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Kingston University & South West London

December 6 2013 - January 23 2014

Features p14-15 Who do you ink you are?

Issue no. 67

News p7 Students boycott Starbucks

Football legend John Barnes tells The River against racism p7 Entertainment p17 Chillax with Frozen this Xmas

Kingston VC heckled as he crosses picket line



And the boys join in too as KU Cougars pose nude for Xmas calendar fundraiser Joe Gallimore, Ashleigh Oakes and Camilla Huuse KINGSTON’S sport stars stripped off and played up to the camera to raise money for the new year. The men’s rugby team posed nude for a charity calendar while KU’s cheerleading squad hopes to fund their competitions with fancy dress and bikini photoshoots. The rugby team’s hooker Fergal Findlay, 24, who came up with the idea, said: “I heard of other people

doing it in the past and just thought, well, why don’t we do it? I presented the idea to the rest of the team. Most of them were really keen.” Findlay hoped that his team could raise £800 for Cancer Research UK by selling the calendars. Prop Oliver Giles-Day, 20, said: “Most people have had someone they know, or someone in their family, who has been affected by cancer and it seemed like a good one to support rather than a smaller charity.” Most of the players took part in the

photoshoot which took place on the pitches and in the changing rooms and showers at Tolworth. While the players posed nude, with only rugby balls covering their modesty, the cheerleaders dressed up for their calendar. The squad posed as Alice in Wonderland characters and also modelled in their bikinis to raise money for future events. For one picture, they constructed a human pyramid made up of all 67 cheerleaders. FULL STORY P3

KU cheerleaders become calendar girls for a day REHAN QURESHI



Privatised loans could see hike in repayments



Joe Gallimore KINGSTON students could see a hike in their loan repayments if the Government go ahead with plans to sell existing loans to private debt companies. Last month the Government sold -

Starbucks to be boycotted p7



indeed sold. “Essentially, within the terms and conditions that are currently in

this time more universities will join the protest. KU student, Andrew Bensidhoum,

student loan company, it says that the Government reserve the right to change the terms and conditions. This is something that David Willets

sult in the cap on interest rates being

committee just last June,” said the spokeswoman.

The Student Assembly Against Austerity (SAAA), who organised

out between 1990-1998, were sold

“I think increasing awareness portant thing to do, because now

money. NHS charge for internationals p11

“We believe that we got very good




student loan book they will have to increase the interest rates, as it is not “I think we made a really good that day basically did was sound the alarm that this is what the Gov-

Student goes under the knife p12

February 3-7.” Assurances have been made by the Government that the terms and



being able to collect. “So there is no value on keeping it It was announced back in June 2013 that plans were being made to dent loans which are currently held by students. The Government spokeswoman administration, we announced intentions to look at options around mon-

actually sell them.” rates will rise. However, the SAAA is concerned that this is not going to be the case


not among them and it is hoped that

We aim to celebrate the achieve-

book to the taxpayer, and achieving a

to ensure that all borrowers who are earning over the relevant payment threshold are repaying their loans, including those who have moved overseas.”

Christmas cards sent to prisoners KU STUDENTS are sending personalised Christmas cards to political prisoners suffering human rights violations in a campaign by Amnesty International. -

ignored. should I be allowed more rights than country I am in? -

Most successful Lacrosse team p19

What we promise: The River aims to serve the University and the local area. Our mission statement commits us to raising and addressing the issues relevant to students and local people, as well as to entertain and

Skills (BIS) now needs to take a more energetic and considered approach

Jane Grammer



the student loan book, the Depart-

loan book. We are only just looking

The Overtones’ upcoming album p18

What is The River? The River is written, edited and produced by journalism students at Kingston University. The views expressed in this paper do not

loans. It is thought that there are around 14,000 students living abroad who are behind on their re-payments,

alike. What we need from you: which would interest our readers please contact us.

global Amnesty write-a-thon cam-

Customised xmas cards ODEGARD

the world. Second-year human rights student

The society purchased their own art materials to create personalised

Tonje Odegard, said the campaign campaign, which marks Human Rights Day on December 10.

have got a little card like this, even a

at least in other countries people are thinking about you.” Scissor Sisters singer, Ana Matronic, supported the campaign and its

been violated. policy to print timely corrections something wrong. or that we have made a mistake, please get in touch.

ing awareness and it also encourages the political prisoners around the

edly repeatedly raped and tortured by soldiers in the Mexican city Tijuana until she signed a statement

they believe in. “It shows that they are acknowlFirst-year human rights student that people are supporting them,

erated 636,000 appeals with a numers. ber 1 to December 31.


It s a good job that the rugby balls were so big r e b

em v o


Ringing in the new year REHAN QURESHI

Joe Gallimore, Camilla Huuse and Ashleigh Oakes It’s the festive season of fundraising and little is left to the imagination when Kingston’s sports teams dress up (or down) for Christmas. Thankfully, the only balls on display are those strategically placed to cover the modesty of KU’s rugby players, who braved the cold to produce a nude calendar for charity. “I’ll tell you what, it was not warm, and it was a good job that the rugby balls were big,” said centre Josh Robinson, 20. Robinson stripped off along with the rest of his team for the calendar, which features different individual and group poses from January to November – and even more rugby players for your money in December. Fly half Dan Phoenix, 21, said he thought most of his team mates enjoyed being models for a day. “I don’t think anyone was nervous about it,” said Phoenix. “A few of the pretty boys had a few poses pre-or-


u ug


Striking a pose REHAN QURESHI

ganised and so on, so I think it was a calling in life for them.” To produce their calendar, the cheerleading squad also had to defy the winter winds. Georgia Rose Osborne-Davies, 21, said: “The calendar was good, the only thing that wasn’t fun was that pictures were taken outside and it was freezing. “It was funny because our hats wouldn’t stay on and our hair was everywhere.” Raising money by selling nude or almost-nude calendars has become popular among university sports teams across the UK. such as 2003’s comedy hit Calendar Girls, which is based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women posing nude for a calendar to fundraise for leukaemia research. But while the cheerleaders’ photos feature 66 calendar girls, there is also one calendar boy: Bradley Quinnell, who says he is used to being the only guy in the team.

“Being the only male is nothing new to me, I’m always the only boy – I’m more like one of the girls anyway. The photoshoot was such fun and I hope it can raise money for the cheerleaders,” he said. The squad also posed for one nude picture at Pryzm, but Quinnell says he decided not to be in it. “I wasn’t in the naked one, as I thought it might sell more if it was just females,” he jokes. President Jemma Smith said that the photoshoot has been a great bonding experience for the team. “All of the committee agreed it would be a great way to fundraise and bond as a team,” she added. Students who want to support a good cause and get pictures of naked rugby players at the same time, can either buy the £8 calendar in the SU shop from Wednesday or by emailing Cheerleading calendars will be available for £5. For information on how to purchase one keep checking Twitter: @KingstonCheer.



Angus Hope and Eamor Maguire ROSIE BULMER

Luka Medved stripped down for charity ROSIE BULMER


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c De

KU cheerleaders doing a pyramid REHAN QURESHI




Grad shortlisted for a student media award A KINGSTON University journalism graduate was shortlisted for The Guardian’s best reporter award this year. Harriet Osborne, 21, wrote a front page story for The River about a student who was left for dead after a hit-and-run car accident in Ireland. She submitted the touching story along with two others, and was journalism students from the UK. “By the time they got back to me I had actually forgotten all about it. It was one of those things where you just do it so that you know you haven’t missed an opportunity,” she said. to be true. Since I’ve worked hard for as long as I can remember, it nally paying off.” She recognises that KU and the journalism lecturers pushed her in the right direction. “I think the journalism course gave everyone in my year a stronger backbone,” Osborne said.

Student uses egg cash for tattoo Adelina Ibishi

I received £350, which I spent on the

A KU student who donated her eggs for feminist reasons spent the money she received for it on a tattoo she had been wanting for years. The third-year student donated eggs in June in support of women focusing on their careers before deciding to get pregnant. She was unaware that donors would receive any payments. “In the beginning I didn’t know there would be any money involved, but when I was informed later in the process I thought ‘sweet!’”, she said. “I only did it once, and for that time

up in a full sleeve covering my entire left arm.” The 22-year-old had wanted the tattoo for several years, but it was not until she received compensation from the donation that she was comfortable enough to spend such a large amount of money on permanently decorating her skin. “I like to think of it as a win-win situation as it turned out to be a nance the rest of my tattoo sleeve by donating my eggs. That would be a disturbing hobby.”

