Page 1







eptember 2004 marked the start of a new academic year with no better way than the hugely successful opening of the Student Union’s top nightclub, Academi. Previously known as Main Bar, the newly refurbished Academi boasts a larger dance floor, more comfortable seating and a larger bar which many regular main bar visitors say is much overdue. Academi’s predecessor, Main Bar was in dire need of this makeover, with sticky carpets and a cramped dance floor, with students often voicing how dingy it had become. However, Academi has now become a more enjoyable night out, with its fresh new décor hoping to attract more students this year. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3





2 OCTOBER 2004



Production Assoc. Editor PRODUCTION - Daniel Turner News Sports ASSISTANT EDITOR - Amy Poole Lifestyle Music Movies SPORTS - Keyan Milanian Culture AOB MOVIES - Rob Harris MUSIC- James Ainsworth

Contributers: Tony Howes, Darren Parry, Nicke Johnston, Emma Gascoigne, Cherry Wright, Rigas Makris, Vicky Fryer, Loz Hensel

What is Seren? Seren is the official English-language newspaper of the Students’ Union of the University of Wales, Bangor. It is written and produced entirely by students and is published monthly during term time. Get involved! If you’d like to write for Seren, or get involved in any other way, e-mail the relevant section editor or contact the editor directly at: editor@s


Page 3 News Page 5 Fox Hunting Debate Page 7 The Big Fat Issue Page 8 Samaritans Recruiting Page 10 Trevor Nelson Interview Page 12 Films Page 13 Music Page 15 Clubs and Societies Page 18 Sport A.K.J.


Letter from the Editor. Hi and welcome to another term and another issue of Seren! Firstly, my apologies that this, our first issue of the academic year has only just come out. We in the editorial team are now all final year students and have been busy with our courses. However, there is a new team taking over from us now so once the handover is complete Seren will be out as regular as clockwork. I hope you all enjoyed your summer and came back bronzed and beautiful. I spent my summer working in Blackpool SeaLife Centre which was loads of fun, but it’s fabulous to be back in Bangor again, I’m fairly gutted that it’s my last year but all good things must come to an end I suppose! Thank you to everyone who applied for the different vacancies in the Seren team, we have loads of new people to write feature articles, music and film, but we are still really low on people writing in news, sports and lifestyle. If you are interested in writing for any particular section for Seren, please email me at the given address and I’ll get right back to you. This year we have focused particularly on getting more columnists; a good newspaper always seems to have a selection of good columnists, so if you feel you have something worthwhile to contribute please drop me a line, I would love to print as many students’ opinions as possible. What with our front page being about the fantastic change to the Student Union, I have spent a lot of time this term talking to various students about their opinions of Academi, formerly known as Main Bar. I was really pleased to hear nothing but positive comments about the transformation. Congratulations to everyone involved in making it the success it has become. A particular favourite feature of mine is the Cocktail Bar, if you haven’t been there yet you must have a look! I have also been really impressed with the events and gigs being held in Time and Academi these days; a variety of acts such as Goldie Looking Chain, The Delays, Tim Westwood and Trevor Nelson (who we got a fantastic interview with, see page 11) have been here and all went down a storm with the students, particularly GLC which was completely sold out. Next month sees Cooper Temple Clause coming to Bangor and we’re hoping to have an interview with them too! (Have I mentioned how good looking Adam Isbell is? haha) I guess all there is left for me to do is say that I have absolutely loved being Editor of Seren for the last two years and would advise anyone thinking of getting in to journalism to join the team because I have personally learnt so much more than a course in journalism could possibly teach me. Thanks go to Daniel, the Production Editor who is also leaving Seren to concentrate on his degree. He was there with me when we took over and has seriously helped make Seren the newspaper it now is. Thanks also to Keyan and Rob who were there at that first meeting two years ago, first years like myself and Dan, and have been with us every step of the way. I wish Amy all the best in being Editor this year and hope she gets as much enjoyment out of seeing people read Seren as I have done. Enjoy your year (and this issue), no doubt you’ll see me propping up a bar somewhere around Bangor! Clare Chadwick

Seren Editor

POSITIONS AVAILABLE ON THE SEREN TEAM We are still recruiting for all sections in the Seren team, but we are particularly looking for columnists, news and sport writers. We expect columnists to have their own opinions and be prepared to put them forward to the student population of Bangor. You should be able to argue your opinions but also put forward the argument against, if any. News and Sport requires you to keep good contacts with various people around Bangor who can keep you informed about what is going on. You would also be expected to conduct interviews and find out about activities in the Union, which are varied and plentiful. Being on the Seren team is a fantastic asset to have on your CV, it shows you are involved in your Union and have worked to develop your writing skills and interview technique. Members of the team have previously interviewed Lost Prophets, Shed Seven, Doctor & The Medics, and most recently Trevor Nelson. It is a fun job and you get a lot out of it, work wise and socially. To get involved please contact the Editor for more information at the relevant email address.

POSITIONS WE NEED TO FILL: NEWS EDITOR CULTURE EDITOR - Often receives books and free tickets to local productions to review ASSISTANT SPORT EDITOR ASSISTANT MUSIC EDITOR ADVERTISING EDITOR - Must raise revenue and develop good contacts with local businesses WEB EDITOR - Experience with computers essential



OCTOBER 2004 3

BEFORE: Main Bar

Four in 10 medical students feel sex between doctors and patients can be justified, a study shows. General Medical Council guidelines forbid doctors from developing sexual relationships with their patients. Researchers asked 62 students whether they would accept a dinner invitation from a patient if they were working as a GP on a remote Scottish island. While the majority said no, 40% of students told the University of Glasgow team they would pursue a relationship.

KEITH FLINT INVOLVED IN STUDENT ASSAULT An Imperial College student was assaulted in his Union bar last month by Keith Flint, the former Prodigy vocalist, and two other men. Mr Flint, 35, and his new band Clever Brains Fryin’, played live at the Union as part of Freshers Week. During their performance, the student, who does not wish to be named, was apparently dancing the ‘macarena’ in front of the stage. This may have offended the band members. According to witnesses, Mr Flint and two of his colleagues then jumped down off the stage and began to punch the student, who was left with large cuts and bruises to the head and face. Mr. Flint went on to play in Bangor’s Academi a few days later.

AFTER: Academi

MERGER CREATES BIGGEST UK UNIVERSITY Manchester acquired the first new British university of the 21st century last week, with a new vice-chancellor who has already gone shopping for Nobel prize winners in a bid to boost his institution’s world ranking. The new University of Manchester, with more than 36,000 students, will become Britain’s biggest when the Queen hands over its royal charter to Anna Ford, one its co-chancellors

STUDENTS MAKE SHELTER FOR SENEGAL Women in Senegal are set to benefit from the project ‘A City for Women’ in west Africa is being boosted by the creativity of architecture students in Yorkshire. The group, from Sheffield University, has been backed by Creation Recycling, based in Rotherham, in their efforts.


A cocktail bar next door to the main room in Academi is another new feature, with its extensive menu including classics, specialities and creams. This will prove to be a great room to chill out in and chat to friends with a cocktail in your hand, along with Jocks Bar in the Basement of the Students Union which has also been repainted by volunteers from the Students’ Union over the summer, and also offers a more relaxed atmosphere. Its brand new pool tables, juke box and fruit machines sees a more chilled out and casual place to sit down, play pool or have a drink from its own bar. Some students stated that Academi still has the same fantastic atmosphere as Main Bar, but its new dance floor and décor

makes their nights out much more enjoyable. Others however, feel that Academi is now more up-market with a much improved, enjoyable atmosphere. Cheap entrance fees for NUS card holders and their guests are also a great advantage, along with an earlier opening time of 12pm daily. However, a limited 500 person capacity ensures that a large queue forms by 8pm, so to avoid disappointment it is advisable to get there early. Academi also boasts the Comedy Club, with monthly evenings of pure comedy, guaranteed a great night for anyone up for a laugh, along with monthly open mic nights offering poetry, readings and musicians. In addition to these nights, Academi also hosts ‘Raccubah’, a night of hip-hop and funk, and ‘Break ‘em’ drum and bass

nights. Keith Balfour who regularly DJ’s at Time and shortly Academi, is “looking forward to playing gigs in the new Academi”, further stating that the atmosphere should be fantastic. A new DJ box and sound system will also make the DJs’ nights, as well as the students’, more enjoyable. Academi clearly steers the way for night clubs in Bangor. Its great new look, choice of rooms and relaxed atmosphere paves the way for an incredible turnout this year. This new, trendy place to be offers other clubs in Bangor great competition, with the Students’ Union outdoing themselves on producing such a fantastic venue for student nights out. For more information about upcoming events in Academi and Time, turn to page 17.

