THE ART EDITION
SCENE. THE ART
YORK’S AWARD-WINNING TABLOID NEWSPAPER
Meet your new Students’ Union officers
STUDENTS SPEAK UP OVER WELLBEING CONCERNS
UNACCEPTABLE How Hong Kong students are threatened and mistreated at York
BY FIN BOSWORTH
HONG KONG STUDENTS feel as if their safety and freedoms were ignored by the University of York. After the fiasco at the YUSU Freshers’ Fair in October 2019, in which the Union’s Doorsafe security service oversaw the takedown of a Hong Kong Lennon Wall (a message of support and truth for Hong Kong), students from Hong Kong have told York Vision that they felt that the University has had a more productive relationship with their politics, but only after the threat of bad publicity from The Times’ article that later surfaced.
FULL STORY ON PAGE 4
VISION CHATS WITH THE COLLEGE CHAIRS PAGE 5
Tuesday February 25, 2020
News Editor Perkin Amalaraj Deputy Editor Tom Willett Opinion Editor Lewis Whittaker Deputy Editor Charlie Cooling Features Editor Angelos Sofocleous Deputy Editor Isobel Mintz Lifestyle Editor Hannah Frost Deputy Editor Imogen Webbe Climate Editor Molly Pearce Deputy Editor Matilda Martin Science & Tech Editor VACANT Deputy Editor Kieron Buttle Sport Editor Eilidh Smith Deputy Editor Ben Gosling
THREE STRIKES... WE’RE OUT
Sex & Relationships S3 Editor Holly Palmer Deputy Editor Sarah Veale Books S4 Editor Zara Stubbs Deputy Editor Hannah Jorgensen Music S5 Editor Helena Senior Deputy Editor Amelia Kelly Stage S6 Editor Lucie Jubin Deputy Editor VACANT Food & Drink S8 Editor Iwan Stone Deputy Editor Vic Trodd Travel S9 Editor Jess Reeve Deputy Editor Eilidh Smith Games S10 Editor Vic Trodd Deputy Editor Fin Bosworth Screen S11 Editor Jasmine Wells-Dean Deputy Editor Roshan Shulka
Editor Chay Quinn Editor Harry Clay Deputy Editor Maddie Jenkins SCENE Editor Tasha Croager Chief Subeditor Lucy Purkis Charters Subeditor Rosanne te Riele Subeditor Fin Bosworth Managing Director Brooke Davies Social Media Director Jasmine Moody Technical Director Jess Reeve Opinions expressed in York Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Editorial Team, membership, or advertisers.
THE UNIVERSITY AND College Union has started striking for the third time in as many years. Although heavy rain set in, the spirit of the strikers wasn’t dampened, with around 100 staff members and students stood at the gates of Heslington Hall Thursday morning to form the biggest picket on campus, with smaller pickets seen by The Retreat and towards Fulford. York is one of 47 universities striking over both the “sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme” and “the significant lack of improvement over pay and work conditions”, according to the UCU. Several members of the picket gave speeches, with one highlighting the “exhaustion” of the workload given to her through teaching, meaning that there wasn’t enough time to do research. A student spoke out about how students
were backing and supporting the strikes, noting that “hundreds” of students backed their last solidarity petition, although it should be noted that the current main petition to reimburse students has well over 2,000. Members of the University of York Labour Club, Extinction Rebellion, and the Socialist Workers Party were all seen present on Thursday, chanting and applauding with the rest of the crowd. A spokesperson for the University said: “Our focus is on minimising the impact of the strikes on our students. We will be working very closely with any affected departments to explore any additional activities and contingencies we can put in place and deliver alternative learning opportunities or mitigations. “We understand the decision to take part in industrial action is not taken lightly and we respect the rights of our staff to participate.”
When approached for comment, UYLC told Vision: “We care very much for the wellbeing of our staff and students and are encouraging all parties to work together to find a solution to these national issues. “As a movement dedicated to the improvement of working conditions, and one with justice at its very core, Labour has always respected industrial action in the pursuit of dignified employment. The Club is shocked by the immense workload of our staff, the gender pay gap of 17%, and the inadequacy of pay and pensions despite spending millions on vanity projects and executive pay. We call on students to remember the adage: “the longer the picket line, the shorter the strike”. “Their anger is deserved, and we must stand with staff in solidarity, not only for their dignity but our academic success.”
STUDENTS AT UNI TARGETED BY DIGITAL KIDNAPPING SCAM
VIRTUAL KIDNAPPING HITS YORK STUDENT BY HARRY
A STUDENT AT the University of York has been victim to a new form of scam, known as virtual kidnapping. The scam has found prominence in previous years in the US, amongst other places, but Chinese students in UK universities are now being targeted. In 2018, the Chinese Embassy in London issued a warning over several cases in the UK, but this is the first time that it can be confirmed that a student at the University has been targeted. The scam works by perpetrators posing as officials from the Chinese state. They will con-
vince victims that they have broken some sort of law or code in China and force them into paying large sums of money in order to avoid being deported and arrested. The victims, not having enough money to pay the demands themselves, are then forced to contact their family at home, claiming to have been kidnapped. A similar scam sees the perpetrators claiming that victims’ families are implicated in crimes, and to avoid violence, the students are forced into performing acts that the scammers can use to convince families that their children have been kidnapped. North Yorkshire Police have advised that
anyone who has fallen victim to this, or a similar type of scam, should immediately contact the police on either 101 or 999. This is not something that has been raised to the Union by any students, Chinese or otherwise. Samara Jones, Union President: “We will be picking this up with the Student Support Hub, but would urge any students concerned around the matter to get in touch with our Advice and Support Centre or the Student Hub. We would hope that the Hub is aware and considering the most effective ways to support students to ensure they don’t become victims of crime.”
If you spot any mistakes or wish to make a complaint please send an email to email@example.com. Copyright Vision Newspapers, 2020. Printed by Mortons of Horncastle. Front page images: YUSU. Back page images: YUSU, Hannah Greig, York Sport Union
UNI MINISTER IS YORK ALUM
MICHELLE DONELAN, YORK alumna, has been made Universities Minister as part of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle. On February 13, Donelan announced she will be taking the role within both the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In 2004, Donelan was a Press and Publicity Manager at YSTV. She studied History and Politics. Donelan’s record includes voting against laws to promote equality and human rights. Donelan was one of 64 MPs to vote against gay couples forming civil partnerships in Northern Ireland and legalising abortion in certain circumstances in Northern Ireland.
OLD UNITY HEALTH TO BE TORN DOWN
Tuesday February 25, 2020
THE UNIVERSITY OF York has confirmed that the old Unity Health building is to be demolished, though it is not yet know what the space will be used for. In a statement to York Vision, the University said, “We do intend to demolish the old medical centre. The plans for campus are still being developed and this space will be considered as part of our on-going commitment to improve the infrastructure of the campus.” This may place a spanner in the works for YUSU’s current plans with the space, as they are opening it up as a temporary storage facility for student groups. YUSU have stated that they are continually lobbying for a proper resolution.
YORFESS ADMINS IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER YUSU ELECTIONS RESULTS
YORFESS IMPACT ON ELECTIONS: ASSESSED
IMAGE: YORFESS III
POPULAR ONLINE CONFESSIONS pages have taken centre stage in this elections cycle as two YUSU Sabb candidates were revealed to be admins of Yorfess III during the campaign. The racist posts of another page during York’s coronavirus outbreak, titled “Yorfess” but not run by the same admins, were brought up as an issue to all of the Sabb candidates during Candidate Debate Night on February 13. Jade Brewer, an unsuccessful candidate for York Sport President, and Hugh Campkin, an unsuccessful candidate for Student Activities Officer, both admitted during the campaign to be admins for the popular page. After which, the role of the pages in the University and YUSU became a much more pressing issue in the Elec-
tions which concluded on February 22. Curiously, another anonymous page titled ‘York Truths’ was created on February 12, which promised to be the “independent fact-checker” that York supposedly needed during the campaign. This page anonymously claimed that YUSU needed to clamp down on Brewer and Campkin because they were “criminals”, possibly alluding to Yorfess III’s trouble with Facebook moderation in its previous forms (Yorfess and Yorfessions). This page, though, was shortlived and was seemingly deactivated after York Vision contacted them and notified them of the legal risk of their posts. Both Yorfess pages operate a two-fold anonymity in which the admins remain anonymous and they also do not know the identity of the posts which are submitted.
When contacted for comment by York Vision, Brewer stated that the elections have “only looked at Yorfess in a negative light and ignored the ways it brings students together, and that it is for entertainment purposes.” She stated her intention to try and stay as an admin of the page to keep students safe and make sure that entertainment was what it was being used for, but failing this she would not be “supporting the page”. Brewer noted that the publication of this article could lead to her removal as an admin. York Sport President Maddi Cannell told York Vision that “work needs to be done to ensure the platforms themselves are being run and engaged with in a way that does not risk bullying, promotes the spread of misinformation, and shows York in a more positive light.”
ACTIVITIES-ELECT VOWS TO HELP TPUK BECOME A SOCIETY
TERRY TO HELP RATIFY TURNING POINT “I said yes to raitifying them in Societies Committee”
“We should bring them to campus to challenge their views” IMAGE: YSTV
BRIAN ‘WALLY’ TERRY, the newly elected Student Activities Officer, has on several occasions confirmed that he is happy to ratify the controversial rightwing group Turning Point UK. In a meeting on October 15, a vote was held in Societies Committee (Socs Com) on whether to ratify the society. Although the minutes don’t state which members voted for or against ratification, Terry has confirmed to York Vision that he was one of the two members to vote for it. Four voted against. Terry confirmed that he would “help TPUK ratify” when questioned by Nick Lunn on Candidate Debate Night on February 13, before his victory was confirmed at Elections Results Night on February 22
He has stated that “YUSU has an important role to play in upholding the University’s legal obligation to facilitate freedom of speech and I personally feel that the Union should be playing a role in supporting student debate – including on views that we don’t always agree with. As a result, I felt obligated to vote in favour of this group ratifying.” The group have made three attempts at ratifying, under two different teams, but on each occasion, Socs Com decided to reject the application. The first attempt was decided to be rejected over a year ago when Socs Com voiced concern over the group’s association “with a strongly right-wing organisation” that could “incur reputational damage”. There was also noted worry that the potential society wouldn’t “adhere to our inclusivity clause”, but “are not being no-platformed”.
Following an application rejection, the Socs Com minutes detail a meeting between the committee and Turning Point UK society “applicants” AC and CJ (full names weren’t noted). The aim of the meeting was to discuss “their application reasons behind its rejection”, but the discussion eventually moved on to the conduct of members and associates of Turning Point. In one notable comment, AC noted that although Candace Owens, the former communications director for Turning Point, said last year that “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK fine”, she “wouldn’t support Nazi viewpoints” because “she is black”. Terry has commented that “it is not the responsibility of Socs Com to take a political stance towards political groups... This matter has been referred to the Board of Trustees to review.”
Tuesday February 25, 2020
SHEFFIELD STUDENT STANDOFF FORGE PRESS IN Sheffield have spent the last week covering the latest developments in clashes between the Sheffield SU International Students’ Officer Sissi Li, and shocked student groups. Forge shared that Li had taken to WeChat, a Chinese social media platform, to state her irritation at “fake reports by the foreign media” covering and criticising the Chinese State’s actions in Hong Kong. She also encouraged students to “actively report” “situation[s] to officials” when noticing that registration documents list “China”, “Hong Kong”, and “Taiwan” as different nationalities. Forge followed the developments when students from Hong Kong and Taiwan demanded concessions. The SU released a statement on the 17th, but campaigners believe the statement wasn’t enough and a call for the ISO’s resignation has been made.
THE MANCUNION IN Manchester have revealed the details of an extensive investigation into the University of Manchester’s Ski and Snowboard Club (SKUM). Over 40 pieces of evidence gathered by the publication have been passed to the University, detailing encouragement to take part in potentially dangerous and illegal activities, destruction of property, discussing “preying” on freshers, committing public sex acts, and distributing offensive imagery, including an instance of blackface. The Mancunion has compared the society to Oxford’s Bullingdon Club. The Mancunion also released details over the “Game of GNAR”, a game in which members are encouraged to complete challenges worth different points. Challenges include doing ski runs naked and having sex in a gondola. As a result, the Students’ Union has committed to responding to the investigation and the University has announced it’s launching an investigation, claiming that “if any breach of the Athletic Union’s or University’s own Codes of Conduct is found, swift and appropriate measures will be taken.” The club also release a daily publication on trips abroad called The SKUMday Times, detailing the previous day’s revolting deeds, perhaps proving once and for all that student media could be worse.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP MEETS STUDENT PRESS SURPRISINGLY, THE COURIER at Newcastle has been a minor part of Labour’s seemingly infinite leadership contest. Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, is one of the paper’s alumni, and the national press have taken great joy in finding some of her columns from the late 90s, which feature sexual scenarios in a casebook style investigation looking for the perfect man. This comes several months after The Courier brought her for a chat in which she expressed how it was a “good decision” that she “signed up for The Courier”. It’s only left to the imagination of us at Vision to wonder what the world would be like if it were ran by student media.
HK STUDENTS’ WELLBEING IGNORED “If they can’t beat you up in the UK, they’ll beat up your family in Hong Kong” BY FIN
HONG KONG STUDENTS feel as if their safety and freedoms were ignored by the University of York. After the fiasco at the YUSU Freshers’ Fair in October 2019, in which the Union’s Doorsafe security service oversaw the takedown of a Hong Kong Lennon Wall (a message of support and truth for Hong Kong), students from Hong Kong have told York Vision that they felt that the University has had a more productive relationship with their politics, but only after the threat of bad publicity from The Times’ article that later surfaced. With the growing conflict at home, students from Hong Kong unanimously agree that they feel a sense of self-segregation and animosity between themselves and mainland Chinese students. “[Chinese students] stay with their own people… read their own news, social media like Weibo, [and] do not interact”, one student commented. York Vision has seen screenshots from the social media app Weibo, which has seen Hong Kong “independence extremists” called “savages”, and commenters celebrating the tearing down of pro–independence posters on campus. Hong Kong students said of the Chinese state: “if they can’t beat you up in the UK, they’ll beat up your family in Hong Kong”. According to students who were present, mem-
bers of the Chinese Society (CSSA-York) reported the Hong Kong students’ stand as it contained slogans and messages which “offended” the Chinese Society members. “[Doorsafe] assumed our guilt”, claimed one student, the act was a “breach of [our] freedom of speech” as they could not understand the non–English messages. The Chinese Society of York is an endorsed organisation by the Chinese Embassy in Manchester and the Chinese Ministry of Education, as well as being a YUSU society. Despite YUSU’s statement of having found “no evidence that any students were ordered to take down material from their stalls”, witnesses to the event claim they felt as if they were “ordered” to do so by YUSU’s Doorsafe, and witnesses report that the leaders of the Hong Kong stand were told “no politics” by Doorsafe, despite the presence of multiple political societies. Also present were the Palestinian Solidarity Society, another society which takes a stance on a contentious issue around statehood. YUSU has since told York Vision that APASS met with them, and “assured them that they can carry out political campaign activity as do many student groups including but not limited to the 18 student groups categorised as “Political and campaigning societies”. YUSU also reminded the students of ways to stay safe on campus. Recently, YUSU has had a more positive response to
TRANSLATION: “Hong Ko the political activng Ind ep en dence Extremists are Savag ity of Hong Kong es” students, such as the endorsement of a Len- tered a £200M programme non Wall in the Exhibition with a branch organisation Centre this February, many of the Chinese government. of our sources feel as if this Our investigation has is only because of the bad made it clear that the Chipublicity that The Times nese Society has failed to article garnered earlier in uphold the values of YUSU October after the Freshers’ and the University. It is the Fair incident. only society which is offiThe students who spoke cially sponsored by a govto York Vision also felt that ernment, and by failing to the University of York’s re- identify and challenge these sponse was “playing with destructive and aggressive the definition of force”. attitudes within its memThough the University of bers, it makes a mockery of York has displayed a bet- our institutions and values. ter attitude than other uni- YUSU have told York Viversities in the UK, many sion that “The Union did students from Hong Kong reach out to the Hong Kong feel like they had been “ig- student society a number of nored” up until The Times’ times in advance of Freshinvestigation. Some speak- ers’ Fair and after to offer ing with Vision felt as if the support given the political University has “ignored” unrest in the country. the safety of Hong Kong “We have made a numstudents as it is a threat “too ber of representations to the big” for any university. University about internaStudents still must “try tional student safety on and to be anonymous” because off campus using the politiof political beliefs, and as cal tensions in some counviolence in Hong Kong tries as one of the reasons committed by the Chinese why we need to consider government disappears more support for internafrom the public eye, they tional student safety and feel even more isolated in wellbeing.” their support. One source A spokesperson for the commented that democ- University reiterated York’s racy and freedom of speech commitment to provide a are “crucial for western so- platform for debate and to ciety”, and the University’s creating a positive environinitially lacklustre response ment for it. represented a far more danThey added: “The Unigerous issue within western versity does not tolerate racinstitutions and especially ist, sexist, or bigoted behavuniversities. The influence iour. Any students who are of Chinese money distorts found to have breached the the principles of justice and University’s code of conduct freedom that should be up- will face disciplinary measheld. The University has en- ures as per Regulation 7.”
