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fusion forthvalleycollege


student magazine . November ‘10 . issue 10

in association with Forth Valley College Student Union

inside: FVC strives for Fairtrade status p3 students back fairtrade bid

also Inside: Exclusive Fusion Interview with Crime Author PD Martin p5 Freshers’ Fayre and Graduation Pics P6&7 and P12&13

november 2010 | fusion | 1

President’s hello

Welcome once again to another edition of Fusion the magazine for Forth Valley College students. FVC Student Union (SU) are here to provide a voice for students and we have a passion for bringing about positive changes to our learning environment and to our local area. We at the SU offer an OPEN DOOR policy, so feel free to pop by our offices in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa. We hope that you will make full use of your SU and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in the common areas where you can shoot some pool or chill out on the couches and listen to music. My team and I look forward to getting to know all of you and being able to have a chat about any issues that you may face while at FVC. We would also love to hear any comments that you may have about the union. We have some exciting projects happening within the SU over the course of this year. One project continuing on from last year, which many students may remember is the Malawi Students in Need Project. We raised more than £2000 throughout the year, which was a fantastic effort and I would like to thank everyone

who took part and donated. A big push this year will hopefully raise the same amount or even more for the worthy cause. We were delighted with the turnout at the recent Freshers’ Fayres and students would have seen that we are pushing really hard to get Fairtrade status for the college. If we achieve this, we will be the first college in Scotland to do so. We are so close, but we still need the support from students to make this happen. If anybody would like to take part in any of these projects, then please don’t hesitate to contact me, my details are listed below. I would like to thank all the students that have signed up for class representative training. This is a fantastic opportunity to improve the learner’s experience at the college, make a difference to the learning and teaching of your course and gain some valuable CV points. Every class should have a class rep. If not, please elect a student in your class or come into the SU to discuss any questions you have. Class reps who have signed up on moodle should receive a letter soon with a date for training. I look forward to meeting you there. We also have a new website up and running now which has fantastic information on it, ranging from upcoming events right through to student support and accommodation. If you have a spare minute please take time to register to the website I would like to wish you good luck for the rest of the year and I hope you enjoy your experience at Forth Valley College. David Connell, FVC SU President Ben Barclay FVC SU Vice-President

HELP FIGHT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN An appeal has gone out for FVC students to help create a visual message about violence against women through a project entitled – Try Walking In My Shoes. As part of the 16 Days of Action Campaign it aims to raise awareness about issues of violence against women including domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, prostitution, forced marriage and human trafficking. The organisers are hoping to create a visual exhibition about these issues and are hoping Forth Valley College students can provide photographs, drawings, poems and stories to help get the message across. If you are interested and wish to find out more about the campaign then contact Caroline Storey at It is hoped as many people as possible can contribute to this exhibition which will tour Forth Valley during the ‘16 Days of Action’ campaign. The international campaign begins on 25th November and ends on 10th December. Help us create a visual message about Violence Against Women… An exhibition created by people who care.

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CAMPAIGNING ON YOUR BEHALF The National Union of Students (NUS) were once again out in force at FVC’s recent Freshers’ Fayres in Falkirk, Alloa and Stirling. Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland, was on hand to give advice and information to students who thronged to the Falkirk Campus event in the main hall on Tuesday September 28th. He was eager to reinforce the healthy links that FVC Student Union have with the NUS and was delighted with the interest in their work from FVC students. Based at 29 Forth Street in Edinburgh the NUS have been at the forefront of protecting and campaigning for the rights of students for many years. They are always ready to discuss issues and problems students may have and can offer support and advice on a wide range of issues. They would also be delighted to hear from students wishing to get involved with their campaigning. Recent issues raised by the NUS which FVC students might like to find out more about include: the publication of the Browne Review and the implication of an increase in tuition fees, the continuing successful NUS childcare funding campaign and worrying cases of certain councils targeting students for council tax. So if you are interested in finding out more then why not visit the NUS website on

VOLUNTEER AWARD FOR JACOB Congratulations go to former FVC student Jacob Spence who had his excellent volunteering efforts recognised during the summer at a prestigious event. He was awarded Volunteer of the Year at a special event held at the Inchyra Grange Hotel in Grangemouth on June 7th for his work volunteering as a football coach training and mentoring the college teams. Unfortunately the HND Sports and Fitness (Sports Coaching with Development of Sport) student was unable to attend in person to collect his award, but FVC Student Union President David Connell stepped in to accept it from Falkirk Provost Pat Reid on his behalf.

