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Monday 21 February 2011

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Interview with Cage the Elephant

Top 10 strangest country & western songs Page 31

Gemma Blackman goes speed dating Page 32

see more on PAGE 3 Free Media City bus for Salford Students

A house from the past, working for the future

James Bell STUDENTS and residents across Salford are awaiting the arrival of a new eco-friendly bus, running from Salford Crescent to Salford Quays on a weekly ten minute service. The new low carbon service made up of four hybrid electric buses was approved earlier this week by Councillors from Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) with an initial 12-month contract. The public route which is hoped to begin in May will provide access to the BBC’s MediaCityUK along with Salford Shopping City and will be free for university staff and students. Councillor Ian Macdonald, Chair of GMITA, said: "MediaCityUK is an exciting innovation hub in Salford Quays, which will open up new employment, education, leisure, and residential opportunities.

Continued on page 2

Union Strategic Plan is your decision Emily Barker As part of the Students’ Union elections, you will be asked to make an important decision about the direction your Union will take in the next three years. For the past 12 months Union staff, trustees and students have helped to create and mould the Strategic Plan for the Students’ Union which will run from 2011 to 2014. This has gone out to student consultation who gave it a ringing endorsement. The Strategic Plan is made up a selection of strategies and actions which will help the Union achieve its mission of enhancing students’ lives. There are three main themes; championing the student voice, active student communities and being a robust and student focussed organisation. The plan can be found at www.salfordstudents.com/takecharge in the ‘Vote in the elections’ area. There will be a referendum asking you to vote yes or no on the plan through the same online vote as the elections. Ricky Chotai, the Union President said “Though this decision could have been made through Trustee Board, they decided that as it will have such a big impact on all of the students at Salford, they wanted to include as many people as possible in approving the plan” “Using a referendum gives the decisions made on the important strategic choices for the organisation more credibility and legitimacy.”

Continued on page 2

Greg Barker, the Minister for Climate Change and Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor at the University at the opening of the energy house. Mark Cockroft

A

unique study involving a full-scale terraced house is underway at the University of Salford to find ways the UK housing sector can cut its energy use. The Energy Hub was officially opened by Climate Change Minister Greg Barker during Retrofit Salford 2011 - the UK's first conference dedicated to the challenge of how to sustainably refit old existing houses with new technologies. The conference was organised and hosted by the University in January. Greg Barker addressed delegates at the conference and praised the University for creating the Energy Hub facility; he described it as being at the "cutting edge of research”. During his visit he was also given a tour of the Energy House, a full-size

and fully functioning terraced house that has been reconstructed in a sealed environmental chamber. The 1920s Victorian-style two-up, two-down house – thought to represent around 20% of the UK’s housing stock – has been built to assess how energy efficiency technology performs in a range of conditions.

Lime mortar has been used to set the familiar red brick, the doors – front and back – don’t shut properly and have gaps exposing drafts, as do the rickety single-glazed sash windows. There are no curtains and the house has no insulation.

The minister went on to say the Energy House was "a house from the past, working for the future."

“We wanted to construct the house as it would have been then and leave it in its rawest form, so we can see how it behaves and where the energy goes. We’ll be monitoring temperature, pressure, air flow and humidity and will be producing 3D image maps of each room to see where everything is going.”

Inside the laboratory the University can change the weather, replicating wind, rain and snow. UV lights are used to simulate the sun, with temperatures in the environmental chamber able to drop to as low as -6 degrees. Rain and wind can also hit the house at different speeds, as researchers say that brick’s performance is affected by different conditions. Solar panels will also be fitted on to the tiled roof.

“In short,” said Energy Hub manager Steve Waterworth, “the house is leaking energy.”

The Energy House is a response to the UK’s retrofit challenge. Retrofit refers to trying to bring new improvements and technology to old buildings. According to statistics

released by communities and local government, around 70% of the country's residential property will still be inhabited in 2050 and 91% of all UK homes would benefit substantially from improvements in energy efficiency. Improved insulation and boiler upgrades alone could see heating emissions reduced by 22%. Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, Martin Hall said: “The Energy Hub has been an unexpected success. When we were thinking about the best contribution we could make to reducing carbon emissions, we realised that retrofitting Britain’s 21 million houses would be a major challenge to achieving low carbon targets. And, of course, our university has international expertise in the built environment and makes a major contribution to housing and urban regeneration in all sorts of ways.”

The Energy House experiments will play a key role in the coalition governments Green Deal scheme, which will allow tenants and homeowners to pay for energyefficient improvements through the savings on their energy bills. Researchers say homes account for 25% of emissions, which needs to be tackled if the UK is to meet its target of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050. The Vice Chancellor added: “It’s clear that by setting up this facility, with the ability to simulate wind, rain and extreme temperatures, we will help greatly in understanding how ordinary households will be able to make cost effective changes to where they live, to reduce their carbon footprint. This will be a great opportunity for students, and particularly postgraduate students, to do work and gain experience in this area”.


02: News

February 21st 2011 / Salford Student Direct www.salfordstudents.com

Strategic Plan Cont from page 1… At least 900 students are required vote with a majority yes vote for the plan to be adopted. If the plan is voted in, the Union will prepare action plans and develop ways in which to deliver the initiatives that are in the document. The Union’s Trustee Board is in favour of the new plan; however they want to encourage students to make up their own minds.

21.02.11 News Page 02 News Page 03 Comment Page 04

Students are also allowed to organise their own Yes or No campaigns around the referendum. The Union will give them access to the same funding and training as other candidates standing in the elections. The Union’s Election Regulations contain a section about the rules around campaigning on a referendum question. This is your Union and your decision. Visit: www.salfordstudents.com/takecharge for more details. If you would like any further information or would like to discuss how you might organise a campaign, contact Ricky Chotai, the Union President and one of the deputy returning officers for the elections on 0161 351 5413 or via president-ussu@salford.ac.uk.

Free Media City bus for Salford Students It will play an important role in the development of this creative centre, providing a quick and accessible service between Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, Salford Shopping City and Salford Crescent Railway Station." University of Salford V i c e - C h a n c e l l o r, Professor Martin Hall, said: "The University is proud to support this new route which will link the area around our campus with our new facility at MediaCityUK for the benefit of our staff, students and the local community. "MediaCityUK is a critical development for the

Me&yu fashion designers interview

The Review Page 06 Hot or Not Cage the Elephant Interview Laga Gaga – Born this Way

Union Amanda Mace

Breaktime Page 31 Top Ten Strangest Country and Western Songs Erasmus Times Recipe of the week – Chicken Stroganoff

Features Page 32 BAFTA Blues Speed Dating with Gemma Blackman MacToot Cartoon

Features Page 33 Banking’s biggest problem – Bankers and Virtual Revolution

Sport Page 34 Sport Page 35 Men’s Rugby Union

The service will be funded in partnership with Salford City Council and GMPTE.

institutions across the country have been in discussion. Imperial College is among the first to declare their intentions, with the Oxford and Cambridge Universities looking set to follow suit. Though Imperial College insists such a drastic change is essential to maintain high standards, it has been suggested that highly regarded institutions charging the full fee amount will make it harder for other universities to charge less.

Features Page 05

Sabbs Column Don’t forget to vote

city and better transport links to all areas of Salford will help to maximise its potential for the whole community."

News Round Up Helping you digest what is going on around the world!

The National Scholarship Reform Cynic’s Eye View Same-sex marriage and religion – can they go hand in hand?

