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Insight

November 2013

the

FREE

The independent student voice of South Wales

Has anti-Welsh chanting gone too far? Turn to page 22

USW overpricing identity cards

Turn to page 3

The state of Syria

SĹľn Festival

Page 7

Page 15

On page 5


Welcome to

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Letter from the Editor

Dear reader, Welcome to the first copy of The University of South Wales’s free, monthly, independent student newspaper. The words, designs, cartoons and photos you see on these pages are the product of a labour of love from University of South Wales students. As a student of this university and resident of Cardiff or Treforest, you have the right to know what is happening in your city and university. We hope you enjoy, and please don’t hesitate to inform us of any mistakes you might find. Kindest regards, Owen Sheppard Cardiff Fashion Quarter

Emporium of independent sellers Opening times: Monday : Closed Tuesday - Saturday : 10 am - 6 pm Sunday : 11 am - 5 pm

Editor

Owen Sheppard

Online Editor Katie Eason

News Editor Charlotte Skegg

Features Editors Martyn David Becky Baker

Sports Editor James Hayhoe

Fashion Editor Ceryn Lawless

Reviews Editor Dean Hodge

Social Media Manager Zarrion Walker

Writers

Chris Ramsell Chris PJ Martin Jack Buckley Matthew Davies Chris Johnson Sam Neve

Designers

Rachel McDonough Alicia Robertson-Young Nick Meredith

Cartoonists Hannah Jones Rhys Lowry

Photography

Stewart Leigh-Firbanks

Special Thanks To

This venue is run and organized by local creatives. Inside you will find vintage and modern fashion, jewelery, vintage furniture, art, photography, music, customised clothing and much more. Find us on: Facebook: Cardiff Fashion Quarter Twitter: @C_F_Q1 Address: Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS

Craig Hooper, Rob Campbell, James Stewart, Julie Kissick and Ellen Coyne for their support and guidance that has enabled us to produce this newspaper.


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Pica Pica where’s my pay? Cat Barkley

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Marine accused of rape A 21 year old royal marine currently faces charges of indecently assaulting and raping a woman near a nightclub in Newport in January. Mr John Groves from Duffryn, Newport stood before Cardiff Crown Court on September 23, accused of one count of indecent assault and two counts of rape. Both incidences allegedly took place 10 January 2013. A number of witnesses including members of the public and police officers are due to give statements to the court. The trial has been adjourned until November. His Honour John Peter Heywood has granted Mr Groves bail

@CatBarkley

SEVERAL ex-employees of two restaurants in Cardiff are owed more than £2,000 in wages, which they never received.

Restaurants Pica Pica, and Double Super Happy, both located on Westgate Street, have not been fully paying their workers on time. Workers have been disappointed to find their wages coming in drips and drabs throughout the month. If any of the staff leave, they receive no wages at all. Pica Pica and Double Super Happy are both owned by Matthew Dalley and David Tudor Griffiths who employ mostly young people, either students, or recent university graduates. Rachel Hughes, 20, worked part time at Pica Pica while she was in her second year at the University of South Wales, studying performance and media. She is owed more than £1000 in wages which she says amounts to about two months wages, “Before I left I called in and spoke to the owners and they assured me I would be paid, especially as I told them I needed it for summer rent bills. When I went home, I continuously called them. I spoke to Matt, who only directed me to Dave, who I never heard from. “My parents had to pay my rent. But their own financial responsibilities were a real strain for them. I told the owners I was going to lose my flat and they said they would ‘let me know’ about wages but I got nothing back. I had to pay late fees almost every month which I never would have had to do if they had given me what they owed me. I trusted their word when they said I would get paid and they abused that. It is just disgraceful.” Another student that worked part time to help pay for her studies was Hannah Quick, 21, who was a cocktail bartender and waitress at Pica Pica. Hannah was doing her final year at Cardiff University, completing her philosophy degree. She said, “I left to focus on my exams. Having finals to revise for was stressful enough without having the stress of chasing up wages as well.” Hannah has still not received her last month’s wages, like many of her colleagues. She worked there between September 2012, and March 2013. She says that in that time, she was paid on payday, but only a couple of times, “I was paid the full amount a few times, but there was no warning about whether to expect the full amount or not on

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Rip off Swipe Cards payday so it was kind of hard to budget accordingly.” Another ex-employee of Pica Pica still waiting on more than £2000 in wages to arrive is 21-year old Will Barradale-Smith. Will worked full-time as a chef at Pica Pica. He said, “Getting paid in little bits scattered throughout the month was no good; I had direct debits going out on payday, like my phone bill, and when I didn’t get my wages, I became overdrawn, and had to pay a load of overdraft charges to the bank. “In addition to this, my housemates had to keep covering my share of the rent and I had to keep paying them back late. Eventually this all got too much for everyone and I had to move back in with my parents. I left without giving notice, but I didn’t really have a choice.” Will also said, “I’ve lost a month of my working life. It wasn’t even a nice job, I was working really hard hours in the kitchen, sometimes I wouldn’t be finished until 3am and I’d have to be in again at 10am.” This means that the employers, in addition to failing to pay their employees, were not adhering to the legal minimum rest period; in a 24-hour day the Working Time Regulations 1998 determine that a worker should not have less than an 11-hour break between shifts.

Most of the ex-employees are now going through the small claims courts, trying to get the wages that they are owed, but some have to wait up to a year for the courts to process the application. But Hannah says that the court applications are proving very difficult for her and her colleagues as Dalley and Tudor Griffiths have recently changed the name the company trades under, “I went through Money Claim Online and got to the stage where a judgement was entered against them. They still didn’t respond, so bailiffs were sent in on my behalf, at a further cost of £100, on top of the £60 court fees. The bailiffs were unable to do anything as they were told the debtor had ceased trading there and that they were unsure of the debtor’s current whereabouts. “I think everyone’s at a bit of a loss about what to do, because it’s such a lot of money to lose no-one just wants to give up on it, but every stage is costing us more money that we don’t really have.” Rachel is not going through the court process to chase up her wages, when her other previous co-workers have had so much trouble through the courts, “I don’t see there being much point as all the other staff who seem to have done the legal option have gotten nowhere. People have gone to tribunals, court and called bailiffs and they

are just even more out of pocket.” Despite attempts made by reporters at The Insight, the two directors of Pica Pica and Double Super Happy have yet to offer a response.

Digger disrupts council office

A ROAD maintenance digger accidentally disabled internet connections for Cardiff Council offices and traffic signals along the A4232 last week. A contractor’s digger hit fibre optic cables during street works last week, causing some city projects at Brindley Road to be delayed. A council spokesperson, said: “Early last week works were completed to restore the network and traffic signals, which are no longer affected” Many fans on their way to the Welsh Football International at Cardiff City Stadium were left waiting. Further disruptions on the road were caused by a car collision and the recent flooding. South Wales Fire and Rescue said there were no injuries were involved.

A FREEDOM of Information request made by The Insight can reveal that the cost for The University of South Wales to produce a single identity swipe card is £1.76, while the charge for students to replace a card is £10. This means that the university makes a profit of £8.24 from, before administrative costs are considered, from every library card that it replaces. In the academic year 2012 – 2013, the University of Glamorgan replaced a total of 280 identity cards for students across its three campuses, also profiting on each one. A spokesperson for the University told The Insight that the £10 figure is used not just to “cover the materials time and man power” required to produce a card, but also to “deter students from loosing cards on a regular basis.” The identity card security system requires Atrium students to present their identity swipe cards at numerous instances, such as to gain access to all upper floors, to enter the building via the rear entrance, and for access to the bike sheds. Many students without the cards cannot physically attend lectures and seminars, unless they are lucky enough to let in by a fellow student. The identity swipe cards also enable the university’s security staff to track staff and students by which doors they open. The Atrium’s security system took effect in January 2012, as a response to burglaries of its IT and media equipment provided for students.


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Pro-lifers return to high street Charlotte Skegg @charlieskegg

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EMBERS of the Catholic 40 Days Of Life campaign have once again taken to St Mary’s Street, Cardiff, to protest against the presence of an abortion clinic on the high street.

The 40 Days For Life campaign first took to the streets of Cardiff during the 40 days of Lent earlier this year. The campaign’s website describes them as a “community” carrying out “His [God’s] plan to end abortion”. Since September 25th the campaigners have been outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Clinic (BPAS) clinic, where abortions take place, praying and fasting until 3 November. Vivienne Rose, clinic manager, asked: “why have they returned during the autumn, when their campaign coincides with Lent?” Speaking to The Insight, Clare Walsh, organiser of the 40 Days Of Life campaign for Wales explained that in America (where the campaign originally started in 2004) they campaign twice a year, and so the UK has followed. Ms Rose was judgemental about the age of the protesters, noting that many of them are “male”. “Who are they to dictate to young women? They do not have a womb” she said. Although annoyed at their presence,

November 2013

Rose said that she does not feel victimised by their campaign, and does not see their campaign to be a success. “All they are succeeding in doing is making people very nervous, they are not stopping abortion” Rose added. A pro-choice group have also been holding counter-demonstrations again the 40 Days Of Life Group once a week, holding picket signs and singing chants against the 40 DOL group, loudly branding them “misogynistic” and accusing them of “intimidating women”. Rose requested that the prochoice demonstration only take place on Saturdays when the clinic is closed. As well as from the pro choice demonstrators, Rose explained that the clinic have felt overwhelmed by support from regular people just popping in and explaining what a good thing they are doing. A box of chocolates has even been received. There were mixed messages from the 40 DOL protesters. Clare Walsh, the group’s organiser, told The Insight that she is “pro-choice” and “just want to make people realise that there are choices, other than ending the life of an unborn baby, like adoption.” But Greg Stewart, aged 43 and from the 40 DOL group has told The Insight that they aim to “stop abortions” by “changing women’s minds”.

Seasonal challenges ahead for Cardiff’s foodbanks Charlotte Skegg @charlieskegg

THROUGHOUT the summer, food banks around the UK were in high demand as many families could not afford to feed their children on top of other domestic demands. Food banks store non-perishable foods collected from charitable donations, and distribute them to working and non-working members of the public and families who struggle to afford food. The Trussell Trust which runs 400 UK food banks, and are the country’s largest food bank network, have claimed that some of its food banks are seeing double the amount of people who requiring help within the past year. The trust have released figures stating that more than 350,000 people sought help from their food banks between April and September this year. Cardiff faced a similar trend. Ian

Purcell, project manager of Cardiff Food Bank, told The Insight that summers are “not usually a very bust time for them, but this summer was our busiest yet”. According to the Independent, there was a 19% increase in the use of food banks in Cardiff this summer alone. Phil Dolphin, who volunteers at the food bank in Ely, told The Insight that they “managed” with the summer, and things have “become easier now that children have returned to school” where they can be fed by school meals. The main concern now was how they were going to manage the run up to Christmas. After the summer there is a quieter period before the Christmas demands. With the Harvest Festival recently just passed the food banks in Cardiff feel that this will now carry them through to Christmas. Mr Dolphin explained that the “amount of stuff that is coming in is amazing.” Although there is a high volume of

people who use the food banks, many find it an embarrassing procedure they have to go through just to be able to put food on the table. Mr Dolphin was “shocked” that so many people have to rely on food banks. He added that the majority of people who are seeking the help from food banks have often “just come out of prison or are on benefit cuts. “The food bank sees people who work full time come for help because they are just in too much debt.”


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Treforest Station bridge “totally unacceptable” Owen Sheppard @owen_sheppard

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OCAL residents in Treforest have called upon the local council to refurbish the platform bridge at Treforest station. At present, the bridge is inaccessible to local residents and students at the University of South Wales’s Treforest campus who have mobility difficulties. Speaking to The Insight, Treforest Councillor Steve Powderhill said that he has had “concerns” about how the station bridge had been “left neglected for too long”. “The accessibility of the platforms via this bridge is totally unacceptable, for the elderly, the infirm, the disabled including students, parents with babies and toddlers” he added. “For these groups the only way to cross the lines are by walking the long distance around and all the way back” Powderhill said. In response to a freedom of information request sent to The University of South Wales by The Insight, the university confirmed that there are 33 students with “physical impairment and mobility issues” enrolled at the Trefor-

est campus. The train station is property of Network Rail, but for most University of South Wales students the station bridge it is the quickest and most popular way to travel on foot between the Glyntaff and Treforest Campuses. On October 1st, Cllr Steve Powderhill told The In- sight that The University of South Wales’s Student’s Union had “not really been active” in the attempts to raise this issue with local

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authorities.

On October 7, The Insight contacted Robert Matthews, Director of Campus Services at The University of South Wales, and Vice Chair of Treforest Regeneration project. A

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spokesperson for The University has since informed us that Mr Matthews has written on behalf of the local community and University to Network Rail to request an upgrade of the bridge with access for all, and that he has contacted MP Owen Smith on the matter. The University has received a letter

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from the House of Commons stating that the improvement of the bridge is being considered as part of a programme of 153 stations across the UK. Meanwhile, a survey of 100 UK universities from the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has found that only half had facilities like lecture theatres and libraries that were fully accessible for students with mobility difficulties.

