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• 800,000 student records sent to private firms

• Investigation by watchdog • KU says scheme helps boost donations



GRADUATES have been left furious after it emerged Kingston University has sent details of hundreds of thousands of former students’ records to private companies to “snoop” on them. The University sent 796,500 records to wealth screening firms since 2006 - more than any other university in the country - to gather financial information about alumni before they were asked to donate to the institution. Graduates can then be ranked according to their wealth, based on home values, pensions, charity donations and the value of any shares they hold, as well as the likelihood that they would donate money to the University.

The Kingston data requests related to 172,000 alumni many of whom were screened repeatedly. A spokesman for the University said it took data protection seriously and complied with regulations on requests. However, former students and campaigners were left outraged by what they claimed was a breach of their privacy. Several KU graduates told The River that the University never asked them for permission to send their financial data to these firms. History graduate Hayden Collins said: “It’s a joke. If they did this, they certainly did not ask and wouldn’t get my permission. TURN TO P2





First students in KU Law expert returns to Jamaica to help against terror related activites By CHANEL BUITURON their family to go A KINGSTON University UN law expert has returned to Jamaica to advise to University the government on how to crack down

PHOTO: Rex Features By MEGAN FOSTER FLAHERTY THIS year, 49 per cent of the 3,187 Kingston University undergraduates were the first in their family to attend higher education. A report by UCAS showed that this figure is reflected across the country, and is a 43 per cent increase since 2009.“As part of its commitment to widen participation and support all students to achieve their full potential, Kingston University has long championed the importance of supporting individuals from groups under-represented in higher education,” a Kingston University spokesperson said. “This includes first generation applicants whose parents have not been to university.” KU created The Compact Scheme to specifically support students who are the first in their family to attend university, which includes information and guidance throughout the application process. Students are also invited to attend a pre-enrolment programme called Head Start Summer which provides advice on note-taking, revision strategies and money management. “I had heard of a similar scheme a long time ago but nothing in the past few years,” said 20-year-old Sports Science student, Serena Blundell, who is the first member of her family to attend university. “I think they should be more vocal about the support available but I don’t think any more is needed really.” The report by UCAS says the majority of these students attend middle and low-ranking universities, while those joining top universities tend to have at least one parent with a degree, and are wealthier. Journalism student, Melissa Moody, 20, is also the first in her family to attend university and said: “The university itself has the compact scheme but it took a lot of digging around the website before I found out about it and how to apply for it, from there it did help. Nationally I don’t think there is much help at all, it depends on colleges and people who have been before to decode the process, which is something not everyone has access to.”

on terror-related activities. The Jamaican Government has sought out the expertise of Dr Gauri Sinha for the second time to advise ministers on implementing measures to prevent financing of terrorism. Dr Sinhas trip follows her initial visit to the Caribbean island in 2016, where she helped shape the nation’s legislation to strengthen the country’s laws on financial sanctions. In her first trip in 2016, more than 10 official recommendations were made to ministry officials during the workshop, this included representatives of global non-profit organisations. Her recommendations received widespread approval from officials that attended the workshop. Read more on The River website.

PHOTO: CTV News - Police raid in Jamaica. Kingston University - Dr Gauri Sinha KU law and crime expert

‘It’s worrying that my personal data is being shared with a stranger third party’

CONTINUED FROM P1 THAT is a lot of influential information and potentially exploitative.” KU biology graduate, Hollie Goodridge, said she has been called more than five times by the University since her graduation last summer and was not aware that her data had been shared. “I am not happy about it,” she said. Journalism graduate Claire Gilbody Dickerson said she had no idea that the University might have shared her data. “It’s worrying that my personal data is being shared with a stranger third party,” she said. The information on how the University might share your data is available on its website. However, The River found the relevant detail buried in a paragraph on how the University will “enhance” your data. When informed about the university’s activities, KU civil engineering graduate Giovanni Zanchi described the university as “sons of bitches”. Zanchi was very angry because he claimed he was not informed about the relevant section on the website, despite later admitting not having read the fine print when enrolling. An investigation revealed that at least 90 universities in the UK have sent their alumni’s financial records to wealth screening firms. Another graduate said: “It’s outrageous. I cannot believe they would do that.” Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “concerned” about the revelations while Tory MP Philip Hollobone said: “Alumni will be very concerned that their personal details appear to be available to all and sundry.” The Information Commissioner Office (ICO), an independent watchdog which

monitors the use of information, is to examine the universities’ activities to establish whether they breached data protection laws after failing to inform alumni. Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “Personal data belongs to the individual and that means they have the right to make choices about how it is used. The law requires organisations to tell people what it’s going to be used for and who it’s going to be shared with and that’s what people expect.” According to the Act, profiling people for fundraising purposes is not illegal but people should be informed on how their data is being treated. The ICO told The River that if Kingston was found guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act, consequences could range from a fine of up to £500,000 to criminal prosecution. Kingston admitted sharing records with these companies but claimed it held to strict data protection clauses. A spokesperson for Kingston University said: “A total of more than £700,000 has been donated to the University over the past two years by alumni. “All money raised from alumni donations goes entirely towards funding student-facing projects. These include scholarships, hardship grants, care leaver bursaries, internships and supporting elements of the entrepreneurship programme. “The University takes data protection very seriously and regularly reviews its policies to ensure they are in line with best practice. “The University’s alumni and friends privacy policy is published on its website and it details how the University may use information about its alumni, including in connection with fundrais-

ing activity, and outlines instances in which the University may share data with external companies. Alumni are able to opt out at any time should they wish.” The Fundraising Regulator told The River it is committed to help universities make positive changes in the way they handle personal data, ahead of new laws which will come in force from May 2018. Sam Barnett, from the Fundraising Regulator, said: “As exempt charities, universities have a responsibility to maintain public trust. This includes obeying a legal duty to inform someone if their personal data is being processed, and to respect the rights of individuals who do not want their data to be used for direct marketing or fundraising. “New laws coming into force next May, the General Data Protection Regulation, give individuals new rights over how their personal information is used so universities and charities must review how they use personal data.” The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) backed the universities’ practice explaining that the research was an important part of fundraising. IoF head of policy, Daniel Fluskey, said: “Time and again, evidence shows that individuals want and expect that fundraisers have an understanding about them and so are able to ask for their support in the right way, tailored to their interests and ability to donate. “The only way that this sort of excellent fundraising is possible is through research.” The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) that works with the university “best practice” for fundraising also supported the institutions.

Tricia King, CASE vice president, said: “In our experience universities take the privacy of their alumni and other philanthropists very seriously.” KU students are hired as fundraisers which requires them to call alumni and ask for donations after outlining the university’s projects. Through telephone campaigns started in 2007 and running twice a year, Kingston has raised more than £1million. In the Spring of 2017, the alumni donated £83,965 with the money used to fund bursaries and scholarships. Kingston said that the money raised was used to help students from a low socio-economic background. One of the firms hired by some of the universities to investigate their alumni’s finances is called Prospection for Gold and among its services offers “research, wealth screening and consultancy to make fundraising effective and successful”. Director of Business Development Kerry Rock said: “For twenty years we have helped charities and not for profit organisations research their supporters so they can build relationships and work together better. There is nothing secretive or hidden about this and there cannot be many alumni who do not expect their university to ask them for a gift later in life. “The research we do is lawful. The UK’s robust data protection laws ensure that everyone’s personal data is managed fairly and proportionately.” The Department for Education said: “Fundraising must be always be done in line with the law. An individual’s personal data is protected by statute, and I understand the Information Commissioner, as the responsible regulator, is looking into this issue.”







August 2015

21st 3lbs September 2015

ALTHOUGH Chris Ulus was taunted for being overweight he always had his grades to rely on. But when he flunked his A levels he knew it was time to change his lifestyle. Ulus, now 19 and a first year pharmacy student at KU, weighed just under 22 stone when he began losing weight after results day in 2015. “I remember that day like it was yesterday,” said Chris. “I remember sitting down at a Turkish restaurant, everyone was eating but I didnʼt as I was so upset. And eating was a hobby. “When I say I failed, I really fucked up. When usually I was one of the smart kids. “That’s why when people said I was fat during GCSEs, I’d say but my grades are good so it’s fine.” Ulus was clinically obese with 40 per cent body fat when he decided to change his lifestyle. Being 6ft 1ins, he is now classed as healthy and weighs 13 stone. From September 2015 it took Ulus

seven months to lose the excess weight by dieting, exercising and cutting out fast food. He has since passed his A levels in biology, chemistry and maths finishing the courses with BBB. “I had to sacrifice KFC Fridays,” he said. “I used to eat five meals a day and at lunch I would have heavy meals like chicken and chips. “It was very difficult and I was hungry the whole time but at this point I had enough of food. I wanted change.” Ulus dropped to 12 stone during this summer but felt “too skinny” so purposely gained weight. “My mum was away so I wasn’t eating much, it was an unhealthy loss from 13 stone to 12 stone. I went overboard a bit.” Ulus explained how “very tempting” it is to become “obsessed” by weight loss. He often would weigh himself in the gym after a workout and bought a set of weighing scales. “I am still a bit obsessed about my sides, my hips stick out a bit, but every-

June 2016

13st 3lbs October 2016

September 2015

KU student loses 8.5 stone after failing A level exams BY CARLY HACON


one’s got something.” He has now stabilised his weight by changing his exercise routine from cardio to muscle building. “I didn’t have abs until this September which was so random. I remember looking at the mirror and thinking what the hell, are those abs?” Ulus, from Hackney, east London, said he had always been overweight but during his college years he became obese. He was often taunted by friends and family members for being overweight. “The indirect words from an uncle or an aunt at the dinner table saying ‘don’t eat that or ‘you’re fat’ in front of everyone affected me. “When I was fat I was still a funny guy so I was still loved, but inside I felt unhappy and insecure.” When he was overweight Ulus said he hated exercise. He especially loathed participating in events at school sports days. “There were times when I went swimming and I would cover myself with a towel,” he said.

“I’d always be last and people would give the patronising look at me saying ‘well done you can do it’. “That stuff doesn’t bother me anymore because now when I see those bullies I just smile because I’m doing well and I’m probably more healthy.” Ulus often posts on his Facebook profile about his weight loss journey. He has uploaded several before and after posts which received a big reaction from his Facebook friends. “When I hit 100 kg (15st 7lbs), officially losing 35 kg (5st 7lbs) all my friends were shocked. “I put up a Facebook post and wrote ‘no comment’. “The support and love I got was outside of this planet. Imagine, suddenly, girls that donʼt even recognise you start to flirt with you.” Ulus aims to continue with his healthy lifestyle but does not plan on losing any more weight. He is more relaxed now with his routine, adding: “There’s nothing more to do after gaining abs.” COMMENT ON P13

November 2016


Breakfast: A fried breakfast with sausages Brunch: Two slices of pizza, crisps and a fizzy drink Lunch: Sausages, cheese and bread or chicken and chips Dinner: Rice or pasta with chicken or lamb Dessert: A bowl of sugary cereal Snacks: Cereal bars


Breakfast: Kellogg’s Special K cereal with skimmed milk Lunch: Nothing Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, using no oil, with salad and lemon garnish Snacks: Cashews, hazelnuts or peanuts “The first thing people ask is do you have loose skin. I have no loose skin, no surgery and no steroids,” added Ulus.




KU bus crash: AA warns no texting while crossing road BY LACEY JONES, CARLY HACON AND GEORGIA BALCH KU students must stop using their phones when crossing the road after a student collided with a university bus and was airlifted to hospital, road safety experts warned. On November 8, students watched in horror as the unnamed 18 year-old KU students was thrown into the air by a KU1 bus at approximately 11:30 am. Paramedics treated the teenager on the pavement outside Surrey County Council and the student was said to be in critical condition. The AA found that seven out of ten motorists see gadget-obsessed pedestrians walking off the pavement without looking on a regular basis. A spokesman for AA said: “We can only stress to pedestrians that if they’re going to cross the road that they put down their smart phones and pay attention to what is going on around them. “If you pay attention then you’re less likely to get hit by a car driver,

who despite their best driving, stands no chance of avoiding the accident if a pedestrian steps out in front of them.” Edmund King, the head of the AA, referred to pedestrians who use their mobile phones and do not pay attention when crossing the road as “Smombies” or smartphone zombies. He said he feared older children were becoming increasingly careless when crossing the road because they were using their smartphones. Head of road safety at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Kevin Clinton said that it is important to be aware when interacting with traffic. Clinton said: “Looking properly when you are walking is as important as when you are driving, so take care not to be dangerously distracted, whether by mobile phones, listening to music or being caught up in conversations with other people. “Being able to use all of your senses while you are on the road is impor-

The bus crash in action on Penrhyn Road tant and using mobile phones can, of course, be distracting.” Environmental Hazard and Disaster Management student Thomas Dack, 25, said: “Everyone is guilty of not paying enough attention sometimes, for example mobile phone use.” After rumours that the KU student was dead, it was revealed that the student suffered a minor concussion and he is now fine. Don DeMeo, a 22-year-old economics student, said: “I was on the bus looking at my phone and then heard and felt a very loud thump. “I looked up and saw a kid go flying through the air. I left the bus and he was unconscious.” The driver took a few days off for stress and was found to not be at fault. Councillor Phil Doyle, a Cabinet Member with the responsibility for transport and highways at Kingston Council said: “We’re saddened to learn of the accident on Penrhyn Road. “The council has a responsibility to



take appropriate measures to reduce and prevent accidents, as well as promoting road safety for all.” Last year in Kingston, there were 21 pedestrian road casualties, and two were serious and 19 slight casualties. The Penrhyn Road bus incident was just one of three accidents that have happened in Kingston this month. Councillor Jon Tolley has called for a ‘road safety report’ to see if there was an increasing trend in the area that may only worsen during the Christmas period, or if it was just coincidence. Tolley said: “It would be wrong for me to pre-empt the report but I am worried about it, for sure. My gut feeling is more cars and more people equals more potential for incidents like the ones we’ve just seen.” The council have said that they will review the findings of the ongoing police investigation and consider whether urgent action needs to be taken. Doyle said: “Any work will be linked into the borough’s transport

strategy, which includes a commitment to reduce serious injuries and deaths on Kingston’s transport network. “The council assesses annual accident and collision data and submits bids for improvement through this strategy where appropriate.” This news comes two years after KU sports student Hina Shamim was killed by a speeding driver on Penryhn road. Shamim was mowed down by a white BMW that was going above the speed limit and was killed instantly. Following this, a pedestrian crossing was put in place by the council to help students cross the road safely. A Kingston University spokesperson said: “KU takes the personal safety of its students and staff extremely seriously, liaising regularly with the police and council and producing a great deal of guidance on staying safe on campus. Safety advice is also provided to students during induction.” They urge students to use the three pelican crossings in the area.

