. Despite having six weeks to buy the sports card, students have complained that they have no option but to buy it now. Geraldine Nyathi, 22, who joined the ladies’ basketball team, said: “You can’t compete in any sport until you have a sports card.” Alastair Burr, sports co-ordinator for KUSU said: “I will be working with students and the univerto apply for to reduce any possible further reductions to services.”


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11

NEWS

Oceana to become Pryzm with £1 million makeover

Oceana’s busiest student nights are Wednesdays where DJs from around the country play frequently REX

Camilla Huuse OCEANA will be targeting an older, more mature audience when it relaunches next month, according to the club’s managers. The Luminar Group has decided to re-name the infamous club to Pryzm Kingston, and will invest £1 million on refurbishing the venue in time for the opening night on November 15. Dan Corry, Oceana’s general mannew look Pryzm will deliver a great experience for the clubbers of Kingston. “We are appealing to a broader and more mature customer base. We want to focus much more on delivering a higher quality experience.” Included in the new design plans are booth-seating overlooking one an over-21s room. Woo Woo bar will also provide additional seating and offer food.

Luminar and Kingston Council have agreed on a set of new licence conditions before the relaunch, such as the club being closed on Tuesdays and Sundays, the use of metal detectors, limited hours for alcohol sales and a reduction in the amount of people let each night. Councillor Liz Green, leader of Kingston Council, said: “The council has worked hard with Oceana’s owners to increase people’s safety and improve the experience of visitors to the town centre at night.” After the fatal stabbing of clubber Jamie Sanderson last year, the Luminar Group’s licence was revoked by Kingston Council in November. Chief Inspector Gary Taylor from Kingston Police said: “The Metropolitan Police have worked hard with Oceana over the past two years to improve security for their customtions agreed will assist in improving the safety of the venue. We will be

closely monitoring this progress.” Even with the new design, the club’s reopening has caused controversy among KU students that were there on the night of the stabbing. Tom Field, 20, a business student, explained that he was happy Oceana was re-opening. He said: “I will go back to Oceana and have been there since it happened. I am glad it is re-opening because the other clubs in Kingston are not that great to be honest. “Because one bad incident happened, it does not make the club unsafe. I’ve never felt unsafe in Oceana either so that is another reason I would be happy to go back.” However, Lamiya Ahmed, 20, an international relations student, said

scared. He just wanted to get to the hospital and get taken care of. It was not fair on him to keep him waiting for an hour,” Ms Latcher said. “The police turned up and they were constantly in touch with the ambulance people over a radio. When the boy started getting tingly feet the police took him to the hospital.” A London Ambulance Service

The teenager was approached by

She said: “I don’t feel safe there. I think Oceana has to change the way they go about their business. They claim they have high security, but I doubt it.”

Inside of Oceana after makeover Maisie Carey, 20, a drama and politics student, explained that the stabbing was hard to forget, but that she would go back. She said: “Such a sad thing happened there, but because everyone going back there as well.”” Jamie Sanderson was stabbed to death in Oceana on October 25 last year, and a life sentence was given to the murder pair at the Old Bailey this July. There are currently 10 Oceana nightclubs in England, with Kingston are rebranding the clubs one by one to put a line over the past years and the damaging effect they have had for Oceana. “We are delighted to be part of the new Pryzm roll-out. The refurbished club design will have three dance arenas, an exclusive VIP area plus a stylish bar called My – all under one roof,” Mr Corry said.

KU students aim higher Oliver Brown KINGSTON University students are hoping to raise £30,000 for charity by climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. The students will travel to Africa next August to climb the 6,000-metre peak mount. Ahmed Abdi, a third-year student, started the KU Challenge Society this summer with the help of the charity Dig Deep. “I thought I could show that a group from Kingston University can do this. Most of the time you hear of these type of challenges from students of big universities, and we have a good university and we can show what our students can do,” Mr. Abdi said. Dig Deep helps to provide clean drinking water to communities in East Africa and is working with the Challenge Society to co-ordinate the fund raising. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to give something back to the community,” Mr. Abdi said. Jessica Wood, manager for Dig Deep, explained that the money raised by the society could implement two water projects, which will provide water for up to 2000 Kenyans. The charity was initially set up by students and also helps to provide sanitation , renewable energy and water. “In one year our student fund raising events can add up to £500,000, working with 25 universities, from Exeter to Newcastle. All of the employees at Dig Deep have been students and studied which gives us a strong student identity,” Ms Wood said. Theo Mills, a member of the Challenge Society, decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro after his summer adventure of climbing Mount Kenya. “It’s good to get out there and see the world plus you’re raising money for the charity,” Mr. Mills said.

Ambulance no-show turns night out into a nightmare Camilla Huuse

A KU STUDENT explained that she ‘was not impressed’ when she had to sit outside a pub for an hour with a bleeding teenager waiting for an ambulance that never showed up. India Letcher, a third year KU student, arrived at the Cricketers Pub in Kingston at 10pm on Friday for what was suppose to be a night out ended up being a wait for an ambulance with a scared 16-year-old boy. “The boy was in tears and really

were called at 10.34pm and apologised that they were unable to respond.

and threatened him to give them his wallet and phone. After giving them what they wanted, he was hit in the head with a glass bottle. Miss Letcher said the boy seemed scared and that he was probably dizzy from losing a lot of blood. “It was a terrible situation. He looked like my little brother and he was shaking, crying and spitting blood,” Ms. Latcher said. A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said: “The ambulance

can say they are on their way to reassure the patience, but you never know if they actually are.” Ms. Letcher said that it was not ideal for a 16-year-old to be ‘sitting outside a pub on a Friday night with blood running down his face’. “It did not look great when there was no ambulance showing up and this has hurt my trust in them a little,” Ms. Latcher said. The police said the place where the incident happened remained a crime scene overnight and that no one had been arrested yet.

Police takes boy to hospital REX


12

NEWS Kingston uni staff privacy is in danger

KENT OLSEN

Without rugby I would hate my university life Students forced to choose: sports or lectures? KU science students are being

Oliver Giles-Day, vice president of Kingston’s rugby team, said he is forced to decide between attending lectures and playing sport because a core module clashes with sports activities. “If I didn’t play rugby, I would hate my university life,” said Oliver. “I made most of my friends at university through the rugby team and playing sports,” he said. “For a lot of people sport makes their university experience.” In previous years, students have

had Wednesday afternoons free for sports and extracurricular activities. However, many students are now facing the dilemma and are making complaints to the science faculty. A Kingston University spokeswoman said: “The University recognises the strong feelings among students, especially those involved in sports clubs, about keeping Wednesday afternoons free. “We are always striving to achieve a balance between providing teaching spaces, which gives students the best possible educational experience as well as giving them the opportunity to take part in clubs and societies.” She added: “Our aim is for no classes or lectures to be scheduled at that time and during the last few

years there has been a reduction in the number of rooms booked for teaching on Wednesdays. “We are unable to introduce a blanket ban on lectures that take place on Wednesday afternoons. This is because of the constant high demand for University teaching space and because of ongoing building works designed to enhance the students’ learning experience which may necessitate some timetabling of classes on Wednesday afternoons.” Oliver said: “Unfortunately I am having to miss lectures and catch up via the PowerPoint slides and reading text books.” He said he felt that rugby has a positive effect on his studies and his grades would suffer without it.

“I would have done a lot worse it is so important for people to play sports,” he said. “You meet a lot of people when you play sports and you make a lot of friends. It motivates you and gives you some downtime to get your mind away from the stresses of university work and learning,” he added. Senior course representative for biomedical science, Elaha Walizadah, will be taking the issue to the Student Staff Consultative Committee to discuss possible solutions to the problem. She said: “I can’t blame the university because it is a rooming problem and absolutely nothing can be done until a new room or lecture halls have been built.”

