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Freshers’ Issue 2006

FRESHERS COULD STILL

PAY TOP-UP FEES

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reshers starting their university career at the University of Wales, Bangor this September could face paying topup fees from September 2007. A decision has not yet been reached, but the Welsh Assembly Government has passed it over to individual universities, who will be able to charge their students up to £3000 a year. This may well come as a surprise to new students, since Bangor has seen an increase of 6% in students applying this year, as Wales are not introducing top up fees for this academic year. Despite the increase in students at Bangor this year, it appears that very few freshers,

It is estimated that the average student debt for those starting their degrees this year will be £15,000 if any, will find themselves unhoused at the beginning of term. Usually, there are about twenty new students who are given temporary accommodation until a space opens up in halls of residence. This year, less students have applied to halls, meaning this measure shouldn’t be necessary. It is estimated that the average student debt for those starting their degrees this year will be £15,000 – a daunting prospect. This is expected to rise to £33,000 by 2010. Have those in power forgotten that they did not have to pay fees for their university educations and that it is not just the individual who benefits from higher education. Society needs qualified professionals and the prospect of starting your working life in such debt may well put many people off going to university, as the price of a degree continues to rise.

GLYN

COMES TO BANGOR

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ig Brother’s Glyn Wise has a place to study at Bangor next year. He prefaces this with an appearance at Amser/Time nightclub. Page 3

Emma Dodd Send us your Comments on this issue:

editor@seren.bangor.ac.uk

In This Issue…..

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Glyn In Bangor

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The Rant

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Useful Information for Freshers

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News

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Agony Aunts

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Sport

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From Bangor To Bangor

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Film

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Soundtrack To The Summer

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Doc Spot

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Student Volunteering Bangor

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Puzzles

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Adventures From Across The Pond

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Music

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Map of Serendipity

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Travel

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The Great Orme

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One Minute Welsh

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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

CONTRIBUTORS

Dear Reader,

Editor: Emma Dodd

Welcome to the first edition of SEREN this academic year. Over the summer the editorship has been passed over to me and I would like to welcome all new students starting at Bangor for the first time, as well as the old students returning. This year, SEREN would like to be an even more integral part of student life here at Bangor. Because of this we intend to distribute as widely as possible (if you are reading this you may well have been targeted by one of our crack team of distributors, dressed in yellow) and to get as much input from the students as well…that means you!

Mair and Bev Kevin Smith Caroline Alvarez Jennifer Stanley Dr Rashesh Mehta Sophie de l’Orme Chris Thomson Kirsten Buglass Catherine Humes Siobhan Catherine Holt Cat Prince Claire Mann Lynsey Reynolds Louisa Rae Lucy Digney Amy Garrett Spencer George Jack Peat Andy Redfearn Lexi Hindley Michael O’Rourke John Jackson Sophie Laine Sophie Williams

If you have anything you would like to be included in the paper, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your ideas, articles or comments. Should you not see one of our crack team, you can always pick up your free copy in the Students’ Union or the library. I wish you all a happy year. Emma editor@seren.bangor.ac.uk

Proof reader: Carolan Goggin Production Consultant: Dan Turner

APOLOGIES

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eren’s new editorial team would like to apologise to anyone who may have been offended by the article ‘The Following People are G*A*Y’ in the last issue of the previous academic year. The former editorial team did not intend to offend anyone and we hope that it was taken in the manner in which it was intended.

SADNESS

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EREN would like to express its deepest sadness at the news that three students linked to the University have died over the summer. Portuguese national and PhD student Vanessa Sequeira was murdered in Brazil whilst carrying out research in the country. School of Ocean Sciences graduate, George Price died when he fell from a cliff in Gower. It is believed he was out running at the time. And Gavin Winsborrow, who finished a PhD here 18 months ago, died in a canoeing accident. Our sympathies go out to their friends and families.

IS YOUR CV LACKING SOMETHING?

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SEREN will be holding democratic elections on Thursday 5th October in the Committee Room (ground floor of the Union) at 5.00pm Candidates will be asked to make a short speech and the opportunity will be given for people to ask them questions. Come along and stand for a position, or just vote. SEREN – your newspaper, your choice! For further information contact the Editor at editor@seren.bango r.ac.uk

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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

A FUTURE FOR TREBORTH

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reborth Botanic Garden is the only University Botanic Garden used for teaching remaining in Wales, and has recently come under threat by cost cutting plans from the University. Original plans were to turn off the heating for the glasshouses from September 1st and the two members of staff at the Garden were offered redeployment or early severance. A core collection of plants that are used for teaching were to be moved temporarily to the Pen Y Fridd research station and then finally to Henfaes; a far less convenient location. This plan has obvious flaws; moving an 18 foot palm tree is just not possible! The protests and letters in support for the Garden have shown the University officials that the students feel this is a vital teaching resource and an asset to the University. Many courses, not only Plant Biology, use Treborth for research and practical classes as it provides a variety of plants from different ecosystems of the world. This is one of the fundamental features of Treborth, allowing students to study plants from across the world all under one roof. The Curator, Nigel Brown has already been trying to compromise with the University by turning off the heating for one of the glasshouses in order to cut the heating costs. Further actions to cut costs such as installing insulation into the buildings will also be taken. Nigel Brown will be the only remaining member of staff at the Garden from September 22nd as the Horticultural Technician’s post will have finished,

although Estates staff will be periodically involved with outside maintenance. During term time, Nigel spends 80% of his time teaching, meaning the Garden will not have a full time member of staff, posing obvious problems to watering and general maintenance of the plant collections. Because Treborth will require additional help, the students have established the ‘Students for Treborth Action Group’ (STAG). Those involved will have an opportunity to volunteer at the Garden once a week and to help keep up the records for the moths, plant collection, weather and other fauna. The moth records have been kept for over thirty years, providing a huge amount of data that can be used for student projects, particularly those related to climate change. Only a few weeks ago a very rare moth species, The Great Brocade from Scandinavia was caught by one of the many third year students conducting their project research at Treborth. Treborth has already started to generate some funding for the heating of the glasshouses: Botanical Beats, a music event held in the Garden, has helped to raise awareness of Treborth and some income. If anyone wants to get involved with the new exciting projects at Treborth then get in contact with the STAG Group or the Curator, Nigel Brown.

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The cactus house at Treborth

Sophie Williams

EX BANGOR STUDENT AVOIDS JAIL

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harles Greaves, a 19 year old student who was attending University of Wales, Bangor, received a suspended sentence at Caernarfon Crown Court on 7th September. Greaves, who was living in Emrys Evans had set up a camera in the showers in order to film female students as they were washing. He admitted six charges of voyeurism after images were found on his computer of three women he had filmed using a camera inside a shampoo bottle he

had adapted especially. Greaves has avoided jail, but been given nine months’ youth custody, suspended for two years and will be on the sex offenders register for ten years. Greaves, originally from Shropshire, is no longer at University of Wales, Bangor and is said to be working as a chef.

Caroline Alvarez

95p BEER IN UNION

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hanges in the Union over the summer have included the closure of the STA travel shop, with the space being taken up by The Muse Bookshop. The Muse are set to open a second branch of their bookshop on the ground floor, focussing mainly on academic books for the science departments. The shop will be open 10am-4pm initially and will offer a choice of either student discount or vouchers to spend on drinks in the Belle Vue. With one free drink for every £15 spent in the shop, it adds a little silver lining to buying those

Strongbow at 95p a pint (the cheapest in Bangor), Academi will be open from midday Wednesday to Saturday. These cheap prices are reflected right across the menu, so you don’t have an excuse to go anywhere else with drinks half price from 12 ‘til 3.

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am Burnett, University of Wales, Bangor Students’ Union’s very own President managed to upset Crew 82, the beat boxing group who appeared at the Summer Ball. Sam, who was a little inebriated on the night in question, was sending live blogs from his mobile phone to his website. “Some tripe on stage doing

A WISE MOVE FOR BIG BROTHER’S GLYN

Louisa Rae

text books. Other services, including the shop and laundrette, remain open, but the most exciting change for students all over Bangor is Academi’s decision to open during the daytime. With a special cheap drinks menu, offering Carling, Worthingtons and

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Sophie, in the lab

PR THE ESI DE N

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beat box. Kill me now.” Hilarious for most of his readers: not perhaps, for Crew 82, who were less pleased and responded to tell him so. Their unprintable replies can be viewed from his website at http: //samburnett.blogspot.com.

Emma Dodd

f you were (un)lucky enough to catch this year’s series of Big Brother then you will have no doubt followed local Welsh boy Glyn Wise’s transformation from baby faced no-hoper to trendy runner-up. Many of you may also have caught Glyn’s mention of our fair ville as he talked about his plans to become Britain’s first Welsh Prime Minister (albeit only for one year). Well his first steps to national domination have been realised as he has recently been accepted into the University. Following confirmation of his A level results, Glyn has been accepted to study a BA (Hons) in Education. Speaking to The Sun he said, “I’m looking forward to going to go home to Wales. I don’t have ambitions to be famous. I just can’t wait to go to university in Bangor.” Throughout his BB stay, Glyn, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, remained thoroughly patriotic and received a personal thank you from the First Minister of Wales for his passion to keep the Welsh language alive. The University are also happy to have Glyn on their books. Head of Student Recruitment, Carys Roberts said: “We’re delighted that Glyn has got a place at Bangor University. He is amongst the many youngsters from Blaenau Ffestiniog that have taken part in the University’s Talent Opportunities Programme (TOP), which highlights what Higher Education has to offer. “Each year we organise visits and events for around 1,200 Year 9 and 10 school pupils from across North Wales, which gives them the opportunity to find out about university and what it’s all about, at a far younger age than usual. For instance Glyn would have come here for various visits- including a residential visit when he was in Year 10 - and he even features in the leaflet which we use to promote TOP to school pupils and their parents! “We’re pleased to see that Glyn - like many others who have taken part in TOP – has decided to make the most of the opportunities available at Bangor University by choosing a course here. On top of his academic achievements - which in addition to his A level results have included four ‘A’* and five ‘A’ grades in his GCSEs – he has a wealth of experience in community and voluntary work. “He has also taken the initiative in gaining valuable work experience relating to his chosen field of study.” From the moment Glyn entered the Big Brother house dressed as a lifeguard to when he left as a stylish celebrity he underwent a drastic change. He learnt how to boil an egg for the first time (god help his future housemates) and received a lap dance from “the most attractive person I’ve ever seen in my life” (really Glyn? Lea?). However, those eager to catch a glimpse of Wales’ hottest property since Sue Cook and the bloke who used to present ‘How 2’ may be sorely disappointed for Glyn has opted to take a gap year before enrolling next year. So Glyn fans throughout Bangor will have to wait another year to talk behind their hands and point across the street, whilst he gets more and more frustrated with his choice to enter that god-forsaken house in the first place. Glyn, will however, be appearing at Time on 26th September – making porridge apparently!