She does not believe people should consider egg or sperm donations for “Donating your genes is controversial and comes with several health risks and ethical responsibility. If you are desperate for money and considering donation, you should get a proper job instead of playing with DNA.” Egg donation is a fertility treatment where a donor gives eggs to an infertile patient in order to help her become a parent. According to the London Egg Bank, an estimated 10,000 babies a year are born worldwide from the procedure. Although clinics are not able to

ask the reasons why their patients choose to donate eggs, they do not recommend that people get involved for the purpose of making money. A spokesperson for the London IVF and Fertility Clinic said: “People vantage of this system for their own There are no dangerous physical side-effects from egg donation, but a study run by Fertility and Sterility Society of Reproductive Medicine, chological trauma later in life. TATTOO FEATURE P14

New immigration bill to hit overseas KU students

Help The Philippines A KU student raised £350 and collected more than ten large boxes of food and clothing to help the Philippines after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan. Ashereen Kanesan, a Malaysian third-year international relations student organized a campaign called ‘Help the Philippines,’ which collected donations and raised money through a three-day bake sale. “The Philippines is so close to home, and I can’t even imagine losing everything you own just like that. I felt like I needed to do something to help them in their time of need.” All proceeds raised will be given to the Red Cross.

Mould story corrected IN RELATION to a story in the last edition of The River (Mould affects KU students, issue 66) we have been asked to clarify a number of points. The published story states that Irina Kurkaa had mould issues at Clayhill halls of residence, which is not the case. The survey by Meaco mentioned evant to Clayhill or KU, but surveyed students with mould issues across UK universities. This year, two incidences of mould problems have been reported to the halls management team concerning students at Clayhill, although none are known to have had health problems. The error was caused by production problems during subbing.

International Students interacting outside the Penrhyn Road Campus after lectures ADELINA IBISHI

Catarina Demony Overseas students at Kingston University will be affected if an immigration bill is passed proposing a charge of an extra £200 for NHS to all international students living in the UK. The UK Government is proposing to introduce a charge for all non-EEA (European Economic Area) international students in the UK to use the NHS, charging up to £200 per person a year of study. The Students’ Union is against the introduction of new immigration bill. KUSU believes the introduction of the bill will only make students feel unwelcome in the country they chose to study in. According to the Students’ Union President Denza Gonsalves, Kingston University is home to more than 4,000 international students who will be particularly affected if the immigration bill passes.

“International students are an integral part of Kingston University and we are very concerned at the damage, measurable and immeasurable, that this bill will cause to stusalves said. Ashereen Kanesan, a Malaysian international relations student at Kingston University, does not understand to use the NHS and why the new fees are not already included in the over £10,000 tuition she pays. “I understand the Government wants to control immigration here but how much more money would I have to pay just to get a good education in a western country?,” Kanesan said. “It is not like we are coming to we are coming to get a degree.” Lamiya Ahmed, a Bangladeshi international relations student at Kingston University, shares the same

opinion and thinks international students are the most heavily regulated group by the Government and if the bill passes everything would get worse. “I regret choosing England to study in the sense that life is just much harder for us already,” Ahmed said. “Getting a visa to get around is a pain and if I knew about this new bill, I would have never dared.” Postgraduate research students charges up to £3,000. Philip Olalekan, the Students’ Undoes not support the bill and believes postgraduates will most affected from the introduction of new charges. “Some postgraduate students are married and have kids and they will be paying a huge amount of money even before getting into the UK,” Olalekan said. In addition the Government is also

vate landlords who do not ensure their tenants have the right to stay in the UK. “Landlord’s checks will affect mostly postgraduate students because most prefer to stay out of university halls of residence,” Olalekan said. “Most postgraduate international students wanting to arrange their accommodation with a landlord before getting to the UK will not be able to prove their immigration status.” The Students’ Union encourages all students, including home students, to take action against the new immigration bill in order to protect education the UK. “I would seriously encourage all students to take action against the bill so that you let the Government know that these unfair changes is something that students don’t support,” Gonsalves said. COMMENT P11



VC crosses picket line in pay strike

KU staff and students took part in a strike against pay cuts on Tuesday CAMILLA HUUSE

Tina Dézart and Joe Gallimore VICE Chancellor Julius Weinberg crossed a picket line on Tuesday as Kingston lecturers took a day of action over their pay dispute. Protesters picketing outside Knights Park campus, shouted at the Vice Chancellor, while attempting to stop him entering the building where he was holding a public meeting. Professor Weinberg said: “UCU’s position is wrong and simply naïve.” Nationwide union action began in October after lecturers were offered a one per cent pay rise, which staff amounts to a real terms pay cut. The Vice Chancellor explained that although Kingston has money, much of it will be used to invest in buildings and IT to compete with other universities. “We have about £110 million in the bank,” said Mr Weinberg. “That seems like a lot of money but we are going to spend most of that just doing catch up.” However, union members argue that universities can afford to raise salaries as they have amassed a surplus of more than £1.1 billion.

Simon Choat, Kingston’s UCU membership secretary and politics lecturer, said that Kingston has the money to improve staff’s conditions. He said: “They’re planning to demolish the Town House and put a new building there - and I’m not saying it’s not a good thing. It will be a nice new building but obviously they have the money to do that, so they should be able to afford to not cut staff pay. “The average lecturer is probably contracted to 37 hours a week, but around 30 per cent of staff across the nation are working over 50 hours a week.” Unions have vowed to work no more than their contracted hours, meaning student assessments could be marked late. But they may take more strike action unless they receive a better offer from employers. However, Weinberg said he didn’t think there was a solution to the issue. “The current UCU demand is for more than one per cent, and the current position of the UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) and the University is that it won’t be more than one per cent. I don’t think it will be resolved.” Lecturers said that they hoped the

pact and would bring the university back to the negotiation table. They also hoped to get more support from the student body, although the students’ union remains neutral. Although more staff and students participated in the strike compared numbers are available. There were a small number of protestors outside campuses and the majority of students crossed the picket lines. Union members, however, were Choat said: “We had a lot of staff on lively picket lines across three campuses, including a strong picket line ages. I was at Knights Park and we didn’t see many staff cross the line, and managed to persuade some students not to cross.” Stella Sandford, a UCU member and lecturer in philosophy, said the issue was more than a pay dispute. “It is part of a larger problem of casualisation of labour,” she said. “Zerohour contracts are obviously very exploitative and it affects students’ education to be taught by staff working casually on zero-hour contracts.” The Vice Chancellor, however, argued that zero hour contracts are in

KU entrepreneur of the year has done blooming well! Kiran Sainbhee A RECENT Kingston University graduate was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year last week for the People and Environmental Achievement Awards 2013. MA advertising and creative economy graduate, Shruti Barton received the award for her eco-

Flower Pozzy. She designed it to alleviate the awkward task of carryMrs Barton said: “ I was also nominated for two other categories and this was the sixth or seventh to be announced so I was delighted that it was the Entrepreneur of the Year.” Mrs Barton created the Flower Pozzy during her postgraduate degree as the team leader of her business, Easthetics Design, winning

The Vice Chancellor arriving at the strike TINA DÉZART

Kingston University’s Bright Ideas competition earlier this year. She is now selling the product London and online under the Easthetics name. She added: “It really helped me to see that the judges see potential in my business and that my product has a shelf life. I never thought Flower Pozzy would have come this far in such a short space of time.”

Protesters gathered outside the University TINA DÉZART demand from staff. He said: “I think the simple ‘zero-hour contracts are bad’ discussion is a rather naïve one. “I think it is an issue that needs an intelligent debate. We are a university - we should have an intelligent of X’ one, without thinking that it ac-

ibility.” A source said that around 11 lectures and tutorials were known to have been cancelled as a result of the strikes. Further action may have to be taken if the dispute is not resolved.

