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Winners announced in union officer elections
Last Thursday in Falmer Bar the full-time officer election results were announced. The winners, elected by union members, will begin their full-time posts in early July this year. Clockwise L-R: James Hickie (Activities), Indi Hicks (Welfare), Becca Melhuish (Operations), Poppy Firmin (Education), Ariel Cohen (Communications), David Cichon (President). The current Operations officer, Biz Bliss, was the returning officer and also announced that the majority of students voted ‘yes’ in the referendum on the Union constitution.
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The week in photos: Union officer hustings and election results
Left: Campaigning at East Slope Bar earlier in the week, David Cichonâ€™s compelling speech may have helped him win the President position. Top Right: More than150 students attended East Slope bar last Monday to support and listen to each candidate of the election. Bottom Right: Future Education Officer Poppy Firmin gives an interview to UniTV Photos: Anna Evans and Polina Belehhova
Above: More than 300 people attended the election results last Thursday in Falmer Bar. Photo: Polina Belehhova
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New union officers celebrate their victory Results of the Students’ Union full-time officer elections were announced, following votes cast by 2638 students during a tense but exciting night at Falmer Bar << Continued from page 1 Razyie Akkoc Kieran Burn Following a lively evening in Falmer Bar, the winners of the full-time Students’ Union officer elections have been announced. The candidates had been campaigning in full force for the six Union positions since Thursday 3 February, both on campus and online. This included hustings at East Slope on Monday 7 February. Several campaign teams stated that they were canvassing in residences up until voting closed. The bar began to fill from 6pm and by 9pm, over 300 students were present. As Biz Bliss, current Operations Officer and returning officer for the elections this year, was preparing to announce the results, attendees watched Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt, give a speech to the Egyptian people in which he refused to step down. The announcement was met with jeers from the crowd of students. Amidst the tense atmosphere, Biz revealed the results of the referendum regarding the future of the Students’ Union’s constitution before divulging the Union election results. First, she announced that James Hickie had been elected as Activities Officer; secondly, that Ariel Cohen was elected Communications Officer; thirdly, that Poppy Firmin was elected Education Officer; next,
that Becca Melhuish was elected Operations Officer; that Indi Hicks was elected Welfare Officer and finally, that David Cichon had been elected President. David, who is currently the Chair of the Students’ Union’s Council, won with a comfortable majority of 1280 votes, 529 votes ahead of his competitor, Jian Farhoumand. Statistics later showed that, with over 2000 votes cast in the presidential election and just 1301 cast in the referendum, more students voted for their choice of president than for the referendum on the future of the Students’ Union. Immediately after learning of his victory, David said: “I think it’s incredible. We have an amazing team for next year.” Future Operations Officer Becca Melhuish, who was elected by 201 vote majority in the final round of voting over her nearest competitor, Michelangelo Fano, commented on the night’s results: “What a good team! I’m looking forward to continuing the work from this year.” Meanwhile, Activities Officerelect James Hickie said that he was “absolutely ecstatic to win; we have an amazing team, and I’m lookingforward to next year.” He was elected by a 244 vote majority. Indi Hicks, future Welfare Officer, commenting on her victory stated that: “I’m just really grateful for the support from my campaign team and from all the students I’ve met and also the other candidates.” She won the second landslide of the night, being elected with a
majority of over 500 votes despite being one of six candidates standing for the role. In contrast, the statistics showed that the votes cast for Communications Officer were much closer, with less than 100 vote difference between the four candidates. However, the victor was Ariel Cohen, who is also the current Pulse editor-in-chief. After the result was announced, he said: “I feel elated to have been elected and excited to work with everyone but also full of respect for my competitors.” Poppy Firmin, future Education officer, elected with a fairly narrow majority of 151, said: “While on an international level it’s a shame about Mubarak, as it puts a downer on these amazing results, I’m motivated for a really progressive year in student democracy and can’t wait until June to see what we can
achieve.” When asked for her reaction to the results, Jo Goodman, the current Welfare Officer, said that: “It looks like it’s going to be a really good team. “The campaigns of all candidates were really impressive this year andall the candidates should be proud of themselves.” The overall turnout for the election was 2638, which presents a drop of 430 votes from last year’s 3068. This is first time in recent years that the amount of votes cast has not broken the record set by the previous year. However, Falmer Bar reported that their revenue could be as high as £5,500 for the election night. Adam Dodson, bar supervisor, claimed that “it was definitely the biggest night of the year”.
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Graph of the results for the position of Communications Officer
Anna Evans Polina Belehhova
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Students’ Union Communications Officer
Graph of the results for the position of President
Sol Schonfield firstname.lastname@example.org Monday’s election hustings at East Slope Bar. Photo: Polina Belehhova
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I don’t need a valentine when I have a best friend like you Joey. Joseph Preston. Joe Eyles, I love you, douche bag! See you tonight ;)Your Valentine x X x
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Students vote yes in union constitution referendum Inês Klinesmith News editor
Last week, on Thursday 10 February, members of the Students’ Union decided on its future status, as 866 students voted yes and 435 voted no to what the union declares a “new, strong and independent union”. A total of 1301 votes meant that quoracy was reached. The Student’s Union is now ready to register under the Charities Act of 2006. The Charities Act requires all Students’ Unions to change their statuses to ‘registered charities’. There is a legal requirement to produce a new set of governing documents (known as Articles of Association) for the new Students’ Union. The Students’ Union said: “The Education Act of 1994 effectively means that the university is in control of, and holds sovereignty over, the Students’ Union. They have to ratify
The yes vote means that the union will have more independence from the university. Even though the university would have to ratify the union’s constitutions and can cut their funding, the union will be able to apply for further “grants and funding, borrowing money and operating as a legally independent body.” This vote also means that the future funding of the Students’ Union is secured and that the union will get sued and not individuals acting on its behalf. The Students’ Union, who was supportive of the yes vote throughout the campaign, reacted to the results: “We’re really glad that we reached quoracy even it was only by 35 votes! Following this vote we will look to close the deal. “This is far from the end though, the final proposed constitution will have to go to Union Council to be ratified, so we urge students to con-
We’re really glad that we reached quoracy even if it was only by 35 votes! every change of the constitution and ask the union to do a number of things in order to justify its block grant of over £600,000 a year of public funds.”
tinue their involvement past the ballot box.” Simon Englert, member of Sussex Stop the Cuts, who voted no on the referendum comments: “I don’t
The breakdown of votes for the referendum last week. think the battle is over. At LSE the vote was overturned after a year, with a second referendum. That will be the task of the sabbatical officers and the student movement at the University of Sussex overall. I wish all the future full-time officers strength for the struggles to come over next year.” Stacey Whittle, a postgradu-
ate student at the University of Sussex says: “I think it’s a sign that democracy and representation have been weakened in union both in the way in which the campaign has proceeded and at the result. I’m very frustrated. “If it were run on a fair basis we wouldn’t feel so frustrated, but the
question was deceptive and not enough people were informed what the effect of the changes would be. I hope that students will resist external influence. All trustees must be directly elected, accountable and internal to the student population which the new constitution doesn’t allow.”
Brighton no longer UK’s most cost-effective city for students Conor Bollins According to NatWest’s seventh Student Living Index, Brighton is no longer the best university city or town to live in for cost-effective studying. Twenty-five university cities and towns were surveyed and the findings showed Brighton plumeted18 places from the top position last year. The research examines how costeffective each location is based on spending habits, and how students offset these costs. Interestingly Brighton has fallen behind university cities and towns that include Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh and even London. Brighton remains ahead of places such as Exeter and Leicester. Belfast and York occupy the last two positions of the tables respectively.
Students in Brighton spend £30 more on rent than the national average The findings show that students in Brighton spend the most money each week and this is driven by higher rent prices. Students living in Brighton generally spend £30 more on rent than the national average of £201.77. Travel spending is also higher for students on the south coast. The blow is not softened by university loans as it is estimated that students in Brighton
rely on £215.99 a week from these loans, which is over twice the national average. As a result, more students living in Brighton have to work to offset their costs. 65% of Brighton students are turning to part-time jobs and working an average of 15 hours a week. Tom Adamson, Head of NatWest Student Banking, said: “Students are taking on
more part-time work and snapping up summer employment opportunities, in seaside towns like Brighton, to bring in extra money for university life. This approach is a great way to financially prepare for your future.” However, the average Brighton student’s income has fallen from fallen from £283.87 per week to only £228.49. This equates to a yearly loss of £1,661.40, which is equivalent to 2,596 tins of baked beans – an essential part of any student’s diet. One third year psychology student says that in her second year she was paying £750 with her flatmate for a two-bedroom flat, excluding bills. She said, “I don’t think I would have been able to afford this without having worked part-time in retail, which was very stressful because I was also trying to cope with coursework and the work
experience I was doing to help me get an internship for when I finish my degree.” The University of Sussex Student’s Union has released a statement saying: “The Union is concerned about the rise in living costs in Brighton and the surrounding areas.The University has a responsibility to mitigate this rise by making sure affordable accommodation is available to students. The Union is currently campaigning for the University to significantly lower the average rent prices on campus by freezing rent costs and replacing East Slope with an affordable alternative.” With the impending rise in tuition fees and the substantial decrease in Brighton’s cost-effectiveness, the future generation of students at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton have a difficult road ahead of them.
You always seemed to know we’d end up here. After everything we’ve been through we’re still going strong. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.You’re my best friend and always will be. I hope we go the distance, I really do - because just when I think I couldn’t love you more, you always find a way to prove me wrong. Love from your Sarahbear x.
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Longer terms likely Cheryl picks unless students vote graduate’s dress Bella Cockrell The University of Sussex Students’ Union is calling for all to participate in the questionnaire that the university has opened as part of the final wave of consultation regarding the restructuring of the calendar for the academic year. Senate decided at the end of last term that there will now be a mid year assessment period either in December or in January so that current informal class tests will be held in formal exam conditions. There will also be an extension of the Autumn and Spring terms from ten weeks to twelve weeks long. These changes will be implemented in 2012-13. This most recent questionnaire is part of a three-year consultation period to change the calendar by University Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC), and Senate (the university’s main academic body.) However, last term (Winter, 2010) only 579 students out of over 12,000 answered the last questionnaire, and many respondents complained that the survey was not open long enough and badly publicised. Since Senate, many students have felt indignant that they have no choice but to accept these changes, despite not having seen the questionnaire. One student criticised Senate’s decision, saying that “one of the things that I love about this university is that there are no exams in January. In my A-Levels, we had exams in January and they did not give a person enough time for preparation”. The university added that “the
changes are not intended to increase the volume of assessment” and that it will be easier for some to “allow assessment to happen mid-year”. In a previous article in the Badger, one student argued that a mid-year exam period would “put less pressure on the students who have to take exams in summer on what was taught in the autumn”. One point posed in the questionnaire is to ask the students how best to implement the two twelve-week terms in the academic year. The problem with the calendar is that if students are to have the whole four-week vacation for Easter, the Spring term will be split on either side of the holiday so it may disrupt the continuation of teaching. In these cases, the proposal is for the Spring break to be split in two, with a 3 week holiday in addition to a one week holiday over the Easter period. Some students have argued against the twelve-week term idea altogether: “a 12 week term just seems far too long […] by the time you get to week 7/8 most people start to flag. With a 12 week term it will be even worse! Perhaps a reading week might help?” The Students’ Union maintains that “any decision made by the university in relation to these proposals has to be fully and adequately consulted with the students before they are implemented. “Officers have maintained that we could not back any decision until we could see the results of a campus-wide consultation process.” Currently, the new questionnaire is suggesting that students have the
option to choose whether to have their exams before the Christmas holidays, after them, or to have the period split before and after Christmas. They quote the results of the original questionnaire (Winter 2009) where apparently “Of 1061 respondents, 43 percent preferred before Christmas, 47 percent preferred after Christmas”. The University of Sussex said: “A week of exams before Christmas would have to take place in the week after the Autumn term ends. “On the current planned term dates, this could result in exams being scheduled right up to Christmas Eve in some years; the university thinks this is unacceptable.” This would result in the year starting earlier and Freshers’ week being in week 1 rather than week 0, unless there are enough participants in the questionnaire to say otherwise. The current proposal is for Schools to choose whether the exam week is held before or after the Christmas break, however, this poses a problem for some joint honours students, who might fall into two schools with different calendars, and only have a three week holiday. The university stated: “The aim is to have simpler, more understandable programme structures that will 1) allow students and faculty to plan their work more effectively and 2) allow for more interdisciplinarity through greater scope for courses that can be shared across disciplines.”
