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Kingston University & South West London

February 17 - March 1 2012

www.riveronline.co.uk

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Suits, boots and crombies Dress like your favourite television star Page 16-17

‘Transsexual Summer’ star Drew-Ashlyn challenges stereotypes Page 9

Issue No. 52

QUICK CASH HANGOVER Exclusive River investigation uncovers greedy payday loan companies targeting students EXCLUSIVE By Kelly Alford K0912499 Greedy payday loan companies have come under fire for targeting financially vulnerable Kingston students, a River investigation has found. The undercover probe found companies willing to lend money at sky high rates of interest to students with little way of paying back the cash. In one shocking example, a short term loan company offered credit that required a repayment of over half a student’s monthly income. Companies including Wonga and Cash Genie have been criticised recently for targeting students by offering quick cash to fund unexpected emergencies. Wonga had a dedicated student section which warned students that a traditional student loan could leave them with “a nasty debt hangover”, and offered an alternative option with a staggering 2,829 per cent APR.

During our investigation a reporter for The River, on a monthly salary of just £750, had a £300 loan over a 30 day period approved. The loan required a repayment of £397.19, which is 52.9 per cent of her monthly income. “It is highly irresponsible of any company to suggest to students that high-cost, short-term loans be a part of their everyday financial planning,” said National Union of Students vice president Pete Mercer. “Students should think long and hard before choosing payday loans over any other form of borrowing, including Governmentbacked student loans.” The Wonga site advised students that taking out a lower Government loan and topping up with a payday loan was the best way to budget for university. One advert advised students to “only take out the student loan that you think you’ll need, and if you need to borrow a small sum for up to a month to cover an emergency, you could top up your funds with a Wonga loan”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Why actress Joely Richardson is the lady Page 3 for Kingston’s budding stars

Our exclusive interview with Olympic silver medalist Gail Emms Page 22


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Payday loans Student raped after night-out at Bacchus Student re-instated in Kingston University Comment:

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Sex addiction Re-instated students Features:

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Sex addiction TV Fashion Cavewoman Diet Entertainment: 19-21 Chiddy Bang interview Student saving deals Movie reviews Sports:

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Match reports Boxing spotlight Gail Emms interview

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KU students claim Erasmus in Spain is a ‘waste of time and too intense’ “I really regret taking a year abroad in Madrid as I feel, from an academic point Some Kingston students of view, that it was a comwho have carried out plete waste of time and the part of their degree in worst mistake I have made,” Spain claim the Erassaid Jonathan. “Not only did mus study abroad proI fail the year, I also learnt gramme is a “waste of nothing about what I was time”. studying.” One student, who does Between 20 and 40 stunot wish to be named, dents from Kingston decide made an official complaint to study abroad every year. to the University after failStudents can choose to ing her year abroad at Carstudy a semester or a whole los Tercero University in year abroad. Madrid in 2009. Although there have been a “I failed my Erasmus few incidents with lost timeyear in Spain, even though tables and confusion over I worked so hard and nevmodules in other countries er missed a lecture,” the that are part of the Erasmus 22-year-old student said. programme, it seems that the “The universities out there Spanish exchange has the are very intense and there most problems. are a lot more exams. If students decide to spend “However, I feel if I had the whole year abroad, they been given more help and are not required to pay any support from the lecturers tuition fees to Kingston. there, I’m sure I would However, they will need to Kingston students claim that going to Spain as a part of their degree was a waste of time Pic:Rex budget for accommodation, have passed. “I have no problem with food and travel expenses, as Devyani Vyas, European aca- finding a job abroad can be a lot working hard and my Spanish is lecturer muttered under her breath, fluent, but the lecturers are not ‘maybe if you spent less time put- demic coordinator and the person harder than in the UK. willing to offer help to the foreign ting on your make-up and more responsible for the organisation of Treesha Pandoo, 22, a third year students. They make us feel like an time with a dictionary, you’d do the Erasmus courses at Kingston politics student who studied one better’.” University, explained that many semester at Universite de Lumiere inconvenience and not welcome.” Students are supposed to decide students change their modules once Lyon said: “Studying politics in The student did not receive any compensation and had to pay the on the modules they would like they are abroad without notifying France was definitely a challenge usual tuition fees to repeat the year to take before leaving Kingston, them or asking for advice. She said but I still enjoyed it. Sometimes but on occasions they are forced that students “need to prepare” for there was confusion but the teachin the UK. “I don’t feel as though the Uni- to change to modules that have no the challenge of studying abroad, ers understood I was an exchange versity took my complaint very relevance to their course once they due to the difference in education student and the course was difficult systems in other countries. seriously but I hope it has made arrive. for me and therefore they were le“When I arrived I went to collect “If a student fails half or more of nient with my essays and supported them realise some things have to change,” she said. my timetable, but the lady at the their modules they will have to re- my learning.” Kayleigh Marshall, 21, a third desk told me she had no record of peat,” she said. Kayleigh also studied a semester “This will obviously cost them in Cyprus and she felt that the staff year politics student, claimed she me,” said Kayleigh. suffered rude comments from staff “Eventually she allowed me to more money – whether it is here or were much friendlier and more orand little teaching support when pick some modules, but they were abroad,” Ms Vyas said. ganised there, making it a much Kayleigh is not the only Kingston better experience than her time in she studied for a semester abroad not the ones I had previously choin Madrid. sen. Apparently those modules student who was frustrated with the Spain. “The teachers seemed unhelpful were part of a different faculty. I course. Jonathan Phillips, 26, a Ms Vyas insisted: “The majority and not to like Erasmus students,” was very confused and worried I third year journalism student who of our students do extremely well said Kayleigh. “Once when I said I would not have enough credits for also studied in Madrid, felt he was and are desperate to go back abroad not prepared for the challenges. did not understand something, the my degree.” as soon as they can.”

Lily Meyer K0938968

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What is The River? The River is an award-winning newspaper written, edited and produced by journalism students at Kingston University. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the university.

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.

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Hollywood starlet joins KU students at Rose Lucy Sambrook K0914927 She is used to acting alongside the likes of Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow, but this month Hollywood actress Joely Richardson will be rubbing shoulders with KU students. Pupils from the university’s MA classical theatre course are to tread the boards with the star, as she plays the lead role in Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea, this February at the Rose Theatre in Kingston. The eight students involved are: Ioana Dorofte, Dyveke Hoem, Kim Cormack, Adam Wollerton, Brandon Johnson, Robin Milton, Matt Wickey and Eleni Sauvageau Eleni Sauvageau, 22, said: “We have met Joely briefly. She is very friendly, very nice and very cool.” The co-production will see the

students take on roles, including shadowing and rehearsing with the professional actors as well as conducting research into the previous productions of the play. Richardson, a Golden Globe winner, is best known for starring in the US television series Nip/Tuck and hit movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, alongside Daniel Craig. Dyveke Hoem, 24, a Kingston student from Norway, will benefit from working closely with director Stephen Unwin to shed some light on the translations of the text. Mr Unwin, who was recently named as the finest director of Ibsen in Britain by the Guardian, said: “It’s been really great working with our resident MA students on The Lady from the Sea. “This is the 14th Rose Theatre Production and the university has been incredibly supportive from

The classical theatre students will be joined by Hollywood royalty

the beginning in bringing top quality drama to Kingston.” MA classical theatre course tutor Adam Ainsworth said that the experience would help those students who have aspirations to move into the professional business by showing them ways to get a production on its feet and by giving them an insight into professional practice. He said: “The real value comes with the informal conversations they will have – about the business and how to break into it.” Dame Judi Dench, Twilight’s Michael Sheen, Harry Potter’s Zoe Wanamaker, Penelope Keith and other famous faces have previously graced the stage. The collaboration, showing at the Rose Theatre from February 23 to March 17, follows last year’s successful co-production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Award-winning actress Joely Richardson stars in The Lady from the Sea this month. Pic: Rex

Pic: Eleni Sauvageau

KU cleaner celebrates almost half a century of service Therese Doksheim K0931171

Sean Byrne hard at work

Pic: KU press office

A Kingston Hill cleaner is celebrating 45 years of service was rewarded by the Vice Chancellor for his continuing loyalty to the university. Sean Byrne, 61, was just 16 when he started working at Kingston University’s Law and Business campus, but said he still appreciates every day at work. “Just arriving at Kingston Hill lifts my spirits,” Mr Byrne said. “The lecturers are wonderful and people have always appreciated me. “You meet all kinds of different people, including fellow staff, lecturers and students,” he added.

“Everyone is just so lovely – they all take the time to talk to you and make you feel part of the university family.” Mr Byrne combined his work as a dustman with his job at the university. “I find cleaning therapeutic. It’s definitely relaxing in comparison to being out on the bins in all weathers,” he said. He was rewarded for his continuing service alongside 147 other cleaning and caretaking staff from the Kingston University Service Company (KUSCO). Mr Byrne also celebrated completing the first stage of a British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) training programme. The certificate was awarded by Kingston University’s Vice Chan-

cellor, Julius Weinberg, along with representatives from KUSCO and BICSc. “It is important that our staff, no matter what they do, have chances to undertake training, learn new skills and develop. We are a university, we celebrate learning,” Mr Weinberg said. Kingston University is the first university in the UK to take part in the shared scheme of vocational training, which results in staff receiving BICS practitioners’ licences. Martin Chalker, general manager for KUSCO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to recognise people for their hard work. All our staff, including Sean Byrne, are very dedicated to the university.” riveronline.co.uk


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Loan companies cash in Kelly Alford set out to see just how easy it would be for Kingston students to be approved for a payday loan. All companies were asked for a loan of £300 for a 30 day period based on a hypothetical income of £750 per month of which no evidence could be provided. Here we reveal the online and High Street companies that offer roll over loans and referral discounts to unsuspecting students. • £250 loan approved • Interest only rollover offered • £100 offered when loan rejected by reporter • Roll over loan encouraged The Money Shop, located on Castle Street in Kingston, offers students, who are in employment, payday loans both online and in store. The website states that The Money Shop requires customers to bring a bank card, bank statement

•Cash advances and personal finance options •1476 per cent APR •Income evidence required Cash Converters on Tolworth Broadway, Tolworth, rejected a request for a cash advance of £300, stating that this sum of money on a short term basis would usually only be offered to returning customers who were proven reliable to repay.

They did offer a personal loan of the same amount over a six month period with an APR rate of 1,476 per cent. The loan required monthly repayments of £103.30, meaning the total amount to be repaid would be £621. To be accepted however, Cash Converters required bank statements, wage slips, utility bills and identification in the form of a driver’s licence or passport.

What they said:

“We are proud of our robust, responsible lending policy. As part of this we have a number of rigorous checks in place to make sure that the customer is financially stable before we offer to lend any sum of money. “Before completing an application form we require customers to share

The second shop, Cash and Cheque Express on Victoria Road, Surbiton, were much more stringent with their regulation. No loan was offered without MoneySavingExpert.com creator Martin Lewis blasted the advert as “morally offensive” on Twitter and the student section was later removed by Wonga. “The idea you should get a Wonga loan rather than a student loan is outrageous,” said Lewis. “Student loans only need repaying when you earn over £15,000 and the repayment is proportionate to income. They don’t go on your credit file, there are no debt collectors.” Wonga is just one of many payday loan companies to start tar-

geting students. Cash Genie also removed certain adverts from their website after they were criticised for encouraging students to use their high interest loans to fund social events. The advert stated: “Our easy loan service can be used as a short-term benefit to pay for your desires (alcohol, gigs, going out, new clothes, presents for others).” Steve Perry, author of When Pay Day Loans Go Wrong, branded Cash Genie irresponsible and said that payday loans could only work

questioning whether taking out a smaller loan for £100 that day would be helpful.