Should USW say no more to page 3? Zarrion Walker @zazzwalker

OVER 20 UNIVERSITIES, including Cardiff, have removed The Sun off campus in support of the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign. Should the University of South Wales follow? Manchester, Newcastle, Essex… they all have one thing in common. They no longer stock The Sun newspaper in their student union shops. The boycott was started last year by Lucy Holmes with an e-petition to the editor of The Sun newspaper, David Dinsmore, with more than 120,000 signatures to voluntarily remove the topless models. Rhiannon Hedge, NUS Wales Women’s Officer, said the media is sending the wrong message. “In the UK, only 5% of newspaper editors are women and news about politics, business and sport are overwhelmingly dominated by male personalities and faces. “Inequality in the media couldn’t be more visible while one of Britain’s biggest papers still think it’s appropriate to present women as though they’re nothing more than objects for men’s pleasure on their pages”, Rhiannon

added. In a recent poll on the USW Students’ Union website, 45% found The Sun offensive and agreed the red top would be better without the models. 34% said they were not bothered. Although most tabloids aren’t available for purchase at the Atrium campus. Richard Queree, Vice President of the Cardiff USWSU said: “I think it shows a genuine concern about page three culture and the objectification towards women it is alleged to condone. “I know Cardiff have a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and banning The Sun seems to tie in with this policy” Queree said. Sarah Valkenborghs, Pontypridd’s Vice President of the USWSU said: “If our students wished to support the movement or may be even look to implement the same policy in our Students’ Union, then I would be more than happy to carry out a mandate to work on it. “Last year on International Women’s Day we held a Women’s Well-being Fayre at which the No More Page 3 staff had a stall, and it turned out to be one of the most popular stalls on the day.” Speaking to an Insight reporter, former Sun journalist, Bill Coles said that getting rid of page 3 has been heavily

debated for sometime at the tabloid’s offices, but their research shows that their readership would see at least a 10% drop, and that their lost readers would “flock to the Daily Star”. The Sun sells an average of more than 2.5 million copies per days and has published topless page 3 models for more than 43 years. An opposing petition to Rupert Murdoch to keep page 3 is also attracting attention with more than 3,000 signatures. Asking readers whether USW should join the boycott, Cardiff resident Vivian Brace said: “No why should they follow like sheep. What’s wrong with page 3? It’s not as if the models are being forced to do it. They are adults. If you got it, show it and be proud.” Others hold concerns beyond objectification. “My issue lies with that a child could pick that up,” said Hollie Mahoney, a recent graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University . “We don’t need them to be exposed to this before their time. There are top shelf magazines for this sort of thing, and the internet for that matter.” Supporters further afield also commented to The Insight. Stephanie Davies-Arai from East Sussex said: “Selling soft porn of only women and not men is clearly discrimination and

sexism and contributes to ‘lad culture’ and an unequal learning environment for female students. “This would not be allowed if these kind of images were only of one race as that would be called racism. This should be covered under equality policies.” Supporter, Tracy James said: “This is something that has concerned me for years, since childhood. We used to get The Mirror which then had the same type of pictures. The Mirror stopped this practice in the 1980s as it said it was degrading to women. As a young girl, I found them offensive and always drew clothes on them.” “The Sun’s stance is that it promotes natural beauty. But the models are of a narrow age group - 18 to 25, are nearly always white and always have unusually large breasts. There is nothing natural about them.” In an interview with the campaign starter, Lucy Holmes said: “Twitter has been a useful instrument in generating success for the campaign. It only takes one or two students who have strong views to get votes started. We’ve hav-

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en’t stopped yet. There are definitely more universities to get on board. Watch this space.” The list of universities supporting the campaign so far include: LSE, UCL, Manchester Met, Manchester University, Chester, Abertay, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Cardiff, Durham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Essex, Cambridge University, Brasenose College, St Hugh’s College, New College, University College and Teddy Hall Oxford.


What the frack? Owen Sheppard @owen_sheppard

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HAT the frack is happening to The Valleys? Fracking is contemporary issue which has affected the UK public in drastically differing amounts this year. Those who experienced the 3.2 scale earthquake in Black Pool, or saw the mass protests from environmentalists in Balcombe, West Sussex back in August; you will probably be a angrier about fracking than people from South Wales, who have remained relatively undisturbed - until now perhaps! “Fracking” is short for earth fracturing, as a means of freeing reserves of natural gas found underground and it could be making its way to a valley near you. That’s because the coalition Government has awarded licenses for test drilling in sites such as Bridgend, Neath, Maesteg, Newport and Swansea. But there are powerful arguments to be had that accessing the natural gas buried below out feet to use as fuel in industry, power stations and for domestic use could help cut energy prices by making the UK more self-sufficient.

According to GasGuide.org.uk, more than 60% of Britain’s gas is imported via pipelines from countries like Qatar, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Nigeria and Yemen. Is it time we just started using our own gas while it’s sitting there waiting for us? We spoke to local residents in Cardiff City Centre and asked them what they thought about the prospect of fracking making a new home in areas across South. Dozens of those we spoke to willfully admitted to not knowing anything about fracking, but as you can see, those who did seemed most unhappy. Canton resident, George Canning, 56, declared it “pathetic”. He added: “People around here didn’t know about it because we aren’t being consulted about it, and they’re doing it in the Vale. “It hasn’t gone down well in the US and we’re a much smaller country so it’s going be more damaging. Just like the coal mines, it’s going to cause damage to the local environment with digging hollows and causing a lot of noise. “I think solar power is the only sustainable alternative to our energy problems. I can see a day where everyone has a wind turbine in their

Valleys of disconnect Martyn David @SirClucky

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RITAIN’S media gossip over the last few months has been mired with promises of “4G” a new generation of better and faster coverage, and fibre optic advances in home broadband had us all converting our out-dated satellites for cable. But as a Valley’s boy, it did not take me long to discover that many people are far from “4G Ready”. Not for the first time, it looks like rural Wales missing out on

the UK’s latest technological craze. I set out to investigate across the Welsh Valleys where people are struggling with broadband connection, mobile phone signal problems, and what, if anything, businesses and government were doing to improve a situation that should not exist in 2013. Rhondda Cynon Taff, better known as the Welsh valleys is still a largely rural area that is trying to drag itself into the 21st century. Karen Arnold, youth engagement officer said: “The only way I can get signal in my house is If I put on a wig, balance on one leg, wave to my neighbour and sing Rule Britannia.” But she added that the signal improves in Merthyr and Cardiff.

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back garden and solar panels on their roof and we’ll be self-sufficient” Meanwhile, 21 year old Paul Simmonds from Cardiff felt more strongly against the use of fossil fuels in general. “There’s only a finite supply of fossil fuels and they’re not thinking about what we’re going to do when it all runs out” he said. He also argued that maybe the public have a responsibility in helping the big debate on fracking reach a more democratic end: “it’s something which should probably be in the UK news more, but then again most people probably wouldn’t bother listening to new on fracking. They’d rather think about Kate [Middleton] having a baby and stuff like that.” Karley Stewart, 22, from Bangor had heard damming reports about the safety of fracking, after seeing online documentaries about fracking in Ohio, America. She told us that “It’s having dangerous environmental effects. The chemicals they use in the water to break up the rock can corrode plants and soil. “In America there were stories of families having gas come through their plumbing, and fracking companies bribing them to keep quiet about it.” In Karley’s eyes, the government are “just bulldozing through with fracking plans just like they do with everything Personally, I fail every morning to get 3G signal between Cathays and Cardiff Bay. Further up into the Rhondda, the quintessential image of Wales, Kieron Wiggins, film-maker said: “I always get coverage on my phone, and fast broadband speed”. Living in the Valleys, my own personal experience is that phone signal can vary not just from town to town, but from the end of a street to another. Broadband providers often told me when applying for their services that my area did not support cable television or broadband, limiting us from faster services. In similarity with my own situation, Jazmin Williams, a freelance photographer, said: “No matter what company we’ve been with, the broadband is never at its best. It seems unfair we pay the same rate in the Rhondda as all other Virgin customers, and we get the worse coverage”. Several initiatives have been introduced to try and tackle these issues in the area. Rhondda Cynon Taff Council are phasing in their “Key Infrastructure Improvements” and “Schools ICT Improvement Strategy” plans of

and the only people talking about it are the ones who are protesting.” Chris Williams, 30, a volunteer at The Open University and an astrophysics graduate had firsthand experience of the mini earthquake that occurred in Blackpool has a result of fracking. But he suggested that the safety of fracking projects in South Wales - “will depend on the local geology. I was in Blackpool where they had some seismic activity. But I think if the bedrock around South Wales is softer, then it could work” Chris seemed more concerned with practicalities and the potential economic benefits. He was: “In favor of the government exploiting any gas deposits and natural resources we have in this country”. One local student, Toby Neil, 19, and studying bio medical science at Cardiff Met argued that the government’s incentive that fracking in the UK would lower our gases prices was “unrealistic”. “Digging up our own oil will only work for a short time because prices will just shoot up again once we realise we don’t have enough of this gas for everyone.” Some like 38 year old Melanie Petterson were cynical about how much far can trust the fracking companies like Cuadrilla (who oversaw the fracking which caused the mini Blackpool

getting 10MB broadband into primary schools, and 100MB broadband in secondary schools by 2014, adding WI-FI access points in teaching environments and improving information servers. Other funding into the area has come from BT Wales who have funded 14 projects across Wales to tackle digital exclusion. The Get-It Together is one of these projects – an initiative that tackles the barriers to online engagement by using young volunteers to train over 50 year olds about computers and the internet. Ryan Bevan, Project co-ordinator, delivers sessions across Rhondda, he said: “Internet access has not affected my classes over the last 6 months as I carry a portable MiFi device which allows my access to the internet all over Rhondda. In some venues though I have delivered sessions and the lack of resources and internet access is stopping learners progressing and continuing to use the new skills they have learnt.” Many parts Wales faces similar challenges to other rural areas when it comes to technology, and although coverage is still patchy and it remains

earthquake). The Cardiff University history lecturer, summarized her feelings with the motto: “Health comes before wealth”. Melanie believed that fracking will: “affect our children and the environment in all the suggested areas in South Wales [Newport, Swansea, Bridgend, Neath Maesteg]. And I don’t think they have looked in to the polluting effects of fracking. “It’s big companies which will be leading the charge and I don’t trust them to put the local environment first” she added. The message from five of our six charming interviewees seemed loud and clear – that more people need to be fully consulted and informed about fracking in order for this ongoing process to be democratic. Mostly, they seemed more eager to

see our country become more eco-friendly. Funnily enough, none were too keen on the thought of having mini earthquakes.

a frustrating situation. Mr Bevan went on to say: “From talking to learners living in Rhondda the main barriers towards people accessing the internet at home or on a mobile devise is cost.I believe internet service providers can help but cutting the cost of broadband services in deprived and disadvantaged areas making it more accessible to the masses.” I took the opportunity to ask Mr Bevan about his hopes for 4G introduction, but I was ahead of myself: “At the moment I think the 3G coverage is highly inadequate in Rhondda. The coverage is poor and in most areas there is still no 3G coverage. I think the introduction to 4G will have no effect on the barriers towards internet usage as the option is not available.” If I learnt anything from researching this issue, it is that the initiatives and investments highlighted are welcome to Wales, and all the native Welshies and our visitors, well, we hold hope that we will all eventually “get through” and perhaps catch up to the ever growing digital world.


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Syria’s plight through Cardiff’s eyes Owen Sheppard @owen_sheppard

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INCEMarch 2011, the “Arab Spring” has seen civilians take up arms in violent revolution against their dictators in hope of establishing democracy. For some nations the dramatic shifts in power have been quick and relatively painless (Tunisia), but for others (Libya and Egypt) it has been a complicated and bloody affair. However, none have appeared more gruelling than the current crisis in Syria. It’s a multi-faceted disaster, a country rich with oil supplies, and a battle zone at the centre of international animosity between super powers in Asia, Europe and America. All of whom overlook a war of attrition between religious and tribal factions, joined in their common hatred for Bashar al-Assad (inset right), Syria’s brutal dictator. Major cities like Aleppo Damascus endure daily shelling attacks while hundreds of thousands seek asylum with refugee camps in neighbouring Turkey and Jordan. The Syria crisis is a subject that appears and disappears in the UK national news, a lot of it focusing on the politics and the UK government’s interests in the crisis. Through October, The Insight conducted a series of interviews with prevalent members in Cardiff ’s Islamic and Arabic communities, in search of a more divergent set of standpoints. Here is what our interviewees had to say.

