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5th May 2009 • Issue 12 • FREE Editor: Sam Cunningham editor@qmessenger.co.uk News Editor: Sam Creighton news@qmessenger.co.uk Photography Editors: George Ramsay Hunter Skipworth photography@qmessenger.co.uk

Pick up your FREE copy of QMessenger from any of the QMSU outlets. These include QMotion and Drapersbar, Ground Coffee Shop, The Blomeley Centre, and The Village Shop. You can also grab a copy from the library.

£30,000 Would you be willing to pay this for your degree? Matthew Gordon A report commissioned by Universities UK, an organisation which represents vice-chancellors, suggested that universities could soon ask for a rise in tuition fees. This would mean that students may be forced to graduate with tens of thousands pounds’ worth of debt. Professor Rick Trainor, president of UUK and principal of King’s College, London, has said university income must increase if the sector is to keep its reputation as “world class”. Universities and unions recently attacked such plans, which could leave debts of £33,000 in tuition fees alone, alongside maintenance loans of up to £15,000 over a threeyear period. Particularly at a time when graduates struggle to find work, it is felt by some that increasing fees by such a large amount may deter teenagers from poorer backgrounds to apply to university, and question the benefits of higher education. The University and College Union warned that deterring young people from poorer backgrounds may

inadvertently exclude the brightest pupils from higher education because of financial worries they may have, and also said any increase in fees would be “incredibly unpopular”. Sally Hunt, the general secretary of UCU said: “Increasing fees or the other financial barriers that so many students and parents come up against when considering university is certainly not the way to deliver a world-class university system.” Vice-Chancellors questioned about the report, felt that tuition fees would have to be set at £6500 to “secure the long-term sustainability of undergraduate teaching.” Meanwhile, several Labour MPs raised concerns regarding the increase in the cap of tuition fees in an early day motion in the House of Commons. Paul Farrelly MP said, “I oppose introducing a market system in higher education, like in the US, which many elitists want. We need to increase participation by students from poorer backgrounds, not price them out of going to university at all.” The National Union of Students recently lobbied MPs for a

Inside >>>

> Sex workers on campus, p2 > Tuition fee debate, p3 > Sport Club Captains’ comments, p6-7

Tuition could soon cost over £30,000 for a three year undergraduate course on top of maintenance loans higher education system that is free at the point of use and funded by graduates who contribute through a gradiated tax, depending on the financial benefit they received from their degree (see page 3 for more details). They also accused vice-

chancellors of being complacent and arrogant about “fantasising” about increasing tuition fees and “plunging them into over £32,000 of debt” while the recession deepens. Stephen Williams, universities

spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, who believe fees should be scrapped, said: “It is no surprise that many of the vice-chancellors involved with this research would Continued page3


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Got a news story? news@qmessenger.co.uk

News

Sex workers on campus!

05/05/2009

News in

Brief LSE Library has mice

A mouse (or possibly family of mice) has taken up residence at the LSE library, QMessenger has been told. A group of QM students travelled to LSE to escape Mile End and enjoy the atmosphere of a new location in which to continue their revision. Upon entering the small eating room located at the entrance of the library they sat down on the comfortable sofas available. Soon after sitting down, a small mouse strolled over looking for bread crumbs. After casually eating his lunch, the mouse then sauntered back behind the radiator from which it had come. The LSE students in the room suggested this was “normal” and were not fazed by the event.

final student rep positions filled The Students’ Union has run a byeelection to fill the remaining positions on the Mile End Campus board. Each student gave a speech in the April 23rd Union General Meeting detailing their plans for the next academic year. The following students have been elected in the six Student Representative roles: Tahmeena Bax Thomas Joseph Maltby Frances Legg Alex Mbaya Mohammed Ahmed Natalie Jayne Langford These elected students are there to represent you, the QM student. However their ideas will not succeed without student participation. Look out for their plans next year.

have you got a story, however quirky, you’d like to share? email editor@qmessenger.co.uk and see your tale in print...

Emma Aldridge

Those of you who stayed on campus through the Easter break may have noticed some interesting visitors at the end of March. The first workshop teaching skills to sex workers, was held for a week with some key lessons held at QM. The event named the, ‘open university for sex workers’ (no pun intended) brought workers from across Europe, hosting workshops

and debates such as: sex work and feminism, working as a submissive and self defence; as well as ‘skills’ such as bondage, strip tease and tips for wannabe sex workers. Over 200 sex workers and activists for sex workers rights were present at the event. The organisation running the event was established in response to changes in legislation aiming to sweep sex work under the governmental carpet by making the prostitution laws a lot more confusing. The organisers, (led by Luca Raven, a male prostitute from

Hackney,) aim to advocate for the rights of sex workers across the world. It is essential that people involved in the sex trade are trained and able to deal with violent ‘customers’. Joanna Piddock, a QM student said: ‘The idea that sex workers came together to discuss self-defence and protection issues is good and demonstrates QM’s ability to be a modern university responding to current issues in a proactive way.’ It is inevitable that sex workers, whether escorts, strippers or prostitutes are here to stay. One

can’t help feeling, however, that the event should also have advocated the rights of ex-sex workers, giving people advice to get out of a trade that is often something of a viscious-circle. As long as the demand is present, however, dancers, strippers and prostitutes will try to satisfy the demand. It is therefore necessary to take a leaf out of the QM book and tackle the issue directly. What do you think about this? Send your comments to editor@ qmessenger.co.uk.