Camilla Davies Cheryl Cole wore a dress created by University of Brighton graduate Juliette Offenbach in last year’s X Factor series. Her 1950s style leopard print dress was worn by Cheryl Cole, and the likes of Lily Allen and Peaches Geldof are also said to be fans of her work. The mini-dress made it to In Style’s “Look of the day” and is part of her fifth collection for her label Pink Label London. The label was set up in 2007. Prior to becoming a fully-fledged fashion designer, the 28 year old studied economics at the University of Brighton, and has worked both here and in the USA. Her dresses have been shown in Grazia, Cosmopolitan and other fashion magazines. That Juliette has used her degree in Economics to pursue a career in fashion shows the versatility of the modern degree. Having graduated four years ago, Juliette found various work experience both before and during her university years. On her blog, Juliette comments “I’m so honoured that Cheryl wanted to wear the dress I designed for Charlotte Olympia. It’s part of our summer collaboration. It was great fun collaborating with amazing shoes designer (and my childhood friend) Charlotte!” Juliette’s dresses can be found in Selfridges and other high end department stores.
Cheryl’s dress. Photo: metro.co.uk
Students have until 28 February to fill out the questionnaire. It can be found at www.survey.bris.ac.uk/sussex/studentviews.
Landlords rule En route: a new safe in latest survey
cycling campaign Harry Yeatman The University of Sussex Students’ Union and the Bike Train will run a campaign to raise the level of cycle safety along the Lewes road, and ensure adequate provision for cyclists. The campaign will be sponsored by the family of JoannaWalters who died in a road accident in June of last year. Walters, a student at the University of Brighton, was hit by a van near the underpass in Lewes Road. The Bike Train, Bricycles, the Students’ Union, the family of Joanna Walters and other groups are having a conference in the near future. They aim to raise public awareness and to influence the Local Authorities and Brighton and Hove City Council to improve their standards. They also want students to join in to help lobby for a higher safety measure, particularly as Joanna Walters was a student as well.
Biz Bliss,Students’Union Operations Officer explained why the campaign is important: “A study of the Lewes road has been created and sets out recommendations for improvements of the cycle path to the Universities from Brighton.The campaign is about getting these recommendations implemented. “During the coroner’s report at the inquest of JoWalters’ death, it was found that one of the contributors to her death was the width of the road. At the point where she died on the Lewes road, the width of the cycle path was 1.9m when the recomended space for mixed pedestrian/cycle path is 3m. Things like this should be addressed in order to improve safety and minimise the risks.These are concrete things we can pursue.” The popularity of the Bike Train shows the perceived danger of cycling on the Lewes Road and these groups are renowned for being safer ways to cycle. Bliss further commented: “When
I cycle up the Lewes road to Sussex campus, I am always thinking to myself this situation is an accident waiting to happen. “Following the death of Joanna Walters, we need to ask ourselves what action we are going to take to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Until cycling as a mode of transport is taken more seriously, and the right provisions are made for cyclists, we are likely to see more accidents and more people put-off this sustainable form of transport. It is time we became the cycling city we are supposed to be.” The campaign will launch on Monday 7 March during Greenweek. (which is running from 5 to 11 March). There will be petitions, talks, surveys, film-making and much more. For information on how to get involved in the new campaign, contact Biz Bliss via e-mail at operations@ussu. sussex.ac.uk or the Bike Train on Facebook.
Landlords rated higher than lettings agents in this year’s Rate Your Landlord survey, organised by the Universities of Sussex and Brighton Students’ Unions. In all areas of comparison, landlords came out on top.These included Helpfulness, Politeness, Contactability, Repairs and Value for Money. Landlords were more than four times as likely to be rated ‘very good’ in Helpfulness than letting agents, and letting agents were more than twice as likely to be rated ‘fairly’ or ‘very poor’ in the Contactability section. Although Homelets say on their website that they are ‘able to offer a service second to none’, they received a satisfaction rating of only 25 percent from respondents, as did other letting agents such as Just Lets and Kendrick Property Services. Of all letting agents, the highest satisfaction rating went to MTM Property services with 62 percent. The survey co-ordinated yearly by the Students’ Union Welfare Officer, provides a lot of information helpful to
those looking for accommodation. The highlights of the survey, accessible on the Students’ Union website, www.sussexstudent.com, deal with issues such as ‘Finding Accommodation’ as well as a comparison of student experiences with landlords and lettings agents. This year’s survey, co-ordinated by Welfare Officer Jo Goodman, was open to students from both Sussex and Brighton universities and had a total of 580 respondents.The most interesting findings of this survey are in the ‘Landlords vs. Lettings Agents’ section. Jo Goodman’s final advice in light of the survey was to “never rush into a contract before you know you’re getting a good deal.You can get your contract checked either at the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre or the university’s Housing Office.” “Always try to go through the Housing Office’s Studentpad database to ensure the best results.” Please note that the results and information are from what respondents have given and should not be considered an objective judgement on any letting agent.
To the person who distracts my thoughts even when she’s not around. Jasmyn I love you! Jethro Gauld. To my beloved Snarly Cat, can’t believe it’s been a year since we spent that romantic valentines day in the rain eating stale pizza from out of a bin. Ever yours, Cuddlesworthian.
Everyone is a loser when it comes to politics and protests To whom do we direct our scorn in the aftermath of the student protests? The Government? The police? Each other? The truth is, nobody wins in the world of politics and protesting
Harry Yeates I was among the thousands of disaffected students protesting against the Government’s rise in tuition fees in spirit last term; absent from the actual protests because I was required to give a talk on “the representation of power during the Enlightenment” to my fellow History scholars.The representation of power was a lot healthier in the eighteenth century, let me tell you. The Enlightenment was defined by the emphasis it placed on science and reason as opposed to religion and tradition. As I returned to the troublesome twenty-first century and followed the afternoon’s violent scenes on BBC News, I could not help but feel we are overdue another Enlightenment.The last one was, after all, over 300 years ago. Looking on from the discomfort of my dingy halls of residence, I was angry at the broken promises and angry that the powers that be were seemingly so unwilling to listen to the students who would ultimately shape the country’s future. But above all else, I was deeply saddened. How did it come to this? I am neither naïve nor idealistic enough to suggest a university education should be free – but to triple the cost? How can any Government justify that? Nobody won on that day, and the extent of the loss to certain groups will remain unknown for some time. Given the stark and very public manner in which the Education Bill divided the Party, the “Liberal Democrats” – which are neither liberal nor democratic – are likely to emerge from this sorry chapter in British history worst. Much has been said about the way in which the Lib Dems have conducted themselves in recent weeks, some of it is untrue; some of it is positively malicious. However, the feeling among students is one of betrayal. The Party seen by many as the voice of young people everywhere lied. They said they would do one thing and they did another and while they can try and defend their U-turn by hastily reiterating Cameron’s “students won’t have to start paying back their loans until they are successful” spiel – success apparently being defined by earning £21K or more – nothing will change the fact that they were elected under false pretences. In the past, losing the student vote may not have been so damaging. Statistics for the last general election indicate for example that only 44% of 18-24 year-olds voted as opposed to 73% of 55-64 year-olds; however, voter apathy goes in waves and if anything was going to prompt students to head to the voting polls,
it was this. Indeed, signs of a backlash are already evident. On the Conservative party’s website no less, there are statistics taken from a recent study by Lord Ashcroft into the political scene which show that “only 54% of people who voted Lib Dem in May expect to so again”. And that “27% of Lib Dem voters want a Labour government after the next election and 24% want a Labour/Lib Dem coalition”. Students then can at least be smug about the reality facing the Liberal Democrats: a reality that is likely to see them return to political wilderness for the unforeseeable future having failed to deliver their promises when it really mattered. In a recent interview with The Independent, Nick Clegg said:
peaceful protest into a media field day. It is so frustrating to think that our country’s intelligent, politicised, enlightened students were upstaged by a group of opportunistic extremists able to divert the spotlight away from holding a duplicitous government accountable which was, let us not forget, what the march was about. It angers me when I read comments that suggest all protesters are fickle thrill seekers. Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, for example, recently told the BBC that: “It’s tremendously exhilarating. Riots are fun. The self-importance, the adrenaline rush of slight – but not serious – danger.’ Such comments are belittling and patronising, yet they are
on television – as seemed to be the limit of some students’ ambitions – but to make their point and have their voice heard.They did not return giddy and excited; instead, they were shell-shocked. One of my flatmates was left with the blood of Guardian journalist Shiv Malik on her jumper, who had his head cracked open by an overzealous police officer. To say the law adopted a hard line is an understatement; the most recent demonstration of this being when eighteen-year-old Edward Woolard was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of Tory headquarters. What he did in those seconds that have since been described by his defence team as
Student protesters campaigned in London against a hike in fees last November. Photo: The Oxbridge Research Group “If there’s one thing I’m not going to apologise for as the leader of the Liberal Democrats in government after 60 or 70 years of being out of government, it’s that you just cannot avoid but deal with the world the way it is.” That may be so, but history will not look kindly on Nick Clegg. But what of the students he is said to have betrayed? Did they cover themselves in glory when marching for what they believed in? Quite possibly, although we can sadly never be certain, such was the presence of a small group seemingly intent on turning what was meant to be a
commonplace. David Cameron was recently quoted as saying: “It’s no good to say this was a very small minority. It wasn’t; there were quite a number of people who clearly were there wanting to pursue violence and destroy property.” No one can say for certain how right he is on this and certainly, media outlets will always be drawn to the most ‘shocking’ story, which in this case was really not going to help the well meaning protesters of whom there were many, like my flatmates, who were there for the right reasons. This was certainly not to get
‘a moment of madness’, and it was undoubtedly reckless and dangerous. But to receive such a punishment so as to be made an example of is ethically questionable to say the least. Besides, to whom are the courts advising? The Badger’s recent online poll shows that at Sussex, at least 71% of students feel that we do not have a right to violent protesting. Given the sheer saturation of media publicity depicting students as evil and wicked fiends, this statistic is surprising, is it not? The law enforcement agencies are another sector of society to have
suffered as a result of the march. Whether police or protestors started the violence remains unknown; however, what is becoming increasingly clear is that there were several instances of unprovoked police brutality. The latest story to emerge is that of a policeman dragging a disabled protester out of his wheelchair.The justification given for this was that he was wheeling towards them. Does that sound absolutely absurd to anybody else? I do not envy the police in times of protest but at some point, an element of common sense has to enter the equation. An assessment of what kind of threat a wheelchair bound man possesses for example. I forecast similar kinds of protests in the future which will not necessarily be led exclusively by students. Why? Because we are yet to discover the point at which Governments take notice of the people they govern. It wasn’t the peaceful march against the IraqWar and it wasn’t the more heated fees protest. If the police kettle, baton down innocent people and, as is being suggested, introduce water cannons as a means of defending a coalition government out of favour with most then violence, sadly, is inevitable. So whom can we turn to, to take us out of these dark times? Ed Miliband’s Labour Party perhaps? When recently asked by the BBC whether, if elected, Miliband would cut fees, he said that the Lib Dems’ broken promises proved that you should never make a promise that you can’t keep. It was a weak reply from someone whom I fear may prove to be a weak politician; more confident in the failings of the Coalition than of his Party’s own convictions. It came ahead of an unproductive Prime Ministers Questions, in which name-calling was resorted to when Cameron looked to insult Miliband by calling him a “student politician and someone who would never be anything more than that”. Miliband retorted by citing Cameron’s unseemly behaviour when at university to his backbenchers’ delight. It was pathetic and worrying. These are the men; these are the Oxbridge middle classes, the affluent, never-wanting-for-anything men charged with knowing what is best for the future of our country’s education system. Many groups emerged from the rise in university fees with their reputations damaged. But none more so than the fickle politicians who stood back and allowed it to happen, whose fast-tracked root into politics has seen them bypass those whose futures will be compromised by a lifetime spent re-paying other peoples’ debt.
