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Issue 5 January Issue Friday 31st January 2014
Disclaimer: Any of the views expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the editors, writers or interviewees
The Who: ‘Talking about my generation’
York’s coolest newspaper
MEGAN – ALWAYS PRESENT TO GOD Christopher Collingwood, Chancellor of the Minster
Nestlé ‘shouldn’t advertise formula milk’ said leading children charities
The disappearance of Megan Roberts, a student at York St John University, on Thursday 23rd January is a matter of concern to all of us, but most especially to her family, her friends and to all students in York and elsewhere. It’s premature to draw conclusions about exactly what happened. The picture doesn’t look good, though. Newspaper reports stated that CCTV footage at Lendal Bridge showed Megan with a group of friends ‘heavily affected by alcohol’ and bumping into a row of cycle racks in the early hours of the morning. Supt Phil Cain commented: ‘The strongest and most probable line of inquiry being pursued by police is that Megan, affected by alcohol, has entered the river…The possibility still exists that Megan is elsewhere, safe and well but, realistically, given the passage of time, such a possibility is increasingly remote.’ It’s hard to imagine what’s it’s like for the family and friends of someone who goes missing. We’re all acutely aware of what the parents of Madeleine McCann have been going through for several years, now, to say nothing of Madeleine herself. The worst thing, I guess, is just not knowing. Life is frozen. Dare I say it, after a while the discovery of a body must come as a welcome relief to those closest, because it does at least provide closure and the opportunity to deal with what is known to be the case. Whether we knew Megan or not, her disappearance and possible death is likely to be felt acutely by her peers. When this happens to someone of our age it brings us up short. I still remember vividly the first of my school contemporaries who died at the age of eleven. His name and the manner of his death are imprinted on my memory. You don’t think, somehow, that it could happen to you. When we’re young we think we’re immortal or that death happens to other people. The truth is that death can come to any of us at any time. The realisation of this can be something of a wake-up call. Accepted constructively, it gives no cause to fear. Rather it invites us to live life to the full wholly in the present moment. And this is actually a spiritual matter, however we name it. The mystics and contemplatives of all the world’s great religious traditions testify that God is to be found not so much in the past or the future but in the fullness of the present. And what we experience in the present is liberation, compassion, love, joy and peace. In fact, discovering this involves a kind of death to the self, to the small, limited self with which we identify most of the time. Our true self is expansive and deeply connected with everyone and everything that exists. Christian mystics describe our true selves as grounded in God. So whatever Megan’s fate, she and God are always present to each other, she always has been and always will be grounded in God, the God who loves everything and everyone. And so are you whatever happens in your life.
SoY exclusive: UNICEF has calculated that the NHS spends more than £39 million every year treating five diseases, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, that are more prevalent amongst babies fed on formula. ‘Preventing this unnecessary suffering could be achieved by modest increases in breastfeeding rates, which would be easier to achieve if Nestlé and other companies stopped their aggressive marketing’ said Mike Brady spokesman for Baby Milk Action. A spokeswomen for a leading children’s charity said there is ‘no evidence’ to suggest that baby milk formula is ‘beneficial’ to British mothers. However Nestlé is ‘targeting mothers online and in-store with practices that violate UK marketing requirements and Advertising Standard Authority rulings’ said Mr. Brady. Nestlé did not reply before the publication date of Issue 5 to ‘Students of York’ inquiry for a press statement on these issues. Baby Milk Action and Save the Children have recently publicly campaigned to stop Nestlé aggressively marketing baby milk in the United Kingdom and in developing countries. Many western countries have measures in place to stop this practice but the United Kingdom is yet to have implemented international marketing standards, which were recommended by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Child. Revelations about Nestlé’s aggressive marketing of baby milk formula follow Greenpeace’s successful campaign last year to get Nestlé to identify companies in their supply chain which have links to deforestation and to implement changes.
Editor’s introduction I decided not to personally report on the disappearance of Megan Roberts because it is such a sensitive and difficult issue. However I hope and believe Christopher as Chancellor of the Minster is able to deal with situation appropriately. My prayers are with Megan, her friends and her family. Harry
YSJ ‘one of the first universities in the country’ to eliminate landfill Harry Geoghegan A spokesman said the the ‘university will eliminate the disposal of any waste to landfill by 2015’ making York St. John one of the ‘top performing universities in the country’ in terms of environmental credentials. In 2012 the university publicity stated their intention to reuse or recycle more than 50% of the waste it produces by 2015. ‘Lord Mayor’s Walk, City Residence, The Grange,and St. John Central all have very high recycling rates already, and send almost nothing to landfill’. Despite the worrying levels of recycling globally York St. John is environmentally friendly.