Tuesday February 25, 2020
COLLEXIT ON THE CARDS?
VISION TALKS TO COLLEGE CHAIRS
YORK VISION SAT down with some of the college chairs and presidents who signed the open letter to YUSU to discuss why they signed the letter, and what the colleges relationship with YUSU might look like in the future. This interview has been shortened and edited for the sake of clarity. VISION: You signed an open letter to YUSU, raising concerns about the relationship between JCRCs and YUSU. What pushed that decision? Henry Wright, Halifax President: Our predecessors had a lot of issues with YUSU. Some are to do with their new systems, some are more fundamental in the way they treat colleges and the way colleges fit into the network that YUSU provides the university. VISION: Could you explain the relationship between YUSU and the colleges? Sophie Schulze, James Chair: We’re neither part of YUSU or really part of the University. HW: We’re supposed to be an independent body, democratically elected by students. Our accountability is supposed to be to the colleges. What we felt is that, because YUSU is that much bigger than us, they attempt to hold us accountable to their agenda as opposed to the wider student body. VISION: The first issue in your letter was the finan-
cial system. Could you explain the way that it works, and the way you want it to change? James Harrison, Langwith President: Two people have to authorise a payment before it can go through. However, over Christmas YUSU shut for three to four weeks, so I ended up in about £800 worth of debt because I had to wait for money to be repaid. VISION: Was that you personally? JH: That was me personally. VISION: How long does it usually take to be repaid? Dylan Wallis, Derwent Chair: It would go upwards of a few weeks. Stephen Stanley, Goodricke Chair: When you’re a college who has to plan for Refreshers Week, it doesn’t work. HW: To be fair, they acknowledged that we don’t really fit into this. They do say, “you’re not a society”. They don’t have any infrastructure in place that is specifically for us. JH: They basically said, “we have to prioritise everyone else but you”. VISION: What is the ideal relationship that you want between YUSU and the colleges? JH: We want support but not to be taken over. DW: There’s a feeling that we are treated like another society to them, when it should be more of a special relationship. VISION: You say the ticketing system needs improvement, because it goes through YUSU, and they
have a booking charge. And you don’t really feel like there’s any benefits. Could you expand on this? HW: It’s a consumer cost. It’s always put on at the end of the transaction. And we weren’t made aware of it, which meant that it impacted some of our sales, which was less than ideal. Are they happy for us to use other platforms? We’ve seen last year with the old Derwent Chair that they aren’t. DW: Louis [Sharpe-Ward] last year tried to not use the ticketing system that YUSU has, but got a huge amount of pushback from YUSU. He felt like he had no choice but to go back to YUSU’s ticketing system… We pay out 20% VAT and again, that goes through the system that YUSU has. We never see VAT come back to us. If we set up as a private business, we would see that money come back to us. So we’re paying 20% extra. That money could be going back to the students. SS: Transparency is a big issue. That’s why we decided to write an open letter because I think in all of our manifestos when we became chairs and presidents, we wanted to be transparent to the students and our colleges. We don’t see that from YUSU, even though every year, every person that runs for president has transparency written on all of their posters. DW: It gets back to a point about sabbs. Sabbs are not the issue here. It’s systemic VISION: Could you not say that sabbs are a part of that system?
DW: I think at times, they only real leverage that we do try. They just get pushed have. But they said they’re back and they don’t neces- open to working with us. sarily have the power to And that’s what we want stop that. to do. Our main priority is VISION: What do you simply just to work with think they get pushed back them. We’ve tried before, by? and hopefully this open letStS: They can only go ter will let them know that through their channels, and we are serious about what then they can’t provide the we’re trying to push. information, even though VISION: How likely do you it’s not their fault. In the let- think is it that all of these ter they’ve sent back, they changes are going to go said, ““e’re disappointed through? And how likely that you haven’t pursued do you think it is that if you the already open channels don’t get the things that that you have.” Well, we you asked for, you’ll pull have tried to do that. the funding from YUSU? VISION: You also men- HW: I’m fairly opposed to tioned college sports be- the idea of pulling funding less of a priority than ing. I think we all do want Uni sports. doesUNIVERSITY the to continue PAGE How IMAGES: OF YORKworking with match system work? YUSU. If it does actually DW: We’ve been told that come to a head, I think it’d it’s the groundsmen that be very different for all the call off the games. The colleges because we’re all in pitch dedicated to college very different positions. But sport is worse a pitch than I would say I’m optimistic. the Uni pitches. But if we It’s not meant as an aggreswe’re treating college sport sive move against YUSU. on the same level as Uni- We don’t feel we’re beversity sports, maybe let ing listened to. Now we’re us play on the University bringing in some sort of pitch? Just move it around. wider stage and I think that It’s the same with netball. could work. If they want to use courts, YUSU President Sathey’re given slots that are mara Jones has told York inconvenient for everyone. Vision that she “met with I know York Sports are dif- the college chairs and presiferent from YUSU but at dents last week to catch up least advocate for everyone following their open letter. to have good times. It’s just “At this meeting I inabout YUSU being more vited the YUSU CEO and vocal. staff who work with the VISION: Can you explain colleges as well as some of the leverage you’ll use to the University college staff. ensure change happens? We responded in full with StS: YUSU receives a sum a public letter which can be of money from the Univer- found on YUSU’s website.” sity annually to manage This interview took colleges. They bid to secure place after YUSU respondthat funding. That’s the ed to the initial open letter.
OPEN DOOR REFERRALS RISE
THE AMOUNT OF people using Open Door has risen significantly over the past five years, according to data acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. In 2013/14, there were 1,671 referrals to Open Door made by students; in 2018/19, that number skyrocketed to 2,891 referrals. This reflects the increased concern that the University has with the mental health of students, especially considering the rising amount of money being poured into Open Door and Disability Services. Another FOI request shows that in 2014/15, £300,000 was dedicated to Open Door and Disability Services, while in 2018/19, £521,000 was given.
YUSU HAS FALLEN 20 places to 94th in the WhatUni Students’ Union rankings for 2019. The news comes during YUSU’s annual elections and ritual audit of the state of the union, and will draw into question the state of the union as it prepares for the future. YUSU have told Vision that they’re “really disappointed about the fall”, but highlighted the “strong correlation between block grant and ranking”. YUSU’s financial situation is a fraction of the size of universities such as Sheffield, who top the list, and thus they are unable to match their Yorkshire rivals in provision to students. Part of the low rank will relate to the lack of any students’ union building that many SU’s have, despite there having been plans for one to be created as far back as the mid-noughties. YUSU are currently drafting a new strategic plan for the next five years, which, they hope, will see them shoot up these rankings. But since the rankings are done by students, addressing the Union’s perceived lack of transparency and their inefficiency in dealing with problems will be the the most potent ways of improving their standing.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
A POOR BUNCH OF CANDIDATES
THIS YEAR’S YUSU Elections struck us. The candidates were overwhelmingly mediocre. Credibility was in short supply, as was a lot of vague platitudes about change in those visceral buzzwords of accommodation, mental health, and in the case of serial offender Josh Mackenzie: Courtyard. It seems the way in which the candidates conducted themselves was indicative of the fact that it tends to attract those who think it is an easy job. The only way to solve this is to make being a Sabb a more attractive role, so it can attract some graduate talent rather than the utter charlatans this year has seen vying for the power for the hell of it. Maybe then we will see the so-called YUSU bubble burst in favour of those who understand the plights of those who don’t spend hours on campus.
PROVIDE GREEN PERIODWEAR
24-HOUR NOUSE CYCLE THE MOST RECENT edition of Nouse saw its editor’s note used to slate the national press in its coverage of the recent Coronavirus news cycle here on campus. In it, the Deputy Editor chose to lambast the “immoral bloodhounds” of the national press and wrote passionately on how “Nouse coverage of everything is always with the interest of students first”. You would probably be as confused as we were when we read this. Nouse coverage? What Nouse coverage? The reporting was the same between Nouse and Vision; we were both sent the same press releases, but where were Nouse when the story developed? When the focus shifted into the vitriolic reaction from bigots and racists, Nouse fell behind. They were about as present as they were at the YUSU Candidate Interview Night or the Debate Night. And as hateful as some national journalists are, their comment is wholly unfair to the near dozen hard working journalists that Vision worked with to get the latest information into the nationals. What was sent to us by the University was not widely released, and York Vision helped to play a key role in getting accurate information to the largest number of people as quickly as possible. If you also think that getting information out there is not “with the interest of students”, then we’d recommend joining Nouse in their elections this summer.
WELL DONE, URY.
WE DEAL WITH student media every day... regrettably. Our time is taken up with the useless arguments and squabbling over the last few pennies in the budget. But there is an upside. This YUSU Elections, we had the pleasure of working with URY’s News and Sport Team on both their Candidate Interview Night and other events. They were nothing short of sensational. URY showed professionality and journalistic rigour by the lorryload with their grilling of the candidates. They are a beacon of light amidst the varied shithousery of YUSU’s electoral system. Matt Ward-Perkins, Joseph Morrall, Beth Hardsity, and everyone else: bravo. The same, however, does not go for Nouse. Showing up for an hour at CIN before swanning off to “the office”, which a source tells us is Courtyard, and then not showing up at all to the Debate Night in D-Bar was a poor show from the self-important paper.
MADDIE JENKINS DEPUTY EDITOR @Maddie_Jenkins_
AT THE BEGINNING of the year, I was invited to speak in part of a #FreetheFlow fundraising event. FreeTheFlow’s UKwide mission is to ensure free, equal, and discrete provision of menstrual hygiene products for all menstruators on university campuses, and beyond that, globally. An amazing goal, no? At Christmas, York students ran a campaign and collected over 400 products to give to local menstruators and charity. The news is welcome; in 2017, the BBC reported that one in ten girls in the UK can’t afford to buy menstrual products. Last week, James becane the first college to begin giving out free sanitary products. In York, the battle to end period poverty is succeeding. But Zero Waste Scotland has launched a campaign parallel with #FreetheFlow: #TrialPeriod. Their aim is to encourage Scots to switch to reusable menstrual products, such as cups, pads, and underwear. Friends of the Earth’s
estimate is that traditional pads are made of up to 90% plastic; another is that a pack of menstrual pads is equivalent to four plastic bags. Tampons have plastic in them too – even in the string – and plastic applicators are made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). According to the Marine Conservation Society, they are also one of the most frequently found items on all beach-clean ups. So it’s no wonder that the European Regional Development Fund gave Zero Waste Scotland monetary backing for their campaign. My question is, why can’t we do that here?
“The University should be proactive ” Mark Curran, Graduate College Tutor for James, told York Vision that supplying James with sanitary products set them back £183. “We could afford to do that maybe once, twice a year... but probably not every month. “So far, though, the scheme has been successful. They’ve been pretty popular with students.” Having James College supply students with free
sanitary products is a move in the right direction. But it’s not enough - for our students, or for our planet. We need to be investing in eco-friendly (yet affordable) brands such as Natracare, or encouraging the use of menstrual cups. The average menstrual cup costs £15-£20. After about four or five cycles, the cup returns its pay-back time and can be re-used for up to ten years. Not everyone will find the cup suits them, so students could mix their monthly routine with reusable pads or underwear. The University should be pro-active on this issue. In providing free, ecofriendly sanitary protection across the board, or by normalising ‘new’ menstrual technology, they could help tackle the issue of menstrual healthcare and Mother Earth welfare. Ending period poverty should be made a top priority by the Uni and all of its colleges. But for any scheme to be successful, it’s imperative it is also sustainable.
Bottom Line: Sustainibility in York’s period provisions must be considered.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
OPINION TEAM LEWIS WHITTAKER CHARLIE COOLING
STOP THE ELECTORAL LIES CHAY QUINN EDITOR @ChayQuinn
AH YUSU ELECTIONS. My old friend. As a student journo, I’ve always tried to hold the institutions that govern our time at university to account. But now is the time when we need this most: when choosing our representatives for the next year. For those of you who don’t know, the media are essentially gagged through this election period to allow for fair reporting. Our power and responsibilities are put on hold when the University needs them most. We are not allowed to criticise those who wish to represent us in any meaningful way until they are already elected and protected by the myriad of difficulties that come with trying to initiate a vote of no confidence. Imagine if the BBC couldn’t
vet candidates whilst they were canvassing. Imagine Laura Kuennsberg refusing to report on Boris Johnson’s record (though this may not be a stretch after GE2019). Imagine the Government forcibly gagging media outlets to prevent any fair hearing for the candidates under the guise of preventing negative campaigning.
TRUTH... Let us vet those who want to represent us! That’s what YUSU’s rules do to us, shaking the air of palpable opacity that bogs down both YUSU’s electoral processes and the perception of the organisation itself. Maybe students would engage with their Union if they
felt like their voice could be heard when they criticise its running. We in the media are some of the most engaged people involved with YUSU and it even disenfranchises us. So I am going to suggest an alternative: do away with the pointless negative campaigning rules in favour of a system that allows candidates to take each other on in meaningful debate, but with values of respect and truth at its core. To police this, employ a much larger elections team, including independent fact checkers for debates with YUSU overseeing the implementation of it. Have stricter rules arouund lying and the purposeful deception of the electorate, with penalties that include the suspension of candidates. This would be a start to having people be able to weigh up the Union’s processes and candidates in a way that actually gives credit
to the electorate’s ability to engage when they are not being lied to or caught up in a maelstrom of slogans, half-truths, and other assorted bullshittery that your average Sabb wannabe spews out during their terribly unfunny runs. Maybe I just miss a better form of student politics where students were at the heart of the running and could express themselves freely. Maybe I just wish I could tell when I was being lied to by politicians in attempts to steal my vote. But maybe I just miss the Chris Small campaign. To be honest, it is probably that.
Bottom Line: YUSU’s broken electoral rules means lies go unchallenged and our union remains in a sorry state. IMAGE: YUSU
YUSU CAN’T TAKE CRITICISM CHARLIE COOLING DEPUTY OPINION EDITOR @Cooling_Charlie
YUSU’S NEW CAMPAIGN ‘be the voice, not the noise’ tagline for the upcoming Sabb officer elections shows a severe contempt for student opinion. This is a pathetic attempt to quell serious criticisms about wider issues with YUSU as an organisation itself. Posters have popped up all over campus since the beginning of term encouraging students to do as the tagline says, which in itself is a rather bland statement with little suggestion as to how students achieve becoming ‘the voice’. One thing is clear; the encouragement to not become part of ‘the noise’ is a thinly veiled bit of advice for candidates and students alike to keep on the straight and narrow, avoiding kicking up
a fuss relating to legitimate concerns over the role of YUSU and its failings, which have recently been brought into a clearer spotlight following the publication of an open letter from college committees distancing themselves from the Union.
its [YUSU’s] presence’ with a static noise effect and blurring of the images, suggesting this criticism is somehow invalid. After being called out for this in a comment below the video, the official reply completely deflected from the video and instead brought up abuse suffered by incumbent Sabbs.
