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28 OCTOBER 2013, WEEK 6
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THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE STUDENTS’ UNION
A closer look at alClaim to fame: Page 3 legations of homeless Shopping disaster peoples possesions with Jimmy Carr Page 8 Page 5
Should the Union inPagegender 14 troduce neutral toilets? Page 10
Hip-hop legend Mos Def touches down in Brighton this week Page 18
SPORTS TUNE IN ONLINE
Sussex sporting acheivment recognised at awards night Page 20
Tutors marking mayhem STUDENT TOLD ‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR LEARNING DISABLITY’: CONCERNS RAISED OVER MARKING
Aubrey Allegretti Editor-in-chief The University has admitted that there is no compulsory training for markers of assessed work on how to approach a piece submitted by a student with a specific learning difficulty, raising serious concern amongst several senior members of departmental staff that this could put a large number of students at a severe academic disadvantage. Dyslexic students make up a high proportion of those who identify as having a learning difficulty in the University, with an average of 370 students per year identifying themselves as dyslexic. This puts the figure at around 3% of the campus populous, but the British Dyslexia Association suggesting that the national average could be much higher at 1 in 10. In a Freedom of Information request submitted by this newspaper, it was revealed that only 25 out of all tutors attended a voluntary training session that would inform markers how to grade a piece of work submitted by a student with learning difficulties. This year’s attendee figure is almost double that of the previous year, when only 14 members of University staff went on the course- a small improvement from the 13 in the previous year. However, several senior members of staff said they had never been alerted to any course or training provided by the University that dealt specifically with submissions from students with learning difficulties, and voiced concern that enough was not being done to curb the problem. The disparity in the amount of training that markers are receiving has been criticised by some students, who say that more needs to be done to properly maintain a high standard of support for the tutors marking assessments. One dyslexic second-year Psychology
student said: “in effect if you’re giving some tutors training but not others, then there’s likely to be a disparity in the marking of work. “It really is the luck of the draw as to whether your tutor has been given enough support by the University - but with only 25 tutors having undergone the training last year, it’s unlikely that it’ll be yours.” The University has said that students who identify as having a specific learning difficulty are offered advice by the Student Support Unit (SSU), based in Pevensey I, who make up a specialist team of advisors trained to advise students on a range of
challenges they might face, ranging from Disability Support to Mental Health. They provide stickers, which are used to identify a submission by a candidate with a learning difficulty, to make sure tutors take their condition into account when marking their piece of work. The University says that these stickers are intended to direct markers to the Examiners Handbook, which is available online, where further help and explanations on specific difficulties is offered to tutors. One third year History student however, contacted the paper to say that her seminar tutor, who had gone on to mark submitted work, had dismissed openly in
front of students in seminars that dyslexia affected their abilities. She praised support from the SSU but raised serious concerns over whether the University was being effective in explaining to some of its tutors how learning difficulties could affect performance. “It doesn’t make sense to me that some tutors are allowed to announce things like that openly in class. “And it doesn’t make you feel much more confident handing work in when you know that it’s going to be moderated by a tutor who ‘doesn’t believe’ in a legitimate learning disability, outlined in the 2010 Equality Act.”
The University has not commented on this specific instance. Sophie van der Ham, Welfare Officer for the Students’ Union said: “The University is very aware of its legal duty to comply with disability legislation and is looking at how to best train academic advisors and tutors on specific learning disabilities. “The Students’ Union wants the best for its students and we would push for training on learning disabilities to be incorporated in the earliest stages of PGCE and as part of a compulsory staff enhancement training.”
28 OCTOBER 2013
in pictures • 2
INInPICTURES pictures: what’s happening in your city Sports and societies helping out at the national trust
Richard Mashiter Comedy Night
One sport club’s welcome party
Ho Wah So
Study Abroad Photo Exhibition
Tamas Risko Crafts Fair in Brighton
Ho Wah So
28 October 2013
NEWS • 3
NEWS Gender neutral toilets hailed for all buildings on campus
sUSSEX to be UK’s first University to introduce GNTs THROUGHOUT CAMPUS
Ben Perkins The Students’ Union has requested permission from the University to provide gender neutral toilets campus-wide as part of their new LGBTQ student policy. Gender neutral toilets will not be labelled as either female or male and, despite what has been reported in the popular media, will not involve building any new toilets. Gender neutral toilets “do not require the person using them to define into a gender,” according to Welfare Officer, Sophie van der Ham. This is to ensure “everyone, regardless of gender, can use toilets without fear of incident, discrimination or harassment.” The plan would mean that in all university buildings there will be three types of toilet. One for people who identify as male, one for those who identify as female and one which could be used by people of any gender identity. This will make the University of Sussex the first university to have gender neutral toilets throughout campus. When discussing the provision of GNTs, Kelly McBride, the president of the Students’ Union stated: “This is an issue that the Students’ Union has been
working on since 2010 when students approached the Union to highlight the issues that come with a lack of gender neutral toilet provision.” Despite this being a LGBTQ campaign providing such services campus wide would give greater mobility to other marginalised groups in the University. “This is a positive step for student parents and those with dependants”, she added. Such provisions have been considered by the University prior to this most recent announcement. Currently, toilets in Falmer
House and some academic buildings are labelled as “unisex” and the continuation of this scheme has been reflected on current plans for new buildings on campus. Sussex LGBTQ has pushed for the introduction of gender neutral toilets for a number of years. Co-chair of the society Hannah Gordon commented: “As a trans* student myself I am proud to be attending a university that has taken the needs of all their students into consideration and is addressing important transgender issues”.
Union ballot declares strike on Halloween Zoe Ambrozewska
Trade unions UCU, Unite and Unison, all of whom have members working at the University of Sussex, announced on 16 October that they are resorting to industrial action in a row over pay for their members. The unions will be staging a combined strike on 31 October having been offered only a 1% pay increase, which Union leaders claim equates to a 13% pay decrease since 2008 as a result of constant below inflation pay increases. Highlighting the comradery between the Unions, A spokesperson from Sussex UCU said: “there’s real delight that we are striking alongside our sister unions UNISON and UNITE. Not only does this mean strength in numbers but it’s a firm indication that the employers are significantly undervaluing their staff across the board, and that this has been recognised by members across all three staff campus unions”. Of a 35% UCU turnout, 61.5% voted in favor of strike action. Echoing the spokesman’s comments, the head of higher education at Unison, Jon Richards, echoed these sentiments, saying: “Our members are upset and angry – this measly 1% offer is simply not good enough”. Unison’s ballot saw 54.4% members affirm the Unions motion to strike and, of a 28% turnout at Unite, 64% opted for
industrial action. The University and College Employers Association (UCEA) said they were “disappointed” by the joint decision to strike, with a UCEA spokesperson adding: “Our HE institutions tell us that the vast majority of staff understand the reality of the current environment and that the 1 per cent uplift in addition to other pay increases many will get is a good outcome. They do not want to support any action that could harm both their institutions and their students.” When contacted about the effect of the impending strike could have, a University spokesman said: “The 1 per cent offer is just one part of the overall staff benefit package that includes excellent conditions of service, defined benefit and defined contribution pensions and provision for incremental pay increases. Taken together with the automatic incremental progression which over 40 per cent of employees across HEIs will receive, the offer will add 2.4 per cent to the sector pay bill. “As shown in the most recent update of the Pay in HE (2013) report, the average annual earnings of full-time HE teaching professionals has increased more than 15 percentage points ahead of inflation between 2001 and 2011 and this group recorded the third highest median earnings out of the 46 professional occupations identified by the Office for National Statistics.”
No hope for East Slope: final demolishion date decided Jack Williams News Editor Plans to redevelop East Slope have been crystallised after the University announced that the accommodation is scheduled to be demolished in 2016, signalling that facets of the managements ‘masterplan’ are set to become a reality. Construction of the new East Slope is envisaged by the University to take place from 2015 to 2016, followed by the destruction of the current accommodation in autumn of 2016. The University have affirmed that they are currently reviewing options on how to proceed with the phased redevelopment of the East Slope site. The declaration by the University of Sussex management puts an end to years of speculation regarding the fate of the accommodation, which is understood to have been earmarked for demolition for a long period of time. Speculation was rife in 2011 that East Slope was set for destruction in the 2012-2013 academic year, spurring the mobilization of a protest group named ‘hope beyond the slope’, which campaigned for the development of new low-rent accommodation in its place. Originally conceived in 2004, the Uni-
versity of Sussex’s current masterplan is coming to the end of its tenure, and staff are exploring ways to develop the campus both accademically and visually over the next ten to fifteen years. It has the primary objective of enacting an expansion and regeneration of the campuses accommodation facilities to incorporate the projected increase in student numbers to 20,000 by 2020. A University of Sussex spokesperson commented, saying: “The potential redevelopment of East Slope forms part of the University’s new £750m campus masterplan, but it has been on the agenda for a while. “We currently have about 4,300 rooms on campus. Redeveloping East Slope will provide about 1,400 extra bedrooms, which will help us to accommodate the projected increases in student numbers while helping us to achieve our target of housing 40% of full-time students on campus”. Officials of University residential services are now inviting students to give their feedback and views of the redevelopment scheme and are in consultation with the University of Sussex Students’ Union about how best students can contribute their ideas for the new East Slope.
Expressing the University’s desire to garner student opinion, Charles Dudley, director of residential, sport and trading services, said: “We take student views and feedback as a key part of the longterm development of housing. We want the student community involved and informed as we move plans forward. “Current and former students often speak affectionately about their time living in East Slope, as well as its flaws. During the consultation process, the Project Board is hoping to capture those elements of the current East Slope design that work from a resident’s perspective.” A current resident of East Slope, who has experiences a lot of maintenance complications in his short time there, explained: “The whole place doesn’t look fit for purpose anymore. “We have a severe flooding problem in our bathroom, everytime time you walk in your treading on filthy water and the place just looks so run down; you can’t help but feel that the University need to freshen up its accommodation.” Another resident, however, highlighted the importance of having low rent accommodation on campus, stating: “I think it is important that the university continues to offer a low rent alternative.
My budget is tight as it is; I dread to think of what would happen if I lived in accommodation that charged higher rent. East Slope in the sense is perfect for me”. Constructed in the late 1960s, East Slope is one of the oldest accommodations on campus, housing 568 students and offers the most economical rent, averaging around £81.40 – £83.40 for a standard single room. Questioned on whether the University is taking steps to ensure East Slope
is replaced with equitable cheap accommodation, the spokesperson acknowledged: “we aim to provide a range of accommodation of a good standard that meets differing student expectations and budgets. “The Students' Union has argued strongly that there should be a range of lower-priced housing for students on restricted budgets and we recognise the need to provide a range of accommodation to ensure affordability for all students.”
