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niVerse Volume 22, Issue 8

3rd March 2014

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Students’ Union launches Trident Media Page 5


CANDIDATES ARE COMING! VOTING OPEN NOW Michael Gillett President Once again it is election time for the Hertfordshire Students’ Union. Each year, five students are elected to work full time in leading the Student Union. With voting having opened on Monday 3rd March, candidates will

be campaigning hard across both campuses to ensure that they get as many students’ votes as possible.

Media, VP Student Activities, VP Democracy and Services, and VP Education and Welfare.

Trustee, Chair of the Student Ideas Forum and Deputy Chair of the Student Ideas Forum.

Over the next few pages we outline who the candidates are for each position.

The Students’ Union represents all students at the University of Hertfordshire and provide a range of services, including volunteering, housing and much more!

There are also five Part-Time Officer positions open, including De Havilland Campus Officer, International Students’ Officer, Part-Time Students’ Officer, Postgraduate Students’ Officer, and Mature Students’ Officer.

The Officers are solely elected by students and become Directors of the Students’ Union.

Make sure you make an informed decision and cast your vote by 3pm on Friday 7th March at and come down to the EleHouse for the Elections Results Party at 7pm.

The Elected Officer positions up for election include President, VP Communications and

Other positions include Student

That is what makes these roles so unique; both full and part time roles are vital to the operation of the Students’ Union and it is up to you to make that choice.



Good luck to all candidates!


Local & World


UH students direct heartwarming viral sensation

Ukraine elect interim president

Is there no end to this ‘Neknominations’ madness?

An orange a day keeps the doctor away!

Sports Awards set to return in April

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Continued from page 1 Due to the large number of candidates, UniVerse are unable to publish every manifesto or photograph. Instead, view them all online at! Every candidate has a manifesto, video and photo on the website, and you can vote there too. This




Independent Deputy Chair Of The Student Ideas Forum - Oluwaseyi Akanbi (Shey) Students Choice Independent Chair The Student Ideas - Abaid-Ur Rehman Postgraduate -





Mr Furqan Haider New Vision



Grainne O Monghain Team Flame

Santiago Bonifaz Salamanca New Vision


Lee Carter


Shannen Rock Team ROAR!

International Students’ - Shauna Bull Team Flame -

Ankit Gupta


Umer Liaqat United We Stand


Sean Ryan Team Supreme

Student - Kiran ACE Afzal Team ACE -

Touseef Javaid United We Stand


Alex Lowry Team Flame


Mature Students - Chelsea Anderson Team Flame -



Awais Khan United We Stand Havilland Campus




Vice President Student Activities - Joe Fendy Team Supreme Trustee

Edward Hodgkinson Team Future


Jackie Partidge Team Evolve

Phoebe Joulihan Student’s Choice


Mat ‘Matas’ Small Orion

Brad Johnson Team ROAR!

Vice President Education and Welfare - Kareem Arafa Team Supreme

Seb Scott Team Evolve

Vice President Communications and Media - Beverley Agyeman Team Supreme -

Bella Colafrancesco Team ROAR!

Alex Best Team Evolve


Andy Clarke Orion


Rana ACE Farooq Team ACE


Imran Hossain


Sophie Hudson

Written, designed and edited by UH students, and provided by Hertfordshire Students’ Union

Team Evolve


Alex Varran Team ROAR!


Ceri Weston Team Future

Vice President Democracy and Services - Tanveer ACE Shah Team Ace

Editor Ani O’Neill


Jack Amos Team ROAR!


Rajan Bhasin Orion


Jacob Clinton Team Supreme

Deputy Editors Kat Morgan Antonica Jones


Gage Holding Team Evolve

Copy Editor Sean Howlett


Rebecca McBride



Yollanda Musa Student’s Choice

Mohammed Afkhami Majella Maguire Priyanka Chavda Olivia Draisey Laura Noakes James Crowley Buwa Tetsola Hannah Bicknell

P r e si - Ani O’Neill Team Evolve -

Harry Radburn Team Supreme


Gurpreet Singh Team ROAR!





With thanks to Anwar Azari Shannen Rock Mr Grumpy

Contact Us VP Comms & Media Hertfordshire Students’ Union College Lane Hatfield Herts, AL10 9AB

