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NOMINATED: GUARDIAN STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR 2009

TUESDAY January 19th, 2010

ISSUE 203

vision@yusu.org

student protest special

- Interview -

hot chip

- features -

- SCENE -

WWW.YORKVISION.CO.UK

hardeep gingh kohli

: TOP BOSS ADMITS

WE USED TIM COS HE'S

BLACK

> YUSU Pres misled over role in vid

> Grenville censored student views >"Scandalous": YUSU sabbs hit back

BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN SHOCKING COMMENTS by a Uni boss have sparked a race row with YUSU. President Tim Ngwena was unaware that the colour of his skin was the reason that he was chosen to star in a video of student opinions, commissioned by Pro Vice Chancellor for Students Jane Grenville. Speaking exclusively to Vision, she admitted: "It's hard to walk up to someone and say 'can I interview you because of

the colour of your skin'." YUSU have hit back at Grenville's remarks, branding her actions "scandalous". Grenville also admitted to censoring students' comments made in the original video, which was designed to show the University Council the opinions of 'real' students. These students were replaced with actors who were fed lines on Grenville's request."

FULL STORY PAGE 4

VISION EXPOSES TRUTH BEHIND CONTROVERSIAL VIDEO


2NEWS

YORK VISION Tuesday January 19th, 2010

SNOW CHAOS EASES FOR YORK RETURN

YOUR WEEK

WEATHER YOU'RE READY OR NOT

QUOTE OF THE WEEK "The library changes have been carefully planned and organised" - Director of the Library & Archives, Stephen Town

GOOD WEEK bad week GOOD WEEK

the courtyard

Celebrating it's first birthday as campus' favourite bar.

BAD WEEK

james alexander

Victim of racist abuse from BNP

BY TOM MCDERMOTT EXAMINTATIONS WERE largely unaffected this week despite speculation that severe winter weather would leave a large proportion of students unable to return to York. Heavy snowfall in the

weeks before term started meant anyone planning on returning to York by car would have to contend with icy roads and poor visibility, whilst students planning on getting a train were at the mercy of unpredictable train lines, many of which were rendered dangerous by the snow.

Speculation began before term started that many students would be unable to return in time for important exams. However, an ease in the weather gave students an opportunity to travel back safely meaning that there was 100 per cent attendance in the vast

majority of exams. Officials at the University told Vision that despite widespread concern, “only a dozen or so people actually got in touch with the University with problems earlier in the week.”

AN INTERESTING WHAT A DRAMA! ESTATE OF AFFAIRS BY CHARLES RIVINGTON

the number cruncher 88

Percentage of YUSU election promises estimated to actually be fulfilled

500,000

Pounds taken so far by the Courtyard as of the end of last term.

2bn

Pounds to be slashed from university funding budgets

Join the debate online! Your constant source for everything York: www.yorkvision.co.uk Contact us: vision@yusu.org Front cover photos by Dan Birchinall & Anne-Marie Canning

BY MARTIN WILLIAMS

A STUDENT-RUN letting agency has been set up by a third-year economics student. David Coppard, 20, hopes his entrepreneurial project will provide a student-friendly alternative to existing York letting agencies. York Student Lets was set up earlier this month and is already offering a range of student houses, having secured funding from the University. Coppard explained: “I’ve worked part-time in letting

agencies for ages and I felt that I’d be able to set up my own company.” He added: “It’s in its embryonic stages at the moment; after I graduate I’ll be working on it full-time.” He told Vision he hoped the agency would offer students a good and honest service by offering straightforward contracts. He said: “There’s nothing revolutionary about it, we just work to suit our tenants wants and needs.”

DRAMA SOCIETY members have been left shocked and confused after returning to university to find that £1,470 pounds had been stolen from their committee safe. The cash, which had been collected from the sale of tickets to the society’s Christmas Ceilidh, went missing between the Sunday and Wednesday of Week 10 of last term. The news was delivered to members of the society by their current chair, Joe Hufton, at an open meeting last Wednesday. Hufton, reading from a prepared statement, said that the

incident was under police investigation and had been “recorded as a theft”. He went on to say that “the committee wish to sincerely apologise that this happened under their watch.” The reaction to this news was one of shock and sadness. A member of the society summed up the general feeling by telling Vision: “I think most people are a bit upset; however, the committee has dealt with this blow with the sterling professionalism and honesty that we have all come to expect of them and faith in them remains as strong as ever.”

Vision elections THIS WEEK! Your chance to get involved with the most awarded student newspaper in the country Check www.yorkvision.co.uk for more details. Guardian Student Newspaper of the Year 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 Tuesday November 24th, 2009 Editors: Jim Norton Martin Williams

Deputy News: Milana Knezevic Paddy Harte

Deputy Features: Charlotte Forbes Jack Knight

Style Editors: Merryn Hockaday Sarah Woods

Photo Editors: Matt Bunting Marcus Roby

Deputy Editors: Emily Fairbairn Andy Nichols

Comment Editors: Chris Burgess Samantha Cowley

Lifestyle Editors: Rachel Knox Kate O'Loughlin

Deputy Style: Emma Blake Zoe Pinder

Graphics Editor: Dan Birchinall

Scene Editor: Jenny McClarney

Deputy Comment: Daniel Goddard Megan Graham

Deputy Lifestyle: Maddy Potts Katy Roberts

Sports Editor: Joe McDermott Mike Regan

News Editors: Nicola Chapman Tom McDermott

Features Editors: Kelly Holt Will Wainewright

Deputy Sports Stephen Holgrath

Managing Editors: Rachel Knox Scene editorial listed in pullout

Opinions expressed in York 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


NEWS

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

YORK CLUB INSTITUTION FACES STRICT NOISE PENALTIES

3

ZIG-A-ZIG AHHHH!! YORK STUDENT COMA TRAGEDY BY DAN HEWITT & PAUL VIRIDES Photo: ziggysnightclub.com

> Ziggys in fierce battle with council > Owner: "Naughty students are to blame!" BY EMILY HODGES & EMILY FAIRBAIRN ZIGGY’S MANAGEMENT went up against the Council yesterday in a battle to stay open. The student favourite was just able to hang onto its license - but has been slapped with stricter regulations that it must stick to - or else it could face closure. Noise complaints from residents in the surrounding area that date back to 2006, as well as additional accusations of poor crowd control, were pre-

sented as evidence at the City of York Council hearing. Neighbour Adrian Strong, who lives close to the nightspot, said: “It is regularly impossible for my wife and I to sleep in the rear bedroom of our home without using earplugs.” He claimed that the noise problem was “particularly acute” on student nights. A report into the noisy nuisance by Helen Howlett, senior Environmental Protection Officer, found that the problem was made much worse when the rear fire-door of the club was left open. This situation

tended to occur on Wednesday nights. Speaking exclusively to Vision, Ziggy’s owner Andrew Elliot said: “It’s you naughty little students who text your mates when we’re full to get let in through the back door, then leave it open.” Mr. Elliot claimed that following several warnings from the Council he had put measures in place to alleviate the problem. These include a noise limiter on the DJ booth and an alarm that goes off when the fire-door is opened.

“I’ve done everything and more that the Council wanted,” he said. The licensing panel decided to add the improvements as 10 new conditions of the club's license. A new condition requiring the club to ensure noise is contained means the onus is now on Ziggy's to keep their noise down, or face the consequences. "I am more than happy to accept the conditions, and I feel now we have solved the problem" said Mr. Elliot.

BAD TASTE PARTY DIVIDES JCRC OPINION

AN ACQUIRED TASTE? that wasn't taken seriously and was just part of people putting some ideas out there to discuss.” In the JCRC minutes, it is stated that guidelines will be set out so that the college will not be responsible if anything was to go wrong,

including a contentious measure to have Ents Reps at the door to stop people entering with outfits they deem as ‘overly offensive’. Vision understands that many members of the JCRC are disappointed with the guidelines as they "defeat

SABBS ON THIN ICE

the point of a Bad Taste party." It is unclear whether James College will be offering ticket refunds to students who have been turned away.

BY DANIEL GODDARD

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ew h n ir a Whic e Ch colle g ed that tt admi wfound e n s i h has r p o w e him a made t with hi big ? adies l e h t

Campus photo: Marcus Robey

BY DANIEL GODDARD

CONTROVERSY AND DIVISION surrounds the newly elected James College JCRC’s decision to hold a ‘Bad Taste’ themed event in Week 4. The new committee are desperate to compete with colleges like Derwent and Vanbrugh whose events typically attract more students and make a larger profit. But there is concern from Robert Hughes, Welfare Vice-Chair, that the event could "alienate the college and make them seem unapproachable to those in need." Tim Green, Chair, was also worried about potential bad publicity from the event. A vote at the last committee resulted in 15-8 in favour of having the event with guidelines against an alternative idea. This will disappoint Hughes who, only three days before the committee meeting, told Vision: “Bad Taste was one of those ideas thrown around

A THIRD YEAR student has been left in a coma following a car accident on New Year’s Day. Jack Martindale sustained serious head injuries, including a broken jaw, bruising of the brain and severe facial damage as well as a broken arm. Police believe a car mounted the kerb whilst travelling on the A406 in London and hit Jack and four friends on the footpath. The occupants of the vehicle abandoned it immediately. The accident occurred in the early hours of January 1st. One friend was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and another remains in a coma in a critical but stable condition after sustaining serious injuries. A third suffered a broken leg whilst the fourth escaped with minor injuries. His told Vision: "The doctors can’t really say if they’re positive or not, as anything could happen… one doctor said that he’s seen loads of cases like Jack’s where the patient has fully recovered, but not to have false hopes. But I think they are positive." Seven men have been arrested in connection with the incident. Press Officer David Garner issued the following statement: "The University is saddened by the incident but hope that he makes a full recovery." An email sent out to all students in college said that “Goodricke College sends him our warmest wishes for a full and speedy recovery,” whilst Provost Jane Clarbour added that “we were devastated to hear the news… if friends and family need anything we will be happy to do all we can to help."

PHOTOS OF two YUSU sabbatical officers standing on campus’s frozen lake have been posted on Facebook. The gaffe comes at an embarrassing time for YUSU as within the same week the University had posted a warning on its website along with its travel advice stating that “It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to go onto the [lake] and you MUST NOT DO SO for any reason.” Worse still, one of the officers involved was also responsible for promoting the University’s safety message via the YUSU website and their own Facebook page. It is understood that the images were taken at least a week before the start of term, before most students had arrived back. When Vision confronted one of the sabbaticals with the images, they admitted it would “get [them] in to trouble with the University” if they were published.


4NEWS

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

We read them... ...so you don't have to

Players in a Pickle

PLAYERS FROM a Cardiff University Rugby team of engineers were hit with a bad case of food poisoning after an initiation social, writes Gair Rhydd. The players were encouraged to eat gherkins that had been inserted into their teammate’s bottoms. Team member Johnny Evans commented on Gair Rydd’s website to clear up any misunderstandings about the sickly situation: “Just to point out, no fresher was ever asked to insert a gherkin up their anus, but to simply hold it between their cheeks.”

Nazi Nincompoops TWO HUDDERSFIELD students could face expulsion over their brainchild “the Hitler Drinking game”. As reported in The Linc, The rules included the “holocaust” and “heil Hitler game", and fans of the game also uploaded pictures of themselves with swastikas and Hitler moustaches painted on them on the game's Facebook group. Despite the game's success, attracting 12,000 fans, the founders decided to delete the group for fear that the media would for some reason brand them “boorish, fascist and disrespectful”.

Junior Genius

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY has given a conditional offer to 14-year-old math boffin, Arran Fernandez, Varsity reports. If accepted, he will be the youngest person to attend Cambridge since 1773. His dream is to become a research mathematician at Cambridge, and would also like to solve the Riemann Hypothesis - a mathematical mystery the brightest minds in maths have struggled with since 1859!

Racy Research LEEDS UNIVERSITY is advertising for an unconventional member of staff; a £31,000-a-year lap dancing researcher. According to the Leeds Student, the successful applicant will help to research the objectification of the female body . Susie Squires, of the Taxpayer’s Alliance became rather hot under the collar, claiming that while “it may be a dream job for some men”, it is just another waste of taxpayer’s money. Others have claimed though that "better understanding of lap dancing clubs is a worthwhile research project.”

Milana Knezevic

BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN A RACE ROW has erupted between senior University officials over comments made about Tim Ngwena, YUSU’s first black president. Pro Vice Chancellor for Students Jane Grenville made the remarks in relation to a video featuring Ngwena. YUSU have slammed her comments as “scandalous”. The row emerged after interviewed Jane Vision Grenville about her actions during the production of a promotional film made by YSTV for the University Council.

DECIEVED

Tim Ngwena was misled to believe he was approached to be interviewed because of his experience with societies. But Grenville shockingly admitted to Vision, that he had been purposely given the wrong impression – he was chosen because he was black. “That’s why we put Tim in,” she said. “It’s difficult to walk up to someone and say ‘can we interview you because of the colour of your skin’.” Grenville had asked YSTV to interview a random selection of students about the University and what worried them. However, when she saw the final cut Grenville demanded that YSTV do the video again because she thought it gave the illusion of a “white middle-class mafia” and did not reflect the ethnic diversity on campus. Her comments over Ngwena have enraged YUSU who say he was totally unaware of the true reason for the interview. In a joint statement, YUSU sabbatical officers said: “There are many good reasons for having Tim in this video: he is an

RACE ROW OVER GRENVILLE GAFFE award-winning student entrepreneur, a recipient of the York Award, a successful charity event organiser and a popular president.” “The colour of his skin is not one of these reasons however. It is bad enough that University Council should be misled with scripted monologues presented as true reflections of students’ views; that the candidacy for these videos should be based on race rather than merit, however, is nothing short of scandalous.”

CENSORED The allegations of “scripted monologues” came after it was revealed that Grenville also censored comments and views that featured in the original video. “There were complaints that

were directed specifically at two departments,” said Grenville, when asked to explain her actions. “They were not appropriate to be brought up in front of Council, which is a governing body there to deal with strategy.”

SCRIPTED With YSTV stretched to such a tight deadline, the end film featured YSTV members who were instructed about what they must say. This included one YSTV member talking about how good the welfare system was at the University, put in at Grenville’s request after she was disappointed that none of the original students interviewed had mentioned it.

Alex, a YSTV member who featured in the video saying lines he was instructed to say, commented: "At the time I didn't think anything of it, but in retrospect it seems pretty outrageous. How can you claim the video represented what students thought, if most of it was scripted?"

'ENGAGED' University Council is a governing body that makes decisions about the running of the University. It is made up of internal staff and elected or co-opted members from outside of the institution. “The film went down well with them because they liked the feeling that they engaged with students,” said Grenville.

EXCLUSIVE: CAMPUS RIFE WITH 'POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS' DRUG

YORK GETS MEPHED-UP

Photo: Marcus Roby

student press

UNI BOSS 'USED' BLACK PRESIDENT

BY MILANA KNEZEVIC A SERIOUS WARNING has been issued to students by North Yorkshire Police and the University over the misuse of the legal drug mephedrone. Mephedrone is popularly purchased online at around £11 for a gram. The effects of the drug

have been compared to ecstasy and cocaine, and it is usually distributed as powder to be snorted, although it also comes in crystal, pill and liquid form. Vision has spoken to several students who have confirm that the drug has been widely circulated on campus for some time. “It’s become the new party drug

on campus,” says one student who has asked to be anonymous. “It’s cheap and easy to get a hold of." At the moment it is not illegal, although advertising and selling it for human consumption is banned. The drug is therefore often advertised as a plant chemical or a research drug. North Yorkshire Police has described it as “a potentially dangerous drug” which has left some users in A&E when their hearts stopped.

PARANOID

A York Hospital spokeswoman stated that there has been an increase in incidents linked to mephedrone over the past couple of months and that most of the people who are brought to A&E with symptoms of use have been in their late teens or early twenties. “The severity of their condition varies. However, we have had some people who have been seriously ill having taken this drug.” Many York students can also

tell of less serious, but nonetheless startling short-term side effects. One student recalls going on a three-day binge, consuming approximately 1 gram of mephedrone. “I just felt really ill and at one point my elbows and fingers even turned purple.” These, as well as nosebleeds and excessive sweating, are just a few known side effects of the drug. Furthermore, there have been reports of paranoia and anxiety after use. The police also warn of potential addiction to mephedrone, a warning that is backed up by students "It is definitely well addicting. I know people on campus who use it on a daily basis," said one. Currently Mephedrone is legal in the UK but reports claim that it might be made illegal in the UK as soon as in March, but until then the North Yorkshire Police office are advising that students do not use the drug.


NEWS

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2009

LIBRARY CHAOS CAUSES STUDENT STRESS

STAB IN THE (CUT) BACK

WE'RE FULLY BOOKED

BY MARTIN WILLIAMS

NO ROOM: STUDENTS WITH EXAMS WILL BE CRAMMING IN THE LIBRARY ALL YEAR.