University of Sussex
28 OCTOBER 13
NEWS • 4
Top 20 for students satisfaction, Counselling services but trend is on the decline growing in demand
Student satisfaction with assessment and feedback at the University of Sussex has declined along with a slight decrease in teaching satisfaction, according to the most recent results of the National Student Survey (NSS). The survey is taken by final year students in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) across the United Kingdom annually and revealed that this year satisfaction with assessment and feedback stood at 64% while teaching satisfaction was at 88.5%. It is commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and is used to measure student satisfaction in university league tables such as The Times’ Good University Guide. Respondents rate how strongly they agree or disagree with 23 statements split into six categories: teaching; assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, and personal development plus a final statement on overall satisfaction with the quality of their course. A total of 1,861 students at the University completed the survey this year, a record figure for completion by final year students. Overall, 89% of Sussex students who responded to the survey were satisfied with their course as a whole compared
to a national average of 85%. The University is ranked joint 21st in the UK for student satisfaction. In response to the decline in the University’s standings in the NSS, a BSc Economics graduate at the University suggested it may be correlated to the University’s move to outsource services, which proved controversial for some members of the campus community. “I gave good feedback, because I was unbiased in how I responded to the question. I know some people were very unhappy with the University and they were ticking everything down.” On the quality of teaching on her course, one third year Philosophy and
Cognitive Science student said, “It varies depending who’s running it.” Regarding the University’s assessment and feedback score a University spokesperson said, “Major changes have been made that should lead to an improvement in the future.” Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Clair Mackie (Teaching and Learning), has stated that some major developments this year should help to address continuing issues around assessment and feedback on courses. “The new structure of the academic year now in place should significantly improve how and when we assess and provide feedback to our students”, she said.
Pay disparity between the most senior and junior staff at universities has grown significantly over the last three year, according to a recent report by the Young Greens. The report, part of the Fair Pay Campus campaign, revealed that, on average, senior university staff are paid 19 times more than the lowest paid wage– a 26% increase on 2010 figures. Sussex fares worse than the national average, with a pay gap of 20.23; making it the 37th worst university for pay disparity in UK – coming ahead of the University of Portsmouth, Royal Holloway and the University of Brighton. Also amongst the findings was news that the University of Sussex has 12 employees on its payroll who are paid more than £140,000, the highest of which is awarded to Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing, who earns £280,000 (- that’s around £137,670 more than the salary of Prime Minister David Cameron). The report also found that Sussex does not have an ‘ethical contract’ policy with external companies, such as with new campus contractors Chartwells and Interserve, to ensure outsourced staff are paid the living wage. The Young Greens compared university staff wages across England and Wales, as well as looking at the number of uni-
The number of university students seeking counselling has risen over a third in the last four years, according to an investigation by Help Me Investigate. 114 universities replied to requests from Help Me Investigate about how many students were accessing mental health services. The University of Sussex experienced an 8.14% increase in students accessing counselling services from 2008-2012, and the national average has risen by 33%. The increase of students receiving counselling at Sussex is relatively small compared to other universities, such as Glasgow who have experienced a 130% increase from 2008-2012. Sussex counselling services have suggested that the rise in the number of students seeking help reflects wider national trends. With the cost of degrees at an all time high and the competitive job market, students are more determined than ever to ensure mental health problems do not disrupt their university experience. The University of Sussex is dedicated to
raising mental health awareness and has held several events to promote mental wellbeing. In 2013 it began its campaign to raise awareness in mental health after conducting a survey and compiling a ‘Student Mental Health and Well-being Report’. It found 71.5% students had personal experience with mental health issues, and 26% had developed mental health issues whilst at University. A nationwide survey by NUS also found a high percentage of students experiencing mental health issues. One third of students surveyed to be suffering from mental distress every week, where 20 percent of these students considered themselves to have a mental health problem. Mel Withers, Director of the University’s Counselling Service, responded to the figures from the Help Me investigation by stating: “Sussex has always had a keen interest in providing psychotherapeutic support for students since its inception in the early 1960’s. Mental health issues have historically been higher amongst students than the Ussu general public.
Campus gets poetic Emily Sutherland Deputy-Editor-in-Chief Ho Wah
Unfair Pay: ‘Enough is Enough’ Daniel Green
versity staff paid the minimum wage, and the living wage. They revealed that the pay gap amongst university employees and employers was now the greatest disparity in the public sector, with £228 million being spent on executive salary in Higher Education every year. The report also proposes four ‘Fair Pay Campus’ criteria, stating universities should agree to publish the pay of the vice-chancellor and executives, publish the pay ratio between lowest and highest earners, ensure contractors pay workers the living wage, and committing to raising lowest pay to £14,000, whilst freezing highest pay at £140,000. Rustam Majainah, the lead author of the report, stated: “the report provides ground-breaking new evidence and insight into the widening pay cap between the highest and lowest paid workers at UK universities.” On the ‘Fair Pay campus’ Proposal, Mr Majainah said: “the demands are definitely achievable, as shown by the two universities (the University of London and SOAS) whose staff have already successfully campaigned for a Living Wage and whose top salary is not more than 10 times its lowest. There are also a number of universities very close to fulfilling the criteria with only a small amount of effort.” A spokesperson for the University asserted: “All salaries of senior staff (ex-
cept clinical academic staff in the BSMS) are approved by the Council, and set by the Remuneration and Review Committee, which is chaired by and includes independent members of the Council. The numbers of staff on salaries over £140,000 at Sussex is not out of line with other leading research-intensive universities.” The University also noted that “as the ‘Fair Pay League’ report shows, the University of Sussex pays all its employees more than the Living Wage of £7.20 an hour”, and that “the University openly publishes each year in its annual accounts the number of staff paid over £140,000.” When questioned about the lack of an ‘ethical contract’ with external companies, the spokesperson said: “the University’s contracts with Chartwells and Interserve include an agreed minimum level of pay for new employees as well as other benefits, such as pension which will be in line with the University’s local pension SGSS.” The report’s findings follow the news of strike action by the three main higher education unions over pay, with action set to take place on the 31st October and an Extraordinary Members Meeting scheduled for students’ union members. UCU head of higher education Michael MacNeil said “Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay. Quite simply enough is enough.”
A newly launched poetry event, run by and for Sussex students, will take place on campus this week. Founded and organised by Azad Sharma and Justin Sealey, both studying in the School of English, The Sussex Guild of Poetry aims to provide a platform for undergraduate poets to share their work in a serious and objective way. The event will see a range of student and published poets perform a variety of work. Although the University does run other poetry events, such as the monthly ‘Hi Zero’, The Guild is the first event to provide a space uniquely for undergraduates to perform. After meeting in a seminar and discovering a shared passion for poetry, the organisers were inspired to create their own event that aims to give an insight in to serious poetry. Azard Sharma, one of the Guild’s founders, spoke to The Badger, saying: “this is an incredibly exciting time for both Brighton poetry and the Sussex
school of English. “We aim to give students a new place in which to make poetry serious again and provide the chance for students to see their work in print.” The Sussex Guild of Poetry has received a wide range of support and will take place at the Meeting House on the 30th of October.
EXTRAORDAINARY MEMBERS MEETING CALLED BY USSU The Students’ Union has called an Extraordinary Members Meeting to discuss two topics: The first being whether the Union should back the strike over fair pay in higher education, which is being held on campus on 31 October, the second over proposed “free education- an alternative to government austerity”. All members of the Students’ Union are encouraged to attend and advised to bring their student card with them, as it may be asked for to confirm you are a Sussex or BSMS student. Union Members Meetings require at least 450 students to be present to make binding decisions. An Extraordinary Members Meeting can be held at the request of the Union’s Executive Committee or on the receipt of a petition of at least 150 students’ signatures as in this case.
28 OCTOBER 2013
SUSSEX SAYS • 5
Claim To Fame
THE MOAN ZONE
8 out of 10 Clothes Frederika Cook I’d consider myself to have been fairly fortunate in that I have met some pretty cool celebrities in the past, ranging from the likes of Bob Geldolf, David Beckham, Naomi Campbell to, er…Nikki from Big Brother. Ok, so the list isn’t that endless! Whilst I’m not a stalker, (though I have been guilty of keeping my eyes peeled for a sighting of Peter Andre whilst in Brighton!) I would say I have met more famous
hideous knitwear, there was Jimmy himself. He was alone, and carrying a coffee in hand, and seemed to blend in well. After my sighting I took it upon myself to follow him-it wasn’t my fault that Jimmy and I just so happened to be browsing the Gucci men’s suit section at the same time really though, was it? After about 15 minutes of watching the man, I plucked up the courage to go and speak to him. I had rehearsed my speech- something along the lines of “I’m such a fan of your work” (this came after having
“...possibly Britain’s most famous comedian...” people than the average Joe. However, the fact that any celebrity I meet seems to ignore me has unfortunately prevented me from mingling with the likes of the Hollywood elite, thus far. My best example of this would probably be when I ‘met’ Jimmy Carr, possibly Britain’s most famous/recognisable comedian. I personally don’t find him to be particularly funny, so you could say it was destiny that it was never going to be a smooth ride. Anyhow, I found myself shopping in Selfridges last summer, and amongst the drawls of overpriced-but-equally-
to Google the name of that show he appears on…) and was ready for my moment. So over I strolled, only to hear him say “do you have this shirt in Blue?” Naturally I did the whole nervous giggle as if my good friend Jimmy was joking with me, only to realise that he genuinely believed I worked there. Instead of doing the normal thing and explaining the mishap, I went along with the conversation and ended up asking a real sales assistant about the shirt. Essentially within the space of half an hour I had found myself blagging a job at Gucci for a man
whose jokes I find ridiculous. The story gets worse. After about 45 minutes, he decided to move on which meant that I could do the same. Only on his way out he let the whole “understated celebrity” guise down and spilt his coffee all over the stores cream carpet. He simply turned around and said “someone should clean that up, it’ll stain”, and then walked away. I’d like to say that my impression of him has improved, but if anything it’s just re-affirmed that I was always more of an Alan Carr fan anyway! (If anyone cares, Selfridges didn’t stock the particular shirt in Blue- I think that makes me happier than it should.)
HAVE YOU GOT A CLAIM? Swooned with a celebrity? Done something so embarrasing in front of your hero you’ve never told anyone? E-mail Sussex Says at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Cherrie I’m of the opinion that going for a night out in Brighton never fails to disappoint. You may believe this is due to the eclectic music scene, the vast range of clubs or the fact that after the night is over (providing that you’re still too drunk to feel the cold) you have the freedom to lie on the beach, while you muster the energy to head back home. I however, give the majority of the credit to the wacky people you are guaranteed to meet on a night out. It appears as though Brighton was built upon some kind of homing signal which attracts the most eccentric people in Britain and for this I am truly grateful. Since living here I’ve had the pleasure to converse with a variety of colourful characters; extreme hipsters, middle aged gentlemen desperately
There are many things that annoy me. However, two things take centre stage in my mind. One; people who wear hiking shoes when they’re not hiking and use hiking sticks to walk on flat road (emphasis on the word flat there). There is no need for either of these phenomena to have to take place. I admit this heinous crime is usually committed by the over 50s, but seriously, get a normal bloody walking stick and accept that you’re getting on; don’t substitute it for a hiking stick and continue lying to the general public and yourself that you can still hike up mountains. Please. And for those who are under 50 and still use them for general town ambling…don’t! Use your own muscles to keep walking like the rest of society. The second thing that annoys me enormously is a relatively new fad; adults who commute to work on scooters. Not mopeds. Not motorbikes. Not electrical scooters. I’m talking about the scooters we would scoot around out front in the 90s. Again, there is no need for this either. Get a bike, there’s nothing wrong with bikes, since when did bikes become so old fashioned? Do you know what, even a skateboard would annoy me less. We’ve all seen that dude with the dreadlocks skating whilst rapping to his tunes on his jumbo wheels electric skateboard through Hove and down North Street. Now he’s a guy who knows how to get from A to B! It really traumatises me when I’m going about my day, minding my own business, looking at the sky and buying groceries when my inoffensive, happy gaze is infected with the monstrous vision of a black and white tied businessman on a scooter.! Are you kidding me?