Dear Lucy-Ella, one day I might be able to afford to write on a giant billboard, until then this’ll have to do. Please imagine these words as a disgusting textual gondola, bobbing down the Grand Canal of your love. Love Sam Brodbeck I don’t know whether to throw up or embrace the opportunity to tell Scott how I’ve been feeling about him all this time... Tom Wills
Student Media Office Falmer House University of Sussex Brighton BN1 9QF
Views expressed in the Badger are not representative of the views of the USSU, the University of Sussex, or the Badger. Every effort has been made to contact the holders of copyright for any material used in this issue, and to ensure the accuracy of this week’s stories. Please contact the Communications Officer if you are aware of any omissions or errors.
letters and emails Ban everything culture Dear Sir/Madam, I have seen many a debate in the letters section and wish not to be drawn into one which lasts till the end of term, however I was a little bemused at Rachel Finn’s letter [‘Ban everything culture,’ 07.02.11]. On the one hand I agree that more students need to be involved in the decision-making process if it is to stand up to scrutiny and I support her in saying that not everyone can afford to spend a whole afternoon at the AGM. However, I do have to point out a couple of things: 1. I was the author of two motions at the 2009 AGM, one of which was focused on ensuring that the Student’s Union was not selling species of fish which are either in danger of extinction like Bluefin Tuna and Atlantic Cod or which were harvested in a manner which damages the sea bed (there is a copy of ‘The End of the Line’ in the library which sums it up). The other motion, which she incorrectly referred to as ‘Ban Bottled Water,’ was not in fact a ban but was aimed at reducing the need for bottled water on campus as it is symbolic of our wasteful society. The Student’s Union is now having drinking fountains installed towards the southern end of campus. Maybe the motions weren’t done justice; I was unable to attend most of that AGM, so I do not know what debate went on with the water bottle motion, and there was not time to fully debate the issues. 2. Coca Cola: this happened before I came to Sussex but I think it is valid that we still do not support the company because human rights abuse continues at their hands (although they have recently started working with Greenpeace to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions). If anyone feels strongly enough that we should have Coke back then please put forward a referendum. I would say that not having Bluefin
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tuna or Coke isn’t a grievous intrusion into basic human rights and although Sussex alone may not make a difference now, it has certainly got people talking about it. I think it’s a shame Rachel was not able to glean more info at the AGM – it is always a rather rushed affair despite taking up a whole afternoon... I certainly didn’t feel well enough informed to vote on the Jamie O’Shea issue. I agree, in an ideal world we need wider student participation in such decisions: something has to change with regards to the AGM to enable this and the jeering I witnessed last year has to stop. Yet it will always be those who are the most informed/passionate about an issue who will drive it forward and if the counter-campaign is not as motivated then so be it. As for Coke, Ubuntu Cola is pretty nice. www.msc.co.uk Yours, Jethro Gauld
Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing with regards to Rachel Finn’s letter [‘Ban everything culture,’ 07.02.11]. I do agree that engaging in intimidating behaviour towards those who might not share the same political ideology or perspectives as yourself is not acceptable and merely undermines the political legitimacy of those responsible. However, I feel that she somewhat misses the point. She is right; most students on campus did not vote to boycott (not ‘ban’; a ban and an institutional boycott are quite different) Coca-Cola. The boycott is, however, democratic. In fact, it is a stunning example of direct democracy as opposed to the obvious flaws of representative democracy evident in our Parliamentary system. The fact that most people did not vote (despite having the right to) is frankly irrelevant; apathy is irrelevant.
If people don’t care enough to utilise their vote then they declare their lack of opinion.We have a level of quoracy that ensures that a tiny minority of people can’t pass vastly unpopular measures, but the Union would be shooting itself in the foot if it were to set quoracy at, say, 55%. In that scenario, the Union would be rendered entirely useless as no policy could ever get passed and it wouldn’t really be anything more significant than, say, an open space in some woods. That way, it would do nothing for anyone. Regarding Coca-Cola, I think we need to consider why we value democratic decisions generally. And that’s because we value freedom. In that case, we ought to consider the human rights abuses suffered by the Columbian Coca-Cola workers. People who criticise the Coca-Cola boycott are so busy bemoaning their own perceived lack of freedom that they neglect to consider the importance of taking a stand against a real injustice: murder. To say we need to stock Coca-Cola in order to maintain freedom is completely contradictory. I don’t even think the Union needs an AGM-approved policy or even a referendum to legitimise a boycott of Coca-Cola. If we would like to Union stores to have any kind of ethical standing, we should expect it not to stock Coca-Cola without a mandate to. It really is particularly flimsy an argument to somehow imply that it is some kind of enormous injustice to humanity that one has to walk something like 500 metres to McColl’s in order to purchase a bottle of Coca-Cola and to complain that in Union stores not stocking the drink, the Union itself is somehow failing to represent the majority of students. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t such an interference with one’s freedom of choice, not when we consider why the boycott is actually in place. Never forget that Coke kills and that the right to life is more important than the freedom to buy what we want where we want when we want.
I’m sure everyone has been reading about the revolutions in Egypt. As a history student it is fascinating for me to see revolution in play in my own life time. I realise of course that overthrowing the current leader of Egypt is not going to be easy. There is also the problem of who takes over afterwards, since to my knowledge the next democratically elected group would be the Muslim brotherhood. What is also interesting when looking through the news websites is the range of opinion. As the political stalemate drags on, many desire a return to normality. Realism is starting to become a word that is used more and more as factories risk closure and economic production slows down. One post on the BBC website also questioned how a million protestors can speak for ’85 million’ Egyptians. Although I can understand the worry and the frustration I hope the protestors fight on because it is time for a change in Egypt . I hope students and young people keep fighting for their future.
I am writing this letter in the midst of the election ‘fever’ which has hit Sussex. Having voted online already, I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about the campaigns which I have seen spread by posters, t-shirts worn in Library Square and Facebook groups. It seems a rather petty complaint I’m sure, but I must admit to finding this year’s slogans a little weak. I understand the desire to find a good, catchy slogan which will make people take notice and remember you as a candidate, but this can have the opposite effect if it is just plain annoying. The apparent burning need to create a pun using one’s name has led to some fairly dreadful slogans this year. I won’t name names, but I think we’ve probably all seen at least one poster or banner that stretched it just a little too far. If your name happens to be alliterative with the position you are going for, that’s great and why not exploit it? But otherwise, it may be a more useful exercise to create a powerful manifesto than a memorable slogan. This is what helps online voters (who I imagine to be in the majority) to decide. Even posters snuck in to the toilets are more effective if they give you something to read, rather than just a name and an enlarged photo. I will admit that I haven’t attended campaigning events, or even spoken to representatives on campus – preferring to scuttle across Library Square in my antisocial way – but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the elections. It just means that I would rather decide in my own time than be bombarded with campaign chants and slogans.
Yours in hope, Harriet V
Pictures Page Dear Sir/Madam,
I have always been a keen reader of the Badger, ever since I first started studying at Sussex in 2008 and it’s fair to say that the newspaper has changed beyond all recognition in this time. Not only in tone, but also in appearance, with a new, more professional look introduced last year. However, I think by far the best improvement made has to be the recent introduction of the pictures page, which wonderfully depicts a week in our lives at Sussex - keep up the good work, Badger!
comment and opinion
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Why I love Valentine’s Day Jessie Thompson
The poet Robert Graves once wrote that “love is a universal migraine,” and around this time of year, nothing causes more of a perpetual headache than Valentine’s Day. The 14th of February, the day that we are all encouraged to concern ourselves with gaudy romantic gestures, is one of the most divisive of the holidays that we celebrate in this country. Of all the now overtly commercial occasions that we now seem to blindly pour money into, it is Valentine’s Day that seems to come in for the most disdain. Christmas and Easter seem to escape such dismissal, perhaps due to their religious links, and how could
anyone refuse to dote on their parents on Mother’s and Father’s Day? But it doesn’t have to be like this. Valentine’s Day is something that we should value and embrace. It shouldn’t be a day that we spend bitterly making our way through a box of Milk Tray (that we bought for ourselves) and watching (and vigorously empathising with) Bridget Jones’s Diary. Some might say it’s unnecessary to have one day in the year when we show how much we love each other when we should be doing it all year round. Yet is it not nice also to stop rushing around for one day and take a minute out of our manic 21st century lives
and show someone we care? Valentine’s Day should be about spending time, not money. If the day is not relegated to a playground event where one anxiously awaits to see how many cards drop through their door, and just enjoys the chance to make someone they care about smile, then it can surely be no bad thing? The most common complaints about Valentine’s Day will come from those that know they will be spending the day alone, and will envisage leaving the house on the 14th to see everyone they pass holding hands or grasping lavish bouquets of flowers. The truth is, some Valentine’s we will
spend vomit-inducingly loved up, and others, we will be alone, and there’s no escaping it. Rather than worrying that everyone else in civilisation is going to be spending the day with their lips glued together, why not enjoy spending time with friends, and appreciate the love you have in your life already, even if it’s not the romantic kind. Make someone else smile by sending them an anonymous Valentine’s message – in 2010, 15 million e-Valentines were sent, so it won’t even cost you anything. If you’re with someone this Valentine’s Day, make the most of being able to show them how much you care. Life
is short, and all too often we are too busy or pre-occupied to say the things we really feel. Don’t make it about money or show – make it about each other and times you will remember. And if you’re alone, don’t dwell or feel bitter about it – look around you and enjoy the fact that people are sharing their happiness together, and know that next year, maybe you’ll be doing that too. Don’t pass the sick bucket this February 14 – celebrate Valentine’s Day and remember how happy we can all make each other if we all pause for a while and make that bit of effort to make somebody smile.
