Issue 275

Page 1




INSIDE YUSU How Can We Improve Representation in Our Students’ Union?



One in Five Students Vote For YUSU’s ‘Missing Pieces’



OVER 34,000 VOTES were cast by students in the first in-person YUSU Elections since 2020. 17.59% of students voted for their candidates for the five full time Sabbatical Officer positions, ten Part-Time Officer roles and four non-officer positions. This represented a 6% drop in voter turnout from 2020. Pierrick Roger won the race for Students’ Union President with 1492 votes, winning 55.5 percent of the vote after second-choice ballots were counted.





Wednesday March 2, 2022

News 2 Editor Ruth Kelner Deputy Editor Niamh Irvine Opinion 6 Editor Katie Preston Deputy Editor Matt Rogan Features 24 Editor Dan Bennett Deputy Editor Claire Forster Lifestyle 26 Editor Marti Stelling Deputy Editor Sharanya Kumar Science & Tech 27 Editor Oliver Fisher Deputy Editor VACANT Climate 28 Editor Joe Baker Deputy Editor Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb Sport 30 Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT Stage S3 Editor Emily Sinclair Deputy Editor Amber Handley Screen S4 Editor Jed Wagman Deputy Editor Gena Clarke Games S6 Editor Luke Horwitz Deputy Editor VACANT Food S7 Editor Tom Willett Deputy Editor Navya Verma Relationships S8 Editor Bethan Hubbard Deputy Editor VACANT Travel S9 Editor Grace Swadling Deputy Editor Nicholas Chen Books S10 Editor Luke Horwitz Deputy Editor Caitlin Hyland Music S11 Editor Joe Radford Deputy Editor Ben Forsdick

Editor Matt Ward-Perkins Editor Will Rowan Deputy Editor Matt Igoe SCENE Editor Charlie Gaskell Chief Subeditor Lucas Lefley Subeditor Beth Evans Subeditor Alexis Casas Subeditor Kieayna Shodeinde Colverson Subeditor Marti Stelling Subeditor Emily Jebb Subeditor Megan Bartley Subeditor Orla McAndrew Illustrator Niall McGenity Managing Director Jasmine Moody Deputy Managing Director Bethan Hubbard Social Media Director Ella Peebles Technical Director Marks Polakovs Photography Director Vittoria Avigliano Marketing Director Alex Rich Opinions expressed in York Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Editorial Team, membership, or advertisers.




TODAY IS THE final day of strike action organised by the University and College Union (UCU) at universities around the country, including York. Staff have been striking on issues including pensions and pay, unsafe workloads, casualisation and inequality. The UCU has said the average working week in education is currently 50 hours, with 29% of staff working 55, while workload has increased for a majority since the pandemic. This increase in labour has come, for many, without an increase in pay, with national wage disparities found on a basis of race (White staff are paid 17% more on average than Black staff), disability (where the gap is 9%) and gender (with a gap of 15.1%). The UCU claims these disparities are likely to take 22 years to resolve with the current rate of change of universities. A key demand being made by the UCU in this term’s strikes is that employers revoke national cuts to staff pensions. Under Universities UK proposals, the UCU claims lecturers stand to face cuts of 35% to their guaranteed retirement income, a figure that Universities UK have

said is in fact around 10-18%. Additional demands from the Union include a wage increase for all staff, and action to tackle inequality and insecure contracts. National UCU President Vicky Blake visited the York strike picket line, and told York Vision: “I wish we weren’t on strike. I wish we didn’t have to strike, but we are here because it seems to be the only way that our employers will listen, and that’s really sad.” Acknowledging the inconvenience that strikes cause students, she said: “we are on strike because it’s the only way that they ever listen to us. “You deserve stable working conditions and fair treatment from your employers […] we are asking for fair and safe workloads.” This emphasis on “fair” and “safe” could be felt in many of the picket speeches, with one staff

A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS Matt WardPerkins, Co-Editor

AS WELL AS being York Vision’s 275th issue, this is our final issue as an editorial team. It is also just over three years since Vision was brought back, returning to the University of York’s campus after years of struggles and mistakes. Most importantly, this paper, since its return, has been a home for hard-hitting investigations, breaking news, and content that is all about students at York telling students’ stories. We know that a student paper is not just a student

Will Rowan, Co-Editor

paper, and we have a responsibility to tell your stories the right way. Any publication will make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we get a free pass. It’s the job of every paper’s editorial team to put everything we can into making our publications as good as they can be, and to listen if readers say we’ve got it wrong. You have every right to criticise this paper, to point out things we should do better, to comment on the decisions we make, and that should be true of every publication. Vision is for you, not for us.

member saying: “I beg them to look at the colleagues who have given everything for our students, and I beg them to look at the students who want to be in the classroom and are here because they want to learn, and I beg them to stand up for us.” Picketers included some students who wanted to show solidarity with University staff. Speaking to Vision, YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell said that, in light of delays to exam results, coursework and overcrowded lecture theatres, it is “really important that we are working with the University and other students’ unions nationally to seek progress”. O’Donnell said students would see positive changes to their tuition if the demands of striking staff were met, telling Vision: “Our learning conditions are the working conditions of our staff”

At York and elsewhere, the natural rivalries between media groups have sometimes taken over any time they are in the same place. We have valued the positive working relationships we have been able to build with the teams at other student media groups, including rival publications. This issue obviously follows the end of the YUSU Elections, and we enjoyed attending and reporting on all the main events of the election season. While the turnout and Sabb nomination numbers were perhaps not at the level we would want them to be, let’s hope that the large numbers of first- and second-year students running for Part-Time Officer roles is a sign of things to come as life gets more normal. In Features, we are looking at the election system, and speaking to outgoing officers about the improvements they would like to see. The YUSU Elections aren’t the only things happening on campus, and in this issue we are reporting on the problems returning students have had finding accommodation and much more. In Sport, we are looking ahead

A University spokesperson said: “We recognise that the decision to take industrial action is not taken lightly - we respect colleagues’ right to take part.” When strikes were first called this year, Vice Chancellor Charlie Jeffery said: “The national UCU’s call for action will not change the national challenges facing the pension scheme, and so much headway has already been made on this issue, as well as very constructive progress on pay and working conditions. This is why I have called on all parties to build on the common ground we know exists, rather than continuing the damaging cycle of division we have seen. “I am committed to continuing to work collaboratively with our local UCU branch and to build on all of the work we’ve done so far to continue to provide good employment conditions for all of our staff.”

to College Varsity this Sunday, and the whole of this issue is packed full of revealing stories and insight. When thinking about what to write in a final editors’ note, we inevitably ended up thinking about the people who have enabled Vision to continue to grow. Of course, it is not just our last issue, and Vision would not be what it is without the amazing work of our SCENE Editor Charlie Gaskell, and Deputy Editor Matt Igoe. Their work has helped SCENE to grow, and they have supported the main paper through every prod week we have had. Our Chief Subeditor Lucas Lefley has done an incredible job building up a team that will keep Vision’s grammar and spelling in check for years to come, and there are many more of our outgoing committee who we don’t have space to thank, but Vision would not be printed without. If you’d like to be one of the people who takes this paper forward next year, please do come down to our AGM next Tuesday at 6pm in V/N/045. You don’t need any experience, and take it from us - this is a great team to be a part of.


Wednesday March 2, 2022





OVER £175,000 HAS been spent on face masks by the University since the start of the pandemic, a York Vision investigation has found. £121,000 of this spending was during the 2019/20 academic year when over 57,000 masks were purchased, the majority of which were reusable face coverings. The mean cost of each mask purchased has fallen by over 85% between then and this academic year with only FFP2 masks purchased this academic year. Over 60,000 lateral flow tests have been performed and processed on campus since November 2020. These picked up over 360 positive cases among asymptomatic individuals. On average, just 22 tests were performed on campus each day this academic year. A University spokesperson told Vision: “We will continue to make our stocks of masks and Lateral Flow Tests available to staff and students for the remainder of this term.”





REPORTS OF ACADEMIC misconduct have more than doubled since the introduction of online exams, York Vision has found. Misconduct reports rose from just 180 in the 201819 academic year to 395 in 2020-21, while findings of misconduct rose from 110 to 265 in the same time frame. Increases were most notable in departments including Computer Science, where reports rose from just five in 2018-19 to an average of 55 in the last two years, and Management, where reports went from 15 in 201819 to 85 last year, the highest of any department. A University of York spokesperson said: “The increase in students investigated shows that we have not allowed our commitment to academic integrity to slip. Anyone who is suspected of cheating is investigated and appropriate sanctions are applied to individuals who have broken the rules.




THE UNIVERSITY HAS told York Vision it is conducting an after Dewent Rugby members gatecrashed an LGBTQ+ round of Derwent College’s ‘Take Me Out’ event at D Bar last Friday. The club faced criticism after members joined the round for gay and bisexual men despite not being members of the LGBTQ+ community. The incident, which has forced Derwent Rugby and Derwent College to make formal apologies to the LGBTQ+ communities, took place D-Bar’s long awaited opening night. After a number of complaints were made about the incident, Derwent Rugby posted an Instagram story apologising for their behaviour stating that “looking back we disrupted theexperience”. This first apology was seen by some students as inadequate, and a new permanent post was

made in which they apologised for their apology, realising the first was “not sincere”. In this new post they went on to say they “truly apologise for the actions of some of the Derwent Rugby players […] we should never have gone up and we fully regret this”. A statement on the Derwent College Instagram said the participation of Derwent Rugby in the event had “the unfortunate consequence of publicly undermining the experience of gay and bisexual men in the College, and at worst subjecting it to parody”. Despite a lengthy apology by the College Manager, many in the comments of this post felt it was insufficient. One user commented that the post had “so many words but not a single ‘we’re really sorry for making a mockery out of the LGBTQ+ community in front of mass amounts of people’”. One commenter made a statement about the lasting impact of the incident on relations

between Derwent College and the LGBT community, saying: “Many members of the queer community left the event due to being uncomfortable, I think it may take more than an Instagram post to make the community feel invited back to these events”. Derwent College said they “do not tolerate hate speech or discrimination. This includes ableism, bullying and harassment, homophobia, sexism, racism, transphobia or any other form of prejudice or hostility toward individuals or groups”. A University of York spokesperson said: “All of our students have the right to enjoy a respectful and supportive environment on campus, and we are very disappointed to hear about the conduct of some students at this event. As a community we uphold and promote wellbeing, equality and fairness, and we are investigating this incident.”





AT LEAST NINETEEN departing staff have cited bullying or harassment as a factor that influenced their decision to leave the university in the past five years, a York Vision investigation has found. At least seven departing staff in 2017 cited bullying or harassment as a reason for their decision to leave the University. When accounting for staff departures for any reasons, 2021 saw the highest number of staff departing from the University in the past five years, with 770 staff leaving, which the University says was the result of the introduction of a voluntary redundancy scheme due to COVID-19. From March, the University’s report and Support tool will be extended to all staff. Each of the past four years has seen at least one complaint by a staff member related to bullying or harassment. Decisions related to such complaints are made by a Hearing Manager following an investigation by an Investigation Manager.

Not a single complaint made in the last three years has been upheld following this process. The Equality Act 2010 defines harassment as “Unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or which creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.” These protected characteristics include age, race, and sexual orientation. Bullying is defined by the University as behaviour which is “usually persistent, unwarranted and unwelcome, offensive, intimidating, humiliating, malicious or insulting.” It can include a range of behaviours that undermine another individual’s confidence and feelings of self-worth. These definitions are part of the University’s dignity at work and study policy. The policy provides procedures and mechanisms to report and address incidents of harassment, bullying, and hate incidents. A 2018 investigation by The Guardian found hundreds of academics were accused of bullying students and fellow staff members.

Following the publication of the article over 200 academics contacted The Guardian to share their own experiences of workplace bullying. A University of York spokesperson said: “All members of our community have the right to a fair, welcoming and inclusive environment that is free from all forms of harassment and bullying. We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed bullying or harassment to report this to us, and to make this easier, we are extending the University’s Report and Support tool to all staff in March. “While we encourage anyone raising a report to identify themselves, so that we can conduct a full investigation, there will also be the option of reporting anonymously. The HR team, along with colleagues in the Equality and Diversity office, will closely monitor levels of reported incidents to identify any pockets of concern.” “All formal complaints we receive are treated extremely seriously and the decision of whether to uphold a complaint is made by a Hearing Manager following a fair and unbiased investigation by an impartial Investigation Manager.”




Wednesday March 2, 2022

OIL AT THE DINNER TABLE VARSITY HAVE REPORTED that during a Trinity College lunch service, a climate activist poured fake oil over herself, stood on a table, and gave a speech. As part of a climate change protest, a member of the Youth Climate Swarm climbed on a table and gave a speech during a Trinity College’s lunch service. The activist stood on a table and poured a fake organic oil over herself and using a megaphone gave a short speech beginning with, “Education will not save you from the climate crisis. Money will not save you from the climate crisis.” According to Varsity, the fake oil was made from organic material, such as ‘guar gum, pond dye and water’. As reported by the Norwich Evening News, the activist, 27, has been arrested 16 times for similar protests.


A WARWICK STUDENT drug dealer has revealed that Second-year students are their most active customers, proclaiming in an interview with The Boar that, “Second years are my most active customers” and “from what I’ve noticed, Warwick students love weed and ket”. In an interview conducted by The Boar, the student drug dealer said: “Second years are my most active customers [...] I deal weed, mushrooms, ketamine, acid, and ‘study drugs’ like Ritalin and Adderall. I need to make a living, so I decided to start dealing last year.” The Boar decided to go straight to the source for an interview following recent studies which have shown an increased usage of ‘study drugs’ at universities.

MOCK FUNERAL AT LEEDS COURT THE GRYPHON HAS reported that Climate protesters staged a mock funeral at Leeds Magistrates’ Court to protest the proposed Leeds Bradford Airport expansion and the Policing and Sentencing Bill. The campaigners from Extinction Rebellion Leeds, Kill the Bill Leeds, and the COP26 Coalition, held the mock funeral outside of the Magistrates Court for “both for Leeds’ carbon budget and the right to protest.” The Gryphon has reported that protesters carried a coffin outside the court “to symbolise the ‘death’ of Leeds’ carbon budget”, before proceeding with a funeral procession to Millennium Square and Civic Hall where they placed banners with messages including “code red for humanity”, “airport expansion kills” and “kill the bill, save our liberties”.

SHEFFIELD STUDENTS OCCUPY CAMPUS BUILDING FORGE PRESS HAVE reported that students have occupied the Jessop West building in solidarity with the second round of University and College Union Strikes. As reported by Forge Press, 16 students have occupied rooms across the Jessop West and have hung banners from the windows of the building supporting industrial action and protesting the planned closure of the University of Sheffield’s Archaeology department. A student interviewed by Forge Press said: “What better way to show our support with the strikes than be a part of them and make this occupation? The missing link is students, because we are paying customers.”




CONTINUING STUDENTS WHO wanted to stay in on campus accommodation say they have been “hung out to dry” with many students having their accommodation requests unmet, a York Vision investigation has found. Third year student Daniel told us he was only able to secure Halifax accommodation after having to call accommodation services and “recount every single horrific circumstance of my situation”. Daniel explained that he had specifically requested accommodation with an ensuite due to needs arising from sensory issues. Although the university does not provide an accommodation guarantee for continuing students, some students said they expected the University would find them somewhere to live. Although Daniel has now been allocated a room in Halifax, it does not have an ensuite. He says this will be “a difficult affair for me at best, but it’s that or I [will] bankrupt myself on private accommodation or literally go homeless”. After missing out on campus accommodation, continuing student Samson decided to contact YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell over the issue. Samson told O’Donnell: “The crux of the issue is, why are there so few places that returners have to apply within the first several hours that housing is released.” Applying within these first pivotal hours was not possible for Samson, who was on a gap year. He had to ask the accommodation team to grant him manual access to the application portal, by which time all rooms had already been taken. After Samson was told his accommodation application had been unsuccessful, the accommodation team sent him some private sector options. Samson told Vision he believes this is placing the “onus on students”, when it is the university who have created the “unprecedented limited supplies”.

One suggestion of private sector accommodation was Vita Student where prices start at £225 per week. Vision was told these private sector accommodation options are not realistic for many students, including estranged students and care leavers. A student who was hoping to return to on-campus accommodation explained that it is even worse for independent students as, “They have to rely on the University as a guarantor. “If they don’t find accommodation they could end up homeless, as York is their home and sometimes they don’t have parents to go back to.” York will only be a guarantor for rent up to £155 a week and the student said that, “[With] rising prices in York, and coordinating with potential flatmates, it’s increasingly hard to find something under this price. “The issue with the University being the guarantor is that If you can’t find anything below the amount they’ve set you can’t stay off campus.” Estranged students are guaranteed campus accommodation by the University. Estranged students, like others, were only offered accommodation in Anne Lister or Halifax, with Halifax the only option priced under the University’s guarantor limit. One student felt this was a “very clear trap to keep people’s money on campus”. The University of York’s website says the University hopes that “our accommodation will be your home away from home”, but Daniel said he believes the University is prioritising freshers and “washing its hands” of the responsibilities towards continuing students, forcing them into “private accommodation or other, unsuitable arrangements”. He said the University “owes students is a palpably clear explanation”. Speaking to Vision, YUSU Community and Wellbeing Officer Kelly Balmer said: “The accommodation situation in York

has been getting worse over the past decade. “At some point it is going to hit breaking point, and, if I am honest, I think we are about to hit it. I know many applied to York as it advertised itself as having returners’ accommodation options. “Disabled students should be gauranteed on-campus accommodation, estranged students and those who need them should be able to access the University’s guarantor scheme regardless of price. Private sector accommodation across York is getting full for many reasons, and one is the University’s rapid expansion of the student population. “As a result, students in desperate need of affordable, accessible and quality accommodation apply for halls; only to get rejected and left with a few of the most expensive options out there to pick from. It isn’t on. “YUSU is currently working with the City of York, University of York, York St. John and a national student accomodation charity to find a solution, because York is getting full and we’re getting fed up.” A University spokesperson said: “Supporting our estranged students wherever we can is extremely important to us, and in light of recent increases in private accommodation prices, the University will be reviewing the price cap for which it will be a guarantor for estranged students. “We know finding the right place to live is a huge part of university life, and that there is a lot of demand to be on campus. This is why we’re providing more campus accommodation, with Anne Lister and David Kato Colleges fully opening later this year. “However, demand will far exceed supply and this means unfortunately we cannot guarantee campus accommodation for continuing students. “We guarantee University accommodation for new undergraduates, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, as well as continuing students with additional requirements such as a disability.”