Creatures of the Night @SussexSays #Moan Jen Whittingham
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT clinging to their youth and white boy rastas. Let me first urge you not to take offence- there is nothing particularly wrong with any of the social categories previously mentioned. Last Friday I attended a Jungle night at Concorde 2. The white boy rastas reigned supreme, joyfully revelling in their cultural identity crisis. While their dancing proved to be rather amusing, the most interesting encounter occurred in what is usually the worst part of any night- the queue. We were in the most abysmal position, the very back, when a group of young people sporting trilbies and ironic moustaches cut in front of us. They later informed us that they live in a van in Brighton, selling hand crafted jewellery amongst other things. They were definitely extreme hipsters. I still don’t fully understand why it is they pushed in front. Perhaps, they thought they would go unnoticed or maybe they just didn’t believe in conforming to the socially accepted concept of queuing. Either way, it caused an uproar. Some of my more hot headed flatmates ordered them to get the fuck back. The hipster ringleader, who looked as though he had just stepped out of a Johnny Depp
This week: Modes of Transport
look alike competition where he probably came in third place, began to spew what felt like a half an hour long fallacious argument defending the group’s actions. In the end we were charmed by their ability to chat absolute shit and spent the rest of the queue wonderfully entertained by them all. It was the perfect start to a pretty decent night.
Share your moaning moments
TOP CELEBRITY TWEETS OF THE WEEK “It’s amazing some of the stuff you find moving house. Just found a piece of rice from a meal I had last year. Thought it was lost forever.” @Example “Yes I know, you’re in shock that I a) left the house and b) watched something that wasn’t ‘Come Dine With Me’” @AlanCarr
HAVE YOU GOT A STORY? Had any eventful nights out in Brighton recently? We want to hear it!! E-mail Sussex Says at email@example.com
“The fact that the valet guy just called me ‘sir’ isn’t as awesome as how long it took his buddy to convince him he was wrong.” @oliviawilde “Killer Whales also go through menopause!” @PerezHilton We have a special philosophical tweet this week which comes from Amanda Seyfried...inspirational! “I can’t believe we’re all gonna die.” @AmandaSeyfried
Narinder Kapur The run-up to a particular festival is usually a time of stress, whether one goes around shopping for gifts, or preparing for a prayer ceremony, or even preparing for a show, like the Indian Students Society at Sussex during the run-up to Diwali. In this period of stress, it’s quite easy to forget what exactly you’re celebrating the festival for. Sure, on the day of the festival, you’re reminded about how generations ago, someone did something that eventually led to all of us having a holiday, but not so many people think about that fact before the festival itself. Indeed, if you aren’t from the country that celebrates the festival in question, it’s quite easy to get lost over why people from that country celebrate it in the first place. And the festival in question this time, is, of course, Diwali. The Indian Students Society at Sussex has always taken pride in being able to celebrate Diwali with pomp and glamour, and we must thank the University and the Students’ Union for supporting us in this annual endeavour. The story behind the festival is based in mythology and religion, a story that since its inception has become integral
to India and all its people. The story, known as the Ramayana is one of the two Indian epics that tells the tale of Rama, the crown prince of the kingdom of Ayodhaya, who was banished from the kingdom for a period of fourteen years. His wife, Sita and brother Lakshmana also went into exile with him, eventually settling down as hermits in a forest. One day, Surpanakha, sister of the king of Lanka, Ravana, chanced upon Rama, and, being smitten with him, made advances. Rama, however, loyal to his wife, refused those advances, and Surpanakha, in a rage, pounced on Sita who was standing nearby. Lakshmana, who was also present, cut off Surpanakha’s nose and ears in order to stop her. Surpankha went to Ravana, who exacted revenge on Rama by disguising as a traveling hermit begging for alms and kidnapping Sita. After months of searching, allies of Rama and Lakshmana reached the southern tip of India along with the two brothers, whereupon they started building a bridge of rocks towards Lanka. After completing the building of this bridge and crossing over to Lanka, the armies of Ravana and Rama met and fought for over ten days, after which Ravana was killed by an arrow
from Rama’s bow that pierced him in the navel. Rama rescued Sita and the two, along with Lakshmana and Hanuman, who by now had become Rama’s greatest devotee and had performed many acts of valour during the war, returned to a joyous Ayodhaya, whose citizens covered every inch of the royal city with lamps in order to celebrate the return of their crown prince and his family. And thus, the day of Rama’s return came to be known as Diwali, which literally translates to ‘the festival of lights’. The story behind ‘Diwali at Sussex’ reaches back five years, when a group of Indian students, led by now Sussex Alumni and ex-South Asian Officer Aditya Deshpande during their first year away from India decided to bring a little bit of home to the University. This resulted in twenty students organising the first Diwali show, which was held in a small room. Over the next few years, the show, the support for it and the organisation behind it has only grown bigger, which has culminated in an event that is not only looked forward to, but is also talked about for a long time after the show itself has taken place. The concept for the show itself, has become one that is more culturally broad and inclusive, with this year’s
show being named D-13 to reflect that perspective. Props Mehra, the current President of the Indian Students Society (ISSUOS) said: “Not only should the show, but the whole concept of Diwali at Sussex reflect the broad diversity at the University”. This has resulted in some memorable moments as well. “Zama Nutella, a German national, was also a big fan of Bollywood and especially Hrithik Roshan, and this led her to doing two dances during the 2011 show”. Organisationally speaking, it is interesting to note that participation in any aspect of the show itself is completely voluntary. Grace Karunanithy, treasurer of the ISSUOS, who will host this year’s show says: “People do this of their own accord. But it is not something to be taken lightly, with a lot of blood sweat and tears being poured into every aspect”. Discussions for this year’s show started in June, with diversity of all types taken into account. Anchit Verma, Vice-President of the ISSUOS says, “The University administration and the Students’ Union invest all kinds of support in the show, including the little intricacies that go into it”. John Sander, a Senior International Officer with the University said: “Hav-
ing seen the Diwali celebrations grow over the past few years to become one of the largest events that happen on campus I am especially proud that it is an event primarily organised by the student community. It give others a chance to learn a little about cultures and societies that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience”. So what can one expect from this year’s show? “A well organised evening, with lots of colour and entertainment”, says Joel Prabal, who is in charge of the musical aspect. “The very fact we’re using a South American percussive instrument along with an Indian classical instrument and guitars proves the diversity”, adds Joel. It is this festival that has been celebrated for hundreds of years, and that marks the end of a long period of festivities in India, with lamps being lit, prayer ceremonies being performed all over the country and firecrackers being burst by children and adults alike. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on 3 November, following the Hindu lunar calendar. The Indian Students Society will put on its show a day before, on the evening of the 2nd. One hopes that this article has piqued your interest for the festival, and here’s wishing you a Happy Diwali!
28 October 2013
Letters • 7
Defending the Student Representatives Dear Badger, Last week, in the wake of the most successful round of academic Student Representative elections this university has ever seen, Badger Editor-in-Chief, Bree Allegretti, published an article entitled ‘Concern over election turnout’, examining concerns ‘raised by some students over the level of engagement and representation that the new cohort of elected officials will offer them’. The article goes on to criticise the Student Representative scheme for low nomination figures and voter turnout, claiming that ‘many students [are] asking whether there is enough being done to encourage students to participate’ The article does not reference figures from previous years or quote these ‘concerned students’. In fact, all of the quotes in the article are wholeheartedly positive about the scheme and support the ongoing efforts of a dedicated group of Student Representatives and staff to increase the profile of said scheme this year. Why, then, does the article focus on unsubstantiated ‘concerns’? I put it to Allegretti that his negative representation of this autumn’s elections is not only unfounded and poorly researched, it is an irresponsible attack on student democracy at exactly the time when he could be using his unique platform to support and promote the cause. For the record, there were 243 Academic Representative positions available this year, 233 nominations were received in total and 158 posts were filled by the close of elections. So, while it is true that over a quarter of positions remained vacant after elections took place, this is not simply down to a low volume of nominations 50 more students nominated themselves this year compared to 2012/13. This is down to unprecedented efforts from the Student Representative team and past Student Representatives to publicise and promote the scheme. The issue is getting nominations for every post; reaching out to every cohort and ensuring that all students feel encouraged to stand. This is no mean feat. I hope that in the future more students
than ever will join us in championing one of the most important methods we have of shaping our University. The election data putting the average turnout for votes nationally at 22.6% encompasses all students’ union elections including those for FullTime Elected Officers, of which Sussex has one of the highest participation rates in the country. 22.6% is not an appropriate figure to judge student rep elections by. I wholeheartedly agree that more research needs to be done nationally into the efficacy of academic democratic representation, but to suggest that Sussex is underperforming in democratic participation in relation to other institutions is simply not true. Our Student Representatives are a team of student volunteers dedicated to improving Sussex for their peers. Working with them is an absolute privilege. These students create real change, looking out for their cohorts and challenging the University at a time when students are under increasing pressure to view themselves as passive consumers. I believe that Student Representatives have the potential to make powerful changes to this institution. Imagine how much better we could do if the editor of The Badger and his band of phantom naysayers turned their energies to supporting the Student Representative scheme instead of attacking it. Juliette Cule Education Officer
RE: Cost of living crisis Dear Badger, When thinking about how I was going to fund myself through university, I considered myself an ‘average’ person, in that my parents have ‘average’ jobs (a nurse and a mechanic), and cannot afford to pay for my brother and me at university. As their combined salaries are not under £42,000, or whatever the break-off point is, I ended up with the minimum loan and no grant. I live in East Slope, the cheapest accommodation, so after my rent has come out, my loan leaves me with £400 for the year. I was already applying for jobs in
The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not nessesarily represent those of the Student’s Union, unless explicitly stated. University of Sussex Students’ Union Falmer, East Sussex, BN1 9QF
Brighton when I was travelling back in August, and now have two parttime jobs which enable me to eat. I thought that everyone would be in similar positions to me until I came here and went a whole month before finding someone else with as small a loan as me. I talked about The Badger’s ‘Cost of living crisis’ article with some friends. I was happy that I had sorted out my monetary situation, but one friend pointed out that I should not need to have a job at university, and that studying should be full time. I hadn’t thought of it that way before but she raises a very good point; I’m at a disadvantage because I have to spend my time being my own bread-winner. The main issue seems to be that because my parents are still happily married, I am entitled to less money than people whose parents are separated. I haven’t met anyone who thinks the student finance system is fair, and it seems to be us ‘average’ people who are missing out. It is a great shame that people have to drop out of university because of monetary issues; surely university should be accessible to everyone? Hollie Panther
RE: “Project L”. What were you expecting? Dear Badger, I spent the evening of Friday 11th October at Wembley stadium watching England beat Montenegro in a World Cup Qualifier. There was once a time where Football was riddled with rioting and vandalism but thankfully this has largely been lost in time. On the contrary, whilst I sat watching the beautiful game it seemed rather less beautiful scenes were happening in Lancaster House. Of course I was aware of “Project L”; so vastly was it advertised around campus, which was the colossal mistake of the event. Perhaps the organisers who claimed they weren’t expecting such a monolithic crowd forgot that Sussex University has over 13,000 students and whilst this event was no doubt targeted for and attended by fresher students on
an open campus, anybody could have attended. Had the football not been on we may have been looking at 1,000. Then there’s the name “Project L”, which gives any attendee the excuse to try and imitate the film “Project X”, which included scenes such as driving a car into a pool, locking a dwarf in the oven, huge fires and more pulling than in Oceana on a Wednesday night. Fortunately it seems “Project L” didn’t quite match these standards but to this day I dread to think what ‘twerking in the kitchen sink’ was. I am not an anti-partier and I do not seek to criticise what went on, but what is plainly obvious to me is the idea that the organisers should have seen it coming. Their accommodation has been left with broken windows and damaged material and yet I find it mildly amusing that “they had no idea of the way people would behave”. Up to 700 drinking students in one accommodation were not going to resemble a scene from Downton Abbey. If I have one problem with the party, it is that in the closing paragraph of the article one organiser said house parties tend to be wilder because there aren’t club rules. This is true but the event also turned out to show complete disrespect to the accommodation we are appreciating on Campus. No doubt people enjoyed their evening, but I don’t think it will be happening again. Do you? Anon.
