Issue No.36 2014
FREE to a good home
The Ofﬁcial voice of Northumbria Students’ Union
YOUR GUIDE TO STUDENT HOUSING
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Contents Editors Words
I can’t believe its 2014 already! I am more than aware of how quickly life as a student goes – that being said, I did start Northumbria in 2009. However, every day as a student is precious – make sure that you make the most of each day here. University really is the best time of your life, so whether you’re in first or final year make sure you enjoy every second. My University experience wouldn’t have been the same without the Students’ Union and later becoming a Sabbatical Officer – you can read more about that on page 28 – 29! This edition also shows off many of the amazing things that the Union does from our societies to our two awesome volunteering weeks in February. We know that it is getting to the time of year that you’re all searching for your houses for next year so check out our 4 page special on housing to make sure that you get what you’re entitled to – just because you’re a student doesn’t mean that you have fewer rights than anybody else. And finally – this magazine, like everything else in your Union, belongs to you so to get involved just drop me an email or come along to our weekly editorial meeting at 5pm in Training Room 1 on Mondays. Happy Reading Mike
NEW & FEATURES Why Should We Suffer, When Those In Government Aren’t 4-5 Mental Health 6-7 CULTURE & REVIEWS Role Models 9 Console Wars: X-Box One vs PS4 10-11 Why Do You Pick Me Up? 12-13 To Be Gay In The 21st Century Is Ever So Popular 14-15 2013 16-17 Spotted 18 STUDENT LIVING Tinder 20-21 Housing 22-25 GET INVOLVED Sabb Spotlight 26-27 Elections 28-29 Societies 30-31 Academic Advice 32 Eco/Volunteer Northumbria Week 33 UNI NEWS Northumbria University Celebrates The Greenham Women legacy 34 Northumbria University Wins Royal Approval 35 Gongs Galore For Northumbria Graduates 36 District MTV Shines Spotlight On Northumbria Graduate 37
Contributors Josh Waterton-Bailey Why should we suffer, when those in government aren’t? Housing Jamie Thompson Mental health Charlotte Hall Rolemodels Jackson Douglas X-Box One Cameron Giles PS4, Why do you pick me up? Josh Mclean LGBT Adam Crawley 2013 in Review, Tinder Hamish Yewdall Housing Mike Potter Elections James Dix Drama Society, Musical Theatre society Jemma Graham Volunteer Northumbria
University’s £1 Million Boost For Graduate Careers 38-39
Special thanks to my sub-editors; Amy Urwin, James Dix, Cameron Giles, Josh Mclean & Chloe Normyle
NEWS & FEATURES Why Should We Suffer, When Those In Government Aren’t?
Why Should We Suffer, When Those In Government Aren’t? It has recently been announced, by the Parliamentary watchdog IPSA, that MPs could get an 11% pay rise after the next election. This would bring their annual salary to £74,000. Expenses are extra. Of course, after the expenses scandal which rocked Parliament and the political scene in 2009, MPs can’t claim anything which is not rigorously approved and vetted, or so we are told. The annual pay of an MP exceeds by far the UK average, which is £26,500 per year.
Why does this matter? This pay increase comes in the same week that the government announces that the national retirement age, that is the age which the basic state pension can be claimed, is set to rise according to life expectancy. This will mean that those who are in their early 20s, like us, will have to work until they are 70, or even longer. This is a tall order for the average person, who can’t envisage themselves working as a nurse or a builder until the ripe old age of 70, where most people would expect to be relaxing and enjoying their golden years with family in the comfort of a house they have worked all their life to pay for.
...those who are in their early 20s, like us, will have to work until they are 70...
So whilst MPs could enjoy a pleasant payrise, the young of today are unlikely to enjoy a payrise for years to come. Even with a payrise, it won’t likely matter. It was announced last week, by the government, that the student loan book will be privatised, sold off to the highest bidder. This could see interest rates applied to the student loan that current students have already taken out, meaning that an annual interest rate will be applied to the pre-existing debt. Recently, protests at this outrageous breach of trust by politicians have been crushed by force. At the University of London swathes of police officers violently drove students out of a peaceful protest with two Sabbatical Officers being arrested. At the University of Sussex students were banned from campus after another peaceful protest and at the University of Birmingham students were faced with a court hearing and a £10,000 fine for protesting on campus.
So, it would seem that this portrays a pretty grim picture for those who are supposedly the future of the country. The younger generations will suffer for the mistakes of those who have come before them, those who make the decisions on behalf of them. It makes logical sense that younger people would vote, however the 18-25 age range of voters are amongst some of the historically worst turnout records at elections. Surely politicians would have to start listening to us if we could sway an election for them? So what can you do? The answer is simple, vote. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Josh Waterton-Bailey
Peaceful protest is a democratic right, one which should be fought for. The adverse decisions which are being levied on students are part of a wave of pressures over recent years which have meant it is becoming increasingly harder for students to afford a decent standard of living and have the right to protest when that standard of living is being stripped from them.
NEWS & FEATURES Mental Health
MENTAL HEALTH To begin, I’d like to ask you a question. What does mental health look like? Truth is nobody can answer that. Did you know that 1 in 4 people experience mental difficulty during their lives? Look around you – think of your housemates. Think of your family. In a lecture full of people, how many are suffering? It’s impossible to tell. According to research carried out by NUS in May 2013, 64% of students did not use any ‘formal’ services for advice/support in relation to their mental distress. I was horrified to learn that 1 in 10 students have suicidal thoughts during their studies. Perhaps this data is largely impacted by the stigma surrounding mental health issues? It took me a long time to fully admit that I was suffering from mental health issues. Even then I did it in a guarded manner, expecting to be judged and disliked for it, or perhaps to be considered as just an attention seeking teen. I often wonder what was my trigger. With an absent father, crippling family issues in my mothers broken marriage, bullying at school, confusion over my 06 nu:life
sexuality, being a victim of sexual assault and family illness it could be any number of things. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I am what I am – and sometimes that is the hardest part. Growing up I had various ‘run-ins’ with local counselling services for a number of reasons, each of which involved a few weeks of chatting before being discharged into the big wide world again. It was only in 2010 when I plucked up the courage to really look for help from my GP. I appreciate the difficulty faced by health services, particularly with the lack of awareness or education of mental health issues in society. I was one of many who was handed some tablets with the hopes of a quick fix, and it certainly wasn’t. My first dose of medication caused me to be hysterical, paranoid and a danger to myself and others. It took quite some time before I found the medication I could comfortably take though even then I was still occasionally victim to an episode in particular circumstances.
Mental health issues run in my family. My own mother suffers from circumstantial depression and has had a number of breakdowns during my adolescent life. Supporting her through this has always been my priority, and looking after someone with mental health issues is no easy task. With little professional knowledge who knows if what you are saying actually makes any difference ? I’ve always been an ‘agony aunt’ and naturally feel the need to fix everyone else’s problems, so I look after numerous friends and acquaintances with mental health issues too. It’s so easy to say the wrong thing; a carer of someone with mental illness can often feel they spend their life walking on eggshells. The pressures of this added to my own personal issues has been a strain at numerous times, though I wouldn’t change this for the world – I always strive to make other people’s lives better, if I can. During my third year I was on placement and following a relationship breakdown and family illness I ended up in a pretty bad way with regards to my mental health. I had several weeks of absence from work and relied quite heavily on a ridiculous amount of nights out to ‘drown my sorrows’. Apparently also drowning my income and causing damage to my immune system and overall wellbeing in the process. After resigning from my placement earlier than planned I had an extended summer break to sort myself out. But following the stresses of entering my final year I had a full fledged breakdown and was quarantined by my family after harming myself quite badly. My employment and academic life suffered massively and I lost a lot of confidence in pretty much everything, including myself. Following this, my anxiety took over my life – my job suffered, my attendance dropped for lectures to the point that I became scared to show my face in case nobody knew who I was. I sought help from Student Support and Wellbeing but ultimately most days I was too scared to leave my bedroom let alone talk to a professional.
Running in the Students’ Union elections was the biggest challenge of my life. There is no part of myself that felt like a leader. How could 32, 000 students look up to me as a role model when I could barely look at myself in a mirror? Struggling with my anxiety, I was taken aback when people said my speech during question time was good. I threw up twice with nerves before getting up on that stage! Safe to say I was amazed when I won the election – though still doubting myself, it was amazing to think that so many people believed in me. I was really humbled, and genuinely think, though it’s quite cheesy to say, that being involved in the Students’ Union has changed my life from the first day I walked through the doors. While I’m certainly far from recovered from my difficulties, I have learned to cope now. Without the incredible patience and support from my friends, family and my partner I don’t know if I’d even be here today. While some people might think the Sabbs are made of steel, I’m just as vulnerable as everyone else – a gay guy with mental health issues in a society which doesn’t realise how tough that can be. Just remember you are never alone – believe in yourself, it’s amazing how far your life can take you with a bit of movement in the right direction. Challenge the stigma – It’s Time to Talk.
