GUARDIAN STUDENT PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2011-2012
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
LONDON FASHION WEEK - LIFESTYLE -
ELECTIONS REACTION PAGE 3 CLUBBING HOLIDAYS - FEATURES -
ANTHONY HOROWITZ - SCENE -
F IR E By OLIVER TODD
THE UNIVERSITY of York's lack of investment in its older buildings may have been a contributing factor to the devastating Chemistry fire earlier this month. Freedom of Information requests submitted by Vision have brought to light a shocking series of problems with the building that the University had tried to keep under wraps, despite concerns having been voiced about the block in March last year.
Meetings of the University Council revealed that the building was in near-critical condition and the age, setup and maintenance of the block left it at a high risk of fire. In December, University Estates and Management indicated that a number of buildings, including B block, were in "urgent need of attention," although plans to refurbish them have been put back until at least 2016. The findings are damning for the University in the months leading up to the opening of the new ÂŁ39million Langwith College and Sport Centre development on Heslington East campus.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
CHEMISTRY FIRE RAISES SAFETY CONCERNS OVER SUB-STANDARD BUILDING CONDITIONS
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
SAVE OUR HORSE!
BY VERITY KANE THE CAMPUS horse that grazes in a field by Wentworth roundabout has received a visit from the RSPCA this week, prompting new concerns as to the welfare of the gelding and the identity of his owners. Students have expressed their relief that action has finally been taken. Oscar Mandy, a first year History student said, “I’m glad somebody’s doing something about [the horse], I’ve seen drunken students try to ride it; it’s not a great environment for an animal to live in.” There were also concerns about the horse’s proximity to University Road and constant exposure to pollution from vehicles.
Though the RSPCA were not permitted to make a comment relating to this case, their website confirms that tethering is not a recommended way of keeping a horse, particularly for long periods of time. Horses have frequently been tethered on the piece of land, and around three years ago a horse was removed following a formal complaint to the RSPCA. Further, as reported last year by Vision, the horse made a dramatic escape and galloped down University Road and Fifth Avenue causing havoc. A University spokesperson stated, “We have asked the owner to move the horse tethered on the grassed area next to University Road to a more suitable location."
YOURWEEK Good Week for DanceSoc - won five trophies at LSU dance competition over 26 other unis.
W IS FACI HICH SOCIET NG BAN Y TO THE MISMA KRUPTCY DUE THEIR C NAGEMENT OMMIT OF TEE?
Bad Week for cyclists - bike thefts account for 60% of all crimes on campus.
Photo: Vivan Jayant
Guardian Student Publication of the Year 2011-2012 Editors: Helena Kaznowska Oliver Todd
Deputy Comment: Leon Morris Anmoli Sodha
Sports Editors: Jack Bradshaw Sally Dolton
Deputy Editors: Alex Finnis Fred Nathan
Satire Editors: Nicholas DunnMcAfee Leon Morris
Deputy Sports: Will Cooper Charlotte Ferris
Scene Editors: Alysia Judge Jordan Lloyd
Photo of the Week: 'Baker's Dozen' is unveiled as the new name of The Courtyard. Photo: Oliver Todd
Deputy Features: Bella Boman-Flavell Ben Dilks
News Editors: Helena Kealey Harry Pick
The percentage of students who voted in the YUSU elections.
The number of ballots cast in the YUSU elections, a five year high.
Features Editors: Georgina Strapp Sarah Cattle
The amount Fairfax residents pay per night, much maligned 'continental' breakfast included.
Got an opinion? Get involved at www.yorkvision.co.uk Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy News: Judith Marzo Bethany Porter
Lifestyle Editors: Nicholas DunnMcAfee Sine Bakumeni
Comment Editors: Max Sugarman Olivia Head
Deputy Lifestyle: Rachel Longhurst Malek Murison
Chief Sub-Editor: Sarah Cattle Rachel Longhurst Photo Editor: Vivan Jayant Ellen Rawlins Webmaster: Magnus Tripp Web Editor: Vivan Jayant Advertising: Anmoli Sodha Rebecca Ojumu
Scene Editorial list in pullout Opinions expressed in York Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, senior editorial team, membership or advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure all articles are as factually correct as possible at the time of going to press, given the information available. Copyright Vision Newspapers, 2012. Printed by Yorkshire Web Cover Photo by Oliver Todd - LFW Photo by Ama Samra
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2010
TAYLOR MADE FOR SUCCESS ON THURSDAY, KALLUM TAYLOR BECAME YUSU PRESIDENT-ELECT, BEATING OFF TOUGH COMPETITION FROM ZAHRA LATIF AND NACHO HERNANDO. VISION SPEAK EXCLUSIVELY TO KALLUM ABOUT HIS ASPIRATIONS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD.
By harry pick KALLUM TAYLOR has been elected the new YUSU President after a tightly fought election campaign which saw him receive 2129 first-choice ballots. After two weeks blitzing campus with now-fraying cardboard cut-outs, the results night on Thursday saw the former Vanbrugh College JCRC Chair beat off close competition from Zahra Latif, English combinedcourse rep who received 1745 votes, and Nacho Hernando, former Goodricke Chair, who lagged behind with 973.
KELLOGG's Press Office were apparently "flattered" by Kallum Taylor's use of the Special K symbol. Despite rumours they would sue if permission wasn't sorted, a quick call to the company showed they were supportive of Kallum and everyone campaigning.
Also running were Peter Warner-Medley, James Carney, Abir Ahmmed and Thomas Stuart Taylor.
SOME candidates let the campaign season get to their head. James Carney, Presidential candidate, annouced to the world that "Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed." Guess that explains his absence on election night... The campaigning season, littered with the usual manipulation of omnipresent, multi-national brand names (Doritos, Kellogg's and H&M, to name a few), began on the 17th February and ended with the closure of voting on 1st March. The strategy worked; the election led to over 5720 students voting, or 36.8% of the student body, the highest turnout in five years. Taylor will be joined by new sabbatical officers Charlotte Winter (York Sport President) and Chris West (Student Activities), alongside returning sabbs Bob Hughes (Welfare) and Graeme Osborn (Academic). However, amidst the celebrations of Thursday's election night, there were tears from losing candidates and qualms from others. Perhaps most controver-
sially, Torris, a member of the Board of Student Trustees, revealed to Vision that it is going to be "a bit of a task working with Kallum next year." Speaking to Vision, Presidentelect Taylor said he did not always see himself as the frontrunner, despite polls and pundits coming out in his favour throughout campaigning, and was ecstatic with the win. "Me and my team set out like we were chasing someone ahead of us all the time and went for it. I'd like thank my whole team; this win was down to the grafters." Taylor now faces a four month waiting period until he formally ascends to the presidency on the 1st July. "There is nothing formal for me to do until then, though I'd like to speak to other candidates in the meantime as I'd like to incorporate some of their policies into the Union's activities." "One of the other candidates had a policy to disconnect sabbs' internet once a week, just to make sure they do get out and about. When I heard that, I was like, that's alright you know." He admitted his strategy was to go for the "average student voter" – and that is certainly who he
hopes to represent with his initial policy programme which stresses 'value for money'. Articulating how he intends to achieve such value, Taylor did pinpoint some policies. "Like any managers of a business, charging more means we should provide more service – like key texts on a single CD, for example."
OTHER candidates just cannot accept defeat. Tom Taylor has already began his campaign for next year and has started posting videos for 'TST 2013'. Fellow candidate Abir Ahmmed also announced on election night that this year was merely "the platform for his next election."
YUSU's ELECTION campaigning rules have come under criticism following a number of complaints over the conduct of this year's presidential candidates. 14 separate complaints were made across the board, with seven of these being directed towards presidential hopefuls. One complaint is now being dealt with by the University itself. YUSU's rules about online campaigning have been most heavily criticised due to the open nature of social networking websites such as Facebook and the inability of candidates to prevent their supporters from inadvertedly breaking the rules on such social media outlets – an offence for which the candidate is liable. James Carney, who had his right to campaign online completely removed by YUSU's Returning Officers, was especially critical of the rules YUSU currently have in place: "The accountability of candidates and those related to them is something which needs to be looked at within electoral rules, as is setting out clear guidelines to online campaigning. Current-
ly, they are just not clear enough," he told Vision. YUSU President-elect Kallum Taylor, who had his campaign Facebook page taken down for 24 hours on the Friday before elections, also spoke to Vision about the difficulties he countered with the online regulations: "What happened was a thirdparty Facebook group backed me by putting my page on their group – within five minutes this was deleted. "All was done within five minutes but that was why I had to delete the Facebook page; because people were endorsing me who I didn't know, in private groups that I didn't know existed. "I can see why the rules are in place, but it's tough to police the internet, I can understand some of the warnings, but at the same time I can only tell people I know not to promote me illegally. I think the rules need looking at, in a sense nothing stopping me from getting friends to promote another candidate and for them to get punished for it." YUSU President Tim Ellis commented on the current set of election rules, telling Vision: "Whilst there have been some issues with certain candidates
breaking these rules, they were all made extremely clear at the candidates briefing and all candidates signed up to these. I do feel however, that a conversation should be had in time for next year's elections regarding campaigning rules as I think there are potentially areas where rules could be relaxed as it is increasingly hard for Returning Officers to police what happens on social media." YUSU President-elect Kallum Taylor has come under scrutiny for his own campaign, with enquiries being issued to the Returning Officer regarding his expenses. Complaints were made against Taylor on Thursday afternoon and the Returning Officer has since ruled that his expenses are so unclear that Taylor will only be able to reclaim £5 of his £20 allowance. The complaints made against Taylor suggest that his budget, although coming in under the £30 limit, was missing a number of items used during his campaign and was not presented with valid receipts. A source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Vision of how a receipt for spray cans "was not itemised" and the invoice for
ACADEMIC OFFICER: GRAEME OSBORN
More immediately, he hopes by Christmas to "set up weekly surgeries on both campuses with no agenda, which I can do straight away. I'd also like to start chasing up more cycle spaces and bring in lockers [which] off-campus students will be made up with – it'd be nice for them to see the Union is doing something for them as well." The new YUSU Officers will take office next academic year.
COMPLAINING OVER CAMPAIGNING
By Alex finnis
his t-shirts was dated 01/03/12, when they had been used before this date. Additionally, the source spoke of how "the video used in his campaign was not included in the expenses form. Due to the use of editing software and good equipment we assume that a £5 charge would have been incurred." Despite the complaints, YUSU's Returning Officers came to the decision that Kallum was a valid candidate in the election. The Deputy Returning Officer was keen to stress the importance of considering whether what the candidate has done warrants removing them as a choice for the electorate. Taylor was quick to defend himself, saying; "I was called in on the Thursday afternoon and spoke with both the Deputy Returning Officer and the Returning Officer about these – who then spoke to the NUS to properly clear my form as fine. From this, they were happy with what I had supplied and I was given the go ahead to continue to stand in the elections. Since, it has been a non-issue for me and I'd rather not deal with baseless rumours and instead the more important issues such as the job itself."
STUDENT ACTIVITES OFFICER: CHRIS WEST
WELFARE OFFICER: BOB HUGHES
YORK SPORT PRESIDENT: CHARLOTTE WINTER
4NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
OUTDATED BUILDINGS P
THE VALIDITY of the National Student Survey (NSS) has been called into question after research has revealed the ease with which a university could impersonate a student. While there is no concrete evidence that York (or any other institution for that matter) has actually skewed any data by completing the survey on behalf of a student and hence corrupting the results, the worry is that they easily could, due to the fundamental security flaws with the form. To access the NSS, a student only has to provide the name of his/her institution, student number, the day and the month of their birth and the first initial and first four letters of their surname. A lot of this information is already held by the University, and failing that, as social networking sites such as Facebook make a lot of students' vital statistics available to anyone. The NSS is conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England and is important for university rankings. In 2011, 87% of York third-years agreed that they were satisfied with their course.
BY OLIVER TODD Continued from front page THE UNIVERSITY of York's apparent neglect of the poor structural conditions and ventilation system in Chemistry B Block may have been a contributing factor to last month's fire. The fire, which happened on Thursday February 2, 2012, as reported by Vision, is believed to have started in a cabinet or fume cupboard on the upper floor of the building. After setting off the fire alarms at 12.45pm, 400 students were successfully evacuated from the building. The damage caused by the fire left the Chemistry department with no choice but to cancel all scheduled lab sessions until the block reopened last week. Freedom of Information re-
quests submitted by Vision have revealed that the annual campuswide Condition Survey of June/ July last year highlighted a large number of concerns with the building. Problems included issues with heating regulation, ventilation systems and multiple faults with the emergency/fireexit lighting.
"There are obviously fundamental and dangerous issues with the older buildings." The reports indicate the University was in full knowledge of the issues raised in the Condition Survey, which included statements such as: "Problems exist with the heating system regulation – needs to be replaced," and: "problems exist with the ventilation systems and need to be
checked for operation and also cleanliness", although problems continued to occur. There are also multiple issues listed in a 'Response Report' which lists all of the issues the building has had to call out support for in the past year. The Chemistry block is an example of a CLASP building, which stands for the Consortium of Local Authorities Special Practice. CLASP was a construction program conducted in the 1960s and forms the majority of the University's buildings on Heslington West. When the University was founded, buildings of this type were assembled rapidly. Among numerous other issues, the buildings are notoriously cold in winter but are prone to overheating in the summer months. CLASP buildings, when refurbished, are believed to have a "life expectancy of...15 years," according to a study
There are "decisions to be made about the future use or decommissioning of B Block." Chemistry B Block has been refurbished in 1992, 1996 and 1998. The University Press Office has stated that there are no plans currently scheduled for a future refurbishment or demolition of the block, despite stating in December that these CLASP buildings were in "urgent need of attention." Having uncovered this information through FOI requests, Vision shared it with Chemistry students in order to assess their feelings on the issues. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, commented: "I don't understand why there's millions of pounds being spent on the construction of new buildings both inside and outside of the department when there are obviously fundamental and dangerous issues with the older buildings."
When refurbished the buildings are believed to have a "life expectancy of...15 years."
LATE FEEDBACK CONCERNS HAVE been raised over some departments being late on returning feedback and marks from last January's assessment period. Numerous departments, including Maths, Politics and English, recorded delays despite a stringent six-week marking returning policy as implemented by the University at the beginning of this academic year. Second-year English students suffered results delays of up to a week for modules taken during the Autumn Term. One affected English student complained: "If I submit an essay late, I'm deducted 10 marks. As far as I can see, the return of our essays to us is subject to more liberal timing." He received no response from the department. A similar problem arose with Maths feedback. A second-year Maths student from Halifax, who wished to remain anonymous, also voiced concerns: "I wanted to stick to modules I was best at, but my modules didn't get the results back until after we had to choose. However, other modules received their marks on time." When questioned by Vision, the affected departments refused to comment on the issue – despite almost all the delays being unexplained. However, Graeme Osborn, YUSU Academic Officer, said he had "not received any formal complaints."
conducted by the Higher Educating Funding Council for England.
Another expressed similar concerns: "The determination to expand the University, particularly on Hes East, may look good to outsiders, but for students it's a huge problem. It looks as if there were tell-tale signs that something along these lines could have happened, but they may have been ignored. The University's desire to look good through its
19/09/2011 10:18 "Fumehood B11 failed airflow test. Requires rectification before the start of term. This hood has not been working for 2 months and repeated attempts to request rectification have been ignored."
"Problems exist with the heating system regulation – needs to be replaced."
"A loud ban then loss of el ers to all fum and the air ha All work in t had to stop. C looked at pl
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
PUT STUDENTS AT RISK
What's The Quack?
orts Which college sp eck wr to ed ag an sides m ght ni e th their own JCR e th m fro t si vi a before r? lo el Vice-Chanc
Which ex-Colle ge Chair embarrassingly wasn't recognised by a girl he introduced him self to in Willow?
expensive expansion elsewhere is leaving the students using the older facilities in difficulties, and in this case, perhaps in danger." The University currently lists on its website a total of £39million being spent on new accommodation and the new sports centre on Heslington East alone, despite the B-Block report. This is in the wake of the campuswide Condition Survey, warning that the "increased demand for student numbers is placing extra pressure on the teaching space". The Chemistry department itself
"The determination to expand the University may look good to outsiders, but for students it's a huge problem." is also having to expand in order to cope with the pressure of student increases. The University claims that the department has now returned to a near-normal timetable, with practical sessions "uninterrupt-
ed" for students. However, one second-year Chemistry student revealed to Vision: "They haven't got the fumehoods working, so labs will hardly be 'uninterrupted' as they put it. About 90% of our practicals need fume-hoods." University Press Officer David Garner commented on the issue: "The report by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service into the cause of the fire in Chemistry B Block has not yet been received." He went on to say: "the
£16.5million phased programme of redevelopment of Chemistry is under way. C Block – one of the older blocks – will [...] be demolished to make way for a new modern building housing new teaching laboratories as well as research space for our worldleading Green Chemistry group which currently occupy B Block. "This will allow decisions to be made about the future use or decommissioning of B Block." However, the official cause is yet to be identified by the Fire Service.
Which College Chair has ended up al one with only a foot -long Subway for com pany after three cons ecutive nights out this week?
ng reported lectrical powme cupboards andling unit. this area has Could this be lease asap."
e BNOC Which bona fid o much to t bi tle lit saw a ellor nc ha of Vice-C the in or nt Ca n ia Br ging an ch d David Lloy ? ek we is th s om ro
"Problems exist with the
ventilation systems and
need to be checked for
Fume hood ventilation
operation and also cleanli-
University campus-wide Condition Survey 2011 & Chemistry B Block: Work Order List of Reactive Maintenance
Which new YUSU his Officer released ster house's pet ham into "the wild"?
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
Vision's Helena Kealey checks out how other universities do their elections...
AS A CHILD I was told that the Romans hated the month of February to such an extent that they shortened it, so the whole grizzly, miserable, grey ordeal would be over as quickly as possible. Inspired. If it wasn't for the YUSU elections keeping me wildly entertained, as 'There's still time, Vote Kallum,' fliers littering my kitchen and constantly stuck to my shoes, then I would have been cursing those Romans for keeping it at all. Like us, students across the UK have chosen February and March to hold their student union elections, as a nice distraction from being rained on. We're mostly ahead of the trend as St Andrews, Leeds, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester, (you get the idea,) are holding their elections in the next couple of weeks. A few universities, however, have joined us. So far there have been great turn outs: "The student body broke records once again with 27,303 votes being cast," writes Exeter University's online paper Xmedia. "37.21% of students turned out to vote making Exeter one of the
If we had won, they'd be a Greggs.
most democratic universities in the country." Congratulations Exeter, you're only 1.79% of students less democratic than us, and it was actually around 34.5%... Warwick too, had a thousand more votes than last year. With most other universities yet to vote, it's difficult to know if it's normal to suffer foul play from candidates, or if we're uniquely confused. Even if their elections run perfectly, BNOC out BNOCING other BNOCs without a hint of the bad loser/bad winner spirit, we can be reassured they have other issues. Some 45% of Warwick students, according to a poll conducted by their student paper, The Boar, are unhappy with their new sabbatical team, and last year's Durham president apparently "paid his way into the role." If you had the (unlikely) thought that we alone were housing students mad enough to compare ourselves to Jesus, you were wrong. Durham's new 'DUS' president termed himself 'Barack' Dallas throughout the elections, and watched (clutching his sides I imagine), as the runner-up quoted Nero's last words, "Qualex artifex pereo" which means "what an artist dies in me." One of the failed Warwick presidential candidates added he had, "never considered winning, because Nick (the winner) had the forces of darkness on his side. If we had won there would have been a Greggs." Damn James Carney, why didn't you promise us a Greggs?
