Issue 276

Page 1

17.06.22

YORK’S AWARD-WINNING TABLOID NEWSPAPER

ISSUE 276

STUDENT CENTRE AGM Architects respond to student questions

JINMI: “RACISTS NEED TO LEARN THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES”

RACISM AT ROSES

Vision Interviews Dylan Jinmi Following Racist Abuse at This Year’s Roses Tournament BY

KATIE PRESTON

OCCURRING AT THIS year’s away Roses tournament, racism towards York player Dylan Jinmi has gone mostly undisclosed by the University. Playing during the men’s firsts Rugby match at 4pm on Roses Sunday, Jinmi was the victim of racist targeting from Lancaster fans. Witnessed by the Vision team attending the game, along with Dylan’s own team mates, the racism seen at Roses has remained undisclosed by the University and York Sports Union. Vision interviewed Dylan on the discrimination he received

FULL STORY ON PAGE 5

LGBTQ+ OFFICERS SPEAK TO VISION PAGE 4


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NEWS

Friday June 17, 2022

News 2 Editor Ruth Kelner Deputy Editor Niamh Irvine Opinion 6 Editor Matt Rogan Deputy Editor VACANT Features 24 Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT Lifestyle 26 Editor Jasmine Moody Deputy Editor Sharanya Kumar Science & Tech 27 Editor Oliver Fisher Deputy Editor VACANT Climate 28 Editor Joe Baker Deputy Editor Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb Sport 30 Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT Stage S3 Editor Amber Handley Deputy Editor Kayleigh Wittenbrink Screen S4 Editor Jed Wagman Deputy Editor Gena Clarke Games S6 Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT Food S7 Editor Tom Willett Deputy Editor Navya Verma Relationships S8 Editor Bethan Hubbard Deputy Editor Otty Allum Travel S9 Editor Grace Swadling Deputy Editor Nicholas Chen Books S10 Editor Caitlin Hyland Deputy Editor Orla McAndrew Music S11 Editor Joe Radford Deputy Editor Ben Forsdick

Editor Katie Preston Editor Marti Stelling Deputy Editor Dan Bennett SCENE Editor Emily Sinclair Chief Subeditor Megan Bartley Subeditor Alexis Casas Subeditor Caroline Sherlock Subeditor Isobel Williams Subeditor Laura Rowe Subeditor Matt Davis Subeditor Miri Huntley Subeditor Phillipa Salmon Illustrator Niall McGenity Managing Director Matt Davis Deputy Managing Director Bethan Hubbard Social Media Director Orla McAndrew Technical Director Marks Polakovs Head of Multimedia VACANT Wellbeing Officer Miri Huntley Opinions expressed in York Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Editorial Team, membership, or advertisers.

FLICK: “EVERYBODY’S JUST ONE STEP AWAY FROM DISABILITY”

DISABLED PEOPLE SIDELINED

BY RUTH

KELNER

IN THE SUMMER of 2020 the City of York Council closed its doors to its blue badge holders. Streets could no longer be accessed by blue badge holders or taxis used by residents with visible or invisible disabilities. On behalf of her son, disabled carer, Alison Hume decided to start a petition, which has now been signed by over 2300 people, to re-open the city. Following the petition, Alison set up York Accessibility Action at the end of 2020 alongside Mike, Jane and her son Edward Mitten who is a young adult with complex disabilities. There are now a dozen active members. Despite the number of signatures the Blue Badge restriction was still passed. Since then YAA raised £10,000 to hire Chris Fry, a specialist disability lawyer to explore legal routes for those who have been badly affected by the “ban”. Alison explains that the council don’t call it a “ban”, but “that’s what it is, you can’t get anywhere close to the city centre”. Flick Williams a disability activist and University of York alum-

ni, says that this ban more than just makes disabled residents lives difficult, it is “blatant discrimination”. “Disabled people have a pro otected characteristic. And you have a public sector equality duty under the equalities act. 2010” The list of places inaccessible to York’s disabled residents is extensive. The extent of this inaccessibility means that disabled residents’ “lives have just been completely turned upside down, and it’s horrible,” says Alison. YAA’s experience with the council has been anything but positive, Alison says that the council might say you’re being consulted but in reality “we’ve been backed into a tick-box exercise, where we haven’t actually been asked what we need.” “I’ve had a letter from a 93 year old who can no longer get into York, even with the help of her daughter, and then you’ve got people who are younger and now can’t get to the cinema.” “That’s been the most upsetting thing, realising that the council’s understanding of disability is so poor, and they do not understand the social model of disability.” York is saying that it’s the first

A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS Katie Preston, Co-Editor

AS OUR FIRST editors note, we would like to introduce ourselves as the new editors of York Vision As we prepare to welcome a new cohort of Vision writers, it’s made us reflect on our time in student media. We both got involved with writing for Vision at the beginning of our second year at York, holding roles of Lifestyle Editor and Opinion Editor respectively. That first editorial meeting was so daunting, sitting in a room full of other editors for the first time during Covid-19. Since then,

Marti Stelling, Co-Editor

we have become Vision’s first female-led editorial team in a number of years, produced our bi-annual Roses supplement, and spent too much money in campus bars! Producing a paper is never easy, and we are very grateful to Matt and Will for answering our endless questions, and not getting too irritated every time Marti points out a Matt look-alike (I’ve counted three so far!) We are also very grateful to Marks for making sure our computers are running smoothly. How many editors does it take to set up

human rights city but how can that be true if the city centre is closed to its disabled residents Alison criticises the proposal of an electric shuttle bus and hireable mobility scooters saying that they are “just tinkering around the edges” of disabled people’s needs. YAA feel strongly about breaking the perception that accessibility is not just about parking or wheelchairs. “There are lots of hidden disabilities and neurodiversity, fluctuating conditions such as MS and mental health issues and anxiety, the car is a safe place not just a means of getting from A to B.” The issues stretch further than just the blue badge ban, Flick says it has been the “long stated aim of this administration to have a car free city.” “If you take away the gloss and the glitter of York as a tourist destination, you’ll find that it’s lacking,” Alison told Vision. The issues raised by disability activists have not stopped at the Blue Badge ban; the recent Clifford’s tower redevelopment has also provoked controversy. Even with the £5 million spent by English Heritage Flick says they haven’t actually thought about ac-

a PC? The answer is three, plus a Comp-Sci student on the other end of a phone. This issue brings the front page story of racism at this year’s Roses tournament, as well as an interview with the new LGBTQ+ Officers, and the architects’ plans for the new student centre. You can look forward to learning the science involved in disposable vapes, and how inflation impacts students. Aunty Vi returns to answer your questions, speaking on the dreaded graduation conversation. In Features, Vision speaks to the Disabled Student’s Network on the impacts of Covid-19. You can also read an exclusive interview with Patrick O’Donnell on his run as President of the Students’ Union, as well as a feature with Kelly Balmer on her role in office. This issue, our Opinion section looks at religious spaces on campus, academia, and the new student centre. As usual, we have a a regular column from Jasmine and a new column by Emilia, YUSU’s BAME Officer. More than ever, climate is at

cess. “They’ve put a staircase for people to rest on the way up and are busy patting themselves on the back but they should’ve done better.” In addition Alison says the Council never came to YAA to ask about Clifford’s Tower redevelopment. Flick - “The more you find, the worse it gets, every rock I dare to look under hides dreadful issues around inaccessibility” The Minster is a building that has put effort into being accessible and now wheelchair users can get into the crypts below. Flick explains however that “apart from the Minster there isn’t a single building in York that has gone out of their way to make themselves accessible.” In her final comments to Vision Alison explains why fighting for the rights of disabled people is important, “Everybody’s just one step away from disability. People can be disabled temporarily, they can have a life changing accident, or we age into disability. And therefore, it’s to the benefit of all of us to factor disability into everything that we do.”

the forefront of our minds. This issue, our Climate section brings a spotlight on Ecosia, the environmentally friendly search enginge, as well as discussing the correlation between large-scale-events and disruption-based activism. As Summer begins to make its entrance and the Greylags once again take over campus, take a chance to reflect on the academic year which has passed. Could you see yourself as an editor of one of the sections? We will be holding elections in the Autumn term, so keep an eye on social media if you would like to run! At Vision, we are a society as well as a paper. We could not be the student group we are without the tight-knit community that works tirelessly to get the paper out each issue! So wherever you are, whether you picked up this issue in the library, Spring Lane, or the stray issues that made their way to Derwent, make yourself a cup of tea, get comfy, and settle in for issue 276! Marti and Katie


NEWS

Friday June 17, 2022

PAYING FOR CONTROVERSY

BY KATIE

PRESTON

FOLLOWING A GOVERNMENT proposal, Student Unions may now have to pay for controversial speakers - even if they don’t want them. Reported by the Mirror on Monday 13th June, new government legislature proposed to be added to the Freedom of Speech Bill would ban unions from passing on a speaker’s security costs to the society that invited them. Poignant for University of York students following the controversial “Feminism and Free Speech” event that occurred outside the Law and Management Building on Campus East earlier this term, the proposal has been called “deeply disapppointing” by the National Union of Students. Similarly outraged, the Department of Education has claimed that this allows for speakers to be “no-platformed by the back door”, with smaller societies and groups at universities potentially unable to pay for costs. Speaking out on Twitter, the CEO of YUSU Ben Vulliamy describes the potential choice by Parliament as “absurd”, stating that he can’t “demand to speak at Parliament or in the Minsters home and tell her she must pay for security fees”. The new ammendment, if passed, will include ensuring that student union premises are not “denied” to any speaker due to their “ideas, beliefs or views”. This new announcement comes only months after a controversial speaker was allowed onto campus, with the aforementioned event protested by various liberation groups and societies such as Feminist Society and LGBTQ+ Network. A spokesperson from the National Union of Students also told the Mirror that it’s “deeply disappointing that the Government have rejected amendments that SUs be funded to undertake the new duties being placed on them”. YUSU CEO also argued on Twitter that there are no other platforms “for anyone who wants to speak and someone else to pay for the bill”.

YORK IN NATIONAL NEWS FOR CONTENT WARNINGS

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MODULE TRIGGER WARNINGS BY

KATIE PRESTON

YORK HAS MADE national headlines for giving students content warnings. Reported by the Telegraph and Daily Mail, the University has gained attention for giving content warnings for topics which could be potentially triggering. The departments in mention are the department of Archaeology and Language and Linguistic Science Warning students of content that could cause upset within the Archaeology department, such as the exposure of “human remains” and funeral rites, the Telegraph’s article criticises the University’s use of content warnings within the department. Despite being unclear whether undergraduate students choosing to study some of Archaeology’s more hands-on modules, such as

the Egyptian practise of mummification, were previously made aware of the module’s sensitive content, students were informed of the potential “discussion of funerary treatments” and the “different methodologies” of preserving the deceased. Modules in Archaeological theory have also been criticised for providing trigger warnings, with the Telegraph reporting that lectures including “political discourse” were also flagged by the University as potentially upsetting. Similarly, the University of York has also given trigger warnings in the Language and Linguistic Science department. Flagging insults and swear words as content warnings, English Language and Linguistics students have been warned about “verbal abuse, spoken and written threats”, with slurs and taboo terms also being reiterated by the Universi-

ty as potentially harmful. Citing that it is sometimes simultaneously the language itself and the historical context that causes unpleasantness, the Telegraph has once again reported the distressing material covered in its courses. Explaining that language surrounding death, crime, miscarriages and “transphobic behaviour”, amongst others, will also receive excessive trigger warnings, the University has been in national news frequently surrounding it’s issue of content warnings. Many medical reports studied in Linguistics feature outdated language which could be offensive to students. The Department of English and Related Literature is another department which gives trigger warnings before studying topics and terminology which could be triggering.

ARCHITECTS MEET WITH STUDENTS AND STAFF TO DISCUSS

STUDENT CENTRE AGM CAUSES BACKLASH BY KATIE

PRESTON

DURING AN AGM on 8th June, students and staff alike met directly with the controversial student centre’s designers and architects. Led by YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell, who called the outreach for student input a “once in a 60 year chance to have your say”, the AGM was full of Part Time Officers, student media leaders and Sabbatical Officers armed with questions for the design team. Speaking with Jon Roylance (ADP HE Sector Director), John Toumey (ODT Design Director) and Helen O’Curry (ADP Project Lead Director), the building’s designers and architects took the students through the inspiration process behind the controversial design. Toumey described the inspirations of the “complexity and character” of iconic York buildings such as the York Minster. York Railway Station is also a prominent guideline as it is “not shy of its relationship with modern construction.” The architects consistently reminded students of the desire for a “physical connection” between the library and the lake, dubbed as “the heart and soul” of campus. Sophie Kelly, outgoing YUSU Activities officer, however, questioned the building’s functionality and ability to accommodate clubs and societies. When asked about the requirements for specialist spaces for societies such as URY, YSTV,

and TechSoc, the architects stated that there has been a “relatively short design period”, with work needing to be done to decide how spaces can “use and flex.” URY Station Manager William King reiterated a similar anxiety around specialist spaces, asking the architects about the time frame of the building and consultations with student media. Helen O’Curry stated that she didn’t want to put a date on the consultation process, however Jon Roylance assured that there will be a “decent amount of time in the programme to make sure we get these things absolutely right.” Incoming LGBTQ+ Officer Katie Wiseman raised a similar question of accessibility, with the architects continuously stating that the disabilities team will be consulted and that “gender-neutral toilets are within the design” to cater for non-binary students. Kelly Balmer, outgoing Community and Wellbeing Officer, was critical of the plans to build the student centre over the Spring Lane Building car park, including accessible parking spaces. However, the architects ensured that there will be “drop off points and accessible spaces to the North and front of the building”, with the issue of accessible parking in discussion with the university. A question that a lot of student media teams had been concerned with, incoming Activities Officer Rohan Ashar asked about the scope of everything planned to be included in the building alongside the demands of student media.

