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January 2017

‘Healthy eating has so many benefits’ YOUTUBE STAR



HASGHTAG WINNING Polo club reveal all


SHAKKA Talks chat up lines

Save nine lives this new year

P19 P24

DECLAN MCKENNA The next big thing?

Student explains why donation is critical @ AMY DENMAN


CIRCA WAVES On freaky fan fiction

xxxx xx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxx

A Sheffield Hallam student is the youngest person in the UK with a battery-powered heart, but he has not let that stop him from living life to the fullest. Jim Lynskey was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy as a child, a condition in which the heart can struggle to pump blood around the body efficiently. The food marketing management student has a device installed in his left ventricle to keep his heart beating

while he waits for a transplant. The instrument, which helps Jim’s heart pump, is powered by a battery during the day and is plugged into the mains overnight. ‘It’s a bit annoying that you’re literally attached to the wall,’ he told the British Heart Foundation. ‘It’s hard to sleep at night, because of the humming noise of the device, and part of it can get really hot.’ Jim, whose condition was caused by viral meningitis as a child, has now started up his own charity campaign, Save9Lives, to encourage

The whole Save9Lives campaign has a big impact on my positivity

Jim Lynskey, Sheffield Hallam

others to donate their organs and potentially save lives. Since launching the campaign, Jim has raised more than £4,000 for Cardiomyopathy UK, a charity which raises money to help support people who are living with the condition. Jim said: ‘The whole Save9Lives campaign has a big impact on my positivity. ‘It’s amazing for me to see the amount of money that I’ve raised, the donations I’ve had. ‘I’ve got my fingers crossed that the best is still to come.’


BUCS SUPER RUGBY The road to Twickenham

NEWS | GOSS | COMMENT | MUSIC | FASHION | FOOD | YOUR LIFE | TECH | YOUR NIGHT | GAMES | COMPETITIONS | FILM | SPORT | DIGS Are you a shop, restaurant, pub, business on campus or other student hangout? Increase your student footfall by placing a stand and stocking our free newspaper. Become recognised by students as part of their community in your city. Call Adam West now on 020 7580 6419 or email and get a free stand delivered to your business.

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January 2017

Jessica Ennis-Hill among sporting graduates honoured in list @ Henry Edwards Olympic stars who studied in Sheffield have been named in the New Year’s Honours list. Heptathlon world champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill was made a Dame for services to athletics. Hollie Webb, who was on the hockey team that won gold at the Games, was made an MBE. Dame Jessica tweeted that she was ‘truly truly honoured’ and mentioned Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Team GB’s most decorated female Olympian, rower Katherine Grainger, who were also mentioned in the list. The former University of Sheffield psychology student had already won Commonwealth Games bronze by the time she graduated in 2007 and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 2008 for her achievements. The 30-year-old was given an

honorary doctorate in 2010 by Sheffield and has been patron of its Elite Sports Performance Scheme. Webb, who helped her Team GB hockey side beat the Netherlands on penalties to win Olympic gold in August, was a recipient of the scheme while she was studying economics at Sheffield. In response to news of her MBE, Webb tweeted: ‘Couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to what has

I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to the year

Hollie Webb, Sheffield graduate

For more news, as well as sport and entertainment, go to www.

Honours graduate: Jessica Ennis-Hill in 2010

been such a magical year!’ Other alumni included in the honours list were Nick Lowles, founder of the anti-racism and extremism group Hope Not Hate, who was made an MBE, and Vernon Gibson, former chief scientific advisor to the Ministry of Defence, who was awarded the Order of the Bath.

The big noise on campus But are students in city getting quieter? @ Henry Edwards

Students in Sheffield may be toning down the noise at house parties and pre-drinks – either that or the neighbours are complaining less. A freedom of information request made by The University Paper revealed complaints about noise nuisance caused by students have dropped over the past three years. The fewest complaints were made about Sheffield Hallam University

ROWDY NEIGHBOURS TUP asked universities across the country about reports of rowdy behaviour. Here’s what they said... Liverpool Hope University Listed their top days for noise complaints in the 2015-16 academic year as June 3, Nov 17, Nov 24, March 17 and April 18 Edinburgh Napier University Told us all was quiet, with no rowdiness reports from September

2010 to summer 2015 and just five in 2015-16, including visitors University of Warwick Gave details of each incident, including fireworks, a late night cricket match and anti-social keyboard playing University of Surrey Had the most complaints out of those who responded, with a total of 2,643 between 2012 and 2016

students in the 2015-16 academic year, with just five recorded – down from nine the previous year and 21 in 2013-14. Hallam said its security staff would normally deal with complaints by visiting the flat or room in question and asking students to tone down the noise. University of Sheffield students attracted more complaints in 2015-16, with 64 logged. This was up from 52 the previous year, but down from 93 in 2013-14. In the 2015-16 academic year at Sheffield, 22 complaints were made by local residents, 15 by fellow

students, 18 by staff and nine by someone in a different group. Grievances there have fallen dramatically since the earliest figures given to TUP, which showed 232 complaints were made in the 2009-10 academic year, including 172 by local residents and 37 by other students. Noise complaints at Hallam have also fallen over the past six years, with the highest number, 32, recorded in the 2010-11 academic year. Neither universities gave details on how many of the noise complaints were resolved.


Place a stand

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Hallam in anti-doping campaign Two UK universities are supporting a new Europe-wide project which aims to help young exercise enthusiasts to resist the lures of doping. ‘SAFE YOU: Strengthening the anti-doping fight in fitness and exercise in youth,’ is being led by Sheffield Hallam University and Kingston University. The project aims to provide those who may be tempted to engage in doping with knowledge and information which will deter them. The project comes at a time where the number of young exercise enthusiasts using performance-enhancing drugs is increasing. In recent studies, people as young as 12 have selfreported using substances like anabolic steroids. The original SAFE YOU project also revealed at least one in ten young recreational exercisers have used doping at least once in their lifetime. Dr Lambros Lazuras, senior lecturer in psychology at Sheffield Hallam and co-investigator for SAFE YOU, said: ‘Doping in sports has received global attention in recent years due to some very high-profile cases. But sports doping has now extended to a much wider audience, recreational sports, and unless timely preventive action is taken it will become a major societal and public health challenge. ‘This SAFE YOU project will target those at risk of engaging in sports doping practices and provide them with the knowledge, confidence and autonomy to reject this Tom Gellatly practice.’


See no evil More than 30 students’ unions have banned at least one newspaper or mag

hear no evil Two of the latest SUs to bar tabloids say they are trying to stop ‘demonisation’

read no evil Students have defied and ridiculed the bans, claiming they threaten free speech

@ Imogen White and Amy Denman

Few would argue that tabloid papers provoke strong feelings with their front pages. But some students’ unions argue stories too often stray into offensive territory and more than 30 unions across the country have banned publications they claim are demonising certain groups, including migrants and Muslims. A quick web search for ‘antiimmigrant headlines’ brings up phrases such as ‘ban migrants’, ‘asylum tide’ and ‘take our jobs’ splashed across the covers of some of Britain’s best-selling papers. A search for ‘Islamophobic headlines’ brings up some similarly negative phrases in stories claiming to be about Muslims. It’s headlines such as these that have sparked the banning of tabloids by students’ unions over the past few months. City University’s SU placed a blanket ban on all such papers during its annual general meeting at the end of 2016, but The Sun, Daily Express and Daily Mail came in for particular criticism. The argument for the ban was

The best way to challenge racism and misogyny in society is to have more speech, not less

Dr John Steel, University of Sheffield

Press cutting: The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express face bans by SUs

put forward in a motion titled ‘Opposing facism [sic] and social divisiveness in the UK media’, by student Nicholas Owen. It claimed: ‘The Daily Mail, The Sun and the Express have published stories that demonise refugees and minorities.’ The motion also highlighted a story published in the Daily Mail, which printed pictures of three judges with the headline ‘Enemies of the people’. The judges had ruled that Parliament should hold a vote before Article 50 – the formal start of the Brexit process – is triggered. The article was compared by a University of Exeter historian to one published in a German paper in 1933, which labelled people who had their German citizenship revoked under Nazi rule ‘traitors of the people’. Daily Mail journalist Stephen Glover said during a radio debate that the media ‘should be allowed to criticise judges’. But most students at the City meeting voted for the motion, which said there was ‘no place for the Sun, Daily Mail or Express (in their current form) on City, University of London campuses or properties’. They also voted to promote change in the way UK media is run. Claims these papers are ‘belittling


January 2017

and demonising’ groups including immigrants, refugees, disabled people, the LGBT+ community and ethnic minorities are behind Plymouth University SU’s decision to follow City in banning The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and their Sunday editions. Both SUs said they agreed with free speech, but their critics have accused them of censorship and shutting down debate. Sophia Smith Galer, a broadcast journalism student at City, started a petition, signed by more than 200 people, against her SU’s ban. She said: ‘I didn’t expect these tabloids, which employ a lot of our grads, to be banned. ‘I started the petition to make it clear that a lot of people were against it and it was an opportunity not only for current students to have a say but for graduates, alumni and people in the industry to comment on it as well.’ She said while supporters of the petition recognised the banned papers were occasionally guilty of demonising certain sections of society, they believed they should be ‘held to higher account’. ‘To be able to hold them to account, you need to be able to read, fact check and criticise them,’ she added. ‘The motion wanted to oppose social divisiveness yet millions of people read these newspapers every day, which disqualifies the opinions being made – opinions which are obviously being agreed with by a section of the British public. ‘The ban doesn’t help social divisiveness, in fact it makes social divisions wider.’ She added fellow masters students

