3 U N I V E R S I T Y
E S S E X
S T U D E N T
N E W S PA P E R
COMMENT MUSIC FILM TV
Human Rights Summer School
ARTS SCIENCE LIFESTYLE SPORTS FRIDAY 25TH APRIL | ISSUE 156
Should Britain leave EU?
Famous finale episodes
Graduation What next?
Talks over Marking Boycott Continue
Full story on page 2
Naomi Jeffreys, Editor Jessica Houlihan, Deputy Editor Saga Eriksson, Head Designer
Roxy Mason, News Editor Andrew Smith, News Deputy Editor Nisa Khan, News Deputy Editor
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen” Three years ago, in the summer before I started at Essex as an undergraduate I wrote an article for the Film Section of The Rabbit which began with this quote. It is in reference to my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. Little did I know just how much working for The Rabbit would do for me and my future career. In this, the final issue this year, we will be saying farewell to a number of our own executive editors, as well as looking to the future of student media at the university. The Media Guild is set to change in the coming years, namely moving to a new home, This move demonstrates the university’s commitment to student media for those who want to pursue journalism as a career, for fun, or simply as a part of student life. Having seen a number of changes which have already been made to the newspaper, namely the rebrand of 2012, a smoother distribution system and dedicated executive section editors, our first Derby Day edition, and an increased online presence I know that next year’s team are in a great position to build on the successes we’ve had this year. But first, I must say a huge thank you to the executive section editors who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, showing enormous commitment to the paper and dealing with changes on the editorial team in a professional way. They have been a pleasure to work with. Next, thank-you to Jess, who has taken to her new role with ease, I’ve appreciated her hard work, support, skills and professionalism. She’s been a real asset to the team. Next, my right hand woman, Saga, we’ve been through a lot and we’ve learned a lot, but always with a lot of laughs and some Frozen songs to keep us going. Thanks to Steve and Becky whose support in producing the issues all year has been great. And finally, to my family and John, whose support, encouragement and enthusiasm have ensured I made the most of every opportunity that came my way. iIn this week’s issue, you can expect to find: an interrogation of the good, the bad and the ugly TV finales, what to do next after graduation, a look in to the DNA of origami and much more.
Marking Boycott The University and College Union boycott is due to start on 28th April, with talks which could avert such action scheduled to take place on 15th April. A marking boycott, a tactic last used in 2006, would mean lecturers refusing to mark exams, coursework and dissertations. If implemented, this could mean a disruption for those graduating this year. The dispute, which remains unresolved from the 2013-14 pay round, is over a 1% pay offer, which the UCU says represents a real-terms pay cut of 13% since 2009. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents universities in pay negotiations, says there is only “dwindling” support for industrial action and staff carrying out such a “damaging course” could face a full withdrawal of pay. Any services staff provide whilst boycotting would then be considered voluntary and not paid UCU claims to know fourteen universities that have written to staff threatening to withhold pay and that such threats amounted to “little more than bullying”, and could lead to lectures being cancelled.
So, after three years, it’s time to say goodbye. I can’t imagine my university life without The Rabbit and I wouldn’t change a thing.
“You cannot claim to have students’ best interests at heart and then escalate the situation by effectively locking staff out of their place of work,” said Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU.
Your Editor, Naomi Jeffreys
“Universities that deduct one hundred per cent of pay from staff participating in our marking
boycott will be showing a clear disregard for their students. This threat is little more than an attempt to bully staff from taking part in industrial action as part of a legitimate grievance against efforts to drive down their pay,” she added. A spokesman for the UCEA said that all higher education institutions would have “heavy hearts” when deciding how to respond to the proposed boycott. “The [universities’] responses are unsurprising because higher education institutions have long had clear policies not to accept the partial performance of duties and would be deducting pay from any staff who chose to take part, precisely in order to limit the impact on students’ education,” he said. “All parties do of course hope that this potential action will be averted.” Lecturers have also been angered by average five percent pay rises for university vice-chancellors, who they say now earn an average of £235,000. “The strong support for our action so far demonstrates how angry staff are at the hypocrisy over pay in our universities,” said UCU general secretary Sally Hunt. “The employers cannot plead poverty when it comes to staff pay and then award enormous rises to a handful at the top. “A marking boycott is the ultimate sanction, but an avoidable one if the employers would negotiate with us over pay,” she said.
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL | ISSUE 156
Essex University to host Human Rights Summer School One only has to observe the student-led tradition of chalking on statements on the concrete steps of Square 3 on International Human Rights Day to understand the fundamental role that human rights plays in the university’s socio-political activities. With the university’s newly launched Human Rights Summer School, and its playing host to world renowned, leading experts in the field, the university is rapidly becoming a hub for human rights debates. The Essex Summer School, hosted by the Human Rights Centre, will be taking place from 30th June to 5th July with the aim to give students and professionals’ wider scope for increased impact in bringing about change to policies. Participants will focus on methodology and learn skills from researching current and post-conflict repressive states to engaging with victims. Lorna McGregor, director of the Human Rights Centre stated “We have thought hard about what the qualitative and quantitative skills for human rights research are, the contexts in which we research human rights, and the range
of methodologies that can be used, and we have made sure that we have a fantastic international faculty and practitioners to deliver it.” The most notable arrival for the Centre is that of Harold Hongju Koh, who served as the US State Departments legal advisor from 2009 to 2013 and who will be delivering a key note lecture. However, given The University of Essex’s Sir Nigel Rodley’s recent statements on the human rights record of the US, Koh’s arrival comes at an interesting time. Rodley recently criticised the US’s failure to hold to account those who violated human rights in light of events such as its drone strikes, the failure to close Guantanamo Bay, its widespread use of the death penalty and most recently, that of data collection which was controversially and candidly exposed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. It is not the only time that the university has had an active voice in human rights debates. Essex based UN special rapporteur Professor Ahmed Saheed also recently denounced the use of
Annual Student Conference For just one day, every year, Essex students of political science, economics, and human rights band together to share their interest in topics ranging from the future of oil economies to the underlying causes of war. This year’s Annual Student Conference will see roughly sixty members of the Government department present papers to a panel of their peers, who will then engage in an open discussion of the issues raised. Run for students, by students, the Conference aims to unite scholars of all ages and disciplines, creating a free flow of ideas from which participants can learn new skills as well as information. The only restriction is that papers must be in some way relevant to political science, with a theme of One World, One State, One Humanity. The event, which takes place on the 26th of April, will also feature guest speakers and an awards ceremony to recognise the finest presenters. Readers looking for more information can contact Zach Surber at zsurbe@ essex.ac.uk
the death penalty as a criminal deterrent in response to recent Amnesty International reports which cited a fifteen percent increase in global executions, mainly as a direct result of capital punishment in Iran and Iraq. Saheed stated “No government can argue that their duty to enforce the law and establish the rule of law is served by the enforcement of the death penalty.” The need for human rights studies thus comes at a critical time, and the university’s own voice in human rights debates is becoming more apparent. Whilst the university’s place within human rights debates has at times been conflicted, as seen in last year’s controversial student strike against visiting Deputy Israeli Ambassador Mr Alon Roth-Snir, human rights has nonetheless become a defining and central part of our university community. The Human Rights Centre playing host to such noted experts marks a potential turning point for the university to become a leading voice in human rights matters.
Pulitzer Prize This year’s The Rabbit has covered a plethora of news stories; from tuition fee rises and loan privatisation to the SU rebrand and Starbucks referendum, we’ve reported the facts of student life both on and off campus. Unfortunately, the folks behind the Pulitzer Prize have once again failed to recognise our hard work. Still, we can be sporting, and so we’d like to congratulate staff at The Guardian and Washington Post on just beating us to the ultimate prize in journalism. The two papers share the public service award for their daring coverage of U.S. spying operations, which sparked a debate about the relative values of security and privacy. Amongst other accolades, The Colombia University panel also commended the Boston Globe for their breaking news reports of Boston’s marathon bombings and the subsequent city-wide manhunt. Despite having narrowly missed out this year, The Rabbit writers and editors can also feel proud of our achievements, which include a superb special edition for Derby Day. Our morale is as high as ever, and with some new faces and a new office we’ll return next year even stronger than before. Pulitzer panel - watch this space.
73% of Today’s Students Will Be Paying Tuition Fees Well into Their Fifties, Report Confirms Three out of four university students will still be paying off debts in their fifties, a report has recently announced. The Institute of Fiscal Studies for education charity Sutton Trust revealed that today’s students will graduate with an average debt of £44,000. This figure is almost double the debt owed by those who started university before 2012 – the £9,000 a year price tag is finally starting to show. Almost seventy-five per cent of students will almost certainly fail to clear their debts by the time they reach their mid-50s – after having culminated an average of £35,446 in repayments. At fifty years old, most students will have started a family, will own a house and a car, and will have been employed for almost thirty years. The study confirms concerns that the effects of the coalition’s decision to introduce sky-high fees for students will still be felt in years to come.
