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13-26 OCTOBER 2017






Kingston’s popular nightclub will close as council approves new town center plans BY STINE ARNULF

Students were left in mourning after it emerged that the Hippodrome nightclub is set to close after Kingston council approved plans to redevelop the town centre.. One of Kingston students’ favourite nightclubs could be closed within weeks

when it is knocked down as part of the redevelopment of Eden Walk, the council has decided. The owners of the Hippodrome hope to convince the council to allow them to continue operating until the end of 2018. “Hippodrome is where you come to escape the stress of life and spend a few hours in a blissful wonderland. It will be sadly missed,” drama student Natasha-Dawn

Bignell, 22, said. The town centre has always provided entertainment for KU students and others in the area. But now that Pryzm will be the only major club left, it will have monopoly and drinking prices will go up, according to Lib Dem councillor and owner of New Slang, Jon Tolley. TURN TO P4



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Kingston students left split over new Canvas system BY ELENA CHERUBINI

Kingston University’s new virtual learning environment (VLE), Canvas, received a warm welcome from freshers but continuing students are struggling to adapt. A survey by The River showed that although a majority of second and thirdyear students find Canvas easy to use, 67 per cent of them would have preferred keeping StudySpace in place. “It is not too bad but I guess like any system you just get used to it once you have been exposed to it long enough. I would have preferred StudySpace because everyone was used to it,” third-year sport science student Osai Joseph said. The launch of Canvas has been plagued with several start-up issues, including problems accessing reading lists, pages not being authorised and sluggish loading times. MacBook users have experience several difficulties accessing and downloading material but a troubleshooting

document has been sent to staff to help them resolve the issue. Deepa Baby, pharmaceutical science student, said: “I think I would have preferred StudySpace. Canvas is a bit confusing for me. I just wanted to print something and it took me 15 minutes trying to find out where the thing was. Studyspace was so much easier, you just had to sign in and everything was there.” Foundation and first-year students, who did not use StudySpace in the past, have shown a positive attitude towards Canvas’ features and layout, with 81 per cent of them fining it easy to use. They described it as user-friendly, easy to navigate and organised. Although they had some of the same issues with accessing materials, their general opinion was positive. First-year psychology student Jack Barker said: “I think it is great although there are a couple of problems with the reading lists, sometimes it says it is not authorised to get onto the right section.

Confusion over ID checks on Kingston University buses

BY MEGAN FOSTER FLAHERTY KU bus drivers are ignoring their bosses by asking students and staff for ID, forcing them to be late to their lectures. Students have complained to Kingston University about being asked for ID, as well as the buses late arrival times, but nothing has been done. James Hallam, contract account manager for the KU buses, said: “Bus drivers should not be IDing passengers on the services at this time. I have re-communicated this to the drivers.” Student ID cards were sent to the wrong campuses at the beginning of the year, leaving first year students struggling to travel to and from university. First year business student Adrian Jørgensen Sandli, 19, said he’s been

turned away from the bus but that it was okay for bus drivers to ID people as “the bus is for KU students and staff and not anyone who wants a free bus ride.” A former KU student Brogan Maguire, 20, said: “When my friend and I got on the bus, he asked for ID which was a first for both of us. I said that we didn’t have them with us, and the bus driver got frustrated but said he’d let us get away with it just this once.” A Kingston University spokesperson said: “The University is committed to helping students travel between campuses as easily as possible by providing access to a free and safe bus service. Drivers working on the Kingston University services are not required to ask people using the

I have had only a couple of minor problems but I find it really easy to use besides that.” Not every continuing student misses StudySpace. Some are happy about the change which they describe as “very beneficial” even if they agree that it will take time to get used to it. Anique Sasha Allen-Hilaire, second-year psychology student, said: “I think StudySpace had less issues with reading lists but when Canvas gets properly introduced and everyone gets used to it then hopefully everything will be sorted.” Canvas’ faculty champion and senior lecturer in psychology Dr Nora Vyas recognised that there have been issues with some of Canvas’ features in the opening phase but she is confident that they will be resolved in the coming weeks. Regarding students being reluctant towards the system she said: “Change it is always going to be a bit challenging but I think when they [the students]

look into the benefits Canvas offers then we will see the effect.” “The University initiative at the moment is about providing the best teaching experience so that students can make the most out of their education and this system does that,” she added. The decision to move to Canvas was due to StudySpace’s contract with the University expiring and it not being renewed. Senior management, lecturers and staff from all the departments have spent several hours since last year attending training to learn how to use Canvas. Forensic science lecturer Dr Layla Renshaw said: “Transitioning to Canvas was quite a large investment of time but I would describe it as generally smooth. “I think quite rapidly students will become more confident and more experienced using it and once that happens will definitely be worth it.”


Farewell paper registers at KU Business school BY SYNNE JOHNSSON Students at Kingston Business School now have to check into lectures via an app or tapping their KU ID cards onto readers located in each room. The system, called a supportive attendance scheme, will replace registers kept by lecturers and will be rolled out to students in the other faculties next year. “There is a wide body of research that demonstrates that those students who actively engage with all aspects of University life, including full attendance at timetabled events, are more likely to be successful in their studies,” a Kingston University spokesperson said. The University said it recognises that poor attendance may indicate that students are experiencing personal challenges and hopes that asking students to register their attendance, will make it easier to signpost anyone with difficulties to appropriate specialist support at an early stage. “I think the new system is a lot better than keeping a register on a piece of paper. It is also a lot more environment friendly,” business management student Silje Gjølstad, 22, said.

It’s all a... THE RIVER

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BLUR KU student so drunk she broke into her ex’s house BY BECCA DIFFORD-SMITH

We all get drunk and make stupid decisions from time to time, like blacking out and forgetting how we got home, spending an obscene amount of money on drinks or sending multiple texts to an ex-boyfriend. But one KU student broke into her ex-boyfriend’s house in the first week of Fresher’s Fortnight because she convinced herself that they had not broken up. Graphic design student, Tess Edwards, 20, picked the lock of Will Hoskin’s side door on Denmark Road at around 11pm on Tuesday September 19 and snuck into his house whilst he was home alone. “I tapped him on the shoulder and he just freaked out,” Edwards said. “He jumped up and ask me how I got in, I remember saying I didn’t believe we had broken up and that we were still together. Apparently I was wrong.” Edwards had planned to go for quiet drinks at The Mill on Kingston`s riverside with her friends to take her mind off the breakup. Later that night her friends took her home because she had vomited on herself. Edwards said: “My friend was walking me back to my house, but the route we took went straight past my ex’s

house. I made a beeline for his house without warning and tried to find a way to get in.” “The more I drank the more I realised how upset I was so I kept drinking more and more. I literally drank my feelings away until I thought breaking in and asking for him back was a good idea.” Edwards said that Hoskins walked her home to make sure she was safe af-

Tess breaking into her ex’s house ter they had talked things through. The day before the break-in, Hoskins met with Edwards and ended the seven-month relationship because it was not working for him. Elizabeth Jarratt, Edwrd’s housemate, was at home at the time of the break-in and confronted Edwards as she arrived home covered in vomit, accompanied by her ex-boyfriend.

She said: “She was in quite a state, I had to clean her up and put her to bed. I think he was very confused as to how she had got in his house.” Edwards drank an entire bottle of wine and had spent over 20 minutes vomiting in the toilets of The Mill. She describes the night as “a bit of a blur”.

Photo: Becca Difford-Smith When asked how she felt the next day, Edwards said: “I felt so embarrassed. I had vomited on myself and broke into my ex’s house. Not the best night on record. My gead was also pounding from all the wine.” Edwards and her botyfriend have not reconciled their relationship since the incident. Hoskins has declined to comment.

KU graduates make furniture from potatoes BY ELENA CHERUBINI

Freshers at Roehampton Vale freshers fayre

Photo: Hannah Roberts

Roehampton Vale’s first freshers fayre a success BY HANNAH ROBERTS Roehampton Vale hosted a Student Union fayre on Wednesday September 27 to include the engineering campus in festivities usually reserved for Kingston Hill and Penrhyn Road. Patrick Tatarian, Roehampton

Vale Officer, hoped that the union day would make the university seem less “Penrhyn Road-central”. He said: “We have four campuses, and the students especially on this campus do feel like they’ve been very under-represented for many years, primarily because it’s quite out of the way to get here.

“That’s why we want to come out here and show these students that the union is here for you guys.” Students competed in a table tennis tournament for a chance to win a Kingston University hoodie and headphones. Twenty-year-old Maheshwaree Mattabaddul, an actuarial science student, said: “It’s good to have some activities

Two Kingston University graphic design graduates used potato skin to create a new material which can replace any man-made wood product in furniture making. Rob Nicoll, 23, and Rowan Minkley, 22, developed Chip[s] Board, a biomaterial from potato peelings as hard and resistant as medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and caqn be used to manufacture furniture. “Chip[s] Board can completely eradicate woods and be used as a long-term material but if you do need to be able to make temporary structures it doesn’t

Rob Nicoll, 23 have that kind of damaging effect from non-recycling materials,” Minkley said. From collecting the peelings it takes about a week to have a fully formed

board. The process is completely natural and only water is added to the final product. “We collect peelings which would normally be going to a compost or landfill and then we put them through a few processing stages which include compression and baking,” Minkley said. “It is during the compression and the baking that it moves from being like a pulp to a very dense and compact material.” Being sustainable and biodegradable, it will break down if soaked in water or left outdoors for too long. If kept inside Chip[s] Board has the possibility of lasting forever.

However, MDF, the competing material, is not water resistant either and if it gets wet it starts to break down. “It is not waterproof because it has to biodegrade but it is just as water resistant if not a tiny bit more than MDF,” Nicoll said. “We see the fact that if you leave it outside it will degrade as a huge upside. “We’re not trying to make a material that does more, we are trying to make a material that replaces. If it does more than that’s always good.” From an economic perspective producing Chip[s] Board is cheaper than MDF as there are no upfront costs. “With us the only cost we would

have before manufacturing would be delivering the waste to our facility,” Nicoll said. “We are not only not buying the wood, we don’t happen to buy the chemicals and the resins that also go into MDF.” The twos tudents developed the material during the first term of their third year at Kingston as part of a university project. Several people have approached the team to get involved with their work. “One thing we really found is that the interest for our material is there, when people find out what it is and they see how strong it is then they are all really enthusiastic about it,” Nicoll said.


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13-26 OCTOBER 2017


KU students ‘heartbroken’ at news of Hippodrome closure FROM PAGE ONE

“The Hippodrome was one of the first clubs I ever went to in Kingston, and it was a fantastic experience,” medical biochemistry student Freddy Gamble, 20, said. “It will be truly heartbreaking to see it close, being stuck with Pryzm to go out is not what I’d call a good night in Kingston.” The Hippodrome has been important in bringing live music for students through New Slang, which has hosted numerous gigs ranging from both Indie bands to big household names. Fine arts student, Ben Darby, 21, said: “Where do you go if you want a spontaneous cheap night out? Where do you go if you want to see your favourite bands for only £12? Hippodrome, of course” “Kingston is losing a fundamental part of itself and I’m sad that others will never experience Kingston the same way I have.” Tolley believes that the council has ignored students’ views in their decision to redevelop Eden Walk. “I think it’s a nightmare,” Tolley said. “I’ll always believe in nightclubs, but we talk about culture as if it’s only museums and theatre plays. Who’s to say that getting pissed with your mates and singing along to Rihanna isn’t culture? Who says that’s not important?” Tolley said students were often forgotten, but they were actually big contributors to the Kingston economy. The community needs to recognise how much profit clubs like the Hippodrome bring in, how they support pubs, the

Ben (left) and Freddy (middle) regularly visit the club on a Friday stores and food shops around the area. Other venues, such as the Rose Theatre, receive subsidies from the council, which leaves them to document how much revenue is brought in, while the financial and cultural value of Hippodrome is not as visible. “It’s annoying because Hippodrome looks to be closing not because it was going bust, or because it wasn’t making money, but because it’s getting knocked

down, and we should allow something to flourish in its place,” Tolley said. According to the chair of licencing, Ian George, the only other reason for the closure of the club is to reflect the local demand. The councillor said: “There is no reason to expect that large clubs should be exempt from changing tastes in how local residents, including students, wish to spend their leisure time.”

Photo: The Hippodrome Hippodrome will definitely close, but the closing date has not been set. According to Tolley, who works closely with the Hippodrome, the closing date could be next month, or it could stay open until 2020, all depending on pending negotiations. A spokesman from the Hippodrome added: “The Hippodrome has always been a key part of the Kingston night time economy and our focus is on busi-

ness as usual. We’re negotiating with our landlord to keep the venue open until the re-development takes place. This will enable us to keep the doors open until the end of 2018, and possibly beyond.” According to George, the council do not have any specific plans for new music or club venues, but are currently operating off policies introduced by the last Lib Dem administration. Tolley, who is presenting his petition for a new gig venue in Kingston to the council on Tuesday, believes that council leader, Kevin Davis, understands the need for local music venues. “I think he gets it. It’s not his music, it’s not his world, but I think he understands that it’s important,” Tolley said. “The same way that a church is important to some people, and a mosque is important to some people, even if it’s not important to you, you can recognise its value.” George also said that developers might come forward with a planning proposal including a nightclub or music venue at some point in the future, as long as they are convinced it could be financially viable. “But we’ll always have Bacchus. I bloody love Bacchus,” Tolley said. “And it wouldn’t take much for someone in the absence of Hippodrome to be like ‘alright, let’s do it, let’s make this space into a gig venue’.” Tolley is urging people via Facebook to attend the council meeting taking place this Tuesday. The petition has already been signed by over 5,000 people.