Should you feel you need support, please remember that the University has counselling and mental health services in Student Support and Wellbeing – there’s now an online form www.northumbria.ac.uk/ cmhsregistration to self refer to the service. We also have our confidential listening service, Nightline, which runs 8pm-7am every night of term on 0191 2273737.
Jamie Thompson’s nu:life 07
CULTURE & REVIEWS Are Reality TV Stars Really Role Model Material?
ARE REALITY TV STARS REALLY ROLE MODEL MATERIAL? In a survey recently carried out, results show that just over 70% of the UK’s population watch reality television programmes. The result is unsurprising as reality shows now make up a huge proportion of the shows on our screens. In the past five years there has been a reality ‘explosion’. Shows such as Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore are having worldwide success. The Only Way Is Essex has even won a Bafta award – but as entertaining as these shows may be for millions of people, are these the people we want the younger generation to be looking up to?
behaviour is awarded with an ever increasing bank balance, millions of followers on twitter and a lifestyle fit for a king.
Until a few years ago, young people looked up to David Beckham and Beyoncé – genuinely talented individuals – however, there has been a shift, and whether we like it or not, ‘reem’, ‘shut aaap’ and ‘tashin on’ have been introduced into our everyday vocabulary. The new attitude towards becoming a successful celebrity is that you need to be thick and talentless. Surely this in itself is an awful culture for young children to be brought up into?
Or will it? Give NU:Life your opinion and tweet us @NULifeOnline
Watching Joey Essex make up words such as ‘confrontate’ and Charlotte Crosby (Geordie Shore) wetting the bed is amusing and makes somewhat entertaining and easy to watch television, but has it gone too far as young teenagers begin to see these ‘celebrities’ as genuine role models? Years ago, children aspired to be doctors and nurses and yet now we live in a culture where inappropriate
On the other hand, is it actually an extremely clever way of doing very little to achieve huge success? Almost every reality star now has their own shop, night club or clothing range - cashing in on their 15 minutes of fame. Who could blame them? Maybe it is not the reality stars themselves that are the issue here, but the huge demand for these types of programmes? With millions of people watching worldwide, copying hairstyles, phrases and behaviour of these TV stars, when will this idea of talentless fame ever end?
The new attitude towards becoming a successful celebrity is that you need to be thick and talentless.
CULTURE & REVIEWS Console Wars: X-Box One vs PS4
XBox One vs PS4 Of course, there is competition against Sony to be top dog, with their new console, the PS4 sitting very comfortably in the gaming market. To compete against this, Microsoft have put lots of time and effort, in order to offer a new experience for users of the Xbox One (which is around 8 times more powerful than the 360). The console is essentially an entertainment hub, which can be used to watch films, surf the web, talk on Skype with friends and of course play video games. You can even Skype friends whilst playing, which can be a little distracting, but still a good touch. A free Kinect 2, packaged with the console, means that you can use the Xbone interface with hand gestures (like in Minority Report) and voice commands; the microphone picks up what you’re saying first time, every time. As well as this, the PS4 offers the Playstation camera, which can recognise your face very well, however the microphone doesn’t quite work as well, which can be irritating. One of the important things in console wars are the system exclusives. The usual candidates are there with the Xbox One Xbox One, with games like Halo 5 and Fable: Legends (release date TBC) sure to be successes. Titanfall (Release date: 11/03/2014) is a completely new game series (and console exclusive) which features multiplayer combat both on foot and in the cockpit of giant mechs, called titans, is set to be a roaring success. Day One exclusive games, Ryse: Son of Rome, Crimson Dragon (an on rails shooting game where you ride a dragon!) and Dead Rising 3, have been well received by critics and customers alike, for stunning aesthetics and enjoyable gameplay. Crimson Dragon, although only downloadable off the Xbox One Marketplace, has been especially well received. So, with an impressive amount of exclusives all ready and set to be released, an impressive graphic capability and frankly superior home screen interface, the Xbox One is set to be where it should be now, and in the future...at number one! Jackson Douglas
The ‘Xbox One’, (the console that can’t count, considering the Xbox 360 came before it) or as I like to call it, the ‘Xbox One’, is the new console released by Microsoft, hoping to dominate the console market.
PS4 The Playstation seems to be winning the battle against the Xbox at the moment, it’s certainly set itself up as the gamer’s console of choice. At a price of £350, it is a good £80 less than its Microsoft competitor, Sony, so it should be a winner.
The Outsides Both of the new consoles, seem to have ditched the curved appearances of the previous generation; instead going for sharp straight edges. Both of these are also significantly smaller and more compact than usual, a sign of a new ‘generation of consoles’. The PS2 and PS3 were both big enough to warrant a “slim” rerelease a few years in, so it will be interesting to see if this continues with the PS4.
The Insides This is where the PS4 stands resilient, as the internal components beat the Xbox One in almost all categories. The new Playstation will have some components working 30 times faster than the PS3 – although it has to be said both are a big improvement on their older siblings. Both also have Blu-ray disc drives. To watch Blu-ray movies on the PS4 does require a download, but this does save storage for those who don’t need it.
The Experience The big difference between the Playstation and Xbox One is the way in which users interact with it. The first thing to note is that out of the box, you’ll use the PS4 very much like the PS3 – using the controller, with very little changes (although the controller now features a track pad on the top). The Playstation does allow you to purchase the ‘Playstation Eye’, for uses such as motion control in some games, and limited voice control – this may seem disappointing considering the price of the console, but it’s the main reason that the PS4 is so much cheaper than the Xbox One and you still have the choice to.
The big difference is the style of the consoles. The Xbox One is very much an entertainment centre, whereas the Playstation is a gamer’s console. You can still watch Netflix on it – and without having to pay for a Playstation Network Account, (PSN) unlike Xbox One Live – but its focus is much more on games, than anything else. Do be aware, that if you want multiplayer on any of these games you’re going to have to pay out about £50 a year, on the aforementioned PSN membership. However, for this price, Sony will include a free ‘classic’ PS3 game or similar, to download every month or so. You also get many small, but notable extra features, such as background downloading – considering that Xbox One live (the Xbox One membership service for multiplayer) costs a little extra and doesn’t include as many of these features, this is certainly the better priced option.
The Verdict The PS4 is there for gaming. The higher specification insides mean that the console will handle games better than the Xbox One, although since games are made for both, don’t go expecting anything miles ahead; just less lag and faster loading. But, the Playstation’s primary selling point is its simplicity, plug in and play. Cameron Giles
CULTURE & REVIEWS Why Do You Pick Me Up?
Why do you pick me up? Despite the several weeks off for the holidays, within a few days the need for coffee will become apparent again. Whether you need a quick cup to get up for a 9am lecture (or a 2pm one), or if you want somewhere interesting to work and meet up for a chat, here is a quick overview of some of the large chain coffee shops about Newcastle:
HABITA & REDS If you do fancy a Starbucks, there coffee’s on sale at prices much more wallet friendly than in town branches - come along to Habita or Reds. For a Starbucks coffee without the Starbucks pricetag, visit one of the coffee shops on campus. Both Reds and Habita in the Union sell a whole range of Starbucks drinks. Habita has a nice balance between not being empty but also always having some seats free. Plus it means you can have your Starbucks Latte even if everyone else wants a pint. Plus in Reds, you can have a coffee whilst getting some work done on the computers.
CAFÉ NERO Coffee: Good coffee, however Neros have an odd quirk of only putting one espresso into their standard drinks, which can seem annoying if you are used to the caffeine hit from two. The taste of the coffee here has a robust flavour, making up for the strength. The Shop: Location, near The Gate. This decor was nice and there was plenty of seating. However, the store was too big and had too few people inside. I felt as though all the staff were watching me, not fun for the indecisive. Price: Mediocre, Neros charge a little more than I’d like, but also have a “Buy 9 get one free” scheme which in itself may seem poor but when you consider none of the other coffee chains ever give you freebies unless you sign up to their reward scheme, actually makes them nicer than most.