Sameh Otri Darulisra comes from a family of ten children in the Syrian capital of Aleppo, close to the border with Turkey. He has since become the Muslim chaplain of Cardiff University after earning a PHD in robotics. As a teenager, I gained a scholarship to go to university in Syria at the University of Aleppo. I then moved to the UK in 2010 to complete a masters and PHD in Cardiff. I have a wife and four children and I am the current Muslim chaplain of Cardiff University. Until the civil war broke out I would usually return to Syria every two years. My family, like all Syrians, were poor. Syria is rich in oil and business,

but Assad’s family own the supplies. Almost all of Syria’s wealth is theirs. Assad’s Cousin owned a third of the country. We have all suffered. If you ask any Syrian refugee who lives in the UK, they say that they didn’t feel human back in Syria. They come here and they feel welcome and looked after, they feel like human beings and a sense of citizenship. In Syria you walk like a donkey form the morning to the night and you get nothing. There is an Arabic saying: “keep your dog hungry and it will follow you,” that’s how the Syrian regime treated its people. My brother died in the army during training. In the UK military they try to build you up and make your character identity stronger. In the Syrian military they are cruel. They try and break you. They want you to feel that Assad is your lord, that there is no one higher than him. You cannot speak your mind in Syria. They will oppress you. There is only one political party. Many times people tried to force me to join, but I couldn’t live with their principals. I would tell them “I can serve Syria without being a member of the party.” I try to speak with my family back in Syria whenever possible, but it is difficult. Sometimes you will try to call for a whole day and have no luck. They would rather remain in Syria because it is very hard being a refugee. They would rather stay until the last moment before death comes to their doorstep. I have been to Syria three times to contribute with humanitarian aid with Syria Relief. I drove an ambulance in a convoy. We last went in October, this time last year, with 13 ambulances to the Turkish/Syrian border with medical equipment for the refugees. Not enough is being done in humanitarian aid. The media coverage has focused too much on the politics and not enough on the need to help save lives. There are people trying to help, but they are terrified, it is not safe for anyone. Think of the “blitz spirit”. We thought this revolution would come eventually, we hoped it come during the reign of Bashar’s father [Hafez al-Assad]. It was catalysed by the news that other Arab countries were uprising. When we saw the uprising in Tunisia and Libya, we thought, why not us? It was the right time.

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On the subject of Western involvement, it’s hard to say yes or no because no outcome is guaranteed. But I think it’s too late now. In the beginning we needed to show Assad a strong message that it was not okay for him to kill his people in this way. He was given a lot of chances and “red lines” but he has managed to escape them all. On the other hand, if we had gone in early and looked eager, Assad’s old accusations that Israel and the West have always been against him, and that he stands against the West would have been validated. I find all of the consideration over chemical weapons disingenuous. Does it make a difference if you’re slaughtered by a chemical weapon instead of a machine gun? To Syrians it doesn’t. 100,000 people have been killed by the regime. I don’t think the American and UK government care about Syrian people dying. They are concerned about the threat which Assad poses to their allies in Israel. That’s why they want to control the chemical weapons. I have faith in the Syrian people. They don’t trust anyone anymore, not any of the rebel groups. There are constant changes happening on the ground and the people are learning from their experiences. If they resist surrendering to Assad or anyone else, they will have a good model for revolution. The Syrian people will topple Assad, even if it takes a very long time. We all know that the UK and US could take out Assad in less than a day if they really wanted to. When they wanted to take out Gadhafi they did it very quickly, and could do it the same way again.

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I think it is just a game that Russia is with Syria and we are against the both of them. It’s not real. We Syrians feel that they are all supporting Assad in their own way. The super powers of Russia and China versus the West are like two elephants fighting, but the grasses getting squashed below are the Syrian people. They are fighting their battle on our land. I don’t think Obama is genuinely anti-Assad. If Obama wanted to get rid of Assad he would have done so without congress. Meanwhile, I think Cameron’s attempt to get approval to attack from Parliament was deliberately rushed and his efforts were disingenuous. He had no good intentions to help Syrians. He gave the impression he wanted to help but he let it play out so that he knew the MPs would vote against it. Photo: Prensa Miraflores, CC

Bashar al-Assad, right, meeting Hugo Chavez, left

Oscar Javid Ali is Chairman of the Madina Mosque and a former councillor for Grangetown, a seat he held for eight years. The UN has confirmed that there were chemical weapons used by As-

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sad’s forces. They must quickly dispose of the weapons. There is no telling which direction Syria is going in. The rebels are just fighters, not rulers, how are the rebels going to manage the whole country? If they succeed they will divide and fight amongst themselves. Ideally, the change in power should happen democratically but it will take decades before we see Syria under proper management. If the rebels topple Assad, Syria will just become another Libya. Gadhafi [Dictator of Libya until 2011] did little for the Libyan people. Many of them worked for wages of 2 dollars a day, while he had so much money stacked up in the Libyan bank and his personal bank. He should have done more to improve the living standards in Libya. But since Assad has gone, the country has descended into chaos [A military coup was attempted by revolutionary militias, who kidnapped Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, and released him on the 11 October]. I also think that if a country is ruled by someone who we see as a dictator, but who the country’s public are happy with, then we should leave them alone. As far as Iraq was concerned, at least with Sadam in charge there was peace for the people. Assad is only there because he inherited leadership from his father, I don’t think he is a particularly intelligent person. Right now there is no one in Syria with a brain capable of running the country, and the problem won’t be solved until there is. How far is Iran involved? Iran is involved because they have always been allies with Syria. America have always wanted to take out supporters of Iranians like Sadam – which was a blunder, because look how the country


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...Continued from page 7 is without Sadam. In ten years’ time Syria will be exactly like Iraq is now, whether we get involved militarily or not. I think the whole world needs to come together with the UN and try and find a way to restore peace to Syria. Fighting won’t bring any good to anybody. I heard the US Secretary of State [Jon Kerry] saying that they only use drone missile strikes “constructively” which is a paradox. They can only be used destructively. America seems convinced that Iran has nuclear weapons. But inspectors have never found any nuclear weapons. They have only found evidence that Iran are using nuclear in order to help its people with energy. I hope Assad eventually falls, but I don’t think it will happen, his army is so powerful. I think what needs to happen is for the UN to mediate some kind of discourse between the rebels and Assad. Sit them both down and try to find a compromise between them. Mediation is the only way to bring peace. Ali Akbar is Chairman of the Shah Jalal Mosque of Crwys Road, Cathays. He declares himself a proud British Muslim and looks at Syria and the Middle Eastern strife from an outward perspective. What’s happening in Syria is a catastrophe and a disaster for mankind, from whatever way you look at it. I don’t think the US or UK could justify getting involved militarily in Syria because we don’t want another Iraq, I think our MPs got it right. But it is in our interests to get involved with offering humanitarian aid and richer countries should particularly be involved. The old are vulnerable and the children are the future, none of them deserve what they are getting. I don’t think we want another Iraq where a 100,000 have so far been killed. The innocent always suffer because of world leaders. If we go into Syria, why shouldn’t we go and try and help Zimbabwe remove Mugabi? He has been a dictator for over 30 years and has been harassing British ex-patriots in Zimbabwe with secret forces for years. But we don’t invade Zimbabwe because they don’t have oil and there’s nothing in it for us. What do I think of the Arab Spring? They are uprising, but are they sorting themselves out? Look at Egypt. They had a revolution. The Muslim brotherhood won power in the election, but then they [they Egyptian public] had a military coup and now Mubarak is back again. Democracy doesn’t work for everyone if they are not ready and sadly, I don’t think we will see peace in the Middle East within my life time. But I believe that Islam is about peace and should be about democracy. We live and let live.

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61% of Cathays students unhappy with housing Charlotte Skegg, Owen Sheppard Katie Eason @charlieskegg @owen_ sheppard @katetotheskies

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OR many students it is hard finding their own two feet when September comes around, and they have to part with the luxuries of summer. Hundreds of students across South Wales put their loans, and their trust in letting agencies and landlords to provide them with comfortable and affordable accommodation. But many students have come to realise that this is not always the case.

The Insight conducted a survey on 100 student properties in Cathays, and how they feel about their house and letting agents. The tenants of 61 of the 100 student properties disclosed to The Insight that their properties had serious problems. These problems were anything from mould, broken furniture, having no internet access, appliances not working and even rodents and broken windows. Mould, was reported in 29% of the survey recipients. It occurs as a result of poor ventilation trapping warm air and moisture inside a house. The Insight invited many letting agencies to comment with their thought on the student housing issue but a spokesman from Horizon was the only one to reply. The spokesman told us: “when students come from home where their parents have been looking after them, they generally have no idea about mould, or how to prevent it”. But although it seems like the easy option for letting agencies to place the blame on the students, is the mould a deeper issue? We found that many student houses are only designed to have single glazed windows to keep the house ventilated, but many have now been upgraded to double glazing. Although double glazing keeps much of the the house warm, it stops the ventilation. Many students are not warned about this when they move

into their houses, so although they can prevent the growth of mould, they have no idea how to. Callum Hutson, a second year student from Cardiff university told us: “our six bedroom house has four rooms with damp. My entire bedroom wall is soggy and when it rains I can see droplets running down the walls.” Whilst house hunting in the prior academic year, many students reported to have received assurances from letting agency representatives that their house would be “deep or professionally” cleaned before they moved in. “I found vomit on my carpet and food rappers around my

room,” said 2nd year student Hazel Katrina. “We have had people come in to kill cockroaches nesting in my bed.” Tenants from 27 of the 100 surveyed houses reported that their agencies had made promises and not fulfilled them by the time they moved in.

Our TDS housing troubles Rachel McDonough @rachmcd1

IT’S that time of the year again. You’ve moved into your new house and things couldn’t be more exciting. Your bags, boxes and suitcases are piled up in the corner and the contents strewn onto the floor. Having left your old, mouldy and damaged trap of a house behind, you feel you’re ready to move on. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for me and my housemates. The excitement of our moving in experience was dampened by the year in our previous house. For many students, moving out isn’t a problem, you give the rooms a spring clean and wipe away remnants of your crazy house parties, then fill out the numerous forms

and bills from your letting agent or landlord. Sorted. Within a few weeks you’ll be happy to see the best part of your deposit back in the bank, but upon emptying our house, we had a final inspection leaving us with a hefty charge to our deposit. We were confronted with a long list of things that a) we didn’t do and b) were unresolved damages when we moved in. To name a few we had been charged for the “shampooing” of carpets that were already in an unacceptable condition, the cleaning of an oven which had more grease on it before we moved in than a deep fat fryer and for the redecoration of walls that were covered in mould and marks. The list continues. While our house was managed by Pinnacle, it is just one of the many other letting agents in Cardiff that rents homes to students and have the power to hold the deposits over claimed tenant damages. During the time given

to respond to the proposed charges, we raised a dispute through the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) an external party that protects your deposit. In the three months of waiting, we gathered evidence of our tenancy such as: emails, photos, inventory forms and anything else relevant to support our case and sent it off. But still we are left without our deposit and continue to play the waiting game. So, without falling into the same trap I did, this is a warning to those who have just rented a house – be prepared and think ahead. Do everything you can to prove to your letting agent that any damage left behind wasn’t you and take it in your stride to obtain photos and fill in the provided documents carefully. Don’t just push them into the drawer and forget about them, because believe me and every other student that has experienced this, it will be gold dust when you move out.


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The student food chain @beckybakerr

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RESHER’S week - a blur of bright lights, binge drinking and for some, a thrust towards a new found sexual promiscuity. But what happens when the lights turn on and the booze runs dry? Do your friendships really last beyond the excitement of fresher’s? Let’s face it, you are always going to think “these are the nicest and most excitable people I’ve ever known” in the first couple of weeks. But at some point in the year, you could well be locking yourself in your room, wanting nothing but to scream! So who’s going to stick, and whose true colours will turn your friendship sour, these are The Insight’s 5 most important fresher’s....

The Socialite Where you’ll find them: This is one of the most common creatures of the freshers-kingdom, but not always the easiest to find and keep in captivity. Coming in many shapes and sizes, the socialite can be found working the room at a party, or you’ll see them strutting through halls with their, ten-

nis racket and yoga mat or whatever it is they need for umpteenth society they’ve joined.

food-shop expert, they’ll also encourage you to take the stairs, and walk the long route to university.

Why you should befriend them: Not only is this the one person who knows every contact you will ever need, it’s also a fast track to jobs, as they always know everything about every vacancy - from the Live Lounge unicycle promoters to waitressing at the little old tea room.

How to befriend them: Usually befriending a fitness guru is quiet easy, they spend a lot of time in kitchens, preparing meals, cooking fresh food, it’s always easy to bond in the kitchen. Either that or run, really fast, to catch up.

How to befriend them: It’s easy to strike up a conversation with the socialite, as they seem to know everything about everyone, but harder to hold their attention. The easiest way to befriend them would be to help them with one their many club open events, or even just making them a hot chocolate after their busy day of running around, socialising and all.

