THE PHOENIX EXCLUSIVE 97% OF ATRIUM STUDENTS CAN’T NAME SU PRESIDENT P7
INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER
University fails to attract enough students p5
Cardiff family deported to Egypt p9
Can you last a week on a fiver? p16
Bond Special p11, p20, p23
The Phoenix November 2012
From the editor Hey,
What we really want to do now is make a great newspaper. That will This is your new student newspaper. depend 100% on you telling us It isn’t something we’re doing for what to do. a module, it’s not an attempt to get The Phoenix is aiming to be a work experience, and it won’t just be student conversation. We’re totally some line on our CVs. independent, so we’re free to report The Phoenix is an independent stu- everything that you’ll want and dent newspaper which we made from need to know. If you tell us to invesscratch because we thought South tigate it, we will. If there’s someWales needed one. thing that you want to change, we’ll This is our first attempt, and it’s far try and help. If there’s something from perfect. As you can quite obvithat you want to say, we’re here as ously tell, we’ve made a newspaper. a way for you to say it. This really
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is your paper, in every sense of the word. We really want you to decide what the next issue is going to be like, so tweet us and tell us. The things that you’re interested in are what are going to decide the content of this newspaper. The only way for us to get it absolutely right is if you tell us what you want, so please do. This editorial is the first and last time you’ll hear me talking about ‘us’ at The Phoenix. From now on, we are the least important people to this
newspaper. From now on, you guys will hopefully be doing all the talking. We have worked hard on this, and we’re really, really excited that you’re finally getting to read it. I can’t wait to hear what you think; about what you like, and more importantly what you don’t like. Tell me @ellenmcoyne In the meantime, enjoy your first Phoenix. And thanks for reading; now, and hopefully for the rest of the year. Ellen Coyne Founder & editor
Credits Editor: Ellen Coyne
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by Hazel Guppy @_hazelaine
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
The big picture
St. Davids Fashion Show 2012, The Hayes. Saturday 27th October
News shots - everything you need to know, fast Hurricane
t the time of print, at least 48 Americans have been killed in a hurricane that’s raging across the east coast. Hurricane Sandy was declared a ‘major disaster’ in New York and New Jersey by President Obama. Around 8.5 million households faced into their second night without power last night. Following heavy flooding, it will take the best part of a week before the New York subway is back to normal. 52 people were killed in Haiti by Hurrican Sandy last week. Aid workers have expressed concern that the storm may result in a food crisis and a rise in Cholera.
(Images from Wikimedia Commons)
Disney buy Star Wars
he Savile scandal is still ongoing, following revelations from a former porter at Leeds General Infirmary. The porter claimed that Savile was given the keys to staff accommodation and regularly took underage girls there during the night. The scandal was exposed by an ITV documentary. The BBC is currently being independently investigated following claims that there had been an institutional cover-up to try and stop a Newsnight documentary from exposing the TV personality who died last year. The DirectorGeneral of the BBC, George Entwistle, was grilled by MPs at a select committee following a Panorama documentary exposing “what the BBC knew.”
isney have bought the production company for Star Wars, Lucasfilm, for £4bn. The deal means that production on another Star Wars film can begin in three year’s time. Disney are planning to release a Star Wars film every 2-3 years after the release of Episode 7 in 2015. George Lucas will continue on as creative director, meaning he will have some input in the upcoming editions of the film franchise. “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” he said. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”
The Phoenix November 2012
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
University faces loss of £7,000,000 by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne The university could lose £7,000,000 if it doesn’t recruit enough students. The number of students who started at the university this year fell well below estimates. The Phoenix can exclusively reveal that the low numbers of freshers means that the university could lose out, as the missing students would equate to about £7 million worth of tuition fees. The figures for students starting university across the country this year plummeted. Around 12% less students started uni this September when compared with last year following the government’s new higher fees initiative. Like many other universities, University of Glamorgan had this year implemented higher fees of £9,000 for freshers. The Phoenix understands that the Vice-Chancellor quoted the figure of £7 million in a meeting to staff, stating that this would be what the university could stand to lose if there wasn’t a bigger emphasis on recruitment. A spokesperson for the university told The Phoenix that it is still too early to see what kind of effect this will have on the final budget. “Income from student numbers is just one element which goes into making up the University’s budget,” she said. “We will have a substantial February intake this academic year, and as such it is impossible to say what the final budget will be.” When asked how the university knew that February’s intake was going to be ‘substantial’, the spokesperson said: “Whether it is substantial or not, it is still too early to say what this year’s budget will be.” This year, for the first time, the university will have an active recruitment drive in February in an attempt to attract more students. The university had a lot of places available in clearing at the start of this academic year, some of which had been allocated by the Welsh government. Though the university attempted to entice new students through various methods, including an advertising campaign on Facebook, final numbers for September’s intake of freshers still failed to reach estimated figures. The university has just recently re-evaluated its £15 million Atrium 2 expansion plans. The plans now include potentially using the green garage beside the university, seeking the use of Atlantic House West, and plans to take over an office block in the city centre.
(Photo by Tax Sevice, used under Creative Commons License) When plans for the extension were originally unveiled, the university had said that it was doing so in the hope to add 2,500 students to the current population. The university had experienced a 43% rise in applications in the four years previous. However, a spokesperson for the university told The Phoenix that the student market doesn’t appear to be as large original estimates had predicted. “We’re not shelving Atrium 2, we’re being pragmatic,” they said. “We’ve had a steady clearing market for the last few years and we just want to take a step back and see if this year has just been a blip, or a trend, or a one off.” The decrease in student numbers at University of Glamorgan is coming at the same time as advanced talks on the proposed merger with University of Wales Newport, which
Have an opinion? What do you think? Have your say by tweeting us @GlamPhoenix Alternatively, post a message on our facebook page facebook.com/GlamPhoenix
looks likely to happen as early as next Spring. Education Minister Leighton Andrews had been pushing the merger since last year, claiming that neither University of Glamorgan, University of Wales Newport, nor Cardiff Met would be able to survive on their own. It was decided over the summer that Newport would be dissolved before it would be merged with University of Glamorgan. Newport University Student’s Union will be dissolving once the merger takes place, and Glamorgan Union will be holding a referendum after Christmas to decide the name of the new union which will represent the two. The university is charging this year’s freshers £9,000 in line with the Coalition’s new fees initiative, which has recently emerged as being flawed. At the start of the
month, a report by the Higher Education Policy Institute revealed that the government’s estimations on how much the fees increase would cost the taxpayer were miscalculated. The report claimed that the government had “seriously understated” the cost of the new regime, meaning it may end up costing even more than the old system. To make up for the error, current students may have to make higher repayments on their loans or student numbers may have to be cut. It happened because the government assumed that the average tuition fees would be £7,000. In reality, it works out £8,234, which means that students will have to borrow more. Liam Burns, President of the NUS, said that the government had created a mess “that would take years to fix.”
EXCLUSIVE Glitch leaves thousands broke
The Phoenix November 2012
Student loan error revealed
Abortion changes to affect students by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
Photo: Images Money (Creative Commons licence)
by Ellen Coyne and Sam Neve @ellenmcoyne @sjneve
ocial lives were sacrificed and tins of beans were tested to their extreme limits. Now, The Phoenix can exclusively reveal the reason behind the student finance blunder. University of Glamorgan students were left furious and penniless after some of their student loans failed to reach them in time for the start of term. It can now be revealed that a technical error resulted in the loss of thousands of pounds worth of information. Software used by the Student Loans Company and the universities failed to show the records of students who had both enrolled and applied for their loans on time. This meant that loans could not be authorized, so many students had to try and cope without.
The Phoenix understands that many students went for four weeks without their loans, and at the time of print some still hadn’t received theirs. Bradley Chedzey, a 19-year-old forensic accountancy student, had to wait for over a month before he got his money from student finance. He described the entire experience as “irritating and exhausting.” “The worst thing was not knowing or having any clear indication of when I was going to get the money,” he said. “It has just been an entire waste of time on my part with all the phone calls because I was made to believe it was my fault when it was actually the universities.” Bradley pays £6 a day to travel between his student accommodation in Cardiff and the Treforest campus of the university. He told The Phoenix that the mistake with his loan had compromised his university experience. “I knew student life was going to be difficult when it came to money, although I really wasn’t expecting
this.” “Most people meet new friends during the freshers week and I haven’t really had a chance to speak to people on the same floor as me. It’s been a really big problem settling in and getting to know people.” A spokesperson for the Student Loans Company was adamant that the information had not been ‘lost’, but just did not appear on the screens of computers needed to authorize loans. “All Student Finance Wales payments were processed according to servicelevel agreement targets which are agreed between the Welsh Government and the Student Loans Company,” she said. “All students who submitted their application on time with the appropriate supporting documents and received their attendance confirmation from their University will have been paid within 3-5 days.” If you’re still skint and struggling, see The Phoenix’s guide to surviving on a fiver on page 15
cut in abortion time limit is “anti-women” and would disproportionately affect students, according to the NUS. Kelley Temple, Women’s officer for the NUS, told The Phoenix that the discussed cuts in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 could mean that many female students would be unable to continue with higher education. “A woman’s right to control her own body is just as important as her right to education,” she said. “For some women access to safe legal abortion means the difference between her gaining education or not. The reality is that women have lost their lives to unsafe and illegal abortions in the UK. This government cannot claim to be pro-family when it is so anti-women.” Health Minister Anna Soubry yesterday announced that she was scrapping plans to force pregnant women to undergo independent counselling when considering an abortion. Nadine Dorries MP, who has long been campaigning against abortions, criticised the decision saying that it was based on the Minister’s own opinions. “This announcement comes down
to Anna Soubry’s very personal belief on abortion. She is as pro-choice as many Labour women MPs.” “Jeremy Hunt believes in a 12week limit but he is not trying to push his agenda on women because he acknowledges it is his personal belief.” Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was last month met with widespread criticism for proposing that the abortion time limit be halved to 12 weeks. He defended the idea, saying it was an expression of his personal opinion. Kelley Temple criticized Hunt, claiming the notion had come completely from Hunt’s ideaology. “Jeremy Hunt’s contemptible attempt to restrict women’s access to reproductive health and rights comes within a context of a wider policy landscape that disadvantages women and diminishes their rights,” she said. Ms Dorries had asked the government to reconsider the idea. “It is not right that in maternity wards across the country doctors are fighting to save the lives of premature babies born at 20 weeks while in the next room abortions are being performed up to 24 weeks,” she said. “The law at the moment is facilitating this tragic discrepancy and it is time MPs returned to the issue and made the change.”
(Photo by internets_diary, used under Creative Commons License)
Beer fear as students’ union struggles with debt by Michael Amatt, Ellen Coyne and Jacob Petterson
ost of us can empathise with getting into a bit of debt at a bar. Maybe not to the tune of £16,000, though. But that’s the loss the SU made at the Atrium bar last year. The deficit has sparked a range of of cost cutting measures, including closing the venue at 6pm. Beer on tap has also been removed, much to the disappointment of many students.
“It’s a shame. The Atrium SU isn’t a patch on what it was last year,” said Benjamin Astell, a 20-year-old Radio student. “I used to go to all the quizzes and enjoy a cheap pint. Now I barely go in.” The Union is hoping to make £65,000 from bars and catering this year, an ambitious jump from last year’s profit of £7,000. 2011 was the first time in the Union’s history
that the SU ended the year in the red. The union ended the academic year with a deficit of £140,000. But, reviewing this year’s budget CEO of the Student’s Union Sian Taylor said that the SU has ‘turned a corner’ financially. “We really are bucking the trend,” she said. “Nearly all unions in the country are in a deficit at the moment. We’re still in a difficult,
precarious position, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The SU is still paying back a £350,000 loan which was taken out to build the new union building at Treforest. It has come back from last year’s deficit and now has a surplus of £40,000 on the books. Vice President Student Activities Alex Kennedy credited the recovery to last year’s “fantastic sabbatical team.” “Also, due to the increase number of students on campus, and the ef-
fective management of cost savings our financial position is far better than it has been in years, but we are not out of the woods yet.” However, as reported by The Phoenix, the university is under target for students already this year due to a less students than expected enrolling. It is so far unclear whether or not there will be enough of a notable increase of students on campus to help the SU maintain financial stability for the coming year.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
97% of students EXCLUSIVE can’t name SU President Erik Skavold
by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
niversity of Glamorgan students know next to nothing about the Students’ Union democracy, a Phoenix survey has revealed. Of the 100 students questioned across all three campuses, only three were able to name Students’ Union President, Ashley Price. A further 98% of students said they were unable to name another of the union’s sabbatical officers. The results show that interest in student democracy at the university is at very low levels. Unsurprisingly, most students who answered the survey said they had not been voting. Of the students who had been at university for at least a year, only 8% said they had ever voted in a union election. This was a more optimistic figure than actual voting numbers. Last month, an average of 127 students, around 0.5% of the student population, voted in the Standing Committee elections. All of the candidates who ran for the eight available positions were running completely unopposed. 95% of students told The Phoenix that they had no idea when this year’s elections are taking place. Only 8% of students said that they definitely intended on voting this year. The worst survey results for the Union came from the university’s Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural industries. 100% of Atrium students did not vote and were unable to name any of the SU officers. Students at
the Atrium have expressed criticism against the SU, and in particular, the current student bar based at the campus. The best results came from Glyntaff, where 6% of students could name the President. In Treforest, where the main union offices are based, only 2% of students could name the President. Alex Kennedy, Vice President Student Activites, defended the SU and told The Phoenix that most of the figures could be explained. “This appears to be a survey regard-
“Both sabs ran completely unopposed”
ing SU sabbatical representatives, rather than the SU as a whole,” he said. “Trends in voting are usually reflective of who is standing; an active, engaging candidate usually results in an active, engaged electorate. Similarly, for officers with a specific portfolio, their voter base usually comes from within that specific demographic.” Despite an apparent lack of interest in Union democracy, 90% of students surveyed told The Phoenix that they thought that the Students’ Union
was a relatively important part of university. SU President and sabbatical positions pay around £16,000 a year. The roles involve representing the views of students and introducing and amending motions that affect student activities and development at the university. SU President and other sabbatical officers have a range of powers, which affect the general student body, from creating new smoking bins to changing the guidelines for extenuating circumstances. Sarah Valkenborghs is the current Vice President Student Support, and Alex Kennedy is the current Vice President Student Activities. Both sabbatical officers ran completely unopposed for their positions in last year’s elections. Student Union sabbatical officers have been put under pressure to improve communication to students this year, despite the fact that the role of Communications Officer has been cut. The Phoenix understands that the President and sabbaticals have been given a quota of five tweets a day which they must stick to in order to try and improve student awareness of the union. As well as struggling to fill ballot cards, the SU is finding it difficult to convince students to fill positions. At the time of print, the union still hadn’t found students to fill two currently available trustee positions.
98% can’t name a sabbatical officer 100% of Atrium students didn’t vote last year 0.5% is the % of students who voted in last months elections 8% the number of students who intend on voting this year. £16,000 the average salary for the SU President
(Figures from The Phoenix survey)
The Phoenix November 2012
Criticism of Carnage branded ‘ludicrous’
Glam students won’t protest by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
(Photo by Sally Jones)
by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
laims that Carnage somehow ‘promotes casual sex’ among students has been branded as ‘ludicrous’ by its promotions company. A spokesperson for the popular fancy dress pub-crawl told The Phoenix that recent criticism of the ‘Pimps and Hoes’ themed Carnage was unfair, saying it was “a fun fancy dress student event and noth-
ing more.” “We utterly refute that our events in any way “promote casual sex,”’ they said. “Any such assertion as such is ludicrous.” The first “Pimps and Hoes” event, which took place in Cardiff, sparked national outrage after pictures of students attending appeared in many national tabloids. Some claimed that the theme promoted a culture of sexism within students. Sam Hickman, a Women’s officer at Cardiff University has started a petition to ask Carnage to “never use such a sexist and misogynistic theme as Pimps and Hoes again.” The petition has so far been sup-
ported by 143 signatures. But a spokesperson for Carnage defended the theme, saying that it was a popular choice among students. “The fancy dress themes for our events are chosen by the students and not by us. “Pimps and Hoes” is a popular fancy dress theme. Moreover, a simple search on Google will provide a vast amount of associated “Pimps and Hoes” fancy dress attire, from countless fancy dress retailers.” “This is not the first time that we have hosted the “Pimps and Hoes” fancy dress theme. Attendance at our events is, of course, entirely voluntary.”