KU student takes control of bus ride from hell BY SOFIE SMEDSRUD A KU student had to intervene to calm down abusive bus passengers and drive back to safety after it took a five mile diversion on a narrow country road. The 57 bus to Kingston went off track after missing a turn that landed them on an hour-long journey to the countryside of Esher. “It felt very strange and alien-like to stand at the very front of a TFL bus helping direct the driver,” said the student, Joe Benham. The driver faced abuse from passengers while trying to navigate the double-decker through unknown terrain of small roads, height-restrictions and low-hanging trees. The 23-year-old student’s instincts kicked in when he realised that the situation could become dangerous. “I heard shouting and arguing over the sound of my headphones, and when we left the safety of the busy road onto a country lane that I knew it was getting dangerous, as the shouting was getting worse,” he said.

A map showing the route the 57 bus took (red) compared to its usual route (black) PHOTO: ASA H. AABERGE “If someone didn’t do something, then the bus would crash into something or someone quite easily.” The student felt obliged to step in and direct the passengers to halt the abuse aimed at the driver.

Benham tried to take control of the situation by asking the passengers to calm down and leave the driver to concentrate on his task. “I knew I needed to take action to control these passengers and allow the

driver to drive in a safe environment. I told them to move to the back of the bus and talk quietly. But they argued back and directed their abuse at me.” The bus driver had to manage rowdy passengers the 15-20 passengers that

complained and distracted him from his task. “Some passengers were constantly harassing him by saying things such as ‘you don’t know what you’re doing, I could drive better than this’”, he said. “When there was shouting it felt out of control and I could sense the stress coming from the driver as he was saying nothing and trying to concentrate on steering the bus, avoiding low hanging trees and narrow parts of the road.” The international relations and politics student works part-time driving a delivery van, and was not unfamiliar with the task of driving a height-restricted vehicle. The driver and the student calculated that both of the routes to Hampton Court Palace had dangerous height-restrictions, and thus decided that the safest way back was to go all the way back to where they started. “It doesn’t happen often, and it took me by surprise for one of these situations to take place on the bus I take to university everyday.” TFL were not able to comment.





‘I never thought I’d be a victim of Islamophobia in my old alumni’

KU graduate denied entry to controversial Moazzam Begg Islamophobia awareness talk BY MEGAN FOSTER FLAHERTY A KU GRADUATE blamed Islamophobia and the government’s anti-terror policies as he furiously walked out of an Islamophobia awareness event with controversial speaker Moazzam Begg. Journalist and KU graduate Bashir Ibrahim was meant to speak to the audience of 70 at the Islamic Society (ISOC) event but refused to return during Islamophobia Awareness Month because KU security would not allow his friend into the Penrhyn Road lecture hall. Prevent is a safeguarding counter-terrorism law that requires universities to tackle radicalisation, an offence Begg has repeatedly been accused of in the media. “I never thought I’d be a victim of Islamophobia in my old alumni. And I’m sad and it’s because of Prevent,” Ibrahim said. Students had to swipe their ID cards before being allowed in and security waited outside to escort Begg to and from the building. Begg, an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee and CAGE representative, (a human rights charity) has been controversial for his remarks’ such as calling British ISIS member Jihadi John “a beautiful young man”. “I think refusing entry to Bashir Ibrahim’s guest was not only unnecessary but also rude and discourteous,” Begg said. “I have spoken in Oxford and Cambridge Unions multiple times. They have no forms to sign, security on the doors, student cards being swiped or restrictions on guest. The same is true

Moazzam Begg’s third talk at KU discussed Islamaphobia awareness of many other unis I’ve spoken at. The duties and guidance of the government are the same. The implementation clearly is not.” This was the third time Begg has spoken at Kingston University and Ibrahim has spoken at ISOC events regularly every year since graduating from KU in 2014. A spokesman for Kingston University and the Union of Kingston Students told The River: “All speakers who attend events across our campuses are required to conform with the relevant policies of the University and Union of Kingston Students. “This includes signing a joint values

statement under the University’s Freedom of Speech Policy.” Begg is controversial as he has previously been accused of ‘radicalising’ students during talks at universities. In 2015, KU was named as one of the worst four universities for holding events featuring ‘hate speakers’. Begg told the audience: “The word radicalisation, the suffragettes they were regarded as radicals. Some of Labour’s policies are regarded as radical.” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they were radical too, right? “So what is wrong with the term radical? And how can you say that these people are being radicalised, and say

PHOTO: REX that it is definitely something that is wrong? Why can it not be positive radicalisation?” “This is a tortured use of language and a misuse of our language that has been hijacked.” It is uncertain whether Kingston University has conformed to Prevent’s regulations as they did not have an opposed speaker, a specific requirement of the counter-terrorism law. Begg said: “Tell me how many lives have been saved (by Prevent)? The answer is none. Prevent in universities is having a chilling effect on debates and a deadening effect on research.” Counter-terrorist police are aware

of Begg talking at universities, but will not comment further. A KU spokesman said they are “committed to upholding freedom of speech and to providing the opportunity for stimulating academic debate on a broad range of topics and issues.” “The University works hard to ensure these discussions take place in a respectful environment that encourages people from different viewpoints to have their voices heard,” he added. Begg is one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. He spoke to KU about his time in Guantanamo Bay, the war on terror, the term radicalisation, the rise of Islamophobia and his hatred for Prevent. “Islamic state today is the reason why we have Prevent,” he said. “Because of a war crime, we have Prevent in our schools, universities, colleges, nurseries, prisons and hospitals. That’s how wide spread it is. “Trust, empathy and understanding, that is in jeopardy.” The president of KU’s Amnesty International Society Committee, Ilaria Ferrari, spoke on behalf of herself. She said: “Both this event and the guest speaker were approved by the Union, in accordance with their regulations. “It is true that some security measures were put in place, I believe that this is due not to the event or the guest speaker, but more probably to the risk of backlash from the audience.” A KU spokesman said: “We are proud to represent a vibrant, multi-cultural student community where people from all backgrounds and beliefs can come together.

See comment on page 13.

KU marches for free education Anger at KU halls delay BY ELENA CHERUBINI AND SOPHIE MCCONNELL A GROUP of KU students and alumni shouted “education is a right not a privilege” as they joined thousands in a national demonstration against tuition fees last week in central London. The march was organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) to protest against cuts and to demand the abolition of tuition fees. Knights Park Union officer, Daisy Bow du Toit said: “The government needs to make sure that students are at the heart of the policies they are creating, and they need to be in consultation with the students.” At least 10,000 students were expected to join, but only a few thousands

took part in the protest which was a partial “flop”. The protest started at the UCL campus and ended at the Parliament Square after marching for 2.5 miles. Passing by Downing Street, students shouted abuse towards Prime Minister Theresa May and showed support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn backed the protest on Facebook stating: “The political establishment has betrayed young people. Since 2010, the Tories have made unprecedented cuts to further education. Corbyn added: “Now the Tories think that capping university fees at £9,250 will be some sort of remedy to all this. What an insult. Everyone should have access to free education, from the cradle to the grave.”

In the run up to last June’s general elections, Labour has pledged to set up a National Education Service providing free education for students at every stage of their lives. The students supported this pledge criticising a Tory Government that “only cares if education is profitable”. The National Union of Students (NUS) was criticised for not taking part in the protest and standing up for students’ rights with protestors shouting, “education is a mess where the fuck is NUS?” Students demanded free education, achievable, in their opinion, by taxing the rich and living grants for all, after they were abolished for the first-time last year.

See comment on page 12.

BY STEPH SPYRO KU STUDENTS are frustrated after a new University halls of residence at Penrhyn Road was delayed. Students complained after the move-in deadline for the housing at 73-77 Penrhyn Road was delayed for a second time since September this year. Ronan Flanagan, a first-year fashion design student who is set to move into the new accommodation, said: “A few weeks is one thing but two months is quite a delay.” Residents were notified of the delay by email just two weeks prior to moving in. All students were provided with

new accommodation at Clayhill although some later preferred to move to Seething Wells or Middle Mill. Eva Napier, a first-year fashion student, said: “I’m settled now, I just can’t be asked to move for a third time.” A spokesperson for the University said: “The delay is beyond the University’s control, the developer has negotiated with them to ensure that students’ accommodation costs for this period are reduced. “Full assistance will be provided to students once the Penrhyn Road accomodation is ready and students will only be billed for the full amount from their move in date.”




KU students strip to raise funds for their course BY ELENA CHERUBINI

Tom Knapton (left) and Charlie Harland (right) admiring their handy work PHOTO: SAMMI CHERRYMAN

A group of 19 product and furniture design students, posed naked for a calendar to raise money for their course’s final shows. Tom Knapton has been overseeing the project, alongside Hannah Llewellyn who was the whiz behind the idea. He said: “We got a few cameras and got the workshop to let us hang around naked for an hour. It has been a really fun experience for all of us. “Both male and female students were involved in the calendar, which does not show full frontal nudity. “We decided to crop out genitals with Photoshop, people might not want their grandchildren’s genitals hung up on the wall.” The 2018 calendar is for sale at £7 each, or 2 for £10 it can be purchased at the Knights Park Christmas market. Knapton runs the market open from December 6-8. Contact him at to book a table.

KU libraries make £123k from unreturned books and laptops since 2014


KU IS raking in money from library fines, despite the numbers of unreturned books going down after the LRC’s new renewal system. The KU libraries have earned nearly £123,000 on fines for unreturned books and laptops since 2014, according to figures from the BBC. The figures showed that London universities have received millions in library fines over the last three years, although, the amount of money they make has fallen each academic year. Fashion student Lydia Arnold, 20, who was fined £40 for handing in her library books too late, said: “I got an e-mail saying that due to not returned items I had been fined.”

She was initially fined £10 for unreturned books, but as she often forgets to check her university e-mail, it went up to £40 after three more notices. “It’s kind of put me off using the library to be honest,” Arnold said. “It’s confusing because they don’t have a limit on when you need to return them. You can just keep them for a year and it won’t matter, but I think these books were on high demand.” According to a library spokeswoman, the number of students being fined has gone down at KU because of the new renewal system that the LRC introduced last September. However, several students have been charged for handing laptops in too late. Media and communications student Hannah Melhuish, 22, said: “I was

very annoyed because it says they will charge you £5 every 30 minutes if you bring a laptop back too late, but I got charged for handing it back 10 minutes too late. “It took me a long time to pay it back because of that and they were spamming me with e-mails every day to pay.” Pharmacy student Mwenya Chile, 19, who was fined £5 twice for not handing laptops back in time, said: “It was a bit shocking because I was only like 30 seconds or a minute or so too late. It wasn’t like I wasn’t going to return it.” Fine arts student Ben Darby, 21, said: “A few weeks back my laptop died on me. This was where KU loans was a godsend, being able to borrow

laptops, unfortunately for only four hours at a time. “After one week of the same routine of borrowing and returning, my dissertation group seminar ran a bit over its appointed time. This caused me to hand the laptop in 10 minutes late which unfairly gave me a £10 fine.” Nutrition student Khatra Sardari, 21, said she had not yet paid off her £5 fine for a computer being handed in too late and that although she was getting e-mails from the library every week asking for her to pay, she would not pay it until she was forced to. Biomedical science student Zahara Osman, 20, said: “When I found out that I had to pay the fine, I told myself that I wasn’t going to pay until I graduate, and this was first year.”

the price difference and they have refused to comment. A small flat white will set students back an extra 30p when they buy it from the Kingston Hill Canteen for £2.05 compared to the Penrhyn Road Library, which only costs £1.75. The River have found that if a student were to buy a flat white coffee every day for a week, it would cost them £14.35 at Kingston Hill Canteen

versus only £12.25 at Penryhn Road or Knights Park. There is more than a 17 per cent difference between the prices of some small hot drinks at Kingston Hill’s Elior compared to both Knights Park and Penrhyn Road campuses. Buying hot drinks from the onsite Starbucks at Roehampton, Kingston Hill and Penrhyn Road campuses will set students back as much as an extra

£1, as a Starbucks small hot chocolate costs £2.55 compared to Elior’s £1.55. “Coffee served in some of our other University outlets such as the Foodstores and non-Starbucks cafes is made from a bean to cup machine using Elior’s own brand of Fairtrade coffee, making it is slightly cheaper,” a KU spokesperson said. The price of food is the same across all Kingston campuses.

