TUESDAY February 24th, 2009
FOUR TIME GUARDIAN STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR
VISION DOES EXTREME p 19
THE VIEW SCENE
THE APPRENTICE'S p 16 Raef
DISGUSTING Shocking standards cause student suffering
BY NICOLA CHAPMAN APALLING ACCOMODATION standards have left students outraged and worried for their welfare. Mould, cold and broken facilities are damaging residents' health, Vision can reveal. Shockingly, one student needed MEDICAL ATTENTION after damp conditions made him seriously ill. Despite complaints from residents, it took nearly TEN WEEKS to make repairs. His mould-ridden room had become "virtually inhospitable." The student found himself suffering from strange rashes and painful symptoms. Uni rooms have hit an all-time
low, with reports of whole blocks abandoned at freezing temperatures for over a week before staff got around to fixing heating. In the same blocks over £100 of food was destroyed after the Uni failed to fix broken fridges. Targets for making urgent repairs were missed by over 90 hours. Affected students are angry and confused by the University's lack of concern for them. With rents now standing at up to £5069.40 per year, one raging resident demanded "where's my money going?!"
FULL STORY ON PAGE 4
Uni misses accomodation targets
rivin h t d l : mou C I F I HORRdent room in stu
10 weeks in mould mayhem
Doctor: 'conditions caused illness'
VISION REVEALS TRUTH ABOUT RANCID ROOMS: PAGE 4
Tuesday February 24, 2009
CORONER DELIVERS VERDICT ON STUDENT FOUND IN RIVER
your week QUOTE OF THE WEEK "I regard this as the latest move in a campaign to harass me" Andrew Collingwood on accusations of anti-semitism
GOOD WEEK bad week GOOD WEEK
Claims his music is playing in the bedrooms of most York students.
No one wants to go!
the number cruncher 144
Number of hours he uni missed their accomodation targets by
Estimated pounds lost by Cirque De Kirk
Number of hours 'Lemur Girl' will be dressing up for charity
VISION NEEDS YOU! Good at computers?
Vision are looking for volunteers to help build a brand new website!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Front cover photograph by Kevin Day.
DAVIES INQUEST INCONCLUSIVE
BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN
AN OPEN VERDICT delivered at the inquest into the death of a York University student means that the details of what happened on the night that he died will, almost certainly, not be known. The body of third year Chemistry student Rob Davies was found in the River Ouse by a member of the public on October 1st 2007.
Davies had disappeared two weeks earlier after leaving his friends in a Micklegate bar to walk the 20-minute route back to his house on Heslington Lane. When he failed to make it home, the police were informed and friends and family launched an appeal for information. As there was no first-hand account of what happened after Davies had left his friends, the coroner was forced to pass an open verdict on to the cause of
his death. The enquiry suggests that Davies was not assaulted as the body was fully clothed and had no visible injuries. How Davies came to be in the water is unknown, although a post-mortem found that when he died he had high levels of alcohol in his blood. Speaking at the inquest, pathologist Mark Egan from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, concluded that this had contributed to Davies’
DOOR KNOBS? BY MIKE REGAN
THE CONDUCT of Doorsafe has come under scrutiny, after several colleges received complaints of bouncers’ brutal behaviour. According to a member of YUSU Ents committee, the issue was bought to light at a recent meeting. They revealed that numerous complaints had been made, with Doorsafe accused of removing revellers “too swiftly and roughly.” However, Doorsafe have not announced any plans to change
their conduct at campus events. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Vision that the Doorsafe were often "unnecessarily threatening". He said: “Bouncers were very aggressive towards me. I’m a member of the JCRC and would never do anything to disrupt an event. They’re job is to keep students safe, not cause trouble.” He added: “They hassled me for no reason and when I walked outside there were people fighting which the bouncers had
YORK VISION Tuesday February 24th, 2009
> 'Unnecessarily threatening' > Series of complaints
completely failed to notice.” Services and Finance officer Matt Burton insisted "We have no record of any complaints being logged over the conduct of Doorsafe at campus events," Furthermore it seems college JCRCs remain supportive of Doorsafe. Newly elected Vanbrugh Ents rep Dan Hales commented that Doorsafe were right to hold a “low tolerance policy on disruptive behaviour.” Goodricke Chair Dan Walker meanwhile told Vision “I’m not telling you anything,
News Editors: Emily Fairbairn Martin Williams
Deputy Editors: Emily Hodges Samantha Cowley
Deputy News: Nicola Chapman Ruth Gallie
Lifestyle Editor: Rachel Knox
Deputy Sports Will Marwick Pete Stanley
Scene Editor: Andy Nichols
Comment Editor: Harry Pearse Daniel Hewitt
Deputy Lifestyle: Ailsa Macmillan Zoya Pasha
Photo Editors: Juliet Burns Jess McGowan
Deputy Comment: Alex Dale Chris Burgess
Style Editors: Jude Hull Eman Akbar
Sub Editors: Martin Williams Hannah Newton Andy Mcgrath
Features Editors: Josie Whittle Jake Soule
Deputy Style: Jenny Thompson Will Booth
Managing Editors: Patrick Harte Charles Rivington Treasurers: Same Bates Alex Dale
my stance is no comment.” Since the opening of The Courtyard, YUSU have been working tirelessly to make campus a more desirable location for student events, with Societies and Communications officer Rory Shanks arguing that, “What the Courtyard is actually doing is beginning to make campus attractive again.” Therefore, it is clear that any issues which may deter students flocking to campus based events, should be of great concern to YUSU.
Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007
Editors: Joe Burnham Mike Regan
Deputy Features: Kelly Holt Will Wainewright
death by drowning. Rob’s parents, speaking to Vision last year, described their son as “someone who engaged every minute and was his own man.” Friends also paid moving tributes, with housemate Fiona Sheldon saying, “He was so generous and smiling and incredibly funny, but also deep and thoughtful and mature. Our house will never be the same again.”
Sports Editor: Jim Norton
Scene Section Editors listed in pullout
Opinions expressed in Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Senior Editorial Team, membership or advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure all articles are as factually correct as possible at the time of going to press, given the information available. Copyright Vision Newspapers, 2009. Printed by Yorkshire Web
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
First-year gets down and furry for charity
IN UR DREAMZ
BY MARTIN WILLIAMS AND NICOLA CHAPMAN
POV R TY MalaE gasy : Azafady h
elps th e poor
BY NICOLA CHAPMAN A DERWENT FIRST-YEAR is planning to spend Week Nine of the Spring Term as a lemur. Patricia Scurfield, 19, is dressing as a lemur in support of Azafady, a small charity that reaches to poverty-stricken areas in Malagasy unobtainable to larger charities such as Oxfam. She hopes that spending the week as a lemur will help her to reach her overall target of raising £2000. “I’m planning to be dressed as a lemur for all my lectures, seminars, socials – everything,” the PPE student told Vision, “I’ll be armed with a collecting tin as well.” When questioned about
where the idea came from, Trish stated, “I was thinking about a costume for JungleD (a Club D event taking place in Week Eight) and it just spiralled from there.” “I’m pulling out all the stops. It’s going to be an all enveloping head to toe costume with face paints and a long, stripy tail to boot!” “People have come to the conclusion that I’m either brave or just mad. I’m doing it to raise awareness of this worthwhile charity.” Trish’s target for the week is £1000. “Grab my tail when I’m around campus! I need as much support and as many donations as possible!” When questioned about Trish’s lemur idea, her boyfriend 19-year-old Philosophy
student Duncan Halpin told Vision, “It’s a fantastic idea. It’s so ridiculous that it just might work. I only hope that she doesn’t get too accustomed to the get-up though.” Many other Derwent residents have voiced their opinions on Trish’s lemur behaviour. One Chemistry student told Vision, “She is a complete muppet! But I think it’s brilliant what she’s doing – totally ingenious.” When asked about future fundraising plans, Trish said, “with help, I’d like to smash my overall target of £2000 and hang up my lemur costume. Hopefully, with as many donations as possible, I won’t have to dress up as Malagasy wildlife in future!” If you would like to donate,
SO-FA SO GOOD
Alcuin takes a dump in latest bid for comfy seats BY TOM MCDERMOTT ALCUIN JCRC has surprised Catering Manager Phil Kember by dumping a set of old sofas in college bar B. Henry’s. The ongoing campaign to get comfy seats in B.Henry’s hit a hurdle this week when Catering Manager Phil Kember categorically refused to discuss the subject. The JCRC planned to hand out questionnaires to find out whether people preferred the sofas, but Kember stated that regardless of demand for them, B.Henry’s would not be getting sofas. He then demanded an instant removal of the controversial couches. Although previous committees have campaigned for sofas in
the bar, the new college chair, Oliver Hutchings, was elected partially on his promise to improve B.Henry’s. This has led him to resolve the issue in a more confrontational style. He told Vision: “I understand reluctance to invest in bars that are seemingly failing but the success of The Courtyard has shown that there is a demand to drink on campus. The ‘Save B.Henry’s’ campaign also proved that the students in Alcuin do not want to lose their bar.” Last term Vision successfully campaigned with Alcuin JCRC to keep B. Henry’s running. The JCRC are desperate for around six sofas to create two or three comfort zones which will improve the atmosphere of the bar
and cater to customers who were not previously satisfied. The campaign aims to make sure that more people can get what they want from Alcuin bar and increase its appeal as a daytime venue for quiet study, similar McQs, The Courtyard and Derwent Bar. Hutchings stressed that Alcuin “are trying to work with the staff in the wake of this event to try and ensure that Alcuin students and Academic staff get the best possible service and comfort from their local commercial services outlet.” Phil Kember argues that, in the past, attempts to put settees into B.Henry’s has not been successful as they take up too much space and do not draw in extra customers.
please join Trish’s facebook group Sponsor Trish to spend a week as a lemur! And click on the link to the Azafady donation website.
h Whic ricke d o o ber G mem JCRC een savhas b er number ing h shers' on fre s as 'Your e phon For the Shag '? t Nigh
A RISING STAR from Derwent has released two debut singles, with the promise of further ‘catchy songs’ and gig dates for the future. Anton ‘Dreamz’ Murphy recently launched his songs ‘Why did I drink’ and ‘London Life’ at a launch party at Vudu Lounge. ‘Dreamz’ told Vision that the hype surrounding his music is growing, claiming that it was “playing in the bedrooms of most York students.” Aiming high, he hopes to have his music for sale on iTunes by the summer. “I believe that my style is different from anyone else in the music industry at the moment,” said ‘Dreamz’. He has also launched his own independent record label, ‘GNA Records’ who are now looking to sign unique artists. “I am currently looking to sign artists in the future who are unique and have the right ‘GNA’ (lol).” ‘Dreamz’, who believes that he is completely different to all the other artists in the music industry, explains that he has been destined for great things from an early age: “I have a passion for music, ever since I was born really. From playing musical instruments to rapping in the playground” He insists that fans won’t have long to wait for his next pop pieces, “I have more music coming out within the next two weeks and an album that should be ready at the end of the summer term, so watch this space!”
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY BY NICOLA CHAPMAN
YORK STUDENTS have this week become guinea-pigs for a scientific experiment for BBC One’s The One Show. Marty Jopson, a presenter for the programme, visited the University to research the concept of levitation. The experiment took place within the Physics department where Jamie, lacrosse player at the University, was lifted off his chair by four slight female students. The purpose of the test was to determine whether levitation is a thing of magic or whether science can explain it. Physicist Dr David Jenkins, a University of York lecturer said that, “dividing a weight between people and co-ordinating movement means that what looks like an impossible task is in fact easy.” Another four students were used to lift the rather excitable presenter at the end of the footage to show viewers how easy levitation can be.
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
REVEALED: RANK ROOMS WITH RIDICULOUS RENTS
student press COURT Poo do you think you are?
LIZARD POO has sparked a courtcase showdown between one irate student and Leeds University. The PHD student is planning to sue the University over an alleged disposal of lizard excrement, Leeds Student reports. The collection, which took the student seven years to collect, was disposed of after a routine lab clear out. The student has been offered £500 by Leeds University but so far he has refused the offer saying, “I will see them in court.” The student explained that, “to some people it might just have been a bit of lizard shit, but to me it represented seven year's worth of painstaking research.” Looks like the Uni are going to end up in the sh*t.
Cry Baby REDUCED TO TEARS at a society open day in search of new members, one Cambridge university student has been left very upset. Varsity reports that when the long-serving member refused to divulge that he attended a college that was founded after 1600, he was the victim of jibes and verbal abuse which caused him to leave the stage. It was reported that the student was seen to be wiping away tears after his disappointing performance. He was then overheard saying, “You just don’t know how much this means to me…” Sounds like it means just a bit too much if you ask us.
