“i’m simply waitng for all this cold weather to go” Brrr! Is it me or does everyone know someone or they themselves have caught this cold/flu virus. For me it’s been a complete annoyance and only recently have I recovered, which took me out of work for a couple of days. Typical English weather you could say but remains a difficulty for me to get to used to. Now this Spring Edition of The Blend highlights the elections that are currently going on but will sadly end on March11th 2011 when the results will also be revealed. Good Luck to all the candidates. Just under a year-a-go, I was also in the same position as these candidates and thanks to you students, I got elected into my current post as VP Communications. However it is sad to point out that my position is no longer a sabbatical position but is now a full-time post within the Union as Marketing & Design Officer. (Check page 09 for more details) So as you can see, we have a new cover for this edition, photo taken by 2nd year student, Melissa Raymond. It’s a strange image I must say, but my quest is to make this paper stand out and be more vibrant and actually look like a student paper rather than a Metro Newspaper. My colleagues at the Union successfully completed their campaigns last month, President, Lyndsay and her campaign for Go Green Week, went very well. Diversity and Community Week, planned by Dishon was a big success, with many volunteers and participators. Ending with the World on 1 Stage, it surely was a week you may regret to have missed out on. Looking to the future as always, I think the most important date for all students will be the 19th May. What’s that you say? It’s the MAY BALL what elese? Set to be at the Located at the Bedford Corn Exchange so stay tuned or rather keep on the look out for more information. Have you got your official UoB Hoodie yet? There are a few new lines that are becoming more and more popular. The Purple & Yellow hoodie seems to be a definite thumbs up from the students as it is our most popular purchase. However I feel soon the red berry hoodie with the new design will soon take over. I feel it’s a special line and once you get a hold of it you will agree when I say it’s money well spent. Head down to the Students’ Union in Bedford (by the Hub) or Room GM16 in Luton to pick up yours or better yet try online www.ubsu.co.uk/shop Lastly thank you for reading thus far, some times I doubt the first page gets read by anyone but you have, so thanks for that. Whilst reading this paper if you feel that you maybe interested in writing or contributing to your student paper or have a friend who could do a good job then do get in touch with me or your student officers.
PURPLE AND YELLOW HOODIE BLUE ZIP UP HOODIE FAIRTRADE BERRY RED HOODIE
Writers & Contributors Editor Yinka Adeniyan Student Newspaper Officers, Sarah Badcock Rhiannon Baxendell
Contact Us Advertisement BAM: 0845 1300 667 Do you have something to say about The Blend Newspaper? Email: email@example.com Address: UBSU - Campus Centre Park Square, Luton LU1 3JU
Writers & Contributors Lousie Tadiar, Jon Stanley, Jevwe Ugbowanko , Ariel McPherson, Becky Heard, DishonArivanandham, Ciaran O’Brien, Danielle Adekoya Jay Chinnasamy, Chrissy Foster Leigham Stone, Julia Shearing Paula Mayes, Evi Earle, Lesley Morris, Kay Barrett, Scott Bartels Nicholas de Grasse-Grant,
We welcome any content in the form of pictures, letters and articles, however we reserve the right to edit everything that is submitted. If there are any issues with the content please take this directly to the Editor Yinka Adeniyan
Leanne Kovacs, Dennis Oware, Barbara Chinyani, Sarah Badcock, Matthew Post Design & Layout Yinka Adeniyan A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE ENTIRE UBSU TEAM FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS PAPER.
Like to take part? If you would like to join our database of student writers & contributors. Better yet be a writer and submit an article or artwork then please email Executive Editor of The Blend, Yinka Adeniyan
NEWS & FEATURES Save time and plan ahead!
FOR FINAL YEAR STUDENTS
It is time to choose your optional units for next academic year.
Don’t forget to fill out the National Student Survey 2011 for your chance to win one of three iPads or one of ten graduation packages worth £150 each including tickets, gowns and photographs. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and everyone who is eligible and completes the survey will be entered into the free prize draw and gets the chance to win a top prize. Look out for the NSS teams in lectures and seminars. Complete the survey on campus and you can also get a free tea or coffee and a T shirt while stocks last. The results of the survey are published on Unistats.com for future students to see and are also made available to those institutions taking part.
Undergraduate students at the University of Bedfordshire who have optional units next academic year are required to register their choices for 2011-12 between Tuesday 22nd March and Friday 8th April 2011, via e-vision. The process is simple: log into your e-vision account as normal and follow the instructions. E-vision can be accessed from the BREO or Learning Resources home pages. The username is your student number (remember your password? If not, just contact the Student Information Desk: http://www.beds.ac.uk/sid). Completing unit choice saves time during autumn registration!
New Postgraduate and CPD Centre development underway at Luton campus The University’s Board of Governors recently approved plans for the construction of a brand new Postgraduate and Continual Professional Development Centre (CPD) at the Luton campus. This development will take place on the site of the former Students’ Union offices (Europa House). The £19.6m project will provide state-of-the-art teaching space over five stories, principally for postgraduate students and delegates from local and regional businesses undertaking CPD. The new building will be connected to the Business School at the Luton campus via a bridge link. Due to open in February 2013, the design phase is nearing completion and planning permission will be applied for in early March 2011. Architects’ plans will be displayed in the Campus Centre, Luton and at the Putteridge Bury campus in early March 2011. All students and staff are invited to view the plans when they become available. For further information, please contact Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org
DIVERSITY WEEK 2011 BY SARAH BADCOCK
iversity Week 2011 was kicked off with ‘Taste the World’ which proved to be a delicious start! Many students queued patiently awaiting their FREE food. Embracing the cultural differences over food was a great success with delicatessens from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and South East Asia; and last but not least Britain. Alongside the main events each day such as the ‘Kick It Out’ football game dedicated to anti-racism; there were also stalls promoting awareness of different faiths. This gave students the opportunity to ask questions and find out more information through hand-outs provided by Andrew Goodman. Throughout the week the volunteers and committee did a great job in organising the flier distribution and promotion. They helped create a welcoming atmosphere for the students to participate in the various events during the course of the Week. To end the week on a high the last event was ‘World on 1 Stage’ held at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts (right next door to the Campus Centre). It was a wonderful display of talent combined with the cultural appreciation shown in the range of performers. Many nations were represented in the form of singing, dancing and musical instruments. Overall it was a successful week and hopefully this will encourage students to get involved next year whether it is performing of volunteering.
Luton Sports News - our sports teams website for Luton. By Leigham Stone For the first time in the history of the University, the Luton Campus has a sports website dedicated to reporting on the success of our teams.
www.ubsulutonsportsnews.co.uk is the site where you can view fixtures and tables, read match reports, news stories and features on everything from match analysis to top athletes who study in Luton. It also offers links to radio shows and has videos updated every month. The aim of the site is to promote our sports teams and show that we have talented sporting personnel at a Campus that doesn’t normally boast sport prestige. The website is linked with the Students’ Union as it is for the students. It has been live since January and will run until the end
of April. It already has a mass of content including features on Great Britain kickboxer Paige Walker describing her ambition to become the best in the world and new Director of Sport Professor John Brewer on the future of sport at our University. Articles are updated weekly with pictures and the site has a team of sports journalists, who study in Luton, reporting for it. Writers are welcome to get involved as all the sports need coverage. And with the University of Bedfordshire Sports Website: Luton Facebook group connected to the site, you can even get involved and write comments about the teams and writers. For more information speak to the Students’ Union and be a team player by checking out the site.