Personal information including the home postcodes, vehicle registrations of staff and the salaries of visiting lecturers and consultants became available following the university failing to apply proper access control to documents on its internal ticed in August. Julian Wells, chair of Kingston’s University and College Union branch, said: “It is clear that many extremely sensitive documents and datasets have been loaded onto StaffSpace and Sharepoint in a way that made them available to all staff. “The cause could be either poor training or management, or both.” Sharepoint is a Microsoft document management system used for storing and distributing documents to only those with authority to access them. Dr Wells added: “While there may be a technical way to determine how many times the information was accessed, we will probably never know.” The most serious breach involves a stage three complaint from a student, which occurs when a complaint is being investigated. It can sometimes be followed by the intervention of a complaint appeal committee. The complaint named 13 current and former members of staff. The student’s allegations were visible to everyone who could access the site and gave no chance of rebuttal to those named. A University spokesperson said: “The University cannot envisage any scenarios whereby the data concerned could be used to cause harm to the individuals concerned- or anyone else. The data in question has since been removed and protected, we acted swiftly”

Cancer survivor walks through the night

Leena, 20, walked for Shine London 2013 with 16,000 other Shiners on September 28 with her sister Seema to raise money for Cancer Research. “The reason I wanted to take part is because I felt it was a way of giving something back as I suffered

from cancer six years ago and also because the walk was on September 28, which was six years from my date of diagnosis,” said Leena. Leena was able to meet her idol Johnny Depp through charity Starlight Children’s Foundation in 2011. She sees taking part in Shine London is just one way of giving back. 4am, six hours after the walk began. “The walk started off with everyone cheering, being excited and loud. Everyone was energetic and upbeat

however by about the 8 mile mark the crowd was silent, people were getting tired and the only sound was the cars on the road,” said Leena. Battersea power station, the start and ending point for the walk, was lit up pink and purple which were the theme colours. Leena raised over £2,000 - her original target was £300 - for her chosen charity Childrens Cancer. “The reason we chose the charity is because out of all of them it was the closest to our hearts.”

SANDEEP JASSAL


NEWS

13

LBGT officer goes Conservative

Zoe Amigoni

KU’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and didate for Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames this year. Ryan Boxall, a politics student, is

Goodbye Space Bar Town House demolition next year sparks confusion over SU location Chloe Emmerson and Roxii Hoare-Smith BUILDING works to demolish the student union building will not begin until the end of next year, the

EIRILL DALAN

COMMENT ON P17

Students nightclub success Charlea Glanville

Two KU students invested all their

-

RACHEL MCCARTHY


14

NEWS

Fatberg slows down Kingston

Tina Dezart

A BALL of fat as big as 15 doubledecker buses underneath Lon-

later emerged that fresh fat was still Residents have been informed

in Kingston that could go on for months. Urgent repairs were needed after the giant “fatberg” was discovered in the sewers in August. Melissa Santos, a third-year human resource management student, said the delays on the university bus have been a pain: “I’ve missed a couple of lectures because of it.” Thames Water began what should have been six weeks of work on the damaged pipes on August 5 but it

months. Chrissie Emmerson, an ex-Kingston student and health care assistant at Kingston Hospital, said: “I start at 8am, which has meant leaving at 7am if I have to have any hope of getting there before the start of my shift. “It’s annoying that they have failed to put in place suitable diversions or suggested alternate routes to ease congestion.”

Hassan. A KINGSTON student was sentenced to community service for tweeting that anyone wearing Help for Heroes t-shirts “deserves to be beheaded” hours after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Deyka Hassan, 21, a third-year English literature and politics stu-

dent, has returned to Kingston University after having been convicted for sending a malicious tweet over the summer. She was arrested on May 22 after complaining to her local police station about receiving hundreds of abusive messages, including rape and death threats, in response to her tweet. Hassan, 21, pleaded guilty to sending a malicious electronic message, though the court heard she had intended the tweet to be a joke about the design of the t-shirt. She was sentenced to 250 hours of community service at Hendo Magistrates’ Court on June 7. Chairman of the bench, Nigel Orton said: “Your act was naive and foolish and without regard to the general public at a time of heightened sensitivity.” He told Hassan that she could have been jailed but he accepted that she had not known it was a soldier who had been killed when she tweeted it. “The tragic events in Woolwich that day have created a context which made this tweet appear extreme,” said Mr Orton. “It had a huge impact and clearly caused offence and distress. We accept you didn’t

Kingston student is found guilty for malicious tweet Roxxi Hoare-Smith

intend to cause harm and you felt it was a joke.” The defence said Hassan was disgusted with herself about sending the tweet, having been brought up to be respectful. The court also heard that Hassan’s father worked in Somalia for organisations such as US Aid, which combat extremism. It is understood that the threats she received were not investigated. Hassan was not available for comment.

The ball of fat causing problems.

Prison is a virtual certainty for child porn Kingston council boss Zia Weise

THE FORMER leader of Kingston Council has pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing thousands of indecent images of children. At Southwark Crown Court on October 1, Derek Osbourne admitted to 17 counts of possessing and distributing the images. The judge told him that a prison sentence was “a virtual certainty”. There were about 5,000 images depicting children as young as three years old, according to the prosecution. Of these, 50 images were at level 868 images were at level four. “There was a substantial amount of indecent images of children,” said prosecutor Peter Zinner. “Some of the material depicts children as young as three being subjected to acts of rape or serious sexual violence. “There was some stomach-churning material of adults engaging in sexual activities with animals, a total of 152. -

to me about Derek, who was held in high esteem by many of us across the political divide. “The news of his arrest for serious sex charges back in June came as a bolt out of the blue to all of us.” She said that Osbourne did not have a council computer. “My thoughts are with all the children that have been exploited in the making of child pornography and I support more government funding to policing, victim support and child protection teams.”

vated by virtue of the fact that material was shared with or distributed to other paedophiles.” He added that a prison sentence of Overall, Osbourne admitted to seven counts of making indecent six counts of distribution and two counts of possession. The charges of making these images refer to saving them to a computer’s hard drive. The 59-year-old also pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing other extreme pornography involving bestiality. The defence said Osbourne had undergone psycho-sexual counselling and was due to begin a course with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which works with offenders to protect children from sexual abuse. Judge Alistair McCreath ordered a pre-sentence report, saying: “People who commit the sort of offences you committed cannot be properly sentenced without knowing something about them, what sort of danger, if any, they present. “My mind will be open, but I have that the position you are in, having

Derek Osbourne at Southwark Crown Court. PHOTO: REX. committed these offences in the volume you have done, makes it a virtual certainty that a prison sentence will follow.” Osbourne had been the Liberal Democrat leader of Kingston Council

for ten years when he was arrested at his New Malden home on 11 June. He resigned the following day. His successor, Councillor Liz Green, said: “Colleagues and acquaintances have expressed shock and sadness

councillor in 1986. He became leader between 1997 and 1998, and again from 2003. Acting Detective Chief Inspector Keith Braithwaite said “Derek Osbourne made and distributed indecent images of children. His secret life was very different than the public image he portrayed. “His conviction should act as a reminder that we will pursue anyone who makes, distributes or possesses indecent images of children. Police seized a laptop and other items from his house after executing a search warrant based on intelligence received.


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thevoice

................................................................................................................... KINGSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS UNION ISSUE No.9 OCTOBER 2013 ...................................................................................................................

FRESHERS’ WEEK!

................................................................................................................... INSIDE: FRESHERS’ PHOTOS BY-ELECTIONS INFO SOCIETIES CAMPAIGNING ......................................................................................................................