Sea Sick Fish guts in a student kitchen at the University of Oxford have made a cleaner “physically sick” after a group of students had a “Seafood Extravaganza,” Cherwell reports. The kitchen was left in such a state after the residents decided to have a weekend of a “squid and seafood bonanza,” and failed to clean up the mess. The guilty students only admitted to “fish-gate” after the Home Bursar threatened to check CCTV footage. Speaking to Cherwell, the Home Bursar said that, “I can say that ‘fish-gate’ is officially over.” All sea-ms a bit fishy to us…
No sex please, we're students Sexy merchandise has caused controversy at Lancaster University, with one local club accused of encouraging promiscuity amongst it students. SCAN reports that the popular club titled “The Sugar House”, which has been given the nickname “The Shagga,” is giving out merchandise including t-shirts bearing the slogan “I got shagg-ed at the weekend.” The Reverend of the University’s Chaplaincy Centre explained that “promoting promiscuity is probably something that LUSU does not want to do.” Students having sex? Whatever next!
Photo by Jess McGowan
We read them... ...so you don't have to
IN A (DAMP) TRAP HOME SWEE thrivin T HO g in Ed E?: en's CM ourt mould BY NICOLA CHAPMAN UNACCEPTABLE ACCOMODATION standards have caused a first-year student to become seriously ill, Vision can reveal. The resident at Eden’s Court, who does not want to be named, was rushed to his GP with worrying symptoms including a severe rash. His symptoms were brought on by horrendous damp and mould in his university room, making it a “virtually inhospitable environment”. Speaking exclu-
sively to Vision, the first year explained: “my GP said the symptoms could easily have been induced from damp conditions. When the mould subsided, I felt much better.” Shockingly, the student had to wait almost a term before the University officials finally sorted out his damp den. “I complained to Derwent porters straight away when mould started to grow,” he said, “but they weren’t keen to help at all! They’ve sorted it in the end, but it’s taken almost a full term for them to do anything about it.”
The student described “a complete lack of communication between Derwent and Halifax.” He went on to state that, “there was confusion to which college was responsible to deal with these problems.” It has also emerged that other rooms in Eden’s Court are facing similar problems with alarming cases of damp, but thankfully not to the extent of the reported case. With charges of £82.20 per week for a standard room in Eden’s Court, the student has been left confused about what he
APATHY OVER AMSTERDAM
HITCH DITCHED BY EMILY HODGES "LACK OF INTREREST" has led to this term’s RAG hitch to Amsterdam being cancelled. The hitch was planned to take place next weekend, but only 22 students signed up. With the event needing a minimum of 30, RAG Hitch Co-ordinator Samuel Houlders told Vision that this left them with no choice but to call off the charity event entirely. “We didn’t have enough people sign up to make the trip financially viable,” Houlders admitted. H o w e v e r,
Charities Officer Jamie Tyler has said that he is “not disappointed” with students’ lack of interest. “If we’d gone ahead with the hitch we would have made a loss to RAG... hitches have run before and made losses.” RAG usually run three every hitches year, to Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris, to raise money for their beneficiaries. The hitches are usually popular with students planning on taking part in the Hitch to Morocco at Easter. The RAG com-
mittee are now looking into alternatives to the Amsterdam hitch. A smaller hitch to Edinburgh later in the term has been suggested, as has a ‘Jailbreak’ event, where the aim is for students to hitch as far away from York as they can in 24 hours. The cancelling of the hitch follows the success of this years RAG week. Tyler confirmed that so far the total raised stands at £3151.72, with lots more still to be counted. York Come Dancing alone raised over £1000.
is actually paying for. The University has stated that, “an investigation was carried out as soon as problems with mould were reported last term. This revealed that the likely cause was condensation due to poor ventilation.” But according to the residents, it’s an “ongoing problem… the only solution is to replace all the windows.” Despite damp and mould effecting the accommodation for the last few years, the University has yet to solve the problem, despite the damaging consquences for students' health.
HOUSES OF HORRORS BY MARTIN WILLIAMS
O U T R AG E D STUDENTS in Derwent have spoken out after the University left them freezing in the cold for over a week when college heating broke. The University claims to make urgent repairs within 24 hours, according to the Residents’ Handbook, a target that they missed by 144 hours. Because of the Uni’s slow response, the sub-zero temperatures brought on colds and sleepless nights. A first-year Chemistry student said, “it’s really unacceptable! We are in a very vulnerable position because we can’t do anything about it if something goes wrong.” To add insult to injury, two-thirds of their fridges broke at the same time – a repair job that should take four hours, but instead
took four days. “We’ve lost about £100 worth of food. We are students, we can’t afford this!” The students have received no apology or explanation for the scandalous delays. There have also been reports of slow responses when Goodricke C Block transformed into an accommodation sewer recently. Beth, a resident of C Block told of stinking water shooting up through the carpet and bad odours spreading through the lobbies. “It was really nasty to walk through that every day,” she said. Sub-standard accommodation conditions across campus are leaving many students worried for their welfare and health, and wondering exactly where their rent is going.
EMBARASSING LOSS AT CAMPUS CIRCUS
CIRQUE-LING THE DRAIN
BY NICOLA CHAPMAN CIRQUE DE KIRK, the socalled “campus event of the year,” saw its night diminish quickly due to a damagingly poor turnout. Figures from the event suggest a massive loss of around £1,500. The event was organised by Halifax, Goodricke and James colleges, each promising that it was going to be “amazing.” With tickets at a reasonable £5 and “all the stops pulled out,” Cirque de Kirk sounded like a promising evening.
Reports imply that the loss was due to the fact that the venue, The Roger Kirk Centre, was just too expensive for the turnout. One first year Goodricke resident said: “It was just quiet. I think the majority of people there were from Goodricke even though it was an event for Halifax and James as well.” She added, “It was nothing compared to the event in Freshers’ Week that was at the Roger Kirk Centre. I think this time only half of the
people turned up". The event at the Roger Kirk Centre advertised a night of “clowns, candyfloss and cheapo drinks” with DJs SimonSays and Mike Brown there to provide the entertainment. None of the organisers were available for comment. Consequently, rumours have also spread regarding the all-college event planned for week 10, with reports that BOTH Derwent and Vanbrugh have pulled out.
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
Harassed staff member speaks out:
I AM NOT A RACIST BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN
ACCUSATIONS OF HARASSMENT have been made by a University employee, after an outcry was raised over a photograph he posted on Facebook. The staff member claims he is being persecuted because of his stance on the Gaza conflict. He believes that it is for this reason that the photograph he posted has been labeled by some parties as “antiSemitic.” Andrew Collingwood, who has a non-academic position in the Biology department, told Vision: “The image was clearly found by an individual searching for a reason to label me an anti-Semite.” “I regard this as the latest move in a campaign to harass me at work because of my connection to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign” The photograph in ques-
BY RUTH GALLIE
tion was one of 246 posted pictures that the staff member had taken at a protest in York against the war in Gaza. But Jewish Society president Simon Winkler described the photo as “fundamentally racist and definitely perpetrating race hate.” He has also suggested Collingwood resign from his additional position as a harassment advisor. Collingwood insists that the photograph, which depicts a cartoon of the Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, dressed as a witch, would never been posted “if it occurred to me that it would cause offence.” In the cartoon Livni is shown uttering the words “Anti-Semitic! Anti-Semitic! Anti-Semitic!” while thinking “Oh, ****!! They No Longer Fear The Magic Word.” Nouse ran a story on their website labelling Collingwood as a ‘racist’, which Collingwood says “deeply offended
BY EMILY HODGES
?: the c ontrove rsial pi
and upset” him. A poll accompanying the story, asking readers to vote on whether Collingwood should be resign, has been labelled “insensitive” by some observers. Nouse editor Henry James Foy responded, "‘Nouse runs its online polls as a way to objectively gauge campus opinion... to determine whether students felt that his position was still tenable in light of claims that his actions were racist." In a statement, the University has defended Collingwood, saying: “The University adheres strongly to the principle of freedom of speech, and we respect absolutely the right of individuals to be free from harassment” However, YUSU have condemned the “clearly objectionable cartoon.” “Facebook is a personal tool, but - with the University running campaigns warn-
ing students to be prudent in its usage - staff must also be mindful of what they publish for other members of this multi-cultural campus to see, especially considering their elevated position within the community.” Jewish Society president Simon Winkler told Vision: "If he has freedom of speech to post such a photo, I have the same right to criticise it." He added: "He does not seem to apoligise, yet depicts this as a vendetta against him claiming that this is an attempt to harass him. I feel he shows no real regret for the offence and hurt he has caused to my members." Despite Collingwood’s claims that he is being harassed, both the Student Support Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission declined to comment.
UP IN ARMS
STUDENTS PLAN to express their disgust with the University’s investment in arms with a “loud and colourful” protest this Friday. York Amnesty has organized the protest in support of YUSU’s motion to lobby the University to adopt an ethical investment policy. “Uneconomical, corrupt, socially detrimental, why do it,” Amnesty have said of arms investment on their Facebook group. 1300 students have already signed a petition condemning the university’s arms investment. This petition will be handed to the University’s Finance Office at Heslington Hall on the day of the protest. The protest follows recent figures released by the “Campaign against the Arms Trade” organisation, which
show that the University of York has increased its shareholdings in BAE systems, one of the World’s largest arms produce, from £644,371 to £713,803 in the past year. Amnesty hope that the protest will put pressure on the University to adopt the Ethical Investment Policy (drafted over the last few years in collaboration with a group of students). The policy is now scheduled to be brought before the university Council for formal adoption in the summer term.
The group has been seeking the support of lecturers and other University Officials for their open letter. T h e letter states: “Students have been protesting against the University’s investment policy for more than three years. Despite the University’s agreement to
draft an ethical investment policy in collaboration with students, proposed changes have yet to be implemented. “Instead of encouraging student responsibility by taking their concerns and work seriously, the University has followed a contrary path and increased its shareholdings in BAE systems since 2007 by almost £70,000. This makes York the fourth biggest university investor in the UK”. YUSU President Tom Scott has said of Amnesty’s actions: “We have active policy supporting ethical investment, and while as a Union we’re not actively or directly involved in this particular protest, a UGM motion tells us that, on the whole, students agree with some of the sentiments being expressed at the protest.”
CHAOS HIT campus after countless students lost their work in a major computer system crash recently. A power-cut had caused every library computer to shut down, leaving essay-writers fuming. One student told Vision “I’m so angry! I’ve lost two hours of work and I was about to print it too!” The library apologised to students but couldn’t guarantee that it would not happen again. Christine Ellwood, the library’s Head of Information Systems said “I am sorry that students have lost work after the incident on Wednesday.” She blamed the PC pandemonium on “a power outage across the campus,” and claimed that other “individual PCs across campus were affected.” Although the total number of people affected is unknown, second-year History student Harry Pearse, described the scene in the library as “a complete shambles.” “So many people here have lost their work and are pissed off.” “Students use these computers to write important essays and presentations, their work shouldn’t be at risk,” he said. “Why doesn’t the library have some kind of back up?” Central systems like the library catalogue were unaffected by the power-cut, as they are protected by an uninterruptible power supply. Individual computers do not benefit from this protection, however.
BY MARTIN WILLIAMS
"FUN AND COLOURFUL" Magnapow were crowned champions at the final of this year’s Battle of the Bands, held on Saturday. The instrumental dance band were announced winners after beating off stiff competition. Lead guitarist Dave Pearce said: “It was so much fun, it was really pretty awesome.” Magnapow stood out from the other bands with their distinct image: “It was all about neon and bright colours and fun, without being too ravy,” band leader Jonny Sims told Vision. “The sunglasses came from Ben our vocalist – he has about a bin bag full of sunglasses.” But he admits, “one of the judges wasn’t a fan of the genre of the look.” “All the bands this year were so good,” he said. “The quality of bands has definitely gone up.” Magnapow is now set for big things, starting with three days in a studio where they hope to record all their music. “We haven’t properly discussed the future though,” Simms said. Second place in Battle of the Bands was taken by Tin Pan Valley with Gurmeet Singh’s Percussion Buffet coming third. Also competing was Little Jimmy’s Flaming Funk Orchestra and The Goslings.
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
VISION BRINGS YOU ALL THE LATEST ELECTION GOSSIP
WHO-SU? TOM LANGRISH
Bretts is a dedicated member of YUSU and close friend of current S&F Officer Matt Burton. The enthusisastic third-year will be a difficult candidate to beat.
Following a successful term as Academic and Welfare Officer, Leyland may be running for the new Academic role. Her popularity seems to have put off CHARLIE LEYLAND any challengers.
As LGBT Officer Humphrys has already got experience of dealing with welfare which issues, will help him in what looks likely to be a fiercly BEN HUMPHRYS fought contest.
PULLING POWER t c a r t e r e s u o N "out of order" article
been created, with the hope that 2009 will see a more efficient union. Academic and Welfare Officer has been split into two seperate roles of Academic Officer and Welfare Officer. Meanwhile, the new Student Activities Officer merges the roles of Societies and Communications and Development and Charities. Vision brings you all the latest tips on who's standing for what.
President of Fusion and graphics editor of Bad Taste, Ngwena is popular on campus. He's outside of the YUSU clique, which could be an advantage.
Alan Carr looka-like Bushby is not as recognisable a campus figure as his rivals, but is prominent in the rowing club and URY and may yetet prove a CHARLES BUSHBY surprise winner.
