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UWE’s Student Voice - Issue No. 2 - October 2010
A clash of cultures
Iraq, 9/11, the ‘ground zero mosque’ and the ‘land of the free’ >> 17 Tom Hickey, from UCU’s national executive committee, speaks to assembled UWE academics
UWE academic staff rally under union
Photo: George Rowe
> Drastic restructuring leads to unrest amongst academics and job security fears > UWE University and College Union prepare to vote on dispute situation with UWE bosses
The official line is to deliver “an efficient, effective and high quality service to our users”; these measures can also be seen as a pre-emptive strike ahead of the likely fiscal hardship coming with the publication of Lord Browne’s Higher Education Spending Review on the 20th October 2010. UWE’s chapter of the University
and College Union (UCU) does not see these changes in exactly the same light. At a very well attended Ordinary General Meeting held on the 29th September UCU, a motion moved by UCU Vice-Chair Peter Broks mandated the executive of the Union to ballot on entering into a dispute situation with the University. UCU also held a rally on the 30th September at Frenchay, where UCU national executive committee member and Chair of
UCU Recruitment Tom Hickey gave an impassioned appeal to the UWE academics in attendance. Mr. Hickey drew on his experience as a lecturer at University of Brighton in a speech that called for action from members of all the trade unions involved in higher education, including the NUS. To make a difference, he stated, the unions must work together at the local, regional and national level.
“I don’t know anything about polygraphs, but I know they’ll scare the hell out of people.”
A UWE student reponds to Oscar Clarke’s “all out assault on Catholicism” in Issue 1
Hooters chain opening in Bristol causes outcry in the community
George Rowe and Henry Stoneley email@example.com
estructuring plans being implemented by UWE management have left many senior academic staff fearful for their jobs, and the future roles they will play at UWE. The shake-up (full details on page four) is part of the University’s ‘future+focus’ action plan, taking place over the next three years.
NUS President voices support for a graduate tax, but what will changes mean for university system?
In News >> 5
In Life >> 8
In Comment >> 12
Full story on page 4
In Features >> 19
> UWE artist detained while working Toby Cryne
young Bristol based street artist and UWE student, known as ‘Midas’, was detained by police last month while legally painting a mural at bowling alley, The Lanes, that he had been commissioned to do. On the 17th September 2010, while midway through a piece at The Lanes, he was involved in an incident with a female police officer. continued on page 2
Corruption in sport, it’s a fair cop guv’nor
In Sport >> 30
News & Politics
UWE artist detained
> UWE student and street artist ‘Midas’ is detained while working but later released without charge or arrest continued from page 1
Midas had been spray painting bowling related graffiti on the side of The Lanes earlier that day, having already finished the first of five pieces he was being paid for. Midway through the second feature - a huge bowling pin – the student was noticed by a female police officer. Midas then alleges that he was grabbed from behind and
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restrained with what he describes as “excessive force” by the officer, who had made no prior verbal contact. The officer allegedly used a technique Midas refers to as the “police’s trademark almostbreaking-the-shoulder-grip”, before aggressively handcuffing him and taking him inside, expecting the manager to want to remonstrate with Midas herself before he was taken away.
Contents News and Politics
>> 2 Life
Once inside, to the officer’s surprise, both manager Sarah Messamer and fellow employee Greg Pattison jumped to the aid of Midas, resulting in an altercation with the officer. CCTV footage from outside the building shows the events that unfolded after 2.29pm. The officer can be seen clearly sprinting across the road and grabbing Midas, who does not even turn to look as the officer approaches. This suggests that the officer did not make herself known to him before allegedly using her momentum to barricade the artist in a doorway. According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, in stop and search scenarios the officer should “Make every effort to persuade you to cooperate. They should only use force as a last resort”. When making arrests only “reasonable force” can be used, neither of which seem to accord with the alleged incident. Graffiti is, for the modern day cynic, synonymous with criminal damage and is consistently linked with an urbanised subculture that is stereotypically violent, involved with gangs and drugs. Alternatively, for the artist and the voyeur graffiti has taken on a very different lease of life, becoming a symbol against the modern day corporate establishment for those who would otherwise have little or no voice. Midas now stays strictly on the legal side of things, having had a few bouts with the law with varying degrees of success in the past. Midas now calls graffiti art “my job”. With this job, Midas has had many successes producing work for clubs and bars, fusing the artistic with the legal. The artist’s latest job, however, was not received with the same level of appreciation that he was accustomed to. Midas, Greg and Sarah all claim that the officer acted aggressively towards them, persistently raising her voice and at one point using profanity towards the manager.
WesternEye UWE’s Student Voice <<
Editor George Rowe firstname.lastname@example.org News and Politics Editor Sam Butler Sub Editors John Howell, Jake Martin
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Midas clearly does not know the officer is running up from behind, before she grabs and apprehends him. They also claim the WPC insisted that the spray cans Midas had been using were in fact “Items that could cause criminal damage” and that she could arrest him for possession. Greg stated that the officer repeatedly tried to gather information on the artist who refused, as is his right in non-arrest scenarios. Greg said: “She knew she had f****d up and was trying anything to save her from looking stupid”. The situation raises the question: at what point is force excessive? Arguably, the officer may have taken this course of action because she believed that Midas may flee, but the suspect was painting a bowling pin on the side of a bowling alley, in the middle of the day, on a busy street and in full view of New Bridewell Police station. Given this, it was unlikely to be an illegal piece, and it is possible that he was treated in such a way just because of his chosen artistic medium. The status of graffiti as art or crime is still a divisive one. After polling UWE students, it was found that 78% of them believed it to be art, with the remaining 22% believing it to be a crime. Perhaps Bristol is not the place to ask
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Photo: Hannah Ranken
The Lanes graffiti piece these questions though; Bristol’s continuing love affair with local hero Banksy may have somewhat skewed the result. Midas’ continuing wish for anonymity (as is usual with graffiti artists), and the fact that he feels that this incident “was minor”, means that no legal action is being taken against the officer. Due to this, the officer’s identity is unknown and whether any action is being taken by the Avon and Somerset Constabulary is unclear. Avon and Somerset Police declined to comment on the alleged incident.
WesternEye is published by University of the West of England Students’ Union, 4th Floor F Block, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol. BS16 1QY. Some elements of this newspaper are distributed under a Creative Commons License; please get in contact for more details. WesternEye is printed by Mortons Ltd, Lincolnshire. We believe in making WesternEye as accesible as possible. You can access this publication in PDF format at www.westerneye.net. If you require a different format please get in touch with the Editor (below). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent that of UWESU. We are all human, and sometimes we make mistakes; any problems please contact the Editor at email@example.com.
News & Politics 3
The flight of the dodo
> A former UWESU president and current student has cancelled a business venture due to external pressure George Rowe firstname.lastname@example.org
UWE student and exSabbatical Officer who started a travel business has been forced to cancel a recent venture, allegedly due to bullying by a larger company and disapproval by the Students’ Union of some of the methods employed. When originally contacted about the story by this newspaper, the ex-sabb threatened the editor with physical violence and legal action if the story made it to print. Will Harding, 24, former Activities President of the SU, started a company called ‘Dodo Travel Ltd’ and was organising a trip to Amsterdam scheduled for the 4th to 7th of November. According to Will, Outgoing, a much larger travel company contacted the UWE student and asked if he would like to run the trip for them instead. Will, however, declined the offer, as he had already spent money on marketing and printing flyers for Dodo, and the deal they offered “was rubbish”. Outgoing has been running for 13 years, has organised festivals such as Snowbombing and take 40,000 people abroad every year. Will alleges that Rus Hayat, a sales manager at Outgoing, then decided to run a trip on the same date as the planned Dodo excursion, after making sure that the hostels and bar crawl company that Outgoing uses would not deal with Dodo. Mr Hayat flatly denies these rumours or that there was any contact between himself and Will. But when WesternEye contacted Gareth Cooper, Managing Director of Outgoing, he alluded to knowing about some communication between the Will and Mr Hayat. Will believes that bad blood
remains between him and the Outgoing sales manager from the previous year; “Rus didn’t really care about our trip, instead he just wanted to get me back for what happened last year. In short, I made Rus pay £300 to do a presentation at Committee Training; we had food and drink costs to cover; it’s normal practice to ask for money and not many student sports clubs nor societies turned up or were interested”. Mr Hayat maintains that he had no real knowledge of Will, and that they welcomed competition to their trips. Mr Hayat said, “Student safety is paramount for us, and our trips are backed by our own Public Liability Insurance, meaning if anything goes wrong then customers won’t lose out, and we can cover incidents that may occur while abroad. We are also members of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and I would be concerned about the welfare of students on a trip without these.” While Dodo did have the requisite insurance, it is not a member of ABTA. UWESU originally agreed a socalled ‘Promoter’ agreement with Dodo, meaning that Will would be able to have a stall at Freshers’ Fair, be promoted as an external company by the SU and enjoy reduced printing prices. In return, Will would run three events in the SU’s Red Bar; minutes from SU meetings show that they estimated to make around £2200 from each of these nights. It was made clear that Dodo could have nothing to do with the Ents committee of the SU, which Will was previously in charge of when Activities President. A Facebook group that Will set up while Activities President called ‘UWESU Ents Committee’ was subsequently renamed as ‘Dodo Travel’, allowing the third year Law student immediate access to the group’s 1000 plus members. The ‘ownership’ of Facebook groups is a contentious issue; it is impossible for any administrator to remove
Bristol in brief
man has appeared in court charged with attempted murder, rape, burglary and arson with intent to endanger life after a woman was attacked in her home. Ross David Parsons, 32, of no fixed address, was arrested on Sunday morning following an incident on in South Street, Bedminster, during the early hours of Friday, October 1st. Parsons was remanded in custody by Bristol Magistrates’ Court and is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 12 October. The 44-year-old female victim, who has not been named, remains in hospital with what have been termed ‘life changing injuries’.
any other administrator of a group that has been an admin longer than they have, therefore the only way a creator of a group leaves is of their own volition. Will maintains that the Ents committee was never an official UWESU committee and as such, is not owned by the SU but by himself, and that it had lain dormant since he finished his term as Activities President. Facebook maintains that this policy is to “prevent abuse”, but issues such as the subject of this article highlight a possible flaw in this model. SRC President Colin Offler called Will’s actions “clearly an abuse of his previous SU role”. In addition to changing the name of UWESU Ents Committee group, the Facebook group originally depicted Dodo Travel as an ‘official UWE travel group’ and the flyers a ‘UWE trip’, despite the fact that the trip was not officially partnered with the University or the Students’ Union. Gail Wilson, SRC Vice-President, stated that the SU received calls from concerned parents about the nature of the trips insurance; “We were worried about the welfare of our students on the trip; what if someone got left behind?” Will argues that he was never contacted regarding the insurance status of his trip, that his company did have all the requisite insurance in place and only dealt with reputable companies. After communication between the SU and UWE, it was decided that the SU had no choice but to disallow the planned selling of tickets for the trip at Freshers’ Fair or usage of venues such as Red Bar for the company’s events, unless Will removed the Facebook group and changed any ‘official UWE’ denotation. According to the SU, this did not happen, and when contacted on the deadline for the changes, Will informed the SU that he had already cancelled the trip. Will’s version of events is slightly different; he maintains that he did change the name of the groups to a ‘trip for UWE students’, but the SU still acted on their threats to report the group and have it removed. The Law student believes that personal
Photo: PhineasX (C.C.)
feelings over how he won his post as Activities President may have influenced how the SU acted in this circumstance. Will states that after these actions he “decided to firstly tell the SU I don’t want to work with them anymore because they went back on their word, and secondly cancel the trip as it was becoming a far too risky venture. Sometimes the best thing to do in business is to know when to fold your hand, so then you can play another one.” Large groups of young people visiting foreign countries has been something that has occasionally tarnished Britain’s international image. Cities such as Amsterdam and Prague attract thousands of stag dos, student trips and backpackers every year. Machteld Ligtvoet, Communications Manager of the Amsterdam Tourism and
Congress Bureau, told WesternEye: “We welcome many different kinds of tourist here, and enjoy sharing our city with them – the freedom of spirit, our rich culture, the variety of bars and restaurants, etc.” However, large groups drinking and smoking too much is an enduring problem in Amsterdam, as well as many other so-called ‘party cities’. Mr Ligtvoet says, “It is of the utmost importance that tourists realise they are guests and that they should not be a nuisance to our inhabitants, tourists, expats and entrepreneurs. This can sometimes be a fine line. Both sides to this dispute appear meritorious in part; there is a possibility that Will may have misused his previous position as Activities President, but also that he was bullied by a larger company and not wholly supported by UWESU.
St Matthias relocation project update John Howell email@example.com
he relocation of St Matthias Campus, begun in 2009, aims to consolidate the new Faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education and other UWE departments that are currently spread across the campuses. The project now includes the relocation
The new Flexzone at Frenchay
of Media Practice from Bower Ashton. The project will deliver a new 250 capacity high quality lecture theatre, in addition to modernised seminar rooms, and specialised facilities for both Drama and Media Studies, among other plans. The relocation development originally hoped to be finished by 2011, but this deadline has now been extended to 2012. It is hoped that following the closure of St. Matts, further investment into teaching, learning and social facilities can be made. Frenchay campus already has many facilities not currently available at St Matthias or Bower Ashton Campus, including a 24 hour library and extensive state-ofthe-art sports facilities.
“I believe the relocation can only be positive for UWE. However, I feel the university will be losing a piece of its history when it loses St Matts Campus” said 21 year old Media and Cultural Studies student, Thomas Rae, who is a member that will be the last class to graduate from the St Matthias Campus. It is still unclear who has purchased the St. Matts site, but the covenant stating that the buildings can only be used for educational purposes has ended.
Do you think UWE has communicated the plans well? comment@ westerneye.net
News & Politics
Restructuring the student experience > Downsizing in senior academic positions causes unrest at UWE > UCU ballot on dispute situation, but what would these changes mean to your ‘student experience’?
George Rowe and Henry Stoneley
UCU Rally speaker, Tom Hickey (right) and UWE-UCU branch Negotiating Secretary, Mal Hughes (left)
uture+focus is the name of Vice-Chancellor Steve West’s three year plan for restructuring at UWE, supposedly aiming to better “meet the future needs of students and other audiences”, but what precisely do these plans entail and how will they alter your time at UWE? The plan itself is a complex one, affecting all levels of organisation within the University, but there are a few key points that must be examined to understand what was caused such a strong reaction from UCU members. Firstly, the amount of faculties has dropped from the previous five to four, having already been reduced from nine to five in 2007-2008. This, according to UWE Director of Marketing and Communication Keith Hicks, is what has necessitated the restructure, in which there will be less managerial roles throughout the four faculties. Academic staff are rated and paid according to a band system; in the restructure, all of the previous I and J band roles (senior academic staff with managerial/leadership roles) have been dissolved and replaced with new positions with new responsibilities. The staff who were previously in these roles will then have to apply for the new positions, going through a full formal interview process. However, the lower number of roles available will obviously mean that some people are left out. Mr Hicks stated to WesternEye: “Students have asked for a more consistent student experience and staff have asked for more equitable workload. The current program of restructuring is designed to meet these needs.” He continued: “We must make sure that we manage the impact of staff in a fair, equitable and sensitive way; a way that recognises both the financial pressures we are under and the huge contribution our staff make to the success of UWE.” UCU members have seen the restructuring as anything but fair and equitable. With the notice of the restructuring the University also issued a S188 letter, a compulsory
measure of the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act if there is a risk of more than 20 redundancies within a 90 day period. The S188 states that there may be up to 80 redundancies. Mr Hicks is adamant that there will be no compulsory redundancies, but a FAQ sheet for I and J band staff states that if staff do not apply for one of the new roles UWE will “where possible, seek to allocate a suitable role for you. This role may be at a lower grade.” Tom Hickey, UCU national executive committee member, called the restructuring “compulsory demotion” at the UCU rally. Though there will not be as many I and J band roles available in the restructure, the University has created another 40 new senior lecturer posts at H band level, which I and J band staff may be shuffled into. Their pay levels will also be protected, to a certain extent, but in academia wages are not always the most important thing. Mr West said in his Issue 1 interview with WesternEye that program leaders who were not meeting an acceptable standard would be held to account. The restructure could provide the perfect opportunity for the weeding out of staff members who are not living up to Mr West’s standards. Though many UCU members were happy to speak to WesternEye about the restructuring, none wished to have their name or positions mentioned in print. A UCU spokesperson has attributed this to the “culture of fear that has permeated UWE” in the wake of the restructuring. Such was the feeling when the UCU Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) unanimously passed a motion to mandate the UWE-UCU executive to ballot to enter into a dispute situation with UWE. This is the first step on the complicated road to trade union action against an employer. A UCU member, said: “The University won’t listen to consultation unless they think they will be stopped”. Such trade union action has taken place before against planned academic staff
Newsdesk’s world round up Thailand - The illegal arms dealer, said to be the inspiration for the film ‘Lord of War’, is to be extradited to the United States after secondary charges were dismissed by a Thai court. Russian, Viktor Bout, 43, was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 after attempting to sell arms to US agents. Dubbed ‘The Merchant of Death’, Bout claimed that he could supply the agents, posing as Colombian guerrillas, with AK-47 assault rifles, surface-toair-missiles and explosives.