“The only way to escape this viscious cycle is to open up YUSU for debate”
Are these the only options? The video published prior to the campaigns beginning demonstrated exactly this, with a series of legitimate complaints flashing across the screen, such as ‘YUSU needs to explain what it can and can’t do’, and ‘I don’t feel aware of
Fair enough to highlight unnecessary bullying, but in this context it seemed they were clutching at straws. This is precisely the type of “noise” that YUSU would rather cover their ears and chant “la la la” in order to not hear, and they better make sure to turn the volume up extra loud as we head deeper into election season. Every year the same cycle
reoccurs: candidate promises change, candidate wins election, candidate becomes part of the YUSU machine, nothing changes and the next year it’s rinse and repeat all over again, all for a measly £19,000 salary. The only way to escape this vicious cycle is for YUSU to open up debate relating to their flawed role as a student body and allow criticism to be levelled against them in a more open debate setting, without slogans suggesting keeping schtum when thinking about criticising YUSU for its many legitimate flaws.
Bottom Line: YUSU’s elections branding shows a contempt for valid student criticism at the organsiation IMAGE: YUSU
STOP CHANGING COURTYARD CHIPS BY
ALRIGHT. AS A break from my regular nonsense, this is one of the most pressing issues facing us. Courtyard chip stacks are currently changing day on day. One day we have steak chips, another the classic chip stacks we know and love, and another we have what can only be described as a crime against humanity. I struggle to see how this happens. Surely they have a supplier that sends the same order ever couple days and that is the chips we get. But I am going to Courtyard daily and getting different chips. Pick one. Stick to it. Be transparent enough to help me make an informed choice about my snackery.
PEOPLE WHO USE THE SPOONS APP NEED TO GROW UP BY BROOKE
IF YOU ARE too lazy to walk five steps to a quiet bar, then you are perpetuating the student stereotype of selfish and awkward onto, well, other students. This is coming from a weary soul who works at the establishment herself, and, if in case it isn’t obvious, we hate the iOrders. If you do not bother to interact on a basic human level with your bartender because it is more convenient for you to stay in your seat, then don’t be surprised if our service is not at the same level; we won’t make conversation, and we will relentlessly check your IDs without fail as a sly attempt at revenge. The vast majority of app users are students who can barely crack a smile at the person delivering your six pitchers of Purple Rain. Walk to the bar, and grow up - you might even be met with a smile.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
UNEXPECTED PERKS PERKIN AMALARAJ
STUDENT POLITICS IS DEAD AND YUSU HAVE KILLED HER
DON’T KNOW IF you heard, but YUSU’s elections happened last week. You probably didn’t notice though. It’s not like every square inch of Hes West was covered in the bright-eyed faces of people who still believe that they can change YUSU in a single year. Congratulations to the winners, by the way. Enjoy spending the next year reading pieces in Vision about how terrible a job you’re doing (only joking Sabbs, we love you really). For all the noise and painted cardboard that this election seemed to generate, it is honestly remarkable how little of a shit most students give about student politics. YUSU’s own website said that less than a quarter of all eligible students voted this year. That’s even less than last year’s dismal 32% turnout. I don’t think I can give a full diagnosis of why this is, I’m barely qualified to give my own opinions in this column. But I’m going towards try anyway. I’m sure most of you reading this have seen the open letter signed by a few college chairs and presidents, detailing their gripes with YUSU. In their letter, they spoke about the lack of transparency and accountability that YUSU have to the students. As a student, I 100% agree with them. It often feels like the sabb elections aren’t actually elections. Most people might expect YUSU to
work like this: Every year, five people get elected for a single year, and are expected to make changes to the system to make it better. Most people might, justifiably, think that YUSU might run like a micro government, where the president and the other sabbs are fully in charge. But YUSU isn’t actually run like that. There are countless faceless individuals who make up YUSU. None of these people are held to account by the students themselves, though. They answer to the people who run YUSU, the Senior Management team, who arguably hold more power than the sabbs themselves. This makes the elections feel less like actual elections, and more like a pretend elections you had in primary school to determine who head boy and girl would be (maybe it was just me who had that; Catholic school was very weird and patronising). Since most of YUSU isn’t held to account by the people they’re meant to represent, it isn’t really any wonder that so many students feel disillusioned with student politics; the people who are meant to be running the show aren’t really running the show, and the people who actually do run the show are hidden away from public life. How can a student give a shit about YUSU if they don’t know the first thing about them? Speaking of being hidden away, let’s take a look at the YUSU’s me-
dia charter, which is available for anyone on their website. All student media publications have to live by this if they want support from YUSU. One of their rules is that “any coverage of or requests for interviews with YUSU employees would only be in exceptional circumstances and by explicit
Ashes to ashes. Fun to funky. We know all the Sabbs are junkies. (Disclaimer: captions may not be true) agreement of YUSU Senior Management and the President”. What this means, in less jargon-laden terms, is that we aren’t allowed to name anyone who is employed by YUSU, including the people in charge like the CEO. Part of a healthy democracy, big or small, is the ability to talk about the actions
THE SABBS SIMPLY DON’T MATTER I DON’T THINK I can really say I have a strong opinion on the Sabbs. Their impact on my life is almost always very minimal. I know that probably isn’t what someone who’s dedicating an entire year of their life to helping students wants to hear, but the truth of it is that, like many others at York, I don’t feel like the Sabbs have a real im-
pact on my life. That’s not really on them though, is it? They have a single year to make changes. That just isn’t enough time to make meaningful strides in any direction. Real changes to anything, from food prices in the library café to club nights, often take months and months of negotiation with a huge range of people, all of whom are
vying for as much money as they can rinse YUSU of. The single year means that Sabbs can only make minimal changes during their tenure. That, in turn, cements the perception that Sabb positions are kind of meaningless. If you’re a bright-eyed fresher who is considering running for a Sabb position, don’t listen to me. It’s good that you want to change
made by people in charge. But YUSU’s own charter prevents any student publication from doing this. There are, of course, very understandable reasons for this. Privacy and dignity are things that any employee in any workplace should expect, and YUSU is no exception. But when you’re a students’ union, you can’t expect to have near-total opaqueness. All of YUSU should be open to criticism, not because we’re all slimy wannabe-journalists looking for juicy goss, but because criticism allows organisations like YUSU to work better for the people they represent. Students gain a greater understanding of how YUSU works, not through press releases that the Sabbs put on their Facebook, but through student media groups like Vision and Nouse (I know, they’re technically a newspaper though, not just something to mop up stains with). The people who we are allowed to talk about, the Sabbs, have a tough time. As the face of YUSU, they take all the scrutiny and ire. On top of that, they only have a year to make changes. As critical of YUSU as we are, I honestly respect the Sabbs so much for their work. To name one person, YUSU’s Community and Wellbeing Officer Steph Hayle, managed to secure room price reductions for a good number of rooms on campus. On top of that, she started #Bustice to combat the rising prices of buses
for students. I honestly do believe that given more time, her and the rest of the Sabbs would be able to get far more done. But since they have to hand over their positions every year to a different person who will have a different agenda, the possible reforms are really limited. Meanwhile, YUSU’s current CEO has been in their position for almost eight years now, and what have they done for students that we can verifiably see? There’s only so much a person can do in a year. What this means in practice is that minimal changes are made, and the Sabbs are then perceived as ineffective. I think this also pushes the disillusionment that many students feel with student politics; “Why would I get involved with student politics when nothing ever changes?” I don’t really have a solution to any of these, I’m a simple boy who’s barely able to understand his own degree. But I know this. One of two things have to happen: either dramatic change to the structure of YUSU, with more openness and accountability to the students, has to occur; or YUSU has to go. A number of colleges are threatening to pull their money from YUSU if changes aren’t made, and if the colleges go through with this, then YUSU will hold even less power than they already do. This feels like some sort of turning point. Maybe I’m just being naïve.
something for the better. That makes you a better person than I am. When it comes down to it, I’m the chubby prick sat on the bench in PE, snickering to himself every time someone trips over, when, in reality, if I did what the Sabbs did, I’d be terrible at it. They, at least, have the guts to work towards making student life just a little bit better. To anyone considering a run at being a Sabb next year: close your eyes, and imagine how great it’s going to be negotiating the prices
of precooked sausage rolls for an entire year, only to have arseholes like me complain that you didn’t negotiate well enough.
A Sabb to believe in.
SCENE. THE ART EDITION
o SCENE is back again, and this time with a different theme: Art. Yes, I realise it might seem a slightly generic theme, and I’m aware it lacks a certain level of originality and genius, but we can’t all be artists. I chose this theme for this edition of SCENE because of its versatility; art is something that bears relevance within every aspect of our lives, regardless of your dedication. Personally, I exist somewhere in the middle of the scale – somewhere between “I did art at GCSE, does that count?” and “I’ve never been to the Louvre, but it’s definitely on my bucket list”. In reality, I’ve been to very few art galleries. The main ones I can tick off at this point are the Tate Liverpool and Manchester Art Gallery, with a few smaller venues and exhibitions in between. Like most of us, I’ve walked past York Art Gallery on numerous occasions, admiring it’s insta-worthy exterior and telling myself that “I’ll go when I’ve got less studying to do” or “I’ll go when I’m no longer poor” – two excuses that are equally optimistic and delusional. I do have a keen interest in art though, in terms of its cultural value. Art permeates all aspects of our student culture, from the subjects we study to our interests both in and outside of university.
Art is a part of the music we listen to, the films that we watch and even the books that we read – in fact, all of those things are art. Each section in SCENE has been able to execute its own take on what art is, from an article on the difficulties involved in pancake art, to a review of a play literally titled Art. Each section has brought something different to the theme, and each section has shown how truly versatile art actually is. I could even go so far as to say that in this edition, SCENE itself is a piece of art (we’ve all resorted to some pretty drastic tactics before in order to get the word count up). But in all seriousness, a lot of hard work has gone into the making of this edition; I guess even Picasso had to put some planning and thought into his work. We have some fantastic content written by our contributors and section editors, as well as some small tweaks to layout and design carried out by Harry and Chay… oh and myself of course (insert sassygirl-with-the-hand emoji). This edition of SCENE will hopefully be our best yet, with all the creases finally ironed out – surprising, I know, since no one at university seems to own an iron. We’ve tried to maintain some continuity across each and every page, all to prove that SCENE is here, better than ever and definitely here to stay. Once again, happy reading.
Sex & Relationships Editor Holly Palmer Deputy Editor Sarah Veale Books Editor Zara Stubbs Deputy Editor Hannah Jorgensen Photo: Man Vyi
Food & Drink Editor Iwan Stone Deputy Editor Vic Trodd
Amelia Kelly reflects on the music industry becoming ever more visual to fulfill its artistic purpose.
Screen Editor Jasmine Wells-Dean Deputy Editor Roshan Shulka
6 Life’s a Stage
Lucie Jubin speaks to the team putting on the latest Drama Society production.
Photo: G. Yue
5 Up Market
Photo: Marc Carpentier
Travel Editor Jess Reeve Deputy Editor Eilidh Smith Games Editor Vic Trodd Deputy Editor Fin Bosworth
INSIDE SCENE. 4 Grown Up?
The Right Note
Music Editor Helena Senior Deputy Editor Amelia Kelly Stage Editor Lucie Jubin
Hannah Jorgensen gives an insight into the value of looking back at kids’ literature as an adult.
SCENE Editor Tasha Croager Chief Subeditor Lucy Purkis Charters Subeditor Rosanne te Riele Subeditor Fin Bosworth
Iwan Stone takes a walk up to the Shambles Market to check out the latest bargains and deals.
SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EDITOR HOLLY PALMER DEPUTY SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EDITOR SARAH VEALE
Why do we like what we like?
The Art Issue
Girls Just Wanna Watch Porn A
rt and nudity are an obvious pairing, the female body, sexuality, and arousal are all common features in the art world. This influence can still be seen in the modern expansion of porn marketed to women. Moving away from the traditional portrayals as porn as solely for male pleasure and for the humiliation of women, there has been a surge of porn for women, in stories, audio, and video. Searches of ‘porn for women’ are increasing, with PornHub reporting a 359% uptick, as well as the addition of categories such as ‘Popular With Women’. As a whole it has also been reported by The Independent that one third of women watch porn weekly, and by PornHub that women spend more time watching porn than men, on average. Young women are increasingly watching porn and seeking out porn that is created with female pleasure in mind. Not only are mainstream porn sites creating categories for women, there are also entire sites specifically for women, such as Bellesa and Forhertube. Although the stereotype of porn for women is gentle, loving, almost PG-rated artsy love scenes, this does not fully represent the new market of female-targeted porn. Categories like rough, bondage and BDSM
are just as common as passionate, sensual, and storyline. This movement towards porn for women is not because women shy away from rough sex or taboo sexual interests, but because there are ways of displaying this content in a way that appeals more to women that is perhaps overlooked on mainstream porn sites.
Sites such as Bellesa are particularly interesting, as they not only produce porn that is marketed towards women but are also a company run by women. In an era of such strong feminist movements, especially with younger women, it is logical such ideology can be translated into pornography, moving women from objects of conquest to subjects of their own pleasure. Modern young women work hard to ensure equality at university, at work, and in their relationshipsp; it’s logical that this would follow into their sex lives, with others and on their own. Women are increasingly straying out of the ‘shameful’ taboo surrounding sex and embracing their own sexuality and desires. Casual
sex is slowly being destigmatised, watching porn is more common, and women are able to explore their sexual desires, especially in environments such as university. A key element of some female-marketed and ran porn sites is the inclusion of sex-ed articles and advice. From what sex toys to buy, to explanations of low sex drive, to empowering articles. Such sites are making porn more holistic as places to watch porn online, but also to learn more about sex, find advice, purchase sex toys, and explore multiple platforms of porn; written, audio, and visual. Talking about sex and its destigmatisation is a large part of the women’s movement’s progress, and the increasing freedoms of young women. Watching porn is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s important to note that not everyone should feel the need to watch if it’s not for them. Having porn made by and for women just allows the opportunity for those who do want to engage with that content. Having increased opportunities for young women to explore their sexuality and their fantasies is healthier than having a taboo. Let’s open a healthy conversation about sex and porn, and maybe trying out a female-run porn site is one way to start.
SCENE SUGGESTS: DATE NIGHT
ating in York is a tricky business. Going to the cinema is too awkward, sit down dinners can be too formal, and going out-out is messy. The happy medium is to meet up for coffee followed by a few casual drinks. I recommend Gatehouse Coffee, situated on Walmgate Bar and halfway between campus and
town. The cute cafe offers a beautiful setting and great hot chocolate to mix a cute coffee date with iconic York architecture. Plus, it’s in the perfect location to follow up the coffee with a few stronger drinks. If you really feel the spark and want to see where things will go, it’s only a short walk up Walmgate to visit York’s host of 2-4-1 cocktail bars.
o there’s this guy, he’s called Freud, not sure you’ve heard of him but he kind of shook up the psychological world with his theories. One of the big theories (other than everyone who smokes cigarettes is imitating being breastfed) is that you are destined to look for someone who resembles one of your parents or caregivers. That sounds mad but is there ANY scientific evidence to back up this theory? Whenever I’ve been looking for a partner, I certainly haven’t put ‘resemblance to parent’ on the checklist... but Freud suggests your subconscious is to blame, and that’s the part of you that looks for the resemblance between your parent and partner. Freud believes we are jealous of the same-sex caregiver when we are children, instead wanting to impress, love, and bond with the parent of the opposite sex (his theory is heteronormative, flawed, and not widely accepted so don’t analyze your childhood too much!) Our earliest experiences with love come from our parents, and we grow up loving and hating parts of their personality, vowing never to replicate these, nor to date someone anything like them. A frequent line, used as an insult in media and real life is that ‘YOU’RE JUST LIKE MY MOTHER!’ Or, ‘I cannot believe I’m dating my dad’, why do so many of us end up dating people so eerily familiar to what we know? The answer: attachment theory and unconscious mental models. There are a number of ways you can be attached to a partner (variation amongst researchers): Securely attached: has a positive-self image, has close relationships with no deep rooted fear of being rejected or alone. Anxiously attached: has a negative self-image, often seeking validation from other people. They can come across dramatic, needy or demanding in relationships and can ‘relationship hop’. Dismissing avoidant: has a positive self-image but believes they are often better off alone. Independence and ‘alone time’ is very important to them...