One creditor that will stay consistent in our financial woes is our university administration. Instead of concentrating on shifting mortgage debts, a typical worry for middle-aged individuals, we will still have a hefty university bill hanging over our shoulders. The study follows a series of reports assessing the potential detriment of the new Higher Education finance system. These reports are said to be deterring young people from attending university, and instead finding other options. Only five per cent will repay their debts by the time they are forty, compared with just over half of all graduates under the previous system. Students do not have to start repaying their loans until they enter the earning threshold of £21,000 a year. Under the old system, this was £15,000. Claire Crawford, co-author of the report and lecturer at the University of Warwick said: “The new HE finance system will leave graduates with much more debt than before.”
“However, graduates who do less well in the labour market will actually end up paying less than before, while middle and high earners will pay back much more.” Tori Pearce, president of the National Union of Students, said: “Forcing debt on students as a way of funding universities is an experiment that has failed our country.” The report comes just after the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimated that 45 per cent of all student debts are unlikely to ever be repaid. Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor of Reading University said in March “A second ‘Browne-style’ inquiry into student finance is now necessary.” “It is likely that this will be set after the 2015 election.” Lord Browne was chair of the inquiry which led to the introduction of £9,000-a-year fees in 2012.
The University of Kent Students’ Union Apologises Over Summer Ball Posters The University of Kent’s Students’ Union faced criticism from its students after the launch of a poster advertising its 2014 Summer Ball. The poster featured a picture of a woman, standing alone after a night out, with the words ‘Someone will lose their friends’ printed over her.
ment, stalking, violence and sexual assault. The study found one in seven survey respondents had experienced a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student and sixty-eight percent of respondents reported having experienced some kind of verbal or nonverbal harassment in or around their institution.
Susuana Antubam, the National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Officer for 2014, has described the poster as “horrific”.
Rachel, an accounting student at Kent said: “As someone who has experienced countless unwanted sexual contact at the university club, I am disgusted that Kent Union has decided to use this to promote their event. Not only is it problematic to encourage the idea that women that get lost on nights out are ‘game’, but legitimising predatory behaviour is incredibly dangerous”.
This comes following a recent study conducted by NUS called ‘Hidden marks’, which looked into women students’ experiences of harass-
The University of Kent’s Unions’ Women’s Officer Beth Taylor concurred: “I think it is a disgusting poster and completely undermines the
This led many students to take to social media sites to complain about the Union using the idea of vulnerable women to advertise their events.
values of the union and its zero tolerance policy. I think someone needs to be held accountable, and that it needs to be pulled.” The University of Kent’s Students’ Union has now removed the poster and apologised unreservedly. In a statement, it said “It was never our intention for the poster and its message to be interpreted in this way.” “The concept behind our marketing of the event is to use real photographs taken last year combined with factual statements provided by students. In the future we will check our designs with relevant people to ensure they cannot be interpreted in a different way.”
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DISCOUNT CARD All details correct at time of printing 29th June 2013
Search For Plane Wreckage Continues The detection of crackly ultrasonic ‘pings’ from the depths of the ocean suggested the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 seemed to be finally reaching a conclusion.
Bluefin-21 takes six times longer than a towed pinger locator; (used to detect the black box signals) to cover a similar area, and the two devices cannot be used at the same time.
Those signals that were generated by the plane’s ‘black box’ flight recorders now seem to have faded and search teams have turned to an “autonomous underwater vehicle”, Bluefin-21, in the hope it may be able to track down some sign of the aircraft’s wreckage.
The data from Bluefin-21 will allow search crews to construct a detailed 3D sonar map of the seabed. If any wreckage is spotted, the sub can also be fitted with a camera to take photographs.
Bluefin-21 was dropped into the water on Monday 14th April near an area of sea bed known as the Zenith Plateau, around 1,800 km north west of Perth, Australia. Depths here range from 1,753m to 6,000m, moving away much further north. The long process of tracking down any kind of plane wreckage is likely to be as slow and painstaking as expected given the grand scale of ocean water area needed to be checked.
The initial search area covers some forty square km, the area roughly in the region where ‘pings’ were detected by Australia’s naval support ship Ocean Shield on the 6th of April. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, 8 March, and was due to arrive in Beijing at 06:30. Malaysia Airlines says the plane lost contact less than an hour after take-off. No distress signal or message was sent. The last communication between the plane and Malaysian air traffic control took place about
twelve minutes later. At first, the airline said initial investigations revealed the co-pilot had said “All right, good night”. However, Malaysian authorities later confirmed the last words heard from the plane, spoken either by the pilot or copilot, were in fact “Good night Malaysian three seven zero”. A few minutes later, the plane’s transponder, which communicates with ground radar, was shut down as the aircraft crossed from Malaysian air traffic control into Vietnamese airspace over the South China Sea. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said the plane failed to check in as scheduled with air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City at 01.21am. Following the announcement that the plane had been lost, there have been a number of times where satellite images have shown various pieces of floating debris in the ocean during the search.
Pistorius Loses Composure The case of 27 year-old Oscar Pistorius, an athlete who had competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, has been in the media for over a year now for the shooting of his girlfriend of three months, Reeva Steenkamp, which occurred on Valentine’s Day 2013. He faces twentyfive years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. The case, which began in March this year, twelve months after the shooting, is still continuing to determine whether the shooting was premeditated or not. During the events at court prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that: Reeva ate two hours before Pistorius shot and killed her. While Reeva was awake and eating, neighbour Estelle van der Merwe heard an argument. Four other neighbours heard Reeva’s “bloodcurdling” screams as she escaped from Pistorius. Pistorius shot four shots through the toilet door, knowing that Reeva was in there. Pistorius knew that she was talking to him. She
was locked in the toilet and he armed himself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her. Afterwards, Pistorius was overcome by what he had done because he intended to kill her. Mr. Pistorius’ defence lawyer Barry Roux presented to the court a Valentine’s card, which Ms. Steenkamp had got the athlete and had planned to give to him, but never got the chance. Earlier, he said he was “heartbroken” when he saw her body in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last February.
of Valentine’s Day, before they had opened each other’s cards and gifts. The athlete has previously told the court he only opened the card on Ms. Steenkamp’s birthday, in August 2013. To date, Pistorius has denied all of the accusations made against him – he has however said that he was “overcome” by the events that have occurred. Pistorius has often left court looking tired and ill, and has often thrown up or cried uncontrollably. The court case continues.
The South African Olympic sprinter read the poem to the court after five days of gruelling cross-examination. The double-amputee sprinter, 27, read it out in a trembling voice. The front of the card reads: “Roses are red, violets are blue...” Inside, she had written: “I think today is a good day to tell you that, I love you.” Ms. Steenkamp was shot dead in the early hours
Jake Hearn and Nisa Khan
Jake Stones, Comment Editor Philippa Dobson, Comment Deputy Editor
Editors Note: The views represented in this section are from those of the individuals and do not represent the editorial views as a whole.
Money, Money, Money
Would you like a share of over £65 billion directly in your pocket? Yes? Then Britain should probably leave the EU. However, there is no point charging up to the EU parliament, insulting people, and making a mess of our withdrawal, I’m talking to you Nigel Farage, when we can leave like adults and maintain free trade with the EU. EU membership in 2008 cost Britain £65 billion and that cost is rising significantly every year. This cost included billions for businesses to comply with EU regulations, billions for food and agriculture, billions for fishing policies, and £14.6 billion paid directly into EU budget (rising to £19 billion in 2011). This amount of money could be used in Britain more effectively, for example on the national debt or the NHS.
I freely admit that I don’t know much about EU politics or the structure of the government, but with the little knowledge I do have, I will impart now. I do know that I dislike Nigel Farage and I hope UKIP never get a seat in UK Parliament. I hope we stay in the EU for a number of reasons, the main one being to annoy Nigel Farage. But there are other reasons, one of them being jobs. An invaluable amount of jobs would be lost if we severed our connection to the EU. Eurosceptics claim we can get these jobs back elsewhere, but won’t disclose where.
The costs rise every year and any money we do reap back from the EU (in 2008 we received a measly £5.2 billion return) has to be spent on EU approved projects, so we cannot actively use the money to benefit our country. It would seem obvious to leave the EU now, but there are some difficulties with leaving, for example the UK legal system would have to be rewritten because it has adopted so many EU laws and policies, although UK laws are more cost effective without the EU. British households are directly affected by EU costs because of increased food costs, imported clothing costs (because of EU trade costs), and increased taxes. Also, electricity prices are always increasing in Britain because of a forced EU incentive to switch to a green energy (carbon capture technology) which does not exist on a large scale yet. So, it cannot be denied that we need to leave the EU, but it will take careful planning to succeed, and it is difficult to say which party or leader will take this step.
Moreover, our economy would suffer and we’d lose power and influence on the world’s political stage. In the future Britain will no longer be a major player; we are increasingly being dwarfed by other nations, so without the EU our arguments would have less gravitas. Our nation’s well-being could potentially be at stake. Trade is an important argument; we have access to over 500 million customers, free market trade is essential to our countries economy. Immigration is also an important point, many Brits argue that immigrants are entering the country and ‘stealing’ our jobs, but I argue that immigrants not only bring money and create jobs, but they also enrich our culture. It sickens me when people back parties like UKIP but yearn for a greater and more diverse culture. Yes, there are some shortcomings; the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is a waste of money which makes food prices unfairly high and it annoys me that we do not get full control over our own laws. But, ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons.