J D WETHERSPOON PLC
PRET A MANGER
Coffee: It may seem a little odd to see a pub chain in this list. They do such Lavazza coffee and it is actually nicer than some of the mainstream coffee chains, plus it is possible to buy it in shops at a reasonable price meaning you can get used to the same coffee all the time rather than incredibly strong stuff whilst you are out and terribly weak stuff at home (or the reverse if you use a drip machine).
Coffee: Very Good, a combination of the choice of Starbucks and the quality of Spoons, plus they have the nicest seasonal options of the lot.
The Shop: Location, near City Campus West, it is like any other Wetherspoon’s, anywhere, ever. Price: One of the best, including sometimes the one pound black coffee (you can add milk at the bar) which has UNLIMITED REFILLS ALL DAY (I have seriously considered working from “spoons” all day).
The Shop: Location, next to Monument, it has got the best views but is let down by a very limited choice of seating, hardly any table space. It has pleasant, but ultimately not particularly energetic staff. Price: Pret is a good middle ground option. If you want a latte or cappuccino it probably has the best money/coffee ratio of the ones I visited, and on a separate note it has a reasonably priced range of other food and drink. Next Time I venture a little further afield as I test out some of the independent brands in Newcastle and the surrounding area. Cameron Giles nu:life 13
CULTURE & REVIEWS To Be Gay Is Ever So Popular
TO BE GAY
IN 2013 IS EVER SO POPULAR. Sexuality in the UK and US has had some heavy tabloid attention in recent weeks, mainly due to the announcement of Tom Daley’s same sex relationship.
To many social networkers, his decision to announce he was dating a guy was met with applause and admiration. However, there were an expected few who expressed criticism and backlash; with typical jokes teamed with sarcastic remarks acting as a response for the long awaited announcement, which many knew already. In a world where same-sex marriage is making its way across America, we still undeniably live in a world where homophobic behaviour exists. As of December 2013, 15 states in America recognise same-sex marriage, a great achievement by the most powerful country in the world - but obviously, there is still a long way to go. It only seems ironic that Russian government currently have bans in place to stop any sort of ‘promotion’ of gay rights. When it hit the headlines a few months ago, images of bloody protesters carrying the Rainbow flag sent shockwaves around the world. Or better yet, to people who aren’t homophobic. With boycotts being rumoured, the Winter Olympics in Sochi are going to be covered by journalists, waiting for a pin to drop, and explode with new articles about the homosexual athletes in Russia and the treatment they’re receiving. BBC Presenter Clare Balding, (who is a lesbian) said it won’t make a difference to anyone in Russia should she attend or not. At the end of the day, she has a point. (In my opinion, anyway)
Recently, ‘Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Charity’, Stonewall, have had their fair share of attention. Their bold advertising campaigns made an impact on buses across the country, especially in London for their ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ slogan. The campaign encouraged onlookers to tweet a picture to raise awareness. With this, an influx of social media users changed some picture on Facebook to red equal signs. It was soon followed by an in-school anti-bullying campaign, to tackle homophobic abuse at the use of the word ‘gay’, appropriately titled, ‘Gay. Let’s Get The Meaning Straight.’ This sought to end the way children will say something is ‘gay’ when, in reality, it’s not. This takes us back up-to-date with Tom Daley’s announcement. With the applause he has been given, there is always a counter act to go against it. Many newspapers and online websites, have referred to it as ‘Headline News’, which begs the question, should ‘coming out’ as gay be classed as ‘news?’ Regardless of your status as celebrity or ordinary civilian, is it actually valid news? To say you are gay on a large scale, isn’t it essentially asking for attention. Tom Daley is in a safe, happy relationship, which is a lot more I can say for myself, but the need to announce it to the world I feel is not really needed. Whether it was a VERY clever marketing strategy by his management team, to let his new series of ‘Splash!’ be a ratings hit on ITV or not, the media attention surrounding him will only benefit it. If being gay is as simple as breathing, why is it on the front pages of the tabloids? Until this stops, being ‘gay’ will always be an issue. What’s even more frustrating, is that had Tom Daley’s
announcement been swept under the rug, outrage would have been printed that ‘no one cares.’ There can never be a winning choice. To say “I’m gay” is a big thing! Inner conflicts and emotions can be tough and the memory of my 17 year old resurfaced, when I watched his video, and I couldn’t help but cringe- hoping it would be over soon. Being gay isn’t easy for everyone, I get that and school can be torture. To make a wide spread deal about being gay, only raises the awareness that you are in fact different. I don’t support Gay Pride, simply because it causes a stereotype that I personally don’t understand nor ever will. Call me small-minded, but I don’t, marriage and children aren’t a necessity to my life, although I do understand that it may to be other GLBT peopleand the fight is slowly being won. But if we cause a taboo of the word ‘Gay’ in schools, won’t it give it the power it once had. As Hermione states, “Fear of the name, only increases fear of the thing itself”. Yes, we may not be facing the Dark Lord but surely the same applies, and yes I understand Harry Potter is fictional (much to my disappointment) but the message is a reality. I’m not saying that the work Stonewell does is a waste of time or pointless, not at all, but to bring ‘gay’ into the focus of the public is making it an ‘issue’. Asking the entire nation to accept GLBT people is like asking Vegetarians to eat meat… it’s never going to happen. And while it’s brilliant that so many people are supportive of Tom Daley’s new found love, and people are being allowed legal rights within same-sex marriage, I can’t help wonder if it’s a battle that will never truly be won. Josh Mclean
CULTURE & REVIEWS A whistle-Stop Review Of 2013
REVIEW OF 2013 2013 had its peaks and troughs. It will probably be remembered as being: “The year after the one with the Olympics.” Regardless, it had its own highlights. So, based on popular opinion, here is a quick summary of the best things of 2013.
Best Videogame: Bioshock Infinite Best App: Snapchat Most apps have a very limited shelf life and are quickly forgotten. Snapchat has persevered and is the world’s leading photo-messaging app. The #selfie system makes for great fun and embarrassing pictures.
An astounding improvement (not thought possible by fans) on the original Bioshock. The sequel has an original story, setting and gameplay dynamic. Bioshock Infinite managed to create something accessible, enjoyable and truly engaging. It shows how much videogames have developed since the days of Donkey Kong and Pac-man.
Best TV Show: House of Cards
Best Film: Gravity Last year had several über-massive blockbusters, but critics and cinemagoers have lauded Gravity as the best film of 2013. This dizzying sci-fi drama has been praised for its beautiful cinematography, solid acting and story. This is one film that is packed with genuine emotion and thrills.
Although technically not a TV show (as it came out exclusively on Netflix), it is a truly incredible example of how good the small screen can be. Brilliantly acted and written, it is gripping watch. Each episode leaves you wanting more. Breaking Bad deserves an honourable mention, beloved by all its fans and will be remembered as one of the best TV series ever. House of Cards trumps all in the end.
Best Songs I found it impossible to dig out one crowning song of 2013, so here are half a dozen of highlights.
Royals - Lorde Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys Radioactive - Imagine Dragons Can’t Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Get Lucky - Daft Punk What Does The Fox Say? - Ylvis (for its pure catchiness and ridiculousness)
Celebrity of the year: Miley Cyrus Right, before you kick off a fuss, hear me out. This year, Miley shook off the shackles of Hannah Montana and came out of her cocoon to show the world a brand new star. The release of massive hits like We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball cemented her status as a pop icon and her antics caught the world’s attention. Love her or hate her, it is undeniable that this overly licky, twerking starlet has dominated 2013. There you go, a two-page summary of the highlights of 2013. Naturally, there is much more to talk about, best politician, sportsman or lollypop lady. We can look back on this list as we work our way through 2014, which will no doubt provide us with more fond memories. Adam Crawley
Every year students stand for election wanting to run their Studentsâ€™ Union. Are you up to the challenge?
Are you t
? 5 Lay Student Councillors Give a voice to all students Run campaigns Support leaders of the Students’ Union to bring about change
11 Equality Student Reps Black & Minority Ethnic Rep Caring Responsibilities Rep Disabled Students’ Rep European Union Students’ Rep International Students’ Rep LGBT Rep
Part-time Students’ Rep Students with Faith & Belief Rep Women Students’ Rep Coach Lane Students’ Rep nts’ Rep
STUDENT LIVING Tinder
Tinder is the brand new app on the block. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s essentially a hook-up app.
For those who don’t know what it is, it’s essentially a hook-up app. It gets access to your Facebook (with your permission, unlike some others) and you set up a profile of your favourite pictures. Once this is done, a series of other people’s profiles pop up, based on your preferences, and you’re good to go. Swipe right if you like them, swipe left if you don’t. If you like someone and they like you back, you’re matched and you’re free to talk to each other and, with a bit of luck and perseverance, you may just find true love.