D E VA S T A T I N G CUTBACKS are set to hit campus in part of an estimated £2bn slash to university funding. York officials are bracing themselves for the savings which could see at least 14,000 academics lose their jobs nationwide, according to the lecturers’ union UCU. This could even equate to the axing of entire departments at York. YUSU president Tim Ngwena slammed the government, saying the savings are “short-sighted, counterproductive and will damage students and the wider economy.” He said: “It’s ludicrous to think that cuts in higher education funding could do anything but impact on student experience.” Further damage to the porter service,

HOB KNOBS

FREE SPEECH at York could fall victim to new restrictions introduced in the wake of the botched Christmas Day airline attack. Would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab reportedly was a student at UCL when he was recruited by Al Quaeda. This revelation has sparked debate about the presence of radicalisation in other UK Universities. York Vice Chancellor Brian Cantor is a member of the Universities UK (UUK) group, which has been quick to respond to this perceived threat by setting up a panel

to tackle violent extremism on campus. A York University spokeman said:”The decision by UUK to establish a working group, to examine how universities can best protect academic freedom while taking appropriate action to prevent violent extremism, is a helpful development’. He added that the issue of campus radicalisation was “not the case in York”. One third year campus activist commented; “This whole issue has been blown completely out of proportion, most of the lectures and discussions organised on campuses, especially in the

University of York, are really friendly and tend to promote messages of peace rather than extremism.” Sam Westrop, Chair of York Freedom society also raised his concerns: “Nothing will further yet more dangerous radicalisation than the proscription of free speech - the very principles that radical Islamist groups seek to destroy.” The future remains uncertain for freedom of speech on UK campuses, and with fresh allegations of LSE senior lecturer Reza Pankhurst’s links with radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, the debate still continues.

campus cafeterias for just £1. However, the University has assured students that this inconvenience is now reaching an end: ‘We are awaiting formal confirmation from the manufacturer before turning the permanent [studio] hobs back on and removing the tempo-

Photo: YUSU

FREE SPEECH GAGGED

PROBLEMS CONTINUED for the isolated Goodricke College at the end of last term as students were unexpectedly left without hobs in the kitchens. For students in Goodricke, who do not have either a canteen or a shop on their campus to fall back on, this was a serious problem. One student said: "We buy our shopping in advance through the Internet. Being left without hobs so near to Christmas meant ordering extra food which I didn’t really need". The faulty cookers seem to have broken because they couldn't cope with so many students using them so often. Many of the systems emitted sparks and ‘cut off’ whilst hungry students tried to cook their dinner. This was becoming too dangerous for the students and so the hobs began to be replaced. A statement from the University said: "Everything possible was done to source and replace these items as quickly as possible. Affected students were given meal vouchers in the interim". The vouchers entitled Goodricke students to an afternoon or evening meal from a range of

Photo: Tim Ngwena

BY JOANNA EDWARDS

BY PADDY HARTE

campus bars and student facilities are likely to be key targets for the campus-crushing savings. Seminar and lecture sizes are also expected to increase dramatically. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU warned: “We will see teachers on the dole, students in larger classes and a higher education sector unable to contribute as much to the economy or society.” Leaders of the Russell Group of universities have also claimed that the cuts will have “a devastating effect not only on students and staff, but also on Britain's international competitiveness” The University has not yet been given all the details of the savings and so have not made any decisions on campus cut backs so far.

CRAP COOKERS GIVE GOODRICKE GRIEF

Photo: notowars.com

PANICKED STUDENTS last week begun the fight for study space as the ‘inevitable’ library refurbishments began. The library redevelopment has caused severe over-crowding: many students have been unable to get a seat or table with the entire second floor blocked off. The chaos is set to continue through the summer term, meaning that when exams and dissertations are due students may not have adequate space to study. One second-year Biology student said: “It was ridiculous. I just came in to get a book and it was rammed. It was like a cattle market. What an utter disgrace.” Students feel that the refurbishment could not have happened at a worse time, as week 1 in Spring Term is one of the busiest weeks in the University calendar Stephen Town, Director of the Library & Archives, told Vision: “Unfortunately the first phase of work has a long duration of seven months so it

could not be restricted to vacation times. It was also important to begin the work as soon as possible due to necessary maintenance.” “We are currently working with the University to identify additional, alternative study spaces, which should be available shortly although unfortunately these will not be located in the Library.” Some students were even seen to sit and lie on the floor in a desperate bid to utilise any available space. Town stated, however, that the changes had been "carefully planned and organised". Most of the first floor has now been taken up with books from the second floor, with individual study rooms opened up to allow more space. This, however, has meant that there are now no areas for group study, with those seeking space urged to look elsewhere. Many third years are concerned that they would not be around to reap the benefits from the refurbishment, even though they would be the ones badly affected by it.

Photo: Marcus Roby

BY NICOLA CHAPMAN

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6NEWS

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: YORK STUDENTS IN HOMOPHOBIC ABUSE DRAMA

OTC GO OTT

> "We felt very intimidated" > YUSU are "disgusted"

Photos by army.co.uk

BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN

"Horrible": York students' response to homophobic jibes

HOMOPHOBIC INSULTS were reportedly thrown at a group of students returning from a gay night- but their abusers were York students too. Witnesses claim that the bullies were members of York’s Officer Training Corps, a programme run by the Army to provide military leadership training to students. The incident took place on a night bus returning to the city from Leeds. One of the student victims, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “They made me feel massively uncomfortable the whole way home.” He explained that the abuse started when two of his friends, who were “wasted”, began hugging and kissing. “The members of the OTC literally watched them the whole journey, gathering together and making horrible

comments. It was quite intimidating.” YUSU Welfare Officer Ben Humphrys said that he was “disgusted” by the actions of the individuals involved in the incident. “They reflect badly upon both themselves and their organisation,” he said. “Students should know that YUSU will not tolerate homophobia, and will actively work to prevent students involved in it from attending events held by YUSU or organisations with which we are affiliated.” A spokesman for Leeds OTC, to which the York detachment belongs, said: “Homophobia is not allowed in the OTC and we are unaware of any of our cadets making such comments.” Any students who find themselves victim of any kind of abuse, threats or intimidation should contact YUSU who promise to pursue each case thoroughly.

FILM COLLEGE BARS CAN'T COMPARE TO ME IN COURTYARD

YORK STUDENT SHINES IN NATIONWIDE COMP

BY ANGUS HILL

A BUDDING York filmmaker made it into the final rounds of a prestigious national competition. Ollie Wiggins, a second year English literature student, reached the final 30 in film contest ‘The Pitch’ after entering a three-minute long film called The Journey Home that he had filmed around the University. Despite not making it to the final of the competition, Ollie still has ambitions of a career as a director. He said: “I’m so pleased with how well I’ve done. It was a tough competition but it was very exciting to get so far." Halifax student Ol-

lie, who is also Vice Chair of the campus Film Making Society, produced a modern day version of the prodigal son parable to enter into the Christian film making competition. The bite-sized movie was filmed around campus and on local buses, in an attempt to win the top prize of a trip to Hollywood to meet film producer Ralph Winter and the chance to make a short film. Ollie added: “I’d definitely like to enter more competitions in the future and maybe think about taking my work to film festivals.”

ling i p h s a C : d r a y t The Cour BY TOM MCDERMOTT THE COURTYARD'S success has raised questions about Commercial Services after an astounding first year of business. One year on from its opening, the success of the Courtyard has left many students with the impression that Commercial Services are mismanaging college bars. The YUSU run bar took its £500,000th towards the end of last term. Lewis Bretts, YUSU Democracy and Services Officer, revealed that the Courtyard has actually

done “significantly better” than the initial plan for it to break even in its first year of business, leading to speculation that other campus bars could be doing far better in terms of commercial success. The well established Derwent Bar, for example, was temporarily closed over the summer to the anger of Derwent students, when it became clear that the bar was operating at a loss. One student told Vision: “If a bar cannot sell alcohol to students then the management should definitely be questioned.”

Langwith, on the other hand, are more than happy with the management of their bar. Newly-elected Chair, Connor Wilcock told Vision: “the Courtyard has been a great addition to Langwith College.” He went to on comment that he believed that a high level of cooperation between the college and the bar was one of the main reasons that they have managed to produce “a well-run and popular bar.” Bretts dismissed the notion that the Courtyard’s successes has come at cost of the other campus bars. He suggested that the

up

Courtyard could be held up as an example for other bars to follow rather than seen as a reason for the somewhat diminishing fortunes of the other bars. “I really feel that we should never see strong competition as a negative thing” he told Vision. “The Courtyard Project set out to raise the standard of bars on campus, and I firmly believe that if both Commercial Services and YUSU seek to excel then they can both enjoy commercial success."


YORK VISION

NEWS

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

OOOH GET

YORK ACTIVIST ATTACKED BY BNP BY MARTIN WILLIAMS “RACIST AND ABHORRENT” attacks directed at a York campaigner have been posted on a white supremacist website. A racist internet forum, used by KKK and BNP supporters, launched an anti-Semitic assault on former YUSU president over the Christmas holidays. Ex-YUSU President James Alexander had launched an anti-fascist campaign, backed by York Vision, after a BNP can-

didate was elected to represent Yorkshire in the EU last year. One comment on the website says: “He looks Jewish to me. He's got the beady eyes, the Jew lip and the funny shaped face.” Another post threatens him physically, while another states that BNP activists would “make Jamie see sense”. Alexander told Vision: “I find these attacks extremely offensive. My great grandmother was a Jewish French Canadian and I find such attacks racist and abhorrent. These comments are very telling of the

BY MARTIN WILLIAMS YUSU ARE set to rebuff criticism from Nouse that they are “failing to fulfill the key principles” of their election manifestos, Vision can reveal. Officers took part in a review, headed by Vision, with results suggesting that they will achieve the majority of their pledges before the end of Summer Term. Criticism had particularly been levelled last term towards Democracy and Services officer Lewis Bretts for “failing to fulfill his primary campaign pledge to establish a weekly ‘fresh fruit and veg’ market stall.” But Bretts says he is still working towards it and hopes to see it open on campus before the end of term. Other major changes will include the opening of a campus GUM clinic, the introduction of ‘Freshers’ Fair 2’ and a student welfare website, both happening later in the Spring Term. The review suggests that around 88% of YUSU manifesto promises will be fulfilled by the end of the academic year. Sabbatical officers’ failures have included protecting the porter service and increasing resources in the library, which has been hampered by renovation work.

shh!

colh y Whic u r gb l e g e n is in i capta asty a n his for n o se supri s o ci a l ? n e x t ope hair h Lets back s w o r g fast...

true nature of the supporters of the BNP.” The website, which uses the slogan “White Pride World Wide”, includes comments claiming that Jewish people “are a danger to our race because of what little white blood they have”. The self-confessed BNP supporters who wrote the abusive comments about Alexander have elsewhere advocated violence against black people and Jews. Alexander, who is a prospective MP for York, has said he hopes that the actions of

the BNP will encourage more students to join his campaign. In December he had intended to present the ‘BNP Does Not Speak For Me’ petition to the EU but was forced to postpone it due to the disruptions with Eurostar. He said: “I am rescheduling the trip to present the first wave of petitions in the very near future.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

You can sign the petition by joining the Facebook group ‘The BNP Don’t Speak For Me’

STUDENTS DO THEIR BIT FOR DISASTER RELIEF

and homeless. The walk is due to take place on Sunday Week 3, with the route involving trekking to and from a pub located just outside of Selby. Etheridge added:"I really hope that this campaign is a success because there are thousands of people in desperate need of assistance in Haiti. It is moments such as these that should remind all of us that we are very fortunate to be where we are and to have such a comfortable way of life.” You can donate via the Facebook group.

Photo: findingdulcinea.com

STUDENTS have been urged to take part in a marathon in aid of the Haitian Earthquake Relief. The charity walk, which echoes that of last year’s marathon for Gaza, has been organised by YUSU campaigns officers Chris Etheridge and Jason Rose, with campus activists David Levine and George Papadofragakis. The Facebook group ‘Humanitarian Aid for Haiti’ has already acquired nearly 1,000 members, proving that York students are

very passionate about the cause. Speaking to Vision, Chris Etheridge says he believes students will once again pool all their efforts in to making the campaign a success: “As with the Humanitarian Aid for Gaza (York) campaign last year, I am confident that York students can raise a large amount of money for such a worthy and necessary cause.” The earthquake which hit Haiti on the January 12 has caused complete devastation, with the death toll now reaching nearly 30,000 and many more left injured

Photo: unitednationsdevelopment.flickr

YORK LOVE FOR HAITI

BY NICOLA CHAPMAN

7

TOTAL DEVASTATION: York students are pulling together to show their support

BY PADDY HARTE THE BOLD introduction of 5 days a week catered accommodation in Derwent and Langwith Colleges next year has sparked heated debate within the student body. Former Langwith chair Sam Asfhani is fuming with the timing of the decision. He told Vision: "The idea is to increase revenue". He added: "The University has once again taken a fragile moment in college JCRCs to announce a previously unpopular idea, just after the handover of Chairs". The small increase in price for catered accommodation, which accounts to around £1.20 a meal, is not the issue for Asfhani, who remarks: "In terms of Langwith, students would have to go to either Derwent or Vanbrugh for their meals with no facility in the college." Derwent chair Holly Burton, on the other hand, is enthusiastic about the new measures, claiming: "It will be good to get people to use the public social spaces in the college more frequently". She added: "Derwent has always been such a sociable college that it suits us well to have everyone eating together." Although there has also been talk of the scheme being extended to James College, Chair Tim Green informed Vision that the decision was still "up in the air".


8 COMMENT

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

>Comment THE VOICE OF

Vision Says...

T

he most awarded student newspaper in the country, York Vision, is once again holding elections for all editorial positions at the end of Week 2. If you want to run for a position or would like to try your hand at writing, photography or anything else you think you can bring to our newspaper team, then we would love for you to come along. After all, with the government's far reaching funding cuts forthcoming this could well be your last chance to get involved before the University has to close all societies just to afford to reopen the second floor of the library. Details on elections on: www.vision.co.uk

Thumbs up to...

V

ision would like to thank the York Annual Fund team for a generous grant of £1,000! The Annual Fund is a vital source of funding for York societies and makes a remarkable contribution to University life. This year the fund awarded £123,353 across campus, money that will widen access to York, support colleges, departments and enhance the student experience of many individuals. Vision's grant will secure our financial future and allow us to invest in equipment that will enable us to produce our awardwinning newspaper long into the future.

Thumbs down to...

T

here's nothing wrong with Jane Grenville's desire to present the University Council with a selection of students who reflect our diverse campus population. Misleading Tim Ngwena however is something much worse; he is rightly offended at being held up as a 'token black person'. Grenville should have been honest with Tim from the start. She should have been honest with the Council. Scripting a video that is meant to reflect the views of 'real' students is insulting to both us and them.

LET'S BUCK THE TREND

Why should precedent prevent University Council from engaging with students?

SAMANTHA COWLEY

P

oor Brian Cantor. It seems that every term a group of students trot their way down to Heslington Hall, megaphone in hand, campaigning for this, that and the other. With all this irritable pleading and wheedling it’s a wonder he gets any work done. The same can be said for Jane Grenville, who valiantly learnt how to waltz last term as she doled out the possessively named 'Jane Grenville Money' which I assume does not come directly from her Nationwide account. However, the least that can be said for these two figures is that we actually know their names. That in times of want and need we know in which direction to point the megaphone and in whose face to thrust the beggars bowl. Or do we? Contrary to how it may seem, the University isn’t run by this solitary duo. Hidden on the University website, amongst all the demands for snowed in students to dig their way back and admission procedures is a list of University Council Members – the principal governing body of the University which exercises general control over the institution and its affairs. Given the importance of such a body it does seem a little worrying that earlier this week Ms Gren-

ville admitted that a video featuring the ‘opinions’ and ‘complaints’ of the ‘average’ student went down well with the Council because "they liked the feeling that they engaged with The University Council: pretty hard to take seriously students". Seriously, "they the name of every student whose a difficult balancing act, reconcilliked the feeling." I have a suggestion for the ever lived in V/B/104 or have to ing the desires of the student with Council: if they want to engage attend Have I Got News for York. the single-minded pragmatism of with the students who turn this But the perception that the strat- the management. He is also someone, as the collection of 1960s concrete into a egy (and what a meaningless word University, an institution of learn- that is) of the University is not ousting of Academic/Welfare ing and not just a research facility directly linked with students is a Sabb Grace Fletcher Hackwood two years ago indicates, whose on the south east tip of York, then worrying one. The two students who now job is never truly secure and is go and stand by the cash-point in Market Square or wander into stand on this council, YUSU Presi- dependent on ‘good-behaviour’. Vanbrugh canteen at lunchtime dent Tim Ngwena and President Surely this committee would ben(not Derwent, mind you, they of the GSA, Rui Huang, are just efit from a seat, in amongst the two of twenty-two voices and giv- faculty staff, administrative staff closed that) and ask someone. Council shouldn’t be 'feeling' en that they come bottom on the and owners of Betty’s, reserved anything unless they’ve actually website’s list the message is clear: for your average student. A studone it, and contrived videos re- "This committee has little to do dent whose only job is to account for students in this setting. Only ally don’t feature in many peo- with you". Should Ngwena and Huang be then can this mysterious body say ple’s definitions of ‘engaged’. Yes, as Grenville pointed out to our the only students on the Council? that their strategising takes place Vision interviewer, the Council As president of the Union, Ng- with the whole needs of the comis more about strategy than stu- wena does have a duty to the stu- munity in mind. dents and thus they needn’t know dents. But he also has to perform

YOUR VOICE : LETTER TO THE EDITOR SAVE OUR PORTERS CAMPAIGN

Dear Vision,

I

attended the S.U. demonstration against portering cuts, and during the protest itself it seemed like the S.U. really did care about portering and could maybe get some results. But now it occurs to me, is all of this anything more than posturing? It’s easy to come out from under the rock of the S.U. building once a term and shout down a megaphone and it might provide a good photo opportunity, but what is actually happening about getting some practical results? The president came out saying that the only option now is to put together a list of problems which the lack of portering has caused and hope the management spontaneously give porters back. But apparently he had just tried that

in the meeting itself, and it didn’t get anywhere because the managers found ways to wriggle out of taking responsibility. Avoiding responsibility in this way is easy to do. In the future someone may get attacked, having been followed with nowhere to escape to, or they may get in to trouble because of a lack of first aid, but the management can always just say 'Well, even with 24/7 lodges, the porter could have been away somewhere else doing a security check'. Even if the burglary rate doubled, the management could just say, in relation to any particular incident,

'Well, there were burglaries before so you can’t prove that this specific incident wouldn’t have happened anyway'. Proving that the cutbacks are causing harm sounds easy, but in fact, however much trouble the lack of portering causes, it’s almost impossible to prove. What the S.U. officers need to do is get the management to commit to precisely what sort of evidence, both in terms of individual incidents and in terms of overall crime rates on campus, would get portering returned. If the managers avoid doing this then that’d be a tacit admission that however bad things get the kind of proof

Is all of this anything more than posturing?