Kingston Hill hot drink prices hit rocket high


Kingston Hill students are paying more than any other campus for hot drinks with a difference in price of almost 20 per cent. Elior, the company providing food and drinks at KU, charges every campus differently leaving students at Kingston Hill facing the highest costs. Elior have said they are unaware of

Graduates are doomed by employers BY CHANEL BUITURON GRADUATES are increasingly quiting their first full-time job within 12 months of starting work, according to new research. A third of 2016 graduates left their first job after university, with the majority claiming that their roles did not match, or were not what they were expecting when they applied. Figures from also showed that young people are falling into the trap of “copying and pasting” application answers and making universal applications. Four out of five graduates admitted to doing so. Former KU student, Anne Doyle, who graduated in in 2011, said: “The week after I graduated I went online and got a job at Harrods. You had to get to work an hour before your shift started to pass through an underground tunnel onto the shop floor, and leave all your belongings in a locker miles away. You had to go through airport-style security too and it was company policy to wear high heels. “I walked out on day three after a Russian princess clicked her fingers at me. I wasn’t aware of the requirements of the job role, all I got was a uniform checklist the day before I started working there.” Employers reported rejecting three-quarters of applications at the first hurdle, as they failed to address the primary requirements of the job. Recruiters are also not being able to spend the time to assess individual applications thoroughly. Vincent Karremans, the founder of, a platform for students and graduates to connect with employers, said: “The recruitment market for young people is in a worse place than a year ago. “More needs to be done by employers to remedy this problem. Young people want to be communicated into real worlds and not management-speak, employers should spell out what they are looking for in their job descriptions.” Career fairs are widely considered the first interaction students have with potential employers, but the number of students attending these meet-ups is falling. Around 12.8 percent of students went to a fair in 2015, 10.1 percent in 2016 and now just 8.4 percent in 2017. Karremans added: “Career fairs were once a place where students could meet potential employees but they’re increasing to be unpopular amongst students. Moreover, only a handful of companies exhibit there now, and it’s become a vanity exercise for big business.”




Just add water: Student’s make pot noodle raft BY ELENA CHERUBINI

A GROUP of first-year graphic design students made a raft out of Pot Noodle cups and sailed down the Hogsmill river for a university project. Six students created the raft for their first project of the year which consisted of inventing and breaking a world record. Their record was “the highest number of pot noodle cups eaten on a raft made entirely of pot noodles” and the result was three in one minute. Chay Reuby, 19, sailed the raft while the other group members who helped create it took photos and videos of the performance. Reuby said: “Being on the raft wasn’t as bad as I thought. I spilled quite a bit

of the noodles and it was messy. “I thought I was going to fall in straight away but I ended up lasting for quite a bit.” The raft, named “Deal or Noodle,” consisted of 120 noodle pots divided into two tiers sealed with inflated balloons. The project idea was a direct reference to student dependency on pot noodles as they are a cheap easy option. Group member Rosanna Turk, 19, said: “We had to think about the truth behind something. We are all students, none of us can cook. “We had this story idea of imagining waking up after a drunk night out and finding yourself floating down the Thames on a raft made of pot noodles,” added Turk.

Armbands had to be worn due to health and safety.



‘The uni spent half a million of public money to keep me silent’ Kingston music lecturer and Surrey’s most wanted speaks out after eight year court case saga finally comes to an end BY MOLLY JANG A SACKED KU music lecturer accused of a campaign of harassment against the University’s former vice chancellor, has finally had a legal case against him come to a close. Dr Howard Fredrics received an absolute discharge in a landmark case that spanned eight years. He was convicted of “using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour” over an encounter with Sir Peter Scott at a bus stop in Kingston in July 2009. Surrey Police named him as the second most wanted man on their most-wanted list. Following this, Fredrics left the UK to live back home in New Jersey, USA as he feared anti-Semitic death threats against him. Fredrics, 54, refused to travel to the UK from his home in New Jersey to answer the charges, claiming he lacked the money, had issues with his visa and feared for his safety. A hearing was held in his absence last month at Wimbledon Magistrates and he was given an absolute discharge, there will be no punishment for the offence. The case has been described by The

Times Higher Education as one of “higher education’s most bizarre legal sagas,”. Fredrics told The River: “I was charged based on the insulting words clause, Section 5 The Public Orders Act 1986, so calling Peter Scott a criminal. “That’s what it all came down to, nothing more. I didn’t use foul language, or make rude gestures or anything like that, nothing that in any way would have been offensive to anyone else. Other than calling Peter Scott a criminal, which I honestly believe to be true.” Fredrics said there was a complaint made against him in a witness statement by Sir Peter, alleging that he repeated the allegation at least 100 times. Sir Peter has no criminal convictions. He added: “At least now I have this absolute discharge which I understand means I am technically still convicted, but they’ve decided there’s no punishment to be meted out. “It may be the case that I can’t get the costs back for the Public Order charge, I’m not sure about that. The charge is resolved one way or the other and I’m no longer wanted. “I should be able to apply to get my

costs back for the harassment case. However, I need to get legal help on this which cost money.” Now living back home in New Jersey, with his wife Lori, he said: “My entire life savings are gone, I have nothing left because of this. “It really did set me back financially, I’m in a terrible financial state because of it. I spent £100,000 in legal costs for my employment tribunal case. “The university spent £500,000 of public money to silence me.” Sir Peter, who headed Kingston University until 2010, appealed to the World Intellectual Property Organisation to shut down a website run by Fredrics containing allegations against the academic, but the case was rejected. “If Peter Scott wished to act he is still free to take civil action against me by suing me for defamation, but he didn’t. “The terrible and sad thing about all this is that in January 2010 the court dismissed my employment tribunal case, principally because of the way I conducted the proceedings, and the fact that I was convicted of harassing Peter Scott.” Fredrics was sacked from Kingston University in 2006 after having worked there since 2002.

Dr Howard Fredrics In 2009, the American academic was initially convicted of harassing Sir Peter, based on the contents of the “satirical” website, but he was eventually acquitted after a retrial in 2010. Fredrics added: “If KU were to


make a reasonable donation to an anti-bullying charity to show that they are serious about making a mend. They should turn over a new leaf.” Sir Peter has chosen not to make a comment on this case.





KU gym losing muscle mass as members join competitors David Lloyd



More Energy PT




















MEMBERS at the Kingston University gym are leaving for other, cheaper fitness centres after being left disappointed by old equipment and poor maintenance, students say. The More Energy Fitness Centre at Penrhyn Road has gone from packed to deserted over the last two years, a River investigation has found, while The Gym and Kingfisher have seen record numbers of students sign up. The gyms said they attracted students by being able to offer cheaper membership over the academic year. Organic chemistry PhD student Tomris Çoban said she left More Energy because it is poorly maintained, has old equipment and is unhygienic. She said: “The university gym is disgusting and smells horrible. I found a sanitary towel full of blood in the shower.





The Gym

“The equipment is very old and it costs more than my current gym now,” she said. Çoban switched to The Gym, the most popular choice among KU students because it is situated in the town centre and has a fixed price of £19.99 per month. PhD student in pharmacy and chemistry Sarah Fawaz was put off from signing up for a full-time membership because the gym was “small, dingy, smelly and also very unhygienic.” “I never had a membership there but have paid to attend some of the boxing classes. “The instructor was really good and really professional, however the equipment used for the class was very old, worn and smelly,” she said. Fawaz ended up signing a £55 a month contract with David Lloyds in the Rotunda, one of Kingston’s more expensive gyms.

The student said: “It’s always clean and offers a huge variety of equipment that’s always highly maintained. I’m willing to pay more money for the comfort.” Assistant manager at The Gym Liam Mason said students choose them because of the appealing opening hours. Mason said: “We are bigger, cheaper, 24-hours and have no contracts. “According to what students have told me, they view The Gym as the student gym, and our price beats anyone in Kingston.” Biochemistry student Noor Awan opted for dual gym memberships with both More Energy and The Gym, because she wanted to have somewhere to work out outside of the uni gym’s 11-5 weekend opening hours. Awan is uncomfortable with stretching at The Gym because they do not offer a studio and she has to be “out in the open.”

She said: “I prefer training at More Energy because it’s less crowded, the staff are much more friendly and I can have my own space compared to The Gym, where it is almost always super busy.” According to Ricky James, Kingston Branch Manager for More Energy, a private company that runs a series of university gyms, The Gym wins students over because they can afford to operate “without profit.” James said: “They don’t have to make a profit on student memberships, they just need to get them through the door. “They had a record number of students this year. “Not to say that we’re not profitable, but the money we get is invested back into the gym. “But at the end of the day you have to cater to what students want, and what they want is to pay less and the


left on the third floor of the library for over a week. The John Galsworthy building still has a week old coffee stain along with skittles crushed into the floor, and mess in a Sopwith Building room was not cleaned for four days. KU cut £700,000 from KUSCO’s maintenance budget, however the university did not specify the exact amount that is spent on cleaning.

opportunity to train 24-hours a day even though they’re never going to train after 10pm anyway.” Olivia Thompson, member of staff at Kingfisher Leisure Centre said their all-inclusive student offer this autumn, offering eight-months access for £149, made them a solid student alternative and the cheapest eight-month contract. “We’ve had a massive rise in students,” she told The River. “Most of them are fine with our opening hours.” One Kingston student switched gyms to Kingfisher Leisure Centre to save money and only misses the classes taught at More Energy. “I changed because I get more for what I pay. “More Energy is rather low-standard and still I paid loads more for eight months, I find that a bit ironic when it’s supposed to be the students’ gym,” he said.

KUSCO taken to the cleaners after not clearing River rubbish AS PART of an investigation, The River team went around the university and created mess, resulting in four out of eight rooms not being cleaned. At the Penrhyn Road campus, a a bottle cap was left along the main building staircase for five days before it was cleaned and coffee cup filled with a rotting banana peel was

A spokesperson for KUSCO said: “Part of this figure is related to cleaning activities. These efficiencies have not resulted in changes to the cleaning service in any area of the university used by students. While some rooms were not cleaned, others were. Coffee stains in both Knights Park and Penhryn Road were cleaned, along with libraries being cleaned the following day.


13-26 OCTOBER 2017

Dirty dissertations, my DIY dildos and nan’s vibe BY ALICE BRADLEY A THIRD year graphic design student at Kingston University has ditched all modesty to follow her desire to develop and design innovative sex toys. Frankie Price, 21, looks into the materials, design and form of the toys as well as their packaging. Price said: “I know it’s an area of design I want to explore further, so I thought what better way than to make them yourself. “I researched what materials they were commonly made from, like silicon and then went completely in the opposite direction and made some that would be completely unfeasible, making concrete dildos, wood, glass, ceramics. It was all to experiment with form. “I never actually used any of them, they were just prototypes. I just went from research to testing materials, to 3D printing to then experimenting with the structure and making working prototypes.” With the support from her parents, Price is keen to explore her passion for pleasurable toys in more detail through her hobby and degree. The KU student said that her design practice excites her most when things are controversial and sex related. Price said: “My dissertation title focuses on erotic design and its influence on what is considered normal sex in today’s Western society. “I am looking into the history of sex toys, how technology, social media and the media have affected the evolution of pleasure aids and how far these advances will take us in the future.” The graphic design student explained that her upbringing has led her to live a life free from any sexual inhibitions. Price said: “My mum and nan have

Frankie spinning her wooden dildo, adding texture and curves to the sex toy. always been open about sex. I went shopping with my mum two years ago to help buy my nan a vibrator for her birthday. Nothing is taboo in my house, we walk around naked all the time too.” She was first introduced to sex toys by her first boyfriend as a teenager and gradually started to become interested in using different toys. Price said: “We started with a small vibrator and moved onto plugs and beads and realised we both had a whale of a time so decided to move onto couples toys.” Price could see a future working with sex toys, admitting she would love to work for sex toy and luxury lingerie company, Coco De Mer.

As Price is currently in a relationship with someone who does not study at the same university, she explained how modern technology has enabled them to still fulfil their sexual urges as a couple. “We invested in a We-Vibe [couple’s sex toy] and we are able to play with each other while we were at different universities because of the app. It’s absolutely smashing, I would definitely recommend it.” Price added: “The best sex toy I ever made was definitely my bouncy ball beads. This was when I first started my sex toy project and I set myself the challenge to experiment with household items. I literally just put

PHOTO: Frankie Price

bouncy rubber balls into a condom and tied them off. I trialled it as well and it was superb! I am definitely onto something there.” Price stated that her sex toy mantra is all about communication. “Good sex comes from telling people what you like, what you don’t, and ask your partner. It could get pretty awkward if you don’t know these things and you start incorporating toys into the mix. “Also, don’t be selfish. I think the best attitude to have, going into sex is, ‘right I need to rock this person’s world’. “If they’re having a good time, you will too.”



KU clubber kicked out for pole dancing


A KINGSTON student was kicked out of Kingston’s The Hive nightclub for climbing a stripper pole. Elliot Spiers, a second year graphic student, had previously been warned by security for his disorderly behaviour that night. Spiers, 21, said: “I was climbing up the strip pole and apparently security had to grab me by my leg and pull me down. I got kicked out then ended up at a house party with my other mates.” Jessie Coleman, 21, also a second year graphic design student, said: “It all started with Elliot drinking from a five litre jar of vodka cocktail. When we were leaving the house he downed a quarter of a vodka bottle. “Then the next thing I knew, Elliot was sidewise on a pole, with a roaring crowd around him.” Spiers, a Kingston club promoter, often gets “too drunk” on nights out. “Apparently I was trying to fight everyone and I threw my phone and was stamping on it. “I remember waking up in the morning being like ‘what happened last night?’ and ‘where’s my phone?’ Turns out my friend had it,” he said. Last summer Spiers had his stomach pumped after drinking £600 worth of vodka and tequila in Madrid. Spiers, who is behind on his university work, said: “I’ve been to one tutorial this term and two art history talks.” Spiers has now started his university projects and is “having a break from drinking.”

Elliot, left, at Hive. PHOTO: SPIERS

OMGash: KU student’s ceramics are flappulous! BY GEORGIA EVANS

A KINGSTON graphic design student Hani Dresner has started her own business making vagina-shaped ashtrays – aptly named Gashtrays. She created her first one as a birthday present for a hard-core feminist friend who is also a political correctness officer. Dresner, 21, said: “I loved the idea that he would be aggressively ashing into this gash against his moral code.” After posting and selling her work on Instagram, Dresner began to receive commissions for ceramic work, so she developed the design and concept.