Why The Hippodrome has my heart: A eulogy BY BECCA DIFFORD-SMITH

For those of you who don’t know, The Hippodrome was my best friend. It was my soulmate, the only club I could truly rely on for a good time. Dearly loved by most of Kingston’s student population, Hippo has had a long and successful life. Born over 20 years ago, it has served Kingston with cheap drinks, cheap gig tickets and an atmosphere that matched no other club in town. Hippo provided a place for those who didn’t want to pay an extortionate amount of money for a vodka coke, for those who wanted to hear old school classics instead of house remixes of Ed Sheeran, for those who want to dance in trainers instead of six inch heels just to meet a dress code. I remember strawpedoing my £2.50 orange and passionfruit VK many a time

Becca paying her respects outside the venue

Photo: Becca Difford-Smith

while listening to 2009 Taio Cruz and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Hippodrome was not only known for its popular weekend nights but for New Slang’s initmate gigs featuring huge names and indie bands of all genres for just a tenner. During my short but unforgettable time with Hippo I saw Disclosure, Two Door Cinema Club and more, all without breaking my student budget. Hippo truly was a place for everyone and anyone. I spent many friends’ birthdays, uni deadline celebrations and even saw in a new year with you. In fact, I have lost count how many nights I have spent, drunkenly texting the song request number to play Africa by Toto multiple times, beverage in hand, with my friends by my side. Hippodrome, you will be sorely missed by me and by many. You have my heart, forever and always.


Students throwing their graduation caps in celebration Photo: Kingston University

KU Graduations will cost students £200 BY MEGAN FOSTER FLAHERTY & LACEY JONES

Kingston University raised more than £25,000 this year from gowns hired by students at graduation. It costs KU graduates £45 to hire their gowns from tailors Ede & Ravenscroft and Kingston are believed to receive 20 per cent commission. Ede & Ravenscroft were referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for abusing their “dominant market position” but the CMA did not investigate due to an “administrative priority decision”. This summer 2,800 Kingston undergraduates attended their ceremony, with the vast majority hiring Kingston blue gowns and mortarboards. In addition to the gowns, KU raises money through professional photographs, t-shirts, hoodies, bags, personalised jewellery and ticket sales.

KU earned an extra £210,000 in ticket sales from graduates and their family and friends. Students are initially only allowed to purchase two tickets for family and friends, each costing £25, and some students can purchase more depending on availability. Graduation costs Kingston students an average of £196, according to calculations by The River. Although the university claims it makes no money from graduation, students are still angry after paying over £9,000 per year in tuition fees. Actuarial science student Calum Harper, 21, said: “Considering I have given the university £27,000 in the last three years the least they could do is make gown hiring free. Some people might not have been able to afford it. “It isn’t fair especially as you know someone else has worn the gown the

day before and someone else will wear it the next day.” For students who want additional tickets, the booking process is competitive and many miss out on them. Creative writing and drama graduate Megan Blythin, 22, said: “The second I got the email I was on there. I dropped everything I had so I could book the tickets. It wasn’t 100 per cent you were going to get the tickets you wanted.” Students like Blythin who had their graduation ceremony in the evening often wear their robes for as little as a couple of hours but still pay the same amount in fees. Blythin said: “It felt like peer pressure just to get in and out. It felt like a factory, like they were just processing and turning out graduates like they didn’t really give a shit about whether we had a nice time or not. “You could rent the gown for a day

or you could go online and rent it for a week but it was almost triple,” Blythin said. “You could buy it but that was really expensive.” The price of graduating has deterred Kingston students from attending, with 21 per cent not turning up to the ceremony. A spokesperson for Kingston University said: “The income received from ticket sales is invested in organising memorable events for our graduates and their families to celebrate their achievements.” Blythin, who bought her graduation cap (mortarboard) for £43, said: “I like to wear it when people start to question my intelligence.” Lucius Zhang, a forensic science graduate student, said that he knew a lot of students who wanted to purchase the graduation caps as souvenirs, but it was too expensive and they didn’t

Megan Blythin graduting know what they would do with them. Ede & Ravenscroft have refused to comment and although the CMA did not investigate they said the case raised “interesting issues”.


KU rise in rankings BY SOPHIE MCCONNEL Kingston University reached 117th in the Sunday Times Good University Guide; climbing five places. The drop in applications is mainly down to the closure of joint honours courses in the arts and social sciences faculties and also to the fall in demand for health courses experienced by most universities since the withdrawal of NHS bursaries. Kingston’s ‘Ambitious Futures’ advisor, Gurdeep Singh Sher, expressed how the climb in the league table may boost application back up. “We are always developing as an institution and I am happy that the promotion in the table is a reflection of this,” she said. “I feel that the climb in the table should have an effect on students numbers where we would be favoured compared to some of our com petitor universities.”

He said: “League tables always play a massive role when new students look for university places. Sometimes they can be the difference between two very similar choices.” However current KU students believe that league tables are starting to become less important when choosing where and what to study. Student Arief Nasrizal, a first year Geography student, said: “I don’t really care about rankings because I focused on the course. I applied because I had previous friends who came to this uni and what they told me was the staff and lecturers were supportive.” However Hisham Illyes, who studies Cancer Biology at Masters, said: “I feel underwhelmed by the ranking, we have really good teaching and we have really good research here. He said: “Great facilities, helpful teachers and the course is structured really well.”

A protest to ban fur Photo: Rex

Student starts petition determined to ban fur from KU BY YASEMIN KOSE

A KU student wants to send a strong message to the fashion industry by making Kingston the first university in the UK to ban fur. Business management student, Simon Plazolles-Hayes, is making sure his campaign to ban fur in all student projects is accepted by the university. Plazolles-Hayes said: “It would send a message to the fashion world that fur has no place in the future and it certainly has no place in the present.”

The motion he made passed the Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier in March and is now the official stance of the student union, but is yet to become drafted by the university. He is aiming for 1500 signatures for his petition to be recognised by the university and currently has 950 from all campuses. Head of Department of Fashion, Elinor Rendfrew, refused to comment on the anti-fur campaign and fashion students were reluctant to share their views on the matter.

Plazolles-Hayes said: “I want the university to listen to students, look at the ethical implications and look at the fashion world and the business world in the sense that a lot of high end fashion retailers are all fur free.” If the university do not accept his motion, he is willing to explore a range of different options and could see the possibility of a peaceful protest happening in the future.




KU campus plastic bottle ban for 2020 pushed back


Plastic bottles will not be banned by 2020 despite a motion being passed by students at The Big Student Meeting. The motion resolves to ban plastic bottles from all campuses, as Kingston University generates more than 78 tonnes of general waste per month and more than 524 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Dr. Richard Anderson, Kingston University’s operations sustainability manager, said: “I don’t know about banning all plastic bottles, but I certainly think that we can make a significant difference.” Penrhyn Road is the best campus for recycling but it is only recycling 35 per cent of its 80 per cent target. “We can’t go around saying ‘you must ban all the plastic bottles,” said Anderson. All sorts of implications would happen which weren’t intended. It’s going to cost a lot more money.” The motion has three years to be put into effect and Kingston University say they must provide appropriate alternatives for staff and students first.“It doesn’t happen overnight,” said Anderson. “We need to always look at is what is practical and what is it that the students would actually accept? Can the students afford to pay?” Extra water coolers and water fountains are currently being placed on all sites to start eliminating the use of plastic bottles. “It’s about changing people’s behaviour, to change their attitude which is why it’s great to come up with the idea of banning plastic bottles,” Anderson said. The university has a zero-landfill policy and is introducing a new waste disposal system with the aim of becoming one of the top universities for waste management and recycling in the UK.

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VC backs campaign to keep Wednesday afternoons free for Cougar sports fixtures BY LOUIE CHANDLER

Kingston University’s vice chancellor has voiced his support for a campaign that will give all students Wednesday afternoons off. The Keep Wednesday Afternoons Free campaign aims to stop lectures and seminars after 12pm so that all undergraduate students can take part in sports and other extra-curricular activities. “We are determined to make every effort to limit the amount of timetabled teaching on a Wednesday afternoon,” Steven Spier told The River. “Students should enjoy an enriching university experience which gives them the best possible education. A part of which is the opportunity to pursue other interests.” “Initiatives like the Kingston Award, where students can achieve recognition for these kinds of activities, highlight this commitment.” Kingston University does have a policy in place that is supposed to limit the amount of teaching time allocated after 12pm on a Wednesday afternoon. However, the University has been accused of not honouring the policy, with complaints flooding in from students who are unable to attend extra-curricular events due to clashes. The Union’s Representation Co-ordinator Steph Johnson said: “Unfortunately in recent years we have had more and more students complaining that they are torn between attending their lectures or other events. “Students shouldn’t have to be torn between letting their team down and letting themselves down academically.” In March a group of students tabled a motion at the Big Student Meeting

The student

Photo: Ruyu Wei

A student at Kingston University had £700 stolen from her bedroom but thieves left her purse which was worth more. Ruyu Wei realised the money was missing from her bedroom at Clayhill Halls of Residence after she checked her hidden Fendi purse worth £750 to find it empty. First year fine art student, Wei, 18, said: “Before I came here, I was never worried.” “When I was at boarding school, I always had luxury branded bags lying around my room, and we

13-26 OCTOBER 2017

KU student helped victims of London tube terror attack



‘Terrorism scare’ for Kingston student


Kingston cougars V Brighton panthers

(BSM), requesting the Student Union to get the university to honour its policy, and the Union had hoped that personal letters to the vice chancellor would help persuade them. “The motion was passed by the wide majority of students and since then the SU has been campaigning on the issue.” “We have been asking students to fill out a postcard telling us what they would do on their free Wednesday afternoon,” Johnson said. “Whilst a lot of the responses are related to sports, societies and union activity, a lot of them have also been following a theme of well-being and mention things like the school run, checking in with emotions and life admin.” Throughout the UK, universities keep Wednesday afternoons free for sports fixtures and other societies.

Photo: Alice Bradley

British Universities and College’s Sport (BUCS) have long held their sports fixtures on Wednesday afternoon every week. BUCS organise the fixtures for 53 sports across the country. Although Kingston does not offer all of them they are all played on Wednesdays, meaning many students are at risk of missing out. “University isn’t all about academia,” Johnson said. “Students have three years to get involved with extracurricular activities. After that they are likely to be employed in a nine-to-five job without the option to experience the wide variety of activities and events on offer during their time at university.” “If they had that time available then they would get to excel in a worthwhile hobby, meet students they wouldn’t know otherwise, network

with students from other universities, and give Kingston a great name in the University sporting world.” But even with vice chancellor Spier’s endorsement, the reality of freeing Wednesday afternoons for all undergraduate students may still prove tricky to achieve. “A rigid policy of keeping Wednesday afternoons free of teaching could have a serious impact on the rest of the timetable, potentially leading to more early starts, late finishes and long blocks of teaching for students,” Spier said. “However, we are working with the Union of Kingston Students to see if there are further things we can do to make sure that all of our students benefit from a timetable that allows them to get the best out of their studies and the wider opportunities on offer at the University.”

KU student had £700 stolen from her Fendi purse BY CARLY HACON


didn’t have any locks on our doors. The biggest thing I’ve ever lost is a lipstick.” Wei often had friends over but never left them alone in her room and always locked her bedroom door. Occasionally she would leave it unlocked when she used the kitchen. She frequently experienced difficulty using her Chinese bank card in Kingston town centre. She kept the cash in her drawer in case her card did not work in shops. Wei realised the money was missing on September 27 and was left with no access to money for two days.

When Wei reported the theft to the staff at Clayhill, she was not impressed with how they handled her case and that they did not check the CCTV. She said: “I met the ginger guy from the reception, so I asked him for £10 and I said I would pay him back the next day.” “He asked me why? I said because all my money got stolen, and then he refused me.” When questioned, Clayhill staff said that Wei chose not to make a formal complaint, therefore there was not much else they could do.

An unnamed source from Clayhill’s maintenance team, said: “She spoke to the deputy manager, Nira Lawrence. “She asked her to make an official complaint.” “It’s all on record, but because she turned round and didn’t want to get the police involved, it’s then harder to make a bigger deal out of it.” Wei said: “I am very disappointed by the staff at Kingston University.” “Maybe I didn’t hear them very clearly, but I don’t recall that they ever said that I could make a complaint.”