Published by

Iliffe Print Cambridge Winship Road Milton Cambridge CB24 6PP

News 3

UNO Bus Release Open Letter to staff and students Antonica Jones

Deputy Print Editor

After months of disputes and continued discussions surrounding UNO Bus routes, our President Michael Gillett has been able to push the company into releasing an Open Letter to all users. The letter highlights updates and apologises for delays users may have encountered. If you are a frequent user of the service, or want to follow the coverage of UNO Bus we’ve been providing over the past couple of months, read on! TO ALL UNO CUSTOMERS Over the last few months we are sorry that some of our bus services have not operated to the high standards that our customers have to come to expect. While there have been good reasons for the majority of the problems we have experienced such as traffic congestion; road closures and the recent poor weather other factors have also played a part. We started a new route in September 2013 which combined the St Albans city routes, S2 and S3 and route 603 in Hatfield and WGC. The route had positive benefits for bus passengers in that it provided new links between Jersey Farm and Hatfield and WGC. Unfortunately, however, despite extensive route surveying the initial timetable was not robust. Quite simply, with the levels of congestion we experienced buses found it almost impossible to run to time. We realised this very quickly and registered a

new and better timetable almost immediately. Because we have to give a notice period for timetable changes we could not start operating the new route until the beginning of January 2014. The early signs, despite the recent bad weather, are that the route is now running very reliably.

also see when a bus is live updates for service have all increased expected in real time disruptions on bus significantly in recent years on our bus routes. routes on these feeds. and our previous fare levels could not sustain this. Sometimes it has been Finally, some of our difficult for our customers customers have asked why James Thorpe to get through on the phone we recently increased our Managing Director at busy times and we fares. The fare increase have recently taken on was not across every ticket To get in touch with UNO more staff specifically to and some fares have Bus, feel free to tweet them deal with enquiries about remained at the same at: our bus services during level for several years. the main operating day. Notwithstanding this, @Unobus Route 653 is not the only We’ve also re-launched the fact remains that our route we are reviewing in our Facebook and Twitter costs for fuel, insurance, and ‘Like’ on Facebook at: terms of the schedule. pages and you will see maintenance and wages UnoHertfordshire Changes are planned for routes 601, 602, 657, 658, 659 at the end of March and these should help improve reliability. In recent months we have also invested heavily in vehicles and technology to assist in running our bus services reliably. Twelve buses in our fleet have received new digital LED destination blinds to make it easier for passengers to see which route a bus is working on. We also acquired 4 MCV Enviro 200 buses in January 2014. These are now in service. These vehicles are in addition to our existing fleet and give us more spare vehicles as well as newer, more modern, buses. More new vehicles are planned to be introduced later in the year. All of our buses are tracked through a GPRS system that works through our ticket machine called ‘Init’. We can see whether a bus is early, late, or on time and our supervisors use this as the primary tool to regulate our services. Through the Intalink website (www.intalink. and app you can

News 5

Trident Media launches new on campus and online facilities Antonica Jones

Deputy Print Editor On Wednesday after an exciting up, Hertfordshire launched the media branding:

16th February, week-long lead Students’ Union new student Trident Media!

Trident Media encapsulates the three forks of student media at the Students’ Union: Radio (Crush Radio and Crush Underground), Print (UniVerse and BlueMoon) and TV (UnionTV). Media members have been excitedly awaiting the launch of Trident Media since September,

Members of Crush Radio and Underground played live DJ sets for students, while Print writers handed out the latest issues of Universe and our sister magazine, BlueMoon. The new Trident Media logo was also unveiled. SU staff also led three tours around the brand new Media Suite, which will be used by Media members to air Crush Radio and Crush Underground shows, put together both UniVerse and BlueMoon, and produce UnionTV programmes: the Suite even features a new green screen! The launch was complete with free doughnuts for students. The Trident Media launch is part of many improvements taking place across the UH campuses in the next couple of years, and a significant part of the Students’ Union’s improvements this year. Other SU changes include the brand new SU offices and Hutton Hall, now situated at the front of College Lane campus by the Forum for easier student access and with new facilities, and the new SU website at

and will now get the chance to use the brand new Media Suite, which was opened today. In particular, it really makes a great start to rectifying the issues that have plagued Trident Media over the past few turbulent months, as both radio stations and UnionTV suffered from data, network and streaming issues - at one point, Crush Radio was only accessible via AM and Crush Underground was close to becoming the latest addition in the graveyard of student radio. However, the launch of the new brand has brought in a new, more positive, phase to media at Hertfordshire Students’ Union, bringing together a new media suite, website and branding. At the launch, Media members promoted their services for Print, TV and Radio in the Forum Foyer and handed out freebies to interested students.

Michael Gillet, SU President, said about the recent changes, ‘The new Students’ Union building has been a great success so far, and it’s great to see students using the new space in Hutton Hall. We have plans to improve what’s already available in the space so that even more students can make use of everything we have to offer.’ To read the full article on Hertfordshire SU’s recent changes and improvements, pick up a copy of our sister magazine, BlueMoon. Furthermore, Shannen Rock, VP Communications and Media, said ‘I can’t believe it’s all come together! It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see everyone in the suite and using the facilities. It’s a really positive development after a really tough few months.’ As part of the Trident Media launch, the SU also held a launch party in the Forum on Thursday 27th February, featuring Crush DJs and special drinks deals, and free to attend for all students! Media members and alumni also got to attend a free buffet before the party began. This event was a

success; past and present (as well as hopefully a few new) members came to the Attic and saw exactly what makes Crush Radio and