Wednesday March 2, 2022



OVER 34,000 VOTES were cast by students in the first in-person YUSU Elections since 2020. 17.59% of students voted for their preferred candidates for the five full time Sabbatical Officer positions, ten part time officer roles, and four non officer positions. This represented a 6% drop in voter turnout from 2020. Pierrick Roger won the race for Students’ Union President with 1492 votes, winning 55.5 percent of the vote after second-choice ballots were counted. York Vision spoke to all five newly-elected Sabbatical Officers after their wins. Pierrick told Vision: “It felt amazing, I’m ecstatic.” He said his first priority will be to “get rid of non-disclosure agreements”. “I’ve been saying it for so long and I can’t believe we still use them.” Pierrick called these agreements “disgusting”, saying, “It needs to be investigated, and if we [YUSU] are using them [then] get rid of them.” Pierrick told us the highlight of his campaign was “meeting so many people, even people I didn’t know reached out on Instagram or Facebook and proposed to campaign for me”. Before this run for YUSU President, Pierrick was elected as YUSU’s Environment and Ethics Officer last year. He told Vision this experience is “going to make cutting the bullshit so much easier”: “That experience was so valuable in order to deal with people, whether the Union or the Uni.” Pierrick’s manifesto centred around three points: cutting the cost of living, cutting barriers for students, and cutting the bullshit.

When asked about the top source of bullshit he wanted to cut, Pierrick said: “Lies, so many lies. “I can’t stand it, if we’re not being honest then we don’t deserve to represent students at all.” Pierrick went on to explain how he wants to involve PTOs more directly in decision making,

“I think PTOs represent such specific issues. “If you speak to any of them they will be the expert in what they’re doing. “They deserve attention and respect. “As Environment Officer it was so hard to get my voice heard, I want PTOs to be involved every step of the way.” Having just seen the new team elected, Pierrick said: “I’ve met most of them during campaigning and they’re amazing people”. Hannah Nimmo was elected Community and Wellbeing Officer in the closest race of the night which saw her win by just 12 votes. Asked how it feels to be the new Community and Wellbeing Officer, Hannah told Vision: “It feels absolutely insane.” Hannah told Vision that her first priority in the role will be to “increase wellbeing training university-wide”: “I think more wellbeing training needs to be put in place across society committees, sports team committees, department reps… across the board.” Hannah also mentioned, “The need for more mental health awareness training and more access, inclusivity, and equality training. “I’m going to work with our incoming Sabb candidates, our incoming PTOs, and make it all happen.” Hannah reflected on her highlights of the campaign so far, mentioning Candidate Interview Night and Debate Night as “something I never thought I’d do”. She also took time to praise the work of outgoing Community and Wellbeing Officer Kelly Balmer, calling her “a powerhouse of a Sabb”. She said: “I’ve got big shoes to fill going into her role.” Rohan Ashar was elected Activities Officer with over 1,500 votes in the first round. Reacting to his election, Rohan told Vision: “I’ve never been this shocked and overwhelmed, it’s incredible. “I’m happy and I don’t say that too often.” Rohan was running against just one other student for the role. He paid tribute to Joe Radford’s campaign in his speech on the night, telling Vision afterwards that, “From the start I believed that the silver lining if I didn’t win was that it would go to someone really capable of doing the role.” Rohan recognised the similarities between his outlook and Joe’s, saying: “They have a very similar attitude towards student life as me. It’s about supporting students above everything.” He’s keen to engage with Joe’s manifesto points and ideas after his own campaign. “I will sit down with Joe, look at their manifesto, take some of their ideas and discuss it with them, because I think they had some really great ideas.” Among these, Rohan said: “There is a case for a second bar on Hes East.” Rohan’s first priority is inclusivity, telling us “that comes above everything.” “Getting more people involved and making sure everyone can [get involved]. “All my points about accessibility, making

the training resources widely available for staff and students, more accessibility information on promotional material, and pressuring the Uni to make sure more spaces are accessible”. Asked about his favourite moment of the campaign, Rohan laughed and said: “Can I say the moment I won?!”



Union President Pierrick Roger Charlotte Clarke Dylan Laugharne RON

1492 1195 256 55

Activities Officer Rohan Ashar Joe Radford RON

1529 600 93

York Sport Union President Francesca Riley 1417 Ashraf Ahmed 596 Kieren Franklin 398 Academic Officer Deb Matt Best RON

1796 903 106

Community & Wellbeing Officer Hannah Nimmo 945 Matt Rogan 939 RON 55

Franki Riley, the only current Sabb running for re-election, walked into her second term as York Sport Union President, beating out Ashraf Ahmed and Kieren Franklin in the first round of votes, with 57.4% percent of the first choice ballots. Franki said she’s looking forward to “having a new team of Sabb officers and the challenge of being the only continuing Sabb, taking on a natural leadership role”; admitting that, “If you’d have asked me two weeks before announcing I was rerunning, I would’ve said ‘no’.” With huge cheers erupting in the Roger Kirk Centre as Franki won it sounded like many were glad she changed her mind. Deb was elected Academic Officer in the first round of votes with 1796 votes. Fellow candidate Matt Best was eliminated in the first round of voting with only 903 votes. The Academic Officer election had the highest turnout with 2,805 students casting votes. When Vision asked how Deb felt coming off his big win he said: “I feel speechless,” and that he was extremely “thankful to everyone”, and made special mention, “to all my supporters, all my fans and my entire campaign team”. On his choice to run Deb said it was due to “all my past experiences, I know how academics work”. He also said he was excited to see “more diversity in this Academic Officer role”. When asked what his number one priority would be on his first day in office Deb encouraged Vision to look at his manifesto points which he will be covering “from day one”. Deb feels the biggest issue in the current academic running of the University is “the number of scholarship opportunities, internship opportunities and online courses” and wants to change that as soon as possible. The newly elected Sabbatical Officers will take over from the existing officers in July.

LGBTQ+ Students’ Officer Ziggy and Katie 857 Freddie 721 Lex and Ambrose 348 B and Katie 252 RON 49 Women and Non-Binary Students’ Officer Izzy Andrews 1485 RON 162 Working Class and Social Mobility Officer Laura Blackburn 1525 RON 88 Mature Students’ Officer Hugo Hobbs 1294 RON 96 BAME Students’ Officer Emilia Chambers 1005 Phoebe and Timi 722 RON 39 International Students’ Officer Jacob Bostock 1376 RON 95 Environment and Ethics Officer Anushka Swannell 1531 RON 70 Volunteering Officer Ollie Dennison Eleanor and James RON

805 651 40

RAG Officer Ellen Rintoul Katy Swiston RON

844 640 30

Disabled Students’ Officer Freya Atkins 816 Dan Black 497 Archie Collins 275 RON 37



Wednesday March 2, 2022

Vısıon YORK



WE’VE JUST SEEN a YUSU election cycle that looked much more like that of 2020 than 2021. That’s a fantastic thing. It’s allowed us all to engage more easily with the candidates, their ideas, and all the social parts that come with it. It’s meant we’ve been able to see York’s standout student groups shine. URY, YSTV, and TechSoc managed the organised chaos of Candidate Interview Night, Debate Night, and Election Results Night exceptionally well. With a £21,000 salary to compete for, it was telling to see which candidates embraced scrutiny and difficult questions about their ideas, and which believed that being asked difficult questions was ‘unfair’, because they couldn’t stand behind the details of the promises they were trying to win votes with. Having these events on campus brings life into venues and the election season. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to engage in campus events in this way and it’s good to be back.


DEAR FUTURE YUSU Election candidates: you can actually really boost your profile with an effective physical campaign. We were looking forward to seeing a campus once again cluttered with posters, cardboard and various other bits of election material, but it felt eerily empty. Walking down to campus on the first day of campaigning and seeing a lonely few posters in Market Square just didn’t feel like it used to. It’s great that an online election year had candidates putting more effort than ever into their online presence, but what you do on campus makes a difference, and it feels like some candidates missed an opportunity to grow their profile. Physical campaigning reaches students who would not otherwise be involved, and it is just as important to represent them as it is to represent the engaged students who will look through Instagram pages and manifestos. Surely it’s not a coincidence that turnout looked a lot more like last year’s online elections than when it was in person two years ago.


COLLEGE VARSITY IS this weekend, and we are definitely looking forward to covering it, along with live broadcast coverage from YSTV and URY all day. The event looks like it will be bigger than in previous years, and we can hope that Durham will be slightly more engaged than in 2020, when last minute college dropouts disappointed York teams preparing to play. But, why are we doing it this week? YUSU’s focus, much like ours and our fellow media groups’, has inevitably been on the elections, which are one of the biggest parts of the year. Of course, we need to give Roses a bit of room before the end of April and start of May, but could it make sense to push Varsity a couple of weeks later to give it some promotion on a similar scale? Whatever the right answer is to that question, let’s get out and support our teams this weekend, whether that’s down on 22 Acres, in the Sport Centre, or watching along at The Courtyard or at home.



AND SO THE YUSU Election cycle has come and gone once again, another chance for the future Sabbatical and Part Time Officers to be thrust into a critical spotlight for two weeks before being collectively forgotten about until their tenure begins in July. At the time of writing this election cycle is still ongoing, and there is still time for my prediction of “one of the candidates will be revealed to be a merman” to come to fruition. While we wait for that to happen, however, I believe one of the most important things to happen this year was the illuminating way PTO candidates have been treated and promoted in comparison to people running for full-time Sabbatical Officer roles. PTOs have typically struggled to get the attention of the wider student community. I consider myself more plugged into the world of YUSU than most through my involvement in student media, and even I would struggle to name a number of YUSU’s PTOs, let alone talk about the work they have done and the positive changes they have brought to campus. A friend of mine was not even aware there were roles like Working Class & Social Mobility Officer, when such a role would have been of interest to them during the two years they have studied at York. These may be examples of my own anecdotal evidence, but when only 15% of students felt motivated enough to take the time to vote in last year’s elections, it’s not hard to imagine that the average student is not aware of what PTOs do to help them. The issue of student engagement

and awareness of what a student union can offer, especially with PTO roles, is not unique to this election cycle or York. However, a particularly revealing moment was the day the 2022 Election candidates were announced: special individual announcements were used for each of the Sabbatical Officer roles, but zero posts announced any of the PTO candidates, just a mention on the end of the President candidate posts saying PTO candidates could be found inside the election supplement of Nouse.

“PTOs have typically struggled to get the attenetion of the wider student community” Naturally, Sabbs have a larger role and the student interest will be more on them, but to not have a single post on any social media channel showcasing any of the PTOs is borderline insulting to the candidates who put so much time into campaigns that heavily rely on online visibility. This treatment of PTO candidates is emblematic of a wider issue of YUSU not giving PTOs a loud enough voice to help students. I understand the desire of not wanting to spam students with a constant string of emails, but would one weekly email from the collective PTOs really be the digital straw that breaks the camel’s back for students already getting emails from at minimum Sabbs, colleges, Charlie Jeffrey and Wayne Campbell? At least give students the chance to hear from them, and if those who still do not care decide to unsubscribe then that’s their choice. Right now many students never hear from PTOs at all

unless they have joined the related network, and again these networks are not publicised enough by YUSU, essentially being branded as societies rather than the main way to push for change.

“To not have a single post on any social media channel showcasing any of the PTOs is borderline insulting” A students’ union that does not give the student officers a far-reaching voice, especially a PTO without the time and resources of a full-time Sabbs, ultimately refuses to give them enough power to generate meaningful change. When many of these roles are for groups who have to fight to have their voices heard in society generally, this lack of Students’ Union support makes the PTO positions seem more like a token gesture to appear inclusive rather than positions actually in place to ensure YUSU works for everyone. Around campus, there are floor signs asking “Last year 15% of you voted in the YUSU Elections, what do the rest of you want?”, with the kind of desperation you expect to see at 3am in Salvos rather than from a students’ union. Perhaps there would be more student engagement if students were actually able to see throughout the year how all of these roles impact their student life.

Bottom Line: PTOs play a vitally important role, it’s time we gave them the attention they deserve.


Wednesday March 2, 2022






THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY has a system in place so that if somebody requests a book, the person who has had it on loan for the longest amount of time has the book recalled. This means that even if somebody needs the book for a seminar or essay, they must return the book to the library or face an “inconvenience charge”. The library is a valuable resource to thousands of students, many of whom may financially have no other option but to loan books from the library for their studies. The library should be there to help those who need access to books for whatever reason. It should not be charging students, especially as many people use the library because they

cannot afford to buy their university books in the first place. I understand the reasoning for the recall scheme; however, it is not the right way to approach text shortages. If there are more people requesting copies of texts than there are available in the library, there is clearly a supply issue.

“Ten pounds looks very different to me than it does to the University” The University clearly has enough funding to provide enough copies of core texts in the library for students. Simply take a look at Fairhurst library which has recently been fitted with a fleet of shiny iMacs. Ten pounds looks very different to me than it does to the University. Last term, I wrote out a list of the books I would need for a

particular module, and set about finding them in the library in early December. Finding them took me about an hour, but I knew that preparing in advance would mean that I wouldn’t be stuck without a copy. However, they all got requested by other students at the last minute, meaning I had to return them and buy my own copies, which defeats the point of using the library in the first place! After contacting the library helpdesk due to being issued a ten pound “inconvenience charge” and having my account blocked for not returning a book I needed for a seminar, I was sent this statement: “Any items you borrow are subject to recall. Our loan system aims to respond to demand for items. Reducing the loan period when someone places a request is the fairest way to satisfy demand.”

The library kindly waived my fee (which I was politely warned will not happen again), yet I still had to return my books to the library the same day, meaning I wouldn’t have the texts I needed for my seminar. There is an intrinsic unfairness in forcing students to return books that they took out early because somebody else has requested them. We need to rethink the recall system. Students should not be left deciding whether to risk having their account banned or going without core books for university modules.

Bottom Line:

We shouldn’t have to choose between texts needed for our studies and a library fine.



AS I’M SURE many of us will have seen recently, there is currently a campaign running on campus addressing the issues surrounding the University of York’s sustainability rankings. From looking into the details of this campaign, it’s become clear to me that this is an issue more students should be concerned about. I’ll be honest – I haven’t seen too much from the university when it comes to sustainability. In my first year, one of the only things I was aware of in the realm of sustainability was the university’s Twitter handle @UoYSustain, which gives “practical & enlightening tips” about sustainability, as well as “info from our Green Impact programme, Carbon Re-

duction Challenge & One Planet Week”. In addition, the only other thing I knew of was the week when our flat bins were rated on how well we used our recycling bins, being given a “score” on a feedback card. Other than this, even up to my third year now, I haven’t seen much more from the university on this issue (although usual caveats of the impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns apply here). However, the recent campaign by the Environment and Ethics Network has opened my eyes to what are clearly serious failings. The campaign run by the network is driven by a petition, titled “University of York: respect workers, human rights and the environment!”; this petition can be found on with the extension “UOY Do Better”. When I first read through the details of the petition, along with accompanying Instagram posts, I was massively concerned at the issues raised by

the network. In posts published by the E+E Network, it is explained that People and Planet’s 2021 University League Table placed York at a “sorry” 93rd, scoring a “pathetic” 36.9%. Environment and Ethics Officer, Pierrick Roger, went on to say: “I don’t know about you, but I can’t even name 92 other UK universities. This places us at 22nd out of 24 Russell Group universities! What an amazing look!”. The post went on to state that York scored 0% on Policy & Strategy and Workers’ Rights, and a poor 5% in Managing Carbon. Furthermore, Roger’s update on the campaign’s progress expressed his frustration that, “For [the University] to even consider my opinion, I had to: get myself elected to an Officer role; Send hundreds of emails to University staff, only to have my opinion disregarded every time [as well as] ask to be put on deciding groups on sustainability, only to


be told no outright, and then have the Uni tell me I didn’t “try hard enough”. He went on to state, “I will not have a single member of staff ever tell me they take student representation seriously.” I instantly signed the petition when it first appeared on my timeline, but, as the campaign has progressed, it has become clear that this is an issue that needs our support as students. The frustrated response from Roger goes to show that there is a clear lack of confidence from the student body as to how the University involves us, as its active users of the University, in how the it is run and how issues highlighted can be improved.

Bottom Line: The University needs to, as the petition states, do better on sustainability.