Hani Dresner’s vagina-rt ashtrays. Dresner’s gashtrays are multifunctional, as they can also be used as soap and jewellery dishes and key holders. “Today, Gashtrays is a ceramics line celebrating the glorious curves, folds and flaps of real bodacious babes and

PHOTO: HANI DRESNER boys,” she said. “Gashtrays promote body positivity and embracing what your mama gave you.” By creating these “crude” pieces, Dresner said she aimed to challenge

the censorship of the natural body, adding: “By placing this ‘obscene’ object in every-day life context it’s a step towards breaking stigmas around sex and body image.” The Gashtrays range includes the Sea Gash range, the Bottom Heavy Babes and Pot Heads, with the new Garden Gash range coming soon. Dresner said: “They’re not everyone’s cup of tea. My course tutors have never been a fan, but frankly, I’m not doing it for anyone’s approval. “Experimenting with this provocative, brash and unapologetic way of presenting the Gashtrays brand has

massively helped me to explore my identity and build my confidence.” She hopes to continue with the project after university, due to the online support. She said: “Often people will tag me in vagina related posts on social media. It truly warms my heart to know that people think of me when they see a vagina.” Dresner will be selling for the third and final time at the Kingston Design Market from December 6-8, and all Gashtrays are available on the Gashtrays Instagram, which range from £812 depending on their size and detail.




Student Union officer wins NUS election

Bow du Toit. PHOTO: DU TOIT BY ELENA CHERUBINI KNIGHTS PARK’S campus officer beat 10 candidates to win a position in the National Union of Students (NUS) where she will deal with issues such as mental health, sexual harassment and fees. In her new voluntary role in the Welfare Zone Committee, Daisy Bow du Toit will help enforce NUS policy decisions on the welfare of students across the country. Bow du Toit will be carrying out her new role alongside her duties as KU officer. She said: “I have been in my role as a full time KU Students’ Union officer for two years and believed that I was ready to represent student welfare issues at a national level. “With any election, you can never predict the outcomes as you can put all your energy into it but at the end of the day it’s dependent on the networks you’ve made.” According to Bow du Toit, mental health issues are one of the main concerns universities should consider as students in the UK are demanding their institutions to address them properly. “The pressure on students to achieve a ‘good degree’ while having to work to support themselves; do unpaid internships, commute and develop social networks is heavy,” she said. Another issue that Bow du Toit wants to bring attention to is student accommodation. With rent prices being “ridiculous”, it is another issue affecting welfare together with fees which leave students from low socio-economic backgrounds having to take on a huge debt to get by. In her role, Bow du Toit also hopes to tackle the problem of sexual assault at university which she defined as a “reality”. She also added: “We can only fix a problem once we have actually acknowledged that it happens and it exists.”

KU alumni wins prestigous architecture prize

The result of the Hastings Pier renovations after the fire in 2010. BY YASEMIN KOSE AN ARCHITECTURE firm partfounded by KU alumni was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Stirling Prize for the renovation of Hastings Pier. Sadie Morgan and Philip Marsh are directors of the leading studio dRMM who were awarded the prize for their project to redefine the role of the seaside pier after it was destroyed by fire in 2010. Morgan said: “It’s been a privilege for us to be a part of this extraordinary journey. Hastings deserves its


Stirling Prize, the pier is an inspiring community achievement.” Morgan and Marsh formed their architecture firm dRMM alongside fellow founding director Alex de Rijke in 1995 and since then the firm has been nominated for the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2016. The pair studied at what was then known as Kingston Polytechnic, Marsh completed his degree in interior design and later completed a postgraduate architecture qualification. Morgan studied interior architecture. Morgan said: “We were inspired

by our tutors who were all practising designers. We were able to make direct connections between discussions with them in the studio and the projects they were building.” dRMM placed the local community at the heart of the renovation, which was essential for the success of the £15m project that is expected to contribute £1.2m into the local economy of Hastings. After the fire destroyed the pier in 2010, the prospect of full demolition was a possibility, but following a compulsory purchase and funding from the Heritage Lottery fund and

the local community, restoration of the structure was backed by the RIBA to find a design team. Marsh said: “Hastings Pier is unusual in terms of its organisation, funding and construction but, as with all our projects, constraints represent opportunities to achieve something extraordinary. “There are so many opportunities in a city that is always in a state of flux, rebuilding and reinventing itself. UK trained designers and architects are highly valued around the world, there is a myriad of opportunities to take you anywhere.”

be struggling to pay rent. “It has definitely put me off doing another internship or getting a job with them.” Another student, Rachel Hetherington, 21, feels that she was only paid because she nagged the university enough and says that many students have still not received any money owed to them. She said: “From what I am aware most of the welcome connectors haven’t been paid. I only got paid a week late because I chased them. “Everyone’s pay was released but it isn’t in their accounts, it’s just sitting in a university account.” Hetherington also said that the forms with her bank details on them were lost and she was over-taxed after the university put her on the wrong tax code and, as a result, her pay was delayed even more. She also has been forced to use her own savings to pay for her university tuition. “I really relied on that money to buy uni supplies and for travel. No

one knows how to use the system and if I’m honest I’m disgusted with how they have treated the student staff this year,” she said. Davina Trembath, who worked in freshers’ week, has also had to use her savings to afford university as a result. “I haven’t been paid yet,” she said. I have already dug into my savings and really need to get paid this month.” Hetherington, who has worked as a Kingston University welcome connector for two years, also said that compared to last year the hours have not been shared equally which worsened her finances. She continued: “I only got 15 hours but my friend got over 50 hours. I requested extra hours so God knows how little I had before. “Last year I got over £600 compared to this year when I got half and was taxed too much. To be frank the uni has really screwed me over. “It seemed to run so smoothly last year but this time there is no commu-

nication.” The university changed to Unified in August yet nearly four months on, many students are still uncertain about when payday will be. The River has responed before on the initial problems people faced with Unified while it was in the process of first being implemented. The information and technology services, human resources and finance departments have worked to refine Unified. A spokesman for Kingston University said: “The University is aware of an issue with the processing of payments for a small number of students who were employed as Welcome Week connectors in August. “Staff have been in contact with those affected and, where appropriate, the University as been arranging for emergency payments to be made. Work is being carried out to ensure any outstanding payments are processed as soon as possible.”

Students spend savings while waiting for KU pay BY BECCA DIFFORD SMITH KU STUDENTS are using their savings to pay their rent after money owed by the university was delayed by the new finance system for work that was completed up to eight weeks ago. Students that worked during freshers’ week are still waiting for payment from Kingston University’s new payment system, Unified. As a result, they are having to use their savings to afford living costs. Stephanie Tunnicliffe, 20, who studies psychology with criminology, was an intern for the KU student hub and has had to use her savings to pay rent after finishing work in September and has still not been paid for the work she has done. Tunnicliffe said: “I finished working in September and it’s been two months and I’ve heard nothing and my emails are being ignored. The lack of pay has certainly dented the savings I worked hard for. Another month or two and I’ll




Blind KU student overcomes the odds to pursue a fine art degree

Despite being born with a parisitic disease that has permanently affected her sight, this KU student is determined to work towards her future aspirations of one day becoming an art teacher

Dominika Jesiolowska’s artwork PHOTO: DOMINIKA JESIOLOWSKA

BY KARAN AHLUWALIA A KU fine arts student born with a rare condition that impairs her vision was told she could never be an artist. Dominika Jesiolowska, 21, has a condition called toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can cause vision impairment, due to which she only has about 16 per cent vision. “I was told that I can’t be an artist, people said I will not achieve anything and my mum will take care of me for the rest of my life, but so far I am proving them wrong,” said Jesiolowska. She moved to Kingston from her native country Poland two years ago and currently lives at Middle Mill, the university halls with her helper dog, Bobby. She mentioned that due to Bobby she attracts a lot of students at halls and at university, who often want to come and play with him. “The students always come and play with him when they have the time, at least 10 people per day come and give him love. Everyone always stops and say how cute or how handsome he is and want to stroke him,” she said. While she appreciates how friendly and accepting people in Kingston have been she admitted that the attention gets annoying especially when people stop her to talk about her dog. She said that often the people she interacts with have generally not heard of her rare condition and thus

Jesiolowska, 21 hugs her helper dog, Bobby PHOTO: KARAN AHLUWALIA would like to raise awareness. “You can only get the condition from a cat when a woman is pregnant. When my mum had me she got it when she came in contact with an ill cat and he must have scratched her.

Then she passed it onto me and now my eyesight is so bad I can only see 2 meters, a normal person can see 60 meters I can only see about 16 per cent of what that is,” Jesiolowska said. She had to go through an extensive


process to get her accommodation sorted as she had to correspond with the disability team in Kingston to get a room that could accommodate both her and Bobby. When she first came to Kingston in

2016 to start her foundation year she found it a big adjustment to settle here and constantly felt homesick. But with time Kingston has become home for Jesiolowska, everyone from her faculty and the people she lives with at the halls have been nice and have offered support. “Kingston has the most to offer, I know how everything works now and I enjoy studying here,” she said. Jesiolowska said that she uses simple art such as painting and sculptures as a way to express herself. As with painting, there are no rules and she can create something new. “Sometimes my vision does bother me because sometimes people judge me and that is a real hindrance. But with art no one will look down on you,” she said. For Jesiolowska making art is her way of breaking stereotypes as she believes that people always have a notion that disabled people cannot in fact make art. While she enjoys making different kind of art using various techniques, she prefers to push herself by doing wood carvings and using the machines at the 3D workshops. As due to the intricate details that are required in those techniques she often requires assistance from the staff. “My future plans are to get a degree in teaching called qualified teacher status. I would love to be a teacher one day and teach art,” she said.

KU grad sets up festival to raise awareness for mental health charity BY GEORGIA EVANS KU graduate Ella Morris has set up her own festival to raise money for the charity, MIND. The Heart of Kingston is an arts festival which will be held on January 20 at All Saints church. After leaving university last year with a degree in drama, Ella wanted to give a platform to performers who are talented while benefitting a cause and raising awareness for mental health.

“It’s all about getting people who make art and enjoy art together to perform and get to know each other while doing some good for the community,” she says. “I did a couple of things for the International Youth Arts Festival and I thought that there was a gap in the market because they focus more on kids.” She adds: “I thought it would be nice to do something hold something on a much smaller scale and more local to

celebrate young adult talent. “What I’ve noticed while living here and working in a bar is that many people who are good at art and talented have jobs on the side that don’t necessarily make them happy but support them so they can keep their talent going. I think that needs to be celebrated.” Ella has recruited a variety of acts to come and perform, including singersongwriter Jack Chard, the team from grand Unified Themes, local artist Sean Bell doing live art, the band Pin-Up

and comedian Ryan Lewis, She’s also got the help of local comedy troupe called the ‘C’ Word. Her aim is to celebrate different types of talent rather than just focusing on one genre. The timing of the event is also crucial. Ella has made sure to hold the event in January because of Season Affective Disorder- more commonly known as SAD. This condition affects over 21 per cent of Britain’s population and is a

depressive illness caused by shortened daylight hours. Ella also wanted it to be a ‘cure’ almost to post-Christmas blues. In addition to this, she will be hosting a series of talks and about mental health at Knights Park bar, Hannafords on Kingston Hill. She is also hoping to work with another project based in Kingston called Music4Mental heath once they’re both more established. The Heart of Kingston takes place on January 20, ticket prices TBC.



ALL STUDENTS are obsessed with techno-gadgets, even when they are walking along the pavement it is hard for people to not look at their social media accounts. You can easily get distracted and end up in hospital with minor injuries if you are lucky or you could end up dead. Take the KU student who got hit by a bus this semester, he freely walked onto a road while using his mobile phone and ended up suffering from a light concussion. In our minds getting hit by a moving vehicle does not really seem like a likely possibility, but looking at the number of pedestrian casualties that have occurred within the past few months maybe it is more likely than we think. Is there actually anything that can be done to raise more awareness? Apart from people using their common sense, there is not much more to be said on the matter. Students who are aged 18 and above should ideally know how to cross a road safely. Looking right and left is not a big chore, but in this day and age no one even thinks about that. Instead, people are willingly walking out onto a busy road with their head down looking at their phone.

The River is written, edited and produced by journalism students at Kingston University. The views in the paper do not necessarily reflect those of the university. The River aims to serve the university and the local area. Our mission statement commits us to raising and addressing the issues relevant to students and local people, as well as to entertain and inform them. 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: Facebook:@RiverNewspaper Instagram: rivernewspaper Twitter: @RiverNewspaper



Let’s be real: Going to uni is not a right, it is our privilege BY SOPHIE MCCONNELL I MAY not be an overly keen and outspoken student who takes to the streets in protest, but I do believe that everyone has a right to an education. However, we chose to go to university and therefore cannot class that as part of our right to an education. Therefore chosing to go to university is our privilege. We are fortunate enough to live in a society where primary and secondary education is compulsory, but as a country we are struggling to financially support it. Already, £2.3 billion has been cut from schools’ budgets since 2015, so why should we expect the right to a free higher education? Since 2013, education is compulsory until the age 18, making the transi-

tion from education to the work place smoother for many, with more options available such as apprenticeships. This supports the fact that university isn’t and shouldn’t be for everyone. Universities are a place for academic learning, reading and researching with high levels of stress. This environment just isn’t suitable for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. In 2002, Blair promised to get 50 per cent of 18-year-olds into universities across the country, a figure that still seems totally unattainable to this day. Only 31 per cent of 18-year-olds from England attended university in 2015, proving that young people simply aren’t choosing higher education as their path. Students may be put off by the amount of debt they will leave with or just merely don’t feel like a university

education is for them. Although people argue that charging for a university education creates a selective process, universities are already selective institutions. They choose some applicants over others purely down to your academic ability and if you’ve reached the universities entry requirements. No one has the right to a university education. It’s something you have to earn through hard work, stamina and sheer determination. This includes financially supporting yourself. It is expensive and very few of us can pay our fees upfront, but a fairly good system is in place to support students. Although the government is at fault with many things going wrong in this country, they do actually dish out a lot of student financial aid.

