Roar September 2017
NEWS FIT FOR KING’S
Sport Pages 18-19
EXCLUSIVE The Times Higher Education Summit was held at King’s this September, and it produced some interesting results for the College...
LIFESTYLE UNIVERSITY: WHAT TO EXPECT Pages 16-17
Increased Drug Use Is there a way of monitoring the way people take drugs in order to protect them? See More - Page 8 and 12
-rated ‘SO DAMN ARTSY’
lEuropean campus ‘a strong possibility’ lDresden professor states plans are already ‘in the process’ SEE
WE’RE A ROARING SUCCESS! See Page 13
What do you get when you take some award-winning student journalists, passion, drive and a dedication to hunt out the best story? Roar comprises some of the most interesting voices from King’s, and provides you with the latest university news. So whether you’re keen to lift the lid on the latest exclusive, set out your fiery opinions, give the lowdown on the latest culture or tell everyone what’s hot in lifestyle – Roar is where it’s at. So why not join us?
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
Govt. considers student contracts HELD TO ACCOUNT... Universities could be sued if not up to scratch
Universities minister Jo Johnson has put forward new proposals which may make it easier to sue universities for not delivering adequate teaching. Under the new plans, students would enter a contract with universities that would outline promises on the amount of tutorials, lectures and overall contact hours. The contracts would replace student charters which are currently in place, in order to provide “loose” promises surrounding the quality of teaching offered by universities across the country. It is hoped that the new policy would adequately provide both UK and international students with ‘legal remedies’ if they were to take issue. n Give us your opinions on the potential policy. E-mail editor@roarnews. co.uk.
More cash for KCL grads NEW research results by job website Aduza has suggested King’s is amongst the top universities for top pay in the first year after graduation. King’s came second on the list with an average graduates salary at £32,270pa. The College only lost out to Imperial which topped the list.
CLARIFICATIONS & CORRECTIONS Roar aims to have the highest editorial standards (seriously, not kidding) in the paper and on digital. You can help us by letting us know if we’ve made mistakes. You can email us at email@example.com or write to us at Roar News, The Macadam Building, Surrey St, London WC2R 2NS. We aim to correct significant (and insignificant)
-rated ALL THINGS CULTURE AT KING’S Page 16-17
WE’RE ON THE MOVE!
WHAT I WISH I KNEW AS A FRESHER...
THE MUSINGS OF AN EXFRESHER...
We asked seven KCL students what their top tip was for university newcomers.
By PHILIPPA KNIPE
Moving to university is no picnic. Then again, neither is leaving it. Having completed my three years and come out on the other side, there’s an awful lot I know now that I didn’t back then. So, in the spirit of wishing I could do it all over again, here is a crashcourse in the home-truths of university, which will hopefully not burst too many of your bubbles.
Your ‘spoon-feeding’ days are over
by REBEKAH EVANS
OUR beloved KCLSU is slowly packing up its cardboard boxes and ready to move.
The move from the well-known Macadam has been years in the making, and with a brand-spanking-new renovated Bush House just across the road from the Strand Campus, the Union will be moving all of its spaces and functions over to the new building throughout the course of this academic year. The College first announced the acquisition of the Aldwych Quarter, or simply Bush House to you and me, back in April 2015. Once the former headquarters of the BBC World Service, Bush House boasts 300,000 square feet of space which
will now be used as the primary base for the College Union. Those who walk to the Virginia Woolf Building will recognise the iconic Bush House and the buildings surrounding it. These will also be acquired by King’s in 2025 for further use in addition to the spaces already provided at Strand Campus. And there are already exciting plans underway for the use of the building. Bush House is to have a cafe, cinema, meeting rooms and study pods amongst other free and open spaces for all students to use at their leisure. Additionally, there will also be an activities floor, with sprung floors and mirrors, specifically
Ethical Potential for KCL Team
Editor-in-chief: Rebekah Evans Deputy Editor: Irina Anghel NEWS: Editors: Shrai Popat and Chiara Petrone. COMMENT: Editors: Mathilde Betant-Rasmussen and Philippa Knipe. Reporter: Aina Swartz CULTURE: Editors: Nikhil Kanukuntla and Brigitte Zheng. Reporters: Andreas Karmiotis, Charlotte Cliffe, Hannah Dennis, Augoustina Economou, Fran Palmer, Jenny Baer LIFESTYLE: Editor: Zoya Afsal, Reporters: Ilona Bushell, Sophie Duncan, Tilda Gibbons STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS: Editor: Cathy Wang. Photographers: Afifa Suhail, Jared Phanco and Gina Meile DESIGNER: Siri Hedreen SUB-EDITOR: Araddnha Patel
designed for mixed martial arts, dance and other physical activities. The Union have also decided names for these spaces. The Shack Cafe will be on the ground floor, right next to the Welcome Area for easy access. And the aptly named Undercroft will be a bar on the lower ground floor with large seating areas. But in all this exciting activity, I’m sure our more seasoned students will spare a thought for Waterfront. Home to many a great evening, afternoon and of course, the iconic curly fries, our bar and kitchen will be sorely missed. However, with all of the new venues in the planning, there is certainty they will exceed all expectations.
What do you get when you take London’s largest building, a group of smart students and a willingness to help out? The team at Enactus KCL know the answer, as in just a short space of time, they will be showcasing their intellect and innovation at the Enactus World Cup 2017, hosted right here in London. The KCL collective are Britain’s entry into the Cup, an annual event created to promote ethical entrepreneurship. Describing themselves as a ‘unique student-run organisation’ who believe in ‘the power of commerical and social projects to transform the lives of people in need...’, the 67 member team will be presenting their ideas to a group of fellow students and companies from across the world. Arguably one of Enactus KCL’s most successful undertakings to date is the ‘Light Mountain Project’ which micro-finances Tanzanian entrepreneurs in order to enable them to sell clean cooking stoves
and simultaneously combat deforestation and respiratory illness that is rife within the area. Enactus KCL are also most famous for their Hackathon project which saw students from all across the College come together to develop passionate and detailed solutions to some of the most pressing social and economic issues within today’s society. The main aim of Enactus projects is to show that social conscience combined with entrepreneurship and the biggest and brightest minds of our generation might just come together to create the best world possible. The World Cup will be host to competition, collaboration and celebration, but there is no doubt, with so many dedicated and driven individuals working together, successes will be made. The Enactus Cup takes place at ExCeL London from 26th - 28th September. Photo Credit: Rebekah Evans
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It’s a balancing act
University life is nothing if not fast paced and unpredictable, and the age-old tossup between work and play never gets any easier. You will (probably) not attend every single lecture, seminar and social occasion that you plan. Planning is good, but between your expectations to show up to every night out AND cover all subject topics all weeks, something’s got to give. Accept this accordingly and don’t beat yourself up. We’re all trying to walk the line.
It’s not all about the numbers
You will get grades that you don’t like. At university, excelling at every topic and receiving first-class marks from every professor is so much more an aspiration than a reality. But don’t worry, there will probably be a lot more people than you think who have received an unfavourable mark (not everyone will admit to it, mind you). If this happens, it’s important not to throw in the towel. Particularly with some degrees in the humanities, subjectivity and a bit of luck have a crucial role to play. Of course, if you’re coming off your end of module assessment in statistics with 20/100, you probably did get 20/100 (sorry).
‘Don’t be afraid to go up to a different person in lectures and introduce yourself. You can make great mates’
ne is ‘Someo ing to go always in they compla contact ore have m han you.’ hours t
‘You’re going to get Fresher’s Flu. It’s not a myth and everyone gets it. So stop moaning now.’
‘Budget well so you don’t end up spending all of your money in Pret on a sandwich you don’t even really want’
‘Whate ve going t r you’re someon hrough, ee been th lse has it too. D rough on’t f alone.’ eel
‘If you’re having a nervous breakdown because you can’t work the printer, ask for help.’
‘Join eties more so ! c you’ Otherwi ill ge s e, t end of th to the e yea & fee l r miss like you ed o ut!’
Your mates will change
You will be driven by the inkling that it’s necessary to solidify your entire friendship group (and spouse for that matter) in the first week. But think about it, who you live with in your first-year halls is entirely down to
chance, and it is completely fine to not become best friends and stay that way. You might befriend people initially who you spend your next year trying to dodge, or you might keep the same friendship group from freshers’ week till graduation. Your mates will change with each year; believe me, this is a GOOD thing.
NEW GCSE GRADES CAUSE CONFUSION The recent change in GCSE grades from letters to numbers is set to cause confusion. The graded system, now from 9 to 0 will change admissions processes at university level. King’s College London as set Grade 5 as the equivalent of a C, but other universities have favoured Grade 4.
ETERNAL DEBTS Research from a new study has proven that three-quarters of students will never pay off their university debts. The study, conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, an economic research organisation, states that the average student debt of just over £50,000 for an undergraduate degree is often far too much to bear in a lifetime. This means debts will often be written off by death rather than a successful pay-off. Under current regulations, student debt becomes wiped after 30 years and only has to be paid off when you earn over the £21,000 a year threshold.
It’s probable you’ll be poor
Whether you’ve been able to secure the maximum maintenance loan (hurrah!) or are going in alone, money struggles are all part and parcel of attending university. The responsibility of controlling your own funds will be, for most, both a luxury and a curse. For those of you looking to wise-up fast, I have three words for you: Aldi own brand.
© ROAR NEWS 2017. Roar News, Tutu’s, KCLSU, Surrey St, London WC2R 2NS.
WE WANT YOUR STORIES!
As I’m sure you will have been told countless times, university is very different to school (and that’s why you’re here, right?). Your lecturers are not your teachers and will not guide you through every assignment, presentation and exam to help you pass. In fact, some will not provide much help at all. If you’re offered feedback, grab it with both hands. You’re going to find this strange and sometimes downright frustrating, but independent study can be wonderful. If you do one thing: Take. Decent. Notes.
It will be an emotional rollercoaster
One cliché that is most certainly true is that university life is full to the brim with highs and lows. You will, more than once, feel overwhelmed. That’s pretty damn normal. You will learn some surprising things about yourself, and most importantly, you will change as a person without even noticing (and I’m not just talking about learning how to dice an onion).
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE GETTING INTO New university students are not sufficiently prepared for the institution, a recent study has found. A project conducted by The Higher Education Policy Institute has suggested more young people have unrealistic expectations for their university experience. Many expect to have more contact hours and pay less for accomodation. When a survey asked would-be students what their biggest uni spends would be, most identified “nights out” or “societies”, with half failing to identify rent as the largest student expense. A large proportion of students also did not appear to have a secure understanding of the demands of their chosen degree. This is despite previous reports stating that 98% of uni admissions tutors believe this was a very important attribute for a new student.
Google Autocomplete has published the most popular questions asked by university students. Queries included: ‘Why do I fancy my lecturer?’ and ‘Why does my lecturer stare at me?’ Um... we’ve all been there?
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
KCL AND GERMAN UNIVERSITY STRENGTHEN EXISTING PARTNERSHIP enable King’s to continue its European presence and benefit from European research funding after withdrawal from the European Union. In the meanwhile, TU Dresden would be keen to strengthen its links to London. If King’s were to go ahead with these alleged plans to create a ‘King’s College Europe’, then the College would be the first Higher Education institution to create a physical and established campus on the mainland continent after the Brexit decision, a bold move in testing political times.
lCampus could open in Europe after Brexit debacle l The College would be the first UK university to open a European branch
lOther universities have rejected foreign campus ideas
REBEKAH EVANS Editor-in-Chief
Nestled within the heart of Saxony, Germany, a large, beautiful and picturesque city lies, with a deep cultural, political and academic past that is potentially set to establish the way in which King’s College London operates in many years to come.
collaborations in various fields on research and exchange.’ In doing so, strong foundations on which to build an academic platform for European students would be created. In an increasingly global society, where competition is often valued over collaboration, the initiative was exciting to witness. It was almost inevitable that the transCampus project would prosper, and over the last two years, it has shown significant promise, broadening its horizons and successfully promoting knowledge transfer across the continent through its ‘partnership of scientific strength’.