YOU’D HAVE TO be living under a rock not to have heard the recent attack in Kuda Nightclub in York City Centre. Occurring on Wednesday 26 January, the attack resulted in a victim sustaining prevalent injuries, including part of his ear being bitten off, and an ongoing police investigation. I’ve written various articles surrounding the safety of York students whilst out at night, and it’s disappointing to see the pattern continue. As ever, more needs to be done to keep students and young people safe in clubs and bars, with horrific attacks such as this becoming more and more consistent throughout the city. How difficult is it to do basic things such as bag checks when going into all clubs? Club security needs to do better. Students need to be safe on nights out.



BARELY TWO WEEKS after accomodation applications opened, the window of opportunity has closed. While many choose to live off-campus, a huge number, including myself, want to remain on campus. This choice has now been taken from us. I decided to stay on campus for my second year to make my transition to post-online learning slightly easier, but for those students who want to do the same, the University has now run out of returners accommodation after just two weeks. For many, private accomodation is simply too expensive. So when the university ‘runs out’ of accomodation for returning students, we’re thrown into financial distress. Students who want to live on campus for their second or third year should have the option to do so. The university needs to do better.



Wednesday 2 March, 2022





MY TIME AT York is steadily coming to an end. If I’m not worrying about the dissertation, I’m worrying about my last remaining module, and if I’m not worrying about that, I’m worrying about life post-uni. Alongside all this fretting, I have been reflecting on what has definitely been a rollercoaster of three years, and my mind, as always, drifts to representation and matters of diversity; something that is particularly pertinent here at York. In January, YUSU made a statement on their Facebook page; they said, “Unfortunately there has been a historic lack of racial diversity in the students putting themselves forward for YUSU positions.” By their reckoning, we have only had a handful of BAME Sabbatical Officers (Sabbs) over the years and it’s been over a decade since we had a BAME President. It’s rare we witness such honesty, and, I won’t lie, it’s refreshing to see. The only bump in the road came three days later when, in response to this fact causing “quite a stir” on social media, YUSU released another statement, albeit a pretty strong one. They said that their intention was never to undermine the work of white Officers, but that the fact was pretty simple: only 4 out of 50 Sabbs have identified as BAME and this isn’t representative of a university where a third of its students are BAME. Credit where it’s due, acknowledging their shortcomings is the first step of many, but it’s an important step that takes critical reflection and desire to change so I respect it. If only the Uni was as honest as its Students’ Union. Fast forward to late February and you don’t need me to tell you that YUSU is currently undergoing its annual reshuffle of its elected Sabbs. In fact, by the time you read this we will have a brand new set of representatives making radical changes and shaking things up in

student politics in ways that have never been done before… Or so we’re led to believe. I have no doubt the elected full time officers will do a great job in their respective roles, but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed, or rather dejected, that we didn’t have a standing black candidate. My experience of being black mixed race in higher education is nothing new. I recognise I am

else’s, would be personal to my experience of student life. They would cover what I saw as important issues, but would they resonate with others? As I said above, I believe in realistic and achievable goals that will create change now and in years to come. For example, I was recently at a screening for an independent film about the treatment of migrants in the UK. (It was a powerful film

plause he wanted, and he did make some very agreeable points, but I found it ironic that a white British man had stolen the show. Now, I want to say that I understand the nuances behind the term BAME, believe me, and in fact one of my first columns for Vision unpacked the term and my own hesitations with it. In actuality, his argument is simply that 11% of York is not white. That’s the equivalent


WHETHER YOU’RE AT THE START OF YOUR STUDENT JOURNEY, OR PERHAPS YOU’RE COMING TO THE END AND WANTING A SPACE TO VOICE YOUR OPINIONS. COME AND JOIN AN HONEST FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION IN MARCH ABOUT HOW YUSU CAN BETTER REPRESENT US AND APPEAL TO THE BLACK STUDENT COMMUNITY WHEN IT COMES TO RUNNING IN ELECTIONS. TEA, COFFEE, AND BISCUITS PROVIDED. PLEASE EMAIL IMOGEN AT IORW500@YORK.AC.UK FOR MORE DETAILS. somewhat shielded by my lightskin, but as a friend pointed out the other day, I’m “definitely not white”. Matters such as improving inclusivity, working for racial equality, and increasing student engagement have undoubtedly shaped my time at York. Of course, this will lead you to question: Imogen, why didn’t you stand? Firstly, it’s a pretty gutsy thing to nominate yourself, promote yourself, and get others to believe in you. I take my hat off to all of the candidates. But, for me, the most honest answer I can give is that my manifesto points, like everyone

called Hostile. It’s currently touring the UK, and I’d urge you to track it down.) At the end, there was a Q&A with the producer, where the audience were invited to share their thoughts. In the final few minutes, after a relatively affable discussion, one man stood up and gave his two cents. “York is not a white city.” He said it may have been that way 10+ years ago, but it’s now a city made up of all skin colours etc. Now, there is apparently an 11% BAME population in York. He finished this speech with how we should all be stamping out racism wherever we see or hear it, and we can’t be bystanders. He received the ap-

of claiming 11% of a bag of pick n mix is not cola bottles. I haven’t a clue what sweets exactly that 11% is made up of. It’s an interesting point, because as I’ve said previously, knowing the BAME population tells us nothing in-depth about actual diversity. In the same vein, the university has its own Black and Minority statistics, yet we don’t know the breakdown. How many are international students? Are we actually appealing to BAME students in the UK? How many Black students are studying at York? So, if I had run in the elections, transparency would be my first point on my manifesto. Saying that, I’m aware it doesn’t sound

quite as attractive as an on-campus nightclub or lowering the drinks prices in Courtyard, though. Surely, if you’re in your final year like me, you’ll wish parts of student life were a bit… different. I know I do, but enough about me. Forget the grad scheme applications and the prospect of ‘adulting’, allow me to reverse the question: Why didn’t you stand? As we discussed earlier, the Sabb committee is considerably lacking in BAME representation, and more specifically, Black representation seems to be nonexistent. Problems didn’t ‘end’ in the USA when Obama became president; I know representation can never solve things single handedly. It does, however, matter. It can provide an array of voices required to change current thinking. As students from marginalised communities, it can be harder to nominate ourselves for leadership roles. Entering a space as the ‘other’ brings additional challenges to what is already a difficult environment. It can be isolating and draining, and given the Sabbs already come under so much scrutiny - as per our democratic right - do we really want to be shining a light on ourselves even more? I get it. Now, I could go on and tell you more about the specific areas I think York students should be demanding change, but as I’ve said, my time at York is up. Perhaps you’re a current Black student reading this with years left at York, and perhaps you’re resonating with what I’m saying. Better still, maybe you’re finding issue with everything I’m saying and simply want on campus catering to season their food. Wherever you’re at: Why don’t you stand? (I mean next time, not now. It’s too late. I know. I’m sorry, okay!)



Drama Soc Presents: The Brink Oscar Forecast Interview: Dan Haggis SpaceX and Science-Fiction



Editor’s Note


am so, so hungover. With that in mind, please read the following with sympathy for a man (nay, a boy) with a very sore head. Ideally right now I’d be in bed, asleep. But I’m not. I’m in this office again. Hangovers are a funny thing and they come in all shapes and sizes. But they have that one fun little quality...they get worse and worse every single time. The opposite is true of SCENE’s output, which has grown from strength to strength across the year. As always, our latest edition aims to spit the spiel that students need to hear, and celebrate all the nooks and crannies of culture. With that in mind, I’m proud to share some of the hard-hitting stories in store. Hoping to get to the heart of student life is Joe Radford’s Relationships piece, which draws an excellently observed parallel between the sexual activity of geese and the sexual activity of students on campus, bringing a whole new meaning to the name Long-Boi. Is this a low-point or a high-point? I really can’t tell anymore. Also spreading the good word and preaching the stories that matter like a modern day J.C (other religious figures are available) is our Travel section. You might notice the smiley face of an evil genius at the top right of the Travel section. And no, I’m not referring to our deputy editor Nicholas Chen. It’s none other than everyone’s least favourite gazillionaire, Elon Musk. We’re hoping to continue this run of spotlighting rich white dudes and discussing their ‘visionary’ plans. Are we destined for dystopia? The four horsemen of the apocalypse Musk, Bezos, Gates, and Zuckerberg certainly seem to be helping us on our way. God, why have I put so much religious imagery in this Editor’s Note. Jesus, I did it again. Shit. What was I drinking last night? Speaking of dystopia, we have decided to theme our latest edition as ‘The NextGen’. Our current editorial team will soon

Charlie Gaskell

monkeys”. Sitting next to Games is our Food section, which discusses what the next generation of food-lovers will love about food. If that doesn’t wet your appetite enough, Tom Willet has written a delightful, evocative, and IMAGE: ALEX HOLLAND deeply poetic ode to soup. be stepping down and passing the baton to If that isn’t a match made in heaven you whichever poor soul foolishly takes it. With can also swipe right to find a double spread this in mind, it felt necessary to welcome which navigates relationships in the modern the next generation of Vision-aries with an world. Not only is there sexy geese content, edition dedicated to them. Well, sort of. we also have guides to finding love online Featured in this edition of SCENE are and a discussion of the dating show ‘Love pieces discussing the world to come, digital is Blind’. But, if you’re already clued into the dilemmas, and all things in between. As you student dating scene or well-versed in the can probably tell, we left the criteria for ‘The sensual world of water birds, then the lovely Next-Gen’ about as open as the YUSU Elec- words of Books and Travel may be more tions (which will already be decided by the appropriate. time this is out). Technical difficulties can be Taking us into the future is Luke Horwitz’s sourced in the content of the articles, along commentary on the strange evolution of with the production issues rife in the office science fiction. While a more gentle tipple currently. There’s shit internet and InDesign can be found in Caitlyn Hyland’s piece rechates me and I want to go home. ommending the perfect cocktail for different Anyway, welcoming our edition is literary classics. Why not get three sheets the Stage section which showcases the to the wind(emere) and dive into the great next-generation of performers, and celestories, high on the juice of the greats. brates the talented individuals at DramaSoc. Contrastingly, our Travel section recomAre you after reviews of all the latest Yorkmends and rejects local travel options. based shows? If the answer is yes, then look And that’s all folks! I hope you enjoy readno further. If the answer is no, then look ing this edition which, as always, only exists further, because our action-packed edition because of the hard work of our contribudoesn’t stop there. tors and editors. Following Stage is Screen, in which the Many, many words later and I am still Vision team predicts and debates this year’s hungover and still in the office. Dear Lord, Oscar nominees. A few years back Vision ran when will this end. Shit, I did it again. a piece about why the Oscars are irrelevant. Now we’re arguing over them like petulant children. At least we’re consistently inconsistent at Vision. Following this is Music, which has an interesting mix of old-gen and new-gen. Ben Forsdick chats with The Wombats drummer Dan Haggis, while Joe Radford reviews a student band night at the Crescent. Headlining this event was the band Slop ‘Em Up - the only student band on campus dedicated to Tim Robinson and sloppy steaks. Then we have Games - which, at the time of writing this, is still in construction. Our themed piece discusses the failed forecasts of next-gen console prediction. However, our second piece remains a mystery. I’m promised by Senior Editor Matthew Igoe that it is going to be, and I quote, “about

SCENE: Our Edition in Images




SCENE Editor Charlie Gaskell Chief Subeditor Lucas Lefley Subeditors Isabel Head Twiggy Yeung Jack Batstone Marti Stelling Emily Jebb Miri Huntley Isabel Head Jack Batstone Megan Bartley Sharanya Kumar Beth Evans Alexis Casas Kieayna Shodeinde-colverson Stage Editor Emily Sinclair IMAGE: IMDB Deputy Editor Amber Handley Screen Editor Jed Wagman Deputy Editor Gena Clarke Music Editor Joe Radford Deputy Editor Ben Forsdick Games Editor Luke Horwitz Deputy Editor Vacant Food & Drink Editor Tom Willett Deputy Editor Navya Verma Relationships Editor Bethan Hubbard Deputy Editor Vacant Travel Editor Grace Swadling Deputy Editor Nicholas Chen Books Editor Luke Horwitz Deputy Editor Caitlin Hyland




STAGE EDITOR emily sinclair DEPUTY STAGE EDITOR amber handley

DramaSoc Presents: The Brink Amber Handley


he University of York’s incredibly popular Drama Society has one goal: “providing a platform for students to put on existing and innovative theatre projects”. Using the purpose-built ‘Drama Barn’ located in Vanbrugh College on Campus West, budding actors, directors, playwrights, and technical crew can all go to turn their dream into a reality. The society provides vital experience and allows all people to try their hand in the theatrical world, and ensure that they are ready for their next steps - whether that be taking theatre on to a professional level or keeping it as a passion. Without DramaSoc, the theatre industry has the potential to remain rooted within old traditions, yet this serves as a way for new ideas, concepts, and people to break through. In such a fast-moving world, it ensures theatre doesn’t become stuck in the past. Brad Birch is one of York’s up and coming playwrights, and he recently wrote The Brink: a play focused around one man’s battle with psychosis. Honing in on modern issues of mental health, the play not only allowed Brad to take his step into the world of playwrighting, but also propelled theatre forward with contemporary, and arguably taboo, topics. The play’s protagonist was played by Sam Jackson, who was supported by Frances Colin, Abel Kent, and Harsha Pareek. With Zoe Freeman as producer and Nathan Butler as director, this entirely student-lead show demonstrated the huge potential and talent that these young stars of theatre have. I was so wrapped up in this show’s gripping story that I often found myself holding my breath. I was so on edge, unable to look away from the impossibly tense build-up that this production managed to create. I couldn’t wait to see the show’s shocking revelation - would the

bombs erupt or can Nick save everyone in time? It was a real thriller. On top of this, The Brink carefully and masterfully dealt with themes and ideas that are prominent within current society, depicting teacher Nick becoming enveloped by his psychosis until he reaches a point where he’s unable to tell reality from what’s happening in his mind. The tech team’s brilliant use of strobe lighting and consistent buzzing noises really emphasised Nick’s diminishing mental state. As the second half of the performance progressed, I began to question whether the climax we were waiting for was, in fact, Nick’s internal explosion, rather than that of the bombs. Sam Jackson’s portrayal of Nick was sublime. You could quite literally see him detach further and further from reality as he fell deeper into his obsession with the bombs. He shook constantly. His eyes darted around the stage erratically. He rambled and stuttered and spat. Nick’s depiction shifted near the end of the play until I was unaware of what he would do next. Nicks monologues came seldom throughout the performance, but the detail discussed in each progressed with the play. Each monologue saw Nick discussing his frequent dream of the bombs underneath the school exploding, as he helplessly watched the death and destruction. The climax of the play left me with many questions. After removing his shirt, Nick poured a bucket full of blood over himself and violently tore up pictures showing his own face. I believe it was intended to be open to interpretation, but I construed it as representing Nick’s partial death, as he becomes fully lost in his mind. Overall, I believe The Brink proficiently depicted some difficult issues. It was utterly fantastic and it left me feeling extremely confident in the future of theatre.




The Next-Gen

The Stage is Set at the Grand Opera House Emily Sinclair


ith the cogs turning again, and shows selling out, the Grand Opera House in York is nearing happier days as theatre becomes a part of everyone’s lives once again. Rather than a virtual experience, the irreplaceable feeling of live performance is returning, and a buzz is radiating through the Grand Opera House as actors, designers, ushers, and audiences are able to get lost in the theatre once again. I was first back at the Grand Opera House to see comedian Ross Noble in his repeatedly cancelled UK tour Humournoid. Playing on the idea of non-human entities through its name this tour was focused on the eccentric nature of Noble’s personality as he engaged the audience with stories of his life. Noble cleverly incorporated the general public in front of him creating an intimate connection between audience and comedian. It would have been interesting to see this tour at another venue as Noble neatly gave the impression that a lot of his content was ad-lib; a talent that not many comedians have. Supporting the local men’s wellbeing and mental health charity, Mindfulness, Noble used the show to raise awareness for this cause and collect donations at the end. Overall, his quirky personality and surreal comedy accompanied with the backdrop of the Grand Opera House and live performance once again made it a night to remember. Upcoming Shows at The Grand Opera House THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Monday 14 March- Saturday 19 March 2022. Starring Strictly Winner Ore Oduba as protagonist Brad Majors The Rocky Horror Show returns to York in March. Richard O’Brien’s worldwide hit musical has been seen by over 30 million people since it premiered in 1973 and it includes popular smash-hit songs such as ‘Dammit Janet’ and ‘The Time

Warp’. Breathing some life into the character of Brad, television presenter Ore is hoping to bring the energy to the show that will leave audiences exhilarated. Described in the press release as “pure escapism” and an “ultimate guaranteed party” this musical is an event you don’t want to miss. Tickets are available now from £13. BLOOD BROTHERS Tuesday 5 April- Saturday 9 April 2022. Telling the story of two twins separated at birth who grew up in very different social climates Willy Russel’s Blood Brothers explores the fatal consequences of when Mickey and Edward cross paths again later in life. Adapted by Bill Kenwright into a musical, this show is engaging and described by the Sunday Times as “one of the best musicals ever written”. Tickets start at £13. THE DA VINCI CODE Tues 31 May- Saturday 4 June 2022. Based on the best-selling book by Dan Brown which has also been adapted into a film, the play is the first ever stage adaptation of the story. Starring EastEnders actor Nigel Harman, Red Dwarf actor Danny John Jules and Hannah Rose Caton making her UK theatre debut the mystery thriller follows a murder. Described by the New York Times as “an exhilarating, breathless thriller-chase Blockbuster perfection”, tickets start at £13. SIX Tuesday 11 October- Sunday 16 October 2022. This West End musical is coming to York in the Autumn and follows the six wives of Henry VIII but from their unheard perspective as women. Through the message of female empowerment, the musical uses the 21st century to allow the women to have their say in their well-known history. Told entirely through songs, the show will leave you amazed, as well as finding yourself singing along. Tickets start at £26.75.