What they said:

“The Money Shop is a professional short-term lender, fully regulated by the Office of Fair Trading and only offers its payday loan products to those with a bank account and with an income. As a founder member of the Consumer Finance Association, The Money Shop abides by its code of practice as well as supporting efforts to enhance the code further. These include a wide range of consumer protections which will drive up standards within the sector.”

two forms of identification as well as bank statements and wage slips to demonstrate proof of earnings. If we feel that the customer isn’t suitable for a loan or cash advance at this time we provide details of debt advice charities where the customers can go to get free debt support.”

• Income evidence required • £85 loan cost £15 • Cheque book required • Minimum wage needed

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and wage slip to be considered for a loan. However, when a reporter for The River tried to apply for a loan, only a bank card and proof of identification were needed. The Money Shop approved a loan of £250, with a total repayment of £312.50. The Money Shop also said that if the loan could not be repaid after the 30 day period, customers had the option to just pay off the monthly interest, in this case £62.50, and the borrowed amount could be rolled over for another 30 days. When our reporter attempted to leave the shop to consider other options, the cashier pressed on,

if the full sum of money plus interest could be repaid on time, which is unlikely for students. “We are supposed to be looking at a responsible lender here,” said Perry, who spiralled into debt after taking out over 60 payday loans in one year. “Stating that the essentials of a student loan is to pay for partying is simply unacceptable.” Government funding for university is specifically tailored for students and the interest rate is always proportionate to the rate of

recent bank statements and wage slips being provided. The cashier highlighted that their loans were for a short period only and that the minimum income usually required for a cash advance was £1000 a month. A loan of £85 cost £15 and required a post-dated cheque for £100, which would then be cashed on the agreed repayment date.

What they said:

inflation. Current students will not have to start repaying their loan until they are earning over £15,000 a year, which will rise to £21,000 this year when higher tuition fees are introduced. Due to the short term nature of payday loans, APR rates can reach into the thousands. They are intended as short-term solutions and are often accepted with very limited credit checks, making it easier for the financially vulnerable to be approved. Debt can begin to spiral if pay-

ments are missed or if more than one loan is used at a time, however many companies still offer larger sums of money to returning customers. President of Kingston University Students’ Union, Christopher Dingle, said that the companies were run “unethically” and were “designed to snare you as a trap” with their high interest rates. “Payday loans are a dangerous source of quick cash to play with. They [make it] very easy to get into a downward cycle that can quickly

“We check details are correct to ensure people are not overstretching themselves into worse debt. Many loans are readily available but not here unless they are in full time employment.”


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on desperate students

Payday loans for dummies

• 52.9 per cent of monthly income repayment • No income evidence required • 2,820 per cent APR

• 40 per cent of monthly income repayment • No income evidence required • 1946.3 per cent APR Payday Express would not approve a loan of £320, but did offer

Wonga was the only company to approve the full £300 requested with an APR rate of 2,820 per cent. The loan required a total repayment of £397.19, which is a massive 52.9 per cent of the reporter’s monthly income. Wonga did not require any proof of income.

most do not have an income and wouldn’t pass our checks. On the other hand, we don’t believe students who work and do have an income should be excluded from credit automatically. “We actually decline around two-thirds of first time applications and our low arrears rate is industry-leading as a result, although we don’t claim to get every single decision right.”

What they said:

“In terms of ‘targeting’ students, they make up a tiny proportion of our customers and we don’t actively/directly market to them, as to lend £240 with an APR rate of 1946.3 per cent. The loan cost £60 over a 30 day period and required a repayment of 40 per cent of the reporter’s monthly wages, but they did not need any evidence of income.

What they said:

Did not respond to press enquiry

Research by The Office of Fair Trading found that 62 % of highcost credit user did not consider any other options when taking out their credit agreement, but there are alternatives for students that can be much safer and less costly.

University Speak to Kingston University’s financial services. They can help you budget and ensure that you are receiving all of the funding that you are entitled to. Ask if you are eligible for the Access to Learning Fund, which is non-repayable award designed to help students who face unexpected financial difficulties while at university.

Be creative A payday loan many seem like the quickest option, but before borrowing try to think of alternative ways to make some money. Any clothes you no longer wear or old university books can be sold on Ebay and many companies will recycle old mobile phones and MP3 players for cash.

Parents

Banks Many student accounts offer an interest free overdraft that can be extended depending on the number of years a student has been studying. Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, says “a temporary overdraft extension can be a much cheaper, safer way to borrow, so if you're struggling to get to pay day then the first thing you should do is talk to your bank.”

Although many of us will not want to approach Mum and Dad for a loan, the likelihood that they will charge you interest if they are able to help you out is small. If you can show them that you will be able to pay them back it is worth a try, and the repercussions of not paying them back will be much less.

And don’t forget to Inform Kingston University’s online money management section advises students to tell the people you owe money to that you have a problem paying them. Send them a copy of your completed financial statement and make them an offer of payment that you can realistically afford to maintain on a regular basis. The earlier they know about your problems, the more sympathetic they are likely to be.

• • £212 £212 loan approved • Friend referral incentive • 2339 per cent APR

What they said:

The maximum loan that was allowed by Cash Genie was £212, based on a monthly income

£850, which required a repayment of £275.60 28 days later. They did not require any evidence of income, but worryingly, after the loan was approved Cash Genie offered a £10 reduction of the repayment for every friend who the borrower referred, who subsequently took out a loan themselves.

lead to a serious debt problem,” said Dingle. Both Wonga and Cash Genie stated that their adverts were not designed to “actively target students” but were purely for search engine optimisation, a technique used to drive more traffic towards websites. Payday loans are regulated by the Office of Fair Trading in the UK, but the Centre for Responsible Credit has called for the government to introduce tougher parameters. Some US states restrict the

amount payday loan companies can lend, capping it at 25 per cent of the borrower’s monthly income. Lenders are also compelled by their licence to share information about outstanding debts in order to prevent a borrower from obtaining multiple loans. In addition, a code of practice adopted by some payday lenders in Canada entirely prohibits rollover lending. Keith Houghton, head of Student Funding for Kingston University, urged any students who are

struggling with their finances to seek help from the Student Funding Service at Cooper House before borrowing from one of these companies. “We can help them draw up a budget and then some pointers on managing money, as well as checking that they are receiving all the funding they are entitled to,” he said. “We also deal with applications for a number of student hardship funds and more information about these is available on MyKingston.”

“Cash Genie offers a ‘refer a friend’ scheme for borrowers who use the service responsibly. We do not discriminate against students, however we do not actively target students either. Cash Genie is a responsible lender and is regulated by the Office of Fair Trading.”

Interview.... A Kingston student took out a loan with Wonga in October 2011 for £400 and had to pay back £440. “I was struggling to pay the rent as I had spent too much of my student loan on nonsense. [Wonga] was quick and easy to use and I didn’t feel charges were a massive issue. I have used them a few times since, but I’ve always been able to make the repayments on time. “I would recommend them but only as a short term solution – it won’t solve your financial difficulties. If you can’t pay it back then it will actually make things worse, but if you can guarantee that you can definitely pay the money back then it’s not an issue. “I already had my student loan and because I’m a student I didn’t think that the banks would lend

me the money. Payday companies can make a much quicker decision on whether to lend the money, and the money can go straight into your account.”


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Fashion industry mourns former Kingston lecturer Ashleigh Wight K0903765

Daphne in her modelling days

The former head of Kingston’s School of Fashion, whose students included designer John Richmond and the Oasis creative director, has passed away from a long term illness. Professor Daphne Brooker, 84, taught fashion at Kingston for 30 years, teaching the likes of Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at Marks & Spencer, and editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Glenda Bailey. “Daphne was excellent and, for all the fear she put into her students, she managed to get the industry to become involved Pic: Vogue

with them,” said graduate Helen Storey, professor of science and fashion at the London College of Fashion, to the Times Educational Supplement. She was one of the first teachers to be appointed a professor in the 1980s and was also the first person to take graduate fashion shows out of Kingston and

exhibit them in venues such as the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy. Before becoming a teacher, Brooker was a finalist in a Vogue modelling competition in 1952 and featured in the publication several times captured by famous photographers such as Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson.

Daphne Brooker taught at Kingston College of Art over three decades

Pic: KU

Fee rises see dramatic drop in 2012 KU student applications Hopes of uni bosses are high despite rising tuition fees seeing application numbers slashed for popular courses Matthew McEvoy and Isabel Hayman-Brown Kingston University chiefs remain optimistic that courses will continue despite a dramatic drop in applications for the next academic year. The reaction came in spite of the latest worrying figures which showed that the number of candidates applying to Kingston fell by double the national average since the maximum annual tuition fees were raised to £9000. Applications to KU for the 2012-2013 year have dropped by 14.5 per cent, compared to the national average which stands at just over 7.4 per cent. This has raised concerns that courses which struggle to recruit enough students, could be forced to drop important modules or face

Pro Vice Chancellor Martyn Jones

riveronline.co.uk

being axed altogether. The admissions team remain upbeat however, saying any approach to reviewing courses will not be made hastily, and could take several years. Pro Vice Chancellor Martyn Jones, head of academic support and student services, said: “Kingston has always attracted students and we have always filled courses so to speak.Those courses that are no longer justifiable will have to be reviewed. Of course we will have to determine a pattern and this could take time to do so. “We will only know with different cycles of applications – that could take years.” Applications for the 2011-2012 period showed the university received 38,468 applications – a five per cent increase on the previous year - while applications

Pic: KU

for the 2012-2013 academic year have dropped to 32,878 – a decrease of 5,590. Other London universities also saw applications fall, with Goldsmiths experiencing a 23 per cent drop and 22 per cent for City University. Even though the decrease seems severe, the falling figures are not representative of all faculties at the University. While admissions for Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston have fallen 20 per cent, vocational courses such as engineering and pharmacology have seen rise in applications of 20 per cent. Professor Jones said: “With the current economic climate and the rise in tuition fees, I believe many are choosing something that is considered ‘vocational’. “Subjects like healthcare something that is both practical and vocational - have seen an increase in applications nationally.” The rise in tuition fees has seen academic courses affected dramatically. Professor Jones said: “If you look at the courses that are considered traditionally academic, applications have fallen.” Higher standards of entry requirements in some subjects have also whittled down the pool of prospective students, threatening closure for those that do not fill their quota. For example, Kingston journalism now requires A-level results of AAB. It has seen a 28 per cent fall

in applications. The Faculty of Business and Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences (FASS) and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) were the three areas worst affected. Full-field architecture, a flagship design course, has seen applications tumble by 25 per cent. Last year government funding cuts restricted the number of students some Arts and Social Sciences courses are allowed to admit. The university is holding taster days for school leavers as well as offering bursaries and scholarships in an attempt to make KU first choice for more candidates. In a letter to staff, Vice-Chancellor Julius Weinberg said: “We all, regardless of our role, need to be welcoming and helpful to prospective students and their parents.” While the slump in applications suggests the tuition fee hike has deterred prospective university students, recent polling suggests this isn’t necessarily the case. Last month, a YouGov poll of 1,055 16 to 18-year-olds showed 80 per cent still want to study at university, while 27 per cent believed the financial implications were not an issue. Scan the code to read the latest education news round ups on RiverOnline

Kingston’s flower friendly graduations The roses, cyclamen and ivy used for graduation ceremonies at the Rose Theatre this year are being replanted across the university. Rather than continue to use cut flowers, which are expensive and often unsustainably farmed, the graduations and events team made the decision to use potted plants instead. This only left the question of what to do with them after they made their bow at the Rose. Sarah Bowness, graduations and events officer, said: “Everyone in the office was trying hard to rehome the plants that came back but it was tricky to get them home. “Not all of them got planted out, so we thought it made much more sense for the plants to be put on campus to brighten up the environment, instead. After replanting, the pots get sent back to me so I can get the florist to refill them for the next graduations. Everything is getting recycled.” Roses used in last year’s ceremonies have been planted in the Kenry House rose bed at Kingston Hill, and this year’s cyclamen and ivy will be used to add colour to the main entrance at Penrhyn Road. Lynsey Stafford, biodiversity and landscape administrator, said: “It makes perfect sense to buy reusable plants rather than throwaway cut flowers. Our shrub beds are sometimes in need of a little patch up, and these plants have been working brilliantly.”