The Transcampus Initiative, as it was so aptly named, began its work back in 2015. The first of its kind within Europe, it attempts to foster partnership between two of Europe’s most distinguished academic institutions. The premise was simple: ‘To support and enable
is achieving pioneering efforts in islet cells, kidney and bone marrow transplantation. And with moves to establish connections with further King’s departments, both in the Sciences and eventually the Arts, London-Dresden may well soon be a role model for other universities to follow. However, on the 23rd June 2016, the academic future of universities across Europe was plunged into doubt with the shock result of the Brexit referendum. Now, with Britain mak-
And if King’s were to establish a European campus, Dresden is undoubtedly a top choice. Dubbed ‘Silicon Saxony’, after the infamous ‘Silicon Valley’ in California, Dresden is Germany’s answer to the extreme technological advances being made on the West Coast of the United States. TU Dresden is an infamous and formidable academic force to be reckoned with within Germany and across the world in science and technology. Furthermore, with a seven percent drop in university applications from EU students this year, a King’s College Europe may potentially continue to persuade students from Europe to continue to attend the College, even if it is in a different continent from the UK.
Dresden professor states plans are already ‘in the process’
The metropolis of Dresden curves out a distinctive silhouette within the German landscape and is most famous for its lush scenery, UNESCO heritage sites and spacious courtyards, each full to the brim of rich culture. However, Particularly of note, the city of Dresden is is the ground-breakprimarily home to A ing success the tranTechnische Univerinitiative sität Dresden, one ‘partnership sCampus has already had of the most highly within its primary of scientific respected research base of work – the based universistrength’ department of Life ties in the world. Sciences and MedIt is here that one is icine. London-Dresable to find a strong den has already become connection to our front one of the largest transdoorstep – London. plant centres in the world and King’s College London and Technische Universität Dresden (TU) have established a strong relationship that, if successful, is set to carry on into the future.
Relationship with German university began in 2015 and has since developed
It appears talks for a King’s College Europe were already in the process before the Brexit referendum, however as Professor Bornstein stated, the decision had made the potential partnership “a lot more interesting” and a solution to “this very stupid Brexit idea.”
“It seems to be a good idea,” said one medical student, “If the transCampus is successful, then why not go a step further and create a new campus? European students may be dissuaded from coming to London, so why not get a chance to study somewhere great in Europe instead?” Other plans for international campuses from UK universities after Brexit have been refuted, perhaps the most notable, Oxford’s alleged Paris campus. But international hubs where students are able to study abroad, have, on the whole, been successful across the globe. With two world-leading universities potentially partnering up even further to establish a new campus, undoubtedly driven by their existing research, it is likely the campus would be successful, and may serve to fix the cracks in a severed relationship with Europe. A King’s spokesperson relayed the College opinion on the partnership, “King’s values the transCampus initiative with Technische Universität Dresden, which demonstrates the success of cross-national and institutional links. We will continue to work together in various fields on research and exchange, and discuss potential further collaborations.”
ing its first moves to exit the European Union, travel, partnership and academia no longer have a clear and definite plan. In a situation such as this one, many have said that a research based, trans-campus project will become even more valuable, providing a definite and sure link between the United Kingdom, that once had open access to opportunities in the mainland continent, and Germany as an EU superpower. Indeed, if the transCampus initiative was already showing so much success, surely it would be a shame to neglect the project
entirely due to political shifts. It appears, however, this is not a thought which even crossed the minds of the leaders of the transCampus project, and rumours slowly began to circulate within major news outlets that the relationship between King’s and Technische Universität Dresden may be even deeper than the transCampus initiative depicted. With a number of UK universities already considering the establishment of campuses abroad, the idea of an international university such as King’s under-
The transCampus initiative will continue to run, unhampered by the Brexit referendum which place just over a year ago. International took However, in a rapidly changtaking the same is not difficult to imagine. And with ties partnership as ing Europe, with the Brexalready established to the heart of Germany in Dresden, it deadline drawing ever could there be potential for an offshore College? a way forward closer, the academic world no doubt waits with baited after Brexit breath According to a recent report, the answer could well be a for London-Dresden resounding ‘Yes’. to make the first move. Speaking to Times Higher Education, Professor Stefan Bornstein, Director and Chairman of TU Medicine, an honorary consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at the College and the transCampus Dean, stated that an “offshore King’s College Europe institution in Dresden” is already “in the process”, and would
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LOST AND FOUND IN TRANSLATION A useful guide for the student abroad By IRINA ANGHEL - DEPUTY EDITOR
Everyone is abroad in London. And how could you not be in this perpetuum mobile dream of a city? It’s place both wonderful and strange, a place of deceiving familiarity -you know London and you don’t: they do have clocks here, but time flows differently; “The world is your oyster” becomes “Your Oyster is your world”; people live in squares; buildings have surnames, so do bikes and tube lines; blue plaques which mark that Lenin and Jerome K Jerome lived on the same street; cars might look as if they are driven by sheer will rather than drivers, until you remember that they do things differently here – left is not right because their left is our right, but you’d better look both ways before crossing anyway. It’s a jigsaw puzzle of simultaneity, showing people from all kinds of “elsewhere” waiting in lines to get on giant red buses to everywhere. Some are not more abroad than others. I used to believe the exact opposite, that there are such things as “degrees of abroadness” influenced by factors such as where you’re from, where you’ve been, where home is, and where you’ve been to school. Say your name is Irina, born and raised in Iasi, Romania. Applying my theory of abroadness in this purely hypothetical situation, you wouldn’t be the “abroadest of them all” when arriving in London at King’s, but you wouldn’t be “home” either. Well, my theory is wrong, there are no degrees of abroadness. Whether you have previously studied in English or not, come from “big city doom” or “small town gloom”, how much you enjoy English breakfast and milk in your tea, none of them matter. George Orwell was here, but this is not Animal Farm. London is such a distinct universe, and so is University - we are all equally abroad here. That’s all there is to it. You will become a regular visitor of the Lost and Found in Translation bureau. All kinds of things will be lost in translation, starting with your name which will never sound like your mother pronounces it. All kinds of things will be found as well, tiny moments and revelations which will let you in on something bigger. One your firsts is that Somerset House is not King’s College, but you are now part of a conspiracy to make the world believe it is. The first thing I found in translation was the certainty that everything will be all right because on this one October afternoon, Aretha Franklin comes on the radio and a Ryman sale assistant turns the volume up and starts singing along to “I say a little prayer for you” pointing at me. My list continues with hash browns, staring into the eyes of my favourite author at the British Library, walking out of the BFI and into the rain at night with the Taxi Driver soundtrack in my head and heart, friends who are crazy enough to throw elevator parties and wise enough to tell you that “we are all melancholic at times, but at least we get to be melancholic while watching the view on Waterloo bridge”; my list continues still. The list of things you find in translation is a divider whose arms spread further and further apart as your London widens. Some things will also remain exactly as they are, even in translation. Bits and pieces from home will find you: you might start watching movies from your home country and fall in love with traditional dishes that you’d never wanted to touch. What you keep in translation will wrap you up, sometimes as a blanket, other times as an armour. “After you first leave home, that’s when you start feeling a strong connection with it” - as overheard wisdom courtesy of a bookseller in Notting Hill goes. You’ll meet people from your “elsewhere” with whom you will exchange untranslatable puns, food sent by your parents, and with whom you will share anger and banners as you protest in front of your Embassy against injustice at home. Maybe abroad is not that far from home. ‘Abroadness’ in London is, I believe, a privilege. We get to be ourselves in the greatest “elsewhere” there is, studying the maps, the blue plaques and our course notes with equal focus, getting closers to our own “somewhere”, one Oyster tap at a time.
by CORISSA HOLLENBECK and TARA CLATTERBUCK
READY MEAL CONTAINS NUTRIENT
Returning home from his hebdomadal Tesco Express shopping trip, Stamford Street Apartment resident Sean Bahn, 19, reports that he was shocked to find large doses of nutrients while preparing his Tesco’s Finest Macaroni and Cheese (400G) microwave meal. “This is honestly not what I expected at all. 25.2 grams of protein? 68.1 grams of… carbohydrate? So technically this is like, good for me, right?” asks Bahn, who believes he has been on a strict nutrient-free diet since separating from his mother. Bahn, now excited to cultivate more mass, has been told such delicacies were unhealthy for much of his life, and is understandably titillated by the discovery. The revelation has completely changed Bahn’s dietary habits on a gastronomic scale, and he must now rethink his identity as a malnourished student.
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
A report from the BBC suggests that we university students are receiving so little tuition that we’re now willing to pay over a grand an hour for some extra classes. With a shortage of contact hours and little time actual-
Uni is a woman’s world? WOMEN are a third more likely to attend university than men according to new statistics. The study, conducted by UCAS, the university admissions board, states that this September, 30,000 more women than men are expected to commence their degrees. The percentages additionally show 18-year-old women as 36% more likely to start degree courses this year than their male counterparts.
May’s student visa myth debunked
ly spent on campus, many UK students are resorting to extra add-on academics to feel up to speed. And it appears it’s all down to the subject you study, with the average physics student recieving over double the contact
hours at uni when compared to an average history undergrad. n With nine grand of uni fees to pay a year, we say good luck to those who can splash the uni cash, unlike the majority of us...Reheated pasta, anyone?
PHILIPPA KNIPE COMMENT EDITOR Last month, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced plans for increased prosecutions and harsher sentences for those committing hate crime online. The Crown Prosecution Service republished guidance maintaining that online hate would be treated in the same manner as abuse on the street, with a particular focus on homophobic, ‘biphobic’, ‘transphobic’, religious and disabled abuse. But why should students care?
THE Prime Minister has been left feeling embarrassed after figures have shown less than 5,000 foreign students remained in the UK after time was called on their student visas. May had been keen to count students in the immigration target numbers of the Conservative government, despite advice to keep the numbers isolated. The Office for National Statistics showed 4,600 overstayed. This is opposed to the estimate of 10,000 previously made by the ruling party.
The platform from which these issues are rising, the internet, puts young people at the forefront. We also represent a significant proportion of the victims of online hate crime, particularly victims of abuse against BME and LGBTQ communities.
KING’s Maths School, the specialist state-funded school for mathematicians aged 1619 has topped the Times New Schools Network table. The school, founded in partnership with the College, creates a curriculum which combines mathematics and physics to encourage the next generation to become involved with the sciences. Deemed as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted earlier in the year, King’s Maths School has only been on an upward trajectory since and the graduating class of 2017 have left the school with top results - 100% A*-B qualifications in Maths, Further Maths and Economics.
IF MUSIC BE THE NUDE OF LOVE... PLAY ON?
ONE University of London student is apparently keen to start a naturist society. Psychology Fresher Rob Hargreaves told The National Student that a naturist society would allow “like-minded people to get together” to go to events and promote a positive and healthy body image.
professor, states that if a student is unhappy with a grade, they may request to have it changed with ‘no explanation required’. n So, how’s about that cheeky first, eh, tutors?
ONLINE HATE CRIME: TIME TO ASK QUESTIONS
GUESS-TIMATE ... Figures much less than expected
King’s Maths School tops the tables
A university professor from the US has allowed l his students to choose their own grades in order to ‘reduce their stress’. Dr. Watson, a business
In addition, Saunders’ justification for the crack-down is that “low-level offending can subsequently fuel the kind of dangerous hostility that has been plastered across our media in recent days”, such as the terror attacks in Charlottesville, US, and Barcelona. Extremism is surging and it is young people, internet users, who are most vulnerable to radicalisation. These issues matter more to us than we would like to think, and it’s time to chew them over.