Colombia - Police have seized a vast haul of drug money during a raid on a property believed to belong to wanted trafficker Daniel ‘El Loco’ Barrera. Police found a stash of money that included US$29 million (£18.3 million) and 17 million euros (£14.7 million) in cash. Rodrigo Rivera, Colombia’s defence minister, said: “It’s the biggest seizure of drug money in this country’s history”. Barrera has a US$2.5 million bounty on his head.
Photo: George Rowe
cuts, such as in the cases of London Metropolitan and Leeds University. UCU also believe that the restructure has changed the way that the academic levels are ascertained: “Professorships and readerships are given out based on various academic criteria: a certain level of research attained, the number of papers published etc. For the University to state that, not only do these positions no longer exist, but that the criteria for them is no longer academic but administrative, doesn’t make any sense.” o how will these changes affect your time at UWE and the degree you receive? UWE maintains that the student experience is its premier concern, and that future+focus plan is to “enable us to realise our potential, build on our core strengths, and really boost our position in a competitive higher education sector”. Mr Hicks said: “The students have asked for a more consistent student experience. The current program of restructuring is designed to meet these needs.” Certain ‘beacons of research’ areas, such as robotics, have also been protected from the restructuring. According to UWE, this will hopefully mean that the changes will not detrimentally effect UWE’s academic ranking. A UCU-UWE spokesperson argued: “Despite the rhetoric
coming from the Vice-Chancellor’s office, the student experience is not a priority, at least that of all students. The VC has made it clear that he wants to cut overall teaching resources, particularly in areas he has identified as undeserving of support, such as some of the humanities and social sciences. Year after year UCU surveys have shown declining morale amongs staff. This can only affect the student experience negatively. We do not believe that larger class sizes and less contact time make for a better student experience; even before the cuts, 51% of our members reported not being able to cope with their workloads.” An academic, who did not wish to be named, said: “These are not just jobs that are being cut, they are academic positions, and those of academics who are genuinely committed to Higher Education. It will seriously damage the quality of education for UWE students.” An essential part of the student experience is obviously the worth of your degree at the end. Student/ staff ratio makes up roughly 17% of The Guardian’s and 9% of the Sunday Times’ assessment of institutes of higher education, and a diminished ratio can only be bad for UWE’s rankings. This would also retroactively effect alumni of UWE. Gail Wilson, UWESU SRC Vice President, said of the changes: “The senior management at UWE have
embarked on a huge undertaking to significantly shake up the structures and processes of the University. We know from the National Student Survey that organisation and management is a major cause of dissatisfaction for a lot of students so it can only be hoped that eventually this will result in a better run University where students get a better experience. However the process of getting there is having a significant impact on staff morale and the functioning of vital processes. We have already seen a lot of confusion and uncertainty in academic departments which is directly impacting on students. As a Students’ Union our number one priority is the experience of students studying at UWE right now and we have yet to be reassured that this move will not be to the detriment of students.” It is important to remember that, with the coming Higher Education Spending Review, it is going to be a difficult time for universities nationally. However, UCU members obviously feel that the restructuring project, as it stands, is unacceptable. Whether the union moves further toward strike action is dependent on the actions of the University. WesternEye is in contact with both parties, and will keep you informed of further developments.
Britain - Human waste is being turned into renewable gas and used to power homes for the first time. The project at a Didcot sewage works, Oxfordshire, is the first in Britain to produce renewable gas from sewage for households to use. The waste is stored for 18 days and then turned into domestic gas which will supply about 200 homes with power. The £2.5m project is a joint venture between Thames Water, British Gas and Scotia Gas Networks.
Haiti - Nearly nine months after the magnitude 7 earthquake of Jan. 12, more than a million Haitians still live on the streets amid piles of rubble. One reason: Not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding has arrived. The money was pledged by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in March for use this year in rebuilding. The U.S. already has spent more than $1.1 billion on post-quake relief, but without long-term funds, reconstruction of the wrecked capital cannot begin.
Italy - Venice’s gondoliers have been criticised for serenading tourists with “culturally deficient” songs, reminiscent of the Cornetto adverts, that have no relation to the lagoon city. The boatmen are under attack for ignoring local ballads and instead crooning songs from other parts of Italy such as O Sole Mio – the tune forever associated in British minds with the Just One Cornetto television adverts. Tourists pay up to £174 to be serenaded as they are taken around the lagoon city’s canals.
News & Politics 5
Fees and the graduate tax
> Many solutions to the ‘higher education question’ are being suggested, but what do they all mean for students and the future of Britain’s universities?
By the numbers...
Sam Butler firstname.lastname@example.org
he contentious question of how higher education should be funded has rarely been more prominent than now, as Britain awaits the results of the Lord Browne’s Spending Review 2010. Exactly where the axe is to fall will be revealed on October 20th, as the Coalition scrambles to claw its way out of a £180 bn deficit. Higher education is a sector likely to face cuts, a reshuffle of funding practices and or regulations. Other areas expected to be slashed, by as much as 25% in some cases, are welfare, transport, defence and the police service. The government has stated that the current system of university funding is “not fit for purpose” and within discussions of alternative solutions one phrase keeps popping up, ‘graduate tax’. But what is it and what are the other solutions are being suggested? The graduate tax is a system whereby rather than paying set fees as you go through university and borrowing in the form of fee loans, repayment for your education is calculated as a percentage of your earnings once you graduate. The recently elected Labour leader, Ed Miliband, suggested somewhere between 0.3 and two per cent of earnings, should Labour be re-elected. University think-tank Million+ stated in a report that a levy of one percent of earnings over £15,000 “would reduce student debt by at least £10,000”. The National Union of Students (NUS) President, Aaron Porter, states on the NUS website that “A graduate contribution that would be much more progressive and would remove the threat of higher fees and the introduction of a market into higher education.” UWE Deputy Vice-Chancellor, John Rushforth, told Western Eye “The down side to the graduate tax is that it is forever and is unrelated directly to the university. The University has no direct financial connection to the student and therefore may feel less accountable. It would be possible
for high earners to pay much more than a loan based system and a considerable amount more over their lifetime.” Another perceived problem with a graduate tax is that collected funds would not be funnelled directly back into the institution that the student attended, but rather back to a central government pot. This means that there would be no guarantee that the funds would be distributed evenly, in appropriate quantities and value, or even be used within the higher education sector. The Higher Education Act 2004 increased tuition fees from £1,000 to £3,000. Increasing the cap for tuition fees again, from say £3,145 to £5,000 could theoretically ease the financial strain on universities. Unfortunately, a large number of students require some form of financial support; increasing the cap on fees may result in a sliding scale of institutions based on economics. A much larger increase in the cap on fees would possibly create a wide range of disparity in institutions and courses. “It increases debt but if student support increases to meet that then it probably would not make a great deal of difference to participation. However, given the cost of student support, it is highly unlikely that student support would increase fully in line. If the fee cap goes up significantly, then we may see a sliding scale of universities, charging varying fees, with possibly different fees for different courses” Mr Rushforth said on increased fee caps. The increasing cost of university alarms many that fear only the rich will be able to afford a degree; or at least, only they will be able to afford certain courses and institutions. Mr Rushforth stated that “If there was a very high cap on fees and inadequate support, this could mean only the rich being able to afford to go to the more expensive universities.” Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, an educational
The possible annual fee should the tuition fee cap be lifted
The predicted average debt of a student that began their degree this September
Of applicants say that they would not be put off by tuition fees of £10,000
NUS and UCU action over student funding and education cuts charity in the United Kingdom that provides educational opportunities to young people from non-privileged backgrounds, stated in an article for online politics magazine politics.co.uk “Any future finance system that deters poorer students from top degree courses because of spiralling costs and freezes on student numbers will be a double blow for social mobility”. A totally free market in higher education is something that many have said would be grossly unfair, but in the United States, where elite universities such as Harvard and Yale charge what they like, the super-rich pay enormous fees with much of this money being recycled
in the form of generous bursaries and scholarships for promising yet underprivileged students. While admitting that “With appropriate safeguards, the free market can in some circumstances be fairer” Mr Rushforth warned of an “Easyjet syndrome” where courses that have failed to draw many applications become cheaper, but then rise in price considerably as they fill up. “This may result in social injustice issues” he said. Aaron Porter said, in an article in The Guardian, that the removal of the cap would be “a nightmare for students and their families”, in light of suggestions that some universities want to increase fees by as much five times. “Top-up fees were tripled four years ago and the public will not tolerate a further hike, fortunately a great many politicians have pledged to oppose higher fees and we will hold them to their promise to prevent the emergence of a damaging and destructive market in fees that would entrench privilege and benefit a narrow elite.” A free market business model already exists in terms of postgraduate, part-time and students from outside the EU. A graduate tax is touted by many as being the fairer of the many suggested options, by not squeezing the less privileged out of higher education and drawing from those that can afford it. Sally Hunt of the Universities and College Union
The cost to the taxpayer of every £1 lent through the Student Loan Company for fees
The amount cut from the higher education budget by the Coalition
Of university funding comes from central government
(UCU) suggested in The Guardian that big business should start contributing to higher education as they are a sector that benefits from graduates substantially. Exactly how this would be levied is unclear. Whichever way the issue is framed, the cost of education is going up regardless of pledges to the contrary; one way or the other it has to be paid for. Make the most of your degree, as you could well be paying for it until you retire.
Will you be marching? newsandpolitics@ westerneye.net
News & Politics
U-Link tightens the reins > Food banned on UWE buses, and the U3 route change leaves many with longer journeys Lucia Dobson-Smith
he UWE travel department has introduced a new shortened route for the U3 bus service, the only U-Link service that connects the St Matthias and Glenside campuses with the city centre. UWE travel runs the U-Link service in conjunction with the Wessex Connect bus company. Complaints have also been made regarding the re-enforcement of a ban on eating and drinking across all U-Link services. As of the beginning of this term the U3 service no longer travels as far as the city centre bus stops of Victoria Bridge and Wine Street, as was the case in previous years, but instead stops short at Old Market Street. Claims have been made that the shortening of the U3 bus route may further disconnect the St Matthias and Glenside campuses from some of Bristol’s most popular student areas such as Clifton, Hotwells, Southville and Bedminster. Although it is possible to travel to St Matthias and Glenside from most areas of Bristol travelling via Frenchay campus, using other U-Link services, it can add a significant amount of time to the average journey. Lyndsey Peel, a St Matthias based student, described her difficulty in arriving at her destination. “Students living in the City Centre can now only catch this bus from one stop on Old Market Street, which is a really long walk away if
you are living in an area such as Clifton. I have had to change my route which adds an extra hour to my travel, just to get to university on time.” “I wish we had been better informed. I think St-Matthias’ students are often forgotten about, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all part of the lead up to the big move to Frenchay.” Steve Ward, Travel Planner for UWE, defended the decision to shorten the route “The U3 bus route was shortened because the service was becoming increasingly unreliable due to congestion in the city centre. The shortened route will improve reliability and has released funds to ensure we can maintain a 4x hourly service between St Matthias and Frenchay despite increasing financial pressures. It has also ensured we didn’t need to increase most fares this year.” Colin Offler, SRC President, added: “Unfortunately the service is by no means perfect, however there is good work being done to expand the service to reach as many students as possible. Transport management are fully aware of where students are living across Bristol and are working towards a U-link service for everyone.” However many students remain unhappy with the decision. Wessex Connect, in conjunction with the UWE travel department
U6 Bus crashes
It appears that no one was hurt in the incident and UWE Facilities responded quickly. “A partition has been put up in the gallery inside the building, but we hope this will just be for a short period of time. Scaffolding will be going up outside the building to ensure that the glazing is safe” Mr Field told WesternEye. Mr Field also suggested that bollards may be introduced to prevent buses getting too close to the building in the future. He assured WesternEye that “The University will be carrying out a thorough investigation into how this incident came about.”
Photo: Lucia Dobson-Smith
n October the 1st a doubledecker U-Link bus crashed its top deck into a Bower Ashton campus building. The U6 bus, according to Surveyor and Facilities staff member Terry Field, was negotiating a turning circle outside the F-block, when the top of the bus struck an overhanging part of the building. “There is a turning circle in front of the entrance where buses pull over. The bus hit the copper panelling above the entrance which was damaged. However, we were able to discover quickly that there was no structural damage to the building.” The top, front window of the bus was broken by the impact.
Damage to the bus and building are clearly visible
have also been criticised for the re-enforcement of the eating and drinking ban on all U-Link buses. Recently buses have been carrying a “polite notice” reminding students that eating and drinking is not permitted on U-Link services, and those found to be breaking the ban may be forced to alight from the bus. Students may also be liable to pay a £50 clean-up fee for any spillages. “I think it’s a bit unfair. I can see where they’re coming from if it’s a packed bus and someone ends up spilling a hot drink, but I don’t reckon the First bus services would throw people off for eating a sandwich”, commented Mike Hart, a regular user of the U-Link services. Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I can understand a ban on alcohol, fizzy drinks and hot foods, but for students who have to travel back and forth during the day who can sometimes have limited time for getting something to eat, a ban on foods such as a sandwich or apple can be a little harsh.” Mr Ward told Western Eye: “The notices needed to be introduced because bus drivers checking the bus were often finding spilt drinks etc on the floor and seats. These spills meant that under Health & Safety guidance the vehicle would have to be taken out of service, which would result in cancellations. Wessex Connect therefore decided to be very strict on this in the interest of all passengers.”
Should UWE managers experience U-Link? WesternEye has started a petition, with the support of the SRC Presidents, to try and get UWE management members to use U-Link to commute to work for a week. U-Link is one of the issues at UWE that students complain about most often. Go to to the address listed at the bottom and sign up if you think this should happen. If you leave your email address (not compulsory) then WesternEye can contact you to hear your thoughts about the issues.
www.petitionbuzz. com/petitions/ ulink
Photo: Hugga Larusdottir
U-Link: Big red pain in the...
> More space and streamlined systems gets a thumbs up from students John Howell
he Frenchay Campus Library has introduced changes this year to help make studying easier for students. These changes are in direct response to student feedback, and it is hoped that they will make the library more accessible. It will be easier to access the library, as you no longer need your UWE ID card during staffed hours (9am - 7pm Mon – Friday, 10am – 4pm Sat). This will also eliminate the delays that some students experience when trying to swipe their cards upon entrance to the library. New self issue machines have also been installed on each floor, which means you can borrow books when you find them. This new feature is designed to shorten queuing time when borrowing books from the library; the reference collection has also been made more accessible on level 2. The bookable group study spaces on level 4 ensures that students are able to access these areas during the times that they have reserved.
This benefits students working in groups or teams that have experienced difficulty in finding an area of the library to accommodate them, since the booking system seeks to ensure they have such space when needed. Additionally, more silent study spaces have been provided on level 5. ‘The law library on level 5 was always full up, but the silent study spaces have made it convenient to research and work in the library at the same time’ said Katie Joyce, 24, a law student at the Frenchay Campus. Mike Tziorta, 20, a Business student also studying at Frenchay said ‘The new changes are great, and they make the Library more accessible for busy students like myself’.