WWW.UBSULUTONSPORTSNEWS.CO.UK The CSSA, with support from the CHINESE NEW YEAR January. Students’ Union and the International The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) welcomed the Chinese New Year in with style on Saturday 29th
Office, organised a showcase of small drama sketches, songs, games and traditional instruments in the new Campus Centre. The event was littered with VIPs as Prof Les Ebdon
(Vice Chancellor), Prof Ashraf Jawaid (Deputy Vice Chancellor) and Harry Wang (Director of International Office) were in attendance, along with three Ambassadors from the Chinese Embassy. Ciaran O’Brien, Student Activities Manager, said “The event was a wonderfully successful event. The CSSA had spent months rehearsing and working alongside us to ensure that the event went to plan. It was such a nice experience to see 240 staff and students celebrating Chinese New Year alongside each other.” China Travel, Chingland and Mollys provided sponsorship and prizes for the event, and guests were treated to a Chinese buffet at the end of the event in the Mezzanine Bar at the Students’ Union. For more information about the CSSA, please contact Ciaran O’Brien on 01582 743930 or at email@example.com
AN INSIGHT INTO JUDAISM
he University of Bedfordshire is proud to be rich in cultural and re- families join together to welcome in the special day. ligious diversity. To celebrate this, each month The Blend will be looking at a different religion to give you more info and maybe dispel some common myths. This month we take a brief look at Judaism. The Jews Brought New Ideas About God The Relationship with God The Jewish idea of God is particularly important to the world because it Jews believe that there is a single God who not only created the was the Jews who developed two new ideas about God. (1) There is only universe, but with whom every Jew can have an individual and personal one God and (2) God chooses to behave in a way that is both just and fair. relationship. They believe that God continues to work in the world, Before Judaism, people believed in lots of gods, and those gods behaved affecting everything that people do. The Jewish relationship with God is a no better than human beings with supernatural powers. The Jews found covenant relationship in exchange for the many good deeds that God has themselves with a God who was ethical and good. done and continues to do for the Jewish People. But How Do Jews Know This About God? The Jews keep God’s Laws They don’t know it, they believe it, which is different. However, many The Jews seek to bring holiness into every aspect of their lives. Judaism is religious people often talk about God in a way that sounds as if they know the faith of a Community. Jews believe that God appointed the Jews to be about God in the same way that they know what they had for breakfast. his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behav- For instance, religious people often say they are quite certain about God iour to the world. Jewish life is very much the life of a community and there by which they mean that they have an inner certainty. Many people have are many activities that Jews must do as a community. For example, the Jew- experiences that they believe were times when they were in touch with ish prayer book uses WE and OUR in prayers where some other faiths would God. The best evidence for what God is like comes from what the Bible use I and MINE. Jews also feel part of a global community with a close bond says, and from particular individuals’ experiences of God. Jewish people all over the world. A lot of Jewish religious life is based around the home and family activities. Two Sides of God Jews combine two different sounding ideas of God in their beliefs - God is Judaism is a Family Faith an all-powerful being who is quite beyond human ability to understand or Judaism is very much a family faith and the ceremonies start early, when a imagine. God is right here with us, caring about each individual as a parent Jewish boy baby is circumcised at eight days old, following the instructions does their child. A great deal of Jewish study deals with the creative power that God gave to Abraham around 4,000 years ago. Many Jewish religious of two apparently incompatible ideas of God. customs revolve around the home. One example is the Sabbath meal, when
A Summary of What Jews Believe About God
* God exists. There is only one God. There are no other gods. * God can’t be subdivided into different persons (unlike the Christian view of God). * Jews should worship only the one God. * God is Transcendent - God is above and beyond all earthly things. * God doesn’t have a body, which means that God is neither female nor male. * God created the universe without help - God is omnipresent - God is Are you a Book-lover? Do you have a passion for reading? Wanted: a book-lover to manage the Treehouse Bookcrossing Project in the University - it’s all about making free books available and encouraging Reading on campus - see bookcrossing.com and bit.ly/ d3cbBc. Interested? For more information on this exciting Project, please call into the Treehouse on Vicarage Street and just ask, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Crossing comes to SeedBeds! For all you book lovers, SeedBeds has now become a book crossing zone. Book crossing involves leaving a book in a public place so it will be picked up and read by others who, after reading, do the same. The book can either be released into the wild in a random place such as public cafe or social space or in a controlled way at a registered book crossing zone. Originating from the United States, book crossing has become a popular practice throughout the world as it gives people a chance to read books they may never have read or even spark an interest in those of you who claim reading is not for you. The book crossing website (www.bookcrossing .com) is the place to register any book that will be involved in the scheme. If you have any books you don’t want please feel free to bring them along to SeedBeds S0.02a on the Bedford Campus. Come and join the book crossing community by registering on the book crossing website and feel free to come to SeedBeds to pick up a book. Hope to see you there! SeedBeds Team
everywhere, all the time. * God is omnipotent - God can do anything at all. * God is beyond time - God has always existed - God will always exist. * God is just, but God is also merciful. God punishes the bad. God rewards the good. * God is forgiving towards those who mess things up. * God is personal and accessible - God is interested in each individual God listens to each individual. * God sometimes speaks to individuals, but in unexpected ways.
April 6 The Pursuit of Happyness Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five year old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including being homeless and living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.
BY CIARAN O’BRIEN
renders his passport null and void, meaning he cannot legally enter America, nor return to his now nonexistent home. Running Time: 2 hr. 08min. Directed By: Steven Spielberg April 27 Om Shanti Om Genre: Comedy, Romance,Drama
Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Synopsis: In the 1970s, Om, an aspiring actor, is murdered, but is immediately reincarnated into the present day. He attempts to discover the mystery of his demise and find Shanti, the love of his previous life.
Directed By: Gabriele Muccino
Running Time: 2 hr. 40min.
April 13 Persepolis Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama, Synopsis: This is a poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of the precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane. As she gets older, her boldness causes her parents to worry over her continued safety. And so - at age fourteen - they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min. Directed By: Vincent Paronnaud , Marjane Satrapi April 20 The Terminal Genre: Comedy, Romance Synopsis: An eastern immigrant Viktor Navorksi (Tom Hanks) finds himself stranded in New York’s JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there as he falls into a bureaucratic crack in the system . Unknown to Navorski, his country Krakozhia fell prey to a military coup while he was in flight, causing it to be wiped from the map. This effectively
Directed By: Farah Khan FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions make you think about your life, discuss about it with your friends, make a laugh and make friends from different parts of the world and cultures. Isn’t that great? FAQ and movie night will be a platform for students for mutual sharing, enrichment and enhancement. We see unity in promoting diversity! There would be a screening of a short film followed by a brief discussion on it Short films: April 6: Rich Question – What does being rich mean to you? April 13: Name Question- What is your name? Have you ever thought of your name as a reflection of who you are? April 20: Trees Question- How do you think the world is getting better or worse? April 27: Luggage Question- What kind of wounds do you have?