As YUSU Ents Officer and Alcuin Vice Chair, Durkin has already himself proved capable of dealing with pressure. His experextensive ince may clinch deal. the him
Halifax Former chair Sharp has recently been involved in securing JJs a new conservatory. If he gets campus' biggest college behind him, he could be a formidable opponent.
Hard-workingCurrent Soc.s and Kinchin has proved Comm.s Officer, herself approachShanks is likely able and friendly to follow in Burduring her time footsteps ton's as YUSU Training and run for a secOfficer. Has the ond term. Clearpotential to knock ly he is not ready Shanks off his to say goodbye to YUSU just yet. RHIANNA KINCHIN p e r c h .
Described as "Mr YUSU," Langrish does everything. Current Policy and Campaigns Officer, B, Henry's saviour and Senate Chair... the list goes on. A hot favourite.
SERVICES & FINANCE
ope n Rum our mil l in ove rdr ive as nom ina tio ns
RUMOURS ARE rife across campus about which students are standing in the upcoming YUSU elections. With voting opening in Week 9, it will soon be anchors away for pirate president Tom Scott and a chance for someone other than Matt Burton to step into the size-14 shoes of Services and Finance Officer. The restructuring of YUSU following a damning governance review last year means that three new positions have
HAVE YOUR:SAY Nominations close Friday Week 7 Voting is online from Monday to Friday of Week 9
Another ex-LGBT Pallas Officer, ran for Academic and Welfare Officer in 2008 and is said to be having another crack at getting a sabbatical position this year.
Tanning Soc's Jenny Coyle's welfare experience includes promoting safer alternatives to sun-beds to students. As aVanbrugh JCRC member, she is likely to have strong support from her college.
BY MARTIN WILLIAMS IN A BREACH of YUSU election rules, Nouse were last week forced to remove an article that unfairly spotlighted the potential candidacy of Tim Ngwena for president. The offending article was published online in a manner that current YUSU President Tom Scott described as “out of order.” Scott had to phone Nouse to ensure it was removed as soon as possible. Being caught up in controversy before campaigning begins is likely to act as a blow to Ngwena’s campaign if he decides to run. However, luckily for Ngwena, Tom Scott revealed: “I don’t intend to sanc-
tion the potential candidate’s campaign.” Nouse reportedly acted quickly in deleting the article but have yet to issue a formal apology. There have also been claims of foul play on theyorker.co.uk where anonymous comments have been promoting a potential Welfare Officer candidate. One comment describes the promotion as “shameless self-advertising which is obviously being done by her and her friends.” Breaching election rules has come to be an ongoing problem in York. A second round of elections are currently taking place for the GSA after candidates were accused of cheating.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT BY RUTH GALLIE
SERIOUS CONCERNS about the future of Student Action’s Kid’s Camp project have been raised by the prospect of a restructured YUSU. Kids’ Camp has now been running for over 40 years. The week long project gives disadvantaged children who are desperately in need of a break the chance to have a holiday. Rumours were fuelled by announcements of the restructuring of YUSU next year. The merging of the role of Student Development and Charities Officer with Societies and Communications Officer led to concerns that the extra work-load for one officer may result in the project being dropped. Although YUSU has acknowledged that some structures may have to change, Vision was assured that there are no intentions of Kids’ Camp being dropped. Student Development and Charities Officer, Jamie Tyler, who is currently in charge of the project, said: “After Easter Kids’ Camp I am planning to meet with various people (including the council, social workers, university staff and students) to come up with a working model for Kids’ camp to ensure that it runs in the future.” Tyler added: “It is a project that I’m very passionate about and I will do my utmost to secure a long term future for it.” Societies and Communications Officer Rory Shanks said: “Whether or not the camp is directly run by the Student Activities Officer is irrelevant, but what I do think is important is that the new role spear-heads a strategy that will allow a studentled camp to continue in the future” Shanks hit back at allegations that the new Student Activities role will be overstretched, claiming that the establishment of a new Student Activities Office will free up the new Officer “to dedicate more time to some of the strategic elements of the role’s remit” This has been welcomed as good news by Student Action. One member told Vision: “I’m so relieved the rumours aren’t true”. The first year Sociology student added: “I’m really looking forward to taking part this Easter. I think Kids’ Camp is great. The children benefit so much from it. It’s just such a great thing to be involved with.”
Tuesday February 25th, 2009
You’ll find there’s more to LIFE at KPMG. Quite simply, things are bigger here. There’s more of everything; more development, more ambition, more international opportunities and a lot more work/life balance too. So, whatever you want from LIFE, visit www.kpmg.co.uk/careers and find out when we’re visiting your campus.
COMMENT & DEBATE THE VOICE OF
ork University media has traditionally remained clear from the type of witch hunt that has been so prominent amongst callous national media types of late-until now that is. The harrasment of university staff members by some quarters of the campus media, and certain societies is vomit inducing. Whilst the cartoon admittedly sails close to the wind when it comes to what is acceptable, it still occupies the realms of satire. What is more, it is hardly like the guy drew the thing himself, he merely took a photo of somebody else's work. It is a sad state of affairs when an innocent employee can’t have free reign over his own Facebook profile, without having this 'ist' and that 'ism' thrown his way.
ou all thought the days of ‘Cell Block C’ were over. Oh no - Oh no - Oh no. The appalling standards of univeristy accomodation, exposed by York Vision are a timely reminder of the lengths to which our money is wasted. Whilst student money continues to allow Brian Cantor to take home a steadily increasing, horribly disproportionate salary, students continue to live in squalor. The layers of bureacracy that stop usually responsive college JCRCs from helping their students as quickly as possible, were in this case very close to being severely damaging.
es it's that time again, in three weeks we will be presented with the identities of the new six most recogniseable faces on campus,. Yet if we are being honest York does not really do democracy very well. After all, last year we decided that free cuttlesses for all were of greater priority than the future of college bars. The election of Tom Scott was as ostensible a show of student apathy as we are ever likely to see. Yet perversely his presence ensured that YUSU elections had the best proportionate turnout of any university in the country, Unfortunately I do not believe that most York students give a toss about their students union, it is wrongly percieved as a distant clique, notoriously difficult to enter. Furthermore many students can find the electoral process a little intrusive, with visits from random strangers ensueing at an almost constant rate-. The reasons for the existence of such sentiment are numerate, so as a guide to avoid it, I hereby present the inaugaral ‘ Mike Regan’s electoral handbook’. If you don’t see hopeful candidates traversing campus with this document in hand then I believe that we are in serious danger of having York Univeristy’s first Penguin President. Despite such an eventuality being naturally heralded the dawn of a new era and a great day for freedom- we really
don’t want that to happen.
1.) Student Politics is not comparable to National Politics... I remember walking down the impossibly ugly walkway that emenates from the library and seeing the following obscenity emblazoned across a campaign poster; “I will be your Obama”... Erm no Nadz, no you will not. Seriously, the sheer misguided cheek of comparing a student to a man of such prostigous skill and near messianic oratorial ability is downright ridiculous. The President of YUSU does not need to have students frothing at the mouths with their perfectly timed oral delivery, they just need to be competant. Some sensible, serious policies and a decent level of approachability should really be enough. 2.) It really is not the be all and end all... Whilst at risk of temporarily inducting the Yorker into the realms of the campus establishment, I give you this extract of an anonymous comment on their website:“Alright that’s enough, this person is clearly breaking campaign rules by being advertised in week 6, which is an issue that I will be raising with YUSU." Let me give you all some context. This was posted in response to a post, that simply read “Jenny Coyle for Welfare”. Does this really constitute a breach of campaign rules? Considering only Dan Taylor and Jason Rose regularly
read the Yorker, I hardly see that this individual is stealing a march on her opponents. The over bureacratised and over officious approach of some only serves to alienate the many. 3.) Grow a thick Skin... In contrast to Matt Oliver’s whining on the opposite page, student politicians are not immune from criticism. For the most part YUSU officers perform commendable roles with more than a hint of competance. Yet when they do things wrong, it should be highlighted. Imagine if having punched a student, Grace Fletcher Hackwood was then given an easy ride by the campus media, having made her position untennable by punching a student. If you are even considering running for election, beware that you will be suddenly thrown into the accusing light of our collective gaze. 4.) You can change all your policies after being elected... Ok I didn’t really expect Brian Cantor to be permanently faced with impending fire from a cannon, however I do a feel a tad
conned. Tom Scott was elected in a pirate costume, only to decide he was ditching the guise completely in order to undertake the pursuit of sensible objectives, on which he was not elected. However cast your eyes back to rule one and consider that in student politics the nationally essential concepts of legitimacy and the mandate do not carry the same weight. Campaign policies about catching peoples eye enough for them to remember your name, when taking office it is responding to minor mundanities, and not implementing those sweeping pre-meditated grand schemes that will take up your time. 5.) Returning to halls of residence three times a day to “see if students have voted” will only serve to diminish your chances of victory... Some students are just not interested in student politics. Their cynicism is unlikely to be diluted by consistent intrusive interruptions that emmit more than a whiff of desperation. Trust me, the candidate that ‘comes round for a chat’ will most likely finish last. Students are more likely to vote if campaigning does not become untowardly invasive. So there we are, follow these five simple rules with rigid adherance and you will prevail. Should a candidate believe that they did so, and yet still victory was not secured then a full refund may be obtained.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR FRIENDS?
Love it or Lemur it
ow much the world can change between issues of Vision. The impact of Tom Daltas’s hunger strike has been somewhat lessened by Vision’s own Mike Regan and Rachel Knox’s pointless apple diet. So much so that the only way to raise money and awareness for your particular cause has reached the ridiculous and heady heights of… dressing as a Lemur! First year Patricia Scurfield is forgoing the usual sponsored silences or cake selling to raise £2000 for charity Azafady and is instead dressing as a Lemur for a whole week. Vision doesn’t want to be in the presence of the smell when Scurfield finally takes the outfit off.
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
ust like all first dates, it was extremely awkward – the forcedconversation, finding out about each other, a few too many drinks that make you think that you’ll be lifelong companions. Until the morning when you wake up, bleary eyed over the breakfast table, picking at food you don’t really want and trying to think of something to say. But after a while, you spend more time together and get used to each other. And for a few months, it’s perfect: the honeymoon period. But then you get to The Next Big Step. Living together. Are we really ready? Is it too soon? My friends and I have just
started looking for a flat. We amazingly managed to leap gracefully over the hurdle of “who’s living with whom” and now there are six of us are looking for a house. Making an eighteen month commitment to each other to be friends; to be sympathetic to those with exams looming while still being up for a good night out; promising not to be too much of a washing up Nazi but making them promise not to let their dirty plates fester on the counter. The blind date that was Freshers’ week wanders back in to my mind and I realise I’ve only known these people for three and a half months. Yet I’m already taking a step that I haven’t
even made with my boyfriend of two years. I guess it’s something all students have to do, and of course it’s taken for granted that everyone will find a group to live with, find a house to live in, and live happily ever after (at least for a year). But why does it have to happen so soon? Next year doesn’t start until October - a good nine months away, and yet we’re being told by pushy estate agents and
"Living together. Are we really ready? landlords that if we don’t sign soon, we’ll end up living in a squat next year. That said, we visited our first house yesterday and it wasn’t much better. Two years worth of dust on the stairs, mould on the bathroom wall and a half painted kitchen. And this, we’re told, is one of the more upmarket houses: six double bedrooms and two bath-
rooms (the second bathroom was a toilet in a toiletsized room: no sink and no bath). Who made the decision to find a house this early, when we’re not going to move in until the summer, and most likely won’t even live in until October? Why can’t we wait until after the Easter break, when we’ve all had another three and half months to get to know each other, find out about each other and just what kind of crazy we really are? Students are being forced to go too far in into these new relationships far too soon. Shouldn’t we be allowed to test-run our new family for a bit longer than three months, before we tie ourselves down to a commitment six times that in length and a lot moreexpensive? I don’t seem to have a choice. Luckily for me, I love my new ‘family’, but I wonder if everyone else is the same? Either way, thehouse-hunting goes on.
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
In this issue's guest column, YUSU Policies and Campaigns Ofﬁcer Tom Langrish shares his thoughts, whilst Matt Oliver waxes lyrical over the mistakes made by the campus press...
MATT OLIVER S
tudent politics is boring. Shocking revelation, I know. Nonetheless, very little would happen at this University without it, but honestly, the process is terminally dull. Anyone who argues otherwise deserves to be slapped around the face with a wet fish. Despite this, for a reason beyond my comprehension, our student newspapers have a fixation with student politics that makes Freud look balanced. And, just like Freud the newspapers are only concerned with one end of the process. If the result isn’t perfect you can guarantee that you’re going to get ripped apart. It is, after all, a lot more like “real journalism” to be cynical and critical than it is to praise effort, intention or god forbid ambition. Student papers are no more about real journalism than student politics is about real politics and Ziggy’s is about real romance. That’s not to say everyone should get an easy ride. If people screw up they should expect criticism, but by the same token if someone does a good job, it doesn’t kill anyone to say so. At the end of each year the newspapers get the Guardian Student Newspaper Awards as recognition of their efforts and talents, but at the end of this year JCRC Chairs got a piece of journalism that was is execrably off the mark.