4 OCTOBER 2004



armth from the earth will be used as a heat source in a new Environment Centre for Wales, to be built on the University of Wales, Bangor’s Science Site on Deiniol Road, Bangor. A drilling rig will appear on the Deiniol Road science site during next week ( 8 November). The rig will drill test bore holes for geothermal energy to be used in the new building, which is funded jointly by the University of Wales, Bangor and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The Environment Centre, to be built next spring, will use many of the latest developments in environmentally sustainable building, thanks to additional funding from NERC. To test the geothermal energy potential, a bore-hole of up to 125 metres will be drilled, into and out of which water will be piped. Beyond as little as 5 metres below the topsoil, the earth is a constant 11 degrees Celsius, warm enough to warm up liquid piped into the bore hole. This is then used to warm or cool the building and water supplies, as necessary. This type of heating is said to be the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective available, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. “Geothermal energy is widely used on the continent and America and will be used in the new National Assembly building being

The proposed design for the new Environment Centre for Wales to be built in 2005 on Deiniol Road next to the Brambell Laboratories

built in Cardiff Bay,” said Prof Farrar. “There are many benefits to using geothermal energy. As well as reducing our use of non-renewable energy sources and, in turn our carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, when used as a

cooling system, this system is far quieter than conventional air conditioning systems. The geothermal energy is just one of the facets of this building’s design which illustrate and put in practice the latest in environmental

building techniques. Work will not start on the Environment Centre itself until the Spring of 2005.



wo Bangor scientists at the forefront of sea ice work in the UK are about to embark on a daring expedition to lock a ship into drifting pack ice of the Weddell Sea in the frozen seas of Antarctica. David Thomas and Stathis Papadimitriou from the School of Ocean Sciences in Bangor will join the German led expedition in November and spend 50 days surrounded by ice as the ship is carried by ocean currents back into open water. This will be Dr. Thomas’ 4th visit to the frozen Antarctic waters, and since 1997, the Bangor team have been leading the way in UK research into the biology and chemistry of bacteria, microscopic plants and animals that actually live inside ice that forms when seawater freezes. As well as studying ice in the Antarctic, in recent years they have studied similar systems in the Russian Arctic and the Finnish Baltic Sea. Dr. Thomas had a seminal book on sea ice published last year. This year, his Frozen Ocean- The Floating World of Pack Ice was published by the Natural History Museum, London.

OCTOBER 2004 5


CRUEL TO BE KIND? By Cherry Wright


any people believe that fox hunting is cruel on the foxes and that the kindest thing that they can do is to ban the hunting with the dogs. Have these people stopped to think about all the people that they have put out of work and all the dogs that will have to be put down? The dogs which are currently used for hunting would not be able to be settled domestic environments as they are trained from birth to hunt and, if say the next door neighbour had a rabbit or even a small child these dogs would instinctively kill the rabbit or child as this is all they know. Hunting with dogs has been a tradition in the country for thousands of years and now because a few people from the town have


Oxford Brookes University excluded 11 first-year students this week after an investigation found that international students had been promised places at universities in return for cash. Birmingham University has also expelled a number of students after their applications were found to be fraudulent. Ucas, the university applications service, said yesterday it had experienced the highest ever rate of fraudulent applications this year.

decided that it is cruel on the foxes to hunt them it is now going to be banned. Hunting is not just a way of life for the rich and the royalty but a way of life for many people in the country; this is their way of earning money. This ban on hunting also poses a threat to the farmers and their livestock and crops. These cute cuddly foxes who the people in the towns are trying to save are ruining farmer’s livelihoods. They cause infections which not only kill other animals but also the crops, the town folk who moan about people killing foxes should remember the next time that they are sat down in a restaurant eating chicken or beef that they have been killed by man as well, and chickens are killed in a much more painful way than any fox is. The foxes are hunters just as man is, just think of all the chickens and other poultry that the fox hunts down and kills just the same as the dog hunts a fox and kills it. All animals hunt; it is in their instinct, just as it is in the instinct of a man


Home Office plans to raise visa fees and introduce more bureaucratic procedures for vetting foreign students will have a serious impact on UK universities £1bn overseas market, vice-chancellors warned today. They fear that attempts by one government department to increase revenue are undermining the multi-million pound business, promoted by the prime minister, Tony Blair, and other departments, at a time when competitors like Australia are chasing this market aggressively.

who has been brought up with hunting in the countryside. Also the women and men who criticise fox hunting should look at the labels on their beauty products before they buy them to check for animal testing as there are still a vast number of large companies who test their products and drugs on animals, which is cruel to them as they are kept in small cages and injected with large numbers of products which is harmful to them, yet we don’t see a government legislation banning animal testing. This is also more cruel to animals as they can die long slow painful deaths where as in fox hunting, death to the foxes is quick and painless. We also see murderers in prison not actually doing life but at a minimum of 20 years and although some murderers do actually do life the vast majority get out before they die; but these people are put back into the community where they are around people yet they have murdered other people. If someone

tells you that you are a hunt rider the reaction that you get off most people is that you are a murderer as well, but would you really compare killing a fox to the taking of a human life? There has been many a demonstration taken place about fox hunting and the ban that the government has imposed, including the women’s vigil that has taken place and even the rioters who broke into the houses of parliament to try and get the government to listen to them when they say that it is a way of life for them and not just a rich sport. In conclusion, the ban on hunting is cruel all around, but not to the foxes! It will cause loss of jobs, thousands of dogs to be put to sleep and thousands of animals to be killed by foxs. So do you think that foxes are all best kept alive now? Do you agree with Cherry’s opinion? Send your own views to: and have them printed here in the next issue.

SOUTHAMPTON IS TEACHERS 3RD CHEAPEST UNI HUMILIATED BY FLIRTATIOUS With the average student debt escalating to £3,523 per year, it may be of some STUDENTS comfort that Southampton students’ living costs appear to be amongst the lowest in the country. According to the recently published Student Living Index, Southampton ranked third as the most cost-effective city in which to study. Durham emerged as the most expensive and students there could find themselves more than £1,000 worse-off a year than those studying in Glasgow, which the Student Living Index declares is the cheapest place to study.

Predatory students at university who use flirting to intimidate and bully teachers have become such a common problem in classrooms that staff need professional advice throughout their careers on how to tackle the situation, according to a new book. Extra training, including role playing on how to deal with students who genuinely believe they are in love, is also needed to help teachers avoid malicious and false allegations of sexual abuse.

6 OCTOBER 2004



new study has found a strong correlation between dietary intake of silicon and bone mineral density (BMD) in men and younger women, which may have beneficial effects on bone health and osteoporosis. In a further study, beer was found to be a highly bioavailable source of dietary silicon. Beer has a high silicon content because barley is used in the brewing process and silicon is released from the husk of the grain. Silicon is an important nutrient for optimal bone health, and it may be prudent to assess whether this should be a key part of the diet from an early stage, particularly for women, as it is appears more beneficial if received before the menopause. Awareness of dietary silicon is low and, therefore, optimal intakes are not established. Currently, average daily intake is around 30mg per day, although this varies greatly with some ingesting less than 15mg per day. One pint of beer contains 11mg of silicon, of which around 55% (6mg) is absorbed. Even non-alcoholic beer has similar levels of silicon, which is equally well absorbed. Other

good sources of silicon are green beans and unprocessed cereals. Dr Jonathan Powell, visiting professor of Medicine, Kings College London, and primary investigator of the study comments, “These results suggest that in the context of moderate alcohol consumption, the choice of beverage may have a significant impact upon ones silicon intake and potentially, therefore, on bone health.” The Government’s sensible drinking guidelines are 3-4 units per day (or less) for men and 2-3 units per day (or less) for women. Refraining on one day should not mean excess on another.