DIVERSITY & COMMUNITY WEEK 2011 AMY
BY JAY CHINNAS
It was a busy month at the University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union (UBSU) with lots of students engaging in different events and activities, be it Go Green Week, our Feedback Campaign, UBSU Annual Student Surveys and a successful Diversity & Community Week. The Diversity and Community Week had lot of students involving in different programmes organised on the Bedford and Luton Campus. The Bedford Campus programme included an International Sweet Festival which provided tasty treats from all over the world to all students, staff and members of the local community. The event was organised to bring together all the communities at the University and to celebrate the diversity of our University. Lots of people highlighted what a great idea this was, as it was interactive and delicious too! The event included more than 100 varieties of sweets and also saw more than 300 people tasting the sweets throughout the day. The event was organised in association with Alliance for Inclusive Education, a charity organisation which campaigns for inclusive education. Education is for all and it should include all people regardless of income, ethnicity or gender. The week also had a Faith Stall set up by Seed Beds, the chaplaincy services in Bedford. The faith stall included the faith message regarding peace and the event had lots of materials to explore a faith. Seed Beds also had a film night and screened “My Sister’s Keeper” and had a discussion after the film about the film’s key themes. Throughout the week, UBSU raised awareness of Census 2011. The event drew attention of the necessity of all staff and students to take part in the Census.
WELFARE HAVE YOU PAID TOO MUCH INCOME TAX?
BY EVI EARLE ORKER UBSU, CASEW
f you are a working student it is likely that you may have paid too much income tax. This is because most students either work part time during the year or only work during the holidays. This means that students’ income often falls below the personal allowance.
REPAIRS BY PAULA MAYES, UBSU, CASEWORKER
If you find this too complicated you can access a tax calculator on the HMRC website. http://stccalculator.hmrc.gov.uk/ UserDetails.aspx If you think your tax code is wrong or you think you overpaid tax for the current financial year and you are still employed, you should contact your local tax office and ask them to review your situation. They may already have all the documents they need or they will advise you what documents you need to send. Details of local tax offices are on HMRC website under local tax office. If you think you overpaid tax for previous financial years you can write to your local tax office and include: Why you think you are entitled to a tax refund Documents relating to that tax year such as P45 or P60 Information about your employment and business history You don’t need to send originals of your documents, photocopies are sufficient. Once they review your claim the tax office will write back to you with a calculation explaining if you are entitled to a refund or not. If you are entitled to a refund they will send you a cheque separately. Please note that by asking the tax office to review your case they will check if you overpaid as well as underpaid tax. Therefore you can end up with a cheque or a request to pay tax you owe to the tax office. There are time limits for claiming back income tax you overpaid through your work. The time limit is currently about 6 years but the time limit is changing from 6 years to 4 years in 2012. Check the HMRC website for most up to date information and exact deadlines. You can access more tax advice for student explained in plain language on wwww.direct.gov.uk/studnettaxadvice For further enquires please contact Evi Earle Welfare and Advice Caseworker UBSU Advice Centre G111 Campus Centre 01582 743 276 email@example.com
GETTING REPAIRS DONE
You should inform your Landlord in writing of any problems and keep a dated copy of your letter. Keep a note of any visits or telephone calls.
ONCE YOU HAVE INFORMED YOUR LANDLORD OF A PROBLEM:
allow the Landlord time to carry out the work ask for a date when the work will be finished allow the Landlord access to the property.
YOU SHOULD ALLOW UP TO:
21 days for non urgent repairs (e.g. broken gutter) 1-2 days for urgent repairs (e.g. broken toilet).
Personal Allowance is the amount you are allowed to earn tax free per financial year therefore if you earn below the personal allowance you should not pay any income tax. The amount of personal allowance goes up with inflation every year. Personal allowance for 2010/11 tax year is £6,475. The best way to work out if you are owed any tax is to look at your end of year tax certificate P60 or on your P45 when you leave a job. These documents should tell you how much you earned and how much tax you paid. The main principle is that if your earnings for a particular financial year are below the personal allowance for that financial year and you paid tax in that employment you should be entitled to a refund.
IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO:
take photos of the disrepair get independent witnesses to write a statement about the disrepair, sign it and date it keep receipts for damaged property, excessive heating etc obtain medical evidence from a GP/ counsellor/ social worker that the disrepair aggravated your physical/ mental health.
We see large numbers of students who are paying high rents and are having to put up with disrepair to their properties. We hope this information will help to make you aware of how to take action and enforce your rights as a tenant. THE LANDLORD HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR:
the structure and exterior (incl. drains, gutters and external pipes) the installations for the supply of gas, water and electricity and for sanitation installations for main heating and hot water supply if the Landlord provides a service or item, they should ensure it works (e.g. a washing machine) and is safe to use
AS A TENANT, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO:
Take care of the property Ensure the fixtures and fittings are not damaged Carry out minor repairs such as replacing light bulbs Pay the utility bills unless it says in your tenancy agreement that the landlord is doing this
IF THE LANDLORD WON’T ACT
Do not stop paying your rent. This is a very risky tactic as, unless a set procedure is followed, you could face court action for rent arrears. You do not have a legal right to withhold your rent because of disrepair. Do not do the repairs yourself and try to claim the money back.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL
The council has extensive powers under the Housing Act 2004, which can force a Landlord to carry out repairs. They can serve a notice on the Landlord which: specifies the work to be done gives a deadline for the completion of the work. If the Landlord fails to comply, the council can apply for a court order and a fine for the Landlord. If the work is still not carried out, the council may do the repairs and then claim the costs back. You could be entitled to apply for compensation for disrepair through the small claims court. Seek advice before doing this.
Please contact the Students’ Union for further help by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Luton Borough Council 01582 546000
Bedford Borough Council South Beds District Council 01234 221 797 01582 472222
Mid Beds District Council 01462 611200
THINKING ABOUT SUSPENDING/WITHDRAWING FROM YOU STUDIES We all have problems to deal with at times and you may be experiencing difficulties at the moment which are affecting your studies. You may even be considering withdrawing from or suspending your studies but this should be as a last resort and we urge you to seek advice before making any decisions. We have noticed that most students who decide to leave University do so for 3 main reasons: Financial issues The Students’ Union Welfare and Advice Service Team can: Help you with financial issues (managing your debts, budgeting and liaising with your creditors or claiming your entitlements) Personal issues The Students’ Union Welfare and Advice Service Team can: • Refer you for counselling or be a listening ear if that’s all you need • Support you if you become pregnant (planned or unplanned) • Introduce you to a new social life within the Students’
BY LOUISE TADIER Union through our Activities and UBSU, CASEWORKER Sports and wide range of events F I N A N C E C • Help you with any other problem P E R S O N A L D you are having and signpost you to U H E L P P other agencies (where appropriate) P M R O R T
I S S U E S F C E R
Academic issues The Students’ Union Welfare and Advice Service Team can: • Mediate with tutors and other academics if you are struggling with your course or feel you have chosen the wrong course • Support you when you talk to a CAAS (Corporate Academic Advisory Service) which is essential if you are thinking of either suspending or withdrawing. CAAS advisors will help you through the process and advise on any financial implications of withdrawing or suspending. We will never turn you away so if you think we can help you in any way, please make contact with us: Contacts: Evi.email@example.com | Paula.firstname.lastname@example.org | Louise.email@example.com
YOU SAID WE DID!!! By Dishon Arivanandham | UBSU,
VP Democracy & Diversity
Our Students’ Union is committed to hear the voice of students and to raise their issues at appropriate levels in the University. Students’ Union & University Liaison Meeting is one such meetings we raise students’ issues. The meeting happen once in a month, where the management members from various departments sit together and listen to various issues raised by students. The issues that were raised in Student Councils (SC) were passed on to the University’s senior management team and discussed in the Liaison meeting. Following the discussion, an action list was drawn up to look in to those issues. Below are some of the key issues raised to the Management team following the meeting. Silent area and LRC Opening timings: LRC opening times have been extended on the weekends after the issue was raised at several Liaison meetings. So we hope that you have been making enjoying the extra study time available to you. Following which, Students during the last council (Feb 4th & 6th) raised that they would like the
silent area timings to be extended like LRC. The silent area closes at 10pm every day currently. Students who use the silent area to prepare for their exams or assignments are sent out to the LRC (which can be noisy at times) after 10 pm. This issue was raised in the Liaison meeting and the Management acknowledged this, and are willing to take steps to extend the times, so watch this space! Bus facilities to Putteridge Bury: UBSU has received several complaints regarding the buses turning up late, making students late for their classes, or sometimes not turning up at all. This time the issue was discussed in detail in Liaison meeting. It was agreed by the Management that they will take serious steps this time. The Bus timings and arrival will be monitored and VP Democracy and Diversity will organise a meeting with the Blue Star coach Management to discuss the key issues. Your President and Vice Presidents are following up with this and will be strictly monitoring the bus times, and won’t hesitate to take further action if this slips again.