By Debra McShane

Forth Valley Goes Fairtrade It’s exciting times at Forth Valley College as we look to become the first college in Scotland to be awarded ‘Fairtrade’ status. Since March 2010, FVC has been trying hard to reach this goal and the influence of Fairtrade can already be seen in the College’s cafeteria, which has been using Fairtrade products for more than eight years. Fairtrade was designed so that workers in less developed countries can get a fair wage for their hard work, instead of the fruits of their labour and their profits being swallowed up by large corporations. The idea of Fairtrade has been in existence for over forty years, but until recently it has not been grouped under one logo. It was first introduced under the label “Max Havelaar”, a reference to a fictional character who was opposed to the unfair treatment of Dutch coffee pickers. When Fairtrade spread across the world it was under several different titles such as “Transfair” in Germany and “Fair Trade Mark” in the UK. It was not until the late eighties that Fairtrade became grouped under the name and logo we recognise today. Iris Aitchison, who is Deputy Head of the Business Department within the college, has been driving the initiative which now includes a “steering group” of staff and students to help make the goal a reality. Iris said: “Although Fairtrade has been important to me, I had absolutely no idea

that everyone else would be so enthusiastic about it. The students have embraced the whole concept of Fairtrade with knowledge and commitment, which has made our

DRIVING FORCE: Iris Aitchison, Depute Head of the Department of Business, has been at the forefront of driving FVC's Fairtrade status application

bid to become the first Fairtrade college in Scotland, a very realistic goal.” One student member of this steering group is Ben Barclay (18) from Avonbridge, Falkirk – who is studying Applied Science at the college. Ben is also Vice President of the FVC

Student Union and a Fairtrade enthusiast and he told us what he felt about the possibility of the college achieving Fairtrade status. He said: “It is a change that is needed, students must be pushed to support Fairtrade and it must be backed by the Student Union!” Ben has been interested in Fairtrade since primary school and had been part of the Eco Group while at high school. He would definitely buy the products and feels that students should also support Fairtrade at home. It is also important for Forth Valley to gain Fairtrade status due to their twinning link with Namitete Technical College in Malawi. It is Forth Valley’s aim to help Namitete develop as much as possible and some of their students may even become Fairtrade producers or farmers in the future. It is therefore crucial for students to understand the importance of Fairtrade and what their money is going towards. In order for the college to achieve Fairtrade status, a Fairtrade policy must be written by the college and approved. The college must also be seen to promote Fairtrade produce as much as possible. However, as the students we spoke with at the recent Falkirk Campus Fresher’s Fayre (see comments below) have highlighted, most students are already interested in Fairtrade and would back the decision to become more involved. Hopefully, with the student body firmly on board, that will help Forth Valley College to achieve Fairtrade status.

Students have their say on Fairtrade

Caroline Will (18) from Aberdeenshire who is studying for a Modern Apprenticeship said: “Fairtrade is a great idea, why haven’t the college done it sooner? I would buy Fairtrade products, definitely the chocolate.”

Lewis Laurie (16) an HND Architectural Technology student from Denny said: “Fairtrade is a good thing to do to help others. I would buy the products.”

Ross Fraser (22) an HND Contemporary Art student from Bathgate, said: “I have no problem with Fairtrade, I buy Fairtrade anyway, nothing in particular though.”

Chloe Toye (17) from Cumbernauld studying for an NC in Administration, said: “Fairtrade is a very good idea as it helps the workers have a better life. I sometimes buy Fairtrade as it’s for a good cause. I try to get my parents to buy it too.”

Kyle Hynd (16) from Larbert who is studying for an NQ Travel and Tourism, said: “The college should become more involved in Fairtrade, it’s important. I haven’t tried any Fairtrade products but I’d be willing to give them a try.”