JOIN THE DEBATE AT WWW.YORKVISION.CO.UK

they are asking for is impossible. Or if they do give examples then at least we’ll know that, if the kind of thing which is described comes true, we can perhaps get portering hours restored. If (and it’s a big if) the Student Union really does want to get portering back, and if they think that using a list of incidents is a good way to do it, then they need to get some ground rules in place, or they’ll just get shot down in flames again and there’s no chance at all that we’ll get tangible results. Yours, A Vanbrugh first year If you've got something to say, email Vision at : vision@yusu.org or join the debate online at: www.yorkvision.co.uk


COMMENT

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

9

PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES...

In the light of recent university funding cuts...

...SHOULD WE PAY MORE FOR A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION? MARK PICKARD

T

he student community is never going to be wholly receptive to paying a fair price for their university education, but raising the cap on tuition fees, ideally done with consultation and pragmatism, can only be a good thing. Firstly, I comprehensively fail to understand the feeling of entitlement that comes with the privilege of free higher education. Yes, higher education is important and yes, the nation will benefit from the skills and experiences we pick up while at university, but the prime beneficiaries will remain ourselves. In light of this we have a duty to pay. On a more moral note how can we expect the poorest in society to pay higher taxes to fund the education of those who are set to earn a considerable premium over their lifetime? Raising tuition fees will not just benefit wider society, but will have a positive effect on student and university life. Realistically speaking the only way to have world class higher education is for it to be part-funded by students. With a government deficit of £16.2bn and university funding cuts of £398m, to defend the quality of their own education students need to be prepared to make good this shortfall. That is not to say that efficiency

YES savings cannot be made or that the government should cease to provide funding altogether; merely that in order to retain the best academics, provide the finest facilities, and continue to meet with the demands of undergraduates, student money is needed. With this new infusion of money students could begin to see themselves as consumers of higher education. An NUS policy that accepted the inevitability of tuition fee increases and adopted a sensible approach based around negotiation and moderation would achieve a considerably better result for students. Increases in tuition fees could be discussed and consensual, and students would have influence channeling some of the money towards what matters most to them. For example, for a £2000 increase students could ask for a minimum of 10 contact hours per week, 30% extra library books, or even more support for the poorest students. By this approach students would be empowered not exploited by an increase in tuition fees. The wide range of benefits that raising tuition fees could bring is extensive. It is not something that should happen blindly, but with due dialogue a workable system can be put into place.

NO I

f the cap on tuition fees were to be lifted, the higher education system in this country would be irrevocably altered for the worse. Regardless of whether we are entitled to pay only a limited amount of money for a university education, the current system allows the conformity necessary to provide the best opportunity for all. Allowing universities to charge unlimited fees whilst also cutting their funding would benefit no one. The government would in fact spend more money to create an even greater division between rich and poor. The extra money the universities would request would not initially come out of our pockets, but the Government’s. Whilst we are only required to pay a third of the true cost of our higher education, the current system of student loans covers this amount and is only repayable when the borrower is earning £15,000 a year. Therefore in the short term the taxpayer would foot even more of the bill, as students study rather than repay over the first three or more years of the loan period. To counter this, the Government could simply refuse to cover the full tuition fee amount, or could raise the level of interest to that of commercial loans. Whilst these options would relieve the pressure on the taxpayer, both would further add to the amount students would be required to

CHRIS BURGESS pay. With higher fees, and the resulting change in loans provision, it is not necessarily true that only the rich would be able to afford to go to university. But a dangerous division between expensive universities offering the best education and cheaper establishments offering less would develop. As academic achievement loses out to wallet size, a new inescapable cycle of low earnings would develop for those that could not afford to go to the best institutions. Problems would arise in the shorter term as well. It is naive to assume that universities would allow students a greater say in where their money is spent just because they are spending more of it. More expensive universities would certainly have to justify their prices, but they would not need to become more open to student opinion to do so. Were higher prices to become the norm, the university would continue to do whatever is necessary to attract higher numbers of new students. This may be by promising more contact hours or books, or it may be building shiny new facilities. But the decisions would still be made by profiteering executives, buoyed up by ever increasing amounts of capital if the tuition fee floodgates are forced open.

WANT TO RESPOND? EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG


10 COMMENT

YORK VISION

THE REAL CON-SPIRACY

DANIEL GODDARD

H

Here’s something for you to ponder; what do the first Apollo moon landing, 9/11 and the death of Princess Diana all have in common? Now take yourself back to your GCSE History lessons and recall why the USA entered WW2. You were probably taught that the attack at Pearl Harbour was the catalyst for their involvement. But you almost certainly were not told that Theodore Roosevelt knew about the Japanese attack in advance but allowed it to happen so that a whole load of Jewish Bankers and weapon manufacturers could get rich off the war. Sounds slightly farfetched to say the least? Indeed nearly every significant event or occurrence of the last two centuries has an alternative explanation, which if proven true for many of them would rock the very foundation of our social order. Every war, every assassination, every natural disaster is believed by some to be part of a systematic orchestration of world events; this alone should not really concern the majority of us, the only problem is that with the aid of the Internet, ‘some’ is an ever increasing number. What is different now compared to let’s say 15 years ago is that conspiracy has fully entered the mainstream, and it is now socially acceptable for otherwise

rational people to unconsciously spout hearsay claptrap. To the point that the next time I hear ‘CCTV’ and ‘Big Brother’ in the same sentence, I will have to resist the urge to pummel the person with a hardback copy of 1984 while simultaneously vomiting in their mouth. An ex of mine casually remarked at my naivety in assuming the first moon landing was not faked, “everyone knows it was, that’s why the flag is waving,’ ‘everyone’ seeming to be the default defence of the un-intellectuals this epoch. 9/11 is by far the daddy of all conspiracies, and the claims are wide and far reaching. There are essentially two main theories as to what actually happened that day: the US Government was complicit in allowing the attacks to take place, or the US Government carried out the attacks. The remarkable thing is that in a poll of New Yorkers taken in 2004, 36% and 49.3% agreed with the former and latter statements respectively. Extremely surprising considering the implications. Nevertheless, this probably has much to do with the countless university drop-out conspiracists on the internet posting films with spooky music on Youtube, giving them an unprecedented platform to reach the masses. One of the more professional looking films is Loose Change, which remarkably claims that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives that would have to have been installed when the buildings were first built in the 60s so that no one would notice. Despite the blatant absurdity of such an assertion, 12% of people in the same poll agreed with it. Evidence for this

claim includes the fact that it ‘looks’ like a demolition and that there are witnesses who say they heard ‘explosions’. Needless to say, 12% of New Yorkers are idiots. What connects every single ‘theory’, and what separates them from fact, is that none of them have one piece of solid proof to back them up. Of course I know that many people reading this may not share my scepticism of these lunatics, so perhaps you too should get your head examined. I’m not going to debunk every theory point by point, but just consider for a minute how many people would have to be in on it for them to be executed. And astonishingly not one of them has outed the conspirators and selfishly made a fortune for themselves selling the story. Unless there was some way the media was being controlled by shape-shifting reptilian humanoids...

OI! GINGA! GET BACK IN YOUR BISCUIT TIN JAMES MASTERS

T

he Ginger Nut Biscuit. You either love it or you hate it. For me, the crunchy texture and sweet, tangy taste is perfectly palatable – a true modest British ‘biccy’. Yet the product is disappearing from supermarket shelves at an alarming rate, replaced by Almond Thins or something pretentious like that. This humble, unassuming biscuit may not be luxurious but it is packed with a powerful fiery taste – The Ginger Nut is Britain. I’ve often been called a ‘Ginger Nut’, for as you can see I have hair of the vivid orange variety. Walking home, minding my own business, I’ll be serenaded by gangs of brown-mopped yobs screaming their war cry: “Get back in your biscuit tin; ginger, ginger!” The Chaucerian beauty of it is truly magical. This Christmas York’s very own Tesco stores indulged in a spot of ‘carrot-top bashing’ and were forced to remove a card that sneered: “Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones.” This was after a mother complained that the card was offensive to herself and her three redhead daughters. The country chuckled this story off lightly but surely it is an example of discrimination which encourages bullying. Imagine the uproar if the manufacturer designed a similar work entitled: “Santa loves all kids. Even homosexual, four-eyed fatties in wheelchairs, from a racial minority.”

It would cause disgusted uproar and quite rightly so. Tesco have apologised for the affair, “It is never our intention to offend any customer and we are sorry if this card caused any upset," they said. However this is a tame occurrence compared to other instances of ‘gingerist’ bullying. In California, the Huffington Post reported that seven students were attacked at school on a so called ‘Kick a Ginger Day’. YouTube has marvelously revolting videos such as ‘Exterminate all Gingers’ while Facebook has a number of classy groups subtly entitled ‘WE HATE GINGER PEOPLE’. It appears that gingers have always had a hard time. While browsing the chronicles written by a Frankish chap called Notker the Stammerer in 884, I sympathetically noted one “poor red-headed fellow”. So self-conscious was he in church, that he balanced, “one of his boots on top of his head, for he had no cap”. The Bishop, incensed by this novel use of footwear, had the man dragged forward and declared to the audience, “Lo and behold, all of you people! This fool is red-headed!” The man was chained and sent swiftly back to his biscuit tin wondering why he’d

bothered getting up that morning. But if you delve into our past many of our greatest national heroes carried a carrot-topped crown – King Arthur, Queen Elizabeth I, Cromwell, Darwin and Churchill. And now we can add one more illustrious character to this prestigious list. The ever-sober and respectable prince of politeness... Harry Windsor. Red hair is central to British history and identity; the foundation stone as this country burns with the flecks of the most vivid orange. Yet we are derided. However in 2004, Jonathan Rees suggested that red hair’s increasing rarity could lead it to becoming desirable in a partner! (Unfortunately, I can provide no personal proof on the subject; but in India, men even colour their hair with saffron to allure the ladies.) Thus, the pigment pheomalin (which gives the colour) will become more common! The idea that red heads will be extinct by 2060 is utter twaddle. Red hair is a recessive gene but that still means that bar the destruction of the human race, extinction is impossible. Yes, the number of gingers may decrease with increased multicultural breeding but the gene can’t be destroyed, it will just remain ‘hidden’ and thus will resurface. Ginger is a hair colour not a species of people! So, when we pause for a moment; perhaps ‘Ginger Nuts’ aren’t doing as bad as you or I thought. Certainly they get a bad press, are mocked and abused by their rivals. But maybe; just maybe they’re due some true recognition. Perhaps someday they may even experience a glorious comeback. All that remains is the core debate. Should we dunk them in tea or not?

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

MEGAN GRAHAM

A RUM DEAL T

he Department of Health recently announced plans to attack the socalled 'binge-drinking culture' of Britain, suggesting the implementation of a minimum alcohol charge in order to discourage the kind of heavy drinking sessions which so often end in a trip to the police station or to casualty. I have a problem with this idea for two reasons. Firstly, because I’m a student and such a large part of our lives does revolve around alcohol. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be sad to see 99p glasses of wine at the Charles reduced to nothing more than distant memory and fond nostalgia. My second problem is this; the idea is utterly and unbelievably stupid. It. Will. Not. Work. The plan to add a minimum charge of up to 50p per unit of alcohol to the cost of alcoholic drinks is foolish for many reasons. Not only will it have a negative impact on sensible and moderate drinkers, who do make up the majority, it also operates on the sole assumption that only people with a low income binge drink, targeting as it does those who would be forced to curb drinking habits for purely financial reasons if prices were to rise. While binge drinking is mainly associated with young people in the media (who naturally often have a lower income), it is by no way restricted to them in the real world: many adults often drink way above the recommended 15-20 units a week, and to restrict the drinking habits only of those earning less in an attempt to tackle this is not only ludicrous, it’s also morally wrong. More than this however, the proposed changes ignore entirely the reasons behind binge drinking; namely to get drunk. Higher alcohol prices wouldn’t put people looking to have a big drunken night out, they would only force drinkers into such money-saving techniques as buying booze in bulk and drinking it at home to avoid paying for club entrance and taxis and the like (which is damaging to pubs, clubs and bars, all positive and sociable aspects of our drinking culture), or saving up their money for one big night out rather than drinking during the week, which results in an even bigger health risk. Clearly, the government can never make alcohol unaffordable, and nor should they. Going out drinking is an integral part of our culture; it provides a backdrop to socialising, economic stimulation for the country and sometimes the motivation needed to finish an essay that’s due in the next day! The UK already charges some of the highest alcohol-tax rates in Europe, and so if we do as a nation have an alcohol problem then its roots are not economical but social. They lie in the lack of education about continually excessive drinking when people are still young, in the extensive glamourisation of alcohol through TV advertising and in the lack of power held by police and club security to deal with the kind of dangerous drunkenness that leads to tragedy. Ultimately, they lie in the individual’s sense of responsibility towards their own safety and that of others, and it is this sense of selfish, stupid recklessness that so many of us seem to pick up alongside our bottles that needs to be tackled first.


11

YORK VISION

SATIRE

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

THE SKETCH FROM THE DESK OF BRIAN CANTOR S G A L S D US

SEN

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12 FEATURES

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

>Features

THE GREAT EXCHANGE

After spending a year on exchange at the University of Bergen, Peter Saul sheds some light on the international student experience...

F

you don’t even have an A-Level. In reality, however, not all European exchanges stipulate that you speak the native language. Different departments have different schemes so it’s worth checking. There are also opportunities to develop language skills. “LFA [Languages For All Courses offered by York] are very popular amongst students and many attend before going on exchange” says Laura Atkinson, Study Abroad Administrator. One of LFA’s students two years ago was Roy Scivyer. Scivyer had A-Level German but felt that the experience of going on exchange boosted his skills considerably. “Immersion is essential to learning a language,” he said. “I certainly wouldn’t have been able

Only about 5% of students study abroad so it is something fairly unique to put on

V

or those of you cursing the slush and the ice and the dark, your thoughts have probably turned to dreams of more exotic climes. If so, Roy Moore’s experience might sound pretty desirable. The third year PPE student spent last year on exchange to the National University of Singapore. "One of the best aspects was cheap travel to nearby places,” he told Vision. “I went to Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and afterwards the Philippines... all fascinating places with their own different cultures.” Envious? Well you might be surprised to learn that such exchangesare not always as popular as you may think, “Only two people applied for mine but I think that was because it was the first year,” says Moore. “It’ll be a lot more popular this year. The American ones get loads of competition.” There’s another option for prospective exchanges, however. But European exchanges are far less popular. The International Office says that most York students who go, do so as a compulsory part of their course – for example if they’re studying a language. Voluntary students comprise only a small number of applicants. Consequently, those who do apply have a very good chance of success as there are fewer applicants than places. So why so little enthusiasm? Well, undoubtedly many students’ poor language skills put them off the idea. The thought of studying in a different language is pretty daunting – especially if

V

the CV

to get to the standard of German I did without it.” It may sound like hard work but the rewards can be considerable. According to the International Office, exchange students

benefit from increased employability because they have already demonstrated their adaptability. It’s worth noting that only just over 5% of UK students go on exchange, so those that do have something fairly unique to put on their CV. It can also be a fantastic personal experience. Maarten van Schaik is Chair of the Erasmus Society at York. The society - named after the EU’s Erasmus Exchange Scheme - includes students from countries across Europe. “Exchanges are a great opportunity to get an insight into cultures,” he explains enthusiastically. And he should know. Van Schaik came to York on an exchange from the University of Utrecht, Holland - and liked it so much that he left Utrecht and transferred his History course to York. “Student life is more active here than in the Netherlands” he explains. That’s especially true of the Erasmus Society: “Some students are only here for three months... so they’re very intensive: they try to do as much as

Fjord-diving - an extra-curricular activity not on offer at York

Peter Saul goes in for some continental bonding with his new friends

possible in terms of societies and so on." Scivyer agrees that cultural diversity is a big plus factor: “The best experience was meeting different people from all over the world... Americans, Irish, Danish, Swedish; all trying to communicate with each other in German... It was fantastic.” So it appears that whether you’re going to York or from York there are serious reasons for considering going on exchange. There are possible disadvantages too though: language problems could make it harder to make friends. And if something does go wrong you’re away from your friends and family in a completely foreign place. How do you cope practically and emotionally without your usual support network? Exchanges certainly aren’t ideal for everyone. The students I spoke to said that you have to be fairly outgoing to get the most out of the experience. It’s possible that exchange students who harbour reservations might allow those fears to hold them back and make less of an effort to be involved with foreign student life. Confidence is certainly an asset. “That’s true, but it also might help a shy person develop themselves,” muses Roy Moore. “And it’s controlled which is helpful – they help organise all the visas and so on.” It’s also worth noting that most York students have a great time. Exchange students are typically housed in accommodation with other exchangees who share the same worries and are just as eager to make friends. “The important thing to remember,” says the International Office, “is that almost every exchange student has had the same doubts but almost every returning student says it was one of the

best experiences of their life.” Some may also be threatened by financial concerns. Tight student budgets don’t tend to stretch to international flights for example. However, for European exchanges EU grants are available. There’s no means testing and students can receive up to £3,000 for a year long exchange. You’ll also continue to receive all normal loans and grants from the Student Loans Company. You might want to waive the tuition fee loan however – because if you go for a full year you pay no tuition fees. And, yes, you did just read that correctly. "I think you should definitely consider it carefully if you're not sure whether or not to go,” says Moore. “I'm really glad I went. For me, it was brilliant." Hmmm. Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, the Phillipines... versus the slush and the ice and the dark. We at Vision can kind of see where he’s coming from...