The event takes place again in Cardiff this weekend, this time under the theme of “Beauty and the Geek.” Carys James, Women’s officer for University of Glamorgan, said that she was “shocked” by Carnage and similar themes used by nightclubs targeting students. “Do they target these nights at boys as well? These ‘Embarrassing nightclub’ photographs on Facebook are always girls aswell. It’s the whole booze culture of student life. People think it’s ok to use this kind of thing to market nights towards students.” “That’s not on.”
them against using the link: “It has come to the attention of the University that the website of the research company who we have used for the survey, Beaufort Research, may have been compromised. There are indications that potentially malicious code may have been added to the website sometime last night. We have contacted Beaufort Research to inform them of this – but for the meantime and until further notice, please do not click on the link from the previous e-mail.” The University of Glamorgan have made it clear that the “malicious code” was a part of Beaufort Research’s site and not their own, also stating, “ ... a number of other independent organisations, had been subject to an automated internet virus attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Although no
damage resulted, as a precaution we suspended the link to the questionnaire”. The university has also tried to assure students and staff that private information was safe. “No computers or data at either university or at Beaufort Research has been compromised; the suspension of the survey is purely a precautionary measure in line with IT security protocols.” Many students expressed concern following the breach. “I think that it’s worrying something that was sent to every student was so easily compromised and it makes you lose some confidence in the Uni,” said Gemma Kiddle, a MChiro student at Treforest “I would be more wary opening attachments to external sites from now on. And the people who did it stooped pretty low to target a Uni and its student body”. These sentiments were echoed by
Tryfan Hobbs, 18, a popular music student, “I feel, that above all situations, the hacking of an educational survey is worst. It has put me off completely, normally surveys aren’t really seen as safe anyway are they, but now I definitely will not see them as safe at all, if they can be hacked so easily. I’m put off”. Nobody from Beaufort Research was available for comment. A University of Glamorgan email this week asked students and staff to take part in the new fixed survey and made it clear that the survey is no longer being held on Beaufort Research’s website, and will now be held through the University of Wales, Newport’s website instead. Only time will tell if the original hacking issue has taken its toll on the number of students and staff now willing to take part.
For comment, see page 11
University survey back following hacking by Daniel Quee @Daniel_JRQuee
he University of Glamorgan has re-launched its online survey following the hacking of the original. Students and staff were asked on October 24 to complete the online survey to help rename the new ‘super-university’ after the university merges with University of Wales, Newport this Spring. The email directed students to click on a link to take part in a 10-minute questionnaire. Just hours later students and staff received another email from Mike Normansell, Integrated Communications Manager at UoG, warning
niversity of Glamorgan students may not take part in the upcoming national day of protest. The NUS has announced the route for the protests which will take place on the 21st of November in London. The demo, entitled “Educate, Employ, Empower” is the first national student demonstration since the controversial protests in November 2010. The prospect of organising buses to take Glamorgan students to London to participate was discussed at the last meeting of the Students’ Union to a severe lack of enthusiasm. It was decided that a poll would be placed on the SU website to try and gauge what the general consensus within students is. Of the 81 votes cast so far, 73% of students have said that the SU should not participate in the protests. In a video to students, NUS President Liam Burns said that they, as protestors, “had a lot to be angry about.” “You’ve had your education systematically attacked across the board by the coalition. And even if you get to the other end, what have you got to look forward to?” he said. “Youth unemployment is at an all-time high, getting on the property ladder is next to impossible and we don’t even have the safety net of pensions to look forward to anymore.” The protests will be an opportunity for students to express anger at the Coalition’s decision to raise student fees. A report released at the end of last month showed that the government had miscalculated what the cost of the new fees would be to the tax payer. Experts suggest that student numbers may have to be cut, or loan repayments increased.
(Photo by bobaliciouslondon, used under Creative Commons License)
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
Cardiff family deported to Egypt
New university regulations cause ‘concern’ by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
Cardiff family been forced back to Egypt, despite desperate attempts by locals to halt their deportation by UKBA. Fariman Saleh, her son Ibrahim El-Attar, 17, and daughter, Liaily El-Attar, 18 were on board a charter flight to Egypt on October 24th after a week of protests and campaigns to delay their deportation. The family came to the UK five years ago, seeking asylum on the grounds of domestic violence. According to campaigners, Fariman and her two children are under serious threat of honour-based violence following their return to Egypt. Supporters attempted to halt the
deportation by stalling the bus which was taking the family to the airport for five hours. It was hoped that doing so would have caused the family to miss the flight. A peaceful protest was also held last Saturday in Cardiff city centre. Hundreds of people wrote to MPs pleading for the family’s case to be considered. Solicitors for the family also sought an injunction against the deportation, which was unsuccessful. Many campaigners also tried to delay or halt the original commercial flight which was to take the family back to Egypt following the dawn raid on October 18th. The family’s story gained media attention when a video showing UKBA forcibly removing Fariman and her children from their home appeared online. Independent journalist and author Laurie Penny tweeted that people
should “Stop what you’re doing” and watch the rare video. Writer Natasha Walter also tweeted about the case, saying “It’s so incredibly sad to hear of the awful treatment of Ms Saleh and her family by UKBA.” Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North, wrote to the Minister for Immigration asking him to reconsider Ms Saleh’s case. A spokesperson for the MP told The Phoenix that attempts will still be made to fight the case. “We will continue to work with the remaining daughter,” he said. “Whilst the family have been deported, the appeal is still on-going. Letters of support are still useful, and we are continuing to collate them in support of the family. We were made aware of the UKBA’s removal of the family from Cardiff shortly after it took place and
immediately requested that the Minister for Immigration conduct an urgent review into the case, given the forthcoming court date and outstanding evidence. The family were subsequently held in the detention centre whilst this review took place.” A spokesperson for UKBA said that the deportation of the family had been a ‘last resort.’ “The family was given every chance to leave the country voluntarily,” they said. “This included family conferences over a period of time, a tailored voluntary return package to assist them on their return and the opportunity for self check-in to fly home.” The family’s eldest daughter currently remains in Britain. To read a full account of the Saleh family’s deportation, turn to page 15.
The Phoenix understands that most faculties have been encouraged to either teach straight through, or arrange alternative tutorials. While many students had never had reading week as part of their course, it wasn’t until recently that almost all Atrium students had it removed from their uni course timetables. Many students raised concerns about their ability to get work done. “If we have lectures being put
on for another week, how will we get the chance to get ready for our Christmas assignments?” said Ben James, a 20-year-old Atrium student. “I’m a third year student and I have absolutely loads to do. As well as that, I really wanted to go home next week because we’re half way through the term now and it’s my friends birthday.” A Treforest second year student told The Phoenix that there was
advantages to having lectures continue throughout next week. “I honestly just would not trust myself to keep doing work if I had the week off,” he said. A spokesperson for the university said: “Students are free to make their views known through their Student Voice Representatives and SU Officers, who represent them at all levels of university planning.”
85% of students prefer a reading week
he majority of students would prefer to have reading week back, a Phoenix survey has revealed. The survey questioned 100 students across all three campuses. The results showed that only 15% of students would rather have lectures continue straight through next week, the week formally known as reading week. Timetables for next week will vary from faculty to faculty, but
ew university rules which will determine whether or not students get extenuating - formally ‘mitigating’ - circumstances have caused worry. Vice President Student Activities Alex Kennedy said that the new ‘fit to sit’ regulations had concerned the SU. “We are monitoring how this scheme will affect students as we do have our concerns about it,” he said. “If students do have any issues with this then please don’t hesitate to speak with Sarah.” (Vice President Student Support.) ‘Fit to sit’ is a new rule which has been introduced to University of Glamorgan for this academic year. It means that any student who completes an assignment or an exam agrees that they were well enough to do so at the time, and cannot claim extenuating circumstances. Completing course work means that no student can apply retrospectively, and the university said that it will be up to students to “take responsibility for deciding in advance whether you are unwell or facing other significant extenuating circumstances.” A spokesperson for the university told The Phoenix that the measures had been introduced to combat students who may have been using the old system as an “insurance policy” for assignments which they may not have done well in. “What has happened in the past is that students have decided to apply for extenuating circumstances if they feel that they haven’t performed as well as they should have,” said Leann Thomas, who works at the Atrium. “Extenuating circumstances was meant to make it a level playing field for students, and if people are using it like that it’s an unlevel playing field.” Students who apply will still be viewed on a case by case basis. Students who apply for extenuating circumstances after an assignment or exam has been completed may be granted it, but only in exceptional circumstances. Despite the fact that he said he was concerned about the new measures, The Phoenix understands that Alex Kennedy was present at a meeting when the new regulations were discussed, as was last year’s Student Union President. Similar new rules are being introduced at other universities across Wales and the rest of the UK.
The Phoenix November 2012
(Photo by Rhiannon Jones)
by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
ithin the confines of four damp walls of filthy student living rooms, measly lit by the paltry efforts of ‘energy saving’ light-bulbs, women are gathering every night and blowing startling percentages of their student loans on masturbatory aids. Chances are most female students won’t escape three years of university without being scathed by the social trauma of an Ann Summers party. Men aren’t permitted to take part, of course. Sorry, boys. One assumes that the pure sexual sophistication of five women shifting uncomfortably on the couch and glugging rosé until they’re not embarrassed by their penis hair-bands anymore would have any red-blooded male masturbating furiously like an ape. No, these social squirm-sessions are reserved only for those of us with the kind of genitals for which you can be pressured into buying £50 accessories. The evening will almost always follow the same format: It starts with an Ann Summers rep bursting into your house with a falsetto “HIYAAAA!”, like a pink spandex tidal wave of over-familiarity and almost revoltingly insatiable sexual appetite, they’ll punctuate every
disturbing and weird sentence with an obligatory “Am I right, ladies?” Before the forced fun (the best kind!) can begin, you will be administered with a novel and not-verysubtle pseudonym for the evening, like ‘BLOWJOB BARBRA’. This is to ensure that none of you associate yourselves with your regular dayto-day student identities. Like Fight Club. Little known fact: Ann Summers parties also double as underground vigils for those of us unfortunate enough to be heterosexual. “God, men are just so USELESS at sex! Am I right, ladies?’ your Ann Summers rep will say, one arm supporting an assortment of pills and products to help you at least pretend to have a good time with your brutish partner, the other hand distractedly rubbing her crotch. Then it’s time for ‘party games’. Imagine The Hunger Games, but with strong pornographic overtones. Unfortunately, unlike The Hunger Games you will all live to tell the tale afterwards and spend the rest of your days avoiding eye contact with each other, like the rescued children from The Lord of the Flies. Once you’ve destroyed what had the potential to be a lifelong friendship by ending up in a position where there was nothing but a Walnut Whip between your face and the crotch of your housemate, it’s time to look through the catalogue. It should become obvious at
this point that if you’d like to have a sex life, I’m afraid you’re going to have to budget for it. To achieve any kind of pleasure with your awfully unskilled man-friend, it seems you need to be kitted out with and attached to an assortment of bizarre items like some kind of bedroom version of Buckaroo. And that comes with a hefty price tag. Nearing the end of the evening, when everyone’s grasp on their drained wine glasses and credit card is starting to loosen, Rep’s eyes will flash with delight, and she will gingerly pick up a very large box. On the table she will place nearly a dozen vibrators, some of which are so terrifying in girth and mechanism that anyone who happened to amble into the room would think they’d chanced upon a bizarre selection of Hoovers. Her raunchy language and overzealous winking will cease, and she will lay them out with an almost reverent whisper. ‘Now ladies,’ she’ll say, with a soft hush. ‘This is our new development on The Rabbit. We like to call it ‘The Hedgehog’, as you can see, because of all the spikes…’ You may be seized with an acute fear between the legs. If so, for shame! You boring person. You missionary. The purpose of Ann Summers parties is to exercise all of those racy hobbies which you, as a certified female, are obliged to partake in. Under normal circumstances, it would be bizarre to find
yourself in a pressured environment, purchasing intimate bedroom items in front of friends and course-mates. But there’s Blossom Hill and novel penis straws here, so it’s girlish and sexy. It might be an idea to buy one, just to show your inept male partner what a pleasured woman actually looks like. They’ll be passed around so that everyone can have a go playing with the controls and crossing their legs in terrified apprehension. Fingers crossed you don’t live next to WWII veterans, for fear they overhear the incredible buzzing and assume the Luftwaffe are back. Have fun trying to lower the controls from ‘Level 12: Labour Inducing’, pressing so many buttons you feel like you’re trying to use cheat codes on Crash Bandicoot. There will be lots of ‘Well! At least men are easier to control! hahahahaha.’ While you turn over the three stone device in your hands and try to decipher what goes where, and why, you might cast your bleary, rosé-tinted eyes around the room. There will always be a person, usually someone’s flatmate who was invited out of sheer necessity, who, forced through her pursed lips, will be giving you a knowing, scathing, and wholly disingenuous smile. Wine glass in her hand, which you note is not nearly as empty as yours, her eyes will flick suspiciously between you and the Disembowler 3000 you’re holding. Her watchful
gaze won’t break for a second, just to make sure you don’t start sucking it off on the spot or licking the underwear pages of the catalogue, ruining the party for everyone. Wide-eyed and wounded, you’ll gingerly start to place the vibrator back on the table, when she’ll say, much too loudly: ‘You know, you can buy one, if you really want one?’ Music will cut. Everyone will immediately stop what they’re doing and look at you. ‘I… no, I was just…’ But it’s futile. Barely anyone can hear you over the hysterical and delighted seizure which the 12 inches of black plastic in your hands is having. And of course, the more you try to convince everyone you don’t want one, the more it’ll sound like you want one more than anything in the world, ever. Before you know it, someone will have organised a whip around and everyone will be charitably donating to your vibrator fund. With a face on her like she was a humanitarian of Bono proportions, your wretched tormentor will turn to you with a sickening kindness and realisation. ‘Aww, hey! This means you don’t need a boyfriend now, right?!’ You promise yourself, if it wasn’t for the overly-masochistic tones, you would beat her to death with your new Hedgehog. Am I right, ladies?
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
(Photo from Carnage Cardiff facebook profile)
How to be a Bond Girl in five easy steps
There’s more to being a bona fide Honey Ryder than simply slipping into a killer white bikini. Here’s how ... by Betti Hunter @betti_ttt Acquire a doubleentendre name
A true Bond heroine is nothing without a curiously exotic name, but the truly memorable few are the ones in possession of a nudge and snigger-worthy moniker. Yeah, Vesper Lynd may have had sex appeal gushing from every pore and Solitaire had a pallid virginal allure, but it’s the schoolboy humour of corkers like Xenia Onatopp, Holly Goodhead and (personal favourite) Plenty O’Toole that secures a special place in the mind of Britain’s favourite bullet-dodger. A gloriously un-PC name is an essential prerequisite when embarking upon a career as a spy-seducer. For those tragically born without an imagination, Wholotta Cox, Helga Bonkfast and Bigbaps Ahoy are suitably unsubtle and have yet to be snapped up. Go ahead, take your pick.
Consider a life of crime
Whilst the Bond Girls’ primary objective is to fill to role of ‘exotic sexpot’ (enlighted, I know), the most unforgettable ladies are the astute crims who manage to worm their way into 007’s wank-bank by utilising their ready wit and dubious morality to best effect. These enterprising lasses tend to fall into two categories – charmingly eccentric diamond smugglers like auburn oddball Tiffany Case, or hardcore killing machines with a long list of unfortunates they’ve retired from life ie: Grace Jones as the slightly terrifying May Day. Diamond-smuggling may be a bit of a stretch, and there isn’t much call for evil henchwomen in South Wales, but an illicit edge can just as easily be achieved by swiping a Mars bar from the local offie.