Lauren McKeich (17) an NQ Travel and Tourism student from Larbert, said: “Fairtrade sounds fine, it’s a good idea. I’d maybe buy the products."

november 2010 | fusion | 3


by David Harley

This is Halloween, Get Frightened By What’s On The Screen! The supermarkets are filled with cheap novelty toys, pumpkins are appearing and chocolate has never been cheaper – it's Halloween season! So this edition, we’ll be taking a look at some games guaranteed to put you in the mood. Get your costume, buy your munchies and ignore the door! Time to enjoy some spooky games! Dead Space – 360, PS3, PC More action than survival horror, this game still has some rather creepy moments, and is designed to make you jump. It’s more the shocky-type horror, rather than suspense, but it’s still a fun game to give your attention to. The sequel is due for release some point next year. Amnesia: The Dark Descent – PC only, Available on Steam This game thrives on psychological warfare and heaps loads of tension on your poor mind. You have no weapons, no attacks and some amnesia to boot – you explore three generic locations, all the while balancing your sanity meter. Spending too much time in the dark makes you lose your mind, but staying in the light makes you the main meal for the monsters chasing you. Have a friend with you when you play this. Silent Hill 2 – PS2, Original Xbox, PC We all know of the Silent Hill series, but this is the best title and provides just as big a mind-screw as Amnesia does. Mainly through the introduction of series

mascot Pyramid Head, this game is full of psychology and also creepy, screaming your head off moments. You do get weapons, but they break, and with scarce ammo, you can’t risk fighting, so you have to run away… and turn those lights on. Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 – 360 and PC Not quite horror-ific, but with hordes of zombies it has the feeling that without teammates you will die – and yes, you will die. Effects such as the screeches of the specially infected, the dramatic music when the Horde arrives, as well as that rumble when the Tank comes to give you a sandwich made of pain – provide real feelings of tension and dread that justify it being in this selection. Doom 3 – Xbox, Mac, Linux, Original Xbox Like Silent Hill 2, this is one of the better games in its series. It relies on shock tactics rather than subtlety, and the constant fear is diminished somewhat by the massive guns and readily available ammo. But panicked shooting is a sign of fear, and the monsters are rather freaky, so we are happy to recommend this as a Halloween fear monger game.

There are a few more games that could be mentioned; however these five are top notch selections. I can, however, give special mention to Sonic 2006, because that game is just a nightmare to play.

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HIDDEN GEM Unsung Heroes – Oni

Before Halo, Bungie made a game that was original, and innovative – yes this shocked me as well when I found out who made the game! The game was highly advanced for its time in 2001, blending hand-to-hand combat with gunplay, with more combos and stronger moves to come as the game progresses. While some features were cut due to problems, which let it down on release, it’s still a brilliant game and such a hidden gem. The voice acting is solid, and don’t let the clunky graphics put you off this against-thegrain shooter. Available for PC, Xbox and PS2.

By Dawn mclaren

FVC STUDENT QUIZZES TOP CRIME WRITER PD Martin is an exciting new crime thriller writer from Australia who is

currently winning thousands of fans across the globe with her intriguing heroine – FBI Profiler Sophie Anderson. Highers and Intermediate student Dawn McLaren – FVC Student Union’s Entertainments Officer and a new Fusion Magazine correspondent – managed to persuade the author to take some time out of her busy schedule for an EXCLUSIVE Fusion interview on her work, her influences and her advice to students keen on a writing career.

Name//Phillipa Deanne Martin


D: Would you recommend the Australia experience to FVC students PDM: I know I’m biased, but I think Australia is a great country...a fantastic place to live or visit! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone as a holiday destination. D: What college/university did you go to? And what did you study? PDM: I went to LaTrobe University in Melbourne, mostly because they provided a dedicated psychology course.  I completed my Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences, with majors in psychology and legal studies – specifically criminal law and criminology. D: What type of books do you write and is there a general theme to your books? PDM: I write the Sophie Anderson series – fast-paced police/FBI procedurals with lots of profiling and forensics. My books have been described as similar to Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and James Patterson – with a hint of TV’s Medium and lots of Criminal Minds. My books, in order, are Body Count, The Murderers’ Club, Fan Mail, The Killing Hands, Kiss of Death and I’ve just written a free ebook called Coming Home. It can be downloaded from my website at www. I guess in terms of an underlying theme, my books are all about the psychology of criminals and justice. To date, the Sophie series has been published in 12 different countries. D: What is your latest book called and what is it about? PDM: The last book I finished was my free eBook, however it’s more of a novella. So my latest full book is Kiss of Death, which is set