G20 Summit comes to London Genevieve Reed

On Thursday 2nd April 2009 Gordon Brown hosted the G20 Summit here in London. 22 countries were represented at the Summit, including the US, with Barack Obama making his first trip abroad as President. With the world’s economy at an all time low, this meeting was incredibly important with more at stake than any other in recent years. The aims were perhaps overly ambitious and as such will the economy suffer in the face of over-compensation? For those that don’t know, G20 is an organisation for finance ministers and central bankers, who in the past met once a year to discuss international cooperation in finance. There are 19 countries who are members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The 20th member of G20 is the European Union and they are represented by whichever country holds the EU presidency at the time. The countries combined represent

around 90% of Global GDP (Gross Domestic Product/Income), 80% of world trade and two thirds of the world’s population. As such the G20 has the power to make a huge difference to the world’s economy but for this to happen there needs to be co-operation. The London Summit diverged from the usual run-of-the mill format; it was not just for finance ministers and it wasn’t entirely just for G20. This time the leaders of all the G20 countries were in attendance along with their financial ministers and central bankers. Furthermore, two other countries were in attendance: Thailand and Ethiopia, representing Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations) and Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa’s Development) respectively. The ‘London Summit’ was a follow up to the meeting in Washington last November. At this Summit they drew up what is known as the ‘Washington Declaration’ which agreed that ‘Against this background of deteriorating economic conditions worldwide, we agreed that a broader policy response is needed, based on closer macroeconomic cooperation, to restore growth, avoid negative spillovers and support emerging market econ-

omies and developing countries.’ The steps that they agreed to take included a bid to ‘continue [their] vigorous efforts and take whatever further actions are necessary to stabilise the financial system.’ To ‘use fiscal measures to stimulate domestic demand to rapid effect, as appropriate, while maintaining a policy framework conducive to fiscal sustainability.’ To also ‘ensure that the IMF [International Monetary Fund], World Bank and other MDBs [Multilateral Development Banks] have sufficient resources to continue playing their role in overcoming the crisis.’ Other points included helping emerging and developing economies gain access to finance to help steer them through the financial crisis. Plus the ‘Washington Declaration’ seeks to encourage the World Bank and other MDBs to support their financial development agenda and new infrastructure. They also drew up a 47-point action plan to try and regain a hold on the international financial system. This all sounds well meaning but many of the policies drawn up were not radically different from other International policies that had been made on a smaller level. They needed something else.

One thing that has historically always been missing from G20 is the presence of the United States whose involvement has always been kept to a minimum. However, during the ‘Washington Declaration’ George Bush was coming to the end of his presidency and as such his power was at an all time low. This meant that all the other leaders had to hope was that Obama would be more co-operative. Thankfully Obama is trying to make amends for the US’s poor performance in previous years and as such made his first foreign appearance as President at the G20 Summit in London. As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and we cannot expect the global economy to miraculouslly recover over-night. Clearly there is fear and anger with regards to how the recession has been dealt with and how the governments will continue to deal with it, the thousands of protesters who filled the streets on the days surrounding G20 are testament to that. However, the way the protestors were dealt with should be a lesson to the government on dealing with financial infrastructure. Jude Flynn, a student in London, described the events of the protest ‘At one point we were standing on a concrete step trying to avoid the violent confrontations taking place beneath us, when the police suddenly began marching towards us waving their batons shouting... That day at the protest was the only time I have ever felt that someone wanted to do me harm, and that someone was the police.’ The Police over compensated against a mostly peaceful protest and that is how harm and damage were caused to the general public. Governments must be careful not to repeat this mistake otherwise untold harm will be done to the global economy. Hopefully though, with the co-operation of all countries and a positive consumer attitude, we can bludgeon our way out of this recession.


News

President’s Column 05/05/2009

Mazdak Alizadeh

Tuition Fee Debate Got a news story? news@qmessenger.co.uk

Debate rages on Continued from front page

This year’s final issue of QMessenger brings with it my last column as QMSU President, a chance to look back not only on my year as President, but also the past 5 years of my life that I have spent at Queen Mary. When I first visited Queen Mary as a bewildered A-Level student on a Maths department open day, stepping out of Mile End station for the first time and trying to get my bearings, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no concept of what a University was, had never pictured a lecture or considered the possibility of living ‘on campus’. When I walked around Queen Mary for the first time Feilden House, home of the Blomeley, was a parking lot and the ‘old’ chemistry building was still just the chemistry building. It’s fair to say a lot has changed. This year alone we have seen the opening of QMotion, the reopening of Drapers, a new Humanities building starting to be built, new multimillion pound renovations of the library and teaching rooms starting in the summer, the new Hive study area opening, a newly renovated advice and counselling space, and the redevelopment of the BLSA common room. As well as the many improvements in the campus itself, the Union has worked hard to offer more to students, with initiatives such as the Synergy showcase and this very newspaper in your hands good examples. Students have also shed their perceived apathy to campaign on various issues, the most talked about being the ‘occupation’ in the Francis Bancroft building to raise awareness about Gaza. In short I think it was been a positive year and, through the people I have met here in particular, I will leave Queen Mary with so many fond memories and experiences. Everyone will have a unique experience here so I can only hope you can all say the same when your time comes to depart for the wider world. Finally I would like to thank all the thousands of students who engage with and contribute to the Students’ Union, and wish everyone the best of luck with your futures. This columned will be occupied by the incoming SU President Nasir Tarmann. Check out QMessenger next year to find out what he’s been getting up to.