Don’t get mad, get mediation say police Kingston Univeristy has teamed up with the Metropolitan police to offer students and Kingston residents free mediation classes. The service claims it can stop neighbourhood disputes leading to unhappiness and violence. “We aim to ensure a safe, nonthreatening environment where each person can have an open and honest dialogue with the other people present,” said Pamela Sellman, lecturer in law, and a principal instigator of the initiative. The mediator meets each party on a one to one. If both parties then decide to proceed, the mediator will arrange a joint meeting. Trevor Quy, a police liason officer said: “Don’t let family or neighbourhood disputes fester. You just need the will to seek help - and best of all, it is free.” For more information on the classes, email KUmediation@ met.police.co.uk or call 020 8247 4906.


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Expelled student reinstated to KU after prison sentence

Inset: Heslip free and feeling “shell-shocked”. Main: Being arrested amid the violence at the 2010 student riots in central London

Pic (inset): Anshu Pandit

Freedom for KU rioter Anshu Pandit K0931121

A Kingston student who was jailed for attacking a building during last year’s student riots is “absolutely shell-shocked” to be released from prison and reinstated into university. Fine art student James Heslip, 21, was released after serving only four months of his 12 month sentence. He was jailed for smashing a window at Millbank Tower during the riots on November 10 2010. “It’s very strange,” said Heslip, who was released on February 10. “It feels like I’ve been in a time capsule. Nothing happens when you’re in prison. I’ve forgotten everything. “As soon as I got through the gates it felt like everything had been jolted forward four months.” Known as ‘Hessy’ by his friends, Heslip’s whereabouts will be tracked via a tag until April 4. He is also banned from the Tory headquarters, with the perimeter starting from Vauxhall Bridge and extending to Lambeth Bridge. In addition, he will have to visit a probation officer once a month and attend six alcohol meetings, because he was drunk during the incident. “It was a stupid thing to do. I went with the crowd and was drunk at the time,” Heslip said. “I regret my actions but I don’t regret going to the protest. “It was a really severe consequence for my actions,” he added. Heslip pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Kingston Crown Court after CCTV footage showed him smashing the window of Millbank

Heslip squaring up to police outside Millbank tower at the student riots

Mural outside KU

Tower. “I think it’s ridiculous that student fees have been tripled, but breaking windows is not the way to fight against it,” said Heslip. “I wouldn’t go again and clearly there needs to be more action, but not in the form of riots.” In accordance with Kingston University policy, he was expelled after his conviction in October. The policy states that “any student sentenced to 21 days or more in prison is automatically deemed to have withdrawn from the University.” Expelled students are allowed to send a statement requesting to be reinstated to the Vice Chancellor, who confers with colleagues before coming to a decision. “James Heslip sent such a statement to the Vice Chancellor and, following discussion with colleagues at the university, permission was given for him to return,” said a Kingston University spokes-

nets. He said: “It was a good job. It kept my brain entertained and I got to learn new skills. It was in a secret and highly trusted area that they kept away from the ‘lifers’ and those who committed more serious crimes.” A typical day at HMP Wandsworth started at 8am, when Heslip would get up and exercise, which was “basically walking in circles around the car park”. “It was the best bit of the day,” Heslip said. “Because you actually get to see the sky and you get to meet a lot of interesting people.” One person he met was inmate Peter Wayne, who has written for The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Independent. “I used to talk to him every morning and it was a new subject every day. He taught me about Dickens and other topics,” said Heslip. Through Wayne, he has been commissioned to create illustra-

woman. Heslip will start his third year this September. In addition to his statement, a petition was started by Socialist Worker Student Society member Alistair Farrow in January, to support Heslip’s attempt to come back to the University. The petition picked up over 500 signatures from Kingston students. Farrow said: “I started the petition with his permission when the Defend the Right to Protest campaign approached me. James had contacted them to help him with his case,” said Farrow. “It was a combination of his legal team and family that helped him get back into university and I’m glad for him.” The Defend the Right to Protest campaign defends “all those protestors who have been arrested, bailed or charged and are fighting to clear their names”. During his prison term, Heslip worked in a workshop fixing cabi-

Pic: Anshu Pandit

tions for an Olympic book, which will be published this summer and featured at the Hayward Gallery in central London. Another job opportunity was presented to Heslip through his prison sentence. A fellow rioter who was also jailed asked Heslip to help him create puppets for a play which is based on prison life. As a fine art student, Heslip kept himself busy during the day by working on his art. He would trade his sketches with inmates in exchange for coloured pencils and other materials. “I couldn’t see anything, so I sketched whatever I could think of,” said Heslip. “There were pigeons that would come to the window bars of the cell to nibble on food. There are a couple of drawings of them.” He posted his sketches to his girlfriend, Tabby Booth, who uploaded them to his blog, called Drawings from within the Prison Walls. Only having limited communication was tough on the couple, because they could not talk every day. “It was expensive to call and it depended on if I had enough money,” said Heslip, then adding that he was only allowed to ring his girlfriend every three or four days. Despite thinking he would go wild after being released, Heslip has been relaxing with friends and spending time with his girlfriend. Comment - page 13 Scan the code to go to RiverOnline and see art works Heslip made whilst behind bars. riveronline.co.uk


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NEWS

Police probe alleged rape outside student nightclub By Anshu Pandit K0931121 A young woman has allegedly been raped in Kingston town centre after a night of clubbing at Bacchus nightclub. Police are investigating the assault, which occurred near the Apple Market in Kingston in the early morning on Saturday, January 28. “Detectives from Kingston Sapphire Unit are investigating an allegation of rape of a woman in her early 20s,” said a police spokesperson. “There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.” The Sapphire Unit is part of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Directorate (SC) and is responsible for investigating serious crimes, including rape and murder. The alleged attack occurred at 3.15am, 15 minutes after Bacchus closed for the night. Detectives believe the victim met the suspect

The alleged rape took place after a night out in Bacchus Pic:Amy Strong

earlier in the evening. Police are presently not releasing a description of the alleged attacker for “operational reasons” and cannot confirm if the victim is a student. The number of alleged rapes in Kingston rose to 59 last year, a rise of 28.3 per cent compared to figures from 2010. Kingston’s Borough commander Martin Greenslade said that “an 11 per cent rise in other sexual offences last year was linked to clubs, bars and late-night drinking in Kingston town centre”. In order to be safe on nights out, the Sapphire Unit has advised people to plan their transport ahead of time and to be wary of sharing drinks. “Try to travel with people you know,” the Sapphire Unit website stated. “When you can, stick to routes where other people are and avoid shortcuts in lonely places.”

Victims of rape and other sexual assault who are afraid to come forward can seek help anonymously through The Haven, a centre which offers medical attention and the chance to speak to a trusted doctor or nurse. The local centre for Kingston is in Camberwell. “One in four women and one in ten men will experience sexual assault within their lifetime,” said a Camberwell Haven spokesperson. “Before you go out, plan your journey home, take a registered taxi and avoid using fliers advertising taxis which have been left in pubs and clubs, as they could be illegal ones. “If you are concerned that you have been sexually assaulted, you can call The Haven, night or day, on 020 3299 1599.” If you have any information about the incident on January 28, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Kingston graduate’s safe taxi mobile app A KU computing graduate has launched a free app to get latenight partygoers a quote for a licensed minicab in as little as 90 seconds. Jayesh Hirani’s app is already covering most of London and a Kingston company is the latest to sign up to the scheme. “I wanted to find a system that meant people didn’t have to read out their personal details in public,” Mr Hirani said. “This system keeps all the booking details private and secure.” To book a minicab, smartphone users simply type in their location and destination. The mobile app then sends the request to registered minicab firms, who bid for the booking. Once a quote is accepted, the customer is sent more details, including vehicle type, colour, contact name and a booking reference.

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Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

NEWS

‘Children should be able to choose their sexuality’ thinks transsexual Lina Sennevall K0916096 A star from Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer told KU students that children should be able to have optional jabs to delay puberty while they decide their sexuality. Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham spoke about the controversial issue in a Q&A at KU this week, after it was revealed that six children in Britain will be given jabs on the NHS because they are convinced they are the wrong sex. She said: “If you think you are transsexual, prepuberty is the time you want to start taking jabs to delay puberty because once you’ve gone through it, the physical changes are very hard to reverse. “I am all for youngsters who are confused being helped to postpone puberty so they can decide what gender they really are. I only wish this option had been available to me.” Drew-Ashlyn, 23, describes herself as a blonde, tangoed, leggy make-up artist, who wants to live a normal life and pursue a career, but as the programme showed, things haven’t always been easy for her. After being born a man she came out as a woman in 2007,

Channel 4’s My Transexual Summer

and despite the support of her family and friends, she still experiences prejudice every day. She said the programme was an opportunity to get people to see the real her. She said: “I used the programme because I was getting a lot of abuse and I wanted people to look past the label and to see me as a person.” Drew is now on tour with other members of the programme to raise transawareness in the country and especially in the educational system. “People really need to be more educated about this and I think it’s good to start at an early age,” she said. “I think children should be taught about it at primary school.” Drew-Ashlyn said that there are not enough trans-people

Pic: C4

represented in the media and that often the coverage is negative. She said: “People in the media need to be more careful with the words they use and how they portray people.” She added that the only way to stop prejudice against transsexual people is to raise awareness. “People don’t like things they don’t have an answer to,” she said. “But when you educate them about it, it becomes normal.” The exclusive Q&A session was organised by Will Brooker, head of film and television research, as part of the module Identity and Gender. “Kingston is a very open and diverse university,” said Will. “I’m delighted that Drew was our special guest.”