CPS and police is “any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice”. Grilled on this definition by Radio 4, she maintained that the changes were not there to regulate free speech. But, where is the line between wrongful abuse, aka “trolling”, and a hate crime? Is it possible to establish a uniform line when the offense caused by a statement might differ from person to person?
government censorship is that some abuse is conducive of violence or a dangerous ratcheting of community tensions, there might be a long and complicated trail from an online statement to the enactment of physical hostility, like the terrorism Saunders points to. And do these regulations invalidate hate crimes that cannot be directly linked to physical crime? Detrimental abuse suffered by many individuals and minority groups may fall short of prosecution in this way. We must also consider responsibility. Some argue that instead of holding individuals accountable, liability should instead fall to the compa n ie s
With this in mind, how can hate crime be pinned down? At the risk of stating the obvious, we can probably never profess to have complete control over internet activity, and aiming to have even a mediocre level of monitoring in a liberal democracy is easier said than done.
which allow hate to be published. However, with the varying ethical standards in private companies across the world, this may prove more difficult. And can we really afford to waste police time? An article by The Times reported that the pressure to crack down on online hate crimes threatened to overwhelm limited police resources and the overcrowded jail system, with a penal reform group questioning whether the criminal justice system was the best way of dealing with online “trolls” who could be suffering from mental health issues. Online hate crime is increasing, and if one thing is clear – apathy is not the answer. As students, we need to be aware that we are no longer just experiencing the distasteful but expected repercussions of online anonymity, but that online crime has grave offline consequences. n Got a student opinion? Get in touch at email@example.com
A lt houg h the justification for
A LOST collection of letters penned by Alan Turing, have been found in an old filing cabinet.
Alan Turing played a pivotal role in the Second World War as a computer scientist and code-breaker responsible for breaking Nazi cyphers through the use of the Enigma and created the famous Bombe machine. The letters, unearthed in August by the University of Manchester, lay untouched in a filing desk cabinet on campus for over 30 years before their discovery. Turing had been the deputy director of the computing department at Manchester after the war and his departure from Bletchley Park, the home of codebreaking.
this was indeed the case, when he was invited to speak at an American conference in April 1953. Turing, often described as a recluse, turned down the opportunity, and, in a confiding letter to King’s College London physicist Donald Mackay, stated: “I would not like the journey. And I detest America.” Mackay lectured in physics from 1946 to 1960, and the scientists shared a friendship.
‘I would not like the journey. And I detest America’
Although forbidden from discussing the work he undertook at Bletchley during the war in accordance with the Official Secrets Act, Turing had made many achievements since the war period through his work at Manchester. Described as an “exceptional talent”, Turing was coveted the world over. And
In the mid-1950s, Turing was denied entry into the United States after his conviction in 1952 for ‘gross indecency’. The letters unearthed by the University of Manchester do not contain details about Turing’s often harrowing private life, and the letter to Mackay does not explain why Turing hated America. However, there is no doubt, they provide some insight into a man who was definitely an enigma himself...
l FRESH from his recent Fellowship of KCL, former Communard and alumnus of the College, Rev-
erend Richard Coles has made an appearance on the latest season of Strictly Come Dancing. Reverend Coles hit the headlines after his first apperance on the show, where he stated same-sex dancing couples should be permitted. Coles has been paired with professional dancer Dianne Buswell.
BRITISH young people are a “voter l registration time bomb” according to the Electoral Reform Society.
The news comes after research finds the number of school leavers registered to vote has sharply dropped by more than a quarter in the last three years.
SUCCESS FOR KING’S IN INT’L RANKING
PUZZLES can significantly enhance the quality and sharpness of the brain according to a new study.
Name of Thrones THIS summer was a nightmare for one student from the West Midlands after her student loan application was rejected... because of her name. Emily Hughes had applied to study medicine at Birmingham, only for her loan to be rejected as someone with the same name, same birthday and born in the same area had already applied.
The research, conducted by King’s alongside the University of Exeter suggests that a simple puzzle a day can improve memory, reason and attention as we get older. We think it’s probably time for us all to get out the newspaper to cure that long summer brain inactivity...
The Student Loans Company has ‘sincerely apologised’ for the clerical error.
Land of the Fellows by ROAR STAFF
PROGRESS...a large leap to finding a cure. Photo Credit: KCL
Diabetes clinical trial shows promise The trial, led by King’s Professor Mark Peakman, is based on MonoPeptide, a small fragment found in beta cells known as pro-insulin.
ENIGMA MASTERMIND CONFIDES IN KCL PHYSICIST
By REBEKAH EVANS
A crossword a day...
RESEARCHERS at King’s in collaboration with Cardiff University have made breakthrough in treatment to stop the progression of Type 1 diabetes.
Firstly, the definition of hate crime is somewhat unclear. According to Saunders writing in The Guardian, the definition recognised by the
THE TURING LETTERS
KING’S has been deemed amongst the top 100 universities influencing innovation across the world. Statistics from the Nature Index 2017 have shown that the College has placed 97th in a list of over 200 universities across the globe. The Index seeks to show contributions to academic journals by individual institutions in order to plot the activity of research.
Through the trial, MonoPeptide is given as a treatment in order to ‘retrain’ a patient’s body to accept pro-insulin. When the immune system is introduced to the protein, it will no longer see pro-insulin as a protein to attack.
RISING UP THE RANKS
KING’S has gained the seal of approval from the coveted Shanghai Rankings, rising up four places this year. Now placed at 46th, the College has a strong place amongst some of the most respected universities across the world. The Shanghai Ranking, otherwise known as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranks the top 500 universities across the globe according to six categories, amongst which are Nobel Prizes, number of entries into academic journals, and alumni status. This ranking is often seen as important, particularly as it is heavily research related and helps universities to size up their international competition. King’s is one of seven UK universities in the Top 50. In a statement, Principal Ed Byrne was pleased with the result, saying he hoped for “further steady improvement” from the College.
The study has since found that this protein may be able to halt the progression of Type 1 diabetes, thus allowing the diabetic to produce less insulin - a significant step in improving the health of the patient. There is currently no cure for diabetes, and the study is gaining worldwide attention after its publication in a recent medical journal.
BRIDGE TOO FAR? GARDEN GETS THE CHOP
GRADUATION ceremonies this year saw the appointment of eight new elected fellows. The fellows now hold the title of FKC, a title held by Archbishop Desmond Tutu amongst others. Revd. Richard Coles, Dr. Tim Hands, Dr. Omar Ishrak, Professor Frank Kelly, Professor Dianne Rekow, Steven Rhodes, Julie Thomas and Professor Evelyn Welch all gained the esteemed title. n Congratulations to all!
Go to university on an egg SKIPPING breakfast can be severely detrimental for the health of children and young people says a new study. The research, pioneered by nutritionists here at KCL, suggests that missing out on the so-called “most important meal of the day”, young people miss out on nutrients vital for wellbeing and growth. Many students of all ages miss breakfast due to an aversion for eating an early meal. The findings have been published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
The plan to build a garden bridge across the Thames has been acrimoniously dropped. The £200m+ venture was originally proposed back in 1998, by actress Joanna Lumley as a tribute to the late Princess Diana, and planning permission was granted in 2014. The plan would have seena large public garden built on a bridge next to Waterloo, a short stroll from King’s Campuses that was to be completed in 2018. However, after wide-scale objection and a review of the project by London mayor Sadiq Khan, plans were hastily scrapped. So far, over £46m of taxpayers’ money had been spent on the bridge and there were major concerns that the upkeep of the green space would be too costly for the capital.
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
A ROHYPNOL PHOTOGRAPHERS’ PICKS BY ANY OTHER NAME Photography always enhances a good story. Here are our photographers’ favourite Roar snaps.
ROOFIES, CIRCLES AND TRIP-AND-FALLS DURING FRESHERS WEEK COMMENT by Aina Swartz
For many of us freshers, university life is something we’ve been looking forward to for years, and now that we’re here we can hardly wait to dive headfirst into it. The deposit has been paid, accommodation has been arranged, and your mum has packed you enough sponges to last a lifetime - now all there is to do is to get ready for the never-ending string of raucous and raunchy parties surely to follow over the course of Fresher’s Week. And that’s great. However, amidst the toga parties and neon raves, it can be dangerously easy to dismiss any regard you once had for your personal safety in exchange for another jello-shot or Jägerbomb. While university is known for being a place of discovery and “no regrets”, it’s important not to forget that it’s also the breeding ground for thousands of cases of drink-spiking and sexual assault in the UK each year. The date-rape drug culture on university campuses, especially those in Western countries, is not a new phenomenon. Since the introduction of numerous “recreational” drugs in the 60s, people have been developing new and ingenious ways of using these increasingly accessible narcotics as a means to an end. Despite an established history, individual cases of drink-spiking and date-rape can be prevented, and a few cautionary measures and a basic understanding of the problem can go a long way. Even though the stereotype of the dirt-poor university student is depressingly accurate for a lot of us, it is better to be safe than sorry - or, in this case, it is much better to be 10 pounds shorter than unconscious and incapacitated, as student Emma Gottlieb cautions. “If you walk away from your drink, definitely buy a new one instead of finishing it,” the first-year International Relations student urges. “It’s so much more worth it to pay for the new drink than to risk drinking something spiked.” Today, the three most widely used and easily acquired daterape drugs are GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric), Rohypnol, and Ketamine. According the NHS Choices website, each of these three drugs can come in either powder, pill, or liquid form, and a typical dose takes
about 15 to 30 minutes to work. While GHB can sometimes have a salty flavor, Rohypnol and Ketamine are virtually undetectable by the palate, and thus tend to be the date-rape drugs of choice on many university campuses. The symptoms, which typically last for several hours, include difficulty concentrating and speaking, blurred vision, and unconsciousness, especially if mixed with substantial amounts of alcohol. Heaving drinking, however, isn’t a prerequisite; GHB, Rohypnol, and Ketamine are perfectly capable of bringing about any one of these symptoms in the absence of alcohol, as Stockholm’s University student Sofia Sanyang warns. “Even if you aren’t drinking that night, remember that someone can just as easily slip something into your soft drink or juice,” the 20-year-old philosophy student advises. “You really have to be careful, especially at raves. Try and go to parties and events in groups, so that you can look out for one another.” Other helpful tips to remember are not to leave your drink alone when you go to the restroom, going up to the bar yourself if someone offers to buy you a drink, and opting for bottled drinks instead of communal punch bowls. We all already know this in the back of our minds - we’ve all heard the horror stories. But it never hurts to be reminded. Bad choices are a hallmark of the university experience; no one can argue with that. But those bad choices should be your own, and you should be able to wake up and remember doing them the next morning. Be safe, and have fun! n Have you written a comment piece you want to share? Keen to pitch us an idea? We’re always hunting for raw talent. firstname.lastname@example.org
KING’S HOSTS MAJOR ACADEMIC EVENT By REBEKAH EVANS
450 delegates. 52 countries. More than 75 speakers. This was the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit.
From the 3rd to the 5th September, King’s College London was host to world-leading institutions from all of the farflung corners of the globe, who gathered to discuss the most pertinent issues within the academic climate today. The theme of the event was ‘collaborating for a better world: new research models for universities’, and focussed on the many ways in which universities could utilise their research base in order to further enhance their teaching methods and encourage the next generation of university students walking into lecture halls across the globe.
Go Global for Greater Gains The idea enforced at the conference is that there is a global connection between the leading institutions around the world, and that there is a responsibility to not only keep this alive, but to additionally allow it to thrive. Creating a ‘better global future through sustainable solutions’ was a common slogan that could be seen throughout the event, and links to the College’s own efforts through ‘King’s Sustainability’ and the endeavours made in recent years. Particularly highlighted was the College’s campaign ‘World Questions / King’s Answers’ a £600m fundraising effort to deliver a worldwide impact in areas of academic expertise.
Defending academia in a ‘posttruth’ era Described as an ‘extraordinary event’ by THE journalists, the mainstream media believed the great success of the event to be the keynote speech from Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the World Number One university - Oxford. She took the time to defend her £350k salary, but focussed the speech on universities as bastions of truth, protecting research in a ‘post-truth era’. She also strongly criticised the ‘tawdry politicians talking down the sector’ and called upon universities, each with different missions across the world, to work together.