In response, the architects were not particularly reassuring to the student media leaders present. Stating that there is a “hierarchy of spaces”, the designers emphasised that the floorplan is not fixed, however did mention that the “central part of the ground floor will have a broadcasting space” despite it also posing as a nightclub. The final message of the AGM was a positive one from the architects, instructing the students in attendance that they mustn’t “allow [the architects] to disappoint your expectations”, arguing that “no one is denying or refusing anything” in terms of space. A University of York spokesperson said: “We want to hear from students, and they can continue to get involved through our feedback portal. All students can provide their views on this project, and consultation with our student community will continue throughout the build of the Centre. “Representatives of the student union are on the Project Board and formed part of the judging panel. As part of the initial round of stakeholder consultations, student union representatives were consulted and views sought from clubs and societies, and this engagement will of course continue.” Consultations with student media groups occurred on the 13th of June, with the outcome of the student centre floor plan still up for discussion.


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NEWS

Friday June 17, 2022

RON FOR LUSU SOCIETIES AND MEDIA VP

SCAN HAVE REPORTED that following the LUSU VP Societies and Media election, current VP Dom Casoria has failed to meet the requrie quota. Receiving 603 votes, 24 votes below the requirement, SCAN has reported that Casoria’s total was exceeded by the number of votes for reopen nominations (RON) which received 651 total votes. SCAN also reported that previous candidate Tabitha Lambie had been disadvantaged within the election earlier this year, causing the elections to be briefly paused. In accordance with Lancaster University Student Union, a new election will be held to re-elect the role.

DURHAM GRANT SCHEME UNDER REVIEW THE PALATINATE HAVE reported that Durham University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Education has been asked to review the level of the Durham Grant. After the Durham Students’ Union questioned the rising accomodation fees, the Palatinate have announced that the University will undertake a “review of the level” of the Grant scheme. Currently, new home undergraduates who have a household income of £42,875 or lower are automatically eligible to receive funding through the Durham Grant Scheme, with those on the lowest incomes (less than £25,000) are eligible for the maximum amount of £2,000 of additional funding.

STUDENT TRAGEDY IN WARWICK THE BOAR HAS reported that a first year student has tragically died in Bluebell Accommodation on June 6th. A first year MEng Computer Science student, the Boar reports that a helicopter landed at the scene before shortly taking off after 8.00pm. According to the publication, multiple police cars and medical vehicles were spotted with the Community Safety Team also present on site. The Computer Science department released a statement following the tragedy: “this is very sad news, and may come as a shock especially to those who knew Sam”. The Boar urges students who have been affected to reach out to the University’s mental health and wellbeing services.

NO.1 STUDENTS UNION FOR SHEFFIELD UNIVERSITY FORGE PRESS HAVE reported that Sheffield Students Union has become the no.1 students union in the UK for the fifth year running. Awarded the “Best Students’ Union” award at the Whatuni Students Choice Awards 2022, Sheffield University also ranked in the top three UK universities in the University of the Year category and second in the Student Life category. Forge Press reports that Evie Croxford, Sheffield Students’ Union President 2021-22 has thanked the students who took the time to review the SU. Sheffield University was also nominated for best University for Postgraduate and International students.

LGBTQ+ PTOS IGNORED AFTER HARRASSMENT IMAGE: KATIE PRESTON

BY KATIE

PRESTON

FOLLOWING THE “FEMINISM and Free Speech” protest, Vision spoke to LGBTQ+ officers Ziggy Pavey and Katie Wiseman on their anger surrounding the University’s response. Ziggy and Katie described their communication with the university since the event: “We have been working with both the University and YUSU to mitigate the distress felt by trans, queer, and sex working groups after this event.” “However, in response to the harassment of students as a direct result of the event, the University has not done enough. We have been vocal about this in private but now feel it necessary to speak publicly as we have not been listened to.” Bindel has previously published articles in national news such as “Gender Benders, Beware!”, rhetoric which the trans and non-binary community found harmful and offensive. Following an EMF, some questions remained open that required further clarification but the student backlash emphasised a need for a more robust approach to safety and security. Ziggy and Katie emphasised the importance of safeguarding at the event: “We immeditately highlighted previous incidents resulting in students being harassed and we feared that this could happen to students in York.” Ziggy and Katie then disclosed their anger at the death threats students received following the event, and the university’s response: “Once the online harassment happened, the University left us to deal with both the online transphobia and the hateful and disturbing comments from the speaker’s supporters, such as speculation about what an individual trans student’s genitals looked like. As the University did not react, we were also

the only visible point of contact for the anger and hurt from the student body.” “We don’t need well-being support, we need the University to take responsibility and help us deal with the fallout from the event that they allowed to go ahead.” The LGBTQ+ Officers then emphasised the University’s lack of support for trans students: “We felt that the University did not listen to us. They ignored us, passed the responsibility and blame for this fallout around and left the attacked students to essentially fend for themselves. “The University only offered generic support through emails referring students to the Open Door Team, and the basic advice of temporarily disabling social media. They have created an action plan with no measurable action in it and it is not good enough.” Ziggy and Katie then explained the hypocrisy of the University promoting Pride Month after the event: “As officers, we are conflicted about how involved to be in the University’s plans this month. We have already declined the invitation to their Pride Flag Raising ceremony, opting instead to go only to the YUSU one. We understand that the University has a legal duty to uphold lawful freedom of speech, but they also have a duty of care to protect minority students from harassment and intimidation. “The silence around the current situation shows the student body that the University seemingly does not care.” Finally, the LGBTQ+ officers emphasised what the University can do better to prevent issues similar to this occurring again: “When we were approached by the University Communications Team, we asked three things from them. Firstly, an acknowledgement from the

University that this happened and that harassment online (i.e. trolling or doxxing) is negative. “This essentially could be a statement or Instagram post from the University so all affected students can be shown that they haven’t been forgotten about. Following that, we asked for a statement from the University standing with the transgender community. “Finally, we wanted assurance that there would be a more robust contract for all future speakers agreeing to not slander or post about individual students after their talk without the student’s explicit consent.” A University of York spokesperson said: “We know the subsequent social media activity following the event has caused a lot of anxiety, distress and concern, and we are sorry that students feel unsupported. “As soon as we were aware of the trolling, we offered advice and have since met to listen and discuss the concerns with students. We shared the steps we are taking, including extending social media guidance, both before and after such events on campus, to all our staff, students and visitors. “Whilst we are unable to prevent lawful sharing of content from public social media accounts, we recognise choosing whether to respond to any subsequent trolling is difficult. We know it can feel deeply unjust in the moment, but responding can often provoke further trolling and attention. “We want to understand more about new Government plans to protect people from anonymous trolls online. We want to work together to improve our advice on how to prevent and deal with online abuse. “This includes how to report these cases, including to the social media platforms, which can be the most effective way to terminate abusive accounts.”


NEWS

Friday June 17, 2022

RACISM AT ROSES SCANDAL

Vision interviews Dylan Jinmi on the racism he recieved from Lancaster fans. BY

KATIE PRESTON

OCCURRING AT THIS year’s away Roses tournament, racism towards York player Dylan Jinmi has gone mostly undisclosed by the University. Playing during the men’s firsts Rugby match at 4pm on Roses Sunday, Jinmi was the victim of racist targeting from Lancaster fans. Witnessed by the Vision team attending the game, along with Dylan’s own team mates, the racism seen at Roses has remained undisclosed by the University and York Sports Union. Vision interviewed Dylan on the discrimination he received and the University’s lack of support in the aftermath. Stating that he “received a lock of heckling from Lancaster fans which [he] ignored”, Dylan initially described his feelings towards the racial discrimination. Emphasising that whilst he has experienced abuse at previous games, experiencing racism at the high-profile Roses tournament came as a shock as Dylan described it as such a “large event”. After being approached by the York coach and two teammates, Dylan was made aware that not only had his team witnessed several Lancaster fans call him racial slurs, but that the referee at the game was asked to take action and refused.

Dylan informed Vision that “York Sport Union were aware at the time but I was never contacted by them” following the racism incident. Jinmi only received communication from York a week later following complaints issued by the player’s family. Vision was also told that despite relaying the names of his teammates that had also witnessed Jinmi be the target of racist harass-

ment, he has still not received news on any investigation. Dylan has also never received an official apology from Lancaster University for the harassment he experienced. Vision asked Dylan to disclose the process of trying to access support from the University of York. Stating that “both [his] mum and grandparents sent off emails to York the week after the incident”, Dylan reiterated that it was only after family intervention that he received contact from the University. Dylan told Vision that he “told the University the names of two of [his] teammates that had heard fans say slurs” in the hopes of providing more lines of enquiry. Vision were informed however that “it took two weeks for York to tell [Dylan] they would follow up” on the racism incident despite complaints from family. Dylan ensures Vision that he has had no communication from the University since despite being informed that he would be updated on the investigation. Fraser Strand, player no.6 during the Roses 3XV tournament on Saturday 30th March, also reiterated that the team has not heard from the University and are unaware of any developments in the investigation. However, a University Spokesperson informed Vision that the issue has not been reported to the University’s Conduct and Respect team despite Dylan’s communication and complaints from family. When asked about the slurs used by Lancaster fans against the player, Jinmi emphasised that his teammates were uncomfortable repeating them. Dylan also disclosed that one of the fans who made comments was confronted, with the Lancaster supporter apparently stating that “I’m not racist, I have black friends” when challenged by the away team. Vision has previously attempted to reach out to Lancaster Student Union and Vice Sports President to comment on the behaviour of Lancaster fans, however have not received contact. Vision asked Dylan what steps need to be taken to prevent racism issues from occurring in the future and how the University can better support those who are the target of discrimination: “Responding with actual urgency to racist incidents would be a step up as it feels like these incidents don’t matter unless there’s some sort of publicity around it” Dylan also emphasised the need for Lan-

caster University to issue an official apology, reiterating that “punishments need to be given to teams whose fans commit racist acts, whether it’s financial penalties or a points deduction.” The bottom line came from Dylan, stating that “racists need to learn there are consequences to their actions.” Vision spoke to York Sport Union President Franki Riley about the racism Dylan faced and the University’s handling of the incident: “During the Closing Ceremony of Roses 2022, two York students approached me saying that a member of their club had experienced racial slurs during their match. “I was extremely concerned about this, and without a way of getting an official account of the events at that time, I asked the students to work with their club leaders also present during the game to send me a written account including as many details as possible so that we could take action. “At the time I was never told who the student was or given any contact details for me to pass on to the appropriate staff or to get in touch with myself to follow up. “It wasn’t until we (YUSU) were passed an email from the student’s mother that any written contact was made to YUSU officially reporting the incident and providing us with identifiable details. “With this information, we immediately contacted the student directly for more information and to provide support, and began working with colleagues in Lancaster to investigate. That investigation is still ongoing, and we are awaiting updates and hope an appropriate conclusion will be reached soon. “YUSU takes racism and all discriminatory incidents extremely seriously, and were extremely saddened to hear of what happened. “Racism is not welcome in our community and at any sports competition we participate in and we do not tolerate our students being subject to such behaviour. “We encourage anyone with any information to come forward directly to YUSU.”

SELF-CERTIFICATION INCREASE

BY KATIE

5

PRESTON

FOLLOWING THE INTRODUCTION of a new self-certification policy by outgoing Academic Officer Matt Johnstone, self-certification has dramatically increased. Reiterated in the Sabbatical Officer YUSU AGM, Johnstone revealed that from January to April 20th, around 6500 individual students utilised the self-certification tool on eVision. Not counting individual departments in-house tools, such as Computer Science, approximately 14,400 extensions and 774 exam deferals were issued during this period. The current Self-Certification system allows for students to certify for up to four days extension for mental or physical health reasons or for exam deferrals, with more serious cases requiring Exceptional Circumstances. The policy will be evaluated for next year, with Johnstone stating that the policy is “going to stick around, it’s just a question of how it looks when it’s here”.

SPRING LANE ARSON

BY MARTI

STELLING

THE UNIVERSITY BUILDING has been locked after 6pm following an act of vandalism. In May of this year, a group of young people caused damage to the sofas in the University’s Spring Lane Building. The attack was seen by security, who intervened and reported the individuals to the police, which is currently under investigation. Spring Lane Building is a popular study space holding many seminar rooms and lecture theatres. A University spokesperson told us: “To protect the building from further acts of vandalism, Spring Lane is closed from 6pm each evening, although students and staff with ID cards can still access the building until 10pm. “We take acts of vandalism on campus very seriously and are working closely with the police to ensure the safety of our students, staff and buildings.”


6

OPINION

Friday June 17, 2022

Vısıon YORK

SAYS...