Did you vote in this year’s full-time officer elections? Let us know at www.thebadgeronline.co.uk
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Sussex against sweatshops Francis Pope Most people have heard of sweatshops, and have a general idea that these are garment factories in developing countries where men, women and young children are forced to work long hours in bad conditions, for very little pay. But the problem is much more complex than we might think, mainly because companies are very good at disguising what really goes on in the factories which produce their clothing. One reason for this is that they often don’t know themselves what their factories are like, because they don’t actually run them. Also, much is made of conducting reports and investigations into factory conditions, however these usually take place with prior warning, meaning that anything incriminating can be dealt with (or hidden) before the inspectors arrive. All this makes it almost impossible for us as consumers to find out the truth behind the corporate façade. No-one wants to think that their clothes have been made by an over-worked, under-paid child, but if there is no way for us to know, what can be done? We could stop buying high street clothes.This is a valid personal choice if we wish, for the sake of our own conscience, to be taken out of the equation. However that is the limit of its effect – individuals’ withdrawing
of their custom makes no difference whatsoever to a huge multinational company. So if we wish to make a difference, this alone is not the way to do it. Another option is Fairtrade, involving products being ‘Fairtrade certified’ only when the company can guarantee to pay the producers a fair wage. Brands as mainstream as Topshop, Starbucks, Nestle and Primark all sell certified Fairtrade products, but it’s worth considering whether this makes them ethical companies, or simply aware of a market to be tapped into. What’s more, when it comes to clothing, the Fairtrade certification covers only the cotton used to make the garment, and not the labour involved in stitching it together. So while it is a positive step in the right direction, Fairtrade has its limits in protecting all involved in clothing manufacture. Yet there is another alternative.The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) was set up in 2000 by a group of US universities, along with labour rights experts, with a view to independently checking conditions in factories where university products are made. Because workers are so often prevented from forming unions (often with violence, abuse and death threats from their factory’s management) the WRC aims to aid workers in protecting themselves, by training them in labour rights. When these rights
Sweatshop employees at work Photo: ethicalstyle.com are not respected, workers are able to contact the WRC who conduct an independent report, putting pressure on the factory owners to improve.This is especially effective, as bad press doesn’t come much more damning for a big multinational company than a detailed public report of sweatshop conditions. When a university affiliates to the WRC, it can be sure that the rights of its suppliers’ workforce are being protected, and that the massive amount
of money the university pays in contracts with clothing suppliers is not fuelling the abuse and maltreatment of people in developing countries. ‘Sussex Against Sweatshops’ is a recently formed, open collective of Sussex students who want to put an end to labour rights abuses in the garment industry, by lobbying our university to join the WRC. This would mean that the factory workers who supply our university clothing would be trained in labour rights, and
have the power to act if these rights are abused. A university has huge consumer power, much more than we do as individuals, so this kind of action can make a real difference in pressuring big companies to change the way they behave. We are looking to build a campaign among students and staff at Sussex, and are holding weekly meetings to organise and share ideas. Everyone is welcome. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will restricting academic freedom protect us from terrorism? Nick Thorne
Are terrorism students at risk of being investigated for possessing materials which are likely to be of use to a terrorist? Photo: theibug.com
The Politics of Terror is an International Relations course unlike any other. Before the first lecture we all received an email from the tutor entitled “compulsory reading”, which outlined the legal implications of studying terrorism. All students become familiar with warnings of plagiarism, but this is something different. Since 2006, under new counter terrorism legislation you can be investigated for possessing materials which are likely to be of use to a terrorist. And possessing materials for academic materials is not an automatic defence. More frightening still, this is not just theory. In May 2008, a student at Nottingham university was imprisoned for 6 days, while he was investigated, after downloading an edited version of the Al Qaeda handbook from a US government website. None of us had ever begun a course by considering what could or could not be studied, researched or downloaded for seminar presentations and dissertations. This became a subject of discussion in the first seminar.What aren’t we allowed to look at? What “possessing materials of use to a terrorist” even mean? I own a copy of Jason Burke’s Al Qaeda, does that put me at risk? It contains information which could be of use to a terrorist, but I bought it in Waterstones for God’s sake! What about the course pack? Could the tutor face prosecution for disseminating documents on this subject? Is there such a thing as a right
to study terrorism? The fact that university students have to consider these issues just goes to show how far the erosion of civil liberties has gone. Our tutor explained to us that he would very much like to show us excerpts from the IRA Greenbook, but that he could be in trouble if he did so. It contains information which could be useful to a terrorist – how to respond under investigation for example, but the IRA is no longer considered a terrorist organization. The Greenbook is a document of historical interest, and a useful aid to understand the evolution of terrorism. Nobody even knows whether the tutor even would be investigated. The new legislation is deliberately vague, in order to maximise the capacity of the police to intervene. The government claims there is a real threat of terrorism in the UK, but our counter-terrorism legislation restricts the ability of students to get a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. After Rizwaan Sabir’s arrest in Nottingham, a spokesman for the university claimed the handbook he had downloaded was “not legitimate research material”, an argument which has been refuted by academics nationwide. As Nottingham University and College Union’s General Secretary said: “If we want to tackle problems like extremism then we need to be safe to explore the issues. The last thing we need is people to be too frightened to research a subject because they fear being arrested.”
According to Oliver Blunt, QC of the anti-terrorism team at Furnival Chambers,“academics do have a right to access terrorist materials, as long as they don’t possess them”. This interpretation of the law suggests that viewing terrorist material is fine, but that downloading can put you at risk of investigation, a distinction which is clearly absurd. Any would-be-terrorist can copy down information from a website with pen and paper. Security services have warned that universities are seen as recruitment areas by terrorist groups. As Tim Black has pointed out, nearly 50 percent of the UK population attend higher education, so it is hardly surprising that some terrorists have also been through university. The idea that restrictions academic freedom are going to protect us from terrorism is based on the exaggeration of the threat, and and a confused and patronising mistrust of students. Students who want to access information on how to make bombs and carry out terrorist attacks will continue to be able to do so. The document that Sabir downloaded is readily available online. Waterstones sells the collected speeches, interviews and statements of Osama bin Laden. This counter-terrorism legislation doesn’t make us safer, but only constrains the ability of students to conduct research, and to acquire the comprehensive understanding of terrorism which is clearly lacking in the Houses of Parliament.
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I’m feeling really down at the moment and I don’t know why. Nothing bad has happened recently, and nothing has changed… I just feel incredibly apathetic and unsure about life. I guess I should point out I’m in my third year and so after I graduate I have to find a job and I have no idea what I want to do - or be. I’m currently studying History, which opens some doors, but nothing specific. I suppose I need guidance, because I’m worried that I’m getting depressed. Life outside of university, while exciting, is extremely daunting.
First of all, your problem is not uncommon. In fact, if you ask most final-year students to tell you honestly what they are doing with themselves after they graduate, they won’t have a clue. I would suggest you make some time to research job prospects, apprenticeships, or even post-graduate courses if you feel like continuing your academic pursuits. Perhaps the reason you’re feeling so anxious about leaving university isn’t so much to do with the fear of what you’re heading towards, but more, the fear of what you’re leaving behind. Our university has great resources for helping you decide life after graduating. Check out http://www.sussex. ac.uk/careers/ or drop in to the Career and Employability Centre in Falmer House. Good luck!
Yours despairingly, Anonymous Oh, the love troubles of the young! What would life be without them? Firstly, I hope I can provide some (if only little) solace by reminding you that you are not alone in your dilemma. If Bella has received a Valentine’s Day card from a guy she used to date, this does not mean in any way that they are back together! While she is still single and not committed to anyone, there is nothing wrong with you telling her how you feel about her. It’s worth the shot – think how much you would regret it if you held back your feeling and at some point down the line, learn that she feels the exact same way about you. I would also suggest not pursuing Daisy just because you don’t want to be left out in the cold. They say that the only thing lonelier than being alone is being with the wrong person. Also, it wouldn’t be fair on Daisy if you were with her for the wrong reasons. Think how much you would hate that if someone did that to you!
Agony aunt: Send in a problem that’s bothering you to our agony aunt and keep an eye out for the reply. Riddles: Send in a mind-boggling brain teaser to confuse our readers (and the answer too!). Send all contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org Picture of the week
Meryl as Margaret
The photo that caught our eye last week
The end of winter
Daffodils are starting to poke their heads out of the ground... at last!
Don’t be so cynical and embrace the love!
Actually no... we’ve changed our minds.
Dough and sugar and icing. What’s the big deal?
I was just about to send a Valentine’s Day card to the girl of my dreams, Bella, when I received one from a different girl, Daisy, who I think is hot, but I just don’t fancy her as much as Bella. The problem is that my friend – Daisy’s flatmate – informed me that just after she sent me my card, Daisy received a Valentine’s Day card from a guy she used to date. What should I do? Should I aim for the stars and send my card to Bella like I originally intended, or should I settle for
Everything about it.
Streep will play Thatcher in new biopic Iron Lady. Photo: theguardian
3. You have a barrel of oil, and you need to measure out just one gallon. How do you do this if you only have a three-gallon container and a five-gallon container? 4. If your sock drawer has 6 black
1. A man was to be sentenced, and the judge told him, “You may make a statement. If it is true, I’ll sentence you to four years in prison. If it is false, I’ll sentence you to six years in prison.” After the man made his statement, the judge decided to let him go free. What did the man say?
The Badger cool wall
Yours, A guy in need of hope.
second best and re-address it to Daisy to avoid missing out on a Valentines Day hook-up altogether? Is there even any point in aiming for Bella if she’s possibly going to get back with her ex? And if I go for Daisy, then I guess I could at least distract myself from the hurt of not having Bella. I don’t want to risk being left out in the cold just because I won’t settle for anything less than the best.
Did you know... socks, 4 brown socks, 8 white socks, and 2 beige socks, how many socks would you have to pull out in the dark to be sure you had a matching pair? 5. How did Mark legally marry three women in Michigan, USA, without divorcing any of them, becoming legally separated, or any of them dying? 6. Mum and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family?
Long before it was called Valentine’s Day, there was an old pagan festival called Lupercalia held in ancient Rome to honour the god Pan and herald the arrival of Spring, and was associated with purification and fertility rituals.
“luty” (fierce), the month of ice and hard frost.
The Saxons called February the “sprout-kale” from the sprouting of cabbage or kale. In Finnish the month is called “helmikuu”, meaning “month of the pearl” - snow melting on tree branches forms droplets which freeze again resembling pearls of ice. Ukrainians call this month
The first ever chancellor of Sussex, Hartley Shawcross, was the lead British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal in 1945.
Rock musician Billy Idol studied English at Sussex in 1975, and lived in East Slope, but dropped out after just one year.
Controversial comedian Frankie Boyle studied English Literature at the University of Sussex.
Pick up next week’s Badger (out Monday 21 February) to find out the answers to the riddles! And stay tuned for our new general knowledge quiz, coming soon.
Picture of the week: Send in interesting or amusing photos from around Brighton with a summarising sentence. Our editors will pick the best.
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union pages Nominations for delegates to NUS Women’s conference now open
RAG Week 2011
Conference is Tuesday 15 March – Thursday 17 March, Barcelo, Oxford
This week is for raising and giving, check out these events
NUSWomen’s Campaign Conference sets the policy for the campaign over the year ahead and elects the National Women’s Officer and her committee to lead the campaign. The Union is entitled to send a maximum of 4 delegates made up of: • Up to two open place delegates with full voting and speaking rights; • Additionally one delegate who defines as a black woman; • Additionally one other delegate who defines into another Liberation group
(disabled or LBTQ) or has caring responsibilities. If you are a woman and would like to attend the Conference as one of our delegates then you can nominate yourself by emailing returning@ ussu.sussex.ac.uk before 4pm Wed 23 February. In your email you should include your name, your contact details, department and School of study. Additionally, if you define yourself as a black woman, disabled, LBTQ or have caring responsibilities please state this in your email. If we receive more nominations than there are delegate places then we may need to hold an election.
This year Raising and Giving (RAG) have got loads of great fundraising activities for you to be involved in whatever you’re into.Get involved, share your ideas, organise events, take part to give, give, give... RAG want your help to raise money for their three chosen charities, find out more on their Facebook page. RAG will also will be running a competition with prize money of £100 for the society or club who raises the most money for RAG during RAG Week through fundraising, events and sponsorship, those who get involved are rewarded not only with the feel-good feeling of raising money for charity, but also GAIN valuable skills. Leave your message of love in the Box Office window upto and throughout RAG week, suggested donation of £1. If you just want to join the party to raise money for RAG then check out our fundraising events. Monday 14 February RAG Big Night In - Snuggle up and feel the warm glow of giving with RAG this Valentine’s Day, from 7pm in Falmer Back bar, we’ll be screening your favourite guilty pleasure ‘Romcoms’ while you snuggle up with a cheeky hot cocoa, lots of chocolate and popcorn. FREE ENTRY. Dress Code: Warm and Cosy, PJ’s and onesies welcome!