Editor-in-Chief Aubrey Allegretti
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28 october 2013
FEATURE • 8
Ho Wah So
No help for the Homeless
Anonymous writer, D.H., asks whether the recent confiscation of homeless people’s possessions in North London was a police crackdown, or a destruction of personal property that is spiralling out of control. Earlier this year, it was reported that police from one North London borough had begun confiscating the possessions of homeless individuals in an attempt to crackdown on the number of rough sleepers. According to the report, as nine individuals were trying to sleep in a disused public bath, police officers arrived and began seizing sleeping bags and food as well as other personal items. Police later confirmed that this incident was part of an effort to “reduce the negative impact of rough sleepers”. Speaking to the Ilford Recorder, Chief Inspector John Fish justified this initiative by stating: “the public rely on the police to reduce the negative impact; this includes the need for us to assist in the removal of tents and bedding from public spaces and other inappropriate locations.” Are such measures draconian, fuelling the problem rather than helping; or is tough-policing the answer to the growing number of rough sleepers on streets up and down the country? Having worked for numerous homeless charities and organisations over the past four years, I possess some knowledge on the matter, and would answer this question by saying 100% to the former. Unsurprisingly homelessness has risen dramatically over the past few years. In Sussex, the number of rough sleepers has increased by 40% since
2010. The Brighton based homeless charity ‘Off The Fence’, reported that they are handing out up to 60% more sleeping bags each month compared to last year. A walk down North Street and Western Road will show you what this actually means; people forced to sleep in shop doorways, with little more
“Homelessness can be seen as a condition in itself ... the individual has nowhere safe, secure, and ‘indoors’ to sleep, and this has to be solved.” than coats and a sleeping bag, waiting nervously for winter to set in. Others prefer to pitch their tents along the beach. According to the annual count of rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove, which last took place in 2012, there were 43. However, numerous volunteer organisations have stated that this was a considerable underestimate, with the true number being as much as three times higher.
At the same time as demand is growing, budget cuts to local authorities and the voluntary sector are stretching the capability of those working with the homeless to the limits. Take Brighton; in early 2012 St Patrick’s Homeless Shelter closed its doors, depriving the city of a permanent overnight base. Several churches have attempted to fill the gap, but there is only so much they can do. So as demand grows and the capability of service providers is stretched, it is more important than ever that a consensus is reached on how to tackle the homelessness epidemic. Such a consensus could span this entire newspaper and be insufficiently covered, but here are a few brief thoughts on the matter. Homelessness can be seen as a condition in itself; simply the individual has nowhere safe, secure, and ‘indoors’ to sleep, and this has to be solved. A quick fix can be a hostel or temporary accommodation. However, this is only a stop-gap, and if any long term solution is to be found, we must begin to question the causes of homelessness, rather than its effects. In my years of working with the homeless, through which I have come into contact with hundreds of people, I have not met a single one of them that was born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They were not raised by wealthy parents, given private school educations, or sustained on trust
funds. Outside of literature and populist newspapers, hardly anyone goes from living in a mansion to living on the streets. Homelessness in general is caused by five things: being born into poverty, a lack of an education and skills, physical or sexual abuse (usually suffered as a child), unemployment, and mental and/or physical illness or trauma. Drug and alcohol dependency are two other important contributing factors, but these are generally caused by one of the five things I have mentioned above. An organisation working with a rough sleeper might find the individual temporary accommodation. But if the individual’s other needs (such as a drug dependency and mental illness) are not tackled, the cycle is likely to resume the second they leave temporary housing. Public opinion of homelessness must also change. Over time, I have learnt that most commonly held assumptions and criticisms of the homeless are at best untrue, and at worst malicious and detrimental. Common assumptions include: the homeless are all lazy and work-shy, they choose to be homeless; it’s their own fault they’re homeless. The vast majority of these prejudices are untrue; a lazy rough sleeper wouldn’t last very long at all. However, these assumptions usually work as justifications: ‘if the individual is homeless because they are work-shy and lazy,
then it is their fault they are poorer than me, so I shouldn’t feel bad walking past.’ But there is only so much that voluntary organisations and local authorities can do. In 2012 the Brighton and Hove City Council announced it had spent £1 million more on homeless services than was budgeted for. Real change must come from the government at a national level, namely: higher employment, more social housing, more accessible training and education for adults, more funding for local authorities. A long-term, holistic, multi-faceted approach is surely needed if ever we are going to deal with the problem of homelessness; by which I mean actually helping those who are rough sleeping or threatened by homelessness, rather than clearing the streets so those with a roof over their heads don’t have to look at those who don’t. In Brighton, service providers are doing a vital role day-in-day-out, underfunded and over stretched, and acclamation must be given to their work.
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28 OCTOBER 2013
COMMENT • 10
COMMENT We will not lie down and let them frack us Annie Pickering When does fresh water no longer mean fresh water and when does water turn in to fire? After hydraulic fracturing evidently. The fracking endemic, as it should be referred to, must not be allowed to resign itself to the peripheral scope of our attention. It must be brought to centre stage. The dangers must become common knowledge. And it must be stopped before it spreads its path of misery and destruction throughout our beautiful isles. Last Tuesday a group from the University of Sussex Green Party Society went along to Lewes to see the film screening of Gaslands part II, fol-
lowed by a question and answer session with the documentary’s director himself, Josh Foxx. The film focuses on the contamination of the US political system in connection with the highly lucrative fracking industry. The big multinationals are seen to have powers of political manipulation beyond belief. The residents, as in the prequel, set fire to their fresh drinking water and show to the world, yet again, that the practice of exploiting shale gas is lifedestroying . The oil and gas companies are then shown to buy the silence of these victims, and to publicly advertise that certain ground water sources are safe to drink whilst advising the residents, “off record”, not to drink water from their taps. This contradiction and be-
SPOTLIGHT ON: Sussex Free Tibet Soceity Tom Kiggell We are the Sussex University Tibet Society. Tibet is a country known as the roof of the world, located north of the Indian and Nepalese Himalayas. Tibetans have a unique culture and religion, which they have strived to
keep alive. However, since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, over 1 million Tibetans have been killed through
trayal is hard to believe, yet Gaslands II shows that in America, the land of the free, money can buy you power to tell lies and sue those who tell the truth. These companies know and have extensively documented the failures of fracking. Statically, due to unreliable well construction, 1 in 20 wells will fail instantly and as a result harmful methane will likely migrate to any surrounding water sources. This is fact. The companies know this, yet they continue to promote the practice as “harmless”. Furthermore, fracking is a worldwide epidemic and it must be seen as a threat to life on earth as a whole. Worldwide fracking plans are in the pipeline, as shale rock formations have been earmarked across all five
continents. The prospect of a pan-earth fracking network will potentially bring with it a global water contamination crisis, and the prospect of compromising the groundwater in the earth’s most arid regions is simply inhuman. Josh was a great speaker, and along with numerous members of the Balcombe group, and activists from further afield including a Blackpool contingent (Blackpool of course suffered two earthquakes as a result of exploratory wells in 2011), they drilled home the message that as well as highlighting the dangers of fracking, this campaign is as much about finding and developing alternative renewable and non-pollutant energy resources, in order to secure our future here on earth.
Coal, oil and gas are running out, this is not an issue for contention. energy resources, in order to secure our future here on earth. Coal, oil and gas are running out, this is not an issue for contention. These companies, appeased by our governments, are moving on to the not so ‘greener’ pastures of hydraulic fracking, when the only rational pastures for reaping are the ones that keep growing back.
execution, torture and starvation, and 5,000 monasteries have been destroyed as part of an ongoing genocide of Tibetan culture. As the suppression intensified, the Dalai Lama, who was then the political and spiritual leader, was left with little choice but to flee from Tibet to India in 1959. He has since set up the Tibetan Government in Exile, and even though the Dalai Lama has renounced his political duties, Tibetans and Tibetan refugees have been on a non-violent struggle for their independence. Some people argue that the Chinese occupation has improved the lives of Tibetans. However, this is
overlooking the fact that the Chinese government has deprived Tibetans of basic human rights and cultural freedom. For example, earlier last month Chinese security forces opened fire into a crowd of Tibetan protesters, wounding as many as 60 people, who were demanding the release of villagers from jail who refused to fly the Chinese flag from their homes The cultural oppression has also lead to the self-immolation of more than 120 Tibetans, in an attempt to make the world aware of their struggle, and of their desire for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. Last year, the Sussex University
Tibet Society organized a Tibetan art exhibition with speakers, film screenings and poetry events as part of the Brighton Fringe. On the 2nd - 3rd of November, in cooperation with Students for a Free Tibet UK, we will be hosting a youth training conference, which aims to give students the skills to stand up for social justice and human rights through talks, activities and workshops. For more information on attending the conference, or joining the society, email us at: freetibetsussex@gmail. com. We meet every Thursday at 2pm in Meeting room 3, Falmer House.