The Fitness Guru Where you’ll find them: Their chosen lair is not just in the gym anywhere it’s possible to exercise, stairs, abandoned workspaces, fields, town centres. These are the more stealth-like creatures of the kingdom, they get up before you even think its morning, and are tucked up in bed before the watershed. Why you should befriend them: Typically, students are said to put on an average of 7 pounds during their first year at university, so befriending the fitness guru is always going to work in your favour. Not only the best

Stu-

The Honour-Roll dent

Where you’ll find them: The easiest, and most placid within the kingdom. Locating at the bottom of the food chain, the honour role student is reclusive but easy to befriend. You’ll find them locked in the room, nose in a book by the light of a lamp, or in the library, camouflaged by books; this student enjoys its habitat. Why you should befriend them: This student can relay all deadlines, reading weeks and exam periods like a lyrical genius, an endless supplier of fun facts and handy to have around to explain those long words you can barley pronounce, let alone understand.

long as you go in with your volume turned down, as not to startle them, they’ll come out of their timid shells.

The Parent Where you’ll find them: The kings and queens of the household, the parent seeks control and calm from her cubs. You’ll usually find them in the lecturer’s office, kicking off about an assignment date or discussing teaching techniques, or in the kitchen washing up the dishes. A caring student, they’re open to holding your hair back after a heavy night, to giving you a shoulder to cry on after a break-up. Why you should befriend them: Moving away can be a hard thing to do, and typically 70% of students get homesick, mostly that for their parents. So having someone to nag you to clean your dirty dishes and finish your assignment is just the motherly touch that will keep you on the straight and narrow. How to befriend them: Usually the parent will come to you; I mean what’s a lioness to do without their cubs? They’ll usually bond with you whilst they cook you dinner, or whilst they’re helping you fold your laundry. This is the most valuable fresher in the kingdom.

How to befriend them: This student just looks for the kind in people, as

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Becky Baker

The Wingman

Where you’ll find them: The wingman, once acquired won’t leave your side. Not only will they find a way to spend every day with you, you’ll start noticing them spending more time in your flat that you do. The wingman is purely not just for nights-out, they prove useful for boring nights in, by creating FIFA tournaments, film nights and pizza nights. The most entertaining student within the kingdom Why you should befriend them: When you eventually run out of money, university can turn slightly cold. Not only will you be eating beans and toast on a daily basis, you’ll start to realise there is only so many times you can watch your favourite movies online, this is when the wingman works at their best, they make the whole year entertaining. They can teach you how to live on a budget, and will always be there to buy you a pint when you’re short. How to befriend them: Simple, go for a drink. The wingman loves their alcohol as much as they’ll eventually love you. Going out for a big session is usually the cause and creation of the wingman, I mean how many times have you seen two friends hugging each other saying, “I love you bro, I love you!!” They live and breathe for their ‘bro’.


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Cameron’s anti-porn campaign Nick Meredith @NTMeredith

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T WAS Eric Schmidt, the chairman of internet giants, Google who put it best. “The internet, is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had” he said. It’s a quote that reflects the inherent chaos of the internet, a place impossible to govern and home to the pleasantly nihilistic sort of people who don’t like to be beholden to anyone. It would be foolish to try and interfere with a place that cannot be affected by real-world laws, and resists any attempts to interfere with their workings ferociously. It would be even more unwise to push optout bans as a method to restrict access, given its utter lack of success in preventing undesirable content. But most importantly, above all else, it would be borderline insane to even suggest this when the average teenager knows far more about the internet than you do, wouldn’t it? Right? Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, called it “an absolutely ridiculous idea”. The Daily Mail, with their usual blend of balance, intelligence and well-researched journalism, declared that David Cameron “must not be derailed” and dismissed all opposition out of hand, branding any objections “spurious” and “preposterous”. Public opinion wandered between both sides, with another group – the ones loudly spouting the usual clichés about the vulnerability of children – stuck in the middle with no real idea what was going on, but welcoming the opportunity to sound off despite their lack of knowledge. It’s been over a month since Cameron’s “war on porn” was first publicly mooted, and yet the debate rages on. The initial idea has been quietly swept under the carpet by the Government in face of fierce public opposition – leading the more cynical amongst us to declare it all a mere ploy to rally support from Conservative backbenchers. But there is still an open debate over all the plots and sub-plots of the story, from simple yet tricky questions like “what do we define porn as?” right through to the actual logistics of such a ban. To recap, it was in late July that Prime Minister David Cameron went public with his desire to institute a wide range of sanctions and bans in regards to pornography across the UK, with particular reference to ‘extreme’ pornography,

and especially online. Taking the wellworn emotional stance of protecting children and coupling it – predictably – with his sense of moral duty “as a father”, Cameron pledged to crack down on child abuse images online and institute an ‘opt-out’ blanket ban on pornography. The actual logistics of how he intended to do this was predictably blurry. Web blockers are notoriously useless, and considering this is the British Government – the very same Government who tried to block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay with pretty much zero sus-

Photo by Kaysha - Flickr CC

peated pushing of a strong family unit and insisting that parents know what’s best for their children. The real crux of the matter isn’t the principle, however. If Cameron thinks that porn is “corrupting” the youth of Britain, well, fair enough. It’s a point that can be argued at length. The problem here is that there’s no real way to prevent this corruption without also harming the regular adult who wants to just sit down in front of his computer and, er, ‘relax’. The actual harmful bits of the internet – the child pornography, the slave trading – that’s not on

So you want to be an international student?

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OOD for you! Just 12 months ago I was sat The Atrium just starting my degree in Journalism until I went to a meeting about studying abroad. They discussed options all over the world and had invited students already on exchange and students who had just returned to talk to everyone about their experiences and how their lives have changed for the better. Taking this leap of faith can really make or break a person and I’m going to be completely honest and blunt with you, it will be one of the hardest

tained success – it’s no surprise Cameron kept the details relatively quiet. He also talked about making ISPs and search engines pull their weight in his crusade against boobies, but then we hit the substantial grey areas of the issue,

mostly regarding exactly what to define as porn. Another somewhat more overlooked facet of Cameron’s grand plan is that he was proposing his web blocker to be opt-out, rather than opt-in. In other words, the blocker would be automatically instituted across the country. It smacks of rather major hypocrisy, given Cameron’s re-

the searchable web. That’s hidden away in the darkest recesses of the net, the ‘Darknet’. From there, paedophiles can file share child pornography as much as they wish, and there’s nothing any search engine can do about it. That’s the real problem with this proposed ban, and that’s the real reason the debate still rages today. The usual Americanised platitudes about freedoms can wait. The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the people using the internet are entirely innocent, and this ban will only serve to harm them, not any of the undesirables. But I don’t think that’s the worst part of all of this. Easily the most irritating thing about this whole debacle is David Cameron attempting to tell me exactly how the internet, a thing of immense power and truly global scale, works and what it shouldn’t be doing. David Cameron, a man with less technical savvy than an average woodland mammal. It’s terrifying, isn’t it? Photo: World Economic Forum

It will be one of the hardest experiences of your life , but my God it will be worth it.

experiences of your life but my god it will be worth it. You will face points in the next few months that will make you question the whole process and maybe even your own life choices but the day will come where you have to board the plane and change your life forever. First of all you have to decide where you want to go and I think this is down to two different factors; personal preference and what is best for your course. For example I am a journalism student and I had the choice of going to a university in a remote town in North Carolina or a university on the Hudson River in New York with its own train station that takes you directly into Manhattan. Obviously the latter appealed to me more and I have been to all kinds of press related events in the Big Apple. So for example if you are studying a sports degree and there is an opening at a university that has a top level college sports roster then that should be the choice for you.

Sam Neve @SJNeve You also need to consider the culture shock that comes with moving to a different country. When I first came to America to live I assumed that the cultures would almost be identical. I could not have been more wrong. The people, the rules, the food, the mannerisms and even the language was different to some extent. The best thing you can do is research everything and talk to people. Human interaction is key to understanding another culture and without it it’s almost impossible to settle yourself into a life in your new host nation. When you make that final decision to actually take your life by the horns and veer into a new direction then you have to be sure it is what you want. Many people think that they want to get away from home as soon as possible but even when they just move to a university a few hours away they find it hard to settle in and detach themselves from their lives at home. Once you feel that you are committed then you have to break it to your friends and family, now I can guarantee they will all say the same thing “I’m so proud of you, it will be such a great experience and you’ll meet so many people” you’ll also have to prepare yourself for all the blubbering and crying that people will do it’s a shock for them as much as it is for you. So if you think you are ready then get moving and start organising things now, I started the process in December but I didn’t finish everything until a couple of days before actually moving into campus. The best piece of advice I received was this “Do everything. Don’t just sit back and watch the year go by. Enjoy it all and take everything in, this could very well be the best year of your life.”


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Business success for fashion grads Ceryn Lawless @cerynlawless

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OR many students the thought of owning their own company is merely a dream. Everyone longs for the freedom of being your own boss, and the power to make all the big decisions. Charlotte Molyneux and Rowan Parker, fashion design graduates of Newport University are doing just that, 39 days after wearing their cap and gown. Sat across from me, the well-dressed duo talk facts and figures and relay an overwhelming sense of excitement when discussing their developing business. “We both knew we wanted to start our own business, but didn’t want to do it alone. Doing it together was the perfect idea.” Together, came up with the brand Moonstone Boutique that sells evening and party

dresses, with the expansion of creating custom made dresses in the future. The business will begin online selling on trend dresses for nights out, to evening dresses for pageants and proms.

We both knew we wanted to start our own business, but didn’t want to do it alone.

The idea to create a business together came from the pair’s car sharing at university. The morning drives allowed Molyneux and Parker to talk branding and business. “We both wanted the same thing. And were both a little scared to go at it alone, but it didn’t seem as scary together.” The pair explain to me their initial apprehension at the thought of doing accounts and business plans, as they knew nothing about creating a successful business. “We have been really lucky to have such great help from both the government and our university. Without mentors and funding the process of building a business would have been much slower” explained Rowan. The pair demonstrate that they have their business heads firmly screwed on as they list the funding opportunities they’ve been lucky enough to gain.

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Such as a £1000 grant from their University’s Bright Ideas scheme and business mentoring from the Welsh government’s Business Focus. “Having this kind of help readily available was such a relief, we’ve never run a business before, so the guidance is great.” The partners have also been successful in applying for ‘The Young Entrepreneur Bursary’ from the Welsh Government, which collectively is £12,000 towards salary and web design. The partners understand each other’s strong points and weaknesses which is a vital part of how their partnership works. “We both know what we are better at, and we understand that about each other. Rowan takes on most of the accounting and figures where as I will plan and make appointments” said Molyneux. But two confident young women working together in a close environment surely makes for a bumpy ride in the future? “Ultimately we both want the same thing and working together will be key in building this business. “We are great friends and have a lot of the same ideas, and like a lot of the same things. As for arguments, we don’t have any, if we don’t like something we address it and alter it to suit us both.” With next to no experience in creating a business both Charlotte and Rowan still know exactly what their vision is. “We want to get a buzz around the Moonstone Boutique brand, and want to keep that buzz going up until the website launch”. And they are doing just that by loaning dresses to pageants such as ‘Miss Fashion vs Beauty’, “It’s really important for people to know who we are, and ultimately pageants will be one of our main target customers so this is the perfect opportunity to showcase our designs.” Many newly graduated students are struggling to find their footing on the career ladder, but these women know exactly where they are going. “In a year we hope to have our own little boutique open and to have created a brand that has loyal customers coming back to it. Our website is going live very soon and we really can’t wait to get the ball rolling.” The young entrepreneurs’ love for fashion and designing has turned into a great business venture that has undisputed potential. Their ability to turn their passion into a career path demonstrates the opportunities readily available to young people, to create successful businesses in Wales.

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Rowan (Left) and Charlotte (Right) celebrating graduation


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November 2013

Cardiff students’ street style R

OAMING around Cardiff are thousands of welldressed students with individual and outstanding style. From those who love rooting around charity shops to the high-street bargain hunters, the style stakes are high. Armed with a camera and a note pad we ventured out in the capital to find students whose style stood out.

Ceryn Lawless & Bryony Adams

@cerynlawless & @BryonyAdams

Ethan John, 19, University of South Wales, Media production

“ shop arity y – ch Hat – charit f Scar shop – a gift y a t Shir – Romw hop s Skirt charity – Belt – ASOS s t Boo

Mary Jones, 19, University of South Wales, Fashion promotion

Our fashion editor thinks... This outfit combines all key autumn/ winter colours in one. Keeping her look feminine Mary has adjusted from summer to autumn perfectly.

I really like denim, and I’ll usually wear denim and boots normally. I’d say my music taste mostly really influences my style and what I wear

Our fashion editor thinks ...

The denim on denim trend was a huge hit last season and Ethan demonstrates here that it isn’t going anywhere fast. He teams the look with black jeans and boots, to break up the denim, and keep it casual.

De n Top im Ja Shi shop cket r t Jea - Ri v Boo ns - H er Isl a & nd ts – M Tim ber lan d

My style is quite mix and match; I tend to focus more on textures than anything else. I like mixing new with old and having pieces that are unique and different.


