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Bangor University’s Star Publication


ISSN 1755-7585

Issue No. 201

Freshers’ Issue 2008

BANGOR’S FIRST FRESHERS’ BALL IS FINALLY HERE! T his year will see the first ever Freshers’ Ball at Bangor University and it’s going to be big! Organised by your very own Students’ Union, Time and Academi will be as you’ve never seen them before. For this night only, the Union’s venues are going to be transformed! The SU are determined that attendees won’t feel that it’s simply ‘another’ night in Bangor and so they’ve pulled all the stops out to deck out the venue with various themed areas… They’ll be a vibrant and exciting Carnival atmosphere in Academi and the adjacent Cocktail Lounge. Bands Thabani and Bandabacana bands will keep you grooving away in Academi, supported by resident Racubah DJs, whilst Byd Mawr takes the lead on some funky global beats in the Cocktail Lounge. Time, the main arena, plays host to one of the most “hotly-tipped groups in Britain”*, The Ryes, who have already attracted big name fans such as Jo Whiley and Alex Zane! Later on, Time will be going ‘Disco’ and taking us back to the days of tight jeans and big hair: Abba Gold will be taking centre stage! These acts and more will be supported by none other than resident DJ Karlton Rowley bringing you some of the best club anthems. The Curved Lounge is to be transformed into the Dance Arena – a pulsating and energetic space where dance and house music DJs will be the order of the night. UV lights and break-dancers included! Last, but not least, there is The Basement – the brand spanking new bar (see page 4 for more info on this particular venue) which will be boasting ‘interactivity’ and other novelties and a chance to zone out from the crowds above. Dress code is smart-casual, so you’ll not have to blow all that loan money on a new outfit just yet. We’re told you can be as fancy as you want but if you’d rather just turn up in your jeans, then go for it. However, the rule of no sportswear does apply, so the Converse are going to have to stay at home. As for food, the Students’ Union is promising us a vareity from pork loin baps to the usual burgers and chips for the less adventurous (vegetarian options too!). One of the most interesting aspects of the Freshers’ Ball organisation this year is the introduction of e-ticket buying, some-

INSIDE: Freshers’ 08 pull-out guide Safe-sex special Alcohol Adventure Loads of new columnists Music, film and book reviews

thing never seen before on this scale at Bangor University. The process is rather complex, but it’s nice to see the Union finally arriving in the 21st Century! Tickets have been on sale since the 12th

of September and rumours are, they’re selling out fast! They’re available exclusively to Freshers until the 22nd of September and then anyone can get their hands on them! One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a night Ban-

gor students have never seen before and Seren will be there reporting every detail!

Patrick Stephens

... and tons more ace stuff


Luxury student accommodation situated within walking distance of Bangor University


booking up

Just call into our office opposite Lidl car park very fast... or call us on: 01248 371450 (office hours) or so don’t miss out! 07841 369249 (evenings and weekends). You can also email us at:


Editorial Freshers’ Issue 2008 Contributors:

Patrick Stephens Iain Dalton Emily Collins Mark Jessett Liz Stephens Joe Firth Tom Hecht John Jackson Spencer George Rob Samuel Matt McCullagh Matt Ison Tom Durkin Lee Howson Robert Mann Alex Farley Helen Aldred Abbey-Jay Wilson

Proof reading:

Spencer George Tom Hecht

Suppliment dedication:

to Emma Dodd

Freshers’ Issue 2008

Greetings... H

ello one and all, welcome to Seren’s Freshers’ extravaganza! We have got ten tons of amazingness inside for you all to absorb and appreciate. The main focus of this issue is to really entice you to get involved with the making of this beautiful newspaper… and I don’t just mean Freshers, all other years are included in this appeal! I must apologise for the usage of the following rather trite phrase, but it is 4.30 am and we’ve not finished the paper yet; Seren is run by students, for students and without students there is really nothing to report. Basically, we need you, and it’ll cost you nothing. So, get involved! You’ve (hopefully) seen our Facebook profile by now, we’re making it as easy as possible, you don’t even have to log out of your favourite social networking site to get in touch with us! What more could you want?! Alright, I’ll stop nagging you now; I hope you’ve got the message. As you may have noticed on the front of this issue, Seren is officially a credit crunch free-zone. This ludicrous phrase has become the bain of my life (and probably yours) this summer and as such I’ve made our sub-editors remove all mention of it from their articles. Hurrah! I’ve begun to notice that the phrase itself doesn’t actually mean anything anymore. Anyway, we students are used to living without our organic beef, so I’m sure we’ll survive. Next time it’s raining though remember: it’s because of the credit crunch. I fully expect you to be reading this from the comfort of your cosy new hall / house. If you’re a Fresher, then this paper has been hand delivered to you by those lovely Welcome Week volunteers, so when you see them make sure you clap. Could you imagine what your life would be like without them? You’d not have a Seren to read and you’d feel empty inside, I can promise you that much. I’ve not really much else to say other than I hope Freshers’ Week is thoroughly enjoyed by all and I want to see you at our Serendipity stall... there are free sweets, so you’ve no excuse. Much love,

Jo Caulfield (the one on the right)



Editor News Features Music Film Books Sports Design

Jo Caulfield Stephen Davies Bianca Murray Emma Dixon Mark Varley Emma McColl Will Varley Dan Turner

Seren is Bangor University’s monthy student newspaper. We have editorial independence from both Bangor University and Bangor Students’ Union. Seren is written by students for students and we’d love you students to get involved! Send an email to the editor (editor@seren.bangor. to a relevant sub-editor (sub-editor’s-title@ The other option is to add us on Facebook and get in touch! The next issue of Seren goes to print on 23rd of October; the deadline for submissions is 20th October. Much love, peace out.



Freshers’ Issue 08

Students’ Union logo gets an overhaul T

his year sees the introduction of a new logo for our Students’ Union. After market research carried out before the summer break concluded that the ‘U’ logo was unpopular, it was clear a new design was needed. Seren spoke to Deputy President Spencer George and asked him what he thought the new logo could bring to the SU: “The new logo is one of a few communication tools at our disposal to help us deliver the message that we want to get across to students. The old logo was perceived by many as boring, bland and uninspiring. Instead we wanted a recognisable brand, one that students would immediately be able to identify as the students’ union logo. We also thought it was important that the logo represents democracy, equality and unity. We’ve worked on several designs over the last four months and after seeking student opinion, the ‘dragons’ tail’ option was by far and away the most popular choice.” He added, “We feel that the image is more powerful than the previous incarnation and we hope it will help us deliver a consistent message about why we exist, what we stand for and what we can provide for the students.” Companies and Organisations often re-brand to spruce up their image, which can become quickly outdated in a fast moving world. An old logo is the fashion equivalent to someone wearing platform boots today. Nevertheless, re-branding can be dangerous in the cut throat consumer world. Take a recent example of the ubiquitous social networking site Facebook. The company has launched a ‘new look layout’, yet there are already established groups opposing the changes. The group ‘One million against the new Facebook layout’ in fact has well over a million members. Yet there have been instances of successful new logos. The Conservative party scrapped it’s old torch logo in favour of a blue and green tree. Two years on and the party are in a far better position in the polls. Of course there may well have been other factors to explain their success, but that’s another story for another time... Here’s hoping then, that the new SU logo is the beginning of an exciting time for the union itself. Any queries about the use of the logo should be directed at members of the sabbatical team.

Emma Dixon and Joe Firth

Holy war!

All tap water in Bangor Bangor’s gay bishop row deemed sparks controversy in the undrinkable Church of Wales W A ater in Bangor remains undrinkable this week after a rise in bacteria was detected at a treatment

plant. Welsh Water has advised all residents in North Wales to boil water prior to drinking or cooking with it. The company have also said the advice is a “precautionary measure” and that the rise in bacteria detected at some of its water treatment plants was not due to malfunction in equipment. The notice has been issued to customers across Anglesey and Gwynedd including Bangor, Menai Bridge and Llanfairpwllgwyngyly. This is not the first time such an incident has occurred and there are concerns this water problem will continue for several months. A spokesman for Welsh Water said: “An increase in the levels of cryptosporidium has been detected through our routine

water quality sampling programme. This has prompted us to take this precautionary measure to protect public health. Extensive further water sampling is required, and so at this stage it is not known how long the boil water notice will be in force. He also added: “We will be issuing letters to customers affected by this boil water notice. We will confirm when the boil water notice has been lifted. We apologise for inconvenience caused, but protecting public health is our highest priority.” The spokesman said the cause of the increase in cryptosporidium levels was not known at this time. Cryptospiridium can cause diarrhoea and vomiting so all students are advised to follow Welsh Water’s instructions until further notice.

Patrick Stephens

n openly gay clergyman could soon become Britain’s first openly gay diocesan bishop and it’s happening here in Bangor. Back in June, the See of Bangor was made vacant when the Right Rev Anthony Crockett, died of cancer. A formal election for his replacement will take place in October and it seems openly gay Dr Jeffrey John, the current Dean of St Albans, is in the running. Two years ago he celebrated a civil partnership ceremony with another priest, the Rev Grant Holmes, however both of them are celibate. This news has not come without retaliation. In the last few days, Canon Peter Jones, chancellor of Bangor Cathedral, has threatened to quit if Dr John is appointed Bishop of Bangor. He said: “I would be strongly opposed to the appointment. I would consider my position. Jeffrey John is a strong advocate of changing the Church’s traditional teaching on homosexuality and I accept the teaching of Holy Scripture that homosexual acts are wrong.” The appointment is not set in stone just yet however. Members of the college of Bangor will soon meet at a highly secret

three-day lock-in (no, not that sort of lock in!) at our very own Cathedral. This meeting will see nominations for the position put forward in a secret ballot. There are

large rift, highlighted during tensions at the recent Lambeth Conference in Canterbury. At the centre of the conflict has been the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, however as his authority does not extend beyond England, he would have no power to stop the appointment of Dr John, whose nomination is opposed by Anglican conservatives due to his written support of a new scriptural understanding of homosexuality. The Church in Wales is no longer part of the Anglican Church in Britain and has a tradition of liberal Catholicism. Interestingly, the governing body of the Church in Wales recently turned down a Dr Jeffery John and Cannon Peter Jones proposal for women bishops, but the Archbishop of Wales, more than 40 members of the college, 12 Dr Barry Morgan, has said that if his fellow of whom are from Bangor, and each mem- bishops in Wales voted for a homosexual ber can nominate as many candidates as priest to be a bishop, he would have no obthey wish. Dr John will not be nominated jections in principle. formally until the members are behind Could it be then that Bangor will play closed doors and the nominations are con- host to a full-on Anglican fight? Watch this fidential. space…! This comes at a time of heightened pressure in the Anglican Church. The Jo Caulfield subject of gay clergymen has caused a



Freshers’ Issue 2008

Emrys Evans has never looked better!

Nearly the Last Choir standing! Local choir Ysgol Glanaethwy come 2nd place in national choir competition.


fter a nail biting final on BBC One’s Last Choir Standing, members of Ysgol Glanaethwy have become the pride of North Wales. On Saturday 30th August, Cardiff based group Only Men Aloud narrowly beat the Bangor choir to the crown of Last Choir Standing. Our boys and girls gave rousing performances of Try a Little Tenderness and All that Jazz from the musical Chicago. The all Welsh final was as tense as they come, and made


n mid-August the last remnants of the old Ffriddoedd Site halls were finally brought down. Neuadd Emrys Evans and Plas Gwyn had graced the site for over forty years but their time was now up, making way for the drastic changes to the site that some would suggest are well overdue. Gone are the large kitchens, peeling paint and shared bathroom. In their place, prefab structures that appear in weeks and offer the luxuries of en-suite bathrooms. Plas Gwyn was last habited in the academic year 2003-04, the place standing deserted for four years, casting a shadow over

the entire Ffriddoedd Site. Rumours of its reopening had certainly been going around the site over the years, scaring freshers and current students alike. Luxury in Plas Gwyn was having a balcony for your room. Thin corridors, staircases and a confusing layout made the whole place appear more prison like in its final years. Emrys Evans never fared much better. Run down over its final years, time certainly had taken its toll on the building. The dated feel of the rooms, bathrooms and kitchens showed in comparison to the new buildings. Whilst there are those who say that the loss of more shared accommoda-

tion is a bad thing generally for the student body, there can not be anyone who did not feel that the demolition of Neuadd Emrys Evans was overdue. And so, as the bulldozers pulled down the final part of Neuadd Emrys Evans, a small crowd of onlookers gathered. There were no tears or cheers, just the sound of the excavator making short work of the building. Within a year it will be hard to tell that the building ever existed.


where an overwhelming proportion of students said that the Students’ Union lacked a daytime bar. Debbie Lacey, the venue’s bar manager said: “After the catering department closed in August we decided that a daytime bar/ coffee shop would fill this void and provide the students with a competitively priced, relaxing venue where they can work, unwind and socialise with friends.” Good news comes in the form of drinks prices! Students will not be penalised by the decision to improve the venues as prices in

the Basement and Academi have been frozen despite the large investment made to the venues. The Basement will have named brand spirits and lagers, including the introduction of Guinness extra cold, a range of coffees, muffins, and snacks and will be open to the student public from Fresher’s week, so go and have a nose!