Crush Underground so great as they DJ-ed into the early hours. If you want to get involved with

Trident Media, contact the SU at studentmedia@her tfordshire. su for more information



Societies’ funding altered Mohammed Afkhami Contributor The Societies’ Forum on Thursday the 13th February voted to back a motion to allow societies more flexibility in how they price their membership. A perennial conundrum has possibly just been solved by voting to allow societies to have some leeway in altering their prices from semester to semester. So, just like a gym membership, joining a society which at the beginning of Freshers’ may have cost £10, at the behest of the society, it may now cost £5 if one plans to join in semester B. Although provisions were already in place by SU management, a vote

given that unanimously backs the idea may give a fresh mandate to the SU to roll out a new improved pricing system as soon as possible. There was also some wrangling about amending the minimum price of membership, mainly coming from the more smaller societies. They claimed that unlike sports societies who use their membership fee to subsidise equipment, they had no use for the money that only served to dissuade would-be members. The SU panel replied by emphasising that a membership fee gave societies freedom to organise a variety of events for its members and all that was required would be some imagination in spending it.

Philosophy Society meets the Queen! Mohammed Afkhami Contributor From the 14th to the 16th February the Philosophy Society (PhilSoc) had their annual weekend retreat to Cumberland Lodge, a manor in the heart of Windsor. Situated in those classic English rolling hills and orchards with trees in the shape of the Tory logo, PhilSoc grappled with some of the more novel questions of contemporary philosophy. Lectures and seminars were heard from topics as varied as the philosophy of film to the nature of space-time and theories of God. Debates were held and much merriment was had late into the night in this pressure





But for some the highlight came when PhilSoc members attended a Sunday mass at the Chapel nearby where they had an oddly prosaic but nevertheless momentous encounter with the queen. Although she had her own private booth in the chapel, students from PhilSoc briefly encountered her as she left for the car park when she was informed by an aide on who these motley bunch of young people milling about her were. At this point she personally took the initiative to approach our undoubtedly startled but grateful common philosophy folk and had a nice British-weather-small-talk conversation with the students. In the words of student Alex Lloyd, “she talked about the

weather and about being happy her place was on a hill then wished us a good weekend”, a reference to the flooding that had affected the region. At this point our enamoured Alex affectionately added: “she’s such a babe”. Indeed Alex, indeed. If you feel you’re missing out, check out the PhilSoc Facebook page for any upcoming debates and similar events.

A Boy and His Dog: UH Film students reach two million YouTube views for their heartwarming video on incredible duo Majella Maguire

The tear-jerking film shows this incredible bond between two best friends.

Features Sub Editor A documentary created by a group of University of Hertfordshire’s Film students has gone viral on YouTube, reaching a milestone with over two million views.

The duo even won the 2013 Crufts “Friends for Life” program, which honours dogs that help their owners overcome adversity.

This group of students found a very special family and their dog, and their documentary not only tells their incredible story but is also helping to raise awareness of rare diseases and rescue dogs.

Since going viral, the documentary on the pair has received wide praise, and has been talked about in the news in America and New Zealand. Owen and Haatchi have also just released a book, documenting their time together, which has already reached The Sunday Times Bestseller’s List.

A Boy and His Dog, a nine minute film, documents a few months in the life of Owen Howkins, who was born with SchwartzJampel, a rare genetic disorder that causes his muscles to be permanently tense and requires ongoing hospital treatment. It is believed that Owen is one out of only 30 people in the world living with this disease. Owen’s family adopted Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd, who was found tied to a railway post in North London. Haatchi was rescued by the RSPCA before being

The film, by Hertfordshire’s very own is something worth watching just to improve your day, and to see the love between two best friends; a boy and his dog.

re-homed with the Howkins family. From there onwards, the youngster said his life changed when Haatchi came to live with him and his family.

The dog instantly took to the eight-year-old boy following his adoption, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

Importantly, the youngster has overcome his shyness. This was largely due to his condition, and has become more confident since meeting Haatchi.

To watch the video follow this link: y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=ZIXoYHYEnkg or simply search ‘A Boy and His Dog’ on YouTube.

Local & World 7 Ukraine elects interim president Cabinet meet in Aberdeen to discuss off-shore resources Priyanka Chavda

by officials attempting to board a plane on the border.

Priyanka Chavda

Ukrainian Parliament has elected an interim president after the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych. Oleksander Turchynov has been elected president whilst MPs form a new unity government.

Members of Yanukovych’s party have already begun to leave his side, and in a statement made by MP’s to the Interfax-Ukraine, “Ukraine was betrayed and people were set against each other. Full responsibility for this rests with Yanukovych and his entourage.”