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Rule Brittania, or be ruled by Brussels John Maynard Keynes, the brilliant English economist once said “He who controls the currency, controls the country”. At this moment in time the British control the Pound, and therefore the nation. However with the continued involvement in Europe, will this always be the case? The threat to currency aside, I would also like to devote this article to highlighting that there are other reasons why we should leave the EU. The reason which hurts me most is the fact that unemployment in this country is at a staggering 7.2%. Comparatively the unemployment rate in Slovenia (an EU member) is double ours at 14.5%. This example shows how there could quite easily, under EU law, be an uncontrollable flux of migrant workers coming in to this country. If this were the case, then all around
Europe one could see Great Britain crumble under the weight of others. I admit that it is not the fault of these other countries. They are indeed subject to factors outside of their control, and are themselves victims of the Global Financial Crisis. This was brought about by the initiatives of the Labour Party who were responsible for our heavy engagement in Europe in the first place. However, now we are in control of our future. To risk it by adhering to liberal doctrine seems absurd. There needs to be a time of a cold shoulder towards our European kin. We need to leave the European Union and regain control of our nation.
No to EU, Yes to Workers’ Rights The European Union is perhaps one of the least understood institutions in British politics. In the post-war period it was an attempt to unify business interests across the continent for long term economic and political stability. Nigel Farage is right in saying that the Eurozone is a fundamentally top down bureaucratic organisation; designed to limit nation states power in order for stability. However, his idea of increasing democracy in this country fails to give power to the working people to decide on domestic or economic issues. Instead UKIP’s version of freedom is arguably akin to that of Thatcher’s’. This includes the same policies that the Conservatives, and indeed most mainstream parties across Europe in the last thirty years have been engaged in; selling off all state assets and lowering corporation taxation to let the “free market” absorb as much profitability from working people as the system will allow. The fundamental and only difference between
people like Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage is the speed the process takes place in and who controls it. Clegg, and most mainstream British politicians, want us to be controlled by a clique of European businesses, who can freely take advantage of the cheap labour and trading power that the E.U. provides. As massive unemployment, correlating with skyrocketing corporate profits, have shown since the euro crisis; no pro E.U. politician can claim to have their real interests in high skilled, well paid jobs for working people. What is really needed is the reestablishment of a working class platform for a progressive economic plan based on nationalisations of key industries. The beginnings of such a stand can be seen with “No2EU: Yes to Workers Rights,” which is arguably the real platform for change one can stand upon in the up and coming European elections.
Mental Health and Student Support Mental Health is a growing concern in the UK. Charities like Mind and the Mental Health Foundation have pushed for greater awareness and public scrutiny over the allocation and availability of resources for the treatment and care of sufferers. Mental health is fortunately a global term which encompasses all illnesses of the mind, such as Unipolar and Bipolar Depression and Schizophrenia. For four years now I have suspected I was suffering from a mild type of Bipolar Disorder (or Manic Depression). I would experience days of severe anxiety- self-doubt and alienation, which would isolate me in my room - I would over-eat and try to detach myself from the overtly negative stream of thinking. I avoided my family, my friends, and even myself. I felt useless, incompetent, unworthy and- worse yet- I was suicidal. All as part of a cycle that occasionally trapped me in loneliness and psychological self-harm that had no apparent reason for being. Mania in Bipolar (thus “Manic” Depression) is at times a severe euphoric drive that leads one to promiscuous and life-threatening commitments. It appears suddenly, an unexplained, burst of energy and desire which can be illustrated as the exact opposite state of depression; where the latter feels all ideas are bad, the former tends to believe that all are good. In an ongoing depressive phase in November last year, I decided to go to “Student Support” on campus. It was the first time since I suspected the precariousness of my own health that I actually sought professional help. I was seen immediately- I was led into a separate and private room- where I spoke with someone who had enough experience to help with my situation. I was set-up with a six week counselling session to begin sometime in the following term. Despite the wait I felt better. Christmas and New Year passed, and the joy I felt from my new contact faded. However the counselling started and I was able to walk along the road to recovery again. My counsellor and I increasingly made progress over six weeks, meeting for an hour a time once every seven days. We made progress where I thought it not possible, and she helped me to realise many things about myself and mental wellbeing in general. I ‘m more stable, with the occasional wobble- and I have to expect more cycles, But each time I feel myself tending, I think back to those six hours, and I know that somewhere, in them, there is something I can hold on to; as I slide or rise, fall, stay, or go.
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Jennifer Draper, Arts Editor Amy Bater, Arts Deputy Editor
Pop Art Pop Art sprang onto the British art scene in the 1950’s and has been enjoyed by generations ever since. One such artist, who was unjustly forgotten about after her tragically early death at only twenty eight years old, was one of the founders the British Pop Art movement; Pauline Boty. Boty was an incredibly talented, free spirited, feminist artist whose paintings and collages were ignored for some thirty years after her death in 1966. Boty was a strong female artist who was miles ahead her time, living in a man’s world. Her art was all but ignored by her contemporaries, which is so difficult for me to comprehend today. Boty had a strong flare for the extravagant and she did not shy away from bold statements in her work- she portrayed her own sex and sexuality in her work which threatened the male-dominated, oppressive culture she unfortunately lived in. Forty eight years on from Pauline Boty’s death, however, she is being recognised for the talented artist and the true feminist icon she was. When you look at her work, you can feel Boty’s spirit and passion alive in it which is a truly special thing and should be celebrated.
The pop art style has always been a style of art that has intrigued me. Although a lot of the pop art style art work appears to be very simplistic, it is also so spectacular and really makes an impression on its audience. Take Roy Lichtenstein for example; his work is immensely famous all around the world yet when you look at it, it appears so simple and plain. However, when examined up-close, you see pieces such as ‘Wham!’, have intricate and precise detail in the image. Is not just colour and words but it is made up also of a dotted style that makes the background of the
image a lot more effective in bringing the piece together. Throughout my artistic life I have always loved Lichtenstein’s style and this style is something that I even incorporated into in projects throughout my academic career was even incorporated into both of my 15 hour art exams. This shows how influential this style was to me as a young artist and I cannot express how interesting this style is, not only to me but also to many others.
Pop art cannot be disregarded as a style of art that has lost its relevance today. The pop art style, such as that of Andy Warhol and of Roy Lichtenstein should not be seen as something that merely contributed to one time period, as their artistic style is still around today. Graphic designs upon items of clothing, for example, remain incredibly popular, with Warhol’s Madonna and can still be seen printed on t-shirt. This shows us the lasting impact this brightly coloured style of pop art has had on society. The art that they created was so amazing, not only for the culture that they were created in, with this style of art serving as a rebellion against post-war dullness that hit much of society at the time, but also because it still exists in today’s fashion world.
How can one discuss Pop Art without mentioning the king of Pop Art himself- Andy Warhol? The American artist was a true visionary and led the way in his field with his iconic work. Warhol lived as an openly gay man in a world where being gay was not accepted and his studio became like a sanctuary for like-minded intellectuals, drag queens and playwrights to meet and discuss their work together. In his art, Warhol reflects on the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement which thrived in the 1960s. When I think of Andy Warhol, the first thing that comes to my mind is his Campbell Soup Series, in which he does what Pop Artists do best; he takes ordinary items and he makes them extraordinary. This did not go unnoticed in the art world, as the series became hugely popular and led Warhol to his Marilyn Monroe masterpiece, his exquisite Elvis Presley piece and his incredible painting of Elizabeth Taylor. It is not surprising that the name Andy Warhol is still known to generations around the world as his art has left a mark and will not be easily forgotten for decades to come.
Deborah Findlater, Music Editor Dragos Ion, Music Deputy Editor
Festival Guide Summer is just around the corner which means festival season is almost upon us. Here at The Rabbit Music we’ve got the lowdown on several of the best festivals across the continent, with something for everyone.
Field Day, London, 7th-8th June
Sziget, Budapest, 11th-18th August
In its eighth year, London’s Field Day Festival continues to impress with a combination of brand new acts and already established indie and electronic artists. The festival will also be hosting Street Feast, Venn Street Market and Village Mentality, which will be offering a great choice of international cuisine at friendly prices as well as sack races and tug of war competitions. Unlike previous years, Field Day will be held over two days rather than just one. On the Saturday Metronomy, Danny Brown, Jon Hopkins, Sky Ferreira, Warpaint and Omar Souleyman will perform, making the festival a good option for those of you planning not to go to the University’s Summer Ball. For those of you who are, you still have a chance to see indie cult band Pixies and homegrown psychedelic bands The Horrors and Temples on the Sunday. Taking place in Victoria Park, Hackney, Field Day is a good option for those of you who want less camping and more music from your festivals.