Where is the Badger’s moral compass? Kelly McBride President
31st October strike action All three trade unions represented on the University of Sussex campus – UCU, Unison and Unite – have balloted to undertake a one-day strike action on 31st October. This is happening because of issues they are facing around pay, long working hours, pensions and the instability of job security. Staff will be forming a picket line at the entrance of campus from 7am. Further information about what will be happening on the day will be released in due course, but the Students’ Union is in contact with the University to find out more and we recommend you check for changes to teaching and assessments through Sussex Direct. The decision to take strike action is not something that is considered lightly, and in this case has involved
a national democratic ballot. We fully support the rights of all staff to challenge practices they deem unfair. We request that you support our campus staff by not crossing the picket line to enter campus on the 31st. The picket line will be drawn around Falmer House, so students and staff will be able to access facilities during the day. You can actively get involved by coming to a joint meeting between the campus Trade Unions and the Students’ Union on Monday 28th in the Meeting House. On Tuesday 29th we are holding an Extraordinary Members Meeting (EMM) in Mandela Hall at 2pm where students can discuss supporting the strike and existing policy on free education. Find out more about the strike and EMM at sussexstudent.com.
Jacob Engelberg I'm writing to express my concern that The Badger has chosen to use 'Should the university introduce gender neutral toilets' as your Big Debate piece this week. While I value passionate debate and feel that this is usually a positive way to engage with issues relevant to Sussex students, this issue differs from others as it concerns a marginalised minority group. Trans* people are a minority who have been historically discriminated against and oppressed and the issue of gender neutral toilets is intrinsically linked to trans* people and their right to dignity. What worries me is that it would be very difficult to construct an argument against gender neural toilets without being transphobic or cissexist. Transphobia is discrimination against trans* individuals and cissexism is the assumptions that all people are cisgender (identify with
the gender they were assigned at birth) or that trans* individuals are inferior to cisgender individuals. To argue against a safe space for trans* individuals to use toilets (and anyone else to use toilets regardless of gender identity) is inherently transphobic. Therefore, what is worrying is that an opposition to gender neutral toilets would have to espouse some kind of hate speech against trans* individuals to make its point. It would have to assert the superiority of cisgender people and the inferiority of trans* people. Would the Badger encourage the writing of a piece which attacked another kind of marginalised group such as homosexuals, Jewish people, people of colour or disabled people? I would hope not and I appeal to you to understand trans* people as another one of these marginalised groups, hatred against whom should be taken just as seriously as any of the other groups I have mentioned.
I am aware that the plight of the trans* minority is not the most well-known and that issues of transphobia are lesser-known than other forms of discrimination. I am therefore writing to you to try and explain this specific kind of discrimination to you and to implore you not to allow its presence in the pages of your newspaper. Trans* individuals are disproportionately victims of hate crime and experiencers of mental health problems. They disproportionately experience homelessness, suicidal thoughts and poverty. Their plight is a devastating one which we can only hope to overcome in the future. To publish an article that denies their right to have non-gendered toilet facilities is to viciously attack an already alienated and disempowered group of people. This article is an adapted version of an email written in response to the Badger’s decision to debate the topic of gender-neutral toilets
21 october 2013
comment • 11
THE BIG DEBATE
Should our Students’ Union be introducing gender-neutral toilets in Falmer House?
Following heated debate reported in The Daily Mail, The Badger questions whether USSU are right to introduce gender-neutral toilets to benefit the transgender* community
Yes Naomi Dixon
Besides my spotty, chubby, stringy-fringed adolescence full of self-hatred, I cannot appreciate the anxiety and distress of not feeling comfortable within my own body. I will not benefit from the proposed gender-neutral toilet, will probably never use it, and cannot begin to appreciate the relief it may bring to some students. However, here are some reasons as to why I think it is a fantastic idea: 1) Sussex University will not be building a new toilet, only changing an old one, so we won’t have to suffer rocketing Jägerbomb prices to counteract the building of a gold-plated gender-neutral superloo. In fact, gender-neutral toilets already exist on campus, in new buildings such as Jubilee, and older buildings like Arts. 2) If you don’t have a problem using the usual toilet, then panic over! You will still need to poo like you always have, so keep going and enjoy the slightly shorter queues. 3) Some people are worried it will increase segregation. However, luckily no one will be forced to marry the new toilet, so you can actually be a bit toilet promiscuous. So if you have a trans* or gender-neutral friend who you miss weeing with, invite them in, join them in the new toilet, or meet them outside to compare loo experiences. 4) This is not a ‘trans* toilet’, and can be used by anyone, including people who have dependants of a different gender. However, it will be relevant for people of the trans* community, as they often face anxiety when having to make a choice between the two. 73% of trans* people have experienced harassment, and 47% do not use public social or leisure facilities for fear of discrimination. If, however, you are a raging transphobe, you should support the idea with enthusiasm. You can waste less energy on being disgusted by the person in the cubicle next to you and use it on more useful activities like wiping your bum or
revaluating your prejudices. 5) The Daily Mail thinks it’s an awful idea, which in my opinion signals that we should divert all money away from silly things like shiny new Uni buildings and tutor wages, and instead spend all our resources on an extreme genderneutral loo programme, where we install one toilet every 50 metres and indoctrinate other Universities into our gender-neutral cult. 6) The phrase “political correctness gone mad” has been thrown around a lot regarding this move, and many see it as an issue that affects too few people to be worthy of action. Yet 2-5% of the population of the United Kingdom identify as trans*, roughly the same proportion of the population that identify as Black British under the 2011 census. Almost 50% of trans* people have reported family breakdowns, one of many factors that leads to 84% of them contemplating suicide. Not being trans* myself, I cannot begin to appreciate the torment that could stem from feeling disassociated from my gender. The fact that many of us (including myself) have never even contemplated gender-neutral loos, further proves our ignorance, and we should feel lucky that such a regular and natural activity as going to the toilet has never been something we have had to think about. Hopefully, it will be a friendly and cheap way of responding to the needs of a group of fee paying students who have expressed that they don’t feel comfortable with the current system, and will be a small step towards making the University and (one day) society, more accepting. And if it doesn’t work out and we were completely wrong, we can go crazy and start an ‘Occupy Toilet’ campaign where we all squeeze inside it for a month. Then we can reclaim it and in an act of revolution have a huge male vs. female war where the winner gets to mark their territory and change the sign on the door, and it goes back to being the usual gender-exclusive toilet we know and love.
No Paul Millar
The Student Unions’ introduction of gender-neutral toilets is a case of trying to run before learning to walk . Surely the Union should hold off from campaigning actively for such a specific issue, whilst so many students are alienated from their general activities. For starters, the Union should be asking itself why so many students first discovered the issue by reading a Daily Mail article. The Union has, since the start of term, taken an over-defensive stance on articles that challenge its legitimacy. I ran this debate on the Contrary to unfounded speculation that the Union is shelling out on plumbers to build special transgender toilets, it will simply be a case of placing gender-neutral signs on disabled toilets in Falmer House. What, though, does this mean for our disabled community? Now I speak on behalf of many when I admit I have, when a mens is out of sight, cheekily nipped into a few disabled toilets in my lifetime, never thankfully keeping a disabled person waiting. Surely the rights of the disabled community could be infringed. Many students will opt to use these genderneutral toilets – surely at the expense of disabled students who surely need these specialist facilities more. While I am certainly not suggesting a direct boycott of the toilets, I’d reject the motion if a referendum was held tomorrow, even though I support transgender rights, as a signal to the Union that it needs to engage the wider Sussex community, the source upon which their operations are funded. When that happens, something like this would go ahead without any fuss, and their place would be respected and propery understood by a majority of students. While gender-neutral toilets are already prevalent across the university, in the Jubilee building for example, I believe the Union has been lazy
and arrogant in not assessing the size of the effect it would have by conducting any research to show these toilets have improved the situation for transgender students. It leads to an ever growing feeling amongst students that the union is an unaccountable, exclusive club – imposing its arbitrary will on a silent majority. No wonder, therefore, some become frustrated and oppose things for the sake of opposing things, based on their dislike for the Union rather than their knowledge of the issue. This has happened this week, as the words of the original contributor to this argument were too offensive and illegal to print. Gender-neutral toilets are already commonplace across Western Europe. But to win this battle, the Union must be transparent, and allow even bigoted opinions to be heard, so that students can reach informed conclusions on important issues themselves. While the Daily Mail has caused understandable distress with its attack on our Union, we’d be stronger to lambast this overtly transphobic, utterly abhorrent and glaringly inaccurate story if we’d known more about it beforehand. To know more about such issues, the Union needs to urgently address student apathy. Instead, the Union needs to think about creative ways in which it can increase. turnout in the upcoming elections. Translating election campaign literature in an attempt to engage international students, as a means of encouraging a greater diversity of candidates in the future, is an idea I’ve had, and the one the Union is pursuing. But on the whole, the Union is out of touch on a variety of issues and shouldn’t be able to pursue its own political agenda, if it can’t reach out to the masses. Protecting the rights of minorities on campus is fair and right, but how can we be sure these gender-neutral toilets will serve that purpose?
28 october 2013
SCIENCE • 12
SCIENCE Nobel Prize winners for physiology and medicine 2013 Simba Moyo For many scientists, being awarded the Nobel Prize represents the pinnacle in their career and there is always a risk that research productivity will subsequently slow down. It is however hoped that for three American scientists who won this year, there will be no slowing down as they are still very active in biomedical research. Randy Scherkman (UCBerkely), Tomas Südhof (Stanford) and James Rothman (Yale) recently won this year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system within our cells. These discoveries built on the work of mentors such as George Palade (Nobel Prize winner in 1974) who identified key vesicular structures with electron microscopy. The three laureates remarked that at the beginning of their research on vesicle trafficking, there was a lot of scepti-
science factoid of the week Komodo dragons can clone themselves
Bella Cockrell Reptiles are pretty weird at the best of times, but it turns out that female Komodo Dragons can produce male clones of themselves! It’s pretty tough being a female Komodo dragon, so when there’s no hunky male komodos about, they have to find their own way of reproduction. Due to their sex chromosomes (females = ZW, males = ZZ), females can simply duplicate a haploid Z cell and voila! A male clone of themselves is born. Check out the full story on http://www.badgeronline.co.uk/
cism in the scientific community. Professor Schekman discovered a set of genes that were important for the regulation of vesicular traffic. He began his research in the 1970s, using one-celled yeast as a model system. He discovered that vesicles piled up in parts of the cell and that the cause of the congestion was genetic. Scherkman then identified three classes of genes that regulate certain aspects of the cell’s transport system. His findings led to the biotechnology industry to utilise the secretion system in yeast to express human insulin and hepatitis vaccines. Before then, patients with diabetes had to rely on pig insulin which unfortunately a subset of patients could not tolerate the pig insulin. A third of human insulin produced is from yeast, emphasising how important this research this was. Professor Rothman identified the protein machinery that mediates vesicle fusion to the membrane. Rothman realized that the best way to study how the vesicles moved around was not in the
cell, but to study the vesicles in isolation. This approach was thought to not be feasible at the time due to some scientist’s beliefs that the vesicles would simply not function in a cell free system. However, his work led to a greater understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in intracellular membrane trafficking. In his remarks, Professor Rothman stated that he was fortunate enough to begin his career at a time when “your idea was the only limit, any risk could be taken no matter how difficult”. It took him many years before he could register any success with his research. He expressed concern that nowadays there is less support for scientists embarking on research founded on what could be considered a risky idea. Professor Rothman stated that he was motivated to research on vesicles because he was fascinated about the movement of substances such as insulin and neurotransmitters, and how these substances were released at the right place, at the right time. Professor Südhof’s work revealed how
signals are transmitted from one nerve cell to another and how calcium controls this process. He identified molecular machinery that senses calcium ions and triggers vesicle fusion. His work enhanced understanding in how temporal precision vesicular trafficking is attained. By elucidating the underlying mecha-
nisms of vesicular transport within cells and the secretion of proteins, the work of the 2013 Nobel laureates has had huge implications in tackling diseases (such as diabetes; psychiatric disorders; neurodegenerative disorders) that are affected by these processes. And now with these Nobel Prize, they have more funding in which to do so.