A KU first aider helped injured victims during the chaotic ISIS tube terror attack at Parsons Green. Third year criminology and psychology student Salem Al-Busmait, 23, was one of the passengers on the District Line train when the bomb went off. Al-Busmait admitted he panicked himself, saying: “I was just screaming and pushing. “I tried to make sure people didn’t trample each other. “There was a 13-year-old kid that literally had his face trampled in and I didn’t know who his parents were. No-one was stopping so I tried to stop people from stomping on him further.” Al-Busmait is a member of St John Ambulance’s Kingston University LINKS unit which meant after a brief moment of panic, he was able to offer support to frightened passengers. People began to approach him for help because he was wearing his uniform. “The paramedics weren’t immediately there so I just tried to treat it as a major incident, which it was, so whoever actually needed help I tried to go help,” Al-Busmait said. At first he did not realise anything was wrong as he was wearing headphones, not paying attention to his surroundings. “I noticed that there was a vibe, with people standing up, looking around, jumping out of the train and people not getting on,” Al-Busmait said. “So I start thinking okay something is fishy maybe I need to look around.” According to the Metropolitan Police 29 people were injured during the attack in which an improvised explosive device was detonated on a train at Parsons Green underground station. “It didn’t look like a proper bomb. It looked really weird and like it’s just a bag caught on fire,” Al-Busmait said. As people started realising what was happening, Al-Busmait said they began to panic and everyone dashed out of the train where people were thrashed and pushed aside.

Giulio Ascari

Photo: Ascari


Al-Busmait (centre) with St John Ambulance unit manager Hobson on far left “I think for me I just felt a little disassociated from the situation. I didn’t understand what was going on,” Al-Busmait said. He counted himself “really lucky” as he only sprained his hand during the rush. Al-Busmait was shoved into a wall at the gates and he fell down, where someone stepped on him. Al-Busmait’s boyfriend, 20-year-old biomedical student Matthew Burdett, was also travelling through London on September 15. Burdett’s mother called him to check that he was safe. “I didn’t know what was happening at that point,” Burdett said. “She said there was a bomb in this part of London which I travelled close by. But I realised Salem’s workplace was near there as well. I tried to contact Salem and no answer. I was very worried about him.” It took Burdett a while to get hold of Al-Busmait and he tried to ring him several times. When Al-Busmait answered Burdett said he felt “so glad that he wasn’t seriously injured or anything like that”. Kingston University’s LINKS unit manager Will Hobson was impressed by Al-Busmait’s professional attitude and the way he handled the overwhelming situation.

The improvised “bomb” found on the tube Hobson said: “He is able to think on his feet in difficult situations and show great dedication in helping others.” London Ambulance Service arrived on the scene five minutes after the first 999 call. They worked with the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police and the London Fire Brigade to ensure victims got

Photo: Al-Busmait

photo: Google

the medical attention they needed. Natasha Wills, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: “We sent a number of ambulance crews to the scene as well as our hazardous area response team and incident response officers. They were supported by a dedicated team in our incident control room.”

A Kingston student feared for his life and sought refuge in a pub after the Natural History Museum accident was mistaken for terrorism on Saturday October 7. Third-year pharmacy student Giulio Ascari, 21, was leaving the Natural History Museum with a friend when a crowd of people charged towards them outside South Kensington tube station. “When we reached the tube station there was a huge crowd of people running towards us screaming and shouting, we thought it was a terrorist attack,” Ascari said. “It was super scary and we feared for our lives.” Ascari and his friend started running in the opposite direction to avoid being caught in the crowd and get hurt and hid in a nearby pub. “We went to this pub and we shouted ‘there is a terrorist attack!’ and they closed the pub, turned the light off and we just stayed there for half an hour listening to the TV,” the student said. Ascari said he saw multiple ambulances, police everywhere and a helicopter hovering over head. The most frightening thing for him was not knowing what was going on at the time as the police were not giving out any information while they sealed off the street. “It was fucking scary as we did not know it wasn’t a terrorist attack, it had all the elements to be one. It did not look like an accident there was way too many forces there,” he said. “The police were saying nothing, the only thing I heard was from a guy working at the museum but he did not know what was going on.” An hour after being locked inside the pub it emerged that the incident was not terror related and it was being treated as a traffic accident. Only at that point did Ascari and his friend feel safe to leave. Eleven people were injured and have been treated at the hospital after a minicab driver struck pedestrians outside the museum.


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KU student showcases first film inspired by her brother’s death at Berlin Film festival BY KARAN AHLUWALIA

The student created a dollhouse for the film

Photo: Chemi Shimada

Chiemi Shimada, 26, made her graduation film, Fragments, using a doll house to approach the theme of death and observation that earned her a first in Filmmaking BA this summer from Kingston. “I always wanted to work on death as a theme since I lost one of my family members 10 years ago, but I didn’t think I was ready to face it. “I am still trying to keep some distance from it but hopefully I can make some steps in future,” said Shimada. Shimada, now current postgraduate student at Kingston, also took inspiration from forensic photography at a crime scene exhibition she visited in New York in 2016. Shimada then built on the concept by researching on death as her dissertation topic and eventually got inspired by photos of the crime scene dioramas by the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. “Alphonse Bertillon’s bird’s eye view photography specifically caught my eye and I vaguely thought of making a film about crime scene,” said Shimada.

Chiemi Shimada, 26 For Shimada this was not just the first time that she submitted a film at a festival but also the first time she ever attended an event like this one. She flew down to the Berlin festival and got to watch her film after several months of its completion with a vast audience.

University fraudsters handed jail sentences

BY SOPHIE MCCONNELL A staff member from Kingston University signed off a cheque, totalling £1.75 million, to a ‘sophisticated’ group of fraudsters. The scammers conned NHS hospitals, councils and a local government out of more than £12 million, but were jailed, in some cases for 10 years, at Leicester Crown Court during summer. After sentencing, Detective Sargent Mike Billam said: “I am pleased to say that with the assistance of law enforcement in Dubai, Poland and other countries, this investigation has got to the heart of this conspiracy and has disabled what was clearly an international organised crime group.” The attack on Kingston University was part of a high stakes criminal conspiracy which fooled 22, mostly public, bodies into handing over the money by sending forged letters claiming to be from legitimate building contractors carrying out work for the organisation.

In total the team of fraudsters were made up of 10 conspirators from all over the UK and Dubai, who all took advantage of the fact that public sector contracts are freely available to see under financial transparency rules. Among the conspirators was a former nightclub toiletries’ seller, company directors and a newsagent. Each of the 22 cases involved with the investigation included forged letters, emails or faxes, which were sent to the targeted organisations, pretending to be for legitimate firms. These correspondences announced a change of bank details to overseas accounts operated by the gang who then laundered the money through other legitimate businesses. Some of the letters they sent, complete with company logos, false signatories and reference numbers, had actually been faxed from an Internet cafe in Dalston, East London. Sentencing ten of those involved at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Philip

Head said: “This was a sophisticated and widespread fraud in its conception and execution.” Jailing the conspirators for between 22 weeks and ten years, he added: “These bodies were selected because it was hoped their accounting processes would be vulnerable forgery.” He added: “The loss falls necessarily on those who are not able to pay it, ultimately the members of the public whose taxes fund these bodies.” The biggest victim was the Guernsey government, which lost £2.6 million, when cash was funnelled into seven separate accounts. In another case, a £1.28 million payment to build a mental health unit at Lincoln’s St George’s Hospital was only just diverted due to NHS trust staff failing to check the new bank details supplied. It was only when an employee of the building firm Costain saw the fake letter, with an out of place logo and a false reference number with signa-

tures, that the alarm was raised. Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust then called in the police at the end of 2011, sparking a lengthy investigation, led by Lincolnshire Police with support from NHS Protect. Although the investigation is closed, Nigerian national, Bayo Awonorin, who was identified in court by the judge as the ‘prime-mover’, is still at large, having failed to answer to police bail. A spokesperson for Kingston University said: “The attempted fraudulent transaction was detected and the University did not lose any money.” “The University takes any allegation or suspicion of fraudulent activity extremely seriously and has a strong set of checks and balances in place.” “Any allegations of financial irregularity are investigated thoroughly and the University will always notify police and any other relevant authorities as and where appropriate,” they added.

“The best thing was that I got to see all the other great films and gain contacts of many aspiring filmmakers. I was really inspired by their work. It was totally an amazing experience,” she said. The REC Filmfestival celebrates the talent of young filmmakers and has grown in size over the years by encouraging international participants to use the platform as an early stepping stone in their careers. While Shimada independently came up with such a unique concept for her film, she believes it was the support she got at Kingston University and her brother’s early influence in her life that helped her in achieving such heights. “I was not a film person at all when I was little. At the age of 15, my brother made me watch A Clockwork Orange and other Kubrick’s films and I realised that there are different films out there rather than just fun films,” she said. Shimada now wants to approach the social and political subjects that the world is facing through the films she creates.

Graphic design students argue River House move BY ERIC BRAIN Kingston University’s graphic design students are outraged by the move to the new River House space. The new facility which houses 600 graphic design and illustration animation students, is a ten-minute walk to Knights Park, which is currently being renovated. Suzy Brewer, 20, a second year graphic design student said: “I don’t like that it is so small and ill-equipped. I don’t feel as inspired there as I did at Knights Park, there is less of a community feel to it. Students told The River that they were not consulted about the move before they applied to the course, but have since been asked for feedback on how to improve River House. The move has created a more cohesive space for the two classes to work in, with new studio equipment that is “all working at the moment, which is more than can be said for what we left behind,” Geoffrey Grandfield, Head of Department illustration animation said. The building, which overlooks the river Thames, has been described as an inspiring but cramped studio, limiting the students creativity. Noah Silver, 20, a second year told The River: “It is very unfair that my time at KU is affected to better other students experiences.”


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‘Every single person has an individual opportunity to make the difference ’ BY AIMEE MILLER

Kingston University saw over 100 Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students at the ‘Audience with Alesha Dixon’ event, hosted by KU Talent. BME students who attended the event said they found the talk, which explored artist and TV presenter Dixon’s rise to success as a black female, inspiring. Biological Sciences student Ramota Adelakun said: “At the end of the day, black people are under-represented, black women especially. And I feel like it is important to have someone who can have an honest discussion with us and say ‘Look, I made it where I am today, 20 years before we’re as ‘progressed’ as we are now. It was hard, but I made it and you can too’.” In her Q&A the former Mis-Teeq member spoke passionately about overcoming challenges faced within the industry. Starting with her early career she discussed diversity, sexism and rejection followed by her eventual success. Dixon’s key message throughout the Q&A was that students need to feel comfortable with themselves and not be afraid of rejection. When asked what she would say to empower BME students, Dixon said: “I’ve met some amazing people here today and every single individual I’ve met has had something important to say. You can sense the fear and the

The audience at an audience with Alesha Dixon doubt in some people but it comes with the territory of being in your early twenties to go through this. Every single person here has an opportunity to do something brilliant with their lives and I think that all of you can influence change, do good, go out into the big wide world and make a difference.”

“That might not come over night, but you will get there. I've seen some very determined individuals today that have got big plans and big dreams and that’s really motivating. We’re all striving for success but true success is living for today, realising your blessings and having love and compassion in your heart.” After the talk Dixon said: “Anything that happens in your life that is, in your opinion, a backward step or negative or a failure, I guarantee you that’s where the biggest growth takes place, it’s where you find yourself and it’s how you become the best version of yourself.” It has been two years since the ‘Audience With…’ event has had a female representative and students have praised the choice of Dixon as “approachable”, “humble” and “relatable”. According to Kingston University's online Student Profile, 52 per cent of Kingston’s students identify as BME

Photo: Brandon Ra and 57 per cent identify as female making it understandable that students are asking for a relatable role model to build them up and inspire them. “I think it’s finding their blessings that they get the opportunity to study.” said Dixon, when asked what advice she would give to BME students who are lacking in confidence, “If you look around the world at what’s going on, what would you rather? The opportunity and the blessing to get up every day and study, okay it might not have been the first choice, it might not have been what you’ve planned but that’s life. Because life is unpredictable. It’s life that’s constantly challenging you and it’s how you rise to that challenge. I would think you'd have to embrace it, you have to see the blessing and you have to maximise the opportunity while you have the ability to do that.” Student Fatima said: “Being the age of 18, generally, we all still haven't really experienced much in life,

and there’s a lot to learn from other women. Being a uni student is the time you need the most guidance. It can help motivate a lot of people and it shows that it is possible to come from a struggling background, to be a woman and of a minority group but yet still be successful.” The ‘Audience With…’ event is run at the start of each academic year by KU Talent and is aimed to raise confidence and aspirations within the students. KU Talent say they want Kingston students to reach their potential and see that anything is possible. Talent Development and Employability Manager Tonia Galati said: “It’s important for students to see that even the most successful people have overcome life changing experiences, barriers and hurdles.” Dixon added: “I think that if you have a platform in the media you should use it responsibly. If you don't you'll fall for anything. I like to have fun, I like to take on projects that I'm passionate about but I'm very mindful and conscious of the fact that my platform can be used responsibly and give a voice to people or issues that need light and need attention. I believe that every single person has an individual opportunity to make a difference.” Kingston students feel that it is vital to see outspoken black role models in respectable and successful roles that give power to students’ own aspirations. Those who attended the event have taken away with them a valuable lesson. It is important for young BME students to feel proud of their struggles and not feel as if their ambitions are unattainable. One part that really resonated waswhen she said: “Every single person here has an opportunity to do something brilliant with their lives and I think that you all can affect change, do good, go out into the big wide world and make a difference. “That might not come over night, but you will get there, with the experience and with hard work you will succeed.”