TOM LANGRISH F
or many years now the Heslington East campus development (Hes East for short) has been about as real, from a student perspective, as the fictional world of Narnia but this October it will become a reality. 600 beds in the re-located Goodricke, 2 new departments and a hub building will all go live over the next academic year. But how will this large-scale expansion impact on the University? On the surface, it would seem that this could only be a good thing for the university: The increase in beds will allow more 2nd and 3rd years to live on campus, our two newest departments will have their own base from which to grow and the increasing campus claustrophobia on ‘Hes West’ will, hopefully, be relived a few degrees. Let us not forget too that these developments are part of a much wider program of expansion that will eventually see, amongst other things, Langwith College join Goodricke in their exodus to Hes East, a new Sports Centre and, dare I say it, a student venue to rival the likes of Leeds. However, there are a few niggling worries in the back of my head that seem to get stronger as the march towards October picks up pace. First and foremost, will the beds allocated to stu-
Until the papers start changing their presentation of student politics people are never going to believe that it’s worthwhile (I’ve given up on “interesting”). I never could understand the logic in members of the SU and JCRCs being accused of acting like politicians when it is the constant attention of the papers that turns normal students into “campus celebrities” and quasi-politicians. Far too often news writers would write an article and then ask me a quote knowing exactly what they wanted me to say to fit in with their spiel, rather than accurately report an event. If I answer a loaded question carefully then I am acting like a politician, and if I am acting like a politician I am a self-important, pretentious tosser who has got ideas above his station and completely forgotten that he is actually a student. Well I can assure you that student politicians haven’t got the entire market on self-important, pretension covered. Of course, the whole thing is intensely hypocritical; it would be crazy to think otherwise. Writers for student newspapers need a target for the blunt instrument that is their wit and student politics is the perfect target. As we learn our jobs with a constantly
"I didn't run forVanbrugh Chair for the politics..." changing set of circumstances our mistakes get pilloried. As they make their fledgling attempts at journalism no one is sat around churning out articles about how their efforts are inac-
dents be ready on time? The University assures us that new Goodricke is on schedule and I believe them. If we look at the track record of building projects at our University being completed on schedule, my belief turns to doubt. I (and I hope the University too) don’t want to see another group of students shipped off to the Travelodge or forced on to camp beds whilst they should be settling in to campus life. I know everything will be done to ensure Goodricke is built on schedule but the University needs a 'plan b' and it needs it sooner, rather than later. The biggest problem with last term’s accommodation ‘crisis’ (this one wasn’t caused by building delays) was that many students, parents & College staff did not know what was going on until the start of term and beyond. Some students were arriving without being told their accommodation allocation and forced to spend their first few nights in a state of uncertainty, confusion and emo-
"The developments of the next year are...exciting." tional unease. Now, this may seem more like a rant than a comment piece but I strongly believe that all those concerned cannot let what happened this year happen again in the event of Goodricke not being ready. This needs to be a priority. Predictions of accommodation gloom aside, what is the fate of Goodricke College as a community? Is Goodricke to
curate, inarticulate and disinteresting. Nor really should we, we’re all students, and you only get better with practise. No one comments that everything is littered with typos or that all too often they have fallen into the trap of portraying opinions that are fashionable rather than actually their own. Of course not. All the people that might
"It is, after all, a lot more like 'real journalism' to be cynical and critical..." consider commenting are doing something altogether more worthwhile or are otherwise occupied writing on how the JCRC Chair of this or that college can’t do their job properly, as if the person writing has done that job particularly successfully in the past and therefore is perfectly qualified to comment. That is not to say I think that this comment piece is a worthy piece of writing, far from it, I am definitely no expert, nor am I blind to the irony that I am writing in a student newspaper just as I criticise it. To be fair it’s not just JCRCs who get put under this uber-critical microscope. I recently heard a conversation where a member of a student newspaper predicted that a certain production on campus would get slated for “trying to achieve more than they can realistically pull off ”, and this was before anyone had seen the performance. Forgive me if I’m wrong but surely we should be lauding ambition and particularly an excess of it, right? Wrong. “Students need to know whether something is value for their money!” My feeling is most
stay one of the greats on our campus or is its college spirit to be wiped away as it makes its move over to Hes East. If this University is really committed to its collegiate roots then it cannot let this happen. The task of creating a ‘21st Century College’ is not achieved through bedrooms alone. They must ensure that there are suitable social facilities & amenities to cater for 600 Goodricke members if the important sense of com-
"Hes East has about as real as the world of Narnia." munity is not to be lost. Adequate support must also be given to the Goodricke JCRC to help run a great Freshers’ week in such new surroundings. The fate of the current setting for Goodricke College also needs to be decided. Its accommodation blocks, buildings and bar all have an uncertain future. We may well see the first ‘super college’ on campus with James taking over Goodricke’s accommodation. Although that is a possibility, I feel a better option would be a sharing of the wealth between James and Wentworth and maybe giving Vanbrugh a slice of the pie too. One thing I am certain on is that all the space currently used by students should be maintained: the bar, the common room and the dining hall all need to stay available to students. Despite being an Alcuinite, I have always found the Goodricke JCR a perfect place to catch the lunchtime showing of Neighbours or marveled at the range of societies that use the dining hall to rehearse. These venues, enjoyed by many, must not be allowed to fall to offices or conference space.
students can work it out for themselves, that’s why everyone, newspaper editors included, think it’s incredibly important to keep our student newspapers free. Obviously, it doesn’t matter all that much, but I’m sure the committee of PantSoc will agree it’s not the greatest feeling in the world to have the product of months of hard work slated by someone who has absolutely no qualifications. What’s more, when a newspaper decides that we are inept, that viewpoint is, more often than not stored on the internet for any future employers to find if they simply search your name. I certainly didn’t run for Vanbrugh Chair for the politics and I hope I did a good job. Whether I did or not is for the members of my college to decide, not some journalist for a student paper who knows nothing about what he or she is writing, has never met me, and has never been part of my college. My point is this: (lost as it has been under streams of vitriol) none of us are experts on anything yet. I have studied English for almost three years, but that doesn't give me the knowledge or the right to critique the essays of my fellow Literature students. So what the hell makes a student journalist qualified to talk about student politics like they have some sort of ‘authority’? And of more concern, how often have you been slapped around the head with a wet fish if you think that people are genuinely interested in reading about it? My thanks to Vision for allowing me to rant at will, it’s appreciated and my observations are definitely not aimed at every student journalist because there are many for whom I have a great amount of respect.
The developments of the next year are certainly exciting and will benefit the University in the long run. But as happens all too often these days, the long-term benefits are made by those of us whose short-term future lies at this University, losing out. Hes East, despite being a potential minefield of problems, has its future laid out. It is our part of campus, Hes West, where the real uncertainty lies. I can point out the problems but we, as a student population, need to decide together what we want the solution to be.
Langrish during the 2008 elections
COMMENT & DEBATE
Previously a symbol of the Universities variety, Campus media is nosediving towards monopolisation. Harry Pearse is worried...
HARRY PEARSE I
’m getting a little worried. The greatest bastion of free consciousness; the most visible celebration of difference is being attacked in York. The level of press monopolisation now exhibited on our campus is prohibited in the real world. Despite the Murdoch conglomerate’s attempts to gobble up Britain’s media, our regulatory stipulations have so far remained resolute bulwarks. A diversified media has innumerable values. Divergent opinions, critiques, perspectives and prejudices ensure a salutary crucible of information and knowledge is widely accessible. Scrutiny is more probing, accountability more acute and partial mantras aren’t bluntly inculcated, if the purveyors of news and voyeurs of power are widely dispersed and varied in character. Picture the bland Toryism ramified by
a Telegraph print monopoly, the SkySportsNews-ification of television and the extinction of small, niche publications. A world devoid of difference is one bereft of vitality, interest, ebullience and progress. Mercifully, such a fate has thus far been avoided. However, true to our bizarreness and misplaced sense of exclusivity, the student body at York has managed to indulge in a folly that is legislated against in the world of real people. Our campus has three regularly printed publications that keep us apprised of the most recent tedium to affect YUSU, the results of various sporting extravaganzas and latest fashions(?!) to dazzle York students. Whatever their foibles or individual shortcomings, they were, courtesy of their mutual independence, all different in character and style. Shackled only by occasional YUSU tetchiness, these papers were largely free. For a tiny Uni like ours, three was pretty good going. Students were able to peruse the pages of each and nurture
preferences according to personal taste. Better still, if one had a penchant for writing, (or an arrogant belief that their opinions were worth reading!), a suitable repository for their prose was available. Regrettably, this looks to have changed of late. Two out of three of York’s student publications now operate at the behest of one editor, the inexorable disadvantages of which will become almost immediately apparent.
"A diversified media has innumerable values." Inevitably there will be a degree of stylistic convergence. Contained within a campus populace are vastly different preferences concerning the aesthetic or substantive orientation of a student rag. Previously, we had three different looks and types of reportage. That will no longer be the case. Fewer tastes will be catered for and consequently, we will have fewer people, and certainly fewer types of people, getting involved in student media. The myriad perspectives that shape a colourful student milieu is at risk of being bludgeoned into homogeneity. Given the facilitative, opportunity expanding nature of university, this seems to be a great loss.
In this particular case, the already pervasive influence of York’s white posh boys will broaden to the detriment of those whose daddies don’t own yachts, or whose predilections extend beyond YUSU brownnosing and wannabee avant-guard. They will set our collective agendas, and render campus media the preserve of one student type. The perceived expansion of a clique invariably acts as an obstacle to those who perceive themselves not to be a part of it. For the professional and creative reasons listed above, the campus’ media would profit from divergence and independence, as is the case in society at large. But in a University context, having varied, approachable and inclusive media outlets also prevents students from being pigeonholed, providing them with an environment in which their differences are acknowledged. In turn, those differences are encouraged to flourish through active participation in the production of something that embraces ones personal sentiments. Uniting the press under common editorship overly privileges certain interests, quashing the expression and opportunities of others. It’s harmful to the distributors and recipients of news.
Too skinny to don the clip on tie himself, Daniel Hewitt asks why the Doorsafe uniform transforms the most ordinary students into meglomaniacs?
DANIEL HEWITT C
onsistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. Oscar Wilde could not have coined a more apt phrase to describe most college, and in fact most university events at York. Though the themes may change, the content remains depressingly familiar, and however different I am told to dress up or dress down, my night consists of the same activities with the same people drinking the same flat, unfulfilling beer. There is however a contented acceptance on my part that this has and always will be the case. My point is this: considering the mundane nature of such evenings, and the distinct lack of expectation on the parts of the attendants, why does security at such events, i.e. Doorsafe, treat the clientele like drugged-up football hooligans on a stag do to an underground rave? Whilst being at York, I have never once witnessed a fight at a college event, not one. Yet in contrast Doorsafe employers go about their business as if it will ‘kick off ’ at any moment, as though the tension between students, usually from the same college, is so high that
violence is an inevitable consequence and that security must prepare by treating each attendant is if he or she we a potential suspect. Though I may not have seen a single act of considerable violence during my time at this university, I have seen countless people, sometimes friends, thrown out of events, told to ‘calm down’ or warned that they are being watched. It seems that at every college event I have attended recently I have seen arguments between security and students, students who I know are not violent idiots, are by no means so intoxicated that they are a danger to the event and are far from the kind of people who would cause an ounce of trouble for their peers or Doorsafe employees. It is becoming an all too familiar sight, watching a fellow student pleading with security to explain why they have been removed from an event. There is more contempt shown towards students by fellow students in uniform than their is shown by bouncers in York city centre. Far from being reasonable, approachable or even civil, traits you would expect to find in student-led security, they are obnoxious, unreasonable and at times needlessly aggressive. I must say I by no means speak for all Doorsafe employees. Many of these people for
which I say such things I know quite well, and far from being like the unflattering individuals I previously depicted, they are in fact polite and approachable human beings. In seminars, they are genuinely decent people, in Vanbrugh Bar they say hello to me in a pleasant manner. It is something in that all-black uniform and Britney Spears ear piece which transforms them into power-mad brutes hell bent on ruining our evening. Now I am not naive enough to proclaim that every student who has ever been thrown out of a campus event was innocent. However I would love to be at the security briefing for such events: “We’re going to have some nutters in here tonight lads, so stay on your toes and take no prisoners. Its every man for himself.” Students at this university are on the whole not violent or intimidating, yet the treatment of students by employees of Doorsafe suggests there exists a contrary opinion within some quarters. The fact that I have seen as many people thrown out of Gallery and Ziggy’s as events on campus is I believe not a reflection on the behaviour of students but on the rare few whose job it is to keep college bars ‘secure’ every Friday and Saturday night. They rinse their power for all it is worth, having quiet words in the ears of individuals, staring intimidating at any males standing in a group of more than three, as if at anytime one will turn to the other, plastic beer cup in hand, and attempt
to thinly slice him to death before sniffing a line of coke off his blood-covered carcass. The close-knit campus in which we reside lends itself to mutual friendships, resulting in most attendants of campus events knowing each other one way or the other. You are unlikely to fight with people who you play in the same sports team as. York University’s lack of violence is due to the nature of campus life, not to the good and honest work of Doorsafe. Far from being good or honest, they treat their position as an excuse for exercising their thirst for power, using the uniform as a justification for acting both unprofessionally and disrespectfully. Nice by day, Doorsafe by night.