Residence//Melbourne, Australia in LA’s world of real-life vampires. In Kiss of Death, Aussie FBI profiler Sophie Anderson is investigating the murder of a woman found in a state park with two puncture wounds on her neck. There is no blood at the scene, but she looks to have been drained. Sophie’s investigations soon lead her to LA’s secretive population of real-life vampires, people who genuinely believe they need the blood or energy of others to survive.  It was a really fun and interesting book to write, and I found the research on cults and real-life vampires fascinating! D: How do you get your inspiration? PDM: I’m very lucky in terms of my ideas – I never seem to be short of ideas, only time to write them! Inspiration strikes at any time, and anywhere, although my first book, Body Count, was based on a nightmare I had many years ago. Generally I find some quiet time, alone, will spark something for me.  D: What was your nightmare about? PDM: In the dream a serial killer murdered my friends one by one and I was investigating the crimes. During the dream I woke up immediately after each body was discovered, but then when I went back to sleep the dream continued exactly where I’d left off. Between 2am and 6am I woke up four times in total. And when I woke up the last time I was cornered by the killer – his hands around my neck. Later that day I made a tragic discovery…one of my friends had died and the estimated time of death was between 2am and 6am, the exact time of the nightmare.  D: How do you come up with the names for your books?

PDM: It’s generally the first thing I come up with, and it’s tied to the plot of the book. For example, The Murderers’ Club is about a club of serial killers who meet online and The Killing Hands investigates deaths that may have been caused by Kung Fu’s “Killing Hands”. The title was a little trickier with Body Count – which was originally called Sensing Murder but then while it was being edited a TV show started in Australia called Sensing Murder, so we had to come up with a new title. D: How do you captivate your readers? PDM: I think the two key elements in captivating your audience are an engaging central character and, in the case of crime fiction, an intriguing plot that keeps the readers guessing. Certainly, creating a leading lady or man that readers care about is extremely important – readers have to WANT to know what happens to them and ideally should always be in your leading character’s corner. Readers should also care about the baddies – hopefully desperate to see the fictional criminals get caught! D: What advice/guidance would you give to Forth Valley College students who want to be an author or a writer? PDM: I’d say to anyone who wants to become an author or writer… writing is a craft and the more you practice it the better you’ll get. So write as much as you can (even if just journal entries) as many times a week as possible. I’d also recommend reading some of the great books on writing and taking some writing courses. D: Thank you for your time Phillipa!!!

november 2010 | fusion | 5

Freshers’ Fayr The last week in September saw events at Falkirk (Sept 28th), Alloa, (Sept 29th) and Stirling (Sept 30th) which were attended by eager students wishing to find out more about activities in the FVC Student Union, the college itself, and receive general advice and support and also information on future careers. Have a look at these pictures to see what was on offer at the Falkirk and Alloa events.


The Falkirk event in the main hall proved to be very busy.

TT CO-OPERATION IS THE KEY: The Co-op’s stall with its Fairtrade produce was very popular with students on the day.

[[ FALKIRK WAS JUMPIN’: Highers students (left to right) Joanna Smith (18) from Bathgate, Kathleen Crawford (19) from Stenhousemuir and Hannah Davidson (19) from Carronshore made use of the bouncy castle next to the Student Union.

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yre Fun

New students to Forth Valley College filled up on fun and facts during Freshers’ Fayre week recently.

TT ALL GEARED UP: FVC SU clothing is proving popular with students in Alloa.

XX FAIRTRADE FACTS: Students were keen to find out more from the Alloa Campus Co-op Fairtrade stall.

^^ CHIPPING IN: A plate of chips was the order of the day for these students at the Alloa Freshers’ Fayre.

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KERSTIN ENJOYS GAMES PERFORMANCE A Forth Valley College student took part in the performance of a lifetime at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Dehli on October 14th.

Kerstin McKelvie (20) from Alva was among 360 other youngsters from across Scotland who prepared for the Flag Handover Ceremony at a three week ‘Bootcamp’ (run by internationally renowned public events company Unspun) in Glasgow before they jetted off to India. Representing Clackmannanshire Council Kerstin did the college proud as she performed before a capacity 60,000 crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Dehli – and millions more on TV – before the Flag was presented to Glasgow, the next venue for the event. " I feel proud to have represented my council area and also Scotland and the college as well.”

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HND in Health, Fitness and Exercise student Kerstin said: “It was fantastic going to Dehli to perform at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. I feel proud to have represented my council area and also Scotland and the college as well.” Louise Banks, Curriculum Quality Leader in the Leisure Industries Department, said: “Kerstin is a great student who is committed and dedicated to her course and sporting activities. We are extremely proud that she performed in Dehli and are sure the experience will further enhance her development.”