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Paisley Bailey, 18, University of South Wales, Fashion promotion

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Elliot W Reilla, 18, University of South Wales, Script writing

My style is very collective and it depends on how I feel on the day. I don’t focus on anything particular, but I love everything vintage and going through my mum’s old clothes and stealing her pieces Our fashion editor thinks...

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People will always judge you on what you wear, so I just wear what I want.

Paisley looks ready from autumn in her tweed-look blazer. The fashion student combines smart and casual pieces to create an on trend look. Teaming a collared shirt with a statement necklace she creates a versatile outfit for any occasion.

? p from rity sho ere a Wh r – ch ade AJ n e a Blaz s – Arc Americ e Sho ings – g g Le arel xt) age App – vint om Ne t r Shir inally f y shop (orig – charit Bag

Wh e Jea re fro n m Sho s: Prim ? es: C ark Coa t: H onver T-sh se &M Sca irt: Prim r Bag f: Next ark : Su per dry

Fashion and Beauty news Rihanna for Mac Autumn collection Rihanna has launched her second full collection for makeup brand Mac. The collection was released on the 3 October online and in stores at 11 AM. The beauty partnership between Rihanna and Mac has already been a huge success with the singer’s signature lipstick ‘RiRi Woo’ from the singer’s first collection selling out in just three hours. And it is clear that the

autumn collection will be no different, as it includes “decidedly daring yet classically gorgeous shades, finishes and tools, all encased in metallic warmth of rose gold packaging” says Mac. Kate Moss Topshop collection Super model Kate Moss will be launching a new collection for Topshop in April 2014. Three and a half years since her last collaboration with the brand, the collection will compromise of 40 pieces, and will be sold in 40

countries worldwide and online. The models collaboration with the brand began in May 2007 and was a huge success for the highstreet chain. Rumoured to be inspired by Moss’ personal wardrobe, the collection is set to be even more successful than the last. E.L.F comes to Cardiff Cosmetics brand Eyes, lips, face are opening a new store in Cardiff.

Our fashion editor thinks... A smart coat is enough to dress up any outfit. Elliot masters the art of looking effortless but still fashionable by adding this knee length coat over a casual and comfortable t-shirt and skinny jeans.

This will be the brands first retail store in the UK, and is set to open at the end of the month. Located in Cardiff’s Royal Arcade the brand is keeping it local with their headquarters in Swansea. Tesco’s fashion F&F Tesco’s fashion line has launched their very first fashion boutique. The collection is pleasing to both the eye and bank balance showcasing a number of key autumn trends. The line is only available in store at London’s West Kensington, but the entire autumn/winter collection is also

available to purchase online at clothingattesco.com. Kate Bosworth for Topshop Kate Moss isn’t the only star to return to collaborate with Topshop. Hollywood actress Kate Bosworth’s second collection for the brand hits stores internationally and online the 24 October. “The collection is tailored and classic. For fall, we wanted to create luxurious pieces with a strong minimalist approach” says Bosworth. The 46-piece collections price start at £35 and go up to £500.


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November 2013

New in town?

The North Star

Where is it? North Road, Cathays Best night to go? Every Wednesday night is the Open Mic night plus North Star’s mighty Man v Food challenges. The pub hosts its own numerous Man vs Food challenges every Wednesday, including an enormous 45oz burger bigger than your head. Generally there’s a great mix of delicious food, cosy decor and live music (particularly for those who like their jazz). OK, it may be a bit of a walk from the city centre but the warm, inviting atmosphere that greets you upon arrival is definitely worth the journey.

Clwb Ifor Bach

Chris Martin & Dean Hodge @ChrisPJMartin & @dean_hodge

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OR freshers, the first year of university can be both a stressful and exciting time in a new city, and you may be wondering, “where are the best places to go.” Here is The Insight’s guide to the best places to dine, drink and dance in Cardiff.

Porter’s

Where is it? Bute Terrace (opposite Motorpoint Arena and near Atrium) Best night to go? Every day has something different on, but Fridays are when the bar is at its liveliest. Where else in Cardiff (or anywhere else for that matter) can you find a bar with its own cinema, a mini golf course, giant Jenga, a BBQ and on Tuesday nights a ping pong table? Sounds like a pretty bonkers mix, but

that is exactly what gives Porter’s its unique charm. Each day has a different event going on, from a pub quiz on Monday to an open mic on Tuesday, to an outdoors BBQ on Sunday. Being only a minute walk away from the Atrium makes it the campus’s unofficial student’s union

The Glee Club

Where is it? Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay Best night to go? Every Friday and Saturday for your regular fix of sidesplittingly funny stand-up comedy If stand-up comedy and great live music are your idea for a good night, look no further than the Glee Club, a little hidden gem of a venue tucked away in the beautiful Cardiff Bay. The Glee Club has established itself as the premier home of good comedy in Cardiff, and has played a host to a number of established and up-andcoming musicians performing at the venue. Even though its small, this gives it an intimacy between the audience and the stage that makes a great live venue.

Where is it? Womanby Street Best night to go? Any nights there’s a gig or Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for clubbing. Although Welsh Club has gravitated to an English speaking demographic from its historic theme as the “Welsh Club” for bands and artists of Wales, it has become the eclectic and vital artery for the music scene not just of Cardiff, but of Wales itself. Not just a great place for a stage dive, its reputation as a versatile nightclub set on three floors is second to none with anyone seeking a rave up, indie disco or sexy R’n’B party.

The Phoenix Gardens

Where is it? Crwys Road, Cathays Best night to go? Thursday (between 6-8pm) serves up a delicious all-youcan-eat buffet – all for just a tenner! When you say the two words ‘Chinese’ and ‘restaurant’, your automatic expectations may not be particularly high. However, The Phoenix Garden serves up delicious Chinese food at a decent price and for those with a big appetite, every Thursday offers up a mouth-watering all-you-can-eat buffet. A bit of a trek

to get there, but totally worth it.

The Full Moon/The Moon Club

Where is it? Womanby St. (opposite Clwb Ifor Bach) Best night to go? Friday. Timing is not a major issue but I would aim for about 12. Fly me to the moon. Or walk – whichever you fancy. The latter is probably easiest. This is the home of good times. As cliché as that sounds, this is the place where it’s almost impossible to have a bad evening. The music is fantastic, blends of old school hip-hop mixed with tune after tune after tune of the cool alternative from the last 50 years. Upstairs is The Moon Club, where this is a gig most nights of the week. Entry is sometimes free, but even if it isn’t it’s a very minimal cost and you can discover some fantastic live music.

Charleston’s

Where is it? Caroline Street (Chippy Lane) Best night to go? Any week night. If you’re a fan of your steak (sorry vegetarians but you’re missing out) then Charleston’s is your place. It is expensive which is its only downside, but once eaten you do realise how priceless it really was. It’s open ‘til very late indeed so its novelty is as a place to end up after the alcoholic endeavours are completed.

Live Lounge

Where is it? The Friary (just off Queen St) Best night to go? Any night except Saturday Love it? Loathe it? Can’t get enough of it? You can fall in and out of love with Live Lounge quicker than the pop career of X Factor winner Leon Jackson (and in case you’re wondering, that was pretty damn quick). It’s the same old tunes, but who cares? You can sing along and you’ll never look the oddest person there. And if you get bored, head out to the cramped cavern of a smoking area they have. Even if you don’t smoke, it’s a place to make friends with other drunkards to make the night even merrier than it was.

The Globe Undertone (Bump ‘n’ Grind)

Where is it? Church Street Best night to go? Monday, get there for about 11/12pm and dance your inhibitions away. A recent discovery, Monday nights at Undertone’s Bump ‘n’ Grind are the real deal. Though the name may cause your eyebrows to quiver in disarray, hear me out. It’s a place for fans of classic Justin Timberlake, R Kelly, Destiny’s Child and TLC, especially. This is the only place I’ve been able to find all of those in one intimate dancefuelled night.

Where is it? Albany Road, Roath Best night to go? Saturday/Whenever there’s a good gig on The Globe is buzzing at the moment. Under recent new management they’ve gone from strength to strength with a bit of a redesign and booking some unbelievably good and big acts. Recently they’ve had The Strypes, Kate Nash & Hadouken! while coming soon they’ll have The Pigeon Detectives, Goldie Lookin’ Chain and Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club. They also have their big Saturday night Ramshackle which is their weekly rave for all you happy-go-lucky ravers out there.

Film Review

Insidious: Chapter 2 Rachel McDonough

@rachmcd1 A UNIQUE continuation from the dark mysteries left from the previous film, the spine-chilling sequel ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ continues the story of the haunted Lambert family, albeit with a twist.

Directed by James Wan and co-written by Leigh Wannell, there are elements of Wan’s previous films like ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘Saw’. The original cast members, Patrick Wilson (Josh), Rose Byrne (Renai), Lin Shaye (Elise) and Ty Simpkins (Dalton, Josh’s son), are back together in attempt to rid the evil spirit attached to them.

Back for the second time entering further into a world of the unknown and the terrors of demonic possession. Picking off from where the first film left off, the second chapter revisits the family as they seek ghost hunters to free Josh of the evil entity that grasps onto him. While Josh falls deeper into the spiritual film known as ‘the further’, he is challenged by unexpected ghosts who reveal the past truths about the childhood of whom possesses him. It’s worth mentioning that this is a horror film where gore is not needed, relying purely on suspense and slow build-up to produce its shocks. The visualisations have improved since the first film and the return of the grinning mannequins, grotesque faces, unsettling soundtrack and the bride in black do not disappoint. The result is

a film that’s enough to make any avid horror fan sit at the edge of their seat. The tone in places is unintentionally humorous; with the over-done make-up and fast-paced music, it’s hard not to laugh in places. But these are just occasional pit-stops for light relief – there’s always a build-up with a ‘bang’ lurking around the corner (beware of spilling your popcorn and fizzy drinks). Watching this without seeing the first isn’t recommended, as you won’t fully understand the reasoning behind the narrative or the twist. It’s the unexplained which provokes us to ponder what really happens, leaving us with an ending that provides the perfect start to travel ‘further’ into Chapter 3.


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Sŵn Festival 2013

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Owen Sheppard & Dean Hodge

@owen_sheppard & @dean_hodge

F

OR four days in the heart of the Welsh capital, hundreds of musicians come to town, pubs and shops convert to gig venues and music nerds emerge from hiding. It can only mean one thing – Swn Festival 2013 is back in town. For those who missed the event or simply want to be reminded again of those memorable four days, here is The Insight’s coverage of the this year’s antics.

Thursday - Day 1

Crowds pour into the Great Hall on the inaugural night of Swn 2013 as opening support act Outfit 3/5 kick off proceedings. Their brand of sweeping, melodic synth-pop warms up the crowd and gets things off to a solid start. Next was the turn of main support Dutch Uncles 3/5 to keep the party going. The art-pop troubadours’ unorthodox melodies and song structures can disorientate your senses at points but their knack for a hook and a danceable beat make the songs easy enough to move and groove to. And now for the headliner. Everything Everything 4/5 arrive on stage to a rousing applause. Cue a wall of synths, drums and guitars that whips the crowd into frenzy. The band put on an (almost literally) blinding set, unleashing their electronica-spliced indie pop on the audience amidst lighting displays that dizzying the senses. Over in the upper deck of Clwb

Ifor Bach, one of the more seasoned bands to perform this year are Sky Larkin 4/5 who pack a punch with their knack for a catchy punk-pop melody and spiky riffs. Katie Harkin’s charismatic vocal and stage presence helps give the band their distinctive sound and prevents them from being pigeonholed as another generic punkpop outfit. Giving a DJ as learned as Mr Scruff 5/5 a 4 hour set is like giving a 12 year old a free pass to Thorpe Park; the beaming smile writ large upon Scruff ’s face speaks for itself. As well as cuts of his trademark jazz/dance fusions, there are helpings of house, garage, jungle, and towards the end, breaks out some salsa. Light show projections of his staple cartoons potato men raving are the perfect light hearted accessory to the biggest party the festival will see all weekend. The legend has done it again.