BEER: THE FACTS Beer is good for you – it’s official! So we’ve done a bit of fact finding to show the students of Bangor how healthy you didn’t know you were! Moderate consumption of beer has loads of added health benefits. These include: - reduced risk of gall stones; a daily glass of beer has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones by 40% - a lower incidence of late onset diabetes - a protective effect on bones which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis - reduced risk of heart attacks as it contains antioxidants that help to thin the blood - protection from bacterium Helicobacter pylori which is known to cause the majority of stomach ulcers So what is in a litre of beer, and why do so many of us think it’s fattening? One litre of beer contains 10% of the daily requirement of protein, 10-20% of the daily requirement of soluble fibre, 20-40% of the daily requirement for several vitamins, very little sugar (1.8 g per 100 ml), low sodium (6 mg per 100 ml) and moderate amounts of alcohol. Beer is made from wholesome ingredients, malted barley, hops, yeast and water. Beer is 93% water, so makes for a thirst quenching long drink, which is relatively low in alcohol. A 250ml glass of beer contains fewer calories than a 250ml glass of milk and a 250ml glass of apple juice. Drunk in moderation beer is good because: It is rich in B Vitamins (niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folate & panthothenic acid) Beer is fat free! Beer has far fewer calories than “alcopops” - a 12 oz bottle of Smirnoff Ice contains 228 calories – a half pint of 4.1% lager contains 95 calories! Beer has less calories than a typical pub snack:

Beer has fewer calories than after-pub snacks:


OCTOBER 2004 7

THE BIG FAT ISSUE By Amy-Louise Poole


oncerns over the ever-expanding waist bands of today’s society are rising as more people than ever are being labelled as obese. Obesity costs the tax payer billions each year and there is no evidence to reveal any signs of a decline. It is the accumulation of fat in the body’s fat cells increasing the risk of heart disease and mortality which is making obesity one of the fastest increasing conditions. Furthermore, it can cause feelings of worthlessness due to discrimination from the rest of the population. Diets consisting of too many fatty foods and not enough exercise appear to be the root of obesity. Young people in particular are the most at risk of eating foods such as McDonalds and chocolate, and not getting any exercise. What once used to be the case of people walking to lessons now consists of playing

computer games, watching television and being driven to around regardless of its distance from home. As a result, one in six teenagers are now classed as obese, with obesity being the cause of 400,000 deaths in the U.S. Without drastic action being taken, it is questionable whether Britain could follow suit. With more fast food establishments arising throughout the U.K. fast food is undoubtedly becoming the easiest option of eating. The Government have recognised that these restaurants are predominantly the cause of most cases of obesity and have encouraged such outlets to offer a healthy food option, and cutbacks on super size meals. The appearance of more mobile fast food vans in Bangor offers students a quick and easy method of getting something to eat after a night out, and does not offer a healthy choice of food. Special offers such as curry and pint nights

in pubs and restaurants also encourage a less healthy lifestyle, and with so many pubs and takeaways available in such a small city, it is questionable whether the health of those in Bangor alone is under strain. Advertisements are also to blame for people eating too many fatty substances. Most adverts are for unhealthy foods such as sugary foods and fast food, so there is no guessing why almost 40% of today’s population are classed as obese. The prime motivation of an advert promoting unhealthy food is profit, not health, and as the root of the majority of obesity cases, it is questionable whether such advertisements should be banned. The Food Standards Agency report findings of a link between advertising and children’s diets and claim that “there should be restrictions on food ads which target children”. With 70% of food advertising on the T.V, it is clear that something drastic needs to be done. There have been attempts to impose an outright ban on junk food advertising, however, despite this, there have been no calls for an outright ban. Even with health services issuing warnings about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, obesity will continue to spread in today’s society and as a result, more individuals will continue to lose their lives. The biggest question is; will the NHS be able to take the strain of Britain’s ever increasing waistlines?


oncerns over equal pay are rising throughout the U.K. as graduates are becoming more aware that employees are far from achieving equality over pay. Female graduates, on average, earn 15% less than their male counterparts at the age of 24, even if they share the same qualifications and have same industry jobs. Many graduates are not aware of such gender pay dissimilarities when applying for graduate positions within any company, and are mostly concerned about working hours and their pay per annum. However, those who are aware of the pay gaps state that an employers’ attitude to equal pay would sway their decision in choosing that particular occupation. Men are more likely to succeed in the top five most successful occupations than women, who, in turn, are more likely to succeed in the five most unsuccessful occupations. Women in particular will earn 18% less than men for full time jobs, a difference of around £6000 per year based on average earnings. It is widely agreed that action needs to be taken in order to raise the awareness of these gender pay gaps, especially for graduates, who will rely on attaining equal pay in order to

repay student debts, which may well rise to £26,000 if the governments bill to introduce top-up fees goes ahead, a burden to women who will more than likely be earning less than men. Much emphasis is put on gaining good qualifications in order to obtain better, more well paid jobs, but if there are still pay gaps among genders in this ‘modern’ world, then it is not surprising that students are deciding not to go to university to obtain a degree as they

believe that the costs of going to university will not outweigh the benefits. With the government being so keen for more young people to go to university and gain a degree, it might be more worth their while if they took responsibility and concentrated more on the pay that these young graduates will receive after obtaining the degrees that the government so want them to achieve, and enforce a more stringent policy to ensure that employers become aware of the fact that

their pay systems are at fault and should be revised. Not all employers are to blame, and do not attempt to underestimate women, therefore, a revised pay system will ensure that female employees will receive the pay they deserve. Many campaigns are attempting to create awareness of these gender pay gaps, along with other issues affecting pay such as ethnical bias, and social class. Their advice to graduates is to put questions forward to possible employers regarding an equal pay review, in order to ensure that they will receive the same pay as others for doing the same job. There are many other tips to ensure you receive equal pay from your employer:· Ask employers about a starting salary and who decides the salary levels. · Do they monitor both male and female employees’ progress, and set out bonuses on an equal basis? · Research recent statistics of those graduates who recently gained employment, comparing genders. Employers want to recruit the best employees, and so therefore need to prove to be valuable. Attempts to narrow this gender pay gap are proving to be successful in making employers more aware of problematic pay systems, and more women are now slowly achieving the salaries they deserve.

8 OCTOBER 2004




ast month the emotional support charity, Samaritans announced the launch of a campaign to encourage young people to volunteer. Volunteer numbers are at their lowest since 1973, and the charity needs to maintain its 24 hour service for people in distress. People in the 18 to 24 year old age group make up a relatively small proportion of only 3.1 per cent of the current volunteers, despite the fact that young people have all the necessary skills and sometimes find it easier to fit Samaritans shifts into their lives. Samaritans aims to encourage up to 1000 young people to volunteer through free postcards which are being distributed in clubs and bars in Ibiza, as well as posters which are being put up across the UK by many of its 203 branches. In addition, two of Samaritans’ best known volunteers Phil Selway of Radiohead and Marco from this year’s Big Brother programme, are lending their support to the campaign. The poster and cards link music and clubbing with being a Samaritans volunteer through the concept of ‘extreme listening’. They explore the idea that many people listen to music, which, particularly in nightclubs, is a powerful vehicle for expressing feelings and emotions. They suggest that becoming a Samaritans volunteer offers the opportunity to try another type of listening which is just as powerful. Director of volunteer resources with Sa-

maritans, Chris James said, “Some people think that you need to be older or have experience to become a Samaritans volunteer, but that’s not the case. With Samaritans, you not only have the opportunity to provide support for people in distress, but also to grow through meeting new people and learning new skills that are useful in all aspects of life. In our 50th year we would like to ensure that we will have enough volunteers to make sure that we can be there for another 50 years.” Phil Selway said, “I was 19 when I became a Samaritans volunteer. The 17 years I spent providing support on the phone, email or face to face were a profound and rewarding experience for me. Listening is something that we all do every day. Samaritans can hone that skill which, in turn, will make a positive difference to somebody else’s life.” For further information on becoming a Samaritans volunteer phone 08705 62 72 82 or visit the website at extreme Across the UK, you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland) for the price of a local call. You can also write to Samaritans at Chris, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA, send an email to jo@samaritans .org or if you are deaf or hard of hearing use the single national minicom number 08457 90 91 92 (1850 60 90 91 in the Republic of Ireland

SHODDY STUDENT HALLS TIDIED UP BY NEW CODE OF PRACTICE NUS support new scheme to improve management standard in university accommodation


tudents living in university accommodation are set to benefit from a new National Code of Standards, which will cover the whole sector. The Code, a collaborative effort pushed forward by NUS, ANUK & Unipol, is a voluntary accreditation scheme that is applicable to all larger student developments provided by both the private sector &University providers. It lays down strict management standards for student halls and has a fully accountable complaints procedure, which involves representatives such as NUS and Unipol, as well as the providers themselves. Through NUS it hopes that students will be treated fairly and that problems which occur are dealt with promptly and effectively. The code includes clear guidelines on marketing prior to letting, repairs and maintenance, complaints procedures and late deliveries of buildings. Whilst take up of the code is voluntary, the scheme has already received support from many of the private sector suppliers who house students including the ‘big four’ of Opal Ltd, PrimeLiving Group Plc, Unite Plc and University Partnerships Programme (UPP, formerly known as Jarvis). The largest University provider, the University of Leeds, has also agreed to join. Together this means that over

Bryn Dinas: soon to be answerable to new code of practice?