Drew-Ashlyn is a pre-op transsexual male who came out as a woman

Pic: KU press office

Students’ Union fails to meet target by £45k By Vegard Botterli K1046247 The Students’ Union is planning to ask for extra funding from Kingston University after their overall income is down by £45,000 on their targeted budget. This is because SU bars and shops fell short of their expected targets by £30,000 on top of other budgetary deficits. KUSU president Chris Dingle, commenting on the problems, said: “Kingston Hill’s Hannafords Bar was badly hit during Freshers’ Week. The bars and clubs of Kingston began targeting students particularly as their own trade was suffering.” The report handed to the Trustee Board in February said that the surplus fell from £66,000 to just

£15,000 last year, meaning there is less money for the SU to spend. This decrease was put down in the report as a result of “organisational failures,” including overspending on sports facilities by £8,000, going over budget by £2,000 on bank charges and a fall in profits at the KU student bars. This caused a budget shortfall and the SU have said they will ‘tighten their belts’ for the remainder of the year”. “Whilst some areas are behind annual budget this is mainly on the Kingston Hill site which has suffered this year and we have changed our operation to match,” said Mr Dingle. “Hannafords now has Sky TV to boost its appeal particularly to residential students during weekends and evenings. “This was installed in late No-

vember and we have already begun to see the benefits” To tackle the continuing losses at the student shop at Kingston Hill, due to competition from local businesses, the SU is planning to open an independent convenience shop and close the existing food store. The SU is currently negotiating with bidders to run the new shop. Mr Dingle said: “We will be able to bring the range and convenience of a local Co-op to campus. For the Union this will undoubtedly raise awareness on the Kingston Hill campus and bring income for all projects.” Because of a large number of events booked for this term, sales figures from the student shop and The Space Bar at Penrhyn Road campus are within budget. Mr Dingle said that running the meal-deal scheme has helped to

generate successful figures. The Urban Eat deal in particular offers the same sandwiches avail-

Chris Dingle, President of the KUSU

able within the food store but at a bargain price, with a drink and a crisp deal at £2.99.

Pic: KUSU

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Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

NEWS

KU cheerleaders get ready for chance of TV stardom Dannielle Baker K0902478

Kingston University cheerleaders are set for national fame, after teaming up with internetsensation band, The Midnight Beast, for a brand new E4 series. The Kingston Cougars have joined forces with All-Star team, the Surrey Starlets, to support and

perform with the band in the new TV show. Eloise Le Grys, a Cougars squad member, said: “It’s a great opportunity to get our team and also our university recognised. It was amazing to work with the boys and a great experience.” Back in August 2011, the cheerleaders performed on stage at Read-

ing Festival with the band in front of thousands. “It was a big deal,” said Emma Haggis, Kingston student and coach of the Cougars and the Starlets. The Cougars, who have been National Champions for three years running, won the ‘Championship and Performance Club of the Year’ award at the 2011 KU Sports Awards.

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The Kingston Cougars will appear on E4 later this year with Youtube phenomenon The Midnight Beast

£10k worth Apple Macs stolen from Kingston James Jenkins & Ed Wright K0809497 K0817242 State of the art Apple computers, with an estimated value of £10,000, were stolen from Kingston campuses last week. The main thefts occurred at Kingston Hill over two separate days, with seven Apple Mac computers taken on Monday February 6 and another seven taken on Thursday 9. Two more were taken but were dropped as the thieves escaped. A University spokesperson said: “In both cases the police were called and scene of crime officers were present. The police are currently investigating both incidents.” It is not the first time the University has been embroiled in computerrelated controversy. Last week, journalism lecturer Adam Westbrook was also a victim of IT theft after a USB stick containing personal details was stolen from EM306 along with the teaching computer. Mr Westbrook said: “They were backed up accounting files, mostly related to my self-employed work. There’s

nothing on them that can be used to take money from my account, but it’s still not a nice feeling to know someone’s probably had a good look at your private data. “There’s a CCTV camera right over the desk the computer was on, so hopefully they’ve got something from that.” When asked about a possible link to the computer thefts from Kingston Hill, he said: “I think they tried to take other computers from the room at the time, but the one I was using to teach from was the only one not chained down.” While only students are meant to have access to any computer room using their university ID cards, Mr Westbrook said: “One of the technicians told me the door is quite easy to force open when it’s not locked.” He added: “I can’t imagine a second hand iMac, with Kingston University written all over it sells for much.” Kingston Police have been contacted about the thefts and an official comment is expected in the next few days. In March, The River reported how 70 people were targeted by fraudsters using ‘key logging devices’ to record information students typed into keyboards, including credit card numbers, PIN information and passwords.


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Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

NEWS

Dub-steps to success James Baines K0921264

Two KU students have completed sound design work for a new music video by popular Dubstep artist, Modestep. Third year music technology students Tom Smith, 23, and Liam Sharpe, 21, worked with sound assistants Oskar Cizik, 22, and Pete Clifton, 22, to create diagetic sound used for Modestep’s fourth music video. “The animator of the video is a close friend and often plugs my outfit when in need of sound and music,” said Tom. “The name of the video is the track name “Show Me a Sign” and it’s due for release around February time.” Modestep’s videos ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Sunlight’ have each had over 10 million views on YouTube.

Lina Sennevall K0916096

Tom

‘I said I want my money back now’

Students claim letting agency Let-Me denied them their deposits

Myriam Dijck K0949477

A letting agency that has recently gone out of business has been accused by unhappy student tenants of leaving them out of pocket. Let-Me, an agency based in Surbiton run by Kingston graduate Adeel Bhatti, claimed it was student friendly. But tenants have claimed that contract agreements were broken, accounts mixed up and that students have lost deposit money. Oscar Comas, 20, a second year business operations management student, wanted to rent a house with Let-Me in his first year, and was asked to pay a £900 deposit before moving in. He said his parents then transferred the money from his home in Spain, but LetMe denied ever receiving it and did not allow Oscar to move in to his new house. “I realised something wasn’t right,” said Oscar. “I was so angry. I said I want my money back and I want

Forensic students examine mock-up murders

How to deal with letting agencies: Make sure that the agency is a part of a trading association or a letting ombudsman, an organisation that protects the customer’s interests. For private landlords, the person should be registered with the Association of Residential Lettings Agencies (ARLA) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). You must read every page of the conit now.” After threatening legal action Oscar received £780 back from his deposit. Other students have claimed that lets have been poorly looked after. When Ellie Pullen, a third year journalism student, wanted to move into her house managed by Let-

tract and address any problems you have to the landlord or estate agent before you sign it. After it has been signed, keep a copy. When paying your deposit in cash, arrange for a letter to be signed to ensure the agreement from landlord to tenant. If the payment is made via direct debit, have the bank statement as proof of the transfer to avoid future issues.

Me in July 2010, the cleaners were still at the property and the previous tenants had left the house a mess. She said: “We found used underwear. We found knives all over the house. There were big kitchen knives in the bathroom, outside. And we found blood soaked tissue every-

where. “I’ll never use Let-Me again,” she said. “They were very adamant that they were always right and that they had done nothing wrong. It was always either the fault of the previous tenants, or it was our fault, it was never their fault.” Before the agency went

out of business last summer, their total debt allegedly amounted to £200,000 according to a member of staff, Daniel Dow, who said the agency’s money was disappearing and they were not paying the landlords. Mr Dow said: “It was not as if the money that was missing was from last couple of months, some of this money I believe, had been missing for years ago.” Mr Bhatti disputed the amount the company owed and said that he had made arrangements with everyone who is liable to him. “I am not denying my responsibility in what has happened. “I am ultimately responsible and I`m paying the price. It would be easy to paint a picture of a bad man who took people’s money. I don’t know how anybody apart from myself or my accountant who does the books could let you know the exact figures.” “I have made mistakes and I am sorry for the people that have suffered,” Mr Bhatti said.

Kingston’s forensic science students are having to examine blood, saliva and semen, then present their findings at Kingston Crown Court, as part of their degree. The assessment allows students to take part in a unique university experience, but as the day in court accounts for 25 per cent of the overall mark for the module, there is a lot riding on their findings. “They have to assess six mock cases, including stabbings, rapes and murders,” said senior lecturer, Dr Sarah Gardner. “Five students work on each case, examining key items in a laboratory for hair, fibres, glass, blood, semen and saliva and blood pattern analysis, which they write up into a witness statement and then have to defend in court.” Kingston Crown Court has a history of hosting high-profile cases and is an imposing space for the students to make their debut.

Nominate your Kingston society Students involved in any of Kingston University’s 75 societies have been given the chance to nominate their society in the upcoming awards ceremony. This year there are seven awards categories, including Society of the Year, Best New Society, Most Improved Society, Outstanding Contribution to Societies, Most Active Society, Society Achievement of the Year and Society Event of the Year. Societies coordinator Gemma Richens said: “Being involved with a society while at university adds so much to your Kingston experience. Winning an award can only prove further how great your involvement is, but the first step to winning is submitting your nomination.” Nominate your society before 12pm Friday, March 2 2012. The results will be announced at a ceremony on April 25. riveronline.co.uk


Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

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12 River

COMMENT

Comment

The

Sex addict or just horny? River I The River’s Jonathan Phillips tells us why he believes sex addiction is a myth.

Question Mark Questions about university life? Worried about navigating the campus? Got queries about student finances? Perennial retaker Mark will be here every issue of The River to answer all of the above and more. The man with all the answers, Mark has been trawling Kingston University campuses since before smartphones. Contact Mark at askmark.river@gmail.com riveronline.co.uk

need it, at least twice a day, every day. I can’t get enough of it. If I don’t get any I go mad, I feel down. It’s not so desperate that I go around breaking into people’s houses to steal money to pay for it. Yes, I am an addict – a chocoholic. I crave the nectar of the cocoa bean in every form. I wasted time denying it but eventually had to face up to my condition. Until recently, I had suffered silently – not even my fiancée knew. I’ve started seeing a therapist twice a month but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll have any effect. I bet you’re thinking: “What a basket case. Therapy for chocolate addiction? Surely a bit of selfcontrol is the

I used one to get over a bout of depression and anxiety. He did a marvellous job (along with the happy pills he prescribed) but that’s not the answer to my current problem. Let’s be honest here, is there even such a thing as chocolate addiction? Didn’t think so. That is how I feel about ‘sex addiction’. To me it appears as a sheer lack of selfcontrol; a yearning for something one derives great pleasure from. You may point out that my opinion is quite a common one, and that I am somehow mistaken. The simple fact that so many voices in the medical community are opposed to classifying this particular condition acts as some proof that there is no clear evidence that allows us to categorize sex alongside alcohol and drugs as addictive.

answer, n o t throwing your money at someone who says they understand your situation and that the solution is to lie on their sofa and spill out your most private thoughts.” Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against therapists;

If the phrase ‘sex addiction’ is not a medical one where did it come from? Had anybody heard of the term before Russell Brand needed to justify his philandering? In this day and age of sexual liberation, we just make up excuses for our actions to make them seem somewhat acceptable to those people that still cling on to a moral code. To not appear completely ignorant, I did a little bit of reading up on the subject. Dr Trisha Macnair wrote on the BBC Health website, and said: “Sex addiction

“To me it appears as a sheer lack of selfcontrol; a yearning for something one derives great pleasure from.”

My housemate is miserable after breaking up with her boyfriend. How can I shake her out of her stupor? Helen Murray, 22 Hit the sympathy wall have you? At first its all hugs and condolences, but after a couple of weeks all the quiet sobbing and crap snow patrol songs coming through My housemate keeps leaving her rice maker on all day. How can I make her stop? Jonjo Neeves, 21 There’s just something so deeply unpleasant about waking up every day in a place that smells like a soggy flat pancake. Maybe it’s my own fault. In ‘08 I

Says

certainly meets some of the criteria for an addiction. Like other addictions, the person is driven by a compulsion to seek out and engage in the behaviour that brings them the benefits or a sort of intoxication that they seek, even though it may cause enormous disruption and even harm to their life. Many of those addicted feel intense shame about their behaviour and are reluctant to talk about it.” I can certainly relate to that with my own problem. I spend 25% of my wages on chocolate, have put on five stone since my addiction started three years ago and couldn’t talk to anyone about it until just recently. I could certainly see her point but then she goes and spoils it when she says: “It’s estimated that six per cent or more of the population experience sex addiction and one in five are women.” If sex addicts don’t come forward then how can you estimate how many suffer from it? Is it a surprise that only 20% of the ‘estimated’ sex addicts in the UK are women? Dr Macnair seems to think that that particular statistic merits particular attention yet. If the esteemed Dr Macnair had written the advice page on chocolate addiction would I be feeling special because only 1 in 8 men suffer from it? Ok, I’ll come clean. I am not a chocoholic; I never have been and, fingers crossed, I never will be. I just wanted the attention, the sympathy, the pills (uh oh, I see another addiction on the horizon). The point I wanted to prove is that, spun the right way, anything can be made out to be worse than it is.