Jo Caulfield

Bianca Murray


Mark Jesset

. . . n o o s g n w i e m n o d C n a r r b a b e t h n T e m e s Ba brand new pub is opening in the bottom of the Students’ Union. As of Monday the 22nd September The Basement will be open Monday - Friday 10am through until 1 am, operating as a coffee bar/ pub. It will also be open as a third room for the Saturday night as part of the ‘Academi Student Saturdays’ from 9-2am. The decision to refurbish the old JOCKS bar was made after receiving feedback from a survey carried out by the Students’ Union

quite brilliant television. Ysgol Glanaethwy has 250 members and was co founded eighteen years ago by Cefin and Rhian Roberts. Speaking to the Daily Post Rhian Roberts said “I am extremely proud of the choir to have got so far in the competition; spirits are so high even though we lost. Obviously we are a bit disappointed, but it was fantastic.” The choir, made up of members from Bangor, Caernarfon and Anglesey are unique in that they are one of the few choirs left in the country that sing in English and Welsh. The Last Choir Standing

panel (singing sensation Russell Watson, Sharon D Clarke, and Suzi Digby) selected Ysgol Glanaethwy from 60 choirs in the national auditions and described their performances as “full of energy, fun and dazzling.” The choir returned to Bangor to a hero’s welcome last week, despite not winning the competition, their home country remains proud. In another astounding achievement, the choir made history by performing Take That’s Shine at the 2012 Olympics party at Buckingham Palace. In an interview with a local newspaper Heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones commented that the series had been “a great showcase for Wales and Welsh talent.” Despite having lost out in the final, its clear that this choir has a very bright future ahead of them, and all of us here at Seren wish them every success.

Carnage will hit Bangor on Tuesday 4th November 2008!


ellow students, the wait is over… Carnage UK is coming to Bangor and Seren, as per usual is bringing you the details before anyone else! We have finally discovered when the monster event will roll out across Bangor, and the wait is not long! Both www. and the official Facebook group will prepare you for what’s in store, with all the latest information, direct from Carnage UK. For those not in the know, Carnage is an enormous student fancy dress event where everyone buys a t-shirt that gains you entry into all the venues including the end venue. The t-shirt has all the relevant information printed on it and also includes some tasks for those getting into

the ‘spirit’ of things...! The night will begin in Rascals, with students packing the rafters. The party will then move to Varsity, Fat Cats, Yates’s and The Old Glan (Yellow) before hitting Time and Academi. Only time will tell what Carnage has in store for us, but one thing’s for certain – it’s going to be big. The official t-shirts are on sale at Rascals, Varsity or The Basement Bar, so get on it! Carnage UK supports DrinkAware., and operates a Be Safe: Stay Safe policy. For more information visit www.

Liz Stevens


Freshers’ Issue 08

The final curtain for Theatr Gywnedd

NEWS Here’s a few rather unusual stories from the summer that you may have missed... Tuesday, 22 July


A campaigner against Heathrow Airport’s third runway attempted to glue himself to Gordon Brown. Dan Glass, a member of the protest group Plane Stupid, covered his left hand in superglue prior to receiving an award from the prime minister. As the two went to shake hands, Mr Glass he stuck out his superglued hand and touched Mr Brown’s sleeve. Plane Stupid said Mr Glass’ hand was then firmly glued to Mr Brown’s jacket, however Downing Street’s official response stated there had been “no stickiness of any significance”. Mr Glass said his organisation was attempting to make Mr Brown “stick to his environmental promises”.


fter over thirty years of entertaining the communities of North Wales, one of the foremost theatre companies in the country will close its doors to the public in October. Theatr Gwynedd and Company located beside the Student’s Union will cease to host performances from this autumn. The venue has played host to an eclectic mix of drama, art, comedy, dance, cinema screening of modern and foreign film, and of course SODA’s annual performance. However in recent years, financial issues have led to the decision to close the Theatr Gwynedd Company with the loss of nine full time and twenty casual jobs. Since the late seventies Theatr Gwynedd has lent itself to medium scale productions, writing workshops and theatre festivals. A recent article in the North Wales Chronicle commented the decision was due to “increased financial pressures.” Nevertheless when considering the number of very successful performances Theatr Gwynedd has

played host to in recent months; award winning comedian Brendon Burns, a Tarantino interpretation of Macbeth and a spectacular adaptation of Thoroughly Modern Millie by Bangor University’s Student Operatic and Dramatic Association, it is hard to believe that the company could be suffering any financial hardship. But modern times and changes in the scale of performing have led to space constrictions and limited the shows that can showcase at Theatr Gwynedd. Theatre lecturer Gwen Ellis who has worked with Theatr Gwynedd since 1979 told Seren “As a lecturer, I shall miss being able to rely on their expertise and friendship when a student asks for training on the technical aspects of theatre. It saddens me deeply that Bangor will shortly have no theatre and no cinema: apparently one of the few, if not the only, university towns that offer no such facilities to their students. ” Yet all is not lost for the prestigious North Wales theatre company as plans have

been unveiled to recreate Theatr Gwynedd into a new multi million pound complex. The project will be a joint endeavour between the University and Theatr Gwynedd Company; the announcement of plans to rebuild the Students Union building has sparked discussion that Theatr Gwynedd and the Students Union will be connected with the Main Arts building although plans have yet to be released to confirm or deny these rumours. The reopening of a bigger and better theatre will ultimately be a great asset to Bangor and the wider community; a larger performance space will imminently attract more performers to the town and give Theatr Gwynedd a new lease of life. Chairwoman of the Theatr Gwynedd Board commented that whilst the actual building will be closed for up to a year and a half, the company would continue to perform in other locations around North Wales.

Bianca Murray

Cheap and happy Bangor scores highly in independent students polls


where even penny sweets appear to t appears that independent have price comparison sites? (Rumours pollsters have much love for that the web name Pik-N-MixCompare. Bangor University this month, com had been recently bought up as Bangor has been ranked the sadly could not be confirmed as Seren second cheapest place for students went to press). To test their reviewing to live in the UK according to acumen I donned an investigative independent university guide, cap, for purposes of authenticity you’s Cost of Living Index. understand, and went a-snooping at Ipsos Mori’s National Student Survey also saw Bangor record an overall satisfaction rating of 86% among students - the 11th highest score of UK Universities and Further Education Centres, placing Bangor in the top 20 percent countrywide. The highest satisfaction scores were gleaned from Finance and Accounting students and those studying Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences - both Student satisfaction: departments earning themselves a 98% satisfaction rating. The Booze index score: University’s newest department, that of Law, scored almost as Average price of a pint: highly, obtaining a 92% satisfaction rating. Dr. David Roberts, University their website. Registrar, attributed these profound The first thing chanced upon whilst successes to an acknowledgement on the part of University departments to searching the University’s pages is the 5-star rating system measuring aspects ensure that student support was “a vitally important element” in enabling of university life from Welfare to the allimportant booze index. Bangor scored a positive student experience. five-out-of-five on this crucial criteria Good times all round. However, it was (£1.40 as average pint price), which,’s status as an independentdepending on alcoholic persuasion yet-highly-informal university guide that had me really intrigued. Could will see Freshers either champing-atthe-bit, eyeing the pennies in their they be trusted, especially in an era


already overflowing beer money jar or recoiling in shock and seeking refuge in a nearby coffee bar, secluded from the inebriated hordes around them. Overall, Bangor scored a not-tooshabby 23-out-of-30. Moreover, allows former and current students to review Bangor University to fill in synopsis details and review Bangor University in a blog-centric manner, and if the lurid, colourful and downright wacky range of descriptions on the site are anything to go by it’s an opportunity that many have jumped upon with an enthusiasm akin to a hyperactive toddler on a sugar-rush. It’s hard to imagine an Ipsos Mori survey concluding that Bangor has a “tolerably funky night scene” or “an increasingly bitchin’ psychology department”. More’s the pity, obviously, but rest assured that the factual credentials of are onpoint as well. Not every statistical point was covered, but the range of information available was nothing if not comprehensive. So there you have it. They’re good, almost too good. No shocking expose to report, and what’s worse, I’ve been forced to return my cap to Claire’s Accessories.

86% 5/5 £1.40

Stephen Davies

Thursday 14th August


Try this… Back in August the Times Higher Education Supplement published a list of rather exceptional answers students gave in their end of year exams. Highlights include an economics student at City University in London who attributed Northern Rock’s downfall to “laxative enforcement policies”. A University of Southampton student concerned by global warming wrote: “Tackling climate change will require an unprecedented response.” It does get better: In literature, a Bath Spa University student wrote that Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale “shows how patriarchy treats women as escape goats.” And finally, a personal favourite: an undergraduate concerned by the threat of illness, wrote “Control of infectious diseases is very important in case an academic breaks out.” You’ve got to admit, with answers like these, academics can be rather dangerous…

Friday 15th August


Here’s one for all you pedants out there… Tesco was forced to change the wording of signs on its fast-track checkouts to avoid a linguistic dispute. The supermarket has replaced “10 items or less” notices with signs saying “Up to 10 items”. Technically, “10 items or less” is grammatically incorrect. If you’re interested (or want to show off to your mates), “Fewer” should be used when you can count the items individually e.g. “there are fewer coins in my wallet”. “Less” is correct when you cannot count the quantity, e.g. “I would like less tequila”. Not that we’re expecting you to utter those words any time this week…

Friday 5th September


A Westlife fan celebrated her 40th birthday by having a tattoo of the band across her shoulders. Vicky Jones from Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley spent 16 hours having the boys tattooed on her back. According to the BBC website, Vicki has seen over 300 Westlife concerts and counts herself as their greatest fan. She said to BBC online: “My children reckon I’m crazy but the tattoos are fabulous. All my money goes on Westlife - about £4,000 a year. I must be their biggest fan.” Singers Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan added their autographs two months ago. She then had them inked over onto her back, underneath their portraits.



Freshers’ Issue 2008

Bringing you the best in news, views,

mnist u l o c w Ne aler t! Donation Not Discrimination!


by Emily Collins

GBT Pride is Bangor University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans group. We stand for the rights of the whole of the LGBT Students community here in Bangor: we hold regular meetings, events and campaigns for LGBT students and have fun whilst doing it! At our weekly meetings we have ‘Queer Guides’, who offer a confidential, friendly service; they are available to help any students with LGBT issues. Our monthly ‘attitude free’ night – Fruit Salad – provides an amazing night out and our campaigns are a force to be reckoned with! Our first campaign of the year is ‘Donation Not Discrimination’. This is a countrywide campaign protesting the National Blood Service’s (NBS) ban on Gay and Bisexual men donating blood. If you’ve donated blood you will know that you are asked a series of questions before they take the red stuff out of your vains. Our main problem is that if you answer ‘yes’ to the question: “Are you a man who has had anal or oral sex with a man (even if you used a condom)?” you will be banned from giving blood, for life. This ban will not be lifted in any case, even if you walk in waving an ‘all-clear’ HIV test and wearing a chastity belt! The NBS wrote to me recently and informed me that in 2005 more than 2500 HIV infections were diagnosed in gay or bisexual men; ‘the largest number reported since the start of the HIV epidemic’. They said that this was ‘clear evidence’ that gay and bisexual men should be banned. It seems they forgot to mention that the government believes these numbers are a result of their ‘safer sex’ campaigns – meaning the high number of diagnoses is likely to be because more people are coming forward to be tested, rather than because more gay and bisexual men have HIV. They also forgot to explain why the other 70% of the HIV-infected donors weren’t banned for life. LGBT Pride encourages the NBS in their life-saving work; but we believe that discriminating against a group of society based on a stereotype is wrong. Furthermore, the policy of the National Blood Service reinforces the idea that HIV/AIDS is a ‘gay disease’. Our campaign will be focused on the NBS blood-drive on the 7th October 2008 in Powys Hall. We urge all eligible students to come and donate blood. If you are unable to donate for whatever reason, please come down and support us. We will have an information picket and a petition for you to sign, asking the NBS to reconsider their ban. If you would like more information or to get involved, please email

Emily Collins is campaign officer for LGBT pride.

Left Leanings

A socialist perspective from Iain Dalton


17,500. That’s probably the average debt for someone leaving university last year. This year it will be even more. If you are a fresher and reading this, I apologise for being so bleak, but it is the situation that students face today and it’s time we did something about it. Tuition (and now top-up) fees add to that debt, over £3000 a year for many students. 2009 will be a year where fees are a big issue as the government will begin reviewing the cap of £3070 a year that is currently placed on undergraduate fees (the news is worse if you’re an international student or post graduate as you can be charged even more). How have we got to this situation from one where just over ten years ago we didn’t have tuition fees? The assault on the living conditions of students began back in the eighties where piece by piece the Tory government stripped away various benefits and grants students could claim as a right. This process has continued under the Labour government of Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown looks set to carry on with the scheme. What remains of grants and bursaries is only a pittance of what once existed and is now mostly meanstested (which in effect means seemingly endless paperwork to fill-in just to attempt to claim anything).