Vision Reviews the Oscars

The Vision Team



he one thing in the Vision community that we all agree on is that the Oscars are controversial. Despite the fact that they’re the biggest film awards show in the world, they never seem to actually pick the best films of the year. Occasionally, they do get it right, like when they recognised Parasite as Best Picture in February 2020 - but that was somewhat eclipsed by the world going to shit. This year the nominees aren’t much better than usual: Adam McKay’s atrocious Don’t Look Up somehow snagged four nominations, including one for Best Picture (seriously, how the hell did it manage that?), and Jane Campion’s The Power of the ‘Slog’ got a shocking 12 noms (Editor’s Note: some of us in the Vision offices do not agree with nor endorse Mr Wagman’s views on The Power of the Dog). But they’re not all bad, and we’ve come together as a team to make our picks of the films that we think deserve to win those coveted Oscars.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). Since when did astronomical Faye, Kristen Stewart playing Diana in Spencer is really the Netflix viewings mean an automatic Oscar nom? Ultimate- only sane option for Best Actress. Let’s hope the Acadely, my pick of the bunch would be The Power of the Dog (or my don’t screw this one up! Drive My Car). CG: It’s hard to complain about the acting nominations Matt Igoe: If Belfast wins Best Picture, I am going to be for both lead and supporting. Sure, Zola was great and it annoyed. My hot take is that Kenneth Branagh is just not would’ve been nice to see at least one of Taylour Paige, a good director (he made Artemis Fowl for god’s sake) Riley Keough or Colman Domingo nominated for someand Belfast is another mediocre film. It’s pure Oscar-bait: thing. As for the actual nominees, I loved Olivia Colman in desperately trying to be stylish, and sorely lacking in The Lost Daughter; to see Sophie from Peep Show win two substance. Drive My Car won’t win, but god I wish it would. Oscars would be magical. But there’s really no one more That was one of the best cinema experiences I’ve ever deserving than Kristen Stewart (who should’ve already had - only tying with another recent release, The Souvenir: been nominated for Personal Shopper in 2016). Part II, which was absolutely snubbed in every category.

Best Music (Original Score)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Grace Swadling: Andrew Garfield in a musical, need I say Best Picture more? The talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda behind Garfield’s comforting demeanour and creepy resemblance to Jed Wagman: My true stand out from this year’s line-up Jonathan Larson combine to make him my choice for best is Sian Heder’s CODA (which stands for ‘Child of Deaf actor in a leading role for tick, tick… BOOM! Also, the fact Adults’). CODA is a remarkably moving coming-of-age sto- that the majority of the world is in love with the man must ry about Ruby, the only hearing person in her deaf family. count for something, right? She’s confronted with the impossible choice between pursuing her love of music or staying with her family and Nicholas Chen: Andrew should win the Best Actor. tick, their fishing business. Unfortunately, no one seems to tick... BOOM! was sick, but he slayed in his return as the have seen CODA: it’s only streaming on Apple TV+, the one and only Amazing Spider-Man, and in a film full of streaming service that you’d only have if you bought an other talents remained one of the biggest scene-stealers. Apple product and got it for free. Let’s be honest, besides CODA and Ted Lasso, there’s nothing worthwhile on the JW: If we’re not giving Andrew Garfield an Oscar for all the entire service. All in all, I’d be satisfied with any of these times he lied in interviews about not being in Spider-Man: nominees. Just as long as it’s not Don’t Look Up. No Way Home then he better get one for tick, tick... BOOM! He really was remarkable in that. Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb: There are some films on this list that I did enjoy, but they certainly aren’t as deserving as the CG: This year we saw clear evidence of Oscar voter other nominees (Don’t Look Up is a guilty pleasure), and inconsistency. I defy anyone that tells me Joaquin Phoesome of the front runners seem to be getting more hype nix is better in Joker than in Mike Mills’ latest film, I mean than I think is necessary (The Power of the Dog - good c’mon! However, in complete agreement with fellow Vision movie but not mind blowing). As a fan of musical theatre, contributors, I’d love to see Garfield take the trophy. But, I really want the gorgeously reconceived West Side Story to if Cumberbatch got it I wouldn’t be too upset. win. It would also be nice to see the Oscars maintain or continue the progressive push of recent years: a Drive My MI: It’s become a cliche to say, but there’s no denying that Car or CODA win would be great. Andrew Garfield is the man. Give him that Oscar! Denzel was also great in The Tragedy of Macbeth - his Macbeth Charlie Gaskell: I was sad to see some films lack the love is beautifully world-weary. Although Toshiro Mifune’s they truly deserve this year. For me, Memoria, The French bloodthirsty scenery-chewing in Throne of Blood is great Dispatch, Bergman Island, and the current film of the year, fun to watch, Denzel’s fatigued portrayal emphasises the The Souvenir: Part II are all worthy of a nomination. To real human tragedy that is central to Macbeth. His world think that Don’t Look Up managed to sneak in ahead of felt isolated, oppressive, and lonely. Not unlike Derwent any of these is mind blowing. I understand why the Acad- P Block really. He won’t win (I think) but I’d be overjoyed if emy extended the number of films up for Best Picture, he did. but can’t we use those extra slots for something that was actually, like, well received, or, in fact, good. I would pin Best Actress in a Leading Role Don’t Look Up as one of the worst Best Picture nominees in recent years, and that’s even with the inclusion of JW: As great as Jessica Chastain is in The Eyes of Tammy


NC: Much like its signature creature, the sand worm, Dune’s soundtrack is a magnificent, colossal beast, and it is waiting to claim the Oscar as its trophy. It is truly a sensational experience to hear Hans Zimmer’s fantastic score in an IMAX theatre. JW: It’s hard to take this category seriously this year when Jonny Greenwood’s score for The Power of the Dog is in the running, even though his original music for Spencer was far better. But of the nominees, Dune’s score is the best, despite it being a little less than what we’ve come to expect from Hans Zimmer. – Jed Wagman CG: How can it not go to Jonny Greenwood? Nominated for The Power of the Dog (when really it should’ve been Spencer), Greenwood has had a phenomenal year: for the love of God please give that man his medal. Personally, I would’ve opted for Eiko Ishibashi’s work on Drive My Car. Splendid. MI: Drive My Car. Drive My Car. Drive My Car. Drive My Car. I know it didn’t even get nominated but that score has soundtracked my life for the past month or so. Dune should not win best score, but it should get best sound design.



MUSIC EDITOR joe radford DEPUTY MUSIC EDITOR ben forsdick


The Next Generation

Review: Slop ‘Em Interview: The Wombats’ Dan Haggis Up at The Ben Forsdick Crescent Joe Radford


n Wednesday 16 February, I headed down to the Crescent to see what the next generation of artists in York had to offer. It was Slop ‘Em Up’s release party for their single, ‘Pizza Boy Blues’, with support from Lori Stott and Afiahachi. Prior to the gig, I had only listened to the single once or twice, which I thought had a good vibe. Other than that, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. First up was Lori, who eased us into the night with some chill acoustic indie sad-girl tunes. At times she commanded the attention of the room with her touchingly melancholic vocals. She was followed by the more upbeat Afiahachi, whose cool R’n’B vibe set the room alight, as the whole audience began to sway along with the music, with some members outright dancing. Then, finally, it was time for the main act. Having opted to ignore the stage, which instead was adorned with a smattering of plants and foliage, Slop ,Em Up created their own stage space on the floor of the venue which only added to the intimate feeling of the gig. They began their set by sneaking onto the stage and starting playing, which very quickly brought all of the audience who’d nipped to the bar rushing back in. Slop ‘Em Up blew me away. Their incredible indie-funk sound was so smooth and entrancing that it was impossible not to want to dance along. Their mix of originals and covers provided the room with both sing-along hits that everyone knew, as well as an incredible display of the creativity and talent that oozes from this up and coming band. Highlights included their fun, inventive mashup of ‘What’s the Use’ by Mac Miller and ‘Never Too Much’ by Luther Vandross, unreleased music from them (to be watched out for) like ‘Down and Out’ and ‘Hot Dog Suit’. But, in particular, their fantastic single, ‘Pizza Boy Blues’, a song which I have had on repeat since attending the gig and a song which has permeated my soul. It’s not often I find myself humming songs I only discovered a week ago to myself without realising. All in all, seeing Slop ‘Em Up live was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had at a gig in a long time. To get to watch a band who clearly love what they do - and are in love with the music they are making - play to a room of their closest friends was such a very unique and moving experience, but one that I would recommend. Seek out Slop ‘Em Up and give them a try, but also make sure to support smaller up and coming artists at their shows, as you never know what you might find.




or those who remember them well, the late 2000s was an era where British music was defined by indie rock. Yet, for all the groups who led the genre’s charge, few remain as culturally relevant as The Wombats. Fifteen years have elapsed since they danced to Joy Division, but the band’s consistency has awarded them fifteen years of festivals and sold-out tours. With 2022 bringing a new album and tour dates big and small, I caught up with drummer Dan to discuss the new record, and what it’s like to finally be back in front of a crowd. Immediately, Dan tells me of his “[frustration at] not being able to play gigs and make music together in a room with your friends”, a biproduct of the pandemic that the industry prays is over. As well as recording their fifth studio album, the band have at last returned to performing live. It was a natural return too, with Dan describing performing as being “ingrained in [their] bodies”. However, he acknowledges that the physicality of drumming gave him “a few aches and pains” following the first rehearsals. Since the new album arrived in January, the band have been embarking on a series of intimate shows at venues far smaller than the arenas that make up their tour later this year. Dan describes these as being a “release”, especially since the band wrote much of the album prior to the pandemic, making these performances well overdue. Comparing the approaches the band takes when performing intimate shows compared to those taken when performing arena

spectacles, Dan notes that “in essence they’re the same”, but he admits that it is inevitable that the “scale of production” will vastly differ. Perhaps surprisingly, he notes that the “smaller gigs can be more nerve-racking”, since the large-scale production associated with arena shows often obfuscates the size of the crowd. In reference to the smaller shows, Dan tells me how you can “see people’s faces right near you”, hence counterintuitively making these shows the most daunting. As well returning to touring, The Wombats’ fifth record, Fix Yourself, Not the World, was released on January 14th . One of the more notable aspects of this release was the album’s introspective lyrics. “[The band’s] lyrics have always been introspective”, says Dan, but he admits that “the pandemic accentuated that”. He talks of how “music, for [the band], has always been a kind of therapy” and that writing was especially important during the pandemic because it provided them with the means “to pour [their] thoughts, feelings frustrations, whatever, into something”. Fortunately, the pandemic is (hopefully) beyond its worst stages and live music is back for good. The Wombats arena tour visits Leeds on April 14 and the band play Tramlines Festival in Sheffield on July 24, both of which are easily accessible from York. The new album is out now and with things looking brighter in 2022 than they ever did in 2021 or 2020, The Wombats are a significant group in live music’s overdue return.

Baby You Can Drive my Car! Charlie Gaskell


or some bizzare reason, this years Academy Awards will not broadcast the Best Original Score award. This years’ category features a mix of familiar faces, including Hans Zimmer, whose ear-deafening backing to Dune offered a cocktail of melodic and menacing audio. Similarly, Britell’s intelligently designed score lifted Don’ t Look Up from God awful to just awful. Also, Greenwood has been nominated for Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. Although brilliant, may were left scratching their heads as to why his score for Spencer wasn’t chosen. Then again, Zimmer has only won one Oscar, for The Lion King. And this from the man who scored films including Gladiator and The Pirates of Carribean. Every year, without fail, the Oscars get it wrong. Take this year for example, Eiko Ishibashi’s score for Drive My Car was another nonsensical snub. but maybe these mistakes aren’t a product of

poor Academy voting (hard to believe I know). Maybe the standard of scores has simply risen, making it harder for the likes of Zimmer to swoop in and win big. If we take the musical achievement of the 21st century, it’s easy to see why there’s so few repeated winners. Some highlights include Requiem for a Dream (Clint Mansell), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Howard Shore), Under the Skin (Mica Levi) or even the recent work of Batiste, Ross and Reznor on Pixar’s Soul. That’s not to say the musical merit of the past should be ignored; where would we be without Bernstein, Morricone, and Williams? But, there is a lot to be said for the rise in creativity. Although instrumental aficionados will back the traditional methods, a rise in technology and invention can only mean a positive thing for musical creation, scraping a complex soundscape into the modern movie world which can be celebrated... competitively.



The Next Gen


There is a Monkey on Pitiful Prophecies or Perfect Projections? My Phone Matt Igoe

Luke Horwitz


here is a Monkey on my phone. I cannot stop him on my own. I do not know when he arrived. He’s living it on my hard drive. This monkey has the name ‘Bored Ape’, his eyes are red (he’s stoned, he’s baked). I see him on my Twitter feed, on Youtube Ads he’s guaranteed. Now, dear reader, here’s the thing, I’ll show you where these have their sting: this monkey is an NFT. They’re works of art that live online, and I can buy one, say it’s mine. I have the proof of ownership: receipts! My electronic slip. I purchased it, now I can sell, or keep it looking fine and swell. This token here cannot be funged (which means to trade, like sponge for sponge). So Monkey is my property - I’m one of the haute-bourgeoisie! I show him to my crypto-bros, I make an online Twitter post. But Monkey’s not so clean and fair, and here’s the part that gives me a scare. Now if you were to take a look, and thought yourself some sort of crook - for not a dime, for diddly-squat, without a thought, you’d take screenshots! There’s not a thing that I could do, but mope and fuss and spit and spew. And there’s the rub,

the next-gen twist, the art itself does not exist! The thing on which I’ve spent my cash floats in the cloud, the online cache. They’re not quite art, they’re not quite stocks, they’re keys that live upon the block. Some NFTs are like a club, and yours is like your ticket stub. In Bored Ape’s case you get a forum, a messageboard of grace, decorum. There all the upper-class elites can prance around on Money St. See NFTs aren’t harmless fun, their impacts on the world will stun: they ruin the environment (computers churn and take the brunt), and they’re used to con the dumb and greedy - the businessmen, the rich and seedy. The funny thing: this isn’t new, and art has always had this use. It’s just a way to show your status, a symbol of your wealth and greatness. A duke’s estate was built of bricks, but now it’s Twitter profile pics. Perhaps this piece is not for Games. I hope you read it all the same. My poor attempt at Dr. Seuss (my rhyming pairs are pretty loose) is meant to teach (at least diffuse) some knowledge that could be of use. Just listen to my little plea, don’t buy a stupid NFT.

What a Wonderful Wordle! Beth Hubbard


nless you haven’t been online in the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard of Wordle. But what you might not know is how many spin-offs it’s popularity has inspired. If you’re finding the plain old Wordle a little boring, or just have far too much time on your hands, try out some of these others. The most direct variant is just Wordle in other languages, which doesn’t just make the game more international but can also be a fun game to play if you’re currently learning a second language. Speaking of worldwide, Wordle has inspired some geographical spin-offs. Worldle shows you the shape of a country and six guesses. With each guess it tells you how many km away you are and in what direction. Globle also has you guess

a country, in infinite guesses, by showing you on a globe, using colour, how close you are. My personal favourite, Taylordle, follows the exact same format as regular Wordle, just with Taylor Swift themed words. If you’re finding Wordle too easy (even after the NYT acquisition), challenge yourself with Dordle, Quordle, or Octordle, where you need to guess two, four, or eight words (respectively) at once. Nerdle is a mathematical twist on the original, having you guess an eight-count in six guesses, replacing letters with numbers and operations. There’s countless more, I came across more than 46 in my research. Maybe it’s like Rule 34, if you can think of something, there exists a wordle about it.

@YorkVisionBooks @YorkVisionGames



he world of video games is full of speculation: predictions of title releases, DLC, updates, and rumours surrounding the next generation of consoles are rife. Usually, these projections are based in reality, upon likely events, leaks, or vague company announcements; however, this is not always the case, and some optimistic gamers attempt their best Nostradamus impressions and prophecise the industry’s future. Whilst on occasion they are accurate, they are more often, with retrospect, hilariously and humiliatingly wrong. Let’s have a look. Xbox 720 The Xbox 720 was a common rumour in the early 2010s. In reality, the Xbox One, the sequel to the Xbox 360 did come in the next generation. The original model Xbox One was almost identical to the final Xbox 360 model, the Xbox 360 E. Before its announcement, fan concept art for the next generation ranged from the bizarre to the preposterous; with perhaps the most famous being the viral image of a futuristic transparent sphere Xbox 720 console. Xbox 360 Portable Another Xbox 360 rumour, the Xbox 360 Portable, appears to be some sort of weirdo handheld console. Unlike the 720, Microsoft has never released or given any indication that they would ever produce a portable handheld console. With concept art ranging from the style of the Wii U GamePad and the aforementioned PSP to flip phones and smartphones, the rumours of a portable Xbox 360 were vehemently denied by Microsoft; however, they did go on to create a line of Windows Phones which could play mobile games and, like Sony, have ventured out into the portable software world with Xbox Remote Play.