Page 30

Cont from page 1

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has stepped down. His resignation came after weeks of protest in capital Cairo and other major Egyptian cities. Mubarak first came to power in 1981 and in the past thirty years has regularly overpowered and jailed political rivals. In 1995, he survived a assassination attempt in Ethiopia. On 25 January, anti-establishment citizens took to the streets, calling for an end to widespread poverty, unemployment, corruption and a new age of democracy. As the announcement that power had passed to the Egyptian army was made on state television by vicepresident Omar Suleiman, activists celebrated their country’s revolution.

A day’s races at Newbury racecourse, Berkshire, was abandoned after two horses died. Before the opening race, Fenix Two and Marching Song, both due to take part, unexpectedly collapsed. A full inquiry is currently taking place, and there is much speculation that the horses were electrocuted. A horse’s heightened sensitivity to electricity and the damp conditions are thought to be contributing factors. Two other horses, reported to be ‘stumbling‘ were also affected. Following the incident, a portion of electric cable has been removed from the paddock. The Imperial College, London is set to increase their tuition fees to £9,000. The esteemed science institution will be almost tripling fees in 2012. Since the government announced that they intend to raise the tuition fee limit as part of their plans to escape the deficit,

Latest figures show that emergency patients in Greater Manchester are waiting longer than ever to be admitted. Compared with 2009, waiting time in the region’s hospitals have increased noticeably following the NHS budget cuts. The figures show that around 1,500 people needing immediate treatment at nine of the busiest Accident and Emergency departments, including Salford Royal and Manchester Royal Infirmary, were forced to wait more than four hours to be admitted to a ward. The new figures also show that around 2,000 patients from the region have had operations cancelled between September and December last year, for non-medical reasons. The parents of Amanda Knox, the American student on trial for murder, have been accused of libelling the police. Knox is serving a sentence of 26 years in an Italian prison for the murder of her flatmate, Meredith Kercher. British European studies student Kercher and Knox were studying in the Italian city of Perugia when they began sharing a flat. Both Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were

convicted of sexual assault and murder in the investigation following Kercher’s death. In an interview with The Times, Knox’s parents claim their daughter had been physically and verbally abused by the police during questioning. Perugia police officials deny the accusations, and the couple’s trial is due to start in July.

David Cameron has welcomed a new cat to No.10 Downing Street. The former stray, named Larry is the latest in a line of chief mousers to the cabinet office. His adoption follows speculation about possible pest control measures after a rat was spotted scurrying past No.10. Larry, a four-year old tabby mix, was picked up then cared for by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home before the move. The prime minister is said to be delighted to welcome the feline to his new home.

Contacts @ Student Direct: Salford Edition Postal Address Student Direct University of Salford Students’ Union University House Peel Park Campus Salford, M5 4WT Advertising Postal Address Student Direct University House The Crescent Salford M5 4WT

Editor: Emily Barker Phone: 0161 351 5432 Email: studentdirectussu@salford.ac.uk Advertising: John Conway Phone: 0161 351 5402 Email: studentdirect@salford.ac.uk

Features Editor: Gemma Blackman gemma_blackman@hotmail.co.uk

Comment Editor: Laura Johnson L.J.Johnson@edu.salford.ac.uk Arts Editor: Tom Miller tom.factotum@hotmail.co.uk

News Editor: Mark Cockroft m.cockroft@edu.salford.ac.uk

Cartoon: Mac Toot

Photography: Jonathan Isaacs jonathan@jonathanisaacs.com


News :03

Salford Student Direct / February 21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Editorial – The Media Collective, Voting and beating the February blues Emily Barker

The sun has started to peak through my windows in the morning and it isn’t completely pitch dark when I leave the office (that is if I’m not slaving away on the paper out of hours), this can only mean the winter months are coming to a close and it can’t happen sooner if you ask me!

However there is one thing happening which should make the last couple of weeks in February that bit more interesting. That’s right, its Students’ Union Elections time! The candidates has been released so why not see who could be running your Union next year by logging onto www.salfordstudents.com/ takecharge. If you’re a first year who has

no idea what the elections are or a returning student who has never been that interested, well this is your time to find out a bit more. The Students’ Union is more than just a bar and the work it does really will affect your time at Salford. I now regret how little attention I paid to my union during my Undergrad, so don’t make the same mistake I did.

There are several pieces in the paper telling you about the elections and why logging onto blackboard between Friday 25 February and Thursday 3 March to cast your vote will make a big difference. In other news, after the election dust has settled we are holding a Media Collective on 9 March in Boardroom two of University House at 12pm.

I really want as many people as possible to come along, we need you to tell us what you’d like to see in the paper and on the website! I am more than happy to hear your suggestions and make sure we’re doing exactly what you want. I think that’s everything! Enjoy this week’s Student Direct. Keep reading, Emily

Tell us what Voting Opens this Friday you think at our Media Collective and a president, student council and NUS delegates.

Emily Barker

The nominations are in and now its time to decide who you want to run your Students’ Union. All the candidates are listed on www.salfordstudents.com/ takecharge and you’ll be sure to see them campaigning around campus in the next few weeks.

We need your opinions on the paper and the website. What do you think of Student Direct? Is it catering for your needs? Are there any big changes you would like to see happen? What would like more of?

involved with the paper to attend, we want students from all over campus from media to nursing; everybody is welcome!

The Media Collective is for you, the students at Salford, to tell us what you want!

All copies of Student Direct can be found on www.salfordstudents.com/stu dentdirect

The collective will be taking place in Boardroom two in University house at 12pm on Wednesday 9 March. You don’t have to be

Help us make the paper and the website as good as it can be.

For more information contact Emily Barker on studentdirect-ussu@ salford.ac.uk or 0161 351 5432

Voting opens on 4pm Friday 25 February. This is a simple way of you taking charge of your education. Ricky Chotai, the Students’ Union president said: “This is a crucial time for all universities and students’ unions. We need as many students as possible to take part in the elections. By voting you are making a huge impact on the future of your Students’ Union.”

There are several positions at the Union including the sabbatical officers, which are made up of three vice presidents

The head of Durex’s social marketing, Peter Roach, came to the University of Salford last week to talk about the work his company have done in Rio de Janeiro. Peter gave a talk on Tuesday about

If you don’t know who to vote for, the Union has set up several events to help you decide. On February 24 at 6pm in the Lady Hale Building there will be a debate with all the vice president and presidential candidates; you will be given a chance to hear exactly what they will do for you next year.

You can submit questions via email to USSUDebating@ gmail.com before midday on Wednesday 23 February, so get thinking about what you would like to know from your candidates.

responding to questions that have been posed by students. This will be available on w w w. s a l f o rd s t u d e n t .c o m / takecharge from Friday 25 February. If you wish to partake in that, email your question to elections-ussu@salford.ac.uk by 9am on 22 February.

If you’re not free then don’t worry, there will also be an online candidates question time where the candidates are filmed

This year all voting will be online again and you will be able to vote via Blackboard on the Student Channel.

Keep an eye out on Student Direct as well. Next week there will be centre spread including every candidate and why they want you to vote for them. With so much going on there is no excuse for not voting the Students’ Union elections! Remember this is your chance to take charge of your education! More information can be found at www.salfordstudents.com/ takecharge

More information can be found at www.salfordstudents.com/takecharge

Changing attitudes of sex in Brazil Danielle Wynne

Unfortunately there were insufficient nominations for the student trustee positions to be contested, which mean these roles will not be up for election.

Program H, a campaign aimed at young men with the aim to change their attitudes to gender and women. There is a strong link between gender and attitudes toward sexuality, such as noncondom use, especially in Brazil where over 700,000 people are infected with HIV or AIDS. He discussed how using workshops, campaigns and marketing have helped the fight to prevent and reduce HIV and STIs by targeting the way masculinity is perceived. Peter said: Peter said: "Targeted social media campaigns can make a major difference to public health issues. Many organisations overlook this kind of outreach, but I'm proud that Durex is one of the most committed to these interventions. Hopefully by talking about my own experience of these campaigns, I can inspire other marketers and give them useful tools to implement their own." The talk was part of the Vice-Chancellor's lecture series, public lectures for the local community given by both national and international speakers. They are being held all throughout the year and free to attend.