One of the main criticisms of Tinder is the fact that it judges people based on their appearance. Sure, it shows any mutual interests that you may have with the other person but those often take second place to what their profile is like. It’s been called a shallow app for shallow people. Also, the fact that the members on Tinder choose their own photos for display leads to ‘sugar-coated’ profiles. This only misleads and results in more confusion and awkwardness should you meet up with them.
So, is Tinder the next step in relationship making? The creator of the app seems to think so. Talking to the BBC, he said that it solves a problem with humanity. In this day and age, people are too busy running about to settle down and meet people. Thanks to this, we have no time to find new people and build connections. It’s no lie that this generation is reliant on their phones so perhaps Tinder is the step forward in it’s innovative way of meeting people.
Also, Tinder doesn’t tie people together; it gives you a way to communicate with new people and that’s it essentially. Then it’s over to you. Tinder is just a way of getting your foot in the door. Once you’ve found a match, you can then decide how far you’d like to take a relationship.
He also commented that it avoids making awkward and uncomfortable confrontations with people. Have any of you had that moment where someone has come over to you and tried to sweep you off of your feet but only resulted in creeping you out a bit? Thanks to Tinder, this is less likely to happen, as you can arrange meetings on your own terms and in an environment that’s best for you both.
On the other hand, how is this any different to other social networking sites like Facebook? We meticulously create a cyber-profile that suits us and represents ourselves in the way we want to be.
If you like someone and they like you back, you’re matched and you’re free to talk to each other and, with a bit of luck and perseverance, you may just find true love!! Of course, this app does focus primarily on a person’s appearance and them being judged by others. It is anonymously done, so you don’t know if someone has swiped you left, but does that matter? The members on Tinder are still scrutinised on how they look.
The main point of Tinder is to speed up the whole dating process without detracting from interaction. It allows you to meet new people without having to attend endless social events or write pages and pages on other dating sites about what you get up to. It strips it down to basics, focusing on the aesthetics and then lets you build it from the ground up.
One thing in defence to this claim is the facts that it is all consensual and requires signing up, unlike some other sites that focus on rating individuals based on their public profile. This means that the members know exactly what they’re getting in for. Also, it depends on what you’re looking to get from Tinder. People in their swarms have joined up for different reasons. Some may be looking for love (as it is at its core internet dating), some may just be looking for company or new interactions and others might just be signing up to see what happens. There are untold numbers of people on the app, each with different aims so there’s a chance there’s someone on their wanting the same thing.
Yes, I do have Tinder, as do all of my housemates. We enjoy talking about our matches and spouting out relationship advice. All of the girls have gone on Tinder dates, with varying degrees of success. Are any of them looking to find their Prince Charming? And are any of the men looking to find their Tinderella? Only time will tell I suppose. In years to come, how many happy couples will look back lovingly at the Tinder profile and thank the app and its creators for finding their soul mate? Who knows but it is an innovative and intriguing new way of meeting new people. Do you agree? If yes, swipe to the right. Adam Crawley
STUDENT LIVING Housing
As you’ve taking a look at this up you are probably a student who’s currently or planning to live in rented accommodation. By now perhaps you’re seeing certain problems emerging, all your loan might have gone on rent, there might be mould growing on your walls or you might just be bloody cold. This is a DIY guide, showing how you as a student and as a tenant can fight back. The thing is there is loads of simple things that we can do to cut costs and improve standards of our housing. Just no one ever seems to want to tell us about them. And the more we stick up for our rights on issues such as damage or letting agency fees the easier it becomes to argue on bigger issues such as the cost of rent. The first step in improving our housing is to small action. Now all you need to do as a student is take this advice on board and run with it. How about it then?
FINDING A PROPERTY: For a lot of people this is the process that takes the longest and can often feel like the most difficult. It starts with those first awkward conversations about what people’s plans are for next year and it ends when you’re finally sat in the letting agency looking at contracts. The process of finding housemates and a house can take ages and be really frustrating. I‘m not going to kid you on that. What’s important is going to the letting agent knowing what sort of house you all want and making sure they find that house for you.
P.S. - A lot of these points don’t become irrelevant once you leave uni but apply as long as you are in the rented marketso take note.
Discuss with your housemates what sort of housing you want how much you are prepared to pay and where you want to live. Be prepared to make compromises it’s not worth falling out with your friends in pursuit of an en suite flat on the quayside.
LOOKING FOR A PROPERTY: Calm Down! Despite what the letting agencies say, there are always good quality houses available in the New Year, and even properties that become free in the summer, so don’t be hasty. If you rush it your more like to regret it later on. Finding housemates Always a tricky one, but a good tip is to think can I live with this person, or can I just drink with this person?
Research letting agents: At the SU we are working on a accreditation system to help you pick a decent letting agent but till that’s made just ask around: most people have horror stories about letting agents. Don’t base your choice of landlords on amazing offers. They “may say no accommodation fees” but then there probably charging you £10 extra a week in rent. Check all the costs and then work out what is a good offer. LOOKING AT A PROPERTY: Look at loads of properties, you might think one doesn’t look fantastic in photos but it’ll surprise you in real life. Check everything, from the lighting and water supplies to the cupboard doors. Ask the letting agent questions, such as “is this an electric or a gas oven?” “Can I paint my room” Discuss. If a letting agent says they will paint the walls, change the carpet or maintain the garden – get them to put it in writing, preferably in the tenancy agreement, otherwise they’re under no obligation to stand by it. Ask question of the tenants like “what are your neighbours like, how much does gas/electricity come to, is it cold in winter, are there any problems with the house Check for humidity. Mould is a big problem in student houses such as the ones in Newcastle. In spring it may be hard to spot for but you can always check for humidity under sinks, on windows and the space between walls and ceilings. If there is mould make sure it’s written into the contract that the problem will be fixed.
DEPOSIT A deposit is the money put down to protect against damages to the house. It should be returned to you at the end of your tenancy. Right from the start of the process think of it as your money. It isn’t money you should have to beg back off the landlord, its money the landlord should have to justify to take off you. Basically if you are sensible in the house and don’t leave to bigger mess and don’t smash down all the walls you should see most of your deposit back, you may just have to complain about it. AT THE START OF YOUR TENANCY Discuss How your deposit payment/repayment will work. If it’s suggested the lead tenant will distribute the deposit at the end of the tenancy ask whether this is necessary? It is better for the tenants and it’s easier to challenge if the letting agency pays each tenant their own deposit Check your deposit has been registered. Your landlord should register the deposit with one of four companies: mydeposits, the deposit protection service, the dispute service and capita, you can check if it has by using their websites. If it isn’t protected by one of these companies you could be owed compensation. Check your itinerary when you move into the property, note any damage or anything that’s wrong Take photos of the property to show what the standard was like when you move in
nt is importa t What’s ing agen the lett se ou h going to of at sort h w g in know making ant and se you all w that hou ey find sure th for you..