Sziget Festival is one of the best European Festivals. With a history of more than 20 years and around 400 000 visitors in the past few years, it offers a week of amazing music. This year, from the 11th - 18th August music lovers will have the chance to enjoy live performances from: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Prodigy, Placebo, Lily Allen, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Bombay Bicycle Club, Kavinsky, Imagine Dragons, Tom Odell, Bastille, Stromae and many others. Day tickets are €50 and weekly passes €209.
Saturday Ticket: £54.50 Sunday Ticket: £43.00 Weekend Ticket: £83.00
Bloodstock, Catton Park, Derbyshire, 7th-10th August Bloodstock Open Air is a metal music festival situated at Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent and has vastly expanded over the years. With the 2014 edition featuring Megadeth, Down and Emperor as headliners, other bands on the bill include Israel’s Orphaned Land, Greece’s Rotting Christ and Finland’s Children of Bodom amongst many others to be announced over the next few months. With four stages to choose from, festival goers will be spoiled for choice and at £137 (camping and festival access), who would sniff at that? See you in the pit!
Soundwave, Tisno, Croatia, 17th-21st July Taking place on the picturesque Eastern Croatian coast in the fishing village of Tisno, Soundwave returns for its sixth year with a host of exciting electronic artists. Acts include the UK’s very own: experimental producer Gold Panda and house beatmaker Eliphino. The festival features boat parties and club nights as well as beach stages which is definitely more appealing than standing in a soggy field. Attendees are encouraged to explore the local area and enjoy its rich cultural heritage. Advance tickets for the full 5 days cost £137.50.
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Interview - Tom Jarvis After his performance at the fortnightly Coffee House Sessions, we had a chat with Cambridge bred, Chester based singer/songwriter Tom Jarvis and his bandmate Tom Thorley-Fox. So far what material have you released? Tom Jarvis: We’ve done 2 EP’s, the first one came at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 which had 9 tracks on it and the second July last year, both out on itunes. Is this music scene good in Chester where both you guys are? Tom Thorley-Fox: It’s difficult because there’s not a great deal going on but we’re not too far from Manchester and Liverpool so that’s good. TJ: There is a good local scene in Chester but it’s mostly just bar gigs, you can’t go out and
play to a new audience like here. Chester’s quite small really so it’s a mixed bag What artists are you into at the moment? TT-F: All sorts, been listening to a lot of Ben Howard, also McFly, big fans of them! We’ll definitely try to see if we can get tickets for the McBusted tour although we might be the only guys in their 20’s there. TJ: I sometimes have the radio on but we don’t listen to much current stuff. Nothing out there tickles my fancy at the moment. When I find something I do really like, I’ll listen to it for a year which I did with Ben Howard’s album. I’ve just got Spotify so that makes it a lot easier to find stuff. So you’re for Spotify and streaming services? TJ: As a listener yes but as an artist I can see
V Festival, Hylands Park & Weston Park, 16th-17th August For almost 20 years, V Festival has been one of the top summer destinations for UK music lovers. The event is held simultaneously both at Hylands Park and Weston Park and it is probably one of the most commercial festivals in the UK. After Beyonce’s performance last year, in 2014 fans will have the chance to see the one and only Justin Timberlake. He will share the stage with The Killers, Paolo Nutini, Ed Sheeran, Blondie, Sam Smith, All Saints, Nile Rodgers and many others. Day tickets are £89 and weekend tickets £189.
why people don’t like it because you get next to nothing from it. We’re not against giving out stuff for free, it can be a good way to grow an audience. How have you found being a full time musician? TT-F: Absolute freedom, not having to answer to anyone is great. Before I was a sales leader in retail. TJ: I was working in sales as well, I guess now we’re still trying to get a product out there and people to like it. Doing what you love everyday is great, it’s so hard to motivate yourself when you have a job you hate. Tom Jarvis’ Make Your Own Luck EP is out now
Gig Previews Essex
Riga Music Bar in Essex offers quality live music every weekend.
Blue Rose Code is coming to Norwich.
After releasing their smash hit ‘Rather Be,’ Clean Bandit are ready to offer a memorable performance in London.
If you happen to be in or around Southend-on-Sea , be sure to visit this bar. On the 10th of May you will have the chance to see The Book of Genesis. Tickets are available for £11.20.
The singer from Edinburgh will perform his Celtic Lullabies and Caledonian Soul music at The Bicycle Shop on the 7th of May 2014. Tickets are £8 in advance or £10 at door.
The amazing band from Cambridge will perform at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 9th of May 2014 from 7 PM. Tickets are on sale and prices start from £38.50.
Dragos Ion Dragos Ion
Film It’s Finally Here
Charis Lynch, Film Editor Katie Clark, Film Deputy Editor SUMMER DVD RELEASES The summer season is approaching rapidly, and what better way to treat any hard-working Essex student at the end of the year than with popcorn, a good DVD, some mates and a gigantic duvet on the sofa? You may have missed many big hit films showing in the cinemas over the study season, due to the many looming deadlines, but The Rabbit Film Section is here to let you know what DVDs have been announced for Summer release, so you can catch up on some red carpet smashers!
So this is it, the end of an era. For the past seven months, Katie and I have had the pleasure of running The Rabbit Film Section. Having the opportunity to write about film has been amazing, and one of my personal highlights was seeing Harrison Ford at the Ender’s Game Q&A. Whatever mood you’re in, or whatever hurdle is coming, there’s a film that will speak to you. The past year has seen a number of great releases, and no two people will have the same favourites. If you’ve been studying so much the past seven months that you’ve missed them all, here are my top three final recommendations; Olympus Has Fallen, The Internship, and Divergent. They may be a random trio, but they’re just one person’s opinion. If you haven’t seen them, they’re worth a couple of hours of your life. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who got involved in the section this past year. I hope you continue to contribute in future years. For anyone else graduating this year, congratulations, and for those still fighting on, good luck.
Farewell Red-Carpet Rabbit! This year has seen some really great films hitting the big-screens and DVD cases, but the superhero instalments have really made 2013-2014 stand out for me. We saw the release of Man of Steel, Wolverine, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and now Spiderman 2. The announcement of the upcoming Avengers 2 and Batman vs Superman just adds the cherry on top of the already stuffed film fanatic cake. What is great about all these films is their ability to branch out to all audiences. The directors also succeed in revamping and modernising the comic book characters, without making them lose their individual charm. The one film of this selection I recommend is Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. Some criticise the original for its bland presentation in comparison to masterpieces like Iron Man, but the directors really focused on this downfall and made the American hero really stand out from the others this year. Well, I’m off now! This year has been great, thanks everyone and best of luck on your results!
The Railway Man Release Date: 5th May
Robocop Release Date 9th June
The Wolf of Wall Street Release Date: 19th May
Two Academy Award winners are at the forefront of this emotional railway rollercoaster. Colin Firth stars as Eric Lomax, a disturbed World War II survivor who is still struggling to cope with his torturous past. Lomax is being devoured by hate, and his only wish is for revenge against his captors. His wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) and friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård) witness this trauma first-hand, and encourage him to face his fears and let go of his past. This beautifully portrayed true story gets to the heart of the psychological trauma of surviving war veterans, and reminds us all that “sometimes the hating has to stop.”
It is always difficult to fill the shoes of something which is already well-acclaimed. But director José Padilha felt courageous enough to try and update the 1987 original. The story is set in 2028 with police officer Alex Murphy being critically injured while on duty. However, Murphy cheats death by becoming the only mechanical officer in New York, morphing his frail remains with that of a machine. Although some critics argue it is far too focused on typical Hollywood CGI and special effects, it is still enjoyable in its own right. Recommended for any action film lover, definitely give it a go.
It is always heart-breaking to hear that Leonardo DiCaprio still hasn’t received a welldeserved BAFTA, especially with his constant nominations for Best Actor. But that doesn’t make his performance any less brilliant in The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio stars as Jordan Belfort in the late 1980s, who has just amassed an unthinkable amount of wealth from his success in work and on the stock markets. However, what ensues after the founding of Belfort’s newly decadent lifestyle is a new life of crime and greed. There is no doubt that this is one of the most controversial films of late. This brave black comedy certainly got people talking, and its rebellious streak is what makes this film terribly tremendous.
The Lego Movie Release Date TBC (Expected July) If you’re after a bit of a fun film this summer, then definitely keep your eyes open for the release of The Lego Movie. Although no date has yet been confirmed, it is anticipated to be released in July. It also has Lego Batman in it. Do you need more of an excuse to embrace your childish side? We think not!
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SUMMER CINEMA 2014 As we come to the end of another year, it’s time to take a look at the cinema releases we have to look forward to over the summer. After all the looming exams and stress ahead, let me assure you that Summer 2014 looks set to deliver with big blockbusters such as the long awaited XMen hitting our screens in May. We’ve put together a calendar of one’s to watch out for. Be sure to look on the Facebook page for all trailers.
X-men: Days of Future Past
Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
May’s big blockbuster film takes form in the highly anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past. With a storyline combining the cast both as their younger selves and in present day, this complex plot looks set to be worth a watch. It all comes down to that ever recurring question, can the X-Men save the day?