SOCIETIES OCTOBER 2013

So far this academic year has seen eight new societies develop with a further seven in the pipeline and 10 more enquiries. This brings our total to over 90 and we are only in October! It’s great to see so many people getting involved and still wanting to create more and more. Freshers Fayre was a huge success with 74 societies represented at the fayre – more than ever before. Each society showed commitment and effort with stalls delivered with style and selling vigour! The figures prove the passion memberships sold in September total 2335, more than double the amount from last September. This will continue to rise as memberships grow throughout the year. 2013-2014 looks set to be our biggest year yet with societies planning a year jam-packed full of events as societies numbers are continuing to grow. We’ve already seen the Oriental society and Nigerian society hold BBQ’s, 32 other societies have held meet-andgreets, four of which were held in the student union bars. However, this is just the beginning, with many more events coming up: events are publicised through Facebook and Twitter pages, and you can sign up through the KUSU webpage.

Events List October 2013

The Hindu society have got their Garba event coming up October 9th, LGBT are planning a winter ball Pharmacy, Psychology, LGBT and Cinema Appreciation are coming together to participate in World Mental Health Day on October 10th. Weekly meetings and events for societies will continue to happen with larger events mixed in. Nights range from wine tastings, sci-fi/anime nights, film screenings, guest speaker talks and outside excursions – see KUSU webpage and society facebook pages for more information.


If running for one of these positions, you should be from the group that the position is there to represent, so only a postgraduate student can stand for postgraduate students officer and so on – get in touch if you’re unsure about what you can run for.

Kingston University Students Union (KUSU) represents the views of Kingston students, as well as providing services, activities and facilities for students. In order to properly represent our student community decisions need to be taken democratically – and a key part of this is the Executive Committee.

This is your chance to nominate yourself as a part-time student officer, working alongside the elected full-time officers and the existing exec members to make policy and deliver change on behalf of all KU students. If there is an issue that you really care about, something that impacts students that you want to campaign against, or there is something you want change in how the University is run – now is your chance! As an exec member you can: -Be a part of the KUSU executive team – Working together to deliver KUSU’s key campaigns for the year -Lead on a particular area of work, or be the lead rep. for a particular group of students -Learn new skills and develop your confidence -Make a positive difference to the student experience at Kingston

Nomination forms are available on the KUSU website: www.kusu.co.uk/elections ALL forms need to be sent to studentsunion@kingston.ac.uk

‘KUSU in all the work that it does makes every student’s day here a better one. Come and be part of this life-changing experience’

‘you get to take part in various training and opportunities throughout your time as officer that improve your employability

Once you have become a candidate, you will be invited to a Candidates Briefing where the Returning Officer will explain the elections rules, covering what you can and can’t do in the elections campaign – all candidates MUST attend this. If you are successfully elected, you will receive training for new exec members on Tuesday 29th October between 3.30 and 6.30 pm. If you would like more information on what you can do as an Exec member and what the commitment involved would be, please contact KUSU President Denza Gonsalves at Denza.Gonsalves@kingston.ac.uk or KUSU’s Student Voice Coordinator Tim Cobbett on T.Cobbett@kingston.ac.uk – or come in and chat to us at the KUSU offices on the Penrhyn Road Campus.

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sport

................................................................................................................... AMERICAN FOOTBALL TEAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL INVESTMENT FIRM Kingston University American Football team has struck a lucrative deal with local investment firm Robert Lorne. Robert Lorne, an avid American Football fan and CEO of the company, has recently been down to Tolworth Court to train with and meet the club. “The CEO has given a full away kit to the team,” said KUSU Sports Co-ordinator Ali Burr, adding:

“Robert Lorne is interested in the team, and will be providing them with 25 sets of equipment which would normally be around £300 each. It’s made it a lot cheaper for students than buying outright.” This means students who have never played American Football will have the opportunity to play the sport, without having to pay out hundreds of pounds on safety equipment. Equipment will be available to rent from mid

October from the Students’ Union sports office at a fraction of the cost of buying the equipment brand new. Kingston Cougars American Football team will be entering their second year in the BUCS league this year, and are recruiting new players for the forthcoming season. With games against Universities such as Brunel and Royal Holloway, it will prove to be a very competitive season for the Cougars American Football Team.

Training takes place at Tolworth Court Playing Fields on Thursday from 6-8:30pm, and Sunday 1-3:30pm. For enquiries please contact: american.football@kingston.ac.uk.


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your university

................................................................................................................... CAMPAIGNS FUND

Can you see anything around Kingston University that you think needs changing? Are there issues affecting students off campus that you want to do something about? Change can be made on various levels; whether that’s course-related, campus-related or community-related. You might want to see change in the environment, in politics, in health or any other area in society.

Through a system of course reps, elected officers with specific campaigning remits, connections to national campaigns with NUS, we have a network here at KUSU that can help you create that change.

well in advance so that the Executive Committee have time consider it. If you do not leave enough time, there is less chance of us being able to fully assist you.

We will be putting on regular campaigning New for this year is the launch of the Campaigns workshops to help prepare students to submit Fund, which allows any student to submit an idea informed bids, going through the entire camfor creating change and provides funding and paigning process. support to successful bids to make that change happen. Campaigning is not just a way of just raising awareness on an issue; a campaign must encourage change. Make sure you submit your bid

Will Franden Vice-President, Activities

[] Please visit

http://www.kusu.co.uk/ campaigns

to find out dates for campaigning workshops, application forms, and other helpful documents designed to make your campaign a success.

NEW SHOP LAUNCHED AT KINGSTON HILL BY NICOLA SKEVINGTON

On the 5th September Kingston University Students’ Union were able to open its biggest commercial venture to date, Fresh Store Kingston Hill, after investing almost £100,000 in the project. The shop sells a wide variety of essentials, food and merchandise ranging from hoodies and stationery to cereal, cigarettes and alcohol. It is a one-stop shop, useful whether you are attending lectures or residing on site. The store sells the products we usually sell through our Penrhyn Road site combined with goods sourced through Co-Op at the same prices and offers you’ll find anywhere. Sited at Kenry House, the project is the fulfilment of a business plan that KUSU first proposed to University senior managers six years ago. Prior to the project’s completion, Kingston Hill students and staff did not have a convenience store to purchase goods on site. After successfully winning the tender against external competition in 2012, we were given access to the space to begin to create the shop in June 2013. The store is already proving very popular with the Kingston Hill community, with many students and staff shopping with us. Comments regarding the shop have been really positive, with many returning students telling us that they wish it had been there when they were living on site. Our offers in store will change every three weeks, and all the offers available at your local Co-Op will also be available in store. Lucy Marsh, our new retail manager, and Hannah and Zoe, our assistant shop managers and our student staff team would love the opportunity to welcome you to our new store.

Kingston Hill’s new convenience store is located at Kenry House, next to the main reception. Contact KUSU to find out more.

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................................................................................................................... THE OPINIONS, BELIEFS AND VIEWPOINTS EXPRESSED BY CONSTRIBUTORS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE STUDENTS’ UNION Want to write for us? Contact Chris Jutting at k1212215@kingston.ac.uk


KU student s fashion designs to be sold in top high street store

NEWS Camilla Huuse A KU fashion student, who has petition, said she was “proud” of getting her degree from one of the best fashion schools in the world. Rebecca Partington, 21, picked up £1000 and the opportunity to have her design produced and sold nationwide after winning a competition held by high street store, Evans. However, the support she got at Kingston University helped her during the production of her own line.