Rediscover your sexuality
If encountering one too many leering imbeciles with the Sambuca sweats has left you questioning your faith in the male of the species, don’t bother reaching for that copy
of Fifty Shades of Grey to cheer yourself up. You just haven’t been lucky enough to meet a real man yet, but chill, all in good time. All it takes is one sashay into a glamorous casino (Gala will do, and they serve cheese and chips) and it won’t be long before you’re on your way to a night of slow fade-out ecstasy. Batting for the other team? No problem! You don’t really like women, you’re just waiting for that enigmatic gun-toting, martini-swilling alpha male to walk into your life and seduce you with a subtly arched eyebrow and a purred innuendo. Just ask Pussy Galore.
Prepare to be left in the lurch...
Bond girls, despite all their charms and glamour, are the ultimate disposable commodity. See, to serial womanisers like Bond, us ladies are merely glitzy accoutrements to his fabulously exhilarating lifestyle. The official party line states that “the nature of Bonds’ job rules out any long-term commitments”, but the reality is that no matter how engaging, intelligent or phenomenally beautiful you may be, Bonds’ amorous affections wane dramatically once the credits roll, and you will almost always awaken after a night of double ‘o’ heaven to find nothing but cold crinkled sheets and, if you’re lucky, a detonating pen.
...or prepare to die
While the heady mix of glamour and grave peril may sound alluring, the grim reality is that a Bond girls chances of survival are terrifically slim. At the last count, 18 have died so far as a direct result of getting mixed up in Jimmy’s shenanigans. The chances are maximised if, by some miracle, you get the charming old rogue to fall in love with you. The two loves of Bonds life, Tracy Draco and Vesper Lynd, met their untimely demise shortly after securing their place at Bonds side. It’s not just the super villains you have to watch out for, either. Bond has a vengeful side, too. Seriously, one wrong move and the guy won’t hesitate to kill a girl in cold blood. Sceptics can check with sultry, traitorous femme fatale Electra King. Oh wait, no they can’t.
Media coverage of Pimps and Hoes parties is wreaking carnage on student stereotypes by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
s night follows day, and hangovers follow Wednesdays, anti-Carnage articles follow October every single year. I would have thought the only thing worth commenting on at this stage is the media’s hysterical grasp of irony as they pay a dedicated photographer to skulk around Mary St until they get a nice up-skirt shot to illustrate how unscrupulous us students can be. Yet once again students, particularly those of us attending Welsh universities, dominate column inches under hyperbolic headlines once again. The Daily Mail is feigning an aneurism at the notion that we’re all flitting away our government loans on suspenders and fishnets. The Guardian is hyperventilating at the supposed “increase” in student sexism. Student newspapers up and down the country are running identical op-eds, beseeching us to decide which of the two evils fancy dress parties refer to: misogyny, or ‘banter’? The general, exhausted ideas are the same as before. But let’s forget about Carnage being ‘anti-women’, aren’t these articles anti-student? Having attended one Carnage too many, (that equates to one solitary Carnage event, fact fans) I can empathize with those who criticize the nature of the night itself. However, I also take issue with people debating the negative effects of Carnage in a way that manages to defame the entire student population of the UK in one fell swoop. Surely for the sake of the nation we can assume without resorting to unrealistic optimism that this year’s freshers have more life experience than the average caged chicken, and so they can attend a student night
out without concluding that a Pimps and Hoes themed party is indicative of a kind of dystopian society where a man may own as many economically clad women as he dare plunder. Students know better, I would think, than to refine their ideals based on the ethos of sleazy nightclub promotions. More destructive still are those who cite the statistics of female students who experience sexual assault while at university. Anyone moronic enough to claim that a victim somehow provoked her attacker with the way she was dressed is quickly and deservedly lambasted for using such a morally repugnant argument. So why should we excuse feminists for using the same principle to claim that some 19-year-old girls sporting suspender belts are somehow encouraging a culture of sexual violence? Not to mention the stereotypes about our sex lives. The national media have been awkwardly excusing the behavior of individual students in the same manner you’d shoo away your aunt’s Jack Russell when it tries to have sex with your leg. According to this ‘national discussion’, we are all so devoid of intellect and driven by solely sexual urges that you’d be forgiven for thinking the residents of Cathays spend their nights tirelessly sprinkling water on students and trying to separate us with a broom as we fornicate on their porches. I’m cautiously making my point, as sometimes people can assume that doing so means I’m a sexless despot who does sleep with people, but not without complaining and usually only for the tedious purpose of procreation. Sex is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s at its best when it doesn’t result in you sharing a bed with the kind of person you’re barely happy sharing fundamental biological makeup with. Call me a cynic, but I suspect that anyone who’s attracted to
me while I amble around in a torn t-shirt with more Jagermeister than blood in my arteries at least suffers from being a questionable judge of character. If I thought that these events were indicative of all students my age are interested in, I’d drop out and have myself euthanized. That’s why the thing about these tabloid articles which drives me to a hysterical fury is hearing people who last attended university when Elton John was ‘straight’ knowingly musing that racy fancy dress parties are a result of the ‘lad culture’ to which we all supposedly subscribe. Maybe I’m suppressing my inner misanthrope too much, but I would have thought there weren’t nearly enough dickheads, (male and female) in higher education for them to merit their own sub-culture. There is no such thing as “lad culture.” There have always been unfunny, sexist morons attending university; it’s just that they now have Twitter accounts. To those who solemnly whine that refusing to dress-up as a prostitute will have them branded as a ‘humorless feminist’, I respectfully suggest they spend their time in their local garden centre, consulting a pot-plant on their social choices instead. Even a silent geranium would be more intellectually articulate that the kind of person who, in the year 2012, still thinks that the word ‘feminist’ is a derogatory term. People drink a little bit too much at every level. If we took the same view as the Daily Mail, The Phoenix could be filled three times over with stories of those bloody disgraceful adults, exhausting the NHS with their drinking and their bloody sexism. If someone decides in their wisdom to have a quick shag within a completely transparent phone box on Mary St, that’s completey inconsequential to me. Just because they happen to be doing a degree, don’t brand it as “student behavior.”
The Phoenix November 2012
How President Obama became a Republican
and Mitt Romney became a radical by Levi Osborn @GlamPhoenix
ne night while on my computer, I decided to take an internet quiz on the PBS website. The quiz gauged your political leanings along a simple left to right continuum. According to the results, I was so far to the political left; I should be singing ‘The Internationale’ while waving the red flag of communism. Considering I had no plans to seize the means of production from the bourgeoisie in the foreseeable future, I dismissed the result as an odd fluke and went about my business until an offhand remark from one of my professors brought it to back to mind. A Greek-born transplant to the United States, he was comparing his political leanings in Greece vs. the US when he said, “I used to think I was conservative, then I came to the US.” With the election a short time away, I was curious how far the political spectrum has shifted in recent years. It’s an article of faith nowadays, among those on the American political right, that President Obama has been a freespending liberal who has drastically increased the size of our government and shoved ‘socialized medicine’ down the throats of the American public - while making us indebted to China during his term in office. The funny thing is that many of the policies Obama has pursued during the past four years, have their basis in Repub-
lican ideas. The Stimulus that the Obama Administration pushed for in 2009 was the continuation of a stimulus bill passed in 2008, by the Bush Administration. The size of the US Government, a constant source of worry for conservatives, has actually shrunk under Obama, throwing a huge monkey wrench into their claims that the President is a ‘big government liberal’. On health care, it’s no big secret that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was based off of a similar health care law passed in Massachusetts by the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. What’s worth noting, how-
ever, is that ‘Romneycare’ is itself based off of a policy proposal by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. President Obama ran and won the election in 2008 as a Democrat, but could have possibly campaigned as a centrist Republican that year considering the policies he’s enacted while in office. What a difference four years make! Once President Obama took office, the Republican Party shifted so far and so violently to the right, what were once unassuming centrist ideas, became ‘socialist evils’ to be fought, forcing moderate politicians to either radicalize or be voted out. The Republican Presidential nominee is a perfect example of this. Before his Presidential run, Mitt Romney seemed to be a bona-fide liberal. During
his failed 1994 Senate run in Massachusetts against Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney supported abortion rights, was an ‘independent’ during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., expressed support for LGBT rights and was even for the individual mandate that’s been the main source of contention in Obamacare. By 2008, Romney had reversed course on all of those positions. The Republican primary season of last fall saw Romney being pressured by the ideological purists in the party base to distance himself from all of those old positions and to be even more partisan. The result was when Mitt Romney and Barack
Obama faced off in their first debate in Denver, I kept wondering who was on the stage and what did they do with Mitt Romney. The difference between the Mitt Romney of the primaries and the Mitt Romney of that first debate, was so stark to me, I experienced a bit of a disconnect. It was like watching someone eat a hamburger after they spent an hour telling you how they don’t eat meat. President Obama never had that problem. His political base has been firmly behind him and hasn’t experienced the same ideological shift that the Republican Party had after the 2008 election. The Republican Party has lost its way, I would argue. When they have their nominee for President, twisting himself in proverbial knots trying to disavow his own positions and have Ronald Reagan (Their supposed ideal) to the left of them, it might make sense to moderate. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening without a major ‘shellacking’ on Nov. 6th.
Dawn raid tears family apart
Despite the community in Gabalfa doing everything they could to try and stop it, last week the Saleh family were deported back to Egypt by UKBA. Phoenix reporter and a close friend to the family, Efa Thomas, tells the full story.
by Efa Thomas @GlamPhoenix
ake up! We need to go to Cardiff Bay police station NOW!” I shouted through the house. My housemate woke up immediately and shared the same sense of panic that I had when I was woken up by a text saying the UK Border Agency had taken my friend’s family from their home at dawn. We were out the door within seconds, speeding past City Road’s morning traffic jam on our bikes. My head was a mess and we were running red lights whilst frantically crying, trying to get to the Bay as quickly as possible. It didn’t make sense. The family’s next court hearing for their asylum claim was in three weeks. Surely the officials wouldn’t act before that hearing? You’d think so, but it seems to me UKBA officers have more powers than the police. In the past week I have been shocked and disgusted by the deportation of my friend’s family. Within minutes of us arriving in the Bay, about ten more people had arrived outside the police station including my Egyptian friend, whose mum (Ms Saleh) and younger brother and sister had just been snatched out of their beds by UKBA officers. We were too late. They had already been taken in handcuffs to London Heathrow on a coach. My friend was in pieces. She was comforted by her friends, but what use is that when your relatives are on their way back to a country they’d fled in fear of their own lives? This is the part where I expect anyone that reads the Daily Mail or The Sun to butt in and say, “we can’t look after everyone in the world” or, “if they’re not supposed to be here of course they should be deported”. Then I would point out their ignorance and say that seeking refuge in Britain is not a crime. I would inform them that you can seek asylum here if you fear harm by a ‘non-State actor’ (such as a family member) if your state is unwilling to look after you. The Saleh family have integrated into the community in Cardiff, and the children who were 12, 13 and 15 when they arrived in the UK five years ago seem more British than
Egyptian in the way they act and dress by now. My friend, Ms Saleh’s eldest daughter said, “We are part of the community here and when people meet us they don’t see us as immigrants”. The family were wealthy in Egypt, but Ms Saleh had put up with 15 years of living with an abusive husband who ‘endangered her and her children’s lives to the extent of death and rape’. A 2004 Human Rights watch report described domestic violence in Egypt as a “commonly accepted phenomenon” and a third of women there have said they have suffered physical abuse from their husbands. Ms Saleh’s husband has close links with police, judges and other officials in Egypt and the family is likely to face honour-based violence and even death on their return. A disturbing video of the dawn raid was uploaded on YouTube by a friend of the family, and as a result the campaign to ‘Save Saleh Family’ grew through social networking sites. The video shows Ms Saleh and her youngest daughter and son being marched out one by one as the sun rises. My friend is seen on her knees in the doorway crying and screaming alone, a friend walks over to her to try and comfort her but is dragged away by the UKBA officers. My friend has a separate asylum claim because of her sexual orientation which would mean an even worse fate should she return to Egypt. Her biggest worry is that she might never see her family again. I believe that splitting families up like this and not even letting them have their case heard in a court is inhumane, where is the justice? The past week has been stressful and upsetting for anyone that knows the family. Although they didn’t catch the 3pm flight the UKBA had intended for them on the day of the dawn raid (because of a mix up with ID cards), after they spent 6 days in a detention centre in London before they were booked on a charter flight to Egypt. A charter flight means there will be no ordinary members of the public on the flight. The evening before the flight was a rollercoaster of emotions for my friend. She explains, “Our solicitors rang and said that we were granted an injunction to stop the flight. Imagine how happy my friends and I were, it was like I was carrying a
ton of weight then finally letting it all go. Everyone was literally jumping for joy” Fifteen minutes later the solicitor rang her back and told her the same judge had cancelled the injunction. It seems as if the UK Border Agency were literally playing games with people’s lives. “We couldn’t believe it” Ms Saleh’s eldest daughter explains. “When a high court judge grants an injunction then that’s it - the flight must be stopped. We later learnt that a UKBA representative rang the judge at about 11:30pm and persuaded him to cancel the injunction. If the UKBA wanted to appeal the decision they should have done it through the proper process and appeal it at court - a process which I believe should take at least 48 hours’ notice.” But that wasn’t the last of the bad news for my friend that evening, “At the detention centre my brother found my mother in the bathroom with blood all over the floor and walls. Her slits were cut and she on the walls in her own blood ‘I just want to save my children’. My brother went to call for help, she was still alive. I believe that she wasn’t provided with any mental counselling, instead she had guards following her and watching her every move - even to the bathroom, and still was seen as mentally fit to be deported.” It is clear a lot of people really care about the Saleh’s and would do anything to see them returned where they belong, in their home in Gabalfa. Two people were arrested on the morning of the dawn raid for allegedly trying to obstruct the UKBA officers. Another person was arrested on the morning of the family’s deportation after he locked himself to the bottom of the coach taking them from the deportation centre to the airport. Thousands of people watched the video, signed petitions and wrote to the family’s MP Jonathan Evans and the Home Secretary Theresa May, but in the end the family were deported without trial. It upsets me that despite a large number of people coming together, and doing everything they could to stop the deportation of a family who had lived in Cardiff for five years, all our pleas were ignored. How can anybody justify breaking up a family who needs refuge, and who have no chance of a normal life in their home country?
Opinion Features Reviews Sport
The Phoenix November 2012
Are you better off being single? The Phoenix weighs up whether a great love life can be a burden on your university social life.
by Cat Barkley @CatBarkley
hen I started uni, I was really worried my relationship wouldn’t work out. My boyfriend, Will, was moving to Bradford (which is in Yorkshire) to start his course in English literature. One of my best friends had kept a long-term relationship going for a year before we even came to University, so I knew it could be done, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be easy. For two years, Will and I took it in turns going to visit each other, trying to make trips as frequent as every other weekend. Sometimes it was, but towards the end of term especially it would be about a month before we saw each other. Even the Megabus can be expensive when you’re going all the way to Yorkshire. I mean, we did have Skype and everything, but it’s not really the same. Of course, I did miss the sex, but it felt so weird being physically without him. I felt half-empty. But this did mean that when we saw each other we made it count. We went on proper dates and we never took each other for granted. During term breaks we practically moved in to each other’s houses and became totally inseparable. Being able to see each other so rarely gave me a strong incentive to sort out my workload. I would always make sure I’d done my work before I went to see him, or before he came to see me to make sure I wouldn’t have to be feeling guilty about bunking off from uni work. I think the secret to making it last long term is you have to completely trust each other. When you’re a student, you’re going to go on nights out, and probably get pretty drunk. I do admit I always used to get a little apprehensive whenever Will told me he was going on a big lads’ night out. I knew he wouldn’t cheat on me, but there would be a little thought niggling at me in the back of my head that he was going to get blind drunk, forget his own name, let alone that I existed, and kiss some floozy. I knew there would always be a little part of him that was thinking along the same lines whenever I went on a night out. I take pride in the fact that I never cheated on Will, and he never cheated on me. When you love someone it’s easy to stay faithful; Will’s everything to me, I know he’s the one I want, so why would I jeopardise that by kissing someone
Yes by Tom Parry @Tombox14
who means nothing? I know that this probably sounds really mushy, but you just need to trust that they feel the same way. This summer, Will dropped out of Uni. He hated his course, and realised that the only reason he was staying was because he enjoyed the student lifestyle. He’s moved to Cardiff now, and I see him all the time. We’ve been together nearly three and a half years and I’ve never been happier. But I definitely think that the time apart had made us stronger; we realise how lucky we are to be able to see each other every day, and make the most of our time together. Being apart can be a blessing in disguise.