What’s wrong with York St. John Harry Geoghegan
The point is students need more than bar experience and a degree to put on their CV. Mmmm so what’s the solution? There are many interesting internships out there and it would be great if the university encouraged students to do these in their first, second and third year. It’s not rocket science that a company is more likely to employ you if you’ve previously proved your worth. Second, the university needs to provide more guest lecturers, and make students from every department aware of events in different departments. It’s no drunken confession that I would prefer to listen to an academic ‘celebrity’ once for every 10 normal lectures I have. An academic ‘celebrity’ is potentially inspiring and someone to network with, someone to stay in contact with and help you get the job and life you want. If I can interview Mandela’s bodyguard, Mr. and Mrs. Lecturer from each subject area can persuade an academic author to talk. St Peter’s school which is just a five-minute walk around the corner has already booked three celebrities to talk - if a local school can do it why can’t we. Finally students should be encouraged to take a year out of their education and study aboard - experience a different life and gain new skills. Erasmus gives you thousands of pounds and unlike the Liberal Democrats doesn’t charge a ridiculous interest rate in fact there is no charge you get to keep the cash. Is this article to be taken seriously? Ask yourself have you been happy at York St. John, have you been annoyed with stuck up people trying to put the university down, and yet you also think that the university should improve its employability credentials - there’s your answer.
Nothing...well of course like any university it’s not perfect, but York St. John and its students need not look up at the nose of the conceited bitch who believes wrongly that a university which is fifteen years older is a proper university. The happiest times of my life have been at this university. It was here in York that I first fell in love, and before I had the opportunity myself of listening to my housemates having sex. Living in York taught me that shopping in Waitrose makes you a ‘softy’ southerner and ASDA food actually won’t give you cancer...I’ve lived to tell the tale. The most valuable experience I have had at York St. John has been setting up and running ‘Students of York’. Its taught me that Nestle get tetchy about talking about their baby breast milk marketing campaign, the local Tories don’t take my emails light-heartily (maybe if I had used smilies we would have been friends), that everyone has talent and as leader of a group it’s your job to get the best out of everyone. So is the title of this article misleading? I have a point I’m just getting there...hold it. In my opinion, York St. John needs to provide employability skills. Sure a degree is great but doesn’t every student have a recurring nightmare that their house is burning, and they have to choose to save their baby cousin or their 2:1 degree certificate? - nope...forget it
Woodkid Album Review: The Golden Age Benjamin Meade
Woodkid has become one of those artists who has become in a sense omnipresent over the last year. His second single ‘Run Boy Run’ has been played on X-Factor, Made in Chelsea, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, used for film trailers like ‘Now You See Me’, and that’s just scraping the surface. This is, in its own way quite appropriate, since most of Woodkid’s earliest fans came to him through a trailer. The E3 trailer for Assassin’s Creed Revelations, which featured the song ‘Iron,’ and immediately caught the attention of listeners, who is Woodkid? Woodkid is in fact the rather diminutive Yoann Lemoine, a french director, who had previously directed music videos for the likes of Moby, Katy Perry, and Lana Del Rey. ‘The Golden Age’ is a concept album about the life of a boy, growing up into a man which finally culminates in his death, designed to sound like the soundtrack to a film. The album takes off into a swift, and upbeat start with the title track, and followed by the instantly recognisable ‘Run Boy Run’. It turns into a blend of gentle piano songs mixed in with horns, and upbeat or epic sounding, percussion led stomps with sweeping strings and evocative blasts of brass. It’s in these moments when the percussion is pounding away and the supporting orchestra creates a sense of scale, it does sound like the soundtrack to a film, the title track sounds like it could come from an epic fantasy. This album may not be for everyone, it generally depends on how if you like Woodkid’s singing voice or not, whilst it is not very strong it does deliver the emotion required of the songs, yet it is perhaps a little bit of a drone, with some quirky French pronunciations of English words. ‘The Golden Age’ is musically a great sounding album, one of the standouts of 2013 with its dynamic, and different sound that it brings to the table. With 2014 set to have the title track ‘The Golden Age’ released as his final single, to be accompanied by another compellingly directed music video, will Woodkid’s sound be so subtly omnipresent, or is it Woodkid’s time to take the limelight? The Golden Age 9/10. Tracks to Download: Run Boy Run, The Golden Age, Where I Live, Iron, and The Great Escape.