Scientists are probably the best judges of science, but they are pretty bad at it Philippa Clayton Those who have done peer review themselves know that it is not the most accurate or reliable way of assessing merit of the piece of work, yet it is what many use for assessing scientific papers. The University of Sussex’s Professor Adam Eyre-Walker and co-author Dr Nina Stoletzki published their study in the open access journal PLOS Biology investigating whether scientists are any good at assessing the importance and merit of others work. They concluded that “scientists are probably the best judges of science, but they are pretty bad at it”. The study was based on 6,527 papers published in 2005, in two separate peer-review databases, and investigated three ways of assessing methods which assigned subjective scores to papers. The assessing methods included post-publication peer review, number of citations and the impact factor (IF) which portrays the average number of citations in recent articles. When carrying out the study, it was expected that similar scores would be gained from those with similar merit but this was not the case. Half the time reviewers assigned papers the same score, so assigned merit did not always correlate to actual merit. There was also a strong correlation between merit scores and where the paper was published IF score, as those
journals with high IF scores also scored high in merit. The journals with a high IF score also had more citations, but for all other papers the citation number was random in relation to merit. Papers of similar merit in similar journals did not have the same citation number, suggesting that this method was poor at measuring merit. Furthermore scientists such as Professor Elise Stanley argue against the widely held belief that how having a high number of citations is often associated with being a successful researcher. Stanley suggests that the fewer citations you have, the less your work may have been disputed. However, reviewers usually disagree on paper merit which leads to unreliable results gained, but Eyre-Walker and Stoletzki concluded from their study that the IF due to its transparency was the least error-prone of the three. The study was said to particularly affect Britain, Canada and Australia, as one of the reasons they attempt to asses merit is to decide on how allocation of research funding is best distributed. Identifying how successful merit is currently assessed and also finding better ways to assess it would be highly beneficial. Research Excellence Framework uses peer review methods in the UK to assess merit, and yet according to Eyre-Walker results gained are likely “very poor” due to the method being “error-prone, biased and expensive”. This puts into question whether a
Naomi Horsfall new, more accurate and reliable format should be put into place. However, to achieve a more unbiased result it seems that the only way to do it is by prepublication review by several assessors, without any journal or author information given. The University of California Davis’s Jonathan Eisen and colleagues highlighted how important the University of Sussex led study was in providing the first quantitative reliability assessment
of merit assessment which led to the raising of questions about the future of assessments. Eisen recommended the use of a pioneering method by PLOS, multiple metrics, which appraises the article, not the journal, eliminating some potential bias. This method includes number of views logged, mentioning in social media or popular press and outcomes of paper for example changing practices and policies.
28 October 2013 ARTS • 14
ARTS Exclusive Interview: Splashh
Third year English Literature student Justin Sealey talks to psychedelic surf-rock band, Spashh about Nick Cave, scars and the ‘Pacific’ sound Sat in the smoking area of the Green Door Store, a pair of skinny rock’n’rollers join me on a bench after a raucous sound check. Jacob, a scraggly haired drummer from New Zealand and Thomas, a shaven-headed but equally washed out bassist from Hackney, are one half of psychedelic surf-rock band Splashh. Having formed only a year and half ago and remaining on tour virtually ever since, the band released their album just over a month ago and took a break from warming up to speak to me. The boys were recently cited as The Guardian’s Band of the Day, who remarked on the plethora of musical references audible in their new album, “Comfort”. “We have quite a broad range of influences” Tom begins enthusiastically, before rattling through a list of band names that reads as a who’s who of alternative rock. “Deerhunter, LCD Soundsystem, Stone Roses...” And so on. “The Velvet Underground- that kind of jangly sound on the record, that’s where that comes from” chirps in Jacob. Their sound remains distinctive despite this, and I wondered if the psychedelic, washed out vocals were something particularly “Pacific”- given that half the band hail from New Zealand, as well as the resurgence of this sound in
the shape of Australians Tame Impala and Pond. “I don’t think so” Jacob retaliates, somewhat defensively. “I think the things that inspired that sound aren’t from Australia and New Zealand specifically. In fact it’s more bands like My Bloody
Valentine that started that washed out sound.” Wherever the sound originated, it has earned the band a great deal of respect and they have been touring almost incessantly since their formation. Their return to the Green Door Store is something of a return home, as the
band played only their third ever gig together there a year and a half ago. “It’s great being back in Brighton, man. We love this place,” Tom then looks at the old abattoir fondly. “I just finished reading a Nick Cave book as we arrived, it was nice” adds Jacob. “Very dark though, and creepy. He is
filthy.” “The tour has been pretty hectic, but it’s been a lot of fun. “Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham were highlights. “Newcastle was a particular highlight for Jacob.” Jacob pulls back his locks to reveal a huge gash in his head, welded together with staples. Was that on stage, I ask? “Yeah, it’s like a performance art thing I like to do.” He laughed as I look unsure whether he is joking or not. “Nah, this was much later in the night, back at the hotel room. How clichéd is that.” The band was anything but clichéd when they came on stage later that night. Ripping through their impressive catalogue without taking much of a breather, they dazzled a packed Green Door Store with soaring guitars and mesmerizing and musically impressive jams, with lead singer Sascha’s angsty vocals cutting in appealingly over the top. The only slight cliché, the “trippy” backing visual, was made more amusing by the warning of critical battery on the Mac that was supplying them, but the bands musicality and energy on stage more than made up for it.
Brighton Comedy Festival special
Gags were a-plenty in Brighton this past month, as over one-hundred and forty of Britain’s best comedians descended upon our seaside town for the annual Brighton Comedy Festival. Whether you laughed your socks off or missed out on the festival entirely, we sent out some of our writers to cover some of the lesser known comedians on offer for your reading pleasure...
Brighton Dome Wednesday 16th September Kate Schneider From his first on-stage Gallic shrug, Marcel Lucont charmed a sold out Brighton Dome Studio Theatre with his witty and acerbic brand of comedy. Lucont, self proclaimed ‘flaneur, raconteur [and] bon-viveur’ took to the stage as part of Brighton’s Comedy Festival, which, in its twelfth year, has provided a diverse and exciting hub for the latest comedy shows this October. Dressed in a regulation black polo neck, Lucont (who is actually the highly perceptive creation of English comedian Alexis Dubus) launched into a sardonic and witty critique of Brighton. This critique eventually spanned across the whole of England, culminating in a heroically unenthusias-
tic sky dive in New Zealand, a place notorious for its enthusiasm for extreme sports. His assessment of Brighton’s North Laine, with its abundance of owls and mittens, was perfectly received by an audience clearly as self critical (or at least guiltily self aware) as Lucont himself, allowing for the immediate establishment of a lively rapport. Displaying an admirably relaxed attitude, considering the temperamental world of stand up, Lucont ripped those unfortunate enough to hail from those places targeted by his unrelenting disapproval, and one man who was unwittingly keeping a beer on a seat. For all his French affectations, there was something appealingly ‘English’ in the self deprecating nature of his complaints, and woven amongst a repertoire of well-crafted jokes, readings and songs, the night proved to be constantly fresh and surprising. The profoundly aloof comedian
did at times seem to waiver between perceptive commentator on AngloFrench relations and absurd caricature, with fragments from his erotic poetry and ‘chansons’ providing an admittedly delighted audience with a base indulgence in all things stereotypically French. However, this is a tension which Dubus, on the whole, navigated brilliantly, and this sketchy boundary between comedian and comic persona actually underscored his multifaceted comedic capabilities. For all his frequent allusions to Baudelaire, Voltaire and Roquefort, it is obvious that his ‘Frenchman’ persona is substantiated by sharp improvisational talent, something which was as warmly appreciated by the audience as his more honed pieces. Alexis Dubus is undoubtedly an astute comedic talent, and from the night’s glowing reception, it was clear that Brighton eagerly awaits whatever Dubus, and Marcel Lucont, have in store for the future.
Brighton Dome Saturday 19th September Matthew McGregor-Morales Past appearances on ‘Live at the Apollo’ and other TV stand-up shows should make Steve Hughes a face to recognise, if not one to remember. His show at Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange illustrated that the Aussie still pulls in close to capacity crowds. Halfway through his current ‘While it’s Still Legal’ tour, Hughes didn’t disappoint with his set. Infamous for controversial social and political commentary, the ex-heavy metal drummer riffed his way through capitalism, war, spiritual philosophy and the comparative merits of Enya, the long-lost Irish 80s pop sensation. There was a lot of recycled material, Enya versus George Bush being an example, but Hughes’ lankily laconic manner and almost bitter deadpan delivery had an ideologically receptive Brighton
crowd in stitches regardless. Current material had a more philosophical angle as jokes centred on the comic’s idiosyncratic spiritual world view. The set did become preachy at times; Hughes using his belief in the interconnectivity of all things to slate law in a way which demanded the need for his rough, angry style to carry them. There was, in fact, one section of pure rant, finishing off with the selfaware ‘I realise that needs a punch line’ that Hughes noted after did not usually get even a slither of recognition. It got woops and cheers on Saturday. There is an arguably outdated quality to an off-beat comedian describing the growth of the capitalist machine, or the oppressive regime of political correctness, but Steve Hughes is the undisputed master of extreme-left commentary and saved himself through his quick-fire, lethally angry delivery and ironic asides. The curtains have far from closed on the long-haired punk-minded man from the Australian outback; catch him again later this month.