The ban doesn’t help social divisiveness, in fact it makes social divisions wider Sophia Smith Galer, City, University of London

had drafted a proposal calling for the ban to be lifted, which is expected to go before a meeting of the students’ union next month. Other City journalism students filmed themselves reading the banned papers for a mannequin challenge in November. Organiser Lindsay Greenhouse said: ‘Every single journalism student I’ve spoken to thinks the ban is absurd. I thought this was a peaceful way to protest, rather than storming the students’ union. ‘We want people to know we won’t stand for censorship at City, no matter which newspaper it is.’ She said the ban had an added element of absurdity because no newspapers were sold at City. ‘I’ve spoken to one of the guys from the SU who passed the motion and he said the ban is essentially meaningless, because you can’t ban people from bringing in whatever they want to read,’ she said. ‘The only reason they passed the motion is because the second clause explains how we would campaign against racism and hatred, which is what everyone is for at City.’ Plymouth SU’s ban was also met with protest when students at the smaller University of St Mark and St John, across the city, voted to jokingly ban orange juice with bits

in to make a point about freedom of choice. ‘To remove [tabloid] papers from sale is to deny a chance of intellectual debate and to shelter [students] from what is out there in the real world, outside of campus life,’ its SU said in a post on Facebook. ‘After all, isn’t that what university is about? Stimulating discussions and debates,’ it added. ‘You can no longer have the same levels of discussion when you begin to censor things.’ It continued: ‘Orange juice is a different matter, though. ‘Such is the hateful nature of bitty orange juice, we felt strongly that it should be removed from our campus to ensure our students weren’t brainwashed into having moronic taste buds.’ But City and Plymouth are far from the only unions to have banned papers or magazines in recent years – more than 30 have voted to limit print media. The Sun, which was the subject of an anti-Page 3 campaign by unions before the feature was pulled, is the most widely barred. But SUs have also clamped down on other tabloids, as well as student publications, lads’ mags, papers deemed sexist. The University of Bristol students’ union banned French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, shortly after 12 of its staff were killed by gunmen in 2015. Dr John Steel, a journalism lecturer at the University of Sheffield whose research focuses on free speech and freedom of the press, criticised this stance. ‘Ideas, however repugnant and horrible, however much we may disagree with them, as long as they’re not criminal, then they’re there to be shot down,’ he said. ‘Univerisities are a place of critical enquiry and if you’re going to ban publications that you find difficult or uncomfortable then that is a slippery slope. ‘The best way to challenge

racism and misogyny in society is to have more speech, not less.’ He called City SU’s claim there was fascism in the media ‘disrespectful’. ‘Some of the rhetoric and language used and some of the representations which have been invoked by certain sections of the media are pretty offensive and horrible,’ he said. ‘But to call it fascistic is doing a disservice to the victims of fascism in the past. ‘There may be elements of racist and xenophobic rhetoric but I think it’s a little bit naive and disrespectful to the people who suffered under fascism to call these papers fascist.’ Some, however, say unions should be free to decide which papers are worth selling Alex Liddell is a graduate from the University of East Anglia, where the union council voted to stop selling The Sun in its shop in 2013. ‘Universities, in fact any institution, should be allowed to quality control the products they sell,’ he said. ‘If a newspaper regularly publishes fake news and hate speech, it is a faulty product. ‘Universities should have the option to ban the sale of faulty products.’ A statement to, attributed to City SU president Yusuf Ahmad, said: ‘A motion titled ‘Opposing fascism and social divisiveness in the UK media’ was debated and passed by the members in the AGM. The union is currently unaware of any outlets on campus selling the mentioned media publications. As with all motions, the union will be considering how it implements this.’ Plymouth students’ union referred in a statement to a 2015 UN press release telling the UK to ‘curb incitement to hatred by British tabloid newspapers’. ‘It is our duty to protect and empower and represent marginalised and discriminatedagainst groups,’ the union added. ‘Because of these very values that we hold and we are proud of, we believe that it is unethical for us to profit out of the sale of hateful, nonfactual and anti-scientific media platforms.’

TO UNITE AND CENSOR From north to south in Scotland, England and Wales, these 36 students’ unions have stopped papers and magazines being distributed on their campuses... Scotland • Aberdeen SU Lads’ mags • Abertay SU, Dundee The Sun • Edinburgh University SU The Sun England • Newcastle SU The Sun • Lancaster SU The Sun and lads’ mags • York St John SU The Sun and Daily Star • Bradford SU The Sun • Leeds SU Page 3 • Leeds Beckett SU The Sun and Daily Star • Edge Hill SU, Liverpool The Sun • Hull SU The Sun • Lincoln SU The Sun • Manchester SU The Sun • Manchester Met SU The Sun • Sheffield SU The Sun • Chester SU The Sun • Nottingham SU The Sun • Nottingham Trent SU The Sun • Staffordshire SU The Sun • Leicester SU The Sun • UEA SU, Norwich Page 3 • Birmingham SU ‘Sexist’ newspapers • Birmingham City SU Two papers • Warwick SU The Sun and Daily Star • Cambridge SU The Sun • Essex SU The Sun and Daily Star • Oxford SU No Offence (student mag) at freshers’ fair • Oxford Brookes SU ‘Sexist’ publications • City SU, London Tabloid papers • LSE SU, London The Sun, Daily Star and an edition of the students’ newspaper • UCLU, London The Sun • Bristol SU Charlie Hebdo • Bournemouth SU Lads’ mags Wales • Aberystwyth SU Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Star • Swansea SU Lads’ mags • Cardiff SU The Sun



Dundee Edinburgh


Lancaster Bradford

Edge Hill, Liverpool

Manchester Chester Staffordshire



Hull Lincoln Sheffield Nottingham Leicester UEA, Norwich



Warwick Cambridge

Swansea Do you think some papers should be banned by students’ unions? Email your thoughts to editor@unipaper.


Oxford Cardiff Bristol




January 2017 | t @TheUniPaper | f TheUniPaper

Horsing around: Hashtag Polo models strip for their photo shoot

Hashtag Polo stirrup contest Ten student clubs from across the country entered our naked calendar competition, and after thousands of votes we can finally reveal the winner...

@ The University Paper When TUP asked the UK to vote for their favourite nude student calendar, we didn’t expect such a big response. But after thousands of votes and a whole lot of poring over photos of naked people in some rather strange poses, we can finally crown the winner. With a whopping 42 per cent of the final vote, Hashtag Polo University Polo’s incredible effort beat competition from nine other groups. The winning entry featured polo players from universities across the country including Bath Spa, Brighton, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Kent, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Royal Holloway, UWE and Winchester. The participants got their kit off and struck some rather brave poses to get the perfect snap for each page of the 13 month calendar. However, the project wasn’t just for fun, as all the profits will be donated to Look Good Feel Better, a charity which offers practical

We’re embracing body confidence and positive self-esteem

Luke SandysRenton, Hashtag Polo University Polo

For more on our naked calendar competition, go to www.unipaper.

support for women who are undergoing cancer treatment. The calendar’s coordinator Luke Sandys-Renton, said: ‘It’s incredible to have won. ‘It’s great to know that what has been quite a low-key calendar, all prepared, edited and compiled by us, managed to go up against some pretty strong contenders and be supported by so many people. ‘We were trying to make sure everyone felt comfortable in their own body and we’re embracing body confidence and self-esteem. ‘This is of course what the charity we’re supporting is all based around, so it’s all come around nicely – full circle.’ The message of empowerment and body confidence has been bolstered by Hashtag Polo’s triumph, which the group are still coming to terms with. The University of Brighton student added: ‘It hasn’t even sunk in yet. ‘I had a look again this morning and I just thought “how have we got that?”’ ‘I was at a friend’s house when the final votes were coming in and

someone messaged me at midnight and said “guess what?” ‘When they told me we’d won, I just said “what? You’ve got to be kidding me.”’ The competition win is not the only thing that makes the calendar memorable for those who took part, as project management for construction student Luke told us about a predicament the models got into on one of the shoots. ‘Life continued as normal despite the naked photo shoot, until a polo lesson ran straight up through the middle of our shoot, meaning we faced a mad dash to the safety of our discarded dressing gowns while rescuing the props from being trampled on.’ We asked Luke if we can expect him and his fellow student models to make a return next year.‘It depends on my workload going into final year,’ he said. ‘Even if it’s a case of passing the mantle on to someone else, I think it would be a great thing to do again. We’d love to try to help out even more charities and really expand to include some which aren’t as well known or funded – fingers crossed.’


Glasgow Uni Boat Club

31% Warwick rowers women’s

42% Warwick rowers men’s


Cambridge Blues


Hashtag Polo



The competition was broken up into two rounds. In week one we introduced you to Newcastle University Boat Club, The Cambridge Blues, Cardiff University Ladies’ Rugby Club, Hashtag Polo and Warwick

Rower’s Men. In week two you saw Glasgow University Boat Club, Sport Sheffield, York Sport, Warwick Rowers Women and De Montfort University’s Equestrian Society. Five teams made the final where the winner was voted.


@ Joe Cadman GED 16, most people were in the middle of an important year of GCSEs and life decisions. But for singer-songwriter Declan McKenna, 16 was the age he shot to fame, after winning a slot on the William’s Green Stage at Glastonbury in the Emerging Talent Competition. He has been capturing attention since and is preparing to release his first full-length album. ‘It’s really great,’ he says of the growing excitement surrounding him. ‘It’s what everyone wants to hear before they release an album. ‘It also means there’s a lot of

people looking at me, which is an unusual experience for me. More than anything it makes me hopeful for the stuff I’m going to release.’ Now 18, McKenna is taking the pressure of increased attention in his stride and channeling it into recording his debut album. ‘It’s going to be a learning curve as it’s still only my first album and I’ve got so much more to go,’ he says. The record is close to completion, but McKenna admits he needs ‘a kick up the arse’ to tie up the loose ends. ‘We’re just in mixing now and it’ll get mastered early this year so it’s very close now,’ he says. ‘It’ll be released in the first half of this year. ‘It’s really up in the air at the minute but it’s fine – I’ll get it done.’ Despite the debut album nerves, the Hertfordshire teen is still humbled by the success of the past two years. ‘I couldn’t have wished for anything to have gone any better than it has,’ he says. ‘Even when I was 16 things started happening much more than I ever expected.’ This year looks rather hectic for McKenna, as he gets ready for his

biggest solo tour to date. ‘After the album is released I’ll probably be touring for the next ten billion years or something,’ he laughs. Despite feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming stint of live shows, McKenna is excited to see what the tour will bring. ‘We haven’t really properly done a UK headline tour so I’m excited for that and I’m excited to see if anyone turns up to the shows,’ he adds. ‘They’re not particularly massive so I’m hoping it won’t look too empty, but we’ll see how it goes.’ Despite his age and the occasional bout of nerves, McKenna has always made it clear he will not let music industry bosses influence his decisions, however distracted he might be from his busy schedule. ‘That kind of stuff can happen,’ he adds. ‘Especially when you’re touring a lot. You can be like “oh yeah whatever, we’ll do this – I don’t care”. ‘When I was initially meeting people from labels and management companies it was important for me to get a point across that I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do. ‘I’ve very much kept to my own ideas and what I want to do so it’s

ON TOUR January 17 Glasgow, O2 ABC January 20 London, O2 Academy Brixton January 24 Leicester, The Cookie January 25 Birmingham, Hare & Hounds January 26 Liverpool, Stuido2 At Parr Street January 28 Newcastle, Think Tank? January 29 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club January 30 Sheffield, The Leadmill

been all good.’ This strength of opinion comes across in songs such as Brazil. McKenna wrote the self-released single about the gap between rich and poor Brazilians, which he felt was not addressed ahead of the country hosting the 2014 World Cup. The song was also seen as a criticism of FIFA and McKenna was interviewed about it on Sky News. Paracetamol also takes on weighty issues, this time those faced by the transgender community. The song was a balance between wanting to show support for LGBT+ people without putting himself forward as a representative. But he says other musicians should not feel obliged to take on current affairs in their songwriting. ‘It would be unfair of me to say more people should write how I like to write, because art is something people can run free with,’ he says. ‘However, at this point in time people who do have the platform should at least be speaking up about certain issues when they can. ‘There’s a dangerous level of right wing emergence going on and tragedies happening – people should be speaking out about them.’ McKenna has also addressed issues close to his heart in other ways, aside from his lyrics. During a performance of single Isombard on Later... With Jools Holland last year, he took off his