Missing teacher found near University The last sighting of Mr Tomlinson appeared to show him running across the Adelphi footbridge off Silk Street.

Nicole McCarthy

The body of a missing trainee teacher from Stockport has been found just minutes from the University of Salford.

Police were called to the River Irwell last Thursday after someone spotted his body in the water near Peru Street. Police divers recovered the body and it has since been identified as that of Nathan Tomlinson. Police have confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Nathan Tomlinson, 21, went missing after a work Christmas party in Manchester in December.

Paige Hickey is among many students who live nearby. She said: “Nathan Tomlinson’s death is saddening and for it to be so close to the university is surreal.

He was seen on CCTV footage walking through Salford in an attempt to get home. Detectives carried out a week long operation searching around Silk Street, the street next to Adelphi Building and Peel Park on the main campus as well as Salford Crescent railway station.

Many of my friends walk across that footbridge to get to Adelphi every day and it just hits you harder when it is so close. Even though his death was not suspicious, it is still a harsh reminder of where we live and how careful we have to be, especially with the river so close by.”

Any budding journalists who fancy becoming news hounds get in touch with either the editor Emily Barker at Studentdirect-ussu@salford.ac.uk or the news editor Mark Cockroft at M.Cockroft@edu.salford.ac.uk


04: Comment

Salford Student Direct / February 21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Comment £9,000 per year of a free year for these would be be just short of £5 million; Oxford and Cambridge, each taking around 65 such students, would incur costs of just under £600,000. If this is fairness then I’m using the wrong dictionary; I find it considerably more likely that a government which hates education has simply burnt their own.

A Cynic’s Eye View

#3 of

2011

It is even more depressing that there is a germ of a good idea in here, ruined by an

The devil is in the detail: the National Scholarship reform Student Direct Reporter

Let’s face it, we all know that this coalition is hardly going to go down in history as the most student-friendly government we’ve ever had. After upping tuition fees to £9,000 per year it seems a given that the names of David Cameron and Nick Clegg will draw the ire of anyone involved in higher

education for years to come; we know that, you can’t really say any more. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to hear that this government’s reforms will result in even more misery on top of the already horrendous fees increase. A relatively little-reported aspect of the reforms is a National Scholarship Programme to provide subsidies for poorer students, giving them up to two years’ free tuition and reducing their debt by up to £18,000. This seems laudable, and you will no doubt wonder how callously elitist I presumably must be to oppose it; if you will allow me to explain, the devil is, as they say, in the detail. The system is limited from the start only to students who received free school meals in secondary education.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released data recently showing that in 2007/08 only 15% of students receiving free school meals went on to university, those eligible to claim in the first place being a very small proportion of the whole (10,000 graduates in 2009/10). More worryingly, the funding made available by the government doesn’t cover the whole cost, with a requirement of ‘matched funds’ from universities to help pay for the cost of the scheme. The effect of this is to punish those universities - such as our very own Salford - which have made a point of being as socially inclusive as possible. It will act as a perverse incentive for universities to minimise the proportion of poor and disadvantaged students they allow in. The coalition has made much ado of fairness, but little seems fair about this. According to the Guardian’s Datablog, Salford University from 2005-2007 had roughly 550 students previously on free school meals. The cost at

implementation which seems designed to get as many things wrong as possible. If the pool were widened from simply free-school-meal students then that would be an improvement. If funding were made available to cover the full cost, not requiring any expenditure by the universities themselves, then it would absolve the scheme of all its sins. Yet this will not happen, and so the National Scholarship Scheme will remain fundamentally flawed. It is ludicrously restricted, a postage stamp of equality to cover the naked truth of this government’s grotesque attack on higher education. It acts to encourage universities to do precisely the opposite of what it intends penalising universities who already have a broad social mix, providing a disincentive to accept any student on free school meals. We have as students felt little yet of the government’s blows to higher education. That will come soon enough - when school leavers are put off by the prospect of a lifetime of debt, when humanities and arts courses are forced to close by the complete abolition of their teaching grant, when universities turn away the poor because to take them on would be a financial burden. George Osborne once said that Britain’s universities were the jewel in our crown. We will take very little comfort from those words while we watch him melting said crown down for the silver.

This week, I spent much time reading and pouring scorn upon the fact that David Cameron's flagship policy - the Big Society (accurate enough if you look at soaring obesity figures in the NHS that Cameron wants to slowly dismantle) seems to be sinking rather rapidly, a bit like a lead balloon, or a Tory's face when you take away his expenses. I am perhaps slightly indiscriminately pleased about this, partly because I always suspected that Cameron's wishy-washy ideal would face the same fate as Tony Blair's Third Way - i.e. not to be taken on board by ordinary people who care more about the cost of their bus ticket than university-nurtured, abstract ideas about politics. It seems that Cameron cannot have his cake and eat it - he cannot force through brutal cuts, and so perform a "duty" to rectify the mistakes of "the previous government", and promote this idea of a Big Society simultaneously. He cannot dismantle some of the great successes of Labour, like Sure Start centres, and promote the Big Society at the same time. Simply put, communities cannot work together without money. (I could have told him this.) So what is the Big Society? Apparently it's not a term that only politics students/crazed Tories can understand - civil servants are apparently confused as to what it means too, being given countless seminars about it by the government. Despite my earlier jest, it's not a dig at overweight people, either. Simply put - stripped of all the ideology and terminology - the Big Society is the effort to be nice to people. A measure that simply doesn't sit well with the Tories traditional policy of drinking the blood of innocents. And one that certainly shouldn't have to be promoted by politicians to work.

“I do” for you, and you and maybe you Callum Wright

In the coming weeks it is expected for proposals to be made which will look to allow religious organisations to hold same-sex marriages within their hallowed walls. This leap in the direction of equality for

same-sex couples is thought to offer the option for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish societies to permit the same standard of union as is only afforded to heterosexual couples at present in the United Kingdom, however, there is already a strong

Contact: If you have an opinion you want to share or want to write a response to an article get in touch with our comment editor Laura Johnson on

laura_johnson98@hotmail.com

defence from the two leading Christian denominations in England (Roman Catholicism and Church of England), and it is expected that leaders of Islam and Orthodox Judaism will not permit such unions to occur in their sacred buildings. The major part to this proposal, which I wholeheartedly stand behind, is the fact that it is fully optional. As you may have read in issue 13 of Salford Student Direct, I am a homosexual who observes religion devoutly. The idea of being wed in a church is something I have never even thought about, not solely because it was the British law who had banned such observations, but because I too don’t agree with the idea. There’s something within me

that repulses at the idea of same-sex marriage. Perhaps it is from years of doctrine condemning it, but then, as discussed previously, why would I even be gay if I so deftly believed in the multitude anti-sodomitic axioms? Or maybe, after a long history of prejudice against same-sex relationships, it’s because I don’t want to be tarred and feathered as an equal, pre-defined by the government. Perhaps, when I look to equality, I merely want my future partnership to be equal but different, like me and my relationship. Perhaps I want, and would be happy being, on equal standing and afforded the same liberties, yet under a term reserved solely for both myself and the others who feel the same. Although, I suppose this would be far too difficult a task for the government. First, think up a new and original name. Secondly, copy and paste current T&Cs for marriage, ensuring to replace the word ‘marriage’ with the innovative name. Thirdly, release to the public. I agree, not only is this, perchance, an over simplified picture of what the government does, but also

too great an expectation of the government and their creative think tanks. I firmly believe there should remain a distinction between hetero- and homo-sexuals. There is something about this proposal, and why it is being backed by the Conservative MPs, that screams out to me to remember Phillipa Stroud and her prayer sessions to ‘cure’ people like myself. Aside from that, we can all foresee the evident line that will be drawn by those who are against the decision of their religious authorities, should they choose to allow such acts, and so the question is begged as to whether it is merely the government looking for equality for equality’s sake, whether as a way to acknowledge Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and

Transgender (LGBT) History Month or to continue with the movement made by Stroud to try and bring an aspect of conformation to a stereotypically outlandish minority, and whether this has truly been thought through thoroughly enough. Of course I would love to have a degree of sacredness in my unionship with my future partner, if he would allow me to, and the lifting of the ban on any religious material in the current secular civil partnership would allow me to do this. But as the proposal does not stop there, I just hope that any religious authority who decides to apply for the right to perform same-sex marriages in their buildings has a good measure of their followers and does not end up doing more harm than good.