Students’ Union &
The Swerve Project
> A British Red Cross humanitarian education initiative taking place in Wiltshire and Avon
Mark Cockbill email@example.com
he British Red Cross, in partnership with law firm Allen & Overy have developed a Justice & Fairness educational resource on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), aimed at secondary school pupils across the UK. The Swerve Project, running in Wiltshire and Avon, is “designed to help young people explore the themes of justice and fairness through learning about conflict and International Humanitarian Law. The project allows the school students to discuss what they feel is fair and unfair, humane and inhumane treatment, and gives them the confidence to share what
they have learnt with their fellow students”, said Rosie Walters, Swerve Project’s Manager. In the past academic year, Nova Hreod School in Swindon was a recipient of the project’s work. With the support of the project staff and volunteers, a group of year eight pupils successfully created a radio programme on the topic of land mines, being aired on Swindon Community Radio 105.5, while another group discussed conflict related issues in an assembly to 230 of their peers. This coming academic year will see the project roll out to two schools in Bristol, a year ten class at the City Academy in St. George and the Grange School in Warmley will participate with a year twelve group. The course has been divided into four modules, ‘Ambiguities of Identity in Conflict’, ‘Conflict Lines’, ‘War Limitations’ and a final
module that will involve students staging mock war crimes tribunals. The complexity of identity of combatants and non combatants in conflict zones, and the resulting responsibilities and implications placed on military and non military actors are explored in the first module, incorporating photographs of individuals whose civilian identity appears questionable. Pupils are engaged through images of their peers from locations across the globe, brandishing weapons or standing behind what appears to be a perimeter fence of a refugee camp, revealing the difficulties of categorical identity in conflict zones A highlighted statement in the IHL teaching resource claims that “International Humanitarian Law serves to protect those who are not, or are no longer taking part in fighting and to restrict the means and methods of warfare”. The fundamental principles of the British Red Cross are evident in the work carried out in these schools, which
New agony aunt (and uncle!) column
> Words of advice for you, from top the world’s top investigators Jessica & Columbo firstname.lastname@example.org
e are Columbo and Jessica, UWE’s new Agony Aunt and Uncle. Between us we have over 35-years of experience in mental health, psychology, policing and even more in existence as human beings. We’ve been to the University of Life as well as an academic one and as professionals have a lot to offer you. Why are we here? We are here for you, the reader; UWE students, staff and members of the public. You can confide in us and talk to us about any problem, issue, concern or question you may harbour or that you think somebody
else may have or be experiencing. All enquiries/letters/emails will be treated as confidential and anonymous just as the answers published each month will be answered with anonymity in mind. If you worry that you are alone with an issue, concern or problem then please, do not worry as often it is only when you are able to speak out about a worry or crisis that another can see that they are not on their own. Often, many people experience the same worries as you and are simply afraid that nobody will listen, nobody will understand or care, or that they will be mocked and laughed at. Not here: whether it’s about academic work, time
organisation, finance, debt, sex, relationships, money, goal setting, mental health, physical health, life, family or friends we are here to listen and provide you with a response each month in the Lifestyles section of The Western Eye newspaper. And if we don’t have an answer then we will know somebody that does, which is why our anonymous service is there for anyone. With a wealth of experience, resources and contacts to hand we will detect the right solutions for you and guide you on your way. Contact us now – do not leave it until a worry becomes a crisis:
can be seen through the teaching of their views mentioned above. Principles of humanity, voluntary service, unity and universality are what the Red Cross stand for, and the inclusion of such humanitarian principles in secondary school education is a healthy by product of the Swerve Project. “Part of what the Red Cross does is to raise awareness about International Humanitarian Law, which is now a part of the Citizenship syllabus. We do a lot of work in schools, and provide a range of teaching resources to help teachers to make IHL and other humanitarian topics exciting and engaging for young people”, commented Walters. The humanitarian topics addressed in the Swerve Project are vital issues that should continue to be the focus of secondary school pupils in schools in Britain and around
the world. Exposure to the work of the Red Cross and the principles of humanity and universality at GCSE age are vital in providing pupils with an alternative perspective on the traditional areas of education, at a time when pupils become focused on A level choices, often dependent on future education and career ambitions. Voluntary positions for the Swerve Project within the Avon office of the British Red Cross are now full and recruitment has concluded. Those who interested in volunteering in the future should check the Wiltshire, Gloucestershire & Avon section of www.redcross.org.uk, where opportunities to be involved in voluntary activities ranging from emergency response, first aid, tracing and messenger services, refugee services and humanitarian education are available.
>WesternEye invites you to catch up with all the latest news from UWE’s radio station
email@example.com Andy Morrison
If you’ve got a problem, you know who to call...
ub Radio is UWE’s only radio station, airing 24/7. Run completely by students, it gives you the chance to get experience working with radio, be it presenting, producing, promoting - you name it! If you are at UWE and interested in following a career path in radio or music then Hub Radio is a great place for you to start. To get involved or just find out more, visit our website at www.hubradio. co.uk. The station airs live shows between 9am-11pm every day. One great thing about Hub Radio is our diversity; any type of music you want will be catered for. With shows that focus on R&B and hip hop, rock, classical and even one for traditional African music. You can tune in by visiting the website and clicking on the live stream, make sure you turn your speakers
up loud! Last year we enjoyed a massive success with listening figures rising 30%! So a big thank you to everyone involved last year is in order. And with our landmark relocation to a new studio on Frenchay Campus things are looking good for 2010/11. This year, listen out for shows like the Urban Society (Mon 7-9pm) with the best and latest HipHop, and The Boggs (Wed 6-8pm), run by the new station manager Pete Johnson. For a good night out, check out our weekly club night Zoology at the world famous Thekla every Monday where you can experience Hub Radio DJs controlling the upstairs deck! Last Monday saw the launch of Zoology at Thekla with our DJs creating a lot of noise. A big welcome to all Freshers and welcome back to everyone else!
The death of the polygraph and the birth of brain fingerprinting... > Regular psychology columnist maligns the use of technology in the pursuit of truth Neurobonkers firstname.lastname@example.org
he traditional polygraph or lie-detector-test as it is commonly known has been in existence for over a hundred years and in that time developments in both the technology itself and our understanding of it have been far and few between (read utterly nonexistent). The traditional polygraph works in a very similar way to the traditional witch finding technique: tie them up, drop them in a river and if they live they are a probably a witch. Despite this a new breed of lie detector tests known as “Brain Finger Printing” is emerging which, according to a number of experts, could be even more unreliable than the status quo once it gets in to the hands of the police, the secret service, cranks and talk show hosts alike the world over. The Theoretical Flaw Essentially all forms of the original polygraph are an attempt to identify when either anxiety is present or when there is prior knowledge of information that would imply guilt through examining biological indicators. The former is a much less reliable indicator than the latter due to the fact that the tests in general invariably provoke anxiety. The main technique which is slightly more reliable involves presenting certain crime scenes to a suspect and then waiting for the “ahah” moment when their blood pressure rises when they are forced to attend to the target item that they are not supposed to know about. Sadly this method assumes two things: that the suspect isn’t just worried he’s been wrongly accused and that the suspect isn’t second guessing the interrogator and freaking out at the dodgiest or most likely sounding scenario. What do the experts say? In the largest review of polygraph testing to date, the National Academy of Sciences found that the
accuracy of the polygraph was 8090% when tested artificially. This leaves a hell of a large window for error if you consider that critically that means that when it comes down to it the polygraph will be wrong almost one in four times. The problem with this figure however is that we still have really no idea what we are measuring, it could be in response to anxiety, emotional salience, memory of an event or most likely a combination of the three. The problem being that all three of these factors conflict and none can be identified. The 2003 review of the scientific evidence by the US National Research Council effectively concluded that further investment in the polygraph is futile because of the “inherent ambiguity of the physiological measures”. So why in that case is the industry experiencing a boom? Polygraphs do have one value; they often are useful for frightening the victim in to giving a confession. They are also a very easy sell to the paranoid partner and nowadays more worryingly the prying employer. “I don’t know anything about polygraphs, and I don’t know how accurate they are, but I know they’ll scare the hell out of people.” Richard M. Nixon So what is brain fingerprinting? Brain Fingerprinting uses electrodes attached to the scalp (EEG) to attempt to define whether someone has experienced an event that would imply guilt. For example if the suspect gave a signal (known as the p-300) that suggests they recognised the scene of a robbery they were suspected of committing this would imply guilt. If the suspect did not recognise the scene it would imply innocence, much like real fingerprints left at a crime. This technology was used in America as long ago as 2000 by a defence council to free a convicted criminal, an interesting decision considering that it is far from impossible to suppress the P300 response.
The inevitable progression from polygraph to EEG has now lead some investigators to attempt to use a method of brain scanning (FMRI) to look for similar markers to see if certain memories are genuine. The main problem with this technique is that in many ways, when compared to the traditional polygraph the lines are even more blurred. It is very easy for an interrogator with or without bad intent and consciously or not to interpret a brain scan as indicative of guilt. This is of course the goal and the motive of the interrogator. In a stunning study published last year, scientists placed a dead salmon in an FMRI scanner and presented it with images of human faces. It was found to be recognising emotions. Even though it was dead, and a salmon. “In FMRI, you have 160,000 darts, and so just by random chance, by
> Meet Marine (20), an Erasmus student from France studying at UWE for one year to continue her formation in English studies email@example.com
y main aim on coming to Bristol is to improve my English, however on arriving my first thoughts were how big the university was compared to mine in France! There are shops, pubs and so many blocks of flats and accommodation. In French Universities we have Erasmus students, but fewer and from a smaller selection of countries. My first experience here was at the international student orientation, where I found I met people from everywhere. It’s amazing to see people from so many backgrounds gathered in the same place. More than anything for me, this
year means independence. This is the first time I’ve left my home, my family and my friends for a long time. Of course I will miss them and as far away as I am I have very quickly realised that Bristol is not somewhere I’ll be bored. I have made friends already and made a French friend who prevents me from being too homesick. I share a flat on the campus, my flatmates are English and I think this is the best way to meet to people and enjoy student living. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. Living in Bristol has inspired me to discover other places in the UK, I plan to visit Dublin, Cardiff, Liverpool and Inverness. The biggest problem I face in England is the living cost. As a French student I have to convert Euros to pounds,
Lucia Dobson-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
ower Ashton’s Student Union bar have achieved a Gold standard Soil Association accreditation for catering at their bar on the campus. To attain the award, the SUl accomplished high standards in sustainability, and use high levels of locally sourced, organic, GM free produce. The criteria for the award also stipulate, among other things, that 75% of dishes must be freshly prepared, and that nonmeat dishes be promoted as part of a climate-friendly diet, such as their surprisingly tasty Fennel and Almond soup (below).
Photo: Courtney Bolt
The Erasmus Experience... Marine Gwozdz
the noise that’s inherent in the FMRI data, you’re going to have some of those darts hit a bull’s-eye by accident” Craig Bennet The benefit of a salmon is you can replay this test again and again and realise that your results are just down to blind luck. With a live, human suspect however you don’t really have that option. Now the same technology is being used by prosecutors to determine the freedom of our friends across the pond and according to some reports in places like Guantanamo. How many red herrings they hit upon we will never know. If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested to know that Professor Gina Rippon of Aston University will be visiting UWE to discuss “why neuroscience has no place in national security” in the near future. For more info contact the UWE Psychology Society.
Bower Ashton gets gold
making the UK an expensive place to live. For the same accommodation I would pay half the price in France. However, apart from having to pay attention to my budget I am looking forward to the next chapter in my new life. Whatever happens, I am sure I will have fun here.
One World Week: 25-29th October
Come celebrate the world on your doorstep. One World Week will give you the chance experience… • International Flavours • Global Beats • World Cinema • Sports Tasters Discover opportunities to… • Study Abroad • Intern and Work Globally • Volunteer Internationally in Bristol and Beyond
Marine (left) at her induction
Come join in the fun at our launch party, 25 October, 12-14:00 @ Escape Courtyard!! Find out more online at: http://www.uwe. ac.uk/international/events.shtml
Sale ends here...
Avon Fire Department
> Sale shopping is always in vogue, but do you get the best deal?
> Top tips for keeping you not on fire
ale, sale, sale - must end soon! Make your way through Bristol on any day of the week, any month of the year and you are likely to be bombarded with promises of “special offers” from clothing retailers. Enticing as they may sound, the problem with these deals is that they don’t end “soon” as the sign states; they just go on, and on and on. Gone are the days when “The Sales” specifically referred to the traditional once-a-year January sales. In this brave new world of retailing giants, and ever cheaper (if ethically questionable) production methods, we are treated to the year-long temptation of cut-price sales clothing. Shopping in the sales for that quick fashion fix can become addictive. I often find myself buying things that aren’t perfect, or that I don’t really need, so I decided it was time to go cold turkey on clothes shopping. I am now three months into a self imposed clothing fast and hope to make it as far as the real sales in January, which will make it six months in total. But why not indulge every fancy? Well not only is it a drain on the pocket, but it also makes it too easy to end up with far more clothes than any sane person needs, or any sort of student accommodation can cope with. It’s too easy to accumulate, not because you actually really like any particular item, but simply because it’s there, and you really can’t refuse a “good
s this the first time you have lived away from home? Have you thought about your safety and what to do if a fire breaks out? Watch what you heat Between October 2008 and August 2009 78% of fires in student halls of residence started in the kitchen. Many of the fires started after cooking was left unattended or when students had returned from a night out drinking alcohol, put food on to cook and fallen asleep. Fires can be devastating, destroying belongings and endangering lives. A recipe for a safe kitchen: • Never leave cooking unattended, even for a few minutes as fire can break out and spread quickly, with devastating consequences • Alcohol and cooking is a recipe for disaster False alarms cost lives Malicious activation of a fire alarm is a criminal offence. False alarms divert fire service resources away from real emergencies. Be aware that cooking fumes, including smoke from burnt toast, cigarette smoke, deodorant sprays
deal”. My wardrobe is a case in point. After two years of living in Bristol, repeatedly passing through the shopping hot-spots of Park Street, Broadmead, Cabot Circus, and the Gloucester Road area, I have a wardrobe overfull with items that I “sort of” like, and never wear. In fact, at a guess, I probably wear about 20% of the items contained therein on a regular basis, and I know I’m not alone in this. The majority of the clothes that I don’t wear are impulse buys, and sale items. When buying clothes, rather than falling for the passable sale item, surely a better investment for us all would be a few, perhaps more expensive, but better tailored, longer-lasting, and if you’re lucky, more ethically sound, items. It might not be easy, but detoxing rarely is. After three months of refusing to take part in the ritual of clothes shopping I have slowly begun to dig out items that I forgot were even there, or items that simply needed
Photo: Hugga Larusdottir
a button re-attaching, or some other minor repair. Some items I haven’t seen in a while, and they almost feel like new anyway. It really can be a process of detoxification, not just a matter of denial, and in such a heavily consumer-orientated society, it can feel cleansing too.
Sale shopping do’s and don’ts DON’T... ...be pressurized, just because you’ve found a sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy something. ...buy the wrong size, don’t say you’ll slim into it or wear it baggy. You won’t. ...look back, what was in fashion last summer won’t be next, so forget about it.
Hello everyone and welcome back to another great year of society shindigs and fun. It’s been a long summer and I am confident when I say a good year lies ahead. What have I been up too? On the production of your SPORTS ACTIVITIES MEMBERSHIP CARD at any SU bar across all campuses from WED 29th October you will receive a discount on selected food/drink.
Now that the buzz of Freshers’ week is over, it’s time to see the serious stuff fall into place. Higher Education is facing large scale cuts to be announced in the near future. NUS and UCU are jointly organising a national demonstration called ‘Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts’ to take place on Wednesday 10 November 2010 in London. Check out further details on www.uwesu.org. Peace out!
Which is nice, this offer is exclusive to Members of societies and Sports Clubs. One order per customer at one time. No cheeky rounds! The RAG bar crawl is on the 6th October, next issue i will update you on how that has gone! We have Kandi, which is a student led night on the 12 October at 10:00 in Red Bar, check it out!
and shower steam can all trigger a false alarm. Help reduce false call outs: • Keep fire doors closed this will reduce the risk of false alarms or prevent a fire spreading • Never smash a break glass call point unless it’s an emergency as the fire service will be called out when they could be needed at a real emergency Working smoke alarms save lives: If you have just moved into a shared student house, make sure you have working smoke alarms in the property. If a fire does break out just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can render a person unconscious. A working smoke alarm can provide an early warning that a fire has broken out and can provide extra minutes to escape, especially at night. If in doubt ask your landlord to fit a smoke detector and check the battery once a week to ensure it is working. Remember the fire and rescue service is here to help, so if you do discover a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. For more fire safety advice visit the student safety pages at www.avonfire.gov.uk or find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Do... ...look through your possessions before you leave and ask yourself, what do I need? ...think about gifts, sales can be the perfect place to find a great present.
Presidential prose Hi everyone, I trust that you all had a crazy Freshers’ week and are ready to get stuck into the new academic year. The last couple weeks have been flat out fun times, delivering welcome and accommodation talks to hundreds of new students, course talks across the University and getting stuck into events such as Freshers’ Fair (which was a massive success!) I’ve also been identifying wide scale transport issues and looking at ways forward for a better student experience.
Colin Offler SRC President
Gail Wilson SRC Vice President
Terry Atkinson Activities President Nadia Harding Sports President
Hello UWE! One of the key things the Students’ Union is here to do is to represent the voice of students to the University and to try and secure positive changes for students. We do this through several ways; firstly, everyone should have a student rep for their course and year who you can give feedback to on how your course is going, which will be raised by your rep at the appropriate Programme Student Staff Liaison Group.
Colin and I also sit on a whole host of committees and groups where we raise bigger student issues and will speak out on anything we feel could impact on students. We also use feedback from surveys such as the National Student Survey to look at how students rate their course and the comments they make. All of these things have resulted in some really positive changes for studentsdon’t believe me? Check out the action and successes boards in the Undercroft and online!
I hope you are all coping with the Freshers madness; course enrolments, new accommodation and trying new things. For the returners, I hope you are glad to be back and get stuck in. Fresher’s was a great success, and in my area of work Free Sport Week was amazing, allowing students to try new activities for free before they signed up to a sport or society. Hopefully this event will grow through the next few years! Next, after tackling the Sports Budgets, the projects myself and the Sports Executive will be focusing on are the 2010/2011 Varsity Series, aiming to get UWE
a Mascot, and the girls will be heading up a new project aimed to get women active and more involved in new activities. These projects will all be developing over the next month. Next week we are also kickstarting our ‘Sports Night On Tour’, which has joined up with the RAG Bar crawl. Both these events have been designed to a) raise money for the RAG charities and b) so Sports and Activities can raise money for their clubs and societies, to continue to develop their activities. I eagerly await what this year has to offer, and I hope you are all finding your feet!
Sports and Gym Memberships at the Centre for Sport
Our membership scheme has changed! Available from the 1 September 2010.