How to get started - The York International Office website contains a wealth of information about the schemes: www.york. ac.uk/admin/intnat - They also run drop-in sessions at Hes Hall on Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm. - Deadlines are coming up, although they vary between departments.


YORK VISION

FEATURES

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

STUDENT PROTEST SPECIAL

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SHOCKING STORIES OF POLICE BRUTALITY, TORTURE AND ILLEGAL ARREST.

CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN'

With drastic funding cuts to British Universities imminent, Andrew Nichols looks at how students have reacted to similar cuts in the US.

tecting students from tuition fee rises the University of California "chose to take on $1.35 billion in new debt for 70 construction projects." It remains to be seen whether the cost of York’s Heslington East development will be passed onto future students in the same way, through tuition fee rises or cuts in vital services, which seems to already have begun with the axing of 24/7 porters. In California this lack of consideration angered many students. Jane V. Wellman, a leading expert on higher education in the US, said: “The students were

another downed student from what would have been a fatal or severely debilitating blow." The only silver lining in the atrocious actions of that day, is that Governor Schwarzenegger announced a radical new funding plan for the state’s higher education sector soon after. His

The world will always need writers; you need to be able to generate

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SFGate

@TheDailyClog

sin and the University of Florida are all scrambling for cash as government contributions diminish rapidly.

However, higher education in California, whose economic problems are perhaps among the worst in the US, has been hit hardest. The University of California has raised student fees by 32% at the same time as making drastic efficiency savings, with the amount of classes on offer being reduced by 10% plus enforced leaves of absences, layoffs and cuts to services and departments. There are also chilling parallels between the University of California and the University of York. Despite the severe economic hardship, instead of pro-

at a point of rebellion, because they’re paying more and getting less.” This rebellion boiled over in California, when a peaceful protest turned violent as police aggressively forced students away from University buildings. On the 20th November students gathered to protest a meeting of the University’s administrators to decide on fee increases. In a show of force, police pushed back the line of students, who were already a hundred meters from the University buildings. In the ensuing struggle many students were injured. Yaman Salahi recounts his experience of that day: "There are few words that can describe the horror of police violence against students". He claims that there was "unjustified provocation" on the part of the police, who attacked students over hastily erected metal barriers with "batons thrust into their chests, stomachs, shoulders, and backs." There is also evidence of a woman being shot in the chest by a rubber bullet at point blank range. Another needed reconstructive surgery after her finger was destroyed by blows from a baton. Ariadne Schulz, another student present at the protest, told Vision that she saw "at least one case where a student was beaten for protecting

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his week the Russell Group of 20 leading universities issued a statement claiming that Britain’s ‘gold standard’ higher education system was under threat from massive government spending cuts, which many fear could be up to £2.5bn. The statement claims that in the near future "institutions face having to close hundreds of courses, with fewer academic staff and bigger classes". There will be a "devastating effect" on students and staff that will leave the higher education system in "meltdown". A stark warning of what the UK could soon face comes from the US, where public universities have already seen budgets slashed. The University of Arizona, the University of Wiscon-

chief of staff Susan Kennedy claimed: "Those protests on the U.C. campuses were the tipping point, our university system is going to get the support it deserves." Although student protests may seem outdated- a naïve and futile image from the sixties and seventies which now has a place only in films- in California at least, this is not the case. With far reaching higher education budget cuts also coming to the UK, it may well soon be us who are protesting to protect our education.

PROTESTERS: AN EN-DANE-GERED SPECIES?

Blogger Jamie Potter speaks to Kelly Holt about his wrongful arrest and his undiminished belief in the power of protest.

I

t was touted by the international media, protest groups and non-government organisations such as Oxfam, as the "last best chance" to convince politicians from across the world to act now on climate change. It ended in police violence, unlawful arrests and a failure to produce a binding deal on carbon emissions. Although spun otherwise by politicians, to many the Copenhagen Conference was a failure. Not that blogger and environmental activist Jamie Potter would necessarily agree. Despite being arrested and held by Danish police for no greater crime than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jamie insists that the protests were in some respects a success. The summit, he says, was useful for "forming relationships amongst activists, through such things as the alternative KlimaForum, as well as making a bold statement to the world that what was happening at the Bella Centre was not adequate". A postgraduate student at the University of Leicester, Jamie travelled to Copenhagen with en-

Photo: Jamie Potter vironmental campaign group Climate Camp, in order to blog about the summit from the activist perspective. By his own admission: "I had no idea what I was letting myself in for... it was all done on a wing and a prayer". The 'bold statement' made by activists involved taking non-violent direct action, such as the attempt on December 13 to shut down Copenhagen harbour; something which Jamie describes on his blog as "a symbolic

action against one of the symbols of capitalism - the global shipping trade". Danish police saw this as an illegal assembly, and headed off protesters en route to the harbour. Jamie witnessed police using 'kettling' techniques to contain protesters, physically throwing activists back into the crowd and the using tear gas inside the 'kettle'. Just a day later, Jamie was to experience yet more heavy-handed policing, whilst at a party in

the autonomous district of Freetown Christiania. The community of Christiania housed activists throughout the Copenhagen Conference and, on the night of December 14, the community organised a party. What began as a peaceful night was soon shattered. "Late in the evening the DJ told us trouble had broken out in the streets outside, but that Christiania was safe from harm," said Jamie. "However, the police soon began attacking us with tear gas and used the riots outside as an excuse to raid the community which had been home to activists all week. All we were doing was dancing and the police themselves couldn't tell me why I'd been arrested." As police rounded up the party-goers, they were placed in plastic handcuffs, some thrown roughly to the ground. There they were filmed and photographed by Danish police, as well as attendant journalists, whose pictures of lines of protesters held on the ground became standard newspaper fodder throughout the conference. Jamie recalls that although "we weren't beaten,

we were shoved around and essentially treated like dirt, forced to sit on the ground in the cold and crammed into cells that resembled dog kennels." Still, Jamie insists that the physical discomfort was not his primary concern. "The most depressing part was having to relinquish all control and rights to a mob drunk on power." Jamie was held in the cages at an unknown location until the morning, when he and the other activists were unceremoniously dumped at a train station outside of Copenhagen and left to make their own way back to the city. His only 'crime' was to be suspected of involvement in public disorder. Disorder that ironically Jamie and most other activists had no interest in whatsoever. "Over the week we forged relationships, made contacts, shared skills and knowledge and bonded in the face of adversity, so that we left feeling more determined and hopeful than we have been in a long time." Here Jamie looks pensive, and says with an air of finality that surprises me; "It's almost as if the talks themselves were irrelevant".


14 FEATURES

FEATURES

YORK VISION

YORK VISION

15

STUDENT ACTIVIST TO POLITICAL PRISONER Tuesday January 19th 2010

Tuesday January 19th 2010

Jim Norton speaks to KO AUNG, the Burmese student activist whose illegal protesting in the infamous 8888 Uprising resulted in horrific torture and seven years of incarceration

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His life’s journey doesn’t need hyperbole. The horrific events that he witnessed and the incarceration he was subjected to speak for themselves. Student activism to this extent tests dedication to the limits. Burma has had a troubled and complex history riddled with ethnic tension. In 1962, a coup led by General Ne Win began a 26 year reign that was to turn Burma into one of the world’s most impoverished countries. Unrest was inevitable and Ko Aung’s efforts weren't the first brutally crushed student protests in recent Burmese history. Ko Aung was a normal student studying at Rangoon University with no strong political views, "All I knew was that the regime was very corrupt, but I didn’t think it was a direct threat to me ”. It wasn't until a surprise announcement in the University library that he was suddenly affected, “We were told bank notes had been made illegal. I couldn’t believe it, I stood up and shouted ‘This so stupid!’ – It was an emotional outburst. We had no money!”. His surprise soon turned to indignation. Immediately, Ko Aung began organising a student protest on campus, “We went to the library and classrooms giving out leaflets. Soon we had the majority of the campus involved and were ready to march.” Yet he was aware from a young age that there were serious consequences to rebelling against a no-nonsense regime. His Father, a senior governor in the previous

civilian government, had originally agreed to the 1962 coup but resigned soon after with many other senior officials. The military junta took exception to the decision. His family was soon targeted and Ko Aung had his first insight into the unjust world of Burmese politics, “My Father was too high profile, so instead they took my mum. She had a successful business exporting tea leaves, but the ‘socialist’ government took her away because she was so-called bourgeois. They put her in a detention centre for 6 months”. It was the same detention centre that Ko Aung would be sent to many years later. His tone turns melancholy as he remembers asking his mother about her experience; “When I was young she wouldn’t tell me. She couldn’t bear to talk to me about it.” But in time, she opened up and revealed

the horrors "She told me they poisoned the water tank with lead. Everyone had to drink it."

Political beginnings Despite his family’s political background, he continued to organise the march. The Burmese military were keen to quash student rebellion – they had previously blown up the Rangoon student union. Ko Aung’s organised march was no different, and soon the police arrived to stop them and the protest turned nasty, “Some students tried to fight back, but the police had guns and rubber sticks. They beat us. Over 100 people were injured.” It was then that Ko Aung witnessed a disregard for human rights that would later become customary, “They loaded all the injured people into one truck. But it was too small. They suffocated in the police truck. Over a hundred students dead in one day”. This was Ko Aung’s initiation into a brutal world and the repercussions of his involvement were soon to become apparent. “I managed to escape. Stupidly I decided to go home. The police came in the middle of the night and blocked the whole of my family house." His first arrest was punishing. He was continually beaten and tortured in a detention centre. “I wasn’t asked anything for the first three days. They just came in and beat us while we were handcuffed. When I was finally released, I had to sign a contract saying I was no longer involved in politics”. To protect his family, Ko Aung signed

"We didn't have anything against them except our voices, but they started to kill with bullets and bayonets"

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The 8888 Uprising: "We didn’t have anything against them except our voices, but they started to kill with bullets and bayonets."

For some, the ordeal would have been too much. But for Ko Aung, it gave him greater conviction. Ko Aung was among many protest leaders building an army of students. To continue, he was forced into hiding and gathered support using guerrilla tactics, “We wanted to get a lot of young people involved, students from University and schools. There were three of us and each had a different job. We would find a crowd, then I would make a speech whilst another would leaflet and the other would be lookout. We could only manage a few minutes until we had to run. We did it all over the city.” It wasn’t long before Ko Aung had built a strong network and protests were causing severe disruption. Unrest was widespread and it wasn't long before the infamous 8888 uprising was conceived Arranged for the 8th of August 1988, the protest was to bring together students from across the area to protest in unison at the town hall in a 48 hour hunger strike. The protest was unprecedented, thousands upon thousands

gathered to show their anger at the military rule. Yet, despite the peaceful nature, there was an immediate police presence. “Later that evening, the military came. They ordered us with loudspeakers to move, otherwise they would force us to move” explains Aung. “I was part of a student delegation to talk to the head of the Rangoon military. We told them we would be peaceful, though we wouldn’t move". However, the negotiations proved unsuccessful and at 10:30pm, the army moved in and crushed the protest. They were unforgiving. "We didn’t have anything against them except our voices, but they started to kill with bullets and bayonets." "I tried to carry one student

Incarcerated

Ko Aung twenty years on who had been shot to the hospital, but she died in my arms", recalls Ko Aung. His voice suddenly starts to tremble. He tries to explain again the story of Nu Nu Ngwe, the 13 year old girl, but his voice cracks again "“I had tried to stop her, but couldn’t reach in time. I ran to where her body had dropped, she was... she had died for the cause”. Ko Aung pauses as he relives the moment, “Everyone was telling me to run... I was just crying and crying. I laid the red flag over her and tied my headband around her head. Then I had to leave her.” As he explains the army’s forced intervention and subsequent violence, the emotion overcomes Ko Aung. Throughout the interview he has given a thorough account, but until now, has revealed little about how he was affected mentally. He begins to admit the guilt and grief he feels, “During that time, I lost the one I loved, I lost the comrades I admired, and I lost so many students. So many students had died because of me”.

Torture Yet, the 8888 uprising is undoubtedly a memory that gave him the courage and conviction to continue fighting for his right. In forced positivity he resumes, “I guess it gave me the strength that what I was doing was right. Physically they could beat or torture me, but mentally they could never get me.” The following years would

test this belief to the limit. Having evaded arrest, Ko Aung continued the fight underground until he was eventually caught. Aung had reneged on his earlier contract to stay out of politics and was a wanted man. The police were unsympathetic when they finally arrested him, “I was detained, interrogated and beaten for three days and nights without sleep. I spent six months in the detention centre until they forced a confession out of me." Over the six months of his interrogation, the torture Ko Aung endured was horrendous. “I still cannot believe that humans can inflict such Terror and pain on other human beings” he admits. “I was bound to a chair, badly beaten with a rubber rod and interrogated constantly for three days. They burnt me on the chest with their cigarettes ”. The frightening brutality continued. Sometimes he was tied to the ceiling and spun round - a technique called ‘Helicopter’ – and other times he had an iron rod rolled up and down his shins until the skin came off. One night, he was blindfolded and taken outside. He was left in a small ditch with a corpse. During the day the body began decomposing under the sun and smelled foul. At night it was too cold to sleep. Each day the guard lowered water and rice, but he couldn’t eat for the smell of the rotting corpse. Though he doesn’t remember, at some point during this ordeal Ko Aung broke and signed the confession.

Inside the prison it was clear the rumours were true, "It was an army state so prison was really bad. I was sent to block no.5 with various criminals, thieves and rapists. Every prisoner was beaten without reason. I couldn't sleep, I was crammed in a space one and a half feet wide, crammed in by bodies. It was the most tormenting and humiliating conditions I have ever faced in my life" he explains. Yet Ko Aung was not ready to give up, "I wanted to fight for our prisoners’ rights, it couldn’t go on like this. I told the others we had to protest." "So first, I organised everyone to go on hunger strike. There were forty of us. But we were punished; hoods over our heads and leg irons clamped on, we were beaten and

put in solitary confinement." Surprisingly, Ko Aung speaks in a different tone when speaking about prison life. He is less emotional and far more flippant. What he wanted was justice, punishment wouldn't deter him. So he persisted, “I asked what our rights were as prisoners. I said ‘I want to know what rules you use, what you follow?'', he chuckles when he continues Insein Prison: The darkest hell hole in Burma “but they just beat me”. Yet his unrelenting determithat. I had to stay alive for the nation went unrewarded. Instead, cause of freedom. So many of my he was again put into solitary comrades had died. " confinement - “Because of my And after five years, seven so-called bad behaviour”. In total, months and twenty-four days, he Aung spent 3½ years in solitary was released. confinement. Today, Ko Aung lives in How did he get through it? "I London and he still campaigns for sang songs, I meditated, but most Burmese justice through Amnesty of all I had to be strong. I had to International. stay positive, I had to remember I So, does he think his time as was in the right. If you don’t, you a student activist was successful? can’t survive an environment like Ko Aung takes his time considering this, and decides "Yes, during our time three presidents were forced to resign over the three month period of general uprising. But we were, and still are, aiming to achieve. Our aim was to stop military rule in Burma, but unfortunately they are still in power today. " “I am an activist, not a victim. I want to restore dignity, justice, freedom, equality and peace to Burma. That’s why we have been fighting for democracy; we give our lives to achieve it.”

“I was bound to a chair, badly beaten with a rubber rod and interrogated constantly for three days. They burnt me on the chest with their cigarettes ”

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emotional. He was a twenty-one year old protest leader and his student activism had made him a wanted dissident, torn from his family and constantly in hiding. One day he was a promising student studying Industrial Chemistry, the next he had taken up a cause which was soon to change his entire life. Twenty years on, Ko Aung can still vividly remember every detail. “I find it hard to talk about it. It’s very painful” he explains “I have a complex; I need to talk about it, but the violence was... hundreds of students were killed in front of my eyes...”

His admittance was enough for the trial to go ahead. “I was sentenced to seven years hard labour in Insein Prison - without a fair trial, or even a lawyer.” Pronounced ‘Insane’, the name is apt for what is branded the “darkest hell hole in Burma”. Even to this day it's inhumane conditions and abuse are notorious worldwide. A prison where political prisoners are treated worse than criminals. Ko Aung tries to recall his emotions when hearing the ‘guilty’ verdict and punishment; “I felt nothing, there was nothing in their to feel. My mind was frozen.”

The 8888 Uprising

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Student activism had made him a wanted dissident, torn from his family and constantly in hiding

it and was released. Yet his brief spell of punishment was only a taster of what was to come.