Students who are lucky enough to gain a place at university are often guilty of not even applying for the range of grants, scholarships, bursaries and loans that are available. Yes, we will graduate with debt, but we were well aware of this when we decided to apply. We chose to attend university, in an attempt to better our job options, opportunities and broaden our horizons for when we leave. How can we argue that university is a right when we have chosen to take that path? So when people take to the streets, shouting: “No if no buts no education cuts,” they’re just fooling themselves, they’re not out to make a better society, they’re just egoists trying to make life easier for themselves rather than deal with the real issue.

my bells and helps to hype me up for the most wonderful time of the year. Besides, the earlier Christmas comes the earlier the coffee shops bring out their festive drinks. Nobody hates a gingerbread latte from Costa or a salted caramel hot chocolate from Caffé Nero. And so what if TV channels play Christmas movies months before December? You can’t say that Home Alone doesn’t deserve to be shown more than once a year. Then there’s the battle of the Christmas adverts to look forward to. I think I speak for most when I say I count down the days until John Lewis releases their always fantastic advertisements. Would it not be great if they released it just a little bit earlier? Then we would be graced with the often adorable advert instead of the usual, boring and annoying normal adverts. Even the music deserves more love than it gets – what’s wrong with a little Wham, Mariah Carey or a bit of bubbly Bublé? Don’t they deserve more than a month of radio time? I can’t get enough of all the classics and would quite happily have a playlist on repeat all year round if I wasn’t judged for playing it too early. People who tut or roll their eyes when they hear a Christmas song come on in the supermarket before December are quite frankly Scrooges and I mean come on, do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Lacey in her casual daytime look


Christmas cannot come early enough BY LACEY JONES I HAVE been verbally attacked time and time again for expressing my love for Christmas months before December begins. What is wrong with wanting some festive cheer a little earlier into the year? I’m not hurting anybody by donning my Santa socks in September nor should it bother you that come the Christmas season I’ve already exhausted all the classic movies (except Elf, screw Elf). If I had my way, the Christmas tree would never come down and in fact just last year it stayed standing in my living room until June. So it really warms my heart and gets me excited when I see that the shops have started to put out their Christmas stock a little earlier this year. I could not wait for December to be on my doorstep before I bought my decorations, I have to be ready so that come the first, my house has transformed into a Winter Wonderland. The earlier the shops bring out their festive stock the earlier I can start decorating my house. People complain that there shouldn’t be Christmas stuff on a shelf beside Halloween stuff but please, Halloween is only one night a year when Christmas is at least 25. Spying a nutcracker or Santa Claus in the wild, next to witches’ hats and ghosts, months before the festive season has officially begun really jingles





Begging for attention BY ALEESHA CHODA

HAVING outside speakers enter our university to speak about their specialist subject is a great thing, especially when they are standing up for what they believe in. However has the line been crossed when our university invites guest speakers, when perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed to speak? Should Kingston University allow guest speakers with extremist views to speak without being challenged? Moazzam Begg returned to our university, for the third time last week, so he could talk to students about the war on terror, radicalisation, Islamophobia and his hatred for Prevent. In 2017, Begg had been named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. This is a strange choice considering he sent money to and spent time in Chechnya and Bosnia, both hotspots for Jihadi fighters, and visited Mujahedeen training camps in the early 90’s. While in an American base in Afghanistan he signed a confession to the FBI stating he was a member of Al-Qaeda and also spent almost two years in detention in Guantanamo Bay as a result. Begg was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, where he and his family had fled after the fall of the Taliban. Many students have a false under-

standing on who Moazzam Begg really is. Many students believe Moazzam Begg coming to our university is a good thing as he is addressing Islamophobia in the West and what he regards as civil rights being restricted to Muslims. I strongly disagree with any of our students giving Moazzam Begg any attention as stated above he has been involved and has connections with extremists who have been threats to countries across the world. The fact that our university allows Begg to have a platform to talk, legitimises him and his views. This makes me feel outraged, who in their right mind would look at this man’s history and the company he has kept and think to themselves ‘yeah… I reckon we should invite him over’? If someone has connections with extremists such as Anwar Al Awlaki, the radical Yemeni cleric tied to 9/11 and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, then why should they be allowed to speak in a university to educate students? Surely it is morally wrong and baffling that a place dedicated to our higher education and diversity thinks it’s appropriate for a man who once described British executioner Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man” to be able to speak unchallenged? How many guest speakers do you know who have been released from being detained in Guantanamo Bay and

Moazzam Begg (centre) with Jamal Udeen al-Harith (left) and Martin Mubanga (right) have been classed as a ‘terrorist’ and confessed to the FBI that he learnt how to make bombs? How many do you know who have encouraged young Muslim’s to travel to Syria to “defend the revolution” and were photographed with suicide bomber Jamal Udeen al-Harith and who received a £1 million pay out before ending himself in a car bomb in Mosul?

Despite Moazzam Begg coming to Kingston to talk about ongoing issues within the Islamic community, I personally feel it’s inappropriate to allow a guest speaker to talk to students when they have admitted and been involved in the above. What gives him the right to come and talk to us? Why should we give this man any form of our respect and attention?


A university is a place of education where students come to learn about themselves and the world. The idea of our university allowing ‘an extremist’ to speak to impressionable students about Islamophobia I feel is unacceptable and atrocious. As a woman, I feel Begg holds a view that would leave me feeling nothing but an object stripped of my rights.

‘They used to call me potato’

How fat shaming encouraged me to lose weight BY YASEMIN KOSE BEING a chubby kid is cute until you are too fat to fit into the chairs at primary school. Most people think fat shaming only occurs when you are old enough to care about your appearance but for me it started on the playground when I was playing tag and a boy approached me saying “you really look like a potato”. This may seem like an innocent comment from a child but it set in motion years of saying no to cake at birthday parties and avoiding my Nan’s gaze when she offered seconds. I dreaded the days when everyone would want to play kiss chase because if the boys found out the potato was playing they would much rather chase a football. While the name didn’t follow me to secondary school, the word fat did. People didn’t know me as Yasemin they knew me as the fat one. The peak of my fat shaming experience was at age 14 when I weighed 17 stone and I would be jolted into school lockers only to be reminded of my weight every single PE lesson.

Whenever I walked out in my kit, with my cycling shorts that made my legs balloon below the hem and my oversized top that hid the rolls, I could clearly hear the snickering echoing around the hall.

Yasemin Kose faces her fears of potatoes PHOTO: SUNNIVA KOLOSTAK

I didn’t even leave my shame at the school gates, it followed me home where my Turkish dad called me “tombik” which loosely translates to fatso. While this may seem cruel, it

opened my eyes and made me realise my weight was a problem. Because of this I cut everything good out of my life, switching everything food from white to brown and beginning every morning with 200 sit-ups. Gone were my lie-ins and kebabs dripping with grease, but after a while so was the muffin top. Obviously if you’re fat shaming on purpose just to humiliate someone that is very wrong, but there is no harm in commenting on a person’s weight if you could potentially benefit them in the future. The UK is the most obese country in Europe and we need to be able to freely comment on weight like it’s a problem rather than a lifestyle. If an obvious “tombik” is made to believe that she’s just big-boned and not delusional you’re contributing to the problem. I would never want to re-live my experience, but I am thankful to my school peers who did fat shame me because I lost seven stone. It was hurtful and I will never forget the names I was called, but I don’t know if I would’ve lost the weight without the cruel encouragement.




KU asks: do Beanz really mean Heinz? The River taste tests five tins of supermarket beans against baked bean giant Heinz, to find out if after 50 years, the big name brand is still worth the price tag. BY ALEESHA CHODA THIS year marks 50 years of Heinz famous and iconic baked-bean slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’. To celebrate 50 years of the wellknown saying, which was brain stormed in 1967 by Maurice Drake, Heinz have released limited edition labels on their tins of baked beans. The famous line ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ was voted the UK’S favourite advertisement slogan in 2012, which knocked Nike’s ‘Just do it’ from number one. On their 50th anniversary the question on everyone’s lips is, do Beanz really mean Heinz? We wanted to test if you could really taste the difference between Heinz Baked Beans and supermarket own beans. Six 415g cans of baked beans were chosen from six different supermarkets in and around the Kingston Town Centre. Each can of beans were stripped from their labels so none of the taste testers knew which brand they were tasting.

SAINSBURY’S OWN BRAND: Blind bean one was Sainsburys own brand, which was given a 3/5. The tasters said it appeared juicy and had a good bean to juice ratio, however when they tasted it the beans tasted dry and left a strange residue in your mouth with a very bland flavour. Costing 30p per can these baked beans contain (per ½ can): 0.9g of Fat, 1.5g of Salt, 8.5g of Sugar and 9.2g of Protein.


Blind bean two was Baked Beans in a rich tomato sauce by Simply M&S. The tasters gave the beans a 5/5. The beans were very fragrant and had lots of flavour which tasted like paprika seasoning and would happily eat them again. These M&S beans also cost 30p per can, containing (per ½ can): 0.8g of Fat, 1.2g of Salt, 10.5g of Sugar and 10.2g of Protein.


Blind bean three was by Aldi, which received a 2/5. The beans appeared very dark in colour, however they tasted quite sweet. It was a mixed bag as some tasters enjoyed the sweetness and some said it tasted too artificial.

Costing 29p for a can, these Aldi baked beans contain (per ½ can): 0.3g of Fat, 0.83g of Salt, 12g of Sugar and 9.7g of Protein.


Blind bean four was by Waitrose Essentials and got a 4/5. The tasters enjoyed how rich the saucewas These beans are slightly more expensive costing 32p, however nutritionally they contain: 0.8g of Fat, 1.5g of Salt, 8g of Sugar and 10.2g of Protein.


Blind bean five was the wellknown Heinz, the tasters gave the beans a not so juicy 1/5. The tasters expressed their disappointment in the colour of the beans and that they tasted bland, cheap and horrible. These beans came in as the most expensive costing customers 79p for one can of Heinz Baked Beans. Per ½ a can they contain: 0.4g of Fat, 1.2g of Salt, 9.8g of Sugar and 9.7g of Protein.


Finally blind bean six was Lidl’s baked beans and received a 3/5. The tasters described the beans as smelling very fragrant and having a thin tasty sauce. These Lidl beans are the same price as Aldi’s own, you can buy them for 29p. ½ a can contains: 1.3g of Fat, 0.95g of Salt, 8.5g of Sugar and 9g of Protein.

Unfortunately the results show Heinz baked beans in last place with 1/5 and the M&S version coming in first place scoring a winning 5/5. The tasters said that the winning M&S Baked Beans were juicy and flavoursome, however it contained double the amount of fat in half a can compared to Heinz. Despite Heinz having a low fat and salt content, sugar was higher than the other brands, containing 9.7g of sugar for only ½ tin. The taste test proves it, big brands does not always guarentee the best flavours. Beanz doesn’t mean Heinz, it means M&S.


A Tibetan

From nun to latex lover and Kingston University student, the life of Damcho Dyson is anything but usual. Asa Aaberge met with Dyson to talk about why she left the monastary and explored her sexuality. BY ASA AABERGE AT 29-years-old Damcho Dyson, then a successful artist named Michelle Tonkin, erased all traces of her old life and left Melbourne to devote herself to Buddhism in a monastery outside Montpellier in France. Family, friends, home, work, hair, sexuality, even name and identity were left behind for almost ten years. Now she has swapped the nun robe with latex and instead of devoting her life to Buddhism, she is devoting it to the art of being unbound. Damcho met me at Kingston University’s Knights Park campus, where she has recently enrolled to do her PhD. Her journey from artist to nun to Kingston student, from Australia via France to the UK has not been an obvious one. “I went to art school in Australia in the 90s. Simultaneously I was studying Tibetan Buddhism,” Damcho says in her charming Australian accent. “Through studying mystical traditions I had this natural thing pop up in my heart, like ‘oh I want to be devoted’ and I reasoned with it. I got all my affairs in order. I gave away things that had been given to me, and sold things I had bought.”

With her possessions down to what fit in a simple suitcase, Michelle Tonkin was ordained in Nepal, given the spiritual name Damcho Dyson and prepared for life as a nun. “Everything was in order, like preparing for death. It was a good process.” In her early 20s, Damcho had an abortion and turned to Buddhism to deal with the emotional aftermath. In the years that followed, Damcho woke up before the sun and worked 14 hour days in the monastery. “It was intense,” she recalls. By the end of 2010, after years of hard work, in celibacy and wearing a loosely fitted robe every day, Damcho started to struggle with her body and her connection with it. At the time she felt burned out and disconnected. She decided to intensify her nun practice and headed to India to be fully ordained. That’s when it all changed. “I had

become so wound up in being a nun. Every day I was overriding my physic and that had an accumulative effect. In India, I had a health treatment where they massaged me, and my mind and body sort of reconnected and it was like reconnecting an awareness with

Latex made me feel very at home in the female form, which of course as a nun I never did.

my form,” Damcho explains and describing it as an ‘awakening’. After the awakening in India, Damcho decided to forgive her past, leave the ‘nun life’ and enter a new one. The former nun returned to Australia realising both she, people, society and surroundings had changed. “I felt really shy about being a woman again because I felt I had become almost androgynous as a nun. So I started wearing loose, baggy black tracksuits. My sister took me shopping for mascara a few weeks later, I felt so regal. It was very graduate. First of all connecting with my body again and then connecting with being a woman. And then after some time, connecting with my sensuality and sexuality,” she explains. With no savings and a gaping hole on her CV, Damcho needed a job. “I did loads of work in the monastery and learned skills, but when I said to someone I was a nun for ten years, their like ‘what transferable skills have you got?’,” she says laughing. That’s what led her to London where a friend offered her work. In

nun to latex fun THE RIVER




Dyson is currently studying for her Ph.D at KU PHOTOS: GRAHAM PRICE London, the former nun discovered her love for latex. “About a year and a half ago I recovered from being a nun. A friend took me to the London Alternative Market [a monthly fetish shopping event]. She had an idea I might enjoy wearing latex for a reason,” Damcho says laughing. Damcho longed to return to a mystical or meditative practice and immediately recognised the odd similarities between the ritual of monastic robes and latex fetish wear. “I thought: ‘why not, I’ll try a piece of latex on’. The moment I did it, it was the first item that reminded me of being in the monastic robes again. Even though it looks completely different, there was something about the ceremonially of it, the way in which it encloses you with an identity.” Latex, to many, is associated with sexual components. After her “unbecoming a nun” Damcho re-explored sexuality and latex enhanced that. Still, the sensuality of latex is more important than sexuality to the artist.