All-new ‘ACTIVE CARD’ membership now available! Key Benefits of the Active Card membership:* Full access to both, fully equipped, state of the art fitness suites; The Centre for Sport and Wallscourt Farm Gym
Benefit from discounts on Social Sports, Coaching Courses other sports facility bookings
Free use of Squash, Badminton Courts and Climbing Wall. Subsidised use of other facilities (excludes astro-pitch)
Free use of all aerobics classes
Staff, students and community all welcome! *Terms and conditions apply; member’s guest fees payable, suitable level of climbing wall experience must be proven to gain inclusive use of the climbing wall, stated benefits apply to Active Card membership.
Visit the Centre for Sport now to activate your Active Card!
www.uwe.ac.uk/sport Telephone 0117 32 86 200 E-mail email@example.com Find us on Facebook ‘UWE Centre for Sport’
2-3 y Active ear memb Card also a erships at dis vailable count rates ed A pplys memb to student ership only
what’s on at your... Lock In: Escape+Red Bar, Frenchay, St. Matt’s+Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3 (free entry before 10pm)
Mon 18th Lock In: Escape+Red Bar, Frenchay, St. Matt’s+Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3 (free entry before 10pm)
Mon 25th Lock In: Escape+Red Bar, Frenchay, St. Matt’s+Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3 (free entry before 10pm)
Mon 1st Lock In: Escape+Red Bar, Frenchay, St. Matt’s+Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3 (free entry before 10pm)
Tue 12th Open Decks Night: Glenside SU, 8pm-close. Cocktail Night: Escape, Frenchay SU, 8pm-close.
Tue 19th Open Decks Night: Glenside SU, 8pm-close. Cocktail Night: Escape, Frenchay SU, 8pm-close.
Tue 26th Open Decks Night: Glenside SU, 8pm-close. Cocktail Night: Escape, Frenchay SU, 8pm-close.
Tue 2nd Live Wire - Halloween Rock Night: Red Bar, Frenchay, 10-3, £2 before midnight, £3 after. Open Decks Night: Glenside SU, 8pm-close. Cocktail Night: Escape, Frenchay SU, 8pm-close.
Open Decks Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 10-’til late, free. St. Matt’s Quiz: St. Matt’s SU, 8pm, £1 per person. Come Play: Eton and Haze, City Centre, £3.50 (with NUS card) 10-late
Wed 20th Open Decks Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 10-’til late, free. St. Matt’s Quiz: St. Matt’s SU, 8pm, £1 per person. Come Play: Eton and Haze, City Centre, £3.50 (with NUS card) 10-late
Flirt! Exchange: The Bar Stock Market: Red Bar, 10-3, £2 in advance, £3 after.
Open Mic Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 8-1, free (free drink for every performer)
Open Decks Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 10-’til late, free. St. Matt’s Quiz: St. Matt’s SU, 8pm, £1 per person. Come Play: Eton and Haze, City Centre, £3.50 (with NUS card) 10-late
Flirt!: Red Bar, 10-3, £2 in advance, £3 after.
Fri 29th Flirt! Halloween Party: Red Bar, 10-3, £2 in advance, £3 after.
Open Decks Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 10-’til late, free. St. Matt’s Quiz: St. Matt’s SU, 8pm, £1 per person. Come Play: Eton and Haze, City Centre, £3.50 (with NUS card) 10-late
Open Mic Night: Escape Bar, Frenchay, 8-1, free (free drink for every performer)
Fri 5th Flirt!: Red Bar, 10-3, £2 in advance, £3 after.
Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free.
Sat 23rd Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free.
Red Bar Quiz: Red Bar, Frenchay, 8pm, £1 per person. Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free. Glenside Quiz: Glenside SU, 8pm, £1 per person.
Sun 24th Red Bar Quiz: Red Bar, Frenchay, 8pm, £1 per person. Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free. Glenside Quiz: Glenside SU, 8pm, £1 per person.
Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free.
Red Bar Quiz: Red Bar, Frenchay, 8pm, £1 per person. Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free. Glenside Quiz: Glenside SU, 8pm, £1 per person.
Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free.
Red Bar Quiz: Red Bar, Frenchay, 8pm, £1 per person. Sports+X-Factor on the big screen: St. Matt’s SU, all day, free. Glenside Quiz: Glenside SU, 8pm, £1 per person.
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Thursday 25th November 2010 5:30pm / 2D67 MOT MOTIONS TO BE SUBMITTTED BY 4PM ON 11TH NOVEMBER 2010 TO GAIL WILSON: SRC.VICEPRESIDENT@UWE.AC.UK SRC CAN ALL THOSE ATTENDING THE AGM PLEASE BRING THEIR SU MEMBERSHIP CARD OR UWE STUDENT ID SO YOU CAN BE SIGNED IN.
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Debate Flags, Griffin and Radio 4 Comment &
> With the World Cup thankfully over, and the flags safely tucked away for another two years, WesternEye looks at their perceived significance in today’s society, and how BBC Radio 4 managed to make a mountain out of a molehill
Henry Stoneley email@example.com
orld cup fever is over. Thank God. It was painful, nobody wants to talk about it, and, frankly it was all a bit of a waste of time from an England fan’s perspective. However, amongst this, an ugly issue raised its head. Every World Cup in my memory has been overshadowed by three debates. Who gets England’s number 1 shirt? Is there nobody in England capable of having a talented left footed child? Does having a Cross of St George flag make you a racist? It is, strangely, the third one I want to look at.
The banner on the top of the BBC website the week before England’s first match read “What does it say about you if you fly an England flag?” Aside from being incredibly clumsy as a sentence (why not say “What does flying an England flag say about you?” ?) it’s also the most mind numbingly infuriating proposition since someone at the BBC decided that some dizzy Canadian bumbler was a suitable temporary replacement for Steve Wright on his eponymous Sunday morning radio leviathan Love Songs Middle aged women’s radio aside, what are the BBC trying to achieve by engaging in the ultimately pointless charade that is the concept of patriotism? Following the link led to a BBC Radio 4 preview for the following day. As you can well imagine, the debate quickly descended into an argument about race, and not, as it perpetrated to be, a debate about a flag. You could write the script before it’s been broadcast: Extreme far-right calls for flaghating generic foreigners to be deported because they’re “taking the jobs and that”; extreme left says of said generic group that
they should be deported because they’re “taking the jobs and that”. Hmm... Meanwhile Mr. Moderate, king of the Radio Four Vox-Pop, takes a step back from his Aga to exclaim “Well, I’m all for inclusion, and I’m not a racist but...” followed by a racist sentiment, and to counter balance all this there’s a man from a charity, usually of unrelated cause, saying that everyone is “beautiful and free and welcome” and subconsciously inviting anyone who happens to be listening to vomit. There we go, that’s what happened that morning on Radio 4. I woke up perilously early to listen to that, and I’ve summarised it in fewer than 100 words. It’s an unnecessary debate that will never be resolved. It’s a flag, not anything more. It is not a symbol of England, it is not Nick Griffin’s favourite piece of cloth based pornography; it is a piece of fabric with a hugely unimaginative symbol on it. People project their own connotations onto it, there’s nothing intrinsic about its values. Trying to argue over the flag’s importance is like trying to beat a wall at a game of tennis. It means different things to everyone, move on.
“Do they genuinely think that there was a Dog and Pheasant or Brian’s Caff on the Costa Del Sol before the English showed up?”
Anyway, back to the statement at hand, “What does it say about you if you fly an England flag?” Well BBC, it says two things: 1) You own a flag. 2) There is at least a moderate breeze. It does not make you a racist. Being a racist makes you a racist, oddly enough. And that’s really that I suppose. Fly a flag if you want to, don’t if you don’t. At the end of the day we all affiliate with our nation in different ways. Many ex-pats would argue that they are still English, and yet when people from other nationalities come to live in Britain, morons demand that they integrate. Why the double standard? Do they genuinely think that there was a Dog and Pheasant or Brian’s Caff on the Costa del Sol before the English immigrated in their droves? No. If we refuse to integrate then what right do we have to rant and rave about a flag being supposedly offensive? Fly your flag if you want, it’s just a flag; nobody’s going to burn it. Are they?
A different papal perspective > Oscar Clarke’s article in Issue One caused quite a stir. Here, one student to defends his faith...
Matthew Stimpson firstname.lastname@example.org
am writing to express my utter disgust at an article which is nothing less than an all out assault on Catholicism (Paying for a Miracle, Oscar Clarke, Issue 1). Because of their forgiving nature, Catholics have politely ignored verbal attacks by an antiCatholic media in the UK for years. However I have had enough of this unwarranted bad portrayal of Catholicism, how this is acceptable I do not know. The same author would not get away with publishing similar comments about any other
religion. Catholicism is a peaceful and beautiful religion, which I feel has guided me in the right direction and provided me with a moral grounding. I understand that this article was published in an opinion section; however it is ridden with so much hatred that I question the wisdom of WesternEye for allowing this extremist voice column inches. That what I read (anti-Catholic propaganda), is being fed through the minds of budding academics at this university worries me. What is more concerning however is, it is not just WesternEye, it is also the mainstream media. If only these writers were aware of what the Catholic Church has done for this world down the years. What would crackpot ultra-left revolutionaries do with their time if they didn’t have our Holy Church to throw their militant nihilist nonsense at? The biggest threat to culture in Britain, which has already gained a strong grip on society is militant atheism, which is proving very successful in removing morals from society leading to increases
in crime, notably that of gun and knife crime. In his article, Clarke is quite blatantly an atheist and in the very biased and forceful way he writes, he is most defiantly coming across as militant. Voices like his are not going to do the world any favours, in a time when we need to unite together as our Lords servers on Earth. The continued support of all things atheist by the media has resulted in Britain becoming a selfish and empty state which makes it (morally speaking) a third world country, a nation obsessed by material goods, property and image is resulting in a socially deprived nation. And as Edmund Adamus, a leading advisor to the Archbishop of Westminster points out, Britain has become a “selfish, hedonistic wasteland” which has become “the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death”. The most disturbing element of the article for me is the attack upon Mother Teresa. The lady who devoted her whole adult life and every penny she had to helping the poor and needy in third world countries, how this opinion is warranted I do not
Pope Benedict began his trip in Edinburgh
know. Clarke could never make the commitments that Mother Teresa has, as he comes across like a boy that has been spoon fed by a middle class family for the past 20 years. If he did, I might start to listen to these words that are nothing short of evil. I do beg the question how such an innocent looking young male can gather such coherent devil - like opinion. What has gone wrong? I applauded Edmund Adamus earlier this year for remarking that: “Parliament has turned Britain into a country which is more culturally anti-Catholic than
nations where Christians are violently persecuted such as Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan.” All in all, I pity and prey for voices like Oscar Clarke’s; he must have had a pretty devastating childhood, to build up such an evil hatred for something so peaceful and well doing as our Holy Church. Clarke needs to get off the Hitchens–Dawkins bandwagon which has clearly brainwashed him, gain a real grip on society and develop some opinions of his own.
It’s not all fun and games
> Henry Stoneley looks at the failings of the Commonwealth Games, and questions whether the event has a future Henry Stoneley email@example.com
y the time this is published, the Commonwealth Games should be in full flow. Whether they are or not, I can’t predict. With a week to go before the first games India has held, things were, quite literally, collapsing around them. On September 22, the roof of the weightlifting arena collapsed, injuring workers. The arena is at the heart of the Jawaharlal Nehru complex, the centrepiece of India’s first games. As this goes to press, the Welsh and Scottish teams are refusing to fly until guarantees can be made over their safety. New Zealand have ruled themselves out entirely. Just two days prior, a bridge connecting two areas of the stadium collapsed, injuring 27 workers. Sadly, these events are not totally unexpected. Former Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs, Mani Shankar Aiyar had expressed his concerns over a year ago, stating that the games would be “spoilt” if they were held in India. Perhaps predictably, The Times of India, along with many Indian news outlets, slated Aiyar, eliciting Samuel Johnson’s quote that “patriotism is the last refuge of all scoundrels”. However, the closer the games get, if indeed they ever do, the more accurate Aiyar’s predictions appear to be. The athlete’s village, a £150million development, has also been at the centre of considerable controversy. The Scottish team’s complaint supposedly included a photograph of a dog defecating on one of the athlete’s beds. Other rooms were found to be flooded following seasonal monsoon rains. The state of the unfinished facilities, due to open on September 23, led to complaints from the team captains of England, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, a considerable proportion of the games participants. Delhi has had a brand new airport built for the occasion, which was expected to ease the
“If it’s getting more and more difficult for host cities, does it carry on, does it have a future?” The 2006 Melbourne Games (pictured above) were considered to be amongst the best ever. Can Delhi match their achievements? Image: Creative Commons
Photo: Jimmy Harris
hundreds of thousands of tourists the games usually attract. I had the dubious pleasure of spending 36 hours in Delhi airport this summer, with the first eighteen coming just three days after it was opened. What I, and indeed the forty other passengers waiting in transit, found was an airport in disarray. I’ve no issue with that, anyone who was anywhere near Terminal 5 at Heathrow after it was opened will know that even some of the world’s greatest airports can make a giant hash of things. Delhi’s airport wasn’t dirty, nor was it visibly dangerous, but it was unbelievably confusing. The currency exchange bureau, manned by two men in uniforms with “Currency Exchange Officers” emblazoned across them, informed us that they could not exchange currency in the terminal yet. Given that there were no ATMs this was a little odd, but this isn’t a story about Delhi Airport. It’s about the general levels of organisation in this project. Following the concerns about South Africa hosting World Cup 2010, perhaps this furore over Delhi is just absurd, media spun conjecture. India may yet host a fantastic Commonwealth Games, just as South Africa can be justifiably proud of an enigmatic World Cup. As it stands though, the Games are in danger of becoming a joke. Nobody is pretending that the Commonwealth Games is the Olympics. However, it is a prestigious athletic event, with a proud (if not slightly colonial) history, and has, in its time, created some fantastic stories and icons. The XIX Games look perilously close to becoming a joke, and it is the responsibility of India, the Commonwealth Games
Committee and indeed the teams themselves, to make sure they salvage the Games’ reputation. What the issues in Delhi really highlight, is whether or not there is a need for the Commonwealth Games in the modern era. Sir Matthew Pinsent, the former Olympic Gold rowing medallist, is going to the games as part of the BBC commentary team. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he too questioned the need for the games: “What groups the Commonwealth together anymore? It used to be the Empire Games... as time goes on you get further away from independence”. “If the numbers of athletes are going up and it’s getting more and more expensive and difficult for host cities, does it carry on, does it have a big future?” With the lengthy list of absentees, both entire nations and individual athletes, it is hard to see how India can turn a profit on the games, with estimates for the cost generally falling between £2bn and £6.5bn. With all this in mind, and the problems that India has experienced in trying to host the games, despite being given 7 years to do so, would it really be any wonder if potential future hosts were put off? Losing athletes like Geraint Thomas, the 4000m pursuit Olympic Gold medallist will have a significant impact not only on the prestige of the competition, but also the crowds it will draw. The last thing that the Commonwealth Games needs now is another high profile nation dropping out. New Zealand’s withdrawal is an embarrassing upset. Even though they are said to be monitoring the situation and may yet return, the very fact that they were willing to turn
their backs on such a high profile tournament highlights the lack of faith amongst the teams in the host nation. Whether the games go ahead as planned I can’t predict. My guess is that they will, albeit with certain high profile absentees. However, it is not the immediate future of the games that should be of concern; it is the future of one of the oldest events in the athletic calendar. Who knows? Maybe Delhi will turn out to be the games that everyone who has ever visited India knows they are capable of. Delhi could, and should, be a celebration of a vibrant culture, with some fantastic sport and hopefully a plethora of decent stories. If it is, then the games has a future, and if not? If not, then this may well be one of the last Commonwealth games, and that is an unacceptable loss.
Disagree with what is written in these pages? Got an opinion on anything; from the meaning of life to the meaning of Liff (a tiny village outside Dundee)? Would you like to share it with the student body? Get in touch: comment@ westerneye.net
It’s like, sort of, like, awesome
> Is the English language gradually being degenerated by an influx of Americanisation? Carl Wakfer sort of like, looks at, like how English may, or may not, be like, sort of, kind of becoming less like, awesome. Sweet.