Scuba Diving in Luton?! If you are interested in starting the first ever Scuba Diving Club at the University of Bedfordshire, read on to find out more! Have you have ever thought about taking the plunge into the underwater world? Have you just learnt to dive abroad and would love to find out about diving in the UK but don’t know how to go about it? Are you itching to get back in the water after a break from diving? Do you want to dive with the biggest and friendliest dive club in the world?
stress and have the additional advantage of a club with a social side too. Initially the training is in the pool, however it is also possible to use local inland sites for training dives on those occasions when tides and conditions rule out sea diving. Luton BSAC also welcome already qualified divers from other agencies (PADI, SSA, CMAS etc) who wish to continue their training, or meet other divers to go diving. Club members completed some 800 dives in 2010 either on the club owned 5.7m Rigid Inflatable Boat or further afield, both in the UK and abroad. Over the past few years members have enjoyed diving trips to the Shetlands, Cornwall, Normandy, Red Sea, Maldives, Malta and Thailand, to name but a few.
If this sounds like something that may interest you, then get in touch! Luton BSAC is based at Wardown Park Swimming and Leisure Centre on Bath Road off the main A6 in Luton. If you answer yes to any of these questions then read We meet on Thursday evenings at 8.45pm. on..... The club regularly organise “£10 Try-Dives” in the You can learn to dive locally earning an pool, so people can get a taste of what diving is all internationally recognized qualification with Luton about. BSAC, a branch of the prestigious British Sub Aqua Club, the finest governing body for diving in the To book your place on the next session, or to find out world. more: British Sub Aqua Club is one of the largest scuba Telephone: 07551 830 076 diving clubs in the world with over 38,000 members. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org It is run by divers for divers. Visit: Thursdays 20:45 In a BSAC course, diving skills are taught progressively - each new experience built upon, stepby-step. This combination of theory, pool sessions, open water skills and continual technique practice enables you to develop your diving in a safe and enjoyable way. Trainees learn at their own pace, without the rush or
University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union Marketing and Design Officer Salary: £ 16,500 Location: Luton/Bedford The University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union is offering an exciting opportunity to join our staff team in the marketing and design department. The post holder will assist the Marketing and Communications Officer in delivering and developing the communications strategy and engaging with new and existing students. The Marketing and Design Officer will:
Co-ordinate online marketing and communication channels Act as Chief Editor of The Blend newspaper Support and raise awareness of UBSU campaigns Assist in developing and implementing creative and effective marketing campaigns
You will already have:
A degree or equivalent qualification Strong communication skills (writing, presentation and oral) Excellent IT skills, including a basic understanding of design packages Experience in prioritising a high work load
For a full job description and an application pack, please contact UBSU Communications and Marketing Manager Jon Stanley Email: Jon.email@example.com Address: UBSU, campus centre, park square, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JU Closing date is Friday 08 April 2011
ANSWER ME THIS?
UBSU ELECTIONS SPECIAL University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union Elections 2011. All candidate where asked 3 questions. These candidates have nominated themselves are gearing for the week of voting which commences week begining 7th March and Ends alongside the revelation of results on Friday 11th March. So here are their answers. Who gets your vote?
1. The w ay is a boy’s I spell my name name in Scotland 2. I want to further impr ove the relationship between U BSU and th University so e students be nefit from a working pa rtnership w here everyo represente ne is d and their voice is hear d Lyndsay Murphy 3. Students should vote for me because I am currently the president of the students union, I know the role and I think the union and more importantly you the student’s will benefit from the continuity
VP EDUCATION 1. I like social networking, interacting with different people and helping out them in trouble. Being in student information desk I have been able to achieve this.
nd a gby a ce Ru it to Chin u d o r is t v in a elped ts on 1. I h t as spor e k ic rall Cr an ove achieve tudent o t t n a S 2. I w in the ement ents improv e for all stud c n ie r e exp ntly I will consiste 3. If elected for st be e do th work hard to ses pu m ca l al ss students acro
Q2. One thing you want to achieve in office Q3. One reason people should vote for you
VP UNION & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 1. I am very confident person with jovial activities. I would like to innovate the new thoughts in new way. Always cool and like to keep smile. In serious fact I am honest person. 2. Bring new technologies, new facilities, new atmosphere, good environment with new imagination
2. Introducing more scholarships and reaching out to all students without any barriers. Shiabudheen Ahamad
Q1. An interesting fact about yourself
3. My ability to get things done. A vote works wonders, vote for fresh blood on student union.
3. If their wish, feed backs, thoughts, ideas become true. Aravind Ashokkumar
1. I am a person who has a positive approach towards life, I love to go against every problem and fetch a solution for the same.
1. I have represented two different countries in three different sports, Netball, Rugby and Equestrian. 2. I would like to be a voice for students wants and achieve improvements within the University and help create a stronger bond and relationship with our neighbouring communities.
2. Well my manifesto says it all. In short Encourage, Engage and Enrich your student life. Ram Chaitanya
3. I see myself as an effective leader with a strong will power. I am an approachable person as I make people comfortable around me.
3. Any task is not impossible for me, and I will strive to the best of my ability to get what the students want and need.
1. I like to collect hats and have 11 so far. And, no I do not sleep in them. 1. I learned to dedicate myself to achieve extraordinary results
2. To improve the entertainment and social space across the University especially in Bedford who have been crying out for this.
2. I believe with all my heart to improve the educational experience of our students by focusing on helping students to achieve at the highest levels in whatever fields they choose.
3. I promise generous support available in different areas and flexibility of own choice, I will go one step ahead beyond the limit to achieve satisfaction of students and success.
Matt “The Hat” McCaffery
3. I have been highly involved in the Union with RaG and organising many events for students these last three years. This is an opportunity for me to put my energy to improve the student experience at UoB.
1. I’m very much Committed & enthusiastic with my work. 2. Full right to execute my strategies for the betterment of students.
I wish to take up this great opportunity to be part of the student union and provide able leadership to address the student issues and enhance their university life. Mohamed Sadiqh
3. I’ve batter plans & ideas for the students and they will categorically feel changing’s in university atmosphere in reverence of social, academic & healthy activities.
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VP DEMOCRACY AND DIVERSITY
1. My best friend ditched me when I dreadfully need him in my hardships, in spite of this he is my best friend and I really don’t know why?
1. My passion is music. I love playing gigs and I currently play drums in two bands. I am also an amateur salsa-dancer and professional scuba diver.
2. I want to remove all papers and pencils from the office and make it entirely a digital one with installation of appropriate Information Systems.
2. To organise a wide range of diverse events. My goal is to have exciting and different themed nights, making the most out of our event partners.