KU has pocketed a clubbing saviour Sawiya Ali FIVE Kingston students are teaming up to start their own business after creating a product that can store personal items on a night out. Managing director Rosie Hall, and Sindy Ayaz, marketing director, are working alongside Sam James, Callum Hobbs and Chantelle Keady to create ‘The Hidden Pocket’ that

can store personal items whilst remaining unseen. Rosie, 20, a business and human rights student, said: “We are solving the problem of not knowing where to put your valuables on a night out.” The Hidden Pocket can be attached inside a bra or a belt loop

stall at the Christmas market.



KU students run Santa Dash Jonathan North SANTA suits replaced running shorts for 12 KU students who ran the annual 5k Santa Dash to raise money for Princess Alice Hospice (PAH). Kingston’s women’s hockey team recruited the students to join hundreds of runners in Bushy Park for the annual event and have raised over £100 for the charity. Sophie Whitely, charity co-ordinator for KU hockey and Santa dash runner, said she was proud that the hockey team could contribute donations to the charity which provides free health care to patients and their families in London. “We decided to do the Santa Dash as it looked like great fun and all the money raised was going to a great cause. It was a fantastic event and to see over 500 Santas running was brilliant.” Kingston students have raised over £100 from online donations for Princess Alice Hospice SOPHIE WHITELY

Legislation fails to protect KU victims from stalkers Camilla Huuse and Kirsty Liddle KINGSTON students have been warned to be cautious of potential stalkers as a law introduced to protect victims has only jailed six people since it was introduced a year ago. Two KU students are among the 120,000 stalking victims who are affected every year in the UK, yet only 189 people have been charged since it became a criminal offence in November 2012. The stalker of one KU student, 21-year-old Amanda, was never charged with an offence after following her with a camera for over two years. She said she would rather be attacked on the street than relive the trauma. She said: “The constant fear is so much worse than physical violence. home alone. When this was going on, I never slept alone.” Amanda’s stalker became obsessed with her after seeing photos of her modelling on Facebook then called her mother under the pretence of a photographer requesting to photograph her. However, the man who pretended to work for a private company refused to accept no for an answer and began to photograph Amanda in public when she was with her

often failed to identify and manage the risk due to a lack of understanding and training. “They don’t appreciate how frightening it is when it’s happening to you. The absence of violence doesn’t make it any less dangerous.” Chris Hamerton, KU criminology professor, said that stalking is a matackle due to the individualistic nature of each crime. “Unlike other crimes there is no will often choose based on individual preference. It’s a focused offence.” Another KU student, 20-year-old

“I felt like I saw him everywhere, even when he wasn’t there” REX FEATURES friends and family. ticed him. My mum and I were having lunch in a shopping centre and from where I sat I could see the upper levels. I suddenly got the feeling of being watched. “You know when you can just sense it? I looked up and saw him taking photos of me. I didn’t know who he was, but I knew something was wrong.”

Before moving to Kingston to start a new life and escape her stalker, Amanda approached authorities for help, but she received only general advice such as “don’t walk home alone”. “The horrible thing was that he showed up everywhere. I felt like I saw him everywhere, even when he wasn’t there.” A freedom of information request by charity Paladin,

raise awareness of stalking as a criminal offence, found that only one in training to deal with stalking. Ray Donelan, who works for national charity Protection Against Stalking, said stalking is “life changing” for the victim and can often result in them moving home or even death if the crime is not reported or dealt with by authorities. “The criminal justice system has

someone following her to and from school everyday. Lisa said she still remembers the feeling of constantly being “under a magnifying glass” and the terror of seeing him waiting at her bus stop every day after school. “It is horrifying to know that they are following you, but to see it in action every day is exhausting.” Lisa’s stalker was eventually charged with stalking and harassment when her parents alerted the authorities, but she still lives with the anxiety and fear of being watched. “I always look around, and I have two rape alarms on me all the time. I think I will always be paranoid.” *The victims’ names have been changed to protect their identity.


Ex-footballer to talk at KU about racism George Curtis and Camilla Huuse

FORMER Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes said that ball less “nerve-wracking” than performing in Strictly Come Dancing. The legend is coming to Kingston on December 9 to hand out awards to KU sportsmen and women and to talk about combatting racism on and off the pitch. Jamaican-born Barnes, 50, said: “We can’t just leave it to football to

sort things out, you have to look at the society that produces it.” Barnes himself had to endure a torrent of racial abuse at the start of his career. He insists that racism in sport is a problem fuelled by society. One of the most infamous moments of Barnes’ career was a photograph showing him kicking a banana which had been thrown at him by a supporter during a match. Barnes’ talk takes place at 12.30pm on Monday December 9 in room JG2007 of the John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road Campus.


John Barnes in Liverpool VS Newcastle United match REX FEATURES

Barnes himself had to endure a torrent of racial abuse at the start of his career REX FEATURES

Union to fund campaign to boycott Starbucks and The Sun on campus Eirill Dalan and Joe Gallimore KU STUDENTS have backed a plan to boycott Starbucks at Kingston University after claims that it is an unethical high street cafe. KUSU will now fund a campaign and call for a boycott of the coffee shop chain on campus. Ewan Nichols, who proposed the motion, said: “I believe it was right to oppose a company of this nature public institution.” Starbucks has recently been in the spotlight over its tax avoidance, and was rated as the most unethical coffee chain in Britain by Ethical Consumer magazine. The motion passed narrowly with 87 votes in favour and 75 votes on at the Big Student Meeting, also known as the Annual General Meeting, (AGM), on November 26. VP Student Life Lizzie Carse said: “We had some interesting debates, some great policies passed and we certainly have a lot to be working on.” The Starbucks boycott was one of 11 motions suggested, all of which passed. Other campaigns included the boycott of The Sun, which was passed without opposition. A successful motion to defend women’s right to choose will result in anti-abortion groups being banned from the Freshers’ Fayre and

Motions given the green light at the Big Student Meeting Campaign to boycott Starbucks Boycott page 3 in The Sun: The paper will not be sold at KUSU s shops. No immigration bill: KUSU to campaign to stop the Government s proposal to charge international students £200 to be covered by NHS. Anti-abortionist groups will be banned from KU Freshers Fayre and SU events. London Living wage: KUSU staff will now be paid the London Living wage which is now £7.65. Microwaves: There will now be microwaves placed around the University. Unite Against Fascism: Unite Against Fascism and Love Music, Hate Racism will now publicise initiatives and events on campus. Wednesday timetabling policy: More flexibility for those who have extracurriculr activities as well as lectures. other KUSU events. KUSU will also support the NUS in their campaign against the Government’s immigration bill, which would see international students pay £200 to cover NHS costs. Two motions regarding the London Living Wage were passed. As a result, KUSU will pay its staff £7.65 an hour and will put pressure on Elior, which is responsible for the University’s catering, and KU man-

KUSU will help fund campaign against Starbucks KATERINA EPSTATHIOU

agement to also pay their staff the London Living Wage. Other successful motions saw nursing students on placement receive a name badge, and microwaves placed around the University for students to bring in and heat up their own food. “KUSU has cancelled the order to stock The Sun newspaper in its shops but discussions are taking place as to exactly where we will place the mi-

crowaves and how they will be maintained,” said Carse. A motion to boycott the tabloid until its controversial Page 3 is removed passed unanimously at KUSU’s Big Student Meeting. Human geography student Jessica Falk, 23, who proposed the motion with support of Carse said: “It was passed by a landslide, they didn’t have to count the votes – you could just see immediately.

“A third of British universities are doing this now, potentially all of them, will end up doing this. “About one third of British universities are doing this now and I think that eventually many more, potentially all of them, will end up doing this. I think that it’s sending a strong message” Kingston became the 29th university to ban the sale of The Sun from campus shops.