END OF YEAR CLOSERS

FINALLY COMING TO the end of the pandemic (hopefully), the end of this academic year is starkly different to last year. Able to go on nights out, eat in restaurants and meet in groups larger than six, the end of this academic year has proven much more positive for the majority of students. The end of year also hosts a wide variety of exciting opportunities for student media and societies alike. With award season commencing during weeks nine and ten, watch out for students wearing their best outfits in the hopes of winning some awards! With the summer looming, the weather is also making a turn for the better! With warm weather on the horizon, the end of year (hopefully) allows for summer holidays in the sun, something we were unable to do in previous years due to lockdown restrictions. Let’s hope that the pandemic continues to ease off in terms of restrictions, allowing for students and staff alike to make the most of campus.

PANIC MASTERS: TO BE OR NOT TO BE FOLLOWING GRADUATION CEREMONIES at the end of term, many students are now faced with the ultimate dilemma: whether to do a panic Masters. The age old question, heightened greatly due to the pandemic, many students fear bursting the comforting bubble of academics and education. Having been in some form of education since the age of four, how else are students going to react? There are always pros and cons of doing both. If you stay on to do a Masters at York, you get discounted tuition fees which is a huge pull for students. However despite the handy discount, it’s still a huge financial commitment for students. As a second year, I’m going to do a Masters, but whether I’ll be panicking about it is yet to be seen.

AWARD SEASON OUTFIT STRESS

AS ANYONE IN student media or societies will tell you, the amount of award ceremonies that occur towards the end of term brings the stress of not being an outfit repeater. From the YUMAs to LoveYork, the Activities awards to the Colours Ball, there are a variety of awards shows that all require students to look their very best, ready for the ceremony. Running the risk of being outfit repeaters, however, soon becomes a real issue. Vision’s team attending the awards has exchanged many photos and outfit ideas within our group chats, expressing both excitement and fear regarding prospective fits. Why is the fear of being an outfit repeater so great? For awards ceremonies that are more formal, such as LoveYork, many students do not have multiple formal outfits that can be assembled at any given occasion, or at least I don’t. Similarly, student media leaders and nominees are representing their group and society, so looking your best becomes quite important! All in all, maybe we at Vision are stressing too much.

OPINION RELIGIOUS SPACES ON CAMPUS CATER TO SOME BUT NOT TO ALL IMAGE: PIXABAY

MIRI HUNTLEY WELLBEING OFFICER

THE UNIVERSITY’S NEW student centre design raises questions about its suitability Built in the 1960s, the University of York has always been proud of its secular roots and shows its determination to continue being a place where all students can make the choice to join in religious followings, but are not obliged by their allegiance to the University. We don’t even graduate in the Minster, instead choosing the neutral (if slightly uglier) Central Hallrepresenting the students’ dedication to learning and to the pursuit of knowledge more than any higher power. Surprisingly, this is incredibly uncommon - most universities stemmed from the Church and kept their obligation for religious involvement until fairly recently. This is not to say, however, that there is not a thriving religious student community in York - Islamic Society, Judaism Society and Christian Union are all huge in number, and York’s Islamic centres and Synagoge both are well attended, as well as having many, many Churches for Christians to choose from. I remember trying to meet a friend in my first week in the city and when I got lost, I called her and told her I was next to a Church - to which she responded, “do you know how little that narrows it down?” Due to the protection of religious groups as a protected minority - the University is required to cater to the spiritual well-being of its students. With some religions requiring certain actions to be done at certain times of day, be that prayers or ritual cleaning or anything else, the University has facilities provided for

religious students of all faiths. Most are multi-faith but there are also ones for specific religious groups known as ‘dedicated prayer rooms’ - with one in Alcuin for the Islamic community of the University and

“The University is required to cater to the spiritual well-being of its students.” another specifically for the Jewish, whilst there are no set workers associated with either faith. In contrast, there are three Christian chaplains (Methodist, Anglican, and Catholic) who have to adhere to certain standards of the University and work within their guidelines, despite being independent from them. There are no set rooms for Christians at all, despite the same places being afforded for other religious groups, which leaves the Chaplains being run from More House, a house next to Halifax College, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough. This house is offered to the chaplains by the kindness (and huge expense) of the Catholics of York, but not at all by the University. This coming term, the Chaplains are planning on creating a space for students to spend time with each other away from the exams and the stress they bring - but as More House is not at their disposal on days outside of their set termly routine, they cannot use this location. This has left them no choice but to have their events outside on the grass opposite the Spring Lane Building. Whilst this is a lovely environment for the students to unwind, it highlights their difficulties - especially when other religious groups

have these necessities on campus at their disposal. Some may be discouraged from attending, based on the public aspect of these sessions (especially as Christianity is illegal in some other countries which could have serious long-term impact on international students, even when in the UK). To summarise, the University is a great place for religious liberties and allows all students to come to their own spiritual conclusions, yet it only holds one external group to account and does not have a place for them to congregate personally - whilst others enjoy this human right. Furthermore, the other groups do not have an external person to

“Whilst this is a lovely environment for the students to unwind, it highlights their difficulties” provide more experienced support like the Chaplains do to the Christian community of students. There seems there can be only one solution - either there is a space made, equal to that which the other religious groups enjoy, and other religious groups are held to the same level of University scrutiny as the Chaplains, or the University will have made a deliberate choice to restrict the religious freedoms of the Christians on campus.

Bottom Line: There needs to be more accessible spaces on campus for every religious belief.


OPINION

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Friday June 17, 2022

EXAM STRESS WORRIES STUDENTS

OPINION TEAM MATT ROGAN POSITION VACANT

BY

NO STUDENTS IN STUDENT CENTRE MATT ROGAN OPINION EDITOR @MattRxgan

THE UNIVERSITY’S NEW student centre design raises questions about its suitability. After the unveiling of the first designs for the brand-new student centre, the University certainly has some questions to answer. Specifically, who asked for this? Social media has been populated over the last few weeks with invites to consultations on the new student centre. Compared to other universities, York stands out given the fact it doesn’t have a dedicated student union building, so the prospect of a new centre was certainly exciting to see. However, the unveiling of this new design has left me, shall we say, less excited than I was before,

and a lot less optimistic. The building itself has a very questionable design. I wasn’t the only one who initially compared it to the University of Warwick’s logo! Many students, alongside myself, were quick to make further comments on the look of the building, with one comment

“I wasn’t the only one who initially compared it to the University of Warwick’s logo!” saying it is a “questionable design” before going on to ask, “why not use that money to fix leaking roofs in Derwent?” Not only should the look be scrutinised, but the materials too. The design the University has gone for is a very concrete-inten-

sive one, which arguably is very unsustainable. One comment on the University’s post came from Pierrick Roger, former Environment + Ethics Officer and incoming YUSU President, who commented “really took on my feedback for less concrete and then went for the most concrete-intensive option. Love to see it.” Student Activities Officer, Sophie Kelly, called the unveiling “misjudged” on her social media, and said that “students have been telling [the University] they need facilities, including media and performance spaces”, before asking “how is office space for staff relevant for students?”. Indeed, this action (or rather a lack thereof) seems to suggest the University hasn’t considered the recommendations of students, whom this building will be for primarily!

Furthermore, as a student just a few weeks away from graduating, I’m aware I won’t be a user of this new student centre. However, I cannot help feeling dismayed at the fact the building won’t serve the purpose for which it is built. In my last term here at York, I’ve felt let down by the university thanks to this unveiling. The University needs to take away one simple lesson: listen. Actively listen to the people who will be affected, because it’s us who will bear the brunt of inaction.

Bottom Line:

The Student Centre needs to be by students for students and the university needs to listen.

THE NEW INCLUSIVE GYM HOURS: A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD

IMAGE: PIXABAY

plained that this consists of “two one hour slots where women and non-binary students will have @MattRxgan a safe space and have access to workout in the entire gym in the RECENTLY, MANY STUYork Sport Centre on West CamDENTS will have read the pus”. Speaking about the new fantastic news that York gym hours, Franki Riley also said Sport are officially launchthat “this truly would not have ing Women and Non-Binary been possible without the tiregym hours every week. less work of Imogen and RebecWhen I first read about this, ca, the York Sport staff and my I was glad to see this happencolleagues in YUSU - and I can’t ing! For so many students, this is thank all of you enough! We’ve something they will benefit masmade our dream a reality!” sively from and the new hours This move by York Sport is will be an opportunity for those wholly positive and a massive who may not feel comfortable step forwards for inclusivity. As using gym facilities within a safe a former PTO who has organised space. I was also happy to see the inclusive club nights, I truly know inclusion of non-binary students the value of dedicated times and as part of the hour - clearly, this safe spaces for liberation groups! has been organised with the best When I spoke to the new Women intentions in mind for marginand Non-Binary Students’ Ofalised genders and is a tangible ficer, Izzy Andrews, they told me move pushing for inclusivity. that “the new hours are definiteIn a post to both Facebook ly a step in the right direction for and Instagram, Franki Riley , making women and non-binary York Sport Union President, ex-

students feel safe in sporting spaces!” They went on to explain that they “do think that introducing these hours as off-peak isn’t suitable in the long term, as we should encourage safety throughout the week, not just on Friday nights and Sunday mornings (when significantly fewer students will be at the gym than other times of the week)”. Speaking about the work of Franki Riley, they commended that “[she] has made an amazing thing happen for gender minorities, and we are so excited to see what she does next!” We must also, more imperatively, remember why we need things like this. Gender-based oppression is very much still present in 2022 and there is progress still to be made. Speaking to Andrews, they commented that “these hours are so important for students on our campus, as they recognise that women and non-binary students do face discrimination in sporting settings,

I’m only a first year student with one 24 hour exam this term, It’s all relative but I will admit I’ve got it incredibly easy. But, as a tutor I have spent my whole day calming down stressed and exhausted students. Within our society, it’s the norm. Large posters across university offer help to students who are struggling. Rather than trying to ease the problem we should be changing the exam system. Now, this is where my argument falls apart because I don’t have a solution. Maybe one day I’ll follow it up and find the solution that’ll end annual student torture. Any-

FIRST FAILURES

BY KATIE PRESTON

IMAGE: UNIVERSITY OF YORK

MATT ROGAN OPINION EDITOR

EMILY SINCLAIR

WHY ARE WE made throughout out academic careers to feel like compete failures unless we perform well in an exam and perform at our complete best within a time constraint? It’s not possible and something has got to change.

which Franki has touched on during her time as Sports President. I would love to see these hours extended throughout the week, but for now, I’m sure that these hours will make a huge difference in the way that our women and non-binary students experience the gym.” It’s great to see significant moments of progress this term, with the previously ad-hoc approach taken by YUSU and colleges being replaced with something more reliable. These are fantastic to see, and I’m sure all at UoY have wholeheartedly welcomed these changes!

Bottom Line:

This move by York Sport is wholly positive and a massive step forwards for inclusivity

IN MY SECOND year at university, arguably insanely studying two essay subjects, I am yet to achieve a first. I’ve come incredibly close to the coveted above 70 mark, but despite working on feedback, listening to guidance from my supervisor, and well-researching my chosen topic, my marks this year have definitely stagnated. Whenever I’ve aired my grievances on this topic, however, I’ve always been met with deaf ears. “It’ll happen!” I hear, “you just have to wait!” Well I’ve been waiting two academic years now and I’ve had enough. I’ve always been told “there’s no way to tell you how to get a 70” or, even more unhelpfully, “look at the grade descriptors and go from there”. I love my degree, but to continuously be told to “just wait” without any guidance is frustrating.



Friday June 17, 2022

COLUMNS

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@yusu_bame

THINKING CHAMBERS EMILIA CHAMBERS

BAME: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

THE TERM BAME IS UNREPRESENTATIVE- BUT WHAT SHOULD REPLACE IT? BAME: IT’S AN acronym we’re all familiar with, used countlessly in the media, newspapers, and politics. It’s used throughout the University both by staff and students: many societies have BAME officers sitting on their committees and most departments have designated web-pages for BAME students. I currently chair the YUSU BAME network, which advocates and represents ethnic minority students at York (cheeky plug! go give it a follow on instagram @yusu_bame). Before coming to university, I never really thought about what the term meant, beyond its literal meaning, and gave even less thought to what it meant to me. I think I identify with the B in BAME, but not the A, or ME (a catch-all term for all other minority groups). Whilst applying for my YUSU role earlier this year, I found myself contemplating the meaning of the term- did I feel BAME? I worried that I could not adequately represent the literal hundreds of ethnicities and cultures that fall within the term. This is an anxiety that I have since learned is shared by many. The sheer broadness of the categories that ‘BAME’ is used to represent can feel staggering. For example, the A (Asian) alone is used to represent close to fifty subcategories, including Indian, Chinese,

Filipino, and Nepalese, to name only a few. The suggestion that all who fall under this category are inevitably linked together is a gross oversimplification. Extensive use of the term ‘BAME’ has (albeit perhaps accidentally) helped perpetuate the false narrative that all non-white groups within Britain share an identical lived experience; due not to the othering they experience at the hands of the white majority, but due to the fact they are not within this majority. This turns the role of the white majority from active to passive, allowing the lived experiences of racism faced by ethnic minorities to seem unchangeable. For decades, terms like ‘BAME’ have been used to sweepingly generalise Britain’s entire minority-ethnicity population (who, as of 2019, are said to make up 14.4% of the population). In its first iteration during the 1940s, the word was simply ‘coloured’- an import from the then largely racially segregated United States. Between the 1970s and 1990s, it became common for all ethnic minorities within the UK to be referred to simply as ‘Black’. Interestingly, some groups, including the National Union of Students, still use the term ‘politically Black’ to refer to all ethnic minority members. The term BME first emerged in the 1970s, as an alternative to

these unrepresentative and, in the case of ‘coloured’, racist terminologies. The A was added to represent Asian and Southeast Asian communities during the 1990s. This new term ‘BAME’ became popular during the 1990s, with the acronym reflecting the contemporary spirit of globalisation. Its inclusion of ‘minority-ethnicity’ encompassed tens-of-thousands of non-white members of the British public who did not identify as either Black or Asian, but who were also still being continuously othered and discriminated against by British society and institutions. This recognition of a variety of ethnicities was more inclusive than what had come before, and by the end of the millennium it had become predominant within politics, media and academia. Numerous studies have established that the majority of BAME people in the UK do not like, or associate themselves with, the term BAME: a Huffington Post survey found 55% of ethnic minority Brits to be uncomfortable with the label, and a 2021 survey by British Future found that 68% of ethnic minority Britons would prefer to be labelled with another term. The term ‘BAME’ separates ethnic minorities from the white majority, lumping them together behind a dispassionate and dehumanising acronym, disregarding the variety of lived experience

within minority-ethnicity communities. This grouping of such a vast array of different communities into the clinical acronym BAME is unwelcoming in and of itself. I am reminded of the global protests which took place at this time of year two years ago, as, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the phrase Black Lives Matter became shortened into the hashtaggable BLM, which alongside performative trends such as #BlackOutTuesday, seemed to almost trivialise the issue, detracting from the important purpose behind the protests. Like race itself, the category of BAME is socially constructed and imagined. Whilst no-one can predict what term or phrase will next become favourable to describe ethnic minorities living in Britain, several alternatives have recently been suggested and adopted by some organisations, including global majority and simply ethnic minority. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, a report was published by the British government investigating the country’s allegedly entrenched systemic racism. Whilst the report was broadly considered generally self-congratulatory and inaccurate, it triggered the government to cease using the terms BME and BAME, a decision which was a step in the right direction.

DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

TWO WEEKS AGO, I attended the launch of the Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (YCEDE, pronounced why-seed). This is a new collaborative project between five Yorkshire-based universities (York, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam), aiming to better encourage and support minority-ethnicity students in pursuing Ph.Ds. and re-

search careers. Currently only 1.3% of UK minority-ethnicity students pursue Ph.Ds. within five years of completing their undergraduate degree, whereas 2.4% of their white peers do the same (HDFC England). There are a variety of reasons to explain this disparity: one is the financial barrier put in place by the high costs of many Ph. D programs. Minority-ethnicity students are

more likely to come from a lower socio-economic background and may not be able to afford to take out further loans after completing their undergraduate degree, instead choosing to go straight into employment. Another factor is the lack of diversity within British academia. Although now a more diverse field than ever before, still just 0.7% of professors working in the UK are

Black (Advanced HE, 2019). To quote US civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman, you can’t be what you can’t see. This lack of role models for aspiring minority-ethnicity students is a major contributing factor. There is no quick-fix to these issues. There is an onus on the university to better encourage participation amongst minority-ethnicity students, as well as on the government to provide better funding and

I am hopeful that one day, we will not need to use the word ‘minority’, which in itself has a plethora of negative connotations. It’s time we stopped using acronyms when speaking about race, ethnicity, and culture. Such nuanced and important topics do not deserve to be shortened to snappy and trivialising buzz-words. Have your say! I propose that the YUSU BAME network should change its name to the YUSU Racial Liberation Network, to become more inclusive and help to better-represent the people it exists to help and support. The inclusion of the word liberation in the title is significant, highlighting the important activism that takes place within the network. To make this change, we need the support of minority ethnic students at York! If you are a student at York who self-identifies within this group, use the QR code to indicate support or oppose this change, or submit a suggestion for a new name.

support to all Ph.D. students. Research careers should be attainable and accessible to all. YCEDE has recently launched their paid summer research internships for minority-ethnicity students, to get a better understanding of what a career in research and further academia could look like. Further information can be found on the YUSU BAME Network’s instagram (@yusu_bame).



SCENE. ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

INSIDE:

What Happens to my Digital Stuff when I Die? The Trials of University Cooking Interview: LibraryofDais LUMA Film Festival


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CONTENTS

Editor’s Note

Ending and Beginnings...

IMAGE: ALEX HOLLAND

I

t is currently 2:45 a.m and I am sat in the dark Vision office located in Eric Millner B, yes, the one that is planned to be knocked down. I have been here since 9am yesterday morning (with a short break for a nap and a crumpet) and it’s fair to say these never-ending lay-up days that you hear about within the student media world are in fact more than just a myth. I am exhausted, truly fed up of InDesign and overheating due to the broken radiator that we just can’t seem to get off full power. Anyway, enough of my whining. Somehow, we have made it to the end of Summer term, the end of my first-year, and my first print edition as SCENE editor. I suppose the cliche of ‘little did I know this time last year that I’d be here’ is pretty approrpiate at this moment. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the whole Vision team: our writers, sub-editors, and committee. Bloody hell, I really do sound like I’m accepting an Oscar- let’s blame the lack of sleep and four coffees that I’ve consumed. I’d like to give a special mention to Katie and Marti who, quite frankly, have made the last few months (and this print edition) possible. Although, within the same breath I want you all to know that at this moment in time they have left the office and gone to bed! When deciding on a theme for our 276th edition, I felt it was approrpriate to look at endings and beginnings. With a new Vision editorial team and the end of another academic year we’re embracing a sense of reflection; highlighting some important personal milestones as well as appreciating famous endings and beginnings out there in the art sphere. Endings and beginnings are everywhere, just take a look at the extensive array of birdlife that dominate campus at this time of year. I still haven’t decided whether the army of geese and goslings (embarrassed to confess that I had to google ‘baby geese name’) are cute or threatening. Starting our edition is the Stage team

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with a review of Red Ellen and an interview with Drama Soc’s At Table 13. Following this, Jed Wagman speaks to LUMA film festival director whilst Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb explores some of the best finales of Screen. Now, no spoliers, of course, but I was slightly disappointed to read that Mamma Mia or Legally Blonde didn’t make the cut but I guess we’ll all just have to let this one slide. I do fear that comment might’ve made me lose some respect from certain members of the Vision team, yet I’m all about being honest and I can’t lie that I’m a musical theatre, chick-flick fanatic. The current spotify playlist of ‘ballads from the musicals’ is all you need to know, I’ll let you make your own judgement on me. Speaking of music, loosely I know, Joe Radford and Ben Forsdick take you through their best album openers and closers of all time. Once again, I could pass personal judgment as to why Adele didn’t make the cut, but I figure it’s probably best to leave it to the experts. Take a look (@yorkvision on all socials) and let us know your own opinons on their decisions. Within Games, Daniel Gordon-Potts raises the question ‘What Happens To My Digital Stuff When I Die’? This article was the one I found most interesting when laying up as it was something I just hadn’t considered before. Sparking many debates within the Vision office, it is a question that I keep coming back to, although I promise that despite the overarching focus on dying, this article is anything but morbid. If you are feeling a bit down, however, Miri Huntley goes on to share their experience of losing their virginity. Oh, important to point out we’re talking about gaming virginity before anyone get’s the wrong idea. Onto relationships, Otty Allun discuss polyamory whilst Beth Hubbard with the help of the Vision team relays some of the best pick up lines that we’ve ever had the pleasure, wrong word I’m sure, of hearing. I’m afraid these are all anonymous, although feel free to try and guess who said

Emily Sinclair

what to who: gosh it really is like being back in the gossip world of high school, what a time to be alive! The double page spread of this edition is Food, something vital to endings and beginnings. I don’t mean this in a ghastly way, more just in the sense that good food can really make or break your day. It can even end your day, as such- at least that’s the tenuous link I was trying to make there! Tom Willett discusses the joys of student cooking and investigates how eating habits change over your university years. Also included is a review of the York restaurants Rosa’s Thai and Las Iguanas, and a meaningful, yet slightly disturbing, extended metaphor on hotdogs by our very own Joe Radford. Finishing our edition is an interview with BookTok rising star, Dais Whitfield, as I explore whether the form of a physical book is going out of fashion. Accompanying this is some great book reccomendations with a special feature celebrating pride month. I think that is just about everything I have got to say on this print edition. With a new day dawning in literally only a few hours, I think that I had better head to bed ready to wake up for a new beginning all over again...See what I did there? So whether you are are reading this at the beginning of a new day, or at the very end, I thoroughly hope you enjoy! Emily

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SCENE: Our Edition in Images

SCENE Editor Emily Sinclair Chief Subeditor Megan Bartley Subeditors Alexis Casas Caroline Sherlock Isobel Williams Philippa Salmon Matt Davis Miri Huntley Stage Editor Amber Handley Deputy Editor Kayleigh Wittenbrink Screen Editor Jed Wagman Deputy Editor Gena Clarke IMAGE: Music IMDB

Editor Joe Radford Deputy Editor Ben Forsdick Games Editor Vacant Deputy Editor Vacant Food & Drink Editor Tom Willett Deputy Editor Navya Verma Relationships Editor Bethan Hubbard Deputy Editor Otty Allum Travel Editor Grace Swadling Deputy Editor Nicholas Chen Books Editor Caitlyn Hyalnd Deputy Editor Orla McAndrew

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STAGE

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STAGE EDITOR Amber Handley DEPUTY STAGE EDITOR kayleigh Wittenbrink

Interview with Drama Soc’s At Table 31 Hosting Open Drama Nights every Monday, University of York’s DramaSoc has had an amazing plethora of student-written, one night only performances across this term. I was lucky enough to get tickets to At Table 31 earlier in the term, written by second year student Gwenllian Davis and starring Rachel Cooper in the titular role of ‘Woman’. Described as an ‘unremarkable character’, the woman feels wronged by patriarchal pressures, with the forty-minute-long play exploring themes of compulsory heterosexuality, sapphic romance and unrequited love. An incredibly poignant, emotional exploration of queer love written by a queer woman, I sat down with writer and director Gwen and leading lady Rachel to discuss the process of conceptualising and performing the piece. First interviewing Gwen, the play’s writer and director described her inspirations behind the piece and her love of Sappho: “At Table 31 is a telling of Sappho’s poem Fragment 31 and my personal interpretation. Most of At Table 31 are different entries from my journal I curated into the play. That’s not to say everything in the play is true. Anticipation is a major theme, and I drew a lot of inspiration from Keats in his portrayal of this. Anticipation as a double-edged sword fascinates me, a constant stare of anticipation being something Woman is always caught in, waiting on this reply and reassurance she’ll never receive in the play. Additionally, how the characters are described is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray. I love how Sappho portrays women, in fact I love her so much, the last lines of the play are different titles of her other poems in the order of its publications from Mary Barnard’s edition!” Leading lady Rachel reiterated a similar love of Sappho, documenting her audition process for At Table 31: “I really love Sappho as a poet, and I was really impressed that a one-woman show was going to be student written. I’ve never done a show like this, and it was out of my comfort zone for sure, so I figured why not at least try! Gwen and Meg (producer) were really lovely in the audition and just made me feel very comfortable which has carried through the whole rehearsal and performance process from start to finish.” Gwen then described the writing, pitching and difficult casting process of the one-woman play: “I found most of the material in the play I already had written, it was just finding a way to jigsaw all of the fragments together in creating a tangible subtext with the little

Katie Preston

storyline the play had to offer. Being that the play has no direct storyline, place or year and it being set inside of the poem, pitching wasn’t the easiest. I’m just so happy to have had people take a chance on my writing in wanting to showcase it in the Drama Barn.” “Casting was so fun but also very difficult in deciding on a final actress. For us, the most important thing was seeing how people engaged with the poem and the piece itself. Creating a safe space in the audition room for expression was top priority for Meg Maguire and I. When we saw Rachel, I think we both kind of knew. She was the first to audition, and once she left the room, we both sat there and thought ‘wow, this is going to be difficult”. Rachel and Gwen both weighed in on performance night, emphasising their feelings behind finally seeing their work performed in the Drama Barn: RACHEL: “I was surprisingly calm, but Gwen was great in allowing me to decompress and have my own space before the performance as it is quite a heavy piece. It was so strange to finally be doing it after so many rehearsals and I could feel an atmosphere that just wasn’t there before. That’s why I love acting so much. It’s a bit like magic where you can’t fully pinpoint why it holds your attention the way it does.” GWEN: “Very emotional. Being a play which expresses isolation and being the director as well, it was important in rehearsals for me to express to Rachel that I would always be there, so seeing her on that stage alone I just really wanted to give her a hug. But that’s what Woman’s character always intended to provoke in the audience. Seeing my intention in the piece transfer so strikingly for me was so overwhelming, as Rachel has the standing ovation she so rightly deserved. This was always a collaborative project for me, and seeing how everyone came together was so beautiful.” Now working on a play called “Down the Line”, Gwen gave us an exclusive preview of her next work in progress: “I’ve actually just finished writing another play called ‘Down the Line’ which this time is not a one woman show but instead explores sapphic relationships in a more set context. Navigating their way through 1950s confusion of homosexuality, the two women with anonymity and open hearts, express their interest in eachother, forming their connection down the line. I love this piece so much, and with a wonderful exec team I’m hoping to put this play to light as soon as I possibly can!”

@YorkVisionStage

Ending and Beginnings...