Tuesday 15 February RAG Open Mic in Falmer Bar from 8pm Wednesday 16 February James Bond film showing - Fulton B 6pm, as part of RAG Week, Sussex Free The Children, along with Sussex Film Appreciation Society will be showing a classic James Bond film.
for a 5 minute open mic slot (first come first serve on the night, talk to Jasmine when you arrive). Plus prize draw, facepainting, and colouring in. Doors 8pm, start 8:30pm. All proceeds go to Childreach International Thursday 17 February RAGTAILS - Come down to Falmer Bar and check out the fabulous range of classic and modern cocktails at super student prices! Gossip with friends as you sip on a cosmo and enjoy the atmosphere of a trendy cocktail bar right on campus. 2-for-1 offers from 6pm-8pm mean you can get TWO professional cocktails for UNDER £4! Friday 18 February
There will be a £2 suggested donation, and all the proceeds will be going towards building a school in the Kono district of Sierra Leone, after the region was completely destroyed by a brutal civil war over blood diamonds. RAG Quiz at East Slope Bar – more details at www.sussexstudent.com/ rag Floetics – Red Roaster Café (St. James St) 6pm. Our monthly gettogether of music, poetry, drama, spoken word, and whatever else tickles fancies. Come along to see our wondrous booked acts and/or sign up
RAG Speak Easy - Big Band and Swing in Falmer Back Bar from 8pm. More details at www.sussextstudent. com/rag Jump for RAG - Throughout RAG Week RAG will also be signing up those of you who dare to push yourself to the extreme! On Monday 23rd May RAG will be bringing along a Bungee Jump to Dissertation Dash, so during RAG Week RAG will be searching for the brave among you who dare face the fear to sign up to make the jump on Dissertation Dash and raise some money for RAG. More information coming soon to ‘Sussex RAG’ Facebook page.
t. (01273) 876666 e: firstname.lastname@example.org LGBTQ Scene Tour Brighton 14/02/11 £3.00
Gay For Johnny Depp The Revenge 26/02/11 £7.00
Sleigh Bells Digital 15/02/11 £10.00
Exlovers Jam 26/02/11 £8.00
Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo
Darkstar Coalition 26/02/11 £8.50
Wolf People Prince Albert 15/02/11 £8.00
Krater Comedy Club Komedia 27/02/11 £4.50
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls
The Sallis Benney Theatre 15/02/11 £8/£12
S-Club Re-Union Tour - VIP TICKET Oceana 28/02/11 £8.00
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls
The Sallis Benney Theatre 16/02/11 £8/£12
S-Club Re-Union Tour Oceana 28/02/11 £4.50
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls
The Sallis Benney Theatre 17/02/11 £8/£12
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls
The Sallis Benney Theatre 18/02/11 £8/£12
Silent Disco Concorde2 04/03/11 £9.00
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls (Matinee)
The Sallis Benney Theatre 19/02/11 £6/£10.00
MedSoc Halfway There Ball
SMUTS – Guys & Dolls
The Sallis Benney Theatre 19/02/11 £8/£12.00
Skrillex Coalition 05/03/11 £9.00
Dean Wareham Plays Galaxy 500 Komedia 16/02/11 £14.00
Does It Offend You, Yeah? Coalition 06/03/11 £11.00
Twin Shadow Audio 17/02/11 £9.00
Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap)
Duke Of Yorks
Krater Comedy Club Komedia 17/02/11 £4.50
Benjamin Frances Leftwich
Rocksound Tour Audio 19/02/11 £8.50
Surfer Blood plus Young Prisms & No Joy
Piers & Queers: A Queer Tour of Brighton West Pier
Flats Jam 10/03/11 £7.00
Latest Music Bar
The Green Door Store The Grand Hotel
Krater Comedy Club Komedia 20/02/11 £4.50
Guilty Pleasures Album Launch Concorde2
Suuns The Hope 20/02/11 £8.00
The King Blues Concorde2 28/03/11 £11.00
Morning Parade Audio 21/02/11 £7.00
Dum Dum Girls Komedia 06/04/11 £11.00
Dutch Uncle Prince Albert 21/02/11 £7.00
Jim Jones Revue Concorde2 13/03/11 £11.00
Jamie Woon Audio 22/02/11 £10.00
Flood of Red The Prince Albert 23/02/11 £6.50
Slow Club Audio 19/05/11 £11.00
Venetian Snares Coalition 24/02/11 £12.00
The Green Door Store
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What’s important to you?
LGBT History Month
Survey to find out about the issues that February is LGBT History Month, so we’ve got a month full of events for you students feel are important The Students’ Union aims to represent and include as many students as possible. We’re interested in the problems students face and want
We love all students so tell us what matters to you in our survey. to make sure that we’re working on the things students think are
important. We’ve set up a short survey to find out about the issues that students feel are important, find it at www. surveymonkey.com/s/telluswhatmatterstoyou. Sometimes, mature, postgraduate, international and part-time students as well as those with children or other caring responsibilities face some specific problems (though we appreciate that all students are different and can’t be neatly grouped together). We want to make sure that we’re not missing these issues. It’s Valentines Day and we love all students so tell us what matters to you in our survey.
Comedy at Falmer Bar Falmer Bar Presents...
Hosted by Charlie Duncan
On Monday 21 February see some hilarious up and coming comedians including: KATE SMURTHWAITE The funny one from The Richard Bacon Show on BBC Five Live “a powerhouse of observational wit” - The Spectator FRASER Star of BBC Radio One’s ‘My Flatmate The Comedian’ on the Scott Mills Show RACHEL ANDERSON “ Innate Geordie charm. . . [with incredibly] assured writing” - Chortle ROBERT WHITE Winner of the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality, 2010 Edinburgh Festival & Dave TV’s top ten jokes of the Fringe. Tickets £3 (Profits will go to charity)
ity, bravery and infamy. Meet at the West Pier, 2pm – 4pm, £5 Monday 21 February Film screening of ‘If These Walls Could Talk 2’ with a speaker from Brighton Ourstory. Falmer Bar, 5pm Tuesday 22 February Debate - Check sussexlgbtq.com for topic and speakers Fulton 104, 6pm – 8pm
To keep updated and to find out finalised information, please visit sussexlgbtq.com or join the ’LGBT History Month – Sussex’ Facebook group. Sussex LGBTQ is a student-led society representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer students at the University of Sussex. Amongst many things, we organise regular events, campaign, lobby and provide welfare support. Search ‘Sussex LGBTQ’ on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the society or any of the events listed. Monday 14 February Scene Tour & BLOW OUT Sussex LGBTQ and LGBrighTon once again bring you the infamous SCENE TOUR and BLOW OUT! We’ll be “gender blending” and celebrating gender expression in all its forms. Several venues, ending in Revenge,
7.30pm at Brighton Pier, £3 wristbands available from the Box Office Tuesday 15 February Film screening of ‘Latter Days’ with a speaker from Brightwaves. Falmer Bar, 5pm Wednesday 16 February Liber8 Politics - An evening of talks and discussion about politics and the LGBT community. Grand Parade Room 204 (Brighton Campus), 7pm onwards Thursday 17 February ‘Beyond Stonewall’ – film screening and talk Saturday 19 February Piers & Queers: A Queer Tour of Brighton This tour looks at some of the stories of Brighton’s past, focusing on the LGBT personalities of Brighton and their tales of achievement, complex-
...for the Student Union Bars. Falmer Bar and East Slope Bar are looking for:
Bands, Comedians & Student DJs Apply at: www.sussexstudent.com/talent
Wednesday 23 February LGBT Sports Varsity Sussex take on Brighton. Come and join in - there will be trophies! Sussex Campus, 1pm – 5pm Wednesday 23 February Liber8 Sport - An evening of talks and discussion about sport and the LGBT community. Thursday 24 February Queer Arts Day Display, craft, painting and photography workshops on the theme of Sexuality, Identity and Relationships. Mandela Hall, 12pm - 4pm Monday 28 February Love Music Hate Homophobia: Gig and Club Night Jam, 7.30pm – 2am, £3 We have organised a student discount on the brilliant ‘Lip Schtick’ programme of events at the Marlborough.Visit uk.brownpapertickets. com/producer/23560 for tickets and enter ‘STUDENT’ for the discount. Please note that you will need a valid student ID.
arts THE MAIN EVENT NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND Page 12 VISUAL ARTS CENTRE STAGE UNIVERSITY APPAREL Page 13
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The main event
The Badger attends the world premier of Brighton Rock
ON THE BIG SCREEN ON THE SMALL SCREEN FILM MATTERS Page 14 MUSIC ROOM INTERVIEW FOOD FOR THOUGHT Page 15
Sam Riley stars as Pinkie Brown Photo: collider.com Harry Conrad Cockburn Brighton Rocks Rowan Joffe UK, 111 mins, 15, 2010 It is an unusual sensation to exit your local cinema and walk directly onto the set of the film you just saw. It is no surprise, then, that Rowan Joffe’s eagerly awaited re-imagining of Brighton Rock has not been anticipated anywhere so keenly as in Brighton itself. The premier was held in Brighton’s Duke of York cinema, where the stars showed up to promote the film in a venue that was already part of the landscape when Graham Greene’s novel was first published. So it is with a sense of considerable treachery that I report the film to have been more frustrating than exhilarating.
This brave adaptation drops Greene’s 1930s razor-wielding gangsters into a Technicolor ‘60s Brighton replete with mods and rockers who could have been lifted directly from the sets of Quadrophenia, also famously set in Brighton. Indeed, Philip Davis, who plays aging mobster Spicer in Brighton rock, has spanned a 39-year gap to appear in both films. Palace Pier (renamed Brighton Pier in 2000) remains as central to the action as it is in the novel, but it is interesting to note that the extensive modernisation of the Victorian pier prompted Joffe to use Eastbourne Pier for his film, which certainly looks more appropriate than the gaudy lights and large fairground rides of Brighton pier would have done. The time-shift adds little to the atmosphere, which remains faith-
fully as torrid and as asphyxiated as that in Greene’s original story. The trading in of the seedy racecourse scenes in 1930s Whitehawk, for the shake, rattle and roll of the decade of sexual liberation is a move that undermines Greene’s protagonist’s unequivocally Christian angst. The religious allusions in Joffe’s film make the young characters look strangely out of touch with the burgeoning secularism of Britain in the ‘60s. Sam Riley takes the lead role, playing Pinkie Brown, an aspiring young gangster and Catholic devoted to evil and damnation. A perpetual grimace adorns his britvascarred face while he glowers from beneath his fringe, making you pity all those whom he encounters. Upon becoming embroiled with the gang, Rose, played by Andrea Riseborough, becomes the victim
of Pinkie’s attentions, eventually being tricked into a sham marriage designed to prevent her from testifying against him for murder. Helen Mirren puts in a maternal performance as Ida, a tearoom manager and busy-body who has a handle on both Pinkie’s true nature, and the one sided love affair playing out between him and Rose. But by the time she takes decisive action, the young couple’s fate has already reached its calamitous conclusion. This is a dark and brooding film. The black waves of the English Channel breaking beneath the pier are a haunting echo of Pinkie’s dour countenance that never once wavers towards lightheartedness.The building tension, while failing to reach the dizzying intensity the book delivers, remains engaging through the final unbearable moments, or “the worst horror of all”, as Greene wrote.
Notes from the underground: Ye Ye Fever Louise Ronnestad Music editor You have the feeling and you can’t shake it off. You absolutely want to boogie to the rhythms of Africa. It can happen. All you need to do is to come down and catch the next Ye Ye Fever night at the Green Door Store on 18th February. On the third Friday every month, you can shake it until 3 am in the morning if you want to.The sold out launch night of Ye Ye Fever was held at Komedia Studio Room
on the 22nd January with music of deadly African rhythms. It was a fun night free from recognizable pop tunes, which can be liberating and an alternative to a normal club night. Additionally, it was crowded enough to get a lap dance if you were sitting down. The music ranges from contagious Afro sounds - from Afrobeat to Mbaqanga and OK Jazz to funky Highlife with a little bit of Kwassa Kwassa thrown in. Get the Ye Ye Fever and dance to the joyous sounds
of a continent. They team behind the event are hoping Ye Ye Fever be the first of many big parties over the coming months. These will be intensely good feelings that you’d be truly dumb, dumb, dumb to miss out on. Anyone who’s been to any of the recent Mama Ko Mama Sa nights knows what to expect...Except here is a dance floor too. Something to remember is lights down low, vibes up high. There is nothing to stop you from going because the entry is free.