Loo∂in’ good

By Ali Drysdale – HND Beauty Therapist

Know Your Skin It is important for everyone to find out more about their skin and to use correct facial and body care products. There is a protective layer lying on the surface of the skin which is called the Acid Mantle. The function of this layer is to protect the skin from bacteria entry. It is made up of sweat and sebum – which is produced from the sebaceous gland in the dermal layer of the skin. If this Acid Mantle was not present then skin may be at risk of dehydration, dryness and bacterial infections. Within the second layer of the skin is the Dermis Layer. This layer helps to support the epidermis as it consists of

a vast network of blood, nerve endings and lymphatic vessels, collagen and elastin fibres. These are in a dense framework surrounded with a jellylike substance to help keep skin firm and supple. This layer also contains sweat glands, sebaceous glands, hair follicle and a muscle called the Arrector Pili muscle. This muscle helps the hair to stand up when cold air is felt, whilst hair is raised as hot air is trapped to try and keep skin/ body warm.

Protection For Your Child Many parents are finding themselves entering into further education and students with kids will be well aware of the need to protect their skin against damage from the weather and the sun. Here is a skin care range for children of all skin types:

These products on the left can be bought from Stirling Health Food Shop in the city and many high street chemists. These products are suitable for all skin types, including babies that suffer from eczema and psoriasis. Check out the website for full details. The product on the right is another children’s skin care product which is suitable for children with dry, irritated skin or who are prone to eczema or psoriasis. These products can be bought from any Holland & Barrett stores within your local area check out for more information.

SKIN CARE TOP TIPS Here are a few more tips to assist with the general health and wellbeing of your skin and body, while also using skin care products. * Drink about two litres or eight cups of water everyday. * Cut down on alcohol consumption and cigarettes. * Cut down on processed foods, fast foods and other junk foods and incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into diet. * Avoid taking too much caffeine and substitute tea and coffee for herbal teas. * Every two to three days try using a vegetable bristle based back brush and skin brush on dry skin by using gentle, but brisk, upwards strokes. Skin brushing helps to improve the lymphatic system and blood circulation to remove impurities within the body. It also helps to tighten the skin, aid digestion, clear cellulite, increase cell renewal, strengthen the immune system, improve cellular functioning and stimulates all glands within the body to improve health and well being. Try to take up a regular form of exercise whether it is walking, cycling, swimming or beginning a fitness class etc, as this will help to improve and promote a good sense of wellbeing. If your lifestyle is stressful try to introduce something relaxing into it like going for a relaxing beauty treatment – massage, hot stones, aromatherapy, are all good. Or try going to a relaxation fitness class such as yoga or pilates, or simply indulge in a relaxing hobby. Avoid using harsh products like soap on the face as this will completely strip off the acid mantle. Avoid skin brushing on broken skin, rashes, wounds and the facial area.

CONCLUSION For more information on improving your health and well being try visiting a local nutritional therapist via your doctor or by visiting www. . And also try visiting november 2010 | fusion | 9

Juggling balls? ortable! t isnae the most comf Aye, this unicycle sea


E-mails @ to the EditorU

Fusion Magazine is looking to start an E-mail letters page for the next edition in December 2010. We want to hear from Forth Valley College students with all their comments, queries, facts and figures, questions and answers, pictures, jokes, fascinating stories and trivia. We also hope to run competitions in this new column and are looking for everyone to get involved. Please send your e-mail to and we will use as many as we can in the next issue. There will also be a £15 gift voucher for the best e-mail we receive. So if you’ve got a bee in your bonnet or your knickers in a twist over something – it doesn’t even need to be student related – then let us know from now until 12 noon on Monday November 22. Fusion Magazine is also looking to recruit new correspondents to help with the writing and production of the magazine. So if you have any ideas on how to contribute or want to report on college sport, interview people on the important issues in the college today, fancy taking some pictures or perhaps even reviewing a blockbuster movie – then get in touch as soon as possible on the e-mail address above. Kind regards, Stuart Hall, Fusion Editor


CAPTION COMPETITION: Here's a picture to brighten up the dark winter days. Mr Cake the Clown was a joy to behold as he and his wife Candy Clown from the Urban Circus entertained students at the recent Freshers' Fayres. However, can any student suggest an alternative funny caption for this picture? There's a £15 gift voucher in it for the best one chosen by the Fusion Editor... though remember to keep it relatively clean! Please send your caption suggestions to by 12 noon on Monday November 22.