Partington. “I knew Kingston was good, but I didn’t know it was that good. I thought it was top ten, but you always hear of schools like St Martins The BA fashion course at Kingston University was recently ranked the fourth best course in the world for students who want to make it in the fashion industry, competing with world famous Central St Martins University and The Royal College of Art. Elinor Renfrew, course director for BA fashion, explained that

Rebecca Partington won £1000 is to have her designs produced by Evans HUUSE

KU students at work HUUSE

Rebecca’s designs PARTINGTON

Elinor Renfrew

in the world of fashion and that rankings like the one published by fashionista.com, one of the largest independent fashion news sites, meant a lot to the reputation of her course. Mrs Renfrew said: “Kingston is kind of like the designers’ designer. The industry knows about it, but it might not be the biggest name in the media. At the same time, we do everything the students need and once they say they are from Kingston, it opens a lot of doors. Among the universities, other than St Martins, we Mrs Renfrew said that being the course director was a challenging job. She said: “I often think that maybe

Sensible re-zoning for Surbiton could save KU students hundreds of pounds Hayden Vernon and Sheritta Asare KU STUDENTS who commute from London could save hundreds of pounds a year if a “sensible” case is made for re-zoning Surbiton Station. Local Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has campaigned to shift the since 2008, but transport minister Stephen Hammond’s recent visit to the station has renewed hopes of a change. He said the Government would consider the switch if a sensible case was made. “When I dreamt up the concept of re-zoning back in 2008 and launched the campaign, I always knew it would

“It took a long time to persuade other political parties to back my campaign, and we’ve still not persuaded Labour. years, after petitions to Downing Street, after making a Channel 4 documentary and after winning the fairness argument, I think our case is as strong as ever and better understood The zone change would make a commuting from inner London, saving them over £10 a month if travelling from zone one, and more than £20 when coming from zone two. Savings would be even greater for those without a student travel card. Biomedical science student, Elaha

Walizadeh, commutes from zone two. She said: “I would be over the moon. I travel in from Canada Water and spend £150 a month on travel, and as a student every penny counts

Libin Oman, an economics student commuting from Lewisham, said: “I think it would be fair if Surbiton is biton shouldn’t be zone six as it is close to Waterloo station, so really it

However, the plans do not have cross-party support. Labour has branded the campaign an ‘electioneering gimmick’ that has little chance of being implemented. Chair of the Kingston and Surbiton Labour Party, Laurie South, said: “Anyone considering the issue would realise that once one station is re-

“If this plan goes ahead it means I will be saving money that I can put towards resources for university which means I will be less stressed out and I wouldn’t have to worry about so many things which will allow me to have better concentration

“Edward Davey knows this, or if he doesn’t, one would have to wonder -

Sana Zahid, an economics student commuting from Wembley, said: “I would be excited. Currently, I am spending £150 a month, so if it is re-

15

I should go and do something different, but I don’t think I ever will. Fashion is like a drug. “Kingston is one of those universities that once the students have been to an open day here, they realise that Miss Partington said that it “felt won the competition, which went out to Kingston and Bournemouth University. She said: “It was a shock when I won and to get all the attention. The competition was for second and third-year students and it was quite a big deal. Also, being in second year, I did not expect to win because we were up against the more experienced students. zia. It feels amazing to have been featured in big magazines like Grazia Miss Partington explained that her collection would be available online

have a say in designing a large window display in London. Miss Partington said that her biggest dream was to work for, or become a designer like Mary Katrantwork hard towards the BA graduate catwalk show next summer. She said: “Studying fashion here is hard. Fashion has got to be your life and you have to love it and really, really want to do it. If you do not want to put in the time, then you do not reKaren Lanza, 20, and Helene Sunto a world leading fashion school. Miss Lanza said: “I can also feel the pressure. It is a hard reputation to uphold, but the fact that Kingston is not too big and still fairly unknown is

Probe ends on Banquet Records robbery there will be no further investigation into a theft at Banquet Records during freshers’ week. A CD-J unit worth £800 was stolen from the independent store in Eden Street in Kingston on September 16. “Two males were seen leaving the store with the equipment around 2.10pm,” said police spokeswoman, Louise Powell. Following this the store say they have become “more vigilent” and have “stepped up security measures”. Police have said the CCTV footage was inconclusive and no arrests have been made.


16

News

KP bar targeted by thieves

Managers have no faith in university graduates, survey finds Camilla Huuse more than 50 per cent of senior managers involved in recruiting graduates believe that they do not

students at the Knights Park student union bar unaware of the dramatic robbery that took place in may TAYLOR GEALL

Ex-manager had concerns when security meetings were cancelled Taylor Geall A robbery at Knights Park, in which the bar manager was locked in the cellar, may have been attempted the week before. Paul Daniels was beaten up and forced to open the safe, tills and ATM when two men wearing crash helmets,

and armed with rounders bats broke in on May 13. But Daniels said two men had tried to get into the bar at Knights Park the week before. “Some people tried breaking in through the back doors with hammers”, he said. “But they saw several people in the bar and left.” When security became aware that Knights Park was being targeted by thieves, a meeting was arranged but failed to happen. The following week a to-

tal of £14,000 was stolen after Daniels was assaulted and locked in the cellar for 20 minutes before breaking the lock, by which time the thieves had already left. “It was about half eleven and I was about to leave, but as I unlocked the door, it got kicked through, then two people came in and forced “One of them stood over me and said, ‘We’re not here to mess about.’ “They took my keys off me

their bag. “Then they wanted the ATM opened which had £5,000 in it, so they just told me to open it. I did it because they’d already hit me and I didn’t want anything else to happen - all I could think of was my kids.” Mark Horne, KUSU CEO, said after the incident: “Since becoming aware of the robbery, we have been liaising closely with Kingston University’s security staff to ensure that all areas in and

AdverTisemenT

around the bar are as secure as possible.” In a blog on the KUSU website he wrote: “We have pinpointed some areas where the use of CCTV cameras can be boosted and this will be addressed as a priority. “We are determined to make sure that all possible precautions are taken to safeguard our staff, who all acted extremely professionally during this distressing incident.” Kingston security were unavailable for comment.

job after university, a youGov survey has found. victoria Jackson, from KUTalent, advised students to get involved as much as they can with extra-curricular activities to add to their Cv. “Graduate employers want to recruit well-rounded candidates who are driven and have the ability to work well with others,” mrs Jackson said. sean Lawless, recent KU graduate, said that students cannot assume their course will equip them with the skills they need, more is needed. “do not lean on your degree, because you need practical experience – so go and get it. you put a lot of money into your degree, so make it worth it. stay positive, even though rejection letters are hard,” mr Lawless said. CommenT on P17


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Does a misguided attempt at comedy warrant prosecution? Zia Weise When Deyka Hassan went to her local police station, she must have been scared, or perhaps angry – over the past few hours, she had been receiving a torrent of abusive messages on Twitter. Some told her to go back to Africa. Others said: “please die.” One tweet said: “Hope your mum got raped.” Another said: “I’d easily do life in prison to burn you alive.” Yet anoth-

Drummer Lee Rigby was brutally murdered in May REX

These were replies to what Hassan had tweeted that afternoon. Hours after Drummer Lee Rigby was brutally murdered in Woolwich, she wrote: “Anyone who wears a Help for Heroes t-shirt deserves to be beheaded tbh.” She was arrested after seeking help at her local police station. Eventually, she admitted to sending a malicious tweet, maintaining that she had intended it to be a jokey criticism of the T-shirt’s design. It appears that the users who threatened to rape and kill her were never dealt with. For sure, Hassan’s tweet was offensive, insensitive, and tasteless. Yet so were the messages she received. This approach seems particularly hypocritical when considering that police recently arrested users who sent threats to the Twitter accounts of MP Stella Creasy and feminist

campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez. In July, Ms Criado-Perez received a stream of aggressive tweets after her successful campaign to put Jane Austen on the new £10 note. When Ms Creasy expressed support for the campaign, she was subjected to similar threats. One man was bailed pending further investigation. It seems to me that the tweets Hassan received – some of them direct threats, not to mention full of racist and misogynistic slurs – were more serious than the one she sent. And while Hassan’s tweet may have offended her 600 followers,

“It is important to distinguish between direct threats and misguided attempts at comedy.”

was it not her right to express this view, joke or not? She herself did not threaten to behead someone. You could argue that she simply got the timing badly wrong. Her throwaway comment became something far more offensive at a time of heightened public sensitivity.