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n the 8th August 1988 in the student city of Rangoon, Burma, thousands of students marched to the town hall for a 48 hour hunger strike. The peaceful protesters were in objection to the military junta controlling the country and were led by a group of student leaders. One leader, Ko Aung, was a seasoned protester and had rounded up 3-4000 students to join his group, the Red Fighting Peacocks. They were all committed to the 8888 Uprising. After a day of protest and tense negotiations, the students remained. That was until the threat of forced exit became a reality. “At 10.30pm an armoured car and eight military trucks came round the pagoda and blocked one end of the street. And then it started – the killing, the beating, the shootings. I witnessed hundreds of students being killed in front of me. "I vividly remember one girl called Nu Nu Ngwe. She was just 13, I had taught her English and maths. She held a Red-fighting Peacock flag and ran towards the armoured car. I shouted and shouted, but she didn’t stop. I tried to push through the crowd, but there were too many people. She climbed up the armoured car and put her chest in front of the machine gun. She shouted: “We are the people’s soldiers, don’t shoot us we are students. We are your brothers and sisters.” I tried to reach her to stop her, but I couldn’t. Then the machine gun opened fire.” As Ko Aung recounts the event that changed his life, he becomes

The military presence at the 8888 Uprising


On the 8th August 1988 in the student city of Rangoon, Burma, thousands of students marched to the town hall for a 48 hour hunger strike. The peaceful protesters were in objection to the military junta controlling the country and were led by a group of student leaders. One leader, Ko Aung, was a seasoned protester and had rounded up 3-4000 students to join his group, the Red Fighting Peacocks. They were all committed to the 8888 Uprising. After a day of protest and tense negotiations, the students remained. That was until the threat of forced exit became a reality. “At 10.30pm an armoured car and eight military trucks came round the pagoda and blocked one end of the street. And then it started – the killing, the beating, the shootings. I witnessed hundreds of students being killed in front of me. "I vividly remember one girl called Nu Nu Ngwe. She was just 13, I had taught her English and maths. She held a Red-fighting Peacock flag and ran towards the armoured car. I shouted and shouted, but she didn’t stop. I tried to push through the crowd, but there were too many people. She climbed up the armoured car and put her chest in front of the machine gun. She shouted: “We are the people’s soldiers, don’t shoot us we are students. We are your brothers and sisters.” I tried to reach her to stop her, but I couldn’t. Then the machine gun opened fire.” As Ko Aung recounts the event that changed his life, he becomes emotional. He was a twenty-one year old protest leader and his student activism had made him a wanted dissident, torn from his family and constantly in hiding. One day he was a promising student studying Industrial Chemistry, the next he had taken up a cause which was soon to change his entire life. Twenty years on, Ko Aung can still vividly remember every detail. “I find it hard to talk about it. It’s very painful” he explains “I have a complex; I need to talk about it, but the violence was... hundreds of people, students, were killed in front of my eyes...” His life’s journey doesn’t need hyperbole. The horrific events that he witnessed and the incarceration he was subjected to speak for themselves. Student activism to this extent tests extreme passion and dedication to the limits. It’s astonishing to think this all happened at such a young age Burma has had a troubled and complex history riddled with

ethnic tension. In 1962, a coup led by General Ne Win began a 26 year reign that was to turn Burma into one of the world’s most impoverished countries. Unrest was inevitable and Ko Aung’s efforts were neither the first, or last, brutally crushed student protests in recent Burmese history. Ko Aung was a student at Rangoon University studying Industrial Chemistry. He was a normal student, with no strong political views, "All I knew was that the regime was very corrupt, but I didn’t think it was a direct threat to me ”. It wasn't until a surprise announcement in the University library that he was suddenly affected, “We were told bank notes had been made illegal. I couldn’t believe it, I stood up and shouted ‘This so stupid!’ – it was an emotional outburst. We had no money!”. His surprise soon turned to indignation. Immediately, Ko Aung began organising a student protest on campus, “We went to the library and classrooms giving out leaflets. Soon we had the majority of the campus involved were ready to march.” Yet he was aware from a young age that there were serious consequences to rebelling against a no-nonsense regime. His Father, a senior governer in the previous civilian government, had originally agreed to the 1962 coup but resigned soon after with many other senior officials. The military rule took exception to the decision. His family was soon targeted and Ko Aung had his first insight into the unjust world of Burmese politics, “My Father was too high profile, so instead they took my mum. She had a successful business exporting tea leaves, but the ‘socialist’ government took her away because she was so-called bourgeois. They put her in a detention centre for 6 months”. It was the same detention centre that Ko Aung would be sent to many years later. His tone turns melancholy as he remembers asking his mother about her experience; “When I was young she wouldn’t tell me. She couldn’t bear to talk to me about it.” But in time, she opened up and revealed the horrors "She told me they poisoned the water tank with lead. Everyone had to drink it."

UNIVERSITY, THE ANNOUNCEMENT, FIRST PROTEST, AND FIRST DETENTION Despite his family’s political background, he continued to organise the march. The Burmese military were

keen to quash student rebellion – they had previously blown up the Rangoon student union. Ko Aung’s organised march was no different, and soon the police arrived to stop them and the protest turned nasty, “Some students tried to fight back, but the police had guns and rubber sticks. They beat us. Over 100 people were injured.” It was then that Ko Aung witnessed a disregard for human rights that would later become customary, “They loaded all the injured people into one truck. But it was too small. They suffocated in the police truck. Over a hundred students dead in one day”. This was Ko Aung’s initiation into a brutal world and the repercussions of his involvement were soon to become apparent. “I managed to escape. Stupidly I decided to go home. The police came in the middle of the night and blocked the whole of my family house." His first arrest was punishing. He was continually beaten and tortured in a detention centre. “I wasn’t asked anything for the first three days. They just came in and beat us while we were handcuffed. When I was finally released, I had to sign a contract saying I was no longer involved in politics”. To protect his family, Ko Aung signed it and was released. Yet his brief spell of punishment was only a taster of what was to come.

AND THEN... the build up to 1988 uprising. For some, the ordeal would have been too much. But for Ko Aung, it gave him greater conviction. Ko Aung was among many protest leaders building an army of students. To continue, he was forced into hiding and gathered support using guerrilla tactics, “We wanted to get a lot of young people involved, students from University and schools. There were three of us and each had a different job. We would find a crowd, then I would make a speech whilst another would leaflet and the other would be lookout. We could only manage a few minutes until we had to run. We did it all over the city.” It wasn’t long before Ko Aung had built a strong network and protests were causing severe disruption. Unrest was widespread and it wasn't long before the infamous 8888 uprising was concieved Arranged for the 8th of August 1988, the protest was to bring together students from across the area to protest in unison at the town hall in a 48 hour hunger strike. The protest was unprecedented, thousands upon thousands gathered to show their anger at the

military rule. Yet, despite the peacful nature, there was an immediate police presence. “Later that evening, the military came. They ordered us with loudspeakers to move, otherwise they would force us to move” explains Aung. “I was part of a student delegation to talk to the head of the Rangoon military. We told them we would be peaceful, though we wouldn’t move". However, the negotiations proved unsuccessful and at 10:30pm, the army moved in and crushed the protest. They were unforgiving. "We didn’t have anything against them except our voices, but they started to kill with bullets and bayonets." "I tried to carry one student who had been shot to the hospital, but she died in my arms", recalls Ko Aung. His voice suddenly starts to tremble. He tries to explain again the story of Nu Nu Ngwe, the 13 year old girl, but his voice cracks again "“I had tried to stop her, but couldn’t reach in time. I ran to where her body had dropped, she was... she had died for the cause”. Ko Aung pauses as he relives the moment, “Everyone was telling me to run... I was just crying and crying. I laid the red flag over her and tied my headband around her head. Then I had to leave her.” As he explains the army’s forced intervention and subsequent violence, the emotion overcomes Ko Aung. Throughout the interview he has given a thorough account, but until now, has revealed little about how he was affected mentally. He begins to admit the guilt and grief he feels, “During that time, I lost the one I loved, I lost the comrades I admired, and I lost so many students. So many students had died because of me”. Yet, the 8888 uprising is undoubtedly a memory that gave him the courage and conviction to continue fighting for his right. In forced positivity he resumes, “I guess it gave me the strength that what I was doing was right. Physically they could beat or torture me, but mentally they could never get me.” The following years would test this belief to the limit. Having evaded arrest, Ko Aung continued the fight underground until he was eventually caught. Aung had reneged on his earlier contract to stay out of politics and was a wanted man. The police were unsympathetic when they finally arrested him, “I was detained, interrogated and beaten for three days and nights without sleep. I spent six months in the detention centre until they forced a confes-

sion out of me." Over the six months of his interrogation, the torture Ko Aung endured was horrendous. “I still cannot believe that humans can inflict such Terror and pain on other human beings” he admits. “I was bound to a chair, badly beaten with a rubber rod and interrogated constantly for three days. They burnt me on the chest with their cigarettes ”. The frightening brutality continued. Sometimes he was tied to the ceiling and spun round - a technique called ‘Helicopter’ – and other times he had an iron rod rolled up and down his shins until the skin came off. One night, he was blindfolded and taken outside. He was left in a small ditch with a corpse. During the day the body began decomposing under the sun and smelled foul. At night it was too cold to sleep. Each day the guard lowered water and rice, but he couldn’t eat for the smell of the rotting corpse. Though he doesn’t remember, at some point during this ordeal Ko Aung broke and signed the confession. His admittance was enough for the trial to go ahead. “I was sentenced to seven years hard labour in Insein Prison - without a fair trial, or even a lawyer.” Pronounced ‘Insane’, the name is apt for what is branded the “darkest hell hole in Burma”. Even to this day it's inhumane conditions and abuse are notorius worldwide. A prison where political prisoners are treated worse than criminals. Ko Aung tries to recall his emotions when hearing the ‘guilty’ verdict and punishment; “I felt nothing, there was nothing in their to feel. My mind was frozen”. Inside the prison it was clear the rumours were true, "It was an army state so prison was really bad. I was sent to block no.5 with various criminals, thieves and rapists. Every prisoner was beaten without reason. I couldn't sleep, I was crammed in a space one and a half feet wide, crammed in by bodies. It was the most tormenting and humiliating conditions I have ever faced in my life" he explains. Yet Ko Aung was not ready to give up, "I wanted to fight for our prisoners’ rights, it couldn’t go on like this. I told the others we had to protest." "So first, I organised everyone to go on hunger strike. There were forty of us. But we were punished; hoods over our heads and leg irons clamped on, we were beaten and put in solitary confinement." Surprisingly, Ko Aung speaks in a different tone when speaking about prison life. He is less emotional and far more flippant. What he wanted was justice, pun-

ishment wouldn't deter him. So he persisted, “I asked what our rights were as prisoners. I said ‘I want to know what rules you use, what you follow?'', he chuckles when he continues “but they just beat me”. Yet his unrelenting determination went unrewarded. Instead, he was again put into solitary confinement - “Because of my so-called bad behaviour”. In total, Aung spent 3½ years in solitary confinement. How did he get through it? "I sang songs, I meditated, but most of all I had to be strong. I had to stay positive, I had to remember I was in the right. If you don’t, you can’t survive an environment like that. I had to stay alive for the cause of freedom. So many of my comrades had died. " And after five years, seven months and twenty-four days, he was released. Today, Ko Aung lives in London. and he still campaigns for Burmese justice through Amnesty International. So, does he think his time as a student activist was successful? Ko Aung takes his time considering this, and decides "Yes, during our time three presidents were forced to resign over the three month period of general uprising. But we were, and still are, aiming to achieve. Our aim was to stop military rule in Burma, but unfortunately they are still in power today. " “I am an activist, not a victim. I want to restore dignity, justice, freedom, equality and peace to Burma. That’s why we have been fighting for democracy; we give our lives to achieve it.”


16 FEATURES

YORK VISION

Tuesday Januaary 19th, 2010

HAITI EARTHQUAKE APPEAL IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI, VISION BRINGS YOU THIS URGENT APPEAL.

infrastructure. Estimates suggest anywhere between forty and one hundred thousand people may have died and a quarter of a million were

injured in the quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. Up to three million have been affected in some way by the disaster. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is a country which has been torn apart by brutal dictatorships, political instability and numerous natural disasters. The quake has thrown the Carribean nation into chaos. Reports from journalists, UN officials and rescue workers say the capital has been worst hit. Reports speak of scenes of unimaginable horror as "the citizenry has been left to its own extremely meagre resources. There are ordinary people trying to administer IV drips to their

family members who are slowly dying, but not a single doctor or nurse at the general hospital". Please help! A student run group - Humanitarian Aid for Haiti (York) - has been set up. Join up on Facebook. You can donate online to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together all UK aid organisations. Please give as much money as you are able to. It will be used for aid and reconstruction work in Haiti.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO DONATE MONEY ONLINE, VISIT:

WWW.DEC.ORG.UK

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n January 13 an earthquake whose power "matched that of several nuclear bombs" hit the Carribean country of Haiti, killing tens of thousands and laying waste to the country's houses and

WIN A SAMSUNG GENIO QWERTY PHONE


YORK VISION

FEATURES

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

"A CAREER IN THE MEDIA? DON'T F***ING BOTHER!"

17

Chloe Dean talks media, politics and student life with TV presenter, comedian and all-round media personality, Hardeep Singh Kohli

THE CV - Born in Glasgow in 1969, Kohli studied Law at university there. - While studying, Kohli managed restaurants and worked as an usher. - Kohli has appeared on Question Time and guest-presented Newsnight Review and Loose Ends. - Aside from media work, Kohli is a property tycoon.

will always need writers; you need to be able to generate content through writing." He went on to stress that the professions that fall in the public eye "are not jobs for life" and that "you burn out and need other skills to fall back on". Kohli criticised the CV building culture, stressing that 'exposure' and 'life experience' will be most useful in a creative career. He said that "working in Falkirk in a care home could be more useful" than the standard work experience placement.

The world will always need writers; you need to be able to generate content

V

HARDEEP SINGH KOHLI

laxed conversation over the phone. Kohli studied Law at Glasgow University before his debut at the BBC. Kohli commented that "university is not just about the subject, it is about acquiring life skills", and worries that the financial strain on students today creates extra pressure to concentrate only on the degree subject. So how does a Law degree lead into broadcasting? Kohli said that he didn't "look for a job, the job found him". When Kohli was at university there were no professional media qualifications to get you started, so everyone did a more 'general' degree. "Today people tend to dabble in the media," he goes on. "Like bloggers- why would you blog? It's the same as being an unpaid waiter in a restaurant, what is in it for you?". After graduation, Kohli joined BBC Scotland as a production trainee. His contemporaries included Eddie Mears and Armando Iannucci. Eager to be shown the key to a successful career in the media, I steeled myself to ask the banal question: What advice would you give to undergraduates who are looking to find a career in the media? His advice was "don't f*****g bother!" My nervous laughter no doubt prompted him to expand, somewhat more helpfully: "Be determined. Be good at what you do, and don't just look to be a presenter as there are hundreds of fantastic jobs that need to be done. If you want to do well you need to be able to write. The world

V

I

s there anything Hardeep Singh Kohli can't do? A comedy scriptwriter, TV presenter and amateur celebrity chef all stirred into one, Kohli is an ever-growing media personality and well acquainted with the trials and tribulations of the creative industries. Having survived in the media jungle from his early twenties, Kohli continues to expand and refresh his skills as a multifaceted entertainer. With his trademark pink turban, he is a recognisable figure from the BBC and presenter on the BBC One hit programme The One Show (from which he is temporarily on 'leave of absence' after being suspended in mysterious circumstances). He regularly appears on Newsnight Review and Question Time. He also wrote the Channel 4 ethnic-comedy hit Meet the Magoons, has presented Radio 4's Saturday Live, Midweek and The Food Programme and was also a runner up on Celebrity Masterchef. Hardeep and myself have a few things in common, not least descending from the splendid city of Glasgow (it is not quite the knife throwing needle market that the rumours support). Having both received a Jesuit education and with the good sense of humour that is 'in the Glaswegian DNA', it was easy to glide into re-

"Telling stories and a desire to communicate is the best preparation in understanding and loving what you do, emphasising the importance of not being defined by what you do, but by who you are as a 'father/ son/ friend". "Imagination", he goes on, "is the essence of success". In 2007 Hardeep Singh Kohli made a memorable appearance on Question Time with Alex Salmond, discussing Scottish independence.

HARDEEP SINGH KOHLI

THE CRITICAL RESPONSE -Kohli's work has attracted a diverse critical response. - His cultural and political observations have brought him acclaim - His efforts at comedy, however, have gone down less well. - The Daily Record labelled Kohli as "someone who could take the smile off the Mona Lisa." - Kohli's show at the Edinburgh Fringe received poor reviews and Kohli was dismissed by The Guardian as 'someone who wrongly assumed comedy was easy.' - Kohli's six month suspension from the BBC is coming to an end after being told to 'reflect on his behaviour.'Kohli argued that without independence Scotland is not afforded "a right of determination"and spoke passionately about the blurred sense of national identity that both the Scots and the English face without an independent Scotland. In light of the upcoming election, I asked Kohli what he believed to be the most urgent issue British society faces. He replied: "We are forced to look at the public services, and to look at the welfare state through a financial lens. We need to reinvent a mechanism that allows people to work and earn, a system that isn't a bureaucratic nightmare. We need to reconnect with a sense of community. We spend too much money on benefits." And with that characteristically straight-forward and unapologetic answer, Kohli brings our interview to a close, leaving me to look for vacancies in Falkirk care homes.