By KATIE THOMPSON WE "ONLY cut European hair" says Skinny Sam, a hair dresser on Walmgate, who has been criticised for redirecting Asian customers elsewhere. Adrian Lee, a second year sociology student, was told to go to Skinny Sams' sister salon, Lawton Henry. "I was offended, honestly" said Lee. "Sam explained the situation quite well, but the whole thing seems nonsensical. What's wrong with my hair?" Skinny Sams faced complaints back in 2007 when the York Press revealed a Thai student was turned away on the grounds that the barber had 'insufficient training.' On speaking to the owner, Vision was told, "If it's just a buzz-cut it's no problem. AfroCaribbean hair is different from European because it's a different texture. Chinese hair is so straight and thin that it needs different training." When asked whether or not he could rise to the challenge of such straight hair, the owner said, "I just send them to Lawton Henry, where staff are trained to cut that type of hair." A spokesperson for Toni and Guy, of Blake Street, denied the claim. "Oriental hair is no different – the only issue we sometimes have is communication." On the issue of Afro-Carib-
bean hair the stylist did concede however the need for 'different chemicals,' said "there aren't many hair salons trained in this in York as it's simply not cosmopolitan enough."
EUROPEAN HAIR ONLY Student Welfare Officer Robert Hughes said, "given the large number of non-European students in York, I hope it is a genuine case of lack of training." Skinny Sam's owner told Vision, "if you're a mechanic and someone brings you an F1 car, you're not trained to do it. You'll get different opinions, but ultimately, it does require different training, and we're just not trained to do it here."
FIGHTING FOR FAIR-ness By NINA PULLMAN FAIRFAX HOUSE rent prices are causing discontent among residents as catering and accommodation standards do not currently meet expectations for a second-year running. Students currently pay £101 a week, including breakfast, but this does not take into account holidays and weekends when breakfast is not provided. Students at Fairfax House therefore pay a higher than average rent compared to other non-catered blocks in Vanbrugh College. In addition, the supposedly continental breakfast consists of only three items with a choice of a piece of fruit, a yoghurt and a small variety-pack cereal box, including milk. From the University pricings and on average for the whole year, students effectively pay £2.34 a day for this breakfast. A comparison using the same items from Tesco home brand products showed that a typical student breakfast can be bought for only 74p before wholesale. Although some kitchens at Fairfax House are shared between 18 students, it is priced at 'Rent Band 2', a ranking which is not reflected by the standard of accommodation. Matt Stephenson, Vanbrugh College Chair, said that "whilst I appreciate that commercial services have to make a profit in order
to survive, it is blatantly unfair that Fairfax House residents are being charged such extortionate sums of money." The sentiment was reiterated by Fairfax House Chair, Mat Newman, who commented that "For too long Fairfax has paid too much for too little. It needs to change now". With 91 student rooms, almost a sixth of Vanbrugh College's first year students live at Fairfax House.
EXTORTIONATE SUMS Resident Livvy O'Neill said that, "As a resident of Fairfax House it seems to me that the facilities are not only substandard compared to the amount of money that we pay, but also unhygienic and unhealthy. For instance some of the toilets in the middle floor do not have sinks and residents have to wash their hands in the kitchens". Bob Hughes, YUSU welfare officer, told Vision that he would "welcome a decrease in prices, so long as that money doesn't end up being added to other accommodation blocks' rents to even it out." However, when asked by Vision, the University claimed there are "no plans to reduce charges at Fairfax House. Discussions are continuing over breakfast provision – we hope they will be fruitful."
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS By JOE GIBBONS CENTRAL HALL Music Society faces doubt over its future after becoming saddled with large amounts of debt. The long term debt problem reportedly arose out of a number of errors, including the late handing in of production receipts, lack of accurate budgeting and insufficient cooperation between CHMS and other performance societies. Further more, the society left many expenditures until the last minute, resulting in an inflation of costs. Joseph Williams, producer for CHMS' critically acclaimed 'Into the Woods', described the debt as "manageable" and emphasised that the debt is not due to any mistakes made by the current committee. To deal with the debt, an emergency meeting of the CHMS committee has been called for Thursday 8th March, in which they will also elect a new committee. They will be focusing on plans for fund raising over the summer, as well as outlining future plans for CHMS. On this date, they hope to mould the relationship between themselves and the production team, and to ensure a closer working relationship in the future. Together, they hope to help Central Hall keep checks on their expenditure and prevent future overspending.
YUSU Student Activities Officer, James Croydon, revealed to Vision, "With all performance societies, we like to see a well planned budget a good time in advance so we can plan and make sure that the performances are financially viable. Our performance societies are a credit to the union and performances that attract members of the public are great for fostering a good community between local residents and the student population."
OVERSPENDING Joseph Williams, however, went on to question the lack of YUSU support for performance societies, especially when compared with that given to sporting societies. "I think the support the University shows as a collective to its sports societies is fantastic. York prides itself with a great number of performance societies, and I'd like to see as much effort from our Student Union put into promoting events such as the Central Hall Musical as is apparent with events such as Varsity." Despite the financial troubles the society has faced, they do not expect the productions to be affected, due to the structure of YUSU's accounts, where spending money is unlocked each year for the society's productions.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
UNDER FIRE: HEALTH CENTRE INTRODUCES NEW 'STAY AND WAIT' SCHEME
WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
By sam earle & joe softley
A NEW SCHEME has been initiated by the University Health Centre in response to continued criticism from the student body. The new 'Stay and Wait' initiative hopes to tackle the issue of excessive waiting times for appointments, a problem which has been infuriating the University's sick and suffering for years. A 2010 YUSU Health Centre Report highlighted that 39% of students faced an appointment waiting time of five days or more, something which the Health Centre acknowledged as "inexcusable" and pledged to address. The scheme allows students to visit the centre between the hours of 8.30am and 12 noon in the hope of seeing a health-care professional on the day, without prior appointment. However, the fact that the scheme is "not for complex problems" – only those which need less than 10 minutes – means that it is unlikely to alleviate the frustrations of those students with more serious concerns. Students have spoken to Vision about their continued problems, which highlight issues be-
yond appointment waiting times. Unlike other universities including Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, the University of York's Health Centre is not specific to the University. Instead, it is one of three clinics run by six different GPs which take responsibility for the eastern part of the city. This lack of a uni-specific health service has led to increased confusion, cost and inconvenience for students. First-year Philosophy student Matt Graham, who suffered a severe gash to his right leg during a particularly vicious round of Vanbrugh pub golf, was stunned to discover that health-centre nurses could not redress his wound.
THREE-WEEK WAIT Having awoken in a pool of blood, Matt immediately went to A&E to receive 26 stitches. Doctors advised that the wound should be redressed every day to avoid the risk of infection. "I assumed the simple procedure of changing a bandage could be carried out by any nurse, however reception promptly told me
that I would have to go to an off campus clinic for this treatment." "I could not walk due to the injury, and because there is no bus, I ended up paying over £150 in taxi fares. Not ideal on a student budget as you can imagine." This perceived lack of sympathy of the Health Centre staff, highlighted in the 2011 YUSU Student Experience survey, seems to be a problem which pertains this year. A first-year Vanbrugh student, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Vision of his difficulty in obtaining a vital prescription. "As a narcoleptic, my Modafinil is crucial to my day-to-day function. All-in-all I had to wait three weeks to get my prescription [...] I found it really hard to study and socialise. This had a massive impact on my first term." "What made it worse was the contempt of the doctor, who seemed reluctant to give me the prescription. At one stage I felt like he was accusing me of being a Modafinil dealer, despite my medical records of the last two years." First year Derwent student, Alicia Harrop, reports similar experiences of unsympathetic staff. "I had a kidney infection
which everyone, including NHS online, told me needed prompt treatment. I called up the health centre and they told me I had to wait two weeks for an appoint-
"I COULD NOT WALK" ment with a doctor." "I think in total I called up the health centre five times that day, sometimes even having to wait 10 minutes just to get through to reception, and eventually they agreed to see me sooner". "This poor organisation has definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and I now prefer to just wait to go to see the doctor at home." However, Louise Johnston, Practice Manager at Dr Price & Partners, has fought back, claiming that student no-shows "are having a negative impact on the appointment waiting-times". "A big problem for us are DNAs (Did Not Attend). Between 1st January 2012 and 29th February 2012 at the Health Centre alone, 218 appointments were missed – this equates to 18 doctor sessions." She also pointed to "poor student feedback" as a hindrance to
the improvement and reform of the Health Centre. 4000 texts were apparently sent to University students this year, inviting them to "Have Your Say" at an organised meeting. There were only 29 responses and not a single student attended. "We try to engage with students, but the response is always poor". The University also responded to the complaints. David Duncan, University Registrar, speaking to Vision said, "the Health Centre is part of the National Health Service (NHS), and is not managed by the University." "However, we are aware that the Health Centre under the management of Dr Letham is very keen to improve the service it offers to students. "The University will do everything it can to support the Health Centre in this regard, especially in reducing waiting times." YUSU Welfare Officer Bob Hughes conceded that, "although the service has improved in the last couple of years, there's still a lot that needs to be done". "There is another survey and consultation period about the Health Centre coming next term that I urge as many students to get involved with as possible."
By JUDITH MARZO
GANGS OF youths harassed students on the path connecting campus to Heslington Road in the snow last month. Teenagers hurled snow balls and abuse at passing students, which in some cases escalated to physical violence. The path, often dubbed 'Rape Alley' by students, and is used by hundreds of students on a daily basis. "They would throw snowballs aiming for my head and shout intimidatingly. It got to the point where I was too scared
to walk home," Lucia Linares, a second year History and Politics student, told Vision. Two students, who wish to remain anonymous, encountered the gang walking home from an evening shop, leaving student with a black eye and bleeding lip while his girlfriend was held back by a group of five teenagers. The third year Economics student told Vision, "We were walking home with our shopping when they started throwing snow balls and shouting at us from the connecting field. After
Photo: Ellen Rawlin
ignoring them for a bit I asked them to please stop." "The next thing I know I saw a group of 15 of them in front of me and then four or five behind me. They started asking me if I was a faggot and again I asked them to stop. Then one of them hit me in the back and one of them punched me in the mouth. I just kept walking but he came back and punched me again, square in the eye."
PUNCHED IN EYE Amadea Ng, a first year History student, told Vision the details of the racial abuse she received walking home alone on a Friday night: "I was walking back alone and saw a group of kids, so I moved aside to the pavement but when I did that, a boy pushed me off, shouted really racist things and so I walked away quicker, but then they started throwing snowballs at me, and ran in front of me to throw it in my face." The gang made the road unsafe for three straight days. David Garner, the University of York Press Officer, told Vision that "our security staff were alerted to the incidents during the cold weather. They responded and informed North Yorkshire Police who also attended."
Tuesday March 6, 2012
DERWENT DONATES CRIME FALLS By Bethany porter A UNIVERSITY of York student has began campaigning to get more of us to sign onto the organ donor register. Following the hospitalisation of his close friend and secondyear student Matthew Stein, Adam Bennett, a fellow student, arranged a 'Derwent Donor Day' to cheer him up. The event, which was promoted via Facebook, took place Wednesday Week five, with Bennett and friends camping out in D-Bar, handing out leaflets and signing people up on the spot. Speaking to Vision Adam said, "Matt had mentioned to me in the past he wanted to do an organ donor drive at some point. However, when it became obvious his condition had begun to deteriorate and he himself would be too unwell, I decided to organise a donation day to try and cheer him up and to get people to sign up."
ing the Christmas holidays in Hospital, his lung function had reduced such that he hasn't been able to return to study this term. He is currently undergoing radiotherapy, and although the condition has drastically decreased his life expectancy, Stein will hope to return to the University where he was once such an active member - including being a contributor to Vision. Bennett has been pleased with the successes they've achieved so far. "The campaign for raising awareness about organ donation and Matt's story has been far more successful
than I ever imagined. If support continues I'll put on another event for people to sign up."
TOO UNWELL According to the NHS, over 10,000 people in the UK are currently on transplant waiting lists, and of these 1,000 each year die due to the lack of organs available. Only 29% of the population are registered donors. To join the Donator Register you can do so at www.organdonation.nhs.uk, or at the campus Health Centre. Photo: www.facebook.com/Jamestphoto
RAISING AWARENESS Computer Sciences student, Matthew Stein underwent a lung transplant in 2008 following a severe case of pneumonia. However, his body has began rejecting the transplant, and after spend-
Adam Bennett (far left) and Matthew Stein (far right)
By Elizabeth bingham A REPORT by the University of York Security Services has revealed that crime on Campus has fallen by 28% this year. There were 52 crimes reported between October and February this year, down from 73 last year. Criminal damage saw the greatest fall: from 14 to just four cases. Burglaries fell from 12 to seven. In other areas, the changes have been less dramatic. The University has responded positively to the new figures and highlighted their active role in the reduction. Press Officer David Garner stated, "security has staged a series of workshops to give students help and advice on crime prevention. The response from students has been positive â€“ quick thinking by a student in reporting suspicious activity in the Halifax College area resulted in the apprehension of one youth and the recovery of three stolen bicycles." Bike theft accounts for 60% of the crimes on campus this academic year. Numbers have been decreasing; a police initiative, Operation Spoke, concluded there had been a 55% reduction between 2010 and 2011, but the trend is slowing down.
In February 2012, cases were down to 32 from 35, showing that more must be done if numbers are to fall further. YUSU Welfare Officer Bob Hughes commented to Vision that, "it is great news to hear that crime rates are going down, but we must still remain vigilant and make sure that we keep working to reduce them further. "
CRIME PREVENTION "There are many more projects that YUSU, the University and the wider city will be working on to reduce this further, such as 'Neighbourhood Watch' schemes for areas with high student numbers." The reduction of campus crime mirrors an overall reduction in crime in the city of York. The York County Sheriff Annual report shows a decrease by 256 reported criminal acts from 2010 to 2011. Similarly, records show that crime in York has been decreasing steadily since 2005. This year York was ranked fourth in the Complete University Guide's "How Safe is Your City" ranking. Chief Inspector Dave Hannon, commented: "This is no time for complacency. The police will do everything in its power to keep our communities safe."
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
GRADUATE-LY DESPAIRING FOR JOBS
GRADUATES ARE HAVING TO SETTLE FOR JOBS THEY DON'T ACTUALLY WANT
ith the current figure of 25% graduate unemployment a terrifying prospect to all, news that the graduate jobs market is tough competition seems blatantly obvious. Given that one in four graduates will inevitably return home to their family, live on parental income and begin a depressing job search that may last more than six months, many students are living with a niggling fear of what their future might look like. Optimists might look at the glass halffull and reason how the figure indicates that 75% of us will be employed six months after graduation (64% for us York graduates). To get the job of our dreams, it could be reasonable to assume that all you need to do is remain in that top 60% or so. But what this figure is telling us is that 75% of graduates will have a job six months after graduation. This includes working the till in a supermarket, waitressing in a cafe, or pouring pints in a pub, and it doesn’t even have to be full-time. The percentage of recent graduates in full-time graduate positions, let alone in their desired sector, is much, much lower. Some of us have parents who are able (and willing) to support us while we hold out for our dream job. But most of us don’t, or are unwilling to return to a state of pre-
university dependence. I know of one recent York graduate who is about to finish her master's at Warwick University. Her ideal job is to work in international peacekeeping. Currently, she is interviewing for graduate positions at Nestlé, the confection-
More and more of us are taking what we can get, rather than what we really want. ary company. One student I met recently is studying investment banking at Lancaster. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is not leading to a job in investment banking. Instead, he is looking at work in the finance department of non-financial firms. The difference between Goldman Sachs and these jobs is kind of like the difference between Chanel and Marks and Spencer in the fashion world. More and more of us are taking what we can get, rather than what we really want. It makes one common application form question, ‘why company X, Y, OR Z?’, inspire particular falsity. The correct answer is to proclaim yourself ‘passionate’ about all the
things in the company’s self-description, while pretending that this is the only firm you have applied to, rather than the generally more accurate answers: "Because there is 25% graduate unemployment and I need to maximise my chances of a job/I want to live and work in London and I don’t care what I do/every other company has rejected me and you’re my last resort." These strategies can turn against you, though. The worst feeling is when you’re unsuccessful in applying to a firm you’re actually passionate about, and you know that those who have been successful are probably less passionate. At the end of the day, it’s not really about passion; as a graduate you are ranked according to your degree, university and extra-curriculars and matched to a suitable position. Even in these times, Oxbridge candidates will be welcomed with open arms by almost all graduate recruiters. Unfortunately for us, York’s name does not open quite so many doors. It makes for desperate and depressing job seeking. Even our own University careers service advises us on its website to ‘be realistic’ about our job prospects. Read: better a rubbish job than Job Seeker’s Allowance. Economists call this particular period ‘structural adjustment’, as there is some short-term pain while the economy re-ad-
FACING PROBLEMS SYRIA: WITH ONLINE JOURNALISTS IN CAMPAIGNING SERIOUS TROUBLE
ommunication was the buzzword of the 2012 elections, appearing in most manifestos, and nearly every campaign speech (I say this as someone who sat through most of them). What did this mean to the candidates? Emails, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, v-blogs, podcasts: this was a year in which the internet was at the forefront. Candidates considered internet presence a crucial part of their campaign, and anyone with a Facebook account was inundated with campaign pledges, messages, posts and status updates. Considering the postering ban and the strict rules on personal campaigning, the web seemed a logical solution. It’s easy to respond quickly to events, access many voters and, most importantly for the tightly budgeted candidates, it’s free. Though it may have seemed annoying at times, internet campaigning was a democratic boon for voters too. It allowed candidates to access more of us than they ever could by trawling campus. Yet, despite the importance of the web, the YUSU election rules on electronic and online campaigning were brief and ambiguous. In fact, two online bans, both to presidential candidates, were handed out during elections fortnight: one 24-hour internet ban to Kallum Taylor and a full online ban
four days before the polls closed to James Carney. Candidates, according to election rules, are responsible for any rule-breaking done by their supporters. Neither candidate in these cases broke the rules themselves; both were penalised for the methods used by those acting on their behalf. It seems a lot to ask of candidates that as well as campaigning they must control all who endorse them too. The rules themselves also are very misleading, particularly with regards to social networking. They dictate that “any campaigning must, in principle, be visible to all YUSU voters”. The example given is that posting on walls of ‘open’ pages is allowed but not ‘closed’ pages. Therefore, if taken literally, even supporting your favourite candidate in a status update or tweet would be against the rules. Neither the returning officer nor the candidate themselves can police the internet and the penalties for breaking the rules are not clearly laid out either. Carney’s ban in particular seems inordinately harsh considering he himself didn’t commit the offence in question. With the continual use of the internet, the rules must be looked at again to ensure against claims of foul play on behalf of innocent unsuspecting candidate.
find it quite amazing that we can get on a plane and be in Syria in nine hours or so. A further hour and a half, if flying to Damascus, and you reach the city of Homs. Homs is, according to Lonely Planet, ‘most welcoming’ .The city has been in existence for over a millennium and according to the tourist guides, it sounds like a charming place to kick back and relax for a couple of days. This is the Syria that I find relatable. Not Homs now, which has become associated with words such as ‘massacre’ and ‘bloodshed’ as well as with the deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik. Aside from the recent deaths, the currently unknown whereabouts of journalists Edith Bouvier, Javier Espinosa and William Daniels and the miraculous escape of Paul Convoy demonstrate that over the last week something in Homs has gone drastically wrong. So why isn’t there a set way to help journalists escape when the situation gets too dangerous? I find it deeply disturbing that in most cases of warfare, with which journalism is required, the only form of protection they receive is from their own military side. As of Thursday morning all diplomats will have left Syria, but what is meant to happen if, like in Syria, there is no allied
justs for long term gain. Maybe this period is inevitable and will lead to a stronger and better structured economy but for now this uncertainty is our future and the adjustment is to our lives. Perhaps the graduate who is passionate about journalism but lands an insurance job will develop a love for insurance. Perhaps it will lead to exciting forays into financial journalism. Or perhaps they will be stuck for the rest of their lives in a job they despise, living for weekends and four weeks off a year. In these circumstances the job market is a gamble and the most we can do is increase our chances. As an anxious second-year in the middle of internship applications, let me assure you that it is never too early to try to jump on to the corporate ladder. First year is one of three years of your university career, and does count. All applications ask you for your current level of achievement and require a 2:1 minimum. If there’s a career you’re passionate about, start looking for work experience. We need work experience to get a penultimate year internship, and an internship to get a graduate job. Get involved in extra-curriculars. It shows you’re committed, organised, and interesting. Don’t delay and just get on it. Your future self will thank you for it.