There was going to be a lot more girls in Cardiff than there was in Devon.
ow before I start, I want to clear a few things up. 1. I like to think of myself as quite a level-headed, realistic kinda-guy. 2. I am in no way a love-guru, an all knowing and powerful Russell Brand-type teenage heart throb, and 3. I have only ever been out with two girls. Which, going back to point number one, sways this article in favour of leaving a long-term girlfriend and becoming single for University. Before I came to uni, I was living in a town called Exmouth, in the South West of England. Now being from Devon and growing up with not much else to do than go down to an open field, make a dam with your mates and use salmon jumps as a water slide, or sitting in your room and being a teenage boy for however long you wanted, I soon decided to go and interact with girls. I’d never really done the whole ‘girlfriend’ thing before, so let me briefly run you through how a 17-year-old’s head processes when
thinking about talking to a girl for to fulfil his pubescent urg... I mean, to ask out on a date and possibly be-girlfriend. You may stumble nervously up to them and try and ask them to do something like go to the cinema or go on a walk. Or, you may creepily text them for weeks on end and not pick up on any signs that they want to see you. I chose the latter. And that’s pretty much it. So, once I overcame all the cringy texting and the schoolboy flirting, I eventually ended up in my first ever relationship. Things were good, we hung out and we did stuff that I would normally do with my male friends. But as the summer went on, we had to draw in closer to the inventible ‘talk’ of me moving away to uni. At the beginning we almost did everything to subconsciously avoid the ‘talk’ and carried on as normal. But things were different now. We started seeing less of each other and we didn’t talk as much. It was like some telepathic message was being sent between us that we had already broken up and this was just a healing process. I knew in my head that it wouldn’t work when I moved away, and God knows what she was thinking too. Then it clicked. I was going away to a new place, with new people and a fresh start. Moving away could be the best thing that ever happened to me, and even though it sounded harsh, there was going to be a lot more girls in Cardiff than there was in Devon. Even though this was still my first relationship, I could sniff the benefits of being single at university already. No more paying for everything, I was going to be a student and being thrifty was going to be key. I wouldn’t have to rely on being with someone, when I could be a) with my mates b) doing work c) drinking and d) drinking, oh, I said that one already, didn’t I? So we broke up. And I’ll tell you now, reciting the reasons mentioned previously is not the list girls want to hear when they ask, why do you want to break up? On this one, trust me. When I moved to uni, I felt a relief. I could socialise with people and it not come to the awkward moment when people asked if I was with anyone. I could chat to girls and them not be distant from me if I said I had a girlfriend, much like I was if they were taken too. I could enjoy my fresher year and not worry about making myself look like an arse. And now I’m in my final year, I can really knuckle down with my work. So guys, if you want my advice on a personal experience- do it alone.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
Illustration: Erik Skavold, photo by justusbluemer
Photos by Sally Jones
here’s no shame in having a mental night out with your friends, and most of the time the only consequence of knocking back more tequila shots than you have digits is waking up and feeling as though your skull is being cracked like a boiled egg. No doubt about it – going out is ruddy brilliant. Unfortunately a minority of students will experience problems in their relationship with alcohol and other drugs during their time at University. Social pressures, mounting deadlines, that niggling sense of futility prompted by a million ‘NO JOBS - NOT NOW, NOT EVER’ headlines and myriad other reasons can cause some people to develop an unhealthy reliance on getting blotto. This is where Ross Woodfield comes in. He’s the Young Persons’ Substance Misuse worker at the Cardiff drugs project Inroads, which offers support to anyone dealing with drug-related issues regardless of age, gender or reliance on Tesco Economy pasta. “We’re a street project,” he explains “so we don’t have a waiting list, which means that people can access straight from the streets and be seen within 10 minutes. We offer one to one support and
The Inroads office in Cardiff
we have a specialist young people’s team, and if a person has dependency problems we can refer them to the relevant agencies.” Inroads also encourage people to question the myths surrounding legal and illegal substances in an open and honest way, and already offer drugs education to all of the high schools in Cardiff. “It’s not so much advice we offer, more accurate facts about drugs. We don’t use scare tactics, we teach about individual substances, including alcohol because it’s a massive problem for young people.” Ross is keen to emphasise the word facts. He believes the best way to connect with a younger audience is to leave patronisation at the door and instead focus on providing clear, up to date and objective information. Anyone who has browsed the Talk to Frank website and its frankly embarrassing ‘down with the kids yo’ approach is bound to appreciate the refreshing lack of condescension. But despite their no-nonsense attitude, Ross and co haven’t had much luck when trying to reach out to us undergraduates. “We tend not to work at the universities. We have done in the past – we had a presence during freshers week but we didn’t find that to be very effective. No one really wanted to listen; they just wanted to take the piss. “I think that’s in part due to the culture of university, young people feel like it’s almost a rite of passage to go out and get absolutely bladdered during freshers week.” “We’re not about spoiling people’s fun; it’s more a matter of staying safe. I think with university students what we’d be looking to do is direct them to websites and social networking sites where they can get up to date factual information. Also, if a student is going to take drugs but worried about the effects we’d rather them ring us up before taking it so that they get the accurate facts and they know how to stay safe.” Inroads aren’t trying to convince us to swap nights at the pub for sewing circles and abstinence vows, but they do hope to sneak in a few little words of warning about the long-term effects of certain party indulgences. Most known drugs are illegal (duh) but within the clubbing scene it’s pretty likely that at some point substances will work their way into the equation. At the moment there have been few reports of deaths linked to some of the newer drugs on the market, but their novelty means we’re yet to see the full impact they might have on our bodies in the long run. Ross’ concern is that some of the after effects stretch way further than chronic teeth-grinding. “Obviously right now we’re seeing problems with mephedrone and also ketamine, which is turning out to be a very dangerous substance that causes major bladder problems” he stresses “People have actually had to have their bladders removed from heavy use. It’s elements like that that young people might be missing.” “Also, alcohol is a poison. It’s toxic to almost every organ in the human body. Hospitals in Wales are seeing an increase in liver problems amongst young people. It’s one of those diseases where age on death is decreasing, so they’re seeing people with severe liver problems in their 20s and 30s.” In the face of those nausewating nuggets of information, it’s easy to start questioning why the hell we insist on spending our hard-earned loans on such apparently destructive habits. Quite simply: because it’s enjoyable. Most of us aren’t stupid enough to believe that we’re indestructible, and know that if basic common sense and a vague knowledge of moderation are employed the risks of serious harm are relatively low. People aren’t going to stop indulging in vices in much the same way that they’re not going to give up leaving the house for fear of getting hit by an articulated lorry. Ross concludes that it’s an issue that’s not going away anytime soon. “Drugs are here in society. There is a demand for them. It’s got to be remembered that dependency on any drug is a relationship and not simply the properties of any given drug. What we need in this country is a sensible and realistic debate. What young people need is more information so that they can make their own choices.”
The Phoenix November 2012
The Phoenix challenged our intrepid reporter Efa Thomas to survive a week on only £5. She emerged from the other side very well fed, better off, and only slightly soiled from a bin. Here’s how she did it.
by Efa Thomas @GlamPhoenix
have to admit that it this challenge turned from trying to survive, to trying to blag as much free stuff as I could from the moment I started. At the start, I took my bankcards out of my purse and left myself with five pound coins; trying to convince myself that it looked like more money than one note. Throughout the week I found myself singing “…don’t believe them when they say you can’t get nothing for free… it’s all for free!” If you ever find yourself strapped for cash as a student, take this article for inspiration, stay optimistic and you should be just fine. I was tempted to just buy five scratch cards or put a bet on a football team or horse I’d never heard of, but that might be too silly even for me. I started off by going to Vidal Sassoon in the Capitol Centre and offering my hair to them as an experiment. The hairdressing company offers apprentice courses, some specialise in colour and oth-
ers in cutting and of course both need willing hamsters like me to practice on. “Do whatever you want” I told them and they loved me for being open to change. I was there for 7 hours whilst they did my roots, put grey and purple toners in, cut my hair and then styled it. They also gave me unlimited biscuits, orange juice and cups of tea & coffee, which satisfied my hunger throughout the day and served as a free meal. They’re always looking for people to practice on, so if you’re interested and open with your hairstyle go in and volunteer yourself! On the second day of this challenge I have to admit I was scared of even leaving the house, and I didn’t. It was Saturday. Saturday is the day everybody heads into the centre and spends their hard-earned money, giving in to shiny adverts, which convinces us to consume. I couldn’t handle that, so I stayed indoors and ate the remains of what was in my cupboard – some cheap noodles and raisins. This was probably the worst day. Feeling low and negative is what having no money can do to you, but I got past that, picked myself up and thought there
must be plenty of things I could do for free. The world doesn’t revolve around money, does it? On Sunday I decided to go to a ‘Free Pussy Riot’ benefit in Gwdihw. I needed a culture fix for the week, entry was free and I got music, comedy, poetry, knitting workshops and a free clothes shop! I picked up a new t-shirt, handmade by a local artist. There are always things going on for free in cities, so just because you don’t have any money doesn’t mean you can’t do stuff. You may have to accept you won’t be getting drunk, but who knows what can happen! I felt guilty for turning up to a fundraiser and not spending any money so I bought a raffle ticket for a pound, the woman selling the raffle gave me a free badge and I thanked her with a great big smile. “Are you skint?” she asked. “Yeah” I answered, looking a bit sorry for myself. “Have some drink tokens, I don’t want them”, she said handing me four drink tokens which magically turned into four cans of Red Stripe and a drunken Efa. Nothing a bit of charm and a smile can’t get you. I had a great time, spontaneously joined someone onstage and did a
(Photos by Grainne Canavan)
kazoo and xylophone solo in one of her songs. To complete my lucky streak, I won two cinema tickets to the art cinema Chapter in the raffle. My Gran told me when I was younger that it was better to be born lucky than rich, I always thought it was a kind of comfort but today that theory proved true. The rest of the week became easier after that, I washed the big pile of dishes in exchange for my housemate cooking some food, and helped my friend paint his house for which he fed me too. I found that people are quite willing to feed you in exchange for a bit of help and some company.
I went to the supermarket bins after dark to see what food I could find. Although this is actually illegal (and in no way, shape or form condoned by The Phoenix – Editor) there is a big movement of ‘freegans’; people who live solely off the waste of big companies. It is shocking the amount of food waste there is in the UK and the food was all perfectly fine, fruit and veg packed in plastic with a best before date put there by a machine. A machine can’t tell us when something is natural is off, I’m pretty sure my eyes and nose can. The week flew by and all I’d spent by the end was the one pound on the raffle, I had a new haircut, cinema tickets, I’d been drunk and was reasonably well fed through my friends and the dumpsters! It was a bit annoying when I ran out of credit about half way through the week and had to start asking strangers if I could ‘borrow a text’, but that’s not the end of the world. My advice to you if you find your student loan went quicker than you thought it would, is just stay positive, think differently and just avoid going into shops!
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
What’s on your mind? by Kate Halstead @GlamPhoenix
he topless pictures of Kate Middleton were met with a lot of shrugged shoulders and “she should have known better.” Fact is, it’s easy for us to not care about privacy when nobody wants to invade ours. But maybe in an age of social media we have more privacy issues than your average royal. Our newsfeeds now read like our own personal tabloids. Is our addiction to Facebook ruining our private lives? There’s no escape. You get sucked into the world, the bubble that half of those people sat on their laptops on trains or in coffee shops are updating. You’ll get pokes, likes and re-tweets. You’re so hooked by how insightful and stupid and naive and hilarious people can be that you waste hours staring at the screen, refreshing it over and over again. This is not networking. Waiting for the next ‘like’ on your latest status update has become the same feeling as a heroin addict might get waiting for their next ‘hit’. It’s an addiction. Social networking is becoming a plague; a plague which distracts people from normal tasks, adds half an hour to getting ready and adds rifts in relationships if you don’t accept a friend request. What’s worse is that there is no escaping it. Isn’t it vital to a career in this technology dependent age of miserable afternoons scrolling through Twitter? Why risk being socially excluded? Networks are how holding our memories, our pictures, and our contacts hostage. There are obvious benefits to social networking, but there’s a dangerous, narcissistic element to it too. When people have all that freedom to write whatever they
feel, they get power mad. Their brains appear to melt into a weird jelly and all common sense is lost. Social networking does something to people that is inexplicable. Films like Dawn of the Dead and 28 days later predicted it - people are losing their minds and there is something almost apocalyptic about it. Social networking fanatics are drained of their human like qualities, ’zombified’ at the screen isolating themselves from society. The world of Facebook and Twitter is ironically antisocial and lonely. Nights out are spent with people on their phones ‘checking in’ or just browsing, because human interaction is just not as fun anymore. Who wants to talk to someone when you can just like their wall post? Brain cells are numbed as people naively Instagram photos of their new credit card, and are dumbfounded to find a few days later they’re victims of credit card fraud, confused are the employees that complain about their boss on Facebook, only to find they’re unemployed a few days later. Too much time staring into virtual reality has humans lacking the ability to think clearly, realise the consequences of what they’re posting. Social media has profound effects. Once something is on the internet, it’s everywhere and legally published. Incriminating photos can go worldwide due to their sharable nature. One night of too much Jager and the next day not only will you have a hangover to deal with, but the small matter of your name trending on Twitter. And you best hope a tabloid doesn’t get a hold of it. Naked pictures of you from a night out might be the closest you ever get to feeling like a princess, should you end up having your own Duchess of Shamebridge moment. The view of most journalists is
Social networking is becoming a plague.
that of veteran Guardian researcher reporter David Leigh, who said if you put something in the public domain, then it’s fair game. “I don’t see any point in complaining about it. If you don’t want the information out there, don’t put it out there,” he said. The press lurk in the shadows of the social media. It’s become an easy story finder, there is no more interviewing people when they have it all over their ‘timeline’. People’s reliance and addiction to the social media sites is now their downfall, if anything moderately significant happens it instantly hits the local press. Former Night picture editor Paul Fievez referenced exactly how reporters infiltrate people’s lives: “Within seconds of a story breaking, news and picture desks are all assigning reporters, photographers and picture researchers to log in to Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Friends Re-united. All of the other social networks and personal web sites are Googled, scoured for pictures and information. Any images on the social sites and personal sites of anyone involved are all also grabbed before anyone has a chance to close the site down, and then published, syndicated, used on television, republished or broadcast immediately” Students in particular are easy targets. Pages like “Glamorgan Confessions” and “Embarrassingly Nightclub Pictures” survive on embarrassing material being shared online. We’re Orwell’s worst nightmare – we’re our own Big Brother’s. The case of when the media attacked a young girl, just from publicising what she had posted on her social networking sites brought a lot of the ethical issues of journalists using Facebook to light. Amanda Knox was convicted and then cleared on appeal of murdering Meridith Kercher, her British flatmate during university.