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NUS President Wes Streeting puts forward controversial new proposal

like to see tuition fees more than doubled. The conclusions would be very different if students’ views were considered. The Government must look at ways of easing the student debt burden instead of increasing it. It should publish its fee review before the next election, so all political parties can make their views know to the electorate.” David Willetts, shadow skills secretary, welcomed the Universities UK report. He said: “We do need robust information on the options for funding higher education, especially as the recession takes hold of people’s finances. But it is a shame the university sector has been forced to do the work themselves. Ministers are pushing their long-promised review ever further into the long grass. The student finance review should start now and be as comprehensive as possible. We are keen and willing to work with the Government on a bipartisan basis, but we cannot wait forever.” The report was also favoured by other in the sector, including the Russell Group of large researchlead universities. Critics argue that as the report is written from an economic prospective, it does not take into account the political consequence of

such changes. Tim Wilsdon, vice-president of CRA International who produced the report, said he was “particularly uneasy” about a prediction that upfront fees of £7000, charged on a means-tested basis, would not have any effect on student demand. He argued that universities could choose to differentiate themselves by price, creating a real market, and that demand would therefore be influenced by parental income and would affect each institution differently, and not always positively. Les Ebdon, vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire and chairman of the Million+ think tank for new universities, said the study’s failure to take into account part-time students was very unhelpful. “It completely ignores them – how can you put out a report on fees that ignores 42 per cent of students?” he said. Because of the £43 billion deficit this country faces, government will be likely to make cuts in education spending, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Reducing subsidies on student loans, slowing the expansion of higher education places as well as raising tuition fees are all on the agenda, all of which will have a direct impact on prospective students.

NUS propose new ‘graduate tax’ Nick Thomson

The NUS has proposed a new ‘graduate tax’ to replace what they call the “shambolic” top up fee system. This marks a severe departure from their traditional stance of opposing university fees in any form. The new proposal would establish a graded system which would see students paying for their tuition in the form of a graduate tax. This would be separate to loans and bursaries for living costs. The main difference between this and the current system is that the financial burden for students would be a lifetime obligation, with the abolition of the £15,000 salary lower limit for repayment and its 25-year shelf-life. The NUS argues that such a system would be a better alternative than increasing top up fees to

fund a system that is consistently getting more expensive: “The current recession is a stark reminder that excessive levels of debt are unhealthy, both for individuals and the economy. We believe that higher education should be free at the point of use for all students, with graduates making a contribution according to how much they are benefiting financially from their own use of the system.” Nicholas Bar, Professor for Public Economics at the LSE has argued against such a tax. He says firstly, that with a fair share of the top global ranking universities, the UK attracts a significant number of international students who, should they leave the UK once graduating, could and should not be made to pay a British tax. Secondly, with the £15,000 lower limit, students are protected from paying a more significant proportion of their income if they do not financially benefit from their degree. Bar also argues that a loan system, which pays tuition fees straight to the university encourages competition

and university autonomy. Universities attract students, and therefore revenue, from their own merit. “The bottom line is that we have the best of both worlds. Graduates face what looks like a graduate tax, but one that does not go on for ever. And universities face a system that encourages competition and strengthens university autonomy.” As it stands, the funding of higher education is set for debate later this year. However, most MPs are reluctant to stand up and support such policy of raising top fees, as any such measure is viewed as the political equivalent of hara-kiri. As it stands, higher education is in dire need of more funding one way or another. Tuition fees still make universities free at the point of use. An increase in top up fees translates to a tax hike with one major difference, any graduate tax hike is for life, or at least retirement, not just for 25 years. In my opinion, Iʼd like to get it over and done with.

QMSU

The Students’ Union had a tuition fee debate at their recent UGM, held on Thursday 23rd April. Although numbers were slim, students voiced their opinions for over an hour providing different perspectives on the issue. Various proposals were put forward; from abolishing fees altogether, to keeping the cap as it is, or producing a graded system whereby students pay within their means. There was one main point of agreement, however, which is that no one wanted to the see the cap lifted or raised. As a result of the debate, a vote was taken and next year’s SU officers are mandated to support the push to aboloish tuition fees altogether. The SU would like to get your opinion on this. Is this a viable proposal? What would you like to see? How well do you think the NUS is handling this? Email your ideas to editor@qmessenger.co.uk.