ON TOUR March 3 Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach March 4 Coventry, Central Library March 6 Liverpool, Buyers Club March 10 Nottingham, Bodega March 11 Leicester, The Cookie

Sweat, sore throats and rock ‘n’ roll: (l-r) Joe Emmett, Chris Alderton, Matt Thomson and Elliot Briggs

Sweaty gigs excite us Singer Matt Thomson explains how rock trumps house music


25 9

January January 2017 2017

Want to have your say about a current event? Email your comment to

Dozens of students’ unions across the UK have barred certain papers from their buildings, accusing them of discrimination. Some see the bans as fair protests, while others fear they could mark the start of a free speech battle

This month’s question:

Should newspapers face bans if their words cause offence?

shirt to reveal a t-shirt bearing the words ‘give 17-year-olds the vote’. He explains: ‘I kind of realised the last Most four or five songs I wrote were all young about being this young kid who hates people are not being able to vote and feeing informed somewhat voiceless but wanting to and intelligent speak out about it. This issee a issues about young Reading enoughnewspapers that spread ‘You’ll form and of the age of voting fear-inducing to make a propaganda about people protest how minorities are taking over being discussed in the Houses Of decision and numbing us with the latest Parliament on behalf of them, rather Declan Louisa I’m A Celebrity gossip is nothing than getting some average young McKenna Kendal, short of brainwashing. people in and asking them about it. University They add nothing to society ‘People have misconceptions about of Bristol and twist facts to fit their agendas. If a students’ union, young people and they’ll say we No fringe editor or any establishment, wants to limit the influence won’t vote anyway. But I can’t think of issues: these have in their community, they are within one person my age who – ifpapers they were Declan their rights do so. The right wing will probably given the opportunity to vote into the is claims. But of censorship last general electionrespond or Brexitwith votea–barrageMcKenna not afraid to liberty than lies and wouldn’t have voted.what could be more limiting to take scaremongering as truth? Some call banning ‘Most young people are informed presented on tough patronising but others call it a protest. and intelligent enough to make aand restricting, subjects decision. There are so many factors in his you could bring in for allowing or not Students think it’s right tosongwriting ban newspapers from allowing someone toI don’t vote and I think can students’ unions because they may include age is achoose very petty one.’ to read or controversial content. not to read It’s the job of the media to report on events, whether they contain sensitive content or not. It’s an Lucy individual’s choice to read a paper. Papers such as The Mannion, Sun or the Daily Express can offend some, but they all University hold a political stance, so be selective in your reading. of the West In terms of lads’ mag type magazines and papers, of England I can see where the ban is coming from. This isn’t editor journalism, they are not reporting on significant issues and will offend more easily, so students’ unions are more likely to be apprehensive about displaying them. However, I feel this is the way the world is – by restricting your selection you risk being accused of bias rather than stopping offence.

Political agenda not enough to excuse ban William Green, University of Manchester editor

Ultimately, the question is relative to the content of the newspaper compared to what the university stands for. For instance, the banning of The Sun from a Liverpool university would be justified, given the longevity of the feud over the treatment of the Hillsborough disaster victims. But for a paper to be banned from campus because of its political agenda seems over the top. Students should have the option to read any publication they want on campus. I understand students’ unions do not want to support papers that stand for what they fight against. But banning papers seems wrong – SUs don’t have to go out of their way to support them, but neither (in most mainstream circumstances) should they be completely barred.

Tabloid targets: Some papers face SU bans

The soapbox:

Shout them down don’t shut them up

the opinions offered in these publications that exist in the world City University students have outside university. voted to ban The Sun, the Daily Pretending unpleasant opinions Mail and the Daily Express from aren’t there doesn’t make them go away. Argument is the way forward, their campus. not silence, and in order to bring I’d be the first to agree the papers down intolerant opinions, you must are vile. They demean women, first be familiar with them. migrants and those receiving You cannot completely mute So for every tabloid article welfare; they laud Nigel Farage, the voices of people who have that spews hateful things about they give Katie Hopkins a column. different views from your own. minorities, I want there to be 100 But silencing a voice only gains The same goes for universities students posting it all over social that voice sympathy. in London and all across the UK. In response to the ban, a group of media explaining why the opinion It is my belief that no newspaper expressed is rubbish, why this is City undergrads have been leaving or alternative form of media not, and should never be, the way copies of the papers around the the world works and the way people should be banned by students’ unions unless they journalism department for anyone preach hate, abuse or are vulgar in any way. to pick up. But these tabloids aren’t treat one another. Silencing ignorant opinions impedes our ability to University students are mature enough to make their underdogs. More than 3.5million prove them wrong. own decisions and have their own opinions on various people in the UK buy them every And in a world where hate crime matters of importance. Therefore, they are entitled to week – that’s more than seven times drums, Briggs on has soared, nationalism inStone Europe hear the opinionsEmmett of moreon than one Elliot type of newspaper theinnumber will house read the i and playing fitting with thethat electro that a lot of Queens Of The rising andgotten peopleinto think Donald or media group. bass and Chris Alderton on guitar, are dominated The Guardian in the same period. Age,iswho the charts in 2016. we’ve in the last stilltosurprised recognition. maketells a good POTUS, Shutting our ears opinionsby wethe don’t like won’t help As guitar well-intentioned ‘I think bands haveas a the ban yearTrump or two,’could Thomson me. ‘Miike ‘We’ve neverworse. felt like the coolest I want the current of us, it will actually make things may have at been, boycotting responsibility the moment to right Snow also have a reallygeneration cool album.’ band around or critics’ choice, so students to be verymost wellof practiced at wingantabloids on campus is not provide alternative to this lifeless, And the band joined the to get this recognition now feels putting the ignorant in David their place. going to protect students instant gratifi cation crap that’sfrom all country in trawling though

@ Francesca Newton

18-year-old Declan McKenna is out to prove We should hearyoung more people can be trusted on politics than one

We should speak up Bans are harmful to freedom of speech Ana Iliescu, University of Salford editor

The bans encourage division Saskia Solomon, University of Edinburgh editor

I think it would be wrong to ban newspapers from students’ unions because it’s against the concept of freedom of speech. Papers can be biased, but they are not forcing anyone to read or agree with what they write. We can choose what we’re interested in and if the content is not what we’re looking for, we can make a decision to not read it, without needing a ban to decide for us. Students’ union papers are also a good platform for societies to promote projects and support traditional journalism, in an era where few actually read newspapers. I don’t believe their content does any harm, whereas banning them would be harmful to freedom of speech.


Ahmad Jamal Wattoo, SOAS international officer

Students need to embrace papers

We’re playing right into their hands...

By the time everyone goes earned to university, we’ve all read over the airwaves,’ Thomson says. like we’ve it,’ Thomson tells Bowie’s back catalogue following his or heard about pretty muchdefi everything. me. ‘We’ve nitely carved out our ‘If any band could put music in the death last year. We’re all adults,own so the content of awe newspaper path and now can use these charts and give us something real, ‘It’s so sad that we’ve been listening shouldn’t matterplatforms because oftowhat we’ve already been get as many people as it would be so much better. Anyone to him lots now he’s dead, but it gives Danielle Ursell exposed to. possible connected to the music.’ can get a laptop and logic – if you’ve all the songs an extra dimension in a Osazeme If a newspaper isWith quitethe religious and half of the from got money anyone can buy all the new-found attention really weird way,’ Thomson says. AKING a pact with Osaghae, students don’t follow a religion, shouldn’t critics, the bandthe arepaper bound to feel software, but you can’t buy years of ‘The day he died we were just future self is the Nottingham your simply be banned because most of the students heat. ‘Before we were put ondon’t being on the road. blasting all of his songs – it gives something most Trent agree or relate toBBC’s it. It’sSound a case Of of learning more about alternative 2017, I didn’t feel any I detest the Daily The Sun them ‘It’s interesting to seeMail, the chemistry that extraopinions, punch.’ rather than of usdifferent have done University culturespressure,’ and religions, whichsays. in turn could fight againstlatest them.single Little Thomson and the Daily Express. between those people who’ve been The Amazons’ at some editor helppoint. people integrate. We should listendebut to deluded ‘But then on stage I thought oh s**t, playing Misleading, sensationalist years and years. You can’tand Something, from their albumright For The Amazons frontmanUniversity Matt is theare phase when you want tousfind wing views, buthas that does not mean the people watching going to poisonous, they nevertheless replicate that. I’d do that over the exert aof the same name, a darker Thomson, recalling whatout it feels like more about the world. You need to betoable to wethan haveprevious to respect them. be thinking “they’ve got be good powerful uence over theday.’ British sound laptop and theinfl light shows any songs. ‘I think to be a young music fan get is one of the on a range of topics, especially in a information We to respect people’s public. it’s one ofhave the heaviest tracks but I’m Anyone can get a laptop and logic, if you’ve got money anyone driving forces behind thestudents’ band’s rise. union, which is a meeting place for many right express opinion, but But we should not ban them. happy it’stothe single their because it didn’t can buy the software, you can’t buy years being ontothe road ‘You owe it to your 14-year-old students.self can treat I amofnot going preach the everwe scream to ustheir thatopinions this is forwith the to inspire as much as you can, which now”,’ he jokes. disdain. When the‘IMail prints an importance offor free speech:awe all radio,’ Part of the plan sparking Thomson says. feel like we’re is what we’re doing now,’ he says. The band plan to use the extra outrageous headline, be it’s important. newknow generation of guitar bands and getting away with murderita should little bit.’ City University students’ union recently passed a helpof a show all sweaty Newspapers provide people ‘YouPapers come out attention to their advantage. criticised, ridiculed, Yettheir the most vehement building own career is todefenders play The risk has paid off aseven Littleinsulted. motion to ban the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Daily youthroat see is sore from all the withbeen detailed information about Reading and your ‘We’ve working on an album,’ Banningwas thenamed paper strips of the of free speechinoften simply want Something Festival, The Amazons’ Annie us Mac’s Express because they propagate ‘fascism and social theThese bigger local,says. national and international singing. are the kind of gigs Thomson ‘So to release that opportunity do that. to be able to insult others without hottest hometown. record ontoBBC Radio 1 and divisiveness in the UK media’. picture us and made us want to mid-year events. that inspired is a huge goal for us.’ By deconstructing the arguments being condemned for it. Therefore ‘Success, more than anything else Thomson hopes for the same success It’s a symbolic act that prompted debates on Oftenthey thisalso information has be a band. However, plan to stay thealbum. tabloids, students become I am highly sceptical to The Amazons, is a hugewhenever slot at withofthe Patrick censorship and press freedom. These tabloids are more detail news supplied ‘That’s the kind of thing we want humble. ‘Being inthan a rock band, we’re a far more potent of a someone plays the free says. speech Reading Festival,’ Thomson ‘I think we were keensource to make regarded as sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and on thegoals internet. argument to do Hollis, – to inspire our audience more not setting likeThe we’ve got to get Bythan exposing ourselves card to Festival defend really these papers. ‘Reading shaped Yet the the rockopposition. record rather indie pop,’ Coventry racist and many students find it hard to align their is papers banned for their content, but this than some left-field act in a bar shouldabe top ten record, because you’re just to distasteful views, wepeople build a City University students have been he adds. ambitions of the band. ‘We like surprising University views with the ones spurned by them, but that doesn’t in London. wouldme. censor students from the outside world, and That didn’t inspire going to disappoint yourself. intelligent and more tolerant foolish banning them. The older andmore ‘We saw alt-J play the Festival keeping them guessing with our editor mean they shouldn’t be exposed to them. By stifling can be studentsyou’ve from having Seeing Red Hot Chili Peppers inseen a to be preventing ‘I think sometimes just got electorate forathe A future generations lookthe onnext students Republic Stage and year with music, so there’s lot future. of intimate and in which, hopefully, Messrs Mail, Sun, news sources with large readerships, we reinforce bigger picture of what is going stadium inspired me. ’ the chance to seetothe focus on the things that are in your headline ever-increasing exasperation, and quiet the NME Tent. moments.’ and Express will behas thehis objects the us-versus-them sentiment promoted by the on around Print journalism is a vital part of you The band are coming ever closer them.control and put on the best show banning papers will only ‘You can’t ask for much moremake than us I wonder if Thomson own of ridicule theyout deserve. papers themselves. Silencing the voice does little to expanding events weit’s might have to realising this dream after being our knowledge can everyof night, then kindnot of up to thatseem more out of touch. – that’s your ladder right there.’ tipsthe on bads to look for. As young people, it is our duty mend social divisiveness and stokes the fire of fascist named in the BBC’s Sound much consideration if gods we weren’t to find out Of 2017, the for rock to reward that orabout not.’ censoring WithBy their biggest publications headlining tour ‘There’s an Irish band we’ve to help a better society for thinking. Students’ unions should not follow City’s lead, The NME 100 and Apple Music’s them. Banning totalitarian and something New papers Withisplenty of dark riffs and catchy whose contentto wekick find to date scheduled offunsavoury, in played withforge a couple of times called the future. We ‘Everyone cannot letwill thebe right but should remain institutions of debate. need to avoid. Artists 2017 playlist. The SUs fourpiece, choruses in their songs, it’s clear The we Iare the stereotype March, askfuelling what artists they listenof Otherkin,’ he says. win,a lot butmore by censoring theiryear.’ primary made up of Thomson on vocals, Joe Amazons aren’t concerned about ‘easily-offended millennials’ who seeing to while out on the road. ‘We’ve been of them next