KU introduces unisex toilets at Penrhyn Rd BY ASA H. AABERGE

Dixon at the Britain’s Got Talent auditons.

Photo: James M Warren

Kingston University is introducing gender-neutral toilets in a bid to ensure equality and inclusion for its students, staff and visitors. One male and one female single cubicle toilet at the Penrhyn Road campus have been converted to gender-neutral facilities. History and politics student Noelle Fouire is transgender, and believes unisex restrooms are essential. “Gender-neutral toilets make it less

uncomfortable for students who don’t identify as their assigned birth gender. “ It is a great idea to make the University more equal.” According to Fouire, and other students who neither identify as either male nor female, they often experience issues when visiting public toilets. “Some transgender’s have to plan their day around toilet visits, and some even go home so they don’t have to choose between the gender assigned toilets.”

The project was instigated by the university’s network of equality, diversity and inclusion champions in collaboration with the Union of Kingston Students and the LGBT+ Society. Gender-neutral law student Nate Caruso-Kelly in KU’s LGBT+society said the society have experienced reactions to the bid: “Some people get angry about it and don’t understand why it is needed, that unfortunately often relates to issues such as homophobia or fear of assaults.”


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KU student claims her Uber driver was groper BY CARLY HACON

A KU student feared for her safety after a driver from troubled taxi company Uber groped her, she told The River. The 20-year-old, who studies at Knights Park, had left a Kingston nightclub after a drunken argument with her boyfriend and said she was assaulted during the Uber ride on her way home in September. Transport for London (TfL) are revoking Uber’s licence due to the company’s approach on reporting serious crimes and how background checks are completed. The student said: “He crawled up my leg, at the top, and squeezed. His hand went to go up my skirt when my phone rang. “Thank God it was my friend who was checking up on me. It rang at the right time because my phone was al-

ready in my hand so I answered it right away.” The student said she had been to Pryzm nightclub with a group of friends, following an argument with her boyfriend that day. As she was drunk she decided to go home after having six vodka lemonades and two sambuca shots. “It first started from typical taxi talk, ‘How are you? How’s your night been?’ And I told him how my boyfriend had been an idiot and how upset I was, and because I was drunk I was probably rambling on and on.” After the driver sensed she was upset, he began to give her compliments to “cheer her up”, but the comments became suggestive and more inappropriate as the 20 minute journey continued. “Even though I was drunk I could sense something wasn’t quite right, I

A 20-year-old KU criminology student is suing her “homophobic” landlord after he allegedly provided fake documents and has seized her deposit Once the initial fees were paid, she discovered the landlord seemed to show signs of a fake contract as he demanded more money from the criminology student. She said: “He is rude and homophobic and shouldn’t be a landlord, he called me and my girlfriend a bunch of lads and mimicked Popeye and moved his arms from side to side.” The KU student went to Citizens Advice solicitors in her hometown

of Bristol. They looked at her contract to find that the landlord had two names and that the company’s website, although it looked genuine, had nothing on its contact page regarding landlords or rent. She added: “Basically everything looked genuine and real until the solicitors told me that the contract was a sham contract. “The company wasn’t real and genuine.” The 20-year-old female student moved into the property located on the Cambridge Estate in Kingston, at the end of August 2016. “The landlord upped the charges when I asked them to be justified, a week or two later I received anoth-


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KU grad’s journey from fashion BA to runway BY ALICE BRADLEY

Uber’s service is reliable and quickly accesible via the Uber app

kept feeling him swipe past my legs every few minutes to probably change gear.” She did not report the incident , worried that they might not believe her as she was drunk and had little evidence. She remembers the driver was in his mid 30s or early 40s with dark hair and dark features, but does not want to identify him. At the end of the journey she searched for her keys in her bag, but the driver said she could stay with him instead and that he would “treat her better” than her boyfriend. “Thinking about it makes me feel literally sick, but I froze and didn’t know what to do,” she said. “But because I didn’t throw him off I feel like in his head I encouraged it.” The victim felt part to blame for the driver’s actions because she became “too personal” and did not directly

“shut him down” at any point. “Thank fuck my phone rang when it did. My friend told me to ring her when I got in, but as I took longer she worried about where I was, I already had my phone in my hand so slid it across and picked up straight away.” “I pretended as if she was nearby, which is when he let go of my leg. Nothing else was said as I got out of the car and he just drove off.” Since the incident she has not used Uber or travelled alone after dark. Her advice to other Uber travellers is to always be aware of their surroundings and to refrain from travelling alone when possible. Uber claim to take any reports of sexual harassment very seriously but the usage of CCTV cameras is for the driver to decide. Harry Porter, Uber spokesman, said: “Our policy following a serious report

KU student to sue landlord she claims is homophobic BY ALESHA CHODA


er receipt from his so called company, explaining the majority of my deposit had been taken for cleaning, painting and removal service fees,” she said. “I have before and after pictures of my rooms to show that the room was completely empty when I moved my stuff out, but he still charged me for removal services. “My deposit was £560 and I was expecting to get it all back. “Unfortunately I still haven’t got anything back and I moved out at the beginning of July this year. “He was constant with his homophobic comments “One of my friends helped me move out and he came round and

asked personal questions whether she was my girlfriend, if she had slept round, what was my relationship with her. “It was all very personal information he didn’t need to know.” The KU student said that a new tenant moved in an hour after she had moved out. She added: “There is no way that within an hour he had used my deposit money to redecorate, paint and clean within that hour before the new tenant moved in.” The criminology student is gathering information to take to court to try and get her £560 deposit back along with any compensation she is owed.

Photo: Rex is to prevent the passenger or driver in question from accessing the app while we investigate. “Any driver found to be guilty would not only permanently lose access to the Uber app but would also lose their private hire licence. “We report serious incidents to our regulator (TFL) and encourage users to report directly to the police. We support all police investigations and have a dedicated team of former Met Police officers that works with law enforcement across the UK.” Head of public policy, Andrew Byrne, said Uber accepts it had shown “the wrong attitude” and was willing to change. He said the company’s technologyenabled the firm to “be far more helpful in holding people to account with police investigations than a traditional private hire operator or taxi company”.

MP calls for change in Vice Chancellor’s pay University vice-chancellor pay has “got out of kilter” with the public sector and needs to be dealt with, a former minister has said. Tory Andrew Murrison, quit a role at Bath University in protest over the “eye-watering” pay of its vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, earlier this year, calling for the Government to have a “firm conversation” with the sector. He said there needed to be a “sense of moderation” on behalf of university remuneration committees. The South West Wiltshire MP said other senior positions within the public sector such as the head of NHS England, is paid £190,000 against Dame Glynis’s £451,000. Mr Murrison claimed the reputation of Bath University had “gone down several pegs” as a result of Dame Glynis’s pay.



ing for interns and a selection was made to send digital folios. That’s how they chose me for an interview and they liked me. Since I have started, I have realised just how lucky I really am and how my work has been received. They chose me because they saw me in my folio. I have a project that centred around cat prints and they’ve called me kitty girl since my interview.” Clark said proudly: “I love learning and I love being around people. To feel like you’re part of something is the most amazing feeling. The work is endless but for a workaholic like me, I couldn’t have asked for better. I really can’t think of anything I would change. Every mistake was important to learn from, every hard part was worth it when I’d got past it. I don’t live with regrets, I only look to my present.” To read the full interview, head over to You can also keep up to date with Kate Clark’s fashion ventures via Instagram @eithypan

While focusing on her Fashion BA (Hons) degree, Kate Clark worked closely at honing her technique as well as her vision. Her distinct style which went to inspire her final collection is communicated immediately by her appearance; a sharp pixie crop haircut, a bespoke beheaded barbie doll crown and her famously exaggerated winged eyeliner, makes her the central focus of the brand. Speaking candidly with Clark, she reveals how important Kingston has been for her growth as a designer: “Kingston has been amazing. They work us very hard in fashion, as is to be expected from one of the best courses globally. I have learnt so much and am proud to come from a course who’s tutors and technicians are like family.” Aside from her countless artistic successes, what was most impressive about Clark was her ability to juggle her course with external projects. She emphasised: “I interned during first year one day a week at Sophie Hulme, then a summer at Clio Peppiatt. I worked with Fashion Scout during fashion weeks, then French Connection the next summer. But I suppose I see these experiences as a course requirement. Practical experience and real life experience is essential.” Since graduating back in July, Kate Clark has had little time to take in how much her life is changed. She explains: “I’m most certainly on a post-finishing high, living in Paris at a dream job. I can easily gloss over what were hard and stressful moments. But the beauty of Kingston is that it is worth it, as a community of fashion students, as you finally get something right.” Now the 22-year-old is living in Paris and working for French couturier Chanel. Clark admits: “Chanel was really chance. They emailed the uni look- Kate Clark, 22

Kate Clark plays with childhood nostalgia in graduate collection.

Photo: Kate Clark

Rags to riches: KU’s fashion graduates in big name jobs BY ÅSA H. AABERGE Fashion design graduates from Kingston University secured remarkable positions at world leading fashion companies Chanel and Stella McCartney, only months after graduating. The four young fashion designers Kate Clark, Giorgia Presti, Rebecca Holmes and Tara Khemiri graduated from Kingston’s Fashion BA (Hons) this summer. They have already gotten their careers off to a flying start in Paris, London and New York. “I was super shocked when I got an interview because Stella McCartney is

such a huge brand. I didn’t even think they would interview me at all. When I got the news I was really happy and excited, just ecstatic. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity,” said graduate Tara Khemiri about landing her first job. The 24-year-old applied for jobs every single day for months before she got her dream position at British label Stella McCartney. Fellow graduates Clark, Presti, both 22, and Holmes, 24, also quickly made their way into the fashion industry. Both Clark and Presti secured positions at French fashion house

Chanel and now work side-by-side in the textile department at the company’s Paris headquarters. Holmes impressed the American brand Banana Republic at the international knitwear competition ‘Feel the Yarn’ in Florence, landing a six month position at the American brand’s offices in New York. Kingston University’s head of fashion, associate professor, Elinor Renfrew, said the young designers are rewarded for their talent and hard work. “These four graduates are extremely creative and professional and we’re

thrilled they have the chance to further develop their skills at such renowned brands,” she said. Kingston’s fashion programme is renowned in the fashion world. This year the Guardian University Guide placed Kingston as the highest ranked university in the country specialising in fashion and leading fashion website, Business of Fashion, ranked the course at number two in the world in 2016. The University has played a significant role on the young designers’ journey into the fashion business.

“Fashion design at Kingston University really focuses on design. Throughout three years of studying there, I had numerous design projects that have enabled me to design for different levels of the fashion market in a quick and efficient way,” Khemiri said encouraging future graduates to listen to their tutors and work hard. “Our students are creative, innovative and proficient – and throughout their studies, they acquire the skills to apply their creativity in a professional environment,” Renfrew said.

The KU big flop 12

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Only one in six students have read the KU Big Read book this year, a survey by The River showed. Just a quarter of students who were sent the book read it. Out of the 37 students who said they read it, 14 had yet to finish and many were only a few chapters into My name is Leon by Kit De Waal. Third year aerospace engineering student Connor Talbot-Jinks said: “I think that for many it is just not their sort of book. If there was a bit more to it, a few more books so people could choose, they would really like it.” The River asked 224 students ranging from foundation to masters for their opinion across all five of Kingston’s campuses. At the start of each year Kingston hosts a series of discussion groups. During Welcome Week, the author is invited to give talks and a balloon debate about how the themes of the book relate to the roles and interests

of Kingston University staff. The author will visit Kingston on Wednesday October 25 and give talks at both St George’s and Penryhn road campuses. The event is free but students have to book tickets as availability is limited. The River survey showed that 88 per cent of the students asked were not planning on going to the author event and one publishing student mentioned that there was not much advertising about it. Lloyd Watson, a graphic designer at the Union of Kingston Students, said: “As they are branded with the university branding, people automatically affiliate it with something academic. I think they are a bit put off. So maybe Kingston needs to think about a new marketing approach to make it more successful.” Associate Professor Alison Baverstock, who runs the Big Read project, said she was surprised by the results the River had gathered as their research found that more people were getting involved.

“We have seen a significant increase in online discussion about the book and relevant involvement once students arrived as well as more staff getting involved,” Baverstock said about the results. The book is sent to thousands of new foundation, first year and MA students. It is also available on all campuses through local libraries and other organisations such as a local centre for the homeless and a centre for refugees. A third year English literature student replied to our survey: “The KU Big Read gives new and old students a chance to start conversations on common interests. I found it great for getting conversations started with younger students.” The book was shortlisted from over 140 suggestions from a questionnaire sent out in 2016 after the previous Big Read based on the availability of the author, the length and chapter size, non-gender specific cover and relevant themes. The shortlisted books are then

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Students examine the Big Read book read by a panel consisting of people from the university, students and staff who have meetings to discuss the shortlist and choose the Big Read for the year. “My name is Leon was a unanimous decision,” Baverstock said. “Everyone on the panel loved it.” The book is about a boy moving through the care system and the relationship he has with his family, both those he is related to and those who look after him. Students who had read the book described it as being very “emotional” and “sad”. Baverstock said they have had to

Photo: Asa Hedvig Aaberge

reprint the book due to an increase in demand and she has received many emails telling her how much people have liked it. A first year geography student who read the book said: “I loved it, it reminded me a bit about myself and I read it in less than 24 hours.” The Big Read debuted with the first book About a Boy by Nick Hornby in 2015 followed by Humans by Matt Haig in 2016. A third year human nutrition student said: “I read Humans when that was the book for KU Big Read and enjoyed it but I didn’t find the time this year.”