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News

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Bursaries not reaching those who need them most

James Ingrey

A predominant theme within QMessenger news pages this year is showing no sign of disappearing in the advent of the publication of the annual report for the Office for Fair Access (Offa.) The head of the higher education admissions watchdog has said that not enough younger students are getting the right financial information about bursaries and about the advantages of higher education early enough in the decision making process. Sir Martin Harris has said to The Independent Education supplement that, “Children and young people from the most deprived groups continue to be highly under-represented in higher education. Much talent continues to be lost and opportunities for upward social mobility stunted.” According to David Lammy, the Higher Education minister, the “government is determined to ensure that finance is not a barrier to going to university” in response to criticism from Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrats’ universities’ spokesman, who said: “Ministers and universities need to make sure that young people know what extra money they can get and how they go about claiming it.” The report reveals that UK universities spent £192m last year on providing finan-

cial aid to students from low income groups and that the money has provided subsidies averaging just over £1,000 a year to youngsters from poorer backgrounds. So it would seem as though this is only constructive criticism to continue to the ultimate goal towards equality in education. His comments suggest that not enough is being done to convince 16to 19-year-olds that the financial assistance needed will be made available and that the right amount of money is being spent but ultimately the process means it does not get to the right people. Sir Martin’s comments come at a time when higher education, particularly university, has never been so widely accessed but his comments and the report itself are surely not set to rest well with student groups from QMUL campaigning for the abolition of tuition fees to remove as many financial barriers to make education free and accessible to all. Queen Mary Students against Tuition Fees says that, “Universities across the countries now function as businesses, with little or no regard for student’s voices. This has to do with the NUS becoming so fundamentally supportive of our money making government.” QMSTF feel that this business element to universities is causing a “bureaucratic greed” to harm an institution run for students who they argue do not want tuition fees.

05/05/2009

Free degrees for jobless Philip Keech People who have been made unemployed by the recession should be allowed to enrol for free on part-time degree courses. Million+, a think tank representing new universities, announced the proposal as the number of people made jobless by the current economic downturn hit two million. Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of Million+ said, ‘If the UK is to avoid a cycle of longterm unemployment the Government will have to look beyond short training courses to improve the re-employment prospects of those with lower qualifications. ‘Allowing the unemployed to enrol for free would have the advantage of providing individuals with improved prospects of future employment and earnings. It would also have the added advantage of building the high value skills for the economy and society of tomorrow on the basis of investment today. This is an offer which any Government would be foolish not to make and would be clearly unwise not to fund.’ While the government has been spending £4.7 billion on developing the workforce, the Million+ policy would require significant up-front investment ontop of this in order to waiver fees for part-time students. The opportunity they argue should be part of the standard offer available through Jobcen-

tre plus. Million+ estimates that the government would need to provide £400 million in investment, but the policy would bring in revenue of approximately £523 million; and those who go on to complete a degree could gain in excess of £95,000 over their working lives. Around 40% of students are studying part time, the vast majority of whom are over 21, but there are no regulations on how much institutions can charge for part-time courses. ‘Enrol for free’ has attracted support from the leading university organisations. University and College Union general secretary, Sally Hunt, commented: ‘We strongly believe in the power of education to change people’s lives and the government needs to put education at the heart of any plans to help us get out of the recession. In tough economic times people need access to qualifications that will really make a difference to their lives and career prospects, and are relevant to their needs.’ A spokesperson for England’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills said: ‘We know that the route to long-term recovery is investing in the development of our workforce, which is why the government is investing in adult skills this year and has put in place a substantial package of additional training.’

University Vice-Chancellors pay rivals Prime Minister’s

Should euthanasia and assisted suicide be legalised?

Edward Martin

Precious Ddembe-Williams

So it has come to this. The credit crunch has been going on so long that we have run out of economists to berate. It seems now journalists, in a blast of originality, have started attacking anyone who has the common indecency to earn more than them. I understand how attacking the wealthy during a financial crisis can seem justified and good but it is becoming increasingly clear that we are running out of people to accuse. This becomes abundantly clear when we consider this week’s scraping of the cad barrel: university vice-chancellors, who apparently now earn as much as the prime minister. Now, hang on chaps, I know we are used to the sight of vice chancellors buying their mistresses sports cars, bathing in champagne and resting their feet on a suitably downtrodden-looking servant but don’t you think we all might be jumping on the scapegoat train? Leaving aside the ludicrous notion that people who have nothing to do with our country’s finance can be attacked over how much they earn, as opposed to say how good they are at their job, I will now attempt to defend their high pay through rational argument to counter the irrational cries for bourgeoisie blood. To begin with, vice chancellors earn their position through academic distinction as researchers and teachers in universities themselves - our current vice chancellor has been a professor of metallurgy since 1978 and rose through merit. This means accep-

tance of a managerial role and relinquishing doing what to most professors is their dream job, it is thus abundantly clear how difficult these roles can be to fill despite how well paid they are. This is due to the fact that most academics relinquish getting a decent job and instead choose to spend their lives producing articles on obscure topics that no-one apart from other academics would read. This creates a cyclical effect which produces employment for that entirely useless portion of our population which doesn’t want to get a job in the real world, obviously through a crippling fear of money and success. Eventually economic necessity, such as a spouse or children, force academics to get a real job and they begrudgingly give up the dream and start filling more managerial roles within universities which become increasingly demanding and less interesting as the position rises. And this is the reason they are paid so well, it is their reward and reason to give up doing what they love to ensure the stability of an environment that allows others to do this. The pay is so high because otherwise no-one would want to do it and that is why their pay should not be attacked or questioned. So, to conclude this rambling quasi-diatribe, the pay of university vice chancellors is high as it is a demanding job which I believe few academics really want. The pay is needed to entice prospective candidates away from their preferred positions. Money is often the most exciting and essential invitation to the role