3. Because I possess the transformational leadership traits which may fill the gap among students from diverse cultures
1. I am a creative person and will get involved in the activities where I can work creatively to improve the existing conditions. 2. I want to make the student union closer to students and get more students to be involved in the student union activities
I’m running for entertainment officer because I feel that I can make a visible difference in the way that the student union organises its events.
3. Because I will work with the students to ensure that underrepresented groups should have a voice and will support clubs and societies to promote diversity.
3. I will make sure our events represent our wide variety of students and their interests and passions. I will also help any student/society wanting to hold their own event.
1. I have trained in martial arts for 12 years and have gained a 1st Dan Black belt. 2. I want to voice all UBSU student communities (all campuses) which are not represented to their best ability and ensure their needs are met.
NEWSPAPER EDITOR LUTON
1. I am the Co-founder and Secretary of UoB’s Street Dance Society (SDS) and I teach dance classes at Uni
3. One reason I believe students should vote for me is because I want ‘their’ voice to be heard and make the changes Shaun Scott-Johnson that really matter to them; either culturally or individually.
1. I remember the names and faces of the people for years if I meet them once.
2. For ‘The Blend’ to be like a household name amongst Students and Lecturers alike; so there is no need to further describe it as ‘the student newspaper’.
INTERNATIONAL OFFICER (Luton)
2. I want to develop my management and leadership skills. I would be able to develop these skills by getting the responsibilities to put the student voice across to the senior management.
LGBT OFFICER LUTON
1. I am hard working and feel free to work in group, because of which I can complete any task, activity successfully all this I can say with my previous experience. 2. I want to build strong bonds and trust within the colleagues and members of the Union.
RAG OFFICER LUTON
For the last two years I have run one of the University football teams- this year running the Mens 2nd team. I have been Sports Officer for Luton for the last two years and seen some excellent changes.
Muhammad Riaz Raj Kambli
1. I always prove through my work rather than words. I have work for student union and also for UNO affiliated NGO and as a volunteer work for different organisation 2. I want to achieve is that I want to merge multicultural students for the best results of games and outstanding management, arrangements and organisation.
2. Transform University of Bedfordshire from ‘A’ member of NUS to ‘THE’ most important member of NUS. 3. With 3 years work experience in Customer Service, Insurance and Operations, I feel I can carry out the duties and responsibilities associate with the office in the desired manner.
1. I am a person of strong commitments towards my work and studies; apart from that I am fun loving person that enjoys being a part of social network. 2. To represent the views of the students where the decisions are made that potentially affect millions of students and help them in resolving their issues. Honey Pal Singh
3. As I study law I am taught how to represent people and I feel that I can perform my job effectively and efficiently
3. I really think I can make a difference
SPORTS OFFICER LUTON
I want to help make the University a best place for International Student and to make their time studying here as smooth as possible.
1. Its funny, I came to UK behind a girl who I loved but it ended up in such a way that I made it here and she didn’t come. Studies were not my intention.
1. Getting a life time achievement award at age 21 for my voluntary work back home 2. To make RaG fun for everyone by hosting numerous charity events
NATIONAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE DELEGATES
3. They will be voting for someone who is confident in the role and is more than willing to help.
3. As an International student officer, I can adopt various ideas; arrange events, activities which will be useful to build up the carrier of the students.
1. I have more shoes then my two female housemates combined.
2. To help students who are in and maybe entering the LGBT community
3. I am able to take the responsibilities given to me. I have a very good time management skills that can help me in dealing with issues quickly and efficiently.
3. I want to help build the excellence and quality of The Blend. This will be achieved through a strong team which represents the diversity within the student body.
3. I want to work for them on merits basis and more important that they take benefit from my experience, hardwork and devotion to achieve goals.
UBSU 2011 ELECTIONS
CORNER 3 9 12 STUDENTS’
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By Lesley Morris
So it’s almost spring and that means one thing, it’s time to start wearing those vibrant colours. The Lady Brights collection at Somerset House for London Fashion Weekend was absolutely fabulous. The runway featured a coral silk shirt and a hot blue vintage skirt by Charles Anastase. Bright colours are in and you can show it off with both your clothes and your accessories. This conspicuous look will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. There’s absolutely no reason to miss out on having a wardrobe bursting with colour because New Look have bright coloured chiffon shirts including colbalt blue and shocking pink but my heart belongs to anything coral. The block trend is back and the way to rock it is to fuse different colours into one outfit. Feeling bold? Why not add a pair of gorgeous red heels from River Island to that forever growing shoe collection. It doesn’t just have to be your clothes my fellow fashionistas; you can paint your nails too, why not go for an electric blue?
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THE REIGN OF THE BY ARIEL McPHERSON | STUDENT WRITER
ANSWER ME THIS? STUDENT TRUSTEES
The male race has always had the craving and acquired taste for dominance, the problem being that only one can reign at a time. Whether it was the early millennium with Avirex, 2004 with Lot29, recently the Lyle & Scott got shoved out the way for the Ralph Lauren Polo collection. Now for spring 2011, the reign of one designer label shall stop, and the mixture of labels can be worn.
1. I am very fun loving, have good sense of humour, good listener and poised. 2. I want to achieve confidence, trust and I want that everybody knows me for my conscientiousness and diligence.
FASHIONISTA LION Going through the jungle of retail store madness is a must to get that lioness interest; nothing says attraction that what a man wears. Right now, I say clothing doesn’t matter, accessories do! Modern minimalism is a way forward, clothing can be simple but the accessories that go with it identifies your character. The colour blue is a most for this seasons colour, but wear what suits your tones, before you make people fall into an abyss. The colour that goes well is tan, which usually goes with the accessories bag, belt and boots.
3. I’m very goal oriented , dedicated , determined and i’m very electrifying, enthusiastic have already work for many welfare society and know to plan and implement the things for sure. So I think I can be the best for this post of trustee. 1. I have performed at the Peacock Theatre London for the National Youth Dance England competition (2008) with Bedfordshire Youth Dance Company (BYDC) 2. I would like to address the UBSU mission statement to reflect the student experience and how UBSU supports a fun and engaging community
3.You should vote for me because I have been here for 5 years and am currently the Secretary of the Research Student Support Group (RSSG) which means I have a lot of experience to bring to the table
‘SMELL YOU LATER’ ���Smell you later’, is a new reformed way to tell someone ‘Oh you smell good’. It was all about Paco Rabonne with One million that still is one of the sexiest colognes but the new Gucci Guilty will make you confess all your sins. It just oozes money and success, guaranteed to make the gold diggers go wild.
IT IS HIP TO BE SQUARE The Carlton look is back( don’t mix it up with Erkle.) Bow tie is back and only if you can pull it off then do it, with a nice bomber jacket by D&G or Balmain if you can afford it. Get some Clark Kent sunglasses with a round frame, like Ralph Lauren or Ray-Ban. Still being able to be looking good like Superman after those heavy university nights, walking into the lecture and sleeping behind the shade’s. But the bow tie would make you look as if you willing to learn!
LISTEN Technology grows and things always become cooler than others. Dr Dre headphones Beats are good but I found something that is cheaper and cooler. Jaybird Sportband 2, they are wireless and all the controls are on the side of the headset, with a microphone like a Bluetooth headset going in sync with iPhone’s. The song that you would have to play is T.I & Rick Ross- Pledge allegiance to the Swag.