THE STRAND, LONDON – Texting friends in a fury about how her “seminar leader is actually so funny”, local philosophy student Sidney Wong confirms that a joke was indeed told in room 5.29 of the Virginia Woolf building. The joke reportedly arose after Wong claimed to find this week’s lecture boring, but was revealed
The THE World Academic Summit l
THE FAMOUS FACES BEHIND THE SUMMIT
The THE Summit drew distinguished speakers from across the world. Here's a quick summary of just a few of Kings’ major players: n Principal Ed Byrne - Kings’ main man, distinguished university leader and host principal of the event. n Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE - Professor of Practice at King’s Entrepreneurship Institute, philanthropist and radio host. n Julie Devonshire OBE - Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute, former CEO of One Foundation n Professor Evelyn Welch - Provost of King’s and Senior Vice-President for Arts and Sciences. n Rivka Isaacson - Senior lecturer in Chemical biology at King’s. n Prabha Kotiswaran - Reader in Law and Social Justice at King’s n Funmi Olonisakin - International Vice-Principal of King’s. n
Lord Willets - Visting King’s professor. Former universities minister.
King’s g strongets 36th p in the lace rank
lWhat are the challenges universities face? lWhat are the solutions? lHow can universities across the globe e absolut “It is an welcome work together to improve? ed elight to
The low-down on the high ranking
SEMINAR LEADER TELLS JOKE by CORISSA HOLLENBECK AND TARA CLATTERBUCK
Of course, the show-stealer was the announcement of the THE Rankings 2018. King’s placed 36th overall. There was a generally positive and excited reaction to the big reveal, and universities from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North and South America were all highly praised.
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to not have done any required reading. What ensued has been heralded as “some wicked banter” from seminar leader Karen Jones. Rather than chastise Wong about her blunt disregard for instruction, Jones joked that “it wasn’t worth reading anyway”, and in doing such divulged that she has a sense of humor. After getting laughs from a decided majority of seminar attendees, Karen Jones reportedly “dabbed”, quoted a relevant meme, and moved on with her teaching.
S T H G I L H G I H THE
n The Walking Tour of King’s Sunday 3rd September - Strand Campus The tour of Strand Campus took visitors around the iconic parts of the main campus, as well as the surrounding sreas of the Royal Courts of Justice, Somerset House and the River Thames before the main conferences and
the three-day period. n Presentation of the PLuS Alliance Prize - Sunday 3rd September - Bush House Making good use of the new facilities at Bush House, the PLuS (Phoenix, London, Sydney) Alliance prize was awarded. n The Opening Keynote Address - delivered by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University - Monday 4th September -
A political scientist, Professor Richardson joined Oxford in 2016. Her keynote speech delivered to the delegates addressed the challenges faced by universities, in keeping with the theme of the event, as well as the protection of analysis and research by universities in a 'post-truth' era. (see page 10 for Roar’s take on comments) n Panel Debate and Discussion: Citizens of the World or Citizens of Nowhere? - Monday 4th September Do graduates of world-leading institutions become citizens of the world? Or are they simply left in a state of cont-
stant limbo, without connection? n Entrepreneurship: Fuelling the knowledge economy - Monday 4th September Can universities play an important role in preparing students for self-employment? (see Page 11 for Roar’s take on the issue)
to male ratio.
n The Times Higher Education 2018 World Launch - Tuesday 5th September - Perhaps the most important event of the three-day conference, THE launched its rankings for 2018. King’s placed in a respectable 36th. The league-table revealed the College has a 62:38 female
n Closing Remarks and the end of the THE World Summit - Tuesday 5th September Principal Ed Byrne delivered closing remarks on the ‘distinguished global community of delegates’ that attended.
n Transnational Education - Tuesday 5th September A discussion on the internationalisation of universities (see page 4-5 for King’s own ventures into international partnership)
IN THE WAKE OF COMMENTS FROM THE OXFORD VICE-CHANCELLOR... COMMENT by
SHRAI POPAT News Editor
When Professor Louise Richardson noted how it was not her ‘job’ to make students ‘feel comfortable’ when faced with opposing views at Oxford University (where she currently serves as Vice-Chancellor), a wince rushed across the collective face of students nationwide. To elaborate, these views were ones harboured by professors that made LGBTQ+ students ‘uncomfortable’. Views that, according to Richardson, actually make those ‘uncomfortable’ students work harder to substantiate their viewpoints and try to win over their tutors. To break down Richardson’s statement, is, for me, a useful exercise. Despite the obvious idea that it is, in fact, very much within Richardson’s remit to make students ‘comfortable’ (as an academic and pastoral staff member of a public research institution). What is key, is that these students should feel free to express their views in a safe space. The ostensible power dynamic of a tutor voicing anti-LGBTQ+ comments and yet leading tutorial discussions and overseeing collegiate admissions processes means that it goes beyond a case of ensuring ‘comfort’, but ultimately inhibits and marginalises a group that is integral to a university, and furthermore our society.
Whilst Richardson may not think this is her ‘job’, it would be incorrect to ignore that being the face of any higher education institution is ensured with the ‘job’ in maximising discussion and diversity, and fostering an atmosphere of inclusion. What Richardson confuses is the need to provide a space for discussion for mollycoddling. This all comes at a timely point of the year. After L’Oreal dropped Munroe Bergdorf from their latest foundation campaign this month for her comments on systemic racism, the stage was set from all corners of the British media to unpick just what was meant by ‘white privilege’ and the art of being complicit. Richardson’s comments are key examples of the kind of privilege Bergdorf called out. A straight, white person in power actively choosing to comply with the heteronormative and, in this case, homophobic echelons of higher education. Richardson is neither aware of her straight privilege, nor of her duty to acknowledge it to the students she governs. In a space as formative as university, we have to ensure that those with positions of power understand their positions of privilege and work to carve out safe spaces, not seen as a luxury, but a requirement. n Do you have an opinion on a current affairs or Kings’ student issue that you’d like to share with our readership? Get in touch with us at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
The ‘white’ elephant in the room? Diversity. Comment by REBEKAH EVANS
UK universities have a problem.
It is a problem no-one seems to wish to discuss. A problem often pushed to the corner. A problem that if you ignore for long enough, then hopefully it will go away. The problem that lies at the heart of universities, in every level, every department and every corridor is diversity. The fact of the matter is simple. In both academic and staff cohorts, people of colour fare worse. Representation is stagnant. The attainment gap is wide. And a recent Guardian report shows that in 2015 to 2016, British universities employed no black academics in the top roles for the third year in a row. When comparing black students to their white counterparts, it is stated that black students are almost 50% more likely to drop out. And the Institute for Policy Research asserts that despite some level of representation throughout Britain’s universities,
top institutions are segregated, with ethnic minority students concentrated in newer universities and larger cities, where they are more likely to find their race represented in the crowd. The attainment gap and lack of representation within our universities is difficult to explain. Research has shown that qualifications, student background and subject of study fail to provide significant causation as to why the diversity issue exists within this country. But the truth is that, often, the issue fails to get the attention it deserves. It is the ‘white elephant’ in the wholly white room. Our ethnic minority students are being failed by a system that is consistently stacked against them. Being on the backfoot from the moment you join the education system can never be beneficial. But if that system fails to recognise the challenges ethnic minorities face in order to be equal to others, then there is never an opportunity for mistakes to be rectified. The diversity issue is uncomfortable. It is difficult to talk about. And it can often be con-
fusing for all, particularly when we try to decipher something that appears to have no clear answer. Yet, if universities are to be considered truly leading, and I don’t just mean in league tables or research, it is an issue we must address head on. In some regards, we are fortunate to attend a London university. The capital has far more diversity and representation than many other places across the country. King’s is particularly representative when compared to other universities. But there is still work to be done, something which I am pleased to note, the College acknowledges. King’s ACS’s ‘Black Kings at King’s’ - a photographic campaign that showcased black excellence at a leading institution - brought a smile to the faces of many, as we witnessed firsthand, the excellence and existence of black men in academia amongst a past rife with erasure. And the ACS works tirelessly to make sure the voices of the College’s black community are heard alongside other important ethnic groups King’s launched the BME Working Group in 2014, and subsequently followed this with the Open Doors Project in August 2016, which vowed to improve the student experience for BME students. The College also agreed to set an OFFA Agreement Target to “reduce the attainment gap at 1st class degree level by 2% annually.” – ethnic minority students are also less likely to achieve the top classification in their degree, according to various published studies. We are taking small steps towards equality. Hopefully, in the near future, these can be longer strides. And undoubtedly, by acknowledging an issue which needs work, universities are heading in the right direction. But in order to ensure an equal playing field for all, it is vital we address the issues that constrain us, not ignore them entirely.
UNIVERSITIES MUST DEFINE ‘COMFORT’ VS. OUTRIGHT OFFENCE
GIVE ME SOME SUGAR, BABY! THE dating app, Seeking Arrangement has recorder a large spike in sign-ups from university students. Data collected by the company shows a large spike in younger women joining the site, potentially to pay their way through university.
In figures published by The Indepedent, a shocking one-in-three students stated they would use sex to pay for education. And with fees rising to £9,250, many students are considering signing up.
Last year, the company recorded a 22% increase in student membership of the organisation, and by the end of this year, the figure is set to rise.
“It all looks pretty harmless if you want it to be,” said one 19-year-old student, “It seems like you get to set the terms and do whatever you want. It’s definitely a viable option if you want to make ends meet.”
The so-called ‘sugar babies’ are usually young women who seek out older men who lavish them with presents, cash and extravagant meals out.
In further research undertaken by Seeking Arrangement, King’s College was placed at 17th on the list of the ‘fastest growing sugar baby universities’ in the country.
When it lungs to the crunch... SMOKERS who undergo a CT scan of their lungs are more likely to quit, according to a new KCL study. The trial, led by the College in conjunction with Cardiff, Liverpool and Queen Mary is an initiative to cut down lung cancer.
Denmark Hill Birthday KING’S College Hospital celebrates its 104th birthday this year. The large hospital trust, primarily based in Denmark Hill and connected to all branches of the College, was opened on 26th July 1913 by King George V and Queen Mary. n Happy Birthday Partners!
All good King’s must come to an end... King’s Compass has announced in a recent Summer tweet that the name ‘Compass Online’ has been retired. In the service update, the cross-campus support service stated “Compass Online has changed in name-only to ‘Student Support Online.”
WHY AREN’T WE PREPARED FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT? ARE UNIVERSITIES LETTING US DOWN?
Comment By MATHILDE BETANT-RASMUSSEN
In a recent article from The Guardian, Lydia Wakefield raises an important question: Why don’t universities better prepare students for self-employment? Since 2008 there has been a steep rise in the number of young people going into self-employment, with a 66% increase in 16 to 29-year-olds becoming free-lancers. In light of these numbers, it seems obvious that these young people, many of whom are university graduates, play a crucial part in driving the UK economy. However, only 2% of them learn about self-employment at university. The problem is not a lack of entrepreneurship programmes, such as King’s’ Leadership and Professional Skill Award, but a severe discrepancy between the targets of these programmes and the students who truly need them. Courses in self-employment are mostly targeting students in the business department, with universities not encouraging humanities and health students towards the self-employment option. Why is there still a false assumption that only business, management, and economics students have the potential for self-employment?
The biggest sectors for freelancing are in fact the arts and the media, while health professionals are also increasingly turning to self-employment.
The efforts and resources put into guiding business students towards starting their own companies are simply not worth it. The potential for start-up companies and successful free-lance business ventures lies in health and humanities, sectors in which many universities seem to put the least resources.
Learning about the possibilities of self-employment is not only a crucial help for students starting up their own businesses, but also plays an important role in demystifying self-employment as a whole. According to Lydia Wakefield, ‘over-emphasizing the importance of experience’ is scaring off a lot of potential free-lancers who make premature assumptions. ‘Entrepreneurialism does not have to be about something ground-breaking’ writes Wakefield, but relies on knowing your skillset, research, and networking. Universities and companies are also responsible for misconceptions about the turnouts of start-up businesses. In other words, being self-employed with a
11 ROAR 11
Editor’s Letter Despite having close to four months away from university, September always seems to creep up on us, and soon enough the whirlwind Summer is over. So, whether you’re stepping through the King’s gates for the very first time, or re-making your old hideout space in the corners of Waterfront - a warm welcome goes out to you all. The infamous ‘Freshers’ is a chance for new, wide-eyed students or the rest of us old-timers to let our hair down and have some fun, making friends and memories to last a lifetime. By the time the year is over, that day you spent collecting pens and other miscellaneous items at Freshers Fair will seem like a lifetime away. And I’m sure anyone you ask will tell you the same. Whether it’s late nights camped out at the Maughan, reading just...one...more... page, spending the sunnier months eating your Pret lunch outside Somerset House (which, by the way, IS part of King’s - don’t let the conspiracy theorists tell you any different), or queuing up for entry to the world-famous Walkabout Wednesdays, your time spent at university will be unforgettable - let’s hope for all the right reasons.