Should euthanasia and assisted suicide be legalised? This controversial question is being debated by both the public and the medical profession now more than ever. An article in The Telegraph shows that while only one in three doctors supports the practice in certain cases, a 2007 study showed 82% of the general public supports euthanasia. The alarming gap in the opinions shown in these two surveys has resparked the controversy surrounding the issue. As current law stands assisted suicide or euthanasia is considered as murder. However, many long term suffers of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and other progressive and degenerative diseases feel that its is their own right to decide when and how to die in order to ensure their dignity. If a patient still has the mental capacity to decide if he or she wishes desires euthanasia and their family are informed of their actions, surely it can also be seen as an extension of their very own ‘human right’ to end their life should they wish to do so? If a patient feels that their quality of life is decreasing and they feel as if they are continually suffering as a result of their condition, surely it would be inhumane to simply let the patient continue to suffer? However there are, of course, two sides to every story. In the event that no ‘living will’ has been drawn up prior to the decision it becomes a far more ambiguous issue to try and

determine if any action to end the patient’s life should they be taken seriously ill. From an ethical and moral stand point all efforts to preserve human life should be made so one could argue that the very idea of cutting short someone’s life isn’t justified. The debate becomes further complicated when you consider who has the final say to ultimately ends someone’s life should they fall terminally ill and having not made a living will – their partner? Family? Doctors? Or neither. The current law has come as a result of the inability to decide who takes responsibility should this happen. Pro life campaigners may also argue in instances where no living will is present it is impossible to determine what the patient would have wanted, and so the argument for euthanasia loses all credibilty. An option chose by 60 Britons in this dilemma has been to go to countries where assisted suicide is legalised, most notably Switzerland. This has been occurred as recently as 2008 when Daniel James, a former Rugby player headed to Switzerland’s now infamous dignitas clinic. In reality, there will not be a fundamental change in the law anytime soon. However, continued pressure from people who are pro-euthanasia may prove divisive. With an issue as complex as this, the law should be more appreciative of peoples wishes to retain some sense of dignity and comfort and should actively seek at least for the most extreme cases, that a patient has the right to choice.


Sport 05/05/2009

McGuinness’ Moment

Interested in sport? sports@qmessenger.co.uk

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Medics scrape Merger Cup victory

Darren McGuinness

Sports Desk

But for the Cricket Club, the league seasons are now completed for University Sports. However, this doesn’t mean that we will see an end to participation in activities; to the contrary, I will probably be playing more now than I did during term-time. There are no Olympic Games or Football Championships taking place this summer, which only happens every other year, but there are still many events to get excited for. During the exam period we’ll see: the end of the Football and Rugby Union seasons, including the cup finals; the Cricket season gets underway (with the numerous Twenty20 tournaments providing much of the entertainment and none of the class or dignity that the sport deserves); and a number of motor races, though few of us can relate to that directly. Most of the Sports Clubs will have enjoyed their tours before getting down to revising, with most teams travelling down to the southern Europe to participate in competitions against other Universities, although mostly to enjoy the social aspect. And some of the Clubs still have events coming up, so the summer doesn’t spell the end. Many great strides have been made in trying to bring Queen Mary Sports up to the standard at which it should be, and the Rugby Club epitomised this, using all the facilities at their disposal only to be cruelly robbed of promotion in a technicality. Qmotion has truly changed the fortunes of the Clubs that have used it, so great thanks must be paid towards the staff who’ve helped the Sports Clubs achieve their goals, but next year it starts again – the great work put in this season cannot be taken for granted. Queen Mary didn’t retain the Merger Cup this year and instead fell to a 9-7 overall loss to the Medics. Bart’s and the London have put in some great performances this season across all their Sports, so it wasn’t unsurprising for them to pull this feat off. I do want to hear from you if you’re getting up to anything Sports-related over the summer so that you’ll get the appropriate coverage when we return, and this includes fun-runs for charity to interschool tournaments that you have helped officiate or organise, or participate in. Enjoy the summer, heroes and heroines. Because when September comes around again you can bet that I’ll be watching your every move.

Having won the Merger Cup for the previous two years, the pressure was on Queen Mary to once again better the medics and dentists of Bart’s and the London on Wednesday 25th March. However, the challengers, who probably enjoyed a more successful season overall, spoiled the party by pulling off a 9-7 victory.

Email sports@qmessenger.co.uk to let us know what you’ve been getting up to this summer.