Friday - Day 2

Kicking Friday’s proceedings off in Dempseys are the two-man assault that is Right Hand Left Hand 2/5 (top marks for originality). Their central gimmick is the use of guitar loop medals and build-up of play backed guitars. It’s impressive to watch, but musically predictable, and mundane. A band to be seen live but not. Upstairs at Dempseys it’s sweaty and intimate, which works well for Missouri’s Radkey 3/5 a multi-racial classic punk outfit who evoke memories of The Misfits. It’s a fearsome and thrashy performance from a trio who look and sound a million miles from home, but a little samey, and blunted by a sub-par sound system. Striking a similarly weird but barbaric chord with Turbowolf and Pulled

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Peasants’ King 4/5 make simple work of filling the space at St Mary Street O’Neill’s with anthemic tracks of post hardcore inspired indie pop. They belt out the catchiest of choruses and clever riffs to a standard that should make the Kids in Glass Houses of this world feel belittled. Dozens of people huddle into the tiny, upstairs room in Moon and you could barely move an inch. Without his usual drummer, Sweet Baboo 4/5 stood alone to work the crowd. Thankfully, he had the talent, charisma and voice to do the job perfectly. Baboo performs tender, beautiful folk songs one second, then the next he turns Photos by: Stewart Leigh-Firbanks to tunes of deadpan Apart by Horses (and not just because witticism and self-deprecation that of the wildlife enthusiasm) Beard of showcases his less serious side. Wolves 3/5 are two capable musicians Downstairs at Clwb, punters are who, going by lyrics like “my father greeted by the warm sounds of Cardrives the death star” and drummer diff ’s own The Echo and the Always Adam Hughes’ announcement: “this 5/5 as they grace their stage with their song’s about blow jobs”, thankfully beautiful, dreamy folk-pop. The eledon’t take themselves too seriously. gant melodies and sweeping strings are O’Neills proved to be a hotbed of qualtopped up by the gorgeous, soothing ity bands this year and the highlight vocals of Laura Hancock, which cuts by a clear distance were The Keys 5/5. through your heart and senses like a Their trademark psychedelic garage knife through butter. rock sound, combining Back over at Clwb, Welsh synth distorted riffs and rockers Bloodflower 4/5 are dreamy melodies playing their debut gig. sprinkled with classic The band’s retro New60’s dust went down a Wave inspired sound storm. With the front would leave you rows dancing, frontman unsurprised Matthew Evans scales if they’d an amp to deliver a quality guitar solo – a highlight from a compelling performance.

Saturday Day 3

The autumn sun emerged from the rain clouds for the arrival of young indie three piece Houdini Dax 4/5. Unashamedly generic in sound but crafty with song writing devices in all the right places – the odd false end, guitar solo, breakdown and hook laden chorus make Dax a charming bunch. Faced against the elements and the general public, the Outdoors Stage was probably the most difficult to conquer, but Dax make it look easy. With two percussionists and four vocalists the Glamorgan uni graduates

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been teleported onto the stage from the 1980’s. They blend synths with fuzzy guitars and melodies that are simultaneously brooding but uplifting. It’s a great privilege to witness the very beginning of a band with serious potential. LA rapper Daveed Diggs and producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes of Clipping 5/5 pack an aural

assault of rap meets abrasive, minimal noise. It’s a peculiar hearing an emcee with the flow of Aesop Rock and the lyrical focus of Childish Gambino spit over bludgeoning walls of white noise and distortion, but it’s a concoction that refuses to be ignored. Diggs is too addictive to not be won over by, and the set goes by in a flash. There’s not a bored face in the crowd and this dissonant and unlikely phenomenon has triumphed in a festival teeming with pea coats and Trilbys. A real hidden gem of the festival. Closing the Saturday night at Clwb Ifor Bach are Peterborough trio The Wytches 4/5 who bring enough aggression and wiry guitar tricks to revive the legacy of Sonic Youth. There’s not much smiling here, but plenty of fret board torturing dissonance with the occasional injection of guttural venom from singer Kristian Bell. For anyone who fondly remembers the snotty garage punk days of The Horrors circa 2008, this is a band for you.

Sunday - Day 4

As soon as Elly Sinnett 4/5 opened her mouth and unleashed that breath-taking voice, the whole room was silenced. With just the fragile power of her voice, her guitar and a backing band, the 18 year old had the entire room captivated with a set of beautifully sad yet soothing songs. The penultimate act in Clwb’s coverage of Swn, Childhood 3/5 evoke memories of the shoegazing and Madchester scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s with their jangly, murky guitar-pop melodies, and there is more than whiff of influence from bands such as Ride and The Stone Roses. As good as the music is, the band don’t have the charisma or cockiness to completely own the stage or the crowd and it felt like they were going through the motions. Saving the best until last, psych-rockers Temples 5/5 took the closing day of the festival by its horn. Their yearning melodies and jangly riffs transfixed us from the first note and the band oozed charisma and an enigmatic cool on the stage. At one point, the frontman urged the audience to liven up, and the crowd responded with gusto. A fittingly grandiose ending to Clwb’s live music participation, but and a perfect warm up for the Swn after party. Round the corner at the Angel Hotel, there’s still one act left. New York’s singer song writer Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee 2/5 arrived flanked by bassist and. But the atmosphere is lifeless and one middle of the road indie slow burner after another arouses little above tepid applause. Crutchfield can boast a pretty voice, but the package is disrupted by poor mixing. Swats at the snare overpower the rest of Waxahatchee’s volume and veers their song writing towards the clunky and downright boring.


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November 2013

Sŵn fest continued...

What you thought

Dean Hodge @dean_hodge

Hywel Williams, 20, Sociology student, Swn Festival volunteer

Genevieve Gyseman, 21, Business and Management student.

Daniel Joven-Parachini, 20, Mexico City, Music Technology student

“Volunteering at the festival has been great fun, and everyone’s friendly. It gives you a chance to see lots of interesting artists and socialise with people from all sorts of backgrounds. Out of all the artists I’ve seen my favourites would have to be Samoans.”

“My favourite artist has been Joe Robert Lewis in Dempseys. I got to meet him beforehand and he was really shy and lovely but was rocking out as soon as he got on stage.”

“I think the festival is a great way for local music to expand its audience, old and new bands get a chance to perform to a wide audience and for people to access the Welsh music scene.”

Gareth Brierley, 21, Aberaeron Live Event technology student, sound engineer at Swn

“Sunday has been really interesting so far, we have a 10-man hip-hop band called Deg Mewn Bws who play a mixture of genres, so I’m looking forward to seeing them perform tonight.”

A Box full of Comedy Dean Hodge @dean_hodge OPENED every two months upon the serene setting of Porter’s bar is ‘A Boxfull of Comedy’ an ambitious project first launched by local comedian Dan Mitchell, and returns to the bar every two months. The aim of this project is to bring together a collective of creative people, both professional, established acts and students with big ideas and potential, to produce a set of themed comedy nights, each performance centred on a particular theme. So far they have ranged from wildlife, to science and history, with a horror theme lined up for the next show. As well as including professional and experienced acts, the project also mostly involves students from the Atrium campus and has been a perfect outlet to indulge their urges and show what they can do. The project welcomes anyone from all sorts of creative backgrounds who want to get involved in any way. Writers, actors, filmmakers, animators – these are just some of the various people who have collaborated on the project, which is a great springboard to showcase the talent these people have. Boxfull is the platform for each of the creators’ surreal, barmy and frankly hilarious ideas to be showcased to the delight of an entertained crowd. The project is separated in to two parts; the first consists of a series

Photo by: Stewart Leigh-Firbanks

of short films and animations which are premièred in the Other Room a small cinema at the back of the bar. Following a short break comes the second half a series of live sketches and stand-up comic routines performed on the main stage. Porter’s is the ideal venue for this project, due to the cosy décor and intimate atmosphere of the bar, as well as the closeness between the main stage and the audience that helps create a connection between the two and really brings the most out of the performances. Often, the spectators don’t just watch the show but end up becoming unwittingly involved in the spectacle as the performers often venture off the stage and around the room where they pick on any of the audience at will. Thus, if you ever go to a performance you may have to be careful as to not sit

too close to the stage, as you may end up becoming a foil for the performer’s comic trap. Ultimately though, it is all in good fun. Each and every one of the brilliantly conceived sketches provokes a rapturous response from the crowd, each and every gasp and burst of laughter reverberating around the walls of the small, tranquil venue. As one of the fortunate audience members at its premier event who had the privilege and pleasure of witnessing the beautifully chaotic debut performance, I highly recommend going along to any one of their future recitals which take place every two months. Next on the comedy calendar is ‘A Boxfull of Horror’ which promises to be terrifying and terrifically funny in equal measure. Don’t be the one to miss out.

Funding reduced for future Sŵn Festivals THE CO-FOUNDER of Swn Festival has responded to claims that the Welsh Government will be cutting funding for Swn Festival next year. John Rostron, who co-founded the event with Huw Stephens in 2007, has said the festival funding received from the Welsh Government is meant to last for three years, meaning this will be the last year the festival receives funding from them. “The idea is that the Welsh Government support you for three years, with the funding gradually decreasing every year. It’s basically so we can find our feet a bit and the idea is if we are successful enough, the Welsh government shorten our funding a little.” He adds that the festival has done well enough to get by on its own merit. “Every year, the Swn festival has gone amazingly well and they clearly agree which is why this is our last year of

funding from them. I think it’s the right time for our funding from them to stop and it gives us a chance to be more independent. I take it as a compliment that now we stand on our feet and do well by ourselves, and I’m more than confident that we can continue to have more success next year and in the future.” John says he is proud of the festival’s success this year and is happy that the festival has received a positive response from the public. “I think the festival has gone really well. The atmosphere has been really good and people have enjoyed it - which is the main thing at the end of the day.” Giving his thoughts on the acts that have performed this year, he added, “We’ve had some amazing artists this year and it’s been good to promote so many up and coming artists, there’s been a good mixture of Welsh, English and bilingual bands.”

Album review

Chase and Status ‘Brand New Machine’ Dean Hodge @dean_hodge SAUL Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status) are undoubtedly two of the main culprits responsible for dubstep’s rise to the mainstream, and for the resurgence of D’n’B. Their popularity has grown to such an extent that they found themselves in the unfavourable position of being branded ‘sell outs’ by underground aficionados. Their previous effort ‘No More Idols’ was met with a somewhat mixed response, in one corner hailed as the breakthrough moment for drum ‘n’ bass by critics and judged as under-par by diehard fans in the other. Thus, ‘Brand New Machine’ can be judged as being the make-or-break third album for the duo. The name is a rather ironic choice as the album harks back more to old-school dance music than to anything being blasted out in clubs or on the radio today. Top 5 single Count On Me is more 1993 than 2013, with the huge vocals of Moko soaring over a propulsive acid-house beat. Her dulcet tones also grace Like That which builds to an anthemic chorus carried by sweeping strings and dense beats. The 1990’s influence is evident elsewhere, such as on the brooding breakbeat of Top 10 hit Lost & Not Found, the old school production and

house flavour of Deeper Devotion, and Heaven Knows which builds from a seductive trip-hop melody to distorted techno towards its crescendo. The band are clearly harking back to the roots of the music that influence them while trying to carry it into the present day, and dip in and out of different genres throughout from trap (Machine Gun) to grime (International and Pressure) to old-school jungle (Breathing). While they haven’t lost their knack for a big chorus and catchy hook, the album sags in the middle thanks to dull fillers that don’t possess anything resembling a tune, but regains momentum towards the finale and closes with the soulful gospel-house of Alive. Overall, while this is a far from perfect album, there are enough dance floor filling belters to satisfy fans and neutrals alike. Thus, ‘Brand New Machine’ can be judged as a satisfactory, if not triumphant, return to form for the duo. ‘Brand New Machine’ is out now. Chase and Status start their UK tour on 31 Oct, performing at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on 7 Nov. Tickets available to buy now.


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Grand Theft Auto V remains unbeaten Jack Buckley @dyathinkysaurus AFTER 30 hours of gameplay, a stack of plates and one neglected girlfriend, ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ remains unbeaten. Michael, Franklin and Trevor are the main protagonists (I use the term loosely) of the story, and while the online platform is yet to hit its stride, the offline mode is every inch of what a GTA game should be.

A great consistent theme with this is the levelling up – the character grows in different areas depending on your style. While this game is by no means beautiful, graphics-wise it is a game that plays to its strengths – fast car pursuits, witty conversations and excessive violence. It’s what they do and they do it superbly. This is a very good reason why GTA has become legendary in its genre. The ‘Strangers and Freaks’ missions are among my favourite things in any video game – they are utterly unexpected and have left me in fits of

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Video game review laughter; for the most part they are irrelevant to the story, but occasionally, the random events will come back with some significant benefit. The flight-missions on the other hand, aren’t so captivating. Helicopters and planes are painfully slow, so whilst the time is filled with superb dialogue, the mechanics of this mode of transport still need some work. The police presence in this game is extremely well executed, realistic police tactics are used during the chases to get you off the road. One of the most successful is a slight nudge to the rear of one side of your car, causing a spin out and ultimately ending with a bullet to the face. This is more than stressful when your car is in fact a motorcycle and that slight nudge sends you hurtling forwards. On a side note – the characters seem particularly averse to seatbelts. Dialogue in this game is among the best voice acting across the board, as the series focuses on a number of main characters. The importance of a solid cast behind it has really set this game away from the usual single character perspective. A word of advice… storming a military base in a golf buggy is a very bad idea.