FEATURES :05

Salford Student Direct / February21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Features

“Me&Yu isn’t just a fashion label –

it’s our life”

Interview: Me&yu: Independent Manchester Fashion Me&yu are a fashion design company based in Manchester’s Afflecks palace, one of half the team Angie spoke to one of our reporters about why they chose to take on the big world of fashion.

When did you start first start making clothes and what lead you to opening up a shop in afflecks palace? Angie: We opened the store in 2006, after trading at markets and events around the North West. It was only really when I got made redundant from my job that we decided to turn our part-time hobby into a full-time business and Afflecks offered us a great low risk starting point.

What are the main inspirations for your designs and are there any other designers out there who influence you? Angie: We get influenced from so many different things, from taking a photograph or a sketch of something we see to absorbing what trends are up and coming around the world. I couldn’t say that one particular thing is a great inspiration for us – it’s a very diverse list!

What are your goals and ambitions for the future of Me&yu? Angie: Even though we’ve been around a few years now we’re still a tiny little company – just the two of us work in the business and there’s a lot of work to do!

Our main focus for the next 12 months is to keep doing what we’re doing and do it well – focusing on hand-drawn and handprints and unique hand-made clothing.

Angie: We always say “Me&Yu isn’t just a fashion label – it’s our life” which kind of explains that we do this 24/7 – we don’t have time for anything else!

After the success of the handmade trousers we’ll be introducing more handmade menswear and will have a range of handmade organic t-shirts produced from fabric made in England out in the New Year.

How much work goes into keeping Me&yu ticking over?

It must be great to see an increasing amount of people wearing your designs, how would you describe the experience? Angie: It still gives me a happy feeling to see people wearing clothes we’ve designed and made – I don’t think we’ll ever tire of it!

Do you have any celebrity customers, have you become friends? Angie: We’ve had quite a few celebrity customers like Noel and Mike Fielding of The Mighty Boosh, Agyness Deyn, Kaya Scodelario (Skins) Elliot and Luke Tittensor (Shameless and Emmerdale) and lots of up and coming bands like We Have Band, Kid British and Binary Kids.

Angie: Well as I said, we don’t really stop. We made Me&Yu a business from a hobby so it’s really hard to see where the business ends and our personal life begins. If we have some time to ourselves in the evening we might watch a film and that could inspire us, perhaps by a costume or a concept. Or perhaps browse the internet and that might set off another chain of thought. 14 hour days are quite common for us. Do you think you ever made any bad

decisions with the business? If so how did you move on from there? Angie: Running a small business is a constant battle. There’s never seems to be quite enough money to cover all your outgoings and hindsight is a marvelous thing.

Some are more regular customers than others and all are lovely, but we don’t know them well enough to go down the pub with them!

Yes there are a few purchases that have not been completely necessary and lots of time spent on things which just weren’t worth it. But that’s just part of the learning curve – we’re getting better and better at working out what is the best use of our money and our time.

Do you have any mantras or sayings that you work or live by?

What materials, tools and colours do you prefer to work with?

Angie: We much prefer natural 100% cotton fabrics and water based inks. We tried oil based inks for a time, but we just weren’t happy with having to use all the chemicals – we prefer the more environmentally friendly options. We’ve got some fabulous organic jersey which is made in England that we’ll be using for our handmade t-shirts in 2011 – we wish that we could afford to use it for the entire range!

Do you have any tips you would give to people thinking of getting into fashion and design? Angie: It’s really really hard work – you have to be prepared to swap all your nights out for 15 hour days on less than minimum wage. If you’re still keen to give it a go – do your homework and get as much information as you can about your potential customers and get some business skills. We worked for ten years after gaining our qualifications before setting up our own label – it gave us lots of experience of lots of areas of business. Designing for a small label can be as much about the selling things, as creating them.

Finally, what is your favourite album and or film of the year and why? Angie: The XX has been on the stereo pretty much all year and although not quite a film, we really enjoyed This is England on Channel 4. And that, as they say, is that. Thanks so much to Me&Yu for speaking to me. Check out their gear at www.meandyu.com! It’s awesome.


06: ARTS

February 21st 2011 / Salford Student Direct www.salfordstudents.com

the RE-ViEW The difference in sound on the record is huge, it seems like you’ve gone from rap rock to this whole other grungy, more punk way of doing things. How much have you changed as songwriters since the first record?

Hot or Not Tom Miller

HOT JESSIE J – CRITICS’ CHOICE – According to some idiots she’s the UK’s answer to Lady Gaga. This is of course very silly as she doesn’t wander around looking like she’s been attacked by a pylon. Her album is going to be bigger than the moon on those nights where the moon looks really big. LAURA MARLING – BEST FEMALE SOLO ARTIST – Turns out you don’t have do this very new (and not at all done in the eighties) thing of wearing stupid clothing and playing half baked pop songs to win awards. You can in fact create a beautiful album whilst wearing pants. So there you go. TAKE THAT – BEST BRITISH BAND – People that think Take That don’t deserve this award obviously haven’t seen the documentary on the making of the album. You know Robbie left the band before they did the album and then joined again? I know, right? Mental.

Cage the Elephant meet Tom Miller: From left to right – Jared, Brad, Tom.

“We hated being compared to rap rock” An Interview with Cage the Elephant Tom Miller

Cage the Elephant are a rock band from America, you’d remember them from such songs as “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and “In One Ear” from a few years back. All from the tiny town of Bowling Green in the middle of Kentucky, the band have started on

Your new record sees you going in a much more 90s feel, with comparisons to bands like the Pixies. Was this a conscious decision?

NOT

CHERYL COLE – LOSER AT EVERYTHING – Cheryl Cole is starting to realise just how much she might have to marry Justin Bieber to keep herself in the limelight. JAMES CORDEN – STOP being on our televisions. We liked you when you were in character as someone else. When you are yourself we just want to hit you in the face. JUSTIN BIEBER – INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH – A turd won an award. Well done turd. Maybe he’ll win the much coveted “Turd of the Year Award.” I think it’s being hosted by Kay Burley.

Congratulations on getting number 2 in the Billboard Charts! Do you think this is a time for rock music to have a revival and challenge other genres in the charts? I can definitely see a turning point in music around the corner. With bands like Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, Muse, The Black Keys, Phoenix, and several other bands getting top 5 radio hits, you can definitely see that things are starting to turn around.

ARCADE FIRE – INTERNATIONAL ALBUM/ GROUP – Winning two awards, and therefore making them better than everyone else in the history of the world, although not really. They’re very good though, well done them.