When applying law to Twitter, the police and the courts must be careful not to restrict our freedom of speech. Yet any direct threats ought to be investigated. You might say that police are unable to deal with large numbers of abusive tweets, they cannot arrest thousands of users, but neither can we prosecute every tasteless joke on the internet. Nor should we – because doing so would be censorship. In any case, the ever-changing internet makes it hard to create or

every person has their own, highly subjective offensive-o-meter. So what to do? For a start, it is important to distinguish between direct threats and misguided attempts at comedy. The courts ought to deal with threats and abuse directed at Twitter users. Yet most other comments, however vile or ridiculous, are not worth the judge’s time, or indeed the taxpayers’ money. Hassan’s comment was not the funniest joke to ever appear on the Twittersphere, but did she really deserve a criminal record? Did those 70 characters warrant prosecution? I do not think so. Above all, our right to speak and tweet freely must be defended, and that includes our right to look like a fool on social media.

Sophistication defined on a paper cup Hayden Vernon THE University may be “proudly” serving Starbucks Coffee, but I won’t be proud to drink it. So we’re back from the long summer and little has changed in the library, except that we are now greeted by the warm smile of the ubiquitous Starbucks mermaid. It’s an interesting choice of logo and I’d suggest that it’s a pretty fair representation of the brand. Starbucks, like the mythical sea creature that ordains its cups, is all about appearances. As with mermaids, who drag sailors to their deaths, the logo hides something more sinister. A company who fails to pay corporation tax in the UK for the last four years. The alluring brand is full of promise: “drink me”, it urges. There are some important questions that need to be asked about letting big brands on to campus though. There is a difference between being coerced into paying to go paintballing outside the Penrhyn Road campus, and the reality that big companies have interests in gaining access to sell to us at university. It is depressing enough that the campus is regularly invaded by big brands’ marketing campaigns usually met with fatalistic indifference or, as was the case with a recent visit from Galaxy chocolate bars, credulous delight. But it is something else to let big businesses set up camp in a public research institute.

This is not something that would have happened 10 or 20 years ago and it sets an ugly precedent. The fact that other universities allow it is not an brought to you by Krispy Kreme Donuts, anyone? In terms of the world-renowned Starbucks quality we’re expecting, I’d argue that if they were that bothered about serving good coffee, they wouldn’t have replaced the Italian espresso machine with a box that spits out 30 cups a minute. It’s probably a bit conceited to talk of coffee as art, but so much for respect for the process; the canteen staff have been demoted from baristas to automatons. Starbucks has permeated our culture so deeply that their branded cups can be seen as a status symbol that connotes sophistication and being cosmopolitan. In reality all you’re doing when you walk around with your Starbucks cup is advertising for them, but I’m not sure they need your help. Last year, David Cameron said that students should see themselves as consumers, “empowered” by the new £9,000 fees that would put us at the heart of the system. I’m not sure how far I agree with that spin, but it’s true that we pay to be here and in the case of our new coffee vendor I think we’re entitled to ask - what’s in it for students? Should we pay homage to Starbucks EIRILL DALAN


COMMENT

The River says

Less breast, more biceps

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Sarah Francis

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I don’t have hairy armpits, or believe that wearing heels in a bar is degrading.

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It’s time for men to stip off, women want their eyecandy too. REX

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Is it all about the skills? They think not Kristopher Boner

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IN the opinion of more than half of graduate employers, most of us students are unemployable. Apparently we lack basic life skills like teamwork and an ability to respond to failure.

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FEATURES

How to spend your loan in seven days Sarah Francis tracked down three students who claim to have blown their entire maintenance loan in seven days of freshers week.

Chris, Alex and Jordan could spend up to £700 in just one night on drinks alone SARAH FRANCIS

Freshers Week Kingston University Penrhyn Road Kingston-Upon-Thames KT1 2EE www.kingston.ac.uk

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20 FEATURES

Caught in the cr ssfire

Tatiana Dias and Hanette Ibrahim spoke with two KU students who shared their disheartening experiences during the three-month summer holidays that they spent with their families in Egypt

A

mer Labania, 33, had a summer to remember – for the wrong reasons. Anticipating a peaceful summer, the Syrian-born PhD economics student went to Egypt in an attempt to free his wife Alaa from the visa restrictions that separated them. Every day, Amer had no choice but to queue outside the Syrian embassy under Cairo’s scorching sun, among rowdy crowds of people. “We were really in a mess and we didn’t know what to do,” Amer says. “My number was 268 and I knew that I wouldn’t make it during that day.” Amer returned the next day beAmer with his wife Alaa in Egypt

worst nightmare had become reality.

When she was running, a bullet was shot and it went through the wall... It missed her by a metre

“Suddenly, there was a security alert and the embassy shut down,” testors at Al-Nahda and the entire city of Cairo was gridlocked.” Stuck in a foreign city without help, Amer was subjected to extortions, corruption and blackmail, costing him £300. Two months of stress and struggle got Amer and his wife nowhere. She is still waiting alone in Egypt while he spends his time meeting with lawyers. To escape from Syria to Egypt, Alaa had to travel through Bustanal-Qasr, a road controlled by the Syr-

REX FEATURES ian government. Amer describes it as a “death passage”, where people are forced to run for their lives or they will be shot by snipers. “When she was running, a bullet was shot and it went through the wall,” he recalls. “It missed her by a metre. A lady running next to her just fell, dead or injured.” Amer is from Aleppo. It has been three years since he left his children there and two years since he last saw them. Still, he strides through his days with patience, saying that breaking down is not the solution to Tearfully, he says: “I go through a lot of stress and depression. I keep smiling as I have to keep going.” Weeks pass by when Amer is left in the dark, not knowing whether the last time he spoke to his family

would be the last time forever. Families in Syria are continuously living in fear, desperately hoping for some stability in their lives. In a battle in which there’s neither victory nor defeat, it is innocent Syrians who pay the heavy price.

of their problems in REX FEATURES

how they go through

Amer considers himself to be one of the lucky ones. Though torn apart from his family, he feels blessed that they are still alive. “Having had a glimpse of their problems in Egypt, I don’t know how

they go through that every day,” he says. Meanwhile, in Egypt, sexual harassment has become an ‘epidemic’ issue for women. Amer says that his wife is affected on a daily basis. “I know she’s not safe,” he adds. The word “normal” does not exist

for Syrians like Amer anymore. Emotional turmoil and distress are understatements when describing the student’s situation. Life for Amer hasn’t been easy, but he strives to work hard and support his family, in the hope that one day they can be happy again.

We don t know how it is to be in a warzone Egypt in the summer, unaware of

holiday turned out to be a turbulent one. During Ramadan, Ali was enjoying the breaking of fast with friends. Little did he know what was about to happen. “After we left, two black jeeps suddenly followed my friends’ car, trying to get them to stop,” he says. “The

men inside the jeeps took out their guns and started shooting.” One of the men tragically died at the scene, while the other two were rushed to hospital in critical condition. “We live in a bubble in England so we don’t know how it is to be in a warzone, to have your friends and family die right in front of you,” he says. The 21-year-old says that the presence of army tanks had become the norm in Cairo. Ali also speaks about Egypt’s secret police, which is known

for doing the government’s “dirty work” during the revolutions and protests. “They come into your house, they take you, disappear, nobody knows where you are,” Ali says. “The real reason we had a revolution is now gone. We are back to where we were.” The problems Egypt is now expetion, which began January 25, 2011 in Tahrir Square. During this time, there were concerns about people’s safety.