IMAGE: FLICKR

Red Ellen: Play Review

Amber Handley and Kayleigh Wittenbrink

Red Ellen, at York Theatre Royal, detailed the inspiring story of Ellen Wilkinson, MP of the Labour Party, who tirelessly battled to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany. Written by Caroline Bird and directed by Wils Wilson, the play captured the lifelong dedication of Ellen who lived such an incredible life, despite her name being commonly left out of history. The performance itself was informative, hard hitting and wildly funny, featuring famous names and events, it was an extraordinary display of history. Red Ellen was a captivating performance, one which emphasised a focal point in history. The play portrayed Ellen Wilkinson’s journey of fighting for her voice to be heard, through her role as the only female member of parliament within the Labour government at the time. The title of the play Red Ellen, highlights the protagonist’s fiery red hair but also symbolises her fierce and resolute personality, as well as her ambition to alter the course of history. Beginning in 1933 at the Labour Party Conference, Wilkinson opened the play by delivering a resounding speech condemning the growing power of the Nazis in Germany, and the lacking responsibilities of the Labour Party. But any fears that the two-and-a-half-hour production would blandly detail political events were completely erased by the almost immediate humour thoughtfully inserted throughout the production. Sarcastic jabs at Virginia Woolf, her snooty upper-class readers and cynical critiques at fascism, were just a small part of the consistent humour which provided comic relief in such a serious play. Red Ellen had elements of espionage and romance which made it exciting and certainly appealing to younger viewersthose of course old enough to witness a tastefully enacted, yet abrupt sex scene! The main objective of the play was to educate people about the remarkable achievements of Wilkinson, who campaigned for

Britain to aid the fight against Franco’s Fascists in Spain, and led the Jarrow March which petitioned to reduce unemployment and poverty. These events were wrought with emotion, providing a perfect balance of humour and solemnity. The Jarrow March was strikingly created, with clothes on strings pulled up to represent the workers who marched, while the cast resonated about workers’ rights. An unbelievable portrayal of Ernest Hemmingway caught in a bar brawl in Madrid, and a meeting with Albert Einstein hiding from Nazi prosecution, kept the play exhilarating. But as the play progressed into war time, the eerie air raid sirens and the depiction of the Blitz made the play hard hitting, as it brought events only read about in history books to life, and with it the extreme pain and suffering felt by generations. It was Ellen’s lifelong dedication to her cause which struck me the most. Although certain elements of the story were fictionalised, Ellen’s story was so remarkably told. Affairs with communist spies and cabinet ministers, transformed a political drama into a widely accessible play. But still at its core, were the messages Ellen so strongly advocated. The ending was astonishingly tragic, as white lights blinded the stage, Ellen collapsed and was encouraged by the rest of the cast to let go. After putting on her coat and turning to the audience, Ellen delivered a final call for action; emphasising that Ellen’s legacy continued long after her death. Red Ellen, tracks the beginning of one woman’s monumental career, as she dedicated her life to helping others. The skilled and dedicated cast of performers, along with the creative team, director, and the genius of the writer, enabled Ellen’s story to come to life and finally be told. Even though the curtain eventually fell and the play ended, Ellen’s story we hope, will continue to be shared.

stage@yorkvision.co.uk


SCREEN

SCREEN EDITOR JED WAGMAN DEPUTY SCREEN EDITOR GENA CLARKE

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LUMA Film Festival Interview with Olly Davis After a number IMAGE: IMDBof years missing due to that pesky virus, the LUMA film festival is in-person once again and returns to TFTI between June 17th- June 19th. Vision spoke to Olly Davis, a third year Film and Television Production student who is festival director for this year’s LUMA giving us all the important info on this year’s festival and why you should attend. WHAT IS LUMA?

Really LUMA is just an opportunity to champion the work of aspiring filmmakers. With that, we invite people to submit their films- up to 20 minutes long- for regular screenings, and then also for Gala screenings, which are the best of the best. And it’s just an opportunity to listen to industry professionals and network with them as well. It’s a very amateur film festival within the University essentially. WHAT’S YOUR ROLE BEEN IN IT?

I’ve basically been directing the whole thing. I’ve been overseeing all the teams which I’ll run through briefly now. There’s been Management who’ve essentially made it happen; they’ve invited people and organised deadlines for submissions. Then there’s Tech, which is probably the most interesting for the actual event because they run the projectors and they do all the digital stuff. There’s also Marketing, who, well, it does what it says on the tin. And there’s been Design, which has looked at the big picture and what we want the event to look like, and what we want our marketing and promotional materials to look like.

I’ve just been overseeing all of it. And the thing is that we’ve had a few years off. There hasn’t been a LUMA since 2019 and everyone’s forgotten a) that it existed and b) how to run it. I was very fortunate that I was helping organise the last one, and I listened as closely as I could, as I knew one day- whilst I didn’t know I’d be running it- I knew people might forget how to run it. And all the little details really matter. I’ve just been overseeing it, and that doesn’t mean I’m the most qualified. DO YOU FEEL THERE’S ANY PRESSURE REVIVING LUMA NOW THAT THERE HASN’T BEEN ONE FOR A FEW YEARS?

Yes and no. My understanding is that in previous years it’s kind of become a competition to out-do the year before it and we don’t have a year before us. The last year it happened, it was online, so anything in-person is an improvement. I suppose there is some pressure to get interesting people, but at the end of the day we’re here just to gather to watch each other’s films and just appreciate the work that we all do, and just have a bit of a laugh really. That’s what it is, it’s a fun weekend. HAS IT BEEN A CHALLENGE TO RUN THIS AROUND YOUR DEGREE?

Definitely. It’s been a struggle for me balancing everything, but it’s also been a struggle trying to get as much engagement out of my teams as possible. The event is only as good as how much you put in: if you’re really lazy

and don’t put any energy into it, how do you expect other people to put any energy in? I’ve tried to be as enthusiastic as I can, with mixed results, but it happens, people are busy. It’s more about trying to understand how busy other people are than just me. I’m just one person, the team is what makes it happen. It has been a really big challenge though. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S LUMA?

I’m really excited for this year’s Gala because I’ve seen some of the films that are being submitted, and, whilst we haven’t judged them yet, I’m really excited for that because I’ve seen the quality of some of the films submitted and it’s pretty great. But then again, I’m just looking forward to the whole thing. We’ve got an opening studio show on the Friday night, running a broadcast from our studio and I’m really looking forward to that as well. I’m really interested to see how everything is going to piece together, and just capping off the year in a really interesting way. CAN ANYONE ATTEND OR IS IT ONLY TFTI STUDENTS?

Anyone can attend. Tickets are available through our website (lumafilmfestival.co.uk) but anyone can get tickets and it’s completely free. We’re happy to welcome anyone that wants to come along. WHAT EXCITING SPEAKERS AND GUESTS HAVE YOU GOT LINED UP FOR THE FESTIVAL?

Jed Wagman

The most interesting one is probably Mark Jenkin, who directed Bait a few years back and he won a BAFTA for that. He’s just had his new film premiere at Cannes Film Festival, and it’s done really well there. And he directs music videos too. He’s spoken to us before and I reached out, and he’s excited to come to LUMA, he’s going to be a really interesting guest. Another very exciting guest is a production designer called Sam Lisenco who did design on all the Safdie Brothers films like Uncut Gems and Good Time, he worked on Judas and the Black Messiah, Eighth Grade- all sorts. We’re going to have a nice chat with him about production design so he’ll be exciting too.

The fortunate thing is that we’ve managed to learn how to make it a blend of in-person and online. We’ll have in-person workshops like Orillo, who are sponsoring it, they’re bringing some of their guys to do workshops and talks, and we’ll have in-person panels as well. But the interesting thing is that we can also integrate the online side of it so we’re doing pre-recorded talks and screening them as events. So Sam Lisenco, he’s in New York so it’d be difficult to get over, and potentially with Mark Jenkin as well, but luckily they can still be there. There are going to be some interesting guests and it’ll be great. Make sure you get your tickets and attend LUMA which is taking place in TFTI between June 17th- June 19th.

Ending & Beginnings...

The Fireballs Finales of Once Great Television Television can thrive or television can sputter out and die in their final acts, and for How I Met Your Mother and Game of Thrones the end represents a fiery dissolvement of fans, character development, and focus. Of course - SPOILERS AHEAD! Naturally, any television show that runs long enough will reach an inevitable point of no return, where sloppy writing, comfortable actors, and a loss of direction leave it crawling across the finish line, caricatures of a once-beloved story. However, some shows take these disappointment further, alienating viewers in a disastrous finale… because ultimately it’s very hard to end a show that everyone loves. Long enjoyed and successful, How I Met Your Mother balances laughs, love, and a very sassy Neil Patrick Harris, until its final

@YVScreen

act, where writers throw that all away in a poor attempt at a final twist. A mildly intriguing and unique last season expands a three-day wedding weekend. Between fan favourites Barney and Robin, across 24 distinct episodes in a quirky farewell to this group of friends, and a tension-filled reveal of the titular ‘mother’. And then promptly kills her off and breaks up the newlyweds minutes into the finale, all to ensure a twist ending of Robin and Ted ending up together. Granted, it’s pretty cool to see Ted’s children reveal this surprise, having filmed and kept this ending secret for nine seasons, however, this last-ditch twist ending feels lazy, poorly written, and unsatisfactory. It isn’t uncommon for fans online to mention a sheer inability to enjoy earlier episodes, knowing

the distasteful place the seasons are leading. Then, of course, there is HBO’s Game of Thrones, whose appropriately flaming ending managed to alienate TV and book fans alike after a two-year wait and a meager eight episodes. More traumatising for long-time viewers than the brutal beheading of Ned Stark early in Season 1, the complex and crammed Game of Thrones falters under a lack of direction, the absence of unreleased source material, and a rushed race to the end. In a poorly written final season, fans witnessed a ‘convenient’ love story, an almost unwatchable big battle (because we could literally not see it), and massive backtracking for many of the most beloved characters. Sure,there is still a lot of badassery to love

Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb

in the last season of this long-running fantasy creation - my favourites being the incredible cinematography of the Battle of King’s Landing and the powerful utilisation of Arya Stark - however, overall the Game of Thrones ending represents the inevitable failure that occurs amidst frantic writing, too many characters, the lack of an end goal and, most obviously, another wonderful but unsalvageable show that went on too long. Shows can swirl into a successful and satisfying ending, or they can sputter, falter, and trip over the finish line in a disastrous alienation of fans and fiery destruction of what once was beloved and masterful television. And these once wondrous stories are two such disastrous fireballs, blazing into an oblivion of disappointed fans and lost hopes and dreams.

screen@yorkvision.co.uk


MUSIC

MUSIC EDITOR joe radford DEPUTY MUSIC EDITOR ben forsdick

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Five Great Album Five Great Album Closers Openers Endings and Beginnings...

Ben Forsdick

The album opener. That moment when something resembling audible music protrudes through the crackle of needle on vinyl. This appetiser sets the tone. If done correctly, the appetite is appropriately whetted. Otherwise, what follows may never be heard - as the record is brought to an abrupt halt by a listener whose pugnacious mood was catalysed by this weak opening track. Sad. There are opening tracks that many will cite as the greatest. ‘Come Together’, ‘In the Flesh’ or ‘Running Up That Hill’ would all be honourable examples. However, going beyond the canon, here are some truly great album openers. Melt Banana - ‘Candy Gun’ taken from Fetch (2013) Japanese noisy two-piece Melt Banana begin their 2013 record Fetch with a monstrously constructed hype-fest, with biting guitar tones making way for the triumphantly frenetic vocals. “I Got a Candy Gun” yells Yasuko Onuki with her characteristically yelped delivery in full flow. Whatever that candy gun is doing, if it produces music this ferocious, then its true powers cannot fall far short of apocalyptic. ‘MF DOOM/Viktor Vaughan’ - ‘Overture/Vaudeville Villain’ taken from Vaudeville Villain (2003) “You? Help me?” The introductory passage to MF DOOM’s Vaudeville Villain may not be the most obvious suggestion from DOOM’s discography, but with every listen, one cannot help picturing DOOM’s alter ego bursting through the walls of any individual fortunate enough to be listening to this underground classic. With DOOM sounding like the baddy everyone secretly wants to succeed, he croons through bars with devastating ease. His alias, Victor Vaughan, introduces himself with an arrogant swagger, whose brilliance on the mic remains matched only by hip-hop’s greatest. Elvis Costello - ‘Accidents Will Happen’ taken from Armed Forces (1979) This may be a little more obvious. However, consider it a note to those who have previously talked of this artful masterclass in tone-setting. Many journalists and writers have cited this song’s opening lyrics as an all-time classic. “Oh, I just don’t know where to begin”- seldom has one lyric been so connotative of the times. Following a decade of decadent musical excess, chaos in Westminster and one or two accidents along the way, where does one begin?