would prefer to stick their fingers in their ears when confronted with

voices, we only play into their hands. Tom Hughes



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Your Life


Students reveal their unique experiences at university. Email to tell your story

January 2017

My lifesaving test before exams When University of Manchester student Jenny Grey learnt CPR she had no idea just how soon she would use it to save a life


WAS visiting home for a break before more exams, and we got back really late. I saw one of my neighbours running around the street in a panic, which made me think we had been broken into. But then she shouted that they had found my other neighbour, John, collapsed. I just sprinted down to the house because I knew he had been quite ill recently, and when I got there, I found a load of people and John just on the floor. He was kind of blue and I could see that he wasn’t breathing. Someone was on the phone to the emergency services, who were telling us to leave him alone and wait for an ambulance to get there. But that really frustrated me because I could see he was not getting any oxygen. I just shouted down the phone “I’m a medical student, I know how to do CPR”. I wasn’t angry, I was just

frustrated that they were telling people not to do anything. Even if there wasn’t someone who had been trained they should at least encourage people to try. I didn’t know CPR before I started my medicine course and I’d only just been taught how to do it a couple of weeks before in preparation for my exams – it’s something that can come up in one of the practicals. I started administering the treatment and luckily another neighbour of mine offered to help – she’d been trained in how to do it because of her job as a teacher, so she got the courage to do it after I started. We were giving John CPR for about 20 minutes, but he didn’t come round. His wife and a lot of other people there were really distressed, crying and screaming. I was just thinking this person is going to die. It was kind of an adrenaline thing

where I had tunnel vision. I just did it and shut off everyone else in the background who was panicking and let other people calm them down – I just had to concentrate. With the career I’m going into, I’m that type of person who needs to switch off from any emotional reaction. At that moment in time, my job was to do the best I could to help

I was just thinking this person is going to die

Jenny Grey

him. If I let my emotions get in the way I wouldn’t have been able to do that. The whole ordeal went very quickly. After 20 minutes or so the paramedics arrived and took him away. When I next saw John, it was in the hospital. His wife and his son were there. They just burst into tears when I got there so I started crying as well.

Do you have a story to share? Email editor@unipaper.

John was still ill – he doesn’t remember me visiting, but he was really emotional and very thankful to me. A week or so after the event, and I was back at university doing a practice session before the end of year exams. It was the first time I had done CPR since the night at John’s, and I got a bit worked up about it. To help me during my proper exam, the uni were very accommodating. I got put at the end of the day just in case I needed to have a break and calm myself down but it was fine – I passed. I haven’t seen John in a while because I’m at uni and I’ve not spoken to him about the incident in a long time. But I do still speak to the family occasionally and they did buy me and my sister a lovely afternoon tea as a thank you, which was nice. My experience goes to show it’s really important that people learn how to do basic life support. Although most of the time it isn’t successful, for the times it is Medical marvel: Jenny Grey successful it is worth it.

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What’s On


The Lowdown

January 2017

, e g n ti guir r i n fl y Ma o ka Jerr k ha and S er ing n n c wi dan BO val O M rni Ca

l l a t e s g r e n o i F el th

YOUTUBE STAR NIOMI SMART Gives us her healthy eating tips P18-19


GAME CHANGERS Meet the students who are revolutionising fitness


@ Amy Denman



ONES TO WATCH 2017 We chat to The Amazons and Declan McKenna


CIRCA WAVES Speak to us about their huge musical makeover

OMANTIC comedies are the last thing I expect to be chatting about with MOBO Award-winning singer Shakka. But as we talk about his song, Yo Babes, he tells me he was inspired by the film Jerry Maguire. He can’t remember its title though. ‘What’s the film called again? Oh f**k, I’ve totally forgotten the name of the film!’ As we both fail to name the movie, he tells me the line ‘you had me at hello’ was the inspiration behind his song. ‘That particular phrase kind of stuck with me,’ he says. ‘For me it just felt a bit cheesy, like something I

SHAKKA wouldn’t normally say, but “you had me at yo babes” felt like it was me.’ The song is one of five tracks released on the 27-year-old’s latest EP, The Island. Although the track is based on such a smooth quote, Shakka doesn’t use chat-up lines. ‘I genuinely don’t have any,’ he

It’s my hood: Singer Shakka credits Notting Hill as a big source of inspiration

says. ‘I prefer the excitement and the dynamics of using one on the spot, based on the situation and that particular girl. ‘I’d play on the fact that she looks like a banana, if she’s slim and wearing a yellow dress, and that would either make her laugh or look at me weird and it would be another topic of conversation.’ Sounds like a winner. Shakka is full of compliments when it comes to Giggs, Wretch 32 and Mr Vegas, though – all of whom he collaborated with on The Island. He says Mr Vegas’ music ‘shaped my childhood’, adding: ‘For me to even hear his voice on any of my songs is nostalgic. ‘It’s like having Michael Jackson

shake my hand. He’s really professional. He pretty much says “yo I got this to do, so when I finish this I’m down” and it’s never like “oh I’m too busy, I have the queen’s cat to sing to”. ‘He did it like a gentlemen.’ The video to I Love The Way, which the dancehall musician features on, was filmed at Notting Hill Carnival, in the neighbourhood Shakka grew up in. ‘I haven’t missed a Carnival since I was born,’ he says. But he confesses he found it tricky to do the video while dancing. ‘I had more than one thing to think about – I had to look good,’ he laughs. ‘It’s more making sure I’m engaging and performing. ‘When I’m at Carnival I don’t think about engagement, I think about finding a lovely lady with a circumference that I love and doing some very close-contact dancing,’ he adds cheekily. ‘When I’m under the influence of alcohol and I’m dancing with said lady and I’ve still got a camera in my face, I’ve got to find a balance between making something entertaining but still making it as realistic as possible.’ One of his earliest memories is at the street party. ‘I think I was two,’ he says. ‘I’m surprised I remember that early – I was in my pram and there was a bass speaker the size of a Transit Van. ‘It played some old school reggae dub. My family tell me I woke up shaking my hands to the sky and doing weird things babies do when they hear sounds they like.’ And it seems that early memory might be playing a big influence on Shakka’s sound this year, after he rediscovered his childhood fascination for heavy bass. He tells me: ‘I feel like I’ve found a new love, my neighbours are pissed off but they’re just going to have to deal with it.’

The Lowdown


January 2017



from The University Paper

We all know someone who seems to have the perfect fitness regime worked out. Maybe you come across their chia seeds in the cupboard, or you can just smell the tuna they’ve cooked in the microwave for the tenth time today. Or perhaps they’re just someone who pops up on your social media and you’ve never actually met, because let’s face it – whose life is really all bulking, kale and cardio? Maybe there are holes in the bum of your gym leggings (we’ve all been there...), you can’t find your headphones or you function perfectly well on a quick dash to the bus stop once every few weeks. There are so many more ways to be healthy than hitting the gym and dieting – some students are getting up early

for a booze-free boogie or meditating together. The truth is there’s no right way to look after yourself – our interviews with food and exercise experts show there is no point trying to follow a strict diet just because it supposedly worked on a celebrity. And plenty of students are defining how they want to work out, eat and live better by starting up their own societies and enterprises. That’s what food blogger Niomi Smart did when she started her What I Eat In A Day series on YouTube, which now has more than a million regular viewers. She’s shared some of the recipes from her new book Eat Smart with us and tells us about creating simple and practical vegan dishes. Elsewhere, we’ve got tips on

A: I don’t like cats. B: But you’re Egyptian! A: I’m post-Egyptian.


She might want to f**k bears but she’s good company.

University of York

I don’t mind guys asking for hookups etc if they’re straight up about it. But for God’s sake, don’t pretend to be a nice guy interested in a relationship for a few days then suddenly ask for nudes! University of Leeds

Ones to watch: The Amazons

some of the artists to look out for in 2017. We’ve spoken to rising stars The Amazons and Declan McKenna about their plans for the upcoming year and Circa Waves frontman Kieran Shudall reveals he’s not too worried about losing fans

along with a shift in genre. We also get to know student band Junodef, who have a healthy approach to the outdoors, cats and mortality. Finally, in our new feature On Campus, we hear tales of lost friends, phones and dignity. So get into some tracky

bottoms, limber up and make sure you’re eating plenty of carbs while you check out this month’s paper – even if you have no intention of leaving your bed. Much love

The TUP team

I noticed that the graduation cards are in the sympathy section of WHSmiths. Good call.

Manchester Met University

After a particularly difficult exam: A: I want to drown my sorrows. B: I just want to drown. SOAS 19 is too young to be having a mid-life crisis. Cardiff University I’ve basically Googled my whole degree so far. Why am I paying £9,000 again?