Bulgarian and Romanian students left penniless after living loans are frozen Camilla Huuse THE Government’s decision to freeze Bulgarian and Romanian students’ loans has left KU stues. The anxiety from students came after Universities Minister, David Willetts, said that he would suspend maintenace loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC) after a “suspicious” rise in the numbers of students applying to higher education from the two countries. The Government’s decision to stop the loans comes after allegations that many are applying without being entitled to do so.The loan is available to EU citizens with over three years of residency in the UK. Dimitar Dimitrov, 21, a third-year KU politics and international relations student from Bulgaria, said that he had been without a loan or a working permit for 10 months and had struggled to support himself. He said: “If I don’t have the social security that I am entitled to and no way of making money, how am I supposed to support myself?” The restriction will affect the maintenance loans but not the money lent to cover tuition fees. The concern from the Government follows a report showing that one in six applications for the maintenance loan now come from Bulgarian and

Bulgarian TV channel film at Kingston University campus Deema Alchami THE most watched Bulgarian TV channel was on campus last week report comparing Bulgarian and UK universities.

Dimitar Dimitrov was interviewed by the TV channel. EIRILL DALAN Romanian students, and that as many as three quarters of the students involved have so far failed to prove they are entitled to their loans. According to reports, 5,500 students from Romania and Bulgaria crease on last year. Another KU student, Madalin Botezatu, 21, a music technology student from Romania, said that the Government was “unfairly” singling out the two countries by making it

harder for them to get work than other EU citizens. She said: “For two years, my parents paid rent, utilities, food, public transportation, private insurance, and so many other things because I couldn’t work. Even so, I was indirectly accused of coming here and taking British jobs and stealing their money.” Dimitrov said that he understood why many Bulgarian and Romanian students tried to apply for the maintenance loan, as without a work per-

Dimitar Dimitrov for the entire day, including a special lecture he organised and hosted about the recent political turmoil and mass student protests in his native country. Maria Savkova, a BTV news reporter, said: “young people in Bulgaria have decided to continue their education not in Bulgarian universities but here in the UK. So we are comparing the situmit, there was not much else to do. He came to the UK in 2011 but cannot apply for a loan until August January 2012 he applied for a permit, which would allow him to work up to 20 hours a week, but he did not receive it until November last year. “Among the 27 countries in the EU, it is only students from Bulgaria and Romania who are not allowed to work without a permit, and the process of getting it is too long,” he said. Dr Radu Cinpoes, a Romanian

ation and why those students decided to study here in the UK and also whether they will come back to Bulgaria when they graduate.” The channel chose Dimitrov after he impressed journalists with his strong opinions on the current political situation in his country. Bulgarian students in the country’s capital occupied lecture rooms for over a month in protest over the appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski, as head of national security. Two weeks ago Dimitrov was asked to go on a morning TV show to do a live interview. Dimitrov said: “They asked what the position of Bulgarian students abroad is.” scholar of nationalism and a politics lecturer at KU, said that he would have liked to see the case of the Bulgarian and Romanian students taken to court. He said: “I am not a lawyer, therefore I am only posing the question, but I would be very interested to see how this temporary freezing of loans to all students from these countries would stick in a court. ing and the blanket assumption that all students from Romania and Bulgaria are potential criminals.”

New look for Town House An inTERnATionAlly renowned new Town House building. An architect competition held by Royal Institute of British Architects rewarded Grafton Architects with the best design. merous international awards including the World Building of the Year Award 2008, will exthe new building next January. “Grafton have an international reputation for designing thoughtful, beautifully detailed buildings in the higher education sector,” said Sean Woulfe, the University’s director of estates delivery. The building, which will be sity’s campus development plans, will include an LRC, an auditorium and lots of social space. Construction should begin next summer and the university hopes the buildingwill be completed by 2016.


Shameless website rates KU students

Elaha Walizedah M. Al-RASHID

Zia Weise STUDENTS feel “betrayed” and shocked after a website uploaded their photos on to “hot or not” boards without their consent. has uploaded pictures of students from more than 100 UK universities, asking its users to rate them based on attractiveness. “I had no idea that my picture was on that website,” said one Kingston student, who wishes to remain anonymous. “I feel completely betrayed to know my picture got on that website without my permission.” Ratemash organises every university into two “leaderboards”, one for male and one for female students. The pictures in the “top 50” link directly to students’ Facebook accounts. Walizadeh called the website “morally and ethically wrong”. She said student representatives across the country, including NUS tried to contact Ratemash with no success. cluding myself have emailed and phoned them a couple of times. But they seem to be pretty shameless,” she said. “I think we need a joint movement against it. They seem to be enjoying the controversy.” Walizadeh advised students who found themselves on the site against their will to remove their privacy settings until the issue was resolved. Michael Healy, who runs Ratemash, said to : “People are invited or nominated onto the website by their friends. We are actively removing people who were wrongly added to Ratemash.” English language and journalism student Emily Hughes, 20, said: “My housemate is on there too. It freaks me out to be honest.” “Why on earth does this site feel they have the privilege to access my private pictures?”


KU women warned of flasher Charlea Glanville and Sawiya Ali

Kingston University’s Feminist Society has a new campaign that focuses on sexual harassment towards

THE UNIVERSITY has warned female students not to walk alone at

otypes and misconceptions of rape, serious sexual violence and sexual harassment. Elaha Walizadeh, 20, KUSU’s wom-

er close to two of the University’s campuses. The incidents occurred near St John’s Church in Grove Lane, very close to Kingston’s Penrhyn Road and Knights Park campuses. Bruce Armstrong, dean of students at the University, warned students to “please take extra care by keeping to well-lit pavements and avoiding walking alone”. He said: “We would like to remind all of our students to be aware of their safety, wherever they are, and take sensible safety precautions.” A female KU student was ap10pm on November 21, close to the Road. “A man began following me and then attempted to corner me whilst touching himself,” said the 20-yearold student. hiding in a driveway, as if waiting for somebody to walk past before he approached her. “There was no one else around, and then all of a sudden he appeared and got very close to me - almost touching distance - while inappropriately touching himself. “It was then that I screamed loudly

inist Society, was shocked to hear students that this offence must not be taken lightly. She said: “I was upset to see that some students took it as a joke but this is clearly sexual harassment.

The University has warned KU students not to walk alone REX FEATURES and managed to run away, causing him to leg it in the opposite direction.” She said that she contacted the police straight away, but they were unAlthough the student feels lucky to have escaped the scene, she is still traumatised by the incident. “I hardly slept that night and I still feel so shaky about it,” she said. “It’s just not right that things like this can happen. “We need to warn as many girls as possible, as this was so close to Penrhyn campus and he’s still out there somewhere. “People need to report it as soon

as possible if they come into contact “Some people I’ve told about my couldn’t seem to understand why it was so bad and scary. ly walk in the road from now on.” Chief inspector Gary Taylor of Kingston Neighbourhood Policing Road in Kingston on November 21 to investigate an incident of indecent exposure, and the investigation continues. “No arrests have been made at this time, but please contact us if you see anything.”

women when they need it or at least direct them to the right people.” If something happens on campus, students have been advised to immediately contact the University’s security team on their emergency number, 020 8417 6666, which operates day and night. Victims of an incident that happens off campus should make a call directly to the police on 999 for emergencies and 101 for non-emergencies. Victims of sexual attacks can contact Metropolitan Police’s Sapphire unit which specialise in investigating rape and sexual offences and in offering support to the victim following an assault of this kind. This can be done at a police station, over the phone, or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 should you wish to give information anonymously.

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................................................................................................................... KINGSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS UNION ISSUE No.12 DECEMBER 2013 ...................................................................................................................


................................................................................................................... INSIDE: THE BIG STUDENT MEETING MIND CONFRERENCE EVENTS CALENDAR ......................................................................................................................



................................................................................................................... KUPSA and HCO: Life Sciences MIND conference By Shahmina Begum

................................... The campaign started with a spark in my mind and ignited the minds of many once shared. It was up to me to realise my vision, to let others join the ongoing battle to help those who face a daily struggle against mental health problems. Imagine your mind was your biggest enemy; how do you fight the very thing that controls you?

Everything on the stall was donated by very generous people, with the president of KUPSA (Bhavik Chavda) stinking up his flat as he made onion bhajji and fried samosas in the early hours of the morning! Alongside this, 100 samosas were handmade by Zubair’s lovely mum free of charge and 100 handmade restaurant samosas were donated for our cause - things could only get better. Our volunteers made sure the sale was a success and helped to advertise our next events.