British and Scottish Cabinets held separate meetings on Monday 24th February as they discussed the North Sea oil industry in light of Scottish independence.


On Saturday 22nd February former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from detention as part of the EUUkraine trade pact that had been rejected last year by President Yanukovych which lead to the current crisis. The crisis in Ukraine had led to ongoing protests, which have killed approximately 88 people since February 18th. However, thousands of opposition supporters outside the Independence Square are said to be calm. The whereabouts of President Yanukovych is unknown, and it has been reported he was last seen in the area of Kharkiv after travelling on Friday. Media reports believe he intends to travel to Russia or has already been stopped

Earlier this year at the G20 meeting in Sydney, the United States Secretary Jack Lew told reporters the US are willing to work with other countries in order to help Ukraine, helping the country to restore economic stability and return to the path of democracy and growth. Whilst Russian Finance Minister has said, “We are planning to wait until a new government is formed and until we understand the policy of this government and then we shall make a decision,” Russia and the United States have been on opposite sides to the Ukraine crisis, with the US and EU backing the opposition. The European Union, has said it will assist the new government in Ukraine.


Prime Minister David Cameron and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, met in the Aberdeen area to talk about the pros and cons the independence would have on the gas and energy industries. David Cameron has said the industries will be best served by Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom, whilst Alex Salmond argues the industry will have benefits from independence. This is only the second time the full UK cabinet have met in Aberdeen, the first meeting being more that 90 years ago in 1921. The reports of the meeting are said to be coinciding with the publication of a major report on the North Sea oil industry by tycoon Sir Ian Wood. A report published last year in November by Sir Ian made recommendations at maximising the benefits from the UK’s remaining off-shore resources. Salmond stated

Sir Ian’s had strong points regarding the need for a regulator to ensure the waters in Scotland are used in the most economic and efficient way. Cameron delivered a speech two weeks ago to persuade Scotland to remain part of the UK. He stated that the meeting set out to find ways on “how the UK government can maximise the benefit of North Sea oil and gas to the UK economy for decades into the future, giving a vital boost to local communities and families across Scotland”. Cameron went on to note that in the past 300 years Britain has led

the way in finding new sources of energy, and that by using the UK it will help to invest in the oil and gas industry which will help to create new business, jobs and prospects for the younger generation. However, Salmond argues that the UK should have invested in oils funds. He goes on to say, “When we take control of Scotland’s resources then I think we’ll set about emulating what’s happened in Norway as opposed to looking to the rather dismal record of London control.” The Scottish referendum is to take place 18th September 2014.

Children with autism are facing ‘unlawful exclusions’ Olivia Draisey

Sports and Events Sub Editor

Inclusive education is now a massive part of the National Curriculum, especially for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD, due to its difficulties in social communication, repetitive behaviours and communication difficulties, means that the disorder is one of the most challenging ones to provide an inclusive education for. Consequently, there is a constant battle between teachers, governors, parents and the Department for Education (DfE). They battle over the correct method to provide such an education. This battle is current and proving to be potentially damaging to these childrens’ school careers.

Reports from the charity Ambitious About Autism suggest that thousands of children with ASD are being illegally excluded from schools in this country. Looking at 500 families, the charity found that four in ten children with ASD had been ‘informally’ excluded from school temporarily. This is not a just or legal process. The informality means that children were asked to: stay at home; miss school trips; not take part in school activities and to attend lessons on a part-time basis. If we were to look at this in terms of the whole population of England, around 71,000 children have ASD, using the above statistics this would mean that more than 28,000 of these individuals have been subjects of informal exclusions.

The charity encourage schools to follow the correct DfE procedures for exclusions, identifying the true reasons, time period of the exclusion and most of all, involving the parents in these decisions. A prominent quote from one mother highlights the reality of this situation: “I have lost count of the number of times different schools have

rung and asked me to collect my son early because they could not support his needs”.

for children with ASD, but also note that every school can build on their capacity to do this.

This shows how these informal exclusions not only affect the child and their opportunity for learning, but have detrimental effects on parents – taking time from work. In an awful turn of events, this particular mother resorted to giving up work as she was needed to be ready at such short notice.

As a final note, the DfE have stated that they are now spending a massive £3.5 million on Special Education Needs co-ordinators within school to give targeted support for children with ASD.

Primarily the reasoning behind this madness is that schools are illequipped to handle children with ASD, especially in more social, trip-based, activities. As a result of this, the charity encourages plans to ensure that children are getting the right education. The charity does highlight that many schools are able to provide additional and correct support

They have also given the National Autistic Society (the biggest charity working towards a better and more equal world of opportunities for children with ASD) £440,000 to give teachers and parents additional information regarding the best support for children with ASD in the school setting. Let’s hope these new initiatives can provide us with an even better inclusive education system that allows children with ASD to attend to school just as everyone else does.