Liverpool John Moores University

When you get bored of revising and rip a piece of paper into 128 pieces #Procrastination

Coventry University

My dream job is to be the fake receptionist woman on The Apprentice who says ‘Lord Sugar will see you now’ and ‘you can go through to the boardroom’. What a job. University of Edinburgh

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Best part about being home: using as much toilet paper as you want. Worst part about being home: sleeping in a single bed with a tiny duvet.

Editor-in-chief: Sam Murray Deputy editor: Clare Hardy Sub editor: Amy Denman Online sub editor: Tom Gellatly

University of Bristol

What can you do with a gender studies degree? Serious question.

University of Liverpool


Director: Chris Moss

At McDonald’s, my friend and I are eating. Random kid (he looked like eight or nine) says: ‘Bet £5 Donald Trump will be assassinated before the end of this month?’ My friend: ‘This kid will study at SOAS.’


Manager: Adam West



Art editor: Matt Ward

You know you’ve done badly in a test when the tutor starts asking about your personal life


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Health Three academics debunk diet myths and give us their advice for a healthier year

Turn to science for fitness tips Ask the experts Dr Louise Dunford is a senior lecturer in anatomy and physiology at De Montfort University, mainly teaching about nutrition, weight management and appetite regulation. She also researches obesity and weight management, including weight loss surgery.

Are new year diets the answer to losing weight effectively?

Dr Louise Dunford: ‘It’s much better for people to think about changing their lifestyle for good rather than just going on a short term diet, because if you go on a diet, the chances are that within a year or so you’re likely to put the weight straight back on again.’ Dr Sarah Baker: ‘If it’s a strict diet, often the problem is it’s not suitable for the long term. In terms of weight loss, it needs to be something that’s sustainable. When we use those quick fixes, it’s not just fat stores that we’re losing, it’s also water, so although it looks like a really quick effect because we’ve got lots of weight loss, over time if you continue with these strict diets that are low in calories and protein, it can also lead to muscle loss. And actually, if you are in a situation where you’re losing muscle – and we know that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat – it means that in the long term, maintaining a healthy weight becomes more difficult.’ Does juicing, in which you substitute meals for smoothies, work?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘You’re reducing the amount of fibre in the fruit and vegetables that are being juiced, which can lead to things like constipation over time. The liver does a great job of detoxing itself, so we don’t need to do these types of juice diets.’ How much weight is a healthy amount to lose on average?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘It’s really dependent on how much you have to lose in the first place, but certainly a sensible

amount of weight loss will be one to two pounds a week. Anything above that increases the likelihood that the weight is water weight or you’re going to be losing muscle mass as well.’ Are fat free and diet drinks really a good alternative?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘Diet drinks are a suitable alternative to sugar-laden drinks. Despite some of the claims they cause weight gain, we haven’t actually got any robust evidence to suggest that happens in humans, but it’s still not as good as plain old water – that would be the best option to satisfy thirst. With fat free versions of things you need to be careful because they’ll be advertised at fat free, but they would have added lots of sugar in that product and there’s no nutritional value, just added calories.’ Does cutting out carbs really work?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘It’s always important to think about the types of carbohydrates. If you think about the main type of carbohydrate, such as sugar, which is a simple carbohydrate, and think about sweets, they’ve not really got any nutritional value – they’re empty calories. You want to try and avoid having too many simple sugars in your diet. But starchy carbohydrates – complex carbohydrates you get from vegetables, pasta, rice, bread and potatoes – should be the main source of energy for the body and they contain fibre which is important for digestion and making you feel fuller for longer. So if you were to cut out carbohydrates then you’re going to be missing out on those key nutrients and that’s not helpful.’

Dr Sarah Baker is head of Leeds Beckett University’s postgraduate course on nutrition and dietetics – the study of how diet affects health. She worked in nutrition support, digestion and blood testing for the NHS for several years and is particularly interested in researching health services, alcohol use and how people make decisions about what they eat.

As long as it’s part of a healthy balanced diet, there’s no problem with having a cheat day

Dr Sarah Baker, Leeds Beckett

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘The one common myth I hear is that low carb diets give you an advantage that isn’t accounted for by negative energy balance [using up more calories than you take on] so my key message is you have to be in a negative energy balance to lose weight – you can’t get around that.’ Is it OK to have a cheat day – if so, how often?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘I think we need to be careful with words. “Cheat day” is quite a negative term – I think it implies a really strict eating routine and I think it’s really important to try not to demonise food. What is really important is making sure that food you might consider to be less healthy is just eaten occasionally as part of a healthy balanced diet. It is normal to occasionally have a takeaway or something someone would consider less healthy, so we need to make sure our relationship with food reflects that and not to feel bad. As long as it’s part of a healthy balanced diet, there’s not a problem with that at all.’ Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘It’s fine. For weight loss over time, it’s the average energy deficit over a prolonged period, so for example if on six days of the week you are consuming 500 calories less than you are expending, then you’ve built up a substantial energy deficit of around 3,000 kilocalories on those six days. Then you could easily afford to have a cheat day and be in positive energy balance for that day by 1,000 calories. So it really depends on how much you’re restricting the other days compared to that cheat day.’

Dr Javier Gonzalez is a lecturer in human and applied physiology at the University of Bath, with particular interests in nutrition and the metabolism, especially what happens in the body after a meal. He has also studied how food influences the bodies of elite cyclists and triathletes and how skipping breakfast can affect people’s appetites.

Where is the best place to get reliable advice on weight loss?

For more news, reviews and expert opinion, go to www.unipaper.

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘The NHS do have some quite nice pieces of information which are accessible to the public where you can look at healthy eating and what that would look like. The other source of information would be the British Dietetic Association, who have information leaflets that relate to similar things.’ What is the best way to lose weight without going on a diet?

Dr Louise Dunford: ‘One thing that’s good for people to do is to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks and actually be really self aware of what you are eating. It’s really important in a food diary that you don’t just put food, but that you put drink in as well.’ Do I need to feel hungry to lose weight?

Dr Louise Dunford: ‘If you cut down the number of calories you’re used to eating you will feel a bit hungry – the human body has a very strong drive to eat. The best thing is to try and eat things where you can eat a large volume of them and they have a lower calorie content. For example if you have a roast dinner you can fill at least half of your plate with vegetables that have been boiled, so you can have a really big portion of that but they haven’t got that many calories in them, so swap between the food groups and cut down on the meat and carbohydrates while increasing the vegetables. Most people who are dieting will feel hungry – that’s why it’s not very successful.’


January 2017

Portion sizes Dr Louise Dunford: ‘There are recommended portion sizes for certain things – they’re small compared to what we’re eating. ‘A common thing is with male and female couples, often food is shared out half-and-half when a woman should be eating less.’

• cooked meat = size of a deck of cards • baked potato = size of a computer mouse • portion of vegetables = size of your fist • portion of breakfast cereal = size of a baseball Why do doctors advise against drastic diet plans when I hear so many success stories about them?

Dr Louise Dunford: ‘[Diet programmes] wouldn’t be multimillion pound successful businesses if they worked. It’s only successful because it works temporarily, so you get repeat customers all the time. If anybody had a diet system that really worked it wouldn’t be commercially viable, because people would do it once and never need to do it again.’ What are the small changes I can make to lose weight healthily?

Dr Louise Dunford: ‘One saving tip is to cut out the lattes and the cappuccinos and you’re saving money straight away because people spend £2 on them every day without thinking about it. That money could be used to buy healthier things. Swap white rice for brown rice or white pasta for wholemeal pasta because the brown versions tend to make you feel full up for longer. It’s the same volume but they’re more satisfying because they’re broken down more slowly and the sugar gets released into your blood more slowly so they are generally more filling.’ Do I need to exercise with my dieting?

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘Exercise combined with diet is good on numerous levels. One is that it’s a way of disposing of excess energy and your appetite doesn’t respond to that as much as it does diet. If you [cut] 500 calories from a meal, your appetite will increase quite quickly in response to that, but if you expend 500 calories by going for a run, your appetite doesn’t detect that straight away so it’s easier to adhere to that energy deficit.’ How much do I need to exercise?

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘As frequently as is possible. It doesn’t have to be exercise – it can be trying to integrate physical activity into your daily life, so if you can commute to work by walking or cycling or by a mixture of public transport and walking, that’s a good way to increase total energy expenditure. The typical guidelines are 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity at least five days a week, but that’s not going to make a massive

Exercise lets you use more calories than you eat without getting as hungry

Dr Javier Gonzalez, University of Bath

contribution to energy balance, that’s more for the general health affects, so if you want to have an impact on energy balance then it probably needs to be higher.’ Is it true some people just have a faster metabolism than others?

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘It’s really common to hear that and it almost certainly is not true. Your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy you’re using at rest, is pretty much fixed and the major determinant of that is how big you are, so the bigger you are the higher your metabolic rate. What does seem to differ between people drastically is the amount of physical activity they do without realising it. If you look at people who don’t go to the gym at all or don’t claim to exercise and you measure how much energy they burn through physical activity and daily life you get huge differences between people.’ Is cutting out food groups, such as carbs, a healthy way to lose weight?

Dr Sarah Baker: ‘Sometimes people will want to up the amount of exercise they’re doing if they want to lose or maintain their weight. You’re not going to feel like doing that if you cut out entire food groups. It is just going to make you feel lethargic, you’ll have headaches and you might become dehydrated, there’s lots of reasons for not cutting out that whole food group. If I want to lose weight, what is the best exercise to do?

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘The exercise that you enjoy and therefore will do regularly. So it can be running, circuits in the gym, resistance exercise – as long as you’re expending energy, and an indication of that would be getting a bit out of breath and getting your heart rate up. Choose the one you enjoy and you’re going to stick to because ultimately that’s how you’re going to impact on energy balance.’ Do I need to warm up and cool down before and after exercise?

Dr Javier Gonzalez: ‘With warming up you are trying to prevent injury, so the warming up is good. Static stretches at the beginning aren’t necessarily going to reduce injury risk. Then in terms of the cool down stretching, that can help with the muscle soreness afterwards.’

Food & Drink

A smarter way to cook veg

Take inspiration from YouTube star and plant-based food lover Niomi Smart and transform your lifestyle with her nutritious recipes


@ Amy Denman OR many of us, vegetables are a mealtime afterthought. Either there are two types of them, they’re boiled and they accompany meat and potatoes or we add a handful to a stir fry or plop some salad on a plate at the last minute. Which is where Niomi Smart steps in. Niomi is a lifestyle blogger and YouTube star, famed for her handy What I Eat In A Day videos, which have inspired thousands to try her food. She is dedicated to cooking using only vegetables or veg-based products and has shared all her food favourites in her recipe book Eat Smart. Here, she shares some of her top picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, to help you fit more green into your routine.


Niomi says: A sweet but healthy treat to kickstart your day • 100g rolled oats • 250ml unsweetened almond milk • 4 fresh cherries, stoned • 1 tbsp almond butter • 1 tbsp ground almonds • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Serving ideas…

Try adding chopped almonds and fresh cherries, stoned and halved.