Chris Thomson


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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

THE BLUDGEONER WREXHAM WORRIES

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here’s something odd about what time does to the mind – there’s this disease, it makes you forget things, tinges memories with an acrid taste of something sweet. I believe they call it nostalgia. This is what has insidiously pervaded the student movement (if you can call it that these days) – the bizarre notion that the heady days of yore somehow involved students being… involved. It’s bollocks, to be honest – the Sixties weren’t golden years, we weren’t out en masse in the Seventies, and most students, including future political leaders, were stoned all throughout the Eighties. You have come to University dreaming of being an activist, fighting against the Man for the rights of the little people, but you were screwed from the start. This is in no small part due to the National Union of Students (NUS). The National Union of Students isn’t really the right name for it; it’s a Londoncentric haven for outcasts from all walks of university life who were too unpopular to make it in their own Students’ Unions and are grossly misrepresentative of the average student. It’s a bloated organisation keeling over under the weight of its own bombast and arrogance, being torn apart

by factions-within-a-faction and selfserving, snivelling runts who see it as a stepping stone to cushy positions within the Labour party. It’s a blundering drunk, a headless chicken being steered by staff that set the agenda and (pardon the stretching of a pun here) rule the roost. Collectivism is bandied around as the mot-du-jour, the meaning morphed into the mass rush to trample students underfoot. It’s a towering hypocrisy – giving with one hand and grasping with the other, they ‘fight’ for free education on the one side and through the fabulous new NUS Extra card they take your money with the other. Ah, the NUS Extra. Quite where the ‘Extra’ comes into it, no-one is certain. An Extra £10 you don’t need? Extra money to stop NUS going bankrupt? Don’t let any of the piss-poor marketing fool you, they aren’t doing you any favours with it. Time was you used to get a free discount card from the national union, but with a half-million pound overdraft and money leaking out of every orifice, something had to be done. No downsizing for NUS – the staff wouldn’t allow it. Why not create an Extra income stream, tap the Great Untapped? Jazz it up, a few shiny posters and the schmucks won’t notice the difference. There aren’t even any decent discounts on there – HMV? Topshop? All there before! NUS went bankrupt at the end of the Seventies, did them the world of good. And I’ll tell you what – the £40,000 that Bangor sends off each year with a wink and a smile would just about tip the balance. The Blugeoner lives in Surrey with his wife and three dogs!

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s part of the University of Wales, Bangor, students in Wrexham are meant to enjoy the same facilities as the students in Bangor. These would include, as listed in the University prospectus, 24 hour library and computing facilities. We have never enjoyed these facilities, but we did have a small health library with very helpful staff, journals and computers that was open until 8pm Monday – Thursday, Friday until 4pm and half a day on Saturdays. Upon returning to my second year a few weeks ago, it was announced that the library would be closing at 5pm Mon – Friday and not opening at the weekend at all, as from the end of September. This announcement was made with no prior consultation with the students. On voicing our protests the decision was made for the changes to be implemented on the 18th September instead. For the students in Wrexham, the reduction of the library hours is going to be a major hurdle which many will be unable to overcome. The students here are radiography and nursing students who, as part of their course, work in their respective hospitals 9am – 5pm. While working they still have assignments to do and research to carry out: this can only be achieved after work which means after 5pm. With no library access this will become very difficult. Many students here also rely on the library staff ’s expertise and knowledge when researching an assignment. The reduction in library hours also means the loss of this expertise and knowledge as many of the library staff have found themselves without a job. It also leaves students without access to computers. This is occurring at a time when university libraries in Bangor are making an effort to open for longer periods of time, not shorter ones.

Lynsey Reynolds

LIGHTS OUT FOR PLAZA CINEMA

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angor has had a cinema only in name for a while, but now it doesn’t even have that. After all, any self respecting cinema buff had to make their way to Llandudno to watch the new releases. Now the Plaza has closed completely and the residents of Bangor are left without a cinema in the whole city. Surely a university town with over eight thousand students justifies a decent cinema and is an example of how an opportunity to make some decent profit has been lost.

STORM SUFFER £1000 LOSS

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torm FM are suffering the loss of one thousand pounds worth of equipment from their studio. The equipment has not been knowingly lent out and Storm’s manager does not know the whereabouts of it. The union are looking into the matter, which Storm can ill afford at a time when they are facing huge costs attached to the building of their new studio.

Emma Dodd

WANT TO WRITE FOR SEREN?

email the editor at editor@seren.bangor.ac.uk

PROPOSED WINDFARM

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proposal has been put forward to create a 200 turbine wind farm off the coast of Llandudno by NPower Renewables. The wind farm, which would be called GwyntY-Mor has met with some opposition from local residents and the Save Our Scenery (SOS) action group. If it goes ahead, the farm will be 13-15 miles off the coast with a generating capacity of 750 megawatts. The wind farm would create 120 new jobs.

Caroline Alvarez

For those not wanting to have to travel, Theatr Gwynedd screens some films, but generally not for a while after they have been released nationwide. These screenings are often very busy and tickets need to be booked in advance, but these days, it’s all we’ve got, as Bangor now doesn’t have a cinema at all.

Caroline Alvarez

TYPICAL STUDENT WEEK

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any people believe that there isn’t much to do because Bangor is quite a small town, but they couldn’t be more wrong! The Students’ Union has various themed events and the town has lots to offer. The key is learning what places you need to visit. So here is a quick guide to what’s hot to do in Bangor! On a Monday there is cheesy music at Time/Amser night club. The price is usually £1 to get in and you can dance the night away until 2am to the golden classics from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Once every month, usually on a Tuesday, there is stand up comedy at Academi in the Students’ Union. This is very popular because it isn’t on as regularly. I recommend arriving early if you want a seat. The comedy is very good and you do see about three comedians, so it is worth the money. If you prefer current bands then Trash on a Wednesday may be more your cup of tea. Trash takes place at Academi in the Students’ Union. Trash plays mostly Indie tracks, but there is a metal room as well, offering heavy rock. The cost is £3 to get in. On a Friday you can go shake some moves at Racubah with Salsa and Latin music, as well as reggae and funk. This is only on twice a month and is lots of fun. On a Saturday there is R’n’B night at Academi. If you would rather chill you could try Theatr Gwynedd which has a film organised every weekend. There is a cinema at Llandudno Junction, which has a better choice of films, and a Pizza Hut. You can get a train directly there from Bangor train station. On a Sunday, the place to be is the Greek Taverna near Morrisons. The Greek has a live band every Sunday evening. The drinks are a little expensive, but it is well worth it for the live music and atmosphere. Throughout the week the Octagon night club is open. They have various themed nights so look out for the flyers, but Wednesday is the classic ‘Occy’ night. There are plenty more pubs and bars open for business aound Bangor, so there is a lot to keep you busy. Enjoy!

Siobhan Catherine Holt

AMY WADGE FOR NIGHTLINE

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my Wadge is a singer/ songwriter based in Wales. She has released two successful albums: ‘WOJ’ and ‘No Sudden Moves’. I first saw Amy perform a couple of years ago. Her bubbly personality and interaction with the audience created an amazing atmosphere. She stayed after the gig to meet fans and to sign CDs. I contacted Amy with regards to a song that I had heard her play, but couldn’t find on the album; it hadn’t been released yet. She emailed me back straight away, letting me know it would be on the new album ‘No Sudden Moves’, she even sorted out some free tickets for me to go to her next gig. As the coordinator of Nightline one of the main aims of the committee this year is to raise awareness and the profile of Nightline. What better way than a Nightline jingle to put on Storm FM! We approached Amy with this idea to see if she could give us any help. She will be recording a jingle for us. Bangor Nightline would like to say a big thank you to Amy. We look forward to seeing her perform in Bangor in the near future. For more information on Amy, visit: www.amywadge.com. For information on Nightline please visit Nightline@bangor.ac.uk.

Sophie Laine

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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

The Rant

BANGOR’S TOP FIVE: ...things to do in Bangor that you may not have thought of.

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Treborth Botanic Gardens. Access from behind ‘The Antelope’, next to the Menai Bridge.

3

Climb Bangor Mountain. More of a hill, it has great views over Bangor. It’s situated behind the High Street.

4

The terrace in front of Main Arts. Another good view (recommended by the President).

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If a week is a long time in politics, try ten years.

Bangor Pier. Tea, scones and great scenery.

The stone circle. In a field behind Hen Goleg.

PAY DISPUTE RESOLVED

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hird years graduated on time this summer, after the NATFHE/AUT strike involving lecturers up and down the country was resolved. Fearing that they may not graduate on time, due to lecturers not marking exams and crucial coursework as part of their strike, the resolution was good news for all students.

Emma Dodd

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newly elected MP takes a seat in the House of Commons for their first Prime Minister’s Questions. In their excitement they turn to a fellow MP and proclaim, “Isn’t it great to finally be battling the old enemy!?” His fellow MP, a wise head who has been in Parliament for many a year, replies, “They are not the enemy, they are merely the opposition. The enemy sit all around you!” Tony Blair has been our Prime Minister for nearly a decade. His furrowed brow tells the story of a once enthusiastic politician beaten into submission not only by the voting public, whose trust he has seemingly betrayed, but by his fellow Labour parliamentarians. Colleagues who were so keen to see him elected in 2005 now want him packed up and ready to move out of Number 10 posthaste. They are right to call for the Prime Minister to resign and I support their calls for him to step down. Where we differ, though, is why we feel he should step aside. Unsurprisingly, Labour MPs want Blair to make way for Brown (or Johnson) to improve their chances of winning the next

general election. I want Blair to step down because I feel he has failed this country. Take a look at his record as Prime Minister: after spending billions of pounds on trying to improve the health service there is little achievement to be seen for his largesse, due in no small measure to installing an army of mandarins, consultants, managers and accountants (each it would seem with their own ideas) and little of the investment going into the service itself. In 1997 Tony Blair claimed there were “24 hours to save the NHS.” Ten years on we find the NHS having to make mass redundancies and cut backs to keep within budget. His promise to improve the transport system has, as yet, failed to materialise. We are, under his control, witnessing a terrifying rise in crime. Of course, we are assailed with massaged statistics that try to convince us that the opposite is in fact the case. Because of the Schengen Agreement we have lowered our guard on border control; immigration under any title-legal, illegal, refugee status, political or economic

STAGE CREW WANT TO RECRUIT YOU

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- has left us with unknown numbers (in millions) of refugees in our country. The sanctity of our green-belt countryside is now in peril due to the demand for housing, this while our own birth rate falls but our population grows. Whilst the success rate in GCSE and ALevel results continues to rise, so does the number of children playing truant in our schools. Intent on increasing the number of young people entering higher education, Labour has devalued degrees that we, the students, work so hard to achieve. Then, of course, there was the white lie over the introduction of top-up fees. All this from a man that emphasised “education, education, education.” The Prime Minister will boast about a “strong economy” and “low interest rates”, but this has only come about through mass borrowing which will inevitably be paid back through taxes, of which Labour has introduced over sixty-six. Then there is the issue of Iraq. Whether you were pro- or anti- the invasion of Iraq, the state of civil war that Iraq finds itself in is the result of a misguided, mismanaged

and ill-thought-out strategy. Britain is a subordinate to political correctness and the country is fast becoming a laughing stock. So what does our Prime Minister want in return for these failings? He wants a farewell tour! He wants us to line the streets, wave our Union Jacks and shout from the roof tops how grateful we are and how his legacy will be fondly remembered. Tony Blair shouldn’t go in a year. He should go now. But what does that leave us with? A dour Scotsman with no confidence; an Etonian with no policies; and a geriatric former Olympian with no charisma. Whatever happens over the next twelve months the political scene is going to change just like it did in 1997, only this time I hope it’s for the better.