SELFEMPLOYMENT STATS n i 6%
l Only 2% learnt about selfemployment in university
Instead of stimulating young entrepreneurship, it limits the potential for freelance career opportunities for students who have the drive and the talent, but not the right knowledge and support sphere. This also reveals a lot as to which departments universities choose to prioritise, and which studies our society sees as more beneficial to the economy… Turns out, both are off the mark.
6 crease in o young peg ple goin freelance
Only 1% learnt about selfemployment in school or college
great idea does not guarantee the millions streaming in; not everyone can be Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.
Wakefield points out that ‘sure, the money can be good, but over-emphasizing turnover or scaling up as the primary measure of success may deter those who are motivated by different ambitions’. Self-employment is more about autonomy, flexibility and job satisfaction, than money and success. Another danger caused by the absence of information about self-employment at university is that some companies are prone to take advantage of inexperienced free-lancers. Many students starting up their own businesses tend to accept unpaid work in exchange for bigger exposure. So don’t universities have a responsibility to help their students avoid be-
ing swallowed whole by the scams of a ruthless job market? I was recently at a talk given by Zadie Smith about her newly released book, where this topic, strangely, came up. She referred to applications like TaskRabbit, an online marketplace matching freelance labour to demands, as ‘modern slavery’. Of course, the many students who struggle with their personal economy are grateful for such apps that enable them to earn money quickly. But should the line between student jobs and abusive labour really be this thin? Students should be aware of the possibilities and the dangers of self-employment. Universities have an obligation to make this career option visible to all students, and to help combat the bad practices and false information that roam the current job market.
And what’s more, we’re right in the heart of it all - London! You’ll never run out things to be seen, experiences to be taken or fun to be had. Even if it does mean getting lost on the tube a few times. (we’ve all been there, even native Londoners like me). If you do nothing else this Freshers, spend some time exploring the city, even if you’re a returning student - roughing it with no plans usually creates the funniest and greatest experiences where you’ll return back home after a long day with tired feet, 3% battery on your phone and plenty of photos for your artsy Instagram feed. If you want the latest information on what’s going on here at King’s, you’re in the right place. In Roar, you’ll find all the latest College student news, opinions, thoughts, culture, lifestyle and sport - we hope that wherever your interests lie, we have something for you. But if you ever feel like anything is missing why not join our team? We’re always on the lookout for those of you who want to sniff out the latest story, publish the latest thought piece or broaden our cultural horizons. So, if you’ve just finished unpacking (or not, who are we to judge?), you’re wandering around campus, or you’re simply sat in Waterfront taking in the amazing view that’ll leave you astounded every time- wherever you are, I hope you feel welcome. I think that’s what the King’s spirit is really about. Rebekah Evans Editor-in-Chief - firstname.lastname@example.org
Making our voices heard
Nowadays, having no opinion is still considered an opinion – be it anarchism, nonchalance, ignorance or genuine disinterest, refusing to take a stand still counts as part of the chorus. Because if you don’t care, if you don’t vote, doesn’t it mean that you’ve lost faith in the potential progress of society? Of course, these grand words seem a bit out of touch with the reality of things. As students, we cannot always afford to think broader than our rent, our next deadline or our next interview. However, it’s crucial to remember that these broad ideas ultimately end up determining our futures and the futures of others.
THE UK IS HIGH ON MDMA EXCLUSIVE by
DR. BENEDICT PHILLIPS Health & Medicine
M D M A was proved as a popular drug amongst young people this summer.
Festival goers have been stuffing pills into their wellies at Glastonbury, or liquid-E in their toiletries at Wireless. Indeed, the stats suggest that MDMA use has risen significantly compared to previous years. But what exactly
We have the privilege of being able to express ourselves freely, and the necessary platforms to do so– social media, university papers, societies and public events. Participation online and in person does not have to imply raising your voice or breaking the law. Your presence is also a way of making yourself heard, and a way of protesting (if not for your own, then for the rights of others.)
As a Doctor, I’m going to tell you to avoid MDMA altogether. But I have a second-best piece of advice for you. Self-testing kits are now available and easy to use. A simple colour change will reveal the content of what you just bought under the bridge in Camden market. These kits are not perfect, but it is better than the ultimate test of popping one in your mouth and seeing what happens. BoomTown festival, and a few others, have also introduced drug testing facilities on site. These facilities are a little more thorough, and can help festival goers avoid potentially harmful substances. This shift in attitude towards promoting safety, rather than stamping down on illegal drug activity is a welcome change. There is even a lab in America where you can send a sample of your MDMA for detailed analyses, costing between US $40-150. This US-government licensed facility provides an answer within three weeks. And although this may end up killing the spontaneity of it all, it is probably better to prevent the drug from killing yours truly.
Don’t value stats over our education ONCE again, King’s has risen up in leaderboards, surveys and award-tables. And rightly so. The university is a leading institution across the world and deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. But simultaneously, students deserve acknowledgement and celebration in equal measure. It is important that the College continues to value the contributions students make, to pretty much every element of university life and the successes the College makes year on year. It is very easy, as is the King’s way, to joke about our low student satisfaction rates. But this must be accepted by the university, and examined. The real question is why? Focusing on university league-tables ensures success, but we must make sure students, their views, desires and needs for the College do not get left behind in the meantime.
KCLS ‘YOU’ NEW student officers have been elected this year, and Roar gives them our congratulations. But throughout the year, we must ensure our representatives are truly that representative - of all positive views and opinions. We’re sure they will do their best to be so.
Indeed, it turns out that only 40% of the UK’s ‘pills’ contain MDMA. The purity of product cannot be guaranteed, meaning that you could be consuming all sorts of dangerous substances. In fact, the Netherlands has the purest MDMA in Europe, and only achieves 69% purity. This poses a problem when deciding on dose, as the actual amount in each batch may vary considerably. If consuming pure MDMA, experiments performed in Switzerland in May 2017, indicate that 75mg is an ideal dose in otherwise healthy individuals. Unwanted effects creep in as the dose is increased. Undesirable effects, such as sweating, rapid heart rate and increased body temperature, are also more likely in women. Dangerously high doses can cause fits and, in most extreme cases, death.
is everyone consuming?
‘As a doctor, I’m going to tell you to avoid it altogether.’
MDMA is a form of metha mpheta m i ne. It tells your brain to release a week’s worth of happiness, giving you the most magnificent feeling of energy and euphoria. Unfortunately, once you’ve used your week’s quota of happy hormone, you are left with a feeling of emptiness and gloom. That’s why going back to work after a week in Ibiza feels so shoddy. It may take several weeks for your brain’s serotonin levels to return normal levels.
Are we researching our drugs more?
MDMA is the chemical term for the drug. When packaged as pills, it is typically called Ecstasy, and termed ‘Mandy’ when in powder form. Pills come in varying shapes and colours and have no bearing on the content or dose.
In fact, research found that more than half of substances submitted to the lab, which were sold as ‘MDMA’, did not contain the substance at all. Substances mis-sold as MDMA included benzodiazepines (sedatives) and enalapril (a treatment for high blood pressure). Contrary to popular belief, the powdered form of MDMA is not purer or more potent. Likewise, liquid-E is not even MDMA and contains a completely different substance that bears no chemical similarity to methamphetamine. There was an eightfold increase in death related to MDMA last year, but the news that drugs are dangerous hasn’t seemed to deter anyone. Instead, ravers, clubbers and festival lovers are taking back a little control by testing the products that they buy. As society increasingly expects to know the content of everyday products on shop shelves, so too is there a demand, and a means to determine, the content of illicit substances. It may come as a surprise that drug users are taking this pragmatic step. However, ‘drug taking’ is no longer synonymous with ‘risk taking’. If this becomes the norm, we may see more informed use of recreational drugs. n Do you have a story you think would be perfect for King’s College London readership? Send it to us! - email@example.com
University: PagePage 18-19 eatsExpectations near Strandversus & Guy’sReality campuses 18 RakishLIFESTYLE Tastiest
EDITORIAL PICKS PROCRASTINATION BOOKThe Circle by Dave Eggers had me captured from the start. A dystopian masterpiece combining our obsession with social media and lust for a new age of civility.
BEST AUTUMN FILM - It has
always been and will always be The Devil Wears Prada (fight me on this one). Nothing like watching this movie on a rainy day, under blankets with a good cup of tea (or three). Perfect!
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Waterfront stole my heart at Freshers and will never give it back. Now, someone pass me the extra curly fries...
With September rolling around, we quizzed each other on the books you avoid doing work with, the top autumn film and, of course, those freshers’ venues you can’t miss out on at this time of year.
PROCRASTINATION BOOK- Fear
& Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson - The writer will get to your head in about two sentences. Your heart will follow, beating a bit faster than usual: you’re in for quite an adrenaline rush infused with ancient Gonzo wisdom.
BEST AUTUMN FILM -
Radio Days by Woody Allen - A funny, nostalgic and warm movie about family, childhood legends and the lost glory of a past covered by magic dust, all accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack.
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Platform 9
& 3/4 at King’s Cross. Get your picture taken going through the wall to catch the Hogwarts Express and then go have a look around the Harry Potter shop. The only time you’ll have both the time and enthusiasm to do this.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith. Complicated friendships, impossible parents, hopeless ambitions & culture clashes - a perfect book to avoid thinking about how confusing your own life is.
BEST AUTUMN FILM -
Amélie. With a perfect storyline and soundtrack, this funny, heartbreaking and comforting movie will help you get through the rainy months before Christmas.
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Definitely Walkabout. 30 steps away from Waterfront. DISCLAIMER: you probably only want to go there if you’re already drunk.
PROCRASTINATION BOOK- The
Secret History by Donna Tart- Murder! Intrigue! pretentious uni students! Addictive to read and so melodramatic that you forget your own uni struggles.
BEST AUTUMN FILM -
When Harry Met Sally- beautiful shots of New York autums, makes you want to hop on a plane and enjoy leafy walks through Central Park
BEST FRESHERS VENUE -
KOKO London doubles as a concert venue and a club - great for a night of live music or a night of clubbing in Camden. And the home of the Freshers Ball!
PROCRASTINATION BOOK- Sid-
dhartha by Herman Hesse. A revitalising read which I hope will bring peace to you as it did for me.
BEST AUTUMN FILM - Donnie Darko (2001). A cult
classic. Because who doesn’t love young, angsty Jake Gyllenhaal?
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Hampstead Heath! A great place for a
picnic. the Parliament Hill Viewpoint is one of the highest points in London so I’d definitely recommend it for the views!
PROCRASTINATION BOOK- The God
of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. For the “great stories” that are “the ones you’ve heard & want to hear again.”
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry. If dark novels are for you, this is THE book to sink your teeth into. Examines the suspicious return of a teenager abducted 8 years ago. Hell YES!
BEST AUTUMN FILM - Dunkirk. Historric War Film - check. Great cast check. Heart strings pulled - check. And the debut role of a certain Harry Styles, who isn’t hard on the eyes either!
BEST FRESHERS VENUE -
Franco Manca. Cheap, fast, tasty. Great to share with friends or before a night-out (cough, Deliveroo).
BEST AUTUMN FILM - I Capture the Castle. For all things dyed green.
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Inner Temple Gardens. A hidden gem for cliched quiet in a noisy, dirty city.
Anything and everything by David Sedaris. Currently reading ‘Naked’.
BEST AUTUMN FILM - Not particularly autumnal and works all year round, but Manhattan is ALWAYS a wise idea.
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - Primrose Bak-
ery (for a sugar high between seminars); Fleet Street Press or National Theatre Coffee Bar (for a local brew), and of course, Homeslice (for dinner with friends)
PROCRASTINATION BOOK- Oxford Dictionary of Quotations - collated with the browser in mind, a lovely way to lose the hours.