Put the oats, almond milk and 250ml of water into a small saucepan and warm up over a medium heat. Roughly chop the cherries and stir into the saucepan with the almond butter, ground almonds, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Cook for five to six minutes, or until thick and creamy. Make sure you stir the mixture regularly to stop it sticking to the pan.


Niomi says: One of my favourite Japanese restaurants in London introduced me to these. They’re packed with flavour and far more filling than they seem

• 2 aubergines • Olive oil • 1 heaped tbsp brown rice miso • 1 tsp coconut sugar • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce • 1cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely

TUP Top Tip: Take inspiration from the miso aubergines to spice up your favourite veg

Clockwise from top left: Niomi Smart’s cookbook, Japenese Miso Aubergines, Shepherd’s Pie and Cherry Bakewell porridge

chopped • 2 tsp sesame seeds, to serve • 1 spring onion, finely chopped, to serve

Serving ideas…

Try with wild rice tossed in lime juice and chopped coriander and my Spicy Asian Tofu Salad.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark four. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, keeping the stalks intact. Score the inside with crisscrosses about 5mm wide. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake in a the oven for 35 minutes. Add the miso to a saucepan over a high heat with 60ml water, coconut sugar, tamari soy sauce and chopped ginger and stir. Bring the mixture to the boil and leave to bubble for five to seven minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Remove the aubergines from the oven after 45 minutes and spread

one tablespoon of the miso mixture over each half. Bake for another five minutes until they are bubbling. Take the aubergines out of the oven and serve with a scattering of sesame seeds and spring onion.


Niomi says: This is my ultimate comfort food – perfect for a cosy winter night in • 100g dried green lentils • 1 onion, chopped • Olive oil

• 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped • 2 carrots, peeled and diced • 200g chestnut mushrooms, diced • 100g unsalted raw walnuts, finely chopped • 150g peas • 125ml red wine (optional) • ½ organic low-salt vegetable stock cube • 1 tsp yeast extract • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs For the topping • 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped • 250ml unsweetened almond milk • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked • Pink Himalayan salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serving ideas …

Add the red wine for a deep and rich flavour.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC, or gas mark six, and cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. While the lentils are cooking, place the parsnips and potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until they are soft. Meanwhile, put a large saucepan over a medium to high heat and fry the onion in a little splash of olive oil for five minutes until softened, stirring regularly. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms to the pan and fry for a couple more minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside. Once the lentils are cooked, drain in a colander and add them to the saucepan, along with the walnuts and peas. Pour 125ml of boiling

TUP Top Tip: If you don’t have scales, convert grams to cups online

For more on food and drink, go to www.unipaper.

water into a jug, add the red wine (optional) or extra water, the half stock cube and yeast extract, and stir to dissolve. Pour into the pan, add the tinned tomatoes and dried herbs and stir. Bring to the boil, then turn the hob down to a low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. When the parsnips and potatoes are cooked, drain and add the almond milk, salt and black pepper and mash until smooth. Transfer the cooked vegetables and lentils into a baking dish and evenly spoon over the parsnip and potato mash. Spread the mash right to the edges of the dish and fluff it up using the back of a fork. Toss the thyme in olive oil, sprinkle over the mash and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Eat Smart by Niomi Smart, £20, is published by HarperCollins.


January 2017

I truly believe eating good, nutritious food makes me feel and look better – it brings me so much happiness We can’t help but feel slightly envious as we scroll through Niomi Smart’s blog and YouTube channel – she just seems to have it all figured out. From eating vegan food around friends to keeping fit in beautiful holiday destinations, this blogger’s life is serious goals. And we can’t help but wonder how she does it. Luckily though, we don’t have to wonder any more as a we grabbed some time with the vegan video star and picked her brains on healthier snacking, satisfying cravings and what inspired her to share her food diaries with the world. January is a big time for fad diets. What do you think about them? I’ve never believed in diets – they are a short term fix. You’re much better to have a lifestyle change that is balanced and realistic. Focusing on the nutrients you put into your body is a far better option than a diet. Have you got any recipes you turn to if you want to eat something satisfying and healthy? When I started putting my recipes

together, the aim was never to lose weight. It’s all about striving to eat healthily but still getting enjoyment from food. However, if you’re looking for comforting and satisfying food in January, my macaroni and cheese is a good one – it has that indulgent feel but it’s dairy free.

start that? I wanted to show how eating healthily isn’t as hard as people think it is. When you see plant-based or vegan focused channels on Instagram, it can seem out of reach, whereas my casual, everyday videos show you a plant-based lifestyle that’s realistic.

Why do you think it’s so important for your recipes to be easy as well as healthy? If the recipes are really tricky, the last thing you will want to do after a busy day at work or uni is spend hours in the kitchen. My recipes are realistic and, hopefully, practical for everyone.

So what exactly do you eat in a typical day? At the moment, I usually wake up and have a bowl of porridge made with almond milk and top it with some fruit – maybe some sliced banana. Then at around 11am or noon I’ll have a snack, for example a few rice cakes topped with almond butter. For lunch I love making one of my grain salads – right now my favourite is the bulgur wheat tabbouleh. And for dinner I love cooking my Mauritian masala curry. If I feel like something sweet I always keep a stash of dark chocolate in my kitchen.

Why do you think healthy eating is so important? It makes you feel better and look better, plus your hair, skin and nails benefit from healthy eating. Also, eating healthily has a massive effect on your mental health. I truly believe eating good, nutritious food brings me so much happiness. You have a food vlog called What I Eat In A Day. What inspired you to

What do you tend to snack on when you’re feeling peckish? If I’m looking for something simple, it will usually be nuts and dried fruit.

A World of Opportunity...



Or if I have more time to prep I will create a batch of my raw fig bars and keep one in my bag. What inspired you to write the book? I already had my own recipes at home that I had been compiling for a few years and I felt the most natural thing to do was to share them in a book. I was already creating What I Eat In A Day videos on my YouTube channel, so the book was a natural extension of that. What do you eat to ward off binging on or cravings for junk food? I’ve got a real sweet tooth so if I’m really craving an indulgent dessert I will go for something like my one dish baked cookie or if I’m out and about at meetings, I always make sure to have some dark chocolate in my bag. Can you tell us your favourite recipes from the book? Shepherd’s pie is a classic family dish but my Lemon And Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake is a show-stopper. Also my Mexican Wild Rice Lettuce Wraps are a great meal to share with friends.


Helping ourselves to stay OK Whether it’s by setting up businesses or running societies to suit their needs, these students are doing their own thing to be healthy


where they share their passion for body shaping, fitness and food. The ‘gains’ in their name refers to their interest in building muscle and they go through the basics on their blog, explaining terms that can be baffling to the uninitiated, such as ‘macros’ and ‘cuts’. They also provide healthy recipes – which mercifully include muffins, albeit ‘protein rich’ ones – in their food section. More serious posts also go into cosmetic surgery experiences and address criticisms of the ‘clean eating’ industry.

@ Amy Denman ISTENING to the grunts of someone on weights at the gym while you grapple with the rowing machine does not have to be the only way to look after your health at university. Up and down the country, enterprising students are doing things their way, whether that means raving in the morning, chopping vegetables or giving each other a good old rub down.

What better way to start off the week than with a Monday morning rave? Shake Awake at the University of Bristol is there to feed your morning raving cravings. Providing a twist to your run-ofthe-mill rave, you can expect all the lights, DJ sets and dodgy dancing that goes along with a Wednesday night at the union, but with bottles of water instead of pints and an exercise teacher to guide your flailing limbs. If you don’t have enough energy early in the day,

Zen Society


Shake Awake

Shake Awake also organises yoga and massage classes for students looking for a bit more chill than Cha-Cha Slide. Tickets start at £5 for students. The team are looking to expand, so if Bristol is a bit out of reach, why not suggest they swing by your university for some of your own daylight raving time.

Gains4Girls Granted, they spend their fair share of time in the gym, but Friends Lucy Plenderleith and Abby Carpenter, who both studied history at the University of Leeds, do everything on their own terms on their site,

Shake ‘n’ sax: Students turn exercise into an early morning party for Bristol’s Shake Awake

Zen is a school of Buddhism founded in China more than 1,000 years ago, focusing on meditation. Students in Bristol – those not bouncing around to Shake Awake, presumably – set up Bristol Zen Society to give them somewhere to meditate and chat at the start of the week. There are many benefits to meditation, from improving emotional wellbeing to helping the immune system. It can also help tackle exam and deadline stress, as

Good grub: (l-r) Leyth and Alex of Pelico, top, and some of the their freshly-made meals, inset

the practice lessens anxiety and increases mental focus – it may be the path to that illusive first. The society also holds meditative walks, arts and crafts sessions, communal meals and a meditation retreat once every academic year.

Global Health Society How about we all stop just thinking about our own health and start

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January 2017

Pelico University of the West of England students Leyth Hampshire and Alex Gatehouse have also been considering the health of others. They set up this food delivery service to help workers eat healthily even if they have no time to leave their desks. They scored some funding from their university to set up the venture and are increasing

students to work being fit into their lives. He founded Magna, which lists exercise classes in the area and provides a one-stop booking service, after noticing how students were struggling to stay healthy. Classes can be viewed on one simple website at


considering other people’s for a change? If we’ve made you feel guilty, don’t worry – there’s a solution. The University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Society sees the world as ‘progressively becoming a global village’. As this slowly starts becoming a reality, Global Health Soc wants to understand the global picture of health and make the world a healthier place to live (awww). The society is mainly dedicated to the academic side of global health, however it has also collected donations for the Calais refugee camp and other projects contributing towards health and wellbeing, which you don’t need a lab pass to know is an important thing to do. So if you fancy understanding a bit more about global health or just making the world a slightly better place, a society like this one might be the place for you.

the areas of Bristol they deliver to, as well as recruiting new drivers. One freshly prepared meal will set you back about a fiver.

The Student Food Project Let’s be honest, when it comes to cooking, it’s much easier to throw a pizza in the oven than create a healthy meal from scratch – which is why Alex Harvey, who studies graphic design at the University of Portsmouth, set up The Student

Fancy a little rub down to get rid of aches, pains and stress, but can’t afford a professional massage? The University of Nottingham’s Massage Society has the answer. This society runs weekly massage classes to help students de-stress and loosen up those knots. But giving is as important as receiving for this group because the hour long sessions are split in half, with 30 Gym buddies: Lucy and Abby, who run Gains4Girls minutes spent lying there letting someone else do the work and 30 Food Project to deliver recipe minutes spent practicing massage on ideas direct to members’ inboxes. others. The society runs classes for a The second-year wanted to show variety of impressively international how easy it is to cook a nutritious massage styles, such as Swedish meal on a busy study schedule, and Hawaiian, which sound great if Want to promote and set up the project in 2015. It’s you ache at the thought of spending your society? Email now run by a small team with its another hour on your laptop. own website packed full of recipes editor@unipaper. Mental Health Society and you could and food tips to help improve the feature on www. cooking experience for students. Health isn’t just about eating Magna right and moving about a bit – it’s also important to make sure your Manchester graduate Adam Barker brain is happy. The University of wanted to make it easier for Liverpool’s mental health society

‘Freshers are shocked there’s a society for staying sober’

aims to raise awareness of issues at universities and provides a space where this can be openly discussed between students. It also works to smash taboos around mental health. With regular debates and talks from external speakers, the society provides a friendly atmosphere to meet new people in similar situations, which can help people understand any mental health issues they have. The society has also raised money for charity MIND and promotes World Mental Health Day and Disability History Month.