Going under the nickname of ‘FoxyKnoxy’ which she posted as her MySpace name, the young girl used social networking in way that the press could incriminate, she posted short stories that involved a drugging and rape scenario of a young girl, and a picture of herself posing with a gun. A Youtube video of her drunk at university also emerged, all gold for articles such as the Daily Mail’s expose of 7 November 2007 ‘FoxyKnoxy: Inside the Twisted World of Flatmate suspected of Meredith’s Murder’ The press see social media as a straight path into the lives of people, when internet users post content on the sites, they are initially invading their own privacy. The content is unguarded, unprotected and restricting privacy settings will only do so much. Of course the likelihood of a lot of Glamorgan students hitting the front page of the sun because they’re wrapped up tightly in a murder case runs thin, but the benefits of restricting the underwear shots and casual drug related statuses are possibly worth doing. Cut a lot of people open and they won’t bleed megabytes. There are plenty of networkers that should be applauded for not falling into the addiction, obsessively check their phones every few minutes and uploading their life story in that ‘about me’ section on Facebook. Stop turning your brains into lime flavoured jelly and this social networking epidemic might subside. As with everything else we’ve ever heard from health professionals, physiological or mental – moderation is everything. What do you think? Join the debate @GlamPhoenix and facebook.com/GlamPhoenix
The Phoenix November 2012 Around the world
See it to believe it
(Photo: Maldita la hora, CC Licence)
Unemployment has risen to a new high in Spain, leaving one in every four without work. For under 25 year-olds the numbers are even worse: 52 per cent of them are unemployed. Spain is crippled by a worsening economy and is at the core of the European’s debt crisis.
The Hot Doc issue in question
Photos by suvajack and Archer10, used under Creative Commons licence
by Kapil Trivedi @glamphoenix
ith the first light on a shimmering picturesque morning, with the first call of the rooster, a simple quiet village awakens to begin a day that will end just as quietly as it began. A day marked by hard working villagers going about their daily chores without much hullabaloo toiling away to provide basic necessities to the rest of the nation. 100 miles from this peaceful setting, students, early bird employees and businessmen clutter to railway stations across a city known increasingly as the New York of that part of the world. Over the course of the day, millions will join them in their struggle to get to work. This stark contrast highlights the mystique of an intriguing country called India- A country that boasts of peace and chaos thriving at arms’ length from each other. It is an empire of diversity the pillars of which lie in culture, tolerance and harmony. Even the national flag of the country is reminiscent of these values. Supported by a constitution based on this diversity, India is a country of 80% Hindus, ruled by a political party led by a Christian and
presided over by a Muslim with a Sikh prime minister. It is a country highlighted by 6.5 million villages and yet is recognized as one of the fastest growing metropolitan economies of the world. Blessed with natural beauty par comparison, India has historically been the focal point of many kingdoms keen on establishing trade with the nation. For precisely the reason of being naturally wealthy, India has been invaded as well as conquered by empires around the world. The basis of life in India is defined by “Unity in diversity”. Patriotism comes naturally for every Indian and it is this patriotism which was showcased to the world in India’s struggle for independence. However, although the country attained independence by non-violence led by M.K.Gandhi, India has had its share of internal conflicts, most of them driven by religious feuds. Given the issues that the country has faced, it is remarkable that India has been able to develop as much as it has. Having said that the country is by no means perfect- Corruption and illiteracy are rampant as ever. Ironically, India also has one of the best structures of education for those who can afford it and has been the supplier of quality professionals to the world for many years. But then no country
is perfect. India in particular is a nation that has a vision of becoming a globally developed economy which is reflected in the “Glorious India” movement promoted by the government in the last 5 years. A day in the life of an Indian is by no means simple. The trials and tribulations of growing up in the biggest democracy in the world which is so free spirited in its venture for growth and yet is strongly committed to keep its roots are enormous. Because of the freedom of speech given to every individual, there will always be someone’s voice working at precisely the same moment as yours and in precisely the opposite direction at that. People in India will live their lives with the burden of attempting achieving prosperity while having to deal with societal pressure that will beat the best of us. A mix of challenges, relaxation, relentless struggle and a never ending zeal to prove itself- this is as good a definition for the character of India as there can be. Entire volumes of work can be written on these characteristics. All the pages in the world, however, would not be able to give readers a feel for this intriguing yet majestic gift of a nation. You have to see it to believe it!
Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis has been arrested after publishing the so-called “Lagarde-list” in his magazine Hot Doc. It includes about 2,000 names of Greeks who allegedly have Swiss bank accounts. The original list was given to former Greek finance minister Georgios Papakonstantinou by his then French counterpart Christine Lagarde on a CD that should have helped the tax authorities to investigate the suspected tax invaders. Vaxevanis will appear in court again on November 1.
Indian traffic scene. (Photo: Ruffin_ready, CC Licence)
Traffic cops in India are most badly hit by traffic pollution. In India’s 5th biggest city Hyderabad, more than 32 per cent of traffic officers suffer from lung-diseases due to the pollution. Numbers presented to the government showed that pollution has risen to 1,500 tons per day.
ZDF broadcasting headquarters (Photo: Gerhard Kemme, CC Licence)
Silvio being his charming self. (Photo: Alessio85, CC Licence)
The press officer of Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU), Hans Michael Strepp, has stepped down following allegations he tried to stop national public television broadcaster ZDF from reporting on a party meeting of the opposition. The ZDF argued that they broadcast what they broadcast. Strepp admitted the phone call but refused the allegation that he wanted to influence.
Italians former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Milan. The 76-year old was found guilty of tax fraud in relation to the purchase of film rights for his television company Mediaset. His sentence was later cut down to one year because of a 2006 ruling to prevent overcrowding of prisons. Berlusconi is allowed to appeal twice before the final ruling.
Get away from people, get away from loneliness
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
Photos by tm-tm, Mauring and John Lord, used under Creative Commons licence
The big decision
A tale of loneliness and community. And how you should experience Norway.
It may be remote, but you’ll never feel alone. (Photo by Soerfm, used under Creative Commons licence)
Comment by Erik Skavold
grew up in a medium-sized town on the Norwegian coastline, but my roots stretch even further north – well past the Arctic Circle. There are places up there so remote, there are warning signs by the road reminding you to refuel your car. The next petrol station is far, far away. There are more road signs warning you of animals and weather conditions than signs notifying you of places and speed limits. The closest towns are triple digits away, and in winter the roads are lit up either by the moonlight or the aurora borealis. The reindeer far outnumbers the people, the stars shine brighter than you would think was possible. And yet, I never feel alone up there. Never. By some very simple maths, I’ve come to the conclusion that the feeling of loneliness is inversely proportional to the population density. And at the same time; the colder the climate, the warmer the people. They have to be. Every year, 70 people’s funerals are paid for by the Oslo city council. Not for their heroic efforts for humanity or tremendous sacrifice for the city. No, only because there wasn’t anyone else to do it. They had no next of kin, no family, relatives, partners. No one. They were invisible in the grand scheme of things. The undertaker will sit in on
Yash Chopra (Photo: PrityaBooks, CC Licence)
the funeral service, so the priest will have someone to speak to. This happens in other major cities and towns in Norway as well, but I’ve never heard it happen on the countryside. In the most remote of locations, on an island somewhere in the Norwegian Sea, a man dies. But someone knows him. Actually, a lot of people know him. They have to. The sense of community grows stronger, you know you need the few people around you in order to survive. You might have to borrow their boat to get to the mainland one day. Or they have to get help from you to bring the firewood in for the winter. It sounds like something from the 19th century, but this is the real life in one of the richest countries in the world. This is what real life really is. Chances are you live in a city or a town. Do you know all your neighbours? If you didn’t open your door for a week, would anyone on your street care – or even notice? If your neighbour’s door remained closed, would you? If you want to feel completely alone, move to the big city. A street full of people is not the same as a community. But if you want to know what real community is, go to rural Norway. Go up north, and you’ll not only see it – you’ll feel it.
Film-maker and director Yash Chopra has died at the age of 80 from dengue fever in a hospital in Mumbai. Yash Chopra founded Indias biggest production company Yash Raj Films in 1973 and has directed and produced more than 50 films during his lifetime.
Cardiff has already stolen it, but in my heart, there will always be room for Estonia ...
by Inge-Helene Pello @glamphoenix
year ago I could not even imagine that one day I would live and study in Cardiff, or write an article for the brand-new Atrium newspaper... Finding the right university after high-school was one of the most important choices I had to make. Luckily, I found the perfect place to be: the University of Glamorgan. There were many reasons why I wanted to study abroad. First of all, curiosity - I doubt anybody would argue with me when I say: studying abroad widens your horizon - besides improving your English skills. Having spent my entire childhood in Estonia, it was even more exciting for me to leave my home to “see the world.” For me, coming here was the right choice, but many of my friends decided differently and continued their educational career in Estonia, which I can totally understand. Although the land of Estonia is tiny, with a population just below 1.3 million, a good range of courses can be studied at the 12 public universities and academies. Established in 1632, Estonia’s biggest university, the University of Tartu, is even older than New York city. Because of its high-ranking university, the city of Tartu is widely known as “the city of good thoughts.” You
will find many, many students there, 18,000 of them from the University of Tartu which even made it into the Times Higher Education Ranking in 2012. If some of you now consider studying in Estonia, it is good to know that the University of Tartu offers the opportunity to study in English - which is why more than 600 international students are also studying there. “The advantage of studying in Estonia? It’s getting friends that share your cultural beliefs and that you are close to home and friends,” information and records management student Sandra Selge says. For her studying at the University of Tartu was the right thing to do. “I’m one of the few who got a state budget position but generally, the support from the country should be bigger. In Estonia there are lot of problems with students working and not being able to finish studies because they’re unable to pay for their studies or rent and food.” Even though there are many schools in Estonia with excellent reputations, my personal choice was the University of Glamorgan. It received its university status in 1992, and the brand-new Atrium campus was established in 2007. Studying in a brand new, beautiful building in the middle of Cardiff sounds fancy, and it is! Justin Whitlock studies Media Production at the Atrium and shares my point of view. “As the Atrium
is relatively new, the equipment and resources that are provided to students studying creative arts is spectacular.” But what he criticises the most is that the equipment at the Atrium is very limited which means that sometimes students are unable to book the equipment they need for an assignment. Yet, he says: “I believe that for creative courses it’s one of the best universities in the UK.” “The advantages of studying here are the opportunities the course provides, the great teaching, and the location too of course - Cardiff is lovely, vibrant and enriching.” Graphics Communication student Jenny Pond also is fond of her new university. And maybe that is what makes the Atrium so attractive the students: its location and the character of Cardiff. A university may offer the best equipment and the best lectures but it will be unable to make itself stand out as a creative university if its students aren’t creative. Because in the end, it’s the students who bring a university to life. Or, as photography student Simone Laterza puts it: “I visited Cardiff for the first time during my summer holidays, and it appeared to me as such a lonely and sad place, however, as soon as Glamorgan opened again, this city looks like it is reborn, it is as if the students are the blood which flows in Cardiff veins.”
20 With his identity protected on the grounds of national security (personal embarrassment – editor) The Phoenix’s own wannabe agent, student number 10000007 decided to Bond with his inner international spy.
by 10000007 @GlamPhoenix
All the best spies go about their business being ignored by the majority of society. This is just one of the many things that I have in common with James Bond, particularly with female students to whom I’m practically non-existent. And so another social evening began with me entering a bar alone. I sauntered in, fiddling with my wrists. The key to real style is to wear ill-fitting cufflinks, so that you must adjust them in a devilishly handsome way while entering every room. I attracted attention from absolutely no one, which is quite a feat. Inconspicuity doesn’t favour the goodlooking, but I still managed it. I could see that Miss Prepositions - as I like to call her, seeing as she won’t tell me her name -was standing behind the bar. She fixed me with an icy glare, which would have frozen a lesser man on the spot. I, however, had the wisdom to know that an almost nymphomaniac-like lust for me burned hot underneath. “Are you seriously back here again?” she purred. I shot her with a wry smile. Luckily for her, I wasn’t able to see her knees weaken from behind the bar. “I guess I just can’t stop coming back for more,” I growled, like a really big tiger or an expensive car engine. “I mean, about you, though. Not in an alcoholic kind of way.” She stared at me blankly. What a seductress! For many weeks now she has been completely unresponsive to my charms. Such self-restraint must be applauded. “My usual, please,” I said, conscious of the Nobel Prize-meriting effort we were both going to to keep this exchange completely non-sexual. “I keep telling you, we’re not legally allowed to serve that much alcohol in one drink. And no, I’m not going to shake, or stir it for you either.” “How long are we going to keep playing this game, Miss Prepositions?” “I don’t know. How long are you going to keep coming in here in a weird suit ordering difficult drinks?” Now, I’m no gynaecologist, but that girl really wants to have sex with me. I felt a gruff hand fall heavily on my sculpted shoulder. I’d know that particularly insulting cologne anywhere. Mr Bouncer, my old nemesis. “OUT. NOW.” Like a true gentleman, I didn’t retaliate. Obviously, we’re not a
The Phoenix November 2012
Skyfail fair competitive match. At least not intellectually, anyway, seeing as he’s only capable of speaking in imperatives. Either way, I’m pretty convinced that this apparently innocent smalltime bar operation is nothing but a façade to cover up some kind of elaborate international plan to destroy the whole world. That would explain the malicious vendetta that this brute has against me. I was kind of hoping he’d reveal the full details of his dastardly plan to me, before placing me in some kind of near-death situation which I could stylishly evade. That, I would have been prepared for. Instead, he just launched into a very tedious speech about how I’d ‘never be allowed into the premises again.’ It was just me and him in the alley, so I decided to let him off lightly and reserved my pre-rehearsed clever quips for such an occasion that an audience would be able to benefit from hearing them. Moments like that, you just have to lay all your cards on the table, quite literally. I headed for the Casino. If luck was a lady, then I’d probably have slept with her already. I decided to put it all on black. Unfortunately, roulette wheels don’t go up as high as 69 so the attendant would have to do without my charming double-entendres, for now. A man like me can gamble recklessly, you see, because he’s got nothing to lose. Or so you’d think. Before I knew it, I was on the phone to my bank manager, begging him to extend my overdraft again. My phone trilled in a ringtone not unlike the soundtrack of a very popular spy movie franchise. Ah, it was M. The only woman I take orders from. “Hi, mum.” Student finance does not cater to gentlemen of leisure, let me tell you that. Cocktails and the necessary continual dry-cleaning of suits are not cheap. With my almost espionage-like hacking abilities, dipping into M’s credit, sometimes subtly, is necessary. On occasion, it’s been known to cause friction between us. This is just such an occasion. Frowning attractively, I listen to her shrill voice harp on and on about her latest bill. Oh, play that old record, mother. Does she honestly expect me to pack it in? That mission would be impossible, and that’s a whole other story.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
International news editor - Julia Leib, and layout designer - Erik Skavold, get into character. (Photo by Benedict Cassie and Aston Martin)
22 Album review
The Phoenix November 2012
Cat Power: Sun
Jake Bugg: Girls Jake Bugg Sky Atlantic - Saturdays at 10:50pm by Joel Thomas @joel_b_thomas
by Michael Hicks @MichaelPatHicks
very Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power album should be approached with fresh ears. She’s a music lover, irrespective of genre and rarely makes the same record twice. Her latest, Sun, couldn’t be more different from the deep southern soul of The Greatest. The album opener Cherokee kicks-off with live drums and is then joined by delayed guitar and finally, a delicate piano melody. You get the feeling this song took a lot of time to complete: it’s layered, and layered again – and it works. It creates a mystical sound that befits the song’s title; we even get the cry of an eagle in flight. Power sings: “Never knew love like this/ The wind, moon, the earth, the sky/ Never knew pain like this/ Everything die, then die.” A repeated piano figure dominates leadoff single, Ruin. Lyrical observations of countries visited is the theme, self-analysis is the subject. The western world complains about the most trivial things, while people in the most devastating situations get on with it. It is hardly a new subject addressed in song, but the beauty of Ruin is that it doesn’t come across as over earnest and some sort of preach. Always On My Own is the closest the record gets to the records Marshall started out making. It’s dark and schizophrenic sounding – there’s a lot of space in the song – reminiscent of the music Nico made with The Velvet Underground.