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FIFA 14: Review Chris Johnson @CMJohnson91

FIFA14 follows where 13 left off, the menus have barely changed, graphics remain how they were (and yes, the crowd still look like they were copy/ pasted from a Gameboy Colour game), generally speaking FIFA14 is pretty much the same as the previous title. This year, the “pulling point” is the game’s more realistic feel. You can no longer grab the ball with Mertesacker on one end of the pitch, sprint without thought to the other end, cross the ball and score a goal. As with real life, your player has those things we call lungs, poor Merty will need to pass up field if he wants to help his team from now

on. There’s also been a noticeable change to passing and performing skills, players now shift their weight, and balance affects whether or not you sky the ball or set up a goal. Ultimately, passing the ball takes more patience and sprinting feels sluggish at first. But after a frustrating week or so, any FIFA fan will find themselves adapted to the changes. If there’s one good thing to come out of this edition, the amount of ‘work’ needed to score a goal is far more rewarding than any other FIFA to date. Sadly, realism is the only notable change made in this years ‘upgrade’ and it does make you wonder if you’re paying for an increased number rather than a new game. The lack of improvements is worrying and I’d be very surprised if EA are able to continue churning out these games forever. Then again, FIFA will always have an audience and the age old phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind. Either way, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of Facebook apologies flying about for another year.

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18

Firsts succumb to Hartpury The University Men’s First team lose 1-0 to reigning champions

Fixtures FOOTBALL MEN University of South Wales 1sts 16TH University of Chichester Mens 1st (A), 23RD University of the West of England (Hartpury) Mens 1st (H), 30TH University of Bath Mens 1st (A)

James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe

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he University men’s first team squandered some late second half chances to overturn the one goal scoreline against last year’s champions. After a subdued opening neither side created any chances, with both sides unable to string together enough passes to make any goal scoring opportunities. Hartpury then took the lead just after the ten minute mark when midfielder Mitch Botfield picked up a loose ball in the box and curled a shot past USW keeper Mike Lewis from the edge of the area. The game failed to ignite after the goal, with chances for both sides being few and far between. As the second half progressed USW did manage to start to create some changes of intent. Last season’s ‘player of the year’ Chris Miethike came closest to levelling the scores, with a header that went narrowly wide. Into the last minutes USW dropped to three at the back, pushing more men forward in search of the equaliser. They bought on Miles John as a further avenue of attack and the tactic almost came to fruition, when John linked with Miethike to go one-on-one eight with Hartpury keeper. Miethike hit his shot right at the keeper but the rebound fell to John at the edge of the area. With the Hartpury keeper struggling to get back into position John blasted his shot over the crossbar. Hartpury, who have not lost a game in the past three years, showed their experience and expertly ran down the clock to secure their win. USW Firsts’ manager Steve Savage said; “Obviously I’m disappointed with the result but overall I am pleased with the performance from the boys out there today. We were playing against a side who haven’t lost in three years and their manger has just told them that they got away with it here today against us, which is a huge positive for the lads. “We did create some chances towards the end and you could tell with the way they were running the clock down that they felt threatened by us. It’s all about converting our good performances into results and that’s something we will look to do next week away at Bath.” The Firsts travel to Bath next Wednesday, as they hope to convert two good performances in their opening two games into points.

CHANCE: Clayton Green flights in a freekick for USW during their close loss to Hartpury

Women’s Firsts dispatch Marjons Davies, Oghoso score to give USW the perfect start

University of South Wales 4ths 16TH University of South Wales 3rds (A) 23RD Aberystwyth University 1sts (H) 30TH Cardiff Metropolitan University Mens 3rd

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he Women’s first’s team kicked off their season in style with a 3-1 victory over The University of St Marks and St Johns (Marjons). In a closely fought first half, University of South Wales (USW) ‘keeper Bethan Ellis made a string of great saves to keep the scores level. Marjons later hit the bar with a cross, while USW struggled to create chances in the final third. USW began to pile on the pressure in the second half, with right winger Anna Maria Holmberg hitting the outside of the post. The deadlock was finally broken when USW winger Nia Davies pounced on a strike that rebounded off the underside of the bar after a goalmouth scramble. The 70th minute strike was no less than USW’s performance deserved. Their lead was doubled eight minutes later when substitute Jane Oghoso placed a strike into the top corner of the net from just inside the penalty area. USW had a chance to put the game out of sight with ten minutes to play, but Naomi Grant’s long range strike hit the top of the bar and bounced clear. This almost proved costly as just one minute later, Marjons were awarded a harsh penalty for an alleged foul on

University of South Wales 2nds 16TH University of Gloucestershire Men’s 2nd (H), 23RD University of WE (A), 30TH University of Gloucestershire 3rd (H) University of South Wales 3rds 16TH University of South Wales 4ths (H) 23TH Swansea University (A) 30TH Cardiff University (A)

University of South Wales 5ths 16TH Cardiff Metropoliton University 6ths (H) 23RD Cardiff University (A) 30TH UW Trinity ST David (H) WOMEN

COMFORTABLE: USW soundly beat their first opponents

their striker. This was coolly dispatched to set up a nervous final few moments for the USW ladies team. However, the game was wrapped up two minutes from time, when a USW cross from the left wing was turned into their own net by a Marjons defender, to put the final score at 3-1. USW manager Dan Liddiard was pleased with his team’s first win of the season: “We started quite slowly, as you’d expect from our first game.

We changed things at half time and we came out and did exactly what was asked of us. It was a tough game, and the games are only going to get harder, but if we can establish ourselves in the division this season then that will be a success”.

University of South Wales 1sts 16TH Cardiff Metropolitan University (A) 23RD University of St Mark & St John Womens 1st (H) 30TH University of Bath Womens 1st (H) University of South Wales 2nds 16TH University of Southampton Womens 2nd (A) 30TH UW Trinity St David Swansea Womens 1st (A)


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University Seconds fight back to claim victory James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe

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he University Seconds football team recovered from conceding two goals in the opening five minutes, to score a late winner in a dramatic 5-4 victory over the University of Gloucestershire, on the opening day of the season. Gloucestershire took the lead after just four minutes after a loose ball at the edge of the area was picked up by winger Dan Carter and precisely curled into the top corner. Gloucestershire were keen to keep the attacking intent after taking the lead and scored again from a spectacular long range effort. USW (University of South Wales) were forced to adopt a more attacking strategy and it immediately paid off with striker Adrian Maguire finishing confidently after a series of neat interchanges from the midfield. This spurred on USW and they applied heavy pressure, creating some chances to draw the scores level. However, Gloucestershire then furthered their lead; with Carter grabbing his second goal through a sublime twenty yard lob of the USW keeper. The game did inevitably settle down after the chaotic opening twenty minutes, with both teams concentrating on keeping possession on a playing surface that encouraged mistakes due to the morning’s downpour. As the game neared the interval, USW did manage to reduce to the deficit to 3-2, after a low driven cross was guided into the net at the near post by the team’s centre back. This was proceed by an array of scoring opportunities, with the highlight being Maguire, who rounded the goalkeeper only to see his shoot blocked on the goal line. After a subdued start to the second half, Gloucestershire restored their two goal margin. However soon after scoring they conceded a penalty, after a clumsy challenge in the area. Maguire confidentially dispatched the penalty down the middle to take the score to 4-3. The penalty sparked an impressive

KICKOFF: USW conceded their first goal after four minutes

turn around for USW as just two minutes later they managed to take advantage of some lacklustre defending to draw level for the first time in the match. A tentative period of the match followed, with both sides aware that one mistake this late on in the game would almost certainly lead to defeat. It was in fact a great piece of skill that would provide the winner, with time running down USW managed to provide a teasing cross that eluded the Gloucestershire defence and found substitute striker Nicholas Pitziolis unmarked at the far post, who powerfully volleyed home the winner. After the match USW captain Aaron Jewell said he was ‘over the moon’ with the way his team came back to claim victory, after only a limited amount of time together. “This is a new group of players made up from those that have just joined us during fresher’s week and those returning from last year. Overall we have been together for just two weeks, so to win today with the little preparation we have had is satisfying. We all are really over the moon to come away with a victory.” Coach Bobby Briers, who was managing the side for the first occasion said; “The first ten minutes were poor. It has been difficult to get the lads playing as a unit as we only have the one hour training session per week with the players. Obviously we are delighted with the result and it will be a big lift for these boys going into our next fixture. Gloucestershire manager, Tom Prodome, refused to blame his players for such a narrow defeat and praised the quality of the USW squad. Prodome said; “Obviously we are disappointed with the result today after taking the lead so early on, however I cannot fault my team who worked hard. We knew there would be a lot of talent in the USW side and I knew at two nil that they would come and apply some heavy pressure on us “I won’t let the lads get disheartened about today and we will try to keep the positivity about the camp before we head into our next run of games”.

GOALFEST: USW score their second in two minutes to take the lead over their opponents

Students priced out of playing sports continued from page 28 Our reporter Dean Hodge spoke to Drama student Alex Smith, who had to give up cheer-leading due to the rising finnacial costs. DEAN: What were your reasons for quitting the cheerleading team? ALEX: Well it was various things really, firstly the costs mainly because I knew that I would have to buy a whole new training kit and uniform for competition due to the merger and the change of name and university colours, so all of the expenses I had paid last year would be in vain. Cheerleading was really expensive last year but I managed though I had to cut out a lot of others things I used to do to afford it, though I didn’t mind at the time cause I loved it! But I found out that expenses were going to rise even further which was a bit too much for me. The last reason was that I am entering my final year and have decided to dedicate my free time and extra classes in going to auditions and participating in plays that will help me more when looking at my future, which are further expenses I have to pay as well, so it was basically one or the other. DEAN: Do you think the rising costs of cheerleading will have a negative effect on the amount of participation or the number of people who take part? ALEX: I do think there will be a negative effect. It even happened last

JUMP IN PRICES: Alex had to give up cheer leading due to the rising costs

year. Lots of new girls join and its fun and exciting, but when they start to realise the amount of money that goes into it, people start to drop out. We had a large number of people dropping out last year due to costs. I thought about it at some point. I’m glad I didn’t though! DEAN: Do you feel more should be done from the university to promote the sport of cheerleading and help raise funding for it, as well reduce the costs of it?

ALEX: I really think the university should support with funding, especially if they want us to represent them and ultimately win for them. We wouldn’t have anywhere to train properly or even be able to have a cheerleading team in the first place if it wasn’t for RSD (Richards School of Dance, Treforest) lending us their gym every Monday and providing us with coaches which we have to pay for.


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Thirds outclass Fourths The Thirds claim the bragging rights in the University of South Wales derby with an emphatic 6-0 win over the Fourths. Chris Ramsell @ChrisRamsell

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INDY conditions led to a rather low quality first half, but the Thirds ran riot in the second period, scoring an impressive five goals with no return. Despite being outplayed, it was the Fourths who came the closest to opening the scoring, when a curling free kick hit the top of the bar after seven minutes. The Thirds then took control of the game, twice coming close to taking the lead. Despite the Thirds’ technical superiority and hard running, a mix of poor finishing and resistant defending prevented them from scoring. The deadlock was finally broken five minutes before half time. With the Fourths looking like they had weathered the storm, the Thirds whipped in a corner, and centre back Evan Smith bundled the ball home following a goal mouth scramble. The Thirds took complete control in the second half, and doubled their lead in the 50th minute. Striker Matt Jones was played through on goal, steadied himself, and produced a sublime chip over the onrushing goalkeeper. The Fourths seemed unable to cope with their opponent’s crisp passing game, and conceded yet another

EMPHATIC: The Fourths couldn’t handle the Thirds’ passing

when midfielder Jack Riley placed an indirect free-kick into the top corner of the goal in the 60th minute of the match. Another two goals in five minutes put the result beyond any doubt. Forward Mark Schweigler scored from close range and Jones bagged his brace after springing the offside trap and rounding the goalkeeper. Schweigler saved the best until last, with arguably the goal of the match. After being forced wide by the goalkeeper, the striker unleashed a beautiful curling chip from the byline that left the ‘keeper motionless as it floated into the top corner of the net. The win should lift the Thirds to the top of the BUCS Mars Western 4b Men’s division, while the Fourths will look to improve on a disappointing start to the season. Thirds manager Rob Bailey said; “The first half was ruined by the wind, but we defended really well against the long ball, unfortunately we couldn’t get our passing game going. We were brilliant in the secomd half, scoring some goal of the season contenders. Our aim is to win the league this season, but it’s going to be hard to pick the starting eleven each week”.

OUTPLAYED: The Thirds scored five unanswered goals after the break to thrash the Fourths

USW miss out on Cup Women’s rugby team reach semi-finals after close victory, lose to Cardiff Met Matthew Davies @Matthew1Davies

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he University of South Wales Women’s rugby team finished runners up in the inaugural Cassidian University Cup at the Arms Park on October 3rd. The USW Pirates recorded a famous 7-5 victory against Cardiff University in the semi-finals before being outclassed 58-0 by an impressive Cardiff Met outfit in the final. Cardiff started the brighter of the two teams, putting pressure on the USW half-backs and forcing errors. An interception saw Cardiff breakaway before Bittony Price tracked back to thwart the attack. Cardiff remained persistent as they looked for the opening score and they were granted a great opportunity as USW infringed at the breakdown. The conditions were perfect for kicking but the penalty was squandered.