18 LIFESTYLE

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

>Lifestyle

WELL WORTH THE EXPERIENCE

Rachel Knox, Josie Whittle and Hannah Newton share their work experience with you... Experience in: LAW

operty as intellectual pr cal law as well sociay el at em ed tr rk ex wo so er I The fir m was al w. for la uring the summ ks in dr in r s ken out fo d law fir m rkble and I was ta three mid-size wo s s wa I wi e Le fiv , e rd th Stalla nights out of e re inth London: DMH ly al re be a In attended ld and Porter. ing there. I also ture fu e e th m Silkin and Ar no t so ou d ab di ce en ents I also teresting confer addresses m, tween my placem ncer ning web a marketing fir r co fo s rk ge an wo l ch ga tellectuin parale e th d an ndon. domain names d an y. I was pl ad ap also based in Lo that would rtant piece of al property law show The most impo to ak ity rt un de rt un po to anyone ly given the op al re ce vice I could give en ri . legal work expe what I could do work ing any sort of e of work ec much from my pi le so d ng si ne y ar er le I end m m co if is to tackle ev re en ev I would th enthusiasm, experience and n-law no ne ly given to you wi da ar ul un ic m rt y pa seemingl that everybody, gain some it is something page should try and ing a hundredad ts, fre en oo ud pr st as al ering a casuch id at ns th co d if t. I foun of experience rt so s share agreemen em se on legal world ng reer in law. though the Lond rth rememberi connections of b we ed at ic Finally, it is wo of t lo a t to like a compl ui em cr fir ms re erybody does se that many city o have e wh on and relations, ev e s os es th pr m im fro her. If you their trainees know one anot es and work u to vacation schem well mention yo ed ay et m pl m ey co th er r he placements lawy ot so an , em ve th ight just ha perience with ex ex another, who m rk wo able. offer you some really are invalu friend who can at perience. placement was By far my best . er rt Po d an m Ar nold American law fir ried. va ly al re s wa n give The work I was on data there I worked During my time d median w la t en m oy policy law, empl

D

RANCE nU S N I : n i its spo own for perience

Ex

n l better k n for the actua a perhaps llianz is For mula One th surance. None f in o t – u ip o s h s s d e r o so sto usin of its b r nship scheme because nature te ly ossib mer in round (p as an opporits sum of Milk y) theless, g z in la s w it bro ab job and upon my ith ‘A’ and I’m ummer s id a p l comw ll e it began t promised a w merous financia ship a rn u tunity th r native to the n minate the inte hone p e do le lt a te to n d d a n e s a a for m h seem n ic o ntre, a h e ti w c a c t s n li panie an app sessme s r a e n ft ed for a A s u vited to s that market. r in o s r a ir w m I h w, t centre intervie nt process whic he assessmen T e terview t. m uitmen recruit n and in e two ate recr ess presentatio u th d n a r o g its sin place d of a bu ffered a consiste xt day I was o trone everal in ss and the e. nning s e m u e r in s h , c u ll s b e us w f the month treated but I areas o , t !) n ls e r ia c Allianz fe dif g so days to ntly subsidizin lacement, fallp ductory ta r e o th p h im jobs. it re ointed w en all the bum agp (and mo p a is d n y iv a ll g m ia g e it my lin of bein was in rojects the trap ussing this with p to d n in a g in isc ility g. sponsib r, after d terestin Howeve iven greater re more in le o r a e g th give er I was h made aving to ers on whic b ted in h a m e in m to work lm u staff eme c and to The sch on to senior ibuted ti tr n ta o n c e s d pre ha z, made hat we t Allian about w m our time a esence of the fro esthe pr gained g the pr ting by n u a ollowin d F or ! C ll e ir more e w r ns as ce on th , so it te la p in a r e d e oth er me I was off ing sche entation nagement train e pressure off a th CV. porate M doing to take g useful rth providin s a ll was wo e w ture! unt as the job h aterial for the fu m g in bulk

A

le

tt Josie Whi

Hannah Newton

Experience in: MAGAZINE JOURNALISM

M

agazine experience is hard to obtain, but as with most sectors it’s the only way to set you apart once you finally apply for a job. There are no graduate schemes or summer internships; just the chance that someone will notice your CV and give you a call and offer you some experience for a week or two. After sending out millions of emails and letters (so many that you actually forget where you’ve sent them too), I finally got a call from Sugar magazine offering me a last minute placement two days later. After rushing around trying to explain to my supervisor and module leaders why spending a week at Sugar was worth me missing a week at university (thank god

I do sociology so there’s not much catching up), I booked my train ticket and attempted to make up a week’s worth of ‘smart casual’ outfits from my typically student wardrobe. Sugar is aimed at teenage girls; it’s that magazine that your Mum probably thought was too rude for you too read when you were 15. It’s full of celebrity gossip, boy advice, fashion tips and that infamous problem page that taught most of us girls about sex. I was excited to get to London and see what actually goes into a professional magazine (even if it is for teenage girls). The first day was pretty daunting; as a typical northerner I had never caught the Tube by myself and to be hon-

est finding the Hachette Filipacchi publishing house was probably the trickiest bit of my whole placement. For the most part I was researching people’s articles, sorting post and replying and forwarding the reader’s emails (which mostly concerned Twilight). Even though I was only there a week, you really get a feel for what professional journalism is actually like, and I expect a week at a professional publishing house will look pretty good on the old CV.

Rachel Knox


YORK VISION

LIFESTYLE

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

TALKIN' 'BOUT A RESOLUTION! Jack Knight takes a look at the New Year's resolutions of 5 York students...

DAYS 1-4

DAYS 5-8

DAYS 9-12

SUCCESS?

NAME: NICOLA RESOLUTION: STOP BEING A BITCH

Resorting back to my old bitchy ways. But it isn't my fault, if I see something I have an opinion on I have to voice it. I also end up bitching about a Wii character. Is that bitching? But still, vast improvement.

I have been very good. I only lost my cool when my mum told me fashion doesn't matter when you die from hypothermia. LIVE BY THE SWORD, DIE BY THE SWORD! But I really am doing well.

Hit a snag - insulted various staff members in a Heslington shop. But the girl was "special" and the boy looked like a one man Goldie Lookin Chain tribute act. Ooopsie. Must fight the bitch!

Some people are petty, some people are from Leicester and some people write for Nouse - we all have our flaws! Maybe being a bitch is simply mine? But I swear I have improved.

NAME: JACK RESOLUTION: GET FIT

Feeling hungover and then lazy for first few days. I decide to solve this problem by laying in bed, getting back to York, procrastinating, eating many biscuits and ordering Viking's - well done me!

I start! Diet involves 1 main meal and 6 snacks a day and protein shakes. Fitness is weight lifting (which just feels like a way to emasculate me in front of other gym users) and jogging... slowly.

GIVEN UP bored and wanted cheese. All I have learned is that protein shakes are made for people without taste buds, gyms are dull, gym users are dull people and I bloomin' love food.

NAME: AMY RESOLTUION: DIET

In Greece and wake up in placeI - c a n ' t - re m e m ber-adopolis with a hangover. Spend the next few days travelling to mountain climbing destinations. I learn that the hangover is a gift that keeps on giving!

Still in Greece, mainly because of snowy Gatwick. My diet consists mainly of feta - i.e. a food designed around the premise of 3 parts salt and 1 part cheese. Think I might need more structure.

Finally flew back, but had a stomach bug so the first thing I ate for 24 hours was a rotten aeroplane sandwich. Suppose that sort of constitutes a diet. When I get back to York I will have sturcture.

Resolutionaries:

I am going to write a diary. EVERY DAY. I forget so much stuff. Our youth is important. This is it. My youth in print.

NAME: SCOTT RESOLUTION: KEEP A DIARY

NAME: ANON RESOLTUION: STOP SLEEPING WITH MY EX

Why is it called a Pelican Crossing?

HOT Dancing On Ice ! We're happier with our ice on television than on the lake, thanks .

Glee: High School Musical for grown ups. Brilliant.

None whatsoever.

I have to admit that I haven't been incredibly successful so far. But don't blame me, blame hangovers, Greek food, viruses and aeroplane food. When I get back to uni I will succeed though, I promise.

19

Yes, yes, we know t they they're ugly, bu gs are the only thin t that keep our fee warm at the moment!

Our late night caffeine-fuelled revision is not helping our New Year detox!

Celebrity Big Brother in all forms. But -especiallyStephen Baldwin.

Mixed

I had some chips today. And the weather is nippy.

I am utterly failing to fulfill my resolution. Twice already! What the hell is wrong with me? Now I am chatting to him online and he complains about being single. Seriously...seriously!

Still failing. He keeps texting me and I reply. He keeps propositioning me and I... well... you can guess. I have even agreed to keep meeting up with him while back at uni together. Am I just a bad person?

I MADE SOME PROGRESS! However, this is mainly because I told him nibbling my ear slightly for 30 seconds did not constitute acceptable foreplay. He hasn't contacted me since then.

No sex with ex for 4 days now. I think that counts as a wonderful achievement that shall be celebrated in years to come. Think of the Bayeux Tapestry with sex, groping and a row about ear nibbling!

Snow! It's no longer pretty and we're sick of snowmen. Melt please.

NOT


20 LIFESTYLE

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

PREDICTING A

2010

Maddy Potts takes a look 'back' on the year to come...

A

s the 'Noughties' (did that ever really catch on?) drew to a close, we found ourselves awash with reviews of 2009. Montages of the Beijing Olympics, the MP Expense Scandal and Susan Boyle's startling revelation that non-conventionally attractive people could possess talent were set to 'How to Save a Life' by The Fray, and we looked on in quiet nostalgia. But more interesting, surely, is what the next 365 days have in store for us. And so here is the review we may be writing, the events we may be astutely summing up, this time next year. Feel free to imagine a gently inspiring power ballad as you read. Something by Coldplay... Two thousand and ten; what a year. England saw itself divided over the General Election and united for the World Cup. Of course the football results need no repeating, but the subsequent break-in at the trophy room at Wembley, where thieves stole everything of value, and the following police warning to the public to be suspicious of anyone selling a large red and white carpet were painful reminder enough. The election, on the other hand, was overshadowed by that big MP scandal. But it worked out alright in the end because a comedian said something rude to a National Hero and we all forgot about it. Rumour had it that the world would end at midday on April 9th, and sceptics the world over decried such hysteria whilst secretly holding their breath as the time ticked over. Luckily their existence continued, and the rumour was traced back to a misinterpreted Tweet from Stephen Fry. On the theme of social networking, Facebook finally sold out (literally) and the super-corporation that bought it forced its users to pay for access. Shame, I remember when Facebook was used for the greater good, like commemorating dead minor celebrities and 'sticking it' to Simon Cowell. To the reality television results of the year; the attractive one won 'The X Factor', the unattractive one won 'Britain's Got Talent', the educationally subnormal one won 'Big Brother'', and the one, you know, from that TV show, years ago, with the bloke...anyway, they won 'I'm A Celebrity'. 2010; a truly unpredictable year?

HARD DAY'S NIGHT-LINE

Aaron Berry shares the Nightline experience...

A

lthough some people think Nightline is full of Psychology students with identical timetables, we're actually not a bunch of clones! Like any other society or organisation on campus, we're a collection of students drawn from all aspects of student life, from pizzaloving philosophy students to music-loving physicists. We're a mixture of undergraduates and postgraduate students. One thing we do all have in common is that we give up our nights to help run Nightline. Plus, we're all anonymous volunteers, which is the reason you don't see Nightline society hoodies on campus. As the 'Public Face', my role is different to that of the other volunteers. I'm here to answer questions about the service and represent Nightline on campus. Nightline is a confidential listening and information service, run by students, for students. Although there are preconceptions that you need a problem to visit or call Nightline, it couldn't be further from the truth. Each night we open from 8pm to 8am for any type of call. We get calls from people wanting takeaway or taxi

numbers, a hot drink and a chat, sexual health supplies, or wanting someone just to listen to any problem they may want to get off their chest. All our calls are treated in strict confidence (none of us volunteer to be nosy about other people's problems!) and no calls are discussed afterwards, or even any details kept of who uses Nightline. Being the 'public face' means I no longer volunteer on nights and there are many things I miss about this. There are always two Nightliners on duty on a night and spending 12 hours with someone, you get to know them very well. Like getting involved in other societies on campus, volunteering for Nightline means you meet many people outside of your halls and course and many of my good friends are people I met through Nightline. Another myth about us as volunteers is that we all burn the midnight oil. Doing Nightline doesn't mean we're all insomniacs; there's always the chance to grab a quick nap if it's quiet, but staying up to watch sunrise over old Goodricke college

is worth it (it actually looks almost nice at sunrise!) People often ask how busy we actually are, but the honest answer is that it's impossible to say. No two nights are ever the same; I've had nights where hardly anybody calls, and then nights where we've been up all night taking calls. You honestly can never tell. Like all societies on cam-

pus, you'll be able to find Nightline at the Re-freshers fair, and ask Lizi and I any questions about the service. If you're interested in volunteering, then get in touch by emailing nightline@yusu. org. And don't forget, everyone's welcome to pop into the flat if you want to have a cup of tea, and chat to two of our volunteers, or keep our number safe if you want to chat and there's nobody around at 3am.

Rem emb er, safe ty fi rst!

STUDENT STUNNERS

Fabiola Clemente

GET THE LOOK: Scarf: Jordan (the country...) Shirt: Banana Republic T-Shirt: Gap Shorts: American Apparel Belt: Topshop Boots: Russel & Bromley

GET THE LOOK: Shirt: Vintage shop in Australia T-Shirt: Topman Jeans: ASOS Shoes: Converse online (girls)

Rob Walker


21 22

LIFESTYLE YORKLIFESTYLE VISION

HALLOWEEN >Sport WHAT'S IN ITHOW-TO! FOR ME?

YORK VISION SPORT

23

TuesdayOctober January27th, 19th,2009 2010 Tuesday

Tuesday November 24th, 20099

Emma Blake takes us through the steps to a perfect Halloween look...

Katys Halloween Robertsis discusses tostart make Face-painting the choiceis of little easier... confident enough why not ask an artsy housemate to the housemates key. Honestly, you a can't go bit approaching it'show time to

A YORK 1STS 10 NORTHUMBRIA 1STS 12 T YORK COCK-A-HOOP OVER

wacking out the paint andbeen the black are some of face us who have we capes. ever functioned without them. It's the of before we worry about any othYORKhere 1STS TRINITY 1STS 60 The Snazaroo facepaints are the best and although ing dark round yourwe eyes.er poor souls. Halloween shouldn't bein about looking pretty or weeks lucky . Our87 first LEEDS term halls has first few backcircles and we feel like wrong by putting on a bit of white face paint and mak-

do it or just practise before-hand.

they Last yearneeds with emptying, the release of 'The Dark Knight' hot, you should look as scary as you can. been good to us, our flatmates are never left; the recycling I heard from a friend at seem a bit pricey for just one night,trust me, with all the socials lined up in the year you're bound to use people opteda for the 'joker' or 'two-face' look. that When Ilike go family, out thiswe Saturday, would be the happy if aremany suddenly found weI missed bins full, the kitchens disgrace Newcastle University them again. Plus you could always split the cost with a There's nothing to scarier andhunting it couldn't be cut people were mildly by the them dearly over repulsed Christmas and way we I look. andDon't no-one can be bothered washthan a pana clown house was easier. loads of videos Youtubeitabout to be-friend. If your really feeling the pinch, a good selection get me wrong, wonder how this is the style section but nothing yet. It'sisa new yearThere's and we're told this ison throat; washow done most of a bit for of facepaint and a wig. more stylish on Halloween than to look as the scary as to make time start the house hunting our fore Christmas and theof eyeshadows can do wonders. It may look a bit tricky but if you don't feel hell! second year. students were apparently BY JOSH MANGHAM For some first-years deciding who to fine with 'leaving peoe... te a bat coyosturum dence. YORK'S BASKETBALL live with will be easy, no question about ple out' in order to snap BY DANIEL GILKS sw to crea po Ho de rblack Initially shocked by York’s fo ipetin ce 1STS continued their good a re it, its obvious that you and your flatmates up the best houses on to t . to ge 00 ad s W £3 he ay es ng lw i tc MEN'S LACROSSE EN- to bad light, this stale-1)ADr sk of losi bright opening, Leeds Trinity form to record n thearicomfortwere to be, you're all the bestco of hthe market, abandoning elvet kv blacmeant it! 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I there shouldn't be a doners can fopreco duwe ctr to sto te-st rahe York were unable to show bria did not really reflect entot wing th coand your nd ein they were leading 21-19. sion quickp to win the wi elback, feit think I'm joking... although it is likely mad panic. d an or fla m a off the fast paced passing the state of play, at least ve be Hawere playing to nd te The second quarter saw York with confies r hous that many of us cannot wait to see the So, how do we decide gey. iglit g group - Bbi and aggression not for the majority of the bi a ra in ur both teams evenly matched. if yo r alle back ofay some till of the idiots we've been whether we want to live expensiveirspr that typified last game. ha into two sm th g wi in e tt us li do on sp It was York though who took d an ve er mb your ha nsid d with, those who never 'single sex' next year or forced live coBa her to sa agge co e to each otir York could be forgivh drto term’s Roses victock cl ug 3) going thro e initiative, the breaking away es osas hous ssible (we'r wash up and put dirty plates back into mixed? I guess, in a sexirpo ha g od bi ries. Hard work would en for feeling hard done go a as s e it' Us ). ok lo . midway through the second ds nt ar re ebackw their cupboards or fail to wash their ist manner that a female only be the order of the day and by in this fixture with like we t, halftime fla through a hedg fallreach evil will to Dhousehold nd quarter irlord £10 ha ure la yoth t if muddy rugby kit and continue to wear a would male not be found contributions of 4 well ise ou rw he nd York ot fi ume- will be cleaner than y d ra he t sp as s le o - Try an ab 48-30 ahead. 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We're selfish beings house where there is a constant party, ju r, ra in the fourth quarter, ur ste ar yo on if t s tmso gh rt of ou ni so ay e ity by the end of the third rd m can sit on your lazy behind and do sweet ou ou.t on Satu e es and we should accept it; we need to drinking games played every duced night to and15 minutes d on due chor wer torebe quarter. The final score 87-60 orefeod nt th nothing except enjoy yourself ! ensure that number 1 is taken care house music played till dawn? Take a look at ! up dressed

LACROSSE DROP POINTS IN THE DYING SECONDS

STORMING VICTORY houses...