Katherine birdwood army, or diplomats? The journalists are simply left in the hands of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent which they don’t feel they can trust. This international crisis begs the question of whether diplomats should be the last ones out of the country when things go wrong. Of course, one response would be that journalists should leave at the first sign of trouble, but this argument is redundant. It is the journalist's personal choices that makes them stay, while diplomats can be said to have a duty to any of their nationals left in the country when concerning a war zone. It is definitely time to assess what way we, as an international community, should respond to an increasingly common problem. Perhaps alongside the UN Security Council’s upcoming decision on Saturday, they should find a way of negotiating a ‘final escape’ plan for war correspondents. It is tragic that in many respects we do not seem to take the situation in Syria for journalists seriously. Maybe it is because the freedom of the press and our rightsbased societies makes the circumstances in Syria hard to relate to. Regardless of the why, it remains apparent that though they chose their profession and chose to fight for freedom of speech, they deserve to be better protected.
THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER? EMAIL COMMENT@YORKVISION.CO.UK
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
THE VOICE OF
ongratulations to all successful candidates in this year's YUSU elections! A closely fought presidential race saw Special K edge out Nacho in the battle of the corn-based products while James Carney was nowhere to be seen. Judging by his Twitter feed he was off nailing himself to a cross somewhere. Yes, after he was punished by the Returning Officer for illegal campaigning Carney really did compare himself to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Don't worry James, I'm sure the Messiah will sympathise with you, after all, being banned from campaigning online and going through a crucifixion are basically one and the same... What was most surprising about this year's results is that there were no real surprises. For the first time in living memory the YUSU exit poll actually managed to successfully predict the winners of every sabbatical position. This didn't take away from the excitement of the night however – The Lounge proved an excellent venue, even if the bar was five rows deep in thirsty onlookers, live-bloggers in search of inspiration, and a menagerie of oversized animals. Kevin the Cow made an appearance, as did unsuccessful Racial Equalities candidate Vish the Fish, but most weirdly, Peter Warner-Medley turned up dressed as a penguin. No, I don't know why either...
Thumbs up to...
erwent student Adam Bennett, who has been pulling out all the stops to get students to register as organ donors. After hearing the deeply upsetting news that his close friend Matthew Stein, who requires a lung transplant, has been admitted to hospital, Bennett decided to arrange a 'Derwent Donor Day', at which students were encouraged to sign up to donate their organs to other when they die, so that people like Matthew have a chance to continue with their lives as best as possible. With Stein stuck in hospital undergoing radiotherapy, Bennett is keen to help cheer up his friend by putting on another recruitment event if there is enough interest, and we wish him the best of luck. This an incredibly touching story of friendship, and with Stein himself being a former Vision contributor we here encourage you all to sign up to this great and simple scheme which can help so many people.
Thumbs down to...
he University groundsmen! With the welcome disappearance of the snow and the weather improving, college sport players were just starting to get back into the swing of things when a little bit of rain caused both the college rugby semi-finals and college football to be cancelled on Sunday. The decision to cancel football was admittedly understandable, with the pitches becoming a bit of a mudbath (though this is hardly a change from what we're used to...) but cancelling the rugby was madness. You can't just go round cancelling games every time it rains, and if anyone's used to rolling around in mud it's rugby players. With the college sport schedule already so far behind schedule the rugby was one of the rare outdoor sports that looked like it might come to some kind of conclusion, but now fixtures are going to have to be crammed in left, right and centre for us to be able to crown our college rugby kings.
t is not only York’s ever-increasing popularity and recognition as a leader among British universities that encourages so many highly desirable candidates (in other words, Oxbridge rejects) to apply, but its wealth of unique qualities too. Alongside Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Kent and Lancaster, it is one of the few universities in England to be made up of colleges. The opportunity for each person to choose not only their first year accommodation, but also a community with whom they will be associated and which will form a major part of their social and academic life, is a very attractive prospect. Admittedly, the prospect of spending three or more years linked with Langwith or Halifax may not be as glamorous as one might originally hope. Yet the disproportionate amount of money being spent on developing Hes East causes some serious issues to the way the college system is run, changes that might ruin one of the most attractive aspects of coming to this university. The problem seems to consist of the fact that the all seeing eye of Heslington Hall is solely focussed on the development of Hes East when there are still serious issues that need to be addressed on the current main campus. Derwent is going to inherent a range of problems that the university has not prepared for.
THE UNIVERSITY'S FOCUS ON HES EAST HAS LEFT SERIOUS PROBLEMS FOR HES WEST One example is the recent fire in the Chemistry labs. If the University had taken adequate precautions to ensure that safety regulations were properly implemented the fire may not have happened. We may soon find that the fire was the first in a line of problems that
The all seeing eye of Heslington Hall is solely focussed on the development of Hes East when there are still serious issues that need to be addressed on the current main campus. the University has failed to deal with due to their overexcitement over the new Hes East complex. We are getting to the point now where we are not only having to worry about mouldy showers and leaky ceilings, but actual, genuine threats to the safety of our staff and students. With the revelation that several of the University’s Hes West buildings are now in critical condition, it is imperative that the Hes Hall bigwigs invest in the old campus before it’s dead beyond repair and Derwenters find themselves sleeping in a pile of sew-
age infested rubble. Meanwhile those in Goodricke and over in the new Langwith will be swanning about in brand spanking new accommodation blocks, reticent to venture across to the dilapidated old campus in fear of meeting its mob of inhabitants. The lower quality in accommodation will almost certainly create a large disparity between the students on Hes East and Hes West. Richer students will be attracted to the new complex while those from worse economic backgrounds will find themselves in the old blocks. We might find that university unity is broken down as the students begin to seem themselves in two separate miniuniversities, not as one collective whole. What I’m saying is that the University is breaking up in more ways than one. The way it is letting its buildings slowly disintegrate into an irreparable state will end up with Heslington West becoming an unwanted hovel for unfortunate students who cannot afford the lavish conditions laid on by the University on its favoured Hes East. Yet, all these problems are avoidable. We'll need a combination of improvements on the Hes West campus as well as more whole campus events that will ensure Freshers think of the university as one large central body. For this to happen it will take unprecedented co-operation between YUSU and Heslington Hall. But it won't be easy.
SENTAMU'S SAINTLY SUN
any typically strange sights could be witnessed in the inaugural copy of the latest addition to Murdoch’s media empire, the Sun on Sunday. On page three there was the familiar naked female, in this case Kelly Rowland, captioned by characteristically hilarious puns. Further inside, there was a photo of popular BBC children’s presenter Holly Willoughby in a leatherstudded catsuit. The main piece, meanwhile, concerned Amanda Holden’s recent “birth ordeal”. Understandably, the editor decided this warranted five pages of coverage, and that it should run with the headline: "I heard a splash ... it was Amanda's blood hitting the floor". Quite a beautiful image to have on a quiet Sunday morning. The strangest sight of all, however, arrives on page 13. In the comment section, alongside pieces by political editor Tom Newton Dunn and intellectual Katie Price, was a column by another new member of the Sun on Sunday’s team, none other than local celebrity and man of God, Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. In his column, he announces that “Lent is not the time to point the finger at each other.” Unfortunately for Sentamu, I have decided that his decision to become a weekly columnist for a paper and establishment linked with phone-hacking, illegal police payments and general sleazy behaviour does in fact warrant the finger-pointing treatment.
ARCHBISHOP SENTAMU HAS SHOWN MORAL HYPOCRISY BY WRITING FOR THE SUN ON SUNDAY
First of all, there seems an intrinsic hypocrisy in such a high-ranking cleric – one supposedly standing for moral values such as unity, compassion and equality – wishing to associate himself with an establishment that incites hostilities against minority groups, objectifies women and foments prejudice. As early as page two there is a piece headlined “Brits Fail Test of Britishness”. On reading the article, it emerges that one could also read this as “Too Many Foreigners Here”.
There seems an intrinsic hypocrisy in such a highranking cleric wishing to associate himself with an establishment that incites hostilities against minority groups. Hailing from Uganda, I am sure Sentamu agrees with these views wholeheartedly. The encouragement of such views can only be a good thing as well. The rest of the paper includes debodiced women, celebrity gossip and patriotism verging on xenophobia…all very holy. Perhaps it was on hearing Sentamu’s strong anti-gay marriage rhetoric in an interview with the Daily Telegraph earlier this year that the Sun decided he
was the missing piece from their dream columnist team. The fact that all the money he makes from writing these articles goes to charity is beside the point. Were it simply that he was writing for the Sun with a neutral voice, using it simply to give people his religious advice, then perhaps forgiveness could be granted out of respect for freedom of speech. Instead, however, he chooses to deliberately endorse the Sun, in what can only be described as a less-than-subtle manner. In the first section of his article, for instance, he praises the power of God’s forgiveness and the value of honesty and humility. Fair enough for an archbishop, but he then goes on to conclude with these words: “With that in mind, live in hope, free from fear. Embrace every day that God puts before you with confidence.. And if you can buy the Sun seven days a week, even better!”. Celestial praise there. Is he implying that God endorses the Sun as well? This is unclear and unfortunately something we will probably never know. What is clear, however, is that the Sun’s questionable ethics are becoming increasingly exposed. The recent resignation of James Murdoch from News International illustrates this. If Sentamu wishes to lay claim to any sort of moral integrity, he must be more discerning about the company he keeps. He must protect himself from the Sun or risk succumbing to the cancer of hypocrisy.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
ATHEISM HAS HIT ROCK BOTTON max sugarman
KALLUM TAYLOR ENJOYS HIS FIRST MEETING AT HES HALL AS YUSU PREZ
SHOULD UNIVERSITIES TAKE ECONOMIC BACKGROUND INTO ACCOUNT IN THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS? Benjamin HARRY dilks DORRANCE-KING
t is not very often that the Tory-led coalition can been seen as acting in the interest of students; however, the government's appointment of Professor Les Ebdon as the new Head of the Office for Fair Access should be praised. Ebdon is a controversial figure to say the least. The Daily Mail will have you believe his chief aim is to introduce a greater number of "Mickey Mouse degrees" and defend what they perceive as "dumbing down" in Higher Education. Even Tory Education Secretary, Michael Gove, is said to have privately condemned Ebdon's appointment as "disastrous". Professor Ebdon has rightly pledged to crack down on institutions that consistently fail to admit students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has threatened to trigger what he describes as the "nuclear" option, by forbidding universities who fail to meet certain quotas from charging the maximum £9,000 in tuition fees. Critics sneer at these proposals, describing them as "social engineering", but in reality, such measures are long overdue. In recent years there have been huge improvements in the education system brought about by heavy investment in state schools from the last government. Despite this, only one per cent of pupils who are entitled to free school meals will receive a place to study at a top 20 university. Just 45 of the 81,000 pupils on free school meals received places to study at Oxford or Cambridge last year, in comparison with an average of 82 each year from Westminster, the exclusive pri-
vate school where Nick Clegg was educated. We must accept that for university education to no longer be the preserve of an elite minority of middle class kids, positive discrimination in the admissions system is absolutely necessary. Professor Ebdon is right to demand that our top institutions be "more flexible" in offering places to those from poorer backgrounds, even if their qualifications are of a lower standard. In the words of NUS President, Liam Burns, "mere lip service from universities about fair access is no longer enough". There is a great deal of scaremongering that forcing the UK's elite institutions to adopt positive discrimination in their admissions systems will damage their reputations internationally. But those who argue that these progressive measures will lead to lower standards in our universities are simply wrong. The evidence base clearly shows that pupils who achieve lower grades under difficult circumstances are likely to perform just as well in terms of eventual degree classification as those with higher grades from more privileged backgrounds. It is undeniable that a pupil from a disadvantaged background who achieves straight As at A Level in the face of adversity has achieved more than a pupil from a school where such results are considered the norm, so why should this not be reflected in the admissions system? Ebdon's favoured approach is about social mobility not social engineering. It is about levelling the playing field, not skewing it.
he government has claimed that economic background should be taken into account, and that we should take affirmative action when assessing university applicants. Yet, in a number of ways, the government has made a very poor decision. I will be the first to say that grades are not alone always the best representative of a persons true academic ability; I myself gained ABC for my A levels. The reason I managed to get my place to read History must either be because they hit the wrong button on UCAS or because the admissions tutor decided after reading my personal statement that I had what it takes to get in. While my difficulties that resulted in those grades were not economic, I think a parallel can be drawn. In cases where economic difficulty has caused lower grades, surely we can put trust in the admissions tutor to be able to see from a personal statement that the person's grades are not always illustrative of candidate ability. To ensure that candidates are judged accurately, we should instead promote a better system where the government provides funding to universities for interviews while at the same time universities remove all minimum requirements (apart from enough of an understanding English to be able to partake in the course). These measures will surely make it easier to work out if a person's exam results are not indicative of their ability and allow those intelligent candidates from poorer backgrounds to be found naturally. If we start skewing the sys-
tem to make economic background more important than grades, we run into a number of problems. The meritocratic system which bases everyone on ability alone falls apart completely. Someone who, on genuine academic and intellectual merit, was the stronger candidate may miss out on a particular place. The candidate who gets in over their intellectual superior may find it hard to keep up with the pace of the course. Usually this will mean leaving university with a lower class of degree than they may have received if they had gone to a university that was better suited to their capabilities. In the long run they’ll find it harder to get a job. Having spoken to friends who work in human resources and recruiting, it seems the classification of degree has a huge psychological impact on how people are chosen for a job. It is better for a candidate to get a high second class degree from Royal Holloway in employment terms rather than a third from York. If we use an arbitrary rule that those from a worse economic background should automatically be allowed access to university with lower grades, we find ourselves in a situation that is not advantageous to anyone. We should hope universities want to be the best institution possible. This is not only done through continual development and good lecturers, but also by giving them the best students possible to teach. Economic background is an issue that can affect grades, but focussing on it is simply hurts universities' reputations and the prospects for the best students.
theism has always been a controversial matter, with the news constantly revealing the tit-for-tat exchanges between senior bishops and disgruntled freethinkers. Recently, however, the disputation for atheists hasn’t been from the usual threat of believers, but instead from the internal squabbling of its best and brightest. The dispute revolves around whether atheism should become more like a religion, with its latest upstart Alain de Botton wanting to build temples of atheism, much to the disapproval of the doctrine’s rather grumpy grandfather, Richard Dawkins. De Botton seems to think that atheism should be celebrated with the same awe inspiring architecture that was created by organised religion. He wants his new temples to celebrate human qualities such as art or friendship. Atheism, he thinks, could combine the best aspects from religions, such as the role of communities and spirituality, without all the 'nasty bits' of war and intolerance. Dawkins’ reply has been that atheism should be a full on rejection of all things concerning religion. He hasn’t been timid in his opinions either, having once likened religion to smallpox and supposedly having looked at the legal possibility of arresting the Pope. Both sides have a different way of interpreting what they think is the best way of non-believing. Yet, what these two seem not to realise is that by arguing against one another they are bringing the worst aspects of religion into atheism themselves. Dawkin’s zeal in arguing his case and De Botton’s rather unusual ideas seem to be turning atheism into some odd cult along the same lines as Bieberism, Scientology and Star Trekism. Atheism, a doctrine that was the intellectual response of philosophers such as David Hume to the radical nature of the church, has begun the slow deliberating process of turning loopy itself. With atheists having to choose either the Dawkinite or de Bottonist camp, atheism has lost the refreshing sensibility that it originally had. In our increasingly secular society, if people begin to accept these new ideas then they will be simply moving from one religion to another. Worst of all, this new religion of Atheism seems to be about enforcing the belief that you shouldn’t believe, a view that seems a little odd and contradictory. What we should realise is that it isn't religious doctrines or different beliefs that cause any of these mad ideas. It is people like Dawkins and De Botton who, like a priest using the Bible to back up a previously held view, use a creed they subscribe to and corrupt it to say what they want. They are trying to turn it into some type of movement when all it should really be is the belief that there is no God. Atheism is a personal view that the existence of God seems implausible, not something to be preached or pushed on people either through buildings or shouting. We should all think ourselves about what we believe and don’t believe and not let an architecture obsessed Swiss or a self-declared Pope Hunter to guide our opinions. So what is there left to do? Well, you can either wallow in despair at the fact that we will never get it right, or you can do what I’m going to do and accept my new, exciting doctrine of sensiblism: the belief that people should just be sensible and do away with all the dogmatism and crazy ideas of atheism and religion. Sensiblism is a brilliant idea, if I don’t say so myself. I think it is such a good idea we should all go around promoting it and forcing people to accept it, and we could build a huge cathedral to discuss and think about it in and… oh wait.
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Tuesday March 6, 2012
Campus Lookalikes Chewbacca
Team America's Gary
Brian - Goodricke Cat
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
LAND OF THE FREE?