70,000 students will be covered by the Code. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), Universities UK and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) are among the other organisations represented on the committee which will oversee the code.

Vice President Welfare Helen Symons said: “For too long, there has been varying levels of treatment of students by accommodation providers, from University to University and even from hall to hall on some campuses. NUS hopes that this code of standard will

tidy up the way that student accommodation is run and that student complaints of shoddy treatment at the hands of the accommodation managers will be a thing of the past.” Chair of the Accreditation Network, Mr Neil Marsden said “Good management practices are vital in large student developments and this Code ensures that benchmark standards are set and will be adhered to.” Martin Blakey, Chief Executive of Unipol Student Homes, a national student housing charity which will be administering the scheme ( said “I am delighted that many large providers of student accommodation, including both the public and private sector, have come together to commit themselves to a set of accountable standards. This can only be good news for students and reflects the professionalism and commitment to higher standards from those who had, and will, join”. The Code is launched as parliament continue to debate the Housing Bill, which at the present time offers insufficient legislative protection to students in multiple occupancy housing, which includes halls. NUS is lobbying for the Code to apply to all student halls of residence in a bid to drive up standards across the sector.

seren Give-aways


OCTOBER 2004 9

To enter any of the competitions on this page send the answer, along with your name, address and telephone number to: by 21st Feb

Shake it Like Shaggy with


t’s time to shake that booty!! Malibu®, the Caribbean white rum with coconut, and reggae star Shaggy have teamed up to bring you lucky students two exclusive and funfilled nights to remember. On 19th November from 8 pm and then again on 22nd November from 8pm the Malibu® Seriously Easy Going® party nights will be coming to your Student Union. The Malibu® party nights, and the one and only Mr Lover Lover guarantee to bring the Seriously Easy Going® spirit of the Caribbean to all partygoers. As the evenings draw in, the Malibu® seriously easy party nights will

provide some light-hearted relief for pleasure seeking partygoers. On arrival everyone** will be given a VIP pass, a free Malibu® & Cranberry and the chance to prove how Seriously Easy Going® they are. Throughout the night budding Shaggy wannabes will be invited by the Seriously Easy Going® staff to put their dance moves to the test and show friends that they can ‘Shake It Like Shaggy’. Those with natural Shaggy style will win prizes from the exclusive Shaggy box.

Malibu® and Cranberry

What’s more the Seriously Easy Going® staff will offer university students a photo opportunity with Shaggy himself using the Shaggy photo-board. So don’t get stressed about things that don’t really matter – take life less seriously and rock up to the Malibu® seriously easy party nights. If this wasn’t enough, we’re dedicated to making the term ahead Seriously Easy Going® and stress free by offering you the chance to win a seriously easy £1000. All you have to do is visit, register online and complete the questionnaire. How easy is that! But if you can’t wait for the seriously easy party nights we’re also giving away three sets of 1 bottle of Malibu® & 1 carton of Cranberry for you to mix in your very own branded jug to share with friends. Simply log on to to find the answer the following question and email it to the editor at the usual address. What item can you download from the website to get you in a seriously easy going mood?



Win Party Games by Adam Ward

00 Fun, Flirtatious and Boozy Games, ideal for your festive Party! Need to break the ice at a dinner party? Want to humiliate a housemate? Or simply get sozzled? Here are 100 raucous and revealing games to help your party go with a bang. Split into six sections for all different kinds of party, including ‘Lets get physical’

and ‘The night before the morning after’, with a list of forfeits at the back of the book, there is something to suit everyone. From confessional games to physical fun and boisterous boozing, this is a must for every party animal. To be in with a chance of winning a copy of this new book, send your name and contact details to


Get Out More With A Free Railcard

hat with reading week coming up and being just 8 weeks from Christmas, we students need to hunt for deals and money-saving schemes to keep enough pennies in our pockets for the more essential things in life such as beer, wine and Pringles; and what with travelling to and from our home towns for various holidays and festivities we often find ourselves burning much more cash than we can really afford. This is where a Young Persons Railcard comes into it. A Young Persons Railcard is an invaluable way to save money. It is available to anyone aged 16-25 at a cost of just £20 for a whole year, and entitles the holder to 1/3 off most rail fares in Britain. So, before debt comes calling, make a smart decision and invest in a Young Persons Railcard – allowing you to save enough cash to enjoy a guilt free night out, and perhaps even encourage you to make that long overdue trip home… on the train of course! To buy a Young Persons Railcard all you need to do is go down to your local staffed railway station, rail appointed Travel Agent or authorised Student Travel Office with: - A passport-sized photo of yourself - A completed application form (you can pick one up when you are there) together with £20

Seren have teamed up with Young Persons Railcard to give 5 free Railcards to our readers. Just email us the answer to this easy question for your chance to get your hands on one: What is the name of the pub opposite Bangor train station?


10 OCTOBER 2004

Trevor Nelson


Tony ‘Our Kid’ Howes talks to the Radio 1 DJ and MTV Presenter

so many years being an underground DJ playing my own stuff, and when I come here today the crowd don’t always want to hear the tunes they already know, which means the music’s been really successful. I’m not stupid, I’m on MTV now but in a few years I know that’ll all be gone, I’m a broadcaster first and foremost, my loyalties will always lie with radio.

- Who have been your musical influences? I grew up in a reggae musical environment, I was into soul & jazz and early British funk and I listened to a lot of Bob Marley and James Brown, they were all a great influence. - How did you get involved in the music industry? I guess when I was 21 I got my first job in music, collecting records from airports which were imported from America and driving them to music shops and selling them. I slowly started getting recognised from that. - What music do you have in your car? Quincy Jones is in my car, but it took me 6 hours to drive here from London so I also took the chance to listen to a lot of unknown material that I get sent. - You write “Nelsons Column” on your Radio 1 webpage, is musical journalism something you would like to really get in to? If I had the chance I would definitely get in to musical journalism, if I didn’t do my DJing all the time I would certainly try and get in to it. - In your column you wrote how Micheal Jackson is the one star you would really want to interview, why is this and what would you ask him? No matter what anyone thinks of him, at some stage in his career he was a huge influence, at just 13 he was such a talented young black guy, the way he danced and performed, he was just born to do it. Like Wayne

Rooney can control a ball, it just comes so naturally to them. But it would be so interesting to talk to someone like Micheal Jackson because, after the Micheal Bashir documentary he just came across as a freak show and I would want to see how much of that was real. I would ask him why he felt the need to transform his looks so dramatically, not just his nose but everything about him. - What is your opinion about the ‘Pop Idol’ culture of today? Do you think it reduces real musical talent to a live karaoke competition? Five years ago I took Lemar round on a tour, a bit like the one I’m on now, but at that time nobody knew who he was, he was gradually learning as he went along. But then Pop Idol suddenly came along and he shot up as a star. That’s great you know, he got his big chance, but what I don’t like is that people who are talented and put up on the stage are often humiliated. Look at HearSay, their lives in a way are ruined. They were shown fame, they could touch it, they could taste it, then all of a

sudden it’s taken away from them. Everyone still knows who they are but for the wrong reasons, you know, it’s being famous but being skint, it’s awful. I’m not really for it. - Whose the most interesting person you’ve met? Damon Dash was really interesting, his business turned over $500million last year, he lives his life so flash, but I realised I wouldn’t want to be him. I didn’t feel jealous or envious, I was intrigued by him though. He is a result of modern America. It’s all “money money money, win win win, show it off, show it off ”. But I don’t think you can truly by happy like it, there’s no love. I actually asked him if he could love anything more than money and he looked at a picture of Aaliyah, his girlfriend at the time and said “maybe Aaliyah.” But that was it. - What was it like growing up in Hackney? I grew up on ‘murder mile’, I used to play there every day. It’s just like anywhere else but with guns and knives. I mean, I used to carry a knife, everyone does there, it’s peer pressure. Half the time it’s protection because there’s idiots out there who wouldn’t think twice about doing something stupid. But I’d rather be brought up that way round and better myself than come from a middle class family and think it’s cool to be ghetto and street like a lot of people do. I don’t get that. Personally, anyone whose from the ghetto wants to get out of it, and anyone who says they want to be ghetto is a hypocrite. The peer pressure there is sick, particularly on black males; to walk a certain way, talk and act a certain way. Some of them are really bright but they don’t wanna act bright, and when they reach 20, 21, it’s too late. - Where do you think you are in your career now? I think the music’s reached a peak, I seem to be more of a celebrity DJ now, I spent