PHOTO BY DAN BIRCHINALL

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PHOTO BY DANIEL GILKS

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Advice for find


22

YORK VISION

LIFESTYLE

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

>Style

FEB FASHION!

Merryn Hockaday talks us through the fabulous February Fashion Weeks.

February is the month of fashion furore! No high-style fashionista is allowed a holiday. The shortest month of the year is perhaps the longest in the fashion world; February is the month of the fashion weeks. Any designer who is anybody will show their collection on the catwalks. In just four weeks designers and buyers hit the major fashion capitals to debut their work; setting the trends for the following year. Expect this year's autumn and winter trends to be unveiled at the February fashion weeks, even before we really feel like we've made it out of this winter! Each city plays to its strengths and often encapsulates itself in the fashion it displays. Here, Vision gives you a quick guide of what to expect from each capital.

MILAN

LONDON

The Milan shows are always very elitist and normally all about the sauve, slick Italian look. Lots of glamour and lots of fiery Italian tantrums. Milan isn't the prettiest city in the world but it is the Italian fashion centre and during fashion week will be buzzing. THE LOOK It's all about glamour in Milan; lots of black and Prada-esque luxury. WHO'S SHOWING? Leading the pack will be all the top names in Italian fashion; D&G, Armani, Gucci and Prada amongst others. WHAT?

WHAT? London is the under-dog in

the fashion week stakes, as a result it is always tries to be the most innovative. With lots of street style it is definately the most edgy fashion destination. THE LOOK Think what you usually wear but newer and funkier. Expect lots of English eccentrics showing you all sorts of quirky ready-to-wear stuff ! WHO'S SHOWING? Plenty of upand-coming designers plus heavyweights like Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane and Sass & Bide.

2010 TRENDS J

Floaty Top l Pasta 5 3 £ op Topsh

Stripey Jumper £38 Topshop

NEW YORK

WHAT? The thing with New York is

that everyone wants to wear the same thing but better! We've all been obsessed with New York fashion from Sex and The City to Gossip Girl; this is the real deal. THE LOOK In this city it is all about cool, clear cut clothes....the kind you can wear to the office and out on a 'Friends'-style date in Central Park. Think big sunglasses, huge leather handbags and cool light linens. WHO'S SHOWING? Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Anna Sui, Vera Wang....the list goes on.

anuary often feels like the longest month of year. It's still cold and the dark nights still draw in. You can't even make yourself feel better with your leftover bumper box of Quality Street (a gift from your grandma's cousin, twice removed) because you'd eaten them all by the time the Archie Mitchell was murdered on Christmas Day. To make matters worse, you've ambitiously promised that in January you'd try and eat "healthily" by only consuming cucumber and beetroot soup. However, as dull as January may be, you can still engage in a spot of retail therapy to make yourself feel better. Once the sales are over and the second term's student loan has cleared, it's time to make sure you purchase some of this season's fashion necessities. A trend which has appeared on the high street recently is Parisienne chic. Quilted bags, which are a nod to the classic Chanel 2.55 purse, were popular earlier in the winter and the invasion of kooky French fashion seems set to continue into spring. Classic stripes," I heart Paris" and emblems of the Eiffel tower are being seen on jumpers, dresses and quirky vintage style t-shirts. They're perfect to wear with boots and a blazer for a versatile

Februa ry 2010

PARIS

WHAT? The Creme de la Creme of

fashion shows. There's no expense spared at Paris and the fashion world turns out in force to party in the original home of style. Not strictly a Feb show as it's at the end of January, but the French have always done their own thing, THE LOOK Very avant-gaard. This is where all the haute-couture shows happen so think crazy outfits and lots of ooo-lalalas! It's all about being fashion-forward. WHO'S SHOWING? Chanel, Givenchy, Dior; who else?

Wondering what to wear this year? Zoe Pinder reveals the trends of the new decade and stylish outfit. You no longer need to fly Jet2 (or risk the Eurostar) to feel like you're shopping on the ChampsÉlysées. Instead,simply pop into your nearest H&M or Primark to get your fix of all things à la mode. It is true that January can be a financially taxing month after the impact that Christmas socialising and gift bearing has had on your bank balance. If one of your new year's resolutions is to be more financially savvy while still being fashion conscious, investing in accessories can inspire any outfit without breaking the bank. Hair accessories from fascinators to headbands have been adorning the heads of celebs from Katy Perry to Mischa Barton. They look good on both long and short hair, and are an original alternative to jewellery. They give you a fix of sparkle, without having to go all out in full on sequin attire, and can be worn both day and night. Pastel shades are set to be a popular trend with designers such as Burberry Prorsum and Luella showcasing a range of candy hues in their spring/summer collections. The typically girlie look is perfect for the upcoming spring season and the injection

of feminine colours make a refreshing change to black which tends to dominate wardrobes at this time of year. The floaty fabrics are perfect for layering and wearing with knitwear and so you can create an original look and still keep warm. Reliable Topshop has come up with lovely high street pieces that incorporate this look but for a fraction of the price.

Sequin Headband £19 pretaportabello.com


YORK VISION

LIFESTYLE

Tuesday January 19th 2010

STAR SALES SNO-JOB! Sarah Woods shares her top tips on how to be sale smart this season. Christmas is over, which means that the sales are everywhere. At this busy time it’s easy to get carried away in the hustle and bustle of bargain hunters and eager shoppers. Here are a few tips to help you through this manic month…

1

Just because something is in the sale and has 50% off its original price doesn’t mean you should buy it. You could possibly be in the mind set that you will be ‘saving money’ but this really isn’t the case. More often than not, you will purchase something in the sale just because it has the most money knocked off it over something you actually want or need. Remember, if an item was originally £100 and is now £25, this isn’t reason to buy it! Only buy things you actually really do want/like/need. After all, there could be a reason that the item as been reduced so much – no one wanted it or ever will!

2

Don’t feel rushed or pressured into buying things because you are in a crowded place. The shops are going to be heaving with people, especially if they have a massive sale on. Online shopping can be a great way to avoid the hectic shops but still find the first bargains. Or, you can wait until all the schools go back and most people are back to work and take advantage of one of the benefits of being a student and go shopping on one of your afternoons off.

3

You can find bargains! A lot of things in the sale are in the sale because they are from last season or no one wants them, but don’t forget; you can find some good deals

in the sale! If you have the time and patience, try searching through the racks of sale items and you could get lucky. Designer pieces are great to find in the sale as they are usually far too expensive to even consider buying, but once they have been reduced they’re much more of a realistic purchase.

4

Choose your items carefully. It’s about quality not quantity! Don’t go crazy and buy tonnes of cheap tops; purchase a selected few things. If you choose items that are a bit more expensive, they will probably last you longer. Here are my top 5 best places to go for the sales:

1

ASOS.com – hundreds of items on sale from clothing to beauty to designer! Boots – all the gift sets from Christmas are now half price! Stock up for upcoming birthdays and you’ll be set for months. All Saints – in my opinion, they’re usually a bit too pricey, (especially on our low student funds) but with a sale they’re just about affordable. HMV – with top CDs and DVDs for a fiver you just can’t resist! Debenhams – so many departments, you’re bound to find a good buy.

2

3 4 5

Remember these helpful hints and you'll be sale sorted!

Emma Blake tells us how to look piste-perfect.

If you’re lucky enough to be hitting the there is a way to stay on trend by accessorisslopes, here are a few tips to keep you warm ing. Barts have a great range of knitted beanand fashionable at the same time. ies, trapper hats and earmuffs that give NILS jacket you a chic edge for a fraction of the price With the sales and online £270 and keep you snug on the pistes. discounts, there are many bargains to be had. If you Safety is key on the slopes, and fortudon’t have the time to trek nately back in fashion! Helmets have come through the shops, webback with a vengeance. So if you’re a beginsites like urbanchaos. ner, a liability or a hypochondriac, check out co.uk and snowandrock. Burton helmets, sold for around £40 online at com have a wide range urbanchaos.co.uk. Many of the leading ski of ski and snowboard manufacturers produce their own helmets, wear and accessories. like Salomon and HEAD; these come in at But let's start with around £60. the basics. Nothing Of course the snow experience would beats the Alpine chill not be complete without being able to see like thermal underwhere you are going and for that, look wear. It may not be no further than Oakley. They may be the most attractive a bit pricey (from £80 to £250 online), garment to be sportbut if you’re looking to invest in a ing but it is a mustgreat pair of goggles or sunglasses have layer. M&S have a then Oakley is definitely the way great range of relatively cheap to go. Apart from being one of the tops and long johns. strongest fashion statements you Female snow wear has a Dr. can make on the slopes, giving you Zhivago feel this season, mixing the appearance of a storm trooper, excessive amounts of fur with the they really are worth the extra penlatest in textile technology for nies. Protecting your face against maximum warmth and miniwind chill and providing the clearest mum bulk. Streamlined jackview possible in whatever conditions ets and salopettes have incorpothe mountains throw at you. We recrated sleek design and faux fur ommend the Splice Snow design trim to cut a very luxurious Barts trapper hat that comes with interchangeable figure on the mountains. £29.95 lenses. Brands such as NILS and So what comes after an adventure on the E+O have released 70s-esque slopes? Après-ski fashion collections reflecting this new is just as import a n t . trend, using darker metallic Gilets, moon boots, earcolours and panelled, fitted muffs, woolly jackets. Vision especially likes tights and alpine the NILS K-Nect range. motif jumpers are North Face have opted for all part of the after skiing Oakley Splice cinch-waists and belted jacktradition. In- Snow goggles ets such as the Women’s Baker stead of ruining £100 Jacket. your favourite Mens-wear designers are going pair of Uggs why not splash for graphic statement jackets, acout on a more waterproof pair cented with colourful trousers for of Moon Boots? Topshop and high impact; this is not a look for River Island offer a great range the faint-hearted. Quicksilver have of knitwear this season to relax a great variety of boarder jackets and enjoy your gluvine in after and baggy trousers. a high altitude knee-bashing Without session. Quicksilver having to jacket £220 splash out on pants £200 an entirely new Moon Boots £60 outfit this season,

VISION LOVES...

Katy Perry was seen wearing one and River Island are running out fast of this famous panda beanie, grab one before they're gone for good! £12.99 River Island

To add a bit of colour to your winter coat, these red leather gloves are perfect for the winter

This cute umbrella is bound to make those rainy days a little more pleasant! £22, Topshop.

23

Reduce the size of your heating bills by investing in these snug slipper boots. The comfy sheepskin lining means that you want to take them off! £60 Just Sheepskin


24 SPORT

YORK VISION

>Sport SNOW SPORT JUST YET BY DAN HEWITT

CONT. FROM BACK... However, the notoriously poor drainage system on college pitches, as seen in our picture on the back page, has led to calls from many captains for York Sport to provide alternative pitches to allow fixtures to be completed. Halifax skipper Mark Lund, whose side clinched last term's league title after completing only five of the seven scheduled games, says something has to be done to amend the distinct lack of football being played at college level. “Last term it barely rained and there were still three fixtures called off, with only one being re-scheduled,” said Lund. “But the weather over Christmas means that the pitches have been left in such a bad way that once again players will find a significant number of their games called off.”

charge of the pitches' playing conditions attend only to the university pitches and completely neglect the college pitches.” Lund's fears however are confirmed further when the unequal access of training facilities between university and college teams is considered. At present the university hockey and football teams are allowed first pick of the times they want for training on the JLD astro-turf, leaving college captains with limited spaces. Vanbrugh captains Dan Hewitt and Paul Taylor were told by Sports Centre staff that the only times available were those during the day, while players attend lectures and seminars. After 5pm from Monday to Friday university teams dominate the schedule.

ANGRY What angers Lund however is the bias shown towards University teams. “On many occasions last term university fixtures went ahead on the same field and on the same day that college football games were cancelled due to bad weather. It is quite clear that whoever is in

WATERLOGGED: HOW MANY COLLEGE GAMES WILL BE PLAYED THIS TERM?

Tuesday January 19th 2010

AT-TA BOY!

BY WILL WAINWRIGHT

THE START OF the Spring Term saw a national sportsman come back to York, as third-year student David Attwood returned from representing a victorious England side in the under25s home internationals in Northern Ireland. It was the first call up for the player, 22, who combines his studies with an intensive training and fixture schedule at York and District Indoor Bowls Club. Attwood played his part in three fixtures, contributing to a decisive win for England against their counterparts from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Archaeology student has been playing indoor bowls for three years, after spending his younger years playing the shorter version of the game. The tournament lasted three days, with each game lasting around four hours. England won seven, drew one and lost four of their twelve games, which were played in front of raucous crowds at the John Henry Stadium in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. “The crowds were great,” said Attwood, “they were screaming every bowl in during the last match. It’s great to get a win on my debut and I hope there are many more caps to come.” Attwood’s team members included

world top 20 players, one of whom will be appearing at the World Championships in Norfolk this week. Another member of the team will be representing England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in September. “I hope to carry on improving and appear at the World Champs in the future,” continued Attwood, who is in the latter stages of the National Pairs, Triples and Fours Under-25 competitions. Attwood, whose choice of sport has attracted plenty of light-hearted abuse over the years, is pleased he now has some recognition in the sport. “Its great that all the hard work has paid off,” Attwood said. “Even the air hostess on our flight announced to the rest of the plane there were international sportsmen present." ATWOOD (RIGHT) HAVING WON COUNTY HONOURS

SPORT SPOTLIGHT

UNIVERSITY OF YORK OCTOPUSH CLUB VISION'S JOSH MANGHAM INVESTIGATES THE UNDERWATER WORLD OF CAMPUS' MOST OBSCURE SPORT...

IT'S HARD TO pinpoint exactly at what time during my introductory session to octopush that I realised I had been quick to judge a book by its cover. Perhaps it was when, in an underwater skirmish, I received first an elbow and then a flipper to the face in swift succession. Or maybe it was the numerous times I almost choked on my snorkel, gasping for breath and arms flapping in a vain attempt to stay afloat. Octopush, I came to appreciate, is not a game for the faint hearted. Having only been made aware of the existence of Octopush two days previously, I was sceptical of the sport’s merits. I have never been a great swimmer, and the early signs weren’t good as the trunks I’d borrowed from a larger flat mate struggled to resist gravity’s indecent pull. Sitting down on the edge of the pool, experienced Octopush player Tom took me through the basics. In Octopush you wear flippers, a mask and a snorkel. Playing in teams of six with four substitutes, the simple aim is to manoeuvre the puck underwater around the opposition and into their goal. With three attackers and three defenders on each team, octopush

is perhaps most easily described as underwater hockey. Each player has a small curved stick with which to hit the puck, and competitive games are normally divided into two fifteen-minute halves. With this in mind, an admirably patient Tom led me and another new recruit through some practice exercises. At the start of each half and after each goal the puck is dropped in the centre of the playing area, and the three attackers from each team have to sprint to the middle of the pool before diving down to the floor in a race to grab the puck and start in possession. This dive beneath the surface is known as a ‘duck dive’, and the first ten minutes were spent practicing this ungainly movement, with yours truly bearing a striking resemblance not to a duck but a drowning rat. We then practiced sprinting, diving underwater and moving the puck along the floor of the pool. Simple in principle, what was hard about this was timing your dive so that you took a deep enough breath before descending to last more than five seconds underwater. Feeling that we were now ready, or at least better prepared than we were at the start of the session, Tom brought us into the game.

My memory of the fifteen minutes I spent playing octopush is a bit of blur. Loose limbs, furious jabs and sharp kicks abounded as I attempted to get involved in what was an underwater war. As one octopush player knowingly put it to me before I got into the pool, octopush is a constant effort to stop yourself from drowning. Seeing an opposition player swim dangerously close to the goal, I would dive down only to rush up moments later, disorientated and gasping for breath. Whenever I could stay underwater for more than a few seconds the speed and aggression of play was incredible to witness. Often in trying to move the puck there would not only be someone directly in front but also below and above you, all willing to take and inflict a few hits in order to retrieve possession. The recovery time of players who came up for air was astonishing, and by the end of the practice match I was left exhausted and dizzy, but in awe of this underwater demonstration of controlled skill and violence. Octopush has a lot more to it than the flippers and snorkel image lets on. With open practice sessions and friendly club members, it is a university sport with a lot to offer.