“It [latex] made me feel very at home in the female form, which of course as a nun I never did. It has this empowering effect and is very supportive, like a warm hug or something So, Damcho bought some latex pieces and started playing with it. “I just thought ‘wow, this is the first time I’ve put on something and it inherits the way I feel.” Damcho is not wearing a latex at all times, nor is she a dominatrix or a ‘fetish queen’ as the Daily Mirror called her, she assures me.“I find occasions to wear it. At the club in London called rubber cult, everyone has to wear rubber or latex costumes. Some people are completely enclosed so they become identity-less which is interesting. That was also what being a nun was like, losing identity.” Damcho’s PhD compares the rituals of wearing monastic robes and wearing latex as part of a fetish scene. Her PhD, called “Bodhi Unbound”, aims to connect femininity and ritual, boundaries and the different masks we wear. Monasticism and latex see as

opposites and the outfits are certainly a contrast but to Damcho latex is about making sense of embodiment. Although Damcho has swapped the robe with tight-fitting latex and the monastery with Kingston University, she holds no regrets for her life as a nun. Damcho is still a Buddhist and implies what the nun life taught her into her new latex loving life. She does not know what the future holds but wish to teach and continue her art practice. As we have spoken about her different lives, I ask what the most important thing she has learnt from her tree lives are. She thinks for a brief moment and says: “My ‘after nun period’ was about challenging the things I learned as a nun. “I think if we can integrate simply presets of being a good human being into everything we do, whatever it is, I think that is significant. The world needs it. It doesn’t need monks and nuns to be hidden behind bars, it needs good human beings integrated into society.”



Best things to do in London this Christmas CHRISTMAS season is approaching so why not get into the spirit. Whether you are a drinker, eater or just love the festivity, The River’s Chanel Buituròn has found some quirky events around London for every type of student. FOR THE PARTY-ANIMALS: Hot since 91: 90’s Christmas Karaoke – The Grand, London. 21:00pm – 3:00am

FOR THE DRAMA LOVERS: The Cockney’tivity – A very cockney Christmas story – The North Star pub. 7pm – 12am

Saturday December 23, tickets from £5. If you’re not up for the typical stroll around Winter Wonderland then this event is for you, Karaoke, DJ’s, dance competitions, free candy, face painting, giveaways, retro gaming, photo booths, inflatables, confetti and the most important thing fried chicken. Grab yourself a load of freebies and a good piss up just before Christmas.

From Friday December 1, tickets from £55. This isn’t your average night out but an experience like no other featuring shorts acts of hilarious festive drama around three courses of food based in an authentic east end boozer like you’re a part of EastEnders. Walk through The North Star, take a seat at the Christmas dinner table and watch the drama unfold around you.

FOR THE FOODIES: Beauty and The Feast – The Vaults, South London. 18:00pm – 2:00am

FOR THE UN-TRADITIONAL: Mario karts Vs the nightmare before Christmas go-kart race

Starts November 18, tickets from £35. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. The event allows you to follow in the footsteps of Belle at the Vaults in Waterloo, arriving at the Beast’s palace where your feast awaits. This is the ultimate event for those who want to get pissed up with unlimited drink access, eat well and party until the early hours of the morning. The dress code: Regal French fashion done with passion, old school ruffs with neon tuffs, velvet and tails and killer nails.

From Saturday December 2, tickets from £5. If you like something different to the typical Christmas, then this is for you. You’ll get a full-sized race track, pedal go-karts, costumes and a race to the chequered flag. Human-sized Mario kart has gone to Halloween Town where you will race creatures under the stairs, corpse families and Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King. Why not get pissed at the bar and race against each other in the three-lap race, Christmas isn’t fun without a good adrenaline rush.

FOR THE QUIRKY: ChristMESS – Southwark Street, London. 18:30 – 23:30

FOR THE GROUPS: Winterland – Fulham, London. 18:00pm – 22:30pm

From Friday December 1, tickets from £45. Christmas has been cancelled but ChristMESS has just started. An underground party serving up soul food with live blues and jazz music, secret rooms, theatre and cabaret. An event made for giving, sharing and tables that are made to dance on. Swap your Ps and Q’s for G’s and T’s and bask in the bad behaviour you won’t get away with anywhere else.

From Friday November 17, tickets from £5. This event is best for those that want to do something as a group, so if you’re sitting around at halls wondering what to do leading up to Christmas then this is for you. Get away from the cold winter nights and step into a world of warmth and festive merriness. There’s mini-golf, Prosecco and beer ping pong, curling, winter lodges, igloos, fondues and good food.



How Cowell and how he BY LACEY JONES

THE CHRISTMAS number one used to be one of the highlights of the season where people would wait on the edge of their seat to know who would snag it but then, like the Grinch stole Christmas, the X Factor stole the whole show. But with the X factor losing its shine to the public, is it now time for someone else besides bleeding heart charity bands and the flavour of

the month winner to take the top spot this Christmas? Heart presenter Kat Shoob thinks that the X Factor will keep a tight grip on that coveted spot regardless of its waning popularity. The radio presenter said: “It’s always definitely high in the running for it, unless a wacky novelty song comes along near the time. “All rules go out the window for songs at Christmas time.” Since first airing 13 years ago X Factor

has seen six of its winners get to the UK Christmas number one. Shayne Ward started the tradition in 2005 after winning the second series of X Factor with his single That’s my Goal followed by Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2009 Jon and Tracy Morter decided it was time to put a stop to the Scrooge-like Simon Cowell’s monopoly over the number one. The two of them launched a Facebook campaign to try to


Slade dressed up for Christmas


All I want for Christmas is... oh, not that please BY BECCA DIFFORD-SMITH WE HAVE all been there. Opening something on Christmas day, your entire extended family’s eyes on you and having to smile so widely your face hurts. You over-enthusiastically say: “Oh my god! I love it!” as you unwrap something you detest, breaking out in mild sweat as you try your hardest to disguise any signs of dismay. With Christmas Day just over a month away, we asked KU students what was the worst present they had ever been given. Rachel Dicker: 22, human nutrition: “I was around 11 or 12 years old when one Christmas my auntie bought me a donation gift for people living in poverty. She handed me an Oxfam envelope and it was a fridge magnet with a picture of condoms on it. But at the time I didn’t really know what a condom looked like so I was just very confused. I was kind of expecting

it and I didn’t mind as it was a good cause.” Sioned Evans, 21, human nutrition: “Every Christmas my mum buys me a tea infuser and loose-leaf tea. In reality that sounds like a nice gift right? The problem is I have too many infusers and too much tea now. My family live back in Ireland so every January I pack up my case with my bloody new infuser and my tea and travel back to uni. She thinks herbal tea is the answer to all my problems because I’m stressed. I swear she thinks I use up all the tea she gives me but really I’m just creating a collection on the top shelf of my small Uni cupboard. ” Tess Edwards, 20, graphic design: “For five years in a row my auntie would buy me some woolly hat, scarf and gloves sets. The only problem is, I’m allergic to wool. She knows this,

yet every year I think she forgets and buys me another set. I have to act really pleased every time. One year, we had to go on a boxing day walk with her so I had to put them on, I had red itchy eczema all over my head, neck and hands for days after. Anything to please the relatives I suppose.” Jessica Chewter, 20, radiography: “My nan once bought a desk for a child in a third world country as my Christmas present. On the day I was handed a picture of this boring standard wooden desk and everyone was watching me open it, it was so embarrassing. When she gave it to me I was thinking ‘are you serious?’ but I told her it was very kind. She kept saying it was so kind of me to give someone a desk but I didn’t even give it. I don’t think I ever saw the picture of the desk after Christmas day.”



stole Xmas lost it again BY LACEY JONES

THE CHRISTMAS number one used to be one of the highlights of the season where people would wait on the edge of their seat to know who would snag it but then, like the Grinch stole Christmas, the X Factor stole the whole show. But with the X factor losing its shine to the public, is it now time for someone else besides bleeding heart charity bands and the flavour of the month winner to take the top spot this Christmas? Heart presenter Kat Shoob thinks that the X Factor will keep a tight grip on that coveted spot regardless of its waning popularity. The radio presenter said: “It’s always definitely high in the running for it, unless a wacky novelty song comes along near the time. “All rules go out the window for songs at Christmas time.” Since first airing 13 years ago X Factor has seen six of its winners get to the UK Christmas number one. Shayne Ward started the tradition in 2005 after winning the second series of X Factor with his single That’s my Goal followed by Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2009 Jon and Tracy Morter decided it was time to put a stop to the Scrooge-like Simon Cowell’s monopo-

ly over the number one. The two of them launched a Facebook campaign to try to prevent the X Factor from topping the charts for the fourth time in a row. They campaigned to get a rock song to the number one spot in protest over the by then predictable chart result. Rock band Rage Against the Machine beat X Factor’s sixth season winner Joe McElderry’s The Climb by 50,000 copies with their single Killing in the name. But this did not knock X Factor out of the game for long and it came back with a vengeance the next year. The show won back its Christmas crown in 2010 with Matt Cardle’s ‘When we Collide’ but lost it again for the following two years to charity number ones. Winners Sam Bailey and Ben Haenow reclaimed the title in 2013 and 2014 but X Factor has not managed another hit since then. So how has the mighty singing competition fallen? Is it because of their declining viewing figures? The launch of the 14th season this year drew in their lowest figures since they first launched with a peak of six million viewers. It is a significant drop from the final on December 12 2010 that had an average of 17.2 million viewers. It seems as though people have final-

l y

h a d their fill of up and coming stars and maybe it is time for established celebrities to steal that top spot. Many popular artists have released Christmas albums this year – is it possible one of them could be the next Michael Bublé or Mariah Carey? Kat said: “The Christmas number one is still very important for all popstars.” Gwen Stefani released her festive album with a bit of a pop twist entitled You make it feel like Christmas in October this year and it has reached number three on the iTunes top 100 Christmas chart. Even Sia has tried her hand at a little Christmas cheer with her own album debuting on November 17 featuring a mix of new songs such as Santa is coming for us and Snowman. Kat reckons if one of the One Direction boys, who are former X Factor contestants, released a Christmas



The history of the X-factor’s Christmas winners’ number 1’s 2004 Band Aid 20 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” 2005 Shayne Ward “That’s my Goal”

A festive Leona Lewis song then their PHOTO: REXloyal fans would most likely get it

2006 Leona Lewis “A Moment Like This” 2007: Leon Jackson “When You Believe” 2008: Alexandra Burke “Hallelujah”

t o number one. “Anything with jingle bells on is a winner,” Kat

2009: Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name”

2011: Military Wives with Gareth Malone “Wherever You Are” 2012: The Justice Collective “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My brother”


2010: Matt Cardle “When We Collide”

2013: Sam Bailey ”Skyscraper” 2014: Ben Haenow “Something I Need” 2015: Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir “A Bridge Over You” 2016: Clean Bandit ft Sean Paul and Anne-Marie ”Rockabye”

How to handle student nightmares before Christmas BY CARLY HACON CHRISTMAS is supposed to be the time of year where everyone is relaxed and soaking up the mulled wine. People are out enjoying the festive markets and wishing ‘merry Christmas’ to each other in the street. WRONG. If you’re a student, you’re more likely to be stressed out with December deadlines and absolutely drowning in alcohol. The closest thing to ‘merry christmas’ is an understanding nod to your flatmate as you both eat stale cereal left open since September. To help you through this ‘jolly’ time of year The River’s Carly Hacon has summed up her previous festive fuckups. Too many secret santas What a great idea this seems at the time. Because the more you agree to do, the more presents you get, what could possibly be a downer to that? Well, when you realise you have agreed to a £10

budget per present and you already can’t afford milk. But of course it’s fine to go without basic supplies for a week and eat mainly out of housemate’s cupboards. You perfected your friends’ presents and even debate keeping them yourself. But… On the day of the swap you come to realise that every present you’ve received is garbage. Save yourself the bother and the abundance of Primark socks and just say no. Who ate all the pies? Overindulging at Christmas is a given, it’s all part of the fun. However it is really not funny when you have piled on the pounds and now look like the Christmas pudding. According to other people it is also not funny when you eat your flat mates mince pies. They do count them and they will find you. So stay strong, take Rudolph’s advice and stick to carrots. Gift wrapping This easy task shouldn’t take much

time at all. However, after losing the start of the cellotape 37 times, taking

Carly Hacon PHOTO: Eric Brain the varnish off of your hall of residence desk and chronic back pain you have lost all Christmas spirit. Mariah won’t help you when you’ve lost your deposit, so invest in a tape dispenser. Ruining Christmas dinner Have you even lived in halls if you didn’t attempt a uncooked Christmas

dinner? Everyone gets so excited, you’ve done a big Aldi shop and even bought brussell sprouts for the occasion. The Gordon Ramsay of the group takes the lead and demands people who are ‘not helping’ to start the washing up. But before you’ve got time to sing jingle bells it’s all gone wrong. The potatoes are burnt, the vegetables are over done and you’ve forgot the Yorkshires. Save the stress and have your seasonal supper at ‘Spoons. Getting too merry on nights out Tonight is the night, everyone is out for the last student night before Christmas. You obviously can’t miss it, so attempt to cram in as much work as possible before 10PM. You’ve missed half of pre-drinks and someone shouts that the Uber is on it’s way. Better late than never you’re ready and down the whole 2 litres of Lambrini in 10 minutes. Before you know it, you’re back home with sick on your sparkly jumper laying next to a mayo chicken.