BEST AUTUMN FILM
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - a genre bending sci-fi romance that’s as rewarding for the heart as it is for the head.
BEST FRESHERS VENUE - ICCO
Italian Pizzeria - traditional oven-baked pizza near Goodge Street with great, student friendly prices.
We’re on the prowl...got it? -
Fancy yourself as a roving reporter? Want to break the next big story? Join our reporting team!
-rated TSY Nikhil Kanukuntla and Brigitte Zheng’s
FIRE IN THE BOOTH Two teams. One location. Plenty of hot instrumentals. KCL x LSE Fire in the Booth is set to be the rap battle of the year. Held at the Saw Swee Hock Centre in late October, the ‘pass-the-mic’ event is sure to burn down booths. Check out @RapSoc‘s page on Facebook for more info.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @R_Rated
1984 and the R A 7 faces of Soho BITES Sixty-eight years ago, George Orwell conceived a future, which for a long time has not been regarded as entirely fictional. With an imagination moulded by fear from periods of successfully executed tyranny, it is not difficult to envisage why the harrowing possibilities of reality materialised into a dystopian future. There was some fictional leakage from Orwell’s 1984 transposed into real-life 1997 where the mass instalment of CCTV cameras onto London streets eerily mirrored Orwell’s novel. This was a highly controversial act and artist Ricky Buckley smelt a rat. Inspired by the ‘Situationists’ he staged a silent protestation, enacted right ‘under the noses’ of these cameras, by welding 35 casts (of which only seven are said to survive) onto public buildings around London. Any act which has ever attempted to tamper with freedom has always been fiercely divisive and it is a credit to our society that it has been so. Breaking societal boundaries and celebrating individualism is a generational trend that has led us into a period of awareness. We know it is not perfect, but at least we know. Orwell and Buckley are just two examples of the dutiful application of creative mediums that opposed unsettling situations more powerfully perhaps, than a direct assault would have achieved. Art and Literature are agelessly available in times of retrospect but equally, in their creation, are a tangible marker of fear. They remain, despite their roots in fiction and imagination, the most honest ways to voice concern and raise awareness because they address the future in their argument. Buckley’s nose stunt went unclaimed until 2011 before being un-
By their anonymity and unclaimed origins however, the noses generated numerous urban myths. A nose to be found on the Admiralty Arch for example, was attributed to be both a ‘spare for Nelson’s column’ and to taunt the large-nosed Duke of Wellington as he rode through the arches. Humanity it would seem, cannot resist the opportunity to romanticise the unknown. Lately, in a world where ‘fake news’ is even a term that exists and CCTV is the norm, it would seem that Art and Literature have done well in predicting the future. The rise of ‘fake news’ in a conscious twist of events, shows romanticising become manipulation. Fiction suggests we as a society are growing worse, with the rise of dystopian literature from 1984 to The Handmaid’s Tale, to The Hunger Games. But when fiction starts becoming reality, what does it say about how seriously we take literature? In the words of Orwell, “the best books…are those that tell you what you know already”. In his conception of 1984, and the book’s continued popularity, it, like the ‘Seven Noses of Soho’ are monuments to the fact that, challenging ideas, no matter the method, is what keeps us away from the dystopia Orwell envisaged, even if so many of its motifs exist in present day.
BRIGITTE ZHENG Princess, chicken bones and avant-garde artist do not usually form a narrative of natural cohesion, but Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991) provides an eclectic exception. As the Turkish born princess receives her first retrospective in the UK this year, she challenges the concept of convention in the Tate’s dramatic retelling of her life and work. As part of the Tate Modern’s ongoing mission to explore the work of neglected artists from outside Western Europe and North America, the appeal of the show is a promise of discovery: an artist forgotten by history. This promise is so alluring it is able to repeatedly draw crowds to exhibitions of artists previously unknown. There is a political as well as personal history
THE ROLLING TONES
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masked by the Evening Standard, but nevertheless this quiet creative rebellion reveals the humanistic fear of a future we have no say in. While Orwell verbally explored a society where the concept of freedom was inversed into a state controlled by propaganda, surveillance and the alteration of truth, the noses attest to the same fear through comedic mockery.
TELLING FORGOTTEN STORIES
ALL THE KING’S MEN...
CULTURE, MUSIC, ART AND LITERATURE FIT FOR KING’S
lo et THE upcoming King’s Opera Apol not to Hyacinthus looks set to be one a bang, miss. Kicking off the year with g their King’s Opera will be performin ber. freshers opera at Tutu’s in Octo of just Written by Mozart at the age Ovid’s eleven, this opera is based upon s. hose morp Meta for Follow King’s Opera on Facebook more info!
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
Not so unlike a university and its students, is the art gallery: an institution replete with members of different ages, styles, orientations. As a set, they are an arm-linked impenetrable clique, but individually, they stand alone ready to be introduced:
Main entrance: National Portrait Gallery. Colin Davidson: Ed Sheeran 2016
Room 44: National Gallery. Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers 1888
Van Gogh painted a set of these sunflowers at different stages of their lives, to decorate his friend, Gaugin’s room. These ones are dying but the warmth of both colour and intention make a happy painting to be had.
Some cross artistic coupling has led to a portrait of a very wellknown singer indeed.
embedded in the thread between the opening bold and kaleidoscopic paintings and the scant resin set bones at the end. Born in 1901 to an aristocratic Ottoman family, Zeid lived almost a century. At the age of 12, her brother was tried and convicted of murdering their father. Later on she was to divorce her first husband and remarry into the Iraqi royal family. Moving to Berlin with her second husband, she had tea and exchanged painting techniques with Hitler. In the final part of her life she would escape the assassination that ended the Hashemite dynasty’s rule in Iraq and live exiled in London. It is inevitable then, that her artworks, which she never stopped producing during the course of her turbulent life, portray so viscerally, a physical rendition of her emotional circumstances. By naming paintings such as ‘My Hell’ and ‘Resolved Problems’, it is not difficult to see that her works directly address an emotional reaction. With such conviction and scale in her work as well as her socially exposed life, it is difficult to believe that Zeid had until recently, been widely unknown. Resolved Problems 1948 If the story of Zeid’s life is not what draws you to this exhibition the historical context in which it unfurled, might. Escaping life in Iraq, the princess moved to Berlin in 1934 when her husband became the first Ambassador of the
Room 1840: Tate Britain. John Singer Sargent: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose 1885-6
Imagine seeing Chinese lanterns hanging amongst trees and lilies whilst boating down the Thames. Sargent did and kindly recreated the moment for us.
Kingdom of Iraq to Germany. Here the couple moved among elite circles hosting parties in these cultural capitals that Zeid felt such artistic affinity to. My Hell 1951 The family were recalled to Iraq, and relocated to Baghdad after the annexation of Austria in 1938. Leaving behind life in Western Europe, the Princess became heavily depressed. It is a profound testimony to her attachment to Europe that her Viennese Doctor advised that Paris was to be her prescription. This multi-cultural necessity developed Zeid’s works which fluxed in style through a fusion of eastern and western influences. So sensitive to her surroundings and so influenced by the external, Zeid’s transition from figurative painting to abstraction are indicative of the international lifestyle she valued so deeply. Fight against abstraction 1947 At the age of fifty, the military coup in Iraq which saw the assassination of the Iraqi royal family also saw the disintegration of the structure Zeid and her husband had built their lives. In this reverse of fortunes, the exiled princess cooked her first meal when they moved into an apartment in London, help-less for the first time. Her child-like fascination with the chick-
-Level 4, Room 4: Tate Modern. Marcel Duchamp: Fountain 1917, replica 1964.
A replica of what is probably the most famous urinal in the world. The original is lost (don’t ask how) and the Tate describes it as an ‘icon of twentieth-century art’.
en and turkey bones she encountered on these culinary occasions are perhaps, indicative of her aristocratic background. Painting them and preserving them in resin, the jewel like blocks sit absurdly in the final room of the exhibition in stark contrast to the paintings that preceded them. Perhaps it is because art thrives on this humanistic obsession with strangers and theirs stories that aesthetic beauty alone, has long expired as the means to draw an audience. The only criteria a modern audience demands from its artist is a story. It is the appeal that new stories give, especially the drama Zeid’s offers that inevitably attract a crowd. Walking through the exhibition, it is difficult to believe that such vibrant works could have been ignored here until almost two decades after her death. But something about discovery, especially on this scale, makes the whole experience rather more exciting. Fahrelnissa Zeid at the Tate Modern is on until 8th October (£10.00 for students)
Fresh from their impressive runner-up position on BBC’s Pitch Battle, home-grown acapella group All the King’s Men made a storming success of the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “Deserves to be a sell out”, said one lucky audience member, “A wonderful performance.” Perhaps touring the world is next on the schedule for the Kingdom? After all, their vocal talent has been heard in the US, Milan and Cannes to name but a few. Whatever is next on the agenda is sure to be breathtaking! We just know it!
NIKHIL KANUKUNTLA Music Editor
The Rolling Tones are the only all- female acapella group at King’s, and they also happen to be the best in the country. This year they’ve won the Voice Festival UK award, played sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and performed at the World Academic Summit among other things. Roar catches up with Tiffany Lau and Sara Edwards from the group to talk about their recent achievements and what’s next for them. So, let’s start with the unavoidable question. The Rolling Tones are university champs of the Voice Festival UK. That’s incredible, how does it feel? S: Yeah, we’ve been shouting about it [laughs] It was really helpful for promotional things, particularly at Fringe.
T: Marketing! But I also think the all-female part is important to us as well. We’ve always lamented the lack of all-female groups at the Voice Festival and to be the ones that ended up winning was amazing. We hope that this’ll help spur on other women to join. We’ve had girls applying to King’s specifically just to be part of The Rolling Tones which was great. S: For me particularly it’s important for us to have a professional sound. Recently someone said to us that he didn’t think he was watching an all-female group, just a good group, that’s it. I mean obviously, we’re proud of being an all-female group, but I’m also proud of the fact that we can be good enough that people just forget about gender distinctions.
Was that a conscious decision when setting up the Rolling Tones in the first place - to become an all-female group - or did it just happen? T: Beforehand, the Rolling Tones was known as the King’s Chicks, but around 2014 we
changed the name and branding, and that was accompanied by the whole uniform change. We wear black jeans, shirts, bow ties and braces which is very gender neutral. That might’ve played a part in it, but the reasoning was more along the lines of us wanting to stand out on our own right rather than being an all female group and complying with all the societal expectations of that. We just want to be good at what we do.
ing to the writing of an arrangement that was a song that we did called ‘Bang Bang’ (by Nancy Sinatra/Destiny’s Child). We did that for the ICCA’s (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) this year and Voice Festival last year. For that one the then musical director just sat everyone down and said “right let’s finish this arrangement together”, drafting in everyone’s ideas.
S: Also it’s just impressive we’re doing so well when people don’t expect us to I think. We’ve made it work in our own way.
What sort of material are you brainstorming with or experimenting with now? Does your personal taste filter into what you perform or does inspiration come from anywhere?
I’ve noticed you have quite eclectic setlists for your performances. Your cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ was a personal favourite. How does that process work of taking a song and stripping it down into an acapella version? T: I don’t think stripping it down is the right word, more boosting it up [laughs]
S: A lot of my arranging is done using music software, I don’t use sheet music. Often when I walk that’s when I can hear in my head what I want better. Sometimes I just sing it to myself on Garageband [laughs] and then it’s teaching at rehearsals and working on the blend. With ‘Teardrop’ the tricky part wasn’t the notes which were quite simple but getting all the pieces together.
I understand that as a group you try and get everyone’s input to be more inclusive, does that add to the complexity of arranging it or does it come about quite naturally?
S: I think it’s more that it’s really nice to get other people’s input. It makes it more something we’ve all contributed to. T: In terms of people actually contribut-
S: I’m looking at a lot of different acapella groups at the moment. It’s about getting inspiration by seeing what they do but also making sure we do what we do best, rather than copying.
Do you get a lot of interest at Freshers Fair?