It’s a nightmare when you’re out with your friends, ready to party in your most glamorous outfit only to roll up to the cash point and be told you have maxed-out your overdraft limit. Instead of missing a night out at Oceana, you ring up the local loan company to get a couple of hundred quid instantly transferred to your bank account. Easy, right? Make no mistake it’s one regret that may cost you your uni life. Here at The River we know times are bleak with the constant reminders of the doomed economy: no jobs, no money, no future. But whether it’s a night out with your mates or that extra bit of cash needed to keep your landlord off your back, resorting to payday loan companies is not the answer. While there is no easy solution to a finance conundrum, there are always the more unconventional jobs out there. The River has covered students who worked as models on the side or even as an escort. These jobs may not be for everyone, but there are safer options. Money for your unwanted, cashing in on technology at Cash Converters, or selling unwanted clothes, DVDs, bags and pretty much anything else on Ebay could be the answer. There’s always budgeting. The pint at the end of the day isn’t necessary nor is going to Oceana weekly. If your money woes are truly desperate, pray your mates are nice and willing to loan you cash. If not, try the bank of mummy and daddy.

the door really do get a bit much whilst you’re trying to throw your bunga bunga parties. You need to get them back out into the world in these situations. Wait until they fall into another booze and misery induced coma then see how far out of town you can park them, mattress and all. Think Hangover meets Ham.

Somewhere between waking up in an unknown place in their underwear and trying to navigate their way back through greater London without their wallet, your heartbroken housemate will probably find their lost love has slipped entirely from their mind like shock treatment. I would know from experience.

travelled to Japan to find myself on a shoestring. I found out a lot about myself but we won’t go into that. I blew my budget and all I could afford was rice. The soggy sock smell permeated my pores for months and I will never forget that stench. I feel your pain. All rice machines need water,

so the most obvious sabotage method is to replace the H2O with anything from tabasco to your own urine depending on your level of vindictiveness. I recommend buying some red food dye and leaving sinister messages in their slow cooked rice. Something short and sweet like ‘how long before I eat YOU??’


Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

River 13

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COMMENT

A deserved second chance? After spending four months locked away for his role in the student riots, KU student James Heslip has been reinstated to the university. Two River reporters debate whether students convicted of a crime should be allowed to continue with their studies

Pic: Rex

‘You lost the privilege’ believes Isa Hemphrey

‘Welcome them back’ says Stephanie Davis

A

s Kingston student James Heslip consideration when assessing a student’s walked from the prison gates, he readmission? must have been wondering what If the crime is rape or murder, then the future held for him. of course their readmission may be It has now been confirmed that Kingston outweighed by the potential threat to other University will allow him to continue his students and members of staff. studies. It should also be noted that long-term But the question remains, once a prisoners are able to access free university sentence has been served, should the scales courses. of justice forever weigh against the future There are convicts who have possibly of incarcerated students or should they be never before completed formal education given another chance? It who are allowed to take a appears to me that once the higher education course so sentence has been served, should an ex-convict “Your past should why the debt to society has been be denied the opportunity not haunt you once to complete their course? paid. Why should it have an your debt has been I do not think that impact on the rest of a students should be struck repaid to society” off simply for making a student’s career? I think that everyone mistake. should have the opportunity Serving a prison sentence to have a fresh start, depending on the should be enough to pay for breaking the severity of the crime. law, especially at such a young age. Your past should not haunt you once Rejection from the university would only your debt has been repaid to society. make the student feel more of an outcast Universities should consider the talent of and perhaps lead them into further criminal a student when considering whether or not behaviour. to re-admit them to the institution. I am not saying that the university should If, for instance, a student exhibits great welcome them back with open arms, but skill in their subject of study then it seems the opportunity should be given for the to be a pity to waste the development of student to complete their degree. talent when a student has served their time. Pastoral care seems more appropriate Surely, the type of crime which has than further punitive sanctions such as been committed should be taken into upholding the expulsion.

W

e all let ourselves go at univerIt should not be a case of who gets to consity. Some of us drink too much, tinue their studies depending on how severe some of us don’t do the washing their crime was. If you committed a crime, up for a week and some of us sleep until 4pm then you should be automatically kicked out. (guilty). You have messed up - time to start all over Unless you are hoping to be an unem- again. ployed bum, this is the only time of your life And if you think I’m being too harsh, then when you can enjoy that lifestyle. consider these two things. Committing crime, however, is a whole Firstly, if our university starts getting a different ball park. Students may not always reputation for letting criminals continue their be upstanding members of society, but you studies, then this will have an adverse effect still have to obey the law like on the level of future applieveryone else. cants wanting to study here. When you break it down to may not seem to have “Breaking the law a This the fundamentals, breaking direct effect on you, until the law is proof that you can is proof you can no the funding the university no longer function in civil longer function in gets from tuition fees drops society. and suddenly we start having civil society” Therefore, you should to make cut backs. have certain privileges taken Secondly, how comfortaway from you. able could you study with Education is a privilege; being accepted someone who has, God forbid, been convictinto university is a privilege. When you ed of something violent or dangerous? How waste your hard work at university by get- would that affect your ability to study? ting yourself arrested, it’s a slap in the face to University is meant to be a safe environthe tutors who taught you and the person who ment to learn and grow. didn’t get into university because you were a This should not be ruined by those who better candidate. want to make life difficult for themselves by Therefore, I believe that if you do commit breaking the law. a crime and you have been found guilty of This discussion isn’t over. it, you should not be allowed back into uni- Scan the QR code to join versity. it online and let us know Universities should be more vigilant about which side of the argument their attitude towards this. you’re on riveronline.co.uk


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14 River

Features

Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

The sham

Hollywood blockbuster Shame portrays the harrowing world of sex addicts. Two Kingston students tell Mashaal Mir how their addiction is ruining their lives

D

ressed in a grey cardigan and loose navy blue jeans, Kingston University student Derek* is a rather good-looking guy. The enchanting musk-like aroma of his cologne is strong, but not overpowering. With dark chocolate brown hair and soft, delicate almond eyes, he seems in complete control. But beneath the enticing smile, the 23-year-old has locked away a dark and guilt-ridden secret. Derek is a medically diagnosed sex addict. According to Newsweek, the infamous addiction is on the rise. Once largely considered a ‘Hollywood phenomenon’, the epidemic of sex addiction is no longer constrained to movies and film actors. For Derek, who says he stopped counting how many women he’s slept with after number 50, the often ridiculed addiction, especially by men, is all too real and all too severe. “There are times when I’ve stood in the shower for an hour after having sex with some random girl, just scrubbing myself until I bleed,” he says and rolls up his sleeves to show rashes along his arm. “I feel disgusting and I want to throw up. I want to cut and scratch myself until the filth within me is out of my system, out my mind and heart. “But no matter how hard and long I scrub, the monster won’t wash away. He won’t die.” Derek grew up with three older

brothers and a father who didn’t mind encouraging sexual behaviour. When Derek was eight, he became familiar with pornography and it wasn’t long after that he had his first sexual experience. “I lost my virginity at the age of 14 and instead of being upset about it, my Dad congratulated me and said manhood was defined by how

“Looking at other men dominating women wasn’t enough” many women you sleep with,” recalls Derek. “If I had a girlfriend, he would say: ‘you’re not supposed to be interested in the woman, it’s all about the pussy. What are you waiting for?’” According to Derek, his sex life steadily grew during college, yet it wasn’t until he came to university that his lifestyle exploded and started to get out of control. “Masturbating wasn’t satisfying anymore. It would entertain me for a bit, but I’d easily get bored, restless and looking for something more,” he says and shifts uncomfortably in the chair. “Looking at other men dominating women wasn’t enough. I wanted to do it as well.” Many people often confuse sex addiction with simply enjoying the act of sex. While individuals who enjoy sex are undertaking a healthy lifestyle, sex addicts specifically have sex in order to resolve more complex, unresolved psychological

Shame , starring Michael Fassbender, explores the world of sex addicts

riveronline.co.uk

Pic: Rex

and emotional issues. And just like any other addiction, individuals addicted to sex desperately seek their ‘high’. “For me, my addiction is the sight of the woman underneath me,” Derek says. “Watching her moan and squirm is like snorting several lines of cocaine in one go. I feel powerful and God-like.” However, the more severe the addiction, the stronger the drug dosage. Derek confesses that his addiction has often made him go through a ‘manic’ period: fuelling nights of threesomes and hardcore sex orgies. His peak, he says, was having sex with nine different women in five days. “There are days where I feel like a king. I can get any woman I want and when I see my other friends pathetically hitting on women and not getting anywhere, it makes me feel superior,” he says. “But when I have threesomes, foursomes, or go to sex parties, I feel ashamed and like I am spiralling out of control.” Derek contacted his father for help and advice, only to be told that

“The feeling of guilt, shame and self-disgust is overwhelming” it was “normal for guys to sleep around and that if a guy wasn’t having sex with different women, there was something wrong.” It wasn’t until an incident at a night club, and an intervention by his friend, that Derek finally came to realisation that he needed professional help and joined therapy. “I just saw this girl on the couch, laying there unresponsive and clearly drunk,” Derek says and his voice cracks. “That was the first time in my life I had considered taking clear advantage of a woman. I was desperate for my fix and I saw a clear opportunity. When I was about to pick her up to take her to my place, my friend basically dragged me outside and said: ‘you have a serious problem and you need help. What you were about to do in there, that’s rape.’” “People think sex addiction is just some excuse celebrity guys invent if they can’t keep it in the pants,” Derek says. “No one understands the repercussions of sex ad-

According to several reports, sex addiction is on the rise in both men and women. The addictio

diction. The feeling of guilt, shame and self-disgust is overwhelming and at times unbearable. “You think I like not being able to have a solid relationship? I can never tell a woman about who I really am. If I did, no one would ever touch me again.” Yet, despite sex addiction predominantly being seen as a ‘male problem’, women too are affected. According to the BBC, one in five

“No one understands the repercussions of being a sex addict.” sex addicts are women. But, the underlying reasons for why some women become sex addicts are different. Eva*, a third-year student, lost her virginity at the age of 18 to a random man she met. Her encounter, which left her feeling “used and dirty”, was the trigger to an unhealthy relationship with sex. Eva suggests that her addiction to sex is about dealing with a low

self-esteem after years of feeling inferior to her more seductive and pretty friends. “If a guy wanted sex, that meant I was desirable and attractive,” she says. “The whole process of sex is addictive, from the seduction to the climax. My high is the look of satisfaction and ecstasy on the guy’s face while we’re having sex. This was my way of connecting with love. Knowing that I’m giving him bliss and he desires me is my drug. It’s like being in a trance.” Eva says she realised she was a sex addict when she became careless and went out of her way to have sex, even if it meant destroying relationships. She ended up sleeping with three of her friends’ boyfriends. “During the moment, you don’t feel anything, and you certainly don’t think. There have been countless times when I have had unprotected sex,” she admits. “But when I get that one moment alone and I get down from the high, everything slowly comes crashing down. I re-


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eful addiction How to know if you’re an addict Sexual addiction refers to the phenomenon in which individuals report being unable to manage their sexual behaviour. Sufferers experience mood swings and withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop having sex for a prolonged period of time. Ten telltale signs your sexual behaviour is becoming addictive: 1. Frequently engaging in sex with different partners. 2. Being preoccupied with sex and neglecting work, school or family in pursuit of sex. 3. Engaging in excessive masturbation. 4. Frequently visiting prostitutes. 5. Feeling guilt or shame after sexual actions or thoughts. 6. Frequent changes in mood including extreme highs and lows. 7. Spending considerable time in activities related to sex, such as looking for partners and spending hours looking at porn. 8. In severe cases, indulging in exhibitionist activities. 9. Excessive engaement in phone or cybersex. 10. Continually engaging in sexual behavior despite consequences, such as broken relationships.