Read the rest online at yorkvision.co.uk
BOOKS EDITOR ZARA STUBBS DEPUTY BOOKS EDITOR HANNAH JORGENSEN
Reading Children’s Books as Grown-Ups Hannah Jorgensen
urning 18 and becoming adults for the first time is fresh in most of our minds. For many of us, this meant a step of independence; leaving home, managing our own money, and coming to York. So it might seem a bit strange that, in the process of this so-called ‘growing up’, I turned to my favourite childhood books. And for what, exactly? Comfort? Escapism? Perhaps it was in some ways, a need to burrow away from the new responsibilities of adulthood. After all, reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief sounds more appealing than budgeting my finances or doing my laundry. But what these books unexpectedly gave me - far more valuable than a respite from real life - was a new perspective on being ‘grown up’. Children’s literature came back into my life when I least expected it: on my 18th birthday. I received copies of Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, prompting me to sceptically reread them. On top of that, film and TV adaptations are popping up everywhere: there’s the delightful Anne With an E on Netflix, and need I mention Greta Gerwigs’s stunning Little Women? Rereading Little Women, I picked out something I’d never paid much attention to before: the March girls’ dreams and ambitions. Like the March girls, we all have a key to our “castle in the air”, but whether we can unlock the door is uncertain. Becoming an adult, I think, feels
a bit like this. It’s the first time we have completely free choice in what to do with our lives; it’s the first time everything’s up to us, and us alone. The March girls, this time round, reminded me to take ownership of my ambitions, just like Jo does. Now, Anne of Green Gables prompted me to read the entire series. The fifth one, Anne’s House of Dreams, made me tear up in a coffee shop, attracting some weird looks. (I won’t tell you why; you’ll just have to read it.) Anne feels like a “bosom friend”, she
determines to flourish in her circumstances, defining her life by a sense of persistent wonder and gratitude. She never tries to be anyone but herself, and though she makes many mistakes in her life, she always learns from them and laughs about them later. How I delight in seeing the world through Anne’s eyes for a while. “Dear old world”, she remarks, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” When I talked to a friend about this, I found to my surprise that she had been
doing the same thing with her reading habits. So why this universal need for children’s books? Perhaps it goes beyond comfort; perhaps it is the hope that our past can in some way inform a present that seems uncertain and overwhelming. We can find gems of unexpected insight in children’s books, which act as little proverbs. Sometimes, simplicity is wisdom. And even if we do read children’s books for escapism, there’s nothing wrong with diving into an imaginary world. “Imagination” says The Guardian’s Katherine Rundell, “is at the heart of everything”. One last thing: have you visited The Blue House Bookshop in York? It’s an independent shop on Bootham Bar just for children and young adults. If you feel you need to read (or reread) some children’s literature, why not settle into one of their tiny chairs and get lost in a good book? If you don’t know where to start, here’s a handy, but by no means complete, reading list: The Little Prince - Antoine de SaintExupéry The Secret Garden - Frances HodgesonBurnett Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery The Secret Countess - Eva Ibbotson Good Wives - Louisa May Alcott Howl’s Moving Castle - Dianna Wynne Jones Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson Murder Most Unladylike - Robin Stevens
The Art Issue
Judging Books by Their Covers SCENE Books Team
“I encountered this book - spine first during an office hour. The title’s lettering pulls sharply away from the painterly background. I came across it again in a bookshop and got my first look at the cover. A scattering of leaves spill down behind the typography, orange and yellow against the darkness. The leaves feel like a downward spiral. Elegant and poised, but somehow sad. Under the jacket, the book itself is a stark red. It’s a gorgeous object, and every so often I find myself reflecting on its beauty. Decadent and understated: this is Ocean Vuong in a nutshell. A cover with a difference.” Zara, Books Editor
Faber & Faber
“I love this bold, unique cover for Sally Rooney’s Normal People. The image of the couple in a sardine tin is unusual, but imaginatively shows the relationship between two protagonists who just can’t stay away from each other. It seems as if they are trapped together, yet embracing each other. The delicate lines of the image contrast with the bold, thick type of the title and author, making the words stand out. Altogether with the very pleasing green (it’s the little things!), this cover is as distinctive and minimalistic as the novel itself, and makes you curious to read it.” Hannah, Deputy Books Editor
Penguin English Library
“What better way to hint at the adventures found in this book than with such an illustrative cover? I love how eye-catching and unique it is, with its clashing colours and detailed depictions of tropical birds and foliage. Although not everyone will appreciate the contents of Treasure Island, there is a universal sense of nostalgia for this children’s book cover which reminds every reader that we’ve all dreamed of such freedom and adventures. This cover inspires us to keep those dreams alive, kindling that sense of adventure within us. It also makes for a cracking bookshelf show piece!” Ella, English Literature student
Little Brown Books Group
Read the full column on yorkvision.co.uk
MUSIC EDITOR HELENA SENIOR DEPUTY MUSIC EDITOR AMELIA KELLY
From Bassey to Billie
he relationship between the James Bond franchise and the music industry is one like no other. Iconic soundtracks may come and go, but there is nothing quite like the buzz that surrounds the next Bond theme. Before I took a listen to the latest Bond track by Billie Eilish, I first took a trip down memory lane, revisiting some of the best (and worst) in Bond history. One name that is synonymous with some of the most iconic themes is Shirley Bassey. I grew up in a house where Bond was a very big deal to my Dad, and therefore Shirley Bassey was also a big deal. She released three Bond themes (‘Goldfinger’, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and ‘Moonraker’) and recorded a fourth which was never used. Each of these themes was written by another Bond legend, who often goes unnoticed: John Barry. It was the John Barry orchestra who played the original, iconic theme for Dr. No, that still features in the films to this day. He composed the scores for ten Bond films and cowrote the theme songs for eleven. He might not be remembered like Shirley Bassey is, but he has left a significant legacy behind, and he is the person who made the Bond theme into the powerhouse it has become. After the last John Barry theme (‘The Living Daylights’, performed by A-Ha) the Bond theme has become something of a lottery. Gladys Knight’s ‘Licence To Kill’ probably comes closest to capturing the original spirit of what a Bond theme should be: anthemic, powerful, and a little bit sexy. Madonna’s ‘Die Another Day’, on the other hand, doesn’t even come close. The edgy electronic vibe sound nothing like what we expect from a Bond theme, and I don’t even have words for the weird lyrical choice that is “Sigmund Freud. Analyse this. Analyse this.” Daniel Craig’s tenure as 007 started off strong, with Chris Cornell’s ‘You Know My Name’, from Casino Royale, giving us the anthemic vibe whilst also bringing a raw rock energy to the franchise for the modern era. Unfortunately, this was followed by Jack White and Alicia Keys’ ‘Another Way To Die’ which, the less said on this the better. It tries to riff off earlier
themes, whilst maintaining the rock vibe, and honestly, I’d blocked out its existence until now and I’m hoping I’ll have forgotten it again by the time this article is even out. ‘Skyfall’ by Adele is easily my favourite Bond theme of the modern era. Adele is the perfect singer to bring a classic vibe back to the Bond theme, and ‘Skyfall’ sits comfortably alongside the iconic themes like ‘Diamonds are Forever’ and ‘License to Kill’. It was also the first Bond theme song to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2013. Sam Smith had a strong act to follow with ‘Writing’s on the Wall’. Whilst I didn’t like the song originally, it has grown on me, but I’m still not sure it lives up to the grandeur of previous Bond themes. It was the first Bond theme to reach No. 1 in the charts, though, so it gets points for that. And that brings us to one Billie Eilish. A singer best known for her quiet, moody, whispery style. I find her simultaneously an odd choice and the perfect one. She’s definitely not the type to produce something anthemic and powerful, but she can absolutely capture the moody vibe of Daniel Craig’s version of Bond. Her offering does not disappoint. Alongside her brother, Finneas, Eilish has managed to maintain her edginess, whilst also giving a more powerful vocal than she usually does. The song encapsulates a perfect blend of classic Bond theme elements with modern moodiness. As the youngest artist ever to record a theme song for the franchise, Billie Eilish has brought something fresh to a classic industry. Now I just hope that the movie is as good!
Photo: Interscope Records
Photo: Matt Carpentier
The Art Issue
The Art of Music Amelia Kelly
hrough every walk of life, as long as individuals have found a means to express their creative talent, art has been produced. Taking a step into 2020, we have been hit by an influx of the new; new music, new art, and new artists scrambling for their place in art history, hoping to be next to make that history. Now however, in a technological age obsessed with social media, the difference is that music itself is not enough to validate its artist, who may find themselves crafting a visual appearance to impress. Music is one fragment, tied to the artist through their external visual, which neatly seals their artist identity as whole. This package is closely analysed and hopefully adored by millions who are connected through social media platforms. So, it appears that mainstream success often falls on more categories than just listens on Spotify – people need to be intrigued visually. Billie Eilish’s recent success at the 2020 Grammy’s (winning five of her six nominated awards) is telling of this era of art-focused, ‘aesthetically pleasing’ music. Like her distinct bright, baggy clothing and chains, her 14.2 million followers on Instagram looks fitting thrown over the 764 million views she received on YouTube for her ‘Bad Guy’ music video (pretty un-relatable figures for an 18 year old that fans adore for being ‘so relatable’). People want to see more of the dark, horror-like visuals Eilish has crafted to surround her music and in turn participate in the ‘hype’ built by online popularity; a defining feature of mainstream culture and a process helping advance young artists. As an individual raised by the internet, perhaps it is only right that she is now somewhat ruling it. Prior to the strange age of ‘likes’ validat-
ing an individual’s appreciation, musicians still relied on this totality; their visual and what they represent. The 80’s art scene buzzed with intrinsic links between art and music, with individual brilliances helping to join them. Jean-Paul Basquiat’s (a neoexpressionist painter) rebellious, distinctive artistic creations and iconic friendship with Andy Warhol remained at the forefront of his visual. Yet background detailings, such as his membership in the rock band ‘Gray’ and production of the rap single ‘Beat Bop’ the cover of which featured his artwork, resembles the distinctive, expressive union of art and music which so many admired. Forward to 2013 and his name is repeated in Jay-Z’s single ‘Picasso Baby’ proving his creative visual remains a constant marvel to the industry. Each aspect of musical production, the album, merchandise, and music, provide an insight to the musician themselves which others can collect and mutually appreciate. In recent years, Tyler, the Creator (Tyler Gregory Okonma) has not only co-founded the alternative hip hop collective Odd Future, but also, created all of the cover art for Odd Futures releases and designed the group’s clothing and merchandise. He has physically and creatively manifested a visual world that others can admire; especially in regards to his renowned clothing company Golf Wang, which was established 2011, holding this lifelong image in its entirety. So, music has inherent connections elsewhere, outside of the studio, to produce both visual and musical art-forms. Whether this preserves an artist’s impact in history, or broadens their creative and emotional identity, it doesn’t devalue the music itself. If anything, it becomes a substantial and significant creation.
STAGE EDITOR LUCIE JUBIN
Photo: G. Yue
“It’s About Teamwork and Community”
In conversation with Firebringer directors Burbs and Chris
rom Friday March 6 to Sunday March 8, DramaSoc is putting on Firebringer. This is a StarKid Productions musical originally written by Meredith Stepien and Mark Swiderski. Director Burbs L. Burberry and musical director Chris Rundell talk to us about their work and how they approach the musical. LJ: Why Firebringer? Burbs: Most musicals are pretty high budget, but I wanted something that could be scaled down to the Barn and that suited the Barn’s audience. Chris: I think it’s true, you can scale Firebringer down to the bottom quite easily. If you watch A Very Potter Musical, that’s very low budget, very scaled down. Firebringer is definitely a huge step up from there. Definitely much more professional, but it’s still got a bit of a homey feel to it. B: Firebringer is originally a musical, you can reinterpret everything in your own way. Especially stuff like the costumes. You don’t have to do the exact same
Lucie Jubin thing, because it works regardless of the interpretation that you take on it. LJ: So you’re not going to opt for very realistic scenery then? B: No. The Drama Barn as a space is a black box theatre. Having super realistic sets only works when you’re trying to do inside spaces like rooms. They can look amazing and there have been some fantastically realistic sets in the Barn. But for an outdoor space, you’re always aware that you’re indoors. You can see the black ceiling, the black floor. You can’t do anything about that. So the way to approach it, in my mind anyway, is to make it abstract and to give the hints of this setting without trying to make it realistic. The audience will accept it straight away. It’s the magic of theatre! LJ: Firebringer is set in the Stone Age: to what extent do you think it’s relevant to us today? B: At its core, Firebringer is about teamwork and community. All of the conflict that’s created comes from people refusing to work with each other
and to get along. It’s about comscale down a Broadway musipromise and listening to other cal to the Barn to make it work. Gill Ye=we don’t have an people, which is something thatImage: For example, you can really take into the world orchestra in the show. Chris has of today in every capacity of your made recordings based on the professional and personal life. songs. Human conflict has been around C: Yeah, it’s a mix of recordsince the dawn of civilization, ing people by themselves; like and we’re still working through it the bass playing separately, the today. Firebringer puts it in other drum set, the guitar. And then settings which helps us to look at we stick them all together in a it with an outside eye. recording studio! LJ: Are you going to stay historiLJ: It seems like there are two cally accurate? types of songs: on the one hand, B: If it were historically accuthere’s the American, Broadwayrate I don’t think it would be as esque musical songs, and on the interesting. The spectator can other hand, there are those that only root for characters when try and imitate the Stone Age he/she can relate to them. The vibe. Do you approach them the easiest way of doing that is to same way? make them behave in a certain C: Some of the tribe songs are sort of way that is familiar to us. much more rhythmic, energetic, When there is a temporal disand on beat. They’re good to get crepancy, the audience is always everybody together. It’s very imreally willing to accept those portant that all the actors be on differences, which I think means the same tempo and have the you don’t have to worry about it same energy, whereas the more very much. musical ones are a bit more LJ: Looks like you’re moving theatrical. The actors can take as away from the musical genre to many liberties as they want and get closer to drama. be more expressive with them. B: Yes. It’s about being able to B: There is a really big differ-
ence between ‘atmosphere’ and ‘emotion’. Some of the songs are really geared towards building an energitic atmosphere. Others are a lot more emotional and drive the plot and the story: they are the solos in the duets where it’s all about people connecting. LJ: What do you like the most working on Firebringer? B: It’s just always been my exact brand of humor! Slightly crass but like witty kind of jokes that are quite self aware. They just really fit my bow. C: I actually really loved the music in fact. Most of the musicals, they don’t do anything to carve a musical identity of their own that works with the story. I think Firebringer definitely does that, by bringing in tribal elements, the percussions, the instrumentation, whilst still being very Broadway-esque. B: All 11 members of the cast have so much energy in rehearsals We’ve spent so much time together now and we’re all such good friends. I’m loving it!
The Art Issue
This White Painting With White Lines
Review: Yasmina Reza’s ART Lucie Jubin
magine a canvas about five foot by four… with a white background… completely white, in fact… with fine white diagonal stripes… you know… and maybe another horizontal white line, towards the bottom. How much would you give for such a painting? Indeed, this question raised by Yasmina Reza in Art is going to tear apart Serge, Marc, and Yvan, three Parisians that have been friends for over fifteen years. Marc doesn’t understand how his best friend could spend 200,000 Francs on such ‘shit’.
How much would you pay? He accuses him of being a snob and of having fallen in the trap of vulgar art hunters. Serge, on the other hand, accuses Marc of despising the Modern Age without knowing anything about it. Both Marc and Serge accuse Yvan of not being able to take sides in anything in life, which pushes them into their worst verbal excesses. What is so thrilling about Art is that all three characters are very blunt to each other. No hypocrisy, no lies. This evening is all about laying all your cards on the table. Savagery after savagery, large cracks appear in the trio. From time to time, something collapses (when Marc utters the word ‘shit’, when Serge tells him what he thinks of his wife Paula, when Yvan gets accidentally punched in the face…). The violence of the punchlines in this play is captivating. It conveys to the plot a lot of dynamism and movement in spite of the fact that it’s all set during one evening behind closed doors.