The day started badly for Queen Mary, with the Rugby firsts unable to field a team, having pulled themselves to the brink of promotion by playing sometimes three games a week over the month leading up to the Merger Cup. They were understandably bruised, battered and knackered, and their numbers and availability were two of the driving factors towards their withdrawal. And while the seconds gave a good game, they lost their tie 29-17. The Footballers pulled off two victories, with the firsts changing their fortunes by recording a 4-2 victory, the seconds destroying their Bart’s opposition 6-0 and the QM thirds succumbing to a 3-0 beating. The Netballers fared badly, losing all three fixtures to their opposite numbers, though the BL ladies could call upon sizeable support compared to the Leopards. Because of the temperamental weather, the Boat Clubs’ races were called off for a second consecutive year. However, Queen Mary did manage to take all four points on offer from the Squash (5-0 victory), Basketball (75-68 – a very close game) and Badminton (6-2 in the men’s, 5-4 in the mixed). Unfortunately, though,

p: Sam Cunningham

The Summer of Sport

QM 1s and 2s celebrate beating Barts at Chisehurst, but the medics ended the day victorious winning 9-7 this made little impact in the final standings as BL picked up both points on offer in the Tennis with a 6-4 win for the men and a 2-1 win for the women. And to round off the scoring, Queen Mary’s Hockey Club couldn’t turn passion into points as they went down in both fixtures, as Mike Hazlewood reports: ‘Queen Mary’s men’s Hockey team went into the Merger Cup after a somewhat mixed season. The absence of a keeper from the team no doubt created some problems. The Merger Cup was our chance to show how the team had improved over the season, having lost to Bart’s heavily in the first semester. Seemingly, all was not going to plan as, 2-0 down, skipper Jon Hammond had decided he needed a closer look at the ball, resulting

in 7 stitches in his eyelid and many baffled medics. No sooner had he left the pitch had Mike Bond, in his last game for QM, chipped in with a cheeky deflection. But, once again, within seconds Bart’s had found another two goals, leaving it 4-1 at half time. In the second half the Leopards put up a valiant effort, and in spite of tiring legs, only conceded two goals. But, as they say, the game’s not over until the fat umpire blows his whistle, and Fresher Matt Stott set off on an epic run up the wing from the halfway line, showing skills to put Ronaldinho himself to shame, leaving defenders flailing in his wake, before setting me up for a gloriously anticlimatic tap-in. Final score: 6-2, but heads still held high for a great effort, especially with the useless Tom Langley in goal.

The women struggled to hold the relentless Bart’s in the same way they had done so in last year’s vital 0-0 draw, and eventually fell 9-1. However, captain Elaine Penniket kept driving them forward, scoring her fifth goal of the season. For what was essentially a Freshers’ Club at the start of the year given how young and inexperienced at University Sport they all were the two results were to be expected; the medics stick around together for five years!’ While I cannot vouch for the drinking sessions that took place in the Griff-Inn on the night, the Hail Mary/Blitz event in Drapersbar was one not to be missed. It was a packed house with many familiar faces from either University gracing both stage and dance floor.

Mike Bond reflects on five years at QM

Fourths Failure

Darren McGuinness

provement this year. The fencer’s loss made them the joint third best fencing team in the country, the fourths also got promoted after finishing second in their league, and other successes include five members of our Jitsu team winning gold in the Jitsu National Finals and two members of our Kendo team being chosen to train with Great Britain. With the introduction of Strength Conditioning training for the top sports teams (trialled by the BL Boat Club and QM Rugby Club – see May’s issue of Cub for more details) to boost their fitness, QM may well be pushing to challenge elite university sports teams in the future. Hopefully next year they can continue their improvements and turn these cup final failures into success.

It is hard to have played for one of the bigger Sports teams at Queen Mary for the last half decade without being aware of this influential Hockey star. He has the look and charm of someone far beyond his still important role of Hockey Club Chairman, and the effort he has shown to developing his game amongst his teammates, Club-fellows and, essentially, some of his closest friends at University is second to none. I first encountered ‘Bondy’ a week into my Freshers experience, as part of a fantastic bunch of heroes and heroines that got me stuck right into University life at Queen Mary. He retains the fire and passion to win on the pitch whilst being able to switch it off and turn it

down when back in the pub, commanding social activities from his perch. He fondly recalled his favourite Club memories when I asked him: “getting promoted two years running, once when I was the Men’s 1st Team captain.” Even with all the great feats off the pitch, and some of his astounding goals on it, the striker remained fairly modest, putting the team above his own individual exploits. However, after five years he did admit that it was all starting to take its toll. “I’m a little sad [about this season], actually,” he claimed, “it struck me that in a couple of months this great big adventure comes to an end and I have to grow up. However, I’m pleased to be spending this season with a great bunch of people.” Hear hear to that; the Hockey Club has been one of the most active this season, almost always

finding themselves dancing away in Drapers on Wednesday evenings. Bond also commented on sports across the board at QM: “The quality of QM Sport this year has generally been superb, no doubt due to the exceptional facilities in the new gym. The hard work of the Club Captains and Committee Members has paid dividends. All said, we probably have the best-prepared teams I have seen here.” His generosity extends beyond his friends and teammates, and recently he was one of the buyers in the Angels’ slave auction. It will be weird for Queen Mary not to have the legend himself around next year, and it will be with a heavy heart for all those who know him to see him on his way, but all the best things have to come to an end. No doubt he’ll remain in touch and keeping abreast of the Leopards’ achievements in the future.