Photo: Sam Telford
WHAT’S ON...? Page 16
Unspoken love in art
Young Bacchus by Caravaggio Photo: The Independent archives Joseph Preston Visual arts editor In a time where love between two men or two people of different classes was either illegal, punishable by death or the ruin of one’s standing in society, artists have found ways to show their affection and love through the medium of visual art. Though debate still surrounds the sexuality of Caravaggio, it is generally believed the young men he used as models for his works were his love interests. Caravaggio looked back towards the paintings of the Roman-Greco period, where same sex relations were more open than his own time, and he depicted like the great classical works he admired, young beautiful male youth. Their
poses are erotic and suggestive, and are usually almost, if not entirely naked. Roman art clearly showed homosexuality and often showcased the prime of the male form. Caravaggio is believed to have been using his love of Roman art as a metaphor for his own unspeakable love. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the growth of Catholicism denied him and many others the openness of the lifestyle he much desired. But nethertheless in the secrecy of art, he made his lovers gods, even thought they was most likly poor young men living on the streets of Naples. The hidden homosexuality in artists’ works continued until the last century. The American artist Rauschenberg mostly known for his collages, hid references to his sexual-
ity in his work, most were personal to him and not about the wider movement of gay acceptance in North America. Throughout his career, coinciding with the growth of gay people at large, his work became more and more overt. For his work Rebus, for example, he uses an article about how creativity is alleged to be more prominent in gay people, making it impossible not to read further into the subtext of the piece. And around the same time here in the U.K, Francis Bacon used the men in his life, (most notable George Dyer, with whom he allegedly met whilst Dyer was trying to burgle him. A relationship which ended in tragedy as Dyer was unable to adapt to Francis Bacon’s way of life and ultimately killed himself) as his subjects
tion of a politically stimulated play. Political theatre is also present all over the world. In Kenya, the famed writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o was placed in jail after one of his most famous play translated as ‘I shall marry when I want’, criticised the dictatorship of former president Daniel Arap Moi. After his release, Ngugi went in to exile in America, returning only when Moi was no longer in power. His legacy is one that will echo for years to come in the Kenyan theatre world. What exactly is the point of Political theatre? Indisputably, it is not an attempt to directly transform the voting polls, it is there to push the audience to consider another view point, and question what many are blindly accepting. It is no secret that a plays primary aim is to entertain hence things are often dramatized, but it is usually the metaphors and hidden messages that are craftily inserted that make for the most effective theatre. Political theatre is not simply a series of plays about politics; allowing for various interpretations, it is a means to convey a certain message, however subtle, to an audience. Impartial to all other opinions; it is a statement of its creator.
King Lear and his two daughters Photo:kued.org
for his work. In a way, the public’s perception of homosexuality can be chronicled through visual art. From the suppression of Caravaggio’s time to the open references used by Rauschenberg. While some art forms all have similar scenarios, such as the depression and ultimate death ofTchaikovsky and the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe’s play Edward II; which is based on the homosexual relationship of King Edward II and his lover Gaveston, visual art has the ability to make it visually aware (obviously, I suppose). By the use of the artist’s lovers as the models of their work and by the use of homosexual writings as a feature of a work, the artist’s secret stance against the suppression of his time is revealed.
Centre stage Wanjiru Kariuki Performance editor It is often argued that art is a form of self-expression, a medium to communicate ideas, thoughts and frustrations. Plays are no exception; writers have for a long time expressed their critiques of the current government or simply politics in general. One does not have to look far to see a play that is politically charged, Shakespeare is a great example, if not a pioneer in political theatre.Wrought with political messages, ‘Macbeth’ was ultimately the expression of the old adage-power corrupts. Macbeth, an otherwise limp less man it can be argued, were it not for his ambition ( and his equally driven wife) gets a taste of power and is soon convinced to kill Duncan, the elderly king in an attempt to usurp the throne. Shakespeare through the character Duncan moreover, expressed King James’ belief in the divine right of kings, the reigning king at the time. Both Macbeth and King Lear are examples of how Shakespeare used his work to explore the complexities of leadership whilst ‘Don’t shoot the clowns’, the play by Jo Wilding provides a great illustration of how the atrocities in Iraq prompted the crea-
Few have the ability to be both avant-garde and commercially successful. Few manage this while simultaneously designing for four collections. And, even fewer have managed to preserve their integrity while doing this. Raf Simons, little known outside of menswear, took over the helm of Jill Sander in 2006 and since then has produced ground-breaking and covetable clothing for both the women’s and men’s lines, while creating experimental collections for his own eponymous line and diffusion, Raf by Raf Simons. Raf Simons produces collections that are both reflective and progressive. Working from a central theme, the pieces are an expression and exploration of a foetal idea. Rise of the Craftsman. Fall of the Prince. Dead Prince College, Raf Simon’s Autumn/Winter 2011 was an outstanding musing on couture shapes, craftsmanship, aristocracy and education. Jumpers printed with ‘Dead Prince College’ and mohair aprons was a direct reference, but the innovative use of new weaves and fabrics and playful takes on classic ‘college’ wear was more subtle. The Duffle jacket – bulbous and with a sartorial nod at 60s Balenciaga pondered the re-working of sartorial classics. Proportions were juxtaposed and expected fabrics were re-positioned with carefully crafted natural fibres or techno savvy plastics and liquid looking patents. This February Raf Simons, himself and his company, were dealt a heavy blow – his Italian investors, Futurepresent Group, pulled out. Remaining in a state of flux with a critically acclaimed collection and a strong legion of fans, without backers no clothing will be produced, no buyers will have the chance to buy, and what could have been will never be. Mega-fan and esteemed New York Times fashion critic, Cathy Horne says not to worry and that this is common for young designers. But, weeks have passed and no good news has come. With a career spanning over 15 years you would expect Raf to have found an investor by now. Is it a sign of the times – economic circumstances have caused many fashion houses to fall – Lacroix anyone? The successful couture houses bolster their sales through make-up, perfumes and handbags. Even then many have become part of conglomerate organizations, like LVMH or the Gucci Group. But what to do if like Raf Simons and Roland Mouret, you don’t want to sell your name and allow sale statistics and suited business men run your business?
badger firstname.lastname@example.org On the small screen Photo: inthenews.co.uk
On the big screen
Jason Statham (pictured above) plays hitman Arthur Bishop, a role first made famous by Charles Bronson in the 1972 original Photo: scannain.com Aiden Aitken The Mechanic Simon West USA, 93 mins, 15, 2011 The character-type of the assassin is a much beloved one in cinema; the depiction of ruthless precision and professional expertise in what could only be considered one of the more ethically-muddy careers available on the job market today. You can make them cool like Leon, human like Jules and Vincent, and scary like The Jackal. But then, as Marv says in Sin City, you’ve got to love hitmen; No matter what you do to them, you don’t feel bad. So what if we took a hitman, shaved him, robbed him of his moustache and watched him fight with a shakycam? Would we feel
bad? The answer is; not massively, no, but it’s still a shame. The Mechanic is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name staring Charles Bronson, whose face resembled an incredibly pissed-off mountain and whose ‘tasche can only be described as ‘murderous’. It was one of a number of features in which Bronson and director Michael Winner collaborated on killing a fantastic amount of people. The remake, directed by Simon West of Con Air and Tomb Raider fame, follows a plotline which is similar, but often only vaguely. Arthur Bishop (Statham) is a hitman with a knack for making things look like accidents. In the aftermath of a job he takes a young man (Ben Foster) under his wing and teaches him how to be an assassin. Together they shed a lot of blood and bullets and get on the bad
side of the wrong people. If you’ve watched Statham in any of his bald man punches quite a lot of people, drives cars, has guns features you know what to expect from The Mechanic: a dumb old good time. There are some pretty good scenes, such as an unexpected bit of gun-fu from a sitting Foster, a tense moment of improvised bungee jumping as a means of escape and a handful of noticeable references to the original film. When compared, however, the film lacks a charm that the original seemed to carry. The weird, existential feel of the original is replaced with jarring music and flashy setpieces. What’s more the characters feel strangely lifeless in comparison. We find no reason to side with Statham besides his being the protagonist, and Foster’s self-destructive little twerp is the least sympathetic char-
acter in the film. There’s a scene in the 1972 film where Bronson and his young partner (Jan-Michael Vincent) watch Vincent’s friend try to kill herself and lazily estimate how long it’ll take her to die and ask why they should care about her life if she doesn’t. This fairly disturbing scene manages to give us a far greater sense of the characters and emotions at play in the film than any scene in which Foster drinks quite a lot or Statham looks away with a frown and knows he gone done wrong. The Mechanic is not a bad film by any means, and will certainly make for a nice addition to any Action Movie Night playlist. But don’t expect anything particularly fresh or any innovations of the genre if you do decide to spring for a ticket.
was pretty poor despite King writing the screenplay.Whilst entertaining in an 80’s way, and scary enough to still be banned in Germany (it must be the undead toddler puppet) it is well worth a decent retelling. There are some truly brutal concepts here that have the potential to make an awesome horror movie. The characters are great too; particularly the hillbilly neighbour Jud who warns the family of the Indian burial ground’s powers… we’ll ignore the fact he told them about it in the first place. Call me naïve, but I’m quite looking forward to this. Will it be any good? Almost certainly not. Horror remakes are usually about as entertaining as bring forced to eat your own lips. The last decade has seen a yawn-filled spate of
rehashes, including Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street... each more pointless than the last. So what’s going wrong? It might be that the original films play on fears that were culturally relevant at the time, for example the conflict of hippies and Southerners, or the changing nature of the neighbourhood that drove a generation of Americans to put locks on their doors. It might be the much-parodied nature of the iconic antagonists that renders them completely mundane to our generation. Or it could be that they are objectively awful films, made by inexperienced directors with the sole objective of making their budget back.
But for me, there is a glimmer of hope for Pet Semetary, housed in a childhood memory of clutching a paperback under the covers. Imagine a gritty re-imagining of the storyline, starring Tim Robbins as the tortured father, helmed by Darren Aronofsky… What seems more likely is a soulless mess crammed full of computer generated monsters and girls being chased through the woods in their bikinis. Mr Young Producer knows that using fast editing will stun you just enough to stop you leaving the cinema, making you wholly responsible for the onslaught of sequels that will inevitably ensue. If you’re really lucky Rob Zombie will direct it. And star in it. Hell, he’ll do you the service of providing the soundtrack too.
Jeb Hardwick It appears Paramount are preparing to remake Pet Semetary (excuse the American spelling, it plagues me too). For those who haven’t seen it, the story is reminiscent of W.W. Jacob's The Monkey’s Paw, with that distinct Stephen King twist. A family finds a cemetery near their new house – they also find that it has the power to resurrect the dead. A few days after burying their pet cat it returns home as a dark, twisted version of itself.You can imagine what happens when their baby gets run over by a truck… The original 1989 adaptation (directed by Mary Lambert, responsible for Madonna’s ‘Like A…’ videos)
Thousands of E4 viewers were in tears a few months ago, when slightly overindulgent yet endearingly hilarious sitcom The Inbetweeners departed the small screen for good. No longer would we applaud as Simon, Will, Jay, and Neil projectile vomit on small children, assault the handicapped with frisbees, and nearly always fail to lose their virginities. Fortunately, all hope was not lost; it was announced shortly after the series finale that The Inbetweeners would return for a full length film in which the lads head to Malaga for what is sure to be an hour and half of the most cringeworthy hilarity to hit our screens since the series ended. The question on many critics’ lips, however, is will a series which fared so well in a half hour spot on E4 be able to translate into cinema? It’s happened before to many a show, and the outcome has not always been positive. For instance, anyone who’s ever been lucky enough to watch David Lynch’s early ‘90s soap opera-cum-supernatural drama Twin Peaks will understand the problem. Twin Peaks, a show which swallowed up awards and acclaim during its two seasons, was eventually to become ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’, a two hour surrealist explosion which, although favourably reviewed, was completely ignored at the box office and is counted by many as a cinematic failure. It’s not that translating a concept from television to cinema affects the quality of the film; but for a show with as specific a fan base as Twin Peaks, or even The Inbetweeners (I doubt The Inbetweeners film will appeal to any demographic over the age of around 27), a full length film following four spotty upper-middle class teenagers trying desperately to ‘pop their cherries’ might not fare as well as the spectacular Hollywood blockbusters we’re used to seeing light up the big screen. Then again, look at the success of films like American Pie (1999), which grossed $101,736,215, and followed said concept down to a ‘T’. Perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic. The Simpsons Movie (2007) took a perfect specimen of the ‘20 minute laugh-fest’, and made an absolute killing. Sure, the humor wasn’t as sardonic and edgy as it had been in the earlier seasons of the TV show, and the celebrity parodies in the full length film were so un-thought out that they almost became a parody of celebrity parodies themselves, but in the end, Groening and co. managed to deliver a genuinely funny and touching extension of the show’s universe. Lets hope that The Inbetweeners creative team can do the same; a show as original and witty as theirs deserves a bombastic send-off indeed. The premise of a lads trip to Malaga is mouthwateringly good - in an environment of clubs, drugs, drink and girls, one’s funny bone tingles in anticipation of the events which might befall the young cast. Hope for the best, readers, there’s only seven months to wait!