KU student condemns police brutality in Catalonia crisis BY ALEESHA CHODA

Students are not reading this years KU Big Read BY LACEY JONES


A Spanish KU Student has criticised how police were ordered to crush the Catalan Referendum vote. On October 1st, the people of Catalonia appeared at polling stations to vote on their independence from Spain. However events took a turn for the worst when voters were beaten and dragged from polling stations by Spanish riot police ordered to prevent the public from voting by Madrid. KU Spanish exchange student Cris Suárez Vega expresses her disappointment in the Madrid police for attacking the citizens of Catalonia instead of protecting them. “In my opinion, it was an unjustified abuse of force that should be investigated by the independent European institutions. The police must protect the citizens instead of attacking them,” Vega said. “Police were sent to the Catalan referendum to scare the voters off, they came in with a set agenda of the larger number of police the less people would be willing to vote.” Madrid riot police bombarded polling stations by firing rubber pellets, actively stopping Catalan citizens from voting. Reports indicate that almost 900 people were injured. Vega said: “rubber pellets are illegal in Catalonia, they have been since 2014 when the Catalonian Parliament prohibited

Madrid riot police in Catalonia’s town centre their use as an anti-riot tool of the Catalonian police,” “Unfortunately rubber pellets were the thing that was used the most on Sunday, they were restraining elderly people that went to vote,” “The police must protect the citi-

zens instead of attacking them.” The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, is demanding that the leaders of Catalonia confirm whether state has declared independence or not. Vega added: “As I said before, it

Photo: Cris Suárez Vega has basically been a fear-campaign, the more presence of the police the less the willing to vote illegally,” “The police was sent to the Catalan referendum to avoid what has been defined ‘an illegal voting’ and a ‘threat to the unity of the state’,”

“But I bring up the question: if it was not binding, then why the urge of repressing it?” Andrea Sosa, President of the KU Libero Latin American society shared her frustration on how the Madrid riot police behaved. Sosa said: “It is not acceptable how the Spanish police have behaved, they were aggressive, violent and heavy handed, evidently now respecting the Catalan’s rights,” Sosa spoke on behalf of the society and shared how she felt the violence from the police would further divide the country. “Violently preventing people from voting has only acted as a further divide which has pushed Catalonia further towards the door,” she added. “The pictures have been horrifying and have not portrayed the Spanish state well at all,” “There must have been many police officers sympathetic to the cause of independence, being asked to prevent their own people in their own country from voting, must have been very difficult for them.” According to the Catalan government, 90 per cent of participants voted for independence.” However there was only a 42.3 per cent turn out. This leaves less than half the state’s population, only 2.26 million voters, to decide the fate of Catalonia.

Kingston lecturer produces 3D face app

I thought my family were dead in the Mexico City earthquake



A Kingston University expert has helped develop a computer app that can recognise different faces in a crowd by reconstructing photos into 3D-selfies. Dr Vasileios Argyriou, along with other experts from the University of Nottingham, have used artificial intelligence to simplify the process of making 3D-selfies out of 2D pictures, which can be used in several fields. “The main area is security,” Argiriou said. “So if the police want to identify a person in the crowd, you can quickly reconstruct a picture of a face, because it works not only from the front, but from various angles.” It can also be applied to animated or special effect movies or games. Argyriou explained that when

Dr Vasileios Argyriou

Argyriou demonstrating the app

creating a zombie, for example, you can apply a texture on the character to superimpose all of the effects, instead of actually painting it on a person’s face. Their algorithm is based on a new technology called Deep Learning,

which may be able to develop even more advanced processes. “The technology can understand the emotions of a person,” Argyriou said. “Or there’s some techniques that can tell if somebody is lying or not from their face. So

Photo: Kingston University by having this extra information of the 3D-face, we can improve these techniques.” The concept of reconstructing the 3D-face from a single image is not a new concept within research but their contribution has simpli-

fied the process of recreating a 3D-face. It can now skip the steps of deforming the model to fit the expression of the person, which makes the app simple enough for even a student to use. The experts spent nine months and used over 80,000 faces to teach the system how to automatically recognise a person’s features and they needto use even more faces to improve it further. “It needs to be trained as you train a kid or a dog,” Argyriou said. The demo app is part of a research project the experts are working on, which is to be presented at the International Conference on Computer Vision in Venice this month, one of the biggest conferences in their field. It has already been tried by more than 400,000 users.

A KU student has described how she feared her parents were dead after her hometown in Mexico City was hit by a devastating earthquake last month. Splash Morales Albarran was in Kingston when she saw the news on September 19, exactly 32 years after town’s last big earthquake. The 22-year-old third year drama and film studies student said: “I remember the moment when I asked my friend, ‘What if my parents died? What if my building’s down?’ No one was replying and I got really paranoid, I couldn’t even cry. It was all very surreal.” “It made me really panicked especially when I saw the videos and pictures of buildings collapsing.” At the time Albarran was unable to contact her family due to the electricity being down across the city.

“After half an hour my cousin called me telling me she was safe. After a while my mum texted telling me that she found my dad and that they were all ok.” None of Albarran’s friends or family were badly effected and her home on the first floor of a six floor apartment block was unscathed. Albarran, who is the secretary of the Kingston University drama society, felt guilty for being away from home while she continued her studies. She felt like she was unable to help. Instead of going home, Albarran plans to raise money from a ticketed variety show at Knights Park. “I was desperate to do something and going home seemed like the most obvious idea,” “But I wouldn’t make much difference and would be inconvenient for my family and friends who were already helping.”

Splash Morales Albarran and family Photo: Splash Morales Albarran Albarran went to to Trafalgar Square with other London-based Mexicans with homemade banners and flags in order to raise awareness. However the group were not able to accept any donations due to the fact they were not licensed as a charity, so they decided to host a ticketed

variety show instead. Albarran, who lives with her parents and two cousins, is looking and asking for Kingston students to take part in the event and also help her on the front desk. She will charge £3.00 on the door where all proceeds will go towards Un

KU Student from Mexico Photo: Splash Morales Albarran Techo, a charity which helps people in Latin America who are in a housing crisis. Albarran explaned: “Un Techo usually builds houses for people who either don’t have a home, or the place where they live is not in a good condition.”



Going to graduation is the highlight of the whole university experience. You have probably pictured the day, with your family clapping while you are walking on stage to earn that precious piece of paper which will change your life. However, what you do not know is that it might cost you more than you expected. Currently graduates are spending hundreds of pounds on those three minutes of fame. As well as tickets, gowns and extra memorabilia such as jewellery, Kingston has made £210,000 from the money spent on the day graduates will remember for their entire lives. Clearly not enough to, say, ensure Canvas is working properly before the year starts or keep all four lifts in the JG building running at the same time. The University says the money is reinvested into the institution. We do not think it is fair that after handing more than £27,000 to the University, graduates are required to spend even more just for the priviledge of walking on a stage. Instead they should just be able to enjoy the day they have spent tears and sweat to reach without worrying about how much that will add to their debt.

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Hippodrome I am glad you are out of my life

While some students are shedding tears at the thought of Hippodrome being gone forever, Lacey Jones could not be happier, here is why The council is finally closing Hippodrome and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s the only club in Kingston that lures you in with a cheap gig and leaves you hanging at the end of the night with a sub-par experience. A night at the Hippodrome is like going to a school disco except they let you drink alcohol, the music is much worse, and there’s probably still one guy dancing with himself in the corner wearing a flame shirt. Oh, and they call it a dance floor, but it looks suspiciously like my primary school hall. You begin your evening by downing all the cheap drinks you can but once 11pm rolls around you’re pushing the limits of your overdraft just to get a Facebook: @RiverNewspaper Instagram: rivernewspaper

bottle of VK. I don’t get the hype, why on earth would you want to pay £4.50 for an alcoholic J20. They won’t even let you have plastic cups but they’re more than happy just to hand over a vodka and coke in a tin can. If you visit the main room twice in one month you feel like Mystic Meg because you can predict every song that comes on. It’s the same songs, in the same order, from a pre-DJ’d set. What are you paying for if not the DJ? Also, they’re definitely stricter on the male to female ratio. So unless you’ve got a pair of tits and some high heels you’re better off marching yourself off to the other four clubs in Kingston.

If you’ve had more than two beers they probably won’t let you in anyway, saying you’re too drunk. I’ve walked into Przym on the verge of a blackout without so much as the raise of a bouncer’s eyebrow. Heaven forbid I trip over my feet in the line of Hippo and I’m sent out into the wilderness to fend for myself. Even if I get in I end up losing my shoes to the sticky floor, I expected a night out not the Somme. Another throwback to the school dance days. If you’ve come in early so as to not break your bank on the drinks, you’re guaranteed to be the only group there. No students visit on a Friday and the locals would rather splash out on £10 entry after midnight to get their pick of

the girls. There’s no bump and grind on the dance floor, altough an awful remix is guarenteed to be on that #original Dj set – it’s so dead its better suited to a game of Marco Polo. A night out at the Hippodrome could easily be recreated with a Spotify playlist, a bunch of Poundland glow sticks and a strange vodka and orange squash concoction. It’s less than half the price and it’s definitely a lot more fun. I won’t be sad when it closes its doors for good, in fact I’ll stand outside raising my tin can in celebration.

At last we got rid of Uber drivers BY SYNNE JOHNSSON

The River is written, edited and produced by journalism students at Kingston University. The views in the paper do not necessairily reflect those of the university. The river aims to serve the university and the local area. Our mission statement committs us to raising and addressing the issues relevant to students and local people, as well as to entertain and inform them. It is our aim to celebrate the achievements of students and local people alike. If you have information or a story, which would interest our readers, please contact us. We aim to conform to the standard codes of conduct for the profession of journalism. It is The River’s policy to print timely corrections and clarifications when we have got something wrong. If you feel we have misrepresented or that we have made a mistake, please get in touch:


For most people Uber has become the new way of getting from A to B. It is easy, it is cheap and it is hip. Unfortunately (read: fortunately) Uber has lost its licence in London and it seems like the end of the world for Londoners. But is it really? When everyone sign and share petitions of calling for Uber’s licence to be renewed, I think they forget why this happened in the first place. The fact that a huge company like Uber has failed to report sexual abuse, harassment and other criminal offences, it is to me horrifying. In August police accused Uber of letting a driver who allegedly sexually assaulted a passenger strike again by not reporting it. These are serious accusations and I hope that most people realise that there is something seriously wrong here. A modern city like London should not let this continue in any way. The problem is that everyone can become an Uber-driver; all you need is a car and a smartphone. Yes, I know they say they do background checks on their drivers but I think they have lost all their credibility. However, it doesn’t really help to background check people when they don’t do anything once the accident has happened. Uber-supporters suggest that TFL can “just give Uber a fine and some stricter restrictions”. Well, first of all, I

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We should be ignoring Peta not celebrating them BY MASON HOWE

would imagine there were restrictions on reporting rape already. Secondly giving them a fine is giving them another chance. I really don’t think they deserve another chance. What I reckon most people think when they read that 40,000 Uber-drivers will lose their jobs is that a lot of people who will lose their jobs. What I think, is that it’s a lot of cars driving on the streets of London. Think about that next time you’re stuck in the famous London-traffic. Most of those cars also drive completely unnecessary trips. The number of times my friends and I have taken Ubers simply because we were too lazy to walk is embarrassing. Ordering an Uber is just so damn easy. Of course, that’s not only Uber’s fault, it is our own fault but let’s be real here: no one is going to take a black cab through the McDonald’s drive-in. This is not the end of the world for anyone. Most people can afford and should be willing to pay an extra fiver to be safe. If not walking, buy a bike or go public. When Uber disappears there will be a lack of taxis so there will be a need for taxi drivers, so I don’t think this will leave too many people in the streets. That’s why I raise my glass to TFL and Sadiq Khan for setting an example and trying to keep London safe. Cheers!