Morning-after regrets are just not worth it for these students shunning booze Are you not drinking much? It’s a question anyone whose idea of a good night out does not include Jagerbombs or drunkenly telling their friends they love them will have been asked plenty of times. Rather than sit out social events for fear of becoming the ‘babysitter’, groups of students across the country have decided to own the question. The University of Kent’s sober society, called Are You Not Drinking Much? describes itself as a ‘safe space for students to socialise and engage in a range of activities while free from the pressure to drink’. It sprung from a group at the University of Reading with similar aims, although neither society is anti-alcohol and people who drink are also welcome. Activities include theatre trips and days out. Secretary of the Kent society, Marta Klimkowicz, was one of the first students to join and said it was a relief to discover the society. ‘I just never felt attracted to drinking,’ she said. ‘Health is one reason, and money. It’s something where it’s easy to lose control. The

Special delivery: The Student Food Project emails members with recipes and meal ideas

0 . 2 N O I S R E V The New Pineapple pals: Marta with fellow member Ellie Clark next day you’re just hungover and it doesn’t feel worth it.’ The fourth-year student had been worried about university drinking culture before starting. ‘When I was reading articles about student life, it felt like it was very much about drinking and partying and clubbing so I was afraid that’s what everyone would be doing and I would be all alone, just sitting in my room,’ she said. ‘I was really happy to find out there are people who think

in a similar way.’ The society’s inclusive attitude is summed up by the pineapple on its logo, which symbolises hospitality. Society president Lauren Seward said: ‘When we have the freshers’ fair and the students walk past, we get a lot of people giving us funny looks because they’re surprised there’s actually a sober society. ‘It’s for everyone who just wants to come out and not do something that’s centred around drinking.’

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The Interview @ Becky Jones


ITH great success comes some odd encounters, which may be why Kieran Shudall sounds rather casual as he tells me about the strangest experiences he has had with fans. ‘We get given books filled with letters that say how much they love us,’ he says. ‘The strangest thing has to be the fan fiction we found. Fans write made-up stories about us and it gets really weird.’ After a quick Google search I find a fan fiction story about two girls who work at an ice cream shop in Brighton and one day find Circa Waves, minus one member, walking Different Creatures: (l-r) Sam Rourke, Kieran Shudall, Joe Falconer and Colin Jones

into their shop. I had to stop reading after a while. But frontman Shudall says: ‘I guess it’s quite flattering.’ The British band, made up of singer and guitarist Shudall, bassist Sam Rourke, drummer Colin Jones and guitarist Joe Falconer, formed in 2013. After just three years together, they already have a top ten album under their belt. However their new album Different Creatures takes a completely different and much darker route from their last album, which had a more indie sound. ‘Young Chasers was a short period in my life – it was about four to five months of writing songs that way,’ Shudall tells me. ‘I’ve also written big rock tunes. I just happened to be writing more garage-like tunes back when we took off. ‘Maybe the first record isn’t the clearest view of Circa Waves. ‘I think the next record will show what’s always been underlying inside us. Heavy music is what I’ve always been drawn to, such as The Smashing Pumpkins, and so this was just a natural thing for us to do.’ A move away from


January 2017

the sound that found them fame is certainly a risky one, which may well see a reduction in strange fan fiction. But Shudall seems confident it is the right decision for the band. ‘I suppose we may lose some fans, but even though the music is heavier, it still contains massive hooks, like big choruses and songs you can really dance around and really relate to. ‘As much as it’s a bit of a departure sonically, it’s still in line with what we’ve always done – which is make or break music. ‘We will lose a few fans, but I think we’ll gain more.’ And the band are looking for some major festival slots to match their big new sound. They played a surprise set on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury in 2015. However, Shudall has his sights set higher for this year. ‘Our next goal is to play the main stages at festivals,’ he says. ‘We want to get bigger and bigger and we don’t see why not. To get on those stages is what we’ve always aimed for so it feels like the next natural progression really. ’ Looking forward to festival

We may lose fans, but we will gain more

Kieran Shudall, Circa Waves

ON TOUR March 18 Sheffield, O2 Academy March 20 Glasgow, Barrowland March 21 Newcastle University March 23 Manchester Academy March 24 Liverpool, Guild of Students March 27 Bristol, O2 Academy

season and the possibility of a bigger platform at Glastonbury, Shudall says: ‘Playing at the festival was like a dream come true so the next stage is playing a bigger stage. ‘The main stage at Glastonbury would also be a great one. It’s legendary – as a musician you have dreams about it. ‘We’d love to headline Reading and Leeds Festival, which has always been a big one for us, or to just play the main stage there would be great.’ The band certainly have their sights set high for the new year. But with the storm of success they have experienced since 2013, who can blame them? The forecast shows their schedule will be just as packed in 2017, with a European tour in March and April. I ask Shudall which cities he is most looking forward to performing in. ‘I always enjoy performing at Manchester, and Glasgow’s always really good too,’ he says. ‘Those are the places where people tend to lose their s**t the most. ‘It’s a hard question though, because you don’t want to leave anyone out of the loop and every sort of fan that comes to the gig is awesome. Everywhere we go is great, but Manchester and Glasgow are always memorable.’ The two-month tour takes them from Sheffield to Switzerland, and stops off at a few universities on the way – I

ask Shudall how student audiences differ from non-students. ‘The students are usually more drunk because they’ve started drinking about three to four hours beforehand,’ he laughs. As well as the rowdier crowds, universities also host a lot of fresh musical talent, for which Shudall has this advice: ‘You have to really adore music. If you like the idea of playing the guitar just so you can get girls you might as well quit now. ‘The people you see doing well are infatuated with music and study it every day. If you’re that person, keep pushing it. Write music every day, or write five ideas down every day and eventually you’ll come across something great.’

The first album wasn’t us

Lead singer Kieran Shudall reveals their next, much darker record will show the band’s true colours


@ Joe Cadman GED 16, most people were in the middle of an important year of GCSEs and life decisions. But for singer-songwriter Declan McKenna, 16 was the age he shot to fame, after winning a slot on the William’s Green Stage at Glastonbury in the Emerging Talent Competition. He has been capturing attention since and is preparing to release his first full-length album. ‘It’s really great,’ he says of the growing excitement surrounding him. ‘It’s what everyone wants to hear before they release an album. ‘It also means there’s a lot of

people looking at me, which is an unusual experience for me. More than anything it makes me hopeful for the stuff I’m going to release.’ Now 18, McKenna is taking the pressure of increased attention in his stride and channeling it into recording his debut album. ‘It’s going to be a learning curve as it’s still only my first album and I’ve got so much more to go,’ he says. The record is close to completion, but McKenna admits he needs ‘a kick up the arse’ to tie up the loose ends. ‘We’re just in mixing now and it’ll get mastered early this year so it’s very close now,’ he says. ‘It’ll be released in the first half of this year. ‘It’s really up in the air at the minute but it’s fine – I’ll get it done.’ Despite the debut album nerves, the Hertfordshire teen is still humbled by the success of the past two years. ‘I couldn’t have wished for anything to have gone any better than it has,’ he says. ‘Even when I was 16 things started happening much more than I ever expected.’ This year looks rather hectic for McKenna, as he gets ready for his

biggest solo tour to date. ‘After the album is released I’ll probably be touring for the next ten billion years or something,’ he laughs. Despite feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming stint of live shows, McKenna is excited to see what the tour will bring. ‘We haven’t really properly done a UK headline tour so I’m excited for that and I’m excited to see if anyone turns up to the shows,’ he adds. ‘They’re not particularly massive so I’m hoping it won’t look too empty, but we’ll see how it goes.’ Despite his age and the occasional bout of nerves, McKenna has always made it clear he will not let music industry bosses influence his decisions, however distracted he might be from his busy schedule. ‘That kind of stuff can happen,’ he adds. ‘Especially when you’re touring a lot. You can be like “oh yeah whatever, we’ll do this – I don’t care”. ‘When I was initially meeting people from labels and management companies it was important for me to get a point across that I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do. ‘I’ve very much kept to my own ideas and what I want to do so it’s

ON TOUR January 17 Glasgow, O2 ABC January 20 London, O2 Academy Brixton January 24 Leicester, The Cookie January 25 Birmingham, Hare & Hounds January 26 Liverpool, Stuido2 At Parr Street January 28 Newcastle, Think Tank? January 29 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club January 30 Sheffield, The Leadmill

been all good.’ This strength of opinion comes across in songs such as Brazil. McKenna wrote the self-released single about the gap between rich and poor Brazilians, which he felt was not addressed ahead of the country hosting the 2014 World Cup. The song was also seen as a criticism of FIFA and McKenna was interviewed about it on Sky News. Paracetamol also takes on weighty issues, this time those faced by the transgender community. The song was a balance between wanting to show support for LGBT+ people without putting himself forward as a representative. But he says other musicians should not feel obliged to take on current affairs in their songwriting. ‘It would be unfair of me to say more people should write how I like to write, because art is something people can run free with,’ he says. ‘However, at this point in time people who do have the platform should at least be speaking up about certain issues when they can. ‘There’s a dangerous level of right wing emergence going on and tragedies happening – people should be speaking out about them.’ McKenna has also addressed issues close to his heart in other ways, aside from his lyrics. During a performance of single Isombard on Later... With Jools Holland last year, he took off his

ON TOUR March 3 Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach March 4 Coventry, Central Library March 6 Liverpool, Buyers Club March 10 Nottingham, Bodega March 11 Leicester, The Cookie

Sweat, sore throats and rock ‘n’ roll: (l-r) Joe Emmett, Chris Alderton, Matt Thomson and Elliot Briggs

Sweaty gigs excite us Singer Matt Thomson explains how rock trumps house music


January 2017

shirt to reveal a t-shirt bearing the words ‘give 17-year-olds the vote’. He explains: ‘I kind of realised the last four or five songs I wrote were all about being this young kid who hates not being able to vote and feeing somewhat voiceless but wanting to speak out about it. ‘You’ll see issues about young people and the age of voting being discussed in the Houses Of Parliament on behalf of them, rather than getting some average young people in and asking them about it. ‘People have misconceptions about young people and they’ll say we won’t vote anyway. But I can’t think of one person my age who – if they were given the opportunity to vote in the last general election or Brexit vote – wouldn’t have voted. ‘Most young people are informed and intelligent enough to make a decision. There are so many factors you could bring in for allowing or not allowing someone to vote and I think age is a very petty one.’