STUDENT LIVING Housing Cont. WHEN YOU LEAVE THE PROPERTY Cleaning the property, make sure you clean thoroughly, you don’t want to give the landlord any opportunities to deduct from the deposit, you shouldn’t need to clean the property to a ridiculous standard, if a contract says you need to hire professional cleaners for example, you should take this up with the landlord as it’s potentially an unfair term they can’t enforce. Check A letter should arrive once you’ve left the property stating how much you are getting back, it should outline what they have deducted and why. Remember to ask for receipts for any costs such as painting and cleaning. They may say you owe £30 to paint a wall but will they really paint it? Challenge From receiving the deposit you have 10 days to challenge the decision you can do this through the deposit protection scheme or through the courts. Remember the landlord CANNOT deduct from the deposit without your agreement, although you also can’t access it without their agreement, it’s about reaching an agreement that’s fair and reasonable. TENANCY AGREEMENTS Basically the terms and conditions of your residency. It can look big and dull (because it is) but it’s also pretty important you understand them. It works both ways from the landlord point of view it’s the rules of the house basically. So if you break them there can be serious consequences (even eviction). But from your point of view it’s also the rules for the landlord, and rules that can protect your interests. Read your tenancy agreement Read your tenancy agreement again
Language you should be able to understand all of your tenancy agreement so if you’re struggling with parts ask your letting agency to clarify or re-write Who is paying for stuff? Normally you’ll have to pay bills (gas, electricity, water etc.) and the landlord will have to cover the general maintenance of the property and pay for insurance. Though this can vary and it’s important you know who’s responsible from the start and have it in the tenancy agreement. Cheeky Landlord can’t give less than 24hours notice before visiting the property, if your tenancy agreement says different then that term may be illegal EXTRA COSTS: There is a big problem surrounding extra fees which students are subject to when renting a property. These are often portrayed as ‘compulsory’ by landlords and letting agents. They include things such as holding fees, which charge the tenant(s) money for taking the property off the market. Extras such as admin fees from letting agents, ranging up to £100 in some cases, you need to be careful about these as they can add significant cost to the price of renting. Demand. Make sure you have in clear writing before you begin the process of letting, the extra costs the letting agency ‘expects’ you will pay. Report. After the 1st November, 2013 it will be a legal requirement for letting agencies to include extra fees in the advert with rent. Therefore, you should see adverts such as “£400pcm+£100 admin fee” for example. If the letting agency does not supply this information in the advert, you should report them to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers.aspx
Research. If you are unsure about any fees which you are being asked to pay consult housing or letting agency organisations such as the Association of residential letting agencies (ARLA) or Shelter which give useful information to prospective tenants about letting agencies ability to charge fees. Ask. Ask the letting agency whether you have a legal requirement to pay the ‘holding fee’, sometimes they may let you not pay it, this is not a guarantee that they will though. Ask them to be explicit; avoid letting try to cover up the truth with words such as ‘deposits’, ‘administration fees’ and so on. BILLS: Bills are often a significant issue within student households. The age old mentality of ‘as little heating as possible’ may be the case. No matter what agreement is made on how the house is to be heated, or which internet service provider you will use, you should all be in agreement on how the bill is to be paid. Bills are often a cause of the biggest disagreements in a household, when they really don’t need to be. Agree. Decide on a specific amount per semester or month for each tenant to contribute to bills, an appropriate amount can be figured out based on previous experience, or predictions obtained from your utility providers. Have in writing an agreement by each tenant on their contribution to the ‘fund’ for bills.
Pay. Pay your bills on time. Some utility providers will expect you to set up direct debits or even pay on a certain day manually. Make sure you are clear on how the bill is expected to be paid and whether you wish to set up direct debits to ensure it is paid. Make it easy. How about setting up a joint bank account? It is often not hard to set up an account which each tenant has access to. This means you each have a stake in the account and the bills come out of a central account. Make sure everyone has access to look at the account online and how much money has come out. Set out dates for payments. RENT: Paying rent is often one of the biggest problems that students face. Before you sign a contract, plan ahead. Look at any costs that might occur and account for them. The worst thing is finding that you can’t pay rent and having to beg and borrow to pay for something which could be avoided with some careful planning. Plan: Make a financial budget for the year, looking at money coming in and expenses for rent. Agree: Agree with your landlord or letting agency a payment plan for your rent. Many landlords or letting agencies will modify your payment plan based on your needs. You can usually pay termly ie. When your student loan is paid or monthly. Check whether you are able to do this and adjust your payment plan according to what best suits you. Living The tenancy agreement shouldn’t give unreasonable demands as to how you live in the house such as requiring you to clean on specific days of the week or to leave the windows open all day to air the house. If you’re reluctant to agree to a demand, raise it with the landlord. Question anything you don’t like or agree, with you may be able to change it. But not asking gets you nowhere Checking: We’re trying to get a contract checking service set up here at Northumbria. However till it’s ready just ask someone sensible (and often older) to read your tenancy agreement. Parents and law students love this sort of thing…. Honest. Don’t let this article scare you, housing doesn’t have to be a nightmare as long as you ask the right questions and go with the best landlords. Make sure you check out nu:lets - the Students’ Unions letting agency which charges no agency fees! Happy house hunting.
The ONLY official and approved student letting agency of Northumbria.
NO AGENCY FEES www.nu-lets.co.uk Josh Waterton-Bailey & Hamish Yewdall
GET INVOLVED Sabb Spotlight
SABBSPOTLIGHT JAMIE THOMPSON Vice President Welfare & Equality
SABB: noun. A strategic leader of the Students’ Union Your Sabbatical team were elected last March on manifestos of what they wanted to do to change your Students’ Union. This is where we report back on what we’ve been doing. Remember we’ll be elected a new sabbatical team in March so this what you’re voting for! And if you’ve never considered being a Sabbatical Officer – you should – email email@example.com for more information!
NATALIE-DAWN HODGSON President What is your role? As President my role means that I represent all students at Northumbria on both a university and national level. My aim is to make sure that all students have an amazing experience at university, so if there is something which I or the other officers can help with then please drop into our office on the first floor! What were you doing this time last year? This time last year i was about to start my final semester at University which was exciting but scary at the same time. I had no idea what i would be doing after graduation so it’s nice to reflect on the last few months and the exciting things I have been up to as a Sabbatical Officer. What is your big aim for this term? This term my aim is to get the University to act upon my opening hours report to make sure that it has a positive impact on the student experience at Northumbria. I also want to achieve as many of my manifesto points as possible so that I can look back on my year in office and realise all the things I have achieved Why should students run to be Sabbs? Being a Sabb is a great opportunity to start your career, I have learnt so much in the past few months and I have done things which I never imagined like abseiling down the University library! No day is every the same and there are always challenges to overcome...so if you enjoy a challenge and working in a fast paced environment then stand for election! firstname.lastname@example.org NSUPres PH
What is your role? My role is Vice President Welfare and Equality, so I am here to ensure that Northumbria Students get the best experience from university, outside of the classroom! Any healthcare, crime and safety or accommodation needs come under my role. I am also responsible for championing equality groups, ensuring every one of our students have equal (and awesome!) opportunities within their time here. What were you doing this time last year? This time last year I was fretting about my dissertation and getting super excited about christmas.. some things never change! What is your big aim for this term? I’m hoping that my work around mental health is deemed a success and that I can do more work around equality and community issues. I’m going to try to be more organised too! Why should students run to be Sabbs? Students should run for Sabb – You should run in the elections because it will genuinely change your life. There is nothing that will develop you more as a person, teach you invaluable skills and that is regardless of if you are successful or not. I love my job and it’s great to be able to see the positive impacts of the hard work you do every day – honestly it’s the best thing in the world! email@example.com PH
MIKE POTTER Vice President Communications & Democracy What is your role? It’s my role to communicate with you guys whether that’s through our student media or our general engagement. I also oversee our Student Council and our Elections processes to make sure everything is hunky-dory at Northumbria. What were you doing this time last year? I was sat convincing students to run in the elections which is something I’m still doing to this very day. I also decided to re-run myself which I’m glad about because I’ve really enjoyed my second term in office but now it’s time for someone new to take over.
NICOLE PEGG Vice President Academic Affairs What is your role? I am elected to represent all students on issues that affect their academic experience. I achieve results through working with my course and Faculty Reps, frequently lobbying the University at all levels and taking the lead on academic campaigns. What were you doing this time last year? I was probably feeling rejuvenated from the Christmas break and back at work looking forward to the challenges ahead. However, my memory fails me on exactly what I was doing so this could be all lies…
What is your big aim for this term? To achieve all of the things that I have not managed to yet, since I only have What is your big aim for this term? until July to fulfil my objectives. The Part of my manifesto was to bring the main things will be getting something Union to you and that’s exactly what we’re doing on our SU on Tour in January concrete in place to do with group work, timetabling, and electronic submission and February so if you see us – come and feedback. On a personal level it is to say hello. secure a job for when I leave! . Why should students run to be Sabbs? Why should students run to be Sabbs? I could probably write an entire article Because it is a once in a lifetime on this, in fact I have! Check it out on opportunity where you develop skills page 28. and have responsibility, that it would take you, I reckon, about 30 years to get firstname.lastname@example.org in any other company. You also have the PH real power to change things NSUCommsOfficer email@example.com PH
Remember to drop by our Coach Lane Office and see us at our second home
Mike Jamie Nicole Natalie Sarah
Thursday Morning Tuesday Morning Tuesday Afternoon Wednesday Morning Wednesday Afternoon
SARAH PRICE Vice President Activities & Development What is your role? In my role I look to maximise the impact and experience for students in societies, Volunteer Northumbria, EcoNSU, RAG, Fast Friends & Welcome Team. I also ensure that development of volunteers does not fall off the radar, looking at things like employability and ways to develop in volunteer roles that we have at the union. What were you doing this time last year? This time last year I was exhausted from finishing two assignments and doing research for my dissertation. I was also seriously considering running to be an officer! What is your big aim for this term? This term I want to focus on my manifesto, particularly employability and sport. First term in this job is very much focusing on RAG & Welcome Week, but now it’s time for me to make some big changes! Why should students run to be Sabbs? Students should definitely consider running in the elections. Admittedly it’s a hard week, but everyone is going through it together and the outcome is totally worth it. You get so much responsibility and power to change things, no other graduate job that I know of does your opinion have such an influence on huge decisions in the university. That mixed with still having such close contact with students sometimes makes it difficult but it really is amazing! firstname.lastname@example.org PH
GET INVOLVED Elections
I’d been to a ‘Lead Your Union’ session led by my predecessor, Holly Seabrook and the ideas of stuff that I wanted to do began to form. I knew that only an election stood between me and making those ideas become a reality. Elections seem pretty daunting, but they were actually one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’d already felt like I’d grown as a person with the volunteering I’d done, but the concept of doing a lecture shout out to about 400 people was pretty much an unknown to me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stumble on some words, but by the end of the week I was actually getting a thrill of going out and telling people my ideas and of what I wanted to change.