The spine of Sun is Human Being, and Manhattan. Musically, they couldn’t be more different; they both reveal a wonderfully gifted songstress at work. Human being: “You’ve got your own voice, so sing,” and “You my dear are a force to feed not to fear.” It comes across as a letter written to herself, or to a teenage Chan Marshall. It’s a rallying call - and some sort of therapy. Human Being is a master class in singing from the heart, her phrasing at times - leaves you flawed. Sometimes you just get a feeling from the first few measures of a song that something great is on its way. Two Abba piano chords join a programed drumbeat and we’re on our way. A beautifully seductive number, with a laidback vocal delivery. It conjures up a glorious summer evening: a place where pictures and memories never fade, even if people do. Manhattan is the best pop song Marshall has perhaps written, and I mean, “pop song” in all its glories. And it manages all this without a chorus. In a musical climate where popular music made by women is devoid of heart and soul, and is a retread of what’s gone before - Chan Marshall is that rare kind: real and not comparable to anyone – before or since. I can’t think of anyone she sings like, or who makes records as different from one-to-the-next – but still makes them sound like Cat Power records. It’s been six years since The Greatest, her last release containing original material, but it’s been worth it. Sun contains many moments that few making music today – can get near – let alone touch. Sun is not a pretentious explanation of what’s not there - but a simple heartfelt description of what is.
here was a lot of hype surrounding the debut album of young Jake Bugg. Comparisons between Bugg and legends like Bob Dylan and Donovan are enough to intrigue anyone to listen, and rightly so. From the opening track Lightning Bolt, a foot tapping skiffle track, a Dylan influence is confirmed; and it carries on throughout the entire record. This retro sound seems a little out of place in the modern music industry, but it’s really exciting to see a young, singer/songwriter coming through in the age of the talent show singer.
It’s endearing to see a young performer take the role of a songwriter so seriously.
Undoubtedly a very impressive debut album, with a mixture of catchy, quick paced melodies, like the aforementioned Lightning Bolt and Taste It, but also gentle, passionate folk like Country Song which show all the right signs for a strong career ahead. It’s endearing to see a young performer take the role of a songwriter so seriously. He’s worked hard to make a brilliant album; a contrast to the regular albums, which coast on a couple of number ones and the rest is filler. The only real criticism for the album is based on the strength of his lyrics. He sings about “skinning up a fat one” and a “gangster’s party,” where everyone has a knife feel a little clichéd, as though the young artist is trying a little to hard. Overall, one of the most impressive new albums heard this year with all the indications of a bright future ahead.
The Phoenix gets a review from both sides, male and female on the new hit show ‘Girls’.
by Michael Hicks @MichaelPatHicks
by Ellen Coyne @ellenmcoyne
ena Dunham. Say her name to a young female writer, and listen to teeth grit. Sometimes it’s a disdain for her controversial representation of black women in HBO series Girls, or lack thereof. Mostly, though, it’s a smoldering envy for her ability to forge a career from writing candidly about something as obvious as the misery of her twenties. Miss Dunham, at the tender age of 26, has been credited for ‘pushing boundaries’ of gender representation on TV, and ‘revolutionizing’ girls, as we know them. Sad fact is, most people have spent more time reading or writing or speculating about Girls than they have watching it. It’s a good TV show. That’s it. The writing is sharp, the characters are genuine and the plot is believable. British girls, too long exposed to the tall, blonde, prudish unicorns that we see on Inbetweeners, can watch in exultation as we finally, finally see some normal girls having awkward, watch-throughyour-fingers sex on TV. Pretty girls who don’t want boyfriends, smart girls who do. Girls who get a bit too drunk, girls who mess up, girls who are kind of disgusting. Girls who are not, thank christmas, styled to within an inch of their life before they get up to pee in the morning. The show is good, it’s a breath of fresh air. But it’s so far been a victim of its own brilliance. It says more about what’s been wrong with other shows, than what’s right with this one, that we’re all staring open-mouthed and bemused at each other for seeing normal women on TV. Girls have always been really funny, given that’s sometimes unintentionally, but funny nonetheless.
t does shine a light on the fact that children are now leaving home later in life. The characters, despite all the front, are very much taking baby steps into the world – in their mid twenties. They are parent dependable. The lead character, Hannah, delivers Dorothy Parker lines for the hipster generation. There’s a beautiful naivety about her. If it were 196575, Jessa would have been Warhol’s muse and would have gone through rock ‘n’ roll royalty like a recessive gene. All the men are useless at sex. The sexual role-play between Hannah and her sexfriend, is laugh-out-funny. It seems that his reference points for lovemaking are the American Pie Movies, which might be acceptable if he were in his late teens, not mid twenties. She’s the brains, he’s the …? Human dildo, I guess. Girls is not new territory. British show, This Life, was also based around twenty-something’s finding their feet in the working world. There was a female character in Anna Forbes – who stole the show. She portrayed a modern woman fantastically. She took drugs, she had sex because she enjoyed it, she was independent, she had flaws, and she was fiercely intelligent etc. She was wonderful. What Anna got up to would bend the minds of those who find Girls edgy. This Life premiered in 1996. That’s sixteen years ago. Lets take this most written about show for what it is. The female characters are sharp, spikey and funny. Their relationships with men are as real as you can get. The bohemian backdrop of New York City adds to the shows polished indie appearance but you could probably move these characters to any capital city and get similar results. I don’t think the characters walk to the beat of their surroundings but to the beat of their age, gender and circumstance. This is where the show succeeds – it’s relatable.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport Film review
James Bond: Skyfall
Bond is back in business
Looper by Ben James
The most important film in Bond’s history completes the circle.
ruce Willis, time travel and futuristic weaponry, surely a combination that couldn’t disappoint? The plot of Looper was good, even if it partially felt like a concoction of Inception, Signs and Omen. Gangs sent human targets back from the future to be assassinated in the past, but when Joseph Gordon-Levitt is ordered to kill his future self, the film bursts into life, as Willis (future him) goes on the run.
by Dan Johnston @DANJO_UK
by Erik Skavold @skavold
sk the producers behind the film, and they’ll tell you that this isn’t a direct sequel from the two previous Bond films. But in the broader perspective, it is. It completes a job that EON, Barbara Broccoli (producer) and the others responsible for Bond started a few years before Casino Royale. After what has to be one of the poorest Bonds ever made, Die Another Day, Broccoli decided that Bond had to be refreshed, reborn, start from scratch. Pierce Brosnan was cut loose, and Daniel Craig came in to fill the role. Casino Royale started with Bond as a rookie within MI6, and the character of James Bond wasn’t really set until the final scene of the film. Quantum of Solace continued straight on from Casino Royale, and showed a secret agent not devoid of all emotion. Daniel Craig undoubtedly gives the most complex Bond portrayal ever to be shown on the silver screen, and is probably the one closest to the Bond in the books. And then there’s Skyfall. The third film, and the one that needs to set the template for how Bond should be in the future. And what a template it sets.
Let me just get the only major disappointment about Skyfall out of the way first; the Bond girls. It might be the weakest Bond film yet in terms of 007’s flirts – apart from the rather straight-forward homosexual proposition from the film’s baddie, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). No, the only one woman that is central in Skyfall is M, as both Bond’s and M’s past comes back to haunt them, in the shape of Silva. Bardem’s baddie isn’t as coldhearted and raw as Sean Bean’s Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye, but his awkward blonde hair and his physical defect makes him a character well worthy of a classic Bond film, melting together a series of previous Bond baddies into one. The throwbacks to the different Bond films of the past are well and truly present. A 1962 bottle of champagne, the Aston Martin DB5, the exotic animal pit and a few snarky comments completes the nostalgia without being sentimental about it. Skyfall is director Sam Mendes’ first straight-out action film, but the action sequences are masterfully done, and the cinematography on the film’s biggest action scene is wonderfully appropriate. Grey and gritty, darkness and light trying to outsmart any gun. Thomas Newman, responsible for the music, has worked well with Mendes to create the down-toearth and emotion-shifting feel to
the film. Subtle, but effective tunes, kind of like what Bond himself has become in Craig’s time. As mentioned, Daniel Craig gives more emotion to Bond than anyone ever has before, and that becomes very clear in Skyfall. His co-operation with Judi Dench as M is superb, and the relationship between the two has never been stronger. Ben Whishaw brings Q back to Bond, a character that’s been left out since the original Q, Desmond Llewelyn passed away in 1999, just after The World Is Not Enough had its premiere.This time around though, Q is the young, perky one, and Bond has to take a few verbal punches about his age and physique. Whishaw does surprisingly well as MI6’s Quartermaster, and is a character we’ll hopefully see him play in forthcoming Bond movies. For there will be more Bond, the ending credits opens with the line we always loved to see in the classic Bond films – ‘James Bond will return’. How and when, we don’t know, but hopefully it won’t take another four years. And if Sam Mendes wants to do another one, let him. But for now, Skyfall completes the circle for the producers. The project of reinvigorating Bond is done. Now they just have to keep up the extremely high standards they’ve set themselves. Bond has come home, and it is Skyfall.
A necessarily emotionless portrayal from Joseph Gordon-Levitt was one of the highlights of the film, only behind some fantastic CGI work. Child actor Pierce Gagnon (best known as, Logan in One Tree Hill) was a resounding success with his performance also taking the plaudits. Looper, however, had its flaws. The writer’s attempts to connect the audience sympathetically with the key characters fell short. Willis’ speaking parts came so sporadically, that he could have easily been mistaken for a mute. On the whole, the film had a disjointed feel to it. There were no glaring errors, but very few breathtaking moments either with parts of the film falling below par. Even the inevitable Bruce Willis killing spree couldn’t make up for the disappointment. Looper, despite being a great concept - failed to deliver on the big screen.
ou would think, that after three albums full of heartbreak and drama, Taylor Swift would have gotten everything off her chest, but you’d be wrong. To add to her 17 million record sales, the county girl returns with an album full of what she sings about best. Still working with long-time producers, Nathan Chapman and Scott Borchetta, Taylor has also teamed up with one of the big names in pop, Max Martin. Martin’s best known for working with Taylor’s current chart rivals, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Pink. On the contagious single, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, its near enough companion, 22 and the electrifying, I Knew You Were Trouble - they all see Taylor in a more pop-orientated atmosphere. This new direction doesn’t rule out her country roots for good. The opening track, State of Grace, speaks of random changes on her perspective on life, sung over a drifting folk-rock melody. Title track, Red, is a banjo-blasting anthem that sings all the colours of her emotions. No Taylor Swift record is complete without us hearing a song where she almost loses her boyfriend (again!), this time on the foot-tapping, Stay Stay Stay, covered in giant piano riffs. Brit Award winner, Ed Sheeran, guests on Everything Has Changed. It’s a mellow, guitar-driven love song (what else). Swift has this gift, where she can sing any genre, but drags us back to where it all started for her - and it works. Although previous album material can be pretty predictable, we can safely say this is her most mature work yet.
The Phoenix November 2012
GESTURE Everything has probably been written about the demise of, physically holding a piece of music. The golden age of devouring the inner and outer contents of an LP are now reserved for the audiophile with faders set to retro. The Phoenix’s own Michael Hicks dusts off his oversized Walkman headphones and takes a listen back.
by Michael Hicks @MichaelPatHicks
he audiocassette. Well, it never really rivalled its vinyl counterpart, but it did have two advantages: it allowed music to be mobilised, and secondly, allowed favourite songs to be compiled in one place. But there’s a third use: the romantic gesture! What sometimes seems like the great divide, finding a common ground or communication between a man and a woman can be crossed with music. A compilation tape made to express feelings. A collection of songs, more than a remnant of things said, more than a remnant of feelings shared. How many times have you heard, “They are playing our song?” Chances are, “our song” was one of a batch, which could be fitted onto a C90. So, what are the rules and how do you compile a winner? Songs that carry memories need to be added. These will include: the first dance song or, song from a movie date etc. Next are: songs adored by both parties. Tracks introduced to one another little love gifts. You also have the musical numbers that share the same name as the recipient. There aren’t many girls’ names not covered in song. Boy’s names – not so popular. You could take a risk, and it is a risk, of including a new song, which you
love and think they’ll also love. If they like it, you’ve played a blinder, if they don’t like it, and you’ve second-guessed wrongly what they might like: you’ll be questioned what you really know about them. And it will not just be about musical tastes. The modern equivalent of a well thought-out running order, which is shared with and wound by that special person, is: emailing a file over the World Wide Web. Another way is through social networking: tagging that special person in a song you’ve shared from YouTube, on Facebook complete with soppy comment. Of course, you can always inbox the songs, keeping that song special, keeping ‘our songs’ sacred but most of all keeping those who question romance, and the misanthrope happy. MP3’s are now being copied onto cassette. Retro nights are popping up where mix tapes are being played to London scenesters with Peaches and Pixie Geldof probably hosting as guest DJs. If asked whether they were using Dolby NR, the unfortunate named two would probably respond with: “No, we are staying off the gear tonight.” One last thing; If we forget about the actual audio content, there’s another personal touch missing from MP3 sharing: the artist and song, written in ink on a cassette sleeve. Some might say, “So what? Not much of a miss!” Maybe, but an audio file also misses out on a sloppily drawn love heart. Doesn’t carry the same romanticism, does it?
ERASE AND REWIND
think we all remember the first bitof-kit we had to listen to music. My first music system had a record player up-top, radio tuner in the middle and two tape decks down below. For a whole week it even had a glass turntable lid. I wanted the speakers on the wall, so thought: “I don’t need any sturdy attachments or my dad’s help. These self adhesive hangers will do.” They didn’t do. The speakers ripped them off the wall, and one of the speakers fell onto the turntable, smashing the glass lid. Half of the wallpaper came-off too. Next up was the Cassette Walkman. Music could now travel with you. I had one of the early incarnations. It was a beast: little bit smaller than your average council brick, still capable of knocking someone out, if you doinked them over the head with it. It would not fit into my primary school trousers and was also so heavy; when attached to my belt – my trousers would fall down. I didn’t want to reveal to all that, I tucked my vest, shirt and jumper into my underpants so it stayed at home.