SIMON CROWLEY talks magic, tuna and Google, examining the problems of the free economy...
hate magic. There, I’ve said it and I am not going to take it back. It’s full of lies and deceit and should not be allowed on the television. I’ve never been a massive fan of the magician’s way, but my distrust has been cemented after I recently tried to attend the BBC’s Saturday night
my way. They both chimed together with a tone of familiar annoyance that, yes, it was full. Perplexed by the situation that was unfolding in front of my eyes I decided to dig a little deeper, for you see, with my ticket I assumed that my seat would be guaranteed. I was wrong. The short,
Stars of the mind-bending BBC show, The Magicians. prime time live show of The Magicians. I say tried, because no matter how hard I fought, I wasn’t allowed in the venue. That’s not to say I was forcibly ejected or was told that I am not good looking enough to be in a television audience (I assure you I am a dashing and handsome young man), but I was told that they weren’t letting anyone else in. When I approached the entrance (having just dropped my belongings off at the local Premier Inn), I was met by a police van and two women in jackets with the production company’s
dumpy lady informed me that the company that produces the show intentionally send out too many tickets, so they can guarantee a full audience. Too many tickets? As I surveyed the scene around me, I could tell by the children in tears and the disgruntled parents that a similar blow of a message had been delivered to them as well. I then understood the need for the police. After travelling back to the ‘comfort’ of my hotel room, I rushed on to the internet to check the terms and conditions of my ticket. My downfall was
"A free ticket I had found on the internet had a sneaky little deceit that reared its costly face." logo on. I immediately produced my printed ticket and asked to be directed to the entrance. I was met with a condescending look and an impolite no. Well this cannot be, I explained to the young hoodlums that were so flippant in barring my entrance, I told them that I have tickets for this event and that if they wanted to have a complete audience, they must move aside and let me and my cohort into the venue. With no punches pulled, I was bluntly told that the audience was full. 'Full?' I demandingly asked the two small women in front of me that were blocking
there in the small print. I was a little peeved to say the least. A free ticket I had found on the internet had a sneaky little deceit that reared its costly face. I felt that I had received the backlash of the 'free'. In today’s consumerist culture, it is not uncommon for a company to employ an economic model that relies on giving stuff away for free. The notion of the 'free' is rapidly becoming a pillar of the standard modus operandi. I think we can all be honest and admit to going to supermarkets and buying something because it’s buy-one-get-one-free. I my-
self have bought so much tuna on buy-one-get-one-free offers, that I personally feel responsible for the state of fish stocks in the North Sea. Though not a massive eater of tuna, like many before me I still saw the word free and my eyes lit up. Although this is not meant to be an apology to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, my tuna hoarding does show a method of economics called the cross-subsidised model. This is where, in this case tuna, you receive something free if you bought something else or paid for a service. My tuna analogy presents a problem with this use of 'free'. Supermarkets use the promotion of free products to draw the public into their stores and plan on customers spending money on other items, not just tuna. 'Free' in this sense is offset by the purchase of other goods in store. What might seem like a good deal at the time turns out to be a marketing ploy by big businesses to draw you in to spending money in other areas that often make up for the loss on the tuna. Getting supposedly 'free' stuff doesn’t just stop at the buy-oneget-one-free offers at your local supermarket, or tickets to view a BBC TV show live at no monetary cost for that matter. The ‘freeconomic’ model employed by big internet businesses has become one of the most popular forms of business types on the net. Technology has improved so much that companies can offer services for free, and make their money from advertising and popularity. Take popular mega internet businesses like Google. The popular website offers a wide range of services from its main staple of search engine to free programs and apps, even (its attempt at) social networking. This is all provided free of charge, yet Google is still a billion dollar company. Another example of a popular web based company is Facebook, which relies heavily on advertising to maintain a free social networking service. Their main selling point is "It's free and always will be", which attracts and maintains valuable users. There would certainly be an uproar if a monthly membership fee was introduced, so instead Facebook gains money by advertising. And this method works: Facebook had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011. In return for advertisements covering the sides of the news feed, website users can chat to and connect with friends for no immediate cost whatsoever. All this free stuff seems great, right?
Well most of the time it’s great, don’t get me wrong. As a student I appreciate free stuff as much as the next person. Seemingly unlimited free Dominoes pizza slices are the highlight of Fresher's Fair for many new students at the beginning of the Autumn term. But sometimes, free stuff does come at a cost.
to magic. The ticket itself for the show turned out to be worthless, unless I managed to get there ridiculously early to get to the front of the queue. I would even go as far as calling it Schrodinger’s ticket. That’s the trouble with 'free': economies are based upon it, but value of free is often equated
"I myself have bought so much tuna on buy-one-get-one-free offers, that I personally feel responsible for the state of North sea fish stocks." Remember the Sony Playstation hacking scandal of 2011? Well, after the network had been hacked repeatedly, Sony issued an apology to all those who had been affected. That was it. Just a single apology. Even though credit card details had been stolen. This in turn caused a public outcry at the treatment of the consumer and lawsuits were filed. But Sony had the trump card. They were providing a free service, which meant that they weren’t culpable for disruptions to the service. There was a general consensus amongst customers that Sony’s apology was a bit like ‘so what?’ Post hacking, and even more infuriatingly Sony changed their terms and conditions to take even less responsibility for any problems with the network.
to nothing. When the value to a company is practically worthless then there is no consideration behind it. For me, a sour taste was left in my mouth - not from the £4.40 pint of lager I bought from Premier Inn, not from being stuck in Staines overnight (don’t do it to yourself, it’s really not worth it), and not even from the 240 mile round trip but from the fact that this is a standard way for companies to work. They simply didn’t care, and having people waste their time and money is not their concern, for after all, you can’t complain about something that is free. Like magic, I hope you enjoy the illusion of 'free' and are lucky enough to never have to stumble upon its deceit. I have seen the effects first hand.
Buy-one-get-one-free deals are common supermarket ploys. This attitude of it's-free-so-don’tcomplain-if-it-breaks shows the value that companies can put on a free product. The value of the product is vastly diminished, and in some cases the corporate responsibility depreciates on the same scale. That brings me back round
Sadly for the children and parents I saw, the backlash of the 'free' reared its ugly head, destroying childhood memories and angering parents looking forward to a costless night. Everyone should be made aware of the real cost and darker side of 'free' things.
YORK VISION YORK VISION
Tuesday March 6, 2012
Tuesday March 6, 2012
No more suffering in silence
AMY MOSS investigates shocking recent statistics revealing young people are most at risk of domestic violence, and the importance of learning about this issue at school
ast year Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions and a Human Rights Advisor, warned that teenage girls between 16 and 19, closely followed by girls aged 20 and 24, are now the group most at risk of domestic violence. If you Google ‘teen domestic violence’, many results will come from Women’s Aid, but it is hugely important to remember that between 2008-2009 (the most recent data available from the Home Office), it was men that were the victims of 40% of domestic violence cases. Furthermore, T.E.A.R (Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships) state that more than one in four teenagers in a relationship reported
Student Rebecca*, now in her twenties, was 15 years old when she started seeing Mark*. When I met her to speak about her experience in that relationship, she explained that at the start it was nothing but a loving, tight bond between the pair. “We started off very intensely, spending most of our time together and when we weren't together, we would speak on the phone for hours. We said that we loved each other very early on and we actually ended up being together for about three years in total.” It is often in these initial stages of a relationship, especially when we are young and less experienced, when we may get disillusioned by the relationship and not notice the signs
"There was also the verbal abuse: he would tell me that I was fat and unattractive and that the only thing he wanted me for was sex." enduring repeated verbal abuse and, sadly, nearly eighty per cent of girls that have been victims of physical abuse within a relationship continue to date the abuser. In light of these shockingly high statistics, I found it important to explore the topic thoroughly by talking to someone directly affected by domestic abuse throughout their teenage years, before concluding that not only should young people be made more aware of the risks, but that it should be studied as part of the curriculum.
that things are going wrong. I asked Rebecca when she realised her relationship with Mark was not quite right and she noted that “he was quite possessive, but I didn't think anything of it to begin with. Then the possessiveness would gradually turn into stronger reactions and then into anger. It crept up on me and without me realising, it got to the point where he was telling me where to be and when, not letting me leave his house if I wanted to and physically locking me in his room.” It is at
Women's Aid want greater legal protection for abuse victims.
this point, observes the information website ‘Domestic Violence’ (www.domesticviolence.co.uk), that victims may try and make excuses for their partner. In the list of ten myths about domestic violence provided on the website, they list “it is because of all the terrible things his or her parents did” as an excuse for the abuse, but go on to explain that “it is a conscious decision to harm a loved one, and no amount of past mistakes or history make domestic violence or spousal abuse right.” The statistic that eighty per cent of abused women stay with their partner is easy to understand when considering that it is usually a gradual, almost unnoticeable change, along with a drop in self-esteem from the victim, which causes them to blame themselves for what is being inflicted upon them. Rebecca explains how, “aside from the physical abuse there was also the verbal abuse; he would tell me that I was fat and unattractive, that I was stupid and boring and that the only thing he wanted me for was sex.” This verbal abuse can be as harmful as physical abuse as, though it may not be noticeable on the surface, it can cause terribly low self-esteem. This is very worrying, especially as teenage years are such a peak time for development, for finding one’s own character and ‘way in the world’. Rebecca went on to say, “when he started to physically abuse me, I had such low self-esteem that I didn't even care what happened to me, because I felt like nothing.” Although this sad story strikes a chord within many young women and men across the country and indeed across the world suffering from domestic abuse, it is the ending that inspired me most. When I asked Rebecca how she left the relationship, she said that it took one final moment of abuse for her to realise that she deserved better. “We were at a festival and he had been standing behind me whilst all our friends listened to a band, whispering in my ear that I was a whore and that I was disgusting, pulling my hair back sharply so I couldn't move. All my friends saw but didn't say anything, maybe they felt awkward because it was hard to watch. I realised there and then that the only way I was going to escape him was to take charge of my life and demand better for myself, and try to regain what he had taken from my confidence.” Rebecca was 18 at this point and although running away is not always feasible or the right
for Avon’s campaign to help those suffering domestic violence, told People magazine that she talks to her children, Ava, 12 and Deacon, 8, about the issue of domestic violence, especially as her daughter is nearly old enough to be in a relationship herself. She said, "we talk about domestic vio-
are people and services which can help them should be taught to everyone.” As these alarming statistics on teenage domestic abuse continue to rise, and attention is turned to what is undoubtedly a global problem, it is time to lift the lid on what it is really
"Don't stay in a relationship that is abusive just because you don't think anyone else will love you, they will."
Nearly 80% of girls that have been victims of physical domestic abuse by their boyfriends are still dating the abuser. thing to do, this time Rebecca took the opportunity to do something amazing that she had wanted to do for a long time, but that she may not have had the confidence or indeed the capacity to do before. “He would never let me leave him, he would physically restrain me from leaving him, but one day I left him a letter and snuck out when he was sleeping
tion that you can accept that you deserve better and you can walk away. When I, astounded by her bravery and her determinedness to set an example to others, asked what inspired Rebecca’s courage that day, she described her grandmother, who many years ago, sadly, was faced with the same situation. Married at 17
to eventually become the head teacher of a primary school.” Rebecca and her Nan’s story are both inspirational and in her words “these are individual examples but the message is exactly the same.” She points out that although “verbal abuse is harder to spot” you must consider “if they are making you feel low, draining your confidence and
and men about self-esteem, self respect, and to have mechanisms in place so people can report problems." Personally, I cannot recall a single PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) lesson that covered domestic violence, though I spent at least ten learning how to spot a stale biscuit or an off yoghurt (important,
"I think that covering this topic within the curriculum would give young people the knowledge and confidence to speak up or make a change in their own lives, or in that of a friend's and go some way to changing the high statistics of young people suffering abuse." and changed my number. I had been working for a while, had a bit of money saved up, so took what I had, and booked the next flight to South East Asia and left to go travelling and try to come to terms with what had happened in the last three years of my life.” Getting over something like this is never easy, as Rebecca explains, “The day I got there I just cried to a complete stranger” but what stories such as Rebecca’s do is prove to people in a similar situa-
and having children immediately afterwards, she too was a victim of teenage domestic abuse. “Her husband was verbally and physically abusive; he prevented her from going to college to get a teaching degree, as this would give her freedom from him. However, one day she decided to take control and enrolled in night classes at a local college; she would study while he was asleep. As soon as she got her degree, she took her kids and left him and worked her way up
making your life worse”. If they are, this is not love, this is abuse. Domestic abuse, be it physical or verbal, directly affects self esteem and remains a large project for both the government and NGOs to increase awareness and help those suffering in silence. As Chief constable Carmel Napier, the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on domestic violence, said to the Guardian, "we need to work in schools, colleges and universities to educate young women
I know, but not exactly on the same scale). The website www. thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk provides a very factual and supportive website for teens and even includes discussion boards where help and advice can be offered if required; it is important that services such as this are publicised and talked about openly. On Wednesday 29th February 2012, Reese Witherspoon, the American star who shot to fame in teen favourite Legally Blonde and now the global ambassador
lence and what that means... Although the concept is somewhat foreign to them, they're starting to understand that this happens to families in our country and all throughout the world." This education is something that is vitally important. Kitty Tester, a second year Philosophy student who has volunteered in schools, completely agrees with Witherspoon’s frank approach to speaking about the subject with her children: “I believe it's crucial to raise awareness of domestic violence in any capacity in schools and colleges as it can be a confusing and difficult subject to explain, and for adolescents to spot. I think that covering this topic within the curriculum would give young people the knowledge and confidence to be able to speak up or make a change in their own lives, or in that of a friends and go some way to changing the high statistics of young people suffering abuse.” When I asked Rebecca if she felt putting the issue on the curriculum would make a difference to the number of teens living with an abusive relationship and feeling there is nothing they can do to change their situation, she said “teaching young people about what the personal boundaries in relationships are would help people to recognise sooner when they are in a destructive relationship and if their own rights are being violated.” When I mentioned the lack of inclusion of the issue in school curriculum, meaning many helplines and websites remain under the radar, she hastily agreed and said that “teaching young people about what they can do if they get into a destructive relationship would be beneficial, because most of the time, it's a feeling of isolation and that no-one would believe you or be able to help you, so knowing that there
like to be in an abusive relationship and alert young people to the prospect of it happening to them, how to spot it if it does and who to turn to in order to get help leaving, if they feel they are trapped. Rebecca offers this poignant message to others dealing with domestic violence; “take control and know that you don't deserve this, you deserve better and you
can get better, don't stay in a relationship that's abusive just because you don't think anyone else will love you, they will.” And it is this message that I feel should be emblazoned in every PSHE folder in the country. Bob Hughes, the YUSU Welfare Officer offers this advice to anyone suffering domestic abuse: “If you're worried that you or a friend might be suffering from domestic abuse, there are plenty of people you can talk to in confidence. You can talk privately with YUSU's Advice and Support Centre in James College, talk to services like Nightline or contact Open Door, the on-campus counselling service. All of these services can help you safely and privately discuss your concerns, even those about a friend or housemate, and offer you information and support throughout. Please don't suffer in silence: even if you're unsure about what's happening or how to talk about it, there are plenty of people here to make sure you can get support.” *Names have been changed for confidentiality.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, there are many people you can talk to and resources to look at: www.teensagainstabuse.org www.domesticviolence.org Nightline (a confidential listening and information service): visit the flat in Wentworth E Block, call 01904 323735 or email email@example.com (open any night in term-time 8pm-8am but emails can be sent 24/7) Open Door: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Miquita Oliver has boosted awareness for domestic violence.
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
SLEEP ALL DAY, PARTY ALL NIGHT GEORGINA STRAPP looks at whether the cliché holiday experience truly is a rite of passage...
rom the ‘Gap Yah’ in Thailand, where the British student population migrates to Asia to get drunk for a month or so, to ‘bangin’ doe’ in Malia, our first attempts to enjoy independence (or spend our newly accessible savings) are starting to look a bit predictable. Are they the best and most compassionate experiences we could be having during our summers? British teenagers, when travelling abroad, have been labelled the ‘worst behaved in Europe’, and it probably costs us the best part of 800 pounds to be so on the standard girls or lads week in Greece or Spain. When tickets for the ‘booze cruise’ all day boat party cost up to 50 euros, at least the girls can rely on getting some free drinks in exchange for
only way they’re going to get a good bailout is by making sure Europe is drunk enough to give them money). One York fresher and veteran of Ayia Napa admitted avoiding Malia as he was worried that all the girls there would be "a bit young". So at least some of the lads going to ´Napa have standards… they will avoid children. Other than that they don’t seem too fussy. When asked to elaborate on the experiences of this holiday the said fresher decided the life experiences gained made him realise how much "pikeys hate rich people" (with the feeling being mutual) and that drinking for 10 days in a row in 30 degree heat is not enjoyable. I hope our rugby team has since taught him better than maxing out be-
A student favourite: Thailand's infamous Full Moon Party.
some (slightly unstable) dancing on the bars – preferably flashing half the club in the process. The poor lads on the other hand have the added cost of drinks to worry about to ensure that both themselves and their targets aren’t conscious enough to realise that whatever they’re rubbing up to has a nice layer of sweat, chip grease and wine over the sunburn. So how do you choose which identical looking strip to subject yourself to for a week? As the Spanish police started to get a little bit stricter on rowdy be-
fore 10 days. The typical clubbing holiday therefore might not shape our future or change our outlooks on life, but you can’t deny it’s an experience that most people would repeat (if avoiding the exact strips and beach with those slightly unsavoury memories). This has become a rite of passage that is as unoriginal as it is unhealthy, but after 3 years of exams, destroying our brains is the only real option isn’t it? Malia might have been how I made use of my new found freedom but that doesn’t mean I didn’t at least start with roman-
"After 3 years of exams, destroying our brains is the only real option isn't it?" haviour, resorts began to spring up on most beaches in southern Europe with the Greek islands cashing in noticeably. But now the clubs in the Greek resorts of Zante, Malia, Kos among others are all having to standardise their drinks prices to try and stop us drinking too much (or maybe they’ve just realised the
tic ideas of walking through the cobbled streets of Europe in sunglasses and a flowery summer dress, concentrating on the architecture, bars and cafés before jumping on a train to the next city. This was all before my group of girls decided we wouldn’t actually survive in hostels for a month without washing
facilities or hair straighteners. Or even with each other. Having said that those with the organisation don’t regret the monetary cost, nor the emotional one of trying to plan the holiday whilst doing exams. Package deals come to a grand without taking into account the fact you might need to eat. Whilst planning it on your own can make it cheaper, you will be lucky to have much change from £2000. Inter-railing through Europe is definitely a good choice for first time travellers with the destinations being close to home in culture and distance. When asked about her experience of interrailing, York fresher Sarah, says that, "it felt like a once in a lifetime experience with such freedom. But then again, there are so many routes you could take, it would easily be possible to enjoy another trip - if you have the money." It's also probably an experience more valuable than that of running away from men who decide that when you shout at them and run away you want them to follow you (lesson: same rule with Malia men as with dogs - avoid eye contact and don’t run). As well as providing a crucial lesson in organisation and maturity, Sarah’s inter-railing experience now has given her the "travel bug", making her realise how much she loved travelling and made the idea of being a travel writer appealing, after writing journals and making scrapbooks. Speaking to a male York economics student, at university after a gap year, I found out a bit more about the experience of branching out of Europe all together and venturing into the big cultural contrast that is Asia. It would seem that there definitely was a cultural education to be had through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, but by the time it got to the party areas of Thailand the experience was of "sunbathing on the beach during the day and getting drunk at night with fifty people I knew from home that ended up going out there at the same time." It was still a big experience though despite this. Learning how to "get out of dodgy situations, such as being attacked by a ten year old with a machete," as well as how to think on your feet to look after yourself with no accommodation or specific route planned were all things he valued. And as for the future, he now knows he wouldn’t be happy to spend his whole life behind a desk and at some stage would have to travel more or even work in a different country. So as far as he is concerned, Thailand "might be unoriginal but you meet so many interesting people
Malia is a popular destination for young adults to let off steam.
and it is such a memorable experience it is definitely worth it." Whilst volunteering in an African school or orphanage may not strictly be a holiday, it is nonetheless an experience many teenagers and students are choosing when trying to fill their first summers of independence, as well as their gap years. English and History of Art student Francesca travelled to Cape Town to be a classroom assistant in a country where there was a "minimal language barrier" and so it is still possible to integrate with the local community. By going through a volunteering company she was able to stay with a host family to really experience their way of life as well as making contacts with people that became a second family to her for her time there. The experience was expensive but yet; "The second time (in Morocco, after Cape Town) I went with a cheaper programme with a different organisation, and whilst
a cramped classroom and it was next to impossible to teach them to even read. On top of this they only had one meal provided a day and minimal further support." Despite volunteering being important in making us realise just how privileged we really are (and for Francesca, making her come to the conclusion that she is "not a teacher") there are other, more direct ways to help other people. Whilst Francesca enjoyed the programmes where she made a lot of new and interesting contacts from all over the world, she wouldn’t necessarily go through the same route to volunteer again. The money it costs to volunteer through an organisation (around £100 a week just for the programme) could be put straight into the school rather than being lost on the way, and she says that if it is possible to do so, "in order to purely help as much as possible it would probably be better to organise your-
"It was a shock for a privileged seventeen year old to be working with children with learning difficulties" it was still a good experience, the accommodation was bad. I can handle basic amenities, but this was dirty with four of us in a tiny room. Also, it wasn’t as well organised with very little contact time and the activities at the weekend weren’t well organised either." The experience though is something that clearly seems to stay with you forever: "It made me appreciate what I had. It was a shock for a privileged seventeen year old to be working with children who have learning difficulties resulting from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. In the UK they would have had someone to help them and a free laptop. There though, they had forty pupils to
self. But then you’d miss meeting other volunteers and many weekend activities which were a huge part of the experience." Whilst all these experiences are common with students, at York and other universities, no one I have spoken has regretted any of the travelling they have done, or holidays they've gone on. For many of us money is an issue, and all of the holidays that have been discussed, due to their popularity, tend to cost a lot. Yet it would seem that if you can save enough, and have a temptation to change the scenery and spend your summer somewhere other than the pub, the general consensus among most people is simple: just do it!