A Hollywood Problem?

on remains a controversial topic both in the medical and public domain

alise that I can’t undo what I have done. The feeling of betrayal and disappointment is overwhelming. I feel this disgust towards myself, as if I were this piece of trash.” Several sex addicts talk about ‘cleansing’ themselves after sex in hope of destroying all memory of the episode. Any evidence of it evokes strong physical reactions. “I remember cleaning myself after I had sex with this random guy from Oceana,” Eva says. “I threw up because the traces of what I had done sickened me.” Eva, who once slept with four men in two days, says that women don’t speak out about sex addiction in fear of being labelled as “whores and easy”. “I thought that sex was a tool that I had complete control over, but in reality I was becoming a slave to sex. It had control over me,” she says. The legitimacy of sex addiction as an actual addiction is still a matter of heated discussion within the medical and public domains, but

Pic:Rex

Eva is focused on improving her self-esteem while Derek continues to go to therapy. He doesn’t have ‘manic’ periods anymore, and he’s down to sleeping with six women a week. “My friend who basically saved me is now my flatmate,” he says. “He helps me stay away from clubs and if I need to talk, he’s willing to listen.” “There are days when I think I’m going to get over my problem. Then I look around and realise just how deep I am in and maybe I will never make it out. But I’m not going to let the monster win, I won’t allow it.” *Names have been changed

Sex addiction made headlines in 1990 when actor Michael Douglas confessed to being a sex addict. Since then, many more have stepped out as sex addicts. Is sex addiction a ‘Hollywood problem’?

“If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women. There were points in my life where I felt oddly irresistible to women. I’m not in that state now and that makes me sad.”

“I’m not a sex addict.” X-Files actor David Duchovny told Playboy magazine in 1997. He later checked into rehab to cure his habit, stating: “I have voluntarily entered a facility for the treatment of sex addiction.”

Russell Brand

Scan the QR code to go to www.sex-addiction.co.uk if you need further advice on any of issues in this article

Pic: Google

“ I became quite addicted to that world of casual sex and drugs and criminality. And rather liked it... When I was at my most promiscuous, I was like a charging locomotive.” Jack Nicholson

Pic: Rex

David Duchovny

Pic: Rex

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FEATURES

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Don Draper MAD MEN Ever find yourself watching the likes of Peter Andre, banging your head on a table in despair while asking “what happened to us men?” Do you yearn for the days when girls went wild for the Rat Pack, not JLS? Well the Don Draper look is the one for you. Star of Mad Men, the American TV series about a New York advertising agency in the 1960s, Draper is the epitome of cool with his dapper suits, trademark trilby’s and not a diamante earring in sight.

Clockwise from Above: Brown Trilby Debenhams £7.50, ASOS Derby Shoes With Leather Sole And Rope Insert ASOS £54.00, Dark Sand Taylor Peak Suit Topman £160

Joey Essex TOWIE

Take being called a ‘Ken Doll’ as a compliment? Is Club Tropicana era George Michael your style icon? Spend more time on the sun bed than in the library? Well this look could be for you. Here, Joey Essex, star of The Only Way Is Essex turns the clock back to the 1980s with a skimpy stonewash shorts and fluorescent yellow trainer combo. It’s a pretty suave beach look if you ask me. Shame he’s on the red carpet.

Clockwise from Right: Nike Air Max £80, Light Blue Vintage Wash Jeans Topman £28, Grey Scoop Shirt Burton £12.

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FEATURES

Student Screen Style Steals From glamorous reality TV stars to period dramas, TV shows are shaping fashion like never before. George Wright and Lucy Sambrook show us how to look the part, for a fraction of the price.

Woody This Is England Not only is This Is England the best thing to happen to British cinema and TV in years, it has also played a part in the revival of skinhead fashion seeping back onto the high street. You can now just about get away with combining a shaved head, Fred Perry shirt and a pair of Doc Martens without people automatically assuming Nick Griffin is your hero. Here, Woody blends the staple skinhead black boots, check shirt and stonewash jeans with a less familiar head of hair and black cardigan. A nice touch that might cushion the blow a little when you reveal your new look to your mum.

Clockwise from Above: Burton Charcoal Marl Plain Cardigan £20, Dr. Martens Unisex Original 7B10 Boot £51.99, Bleach Wash Vintage Slim Jeans £36.

Amy Childs TOWIE OHMYGOD! SHUTUUUP! Love them or loathe them, the TOWIE crew certainly know how to get noticed in the style stakes. If you want to look like Amy Childs (but probably definitely with smaller boobs) put some zing into your spring by injecting some yellow into your winter wardrobe. Neon colours are still hot on this season’s fashion radar, and a flash of citrus lemon will set off your mahogany coloured tan a treat. To achieve head to toe TOWIE-tastic glamour, wear with New Look’s mock Louboutin heels.

Clockwise from Right: Snake Textured Platforms New Look £24.99, Lauren Goodgers Fake Tan www.glamboutique. co.uk £11.95, Yellow

Photos by: Rex Features, ASOS, Debenhams, Arcadia Group, Beyond Retro, Boohoo, River Island, Rokit, New Look, Dr. Martins, Glam Boutique, Nike.

Joan Holloway MAD MEN

You may not have had the chance to watch this US sitcom, set in the 1960s, but chances are you have heard about its leading lady, Joan Holloway, played by Christina Hendricks, recently took the fashion world by storm. Her sexy vintage style is a celebration of the female silhouette, putting classy back into fashion. The drama has already inspired a Banana Republic collection, and designer Michael Kors based his entire winter collection on the series. If you want the vintage siren look without the smell of mothballs hovering over you, team an ontrend peplum dress with red lipstick and court shoes for the ultimate in ladylike glamour. Clockwise from Above: Turquoise Peplum Dress River Island £40, Moc croc red shopper bag ASOS £45.00, Nude patent court shoes ASOS £25.00.

Lady Mary Downton Abbey They say every trend comes back into fashion eventually, some just take a little longer than others. This blockbusting period drama, set in the roaring twenties, has seen Edwardian elegance make a return to the world of fashion. Forget showing bulging cleavage or slightly too much thigh to attract your Matthew, Downton-style seduction deals in a flash of an ankle or the whisper of lace on a velvet carpet. Make sure to only take inspiration from the upstairs quarters – no one’s going to pull looking like Mrs Pattmore on a Saturday night.

Clockwise from Above: White silk glove Beyond Retro £12, Peter pan white lace collar www.Rokit.co.uk £20, Gold flapper dress: From Wallis £90

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Prehistoric pound shifting with the cavewoman diet Live in a cave? No? You don’t need to look like a cavewoman to eat like one. Natalie Mason puts student Jess Osbaldeston to the prehistoric test

DAY 1

hell, just n e e b ’t n s a 5 ys go it h to eat up to As first da lf e s y m g indin it sounds! n a h t r e d weird. Rem r a h e dinner is times befor oothies carrot soup d - 2 fruit sm n a t u n r e e butt - Homemad with salad n r o u Q f o t - 1 fille en grapes. z o r f f o l u f - Hand & avocado egetables v y e d k e r ix u t m f o d ame - 2 slices n rice & ste w o r b , t le il - Quorn f ectarine. n d n a i iw -Ak

S

DAY 3 My meals are beco ming so unimagin ative, but cooking the same thing every day is quick, easy and relatively cheap. I have lost ab out 3lb so I’m doing somet hing right! Small homemade butternut and carr ot soup 1 fillet of Quorn w ith salad 2 handfuls of froz en grapes Bowl of homemad e soup Quorn fillet, brow n rice & steamed ve getables -

DAY 5

saviour and they y m e ar s pe ra g en Froz r an hour or two te af er tt be ch u m taste so are like sweets but in the freezer. They of rubbish, try them without being full ieting! even if you’re not d t and carrot soup u n er tt bu e ad em - Hom n with salad - One fillet of Quor en grapes - 4 handfuls of froz e soup - Bowl of homemad ith mushrooms - 2 egg omelettes w

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DAY 7

Last day! I can’t say I’m going to be sad to see the back of this. I have lost about 6lb but the question is, would this continue to have an effect after two or three weeks? Maybe I’ll try it again when I have more time. 2 handfuls of froz en grapes Quorn fillet and sa lad Chicken breast, br own rice & steamed vegetables Sea salt chocolate -

erial dieter and Kingston student, Jess Osbaldeston, 21, had tried every trick in the book to lose weight. From the age of ten she had attempted gruelling calorie counting, vegetarianism, weight loss pills and even an all-liquid diet. When 2012 arrived, so did the resolution to lose weight and the prospect of yet another hopeless diet, at least that was until she heard about something a little more primeval. At the dawn of time, man and woman would live in caves, hunt for food and grunt their way through conversations. Millions of years and thousands of fad diets later, all we’ve learnt about weight loss is that we haven’t actually learnt anything. Introducing the not-so-brand-new cavewoman diet, a prehistoric way of eating from the Stone Age. The cavewoman diet initially sparks ideas of throwing clubs around, fighting wild beasts and being dragged by the hair, but the reality is slightly less extreme. Only slightly. The diet takes us back to our roots with the theory that we still have the survival instincts and digestive systems of our cave dwelling ancestors. In English that translates to eating like when we were first born, so no convenience meals, no fast food, nothing processed, very little dairy, no cured meats, no grains and not much of anything else. Food portions are on the miniscule side, as are the calories and main meals are to be eaten slowly over two to four hours. If you really want to go hard core you should eliminate all foods that come in a box, packet or jar and all drinks that come in a bottle or can. For the purpose of this experiment we wanted to keep Jess alive and well, so we allowed her to trade stream water for bottled and the hunting of animals for shop bought meat. The technical bit of the diet is based on the survival technique of cavemen and women, who had no other option than to eat just one meal a day. However, as we evolved so did our eating habits

Jess lost 6lb in a week

Pic. Jess

and here we are today eating three meals, snacking in-between and indulging in the odd takeaway, bit of chocolate or cheeky meal out. Diet experts say our insides have the same capabilities now as they did several million years ago and our increasing food consumption has meant piling on the pounds and slowing down our metabolism, leaving us a nation of overweight people. Research has shown that eating just one main meal a day could lower insulin levels and reduce the fat your body stores. With periods of fasting throughout the day your body will likely burn more calories than you’re actually consuming, resulting in greater weight loss. Public health nutritionist, Yvonne Wake said: “This type of intake contains all the right foods to give good nutrient content, and leaves out the bad additives found in processed foods which have been poisoning us over the past 30 odd years. It is a very strict style of eating but will work fine if the person sticks to it religiously, which is a challenge with most people as we are a nation of socialisers and alcohol eventually creeps in.” We decided to test the theory ourselves and set Jess the task of a seven-day attempt at the cavewoman diet, trading panini’s and Pepsi Max for lots of raw fruit and veg. The result? A 6lb weight loss but a very tough seven days. Preparing meals took hours and eating them even longer but the diet was a success, even if a slightly shaky one. Why not give it a go?