Tuesday February 24th 2009
THE BEAR I
t may come as a shock to you, but when writing a Comment article I will often look to Nouse for inspiration. Obviously not for writing tips (I’m pretty sure I’d find a stoned amoeba more inspiring), but for their infuriating contentions, which inspire anger in my heart and energy in my pen hand. Last time I did, I stumbled upon a ... wait for it ... genuinely interesting article. The writer in question was discussing student politics and how we might learn something from our more politically-charged European cousins. Strangely, I found myself largely in agreement with the article. Only one or two lines in the piece prevented me from leaving it at that. When the writer attempted to link YUSU voter apathy and College elections amongst students to a “general lack of responsibility or awareness to political issues shown by the majority of students at York”, I felt a little part of my soul dying. It is absolutely absurd to compare campus politics to international, national, or even regional, politics. I view myself as being quite a politicised person, yet I also couldn’t give a toss about YUSU or College elections. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the work that YUSU does for students and societies, however I also appreciate that there is only so much a Student Union can do for its students and there is little scope for real change. When I read candidates’ posters listing their policies if elected, I don’t see opportunities for major change to the way the Student Union works, I merely see slight alterations. My voting basically depends upon who I know and like that’s running for office. The result is that elections are essentially campus popularity contests. And I’m sure that a lot of apathetic students feel the same. Low voter turnout doesn’t necessarily mean that campus politics is undemocratic. As students of this University, we are all well informed of our right to vote in campus elections. A person who chooses not to vote is making an equal statement of their rights as a person who does vote. Despite wider publication of election literature, students will generally still feel apathetic towards elections. Extra publicity may take the spotlight away from other events or student protests about national or international issues, like those we have seen in recent weeks. One might propose that we make voting compulsory for York students. Such a system would be far less democratic and it’s likely that the number of abstentions would equal, if not exceed, the number of students who at the moment don’t vote at all The answer put simply is that our budding campus politicians should accept that voter turnout will always be low. Should we feel the need to express to the nation that York students are in fact highly politically minded, then more publicity should be given to our recent hunger strikers and protesters, who are surely the ones making the real political statements. (I’d be happy to receive any replies to agd503).
Tuesday February 24th, 2009
PLEASE STAY, MATT BY LIAM POPE SCRAPED KNEES AND BRUISED EGOS was the end result after a human pyramid honouring Matt Burton fell in a dramatic scene. The pyramid, organised by the ‘Students For Burton Committee,’ was meant to stand in protest at the University’s refusal to grant Burton indefinite employment. “We figured we needed a big stunt,” said Rory Shanks, director of the committee. “Obviously it wasn’t difficult to find volunteers. When word got out, we were inundated with emails pledging support – we had to turn people away!” The event was meant to conclude with each member of the pyramid displaying a placard, thus creating a grand mosaic of York’s two-term Services and Finances officer. Unfortunately, disaster ensured after a student slipped. “He was holding the placard
EMERGENCY HOTLINE BY LIMANDO RAWLEY
for Matt’s eyes,” reported Rory. After falling over 45 feet and breaking his spine, he was reported to be “greatly comforted,” by staring into Burton’s calming pupils displayed on the fallen placard. “It was the most painful experience of my life,” said the unfortunate student, “…but thankfully Matt’s eyes reminded me that there’s some good left in this cruel world.” The injured student, as yet unnamed, plans to star in a YSTV-produced documentary profiling his recovery, titled “Broken for Burton.” “I’ll be donating all profits to Burton’s cause. Although my spine may be broken in fourteen places, Matt’s integrity will never tarnish.”
CAMPUS WELFARE organisation Nightline has announced that it has set up a permanent hotline for victims of facebook rape. The relatively recent phenomenon has become rife amongst unsuspecting students who leave their facebook accounts unattended for a matter of minutes, often with traumatising consequences. Despite being established a mere 48 hours ago, the hotline has already been inundated with hundreds of calls from victims of cyber molestation. An anonymous Nightline volunteer told Vision about some of the confidential cries for help: “It really is shocking. This is a serious problem. The rapes can often be subtle and almost un-noticeable. One girl was inacurately listed as a lesbian for three days, her parents
eventually disowned her.” YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Charlie Leyland gave her support to Nightline’s campaign, she sympathised “I myself have been facebook raped and it really can be horrible. I hope this helpline finally eradicates what is a dangerous and damaging hobby.”
Tuesday February 24, 2009
Raef - The former Apprentice star faces his toughest interview yet...
Golly! What a Shambles! In the wake of the Carol Thatcher controversy, Vision's Will Wainewright takes a walk through the streets of York and is a little surprised at what he finds...
ake a walk down the Shambles, the peculiar, cobbled street that runs though the heart of York’s ancient centre, and you will find yourself surrounded by the familiar tourist’s paradise of cafes, craft shops and souvenir outlets. Look a little closer in through the windows of those souvenir outlets however, and you may be surprised at what you see. For alongside the postcards, novelty tea towels and souvenir key rings, is being sold a far more controversial set of merchandise: a range of 'golliwog' dolls. The golliwog, which origi-
'Golliwogs' were used as part of Robertson's Marmalade advertising throughout most of the twentieth century
nated in a set of Victorian stories for children by Florence Kate Upton and graced the side of Robertson’s Mar-
They are just a harmless collectable - there is no need to interpret them in a racist way. - York shop owner malade jars for most of the twentieth century, has long been a source of controversy. The golliwog character is perceived as a stereotype of black features, and it's use as a derogatory term for black people has attached racist connotations to the word that have rendered its use a taboo in the twenty-first century. With this is mind, it would take one seriously silly-sausage of a celebrity to be caught using the term to describe a black person. Step forward, Carol Thatcher. The daughter of the former Prime Minister was relaxing in the Green Room after recording an episode of hit BBC show The One Show when she reportedly used the term to describe player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. One inadequate apology and three thousand complaints later, Thatcher was removed from
her post as “roving reporter” on the show. Post Manuel-gate, she never really stood a chance. Quite why the remark could not have been dealt with inhouse isn’t clear – the BBC seems to possess a special talent for brewing up media storms at the moment – but the controversy certainly succeeded in diverting media attention back on to the touchy subject of race. Does her description of a black person as a golliwog have to be interpreted as an example of racist abuse, or is she excused by the fact that she grew up at a time when the term was more acceptable? Either way, given her high profile she should have known that her use of the word was likely to attract controversy given the stigma now attached to the term. It is undoubtedly a term so racially-charged as to render it unusable in everyday parlance. But whether the golliwog doll has any place in twentyfirst century Britain is a separate question. Though some see the dolls as a lingering, racist leftover from Britain’s colonial past, others just view the dolls as harmless collectables. Chatting to Vision, the owner of one souvenir shop defended the sale of golliwog dolls: “From our point of view they are just a collectable toy from olden times. There is no need to interpret them in a racist way. It is silly really.” And it would certainly seem harsh to brand sellers of golliwogs racist. After all, the dolls
have existed for over a century without attracting racist connotations; surely their removal from sale would be a concession of victory to the mindless racists themselves? That did not stop the Queen removing them from sale after it emerged that the dolls were being flogged as souvenirs on her Norfolk Sandringham Estate. But maybe that can be attributed to a hyper-sensitive media climate in which highprofile figures must appear whiter than white. Not so, according to Lionel Owusu, former President of York’s
I consider the term 'golliwog' to be highly offensive; the media are doing their jobs. - Former Afro-Caribbean Soc. Chair African-Caribbean Society: “I think the media are doing their job. I consider the term golliwog to be extremely offensive and the media rightly opened this public debate. If Britain’s multicultural society is to move forward cohesively, differences must be celebrated, rather than made fun of.” Owusu does however sympathise with Thatcher: “she
was the victim of a witch hunt. Prince Harry calls a fellow soldier, of equal rank, his "little Paki friend" and receives training on race and equality while Carol Thatcher gets the sack?” Though the punishments have differed, for these two figures the start to 2009 has certainly been one to forget. Their respective involvement in such high-profile race controversies may have been a source of great personal damage but it has also served to demonstrate a wider attitude of zero tolerance to racial slurs of any kind in the twenty-first century. If the Thatcher affair has achieved one thing, it is to have finally rung the death knell for poor old Golly, the doll that was dear to so many children in the last century, eight years after being retired from the side of Marmalade jars. It does seem bizarre that the toy, a harmless plaything to so many innocent children, can become an object of such heated debate. But it cannot be denied that the whole idea of the golliwog seems inappropriate and outdated in a twentyfirst century society that aspires to toleration and respect. Whether or not Carol Thatcher used the word with racist intentions, the moral of the story appears to be: don’t use the word 'golliwog' or you will get into trouble. Oh, and if you are desperate for your golliwog fix, best get down to the Shambles now. They probably won’t be there in five years.
Can we Love without Borders? LGBT Officers Sarah Fennell and Ben Humphrey reveal the reasons behind their latest campaign...
s part of our 'Love Without Borders' campaign, last Wednesday we hosted an event that examined LGBT rights around the world and were reminded of the stories which inspired us to run this campaign. The story of Luke*, a York student who featured in Vision last term, being forced to return home to an uncertain future in a country where homosexuality is illegal. The story of Staceyann Chin, a poet from Jamaica who was gang raped by twelve men who felt the need to show a lesbian “what a real dick feels like.” Of Mehdi, an Iranian teenager who gained asylum after his boyfriend in Iran was tortured into confessing Mehdi’s name and their relationship, before being executed. The story of Joseph, who was returned to Uganda at the age of 17 because the UK
government didn’t believe that his LGBT status was enough to merit asylum. He was never heard from again. We are running this campaign because of people like our committee member Mandi, who was born in Zimbabwe and would have faced persecution had she remained in her home country where the government’s antigay stance resonates widely with many Zimbabweans We are running this campaign because there are still seven countries around the world where there is a death penalty for being gay. In Russia armed police regularly raid gay nightclubs – imagine that happening to your friends in Tru on a Sunday night. Around the world, people are being raped, beaten, tortured and killed simply because of who they love. The West is by no means perfect
– Poland is the 8th worst place to be in the world as an LGBT person and an estimated 16 people were killed in America last year because they were trans. However, here in the UK we can write this article without fear of reprisal and we can live our lives openly. This is a privilege that we shouldn’t take for granted and one that the UK should extend to people fleeing countries where this simply is not the case. However it is incredibly difficult to prove a “reasonable” fear of persecution should you return to your home country. Kizza Musinguzi, a Ugandan born gay rights activist, faces being returned to his home country where the government has stated that they will “crush him” on his return. Before he fled he was regularly tortured because of his sexuality.
We are running this campaign because people need to know these stories. It was through campaigns like this that Mehdi’s case became high profile enough that the government had to grant him asylum. You can help by coming to our events, signing our petitions and donating to the two charities we are supporting: LGBTrights. ru and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. We really can make a difference but we need your help! This isn’t a “gay issue”, it is a human rights issue. Please support everyone’s right to love without borders. See this week's listings for details of forthcoming events *Luke's name was changed to protect his identity.
Fallen bookworm Tim Green laments the demise of his passion for reading...