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 FVC Rocks! By Stacey McAuslan

I met up with ex-Forth Valley College student, Chris Walker, to get the ins and outs of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Chris (18) is the drummer in a local band called Harmony Row, and proved his natural rock ‘n’ roll style personality by showing up one hour late for our interview. So, after eventually meeting him, here is how it went… Fusion: Hi Chris. How did the band decide on Harmony Row as a name? Chris: Hey. Well it was actually Bryan, our bass player, who named the band. He was in Govan, Glasgow a while ago, saw a street named Harmony Row and decided there and then that he wanted to name a band exactly that name. Problem was at that time – he didn’t have a band. F: Sounds like Bryan has wanted to be in a band for a while, much like yourself. How did the band get together? C: Ehh, Bryan and I have been mates since school and tried to get a band together for years. I met Jake, our guitarist, at a scooter rally and we got talking about music and stuff. I then met him in Denny a few weeks later and asked if he would like to play guitar in our, at the time, unnamed band. Our lead guitarist and vocalist was a mate from school, so when I asked he was more than happy to be in our band. F: What kinds of music do you like to play? C: We’re still writing music and lyrics at the moment, but I like to think it’s, sort of, Mod influenced. F: Mod influenced? Can you enlighten us? C: Basically, our influences are artists such as Paul Weller and the Small Faces. F: You say you’re still writing. Have you performed any gigs so far as a band? C: Yes, we’ve done a few local gigs, but not with our own music. We just cover established artists' songs at the moment while we finish creating our own songs.

F: Do you have any gigs lined up? C: Not yet, we’re keeping quiet just now until we're one hundred per cent ready to play our own songs. F: It must take a lot of hard work and effort to make them totally original. Do you practise regularly to achieve that? C: Well to be honest we’re probably the worst band to make time for practice. It’s hard because a few of us work full-time and Jake is still at school, but we try our hardest to practice as much as possible. F: What sort of feedback have you had so far on the band? C: Everything really – mostly positive. Other more experienced bands, for example, The Mix-Ups have given us good, constructive feedback. F: Do you have any advice for other students who may like to start a band? C: Just make sure that all your members are willing to contribute and work hard. I wanted to be in a band all through high school so it takes time. It helped that Bryan was also desperate to start a band.

GROUP THERAPY: Chris Walker in action with his band – where's the drums?

F: And finally, where do you see Harmony Row in two or three years? C: It’s hard to tell so early on, I don’t really want to jinx it. People are already starting to get lazy and it’s hard to fix that because we’re all such good mates. F: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Chris. Good luck with Harmony Row’s future.



Bryan and I have been mates since school and tried to get a band together for years.

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Great Gradua

Well just take a look at these graduates and award winning students who put on their gowns and gladrags to attend this year’s graduation events. Two ceremonies were held at Falkirk Town Hall on Tuesday September 28th and a third was held at Stirling Castle on Tuesday October 5th.

More than 900 FVC students were eligible to graduate at the events and judging by the happy smiling faces on display – all of the questions above were answered when they finally received their scrolls.

WW STUDENT OF THE YEAR: HNC Electrical Engineering graduate Graham Craddock (40) from Cumbernauld (left), pictured here with his signer Eddie Foley, was awarded the Student of the Year prize.

TT MOST PROMISING STUDENTS: (From left to right) Elaine Campbell (38) from Bonnybridge (HNC in Early Education and Childcare), Gayle Said (21) from Raploch, Stirling (HND Beauty Therapy) and Nicola Wilson (22) from Clackmannan (BA Art and Design), were presented with Most Promising Student Awards for their respective departments.

WW SCROLL ON: Falkirk Council Leader Councillor Craig Martin gave the keynote speech at the afternoon event in Falkirk Town Hall and also presented graduates with their scrolls.

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Ever wonder what it’s all for? Why you put yourself through it? And when all the hard work will end?

SS WAITING THEIR TURN: Graduates await their turn to collect their scrolls at Falkirk Town Hall.

^^ GRADUATION GRIN: Sharon Doyle (39) from Perth graduated at Stirling Castle with Teaching Qualification Adult Literacies (TQAL) and won the Most Promising Student in Access and Progression award

XX ROCK ON TOMMY: Tommy McCann (46) from Falkirk graduated with a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Diploma in Management at Stirling Castle – and also scooped the Most Promising Student in Business award.

november 2010 | fusion | 13

We all like a good movie, and that’s especially true when we need a break from studying. So just as well then that Cineworld in Falkirk are happy to continue with their fantastic discount offer to Forth Valley College students. All you need to do is present your NUS discount card to Cineworld counter staff. These cards are available for £10 at Forth Valley College Student Union and will entitle you to £2.20 off your ticket at Cineworld Falkirk.