Joe Radford

‘A Certain Romance’ - Whatever People Say, That’s What I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys A musical and lyrical masterpiece rounds off Arctic Monkeys’ debut album. Alex Turner criticises and condemns the locals in his town, his friends who have been the subject of much of the album, for all sorts of behaviour. The song starts off with a quick drum beat, soon followed by attacking guitars that maintain a similar momentum for much of the song. When they do ultimately slow the momentum, Turner absolves his friends of their wrongdoings as he’s known them “for a long long time”, so he just can’t get “angry in the same way”. The song then erupts once more into an incredible rock instrumental that rounds out the album. ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’ - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie An ending in three senses. The final track of the album, the thematic death of Ziggy Stardust, as well as the last song Bowie ever played as his Ziggy Stardust persona. At the height of popularity both thematically and literally this song sees Ziggy Stardust’s death: lyrically, as he is torn apart on stage by fans; and literally, as Bowie’s success led him to excessive drug use. The song builds and builds from a simple acoustic riff. As other instrumentation joins, leading into a final guitar solo and string crescendo, which suddenly comes to a crashing end. ‘True Love Waits’ - A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead Written in 1995 but never released, ‘True

Love Waits’ is an interesting choice to close an album released over 20 years later. However, the choice to strip back the song to a lone piano and Thom Yorke’s droning voice changes the tone to match A Moon Shaped Pool. The weight of the song can be felt in a new context, no longer simply a protest against religious celibacy, but now an attempt to cling to the love and memory of someone you loved; for Yorke, his own wife of 23 years who passed away. What is maybe Radiohead’s saddest song ends what is perhaps their most melancholic album ‘Helium’ - Dreamland by Glass Animals For an album drenched in nostalgia, ‘Helium’ is the resolution. Using musical cues from previous tracks, particularly the title track, this song too has a feeling of nostalgia, but is used by Glass Animals to craft an exploration of why it is important to grow up. It argues that the memories of successes and failures alike make us who we are today and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. The track, and album, closes with a clip of lead singer, Dave Bayley’s, younger self, saying goodbye both to the album and his older self. ‘Management’ - Sling by Clairo The closing track of Clairo’s second album, ‘Management’ explores her want for her own home and being a competent adult, but constantly feeling like that is away from her, with an accompaniment of guitar, strings and piano. As she chases the idea, the song’s pace quickens and slows to match her own feelings. As a closing track, it feels like a true summary of many of the fears and feelings of uncertainty that Clairo explores throughout the album.

The Mothers of Invention - ‘Are You Hung Up/Who Needs the Peace Corps’ taken from We’re Only in it for the Money (1968) There is great merit in music so pointed that it systematically dismantles an agenda, political leaning or organisation with precision and vicious wit. On the other hand, why not do that to every side of the argument? Both the left and the right should have been afraid when the effervescent Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention more than dabbled in the polemical on an opening track that mocked the appropriation of the hippie lifestyle. “Every town must have a place where phoney hippies meet” he claimed in an exposition of what he saw as a risible attempt to form an opposition to conservative America - only for Zappa to attack right-wingers with an equally venomous tone two tracks later. No one was safe when Zappa was about. ‘Human Behaviour’- Björk taken from Debut (1993) The wonderfully orchestrated ‘Human Behaviour’ was the first Björk track many music fans will have heard. Humorous and sardonic in equal measure, Björk’s observational lyrics are every bit as touching and grounded as much of her later work. And above all else, this was quite possibly the only time music fans have ever played the air-timpani when listening to a song. To that, we salute you Björk.

@YorkVisionMusic

music@yorkvision.co.uk


GAMES EDITOR Position Vacant DEPUTY GAMES EDITOR POSITION VACANT

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Endings and Beginnings...

GAMES

What happens to my digital stuff when I die? Daniel Gordon- Potts A new bill is being read in the House of Commons seeking, by default, to “grant a right of access to the digital devices of a dead or incapacitated person to their next of kin; and for connected purposes.” The goal is essentially to give a dead person’s relatives access to their digital lives. This is a fascinating and very modern dilemma we are now faced with – the question of what happens to my digital stuff when I die? What happens to all the selfies in my photo gallery, clogging up my iCloud storage, causing my Google Photos to ask me to pay for more gigabytes of storage? What happens to my social media accounts, my Instagram feed, my Snapchat memories, the documents on my computer, the memes I save to a very specific, rather unnecessary folder? In 2019, Sky News published an article with the headline ‘Dead could outnumber living on Facebook within 50 years’, a somewhat disturbing, and sobering reminder that our “digital assets”, the photos and content we publicly post online, we rarely think of as outliving us, and yet, evidently, they do all the time. Citing Oxford Internet Institute research, they reveal predictions, based on 2018 data, that “the number of deceased Facebook users could be at least 1.4 billion or potentially as high as 4.9 billion by the end of the century.” Now, of course, many (especially young people) would not be particularly concerned by this research, the majority of their social media use being on other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok. However, with these platforms, the issue still applies – what happens to your accounts on these platforms when you die in the (hopefully far-off) future? What happens to your digital profile when you pass away? Currently, Facebook and other platforms do, admirably, keep on top of this issue on a practical level, allowing users to flag accounts to alert them that the user has died, or to turn their account into memorials. Other digital services, such as the dating app Tinder, regularly delete accounts after one month of inactivity anyway, essentially solving the issue of their dating app potentially becoming an unnerving swiping ‘graveyard’. However, a bigger question surrounds what should happen to the data itself – whether or not deletion is necessarily what relatives of the deceased would want? Social media is also only one part of the issue, as much of our “digital assets” are not publicly

displayed on a profile, but are stored on our personal devices, only accessible currently by ourselves, anyone we choose to directly send that content to, and to anyone else we bravely grant our passwords. The present House of Commons bill was sponsored by Democratic Unionist Party MP Ian Paisley, and has been backed by a number of public figures. The BBC reported that Tanya Harrington, sister of 80s pop idol Steve Strange, has supported the bill, after Strange died in 2015 and, she fears, his personal photos stored in his digital cloud have been “lost” and may not be recovered. Paisley, back in January of this year, put forward his motion in the Commons, stating that his bill will “grant the next of kin the right to access the smart phone and other digital devices of a person on their death or incapacity”. He argues that there needs to be a legislative definition of what “digital asset” means in the UK. He claims that they need to be considered a “person’s possession”, and that photos, memories, videos, as well as purchased music, virtual characters on games, YouTube channels – are all “precious material” and, currently, can be “lost forever”. Unlocking, what he calls a “labyrinth” of the various tech giants policies is necessary. Much like a person’s physical possessions, which, by law, become the property of next of kin, or the declared in one’s will, Paisley seems to be arguing that digital ownership should be treated and transferred in the same way. Given the number of bills that are made and that MPs and others diligently attempt to pass and make law, this present bill is only in its early stages; its second reading has not yet happened. Even after it passes in the House of Commons, it then needs approval in the House of Lords. Then, finally it needs the Royal Assent, that is, the Queen’s approval, before it is enshrined into UK law. It seems, therefore, that this bill is far from being made law, but, it opens up a wide and important debate about how we wish, as a society, to define our “digital assets”, our data. Maybe we should be more concerned about whether we would want access to our personal photos, our digital ‘selves’ to fall by default to our next of kin when we die. Are we comfortable with a bill like this potentially becoming reality? Would you want your next of kin to gain complete access to all of your digital records?

Losing my gaming virginity

Miri Huntley

I have a confession. My name is Miri Huntley and I am a gaming virgin. Well, not really- I had a light blue DS lite from 2003 when I was a child, but all it had on it was Pictochat, a Mario Kart my sister bit into which corrupted, and a game about having a baby (which my best friend from school killed by buying too many headbands and I never played again.) I had an XBox360 in my house and all I had played was LEGO Harry Potter when I was under ten. Mostly it was used for the DVD player and Netflix. The only game I have ever been invested in is online solitaire. This meant that when I came to university, I had never played any of the big games, online or otherwise. Popular games like Mario Kart, Fifa, GTA and anything to do with

shooting were basically alien to me. I didn’t even know which buttons to press on a Wii for it to turn on, let alone how to play any games, or even make a Mii. Embarrassingly, one of the the first times I had played a game online with a team was a very tense game of Among Us in the third lockdown with the near-strangers that were my housemates. This opened up a bit of a floodgate. It’s not like it was a magical spell which turned me into a Gamer™, but it definitely helped me see video games as a thing that could be enjoyed as a group. The stereotype I was given was one of isolation, being alone in your room in the dark playing a game and throwing your controller across the room when

@YorkVisionBooks @YorkVisionGames

you didn’t get enough stars, or something equally trivial. Whilst this stereotype may be based slightly in fact, it is not fair for me to group the entire, ever-growing genre of culture. My friend brought a Wii to uni and it meant I got to play Mario Kart, Just Dance and make my own Mii! The highlight of this discovery was definitely when I realised I could call all the Miis to attention and make them look in random directions- I’m not sure I want to know what that says about me! I have really enjoyed this small dip into casual and social gaming and would love to do a lot more- there is a real sense of competition and camaraderie that is a great addition to any gaming virgin like myself.

@YorkVisionScene games@yorkvision.co.uk


RELATIONSHIPS

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RELATIONSHNIP EDITOR BETHAN HUBBARD DEPUTY RELATIONSHIPS EDITOR Otty Allum

Otty Allum

Polyamorous Families The nuclear family has been the blueprint for most families since roughly the 1950s, however it is a fairly new concept. Back in the day, for thousands of years, we would live in large, sprawling communities, with multiple generations, in some civilisations and cultures there would be concubines or multiple wives and therefore multiple parents with many children. With the rise of individualism, these large families became too stifling; everyone had their own ideas about how their family members should live their lives. When I mention this concept of the nuclear family, I refer to a family with two heterosexual parents. In the past, grandparents, aunts and uncles would help to take care of all the children in a family, and the household chores would be shared amongst all the adults. Oftentimes in these situations, the family would work together at a shared business, such as a farm or a shop. Having more children and more family members would mean extra helping hands. What with the rise of large corporations, there are few small, family run businesses, which is one reason why the nuclear family has moved to the forefront. There are a great deal of drawbacks to the nuclear family. All the tasks that come with managing a family of children are placed on the shoulders of two people. The tasks are often not evenly split; for example, in a very traditional household it is usual for the husband to be the breadwinner, whilst the wife does the household chores, the childcare, and provides emotional support to everyone in the family. This is perhaps a more extreme interpretation of the nuclear family, however, I do believe that any heterosexual couple with children will find it difficult to escape these heavily entrenched ideas of gender roles within the family structure. The nuclear family opens itself

up to instability so it is incredibly difficult for it to withstand life’s disasters. These problems can very easily destroy the entire family structure and leave those involved very badly affected emotionally. There are many alternatives to the nuclear family; there are obviously queer couples raising children, single-parent families and even friends sometimes raising children together. What I want to explore is the polyamorous family. This could take many forms; it could be where there are three parents who are all involved with each other, or it could be two primary partners with secondary partners who they cohabit, with or who live elsewhere with their own families. In a poly family there are a larger number of adults to take care of the children and partake in household chores, who can offer different perspectives and a wide variety of interests for the children. Likewise, there is no predetermined script like there is for monogamous and heterosexual parents. Polyamorous parents can act more intuitively based on what works for their own family’s needs. I think the way that a polyamorous family differs from the large, multi-generational families of the past, is that the partners have all chosen to create the family together, rather than siblings and parents living with their respective children out of a sense of necessity to honour their family.

That being said, there are a large number of misconceptions that exist in response to the existence of poly families. People often associate the concept of polyamory with overt sexuality and sexual deviancy, something that should not occur around children. But this is not the case as any parent can be problematic regardless of their sexuality, any good parent is aware of the important boundaries a child needs, such as not being exposed to sex at a young age. I also think this fear comes from our society’s attitude to sex. As something secret, something that is alluded to but never properly discussed. Many people think of the polyamorous family structure as unstable, what with people coming IMAGE: FLICKR and going in and out of a child’s life. Although change and loss can be upsetting for a child, it can be very beneficial to learn how to adapt to change at an early age. Likewise, when breakups do occur they can be a good opportunity for a parent to model good and healthy break-up behaviour and show children how relationships can change over time and that this is a very normal thing. Whilst polyamorous families can face discrimination, they can be a realistic vision of a future for those who feel they don’t fit into heteronormative ideals. They can provide a more liberating future where people don’t have to follow a predetermined script when it comes to relationships and parenting; it is intuitive and relies on you to understand your needs in relation to the needs of others.

Within a lot of poly families there is an emphasis on openness and honesty; it is an atmosphere that encourages emotional intelligence within children. I also feel that there is attention to the importance of the self and how each person fits into a community of people.

Endings and Beginnings...