Carl Wakfer firstname.lastname@example.org
mericanisms have been gradually crawling into British grammar since the 50s. “Yeah” “man” and “cool” were some of the first slang words to swim across the pond and make themselves at home. They are treated like immigrants: they arrive welcomed by some, frowned upon by others, and in no time there are so many around that people have forgotten what was and wasn’t here in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about to turn into some
patriotic rant about how Americans have ruined the language. I think they have done it some good. If the Beatles had sang “she loves you Yes! Yes! Yes!” it would have sounded silly. American English is ‘pretty sweet’ really. It’s an easy short cut to making a point. “Cool”, “wicked”, “killer”, “bad”, “radical” and many more allow flexibility in describing things that in most cases are just, well, really rather good. But the word “good” can get monotonous. Go figure. We can hold the American entertainment industry as the main culprits for easing attitudes towards casual swearing and I thank them for this. Sometimes I’d find it f*cking hard to express myself without it. Period. The problem is that not everything we adopt is helping us or the language. It is somewhat killing it, and most of us don’t choose to adopt these words and phrases. We catch them like diseases. One which I have avoided like the plague is awesomitosis. It has been around for some time but is now highly contagious
and detrimental to the future of many other great words. In fact, “awesome” appears to be replacing most adjectives. The gig wasn’t brilliant, it was “awesome”. If someone requires a cigarette and I can spare one, it isn’t helpful, it is “awesome”. The food wasn’t exquisite, no, it was “awesome”. The comedian isn’t hilarious, oh no, he is “awesome”. The view isn’t fabulous, it is “awesome”. The latest Hollywood blockbuster isn’t fantastic or thrilling, no no no, you mark my words it is “awwwesome!” Everything is apparently so bloody awesome. For me it certainly isn’t. Another is likerettes, where one fills gaps in sentences with the word “like”, regardless of whether it makes sense. It does not include the British habit of adding a “like” on the end, like.” This is far worse, like, you know, like so like irritating to like listen to, when you’re like, on the bus. “He was like this, and I was like stop saying like, cuz it sounds like, so like, stupid!” The problem with likerettes syndrome is that you won’t know you have it until someone plays
back a recording of you speaking. Your sentences are probably riddled with “likes” and you haven’t even noticed. If you don’t want to fall victim to the above diseases, then treat them like Chlamydia and check yo’self once in a while..er..dude.
“He was like this, and I was like stop saying like, ‘cuz it sounds like, so like stupid!”
Comments expressed in these pages reflect the opinion of the authors themselves, and are not necessarily representative of the views of WesternEye
Can rape ever be humorous?
> With more and more comics turning to rape as a means to get a laugh, is it right for rape to be a laughing matter? Henry Stoneley email@example.com
ape. There we go, we got that out of the way. I’ve written this introduction six times in the last hour, and it is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve had to write for a long time. There is a stigma to rape that transcends the boundaries of culture, race and age, a stigma that until recently was very marked indeed. However, in recent times, rape has become, and rightfully so, a leading issue in the agenda of the media and the sphere of politics. Yet now, more than ever, it seems fair game for rape to be used in both comedic and colloquial terms. David Haye is a man who should probably let his fists do the talking. I say that in the nicest possible way, for Haye seems affable enough, and certainly seemed to have a bit of a sense of humour. Realistically, anyone willing to get into a ring with the seven foot tall Nikolai Valuev has to be fairly funny in one way or another. So it was slightly surprising to hear his comments on the Today programme. Haye was on the show as a publicity stunt for his upcoming bout with Audley Harrison, and publicise it he did, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Haye predicted that the fight would be as “one-sided as a gang rape”, and also ensured viewers
that he would “violate” Harrison, a disturbing image at best. Two days later, Haye reappeared on the programme, after heavy media criticism, but he eschewed the chance to apologise. Later, his Twitter feed read: “If I apologised for every stupid/ignorant thing I said, I wouldn’t have time for anything else during the day!”. What Haye’s casual use of the term “rape” shows is how ingrained it has become in the lexicon of everyday life. I’d be a hypocrite if I claimed I hadn’t used it. The use of the word “rape” to describe anything negative has become routine and uninteresting. Saying “I got totally raped last night” after one too many shandies in The Prince of Wales isn’t even worthy of a raised eyebrow in my house. Jamie Anderson is a young Scottish comic, currently plying his trade on the London circuit. WesternEye caught up with him over the summer. “I don’t really see the problem with rape jokes. It’s not as though I’m actually going to go out and rape somebody, is it? Isn’t it our job to push social boundaries?” Perhaps Anderson is right, comedy has always been at the forefront of what is, and isn’t, acceptable. But can it really justify making light of such an horrific ordeal? It’s not just Haye and I either. South Park, which sets the mark
David Haye prepares to “rape” and potentially “violate” an opponent
“Use of the term ‘rape’ has become ingrained in the lexicon of everyday life.”
in over stepping the mark, last year aired a show about the Indiana Jones franchise. During some of the final scenes George Lucas and Steven Speilberg are shown literally raping Indiana. It’s a metaphor for the way in which the franchise has been destroyed by the final instalment, but it’s a pretty grotesque one. Offensive? Yes. Boundary-crossing? Certainly. Horrifyingly detailed? Yes. Funny? I’ll admit that I laughed. And there in lies the problem. I can sit on my chair and be as sanctimonious as I like about it, tutting when others use it to describe a poor football result, or
reprimanding those who casually throw the term about, but it’s probably too late. After all, if we’re willing to use “murder” as a term for somebody, say, covering a song poorly, then what difference does it make to start using rape? Having never been raped or murdered, I can’t say that I know which the greater ordeal is, but what is certain is that had Haye said he would “murder” Harrison, nobody would have batted an eyelid.
Me, Myself and Uni
> Being yourself is a challenge, especially at the start of university
Matthew Pallett firstname.lastname@example.org
here I was sitting in the courtyard of UWE’s Frenchay campus, having navigated through a series of nonsensically-terminal corridors, all of which seemed to end in a gathering of hairy-arsed builders. There were very few people milling about the place as I’d arrived a few days before the official start of term. Consequently I genuinely felt like a spare part sitting outside in the courtyard on my own, so I took positive action and reached for a copy of WesternEye, the student paper, in an attempt to appear as if I knew
what I was doing. In the past I’ve never really taken interest in educational publications regarding them as pages of carefully-governed opinion from those who spend far too much time with their tutors. However, I was almost immediately drawn into a world of student knowledge which made me feel slightly more comfortable about the daunting move to university. Whilst browsing the paper and shuffling restlessly upon an anatomically-woeful chair in an attempt to find a relaxed position for my comically disproportionate limbs, I even began to feel slightly more comfortable with the fact I don’t drink. WHAT?! I hear you cry. You can’t go to university and not drink! Well, that was the impression I was under and was therefore somewhat nervous about the whole university thing until I read Paul Saville’s article, ‘University Life: survival tips.’ “... to know yourself truly,” he writes, “is a wonderful thing. People respect you for being yourself ... and they see through it when you’re not.”
It really does seem you don’t have to succumb to peer pressure to ‘fit in’ with new acquaintances. If you go down a path of denial there will come a time when the truth will out. The superficial respect you’ve gained as a result of lying will, inevitably, come crashing down around you. So ask yourself, is it really worth living a lie for the pleasure of being able to spend your days in the company of shallow-minded people? I know I’d much rather find a few friends I could be truly comfortable with, as opposed to feeling the need to wear a different persona every time I meet someone new. The message here is to be comfortable in your skin. You are beautiful as you are and if people can’t see that, then it’s their problem. True friends will accept your character without feeling the need to manipulate it in any way. I carried on reading and noted an image in the corner of my eye which read, “REMEMBER, TIME LOST CANNOT BE REGAINED,” and with this wisdom fresh in my mind I tucked the paper under my arm and headed back to campus.
> A satirical look at the events going on in your worldsphere > This month: sponsorship rumours plague the Pearly Gates Donde El Amor email@example.com eaven was last night forced to issue a strongly worded statement, strenuously denying that it had held any form of meeting with representatives from mobile telecommunications company Vodafone, as well as Jordan’s press agent Max Clifford. Reading from a pre-prepared parchment, the archangel Gabriel said: “Whilst we are sure that most Christians would eventually come round to the idea of God being sponsored by Vodafone or Jordan, we understand that in the current religious climate it might be a little bit of a push.” After a brief commercial break, Gabriel continued “with Vodafone you can get 500 minutes for half price this month. Amen”. The news comes at a bad time for Heaven, who last night admitted that they had split from long term partner Jesus. In an interview with BBC Radio Southampton’s Alina Jenkins, Jesus blamed the split on the lack of due diligence undertaken by Heaven before his trip to Earth just 2000 years ago. “I ended up with nails in my hands and feet. Nails! What kind of company is that?” Jesus had been due to be renamed Jesus Vodafone-McLarenMercedes Christ, but left the company before Deed Poll could be informed.
Photo: George Rowe
Speaking to ITV North East reporter Helen Pearson about the Vodafone move, Jesus was quoted as saying “I think they’d be stupid to do so. Everyone knows that only Orange get signal in Heaven. Especially around the Pearly Gates, they’re a blooming nightmare.” The eternal saviour also added: “St. Peter will be f*****; he loves the occasional inappropriate text.” WesternEye requested an interview with God-sponsored-byVodafone, but, as ever, he was unavailable for comment. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams vigorously denied the meeting, explaining that replacing the Book of Leviticus with Jordan’s
autobiography was actually part of the plan all along: “Look, God’s always liked Jordan, that’s why he gave her that body, and Dwight York. It’s always been his plan to have Being Jordan sandwiched between the books of Exodus and Numbers. It’s in the ‘Da Vinci Code’. Possibly.” Williams went on to add that no deal had yet been struck with Vodafone, and that the ‘Da Vinci Code’ was currently half price on amazon.com. “At the end of the day Vodafone is, as ever, the most comprehensive package, but, frankly, nothing has been signed. Top up £10 and get £10 free.”
Vice - Chancellor Lies? > Did Steve West lie in last months issue?
Rachel Ansell firstname.lastname@example.org
n April this year the European Law Students Association (hereafter ELSA), hosted a Question Time-style event. We invited the Vice-Chancellor to our event as a panel member to enable students to ask him questions and voice their opinions. It was a mere thirty minutes before the event was due to begin that a member of staff was kind enough to let us know that he would not be able to attend; we did not hear from the Vice-Chancellor himself. Luckily Richard Edwards was able to step in for us as a panel
member; however, this meant that students could not get any answers from questions which would have been directed at the Vice-Chancellor. To say that he has thought of hosting such an event himself is unbelievable since he did not turn up when the opportunity arose earlier this year. Thus, I also don’t accept that this idea has been thought up solely by himself when it was only months ago when we offered the same concept to him. Let’s just hope he turns up to this event should it be organised solely for the purpose of voicing opinions and seeking answers from the Vice-Chancellor. Having a forum to openly question the Vice-Chancellor is a good idea and would enable students to voice their opinions directly rather than to get lost among many others but if he doesn’t turn up when the opportunity is given to him what can he expect students to think?
Features More papal problems...
The smallest of sins
> Weeks after the papal visit to the UK, opinion is still divided as to whether he should have come at all.
*not the actual pope
Photo: George Rowe
he Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom was clouded with controversy. Such controversy has plagued Catholicism for years, following revelations that members of the clergy used their positions within the Church, and subsequent power, to abuse young children. Many have spoken up against Catholicism due to its unbending views on the use of contraception, abortion, gay rights and equal opportunities. Most people are finding the religion out of touch with the modern world. However, the Pope’s visit to the UK will be remembered for a long time as Benedict XVI publicly apologised for the sexual scandals, which
“The pope is not above the law, simply by virtue of being the residing iconic head of the Catholic church.”
have shaken the whole world. However, just before the Pope made his visit to the UK, thousands of people took to the streets of London and protested. The overriding feeling was that apologies are not enough, and that global changes within the Catholic Church are necessary to end this culture of abuse and archaic system of power. Many members of the Catholic faith felt privileged and honoured at the Pope’s visit. But abuse victims felt betrayed. Many have suffered further at the hands of the Catholic faith and their covering up of said crimes with a ‘wall of silence’. Whilst the Pope’s visit was one which many did not agree with, it seems that many victims felt empowered in reacting to the visit,
enough to share their experiences. Perhaps, in this light, the visit could be viewed positively; it was so enraging that it made people come forward, and there could be some healing of the hurt caused to them in their childhoods. The instance of abuse supposedly covered up by the Pope was claimed to have occurred in the early 1990’s, when he held the position of Cardinal and was head of the Vatican office. The defendant, FR Lawrence Murphy, pleaded ill health and stated that he should be allowed to live his remaining days in the “dignity of (his) priesthood”. A dignity he had apparently used to abuse innocent helpless children. His plea was granted and now the Pope is responsible for the injustice. This culminated in a campaign which was led by scientist and Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins, in a bid to stop the Pope’s visit. Mr. Dawkins’ own webpage has discussion boards and links to other forums, where you can read accounts of painful childhood memories at the hands of priests and supportive responses to such terrible experiences. Present in these accounts is evidence which suggests that if not physically abused as a child you were mentally scarred by the promise of going to Hell for the smallest sin. This abhorrent abuse scandal has rocked the foundations of the Catholic Church, with more victims revealing how they suffered on a world wide scale every day. In light of the Pope’s visit, a respected Queen’s Counsel and Judge, Geoffrey Robertson, has penned a persuasive book ‘The Case of the Pope, Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse’. The book questions the Pope’s accountability, stating that “the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world”. Mr. Robertson suggests that by helping to cover for the priests who committed these horrendous crimes, the Pope should be held partly accountable and is not above the law, simply by virtue of being the residing iconic head of the Catholic faith. Despite vast efforts made by Mr. Dawkins and others to stop the Pope’s visit, the papal holiday went ahead as planned. Thousands of non-Catholic taxpayers are footing at least half the bill. However, the Foreign Office were unable to predict the cost of the visit beforehand, and are yet to release the total cost figure. People who wanted to get involved in this historical event
needed to buy tickets, which were on sale at prices ranging from £5 to £25 (depending on time and place). This should hopefully have helped the British authorities with the financing and organising of the necessary safety precautions for the Pope’s visit. The costs escalated as it was alleged that UK citizens were plotting an attack against the Pope and security had to be stepped up. The suspects were later released without charge. The reaction by police to arrest on the grounds of a tip off, without any hard evidence, added support to the Pope’s feelings that some people wanted “the voice of religion [to] be silenced”. The Pope stated that he felt “concerned at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly Christianity” in his address at Westminster Abbey. Amongst the audience were three past Prime Ministers: Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. Feelings of indignation rose amongst those already hostile towards the long awaited visit. Catholicism dismisses homosexuality as a choice one does not have to make, showing a certain naivety or ignorance and a defiant lack of understanding. Tom Caddick, Vice President of OutUWE Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) society finds that in his opinion “the LGBT community has felt under attack by the Catholic Church”. As stated above, the Pope asks that Catholics are not marginalised, yet is happy to condone the marginalisation of a massive community simply because of their sexual preference. The hypocrisy is clear. Tom also added: “The Catholic church’s position on contraception, particularly in relation to Aidsaffected Africa, is also anathema to our community’s general view on safe sex.” Endless suffering is dismissed because of old doctrine and a lack of modernity. The Catholic faith is an old religion which has presided in England for centuries, and yet it continues to let down those who need it the most. Religion is used by many to aid those in need of guidance and to give strength to those who require it. A person’s choice in religion is a massive undertaking and one which is not taken lightly. You should be able to stand proud of your religion and know that you are part of a good community, not feel ashamed at its hypocrisy and disappointed in its leader.
East and West
The clash of two great civilisations or a common misconception?
> The US led invasion of Iraq has come to end, seven years after it started: what have we learned? > Muslim prayer area in cultural centre near Ground Zero has sparked controversy.
Yuliya Yegorova and Mike Whiting email@example.com
fter the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001, that growing enemy of a ‘civilised’ world – terrorism – gained a convenient figurehead protagonist in the form of extremist Islam. The expression ‘a collision of civilisations’ is oft trotted out, and more and more people accept this stereotype without question. But what has actually led to this clash? Fight for democracy or hunger for oil?
fter 9/11, the US had a remarkable opportunity to strengthen their power in the world. If they managed to forge global order from the post World Trade Centre chaos, it would considerably strengthen their already considerable authority. The war in Iraq, instigated by George W. Bush in 2003 and finally finished by Barack Obama this year, has not brought any positive consequences for civilians of Iraq. One of the reasons the US apparently began the war was to fight for democracy for the Iraqi people, and attempt to save them from Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. The war was not approved by the United Nations Security Council; war cannot solely be justified on the basis that Saddam Hussein was a dictator and had different method of ruling the country, rather than Western democracy. However, it was not the only reason to start the war. The US Government was sure they were fighting for peace in the world. The main reason for the Iraqi invasion was the alleged creation of weapons of mass destruction on their territory, and the harbouring of global terrorists. George W.