Features Discussion Page: 8

Editor: The views expressed in the following articles are not those of the UniVerse or the University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union. If you have any strong views about the following topic or any others then please send us an article at

Benefits are necessary, the demonisation of the working class is wrong the amount of tax they should.

Laura Noakes Contributor

These schemes are estimated by Tax Research to cost the tax payer over £25 billion a year – much more than the fraction of people who commit benefit fraud.

Benefits rightly support thousands of people across the UK who are really in need of them. Those who rely on them are those who are struggling to get work, those who cannot work because of illness and for a vast number of other reasons.

So, have benefits gone too far? Whilst I completely agree that it is wrong to commit benefit fraud, most of the people on benefits are claiming it legitimately and the vitriol towards them seems completely disproportionate.

Since the popular programme Benefits Street on Channel 4 has aired, I have seen widespread derision towards people on benefits plastered all over social media sites.

Similarly, the in the media – which costs benefits fraud

The presentation and demonisation of those on benefits as lazy is mind-boggling and, in my opinion, completely wrong. The number of people committing benefit fraud is tiny compared to those who are legitimately claiming money. Figures released by The Department of Work and

Pensions for the year 2012/13 revealed that the amount of money overpaid due to fraud and error is £3.5 billon which represents around 2.1% of all benefits.

There is so much focus on benefits culture and how it is supposedly destroying our country that other factors, arguably far more damaging to taxpayers,

are being forgotten about. For example those who earn vast amounts of money and yet par-take in tax avoidance schemes in order not to pay

lack of focus on tax evasion far more then – seems odd.

Benefits are a necessity for this country. They help support the very poor in times of need and the targeting of those on benefits because of a tiny proportion of fraudulent claims and one-sided television programmes is completely wrong.

Handing out benefits to those unemployed through choice doesn’t benefit anyone unemployment

James Crowley Contributor



Now this may sound cold, especially when the people who are making these decisions are seen to be sitting up in their ivory towers and have no real idea what being up against it would be like. But does it not give a person a sense of pride to be going out and working to bring home the money that they need rather than just being given it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should turn our backs on the unemployed. But benefits aren’t the only way to help people: they are simply the most obvious.

Benefits are in place to help people - something a government should of course be doing. But is it fair for our government to offer benefits to those who are out of work, yet capable of working? Shouldn’t they perhaps provide incentives for these unemployed citizens to get out into the job market instead? The typical pro-benefits slant is to attack an argument that no one really defends. Yes, it is unreasonable to take benefits away from those who cannot work. Yes, when looking at the figures as a whole it would be unfair to punish the innocents to get to the guilty few who claim benefits fraudulently. But offering benefits to those who simply cannot find work? That is not something that should be done lightly.


We could try a ‘New Deal’-inspired approach; rather than giving benefits to people we could offer them government-controlled jobs. Benefits help to support the jobless, that cannot be denied - but is the crutch of guaranteed income the support they need in their situation?

Although many have championed unemployment-benefit increases, harking that they decrease unemployment, there is no evidence to show that this is the case.

At the end of the day, what would provide more motivation to find work: being secure financially regardless, or having to undergo the hardships that have accompanied

The way forward is to give people the choice to take pride in their work, and not to just take handouts simply because they are available to them.



Geek Lounge: should parents worry less about social media? Buwa Tetsola

parents is that the internet is full of sexual predators waiting to prey on children.

It is a commonly held opinion that the internet is not a safe place for young kids to browse. With information being so freely accessible to them, it has become a necessity as well as something embedded so deeply in our culture.

Boyd doesn’t deny that such cases exist and so apprehensions about leaving the internet to their kids are perfectly understandable.


In response to this, young kids are strongly supervised to ensure they don’t fall into the traps left by others. Some measures parents have taken include spying on their children’s internet activities, but is all that actually necessary? According to Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd it is not. She argues that the internet isn’t as dangerous as older generations, parents specifically - are inclined to believe. She makes her case in her new book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, and reveals a decade of research and interviews with young people, or digital natives as we’re likely to be called. Major concerns are discussed, myths debunked and ultimately, Boyd delivers a message to parents and educators. It reads ‘Calm down’. An argument favoured amongst

However, she argues that sexual assaults that are initialised through the internet are rare in occurrence, and parents must keep that in perspective. She also adds that studies show that young children are more likely to be attacked by someone they know, such as a family member, than someone they met online. It’s a somewhat reassuring statistic to parents and contends the view that the internet is creating a new plague of sex offenders. Boyd continues in discussing the issue when she writes: “A central challenge in addressing the sexual victimization of children is that the public is not comfortable facing the harrowing reality that strangers are unlikely perpetrators,” Another concern that parents frequently voice is that technology is creating a generation of socially debilitated youngsters. They stick to the stereotype of young people

who would rather text instead of talk and prefer logging on to Facebook instead of socialising

with their friends in person. Boyd states that this isn’t the case, and the interviews she’s conducted with young people have revealed the truth about teens and online social networking. “Most of the teens that I met . . . were desperate for the opportunity to leave their homes to gather with friends,” she writes.

instead of relying on regurgitated and outmoded stereotypes.