Beth Hubbard & The Vision Team

Visions Best and Worst PickUp Lines First impressions matter, especially when it comes to relationships (even of the short-lived casual kind) - the first thing you say can be make or break. So, we at Vision are sharing with you our best and worst openers. “Hi, I’m (insert name), would you like to kiss me?” This one is very direct and works best after you’ve both had quite a few drinks. It’s simple but I’ve found it to be pretty effective. However, it’s high-risk, so use with caution. “Do you want to go for a drink sometime?” Another simple option, works best as a DM to someone you’ve previously met or a Tinder match if you want to avoid getting stuck in the awkward small talk stage. Can’t really go wrong with this one. “I’m gonna to have to see your commercial driver’s license for that dump of an ass”

This one is not great for obvious reasons, however, it is at least an attempt at a compliment so it gets some points for that. “You need head?” “The only reason I’d ever kick you out of bed would be to fuck you on the floor” These, and any other explicit chat-up line, are just off-putting and uncomfortable. Don’t go around saying these to people you don’t know well. They’ll just think you’re a creep. “Do you have any Irish in you?”...”Do you want some?” These kinds of cheesy overused pickup lines are hit or miss. They can be a good way to break the ice if you’re willing to laugh at yourself but it really depends on the delivery. “Would you rather fight a hundred duck sized horses or one horse sized fuck?” This can be a great way to start a fun, silly con-

@YorkVisionRelationships

versation without being too forward. It’s also a great way to get into a lighthearted debate. (For the record, the right answer is a hundred ducksized horses) “Twim twam now you’re in the jam” I received this one on Tinder in November and I still don’t understand it. If anyone knows what it means please let me know. I was too confused to ever respond so I don’t recommend this one. “What’s your most controversial opinion?” This is a great way to vibe-check someone. “Do you want to have a queer off, cus i’m pretty queer imo” This one was used on me, it’s definitely not to everyone’s taste but if you’re looking for someone to match your energy then I guess this one’s decent.

relationships@yorkvision.co.uk


FOOD

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Rosa’s Thai Review Will Rowan and Tom Willett Rosa’s Thai brings authentic Thai flavours to Coneys Street. We cleared some time in our packed dining schedules and attended their launch party to sample their latest offerings and get a taste for what is to come. On entering the reclaimed Tudor labyrinth that the fairly sizable restaurant occupies, we happily accepted a ‘boozy long island iced tea’ and a ‘coconut daiquiri’. Yes, they were sweet and delicious, and got us in the mood for some Thai prawn crackers, which we proceeded to slop sweet chilli all over. The chilli could have done with a bit more viscosity however, as much of the sauce ended sliding off the crackers and onto the table, although this may just have been our lack of grace. Once everyone had settled in, including the bigwigs from VisitYork who were effortlessly rubbing shoulders with the restaurant’s management, the service began. While waiting for the selection of canapes to work their way round to us, we noticed an origin story embossed on the wall above us. The story introduced us to the wife and husband team, Saiphin and Alex Moore, who brought their vision from Saiphin’s home in northern Thailand to London in 2007. On taking over the lease of a traditional British caff, they decided to keep the name Rosa’s on the door, out of respect and a lack of funds. They’ve since found nationwide success, with their new establishment in York taking them to over 30 restaurants. Back to the launch. The lights were dimmed, and we began to eat. First came fried sweetcorn bites, auromatic and zesty, before we were offered a rich Thai- spiced beef, a favourite of ours. Then came ‘champion chicken’, a dish marinated in a homemade hot sauce. We were told this dish had won an internal Masterchef competition, and we could tell why. This was followed by tofu covered in tamarind sauce, and prawns in lemongrass rice noodles. Other Thai classics, such

as a Massaman curry, were also brought around for us to try. Powerful and distinctively Thai flavours ran through all the dishes, although we both felt they could have been more adventurous. The homemade sweet and sour sauce was pleasant but lacked kick, while the sweet chilli sauce kicked like a mule but masked the flavours of the meat and fish. Their application lacked a delicacy that we wanted from the experience. The service was excellent throughout, with knowledgeable and attentive staff making eating out feel like an occasion, just as it should be. We are also pleased to report that the bathrooms are up to the job. We will say no more but trust us on that point. The mango sticky rice proved a highlight of the service. It was presented within a folded leaf held delicately with a skewer, and looked the part. Crisp, flavourful, and with just the right amount of sweetness, it’s an excellent dessert. Neither of us are large fans of sweet desserts but we found this hit the spot. When Rosa’s Thai opens in full, it will also be serving takeaways and running a delivery service. Rosa’s Thai has a great backstory and brings another taste of authentic Thai cuisine to York. However, at launch they’re playing it safe. It’s a good start but when these bites become dishes, we want more.

@FoodDrinkYork

A Tribute to Late Night Hot Dogs Joe Radford The time is 2:34 am. I finished uni nearly 12 hours ago. I sway down the street and Flares shrinks into the distance behind me. My brain says it’s time for bed, but my stomach disagrees. Several hours of busting a move, and the 100 WKDs consumed in that time, have left me famished. So before bed, a snack. I plonk down on the side of the street, hot dog in my hands and take a bite. The first bite of a dawg, much like the start of university, is perhaps the best. The sudden rush of flavour - freedom from your parents, out partying every night, a constant barrage of crazy situations with your newfound ‘best friends’. I take the next bite before I finish the first, getting a good dollop of sauce this time. The excitement of starting your course, joining societies and making actual friends who you have more in common with than simply a postcode. In quick succession, I take yet another bite. My mouth is starting to get too full to chew, but I keep on going anyway, swallowing as much as I can all at once, not thinking too much about the consequences. Before I know it, I’ve eaten half the hot dog. I try to slow down and savour the second half more than I did

the first. Smaller bites. That one great night in the pub with someone you never thought you’d get along with. Getting your first ever first for an essay. Screaming about some sport you’d never heard of at Roses. But as I slow down and really taste the hot dog, I start to realise that a hot dog isn’t all it’s made up to be. After all, it is a hot dog from a street food van in the middle of the night. The last few bites of the hot dog, now I’m really thinking about it, aren’t all that great. Chomp; the never-ending pressure of coursework and exams. Munch; a relationship that is broken apart by distance. Champ; the impending £27 000+ in debt. And as I sit there in the cold and the dark, ketchup and mustard all over my hands, and my stomach more unhappy than when I started eating in the first place, I start to wonder if it was all worth it… IMAGE: JOE RADFORD


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FOOD EDITOR tom willett DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR navya verma

Las Iguanas Food Review The incoming end of the summer term marks the closing of examination distress and the onset of vacations in full swing. While the end of the academic year brings into retrospect sweet and salty memories of university, it is only fair to end this chapter with an equally delightful celebration. The hunt for the perfect get-together place to mark an end to a terrific first year led me to think about fine dining, dessert parlours, and, to some extent, even clubs. However, none of these places provided me with the archaic but mellow atmosphere I had been building an appetite for. Centrally located in the city, Las Iguanas is a Latin American cuisine paradise boasting dishes from the countries of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, and more. Dazzled by the wide variety of food, my friends and I visited the restaurant on the much anticipated night that marked the end of our assignments. Upon entry, the music immediately set the mood right, and we sat across the

bar, absorbing the merry bustle of the place. The restaurant was quite spacious, with two storeys, but nonetheless had a homey warmth to it. We were pleasantly greeted by the hosts and presented with an extensive array of options . Our jolly evening was kick-started with drinks that we ordered as part of their 2-for-1 offer on cocktails and mocktails, making the drinks quite reasonably priced. We enjoyed four mocktails of ‘berry fizz’ and ‘tropical cooler’, both of which had a distinct tanginess and paired amazingly well with the food. To start off with nibbles, we ordered a portion of curly fries, the taste of which left me completely bewildered. I would unmistakably rate their curly fries as the best ones I’ve ever had. The crunch of the fries paired perfectly with the accompanying creamy aioli. After some tough decision-making, our mains arrived, all of which were individually mouth-watering. Firstly,we engorged ourselves in the Bahian Coconut Chicken,

Navya Verma

which came with a side of spring onion rice and shredded greens. The tender chicken in an orange gravy consisted of spicy flavours of cumin and cayenne pepper which was simmered down in a coconut milk sauce. Next, we moved onto the chicken burritos. Eliminating the customary flour base, the tortillas were made of whole wheat and stuffed with the classic Mexican fillings of chipotle chicken, refried beans, spicy rice, cheese, sour cream, (amazing) guac, and salsa. The last main that we ordered was undoubtedly the best, the Blazing Bird, a half chicken marinated and fully immersed in a honey peri-peri sauce, which also came with curly fries. The quantity was extravagant, and the burst of flavours at every bite elevated the complete experience of the dish. Our rich feast concluded with sweet relish as we ordered two desserts, the classic Spanish delicacy, churros and their extremely popular Pornstar Martini Sundae.

From Oven Fries to Oven Pies How University changes your eating habits... Four years ago, I was informed that I’d been placed in ‘catered accommodation’. From the staffroom of the Tesco superstore I worked in at the time, an email was immediately sent back, pleading for a ‘self-catered’ alternative. To go to university was to cast off the culinary constraints of the home and strike out into the unknown. Goodbye meals that both my younger brothers would also accept, and hello shakshuka, sushi, and spicy soba noodles. It seemed like an integral part of what uni was meant to be. Just like drinking too much and buying potted plants, cooking for myself represented another freedom that I would not have to tip-toe around anymore. Despite my well-crafted email (resplendent with ‘many thanks’ and‘best wishes’) I was unsuccessful in my transferral, and was reassured that lots of people had this reaction… that I would appreciate the social environment that canteen style dining fostered. I pretty readily accepted this logic, and returned to my shelf stacking duties. Looking back, my acceptance feels like a feature of the competing pulls we continually confront throughout our lives, between dependence and autonomy, tradition and creativity, infancy and maturity. On this occasion I settled for dependency, for infancy; quite literally, as much like during the childhood I had sought to escape, I was to be called down for dinner at 6pm every weekday. It turned out to be a laugh, filled with

jugs of squash and spongey cake, but in the back of my mind, I always wished that my new frying pan was getting a bit more use. And on the weekends, when we weren’t fed… well, let’s just say that there was a reason that I quickly wrote an article assessing the six best kebab houses in York. On those rare occasions we did cook together, though, it was brilliant. I have particularly fond memories of infusing chicken with as much flavour as possible via a long marinade, with a friend I went on to live with for the next two years. In those subsequent years we hosted spectacular themed banquets, where we tackled everything from chicken feet to Welsh rarebit. In my twilight years, as I prepare to leave the relative safety of university life, I have turned to cooking more and more, recently writing about my love of soup. But how have others changed? I asked a few people at different universities across the country, here’s what they said: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the typical response detailed an initial overindulgence in beige food that doesn’t have much texture. On leaving home, the competing pulls of tradition and creativity, infancy and maturity, crash together, with very traditional and childlike foods such as potato waffles or chicken nuggets being reached for in a creative and autonomous way. Saje, a first year at Liverpool, told me about his love for breakfast wraps and potato waffles (presumably to be enjoyed together), while Ryan, a first year at St Mary’s, informed me that he “eats cheese

toasties everyday”, although he spices things up with BBQ sauce and a bit of salami. These are safe, dependable foods, being enjoyed in ways that would never have been permitted, either by force or by sheer disapproval, in the home. Grace, a recent graduate, talked about the divides that food can open up: “I didn’t know what halloumi or tofu, or avocado was before uni, because uni is full of posh people”. Emily, a first year (and the wonderful editor of a certain section of this paper), talked about perfecting the art of ‘using whatever you’ve got in the cupboard, telling me her diet “ranges from incredible creations to the most basic food you’ll ever see, largely depending how much money and effort I decide to put in”. Although, as Grace mentions, food will open up divides, most are working with a lack of (if not money) then definitely experience. Max, a recent graduate, sums this mix up, telling me that “using a knife as a spatula works surprisingly well”. We shall finish with a short reflection by Ollie, a fourth year, who describes his culinary journey as one of “growth and struggle”. “I was a catered fresher, and certainly wasn’t an experienced cook when I came to uni. My culinary expertise had peaked aged nine, when I decided to put a pepperami and a cheesestring in a microwave, melting them together. Somehow my parents supported this, expecting to me to become my generation’s Nigella Lawson. Sadly, I think that the only two things me and Nigella have in common is

The churros were nothing short of amazing. They consisted of six cinnamon sugar-dusted churros presented with chocolate dipping sauce and dulce de leche, both of which adequately complemented the rich flavour and crunchiness of the churros. On the other hand, the sundae accurately represented the fusion of ice cream meets alcohol. The sundae came in a tall martini glass and was adorned with passion fruit and mint. The vanilla ice cream was paired with mango sorbet and topped with pieces of meringue and prosecco sauce for a divine balance of bitter and sweet. The impeccable dishes and atmosphere was made better by the swift service and friendliness of the staff, making the experience an all-rounder. The elevated flavours, flawlessly combined with the tasteful drinks, prove Las Iguanas to be the perfect place to celebrate a wholesome ending and fresh beginning.