28 OCTOBER 2013
ARTS • 15
The Blind Tiger Club
The Blind Tiger Club
The Night Shift
Tom Pearson Deputy Editor-in-Chief Classical Music: minus the rules. So say the posters advertising The Night Shift; a quartet of string musicians who have just embarked on a tour of the UK, Brighton’s The Blind Tiger Club being the first venue outside of London to host them. Rather than supplying the grandeur needed to focus a concert hall audience, the first violinist describes how listening to a quartet should feel like eavesdropping on a conversation between 4 instruments as they interact with one another. This makes a pub the ideal venue for such an intimate performance. The first act mostly consisted of Haydn’s movements, Haydn being the composer who (apparently) popularised the use of quartets in classical music. Each of the 3 pieces played were extremely different, ranging from melancholy tones to sweet, happy melodies. Hmm, you don’t need to say it; despite having more than just a velleity to crack on with reviewing the
Come Rhyme With Me The Blind Tiger Club Alasdair Eccles It was with some trepidation I ambled down to The Writer’s Place last friday evening; I confess I am only a recent convert to the potential of poetry over prose. Like me, both Come Rhyme With Me and their caterers that evening, Cummin’ Up, were conceived in London and have since been imported here to Brighton. A place with an equally fervent appetite for both caribbean food and the joys of the spoken word; Brighton has long hosted the excellent slam poetry night Hammer & Tongue and the more recently established High Zero poetry night. I expected something novel from the night’s ‘menu’ style format, where after an introduction from the hosts and an open mic, we were to be delivered performances by three poets, served up as a starter, main and dessert. Researching our hosts, Dean Atta and Deanna Rodger, I was quickly taken by both their (rather differ-
The Night Shift Press music itself, you and I both know that I have no clue what I am talking about. Coming from a philistine; the band were outstanding at making me feel pathetic. Though, as the informal atmosphere may suggest, at no point were the band pretentious about their art. During the interval between pieces the audience were engaged with anecdotes of Haydn’s life or lessons on the mechanics behind playing classical music. The only modern composition played was one specifically commissioned for the tour: Indigo Dances by Kim B Ashton. Though I enjoyed this almost chaotic piece of music, discussions
afterwards seem to suggest that it wasn’t to everyone’s taste. Cat Gough The second act consisted of an entire symphony played without interruption. I found myself dubbing each new song my favourite of the evening; perhaps a symptom of witnessing incredible musical skill. Shouts of encore were not in vain as the quartet recouped their bows for one last performance. In line with the evening’s casual tone, the final piece was incorporated into a drinking game as the audience was split into 4 teams, each ready to gulp when their assigned musician played their melodic cue. More than just a great evening of music, it was interesting, impressive, insightful and witty.
ent) styles, so it was with a slight degree of awe that I responded as Dean greeted me when I came in the door. Mingling in the small room amidst the smells of chicken and curried goat were a few early arrivals, as well as the evenings performers. The atmosphere was intimate, with several long tables squeezed into the space in front of the stage. Both Dean and Deanna presented us with a couple of poems each as an introduction, then a few brave souls took to the open mic with a range of styles and subject matter; amongst more personal poems lurked a ghost story. Then came our first course, which
I definitely enjoyed the most, South African poet Toni Stuart, who spoke with a lilting warmth. It disguised the harshness of an apparent sore throat. She was followed by the poet who had seemingly been placed at the heart of the evening, Errol McGlashan, cheeky, boisterous yet poignant. Finally, the former mentor of Dean and Errol, Malika Booker. Between them they served up a sumptuous feast of sound and speech – probably best experienced as captured by Sussex’s own student film crew and hopefully appearing soon.
Jungle Press Before now the only face to the name Jungle was a very small one: that of a quietly confident looking kid, decked out in full Jungle merch, mesmerizing the fast-growing online audience with intimidating break-dancing skills and an accusatory gaze. Whilst the cute-factor undoubtedly makes the listening experience all the richer, it is not just this little guy’s presence that is shooting these videos to acclaim. For the sounds spurring him on are refreshingly rich, eclectic songs that are laden with charisma. Whilst concealing your identity in theory seems a sure fire way of increasing the buzz around you; it’s all too easy to fall short.
People are left sorely disappointed when the Oz type magician they anticipated to be behind the veil is actually a 34-year old IT technician from Swansea’ with very little in the way of a persona. Jungle, however, are not facing this problem. Their personality alone transformed Sticky Mike’s into a new venue. What has always been a little makeshift but loveable spot was overcome by a joyfully ethereal vibe. Perhaps the band’s insistence on supplying all their own equipment, which included a heap of instrument changes and entrancing lighting convinced me of their expertise, despite their relative newness. As they stepped out, the 6 of them filling the stage whilst actual sounds of the jungle filled the room, it was clear from the skillful backlighting and their relative silence they weren’t about to reveal much. What did become clear though, from their secret shared smiles to one another and the energy that filled their movement as they performed, was the certainty of their presence. Whilst we may not know who they are, they certainly do. Whoever’s behind this is in kneedeep in a melting pot of talent; and they’re cooking up something special. Everything about the music, the visuals and the entirely mysterious identity of the creator is so intricately layered in an amalgamation of influences that I feel their staying power before they’ve even really stepped into the limelight.
Emily Holliday Operations Officer
My Bike Train experience On 17 October the Students’ Union held its annual Bike Day. This is a day all about encouraging students and staff to choose cycling as their mode of transport to and from University. Local cycling groups set up stalls on campus, giving out cycling safety freebies, information on how to cycle safely and keep your bike safe, and we gathered information on the problems cyclists are facing for the launch of our ‘On Your Bike Campaign’. Personally I don’t usually cycle to University. However, as part of organising Bike Day I promised I would take part in the Bike Train, but I wasn’t looking forward to it! It had been years since I’ve cycled and I’m not an experienced road cyclist. In the end, after feeling like a more awkward Brightonian version of Boris Johnson promoting cycling, I got to the end at The Level. I will admit,
at points I was terrified of the traffic. However, I put this down to my inexperience, and the recent improvements to the Lewes Road cycle lane, the jolly music of the Bike Train, and the fact that the Bike Train stewards ensured distance between myself and the cars meant that I felt a whole lot safer and in the end really enjoyed it. I have gained two recommendations from my experience. Firstly, anyone who hasn’t cycled to or from campus before, give the bike train a go. It’s a friendly, safe way to give cycling a try, and people of all ages join the train. Secondly, any driver who has never cycled to work, give it a go at least once. Lots of people loved the freedom cycling provides, and you’ll also see what it’s like from a cyclist’s perspective to be around cars, making you more aware and making the road safer for everyone.
28 october 2013 ARTS • 16
Brown leaves in Brighton and colds on JOIN THE CLUB campus: how to make the most of autumn Audio Lili Kókai The heating is going up a notch; you feel an irrepressible urge to play in the crunchy orange leaves whilst you stride purposefully towards the library; you absolutely need new stationary - it’s autumn. While some of us are still mourning the loss of summer, others are glad to have jumped back into student life. Whether you wish to catch the last rays of sunshine or to hide from the rain, below are some guidelines on how to embrace the autumn, without using up the last fragments of your student loan. Join a society Keep away from the wind and rain by joining one of Sussex’s many student societies! It’ll get you out from under your duvet and into a more socialiable situation. Here are some of my favourite societies (see sussexstudent.com to join any of these): Read Between The Wines A book club in which a collectively-chosen book is discussed every fortnight – last week’s was Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Sussex Polymath Society The word ‘polymath’ means a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. You learn something fascinating every time you attend these meetings.
University of Sussex Debating Society The name says it all. You’ll meet some great people and you’re promised some lively conversation. Sussex Live Music Society For anyone who would like to perform on an open mic night, or even help with any aspect of showcasing events. Treat yourself to a pub roast If you have never visited Devil’s Dyke, then put on some warm clothes, fill a thermos with a hot beverage and hit the road! After a busy week, we all deserve a Sunday roast. The best one is at The Lion and Lobster – but make sure to book ahead, it’s not the world’s best kept secret. Go to Lewes Bonfire night Consistently voted as one of Britain’s top firework nights, you can’t beat Lewes Bonfire night. Expect torch-lit processions through the streets of Lewes and a huge variety of period costumes, with over 3000 Sussex residents participating in the procession. Look forward to incredibly detailed effigies of notorious religious figures, and a mystery controversial effigy of a popular figure. In 2001, an Osama Bin-Laden figure made a timely effigy. And in 2010, the effigy featured David Cameron puppeteering Nick Clegg. See for yourself who the effigy will be of this year.
Naomi Horsfall Jodie Rawls
Apple & blackberry Charlotte
For a warming, autumnal treat, try this recipe by Greg Wallace Ingredients: 450g Bramley apples zest and juice ½ lemon ½ tsp ground cinnamon 200g caster sugar 450g blackberries 2 tbsp breadcrumbs 100g butter, melted, plus extra butter for greasing 10 slices white bread, crusts removed
Method: 1) Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then roughly chop. Tip into a saucepan with the cinnamon, lemon zest and juice. 2) Cook over a low heat until soft, then take off the heat and stir in the sugar, blackberries and breadcrumbs. 3) Generously butter an 18cm deep tin or Charlotte mould. Cut the bread into the shapes you need to cover the base and sides of your tin. 4) Dip one side of each piece of bread in the melted butter, then place in the tin, buttered side down, with each piece slightly overlapping. Spoon in the fruit, then make a buttery bread lid cover. 5) Bake for 1 hr until the lid is crisp. Carefully turn onto a plate, leaving the tin on, leave for 15 mins, then lift off.
hungryhouse.co.uk: Big Bites of Lebanese Alisdair Eccles It was a Sunday evening and a visiting friend and I were cosied and cosseted beneath several duvets whilst the rain pit-pattered on the draughty single glazed panes of my bedroom window. We were doing our best to recuperate, following a particularly strenuous evening of hedonism the night before when, as all good hosts should, I had deigned to demonstrate to my guest truly the best and worst this fine city had to offer by way of good food, drink and entertainment. Little did I know how true this would be. As Sunday drew on, the evening closed in around us and we both gradually began to feel human again, a chorus of grumbling stomachs emanating from the depths of our duvetnest. As every experienced reveller knows, while it may at times be difficult, eating something is the most
important step in the recovery process - in our weakened state braving the weather to buy ingredients for cooking was firmly out of the question. So without much further ado, we began to scour hungryhouse.co.uk and selected the first and most in-
Fenella Lindsey-Clark nocuous flavour of cuisine we saw: Lebanese. Personally, I’ve always loved North-African and Middle-eastern dishes and was hoping for something a cut-above your average kebab shop fare. I was sorely disappointed.
Half an hour after ordering via hungryhouse.co.uk we were called by Big Bites to let us know they had run out of two of the dishes we’d ordered, and would it be ok to replace them with some other similar sounding dishes; of course - now really rather hungry - we happily accepted. Another half hour passed and I was about to call and complain when we got a knock at the door. Greedily, we sat down to feast. What greeted us was one of the most saddening sights a hungry pair of eyes could settle on. The usual metal boxes bore an unappealing combination of dry, flavourless meats, bland chickpea sauce (a replacement that genuinely seemed like a houmous with excess tahini), stuffed vine leaves and - instead of our lebanese salad - a generic box of lettuce and onion. Nevertheless we made a go of it, but the vine leaves were the only thing we could agree was even tempting after the first mouthful.
Standing proudly apart from the conventional likes of Coalition, Shoosh and Digital, Audio’s offerings are less ‘Top 40’ and more authentic underground CarmelH experience - mainly consisting of a lethal stairway to a dingy, claustrophobic room of sweating bodies and trembling bass. When it comes to quality House and Techno nights, Audio sits high on the list of places in Brighton to try. Not least because of its flagship night - Warehouse - which always seems to draw a good crowd who are gurning (sorry, yearning) to see upcoming DJs. If, however, you find the prospect of House music as scarring as Miley’s crotchhugging outfits, there are a good few alternatives to try out. ‘Bastard Pop’ on a Thursday night does what it says on the tin, while ‘Supercharged’ serves a fix of drum & bass and dubstep. There’s also Battlejam, where Beardyman once resided, and the various one-off DJ sets and live shows. Drinks prices are generally not too bad, with the divide of Above Audio offering deals, not to mention a welcome escape from the downstairs chaos when it gets to be a bit too much. No doubt the front terrace is one of the more attractive smoking areas in Brighton, although the biggest challenge is navigating the revolving doors with beverage subtly hidden and spillage prevented. That, and avoiding getting jammed in when an influx of smokers decide it’s time to return for another order of two Jägerbombs for a fiver. While the edgy girls on the door might look at you with an expression of sucked-lemons and the place might feel a bit cramped at times, on its best nights Audio definitely knows how to show you a good time.