Delivering presents Last year I had bought and wrapped all of my presents before mid December. And starting Christmas shopping early is always a good thing, right? Well... What I forgot was that I lived five hours away and had to somehow get them all home undamaged. Lesson learned, this year I will online shop and hopefully remember to deliver to my home address. Booking your journey late It’s finally here, the last day of term. The feeling of not having to worry about referencing for a fortnight. You can hear your own bed calling and the notifications start flooding in asking when you will be back in town. You go to check your journey confirmation to realise that is the one thing you haven’t done. Frantically scanning Trainline the only remaining journey is £60 to somewhere but you decide it’s worth it because you miss your dog and the flat’s empty.





KU comedy crew thrive on ‘stupid, immature and really vile humour’ Kingston’s own parody band Dor Slammers talk about stage antics, group disputes and writing material BY LACEY JONES AND STINE ARNULF

ONCE a month, comedy band Dor Slammers drunkenly stumble their way to the Fighting Cocks stage to perform in front of a loyal, rowdy crowd. They play a mix of original music and parodies of classic noughties songs, much like the ones on constant repeat in the cheese room at Pryzm. The band, consisting of KU drama graduates Toby Everett, 22, Alex Lowe, 22, and 23-year-old MA environmental management student George Adams, jokingly compare themselves to Oasis and The Beatles but admit they have limited musical talent. Toby runs the K for Komedy cabaret at the Fighting Cocks where they perform each month. They formed the group specifically for this event. They all ended up living together during their third year at Kingston, and spent a lot of time sitting around in their living room changing lyrics. Their material comes from their filthy sense of humour and is loosely based on their own experiences. George says: “We try to play up to the whole stereotype of being laddy uni boys because it’s so dumb that anybody can get it. “Over the years our sense of humour has just got more and more deranged to the point that we laugh at things that aren’t funny.” On stage the band play different roles. George, who had to be convinced to perform in the first place, prefers to

Alex and George avert their gaze as Toby strips off on stage PHOTO: ELEN FUDDICK

be in the background while Toby and Alex fight for the limelight up front. Particularly for their original song, Girly Things, Alex is the “nice” guyand Toby seems to play the more outrageous character. Toby says that: “Alex will say the sweet charming stuff and I’m just...” “You’re just filth,” George cuts in. Toby quips back at him, saying: “I’m just pure vulgarity.”

While they are on stage the comedy does not stop with their songs and often the band tries to mess with one another. Alex remembers when George stopped mid-performace to try and mess him up on their first show. “George randomly stopped playing halfway through one of my bits so that I’d look the fool,” Alex says. “That was in February and I still haven’t forgiven him.”

However, George remembers the incident differently. He believes Alex forgot the words but covered it up by telling the audience that George had stopped playing. “He just forgot the words, the dick,” George says as Toby laughs. The band remembers another time when they were at the charity festival, Vannfest in Surrey, during the summer performing Girly Things, which

includes a kazoo solo. Howveer, Alex forgot the kazoo. “I actually said to him ‘Remember your kazoo, remember your kazoo’,” Toby says. “When he looked at me I just knew he didn’t have it.” George adds: “I could see sheer horror on his face.” Alex says: “By this point I had already sang the word kazoo so I had to do something, “Instinctively I made the stupidest fake kazoo noise while I tried to make it look like I was holding a kazoo. It was awful.” The band agree that there is no definitive leader though George and Toby say Alex has been trying to establish himself as the head of the band. On stage they all wear Hawaiian shirts, their signature look, but recently Alex showed up to one performance in a different shirt. “I actually hate him,” Toby says jokingly. “We were like ‘Alex what are you doing?’ “He was like ‘everyone needs to know I’m the leader’.” Regardless of whoever is the true leader, Toby plans to expand their act outside of their monthly cabaret. This includes more festivals and gigs around London such as the Half Moon comedy night in Putney and hopefully a return to Vannfest. The boys are currently hoping to write more original songs and are planning a Christmas parody for their next Cabaret on December 14 at the Fighting Cocks.

The KU club kings creating cheaper nights out for students around the world BY BECCA DIFFORD-SMITH

Daniel Montague at a Silk event


TWO KU students launched Silk Eventz, a business designed to make the underground techno club scene into an affordable night for students. We spoke to the boys about how they plan to host affordable alternatives to their student audience. Dan Montague, 20, studying music technology and Daniel Lawton, also 20, who studies business management, developed the idea last year after a very expensive night out. Dan spent nearly £100 on a night out at Fabric in Farringdon. “Kingston is missing a central London, underground vibe, but to go to those places you need pay for travel to and from central, drinks and around £20 entry,” he said. “I got home after a night there, looked at my bank and I thought why can’t I just set up a night where it’s the same but it’s cheaper? “It’s all about keeping costs down. Our goal is to get nights for students that are good but

cheap and where they can have the same experience.” The two have already hosted three successful shows at KU, including the freshers frat party at The Hippodrome. Dan and Daniel have attracted interest from top clubs in Marbella, and are in talks with a handful of British universities. They also have received mixes on SoundCloud from techno DJs in Italy, Brazil and Canada. The boys are also passionate about using social media to boost their brand, with top DJs taking over the Silk snapchat for the day in Ibiza and Marbella. Silk use contacts and equipment at KU to make sure entry to events remains free for students, using Hannaford’s, the Kingston Hill student bar as a regular venue. “It costs us nothing to put on these events. I think last time for the whole event it cost us £10 because I forgot to take a projector back in time. That’s

literally nothing for a night that brings people together,” Daniel says. Dan then adds: “We want to bring people together with music. That’s all we want to do. “We are not here to make money, we just wanna give sounds that we love to people and bring them together. That’s what music is for, and that’s all it’s ever been about.” The boys fund the business with money received from orders of merchandise from their Silk brand. “I love it. I live and breathe it. I wake up every day and I’ve got music in my head,” Dan says “We want to utilise the underground market, get out there and eventually get to a point where in 10-15 years we have a festival. We’re not messing about, we have big dreams.” To stay up-to-date on Silk Eventz, have a look on their Facebook page. They also have a Soundcloud account which is called Feel of Silk.





Wolf Alice on their second Hippodrome homecoming BY ERIC BRAIN 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! KASABIAN - WHERE: The O2 WHEN: December 1 The underdogs of British rock are on fire, making them the perfect act to see. Kasabian’s elements of 70s rock and Primal Scream, mixed with the band’s uniquely voiced frontman Tom Meighan, makes this an eez-eh choice for a night out. Tickets from £29.50 on THE KOOKS- WHERE: SSE Arena WHEN: December 2 After releasing a greatest hits album this year, The Kooks are our indiechill rock band not to miss this winter. Gig goers are going to be treated to a surprisingly intimate performance, finding themselves singing along to the band’s 13 years of instantly recognisable tunes. Tickets from £22.95 on SeeTickets. GORILLAZ - WHERE: The O2 WHEN: December 4 - 5 The Gorillaz are not actually real people, they’re actually animated primates. Damon Albarn, the man behind Blur, works with his team to create the rap-rock, trip hop, alternative indie quartet’s music and videos, and the band is notorious for putting on an excellent show. Tickets from £51.25 on DAVE - WHERE: KOKO WHEN: December 5 DAVE is the south-London teenage rapper whose track Wanna Know was remixed by none other than Drake himself. The independently labeled rapper-musician is now headlining at festivals, most famously Bestival. Tickets from £16.50 on MARIAH CAREY - WHERE: The O2 WHEN: December 11 Is it ever too early for a bit of Christmas Carey? We think not. Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas Is You concert at The O2 is the beginning of the star’s yearly winter-time resurrection, and for those die-hard festive fans this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Tickets from £53.75 on

With their second album released and their biggest show approaching, Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey reflects on the band’s successes and his excitement on returning to perform at Kingston’s Hippodrome BY GEORGIA EVANS WOLF ALICE were one of the biggest breakthroughs of 2015. With a stunning new album and their biggest show ever on the horizon at Alexandra Palace on November 24, Georgia Evans caught up with them ahead of their return to Kingston. The band’s debut album My Love Is Cool gained Grammy nominations, NME Awards, and was nominated for 2015’s Mercury Prize. With the release of their second album, Visions of a Life being hailed by critics, the four-piece are back on the road and recently came home to play Kingston’s Hippodrome. We spoke to drummer Joel Amey about the band’s phenomenal success, his early influences and coming home to play in a club he used to hang out in himself. Having played guitar since he was a kid, Joel stepped out of his comfort zone and agreed to play drums for a band called Wolf Alice. “I couldn’t really play drums at the time but I said yes,” he says. He then struck up a relationship with frontwoman Ellie Rowsell and guitarist, Joff Oddie. “It was just really fun so I stuck around,” he says. “I have always wanted to be a musician and I can’t think of anything other in my life that I’d want to do.” Joel’s love of rock and roll music started at a young age, at about 10 or 11 when he bought Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. He remembers: “It was just the best album I had ever heard.” He recalls how he sat on his mother’s sofa and poured through the lyric sheet, In homage to frontman Chester Bennington, he considered dyeing his hair red, and getting flame tattoos. Eighteen years later, he reveals: “I can still probably sing every single word to Hybrid Theory.” Recording with the band can vary in its style, the Blush EP was recorded in just three days he says, but then My Love Is Cool was the most serious recording session they had done with hours of hard work leading to its completion in just four weeks. Their newest, took three months, with the band trying everything they wanted and making stuff up as they went along. The band’s debut, My Love Is Cool was met with overwhelming success. The band were nominated for a Mercury Prize, Brit awards and a Grammy, which was may more than Joel could’ve ever have really expected. “The way that it went was just amazing really.” Following up, they’ve had to face

Wolf Alice are excited for their show at Kingston’s Hippodrome the ever-so-slightly daunting stereotype of the second album not living up to the first. “When I realised we had the songs that we had, and we had loads more, I was like ‘this is gonna be fun if anything, it’s gonna be fun making this record’ and you can’t really argue with that. “It’s us maturing in different forms of songwriting and I’m not saying it’s wildly different from My Love Is Cool because the DNA of our band is flowing stronger in that album than ever. It’s more like our songwriting has progressed and the playing has progressed. We aren’t relying on any tricks or wildly adventures, we’re just exploring whatever we want to.” And Joel’s favourite song from the new album? “I do love St. Purple and Green in a certain way, I love where it came from and where it ended up. “The way it’s been arranged, all the layers of vocals and the velatron, all of the guitar layers and the way the beat builds, I’m happy with it and that’s a highlight for me.” The band has also been known for being quite political on their social platforms. They have been involved in setting up Bands 4 Refugees and were particularly vocal about getting young people to vote in the recent election.

Joel reflects on how old punk bands influenced his own personal politics, and how he’s learnt that by voting you can actually make a change. It’s this sentiment that the band actively conveys to their young fanbase. He then reveals that he was “fucking tired” last time he visited Kingston as they had reached the end of a two-week long stretch of in-stores and performances. He then says that he even used to go to Hippodrome himself as a teen, “I was born in Epsom, and went to school in Dorking so I know Kingston. I saw

PHOTO: REX some mates who played in a band there that had supported Metronomy. I used to go to Banquet records.” “Oh, no way,” he says when he hears that Hippodrome is closing. He says: “I saw Darwin Deez at Hippodrome, blast from the past.” While reflecting on his upcoming show here, “It’s a bit intense doing two shows before the biggest show of our lives.” He adds: “They’re shorter shows and they’re gonna be really fun.” Their newest album, Visions Of A Life is on sale now.

Joel Amey (far right) reflects on their debut album






over the years

The venue has served KU students with crazy nights out and access to watch some of the most talented, established and up-and-coming artists for 11 years. Let’s take a look back... BY ALICE BRADLEY

THE Hippodrome in Kingston has become one of the few symbols which represent the riverside town in its true glory. As the doors are set to close for the last time, The River reflects on over a decade of stars and sell-out shows. Situated in the heart of the town, Hippodrome has showcased the works of emerging artists and sell out acts for over a decade. Banquet Records as we know it today was formed back in 2004 when Jon Tolley and Mike Smith took over the struggling record label under its old name, Beggars Banquet. They then built up the label “from the ashes of the Beggars Banquet chain of shops.” Set up alongside the iconic record store, Banquet Records, Hippodrome has been one of the key venues contributing to the business’s success. Jon Tolley and his team put on 200 events a year in and around Kingston. From intimate in-store gigs for a dozen people, to international touring bands playing at Kingston’s local threetiered theatre and the Hippodrome. There is nowhere in Kingston that embraces musical culture more prominently as Hippodrome has. Hippodrome prides itself for its diversity and has seen prolific acts like Ed Sheeran, Zara Larsson, Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Wheatus, Tinie Tempah, Example, Devlin, The 1975, Kissy Sellout, Chase & Status, Nero, David Rodigan, Professor Green, Jamie XX, Four Tet, Jme, Kid Ink, Slaves, Wolf Alice and

Wiz Khalifa to name a few. Jon Tolley said: “At the moment, we know Hippodrome is going to close, but we don’t know when. I’m emotionally attached to the place, sure, but I think the drive now is to get somewhere else in town so no lack of gig space, no lack of culture, occurs. “The room is only as good as the things that fill it, and we’re working with the GLA (London Government) and Sadiq’s office to make sure we have something comparable in place for when this happens.” Make sure to catch the last shows at Hippordrome by looking at the Banquet Shows Facebook page.