Buried (15)


Starring: Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Haley Bennett and Terri Bolo. Director: Joe Dante Plot: Director Joe Dante serves up a suspense thriller which explores the fears and secrets lurking at the bottom of the human mind. Moving home, for 17-year-old Dane Thompson (Chris Massoglia) and his 10-yearold brother Lucas (Nathan Gamble), from New York City to the sleepy little town of Bensonville seems pretty tough. In fact the most exciting thing for Dane is the beautiful girl next door, Julie Campbell (Haley Bennett). Suddenly everything changes when they find a strange bottomless pit in their basement. The brothers drop a nail down into the unknown, but they never hear it hitting the bottom. Lowering a torch and a video camera into the pit enhances their fears. They bring Julie in on their new discovery in the hope of shedding some light on the history of the Hole. But all they discover is that when the Hole is uncovered Evil is unleashed. Nightmares come to life and the three characters have to confront their fears to try to put a lid on the Hole. Verdict: The film ‘The Hole 3D’ was OK in a way… I did like the film of course, but it was the fact that it was in 3D and not in 2D. Throughout the film parts of the storyline just didn’t add up! There should have been more effort put into it! The introduction of a character called ‘Crazy Carl’ who previously owned the house, seemed to serve NO purpose in the film as he didn’t give any history or information which would have added to ‘The Hole.’ By Dawn McLaren

Courtesy of Cineworld in Falkirk

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Made In Dagenham


Starring: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Jamie Winstone Director: Nigel Cole

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jose Luis Garcia Perez, Robert Paterson Director: Rodrigo Cortes Plot: Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American working in Iraq, he and his fellow contractors are attacked on the job and Paul wakes up buried in a coffin. He only has a lighter, a hip flask and a mobile phone with a battery that’s going flat. The film follows Paul as he desperately tries to figure out why he has been put there and how he tries to get help before it is too late. Verdict: The main thing that makes Buried stand out is the fact that the entire film is set in a coffin. Initially I had my doubts about how this premise would work when drawn out into a 90 minute film, but director Rodrigo Cortes uses this environment to his advantage by perfectly capturing the claustrophobic and cramped environment with clever use of camera angles and shots. From the start it is apparent that the director has been influenced by Hitchcock in both the style of the film and the razor sharp tension created throughout. Buried is further strengthened by a surprisingly human performance from Reynolds, an actor known for his slightly more unbelievable roles in films such as Blade: Trinity and Van Wilder. The fact that Buried is shot in real time also gives a startlingly realistic edge and helps immerse the audience further. The story also highlights many current issues such as America’s relationship with Iraq and the helplessness of people living under a seemingly uncaring government. This gives the movie even more depth (pardon the pun) and makes Buried more than just another forgettable horror movie limping by on a quirky premise. By Debra McShane

Plot: Set amongst the well documented industrial strife of the Harold Wilson government of the sixties, this film focuses on the womens’ equality movement of the time. After female workers at the Ford manufacturing plant in Dagenham are classed by the company as unskilled – despite the complexity of their job – Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) becomes the figurehead of the striking workers. She is spurred on by union shop steward Albert Passingham (Bob Hoskins), campaigning for equal pay. As she struggles to balance her activist life with her family, she also has to contend with the weakening support of the champagne socialist union officials. They themselves are in a constant battle with the government, and feel like the women are less of a worthwhile cause to fight for than the men. This growing rift is the focus of the film, rather than the battle between Ford and the union, as O’Grady’s home life begins to suffer due to the strike. Verdict: The film itself is a historical chick flick – signs of ‘Calendar Girls’ style feminism along with the mandatory feel good ending – are obvious, given the shared director. There is a lack of historical accuracy – the fact that Rita is more of a hybrid of the genuine people who led the campaign for equal pay, and the glamorisation of the workforce, transformed into aspiring models from the ordinary looking women of the archive footage in the end credits. The film does not suffer hugely from this, given its reliance on a feel-good nature, rather than a treatise of the late sixties social movement. The main problem with the film though, comes to light after the final scene – despite the happy ending and the future introduction of the 1970 Equal Pay Act, the film does not acknowledge the still looming spectre of unequal pay in Britain. By Nicholas Reid

r e b m e v o n / r e b o t c o >>Film previews – The Beautiful Outsiders

Let Me In

Galvanized by the violence-driven screen romance seen in Bonnie and Clyde and Badlands, the couple in The Beautiful Outsiders (played by Jason Starkweather and Sarah Fugate) abandon their broken lives to run away together. Starkweather has just been released from jail after spending six years inside for armed robbery. He decides to reunite with his ex, dodging betrayals and the tightening grip of the police force along the way.