Open practice sessions are from 8.30-10pm every Monday. A minibus to the pool leaves from James College cash point at 8.20 pm


YORK VISION

SPORT

Tuesday January 19th 2010

THE BOUNTIFUL GAME

VISION'S MIKE REGAN CHATS TO FORMER MANCHESTER CITY BOSS

BRYAN HORTON ABOUT THE EVER PRESENT ISSUE OF MONEY IN FOOTBALL... THERE WAS ONCE a time when the transfer window made a daily dose of Sky Sports News an absolute must- a necessary fix of transfer news and gossip. Yet after 14 days of potential action this window has been a maelstrom of abject disappointment, the biggest news being that an obese Sol Campbell has returned to Arsenal to play a few FA Cup games and pick up some lunch money. According to pundits the lack of activity hinges on the weakness of the Pound against the Euro, making imports from the continent a no go area. Yet is this the reality across the board? Firstly lower league clubs have traditionally struggled to do business at this time, and regard this transfer window as unfairly skewed to the advantage of the richer clubs, and secondly there is Manchester City, a club of which Brian Horton was once manager. Needless to say, things have changed a little since his tenure, when he maintained City's Premier League status on a shoestring budget. Horton tells me: “Man City fans will not care about how much they have spent. They just

want to win something” Whilst City's success starved recent history has left them thirsty for success, serious questions must be asked about whether their club runs a sustainable business model. Should Man City fans feel comfortable, as Horton suggests? - “Things would only blow up there if the owners walk away, and I don't see that happening”. Yet the sacking of Mark Hughes raised some serious questions about the owner's shotgun approach, should instant silverware continue to allude the club,

"Fans don't care how much you spend. They just want to win something." will they cut and run? Just 15 miles down the road from Eastlands the tale is somewhat different. Stockport County FC find themselves in absolute financial meltdown, owing in excess of a million pounds on top of spiralling administrators bills and with no prospect of paying up. Yet just seven years ago the two clubs were in the same division, with Stockport taking 4 points off their more illustrious opponents. Horton has sympathy with Stockport's plight: “It is sad to see the whole situation at Stockport. I feel sorry for the manager Gary Abblett”. But in such a short space of time how have the clubs suffered such diverse fortunes? Horton believes it is down to “poor management” that clubs find themselves in this state, yet in reality there is more to it than that. Perversely it is the structure of The Football League itself that discriminates against those teams outside of the Premier League. The scale of Man City's spending may be an anomaly, but the criminally high sums paid to Premier League clubs in TV

DOWNWARD SPIRAL

STEPHEN HOLCROFT SEES THINGS DIFFERENTLY WITH BAD FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT BEING WHAT STEERS CLUBS TOWARDS CRISIS... WHATEVER YOUR NEW Year’s resolution involved, I'm pretty sure you didn't comprehend giving up supporting your football club. For us die-hards, our own football club is like 'a religion’. It’s not surprising therefore when we see budget deficit's in our clubs, eyebrows are raised. In the decade marking 'the twenty something's', 16 Premier League teams are reported to have net bank borrowings. A closer look will reveal just how damaging this way of financing could be. Manchester United – a club steeped in history, and the most successful team of modern English football, many argue, will remain the nation’s dominant force. But, pile on the long-term costs associated with a £790 million debt financed takeover, with insufficient funds, then you're playing a risky game. Malcolm Glazer did exactly this in May 2005, when only £275 million came from his own wealth; the rest being borrowed from banks and hedge funds. United fans have been keeping a close watch on finances ever since. This approach certainly has its share of problems – the rates of interest borrowing are much higher, and instead

of repaying interest annually, the cost is 'rolled up', required at a later date. Whilst pre-tax profits till June 2009 recorded £48.6 million, a rosy first hand depiction, take into account that the figure includes the extortionate £80 million received for Cristiano Ronaldo, then an aura of apprehension for united fans becomes more appropriate – a loss of £31.6 million. Although MU Finance PLC has attempted to offer redemption to fans by introducing a £500 million bond scheme to replace some existing debts, accommodating more favourable interest rates, this still doesn't solve the clubs' fundamental problem – there’s too much debt. Indeed, the future could prove catastrophic. United fans are already paying £931 for a top price season ticket, compared to a previous £532. Potentially, United could be forced to cash-in on one prized asset a summer to service spiralling debts. More so, if United are to replace iconic figures like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, then it’s inevitable that their net spending will have to be slightly above the thin red line. Would those, often poked at 'glory supporters' be willing to pay more to watch a game of infe-

rights mean that they can afford to spend, spend, spend as a tactic for achieving success. This is why for Horton's current club, Hull, where he is assistant manager, staying in the Premier League is paramount, “We have overspent a little bit, but if we stay in the top flight that all becomes worthwhile. That is massive”. The knock on effect of this leaves other domestic competitions under threat, as poor attendances in the FA Cup third round exemplify- only 5,000 fans turned up to watch Hull's tie at Wigan, a figure Horton describes as “very disappointing”. It is salient that a competition that once helped to safeguard the future of lower league clubs, is itself under threat by the Premier League financial windfall. The disparity in funding of English football clubs is leaving many of them susceptible to disaster. Edgeley Park is not the first, nor will it be the last place to be on the brink of becoming obsolete. There is a common threat to those clubs who do find themselves in this unenviable positions, they have all been heading in the right direction, just prior to their meltdown. For these are the clubs that have attempted to break Football's rigid hierarchical structure only to find themselves hitting a financial brick wall. If you don't have the means to splash the cash, then you are going nowhere. Stockport found this out to their cost, when on the verge of two successive promotions and with a supremely talented squad, things blew up in their face. Now with this team decimated and still in administration, they sit bottom of League one by four points. Meanwhile , just up the road, it is no coincidence that the only team to appear capable of gate crashing 'The Big Four' in the Premiership, are also the biggest spenders, having spent £300 million to do it. Rest assured, the beautiful game has an ugly side.

STEPHEN HOLCROFT rior quality? Probably not. Such is the budgetary worries surrounding the top teams that Rafa Benitez claimed that the Liverpool hierarchy wouldn't necessarily turn away a ''silly money'' bid for Fernando Torres, with Manchester City recently linked. Despite refinancing, Liverpool's debt's remain around £200 million, excluding a loss of over £120 million in net spending in the five years since Benitez became manager. If Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, a Torres bid may have to be considered, and fresh concerns would arise over whether the co-owners could persuade buyers to take up their 25% share in the club. And Manchester United would suffer a similar effect, should they fall short on the pitch. However often Sir Alex Ferguson or Benitez refute claims of their lack of their financial constraints, their time is unquestionably running out to prove their case – Patrick Vieira claimed, following his move to the blue half of Manchester, that ''the gap between 'them' and 'us' is narrowing by the day''. Perhaps he was right...

25

FOOD FOR THOUGHT OUR CLUBS WEALTH IN CONTEXT : WHAT DO THEY EAT? CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR

Man City are indisputably top of the football money tree. They have bought their way into the Champions League race. Why not? It worked for Leeds. Oh...

PROSSECO AND COD ROE Whilst not able to shell out on the luxury helpings of some of their rivals, Villa's owner Randy Lerner has ensured they are heavily supplied with lavish goods to get the job done.

SIRLOIN STEAK Traditionally big spenders, but with £500 million of debt and little of the £80 million from the Ronaldo sale spent, questions are being raised over the Red Devils' financial health.

AN EFES Relatively big spenders by lower league standards and with a committed and wealthy owner. as with any club further down the scale, Huddersfield are far from secure.

SCRAPS FROM THE BIN Routinely described as a "crisis club". Stockport have been reduced to foraging just to stay afloat. The classic victims of Football's class system.


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26 SPORT

YORK VISION

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

THE

TIPSTER

A NEW YEAR AND A NEW GENERATION OF THE TIPSTER LEADING THE PENNILESS STUDENTS OF YORK THROUGH THE PERILOUS WORLD OF HIGH STAKES GAMBLING...

SURE THING CHELSEA TO WIN THE PREMIER LEAGUE AFTER THUMPING IN a stunning seven goals that left the Black Cats reeling Chelsea looked every inch the potential champions of England. In a league bereft of consistency, the technical expertise and sheer strength of the Chelsea team looks like the only sure bet. With Man United having sold their magic talisman and Arsenal still lacking in depth the Blues are poised to cash in. Despite losing several key players to the African Cup of Nations Ancelotti has chosen to show his confidence in the squad’s resources by refusing to do any business in the January transfer window: everyone in Chelsea seems to be enjoying their football and I can’t see any reason why that would change; the club fears no-one. It would take a foolhardy man to bet on anyone else.

TIPSTER'S ODDS:

5/3

LONG SHOT ANDY MURRAY TO WIN THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN ALTHOUGH RANKED AT number 4 in the world it is far from set in stone that Andy Murray will break his grand slam duck. Though he waltzed through his first game against South African no. 1 (and World no. 147) Kevin Anderson, Murray faces stiff competition from giants of the game Roddick, Del Potro and the legendary Federer. There is also the distinct possibility that he may come up against heavyweight Nadal in the quater final. Having never made it past the fourth round in Melbourne precedent would tell us that Murray will not be victorious down under. Having said that at 22 years of age Murray is on the brink of his peak tennis years and 2010 could be the year when he finally lives up to the hype.

TIPSTER'S ODDS:

12 / 1

ABSOLUTE MADNESS RICKY HATTON TO WIN HIS COMEBACK FIGHT BOXING COMEBACKS RARELY have a happy ending. After Hatton's last fight, in which he was totally outclassed by the obnoxious Manny Pacquiao and had already hit the mat twice before the KO blow was finally delivered, you could be forgiven for thinking that this tale of hubris will inevitably lead to tragedy. With a rematch against Pacquiao being touted as his route back into the world of professional boxing Hatton looks set to join the pantheon of legendary boxers who left the comfort of retirement to disappoint their legions of fans. You'd have to have to be as mad as Hatton to put money on him winning.

TIPSTER'S ODDS:

50 / 1

YORK SPORT 2010: A

BY MIKE REGAN & JOSEPH McDERMOTT

YORK SPORT ENTER 2010 with high hopes of an improved standing in the final BUCS rankings. In this comprehensive guide to the ups and downs of our teams so far, we hope to highlight some unsung heroes, some star performers, and those who could really be doing better. With the turn of the year, the countdown to our flagship Roses event can begin. After last year's comprehensive mauling, Lancaster will be out for revenge, and all the signs point to a much closer battle next time out. Having been beaten 4-0 in last year's encounter, Lancaster's Football First XI have taken Group 2B by storm, winning 5 out of 6 games, including a 7-1 thrashing of Liverpool Hope

University. If this improvement can be mirrored across the board then York's sportsman could well find retaining the crown a far tougher task that many anticipate. The turn of the year also sees a number of clubs holding genuine hopes for promotion, amongst them; all of our football teams, the Men's and Women's Tennis sides and the Rugby Firsts. Unfortunately at the opposite end of the spectrum there are those sides staring down the barrel of relegation. Whichever fate awaits York's sports men and women, our comprehensive round up is the perfect guide to the varying fortunes of our teams thus far.

FLYING THE FLAG: YORK HORNETS CHEERLEADING SQUAD ONE OF CAMPUS' newest and well funded sport's clubs, the York Hornets are already carving out a fine reputation for themselves. It has been an achievement in itself to have, in just a year, put together a competitive squad for national events as well as a performance squad on campus. The achievements however do not stop with merely competing at a national level, the Hornets secured 2nd place at last term's ICC Championships, finishing just two points away from a stunning victory. The club is not one to rest on its laurels and has ambi-

tions to improve still further. In the forthcoming year the girls will be performing in BCA University Championships and BCA Midlands Regional, with the aim being '1st place in a competition' and according to P&P officer Jessica Anderson 'with each competition we get one step closer'. And with further funding secured from the York Alumni Fund and the Vice Chancellor, the prospects for fulfilling these goals seem extremely good indeed.

OVERACHIEVERS: UNDERACHIEVERS: MEN'S FOOTBALL LACROSSE THE SEASON SO far has heralded huge success all across the board for the University of York Football Club with each team providing real competition for their respective leagues. An increased intake has added to squad depth and created a healthy competition for places. Club President Greg Gardner is quick to praise the appointment of coach Peter Renton whose tactical analysis 'has helped with the professionalism of the first team'. Stand out performances in each team has ensured that York Football is a force to be reckoned with. The versatile firsts player Ian McKellow; solid 2nds centre back Oscar Lynch and 3rds captain Liam Condron all deserve individual accolades for the parts they played in the club's success. The first team is now looking forward to February when they will face the Sheffield 1sts in a game that will make or break their season but given last term's form York should well fancy their chances.

WITH ALL THREE teams struggling in their respective leagues this is turning into a season to forget for the York Lacrosse club. Although they are not yet in danger of relegation the clubs must now rule themselves out contention for promotion and fight to establish themselves in their respective leagues. After dominating the league last season expectations were high for the Women's 1sts but since their promotion they are unable to replicate last years form and despite an exemplary home record they are yet to pick up a win on the road. The university's timetabling system has not being kind to the club with several key members of the team being unable to travel to away games. However a recent win against old rivals Durham (the first in 3 years) suggests that something could yet be salvaged from the season.

UNDERFUNDED: TABLE TENNIS WITH A YEARLY grant of just £21.90, the Table Tennis club are woefully underfunded. And having lost all 5 of their matches thus far, things are looking bleak. Club President Reza Mafi told Vision in October that the club were "thinking of getting a coach in the future, but we are not sure how to finance it yet". And with the club placed in an extremely tough group along with Leeds, Durham and Sheffield 1sts, traditionally some of University Sport's strongest outfits. Yet last year the side coped amicably against the same opposition, winning half of their games. Left without enough money even to travel to away games, the club's dire financial straits have severely hampered the chances. The club will be hoping to forget this miserable season and secure more funds this year.

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YORK VISION

SPORT

Tuesday January 19th, 2010

VISION FOR THE FUTURE PROMOTION CANDIDIDATES: WOMEN'S FENCING

HANDS UP IF you know the rules of fencing... No me neither. Which is probably why the sport has received little coverage on these here pages, or those of the other campus rags for that matter. However the exploits of the women's team in particular deserve a mention. The

team have won all five of their league matches this season in group 1, including an incredibly tight opening round of matches against Leeds, which they won by 101 points to 100. These points refer to the amount of times a player from each team, has struck an opponent in a legal location. However the Women's team is not the only one gunning for promotion, with the men's team also riding high in the league. They have won four out of five games, and sit top of their regional group. Their wins include a thrashing of York's very own second team.

UNSUNG HEROES: WOMEN'S HOCKEY A CURSORY glance at the results of the Women's Hockey team would not immediately grab attention, with two wins and four draws from their six games. However considering the calibre of opposition they have come up against in Group 3b, their battling spirit deserves some praise. The girls started the season with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Leeds 3rd and have also recorded wins against Northumbria and Sheffield 2nds. Their solid start has left the team with an outside chance of promotion, having endured a torrid 2008/2009, being relegated from group 2. A return to this level will be relished, if only to avenge the

defeat suffered to fierce rivals York St. Johns. When rivalries are resumed in February, it will be the next two games that are crucial to the girls prospects, p a r t i c u l a rly a win or bust game away at Leeds.

RELEGATION FODDER: MEN'S HOCKEY 1STS A POOR RUN of 6 games means that the Men’s Hockey 1sts have only picked up 4 points from a possible 18 leaving them struggling at the bottom of the league with 3 points separating them from safety. Their season so far has been hampered by the injuries of several high profile players including club president Rob Newton and former captain Billy Walsh while the introduction of coach Roz Ramiz has not had the impact the club had clearly hoped for. This nightmare season comes immediately after the previous problems of the 2008/2009 season in which the team were relegated after having failed to win a single game. The men stand in direct contrast the women's Hockey 1sts who are unbeaten thus far this season.

27

CLUB OF THE YEAR: YUSNOW

AS ONE OF the university’s most consistently high performing clubs it’s unsurprising that YUSnow should in the frame for Club of The Year. The club boasts a roster of stars including David Tee, a one time member of the England Ski Team, and Marlies Neuner, YUSnow’s Snowboarding Captain who won the University its first BUCS points of the year with a fantastic 2nd placed finish at last November’s event. Neuner has since cemented her dominance of the women’s university circuit by finishing on the podium in every event so far this season. Following impeccable performances from the rest of the team the Club is expecting several other top spots including the Team Dual Slalom. With the British Uni Snowsports Championship fast approaching the club is looking forward to spending Easter in Alpe D’Huez, France where they will be competing to bring a good haul of BUCS points back to York. P&P officer Louise Cottrell-Gibbons exclusively told Vision: "YUsnow has high hopes for this year, with many important competitions just around the corner - most importantly the British University Indoor Series qualifier (on real snow!) where York will be fielding strong teams and hoping to get to the national finals."

HOW HAVE YORK FARED SO FAR? WHEN BUCS LAST announced the current rankings for the 2009/2010, York sat in a typically mediocre 52nd place. With most of these points being collected by Vision's Club of the Year, YUSnow, other clubs will be expected to chip in. The aim is surely to continue the steady improvement that has taken place over recent years, and improve on last year's 41st place finish. With Lancaster sitting in joint 50th place, there is little to choose between the two great rivals, with this year's Roses tournament only a term away. The usual suspects, Loughborough and Durham sit top of the pile, having amassed points consistently week on week.

THE CURRENT BUCS STANDINGS POS 1 2 4 15 21 50 52 73

UNIVERSITY POINTS LOUGHBOROUGH 804.5 233 DURHAM 189 NEWCASTLE 76 LEEDS NORTHUMBRIA 43 13 LANCASTER 12.5 YORK 0 YORK ST. JOHN


Tuesday, January 19th 2010

2010: A GIANT SPORTING PREVIEW

Issue 203

YOUR #1 SOURCE FOR ALL UNI SPORT

THE GREAT SPORTING WASHOUT

HALIFAX CAPTAIN MARK

LUND:

ONE OF THOSE TO CRITIC ISE THE PITCHES

AS THE 'BIG FREEZE' BECOMES THE 'BIG THAW', COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAPTAINS SLAM THE "APPALLING" STATE OF UNI PITCHES BY DAN HEWITT COLLEGE FOOTBALL captains are once again united in their anger at the appalling state of the University's football pitches. Adverse weather conditions over the festive period have left College football pitches in such an unplayable state that many captains fear that virtually no fixtures will be completed this term. Concern amongst captains has

however been exacerbated further by York Sport's silence on the issue of alternative arrangements of guaranteeing that fixtures are fulfilled. College football matches are currently restricted to pitches at the top of the 22 acres, with the rest of the playing fields being reserved for University fixtures.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

> SPORT'S FIXTURES OBLITERATED > YORK SPORT SILENT ON MATTER CH PROVOKES ANGER OA PR AP I UN > CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

VISION SPORT EXCLUSIVE CONT. PAGE 24


York Vision 203