Boyd continues to say that the reason behind young people turning to social networking sites is because there is a reduced freedom to roam due to over scheduling and parents worrying about their safety.

By purchasing the company, he now has access to the 450 million users that WhatsApp has acquired over the years since its inception. What this means for them however is unclear.

In many instances, sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the only places where large groups of young people can easily congregate, Boyd adds.

Suspicions did include Zuckerberg introducing ads to the app to help monetize it, but he denied such plans and stated that he did not believe ads were the best way to make money from messaging systems.

In her book, it is apparent that Boyd wants the older generation to approach the Internet with curiosity rather than fear, and in this modern day and age where technology is developing at such a rapid pace it is time that parents knew the reality of the new world

In other news, and following from last week’s article, Facebook has purchased WhatsApp for $19bn. What’s the old proverb? If you can’t beat them, join them. Or buy them, if you’re Mark Zuckerberg.

Future plans for the app are still unknown, but it is a common hope amongst users that it remains unchanged.

Features 11

‘Neknominations’: how far will they go? Kat Morgan

Deputy Print Editor

With five deaths having already been reported by the time this went to print, the social media phenomenon of ‘Neknominations’ is the latest dangerous act young people are taking part in to impress their peers. From drinking a cocktail of spirits out of a toilet to swallowing a live fish, it seems like each ‘Neknomination’ put up on Facebook is trying to outdo the last. With friends tagging friends to take part in their own ‘Neknomination’, often making the video public on social media sites, it can be hard to escape from the fad. The ‘game’ was created in Australia earlier in the year and has since gone viral, being particularly popular in high schools and universities around the world.

Following the deaths of young men who had taken part in ‘Neknominations’, there has been a high level of backlash with even the person who runs the ‘Neknominations’ Facebook page backing down.

turn a negative into a positive. Similarly, a viral video of someone who had been nominated to do a ‘Neknomination’ instead buying a homeless man lunch made its way around the internet. Small acts such as these suggests that the minority of people using social media sites do not agree with the idiocy behind fads such as ‘Neknominate’ and instead, want to use to communicate and entertain one another.

Don’t get me wrong, filming harmless pranks and putting them online are great and many a lazy Sunday has been wasted on YouTube. However, when there are people having fireworks thrown at them whilst downing a pint of Vodka mixed with wasabi paste, that’s not such great viewing. So, is the fact that ‘Neknominations’ have become so popular around the world a sign that our drinking habits are spiralling out of control? With social media becoming a part of our everyday lives, is it becoming more harm than good? Interestingly, people have decided

I’m sure ‘Neknominations’ won’t be the last viral, dangerous phenomenon to take over the internet as people continue to want to outdo one another using the power of social media. to create their own forms of ‘Neknomination’ in order to move it away from drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol. One saw people uploading photos of Nicolas Cage in an array of

scenarios and nominating people to find photos of the actor displaying a certain emotion. Known as ‘Nicnominations’, this form mockery portrayed how fast social media can

However, if we continue to act in a way that mocks and be-little the dangerous acts then it can be highlighted that sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used for good.

The Great UH Bake Off! Grumpy Corner Hannah Bicknell Contributor

Once again the Students’ Union has succeeded in providing us with opportunities to do something a bit different and fun. As part of the Give it a Go Week, Hertfordshire Students’ Union coordinated with the Baking Society to cook up the tastiest event of the lot - a bake off was held in the M Block on the 18th of February. The event was open to everyone who wanted an hour full of tasty treats that ranged from cakes to possets. The challenge of the bake off was

to bake anything you like using the ingredients lemon or rhubarb. One of the judges and Chair of the Baking Society Shana Walker commented, “I thought it went great! We had loads of people take part and bake something for us and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single bake! They were all delicious and it was great to get all the members involved in tasting and judging too; they seemed to really enjoy it!” It proved to be a perfect opportunity for students to get a taster of what the Baking Society was like while munching on some pre-baked goods.

The Chair and Treasurer of the Baking Society as well as the students taking part judged each other’s bakes.

Mr Grumpy Contributor

It would have been completely valid if he were poisoned, choked or even if he had a reason at all. No, no valid point at all.

The winners won prizes that ranged from a cookie cutter set to measuring cups, all gladly received as new baking aids. Bake offs are not the only events the Baking Society organises, as last semester they got involved with the SU’s Raise and Give (RaG) team. This year they have also planned to take part in Comic Relief, so that’s something to look out for! The next bake off is in four weeks’ time and it will be Easterthemed with a mystery ingredient that participants have to use. If you fancy getting involved with the Baking Society, you can go along for a free taster session, or get involved in an event. You can contact the society via email at uhsubakingsociety@ for more info.

and the customer replies, “Well act on this”. Fantastic play on words, I’ll give him that, but really?