Spencer George Don’t agree with Spencer? Email the Editor with your opinion at editor@seren .bangor.ac.uk

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tage crew is a fun loving society that gets invited to all the after show parties. Having assisted in so many ways last year, stage crew (Society of the Year 2005/6) is planning big stuff this year from LIVE events in the SU to helping out backstage at Time / Academi. And even stage management and lighting design for the SU clubs and societies. If you want to join sign up at the serendipity stand.

Peter Banks, Stage Crew Chair


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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

MEET YOUR S.U. PRESIDENT Name: Samuel Peter Burnett, Esq. Position: President First memory of Bangor: The open day – it was sunny. Bangor sucks you in when it’s sunny; open days, freshers’ week – and then it rains the rest of the year. I remember thinking the train station was like something off Thomas the Tank Engine, out one tunnel and into another.

urrently anonymous (this will be the first thing the Society shall do – come up with a name), The New Bangor Comedy Society is about to start its first year. The aim is to put on regular, original comedy nights throughout the year, written and performed by members of the Society, ranging from stand-up nights to improvisation nights to sketch nights to comic plays to… Well this is it, the beauty of a society like this is that comedy is a broad church, and it can be done in so many ways. As well as live comedy, the society hopes to set up good working relationships with SEREN and Storm FM. So if performing live comedy, as stand-up or in sketches, is something you’d really like to do, or try, then come along. And if it does not interest you, then there will still be a place in The New Bangor Comedy Society for you, as a writer, behind-the-scenes human, event organiser or even an accountant! If you have an active interest in the creative process of original comedy, or have an interest in it that you wish was active, then mosey over to Table 2 at Serendipity or e-mail Chris at:

Best memory of Bangor: The first half of 2006 was amazing! I’ve won the elections, got a 2:1, passed my driving test and bought a car within the space of 10 weeks or so. Favourite place in Bangor: The patio behind Dylan’s in Main Arts – it’s such a wonderful view, every time I walk down there I have to stop for a few minutes and be all pensive, like. Are you most likely to be found in? The library; The pub; Or making the most of the great outdoors? I’m not a great drinker, and like I said – it’s always raining in Bangor, so it’ll have to be the library. Favourite book, film or song: I’m very forward-looking, I can’t spend too much time thinking about these things – I do love books and movies though, and

NEW COMEDY SOCIETY C

buhnenkomiker@hotmail.co.uk

my favourite tends to be whatever I last saw/read. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from being at Bangor? I’ve learned to make the most of opportunities that come my way; I don’t believe in luck. You can’t make something happen out of nothing, but you can capitalise on what’s there. Also to always

carry an umbrella. What do you see yourself doing in ten years’ time? I’d like to be a Perrier-winning comedian married to Natalie Portman and living in New York, but in reality I’ll probably end up doing something horribly boring and political, like running the Lib Dems, or something.

NIGHTLINE - FRIENLY AND EFFICIENT INFORMATION PROVIDER You’re on a night out with all your mates, everyone is wasted apart from you, you are left with the job of getting them all home safely. Glanrafon hill would be a struggle, but you only have one taxi number and can’t get through. Everyone else around you is hammered and asking someone else would be more hassle than it’s worth. WOULD YOU THINK OF CALLING NIGHTLINE? Why not speak to a friendly student who has all the local taxi numbers? We provide a friendly and efficient service for all students and will be happy to help.

Come along if you have any ideas as to what sorts of things the Society can do on top of live comedy. The Society shall be wholly democratic, meaning anybody, no matter what their previous experience is, has a say. Let’s face it: nobody is going to be a pro - the Society exists because there is nowhere for non-established comics and comic writers to perform/ write. So I hope to see lots of people joining the Society. There really isn’t another one like this. Aiming for an informal atmosphere, let’s say the Belle Vue in Upper Bangor, Mondays at 8:00pm?

WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR UNION? Why not become a Course Rep or Independent Councillor? Every department is entitled to a representative, who can vote on their behalf at Council. Meetings are once every three weeks in the Council Chambers in Main Arts. Help influence your Union. Get involved.

For more information email president@undeb.bangor.ac.uk

A BRAND NEW STORM IS BREWING S TORM 87.7 FM, in case you are unaware, is Bangor’s student radio station. As a Standing Committee of the Students’ Union, it is run by students for the students. In the past the station has had quite a rocky time, not having a studio space of their own and having to share both time and space with educational activities in the Media Centre, meaning that a consistent broadcast was impossible. Not only that, the

equipment they relied upon was not theirs, which meant that when it failed they had to wait for University staff to carry out repairs, resulting in lengthy periods off air. But all that is old news. Things are about to change for the better! An old shower block in the basement of the Students’ Union building has been acquired and, after a summer transformation, is now Storm’s new home.

The new facility consists of an office, a production room and a studio space and has cost in the region of £40,000. There is a 100mm depth of soundproofing on the studio walls ensuring protection from the surrounding area, and six computers in total, each using the latest software – (for those who know about these things) Adobe 2.0 for production, BCX for play-out, and the DSPXtra audio processor – one of the

INTERVIEW WITH DJ PJ OF STORM FM

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t’s the start of a new academic year for one of Storm FM’s bubbliest and brightest DJs. Natalie Pierce-Jones (aka DJPJ) has worked for Bangor’s student radio station for the past year. I caught up with her and got the low-down on what she will be up to. Natalie, a second year originally from Chester, joined Storm FM back in September 2005. I discovered her real reason for signing up was that they were giving away lollipops at Serendipity! Her favourite moment from last year was when they sung live for all of Bangor, “Oh it was when we changed the words to ‘Love Machine’ by Girls Aloud to ‘Luff Machine’ for my mate Jimmy Luff. Then my co-presenter and I sang it live on air!” Natalie is really passionate about Storm FM and truly believes that it offers the best in pop and rock. Last year she ran two shows: one was called ‘Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ where the listeners got a taste of both the old classics and

brand new tracks from current bands. She hopes to carry the show’s success forward this year. Natalie, along with other DJs from Storm FM, could possibly be going on a trip to London very soon to the Student Radio Awards. The Student Radio Awards

are run by none other than BBC Radio 1. Many of Storm FM’s DJs are hoping for nominations and Natalie herself is entered into the Best Female category. “We think we are going to storm it- no pun intended.” Storm FM has provided Natalie with a clearer future, “I now have the belief that I might be able to do this as a job,” thinks Natalie. She didn’t think she would be able to be a professional DJ before she joined the team at Storm FM. Natalie’s advice for all new students is: “Join as many clubs and societies as you can, even if you don’t think you will enjoy it.” Finally, I quickly asked her to describe her show in just ten words: “Old and new mix with links to rival Chris Moyles!” Well, you can’t argue with that! Storm FM can be heard live and loud any day of the week on 87.7 FM or over the Intranet from their website, http://www.stormfm.com

Siobhan Catherine Holt

best around, I’m reliably informed. The new location has also ensured 24/7 accessibility; in the past the only availability at the media centre studio was from 6pm through to 9am. Storm is now fully self dependant and can broadcast around the clock during term-time. The station currently consists of around 30 members (after losing many of its dedicated 3rd year students to graduation last year) and is looking to recruit around another 70 members by Christmas. Membership is £5 and offers not only the opportunity to present, but also the chance to learn the ropes in marketing, production, IT, music-reviewing and radio journalism. This year’s national Student Radio Association nominations party is, for the first time, to be held in Bangor on 12th October. Storm are hoping to pick up at least one nomination after entering several categories. The awards themselves are held in London and are sponsored by the BBC, so it’s a huge event. In the past two years the station has been nominated for three awards: Best Station Sound (2004), Best Newcomer (current Station Manager Spencer George, 2005) and Best Female (Emma Gascoigne, 2005 – who now presents on local station Coast FM!). The original aim was for Storm FM to be on air by Freshers’ Week this year; however, due to delays in the construction work for the new studio, this has been pushed back slightly. The new aim is to be on air later in October and fortunately, this now means that the new 1st year members can be involved in the relaunch. So, with a brand new studio and station

logo, a very dedicated team of members, and (I can exclusively reveal) a major sponsorship deal with ‘Neuadd Willis, Student Accommodation for 2006/07’, the future of Bangor student radio looks both bright and Stormy! If anyone is interested in becoming a member of Storm FM they should see the stall at Serendipity, contact the Station Manager, Spencer George, via the Storm FM intranet board (or find other contacts at www.stormfm.com) or through the CSO Carolan Goggin at the Students’ Union.

John Jackson


Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

THE GREAT ORME

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reetings students. My name is Sophie Hanna Faith de l’Orme. I am not claiming to be a health and beauty expert in any way, bear with me and yes that is my real name, nice ring to it, wouldn’t you say? Firstly I come from Brighton, where I witness some serious fashion followers. Take for example, a hypothetical person from my summer job, in a retail shop. It’s a very hot, humid day, and the fashion of the moment is tights under short skirts and shorts. Would you? Even when it’s 30 degrees plus outside? Yes, if you are a fashion follower to a ‘T’ and believe you are a true summer goddess, nothing, above all comfort should stand in your way. The realms of ‘real’ beauty are upon us: hair extensions, two inch false nails, tan bed addiction and not forgetting skin tight, black, cut off at the ankle tights (excuse slight rant, these tights do come in varying colours). Back to us mere mortal students, who don’t aim for the celebrity lifestyle (WAG

wannabes), but of course want to look presentable. Hair is important, and as I discovered on a student budget, it doesn’t always include £60 plus trips to the salon for those must have highlights. In summer, with the heat, beach, sea and humidity the effects can equal ‘a knotted mass’. A suggestion: Superdrug offer different hair rescue treatment sachets - smooth onto your hair, leave for a desired time and rinse. I personally like the *Aussie 3 minute Miracle Reconstructor for 99p. To me it’s like a deep conditioning treatment without the salon price tag. It smells ‘healthy’ and as it contains Australian Balm Mint, it must nourish. Take a bath (unless you live in the south and have a water shortage), relax and leave the hair mask on. After all it was our ‘Summer Holiday’, we have ample time to treat ourselves, and look ravishing for our university return, or start if you’re a fresher. Beach hair is always top in the summer months according to every glossy. Ditch

the straighteners, just for a while. Try the scrunch and go method, adding some serum to tame the frizz, or perfectly Garnier Fructis Style Beach Look Spray (£2.99) - all in the title really. But if like me, your hair still looks like a wild mane, put it up in a loose bun, or part some of it off your face with a clip: flowery or not, depending on your style. If you can’t part with your straighteners then use a protective heat spray to lessen the damage. There are many different varieties on the market. (e.g. Schwarzkopf Pro.Styling Heat Protection Straightening Spray, £2.99). Useless fact, the ingredients can resist heat up to 200 degrees. OK, we are now entering the ‘autumn months’, due to slight climate changes the cold shouldn’t hit us yet. Though slight warning to all southerners entering the haven of Bangor: rain, yes it will come and pour. Invest in stylish Wellingtons: they are in fashion, and if you have been lucky enough to have been to a festival, they certainly will get more wear now.

NIGHTLINE WANTS TO LISTEN

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ow many people do you know who have the time and patience to listen to you with undivided attention? Even your best friends may struggle to find the time or to actively listen. To listen actively and effectively is a hard skill to

obtain. To listen and to empathize with a person is mentally draining and requires a lot of concentration. A Nightliner is specifically trained how to listen. The training is intense and many people don’t realise how difficult it is.