Society restricts access to support for those who may be troubled by their mental health. Mental health is a huge label to place on someone and the aim of this campaign was to get people talking and let everyone know that mental health issues can affect anyone. Charities such as Mind support people with mental health problems, and campaign and lobby on their behalf and help to increase knowledge about mental health. Two Student Union societies - KUPSA (Kingston University Pharmacy Students Association) and HCO: Life Sciences - designed a campaign that was aimed to get students talking and seeking help. Another secondary aim was to raise money for Mind charity and show our support for the great work they do. It all started with one stall on National Mental Health Day. We had only recently put the word out about our campaign, but we could already feel a buzz in the air. We had plans to hold a conference to discuss mental health in more depth but we needed to hold as many fundraising activities as possible beforehand. So KUPSA and HCO held a samosa sale and bake sale. Both made £164 and £321 respectively.

When it came to the bake sale, volunteers donated baked goods (special gratitude goes to Hussnain and his family who donated beautiful cakes which made us all drool). During the bake sale we also held a Henna stall. This was a great success and gave our event some cultural diversity to reflect the diversity in Kingston.

We titled the run ‘Do you mind running’ – and with an excellent turnout it was clear 22 runners obviously didn’t mind running even in November! We planned a seven-mile route around Richmond Park to raise awareness of the Mind charity and raise money through sponsorship. The runners did an amazing job even in the cold weather, with the winner completing the lap in 53 minutes with his dog! Another participant made £160 in sponsorships and we had 14 people working as marshals and handing out water to the runners. The overwhelming support and money raised by the participants and volunteers blew us away. Inevitably someone had to get hurt, and it had to be one of the organisers; in all honesty I was not surprised it was me! It wouldn’t be a campaign without an after party, and we definitely know how to party. Everyone had a great time on the dance floor – volunteers, participants and committee members all turned up to celebrate the end of the campaign and its huge success.

The highlight of the campaign was the mental health conference which was attended by over 60 people. The conference featured a lecture on the fundamentals of mental health, a spoken word play, a candid recollection of someone’s experience with depression, a meditation session by the Buddhism society, and another lecture on the inclusivity of mental health with advice on how to support those with mental health problems - all squeezed into two hours! We even had time for a tea break and a Q&A. Finishing off the event was a raffle draw. The conference made £348 in total, of which 50% was used to fund the final and biggest event - the run!

Fun Run Winner

Organising a mental health campaign was, ironically, extremely stressful – but I would happily do it all over again. We are pleased to announce KUPSA and HCO have raised over £1,000 for Mind. As donations are still flooding in a final amount cannot be announced yet but we reached our initial target and are thoroughly pleased. Thank you to all involved and we look forward to our next campaign.

If you want to learn more about the charity MIND, please visit



Big Student Meeting

................................................................................................................... BY DENZA GONSALVES The Big Student Meeting on the 26th of garding their university lives, from the November attracted over 170 students late timetables this year through to the and took part in compelling debates poor Wi-Fi on campus. over a number of motions. In response to a question on timetables, The meeting began with a Q&A ses- the Dean of students said ‘the Unision with the Dean of students, Bruce versity would like to apologise to the Armstrong, who was representing the students for the timetabling problems University. Students raised issues re- they had this year - we are determined


Boycott Starbucks - For KUSU to campaign to boycott Starbucks on campus due to ethical issues – PASSED with amendments


London Living Wage - For KUSU student-staff to be paid the London Living Wage at the earliest opportunity - PASSED


Wednesday afternoons - For KUSU to work with the University in ensuring a much more pro-active response to instances of teaching being scheduled on Wednesday afternoons – PASSED


to learn from this to produce timely and accurate timetables for next year’. He also answered a question about the poor Wi-Fi provision on campus and accommodation, saying ‘the University is currently refreshing the whole of its Wi-Fi and will be progressively introducing extensive Wi-Fi coverage beginning with the most student-centric

areas and then rolling out across University and ultimately into student accommodation’. There were also 11 motions submitted and discussed at the meeting. These were on different topics to do with student’s university life. Below are the motions:




Defending a woman’s right to choose - To ban all groups from SU events that campaign against a woman’s right to choose abortion - PASSED




Boycott Page Three of the Sun newspaper - For KUSU to ban selling The Sun newspaper from Union shops

London Living Wage - For KUSU to work with the University to get KUSCO & ELIOR staff onto the London Living Wage - PASSED


Social Space - For KUSU to work with the University to ensure social space is available on site, with the aim to get faculty-specific social space, and for KUSU to be contacted from an early stage of building project discussions regarding social space - PASSED

Unite Against Fascism - For KUSU to support UAF and ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ campaigns – PASSED with amendments to resolves

HSCE Name badges - For KUSU to work with the University to get name badges for nursing students on placements - PASSED

Microwaves - For KUSU to stock and have microwaves on each campus available for student usage – PASSED

The full detail and discussion will be up on the KUSU website soon, so check it out at http:// to read the changes that KU students have voted for. Just because the big students meeting is over for another year, it doesn’t mean that your opinion can’t be voiced. The KUSU Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be happening in February 2014 so you can submit a motion now to help improve your university experience!

.................................................................................................................... THE SUN BOYCOTT

LAST WEEK, STUDENTS VOTED TO BAN THE SALE OF THE SUN AT UNION SHOPS. LIZZIE CARSE TAKES US THROUGH THE MOTION So at last week’s Big Student Meeting the student body voted for the Students’ Union to stop stocking The Sun newspaper in Union shops. This was a result of the ongoing discussion around Page 3 and how women are represented in the media, and how we as a Students’ Union can challenge these norms. Needless to say there has been a huge debate ongoing around the policy, and it’s great to see so many students getting involved in it. To clear up a few areas for confusion; this policy does not enforce a ban – it is a boycott (to boycott: to withdraw from commercial or social relations with a country/organization/person as a pun-

widest circulating national newspaper, whose editor claims that Page 3 exists to ‘celebrate’ women.

ishment or protest). This means that no-one will be monitoring who brings a copy of the Sun onto campus; the Union shops simply aren’t selling it because the Union does not support the content. Secondly, the issue isn’t around glamour modelling as a career choice – there is nothing wrong with women choosing to bare all! The point is that these images are inside the

A very visible week of campaigning took place across KU campuses between the 18th-22nd November to stir up a conversation around Page 3. This was led by final-year student Jess Falk and president of the Feminist Society Nadie Jayatissa, both very passionate about the campaign. Students were encouraged to write postcards about themselves or a female in their lives who deserves ‘celebration’ for their achievements, as well as their bodies. The postcards were then added to a huge photo of Page 3 breasts – eye-

catching to say the least! The majority of discussion around women in the media tends to be along the lines of ‘wow, she lost ALL her baby weight so quickly!’ or ‘she’s gotten so fat...’ so it was great to see so many positive things being written. Students got really involved, and even those who disagreed with the campaign to stop selling The Sun, still took part in the debate around it. The No More Page 3 campaign is national, and has been backed in the same way as Kingston by 28 other Students’ Unions. For more info check out:





LISTINGS - December 2013 SUNDAY












Christmas Party Open until 2 am at Hannafords Bar

Man Utd v Newcastle 12.45pm at Hannafords Bar Sunderland v Tottenham 5.30 pm at Hannafords Bar




Fulham v Aston Villa 1.30pm at Hannafords Bar Arsenal v Everton 4pm at Hannafords Bar

Cougaraoke at Space Bar

Societies Uncut 6 pm at Space Bar


Aston Villa v Man Utd 1.30pm at Hannafords Bar Tottenham v Liverpool 4pm at Hannafords Bar

Champions League Football at Hannafords Bar





11 15

Champions League Football at Hannafords Bar Cheerleading Fundraiser at Space Bar






Bare Jokes Comedy Club 8pm at Space Bar Big Fat Quiz of the Week 8 pm at Hannafords Bar

KUNS Social at Space Bar

Man City v Arsenal 12.45pm at Hannafords Bar


Senior course rep social (details TBC)



Christmas Party Open until 2 am at Hannafords Bar

Man Utd v Newcastle 12.45pm at Hannafords Bar Sunderland v Tottenham 5.30 pm at Hannafords Bar

Saying yes is the beginning!