Students of York Editor: Harry Geoghegan, Designer: Harry Geoghegan, Deputy Editor and Assitant Designer: Rebecca
Sexism on a student night Rebecca As students, we all love a good party – but issues of sexism are on the rise in student culture, and York’s student nightlife is no exception. Whilst a standard night out will consist of one-to-many drinks, making friends in the toilets and even possibly picking up a new ‘friend’ for the night, it is becoming more and more common to experience something not as welcome (and no, not just the terrible music). A frequently occurring issue with university nightlife is, unsurprisingly to most, sexism – which is on the rise in university student culture. Whilst student club events like ‘geeks and sluts’ to many of us will seem like harmless banter, misogynist ideologies can be undertaken by club promoters, and even male students, on these nights out. A recent survey conducted by NUS found that 68% of the university student respondents had been sexually harassed in or around their university, whilst a further 19% of respondents claimed to have been groped on a night out in their own student union. Groping, something that many female students will have to endure on a night out, is something that so commonly occurs in the world of student’s night life that it barely warrants a mention. But why is that okay? Sexism on campus is on the rise, leading to many students feeling that the behaviour is not only something to be endured, but rather disgustingly, normal in student culture. In addition to sexual abuse, many students have also been victims of verbal abuse on nights out. I asked a range of female York St John University students, and found this to be in existence in our university city. A few found, when out with groups of female friends – that when being propositioned a male will tend to be, unsurprisingly, pleasant and flirtatious, but when they’re propositions are politely rejected they can turn to verbal abuse, accusing them of being ‘sluts’ and ‘slags’. This turn in personality is not only petty and offensive, but highly misogynist behaviour. Despite York being small in comparison to most other university cities, it seems this behaviour can occur just as frequently. Yet promising recent attempts have been made by universities to decrease sexist behaviour in their regarded university student unions. Most recently, the catchy yet questionable hit ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke has been banned by several universities in protest of the song’s seemingly misogynist lyrics – a step in the right direction. This support seems to be catching on within our own university city, as York St John University student’s union is devising new Equality and Diversity regulations, and even forming a new feminist society. Whilst university culture and student nightlife will always consist of alcohol fuelled endeavours, pulls and banter that we will admittedly regret in the morning, there is no place, nor need, for this occurring sexism. If we continue to make students aware that these behaviourisms are unacceptable, and support our universities movements in reducing misogynist behaviour on campus, we will see results in our beloved city.
A massive thank you to the 35+ people who helped make this and other issues of ‘Students of York’
New Year, new you with York St John Karate Society Rebecca
The Wolf of Wall Street Jessica Kelly
It’s pretty common knowledge that many of us students don’t live a particularly healthy lifestyle. With all the booze and late night takeaways it’s no surprise that we’ve put on a few pounds since university and most of us won’t be pleased about it. So, in regards to ‘new year, new you’, maybe it’s time to fight the flab - yet have fun, right on university campus, with the YSJ Karate society. To get more information on YSJ Karate I interviewed society member Robert Blackabey, and discover exactly why YSJ Karate is worth joining.
What made you join Karate at YSJ? I joined YSJ Karate because karate is something I have joined throughout my life, furthermore the coaches I have had throughout the years have recommended that I find a club at university as they believe I can go a long way within the sport. What do you like most about Karate at YSJ? There are millions of things I enjoy about karate at YSJ. One of the main areas I enjoy is the people who are in the club, they make it fun to be around, you gain friends who are always there for you and also the social side is amazing. Another factor I most like about the club is that it’s a way to develop your skills, the coaches and higher belts are there to help you with any problems you are having. Personally the thing I enjoy the most is the variety in which is being taught, especially as I am from a different karate style. Can you join Karate YSJ with no previous experience? YSJ Karate is open to any person who wishes to join; it does not matter if you have a large amount of experience or have none at all. The club is there to help you learn new skills and develop your fitness levels – the club normally attracts a large amount of students who have never taken part in martial arts before. Do you compete with YSJ Karate, if so, what is the experience like? Yes, we are currently competing with BUCS, a competition where all universities meet and compete with one another. We are currently also training for Northumbria University Open as well as two other competitions which are coming up throughout the year. The experience at competitions is varied from beginners to national and international fighters. They are separated however so that they are split in different levels, so anyone can join in with competitions. Do you get qualifications with YSJ Karate, if so, what? There a qualification you can get through YSJ Karate, an instructor’s qualification, which gives you the ability to teach Karate. This qualification is handy to have, especially for those with an interest in sports teaching or primary education. Would you recommend YSJ Karate to others, if so, why? Yes definitely; particularly as the club gives you the more self confidence in yourself. It also teaches you self defence which is very important, as well as also being a great way to meet new people, make friends and socialise as we do different activities - such as laser tag, group meals and nights out. Finally, your fitness will hugely improve, an added bonus for those wanting to lose weight in the new year. Karate socials occur weekly on Saturdays and costs just £10 to join for the year.