Bush and Tony Blair were adamant that the only thing that could be done in order to prevent the attack by this radical Middle Eastern state was to start a war. However, no weapons of mass destruction were found on the territory of Iraq throughout the whole seven years of war. The Coalition was supposedly fighting exclusively for peace and freedom. One of the supporters, retired British general Graeme Lamb, told The Times on 27th of August: “…they (the Iraqi people) now have the opportunity to choose a future that they would simply not have had if we had sat back and, like the critics wanted to, watched Iraq disintegrate (…) This new freedom offers the opportunity of choice and was, in my opinion, worth fighting for.” However, none of the war main proponents deemed to mention that Iraq is one of the countries sitting on an incredible source of power – oil, which we have a distinct lack of in most Western states. Iraq’s geographical location within the Middle East is also strategically very important, if you were, for example, attempting to establish a base in that region. Many political analysts have stated that the war was essentially useless, while some still maintain taking thousands of lives both from the Iraqi and American military and civilians has brought peace to the nation. Freedom of religious belief or insult to 9/11 victims?
he building of a multi-faith community centre, entitled ‘Park51’, feet away from Ground
Zero has caused widespread controversy; Park51 contains a ‘Muslim prayer space’, amongst a whole host of other amenities. This facet was seized upon by the politically right-leaning tabloid press, and renamed the “Ground Zero Mosque”. The planned building has created a divide between many American citizens, some who have reacted with protests at the site. These protests have ranged from groups appearing at the site, chanting “No mosque, any way”, to harsh confrontation between demonstrators and those appearing to be of the Islamic faith. The Muslim faith has unfortunately been tarred by extremist action, with many now seeing Islam and terrorism as synonymous. American Muslims have started putting adverts online, stating how they do not support or condone terrorism, and that they citizens too and entitled to the same freedom of expression as anyone else. Park51 could have been a statement of peace, understanding and successful multiculturalism, but instead it has further exacerbated tensions between Muslims and nonMuslims. Some people think that the mosque will be an insult to the many victims and families of 9/11, casually ignoring the fact that some of the causalities were Islamic. This includes Steve Ayling, a 40 year old plumber from Brooklyn, who told the Associated Press that the people behind the mosque project were “the same people who took down the twin towers.” Debra Burlingame, a co-founder of “9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America”, whose brother died in the attack, referred to the
“Surely this idea of welcoming cultural differences with open arms is compatible with America’s infinite promise of freedom?”
plan as “incredibly insensitive and audacious”. On the other side of the line there are those who believe that it is a right to display religious beliefs wherever they should want; the US is a democratic country, and supposedly invades those who are not democratic, so surely must allow its citizens freedom of expression? Glen Loucks from Toronto, Canada wrote in his city’s publication The Star: “Muslims worked at the World Trade Centre and died alongside Christians and Jews during the attacks of 9/11. Building a mosque there would send a powerful message that America has moved beyond blame and fear.” This debate has engendered dispute from the most simple of discussions to the most outrageous claims by the media. Michael Moore, the controversial liberal filmmaker, explained on CNN that he is offended by the bullying of “a very small percentage of the population, and treating them as if they’re not Americans”. Such behaviour has led to Mr. Moore calling for the ‘mosque’ to be built actually on Ground Zero rather then near it. The US President Barack Obama, during a meeting with the US Congressman in August, asked about the plan for the building and added: “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.” This debate will be a contentious one for many years to come, even though there is no clear right or wrong answer. It is a fact that Park51 is a proposed cultural centre, and not a mosque. Muslim civilians who have lived in America for their whole lives will certainly not sitting around creating plans for terrorism attacks in the US (as the far-right thinks this is all that can happen when more than Muslim gathers). The building includes a prayer room, a basketball court for youths, restaurant, and a swimming pool. At least the terrorists will be healthy ones. But seriously, the aim of the building is to improve inter-faith relations; surely this idea of welcoming cultural differences with open arms is compatible with America’s infinite promise of freedom? Whatever happened to the American dream?
Want to get involved? george2.rowe@ uwe.ac.uk
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Controversial chain to open in Bristol
Breastaurant is coming to town > ‘Hooters’ have been permission to open in Millennium square, but some fear negative implications of new restaurant
Harmless theme restaurant or perpetrator of the objectification of women?
Kaley Maratty firstname.lastname@example.org
here is one word that when uttered is guaranteed to get any heterosexual male’s attention and rile up a group of feminists faster than you can say... Hooters! And it is coming to Bristol. The famous American chain ‘breastaurant’ has been given permission by the City Council’s licensing committee to open on Millennium Square. There are plans for around 36 restaurants to be opened across the United Kingdom by 2012. Despite the joy of businessmen about the incredible income coming shortly, this news has been met with animosity by locals. Some locals have shown concern that this is another sign of the growing Americanisation of the UK. It is bad enough that the Government has spent most of its time in recent years kissing up to America’s backside; we have got McDonald’s on every single corner and a TGI Fridays, Frankie and Bennies, and Starbucks to fill in the empty spaces. Moreover, local police have raised concerns that bringing Hooters to Harbourside may encourage additional violence and sexual harassment in what is already a violent area. Neighbourhood Sergeant for the area, Stephen Bell, stated that the location already “falls in the top 20 violent crime hot-spots in Bristol city.” His concerns were put forward during the licensing committee meeting, but plans for Hooters to open were approved. The strongest opposition to the Hooters chain opening has come from the Bristol Feminist Network (BFN). Their main concern is about the spread of sexual objectification of women. This network is not a simply crowd of furious women who hate men, do not want to have families and an extreme dislike of ironing (as some people may define a feminism movement). The BFN is a network of women and men with an interest in gender issues that run discussions and campaign for equality in Bristol. Many might think that Hooters opening is not that big of a deal; Bristol already hosts many strip and lap dancing clubs. It is worth mentioning that the BFN has previously been successful in lobbying the council to adopt new licensing laws regarding sex entertainment venues. For example, they have stopped a strip club being opened in Old Market. A spokesperson for BFN voiced
Photo: San Diego Shooter
awareness for the increase of violence in the Harbourside area as a result of Hooters opening: “The venue is going to attract stag do’s and large groups of drunken men, and could increase sexual harassment in the area as well as men on men violence.”
“I hereby acknowledge and affirm that the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and that the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.”
retty, busty blondes walking around in teeny tiny shorts and T-shirts, serving burgers and beer may seem harmless enough. However, the BFN highlights the wider implications of this trend: “We think that Hooters is a continuation of the pattern that normalises sexual objectification of women. This is a serious issue as this has been linked (…) to violence against women and girls, the rise of the sex industry and an increase in low self-esteem and mental disorders in young women.” Director of the UK’s chain for Hooters Bill McTaggart says that the restaurant’s outfit is a “wholesome cheerleader look” and that they are a “family friendly restaurant.” The extent of it being a family restaurant is questionable, to say the least. It is unlikely any parent would want their child to be around whilst one of the iced water wet T-shirt competitions is taking place, and not just because someone of shorter stature is at risk of being poked in the eye by a Hooter-Boob! Moreover, people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and are not allowed in after 9pm. Are
they not expecting families to dine late together..? Mr. McTaggart estimates that the venue will generate around 90 jobs, which is definitely a good thing in the current economic climate. However, it is unclear how many of these jobs will benefit, for example, a middle aged builder with a wife, kids and a mortgage, who has just been made redundant because of the waning need for new builds at the moment. Any successful applicant for Hooters should be warned that when you sign your contract of employment you also sign away your rights regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. The contract says: “I hereby acknowledge and affirm that the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and that the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.” In any other workplace if someone makes a sexist or derogatory comment to a woman or man, they have the right to lodge a formal complaint. Hooters undermine this basic human right for anybody not to be subjected to harassment. The BFN has raised concerns about currently pending law suits of employment discrimination within the company. In one branch in Illinois, USA, an employee turned up to work with bruising on
her face as a result of domestic violence. The employee was told she could not work at that day. This seems reasonable as any waitress/waiter should be presentable to the customers. What is not reasonable was that once she had recovered she was not allowed to return to work again. If entertainment venues oriented around sex appeal are linked to increase domestic violence, then firing someone for being a victim of it certainly does not help. A petition of more than 780 signatures opposing the licensing committee’s decision to allow Hooters to open was submitted, along with the presence of several campaigners, but still had no effect on the outcome of the meeting. Mr. McTaggart says: “I am a strong believer in the freedom of choice. We’re not going to force anyone to go there. I would like the people of Bristol to make their minds up.” It seems that many already have, and are against the Hooters restaurant opening. Of course, no one has to go there, but that does not offer much solace to those people who have to live or work near there.
Do you agree with the opening of Hooters? comment@ westerneye.net
The pros and cons of higher education
University: worth it? > The growing expense of university might not be best investment for everyone George Turner
Photo: William Warby
tudents starting this autumn can expect to graduate owing about nearly £24,000, and after the Higher Education spending review comes out this figure could sky rocket. Many prospective students are unsure whether it is worth all the cost. More than ever they start to question themselves: to study, or to take a year out? There has been an increasing amount of pressure put on school leavers; the general message is that a degree is the only way to get a good job and succeed in life. As well as an increasing application rate, this has also led to an increase in the drop-out rate at university. The Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) published a report in 2008 titled “Drop outs: How full-time first degree entrants from 2006/07 were doing by 2007/08”. Nearly 13 per cent of all full-time first degree undergraduates dropped out by their second year. One should be able to derive that 13 per cent of first years are not suited to university. Sadly for them, they could have realised this mistake much earlier, without having have gotten into thousands of pounds worth of debt. Robert Bayne (18) is one such person who decided to pursue gainful employment rather than attending university. Robert originally gained a National Diploma in Computing from Somerset College of Arts and Technology. When asked whether Robert regretted choosing to begin work, he said: “The money is great and I am gaining experience all the time. Although you come out of university with a degree, you also bring with you a £25,000 debt. Furthermore you will be competing with people such as myself, who would have been within the IT industry for couple of years”, One must question why colleges and schools are not encouraging the more vocational orientated students to gain National Vocational Qualification or similar, with the intent of going into full-time employment shortly afterwards. It seems to be a gross error on the part of such institutions, encouraging (and some would say pressuring), these students to go to university in literal terms, and it can turn out to be a very costly mistake.
ot everybody is suited to university life, and the world is full of successful non-graduates. Some names known all over the world are Sir Richard Branson, the industrialist, and also known for his Virgin brand. Not to mention Sir
“I wanted to have money that I would be able to enjoy after graduating.”
Phillip Green - British billionaire, owning the biggest retailers across the UK. And the most successful college drop-out to date, Bill Gates – chairman of Microsoft. One alternative to immediately making the decision to attend university or not is having a gap year. Ten years ago the gap year was primarily a year out to ‘find yourself’, a chance to experience more of the world before again returning to full-time education. In the present day, however, an increasing amount of students take gap years purely to save up for university. Alexander Tachauer, 20, reading History at UWE, is a prime example of this: “I became financially independent at 16, when got my first job, and have had my fair share of bad jobs from then on. I took a look at my 27 year old brother, who is still paying his debts from university off and to be frank, I wanted to have money that I would be able to enjoy after graduating”. Sharing my own experience, I took a gap year to do what most 18 year olds do best – just to have fun. I travelled across America, Canada, Egypt and Spain. I can honestly say that it was the best decision of my life so far. I made
life-long friends from all across the world and experienced different cultures and people – that is the beauty of a year out. Whilst travelling I met other fellow gap ‘yearians’. Nearly all of them were planning on going to university, but wanted to have the time of their lives beforehand. Some, subsequent to their year out, scrapped the idea of going to university, and had decided to keep exploring the world. This relates to what was mentioned before: people are now going to university because they feel they have to. Some realise that it would be a waste of their time and money to spend three years in a place where they did not want to be. Conversely, there are a vast amount of reasons why university is definitely worth the huge expense. Many do it simply to get that ‘graduate’ stamp on their CV; when hundreds of people apply to the same job, companies sift through the applications using filters, and one of these filters is a degree. However, to be successful in anything you do, it essentially comes down only to the person involved. Enthusiasm for your work is a necessity. Without a constant pas-
sion and dedication for the things you do, it will be harder to become successful. Having a degree will not simply hand one success on a silver platter after graduating. Another boon to having a degree is that university allows you to form networks with people from a variety of backgrounds. Friends could be occupying positions within companies tomorrow, increasing your contacts and therefore possibilities to find good employment. Although on the whole university is about learning, it is also about the experience you get during these years. The experience involves things like participating in societies, events and sports clubs, all of which are considered to be valued skills. Not only is this part of your university experience, but they tick more boxes on a prospective employer’s metaphorical check-list. Prospective undergraduates should not forget that university is a lifelong investment. Students will graduate with tremendous amounts of debt, but also having had three years of fantastic opportunities for personal development. Whether the graduate has used their degree to its fullest extent is another matter entirely.
Bristol & UWE
Corruption & integrity > The spotlight shines brightly on cricket, with snooker also in the docks Jake Procter
Pakistan fans show support, despite the allegations
ednesday 22nd September saw England win the 5th one day international against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl to clinch a 3-2 victory in one of the most controversial series of the modern era. The win was set against a backdrop of the spot-fixing scandal, accusation and counter-accusations of bungs and bribes which has left the sport, coaches and players in complete disarray. A defeated and disgraced Pakistan team flew home to Lahore with a stern warning from ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, who has intimated that if the charges of match fixing against captain Salman Butt, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif are found to be true they will be banned for life. The controversy centres around “spot betting”, which are markets on a small portion of a match. In a News of The World expose, the players were accused of being paid by agent Mazhar Majeed to arrange for no balls…The News of the World undercover team paid £150,000 for the information. While this has dominated the headlines since the story broke, it is merely the turn of cricket, and this Pakistan team, to be at the centre of tales of corruption and scandal that seem to rock sport all too often. So is corruption there because of the profile of the sport and the players? Or is it a by-product of the culture of a nation and the interconnection of its governing bodies? Due to the inextricable links between Pakistani cricket and politics (even the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board is personally appointed by the president) this issue commanded the headline slot
Corruption in other sports - In September 2006 the BBC aired a Panorama special entitled ‘Undercover: Football’s Dirty Secrets’ which levelled allegations of corruption against a number of high profile people in the game including: then Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce and his son and agent Craig Allardyce, former Portsmouth manager and first team coach Harry Redknapp and Kevin Bond, Chelsea Director of Football Frank Arnesen was also accused of tapping up players and offering incentives. - Horse racing has also been blighted by allegations of corruption with 6-time British Champion Jockey Kieran Fallon charged in 2007 with conspiring to defraud betfair.
on a recent edition of Newsnight, with Jeremy Paxman ending his opening gambit by asking in his inimitably direct style; “What is wrong with Pakistan?” In fact, so interwoven are the threads of politics, cricket and corruption in Pakistan that last year Pakistan Federal Minister Abdul Quayyum Khan Jatoi seemed to praise, if not at least defend corruption live on television, arguing “Corruption is our right…it has become a part of our culture…if a thousand people are engaging in corruption, the one who does not is only hurting himself.” Pakistani journalist Nadira Naipaul added fuel to the flames of the debate, referring to corruption as “endemic...from the top to the bottom” going on to claim that “in Pakistan, if you are not corrupt, you are a loser” In an irresponsible outburst from someone who really should have known better, Pakistani Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt tried to deflect the attention from his players by accusing the England team (the same England team which agreed to host Pakistan‘s home games due to all their domestic problems) of taking bribes. As well as claiming the revelations against his side were the results of a conspiracy, he countered by alleging: “some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose the match” The aftermath of Ijaz Butt’s allegations of match-fixing left some of Andrew Strauss’ side not wanting to finish the series. Graeme Swann, 31 was particularly outspoken about it. In an interview with The Sun, the bowler told of his feelings about competing in the fourth one day international after Butt’s tirade: “I couldn’t wait for those games to end and get the hell out of there. It was a dreadful experience and one I never want to experience again. In fact, I didn’t want to play at all in the one-dayer on Monday. I won’t lie about that – I was dead
against playing. And I wasn’t alone, plenty of other players had strong reservations. “But Straussy, who has been brilliant throughout this episode, persuaded us the best thing we could do was get on with it as a team and make sure we won the series. He was proved to be right.” Swann went on to give his full support to the England and Wales Cricket Board and Professional Cricketers’ Association in their decision to demand an apology from Butt over his allegations, confirming they will take legal action if one is not forthcoming. “I want to say I agree 100% with the decision to send a letter on behalf of the England team demanding an apology... If we do not receive a satisfactory response, we will start legal proceedings,” Butt has since retracted his comments, claiming he “never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of the
England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket” despite obviously doing so. Cricket is of course not the only sport to have been tarnished with the corrupt brush, not even the only sport this summer to come under scrutiny. As also exposed by the News of the World, snooker’s 3-time world champion John Higgins was filmed (with agent Pat Mooney) negotiating a none-to-shabby 300,000 Euro fee for throwing 4 frames in 4 separate tournaments. Higgins was suspended as soon as the story broke, issuing in a statement an initial defence of his actions, claiming to be in fear for his safety: “I didn’t know if this was the Russian mafia or who we were dealing with. At that stage I felt the best course of action was just to play along with these guys and get out of Russia” The subsequent investigation found Higgins innocent of any match-fixing, but was fined £75,000 and banned for 6months (backdated to when he was originally banned before the investigation) for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ by failing to report the advances of the News of the World mafia. Since then, Higgins has done his utmost to claw back any remnants of a reputation by, as well as posing in his saddest of sad faces for a Guardian exclusive, playing a number of sympathy cards including the ‘I’m a family man with young kiddies’ and ‘my dad’s got cancer and blames himself for what happened.’ So what is it about sport that attracts corruption? More to the point, what can be
done about it? “The different sides are not working together to solve the problem,” says Mark Davies, who sat on the UK Sports Betting Integrity Panel into corruption in sport. The fundamental problem is that not all betting is transparent and trackable. If every bet was placed in an auditable system we would not have a problem.” “I understand that we are never going to get that, but we can get as close to that as possible.” There are some (including licensed bookmakers) that argue for global legalisation as a solution. They say there are two types of gamblers on the black market: a gambler who cannot place a regular bet in his country, and those who are there to con and profit from corruption. So is a worldwide legalisation policy what is required, and even if one was introduced would it be able to salvage the reputation of sports, which has already been severely damaged by a number of scandals? Or could it just be that simple greed is at the heart of these black marks against the name of sport, with familiar criticisms of pampering and inflated wages rearing their heads once again?