Why I said yes: I always had a passion of helping others and improving the community. Even though my degree is international business which is not directly related to what this project is about. Volunteering has always been a hobby of mine since I was in school. In school there were various fundraisers I was involved in. I remember particularly when I was in the choir. We raised money for St. Helena hospice by doing a mini concert for the local community. I also volunteered for Sense charity shop on Saturdays for four years. When I was in college I volunteered for conservation for areas like Abberton Reserve, Fringringhoe and Bradwell-on-Sea. There was also another reason that I had never led a project so, this was an opportunity for me to experience the

1. If the incident occurs off campus, you should call the police on 999. 2. If the incident occurs on campus, you should call the University’s security staff on the emergency number 020 8417 6666. (If you are using a campus telephone, simply dial extension 66666.). This number operates 24/7.

We would like to remind all our students to be aware of their safety, wherever they are, and take sensible safety precautions. Here are some tips from Kingston Police’s safety website (which also covers home safety) Âł Plan your route and avoid short cuts through parks or unlit areas. ÂŞ4 '(04 0!+4 )(%"4 ,--"(',4 (+4 %-N night activities are located. ÂŞ4 Ă‘/("4 "' 4 %('4 "4 2(.4 'G4 -4 4 friend to accompany you. If they can’t, %-4-!&4$'(04-!4+(.-42(.ÂŁ+4-$"' G4 %%40!'42(.4++"/G

A STUDENT INVOLVED IN A VOLUNTEERING PROJECT TELLS US HER STORY excitement and hard work that goes into leading a volunteering project. Project day! On the day I was nervous but I didn’t have to be as Sarah (volunteering coordinator) was also with me which was good. I was most afraid about the turnout of people but I had more than enough people to volunteer for the project. So, I was very happy. The weather was great and sunny which was a plus. After that we got on with it and finished the job. Below are pictures of the event as pictures speak a thousand words!

If you do witness anything that makes you concerned about safety, please follow one of these options:

Personal safety

............................................................................................ Hello guys! I am Pramila Limbu and currently studying international business. I led the garden makeover for age concern on 4th of November 2013.

Following reports of incidents of indecent exposure near St John’s Church in Grove Lane, one of the roads behind the Penrhyn Road campus and near Knights Park, we thought we would remind everyone about some basic top tips about staying safe at night.

ÂŞ4 +24 -(4 /("4 +0"' 4 --'-"('4 -(4 yourself by talking loudly, being in a large group etc.

Volunteers on the day: Adeeba, Ayan, Fadame, Nazya, Sarah (KUSU Projects Volunteer Coordinator), Selvia, and Sofie.

Results! This experience made me very proud of myself as I know that I made a change in the age concern garden. I am now inspired to start a project myself if I want to and not just volunteer when there is a project. If you have an idea make it happen and don’t wait for others to come up with the Idea and regret it later. So, this experience was very eye-opening for me. There were lots of documents to fill in, various meetings to discuss at and visiting the site several times. But, it was all worth it at the end. The feeling you get is amazing and gives you a different kind of buzz. Lastly this would have been possible without the lovely volunteers. Thank you very much once again! If you are interested in setting up and running your own volunteering project, then contact KUSU Volunteering at

ÂŞ4 ('ÂŁ-4 ++24 %+ 4 ,.&,4 (4 &('24 or unnecessary valuables. Use cash alternatives such as debit cards. ÂŞ4 4 ,(&('4 +,4 2(.+4  B4 (4 '(-4 resist. ÂŞ4 4 2(.4 +4 --"' 4 4 -1"4  4 &$4 ,.+4 you get a registered taxi (ideally from a marshalled taxi rank); never get into an unlicensed cab. There are a number of taxi apps available that identify your nearest licensed taxi firm. ÂŞ4 ('ÂŁ-4 0%$4 +(.'4 -1-"' 4  4 "-4 ,!(0,4 you’re not paying attention to your surroundings

The University offers students a range of wellbeing services â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you can find out more on the my wellbeing website. You can download the student wellbeing booklet from this website â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it includes some useful contacts such as: " !-%"'4 Â 4 575<4 631 0101 (; and "-"&4 .))(+-4 N4 5=9:4 8585>554 (

.................................................................................................................... THE OPINIONS, BELIEFS AND VIEWPOINTS EXPRESSED BY CONSTRIBUTORS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE STUDENTSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; UNION Want to write for us? Contact Chris Jutting at


The River Says

Financial issues continue to play a big part in students’ lives, which such as the London living wage for all University staff and installing microwaves on campus as a money-saving measure. Another trend in this year’s AGM was boycotting. The Sun will be banned from campus until page 3 is removed, Starbucks faces opposition from KUSU and anti-abortion groups are no longer welcome at University events. of opinions and the close result in favour of banning Starbucks proves that. We have rules that regulate who can speak at our University, and although freedom of speech regulations sometimes can be imposed to protect students, freedom of choice is a different matter. Starbucks is a world-renowned chain, but whether you buy your coffee from them or the café next door has always been a matter of choice, and so it should be - even on campus. The fact that Starbucks, which has been branded unethical by its opponents, is placed on campus does not mean that you have to buy your daily caffeine dose there. University should be a place for

If you re like me, yule hate Christmas Bright, colourful lights blinding you from every corner, horrible music everywhere you go, and people wearing ridiculous jumpers and running around like headless chickens. son, the headless chickens want nothing more than to sell you things you will probably never use. This is how I feel when it is Christmas time – which effectively means October. Every year, I try to ignore the warning signs of Christmas starting earlier than last year: the Santa Clauses on the Cola bottles, George

REX FEATURES ground of a shop, and reindeer jumpers being hung up in the corners of Primark. Halloween is over, and next thing I know I’m watching Home Alone for the millionth time. And then the apocalypse arrives in the shape of corny Christmas CDs.

Nothing irritates my eardrums more than Mariah Carey and her stupid song about wanting nothing but love underneath her Christmas tree. Yeah, so there’s just empty space tree in your enormous Hollywood mansion, is there Mariah?

What bothers me most is not only the unnecessary stress of wasting money on Christmas socks or DVD box sets, but how people pretend they’re jolly . Smiles look more forced than those on Miss Universe contestants, and shop assistants shouting, ‘Have a good day!’ makes me miss the nine other months of the year when people don’t smile unless they have a pint of beer in their hands. Now, I know you might think I am the most cynical person in the world – but trust me, I too can be quite jolly. What people don’t know is that I used to love Christmas when I was a kid. Because back then I didn’t get presents for no reason, listen to George Michael or wear extremely itchy reindeer jumpers. When I was young I celebrated Christmas in Kenya. The best gift I could receive back then was spending time with the people I loved. What I dislike about Christmas is the fact that people have forgotten what Christmas is all about. Don’t ask me though, for I’ve forgotten too. After all, I’m just a Grinch. A Grinch who will never understand how anyone can listen to Mariah Carey so many times.

Why come to a country that treats you like an outsider? -

week’s strike saw a low turnout, with just a handful of students turning up to show their support for lecturers on the picket line. But perhaps many students voted with their feet and simply chose instead to stay at home. Whether it was students being apathetic or angry about their lectures being cancelled, strike action is not over. Union members will continue working to contract until the pay dispute is resolved. is a fundraising season and the rugby players and cheerleaders are stripping off in next year’s calendars to raise money. With a bit of fun and the courage to embrace the cold, the Cougars posed in various stages of nakedness to support a cause they believed in. The River wishes you a merry Christmas. If you don’t want to follow the Cougars’ example, wrap yourself in one of our Christmas jumpers and enjoy the holiday.