PLAN B – BEST BRITISH MALE SOLO – The only reason they gave him this award is cos otherwise he’d threaten to “smash the place up”. Maybe. I’m paraphrasing at best.

their quest to take over the USA with their new record “Thank You, Happy Birthday”. I met up with Brad at their UK comeback gig a couple of weeks back.

No, we originally started writing a lot of songs for the second album in which we were in kind of a state of fear, wondering what Cage the Elephant is. Then we had another set of songs, which we were all going to use for our supposed side projects. The first set of songs were kind of a drag to us and the second set of songs, which were the side project songs, were the ones we were really passionate about and they felt really natural to us. At that time we were into Mudhoney, Pavement, Butthole Surfers and music from the late 80s, early 90s, and it kind of rubbed off on us. We scrapped the first set of songs and used the second set. Could you see the 90s coming back in the same way we had the 80s revival in the few years? I think the movement that happened in the 90s was something really special and it was the last real movement to happen in music. So, in the aspect of wanting something real to happen in music, I would love to see something happen, but I would want it to be our generations own thing.

We never considered ourselves rap rock. In fact, we hate that comparison. Just because Matt’s lyrics had a certain cadence to them, it doesn’t make them rap. Actually, everything that he had carried a pretty strong melody. We definitely wanted to be more melodic than the last album and we wanted to bring more of the punk side of us out. And the album is totally different than the first one. We have some soft and subtle songs on this album. I think as songwriters, our musical palate as grown. I think we will continue to grow and change and I think our third album will differ from the second. Obviously you were in the UK for a few years, and the British crowds seemed to get on board with your very American sound. Now that you’ve broken America, do you think there’s much chance of us having you back for as long as we did?

Hopefully we write universal music that anybody can get into. The UK definitely has a big part of this band’s heart. We would love to have a crowd in the UK for as long as we can.

What’s the plans for the festivals this summer? Are you planning on doing any UK or European ones? Everything is in the works right now. We definitely plan on setting up a proper tour and playing as many of the festivals as we can. How easy was it to get out of Bowling Green and make a name for yourselves? I don’t think it’s easy for any band to make a name for themselves. Overnight success is only in people’s imagination. We worked very hard, starting out playing to only 2 or 3 people a night. We feel very blessed where we are right now. What other artists out there right now are you being influenced by, or are you fans of? Morning Teleportation Screaming Tea Party Lets Wrestle Manchester Orchestra All kinds of stuff Thank You, Happy Birthday is out on 21 March.

NIN or Johnny Cash? JOHNNY CASH Beer or cider? BEER

Mac or PC? MAC

London crowds or Manchester crowds? BOTH ARE GREAT AT OUR SHOWS!

Facebook or Twitter? FACEBOOK

Black Flag or the Ramones? RAMONES

iPhone or Blackberry? I DON’T HAVE EITHER

Sex, drugs, or rock n roll? ROCK N ROLL

Israel or Palestine? I’M NOT POLITICAL

Is there a God? YES

Lady GaGa’s

Born this Way

Natalie Bowyer

Lady Gaga has once again shot to the top of the charts with her new single ‘Born This Way’. ‘Born This Way’ was released digitally at 2pm on Friday 11 February and, after just two days, reached number three in the UK singles chart. After four days, ‘Born This Way’ had received over ten million hits on YouTube, adding to her one billion YouTube views already received from her adoring fans. Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) announced the date of the release of her single ‘Born

This Way’ at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve 2010.

place during Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour in 2010.

Lady Gaga performed the single in Los Angeles at the 53rd Grammy Awards show earlier this month on 13 February 2011. At the beginning of her performance, Gaga was encased in a large egg-like container which was said to represent an embryo, and keeping up with her crazy sense of style, Gaga wore a nude coloured outfit and had noticeable protrusions coming out of her face and shoulders.

According to Lady Gaga, the album will be full of “headsledging dance beats”

Gaga’s forthcoming album (also entitled ‘Born This Way’) is set to be released worldwide on the 23rd May 2011. It is reported that the writing of this album took

and will include tracks entitled ‘Americano’, ‘Bad Kids’ and ‘Hair’. In an interview with Vogue, Gaga confirmed that her next single after ‘Born This Way’ would be called ‘Judas’. Lady Gaga, aged 24, shot to fame in 2008 following the release of her debut studio album ‘The Fame’, which included the famous tracks ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’. In 2009, Gaga released a deluxe edition of the album labelled ‘The Fame Monster’, which was said to

represent the darker side of fame. ‘The Fame Monster’ included tracks such as ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Alejandro’ and ‘Dance in the Dark’. Gaga grew up in New York and claims that she was inspired by glam rock artists such as Queen and David Bowie. The Queen

song ‘Radio Ga Ga' inspired her stage name ‘Lady Gaga’. Gaga commented: “I adored Freddie Mercury. He was unique – one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music.” Lady Gaga’s new single ‘Born This Way’ is available to download now.


30: UNION

February 21st 2011/ Salford Student Direct www.salfordstudents.com

Students’ Union If you haven’t fed back yet then please go to www.salfordstudents.com/rights and tell us what you think. In other news…I don’t know if you have heard but your SU Elections are about to begin! Yes, unless you have been hibernating over the past week you will know that it’s that time of year again and hasn’t it come around fast!

SABBS COLUMN: Christabel Brown: VICE PRESIDENT FOR ARTS AND HUMANITIES Greetings students! This is my first article of semester two so even though it’s mid February I’m going to say it…I hope you all had a great Christmas and Happy New year. Lots of exciting things have happened since then; we have been hard at work since the beginning of January with all

sorts including preparing the ‘Salford Bill of Student Rights’. You were told all about the Bill of Rights in last week’s issue so I won’t go into too much detail except to say that this is YOUR campaign. Although we have come up with the rights, it is all for YOU to improve your education…so get involved!

It doesn’t seem that long since I stood quivering with nerves at results night in Bar Yours last year…but I got elected so it all worked out in the end. The nominations have now closed so we know the list of candidates running in the elections, how exciting! You may have noticed that I am not running for a second term but don’t fear, dry your tears as I am still here for another four months…you’re not getting rid of me just yet. I won’t ramble on too much about elections, but just remember these dates; voting opens at 4pm on 25th February and closes at 4pm on 3 March. Please, please, please make sure you vote; it has been a crucial year for student politics so it’s more important than ever to exercise your right to VOTE. Well I think that is all the information you need to know for now and seeing as it’s been a year since I donned my ‘Captain Christabel’ costume and campaigned for your votes, I think I’m going to take a moment to reflect on my time as your Vice President Arts and Humanities…cue the twinkly flashback music. The last eight months has been filled with ups and downs, but one thing I can say for definite is

that I have learnt more this year than I ever thought I could. I can genuinely say that before I started this job my knowledge of politics was next to none! I ran in the elections without really knowing what I was putting myself forward for and at times I have felt out of my depth. I did a degree in Performing Arts and ran a drama society so I was quite happy to live in my little bubble of the Adelphi ‘Fame School’. I thought that politics, student or otherwise, didn’t interest me and that I wouldn’t be able to understand it all but I have exceeded my own expectations. Although I still have a lot to learn I’m now a young politician and even though I’m not continuing down this path it has helped me develop myself in a number of ways. I’m much more confident at public speaking, which will help me when I go on to pursue acting as a career. I also have more confidence in myself and my abilities and don’t always need reassurance like I used to. These are just some of the things that I can take away from this year as a sabbatical officer as well as the many friends I have made. I could go on and on about how I have enjoyed this year and all the interesting people I have met but I’m reaching my word limit and Emily will shout at me! So I will just end with this; I would recommend this position to anyone, it’s the best way to get involved with student politics and it helps to bridge the gap between university and the working world… even though I’m going to be avoiding getting a real job by becoming an actress, but that’s just me.