Uber App

Photo: Aleesha Choda

Fashion icons and celebrities descended on London Fashion Week and with them came the ever present protests. Aside from tired gimmicks they trot out to grab headlines, half-naked women brandishing vegan food at passers-by being a personal favourite of mine, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has a truly sinister side that is too often overlooked. Forget comparing farms to Auschwitz, forget dressing up in KKK robes to protest dog breeding and forget comparing cows to rape victims Peta’s actions directly harm more animals than it helps. Peta is a “legal activist organisation” that condemns acts of violence against people. So it may come as a surprise to hear that they consider eco-terrorists and arsonists such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) as brave as the French Resistance. The ALF has been responsible for hundreds of fire-bombings, assaults, intimidation of employees, break-ins and vandalism. In 2005 the FBI placed them on terror watch lists right alongside Al-Qaeda and Neo-Nazis; estimating they have inflicted £83 million worth of damage. Far from condemning this group Peta tacitly condones them, going so far as to donate £53,000 to the legal defence of an ALF member who pled guilty to fire-bombing three university campuses in America. But enough about alleged links to domestic terror. How about their treat-

ment of animals themselves? Peta loves to advertise how compassionate they are towards abused stray animals, rescuing them from overcrowded shelters and settling them in loving homes. What they seemingly forget to mention is that the majority of animals PETA “rescue” end up dying at their hands. A series of FOI requests made in the US revealed that, out of 42,000 animals rescued by Peta since 1998, 36,000 were later euthanised. Over a two-month period, 84 per cent were killed within 24 hours at their Virginia shelter. Maybe it just slipped their minds. Not content with killing strays before they are adopted, mercy-killings as they refer to them, Peta have also targeted family pets. In 2014 Peta abducted a Chihuahua named Maya as she lay on the door step of her owner’s home and, breaking laws requiring a five-day grace period, put her down the very same day. And what was their punishment for breaking a family’s heart and destroying one of the animals they claim to cherish? A £37,000 settlement and a heartfelt apology for “an unfortunate mistake by Peta and the individuals involved, with no ill will toward the Zarate family.” Preventing animal cruelty is a good and noble goal. But don’t give your money and support to a group that wraps itself in the illusion of supporting animal rights while callously disregarding their safety and welfare.

Joanna Krupa calling for a ban on circuses Photo: James Gourley




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Tributes flood in for Sir Peter Hall, heart of the arts at KU and an icon in the British Theatre BY CHANEL BUITURON

Sir Peter Hall, one of the most celebrated directors and producers in British history, has died age 86. He was Kingston University’s Patron and former Chancellor. The Rose Theatre was founded by Hall, he took on the role when the theatre started being built in 2003, directing several productions when it opened in 2008. Kingston University staff, students and colleagues from The Rose Theatre which he help set up have paid tribute to the genius. Kingston University Vice-Chancellor Professor, Steven Spier said: “Our students, staff and people across the whole of Kingston benefited hugely from Sir Peter’s involvement with the University – through his enthusiasm for encouraging wider participation in theatre as well as the instrumental role he played in bringing life to the borough’s Rose Theatre.” Robert O’Dowd, chief executive at the Rose said: “Peter brought so much to theatre and opera, and the Rose would not be what it is today without his passion and energy in our early years. He will be sadly missed.” Sir Peter was appointed Chancellor of the University in July 2000 and was a highly influential figure, making the institution a place that led the way in bridging the gap between artists in training and the professional theatre industry. He continued to be the University’s Chancellor until 2013, he was then appointed Patron. He had a passion for encouraging students within the arts and was a director of many plays, notably those of Shakespeare, Pinter and Beckett. Hall worked on master classes and on classical speeches, he taught students how to thoroughly analyse texts and get to grips with verse at the Rose Theatre. Some students even had the opportunity to appear in his version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2008. Richard Wilson, who joined Kingston University in 2012 as the Peter Hall Chair of Shakespeare, said: “Peter’s vision was to bring together actors and academics – one optimised through the partnership between the University and the Rose Theatre.” Peter taught many students. In 2010 he ran acting workshops on the Classical Theatre course at Kingston University. Frank Whately, confidant and close friend of Peter when he came to Kingston, said: “Peter was fundamentally and an extraordinary director and also a very good teacher. His aspiration

Peter Hall: a life in the limelight 1930 - 2017

Hall - Director and Producer in King Richard production, Stratford on Avon.

Hall on stage at his production of Twelth Night with actresses: Sara Crow and Maria Miles. The early days in Hall’s career •1953 Hall was given a two-week London run at the Arts Theatre. •1955 Hall wowedLondon Audiences his work of Samuel Beckett with the UK premiere of Waiting for Godot. •1960 – 1968 He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of 29. •He went on to build an international reputation in theatre, opera, film and television. •1973- 1988 he was director of the National theatre and • 1984 artistic director of Glyndebourne festival opera •1998 the Peter Hall Company is formed. His contribution to Kingston University • 2000 he was appointed Chancellor of KU. • Hall continued as KU’s chancellor until 2013 and was then appointed patron. • 2002 Hall is appointed chancellor alongside Frank Whately (confedant, lecturer and friend) • 2003 Hall became the founding director of the Rose theatre.

and ambition was to create an acting company at the Rose Theatre, whilst also teaching young practitioners who would become apprentices in the company.” Hall’s dream was his acting company. He taught drama students and watched them flourish in the industry with his help in collaboration with actors and post-graduate students.

• 2008 He produced A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose Theatre. (MA students had the opportunity to be involved in Hall’s production. Hall and Dame Judi Dench • 2010 – he ran acting workshops on the Classical Theatre course at KU. Hall’s achievements •He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was just 29, which he Hall with Kingston MA led until 1968. While there, he directed 18 students. plays, including The War of the Roses, David Warner’s memorable - Hamlet and the premiere of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. •Hall won two Tony awards on Broadway, received an Olivier Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 and was knighted in 1977 for his services to the theatre. • He directed more than 40 operas around the world.

Whately added: “It was to have been a daring collaboration between the Rose and Kingston University. Sadly, he never completed the work.” Whately had originally been to see Peter as the Rose Theatre was being built to get Peter’s support. Peter was appointed the artistic director in 2002 and carried on until the official opening of the fully fitted-out theatre in 2008

when he stepped down. As a student in 1965, Frank went with his brother Kevin, to Stratford to see Peter Hall’s productions. Many years later, his brother was to work for Peter as a member of the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic in the 1990’s, while Frank became his collaborator at the Rose. Hannah Platts, MA student on the

course said: “We had the amazing opportunity to appear in Peter Hall’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose Theatre. “Peter was an insightful, generous director with a profound and tangible love of Shakespeare and of language in general. He had a way of saying one thing that would suddenly make what you were doing make sense. His enthu-

Variety Club Honour’s 10th Anniversary of National Theatre. Hall with Actress Nicola Paggett and Playwright John Mortimer. siasm and knowledge were, and continue to be, an inspiration.” Hall had created the landscape in the British Theatre and had a vast store of knowledge, experience and wisdom within the industry. John T Watts, MA student on the course, said: “Having workshops with Sir Peter was a real privilege but also quite intimidating. Before workshops,

I couldn’t work out how I could come up with the right questions that would be worthy of someone of his stature.” During the MA course, Kingston University students had the opportunity to be part of the ensemble for Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose Theatre. Although the students did not have any lines in the play, they got the chance to witness Hall working

on the text with professional actors. Watts added: “His approach was surprisingly similar to his work with us in the workshops: calm, understated, detailed and thorough. They were going into more detail than we were, and making progress more quickly, but otherwise, the approach he had was the same. “I’m very sad about Sir Peter’s pass-

ing, and it’s reminded me again how lucky I was to be taught by him and to witness him working first-hand/ He really was a legend of British Theatre.” He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960 and was the first Artistic Director of the National Theatre in its new South Bank Building in 1974. Among his productions at the Rose, was the unforgettable A Mid-

summer Night’s Dream starring Dame Judi Dench. Hall was born in Bury St Edmunds, the only child of a Suffolk stationmaster, Reg Hall and his wife, Grace. His parents encouraged his interest in music and drama. Hall was a working-class scholarship boy who was obsessed with the arts and hungry for culture. His father had free railway travel, through his job, which enabled him to get to London to see Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson season at the New Theatre towards the end of the Second World War. A special visit to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1946 made him decide he would like to run the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre when watching the production of Peter Brook – Love’s Labour’s Lost. He studied at the Perse school in Cambridge, where he played Hamlet, learned the art of public speaking and was head boy. Peter got a scholarship to read English at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and had learned the power of art and the importance of script texts. He was provided with a leap into the industry at Cambridge University as an undergraduate. He was given a two-week London run at the Arts Theatre in 1953. Hall adapted very quickly in the industry and made his name with the production of Lorca’s Blood Wedding and Gide’s The Immoralist. He was offered the directorship of the Arts theatre. At the age of 24 he found himself running the London theatre, achieving his aspiration from a child now as a young man. Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was just 29, which he led until 1968. While there, he directed 18 plays, including The War of the Roses, David Warner’s memorable - Hamlet and the premiere of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. Hall was known as the “golden boy” in the British Theatre, with high demand in the West End, Stratford and even in New York. His production of Colette’s Gigi in 1956 introduced him to Hollywood star, Leslie Caron. They married shortly after and had two children together. Hall won two Tony awards on Broadway, received an Olivier Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999 and was knighted in 1977 for his services to the theatre. He directed more than 40 operas around the world. He is survived by wife Nicki, his children, Jennifer, Lucy, Edward, Christopher, Rebecca and Emma and nine grandchildren. Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall, film opera and theatre director, born 22 November 1930; died 11 September 2017.


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‘Till the day I die, I will never Jessie Ware’s ‘Glasshouse’ regret serving my country’ keeps us running, running BY ERIC BRAIN

KU student recalls his experience in the US army and how it shaped his life BY KARAN AHLUWALIA Kingston business management student, Simon Plazolles-Hayes, 24, served in the United States Army for over three years. Plazolles-Hayes believes that if it were not for his army experience he would not be the man he is. And he says it was the army that gave him the drive to apply to Kingston. “I may not physically wear my uniform anymore, but I’ll never be able to take it off,” said Plazolles-Hayes. “The army isn’t school or work. You don’t go to unwind. It is your life. You prepare for anything, to suffer in silence, to be a leader, to never back down, to be courteous and professional, and when the time calls for - to destroy.” He went through tough, basic boot camp training for 18 weeks at the beginning of his service with varying difficulties. Starting with live fire training exercises whilst using live ammunition. As an infantryman, Plazolles-Hayes, went through constant training and was taught scenarios that would come up in a war, learning the reflex response to when bullets fly and bodies fall. “You can’t hesitate or second guess yourself,” he says. “I can’t, and don’t really want to kick that habit.” “I try to be prepared for any fight or situation that comes up. Because you never know what can happen.” During his years in the army, between October 2011 to February 2015, Plazolles-Hayes put in numerous official requests to be deployed to Afghanistan with the rest of his company, but was rejected every time.

Plazolles-Hayes was honourably discharged in February 2015, yet he confesses to still reminiscing about doing grenade training, shooting Javelin, man-portable anti-tank missiles in the Mojave Desert, kicking down doors and going on live-fire exercises when he gets bored in class. He left the army after reaching a saturation point as he felt he had hit a point where he knew his time was up. When his contract was over he chose not to re-enlist, choosing instead to transition back to being a civilian. “I was a hell of a soldier, and I was good at it,” he says. “How can you undo three solid years of intense training, discipline, and camaraderie? I still hold the oath of “I will never accept defeat” to heart.” When asked whether he was ever in a situation where he had to shoot someone, he refuses to answer, adding: “If a veteran has taken a life, it is not something that he may or may not want to talk about.” He adds that during the three years of his service there were times when he was depressed but he had access to mental health facilities. The discipline provided him with a structure and focus in his life and he will cherish the memories of spending time with his fellow soldiers. While the world shares a rather critical view of USA’s involvement in various war zones, Plazolles-Hayes is proud of his years of service. “Till the day I die, I will never regret my service to my country. I put three years of my life in defence of the United States, and I served with the finest men I will ever meet. My service made me the man I am today, and I wear my veteran status with pride. Hooah.”

Bursting onto the scene with Running and Wildest Moments in 2012, this generation’s love ballad hitmaker Jessie Ware is back after a three year hiatus. And despite so much anticipation, it pains me to say that Glasshouse is a muddled, mediocre offering from Ware. You find yourself skipping tracks, hoping to stumble across the few songs that carry Ware’s charming, crooning vocals that we love, and not 80s inspired let-downs. Finish What We Started sounds like a desperate tribute to Sade, the basic backing track, dated synths and predictable lyrics urge us to skip. It is uninspired lyrics such as “When you look at me that way I run out of reasons to say” that leave us wanting more from Ware. Alone screams tacky teen-pop, yet again filled with predictable lyrics. The track fortunately features again as an acoustic edition on the deluxe version of Glasshouse, begging the question as to why Ware ever bothered tainting her album with the fully edited, official track. The acoustic version is far superior, going from a second-rate hybrid of Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor to an intimate live session that we expect from Jessie Ware. Till The End is soulful, endearing and soothingly slow, lending itself well to the soundtrack of the hit film Me Before You, the heart-breaking romantic drama starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. It is definitely the best song on the

17-track album, but that is easy to do. The only thing that does confuse the listener is the placement of the song, a track this good should not be 13th on an album so poor, as you might not get to the 13th track. Midnight expresses Ware’s mystic persona, with synthy echoes blending into an empowering, soulful chorus, reminiscent of Alicia Keys and 70s sounds. And giving us those goosebumps we expect when listening to Ware is Hearts (think P!NK when she does slow ballads or Ed Sheeran’s storytelling approach). The message of the pains of love is nothing but captivating. My least favourite track is Selfish Love because it sounds like Ware tried very hard to do what Dido or Lana Del Rey do very well, that effortless cool and chic, vintage vibe. But, when you try so hard to be effortless it often screams desperation. This track bugs me, from the Flamenco-style intro beat to the music video, which is shot in that vintage Americana way with drop-top Mustangs, cacti and Ware lounging around by a pool in the sunshine State. For a three-time Brit nominee with two Top 10 albums, I expected more. Tp be honest, the whole thing felt disjointed and like there was no running flow or narrative. Despite her recognition as a great talent, I really struggled to follow where she was trying to take me. I am glad we have got a few great songs that are in a league of their own, which will be on repeat for weeks.