Seth Rogan and Zach Efron go head to head in the battle of family home versus fraternity house. With a supporting cast of Rose Byrne, Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, this comedy looks set to be the perfect break from revision.
Belle tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. This period drama follows Dido as she struggles to find her place in the world she was born in and yet shunned from. Winning awards at both the Miami Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival, it’s not to be missed.
Although this fourth instalment of the ever popular series may end up being a let-down, with a change in cast and story, Michael Bay is guaranteed to have delivered yet another cinematic masterpiece as he yet again gives life to Optimus Prime, and my personal favourite Bumble Bee. The trailer looks epic, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Yves Saint Laurent
22 Jump Street
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Wish I Was Here
If you’re looking for something a little more cultured, then why not take a trip to see this biographical of one of the biggest style icons in history. The film looks at the early career of the sensational Yves Saint Laurent, as he meets the future love of his life and becomes one of the most important designers of his time. What’s the price of such success?
The comedy duo of Hill and Tatum returns in the second Jump Street movie. Now going to College, the pair seeks out a drug supplier whilst questioning the strength of their partnership…déjà vu! No, you’re not mistaken; the storyline looks absolutely identical to 21 Jump Street. So if you choose to take a chance on 22 Jump Street, be sure you’re in the mood for a light, easy laugh and not expecting too much.
July’s blockbuster is the second instalment in the story of the ultra-intelligent Caesar. Set years into the future, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows the battle between Caesar’s army and the remaining humans to be Earths’ dominant species. The special effects look incredible, so it should definitely be worth paying to see on the big screen.
After Bad Teacher, I couldn’t wait to see Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel team up on another comedy, and here it is. Sex Tape looks hilarious from start to finish as married couple Annie and Jay regret the moment they tried to spice up their marriage with a sex tape. As they hunt to destroy all remnants of the tape, chaos ensues.
The latest film to both be directed by and star Zach Braff, follows the life of Aidan Bloom (Braff) as he struggles, at thirtyfive with a family, to figure out what he’s doing with his life. This heart-warming tale, also stars Kate Hudson, Josh Gad and Jim Parsons, looks like a winner.
Kirsten Alexander, TV Editor Roman A.J Wilson, TV Deputy Editor
How I Met Your Mother – Grand Finale How I Met Your Mother recently aired its final episode and it was…OK. I’m not a particularly avid watcher, admittedly (hence the not exactly in-depth observation), I binge-watched a bunch of episodes once and have since felt obliged to see it through, but I was armed with the necessary knowledge to follow the finale. It is important to note that the climax of the show’s nine year run was filmed at the same time as the very first season, due to the age of the child actors. While in a way you could take this as a sign that the creators of the show knew exactly what they were doing and played their story out as they had always intended, it seemed to me that they had no choice but to shoehorn in an ending they had already com-
mitted to, one that no longer truly fit the direction of the show. The final, two part episode, mostly consisted of large jumps in time, briefly covering key points in the characters’ lives leading toward the narrative present day (2030 I believe). To be honest, if you spent three seasons building toward a climax (I’ll be vague here for those who intend to watch the final episode) only to have a quick flash forward in the finale tell you “oh yeah that? No, that didn’t work….oh well”, it kind of feels like the years of character development and growth amounted to an awful lot of nothing. There wasn’t much to be gained from the finale, the characters didn’t conclude or evolve, it was,
in places, bleak but never poignant, and the endings weren’t quite satisfying for any character, though I guess there’s something to be said for a portrayal of harsh reality ruining your expectations. While I feel as if the ultimate ending was by no means the best direction for it, when you’ve committed to a closing shot nine years before hand, you don’t really have a full hand of options for your plot. Still, it’s certainly a relief to have the closure of finally having the show resolved.
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Silk Finale On the 31st March, the TV series Silk came to a frustrating end. And for those of us who loved the show, and who followed it from its inception in 2011, it was a disappointing end. Martha Costello, QC, simply disappeared off our screens, in the blink of an eye, and the passing of a bus. This court room drama series was led by the brilliant Maxine Peake and had steady supporting performances from Rupert Penry Jones, Neil Stuke and Phil Davis. Throughout the series’ three year run, we’ve seen Martha lose her baby, fight criminals at the bar and battle in her on-off relationship with Clive Reader (which admittedly lost steam in the final series). So, I have to ask, why BBC, why would you end such a brilliant series on such a confusing and frustrating note? Martha Costello was a brilliant character: strong, determined and defiantly northern amongst the Harrow elite. Her unwavering moral compass and desire to fight for crimi-
nal justice was why viewers kept returning to the series again and again. Series creator Peter Moffat said about the series ending: “It has been a complete joy to work with a group of actors as good as this and with a lead actress who I consider to be the best there is. It would be dishonest as a writer, and unfair to the integrity of the show and everyone involved in it, to prolong the series beyond what I hope is a powerful and compelling denouement.” But the rushed ending and Martha’s disappearance, along with the almost-death of Billy, and the almost-shooting of dodgy solicitor Mickey, led viewers to take to Twitter to vent their frustration at the BBC and Peter Moffat. A change.org appeal has already been launched; let’s hope viewers join together to bring this brilliant series to a fitting and rightful end.
Naomi Jeffreys, Editor
Gossip Girl – Grand Finale Arguably the one show that marked my teenage years, Gossip Girl found culmination in December 2012 with one powerhouse final episode defined by happy endings. After nearly six seasons (five seasons and ten episodes to be exact), New York’s most privileged residents and us - their humble world-wide fan base - finally found out who the elusive Gossip Girl was: Dan “Lonely Boy” Humphrey. While the revelation was shocking (yet slightly anticlimactic) the viewers were nonetheless rewarded with Chuck and Blair’s ten second wedding in Central Park. Fast forward five years and Chuck and Blair are still the “it” couple. What’s more, they have an adorable Chuck mini-me. Nate has also found his calling in life and with a perfect, slick comb over, he becomes New York’s mayor (of course!) Elsewhere, Serena and Dan, in a last creative bid to obtain some sort of purpose, tie the knot in front of family and friends, notably raccoon-eyed Jenny, Serena’s younger brother Eric and resident villains Georgina Sparks and Jack Bass. All in all, a very enjoyable, loose-end-tying finale, purely worth watching for all those teenage years when your ideal man was more than likely Chuck Bass. xoxo, Gossip Girl.
Peep Show Series Three Finale: Quantocking 4OD favourite Peep Show returns to our screens later this year with the last ever series and hopefully a finale to remember. In the meantime, there’s eight glorious series to tide you over until the final season, and eight epic season finales to indulge in, including the hilarious series three finale: Quantocking. The episode is full of “classic” Mark and Jez moments, where Mark decides the only way to keep Sophie is to propose to her as soon as possible (of course!) after saving up his megadeal vouchers to take her on a romantic weekend away to the Quantocks. In traditional Peep Show fashion, things go utterly pear-shaped when Jez and Super Hans – who decides to go cold turkey, even
giving up the lattes - date-crash. Just as Jez convinces Mark that proposing to Sophie is not the only solution, Sophie finds the ring and traps Mark into a marriage he now no longer wants. Instead of telling Soph he’s changed his mind, Mark – to avoid any further embarrassment - obviously agrees to her accidental-marriage-proposal-acceptance. An absolute classic episode with some utterly memorable and hilarious moments. Let’s hope the grand finale later this year matches up to the Quantocks.
Books What’s Love Got to Do With It… Romance in literature is universal and timeless; from chivalric epics about lords to ladies to fan-fiction about Sherlock and John Watson, we love to write about love. We’ve all experienced the anguish of really wanting two characters to get together and that somehow never do, or hating the pairing of two characters that do. As I’m sure many of you know, J.K Rowling recently declared that if she was to write the Harry Potter series over again, she wouldn’t necessarily write Ron and Hermione as a couple. “I wrote [it] as a form of wish fulfilment,” she told actor Emma Watson (Hermione in the film franchise) in a recent interview. She said: “It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility” she went on to say, even suggesting that “Harry and Hermione are a better fit”. The news, which Rowling herself called “Pottery heresy”, has outraged Ron and Hermione fans, and made those who
always thought Harry and Hermione made more sense very happy, and annoyed many people who feel that Rowling should stick by what she published. Rowling’s long been filling us in with extra information about the world of her series through interviews and on her website Pottermore, but has she gone too far now? For this issue, the Book Sections last of this year, we’ve as looked at some of our favourite novels about romance, we’ve also asked you what you thought about Rowling’s shock statement, and what other literary couples you wish had never been written into existence. A final thank-you must go to the contributors who have tirelessly reviewed, interrogated and critiqued some of literatures great and not so great authors. It’s been a pleasure, so thank-you.