Apple iBox In 1996, Apple released the Apple Pippin, a multimedia system with the capability to play video games based upon the Macintosh platform. It was discontinued in 1997 and is widely considered a failed project. Ever since, Apple has stayed away from the hardware side of the video game industry, however, they are often the subject of the speculations. A common name for the regularly rumoured apple console is the Apple iBox, and whilst these reports have never been substantiated, the company have as recently as 2021 submitted patents for controllers so perhaps Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will have some home video game competition in the future. Nintendo Wii Phone One of the most ridiculous concepts on this list is the Nintendo Wii Phone. Whilst it is difficult to envisage this being a serious prediction, the concept art is of high quality and many online gaming sites wrote about it, even expressing their love of the idea. Nintendo is known for their portable devices, so from that perspective, it isn’t unreadable; however, as demonstrated by the Sony Xperia Play and the Nokia N-Gage, handheld gaming phones are generally commercial and critical flops. Nintendo GameCube Portable The GameCube Portable is an interesting example, because, whilst the concept art style rumours were never realised, the GameCube has many portable forms; due to its diminutive size and carrying handle, it has often been the subject of third-party peripheral development. Whilst these third-party versions are portable in the sense that they can be played on the go, they are not convenient like Nintendo’s portable systems as the majority of rumours predicted.


FOOD EDITOR tom willet DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR navya verma

An Ode to Soup



s T.S Eliot famously said, “to do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” If T. S. Eliot was correct, these few hundred words may be enough for me. Soup does not discriminate. All are welcome in its bubbling depths. This article presents not only my experience with soup, but others too. Soup is an umbrella term; broth, bisque, chowder, pho, consommé, bouillon, goulash and pot au feu are all variations of its magic formula. My love affair with soup has only really taken hold in the last year or so. It was lockdown and the addition of an enthusiastic accomplice that catapulted me into soup’s warm embrace. My two star performers are the butternut squash and the courgette. They sounded boring to me for a long time. But with the right additions, they can form the rich and powerful base of any number of delicious soups. Butternut squash/potato/chilli is a favourite, along with courgette/potato/celery. With that is the obligatory

The Next Gen


onion, garlic, stock, herbs and spice. I like to roast the vegetables beforehand, but you can also do it all in one pot. As for the blending, a high powered machine will allow for a smooth texture, but any old blender will do. Of course, some like it chunky. Garnish is key. Whether it be croutons, chickpeas, herbs, yoghurt, cheese or chilli, make sure you adorn that soup. After being introduced to them myself, I have introduced these soups to family and friends. There is something very communal about sharing a soup; bread in the middle, butter on the side, it lends itself to a social occasion. It’s also great for the younger - and older - relatives who might have trouble chewing. Enough of me, let’s get onto what the people think. Along with some targeted questioning, I put out a story on Instagram, inviting people to share their soup related opinions with me. Perkin, York Vision News Editor of yesteryear and well established ‘soup aficionado’, told me that,“It’s amazing how diverse soups can be. You could spend years in a kitchen and never make the same soup twice, if you wanted. I’ve always felt that experimenting with different combinations of food is the best thing about cooking, and soup is one of the easiest things you can experiment with.” His favourite soup? Roast some butternut squash, red onion, leeks, garlic, and a bit of chilli and potato, and blend it with a good stock. Alex, another well known soup expert, takes us off in a different direction, “My favourite kind of soup is Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, where a deep and complex

7 Tom Willet

broth is key as the rest of the ingredients are fresh.” A few comments addressed the place of soup in our collective conscience. David, a resident of Leeds, argued that soup is “massively overrated…” before launching into a tirade, telling me that “anyone who thinks soup is a feature in a meal is a danger to society.” Ollie, a student at Sussex uni, followed along similar lines, telling me that “soup is just a bit wet.” Is the soup drinker perceived as weak? Perhaps its liquidity does not conform with the solidity and toughness of masculinity? Max, a former student at the uni, argued the opposite, telling me that that soup is “generally underappreciated”. For him though, IMAGE: “thin soups like a noodle soup or a broth” alwaysFLICKR trumps a thick soup. Barney, who lives in Germany, told me of his favourite soup, ‘Kurbissuppe’, a German pumpkin soup, while Kuang, who lives in Spain, recommended carrot and ginger and pumpkin. Michael, a resident of Brighton, brought an interesting question to the table. “Soup is the bomb dot com, unless it’s hot outside, then it’s the worst man made creation”. Others felt this way too but I would disagree. It’s all about selection. On a hot day, go for a gazpacho or a lighter soup. It is wonderful, it brings people together, and it is endlessly practical. It divides opinion, but in Britain at least, I don’t think it gets the press it deserves. But, as the world comes lumbering to a halt, as we are finally forced to change, soup will be there, in its simplicity, standing with open arms.

Meow: The Good, the Bao, and the Bubbly


ondering about next-generation foods, I was strolling across town, looking for the perfect place to represent this futuristic approach towards food. But then I realised something: the food doesn’t need to be technological for it to be futuristic! All it needs to be is compact, fulfilling, and aesthetic to appeal to the next generation. What am I describing? Street food! Street Food has (technically) existed since our earliest days, but it’s still around due to the flavourful, inexpensive experience it provides. The quantity provided by street food vendors is considered to be good enough for a full meal, but it’s still convenient, especially for those on the go, like us university students. That is exactly when I stumbled across Meow, York, an oriental cafe that is everything and more you could ever hope for in a next-generation street food experience. Meow is the first Asian street food cafe in York, and it’s really a one-of-a-kind experience. Meow, as is typical, specialises in a limited number of dishes, just like a street food vendor. However, instead of a truck or cart, this street food is served in a nice seated cafe. They are popular for their bubble waffles, bubble teas, and bao buns, but their menu also includes treats like ramen, gyoza, and seasoned fries. The food is freshly prepared to order in an open kitchen, so you can witness your food being made while you soak in the environment of the place. Meow offers a wholesome customer experience,


Navya Verma

beginning with their completely customisable bubble waffles, the first item I experimented with. With their wide variety, the waffle cones can be personalised into a sweet treat for a sugar rush. On the other hand, they also offer savoury bits for an altered taste. I went all out for the sweetness, and customised my waffle with vanilla ice cream, brownies, panda biscuits (a midnight snack favourite,) and drizzled it off with some caramel syrup. The waffles did not take much time, but I was still completely taken aback by the presentation. The waffle was quite fulfilling and definitely heavier than a sweet snack. For a savoury relish, the next Asian delicacies I tried upon recommendation from the server were the Galbi Korean Pork Bao Bun and the Chicken Kimchi Gyoza. I took two portions of the buns assuming the small size of the baos. At first appearance, I was satisfied with my decision since the portions looked compact, although, after biting in, I discovered the ample filling of the bao. The Pork Buns tasted delicious. They looked adorable, were pressed off with the company logo’s cat, and were extremely messy to eat. The chicken gyoza was just how I liked it, hot and loaded with tender chicken. The quantity of both dishes were adequate for one person. Lastly, I decided to try one of their infamous beverages as a take out to sip on the way back. Despite being a street food cafe, their beverage variety left me amazed. They have categories of hand-brewed teas, speciality drinks, popping bubbles, and an alcoholic hot bubble

tea group as well. I decided to test out the Meow Gona, a drink with creamy foam followed by a base, like the COVID-19 lockdown popular, Dalgona coffee. I chose the matcha flavour to neutralise the underlying sweetness of the bubble waffle. Meow also offered a wide variety of toppings for the drink and I chose brownies. They also provided the option of adding their signature popping bubbles or traditional tapioca. The drink was an absolute 10/10 and a definite personal recommendation. For an eat-at-home experience, Meow and Bao (its sister location) have partnered up with all delivery platforms so that you don’t miss out on the delectable and unique street food experiences which they offer. With the inexpensive, delicious delicacies, friendly staff, and appealing atmosphere, Meow makes for one of the best informal eating experiences available in York.



Tinder? I Hardly Knew Her!


ating apps are unavoidable if you’re single nowadays. But with so much choice how do you know which one’s to use? I spent the last few months using as many dating apps as I could (in a very not sad way I promise) to give you the rundown.

Tinder is by far the most popular, with five million users in the UK (that’s over 7% of the population). It’s pretty much the goto, as the main point of a dating app is for other people to also be on there. But how does Tinder do otherwise? In regards to safety, Tinder doesn’t allow you to send pictures to matches (so you’re protected from unsolicited nudes) and added ‘Photo Verification’ in 2020 to combat ‘catfishing’. On the flip side, although Tinder has a long list of gender identity options, including the option to write in whatever, it will still then ask if you want to be shown to people seeking men or people seeking women (not even allowing you to choose both if you wanted). This is essentially asking every non-binary user, “but what are you really?”

Bumble is one of Tinder’s main competitors. It’s key feature being that matches time out after 24 hours if you don’t message eachother, and women have to message first (of course this only applies in heterosexual matches). Bumble added photo verification in 2016, and also gives you the option to request a match to verify themselves. The general vibe of Bumble is a bit less hookup-y, probably at least in part due to their inclusion of prompts, making profiles a bit less superficial. The threat of match-

It shows you your most recent likes, however, they may be from people outside of your filters, as you’ll still show up to them. This was something I didn’t really enjoy, as there’s often a reason that those filters are in place. The app is more inclusive than some of the others, however, I did find that a lot of the people on there were also on Tinder too (don’t judge me for my amount of swiping). Also, you have to pay for a premium version of the app in order to use its ‘premium filters’, which include filtering by gender identity or relationship status, which seem like pretty basic things people would want to filter by. I also found that my matches on here weren’t as chatty, possibly because it’s a secondary dating app for quite a few people.

Beth Hubbard

es timing out does seem to actually make people more likely to respond, at least, it did in my case. However, it is very sad when you’ve just had a busy few days and you miss the person of your dreams because you forgot to check the app. Bumble, like Tinder, requires non-binary people to choose whether they’d like to be shown to people seeking men or people seeking women (also not allowing you to choose both). It does let you put your pronouns on your profile, which is something, even if they don’t seem to get it.

Hinge, the third of the big three, definitely has a more serious vibe. This seems to be the place to go when you’re looking for a real relationship. It has prompts like Bumble, but on Hinge, instead of just swiping right on a profile, you swipe right on a particular picture or prompt with the opportunity to add a message to go along with your swipe. You can see who’s swiped right on you, on what part of your profile, and what they had to say. I found this to be a little bit more natural than other dating apps as you get a sense of someone more easily. However, as people can add a comment when they swipe on you, it can allow for harassment or unwanted comments from people you have no interest in. This might just be symptomatic of Hinge’s system being closer to real world interaction. Hinge has also added the option to respond to prompts with audio, allowing you to put your voice on your profile, bringing Hinge even closer to organic conversation.

Her is an app for queer women and non-binary people. It’s meant for dating as well as making friends, so on a profile you have the option to swipe left, swipe right, or add friend.


Grindr is primarily aimed at men who have sex with men, but is also used by other people in the LGBTQ+ community. This was the one app in this article I couldn’t test myself, so I had to ask some friends about their experiences.

Unlike the other apps on this list, Grindr doesn’t have any matching system, and you can message anyone within a certain geographic radius. The culture can be pretty toxic - it’s very much a hookup app than anything else. A lot of profiles won’t show a person’s face and people will block profiles they don’t find attractive. Although it has filters, the filters only affect the profiles you see and not who can see you, so anyone close enough to your location could message you. It’s difficult to avoid unwanted messages, especially from older users. However, it can be very easy to meet people, arranging hookups very quickly, and in short notice. Grindr has no verification system though, so there’s very little guaranteed safety. The overriding question with all these dating apps is whether it’s worth all the effort. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a Jane Austen-esque world where we run into mysterious strangers in tearooms and arrange candlelit dinners. I think it was called courting back then. The closest thing to courting that we’ve got is unsolicited dick pics at 1am. Back in the day they might have at least painted one.

The Next Gen

Plugging In to Hook Up


definitely spend too much time online. I am also single. So, I thought I’d try and help others out and showcase some of the most underground online communities to find a partner. Read at your own risk: The Comments Section of BBC Good Food Now this is a place of real class. They say every good partner can either drive well or cook well - never both. The latter is guaranteed here. Might have to brush up on your parallel parking. Reddit Anyone you find here will smell. Then, after your bout of incredibly brief sex, they will explain why they’re smarter than you because they understood what happened at the end of Memento. Your Spotify Friends Activity Is that girl you shared your Spotify with (at a party two months ago) listening to Phoebe Bridgers at two in the morning? Maybe it’s the perfect time to drop her a message... The Wetherspoons Chip Count Facebook Group

Matt Igoe

Don’t be too upset when they bring a measuring tape next time you go to the pub. The NHS COVID-19 Track and Trace App You’ve already shared potentially fatal germs, why not sweet nothings as well? Handshake Girlboss, meet sigma male. Kendall Roy, meet Amy Dunne. If you’ve always been looking for a partner who has more skills in PowerPoint than Power Play, then this is the place. It literally has a messaging feature - it’s like they want us to make networking sexy. Your Group Project Your Google Docs cursor hovers tantalisingly close to theirs as they effortlessly type out sentence after sentence. A space, a full stop, a paragraph break. So, throwing caution to the wind, you pluck up your courage… and click. For a brief, magical second, your cursors overlap - red bar on blue bar, a love to transcend pixels, a wordless communion, a vivid magenta fervour. They immediately leave the document.



BREAKING: Are Campus Geese Having More Sex than the Students? Joe Radford & Charlie Gaskell alike? Perhaps there is simply something to be said for a post-Valentines blues instead, with students fervently seeking love. If you’ve found yourself manically swiping through the armies of torso-less faces on Tinder, or racking your brain for a Hinge prompt that’s even a tiny bit funny, then this might be more true than you’d like to think. My only concern is that the geese will begin to take things further. Perhaps it’s not the students copying the geese but the geese copying the students. Across the gulf of Heslington, minds immeasurably superior to ours regard our University with envious eyes, and slowly but surely, they draw their plans against us. Perhaps within a few years we’ll have water-birds holding YUSU hostage, geese-exclusive accommodation (they might as well have Derwent) or strikes demanding strong geese representation on campus. Regardless of the explanation, I offer simply an observation. Whether you see it as something to be wary of or sought after, as the end of spring term approaches, love is once again in the air.



have now lived in York for nearly two and a half years and as someone who naturally seeks patterns in life, it is hard not to notice one in particular which seems relevant to the students at this university. There is a very clear pattern that around February/March time every year, the geese of campus begin to couple up. In the past few weeks, I’ve started to notice…it’s happening again. Strong disclaimer: this article is not condoning nor promoting the observation of geese and/or swan sex. We are usually warned to keep away from the geese around the time that they begin to lay eggs, as they become more violent at those times. The pattern I have spotted is that this coupling up applies to the students of York as well. Each year, it seems many friends of mine begin to enter relationships (or more often situation-ships) at around this same time. Is this a coincidence? Have the geese of Heslington taken so much control of students that we have begun to mirror the biological urges of the big boi himself? Is there something about the late winter, early spring air which brings people and birds together

Love Might Not Be Blind... But its Producers Certainly Are!


round the throes of Valentine’s Day, Netflix gifted us with a brand new season of Love is Blind. This series has always presented a great many questions for me. It dispenses a dystopian straight millennial concept of romance that leaves me feeling a bit sick… but thoroughly entertained. Unfortunately, this isn’t a list of my predictions for the next instalment of Love is Blind, nor is it my opinion on who I think is going to stay together in the long run. Natalie can do a lot better than Shayne, and Shaina needs to go to therapy. To be fair, I think that most people need to go to therapy, including me. When I watch Love is Blind, I watch a reality which is alien to me as a young queer person. The premise is that a group of women and a group of men are gathered together and are individually funelled into little rooms where they can’t see each other. Here, they chat and get to know each other. The aim is for them to fall in love, whilst never seeing each other, and, ultimately, get married in order to prove that ‘love is blind’. For me, however, there is a sinister undercurrent. I feel it projects the very common traditional heteronormative values of marriage, where a man and a woman get together, get married and have children. The series does not directly exclude queer people; in fact, last season, one contestant identified as

sexually-fluid. It’s more that you can only be with a member of the opposite gender. It all feels very rigid and binary. To be fair, I don’t actually feel excluded by this - I don’t think I really want to be included. Whilst many queer people and young people do have conventionally monogamous relationships, the majority have a more fluid and open-ended view of gender, sexuality and relationships that seems far beyond the show’s premise. Everyone’s favourite last season was Jessica, who my friend and I like to impersonate when we’re drunk. Rarely was she seen without a glass of wine in hand. And here is the first problem: the contestants are plied with alcohol. I don’t know about you, but I could have an emotional connection with anyone after a few too many wines. Jessica seemed incredibly desperate to live up to very traditional expectations: she frequently mentioned that she was 34 (with no husband or children) and that having children is extremely important to her. It’s sad to see someone so desperately try to live up to these rigid expectations, thinking she needs a husband and believing that withholding physical intimacy until marriage can ensure an emotional connection. I don’t know if this is news to anyone, but if you are a person who wants children, you actually don’t need a spouse. Simply wanting a spouse because you want children can get messy.