Continued from back page


6

Sport

Interested in sport? sports@qmessenger.co.uk

Club Captains’ Comments 05/05/2009

Now at the end of the season, and with many of them at the end of their time at Queen Mary, the Club Captains of the University’s Sports teams share some of their favourite moments they’ve experienced at the helm.

Men’s Football Marcos Henry Roitberg It’s been a mixed season for the Football teams, and I would probably say not a successful one in terms of our capabilities. The 1st team did well in BUCS but badly in ULU, and the 2nds vice versa. The 3rds started off slowly but were challenging for promotion come the end of the seaon. The 4ths got promoted into the Division 2 after coming second, and the 5ths came mid-table after promotion last year. In terms of the cups, the 2nds got to the

Rugby

David Bavin At the beginning of the year I called a meeting with the new committee, and we decided that we would push to make the Club a much more successful outfit. I think it’s fair to say that Sport at QM is very relaxed and social, which is great, but we wanted to try and make the Rugby Club feel like a much more professional team. So we put a massive emphasis on training and gym work, and we really did turn the Club around, so much so that we narrowly missed out on promotion on a very harsh technicality.We also pushed for much better stash, and the massive disas-

Boat Club

semi-finals, and the 4ths to the final, but lost to a single goal in injury time after being the better team for 90 minutes. At the AGM, James Aldridge was voted Club Captain for next year and I feel he will do a good job in taking the teams and the Club forward. Although many of the teams have 3rd years leaving, there is a good core of freshers and 2nd years who are more than capable of winning leagues and cups, hopefully with the help of a few new players. ter that followed will haunt me for a good few years; ask any of the boys about playing in tents and they’ll agree with me! However, the commitment to Rugby from all the lads has been outstanding, and hopefully it’ll continue into next season. The social side has been excellent this year as ever, and I think it’s fair to say that we remain QM’s foremost Lash-Club, which I for one am very proud. Overall it’s been a really good year for the 1st and 2nd team, and the groundwork has been laid for next year, which is shaping up to be winning one. My only regret (aside from the stash disaster(!)) is that we didn’t get promoted because of some stupid BUCS ruling. Next year’s Club Captain is Ruari ‘Cocksy’ Cocks.

Peter Stewart scores a cracker from the edge of the box againt Barts 1s in the Merger Cup

Rugby put emphasis on training this season and only narrowly missed out on promotion

John William Gull Forgive me if I don’t talk about rowing. When I joined QM three years ago I wanted to join the Football Club, but after a couple of nights out with the Boat Club I never looked back. Since then rowing has somewhat taken over my life; this has been especially true in my final year as the Club’s president. Two years ago, in my first year, the men’s captain at the time, Steve Bowman, left a message on our Club website. It was still true of our club last year but I no longer believe it to be the case. Here is a small extract from it: “Look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think you’re going to see a guy who will go that inch with you, you will see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you’ll do the same for him. That’s a team, gentlemen.” - Any Given Sunday. “When I look at the guys next to me, the guys that make up this team, I don’t see people willing to go that inch with me. I see arrogance, I see denial, I see an endless line of excuses. I see what once promised to be a strong team as a joke ruined from within. Everyone look at yourselves and question what

you see, as there’s a good chance I’m referring to a lot of people. “We are not a team, we are not willing to die for each other, we’re in the prime time of our lives to perform and acheive something, yet when I look around, I fail to see people who are willing to go that distance with me, although they think they are.” Steve Bowman I would like to thank Steve for this rant, and although it didn’t work at the time (in fact it took two years) it has taken effect now. QMotion has been a major factor in this and our successes, and it makes me proud that the Boat Club are, this year, without doubt, the fittest sports club in the union, and I am sure that this will continue. Although we have had a successful year results-wise, I feel that we will see the true fruits of my legacy as president in two years time, like Steve’s, when today’s Freshers are running the Club (if you can imagine such a thing!) Next year’s president Dominic Bell, who I know shares my vision, and his very able committee I’m sure will do me, the Boat Club and the University proud.

Elliot Mercer goes that ‘extra inch’ for the Boat Club at the Indoor Rowing Championship


Sport

Interested in sport? sports@qmessenger.co.uk

05/05/2009

7

Fencing

Aimee Parsons Next year I retain the presidency, with Vanessa Pietrobon as women’s captain and Joe Jury as men’s captain. I really don’t know what to write as an end of season statement, since we really have achieved so much! The women’s team won their league, were promoted to the Premiership, but unfortunately saw the climax of our 20 match winning streak at the BUCS Championships where we came 3rd in the country. We also had the Club bring home many medals at the BUCS Championships! This year, we really have established Queen Mary as

one of the best University Fencing Clubs in the country, and considering who we are and where we are from, that is definitely a massive achievement! Next year I want the women’s team to work more cohesively as a team and not lose a single match, win the Premiership, and win the team Championships! It would also be great to see the men’s team get promoted back in the the 1st division again! Individually, I would like to see more medals bought back home, including one for me! I dont ask for much, do I?!