Last week of Give it a Go! Give It A Go is a programme of activities and trips just for Salford students. The new Give it A Go programme runs for two weeks in February. Although we’ve shortened its length, we’ve pulled out the stops to pack the fortnight with the best activities, trips and one day classes yet – and many are completely FREE! With Give it a Go you can try anything from belly dance to cricket, kung fu to yoga. Or how about a day out in the Lake District exploring the countryside? Student life can be hectic, so we’re holding events you can try as a one off. You can do as much or as little as you like, there’s no need to join anything and you don’t need any experience to take part. So Give It A Go and make the most of your free time.

www.salfordstudents.com/giag

Students’ Union Elections The nominations are in, now it is time to choose who you want to run your Union next year. All candidates can be found on www.salfordstudents.com/takec harge Not sure who to vote for? We’re here to help. There is a debate happening with all the potential president and vice president candidates on February 24, 6pm at Lady Hale Building. This is your chance to ask questions and find out more about they can do for you. Email your questions to USSUDebating@gmail.com

before midday on Wednesday 23 February. If you can’t make it, we’ll be holding an Online Candidates Question Time, where the candidates are filmed responding to questions that have been posed by students. This will be available on the website from Friday 25 February.

Important dates to remember: February 24 – Have your Say debate 6pm Lady Hale Building. February 25 – Voting opens.

Email your question to elections-ussu@salford.ac.uk by 9am on 23 February.

March 3 – Voting closes 12pm. Results night at Bar Yours.

All voting will be online again this year and you will be able to vote via Blackboard on the Student Channel.

Remember this is your chance to TAKE CHARGE of your education.

Don’t forget about the Salford Social – every Wednesday from 10pm. The Salford Social night breaks with 42s indie tradition by playing a good mix of most musical styles from chart, 80’s, 90's, dubstep, disco, 60’s , with a bit of indie thrown in for good measure. One thing is for sure, it won’t be like any other night at the club!

Tickets are just £2 in advance at www.42ndstreetnightclub.co.uk or from General Office and Bar Yours in University House, and the Students' Union shops in Horlock Court, the Allerton and Adelphi Buildings

Most drinks only £1


BREAKTIME :31

Salford Student Direct / February 21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Breaktime Strangest Country & Chicken Stroganoff (serves 2) Western Song Titles Adam Hart

Kirsty Booth

As everyone knows, students are genetically predisposed to be fans of Morrissey. We all like nothing better than to stick a Smiths album on and revel in the cynical wit of songs such as Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now and Girlfriend in a Coma. However, Morrissey wasn’t the first to paint such a vulgar picture of love, for before indie there was country. You may not hear Hank Williams or Conway Twitty sing about infidelity, selfloathing and domestic violence on the radio very often, but they did and so did many other legends of Country music. So here they are; the top ten strangest song titles taken from actual Country & Western standards. (All of these are real country songs. I didn’t make any of them up. Google them if you don’t believe me.)

TEN

FIVE

Her Teeth Was Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure

I’m So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here

NINE

FOUR

How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

Still Miss You Baby (But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better)

EIGHT

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for chicken stroganoff. It’s ready in twenty minutes and the quantities can easily be halved or doubled, depending on how many hungry housemates you’re feeding! Put the rice on to cook first, by the time you’ve done the stroganoff the rice will be ready. You will need

150g rice 1 leek 6 white mushrooms 2 chicken breasts diced 2 tablespoons oil 175ml white wine Small bunch fresh parsley finely chopped 285ml single cream 1 lemon Salt and pepper

1) Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Finely slice the leek and wash under running water. Slice the mushrooms. 2) Heat the oil in a large pan and add the mushrooms and leek, cook for a minute or two until softened then add the wine. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. 3) Add the chicken, chopped parsley and cream. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. 4) Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the stroganoff. Drain the rice and pile onto plates, top with the stroganoff and serve with the remaining lemon cut into wedges on the side.

THREE

Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling

SEVEN If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To I'd Be Out Of Jail By Now

SIX

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, and I Sure Do Miss Him

TWO Just Bought A Car From A Guy That Stole My Girl, But The Car Don't Run, So I Figure We Got An Even Deal

ONE

I Fell for Her, She Fell for Him, and He Fell for Me

You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

Erasmus Times Anne Salomaki

Do you know the feeling when your favourite jeans suddenly feel a bit tight? You start to think that maybe the water in the washing machine was too hot, or that maybe that half a kilo of

grapes you ate while studying made you swell up a bit – but just temporarily, of course. Don’t get shafted by yourself, fellow Erasmus. Too many grapes can affect digestion and yes, everyone occasionally fails at doing the laundry, but put two and two together: probably it’s either your belly or bottom that’s fighting against the zipper. Freshers have got their Fifteen, and the same rules of the functions of human body apply to exchange students too – Erasmus Eighteen, maybe?

Some people get into high gear with clubbing and pubbing when they leave home. With only a few hours of classes it’s incredibly easy to get incredibly drunk on a random Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Sunday... A pint in a pub whilst waiting for a bus might turn into a habit, and why not keep up with it: we’re here to live like the locals, and isn’t an after-work pint something really British? The same goes with fish and chips, cupcakes, caramel shortbread, and home-made flapjack. How can you say no, when you can convince yourself that you’re only adapting to the local culture – and cuisine? At the same time the promises you made yourself about going to the gym/jogging/football practice/cycling turn out to be all mouth. The British saying “to make a mountain out of a molehill” suits this problem perfectly. If the area under one’s ribs was more like a molehill in September, by now it might look like a mountain. Alcohol vanishes from blood circulation quite soon, but the calories do add up and refuse to leave our bodies without extra effort. Because I’m an Erasmus columnist, not a health adviser, my job is to say that it’s fine. There’s no use – hah hah – in making a mountain out of a molehill. A semester or even an academic year of not-so-healthy living probably won’t kill anyone. Besides, when we eventually go back to where we came from, we need to get ourselves back in

shape again. Why? Because we can’t take all of our new, bigger clothes with us, thanks to luggage weight limits. Once we’re back, we can’t afford to buy new clothes, because all of our wealth is now in the form of flesh. After welcome home -parties we’ll have enough time for spinach, orange juice and salads without dressing. As long as we can fit the airplane seat, we’re safe.


32: FEATURES

February 21st 2011 / Salford Student Direct www.salfordstudents.com

BAFTA blues Marie Tyne

As a self confessed film geek, I should be slobbering all over the BAFTAs like a rabid dog. However to me these awards mean little. Sitting in front of the TV last year, the celebrities smarmily made their way into the ceremony, and it began. Two hours (it might even be longer, I think I went into a comatose state about halfway through) of backslapping; as rich people praised other rich people in a manner that should make even the biggest luvvies cringe. So this year, I didn’t bother and I felt a whole lot better for it. Before Heat magazine and the internet, we would be forced to rely on this perpetual ritual to get a glimpse of our glossy stars off screen and more importantly find out which films were likely to enter onto a 100 greatest Channel 4 show decades later. Now however, if you want to see a film; you’re

more likely to check out the star rating on IMDB than count how many dongs it has received. Sure awards are nice, but did anyone actually watch The Hurt Locker? Even the cinema chain Odeon sticks a rating system on its own website, meaning people can get a pretty clear picture of what Hollywood has churned out this time when they are booking their tickets. The BAFTAs always feels like one of those closed events; a place where people love to show off how much better they are than us mere (and I use this word in its most sickening context) ‘civilians’. A feeling which is not dissimilar to wondering what is possibly behind the curtain of the VIP area as you stand impatiently at the bar squashed together like sardines. And who votes for these accolades? Other members of BAFTA, our opinions do not compare to those who have their film trophy glowering over their huge London townhouse. Now before this turns into a rant about class and money, I understand why they exist and I am all for rewarding the entertainment industry. It just begs the question, why? How many times have you been up for an award? And even so, what happens if you win? A £30 meal voucher for the fanciest restaurant within one mile of your workplace is probably the most extravagant prize.