Nightline has volunteers who are ready to listen from 8pm to 8am every night during term time; they will listen for as long as you need them to. Our non judgmental and active listeners are there for you on 01248 362121.

nawdd nos nos nawdd nightline nightline 01248 362121 01248 362121

DOC SPOT I

n a new environment, there are all sorts of new experiences to be sampled, but there are many sources of potential stress as well. Let us look at the university-related student problems and lifestyle and how to deal with it…

ALCOHOL Despite being part of our culture, alcohol is a dangerous drug with powerful effects on both mind and brain. Drinking can be extremely pleasurable and, in moderation, may even have health benefits. Although alcohol initially helps with relaxation and acts as a mood-enhancer, it is ultimately a depressant; so a heavy night drinking is likely to leave you feeling worse rather than better. The recommended number of alcohol units is 14 per week for women and 21 for men, but almost 65% of students exceed these limits. Alcohol’s ability to help you to relax, to reduce tension and to remove inhibitions lends itself to avoiding some difficult situations. Drinking may give you a relaxed sense of community, but habit may make it hard to relax without it. HOMESICKNESS Beginning life at university naturally

generates both excitement and anxiety. For some, the apprehension is quickly overcome as they adapt to a new environment; for others the transition takes longer and sometimes emerges as homesickness. Those who experience homesickness might notice an increase in depressed feelings, anxiety, obsessive thoughts and minor physical ailments. You are not immune just because you’ve successfully experienced leaving home before. Vulnerability to feeling homesick is affected by: - Distance from home -Expectation of university not being met - Contrast in lifestyle - Worries about parents, partner or children at home. What should be done in such cases? - Believe in yourself and understand it is just a phase - Join societies, involve yourself in activities and make friends. - Familiarise yourself with the Students’ Union as they’ll also be able to help. - Talk to the Welfare Officer, a close friend or your personal tutor. - Always try to keep yourself engaged in work or other activities. - You can always call home!

EXERCISES - Just 15-20 minutes of activity three times per week will increase your fitness level. - Exercise and sports help you relax and sleep better. The brain releases endorphins that make you less tired. - It is never too late to start exercises, start off with a few minutes and gradually increase it. - Aerobic exercises and a low fat diet can help you to lose weight and make you more active. SMOKING When we hear the term ’smoking’, most of us only think of cigarettes. But what about the smoke from marijuana? Did you know that ‘weed’ contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations? Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, but is also a leading cause of cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, pancreas, and kidneys. It is particularly harmful to young people because the body is still growing and changing, and it can cause life-threatening diseases such as chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and strokes. How can you find the symptoms?

7

Health

Sophie talks health and beauty tips Style: I’m no fashion icon. Be yourself, tap into the individual spark that each of us has and come December, when we are up to our eyeballs in work and revision, what we look like will be the least of our worries. But for those sweet ‘trash’ and ‘cheesy’ pop nights a bit of glamour and pout is needed. (freshers, you will soon become accustomed to our ways and Mike’s Bites). Adios, Aufwiedersehn, laters, see ya …… …. ‘til the next ‘Health and Beauty’ article. P.S. Men: you too should make an effort. Wash and deo, simple and effective xx WAG = wives and girlfriends / tabloid jargon, i.e. footballers other halves By the way, after I wrote this, in GLAMOUR ‘Product of the year Survey’ 2006, more than 12,500 consumers chose Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Frizz Remedy as the number one frizz product (don’t clap, yes perhaps I am the expert?) X

Sophie de l’Orme

SAFE DRINKING

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here are the usual points to remember, but watch out for other things. Knowing a couple of people who did get their drinks spiked last year, I’d say the main thing to remember is to be aware of who’s around you. It may not be the company you keep, but the company you don’t want to keep. It’s OK to keep your drink in front of you, but cover it – especially at the bar when you might look away to talk to a group of friends. It’s a bit harder with drinks in glasses, but there’s no excuse not to have your back covered with bottles. You can cover the top with your thumb or you can buy special plugs from supermarkets that mean drink can come out but nothing can get in your bottle. The main points to remember though are:

Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs: - Wheezing - Coughing - Bad breath - Yellow-stained teeth and fingers - Frequent colds - Decreased senses of smell & taste - Problems remembering what they recently said or did - Difficulty keeping up with sports and athletic activities - Bleeding gums - Frequent mouth sores Smoking can actually increase feelings of stress and nervousness. Use drug-free strategies to calm your nerves like exercise and talking to your friends. STRESS Stress can be positive or negative depending upon how we respond to pressure and situations. Remember ‘without stress there is no life’. Everyone gets stressed at some time in his/her life. Managing stress is very important. What we need is to look at it as a combination of disciplines; time management and relaxation techniques have been effective in handling stressful situations ranging from life-threatening

o It’s easy to just leave someone with your drink while you go to the toilet, but finish it before you go. They may be trustworthy but from experience I find people don’t watch your drink properly or they just pop it behind them. o Don’t accept drinks from strangers unless you see it being made or opened – that’s the way to make friends without being too rude. o Try to judge who you could trust to look after you when you’re out or if something happened. o If you feel funny – even if you’ve drunk too much – stay with your friends (that includes going to the toilet).

Jennifer Stanley

illnesses to submission of assignments on time. Always think positive. Thinking positively helps reduce certain amounts of stress. You can be in control! Remember - Stress is a fact of life – it need not be a way of life!

Dr Rashesh Mehta For

queries

e-mail

the

Doctor:

health4u_78@yahoo.com.


8

Travel

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

FROM BANGOR

ADVENTURES FROM ACROSS THE POND TO BANGOR

CZECH WITH A YORKSHIRE ACCENT

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ere you aware that the temperature in Prague reaches 37 degrees? No? Neither were we, will teach us to do our research better in future though, won’t it? Having explained to my mother that she couldn’t find her luggage because she was stood by the luggage carousel from the Luton flight and she had in fact flown from Leeds/Bradford we went through arrivals to find our tour guide. We were enthusiastically greeted by a vertically challenged Geordie man, who we later learned had been doing the job for 30 years. It showed with his well weathered and heavily suntanned face and once our eclectic tour group was assembled we boarded the coach, driven by a Czech driver. Our destination was a bright blue communist tower block hotel, called the ‘Hotel Duo’ because, surprisingly, there were 2 tower blocks. How very inventive! Our walking tour began at Prague Castle, on route to which we passed various bridges including the famous Charles Bridge; a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower (looks more like a large TV aerial); and a giant metronome (I don’t know why either). Prague Castle is the largest medieval castle complex in Europe and it shows. It comprises of the Saint Vitus Cathedral, several palaces, museums, galleries and St Georges basilica. The cathedral is the most impressive of these buildings; an extremely large gothic building with incredible stain glass windows made up from tiny pieces of coloured glass. The effect with the light shining through was amazing. In the cathedral there is the tomb of Duke Wenceslas, aka “Good King Wenceslas” from the Christmas Carol. The cathedral was very crowded, everyone desperate to look at the tomb. Now being British we had formed an orderly queue, only to be pushed out of the way by some Europeans. Not one to be outdone I decided to follow suit and managed to get a good look. There isn’t exactly much to see, but it was worth it to see where a real life Christmas carol character was buried. Next I’m going to find the statue of Rudolph the red nose reindeer. Three countries in one day should be

enough for anyone. Leaving the Czech Republic at stupid o’clock that morning we were on route for Budapest. As this is quite an extensive journey we had a lengthily lunch break in Slovakia. Bratislava became capital of Slovakia when the country separated from the Czech Republic in 1992. A town not quite designed to be a capital but they were giving it a good go. Our tour guide advised us to look at the sky and by our feet, and he was right to. There were small bronze statues dotted around. The most memorable

Three countries in one day should be enough for anyone. being a man emerging from a manhole in the floor, mainly for the fact that I nearly fell over it! A very beautiful city, much of it not built within the last 200 years, so the architecture was remarkable. Much more preferable than the concrete jungles we are used to in modern capital cities. Apart from the architecture there isn’t really that much to see in Bratislava, so off we went towards Budapest. Staring out my window (there really isn’t anything else to do on a coach) I was startled how much the landscape looked like Italy: fields of sunflowers and terracotta roofed houses, which is surprising considering how far Hungary is from Italy, geographically speaking. Spending a Euro If you need a pee in Europe you are expected to pay. Now not having any Euros on me and being desperate to relieve myself of the facilities, I decided I would sneak in behind the line of people who were actually paying to use the loo. Anyone who has tried to use public toilets in a foreign country will

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know that it is the life’s work of the toilet attendant to make you pay, and get very angry if you don’t. I think I got away with it. It’s a sad day when going to the toilet could cause an international incident! Now, whether or not we were influenced by the outstanding hotel in Budapest (air conditioning!) I’m unsure but it was definitely my favourite of the 3 cities. The city straddles a gentle curve in the Danube and it’s definitely the most beautiful. The hotel itself was situated on Margaret’s Island in the middle of the Danube. The island is primarily used as a leisure island, so is very green and encircled by trees and, well, joggers. Our tour was very insightful, despite the fact that our tour guide was Mary Poppins, wearing a hat with Budapest emblazoned across it. We toured the beautiful palaces and went around the markets: however the most memorable part of my stay in Budapest was the Hungarian Folk evening. As much as I like to embrace other cultures, this evening was made a lot more entertaining by the free wine. Their traditional dancing comprised of lots of high pitched screaming, thigh slapping and stamping. Ah well when in Budapest… Out of the two, Budapest would be the city I would visit again. Nothing against Prague but when you can be identified as being Northern by a random Hungarian who stops you in the street it can’t be a bad thing.

Cat Prince

1001 DALMATIANS

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o what did I make of a country famous for a spotted dog and an ER doctor? Quite a lot actually. With Croatia’s extensive coastline and over a thousand islands, it is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Each island has its own identity and travelling between them is relatively easy, with an efficient system of ferries and catamarans. From the large Istrian peninsula at the top, down to the famous walled city of Dubrovnik at the bottom, the waters of Croatia are varying shades of turquoise and blue, but always crystal clear. A favourite getaway for both Italians and Germans due to its close proximity with both, Croatia remains relatively untouched by the British tourist trade (although I did meet a car full of Bangor graduates at one point!) I managed to live on a budget of £20 a day quite easily, although having a tent did help. The tent also meant that

I could stay in some really small and beautiful places where camping was the only form of accommodation on offer. Lots of Croats offer rooms in their houses to travellers during the summer months. In some places these are snapped up quickly, in others you will see people standing with signs offering ‘sobe, zimmer, rooms’, where the bus or ferry gets in. These generally cost between £10-15. The food in Croatia is very much influenced by Italy, which lies just across the sea, so lots of pizza and pasta. Croatia has several national beers and alcohol remains inexpensive. In some places it is cheaper to indulge in a beer than a cokewhat a shame! The word to know is ‘pivo’ (beer) and even though most Croats speak English, German and Italian quite fluently, it is always appreciated if you have a go at their language, even if it resembles no other you’ve tried to learn before and appears to

ello my name is Lucy. I’m currently studying my second year in English literature at the University of Maine, Bangor, USA! Every issue I shall give you an update of my experiences as an exchange student. I have now been in the USA a week and what a week it has been. To anyone thinking of doing an exchange I would say to definitely go for it- let’s face it if you have had the delightful pleasure of staying in Emrys Evans you can handle anything the world has to throw at you. But be prepared: although I brought tea bags I forgot the kettle. Little did I realise that in Maine electric kettles are a raritypanic not, fortunately I have found one! There have been several culture shocks this week, the most shocking by far is breakfast: sausages and bacon are served-perfectly normal you say, but wait...Americans put lashings of syrup over it! I too recoiled in horror. This meat and sweet combo is one custom I refuse to try: it’s plain madness! The wardens are super happy hyper people who seem never to have a frown. Yes, this is refreshing but also slightly scary when they rush up to you with their beaming white smile gaily chanting ‘A Hearty Maine Hello to You’. I later discovered the protocol for this is to reply ‘and A Hearty Maine Hello to You too’, not just stand there dumbfounded, laughing at the loons! On a brighter note the campus and university facilities are amazing, you couldn’t ask for better, and with the prices American students pay you shouldn’t expect any less (fear not for all of you who are interested, exchange students pay UK fees so there is no excuse not to leave Wales for a semester or two!) The campus is immaculate and the landscape is beautiful. It is surreal and it is like all the trashy cheesy movies, which is great as the laughter is endless! I’ve been made to feel welcome and I have my tea-what more do I need! Until next issue, bye!