- Tell us about receiving your MBE for being a Millennium Ambassador, what does that involve? You know (laughs) it’s basically more to do with me being black. It’s because I did well and they saw me as a good influence, a clean-cut guy who the kids liked having to their schools. I thought “yeah I’ve done nothing, no charity work or anything like that, I wanted to do something that’s not just for black kids or ethnic kids, it’s about me wanting to do something for those who listen to me, who watches me. So I worked a lot with kids between 15 - 24, helping them with music and other activities like sport, then after doing it for a couple of years I got asked if I would like to receive an MBE. But it won’t be appearing on my name at all, I didn’t do it for those kind of reasons. - What has been your proudest moment? I should say that, my MBE, but I would say probably getting on Radio 1. My life has all been about music and I knew as soon as I got on I knew that R’n’B in this country would take off, it needed a bit more class. - What does winning a MOBO mean to you? It meant a lot to me the first time I won it, the second time I won it was a couple of years later and I had presented the show a few times. Now if I won it it wouldn’t mean so much at all to be honest, I’m not being funny but I think all the criticism it’s getting, it deserves. Anyone who says the MOBOs don’t have any problems are deluded. I know this isn’t going to The Sun so I’m happy to say that to you... - What are your plans for the near future? Any more CD’s? I already released 5 compilation CDs and I’m not doing them anymore. Now its all.. ‘Pure Bling, Pure R’n’B, Pure Vibes, R’n’B Chicks, R’n’B Guys’, you know it’s all just saturated. When I did The Lick Compilation it’s because we did The Lick Show, when we put records out there it’s because it meant something, but then all these marketing companies got involved, and that’s why UK garage got buried, they suddenly did like... 20 compilations at the same time and they all had the same records on them, and it became saturated and burnt out. I don’t do compilations anymore and I’m not planning on doing anymore TV. I’m just planning on DJing, radio, trying to be better at what I’m doing, instead of being really lazy about it, ‘cos I have been really lazy all my career and got away with it. I got a production company we make TV programmes, I got a management company what partners in that. I don’t take part in it too much though... I don’t want to be some 50 year old trying to be hip, I’ll try not to be! - What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a DJ like yourself ? Well it’s a bit difficult because when I started there wasn’t really a job being a DJ, nobody went around at school, saying they wanted to be a DJ or an MC. NOW though, everywhere I go, everyone’s saying it. “I wanna be a DJ, I wanna be a singer, I wanna be a rapper.” My real advice is boring. Do it in your spare time; get an education. I didn’t get a full education but I got part of the way. If you start earning more and more money through it then maybe do it full time, but otherwise don’t give up the day job, just keep doing it in your spare time. Singing or DJing is the worse thing you can do, you’ll hate yourself, you end up getting so anxious, like on Pop Idol, they’re so anxious they want it so bad, they just lose sight of what they’re doing, it’s not the be all and end all. - The crowd seems eager to see you, do you enjoy doing live gigs as much as you used to? I’m up here for one reason right - this is the furthest I’ve driven for a gig - but my buzz is I’ve never been here and I wanna be able to say I’ve DJ’d in most places, I want to say I’ve done Britain, I’ve done the UK. People who see you on the TV or hear you on the radio hardly ever get the chance to see you properly. I don’t believe I’m a celeb but I am a fan of other people and other DJs and I understand it.

films 12 OCTOBER 2004


long come another cast of famous faces to lend their voice to yet, what seems like, an endless supply of CGI animation. This time around it is the turn of Robert De Niro, Will Smith and Renée Zellweger amongst others to hide their faces. The story revolves around Oscar (Smith) a small fish who pretends to have killed a shark and Lenny (Jack Black) who is a vegetarian shark. Both Oscar and Lenny need each others help in order to protect themselves from the big boss shark Don Lino (De Niro), who also happens to be Lenny’s father. Although there will be an obvious comparison’s to Pixar’s Finding Nemo this DreamWorks production is very different in plot, jokes and visualisation. Despite being a children’s movie, Shark Tale takes most of its jokes

from all the great gangster films, and for the most part they do hit the mark. However it is the visual gags and the jokes meant for the children which gain the most laughs. The cast are often truly funny, but never spectacular; it seems the roles were written specifically for their talents and there are no standouts like Eddie Murphy was in Shrek. Will Smith does begin to grate early on but as the film develops he improves markedly. Shark Tale is generally funny and charming; it may be predictable and the jokes are mostly childish and easy, but it is a children’s film and that is what it aims to be, just one adults can also enjoy. Shark Tale may not be up there with Finding Nemo and Shrek but it is a worthy addition to DreamWorks animation studio.




h No!’ I hear you cry, not another British gangster flick, well fear not because Layer Cake isn’t ALL that bad. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, producer of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and starring such talent as Daniel Craig, Michael Gambon and Colm Meaney it had all the potential to be great but sadly it isn’t. Let us firstly start with what the film is all about. Daniel Craig stars as the unnamed lead character a drug maker who, having done very nicely with himself, wants to quit the business. His boss does not like the idea of him quitting and so Craig gets himself unintentionally involved in a web of lies, deceit and double-crossing, otherwise known as the Layer Cake. What is so good about this film is its stylistic direction, Matthew Vaughn really does show his previous work

partner Guy Ritchie how to direct. Also the performances are excellent, Daniel Craig is a revelation as the lead character and the likes of Michael Gambon and Colm Meaney are excellent in support. The soundtrack is also good but sadly they do not completely make up for the film’s failings. Writer J.J. Connelly adapted the script from his own book of the same name and sadly seems to think this film is cleverer than it really is. Of all the many, many plot twists that occur during the film the majority appear to be unnatural, and this is to the detriment of the viewing experience. Despite its flaws it is still well directed, well acted and well scripted, if not well plotted. Worth a glance, and may even renew your faith in the British film industry.



t was inevitable that a film as acclaimed and as big a hit as Shrek was would eventually have a sequel, what wasn’t inevitable was that it would actually be rather good. All the regulars are back for when Fiona introduces new husband Shrek to her parents, but what is unknown to the King and Queen is that their daughter and new husband are both ogres; which is the cue for laughter and mayhem. Out of the original cast it is Eddie Murphy as the Donkey who again excels but this time he has competition in the annoying talking animal stakes from, Zorro like, Puss In Boots voiced to perfection by Antonio Banderas. The two spark off each other wonderfully and are by and far the best characters of the film.

The effects are even better than before with the best visuals most notably seen on new addition, the furry Puss In Boots. The writing is yet again funny and witty and even films that you thought had been spoofed to death, such as Mission Impossible, are given a new and funny angle in scenes which will make your sides split. From the opening scene right until this end the film barely breathes yet sadly when it does take a break it tends to drag far to much. The story is also a little thin in comparison to the first with more emphasis on the spoofs and laughs than any real plot or story. These are only a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent film; children and adults will both love it and so it has to be said - roll on the inevitable Shrek 3.


redictions from Paelo-Climatologist Dennis Quaid that a global Ice-Age could happen within a hundred years fall on the deaf ears of the US Vice-President. Sadly for the Vice-President, and millions of folk world wide, events occur much faster than any one predicted and the world faces a new Ice Age in less time it takes for the US to sign the Kyoto Treaty. With his son, Jake Gyllenhaal, stuck in the frozen wastelands of Manhattan, Dennis Quaid braves the storm &goes to rescue him. Director Roland Emmerich, of Independence Day fame, does what he does best, and destroys the world with great effect and superb realisation. However there is less of the gung-ho attitude and American superiority that In-

dependence Day, to its disadvantage, asserted which is to The Day after Tomorrow’s advantage. Without being overly controversial Emmerich manages to get across the picture that the world is in trouble and something needs to be done now. All that said, The Day after Tomorrow is much more than special effects and moralising about the environment, at its core is a simple, and often predictable story about family love and human survival. The effects are superb with incredible damage done to much loved landmarks such as the Hollywood sign and Statue of Liberty, the direction is great and performances from Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal solid. This is a good film only let down by a simple tale when it could have been much more.