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
>Lifestyle k e e W n o i h s a F n o d Lon In this issue:
By Rachel Longhurst, Felicity Peddle, Frances Jennings and Anmoli Sodha
ast year’s winner of the Fashion Fringe prize, Fyodor Golan, was one of the openers for London Fashion Week. Their debut solo on-schedule show heavily featured form-fitted and welltailored designs within a strong colour pallet of white, black, red and metallic gold and olive. Fyodor Golan have stated that the show was inspired by Russian peasantry, the Romanov family and insects; a scene that is fairly difficult to perceive together. Yet the latter is evident through the prints on the flowing skirts and metallic, scalelike detailing within the structuring of some of the dresses. High necklines and fitted bodices feature in all the designs, with the slight exception of the black and jade green dress worn by a model covered in jade green sparkles. The colour of the piece and the glittery display stood it entirely on its own, which ultimately disrupted the coherence of the rest of the co-ordinated collection. Another show stealer, albeit a more congruous one, was the last design to grace the catwalk, a floor length, encrusted, pure-white dress with an avant-garde addition - white chiffon covering both the model’s face and an intricate golden headdress in a style not dissimilar to Lady Gaga’s creations. The overall appearance was slightly hampered by the bull-like nose rings worn by the models, distracting from the designs a little too much and incoherent with the established theme, but the clearly well-made, well-fitted and generally impressive designs did display the designers’ talents within their craft. R.L.
cQ was very WW2 – sombre shades and military boots joined slick hair on a catwalk inspired by autumn leaves. Women were traditional yet flattering – lace met thick tartan, buckles were sewn onto bustier-dresses and fit-and-flare was balanced out with heavy leather boots and belts. Men oozed military chic, and I suddenly felt like a character in every single wartime romance film I’ve ever seen (bar Pearl Harbor – vomit). Clashing prints and textures have been seen all over the LFW catwalk – especially Topshop’s new heroine Mary Katrantzou (she makes me want to cry) – however Sarah Burton’s delicate lace shoulders on structured wool and tulle dresses are the only pieces inspiring me to rock more than one pattern at a time. Men’s contrasting fabrics featured heavyweight winter suits with leather lapels and wool coats – totally defining the sultry dark-and-handsome look for AW12. My favourite pieces overall came from the women’s occasion wear of gothic fabrics – lace, black netting and luxurious velvet and corseted styles with huge skirts were offset by brightly coloured flower embroidery and simple dainty shoes. I loved this collection; until now I wasn’t too sure about Sarah Burton as a successor of the late Lee McQueen – I think I was the only person NOT drooling over Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. But she’s really outdone herself with this show and I’m left sewing flowers onto everything I own to capture her style on a student budget. F.J.
lthough I knew of St. Martins and the reputation it carries among the fashion world – from Alexander McQueen to top designers at Chanel – I was a newcomer to its fashion show, and boy was I eager to see what the future Karl Lagerfelds were going to bring me. AW12 makes a pleasant start by introducing simple t-shirts and dresses emblazoned with cartoonish patterns and elaborate head-dresses, along with structured male tailoring and simple colours that flattered their female partners. Sparkling pencil skirts featured with chunky footwear and baggy jumpers, colour-blocking was addressed with bold tones draped over parachute-inspired maxi dresses while Grecian maxi-dresses appeared with square extensions on the waist and shoulder. Usually I find designers lean heavily on the ‘blocking’ part, leaving me with beautiful dresses and unflattering patterns. But St. Martins' colours were added as fabric extensions to parachute-dresses, ensuring that the blocks of colour wouldn’t distract from the original flattering design of the dress. Although there were potential future-trends and a few wearable outfits, I found that overall collection made me worry a little for the fashion world. Perhaps the gap between fashionable and functional is becoming a canyon. Towards the end the men all sported interesting-looking gags... maybe a last minute addition to prevent the models sharing their opinions. F.J.
his dynamic duo kicked London Fashion Week off to a great start, with the pair’s previous experience at Alexander McQueen certainly showing through. Striking drop-waists and bold monochrome colours were the order of the show, and though the majority of the pieces were black or white, the collection could never be described as bland. The only other colours to feature on the runway were a punchy red and rather opulent shades of beetle green and metallic copper. These provided a dazzling relief from darker hues, successfully creating a collection out of the pieces on the runway. The rather basic colour palette was offset by either metallic or same-colour embellishment on each outfit, creating a collection that was rather striking. It was texture-tough and rich, with each piece dense in its decoration - be it plaited or woven, encrusted or boasting mosaic. The only blip was a model who was somewhat covered entirely in emerald green glitter – perhaps a reference to beetles too far. The clean lines of each item of clothing, alongside the strong eyes and bull-rings worn by the models gave a sense of elegant power to the show as a whole. It was dramatic and defined, with any exaggerated shapes also having a regality to them. All in all the show was a promising start to the week, leading the way for longer-established brands to follow them down the catwalk and hopefully leave us with as good an impression. A.S.
f you think Sarah Burton outdid herself in the making of the royal wedding dress last April, think again. This season’s collection for the sister line of Alexander McQueen, McQ, continues to show her talent as the deserving successor of the late designer. Last week was the first couture show of McQ, and was definitely one to remember. Set on a sheet of autumn leaves (reminding us in February that this is the Autumn/Winter 2012 show), viewers are transported back to an amalgamation of glamorous clinched waists and long leather gloves of the 1940s, 1950s lace and traditional Scottish tartan. The models' hairstyles are in an interesting updo, which has a shadow that draws the viewers attention away from the face and focus on the clothes. The khaki trench dresses gradually transform to sharp leather jackets and then on to subtle floral mini dresses, growing bolder with a splash of colour as they go along. The whole show ends with a beautiful white lace and tulle flowery wedding dress. There is juxtaposition with the soft floral dresses against the splattering of sharp tailoring which is present throughout. There is also the occasional fur snood here and there, but not as controversial as the use of fur knickers in Mulberry. The overall feeling of the show is pleasant and approachable, and incredibly wearable. Get inspired by this sensational show and look out for autumn florals, well-tailored khaki coats and dresses, and the occasional bit of tartan in the high street next autumn. F.P.
P 18 - Idyllic Iceland P 19 - Agony Uncles P 20 - Fatal Attractions P 21 - Clasp Clothing P 22 - Dating
amed for producing many esteemed designers within the fashion industry, the hour-long Central Saint Martins MA show featured extremely varied creations from the graduates likely to be the future of fashion design. The ingenuity of the designs (from an Olympic-inspired dress complete with emblematic rings as a headdress to a man genuinely dressed as a house) displays the energy and perhaps the youth of their designers, clearly not afraid to take risks or think outside of the box. The range of textile materials used was impressive; structured rubber rings, PVC, polystyrene coated knit and wire springs were all used extensively within designs. A further interesting use of texture was the simple yet well-tailored designs by Yifang Wan, using both woollen fabrics and wooden belts. However, many of the less wearable pieces were more reminiscent of an art instalment rather than a fashion show, like a sack-style dress and straw headdress in the shape of the word ‘why’ (a question I, too, was asking). The spectacular breaking of a model’s shoe highlighted this infeasibility within some of the designs. Whilst I wouldn’t hold out for similar pieces to be reflected in the high street, it is the future of fashion, and of the textiles used within it, that will be altered when the designers eventually tame their ideas within the powerhouses of the fashion world. R.L.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
Malek Murison experiences ice, lyrca and eating shark...
n my dad’s opinion, there are two types of people in this world. Those who are willing to "get their hands dirty" and change that metaphorical light bulb, and those who desperately claw at the light bulb box before breaking a nail and giving up, resigned to sitting in darkness for the rest of their days. I would be the first to admit that I belong to the latter group, and that the more practical and hands on skills that all of our fathers seem to have bypassed my generation. But that’s fine. I have accepted that I will never build a decent spice rack, in the same way that my dad will never beat me on FIFA or keep his composure when faced with a touch screen. As a result of this realisation, he decided that a gruelling test of mental and physical endurance would be the perfect thing to ‘man me up’, teaching me some good old fashioned values along the way. Alongside my dad and two of his friends, our aim was to cycle across Iceland, conquering glaciers, mountains, volcanoes and extreme weather.
kilometres of Icelandic wilderness that morning. The geothermal valley at Haukadalur is part of the ‘Golden circle’ of Icelandic attractions. Visitors have the chance to see the famous Geysir, a huge hole in the ground which fires boiling water up to 50m high - from which all geysers have taken their name. Unfortunately, Geysir is now rarely active; it normally takes an earthquake or two to stir it into life, rendering it little more than an impressively large jacuzzi for most of the time. This is apparently (don’t quote me on this) due to obese American tourists flinging rocks into the crater, blocking it up; oxygen thieves, if you ask me. We didn’t leave disappointed however, as there were a number of other geysers, including Strokkur, which erupted every five minutes or so, sending a torrent of water well over 20m high. After a difficult first few days I was starting to get used to the cycling malarkey. I had been naïve to think that being half the age of my fellow cyclists gave me some sort of advantage.
There would be no hotels or home comforts. Just my tent, several pairs of unflattering Lycra shorts and all the high energy food I could carry… “We’ve got no Cash, but we’ve got the Ash!” was one of the many slogans proudly displayed on tourist t-shirts for sale in the Haukadalur valley. This seemed to sum up the Icelandic mentality. Following it’s eruption in April 2010 the volcano on the Eyjafjallajökull Ice Sheet became world famous after the ash it emitted into European airspace brought air traffic to a standstill.
Challenges like this obviously take a certain amount of athletic ability, but I was slowly realising that this ability is worth nothing without the mental strength and discipline to apply it. I’d had days of sitting on my bike just peddling, peddling, peddling, too angry and frustrated at my own lack of will power to take in the spectacular views around me.
Having been in Iceland for a week or so, it was becoming apparent that the natives were quite entertained by the worldwide notoriety their country had. The collapse of the Icelandic banks in 2008, losing the British government millions of pounds, is just another such event which is regarded by Icelanders with an amused sense of nostalgia, in an "Awh what are we like?!" kind of way. Personally, I found this perspective as welcome and refreshing as the tailwind which had blown us through 50
I could think of nothing but the long term damage the saddle was causing my rear end and how much I regretted ever taking up this ridiculous man challenge. I’d already had what I considered to be my first near-death experience, which my dad laughed off, only to then contradict himself by telling me not to mention it to my mum, as she might get a tad worried. We had been so exposed to the elements whilst going over a mountain pass that we were forced to take cover in an abandoned trailer, whilst desperately throwing on every item of clothing possible to prevent our certain death. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I was scared at the time. I was be-
ginning to have irrational feelings of hatred towards all other tourists. In taking the two-wheeled option, it felt as though I was really making an effort to experience Iceland, I was somehow more deserving of the epic scenery and landscape I was cycling through. The regular tourists (they were not all obese or American) were simply being driven to and from each sight. They would take a few pictures to show the folks back home, and then hop back on the coach to finish the quail’s egg and cress baguette they had been munching on before the rude interruption from the tour guide. We were often passed by these coaches and the tourists on board would wave at us, with expressions ranging from pity to awe, while I would sit exhausted by the roadside, forcing down another sesame seed bar. Of course whilst looking quite the part in my orange Lycra. Aside from the natural wonders Iceland has to offer, my highlight was halfway through the journey, having just reached the north coast. During the day we checked the map and set our sights on a small town called Blönduós, which had a field where we could camp. From a mile or so away we could see that there was steam rising up from the field we were headed for. It was looking good. We’d already had a few cheeky natural hot spring sessions which, apart from smelling like eggs, (they don’t advertise that bit) is exactly what a hardcore cyclist needs after a long, tedious day spent having to stare at the cyclist in front’s lycra-clad arse. As we cruised in, we were stopped at the gate and told that the campsite was being used by the Icelandic Motorcycle Society for their annual festival. We paid to camp and walked in with our bicycles, looking more than a bit out of place amongst hundreds of leather clad, hairy and rather intimidating looking bikers. The steam we saw on the way was actually an industrial sized vat full of lamb stew, which turned out to be the nicest meal of the whole trip. Any anxiety about being surrounded by Hell’s Angels members quickly went away as we and our bicycles were accepted with open arms. A night of heavy drinking ensued. I hazily remember it consisting of Icelan-
dic schnapps, eating Hákarl (a traditional snack, made of fermented shark), several proposals from butch Icelandic women and getting lost in my own tent (don’t ask). The route we took on the way down south was a stunning one, cycling alongside the Langjökull glacier. After two weeks of pain, I was now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and enjoying myself a lot more. In many ways arriving in the capital Reykjavik was a massive relief. We could finally be normal tourists, appreciating a fantastic city with some great food and a spot of whale watching. The only setback was that I hadn’t really packed for urban tourism, so I did look a bit like a poor man’s Bear Grylls. The capital was testament to how Icelanders embrace living on a volcanic island. The pavements are warmed by naturally occurring steam, melting ice in the winter. This same geothermal energy also heats local greenhouses to make Iceland Europe’s largest producer of bananas. So yes, if you want a bit of adventure, near death experiences and a nagging pain in your genitals for the weeks that follow, you could quite easily venture to Malia or Ayia Napa this summer. But if you fancy something different, you could get the same and more from Iceland, without being too ashamed to tell the grandkids. It really is a unique place, and after going once, I have no doubt that I will return one day. Might leave the bike at home though.
YORK VISION Tuesday March 6, 2012
Back by popular demand, Nicholas Dunn-McAfee and Jack Knight share their questionable life advice...
Q: How do I pull the girl I like?
Q: How do we tell our housemate Q: My friends from home want to that we have already found a house come but I’m worried they’ll embarfor next year without him? rass me, what do I say?
Nicholas - Alright – so if you’ve got to this point you’ve probably put more groundwork in than Alan Titchmarsh. You’ve text about life, talked about love, and maybe even taken her for a cheeky Happy Meal. Now it’s time to do the exact opposite. There’s nothing that women love more than a man they probably think is a bit emotionally unstable with the same personal consistency as Nick Clegg. Act mysteriously, the darker the better. If you see her in the street from now on, half smile. If you see her in Willow, cast a glance of utter disapproval. Make plans and cancel them, tell her you’re “doing something more important." Once you’ve knocked her down to an emotional state which means she is legally classified as a vegetable, then you can pounce, you little trickster!
Nicholas - THIS WILL BE BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS. And with just as many arguments. So maybe it’s the fact they shriek every time they (don’t) score on FIFA, or the fact their girlfriend looks like an oversized beaver with a bowl cut. Perhaps their endless playing of filthy dubstep has kept you awake, or you’re just tired of hearing the headboard smash into the wall next to you when their 'special friend' from first year still comes round. You’ve made a good decision if any of these are applicable. Nothing says “our friendship is definitely over” better than rubbing salt into that seeping wound. Bring up your new house all the time, speculate how it’s too small for visitors and talk about how quiet and beautiful it will be, free from a bloke who makes you want to drown yourself every morning in the shower. At best, they'll snap. At worst, they’ll snap quicker. Either way, you’ve made your friendship decision very permanent indeed...
Nicholas - Embrace it. Yes, I’m telling you to invite the little critters. Actually, ask them up for absolutely any occasion. Point out you’re free between 2pm and 4.15pm on a Friday afternoon and it would be great to see them. When they casually decide not to swagger on up from London for this huge gap filled with endless possibilities for fun and friendship, now you can tear into them. Castigate them for being fair-weather friends whilst screaming down the phone. Leave them a text message referring to them as worse than the Black Death and twice as hideous. You could even Skype their parents and ask why they decided to keep them, and what they think of their son’s cocaine habit. This will work like a deformed jigsaw falling into place, and your friends will feel so victimised they won’t be your friends for much longer. Excellent, you already have enough friends.
Jack - Every girl loves a bit of healthy competition and light criticism. Flirt with her a bit. Use a bit of euphemism. Woo her. But then go and do exactly the same to everyone else in Willow and make sure she sees. Flirt with that girl from your seminar. Chat up a college netball captain. You could even hump a chair. Just make sure she witnesses it. Then go back and flirt with her again, but offer her some helpful advice. For example; “I liked your hair better the way it used to be", and criticise her for buying second-hand vintage clothes which you know are new Topshop items. Every woman likes a few tactful pointers and a few competing adversaries.
Jack - Are you seriously this idiotic? Why would you ever tell him that you have already found a house? Lie, lie, lie, keep lying and lie some more. Telling them would just be a pitifully crap idea. How awkward do you want next term to be? “Hi mate, can I nick some pasta off you and, oh yeah, sorry for the fact that I have deemed you so unworthy as a human being that I actually don’t want to be around you." Does that sound like the type of conversation you want every day until July? No, it doesn’t. You may say that you want to treat him as a friend and be honest with him. If this were true you would have told him by now. So start lying and start lying well...
Jack - You have two options. Option one – tell them; “Don’t come, you will embarrass me." Option two – tell them; “You can come, but don’t embarrass me." Unfortunately if you do let them come up to stay you just have to grit your teeth and get on with it. What did you really expect? Inviting two separate groups of friends together who have ample ammunition against you is essentially like asking victims of crime to corroborate witness statements. You wouldn’t be friends with them if they were so dull that they didn’t know how to take the piss. Taking the piss out of you is just an unfortunate byproduct. Get over it.