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ell I’d better start by introducing myself! I have just finished my first year here at Bangor, and am leaving our lovely university to go and study for a year in America. Shock horror! Leaving Bangor? Why would anyone wish to do such a thing? Well, I am not entirely sure myself. I have loved my first year here, but when the opportunity arose to study across the pond, I decided to go for it. It all began one rainy day (well here that doesn’t really narrow it down) in November. My tutor mentioned that the exchange program is open to all University of Wales, Bangor students, with the exception of a few courses. My course (Ocean Science) allows their students to study their second year in Oregon State University. This does not add an extra year onto the course, it just means the third year is worth 100% of your degree. Yikes! So in December, I picked up an application form and applied. There are a few conditions that you have to fill: you have to get a minimum of 60% overall in your first year, and you also have to pass an interview that takes place around April. Should all that be successful, you are released! You then get the joy of applying for an American visa. That is quite a long and complicated process, and requires a trip to the American Embassy in London, which has a huge police presence and armed guards! However, I think it will be well worth it. Of course I am writing this before I have actually left... so next month’s article will probably tell whether or not this was a good idea…

Amy Garrett

Lucy Digney

have something against vowels! Working from the top to the bottom was a great way of travelling through Dalmatia and it seemed that each place I got to was more beautiful than the last. This culminated with Dubrovnik, its complete set of walls encircling the old town, with its beautiful stone buildings and terracotta tiles. A walk around the walls gives a great view of the city and out to sea. Croatia has recovered most quickly out of all the former Yugoslav countries, as its tourist industry has always been healthy. Dubrovnik itself took a lot of destruction, but has been restored fully. The entire coastline is free of shelled buildings, a reminder of the past war that can be seen in other places in the region.

Emma Dodd Fellow exchange student from Bangor, Phil in Maine


9

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

Agony Aunts

Dear Bev and Mair

Dear Agony Aunt

I came back to Bangor yesterday only to find that the property I had rented with my friends was a complete wreck! The landlord had promised when we signed the contract that he would be re-decorating, cleaning and replacing bedding and the bathroom by the 1st of September 2006. The property was a bit of a dive when we signed the contract (there was damp in some of the rooms, the bathroom was totally disgusting, there was a crack in the sink and there was no hot water for the shower and black mould on the silicone surrounding the shower base, the mattresses in some of the bedrooms didn’t have fire retardant labels and some were stained), but we trusted the landlord as he seemed like a good bloke. My mother cried when she saw the condition of the property and my parents pleaded for me to go home with them, eventually I persuaded them that I had to stay, they agreed provided that they pay for me to stay at a bed and breakfast. I am grateful to my parents for paying for the B&B but I can’t stay there indefinitely. What can I do, where can I stay?

Thanks - M, Bangor

Hi Bev and Mair My student loan hasn’t been paid into my bank account, I’m broke! My Mum is on Income Support and can’t help me financially. Please help me!

Dear L

How awful for you and your housemates, have you spoken to your landlord? One of the first things to do is to get as much photographic evidence as you can and compile a detailed list of all things that you believe need to be repaired or replaced.

Come down to the Students Union Advice Centre, we will call your Local Education Authority or the Student Loan Company on your behalf to ascertain why there is a delay in your Student Loan payment. We will also contact any departments within the University to advise them of the situation and make arrangements for payments to be deferred until your Student Loan arrives enabling you to continue with your studies. Dependant on your accommodation status we can contact your landlord or the university halls or finance office. We can also contact your bank to negotiate an overdraft facility.

You also have the right to request that the local authority visits the property; they have a duty to take action against private landlords. On a final note keep all receipts for the B&B, as you can claim against the landlord for these costs.

Yours Truly Bev and Mair

Thanks - J, Bangor Dear J The people on your floor seem to be very inconsiderate, I suggest you try the following: o Speak to flat mates o Inform Wardens o Complain to Halls Staff o Call Security o Call to see a Student Advisor at the S.U. Welfare Office o Keep a diary of events

Thanks - L, Bangor

Dear M

Contact the Students Union Advice Centre – they will be able to help you ascertain what repairs are emergencies – Fire Safety etc. You can try and negotiate amicably with your landlord, put all requests in writing and keep a copy – there are certain repairs that they have a legal duty to carry out. Check your contract; are there any specific details of repairs or replacements that your landlord has agreed to do? If the property is in poor condition your landlord may be breaking the tenancy agreement by failing to carry out repairs. This means that you would be able to walk away from the property without any obligation to pay rent.

I’m at the end of my tether, the people on my floor have been partying on and off all week, myself and my friend Kate have been woken up several times after 11.00 pm most nights, our studies are being disrupted, by slamming doors, people running along corridors, loud music and shouting. We are trying to study for our exams. Please help us!

Try and keep things on a friendly basis to begin with, speak to the flatmates concerned, explaining how their partying is affecting you. If you feel that this is not working inform the wardens of the situation or as a last resort call out Security. ‘The University will treat noise made between the hours of 11.00pm and 7.00am as serious noise nuisance. Serious or persistent may lead to disciplinary action, and they give grounds for the University to terminate the Residence Agreement.’ UWB Halls of Residence Handbook 2005/06

Keep a diary of all events, as this would be invaluable if the situation goes to a disciplinary. The Advice Centre can offer representation should a disciplinary be required.

Yours Truly Bev and Mair

Yours Truly Bev and Mair

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BELLE VUE Holyhead Road, Upper Bangor

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• Fine Traditional Ales • Homecooked Foods • Guest Ales • Pool Room & Beer Garden • Quiz Night Sunday 8.00pm

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10

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

BODYROCKERS ROCKED THE BALL

T

he Bodyrockers most definitely stole the show at this year’s Summer Ball. Partly due to the fact that the other main act (a certain Fat Man Scoop) was held up in Amsterdam with no visa to perform in the UK, the Bodyrockers were the stars of the night. They presented a testosterone fuelled show, with ‘I Like The Way You Move’ being the ultimate highlight. There was a good selection of music on offer, with marquees set up outside and classical musicians playing near reception. The Summer Ball provides a great opportunity to see all your mates dressed up and looking respectable for one night of the year. Main Arts is a great venue for it and my personal favourite part is the quad. Opened especially and decked out with a large mirror ball and dimly lit, it’s a must see. Respect goes out to all those who lasted until 6am, I personally was not one of them! Unfortunately, Mike’s Bites best intentions to serve the ballweary revellers on their way home at the early hours of the morning were blighted by the fact that they did not have a licence to serve at such an hour, so the police put a stop to it. Disappointing for a certain editor-elect, who had to return home and make her own fry up with supplies from the Late Stop

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11

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

ONE MINUTE WELSH W

elcom to Seren’s quick lesson in Welsh to help you get through Freshers’ week. For each phrase we’ve also explained how to pronounce it in brackets.

Lexi Hindley

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13

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

Film SUPERMAN RETURNS TO

A CHANGED WORLD T

his summer saw the return of the original superhero to our cinema screens. The new millennium heralded an explosion of comic book movies as we looked to pencil-and-ink-and-colour mythology in these uncertain times. All these adaptations seemed to be preoccupied with finding the gritty realism in the world of their protagonists. We seemed so entertained with masking our own modern fears that there can be no doubt Batman’s po-faced vengeance, the X-Men’s impossible introspection and even Spider-Man’s sympathetic teen-angst was a hard pill for kids to swallow. Superman’s return with his heady palette of red, yellow and blue should have an awareness of his own absurdity and supply a shameless sugar-rush of compassionate superheroism. The first and best action sequence involving a malfunctioning space/aircraft had the right dramatic sense of peril to help triumph over the ludicrousness of the set-up - neatly capped with a one-liner which makes the Son of Krypton look like he enjoys what he does. From then on, a conventional journey of acceptance begins after discovering that the love of his life Lois Lane has a family of her own. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor hatches a fiendish real estate plot. There were two things which I baulked at: the first upon contemplation; the second came like a bolt from the blue. The collateral damage in last year’s summer blockbuster Batman Begins was a major distraction, in effect painting the Dark Knight as a glorified psychopath. Although not immediately obvious, while casually strolling towards a real nasty pumping rounds from heavy artillery, bullets bounce off the Man of Steel in every direction when he could have ended the violence faster than a speeding proverbial (and just where did those plane wings land?). The most distressing thing is when soon-to-be-Superkid abruptly kills a thug with a piano. It was meant to be a stark realisation that this small child is destined to fight evil, but left me feeling empty. This moment of madness suggested that Superman Returns is another tragic sign of the times - the boy had the power to immobilise the thug without murdering him, so are we meant to believe that compassion is a weakness? On the acting front, the supporting cast is solid considering they are nothing more than a bunch of caricatures. Brandon Routh is dependable in the title role, Kate Bosworth is an amiable love interest albeit too juvenile to convince as a jaded journalist, and Kevin Spacey brings a knowing comical flavour to his familiar ‘cerebral antagonist with a god complex’ routine which made him a household name in the Nineties. On the whole, Superman Returns is a watchable, surprisingly morally dubious blockbuster but as a celebration of envelope-pushing special effects, $250 million says you can’t find a better example this year.

Kevin Smith

FIND YOUR FIRE HERE!

H

ow would you like a role in a big independent film to be made in Bangor? Find Your Fire’ is an unpretentious comedy with a beating heart that will make you laugh, make you cry and jump for joy as insurmountable odds are triumphed over. What more could you want? Oh yes, you will also be paid for dressing up and pretending to be somebody else. Pre-production is in progress & casting dates/venues are, as the Voice of the Trailer never seems to say these days, “coming soon.”

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – DEAD MAN’S CHEST

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or anyone who enjoyed the first instalment of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, the second film would be high on their list of films to watch. Unfortunately, Johnny Depp’s inspired campness degenerates into pure silliness and the film is simply too long. By the end, it has lost all semblance of plot, leaving the viewer confused and me personally wishing they had not made a second. Admittedly, the effects were good, but call me old fashioned, but a film cannot rely on this alone.