OCTOBER 2004 13


aris “One night in…” Hilton has signed a record deal with Warner Bros. The plastic faced socialite of MTV fame and homemade videos is recording her first album. According to her Label execs, they say it is going to be a “Dance, pop and rock hybrid” So expect some original songs from the puppet on a string soon. The first single ironically enough is called “Screwed”



Out with Mark Trombino and in with Gil Norton of The Pixies fame, to run production duties. Norton has ditched the suffocating Pro-tools compressed computer instrumentation (As favoured by modern day Eeemsters such as Taking Back Sunday and The Used) for a flawless and dynamic sound that has brought out the best in Jimmy. Gentle harmonies are complimented with catchy melodies and rhythms that would make your Nan tap her foot long after the feelings left her. “Kill”, very much reminiscent of the achingly beautiful For me this is Heaven from Clarity is a track of gentle lilting build-up which kicks in with a stonking chorus that you expect to go on an all out guitar attack on the lady who has messed up poor Jim’s head. “Sorry but I can’t just go turn off how I feel. You kill me. You build me up but just to watch me break”, however as with the rest of the album, JEW subtly make excellent use of strong backing vocals from Liz Phair. Phair’s vocal contribution on this

album conjures up images of a Goddess of Harmony sitting up high with the angels of despair firing their arrows of heartbreak. Shame the penultimate track on the album is JEW at their finest; A bittersweet song with anthemic drums and stadium chord progressions. Jimmy Eat World are a seriously underrated band who have been slogging their way around the music industry since time began and if their last effort was a commercial breakthrough with pop-punk anthem The Middle, then Futures is the album to project them into prominence and deserved acclaim. This album is suitable for the indie kid, the grunge teen, rock man of neglected hygiene and post-hardcore kids of shiny studded belt land. While this record certainly isn’t groundbreaking or treading new water, it does what JEW do best. Go forth and buy this most accessible, intelligent, melodic, divine and cathartic of records.



oldie Lookin Chain managed to cause disruption in central London this week, even though the hip hop crew themselves were on their way back to Newport. To celebrate the launch of new single ‘Your Mother’s Got A Penis’ a parade of hundreds of Burberry-clad GLC followers marched through town holding placards featuring GLC slogans like ‘Will breakdance for money’ and ‘Golf Sale’ - accompanied by Burberry dressed roller-girls and a fleet of ‘chavaliers’. Although peaceful, police did look on bemused as the crowds chanted ‘Safe as fuck’ and ‘Your mother’s got a penis’ as they approached the final destination of the march - the Burberry store on Regent Street. GLC recently played in Bangor’s own student club ‘Time’. The night went down a storm with superb performances from both the band and the supporting acts. It was one in the fantastic line-up playing in Bangor this semester, with others including the Cooper Temple Clause and Trevor Nelson, whose interview you can read in this issue.

Paris Hilton


Review: Jimmy Eat World: Futures Reviewed by: James Ainsworth ne of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year has arrived. Call it Emo, Rock/ Pop or Wuss-Metal. Any who disciples of cynicism, Jimmy Eat World follow up their self-titled third album, (Bleed America” for those of you who purchased the disc of joy pre Al-Qaeda Mass-murder assault of New York) with Futures. As with the pioneering genius of debut album “Static Prevails” and the lush follow up “Clarity”, we have the basic ingredients of everything we have come to expect and love from JEW. For the discerning rocker amongst us tracks such as the recent single, Pain and Nothing Wrong are still emotional in sentiment, but in the style of “To hell with you mischievous Girl of the Devil, I care not no more.” Then for those who are still cut up by their latest in a life of heartbreak and being used, there are the beautiful and meaningful songs which help to get you through. Polaris is a definite stand out track for exactly this reason. Lyrically emotive and touching for the empathiser; “When you go, I’ll let you be. But you’re killing everything in me” This song is immense. Jim Adkins has such a way of expressing such strong sentiments which represent the state of life: song writing about issues without any loss of sentiment or cheesy lines of drivel, “I’m done, there’s nothing left to show. Try but I can’t let go” If you’ve been in such a situation then you know the emptiness of unrequited love that once was. The sound of this album is mature, a natural progression from its commercial breakthrough predecessor.



mm Boppers Hanson are back! The boys, complete with broken voices and reduced hair return with a new album. Underneath has been out in the States for a few months now but is set to get its UK release early November. If you just can’t wait that long, it is available on import with a spangly Digital Versatile Disc effort. Hold on! It gets better! They are playing dates in London and Manchester on the 5th and 6th November respectively to coincide with this hotly anticipated release.

David Wrench


angor’s “Superhorny” Electro star David Wrench has secured another lucrative support slot. Having supported the delightful Scissor Sisters earlier this year on their tour, David Wrench will now be appearing on the same stage as British Sea Power on 3rd November at the Manchester Academy. The show will see him perform material from his forthcoming album “The atomic world of tomorrow”

14 OCTOBER 2004



ave you ever listened to Storm FM? Do you know what frequency it broadcasts on? Did you even know Bangor has a student radio station? Storm FM broadcasts to the Ffridd site from the Media Centre on 87.7FM. It has been broadcasting since March 2003 (although a pirate station called Class 107 existed before then). The station has very good quality equipment, allowing sound quality similar to BBC Radio 1. It has a Low Powered FM licence, meaning it broadcasts to a very small area but is on air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a rare privilege for student stations. However, last year, presented shows only made up about 10% of Storm’s output. The rest was made up of automated playlists and a sustaining service called SBN (see below). Since the studio is used for lectures during the day, Storm will never be live 24 hours a day, but increasing presenting hours is a prior-

ity this year. This has been made all the more urgent by the closure of SBN. SBN, the sustaining service, was a nationwide radio station which was always on air. Student radio stations around the country switched to SBN for news, ad breaks and occasional shows (such as the breakfast show). The revenue SBN generated from advertising was passed on to the student radio stations, and made up most of Storm’s income. Unfortunately, SBN went into liquidation over the summer. The occasional shows are not a huge loss, but the news and revenue are. Storm is

very lucky to own all its own equipment: quite a few student radio stations used equipment owned by SBN which is now being reclaimed. While SBN existed, Storm barely needed to search for its own advertisers. Now that SBN’s funding has vanished, finding advertisers will be the best way to generate the money to pay for licenses. A sales and marketing team will approach both large companies and small local businesses. As Bangor’s only local radio station, Storm could potentially be a fantastic advertising medium for local businesses. But advertisers need to know that it is

worthwhile advertising on Storm. This means increasing listenership. Improving the quality of the programming is an obvious way of doing this. Presenters will be better trained this year, with producers on some shows to keep everything running smoothly. More promotions, giveaways and indispensable information for your social calender will make Storm essential listening material. Off-air advertising is also important. Listeners should know what to expect when they turn on the radio: some shows have specialist appeal, others are universal. Storm has not yet decided on a replacement for the SBN news service. Connecting to a national news broadcaster is very expensive, particularly when funds are already low. We are exploring setting up our own news team to research and announce news and weather. This could mean news tailored to suit Bangor students.

Rostra shows Bangor its Bottom!


ostra has long proved its ability with a range of comedies and farces but last year it branched out into new directions. Rostra performed its most ‘serious’ play in living memory, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ last March and a completely self-written play, ‘Chairman of the Bored’, last May. This year Rostra is setting itself a new challenge: its first complete Shakespearian

play. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ attracted huge numbers of people to auditions, including many new faces alongside longstanding members. Rehearsals have now begun and impressive costumes and sets are under construction. We hope that you will join us for a night of magic and mischief, romance and royalty, fun and fairies! ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will be performed in JP Hall on November 4-6.