Most young people are informed and intelligent enough to make a decision

Declan McKenna

No fringe issues: Declan McKenna is not afraid to take on tough subjects in his songwriting

18-year-old Declan McKenna is out to prove young people can be trusted on politics

We should speak up


@ Danielle Ursell AKING a pact with your future self is something most of us have done at some point. For The Amazons frontman Matt Thomson, recalling what it feels like to be a young music fan is one of the driving forces behind the band’s rise. ‘You owe it to your 14-year-old self to inspire as much as you can, which is what we’re doing now,’ he says. ‘You come out of a show all sweaty and your throat is sore from all the singing. These are the kind of gigs that inspired us and made us want to be a band. ‘That’s the kind of thing we want to do – to inspire our audience more than some left-field act in a bar in London. That didn’t inspire me. Seeing Red Hot Chili Peppers in a stadium inspired me. ’ The band are coming ever closer to realising this dream after being named in the BBC’s Sound Of 2017, The NME 100 and Apple Music’s New Artists 2017 playlist. The fourpiece, made up of Thomson on vocals, Joe

Emmett on drums, Elliot Briggs on bass and Chris Alderton on guitar, are still surprised by the recognition. ‘We’ve never felt like the coolest band around or critics’ choice, so to get this recognition now feels like we’ve earned it,’ Thomson tells me. ‘We’ve definitely carved out our own path and now we can use these platforms to get as many people as possible connected to the music.’ With the new-found attention from critics, the band are bound to feel the heat. ‘Before we were put on BBC’s Sound Of 2017, I didn’t feel any pressure,’ Thomson says. ‘But then on stage I thought oh s**t, are the people watching us going to be thinking “they’ve got to be good

fitting in with the electro house that dominated the charts in 2016. ‘I think guitar bands have a responsibility at the moment to provide an alternative to this lifeless, instant gratification crap that’s all over the airwaves,’ Thomson says. ‘If any band could put music in the charts and give us something real, it would be so much better. Anyone can get a laptop and logic – if you’ve got money anyone can buy all the software, but you can’t buy years of being on the road. ‘It’s interesting to see the chemistry between those people who’ve been playing years and years. You can’t replicate that. I’d do that over the laptop and the light shows any day.’

Anyone can get a laptop and logic, if you’ve got money anyone can buy the software, you can’t buy years of being on the road now”,’ he jokes. The band plan to use the extra attention to their advantage. ‘We’ve been working on an album,’ Thomson says. ‘So to release that mid-year is a huge goal for us.’ However, they also plan to stay humble. ‘Being in a rock band, we’re not setting goals like we’ve got to get a top ten record, because you’re just going to disappoint yourself. ‘I think sometimes you’ve just got to focus on the things that are in your control and put on the best show you can every night, then it’s kind of up to the rock gods to reward that or not.’ With plenty of dark riffs and catchy choruses in their songs, it’s clear The Amazons aren’t concerned about

Part of the plan for sparking a new generation of guitar bands and building their own career is to play Reading Festival, in The Amazons’ hometown. ‘Success, more than anything else to The Amazons, is a huge slot at Reading Festival,’ Thomson says. ‘Reading Festival really shaped the ambitions of the band. ‘We saw alt-J play the Festival Republic Stage and the next year headline the NME Tent. ‘You can’t ask for much more than that – that’s your ladder right there.’ With their biggest headlining tour to date scheduled to kick off in March, I ask what artists they listen to while out on the road. ‘We’ve been

playing a lot of Queens Of The Stone Age, who we’ve gotten into in the last year or two,’ Thomson tells me. ‘Miike Snow also have a really cool album.’ And the band joined most of the country in trawling though David Bowie’s back catalogue following his death last year. ‘It’s so sad that we’ve been listening to him lots now he’s dead, but it gives all the songs an extra dimension in a really weird way,’ Thomson says. ‘The day he died we were just blasting all of his songs – it gives them that extra punch.’ The Amazons’ latest single Little Something, from their debut album of the same name, has a darker sound than previous songs. ‘I think it’s one of the heaviest tracks but I’m happy it’s the single because it didn’t ever scream to us that this is for the radio,’ Thomson says. ‘I feel like we’re getting away with murder a little bit.’ The risk has paid off as Little Something was named Annie Mac’s hottest record on BBC Radio 1 and Thomson hopes for the same success with the album. ‘I think we were keen to make a rock record rather than indie pop,’ he adds. ‘We like surprising people and keeping them guessing with our music, so there’s a lot of intimate and quiet moments.’ I wonder if Thomson has his own tips on bads to look out for. ‘There’s an Irish band we’ve played with a couple of times called Otherkin,’ he says. ‘Everyone will be seeing a lot more of them next year.’

26|On Campus: Bristol | t @TheUniPaper | f TheUniPaper | 020 7580 6419

January 2017

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h s r a M a i g Geor

Band of the month How would you describe your music? Post-death – it’s a mix of post-rock with futuristic, death elements. We’ve been called ‘the slowest post-punk band in the world’. Who are your major influences? Red Sparowes, Chelsea Wolfe, Portishead and Warpaint. We’re also inspired by friends who are in the bands Ceremoni, Lighthouse and Joe And The Anchor. Who are your favourite artists? We all listen to Angel Olsen, Emma Ruth Rundle, Anna von Hausswolff, La Femme, Hey Elbow, Quilt, The Chameleons and PJ Harvey. If you could collaborate with one band or artist, who would you pick and why? Massive Attack would be cool, because their electronic sound and trip-hop would mix nicely with our melodic music. They could add a new heaviness to our sound. What are the main topics of your songs? Most of our songs are about death. We don’t really know why, but we always seem to end up in that area. Where do you want to be in ten years’ time? We would like to have accomplished more besides the music, such as

a teaching project. We would also like to use our music and musical knowledge to politically engage and do something to benefit others in some way. We would, of course, also like to have become better known. Where is one place you’d really like to play live? We went to see Warpaint at Roundhouse recently and it seemed like a great place to gig. Berghain in Berlin would be cool too.

Each month, we bring you the best new acts on campus. This time we catch up with Junodef

Death is our muse Morbid but cuddly: (l-r) Karin Grönkvist, Norea Persson, Tyra Örnberg and Rode Grönkvist

What are you working on right now? Mixes of our songs and the artwork for the new album, which will be released in March 2017. We’re also getting to know the London music scene by exploring new venues. Where do you study? Lund and Uppsala universities in Sweden and BIMM in the UK. What do you enjoy doing outside of music? We like to engage politically in important matters. We also like to be outside with nature, or eating food, hanging out with cats, puppies and cute babies. If you had one philosophy your band lived by, what would it be? Our philosophy would be 40 per cent of the time think logically and 60 per cent of the time follow your heart and you will make good music.

For more on student bands, go to www.


@ Tom Gellatly


January 2017

A World of Opportunity...



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January 2017

Halt the home health hazard


@ John Shaw

Why do infestations appear?

Mould is a sucker for damp conditions and damp can come from condensation. Condensation occurs when warm moist air meets a cold surface (think about a cold pint of beer on a hot day). The risk of getting

Have you had any digs disasters? Send your horror story to editor@

condensation depends on how moist the air is and how cold the surfaces of rooms are. So your risk is either increased or decreased depending on how you use your house. In a room with a cold outside wall, which falls below the temperature dew drops form at, it is quite normal for condensation to occur, predominantly on the lower parts of the external walls. This may be confused with rising damp. How can I reduce moisture?


ITH the amount of mould growing in some students’ accommodation you would think they were dabbling in a bit of amateur mycology (that’s the study of fungi by the way). Aside from looking horrible, mould can also be bad for your health. If you have it already, get in touch with your letting agency or landlord so they can get rid of it. But if you don’t, make sure you aren’t inviting the festering fungi into your home by providing the conditions it loves. The University Paper spoke to housing experts Unipol and got their best advice on preventing mould. Here are their top tips.

TUP Top Tip: Kill condensation by opening a window when you cook

n When you are washing or drying clothes or cooking, good ventilation is essential. If there is an electric extractor fan, use it, particularly when the windows show any sign of misting. You should leave the fan on until the misting has cleared. If there is not an extractor fan, open the kitchen windows, but keep the door closed as much as possible. n Keep the bathroom window open during and after a shower or bath and keep the door shut for long Unwanted guest: Do your best to keep mould out of your house enough for the room to dry.

n In other rooms, provide some ventilation. In old houses, a lot of ventilation comes from fireplace flues and draughty windows. However, in modern flats and houses sufficient ventilation does not occur unless a window or ventilator is open for a reasonable amount of time each day, and for nearly all the time a room is in use. Too much ventilation in cold weather is uncomfortable and wastes heat. All that is needed is a very slightly opened window or ventilator. Where there is a choice, open the upper part, such as a top-hung window. About a 10mm opening will usually be enough. n Do not use unventilated airing cupboards for clothes drying. Try to dry those undies outside. n If washing is hung up to dry inside, open a window or turn on the extractor fan enough to ventilate the room. Do not leave the door open, or moist air will spread to other rooms, where it may cause trouble.


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January 2017

Lufbra top as the ball drops Midlands side end 2016 on top of the BUCS Super Rugby table with Hartpury College and Exeter close behind in fight for final place


@ John Shaw S CLOCKS struck midnight on December 31 you could forgive the highly-tuned athletes of Loughborough University’s first team if they raised a glass of something fizzy. The rugby union side put in a massive effort to claim top spot in the inaugural BUCS Super Rugby league – an eight-strong table of the best uni sides in the United Kingdom. To get there, they pulled off some huge wins, perhaps most significantly against current thirdplaced team Exeter in their opening game of the season. Now, in 2017, they have

Dazzling displays: Bath tackles Durham, above, and Hartpury College, below, in an explosive first BUCS Super Rugby season

The inaugural season has seen a high standard of fast free-flowing rugby

Paul O’Leary, BUCS Super Rugby programme manager

four games to secure the league and a spot at the grand final at Twickenham Stadium. Standing in their way is secondplaced Hartpury College, who are also on 37 points but with a game in hand, and Exeter who have 32 points and a game in hand. And while those three teams stood out collectively, it was also a fantastic year for Cardiff Metropolitan’s second row Alex Dombrandt who finished the calendar year as top try scorer with nine in ten games. Exeter’s fly-half/ centre Edward Landray was the top points scorer with 92, ahead of Cardiff Met’s outside centre Thomas Morgan who scored 79. For the BUCS organisers, who are aiming to increase the quality of top level university rugby, the first

part of the season has proved to be a success. Overall, the matches attracted 21,792 fans with an average of 589 supporters attending each match. There were 242 tries scored – an average of six tries per game. Paul O’Leary, BUCS Super Rugby programme manager, said: ‘The inaugural season has seen a high standard of fast free-flowing rugby, strong crowd attendance at matches, fan engagement through streaming live matches on a weekly basis and social media. Match officials and head coaches have consistently spoken about at the high quality of rugby, which is very pleasing as the primary objective of creating the league was to bring about a step change in HE Rugby. ‘Several players, including Tom

For more sports news, go to www.

Lawday from Exeter, are playing first team rugby for Premiership teams – demonstrating the potential the league has, to breed the next generation of professional rugby players. The tail end of the season should see some close match ups as teams fight for a place in the BUCS Championship Final.’

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Sheffield January 2017