Of course, there are more students in Higher Education now than ever before, but soon £25billion is going to be wasted on a new generation of nuclear weapons (and that’s just for the first phase!). It simply cannot be argued that the money isn’t there. Yet that’s exactly what those in charge of the National Union of Students (NUS) -who are supposed to represent us - are claiming. Whilst the President, Wes

calling on the Student Union to organise a referendum, which will now take place, giving every student in Bangor a vote on whether the union should support the aims of the Campaign to Defeat Fees. The Campaign to Defeat Fees demands for the abolition of tuition fees, the scrapping of student debt and the introduction of a living grant for all students. It also calls for the building of a mass campaign to fight for this using the resources that NUS have to co-ordinate national and local action. Not just a handful of activists in every university but hundreds of students prepared to fight. Some may say this is impossible, but movements of this kind are exactly what have stopped cuts to universities in Greece and schools and colleges in Chile, as one of the campaigners there said “We are realists, we demand the impossible.” What we don’t have in this country is a leadership of the student movement

It is unrealistic to expect students to put up with living in poverty to get a higher education. Streeting, talks of how he believes in free education, he hypocritically refuses to campaign for it saying it is unrealistic. Well Mr. Streeting, it is unrealistic to expect students to put up with living in poverty to get a higher education. Last year over 300 students signed a petition

that is prepared to do this, but by building campaigns in universities across the country the Campaign to Defeat Fees is building the embryo of what is needed. The aforementioned referendum will be taking place this October and adopting the Campaign to Defeat Fees demands will commit the Student Union to campaigning against fees. But this should only be the beginning. The Students’ Union should also be campaigning on other issues that affect students from day-today. If your course faces cuts, if you face unfair charges in your halls of residence, the Student Union should be there backing you up as a student, campaigning to defend you and other students, drawing on the experience of other campaigns from around the country. If you want to get involved in the referendum campaign visit the Socialist Students stall at Serendipity or e-mail s

Iain Dalton is a Student’s Union Senator and the head of the Socialist Students Society.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch In view of the upcoming referendum on free university education, Stephen Davies and Patrick Stephens analyse the other side of the argument


ooking back over our protracted Summer break, it’s clear that it has been an eventful few months for the National Union of Students (NUS) which, following recent elections, has shifted quickly back into action. Recently inducted NUS President Wes Streeting, who took over from former President Gemma Tumelty at the beginning of July, has this month unveiled a new report, Broke and Broken, which challenges the Government’s approach to the University funding system, something the NUS has been a long-standing critic of. The report focuses on realigning NUS’ policy on fees. They are now focusing on a campaign to keep prices down, rather than remove the yearly charges completely. With the Socialist Students referendum coming up soon, is NUS’ stance on the matter of fees really as bad as the Left-wingers make out? NUS are fierce in their fight against the raising of university fees, and their recent report - Broke & Broken (see inset picture) goes a long way to

outline the problems university students face. But should they be going further? Should we be lobbying the Government to scrap fees altogether? The Broke and Broken report is the final seal on NUS’ change of policy regarding fees. Until recently, they have campaigned for free education but it seems the reality has dawned on them that this is never going to work. Every student would love a free education and we can wax lyrical about how much the war in Iraq is costing until we’re blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is, the Government will continue the war in Iraq and not spend the money on educating their population. It’s one of those sad facts of life we have to accept. However, before you brush off the Socialist Students’ referendum as ridiculous, rumours are that Wes Streeting himself will be coming to Bangor to fights against it; so they must be taking it seriously. The Broke and Broken report goes on to state that allocation of bursaries and additional funding of Government resources is often not reaching those most in need

of it financially. The outcome of this, according to the NUS, is the widening of a two-tier system between well-off and underprivileged students. This needs to be addressed, as a student body what we have to avoid is a class system opening up within our own universities. Education should be the pathway to a level playing field, giving everyone the same opportunities regardless of their social background or personal financial situation and if that isn’t happening, something is seriously wrong. Following the report’s publication Wes Streeting criticised Government plans to review the cap on tuition fees next year, likening such actions to political parties “burying their heads in the sand”. He continued, “We need to have a proper debate about a viable alternative to the current system, which is creaking under the pressure of market forces. We need to alleviate that pressure, not exacerbate it by contemplating raising the fees cap”. It is sensible for the NUS to change their stance, any more

time spent on an old, idealist dream is time wasted. As students, we need something to bring to the table that has substance and plausibility, our focus should now be on realigning the injustices and ensuring we aren’t in £28,000 worth of debt for the privilege.

Stephen Davies and Patrick Stephens



Freshers’ Issue 08

reviews and maybe even Tom Cruise!

To Hell in a Handcart... The media are forever highlighting society’s problems… We’re all going to die and it’s going to be your fault somehow.


s we all know, student easily the Daily Mail and life can sometimes Express get away with have its dull moheadlines such as (and ments. Now Countdown is these are genuine excoming to the end of its life amples) “Now Gays Get and the questions on The Rights To Children” and Weakest Link have become so “Migrants take ALL new painfully easy, even a 4 month jobs in Britain.” Casual old child has an 80% chance xenophobia and prejuof getting them right, there dice adorn the Mail’s seems to be little entertainfront pages on a regular ment of the indoor-daytime basis and no one seems to variety left. batter an eyelid. In the past, my solution To prevent these headto this would have been: go lines from sending my outside! Be free! Wander the blood pressure skywards, streets of Bangor and talk to I’ve been devising a game people, like, in person! Howto amuse myself. It’s called ever, these days we all know ‘Become a Respectable what is likely to happen if Citizen’ and you should you step into the street… you try it. Here are the rules: will allegedly, most definitely, next time you’re in the without a shadow of a doubt, vicinity of a newspaper get stabbed. Not just once, but rack, glance at the front multiple times, in the neck, page of the Mail or the Exin the face, in the left arm, in press and allow your head the face again, on the back of to explode with how truly the knee and quite possibly, in outrageous society in A recent headline from the Daily Mail... need we say any more? the nose. That’s right folks, the this day and age is. Then modern world is nothing but choose an overused and and scalding the faces of innocent children you’re a waste of space anyway? Crimes a haven of people with knives; seemingly meaningless and they’re thrusting them in your general on a regular basis; but this doesn’t mean are committed all over the UK by seem- phrase to adequately express this indignawe all are. ingly respectable citizens on a daily basis, tion. Something like “gone to the dogs!” or direction. Some of us are now approaching a stage but you wouldn’t know, because you aren’t “never in my day!” will work fine. Finally, Well, that’s what you may be led to believe if you read tabloids such as the Daily in our lives where we can no longer be ac- told. The media prefer to inform us of all take the headline and chosen axiom, put Mail every day. According to them, every- curately described as a ‘youth’. I can’t say those youths who spend their time “stab- them together and announce your opinion one is getting stabbed or mauled or eaten however that this voyage into old(er) age bin up deez hoes. Bare sick and ting, brapp as loudly as possible in a public place. It’s brapp.” …or what all the over 40s are doing these days, by 8ft snakes on a twice-daily basis (usually makes me as s o m e t h i n g I can’t help but hear. at the hands of immigrants). Think back to sad as it used to. like that anyhow many times in the last month you’ve I’m quite glad I’d like to end this article with my inspiway. It seems ration for the above pastime and indeed, heard of a stabbing somewhere; I’m imag- to be too old to the ruling this article. A few months ago, whilst in a ining it’s quite a lot. Would it then surprise feel personally classes need a queue at Tesco, I overheard a 50-year-old you to know that, according to official sta- victimised by scapegoat and man (Daily Mail in hand) ranting to his wife, tistics, knife crime has actually fallen since the institutional ageism of socianyone in the seemingly unaware of the exquisite irony the mid-1990s? 13-19 bracket spouting from his mouth: “AM I READThanks to the media obsession with ety. Yes there are fits perfectly. knife crime, youths are to be approached ING RIGHT? 16,000 IMMIGRANTS Ultimately, INTO BRITAIN EVERY MONTH? THIS with enormous trepidation. There’s story problems and fear sells news- COUNTRY’S GONE TO RACK AND upon story of older, more responsible citi- yes some young papers and RUIN! ANY MORE OF THIS DOROTHY, zens getting battered in the street because people do go off they asked two youths not to stub their cig- the rails, but unless the Daily Mail give all headlines saying “Don’t Worry, The Youths AND WE’RE MOVING TO SPAIN!” arettes out in the face of a child, or some- this scare mongering a rest, it’s going to Are Off The Smack Sandwiches” aren’t thing equally horrific. This may well be get worse. For what would be the point in going to do the Mail’s profit margins any Jo Caulfield true; some youths might be running riot trying to better yourself if society thinks favours. What really surprises me is how

‘Everyone is getting stabbed or mauled or eaten by 8ft snakes on a twice-daily basis (usually at the hands of immigrants)’

Does something really get your goat? Are you constantly disillusioned with the life you lead? Well then friend, Comment is the place for you. We are always on the lookout for new articles and columnists, so get in touch! There’s scope for articles of any nature, from student issues to the wider perspective. Your paper needs you! Email:

New colum nist aler t!

Life, the universe and whatsitsface


by Joe Firth

hat was I going to say? Oh yes something about memory. I don’t know about you but I find this is an all too common occurrence in conversation. It also extends to forgetting what I was thinking about much of the time, my thoughts becoming a collection of dead-end roads. Quite often I’ll walk into a room, only to utterly forget why I had entered in the first place. If somebody happens to be in the room at the time I’ll feign searching for something if not I’ll dither in the doorway racking my pathetic excuse for a brain (sometimes I wonder if it’s any use having one at all). Another case in point (more evidence for if I were ever to stand trial in some sort of amnesiacs court of law) refers to packing for a holiday. I find no matter how much preparation I procure something is inevitably forgotten. Of course most things you can get by without, or buy there, such as sun cream, a hat or even moisturising lotion. However it’s a different story if you forget one of the essentials, the classic example being the passport (telling the check-in assistant ‘I don’t have it with me but I can tell you it is in the top drawer of my desk’, does not, in fact get you on the plane). My most spectacular loss of memory occurred last year when I was convinced I’d lost my mobile phone. Such was the conviction that I went out and bought a new one, only to find I’d simply forgotten it was in a bag I’d been using all along. Impressively, I’ve also managed to leave a card in a cash machine, yet the repercussions were minimal as the next person handed it into the bank (some faith restored in humanity momentarily). Initially, I was under the impression that it was only myself who was uniquely afflicted by this apparently premature onset of dementure. However, when I mentioned it to one or two friends (I would’ve asked more but, well you can probably guess the reason why I hadn’t) I discovered that they too suffered from a similar complex. I felt comforted yet also somehow robbed of this unique anti-ability. On further thought however it simply led me to worry. If this is an epidemic of forgetfulness gripping our generation then what hope to we have for the future? What if some of us forget to drive o the right side of the road? It slips doctor’s mind to put the patient under anaesthetic before an operation? Food rots in the fields as farmers don’t recall what to do with those big harvesting machines? So, while I remember, do you suffer from a form of memory deficiency? I’d love to know, as if the results come back positive then we could be facing catastrophe the likes climate change and terrorism can only dream of. And hell I don’t want to be around to see it. Actually, that reminds me, I keep meaning to build an underground bunker.



Freshers’ Issue 2008

Hey, Hi and Hello There!

Welcome to the totally amazing features section of Seren, Bangor University’s Star Publication. I’m Bianca the editor of features for this coming year. As you can see from this utterly fabulous Freshers Edition, Seren is a lot of fun to create and be a part of; as well as producing an awesome student newspaper, we have socials which are always a good laugh, especially the Arctic Roll Challenge! If you are interested in getting involved with Seren and writing for the features page email me at, or come along to our weekly meetings: 5-6 Tuesdays in the SU committee room. Looking forward to meeting and working with you!


A quick word from Nightline


elcome Back! We hope you’ve had a good summer and are looking forward to another (or a first) year at Bangor University. For those of you who don’t know what Nightline is, we are a confidential listening and information service run by the students here in Bangor. Any student can ring up, for really simple things like take-away phone numbers, and taxi’s to more serious issues you may want to discuss. Last year Nightline saw many changes, and all of them for the better. We went to the national nightline conference where we got new ideas about how to make this a better service and hopefully reach more of you. We also hope that with the help of our brand new committee we’ll be able to achieve even more! Nightline is run by a dedicated committee and is only successful because of its amazing volunteers. If you’re a new student at Bangor University it can sometimes be a bumpy tran-

sition, feeling homesick about leaving your friends and making new ones. Were also here if you want to tell us about the good things that are happening. Nightline is always ready to listen. It runs 8pm-8am every night through the term (you can also ring us for a local pizza delivery number if you like, we have all the answers...) One way to get involved in student life and make new friends could be to join Nightline. We are always looking for new volunteers who are friendly, easy to talk to and who are non-judgemental. Anyone can become a volunteer all you need to do is come along to the Nightline stand at Serendipity where you can get more information, talk to current volunteers and sign up to our training weekends where you will learn everything you need to be a great volunteer. If this sounds like something you’d like to find out more about we would love to see you at Serendipity.

Fancy a challenge? How about volunteering in Kenya all summer...


or most students the idea of taking a gap year seems to be an integral part of student culture, however for those not brave enough to spend twelve months in another country there is an alternative. Diana Miller and Sian Peacock, both first year Social Work Welsh medium students spent a month of their summer working in an orphanage in Kisumu Kenya. During their time there they volunteered in an orphanage for children aged between three months and sixteen years old. As well as this they helped in a community outreach regeneration project in Kitale. As with any volunteer project they had to raise funds; and in true student style they took advantage of living in halls and did washing up for the St. Mary’s Site for a small charge. This is a job I definitely would not have wanted, I’ve seen some of the strange concoctions they make up there! The orphanage they volunteered in was home to four staff and sixty children; most of whom have lost their parents to AIDS; one in eight of the population in Kenya is

said to be a carrier. It is often the case in these remote villages than eight or more children can be left behind to survive in a country with some of the harshest conditions on Earth. As well as caring for the orphans six hours a day; Diana and Sian also worked

with a project in Kitale bringing vital assistance to this rural community in terms of nutrition, living standards and sex advice. This project proved to be the most fun and the most challenging for them, as you can see from the picture, it looks like Diana and Sian thoroughly enjoyed being mucked up

to the eyeballs while building a mud hut for a widow with five children. The really surprising thing is that that simple mud hut is expected to last for up to thirty years. Diana and Sian have described their trip as amazing and life changing. To experience first hand what everyday life is like in a third world country has almost certainly changed their perspective about how our society lives. This trip will ultimately have encouraged them to strive harder to gain their degrees in social work and continue to provide this kind of help and relief for those in need. It is a refreshing change to see students sacrificing their time not only for the benefit of others less fortunate, but to raise money and travel to Africa is nothing short of extraordinary. The company they went with are calledReal Gap Experience, so Google them if you think this could be the trip for you!

Bianca Murray

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The Definitive Freshers’ Guide 2008.

Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

MEET THOSE LOVELY SABBATICAL OFFICERS OF YOURS Seren catches up with the SABB team to ask a few questions...

John Jackson Spencer George

Name: John Jackson Age: 32 Union role: President Describe yourself in 3 words: Able to count What’s your favourite thing about Bangor? The scenery - even when the weather’s bad (which obviously isn’t that often) the place looks fantastic. Say you were invisible for the day… what would you do? What wouldn’t you do?! If Seren were buying the drinks, what would you have? The cheapest one - I decide your budget! Finally…what are you most looking forward to this academic year? Helping to run the Students’ Union with the other Sabbatical officers sounds corny but it’s true

Name: Spencer George Age: 22 Union role: Deputy President Describe yourself in 3 words: Competitive, Enthusiastic and (more often than not) Hungry... What’s your favourite thing about Bangor? The feeling that you’re part of a community. That and the scones they sell on the pier! Say you were invisible for the day… what would you do? I would apply to go on Dragons Den and attempt to sell the invention that made me invisible ... Theo and Deborah would definitely invest! If Seren were buying the drinks, what would you have? A cup of tea. Milk and two sugars please .... Finally…what are you most looking forward to this academic year? Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be the SVB SIN nights! They are always great fun and definitely one of the best nights out in the academic year!

Rob Samuel

Rhion Glyn

Tom Hecht

Name: Rob Samuel Age: 22 Union role: Athletic Union President Describe yourself in 3 words: Fun, enthusiastic and crazy What’s your favourite thing about Bangor? The beautiful location. I love the fact that you can get out in to the mountains so easily, or head to the beach at the drop of a hat. Also, you’ve got to love the community! Say you were invisible for the day… what would you do? Pull enough pranks and practical jokes in the SU to last a lifetime If Seren were buying the drinks, what would you have? I’m quite partial to Orange juice! Finally…what are you most looking forward to this academic year? I’m really looking forward to trying to get more people involved in physical activty and the Healthy Living/Go Out and Get Active week I am planning for the beginning of semester 2. Oh and I can’t forget that important thing called the Sports Strategy!

Name: Rhion Glyn Age: 21 Union role: Llywydd UMCB President Describe yourself in 3 words: Easy-going, approachable, helpful What’s your favourite thing about Bangor? The strong community spirit. Say you were invisible for the day… what would you do? Rob a bank! If Seren were buying the drinks, what would you have? Expensive Cocktail please! Finally…what are you most looking forward to this academic year? Getting more UMCB members involved in UMCB’s social and political activities.

Name: Tom Hecht Age: 22 Union role: Societies & Events Officer Describe yourself in 3 words: Love climbing mountains What’s your favourite thing about Bangor? We’ve got 3G! Say you were invisible for the day… what would you do? Climb to the top of Top College Tower and hoist a pirate flag (don’t tell anyone just incase the occasion arises :p) Else, you’ll find me in Alton Towers. If Seren were buying the drinks, what would you have? Double Gon & Tinic please Finally…what are you most looking forward to this academic year? US Presidential Elections and Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Also, I’ve heard the Freshers’ Ball is going to be awesome...

...and now a quick word from your President H

ello everyone. Quite a bit’s happened over the summer – the Menai Centre has more shops, the High Street has fewer, planning permissions have been granted for a ten-pin bowling alley and yet more accommodation, but Theatr Gwynedd is soon to close its doors for the final time – most significantly however, for those of you who remember the institution that was Emrys Evans, it is no more! Yes it’s joined the great hallsof-residence-graveyard in the sky. There’s no further information on the future of the Students’ Union building. Plans are at the development stage, but as far as a timetable of closure is concerned, there isn’t one – yet. The structure will (barring accidents) continue to stand for the entirety of this academic year, and this includes Time and Academi. Oh, and we have a brand spanking new pub down in the basement which means you can relax

with a beverage (tea, coffee, fruit juice or alcohol) whilst you wait for your undies to dry in our laundrette down the corridor! What more could you want? Perhaps the following… Tom (Societies & Events Officer) has been working his socks off on this year’s Serendipity, which promises to be as big and jam-packed as ever, but he’s also been doubling his workload with the addition of The Freshers’ Ball. All our venues will be open together for one night only to host a huge event with a vast range of music, comedy and entertainment. Rob (AU President) is continuing our heavy involvement in the University’s Sports Strategy, the main aims of which are the raising of the standard of facilities, and the general increase in participation. There’s still a long way to go, but we have a loud and influential voice so let us know what you think we should be saying. The

other big sports news is that BUSA has merged with UCS to become BUCS; acronyms galore, but essentially the two big university sports associations are now one bigger one with a unified national voice. Rhion (President of UMCB - the Welsh Student’s Union), is concentrating on widening participation this year. UMCB is hugely popular in the JMJ halls, but we hope to broaden participation to as many Welsh speakers as possible; this also extends to any Welsh learners and Rhion will be aiding the Llywelyn Society in running sessions to aid learning in a more social, nonclassroom environment. Hopefully you’ve noticed our brand new logo. After researching opinions on the old one towards the end of last year, we decided to ‘brand’ the Union as a whole and we think you’ll find that whilst the old building looks a bit naff, we’ve done what we can to improve

W hat is a Sab batical Office r?

Five sabbatica l officers are elected by a campus ballo crosst ever y academ ic year to repr the student bo esent dy. They are paid, full-time of the Studen officers ts’ Union who work 9-5 (mos some push th tly, but e over time - no t getting paid it, mind!), 5 da extra for ys a week. Their roles ar e split into 4 main areas th of: direct repr at consist esentation of individuals, de representatio mocratic n, guiding the Union as a tru and working stee, as an activist to help instig to benefit the ate change student body .

its image. Also, the website will be undergoing a huge transformation, probably its biggest ever – check it out at the start of the semester. Spencer (Deputy President) has been coordinating all of our branding and will also be launching ACT (the Advice Centre Team) which is a great new concept where student volunteers can assist in running awareness campaigns throughout the year. And as for me, aside from being President I’ve taken over the role of Education officer and so will be running the Course Reps system, as well as overseeing the implementation of the brand new constitution and getting people onto exciting new committees, whilst also spearheading the new initiative of the ‘walkabout’ – yes all 5 of us intend to be out and about together as often as possible finding out what you want and any issues you may have. Please do let us know.

F i n a l l y, if all that’s not enough for you, SVB (Student Volunteering) has brand new projects and is growing from strength to strength, Storm FM is preparing to go online in semester 2, and this very newspaper has increased its page count after its recent successes; we’ll also be running ‘Give It A Go’ sessions again so you can experience something without necessarily committing to do it all year – everything from horseriding to dodge-ball - watch out for the timetable. Good luck for the year, enjoy it, and don’t forget, if you’d like to do what we’re doing the elections aren’t that far off…


Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

The Survival Guide


ell it seems you have arrived in one piece. Congratulations, and celebrations. As you may have heard, the first week of uni is supposed to be the highlight of the year. There’s all the non-stop partying, the meeting new people and the potential for copulation (see page 14 for the definitive guide to this…). In order to maintain our reputation as a responsible publication, firstly we need to talk you through the boring stuff. Officially, the purpose of Freshers’ Week is to get all you new students registered, sort out timetables and make sure you all hear an enthralling introductory talk by the head of your school. Unfortunately, you do have to go through with the registration and boring talks, otherwise you may find yourself not listed in course timetables, without a library

or NUS card and quite possibly with no student loan… could you imagine? You’ll be given details of where and when to register by your school’s admin department, so that’s a good piece of paper to hang on to. The time you register will depend upon the initial letter of your surname. So us lucky souls in the A-D bracket are stuck with registration at stupid o’clock in the morning, which is always a pleasure. The process itself is pretty painless, although you should expect the following things to happen while you’re there: 1. Being asked to join another queue for no apparent reason 2. Having to (probably blindly) sign a few documents here and there. 3. Sitting down to have a photo taken that will haunt you for the entirety of

your university life. 4. Having to deal with all this while an enormous hangover pounds at the inside of your skull. Our advice is to respond in the affirmative when questioned and do your best not to vomit. Right, now on to the good stuff! All the interesting Freshers’ Week activities are organised by your very own (and very lovely) Students’ Union, who do the utmost to ensure you’ll not be short of entertainment. One of the most popular events of Freshers’ Week is Serendipity (the freshers’ fair). This is the day when all the sports clubs and societies gather in the Students’ Union building, to give you the opportunity to join up. Obviously your first port of call will be the brilliant publication you are reading

right now (we’re on the Serendipity map guys, so there is no excuse! And we have sweets…). As you’ll be aware, alcohol is an inevitable part of student life, and this is especially true during Freshers’ Week. Most students partake in such activities but (we have to say this bit) drinking in moderation is recommended. We don’t expect this is advice you will heed, but never mind. Sharing a few drinks with your new flatmates can be a great way to get to know each other and dispel the initial awkwardness; however as we know, too much alcohol and silly antics can always lead to more awkwardness… so do keep that one in mind. During Freshers’ Week it is guaranteed that you will meet loads of new and exciting people. Although it is true that you’ll prob-

McCar thy t h ig w D m A note fro shers Gur u e r F d e t in o -app Seren’s self



Dear Freshers

in e years this ra re th t x e n e th angor! For e your home. m o c e b Welcome to B l il w y it e Welsh c and of course y s o c , soaked, seasid n a le c r your lovely ontent for you c d n a y Being freshers p p a h will keep you homely rooms first year. e very first th r fo e m o h m hard ill be away fro nuts. Party as Many of you w o g to u yo f o hing xpected ally doing anyt tu time so it is e c a f o m a your on’t dre r taking in o as you can, d s d n ie fr g u e makin ose parents yo th t e worthwhile lik rg fo , k n ru just get d or. surroundings; lights of Bang h ig h e th in k c su once had and e n further I hav e v e e c n e ri e p joy this ex cut out and to u yo To help you en r fo rd a ngor Bingo c e in some of k a rt a p included a Ba r o s s u can witne s. keep: see if yo orian tradition g n a B d te o ro these deeply ere!

See you out th Sincerely,


ably not see many of these people after the first two weeks, there are always a few you will grow to know and (with a bit of luck) love. You’ll also learn that Bangor is a small place and that it’s very difficult to get lost here – at some point in the next week you’ll have an epiphany and realise where all the roads meet each other; from there it really is plain sailing. Despite all this, remember the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. Don’t go to the bookshop and buy the reading list with the intention of finishing them all before lectures start, that can wait; Freshers’ Week only comes around once a year, so get into it!

FRESHERS’ BINGO! Get stuck to the floor in Time

Get soaked by the Bangor rain

Hide in your room from the cleaners

Walk up (Glanrafon) ‘Bitch Hill’

Watch a soap omnibus

Drink alcohol before Midday

Enjoy the Penny Whistle Man’s tunes

End up with a traffic cone in your flat

Go to a pound a pint night

Get hopelessly lost on your way home

Do your first independent supermarket shop

Pull a minger

Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08


By Matt McCullagh

1996, but even he am About Sex’ back in who sang ‘All Day I Dre Rn’ days. ‘Ko se d the ban sity tal ver me at uni of the nucan many of the students It was Jonathan Davis e sex on the mind. And who k about it as much as hav thin ple not peo s ny doe ma ly ious bab obv is it from f out t staf nigh bar a the would admit he pro on , of sex two goes to University just for r my mrs had a crush on Although I know no one I should know – Last yea good looking people and y ver of full is gor ch Ban blame them? of trouble and it is sex whi ’s a picky beggar). d things never come free goo er life, gov in han else a ing with g Yellow last year (and she ryth rnin eve sex is great, but just like an waking up the next mo headache I don’t just me Anyway, we can all agree By he. dac hea jor ma a r the world y has caused students all ove did the night before. By ‘them’ I mean Sexuall look half as good as they n we are trying to ‘pull’. whe m My the id. ut avo to abo h us wis and someone who doesn’t scio con ething which I hope we all and hopefully we’re all ’s are unpleasant and som We all know about them way to start my anymore apparently). STI s the names. What a great ase all, dise of t (no ntly ns orta ctio imp st mo and s Transmitted Infe tion ven pre the causes, symptoms, e you some pain. job is to inform you all of But hopefully, this may sav thing better to be honest. any of k thin t ldn’ cou r, final yea


Here’s some of the STI’s on offer:


- A Bacterial infection.

- The first sign is a raised lump or lesion usually found on or near the genitals or anus which may then form a painless sore. - Sores can take one to 12 weeks to develop and may be followed by a general feeling of being unwell. You may notice white patches on your tongue or on the roof of your mouth. - Over time it can cause major health problems, such as damage to organs, bones and the nervous system. - Early syphilis can be cured with antibiotics, in tablet form or as an injection.



- Infects the urethra, cervix, rectum, mouth and throat.

- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the fourth biggest killer worldwide.

- Around half of all women with gonorrhoea don’t have any symptoms. - Men tend to have a white, yellow or green discharge from the urethra and pain on passing urine. - Can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women if not treated. This can cause infertility and longterm pelvic pain. - Men can develop painful erections and infections in the testicles and prostate gland, which may cause infertility. - Can be treated with antibiotics, in tablet form or as an injection.


- The most common STI

- Chlamydia affects 1 in 100 sexually active people under 25. - Up to 8 in 10 women with Chlamydia only have mild symptoms or none at all. - In women symptoms include: lower abdominal pain; bleeding after sex; bleeding between periods; unusual vaginal discharge or pain when passing urine. - Symptoms in men include: discharge from the penis and pain on passing urine.

: CT FA e h t d roun

In the la st 1 years, the num 0 ber of people infec chlamy ted with dia h increas as ed by 206 %

- Only half of all men with Chlamydia have symptoms.