What is UWB Wargaming & Roleplaying Society? R

oleplaying games range from the linear hack’n’slash of D’n’D, to the free-form Amber. They range from the emotionally intense World of Darkness to the light relief of Paranoia. They can explore what it means to be human and leave you asking deep philosophical questions about yourself, or they can simply be a pleasant way to pass the time with a bunch of mates to make a change from going down the pub. But that doesn’t really answer the question. There are a few things role-playing games have in common, however. “Tabletop” Roleplaying usually involves a group of students sitting around a room talking. There are no playing pieces, no board, and in some cases no dice. There is also no winner - it is usually the case that you are working together and you either succeed or fail as a group. Each person

plays the part of one character in the story. All except for one person, usually known as Games-Master or GM. Characters are based around a concept. What this concept is again depends upon the situation. For instance, in Call of Cuthulhu you play someone who has an interest in the supernatural or someone who gets unwittingly sucked into it. Once you have a concept it is usual to have a set of numbers which detail what the character knows and can do. This is usually referred to as a character sheet. It’s like acting - the better you understand the charac-

ter you are playing the better you will be able to play them and the more fun it will be for everyone. The GM, meanwhile, has to come up with a plot. This plot can be as diverse as any from anywhere in fact or fiction, and is limited only be the constraints of the GM’s imagination and the universe in which the game is set, however it is not uncommon for games in very expansive settings to concentrate on one small area of it, one particular theme such as the battle between good and evil, or one small group of characters.

We also do live roleplay, which is similar but involves actually acting things out ratehr than just describing it, and we do wargaming, which involves model warriors, tactics and military science. These, however, are articles for for another time, but we will be happy to explain thtem to you in person. If you find any of this interesting and would like to find out more then feel free to contact the club and we’ll explain anything you want to know further, show you examples, and you can join in if you want to. We’re a friendly bunch and generally quite happy to chat about such things to anyone. We meet at mid day on Sundays in the Curved Lounge at the Students’ Union - come on down and give it a go, see if you like it, and just generally have a good time! Alternatively, e-mail Loz Hensel, the society’s publicity officer at: with any questions you may have.


Rob’s Guide To


OCTOBER 2004 15

Clubs & Societies

ost journalists report what they see, they go out, look for a story without participating in the actual event. Not this intrepid reporter, he got bored of watching the football matches, rugby games and everyone else having fun, it was time for him to join in and have fun himself. I plan to go around student union clubs and societies, visiting one a week, and reporting back to Seren readers what I see.



f I’m going to carry out this quest I may aswell start at the bottom, way down at the bottom, below sea level infact (well, below swimming pool level anyway!). So Sub-Aqua became the first club I visited. Thus on Sunday 26th September with fresher’s week over I went along to Bangor swimming pool to start off my weekly mission. First up was a safety talk for all of the 40 something students who had paid £5 for a try dive. The safety talk was typical stuff on the use of the equipment and warnings about trying diving if your health was not up to it, as I was ok it was time to change and get in the pool. Every student who turned up got around a 15 minute slot in the pool with around 5 trainers giving individual help to everyone, sadly this meant there was a waiting time and being blessed with larger feet meant I had to wait a little bit longer. Once I had been allocated my oversized flippers I entered the pool and joined

my instructor, John. I placed the kit on my back and tried not to sink before being shown how to inflate the pack on my back. After the instructions had been given it was time to dive and although the view was limited it was still a lot of fun. Going down to the bottom John then started, to my both bemusement and amusement, a game of noughts and crosses. Despite thinking hard about breathing and staying in one place I still managed not to lose and draw. Sub Aqua was great fun, and definitely worth doing again, being clumsy and awkward like I am was a disadvantage to start with but I soon got into it and so will you. If you are interested in Sub Aqua, being of good health and being able to swim is essential. Unfortunately all beginners places (normally costing £130 including training and membership) have been taken, but any qualified divers can still join at a cost of £50.



or my second weekly adventure into Bangor’s social and sporting clubs I decided to stay underwater, visiting Bangor swimming pool once more, but this time to play underwater hockey, otherwise known as Octopush. Upon arriving at the poolside and having no idea what Octopush was, I was given a brief introduction and then all new starters were given a short training session in the small pool before joining in the big game in the shallow end of the larger pool. The basic rules of the game are as follows, there is a puck, known as a squid at the pool floor and each team have to push the squid into the metal barriers of the opposing team using a pusher which resembles a mini hockey stick approximately 30cm in length. You cannot touch the squid with your hands and to push it along you

need to get as close to the pool floor for as long as you can hold your breath. Rather less violent, by intention anyway, than ice hockey or street hockey, people still get hurt with bodies and flippers all over the place. Although I was more of a hindrance to my team, floundering, drowning and getting in the way more often than I actually helped, Octopush is still great fun. The team meet twice a week, Wednesdays for the ‘experts’ and Sundays at Bangor pool between 8-9pm for everyone else and after the Sunday session it is off to O’Shea’s for well deserved free sandwiches. The cost is £10 membership fee plus £2.50 for every session plus a free first try. Although it is more expensive than most clubs, due to pool hire costs, it is more than worth it. I found it exciting, exhilarating and without trying to sound like a propaganda outfit, fun, even when I was drowning.



fter two weeks of underwater activities I thought it best to come back onto dry land, taking part in something a little different and what with being male, Women’s Rugby is decidedly different. Upon arriving at the pitch it took a short while before the embarrassment of being the only male practicing wore off. We started off with some warm ups and a lap of the Rugby pitch, then a short game of touch-rugby before moving onto some specific training. The girls, and I, were split into two groups;

forwards and backs, I went with the smaller group, the backs, and we were trained by the team captain, Orla. The training was a lot of fun; we practiced ball handling, kicks and catches as well as tackling which was when I hit the nose of one of the players, thankfully there was only a slight bleed and it must be noted it was purely accidental! As a whole team we then practiced how to tackle before moving on to practice line outs. Sadly we never got to practice line outs as that was the point when Bangor Women’s Rugby Team turned into an ama-

teur crime squad. Potential robbers were on the roof of Maes Glas and two policemen asked the team to circle the building and let us know when we spotted them, thanks to the Rugby Squad the men were apprehended. Although I am assured that doesn’t happen every week it was still highly amusing and made the night even more different than I had anticipated. The training was hard work and a lot of effort, especially when you are as unfit as I, but it was really enjoyable, and the girls

were great fun to train with. For those of you who think you have to be butch to play Women’s rugby that really is just drivel. The team are nothing like the stereotypical view of women rugby players and it is suitable for anyone who simply doesn’t mind getting a bit dirty. The team meet Mondays and Thursdays at the reception of Maes Glas at 7pm and train until around 9ish, if you wish to join, which is thoroughly recommended, then email their intranet posting board and ask for more details.

16 OCTOBER 2004




ast weeks meeting prompted a heated debate about the very nature and function of the LGB Society at Bangor. The issue of Transgendered people, Transsexuals and Transvestites and whether they have a place within the LGB was talked about at length. There is a small group that exists in Bangor, but are mostly non-students, however there has always been a desire for some provision within the LGB. There is a group that is set up in Bangor, separate from the Union that is designed specifically to deal with Transgendered residents and students in Bangor. Nicke Johnston, the LGB Officer, explained that in order to fully support ‘T’ people, an initial (possibly 3) would have to be added to the name of the society, and a constitutional amendment would need to take place in order to change her job description. Opposition to this was varied but included such points as confusing sexuality issues with gender issues, financing the training that would be inevitable, ethics of including T students or not including T students, and resources. One argument against changing the name of the society and everything that this implies was whether or not the LGB should strive to represent the minority and do an okay job at including everyone or whether it should concentrate its efforts at striving to do a fantastic job in its work for the mainstream ‘gay’ community. It was resolved at the meeting that Nicke would liaise with the existing support networks in Bangor and try and establish the support that Trans students in Bangor would need. Also, Nicke reminded people that if the issue does receive enough support and the majority of the LGB Society want the very name and function of the LGB changed then she will support this and see it through the necessary processes such a change will require. ABOVE RIGHT: some of the LGB crew at their last fruit salad event in academi

Fruit Salad Night Jessamy Davis, the Publicity Officer for the LGB recently spoke to Seren about the success of the popular LGB event: “The turnout for the first ‘Fruit Salad’ night of the year was fantastic! Lots of people were up and dancing, and everyone had a great time. Fruit Salad is a great way to meet a bunch of cool people. It’s an LGB night, run

by the LGB, but everyone is welcome who respects us, and who can have a great night out!” The next one will be held on December 7th in Academi and they have a guest dj called Howl from Belfast. It costs just £2 to get in and there is general mix of music there. Doors open at 8pm.