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KU men’s football suffer second loss to Westminster BY GREG POTTS CAPTAIN Beau Allwood bemoaned his teams’ sloppy start after Kingston University Men’s Football 2nd team fell to a 2-1 defeat against Westminster firsts at Tolworth Court on Wednesday afternoon. Kingston went into the game looking to settle the score after losing 5-4 to Westminster in the cup just weeks earlier but conceded two early goals that they could not recover from. “It’s even more annoying because it happened in the cup. Same team, same time, two down in 10 minutes,” said Allwood. Westminster took the lead just six minutes into the game as a mix up between Allwood and Hal Colmer in the box allowed Westminster striker Harry James to slam the ball home. The second followed just four minutes later when Kingston keeper Zak Boniface’s attempted clearance was charged down, leaving Bryan Ijeh to sweep into the empty net from the edge of the box with Kingston’s heads seemingly still in the changing rooms. The home side had the chance to hit back straight away when Jack Connelly jinked his way into the box and was brought down for a penalty, but his effort from 12-yards was well saved by the Westminster goalkeeper Sean Meanespy. “The penalty changed the game even though we didn’t score it, we started to put them under a bit more pressure,” said Allwood. “At half time, obviously we came in 2-0 down, I spoke to the boys and

tried to get them up again, a few boys heads were down, then I think there was a big improvement, everyone wanted it more.” Kingston looked a different team in the second half and started to test Westminster’s defence with substitute Kelvin Adjei getting in behind his full back on a number of occasions. After 54 minutes Connelly picked up the ball in his own half and drove at the Westminster defence before sliding a sumptuous ball through to Adjei, who finally beat Meanespy to pull one back for Kingston. Allwood hailed Connelly’s performance after the game and said: “I thought he was quality, he was everywhere putting in tackles. “He assisted the goal and won the penalty, even though he missed it, but he was still our best player on the day.” However it was not to be for Kingston as they piled on the pressure but could not find an equaliser as the game became more and more scrappy. “I think we were pushing for that second goal and they’ve just sat back, parked the bus and our final ball or finish was always missing,” said Allwood. “We lacked some clinical finishing and a few first touches just let us down, in some cases if it was better we could have had a shot on goal and things might have been different now.” Elsewhere there was better news for Kingston’s third team as they demolished Buckingham New University 6-2 away from home to record their first league win of the season.

Movember for KU men’s hockey team BY SYNNE JOHNSSON

KINGSTON men’s hockey is taking a stand against prostate cancer and for men’s well-being at this year’s Movember and raising money through social media and charity event. The team has raised over £500 and is raising awareness on social media by posting videos and pictures of the team’s various beards and moustaches, encouraging people to donate money for the cause. Men’s hockey captain Tom Banner said: “As captain I’m proud of the boys for making such a big effort to raise money and more importantly raise awareThe teams ‘taches ness

about real issues like cancer and divide rates in men.” The team’s goal is to raise £1000 and they are also holding a Spoken Word event on November 30 where the entry money will go towards their fundraising efforts. The man behind the idea, Cameron Main, said: “I thought it would be fun to get my hockey team involved to help promote the issue of men’s health to a wider audience seeing as our age group is the most at risk.” “Everyone thinks it’s a great idea even if we look a bit weird for a month. It’s good fun,” he said. “I am looking forward to growing my beard after Movember because my face is freezing without one.” PHOTO: KU HOCKEY

Quartey hands off his opponent PHOTO: Louis Hall


A KINGSTON University American football player was taken on to the Great Britain national team in June, after two years of playing the sport. Gabriel Quartey, 20, was invited to trials after playing for his team, London Blitz and has since then been to several camps, but has yet to play a game. “I am proud of myself but I feel like I’m quite good at it and I train so hard so I thought that there was no way I wouldn’t make the team,” the accounting and finance student said. Quartey has only played American football for two years and started playing after a man from the gym he used to go to approached him and asked if he wanted try the sport. “I didn’t know they had teams around here, so I came on training and talked to the coaches and that’s when I started,” Quartey said. “I thought it would be fun and I had watched it. I thought that it could be me, these guys are doing it, so can I.” Quartey started out at a local team, Kent Exiles, but moved on to London Blitz this summer, a team with a good reputation in the American football world, with several players and coaches from the national team.

For Kingston, Quartey plays running back, an attacking position, and line backer, a defending position, while for London Blitz and for the national team he sticks to being only a running back. “I think because I’m fast and strong and watch a lot of videos on Youtube, trying to learn,” Quartey said when asked why he has become so good so quickly. “I try to get better and I do a lot of training at the gym, do a lot of running, so when I’m playing I’m much stronger and faster than many of the others.” “I’m a fast learner and I just made sure that I can do what the others are doing and just train and make sure I’m better than anyone else.” Before joining American football, Quartey played basketball for eight years and even though he still plays a bit every now and then, he admits he prefers American football. “I’m more about for it and enjoy it more,” he said. “I can train better for American football than basketball.” Quartey was one out of seven running backs that made the team from the trials and he believes to be approximately 15 trying out. There has been no games for the Great Britain team since he started,

but there is an upcoming tournament in 2018 where he hopes to play. Kingston University’s American football president, Aaron Rafferty said: “American football is a team sport and in order to be successful a team needs 11 hard working dedicated and talented players on the field. “It is important to utilise the talent in your squad and then play to your team’s strengths. “Gabriel brings explosive pace and power to Kingston’s running game he is one of our great offensive assets. His running abilities help our offence by opening up the passing game. “On defence, his explosive presence as line backer helps pressure opposition quarterbacks. Rafferty said that Quartey is a good teamplayer, often helping the other defenders make big plays, backfield tackling and sacks. He added Quartey is a “great asset” to the team and a “valuable player.” With a busy schedule where he trains for American football up to three times a week, goes to the gym six times a week and also has a part time job - there is no doubt he is busy. Even though he did not deny that it can get very busy, he makes sure that he does all of his university work during the day.





Kingston karters race into national championships

KOKS Vice captain Adrian Jarych races during Sunday’s qualifiers BY LOUIE CHANDLER

KINGSTON University qualified for the British Universities Karting Championships after finishing in the top 40 teams in Sunday’s qualifiers. They will race in the intermediate league after finishing just three places below the final premier league qualifying spot. “I think we’re definitely stronger this year than we were last year,” karting president Sam Righton, 21,


told The River on Monday. “Last season was probably the worst season I’ve been involved with. “But everyone has an extra year’s experience this time and, judging by the qualifiers, I think it will be much better this year in terms of results.” Last year the Kingston Original Karting Society (KOKS) finished 40th out of 54 teams. Righton blames this on a mixture of bad luck and a lack of consistency

within the teams. “We were mixing drivers quite a lot so there wasn’t any continuity throughout the season,” he said. “It’s like we didn’t know who our best drivers were for the separate teams. “Also we weren’t slow I think we were just extremely unlucky with getting involved with incidences.” But captain, Andrew Hunt, 20, is optimistic that his team can come away

with both Surrey and Kingston taking multiple shots and conceding short corners in the first 10 minutes. But it was Surrey who broke the deadlock on the eighth minute as Lucy Woodworth broke through the home defence before rounding the goalkeeper to tap home the opener. Kingston’s reply was strong though. Denison’s strong dribble from the half way line won the Cougars a short corner after her shot struck a Surrey foot. But Ellie Skelton’s delivery couldn’t be brought under control and the chance had gone. It was a chance that Kingston were made to rue five minutes later as the Surrey team doubled their lead from a short corner of their own. Taz Urquath’s pull back was worked well to Woodworth, whose hard pass was tapped home by Becky Williams to make it 2-0. On the 16th minute it was 3-0, as a flowing Surrey counter attack found its way to Williams on the right-hand side of the shooting circle.

Only Williams will know if she meant to cross or shoot, but whatever it was squirmed past Beth Goodcliffe in the Kingston goal. Kingston however were back in the game two minutes after the restart. A short corner by Denison found Olivia Bunni, who fired a pass back to the KU captain to scramble home to make it 3-1. Denison thought she might have doubled her tally for the day moments later as her shot found the target, only for the referee to pull the play back for an earlier foul on a Surrey player. But there was just time for the visitors to pull further away before half time, as Woodworth claimed her second of the game, lashing the ball passed Goodcliffe and into the net with minutes to go before half-time. Kingston would have felt hard done by to be three goals down at the break, but the visitor’s ruthlessness in front of goal had made the difference. As the second half kicked off, the wind intensified, whipping leaves and debris onto the pitch.

with a few impressive races in the coming campaign. “My hope for this year is to be one of the top intermediate teams,” Hunt said “As we only narrowly missed out on being a premier team, I’d like us to get on the podium at least once.” One of the team’s brightest prospects, James Manning, was on course for a podium finish during Sunday’s qualifiers as he went into the last lap in third place, a position that might have given the team a premier league spot But the first year student spun off the track on the final lap and had to settle for 11th and the team had to settle for an intermediate place. Vice-President Adrian Jarych, 21, praised Manning’s effort. “He’s done some karting before and was doing a very good job in qualifying. “But he got pushed on the last lap when he was in third and was forced wide which resulted in him spinning out and going off the track.” While the A team qualified for the national tournament, the B team did not and will have to compete in the rooky league for the year. But the drivers have found the positives in this. Hunt said: “we’ve got so many people in the society who are interested.” “So I’d like to get as many of them

in the karts as possible just to give them a go, and the experience should benefit us next year as well as they’ll be more used to racing.” Righton is also excited, saying: “What tends to happen is we get a whole bunch of people interested at the start of the year, and that just drops off massively by about November when everyone realises how expensive it is. “But I’m glad to say we have a lot of freshers who are committed to doing a lot of races this year.” Each team competing in the championships use identical karts provided by the race organisers Club 100. They each have 115cc engines, can reach top speeds of 70mph and can go from five to 60mph in 4.5 seconds. “It’s probably a good thing all the karts are the same,” Hunt said. “It gets rid of the excuse that people are working on their karts to gain an advantage and leaves the racing solely to driving talent.” The Kingston team will get their 2018 campaign underway on January 31 alongside their 26 rival universities from across the UK at Buckmore Park in Kent. They will compete in eight different events with two races at each. Last year Loughborough came out on top, narrowly beating Oxford Brookes to the title.

Womens hockey dumped out of cup after Surrey thrashing Kingston Women’s firsts 1 Surrey Women’s firsts 6 BY LOUIE CHANDLER

KINGSTON’S women’s hockey team shipped six goals as they were dumped out of the cup by Surrey’s first team at Surbiton hockey club on Wednesday afternoon. Last year’s runners-up were 6-1 winners in the South Eastern Conference Cup, leaving the Cougars thinking of what might have been. “I think we defended really well,” Kingston captain Hannah Denison said. “They were much fitter and quicker than us, and we should have allowed them more space. “But we know what we need to do in training now.” Although the score line was emphatic, the match was far more even with one side taking the chances presented to them. The match got off to a frantic start

KU battled hard despite the scoreline. Denison came close to narrowing the gap again at the start of the second half after a strong run, but her shot rolled narrowly wide of the post. Just as the Cougars were beginning to build some momentum, Surrey scored their fifth of the game. On the 39th minute Roberts’s cross wasn’t cleared and bounced around the Kingston area before Sarah Ross finally tapped the ball over the line at the back post to make it 5-1.


After that the game largely petered out, as Kingston saw no route back into the game and Surrey took their foot off the gas. But there was time for one more goal for the visitors. Taz Uruquhart slotted home after a brilliant run to make it 6-1. “As we were defending for large parts of the game our forwards didn’t stay high so we never had that outlet upfront when we would breakaway after defending.”




Lacrosse men crash out of cup but find new goal scoring hero Kingston 5

Canterbury 6 BY SYNNE JOHNSSON KINGSTON attacker Ewan Leslie scored five goals in a tight cup game against Canterbury - but it was not enough to keep the blues in the cup. Hot shot Leslie scored the first goal in the start of the second quarter and kept scoring throughout the game, ensuring a close match in his debut game for Kingston. It got dramatic when captain Connor Mottrom knocked down Canterbury’s Joe Holland, leaving him down in the third quarter. The game was soon stopped and Holland was carried off the pitch while the Canterbury coach berated the umpire. Holland was down for the rest of the game throwing up due to a suspected concussion. Mottrom said: “All the boys played their hearts out which was really nice to see. We had a bit of a disadvantage because they brought 17 players and we only had 10, but it was such a close game and I can’t ask for more from the boys. This was by far the best game of the season.” Kingston dominated most of the game and the Kingston defence was strong, not letting the Canterbury Christ Church attackers through, but the visitors had the legs which at the end of the day gave them the win. The first and only goal of the first quarter came seven minutes into the game when Canterbury’s Jake Gilbert got the ball, ran around the goal and shot it straight past Kingston goalie Courtney May. Leslie’s goal in the second quarter seemed to have woken up Canterbury because only a few minutes later Giorgio Michael got the ball, ran it around goal and shot it straight in the top cor-

Leslie alongside team mate Tyler Collier. PHOTO: RIKKE NYLUND ner, making it 2-1 to the visitors. The blues had several shots at goal by the end of the second quarter but none of them went in and they went to half time with 2-1. Third quarter started with the Canterbury attackers dominating the game with Michael in the front, but Zachary Fountain had it all under control and did not let Michael get past. It got nerve wrecking for the Kingston supporters when May got the ball and ran it all the way up to the visitor’s half and dropped it, but he was quick back and the defenders saved the team from letting in another goal. Canterbury then made it 3-1 despite Fountain playing hard on Michael, but when the ball was passed on to James Read, they were not to be stopped and the ball hit the net. Harman Singh later won the ball in Kingston’s half and ran it up to attack passed it on to Leslie who quickly fired it in the back of the net. The ball went back to the middle where Mottrom won the face-off, passed the ball on to James Sombach who took the ball behind goal, passing it to Leslie who scored yet another goal, ending the quarter with a 3-3 draw. The fourth quarter started with Canterbury’s Gilbert passing the ball on to Michael who made it 4-3.

Top scorer Ewan Leslie in action. A few minutes later Gilbert got the ball again, running past all Kingston defenders and scoring Canterbury’s fifth goal. Even though Mottrom won the faceoff, Michael managed to snap the ball, run it around the goal and scored their

last goal of the match. Leslie on the other hand was not yet done, he won the ball and went for goal from the 15 metre, smashing it past the keeper, making it 6-4. Not long after Leslie who got the ball from Mottrom right in front of goal, turned around and

PHOTO: RIKKE NYLUND scored, only seconds before the final whistle was blown. Leslie said: “I loved to see the freshers getting involved and everyone gave a hundred percent which was wicked, we got some good goals and it was a close game.”