A lion 330 mil Ds r o w ld, T S f o ses new ca ung adults yo among r each occu year

- It is an incurable sexually transmitted infection that can be passed during unprotected anal, vaginal and also oral sex, via blood, semen and vaginal fluids. - A blood test (usually taken 1-3 months after the risk of infection has been identified) can detect the presence of the virus. - HIV attacks the body’s immune system and leaves those infected susceptible to life-threatening conditions.

Genital herpes - Caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). - First episode usually causes painful ulcers or sores in or around the anus or genital area. - May cause pain on passing urine and a stinging or tingling in the anus or genital area.

- AIDS is the latter stages of HIV when the immune system has stopped working.

- A number of people don’t have any symptoms or have sores that are not painful.

- If you contract HIV, then counselling, regular blood tests, and a daily cocktail of drugs, which work to slow the progress of the virus and effectively manage the condition, will unfortunately become a way of life.

- Cooling the area with ice or cold water or bathing in a salt can relieve symptoms. - Treatment with antiviral drugs reduces the severity and duration of symptoms.


* Gum Clinic - (Ysbyty Gwynedd) 01248 384 054 351423 * Family Planning Clinic - Bangor (Sackville Rd, Bangor) 01248 *

A few tips on safe gay / lesbian sex from LGBT: Girl-on-girl Lesbian & bisexual women should always use a dental dam (a square of latex or cling film – a cut open condom is perfect for this) when performing oral sex, especially if they are menstruating. Sex toys should be thoroughly cleaned and protected with a condom. You should have regular cervical smears, even if they you have not had sex with a man for a long time – or ever. Sex between women can transmit HPV, a virus associated with cervical cancer, so be safe & get tested.

Boy-on-boy Anal stimulation and penetration brings a high risk of bacteria being transferred from anus to mouth, skin or genitals. A condom should always be worn and a dental dam should be used for anal stimulation to prevent the transmission of parasites. Using lubricant is advisable to reduce the chances of rectal tearing and bleeding, but always use a water-based one, such as ‘KY Jelly’. Other lubricants – like Vaseline - can destroy the latex used in condoms and put you at risk.

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Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

SAFE SEX FOR DUMMIES The Seren guide to putting a condom on correctly:


Rip the packet carefully, making sure there are no tears in the condom itself

Pinch the air out of the top of the condom, this reduces the chance of it ripping or sliding off

out Look stall at ’s e’ve eren for S dipity - w ply n up Sere year’s s for a u t s p d go m o nd an of co . Come s s d b n gra ur ha o y t ! ge ome on s

STEP 3 Roll the condom all the way down to the base of the penis

Here at Seren, we like to promote ethical brands. So here’s some info on One Condom, a company whose profits help fund HIV / AIDS projects in Africa Global Ethics, the organisation behind the ethical water brand One, has launched a new line of ethical condoms, the first of its kind in the UK. All profits from the One condom range go to funding HIV and AIDS projects in Africa. This enables users to feel good in more ways than one; whilst they have fun and keep safe in the bedroom, they will be keeping Africa safe too. All profits go towards helping raise awareness and addressing the problems associated with HIV and AIDS in Africa via charity partners. So money you spend on One Condoms helps to run support programmes for

those affected by HIV / AIDS, including children orphaned by the diseases. All One condoms come in round foil wrappers and are packaged in a silver tin for discretion. There are 120 funky foil wrapper d e s i g n s to choose from (we personally like the cockerel design with the slogan ‘One for the early riser’). One condoms can be bought as a pack of three in a reusable silver tin from Co-Op, most NUS shops (hopefully at the Bangor SU shop soon!) and will retail for £1.98. Visit: www.onedifference org.

It’s all very well knowing how to have safe sex, but what if you’ve no one to do it with? Luckily, we can help there too... Here’s some chat-up lines recommended by our lovely Facebook friends. Good luck!

Shellie Hamlet Jamie Blacker

Dan Williams

Katy Sandford

Matt McCullagh

“Are you made by Gillette? “Feel that, it’s ‘Cause you’re boyfriend the best a man material” can get”

“Hi, I’m Mr. Right. Someone said you were looking for me?”

“Do you like Wales then? I’ve got a humpback at mine”

“Do you fancy me?”

Bloke holds out his arm and says:

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Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08


American Football Archery Athletics Badminton Basketball (Men's) Basketball (Women's) Body Building Canoe Canoe Polo Cheerleading Climbing (BUMS) Dance Fencing Football (Men's) Football (Women's) Gaelic Football (Men's) Gaelic Football (Women's) Golf Gymnastics Hockey (Men's) Hockey (Women's) Judo Ki-Aikido Mountain Biking Mountain Walking (UMWC) Netball Octopush Orienteering Riding Rowing Rugby League Rugby Union (Men's) Rugby Union (Women's) Sailing Snooker & Pool Snowsports (BUSC) Sub Aqua Surf (BUST) Swimming Table Tennis Tennis Trampoline (BUTS) Ultimate Frisbee Volleyball (Eagles)

Amnesty (BASS) Anglican Arcanii (English Literarture) Archaeology Art Catholic Chinese Christian Union Duke of Edinburgh Earth Religions Endeavour (Ocean Sciences) English Dramatic (BEDS) Fair Trade Film Foundation (BUFFS) Forestry (BIFSA) Geographical Guides & Scouts (BUGS) Herpetological Islamic Japanese Junior Common Rooms (JCRs)

100 98 101 70a 89 88 74a 112 108 71a 111 71b 97 86 87 80 81 96 74b 85 84 94 95 73a 107 75a 109 70b 65a 110 83 99 79 104 65b 114 105 113 73b 75b 102 72a 103 72b





12a 3b 7a 3a 11a 35 36 12b 1b



78 77

53 19a 19b 1a 56 37 20b






93 14b











67 66






53 52

92 51


91 90






48 47










































Law Malaysian Music Operatic and Dramatic (SODA) People & Planet Photography Pride (LGBT) Research Students (RSF) Rostra (Amateur Dramatic) Seren (English Language Newspaper) Socialist Students Speculative Analysis Stage Crew Storm FM Students with Disabilities Treborth Action Group (STAG) Wargaming & Roleplaying (BWRPS) Zoological

20a 9a 18a 18b 17b 9b 7b 8b 2a 8a 13a 17a 11b 6b 13b 14a 106 41 6a 2b 54
















42 41

107 108 109 110

40 39 38 36



111 112

STUDENTS’ UNION Centre for Careers and Opportunities Chaplaincies Dyslexia Unit ELCOS Library Services Maes Glas Student Servcies

60a 46b 47b 46a 60b 69 45

113 114


UNIVERSITY Advice Centre Nightline RAG Students’ Union Student Volunteering Bangor UMCB (Welsh Students' Union)

49 52a 52b 59 51 57

Anglesey County Council Leisure Department Antena Arriva Bangor Bangor Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses Barclays Bank British Red Cross Carlton North Wales CCUSA Christians in Sport Chubbs Cabs Ltd Conservative Future Consumer Direct Wales Debenhams Epilepsy Wales Family Planning Clinic Gecko Clothing Gwynedd Recycling HMV JJB Lidl Moelyci Environmental Centre National Blood Service NUS Wales Orange Routledge RSPB Cymru SORTED Stop Smoking Wales Subway The National Trust Traveline Wales Wales University Officer Training Corps

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66 25 33 4 29 50b 28 68 64b 32 39 50a 22 47a 48b 67 23 61 34 24 64a 63 58a 30 62 68 115 48a 55 27 31 43

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Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08 Freshers 08

ADVERT Rydym yn cael parti mawr i ddathlu agoriad Penwythnos cyfan o gerddoriaeth, gweithgareddau, bwyd a diod gwych a mwy na 21 awr o adloniant, DJs a bandiau byw!!!

Dydd Gwener 10 – Dydd Sul 12 Hydref 2008

Dydd Gwener 3yp – 1yb

Dechrau gyda nifer o artistiaid acwstig byw chilled ac yna DJs R&B a dawns

Dydd Sadwrn 1yp- 1yb

Dechrau am 1yp, bandiau byw, DJs a Gemau, 6yp ymlaen – Roc a metel

Dydd Sul 2yp – 12yb Dechrau hamddenol i’r diwrnod ac yna noson o ganeuon cawslyd i chi gael ysgwyd eich tinau!!

Bydd hefyd twrnameintiau gemau, felly dechreuwch gasglu eich timau ar gyfer Jenga, Connect 4, Twister a Milk the Cow nawr!!!! Cewch hefyd 2 gwrw am bris un, cynigion arbennig ar fwyd, rhoddion a llawer iawn mwy……! Ewch i fewnrwyd Bangor i lawr lwytho tocynnau a chynigion arbennig Bar UNO, Safle Ffriddoedd, Ffordd Ffriddoedd, Bangor.

To celebrate the opening of

we're throwing a big party!

A whole weekend jam packed with Music, Activities, Great Food and Drink with over 21 hours of entertainment, LIVE DJ's & Bands!!!

Friday10th – Sunday 12th October 2008

Friday 3pm - 1am

Starting with a line up of chilled LIVE acoustic artists followed by R&B and dance DJ's

Saturday 1pm - 1am Starting at 1pm LIVE Bands, DJ's & Games, 6pm onwards Rock & Metal

Sunday 2pm - 12am A mellow start to the day, followed by a night of extremely cheezzee tunes to shake what Your mamma gave ya'!!

There will also be Giant Games tournaments, so, get your Jenga, Connect 4, Twister and Milk the Cow teams together now!!!! There will also be 2-4-1 offers on beer, food offers, freebies and much, much more……! Check out the Bangor intranet for downloadable vouchers and promotions Bar UNO, Ffriddoedd Site, Ffriddoedd Road, Bangor.



Freshers’ Issue 08


’ll start by joining the countless masses of people to say a big WELCOME TO BANGOR! This here page is devoted to Storm 87.7FM, and I am Matt Ison, Station Manager of said institution. Some of you may already be clued up about Storm FM and its role in Bangor, but to sum up for everyone, Storm is a radio station run BY students FOR students! Last year we won a Bronze Student Radio Award for Best Outside Broadcast. At present, Storm is one of only a handful of student radio stations with a full-time FM licence. As if that distinction were not enough, we will very shortly be going online as well, so EVERYONE will be able to hear us. You may think that to be a part of Storm, you will be expected to have an on-air role. This is not true, as there are a number of other roles within the station. You can take an active role in production, marketing, IT-based assistance or news gathering. In short, your time as a part of Storm is exactly what you make of it! We even have an awards ceremony at the end of the year to congratulate you for the good work! You will see a Storm stall at Serendipity this year, and if you are the social type, you will see us hosting quizzes and the much-loved Pound Party in Varsity on Thursday nights. On that note, I will close by once again saying welcome to Bangor and that I look forward to meeting you at Serendipity! Best wishes,

Matt and the Storm FM Committee

What’s on Storm? ALL THINGS NICE… The following takes place between 9pm and 11pm every Friday on Storm 87.7FM… Sugar and Spice is the first time Storm has ever had a sequel. At the end of last year, we had a cliffhanger, where presenter David Pallant regenerated in true sci-fi style into a woman. This year, Zara Swanton steps into his size 8s to join veteran Jack Green for more of the same thrills and spills. I know this is a cliché, but I could talk in clichés until the cows come home. Each week, there will be a brand new quiz (which is definitely not ripped off from Would I Lie to You?!) , and many of the same tried and tested features from the No Added Sugar show, such as the Threesome (don’t ask, just tune in!) and the return of the great E-Bay Bonanza.


The SU Show – Weekdays 1-2pm: catch up with Sabbs in their daily shows. Ménage a Trois – Sundays 7-8:30pm: fun and frolics with Matt, Will and Rob Music Team Show – Fridays 7-9pm: Find out what’s hot and what’s not with the Horn and co

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Freshers’ Issue 2008

New colum nist aler t!


elcome Seren readers old and new. Some of you more attentive ones may recognise my name, as this is my second year now as music editor (they still can’t get rid of me). You can expect some changes this year though, for example we have two new columnists in the shape of Tom Durkin: Classic Album Reviewer Extraordinaire, and Lee Howson: New Music Blog Man. With the rest of the pages I endeavour to bring you the pick of the month’s albums as well as the occasional band interview. I hope you enjoy it, if you don’t then feel free to let me know by emailing me:, you can also email me any reviews to this address.

Emma Dixon

Glasvegas - Glasvegas


n an indie world full of new rave and Topman boy bands, Glasvegas really stand out from the pack. They deliver such a classic sound packed full of emotions that their listeners are immediately transported back to the early 90s. With their music referencing the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and even a hint of Manic Street Preachers, Glasvegas are a nostalgic blast of fresh air. Their self-titled debut album has been released under the spotlight of an enormous amount of hype, producing the inevitable question: does it live up to this? It is fair to say that the album lives up to all expectations. It is so packed full of

slow, atmospheric build ups climaxing with anthemic choruses that it is impossible to ignore. Although it is initially the epic noise that Glasvegas have created which grabs the listener’s attention, the band have ensured a vast degree of substance behind said noise with poignant and emotional lyrics, all sung in James Allan’s uncompromisingly distinctive Scottish accent. Subsequently, Glasvegas promises to be an album that will resonate far from the Scottish highlands and is an indicator of great things to come for the band.


hat better place to start a series of classic album reviews, than at the epicentre of Britpop? Radiohead’s third album Ok Computer, added a whole new dimension to the already revolutionary movement. Recorded in 1996 and released in 1997, the album gained much acclaim from both critics and the public alike. To this day, many name the album as Radiohead’s best work, while others dub it “A landmark in musical history.” But what is it about this album that embeds it so deeply into the history of music? Well it is a huge amount of different things, ranging from Thom Yorke’s almost angelic voice, to the sheer density and depth of the sound. Funnily enough, singer Yorke claimed that this was exactly what he wanted, a dense and full sound. At the time of recording, he and the rest of the band strayed away from their raw, sandpaper like Brit pop roots that we hear on previous albums like “The Bends,” and had delved into dark and mysterious styles of music, mainly that of Jazz. To hear this depth and influence you need look no further than the opening track, “Airbag.” The combination of Greenwood’s wailing guitar mixed with the modern sounding electronic drums and unorthodox bass guitar patterns instantly sets the standard for this groundbreaking album, even before Yorke has entered the mix. Yorke’s vocals and lyrics in Ok Computer are some of the most profound of his career. Many have pointed out that the lyrics are bound by images of travel and transport, but Yorke modestly shrugged off this compliment as, “A happy accident”. Radiohead’s Ok Computer is just one of the albums from their powerful back catalogue of music that should be in everyone’s music collection. It was revolutionary, unique and cutting edge. The freshness can still be acknowledged today, some ten years after its original release. In particular, Karma Police and No Surprises stand out as “The Hits,” but the quality goes far deeper than just these two songs.