Boost your career prospects and help the local community SVB is currently looking for student volunteers to help with a number of Bangorbased projects in the next academic year. The projects range from organising children’s clubs, to befriending the elderly and the disabled, to creating environmental and international projects. New training opportunities are also available, ranging from First Aid to deaf and Autism awareness, and even becoming a minibus driver – SVB especially needs more males to take part this year, as this opens up many new activities. If you are interested in registering, or would like further details, please contact Darren Parry, Student Volunteer Organiser at:, telephone (01248) 388005, or go see him in the Students Union building on the third floor.


‘Speak Easy’ was a night held in Academi on the 25th October where hip hop poetry was performed for Bangor students, some of whom were given the chance to have a go themselves. Speak Easy was also demonstrated under the Curved Lounge outside the SU a few days before, but due to the horrendous weather the turn out was lower than expected. However, students will have another chance to see the inspiring and entertaining work from the Speak Easy crew at their next gig in Academi on the 29th of November. Make sure you go along, they put on a talented performance and if it is anything like their last gig here, will be another

OCTOBER 2004 17

successful and fun filled night held by Academi. Martin from Speak Easy spoke to Seren when he was last here saying he “hoped their gigs would inspire students to join in and write their own stuff, to appreciate a different style of music and poetry combined.” Seren will be reviewing their next night here in Bangor so look out for more information about them in the next issue. We will be putting Speak Easy’s new CD in some of the next issue of Seren out in early December. To be in with a chance of picking up a free CD make sure you collect your paper from the SU reception or shop.

18 OCTOBER 2004



Emma Gascgoine reports on the Mens Basketball teams progress so far this year

ANGOR’S Basketball team has started the new season with high hopes of defending their title after wining the BUSA Basketball League. The North Wales Amateur League Champions were also undefeated in BUSA division 3 and went on to reach the BUSA plate final. In the semi-finals of this competition Bangor defeated Aberdeen, the wealthiest team in the competition who play in a £12.5 million arena - something which Bangor certainly can’t compete with, leaving only their hard work and determination to win the game. This commitment and passionate drive was put to the test when Bangor went on play Kingston University in the final. Despite loosing, the team went away proud, as Kingston controversially fielded their top Academy professional team: London United, rather than their regular season University side. Not only were Bangor “cheated” but also were the “real” Kingston team who had earned their place in the final to play but were left on the

bench. Bangor were promoted to division 2A after last year’s performance and Team Captain, Joe McKenna was doubtful the team would have the experience to stay up in the new BUSA league. After two weeks into training, however, Joe said: “I was surprised by how many new players are available to the club and I believe we have a stronger team and could even make it through to the national finals again.” Alan Kealy (scouted by the Irish National Senior Men’s Coaches) will coach the team alongside Joe. Alan played starting pointguard and court captain last year and is currently recovering from a serious ankle injury. Alan commended Kris Williams (who is being scouted to play professionally in Sweden) and Dan Westover (awarded the Most Valuable People last season) for their regular commitment and outstanding effort on and off the court last year. Both Joe and Alan hope for them to lead by example for the clubs future

players. Fresh talent includes Jordon Groves who spent a year out in an American University and also played for a professional team in Britain. Andy Glazewski also deservedly joins the first-team after 2 years of training and working with the club. This year the club has sponsorship from Patrick’s Bar, Holyhead Road. Owner Patrick Barry said: “I watched the lads successful performance last year and wanted my pub to be associated with them.” (You can check out Patrick’s Bar online at The team’s goals for this year include getting promoted into the top BUSA league and achieving national recognition. Also, after winning “The AU Team of the Year 20032004”, the team wants to reclaim this award for a consecutive year. The first game of the season was away at Mold Magic and ended 91 - 26 to Bangor, followed by a tough home win against Wirral Metros, 84 – 66.

Joe was “very pleased” with the victories and said: “The last time we beat Mold Magic the score was 92 – 27 which confirms my ideas that we are just as strong as we were last year.” Joe stressed that he would like to see more people giving support to the team at home games. Information will be posted on the Intranet a couple of days in advance before each game with the time and venue. Training is held on Monday at Maes Glas 8pm-10pm, Tuesday (team only) at Normal Site 6pm till 8pm and Saturday 2pm till 4pm at Maes Glas. Alternatively you can email Joe at or check out the website: for information on the team or how to become involved. If you’re interested in joining they are looking for people who are prepared to give 110% to the team, keeping Bangor firmly fixed on the map for Basketball excellence.



Two of the team members practicing at a recent training session

he Rugby League is Bangors newest club, from its creation last January has already played two competitive matches against Wrexham and Liverpool. It’s first championship game was played only a few weeks ago, Bangor went down bravely 52 points to 10. The team played excellently in attack but were starved of possession due to lack of defensive experience. We hope to build on this. This year, the team are in the Cheshire League, playing teams from

the Rugby League heartlands, Manchester Uni, Man. Met, MMU Cheshire and also local rivals Chester and Wrexham. The club has around 20 members and is the first Rugby league club in the UWB for at least a decade, the last team being part of the Normal site college, over 5 years ago. Any support is greatly appreciated at our home games, as we look to make Bangor’s first Rugby league season, a successful one.

OCTOBER 2004 19



Hi and welcome to a new year of sport here in Bangor. For many of you now, you will have settled into a nice routine of sleeping, drinking and going to lectures and not necessarily in that order either!! For those of you that often find yourselves twiddling your thumbs on a Wednesday afternoon, then I’ve got an offer to get you out and about, and really experience the true meaning of weather in Bangor! For those of you who are not part of a sports team but would still like to be actively involved, this is an opportunity to go out there and show your support for your fellow students and show other universities just how proud you are to be a Bangor student. Week in week out we have teams that play in the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) leagues. These players go out come wind, hail, sleet or shine. And what they need now is support from you. All you need is a warm jacket and a good voice to cheer everyone on. It’s amazing the boost that a team gets when they have supporters cheering for them from the sidelines. So if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs next Wednesday, don’t. Go out, get some fresh air and give some of the teams a bit of support. The matches for the next 2 weeks are listed below. If anyone would like any further information then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on (01248) 388003 or email me at: Sarge AU President

Wednesday 3rd November Men’s Badminton vs Edge Hill Netball 1st vs NEWI Netball 2nd vs Edge Hill Womens Rugby vs Lancaster Men’s Hockey 1st vs Edge Hill Women’s Hockey 2nd vs Manchester Fencing vs Lancaster Rugby League vs MMU Cheshire Men’s Football 2nd vs Chester Men’s Foot ball 3rd vs Liverpool Men’s Football4th vs Chester (Warrington)

Maes Glas Maes Glas Maes Glas Ffridd Site Pitch Astro Pitch Astro Pitch Normal Site Gym 1 Nantporth Treborth Treborth Treborth

14:00 14:00 15:15 14:00 14:00 15:30 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00

Wednesday 10th November Men’s Basketball vs Salford Women’s Basketball vs MMU Cheshire Men’s Volleyball vs Central Lancashire Men’s Squash vs Liverpool Women’s Hockey 1st vs Chester Men’s Rugby Women’s Rugby vs Leeds Women’s Football vs Lancaster

Maes Glas Maes Glas Maes Glas Maes Glas Astro Pitch Ffridd Site Pitch Nantporth Treborth

14:00 15:30 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00

For all up-to-date match fixtures and resutls vist the AU website at

There’ s a new club in town! By Rigas Makris


he Handball Club! Team handball is like indoor football, but you’re using your hands instead. Passing and dribbling is like basketball. Team handball is a dynamic sport that is fun to play and exciting to watch. This Olym-

pic Sport uses natural athletic skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching to provide the action for the game. Players and spectators alike enjoy the fast, continuous play, the body contact, and the goalie action. First-time spectators describe team handball as football with your hands, but they also notice elements that remind them of basket-

A handball match being played this summer at the Olympic games in Athens.

ball, water polo, and ice hockey. We are only 5 members so far, but we are growing each and every day! Our games, if the teams (men and women) have the number we need (at least 710 each) will start right after January’s exams. Our training sessions are, for now, at Normal Site Sports Hall Saturdays 10.00-13.00 and Sundays 12.00-14.00.

We will soon have one more during the week in Maes Glas. You can easily join by turning up and paying the £10 fee. Everyone is welcome, no prior experience is necessary!!! Just bring your smile (and a couple of friends!) For further details you can contact me (Rigas Makris - Come to see, play and share the fun.

Seren - 178 - 2004-2005 - October 2004  
Seren - 178 - 2004-2005 - October 2004  

This is the October 2004 issue of Seren, Bangor Univeristy's English Language Newspaper. Produced by students for students.