12 Years a Slave Katherine Wood McQueen isn’t known for giving his audiences an easy ride, and 12 Years A Slave is no exception. Difficult to watch at times, McQueen lays bare the savagery, torment and despair of his characters as they are subjected to the evils of white power and slavery. 12 Years follows the journey of a free man, Solomon Northrup as he is tricked, betrayed and sold into slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s powerful performance as a man of great talent to a man of great misfortune and misery hits the audience like a sledgehammer; we live his pain through McQueen’s unflinching eye. Lupita Nyong’o breaks out in her performance as Patsey, a slave that is subjected to unbearable treatment and abuse from master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Fassbender’s sadistic character boils with self-hatred and cruelty, creating an atmosphere of deep tension and fear whenever he appears on screen. After watching this portrayal I can assuredly say it needs not be viewed twice, although it demands to be paid attention to. 12 Years acts as an evil twin to 2012’s successful slavery epic Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino), though there is no comedic relief to be found here. The gorgeous cinematography and melancholic soundtrack only act to emphasise the hardships of Solomon’s journey as he attempts to maintain hope and declares: “I will survive. I will not fall into despair!” 12 Years a Slave is a harrowing portrayal of great evil and great triumph that embodies ferocious honesty and emotion - go and see!
Based on a true story, we see the rise of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a New York stockbroker who, through the use of rather questionable methods, earns millions of dollars. His time at the top is shortly followed by his plummet to the bottom after he and his colleagues become involved in some rather unorthodox ways of earning money. Along with the core plot comes many hilarious scenes of depravity and a whole lot of bare bums. Martin Scorsese holds nothing back and supplies us with a stellar comedy, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a while. Scorsese’s trusty editor Thelma Schoonmaker collaborates with him again and helps the audience get lost in the explicit drug use by changing the e diting style completely during the scenes in which characters are high, giving a truly surreal and confusing viewing experience. The films runs for a lengthy 180 minutes, during which the story becomes buried under a weight of slapstick comedy, tantalising debauchery, and a ton of suspicious looking white powder. The sheer volume of the film’s excess does leave you questioning how this can possibly be based on a true story, whilst at the same time almost making you wish you were a part of this flamboyant lifestyle. DiCaprio’s performance is flawless. The character of Jordan Belfort would pose as a challenge even to the most accomplished of actors. Ranging from a charismatic businessman, to a drug addict that spends a good chuck of the film merely drooling down his face, to a rather unexpected scene which takes the film into much darker territory as we are presented with a scenario of domestic violence. With the Oscars soon approaching, if this film falls short of ‘Best Picture’, DiCaprio should undoubtedly, finally be awarded ‘Best Actor’. .
Got A Problem? When the student lifestyle gets to be too much, we are here for you with our very own agony aunt feature.
Hi, I am having trouble organizing my university work and love life. I have been in a long term relationship for over two years with someone at home and I return every weekend to see him - because of this I often seem to fall behind in my studies and find it hard to catch up. I want to continue my relationship with him but it’s becoming difficult, he needs to understand that I need to stay on campus but as he isn’t a student himself it’s hard for him to understand the pressures of university life. What should I do? Anonymous. First of all, it sounds like you have your priorities sorted! Although you’re committed to your relationship, you’re not willing to let it start affecting your work. Sometimes relationships require compromise and working things out so that you’re both happy isn’t always easy. If you spend your time during the week wisely and maybe set out a plan of what needs to get done, you might feel happier about sacrificing your weekends. Equally, he could compromise and come up to see you. If you’re feeling particularly stressed about a piece of work though, and feel like you need this time, it’s important that he understands, and gives you the time that you need.
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