Tom Durkin

Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night

Emma Dixon

Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires


ff the back of two excellent singles (Paris and Jump in the Pool), Friendly Fires would seem to be perfect candidates for at least a half decent debut album. Unfortunately this is not the case. For a start, there is not a huge amount of new material for their fans to discover due to the inclusion of the aforementioned singles as well as three tracks from their Cross The Line EP and Photobooth EP (Strobe, On Board and Photobooth). This wouldn’t be a problem if the other five album tracks were any good but they simply appear to serve as little more than cheesy space fillers. The Friendly Fires formula is simple: strong bass line and an abundance of percussion all knitted together with Ed Macfarlane’s whiney vocals. It is a formula that works beautifully on a couple of the songs, but fails miserably elsewhere as many of the unremarkable tracks appear shapeless due to relentless percussion drowning out clichéd and dull lyrics. It all sounds more Rio than Paris. Either way, it’s time to leave the country.



he dust has yet to settle on Kings of Leon’s acclaimed 2007 release, Because of the Times, yet less than eighteen months on, the brothers Followill are back with Only by the Night, their fourth album of a young and impressively prolific career. This album’s proximity to its predecessor can be gauged in style as well as timing. Tracks like Closer, the album opener, Manhattan and Notion find the band continuing where they


left off last time: soulful, atmospheric and epic; the perfect soundtrack to the rocky, southern US landscape where the boys were raised. These songs rival Bruce Springsteen for allAmerican authenticity. Perhaps it is a lack of experimentation that prevents this album from surpassing previous efforts, but this is what Kings of Leon do best, and if it ain’t broke, don’t throw in an electro-funk refrain to fix it. Use Somebody finds the siblings

in a more amorous mood, swooning and sweet-talking its way into your thoughts the way it no doubt has done to many a Tennessee belle. Elsewhere, new single Sex on Fire does exactly what it says on the tin. It swaggers along at pace, oozing machismo, befitting a band on top of their game. “We’re still the greatest” declares frontman Caleb. Amen to that.

Alex Farley

Genod Droog - Ni Oedd Y Genod Droog

Welsh band you say? That rap?! Now before you start bracing yourself for any GLC throwbacks, let me tell you a little bit more about Genod Droog (Bad Girls to anyone not familiar with the Welsh language). The band formed in 2005 and has since been a firm favourite on the Welsh music scene after their first gig in Bangor’s very own Railway Institute. Their style of music is individual to the point of insanity: mixing hip-hop, dance, funk and Welsh folk with French electro pop is after all no mean feat, but somehow

Genod Droog pull it off. This pick ‘n’ mix approach to genres makes Ni Oedd Y Genod Droog a carnival of an album, predominantly featuring music that would soundtrack a night of mental dreams following too much cheese. Although I don’t quite think it was cheese that fuelled Genod Droog to produce such an album which swings wildly from the saucy tones of Candy Jones, to the bass intense peak of Creu Terfysg down to the dreamy climax of Breuddwyd Oer. Heavily punctuating the 11 tracks are Genod Droog’s trademark rap and electro,

which just about ensure that the album has some form of cohesion. It is with these trademarks that Genod Droog will always stand out from the Welsh music scene, as they have unfortunately resolved to split in November. You can however catch one of the band’s rappers, Ed Holden (under the pseudonym Mr Phormula), at Hendre’s Big Party V on the 27th September.



Freshers’ Issue 08


nist m u l o c New aler t!

A Chat With...


uring the summer Seren was lucky enough to catch up with Pip Brown, aka Ladyhawke, prior to her sold out gig at the Hoxton Bar & Grill in London. Expecting the intimidating big-haired 80’s goddess that is depicted in her videos, we were surprised to instead meet a very shy, modest and polite girl who mumbled her way through the interview. Despite this her live set was fantastic as the Ladyhawke alterego took over enabling Pip to deliver her kitsch lyrics with strong vocals. Her album, ‘Ladyhawke’, comes out at the end of the month and it is an accomplished effort from an obviously talented artist. It strongly evokes the spirits of pop artists gone by, but still manages to sound modern and innovative, making it the perfect album to dance around your bedroom to while still looking cool. With ‘Ladyhawke’, Pip has created a gorgeously nostalgic record that will remain fresh for years to come. Seren: Your artist name, ‘Ladyhawke’, is quite unusual, where does it come from? Pip: I named myself after the movie (Ladyhawke is a 1985 fantasy film starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer) Seren: So is Ladyhawke an alterego for you? Pip: Yes, I get quite scared going up on stage as I’m not used to going up in front of so many people. Ladyhawke gives me an excuse to do that. I’m quite a shy person naturally and Ladyhawke is a complete opposite to that. Seren: You’re set to play a sold out gig tonight. Pip: Yeah I only just found out about that! Seren: How does that feel? Pip: I’m pretty shocked! It’s exciting though. Seren: You also get a lot of airplay, it’s as though you’ve suddenly burst onto the scene – did you anticipate any of it? Pip: It’s all come as quite a shock to me. I think it’s down to the fact that I have a lot of people around me, helping and supporting me. The strength of the songs though is ultimately what is important. Seren: Being a shy person, is the

success something you want? Pip: I want the music part and the playing part, but I find the rest of it quite difficult. Often after a show instead of hanging out I’ll just want to go to bed and I’ll have people texting me saying, “Where are you?” I just can’t deal with everything after a show. Seren: Do you ever worry that this success will be short-lived? Pip: I think that’s probably the way it goes nowadays. It depends though on how you measure success, whether or not you find chart success important. To me, I think as long as I keep making songs and albums that I’m proud of I’ll always be happy because there’ll always be people out there that’ll like it. Seren: Despite being hailed as a ‘new artist’, your music is actually quite dated and vintage sounding, do you find that ironic? Pip: I want it to be a nod to all the people I am influenced by but I think when people listen to the album as a whole they will see that there’s much more to it than just an ‘80’s revival’. Seren: Do you see yourself as a pioneer? Do you know of any other artists championing this ‘revival’

sound? Pip: I’m not really down with what’s going on in music. I spend so much time on my own music that I don’t really pay much attention to what else is going on. I do really like MGMT though; Electric Feel is my favourite song at the moment Seren: So you’ve got your album coming out in September. Pip: Yeah September 22nd, I’ve got another single coming out in the summer, which is going to be called Dusk Till Dawn. Seren: So what do you think the future holds for you? Pip: Just really a lot of touring, I’m going back to Australia and New Zealand for another tour. Seren: Are you big over there? Pip: I guess it’s similar to over here. People in Australia know who I am because I’ve just been in the music business for so long. I find it the most exciting touring in New Zealand though with my fellow New Zealanders. After that I’ll be writing my second album in the new year…writing, touring, writing, touring and then holiday!

Emma Dixon


obots Made Me Do It is a blog, a fanzine, a gig night and now a column - all springing from the overactive mind of Lee Howson. Through this Lee provides his readers with all the latest news - primarily on music but occasionally branchiung out to films, books, art, events...whatever takes his fancy really.

Best of Summer 2008


o perhaps you spent your holidays with your head down trying to ressurect your bank account balance back to the world of the living by holding down a dull Summer job. Maybe you did the opposite and went on some far flung adventure abroad. Or maybe you did the sensible thing and went to every decent music festival you could buy or blag your way into. If you did the latter then you probably don’t need to know how brilliant the following bands are, but for those who need to be refreshed on what bands you should catch up on are heres a brief rundown...

Bloc Party Late Of The Pier Intimacy Fantasy Black his album came as a surprise Channel release via the net last month


he illegitimate children of Queen and Klaxons some might say, and some might be correct. Their debut album is quick to charm the ears with its abundant hooks and spacey overblown sounds. It’s a refreshing listen in a time when the musical enviroment can feel a bit stagnant sometimes. Well at least it will hold you over till the return of Mr Jamie Reynolds and co.

Noah & The Whale Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down


o matter how saccharine sweet you might find self-proclaimed “song of the summer” Five Years Time, it will leave you whistling along long after the initial sugar rush dissapaites. This album also has deeper and darker themes than the sunny exterior of the lush folk arrangements suggests. Uplifting and fragile in equal parts, it is a thoroughly worthwhile listen.


(cd release in October) and saw a promising return to form by Bloc Party after the critical lack of enthusiasm for their second full-length effort last year. It’s an album that is playful and serious in equal measure, pushing some boundaries as well as showing that they still have the guitar band dynamic that they are revered for. A grower perhaps but ultimately a strong return to form.

Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up Til It Was Light


ne of my records of the year so far, this three-piece from Birmingham already have a steady following thanks to their energetic music (and even more energetive live shows). If you are a fan of bands like Los Campesinos! and You Say Party! We Say Die! but prefer your guitars louder and spikier then this is the band for you.


here are loads more bands that have made my Summer and I highly recommend you check out the following: Cats In Paris - Courtcase 2000 Errors - It’s Not Something But It’s Like Whatever Passion Pit - Sleepyhead (Vinyl “7)

Lee, x.




elcome to the essential film section of Seren. With Theatr Gwynedd sadly closing down it’s going to be hard to recommend films many people might not be able to watch. However, along with new releases, I will include alternate features and a closer look at DVD releases to cover for the lack of cinemas in Bangor. Email me with your reviews and suggestions to

Freshers’ Issue 2008



The Final Act

quick mention here regarding Theatr Gwynedd’s closure. The theatre is offering you the chance to choose the last two film screenings on Sunday 28th September, three days prior to its closure. Send your film suggestions to post@theatregwynedd. It will be a great way to relax after an awesome fresher’s week.

Pineapple Express * * *

Summer Movies Round Up


ummer 2008 provided us with little to no sunshine, so it was just as well that the cinemas had almost too much on offer to compensate for the miserable weather. Unfortunately the summer blockbusters were a mixed bag and weren’t a match to last year’s selection which saw The Simpson’s big screen debut, Bruce Willis doing what he does best in Die Hard 4 and the amazing The Bourne Ultimatum. There were many disappointing releases this summer (Speed Racer, The Incredible Hulk, even Indiana Jones) but success came from a little robot called Wall.E.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army * * * *


omehow Seth Rogen is currently one of the most popular comedy stars in Hollywood. Personally I can’t really understand why this is the case, as I find his low brow, lowest common denominator brand of humour to be extremely unfunny (mostly) and think past films such as last year’s ‘Knocked Up’ are highly overrated. So, imagine my joy when I saw the extremely unpromising trailer for his latest film, ‘Pineapple Express’, a film which I could tell would be extremely unsophisticated without even actually seeing the film, and which actually looked like it could be even less funny than previous efforts by the star. Surprisingly, however, it actually isn’t half bad, and is much better than it appeared in the trailer. Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a slacker who works as process server, a job which he enjoys because it allows him to spend his says slacking off and smoking marijuana. He gets his marijuana from supplier Saul Silver (James Franco), who has just provided him with Pineapple Express, the rarest form of weed around. When Dale witnesses a murder committed by major drug dealer Ted Jones (Gary Cole), he accidentally drops his roach of Pineapple Express, inadvertently

leading Ted to Saul. Thus, if they are to avoid being killed by Ted, they must go on the run and they soon find themselves in the middle of a war between Ted and his rival Asian drug lords. Along the way they learn lessons about what is important in life and discover what true friendship really is. What makes ‘Pineapple Express’ better than Rogen’s other recent efforts (in this critic’s opinion at least) is that there is a distinctly different focus to the film. Whereas ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘Superbad’ were clearly sex comedies, this film instead goes the route of action comedy, with the action thriller angle giving this film an edge that makes it pretty enjoyable. As an action thriller it is pretty decent which is why the film is better than I expected it would be. However, while the film does deliver in the action department with a number of action sequences including a car chase and several shootouts, the humour is still severely lacking for the most part. I admit that there is an audience that will find this film to be hilarious as was indicated by the laughter from the teenagers who were in the same screening as me, but personally I found much of the humour to be pretty flat and unfunny. There are a few decent laughs

but not enough to carry the film on their own. Whilst the film isn’t incredibly funny, however, the script is actually pretty clever at times, and film fans will notice a number of movie references. There are a lot of profanities and explicit references though so if you are easily offended you should give this film a miss. On the acting front, the performances are pretty convincing with Seth Rogen suiting his role well. Whilst his performance is essentially the same as in every other film he has done it is a role which he performs in a believable manner. James Franco, playing against type, is also well cast, and the interactions between him and Rogen are the source of most of the film’s successful gags. Gary Cole is also quite strong in his standard bad guy role, the type of role which he tends to play very well. Overall, ‘Pineapple Express’ is an action comedy that works better as an action thriller than as a comedy for the most part. It is quite an enjoyable film but only true Seth Rogen fans will find it to be hilariously funny and no doubt those people will appreciate this film an awful lot more than I did.


isionary director Guillermo Del Toro’s sequel was a far more confident and polished affair than its predecessor, probably due to the critical success of his Spanish fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth. His keen eye and imagination run riot in the film’s superb action sequences, particularly the set pieces involving flesh eating tooth fairies that wonderfully splat on the lens when Hellboy fires his gun at them. The story and feel for tension and suspense are greater in The Dark Knight, but Hellboy 2 was far more entertaining.