“It was lumpy.” Amazingly though, he had eaten his whole plate of ‘lumpy’ without a single problem. Now, I am normally the most delightful person to be served by when I am working in a restaurant. Even when someone is complaining about the quality of their food, I smile, politely apologise and offer some freebies to make sure they come back again. But, when people are just nasty, what are you supposed to do? Smiling politely does not work when they are reading your name from your name badge and blaming you for the world’s problems. The conversation started with “who is the manager?”, and I replied “I am acting manager”

So, after a good rant of 15 minutes and me smiling politely, agreeing to his every word – whilst his children looked like they wanted the ground to swallow them whole, he concluded with, “And, you need training”. He then turned and walked away. Rude does not even cover it. I go to work with a positive attitude and any complaint I would run a marathon to solve, but this guy was something else. So, to all you complainers out there…try and remember that you’re talking to a person with feelings and not a robot incapable of making mistakes!



An orange a day keeps the doctor away Olivia Draisey

However, new research has shown us the thousands of benefits of eating an orange every day.

We have been told the glorious benefits of our five-a-day many times and I won’t lecture you on the relentless profits involved in sticking to a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables.

We have all giggled at the hilarious chatter of the Annoying Orange, and if you haven’t then get yourself on YouTube and give yourself a laugh, but the importance of the orange has been

Sports and Events sub Editor

underestimated for far too long. This little orange ball of goodness is: low in calories; full of nutrients; promotes clear, healthy skin and can help lower numerous diseases and conditions. Of course, only when eaten as part of a balanced diet – we cannot forget the small print. Therefore, the orange is most

effective when eaten with a combination of varied fruits, meats, vegetables, wheat… etc. etc. etc. To get to the boring details, an orange has a total of over 170 different phytochemicals (Known for their antioxidant activity) and 60 flavonoids (Also known for their antioxidant activity). Many

of these combinations have proven to have anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant effects… so, all good news for the orange! In just one medium-sized orange these are a few of the benefits: • Only 80 calories (Approx.) • 130% of your daily Vitamin C needs • 0 grams of fat Oranges are also full of soluble fiber which helps lower your cholesterol levels. According to the Colorado State University Extension website you need 14 grams of total fiber for every 1000 calories. A medium orange has approximately 3 grams of fiber. Oranges also provide potassium which is an electrolyte mineral responsible for normal heart function. You need 4,700 milligrams of daily potassium and a medium orange contains nearly 240 milligrams of potassium. Oranges are rich in vitamin A which includes a group of compounds that protects your eyes. Vitamin A lets your eyes absorb light by keeping membranes surrounding your eyes healthy and also lessens your chances of having night blindness. The above are great news, but for us (students), a huge benefit lies in the Choline content. This nutrient, found in our beloved oranges, has proved to be beneficial for sleep, muscle movement and most importantly… learning and memory! The combination of antioxidants and other nutrients have also been suggested to be preventative aids for all types of cancer, stroke, blood pressure difficulties, heart problems, diabetes and skin issues. All of this goodness inside something so small, that is rather amazing right? So, I expect to see the shelves of ASDA to be orange-less this weekend because we have all rushed over there to increase our Choline intake and become better learners. Remember one a day as part of a varied and nutritional diet!

Health 13

It’s easy to become a blood donor! Kat Morgan

Deputy Print Editor

For many, the prospect of giving blood is terrifying. Voluntarily allowing a nurse to stick a needle in your arm sounds ridiculous. However, thousands of people’s lives are saved each year by blood donations. For those needing long-term treatments, blood donors; contributions means they can gradually get better. Scarily, over 25% of us will require blood at least once in our lifetime yet only 4% actually donate. Now for the science bit; there are three main components in your blood which are red cells, plasma and platelets. Each of these are vital for many different uses. Red blood cells are predominantly used in treatments for cancer and blood diseases, are also used to treat anaemia and transplant and burns in surgery. Proteins and nutrients are provided through Plasma, as well as a clotting agent which is vital to stopping the bleeding. Lastly, platelets are tiny cells which are used to help patients at a high risk of bleeding. It is important that more and more people start becoming blood donors as blood donations have a short shelf life and it is hard for medics to predict demands. The national blood service was first created in 1946 which has heavily relied on the generosity of blood donors not only to keep up with the stock levels for all hospitals, but to provide for the range of eight blood types. The national blood service often needs to target specific blood types in order to increase stock levels. Rare blood types, including O Rh negative blood, which is rare but essential because it is the only blood type that can be given to anyone. There is also often an appeal for more B-donors as only 2% of the population is in this blood group. Another type of blood donation is called Component donation which is a specialised way of donating

using a cell separators machine. The machines separate the blood into all its various components: platelets, red cells, plasma and white cells. The nurse then takes out what is needed and put back into your body what we don’t. The

large majority of blood components are returned so the donor is able to donate more frequently than every 16 weeks. In some cases it can be every fortnight. So





The majority of people can give blood. If you are in good health, aged 17 to 65 and weigh at least 50kg, you will be able to donate. Male donors are able to give blood every 12 weeks and female donors can give every 16 weeks.