Jasmine Crellin, Editor Molly Oatham, Deputy Editor
Top Five Couples We Wish Had Never Got Together We asked you to vote on our Facebook page on what literary couple you wish had never made it to print and here are the results! Edward and Bella (Twilight) He’s a whiny, sparkly 107 year old vampire. She’s a whiny, really boring, not sparkly teenage girl. He breaks into her room to watch her sleep at night and really, really wants to eat her. She…thinks he’s really sparkly. How are there four of these books? Mr & Mrs Twit (The Twits) These two were pranking each other before YouTube ever came along, but given the level they take it to, it’s amazing they ever got married. Mrs Twit feeds her husband worms and Mr Twit tries to get rid of her by tying her to a chair with hundreds of balloons attached. They’re spiteful, vindictive and pretty disgusting; thank goodness for Muggle-Wump the monkey! Anastasia Steele & Christian Grey (50 Shades of Grey) This was really covered by Edward and Bella, frankly, but still; if these two had never met, this book would never have been written. And I would never have had to hear about how amazing it is from my mother. And the world would be a better place because of that. Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games) While I personally quite like these two, it’s hard to argue that Gale and she would also have made a pretty good match. They were best friends and their relationship wouldn’t have begun in an arena where they were meant to be hunting each other to the death. Admittedly, Katniss probably couldn’t have predicted that Gale would be played by the gorgeous Liam Hemsworth in the film version.
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Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth (1959) Goodbye Columbus is a novel that accounts a romantic entanglement over the course of one summer. Having read nothing of Roth’s other work previous to my encounter with this one, which was at the age of fifteen; I admire and adore his simple yet poignant prose. His novel focuses predominantly on two characters; Neil Klugman and Brenda Patimkin, the former a philosophy major and part time librarian, the latter, a wealthy Radcliffe College student living in the beautiful Short Hills. Both Brenda and Neil are Jewish, yet it is their inherently different social classes that threaten their love for one another. In the somewhat dire yet accurate words
of Grease this is very much a novel of “summer lovin’”, where boy meets girl and both spark up an instant attraction. There are elements of the Romeo and Juliet depiction of flawed love, where Brenda’s family are a representation of the affluent American Dream and Neil is representative of an impoverished student whose pay borders minimum wage and is never fully satisfied by his work. It is a book worth reading and its plot focuses not just on the detrimental effects that money has on love, it also explores the viciousness and prejudice nature of classicism.
K BOOEWS I REV
Persuasion by Jane Austen (1818) “She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older” A reluctant return to Jane Austen, whom I have never particularly enjoyed, pleasantly surprised me in Persuasion. Her last novel, published posthumously in 1818, appeared to me a more refined and shrewd insight into human nature. Its comparative brevity also placed it advantageously in relation to her other books, cutting out much in the way of tedious digression and extraneous dialogue. A lot of the conversation is presented as indirect discourse, a welcome method in suppressing monotonous pontification. Usually turned off by Austen’s subject matter, I remained uncharacteristically sympathetic to the main storyline this time round. A plot involving more relatable circumstances and a chord of familiarity struck? Or perhaps a general softening in advancing years, I was astonished to find myself not baying for the violent
death of the heroine. The plot of Persuasion is relatively straightforward. Sir Walter Elliot, a vain and spendthrift baronet, is widowed with three daughters and looking to downsize from his expensive estate. His eldest daughter Elizabeth, shares his haughty, cold-hearted ways, his youngest, Mary, is married off, whilst his middle, Anne, is the neglected black sheep, approaching spinsterhood at the age of twenty-seven. Years ago, Anne was engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval officer, but talked out of it by a close friend due to his lack of money and social standing. Full of regret, she must now endure Wentworth’s return from the wars as a rich and distinguished captain with ladies falling at his feet. Awkwardness abounding on both sides from the forced re-acquaintance, Anne has no hopes to rekindle his affections. Despite Anne’s past fickle conduct and malleability, Austen manipulates internal
dialogue in such a way that one cannot help but feel some compassion towards her misery. Those familiar with Austen’s happy ending philosophy will never be in any doubt as to the outcome of the story, yet the ‘how’ more than the ‘why’ sustains enough interest to keep one reading to the end. The satirical wit is as sharp as ever, padded out with plenty of astute observations on human weakness and folly, and as can be expected, a popular topic of British ancestry and the landed gentry is explored, albeit to a much lesser degree than her other novels. On this point, Austen seems more in favour of the selfsufficient, enterprising individual, as seen in the novel’s strong sympathies with the navy. With two more to go before I have read all of Jane Austen’s novels, it is likely that Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice will emerge as the best of the bunch.
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Ben Gregson, Science Editor Emily Pearlman, Science Deputy Editor
Scientists shield patients against HIV
DNA Origami Although proteins perform various functions in living cells, most of them involve interacting specifically with another molecule. They have dents in their surface that are the right size and shape to fit the things they interact with, while excluding the things they do not, just as a lock is the right shape to fit the key that opens it. Proteins are like a chain, made by adding one link at a time. There are 20 different types of link. Some attract other links like a magnet, while other links repel one another. This drives the chain to fold into a 3D shape. Unfortunately, each link interacts with every other link in the chain, making the folding process too complicated to predict. DNA is also a chain, made of four kinds of link. These only interact with adjacent links making their folding easier to predict. Researchers have recently devised a method of folding DNA into defined 3D shapes called DNA origami. A long string of DNA is mixed with short strands that bind two different parts of the long string, forcing it to bend in a controlled way. This can potentially be used to deliver drugs to the parts of the body they are needed in and avoid side-effects, by making DNA boxes that contain the drug. For example scientists are creating a tube-shaped piece of DNA origami that could deliver payloads of drugs to cancer cells. The tube can open like a clam, but it is clasped shut by two DNA strands called aptamers. The aptamers are designed to recognise molecules on the surface of cancer cells. When they do, they spring apart, opening the tube and releasing the drugs within. So far this process has only been carried out with a prototype that has only proved its worth against cancer cells in laboratory flasks and it has a long way to go before it could be used inside a human patient.
At the moment, most people who have heard of, or in fact have, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), fear the fact there is no cure. However, although there is not currently a cure, there are treatments available to the patients to delay the progression of HIV.
during chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia. To help combat his impaired immune system he was given a bone marrow transplant by someone who had this rare mutation. The above mutation is what researchers are trying to simulate so that eventually there may perhaps be a cure for HIV.
A new process has been developed which has shown to improve the lives of people suffering with HIV. Twelve patients have received a gene therapy which has increased the ability of the immune system to fight HIV and delay the onset of symptoms. This technique changes the structure of the T-cells, an important aspect of the immune system that helps the body fight or destroy viruses and prevents them from multiplying.
White blood cells of HIV patients were taken out, given this HIV resistance and then injected back into their bodies. This treatment means that patients may not have to take medication every day to control the virus. When the patients were taken off their medication, the unprotected T-cells in the body fell compared to the T-cells that were protected and they were still found in the body months later. HIV has been a very big topic in recent years. As one of the most feared viruses we have, it is great to see that there are some chances of improvement if not a possible cure in the near future!
Some people are born with an extremely rare mutation which can protect them from HIV. There has been one person that is known to have recovered from HIV; his name is Timothy Ray Brown. He had his immune system wiped
Breakthrough in hepatitis C treatment A new treatment trialled by scientists for hepatitis C cured 90% of patients with the infection in twelve weeks. More than 200,000 people are infected with hepatitis in the UK, and deaths from the infections have increased year on year since 1996. It is estimated that the current treatment for hepatitis C, which only works half of the time, is used by 3% of patients in the UK. Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. It is passed on by the blood, or bodily fluids of an infected person. The main scenarios that lead to hepatitis C being spread is through tattoo needles, people who take drugs that share needles or blood transfusions. Luckily there is now a screening program so people with hepatitis C can no longer donate blood. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Centre tested the new oral drug on three hundred and eighty patients at seventy eight centres in Spain, Germany, England and the US in 2013. Two studies were carried out, one in patients for twelve weeks, and one for twenty
four weeks. These patients had cirrhosis of the liver indicating they had an advanced form of the virus. After twelve weeks, one hundred and ninety one of two hundred and eight patients no longer had hepatitis C, which then increased to one hundred and sixty five of one hundred and seventy two patients, after twenty four weeks. The drug works by targeting the protein that makes hepatitis C and stopping it from replicating. Like most drugs, there are side effects including fatigue, headaches and nausea. This is an improvement on the current treatment which includes a year’s worth of injections, with severe side effects including depression, tiredness and nausea. Charles Gore, chief executive at the Hepatitis C Trust, said: “This is a turning point. I think it is incredibly exciting. We suddenly have the opportunity to eliminate the virus in the UK - even without a vaccine.”