Wall.E * * * * *

Robert Mann

Cinema – The Cure for the Winter Blues


ell, summer is over and what a summer it has been for movie fans. Now that you’re all back at university, you will no doubt be wondering what cinematic treats await you over the remainder of the year, and despite a number of major blockbusters being postponed till next year due to the writers strike, the final part of 2008 looks promising for movie fans. Comedy fiends can look forward to getting their funny bones tickled with new movies from several of the most prominent comedy stars from both here in the UK and across the pond. September sees the release of two American comedies that have already proven highly successful stateside. On September 12 comes Pineapple Express, a stoner action comedy starring Seth Rogen of Knocked Up fame (see review above). The following week (September 19) sees the release of Tropic Thunder starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr in what looks to be one of the funniest movies of the year, telling the story of a group of actors out to film the most realistic war movie ever, only to find themselves in the middle of a real war. In October, the British stars will get a chance to shine with the release of Simon Pegg’s latest offering How to Lose Friends and Alienate People on October 3rd, which costars Kirsten Dunst. Ricky Gervais’s fantasy comedy Ghost Town comes

out October 24th, and co-stars Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear. Also on offer for comedy fans are the Coen Brothers directed comedy thriller Burn After Reading (October 17th) starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt. Festive comedy Four Christmases (November 28th) starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, and last, but not least, is Jim Carrey’s latest, Yes Man (December 26th). It isn’t all comedy though as there is lots on offer for action and thriller fans also. The big one that everyone will be seeing is undoubtedly the latest 007 flick Quantum of Solace which sees Daniel Craig play James Bond once again. The latest instalment in the Bond franchise is directed by Finding Neverland’s Marc Forster and hits cinema screens on October 31st. Also in store for action/ thriller fans are the Ridley Scott directed Body of Lies (November 21st) which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, and Eagle Eye (October 17th), the new film from Disturbia director D.J.Caruso, which stars Shia Labeouf and Michelle Monaghan. Also released are Paul W.S. Anderson’s Death Race (September 26th) starring Jason Statham, kidnap thriller Taken (September 26th) starring Liam Neeson, and Famke Janssen, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino cop thriller Righteous Kill (September 26th), Mark Wahlberg

starring in video game adaptation Max Payne (November 14th) and Jason Statham sequel Transporter 3 (December 5th). As for everyone else, science fiction fans can look forward to the lone sci-fi movie of the season, The Day the Earth Stood Still out on December 12th. The film stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly and is a remake of the classic 50s movie of the same name. Horror fans can look forward to the latest instalment in the Saw franchise with Saw V in cinemas on October 24th, as well as Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) latest, Mirrors (October 3rd) and the Cloverfield-like zombie film Quarantine (November 14th). For fantasy fans who are disappointed by the postponement of the latest of Harry Potter movie to next summer, there are a couple of films to choose from. These are Walden Media’s latest offering City of Ember (October 10th) and Brendan Fraser’s third 2008 release Inkheart (December 12th). For animation fans there is DreamWorks’ latest production Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (December 5th) and also the independently produced Igor (October 10th), the tale of a servant to a mad scientist who dream of becoming a mad scientist himself. These films and many more await over the remainder of the year, making the cinema the perfect cure for the winter blues.

Robert Mann


ixar’s eighth animation was a masterpiece and by far the best film of the summer. In terms of animation, Pixar have set a benchmark that is going to hard to surpass. The visually breathtaking opening forty minutes which charts Wall E’s time alone on a desolate Earth are flawless, both funny and moving. The ingenious design of Wall E made his every movement and facial expressions convey every human emotion seamlessly.

The Dark Knight * * *


hristopher Nolan’s Batman sequel was for the most part impressive but ultimately disappointing. Heath Ledger’s brilliantly macabre performance was its saving grace, as was the great supporting cast, notably from Gary Oldman and Aron Ekart as Harvey Dent whose alter ego Two Face was gruesomely brought to life. The film suffered from a curious lack of fun, over seriousness and a plodding final forty five minutes. It did boast an awesome car, truck, batmobile chase in the middle though.

Mark Varley



Freshers’ Issue 08

REVIEWS A note from the Books Editor

Morality Tale by Sylvia Brownrigg


eselcome to the all page, s ok bo l tia sen that’s well we know t its still bu t. en tem sta an over e best new books good to know th e old classics and out, the favourit on the best of… res tu fea different eresting news int y genres and an rld of books. wo e th on ing focus your reviews th wi ch Get in tou oks@seren. bo s! or suggestion



The E-Book, soon to be hitting your bedroom floor.


veryone is used to going into the nearest Waterstones or W H Smiths and picking up the latest Maeve Binchy or Jeffery Deaver novel, and whether it’s the hard back or paper backed version, it’s still a book. So what actually happens when you read it, it goes into the book shelf? Or under the bed (well we are students!)? Well, now there’s a new book-like toy on the market, the Sony Reader. A new electronic device that allows you to store up to 160 books at one time. But is this new gadget a fad or the real thing? For £199 for the basic

device and up an estimated £300 for the new one coming out next year, which Sony are claiming will hold up to 1000 books, you should hope it’s the real thing. The catch is simple; you buy it and then download all of your desired books from the internet, no doubt at a high price, then delete them when you are finished. But there are still some questions we have, what happens when you drop it in the bath? Or sit on it and break it? It’s not as reliable as the well loved book, but it’s still a small and funky toy to show off with.

o you ever think about when you will meet the one, your true love, the one that will sweep you off you’re feet and onto his white horse? How about if you meet him one day, out of the blue and you know he’s the one for you, he is the one, but there’s a problem, you’re already married to the guy you thought was the one, the guy who already has swept you off you’re feet onto his white horse. Pan knew the second that she met Richard he was her true love. However, being married for five years to man who rapidly changed from the strong prince charming that rescued her from her dull and depressing life, to a stressed out father of two, who has to deal with constant rumour of unemployment and the outrageous demands of an ex wife, the one that Pan “stole” him from, Pan desires a break and that’s when she meets Richard. As she begins to fall in love with

Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman


his is the amazing tale of the trail that changed the thoughts, opinions and culture ideas of America, based on the true events of the Alabama trail in 1931; Scottsboro is a gripping story that is set through various points of view of those who were involved in this historical event. The novel begins with the infamous girls Victoria Price and Ruby Bates aboard a train looking for some work, however events turn for the worse when a fight breaks out between some white

Cat’s Classics

Jane Eyre

him, she can’t help thinking about this man every second of the day, this wond e r f u l, passionate man who could save her from the dregs of her boring marriage. He could be the man who could even take her to the countries and amazing breaks that were promised to her by her husband. But will she run off into the sunset with this almost perfect man, or will she remember that she loves her husband more than anything else. This modern day romance focuses on the everyday bitterness of the modern marriage, the baggage you have to deal with becoming the second wife and the cold hearted divorces that occur all around us. (Picador RRP £7.99) and black men, the train is stopped and the girls make a run for it, but there luck turns when they are caught by local farmers demanding to know what happened on the train and the cry of rape is said faster than you can think, this is the beginning of the Scottsboro trail, where eight men are wrongly imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. After the long trails and retrials of this injustice, the novel focuses on the lives of those involved, from the leading journalist covering the case, to the girls and their surrounding lives when the lies begin to unfold around them. The arguments are fought and lives are destroyed in the fight for all of America to discover the truth behind the stories and what really did happen on the train that was stopped at Scottsboro. This gripping novel not only shows us all of the different sides, from the guilty to the liars and all of those who are caught in the middle, it also shows the loneliness, the guilt and the desire for the truth. This heart warming and captivating book is a must read for all. (Picador RRP £7.99)


rson, attempted murder and mad women in attics, Jane Eyre is not a book for the faint hearted. Many people remember Jane Eyre as being a novel you were forced to read at school by their English teacher. Having been put off by the long winded language they harbour the belief that this book can bear no real relation to today’s society, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Stripped bare Jane Eyre is a passionate love story combined with elements of adventure and thriller. The relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester is a classic tale of a young, naïve girl falling for an older man. The beginning of the novel follows the pair falling in love up until their marriage; however a revelation at the wedding ceremony shatters Jane’s happiness. The rest of the novel is spent following Jane’s journey from her escape from Mr Rochester and sleeping rough in a forest, through living under an assumed identity to nearly marrying a man who turns out to be her cousin then finally inheriting a small fortune. Although it could be possible to leave Jane’s story here, rich but with the prospect of a loveless marriage to St John Rivers, the love story of the novel demands closure. After hearing voices calling her through the night Jane returns to Thornfield, Mr Rochester’s home, to find it a burnt out shell. She learns that there had been a fire which had engulfed Thornfield and whilst endeavouring to save his wife, the mad woman in the attic, Mr Rochester had fallen through the roof and was now blinded and has had his hand amputated. Jane returns to Mr Rochester’s side but will she be able to love him despite his new deformity? Despite being written over 160 years ago, Jane Eyre well deserves a read, or even a re read if you were one of the unfortunate people who had any love for this genre of literature beaten out of you at school. Underneath the complicated dialogue is a good old fashioned love story that wouldn’t be out of place in a modern day film.

Now everyone has their own favourite book, it could be To Kill A Mockingbird or even Harry Potter, but the course you take will also have their favourite books for you to read. Here are some of the books recommended for a few of the courses here at Bangor University:

Journalism or Creative Studies: John Pilger Tell Me No Lies


his excellent and insightful book contains over 20 of the most gripping journalistic pieces from different parts of the world and different parts of history, which you would not have seen in the papers or heard about in the news. Containing moving pieces from such great journalists like Paul Foot, who reveals the truth about the great Lockerbie disaster, Martha Gelhorn, who writes an intensely moving piece about the death camp at Dachau. This book will help anyone doing a journalist based subject or anyone who wants to know what was never reported to the public. (Vintage RRP 8.99)

English Literature:

The Norton Anthologies, vol 1&2


he two different volumes of the Anthologies are the essential books for anyone who is attending an English literature course within the university. Within the first two weeks the students are told to try and get these books as they contain nearly all of the work that you will be studying in the course. The first of the two volumes is more focused on all of the pre 19th century work that you will need to cover, this includes the works of Shakespeare, who you are likely to study at one point in each year. The second of the to volumes has slightly wider range of literature for you to get your mind around, including all of the pre Victorian literature you will need to study, and there is even a little bit of early 20th literature to brighten your day. An essential for those studying English literature.


Psychology: an introduction by Nicky Hayes and Sue Orrell This book is a helpful guide to have close to hand for a basic understanding of Psychology as a whole. Psychology: An Introduction gives you the basics for the general course and although it is not as advanced as most psychology books, it still is able to help you with your studies, your case work and your general day to day class topics. Perfect for the basic knowledge you will need for your course.


What’s on?

Freshers’ Issue 2008

Now you’re here you’ll want something to do. Here’s a cut-out-and-stick-on-the-fridge guide to the next month of Bangor madness! DATE




2-5 pm

Crazy Sports afternoon

Ffriddoedd Site tennis courts

9 pm

Welcome party

Time nightclub

9 pm

60s, 70s and 80s night

Academi nightclub

7 pm

John Jackson’s pub quiz

Basement Bar, SU

9 pm

Fruit Salad (LGBT night)

Academi nighclub

11 am - 3 pm


Students’ Union

6 pm

What is Socialism? debate

Lecture room 2, Main Arts

7 pm

Showing of Atonement

Main Arts Lecture Theatre

9 pm

TRASH’s triumphant return

Academi nightclub

11 am - 3 pm


Students’ Union

6 pm

What is Socialism? debate

Lecture room 2, Main Arts

7 pm

Showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Main Arts Lecture Theatre

9 pm

Athletic Union night

Academi nightclub

7 pm

Queer Guide sessions

Rascals and Normal Site

4 pm


Skerries pub (on the high street)

12am to 2pm

Fair Trade Society Picnic

The Cathedral grounds

9 pm

Student Saturday Party: The BIG One

Academi nightclub

Sun 28th Sept

7 pm

Theatr Gwynedd’s final film showings

Theatr Gwynedd

Tues 30th Sept

5 pm

Seren’s first meeting (come along and write for us you lot!)

Students’ Union meeting room

Weds 1st Oct

7 pm


Starting at the Belle Vue, bring your maps along!

Friday 3rd Oct

9 pm

The Freshers’ Ball!”

Students’ Union Building

Mon 6th Oct


Pride GM and mini pub crawl

Main Arts Lecture Theatre

Sun 21st Sept Mon 22nd Sept Tues 23 Sept rd

Weds 24th Sept

Thurs 25th Sept

Fri 26th Sept

Sat 27th Sept



Freshers’ Issue 08

Discover Snowdonia

As Bangor is situated on the northern fringes of the beautiful Snowdonia National Park, we’ve included a brief guide to some of the best places to visit.