ENTERTAINMENT

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Entertainment

Chiddy Chiddy Bang Bang Chiddy Bang talk to Niya Sinckler about hiding from fans, breaking Guinness World Records and their latest album

Chidera Anamege (right) and Noah Beresin enjoy global success as rap duo Chiddy Bang

The new album, Breakfast, is released on February 28.

Pics: Billboard

My heart is not your stereo Anshu Pandit K0931121 Whether it is playing in Oceana or the local shop, Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes, featuring Adam Levine from Maroon 5, is an incessant annoyance that follows me wherever I go. Despite my antipathy for Levine’s whinging, high-pitched voice, this track is unfortunately one of the better ones off the group’s fifth album, The Papercut Chronicles II. It lacks the brilliance of Cupid’s Chokehold, the single that led them to mainstream popularity in 2005. While the band has previously excelled with their rock/rap fusion songs, their new beats, reminiscent

of Kanye West’s College Dropout album from 2004, fails to impress. The Stephen Hawking-esque electronic voice in the introduction track is simply baffling. The lyrics in most of the songs are juvenile and sound like a 12-year-old wrote them. But played-out beats and dull lyrics are not the only issues with this album. It would seem the band ran out of songs to fill the record, because there are three (yes, three) versions of Stereo Hearts, each one worse than the version before. However, the album is not a complete mess. Tracks such as Holy Horseshit, Batman! are promising, with lyrics I would actually sing along to. All in all, if this album were to

play on the radio, I would listen to it softly in the background while I was driving, but only if I hated everything else playing on the other channels. I would never turn up the volume and actively listen to it. Save your money on this one and join me in hoping that front

man Travie McCoy’s solo career picks up again, so he releases another single that is on par with Billionaire. The Papercut Chronicles II is released on February 28. Rating: 2/5

Pic: Rex

the FREE magazine BY Kingston students FOR students

Last March at the MTV O Music Awards, Chidera stole the Guinness World Record for Longest Freestyle Rap from M-Eighty. Just a month later they won Best Music Video for their song, Opposite of Adults, at the MTVU Woodie Awards. “It felt so great to be recognised,” said Noah. “I got a wild feeling and hearing the crowd’s reaction and acceptance, I mean… we were sitting in a room with Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose and for fans to agree, it meant it was real.” Chiddy consider the music industry to have been kind to them so far. They have been provided with many opportunities to further themselves but realise it can all be taken away at any moment. They have already released two singles from their upcoming album: Mind Your Manners and Ray Charles, which features a piano riff in the style of American blues musician, Ray Charles.

Something to SHOUT about!

EMI/Parlophone Records, Chiddy Bang produced a follow-up mix tape, Air Swell, which included songs featuring mainstream UK artists. Musical influences for the duo include Jay-Z’s Blueprint album, The Clash, The Roots’ Tipping Point album and Kanye West’s work as a producer. While at Glastonbury Festival in 2010, the duo were forced to hide out in a tent with members of Radiohead and the Gorillaz to avoid the huge crowd of fans. The hip hop artists have played at a range of venues across the world and recall one gig at “this broken down bar in Alabama” for just 15 people. However, their perseverance has gained them a huge following. “The largest audience we’ve had was 14,000 people at the Theatre for the Living Arts in Philadelphia,” Chidera said. “But we take it as it comes. It’s just about harvesting the energy of the crowd.” Their best experience was with Missy Elliott, Busy P, Jack Beats, AC Slater and Brodinsky in an Australian tour with the Parklife Festival. Their success and popularity at Parklife allowed Chiddy Bang the chance to then participate in several other festivals, including Lollapalooza, Bamboozle, Bonnaroo and Wireless.

MOUTH

H

iding from fans in a tent at Glastonbury with Radiohead and the Gorillaz, touring with Missy Elliot, collaborating with Ellie Goulding and Tinie Tempah and breaking a Guinness World Record - it is clear that hip hop duo Chiddy Bang have had a busy journey. The American artists, famous for their song Opposite of Adults which sampled MGMT’s Kids, were surprisingly humble as they recalled their rapid rise to fame. “Each plateau is a challenge similar to a feudal analogy. It’s as though you are a peasant or a farmer pleasing a king in Medieval Europe,” said Noah Beresin. “It’s those moments, the ‘oh my God, I’m here’,” he added. “It’s the first time faces know all the words to your song, the first time you’re recognised on the street or asked for an autograph and the first time you bring home a platinum to your mom.” Chiddy Bang formed in 2008, when Chidera ‘Chiddy’ Anamege met Noah ‘Xaphoon Jones’ Beresin at Drexel University in Philadelphia. They collaborated and debuted their first free mix tape, The Swelly Express, in 2009 which led to global success. Chiddy describe their music as “hip hop with alternative rap and some electronic break-beats”. After signing to major label,

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Guns don’t kill people... Giant babies do! Game: Catherine (available on XBox 360/PS3) Laura Varley k0908985 Vincent, a 32 year-old scared of commitment, is having a mental breakdown. Not only is he being haunted by nightmares full of sheep, death and monsters, he’s also just cheated on his girlfriend, Katherine, with a hot blonde, called Catherine. What will he do? Will he survive? Why is he having these bad dreams? You decide.

Catherine is a game full of choices. You, the player, decide how the story - which is far deeper than it first sounds - will turn out. Vincent is not the only one having bad dreams. Young men everywhere are experiencing the same nightmares and are represented as sheep during these nightmares. If they die in their dreams, they die in real life. You must assist Vincent to esADVERTISEMENT

cape these dreams by sliding giant blocks to help him climb to the levels exit. Push and pull the blocks to create climbable stairs, a simple concept which gets more complicated as the puzzles progress. Soon you’ll be solving these puzzles against the clock or whilst being chased by a giant baby who wants to kill you. Even if the puzzles do leave us screaming obscenities at the screen and wanting to throw the

ENTERTAINMENT controller across the room. However, the hard puzzles are worth it, as the story is so surprisingly deep and captivating that you won’t want to stop playing. Plus, there are sections that break up the gameplay a little - it’s not all puzzle solving. After you finish a nightmare sequence, there are several beautifully animated cut scenes to watch and then you get to hang out in the ‘Stray Sheep’. The ‘Stray Sheep’ is a bar which you can play an arcade game, drink, text and chat with other customers. Surprisi n g l y, drinking also helps too. The drunker you get, the faster you can run in your dreams.

Who knew being a binge-drinker had its plus sides? Catherine is a must buy. Just don’t play it in a dark room, late at night by yourself, or you might start having nightmares.

River Rating: 4/5

Games out this month: Laura Varley k0908985 The Darkness 2 Released: Out now Best Price: £36.95 (TheGame-

Collection.net) If you want something more violent, The Darkness 2 provides plenty of gruesome ways to kill enemies. You play Jackie from the first game, a Mafia member who inherited “The Darkness”, a demon that gives you great power. This means you have some tentacle-like monsters hanging over your shoulders, ready to rip your enemies apart, literally. If you enjoy tearing out peoples insides and feeling like a demon god play The Darkness 2. Also, see a psychologist.

SSX Released: March 2nd Best Price: £34.47 (Asda) Can’t afford to go snowboarding? Don’t worry, I know where you can get the best fake snow money can buy. SSX hits the shops on March 2 with mountains to conquer and ridiculous, gravity-defying tricks galore. Race your friends and become the best virtual snowboarder of all time. Tekken 3D Released: Out now Best Price: £29.86 (shopto.net) This game is a true classic and is coming out for 3DS, this time with 100 per cent more feet coming towards your face! Okay, we’re exaggerating a little, but the 3D effects are sure to add more depth to the game... we’ll get our coats.

Film and food remember money savers to cancel before

Going out is expensive, especially for students. The River is here to save you money and bring you the best deals. With cinema tickets getting pricier all the time if you’re a regular cinema-goer it might be worth investing in an Odeon Premiere club card. You can choose to spend your points on drinks, food or cinema tickets. Plus, every Tuesday, members get 25 per cent off their tickets! Or perhaps you’d prefer a quiet night in? Both Lovefilm and Netflix are currently doing 30 day free trials. Just riveronline.co.uk

your free month is up, simple! www.moneysavingexpert. com has some great vouchers including 2 Gourmet Burger Kitchen burgers for £10, buy one pizza and get another for £2.50 at Pizza Express and £10 oWff at Frankie and Benny’s. Check out Student Beans at w w w. s t u d e n t b e a n s . c o m on a regular basis. You’ll need to sign up to access the promotions but they have new deals each day, everything from 2 for 1 Cineworld cinema tickets to 25 per cent of Yo! Sushi.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Lock Stock Star Dexter Fletcher tells students the secrets to success Laura Varley K0908985 You’ve got to want it if you’re aiming for a successful film career, says British actor Dexter Fletcher, star of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Dexter explained the mindset that will bag your dream job. “I’m going to write to all the individual sound recorders out there who stand there on the set with a boom and ask, how do you get to be that guy?’ “Write to them all, it’s about initiative but I think the thing about our industry is that you come in at the bottom and work your way up. You’ve got to want it.” Dexter is looking forward to showing off his directing debut Wild Bill at the fifth BFI Future Film festival this coming weekend, a big change of career path after nearly 40 years of acting. “The response was really good from that teenage audience, so I was keen to get more of that kind of reaction,” he said after last year’s

showcase of Wild Bill at the BFI. Wild Bill follows a father who has just come out of prison after seven years to discover his two teenage boys have been left by their mother to fend for themselves. The story is focused around characters, which the director considers essential. “Obviously the story’s important, but you’ve always got to find good,

“Once the doors are

open, they’re really open”

strong characters to go with it – being an actor I suppose that was my jumping off point and that’s why I worked with the writer to develop a good story for those characters.” Dexter hopes his film will inspire those attending the festival and explained how it takes hard work and dedication to do well in the film industry. Short films are also a great way to get recognised and earn yourself a place in the film world. Dexter

once advised a young runner on a film set to go to film school and was surprised where he ended up. “Four years later when I met [Tom Green] he was directing Misfits because he did a short film at film school that got him noticed. He’s a great director, he’s going to go on and do great things because he had a vision and he found a way of getting it out there. “Short films can be a great doorway and once the doors are open they’re really open, it’s just how you edge them open.” Although you have to work hard to get into the industry, Dexter shows how you can become a director even if you start off an actor, as long as you have an idea you’re passionate about. “You’re not exclusive, once you’re in the world you’re in. That’s what’s exciting about our industry. You can start as a runner and end up someone like Eric Fellner [producer of Shaun of the Dead]. Really, all bets are off.” Fletcher’s Wild Bill is in cinemas nationwide March 30 2012.