The UK had so much to offer me, and I felt that by developing my professional skills, I could offer it something in return. I, like many other foreign students coming from less developed countries, instantly appreciated the high quality of education and health care in Britain as well as the countless job opportunities. Feeling welcome in a foreign ences students when they choose their university. However, the new immigration bill that is a part of the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming year will surely make students’ life a lot tougher. It includes an extra £200 fee to join the NHS, and gives landlords the right to run background checks on students’ immigration status, which could result in it being much In my opinion, all the changes and the numerous debates on the

REX FEATURES topic will make a lot of young people think twice before entering the UK, and will drive them towards more welcoming countries like Germany, Holland or the States where the living costs are also lower. Why come to a country that treats you like an outsider and makes your life more complicated? Is it all going to be worth the money and effort in the end? Being in Kingston has been an amazing ride for me and I love my course, but I doubt that I would have chosen the same path for myself had I chosen to apply for my undergraduate degree this year

- and I’m sure many international students feel the same way. As a recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research stated, Britain is the second most popular destination for international students looking for a degree. Hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world migrate to this country every year and leave their homes and families in exchange of a prospective future and a better life. They also contribute to the British economy with an estimate of £13bn per year and generate around 70,000 jobs.

It was not long ago when Business Secretary Vince Cable said that international students do not feel welcome anymore, and warned that Britain might lose its status as a leading destination for studies. show that his suggestion was right. If the new bill is passed, it will make the cost of living for students even more expensive and put off a lot of those who want to come and study in Britain. But even if you can cope with the living and studying expenses, is it worth coming to a country where you do not feel welcome?


I felt like a monster Plastic surgeon Neil Bulstrode says surgery can change a


Most people assume that turning to plastic surgery makes you vain but one KU student tells Roxii Hoare-Smith about why she had no other choice


he British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says that in 2012, 4,217 women had breast reduction, and a further 9,843 women underwent breast augmentation. This shows that breast surgery in the UK is not uncommon and has become a popular trend. But one KU student wishes she had never had to go under the knife. However, for 20-year-old Kerry the operation was for medical reasons as her breasts had developed at an uneven pace, leaving one a cup size DD and the other a B. “The bigger the difference be-

But she feels as though speaking about her situation will help others who may be in a similar situation . Before the operation Kerry spoke to people with similar problems on online forums, but this made her feel worse. The symptoms of having an uneven chest were a possible indica-

back to that time still cuts deep. “I was so humiliated - I felt like a mutant or a monster,” she says. “I hated changing for PE and would try to skip those days.” Kerry previously went to an allgirls school, but at 16 she began college where she was now in a mixed sex environment and started to become interested in boys. “It was a hustle and bustle of different social scenarios. I was exposed to the drinking culture, relationships and one night stands. The gossip I was used to at my grammar school had nothing on the sex scandals that happened weekly at college,” she says.

I avoided ‘pretty’ things because I didn’t feel pretty or feel that I deserved them

came, the harder it was to hide. I was devastated,” Kerry - whose name has been changed for personal reasons says. “I didn’t feel like a girl. “I would spend a lot of time upset and cry a hell of a lot. My mood just got lower and lower.” Kerry talks about times at sleepovers with friends when she would try to cover herself up with baggy pyjamas. You can hear the emotion as she explains how she constantly wore a bra to make her breasts look even, and wouldn’t even take it off at home. Three years later she feels happier with her appearance, but thinking

Thinking back to the time before

“I became friends with a group of people, a few of whom were boys. They were attracted to me. attention and have the situation where they would notice my chest. I felt like the boys were staring at my wonky chest.” Kerry’s sister bought her socks to pad her bras but this only pointed tears. She admits that she has a controlling nature but this was something that was beyond her control. “A girl once said, ‘it’s like a grape

her more. Fortunately this was not

Heidi Montag had her F cup implants reduced to a C cup REX FEATURES and a melon’. I would laugh it off but inside I was devastated and I never told anyone again. “It is comments like that which will stick with me.” Kerry became incredibly shy and avoided a lot of social events, as before her treatment she felt ugly. “I didn’t wear too much make up and avoided ‘pretty’ things because I didn’t feel pretty and didn’t think I deserved them.” Every day another star seems to go under the surgeon’s knife in a vain bid to improve their looks. A long list, from The Hills star Heidi Montag to Pamela Anderson, have admitted to turning to surgery. Re-

cently, I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here star, Lucy Pargeter, said she had surgery on her breasts and stomach because of insecurities. Consultant plastic surgeon, Neil Bulstrode, from Great Ormond Street says breast surgery is not only for appearance and feels strongly that there is too much stereotyping. He which we often do not consider. seem to be purely cosmetic but it can change a patient’s life so positively,” he says. “If you can improve a patient’s jectory in life.”

the problem for her. “To have a boob job felt quite vain to me - I was afraid that I would be seen as some sort of air headed Barbie doll,” she says. She found the process leading up to surgery challenging, especially having her medical photos taken. “This involved being topless,” she says. “This was the hardest part and I felt disgusted with myself.” At 17 she had the implant put into her chest on one side, which was completed in two operations. She had to continue to return each month to have saline solution injected into her body to stretch the skin, muscles and tissues in her chest. This was done about seven times until her chest was even. Kerry then had to go for a second operation to replace her implant as because of the constant injections and stretching it had hardened making it uncomfortable to sleep. “After the second operation I felt excited and very proud,” she says. “Once the swelling and bruising went down I couldn’t stop looking at them in the mirror.” Kerry was fully discharged from hospital just before her 20th birthday and today she describes herself “I feel very feminine now and enjoy indulging in girly things,” she says.



‘I didn’t think I would live past my 13th birthday’

It took Mia three failed attempts to end her life to realise she wanted to fight her depression. She speaks about the horrifying flashbacks from her past to Camilla Brugrand Mia told a counsellor that she was being sexually abused but ended up being laughed at by her REX FEATURES

I wish I could say that I thought about how people would have been affected but I didn’t




ucky Diamond Rich is not your everyday Australian. Rich, whose real name is Gregory Paul McLaren, holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most tattooed person and has an impressive – and no doubt painful – 100 per cent of his body covered in tattoos. Although there’s no-one quite like Rich in Kingston, students across the UK are said to be going under the needle more than ever with statistics showing almost a third of 16-44 year-olds have at least one tattoo. So what changed from tattoos being associated with bikers, gangsters and pirates to accepted pieces of art covering pop stars, footballers

and even the Prime Minister’s wife? “I think people like to portray a more ‘edgy’ image as a small tattoo is now considered an acceptable rebellion or an expression of a wild streak,” said third-year KU psychology student, Jolie-Marie Trahar. “They are now a product of our culture and wards tattoos now so many people have them.” Jolie-Marie , 20, has had 15 hours’ worth of body art including a teacup and Snow White on her arms, a rose on her kneecap and half of her back done. “They’re just what I like and what I want to portray to the world,” she said. “I have always seen myself as a heavily tattooed person – it’s in my blood. I don’t see much point in skin if it’s not tattooed.” Former KU student, Anthony Hamilton, 20, admits he is hooked on them. “I love the way they look, the fact that they’re permanent and they can completely re-


person you are,” he says. “It also makes people second guess their predispositions if you’re covered in tattoos but you’re a nice guy.” So it’s an image thing? “Sort of. Personally, I like the way they look and that’s why I get them. I think when people see you have them they jump to the conclusion that you’re angry or weird or unap-

proachable. It shows you shouldn’t acknowledge stereotypes.” This ‘tattoo-stereotype’ has changed, partly due to the popularity of them among celebrities. One Direction are known for their inked skin and have over 45 between them.

messages. “Some parts of society think it’s cool and others think it’s awful. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong impression about tattoos, but there are different views. “I see them as being on a spectrum, with it being something enjoyable on

It’s in my blood. I don’t see the point of skin if it’s not tattooed

Justin Bieber, Rihanna, David Beckham and Johnny Depp are all known for having several – the celebrity list is endless. Cheryl Cole’s giant rose tattoo almost led to an internet breakdown earlier in the year as rapper Lethal Bizzle tweeted what everyone else was thinking: “(It) looks like an ironing board cover”. Rather than celebrities known for their tattoos, Rick Genest (left) has turned into a celebrity because of his tattoos. The Canadian ‘living skeleton’ has appeared in several fashion campaigns, featured in a Lady Gaga music video and posed for GQ, Vanity Fair and the front cover of Vogue Hommes Japan.

one end to becoming an obsession on the other end.” An obsession felt by Anthony? “Well, I have six at the minute but plan to get a lot more. I really like the idea of being covered, not so much the face, but a full body suit looks


With tattoos becoming increasingly popular, Matthew Higgs asks are they a form of self-expression or just a fashion accessory?

pretty sweet. The only thing holding me back is the cost.” You can get them done by professionals for as low as £25, although you are taking a gamble on quality. But on average prices are around £80-100 an hour – laser removal is more expensive. Racheal Hardy, 19, is a second-year English literature student and has

I didn’t eat anything and I felt awful,” she says. “I’d planned it for ages but after it I was more relaxed and I had the others soon after. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted though – you’ve got to

student, Zav Bailey, 21, says rather

celeb or the tattooed society?