READING BETWEEN THE LINES “
If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” It’s amazing isn’t it? Matthew Parris recently quoted it in an article titled Rekindling a Childhood Love Affair in The Times. It was about reawakening the inherent joy of reading after forty-five years. It hasn’t been quite that long for me, but I was still intrigued. The quote is from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, a book that is sitting on my bedside table still only half read. This is a point at which I am likely
I now reside in the reading list torpor - I don't have a book in York that isn't a part of my studies
to remain for a while, seeing as the book is on my bedside table in London. It’s a big book and I’m not great at getting through big books. As an English student I sometimes feel that I should be better at reading, or at least enjoy it more. Here I come to my and Parris’ point: I’m not sure I know how to read for fun anymore. There was definitely a time when I knew how. A time of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, of sitting up late at night and not being able to put the book down. I think I’ve lost that enthusiasm somewhere between then and now. I can’t quite put my finger on when, but it’s certainly gone missing slightly. It crops up every now and again though, I picked up The Kite Runner last year for a long bus journey and ended up devouring it in one sitting, but even after that success I fell back into the reading list torpor in which I now reside. Reading lists are great some of the best books I’ve ever read have been in front of me because they were on a list or curriculum. I do wonder though whether they would have struck me differently if I had picked them up with the enthusiasm I brought to The Famous Five. I didn’t have that enthusiasm for Middlemarch; I was reading it just to say I had. I remember I jotted down a quote on a piece of paper when I read it for the first
time. It was one of those beautiful, stand-out pieces of writing you just want to share with people. I would love that to be the reason why
I jotted it down, but really I was writing my personal statement and was looking for good Englishy type quotes to make me look impressive. This isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed the books I have read recently, but they have all been read for a purpose - i.e. they’re part of my course. I think the last book I chose to read for pure enjoyment was the final Harry Potter. It was definitely enjoyable, in fact, thinking back, Harry Potter made it into my personal statement but George Elliot
didn’t. I read Harry Potter for the story as opposed to the enlightened prose, story that is for pure entertainment. I’m going to be reading canonical greats as my course progresses, which will no doubt be enjoyable, but will all be for that higher purpose: my degree. As a result I’m sure many of these classics will not have the desired effect upon me; no author writes to be read as a chore. Maybe it doesn’t matter and the ends justify the means, by which I mean once the book has been read and thought about, how it was approached is of little importance. I’m not going to lie, I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook, playing X Box and going out, with reading thrown in just because it’s for my course. I don’t have a book in York that isn’t part of my studies. Maybe this is just me and everyone else is spending a whole lot of time reading, but I’m not so sure. I know how to read for a lesson or a seminar, what bits to pick out and how to approach the story. I don’t think I know how to read just for readings sake. Maybe I should go out and get a new book. I’ll do what Parris did, read it slowly, deliberately and really sink into it. I could even go back to Middlemarch. If I finish it by the summer it will have only taken three years.
confessions of a campus duck Unfortunately, one downside of basking in your own dissolved faeces while occasionally emitting mating calls (which can, at best, be praised for their pristine comic timing) is that you’re forced to witness humans doing something eerily similar. More than once I’ve observed the aforementioned mammal, late at night, limping back to their abode with fresh urine strains drifting ever-further down their faded blue jeans. Being a philosophical duck, one cannot escape the haunting symbolism of this denim debauchery: while our souls begin existence as a pure state, collecting stains from failed moral decisions, the humans’ denim jeans act in reverse. As pure, they radiate joyful blue, but soon – after a combination of lager, curry, blood and spittle (often all contained in a single dose of vomit) – the attempts to wash away these impurities eventually cause the clothing to fade. As such: pale souls may symbolise integrity, but pale jeans indicate a close relationship with the owner’s bodily fluids. A particular example of this bodily fluid occurred the other night, roughly 4 evenings ago, when I was settling down to my regular routine. It was a good night initially; Frasier was playing from a nearby open window, and I’d positioned myself expertly upon a low-functioning water fountain, enabling the smooth vibrations to cleanse the stress collected in my lower back. The vibrations must’ve raised more than my feathers, as I suddenly urged a meeting with my long-time duck-buddy Madame Mallard. However, it was not to be, as I was suddenly distracted by two humans fumbling around in the bushes; they stank of fermented apples and seemed focused on relieving the other’s (apparently chronic) dehydration with their respective tongues. The act continued for some time, until the couple – with their prospectively provoked procreational tendencies – attempted to initiate intimacy of a cardinal nature on the grass opposite your narrator. It’s at this point I should mention quite how dark it was. You see, normally, an act such as this would‘ve been stopped soberly by the simple observation of Anas platyrhynchos defecateus (occasionally shortened to “duck shit”) covering the grass. Unfortunately for our two subjects, the massive volume of this natural waste wasn’t visible to their eye, and as such they were soon completely naked and unknowingly smeared with it. Normally, under such circumstances I would’ve tried to scare them off in a neighbourly respect for their hygiene – however, as they’d interrupted my peaceful evening with their provocative escapades, I felt no remorse witnessing them soil their bodies with my post-digested bread droppings. Nonetheless, the two continued, until the female’s head began a rather strange dissent towards the centre-waist of the male. What her head intended to do down there still eludes me, but somehow she received a healthy taste of duck-diarrhea on her taste-buds. Soon there were sounds of screaming, then appearances of vomiting, followed finally by the two humans stumbling away from one another with miserable groans clearly audible. An upsetting situation for the two, but at least it went well for me: amongst the vomit I found plenty of partially-digested chips and beans, so immediately I invited Madame Mallard over for a delicious dinner-date.
Tuesday February 24, 2009
Josie Whittle talks to the self-proclaimed "terrific conversationalist and raconteur with stories to tell...”
t was 3.55 pm on a Thursday afternoon and with only 5 minutes to go I was waiting with nervous anticipation for a phone call from Apprentice superstar Raef Bjayou. Having stood out as a favourite from the very beginning of the series amongst The Apprentice-obsessed individuals I (luckily) found myself living with, I began to worry that he wouldn’t live up to the almost god-like image we had moulded for him. As the clock ticked past four, then quarter past and then half past my fears appeared to have been realised, that old cliché of never meet your idols weighed heavily in my mind. Just as I had given up hope and started to head to the Spar to drown my disappointment in chocolate, an unknown number heralded his call and all of my disillusionment vanished as I heard Raef ’s unmistakable velvety tone, apologising profusely and explaining how he had got confused about the time we had arranged to talk (his passion for amateur dramatics must have paid off as he always seemed to utilize his blackberry with considerable flair whilst on the Apprentice). Despite this blustery nature and his activities post Apprentice, featuring in a smorgasbord of light entertainment programmes including a Crufts-esque competition with a small dog and Brian Blessed, it must not be forgotten that Raef is a business animal, passing a rigorous application process of 6 stages (well 6 may be a little generous considering the first stage is sending in a photo of yourself) in order to make it into Series 4 of the BBC show The Apprentice – all “pretty gruelling stuff ”. An integral element of the search for Sir Alan’s apprentice is the input of his trusted aides, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford, who observe the candidates on all the tasks they perform. Hoping to cop an Apprentice exclusive and receive confirmation of the sizzling chemistry that appears to permeate between them, I pressed Raef on the nature of their relationship. Unfortunately this led to further confusion: “Oh, err, for a second there I thought you were going to say there
was a bit of chemistry there between me and Margaret – there was no chemistry between myself and Margaret and in fact no chemistry between Nick and Margaret I have to say. Nick is going out with someone he’s very happy with and Margaret I believe is a happy bachelorette.” That theory sadly quashed, Raef moved on to more general observations of the two. “Nick and Margaret are perfect for what they need to do, which is not to miss a trick... Are they people you’d want to go down the pub with and talk about your day with? Probably not. No, Nick and Margaret are very cool characters; I think Nick Hewer has been described as, on occasion, a slightly bemused Jeeves in regards to his facial contortions.” The degree of reality involved in The Apprentice is repeatedly disputed by its subjects, claiming unfair and misleading editing to explain bad behaviour. So did we really get to see the real Raef ? “To be honest with you Josie, I’ve got absolutely no sympathy with people who say ‘God I was edited in a horrific way, if you are an obnoxious twit you’ll come across as an obnoxious twit. What editing can do is put words out of context but that didn’t happen with me. I was fairly worried after Week One because I did come
across as incredibly pompous (the infamous ‘I get on with prince or pauper’ line to which Sir Alan retorted ‘What and you’re the prince are you?) but I’m incredibly tongue-in-cheek and in order to understand that most of what I say is, in fact, tongue in cheek, you need to spend a bit more time with me so I was quite happy when every thing levelled out after week one.”
“I get on with prince or pauper” “It’s not like I labelled a shark as a hamster did I?" "I literally left with my hands bleeding " “The spoken word is my tool...” "We have to remember that those people in a size 16-32 dress are in a 16-32 dress for a reason. They love cake" “Sorry about the bad language you heard there! It’s just over-excitement.” “Let us not venture into hyperbole.” “That close-up is tackiness par-excellence.” From 8 out of 10 cats... Jimmy Carr: Who would you least like to share a car with? Raef: A rapist
taking on work in the m e d i a , Raef has also retur ned to the businesses he ran prior to t h e
s h ow. Alongside his property portfolio he runs an import and export company which deals in the distribution of HIV preventatives in Western and Central Africa, although he explains it’s now morphed into a charitable enterprise as opposed to a business. The reason behind such a divulgence
of interests is that “I’m very much the kind of guy who likes to be constantly stimulated so it’s terrific doing different things and having my fingers in all slices of the pie but at the same time doing everything excellently as opposed to mediocrely [sic]”. With such an entrepreneurial mentality, what words of wisdom does he have for those hoping to follow in his foot steps? “Well of course the advice changes or has changed in light of the current economic climate or perhaps it hasn’t. Wherever one looks, even before the said economic climate you’re always going to get doom-mongerers and people who say that you cannot achieve what you want to achieve and I especially got this. People will say that the area that you want to go into is incredibly competitive and what I say to those people who are told such complete and utter nonsense and jibberish is that once you take away the people who don’t work as hard as you or who aren’t as good as you then your competition drastically shrinks.” Although Raef seemed happy to chat for hours, following such stirring words I felt it was an apt time to draw the interview to a close, albeit with a heavy heart. However, with more television work in the pipeline it seems that the natural born salesman will be lighting up our screens for some time to come.
Tuesday February 24, 2009
VISION GETS SHIPWRECKED! With the new series of shipwrecked well underway Rachel Knox chats to a few of the new islanders; Nadejah, Mackenzie and Soodie...
year since the last dramatic series, Shipwrecked is back and just as scantily clad and competitive as ever. The new series brings a whole load of tears, tantrums, island-swapping and speed dating (and we’ve only seen three episodes!) As the show is pre-recorded, the pale and
unsuspecting inhabitants of Shark and Tiger Island that we saw climbing bright-eyed out of boats just three weeks ago are safely back in the UK and happy to discuss memories of the islands and life after the show; thankfully sporting more than just the swimwear and flip- flops!
Name: Nadejah Williams Age: 18 Island: Original Tiger Shipwrecked experience in 3 words... "TOUGH, INSPIRING AND PARTAAAAY!!!!!"
onfident, sociable and sporty, Mackenzie is the typical alpha male and self proclaimed leader of the Sharks. His experience of Shipwrecked was incredibly positive - "I loved it – I could have lived there for ten years!" The food situation seemed to bother him more than the lack of loo roll or cleanliness: "Before going on Shipwrecked I was a very picky eater and I ate loads of junk food." Once I’d arrived on the island I soon found out that I would have to change if I was to survive." Another sore point was missing the football and his friends and girlfriend back home
(note which one he said first!) My talk with him was more nostalgic than the others, he spoke of missing the islands and the 'lifelong friends' he’d made. "I do miss some of the guys and the fun we had, though I can still see them… but the island is somewhere I’ll never get the chance to return to." The way he talks about living in paradise would make anyone feel jealous, "nothing compares to sleeping on the beach for 3 months - hearing the ocean and smelling it. If you’re hungry you can get a coconut and eat it, or go out and catch a fish! If you are bored you walk about 10 metres and swim."
Name: Soodi Asefi Age: 26 Island: Shark Shipwrecked experience in 3 words... "Fun, emotional, paradise"
oud. That is the only word that can accurately describe Nadejah. From the very first episode she caused stirs on Tiger Island, and after being island swapped she then went on to disrupt the Shark camp. But is she just misunderstood? She seemed pretty sweet to me! Chatting about island memories she laughed about the lack of toilet paper and gave advice on which was the best leaf to use instead -"hibiscus leaves reminded me of wet wipes!". Besides the rough toilet conditions, she described the hardest aspect of Shipwrecked as living with people she didn’t like, and "the realisation that I’d have to put up with
them for four whole months, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and cannot... absolutely cannot get away!" So far in the series we’ve witnessed a row with fellow original Sonny and misunderstandings with Tiger Hermione. Yet despite cleanliness and personality clashes, it seems Nadejah has survived the show still smiling and not only with a new found fondness for the simplicity of public transport, but also with aspirations of a new career path: "I don’t want to be in retail I want to do something that will occupy and stimulate my mind."
Name: Mackenzie Hunkin
Age: 22 Island: Shark Shipwrecked experience in 3 words... "Fun, exciting, real"
oodie is nice, really nice. She’s self-assured and outgoing with a strong, bubbly personality. It seems Shipwrecked was an emotional time for her - she recalls the moment she arrived, one of her favorite memories of the islands, as "an amazing feeling, I even had tears in my eyes, it was so emotional." The subject of loo roll was raised again (must have been a sore spot for all!) along with rough sleeping conditions- "sleeping practically in mud and with no proper shelter, sleeping directly under rain storms, being soaked in my sleeping bag with wet sand all over me," and
lack of mirrors: "I hated that! We had to use sunglasses to see our reflections, or get another islander to do our make up! Just try it for one day and see how you cope girls!" Apparently this all became a way of life, but I’m not sure I could do it! As one of the older islanders, Soodie was looking to have some fun and not looking for some lifechanging experience; "I think I already knew myself very well before I went out there and I have not changed at all. I’m 26 years old, I’m me and always will be."
VISION'S 15 things... 'Never to tell your parents about university'
1) Instead of 'cramming'
the night before your exams you were actually playing Mario Kart on the N64.
2) Those condoms are
yours, not just "handed out by welfare" the day before.