However, there are some exceptions to who can donate. If evidence suggests that donating blood could potentially harm you, then to protect your safety, they will ask you not to donate. Also, if evidence suggests that your donation could potentially harm the patient receiving it, then you will be asked not to donate. Other factors can also determine whether you can give blood or not, including if you have travelled outside the UK within the past 6 months or if you have had a tattoo or any skin piercing in the past four months. You can call the Donor Health Centre at 0300 123 23 23. Before you donate, it is important that you eat regular meals and drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, as well as avoiding vigorous exercise. Once you arrive at the centre, you will be given a welcome booklet to read as well as a bottle of water to drink before you donate. When you arrive, the donor carer will do a quick pin-prick test to check that you have enough iron in your blood. You will then be ready to donate! The nearest place for Herts students to give blood is the Ramada Hotel on St. Albans Road and the next session with be on 7th March.



Sports Awards return for another year that the night will be a success.

Olivia Draisey

Sports and Events Sub Editor One of the most enjoyable nights of the university social calendar is approaching fast – Sports Awards (otherwise known as Colours). This night is all about celebrating the fantastic and numerous sporting achievements throughout the year. With an average of 500 AU members attending each year, you can absolutely guarantee

Awards include those for dedication to the team (Purple –Full/Half/ClubAwards), Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and Club of the Year. Awards don’t only go to those who compete, but to teams who have shown commitment in training and boosting group membership. The evening is a ‘Dress to Impress’ dress code which means suits, shirts, ties, dresses, heels and any other clothing combinations

that would suit the evening. Starting with welcome drinks in The Forum, the evening will start with a two-course dinner and plenty of drinks in the Refectory. When I say plenty, I really do mean that, from water to beer, Powerade to wine; there are so many choices.



Madison Vickery

AU Media Ambassador

On Wednesday 19th February, Herts Netball 2nd Team took on Kings College at home. The team felt pressured and nervous as a win was needed to regain 1st place on the league table, after an unfortunate walk over the week before. The girls started out strong and used nerves to their advantage by finishing the 1st quarter with a 14-5 lead, with excellent shooting by Everlyn Thompson (GS) and Cathy Ruddock (GA). However, we felt that accuracy of passing, ball positioning awareness and angled drives needed to be perfected going into the 2nd quarter.


There is also a bar inside too! The room is transformed into a purple and white parade of joy from the wonderful achievements and recognition of a year’s hard graft. Awards are normally given by someone prestigious in sport ,from

Netball the help of interceptions and persistent hustling from Chelsea Western (C) on the oppositions’ Centre - one of their key players. A few changes were made at each quarter time to allow the whole squad court time and make the use of fresh legs. We used this to our advantage as the opposition only had one substitute player, and so their team seemed to tire out quickly. The girls kept up their intensity and fought hard for every ball, every goal and every turnover in the 3rd quarter.

Our defence, Jemma Armitage (GK), Jodie Pearce The girls took note of the (GD) and Beth Clarke (WD) team talk and continued worked extremely hard to to increase the score gap deny many of the oppositions through to half time, with

the University. or local community. This year the event is on Thursday 3rd April, with welcome drinks starting at 6:45pm at The Forum, College Lane. Tickets are £25 and are on sale from the Athletic Union office on de Havilland Campus.



attack on goal, whilst the attack, Alice Dunn (WA), Lucy Stevens (C) and Issy Ham (GA), worked alongside the defence to successfully bring the ball down the court.

the last quarter on 36 goals, with a target of reaching 50 by the end of the match.

The final score was 5321, breaking our goal target and still meaning As a result, we began we were undefeated. the 4th quarter with a huge goal difference. With the help of the support from the bench of players During the last quarter time and coaches, as well as team talk, further changes the home crowd, all of the were made to ensure the squad performed well and intensity was kept high and the solidly as a team, and player same standard of play could of the match was awarded continue in the final quarter. to Lucy Stevens (C/WA). We cannot thank the By this time, the opposition support enough, and are had fatigued and seemed extremely grateful for the to be almost chasing us up help from our coaches. the court whilst the pressure We have one game left to we put on them forced them win to have an undefeated to make mistakes, giving us season and get promoted, the turnovers and leading to and the girls have never been further goals. We went into more determined to do so.

Sport 15

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UniVerse | Volume 22 Issue 8  
UniVerse | Volume 22 Issue 8  

Published 03/03/2014