President Mohamed Morsi, was ousted, having failed to change the political turmoil in Egypt. Accused of manipulating the position of president for his own personal gain, Morsi failed to resolve the reasons behind the revolution. With various political groups now at large, clashes have erupted and the country cannot stabilise itself. The horrors of Syria and the clashes in Egypt may seem remote to us, but for students like Ali and Amer, it is their reality.


FEATURES 21 Name: Zsuzsa Makadi, 19 Course: International relations Dress: Promod - £35 Cardigan: Primark - £10 Boots £55 Handbag: shop in Camden - £15 Tip: All that this boho-chic style is missing is a pair of oversized vintage shades. Add a pair of round-framed sunnies for the best hobogrunge look.

VEL V GUE Cycling jerseys, bike shorts and leg warmers? Riding a bike does not mean pedalling down the fashion hill. Here, Petya Tashkova reveals four looks to help you keep stylish in the saddle

Name:: Laura Kenyon, 22 Course:: Dance and media and cultural studies Jumper:: Zara - £35 Leggings:: Zara - £10 Scarf:: Topshop - £19.90 Shoes:: Miss Selfridge - £12 Tip:: Layering your clothes is very trendy, plus it will keep you warm while cycling with the cold English wind blowing at your back.

Name Magnus Harnes, 20 Name: Course Course: Journalism DB blazer: blazer Oscar Jacobson Golf Clothing - £90 Shirt: NN.07 online shop - £60 Shirt Trousers: These Glory Days online shop - £50 Trousers Shoes: Ahler shoes- £100 Shoes Tip: You can experiment with this classic look red handkerchief into your blazer pocket or put on a bright scarf around your neck. This might as well keep you safe on the road.

Kate Bosworth looks wheely good in her bright orange crop top and a kneelength A-line skirt. The large white rucksack is the best accessory to this Add a pair of dark brown leggings to keep you warm. REX FEATURES

Name: Camille Straboni, 24 Course: Neuroscience Shirt: New Look - £12 Leather skirt: New Look - £15 Necklace: New Look £8.99 Tip: Black leather miniskirts are a hit on the catwalk again but if you feel a skirt will take you out of your comfort cycling zone, you can simply put on a pair of cropped leather trousers or even a spiked leather jacket to add a bit PHOTOS CATARINA DEMONY


22 FEATURES

Oh no! My mortifying freshers moments Halls parties, Hippodrome and hangovers...this could only mean one thing ‒ nights out! Felicity Fox speaks to Kingston s freshers about their most amusing and downright awkward situations

HANDS UP, PANTS DOWN!

REX FEATURES their bottle of vodka with salt water,” Faisal reveals. “I watched them drink it all night falling around and thinking they were getting really drunk, it was hilarious! They only found out when I told them much later.” Faisal’s friends saw the funny side but I guess they won’t be pranking him again in a hurry.

Maths student Sarah Robinson, 20, had an awkward moment while out clubbing during freshers’ week. “I was chatting up this guy I really fancied in the smoking area,” Sarah tells me. “We were getting on quite well and I was feeling optimistic, but then I felt this violent tug on the waistband of my trousers, and next thing I knew my jeans were around my ankles and

ROLLING IN THE DEEP

thong to the entire crowd outside the club! We’re still friends now, but

Film studies and creative writing student Alice Purton, 19, had a rather unfortunate accident while she was out clubbing in Oceana. The heel of her shoe slipped at the top of the stairs and she tumbled all the way

responsible for that one in a hurry to the club.”

A SICK STORY History student Rachel Fernyhough, 18, came home from a heavy night out and was sick in her room at Seething Wells. “I decided it would be a good idea to shout about this to the whole of Seething Wells out of my window,” she says. “It was pretty embarrassing when people started telling me about it the next morning.”

Oh! A McNASTY SLIP Aiden Little, 18, an English lit and creative writing student, narrowly escaped a brush with the law for tryin the local McDonalds. He says: “I was so drunk and decided my room needed a decoration to make it feel more homely. Looking back now I was probably wrong!” Luckily he managed to escape the handcuffs this time. Talk about walking down a very slippery slope.

An illustrated moment of drunken weakness REX FEATURES

“PARTY IN P5!” Beth Collett, an 18-year-old psychology student shouted “Party in P5!” on the grounds of Seething Wells. Before she knew it, 30 people had me we had to kick them out because they became so rowdy, we didn’t even know who all of them were,” Beth adds. “But I don’t remember a thing about it, I woke up the next was so messy! I guess I’ll think twice about doing that again.”

FUELLING THE FIRE Law student Owen Knight, 20, played a prank on a friend after coming home from a club. He says: “My

friend took a girl back to our place,

laugh to catch them out! They had a nasty shock I think and had to walk out of the room half naked in front of the whole building!” Everyone

a heap at the bottom. She said: “I was at the top of the stairs and someone had spilt a drink. I slipped on the wet patch and rolled all the way down, now I’m really sore!” Luckily she wasn’t seriously hurt but probably caused some great entertainment for her fellow party goers.

FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU... Faisal Alhadi, 19, a pharmacy foundation student decided to get back tress into the corridor before he

me still there and hanging in the morning.”

YOU’RE ON CADID CAMERA! Toby Knight, a 22-year-old history student, managed to make a bad impression with the staff when he went all his new friends. He tells me: “I night there and was banned for life for having a wee off their smoking terrace. I thought that I just about got away with it, but the CCTV let me down. I turned around and a bouncer was stood right there! I tried to argue with him that I wasn’t drunk, but that failed because then I fell down the stairs.” I guess there is always McClusky’s!

LITTLE

BEDTIME BLUES Jo Skuse, 20, a law student, went evening and got very drunk. “When

off was worth it- not that my mate would agree.”

was so tired and cross that I couldn’t be bothered to even try and move it back that night, so I just climbed on to it and went straight to sleep. The

to do was pass out on my bed,” she says. “But when I opened the door to my room I found no bed. Turns out early with the intention of pranking me. They had put not only my mattress, but my whole bed on top of the kitchen table bearing a Ferrero Rocher and a little note saying ‘we hope you enjoy your stay in hotel Jo’. I

Sharon Thekkatala, 19, a business student had a bit of trouble with the bus system in Kingston. She got on the KU2, thinking it would take her to Kingston Hill. She says: “I had no idea where I was and somehow ended up at Clayhill! So after a while I just got back on another bus and was riding around for ages, completely lost unposed to be. By the time I got there I was over 40 minutes late to meet my friends and I was far too embarrassed to tell them why.”


All About Pixie Lott

ENTERTAINMENT

Pixie Lott is back with her third album. In an exclusive interview with Sarah Francis, she talks pumpkin spice lattes, Mariah Carey and why this is her best album ever IN a dimly-lit pub in central London, Pixie Lott swirls the straw in her cocktail. The menu describes the drink as sweet and fruity with zesty undertones. Perfectly chosen.

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Friends Pixie in concert REX

Pixie Lott’s new single from her third album will be out in January.

Pixie enjoys listening to new up and coming artists SARAH FRANCIS


24 ENTERTAINMENT

Stars descend on London

Sandra Bullock star in Gravity REX/WARNER BR/EVERETT

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips REX/SNAP STILLS

on Wednesday with the European FILM has the ability to take you to another world, a world that can This year, at the BFI London Film Festival you can be transported to outer space or back in time to the 1960s. All are worlds that can stretch your imagination thanks makers.

ing an animated cowboy one minute and a lone castaway the next.

tainer ship hijacked by Somali pirates. -

Fiennes will be hosting a screen talk at the BFI on October 18 about his career as an actor and director. ity, Tim Webber, to discuss the

and the Bourne Supremacy. his new thriller. Mr. Banks starring Hanks as Walt Disney alongside Emma ThompP.L. Travers and is based on the ing the 1960s. ceive Oscar nominations next year. This year’s guests include ac-

and Sandra Bullock as stricken astheir shuttle. Mr. Banks will be screened at selected cinemas across the country. The BFI London Film Festival is

Our London Film Festival picks

Captain Phillips

Don Jon

Saving Mr Banks

October 18

November 15

October 29

Starring: Tom Hanks Catherine Keener

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Scarlett Johansson

Starring: Tom Hanks Emma Thompson

We are excited because: It is from the director of United 93 and based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips who was captured by Somali pirates.