Simon wearing his army gear during his training period

Photo: Simon Plazolles-Hayes


Emil (circled) with Finnish conscripts

Photo: Emil Biese

While many countries have abandoned the practice of general conscription, Finland remains one of the last countries who refuses to alter its policy. Biese chose to further expand his filmmaking skills by joining the Combat Camera Team within the army. As part of which he will learn to fight as a light infantry soldier, with the force whilst filming the action. Biese will not face any real action during his service time, but the cadets were put on high alert this summer following the recent terror attack in Finland’s former capital city Turku. The attacker allegedly wanted to target men in uniforms.

“Following the events the army also told us conscripts to avoid using our military uniforms and take caution when on holidays, or when we are visiting home and especially during the night,” said Biese. Biese’s training focused on basic rifle use, physical tests, marksmanship shooting, marching both in a parade style and long distances in the forest, using different kinds of weapons and tactics. Biese admits that had it not been mandatory he would not have joined the army yet believes that this year will equip him with skills that will be beneficial for his future.

1982 original, watch for only £5 until October 12. For you budding film students, the BFI’s 25 and Under scheme offers £3 tickets to any film, plus opportunities and support for all you new and emerging talents. Tickets can be purchased on the day of screenings at The BFI Southbank and BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival venues. For just £5, grab tickets to see some top films at The London Film Festival from October 4 to 15: Professor Marston and The Wonder Woman: A sexy, funny, biopic that celebrates feministic heroes. Directed by Angela Robinson, and staring Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall. Saturday Church: NYC-set love story surrounding the topic of gender fluidity. Directed by Damon Cardasis, and staring Margot Bingham and Regina Taylor. The National Theatre’s Entry Pass

Blade Runner 2049: Better than the first BY CHANEL BUITURON

Jessie Ware at The 2017 Mercury Prize awards

Photo: Rex


Being in Kingston you have London on your doorstep. If you are looking to satisfy your artsy needs, but don’t want to dig too deep into your loan, we have just the solution. Thanks to the BFI 25 and Under, National Theatre, Young Barbican, The Young Vic and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), breaking the bank is not an option. The Young Barbican offers anyone aged 14 and 25 discounted tickets between £5, £10 and £15, to a variety of programmes including art exhibitions, theatre productions, music and dance performances, cinema experiences and workshops. You are advised to book early, so make sure you catch the following at The Barbican: Basquiat Boom for real (1960-1988), his first large scale exhibition in the UK. Ongoing until January 28 and only £5 a ticket. Still haven’t caught Blade Runner 2049 in 3D? Set decades after the

Photo: Rex


Student deals for the best events in London

KU student was shipped off to the army even before he graduated For some people serving in the army is a matter of great patriotism but for a certain Kingston student it is an obligation he could not escape. Emil Biese, 22, flew straight home to Finland after leaving Kingston University with a first in filmmaking, this summer to complete his year long mandatory military conscription. “A big reason that we still have mandatory military service is due to our history of fighting in the winter and the Continuation War during WWII, and Finland’s geographical situation next to Russia has given precedent to keep the armed forces mandatory to this day,” said Biese.



scheme allows 16 to 25-year-olds access to exclusive workshops, events and NT productions at a discounted price. Your membership also entitles you to discounts at The NT bookshop, cafe’s, backstage tours, with costume and props for hire. Your account will activate the day after you sign up but make sure to book early to avoid disappointment as there’s an allocation of Entry Pass tickets: Saint George and the Dragon, “A folk tale for an uneasy nation,” at the Olivier Theatre until December 2. Tickets from £15. Returning on November 20 until January 9, The Barber Shop Chronicles, a new play by Inua Ellams, returns to The National. Tickets from £15. The Young Vic offers students and those aged 25 and under limited £10 tickets for every production. Land some on-stage or front row

seats to your favourite shows: The Jungle, a Young Vic and National Theatre co-production with Good Chance Theatre. “This is the place people suffered and dreamed” at the Young Vic Main house from December 7 until January 6, £10 a ticket. The Royal Shakespeare Company supported by BP, offers £5 tickets to all RSC shows in London & Stratford Upon Avon. If you’re longing for some Shakespearian charm, look no further: Anthony and Cleopatra, ‘A Shakespeare tragedy of love and power.’ From November 30 to January 20 at the Barbican Theatre. An epic Roman play with Sope Dirisu as the title role. From November 6-18 at the Barbican Theatre and until October 14 in Stratford Upon Avon. Make sure to add these to your calendar and enjoy your days out.

Blade Runner 2049 has been one of this year’s biggest films, so we had to see how this one compared to the first. We see Ryan Gosling as the new Officer K replacing the original and iconic, Harrison Ford. Man-made humanoid machines are built to do the humans’ dirty work but have evolved at an increasingly rapid rate and are able to reproduce. By reproducing these robots can rebel, they have no reason to serve their creators anymore giving them the power to be the masters of their own fate. Gosling comes across a long-buried secret during an investigation into the replicant uprising, which has the power to alter the future of life and has been hidden for 30 years. The key to uncovering the secret is to track down Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford – the original Officer K) who is now living as a hermit in the ruins of Las Vegas. Both the sequel and the original are dense, it is an interesting film and the graphics are phenomenal. There was potential in the original film but things were left out, this film pays more attention to detail. It works because of the storyline, focusing on both characters working as a team to determine whether human identity amounts to more than following the rules of the Government. Overall, it has made a substantial amount of progress while still enduring the original film’s classic plot; using the same Sci-Fi techniques but bringing more of a thriller aspect to the film.

Get in before it’s gone... BY GEORGIA EVANS

For the first time, Jean-Michael Basquiat’s art is having its own large-scale exhibition in the UK. This pioneer of the 1980s downtown New York scene and prodigy of Andy Warhol worked his way from a homeless graffiti artist to an acclaimed protégé in just a few short years. Witness Basquiat’s reworking of the punk aesthetic, blended with hip-hop culture, ancient Egyptian history and traditional African art to create something ground-breaking. After taking his own life at the tender age of 27, this collection includes over 100 pieces from private owners and international galleries. Explore film, photography, art and archive material from the self-taught artist, poet, musician, DJ and philosopher. Tickets start at £5 for members of the Young Barbican, and £16 for standard entry. The exhibition runs until January 28.


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A BY GEORGIA EVANS Every fortnight, we’ll be finding the best live performances London has to offer and putting them all together in one quick, easy guide for you to use when planning your nights out. Enjoy! J.COLE - WHERE: O2 WHEN: October 15-16 This Grammy-nominated hip-hop legend is playing not one, but two nights at the O2. After the success of 4 Your Eyez Only, the self-taught pianist and producer will be bringing some Dreamville magic to his British audience. Tickets from £52 on Ticketmaster MURA MASA - WHERE: O2 Academy Brixton WHEN: October 19 Guernsey-born Mura Masa is one of the UK’s hottest talents around. Having collaborated with A$AP Rocky, Damon Albarn and Charlie XCX, the Lovesick DJ and producer will be taking over Brixton for a night of dance -pop heaven. Tickets from £24.75 on Dice THE BIG MOON - WHERE: KOKO, Camden WHEN: October 20 Following the success of their Mercury prize-nominated debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, this four-piece will be bringing the noise to Camden. Expect to hear hits like Cupid and Formidable at full volume and be thrown into a haze of grungy girl power. Tickets from £12 on SeeTickets LONDON GRAMMAR - WHERE: Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith WHEN: October 21 After selling out Hippodrome on their last tour, London Grammar are back on the road. Their second album, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing was met with critical acclaim, and now it’s time for them to play it live to their dedicated fans. Tickets from £39.50 on SeeTickets VIC MENSA - WHERE: Village Underground, Shoreditch WHEN: October 23 The Down on My Luck hitmaker is coming to London for a night of hiphop bliss. The Savemoney founder frequently collaborates with Chance the Rapper and co-wrote with Kanye West, proving himself as one of the industry’s best new artists. Tickets from £17.50 on SeeTickets

ngie Bowie, glam rock queen, former wife to superstar David Bowie, Kingston University alumni and more recently, Celebrity Big Brother contestant, has a life that lends itself to some great stories. She is originally from Cyprus, but moved to America in her teens, leaving after having an affair with another girl at Connecticut College. She eventually studied economics and marketing at Kingston in 1967 aged just 16. “By 1969, I should have graduated, but I had been moonlighting, going to Mercury Records with Calvin Mark Lee and Lou Reizner [close friends of David Bowie], because I wanted to make sure I could get a job in England and I never had to go back to the States,” she says. But her time at Kingston did not spell out. “They said ‘thank you for the lovely dissertation, you distinguished in that, but guess what? You can’t graduate!’” Her attendance was appalling, spending most of her time building connections with Lee, who would eventually introduce her to David Bowie in 1969, marrying in 1970. She fondly recalls her days at Kingston, specifically the entertainment committee and definitely nothing about her education. Her tone is whimsical and delighted when speaking about Kingston’s muscians, saying: “Wonder World, Martha Brown, Marc Bolan [singer and guitarist for the rock band T-Rex], I mean it was fabulous. “It was a wonderful place to be, very vibrant, very exciting. It was also something that was new, we were a new breed, we weren’t the privileged bunch.” But as ordinary as the Kingston Polytechnic students may have been, to be able to reminisce the days of hanging out with T-Rex, the pioneering 70s rock band whose hits such as Get It On and Hot Love led to them being on par with The Beatles in their heyday, hints to the incredible life she has had. Her years at Kingston saw her develop her love for acting, starring in Oh! What A Lovely War, a satirical take on World War 1. “Whenever I think of those years, I think of Kingston, I think of the university, I think of Ewell Road, the fabulous bedsit I shared, and I remember it with such love and affection,” she says. “At that time, we were very proud of being a redbrick polytechnic and it was extremely political. “We supported the London School of Economics sit in - the president of the student union was my boyfriend, a friend and gentleman called Gary Morton and I worked PR for our support of their sit in. “It was very important because the National Union of Students had a lot to say on what was a living grant for a student, and how it should not necessarily be a question of parents income.” She adds, “So basically, they brought about radical change.” However, life after university was not at all what she had envisioned.


Angie Bowie was half of the world’s most iconic glam rock duo. But in the late sixties she was a Kingston student. She tells Eric Brain how she skipped class to hang out with rock legends, failed her exams and life with David Bowie “What I missed or what I didn’t get from not getting a degree was totally irrelevant,” she says. “The first job I got was in Whitmore Street doing the marketing for a gentleman who had pure silk scarves, and he chased me around the basement - I had to hit him with a bolt.” This ordeal led her to seeking a job in the marketing industry, but one where she felt safe. It resulted in her working for Mercury Records, the people behind

was more “gobsmacked” about David Bowie’s death than Angie herself. She found out about David’s death while she was in the Big Brother house, which led to the moment between Angie and Tiffany ‘New York’ Pollard, where she had mistaken this news to be about David Gest, and not David Bowie. “To be honest with you the only thing that got my goat was that a couple of my friends who are journalists had hinted to me about David being ill. “But no one ever said to me, ‘You

But no one ever said to me, ‘You know David’s really sick? You know something could happen if you did Celebrity Big Brother?

glam rock and metal bands such as Bon Jovi and Kiss, but also Taylor Swift, The Killers and Iggy Azalea. “As an American in Europe with the qualifications that they required which was more languages than you could shake a stick at, and being able to go ahead and move around the area and do good work, that was interesting to me.” Another thing she is interested in is people, hence her appearance in 2016’s Celebrity Big Brother. And nobody

know he’s really sick? You know something could happen if you did this show?’, no one said that. “I found it very hard with a straight face to say, after not seeing him for 30 years, how fucking upset I was, when in actual fact I knew he’d be up there laughing his ass off go-ing, ‘See Angie, I got the last laugh.You may be doing a TV show but, I’ll take the headlight.’” She adds, “It was all I could do to not burst out laughing.”

She has a frankly honest attitude towards life. Her advice to Kingston University students is as simple as this: “I think getting a degree is fine, but if that’s your main purpose as an economic indicator of what you’re going to be able make later in life, then that is a load of bollocks. “The college experience is what excites you and turns you on, getting a degree is a really good thing to do - and attending enough classes to get the certificate!” What excites her now is her writing. She has always been a writer, but when creating her 600-page book Pop Sex, a history of popular sexuality and its movements and changes, Angie felt she was writing something of importance. “I write like there’s a voyage of discovery for a reader to come with me,” she says with contentment in her voice “I just thought that was interesting to bring it into the 20th and the 21st century’s conversation, about the western world of sexuality.” The book was a success because she felt it allowed readers to look back on the history of sexuality and how activists wanted to change the characteristics of society if their sexuality was not accepted. “To my surprise and my great happiness, all of the wonderful gay activists were able to finesse that into gay marriage becoming legal in a lot of places.