American remakes of foreign films never go down well. And American remakes of foreign films with a dedicated, cult following like that of Let The Right One In, tend to crash and burn even quicker. The original Swedish film was a horror movie about the relationship between two child outcasts – one human, bullied at school, and the other a centuries old vampire, who both find a friend in each other – like a gritty version of Twilight, with more bloodshed and real vampires. Both films share the beautifully dark snow framed setting, although the action this time switches from Stockholm to New Mexico, and features Chloe Moretz of Kick-Ass, as the vampire.

6th October

Jackboots On Whitehall 8th October

In what may not be the most serious movie of the year we see a Team America: World Police meets The Man In The High Castle production. This creates a bizarre, satirical, alternative history in which Nazi Germany invades Britain, forcing a motley gang of puppets to fight back against the dark spectre of marionette totalitarianism. Voices are provided by a host of British actors such as Ewan McGregor, Richard E Grant and Alan Cummings, who voices Hitler.

The Social Network 15th October

Whilst the story of the creation of Facebook might not sound like the most interesting idea for a Hollywood blockbuster, The Social Network has the out of control megalomania of its protagonist Mark Zuckerberg to drive it along. Played by Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland), he is the computer geek who became a billionaire before the age of 30. He does this mainly by revolutionising social networking through Facebook and, apparently, double crossing and back stabbing his way to the top. It is already tipped for Oscar glory, largely due to the involvement of David Fincher (Panic Room, Fight Club.)

Saw 3D

29th October The Saw bandwagon keeps on limping along, dragging grisly new torture methods onto cinema screens across the country. Always in search of a new gimmick, this instalment employs 3D the flavour of the month technology, so expect lots of scenes that involve body parts flying towards the camera in a vague attempt to get as much out of the format as possible. Tobin Bell reprises his role for the seventh time as Jigsaw, trying to negotiate a standard plot laid lazily around gore filled set pieces.

5th November


26th November There have been movies adapted from novels, comic books and video games, but this must be the first adapted from an advert. Machete is the completely over the top story developed from a fictional advert from Quentin Tarintino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse project that proved to be just as popular as the movies themselves. A former Mexican renegade is tasked with assassinating a public figure, but is shot himself after being set up, and he goes out for revenge against those responsible. With Robert De Niro sword fighting with Steven Seagal, and Cheech (of Cheech and Chong fame) as a priest with a collection of double barrelled shotguns in his car boot, it is set to be the most gleefully over-the-top film of the year.

The American 26th November

George Clooney teams up with Anton Corbijn – former music video director and the man behind the lens of the Ian Curtis biopic Control – for a promising new film that sees Clooney as an assassin, hiding out overseas with his lover after a botched job. So far, so In Bruges, but whilst The American will offer less comedy, the stylish aspect of the film will no doubt be played up, as Clooney dashes about the Italian countryside in suits.

NOVEMBER 2010 | fusion | 15

Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence

Forth Valley College – Student Sports Centre Membership The University of Stirling Sports Centre offers amazing value for money. It is a great place to improve your tness and take part in sport. An annual membership entitles you to access the following facilities and services at no additional cost, as often as you like: · · · · · · · · ·

Fitness Suite Strength and Conditioning Super Centre Swimming Pool Sports Hall – for badminton, table tennis, short tennis and basketball Athletics Track Floodlit Outdoor Articial Pitches Squash Courts Fitness classes such as step, cardio hi lo, aquat and stretch and tone Sports Classes such as tennis, golf, swimming and trampolining

For students attending Forth Valley College, there are 2 membership categories: · Annual membership (September – September) - £119.00 · One Semester Membership (February – September) - £75.00 Valid student ID card required at time of application For further details please contact either the Sports Centre or Swimming Pool Reception Desk on (01786) 466900/466500. Alternatively you can email or check out the website

16 | fusion | november 2010

The University of Stirling is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC 011159

Fusion Issue 10  

Forth Valley Student Union Magazine