SWAG TURNED UP Swag is important, keep you style, mix your brands and roar like a lion when you walk about all dressed up. The new brand for the male urban scene is a brand that has been through every era and look. Vivienne Westwood male collection has turned and is actually affordable and great for those with good bodies. Don’t boys don’t fill your cupboard with Ralph polo’s in different colours, but let it rain with labels.
“Its okay to BY beKAYokay”
The new TV programme, “ Beauty and The Beast: The Ugly Face of Prejudice” has hit our screens recently. All I could think was maybe all those girls out there who are so self-obsessed with the way they look will watch this and realise how pathetic they are. This may sound harsh, but this is one thing that really grates my cheese. There’s nothing more irritating than seeing an attractive girl constantly moaning about her appearance. Is there really nothing more important to moan about? Surely, with all these cuts in jobs being made is something you’d understandably worry over. But NO! A strand of hair that won’t sit right on your head is clearly an end of the world crisis. 9 out of 10 women in the UK are unhappy with the way they look. That’s no surprise with all these glossy magazines out there that make a lot of women feel even more insecure about themselves. But, do they realise how much these girls don’t even look like that? So much air brushing is done to models that we see in magazines and on posters etc. One girl on the show said something along the lines of,” You don’t go far if you’re ugly, you get ahead
by being attractive.” So, having brains and determination gets you nowhere ? What a ridiculous comment. Apparently there aren’t ugly people on TV. Actually there are. Why? Because they’re talented in what they do. Their looks didn’t get them where they are, their drive, determination and pure talent did. What really stood out when watching this show was a 46 year old lady who has had over 60 surgeries to correct the damage caused by a cancerous tumour and subsequent radiant treatment when she was a baby. Also, she is blind in one eye and has reduced hearing. But she doesn’t want to hide, she believes in living your life to the fullest. One clip showed her in a pub with the “fully grown barbie” she’d been paired with. The 46 year old was belting out a tune and the obsessed with plastic surgery “Barbie” look-a-like couldn’t believe it. She was amazed that she could sing like that. That’s quite unnerving. Being judged just because of a facial disfigurement, means she isn’t talented. Wow. It’s important to remember there’s more to life than being attractive. If you want to nip to the shop that’s only down the road and feel the need to put make-up on in case your’re seen Why not just think, ‘sod it’. I look like this, don’t like it, get over it. SIMPLE!
14 STUDENTS’ CORNER
STRIP COMTHIC E EASTER SPRING
Y R T E O P GRUMPY
Well hello again and a grumpy welcome back to the column. With the elections in full swing and Libya in turmoil we thought it only fair that we start with the election of leaders. Back in the day it was thought that in the interest of fairness that the person who should lead should not be the one who was strongest, could shout the loudest or even had the most money (which incidentally was discovered and used to create a divide between rich and poor due to what was discovered on the land they claimed) but should be the best person for the job according to the people they were set to govern. Yet the current day method in many parts of the world is that it is down to the person who controls most assets and can put the best campaign forward to convince the people that they are indeed, the best candidate. So in hundreds of years we have changed from giving the position to the popular rich person who can shout the loudest to err the popular rich person who can shout the loudest-Kudos to us then! To carry on with the theme of fairness brings us nicely to the case of Messrs Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Firstly I would like to point out that we here at Grumpy Corner are all for fairness and equality as far as can reasonably be practiced. That being said, the above presenters were sacked by their employer for making off-air comments suggesting that women do not know the off-side rule in football and were being generally derogatory, which is unacceptable in any business so again, we here at Grumpy corner agree that they should have been reprimanded. However, I would also like to point out that the employers that sacked them for their comments in order to be seen by the media as a kind considerate company who don’t agree with stereotyping or inequality in any way still consistently run programmes that bash any kind of demographic (such as loose women, the Kumars or men behaving badly) in order to maximise their viewing figures. They also are currently running an advert for the BAFTAS in which they portray a lady wondering what she can wear to the event! So, no stereotyping there at all then. Baring all of this in mind we strongly promote that in this year’s elections you spend your vote wisely to the person who is best equipped to do the job and represent YOU. This leads nicely into decision making in general. It has been noticed by us at Grumpy Corner that some people always want their opinion heard and to be involved in decision-making, but only when they are actually given the chance and are not as ready as they thought they were, and inevitably the wrong decision is made by said person who then attempts to justify themselves with an argument that jumps straight to conclusion with no premise and/or basis. Of course we would pooh pooh said argument but the person on the receiving end would not know what that means so we hold ourselves in quiet anger safe in the introvert knowledge that the incompetence we are surrounded by knows no bounds. If you have been affected or insulted by anything in grumpy corner then please feel free to call someone who cares-it’s not us, maybe your mum or someone. Spring. Comic strip:The Easter Story by Scott Bartels de Grasse-Grant Drawing by Nicholas acs kov nne Lea by ed Colour
THE SPIRIT OF AFRICBYABARBARA A CHORUS OF BIRDS TWITTER IN THE OVERSHADOWING TREES HERALDING THAT DAWN THAT IS NIGH. THE VILLAGE COCK CROWS IN A RESOUNDING DECLARATION, “ARISE OH BEAUTIFUL AFRICA, ANOTHER DAY IS BORN!” LIKE A NURTURING WOMAN, AFRICA ARISES FROM HER SLUMBER WITH A HEARTY SWAY. FOR IN THE SILENCE OF HER SOUL A STEADY DRUM CONFIRMS THE HOPE OF A NEW DAY.
IN TIME OF HARVEST, WE REJOICE. THE DRUM, A FRIEND ON OUR FIELDS IT REMAINS. ENCOURAGING THE ANXIOUS, STRENGTHENING THE WEARY. WHEN THE SKY DRIES AND THE LAND IS THIRSTY, OUR PRAYERS AND HOPES THE DRUM RESOUNDS OUR DANCE OUR HOPE REVIVES. JUBILATION AND THANKSGIVING LURK NEAR FOR WE KNOW THE HEAVENS WILL OPEN THEIR BOSOM, AN ABUNDANCE OF RAIN, A FITTING RESPONSE TO THE TALKING DRUM. THE BIRTH OF A CHILD, STIRS US TO DANCE IN AWE OF LIFE. THE RITE OF PASSAGE NO SOONER IN TIME REQUESTS AN ENCORE! THE DRUM ENTICES US TO DANCE AS THOUGH IN TUNE WITH THE LOVERS AT THIS MARRIAGE FEAST. WITH EVERY BEAT, TIME PASSES: ITS NATURE EVIDENT. THE GRASS WITHERS, THE YOUNG GROW OLD, WHAT LIVES MUST DIE. BUT IN REVERENCE WE CELEBRATE THE LIFE ONCE HAD TO ITS ETERNAL REST, AND ONCE AGAIN THE DRUM BEATS TO WELCOME NEW HOPE!