Yasmina Reza excels in so many dimensions. The danger with writing a play about friendship is to fall into pathos and have characters overflowing with feelings and emotions. This is not the case here. Each time a character has a rather emotional monologue, Reza introduces a comic element (sometimes it’s only a word) that lightens the whole confession. Yasmina Reza doesn’t only offer us a reflection about art and friendship: it’s a criticism of today’s Parisians way of life and culture. It’s funny how Serge, Marc, and Yvan’s thoughts when evaluating something are inevitably brought to money. The first word Marc says after several minutes of observing the painting for the first time is ‘expensive?’ Both Marc and Serge make fun of Yvan for seeing a very trendy psychiatrist, Finkelzohn. When he points out to them that Finkelzohn understood what is wrong in the trio from the beginning, the first thing they ask is how much he takes per session. ‘and in cash! (…) Freud says you have to feel the banknotes as they slip though your fingers.’ says Serge with a grin on his face Yasmina Reza mocks those Parisians who aspire to belong to the intelligentsia. She makes of Serge a pseudo-intellectual who complains about not having time to read anymore and has to go straight to the essential: Seneca’s De Vita Beata. Reza has fun with Parisian features. It’s ironic that it had so much success in Paris, and that people all around the world keep performing it! It’s ironic that it had so much success in Paris, and that people all around the world keep performing it! This dark comedy is absolutely brilliant! It was played for the first time in 1994 at the theatre of the Champs Elysées in Paris and was on for 18 months. It’s a pure jewel, and one that has been translated into English by Christopher Hampton.
Beautiful, but Disappointing
Review: Anna Jordan’s Yen
ender but horrific”, director Yasmin Roe described her team’s work, Yen, after the night ended in standing ovation. The compelling story of two brothers (Bobbie and Hench), their abusive mother (Maggie), and a catastrophic failure of romance (between Jennifer and Hench) has left me with a bad taste in my mouth – but one that I know will be remedied soon. Gritty, realistic dialogue is given a sombre undertone by the story, harmonized viscerally by a cast of emotive actors who nourish the characters with moments of hilarious dark humour, cheerless alcoholism, or the thoughtless void of depression, abandonment, and isolation. But at its core, Yen feels like a play that is trying to say a lot but fails to flesh out the correct themes. Sex, isolation, poverty, and a dog. One of these is not like the other, can you guess which it is? It’s a little strange that the catalyst for the story came not from the abusive familial relationship, dysfunctional individuals, or painful trauma; instead they appeared only as an aftermath of the central object of the plot, a brown dog named Taliban. The obsession over an off– stage dog symbolises the main failure of Yen: a structurally weak story that is redeemed only by the stellar dialogue, uneven but at times spectacular acting, and ballsy attempts to tackle themes. Yen succeeds only in the first half of the play. The characters and their relationship to the tragedies of their lives are beautifully encapsulated in the depressing isolation of poverty. But this becomes muddied by the weak attempt at a romcom in the contextually forced relationship between Hench and Jennifer. High–impact moments either age like old milk as they are excruciatingly extended well
beyond their lifespan, or just fall flat from a lack of development in previous scenes. Sex is made out to be one of the central themes of the play. However, I found this to be lacking teeth or overtly romantic in an ugly conclusion, which clashed with the gritty realism the play had previously encompassed. The way in which the forced romance between Hench and Jennifer ended was sloppy. More should have been done to contextualise Hench’s deep insecurities and lack of anger management. Moreover, the ending and heavily implied sexual assault of Jennifer really don’t do much to give him greater depth. The aftermath of this lacked any of the raw realism that made the first act so compelling as more and more dialogue was cut short by artistic scene transitions (dance movements). As a result, Jennifer’s return to Hench feels like a depressing, abusive, and sickening conclusion that was being unironically sold as ”they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier, excruciatingly long sex scene perhaps best symbolises this lack of nuance on the subject – switching to dialogue akin to a frat house at the worst moments. However, several moments (focused in the first act) suggest an intelligent and reflective charisma to Anna Jordan’s complex writing, where sombre realism is at the forefront: complex major or minor medical issues, the ambiguity around Bobbie’s and Hench’s respective fathers being either heroes or rapists, Hench’s violent nightmares culminating in his endless screams, the two brother’s sexual frustration in a room littered with sexual drawings or posters, and strange remarks made by Hench regarding Bobbie’s spooning of his sleeping mother. Dark humour and meaningful dialogue interlink realistically, such as why Taliban’s
name was based on the colour of his skin. It is a shame that the plot was largely misguided and didn’t successfully build on the emotional resonance that the first act held throughout. The captivating chemistry between Hench and Bobbie, played by Sam McNeil and James Melville respectively, gave the first half a wit and charm that was complemented brilliantly by meaningful moments interlinked with wellexecuted dark humour. When Maggie, their foulmouthed and chavvy mother, stumbles drunkenly onto their front lawn, the following scenes have a charm and depressing undertone that feels wholly authentic to the play’s message about poverty. Having personally grown up in one of the South West’s most drug-addled and depressing locales, I found these moments particularly touching, where small inklings of love shone the path through abuse, neglect, and destitution. Maggie, played by Lotty Holder, has perhaps one of the bleakest arcs of the story – her melancholy, abusiveness, alcoholism, and ultimate failure as a mother is enchanting to watch and no doubt amplified by Lotty Holder’s spectacular acting. “Tender but horrific” best describes how I felt for the first hour of this play, but I was disappointed with what came after. Nevertheless, the cast and crew have shown themselves to be capable of creating something in part beautiful – and this would have maintained if only the structure of the story were a little stronger. Ultimately, what I’ve taken away is a promising view on the York DramaSoc and the cast/crew of this production, as there were some truly ingenious, captivating and memorable moments. Nothing took me out of that state of immersion quite like a bad ending.
FOOD & DRINK EDITOR IWAN STONE DEPUTY FOOD & DRINK EDITOR VIC TRODD
The Art Issue
Flipping Marvellous Iwan Stone
s a student, it is very easy to sink into a spiral of deliveries. If you’re feeling fancy, you might trek to Lidl – some of us may smugly add local promotions to our order. However, dedicating ourselves to these big brands, is as if we are walking with our heads down. Look up, and you see our beautiful surroundings – Yorkshire is a hive of produce, with farmland making up about 70% of our county. It is nothing short of a waste for us not to take advantage of this. And yet how do we do this? It’s easy to look for British meat and vegetables when searching through cascading aisles - certainly admirable, but you are still confronted by problematic packaging and overblown prices. But there is one easy solution. If you walk through York’s main square, turn down the bustling passage filled with flowers, carry on past stalls of fake phone cases and the Yorkshire fundamentalists with white rose flags, you will find yourselves confronted with grand selections of local produce. Yorkshire fudge, Swain’s family butchers, and piles of fruit and vegetables. It’s easy to get lost in the swarm of vibrant colours and bustle. Of course, some of this produce is sourced from overseas – it is inevitable when selling oranges and lemons yearround. With small storeowners, there is inevitably a pride in their stock, making them choose the best they can possibly select. Not only does this lead to a new appreciation of their practice, but you can’t help finding yourselves in long chats as you struggle to find the change. In one conversation with a slightly deaf grocer, for instance, I found out that the time on the five pound note’s Big Ben corresponds to the time at which Churchill made his opening address to the Commons. Who knew? You also find yourself convinced into walking away with armfuls of the first Yorkshire forced rhubarb. But who doesn’t love
a crumble? However, the best thing about the market is not simply its sustainability. With potatoes for £1.50 a kilo, and mushrooms 99p (compared to about £2 and £5 for Co-op equivalents), you can easily walk out with full bags for less than a tenner. The butcher is no less of a delight. On coming to university, my parents stressed the importance of frugality, with the one exception of meat. It’s incredibly important to buy fresh, organic and free range, but it’s almost impossible to stick to this on a student’s budget. Or so you would think – at Swain’s they do an incredible ‘weekly student survival pack’. 500g of Beef Steak Mince, two Nidderdale chicken fillets, eight slices of back bacon, four homemade thick sausages, two quarter pounder beef burgers and six free range Yorkshire eggs. It’s so much that with a limited word count I considered leaving the list out. It stuns me that they think it is at all appropriate to call this ‘weekly’ – I feel almost guilty that it has lasted me almost a month. The cheapest you could possibly get these at Morrisons (regardless of meat quality) is £12.75. Considering that this family butchers uses only the best, local meat, it is frankly incredible that they achieve this for only 25 pence more. And while you’re there, why not take advantage of the street food options? Naan bread wraps, Morrocan chicken or vegan donner kebabs – you don’t expect to find such a diversity and vibrancy of delicious options next to a stall selling flat caps at knock off prices. You may notice that I have become slightly enthusiastic in my telling of this – I cannot help but be. Buying locally, chatting with the grocers and butchers, instills in you a real investment and pride in your community. This is so easily lost in a campus university, when your only point of contact with the city itself is weekly bus rides to Kuda or Salvos. The Shambles Market is open everyday.
It also, surprisingly, tasted very nice – a mocha stout. The next attempt was more ambitious, as we attempted to add colour to our masterpiece. To make red, we first attempted merlot. Having gained necessary confidence, we It was time to answer added paprika as colour the question – can you failed to form on anything make pancake art in a typiother than our cheeks. cal student kitchen? The York Vision logo This is more difficult going on top left me rather than may be supposed – smug – it was not accurate, we also had to factor in but if you really squinted, that most students do not you could just about see it. have access to proper pipUnfortunately, I then ing equipment, food colrealized that once you flip ouring or enough materials the pancake it gives a mirto do multiple attempts. ror image. My victory came We had to get creative. unstuck, until I realized you Cue the screams of my can flip images on Photohousemates. shop. Some call it cheating. We started by attemptI hide from those people ing to create a bear. To do until they stop being right. the detail, we needed a Finally, I became aware much darker panof my limits and atcake mixture – we tempted a simple started with cofsmiley face. To fee, but soon quote a friend, realized that this ‘caused was not drathe most ismatic enough. sues’. Using Some ended up better Using this inthe Guinness / than others... stead as a lighter chocolate detail background, we above a plain pancake instead reverted to Guinmix, I achieved the best ness, and then chocolate contrast, but inevitably as we desperately tried to comparisons were drawn make a distinction. between first ET, then RobAs the sugar caraerto from Futurama. melized, this eventually So is it possible? Can we brought about a definite also be a part of this social distinction. However, this media sensation? ended up being little use I can’t claim that we will considering the quality of ever match their standpiping, as we attempted ards, but if nothing else, to squeeze delicate lines it was good fun. Pancakes from a cut-corner sandare simple and cheap to wich bag. make, and this makes a fun However, despite this group activity – why not difficulty, guesses from jazz them up a bit. friends were flatteringly accurate – from dogs to For more culinary tales, deranged rabbits, they follow us on Instagram. were at least animals. ver the last couple of years, the internet has encountered the growing phenomenon of Pancake Art. Seeing the videos on social media, it looks very impressive, but can it be more than just a fantasy for students?
TRAVEL EDITOR JESS REEVE DEPUTY TRAVEL EDITOR EILIDH SMITH
The Art Issue
You Snooze, You Louvre Jess Reeve
he first time I walked past bucket list of famous paintings you the ‘Mona Lisa’, I missed want to see, but rather to be abit entirely. Confused, sorbed by the artworks, to consider wondering if I’d misread the ways that a replica or a photo the signs, I did another loop of the cannot do justice to the original. gallery and realised that it was obI couldn’t help but feel, when I scured by a crowd of people I’d mis- finally made my way to the front of taken for a tour group. I’m not sure the crowd and got an unimpeded what I was expecting to feel when I look at the ‘Mona Lisa’ for just a saw the ‘Mona Lisa’, but it certainly few seconds, that it’s somehow wasn’t “oh. It’s a bit small, isn’t it?” transcended being just a paintTruly, viewed from the back of a ing – it’s a world landmark, a tourist gaggle of tourists all takattraction, famous not in ing photos, the ‘Mona its own right but because Lisa’ feels underwhelmof its storied past: a Da ing. Its muted colours Vinci painting, dramatically and the glass case it‘s stolen and returned. So presented in make it when you come to actually even harder to really look at the painting itself, look at or take in. Espeof course it cannot live up cially compared to other to that legacy. It is what it artworks in the gallery, is – an excellent painting. ones that might be It goes without saying that famous but not to the there are many of those in Miserable Sod same degree (‘La Libthe Louvre. erté guidant le peuple’, by Delacroix So if you’re in Paris, do go see the stands out as a particular favourite ‘Mona Lisa’, but don’t just see the of mine that was far more excit‘Mona Lisa’. There is so much to see ing to see), it was hard to really get in the Louvre that even if you don’t drawn in by the ‘Mona Lisa’ at all. think you’re interested in art, there’ll Is the Mona Lisa a fantastic work be something to pique your interof art? Absolutely. I’ll freely admit to est. The ‘Mona Lisa’ is interesting, as having little to no artistic knowledge, a tourist attraction, but don’t make but you can just Google a photo of the mistake I made and expect to it to see that it’s technically outbe blown away by some work of standing and beautiful to look at. unprecedented artistic genius. It is But that’s just it – when you go to a very good painting, with a storied a gallery, it’s not just to check off a past. That is all.
A Mini-Break in Brussels Eilidh Smith
nsurprisingly, Brussels has been popping up all over the news as of late, as the headquarters of the European Union and the epicentre of the small issue of Brexit. However, there’s more to the Belgian capital than meets the eye - here are some of the artistic highlights of this bilingual, international metropolis. The Atomium Built for the 1948 World Expo, this stunning piece of architecture is a little bit outside the city centre but well worth the visit (about a 35 minute metro ride from the city centre). It’s made up of nine spheres, all of which you can go into. You can also get a panorama of the best views of the city from the top. Grand Place Brussels’ main square (literally
meaning ‘big square’) is the epicentre of the city and makes a great base for beginning your sightseeing. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains amazing architecture. The square plays host to a number of events throughout the year, including ‘Belgian Beer Weekend’ and a Christmas market. The Belgian Comic Strip Center Belgium is the daddy of comic book creators – Tintin was created here and remains a national icon, as well as the Smurfs. It would make sense, therefore, to visit a museum dedicated to the most talented comic artists in their homeland. The Comic Strip Center is good for comic fans and non-fans alike – I found the artistry and the creativity really interesting. Well worth a visit when in the area.
My Trip to the Belgian Battlefields
t was 7am on a frosty Friday morning. The sun had barely begun to peek over Campus West, students were still asleep in their beds, and I was legging it through Wentworth – suitcase dragging behind me – late to catch a coach to Belgium. By some miracle, I made the coach in time for the long, arduous journey down south, through the Channel Tunnel, all the way to Ypres in Belgium. This was a trip I’d been looking forward to since I first found out that a group of English and History trainee teachers, of this year’s PGCE cohort, were being taken to the WW1 battlefields (for free, I might add!). I have always wanted to go to
Belgium and have their legendary waffles! This trip wasn’t a holiday though (and I never did go for waffles!). This was a training experience, designed to both model how to run a school trip, and develop our subject knowledge of WW1 and WW1 literature. Over three days, we followed the Western Front from the Ypres Salient in Belgium, down through the Somme, all the way to the Armistice Clearing in France. On our way we saw Tyne Cot, Thiepval, The Menin Gate, and many many many cemeteries. Each memorial or cemetery we visited, I was blown away by the sheer number of graves and names – particularly the names of the tens
of thousands of men who went missing and have never been found. When I embarked on this trip, I won’t lie, my thoughts were focused mostly on chocolate and waffles and a free holiday to Belgium, but as soon as I stepped into the cemetery at Tyne Cot, I realised just how important it was to see these places; to read the names on each memorial; to hear the poems atop the very cold, windy hills that inspired the likes of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. As a student who spends most of my time away on placements, this trip was also an invaluable opportunity to bond with fellow trainee teachers and grow closer as
a group. I won’t divulge the details of our Saturday evening free time in the hostel bar, but for many of us it was the first time we had hung out in an informal setting and it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a while (us teachers don’t get out much!). This trip absolutely exceeded every expectation I had. It’s given me a new appreciation for WW1 literature; a genre that hasn’t always been my favourite. Visiting the battlefields was an enlightening and inspiring journey that I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced. There is no better way to experience war poetry and it is a trip that I sincerely hope I have the opportunity to share with the students I teach someday.