The Badger meets Andrea Fox
Esben and the Witch
From left to right: Kit Bradshaw (URF Chair), Andrea Fox (Juice 107.2) and Niki Alexandrou (URF Station Manager) Photo: April Sheibani Louise Ronnestad Music editor What are you supposed to do after you graduate? Oh no, do you really have to ask? Yes, I believe I do. It’s a question that many students ask themselves. Some people seem sure. But are they really? I don’t, not exactly, and that’s OK. How can we if we’re not there yet? It is not as easy as that and probably isn’t meant to be either. It’s not the lack of professions out there that makes us wonder; rather, it’s the opposite. The job market is a jungle and there are so many things you can do. It’s easy to get lost but relax, it may be when you’re lost that your true path appears. Some people might have a clue what to do, and that’s generally a good start. If we know roughly what we’re interested in, that’s where we can begin. The Badger met a Sussex graduate to get some ideas about ‘what to do after’. Andrea Fox studied Media and English Literature at Sussex. She is currently a newsreader and presenter at Brighton’s
Juice 107.2 with co-host Guy, as well as writing for XYZ magazine. Whilst at Sussex she was involved in working for the Pulse, the Badger and URF. With her DJing, column-writing and occasional stand-up comedy, it can’t be said that Andrea doesn’t keep herself busy. Andrea Fox gave an exclusive talk to URF members on what makes a great radio show. It was an opportunity to meet a local radio presenter and find out how to make it in the world of radio. The Q&A session was organised by Kit Bradshaw (URF) in week four of term. The Badger was ever so curious about Andrea and took the chance to ask some questions. Andrea encourages anyone to take on work experience because it allows you to make mistakes. We asked her if work experience is genuinely useful, and she replied: “I made so many mistakes while doing work experience, I’m able to correct myself before doing them now”. Of course ‘mistakes’ always happen, no matter how professional you are. If you’re thinking about
sending a demo or an application to Andrea, always make sure you capitalise the right letters in the application. Once she threw away an application when she noticed that the applicant used “i” instead of the capital “I”. We respect that. So, what does make a good radio show? Fox says: “When you start, always have an planned end-point to keep your listeners alert”. If someone can ask the question “So what?” it’s not an interesting show. It also helps to know when to shut up. Know your limits and make sure you talk as though you’re talking to one person that you know (friend, lover or family member) - that will keep people listening because it’s personal. Another thing to know is: you don’t have to be funny. It might be obvious but she wanted to put it out there. Andrea points out: “If you have the technical skills and the knowledge, stick with what you know and let someone else be funny”. Let’s face it, mistakes are probably the things we remember and look back on. As a radio presenter she gets to
interview a lot of well known British artists. Any mistakes you’ve made in interviews? Andrea interviewed Mark Ronson about his success in America. She reveals that she offended Mark by accident (with help from co-host Guy) with “a joke that came out wrong” about Ronson’s dyed hair in the video for ‘The Bike Song’. She also found out the hard way about Elly Jackson of La Roux’s shyness when she interviewed her before the artist had got used to making media appearances. Most importantly, she uses her sense of humour to make her radio show great. She says: “Guy is not particularly funny, but people seem to think that I am”. Fox admits that she has always taken on challenges that she wasn’t sure she was going to get through. She encourages people to do that and to be brave. In Andrea Fox, the Badger found a committed professional who is truly passionate about communication, a bit award-hungry (but who isn’t?) and whose next step might be television because you get the lines delivered. Fox says: “It’s just a lot easier”.
Food for thought
Valentine’s Day dining If you are planning a romantic meal out to celebrate this year, we’ve found the best deals in Brighton. Café Rouge are offering customers 2-4-1 on main meals throughout this month when you download a voucher off their website. However, this excludes Valentine’s Day itself. To celebrate on the day itself, Pizza Express have a three-course set menu for just £15. Similarly, Ask! are offering a three-course set menu plus a glass of Prosecco for £16.95. Fancy something a bit more unusual? Global cuisine restaurant Giraffe are offering three courses for £18.95 from 5pm. Alternatively, if you fancy a night in, why not try Marks and Spencer’s special Dine In For Two deal this Valentine’s for £20. Or, for something a bit more memorable, surprise your partner with a pink-themed picnic (indoors of course!). Serve individual prawns on cocktail sticks with thousand island dressing for dipping. Transform ham sandwiches into a heart-shaped treat using a cookie cutter. For dessert, how about simple yet delicious raspberry jelly served with strawberry ice cream. Wash it all down with a strawberry milkshake or
Photos: Susanna Cairns
Susanna Cairns & Alisha Trombetta
bottle of pink lemonade. Afterwards, enjoy sharing a bottle of rosé and a bag of pink marshmallows in front of a romantic movie. Romantic treats are also popping up all over the high street. If you’re looking for something sweet to spoil your loved one, read on. Here’s our pick of the best on offer. Millie’s Cookies have created the suitably named Love Bites, which consist of a delicious heart-shaped brownie topped with a swirl of icing and a sugar heart; a steal at £1.25. Choose from milk chocolate, white chocolate or our favourite - double chocolate. Find them at Churchill Square and Brighton Railway Station. Krispy Kreme have adapted their Strawberries and Cream favourite into a Love Heart special just for Valentine’s Day. This £1.55 heart-shaped doughnut is filled with strawberry sauce and cream and covered with sprinkles and white chocolate curls. Get one on North Street. Gregg’s have also produced several themed baked treats, including Valentine’s fairy buns, Jammy shortbread tarts and Valentine’s cupcakes. Located on North Street, Western Road and London Road.
The music room
James Blake Photo: rushmiller.com
Louise Ronnestad Music editor Recently signed trio Esben and the Witch have released their debut album ‘Violet Cries’ this year. Somehow, there is a reason to get excited by their message because this is not some ordinary glee pop. And thank god there is an alternative. This is something more intense and reflective than your average poppy 4music fare. The Badger spoke to guitarist Thomas Fisher on the day of the Brighton show to learn more about the band. How does it feel to be signed? Very good, amazing, thank you. It’s just great.They approached us which was very flattering. Any highlights on the tour? We are looking forward to it. We have reworked some tracks.We’re enjoying it because we haven’t been playing in Brighton for quite some time. Also, Trophy Wife is going to be with us for all of the tour dates. Are you excited for tonight? It was quite a while ago since we played in Brighton.We’ve been to the U.S. for six weeks and also played in London. But we recorded the album in Brighton earlier this year. We also did the Great Escape Festival last year. It’s good to be back home. What is ‘The Marching Song’? It used to be part of an E.P. It’s an old song that stayed with us which we revisited. How would you describe your music? I don’t really feel the need for labelling. People can take what they want from it. We want to encourage people to do that. Best track on the album? I don’t have one...all of the tracks make it work together. How do you stir up emotions with lyrics? It’s personal feelings and emotions taken from work or life in general that is mixed with different stories. They don’t necessarily belong together but are married in the music.
If you want to see your event on these pages, contact Olivia James with the venue, date and time of your event, a short description, and any relevant images. Send your request to badger-listings@ussu. sussex.ac.uk by the Tuesday of the week before your event is happening at the very latest. * Tickets available from the Union Box Office in Falmer House
Monday last chance to buy
The Great Escape
Scene Tour and Blow Out*
RAG’s Big Night In
White Rabbit DJs
The Super Early Bird discount expires tomorrow! Hurry up and get your tickets for just £35.
Sussex LGBTQ and LGBrighTon bring you this infamous night of ‘gender blending’ and celebrating gender expression in all its forms.
Screenings of your favourite rom coms while Rabbit DJ Smooth Groove and MC Dimlit to you snuggle up with a hot cocoa.Warm and cosy keep you company on this romantic night! dress code, with pyjamas & onesies welcome!
LGBTQ film screening
Guys and Dolls (SMUTS)
Young Bands Night
See ‘Latter Days’ and listen to a speaker from Brightwaves as a part of the ongoing LGBTQ History Month.
Celebrate SMUTS’ twentieth birthday with a performance of Guys and Dolls.
Underground films with free popcorn. Text your drink orders to the bar upstairs so you don’t have to lose your comfy sofa seat!
With indie rock bands Sky Harbour, Tonight We Fly and The Miscreants.
the sallis benney theatre
If you’re not feeling the love this Valentine’s Day, get down to Hector’s House to celebrate your cynicism - student style.
The Go! Team
Sexual Perversity in Chicago (SUDS)
VBS have put together a new film about the student protests entitled ‘Teenage Riot’, following civil unrest from the ‘80s onwards.
There are rumours of new material from this indie band, so be sure to catch them live.
See Scotland’s youngest comic prodigy, who has previously performed alongside the likes of Michael McIntyre and Rob Brydan.
An evening of talks and discussion about politics and the LGBT community.
In the ‘screwed-up world of American sexuality’, two strangers form a relationship, but can it survive under the critical eye of their friends.
east slope bar
downstairs at komedia
brighton university, grand parade, room
7.30pm, £5/4 suds card
NME Tour 2011
RAGTAV and RAGtails
With Crystal Castles, Everything Everything, The Vaccines and Magnetic Man.
Start with cocktails at Falmer Bar, then Ammnest will be holding a Brighton band spectacular in town.
Jonty Tiplady and Francesca Lisette, with music and drinks.
Get down to falmer bar between 6-8pm and grab 2-for-1 cocktails.
falmer bar and pavillion tavern
7pm, £16.94 (plus booking fee)
The Badger writers’ meetings
Want to write for the Badger? Come down and meet our friendly editors every Friday; pick up a story or share your ideas.
Plus Gareth Stephens and Barry Dust who will give you Colombian, Brazilian, South American vibes and uplifting party live music.
Penguin Café and Portico Quartet, “A Matter of life...” Tour. ‘Eccentric, charming, accommodating, surprising, seductive, warm, reliable, modest and unforgettable...’ Brian Eno
falmer house, room
fortune of war
Piers & Queers*
A queer tour of Brighton focussing on the personalities of Brighton and their tales of achievement, complexity, and infamy.
National Express from Bristol will be bringing DnB, Shimon, Blokhe4d, D Double U, High Maintenance, Deceit... and more! you DJ Derek for an excellent night.
Roots Garden reggae and dub sound system special featuring Leroy Horns.
fortune of war
Prime Cuts Comedy
SchNEWS Benefit Gig
Brighton Filmmakers’ Coalition Meeting Chill out...
Ged Butcher, Alan Sellers, Michael Mooney, Jo Public, Eden Rivers, Mark Mann, Jim Grant, Ben Salter... and more.
It’s the second of the year and promises to be an evening of anarcho-folk-punk with Blyth Power, the Astronauts and Pog.
Get involved in local projects and bring your ideas to the table.
With the Rosehill Jazz sessions every Sunday with Remember April.
three jolly butchers
rose hill tavern
Let’s talk about LOVE, baby The science behind relationships Christina Griffin Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist I first encountered on the wesbite TED.com - a small nonprofit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, bringing together Technology, Entertainment, Design. (If you haven’t seen this website, go and check it out!) Helen Fisher is very passionate about Love and her work appears to be popular, appearing in both credible sources such as the Journal of Neurophysiology to more popular ones such as O, the Oprah Magazine, and Elle. In 2006, she wrote an interesting review article about romantic love, mate choice, sex drive and attachment. Fisher et al used fMRI to gain insight into the neurological activities behind romantic love to support her hypothesis regarding ‘mate choice’ and its underlying neural system. Disregarding the focus on her specific hypothesis, there is some very interesting scientific information collected in her review article, entitled ‘Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice.’ The fMRIs of individuals selfacclaimed to be in love showed activation in the right ventral tegmental area (VTA) and caudate nucleus, regions associated with the brain’s ‘reward system.’ Interestingly, the caudate nucleus has also been shown to release dopamine on expectation of a monetary award.