“However, society has changed as a whole. There’s a higher level of acHowever, it’s not all rosy in the world of body art. Statistics from the British Association of Dermatologists’ in 2012 found nearly a third of people regret getting a tattoo and, in America, the number of people having laser removal increased 43 per cent between 2011 and 2012. Kingston therapist, Janine Miller, Jolie-Marie Trahar’s Snow White tattoo ROBB PRIEST,ETERNAL TATTOOS


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KU student Zav’s wolf tattoo DAVE CARSON,SACRED HEART TATTOOS than the cost it’s the hours in the chair that count. “I don’t count individual pieces, I count the hours’ worth of work, as one sleeve tattoo could be composed of many individual ones. “I like my designs because they represent me. They’re probably worth a couple of thousand in total.” Tattooing is not for everyone and there are still many people who disagree with them, as Jolie-Marie once found out. “There’s still negativity, especially towards heavily tattooed women and the placement of them. I once had an elderly man cycle past me here in Kingston who shouted ‘disgusting’ at me,” she says. Although there are still those who disagree with covering the body in

ink, the public have gradually become more accepting. Rosie Hilton, a third-year mental health nursing student, 22, said: “They are more popular now which has made me more comfortable to get a bigger tattoo. “I didn’t know anyone who had one when I got my Tattoos will continue to divide opinion. With the BBC’s political presenter, David Dimbleby, getting

(Above) F&F - available at Tesco £14

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National Christmas Jumper Day is on Friday 13 December. Roxii Hoare-Smith has found you the best festive jumpers on sale right now so you can join in

of 75, maybe it’s not only students who choose to go under the needle. Whether it’s a football club’s badge, lyrics or animals, the tattoo will continue to be popular, although it will probably live longer on the skin than in fashion across society.

If you are on a budget try this jumper (above) for £14.99 at George for Asda. If you do want to splurge check out www. for this Santa jumper for £39.99

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Blue Inc £24.99 Gok Wan in his festive knitwear REX FEATURES



Getaway - seriously, get it away Getaway is what happens when Taken and Die Hard make a baby ‒ in all the wrong ways possible

Getaway Getaway

out, Getaway has taken what we -





Transformers -

And three, After Earth


Getaway -


Fast and the Furious and Rush Getaway




A delightful kill with a magic touch of Radcliffe Kill Your Darlings’ anti-


KILL Your Darlings coln



Kill Your Darlings





The River s

Xmas crackers

Kill Your Darlings


Home Alone

The Nightmare Before Christmas -



Frozen is brrrilliant DISNEY

The latest chilly treat from Disney will certainly warm you up this Christmas Frozen

The Importance of Being Earnest Gossip Girl -





The Book of Mormon

Frozen -


Tangled and -

Wreck-It Ralph


Snowman? It Go

Do You Want To Build A Let In Summer.

Frozen -


Love Actually


Bad Santa

Love Actually shows us -




Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s A Wonderful Life A Christmas Carol The Polar Express


The Overtones go on tour next March

The Overtones make their mark Overtone Mike Crawshaw talks to Josie Harris about fans tattoos, Tom Hanks and going on tour THE Overtones have quite literally made their mark on the world - or on their fans at least. Mike Crawshaw, who makes up Do You Love Me

Good Ol’ FashHigher

ioned Love

Dirty Dancing

Saturday Night at the Movies

He came up to us and said: ‘I loved your set guys.’ We were like: ‘But you’re Tom Hanks!’

The X Factor

Hit the Road Jack Saturday Night at the Movies


Pretty Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Saturday Night at the Movies is out now.

All hail King Jude Louise Miles I’d Do AnyIT may not be Shakespeare’s most familiar play, but Jude Law’s interpretation of the formidable Henry V makes for a powerful production.

Henry IV Part 1

Henry courts Katharine PERSSON



Henry V runs at the Noël Coward Theatre until February 15 2014.

Jude Law as the charismatic Henry V PERSSON


KU lacrosse girls are top of the charts


Camilla Brugrand THE womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacrosse team has managed to become the best performing sports team at Kingston University, only a year after they were formed. They are currently unbeaten and top of the table ahead of rivals Kent


Deakin rates a victory over Essex

Lacrosse captain, Harriet Deakin, -



Deakin used to play lacrosse at






to extend their lead at the top of the


KU face Norwegian team

Brighton do double over KU ladies


Jonathan North A SECOND half collapse saw Kingston ladies crash to a comprehensive 6-0 defeat away at tabletoppers Brighton on Wednesday afternoon.

Battle for the ball CHLOE EMMERSON Nordhordland FHS RONALD Ă&#x2DC;YEN



Jonathan North



tested by a full-time Norwegian team on December 11 at Tolworth Sports Ground.


Vold, invited over Nordhordland -





Kingston rise and fall Brighton

15 Kingston 11

Taryn Tarrant-Cornish





Captain Dan Phoenix said: “It was a chop and change team with some new faces, but I still The early exhanges saw Brighton enjoy the majority of opportunities, and they were The ball was ripped in contact and quick hands saw Brighton’s winger beat three defenders

Kingston were able to bag A useful box kick from Phoenix was followed by a good chase to force Brighton’s full-back into touch. Brighton were offside at national Craig Felston kicked the stubborn for the remainder of the half. great but we needed to be a bit

loose kick from Brighton failed ston winger Jack Tearle and fullback Murphy to launch a counter-attack. A penalty was awarded after Brighton were guilty of playing the ball off their feet, and Kingston centre Josh Robinson was shown a yellow card for dissent after appealing for a Brighton player to be sin-binned. Felston kicked the penalty to Felston hit the post with a drop goal at the start of the second half before Brighton’s hookthe score at 10-6. Inside centre Phil Wood was the second player to see yellow before 14-man Kingston for their third try. The Brighton kicker was again unable to add the extra points from the con-

corner for their second try, but the resulting kick. Phoenix was left to rue the two yellow cards, which hin“At the beginning of the match the referee said that he didn’t want any bad language or back

The teams compete at the lineout KRIS BONER

Hard graft pays no dividends for KU firsts Chichester Kingston

3 2

Taylor Geall

Chichester. A pair of lucky goals had Chichester fourths 2-0 up before half time, but slick passing from the Cougars’ the more likely to take the points going in to the last 20 minutes. But a glancing header at the near

Conor Billington described the

ston’s Simon Zeigler and in. Kingston responded well when

before the game, adding: “This is one

against the bar but Chichester dou-

aged by injuries, the Cougars still managed to dominate the early part of the game with shots from Charlie Marshall and Ebrima Bojang signalling Kingston’s intent. Chichester’s long balls caused little problem for Robbie Flynn and Chiwanga B’Wyale at the back, who were solid throughout. But the deadlock was broken in bizarre fashion on 17 minutes when a huge kick from Chichester ‘keeper,

when a scuffed cross from the right

minutes from time when Bojang held the ball up with his back to goal before slipping it through for Mursal Mohammed to knock past the oncoming ‘keeper.

box. Billy Elliot tucked away the simplest of chances. Kingston again responded posi-

both teams, but Simon Jones made sure it was Chichester who would -

paid off when right-back Lorcan Reen played a perfect ball into Bojang, who spun his marker and coolly slotted the ball home. With the score at 2-1, a Kingston

time. “I think it showed a lot about our character that we didn’t let our heads

Indeed, the equaliser came 20

disappointed to lose, but I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We played well


Profile for River Newspaper

December 6 - January 23 Issue no 67  

December 6 - January 23 Issue no 67