3) If you cut the mould
off bread then it's ﬁne to eat it!
4) You're cutting your
visit home short to play pub golf and not to do "seminar work."
5) The picture of someone
collapsed in a pile of sick on your Facebook is you not your house mate.
6) You consider 9:15s optional…
7) You spent that £20 they gave you for groceries on a crate and some Vodkat.
8) That the cream the doctor prescribed is for a nasty STI not eczema…
9) You're well into your
student loan, and probably won’t be able to afford food at the end of term.
10) The reason you’re that
Tuesday February 24, 2009
A WEEK AT...
ou know that bleak little nuclear hut type building at the back of Vanburgh? You know the one that looks like a bike shed that was actually was once a bike shed? Well that’s where we make bloody amazing radio. I’m Scott, Programme Controller of University Radio York, or as people like to refer me as if I am a 5 year old, PC Scotty B. My responsibility is basically making sure that all of the shows are broadcast, I set the schedules, I strive to make sure that the output is the best as it can be and I ensure that someone doesn’t do a swear sweary or a Russell-Brandesque URYgate feature which would see us being hit in the face by Ofcom. I wake up at around 8, that’s just the insanity of me, not through my position and check my emails. Unlike Nouse or Vision, which is mad until publication day and then the stress dies down, you can always count on a string of constant crisis at URY. I pop in to the studio several times a day to see the team and say hello to the DJs. But with output continuously running 7 days a week from nine until two in the morning I can’t always pop in to see everybody. I once did after coming back from Tru and I was so drunk and delirious one of the male DJs thought I was coming on to him. I gave him a better slot the following term. URY has gone a long way from its humble position as a university community radio station 40 years ago. For one thing we have become considerably less clique. By 1987 the society boasted
of having at least one woman and by 1997 the station elected its first station manager who didn’t have a beard. All of the DJs, technicians, music assistants, porters and artists had beards… trust me it’s been quite a development. Now we try to be like proper trendy. Our output varies from indie to alternative, electro to news and general chat. On this day in which I am presently writing, it is a Sunday, where we plan four hours of speech output from comedy and drama to gig and newspaper reviewing. It started between five of us earlier this term because we wanted to do something quite special, and also because we make our own news at the top of the hour so I can sound like the posh man from Radio 4. Planning a show is rather mental. All the show DJs choose their own music, and today has been no exception. I normally upload songs to play on my programme from my iPod, but we also have a vast CD collection and a music team who endeavour to find new trends three months before Radio 1 ‘discover it’ themselves. Three words: Red Light Company. Our music team don’t like Razorlight they call it Razorshite. Although there are annoyances ; i.e. the fact that we don’t get played in Your:Shop, and only now
GET THE LOOK:
Coat: French Connection
your last pair of underwear last before giving in and doing laundry.
12) That you have a record number of days for the above and see it as a personal triumph.
13) What your room/house
Dress: Topshop Bag: French Connection Most Expensive item you own: £200 Coach Bag
GET THE LOOK:
looks like when they don’t come to visit.
lost gambling on Bet365.
they read this your guilty of at least half of Vision’s 15 things.
Most Expensive item you own: £450 Riece Suit
14) How much money you’ve
15) That on the off chance
us to play a bit of Coldplay when people in the next college don’t always know we exist. We are becoming more well known all the time thanks to the team we have and the people before us, but it takes time and a hell of a lot of shows, dedication and commitment to make it work. It’s working though and the success is growing. We’re understated and ‘over there’, but we’re shaving our beards off and we are getting there.
far in the red is the sheer amount you spend on alcohol.
11) How many days you make
and then in The Courtyard. Last month our technicians launched us on to iTunes allowing access across the planet. Its rather odd when you get loads of text messages in from senile Texans asking
Scarf: Pringle Shoes: Office
Tuesday February 24, 2009
HARD - CORE DIETING
Michael Regan and Rachel Knox tackle the extreme 'Apple Diet' to see what the race to super skinny is all about...
have a natural tendency to over-estimate my capacity to achieve something, this coupled with a penchant for the slightly outrageous, led me to undertake this retrospectively ridiculous challenge. Eating only 6 apples a day for a week and drinking only water, that was the challenge. As somebody who normally eats in moderation, without feeling the need to binge on a grease soaked takeaway every time more than a unit of alcohol passes my lips, I percieved this task to be within my capabilities. How wrong I was. A problem that I had from the beginning was my motivation for completing the task. I don’t need or want to lose weight. As I became visibly weaker and skinnier, my starvation seemed all to un-necessary and my anguish entirely self inflicted. On only two occasions did my waining will get the better of me; On Day 3 I gorged on a sneaky tuna sandwhich before resolving to continue with the ‘apple diet’, then finally in the latter stages of Day 5 my will cracked for good and I ceased to needlessly destroy myself. Upon hearing of my plans, most advised me that I was a tad insane and incapable of fulfilling them, yet I was genuinely surprised how right they were. Within around 15 hours of beginning I was already absolutely starving, and the thought of easing my hunger with a drab, tasteless apple hardly filled me with comfort. It was these kinds of obstacles that I was expecting to overcome, these being the natural complaints caused by even the slightest break from our more than adequate British eating habits. However it was on Day 2 that things really began to become difficult. A needless concession that we made before starting the diet was that the one occasion we would be permitted to drink alcohol was Tuesday’s Viking Raid. I felt my actions that evening were entirely sensible given the circumstances, this being my resolve to drink moderately in comparison to most of the over intoxicated, often offensive graffiti sporting students that traversed the streets of York. Forgive me for the hyperbole, but the next day genuinely ranked as one of the most uncomfortable I have ever had. From the minute I attempted to extracate myself from the sanctuary of my bed, my internal organs felt on the verge of failure. Furthermore I spent the entire day uncomfortably nursing a stomach full of alcohol that my body seemed to have lost the capability to remove. It seems over dramatic but my entire body felt on the verge of collapse, I could not pass liquids no matter how much water I drank and I was falling asleep after being awake for a matter of minutes. Diets such as this one literally take over your life for their entitrety, every fibre of your being is directed towards sticking rigidly to their dangerous priciples. The three days that followed proved rather less painful, simply because I had lost the will to eat anything; freshly purchased apples remained in the fridge and just forgetting about food entirely seemed more conducive to compleing the diet than enduring the mundanity of more apples. Eventually after nearly five days I cracked, went on a spending spree and went to unusually elaborate lengths to rustle up a lavish (ish) meal. Yet I could barely eat any of it; I managed to get three meals out of an amount that would normally do for one, and even in the week that has followed my appetite remains diminished. What is shocking is that ‘diets’ like this one are the recipents of gushing reviews from satisfied, skinny models who managed to make the apparently necessary decline from a size 8 to a size 6. Yet adopting eating habits like this one is tantamount to an eating disorder and not a diet. However much an individual needs to lose weight, making yourself ill and disrupting your life is not the way to go about it. There are hundreds of medically endorsed, healthy and effective diets out there, drastic measures like the ‘apple diet’ should be avoided at all costs.
he idea of the challenge was to experience ‘extreme diets’ at their worst (and trust me, having done it, I couldn’t think of anything worse than the apple diet). At first I thought it would be alright, I knew I would crave snacks but I didn’t imagine how bad it was actually going to be, I had seriously underestimated my lack of will power. I’m going to be honest right away: the challenge was supposed to last a week; I managed three days. The first day started well, I’d stocked up on apples and despite a general doubt that I, of all people, could not do this I was feeling quite positive about the whole thing. I was determined to prove them wrong, my boyfriend, my housemates, even my own mother did not think that I could do it and I couldn’t see any better motivation than wiping the knowing smiles off their faces. I’d had my breakfast apple, I’d even packed some away in my bag for lunch, but I have to admit I’d failed within about an hour of leaving my door. I had not anticipated my first hurdle: a bakery. I had expected to feel hungry and predicted how mundane the taste of apples would become but I had not imagined how hard it would be to watch other people eat (especially tasty pastries from a certain delicious bakery in Badger Hill). I had cracked, by lunch time on the first day. I was ridiculous, everyone was right I obviously had no will power what-so-ever. And worse, Mike was probably sitting at home starving, miserable and taking the whole thing seriously. It was decided that I would just restart the next day, and after my pathetic first attempt I was determined to at least try to see it through. Over the next couple of days my life was completely taken over by the diet, I had a constant empty feeling in my stomach, I felt sick, and all I could think about was food and how to avoid it. I avoided the kitchen when people where making dinner, and made huge detours to steer clear of Vanbrugh where I would usually stop for lunch. I couldn’t concentrate in lectures and I was seriously, seriously grumpy. It might seem like I’m exaggerating my misery for journalistic purposes but honestly, as Mike would probably agree, the apple diet is horrible. By the fourth day I felt horrific, and was really annoyed by the fact that Mike was coping with the whole thing a lot better than I was. I looked disgusting, the diet had affected my skin, I could feel that I was losing weight, and was generally feeling really sorry for myself. I was starting to feel faint; I had no energy and couldn’t even face eating apples by this point. Imagine if we’d attempted the gruelling exercise regimes that models and skinny celebrities force themselves to abide by as well? After speaking to Mike, I decided to quit. I’d managed three days, and although it was only half of what I’d pledged to do I felt proud that I’d even managed that. It seems like madness to me that people would actually willingly put themselves through this. Websites that endorse extreme diets like this one fail to mention how they take over your whole life. It may sound pathetic as I only managed three days but I wouldn’t describe what we were putting ourselves through as a ‘diet’ as much as adopting an eating disorder. I certainly would never recommend the 'apple diet' or any of the other extreme diets out there to anyone. I read all of the magazines that show super-skinny size zero models, and I do wish I looked like Kate Moss but honestly, its really not worth it.
Tuesday February 24, 2009
CONNED IN CAMBODIA HOT In a travellers tale gone wrong, Partrick Harte shares his experience of being Hustled in Cambodia...
ast year I embarked on the stereotypical backpacker trail with the aim of 'exploring the world'. The trip was fairly standard - beaches, beer and bumming around. However there was one event that will stay imprinted in my memory forever- when I played an illegal poker game in a Cambodian kitchen and nearly got myself into a debt of $20,000 dollars. Sounds a little extreme for your average backpacker, I know. In a vague attempt to deter others from getting into this rather unlikely situation and for your reading pleasure, here is how it happened... I was sitting alone eating lunch, when a rather portly Cambodian figure moved towards me and sparked up a conversation, partly intrigued and partly because I couldn’t really walk away I obliged. The man introduced himself Mr. Niat. It became apparent that he and his family were to be visiting the UK in a few months, and was apparently impressed by my knowledge on what to see. It turned out that Mr. Niat was a well paid (by Cambodian standards) casino manager and he desperately wanted me to visit his family. In exchange for my advice on what to see (and the possibility of meeting in London), I would get a traditional Cambodian lunch. With that, we decided to meet the next day. Seemingly inconsequentially at this point Mr. Niat randomly bumped into his ex-pat English friend “Richard”. Sure enough the next day, Mr. Niat met me and took me to the family appartment. At first I cannot deny that I felt very secure as we shared a delicious home cooked lunch. The conversation was flowing, so I asked Mr. Niat where his wife that he had so desperately wanted me to meet was. Apparently his daughter has ‘brain issues’ and this morning she had some sort of terrible fit - thus she and her mother had gone to hospital. Soon after this Mr. Niat told me he wanted to let me in on a little secret. Working at the ‘Holiday Palace’ as a chip table manager, Mr. Niat apparently had a deal going with the owner where he wanted ‘observant white westerners’ like myself to simply win on the blackjack table. The idea was that when westerners in the loop like myself would win, others in the casino would see this and bet more. Mr. Niat having worked in Casino’s his whole life could flick through a deck of cards and remember the order of every single card, by doing this he would then signal to me what card was coming next and with complete confidence I could bet accordingly. This was what Richard had apparently been doing with Niat for some time. For a penniless backpacker the proposition was certainly tempting, Mr. Niat said in one day I could earn $2500. But this was
Phenom Penn in Cambodia, a city rife with corruption, drugs, gangsters and some of the most brutal jails in the world. No amount of money would tempt me to do something like this. To avoid the awkwardness of saying ‘no’ there and then, I decided to play along until I left his house and never contact him again. However this was not as easy as it sounds. Mr. Niat wanted to show me how the scam worked. I was shuffled into a kitchen and a handful of casino chips were placed in front of me. The supposed scam was pretty simple, a system of hand signals from Mr. Niat to signal when to bet. After a good half hour I became somewhat of an expert and Mr. Niat said I was ready for some ‘real life experience’. He had arranged for a private game of cards for me and a high rolling gambling friend of his. $200 was wedged into my hand and Mr.Chang - a weedy looking millionaire businessman enters the room. After about four or five hands it was fairly obvious that Mr. Niat’s cheating strategy was working, I was up $1900 dollars, and there appeared to be no way I could lose. It is strange to say but there was a side of me that felt no guilt as I seemingly ripped off this millionaire. Why was I playing along? Perhaps it was the sense of sympathy I had for Mr. Niat and his daughters
‘brain problems’ or maybe the idea that the more I gambled the sooner it would be until I could leave. As the sixth hand came into play, I had three cards adding up to 21 and Mr. Chang had two cards which (according to Mr. Niat) added up to 20. At this point Mr. Chang opened a suitcase packed full of dollars and proceeded to purchase thousands of dollars worth of chips. Mr. Niat being naturally keen for me to bet even more allowed me to have credit from the dealer.