GAMES EDITOR VIC TRODD DEPUTY GAMES EDITOR FIN BOSWORTH
The Art Issue
Minecraft A Love Letter
inecraft has held its place in the charts for years on end, and you’d be a fool to think it’s going anywhere any time soon. Since its initial release, it’s enchanted players with its assortment of building blocks, cube-filled terrain, and scenery. Creativity in this game is limitless, with players taking on gargantuan projects such as recreating Hogwarts or imitating Super Smash Bros. It’s not enough to say there’s a world of content within Minecraft; there’s countless worlds of it. A huge part of Minecraft’s success is just how much freedom players have. Update after update, there’s always an
imaginative way to fuel the audience. The game also has an incredibly active and enthusiastic modding community, which expands the original game to every conceivable horizon. As the name might suggest, the game is centred around two things: mining and crafting. But like a painter paints his canvas, Minecraft players use the in-game world to create works of art through the construction and destruction of the landscape. One of the game’s mechanics is its electronic wiring system, redstone, which adds a whole new level of ingenuity to building in Minecraft. One
content creator on YouTube, SethBling, has, for the past decade, developed and created hundreds of incredible Minecraft projects, such as: a simulation of evolution, robots and working clocks. It’s easy to attribute the success of Minecraft to the sheer number of hours of Minecraft gameplay uploaded to YouTube. Content creators such as the Yogscast, CaptainSparklez, and Xisumavoid have, for the past decade, enthralled viewers with film-like stories in Shadow of Israphel, condensed gameplay to avoid the boring parts, or informative videos - likely leading to more game sales. For the Yogscast’s Shadow of Israphel, this meant build-
ing a story world and creating a series of videos to exhibit a role-playing world. After years of silence, fans are still begging for the next episode. Overall, it is not unthinkable to say that Minecraft is the beall and end-all game for creativity; it’s a virtual LEGO® for today’s digital age. The scale to which players can build and interact with the world in Minecraft gives video games their largest artistic sandbox there is - and you don’t have to keep buying new kits for it. With what’s out there now, it’s difficult to think of something that someone hasn’t already created in Minecraft or what’s next!
Gaming May Change Forever: VR’s Watershed Moment
espite being a thing of sci-fi heaven, recent history with virtual reality has been a little disappointing. But with VALVE’s announcement of Half–Life: ALYX building hype and traction, we may yet see the true renaissance of virtual reality gaming.
the future. Games like Blade and Sorcery allow the player to cut down enemies in what is the most arduous demonstration of melee combat since Wii Boxing. AIRCAR VR immerses the player in a moody, rain– drenched sci–fi city like a Blade Runner ripoff, with only ominous fluorescent lights to guide your path. Yet, the beauty and excitement these games possess do little more than provide a couple of hours of gameplay. Despite the industry
ment of the long-awaited expansion to the Half–Life universe being constructed solely for use in virtual reality. This announcement may have seismic repercussions for the gaming industry. While fully playable campaign shooter games for VR have been successfully attempted
such as the recent The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners or BONEWORKS, they receive little enough attention or interest to truly expand the marketplace.
As it stands, VR requires an expensive gaming computer to smoothly run the environments, as well as a £300 investment to meet the industry standard, a headset, and
gear. Many games require the entire space of a room or, at the very least, an unobstructed area for you to swing your sword– arm or crouch down to cover from gunfire. Despite these obstacles, the VR experience truly is one of a kind. The majority of games on the market are little more than tech demos, but these give a glimpse into an exhilirating world of
raising an estimated $900 million in 2016 for exclusive VR development, the consumer response has done little to prompt companies to invest further. The figure plummeted to $280 million in 2018. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the less consumer interest due to pay-walls, the less companies want to invest - and the less companies want to invest, the less desire there is for consumers to buy. And yet, VALVE, the behemoth and big daddy of computer gaming, has taken a brave step forward with its announce-
What VALVE’s move has done is bring virtual reality to the forefront of gaming. If they can produce a remarkable game that garners the same success or hype as previous Half–Life titles, then it may just be the necessary step VR needs. If it’s good enough to convince consumers to dabble in this mysterious technology, it may just inspire developers.
SCREEN EDITOR JASMINE WELLS-DEAN DEPUTY SCREEn EDITOR ROSHAN SHULKA
The Oscars Are Not Important
he Oscars this year felt different. For the second year in a row, there was no celebrity host. Parasite became the first foreign film to win Best Picture and there was an overwhelming sense of the Academy Awards’ overwhelming irrelevance. In a time where awards are being criticised left, right, and centre for their lack of diversity, the traditional harbinger of quality has lost the moral authority and sense of objectivity which sustained its relevance over the decades. We are fast hurtling towards the 100th edition of the glitzy night and one must hope that by the centenary edition we would have all stopped deluding ourselves about them. Marriage Story, a film which features two white people shouting at each other (a scene which could easily be cut and paste from YUSU’s Media Committee), got six nominations. This is not what you think it is. Stop allowing some old fuddy-duddies in Hollywood to wank themselves off over whichever film Tarantino
The Art Issue
Image: Adam Rose had churned out this year and branch out. The problem with canonical films, as dictated by awards success, is that it limits the degree to which arthouse and more independent directors can make their way onto your watch lists. It represents a wider problem in culture in general in that the most trusted institutions in liter-
anything else and watch it. A lot of directors have very interesting early work that is a lot more experimental and rawer which doesn’t attract awards attention purely out of the director not having any hype around them that early. If you shackle yourself to the whims of the fickle Academy then you will never get to see
Art on Screen
rt in film is a topic that immediately makes you think of the grand masterpieces of cinema: elegant, sophisticated, and often boring productions that only Martin Scorsese enjoys. Arthouse is not the only source of art in film, though. Most big-budget films have inspired thousands of pages of artwork, whether they were intellectual tours de force or not. Visual effects are some of the most fascinating and varied elements of films, and interest is rising among the general public. Today, it’s not unusual to find a copy of The Art of Avengers: Endgame or a collection of Ralph McQuarrie’s original Star Wars sketches at WH Smiths. Films about art are now more popular than ever as well, and in true millennial fashion, these films are more mocking and ir-
ature, film, and art are populated by people who cannot help but hold up convention. This being said, I beg you, stop using the Oscars as your benchmark for what you should watch and start using these methods instead. Start by exploring directors. If you’ve seen a film that you like by a director, look into their oeuvre. See if they have
reverent than ever. Gone are the days of Girl with a Pearl Earring and those endless sycophantic films about Rembrandt: today the film industry is less con-
cerned with artists’ lives and more concerned with what the art itself is worth. Whether it’s Debbie Ocean’s crew stealing a Cartier diamond
these personal pieces of cinema which is a travesty in of itself. Next, engage in conversations with other film lovers. There’s a great social media app called Letterboxd which allows lovers of films to share their rankings, reviews, and comments on every film ever made. This democratisation of film reviews, away from the cliquey boys club like Empire and the embodiment of the patriarchal grip on film’s canon that is The Academy, allows a much broader look at what people are actually watching. Believe me when I say that the niche films that the nerds on Letterboxd watch will broader your horizons, whether you like it or not. The Oscars aren’t the only awards. Industry-led awards and awards that are genre-specific are much better barometers as they consider more niche expertise in their judging. Putting much more stock in these awards will serve you well. Finally, just engage with film communities. Who do you trust? The opinions of people who have engaged with a wide range of content, or the status quo?
necklace or the St Trinian’s girls stealing ‘The Girl with a Pearl Earring’ painting (with plenty of tongue-in-cheek references to the aforementioned film) the main subject of today’s art-themed films has changed. The emotional impact of art is not nearly as important as the financial. Neither the St Trinian’s schoolgirls nor Ocean’s Eight need a beautiful painting to inspire their souls. What they need is cash. The same could be said of the modern film industry. The same thing is happening in TV. It’s only a few years since Inside No. 9 kicked off with an episode titled A Quiet Night In, in which several people attempt to burgle a house for its valuable modern art painting. By the episode’s end, several twists, and many character deaths later, the painting has been replaced by a piece of kitchen roll and
the thieves haven’t noticed. The episode makes a joke of just how ridiculous our view of art has become. This painting, so valuable it was worth killing for, is indistinguishable from a virtually worthless cleaning product. The last piece of pop culture I remember taking art seriously was Doctor Who, of all things, way back in 2010. Their episode Vincent and the Doctor showed a work of art bringing companion Amy Pond to tears, and realisation of his eventual recognition overwhelming Vincent van Gogh himself. Here, artwork was presented as it so rarely is; realistically. For all the emotional impact the painting ‘Sunflowers’ had on Amy, it was portrayed as one picture among many, with Vincent happily whitewashing over another painting in one of his earlier scenes. Art is, after all, subjective.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
NEW YEAR, NU-MI NUMI GILDERT
IF YOU THINK YUSU ELECTIONS ARE A JOKE, AT LEAST MAKE THEM FUNNY.
AH MY FAVOURITE time of year...the YUSU Elections. Oh how I have missed the sight of soggy cardboard flapping in the wind and being invited to 30 different facebook pages. It’s that magical few weeks where if you just stop for a moment and listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of people relentlessly complaining THE ELECTIONS ARE JUST A POPULARITY CONTEST, THESE CANDIDATES DON’T ACCURATELY REPRESENT THE STUDENT BODY, WHERE IS TRUE DEMOCRACY?!! As Vision’s resident Grandma I have seen eight years of student elections and let me tell you, people have been complaining about this shit for a really long time. And the reality is, for the most part, the election gripes are absolutely valid. It is a popularity contest. Year after year we see ex-college chairs or other individuals with a similar level of campus clout get elected. If some poor underdog does have the guts to run for a position they just don’t stand a chance. The campaign trail is an easy road if you already have an audience who know who you are. The candidates don’t represent the student body. With four white male presidential candidates this year, many can - and should! - argue that those candidates are not representative of a campus that is 56% female and 30% not white.
IMAGE: CHRIS SMALL
Small Man, (Not So) Big Bouncers. Candidate Debate Night, 2019. We haven’t had a non-white YUSU president in ten years. And where is true democracy?! This year, only 4,896 voted, which is a whopping 23.8% of the student population by the way!!! How can we say that such a small voter turnout can appropriately elect a committee that represents the current wishes of the student body? All of these things piss me off too but do you know what pisses me off more? Everybody complains but the behaviour doesn’t change. I have seen people complain about these issues year on year, from yorfess back to the yikyak days and nothing changes. People love to complain, but they hate to run for
a position or click a link and vote in the election. If you’d have gotten up at Debate Night last week and asked everyone who was either a candidate, involved in a campaign, or part of student media in the audience to stand up and leave, you’d have been left with empty tables and maybe one confused Fresher who thought the D-Bar pub quiz had changed nights. The election apathy is real. And I have to be honest with you, I don’t know how we fix it. I also don’t really know how much good writing a Vision column is going to do, since people who consume student media are probably those most likely
MAKING OF A SABBATICAL OFFICER SWEET, SWEET SABBATICAL officers. You hate to love ‘em, you love to hate ‘em. In first year, you see them as minor celebrities, point them out to your flatmates in a club and desperately try to get them on snapchat. By third year, they exist only as the faces you see driving away from you on the back of a 66 bus. The university careerists,
who strictly follow a society or college presidency to ‘YUSU or bust’ employment path, are indeed a strange species. It’s this time of year during the election period that I ask myself, why on earth would you want to be a sabbatical officer? Is it for the clout? The sabbatical officership is after all, the ultimate status symbol in the hierarchy of
university. Except it’s not. Anyone with an internet connection and a browser opened to Yorfess can see the amount of shit the sabbs get. No amount of freshers asking for selfies in salvos is going to soften that blow. Do they care deeply about the state of the university and believe they can enact real change? Probably. But most of the time that is a
to engage with the elections anyway. Some people have called for radical reform in the past. Two years ago we had the ‘RON’ campaign, which was an attempt to stick it to the union and call for changes. Ironically, people didn’t really engage with that enough to make a difference either. I think in times like these, when the disillusionment is high, and we’re all left wondering what is the point of student democracy, what we really need is a good laugh. We need a truly, cracking joke candidate. I’m talking impeccable characterisation, a campaign ran like a military operation, and a fuckcompletely misguided pipe dream that is ground to a halt within their first meeting in Heslington Hall. Or is it simply the fact that the people running are not ready to enter the real world. Are they really so desperate to cling to the halcyon days of uni? Can they not bear the thought of an existance where they won’t get recognised at 4am in a Mcdonalds? Are they futilely attempting to avoid the crushing realisation that time is a universal constant that they cannot outrun and these days at York
tonne of memes. We’ve seen the success of joke campaigns last year, with Brian Terry and Chris Small both coming in second for Activities Officer and President respectively, so a good joke candidate is well received, so much so that Brian came back for a round two this year. But I think we need to go bigger. Way back in 2014 the joke candidate was a guy in a bright red lobster costume campaigning for the welfare of the fish in the campus lake. We were so hungry for humour back then that we also had an unofficial candidate called Argarth the Destroyer. We have even had a joke candidate as our President before (big up Mad Cap’n Tom back in ‘08), so it is technically a viable job option if you’re a third year and you’re desperate. I am calling on you, the reader, to remake the next YUSU elections in a ridiculous image. Go chat to your friend in TFTV who’s really into method acting. Pick a character that’s meme-able, gimicky or popculturally relevant. Get an incredible costume. Make a campaign TikTok. Film a flash mob video on top of Central Hall that features a Charlie Jeffrey cameo. Go so all out that you crash crush-ninja for Yorfess submissions about your antics on your campaign trail. For the love of God, if you think the elections are such a joke, at least make them funny. that they hold so dear will one day become a small percentage of their life and their relevance will too diminish like a candle in the wind? Irrelevant. Unremarkable. Fleeting. As someone who hasn’t left the university for eight years, I couldn’t possibly comment.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
MEET THE NEW BOSS: VISION MEETS HARRY CLAY talks to Patrick O’Donnell, Maddi Cannell, and Carly Precious after their electoral success. Harry Clay: How are you feeling the day after the results have been announced? Patrick O’Donnell: I’m satisfied. Because last night well, today is actually my birthday. So happy birthday me. And last night, I was celebrating two things. Number one turning 21. And obviously my win, with which I’m very happy. And obviously thanks goes to my campaign team and the 2,100 people roughly, I think, who voted for me. So thank you to that. Maddi Cannell: I’m a little bit hungover, but I’m feeling good and fresh now I’ve got up and got going. Carly Precious: I’m still in shock, and as far as I know, everyone from results night is still hungover because we all tried to try all the Sabb cocktails.
Patrick with YSTV straight after his win HC: How do you [Maddi and Carly] feel about working with your new president? MC: I always used to make a joke with Samara [Jones] in the YUSU office saying, “you know, there are two presidents in this room.” I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’ll be really fun to see everyone start going a few weeks in. CP: He seemed to run a very good campaign and certainly seems lovely enough, I’m looking forwards to going crazy in an office with everyone. HC: So you’re going to be taking office at the end of July. What are you looking to do before then, and what’s the summer going to look like when you get your jobs? MC: Obviously because I’m the incumbent I’m going to start putting in motion some of the bigger stuff, and I’m going to start the new college sport committee structure, get that going in Term three when we’ve quieted down with things. CP: For me it’s all about starting to learn more about it, obviously I’ve been researching a lot but there’s always more to learn. There are so many different things going on at the University and of course making sure I continue some of the things Effy has already done, because some things aren’t complete and that’s okay, but it’s all about a learning process for me. PD: So between now and then I want to start getting to know sports clubs a bit more, and societies, and different groups in our univer-
sity, and people with new PTO roles actually start getting to know my team, because we’re gonna be working together for a year and we’ll get to know the four other Sabbs. And so when I come in at the end of the July I’ve got an idea of what I’m doing and it’s not all fresh. And obviously when they come in July then we’ve got a few months and over the summer to prepare before we’ve got freshers in the new academic year HC: I had a joke with a Sabb once about them taking good policies from those who didn’t win, so are there any particular policies that you want to look at from other candidates? PD: Oh, any policies, I’m just trying to think so I quite like the idea about a flexible manifesto. That’s one of Alvaro’s [Superlopez] ideas with a flexible, honest manifesto in the sense that students would come to in terms one and two, and suggest more ideas. That would work but is more of a general thing I think, a more direct, on the ground, approach where we are more approachable and a friendly face to people that we can come and talk to us. MC: Myself and Jade [Brewer] had a lot about mental health in our manifestos, and she made a really good point about clubs having welfare officers and getting them trained up, we both had some stuff of that in there so I’d really like to see that getting implemented. CP: Obviously Ellie [Walpole] was my competition and I thought she had a really good manifesto to draw from, although when I read it personally I thought there were some things that would be hard to acomplish. Look at changing the Leave of Absence process for example, by changing it there’s an argument to be made about people taking advantage of it, but it looks like the University are already looking at reviewing that system, which is good because if you need leave, the process is so hard, all the things you need to get together is very hard, so if we can review that then that’s great, but we need to prepare for the University to push back.