Women’s fencers went on a 20-match winning streak to win the Southern Premier League

Cheerleading Sian Dutton

The Cheerleaders had a fantastic year having introduced stunting, raising over £1000 for charity and receiving Club of the Year from the Students’ Union. Sophie Urry has been elected as the new president for next year and will be up for the challenge on taking on the old and introducing something new to the team. I am stepping down to vice-president, but will still be actively involved. Everyone has worked very hard so here are some highlights:

our own way) save the world; TOUR IN LISBON, where we drank the city dry of sangria and were welcomed by pooing pigeons!; Angels hit Drapersbar in fancy dress for the end of term party at Christmas; BCA competition where everyone got a little bit of a taste of ‘Bring It On’, and as louise said “we rocked that shit”! It really has been an awsome year. Bring on 2009-2010

Red Nose Day and Children in Need fundraising fun; our Hail Mary, where we did (in

Cheerleaders walked away with ‘Club of the Year’ and helped raise over £1000 for charity

Badminton Shang-Shang Lau

QM Badminton did very well this year. We managed to attract more girls to join the Club than before and recruited many first year students to be on the teams. The mixed team did extremely well as they won every game this season and will be promoted to the Premier League next season. The men’s second team (mostly the first year students) did well and were 3rd in the league. All the new members that joined this year enjoyed themselves, as they made many good friends and improved their badminton skills.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Suzanne Wong for all the help she has done for QM Badminton Club. I believe she will do a wonderful job next year as the president, as she has helped us run and mange the club. In addition, the treasurer will be Tom Staveley.

Netball

Swimming

It has been an extremely eventful and fun filled year, with a great number of highs for this years Netball Club. Close bonds have been formed between many of the members, creating life-long friends, with the tour to Salou one of the defining moments of this. Banter has been at its high, with a great bunch of fun-loving comical members. All the teams finished in strong mid-table positions, with the 1sts almost winning their league after a long unbeaten run after Christmas in the ULU League. Next year, we hope to see even more join so that the Netball Club can really bloom and take over Drapers on a Wednesday night. We hope to create strong teams with regular coaching and games and with the committee line-up for next year it is looking very promising!

This year has been an excellent one for QMBL Swimming Club, easily the most successful in our four-year history with more swimmers than ever before. Notable highlights have included our women’s captain Rowena Carter overseeing the formation of the Inter-London League, which has since been declared an official league by the ULU sports society, and then coming joint top in the league alongside King’s College. This success was followed up with a frankly epic weekend tour to Brighton to compete in a South East universities gala. Everyone on the committee would like to say thank you to every single one of our members for their amazing efforts this year, and we’re sure that next season will be even better!

Stephanie Shaw

Mike Puddy

Netball 1s came close to winning the league

Swimmer had their most successful season


Sports Editor: Darren McGuinness sports@qmessenger.co.uk Sub Editor: Rebecca Ngakane

5th May 2009 • Issue 12 • FREE

p: Sam Cunningham

SPORT

Bringing you all the latest fixtures and results from the QM sports teams

Football Fourths join list of cup final failures Sam Cunningham QM 4s 0 – 1 SOAS 2s ULU Vase Final Men’s football - 22/03/09 The football fourth team joined the list of Queen Mary sports teams who have fallen at the final hurdle this season and lost in a cup final. It was a defeat that was hard to swallow after the fourths dominated the game, only to lose to an 89th minute scrambled goal. Having already beaten and drawn once with the SOAS 2s this season in the ULU league, and looking to

retain the trophy for a second year running, the team went into the match brimming with confidence. They controlled the opening of the game, keeping possession but not really threatening the SOAS goal. Only on one occasion did they go close, when Ryan O’Donnell – darting in from the left – was picked out with a pin-point cross by right back Andy Kennedy, only to glance his header straight at the SOAS keeper from six yards out. Similarly, the fourths’ back line was barely tested, leading to a half time stalemate that set up a tense second half. QM continued to keep pressing but could not make their dominance count. They had a goal wrongful-

ly ruled out for offside, after Femi Rotimi burst through onto a long ball and smashed a half volley into the right corner. And ten minutes later they rued another missed chance. Their tall Italian forward Alex Mozley, only on the pitch for a few minutes, found himself two yards from goal with the ball coming back off the post, but somehow completely missed the ball. In an agonising end to the game, SOAS poked home a winner after Gaz Roberts fumbled a corner. As practically every player on the pitch pounced on the ball, it somehow made it into the QM net. Stand-in captain Marcos Henry Roitberg summed up the grim

atmosphere after the game: “After dominating for 90 minutes, having a goal ruled out for offside and missing a chance from two yards we were still without a goal; when they scored in extra time we were heart broken.” The fourth team join the men and women’s basketball firsts to lose in a ULU cup final and the women’s fencing team who lost their only game of the season to Oxford 104 – 132 in the BUCS Championship final to finish joint third. Don’t get me wrong; the QM sports teams have made a vast imContinued page 5

INSIDE<<< >> Club Captains talk QMessenger through their season (p6-7) >> Merger Cup result and round-up (p5) >> Hockey Chairman Mike Bond reflects on five years at QM (p5)


QMessenger issue 12