Eventually we ended up with the sum of $20,000 dollars on the table, and, just as we were about to turn our cards over Mr. Chang refused. He wanted to see my money, the odds were too high. After a seemingly endless argument about what we were to do, it was agreed that I had an hour to get my cash, whilst the cards were sealed into envelopes. Mr. Chang rushes off on business and I am left alone with Mr. Niat. The moment Mr.Chang left, Mr.Niat became somewhat eclectic and started to crying ‘tears of joy’. He said he would get me the $20,000 to play with. However after three to four phone calls it became apparent that there was a problemhe could only get $15,000 dollars. And guess who he wanted to pay the remaining $5,000? Mr. Chang begged me to try anything to raise this revenue - use my credit card, sell my watch or put my mobile phone on the table, he was obviously desperate. I was in a state of sheer dread. The situation had gone way too far - never was I going to risk my money on such an immoral, illegal and potentially threatening situation. So I ran for it. As the adrenaline wore off and my mind gradually became clearer, I started to process what exactly had just happened. In exchange for my $5000, Mr. Chang would have revealed pontoon. I would have walked off $5000 down. Mr. Chang, Mr. Niat and Richard would have walked away laughing. I can understand why you might frown at my idiocy to let the situation go so far, but trust me, when this plan was hatched it was designed to freeze rational thought. The personal connection I supposedly had with Mr. Niat, the daughters brain problems, the English man involved, Mr. Niat’s tears and the family trip to England - all small features that slowly forced me to become indoctrinated by what I can only imagine was a team of, highly trained, and lets face it, probably highly dangerous gangsters.
It was hilarious: Drama Soc
Thank God it's back!
Vanburgh dinners to keep us warm!
Rag Weekour pockets are empty!
Valentines. All over for another year.
Hangovers! They're getting worse!
YORK VISION Tuesday February 24, 2009
VINTAGE DELIGHT Jenny Louise Thompson rumages around York's delightful vintage boutiques in the hope of discovering some hidden treasures...
o you’re bored of the usual high street, mass produced clothing - good for one night before it falls apart, then get yourself down into town and on the search for vintage boutiques. I personally enjoy going out, without fear that I shall bump into a fellow H&M customer wearing the same item. Luckily in York you have a choice. Whether you want to save your pennies and buy a treasured piece from Priestley’s, a boutique stuffed full of treasures from the 30’s to the 70’s, or stick to a student budget in Expressions or Oxfam - the option is there. When venturing into Expressions be prepared to spend some time rummaging through the rails. I find it best for more individual everyday basics and a quick fix to a well worn outfit in the form of a miniature satchel bag or slim waist belt. The friendly shop owner also encourages return trips, and with his wife designing and making some of their clothing - it is clearly a passionately run business. Although some of their stock is new, it’s still not your average item. If you are really determined to buy something second hand, but with a less predetermined style, then work your way through the shelves and rails of the ‘vintage’ section in Oxfam. A confident personal style and knowing what you’re looking for always helps when approaching a charity
shop. It’s a little hide away for other objects such as real leather suitcases that appear to have the charm that could only be achieved from travelling around the globe a few times. The only disappointing factor is the quality and age of the clothes, sometimes they are more ‘dated’ than ‘vintage’ - but this is of course all reflected in the price. Priestley’s is my personal favourite. I can confidently say that everything that lies waiting to be brought back to life is worth the investment. From vintage knickers to one off tailored dresses flown in from New York, you can be guaranteed something special. The owner Tim established the shop in 1983, and if you can bring yourself to part with some serious money then I would highly recommend a visit. Don’t be put off by the rather bizarre stuffed fox that glares at you from the central display... it’s all part of experience! For the more adventurous and creative of you out there, Priestley’s also stocks old materials, from delicate laces to vivid and sumptuous sari’s from india that were made in the 1940’s and 50’s. If you search hard enough there is also a bargain or two to be found, and the unique items make for ideal presents. Whether you already enjoy vintage clothes, or have not yet braved the world of second hand I recommend you do what you can to introduce some character and history into your wardrobe.
STYLE NEWS Eman Akbar brings us up to date with the latest Fashion news
THOMAS BURBURY AXED Burberry will close its under-performing Thomas Burberry brand and axe up to 290 jobs. Its South Yorkshire factory in Rotherm will be closed and supporting operations scaled back,after the luxury brand reported a 3% fall in like-for-like sales at its stores. The closure of the Thomas Burberry business, (Burberry’s lower priced bridge brand), is part of a £50m cost saving initiative and could lead to a further 250 redundancies in Spain.
BRITISH CROWN JEWEL TOPSHOP HITS NYC On April the 2nd, Topshop will make its debut in NYC accompanied by Kate Moss in the 40,000sq ft store, stretched over 478 Broadway. Sir Phillip Green intends to open a further 12-15 flagship stores in the US alone, whilst plans to open in Canada are under way. Topshop NY will receive around 50 new lines every 7 to 10 days in comparison to 300 new lines at its London Oxford Circus flagship every week. Two collections by US designers will be launched in the New York store and there will be an exclusive range designed by Barbara Hulanicki, who founded Biba. Post Christmas week sales were the biggest in Topshop history. Proving that the hip fashion retailer can drive sales without discounting, were 70% of products sold were at full price. With top american celebrities and editor flying the flag for Topshop, their future looks promising in NYC.
Left: A Yellow summer dress, something you would be sure to find in Priestley's Above: A satisfyingly worn belt, pick and choose from Oxfams wonderful array
FASHION FOR THOUGHT "Only great minds can afford a simple style"
Jude Hull offers her musings in this issue's Fashion for Thought
n the shambles that we call a recession, nothing is more appropriate than simple, effortless style. Yet to what extent is this a reserve of the ‘great minds’ of the fashion world o r just plain common sense? Indeed the ‘staple pieces’ that this simple style calls for can amount to a pretty penny, especially on a student budget. It would be easy to suggest that having copious LBD’s, crisp white shirts, and the perfect skinny jeans would elevate you to this distinguished status. However there is nothing particularly ‘great’ in my opinion about jeans and a t-shirt, rather I believe it is the way you wear it. Simple doesn’t have to be boring. It may be the antithesis to the colour burst for summer, but black clothes always look expensive, sophisticated and flattering. Yet where
does this leave the more adventurous among us? If your wardrobe is a paradise of colours and patterns, simplicity may not be your cup of tea. er translate this into easy staple pieces. RathRight on trend: pick up a great jumpsuit, simple in cut yet exciting enough to be distinguishable. In my opinion, it is creative minds that can afford ‘simple style’, which is what makes them great. An imagination is necessary not only with clothes, but make-up as well. Bright lipstick can really perfect a minimal look just as much as great shoes. A pair of embellished heels with a staple LBD, a great necklace to set off a white vest top, all these things in my opinion make simple style the reserve of not great but creative minds.
ASOS DEFIES ALL ODDS Popular E-tailer ASOS reported sales were up 108% for the 42 weeks before January 16th. In addition the website attracted a record 5.2 million visitors in the month of December. Aided by a stellar reputation amongst youthful fashionistas , ASOS trumped all of its rivals in these tricky times for retailers. Cleverly designed price promotions and the offer of free delivery have helped them to compete with heavy high street discounting . Big plans to launch an ASOS Kids site this month in conjunction with 48 secured brands including Cath Kidston and UGG Australia.
Tuesday February 24, 2009
RULES OF STYLE
Will Booth investigates York University's very own style guru Daniel Johnson, on the 'Rules of Style'... My immediate reaction to meeting Daniel Johnson was a quiet invocation of thanks to the gods above that I had decided to make an effort (sartorially) on the morning of our interview. The boy certainly knows how to dress; a quality that he wears with such indifference, but has resulted in the launch of The Rules of Style - www.therulesofstyle.com a style consultancy for men of all ages. Style, Image and grooming with professional style consultants come together to help transform men whom appear to have been born without their Sixth sense, namely, that of style. Johnson feels that there is a market out there for men who cannot, will not or have not taken an interest in clothes. ‘Fashion Blogs’ such as kinowear.com merely serve to confuse men further. His opinion of kinowear is less than glowing, ‘He doesn’t know and it’s pissing me off. He lacks ideas and now just puts up pictures telling the readers where to find the clothes. He doesn’t say why men should be wearing this’. The concept of ‘why?’ has been a particular thorn in Johnson’s side over the past few years -"Men need telling why they should wear particular clothes in the same way that pear-shaped women need telling why they
should wear darker colours on the bottom". So will he be the fashion guru of choice when it comes to men’s fashion? Does he take influence from Trinny and Susanna? ‘Absolutely not. Their attitude in the beginning was good as they were giving out sensible advice but now the more I see of them the more I think Susannah looks like a tractor dressed in ribbons whereas Trinny just a lost cause’. Hmmm the boy has a point. What Johnson wants to get across to men is ‘why’ certain clothes are an absolute on some shapes and an absolute NOT on others. ‘Super-skinny jeans should be worn by super-skinny people’, it is basic advice and delivered with point blank accuracy. ‘I was helping this short, stocky guy who had heard that vertical stripes give the illusion of being taller. ‘Great’ I thought, he’s got some idea, but then he went on to say that he had this shirt with vertical stripes worn with a slim fitting jumper with horizontal stripes. He put the outfit on and of course he looked like a brick wall’. Men really don’t
know how to dress to their body shape – take a tall man, dressed all in the same colour and he looks like he goes on forever. Break up the colours and he will appear more in proportion. ‘Like with a white piece of A4 paper, colour one half in blue and instantly the effect is shortening’. However, it is not only the attitude men take towards dressing that Johnson wants to change , it is also the pre-conceptions men have with fashion; ‘straight men need to know it isn’t gay to like clothes’. Taking pride in the clothes we wear, the entire male grooming process needs re-inventing, starting with a decent haircut; ‘personalise the hair according to how that man sees himself ’. Does he ever feel ridiculed for making that little bit more effort, having a desire to stand out and look good? Speaking from experience, tottering down Stonegate wearing a full-length mink coat does draw the eyes of the anorak-clad populace of York somewhat. His answer is straight to the point, ‘If well-dressed people watch me with open mouths then they can have a point. Until then f**** off ’.
skinny jeans should be worn on super-skinny people'
Straight men need to know that it isn't gay to like clothes
His website therulesofstyle.com is up and running and open to clients.
FUR-a-LICIOUS FASHION, SENSIBLE OR SIN? Aspiring Human Rights lawyer Emma Shafton and Vision's John Halsted battle it out!
SIN The use of fur within the fashion industry is immoral. Whilst taking a reconciling stance to the fur industry as a whole, acknowledging the economic dependency of some communities on the industry, and the fact if we boycott fur it will not disappear, I still in this instance we find unjustifiable use of fur. The emergence of ‘origin assured’ fur has enabled a certain ‘guarantee’, namely that labeled fur is sourced from either natural deaths, meat production, or produced in a fur farm which meets national ‘regulations’. This works to alleviate any blame or guilt and as I suspect ‘origin assured’ is predominantly not chosen out of a genuine concern for animal welfare, instead for self-protection and self-righteousness. Not only are the morals shaky within the fashion industry’s justifications, so are the actualities, they are ‘regulations’ emanating from a largely self-policed industry. Eighty-Five per cent of fur still comes from ‘fur farms’ no mater how ‘regulated’ with violations against animal welfare continuing worldwide. Given ‘origin assured’ fur is a lucrative business ,it seems the fashion industry elite possess the means to pay for so-called ‘morals’, and thus in completely short sighting the ‘fur’ industry to suit ones own purpose its use of fur cannot be mitigated.
Above: It may be shocking, but Peta are renouned for thier disturbing campaigns
Rght: By no means the only designer to adverstise fur, a fur Fendi coat as seen on the Milan Catwalk, 2008
We condemn the wearing of fur because it is in breach of animal rights. Can this be true? If we defend animal rights, then the use of an animal as a means to some human end (gastronomic or aesthetic) would be immoral. But we eat meat. Is there a qualitative difference between wearing fur and eating meat? I don’t think so. Therefore, the debate must hinge not on animal rights, but rather on animal welfare. Harvesting of fur does not necessarily go against our norms of animal welfare: there are humane ways to harvest fur. Thus, the wearing of fur should be treated the same way that we treat meat-eating. Moreover, the fur trade provides an economic incentive for fur farmers to nurture the populations of certain animals, such as mink or ermine. On top of that, the substitutes that are sought to replace furfaux fur- are made from ecologically damaging petrochemicals, which may help to exacerbate climate change. Unlike faux fur, real fur is biodegradable and recyclable. Fundamentally, the common moral stance on fur is incoherent and often hypocritical.