Underwear Uncovered Georgina Strapp looks at why men fancy frills and everyone loves lace... A survey of the underwear taste of some of York’s finest revealed a lot more than that some girls' underwear will get boys to wake up much quicker than the prospect of a lecture will. Whilst the boys' preferences were sometimes predictable there were a few pleasant surprises, and the girls are definitely not as laced up as you’d expect. The volunteers were each shown four bras representing a different style. We had the pretty and girly white option, the classic, flattering, black one, a raunchy black lace with coloured silk balconette and finally the seductive, minimal fabric, red see-through lacy one. The girls were asked what they would choose for themselves, and the boys what they would choose for their girlfriend. The girls’ favourite was the ‘classic’ black bra. The simple yet glamorous Little Black Dress of the underwear drawer. Whilst this style may not be the most original, girls can be confident that it will be flattering, versatile and always counted on to make you feel good. Very impressively, the boys were confident that the black option would go down well with it coming equal first for them. Girls, your faith in men can be restored, of those that picked this the biggest rugby player I could find saw it
as a "safe option that would suit most girls." The classic and elegant style is a winner for guys and girls alike, men choosing this appreciate your effortless sex-appeal, as well as wanting to be able to think that his present for you is what you will wear the most. Day or night. The lacy see-through option was also popular with both sexes. The ease with which girls could seduce if any man knew what we were wearing underneath might have something to do with it. Knowing how hot you are makes everything easier. Even seminars on the finer points of politics can be exciting in the knowledge that what you are wearing underneath would make even the Aristotle wannabe struggle to say something intelligent. However, the boys did less well with their other winner, the coloured and lace balconette. Whilst the balconette shape can look hot, the fit can often be dangerous as it will either enhance the cleavage or be completely the wrong shape and end up flattening the chest completely. Many of the girls asked seemed very aware of this and also would have preferred a slightly more sophisticated colour than the hot pink. The pretty white option was as popular with the girls as the red lace was. It is an easy, fresh look that is under-
stated enough to be able to wear when your parents come to visit and still pretty enough that you don’t feel you’re actually turning into your mother. The boys weren’t so keen on white. Whilst they’re all up for pretty when they’re showing you off, it would seem that when they have you on your own sexy is definitely the preferred option, whether this is practical or not. With a girl in their underwear in front
of them, it seems men aren’t really too worried about what the underwear looks like. After all they don’t really plan on it staying on too long (and we didn’t need to do a survey to work that out). Girls, on the other hand, like variation but are a lot fussier when it comes to the individual choice of each item. Sorry boys, there is no fool-proof guide to what will get you brownie points. But then if you are confident enough to be buying her underwear you must know her pretty well, so you shouldn’t need my help.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
The Science of Attraction Lucy Vladev looks at love at first sight... Does it really exist?
lenty of people go on about compatibility or what ‘type’ of people are drawn to each other, but ignoring all the women’s magazines and websites, what is the real driving factor behind who you are attracted to? After all, if you had a line of potential suitors outside your door, you would inevitably be drawn to some more than others - even if they all had George Clooney's or Angelina Jolie's good looks.
immune system that was most different from their own: who says opposites don’t attract? Sweaty t-shirts aside, the study managed to show the basic evolutionary idea of ‘survival of the fittest’. The women surveyed were actually subconsciously choosing a partner with a contrasting
often say that it feels ‘natural’ to be with their partner and it probably is! This said, I think it would be a bit much to suggest smell is the only reason people are attracted to one another, and I am definitely not advocating walking up to strangers and sniffing their underarms!
Another factor in attraction is something called assortative mating, which in basic terms means choosing a partner who is similar to yourself; for example, if you both have similar interests or sense of humour. So there are plenty of other things that can influence how you feel towards someone. The lay term 'chemistry' can be explained as the difficulty to understand the role of pheromones, which appear illogical at times. After all, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy couldn’t deny their attraction to one another despite their aversion to each others’ character for most of the story.
Physical attraction is as old as time but recently studies have found that biochemical odours, or in other words, pheromones, have much more of an important role when choosing a partner than we first imagined. Pheromones are basically a unique chemical signature given off in a person's natural smell, or sweat, in other words. This actually reflects their genetics because different genes translate as different scents. A study in the 1990s dubbed the ‘t-shirt study’ is a brilliant example of pheromones in action. A group of men wore tshirts without using deodorant or cologne for a couple of days to make sure their natural odour (including their pheromones) was the only thing building up on their skin. A group of women were then asked to smell the mens shirts and choose which scent they were most drawn to. The study showed that women prefer men with a pheromone smell that signaled an
stronger jaw as this is influenced by variances in testosterone levels. Similarly, some men might notice the shape of a girl's eyes which are influenced by estrogen (which is linked to heathy reproductive qualities). So even though we do not tend to walk around consciously assessing these things or smelling people, it seems our brains just can’t help themselves!
immune system which would result in the creation of children with a stronger resistance to disease or illness. So even today we can recognise an ideal partner through their chemical odour. This might help to explain why successful couples
There are, of course, other factors that some scholars argue draw you to certain people, such as physical attributes which tell you how genetically suitable a person is for you. For example, some women might feel more attracted to a man with a
So I suppose love at first sight is possible after all, even without the usual physical signs. In fact, one well respected anthropologist, Dr Helen Fisher, goes as far as to say it takes just three minutes to know whether a person is right for you. So, the next time someone catches your attention, perhaps you will be more encouraged to trust your instincts!
A RIGHT ROYAL FEAST
Sine Bakumeni spills the beans on her meal at the Royal Oak.
hen I was asked to do a food review for the Royal Oak on Goodramgate, I must admit I was extremely excited as I’ve been looking for things to do apart from drinking myself silly. Yes, even us freshers get bored of the endless alcohol and have to eat at some point. I didn’t really do much of a background check on the restaurant as anybody who knows me will tell you how much I like a surprise. Yet the friend who accompanied warned me of her scepticisms, as the 17th century building has a reputation for housing ghosts. Naturally, I laughed this off and we embarked on our adventure to the local pub/restaurant famous for its locally sourced, home cooked meals.
ber who set a homely ambiance. We were offered drinks as our menus were handed to us and given enough time to decide what we would like to eat. The menu has a wide selection of dishes available, so there’s a little something for everyone. Although I was slightly over-
most places around the world, ignoring what has been on my doorstep for years. For starters we decided to go for the terrine of slow roast duck with Yorkshire chutney and orange dressing and the Thai crab cakes with red pepper salad and sweet chilli dressing. The duck ter-
The restaurant is situated in the city centre; a short walk from the York Minster Cathedral. If, unlike me, you’ve still got reasonable drinking ability left in you, then you’ll be pleased to know that it is surrounded by a number of other local pubs where you can go for a cheeky beer or two afterwards. On arrival, we were met by a dazzling interior, and not in the ‘I just walked into a strip club’ way. The modernised cottage interior was extremely welcoming and I felt right at home. The Royal Oak is divided into two sections; bar and restaurant. We were greeted and seated in the restaurant area by a polite and friendly staff mem-
to write home about; it had a generous amount of crab filling, although it could have done with a hint more seasoning. Both starters were extremely satisfying and left us hungry for the main dish. For mains we played it down a notch and both ordered the rump steak baguette with fried onions and hand cut chips. The mains came with a generous portion of fresh home-made chips and an equally generous steak in the baguette. Yet considering the price, we thought the mains were pretty average. The baguette tasted slightly dry and while the steak used was good quality, my dining partner and I agreed the dish might have been better if the chef substituted the baguette with ciabatta bread in the future and wasn’t so sparing with the fried onions. Nonetheless, I am partly to blame for my poor choice as far as the main dish is concerned. Although anything I had chosen would probably have struggled to live up to the gorgeous duck starter, I’m certain if I had ordered an alternative (more sophisticated) main, my dining experience would certainly have been different.
whelmed when I saw the menu, as my enthusiasm to try out new foods had been well hidden until two or three years ago. Ironically, I haven’t really tried a wide variety of English foods. I went from not trying any new foods to trying delicacies from
rine could not be faulted; if it were a play, it would deserve a standing ovation. It certainly lived up to what we expected and although the portions was just right, I could have quite happily gorged on more. The crab starter was also a dish
I would definitely eat at the Royal Oak again as there wasn’t a lot not to like. The staff were fantastic, the restaurant is clean enough to eat your food off the floor (we do not recommend this) and the pricing is reasonable for what the menu has to offer. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say their competitors have a lot to live up to...
Tuesday March 6, 2012
Clasp Clothing 'Centric!
Rachel Longhurst takes a look at the boutique and the designers...
s increasing numbers of people search for interesting and unique pieces away from what the typical high street offers, online ‘shops’ and ‘boutiques’ are becoming a clear alternative to their physical counterparts. But well-made and high-end pieces aren’t reserved for the websites of mainstream stores and well known designers. Many affordable and often exclusive designs can be found in independent online shops, such as Clasp Clothing, an online boutique that reaches beyond the typical basics and trends and instead offers clothing and jewellery a distinct step away from the high street. I spoke to owner Nicky Hayes who founded the site in 2011. “Clasp had been an idea in the back of my mind for so long and it finally just felt like the right time to push it forward.” Clasp Clothing sells high end pieces and jewellery by seven different and exclusive designers. “Fortunately," Hayes states, “I knew a lot of designers that were dying
to get their ideas out to the market, and looking to build a name for themselves.” Some of Clasp Clothing’s designers are students and I asked Hayes what attracted her to student designers in particular; “Students are brave," she said, “they aren't afraid to try new things and are more about building a name rather than producing profit. Also, I was a student not long ago and I know how important it can be to be given that chance to show what you can do, even without ten years of experience behind you.” The stocking of one-off and exclusive designs is also key to Clasp Clothing’s uniqueness amongst many other online boutiques; “Being original was always what Clasp had been about. We didn't want items that could be found elsewhere. We're really proud that our designers showcase new items and take the risk to try something that is new but still beautiful." The exclusive boutique’s products change as their design-
ers bring out new pieces, adding vitality to the website; the latest designs not necessarily reflecting the most recent catwalk. The range of jewellery stocked has a vintage feel, each piece unique and imaginative, a personal favourite being the charm bracelets that are gently colour co-ordinated and very affordable. Hayes states that Clasp Clothing is “still taking on new designers” and it is the range, and potential future ranges, of different ideas and creations from the designers they showcase that is most exciting. From speaking with Hayes there is a definite sense of connection between Clasp Clothing and the individuals who create for them. She says that she'd "love to see a designer who had begun with us, really push themselves and become a household name” and it is this relationship between talented designers and a store which is willing to give them a chance which ensures the online boutique’s future.
How did you get started in designing and the fashion industry?
What is your inspiration when designing and what draws you to create the unique clothing that you do? I am extremely inspired by the idea that fashion is a form of camouflage - each outfit you wear you choose in order to tell people something, a way of communicating with everyone that sees you. You may be expressing your true self or you may be putting on a disguise. Do we truly know anyone or do we see what they have decided to reveal to us? I love creating clothing that make women feel comfortable and confident, working with the female silhouette and creating pieces that conceal imperfection or distort the traditional female shape.
How would you describe your designs?
What are your plans for the future? For my current work on my Masters I have been researching and experimenting with smart fabrics. I am currently designing clothing that reacts with its environment, experimenting with hydrochromic inks that react and change colour when in contact with water. My future plans after my masters are of course to carry on designing and making, but I am interested in going into to teaching higher education.
I spoke to some of the designers individually... Klara Mec
How did you get started in designing and the fashion industry?
I have always been fascinated with fashion; even when I was a little girl and asked what I wanted to be when I was older I have always said: "I want to be a fashion designer. Once I finished school I went on to study fashion at college for about 4 years, after that I went on to further study at Wolverhampton University, where I am currently studying a Masters in Fashion."
As a designer I would describe my style as fashion forward, creating a modern, clean but edgy look for women who are not afraid to express themselves through fashion. I believe fashion is a way to show your personality, enhancing yourself by being an individual and showing the world that you are through what you wear. The main thing I love about fashion is how it can be used as a form of communication. Fashion can expose or disguise your true identity; you are in control of deciding how you want people to perceive you.
Hayes states that she would “love to see Clasp grow, to take on new designers, showcase at more fairs, but at this time though the main focus is just keep stocking good quality and low priced garments that make a woman feel special.” I asked Hayes if she had any advice for those among us who harbour similar ambitions of beginning their own businesses. “Just try it! Being afraid is natural, but the feeling of regret is so much worse. Think it through and follow your instincts, because if you're passionate enough about it, you'll always make the right decisions.”
How did you get started in designing and the fashion industry? Once I finished my fashion degree I worked for a couple of designers in London and some bridal designers in the Midlands. I had always wanted to start my own label since I was at college and decided that with the experience I acquired I was ready to start my own business.
What is your inspiration when designing and what draws you to create the unique clothing that you do? My inspiration is very vintage inspired. I take all my vintage inspiration and mix it with in-season designs to bring it up to date. I would describe them as fun, sexy and colourful. Bearing in mind that they are very comfortable to wear and are designed to fit and suit all body shapes.
What are your plans for the future? I am looking to move in to the bridal marked starting with bridesmaids' dresses and accessories. I am also always expanding my clothing collection with the new collection being customisable at home, where customers can create two to six new outfits out of one original outfit.
I started in 2004 when I was 15. I created my first collection, 'Dreams', for an avant-garde teenager fashion contest. The idea came from my paintings and birds, I made batik paintings on the garments. I entered a lot of competitions later, and finally I got my degree in Fashion Design. I was really happy when my collection was shown in Earl's Court. Recently I have done the [C]Kult exhibition in Paris for young fashion designers. Also, one of my dresses was selected for the White Swan show in Paris - it was a great experience. Currently I am a freelance designer for Clasp Clothing and I carry on with creating and making my ideas reality.
What is your inspiration when designing and what draws you to create the unique clothing that you do? I take inspiration from history, music, paintings and literature. I like observing daily things - people on the bus or train, or just walking on the sea coast. Some great ideas I just find in my dreams. Inspiration or ideas are like a flashlight, it is here and you need to catch it.
How would you describe your designs? My designs are tailored as I prefer tailored garments. I like working with soft, natural fabrics and I have a passion for combining different textures and layers in outfits, from a light weight silk top to a heavy felt jacket. This texture and tailoring work is a mark of my designs.
What are your plans for the future? My plan for the future is to create a new collection, attend more competitions and to find new inspiration.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
Dating for Dummies Sine Bakumeni and Rachel Jackson discuss dating for women...
e’ve pretty much all been there. The first date that brings hours of preparation, nervous jitters and everything else that comes along for the ride. But have you ever wondered why the first date was also the last? Have you heard the "it’s not you it’s me?" line one too many times? Well, the likelihood is, if you identify with any of the dating characteristics listed below, it’s you! 1) Do not, I repeat, do not get drunk. Calling from experience, abusing the alcohol shelf gets you in two places. Firstly, sleeping on the bathroom floor hugging the toilet bowl and secondly not being able
to remember why they never called for a second date. Whether you simply became an emotional wreck and screamed "why don’t you love me?" at your crush or thought kissing someone else in front of them would get them to like you is a sure fire way to end it there and then. 2) Do not sleep with your date on the first night; the whole fun of dating is the chase and the build-up to the ‘big moment'. Once you’ve tasted the milk you probably won’t buy the cow (or however the saying goes). Let’s face it, first time sexy time is mostly awkward, so why would you want to face the person again if you barely know them
and are self-conscious about what they’re thinking? 3) Be courteous and put your phone away. Your date will not be pleased if you start tweeting about the restaurant you’re at or texting every Tom, Dick and Harry in your phone book. It’s a major turn off; I’m sure the world can wait for a couple of hours. Especially if you want date number two. 4) Keep the conversation appropriate. Don’t bore your date with an hour of talk about your pet's latest potty training achievements or flaunting dozens of photos from family holidays. The truth is, no one really cares about your furry friend, so keep this small talk to a minimum. Telling your date about your crazy older sister is fine, but do not talk about your ex or the mystery rash that still has not cleared up. It’s not exactly attractive conversational material. 5) Don’t lie. There’s only so long you can keep up your pseudo-personality for your date. One past date of mine told me they were an almighty sex god with a degree in sexy and a PhD in ‘phwoar’! It’ll come as no surprise that this did not work out. So, what's the moral of the story? Think before you speak; the truth always comes out. 6) Keep your look simple! Showing cleavage or legs is fine. But please do not put both on display at the same time. Meeting someone with bare pins, a bulging bust and 7 inch heels doesn’t exactly scream
‘relationship’… It screams "I've just come off a pole" or even worse, "I charge an hourly rate!" Portray a classy image with a little sex appeal and you will seem inviting but not overbearing! 7) Under no circumstances should you act like a crazy person. Let's face it, us girls can act pretty crazy at times. If your date happens to check out the girl in a short skirt walking past, don't act like a jealous psycho. Telling your date that his lads' nights out must come to an end because he can't be trusted around other women is a sure way to ruin any chance of a second date. 8) Speak English, if you’re an adult and are still using words like ‘rad’ and ‘totes’, it’s time to stop. The cool boat left you when you left school and if your date has to use Urban Dictionary to reference what you’re saying, then you need to grow up. 9) Do not discuss religion or politics. Apparently I’ve made dates feel like they're being scrutinised if they haven’t been able to support their opinions on both topics. Perhaps it was joining the debate team in high school that ruined me for all men. Nonetheless, I would suggest staying well clear of both. 10) Do not jump the gun! Asking your date how many children they want and if a white wedding would suit may come across as a little over the top. Keep the conversation simple with light-hearted topics!
... whilst Alex Finnis offers some questionable advice for the lads. 1) Fuel yourself with a bit of ‘Dutch courage’ before heading out to meet your date. You’re going to have to give a pretty impressive performance tonight if you’re hoping for a return leg, and to do that your confidence will have to be sky high. Don’t worry about slurring your words, you’ll be able to style it out as a sexy lilt. 2) Dress to impress. So much so that you make your date feel underdressed and therefore spend the rest of the evening guiltily trying to make it up to you. Starched shirts, bow ties and cummerbunds are the order of the day here. 3) Remember, it's the 21st Century, no longer are you expected to pay for your date's meal and drinks. In fact, she'll almost certainly find it a turn on if you get her to pay for you instead. This could prove tricky, but the best way to do this is to pretend that you've run out of cash. Paying for your drinks will appeal to your date's feminist senses, whilst you've still got the cash to pay for your next night out with the lads. It's a win-win situation. 4) Lie. This is a first date, and contrary to popular belief, it is not about getting to know each other, well, at least not about her getting to know you. This is for the very good reason that if she does, she almost certainly will not like who 'you' are. The first date is therefore all about creating a false image of yourself as a glowing
adonis of masculine charm. Think the type of man who runs into burning buildings to save puppies and yet can sustain a 20 minute conversation about Topshop's new range of peep-hole shoes. If you're lucky she won't realise the extent of your lies until it's far too late...
you, as Ron Burgundy would say, are “kind of a big deal.” This will almost certainly involve a lot of lying, but hey, you know my feelings on that already. So, if she asks, yes, you really did shave Sam Asfahani’s back for him last week. What of it?
5) Keep her on her toes. By this I mean keep mentioning ex-girlfriends and even one night stands of ages past. Nothing will make your date want you more than knowing how popular you are with other girls. She’ll feel honoured that you’re even there with her, and so she should be.