We are excited because: This edgy and promiscuous comedy about a man addicted to porn is Gordon-Levitt’s writing and directorial debut.

We are excited because:

Trivia: Hanks spoke to the real Captain Phillips to help him prepare for the role.

Trivia:

Trivia: Thomas Newman, who composed the music for Finding Nemo, has

role of Barbara for Scarlett Johansson.

Gravity George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star as troubled astronauts adrift in space in this science fiction blockbuster Rosa Maiuccaro GRAVITY is a breath-taking and eye-popping thriller that immersspace. It tells the story of brilliant medical engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney). On a routine spacewalk, highspeed debris from a satellite suddenly destroys their shuttle, leaving them alone in space without contact to Earth. Director Alfonso Cuarón (Harry

Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) uses special effects and 3D with skill, placing the audience alongside the characters in orbit 375 miles above Earth. Gravity is one of the most realistic, astonishing and beautifully choreo-

Gravity does not feature aliens or space battleships. Cuarón allows the audience to escape reality by creating a hostile environment and tells the story of human survival. For once, the use of 3D technology was not an end in itself but a means –

Cloudy with a Chan

Mary Poppins from page to screen is sure to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


ENTERTAINMENT 25

skyrockets like in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, it creates a beautiful and unforgettable cinematic experience. The image quality is so high that Avatar director James Cameron called Gravity ever made”. However, despite its exemplary 3D work, Gravity’s plot cannot match up to its visuals. Indeed, the story of two gling to survive, is quite banal and predictable. It evokes the universal feeling of the anxiety of a modern man coping with personal and economic crisis. Alongside its visual triumph, Gravity’s plot is very faithful to the classical Hollywood style. Like in many forced to overcome a past trauma in order to undergo a personal change. The script, written by Cuarón and

his son Jonás, is full of intense exchanges between the characters and relies on powerful acting. The strong chemistry between Bullock and Clooney works well to engage the audience. It is surprising that neither were Gravity for their respective roles. In fact, the producers initially wanted Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie. Sandra Bullock said accepting the role was “her best life decision”. She delivers a remarkable performance and makes it easy for the audience to empathise with her character, who feels guilty about the death of her daughter. not supposed to make you cry, Bullock will prove you wrong. Her movements in outer space are similar to dancing, making the movie

also an overwhelming physical experience. She said in an interview that she participated in an intense dance training programme before production began, which helped her with this physically demanding role. George Clooney’s performance is not as unforgettable, as he seems to be more focused on his persona than on his character, Matt Kowalski. Sometimes he looks as if he would be ready to down a Martini instead of worrying about his survival. Gravity has a great commercial potential while also appealing to a large audience. that is both a blockbuster and a visual wonder. Gravity will be in cinemas on REX/WARNER BR/EVERETT

nce of Meatballs 2 is a truly scrumptious treat

s 2 REX/©COLUMBIA PICTURES/EVERETT

mals” all over the island of Chewandswallow.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picks up right where its predeThinking he destroyed his invention of the “Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Repprised to discover that his invention is still working and creating “foodi-

shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons and tacodiles wreaking havoc across the island, it is up to Flint and his budBut unbeknown to him, new character Chester Z (Will Forte) is out to cause even more trouble. This bright and cheeky 3D animation is not one that can be missed on the big screen. With its abundance of colour and captivating characters, it is a scrumptious treat in the cinema.

The little strawberry called Barry could rival a minion any day for the world’s cuteness award. That is, until the marshmallows, which will make you go gooey inside, are introduced. cheesy food puns, it does not quite make up for its, at times, unconvincing and weak script. But let us not forget that this is expressing its moral message: not to destroy the environment. There are always high expecta-

as successful as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. While not as good as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 really does come close and it’s worth a watch. With its quick wit and the endless amount of puns that will have you that will leave your mouth watering for more. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2


ENTERTAINMENT

Babies in Glass Houses Jo Hakim meets up with lead guitarist from Kids in Glass Houses to talk about gigging in Kingston, autographing babies and their new album Peace THERE are many perks to being in a rock band. The fame, the fortune, and in Iain Mahanty’s case signing babies. In a secluded room in The Peel, lead guitarist of Welsh rock band Kids in Glass Houses, Iain Mahanty, tries to explain the peculiar event, ory himself. “We were doing a signing and someone brought their child along and suddenly we ended up signing it,” he says. Having just arrived in their tour bus from a signing at Kingston’s independent music store, Banquet Re-

shop I was working at.” The band has achieved success beyond their wildest dreams. After headlining ‘Banquet’s Big Day Out’ last year Iain says: “Kingston crowds have always been good to play for. We have come here a few times now and they never disappoint.” Although it may come as a shock, Kingston does not quite compare to the atmosphere at Reading Festival. This is still Iain’s most memorable performance, where

Iain Mahanty, lead guitarist, is proud of the bands new record Peace. REX FEATURES

a packed out NME tent.

babies were signed tonight. Fidgeting about on the leather sofa, it is clear that Iain cannot wait to get on stage and perform - or have a few of the beers that cover a nearby table. Music has always been a big part of Iain’s life, but he confesses that the band did not aim to make it big. “We were not trying to break into the industry. We were being a band because we enjoyed it,” he says. Iain’s talents clearly lie outside the world of academic achievement, after he shamefully admits that he could only stand studying physics for three months. “I dropped out of university to be in a band,” he says, “if I was not in the band I would be stuck in the shoe

“It was one of those once-in-a-lifesand people appreciating what we do. It was incredible,” he says. When cheekily asked if he treats all gigs the same he sensibly answers that he still approaches every concert with the same mind set. “I just try and take it all in,” he says. “Certain songs you get into more and you do not really think about anything but the song.” Performing is second nature to a band who have been on the scene picking the right material to perform to crowds. “We have got better as song writers. We have matured and are learning where things should go. We harnessed the positives of each other and just do our best.” Proud does not even cover how the band feels about their new record. Peace features lead vocalist Aled Phillips’ most personal lyrics to date. Iain felt that the band had gone back to their roots of modem guitar pop, the sound they adopted when they Has it paid off? Their new album has been critically acclaimed following its pre-release online this week. Smiling at the thought, Iain proudly says: “We have had nothing but compliments. It is always nice when people say nice things about what you are doing. We think that it is our best record.” It is easy to see that they will be celebrating the good reaction to the album as he packs up a number of beer cans to take back to the tour bus. Kids in Glass Houses’ new album Peace is out now via Transmission Recordings.