Dexter Fletcher is keen to inspire young people to get involved in

Pic: Rex

Film Reviews

Extremely sad and incredibly depressing Isa Hemphrey K0933579 This film is a heart wrenching tale of a little boy who lost his father (Tom Hanks) on 9/11. Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) is a representation of those who are trying to make sense of that day (which the boy refers to as “the worst day”). Oskar is a very intense child who tries to reconnect with his father by searching for the lock to a key he finds in his father’s bedroom. On his journey around New York a year after the terrorist attacks, he meets the weird and wonderful people of the big apple who share their experiences with him. What is quite ingenious is that the film is consistently sad because the audience knows that there is nothing this boy could possibly find that will bring his father back. So you never really feel hopeful for Oskar, you just observe his struggle to come to terms with the fact that his father is dead. You would have to be made of stone not to get very tearful at some of the key moments in this film (it is a 9/11 film after all). Yet the storyline strikes as being too horrible. It’s like all the saddest things you could possibly think of have

You’d be a muppet to miss it Rosie Cope K0900460

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is out now

been thrown into a pot and it has spawned this film. You have a child who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, a father who left messages on the answering machine while he was stuck in the twin towers that this child listens to over and over again, and it’s even got a character who doesn’t talk because something traumatic happened to him. And on top of all that, it’s about 9/11. It’s too much. However, if

Pic: Google

you want a film to cry to for two hours then this is perfect. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a universally depressing film and perhaps it might be a little over the top, but it has a good message and makes an effort to help us reconcile what happened rather than make us re-live it again. Rating: 4/5

The Muppets are back on the big screen after a number of years in an attempt to save their old studio from the clutches of big time oil magnate, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). The story begins when longterm Muppets fan, Gary (Jason Segel) decides to take his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams) on a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate their tenth anniversary. He invites Walter, his puppet brother, along to visit the Muppets theatre where the discovery is made that the property is to be sold and demolished for oil drilling. It is then a race against time to bring together the original Muppets cast in a bid to raise $10m to save the old studio. It wouldn’t be a film if obstacles weren’t thrown in the way and the cast find themselves travelling to Paris to find Miss Piggy – as editor in chief of Vogue Paris (very likely) – where she flat out refuses to help. As well as the main plot the writers have added a side story to this film, because apparently every film needs a love story, and this is where we are taken through an un-

needed detour into the relationship of Gary and Mary. Mary begins questioning the stability and seriousness of their relationship when Gary invites his brother along on their trip and we begin to see this separate story unfold. The numerous A-list cameo appearances from actors and artists such as Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy’s receptionist, Dave Grohl as Animool and Jack Black as himself – almost becomes a game to spot as many celebrities as possible. The acting by both Jason Segel and Amy Adams is fantastic and enthusiastic as the pair brings a more playful and amusing attitude to the film, particularly for individuals, like me, who do not understand the comedy aspect behind using puppets in films. Unfortunately, unlike many other Disney films, the opportunity is missed to encourage a new and younger audience and instead makes way for a nostalgic, ‘same old’ feel for the older generations.

Rating: 3/5

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22 River The

Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

Kingston throw away lead to lose against Brunel Kingston’s ladies lost 55-38 in Wednesday evenings Basketball, despite a brilliant technical display from Asrina Miah which kept the hosts ahead of Brunel for most of the first half. Kingston fought all the way through a very physical game, but could not prevent Brunel University and their most valuable player Faith Okoswa winning the game and securing their place at the top of the table. “I believed in our team, and we gave them a fight,” said Miah. “They were scared of us, and had to start fouling us to win the game.” Brunel have to win their last two games of the season to be sure of promotion and their coach is clear that they have to stay consistent in the remaining tests. “Everyone wants to beat us,” he said. “Just like Kingston, who gave us a hard game today.”

Asrina Miah takes control for Kingston

Kingston take some stick A Nick Cope hat-trick condemned Kingston to a 6-1 defeat against Chichester at Surbiton Hockey Club. Kingston started strongly, dealing capably with what Chichester had to offer, but the visitors scored twice in quick succession to finish the first half, Cope and Ian Davison the scorers. Cope completed his hat-trick after the break with two fine finishes either side of Nathan Palmers fourth. Kingston pulled one back through Chris Podd, but Chichester replied immediately with a goal from Ben Cole, and KU keeper Tom Cleevely admitted they were beaten by a stronger side. “They were well organised and well drilled,” said Cleevely. “We gave a good account of ourselves, but they were the better team.” riveronline.co.uk

SPORT

Super-bad River Sport talks to ex-Kingston University student, MBE and Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms about education, London 2012 and Seething Wells fire alarms. Andrew Murphy K0915001 At the 2004 games in Athens, Badminton starlet Gail Emms became the first of former Kingston University alumni to stand on a summer Olympic podium, taking silver in mixed doubles with partner Nathan Robertson. Emms retired four years later after reaching the quarter finals with Robertson in Beijing, and she now looks back at Kingston University as being a major catalyst for her sporting successes. “I learned so much at university,” says Emms. “I matured at university, I grew up at university. I learned so much about life. It’s not just about ‘can you hit the shuttle harder’ or ‘can you run faster’, it’s about making decisions under pressure. I think university really helped me with that.” Those life skills didn’t come immediately though, she admits. “I set the fire alarm off in Seething Wells about five times doing my ironing and cooking, and I always blamed it on someone else.” Emms (now an MBE) studied Sport Science at KU, and made full use of the university’s thriving sporting community, something she has fond memories of. “I played a bit of netball, hockey, just whatever was going re-

ally,” she says. “It’s just a fantastic way of enjoying sport, the whole Wednesday afternoon of just going off and playing a sport.” Nonetheless, she is a great advocator of education, even for the most talented of sportsmen and women. “Sport is an amazing opportunity. If you get the opportunity to go and have a career as a professional sportsperson you are very, very lucky. There are so many people trying for it and only a few get there. But you could easily get an injury – you could break your leg, get a cruciate injury, anything – and that could be your career over. I think that (an education) is as important as learning about sport.” Emms is one of the millions of Brits eagerly anticipating the London 2012 games, and recalls how Barcelona gave her the fire to succeed twenty years ago. “For two weeks I just didn’t move from the TV, I was just absolutely gobsmacked by how amazing it was, and watching our GB heroes going away with medals really gave me something to work on. “As a 15-year-old girl who wasn’t quite sure - with parties, the going out, the drinking, all the other things that go on with teenage life – for me to watch the Olympic Games just made me think ‘I want

Emms competes in her final Olympics

to do that’, rather than go out and party.” The last Olympic games in Beijing were Team GB’s most successful for a hundred years, and Emms is confident that this team can emulate those 47 medals but thinks it is dangerous to compare London 2012 to past games. “You can’t compare it really. Sydney in 2000 was considered the best Olympics. Athens had all the history and Beijing was just completely spectacular. I don’t think it can compare on paper, but what it can do is be really British, and what we need in this country is to make

Pic: Rex

sure it provides a legacy for sport.” “For me it’s got to be more than just two weeks in the summer for the Olympics and Paralympics, it’s got to be a lifetime for legacy, and I think if we can do that then London can be an extra special Games.” And it’s a legacy which she thinks can run on in British sport for generations. “We need to inspire lots of young people and young children to get into sport. It just takes one or two to set themselves something to aim for and I think if we can do that, with this Olympic Games, then our country can really benefit.”

Surrey too strong for Kingston girls Kingston University Surrey

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Rebecca Coles K0902299 Kingston fell down to a strong Surrey side on Wednesday, despite a stronger performance by goal defence Zoe Barnes. Kingston started confidently at Surrey Sports Park, but cracks began to show after Surrey took the lead and the first quarter ended 166.

Spearheaded by captain Asha Phillips, Kingston managed to gain some control control the second quarter of the game. Nonetheless, Surrey were able to amass an eight point lead by the end of the second period, despite some brilliant play from Phillips which gave the visitors a glimmer of hope. After the game Phillips said: “Its really unlucky for Kingston as we played so well, but we will get them next time”. Kingston were well motivated but unable to prevent a Surrey victory

as the hosts ran away with the game – 30 points to the good. Helen Humphrey, President of Kingston University Netball Team said: “I want to work on feeding into the circle and keeping team sprits up even if we are losing the game, we must remain on a high throughout.” Surrey captain Gillian Lord was jubilant following the win: “I’m so happy with my team, they played great and the opposition were too. At certain points it could have gone either way.”


The

Boxing clever

Kingston hope they won’t be punching above their weight next week

Matthew McEvoy K0808894 Kingston University boxers are looking to pave the way to gold as they travel to Sheffield to fight in next weekend’s British University Championship preliminaries.

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Friday February 17 - March 1 2012

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The five-strong team will face stiff competition from across Britain, but maintain their relatively inexperienced squad will come out on top. The new look, all-male squad will be fighting at a variety of different weights from 54kg to 81kg.

Pic: Matthew McEvoy

Head Coach “T” Hassan is confident the team will build on previous success, namely a haul of British University and College Sport’s (BUCS) gold medals that dates back to 2007. He said: “We are definitely confident. If everything goes to plan, we

envisage that we will return with at least four gold medals, at the very least four silvers.” The team consists of architecture student Nabiel Malik, 20, who will be fighting at the lightest weight of 54kg, geology student Ayo Salami, 21, at a catch-weight of 63.5kg, computer science student Tomasz Koprowski, 23, at 71kg, business management student Loukas Baltzoglou, 20, at 75kg and pharmacy student Darien Appieh-Kusi who will be weighing in at the heaviest weight, 81kg. The team is lacking in actual ring experience, yet Hassan insists it is all relative, as preparation has been highly intense. He said: “Though we lack in experience in terms of ring time, we are highly prepared in terms of conditioning. “They are working at a rate that isn’t comfortable for them, but will force them to react as if it were a second nature. Their work rate will be so high it will push them outside of their comfort zone.”

A game on their hands Martin Mork K1048858 Kingston are without a competing handball team, despite healthy interest from students, and Thames Handball Club manager Frank Wuggenig hopes that this year’s Olympics might be just what the university needs. London 2012 sees Great Britain compete in the handball competition for the very first time and, with the Olympic Games’ reputation for increasing interest in different sports, a Kingston University handball side might not be too far off either. Former KU lecturer and manager of Thames Handball Club, Frank Wuggenig, says that interest is already growing: “Two years ago I had one or two e-mails a week with handball questions and about one or two interested players every month. Now it is three or four enquiries a day.”

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SPORT

Gail Emms talks

Kingston boxers gear

Olympics and

up for impending

Kingston University

British preliminaries

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Page 23 Kingston ride the challenge of Brunel with ease

Pic: Asmatullah Yaqhubi

Sixy time Kingston romp their way to the top with 6-1 win over Brunel Lars Thomesen K0929606 Matt Hammett created four of the goals to spearhead Kingston men’s first XI to a 6-1 victory against Brunel at Tolworth. The win lifted KU above their visitors to the top of South Eastern League 4C and enhanced their already healthy goal difference. The mercurial Hammett was a constant thorn in the visitors’ side. He tormented Brunel’s defence and twice put Gareth Chendlik clean

through, with Kofi Wiredu and Yaniek Monrose the others to benefit from the impeccable service. Two goals by Hassan Al-Haddad added to the tally, handing Kingston their second biggest win of the season and conserving their unbeaten record at home. Visit us online for full match reports

Women fight back to beat Roehampton Kingston University Roehampton

2 on Wednesday with a 68th-min1 ute winner from Sue Wynes.

John Bevan K818161 Kingston Women’s first XI came from a goal down to earn a 2-1 victory at home to Roehampton

Roehampton had taken the lead through Kim Wallace in the 32ndminute, with Leanne Davidson equalising for the home side after the break but Kingston wasted numerous chances throughout and should have increased the scoreline

even further. Kingston camped in the visitors’ half for much of the game and Roehampton’s only option was to catch them on the counter attack. Against the run of play, Wallace received the ball on the edge of the area and smashed home. Kingston started the second half

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with renewed vigour, Tansey and Ames controlling the midfield and working Roehampton into submission. Constant pressure produced a stunning exchange for Kingston’s equaliser. Wynes eventually found the winner for unbeaten Kingston, keeping them top of the South

Eastern League 2A.


River Issue no.52