Everything else about these relationships seems forced, purely because the contestants are under so much pressure to create an emotional connection with someone. They are given only ten days to fall in love, and are completely closed off from each other in their little ‘pods’ where they’re encouraged to talk about their deep inner emotions. While dating, the contestants are constantly talking about love, sex and, romance - they basically become brainwashed and completely preoccupied with this. It’s definitely a lot easier for them to speak about their deep inner world in this position. They are unable to properly see the other person and their reactions (not to mention they’ve probably had a glass of wine or two), and so there is clearly an element of disconnect. For some of the couples (such as Damien and Gianina), after they start being around each other in real life, they discuss how it is hard to be honest with each other and the emotional connection and deep understanding is no longer there. Many of the men in Love is Blind seem to believe that speaking and discussing sex with the women they’re attracted to constitutes emotional intimacy. This is not true. Whilst it is important to talk with your partner about sex, being vulnerable with another person is what helps create an emotional bond. Sex is actually fairly easy to talk about as long as it doesn’t feed into

Otty Allum

our traumas and our own vulnerabilities. When it eventually comes to voicing issues and problems within sexual relationships, it’s hard for people to do that if there isn’t a mutual understanding of each other. Communication issues run rampant throughout both seasons. There was a particularly painful moment when Shayne mixed up Natalie’s name when he couldn’t see her. She was upset and was very calm and measured in the way she conveyed her feelings. Reminder: it’s actually ok to be upset about something, that’s valid. Shayne was really defensive and began essentially gaslighting her, telling her that she was unreasonable and thus throwing his notebook on the ground. This is a basic example of toxic and manipulative behaviour: someone is upset, they express their hurt feelings, and the other person gets upset in a way that both deflects the blame from them and stops them from having to take responsibility for their actions. I think I’ve only just scratched the surface of Love is Blind, I have so much more to say, but I’ll leave it at that. If you’re going to watch the show, watch it for those intense feelings of cringe and Schadenfreude, not for the displays of ‘emotional intimacy’ and ‘healthy communication’. Honestly, why did they not have a couple’s counsellor to help them? They really need help.



Another Sip from the (Bell) Jar Caitlin Hyland IMAGE: FLICKR

The Next-Gen

Travelling through Time with Science-Fiction


Luke Horwitz

cience-fiction literature is one of the most popular literary genres. From time travel to parallel universes, and from space exploration to extra-terrestrial life, the thematic possibilities are essentially endless. An interesting common occurrence within sci-fi literature is its reflections on contemporary society’s held beliefs, morality, and fears, often exploring the fanciful and prospective outcomes of recent technological and scientific innovations. The difficulty with delineating this vast genre’s ambiguous boundaries can be seen in the definitions provided by two of its most notable practitioners. Isaac Asimov states that Sci-Fi, “deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology” and Robert A. Heinlein, a “realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.” In avoiding this issue, this article will use the definition provided by Damon Knight, “science fiction is what we point to when we say it.” Johannes Kepler’s Somnium (1634) is a useful starting point when considering science fiction. Although elements of mythology far preceding Somnium abide by the generally accepted parameters, Somnium is the first true work of the category. It depicts a journey to the Moon, and the appearance of the Earth from its lunar surface, as presented within the framework of a dream. The next most significant step in the development of the genre is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). The novel fancifully builds upon 19th-century science and tells the tale of a young scientist and his experiments in creating life. The 19th century introduced a plethora of Sci-Fi novels; notable examples include works by E. T. A. Hoffman (The Sandman), Edgar Allan Poe (The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall), Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas), and Robert Louis Stevenson (Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). The beginning of the 20th saw the introduction of the works of one of Sci-Fi’s greatest pre gold-

en age giants, H. G. Wells. Publishing works such as The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells, would go on to inspire later generations of authors to contribute to science fiction. Sci-Fi’s output in the early 20th century grew, with examples including Hugo Gernsback’s Ralph 124C 41+, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Whilst significant levels of literarily impressive sci-fi was released in the era, a notable phenomenon emerged. Pulp magazines were inexpensive, widely available, and featured low-quality sci-fi and Crime fiction. Although they began to emerge in the late 19th century, they reached the zenith of their popularity in the interwar period. Notable Sci-Fi examples include Amazing Stories, Planet Stories, and Startling Stories. The Golden Age of Science Fiction (1930s and into the 1940s) saw the works of several highly regarded science fiction authors. Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke all began writing, quickly establishing themselves as genre leaders. With works including, I, Robot (Asimov), Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), A Space Odyssey: 2001 (Clarke), Starship Troopers (Heinlein), and Dune (Herbert). Themes in Sci-Fi literature in the final decades of the 20th and throughout the 21st century reflect issues with the sustainability of the planet and society’s reliance on technology. Perhaps the most popular recent example of Sci-Fi is Andy Weir’s, The Martian; initially self-published on Weir’s blog, The Martian, is an archetypal space exploration Sci-Fi novel; however, despite this, multiple unique subgenres such as Steampunk, Biopunk, Cyberpunk, and Mundane Science Fiction (MSF) are gaining popularity and provide a welcome alternative to the mainstream and traditional Sci-Fi offerings. Although the combination of genres has existed throughout its history, authors such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut utilised aspects of the genre to speculate less upon the state and future of technology and science, and more as an admonitory feature in the backdrop of dystopian novels.

@YorkVisionBooks @YorkVisionBooks

BOOKS EDITOR Luke horwitz DEPUTY BOOKS EDITOR caitlin hyland


ave you ever thought about reading a book and wondered what cocktail the author would’ve wanted you to drink while reading? No? Me neither. But, it’s an inescapable reality that many of our valued authors were partial to the bottle. So, why not have a cocktail with your book as a treat? For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway - Mojito Hemingway was a notorious drinker, and famously, his favourite drink was a mojito. So, sit back and enjoy one of his most famous books with a drink in tribute to him. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Sherry Sherry was the preferred choice of Plath. She loved it for the ‘sensuous feeling of indulgence…luxury, bliss, erotic-tinged’. I’m starting to think I need to try sherry… The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Gin Ricky F. Scott Fitzgerald’s chosen drink was the Gin Ricky, and after a few of these, you’ll be calling everyone ‘old sport’ in no time!

Emma by Jane Austen - The Jane Austen Cocktail Austen’s novels are all full of wit, humour, and human depth that can’t help but make you smile, and Emma is no exception. Why not cosy up and read this good book while sipping on a delicious cocktail. Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway Death in the Afternoon Sometimes a bottomless brunch can leave you feeling like death in the afternoon, and a couple of these champagne and absinthe cocktails certainly will. This is perhaps a more authentic way to read Hemmingway’s non-fiction book on the metaphysics of Spanish bullfighting. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - Absinthe The Picture of Dorian Gray has been interpreted as a warning against the dangers of vice, and there is no doubt absinthe is indeed a vice. Perhaps after a dance with the green fairy, selling your soul for eternal youth won’t seem like such a bad idea. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf - The Virginia Woolf Cocktail Virginia Woolf is famous for her treatment of women’s lived experiences in her novels. Although perhaps she should’ve opened with, ‘Mrs Dalloway said she would pour the drink herself.’ The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - The Hemingway Daiquiri I know what you’re thinking, “Not one, not two, but three Hemingways?” Never in my life did I think I would recommend three Hemmingway books, but this guy knew how to drink. The truth is this whole list could’ve just been Hemingway books.



TRAVEL EDITOR grace swadling DEPUTY TRAVEL EDITOR nicholas chen

Just a Train Away...


e all love exploring York’s historic streets, hidden cafes and bustling shopping scene, but they do say a change is as good as a rest don’t they? In that case, it is possible to experience an entirely new city and all for under £10; something which I experienced recently when I took a day trip to Leeds. Following the short, comfortable train journey through the scenic Yorkshire countryside, I arrived in Leeds around 10:30am, greeted by the imposing Victorian facades of the former mill city - an immediate contrast to York’s cobbled alleyways and jumbled Tudor buildings. Our first port of call was the city’s Corn Exchange: a fascinating array of independent businesses, all housed within the brightly painted enclaves of the palatial building. From houseplants to tattoos, artists’ studios to coffee shops, and female-owned start-ups to handmade jewellery, the Corn Exchange offers a variety of options for the visitor, all whilst being perfectly Instagram-able! Just a short distance away lies a number of charity, second-hand and vintage shops. These offer unique, sustainable

Lizzy Stott

fashion on a student-friendly budget and are to be highly recommended for the thrifty among us. Such intense thrifting built up our appetites and shortly after, it was time to eat. Leeds boasts an impressive range of eateries, catering (quite literally) to all tastes and price points. Whether it’s organic vegan food, Middle Eastern cuisine, pub grub, or a quiet secluded coffee shop, it’s all within easy reach to hungry travellers. In the end, we settled for wood-fired pizza from Rudy’s- a trendy and relaxed restaurant conveniently set just off the busy Boar Lane. If you still haven’t had your fill of shopping, Trinity shopping centre is well worth a visit for the high street stores you know and love, or why not take a stroll through the classy Leeds Victoria in search of something a little more high-end? Further honourable mentions for the culture buff include the Royal Armouries, City Museum, and Art Gallery all of which are free to enter. And the best thing about it all? At the end of the day, you can jump back on the train and roll back into York station in just thirty easy minutes.

Van Gogh Exhibition: The Sorry NightClaire Forster



he Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is designed to bring Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings to life over the walls of York St. Mary’s church. The exhibit is a visual and sensory approach to discovering some of Van Gogh’s most iconic work. I went into the experience knowing very little about Van Gogh and still found it accessible and interesting. Unlike in other branches of the exhibit, the paintings are animated over the walls of a church instead of large, blank screens. Visitors sit in deckchairs, arranged pew-like around the church. A loop of animated paintings cover the walls, mixing with the architecture of the church. The projections themselves were detailed and covered every surface of the room asides from the ceiling, and


were accompanied by a soundscape, a soft instrumental or an actor reading Van Gogh’s journal entries as his art moved across the walls. It was a smaller exhibition than I expected. After the 35-minute-long projections, the exhibit peters out and leads to an optional VR experience for an extra £3. The VR experience is good, and lasts about 10 minutes, but felt like a recycling of what we watched before. We stayed longer at the colouring-in station, so the whole exhibit lasted about 2 hours. All in all it’s fair to say that the exhibit was enjoyable, but perhaps better suited to larger venues where the projections really come into their own. The price reflects the different experience across various locations but £11 plus the £3 VR cost felt steep for what was on offer.


The Next-Gen

SpaceX: Escaping a Dystopia or Making Grace Swadling & One? Charlie Gaskell


hat is the future of travel? Is it possible for travel to become more advanced than planes and trains? According to Elon Musk, travel on earth is ‘way last year’. It is for this reason that he has developed a private spaceflight company called SpaceX, which aims to make his dream of building cities on Mars a reality. Musk claims that society can only survive on our planet Earth for so much longer and therefore, we need to adapt to become a “multi-planet’ species” or face the reality of extinction. In 2022 and the current climate crisis, this is seemingly becoming more and more true. However, this suggestion of extreme space exploration opens up a big old can of worm (holes). Forget black holes and wormholes - i think we need to pay attention to the potential plot holes in Mr Musk’s super-schemes. SpaceX’s recent creation is the Starship which claims to be a fully reusable transport system capable of carrying up to 100 people to Mars. Sounds simple right? The rocket, which launches the Starship into orbit, is aptly named ‘Super Heavy’, and is filled with 3,400 tonnes of cryogenic methalox. Consequently, it is heavier than the launcher used for the Apollo Moon missions in the 1960s/70s. To what extent is this a step towards a dystopian future? Musk’s plan seems to reflect the eerily futuristic plot of the 2016 film Passengers, while the Earth becomes more and more like its fictional state in Blade Runner 2049, destined to be left behind. Alternatively, we may be quietly moving towards Silent Running; the late, great Douglas Trumbull’s sci-fi tearjerker which sees ecologists maintain eco-systems aboard international space stations. Naturally, as with the majority of Musk’s

work, the Starship is surrounded by scepticism with some going as far as claiming that he is a dangerous man. Only recently, a geomagnetic storm took out 40 out of 49 of Musk’s satellites during an effort to improve broadband internet. Can we trust him? Is his technology as advanced as it seems? Let’s not forget how Dr.Evil escapes at the start of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. That’s right out of a ‘Big Boy’ spaceship. That ‘Super Heavy’ name is beginning to sound a little close to home. Despite its main purpose to aid life on Mars, it has also been reported that Musk will use this system for something more adventurous - space tourism. I mean come onnnnn... if you can’t make money off it then what’s the point! He has already promised a trip around the moon to Japanese online retail Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as early as 2023. I’m thinking of calling it something along the lines of ‘2001: A Space Odysake’ , ‘Rashomoon’, ‘Spirited Up, Up and Away!’ or ‘Tokyo Story: In Space!’. The plan is to install approximately 40 cabins near the front of the upper stage which can hold two-three people comfortably and up to fix-six people at a push. A private cabin to experience your smooth journey through space to Mars sounds appealing - until you learn that these long-haul trips to Mars take just a little while longer than a flight across the pond. It has been estimated that these journeys could take up to nine months each way. Hope you can find plenty of things to amuse yourself for the back and forth trips - which might be longer than your actual stay on the red planet. Anyway, whatever Elon eventually ends up doing, let’s at least be grateful that Grimes won’t be involved in any of it.


Wednesday March 2, 2022





I don’t quite fit in 100%. That’s what contributes to my identity and I’m not ashamed of it. THE TOPIC OF identity is an odd one but it’s ever so thrilling to piece it all together, and university has certainly helped me on my journey. I always joke that I’m some sort of social anomaly. I’m an adoptee, 100% Chinese in fact. Yet, I can’t speak a word of Mandarin or Cantonese. More so, I’m sure my South-London accent confuses people even more. It certainly has whenever I’ve had to venture out into the hustle and bustle of central London. My housemates even say I’m the “whitest person they’ve ever met”, as white people themselves. To this day I’m not quite sure how to respond. Growing up, I never really let my unique situation tear me down. Sure, I was unlike most of my peers, but I was fortunate enough to grow up in a mostly accepting and tolerant environment. I recently found out a term which describes my situation to a T: cultural homelessness. I certainly have always felt that I am different to many in both British and Chinese culture. I have British mannerisms, yet my DNA and appearance would tell people otherwise. So, yes, my anomaly joke is quite fitting. You know what, though? I own the identity of being an anomaly. There would be no point in me moping about

it. It’s what makes me interesting idea about the first year of my life wrecks the streak and dishonours (and it’s a good conversation topic except that I was abandoned on the their ancestors and it looks like that too!). I have yet to meet an adoptee street, found by a policeman and someone will be me. in York, so if you are one, message placed on the steps of the orphanMoving on. For less dire issues, me! age, where I resided for a proba- one example was trying to find Of course, my identity is more bly miserable year. Fast forward my physical aesthetic. When I was than my race or my upstarting out with trying bringing. My identity to find a style, I was unincludes my sexuality, sure which beauty trends gender, my likes, my to follow: White or East dislikes, my experiences, Asian. Trying to find any my style and many more online tutorials for how aspects. It’s the same for to even do my eyeshadeveryone really. No one ow was painstakingly truly fits a cookie-cuttough. I started to dislike ter mould. Instead, we my eyes, my face, and all have a ‘cookie-cutter’ my body, since none of personality that only fits my features seemed to ourselves. Some peofit into either category. ple like to emphasise Nevertheless, I took on certain aspects of their the phrase ‘adapt, imidentity over others. provise and overcome’, Personally, I wouldn’t and managed to figure want the adoptee aspect out what worked for me. of me to be hidden but I I’m still figuring out the wouldn’t let it triumph ropes but, to be honest, over everything else. Of one’s style constantly course, there will be peoevolves throughout their ple that are like you and life. Who knows what will that arouses the amazbe trending in a decade’s ing opportunity to make time? I’m a sheep, adFinding how the pieces of your identity fit together is friends. mittedly, when it comes very rewarding. Cultural homelessto fashion so gosh knows ness has created a few minor incon- 19 years later, I bought a 23&me what I’ll be forcing myself into. veniences in my life. For example, kit to find out what I’m made up The fabulous thing with any I had a ‘minor’ crisis on who I was, of. Turns out I’m 100% Chinese. university setting is that there are genetically. To this day, I have no Someone in the family tree always dedicated bodies of representatives

BODY AND IDENTITY: A JOURNEY TO SELF FOR MANY, THE way we look contributes to our identity. I am part of the many. The issue of using body image to be part of your identity comes up when you don’t like what you see in the mirror, therefore a gigantic chunk of my identity. I have heard the phrase “you are more than your body” being thrown about, but saying that to a near grief-stricken teenager doesn’t really work. I am now 21. Not just an adult, but an adult-adult. As an adultadult, I have slowly come to peace

with myself. There’s been bumps in the road, and sometimes it seemed that I had taken two steps back. However, no one’s journey to peace with their body is linear. I haven’t quite reached the final destination and I don’t think I will ever be 100% at peace. However, what is important is the journey of not loathing my body. I shan’t get into the nitty gritty of what I experienced as a young teenager. Instead, I will explain to you all what I have been doing. I’m not a professional ,but these are the things that have

been working for me. Social media is a false friend. You start to become oddly comforted the more you scroll, even though you’re just triggering yourself. The more you scroll the worse it gets. So, avoid Tumblr (if you know, you know, and if you do, I am so sorry) and stick to content that is less body-focused. I have tried going down the body positivity route, but that hasn’t quite helped me. I know it does for so many, so there’s no harm in trying. My tactic is to just avoid content that focuses on bod-

ies and to scroll endlessly on shite comedy or pet posts. For now, my main aim is to just slowly trudge along. On the brighter side, other tactics I’ve found helpful are having a few default outfits that you know you feel comfortable with. Of course, don’t just always stick to the same three, but knowing you have at least an outfit you know you like does wonders for your self-esteem. Goodbye to those nights where you scream “I’M NOT GOING OUT” because you think you look bad.

and multiple societies that reflect you. There, you can find people like yourself. Our PTO’s have been ever so supportive to those who they represent, and it’s heart-warming to see. With hundreds of societies, groups, and networks, I can assure you all you’ll find something that represents some aspect of your identity. Social media is a good one to turn to. I’d recommend Facebook and Instagram groups and pages that align with your identity. For example, I’m part of a few groups for Chinese adoptees and other groups that focus on my general likes and interests. Reading about other people’s experiences who have faced a similar situation as me, enables me to see different perspectives and apply that knowledge to my own situation. There is no need to know your one ‘true’ identity. I know I have mostly discussed my identity as an adoptee but that does not make up 100% of it. Your identity is made up of many identities, shaped by your personality and your lived experiences. That is what makes you unique. So, I may be culturally homeless but that’s fine. There’s plenty of other aspects of myself which make me, me. So, there’s no need to stress on what you think should be yours. Explore and have fun finding what makes you, you. Creative freedom is another good way to help you along your journey. I like to express myself via my makeup, for example. Many dye their hair too to help with positive self-image. I haven’t dyed my hair since my balayage in Year 11, but I did recently get layers. Not the most life changing thing but small style revamps as such may help you. I’ve been battling my issues since I was thirteen so if you are in a similar position to me, it may be a long journey. I’m still on it. However, the main thing is to carry on, as hard as that may be. Confide in people, focus on brighter things. We’ve got this!