Sometimes one decision can change the entire route that your life is going to take. Back in February 2012, I made a pretty big decision: a decision to run for a Sabbatical Position at the Students’ Union. It didn’t fit so well with my plans to go abroad and teach English but after making that decision, I haven’t regretted it for a second. I’d written for Nu:life for two years, been involved in RAG and Welcome Week; but if I’m completely honest, I didn’t know the full extent of what the Students’ Union did and what it could do for each and every student. Whilst I sat in the 24 hour library writing my dissertation and manifesto, I didn’t fully appreciate the fact that the reason I could sit there was simply because of the actions of previous Sabbatical Officers. It was only then that I realised that this wasn’t just any job – I wasn’t running to simply edit a magazine, I was running to try to make lives better for all students at Northumbria. After two years of doing this role, I could go travelling and hopefully I will at some point, but this role has opened up so many doors that I had never thought possible.
I’m going to be honest here, nobody is guaranteed to win an election – I’m pretty sure that I was never ‘favourite’ to win my election, but that’s the beauty of it. You can’t call it. The results night was pretty incredible being told that I’d received so many votes and that people believed in my ideas. I couldn’t thank the people that got me there enough, considering I’d had people completely and utterly dedicated to spreading my message and getting people to cast their votes. However, for those that are unsuccessful in elections, I can see just how much they develop in a short week of campaigning; enhancing communication skills, project management, public speaking – the list goes on. I’m best friends with some people that haven’t won elections – and they don’t regret running at all. If anything I’d say that my friends that have chosen not to run have regretted it more. I’m a firm believer that you’ll always regret more things that you don’t do more than the things that you do.
Since starting as Vice President Communications and Democracy, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many other Sabbs from around the country and I find that their journeys are quite different. Whilst I’d been fairly involved in the Students’ Union as a student, many officers hadn’t. I personally think that’s excellent as they’re free to bring completely revolutionary ideas to change their Students’ Union. So I’d encourage you that even if you’ve never volunteered with the Union, or barely even ventured into the building – don’t disregard this amazing opportunity. I honestly can’t express how much of a great experience I had at Northumbria over my three years as a student, but being lucky enough to do this role for two years has been better than I ever thought possible. This is my tenth 40 page magazine which I’ve edited and it seems to have flown by, but I’ve also helped win £14 million worth of bursaries for our students in need and got a bigger bus for our Coach Lane students. What could you do as a Sabbatical Officer?
Make sure you come along to a ‘Lead Your Union’ session 28th Jan
City Campus SU Training Room 1
Coach Lane campus SU
City Campus SU Training Room 1
City Campus SU Training Room 1
Coach Lane campus SU
City Campus SU Training Room 1
City Campus SU Training Room 1
City Campus SU Training Room 1
Or if you’re completely determined to run for a Sabbatical role – pick up a nomination pack from the Welcome Desk now! Nominations close on the 7th March at 12pm. Voting is between 17th and 21st March 2014.
GET INVOLVED Societies
FOUR SHOWS TO SEE BY DRAMA SOCIETY It has been an ambitious year for Drama Society this year, hoping to put on at least seven shows. The first show The Snow Queen back in December saw the cast put a new spin on the classic wintery tale. This January-February another four shows are confirmed.
An Inspector Calls Directed by Hilary Sayer The Birling family are enjoying a quiet celebration of the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, when an Inspector visits the house to ask some intrusive questions. A young girl has just committed suicide and the Inspector seems to believe there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident. The classic play has a new twist by having a female inspector, played by Rachel Breen. Set in 1912 on the cusp of the War, the deconstruction of a family mirrors the forthcoming separation of the family unit. An Inspector Calls will be performed on the 28th and 29th of January in Stage 2, tickets on the door, price tbc.
Chatroom Directed by Esther Irving Chatroom, by Enda Walsh, follows the story of six teenagers who meet in an online chatroom. The group talk about everything from Harry Potter to suicide. Jim is depressed and just needs someone to talk to, but when William and Eva find this out, they push him to see just how far he will go. The interesting mix of characters pushes a lot of buttons. The play asks a lot of questions about social networking in our modern society and the impact it has on us growing up. Chatroom will be performed on the 23rd and 24th of January in Stage 2, tickets on the door, price tbc.
Case 10.06.91 Directed by Mozin Ali Based on the Jaynee Mae Reed kidnap case, this devised play focuses on a girl who has lost her innocence and her childhood. The story recounts her memories of her captivity for 18 years since the age of 11. Her captor is a convicted paedophile and a chronic drug abuser who manipulates her until she gives up on herself. Meanwhile, her mother fights to find her lost daughter. The play tackles themes of motherhood, isolation and abuse. Will the case ever come to resolution and will they mother and daughter ever be reunited?
Case 10.06.91 will be performed on Friday the 31st of January and Saturday the 1st of February, tickets on the door, price tbc.
On Love Directed by Alexandre Calçada & co-directed by James Dix Relationships are never simple, when you have your inner self questioning the philosophy of love every moment it becomes even harder for a couple to fall naturally in love. On Love follows Sebastian and Lucy, two normal people with normal problems in an unusual monologue driven drama. Performance dates tbc. For behind the scenes news and information about performances like the Drama Society page on Facebook by searching ‘Northumbria Drama Society’ or follow them on PH @DramaSocietyNSU.
MUSICAL THEATRE SOCIETY PRESENTS BARE: A POP OPERA Northumbria Musical Theatre Society has been running for six years, previous shows include: A Chorus Line, Sweeney Todd and Spring Awakening. This academic year, new President Georgina Bunn has already put on a Winter Showcase, last November. The Show featured songs from a variety of musicals. Now she takes on Bare: A Pop Opera. The show tells the story of star-crossed lovers Peter and Jason at a Catholic boarding school. The boys are conflicted by girls, their parents, religion, forbidden love and coming out. The show is a rock musical that is sung through songs about a cocktail of drugs, sex, passion, weight issues and having a quiet night at home.
Question: So why did you choose to put on Bare? Georgina: Bare is much more than a gay love story, it challenges a lot of stereotypes and approaches a number of issues that many of us in Musical Theatre Society can relate to. Q: What do you think the key themes of the show are? G: I’d say the key themes are love, sexuality, identity, religion and the issues that can arise from clashes of opinion and oppression. Q: What are the difficulties in putting on a show like this? Q: Well the auditioning process has been tough enough, we have an incredibly talented society and I wish that I could give everyone a main part because they all deserve it! Q: Why should people come and see it? G: It will be an experience! It’s a new musical, not only to Northumbria University, but to the UK in general. It has only been put on a handful of times and as far as I’m aware we are the first university to perform it. Alongside the deep stuff it has also got an incredible soundtrack. Q: Why are societies so important? G: For me, Musical Theatre has made my university experience, all of my closest friends I have met through the society and I would not have had the confidence to run for president and direct a musical if it wasn’t for the support of the friends I’ve made through the society. The show tackles a range of issues that are relatable to university lifestyles, through song problems are explored and sometimes resolved. Bare is a moving and heart-felt show adored by its cast. Bare: A Pop Opera opens on Wednesday the 5th of March and will have a run of 3 nights in Stage 2. Tickets £5. James Dix
GET INVOLVED Academic Advice
What is academic misconduct? How does it affect students? Should I be worried? These are all questions that are frequently brought to our Advice Service when students are thinking about and working on their assessments, which is the right time to be thinking about it. Our Caseworkers have put together some key advice for you to be aware of when preparing academic work.