Caroline Alvarez

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14

Music

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium

R Muse – Black Holes and Revelations So what’s the next step for the band that has everything? Already established household names thanks to three of the most ingenious albums released in recent years; headlining Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds; have a modern day guitar legend in the form of Mathew Bellamy. Well you release a Blair and Bush bashing, postapocalyptic album featuring alien invasions, black holes and the possible inhabitants of Mars. Of course. While the songs are still Muse through and through, their sound has evolved and may surprise some with the increased use of synths and guitar effects masterfully interwoven by Mr Bellamy and Co. The ‘80s electronic sound has clearly influenced the making of the album, with Queen and Depeche Mode both obvious inspirations. Album highlight ‘Map of the Problematique’ and new live favourite ‘Knights of Cydonia’ are perfect examples of how the band have taken their sound to a whole new level, the latter in particular almost verging on prog-epic status. However, that’s not to say that it is an experimental album; the songs feel textured and wonderfully constructed, with Matt’s vocals used as an additional instrument more than ever. For the less adventurous, fair-weather Muse fan, the radio friendly ���Starlight’ and catchy-as-hell lead single ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ briefly bring you back down to earth from the cosmic journey the rest of the album embarks upon. Despite the other worldly subject matter and fashionable political edge, the Devon trio have produced an album that somehow builds upon their previous efforts and looks set to cement their place as one of the biggest and most important bands in the world. Chris Thomson

Razorlight – Razorlight

T

he trousers are tighter, the hair is bigger and the egos have reached gargantuan proportions; just three reasons why Razorlight are fast becoming the band that everyone loves to hate. But if you look past pompous frontman Johnny Borrell and focus on what he does rather than what he says, then you might find yourself giving them a little more love than hate. If their 2004 debut ‘Up All Night’ was the raucous rock ‘n’ roll night before, then their eponymous follow up is most definitely the hazy morning after. Although still distinctly Razorlight, the majority of the tracks are notably down-tempo, something that may disappoint those who are looking for the oomph provided by the band’s previous efforts. Despite this, there is no denying their ability to write catchy pop tunes; the band’s keep-it-simple attitude shows through on almost every track, including future singa-long classic ‘America’ and first single ‘In The Morning.’ However, this also leads to the album becoming somewhat predictable and lacking in imagination. Songs such as ‘Hold On’ and ‘Los Angeles Waltz’ verge on the mundane and considering there are only a measly ten tracks, the album starts to look a little sparse. Standout tracks ‘Pop Song 2006’ and ‘Back To The Start’ are more of what we have come to expect from the band, but unfortunately these moments are too few and far between and the album falls just short of the high expectations set of the group. Whilst by no means a bad album, there is not enough here to keep you coming back time after time, and as is usually the case, you’ll much prefer to remember the rock ‘n’ roll night before than the hazy morning after.

Chris Thomson Want to write a review? SEREN gets sent loads of CDs, it could be you reviewing them. Get in touch with the editor for more details.

eturning from a four year hiatus, the now-approaching middle aged funk rockers have taken a massive risk in releasing their ninth studio album over two discs. A move that would have seen many bands tossed to the bottom of the bargain bin, the atrociously titled ‘Stadium Arcadium’ documents the range of styles the band have developed over their twenty plus year career. Combining the bombastic basslines of their earlier work with the layered guitar melodies of their more recent efforts, the band have clearly adopted the ‘if it ain’t broke’ mindset and you are unlikely to find anything you haven’t heard before. Tracks such as ‘Charlie’ wouldn’t sound out of place on 1991’s ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ whilst others such as ‘Wet Sand’ and the album’s title track could easily have been plucked straight from 2002’s ‘By The Way.’ Nevertheless, despite the sense of déjà vu, it is as solid an album as any RHCP fan could have hoped for and sees guitarist John Frusciante unleashed in a way as yet unseen outside of his solo work. His mesmerising signature licks are now coupled with the speaker-busting solos that were sorely lacking from the band’s previous record and complement bassist Flea’s funk-infused lines perfectly. Being a double album it was to be expected that not all the tracks were gong to stand up to highlights such as singles ‘Dani California’ and ‘Tell Me Baby’, and this shows in the half a dozen numbers that would probably have been best saved for the inevitable forthcoming B-sides album. As fun-sized frontman Anthony Keidis should know, size doesn’t matter and as with most double albums, ‘Stadium Arcadium’ could probably have been cut down to a single album with every track as a standout. However, as it stands, the band have created an album that is universally accessible, from hardcore Pepper-ites to fresh faced Red Hot wannabees wondering what all this California nonsense is all about.

Chris Thomson

Lily Allen – Alright Still

F

oul-mouthed Mockney Lily Allen has been branded the freshest thing in music at the moment. As to whether those accolades have come from The Guardian or The Times is unclear but the ‘female Mike Skinner’ is undoubtedly causing a stir. Comparisons with the Streets’ frontman are inevitable with her self-penned commentary of growing up in today’s society, but unfortunately it is more akin to The Streets’ more recent work, devoid of the edgy lyrics and beats that peppered their debut. While the subject matter will ring true with many, Lily’s lyrics are nothing we haven’t heard before from the likes of Mr Skinner himself and even fellow wippersnappers The Arctic Monkeys, and lack the astute rhymes and rhythms of these artists. “She looks in her bag, takes out a fag, tries to get away from the guy on a blag”. Inspired? Unsure as to whether it wants to reject or embrace the ‘chav culture’ most of the songs relate to, the album tries to be too clever for its own good and ends up verging on the immature. ‘Not Big’ is an example of this; no prizes for guessing what it’s about. No doubt by now, the single ‘Smile’ has been burned into your skull by its incessant airplay and whether you loved or hated it, will dictate how you view the album. Most of the tracks continue in the same vain, fusing elements of hip-hop, R’n’B and even the odd chord of ska, see ‘Friend Of Mine’ for evidence of this. The more interesting songs, ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Take What You Take’ are not enough to save the album, but do get your head nodding. While ‘Knock ‘em Out’ and ‘Alfie’ are at the other end of the spectrum, and makes you wonder exactly how much talent is needed to secure a recording contract nowadays. Although younger teenage girls are likely to lap this up, anyone wanting slightly more substance to their music should steer clear of the hype and stick to those who have done it all before, but better.

Chris Thomson

Keane - Under The Iron Sea

K

eane’s latest release, ‘Under the Iron Sea’ is the second album from the Sussex three piece. After a hugely successful first album, the pressures of touring and a follow up album clearly affected and inspired them. ‘Under the Iron Sea’ reveals an emotional wreck beneath what seemed to be the calm, collected exterior of a band so often compared to the likes of Coldplay. A definite shift from the happy pop melodies of songs such as ‘Somewhere only we know’ and ‘This is the last time’ from the first album, here we see a darker side to the trio. The track entitled ‘Atlantic’ begins with a sixty five second instrumental of keyboard and out of sync drumming, before the dulcet tones of Tom Chaplin’s voice even begin and further into the album another instrumental ‘Under the iron sea’ again sees striking keyboard playing from the band proving that even without guitars they can create epic sounding music. The first single from the album ‘Is it any wonder’ mixes U2style keyboard riffs with lyrics such as ‘Is it any wonder I’m tired? Is it any wonder that I feel uptight?’ that reveal the band to be less of the happy boys they were made out to be. Other lyrics such as ‘Do I seem too eager to please you now? from the track ‘Leaving so soon?’ show the band to be slightly more bitter about life and the virtues of fame. Still, even through the darker lyrics and the impressive instrumentals the all important sing-a-long songs still remain for the summer festivals and gigs. ‘Nothing in my way‘ and ‘Crystal ball’ have catchy melodies and memorable lyrics which should keep fans that prefer the original Keane sound happy. ‘Under the Iron Sea’ is excellent, showing a more distinct sound for the band that steps away from the clichés that they were often criticised for in the beginning. A combination of their new sound integrated with hints of the old should mean yet another successful album for the band who hopefully will continue onto bigger and even better things.

Kirsten Buglass


15

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

I

first heard, ‘Upside Down’ by Jack Johnson on Radio 1 just after I got home for the summer. The excitement of the end of exams and the Summer Ball had died down with everyone’s hangover next day and then it was time to go home. I sat on the sofa and switched on the radio, the sun was shining brightly and all was well. The summer had begun and then this song came on. An immediate chill factor was added to the mood which took effect every time it was played. I can’t say that this song stirs up any great memories, it just puts a smile on my face and makes me think of the sun (that at this moment has chosen to make a brief appearance).

Jennifer Stanley

W

hen at the start of the summer I heard JK and Joel announce that they wanted to get one of my favourite songs re-released to be Radio One’s summer anthem I was a little unhappy to think of it being played to death on the stations playlist, but it actually had a very understated release and in my opinion wasn’t played enough! Israel Kamakawiwo Ole’ was the definitive Hawaiian musician of the nineties until his death in 1997. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ is his most well known song, taken from his album Facing Future, released in 1993. It is a beautiful acoustic track, which has been featured in several films, television programs, and commercials. Relying simply on his tender voice it seamlessly and effortlessly intertwines the poignant lyrics of the songs ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from the The Wizard of Oz and ‘What a Wonderful World’ made famous by Louis Armstrong. The only accompaniment to his voice is the gentle strumming of his ukulele, allowing the song, though profoundly simple, to sound strikingly beautiful. The whole feel of the song transports me to one of the many lazy, warm summer days we had this year as Israel sings of rainbows and blue skies. It cannot help but make you feel summery, completely chilled out and just that little bit happier!

Claire Mann

M

Which songs epitomise Summer 2006 for you? These are ours...

y song of this summer had to be ‘One’ by U2 featuring Mary J. Blidge. This song reminds me of when I was flying home from Rome. My friend Katy and I had gone to the City for a four day holiday. We had heard the song a few times whilst we were in Rome and then on the plane back we were bored and so decided to mime along to the song on Katy’s ipod! It was really funny and we even got some strange looks from a couple nearby!

O T K C A R T D N 6 U 0 ` O S R E M M U S M E H T

Catherine Humes

I

have been to Lourdes twice before, and this year was my third year. In Lourdes we help the doctors and nurses by looking after the elderly and sick pilgrims. This year in Lourdes we sang a lot because we were on a coach for hours on end. For example, one priest can take any hymn and change the words so it’s about someone you know! It’s very amusing! On the final night at our fancy dress party we all had a sing-a-long where we changed the words to names of people we actually know. The song of the summer besides the hymn ‘dance then where ever you may be’ has to be ‘In the morning’ by Razorlight. It was played nearly every day by my friends on the floor below and we could hear it as clear as a bell a floor up. This year in Lourdes was a lot of fun and I got a badge for my service. I was very proud and thoroughly enjoyed it!

use – Supermassive Black Hole. Yes, it sounds like Britney Spears mixed with the Scissor Sisters and nothing like Muse, but it’s catchy! With a killer riff that makes it impossible not to nod your head, the song is the perfect accompaniment to those long summer days and chilled out evenings with your friends. To top it all off, seeing Muse perform the track while closing the Leeds Festival was a special moment and cemented the track as my song of the summer.

Chris Thomson

T

he day before I go to see the best band in the world, a band I’ve loved since I was small, a band that contains my Heros and I’m sick. I show up at the pub I worked at this summer and within an hour I’m making trips to the toilets; some times while I’m halfway through pouring a pint. This pattern continues through the night and the next day. I’m feeling extremely sorry for myself. The doors open at 6 and the Chili’s are on at half 8. My little sister wants to get in the queue at 11ish almost as soon as we’ve arrived. No chance. I have to sleep. I emerge from slumber to get into the line at about 4. Everyone there is buzzing. I’m sat on the floor head in hands. I’m super annoyed at this. Sick before the gig of a lifetime. The doors open and it’s better than any medicine and I soon forget all my woes as the atmosphere builds. We are right at the front and I soon realize the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be less than six feet from me! The adrenaline thunders through my veins as John and Flea come on and jam followed by Chad and then Anthony. It was their last UK date of the Stadium Arcadium tour and they were on fire. Almost every song was linked with a funky jam or ripping solo by Flea and John, who did several of his own solo songs. They played every song I could have hoped for and loads of the better tracks off Stadium. The encore was Under the Bridge and Give It Away! This gig and the subsequent repetition of all my Chili’s CDs has been the sound track to this summer.