Wednesday March 2, 2022



DAN BENNETT interviews Activities Officer Sophie Kelly and Working Class & Social Mobility Officer Harleen Dhillon about their experiences working as YUSU Officers. IN 2021, 85% of students at the University of York did not vote in the YUSU Elections. While this result is not unusual in comparison to the turnout for student union elections across the UK, that number still indicates that a significant majority of students are not engaging with YUSU. Current Activities Officer Sophie Kelly used to be one such disengaged student. “I was very much one of those people who didn’t understand what YUSU was or what it did,” Kelly told Vision. “In my second year I got an email from YUSU advertising for people to go on their policy and review group... I got on it and kind of went through and understood a bit more about how students can suggest policy in that area and how people can make change. “I thought that was very interesting, but also very dry. “I was like, this isn’t engaging for students, how could students relate to this?’” Kelly’s first officer role in YUSU was as IMAGE: YUSU Accountability and Scrutiny chair in the last academic year. Kelly told us, “I kind of put my name out there not expecting to win, because whenever you put yourself up for election, it is absolutely terrifying, and if anyone says otherwise they’re lying.” “After that it was like, oh, maybe I should think about being a Sabb. “I realised there was power in the Union... I felt I had things to offer because I had an understanding of how the Union worked but also had the outsider perspective in that I had never felt a part of the clique.” Kelly successfully ran for Activities Officer in last year’s elections, which occurred during a national lockdown. “During the election campaign I used to just be on my laptop or phone all day in my room campaigning. “You could go out for these daily walks, and I felt really paranoid when I did... I kept feeling like people were looking at me when I left the house. “I said this to all the other candidates and they were like yeah, we feel the same. “But overall I really enjoyed the campaign element... it’s not something you’ve been

IMAGE: YUSU through before, most people have never done anything like this before.” Harleen Dhillon’s route to being the current Working Class & Social Mobility Officer was through a different path. Dhillon told Vision “I wanted to become more involved in the University, and I felt that being a part of the students’ union would be a great opportunity to do that, and get to know more people.” Dhillon also noted that, “As the Working Class and Social Mobility Officer role is relatively new, understanding the role and what it entails is not really emphasised to prospective candidates which is something I hope will happen in the future. “I also feel that PTOs do not receive as much exposure, which may be due to the fact they are part-time, however, I believe thatgreater exposure to these roles would encourage more candidates to apply.” One of the biggest stories this year was the backlash to YUSU signing a further contract with York Parties. “I knew there was going to be some form of backlash,” said Sophie Kelly. “I was confident in the decision, but there was more and more and more that came through... “There was a night where stuff was coming through on Yorfess, and that was the night before my Grandad’s funeral which was really emotionally draining.” “At Freshers and returners people were screaming in my face and coming up to me when I was on my own verbally and physically intimidating me... That had all been stoked my these kinds of anonymous pages, and throughout this whole process, some of the things people were saying I had no evidence for... which makes you think why are people doing these posts in the first place and what do they have to gain from it? “ Coming out the other side of it, I feel a lot more resilient. “We stuck by the decision the whole time,

and I still stick by the decision.” Kelly went on to tell us about her experiences of the pages before this. “Even when I was a student, if I saw something on Yorfess or Yorkmemes I thought it was gospel... Sometimes, if you don’t hear about things outside of these pages, have they actually happened? “They’re entertainment pages, they’re not news sources. “We definitely need to be careful and I hope any Sabb team in the future doesn’t have to go through what I had to go through. “This is a problem we see all across the country, there’s a lot of universities that have it far far far worse than anything we’ve seen in York. “It needs a nationwide policy solution that maybe we need to work with [the] NUS or the government [for].” Both Kelly and Dhillon said they did not exactly know what their roles involved in hindsight. Dhillon explained, “I did not really understand the remit of my role, in the sense that my manifesto points seemed possible, however it was much more complex than expected.” Kelly went further, saying “I didn’t really know what I’d be doing on a day to day basis, I knew the key issues but didn’t know how that would manifest itself into a working day. Kelly was also surprised by “How much time things take: nothing is ever quick at all, you might think something is straightforward and often it’s not... we could do some work to make it a bit clearer what it actually means to be a Sabb.” “There are some really easy aspects of the role” Kelly continued, “but then some of it is

so high level. “[However] you get weeks and weeks of training and it’s very comprehensive. What isn’t clear about the Activities Officer role is that the job is kind of to manage disputes within societies, and it can be really toxic, students don’t always behave the best towards each other or YUSU staff. “That’s not the reason I did the role at all, you’re never going to enjoy every aspect of any job but that for me has been the most challenging. “It can be a challenge to accommodate all these different voices, especially when people are saying completely contradictory things... you’ve got to detach yourself from the situation sometimes and look at the data and see what the majority of people want, but don’t neglect underrepresented groups either. “We get so much autonomy as Sabbs, we get so much guidance and support but essentially it’s up to us to lead on key issues. “I’ll be the first to admit I have made a lot


Wednesday March 2, 2022



ally working?

CLAIRE FORSTER looks at the lack of diversity in Sabbatical Officer roles and how we can improve representation in student life. THERE IS AN issue of a lack of diversity amongst sabbatical officers. Over the last decade, only 8% of sabbatical officers have identified as BAME, despite the BAME community comprising over a third of York students. These figures point to an issue of representation at a visible and influential level. I spoke with two candidates for the upcoming YUSU election, who both identify as BAME, for their view on the problem. Second year student Emilia Chambers, who is running for BAME officer, explained how the lack of representation perpetuates the lack of diversity. “The phrase ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ comes to mind here. “There is a severe lack of diversity amongst York’s teaching staff, which in turn affects the number of Black, Asian and Minority-ethnicity students who go into further academia after finishing undergraduate degrees. “This will also be the case for sabbatical roles.” “Because of the current and previous lack of inclusion and diversity within YUSU, I would argue that BAME students may not feel welcomed, or valued within the university community, and therefore are less likely to engage with the students’ union.

Our new Activities Officer Rohan Ashar

IMAGE: DAN BENNETT of mistakes, and we should’ve done things differently, but if I hadn’t made those mistakes I wouldn’t necessarily have learned from them, and I think that’s made me better at the job and a better person.” In her role, Dhillon mentioned that the biggest challenge was “Trying to get the bursary applications to become more transparent has been a struggle, and something I hope the next Officer pushes for. “It would be great to have a guide on what officers can do, and how they would go about challenging policy/schemes which have been put in place at the University for a long time. “I believe there are sufficient resources available [for PTOs], it is just about making the time alongside your academics to make full use of them.” However, being a YUSU officer does have its positives. Kelly said, “I’ve really enjoyed [the working environment], it’s quite fast paced, you get to see your policies come to life and work with so many different people...

I think the staff at YUSU don’t get enough credit, they work tirelessly to make sure students’ needs are met, and being around that environment is supportive and really refreshing.” Dhillon added that “I have enjoyed talking to people from a variety of different positions in YUSU; the skills I have gained in this role have been invaluable.” Both Kelly and Dhillon ended by giving advice to future YUSU officers. Dhillon said “It is a great opportunity to get involved with the University and teaches you a variety of skills that you cannot develop elsewhere. “The most important takeaway is that your role as a PTO is determined by how much work you choose to put in, so choose wisely as to what you can accomplish, and what may need more time.” Kelly concluded by telling students to “put yourself forward for it because it’s a great experience, but also back yourself.”

diverse, and I do believe that York is to an extent. “As I have mentioned previously in my campaign, there are slight problems around integration, especially when it comes to certain areas of student life. Rohan went on to speak about structures designed to improve representation within YUSU. “For example, the YUSU BAME network was set up a couple of years ago, which is not long ago at all in the grand scheme of things. “This can be increased through people leading by example. “If we get more people who identify as BAME in higher positions, that is when real change and progress can be made. “I’m proud to be running for a sabbatical role as a British Asian person, because I think institutions such as YUSU need diversity in order to truly represent and support their student cohort.” Both Emilia and Rohan did recognise that some progress has been made within BAME representation over the last few years.

IMAGE: YUSU The 2021/2022 sabbatical officers “In order for the union to increase its number of BAME sabbatical officers (which it desperately needs to do), it needs to acknowledge the systematic barriers in place which stop these students from applying for these roles. “These may be somewhat alleviated by the union creating more BAME-centred events, or perhaps hosting focus-groups for BAME students to share their opinions on YUSU and how it is supporting them and representing them.” Rohan Ashar, a final year student running for Activities Officer, told me he believes that, “Diversity is low amongst sabbatical officers because efforts to actively solve these issues have only happened recently. “I think that the north, let alone York, has generally had a lack of ethnic diversity. “However, university communities are

“The creation of the PTO role of BAME Officer has been a great step forward in creating a more inclusive and representative students’ union”, Emilia said. “However, it is telling that this, along with the other liberation roles, such as Disabled Students’ Officer and LGBTQ+ Officer, are unpaid. “This reflects the way that the issues these roles are designed to tackle remain continually side-lined by the university – just look at their ongoing refusal to publish the figures on the racial pay gap amongst their staff. “Perhaps including part-time salaries within these roles could be a way for YUSU to encourage greater participation amongst these marginalised groups.” Rohan stated that, “This year, it is looking more promising in terms of there being a few other candidates who identify as BAME, and YUSU have put an emphasis on it, but there is still a long way to go, and this is not something that happens overnight. “Also, representation does not always mean change – we need people who are willing to make a meaningful difference.”



Wednesday March 2, 2022


SMASHED AVOCADOS ON toast and a side part, please! Millennials are often attributed with avocado brunches, coining the term ‘girlboss’, and refusing to give up skinny jeans. But are Gen Z icons such as Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish really so distinct from their S Club 7 loving peers? While the boundaries between generations are often blurred (or even arbitrary), we cannot ignore the existence of an unspoken set of unique behaviours and pop culture references that set generations apart. Many of us occupy that weird in-between space, young enough to have grown up with early technology, but old enough to be embarrassed about having a TikTok account. The term ‘Zillennial’ (or ‘Zoomer’, if you want to be facetious) is used to describe this tenuous cusp, creating solidarity in an otherwise left out group. An article from BBC News defined ‘millennials’ as people who were born between 1980 and 1995. Even within this category, people have dogmatically created a further subdivision – ‘older/geriatric millennials’ (the oldest of which are now 40!) and ‘younger millennials’ (who are apparently responsible for killing every major industry, from cable


GEN Z AND MILLENIALS: IS THE DIFFERENCE PURELY IN OUR JEANS? TV and golf to marriage). Gen Z is generally characterised as those born later than 1997 or 2000, depending on who you ask! This ambiguity has left ample room for heavy debate; I refuse to believe that iPad toddlers are in the same generation as those of us who plastered our walls with High School Musical posters and cried when Finn died in Glee. The divide between Millennials and Gen Z is mostly an internet-only phenomenon – though try telling my older sisters that skinny jeans aren’t cool anymore and you’ll find yourself disagreeing! Around a year ago, #GenZvMillenial blew up on TikTok, a platform dominated by Gen Z, who began (not so) playfully mocking their older counterparts for liking Harry Potter and unironically using the cry-laughing

emoji. Affronted millennials retaliated by making diss tracks (yes) in an effort to hold on to their status as the cool kids on the internet. The so-called “culture war”, which feels more like a spirited sibling rivalry at this point, highlights differences in music, lifestyle, and fashion. However, is it even necessary to categorise people in this manner? These labels often reduce an entire generation of people across the world to (largely Eurocentric) trends and stereotypes, many of which were shaped by political, economic, and cultural developments at the time. They cast each demographic as distinct caricatures, ultimately distracting from issues that really matter. Millennials and Gen Z aren’t that different at the end of the day. For one, both generations could probably

not live without the internet. Both generations would much rather text, citing phone calls as rude and anxiety-inducing. And both generations are united against a common adversary – the Boomers. On a serious note, there always have and probably always will be generational gaps and cultural clashes between different age groups as time goes on and the world keeps changing. I’m already side-eying kids who were born in 2007 (is that even a real year?) and are actively using TikTok and Instagram. But, as long as you’re not being a terrible person, does it really matter if you use the word “adulting”? Besides, a lot of these trends cycle in and out, so it makes no sense to get worked up over them in the first place. Case in point: the recent Y2K resurgence, in which Gen Z are bringing back

noughties fashion and lifestyle. UGG boots, handmade jewellery, and low rise jeans are in – much to the dismay of Millenials who did it the first time around! In a world where labels are becoming less and less important, do we need to keep coming up with titles to set ourselves apart from other generations? In a time when all aspects of life are becoming more fluid, from gender identity to sexual preference. putting ourselves in boxes is becoming less appealing. As a society, we are becoming more open to things simply ‘being’ as opposed to needing categorising. Basically, just do what makes you happy, and if you’re still confused about which generation you belong to, take a Buzzfeed quiz like the rest of us!

BUDDING VISION WRITER IN CRISIS “Dear Aunty, I want to get involved in student journalism but don’t have any experience and don’t know where to begin.” Dear reader,

Thank you for getting in touch! Firstly, I’d like to reassure you that we all get that little nagging voice in our head telling us that we’re not qualified enough to be doing what we want to do. Writing for Vision requires

no experience at all and is a great place to gain some valuable writing and editing skills. It’s also loads of fun! (How do you think I got started?) If you want to see your name in print or online, I really encourage you to have a look through our paper and decide which section suits you best. Get in contact with the section editor to pitch your article and they’ll work with you to get your piece published. With elections around the

corner, there are lots of opportunities to get involved with student media. Writing for Vision allows you to write as casually or actively as you like, meaning that you can fit writing around your commitments. The role of subeditor is perfect for anyone wanting to get involved on the non-writing side of the paper. You’ll be working with a group of other subeditors and the chief subeditor to make sure all our articles are error-free and

look good on paper. The chief sub will walk you through everything you need to know, meaning no experience is necessary - only good vibes and enthusiasm. Getting involved with student journalism is one of the best decisions you can make while studying at York. My advice: go for it and don’t look back! All the best, Aunty Vi x


Wednesday March 2, 2022








EVER WANTED TO know more about science but felt that it’s too complicated for you?

Well, York has their very own team of student chemists who run an Instagram page called Impractical Chemists, which breaks down science into bitesize pieces that anyone can understand. Whether it’s what artificial sweeteners are made from or an overview of quantum mechanics, Impractical Chemists have the answer. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the people behind the account and this is what they revealed. Who are you guys?

“We are Maxine, Ritchie and



A TEAM OF York PhD students have joined forces with researchers from York St John University to organise this year’s “Pint of Science” event – bringing cutting-edge research to a boozer near you. We spoke to event coordinator Conor Scott to learn more about Pint of Science, and what he hopes the event will bring to the city and its scientific community. At first glance, Stella and science seem to be strange bedfellows, however Pint of Science shows have been bringing the two together since 2013 – offering members of the public the opportunity to discuss scientific research with leading academics, in a relaxed environment, away from sci-fi laboratories and intimidating lecture halls. This is something Conor thinks is vitally important in engaging the general public in science: “Whenever anyone is learning about something new it can be quite intimidating, and I feel scientists often do a bad job of explaining things in an accessible way. Our aim is to create an experience where people feel like they are just sitting in a pub or café as they normally would, and are part of a conversation about science, instead of being lectured”. Although almost everyone living in York is aware of the

Olly, a trio of Year 3 chemists on the BSc course at the University of York.”

What inspired you to start the account?

“We felt that chemistry had a bad rep regarding how exciting the subject matter is and after seeing how this was linked to a decline in chemistry university admissions we wanted to see if we could use social media to enthuse potential students still at school, as well as the wider public.”

What do you hope to achieve through the account?

“Hopefully it causes people to see the chemistry behind their everyday actions and items, and perhaps we can spark some wonder (or at least interest). On a grander scale, if it can go some way

towards breaking down the image of chemistry as a dry and dull subject, and instead demonstrate the richness and breadth of the subject then it’ll have been a success.”

What have you learned from running the account?

“Content creation takes a lot longer than you think! You’ll often find that you have more ideas than

What can we expect in the coming year?

“Now that we’ve got a good amount of content under our belt we’re moving on to a wider range of content, and varying the way in which we deliver that content. We are really trying to challenge ourselves over the coming months with what we can put out and you’ll see this in a shift away from ‘static’ posts and an increasing number of video demos, animations, and things in that vein. We’re hoping that all of this will translate into the account growing and expanding its reach.”

you do time but ultimately the end result is very rewarding. Additionally, we’ve realised quite how visual the platform is; the aesthetics of a post can be just as, if not more, important than the actual ‘meat’ of it.”

Has running this account influenced what you want to do in the future?

Their branding makes it very clear that they’re chemists in York. No prizes here.