Claudia Degli Alessandrini, Lifestyle Editor Luiza Sandru, Lifestyle Deputy Editor
A Witness to Humanity A voluntary service experience in an Indian hospital for terminally ill children that impacted my life. When I was seventeen, I volunteered for an Indian hospital in New Delhi where I lived there for two years. This experience as a book reader to terminally ill children opened my eyes to a different reality, and enhanced me as a person. India is a continent where the divide between rich and poor is very wide and where the caste system still exists. Volunteering in a public hospital in India is a very different experience than a public one in the Western world, where welfare provides for minimum sanitary standards and sanitary access regardless of social status. I was shocked when entering the public institution to see cockroaches on the side of the walls, lined by a thick black accumulation of dirt and what I could swear were rodents. The heat was unbearable- the thermometer struck 40 degrees Celsius, the only form of fresh air originating from hanging fans scattered throughout the walls and ceilings. The air was clearly recycled, and smelled anything but pleasant. I walked my way through the hospital halls to reach the children’s department, where I was meant to provide my voluntary service as a book reader to terminally ill children. I looked around. An attempt was made to beautify the walls of the hospital with Disney pictures taped as decoration, but nothing could lighten the atmos-
phere. The sanitary standards were outrageous and through the hospital doors I glanced at pure misery personified. If there was a hell on earth, I was there. I tried not to faint from the odour and the heat combined, and was finally assigned a room. I knocked on the door and entered. The room had about 10-15 bunk beds, some without mattress so that the ill were resting on hard metal. Due to the lack of room in the hospital, the children’s branch was also occupied by adults and the elderly alongside patients with other illnesses that they could pass on to the terminally ill, such as Tuberculosis. The room was of worse condition than the hallways: besides the bunks, aluminium poles carried empty drip bags with a rusty needle hanging at their ends. That same needle pierced whoever was unlucky enough to end up there next, and then reutilized on a different patient when the previous was dismissed. In a country with significant HIV transmission, this view was another heavy brick of reality. The bed sheets were stained and the linen filthy. I stood there befuddled and, book in hand, was lead by a nurse to a bed with a girl undergoing chemotherapy. Her parents greeted me and thanked me for helping distract their little girl to alleviate the stress of therapy, and grant them a chance to rest from hospital surveillance. Such a small gesture was probably insignificant in the long- run but I was astounded at how every lit-
tle effort was appreciated. The nurse gave me an overall diagnosis of the young patient: liver cancer. She then walked away, a resigned expression. I sat down on the side of the bed and introduced myself to the girl. I could barely pronounce a word and was shaking. She did not speak a single word of English so reading ended up being quite arduous. I skimmed through the book, showing her some pictures and kept her company. We got to know one another and I increasingly became shocked and bitter at the unfairness of yet another young life facing such a desperate condition. However, I was equally startled by her strength of spirit, mismatched by my trembling knees and uneasiness. This experience made me witness humanity in all its forms. Nowadays, we always focus on ‘‘Transferrable skills’’, ‘‘Time Management’’ and feel good on the basis of what we gain from them. But through this, I not only understood and recognized the value of life, I witnessed it through her, and praised it. There are no other words to summarize the significance of this experience shared with a more unfortunate being than myself, from which I learned, developed and acknowledged. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Mahatma Gandhi.
Claudia degli Alessandrini
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL | ISSUE 156
Everyday Heroes How a random meeting can change your life forever. I still remember that day the first time I saw Jianwei. I was sitting outside in square three, having a break after a long day when suddenly my attention was caught by a guy walking with his reliable stick, undaunted by his evident visual problems. I was impressed and fascinated by his innate ability to orientate and avoid the obstacles in his way without actually seeing them. As the majority of us would probably do, I was asking myself how it was possible for him not to feel afraid or lost in such an overwhelming environment, surrounded by thousands of people every day. I had a burning desire to know what was going through his head, his feelings and thoughts. I really wanted to talk to him about life, share his experiences together and comprehend his perception of the world. I wanted to know as much as I could to possibly see and appreciate the world in a different way. That opportunity finally arrived and it was one of those experiences that come once in a lifetime. As I mentioned before, his name is Jianwei. He is a 29 years old guy and he comes from the very far China. When Jianwei was a child, he was only able to perceive the light and distinguish the night from the day but, at the age of eighteen years old, he had completely lost his sight. Certainly blindness does not make life easy but, it does not have to be seen as the end of a normal and happy existence, as Jianwei himself claims. Jianwei had a very good and well-paid job in the field of medicine of the acupuncture. He had a normal life built on certainty and stability, a life that many of us aspire to have one day. This certainty, though, did not belong to him anymore. As many of us, at some point, he felt like he needed a turning point in his life: he felt it was the right time to leave everything behind and chase his big dream to become an English teacher. His great openness of mind, his unrestrained desire to get to know the western culture, which has always fascinated him very much, and a persistent and long
studying of the English language that he had never studied before, made it possible for him to come to the UK and begin a masters in the TEAFL (Teaching English as a foreign language).
feel good and happy. Jianwei loves discussing and exchange opinions about different topics such as social issues, politics and psychology sometimes while having a pint of beer and chips with friends at the SU bar.
Studying in a British university is a dream for many international students but it also requires great courage and economic effort to take the choice to come and study here, leaving your previous life and home. Every single student should have adequate material in order to succeed in his course, especially those with special needs. Jianwei did not deny that studying can be very tough for him sometimes. He cannot rely on his eyes and for this reason he has always to pay maximum attention during classes and lectures. Obviously, he cannot take notes as well, so the only tool he uses to follow his professors is his incredible memory that catches keywords during lessons. When he goes home, the work is even harder. He admitted to me that accessing material from the library is difficult as it takes way too long for the university to translate the books he needs into Braille (a form of written language for the blind). It is for this reason that it is hard for Jianwei to catch up with the programme of his course, considered one the toughest by international students. When it comes down to it, Jianwei does not ask for much. He does not want to be treated as a poor victim of life; he seeks normality, which is essential for him and for anybody else because it allows you to focus on yourself and find the right path in life.
Unlike a lot of us men, Jianwei loves shopping with his girlfriends and giving them comments about clothes and possible purchases, although it is not the shopping itself that makes him feel happy but the feeling of being surrounded by many friends. He told me that sometimes people do not know how to behave and relate to him and sometimes he feels they become intimidated by him, so he does not hesitate and always tries to take the first step, breaking the ice and making others feel comfortable around him. People’s looks have no importance for Jianwei which, for us may be difficult to imagine when we live in a world where everything seems to be so focused on appearances. Jianwei cannot see people’s face, but, sometimes, he tries to imagine. The sound of the voice and its different shades and tones show him the feelings, the mood and the personality of the people around him and this is what he uses to portrait the main characteristics of someone’s face. As Jianwei himself says “I perceive people’s beauty thanks to their voice”.
Jianwei has an incredibly normal life and while there might be some obstacles, none of them are insurmountable and Jianwei is proof of what I am writing. Every day he wakes up and goes to lessons eager to learn something new. Sometimes it might take a while for him to reach his class but, in one way or another, he eventually makes it. Sometimes, being surrounded by so many students and noise around him, he can get lost but there are always some students ready to show him the right way otherwise he uses an app on his iPhone that helps him navigate the labyrinthine ways of the University. He loves music, especially Chinese music but he is a big fond of the Coldplay as well. Singing in his room makes him
In future, he would like to go back to China and share his knowledge of English with those willing to learn it, take control of his life and restart from where he left off a few years ago. Though, he does not exclude the possibility to lengthen his experience in the UK doing a PhD. Jianwei is a true dreamer. He confessed to me that he does not have fixed plans for the future as they might change again. As he says, “you never know where your life will lead you to; the most important thing is that you always follow your passion, your instinct and your heart”.
Graduation What Next?
Anonymous student feedback about FastTrack:
‘Fast Track’ can help you get started after graduation. It seems to me that, while some final year students have spent time looking into life after Essex, others still need some help to get started. Some might be holding tight to ideas about a specific job, others have their sights on a specific employer’s graduate scheme. Some, like me, will be applying to postgraduate courses, others thinking of starting up their own businesses. Some plan to spend time travelling, but it is important to remember that the decisions about where to go next wait for them on the return from their adventures. I have been working as a Frontrunner Plus for the Faculty of Humanities and the Employability & Careers Centre on projects specialised for final year students called ‘Fast Track’. My role was to reach out to other final year students, start discussions about student progression and promote events. I hosted common room drop-in sessions in departments and organised social media activity to raise awareness about the planning required and the extra support available through the Fast Track events. Getting through to students was really hard. I found that students were really busy and the timeframe for the project was short, as I was only working on it for 6 weeks. The events seemed to conflict with dissertations and other deadlines for most of the students I was in contact with. The project revolved around activity designed to help students think about what kind of career path would be suitable for them and what their next step would be. Whether it was postgraduate study, an internship, a graduate scheme or starting their own business, it was about finding out how to reach those goals. The necessity for back up planning became very apparent. Very few students who attended the sessions had any sort of plan B or had considered what path to take if their first plan fell through. From a personal point of view I attended the Fast Track events thinking I did not need the information as I had postgraduate study applications for American universities in place. However the sessions made me review my plans and consider options at other universities in Europe and jobs to apply for as a contingency plan. The events also prepared students for writing applications and succeeding at interviews. A lot of students commented that long applications are difficult and they dreaded interviews more than anything. The sessions covered what to include in their applications and on their CVs and how to ‘sell themselves and their skills’ to get interviews and score their dream jobs. I found a lot of positives from this as it made me see how I could put forward my skills and experiences to get where I want to be. Steve Hill Project Coordinator for final year’s projects in the Employability & Careers Centre commented: “It is
exceptionally hard for students to balance the demands of their degree and to effectively plan for the next stage of their career. Those who have strong career ideas may know where they want to get to, but getting there can be an entirely different reality. Others who have fewer ideas about their career require considerable thought to go in to their postgraduate planning. Failure to get plans in place can result in being at the back of the graduate queue in terms of getting A/B/C options in place and building links with graduate employers. It takes planning and sustained motivation to ensure graduates do not get stuck in non-graduate roles or allowing disappointments to affect motivation and lowering of their sights”. I think starting to plan for your future before graduation reduces stress in the long run. If you have a plan nowwhether it is travelling, getting a placement, internship or postgraduate course- it will make you feel more relaxed and able to focus on your last couple of months of studying. There is a risk of graduates being stuck in a rut after graduation, in either unemployment or nongraduate jobs. I have been offered a place for a Master’s degree at the University of San Francisco, following onto a PhD after it and it is a big relief to have a plan in place for after graduation. Top Tips for Graduates • Plan now instead of later • Be flexible with your goals and consider more than one option • Opportunities will not come to you, you have to go out and find them • Your degree may not automatically guarantee you success- be patient and keep trying! • Educate yourselves about the current job market and the services available • Be prepared!