I do not disagree with the BAFTAs in principle; I just find it hard to watch as a glorified celebrity fest. Similar to my feelings whenever they cut to the boat on the night of the general election; far too much smarmy show business and not much else. Do I agree with this years results? I do, I think the King’s Speech was an incredible film, but again it falls in the trap of all awards. Most of the films are recent, hardly any mentions of ones from before December. The forgotten successes, if you don’t make loads money then we won’t remember you. The one thing BAFTA does do, is bring attention to films made by our little island and surely with the recent demolition of the UK film council and nearly all dedicated arts funding, then this can only be good. The King’s Speech can be held up as an example of what us Brits can achieve, that is of course until the names of the executive producers flash up on the credits: Bob and Harvey Weinstein, two of Hollywood’s biggest producers and owners of Miramax. A British achievement? Not so much. BAFTAs stop taking up my TV time and find some other way to congratulate each other, preferably behind closed doors where we can’t see.

Give It A Go – Speed Dating Before last week I was a speed dating virgin. Then I discovered that the Students’ Union had put on a speed dating session and thoughtwhy not? Armed with my housemate for moral support and a lot of skepticism I took off into the night to go to the ever-so glamorous Yours Bar.

Gemma Blackman

In the Hollywood films speed dating looks easy. Equal number of men to women, the mood was set with a few candles and conversation flowed easily from person to person. It’s not like that at all in real life. There were three times as many men as women, the café side of Yours Bar had no mood lighting and conversation was sometimes very awkward, because it was a strange situation.

Now, I know what you’re thinking- speed dating is for desperate people. I had always thought the same thing but actually, if you put it into the context of talking to a complete stranger for a few minutes, it’s not that different to going clubbing. Admittedly the music was not as loud and you didn’t have to put an extortionate entry price, but everyone has done it. You bump into someone as you walk past or while you’re waiting for the barman to notice you leaning over and smiling at them and you get talking to a stranger. Well, okay, it was perhaps slightly more awkward because you couldn’t escape and on occasions I did find myself desperately willing the three minutes away, but all-in-all it was a great start to a night out. You get to meet some new people, learn something new, and have a laugh. And if you can’t laugh at the awkwardness of the whole situation then you might have a problem! Now when I’m in an awkward situation I tend to either make really bad jokes or just insult people without meaning to. This was so awkward I managed to do both. I managed to tell one guy that all men are useless and rhymed another with ‘baddie’ then went on to tell him he looked like a Bond villain. I would be pretty amazed if I got an email saying “someone liked you”.

And in all honesty, that wasn’t what I was there for. I was there for a fun night, see what all the hype was about and tick one of the things of my list of things to do before I am 30. It was certainly one of the easier options out of speed-dating, bungee jumping and marrying Jason Orange! Overall we had a good time, the laughter was flowing and three minutes didn’t actually seem as long as it sounded when we first started. Admittedly, I didn’t find the one but it was always unlikely that Take That were going to walk in to Salford Uni and start speed dating! I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone so keep an eye out for the next opportunity, maybe your special someone is reading this and thinking the exact same thing as you…


FEATURES :33

Salford Student Direct / February 21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Features

Banking’s biggest problem: bankers Sam Dawson

I still remember it. Just before Christmas 2000, having worked all Saturday afternoon on the entertainments counter at Woolworths, I accidentally sold a DJ a load of empty CD cases. Negligence on my

part, admittedly, but for the sake of a cock-up, I was sacked. Now, the economy may be shakily finding its feet, and the rest of the country may be struggling with record unemployment levels and indiscriminate slashes in its standard of living, but this hasn’t stopped a process known as ‘bonus buyouts’. If you’re already incensed by how much bankers are paid, pour yourself a stiff one. Bonus buyouts are the financial world’s equivalent of the football transfer market. If a bank wants to ‘sign’ a particular banker from a rival firm, they make an offer of a bonus bigger than the one they received this year to persuade them to jump ship. If their employer wants them to stay, they have to make an even bigger offer. This is why, just as every football season brings another all-time

transfer record, bankers always get richer. Banks defend themselves by saying that this is the only way they can get ‘top talent’ to work for them, but hold on a sec – what if they made a loss? What if they did the banking equivalent of selling empty CD cases to a DJ? No. Bankers, it seems, take their P45s, walk out of Woolworths and into HMV and demand a pay rise. OK, you might wonder, that’s business, it’s murky and it happens all the time, but never forget, these people run the economy. They look after the nation’s finances in the same way medical professionals look after the nation’s health, and frankly, it seems the average banker isn’t up to the responsibility. For a start, this is a sector that thought sub-prime loans and mortgages were a good idea; selling poor people loans they knew they wouldn’t be able to pay back, then selling the debt recovery on to others in the knowledge that the interest payments would provide a revenue stream with no investment outlay necessary. This, apparently, was a better business plan than stumping

up to save MG Rover, LDV or Cadbury’s, as that would have involved investment. Bankers, it seems, prefer to shamelessly exploit the poor than provide revenue that may get those very people better jobs. This is a sector that could ease the employment problems in the country right now by funding regional investment. But it won’t, because it means risking finances in projects that may only see moderate returns in the medium term. It may provide thousands of jobs and inject skills into workless areas, but that’s too long for the average banker to wait. He’ll have moved firms three times since then, and probably thought about retirement too. In his forties. And that provides a window into the psyche of the average banker. A selfinterested instant-gratification junkie with no long-term commitments. Unsurprisingly, cocaine use is rife in the City, exacerbating these dubious ‘qualities’ no end. You could see rows of bankers waving wads of cash at students demonstrating over budget cuts and youth unemployment a few months ago. To a banker, this constitutes ‘humour’. Look at this, this

is what you want. I could give you a chance to earn it but I’m going to keep it to myself. I’m a comedy genius! Chop us out another one, Nigel. Industry experts have suggested that the key to many of these problems is to separate high street and investment banks, so the publicfacing part of the sector can return to the way it was when Captain Mainwaring called you to a meeting if you wanted to extend your overdraft. However, I’m not convinced this

sobriety must be confined to the high street. Investment banks are needed for business and employment to flourish, but this is impossible when the economy at large is being run by people who are more interested in whether their yacht is bigger than their colleague’s than whether they’re realising their responsibility to keep the country solvent. And if that doesn’t come under the remit of ‘the big society’ then I don’t know what does

Welcome to the Virtual Revolution lie desolate on the street, where modems screeched slowly onto the world wide web. Emily Barker

As I sit in my room with an iPod touch on my table, a PC in front of me, a laptop lying carelessly on my floor and a mobile phone in my pocket; it is hard to imagine a previous world. A world full of Amstrads and dot matrix printers, a world where phone boxes don’t

This world existed in my lifetime. I remember hooking my old Compac computer, whose memory capacity was probably the same as the iPod sat in front of me, to the internet. A whole expanding universe to explore, with just the click of a button (all be it quite slowly). Now I am part of what the media like to call the Facebook generation or the iPod generation and before that the MySpace generation; proving just how fickle this generation can be. A generation of tech obsessed teens who can write html, hack into large corporations and generally play havoc in this virtual world. They live in a place that cannot be defined on any map, where speaking is no longer a necessity, where music, films, television, news, opinion and everything is accessible at any time. This is counter culture and we are part of it. As we spend hours clicking through a strangers photo album on Facebook (an act which in previous years would probably would have involved breaking and entering), endlessly clicking the stumble icon or just staring at Twitter waiting for

celebrities to inform us of their mundane daily tasks; we are connecting and interacting on a level that has struck the fear of god into many media outlets. We are no longer controlled by the media, but rather we now have begun to control it. TV anytime you want, no longer slaves to the schedule we can browse freely and watch what we want when we want. Music has become so easy to download that some bands give their albums out for free and ask for a donation rather than lose out to the pirates that swim the internet seas. Communities of people who have never met can talk and share ideas on a daily basis. Teenagers sat in their bedrooms can become internet celebrities and real life celebrities do not have to wait till the next edition of heat to have their secrets revealed.