Luke Wilsher

Siobhan Catherine Holt

T

he song that epitomises summer 2006 for me is ‘National Express’ by Divine Comedy. This is mainly because the song is centred around coach journeys and seeing as though I spent 2 weeks of my summer on a coach it seemed rather fitting. The lyrics about how every area of human life are on board are so true. Our coach ranged from me, the 19 year old student, to the 82 year old elderly man falling asleep at every opportunity. I also like the Ska-esque beat to the song it makes it sound very happy and summery and not too serious. In summer you need a song that makes you smile and you can dance around like an idiot to with your friends and have fun.

Cat Prince

M

y soundtrack to Summer 2006 has got to be ‘I Like The Way You Move’ by The BodyRockers. I was in the front row at the Summer Ball, where they put on a very good show. From then on, my summer was scattered with fragments of it. The famous chorus was used in an advert and every time I heard it, I was reminded of boogeying in Bangor. I heard it emanating out of a VW camper van, which was selling pasties on the Sunday at T in the Park, just as it started to rain and everyone ran towards the covered stages. I also heard it in a restaurant on top of a hill on the island of Krk in Croatia, so I think I can safely say that ‘I Like The Way You Move’ got just about everywhere in summer ’06.

Emma Dodd


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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

SERENDIPITY MAP ‘06 1 Art 2 Comedy 3 BUFFS 4 Biscuit Appreciation 5 Animal Welfare 6 Photography 7 Young Fabians 8 Plaid Cymru 9 Liberal Democrats 10 Conservative Future 11 Labour Students 12 Amnesty 13 Geography Society 14 Forestry Society 15 Arcanii 16 Law 17 Chartered Institute of Marketeers 18 Ecological Society 19 Rostra 20 SODA 21 BEDS 22 Stage Crew 23 Debating 24 Earth Religions 25 CCUSA 25 Meningitis Trust 26 Music Society 27 Revelation Rock Gospel Choir 28 Orange 29 Endsleigh Insurance 30 Lloyds TSB 31 Japanese Society 32 Hellenic Society

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59

Indian Society Chinese Society Malaysian Society Abbey Road Centre Barnardos Consumer Support Network Speculative Analysis Hendre Hall Chubbs The Muse Prestige Mobility Traveline Cymru Arriva Nice ‘n’ Naughty British Red Cross Wales University Officer Training Corps Islamic Society Christian Union Bangor Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Y Galeri NUS Wales NUS Wales Women’s Officer Welfare Campaigns Committee Nightline Advice Centre Anglican Chaplaincy Samaritans

60 61

UWB Pride Students With Disabilities Officer Dyslexia Unit Library Service Partneriaeth Amgylcheddol Research Students’ Forum Social Club Laptop World National Blood Service NHS Family Planning Services UMCB Cymdeithas Llywelyn Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg Storm FM SEREN ˜ Treborth Centre for Careers & Opportunities Student Volunteering Bangor Cotswold Outdoor Endeavour Society North Wales Police Subway Rugby League Men’s Football Women’s Football

62 63 64 65 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82

75

73

74

72

71

69

70

59

60

62

98

107

97

91

90 89 88

92

87 86

93

85 84

94 95 96

76 77 78 79

83 82 81 80

66 68 67

˜ 61

99

101 102 103 104 105 106

100

63

64 65

58 57 56

118–125

55 54 53

126–130 108–117

25 26

49

50

51

48

52

46

27

45 44

28 29 30

47

43

19 13

7

1

20 14

8

2

42 41

21 15

9

3

22 16

10

4

40

23 17

11

5

24 18

12

6

31 32 33 34 35

38

39

36

37

83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 91b 91c 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103

Men’s Hockey Women’s Hockey Women’s Basketball Men’s Basketball Women’s Rugby Men’s Rugby Netball Volleyball Badminton Theatr Gwynedd O2 Lacrosse Tennis Maes Glas Ki-Aikido Judo Golf Dance Archery Athletics Riding Swimming Trampoline

104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130

Squash Christians In Sport AU Sponsor Gymnastics Canoe Polo Surf Windsurf Canoe Rowing Octopush Mountain Walking BUMS BUGS Snowsports BWRPS LINKS -- St John Ambulance BASTARDS SOVA Duke of Edinburgh Tarot Students’ Union main stall Students’ Union main stall Sub Aqua Ultimate Frisbee Sailing Fencing Barbecue


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Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

MIXING IT MALIBU STYLE IN IBIZA I

biza. Founded by the Carthaginians in 645bc and believed to be a magic isle blessed by the Gods and predicted by Nostradamus to be the Earth’s final refuge when nuclear disaster wipes out most of life. Invaded by not only the Greeks but the Romans, Byzantine empire, the Catalans and most recently, British Clubbers. But I’m not here to sample the clubbing, I’m one of the lucky souls whisked off to sample the delights of the Malibu Soundclash event which hits Bangor on Monday 23rd October. We are whisked off to the Villa Can Plana just North of Ibiza town. Its only significance according to that oracle of Knowledge Wikipedia, being that it’s a short walk from the two citadels of joy/despair (dependant on your musical orientation) the Amnesia and Privilege nightclubs. For the record Amnesia looks like a cowshed and Privilege like some crazy Eden experiment gone slightly askew. The Villa itself is perched on a mountain overlooking the Ibizan countryside, and, most importantly for us weary travellers, has a magnificent swimming pool which is where we spend most of the day, sunning ourselves, avoiding the wasps (they seem to have a foot fetish) and enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the Making Wave’s PR team, who have even supplied us with beach towels and mirrored aviators which come in very handy

on our quick trip to Benirras Beach. Things kick off properly when the sun sets and we get our first taste of the Malibu Soundclash and a taster of what to expect in October. On the decks we have DJ Dub and DJ Kojak competing for our love and adulation. The idea being that the DJs play back to back while you cheer what you like and I guess boo what you don’t, with the DJ getting most of the cheers continuing for the rest of the night. Not sure what happens if they’re both rocking the place, quick game of paper, scissors, stone perhaps. DJ Dub has been on the London dance scene for over a decade and seems to have been a very busy b o y

indeed. DJ, promoter, producer, journalist and an online tutor in the art of mixing. DJ Kojak (bald head but sadly no lollypop) starting spinning records at the tender age of eleven (he’s now twenty five) and has spent the subsequent years honing his skills at clubs, parties and festivals up and down the UK. He is one half of the production duo Infinate Potential, releasing two EPs on Catskills Records and garnered praise from the likes of DJ Yoda, Morcheeba and The Nextman. So as our DJs mix their eclectic tastes together (Stevie Wonder to The Neptunes, Prince to Timbaland, from Dizzee Rascal to Louis Armstrong and R Kelly to The Kaiser Chiefs, although lovers of 60s70s80s90s don’t despair, DJ Dub has a box full of cheese that’d make even DJ Andy B blush) the good people of making waves cater to all our Malibu needs, fixing us up with Malibu & Cranberry, the new “classic” way to drink Malibu. Malibu and coke, the more traditional, old skool way. Malibu and pineapple, very good for sore throats I’m told. This might also be a good time to mention that Pernod Ricard (they own Malibu) in no way promote binge drinking and fully support the

DJing and drinking is what Ibiza is famous for drinkaware.co.uk campaign and my inevitable hangover is no ones fault but my own. Having said that, even the food doesn’t escape the Malibu treatment. Not only do we have Malibu BBQ sauce, we have Malibu rice to go with our jerk chicken and even Malibu vegetable and halum kebabs. After the feasting its time for us to sample another integral part of the Malibu Soundclash, the “Bring Your Own Soundsystem” (which will be held in the Curved Lounge) which gives us mere mortals the chance to get up on the decks and either kick ass or crash and burn, making a fool out of yourself for the enjoyment of your friends. You’ll get to choose from the Malibu Soundclash’s extensive selection of vinyl, CDs and mp3s

or if you’re into your avant-garde post rock or you don’t think they’ll have that particular Serge Santiago re-mix you’ve always wanted to play out then bring your own! And regardless of how you entertain the crowd, be it great tunes or just plain old comedy you’re likely to get a lovely prize, a choice of Ltd edition T-Shirts, bags and aviator sunglasses. Now while none of us had the technical ability to play alongside the likes of Dub and Kojak it has been a lot of fun and certainly not something you want to miss out on come October, although you won’t have the sunshine or for that matter the swimming pool…

Michael O’Rourke

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18

Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

P

UZZLEs, osers & roblems

E-mail answers for Sudoku, Wordoku & Crossword to editor@seren.bangor.ac.uk or cut this out and hand it in at the Students’ Union reception, marked “Seren”. Don’t forget to put your name, tel no. and Uni e-mail address with your completed entry!

4 6 8 4

7 8

9

4

8 1 7 8

4

5 9

FIGUREative on and off as many times as you like, but as soon as you open the door you can’t try again - you must know which switch controls the light! NB: The door fits snugly inside the frame so there are no gaps around it where you could possibly see light escaping.

enCRYPTive

A B

C

PRIZE-CROSSWORD 1

2

3

4

5

6 7

8

9

10

I

Same rules, but the letters from “BANGOR UNI” are in place of 1-9. Note though that there are 2 ‘N’s!

Standard Sudoku - each row, column and 3x3 square must contain the numbers from 1-9, only once each.

You are standing outside a room with a door that is closed. On the wall next to the door are 3 light switches - 2 of them are duds, and the other one controls the light in the room. Your task is to work out which of the 3 switches controls the light inside the room. You can switch all 3 switches

11

ACROSS:1

A real male political goose (10)

7

Former name of Halifax building society (5)

8 9

16

13

Pandas (6,4)

2

Observable (5)

3

_____ about - Slang: “acted stupidly” (5)

As above (5)

4

Michelle & Halle were this type of woman (3)

Serpentine arithmetician (5)

5

Abbreviated removal of poison (5)

6

Canine constabulary (6,4)

10 Branded protection (5)

14

17

15

15 A 3-way junction or a plastic peg (3) 16 Dr Banner experienced these when green (5) 17 With a black mask but not Robin (5)

18

DOWN:1

12 Fatigued (5) 12

1. How many carats is pure gold? 2. What is the fastest bird on land? 3. How is a celestial visible light spectrum more commonly known? 4. Which sport originated in Holland, was popularised by the Scottish and, in recent times, has dominated Canada? 5. Who was behind the breakfast cereal revolution of 1906? 6. Which extraordinary book did Ford Prefect own? 7. What is the colloquial term for a medical computer that uses Axial Tomography? 8. In which cartoon is the town of Bikini Bottom? 9. In which 1995 film did Bruce Willis star with Brad Pitt & Christopher Plummer? 10. What were the names of The Three Musketeers?