What is Academic Misconduct? The term â€˜academic misconductâ€™ encompasses the range of ways in which a piece of work might not be produced as honestly or fairly as it should be. Allegations of academic misconduct include, but are not restricted to: t DPQZJOHUFYUPSJNBHFTXJUIPVUBDLOPXMFEHJOH the source t QBTTJOHPĂ˛TPNFPOFFMTFTXPSLPSJEFBTBTZPVS own t TVCNJUUJOHXPSLXIJDIIBTCFFOQSPEVDFECZ someone else, e.g. using a ghost writing service t TVCNJUUJOHBTTFTTFEXPSLNFBOUUPCFZPVSPXO on which others have collaborated t DIFBUJOHJOFYBNT t NBLJOHVQSFTFBSDI t GBMTJGZJOHTJHOBUVSFTPODPOTFOUGPSNT How can I avoid committing Academic Misconduct? t 8IFOSFTFBSDIJOHBOENBLJOHOPUFTGPSZPVS assessments remember to identify where you read all of your information. This is essential for good referencing practices. t "MMXPSLZPVIBOEJOBOEBMMFYBNTZPVTJUTIPVME be completed by you and should not include any work done by anyone else either from their own work or completed on your behalf. t *GZPVBSFVODMFBSBCPVUHSPVQXPSL"4,:PVS Module Tutor or Programme Leader will be happy to clarify what elements of any group work should be done independently and which you should be looking at collectively. t .BLFTVSFBMMQSJNBSZSFTFBSDIUIBUZPVVTFJT accurate, represent the facts and that all of your claims can be clearly evidenced.
What can I do if I am informed that potential Academic Misconduct has been identified in my work? If you have been alerted to a potential issue of academic misconduct within your work you will be invited to a Stage 1 or â€˜informalâ€™ meeting. In preparation for this you should look at your work again: consider whether you are aware of any academic misconduct. Draft up some notes which describe how you put the work together and take along any revision or research notes that you may have from preparing your work. Be open and honest in your meeting: if you become aware of having committed academic misconduct at any point, take the earliest opportunity to admit this. If you would like further advice with regards to academic misconduct please contact email@example.com.
Our guidance leaflets on academic misconduct and other student issues can be found at: http://mynsu. northumbria.ac.uk/ adviceandrepresentation/ ineedadvice/
GET INVOLVED Eco/Volunteer Northumbria Week
GOOD GREEN FUN! Get involved with Eco NSU Week from 10-16 February!
Eco NSU, the Union’s environmental volunteering programme run by students for students are planning for the Union to turn turquoise and celebrate a week of exciting environmental activities.
For more information on events during Eco NSU Week, register your interest on our volunteer database www.mynsu.co.uk/volunteering or keep an eye out for our posters and event list available by mid January
The week coincides with People and Planet’s Go Green Week – boasting both national actions and activities ran by our student led projects from organic food farming, film screenings, to swap shops plus much, much more!
Would you like to run an Eco NSU Event? We have funding and support available to make it happen! Please email su.eco@ northumbria.ac.uk with your idea by 10 January.
visit to elderly homes, Storytime – reading to children and lots, lots more! There are socials during volunteering week too, some of these are: t ,BSBPLFOJHIU t 4QPSUTEBZ t $BTJOPOJHIU t 3FUSPHBNFTOJHIU
WEEK Would you like to get involved with volunteering? Well the perfect opportunity is coming your way! Student Volunteering week is coming up which is from the 22nd February - 2nd March 2014!
Volunteer Northumbria will be hosting a range of activities going on every day and hopefully there will be two activities per day. There are so many different activities which means there will be something for everyone to get involved in so make sure you don’t miss out! Some of our exciting activities include: Tea dance and IT Classes for the elderly, dog walking, Beach Clean, Cuddle Patrol – going to an animal shelter to see the animals, Random Acts of Kindness giving out Easter cards and free hugs,
The activities aren’t finalised yet but will be very soon so we will keep you posted! Volunteering week is a fantastic way for you to get involved with volunteering, meeting new people and having fun. So why don’t you give it a go? You can do as many or as little activities as you want so it’s completely up to you! You can sign up via the volunteering database or just drop in to the activities you want to. Hope to see you there! Jemma Graham
UNI NEWS Northumbria University Celebrates...
Organising Group, from left, Julie Scanlon, Carol Stephenson, Sue Regan, Karen Ross and Ruth Lewis, recreate the Greenham Fence. (Photo: Roweena Russell)
Northumbria University Celebrates The Greenham Women Legacy Thirty years ago a Northumbria Students’ Union president joined hundreds of women in a protest that made history.
Sue said: “We felt it was important to mark the Greenham event and the actions the women took to have their voices heard. The event was fantastic - just exactly what we had planned - and hoped - for.
Sue Regan, who is now an Associate Lecturer and Social Sciences PhD student at Northumbria University, took part in the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp mass protest. Travelling down from Newcastle in December 1983, she joined 50,000 women campaigning against nuclear weapons.
“The show and tell session was a great opportunity for women to recount their own stories of Greenham, as was the re-creation of the Greenham Fence. The panels also gave us their views and experiences of women’s activism 30 years ago, and today, making links between issues and concerns then and now.”
Last month, Sue and fellow academics from Northumbria University held a commemorative event to mark the 30th anniversary of the protests. More than 100 people attended the event that looked at how women’s activism has changed over the last 30 years. Key speakers, who were present at the mass Greenham demonstration, discussed the impact that this historic event has had on activism today. In the summer of 1983, thousands of women from across the country participated in the Star Marches – a simultaneous protest action which saw them amass at Greenham to protest against nuclear weapons. Their arrests made headline news. On 11th December 1983, 50,000 women met to continue the protest, including a group who travelled from Newcastle. Throughout the 19-year history of the camp (1981 – 2000) tens of thousands more provided support, took part in related campaigns and were involved in WONT (Women Opposed to Nuclear Threat) groups.
In addition to Sue Regan, speakers at the event included Mary Mellor, Emeritus Professor in Sociology at Northumbria University. Mary was present at Greenham and shared her experiences and expert views with the audience. Dr Ruth Lewis, also from Northumbria, and Dr Elizabeth Sharp, from Texas Tech University and Durham University, were on hand to highlight key findings from their research about women-only spaces and contemporary activism. Additionally, Roweena Russell, member of the North East Feminist Gathering organising group (NEFG) was present to talk about the recent emergence of the NEFG. Lizi Gray, Sociology student at Northumbria University and local activist, talked about the SlutWalk and other contemporary feminist activism. The event also featured the screening of acclaimed film-maker Beeban Kidron’s documentary, Carry Greenham Home, a choir performance (with optional audience participation) from Making Waves Choir, a show and tell session where participants were invited to share their Greenham stories and a replica Greenham fence.
UNI NEWS Northumbria University Wins Royal Approval
NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY WINS ROYAL APPROVAL
As well as developing students’ professional legal skills, its work with leading charities and law firms aims to improve access to justice for the vulnerable and disadvantaged within society. Up to 200 Student Law Office students and staff contribute many thousands of hours of pro bono advice each year. Since 2005 they have represented more than 1,200 clients, securing over £1 million on their behalf in judgements and, more importantly, ensuring that clients understand their legal rights and are able to secure access to justice. Professor Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University, says: “This is a huge honour for the whole University and carries a level of prestige we can all be immensely proud of. The rigour of the selection process really does set the winners apart and is a clear reflection of the excellence delivered throughout the UK’s academic institutions. Specifically, it is also recognition for the outstanding clinic-based community legal work undertaken by the Student Law Office.” Carol Boothby, Director of the Student Law Office, adds: “This recognition confirms the internationally-renowned status of our innovative model of legal education, and is testament to the quality and dedication of our students, staff and the partners we work with. Our Student Law Office has also been successful in involving the higher education community in the UK and globally in the latest thinking about clinical legal education and what law clinics can achieve. Achieving the Queen’s Anniversary Prize can only enhance this.”
Northumbria University has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the exceptional work of its Student Law Office. The prize is the highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution, and is awarded in recognition of work judged to be of outstanding excellence and with positive impact. It has been bestowed on the University for having: “A university law clinic making a distinctive contribution to the needs of the local community and to legal education.” Northumbria’s Student Law Office is already an award-winning and world-leading university ‘law clinic’ in which students work with academic staff who are qualified solicitors to offer free legal services to members of the public, businesses and community groups.