Alas, the corporations are still lurking in the background, trying everything they can to work out how money can be made from this wonderful place. Some are already successful; World of Warcraft makes millions not only on subscriptions but by selling objects that do not even exist in real life and the online search engine Google is one of the biggest companies in the world. Murdoch is there doing his best to hone in on the profits; buying out Myspace just before everyone moved over to Facebook (probably not one of his better moves). Newspapers are dying, terrified that people will listen to the raving rantings of an unqualified, uneducated and perhaps most worryingly unintelligent individual rather than them. We don’t need dictionaries or

encyclopedias; instead choosing to write our own or even better make our own words. Though you may think you are an innocent bystander, merely looking at videos of cats on Youtube or checking you emails on your iPhone. Just like there were probably hippies who just went to Woodstock to smoke weed, you too

are part of something that is revolutionary. So before you log straight onto Twitter or check to see if you’re Farmville needs sprucing up why not look elsewhere, why not get stumble or look on dig or just type a random word into Google. Why not see what’s out there because right now you have power at your fingertips.

Had an interesting experience? Got an idea for a feature? Want to write a top ten or tell us what you would do if you ran the world? Get in touch with Gemma Blackman on gemma_blackman@hotmail.co.uk

We want to tell YOUR story!


34: SPORT

February 21st 2011 / Salford Student Direct www.salfordstudents.com

Sport

All forgiven? Richard Tree

Don’t alienate the fans Tom Kural

time in the competitions history in the hope of attracting more families. Perhaps he meant the Royal Family.

Last week saw the resumption of the Champions League and already fans are beginning to dream of a place in the final. Tickets for the game are set to be released at the end of this month, with the new Wembley set to host its biggest game yet.

We should try and give these prices some context, though. In 2006 for the Champions League final in Paris, the most expensive ticket cost £128, which is £22 less than the cheapest seat for this year’s game. In 1999, when Manchester United completed the treble in the Nou Camp, tickets were on sale at £12. Whilst inflation has some bearing, a near £300 increase in 12 years is nothing short of outrageous.

Eight years have passed since England last hosted this most prestigious of events and every man and his dog will be clamouring to see the world’s finest football players showcase their talents. However, there is a small catch. Figures released last week revealed the most expensive seats for the Final will cost a staggering £300. The cheapest are a mere snip at £150. Amazingly, that does not include accommodation, food or even a match programme. For one adult and one child it will cost the small matter of £338. Oh and there is a £26 admin fee too for the purchase and delivery of the tickets. It makes of mockery of UEFA President Michel Platini moving the game to a Saturday for the first

Indeed, a five day pass for an

Ashes Test between Australia and England this winter would have cost £100. Platini often talks sense, his ideas are usually well conceived and in the interests of the game. Here however, he and his UEFA cronies have some serious work to do. Football is the people’s sport, a chance for the public to unite, sing and shout until they are hoarse in the throat. Thereby pricing fans out of arguably one of the biggest matches in the football calendar simply defies belief. Tickets for Premier League games are hardly cheap, yet there is a feeling here somebody is playing a very silly

joke. It’s about time football’s hierarchy stopped lining their pocket s and thought about the people who matter.

We have all seen that goal dozens of times already. Wayne Rooney, still not firing on all cylinders, pulls one out of the hat. Yes, he smashed it. His adhesive first touch still evades him, as shown earlier in the play. United’s talisman is not performing to the level which got us all excited about the World Cup last year. Rooney’s desire to quit the club, back in October, still lives long in the memory. It took until January for him to score his first goal of the season from open play. The list goes on. All things considered, will United fans worship him once again? As an England fan, I’m still a long way from being convinced about his desire to succeed wearing the Three Lions. Instead of being red faced with

anger and passion, Rooney was indifferent and petulant in South Africa. His criticism of England fans after the scoreless draw against Algeria summed up his tournament. Out of sorts and careless, seen in his attitude, passing and first touch. The stereotypically fickle nature of the football fan will undoubtedly swing in his favour. When United win the title again, most likely this season, happy families will resume once again. I hope that goal was a turning point. I want to see Rooney back to his best, in an England shirt, running at German defenders, scaring them silly! Tune into the Shock! Radio Sports shows for brilliant banter, top tunes and coverage of the University teams. Log on to www.shockradio.co.uk every Wednesday from 4-6 and Saturday 2-6.

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Sport :35

Salford Student Direct / February 21st 2011 www.salfordstudents.com

Sport

Salford continues undefeated Salford Men’s Rugby Union 1st 42 v Chester Men’s Rugby Union 1st 3

Jack Machin

Salford’s Rugby Union Men’s first team continued their undefeated streak in this season, in an impressive display against an inferior team from Chester University. Salford by their own admission did not play their best for parts of the match, but thanks to a rock solid defence, they were not punished for loosing concentration. The home team started strongly and it was only a matter of seconds before Salford set the tone for the majority of the match by scoring a try. The scorer

was Connor Moreton, who was in fine form throughout the match. Unfortunately Chris Speed, didn’t manage a conversion, leaving the score at 5-0. Early on the in the match Salford demonstrated their strong scrum, which lead to another try being scored early on the match, this time by Tom Sydall, again however the try was left unconverted. For the majority of the first half Chester had barely any possession, and very rarely strayed into Salford’s half of the pitch. Chester could not contain the Salford attack at all, and it wasn’t long before Kieran Connolly had scored Salford’s third try.

However the momentum changed as the first half wore on, Salford began to get complacent and after a clinical start, they began making mistakes and Chester finally came into their stride in terms of attack. Salford’s defence was on form and despite Chester’s best efforts the home side did not concede. As the whistle blew for half time, Salford were happy with their performance in terms of both attack and defence. They could have easily been further ahead in the scoreline and Chester despite having chances never really looked likely to score. In the second half Salford were

straight back to business and threw together a series of tries early on. Chris Speed finally found his form in terms of conversions and any resolve Chester had at the end of the first half had all but disappeared. Captain Tom Walley lead by example by scoring the fourth try, and there were plenty more chances for Salford to score, Kieran Connolly came close to scoring a second, but knocked the ball on as he went over the line. The opening scorer Connor Moreton scored a second and at times looked close to scoring a hat trick.

Ever wanted to appear on the back pages of a newspaper, but don’t know how to start?

In the dying minutes of the match, Chester tried pulling back from pride by scoring a cheeky drop goal, the team looked lifted by these three consolation points, however Salford quickly responded by scoring a final try, this time scored by Chris Speed. It was a convincing victory for Salford, who have not been defeated so far this season and have now not conceded a try in four matches. Post match, Tom Walley admitted that the team had not played their best for 80 minutes, but took comfort in the fact that Salford could play below their normal standard and still deliver a great result.

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SSD:Issue 15  

SSD:Issue 15

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