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18 STUDENT ACTIVITIES
LUTON WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM AIM TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES
BY MAT THEW POST
The Luton women’s Hockey Captain vents her frustration with the University over the never-ending timetable issues, and explains why her team started the competitive season so late and praises some of her girls for their patience and performances. Luton’s hockey girls have had a stressful season, players not being allowed to play because of lectures, and not playing a game until the new year. Plus a completely new squad of players, with the exception of a few, working together trying to gel as a team. It’s fair to say their task has been a hard one. However, despite their woes, their season is now up and running and they got off to a flyer in their first game, beating Bedford seconds 2-0 in a fiercely contested local derby. The Blend reporter Matthew Post caught up with Captain Manjindar Khatkar to discuss these problems and her views on the season so far…
Well it’s certainly been a difficult start to your season; you had a lot of games called off why was that? “It was time tabling issues, people had lectures Wednesday mornings so couldn’t play in the away fixtures. To solve this we pushed back a lot of those games until after Christmas when timetable changes were going to happen. It’s fine now though” How did this affect the team? “In a way I think it’s helped us because we know how well we’ve got to do and who we’ve got to beat. Because we’re all the other teams have played we know now what we have to do” The league deducted points from you. This must have been a bit of a blow? “It’s not they deducted points, it’s the fact the first match we missed we didn’t let the league know in time, so we lost three points. I understand why they did it. You’ve got a relatively new side this season, how do you think it’s gone so far? “The people who turn up to training perform very well, we’ve had two new players who joined just after Christmas, and they’ve fitted in well. We have gelled together very well.” So it’s quite a challenge mixing the new players with the established ones? “We all get on really well with each other. It was so difficult losing so many players, but this year was a whole new recruitment of players and you have to get to know each
other personally” Who do you think have been the stars of the season so far for you? “I would say there’s been a mixture, Jo Yates scored both goals against Bedford, but everyone played the part in the win. We’ve got a really good defence and Amy Rogers, our goalie, is amazing” Would you say it’s been an all round team performance then? “Yeah exactly. Lauren Steele had never played hockey before and she’s been amazing at left back, I think we’ve all had our little impacts towards team performance” What’s the aims for you guys as a team this season? “We just want to get better; obviously it’s a new team going across into next year, so next season is the one where will be looking at trying to win it” So promotion’s not a goal this season? “Obviously we were docked points, we don’t know where we stand on this. We can aim for it, but we just want to play the best we can” It seems Luton are in the middle of rebuilding a side who can stay up this season and perhaps go on and dominate next. With the enthusiasm and confidence Manjindar possesses, Luton’s hockey side could well be building a team who can take on anybody in their league. Despite a 2-0 away defeat to Northampton in their third game, the team will have to show their character and bounce back to finish the season as their captain knows they can, with big performances.
LOVE AT THE BEACH
SEXISM IN FOOTBALL By Dennis Oware
The recent dismissal of Andy Gray, resignation by Richard Keys and suspension of Andy Burton at Sky Sports has re-sparked the issue of sexism in football. Former commentator Gray and presenter Keys were heavily criticised following comments made about Sian Massey, a female assistant referee. A controversial decision was made by Massey in the Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool game, which lead to a series of sexist comments. Keys said: “Someone better get down there and explain offside to her.” Gray replied: “Yeah I know. Can you believe that? A female linesman. That’s exactly what I was saying, women don’t know the offside rule.” The conversation ended with Keys stating; “The game’s gone mad.” Subsequently the decision made by Massey was deemed to be correct, making the harsh comments made towards her completely unfair. The 25-year-old lineswoman was withdrawn from her next two matches before making her Premier League return in the match between Blackpool and Aston Villa. Gray and Keys were clearly unaware their microphones were switched on and believe they were set-up by a colleague. The remarks made resulted in Gray having his £1.7million a year contract terminated by Sky Sports, before Keys handed in his resignation. Keys has come in for more criticism as he made an offensive comment towards Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham United Football Club. The former Sky Sports presenter said: “Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah, do me a favour love.” Keys has also been previously accused of racism in another incident where he referred to former professional footballer David Johnson as ‘Choco Jocko’. It is clear the FA (Football Association) and Premier League have done everything in their power to kick out racism in football, but have they done enough to kick out sexism?
Love and romance came to the Mezzanine on Valentine’s Day when UBSU hosted an alcohol awareness and sexual health event. The Safe Sex On The Beach event was organised in conjunction with Alcohol Services, PUKE, Luton NHS and Chlamydia Screening. A choice of three valentine’s themed mocktails were available: Cranberry Kisses, Cupids Cup and The Lady Marmalade, which tasted great and were very popular with the 187 students who attended the event. The students took part in fun games including The Heart Hunt and Cupids Mixed Up Heart, as well as receiving free information and gifts about safe drinking limits and sexual health. Students who wanted to could also take part in Chlamydia screening. There was also a quiz in which students were asked to give away they could show someone they loved them that did not involve sex or alcohol. The lucky winner received a lovely valentine’s hamper for their response. “Spend real time together without money, you fell in love with THEM in the first place. Quality time together is the greatest gift”.
PAIGE WALKER STORY
I LIED ABOUT MY AGE TO FUND MY KICKBOXING AMBITIONSBy Leigham Stone Paige Walker has been a kick-boxer since the age of 6. Throughout her 13 years of competing at the top level she has won competitions at National, British, European and World Championships.
years. This just about paid for my training and competitions. That was a hard time for me knowing that all my friends were going out on the weekends and I had to balance my education, training, and work as well as trying to be a 14-year-old. There was peer pressure from friends but I had to stay dedicated because I knew when I didn’t train it didn’t feel normal, it was like something was missing.” No one can question her dedication. A lot of kids with great potential at any sport take the easy route and give into peer pressure. But she feels she was lucky, she had inspiration. Inspiration that came from her trainer Chris Collymore. She describes him as a role model and is her reason for her not giving up and following here goals. “My coach is like a father figure to me, he has constantly picked me up time and time again. Not just in the sporting world, but in my normal everyday life as well. I wouldn’t have achieved the things I have if it wasn’t for him. Chris has made sure I’ve kept on the right track throughout my teenage years.
At present she is currently in the Great Britain Kickboxing team and came 2nd in the National Championships last year. But perhaps her greatest achievement came when she was 14, when she won a double World Championship in Croatia. This is something that no one of her age or gender has ever done before or since. To win a double championship you have to win in two different fighting categories. One, points fighting, and two, continuous fighting. The main difference between the two is the scoring system, very similar to boxing where the professional fights are continuous with big punches and the Olympic fights are all about speed and precision to score points. It is very rare for a fighter to compete in the two but that’s exactly what she did and she has the medals to prove it. Yet, despite her success, the Sports Management 1st year student nearly gave it all up only a few months before the World Championships. Her parents, who were very supportive of her kickboxing, got divorced. Her mum got custody of her but couldn’t afford to fund her daughter’s ambition. But Paige wasn’t about to quit her passion and decided to pay her own way, even if she wasn’t quite old enough. She said: “When my parents split up my mum had to work loads of hours and still does now. I was told that I couldn’t do kickboxing anymore unless I paid for it all. The training was £5 each class, National Competitions were £30 a time and the International Competitions ranged from £350-£1500. I was also attending weapons classes at the time which were £10 a lesson. I was taught in Southend and my mum said that she had to work and couldn’t drive me down there anymore, so I had to give up which was disheartening. “But I couldn’t give up and walk away from it. When I was fighting on the mat I would feel emotions like I‘ve never felt before. It was me and I didn‘t feel the same without that buzz.” She added: “That’s when I decided to get a job, but I was only fourteen and it wasn’t legal for me to work in most places. so I lied about my age to work in a pizza and chip shop for two
“My trainer has suffered from a groin injury, he has ripped his Achilles tendon and he has two hip replacements and still wants to fight. His motivation, mental strength and determination has had a big impact on me for the good. He has kept me grounded through it all but also gives me confidence when I need picking up. He has a lot of hope for me and my future which means a lot coming from him. “When I was fourteen and had a little bit of a hard time he didn’t pressure me to train and wanted me to have a little break as he knew it would make me stronger. He made sure I knew he was always there as soon as I wanted to go back into training fully. He did the same in my first couple of months of training and told me he will be back on my case in November to train for the Irish open and British Championships .In my opinion I couldn’t ask for a better role model.” Paige is ranked 15th in the world for her sport and has only been fighting in the adult divisions for three years. At 19-years-old she has a great future ahead of her, but what does she want to achieve in the coming months and after she finishes her degree? “Over the next year I want to make a lot of progress in my fighting career as I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the last year. The British Championship is coming up in Nottingham and the Irish Open is only around the corner in March. I want to bring back medals from both championships, I feel that is a realistic achievement for me. I am definitely capable of winning the British Championships this year, but if I fail I want to make sure I come in the top three so I can battle for the spot for the GB squad which I am currently in. This means I can then attend the World Championships this year for the GB team. “When I’ve finished my course I want to move to America. I’ve wanted to live in the States since I was 9-years-old and first attended the US open. I love the country and they have the facilities to be able to train and teach full-time. There is a lot more help for athletes as in sponsorship and recognition. Along the way through kickboxing I have made some useful contacts that live, teach and train fulltime out there. I have been told I’m more than welcome to go out there and create my own club. But I want to concentrate on my own future in kickboxing first and give 100 percent to become the best in the world.”