T: Usually about a hundred and something ...? S: Yeah, we do get a lot of people. Ranging from people who are really really good to -T: People that just want to have a chat. I think some people don’t realise how seriously we take this. Obviously, we have a lot of fun doing it but we need people to try hard because there’s going to be more than a hundred people wanting that one spot that you want.
Do you guys feel that the pressure for competitions is up there since you’ve won one? T: Yeah, I mean we’ve become the ones to watch. S: Yeah, last year we were the underdogs and this year [laughs] we’re not. But the
dream is now to win the semi-finals of the ICCAs.
What’s next for The Rolling Tones?
S: We have a gig really soon at the Greenwood Theatre. We wanted to do one at the beginning just before auditions so that people could come watch us and that way they can see the kind of calibre they’re dealing with - that we’re absolutely serious about it. T: Yeah, come audition for us! S: We know we’re making it sound very serious but it’s also great fun and that feeling of having your hard work pay off for competitions is more than worth it. T: It also gives a good balance to degree work, we call it ‘aca-therapy’, it’s nice to have something to occupy you and work towards other than your studies.
What’s your advice for auditionees?
S: Confidence is a huge thing. When someone walks in from their body language immediately we’re going to think ‘ooh okay’. Even if they haven’t got the absolute most gorgeous voice in the world, your opinion of them is going to be changed. We don’t want people to think they have to be a great big, belting performer. T: We don’t just want singers we want performancers. We want people with stage presence. The Rolling Tones are bringing their sold-out Edinburgh Fringe show to London at the Greenwood Theatre for one night on the September 26th. Tickets for ‘Bows and Braces: The London Edition’ can be found on the KCLSU website.
l SOUTHBANK LONDON LITERATURE FESTIVAL 13TH OCTOBER - 1 NOVEMBER l POETRY INTERNATIONAL - SOUTHBANK - 13TH OCTOBER l KING’S OPERA: APOLLO ET HYACINTHUS - 12TH - 13TH OCTOBER - TUTU’S l MALAYSIAN SOCIETY - DIASPORA: THE MUSICAL 17 MARCH, GREENWOOD THEATRE l OKTOBERFEST - CENTRAL LONDON l MUSEUMS AT NIGHT - 26TH - 28TH OCTOBER l BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL - 4TH - 15TH OCTOBER
SEPTEMBER 2017 Roar
Don’t Miss! - Best of Britannia London - 12th & 13th Oct. Edited by ZOYA AFZAL
‘IMMOBILIENKRISE’ /noun/f: - a housing crisis LIVING by
ILONA BUSHELL Lifestyle Reporter
It all started with the offer from a friend. As she was describing it, I wondered if Christina was planning a career in estate agency – a beautiful apartment, whose central location, high ceilings and capacious rooms could be mine for a mere 320 Euros a month. Even the original mouldings apparently came at no extra cost. And it would ‘just be so nice for us all to live together.’ I agreed that it did sound good. –So far everything was distressingly uncertain, with my job application unanswered and the emails from the year abroad office demanding concrete plans congregating in my inbox. So the offer of affordable accommodation with my friends was reassuring. Obviously, though, it was too good to be true. Finding somewhere to live can be difficult at the best of times, especially as a student. My first experience had left me in a flat with no furniture for almost three weeks, with only my flatmate, a keyboard and the echoing parquet t o amuse me. I hadn’t realised how much I had been relying on a ready-sorted home in Vienna until it was taken away from me. Suddenly, on top of organising a year of work and study in a foreign country, my friend had let my room to somebody else, and I was left to face the vast world of online flatmate searching. In German. First, I looked on WG-Gesucht, a website for finding student flatshares in Germany and Austria, and recommended by the study abroad tutor. It was clear, user-friendly and informative. Many of the entries advertised beautiful old-build Viennese apartments, all at reasonable prices with agreeable flatmates.
I found one or two that seemed great, including one with a resident cat and a loft bed which satisfied my desire to be edgy while living abroad. I spent a considerable amount of time drafting a pleasant and open cover message in German, which I sent to several peo
Things to rememberFRESHERS
ple. No reply. I could only conclude that the cat did not like foreigners. Next, I tried publishing an advert on the same website with my exact criteria. This proved more successful. Within hours, messages were flooding in from men who liked the idea of a twenty-one year old female stu- dent sleeping in what they claimed to be their spare rooms. I studiously ignored these, and hoped for more luck. Finally it came in the form of a message from a student in her mid-twenties, who needed a sublet for six months. I looked through the photos eagerly. It was beautiful, newly refurbished, cosy, and a five minute walk from my work. I read her message, which appeared totally normal. When it became clear that when she said flatmate she really meant a charwoman who would pay rent while keeping the house clean while she was away, the alarm bells rang, and I gave up. I felt I was drowning under a vast wave of either rejections or offers that wouldn’t work out. It was only when I discovered the Facebook group for accommodation in Vienna that I made contact with the other British Council teachers. In them, I found students equally lost and confused by the system and the language barrier. We set about searching together, and, as one of us was in Vienna at the time, we found, viewed and secured a flat in a matter of days. It ended with the phone call from the friend: “Ilona, we’ve lost the apartment. Have you found anything yet?” I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I enjoyed the irony.
LIFE AT A LONDON UNI by Sophie Duncan Living in London, often described as the capital of the world, as a young adult is undoubtedly one of the most gracious experiences you will ever have. But life in this fast-paced city is subjective. You aren’t necessarily going to get the university experience that is so often associated with big campus buildings and sitting on the grass with your friends. But you’ll get the city. The university experience of the enormity of pursuing something you love in a vast world of opportunity. The attractiveness of London life enticed me; I wanted to be in the centre of it all. They say there’s always something happening in London, and the statement couldn’t be truer. No matter where you are, you can walk 10 minutes down the road, or take a 5-minute tube and be in the middle of something amazing. London offers so much diversity. It can give you loud, it can give you quiet, it can give you hectic but it can also give you peace. Primrose Hill contrasted with Pic-
cadilly Circus, Kew Gardens and Leicester Square; it’s undeniably beautiful and vast, and having all of this accessibility at your fingertips is a blessing. As a student, nightlife comes with the territory; going out with your friends is one of the best experiences of the university package but doing it in London means you never have to go to the same place twice (if you don’t want to, c’mon we all love Walkabout). The fact that you can go to seven different clubs during Fresher’s and still not have even seen a fraction of what London nightlife has to offer perfectly sums up the vastness of the city. You can go to new clubs, bars, pubs, you can meet new people and have a different night out every time and with the increasing Night Tube and night buses you can travel to Brixton, Dalton, and Vauxhall with ease! Your university experience is a fun, fast and filled few years and will contribute towards being the best years of your life— having the chance to do this all amidst the dazzling lights of London is something truly special.
DON’T EXPECT INSTANT, LIFELONG FRIENDS DURING FRESHERS. BE PREPARED TO SUFFER THROUGH SOME INTENSELY AWKWARD MOMENTS. YOU WON’T ALWAYS GET THE FLATMATE OF YOUR DREAMS.
EXPECTATION VERSUS REALITY:
UNIVERSITY LIFE by ZOYA AFZAL Lifestyle Editor
“You can always fall prey to misconceptions.”
“University is ne hard but no o to u o expects y gh u bluster thro alone.”
“She cooked chicken biryani and came home to chicken bones.” “I thought If I wasn’t updating my Snapchat every 5 minutes I was doing it wrong.”
LIFE ISN’T A CONTINUOUS PARTY. “It’s these few awkward mo ments, stuck in an eternal abyss.”
So, the time has finally arrived. Your bags are packed, your parents are emotional, and you can’t wait to enter the world of Real Freedom, a.k.a university. You’ve seen the movies, you’ve heard the stories about university as the ‘Best Years of Your Life’, and you’re ready to spend the next 3-4 years making friends, partying hard, and pulling an insane amount of all-nighters (and, of course, learning the subject you’re most passionate about). Don’t worry, you can still definitely look forward to all those things (probably not the all-nighters though) but here I am, your trusty veteran uni student in her third and final year, ready to debunk some of the more exaggerated myths that have been endlessly perpetuated, and reveal some university truths. 1. Fresher’s Week Friendships - BFFS for life? I’m sure you’ve heard the famous phrase: “the friends you make in Fresher’s will be your friends throughout university”. Now, I’m not here to discredit this statement at all; I made some great friends during fresher’s week who, to this day, I am grateful for stumbling across as an unsure, nervous first year student, highly anxious about making new friends. Fresher’s Week is undeniably a great way to socialise and bond with others over your newfound sense of freedom. However, don’t feel disheartened if you feel like your friendships are more artificial than genuine in the first week. I spent a lot of my Fresher’s forcing myself to go out with people I’d known for 2 days because I was under the impression that if I wasn’t updating my Snapchat story every 5 minutes with perfectly orchestrated pictures of me and my new ‘BFFS’ enjoying the crazy uni life then I was definitely doing it wrong. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t that enjoyable but it was only a matter of time until I found a group of friends whose company I truly enjoyed. If you do luckily meet people you instantly click with, then go for it—post all the pictures you want and have the time of your life. But, most importantly, don’t feel as if your uni future solely rests upon whether you have the best Fresher’s Week experience; trust me, you have three to four years to make some great memories and you definitely will.
2. Awkward Seminar Silence
Picture this: a classroom of knowledgeable students engaging in a continuously productive and flourishing discussion as the seminar leader watches on in admiration of their students’ intellect. That was definitely my expectation of university seminars prior to my actual experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great amount of creative and exciting seminars but, unfortunately, along with those also comes the most dreaded: awkward seminar silences. Like when you’re asked what you think about Homi Bhaba’s concept of hybridity and the entire class falls deadly silent as eyes avert from looking studiously at the seminar leader to looking resolutely down at the desk in hope of avoiding the terrifying possibility of being called upon. That’s the moment awkwardness really thrives. It’s these few minutes that feel painfully stretched out, as if you’re doomed to stay in an eternal abyss, consumed by a perpetual silence and thoughts of Homi Bhaba
swirling around your brain for the rest of your life. Or at least for another 2 minutes until the seminar leader takes pity on the class and phrases the question in a way that really just hints at the answer. So, a word of seemingly obvious advice from a student who has endured a fair share of awkward seminar silences: do your reading and make sure you have something (relatively) intelligent to say—it makes life a lot easier and less awkward.
3. Accomodation Drama
Student accommodation can be both a blessing and a nightmare. You can re-enact your very own Friends-esque lifestyle—stay awake till the early hours of the morning watching movies, roam the streets of London together at 2 am, try and cook flat dinners to enjoy together (which will most likely go horribly wrong but hey, at least you tried). You will, however, also inevitably face some issues and problems. The most notorious of them all: dirty flatmates. During my second year of uni I experienced a horribly disgusting kitchen environment. The defining moment of true horror for me was hearing the story of one of my other flatmate’s misfortunes: after coming home from uni and expecting to eat one of the multiple servings of chicken biryani she had stored in the fridge what she came to find, instead, were the remnants of gnawed at chicken bones that hadn’t even been thrown away but left to rot in the container. An extreme situation, I know—but you never know who you’ll be placed with so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst (and hope for the best).
4. ‘Everyone else is having a great time. Why aren’t I?’
The age-old question that haunts every university student at some point, whether they’ll openly admit it or not. I know this seems self-explanatory and condescending—obviously everyone struggles and university isn’t the idyllic, picture-perfect environment often seen in media. But it’s amazing how despite acknowledging and recognising this, you can still easily fall prey to these exact misconceptions. The reality is: everyone likes to put forward the idea of consistently having a great time— through Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook; it’s always the most exciting moments that are posted. And while, on some level, you clearly know that no one’s life is a constant stream of fun activity it still makes you feel like you’re missing out. The reality is: everyone is secretly stressed about something; the problem is that no one talks about their worries due to a desire to appear like they’re having the best time of their life. Mental health issues are particularly common amongst university students, yet those who suffer from them seem to think they’re the odd ones out. The truth is, university is hard. No one expects you to bluster through without taking any hits on the way and it’s expected to feel defeated at times. The key to having an enjoyable university experience is to forgo all expectations and know that in those moments of suffering you will never be alone and that there will always be more moments of enjoyment just around the corner. From my experience, university can simultaneously be the best time of your life and the worst. It just comes down to not basing your conceptions entirely on idealised expectations—I’ve been there and was severely disappointed. Surround yourself with people you genuinely like, (try to) stay on top of work, don’t be thrown off by unexpected flatmates who steal your food, and, most importantly, do things that you enjoy.