28th October 2013 ARTS • 17
Sussex Showcase - ‘Tranquility’
Rhiannon McCluskey Cesca Rampley
Charlie Summerville In the Philippines
Hannah Rose Shaw Watercolour
Week Eight is a Poetry Guild Special Week Nine’s theme is
RIOT Send your creative pursuits to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12th November Rhiannon McCluskey
28 October 2013 Arts •18
This week’s must see cultural highlights Alternative Theatre Owiny Sigoma Band Coalition
CLUB Trading Places: Motown Green Door Store
Monday 4th November, 7pm
Alternative Youth Lagoon The Haunt Tuesday 29th October, 7pm
£12.50 Signed to the excellent Fat Possum label and produced by Ben Allen (Deerhunter and Animal Collective), Youth Lagoon’s most recent LP promised much - and delivered. Sonically, Youth Lagoon very much explores the same sounds as the aforementioned bands. His songwriting however, ensures he stands apart, as a great artist in his own right.
This critically-acclaimed collective of London soul and hip-hop producers and Kenyan musicians have gained the attention of, amongst others, Damon Albarn and Giles Peterson. Gorgeous guitars and natityi lyres straight out of Nairobi play over Western beats, with vocals in both English and Swahili. Another beautiful example of decades-long collaboration between African and Western musicians - highly recommended.
Belfast’s Girls Names come to Brighton in support of February’s ‘The New Life’ LP. Expect guitar-centred indie rock heavily indebted to 70s and 80s UK bands like Joy Division, The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen.
Friday 1st November, 11pm
FILM Nosferatu Duke of York’s
Sunday 3rd November, 1pm
A few days late for Halloween, Duke of York’s bring this early cinematic masterpiece to Brighton. Directed in 1922 by German director F.W. Murnau, this adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula will interest not only cinephiles, but those interested in Weimar-era German expressionism.
THEATRE Alice in Wonderland Corn Exchange
Wednesday 30th Oct, 7:3-pm
This is Lewis Caroll’s classic - but not as you know it. Described as ‘dangerous’ yet ‘beautiful’, this 21st adaptation deals with asylum, childhood and contemporary societal issues.
In Celebration of Berry Gordy’s birthday, a night dedicated to his legendary label. Expect ‘bands doing Motown, Djs playing Motown, people talking about Motown and dancing to Motown’. Previous Trading Places have included nights dedicated to Talking Heads, Nirvana and Iggy & The Stooges. Come ready to get down.
Duke of York’s
FILM The Wicker Man Duke of York’s
Tuesday 29th October, 11am £6.60 If you’re up and not on campus this Tuesday, head over to DoY for this screening of classic The Wicker Man. The original, 1973 version (sadly missing Nicolas Cage’s acting masterclass from the 2007 remake) is known as one of the best British movies of all time.
Monday 28th October, 1pm £5
This documentary, part of a wider campaign by filmmaker David Bond to get kids reconnected to nature, takes as its starting point the statistic that the roaming area of British children has shrunk by 90% in the last 3 years.
POETRY Hi Zero The Hope Monday 28th October 7:30pm £4 This month’s Hi Zero features readings not only from politicallyengaged poet Danny Hayward and Christina Chalmers of Shit Valley Press, but Sussex’s own J.D. Rhodes.
PREVIEW: Mos Def Monday 28th October, Concorde 2
PREVIEW: Mark Kozalek Tuesday 29th October, All Saints Church
Will Fortna Arts Editor
A hip-hop legend touches down in Brighton this Monday. With almost 20 years in the game, five Grammy nominations and an endless list of collaborations with rap-royalty’s finest, Mos Def has cemented himself as a seminal figure in the world of hip-hop. Ditching his old guise for ‘Yasiin
FILM Project Wild Thing
Rock Girls Names Green Door Store Saturday 2nd November, 8pm £7
Bey’ at the beginning of 2012, the Brooklyn-born rapper brings his socially conscious lyrics closer to the forefront, underscoring them with a collection of rich and souful beats. A sparse tour schedule combined with an increasingly prolific acting career makes the ‘mighty Mos’ a rare sight in the flesh. To all hip hop heads, this should be a night to remember.
90s alt-rock legend Mark Kozalek brings his brand of mopey-yetdreamy songwriting to Hove’s ornate All Saints Church. Performing under his own name, yet sure to include songs from previous projects Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, expect slow-moving, haunting songs played on acoustic guitar.
One of the main themes of Kozalek’s career post- Red House Painters has been experimenation. This has manifested itself both in collaboration - in addition to production work (eg. with members of Low), Kozalek’s last few albums have been collaborations with multi-instrumentalists - and a cover album of songs by, amongst others, Bruno Mars, Genesis and Yes.
COMEDY Comic Boom Komedia Thursday 31st October 8pm
Komedia’s excellent monthly comedy night coincides this October with Halloween. One of Komedia’s own MCs hosts special guest comedians and this week’s headliner is John Kearns, winner of this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer.
watch, write, review Get involved in the Arts team by joining us at our writers meetings or searching on Facebook for : “Badger Writers” See submission guidelines on the Badger website
28 October 2013
SporTS • 20
SPORTS Shining stars of Sussex Sport awarded Michael Morrow Sports Editor When people talk of great sporting universities, Sussex isn’t necessarily a name you would expect to hear crop up in such conversation. However, this in no way implies that we are void of any sporting excellence. In actual fact we have quite an impressive array of sporting talentsome of whom compete on a national and even international level. The Sports Bursary awards night, which this year took place on 21st October, gave the university the perfect setting with which to pay homage to their elite athletes. The annual awards presentation is the night where athletes from this university who compete on a national or international level are officially offered their support packages for the current academic year. Every athlete that is presented with an award is offered a support package, which includes free use of University sports facilities, fitness testing and programming, strength and conditioning sessions, a parking permit, a financial package, free club membership, regular mentoring sessions and some academic flexibility. The idea behind the package is clear; to ensure that all Sussex’s elite athletes have the means and facilities with which to continue competing at their current high level. It is testament to the ongoing work
of Sussexsport (with the support of the Alumni office) that the number of nation/international level athletes at Sussex continues to rise, as shown by the fact that this year 30 students were eligible to receive the bursary (10 more recipients than last year). This year’s bursars came from 13 different sports including rounders, American football, hockey and sailing to name but a few. The highest accolade at this year’s ceremony went to Chloe Sutherland, who received the High Performance Athlete award for her outstanding performances at international level Karate. Chloe came 2nd in the 2012 UK national championships, 4th in the 2012 European championships and managed a top ten finish in this year’s world championships, where she finished 9th. It is hoped that with the facilities and support Chloe is receiving here at Sussex, she can build on her recent performances and achieve gold medals at both the 2014 British universities competition and the 2014 UK national championships, and also obtain a podium finish at next year’s European championships. As ever, there was a strong showing from Sussex’s nationally feared Ultimate Frisbee team. An impressive 7 members received the Development Athletes Award for their performances on a national level- all 7 recipients compete with the Brighton Ultimate
Club and two players, Hayden Slaughter and Joseph Butler, recently competed in the European club championships competition. The University of Sussex Vice Chancellor Michael Farthing, who played host and awards presenter at the event, was particularly taken with the idea of Ultimate Frisbee, asking the recipients to explain the rules of the game and explain to him how a match
remained so calm and organised without the presence of a referee. There were also awards for athletes from badminton, sailing, rugby union, athletics, show jumping and volleyball. Sussexsport are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure all their elite-performance athletes can thrive at the university- projects such as the recent equipment refurbishments at both Falmer Sports Complex and the Sports
Centre will serve only to increase the training opportunities for all athletes here at Sussex. Make no mistake; Sussex is a university with a growing reputation for sport. We may not have yet reached the lofty heights of Loughborough or Bath, but as the Vice Chancellor aptly ended the ceremony by saying “Boy oh boy, are we good”.
Women’s Hockey hits back at cancer Emily Owsley & Rebecca Weighell Women’s Hockey at Sussex feels more like a family than a team of individual players, so when one of our girls lost a close friend to cancer last year we were determined to do what we could for her and the fantastic charity Teenage Cancer Trust. That’s why this year the Women’s Hockey team have dedicated our fundraising to the charity and will be running the Brighton Brookes 10km on November 17th. We are running in honour of a friend, Ella Redman, who died almost a year ago (21/11/2012) from bone cancer aged 20. Following 18 months of treatment, Ella was given the all clear in August 2012, however when the treatment was stopped the cancer came back. Ella was a truly remarkable person, who desperately wanted to raise money for a teenage cancer ward where teenagers and young adults could fight
the illness together. She spent over 100 nights in hospital, too old to be treated on a children’s ward she had to be looked after on adult wards where nearly everyone else was significantly older. As Ella wrote in November: “The worst part, for me, about being in the Oncology hospital is the way I stick out like a sore thumb. The average age in there is about 50 + and without exception I have always been the youngest patient, which means I get a lot of people staring at me.” Unfortunately although Ella never got to experience the full benefit of their services, she would have wished that all patients could be treated in specially designed treatment units that meet the needs of young adults. With your donations teenage cancer trust will be able to build these. Every day in the UK six young people are diagnosed with cancer, The Teenage Cancer Trust provide cancer wards just for teenagers so suffers can
meet other people in their position and get the treatment they really deserve. The charity also fund research into cancers that target young people such as leukaemia, brain tumours and bone cancer. If you would like to know more about the charity or are concerned please visit http://www.teenagecancertrust.org/ These are just some of the reasons why this Verity, Ellen, Molly, Lotte, Olivia and ourselves are running, please support us and the thousands of teenagers suffering from cancer by donating on our just giving page http://www.justgiving.com/sussexhockey or join in one of our fundraisers we will be running throughout the year. We hope to raise £500 for the great cause so please give generously. This will not be an easy feat for any of the girls. We are aiming for as many sub one hour times as possible so with under a month to go to the event
training is in full swing to recover from a lazy summer. We hope this challenge will not only help the charity but also get our teams winning the BUCS leagues with increased fitness and squad spirit, obviously with the end goal being to bring back the Varsity title from the poly (and not panting up the hill to the astro)! For anyone interested in joining hockey please contact our President Katie Hall or send a message
to our facebook or twitter accounts (@USWHC). Come join us and see what all the fuss is about! “Ella- You were brave, gracious and dignified throughout. Your sense of humour never failed you, even on the darkest days, and this is something I will never forget, and it is something I hope I can learn from, and take with me. My memories of you will always be with me. Love Emily.”