Out on the campaign trail HC: How are you going to work to communicate the realistic abilities, YUSU’S because seemingly some students don’t necessarily understand, and what particular areas need more funding now? CP: Funding is always a hard one. I certainly
know less going into it about the specifics, but for all of us, all the problems you can define in this usually need money. I was talking to someone about things like this and they said oh sure, you can have your bursary funding. but we’re going to take it from scholarships. PD: So one of the things I’ve said in my manifesto is a broader theme about more joined up thinking. On several things like dodgy landlords we need to work with the Council because the Council have a housing enforcement department. I want to use YUSU’s limited resources. And regardless of finance, I want to use YUSU as a signpost for how we can work with the Council to get things rolling, like in terms of tackling dodgy landlords. I would work with other partners at the NHS, to tackle Unity Health. So that’s obviously an external thing. Other SU’s get far larger grants from universities and that’s something I’ll obviously continue to fight for. And I’ve tried to be as practical as I can in my manifesto of not promising as much cash because we all saw that the £500,000 that Steph Hayle got that took a long time to come. It’s fantastic. I’ll obviously keep up the pressure and argue and for more funding for YUSU and I’d love there to be more administrative staff. I’d love there to be more individuals in YUSU to help deal with everyday student issues. But obviously, our campaigns and our lobbying need to go right to the top of the University because YUSU could only
work the current budget they have. So people have complaints, some of them rightly directed at YUSU but a lot of the time it needs to be directed to the top of the Uni who give YUSU their budget. MC: From a sports perspective, I’ve got stuff in my manifesto about a member of staff that’s dedicated to college sport. You have a sports coordinator role, and then in my head, a college sports coordinator, they wouldn’t be one person, so the University needs to properly step up and fund college sport, because it’s grown so much and it’s so fantastic that people are engaging with it, but we’re getting three new colleges. It’s going to become unwieldly. At the moment, I’m working a lot of extra time to make sure that I keep on top, but it’s one area were I’d like to see the University giving a little more money and I’m hoping with hard work that the other college chairs and presidents will be on board and help me push for that as well.
The bitter aftermath... These comments (abridged) were given to York Vision over a process of two interviews conducted on 23/02/2020
Tuesday February 25, 2020
FEATURES TEAM ANGELOS SOFOCLEOUS ISOBEL MINTZ
THE NEW SABB OFFICERS
YUSU Election Results in Full Vote totals represent the highest number of preferences before elimination
Alvaro Superlopez Josh Mackenzie John Parry Patrick O’Donnell RON
1381 728 532 2104 244
2nd 3rd 4th 1st 5th
Sports President Jade Brewer Maddi Cannell RON
1454 2nd 1864 1st 3rd 195
Academic Officer Matt Johnstone Giang Nguyen RON
1694 1st 1564 2nd 3rd 153
Activities Officer Kit Clarke Brian Terry Hugh Campkin Ruth Awolola RON
649 1464 789 1274 130
4th 1st 3rd 2nd 5th
Community and Wellbeing Officer Ellie Walpole Carly Precious RON
1216 2nd 1299 1st 3rd 288
BAME Officer Fiks & Simi RON
2087 1st 2nd 226
Disabled Students’ Officer Victoria & Rowan RON
2112 1st 279 2nd
International Students’ Officer Moeen & Polina RON
2055 1st 248 2nd
CHAY QUINN runs through the defining features in this election cycle and how candidates have addressed them. THIS ELECTIONS PERIOD was defined in part by stories which we at York Vision have broken over the last few weeks. As with every Union elections, the candidates were asked to state how they would react to the hot button issues of the day. This was characterised most by the continuing presence of Yorfess and its spin-offs/ rivals on campus, particularly after a spinoff Yorfess published racist messages about Chinese students in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in York. This was an issue at the start of the campaign and touchpaper was lit when Hugh Campkin, a losing Activities candidate, used the Candidate Debate Night to reveal that he was an admin for the continuation of the original Yorfess (titled Yorfess III). It was later revealed that Jade Brewer, an unsuccessful Sport President candidate, was also an admin for the same page. Few candidates said they would attempt to shut down the page for good. Union President-elect Patrick O’Donnell, committed to bring Yorfess onside and wants to work with the admins to make sure that it is not used as
a platform for hate speech. Interestingly, in the wake of the election results, both Yorfess and Yorfess III had posts about Campkin and Brewer, with Yorfess gloating that Campkin lost to Brian ‘Wally’ Terry. Yorfess III published a message saying that the winner of the race for York Sport President, Maddi Cannell, was “not my sports president” (this post was later deleted). Particularly in the Activities Officer elections, the big issue was the potential ratification of Turning Point UK, who have tried and failed to become a YUSU society at least three times. On Candidate Debate Night, all Activities candidates apart from Kit Clark pledged to not stand in the way of TPUK ratifying, though Ruth Awolola and Hugh Campkin expressed doubt about whether the group would be able to keep the Turning Point affiliation. Eventual winner Brian Terry has pledged to “help” the controversial student group become a society in a move that is likely to butt heads with left-wing political groups on campus. In the lead up to the elections campaigning period, all eight undergraduate college
chairs signed an open letter bemoaning YUSU’s administration of the college committee in regard to finances and sport. The ongoing frustration of the chairs was exacerbated by YUSU’s response to this open letter which you can read on page 5. Maddi Cannell, Brian Terry, and Patrick O’Donnell will have a major task on their hands to both fix the organisation’s problems in delivering the administration that college committees require and regain the trust that has been lost in the failure to do so thus far. Maddi Cannell in particular has been singled out for criticism from those who play college sport after errors in the organisation of the College Varsity qualifiers. The fight to address these criticisms will begin next weekend on March 3 as the College Varsity tournament proper comes to York. Cannell is looking to use her second term in the role to create a new College Sport Committee structure to make sure that the communication and organisation of the college sport programme stabilises. Time will tell whether this will be a success. The new Sabbattical Officers will take office at the end of this academic year.
Matt & Dan Matt & Robyn RON
1186 1st 1127 2nd 3rd 200
RAG Officer Max Stafford Rebecca Wilcockson RON
1375 1st 2nd 696 3rd 137
Volunteering Officer Hayley Callaway RON
2004 1st 213 2nd
Women & Non-Binary Officer Daisy & Neha RON
2203 1st 933 2nd
Working Class Officer Kate & Lucy Jacky Tran RON
1533 1st 2nd 617 3rd 172
Social Sciences Faculty Rep Rokas Subacius Matt Best RON
275 252 65
1st 2nd 3rd
Arts & Humanities Faculty Rep Catherine Brislane RON
Sciences Faculty Rep Pippa Davies RON
Tuesday February 25, 2020
LIFESTYLE TEAM HANNAH FROST IMOGEN WEBBE
IS OUR UNIVERSITY DOING ENOUGH FOR ITS BAME COMMUNITY? IMAGE: UoY BY IMOGEN
NOW, WITH ALL the controversy surrounding Meghan Markle, and the big ol’ question as to whether we made her feel welcome or not, I got thinking about how inclusive our uni is towards its asset that is the BAME community. As a mixed-race woman from the Midlands (which I would regard as proudly multi-cultural), it angers me that I even have to question my university’s attitude towards myself and others. I find myself wondering what efforts the Uni has gone to to gain the trust of its ethnic minority students, myself included. Just like Annie in Hulu’s show Shrill, I’ve chosen to write about it. So who are we talking about? Just how many students of black and minority ethnicity are here at York? I hear you ask. The University of York website states there are 5,225 BME students for the 2019/20 academic year; I’m no mathematician but that’s roughly 27% of our whole student population. Comparatively, our big sister of a uni in the North, Leeds, with 38,000 students has a BAME community of 20% of their cohort. To be honest, coming to York, I was surprised when I saw these numbers because of Leeds’ multicultural reputation. But, back to York. With almost a third of students not identifying as white, but still such an overriding majority identifying as white, do ALL of our students really feel
represented in our institution in our world even which at least for the foreseeable future, will know them as a minority? I recently stumbled across a hardhitting article written in The Tab (I know, but hear me out!) in 2018. Some York BAME students felt unsupported by the Uni’s half-hearted attempt at dealing with a racist event, and were calling on the Uni to do more for its minority students. “The University of York is NOT a place where minority groups are represented, protected or safe.” expressed Amara, a student at the time. Now, after reading the article (which
Photo: The Tab
I’d urge everyone to do), I took a gander at the Uni’s info on Equality and Diversity relating to race, which simply points towards YUSU’s efforts with their societies and Facebook pages not exactly a concerted effort from the Uni, huh? While they make sure to stress that they “will work together to create a university community where diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated”, I can’t help but question where, in the eyes of their
students, these efforts can be seen? I spoke to Amy Perlaza, one of the BAME Student Officers at YUSU, to check it wasn’t just me feeling bloomin’ frustrated. Spoiler alert: she felt the same way. I showed Amy the article and she remembered when the incident happened, so she was outraged, but not surprised, by the lack of support for the student. “They don’t really have any protection from the University. They have to stay here for three years without actual protection against racism”, she commented. Without much of a prompt, Amy was listing examples of race-related incidents she’d been subject to during her three years here at York, including being on nights out and having her hair touched by people she didn’t know or give permission to. “You wouldn’t do that to someone else, like that’s unacceptable so what makes you think that you can now touch my hair?” (I know that feeling completely, being the proud owner of curly hair.) When she spoke out about these issues, Amy didn’t feel like her voice was being heard by the University; “In terms of the support from the college, it was not good at all”, she voiced. So, friends, what’s the solution? Well Amy spoke of how the BAME officers plan to incorporate a video about inclusivity and diversity into the ‘Welcome to Uni’ talks at the start of Freshers. While this does sound like something you’d be made to watch in year six, there’s no hiding the fact that this primary school strategy is needed. But
surely the problem is also the responsibility of those in charge of our institution who should recognise all students need to be supported and represented? Wouldn’t it be great to see more informal talks and workshops organised by the Uni to celebrate BAME students and educate those who need educating? We need to come together in the aftermath of events such as the dreaded Brexit, which have unquestionably allowed certain unfavourable views to arise, louder than in recent years, and we need to use our time at University to highlight all the injustices that are a detriment to a third of our friends.
Amy with Zainab and the BAME Network Team Finally, BAME students who would like support in any area, need to talk to someone, or have any issues, can have a chat with the lovely BAME officers Amy and Zainab who hold a drop-in session every Wednesday. Also, if you would like to discuss this topic any further, have any questions or queries, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to further the conversation on representation and inclusivity here at York.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
CLIMATE TEAM MOLLY PEARCE MATILDA MARTIN
SO IT’S MID February, and all your New Year’s resolutions are in the bin. Veganuary was a great success until that accidental sausage roll and since then you’ve been feeling guilty. Maybe you’re looking for something new, or another challenge to take on; why not try waste-free shopping? There are numerous benefits to shopping ‘less-waste’. The first is obvious; you’re getting the same food with no packaging. Using less packaging means less of it will be produced. You get the picture. By buying non-packaged goods it also means you can decide on the exact amount you want, which for the most part - makes it cheaper. Some things won’t be cheaper in smaller quantities but, for us at least, it is worth it to occasionally spend a few more pennies to reduce your waste. You’re also sup-
porting small, local businesses, which can never be a bad thing. We are lucky that the University has the Student Co-operative (SCOOP) on campus to provide you with dry-goods. But there is a street in York that is excellent for low-waste options: Bishopthorpe Road which leads from the city centre all the
Your Local Grocers... way to the village of Bishopthorpe. Only a five minute walk from York Castle, Bishy Road’s shopping has everything you need to do a full shopping trip, minus the superstore, excessive packaging
and ‘discounts’ all aimed at getting you to spend more. So, the first shop you come to is The Bishy Weigh; similarly to SCOOP, it sells bulk dried goods including pasta, cereals, pulses, baking goods, dozens of spices, and loose-leaf teas. They also offer refills on everything from maple syrup to shower gel to locally produced rapeseed oil. You just need to bring along your own containers - or buy an empty one from the store - and go nuts (which they also sell). You can find a full list of what they stock on their website. To satisfy your veggie cravings, there are two greengrocers in Bishy Road: Millie’s, and Fruitiqué. I found that after a couple of visits to Millie’s they gave me a discount card that gets you 10% off whatever you buy. The companies that supply them are all based in the York area; this is good for reducing your food’s carbon footprint. Here you can buy
all manner of fruit and veg from local farms, as well as some imported goods if you can’t live without your avocados. Greengrocers
For the Non-Veggies... always have different offers depending on what stock they have day to day, so you might stand to get a great deal. The other grocers, just opposite The Bishy Weigh, is called Fruitiqué. They sell much of the same fresh produce as Millie’s, while also offering glass-bottled milk and juice. When you’re done, they take bottle returns to be steri-
lised so there is minimal waste. And if Veganuary really knocked you for six and you need a bacon sandwich ASAP, then there is M&K Quality Butchers Ltd. They’re more than happy to put your food into tupperware, so you can bring home the bacon with none of the waste. There are also two small convenience stores on Bishy Road, so you can always rely on these if you haven’t managed to do the bulk of your shopping in the places above. For anyone wanting cheese without waste, Waitrose let you bring your own container to the deli. This can quickly get expensive, but it can limit the amount you buy. Despite the above, it is verging on impossible to survive on a no-waste diet whatsoever and this is arguably the next best thing: as long as you remember that every reduction in packaging is a step in the right direction, you’ll be fine.
IMAGE: IAN CAPPER
INTRODUCING YORK’S GRETA THUNBERG
CHLOE WILCOX IS a 15-year-old rebel residing in York. When it comes to local green politics, Wilcox appears wherever you look. Whether it’s at Green Party rallies, co-ordinating Extinction Rebellion Youth, or helping lead the school strikers every month, Chloe Wilcox is an integral part of York’s youth politics. York Vision caught up with her before the Youth Climate Strike on February 14. MJ: Do you think it would be fair to call yourself York’s Greta
Thunberg? CW: I’m flattered, but I don’t think so. Sadly I’m still yet to mobilise millions of people worldwide (but I try my best). There are also plenty more people in York working super hard for this movement; I’m not the only one by any means! MJ: Out of all the campaigning you’ve done, what’s been your most whack experience? CW: One time during the October rebellion, we got a crazy amount of free energy drinks from a half marathon and - after drinking quite a lot of them - decided
to transport them across London using our jumpers and an abandoned kid’s scooter.
REBELS... Chloe and UoY’s Patrick Thelwell.
MJ: In your opinion, what is the UK getting seriously wrong in our approach to climate change? CW: All the focus on individual change! Small changes don’t lead to big differences; they lead to small differences. Whilst we do have some power as consumers, all this narrative does is shift the blame from corporations and governments onto consumers. Then people feel bad because they can’t afford the eco-friendliest coffee, when they should really be worried about changing the system. MJ: A lot of young people are suffering with climate anxiety.
Do you have any personal tips for dealing with this type of anxiety? CW: My personal tip would be to do as much as you can activism-wise; you’ll feel less hopeless knowing that you’re doing something and you’ll also make lots of friends going through the same thing. MJ: Finally, you spend a lot of time hanging out with hippies and eco-warriors. Have you noticed any idiosyncrasies unique to this group of individuals? CW: I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people quite so obsessed with hummus (I mean, I am too).