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social+sport The UWE Centre for Sport
Would you like to have fun, meet new friends and keep fit? Then why not try our range of sporting opportunities: Leagues/Tournaments: Friendly competition Back to Sport: For those who have never played, played a little or just want to get fit playing sport Coached Sessions: For those who want to learn something new and/or improve their skills
All students, staff and members of the community welcome The Social Sport programme will run over two terms: 1st Term - September - December 2010 2nd Term - January - April 2011 Cost ÂŁ25pp per sport per term Active Card members get second term free when engaged with any first term social sport activity (Terms and conditions apply)
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The UWE Bullets!
> American football team desperate for success after the bitter disappointment of play-off defeat
Ben Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
or many people American football is an alien concept, a sport that is looked upon as a minority sport. However its influence has been spreading across the UK and in the last ten years the American football scene in England has changed dramatically. It has become widely accessible for nearly anyone to play the game. There are leagues for youth players, students and adults as well as national competitions. Most large cities will have at least one team that
fits into one of the leagues. Bristol proudly have the highest number of teams which currently stands at six, this includes two adult teams, two student teams, one youth team and the unique Filton Pride programme. While this may have caught your interest it still leaves the problem of not understanding the game so a run through of the basics of the game is necessary. American football is a game where every yards counts and every inch of that yard is fiercely fought for. The object of the game is simple, like most sports outscore your opponent. Each team has two main units, the
offense, whose job is to score, and the defence who, as you might have guessed, have the job of stopping the opposing team from scoring. When a team’s offense is on the field they have to make 10 yards or more every 3 attempts. With a fourth attempt generally being kept as a chance to kick the ball as far down the field as possible to make the opposing teams job that bit more difficult. Points are scored in a similar way to rugby by entering the end zone for a touchdown worth 6 points or kicking it for a field goal worth 3 points. All university teams compete in the BUAFL, which was founded in 2007
and known as the BCAFL prior to this. The BUAFL is the official league for all student teams to play in. Every season teams will play within their division, with the top teams from each division competing in the play-offs for the chance to reach the national final. The Bullets are UWE’s team and have a long and illustrious history of competing in student leagues. This history stretches all the way back to 1991 and is filled with crushing defeats and staggering wins. They are a well decorated team with a national title in the 2006-2007 season as well as numerous play-off appearances in the year preceding that. The team have kept this winning tradition alive by reaching the play-offs for the past two years consecutively and are hungry for more success. The Bullets are viewed as one of the top teams and will make any teams trip to Bristol a tough one. The success is not down to individual great players although there have been many of them, it is down to the unique bond that the bullets have, making them more of a family than a team. This is shown as week after week as players make huge physical sacrifices to help the team win and maintain their reputation as one of the top teams. This philosophy of being a football family has been passed down over the years and imprinted on every Bullet players mind with the expression “Hold the rope” holding the rope is about doing whatever it takes to help your teammates, making that ultimate sacrifice and putting the team before yourself. This is what makes Bullets the
great team that it is today. When asked about his time with the bullets Gareth Rees one of last year’s captains had the following to say: “Joining the team gave me extensive access to some of the best coaching around, which has helped me develop my skills further than I ever thought possible. I have made so many friends through the team, all of which I cherish as without the team, I wouldn’t have met any of them. They have been brothers to me, and I have been a part of the Bullets family, one of which is the best families to be a part of”.
hile the Bullets are deadly serious about their goal of bringing back another national title, it is not all work and no play; the team go out regularly every week and are joined by UWE’s cheerleading squad, the Comets. With roughly 50 people on a team plus friends and cheerleaders it makes for one hell of a night out and a lot of hilarious moments to be shared on the long coach trips to away fixtures. I’ve been with the Bullets for two years and it was one of the best decisions I have made at university.
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Pole Fitness Society > Popular keep fit society clearly becoming a firm UWE favourite!
Kayleigh Hole email@example.com
WE’s Pole Fitness Society is one of the freshest societies to join the ever-growing list of sports and clubs. Despite this, we had over 150 members last year and this year we are striving to top this achievement. The committee has grown on the previous year and includes Kate Czepulkowski (President), Brandy Young (Vice President), Sabrina Laborda (Secretary), Anne La Broy (Treasurer), Sarah Buckland (Social Secretary) and Kayleigh Hole (Events Coordinator). This year we are passionate about promoting pole fitness as a recognised sport which takes skill, precision and strength. Previously pole has been a typically taboo subject, often associated with men leering at women in clubs and strip bars. Our society helps to alleviate this stereotypical image and at the same time offer an alternative fitness workout. The benefits to pole fitness are
immense, varying from increasing flexibility, building upper body strength and core stability, improving muscle tone and definition to body confidence and general wellbeing. Would you like to tone up without the mundane routine in the gym, then why not sign up and give pole fitness a go? You will learn new moves each week, discover how to arrange moves into sequences with different routines and ultimately enjoy your work out. In addition to this all classes are conducted in a professional studio with qualified instructors to take you step by step through the lessons. To boot, the studio has a friendly atmosphere, approachable instructors and an air of class. The first 150 students to pay membership fees and come into Spin City will receive a FREE Pole goodie bag containing UWE hotpants, vouchers for a free pole photo shoot, VIP cards at our sponsor bars, UWE Pole Membership card and much more! Our membership is only £15.00 for the year and classes are available at the discounted price of £5.00 per
session, for more details please visit http://www.spincitypolefitness. com/page7.htm. There will be three levels; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Although you may start as a beginner, our instructors will encourage you to progress to the next level in due course. Still not convinced if pole fitness will be your thing? Worried that you don’t have enough upper body strength or confidence? Concerned about joining on your own? UWE’s Pole Fitness Society prides itself on being a society for men and women, all abilities and every age! If you would like to know more information, speak to one of the committee members who will be happy to help! All of our committee members have been partaking in pole fitness lessons for approximately a year and demonstrate the level you could achieve through just one year’s membership. We are also one of the only societies which are linked to the University of Bristol (UOB). Whilst UOB have their own sponsor bars, society classes are open to both members of UWE and UOB’s Pole Fitness Societies. With
this in mind, we have organised our next social event to be a joint with the American Football Team on 4th November 2010. We will be starting at the SU’s sponsor bar Eton before moving on to the American Footballers’ sponsor; Reflex! Make sure you don’t miss out on what is
going to be an epic night. We look forward to seeing you there. UWE Pole Committee xx. Please note the address of the studio is: Spin City Pole Fitness, The Workshop, Hampton Lane, Clifton, Bristol, BS6 6LE.
The ‘sweet science’ of bruising > UWE Boxing team going strong and are looking to improve, especially with a new addition to the coaching set up > Plus a Q&A interview from the team
all meet up before hand (normally joining another sports club to ensure a good gender mix) and finish at the sports night. Details will be given for each social before the event. We also get together to watch big fights on TV whenever possible.
R. Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
fter a lively Freshers Fair was an excellent start to the season for the UWE Boxing club. The recruitment drive went well and the club had a busy stand with lots of new members from novices to experienced amateur boxers signing up. The club has streamlined its coaching and now has a very clear lesson and progression path which will really help members get the most from their boxing. The club is able to use a series of top rate venues for its training, from the CfS at Frenchay to Filton WISE and Paddy John’s gym for the squad. We are confident that no University Boxing Club in the country can match such an excellent package of facilities and coaching and is delighted to welcome Bristol’s own ex-WBC Super middleweight world champion Glen Catley to the coaching staff. This promises to an epic season for the club which is hungry to add to the success of last year, a gold in the English University Championships and two Silvers at BUCS was a good haul, but feeling and confidence in the squad is high that this can be equalled or bettered this term. With several championship level boxers now in the squad and a good strong crop of fighters working hard and looking set to make their debuts and box after Christmas, the club is looking to field its strongest squad to date. With UWE sports nights, club drinks after Tuesday training at St Matts and several big fights on TV coming up, coupled with a busy schedule of training the autumn term is set to be a busy one!
What do I need to train with the club? 1.Paid Membership! Join here http://www.uwesu.org/get_ involved/sports/sports_clubs_list/ boxing 2. Sports clothes 3. Trainers 4. Hand Wraps (which can be found in most sports shops for a couple of pounds) 5. Bottle of water/squash/ Isotonic drinks and make sure you
What do I need to do to box for the university? Turn up regularly and show you are keen, committed and developing in your boxing skills well. If this is shown you will move up to the squad where you are expected to train more and harder, then you will get carded and medical checked. Our aim is to teach and support you in your development as a boxer. Where can I buy equipment/ training clothes? http://www.uweboxing. kukrispor ts.com/merchandise6Mens have eaten properly that day. 6. Boxing Gloves if you have them, 14oz preferably, but they will be supplied so not essential. 7. Gum Shield (Intermediate/ Squad) Do I have to fight/spar? No, you will never be made to spar. Many people join the club to get fit and learn the skills. However, our main goal is to produce boxers representing the university in bouts so the training is geared towards reaching this, with intermediate and especially the squad sessions focusing a lot on this. How long do training sessions last? Level 1 Beginner’s – 1 hour Level 2 Novice - 2 hours Level 3 Intermediate - 2 hours Which session should I go to? The beginner’s lessons are for those wanting to improve their fitness, lose some weight, and begin to learn the basics of boxing. The novice lessons are for those who have never had any boxing experience, but have a good standard of basic fitness. These will focus on correct technique and fitness. The Intermediate sessions are for those who were in the club last year, attended most of the training and for those with previous boxing or combat sports experience. If you have previous boxing experience, please contact any of the committee members ASAP via email or Facebook. Where do I have to go for training? Level 1 – Beginners Mondays SPACES ARE LIMITED TO 30 MEN AND 18 WOMEN FOR THE LEVEL 1
CLASS - HURRY AND BOOK HERE: https://store.uwe.ac.uk/ catalogue/productsearch. asp?s=boxing&1=Go These lessons are for Men or Women in single sex groups. Non-contact, skills and technique focused, 8 week modules Aimed at people who want to improve fitness and co-ordination, and have had no prior Boxing or contact sport experience. You DON’T have to join the UWE Boxing Club to sign up for these 8 week courses, and you will get a 50% discount on club membership later on in the year if you wish to follow them up and come to the main club lessons at Level 2 Time: 5.00pm - 6.00pm St Matthias Campus STARTS - 18th October TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE LESSONS BELOW, YOU MUST JOIN THE UWE BOXING CLUB ONLINE VIA THE UWESU WEBSITE) Level 2 - Novice. Mixed lessons Non-contact, skills, fitness, and technique focused. Aimed at members of the club who have completed Level 1, or have some contact sports experience. Tuesdays. 4.00pm - 6.00pm St Matthias Campus http://www.uwe.ac.uk/ aboutUWE/campus/st-mattsdirections.shtml STARTED 5th OCTOBER Level 3 - Intermediate. Mixed lessons Semi-contact, skills, fitness, and technique focused. Aimed at members who have completed Level 2, returning, Year 2 members, those with previous combat sport or boxing experience, or a very good level of fitness. Thursdays. 6.00pm - 8.00pm Filton WISE h t t p : / / w w w. u w e s o c i a l s p o r t .
co.uk/default.aspx?id=29 STARTED 7th OCTOBER What happens if I struggle to make regular training? Not a massive issue unless you want to be considered for squad training or are meant to be boxing sometime soon. Can I get a refund if I don’t like it? Unfortunately not. We strongly recommend that those who are new to boxing and are unsure if they will like it take the centre for sport ‘learn to play’ lessons which follow the same plan as the novice club lessons but are only 8 weeks long. Ask the centre for sports for details. After completing these sessions you can join the club in the 2nd term at a discounted rate if you want. When are the social nights? The club normally has a drink after novice training on Tuesdays at the St Matt’s bar. We are planning to have social nights in conjunction with the University sports nights; we will
Various websites offer some pretty good quality boxing stuff, Geezers Palace is a good site. Where can I get help with nutrition? Basic nutrition is pretty easy, ask other boxers what they do and tailor it to your needs. You won’t need to worry about making weight unless you are on the squad. Who do I contact to speak to about club issues? (e.g. membership, training, problems...) General Problems/Questions Matt Page Membership and requests for reimbursement - Sean Heveran Problems with training or weight/ injuries - Joe Hobbs Anything regarding the SU/ competitions - Demian Attwell Don’t forget to join the Facebook Page (UWE Boxing) and look at the Website: h t t p : / / u we b ox i n g . m o o n f r u i t . com/ Hope this answers any questions! UWE Boxing.
In the upstairs bar at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory theatre, free whiskeys are being given out to the crowd that’s gathered to see A Western, a performance by Bristol based production company Action Hero. There’s no sign of any props and when the two sole performers Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse enter the bar equipped only with a cowboy hat, a harmonica and a bottle of discount brand ketchup, they announce that there’s going to be a lot of moving around. What follows is a series of lively and endearingly clumsy renditions of all the scenes that are compulsory to any classic Western movie. There’s no real story line to link the scenes
together, but that doesn’t matter because no one ever really understands what’s going on in those movies anyway. Instead we get the best bits, the show down at noon, the drunkard rolling down the steps outside the saloon and the ending where the hero dies a long and drawn out death. The ketchup, of course, functions as a particularly low budget alternative to fake blood.
as dauntless as this. With any kind of performance it’s always more exiting when the performers take risks and countless things could have potentially gone wrong here. Although the dialogue was minimal and the movements were sketchy, in hindsight it’s clear that A Western is tightly written and carefully considered. I’ll keep an eye out to see what Action Hero are up to next.
A Western is very much an interactive show and this element of the performance genuinely elevates the atmosphere of the evening. Audience members and the theatre’s staff are pulled in spontaneously to become menacing card players, cold blooded gunmen, and thick skinned saloon bartenders. Almost everyone was really receptive to this, although a small handful of the theatre goers, who were probably expecting an evening of chin-stroking and deep contemplative thinking, were reluctant to get involved with the playful shenanigans. One individual, for example, spent the entire duration of the performance seated, reading the theatre brochure and occasionally rolling his eyes in response to the jokes. The performance parodies the overblown machismo and moronic patriotism of American Western movies in a witty and lighthearted way. It makes fun of the idea that we’re supposed to think that there’s something so momentously cool about pretty absurd clichés - the scene where the cowboy struts into a saloon, everyone stops talking... he orders a whiskey, for example. Traditional Westerns usually project a very conservative idea about American morality, George W. Bush didn’t win the hearts of so many Americans by being a good speaker, but it probably helped that he talked like a cowboy from some.
By David Reed
A Western mocks the generic individual-against-the world mentality and dodgy stereotyping of Western films, like when the audience are instructed to laugh like bad guys if they’re “anything other than white, American and male”. I’ve seen interactive stuff at the theatre before, but nothing quite
Turn over and go to the other cover...