“It’s definitely made us consider working on social media and content creation projects in the future, even just as personal passion projects to develop our skills in the area. The filming and editing aspects of the project are something we’re very keen to progress further.” Here at York Vision we recommend you take a look.

ANYONE FANCY A PINT... OF SCIENCE? universities, they tend to be better acquainted with the student population than with the universities’ research communities: “I think it’s a shame that most people living in York have little to no idea of what research is being carried out just down the road,” says Conor. After all, this research is largely financed by public funds, something he believes is too-frequently forgotten by researchers: “At the end of the day, taxpayer’s money funds our work and they have a right to know what their money is being spent on and to know it isn’t being wasted.” “Scientists are usually so focused on such a specific part of the field they work in that it is easy to

lose sight of the bigger picture,” explains Conor, who gave a talk at the event in 2020 and hosted a show last year. “Pint of Science isn’t just for the public, it is also a platform for researchers to communicate their science in a way that non-scientific members of the public will understand.” Engaging the public in their research is something many scientists often neglect, perpetuating the belief that the scientific community is insular and elitist – a belief Conor is keen to contest with this event, saying although communicating with the public “can actually be quite challenging, I think it is a

skill all researchers should work on, because it reminds us of why we do the work we do” and can help “get the public excited about local science”. Shows are taking place across the city from 9-11 May, in a broad range of venues such as SPARK, The Fulford Arms, and York Picturehouse – an aspect of Pint of Science Conor is also passionate about. “Pint of Science is a unique event because it utilises the great array of venues we have in York to bring the amazing research being done in the city directly to the public, in a familiar setting. I am hopeful that as well as highlighting interesting scientific work taking

place in the city, we will also be shining a spotlight on the venues themselves.” Although the prospect of sinking a few jars whilst discussing climate change, or the future of stem cell treatments, with a university professor sounds trivial, its core sentiment is actually rather significant. In a society riddled with misinformation, fake news, and the distrust of experts, events, such as Pint of Science, that bring people closer to research, provide a real opportunity to tackle these issues, restore the public’s faith in sound evidence, and help them appreciate the value of scientific research.



Wednesday March 2, 2022





PLANET BEFORE PROFIT: this was the call from Extinction Rebellion York (XR York), who lobbied Councillors over their lack of a clear action plan about the climate. On 17 February, activists gathered at York Racecourse – the location of York Council’s 2022 budget planning meeting – urging Councillors to prioritise the creation of a clear action plan for how to tackle the climate problem here in York. This is not a new call from XR York, as it was recognised back in 2019 by the Council that the city needed to improve its response to environmental problems, de-

claring a climate emergency on 21 March the same year. In this declaration, the Council committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 – the same plans have been echoed by the university – and that they would create a climate action plan within six months. Back in June 2019, XR York held a People’s Assembly to gather suggestions as to help the Council find ways to make York more sustainable. 400 people attended, who all voted on mandates to address critical priorities: movement, economy, housing, energy, food, and, environment. This process resulted in XR York’s ‘Mandate for Change’, a document

which the group presented to the Council. Now, almost three years later, the Council has still not committed to or created a clear plan on how the city is going to achieve this target. Chris Brace, a member of XR York, said: “The failure to plan development, engage with residents, and have a clear strategy to address the climate emergency has inevitably led to a conspicuous absence of costing and proposals in the 2022 City of York budget.” The activists’ presence outside the meeting therefore was to call for a rejection of the proposal, and urgently readdress and plan York’s carbon neutral targets. This lack of

action plan has earned York a 0% rating in Climate Emergency UK’s most recent climate action scorecard. Councillor Christian Vassie, chair of the Council’s Climate Change Committee, responded to this low rating, and said: “All that is being flagged up is either Climate Emergency UK did not contact the City Council, or the City Council did not respond”. They also went on to say that the Council has delivered climate action in many ways. Some of these environmental initiatives include creating a new community woodland – hoping to cut carbon emission through planting 50,000 trees in the next two years

– and developing the largest fleet of electric buses in the country. “The new climate action roadmap, initiated by the Climate Committee and which should be approved in the next three months, will create the framework to deliver a zero-carbon council by 2030,” stated Cllr Vassie. Yet, they went on to acknowledge that the Council is not responsible for all the City’s carbon emissions, and that as a city – its Council, residents, businesses, climate commission and campaigning organisations, such as XR York need to work in tandem if we are going to achieve a zero-carbon city by the end of the decade.




THIS YEAR’S ‘ONE Planet Week’ focused a spotlight on the University’s Sustainability Plan in its opening night Sustainability Forum. One Planet Week returned to the University of York recently and with it came an in depth discussion into the impacts, engagement, and flaws of the University of York’s new Sustainability Plan. Jump-starting the week, the Sustainability Forum was a (virtual) Q & A between university leaders and at-home watchers. It was moderated by YUSU Trustee Jamie Sims and panellists included Director of External Relations Joan Concannon, Director of Strategy for the Department of Environment and Geography Ioan Fazey, Vice Chancellor and President Charlie Jeffery, YUSU’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Vulliamy, and Interim Assistant Director of Campus Services Richard Walker. The Sustainability Plan aims

to “embed sustainability into our core functions”, and sets university-wide goals including carbon neutrality by 2030. Walker described how the plan “touches on all aspects of operations” and Jeffery highlighted that the university was searching specifically for “a rounded plan and a plan with good governance and good repositioning”. When questioned on the level of ambition in the plan’s targets, panellists responded by highlighting the gradual nature of longterm plans. Vulliamy said: “the ambition is there but it will take us time as we’re learning as well”. Jeffery also highlighted a need to “do what we can as a university to shift the parameters of the conversation.” He believes universities hold effective power in impacting the climate conversation, and said: “We should be a role model in how our organisation and operations promote environmental sustainability [because] what hap-

pens at universities has the ability to transform everyone’s lives for good.” The impact and engagement of students was another key topic discussed: “We can’t underesti-

like Moses down from the mountain with their tablets of stone.” As Vulliamy noted, the team is interested in creating “a chain of mobilisation that goes beyond the walls of the campus”.

The panelists met on Zoom for a discussion about the Sustainability Plan mate the power of the ideas and the understanding that students will take with them from university into whatever they do afterwards,” Jeffrey claimed. Concannon discussed how to engage students in the plan. “[We need to] go where the audiences are, where real community action is taking place and to really think about how we can learn from them, as opposed to arriving

Despite much talk of student engagement, the forum (and week) itself received disappointing levels of viewership in comparison to past years, possibly reflecting a lack of engagement between students and these plans. As such, the event generated multiple questions of transparency and a need for urgent organisational change and student support. Organisers are hoping

that the panellists used the forum to recognise the extreme extent of student disillusionment which is prevalent on campus. Vulliamy specifically defined his view of ‘what students want’. “They want us to say out loud that there is a problem. Students want a call to arms.” All the panellists reiterated such messages of climate urgency, assuring viewers that climate change is an enormous problem. Fazey said: “Welcome to the end of the world as we know it, because climate change is going to change absolutely everything. “You’ve got this transformational tank, you’ve got to see that the world is going to bring massive change and you have got to be a part of it.” Whether the sustainability plan manages to promote this and truly “be a part” of the solution is yet to be seen, however, One Planet Week’s Sustainability Forum was a necessary first step.

2 1



Wednesday March 2, 2022



80 47

HULL MATT WARD-PERKINS from York Sport Arena


YORK MEN’S BASKETBALL put themselves within touching distance of a league title, with a dominant win over Hull. The men’s first team left the court with a comfortable 80-47 win, meaning they are one win or tie away from mathematically guaranteeing the BUCS Division 3B championship. York will go into their two final games in first position, and would secure the title next week with a win or tie away against the bottom-placed Sheffield men’s second team. Their final home league game of the season saw York get off to a shaky start, as Hull took an early 12-4 lead, but tactical changes and physical play left the winner in no doubt by the final buzzer.

In the first few minutes of the game the story was Hull’s success with three point shots, with three of them scored in their first four possessions as the away team looked set to miss very few of the opportunities they created. After York fell 12-4 behind, an early timeout saw tactical changes, as the team appeared to switch up their defensive scheme to put more pressure on Hull. That pressure paid off with a new defensive stability, putting pressure on Hull as they shot ,while effectively challenging for rebounds, and York’s offence brought them back into the game to tie it 12-12. The early first quarter was the one and only time Hull took the lead against York, as the home side grew into the game and began to adjust to playing their opposition. One of the features of York going forward was the pace of their attack, as quick breaks from defensive rebounds and turnovers led to opportunities to score.

York went into the second quarter with a 21-15 lead, after their well timed time out, as Hull’s accuracy with three point shots began to fall York got used to their tactics to create a deserved lead. After a relatively high-scoring first quarter, both teams began to settle into the game, and each defence made some important stops to keep the game close. The early success of Hull with three-point shots seemed to encourage them to keep attempting them, but a number of misses, and York’s more patient offensive play saw York begin to extend their lead. Even when both sides struggled with consistent shot accuracy at points, York were aggressive and won rebounds more often than not, giving them the opportunities to take advantage offensively and to frustrate Hull. In the second quarter, it was Hull’s turn to take an early timeout, as York led 29-15. It wasn’t enough to stop the

York lead from growing, as they continued to take advantage of turnovers and rebounds to create fast-paced attacks and stop the Hull defence from being able to organise themselves. By the end of the quarter, York had created a 39-24 lead, and carried their momentum into a high-scoring dominant third quarter. York’s defence was physical but disciplined, avoiding giving away fouls as they did in the second quarter, and holding Hull to just five points in the quarter to stop them working their way back into the game. Even as the lead grew, York never had to worry about the shot clock, as they continued to work quickly to frustrate the Hull defence, pulling away to a 60-29 lead. It was the third quarter that appeared to seal victory for York, but the Hull side were never out of it. In the fourth quarter, some York eyes began to regularly look

up at the scoreboard when Hull pulled back 13 points to reduce York’s lead to 66-42. Hull were beginning to find some of the pace that had worked so well for York, as well as drawing free throw opportunities from fouls, but it was not enough to make a comeback look realistic. Ignoring any thoughts of running down the game clock, York continued to challenge Hull at every stage, and after Hull’s strong start, York made the most of their speed and strength to make the lead that bit more comfortable. Hull never gave in, and some great individual defence stopped York from running away with the game even further, but in the end a 80-47 York win was a fair reflection of the home side’s ability. York now move on to their final two games of the season, and their push to guarantee promotion to Tier 2 basketball next year. They will hope this win is a sign of things to come.




THE FOUNDER OF ‘Pub Sports Massive’ and Social Sec of Pool and Snooker society have told York Vision they feel Pub Sports are often not treated like a sport at all. College Pool Rep Joe said it has taken the introduction of bar tabs for people to actually start taking pool, snooker and darts seriously. Joe told Vision that, during a champions draft event the society had organised, they were shut down by members of staff for not having it properly organised, but when they went to the college to organise the tournament they were just ignored and assumed the event had been confirmed. “It was as if we weren’t getting taken seriously, but this year after having brought in bar tabs we’ve

began to be respected a bit more, which is annoying that we’ve had to earn money for them to value us.” Social Sec Lauren went on to explain that it’s not just about space, but also the way pub sports are overlooked. In a promotional BUCS video there was “absolutely not one shot of pool in there”. Vision approached BUCS for comment, but did not receive a response before publication. Lauren contined: “No one thinks that pool exists but it can actually be very competitive.” Joe said, “We have problems with funding, the main funding seems to go to Football, Rugby, and Hockey, because they do spend more than us.” Lauren said: “All we really need is a pool table in a secured locked

room that no-one else can access and cause damage to, but we just can’t get the funding together to pay for that table.” “A pool table like that would pay for itself in the upcoming years, two, three years down the line you’d have people who’ve never played pool before winning tournaments[...]and when teams win in tournaments they win prizes, so we can fund the society ourselves,” Joe said. The funding issues aren’t just affecting the practice of the sport, “We’ve struggled this year more with funding to get people to tournaments, which is quite sad.” “One of our most talented players just can’t afford to go, and that’s such a shame”. For Joe and Lauren, pub sports offer something no other sport

could. Lauren said she couldn’t see herself playing any sports until she found pool and darts, which is “the one sport I can play with a pint”. An attitude that welcomes everyone and encourages all abilities to get involved is at the heart of the darts. Joe and Lauren invite everyone to get involved and are sure to mention that there’s always a karaoke machine in the corner! Joe’s said: “If you’re thinking about coming to play, don’t come for the pool and darts, come and just have a good time.” York Sport Union President Franki Riley said: “I want every student to be able to come to our university and play the sport they love. It is deeply saddening and frustrating to hear of the difficult experiences faced by Pool and Snooker with college staff.

“I wish that I had greater means by which to financially support our clubs further, but YUSU does the absolute best to ensure our clubs are supported fairly with what we have. “For our non-conventional sports, that I have made a big point of supporting[...]I know the cost of competing is a big concern and I am looking at ways to help alleviate these pressures. For any clubs experiencing financial difficulties, I would encourage them to consider applying to the Contingency Grant. “With the help of YuFund, funding for a new pool table has been secured, and I’m very excited about this opporutnity for the club, but now we need the University to be more active in assisting us with finding a suitable location.”


Wednesday March 2, 2022







For the first time, College Varsity has an opening ceremony, and it is the Men’s Rugby, a fixture which is set to kick off the competition. Representing York, Hes East will be full of confidence coming off a 31-0 over Vanbrugh and 22-5 win over James in the qualifying semi-final and final respectively. The Hes East rugby side will feel confident after remaining unbeaten this season in league play. In St Cuthbert’s, they are facing an opposition in less than fine form, with the York side competing against a Durham college yet to win a league fixture this season, with a -79 points difference from just three league games. In the Men’s Rugby B fixture later on Sunday, James will be looking to come back from their qualifier loss with a win against St Hild & St Bede, who are second in Durham’s second tier of college rugby.

FRANKI RILEY WASre-elected as York Sport Union President in the YUSU Elections last week. She only needed one round to beat challengers Asraf Ahmed and Kieren Franklin with 57.4% of first-choice votes. She said on stage it had been a difficult week, after attending her grandfather’s funeral, and told York Vision she felt “a whole mix of emotions” upon hearing the news that she had won. “Relief, excitement. I don’t even know what the final results were, I was in such a blur.”


This year’s College Varsity basketball qualifiers were some of the closest fought of any sport. Halifax and Derwent went through to the final after a 26-21 win against Langwith and 35-34 win against Vanbrugh respectively. Halifax took a 45-36 win in the final to earn the right to represent York in this year’s A fixture. Both Halifax and their opponents have played two league games this term. Halifax have won one and lost one, and Van Mildert earned their second win with a nail biting 48-47 win over Ustinov, after a 40-0 win against John Snow in January. Derwent, who have lost both their league games so far this term, will face off against University College in the B fixture. University have lost all three of their games this term in Durham’s second tier college basketball competition, but did come within 11 points of winning in their previous game against league leaders St Aidan’s.


James College’s men’s football team has had a difficult path to win the right to represent York in the Men’s Football A game at this year’s College Varsity, going as far as a penalty shootout in their semi final against Derwent after a 3-3 draw. Both the James and Derwent men’s football 1s have been unbeaten this season in York’s college football Premier League. They won the final more comfortably, 4-1 against Constantine, and now go on to face Collingwood this Sunday. Collingwood, like James, are unbeaten in the top tier of Durham college football, drawing 2-2 in their last game out against top of the table St Aiden’s. As they represent York, one player to watch out for from James could be Harry Dodgeson, who has scored four goals in four league games this year. In the Men’s Football B fixture, Constantine will be looking for a win against University College, who are top of Durham’s second division college football table.


The Netball A fixture was one of the best attended of any sport at College Varsity 2020, and Halifax College will be hoping to match that support as they face off against Grey College in this year’s game. Halifax earned their spot in the game after a 37-17 win over Derwent in the semi final, and scored the same number of points again in a closer 37-30 win over Alcuin, who go on to the B fixture. Grey College, Halifax’s opposition on Sunday, have lost just two of their eight league games this year, sitting at third in Durham’s top tier college netball league. Halifax are in second place in York’s college netball Division 1, with their only loss coming in a 20-11 defeat to Langwith. In the B fixture, Alcuin College, who have also lost just one league game this year, will be facing off against St Mary’s College. St Mary’s have recorded five wins, two losses, and a draw in their eight games this year, sitting in mid-table in Durham’s top tier netball league.

Franki Riley on stage after winning re-election Franki told Vision that being reelected for a second term makes it mean “even more now than it did the first time.” “To know that people were on board with all the work that I’ve done and say ‘actually, we want more of Franki is just indescribable, it’s the most amazing feeling ever.” Although Franki wants to continue her existing work she also has some new goals, quoting Ellie Jones, the England rugby coach, she said “the best managers are the ones where the team keeps improving”. Thinking past this year Franki wants to work on “leaving a legacy” for Sport at York “that others can keep building on”.

ısıon VSport YORK



Wednesday March 2, 2022



York Men’s Basketball Team One Win From League Title BY MATT WARD-PERKINS YORK MEN’S BASKETBALL put themselves within touching distance of a league title with a dominant win over Hull. The men’s first team left the court with a comfortable 80-47 win, meaning they are one win or tie away from mathematically guaranteeing the BUCS Division 3B championship.

York will go into their two final games in first position, and would securing title next week with a win or tie away against the bottom-placed Sheffield men’s second team. Their final home league game of the season saw York get off to a shaky start, as Hull took an early 12-4 lead, but tactical changes and physical play left the winner in no doubt by the final buzzer.



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