All photos for this page were taken by Mark Varley except the backgroud image which was taken by Flickr user Eifion (

Lake Idwal


wm Idwal (Idwal Valley) featuring Lake Idwal is a terrific introduction to the more adventurous walker looking to explore further into Snowdonia. Although a generally straight forward walk if keeping to the path, there is something here for walkers of all abilities and experience. Leave Bangor and head off the A55 at Junction 11 towards Bethesda and along the A5. Continue on this road into Snowdonia until you come to a car park, refreshments and Lake Ogwen roughly four miles from Bethesda. The car park is pay and display but long before and after there are places to park along the road, free of charge. From the main car park at Ogwen and until reaching Lake Idwal, the well maintained rocky path is relatively flat which enables you to fully take in the mighty surroundings. Rising up from Lake Ogwen is the impressive Pen yr Ole Wen and, as you begin the walk, the intimidating mass of rock that is Tryfan (915m) lies immediately ahead (pictured below). On Tryfan’s summit stand Adam and Eve. They are the names given to the two vertical slabs, each roughly six feet in height and a metre or so apart. If you consider yourself to be the adventurous type then Tryfan is only truly scaled if you leap from one to the other- not for the faint hearted! Once the path leads to Lake Idwal you can either continue left or right around the lake. To the left are the commanding Idwal Slabs which prove to be very popular with rock climbers. The landscape was shaped by glaciers during the last Ice Age over 11,000 years ago and the smooth high rising slabs are regarded as being one of the finest examples of glacial landforms in Britain. Looking towards the cliffs of the valley headwall lies Devil’s Kitchen. You can either opt to continue walking around the river, keeping to the path, or continue up towards Devil’s Kitchen over its mass of dark, imposing rocks that lie directly in your path. Leading up and away to the left of the valley headwall, the path will take you to the summit of Devil’s Kitchen and ahead will lie Llyn-y-Cwn (a small lake but from here the views are simply spectacular). There are ways back down other than the way you came but it’s best to study a map or guide first if you are going to attempt a more challenging descent. However for everyone the walk around Lake Idwal is relatively simple and roughly three miles from start to finish. The views are excellent and there is public transport to Ogwen so explore Snowdonia for yourself! The University’s Mountain Walking Club visit a part of Snowdonia every Saturday and welcome walkers of all abilities so why not pay their stall a visit this serendipity to find out more!

etws-y-Coed is a major visitor attraction in Snowdonia accessible by both car and bus. Situated approx. 18 miles from Bangor along the A5 or A470 if approaching from the north through the Conwy Valley, the picturesque village, deep in Gwydyr Forest Park, provides scenic walks and opportunities for mountain biking too. There are numerous cafes and outdoor wear shops as well as hotels with bars and restaurants. Two main walks that lead from Betws take you around the Afon Conwy and also towards a disused miner’s bridge along a forest board walk (pictured below). The first walk leads around Betws Golf Club, following the river, and this gentle scenic walk will only take about 30-40 minutes to complete. There are many opportunities to park and as the river runs through the heart of Betws, walks along the river are easy to find. On entering Betws from the west (along the A5) there will be a bridge that crosses the river with a fish and chip shop on the corner. By crossing and parking on the other side, head along the river towards the new forest board walk (this will be signposted prior) and then the riverside path will eventually lead to the miner’s bridge. Fast flowing water from the Afon Llugwy (‘afon’ being the Welsh for ‘river’) ensures a dramatic backdrop from the sloping bridge as the busy river bustles its way down from the mountains near Capel Curig. Further on from the bridge (a few miles so probably best accessible by car back along the A5) is Swallow Falls. Although reachable on foot from the miner’s bridge, there is parking available at the Falls with the adjacent Swallow Falls Hotel able to provide parking, food and drink. Entrance to the falls is only a small charge and the mass of fast flowing water provides a stunning sight from the many viewing posts (pictured above).There is something for everyone at Betws-y-Coed and with so much on offer you can visit time and time again.

Aber Falls


he beautiful setting of Aber Falls provides one of the most pleasant of short walks in Snowdonia. Situated close to Bangor, slightly inland from the village of Abergwyngregyn, the falls cannot be easier to find. Head east along the A55 and exit at junction 13 (approx. 4 miles from Bangor) and follow the signs for Aber Falls where the walk begins ¾ mile along the road. There is ample pay and display parking available for two pounds. Leading towards the spectacular 200ft waterfall (pictured below) you will first venture through a riverside woodland path then along a wide gravelled track within a scenic steep-sided valley. The gentle three mile walk is suitable for all and there is also an alternate route through woodland which runs almost adjacent to the main track. However there is always a chance to head further off into the wilderness! On your return from the waterfall there are views of the coast and the Isle of Anglesey is clear to be seen. For refreshments there is a pub in Aber and a café for that much needed cup of tea! For those of you looking for your first taste of what Snowdonia has to offer then Aber Falls will provide the perfect introduction.

Hi I


I’m Will Varley and I am the sports editor for Seren.

’d like to welcome everybody to Bangor and hope you are all settling in. If over the course of the year you’d like to see news about your sports team or personal achievements to be included in the paper then I’d like to hear from you! I’m always looking for articles, match reports, stories and sports pictures for the paper so please don’t hesitate to write in and I’ll do my best to ensure that as many of your articles as possible are included in each issue. Please email me either at sport@ or Also if you have any ideas about any other sports related articles that you’d like to write about then please let me know!


Introducing... Bangor City F.C. There’s always a warm welcome at the Farrar Road Stadium – home of Bangor City Football Club.Playing in the Principality League of Wales, City is one of the most successful, and best supported, sides in Welsh football. Current Welsh Cup holders, City is just embarking on the new season’s campaign, and under the shrewd management of City legend Neville Powell, we are sure to be there or thereabouts come next spring. City has a great history, having won our national league twice, and with cup honours aplenty. We also have a proud European record – playing in various competitions over eight seasons – and recently campaigns have taken us to Latvia and, just a few months ago, Denmark in the UEFA Cup. Look out for more European adventures at the end of this season! The future is also exciting as we are gearing up for a move to a new out-of town stadium at Nantporth on the Holyhead Road. Look out for exciting players in City colours such as goal-hungry strikers Chris Sharp (son of Scotland and Everton legend Graeme) and Les Davies (The Runaway Truck) and classy defender Michael Johnston (winner of City Player of the Year award last season) FANCY A GAME? If you would a trial to play for City, we have a successful reserves side which offers opportunities to up-and-coming players. Contact manager Mark Poole on 07738218722 or e-mail

Interested in playing sport? Not sure which one to choose?

SERENDIPITY Each of the AU clubs have a stall at Serendipity this year, so there’s no excuse not to find the one you’re looking for. See the map on page 14!

Then come along to one of these events:

AU TASTER SESSIONS There are loads of AU taster sessions on offer this year, details are available on the Students’ Union website, or at Serendipity


    

Exploring Snowdonia Bangor FC’s Free Match Rowing Dance Club Fixture List


o, it’s the new university year, and the start of the new sporting season for all universities throughout the UK. Once again Wednesday afternoons will see all our sports teams in action. So, with this in mind, if you’re not playing in any of the teams why not show your support for your fellow students’ by going to watch a University game! Your support would be welcome by any of the clubs and you are sure to have some fun along the way! It would be great for you to get a bunch of friends together and get behind the teams. Cheer a team on to push for that last gasp try or encourage a team to score that injury time winner! You guys can be the difference between winning and losing. So if you’ve got a few hours to spare on a Wednesday afternoon why not get behind our teams and cheer them on to victory! See the table below for more information and where and when our teams are playing for the next few weeks.

Rob Samuel, AU President

Row, row, row your boat!

OCTOBER FIXTURES Tuesday 14.10.08 Club

Men's Basketball Club Men's Badminton Men's Badminton 2nd Men's Fencing Women's Fencing Women's Football Men's Hockey Rugby League Men's Rugby Union Club Women's Basketball Club Men's Fencing 2nd Men's Football 1st Men's Football 2nd Women's Hockey 1st Women's Hockey 2nd Netball Club Men's Fencing Men's Football 1st Women's Football Men's Rugby Union Men's Hockey



Keele 1st 20:00 Wednesday 15.10.08 Opposition Time Chester (Chester) 13:00 Salford 2nd 15:00 Newcastle 1st 14:00 Keele 1st 14:00 Chester (Chester) 14:00 Man Met 1st 14:00 MMU Cheshire 1st 14:00 MMU Cheshire 1st 14:00 Tuesday 21.10.08 Opposition Time Lancaster 1st 18:00 Wednesday 22.10.08 Opposition Time Liverpool 1st 14:00 Lancaster 2nd 14:00 Bolton 2nd 14:00 Liverpool Hope 1st 14:00 Edge Hill 2nd 15:30 Liverpool Hope 1st 14:00 Wednesday 29.10.08 Oppostion Time Manchester Men 1st Cumbria 1st Chester (Chester) Chester (Chester) 2nds Lancaster 3rd

14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00 14:00

Venue Normal Site Venue Maes Glas Maes Glas Normal Site Normal Site Treborth Playing Fields Maes Glas Treborth Playing Fields Treborth Playing Fields Venue Normal Site Venue Maes Glas Treborth Playing Fields Treborth Playing Fields Maes Glas Maes Glas Maes Glas Venue Maes Glas Treborth Playing Fields Treborth Playing Fields Treborth Playing Fields Maes Glas

“Spirit of the AU 2007/2008”


ith six medals in total, this year’s GB Olympic rowing squad became the most successful in over 100 years and finished top in the medal table for the regatta. The Shunyi Olympic RowingCanoeing Park may be a far cry from our very own Menai Straits but the idea is the same. Bangor University Rowing Club takes advantage of the Straits between the Menai suspension bridge and Bangor pier giving the University a 3.5 mile stretch of tidal water to train on. Last year, the club had over 60 members ranging from complete novices right through to experienced oarsmen. As well as this, the club opens its doors to anyone, whether they want to compete, recreationally row or simply come along to circuit sessions for general fitness. The set up of the club enables you to take part in as much or as little as you like. Rowing, as a sport, encompasses all major muscle groups with no impact hence reducing the risk of injury to a minimum. It is a highly sociable sport which introduces you to a network of others who share the same goal and work together, experiencing all the highs and lows, as a team. The calming effect of being on the water and exercise can both be a welcome relief to the stresses of University life. The club trains hard in three different areas; water sessions, circuit training and ergs. The water sessions are, as the name suggests, training in the boats. These are held at the University’s very own boat house nestled in the banks of the Menai near Normal site, and take place three times a week. These sessions are focused on technique in the boat, set pieces and working together as a team. The club owns a range of boats consisting of eights, fours and doubles, along with our

own safety launch to aid with training. Circuit training takes place every Tuesday and Thursday evenings at normal site gym and are designed to improve stamina, fitness and strength, all of which are essential for the sport. Finally, ergos. These are advised to be done at least once a week and vary in length and aim. They are done in a gym environment and ideally with a couple of others. Training is, however not in vain as the University races at national level through BUSA and the ARA (Amateur Rowing Association). We attend all the major student regattas through BUSA, competing against the likes of Oxbridge and Durham. This year the club moves up a gear and has entered into the BUR (British University Rowing) league which is a new idea for this year. It aims to reduce the cost of racing and make competing more even through the addition of leagues with the incentive of promotion. As well as this, the club competes at regional and national level, attending the prestigious Head of the River races through central London and regional regattas such as Chester. This year the club will be defending its status of the regatta’s Victor Ludora after one of the most productive outings of last season. The Women’s Novice 8+ stole victory by a fair way with the Men’s S3 4+ also following suit. As well as this, a scratch Men’s S3 2x came runners up, losing by just a canvas after never sculled together before. After the success of the previous regatta the club entered into the Northwich regatta hoping to continue the winning habit. The women took the title in the Novice 4+ earning themselves some well deserved ARA points. The men also crossed the finish line ahead to win the S3 8+ earning the club their second success of the day.

The highlight for all was arguably the weekend in Strathclyde, Scotland for the BUSA regatta. The club arrived on the Friday, staying for three nights, entering 7 crews in total for the 2K course. The club put up a gutsy performance and managed crews from all categories getting through their heats. Although we were unable to go any further, the weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. With an active training and racing schedule, the members enjoy regular socials in Paddies pub (the club’s sponsor) every Tuesday and Thursday after circuit sessions from 9pm, and the club are usually found gracing Academi with their presence most Saturday nights! The club’s introductions last year had the theme of ‘Pimps and Hoes’ which had all members, old and new, dressed in quite frankly, outfits we hope were a one off! This event was one of three major socials the club enjoys each year, the other two being the Christmas dinner and the end of year Pimms Party. Remember, with the club you can do as much or as little as you like, so whether you were inspired by this year’s Olympics to don some lycra, or you just fancy a row when the sun is shining and come to our legendary socials, get in touch! For more information on the club, from joining to training schedules, check out or come along and see us at Serendipity. The club will also be holding taster sessions throughout Fresher’s week so come down to the boat house and see what we are all about.

Helen Aldred


Bangor University Dance Club

inning this award was the perfect way to end what has been the best year yet for Bangor University Dance! We hope that this year is going to be even better still, kicking off with a performance at the Fairtrade Picnic, Saturday 27th September, and the Freshers’ Ball, Friday 3rd October! If you want to see what we’re about then make sure you come down to one of these events and see if you think you have what it takes to be a BU Dancer! We offer classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Street Dance, Irish, Break, and the new addition to our timetable, Latin and Ballroom!

We’ll have a stall at Serendipity in Welcome Week so if you want to find out more then feel free to come along, pick up a timetable and ask questions! All abilities are welcome so whether you’re a budding Ginger Rogers or just want to have some fun dancing like nobody’s watching, we want to see you! Taster classes will be going on throughout Week 1; beginning Monday 29th September, and then normal classes will begin the following week, Monday 6th October. All classes will be held in Time/Amser (enter through the Curved Lounge).

Abby Jay-Wilson

Seren - 201 - 2008-2009 - September 2008  
Seren - 201 - 2008-2009 - September 2008  

This is the September 2008 issue of Seren, Bangor Univeristy's English Language Newspaper. Produced by students for students.