Turn over and go to the other cover... Netball 1
Centre for Sport
H: Football 1
H: Netball 1
Centre for Sport
THE BIG CHILL
10th November 3rd November
THE MAGNUS PUTO BAND – Wed 13th October
TAKAHIKO IIMURA – Wed 13th Jan - Wed 13th October JAROSLAW FLICINSKI – Wed 27th October
THE BIG CHILL BAR'S 1ST BIRTHDAY with special guest NORMAN JAY – Sat 16th October
MOUNTAIN OF 9 with MOUNT KIMBIE, XIU XIU, LICHENS, PAUL METZGER, MUNCH MUNCH – Sat 30th October – Price: £12.50 advance
St Matts field
FUTUREBOOGIE – Fri 22nd October
Frenchay Astro Filton Wise
Plymouth 1 Marjon 1
CUBE TWELFTH BIRTHDAY PARTY: INFINITE LIVEZ, BLACK ALIEN SABBATH AND GUEST DJS – Sat 9th October – Price: £7.00 on the door / £5.00 advance
CRAZY P, HOT BLOOD DJS, FOOLISH FELIX DICKINSON AND FUTUREBOOGIE DJS – Sat 16th October
Centre for Sport
St Matts gym
CUBE CLASSICS LIVE JAZZ NIGHT: BIG R BIG BAND – Thurs 14th October – Price: £3.00
Hockey W2 Football 1
Plymouth 1 Cardiff 1
Centre for Sport
LA TRAVIATA – Tue 12 Oct - Sat 23 Oct
BLOWPOP with DJ YODA, ORBITAL, THE FREESTYLERS, HIGH RANKIN, SOUL OF MAN AND MORE! – Sat 9th October – Price: £15.00
BLOC FESTIVAL with GREEN VELVET (AKA CAJMERE), CLAUDE VONSTROKE, ANDREW WEATHERALL, APPELBLIM, RAMADANMAN, JULIO BASHMORE, VENT (1), OCTOBER (3), APPLE PIPS, SCUBA (DJ), AL TOURETTES AND MORE. – Fri 15th October – Price: £16.00
Football W Basketball W Badminton 1
With the starting of the new British University & College Sports leagues (BUCS) season coming this month, if you were wondering about any of the goings on at UWE and with our teams, then here is a selected list of home matches. Please note that this is not a comprehensive fixture list, with some times yet to be confirmed and the possibility of fixtures being called off, re-arranged or venues switched. To be absolutely certain of times and dates etc then visit www.bucs.org.uk > fixtures & results > West of England (on the Institutions menu) > then select team. VICTORIA KLEWIN – Sunday, 17 October
RICH HALL – Mon 25 Oct - Tue 26 Oct – Price: £15.00 all tickets
This months fixtures... > A look ahead to what some of our sports teams will be getting up to over the coming month
HOW-DO-TO-YOU AN EXHIBITION PREVIEW
Friday night saw the launch of a new exhibition in Howies gallery space upstairs. The exhibition features 12 of howies favourite Illustrators and showcases a selection of their work, both past and present. To celebrate this creative reunion, Howies have had a limited print t-shirt made up with their doodling friends rewriting the Howies logo. If you didn’t make it on Friday night you may have missed out on organic cider, scones and brownies…but you still have the rest of the month to pop in, check out the work and grab yourself a t-shirt. Work includes Mr Bingo, Nicholas Burrows, Claire Scully and UWE’s very own Robert Hunter who graduated in 2007. The show runs until November the first and if your not in the know Howies can be found at the top of Park Street next to some club called Bunker? Never heard of it myself but there you go ENJOY. Alex Green
From Top Left to Bottom Right - Billy Jean, Nicholas Burrows, Claire Scully, Mr Bingo and finally David Sparshott
Ever since the release of his debut album Sweet England in 2004 Jim Moray has been considered a somewhat controversial figure on the traditional English folk scene, as his radical take on the genre involves elements of electronica, strings and, God forbid, hip-hop. It is, perhaps, this tendency for experimentation that ensures the Thekla isn’t full to sinking point when the man himself takes to the stage. He and his band are currently touring new album In Modern History and it’s from this collection that the majority of tonight’s set is drawn. Collectively the band succeeds in recreating the splendour of the recorded material by playing various traditional instruments including a hurdy gurdy and a melodeon, although Moray plays all the instruments himself on the self-recorded albums. The modern approach to folk music, for which Moray has become so well known, is evident in the programmed beats provided by a laptop, which is also used to broadcast the voice of absent collaborator Hannah Peel whilst a projected image of her face mouths along during standout track Jenny of the Moor. Moray’s passion for folk music is evident in each song he plays, yet it’s never more apparent than when he’s providing a brief description of the origin and content of the song he’s about to perform. During one such instance he explains the nature of a ‘broken token’ song, while the audience hangs on his every word.
releases has been an award winner, most recently 2008’s Low Culture won the Mojo Folk Album of the Year Award. It is this album that provides the highlight of the set Leaving Australia, a conflict of swooning balladry and abrasive violin. Another highlight, also taken from Low Culture, is All You Pretty Girls, an XTC cover. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Moray’s version is more sea shanty than pomp rock and causes the audience to dance and sing along with reckless abandon, while the band repeats the chorus over and over to their delight. At the end of the show Moray removes himself to the bar area where he sells and signs records, poses for photographs and talks to his fans as if they’re long lost friends. That many of them are teenagers suggests he is breathing new life into a tired old musical genre and by reinventing it in such a manner he is attracting listeners who may have never bothered with anything post-Dylan otherwise. Jim Moray’s enthusiasm and humble demeanour is refreshing and not often found amongst musicians, especially those who have received the kind of acclaim he has. His adopted hometown may be biased, but on this evidence alone his popularity only looks set to increase.
JIM MORAY By Sean Guest
In 2004 Moray won the BBC2 Horizon Award following the release of Sweet England. Since then, each of his subsequent
UNCHOSEN FILM FESTIVAL By Oscar Clarke.
– The annual Unchosen Film Festival returns to Bristol for its third year, later this month. The aim is to raise awareness about the growing problem of human trafficking the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. –
The total annual revenue for human trafficking is estimated to be
Understanding Trafficking, a film about young girls lured across
Human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world, after the drugtrade. It is the exploitation of human beings for the purposes of sex or labour, making it a modern day form of human slavery.
Unchosen patron, Paul Field, closes the festival on November the 9th with CARGO, a musical which compares the struggle to end the African slave trade in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries with the plight of human slaves today.
The first screening will be the UK premier of Portuguese filmmaker Rui Simoes’ Paths of Pain, which explores issues such as poverty and the plight of immigrants associated with human trafficking. Simoes is a renowned filmmaker whose earliest work was the 1975 feature film ‘God, Fatherland, Authority’, about the Portuguese clerical fascist dictatorship, of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar‘s Estado Novo (New State). The following week, three short films - Bristol Bike Project, Echoes and Brazil’s Child Prostitutes - will be screened.
According to Chakraborti, at least 500 girls are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh to India every month, via the Eastern corridor. According to Interpol, sex trafficking of women and children is a $1 billion (USD) global industry that continues to grow; and 200,000 Nepalese girls work in Indian brothels.
The honorary president of the event is filmmaker Nick Broomfield. Dramatist, Ken Loach is a patron, along with Paul Field and Chantelle Tagoe. Broomfield says, “I am honoured to be working with people who have the energy to put their caring into effect”.
borders into India’s sex trade, directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, will be screened on November the 2nd. The film won the United Nations Population Fund award, at the Laadli media awards in May.
On four consecutive Tuesday’s, between the 19th of October and the 9th of November, screenings will be held at the Colston Hall, supplemented by talks and Q&A sessions by filmmakers, after the films have been shown.
between $5 billion and $9 billion, while the Council for Europe estimates that it has a total annual market of over $40 billion. According to the United Nations, 2.5 Million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked around the world. Many countries still fail to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In the Totalitarian states North Korea and Burma, the Theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and many African states, like Zimbabwe and Sudan, no effort at all has been made to comply with the TVPA. And in the whole of South America, Africa and Asia, only four states are in full compliance with the TVPA’s minimum standards. Tickets to each screening at the Colston Hall can be purchased from the Colston Hall website, or at the box office and are priced at just £2. The Colston Hall will also host the (UN)VEILED art exhibition, on Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th October. Screenings will also be held at the Forum in Bath on Wednesday nights, starting with Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts on Wednesday the 20th October.
POETRY FESTIVAL By Sean Guest
– Following the success of the 15th annual Bristol Poetry Festival Sean Guest caught up with the man responsible for organising the event, Poetry Can director Colin Brown. –
2010 saw the 15th anniversary of the Bristol Poetry Festival, how has the event evolved over the last 15 years? In the beginning there was more of a local emphasis, but if you’re too insular the audience eventually shrinks and the artistic and professional development of people interested in writing poetry will be severely reduced. You can’t write good poetry if you don’t read good poetry, hear good poetry and interact with the world of poetry. So the emphasis became one of bringing together the most entertaining and inspirational award winning poets from Bristol, the South West, the UK and abroad. There have been poets and performers from the USA, Africa, Australia and Europe. We even had a Poetry Slam a couple of years ago where a team of slam poets from Bristol competed against a team from Paris, with the Paris team speaking in French. We wanted a lively mixture of page poetry and performance poetry, and also to reflect and showcase the work that was taking place locally on a daily basis. This would include educational project work the Poetry Can undertakes with people and groups in the community. This year’s event featured performances by nationally acclaimed poets such as Kit Wright and Ruth Fainlight, as well as local writers like David Briggs and Patrick Brandon. Is there a dramatic difference between the crowds drawn by local poets when compared to those drawn by poets with a reputation nationally? Not necessarily, of course well known poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin Zephaniah will sell every seat in the theatre but some local poets and locally based events, such as the Poetry Slam, will also attract big audiences. How popular is poetry in Bristol? Well, Bristol has been referred to as ‘the city of the spoken word’ by Jeremy Paxman, which reflects its big reputation for performance poetry. Festival audiences have increased over the last ten years and poets really enjoy reading and performing here because the audiences are very well informed and extremely appreciative. Due also to its various long running groups and poetry nights, Bristol is a good place to be if you’re interested in poetry. The event is organised by Poetry Can, a registered charity formed in 1995. Just how much of the organisation’s time is dedicated to arranging this event each year and what else does the charity do? Timewise, from start to finish, a poetry festival takes about six months to organise. The Poetry Can is a poetry development agency funded by Arts Council England and by Bristol City Council to organise and promote poetry in Bristol and the South West, as well as nationally and internationally. Essentially we do this by organising, promoting and supporting poetry events, including Bristol Poetry Festival, by organising poetry educational activities through the year and by providing information, advice and support to anyone interested in anything at all to do with poetry. We achieve this last part by answering general enquiries through the Poetry Can website, sending out a monthly email bulletin and providing one-to-one poetry development surgeries for poets of all abilities. What was your personal highlight from this year’s festival? That’s a really difficult question as the quality of poetry and performance was so high and there were so many different kinds of events that I’ll just have to cop out and say everything was my highlight. How can people find out more about Poetry Can? If you’re interested in writing poetry and would like to talk to someone about getting started, or you want some advice on how to develop both artistically and professionally as a poet then please get in touch with Poetry Can. Our telephone number is 0117 933 0900 and our email address is email@example.com. If you want to find out what’s going on with poetry in Bristol and beyond, please visit our website www.poetrycan.co.uk
By Alice Palmer Brown
Curious as to what the Bristol Poetry Festival had to offer, Alice Palmer-Brown attended the FLASH night, which boasted the likes of Lucy English, Sara-Jane Arbury, Glenn Carmichael and Anna Freeman, relatively excited by the prospect of performance poetry.
The event took place at the Arnolfini, by the Bristol harbour side, in a small theatre-like room. The back wall featured a large screen, upon which images and silent films were projected to support the poetry. The title of the night FLASH refers to flashbulb memories, which are distinctly vivid, precise and often recalled with extreme clarity. They are usually from a significant or upsetting time in a person’s life. Through the use of drama, spoken word and images each poet revealed to the audience such instances. First up was Anna Freeman who dramatically spoke about homelessness. She was a brilliant performer and included incredibly morbid and graphic language like ‘nylon sticks to sweat with clinging parasitic teeth’, which I enjoyed. Next up was Lucy English, who talked about growing up with a younger sister who has down syndrome. Her poetry moved me a great deal, yet it would have been nice if the different poets linked in some way instead of switching in style, tone and theme as it became a little confusing at times. At one point haunting projections of brain scans appeared on the screen. At this Sarah-Jane Arbury began to speak, using her poetry as a way of describing her experience of having a brain tumour. Arbury tended to use performance more than others, choosing to act out scenes rather than present them as a monologue. She often involved Glenn Carmichael in her pieces, giving him the role of the doctor. I was shocked however at one instant when he was reading his lines from a piece of paper. Carmichael performed a poem entitled Flash that I found particularly striking. It was a bizarre one that had him pretending to flash a woman that walked passed his house and thankfully it
was over quite quickly. The poems were not connected in any way but the poets seemed to weave them together with a mixture of actions, light and sound. However some of them were ruined by the terrible graphics in the background as the images were completely irrelevant and kept jolting and zooming in on nothing in particular. After the show I discussed the graphics with a friend who simply concluded that the film must have been broken for it was so bad. Despite this however, I had a satisfactory night and managed to really get into some of it. Most of the poems would have worked better on the page as speaking them didn’t add any further depth or dimension, however they were still relatively enjoyable.
The primary purpose of Brisfest is to showcase local musicians and one of the first bands I watched was Bristol-based rock band Dead Legs who played The Lanes stage. The band consists of three members, Harriet (lead vocals), Chris (drummer) and Louis (guitarist). I really enjoyed their set and afterwards Chris and Louis told me that Brisfest is ‘a really nice place’ and that ‘it’s good to see local bands being given a chance to play’. ‘I hope you all have your passports because we’re about to take you on a trip around the world’ stated 6 piece reggae and blues crossover band Laid Blak. They played a varied set crossing many genres and became masters of puppetry, manipulating the audience to ‘get low’ on cue with their great sing along tunes that
were enjoyable even if you’d never heard them play before. You know you’re in Bristol when a rather dazed and confused actor from Skins (JJ to be precise) is prancing around nearby. At one point we even bumped into Big Jeff (if you’re new to Bristol and haven’t witnessed Big Jeff head banging at the front of a gig or club night, you really need to) who was, as ever, at the front of the Mr Wolfs stage trying to encourage a rather sombre audience to move to the music of Get The Blessing. At one stage I encountered a lovely man who cycles around Bristol on a fold away bike carrying a 120 year old camera. Not only has he mastered the art of using this Victorian contraption
but he was also very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about photography, using his skill to teach others just outside the main arena. On the Wondering World stage I managed to stumble across an interesting 3 piece folk band named ‘Green Angels’ who played instruments such as bagpipes, a banjo, shells and a clarinet. The stage also hosted poetry recitals, including a set from Dreadlock Alien who had the audience spellbound with his poems. Although he is from Birmingham, Dreadlock Alien tours his poetry around Britain and said of Bristol ‘I know about 50 people here today, it’s like a family’. I asked him how he got into poetry and he replied, ‘my dad is Jamaican and didn’t want me to do poetry, he told me “you need to feed your kids”’. But he said if Linton Kwesi Johnson (a prolific UK based political poet) approved of his poetry he could be a poet. So he sent him a letter and is still performing to this day. Just before I left I caught up with Big Jeff again and asked him about Brisfest, he said ‘it’s been pretty good, but not as busy as I had hoped, it feels more creative really. My highlight was Scarlet Rascal and the Train Wreck on the Lanes stage. They’re a 4 piece garage rock band. It’s actually a bit depressing as they’re only 19.’ Review by Sophia Jarvis
– This year’s Brisfest was almost unrecognisable in comparison to last year’s. It was bigger and better and reminded me of a mini Glasto with something to suit everyone, from a chilled out chai tea area to a penalty shoot-out zone and a kids spot. I will definitely be buying my ticket for 2011. –
By Lucia Dobson-Smith
Despite the success of the two previous Bristol Festivals, 2010’s Brisfest was undoubtedly the best to date. New features such as clearly defined zones and a large patch of turf for those in attendance to sit upon, as well as decent weather ensured that the event was a huge success. Sophia Jarvis attended on behalf of Westworld... An organisers perspective...
As a student of Journalism and English, I was asked for my expertise in journalistic matters, and to proof the work of others. I was also allowed the space to develop my own ideas on press strategy. I found that I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
Volunteering consumes both time and energy and giving away either for free is no easy call. The Bristol Festival Community Group, the charity who organise Brisfest, are almost entirely run by volunteers, and with so many people involved they must be doing something right. In July I joined that group of volunteers for what was set to be a nine week part-time placement.
various organisations, and writing press releases and articles announcing, advertising and promoting various aspects of the festival. It was occasionally daunting to make contact with some top media professionals, but after the first twenty phone calls, it’s as easy as calling your granny.
A festival like Brisfest requires the time and dedication of many to ensure its success. For those who attend it’s a three day event. However, for those who organise the festival it’s a huge project that spans months. Westerneye’s very own Lucia Dobson-Smith helped organise this year’s event...
I was assigned the role of Press Officer for the festival, as I was particularly interested in gaining experience in PR and dealing with the press. My task was to ensure that Brisfest gained as much coverage as possible through contact and exchanges with a huge variety of culture and media organisations and individuals. It was quite a responsibility, and often stressful, but I felt a strange sort of rapport with the spirit of the festival, and the sheer enthusiasm that drives those who put it all together, it is certainly an infectious enthusiasm. The majority of my workload consisted of making contacts with
Often, working on a summer placement can be a bit demoralising. You enter, most of the time quite understandably, at the bottom of the ladder. It was genuinely surprising to work with an organisation that places a good deal of trust in the experience and knowledge of all of its members, even those that are only there for a limited period of time on a placement, or those working on a voluntary basis. All the hard work paid off when I visited the site during the festival and watched the thousands of visitors pouring in. I really felt like I had made a contribution and it definitely felt worth it. Some things are worth much more than money.
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www.angeloulake.blogspot.com/ Originating from the mean streets of Peckham, South East London, Hannah Angelou Lake is a unique artist whose work is not limited to one media but many. Not many people transcend the boundaries they are comfortable with but Hannah, who believes her primary media to be photography, experiments with anything she can get her hands on. Through the years her artwork has evolved so that she now ultimately considers herself to be ‘an installation artist that involves print, drawing, photography and costume’. Her artwork beautifully manifests itself into a multimedia installation that perfectly reflects the beauty and simplicity of life.
www.mmmaxy.blogspot.com The beautiful Maxine Hughes studies graphic design at Bristol UWE but is ‘much more interested in illustration, sequential photography, exploring Bristol and finding the perfect cafe.’ She believes she went ‘half-heartedly into the degree,’ but is thankfully now ‘well and truly addicted’. If you want to delve into the magical world of Maxine then take a look at her blog where you’ll find photography, cards and cakes galore.
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Editor Sean Guest Alice Palmer Brown
Creative Directors & Design
Publications Editor George Rowe
UWE Publications Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1QY www.westworldmagazine.net
EXPLORING ARTS, CULTURE, MUSIC, FILM WITHIN BRISTOL.
– FREE –
WESTWORLD INCLUDING – BrisFest 2010 Bristol Poetry Festival 2010 FLASH Jim Moray Unchosen Film Festival How do to you A Western What’s on? FEATURED ARTISTS – Hannah Lake Maxine Hughes
Published on Oct 7, 2010