“It has made me see that I need to balance my degree and future by being more proactive. Internships are valuable after graduation and I need more than one plan.”
“I need to think about my plan A, B and C again. I learned how competitive the labour market is and I found out about Essex interns.”
“The session has given me real enthusiasm for the future by tailoring and matching my skills to jobs and making me aware of the results effects of the things I have achieved rather than just what I did.”
Important Dates for your Diary • Fast Track ‘Get Planning’ and ‘Get Ready’ events are running in the first two weeks of the summer term, including one-to-one advice and drop-in sessions • ‘Graduation: What Next?’ event on 9th/10th June will also mark the start of a range of summer events for this year’s graduates With a little bit of hard work, effort and realisation, anyone can get where they want to be and on the right path without putting their dreams on hold. There is still lots of help out there. Remember the Employability & Careers Centre can help you search for internships, graduate employment schemes, postgraduate study and preparing for interviews throughout the summer, the holidays and for three years after you graduate. I wish all 2014 graduates the best of luck for the future.
Kristin Aakvik, BA Humanities 3rd year student
“I have learnt how to sell myself to employers, how to find jobs, network, social networking & linked in and how to stand out on applications and at interview.”
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL | ISSUE 156
Carl Graham, Editor
In Praise of BBC Sport I have spent many an enjoyable Saturday afternoon watching the various different Athletic sporting events, broadcast from Daegu, Istanbul, Moscow, to name but a few. BBC Sport is always at the forefront of any sporting event, whether it’s Wimbledon, the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics, the Summer and Winter Olympics respectively and a whole lot more world class sport. Often presented by Clare Balding, Sue Barker, Hazel Irvine and Gabby Logan, and supported by commentators John Inverdale, Brendan Foster and Steve Cram, it is a veritable delight of ex athletes turned BBC representatives. BBC Sport has broadcast under several different programme names for several decades. Grandstand was a more notable title. The BBC has been covering sport since 1958, but it wasn’t until 1988, with the coverage of the Summer Olympics in Seoul, that the brand ‘BBC
A Note from the Editor: As this is the last issue of The Rabbit for this academic year, I’d like to thank everyone for reading this newspaper and supporting a student organisation run by students, for students. I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to any of the articles this year, either by writing them, being interviewed for them or being the inspiration for them. Also, of course, a huge thank you goes to all of our sports teams who give their all every week for our university. Thank you for making this an amazing year of sport.
Sport’ was born. The programme began with a short animation of a globe circumnavigated by four coloured rings, which would continue for two decades. In 1997, when the first BBC News website was launched, sport was included on the BBC’s online presence for the first time. Since then, brand ‘BBC Sport’ has grown from strength to strength. In 2000, BBC Sport became a separate department of the BBC based at the BBC Television Centre in London. In 2006, high definition sport became a priority, after the increased in HD televisions, then in 2008, the red button was launched, available for all major television platforms. And in May 2007, BBC Sport moved to a new development in Salford. BBC Sport has grown so continually throughout the last twenty-six years that it’s hard to imagine the BBC
without its trusty sports commentators and presenters. How could anyone forget when Clare Balding interviewed swimmer Chad Le Clos’ win in the 200 metre butterfly in the London 2012 Olympic Games? Or similarly, the famous flash of lightning which greeted Usain Bolt in the IAAF Moscow 100 metre final? BBC Sport is a branch of the BBC to be praised because it inevitably broadcasts quality sport, showcasing the best the UK has to offer against the rest of the world’s athletes. So, the next time you sit down to watch BBC Sport, remember just how far this brand has come.
Naomi Jeffreys, Editor
Just Play Football and Cricket Success The end of term saw the finale of our Just Play 5-aside football and Indoor Cricket leagues. On March 21st, twenty eight teams were whittled down to just two as Hume Army took on Vaughny Boys. ‘Hume Army’ emerged victors to take the Just Play Spring Football crown! If you would like to participate in our Just Play Football leagues and tournaments, look out for our new 3-a-side cup taking place on Thursday 1st May and Friday 2nd May 2014. You can enter by downloading one of our entry forms or picking up one at reception. All of our Football leagues are free for Passport to Sport members and only £3 for non-members so don’t miss out!
On March 20th, we also saw the final of our annual Indoor Cricket league with ‘The Third Team’ taking on “Tandoori Chicken”. Congratulations to Tandoori Chicken for taking the 2014 Indoor Cricket crown in style by winning all of their games! If you would like to get involved in Cricket at Essex, watch this space for Last Man Standing leagues starting in May! You won’t want to miss out!
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL | ISSUE 156
UERFC Tour Interview – Jason Calder, Essex Blades Rugby Football Team Now that the sports year is over, many of the teams take this as a time to relax and enjoy some time away with their teammates, a time known to most simply as “tour”. To find out what exactly this is and why so many look forward to it every year, I spoke to Jason Calder, a second year Essex Blades Rugby Football team member, on what exactly tour means to him. Here’s what he said:
What exactly is “tour”? Tour is where sports teams from university’s all across the UK go abroad to compete in sporting events (optional) and go to clubs at night.
Who goes on tour? Which other clubs do you know of that go? Most sports teams go on tour: rugby, football, cheerleading, netball, dance etc. Every sports club has the option to go.
What makes tour so good? And do the other clubs have similar views on it? Tour is brilliant, there’s so much going on, drink is cheap, food is cheap, if you have the opportunity then go. Every club enjoys tour.
Where did you go this year and in previous years? Both years I’ve been to Salou in Spain.
Do you think this is one of the more enticing reasons to join a club? Definitely, it’s completely different to any other holiday you will go on.
Oscar Pistorius – Paralympic Sports Greatest Fall South African runner Oscar Pistorius, known during the height of his success as “Blade Runner”, is currently undergoing a court trial which will essentially determine the course of the rest of his life. But before the fateful events of the night of the 14th February 2013, Pistorius was, and arguably still is, a world renowned athlete. He shone during the London 2012 Olympic Games, competing in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the 400 metres and 4 x 400 metre relays respectively. In the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Pistorius ran in the 4 x 100 metres relay, in which the South African team won with a world record time of 41.78 seconds, winning the Gold medal. He also ran in the T44 400 metres with a time of 46.68, simultaneously winning gold and breaking the Paralympic record. From a career filled with gold medals and a desire to face challenges head on, it has been interesting to see Pistorius during the trial; he has often been sick and distressed, particularly when the formidable prosecution lawyer,
Gerrie Nel, took to questioning the athlete about his actions that night. Of course, this is not the first time an athlete has been accused of committing murder. The most famous case which springs to mind is O.J Simpson, who was accused of murdering his wife and her male friend in 1994. After a lengthy trial which gripped the world, Simpson was found not guilty. However, he was found liable in civil court and was eventually sent to prison for charges related to robbery. In a trial which is captivating the world’s interest once again, it is often hard to remember that he was once the golden boy of Paralympic sport, once sponsored by Nike and Oakley and who became a household name at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The verdict is yet to be made and will no doubt be as watched as the O.J Simpson case. Pistorius fell from a great height but the question is, will he rise again?
Naomi Jeffreys, Editor
Sports Good News for Aspiring Referees We have some good news for any students who are interested in becoming an FA qualified referee: We have arranged for the FA basic referees course to be held at The University of Essex on the weekend of the 28th/29th June 2014. This is a fantastic opportunity for those who may be interested in officiating at the university and could potentially lead to the formation of an ‘officiating hub’, where individuals could receive payment as part of an agreement with the university in offici-
ating in both competitive and intramural games at the university for the next academic year. If you are interested in becoming a FA qualified referee, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding prices, a booking form and ways in which you can use this qualification in the future! Taken from JustPlay Essex’s Facebook.
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