Another Cardiff break swiftly followed when the centres carved their way through the middle of the Pirates defence. This time there was no stopping the opposition as they crossed the whitewash to take an early lead. The goal kicker failed to add the extras. Both sides continued to test each other but the defences held firm. The game contained a barrage of unforced errors with neither side able to build up much momentum. It wasn’t until the clock entered injury time before a moment of magic from threatening fullback, Heather Rees, provided USW with a lifeline. From within their own half, Price floated a miss pass to Rees, who used her blistering pace to break the line before rounding the fullback to dot down under the posts. It was down to number eight, Abbie Taylor to secure victory with the conversion and she duly delivered to help the Pirates to a memorable victory over Cardiff.

USW centre, Sarah Valkenborghs, said: “It was an awesome kick start to the season, winning our first game. We’ve got some areas to really work on but it wasn’t a bad show for a team who were yet to train together. The quality of the opposing teams has increased so I’m sure the upcoming year will be a very hard fought one. I think we need to be realistic in our expectations with such a fresh team in looking at retaining our Premiership position, before building to higher aims.” The USW Pirates went into their final as the overwhelming underdogs as Cardiff Metropolitan recorded an impressive 34-0 victory over Cardiff. The Metropolitan outfit proved too powerful for the USW ladies as they ran riot to complete a staggering 58-0 victory. There were a lot of positives to be taken by the Pirates as they are a new team who have yet to train together. BBC Scrum V’s Phil Steele, who was the announcer at the event, said USW Pirates fullback, Heather Rees, had scored the try of the tournament as he tweeted following the competition.


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Iron-ing out the flaws Ahead of the new season, the Insight had a little Q&A session with Josh Mayo, captain of the USW golf team.

BEFORE: It’s all hope and expectation for the golf team at the beginning of this season...

James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe

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olf is a sport that is often associated with individuals. Think Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and you automatically recognise the great independent achievements those players have achieved, off the back of great individual ability. However, the University is a much more team focussed affair, bringing in six individuals to represent the University, a task that is left to captain Josh Mayo. The Insight caught up with Josh prior to the start of the new season. So Josh, tell us a little about the format the University golf teams play their matches in? “Six individuals each play match play format off scratch (no handicaps), each match being worth 1 point meaning that there are six points up for grabs. It’s kind of like a mini Ryder Cup! A lot of the time the actual outcome of the whole match comes down to the final game with the scores being perhaps 2½ - 2½ with one game to finish! It’s often exciting stuff!”

TACTICS: University Golf includes rather more team play

As captain is there an emphasis on tactics in where you place certain players in the order? “The order in which players are sent out can be very important. If you play a team more than once in a season you can see their tactics in the first game and try to predict what they are going to do in the next match. Most teams just send their best players out first but in the past we have realised this isn’t always a winning tactic. The most im-

portant thing when it comes to order is that everyone in the team is comfortable and feels as though they have a good chance of winning their match regardless.” Are you optimistic about the upcoming season? “In my previous two years playing golf for the university we have been extremely successful, often against the odds! I have met all of the boys and they all seem very excited to be playing in the university golf team and I hope everyone’s optimism can bring us some results in the upcoming season!” What university and venues are you most looking forward to visiting? “I’m pretty sure that Newport are in our division again this year, I’m not sure if its home or away but if it’s away

AND AFTER: ...after last season’s successes out on the course

it may be beneficial as it’s my home course (The Celtic Manor) outside of university! I know a lot of the boys that play for them and we shocked them last year beating them in the cup as underdogs, it was great!” How many students showed interest in representing the university at golf? “There always seems to be an increase in the popularity of golf year on year. At the fair we had a full sheet of names that wanted to play but selected 12 for the trials, out of these our squad of 8 has been selected based on handicaps and that trial. There is a society too for beginners and coaching lessons are being set up through the sports centre. I’m very pleased to see the amount of interest in the sport and hope that its popularity increases in the coming years.”


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You Say Banter We Say Racism

Despite Wales now having two teams in the top-flight Premier League, anti-Welsh racism persists at football grounds across England. It’s time to stamp this behaviour out. Chris Ramsell @ChrisRamsell

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f you walk up to a person in the street, and verbally abuse them about their nationality or where they’re from, that’s racism right? How about if you did it at your local pub? It’s still racism, no matter what the context. So what about a football stadium, when this kind of abuse is hurled at opposition fans by hordes of home supporters? Football has been fighting a battle against racism for decades now. Campaigns such as ‘Kick racism out of football’ and ‘Show racism the red card’ have made great strides in helping to eradicate racism from the game. Yet it in our multicultural society, it still exists. Rio Ferdinand, Jason Roberts and many more will tell you that. Attitudes to foreign and black players have changed drastically in recent times. But perhaps an element of racism that is overlooked in today’s game is that of Anti-Welsh chanting. Swansea, Cardiff and Newport County are unique in that they are the only three teams out of 92 in the English Football league system to be based in Wales. This means having to play against English teams each week, and having to face anti-Welsh chanting from opposition fans. The most popular of these chants is the cliché “sheep shagger”. With the sheep population in Wales outnumbering the people by a 4:1 ratio, the English have taken it upon themselves to suggest that their Celtic neighbours may be a little too friendly with their woolly friends. To many, this type of abuse is seen as friendly, harmless “banter”. The type of bravado that’s to be expected from attending a football match.

However, Simon Richards, the chief education officer at the Welsh branch of ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, believes that the anti-welsh chanting is a bigger problem than some people think: “We visit 13,000 young people a year and I would say that Welsh/

“Although Welsh/English abuse is sometimes seen as being less dangerous than racism based on skin colour, it leaves the victim with the same feelings and problem”. It could be difficult to justify placing anti-Welsh chanting in the same bracket as the more common forms

Welsh supporters have also been known to attack English supports with anti-English abuse of their own, whether they be provoked from the opposition fans or not. But with teams like Swansea and Cardiff City featuring a number of English players in their teams, could these chants insult these players and

English racism is one of the biggest problems across the country – and a lot of that stems from sport and the ‘banter’ culture. “You should never underestimate the damage that racist bullying can have on young people – it rips out what is core to them (where they’re from, their colour etc.) and leaves them with a huge feeling of self-loathing and isolation.

of racism seen in football today. However, the Crown Prosecution Service set out guidelines this year to crack down hooligan behaviour in England and Wales at football matches, which included warning fans on the abuse of players and opposition fans. This perhaps suggests recognition that anti-Welsh chanting is a problem in today’s game. This isn’t just a one way street.

cause them to become disillusioned or annoyed with their own fans? Craig Mapstone, of the Swansea City Supporters Trust, believes not: “I’ve had this discussion with a former Swansea manager and the players just accept it and get on with events on the pitch. I would like to think they would not take offense to such behaviour and have probably put up with a lot worse. However,

I feel that the supporters shouldn’t get dragged into this chanting, and should just concentrate supporting the team”. For now, Anti-Welsh chanting remains a part of the game which is overlooked in favour of more serious forms of racism and discrimination. Richards believes that education is the key to helping solve the Anti-Welsh chanting, although he concedes that is would be difficult to remove all types of negative chanting from the game. “Fans need to see that what happens in a ground on a Saturday may not damage anyone there, however when those chants are taken into the playground then it can have a major effect on young people.” Hitting the nail on the proverbial head, Richards concludes: “99% of fans are against racism on the terraces – and the outcry caused by certain Premiership footballers has highlighted that. The issue with English/Welsh chanting is that it isn’t seen as being racist by the majority of fans therefore they don’t believe it is wrong”. Both Swansea City and Cardiff City are now in the Barclays Premier League, the summit of British Football. Amongst all the other perks, this means being part of an extortionate TV rights deal that will expose the teams, and their fans to millions across the globe. If these anti-Welsh and English chants continue, we run the risk of not just hurting each other’s feelings, but also bringing ourselves in front of the rest of the world, and that’s something neither Welsh nor English can afford to ignore.


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InNews

The Bale Question Arguably the biggest sports news story of the summer was Gareth Bale’s transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid. The story occupied the back pages for what seemed an eternity, with various rumours about how the deal was going to be constructed. But is anything worthy of an £85 million price tag, ask CHRIS RAMSELL & JAMES HAYHOE James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe

Every generation of football fan has an icon. Players like Pele, Cruyff and Ronaldo all dazzled the terraces and will be remembered by fans for years to come. These players defined a generation, not only with their skill on the pitch but there impeccable behaviour off the pitch. In many ways they were the role models football needed. Bale has already had to shake off the losing curse that possessed the start to his Tottenham career and went full circle to become the leading star in the three seasons for Spurs. He has also demonstrated a pivotal role in the Welsh national side, silencing any critics who have perhaps doubted his abilities. I was lucky (well maybe unlucky) to witness Gareth Bale’s first Welsh goal in a 5-1 loss to Slovakia. The perfectly placed free kick was the only positive for Wales’s fans that day but even at the age of seventeen there was a sense of intrigue for the boy from Whitchurch. Of course the eighty-five million price tag is preposterous, but is a mere reflection of today’s football transfer market. My only hope is that Bale doesn’t suffer for the extortionate price tag, with the added scrutiny from fans and pundits and become and icon for this generation of football fans.

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What else can £85 million get you? 414,634 pairs of Nike Hypervenom boots 38,812,785.3 McDonalds happy meals 85,000 flights from Cardiff to Madrid 9444.4 years of university education 2,125,000 copies of FIFA 14 Chris Ramsell @ChrisRamsell Gareth Bale is a phenomenal player; there are no arguments about that. But is he worth £85 million? Of course not. No one is. Of course, the over inflated price tags in today’s football will have you believe otherwise. It’s not Bale’s fault Real Madrid paid £85 million for him, but it now means that he’s going to have to play some outstanding football week in week out. Bale pretty much carried Tottenham last season. He was the star player in the Premier League, but he wasn’t expected to churn out star performances every week. Now he will be, and he’ll have to do it under the scrutiny of the Spanish media, as well as the English, Welsh and pretty much the entire world. Any run of bad form will immediately see him labelled a flop. In theory, he should have to just about better £80 million man Ronaldo’s goal tally of 212 goals in 208 games to justify his price tag, something which would be virtually impossible. Only time will tell if Bale can live up to his price tag, but he will have to go for the jugular if he does. League titles, cup wins and a Champions League title may


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Teams vote to keep sports teams separate after merger James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe Merger of the university sports teams from Treforest and Newportfaced major oppostion from the outset.

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niversity teams at both the Treforest and Newport campuses will compete separately in competitive sport for the upcoming season. With the merger of the University of Glamorgan and Newport, it remained unclear if the teams would also merge to represent the new University of South Wales.

A merger of the teams faced strong opposition from the onset, with students highighting problems such as extra travel expenses as an obstruction to any potential sports merger. Student Union president, Carys Thomas, described how the decision to keep the teams separate was made via a student vote. “Last year we gave the decisions to the captains to see how their individual teams felt about a merger. Once they talked to the team members and gauged how they felt they submitted their team’s votes. The majority of the teams voted in favour of keeping the two campuses sport teams separate. It was a democratic decision made by students union.” “In terms of the future there are no plans to change this decision at the present” However the decision to maintain separate teams in both Newport and

Rise in sport fees linked to university merger

Students witness a significant rise in fees to play University Sports for this academic year across both USW campuses. James Hayhoe @jameshayhoe Dean Hodge @dean_hodge Students at the University of South Wales are being forced to quit participating in sports due to the increase in their seasonal fees. The fee each different sports team charges for the season is governed by the amount of funding that sport receives from the Students Union. The fees are implemented to cover such costs as insurance and transport. The dramatic rise in fees for this academic year can be traced to the merger between universities of Glamorgan and Newport. Sports teams at both campuses have had to find funding to purchase new kit that bears the newly formed University of South Wales logo and represents the universities colour scheme of red and white. Some of the more under-the-radar sports have witnessed the largest increase in fees. Volleyball players are ex-

pected to pay seventy-five pounds for the coming season. Coach Carl Harwood is angered at the costs that his players are expected to pay. “It’s the University’s policy to actively encourage students to participate in sport, so it’s confusing to me why they don’t actively encourage every sport. It’s an issue that makes me very angry because it’s something that has been going on for years. The money side of sports always creates issue, but at the end of the day I’ve got forty students who want to learn and play the sport…why should we have to turn them away?’ “Students who are new to the game need time to think that they can do it for the rest of the year. With this daunting fee right at the start of the year it doesn’t help to introduce new players to the sport.” Turn to page 19 to see more on this story, including an interview with a student who was forced to give up cheer leading due to the increasing costs.

Treforest will be under constant review by the governing Students Unions. Thomas elaborated that there would be ‘constant assessment’ by the Students Union, “We will be keeping a watchful

eye over the teams and conducting a mid-season review to see if we have made the right decision”.

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Inside: USW Football Pages 22-24

USW Rugby Page 24

Q&A with Josh Mayo Page 24

Anti-Welsh racism: has it gone too far? Page 26

OPPOSTION: Students highlighted travel costs as the main obstruction to a merger of sports teams

Was Gareth Bale worth the money? Page 27


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