HOW I COPED AS A STUDENT VEGGIE IN LONDON FOOD by
In the last decade, veganism has risen by 360%, but even without knowing the statistics, it is plain for everyone to see. With new vegan cafes popping up everywhere and a vegetarian burger as an option in nearly every burger place, it is clear that our society has recently been drawn into and become more aware of the healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyle, which is an absolute god-send for long term veggies like myself. Coming from a small, Northern town where the veggie option is ‘I can pick the ham off if you want’, I was eager to see what London had to offer. Overall, I was not disappointed and after a year of living in London, I think I can offer up some advice to help veggies and non-veggies to enjoy vegetarian food as a student in London.
A CULTURAL HOTSPOT Firstly, get yourself down to Borough Market in London Bridge. For under £5 you can get veggie pastries, freshly baked Italian focaccia with pesto and tomato or freshly stir-fried vegetable pad-thai. There are also vegan burgers for around £6 packed full of watercress, salad, lots of flavour and vegan cheese (if you want).
STREET FOOD IS GOOD FOOD I also suggest the Southbank, bursting with beautiful scenery, great atmosphere, and amazing food such as loaded sweet potato fries, Indian dosa and pad thais from the Southbank Centre’s summer food market, all to be enjoyed on the grass by the London Eye with a Somerset cider. I also love Wahaca’s Mexican street kitchen on the river that sells vegetarian burritos, quesadillas, tacos and empanadas and most importantly, tortilla chips and fresh salsa for £3.75.
DID SOMEONE SAY PIZZA? I encourage everyone to go to Pizza Pilgrims simply for the marinara pizza—it doesn’t have any cheese so I would usually turn my nose up at it, but this is the nicest pizza I have ever eaten, AND it’s vegan AND it’s only £5.50. There is an all-vegetarian Taste of India restaurant in East Ham, where the chilli paneer is to die for. I was also very pleased to find that the King’s College student cafes and bars serve a huge range of vegetarian options, including vegetarian sausages and 5 different veggie burgers at Guy’s bar, and with Wasabi serving hot tofu katsu boxes just around the corner from Guy’s and Pret around the corner from Strand, there are plenty of ‘in-between lecture’ options.
Start your engines... by Christopher Sharp, Social Secretary for KCL Motorsports Club Ready? Go. The KCL Motorsports Club is here to fuel your petrol-headed desires. A unique club, unlike any other at King’s, Motorsports is ready to welcome new members. Whether you’re putting on the racing helmet for the first time, or you’re a veteran in your chosen motorsport - those interested in all things fuel are encouraged to join. From our meet and greet at Waterfront on 30th September, to racing flat out at our Go Karting social on October 3rd, we have a range of activities to suit the needs and interests of those with a need for speed. However, the activities don’t stop there, and you’ll find our free Formula 1 Screenings throughout
the year. More competitively, the British University Karting Championship (BUKC) starts in January 2018, and we represent KCL at a sporting level. And it’s good news for those budding racing drivers amongst you - anyone is free to attend one of the test days we have planned. But if you can’t drive just yet - never fear. At the end of the year we race in the BUKC 24 Hours. This is an unmissable event racing through wind, rain and sometimes even gravel, in an attempt to get to the finish. We’re not just about the BUKC. Socials are a part of who we are, and screenings are popular. So, put your racing helmet on. Let’s go. Find us on Twitter (@kcl_ motorsport)!
NEW LONDON BRIDGE GYM
The latest venture from King’s Sport sees the opening of a brand new, state-of-the art gym at London Bridge, ready and waiting for Freshers and returning students alike!
Located on Borough High Street, conveniently opposite the College’s Guy’s Campus, the gym features the newest and best Pulse Fitness equipment, alongside 80 stations and a jam-packed studio timetable that offers every class you could possibly imagine.
The red and black gym, which adheres to College colours, offers universal membership – access to both Waterloo and London Bridge gyms. If you’re interested in joining, head over and follow King’s Sport across all social media outlets. @Team_KingsSport
In Defence of Sport: The Varsity Recap
by Asad Zulfiqar By the time these words meet your eyes, you will have either returned to university or merely arrived for the first time. Be you home grown or talent from distant shores, no doubt you’ve allowed yourself to get caught up in the excitement. The big city. Big school. Bigger shoes maybe. Allow me to hark your mind back to where you came from though; the littler school; the littler shoes. Growing up in Manchester with chicken legs and absolutely no grace whatsoever, Physical Education meant little to me at the time.
Being terrible at football it seemed like a chance for the Sunday league kids to shine over I, the kid who was decent at maths. Little appreciation ever fostered for running and panting, shouting and cheering, sweating and hydrating. Then I came to King’s. A while ago now I started my degree here and while I loved being in the big city, I never felt like a “King’s student,” school spirit was sparse and in a city with millions of inhabitants and damn near millions of universities, identifying with anything other than “University of London” seemed senseless.
Then varsity happened. Now, I do watch sports, but I watch football. Rugby has a lot going for it sure, but football was the playground talking point in my corner of the north. Yet when some Welsh guy I knew from halls dragged me along to the rugby in first year, little did I know how into it I’d get. Sure it’s a posh boy’s game, but it’s posh boys at whom you can shout the most fun heckles. “I bet your uncle’s embezzled funds!” “You dropped your avocado, nonce!” and my personal favourite “Your parents are trapped in a loveless marriage!” to this day I’m certain that last line evoked a tear in a UCL eye. Last year for Roar, I went round some of the events and published pieces about Volleyball, Basketball and Football, but never had I written up the Rugby one. Winning both games and the varsity overall sent
me spiralling into a hangover from which I have just recently recovered. En route there an elderly gent overheard us discussing which bus was best to take and it transpired he was going too. Ruari MacNeil was the fella’s name, he shared it with his son who started that evening on the bench for the boys. We walked in, Ruari and I, and he gave me the low down on the whole season of Rugby his lad had played. Told me how they’d gone from lows to highs, from dire straits to victorious gaits, and all the other clichés that turned out to be true. He also told me about himself, a pleasant man who studied Asian studies near Boston, lives in Edinburgh engineering software. You might still be reading this. Hell, you might have read this whole paper. In the headline I proposed to
defend sports, yet thus far I’ve not said what from. Well dear reader prepare yourself for the twist: you are what I am defending sports from. You, yes you! No, not you athletic people. You, who read books or crunch numbers or express yourself in sophisticated ways, you who see no need to sweat, no value in competing, no point in rugby. You’ve come here to do a thing, intensely, for three, maybe more years. This was written with the intention of pulling you away from your studies, if not weekly – I took up Boxing at university and loved it, I’ve had friends likewise take up completely alien sports to them and take a lot from it – then at least for one week a year, when we show the Godless scum of Gower Street how to fucking sports.
DINA DASHES TO DOUBLE SUCCESS KCL History Alumna Dina Asher-Smith, who Roar spoke exclusively with in November 2016, has once again proved her ability with consecutive wins in athletics competitions this Summer. Britain’s quartet, Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Desiree Henry and Daryll Neita stormed to silver in the recent Athletics World Championships, held here in the capital. It was a worldclass performance for the 4x100 relay team, who crossed the line in an astonishing 42.12 seconds, just under a second behind the United States team. And it was a delighting display of team unity, as the four medal-winners completed their victory lap with huge
smiles. But this wasn’t the end of the season’s successes for Dina, who fought off stiff competition to clinch the Gold in the 200m at the recent ISTAF competition, held annually in Berlin. In a shock earlier on this year, Dina broke her foot after her final session of training for the Indoor Grand Prix. And it looked as if her season would be over. So, her achievements this year are even more outstanding. We’ll next see Dina at the Euros next year, but it’s safe to say, with an amazing record behind her, she’s set for significantly more successes.
If nothing else you might ending up having a lovely conversation with the parent of a student you don’t even know, but more likely than that you’ll end up drenched in lager and bliss and hopefully, just possibly, sweet, sweet victory. Up the reds!
We chat exclusively to KCL’s famous American Football Team and their President Dominic Prince.
a more stand-out white to accompany their King’s Red Jerseys.
King’s College London’s only American Football team, The KCL Regents, are open for business.
This additionally comes on the back of the unveiling of their new and improved logo, which celebrates ten years of Regents Football, an exciting event set to be celebrated in 2018.
Heading into their decennial year, the team has grown from just a few members, who gathered, come rain or shine, to play in Regents Park in 2008, to a team which now has hundreds of alumni, a rich and deep history, and of course, a bustling schedule for the upcoming season. Perhaps the most principal of all changes to be made this year, the Regents have ditched their perennial black helmets and lowers in favour of
President, Dominic Prince, who was recently elected with a pioneering constitution, spoke exclusively to Roar to let us know the new developments for the team, “We’ve been excited to celebrate ten years of Regents Football, and have decided to make some wholesale changes in order to do so.”
“The developments include a complete move to 3G playing surfaces, a new training ground, modified training times, new coaching staff, a new Nike team store, and many more modifications that we
And if you’re interested in potentially becoming a Regent yourself, then an opportunity isn’t too far away! The team ‘Rookie Day’ will be held on the 30th September.
hope will make the next decade of Regents Football even better than the last.”
We wish all at KCL Regents a fantastic season!
The Regents are ready to get some wear out of their boots and storm the field in many competitions throughout the year. And they’ll start with a tough game against the Regents Old Boys on the 14th October. Dominic said, “We look forward to celebrating with all at King’s this year and encourage anyone who wants to play to get in contact with us.”
KCL Lions Roaring Year
motion to begin training for this year’s BCA University Nationals.
The KCL Lions are roaring and ready to go. The competitive cheerleading squad was first founded back in 2005 and have gone on from strength to strength, to their peak last season where they were fortunate enough to clinch the National Championship at the British Cheerleading Association (BCA) Competition back in April. But despite their huge successes, the Lions are more than ready to up the ante this coming season. They start with a bang through their taster session on Sunday 1st October at Salmon Youth Club and are already putting plans in
Roar spoke exclusively to President of the Lions, Abigail, “After eight months of training, countless changes to the team and more bruises than we can count, all of our hard work paid off and we became National Champions at BCA University Nationals.” “I am so proud of my team and all the hours they put into training it was all worth it for the excitement we felt when our name was called. A massive thank you to last year’s committee that made it possible for us to go and our amazing coaches LJ and Linda who put together such an incredible routine that allowed us to win. I’m so excited to defend our title in 2018 with all our new members.”
KCL Regents Ready to Rumble
GB MEDAL RUSH SEES KCL STUDENT VICTORY Silver for the Geography student
KCL student Laviai Nielsen has made it silver in the recent World Athletics Championships held here in the capital. Laviai, who studies Geography here at the College, formed part of the British team for the 4x400m meters. The team put on an impressive display at the competition and took home silver. Laviai, a self-acknowledged Athletics fan, was previously a bag carrier for the Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill and was inspired to take her existing talent for running to the next level. The team, comprised of Laviai, and her teammates Zoey Clark, Eilidh Doyle and Emily Diamond, now have seven world medals from seven world championships. So, what’s next for the World champion? In a recent tweet, Laviai said she was determined to beat her Personal Best in the outdoor 400m by this time next year. And her Geography degree is also waiting for her. Going into her third year here at the College, the Social Sciences and Public Policy department reports that Laviai’s dissertation will study the link between the Olympics and urban regeneration. We look forward to hearing Laviai’s latest accomplishments very soon!
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• Competitive Wins • Incredble feats of sportsmanship • Sporting Events
world service free festival of talks & performance Arts & Humanities Festival www.kcl.ac.uk/ahfest
• • • • • •
Guardian writer and activist George Monbiot on politics in the age of crisis Brexit and universities – plotting the new landscape Masculine identities and bodybuilding performance art Big Band jazz concert Alternative feminist communities: life on film Maureen Duffy on authorship around the world
10-21 October 2017 #ahfest2017
Freshers Edition 2017