Such evidence suggests that being ‘in love’ is part of a ‘reward sytem’ based largely in the dopaminergic pathway. In monogamous prairie voles, it is found that a 50% increase dopamine in the nucleus accumben (affected by the VTA) follows copulation and preference for the sexual partner. However, inhibiting dopamine in the nucleus accumbens results in a withdrawal of their ‘bond.’ If a new male, which the female has not ‘bonded with’ is present upon injection of a dopamine agonist (increasing dopamine levels), the female will form a new preference to him. In the animal studies presented in this review, it is clear there is a strong relationship between neurotransmitters and hormones. Activation in the dopaminergic pathway causes the release of testosterone and oestrogen, and oestrogen and testosterone can impact dopamine levels. It is largely argued that a clear distinction is to be made between sex drive and romantic love, however, the brain activity presented shows that many areas between sex and love overlap. Specifically, ‘the right subinsular region, including the claustrum, left caudate and putamen, right middle occipital/middle temporal gyri, bilateral cingulate gyrus, right sensorimotor and pre-motor regions and right hypothalamus,’ are activated during sexual arousal, overlapping with those activated in romantic
love such as the caudate nucleus, putamen and cingular gyrus. It appears (from the information in this review) that the brain activity involved in sexual arousal is far more complicated than in love and that the distinction isn’t as clear as the review presents. To make matters even more confusing, studies on maternal brain activity also demonstrated activity in the cingulatar gyrus and caudate nucleus. Activity in the caudate nucleus demonstrates some neurological evidence to the claim that parenting is rewarding. Back to love, another two big players involved in the love game are vasopressin and oxytocin. Oxytocin is largely known as the trust neurotransmitter, expressed at high levels during and after birth to promote motherinfant bonding and reduce pain. Oxytocin is also expressed in males and has other roles such as effect of blood pressure along with vasopressin. In voles, vasopressin appeared to be the commitment factor demonstrated through genetics.I wouldn’t have picked monogamy as a genetic factor, but it appears that V1 receptor gene which has a variant form (lacking a chain link) in the promiscuous meadow voles, may be responsible. Genetic transfection of a fully functioning V1 receptor gene leads to upregulation of vasopressin in male meadow voles and commitment with a specific female. So how true is romantic love, or is
Who will you choose as your mate this Valentine’s day? Photo: flickr.com
it just a psychological manifestation of our pandering to our neurotransmitters, hormones and the social complexity of the modern world? It’s a nice concept but critically, I was unconvinced by the science used to demonstrate its pure existence. It doesn’t appear to be its own
emotion, but a combination of pleasure, reward, commitment and trust. I guess when I put ham and cheese between two slices of bread; I call it a sandwich, so I could put all those emotions together and call it love. Let’s talk about love baby... it’s a bit like a sandwich.
The Brighton Science Festival 2011 Natasha Agabalyan Science editor For the pleasure of the geeks and the jocks, the Brighton Science Festival is once again descending upon Brighton. This is the seventh year the festival has run and it is jammed packed with events, from the fun to the cerebral, for kids and adults. It started on Sunday 13 February and runs until 6 March, so thre’s plenty of time to pop in and have a look at some of the brilliant activities. Here are but a few examples. On 23 February, the Sallis Benney Theatre of Brighton University plays host to an evening of physics. The event “Fearful Symmetry” investigates symmetry in physics, music, maths, biochemistry and art. Saturday 26 February holds, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the festival. Named “Play with your food”, this event should be exactly what it says on the tin. Expect a wide range of food oriented activity, blending molecular gastronomy, health debates, chemistry in the kitchen, edible geology and the dental health spa. The main event of the festival “Big Science Saturday” is on
Take your brain on a wild ride! Photo: visitbrighton.com
Saturday 5 March, and should definitely be a winner. Whether you fancy a debate specialy organised for skeptics, a talk on how music
affects our social society or history of science, there will be enough to entertain all. And for those of you whose brain needs a rest, all
kinds of games from creative to strategy will be available around the venue. Another talk which might inter-
est fellow Brightonians is “Zombie Science” held at BASVIC on Friday 4 March. Theoretical zombiological Dr Austin explains how genetics, prions and genetic engineering can relate to the un-dead. This show has toured America and its author Austin Low is a multiBAFTA award winning writter and comedian. “Laboratory Life”, running through most of the festival, is another interesting event. Described as “an interactive artscience laboratory, exploring the use of new technologies in biomedicine”, it incorporates exhibitions, talks and lab viewings. This is where art meets science. Finally on 6 March, the last event “Of All the Nerve” aims to explore the life of a neuron in six chapters: birth, learning, adolescence, maturity, death and afterlife. Supported by the Welcome Trust, it promises some interesting information and some audience participation! So head on down to town centre for a some light but educating entertainment, it’s worth the trip! More information and tickets available on http://www.brightonscience.com/2011/.
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Scintillating first weekend in Six Nations Charlie Wilkinson Rugby fans everywhere were treated to an enthralling start to the Six Nations Championship last weekend. With the World Cup just around the corner, this Six Nations provides the ideal opportunity for coaches to try out new players and new strategies. The first match of the Championship saw Wales take on England in an experimental Friday night fixture at the Millennium Stadium. The atmosphere in the ground was electrifying, with Welsh fans hoping for victory over the old enemy. Although Wales tried to make the most of several errors from England, their efforts were in vain. England were the more clinical of the sides, meaning that Welsh fans were left disappointed, as their team went down 26-19. After winning their first game against a shaky Wales, England will be looking to continue their winning ways. Being one of the teams tipped for the top spot this year, England certainly impressed. Their simple but effective game plan; possession, momentum, space and the ability to capitalise on quick ball, was evident during Friday’s match. The prolific Chris Ashton was able to make the most of his teams simple strategy, providing England fans with plenty to cheer about. Can England keep a cool head and maintain momentum under pressure? For Wales, Friday night was a crushing blow to their Championship hopes. Unfortunately Wales
were unable to make the most the chances they created. This lack of a cutting edge is something which seems to have plagued their recent test match performances, with Friday’s defeat their eighth successive test defeat. However if Wales can rediscover the spark of creativity that brought them the Grand Slam in 2007 and thrive under pressure then they still have an outside chance of winning the Championship. The second game of the Championship saw Ireland travel to Italy’s Stadio Flaminnio. Many were predicting that this meeting would be an Irish mauling, however the plucky Italians had other ideas. Although Italy played with flair and put pressure upon the Irish front row, a shock Italian upset was not meant to be. In the last few minutes, Ireland’s once key standoff Ronan O’Gara eased into the drop goal pocket and struck, dashing all of Italy’s hopes, final score Italy 11 –13 Ireland. In the build up to the Six Nations some had been hinting at a possible Irish Grand Slam. While this is still a possibility, many in Ireland will be wanting to forget the tense and near disaster in Italy and see better from their team. The first half saw Ireland make a catalogue of unforced errors, including an uncharacteristic wild pass from Irish talisman Brian O’Driscoll. Ireland need to concentrate on eliminating such unforced errors if they are to return to the brilliantly creative rugby that Irish fans
Thumping win for Sussex
Ashton’s two tries proved too much for Wales as England began the Six Nations in style Photo: David Davies/PA everywhere are so used to seeing. Perhaps their first home game at the striking Aviva Stadium can eradicate the nightmare of their opening weekend. After ten years in the Championship, Italy came excruciatingly close to what would have been one of the more shocking wins in rugby history. The rearrangement of the Magners League to incorporate two Italian clubs had clearly paid dividends for the Italian national side. The Italians have a strong defence which forced Ireland to make costly mistakes. With the team travelling to Twickenham next week, will Italy be able to capitalise upon this momentum and cause an upset? The final game of the opening
Tom Walker Sussex 57-0 Surrey Sussex men’s 2nds travelled to a relatively weak Surrey side on the back of two comfortable league wins, and were hoping to continue building an imposing reputation and move up the league. It was clear from the start however, that perhaps Sussex had entered the game with an air of complacency. Although luckily no points were conceded, the threatening waves of attack that have been evident in recent weeks were sadly absent. As time went on however, the difference in quality between the two sides began to show. The forwards built a very good platform in midfield with flanker Rupert Erskine and captain James Sempill making good, useful yards. Quick, clean ball allowed Fly half George Colbourn to neatly step through a gap and score the first points, one
of two impressive tries he would end up with in the game. Sussex soaked up the Surrey attacks well, with huge defence particularly from prop Jamie Donaldson. As the match went on, Sussex seemed to find the form they have shown in recent weeks. The backs made use of the overlap well, with full-back Tom Walker using his pace to score twice out wide. Further tries from centre Dave Geiranger and fresh legged replacements Will Handley and ‘Big’ Harry Atkinson sealed a comfortable Sussex win. Whilst the backs scored all the points, a notable performance from the pack, particularly in the scrimmage, gave Sussex a good platform from which to attack and dominate for the majority of the match. A comfortable win and a positive performance, Sussex will be looking to carry on this momentum into the tail-end of the season.
Ireland next weekend to continue their run of wins. Despite their opening weekend defeat there were many positives for Scotland. Andy Robinson’s team showed a creativity and cutting edge not seen for many years, a hat-trick of tries in the Stade de France is no mean feat. Scotland will still be striving for improvement and will look to build upon a solid defence and well rehearsed set pieces. Scotland will be looking to turn positives into points when they meet Wales in a tantalising Murrayfield match-up. The next six weeks will be packed full of drama, emotion and brilliance. Rugby fans should be ready to expect the unexpected.
Sussex lose top of the table clash Last week’s Alex Kennewell deadlock at the sixty minute mark and a tense atmosphere engulfed the crowd results... 1-2 C S for the final third. Firmly against the ussex
Sussex swarm forward in search of points Photo: Charlotte Bruning
weekend of this year’s Six Nations saw France take on an improving Scottish side. The Scottish team had high hopes going into the match, but within minutes France had set the score board alight with the first try of the evening. Although Scotland put in a brave performance it wasn’t enough, with the famous French flair coming through, final score France 34 –21 Scotland. The French team showed why they are the Championship favourites, with a strong pack, great set pieces and flamboyant backs. France will be relieved to put their Autumn defeats behind them and will now look to utilise their pace and strength against a downbeat
The Sussex 1st XI travelled with focus and determination to face league leaders, Chichester, in what could only be described as the crucial title decider. Sussex coped without missing midfielder, Kessack - being withdrawn due to a lack of mascara – only to be hit by the withdrawal of forward Ed Willoughby who pulled up early into the game with a tear to his hamstring. Nevertheless, a very evenly matched first-half saw Sussex more than matching their opponents (a sports specialist university), with admirable vigor. An air of confidence surrounded Sussex as they came out from after the half-time break, with the game finely poised at 0-0. Sussex began moving the ball quicker and turning the home side at every opportunity. A misplaced header from Greg Salmon wasted a chance to break the
run of play, a Chichester free-kick was whipped in from the right and a glanced header snuck inside Richard Lynch’s near post. While this could have shattered all Sussex enthusiasm, it was not to be the case. A battling mentality encouraged Sussex to the end, prevailing as Salmon, recovering from the aforementioned miss, curled the ball round the Chichester keeper with finesse to draw the two sides level. With fifteen minutes to play, right back Wright was marshaled off of the pitch by the referee for a detached lip piercing, leaving Sussex aggrieved and only able to field ten men. Knowing that capitalising on just one more opportunity would seal victory, both sides piled forward. Unfortunately fortune fell kindly for Chichester. A solid strike put the home side 2-1 up, leaving them three points clear from Sussex at the top of the table.
Sussex Men 3-5 Surrey Basketball Sussex Men 47-51 Portsmouth Fencing Men’s 1sts 122-124 Portsmouth Football Men’s 1sts 3-1 Reading Men’s 2nds 4-2 Hertfordshire Men’s 3rds 1-2 Chichester Women’s 1sts 4-7 Middlesex Hockey Men’s 1sts 4-5 Portsmouth Men’s 2nds 2-1 Westminster Women’s 1sts 4-0 LSE Women’s 2nds 3-0 KCL Netball Women 2nds 29-22 Roehampton Rugby Men’s 1sts 7-57 Brighton Squash
Men’s 2nds 3-2 Reading Tennis Another near miss for Sussex in their tight league Photo: Charlotte Bruning
Women’s 1sts 10-2 Roehampton
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