R U B A G R N R B U A O I O I N O N G R B R N A I O N

2 7 3 5

G

N

2 5 1 3

N I U

1

4 6 2

B

7

18 The political Joe Bloggs (5,5)

11 To put into service or action (3) 12 Kellogg’s Tony (5) 13 Thank you very very very very much! (5) 14 An absent bovine male taking 40 winks (5) 15 The human trunk (5)

A

B

C

D

EXPOSEitive FIGUREative: You switch the 1st switch on, wait 30 mins and then switch it off again. You then switch on the 2nd switch, leave it on and then open the door. If the 1st switch controlled the light then the light would be off but the bulb would be hot. If it was the 2nd the light would be on, and if it was the 3rd it would be off, but cold! enCRYPTtive: A. Safety in numbers; B. Shadow Cabinet; C. 24 hours. inQUIZitive: 1. 24; 2. Ostrich; 3. Rainbow; 4. Curling; 5. William Kellogg; 6. The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy; 7. CAT Scanner; 8. SpongeBob Squarepants; 9. Twelve Monkeys; 10. Porthos, Athos & Aramis. IMAGEinative: A. Sophie Ellis Bextor; B. John Barrowman; C. Maggot - Goldie Lookin’ Chain; D. Shane Ritchie.

1

inQUIZitive

Wordoku “Bangor Uni”

IMAGEinative

Sudoku Traditional


Seren - Freshers’ Issue 2006

AU TASTER SESSIONS

W

hen and where have-a-go sessions are being held. Why not try something completely new? These sessions are designed to let you get a feel for a club without having to join immediately.

CLUB

DAY + DATE

TIME

VENUE

Archery

Wednesday 27/9 Friday 29/9 Sunday 1/10

8 – 10pm 8 – 10pm 9 – 12pm

Normal Sp. Hall Normal Sp. Hall Normal Sp. Hall

Athletics

Thursday 28/9

5 – 6:30pm

Treborth Track

Badminton

Sunday 1/10

2 – 5pm

Main Hall

Basketball

Saturday 30/9

2 – 4pm

Main Hall

BUMS

TBC

TBC

TBC

Cricket

TBC

TBC

TBC

Fencing

Tuesday 26/9 Wednesday 27/9 Saturday 30/9

8 – 10pm 8 – 10pm 2 – 4pm

Normal Gym 1 Normal Gym 1 Normal Gym 1

Football Men

Wednesday 27/9 Friday 29/9 Saturday 30/9

12 – 2pm 12 – 2pm 2 – 5pm

Maes Pitch 1 + 2 Maes Pitch 1 + 2 Treborth

Football Women

Saturday 30/9

2 – 4pm

Synthetic

Gaelic Football Men’s + Women’s

TBC

TBC

TBC

Gymnastics

Monday 25/9 Thursday 28/9 Saturday 30/9

8 – 10pm 6 – 8pm 3 – 5pm

Gymnastics Hall Gymnastics Hall Gymnastics Hall

Hockey Men

Thursday 28/9 Friday29/9

1 - 3pm 2 - 4pm

Synthetic Synthetic

Hockey Women

Friday 29/9 Saturday 30/9 Sunday 1/10

12 -2pm 11 -2pm 1 -3pm

Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic

Judo

Tuesday 26/9 Thursday 28/9

8 – 10pm 8 – 10pm

Normal Gym 2 Normal Gym 2

Ki-Aikido

Wednesday 27/9 Friday 29/9 Sunday 1/10

8 – 10pm 8 – 10pm 10 – 12pm

Normal Gym 2 Normal Gym 2 Normal Gym 2

Mountain Walking

Saturday 30/9 Sunday 1/10

9 - 5pm 9 - 5pm

Students’ Union Students’ Union

Netball

Thursday 28/9

11 - 1pm

Main Hall

Rowing

TBC

Rugby Men

Thursday 28/9 Saturday 30/9

6 – 8pm 2 - 4pm

Treborth Treborth

Rugby Women

Friday 29/9 Saturday 30/9

2 - 4pm 12 - 2pm

Treborth Treborth

Rugby League

Friday 29/9 Sunday 1/10

12 – 2pm 2 – 4pm

Treborth Treborth

Squash

TBC

TBC

TBC

Tae Kwon Do

TBC

TBC

TBC

Tennis

TBC

TBC

TBC

Thai Kick Boxing

TBC

TBC

TBC

Trampolining

Wednesday 27/9 Thursday 28/9 Sunday 1/10

4 – 6pm 2 – 4pm 2 – 5pm

1⁄2 New Hall 1⁄2 New Hall 1⁄2 New Hall

Ultimate Frisbee

Friday 29/9 Saturday 30/9

7 – 8pm 2 – 4pm

Normal Sp. Hall Normal Sp. Hall

19

Sport

H

i everybody, my name is Andy (or Frodo) and I am your Athletic Union President. First I’d like to welcome back all the returning students and offer a special welcome to those students who are starting their courses here in Bangor. Here in the Athletic Union we coordinate in excess of 40 sports clubs that are affiliated to the AU. We have teams competing weekly; on Wednesdays in BUSA (British Universities Sports Association) and at weekends in local leagues as well as many clubs holding activities in their own disciplines throughout the week. Due to our fantastic location here on the North Wales coast we offer a wide variety of sport ranging from Surfing to Snowsports, Canoeing to Cricket and Hockey to Octopush. We are also affiliated not just to BUSA but also UWAU (Universities in Wales Athletic Union) and this means we also compete with other universities in Wales giving you even more chance to compete for your university. There are few better ways to meet new people, improve your health and fitness and thoroughly enjoy yourself than to take part in sport by joining the AU clubs. You will have the opportunity to meet all the clubs and chat with them during Serendipity, our fresher’s fair on 27th and 28th September in Academi. We also have a full list of clubs as well as details of how to contact them on our website www.undeb.bangor.ac.uk/au This coming year is going to be a difficult time for sport in Bangor. With the University’s development up on the Ffriddoedd site and the Estates strategy involving the area where the Students’ Union is, we are likely to lose yet more valuable facilities for playing and storage. Throughout the year I will be fighting to get sporting provisions increased and prevent the further loss of facilities. I will require your help; whether it is through petitions, letters or demonstrations, so we can stand united for sport and make people realise that these facilities are invaluable to us. Finally I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy your time studying here, take advantage of what the Athletic Union has to offer and get involved. If you have any questions or would like more information please get in contact with me. You can phone me on 01248 388003, email frodo@undeb.bangor.ac.uk or just drop into my office on the 3rd floor of the students union.

Thank you Andy Redfearn, Athletic Union President

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

B

angor has often being accredited for the variety of activities it offers. Its rustic surroundings make it perfect for all those open- air people, and its modern facilities also make room for those who prefer to stay inside. If you have an interest, you are sure to pursue it here, if not, then this is the time to find one! With the town backing onto Snowdonia and facing the Menai Strait, Bangor holds the time honoured stereotype of being a very ‘outdoor’ kind of place. The clubs and the societies that represent the Bangor students also have a good reputation for taking full advantage of it. The Bangor Mountaineering and Walking Club spend most weekends in the wilderness of the Welsh valleys, and is idyllic for anyone who wishes to enjoy a not too strenuous experience of our surroundings. We also have the long established Sailing Club, as well as the Rowing Club, both taking advantage of the Menai Strait. There are some fine sea conditions for the Surf Club and the Windsurfing Club to enjoy, as well as rivers that are enjoyed by the Canoe Club, AU Club of the Year (2003/4) More recently, it has been Bangor’s indoor facilities that have really perked up its sporting life. The development of the Ffriddoedd site has brought fine

new developments in the indoor arena, including a new gym, 2 sports halls, squash courts, astro turf football courts and many other fine facilities all designed to encourage the development of indoor games and activities. We have both large and successful badminton and basketball teams, as well as a netball team and a newly formed squash team. We also make good use of the new astro turf pitches. A new 7-A- Side league is now played every Sunday. It is a great chance to play regular sport, as well as a chance to make your potential shown to the university team. The hockey team also enjoys the facilities, and being one of the largest teams in the universities also offers many opportunities to those interested in the sport. We also of course, take pride in our more traditional sports (this is Wales after all!). The football and rugby teams have been a big part of the Bangor sport scene for many years. The rugby union side has been in existence since the university was established, and this year they are planning to run a team in the BUSA university league and run a combined team in the Welsh league. The football team will as always run three teams: 1sts in Gwynedd, 2nds and 3rds in the Sunday league. The newly established rugby league side was the most successful

and most improved team last year, (Team of the Year 2005-06) their achievements have been phenomenal in relation to the short time they have being in existence, and they will be hoping to prolong this success. Other new sports have attracted much attention recently: canoe polo; ultimate frisbee; octopush; and archery have all grabbed the attention of many students looking for something a little different. The Athletics Club, Cheerleading Club, Dance Club and Fencing Club have all also gained a lot of interest and again add to the ever- growing variety that the Athletic Union offers. Other clubs include Gaelic football, golf, gymnastics, judo, ki- aikido, riding, snowsports, swimming, tennis and volleyball. All clubs will be at the freshers’ fair, Serendipity from the 27th- 28th. We encourage all students to at least try something. The clubs offer not only a chance to participate in the sports but also to meet new people and bond with new groups; social agendas can be found high up on many clubs lists. In order to participate in sports clubs at Bangor, it is important to obtain an AU card, from the Students’ Union, which acts as insurance. Get yours for £10.

Jack Peat

GRADUATES TRAVEL 1/4 THE EARTH IN £50 CAR

I

t is a custom for many graduates to do something wild with their last bit of freedom before they head into the real world. Some visit other countries, some work in other countries, some pub crawl every town in Britain, and some drive from Scarborough to Mongolia in a 977 pink Fiat Panda. Described as ‘doing something mad for a good cause’, John Everitt (formally of Bangor University) and Guy Wilson (Loughborough) decided to head east and take part in the Mongol Rally to raise money for the charity Livestock for life. The Mongol rally is an 8000 mile race across a quarter of the earth’s surface in cars that most people wouldn’t consider reliant enough to take them to the supermarket. The rally requires you to cross 2 deserts and 5 mountain ranges with no support crew, roads running from bad to none existent, and all of this with an engine of no more

than 1 litre. A challenge indeed! But this was a challenge that seemed to appeal to the two boys from Yorkshire, who later would look back on the adventure with fond memories of a quite memorable trip. You would have expected many problems and difficulties, but these seemed to be few and far between, and any that did occur were handled with the outgoing confidence you would need for this type of journey. The team overcame problems with the foreign police for example by “playing the dumb card” when they were looking for bribes, “and just ignoring everything that they say and repeat London to Mongolia over and over again they get bored and wave you on.” Problems with the car were soon solved, and preparation for any faults was evident as the team enjoyed a relatively smooth ride. It is left then for only fond memories of their trip, John Everitt describes how

the locals “had nothing to give yet gave everything,” and how “this was true throughout all of the countries that we visited”. He also recollects on a fond memory of a night with an Uzbeki family. “When we awoke they had breakfast waiting for us. We got up and started eating trying to explain in sign language that we were heading to a city called Osh today. We kept on saying Osh and more and more food kept coming, the more we tried to explain that we were full and needed to get to Osh the more food kept coming after we had been eating this poor family out of house and home from 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon (the families kids were climbing trees to get us more food) We realized that we were actually heading towards Ush and the Uzbeki word for food is Osh!” The team was one of only 75 cars (out of 160) to finish the rally.


Seren - 187 - 2006-2007 - September 2006