London Grammar dazzle on debut

Jane Grammer THE hypnotic blend of intricately weaved layers on London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait song, encapsulating the entire album. Lead singer Hannah Reid’s haunting vocals, reminiscent of Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine), are integral to the success of the group, which saw their record reach number two in the UK Top 40 Chart. The group, comprised of Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman, all met

while at Nottingham University and months ago. Despite their young age, the band has carved their own distinctive sound: melancholic piano lines intertwine with ambient cymbals and mellow guitar riffs, creating an atmospheric background for Reid’s ethereal vocals. There is a genuine sense of sorrow and heartache that laces her lyrics as she achingly recounts tales of broken hearts and crushed dreams. The intimacy and shyness in her voice exposes a beautiful fragility

in Sights as well as lead single and album highlight Wasting My Young Years. There’s also a strong sense of self-deprecation throughout the album’s lyrics, ranging from “I don’t know who you are/don’t leave me hanging on” on Wasting My Young Years to “and can you give me everything/everything, everything/because I can’t give you anything,” on title track If You Wait. Another highlight on the record is the enchanting cover of Kavinsky’s Nightcall. The sombre melody of gloomy piano keys and the subtle percussion sets a chilling back-

ground for the brooding harmonies that enrapture you in a trance. Despite her heartbreak, there is an underlying glimmer of hope in her songs that strengthens towards the end of the album particularly in Flickers. The atmosphere lightens and the tempo increases as her voice twists through delicate cymbals, snares and drums that have a danceable quality, testament to Major and Rothman’s instrumental prowess. If You Wait is a stunning and deeply emotive debut that many will obsess over. Their combinations of dazzling vocals and instrumentals have

resulted in an innovative sound that demonstrates their exceptional talent and impressive instincts. Simply mesmerising.

Lead singer Hannah Reid FLICKR


SPORT

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Victor Bama getting ready to throw the ball at the BritBowl

Touchdown! Victory for KU Warriors Marius Guttormsen TWO Kingston students fought the best American football team in the country when the London Warriors won the British equivalent to the Super Bowl. Stuart Milloy and Nino Mario Stylianou, who play for the London Warriors, defeated their rival neighbours London Blitz 26-23 last Saturday. By winning the BritBowl, the two cured a place in history. Stylianou, 21, said: “When that whistle blew and you knew it was over and you collected the medal as the best team in the country, it felt pretty awesome.” with the London Warriors so it was extraordinary going all the way up to Leeds and then winning the championship.” The Warriors gained an undefeated campaign with 12 victories

and no losses. The team got to travel to their third consecutive BritBowl against the Blitz, losing the last two. Milloy, who studies human biology, said: “As the quarterback threw the ball it got tipped in the air by a defender. That was the moment when everything froze and it felt like the ball went in slow motion into our player’s hands for a touchdown.” The touchdown gave the Warriors late in the fourth period. The Blitz forced the Warriors’ defence to a safety that gave the previous champions two more points, but it wasn’t enough. “In a game of American football it can go either way very quickly. thought that we were going to lose. Fortunately, our offence held strong and our defence made some amazing plays and we won at the end. It was an amazing feeling,” said Stylianou. Milloy and Stylianou play impor-

tant positions on their team. Milloy is a wide receiver, catching the ball thrown from the quarterback. Stylianou plays cornerback and prevents the opposing wide receiver from intercepting the pass. “It is a rivalry between us at practice. I probably win most of our duels,” said Milloy. Stylianou argued: “I reckon it’s more 50-50. I tend to hurt you more than the other way around.” Both players also play for the KU American football team. “Last year with the Cougars we reached national playoffs so hopefully we can go one step further and

Stuart Milloy and Nino Mario Stylianou victorious Eirill Dalan

Their most important match will series against Surrey University. “This year’s varsity is going to be a big one. I think we are going to do well in the rivalry against Surrey,” said Stylianou. They didn’t have a chance to play at varsity last year because Surrey didn’t have a team.

The Warriors celebrate their win against the Blitz

Marshall s the man as KU see off Roehampton George Curtis

Robbie Flynn going closest for the home team in the opening half hour. Marshall had the best chance of

The opening stages of the second half were dominated by Roehampton, who were denied by a last-ditch tackle from Robbie Flynn after the visitors’ attacker had rounded Kieran Sanderson in the Kingston goal. As the half wore on, Kingston gained more of a foothold, and in the 65th minute they broke the deadlock with Charlie Marshall poking the ball home after a swift counter-attack. There was no let-up in Kingston’s pressure either, as they twice hit the

netting after neat build up play from right-back Lorcan Reen.

including a powerful strike from club President Matt Stoten, who was also

CHARLIE Marshall scored the only their way to a 1-0 victory over local rivals Roehampton at Tolworth Court on Wednesday. Neither side were able to retain possession or take control in a cagey

Matt Stoten hit the bar with this effort.

denied a late penalty claim. Kingston captain Conor Billington was delighted with his team’s effort: “We were a bit rusty in a few areas and we don’t have our best side out yet but I thought we had a great game and everyone put their heart out today.” Goalscorer Marshall revealed he is relishing being the team’s playor six years so I feel pretty comfortable. It’s nice to get a goal too, which isn’t usually my forte as I’m used to distributing the ball, but it’s nice to get on the scoresheet.”


28

SPORT

ROBBED! Last gasp try denies Kingston the points

Late sin-bin costs Kingston the points as Imperial steal a draw

Kingston 22-22 Roehampton Try scorer Josh Robinson in action KENT OLSEN

Jonathan North KINGSTON conceded a dramatic late try and had a man sent to the sin-bin as they drew 22-22 in their season opener with Chichester at Tolworth Court on Wednesday. Kingston were leading 22-8 with 15 minutes left to play thanks to tries from backs trio Paddy Murphy, Josh Robinson and captain Dan Phoenix, but Dan White’s yellow card allowed the visitors back into the game. py affair with the only try coming from full-back Paddy Murphy and converted by inside centre Craig Felston, who bagged seven points.

but Felston failed to add the extra two points. Both teams then exchanged tries with Chichester replying through their captain and scrum-half Sam Davies, before Phoenix pounced on a loose ball to run under the posts, leaving Felston with a simple conversion to give the home side a 22-8 lead

Both defences then began to dominate with Felston narrowly missing a tricky penalty in the only other scoring opportunity of the half, giving Kingston a well-deserved 7-0 lead at half-time. Chichester Seconds began the second half impressively, with their backs beginning to utilise the wind advantage and their asserted pressure led to a successful penalty from ute. However, Kingston then stamped their authority on the game when powerful centre Josh Robinson picked up a sublime inside pass to

White was then sin-binned for foul play and Chichester took full advantage as they converted a try in the 70th minute to set up a grandstand

Craig Felston KENT OLSEN

Felston had the oppurtunity to ensure victory for his side, but his 75th minute drop goal drifted narrowly-

wide of the Chichester posts. out valiantly until the last play of the game, when Chichester broke through the exhausted home defence to score under the posts, leaving a simple conversion to break Kingston hearts. Captain Phoenix said: “We got off to a good start and we looked strong getting our phases of play done but I think in the last twenty minutes our lack of match practice showed but match practice will help.” Kingston’s next match is against Brunel Seconds at Tolworth Court

Kingston basketball prevail in epic 41-42 victory Marius Guttormsen

KINGSTON women’s basketball celebrated a 41-42 victory on Wednesday night after Imperial seconds of the game. The Cougars, who played away on Wednesday night, had three seconds left on the clock when a foul was called and the opposition was reward three free throws. Claudia Scanzani, captain of the team, said: “I couldn’t believe what I saw. I didn’t see any foul in that play. The referee needs some stronger glasses in my opinion.”

She added: “I think we did great. We gave it all throughout the whole game and I am so proud of my team.” ston, the Imperial player stepped up to the spot. All three shots bounced off the rim and Kingston was somehow still in the game. Still trailing by one point and with one second left on the clock, the home team attempted a three point. In the chaos following the rebound, the buzzer rang - game over. But the referees overturned the clock and called a personal foul inside the court before the time was out. This meant another two free

throws to Imperial to win the game.

of the year, captain Scanzani was not too pleased with the referees. “I don’t think they did that good of a job. There were some odd decisions during the game. But we won and that is the most important thing,” said Scanzani. She was impressed by the level of performance and is optimistic for the season. “The new players showed great potential and I think we can do well in the season,” she said.

Geraldine Nyathi on the attack MAGNUS PETER HARNES


The River, Issue no. 64, Oct. 11 - 24 2013