9) If things haven’t gone to plan, never fear- you can still save your date; it’s time to crack out the dance moves. Obviously this needs an appropriate setting, so once
6) Clichés are a must. You’re going to have to counteract all the talk of other girls with a bit of sickly sweet chat, so the cringier the better. “Do you have a map, because I keep getting lost in your eyes” is the sort of level you’ll be looking for here. 7) Show off. Play to your strengths. For instance, if you're a bit of a gym-buff, don't be afraid to flex those guns at any opportunity you get: "Whereabouts are you living this year?" she asks, "Oh, just over that way," you reply, whilst pointing in an exaggerated manner, tensing so hard you're putting the cleanliness of your underwear in danger. 8) For one night only, you are a BNOC. Name-drop like you’ve never namedropped before; let your date know that
you’ve convinced your date to come along and give you one final chance to prove yourself, make the most of it and dance like you’ve never danced before. I’m talking robotics and break-dancing - get that groove on. 10) Take her back to yours. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do to offer your date your poxy, crumb-filled single bed in the boxroom for the night. Make sure it’s a night for her to remember.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
ALCUIN, VANBRUGH AND JAMES TASTE VICTORY
UYDS WALTZES TO FIVE TROPHIES IN LOUGHBOROUGH
By charlotte ferris & amy ballard ALCUIN SMASHED Goodricke 22-9 in Sunday's college netball. The team, led by newly elected York Sport President Charlotte Winter, looked strong from the offset. Megan Knight seemed at ease despite being played out of position and sent a continuous string of solid throws into the shooting circle. The first half was fairly balanced but play became scrappy in the second half, the ball getting stuck in the middle third of the court, and the game can be noted for its aggressive style from both teams. In the end the attacking pair, Meg Hollinghurst and Charlotte Winter, simply had too much quality and movement for a static Goodricke defence. Winter was very pleased with the win: "We had a lot of injuries and absences today, but the girls all played really well, especially the goalkeeper Laura Macfarlane, who hasn't played in over a year. It has generated a good team spirit for the upcoming games." Alcuin face their biggest competitors James and Halifax this week to determine the winners of this term's college netball. Meanwhile, Vanbrugh beat Langwith 15-13 in a very close contest. Vanbrugh started convincingly with their goal shooter putting them 1-0 up off the first centre pass, but Langwith’s centre court was stronger with Alice Thomson showing dominance. Despite Thomson’s consistent passes to her shooters, they struggled to score, which could have put them well ahead of their rivals before half time.
The first half ended 7-7 and with neither side showing dominance, a draw looked like the most probable outcome. However, Vanbrugh’s Katie Thomas stepped up her game and intercepted numerous passes into Langwith’s shooters. The shooters looked troubled by Thomas and although their shooting had improved from the first half, they did not have as many chances to convert. The game ended 15-13 to Vanbrugh, but it could have gone either way. Finally, James thrashed Derwent 14-6 in a convincing performance. With both teams looking to put pressure on Alcuin and Halifax, James put themselves back in the race for the league. The consistency and movement of James’ goal shooter Alia Khalil ensured that James were to gain three points. She was fed by Katie Ashcroft and Shannon Dixon, who dominated the centre court. On the other hand, Derwent struggled to feed consistent balls into their shooters due to the pressure from the James’ defenders; the score was 9-2 at the end of the first half and all James had to do was to keep up this high level of play. Derwent fought bravely, but James continued to pressure the Derwent shooters, and despite impressive movement by Maggie Edwards and Rosie McClusky, the James defence did not look at all troubled over the course of the game. Down in the James attacking circle, Khalil continued her impressive performance, and her height ensured that she won every rebound. The game finished 14-6 and James gained a very much deserved three points for their efforts.
By MEGAN HANNEY ON SATURDAY, the University of York Dance Society ventured to Loughborough to compete in the inter-university LSU (Loughborough Student Union) Dance Competition. This event is held annually and this year was bigger than ever, featuring 900 dancers from 26 universities across the country. Loughborough are well-known for excelling at more mainstream sports such as football and hockey, but when it comes to dance they are not as well known. However, this competition is a highlight in the competitive dance calender. York choreographers were initially auditioned to compete by UYDS committee before auditioning their own dancers. Selecting competitors was a challenge in itself. Long standing street choreographer Sarika Dewan explained: "We were extremely impressed with the level of performance, but it came down to distinguishing the finest technicalities." UYDS had been rehearsing since 8am for eight weeks before the competition, while also maintaining other duties such as their commitment to Fusion, staged only a week before Loughborough. In previous years, UYDS have excelled in the competition, last year winning Best Choreography for Advanced Hip-Hop and took second place for Tap and Contemporary. The society's other achievements include competing at Roses for the first time in 2011 and drawing, and they also competed at the Durham Dance Competition, coming second in Advanced Jazz and tri-
umphing in first place for Street. This year, reactions on the judging panel reflected the distinctive impression made by UYDS. Advanced Jazz received the only full panel standing ovation throughout the competition. It is no surprise, therefore, that despite the fierce competition presented by the likes of Sunderland and Loughborough themselves, UYDS fought with undeniable determination, taking the competition to a whole different level. York were the most successful university competing thanks to their sparkling performances; deserving of their placements in every category entered. Third place was won in the Contemporary, Advanced Tap came in second and most impressively, both Advanced Jazz and Advanced Hip Hop won first place. The Advanced Jazz group were also awarded Best Costume. Returning with five trophies, UYDS once again furthered their competitive reputation. UYDS Chair Laura Summers told Vision: "We are incredibly proud of our achievements."
STAR OF CAMPUS: TOBY WONG
TOBY TALKS TO JACK BRADSHAW ABOUT BOSTON, INTENSE TRAINING AND BEING THROWN IN THE POOL... By jack bradshaw How did you get involved with swimming? At first it wasn’t really my interest at all – I got forced into swimming because when I was three I suffered from severe asthma attacks. One of my doctors told my mum to throw me in a pool, and from then on I started swimming. What was it like growing up in Hong Kong? It was really difficult to stand up amongst so many people, the support of my parents and self-motivation was really important as well as finding a good club and coach. I started getting coached when I was five and
"I was 16 and got into the top ten in Hong Kong" at the age of 10 I represented Hong Kong nationally. What titles did you win as a junior swimmer? When I was young I didn’t put in a lot of
work but I was always in the top three for my age. I got better when I was 16 and got into the top 10 in Hong Kong. In freestyle, I was in the top five. When I was 18, I entered swimming competitions nationally and I was getting good results. What was your time in Boston like? In Hong Kong, if you wanted to achieve a higher level it wasn’t that easy and America is one of the best places for sport. It was good, I learned a lot. Being recruited for a scholarship there is probably my proudest moment because I felt like my efforts were being rewarded. Do you think there are enough opportunities for students at York to try out competitive swimming? To be honest, the swimming isn’t as developed as it could be at York. I can understand how a lot of students get put off by the pool because it’s far away and it’s small. But to be honest if it interests you, you’re still going to want to get involved. How are the team doing in BUCS? Last year we got promoted to division two and we almost got to division one this year. We’ve broken so many BUCS records this year and everyone’s doing their best.
Who is your role model? Michael Phelps is a role model I look up to for all his achievements in the Olympics and the consistency of his success at winning gold medals. But he is less of a role model for my stroke because he has a different one. What have been your hardest moments? When I was in America they used a different training system and I had to get up at 4.30 in the morning and get ready for 5am practices. I missed my family, but there’s always Skype which helps as it takes my mind off things. Another was the 2009 East Asian Games – I missed out on competing in the competition by less than one second. Although I really enjoyed watching it with my friends, I wish I was part of it because it was in Hong Kong. Do you have any plans for 2012? This summer I will compete in a few local races in Hong Kong because I was invited back to take part. It’s a bit unrealistic for me to go to the Olympics now because of the training we have here. But I’m definitely going to the World University Games where I plan to represent Hong Kong. I also hope to win something in BUCS next year because I was so close last time.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
COULD FUND ABIR AHMMED'S MOONBASE WITH HIS SPARE CHANGE...
sure thing thing sure NO ENGLISH CLUBS IN THE QUARTER FINALS OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE In recent years we have been used to at least three or four English sides in the Champions League knock-out stages. Whether it is an indictment of the state of football in this country is a debate for elsewhere, but this season we've got two sides, Arsenal and Chelsea, who, going into the second leg, are 4-0 down to AC Milan and 3-1 down to Napoli respectively. I reckon that even with the Gunners' improved form, they will not be able to turn over a deficit against a quality Milan side with Robinho, Ibrahimovic et al. Chelsea is trickier as they have an away goal from the first leg in Napoli, courtesy of Juan Mata. Yet their defeat at the weekend against West Brom saw the end of much-maligned Andre Villas-Boas's short reign in charge. Chelseas of the past might have been able to produce a result but not at present, as their season goes from bad to worse.
MERCEDES TO WIN THE FORMULA 1 CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2012
Last season, Mercedes (formerly Brawn GP) came fourth for a second consecutive season since their title defence in 2010, while its drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished seventh and eighth. They are nearer the top than the bottom of the sport, but in the last two years they have not been able to breach the 'big three' – namely Red Bull, McLarenMercedes and Ferrari, the only teams to win a race last year. Fourth place for Schumacher in Canada was the best finish either driver managed. Yet team principal Ross Brawn has bolstered his technical team with experienced heads and he is convinced they are ready to go for podiums. They have been bright in testing, posting fast times, and I reckon they might record a podium this year. But surely it is too much to ask to breach Red Bull's absolute dominance of the sport?
ABSOLUTE MADNESS HULL TO WIN VARSITY AT LEAST ONCE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS
We are really quite good at Varsity. Before last year's tournament, we faced fellow city rivals York St John's who, to quote York Sport President Sam Asfahani, "never won or even came close." As of 2011, we have come up against Hull who we all thought would pose a greater challenge as they are bigger and more successful than St John's (Hull are 67th in the country at sport, St John's are 95th, while we are 51st). Indeed, at certain sports such as rugby and hockey they are more than a match, evidenced by their trouncing of our teams. Yet, when looking at the bigger picture, they are nowhere near as strong, especially at racket sports. Last year we beat them by 20 points (Hull not even getting into double figures) while this year the margin was 40! Is the gap going to get bigger and bigger every year? Probably not, but the over-arching point that this stirring Tipster is making is that we are much better at sport than Hull, and that it is unlikely that they will beat us anytime soon.
ROWING FOR GOLD HELENA KAZNOWSKA TALKS TO ROWER BEN HUNT-DAVIS, GOLD MEDALLIST IN SYDNEY 2000 "BY GOD boys, you've done us proud, you really have!" the commentator exclaimed, as Ben Hunt-Davis and his crew crossed the finish line with a time of 5min 33.08sec to win gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 88 years after Great Britain's last victory in the Rowing Men's eight category at the Games, this tumultuous repeat performance resulted in the team being hailed as the greatest boat of eight to ever take to the water. However, Hunt-Davis's rise to success was not simply plain sailing. For seven of the nine years competing for Team GB, he did not achieve a single win. "I was surrounded by people who were winning," he admits. "There were maybe a quarter of the team who'd got medals at World Championships or Olympic Games, and I was desperate to achieve what they were achieving, like Steve [Redgrave] and Matt [Pinsent]. They were just loads better than me, so comparing myself to them wasn't great, but there were a lot of people who I would compare myself to who were physically more similar to me and were able to win." However, the real low-point came in the Atlanta Olympics, when the boat lost out to the Russians by just three feet. Hunt-Davis described himself afterwards as "absolutely devastated," explaining that he was "exhausted for a couple of months, and that didn't have much to do with the physical aspect, just the emotional." But when asked if all the pain, intense training, early mornings, aching shoulders and gruelling elements that the sport is famed for was worth it in the end, he instantly replied: "without a shadow of a doubt. Every single second of it was worthwhile," as winning gold was "literally a dream come true." However, as many of us will remem-
ber, Sydney was the year of rowing triumph, with Redgrave achieving his fifth and Pinsent gaining his third gold medal in the sport. Yet Hunt-Davis didn't feel that his Olympic victory was in any way overshadowed by the world-famous pair; in fact, he crowned Steve as his ultimate sporting hero. "They were, without a shadow of a doubt, the important story. When journalists did come and talk to us we would point out where Redgrave was and head off in the other direction! We weren't interested in any media. We had enough pressure from ourselves and every bit of publicity and media those guys got, they deserved – we didn't. We wanted to win for us, not to get media attention and we achieved everything we wanted to achieve." As well as being the Chairman of the 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships, Hunt-Davis has spent two years working for the British Olympic Association as the head of Athlete Engagement. This involves running education programmes that ensure both athletes and support staff are ready to perform at the London 2012 Olympics. After having
By jack bradshaw & mitch HOLDER-MANSFEILD
kept the scores at 3-3. But York ultimately ended up winning the overall match thanks to the final two doubles games. First, Henderson and Dainty won 21-9 and 21-16. Then all eyes turned to Hiley and Kanabar’s epic deciding contest. When it reached 22-22, York had clearly got under the skin of their opponents, who gifted them two cheap points to triumph 24-22 and surrender. Baille Waterson offered his thoughts afterwards: "That was insanely good… It’s great to have Ricky and Jonty back playing. We will now be pushing upwards and have a good chance of survival." The Men's 2nds were also in action, thrashing Northumbria 2nds 8-0. Tan Jan Chuen who opened the proceedings with a 2-1 defeat of Northum-
worked so closely with young athletes, and having years of experience himself, Hunt-Davis explained how it was incredibly important for budding sportsmen and women to enjoy the process of training to be professional athletes, and added that, for those looking for careers in this particular field, it was essential to be constantly learning and developing. After putting himself through rigorous daily training sessions, he emphasised: "you will have to work hard – it's just a given. You've got to be willing to challenge what's happening so you can improve. I think that's key." The beginning of his own rowing life started at the age of 13, but at the time he actually didn't make the school crew for his age group. Casting his mind back, Hunt-Davis confessed that he only chose the sport because he was "useless" at cricket and absolutely hated it. "I was really uncoordinated and just rubbish, absolute rubbish! I didn't know anything about rowing, but I knew it didn't involve a bat and ball!" Thoughts of becoming a professional oarsman began to occur at the age of 16, when a number of his rowing team-mates put themselves forward for national trials. "I knew I wanted to. I didn't spend that much time thinking about the Olympics [but] I thought I could row for Great Britain because there were guys I knew who were doing it." When asked what he's most looking forward to about the London 2012 Games, Hunt-Davis replied: "the results! I think we've got a very good and well deserved reputation for putting on good events and when the stadia are ready they will look fantastic. Team GB could perform phenomenally well and we could get a lot of medals. The support from the spectators, the atmosphere around the whole thing – it should be brilliant."
THE BADMINTON Men's 1st team gave their hopes of survival in the BUCS league a vital boost with a narrow win against Northumbria. It means York strengthen their grip on fourth place in the league as they move further ahead of Sheffield Hallam and Liverpool, both in danger of relegation. Baille Waterson, the York captain, showed flexibility worthy of Djokovic as he won comfortably 21-12 and 21-16. Simultaneously, Dan Hirst was battling Ben Carter. However, Carter had too much variety and won 16-21, 13-21. At 1-1, Jonty Hiley and Ricky Kanabar played brilliantly to befuddle their opponents, who at one point collided into each other, and triumphed 21-11, 21-12. However, Northumbria pegged York back again in the other doubles match. Andy Henderson and Tom Dainty's opponents won a tight match 19-21, 15-21. Returning to the singles matches with the scores all level at 2-2, Dan Hirst unfortunately lost his second match 1721 and 18-21. However, Waterson took his sparkling form into his tie with Northumbria’s top seed. With the proverbial cigar out in the second game, Waterson recorded a commanding 21-15, 21-4 victory and
Photo: Ellen Rawlins
bria’s number one. ‘JC’ endured a difficult start to the match but eventually sealed the comeback, winning 11-21, 22-20, 21-14. Chuen secured victory in his second match 21-14, 21-18 in a slightly more comfortable encounter. Tim Robinson enjoyed a contrasting start to his opening encounter against Northumbria’s second seed. He made it 3-0 by edging out his opponent 21-13, 18-21, 21-16. He successfully maintained York’s winning run in the following match, taking just two games to do so, 22-20, 21-16. Life was a little easier for York’s doubles pairs, both of which disposed of their opposing numbers with seemingly consummate ease. Sinclair and Tang combined well to take the match comfortably 21-9, 21-14. In the second match, they won 2-0 again. The task of completing the route consequently fell to the Stephen Hallett and Tsz Chiu-Tang. The well-organised partnership balanced aggression with grace as they disposed of their bewildered opponents 21-13, 21-11. The second match scores were 21-11, 21-16. Captain John Sinclair praised the singles players in particular, declaring that "their games were much harder, but both lads did really well". The visitors will have travelled back north with at least a little to be proud of: outclassed on court, but not lacking in spirit.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
THAT'S JUST NOT CRICKET PRAKHAR CHANDRA EXAMINES THE POSSIBLE ANTIDOTES TO CORRUPTION IN CRICKET TWO WEEKS ago, limited overs cricket said goodbye to one of the greatest men that has ever played, Ricky Ponting. However, instead of celebrating one of its greatest careers, the sport was rocked once again by allegations of corruption and match-fixing. Essex youngster Mervyn Westfield was sentenced to jail for four months for agreeing to concede 12 runs in an over in exchange for £6,000. The first big corruption scandal in cricket was in 1999 when Hansie Cronje, the then South African captain, was implicated for match fixing. The repercussions of the scandal were massive with Cronje and a number of cricketers from around the world being banned for different intervals of time. The ICC also set up the Anti-Corruption Unit whose primary job was to monitor the players and also educate them. While things were stable and corruption-free for a while, there were always murmurs of illegal activities in the sport. Once again this came to a head when three Pakistan cricketers were arrested last year because of their role in a spot-fixing cancel during their team’s tour of England in 2010. All this time, England remained unaffected. The game's founding nation not only encouraged the offenders to be punished, but also prided itself on the integrity of its players. This was until the Mervyn Westfield case blew up, eradicating the idea that match fixing was nonexistent here. Westfield claims that he was pushed into it by Danish Kaneria, Essex’s overseas professional and Pakistan international, himself not exactly the best-behaved cricketer. The fact remains that there are serious problems which the authorities would be silly to turn a blind eye to. Many experts have claimed that
the Westfield scandal is the county cricket equivalent of the Cronje saga. The ECB has been swift to react, making changes to the anti-corruption policy to cover not only the players but also the off-field staff at all the 18 county cricket
The players must realise they are in a privileged position to be doing what they love clubs. Westfield has also agreed to help the investigators build a case against Kaneria and also to talk to other players about the perils of match-fixing. The question remains, however, about how effective these methods are. Former England captain Michael Vaughan raised the point that during his playing days there would be an annual presentation from the Professional Cricketers’ Association about corruption and what steps to take whenever a player is approached. He has also called for life-bans for the players involved, a move that has been backed by many former players and experts, who claim that it is the only solu-
tion. While it is true that a strong example has to be sent out, Westfield’s case is an interesting one because of his claims about being forced to into it. This leads to questions about the dressing room environment and also the team culture. This is where the role of the club, as well as the Board, becomes even more critical. If it is true that young players are being exploited then the problem runs dangerously deep. The ECB and indeed the ICC need a comprehensive education programme in which the players are actually made aware of not only the perils of corruption but also their responsibilities as professional athletes. While it is true that the wages paid to the county cricketers are not very high, the players must realize that they are in a privileged position to be doing what they love and chasing their dreams. The ECB also introduced amnesty for players who report past match-fixing approaches in January this year. It is obvious that the Board is very serious about this situation and wants to do all in its power to ensure that more and more people holding secrets come out and help cleanse the game. At the end, however, it all comes down to the individuals involved; the authorities can only do so much. To say that corruption will forever go away from the sport would be a massive overstatement, but efforts must still be made. The players need to look at themselves as well – to actually understand and realise that they are role models and are representing their country, county and indeed their families on a stage where everyone aspires to be, but very few actually reach. Being a professional sportsperson is a matter of pride and dignity and no amount of money should be able to take that away from a person, athlete or otherwise.