All students undertaking the Law School’s exclusive Masters-level Exempting Law Degree, which provides them with the opportunity to go straight into a law firm as a trainee solicitor, work in the Student Law Office throughout their final year. They provide full legal advice and representation to clients completely free of charge. Students from several other law programmes also take part in the work of the Student Law Office. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are a biennial award scheme within the UK’s national honours system. Assessment of the decision process is overseen by the Awards Council of the Royal Anniversary Trust which submits its final recommendations to the Prime Minister for advice to The Queen.
The prize will be formally presented to students and staff and representatives of the University by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on 27 February 2014. nu:life 35
UNI NEWS Gongs Galore For Northumbria Graduates
For Northumbria Graduates
Alistair McLean, owner of The Activity Travel Company.
The Activity Travel Company, based in Stannington, Northumberland, includes Activities Abroad which offers family-focused activity breaks and The Aurora Zone, a company specialising in trips to view the Northern Lights. It was set up by Northumbria University graduate Alistair McLean 11 years ago and now employs 14 staff – around half of whom are also Northumbria University graduates. In the British Travel Awards The Activity Travel Company won Best Small Holiday Company (Family) and Best Small Holiday Company (Activity/Sports) for its business division Activities Abroad and Best Small Holiday Company (Adults) for The Aurora Zone. Danny Waine, founder of Perfect Weddings and Honeymoons Ltd, collects his award.
Two high flying businesses set up by Newcastle Business School graduates have walked away with a clutch of silverware at the prestigious British Travel Awards. The Awards Gala Dinner in London celebrated the UK’s best travel and tourism businesses. Up to 1,000 guests saw Northumbria graduate business The Activity Travel Company pick up three awards. Perfect Weddings Abroad, another Northumbria graduate business, was announced as the winner of the Best Weddings Abroad & Honeymoon category for the third year running. Danny Waine, 25, from Middlesbrough set up his business Perfect Weddings and Honeymoons Ltd after spotting a gap in the market during his year-long work placement, while studying BA (Hons) Travel and Tourism Management at Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School. The award tops a record year for the business with sales up over 150% against 2012.
Alistair says his time at Northumbria University led him to establishing his travel company. “When I was thirty I decided I needed a career change and travel was top of my wanted list. I had no idea how to go about setting up a travel business – or any business for that matter - so I enrolled on the BA (Hons) Travel and Tourism Management course at Northumbria. Three years of study and an invaluable 12 month industry placement gave me the confidence and the knowledge to create my own activity holiday company and since then I’ve never looked back.” Naomi Kirkup, a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader BA (Hons) Travel and Tourism Management programme, says: “This is wonderful news for Danny and Alistair and well deserved. Our Travel and Tourism Management programme is extremely popular and I think it works so well because it offers a clear foundation of business and management education, and leadership skills within the travel and tourism industry – it’s the right blend across all levels.”
UNI NEWS District MTV Shines Spotlight On Northumbria Graduate He said: “We really wanted to focus on the next generation of rising creative stars with the District MTV Yearbook 2013 and Sally really fits into that perfectly. “I loved her irreverent style and sense of humour coupled with a really strong technical ability and commercial acumen. Sally has got such a great vision and I think she is someone who is going to do really well throughout her career.” Since catching the attention of District MTV – a digital arm of MTV that brings fashion and music together - Sally has been profiled among other national and international rising stars – including designers, photographers, filmmakers and writers. Sally said: “It’s amazing to be asked to be a part of the District MTV Yearbook. To be interviewed and featured alongside other creatives from different backgrounds and industries is great. I have always been a supporter of District MTV and admired their eye for what’s going on in creative culture, so it’s a massive compliment to be a part of it.
DISTRICT MTV SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON NORTHUMBRIA GRADUATE At Northumbria we’re celebrating more graduate success, thanks to the outstanding talent of Sally Hewett. Not only did she bag the Top Shop Graduate Design award last year, she’s now been named as one to watch by District MTV. The District MTV Yearbook 2013 was created to find the next generation of talented young creatives and Northumbria graduate, Sally Hewett, has been placed firmly in the spotlight. Sally, originally from Middlesbrough, is currently enjoying a yearlong placement with Topshop after causing a stir in the fashion world in 2013 by winning their coveted design award. According to William Oliver, Editor of District MTV, the station has had its eye on her work for some time.
And Sally says her time at University played a major role in her success. She added: “Northumbria prepared me for my career in fashion design in many different ways. The placement year being one of them. I interned at various companies to get an insight on how high-end and high street companies worked and learned that working in the high street was the career for me.” Douglas Maclennan, Principal Lecturer in Fashion, Northumbria University, said: “Sally was a great student to work with who progressed quickly and grew in design stature. It was great to see her confidence build during her final year and this recognition does not come as a surprise – she’s definitely one to watch!”
It’s amazing to be asked to be a part of the District MTV Yearbook. To be interviewed and featured alongside other creatives from different backgrounds and industries is great. To find out more about District MTV visit www.districtmtv.co.uk.
UNI NEWS University’s £1 Million Boost For Graduate Careers
University’s £1 Million Boost For Graduate Careers The funding will help Northumbria University to extend the support it provides to SMEs in the North East and will also enable the University to support the creation of 30 new graduate start-up businesses. It is hoped that 60 permanent jobs will be created as a result.
Lucy Winskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Engagement
Students graduating from Northumbria University could benefit from a £1.1m scheme to help them get into business. The University is launching a project to help startup 30 new businesses and to provide graduate interns for 55 small businesses. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has awarded the University over half a million pounds to support the Northumbria Graduates into Business project, with the grant being matched by the University and other funding providers
Through the Northumbria Graduates into Business scheme, the University will provide graduate interns to 55 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and will contribute up to 50% of their salary costs. The interns will bring new skills, knowledge and approaches to the businesses, helping to develop their workforces and improve business performance. Northumbria’s Careers and Employment Service piloted an internship scheme last year which proved to be a huge success with 81% of the interns being permanently recruited by their employers at the end of the placement. One company to use the pilot scheme was business and IT consultancy Waterstons, who hired Maths and Business Management graduate Matthew Thomas to support their finance team. They quickly recruited him on a permanent contract when the internship ended.
Waterstons HR Officer Lesley Renteurs said: “Our business was starting to grow quite significantly and we needed to expand our finance team. We used Northumbria’s internship scheme to test the benefits of bringing someone else in and it worked so well that we were in no doubt about offering Matt a permanent contract at the end of the scheme. “Bringing in a graduate intern helped to free up our existing team to work on new projects and brought new skills and enthusiasm to the company. I would absolutely recommend the scheme to any small business. It’s a very good way to find good people.” As well as the internship scheme, current students and recent graduates from Northumbria University will receive support to startup a total of 30 new businesses by June 2015. The University’s Enterprise Campus scheme already provides mentoring, advice and support on sales, marketing and legal issues, as well as low-cost office accommodation. The ERDF funding will enable the University to increase the volume of activity it can support. Northumbria has a high success rate in supporting graduate start-up businesses and was recently named the fourth best university in the UK in this area of activity after supporting the development of more than 100 graduate companies in the last five years. The companies employ almost 800 staff and have a combined turnover of £54 million. Most of these businesses are based in the North East but are trading nationally and internationally. Games Programming students James Mintram and Tomasz Kandziora approached the University’s Enterprise Campus scheme with their business idea to develop gaming apps for mobile phones in 2011. After receiving support to develop their idea they are now successfully trading as Lemon Moose Games Ltd from the Gateshead International Business Centre and have recruited an intern themselves.
NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY Performing Arts
Director James Mintram said: “We had started to develop our own business of designing and developing games for mobile phones while studying. We approached the University and were given support to develop our business plan as well as free hatchery space on campus to run our business for a year.
“As our reputation has grown we are attracting more clients so we needed more capacity within the team. We were advised about the University’s internship scheme so took someone on for a tenweek period. It worked so well that we decided to take on our intern on a full-time basis when the scheme ended and we hope to further expand the company in the next six to twelve months.” Lucy Winskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Engagement at Northumbria University, said: “Universities play a vital role in contributing towards economic regeneration through the creation and application of innovation and new knowledge. “We are committed to working with businesses to improve their productivity and performance. Our recent rating as the fourth best university in the country for supporting graduate start-up businesses is recognition of our successes in this area. “The ERDF award to further develop this activity is a clear indicator of the quality and calibre of our students and the support we provide to them and to businesses. We look forward to working with more SMEs and supporting the creation of new businesses and jobs in the region.”
For more information on how businesses and graduates can access the Northumbria Graduates into Business project please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/ graduatesintobusiness
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