She continued: “Rather than go out there now without the life experiences I can get over the next few years. When I run my own club I want to be able to give my full commitment to my students and not worry about my performance. I came to university because I was curious, I don’t want to miss out on the university life and the people I could meet. The main reason is that if I move to America on my own and if things don’t work out how I wish, I have a degree to fall back on. And hopefully I will still be happy working from this degree as it’s sports management.”
“My name is Paige Walker. I’m currently a first year student at the University of Bedfordshire, studying Sports Management. “ I have been involved in kick boxing since the age of 6. When I was 8 I won my first competition which was the equivalent of a grass-route stage competition. From this point I found a love for competing. From then on I, and my parents, wanted better and I was encouraged that I could be so. I started going to harder competitions with a larger amount of competitors. I soon started to win British national competitions. When I was 9 I went to Orlando, Florida, to compete at the US open. In this competition I was placed 3rd which is pretty good. I then went back two years later and won. This was the first major competition I had won which gave me a great deal of satisfaction and motivation to do better. At the age of ten I won the Cimac Competition Grand Championship for the next six years in points, continuous and weapons. At the age of twelve I went to WKA World Championships in Canada and I placed 1st and 3rd. At 14 I went to Croatia and won the double WAKO world championships. Then at 15 I went to Portugal and won the WAKO European Championships. At 16 I couldn’t attend the World Championships as I had wanted because Loughborough University wanted me to teach kick boxing in Maine, America. This was an amazing opportunity so I went for it and had one of the most amazing times of my life. At the age of 17 the Great Britain adult team wanted me to compete for them and I was honoured as I was still in the under 18’s category. I went to the 2009 European Championships and I unfortunately lost. I had discovered that I was at the bottom of another steep hill I had to climb as the adults were a different ball game! Ever since I have been competing in just adult categories and each time I have got better & better. Last year I earned my spot on the adults GB team but unfortunately I couldn’t attend as I was in my first couple of months at University. However, last year I placed 3rd at the British Championships and I will continue to do better this year.
For anyone who is interested in Kick Boxing, I have just started classes which are open to anyone of any level on the Luton Campus. If you would like to know more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
NETBALLATHON! Cakes, cakes and more cakes! Thats all that could be seen around the University of Bedfordshire on Tuesday 1st February, with the Netball team (Luton Campus)raising money for Cancer Research and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. Cancer Research UKs campaign Join the fight for womens survival is designed to act as a rallying call, encouraging everyone to help beat breast cancer, a disease which affects more than 45,000 women every year in the UK. The netball team from the Luton campus have organised a 24 hour netball match on the 5th and 6th of March to help gain awareness and funding for their two chosen charities. The match will be happening at Vauxhall Recreation Centre and is being supported by the University and all of its Luton sports teams. The theme for the match is pink - lots of it! With the majority of the men donning pink tutus and girls going for pink leg warmers, and some even dying their hair pink, it should be a fun event for all.
Our annual inter-campus Varsity will take place on Wednesday 30th March on both the Luton and Bedford campuses. Sports that will be played include football, rugby, netball, basketball and hockey. These hotly contested matches will help determine the teams that will progress and compete at our second annual Varsity against the University of Hertfordshire on Wednesday 6th April on the Bedford Campus. Following on from our inaugural varsity against Hertfordshire last year, which we lost by just one point, we are aiming to triumph on home soil and bring the Varsity shield to Bedfordshire. Ciaran O’Brien, Student Activities Manager, said “the University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union is proud to be entering a second year of varsity competition against our neighbours. This is a fantastic opportunity for students from both institutions, and is testament
to the developing relationship between our Athletic Unions. It will be a great way to have fun and finish off our sporting season.” Aside from the matches on the day, there will also be food, a bar and entertainment on the day, and we will be offering recreational Dodgeball and Rounders competitions for any staff or students who wish to take part. Lyndsay Murphy, UBSU President, said “we invite all staff and students to come along and cheer on our teams on the day! Aside from the actual matches, there is lots more for people to do, so anyone can get involved. We are confident that we can win varsity this year at our home ground.” For more information about Varsity competitions this year, please contact Ciaran O’Brien on 01582 743930 or via ciaran. email@example.com
There have already been other fundraising events happening with the netball girls going around with donation buckets wearing breast cancer awareness t-shirts. The cake sale raised a staggering £287.43 on just one day! Netballathon participants are also raising funds via sponsorship forms and there will also a be Pink Night at the Students’ Union and Legends Nightclub soon. Chrissie Foster, Netball Captain, said Some people say its mad playing netball for 24 hours and were starting to agree! But its for a great cause and will be a laugh. Weve already managed to raise about £500 so well hopefully double that by the presentation evening on Monday 14th of March. A huge amount of effort has gone into the organisation of this event and I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has made this possible. Without willing participants it would never of happened. There are 90 stduent participants in the 24 hour netball match, all of whom seem keen and eager to raise some money for charity. Food and water will be provided throughout the event, and with players having to sleep around the courts, there will be a few tired faces the following Monday morning. Ciaran O’Brien, Student Activities Manager, said: “The netball team have been working so hard to raise funds for these important charities, and have put together a great series of events. UBSU congratulates them for their efforts, and also thanks Stephen Pitt (Head of Sport) and Vauxhall Recreation Club for providing us with the facilities to hold the Netballathon. Once again, the generosity and hard work of our students is setting a shining example for others.” If anyone would like to find out more about the Netballathon or would like to make a donation, please contact Ciaran O’Brien on 01582 743930 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
The second year Performing Arts students are very privileged to be receiving a rare and special opportunity during this year. For their final show which will be being performed at the end of this academic term, they are performing a brand new translation of a German Expressionist text. The play Transformation by Ernst Toller, was chosen by joint directors Amanda Price and Max Jerschke. Max has worked extensively as a director in Germany and brings his specialist knowledge of German Expressionism to this project. We are now well into rehearsals with the two directors and we feel confident in saying that Transformation is going to be a show like no other. Transformation focuses on the journey and ‘transformation’ of Friedrich, a young German soldier in the First World War. Flipping from naturalistic to abstract and sporting a chorus of unruly skeletons, the audience will be kept entertained and challenged with what promises to be a visually eye-catching and thought provoking performance. Transformation will be playing at the University Theatre on Thursday 31st March and Friday 1st April, both performances will start at 7:30pm. More information can be found at the theatre box office which can be found in the Campus Centre.