THIS YEAR, Varsity saw the birth of MMA as a competitive sport at university level, and the quality on show was fitting for this title. The contest was arguably up there with the very best in the tournament's recent history. The temperature was searingly hot, as the fighters' primeval red faces testified, and York raced to a 4-2 lead, as Jonathan Coe and Herbert Van Listenburg conquered their hapless counterparts. But the Tigers roared back in dramatic fashion, stealing a draw from the York warriors. MMA is one of the world's fastestgrowing sports thanks to the US Ultimate Fighting Championships, which recently secured a seven-year TV deal with Fox. Who knows, the fighting cage, "The Octagon", could well become the most wellknown shape in sporting terminonlogy.
Photo: Kathy Burke
NEW GIRL ON THE BLOCK AS THE ONLY FEMALE SABB, WILL CHARLOTTE WINTER FACE A CHALLENGE AS YORK SPORT PRESIDENT?
YES By sally dolton
THE WORLD, and especially the world of sports, is male-dominated. I know this first-hand from being the female sports editor at Vision. It is not a conscious act but men do not take me as seriously as my male co-editor, or they do a double-take when I tell them I'm editor, not a watching WAG taking notes. This is not an overreaction or a problem only in university sport – Cameron faced accusations in April last year for telling MP Angela Eagle to "calm down dear". It is this condescension, even if innocently intended, that makes being a woman in a stereotypically male environment a challenge. Within sport, this cane be seen with elite attitudes to women's football. Winter, as York Sport President, is taking over from the very manly Sam Asfahani and the male sports teams will be used to dealing with him. This is not to say that Winter couldn't cope with this; she is an incredibly strong woman, and after working with her on the College Sport committee and seeing her being an inspiring captain to both the uni lacrosse and Alcuin netball, I know that she has the experience necessary to overcome this unconscious bias. However, that is not to say she will not have to face it, but as her lacrosse opponents would testify, she is not easily intimidated.
By BEN MCGLADDERY
HAVING WORKED with Winter on the York Sport committee and watching her play on the lacrosse and netball pitches I know first-hand that Charlotte is not one to take any rubbish from anyone! When it comes to the committee the mix of personalities is what will drive it to be successful. Although I can’t deny that the committee is, and historically has been, rather sausageheavy, I feel that Charlotte, being the only female on the team, will take it in her stride, use it to her advantage and become an excellent York Sport President. If we look back before the indomitable Asfahani, we notice Emily Scott was our YorkSport President, and what did she do for us students? How did she cope with the pressures of gender in a male-dominated environment? Well, together with the help of York Sport President-to-be Sam, she set in motion the abolition of the £40 membership. She fought for improvement of better facilities and, as anyone who has ever known her will tell you, she played every sport she could, and was a great advocate of college sport. Sound familiar? Truth is, if Winter keeps her head on her shoulders, continues with the same proactive, enthusiastic attitude to sport, she is currently renowned for, she will be the best York Sport President we will have seen in a long time. Good luck to her!
Tuesday March 6, 2012
SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF KEITH MORRIS, head of Sports, has hinted that the campaign 'Our Greatest Team' could be incorporated into this year's Roses competition. The nationwide campaign is being run by Technogym and the BOA who are trying to get more people to pledge to do something active in 2012. Morris commented: "We are thinking of introducing a competitive element to 'Our Greatest Team' for Roses this year," with the idea it will motivate people more. He insisted the campaign was "not a sales thing" but is about improving the lifestyle and overall well-being of local communities. So far, over 1,000 'Olympic hubs' have signed up, including York, and there will be more information later this month when the website goes live.
UYBC VENTURED from its home, the Ouse, to the River Nene, Peterborough, for the 5k BUCS head race. The Men’s coxed 4+ was the highlight of the weekend, placing an impressive second, and sheer determination, aided by a fortunately timed crash by leading competitors Durham led Tom Eames, Matt Bowman, Ed Scobie and Richard Nixon to victory. Men’s Senior Captain Sam Agass unfortunately had to pull out of the four with a knee injury. Cheering from the riverbank, he commented: "This is an incredible result for the Men’s squad; it is a testament to all our hard work"; this was the first BUCS medal ever won by the club. The Men’s 4+ as a consequence qualified for the BUCS regatta in May, a prerequisite for "bigger and better things in the upcoming season". YORK ULTIMATE Frisbee Women have reason to celebrate this week as a stunning performance at this year’s Women’s Indoor Nationals have seen them place third in the country. The 1st team began the weekend seeded eighth in the 20-team, two-day tournament, hosted in Stoke-on-Trent. Their flowing and offensive play, fantastic teamwork and strong defence paid off. On Saturday, they achieved three wins with only one loss against Dundee. On Sunday they beat UEA Aye Aye, St Andrews Flatball and Southampton Skunks, losing only to a strong Trinity College Dublin side. Afterwards, Laura Coull said: "I think because we've played together so much, we knew each others' strengths and played to them as we faced each new opposition". IN HONOUR of the Olympics, the York Sport committee have organised a competition, 'Your Roses, Your Torch'. At Roses this year, a torch will travel from York to Lancaster, in honour of the London 2012 Olympics. Like the great sporting event the organisers are seeking to emulate, the torch will be used as part of the opening ceremony. The exciting part is that the torch is designed by York students. Full requirements for the design are online at www. yusu.org/beachampion/art. All designs need to be submitted before the 8th March. This can be your Roses with your torch – get inspired, and get involved! Contributors: Amy Ballard, Jack Bradshaw, Sally Dolton & Rachael Venables.
WINTER ALL YEAR ROUND By Sally Dolton & Helena Kaznowska continued from the back page... "I think his policies on transport are actually really key." She plans on emulating Shin’s provisional plans during her tenure, and she is "genuinely brimming with excitement for next year," as she has wanted this role for "so long". The presidency will kick off in October, and Winter has already made big plans for her opening weeks in the role. "From freshers' week, whatever our first BUCS game is, we need to let every fresher know. From the off, I want to get everyone interested and aware of what our teams are about and get people down to the 22 Acres and the Sports Centre to support, whether they are involved or not. Basically we need to get a ‘Team York’ feeling that we are lacking." One milestone Winter faces is publicity of sporting events. Throughout her campaign she highlighted the importance of campus media and Twitter in addition to running a weekly blog. "It would be nice if we could get members of the committee [to write it]," she said. "For example, this week there is the College Rugby 10s one-day tournament and it would be perfect if I could be writing a blog about it to get people down to the event." Another bright idea of Winter’s which addresses the problem of sparsely supported matches is to utilise "the big televisions around campus to cover what is going on. At the moment no one knows what games are being played." At the moment, these screens are predominantly used for cam-
pus news messages rather than sporting updates or fixtures. Vision is certain that students would rather get news on Roses than another Your Shop stationary deal. One of Winter’s biggest challenges, a problem too big even for the great Sam Asfahani, was the complex issue of dwindling college participation from certain colleges, particularly Langwith and Wentworth. Regarding Langwith, she plans to "get more Sports representatives for them. They have a new area on Hes East so we really want to support them and I’m really hoping to get a rugby team out for them." She believes Langwith college teams will, from next year, "be fine, as they have the new facilities and increased numbers." However, as a postgraduate college, Wentworth faces radically different problems compared to the others. Winter has tactics to respond to their individual need; by scheduling their matches to the last fixture of the day, she hopes to accommodate their different timetables and encourage participation in college sport activities. It's a simple solution but Winter is prepared to "aid them in any way". For her, "college sport is the perfect way of building up college unity." But the question on everyone’s lips is: how will Winter make the next home Roses competition the best to date? She is enthused rather than daunted by the magnitude of the event, especially about how the Heslington East complex will improve the competition. "I am so excited for Roses. Firstly, we are getting the stadium back and we need to make it even bigger and better." She plans to get more societies involved, as "the big thing again is about participation, obviously coming from a college sport
background I would love to get as many Barbarian teams involved as possible. Roses is my big thing and I am so excited." Winter has promised to dedicate herself to both college and university sport, as well as to other, more obscure sports. Despite admitting she's "not a massive Harry Potter fan," although she didn't want to say during the hustings, Winter has agreed to purchase broomsticks for Quidditch: "If they definetly wanted me to, I would!" In case this doesn't convince you of her dedication to the role, Winter continued: "I've wanted this role for so, so long and I’m so excited – York Sport is going to have a fantastic year next year, brilliant sportsmen in our clubs, and we have so much potential as a sporting university. " When asked what her favourite aspect of sport at York, she cited the camaraderie. "Everyone gets on so well. It’s the friendships you make. You win together, lose together. You can’t not love York Sport." Curious of her future life as a sabbatical officer, Vision posed the question: "Snog, Marry, Avoid – Kallum Taylor, Graeme Osborn, Chris West?", to which she laughed, a lot, and exclaimed "I can’t answer that! But... I would marry Kallum... then the others would just have to fight it out!" But when Vision inquired into her postpresidency plans, Winter confessed: "This may sound silly, but my dream job would be working as a sports commentator. In football, ideally, but I definitely want to work in sports as my career. " Winter concluded: "I hope I do half as good as Sam [Asfahani] did because I think he did a fantastic job. I am genuinely honoured to be the new York Sport President."
CREAM OF THE CROP OLIVER WESSELY & ALEX FINNIS PICK OUT A DREAM TEAM FROM THE COLLEGE RUGBY SEMI-FINALISTS
1 -Tommy SavageJames
-Benji Brummitt- -James McNeillHalifax James
THE COLLEGE RUGBY season is drawing to a close, with the semi-finals coming up this week, and for Derwent it has been a season to remember. Derwent, who were victorious in both the XVs and Xs tournaments last year, have beaten everyone put in front of them. This includes two wins over UYRUFC 3rd XV teams – an impressive achievement, considering Derwent is one of the smallest colleges. Alex Littlechild in particular has stood out, and he is joined in the back row of our team by his captain Tolga Necar. Dom Munns and Ed Kemp take their places in a back line that would struggle to be strong-
er than Derwent's own free-flowing outfit. College rugby stalwarts James pipped Alcuin to second place in the league. The inclusion of hard-hitting forwards Tommy Savage and Phil Clayton reflects their strength up front, while Benji Brummitt makes the side at 9 despite being injured of late. Alcuin's Alex Harrison has been a beacon of power and consistency while the rabid Alex Wilson makes the side for his frightening tackling ability. Halifax captain James McNeill is selected in the pivotal role of fly-half after some inspiring performances, and strong runner Joe Cormack joins Munns in the centres.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
JONATHAN BARRON AND ALEX FINNIS JOIN THE CENTURIONS TO TACKLE AMERICAN FOOTBALL JB: DESPITE SOME obvious parallels with our national sport of rugby, the first thing that struck me about American football was just how different it felt to play than most sports I’m familiar with. With my experience of American football comprising the odd NFL match and having completed NFL Street 2 on the GameCube, I felt I had a passable grasp of the game. Nevertheless, I realised it would be naive to suspect the sport wouldn’t take some getting used to. Naturally, the first port of call was to don the distinctive shoulder pads and helmet before getting going, however, thanks to some wretchedly recalcitrant hair, I was forced to wear the largest and heaviest helmet available. Personally, the oversized pads served to make me feel more apprehensive, if anything, and I found myself thinking thoughts like "we never had to wear anything like this for rugby, how much worse must this be that all this protection is necessary?" Or – "my ribs feel awfully exposed." AF: As a college rugby player for the mighty Alcuin, I actually felt far more comfortable about the contact side of American football than I did about the skills or tactics involved. I should explain that I'm a flanker, meaning my job is to run around tackling anything in sight and have rarely pulled off as flamboyant as a mere
side-step. We wouldn't be going into contact just yet though, and, with York Sport President and Centurions coach Sam Asfahani as our guide, we went over to try some widereceiver-style catching. Things started surprisingly well as I smothered the quarterback's inch-perfect first pass in my arms, and I couldn't help but chuckle, far too smugly, when Jonathan's first attempt cannoned back off his own face. JB: After my slightly embarrassing first 'catch', the next time I took better care to follow the ball and tried to take the catch into my stomach. It winded me, but I was buoyed and felt I was getting the hang of it. By the end I had got my technique down, but was still only catching about one in four; the ball stung painfully in the cold and it was more a case of training myself not to recoil as the ball sped towards me. AF: By contrast I barely caught another ball after my initial success, but found it interesting to learn about all the different routes that wide receivers run to fool the opposition. It was already clear to me that this was an extremely tactical game, one that is often won in the preparation as much as on the field itself. JB: Next came the offensive drills, where coach Sam talked us through
various running plays, and I found myself desperately confused as the quarterback screamed an indecipherable series of numbers and words, until Sam exclaimed that I should "just do the same as last time!" I found it a real struggle having to keep focused on my technique and what I was supposed to be doing in the game while simultaneously running through the various steps of the move in my head, and I frequently found myself losing track of either one or both. AF: The particular moves being played out on Wednesday were specifically tailored with the weekend game against Lancaster in mind. Sam told me that they were a strong, but not particularly intelligent team, therefore many of the plays were being set up to take advantage of this. We tried one which required me to take the ball from the quarterback and look like I was going to run left, before gut-passing it to the onrushing wide receiver, who in fact took it the other way. JB: We finished with some defensive covering and tackling, and in a society in which health and safety has become a pretty bad joke, it was honestly an absolute privilege to see how much force the human body can sustain and exert as the players hurtled into each other! I partook in a couple of drills, but the players were only gunning at half-pace, since to be honest, I do not weigh a lot and am weak and puny. AF: With contact finally upon us I felt a bit more within my comfort zone, although the tackling technique is very different to that used in rugby, where aiming low around the legs is the key. We were taught to keep our heads up and smash our hel-
Photo: Oliver Todd
mets into the opponent's arm before forcing them up and back, hopefully to the point that they end up winded on the hard, cold ground. After trying this out against a few of the team themselves, Sam was keen to pit John and myself against each other, and I take full macho pride in saying that I came out on top. We learnt a lot about the sheer amount of thought and skill that goes into American football, but what really stuck with me was this: smashing into another person feels even better with pads on.
CLIMBING THE LADDER UYRUFC SCRAPE OVER LINE UYAFC 1STS SAIL PAST LEEDS MET 2NDS 3-0 By TOM BRANDRETH YORK 1STS earned a sensational 3-0 victory away to second place Leeds Met 2nds to haul themselves off the bottom of the table and grab their first league win of the campaign. In a game the visitors dominated from start to finish, goals from Dan Jones and a brace from Tom Clarke sealed the win, moving York above Varsity rivals Hull, and crucially, out of the relegation zone. Playing on the same pitch as the cup game the week earlier, York started brightly, comfortably controlling possession. This soon paid off as York grabbed the opening goal through a stunning Tom Clarke strike. The forward, receiving the ball with his back to goal, turned on a sixpence, sidestepped his marker and rifled a thunderous, swerving shot into the top corner. The early goal gave the visitors confidence, and a great chance fell to James Davies. The midfielder burst through a defenceless Leeds Met as he latched on to a Clarke flick-on, but he pulled his shot wide with his weaker foot. However, first-half dominance was rewarded late in the period as York doubled their lead. A huge Tom Brandreth throw-in sailed over the Met defenders and was neatly tapped in by Dan Jones at the far post, who had timed his late run to perfection. Now firmly in control, it was not long into the second period when York put the
RUGBY 2NDS CHECK NORTHUMBRIA COMEBACK By CHRIS UNDERWOOD
result beyond doubt. Davies, linking up well again with Clarke, raced into the box and was clumsily brought down to earn York a penalty. Clarke calmly slotted home, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. Despite desperate Leeds Met attempts to get back into the game, York’s defence was largely untroubled. They were, however, given a let-off when their striker arrowed a shot towards the far corner, but Bradley acrobatically tipped the ball around the post. That was the visitors’ only real scare as they comfortably saw out the rest of the game. The result leaves the fate of York’s season in their own hands, with crucial home games against Hull and Leeds 2nds still to play. First, though, they must travel to play the same Leeds side in the cup semifinal that could well define York’s season.
Photo: Oliver Todd
HUGO WATSON'S second-half try settled an enthralling encounter between Northumbria 2nds and York 2nds in what was truly a game of two halves. York dominated the first, leading 17-6 at the break, but a resurgent Northumbria fought back to lead midway through the second half. Watson eventually clinched the match for York, who won 22-18. York took the lead within three minutes as Will Sharp found space down the outside to score an early try. Through a penalty, Northumbria were allowed to reduce the deficit to two, but they found themselves further behind just moments later. An assured exchange of passing left the Northumbria defence in knots, as Mike Woods took advantage to score York's second try of the afternoon, with Will Peters converting to make it 12-3. Although Northumbria briefly pushed York back, scoring a penalty, Osbourne scored his second try as York led 17-6 at the break. Yet the team that had been so comfortable in the opening period was camped inside their own half as the visitors besieged the try line. Their reward came 20 minutes in when a melee of bodies forced the ball over. A last-ditch tackle from Rich Rhodes prevented Northumbria from scoring again moments later as the visitors smelled blood. A bursting run split the York defence to cap
Photo: TK Rohit
an awful five minutes for the hosts as they fell behind for the first time, at 17-18. Having gone behind, York sought to regain control. Will Peters missed a penalty, but the momentum had swung once more. With a little over 10 minutes left, Hugo Watson received the ball just inside the 22, holding off several challenges to run through and score. It seemed there would be a further twist in the story as York were pushed back to within yards of their try-line. Defending valiantly amid the scramble that ensued, York managed to keep their lead. Captain Steve Bryan praised his players: "We have had a couple of defeats recently and a bad one on Sunday. To come back and play like that just shows the character that this club is based on."
Tuesday March 6, 2012
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> THE next YORK SPORT president SPEAKS EXCLUSIVELY TO VISION > "we need to get a 'team york' feeling" By SALLY DOLTON & Helena Kaznowska AFTER TOUGH weeks of campaigning, answering students' questions and fighting it out for the best cardboard space on campus, Charlotte Winter was elected York Sport President last Thursday. As anyone could tell by witnessing her ecstatic response, this was a contest with a great deal of heart and hopes riding on it. She
spoke exclusively to Vision about her plans for presidency, the new sports complex and her excitement for the next home Roses. When asked about her campaigning, Winter highlighted the fantastic support she received, especially from Alcuin netball and the University rugby and lacrosse teams. "There were so many people who backed me, but those teams were absolutely incredible – however, the race for presidency wasn’t easy. "You get so little sleep, it’s on your mind
Photo: Oliver Todd
constantly and there's the fear that you are not going to be good enough," she admitted. "There were days when I thought this was the worst thing in the world." Winter’s fight for the role was made even harder by the strength of competitor DongOh Shin. Winter complimented her opponent, saying: "he was just so gracious. We got on so well, he is just a lovely person and he ran a fantastic campaign." Continued on Page 26
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