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Above: Bowie at Claridges in London, insert, Angie and David in the 70s. Photo: Tony Buckingham/REX/Angie Bowie “Not that I’m particularly interested in people being able to get married because I think marriage is an antiquated institution, but

in the question of health care and inheritance, it is essential that folks who are gay have access to the same privileges to people who are hetero.”

Above: Bowie entering the Big Brother house, left, before she quit the house, far left, the Rainbow Theatre in 1974. Photo: David Fisher/Rex/Graham Wiltshire


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Kingston hockey hot shot waits for England call after try out But star to sit out six weeks with broken foot


From Left: Spencer Tobias-Williams, Louis Semlekan, Cody Thomas-Matthews, Connor Cheetham

Photo: Phoebe Fox

High Tyde are on a new wave

Indie alternative band High Tyde talk to Alice Bradley about their unstoppable climb to success since their first release Karibu. Their latest offering, Young Offenders, is a defiant action to rewrite an outdated stereotype High Tyde are the British quartet taking the music industry by storm, playing shows at Reading, Underground and Y Not and being featured as one to watch by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. Speaking about their newest sound, frontman Cody Thomas-Matthews reveals: “We wanted to produce a song that would create madness at a show, so the ending of the track originated from that idea.” With its raspy riffs and projected vocals, the lead singer discloses the meaning behind their new track: “It’s basically about youth culture and arguing that not everyone our age is a young offender. It was written around the same time as the snap election and literally written within an hour and a half. It’s definitely

an outdated stereotype of young people and we think our voices should be heard as loud as anyone else’s.” The band’s deep and thoughtful lyrics often start with humble beginnings. Thomas-Matthews admits: “I was at work at the time and I got a message off Connor saying, ‘Dude, you need to come round, we’ve got this track on the go and it’s proper vibey.’ It was so cool. I just left work and went straight to Spencer’s house and we started smashing out this track. It just came together really nicely.” When asked about the creative process, he said: “The process really varies from track to track. We might make a piano loop or something and then we’ll fit a nice melody over it and then transpose it to guitars. We might even just sit

down and write a song using an acoustic guitar.” “With Young Offenders, it was first jammed out with just guitars and then straight to a computer where we will then create lyrics and a melody. It really varies and we never write the same way. We always want to stay fresh and sound new and exciting.” High Tyde are influenced by their everyday existence. Thomas-Matthews took his inspirations from all aspects of life, “Even things that happened last night in our hungover state, writing when you’re hungover is really good because you really let your true feelings out.” “We have been intensely writing for about a year and half. We have evolved a lot as a band. All of the songs that we

are going to be releasing from now on are really cohesive and they have kind of got a story to them.” They hope to make an album one day but are focusing on their singles for a bit, adding:“Eventually when we get a bit of money, we are going to fit it into an album and just go for it.” High Tyde’s music video matched up well with their initial vision for the project. “We wanted to create a piece of art and representation of us”, said Thomas-Matthews. “We don’t want to be the main focus and in the video too much. We wanted to put across the message of the song in an aesthetically pleasing way.” The band the creative side of music production. Thomas-Matthews said: “I love it, but I can’t actually make it. Our

guitarist Spencer is hot on the art. We all share the same vision. It’s kind of only a recent thing really, but are trying to make everything look really clean[...]Everything has to stay to our genre and vision.” In the future, High Tyde are looking to work harder at what they enjoy. “More songs and more shows. Our shows are absolutely mental so you need to come down to really experience our band.” Ending on a positive note, Thomas-Matthews says: “We are hoping to shoot more videos very soon. I’m excited to get more songs out, it has been nearly a year since we released our first track. It’s so exciting and we are really going to keep the ball rolling. We would love to play in Kingston.”

Working Men’s Club are diversifying Kingston’s nightlife, one song at a time BY GEORGIA EVANS

Working Men’s Club started off as a small, student-run club night, founded by Alex Harrod-Edwards. With eight DJs on the roster, an oldschool feel and an inclusive ethos, these guys are determined to bring an alternative night out to Kingston students. After securing a regular spot at Knights Park, the collective was soon playing at renowned clubs like Lightbox and Bussey Building, and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. We sat down with Alex to talk about how it all started, what lies ahead for the collective and how they’re helping to diversify Kingston’s nightlife. “I started it roughly two years ago because I thought there was a need in

Kingston for student-run nights, especially at Knights Park,” Alex recalls. The collective started off with small fundraising events before growing and building up a community. Most recently, their collaboration with the student-run Grand Unified Themes led to a regular night at Bacchus called Perculated Sound, “I’ve never seen Bacchus so full.” He says: “We took lights and smoke machines and transformed it into a different club.” This collaboration also brought them to the infamous venue, Lightbox. Inclusivity and community lie at the heart of Working Men’s Club. Alex says: “In everything we do, we try to build up a community. We want to give Kingston students a different and real student experience.”

When asked about the name, Alex says: “The idea of a British Men’s Working Club is so different that the name is very tongue in cheek and ironic. It kind of points out the issues with this kind of establishment and suggests that we’re moving forward by subverting what a working men’s club is about.” Equality is very important too. So to add a touch more irony, they ensure they have a healthy balance of both male and female DJs on their roster, in an effort to showcase a wide variety of musical styles. A typical night with Working Men’s Club would include an eclectic song selection, with a slight disco bias. Be sure to listen out for their theme tune which is, Gwen McRae’s, Keep the

A Kingston university hockey player who tried out for the English national team had to put his season on hold after breaking his foot. Striker William Calnan, 21, was invited to trials for England and tried out last week, but only a few days later he broke his foot and will be out for six weeks. “It’s pretty frustrating, but other than missing a few games for my club Hamstead & Westminster it won’t really affect me much,” Calnan said. “Just a bit of time to catch up on some uni-work.” During the European Championship for under-21s in Spain this summer, where England placed fifth, Calnan was the top goal scorer of the tournament, with 11 goals in five games. He said he thinks this is the reason he got invited to the trials. “It’s a dream to represent Great Britain and England in an Olympics but I have only recently come to accept the fact that it may actually be possible,” Calnan said. The second year business management student has played for the under-21s since he was 18 years old. Before that he played for under-18s and under-16s, and is now hoping to play for the seniors. He has played hockey since he was


Fire Burning on October 20 when they play at Hannaford’s, and Alex says: “We’re definitely going to continue regular nights and hopefully continue to expand. I’ve also had ideas of having live Jazz Nights and a pop-up record

shop for students. I want to grow into more of a brand with various manifestations with more people involved.” To read the ful interview and see Alex’s picks for our Spotify, check out The River Online

Kingston under-21 star, William Calnan Inset: Elliot Bullman ston they both play defence. There are to have something to fall back on. Calnan and Bullman are a part of already two good goalkeepers on the Kingston University Sports perfor- team and Bullman enjoys having a run mance programme where they get around and is good at organising the help to balance their studies with their defence. He points out that on imporsports by for example getting free ac- tant games, he goes in goal himself. “What I love about hockey is the cess to the gym, free physio and help to speed of the game and I really like extend deadlines if needed. Calnan is a striker and Bullman is a playing in a team where winning is a goalkeeper for England, but for King- team effort,” Bullman said.

Photo: Mark Clews Kingston men`s hockey captain, Tom Banner said: “It helps having their experience in the team since they have both been coached at quite a high level and can impart their knowledge and skill on us. “It’s good to have some unbelievable players that we can rely on. Will scores us a lot of goals and Elliott is an unbelievable keeper.”

Thriller debut game in new league for Kingston Hockey Men’s hockey Brighton: 5 Men’s hockey Kingston: 5

Alex performing for a Working Men’s Club event Photo: Facebook

11 years old but cannot remember the first time he picked up a hockey stick. Both of his younger siblings also play hockey and have played for the England juniors. “In my opinion the trials went well, but it’s not important what I think, it’s what the coach thinks,” Calnan said. “I’m pretty optimistic whatever happens, but I’m rather impatient.” Calnan is not the only Kingston player at the under-21s team. Third year geology student Elliott Bullman, 21, has played for England under-21s for three years as a goalkeeper and like Calnan, Bullman has also played for under-18s and under-16s. Bullman did not play the euros since he was a non-travelling reserve but they both played together in Malaysia a couple of years ago in the Sultan of Johor cup. Bullman now plays for Teddington Hockey Club. Bullman said: “Last season went very well. We trained hard with high quality training at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on a weekly, sometimes monthly, basis. “We had some good wins in test matches against Germany, Holland and Belgium.” Bullman is trying to get to trials for the England seniors and said he wants to become a professional hockey player, but that a degree is important

Kingston striker Ben Spencer saved the day, scoring the equaliser for Kingston a few minutes before the final whistle was blown. It was an action packed game between Kingston and Brighton, ending with a total of ten goals. Kingston Cougar’s captain Tom Banner, 21, said: “I thought we played really well, especially considering it was our first game of the season. We made quite a few mistakes at the back in the second half, which ultimately cost us the win, but it was good to see commitment from the boys. “We have a lot to work on, tactically and skill wise, but I think we wanted more than they did today. I think that

is why we came out with a good draw.” Kingston Cougars was promoted to BUCS league South Eastern 2A after winning their prevous league last season. Considering this is the first game at a level this high, the result is impressive. Kingston kept the goals at bay with a strong defense, with Kingston’s Sebastian Stoner blocking the Brighton attackers from scoring again and again. Captain Tom Banner led the defence and the rest of the team in the right direction. “I thought one of our freshers, Seb Stoner, stepped up really well. He would be my man of the match. “He was incredible, he showed desire and was up and down the pitch. I have no idea how he ran that far,” Banner said. It started off badly for the cougars with Brighton’s Rannoch Foster scoring

Top scorer Ben Spencer Photo: Alice Bradley early on, but Kingston’s Elliot Bullman Kingston’s second goal, letting them go to half-time with a 2-1 lead. quickly equalised to 1-1. The second half had a quick start Spencer had a good day scoring

with Brighton’s captain Harrison Hubbard scoring, shortly followed by Spencer giving the Cougars the lead yet again, 3-2. Few minutes later Brighton’s Matt Dentford equalised and Ben Collins later took the visitors up to a 4-3 lead. Luckily, Spencer was quick on his feet and made the score 4-4, leading up to a nerve-wracking last 10 minutes. Chris Hunter gave Brighton the lead yet again, but Kingston’s Spencer was solid and scored the last equaliser, making him the game’s top scorer. “I feel very optimistic about the rest of the season, probably more optimistic than I felt this morning. We got promoted last year, so going into the unknown a bit. “I didn’t know if we had the team to play at this level, but clearly we do. So hopefully the season will be good,” Banner said.

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Men’s football fall to opening day defeat 24


Kingston Men’s Firsts 0 LSE Men’s Seconds 1 BY LOUIE CHANDLER

KUFC Men’s first team suffered an opening day 1-0 defeat to the London School of Economics’ 2nd team on Wednesday, despite dominating large parts of the game. The winning goal came in the 72nd minute from a diving header by LSE midfielder Dom Wilson. “I thought we were the best side,” Kingston Captain Greg Potts told The River after the game. “We just couldn’t break through. They came here to sit-back and get a 1-0.” After LSE had an early goal ruled out for offside, the home side began to take control and two minutes later saw a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after midfielder Yaw Ofosu appeared to be tripped in the area by Jake Darcy. Striker Mo Sesay then saw his low cross from a free-kick bobble past everybody and agonisingly wide, clipping the post on its way. LSE had a great chance to take the lead on the half hour mark when Wilson whipped a menacing free-kick right across the face of the goal. Miraculously nobody in a yellow shirt could get the vital touch, and it trickled behind for a goal kick. Kingston right-back Ross Tann saw his game come to an early end after a nasty clash, leaving the pitch with a suspected broken nose. LSE seemed determined to turn the tide at the start of the second half.

Kelly broke the offside trap again only for his feet to fail him when one-on-one with Tom Gurney in the Kingston goal. The visitors again had a goal ruled out for offside, when Joe Jollie sprinted through and cooly finished only to be greeted by the linesman’s flag. More chances fell for LSE and whhen Kelly rounded Gurney on the 68th minute it seemed destined to finish in a goal, but a heroic stop from KU centre-back Ross Kotting kept the scores even. On the 72nd minute the deadlock was finally broken. A long ball over the top from LSE centre-back Darcy sent Jollie through down the left hand side. His cross found its way to Wilson at the back post who made no mistake, nodding a diving header past the helpless Gurney. Kingston continued to press for an equaliser, but again found themselves lacking in creativity. An overdramatic catch from the LSE goalkeeper from an Ofosu header was the last of the action. Potts bemoaned his side’s lack of creativity in the opening day defeat. “We’re trying to play the right way. Between the lines and into feet but it’s difficult to get used to,” he said. “We just lacked a bit of creativity in the final third.” On the other side, LSE hero of the day Wilson was delighted with the result. “It’s good to start with a win and a clean sheet,” he told The River. “We’ve got about seven new freshers and it’s our first competitive game, so we’re very happy to come

Jonah Ross attempts to lose his marker Photo: Sunniva Kolostyák