SCIENCE & TECH
Tuesday February 25, 2020
SCIENCE & TECH EX MACHINA, EX PAY ROLL?
SCIENCE & TECH TEAM KEIRON BUTTLE
DOOMSDAY NARRATIVES SURROUND artificial intelligence. But what should we really worry about: enslavement by robotic overlords, or the gap of global inequality widening ever more? Bee Taylor, an Electronic Engineering PhD student at York, researches AI. In their own words, the “preconceptions” that AI is going to kill us in some sort of “robot uprising” majorly premature. “I gotta say,”Bee commented, “none of this AI stuff works anywhere near as well as it sounds quite often it just doesn’t work at all.” Bee’s research topic is revealing of the proliferation for one-trick pony AIs. Their PhD is in “metalearning”. “Normally,” Bee explains, “an AI will learn how to solve one problem, which involves repeatedly trying to solve the same problem and, hopefully, slowly improving over time. But once the AI is trained, that’s pretty much it, you make an
be taught to doubt their task objectives. That, or we end the robotic enterprise early.
Don’t Lose Your Head Just Yet However, even alarmist Russell predicts it will be around 80 years before AGI is around (but stresses the timing is impossible to predict). The UK has declared an interest in taking the lead in the ethics of AI and AGI, but right now there are more immediate effects of AI that Bee brought up, including economic impact on workers. Bee said: “I honestly believe the automation of a large amount of the work-force can ultimately be a good
clear physics has the answer... The sun is nothing more than a giant ball of plasma, useing a string of nuclear fusion reactions to bind hydrogen and helium isotopes together. Photons and neutrinos, a waste product of the reaction, give off energy. The hun’s centre is prime for this, at a toasty 15 million kelvin and 100 billion atmospheres of pressure, allowing atoms to overcome electrostatic forces and bind together. Where are the aliens?
“Are we alone in the Universe?” is perhaps the most philosophical question of the bunch. Currently, estimates show there are 15 million intelligent civilisations. But where are they? This line of questioning is also known as the Fermi Paradox. Institutions like SETI and the Arecibo Observatory use radio signals to try communicating with intelligent life, to no success. Finding simple life like bacteria is more likely than finding little green men.
FOR THE MAJORITY of people, a computer is just a computer. Others, however, go so far as to make them into works of art. For example, one computer-phile has built their computer to look like Wall-E - complete with a CD-drive where Wall-E’s trash compactor would be. On the pricier front, the company InWin has a line of over-the-top computer cases which prioritise form over function. From giant bubbles to disco ball-like covers, InWin spares no expense. The cheapest one in the range? Just over a thousand dollars. Creative takes on tech aesthetic continue with accessories. For example, ROM peripherals, like back-lit keyboards and curving monitors, or the desk they sit on. Some build desks around their computers so there’s no black box in sight at all. Sadly, making your computer look like a Transformer won’t speed it up. But, it definitely makes it stand out a lot more than the dull, black box you’d have otherwise. Still, computers becoming statement pieces signals tech’s take-over of the art world. It brings into question the way that we buy and obsess over things. Do we like these computers because they’re shiny and have flashing lights? Or are they becoming more of a status symbol amongst the more digitally inclined? Regardless, the digital age isn’t leaving the art world behind.
thing as long as we simultaneously alter society such that these changes don’t just hurt the working class.” The think tank McKinsey and Company simulated: “Around 13% of the total wage bill could shift to categories requiring non-repetitive and high digital skills, where incomes could rise, while workers in the repetitive and low digital skills categories may potentially experience stagnation or even a cut in their wages.” Globally, the effects will be even starker. AI leaders (mostly in developed countries) “could capture an additional 20 to 25% in net economic benefits compared with today, while developing countries may capture only about 5 to 15%” Effects such as these could widen global inequality, fueling conflict and poverty. Besides all the good AI may bring, some of the worst effects might be economic rather than ethical. So what do we really need to be worrying about - robots ruining the world, or humans?
KIDS’ QUESTIONS EXPLAINED BY SCIENCE duces an upward force. Hence, when planes take off, they are sustained in the air by various other mechanics, such as rudders, flaps and ailerons. In addition, the curved tips on the end of wings (winglets, imaginative word, I know) reduce the number of vortices formed when high pressure meets low pressure. How does the sun work? It’s provided you and the Earth with warmth for over four billion years, but what keeps our sun going? Nu-
IMAGE: BARNEY LIVINGSTON
EVEN THE MOST childish question can have complex, scientific answers, so without further ado, here are the answers to four of them... Why is the sky blue? Remember being taught in school that sunlight (white light) is a mixture of the rainbow from red to blue? Neither does anyone else. Known as Rayleigh scattering, when light is ejected, it interacts with molecules in the atmosphere, splitting up and scattering various molecules of gas. Blue light has a shorter wavelength, meaning it scatters more easily than red light. Thus, the sky appears blue. During a lunar eclipse, red light becomes visible when it is reflected off the moon, giving it a red-orange glow. How do planes fly? Just how exactly do 185 tonnes of metal stay up in the air? A plane’s wings allow lift to be created, making an upward force. Air has a laminar, flowing faster below the wing than above. This creates a high pressure below the wing and low pressure above. When it is more turbulent, the difference in air pressure pro-
AI learn how to drive a car and decide you want it to drive a truck instead? You gotta start again from the beginning.” “Instead of teaching an AI how to solve one problem, meta-learning is all about getting it to learn for future similar problems, so you can teach it general skills for learning how to drive and then it’ll be able to learn later in life how to solve different, related problems. My research is into a new algorithm I’m developing for meta-learning.” In layman’s terms: Bee is teaching robots how to evolve. But, here’s where the ethics kicks in. What happens when Artificial General Intelligence is taught how to evolve? AGI, not AI, is the type of super-intelligent robot nearer to a Blade Runner Replicant than a self-driving car. According to one theory, as soon as robots figure out that the most efficient way of completing a task is by disabling its off-switch, we’re done for. Berkeley AI professor Stuart Russell argues that robots should
TO PC OR NOT TO PC
Tuesday February 25, 2020
WOMEN’S FOOTBALL 1S SECURE LEAGUE TITLE AND PROMOTION AGAINST NEWCASTLE WITH COMEBACK WIN
from 22 Acres @ScottishEilidh
excellent forward play countered by Newcastle but kept at bay by Harriet Chadwick. However, Newcastle seemed to be taking more opportunities when they had possession, and despite an excellent first save by goalie Skye Kirkham, she couldn’t stop the second, and Newcastle scored to go up 1-0. We could all feel the pressure mounting as York would have to stage a comeback to ensure their league victory. Nevertheless, the girls remained, calm and collected, moving forward inch by inch trying to equalise. Another goal attempt by Newcastle was saved by Kirkham, who was showing her prowess and keeping a cool head. Little by little, York managed to sneak into their attacking half, and soon their progress was rewarded as Karli Smith curled
the ball into the top corner of the goal making it 1-1!
TOP OF THE TREE... The side now have an insurmountable lead With the match all square, there was all to play for as the two teams were vying to one-up each other in the hopes of going home with a victory. Lo and behold, York were cheering when Grace Bowman launched the ball into the back of the net, going up 2-1.
Would Newcastle strike back? Not with Kirkham in goal as she saved two dangerous-looking goal attempts from the northern team, cementing her position as York Vision Player of the Match. In the final few minutes, hearts were racing, as York tried to run down the clock and keep Newcastle at bay. But, sure enough, the final whistle blew with York victorious! The final score? A stonker of a comeback from York to beat Newcastle 2-1 and top the league with one match left in the season! The ladies will be hoping to end the season on a high in their final match against Leeds Beckett on March 4 and cement their winning league position. We have high hopes! Player of the Match: Skye Kirkham (York)
IMAGE: HANNAH GREIG
AS ONE OF the most popular sports in York, all eyes were on the ladies of the Women’s Football 1s this Wednesday as they looked to top the Northern Tier 2 league. With York in imperious form, having lost only two league matches this year they took on Newcastle 1s on 22 Acres, kitted out in matching shirts and looking every inch like a professional team. Having beaten Newcastle 4-2 away in November, York were quietly confident, but as it always is in sport, complacency
is never a good thing. The ladies were prepared to tough it out and not give anything up easily. As soon as the starting whistle blew, the talent and grit was evident on both sides. Karli Smith and Sonya Sandhu got some tackles in early on and put the pressure on straight away, and Hannah Coppillie didn’t budge an inch when it came to protecting the ball. However, Newcastle matched this pressure, and the momentum didn’t seem to be going with any particular team early on in the match. But, York managed to break through, making a goal kick that kept Newcastle off the ball and us out of the danger zone. The play was keeping the crowd on tenterhooks, with no team looking like the dominant force this far into the match. York continued to battle on, with some
YORK SMASH YSJ IN RUGBY DERBY
BY MATT WARD-PERKINS
TWO YELLOW CARDS, 0a
fight, a crowd warning from the referee, and a dominant York win. The Rugby Union derby between York and YSJ didn’t lack excitement. In tough conditions, handling errors and early missed opportunities from YSJ helped York ease to a 65-0 win. A great piece of skill was needed to break the deadlock following sustained but ineffective YSJ
attack, with a vital offload giving York the first try. YSJ won a number of penalties, but were unable to capitalise, best characterised by an attempted kick to touch that ended with the ball simply being dropped on the floor. York took advantage of YSJ’s mistakes, taking an overthrown YSJ line out just outside their own 22 straight through the backline for a simple try, before another stunning try and offload gave a 15-0 lead.
The next try was set up by the forwards, with a scrum inside YSJ’s half resulting in a strong run into the 22, before the ball was passed out, and the try finished down the wing. Before half time, York scored a sixth after some great skill from York’s forwards, a ball being stripped from YSJ in a maul leading to a try through the middle of their back line, before a missed opportunity for a seventh down the right wing, ending with the ball being thrown into touch, keeping
their half time lead at 29-0. The restart saw a succession of York tries as YSJ heads went down, with tries from a charged down clearance, an offside penalty, and two handling errors, taking the score to 53-0. The crowd watching the match was warned by officials over inappropriate language, although the warning did not stop insults directed at YSJ players. Another turnover led to a try down the right wing, with the damage for YSJ compounded by a
yellow card in its buildup. Following an eleventh try from another YSJ knock on, play was stopped in their search for a twelfth following a fight off the ball, with the majority of both teams being drawn in. As the officials were unable to place blame on either team no action was taken, but YSJ went down to thirteen men soon after, following a yellow card at the ruck. At full time, 65-0 was an understatement of York’s dominance showed, and a derby win will give them confidence heading forward.
Tuesday February 25, 2020
SPORT TEAM EILIDH SMITH BEN GOSLING
CANNELL REELECTED AS SPORT PREZ BY CHAY QUINN
IMAGE: YORK SPORT UNION
COLLEGE VARSITY 2020 ONES TO WATCH MARCH 3 MEN’S FOOTBALL
The first big ticket event of the day, kicking off at 11:00, is the men’s football B team. This year accolade goes to Goodricke, who saw off Vanbrugh 5-0 in the semifinals to secure their place at Varsity. Goodricke also won the college league last term, winning every game except one. No doubt this will be a close contest between Goodricke and their opposite, Durham’s Grey College,; so get yourselves down to the 22 Acres and get cheering for your boys in green! Of course, we then have the big one - the A Team which this year is Derwent facing Collingwood, having beaten sporting powerhouse James on penalties in qualifiers.
Typical Yorkshire weather delayed the varsity qualifier final between James and Hes East, but when the match was finally played on February 12 James edged a victory with a score of 24-20 and became Varsity top seed. Their match against Hatfield kicks off at 12:00 on the 22 Acres, and there’s no doubt the boys will draw a sizable crowd and possibly some risqué chants. However, runners up, Hes East RFC, will not be disappointed as they hold on to Varsity second seed and will play St. Aidans on the 22 Acres at 14:00. Grab some tinnies and head down to the pitch for a double bill of what is saddling up to be a great afternoon of competitive rugby.
Halifax and James qualifying after a chaotic and rainy day of qualifiers makes this our first mixed big ticket event. The final came down to penalty flicks, with Halifax nabbing victory and claiming the title of A Team for Varsity this year. The first hockey fixture is James against Durham’s Van Mildert, starting at 12:30 on the JLD. Team James beat Constantine 8-2 in the semifinals, and will be hoping to emulate this display to beat Durham decisively. As with the rugby, it’s a double bill on the JLD, so if hockey’s your thing, grab some snacks and buckle up: because at 14:00, Halifax takes on Collingwood to hopefully come away with a win.
Our other mixed big ticket fixtures, and the first one to feature Langwith, basketball will take place in the Arena. Qualifiers this year were hotly contested, with an all-day tournament ending with Halifax as the winners and Langwith as runners-up. Langwith will play Josephine Butler, starting at 13:30 in the Arena, donning their neon yellow jerseys and emulating the late Kobe Bryant by giving it their best shot. Halifax will face Van Mildert immediately afterwards at 15:00, and from what I saw of them in qualifiers, will be trying to showcase yet another impressive display.
The Netball A fixture serves as the big finale, and the pressure is on for York’s top seed to end the tournament on a high. This duty falls to the ladies of Derwent College, who pipped James to secure the top position in a thrilling qualifier final that ended in a last gasp goal to win 27-26. B team James will take on their St. Hild & St Bede at 15:00 in the Arena, and if the qualifiers are anything to go by, the atmosphere will be unrivalled, with pounding dance music and an enthusiastic crowd. We’ll be hoping for more of the same enthusiasm when Derwent take to the floor at 18:00 for the jewel in the crown of Varsity, taking on Collingwood. I’m sure they’ll deliver.
IMAGE: DURHAM UNIVERSITY
MADDI CANNELL HAS been elected as York Sport President for a second term, beating off fierce competition from fellow York Sport Committee member Jade Brewer. Cannell has faced a myriad criticism over the past two terms after a slew of issues facing York Sport led to ill-feeling in some parts of York’s sport glitterati. Cannell’s manifesto aimed to be honest about both her successes and failures in this first term and to build upon the groundwork she has put in her first year in the role. During the campaign, opponent Jade Brewer was scathing in her assessment of Cannell’s year. In Candidate Debate Night, Cannell fought back against this criticism and laid out a framework for improving the York Sport Union, including addressing issues laid out by college chairs about college sport in an open letter sent to YUSU a fortnight ago. The plan involved a new College Sport Committee structure and a “campaign for a new staff member dedicated to college sport”. After her victory, Cannell will have the responsibility to organise 2021’s Roses tournament at home, but her immediate focus will be on March 3 and College Varsity in which York will be bidding to win back the title from college rivals Durham. Roses featured in Cannell’s manifesto as she promised to “build Roses impact and legacy in the Community through showcasing student groups in the buildup and the weekend”. Full results on P.13
ısıon VSport YORK
Tuesday February 25, 2020
UYWAFC CLINCH TITLE WITH 2-1 WIN AGAINST NEWCASTLE FULL STORY PAGE 18
YES SHE CAN
INCUMBENT SPORT PRESIDENT ELECTED AGAIN
CANNELL HOLDS OFF BREWER CHALLENGE TO WIN 2ND TERM BY CHAY QUINN
MADDI CANNELL HAS been elected as York Sport President for a second term, beating off fierce competition from fellow York Sport Committee member Jade Brewer. Cannell has faced a myriad criticism over the past two terms after a slew of issues facing York Sport led to ill-feeling in some parts of York’s sport glitterati. Cannell’s manifesto aimed to be honest about both her successes and failures in this first term and to build
upon the groundwork she has put in her first year in the role. During the campaign, opponent Jade Brewer was scathing in her assessment of Cannell’s year. In Candidate Debate Night, Cannell fought back against this criticism and laid out a framework for improving the York Sport Union, including addressing issues laid out by college chairs about college sport in an open letter sent to YUSU a fortnight ago. The plan involved a new College Sport Committee structure and a “campaign for a new staff member dedicated to college sport”.
FULL STORY ON PAGE 19
First published February 25, 2020.