Sony’s DiscMan was the latest breakthrough. But unless you had an expensive recordable CD player or an even more expensive PC - making compilations was out of the question. It would not fit in a jean pocket - coats and bags only. The discs would also skip like mad when exposed to anything more strenuous than a leisurely stroll. The MiniDisc was the next big thing. The purpose of Sony’s latest invention was to replace the cassette, and not as a lot thought, to replace the compact disc. The MiniDisc was great for listening to your home made compilations when out walking; running was another matter. Despite the anti-skip slider – it still knocked itself off when jiggled about. We arrive at the latest incarnation: the MP3 Player. It’s small, the songs don’t skip, you can store thousands of songs on it, copying albums and playlists to it - takes no time, and they wont make your trousers fall down.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
THE COST OF LISTENING by Michael Hicks @MichaelPatHicks
ecords, CDs, Tapes. Whichever of these physical items were bought to consume music, they were bought in a shop of some kind. Whether it was Woolworths, HMV, or the nearest independent record store, there was a sentimentalism to it. A rainy Saturday spent sifting through vintage and latest releases, taking your format of choice home losing yourself in it. Absolutely nobody buys albums on cassette anymore. Compact disk sales are
at an all time low, and the recent resurgence in vinyl sales may only be a temporary one. Most music is downloaded via iTunes or other virtual stores. Your latest £0.99 crystal-clear-audio purchase is readily available in your music library within seconds. Even the large chains cannot currently compete with online pricing. HMV offer 2 for £10. (Stickered items only!) You’ll find yourself finding a classic album, and spending the rest of the time foraging
through Greatest Hits and avoiding the toothy glare of a Joe Mcelderry album to make the deal work. The price of music is dropping, and dropping some more. An advert came on the television recently for, The Chain: 25 Years of Fleetwood Mac. The Chain is a four cd retrospective box set of the band. This set has been out of print for a number of years – I think I bought it just before it disappeared off the shelves for the sum of £40. Well it’s back, now retailing at £11:99. The next round of adverts were offering Neil Young’s first four
solo albums, in a neat little set for the same price. I’ve paid close to that for each of them in the past. I know these two artists don’t need the money: Neil Young’s train set is probably big enough and Fleetwood Mac don’t need nose powder tokens anymore. A lot of me doesn’t like how cheap music has become, and a lot of me likes that great music is financially accessible to everyone. HMV are now also selling second hand CDs. A major chain selling second hand material doesn’t fit well with me. I want the cuticles of my fingers torn to shreds while thumbing through boxes in record fares and little shops off the beaten track. You’re not going to come across a ‘great find’ in the feral section of HMV. They are a massive chain: losing even a penny on a product is probably a sacking offence for the staff that prices them. Availability is another key factor. You’ll find any in-print release at the touch of a button on the web. Chances are, if you want something a bit left-of-centre, not even an independent store will have it. They’ll be able to order it, but so can you – probably at a cheaper price. The modern shopper doesn’t value the excitement of the wait. We live in a fast food culture of instant gratification. Most importantly, what you don’t get through online shopping is the personal experience. Making a purchase in a record shop involves looking at someone’s face, checking his or her body language – that’s a relationship. No matter how much is bought off Amazon,
there will never be a relationship. It’s an anonymous experience. Amazon will look at your purchase history and suggest further items of interest. It will be tunnel visioned. Broadening musical horizons is not in the world’s largest online retailer’s make-up. If a purchase history consists of Never Mind the Bollocks, London’s Calling, and Raw Power then chances are, you won’t be directed to essential jazz albums. They will also never tell you that you’re spending too much money on music, and to get out more. Amazon have many terms for their suggestions: More Items To Consider, Recommended Based On Your Browsing History, Related To Items You’ve Viewed, Inspired By Your Browsing History, Additional Items To Explore. All variations on one theme. All very theatrical variations. I’ve never been into a record shop, and been met with: “Hello, Michael. Inspired by your browsing history, we have the following items, which you may like to explore.” So, here we have the cost of listening. Cheap online music with no human interaction, which may or may not include a physical item; or a physical item exchanged for money with a human being - a relationship. People go into record shops for more than just leaving with a piece of music. What music shopper wouldn’t like to stay and have a passionate talk with the owner? Maybe even have a cup of tea. It may be just different ways of buying music, but it may also be some sort of sociological study.
Do you agree? Want to have your say? Join the discussion on twitter @GlamPhoenix
The Phoenix November 2012
The Phoenix’s Sports Editor tackles the big issues in the world of sport
n the back end of the most successful summer of sport Britain has ever witnessed, it appears that football has fallen victim to the sporting bug. It was first caught in late June as Andy Murray faced off against Roger Federer and lasted through to the dramatic Ryder Cup finale at the Medinah Country Club in September. It was an incredible few months of sport which saw tears of pain, tears of joy and every emotion in between. But come August and the start of the new football season, it appeared that many had fallen out of love with the beautiful game. The talk of dramatic finals, tense showdowns, team spirit and gold medals galore, had been replaced by diving, crowd trouble, poor refereeing decisions and claims of racism. Football was back. The past 12 months has seen the sport dragged through the mud with a drawn-out court case to decide that John Terry had not racially abused Anton Ferdinand, though the FA went ahead and dished out a four game ban and a hefty fine to the former England player, just to show that they were trying to rectify the issue of racism – something which still lingers around the sport, despite countless efforts to eradicate it completely from the game.
in a friendly match. It was anything but friendly, with the Spanish FA having to pay up a fine of £44,750. Three years later, and it was Nedum Onuoha’s turn to be at the centre of a race-storm as he received abuse from Serbian fans during an U -21 fixture (sound familiar?). Serbia were later fined just £16,500. In September 2008, Emile Heskey was racially abused by Croatian fans who directed monkey chants towards him. The Croatian Federation were fined a mere £15,000 – see a pattern emerging here? In September 2011, the Bulgarian FA received a fine of £34,000 following abuse aimed towards Ashley Young during a Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia. This came just days after Sepp Blatter controversially said that racism was not a problem in football. So let’s put this into some perspective. At this summer’s Euros, Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner lowered his shorts to show a pair of branded Paddy Power ‘lucky pants’. The former Arsenal player was later fined £80,000 for breaching FIFA regulations regarding advertisingthat’s more than the fines received by Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia combined. On the back of the Professional Footballers’ Association’s six-point plan which aims to clamp down on racism in the sport, it appears that a fine just won’t cut it. UEFA have a chance to send out a strong message on the subject when it comes
couple of years, as well as a ban on to looking into the recent alleged home supporters due to violence, racist abuse received by Rose in it’s clear to see it’s not enough to Serbia later this month (the Serstop those who think it‘s okay to bian FA still deny hearing any type abuse a player simply because of of monkey chants). the colour of his skin. UEFA must In September I travelled to the come to a decision with FIFA to Balkan state to watch Wales, in a forget all the logistics and exclude trip that will forever be rememSerbia from international football bered as Welsh footballs lowest for a period of time to send out a point on the pitch in recent memomessage. ry, falling 6-1 to the Serbs. All talk Forget fining a country. Forget of violence was quickly quashed banning supporters. More needs as supporters mingled together in to be done to kick racism out of Novi Sad prior to the game. One football for good, and the only way thing that was clear however, these that can be achieved is by strongly fans take their football extremely punishing players and nations in a seriously. way that will truly send the mesWith England going 2-0 up on sage that there is no room aggregate last month - crushing any for racism in hope Serbia had of qualifying in football. the process – tempers began to flair and the rest is history. Those in charge now have Racially abuse a big decision to Ashley Young make, whether to simply fine the Serbian Show off your Paddy Power FA, ban the boxers during a goal home supcelebration porters, or exclude Serbia from qualifying for any major tournament at all age levels for Racially the time being. abuse With Serbia Emile receiving numerous Heskey fines already in the past
R Ne acia du lly m ab On us uo e ha
With the court case slowly receiving less and less column inches, the current hot topic of football sparked back into life when England travelled to Serbia last month for an U -21 match which will not be remembered for the great defensive show from a young English side, but instead for events that showed football finds it impossible to move into the modern day. The scenes which seen England’s Danny Rose subjected to vile racist abuse, before triggering a mass brawl, has sparked the debate back into full-swing. It led to players somewhat boycotting the Kick It Out campaign by shunning the promotional shirts in pre-match warm-ups, sending out a message to the organisation that it just simply isn’t doing enough. Rio Ferdinand and brother Anton – the latter of which will probably be best remembered after retiring for talk of racist abuse he was alleged to have received from Mr. Terry, rather that anything he has achieved on the pitch – claimed in a joint statement that not enough was being done to fully ‘kick it out’ of the game. They have a point. To highlight this, we simply have to look at some stats which perfectly highlight that not enough is being done to punish those found guilty of racially abusing a fellow professional. In 2004, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were subjected to monkey chants at the Bernabeu Stadium, when England played Spain
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Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
Fighting strong for four years Tom Parry @Tombox14
ot much has been reported on the recent success and uprising of women’s rugby in Wales. But Carys Thomas, an ex-Wales under 20 player, talked to The Phoenix about how she went from international honours, to coach what is now a thriving Glamorgan University team. Set up four years ago, the Glamorgan Pirates were the University’s first ever women’s rugby team. Carys, who has 8 caps for Wales, is now an integral part of the set-up based in Treforest. She talks about how it all began: “Two or three years ago, a lot of women decided they’d give rugby a go and in a way the popularity of rugby overall has definitely increased because there are far more teams around now.” But Carys also revealed the negative side to trying to keep the women’s game running through to the younger generation: “At younger levels there are now far less sides than there used to be. The younger teams seem to disband, before the players get back together at an older age group. “In the first year we had to headhunt players for the team, which was tough.” Sarah Valkenborghs, 21, used to play volleyball but wanted to try something new. Yet, the transition to a full contact sport wasn’t as appealing as it first looked as she recalls: “I remember getting a call
in my first year asking if I wanted to play due to a shortage of players.” Still, Carys, who graduated last year and has returned to the University to do a masters says there has been a much wider interest in joining the side in the last couple of years, she explains: “The second year was the same with a lack of players, but in the third year we had a massive influx of players but a lot of them had never played before. So we had about 35 player’s trial, but half didn’t actually turn up through the season. It wasn’t until the following year that we actually started getting players who had played rugby before and also more experienced returning players. “This year is pretty much the same, we have some returning players but also some who have never played before, so we have done really well to win the first couple of games. We even have a couple of football players in the side, but they actually start games now so it shows they’ve done really well for us.” The Glamorgan coach then went on to tell us about what the team hoped to achieve and how they were going to progress over the years. After winning the cup in the first year, but not getting promoted, this still went beyond Carys’ expectations. She said: “The hope for the first couple of years was simply to just have a team. “At the moment we are aiming to stay in the Prem, but we want to hopefully contest for the first three spots which will be tough, but achievable. “Last season we didn’t want to do anything but win, anything but first
place would have been disappointing. We unfortunately lost our first game in the cup to our rival’s which was frustrating.” Carys also recalls the team’s first defeat of this season, and highlighted how being in the top division of the women’s game is a lot tougher. “We lost last week to Exeter, who along with Cardiff Met, are among the best sides in the league. This week’s game will also be tough when we face Cardiff Met who have stayed unbeaten for a long time. We are hoping by the time we play them for a second time later in the season, we can go on and beat them.” Vice President of Student Support and outside centre, Sarah, also pointed out some important analysis of being in the top tier league. “It’s okay for the established sides in the Premiership because they know what to expect from the other teams, but we’re there for the first time and still getting used to it. We have treated the Exeter game as a real learning curve. “We normally play well in attack, but the Exeter game was the first time we had to defend in the way we did. It was completely different to what we had faced before, but we’ll learn from it. “I’ve never actually seen Cardiff Met play, but after the Exeter game we kind of know what to expect.” But Carys, who plays in the back row, says it is a hard balance between coaching the team and wanting go out there and play: “I’ve played since I was 11 years old, I’ve kind of had enough of playing, but then again you can never get enough of playing. I enjoy coaching,
sport which is heavily contested back in her homeland of Ireland. Valkenborghs believes that the sport can thrive, it’s just a case of getting the players together, she said: “There are a lot of Irish people at the University of Glamorgan and back home in Ireland Gaelic football is the biggest sport - It’s something that is central to the culture.” “I looked up the amount of Irish people in the uni and it turned out there was around 300 students who are studying here and in the area, so I felt there had to be at least 15 who were interested in creating this Gaelic football side – It is such a big sport back home after all. “Glamorgan did actually used to have a side that were in fact really good, winning the cup and league on separate occasions, hopefully we can get back to that level one day” The former volleyball player of three years believes that the inter-
est is definitely there, and with the help of surrounding universities, the sport can really take off. “Two years ago a student from Cardiff Met tried to set up a side, but found that there weren’t enough players from that university alone. He asked some of the universities close by to advertise the team and work together to create a combined team. “We went ahead and set up this joint team, and there was a lot of uptake from students at Glamorgan, even those who weren’t actually Irish, which was promising. “We had rugby players who were interested in giving it a try, they would go for a few weeks but because the training fields were so far away and hard to get to, they would stop coming after a few weeks because it simply wasn’t worth the hassle. “So the interest was definitely
but it can be difficult, because you do feel as though you want to be out there on the pitch helping out, which is tough - but to transfer my knowledge and see the side progressing is very rewarding. “I do still play, but I stopped for a while because I was picking up so many injuries. I came back this season to play for the uni side after being convinced by my teammates.
“I couldn’t choose between playing or coaching, I like playing and I like coaching, so doing a bit of both suits me.” The team currently sit in second place of the British University and College Sports league, behind leaders Exeter. But Carys has a bright vision for the team’s future and sticks by her motto: “Once the name builds, the team will build.”
Below: Sarah in action representing her national side Wales U20’s
Glamorgan set to launch Gaelic Football team Dan Lewis @Daniel_Lewis92
aelic football is set to receive a major boost after current and former students have joined together to launch a new team. Glamorgan do not currently have a Gaelic football side, despite the fact it is the most popular sport in terms of attendance in Ireland. The lack of attention in Britain is not enough to stop a group of students who are looking to set-up a team to contest in next seasons BUCS division. Vice President Student Support, Sarah Valkenborghs, 21, is hoping to make the most of the vast amount of Irish students studying in Glamorgan and surrounding Universities to help create a Gaelic football side – a
there, but it was too inaccessible for the Glamorgan students.” This early interest in the team has left Valkenborghs with the bare bones of a squad, but she is hopeful that by this time next year Glamorgan will have a squad ready to compete in the BUCS league. “We are not looking at getting into a competitive league at this moment in time, it’s just a case of registering as a club for the time being. “Although there is a BUCS league around, we missed entry to join due to a lack of players at the time. So this year we will set it up, before looking ahead to next year’s Fresher’s Week where we will have a stall to really push it and hopefully get into the league system.” For the time being, the Treforest based graduate is focusing on building the team to enter certain one off events, but is also still looking for
more players. “We can still enter one off competitions at the moment, but obviously we would really like to build a squad and compete in the BUCS league.” “There are local teams in the area away from the uni who are trying to recruit students to play, so we will look into that.” “If there’s anyone interested – whether they have experience or not – come and have a go. There’s nothing to lose by giving it a go.” “We’ve only had a few meetings and this week had a training session, so people who come along now don’t need to worry about having missed anything.” It is the start of a process that the current students setting up this Gaelic football team hope will continue down the years, but for now it is a case of simply getting a team in place.
The Phoenix November 2012
Glamorgan 1st’s suffer derby defeat as they meet the Met
(Photo by Ieuan Flowers)
Cardiff Met Men’s 1st XV 26 Glamorgan Men’s 1st XV Tom Parry
lamorgan fell short to three second half tries away to Cardiff Met after a strong first half performance which saw them in with a chance to clinch their first win of the season. Poor weather conditions made the game very difficult for either side to control, but Glamorgan opened the scoring at the Cyncoed campus. Outside centre, Ben Cullen, dived over the line after heavy pressure from the visitors in the Cardiff 22. An unsuccessful conversion made the score 0-5 after 10 minutes. The Treforest-based side then continued to build on their opening form and made strong runs from all over the pitch, led by a good back
three combination of Jack Barrett, Tom Davies and Joe Bridger. The visitor’s also carried on their assertion in the pack and made many turnovers which frustrated the home side. The rest of the first half saw both teams take turns in possession and territory. Glamorgan managed to upset the home side on many occasions by winning more turnovers at the breakdown. But Glamorgan were not able to capitalise on opportunities they created, and gave away a few penalties which could have led to more points on the board for Cardiff Met before the break. In the second half of the game, the weather really picked up and conditions turned for the worst. Long stints of heavy rain and strong wind saw a lot of mistakes from either side and disrupted many playing patterns in attack.
Above: Glamorgan full back Joe Bridger puts in a try saving tackle to keep his side in touching distance But then the home side - formally known as UWIC - stepped up a gear and managed to gain momentum in the forwards and repeatedly drove Glamorgan into their own half. After a series of attacking scrums from the home side, No.8 Patrick Roberts bulldozed across the white-wash and touched down. Cooke added the extras to make it 14-5. After the restart, Cardiff Met managed to retain possession and continued their dominance in the terrible conditions. Replacement scrum-half, Cameron Setter, ran through the Glamorgan defence and went in under the posts. No.10 Cooke again gave the extra two points to increase the lead to 21-5. As the game was drawing to a close, Setter again made another break for the line and managed to go over in the corner. The try came from the home side camping in Glamorgan’s half and a pick and go from the base of a ruck saw the back-three-quarter go over. Cooke missed the conversion but Cardiff Met came away convincing winners, making the final score 26-5. Glamorgan Head Coach, Steve
Goddard, was pleased with his side’s first half performance but was disappointed with the final result, he said: “The first 20 minutes was the improvement we were looking for, and we competed well for 60 minutes of the game. We are improving and we are getting closer. “But something slipped away in the last 15 minutes, and we will be back on the training ground on Monday to keep on building. It’s about game management and we were under pressure at the scrums, but we will look at that when we go
for analysis.” Cardiff Met coach, Chris Davey, was also disappointed with his team’s performance but praised Glamorgan, he said: “We are really disappointed with our performance today, but fair play to Glamorgan they are a very committed side and made life difficult for us.” “We have simply got to be better. We made a lot of changes to our first team side for today and some players didn’t take that opportunity. We are pleased with the bonus point at the end but it was too close for too long.”
(Photo by Ieuan Flowers)
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
Glamorgan punished late on against unbeaten Hartpury
Glamorgan Men’s 1st XI
UWE (Hartpury) Men’s XI Wilson (81), Culley (89)
wo late Hartpury goals were enough to see off a brave Glamorgan side who fell to their third straight defeat of the season. With the rain pouring down, Glamorgan almost managed to hold out for a valuable home point, before Scott Wilson and Duncan Culley popped up in the last 10 minutes to sink home hearts. The unbeaten hosts were grateful to leave Glamorgan Sport Park with all three points, after Luke Jones wasted a glorious opportunity to give Glam a lead before half-time. In what was a balanced first half, both sides managed to create opportunities, but neither could get away any serious shots on goal.
It took 20 minutes before the first real chance of the match and it fell to Culley whose header came back off the post before being fired over by one of his teammates from under the bar. Hartpury continued this pressure, creating big chances, the best of which fell to Culley who rounded the keeper but couldn’t get his effort on goal, hitting the post for the second time in a number of minutes. Glamorgan were managing to soak up the pressure well, but all the hard work was almost undone when left back Marcus Giglio crossed superbly for the dangerous Culley, but his effort was headed over. But despite all the chances that had fallen the visitor’s way, Glamorgan had the best chance of the half after some superb play in the middle of the field led to Luke Jones being played through on goal. Jones had time to get a shot in on goal, but
decided to square the ball instead which was cut out by the Hartpury defence. It looked as though the game was going to die out as half-time approached, but Hartpury managed to carve out two great chances – the first fell to Culley who yet again failed to beat Glamorgan keeper Mike Lewis. Just minutes later the ball fell nicely to Dan Holloway inside the Glam box who hammered his effort well over, to signal the end of the half. The second half started in a much better way for the home side, who found themselves with another great chance to take a surprise lead, but Sam Gilroy hit his effort right at James Norty before Chris Metihke hit the rebound wide from a tight angle. These chances helped create some momentum for Glamorgan who came close from a dangerous corner and through Arron Jewell who saw his curling effort comfortably saved by James Norty. This appeared to spark some life into top of the table Hartpury, who should have taken the lead when the ball fell to an unmarked Matt Liddi-
Above: A deep corner leads to a scramble in the Hartpury goalmouth ard in the box, but his headed effort failed to trouble the goalkeeper to the dismay of his manager. But despite the wasted chance, Wilson picked up the ball inside the Glamorgan area and placed it past the ‘keeper to give his side the lead. It was agony for the home side, but the joy on the unbeaten Hartpury player’s faces showed that this was a big moment for them in the early stages of the season. To add insult to injury for Glamorgan, Giglio made space down the left hand side before crossing low into the box for Culley to finally get his goal to make it 2-0 to the leaders. All that was left was for Adie Harris to pick up a second yellow card for a late tackle, following on from
his early booking for dissent. The dismissal signaled the end of the match as the rain continued to fall to sum up the mood around Glamorgan Sport Park. Speaking after the match, a disappointed but optimistic David Gough, said: “I’m proud of the players out there today. We had conceded eight goals in our last two games and today came up against one of the best sides in University history who haven’t been beaten in five years – with 10 minutes to go we were level, which says it all. “They’ve won the league every year, and have a brilliant recruitment system, so I’m really proud of my players for giving it a real go out there. “
defense that Glam had so easily exploited in the third quarter. Swansea Captain, Sherman, worked tirelessly to create plays and he would gain several assists, the most impressive was a fake to lose one defender, a drive to the basket with a no look pass to Evans for the easy bank shot. Webster again put in tireless work against Glamorgan to put up seven points. In one play he astonishingly outmaneuvered three Glam defenders to make it to the basket, only for this lay-up to rim out. Toby Burtess also came off the bench for two successive field goals.
For Glam, Zilinskas would commit his fifth foul and be sent to the bench but jump shots and clever foot work from Kizito earned him another six for Glam. Despite Swansea relentless efforts, field goals from across their finishing five were enough to just keep Glam with a one point victory in the fourth quarter for an impressive 72 – 66 victory overall. Swansea should be proud with such a close result having travelled so far with only eight players, in what was an entertaining and high scoring game to open the season.
Late turnaround secures opening win in BUCS Men’s basketball league
Glamorgan University Men’s 1st Swansea University Men’s 2nd Owen Sheppard
lamorgan Coach Chris Harper and his team will reflect on this result in two ways - pride at how they dug deep to capture three points against an opposition who put them through their paces, but also with concern that a mere eight strong second team, with a height disadvantage, managed to pressure them so thoroughly. By all accounts, the opening quarter suggested all but a one sided match on Glamorgan’s part. Neither team possessed anyone in the way of a natural born center, although Glamorgan forwards Kizito, Jama and Bull all surpassed 6ft and contributed greatly to the first quarter with frequent rebounding on the offensive end, leading to second chances and field goals. However, first blood was drawn by Zillinskas who sank two free throws. Under the command of captain,
point guard and acting coach, Callum Sherman, Swansea were playing a contrasting game to Glam. Realising they were being dominated under the basket, Sherman was calling the plays and encouraging cuts in to the key only for the ball to be kicked out to unguarded shooters. A couple of air balls aside, Swansea managed three 3 pointers and overall an impressive showcase of outside shooting. The first quarter ended 21 – 19 in Glamorgan’s favour but coach Chris Harper was eager to have his concerns about their defense heard. The second quarter saw a change of fortunes. Glam committed four fouls in two minutes and Swansea took advantage, sinking five free throws. Swansea continued to be successful with their outside shooting from Sherman and Daniel while Webster performed an acrobatic tip-in. Swansea briefly took a three point lead, however, despite the unnecessary turnovers, Glam remain tight on defense and with a deeper bench, began spreading the court with startling pace. Frequent Lob
passes from Jama concluded with open lay-ups for Bull and Zillinskas and Glam kept the lead at 34 – 32. The second half would prove equally hard fought as the lead swung from Glam to Swansea and back. Kizito committed his first foul allowing Swansea’s Tom Evans to sink a free throw and make it a one point game. Glam’s Joel Richards made the most of his 10 minutes of game time with a shrewd cut from the base line, receiving the pass and draining a three to settle nerves, but it would be the last outside shot Glam would make for the quarter. Half of Swansea’s points in this quarter came from free throws but Sondo and Webster displayed some clever post moves to put up an extra four on the board between them, momentarily giving Swansea a one point lead. But this quarter was highlighted by Glam’s devastating transition from defense to fast break. Zilinskas, Jama and Bull put up eight points between them with defensive rebounding, allowing easy lob passes and open lay-ups. The final quarter ensued with the score at 51 – 47 to the home side. Again the scoring was nail-bitingly tight but Swansea just couldn’t do enough to make up for their slow
The Phoenix November 2012
Cardiff Met put Pirates to t Cardiff Met Women’s 1st’s XI 67 Glamorgan Pirates 0 Joel Thomas
he rain stopped with minutes to spare before the match got started at the Cyncoed Campus. Cardiff Met were always going to be a hard ask for Glamorgan and showed this from the very start, immediately putting the away side under pressure. Glamorgan coped well in the first 10 minutes, slowing a determined Cardiff Met side down and doing well to hold up a try. The pressure inevitably became too much for Glamorgan to hold off, with a turnover by Cardiff Met leading to a try by their Captain and inside centre, Jade Newman. The home side failed to convert making the opening score at 5-0. Glamorgan tried hard to fight against the constant Cardiff attack, even winning some good penalties in the scrum. It was all too much for the away defence and it wasn’t long before a Cardiff scrum resulted in blindside flanker, Delyth Davies, powering over for the second. Another missed conversion made it 10-0 to Cardiff Met. Cardiff Met carried on their dominance for the rest of the first half after a penalty by the full back pushed them further ahead. This was shortly followed by another try for the home side after their tighthead prop powered down the field, handing off any defenders that got in her way and touching down in the corner. Glamorgan carried on bravely at the end of the first half, fighting hard to hold up a number of balls carried over the line by Cardiff Met and winning a number of penalties. It wasn’t enough though as Cardiff finished off the half with a good scrum allowing a perfect platform for the backs to work through winger Siobhan Longdon-Hughes touching down, bringing the halftime score at 25-0. It was more of the same for Glamorgan in the second half with the Cardiff tighthead prop immediately powering over after kick off. This was the first of many more to come in this half of the match, with the visitors becoming more slap-dash in defence. Cardiff seemed to breeze through, scoring another five tries in succession, including another three by
wing Longdon-Hughes and a brilliant team try, which saw a turnover and good hands allowing scrum half Larissa Muldoon to touch down. The score-line was now an impossible mountain to climb for Glamorgan at 59-0 and it seemed obvious that the team were feeling frustrated by enormity of the score. After a rallying team talk, the visitors tried to pick themselves up and carry on bravely, getting a number of penalties and even gaining some good ground after some decent carries by the forwards. A lack of concentration put Glamorgan on the back foot and an attempted clearance kick resulted in a counter attack by Cardiff, which led to second row, Charlotte Mayfield, powering through to put them even further ahead. Glamorgan’s defence stepped up again in the last 10 minutes of that match, doing well to hold off a tryhungry Cardiff Met. The match finished after a home side turnover, allowed blindside flanker, Delyth Davies, to touch down again for her second try of the match, bringing the final score to 69-0 to the home team. It wasn’t all bad news for Glamorgan with some very good forward play and an impressive defensive line, which held well against an always-dominant Cardiff Met team. There was particularly impressive work around the field by the blindside flanker, Sioned Davies and centre, Sarah Valkenborghs. Despite the colossal win over Glamorgan, Cardiff Met Women’s coach, Alan Sheppard, didn’t feel the score was a good reflection on how dominant his side was. “The Glamorgan forwards did extremely well in the contact area, stopping us getting the quick ball and we made a lot of mistakes in the first half which we managed to correct. Overall it was a good contest.” Glamorgan player-coach, Carys Thomas, thought the team did well against a dominant Cardiff Met. “My honest opinion really, I thought it was the best game we’ve played all season. I’m really proud of the girls, in defence they really took it to them and put the pressure on. Our scrummaging in the second half was so much better than last week against Exeter.” Glamorgan Women face Oxford Women at home next, on the 21st November, where they will hope to get back to winning ways.
Opinion FeaturesReviews Sport
the sword in heavy defeat Glamorgan progress in cup after Bournemouth triumph
Glamorgan University Men’s 5th XI Rivers (64, 86)
Arts College of Bournemouth Nash (89)
lamorgan men’s fifth team secured their place in the next round of the Western Conference Cup as they beat the Arts College of Bournemouth 2-1 at Glamorgan Sport Park. A brace from midfielder Theo Rivers in the second half was enough to edge out the away side, despite a late goal from center-half Jesse Nash and an uneasy final few minutes in the strongly contested cup-tie. Glamorgan dominated early possession in the game, but it was the away side who carved the first chance in the 13th minute when midfielder Sam Cartwright found space just outside the home side’s penalty area and curled a shot which forced a great save out of keeper Jordan Dunning. But the home side should have taken the lead just short of the 20-minute mark, after a teasing inswinging corner by winger Joseph Musa, the ball found its way to Joel Moody who blazed over the bar
from five yards and really should have found the back of the net. After a period of half chances for both sides, the best chance fell to Glamorgan just before the break. From a counter attack by the home side, a great cross by danger man Musa found its way to Ali Feasey whose first time effort just inside the area skewed inches wide of the right hand post. ACOB started the second half well, and were denied a stonewall penalty when Cartwright was pulled down just inside the box, but the referee waved away protests to the dismay of the away side. With one quarter of the match remaining, the home side finally broke the deadlock. After a failed ACOB attack, Glamorgan countered with pacey Johnathan Baber on the left wing who crossed the ball from the byline to Musa who calmly picked out the on-rushing Theo Rivers to place the ball low and hard past keeper Crocker. Glamorgan nearly doubled their lead just moments later, after a corner from the right was fumbled by Crocker straight into the path of Captain Greg Lawrence, but his shot
was somehow cleared off the line and over the bar by the despairing ACOB defenders. With just ten minutes of the game remaining, Rivers grabbed his and Glamorgan’s well deserved second goal of the game. After a high hanging corner from Musa, Rivers peeled away from his marker and volleyed home at the back post leaving ACOB stopper Crocker screaming at his defence as to who was picking the midfielder up. Just as the game entered stoppage time, ACOB halved the deficit and ensured a nervous final few minutes for the home side. A corner from the left was met by towering defender Jesse Nash, who powered a header home into the bottom-corner leaving keeper Dunning rooted to the spot. But there just wasn’t enough time left for the away side as Glamorgan held out for a well earned and well deserved victory over their English opponents. The win books their place in the next round of the Western Conference Cup and after this performance, Glamorgan will certainly not fear anyone put in front of them.
Below: Glamorgan look to capatilise as captain Greg Lawrence whips in a dangerous free kick
(Photo by Ieuan Flowers)
In The Phoenix
Inside: A roundup of all the best sports action
Derby day defeat
P27 An exclusive interview with Glamorgan Pirates coach Carys Thomas.
Cardiff Metropolitan 26 Glamorgan University 7
(Photo by Ieuan Flowers)
“I’m proud of my players great spirit, despite the bad start” by Dan Lewis @Dan_Lewis92
lamorgan football coach David Gough is hoping to take inspiration from his sides strong finish to last season after a disappointing start, as the driving force to kick start the teams campaign this time around. Gough has seen his Glamorgan men’s 1st team lose their opening three games, conceding 10 goals in the process, but he is refusing to give up and believes that as soon as his teams luck changes, results will follow. Speaking after Glamorgan’s 2-0
home loss to Hartpury, Gough said: “It’s been a disappointing start and we would have liked to have done better after the first three games of course. “Last year we finished runnersup in the league but we didn’t take any points from the first two games, which was the same as this season coming into the Hartpury match where we were looking for a minimum of one point. “Looking back at the early season so far, there are always things you think you could have done differently.” Glamorgan showed a real togetherness and fighting spirit in the defeat to Hartpury, but they failed to hold on for a point and conceded twice late on to goals from Scott Wil-
son and Dan Culley. The defeat came just a week after Glam fell to a 4-3 loss at Glamorgan Sport Park where they let slip a 1-0 lead before finding themselves 4-1 behind. But despite the early setback, Gough is hoping to use video analysis to help guide his side as they push on, starting with the game against Swansea. “I’m proud of my players, who have shown great spirit despite the bad start. We had conceded eight goals in our last two games and today came up against Hartpury who are one of the best sides in University history. They haven’t been beaten in five years – with 10 minutes to go we were level, which says it all. “They’ve won the league every
year, and have a brilliant recruitment system, so I’m really proud of my players for giving it a real go out there. “It just hasn’t happened for us so far, but we’ve got Swansea coming up, a derby game which becomes the biggest game of our season. “We have every game videoed so we can then analyse it afterwards, before coming together as a team on Friday mornings and going over it to see where we can perhaps improve.” Despite this, the football & performance coach knows that results are all that matter, but with time and lessons being learned, Glamorgan can continue the hard work put in by previous management. He said: “Football is played on the pitch and I couldn’t have asked for
any more from my team so far. “We’ve been unlucky at certain times and not always taken our chances, but we’ve seen from Hartpury that the best teams get in front and keep the lead. “Staying in the league is our biggest priority, it always is. Steve Savage has done an amazing job over the last five years to get this team into the league – making us one of the first Premier teams in the country. “We are in the top 10 university sides in the UK, so Steve deserves massive credit for that and it’s now our job as management staff to keep this good work going.” “If we stay up by a point or even a goal, I’ll take that.” Match report inside: page 29