Tom Willett that we both sound posh and are heavily desired by middle-aged men. Anyway, this brings me to myclassic first year dish, what I call the ‘Fresher’s Carbonara’, Ingredients: Pasta (obviously) Bacon lardons (yeah that would go in a carbonara) Mayonnaise (what?!) Recipe: 1. Boil pasta 2. Fry the lardons 3. Drain pasta 4. Put lardons in pasta 5. Squirt on a sickly amount of mayon naise 6. Bon Appetit! “I now understand that what I did was wrong, But what I think it really shows is growth. And that’s what university is all about. Yes, there’s all that degree bollocks. But the real education is learning about yourself. Whether that be learning about how to cure a hangover, how to love yourself, or simply just how to cook, that’s what university is for. I could not be the cook I am without the cook that I was when I started. And that’s why, even now, I still put a little squirt of mayonnaise in my carbonara as an homage to the chef that I once was. Just kidding, that’s fucking vile.” Ollie sums it up perfectly here. Although moving away and cooking for yourself is often a literal trial by fire, it equips you with a vital freedom, and lays the groundwork for a life of beautiful food.

food-drink@yorkvision.co.uk


BOOKS

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BOOKS EDITOR Caitlin Hyland DEPUTY BOOKS EDITOR Orla Mcandrew

Review: Written in the Stars

Orla McAndrew

IMAGE: FLICKR

Are Books Going out of Fashion? Interview with LibraryofDais Endings and Beginnings... According to Statista, in 2011, 344 million books were sold in the UK; in 2021 that number had fallen by over 1 million to 212 million books sold. Why is this? Is the age old art form of the paperback dying? Has it reached its end, as such? Personally, I love nothing more than that new paperback smell and the treat of delving into a new world. But, then again, I am an English student and a secret hopeless romantic so what can you expect? Books can be expensive, averaging around £10 for a novel which, as us students know, doesn’t really work with the maintenance loan. Equally, once read, a book takes up space and in this new day and age of minimalist living a lot of people prefer to read their literature in other ways. With audiobooks and Ebooks, the accessibility of books is increasing, it’s a new beginning for literature yet there will always be physical copy fanatics. Dais Whitfield is a first year English Student here at York University and has made her mark on social media with her BookTok account LibraryofDais reviewing new literature and making relatable and humorous content appealing to other book-lovers. After getting lost on her page for around 40 minutes, I reached out to have a chat about what she does. Firstly I asked her to explain what she uses her TikTok following for: “I use my TikTok platform to share my love for books. I’ve found that the BookTok community is so supportive and is always in need of the next best book so being able to contribute makes me engaged and excited.” Next I wanted to know why books were such a passion for her and what made her decide to start publicly sharing her passion: “I think it’s because of escapism, that’s why I’m so passionate, I get to view these worlds and narratives in my own space and brain and visualise them in a way that is specific to me. I actually started my Tiktok

Emily Sinclair

because of a book i didn’t like and I wanted to talk about it since nobody I knew had read it or even heard of it” Reaching the incredible following of 24.7k I wanted to know what opportunities “LibraryOfDais” had given her and whether she ever believed she would reach this large audience with the number constantly rising: “It’s given me the opportunity to work with publishers and do interviews (such as this) where I get to share my love for reading even further. Honestly, I didn’t even think I’d hit a 100 followers let alone 24k, it’s one of those things where every so often I’m still taken aback by it, I’m very grateful for the opportunities and support I have.” I was curious to find out Dais’ opinion of the physical book format. Do you believe that physical books will ever “go out of fashion” and how do you feel about the virtual platforms available to appreciate literature with modern technology: “ Interestingly, no, I don’t. I think that that is because of the rising trend of ‘booktok’, before i was on the platform i didn’t have a preference for the form of book i read but now, I love the feeling of a physical book, going into a bookstore and browsing all of the titles is something that never gets old. I think BookTok has reinvigorated that.” Finally, I asked her the possible question for a book lover: if you had to pick your favourite novel and author what would the answer be and why? “I’d have to say If We Were Villains by M.L.Rio is up there, i loved the dark academia aesthetic and the interweaving of Shakespeare. Also, The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid- there are so many.”

@YorkVisionBooks @YorkVisionBooks

What could be a better read for Pride Month than a sapphic novel with links to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? That’s what Alexandria Bellefleur delievers with her debut novel: Written in the Stars. Elle, a professional astrologer desperate to find true love, is set up (by her new business partner) with Darcy. The pair are complete opposites, Darcy jaded by past relationships, determined never to let herself fall in love again. Bellefleur uses the fake dating trope

(one of my personal favourites) to begin Elle and Darcy’s relationship.. It’s clear that in spite of their differences, the two are a perfect match. Bellefleur gives both characters depth, in her witty yet heartwarming style of writing.This book is a rareity in that it isn’t a coming out story or a story of an unacceppting family, but of two women who clearly love each other deeply and (spoiler alert) get their happy ending, making it the perfect read for Pride Month!

Review: Ghost Wall Set agaisnt the backdrop of an Iron Age re-enactment, Sarah Moss’ novel Ghost Wall explores the complex relationship of the past with the present. Seventeen-year-old Silvie’s father is an amateur historian leading an experiential archaeology course for a group of university students – but he’s also an abusive misogynist whose ideas about British identity reflect the post-Brexit publication. Under the influence of outspoken student Molly, Silvie’s outlook on the world begins to diverge from her father’s, but a

Philippa Salmon disturbing convergence of past and present leads to this novel’s horrifying denouement. Without spoiling Moss’ beautifully crafted plot, I can still promise you a tender yet tense coming-of-age narrative undercut with hints of queerness, post-Brexit reflections on Britishness and belonging, and a deeply emotional examination of our relationship with the land, the past, and the generations who have shaped both. A gripping, unsettling, yet surprisingly moving read.

Review: A Tale for the Time Being Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, Ruth Ozeki’s metafictional novel A Tale for the Time Being meditates on the nature and meaning of life. Despite being written by the first practising Zen Buddhist priest nominated for the Man Booker Prize, it’s surprisingly non-didactic, primarily because half of it appears in the form of the diary of a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl named Nao, a diary that washes up on the coast of British Columbia in a Hello Kitty lunchbox to be discovered and read by a Japanese-American novelist named Ruth. How

Philippa Salmon much of Ruth is based on Ozeki herself is never disclosed, but it soon becomes apparent that the helpful footnotes translating the Japanese kanji in Nao’s diary have been added by fictional Ruth, turning the novel into a part of the story itself, as fictional Ruth’s novel realised in physical, metafictional form. A novel deeply interested in the relationship between writer and reader, the nature of time, and the moments that give us meaning to go on, this reads like a charm and will leave you with tears in your eyes.

books@yorkvision.co.uk


TRAVEL

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TRAVEL EDITOR grace swadling DEPUTY TRAVEL EDITOR nicholas chen

A Day in the Greek Island of SamosGena Clarke Endings and Beginnings...

S

amos is a beautiful island off the coast of Turkey, which is very rich in Greek history. The island was once one of the leading commercial centres of Greece, due to its location near trading routes. Samos also happens to be the birthplace of mathematician Pythagoras, astronomer Aristarchus, and the mythical birthplace of the goddess Hera. Samos is a great destination for a day trip, especially if you’re staying on the western coast of Turkey, and looking for something different to do. My family and I were staying at Kusadasi (a Turkish beach town), when we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to visit the island of Samos; we would be able to explore what Greece had to offer as well. Little did we know that the trip would end with all of us wondering if this was the beginning of our ending. We woke up early ready to get on our ferry and leave at the scheduled time of 8.30am. However, the ferry had other plans. Issues with the engine starting meant that all of us passengers were sitting, waiting and watching the crew trying to physically push the boat from the outside. It wasn’t looking promising, but finally everything was fixed and we were on our way more than two hours later and finally arrived at the island at noon. The ferry ride there was relatively smooth and the sun shining down on the town of Vathy was a gorgeous sight to be greeted with. The first thing we did was look for somewhere to eat, and there were plenty of restaurants along the coast to choose from. Initially we were not very convinced as most of these restaurants were pretty quiet, however our waiter informed us that the locals eat at much later times during the day compared to tourists. After enjoying our meal it was recommended to us that we explore the town and its shops, so we went and walked through the market and shopping streets - all the typical tourist type shops. We then ventured further into Vathy, hiking up the narrow streets, weaving between colourfully painted homes. The walk is well worth the view you see from the top of all the houses. It’s the perfect photo opportunity, with views overlooking the town and the sun glistening on the sea. My family and I ventured back into the main part of town and paid a visit

@YV_Travel

to the Archaeology Museum of Vathos, home to a colossal kouros - free-standing Greek statue dating back to the sixth century BCE. The museum is filled with finds discovered the island’s archaeological site, Ireon, including sculptures, pottery, bronzes and figurines. At this point it was nearly time for us to get on our ferry back and we were feeling hot and tired, so we headed towards the pier back to where all the restaurants were. We stopped at one of the many cafes for a drink and to cool down. As we waited for the ferry I also headed towards a tourist shop to look at all the jewellery and all t-shirts printed with Pythagoras Theorem on them. It was finally time to head back, and we hopped back on the same ferry as this morning, hoping that there wouldn’t be any more engine problems that would delay our departure. However, our day trip that was going so well took an unexpected turn. As we started moving away from the island the waves were getting bigger and rougher, and our ferry couldn’t quite handle it. The next thing you know, the boat is being rocked up and down and we were being tossed all around! This was far worse than any plane turbulence I’ve ever experienced. We were constantly going up then crashing down into the waves, and everyone on the boat started to panic aside from a little girl laughing, oblivious to the severity of the situation. I gripped onto my chair, hoping to get a brake from this nightmare ferry ride, but all I could see out of the window was the boat splashing back into the waves, and us nearly being submerged into the sea. We tried to remain calm but we could all sense each other’s nerves, and to make matters worse a few of the passengers were panicking and crying thinking that this would be the end. I myself thought that this really may be the beginning of the end, and started looking around for emergency exits, preparing for if the ferry really did go down. What felt like an eternity was finally over, and much to everyone’s surprise we all made it back to Turkey in one piece. We got off and I could almost kiss the ground. Our day in Samos was fantastic, but I can definitely say that was most certainly the last time I will ever step foot on a ferry.

The Summer Student Guide to York How to make the most of York in Summer Term.

W

hether you’ve finished exams (lucky you), need a break from revision or are spending time in York after term has finished, here are some suggestions for how to enjoy our city in the sunshine, on a budget of course. Take a Walk A short stroll around campus admiring the new spring additions to the lake or searching for Longboi can be the perfect revision break. Perhaps even get off campus and explore the nearby wildlife that York has to offer. Get that mental health walk in.

Head to the Seaside Stressed from exams? Breathing in the sea air does wonders for the soul. Scarborough is only a 45-minute train journey away and on a sunny day certainly lives up to its ‘Scarbados’ nickname! Head to the South beach for the traditional arcade and obligatory fish and chips, and the East beach for a more relaxing stroll across the sand. Go Swimming Having not yet located a nearby outdoor swimming pool for the summer, the York Sport Village on Campus East is usually my port of call. Whether you dive headfirst and race your way down the lanes or simply just float and wish your worries away, swimming is the perfect start to a summer day.

Grace Swadling doesn’t result in my previous suggestion of swimming! Go to the Races Dress up, live the lavish lifestyle and forget you are a student for the day. Perhaps even place a few bets…when does student finance come in again?! A perfect day out if you ask me. York Festival of Ideas If you’re looking for a more educational and inspiring way to spend your time in York, the Festival of Ideas is returning to the city from 11th-24th June. This offers the chance to meet world-class speakers, watch performances and take part in activities in areas from the history of the city walls to Shakespeare to dog behaviour… everything you could ever ask for! Have a City break If you’ve exhausted the copious amounts on offer in York itself (which I highly doubt!) perhaps you could explore a nearby city for the day. Leeds, Sheffield, and Durham are not too far away and have plenty to offer. However, London is only just over a 2-hour train journey away and is a place which you can arguably never get bored of!

Get a Boat along the River A romantic date for two, a trip with friends, or even a well-deserved solo date. You can opt for an easy sightseeing boat to take in the city from the water or be brave with a self-drive boat- hopefully this

travel@yorkvision.co.uk



COLUMNS

Friday June 17, 2022

@Jasmine07404371

MOODY’S MUSINGS

JASMINE MOODY A Reflection On My Three Years As An Undergraduate I LIKE TO get nostalgic in my columns, so here’s my last ultimate sentimental article about reminiscing on my three years as an undergraduate. My gosh, I was a very keen fresher. I wanted to enjoy myself, after a painful year or so. The end of my time as a sixth form student was rocky, to say the least. By some miracle, York still accepted me as a student. With this relief, I was fuelled up to dance and drink the stress away, before cracking down to study. I certainly lived up to the Derwent stereotype of going a bit bonkers. It was harmless fun though and I don’t remember having any bad hangovers during fresher’s week. If I must be honest, the first half of the first term did not even feel like I was at an academic institution because of all the fresher events. Now that I look back on it, the first year was a breeze, although this feeling of chillness was aided by the fact that summer summative essays were cancelled. However, this meant that the 2019 cohort of freshers missed out on a third of their fresher experience. I was looking forward

to going out and not freezing waiting in line at Kuda. The second-year was great, even with COVID-19 restrictions messing up the format of lectures. Oddly enough, I seemed to be okay with Zoom lectures. I was thriving academically, and I can officially say that I was smarter in the second year than in the third year. Anyway, my house still knew how to have a good party even with COVID-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, I missed clubbing and it certainly made me regret not going out more in the first year. I did face a few blips since I had more time to myself due to COVID-19 restrictions. I became quite a bit more cynical about my body image and I did some very unhealthy things to shape myself into my ‘desired image’. Thankfully that didn’t last too long, and I was back to concentrating on my academic journey, my extracurricular pursuits and enjoying time with my friends. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, I was not restricting myself. With the help of a little ego boost from YUSU, I decided to run in the YUSU elections for

BAME Students’ Officer. Campaigning was fun but a little stressful. Since I was also taking part in the York Leaders Course. Even so, I learned that I could multitask and push myself far out of my comfort zone. Third-year started fabulously, and I wish it didn’t go by so fast. I admit I was acting like a fresher again, but it was worth

It’s time to say bye to the campus I called home IMAGE: Marti Stelling

it. I started to crack down on my academic work before the spring term started, which was a wise decision. I knew the third

DRUNKEN THOUGHTS

I’VE DRUNK A fair few drinks here at my time at York People often characterise themselves as different types of drunk: happy, sad, angry etc. I categorise myself as mum drunk: I worry about others, even when I should probably worry about myself. At house parties I flit around the house, mopping up spills and picking up broken glass. When I’m clubbing, ‘mum-mode’ is not as present, but she still lurks around. Gone are the days when I could dance without the need for alcohol. In clubs, I can’t

seem to dance unless I’m quite gone. My favourite moves include hip swaying, jumping up and down and acting as if I’m trying to seduce a mafia boss. I’ll leave that to your imagination… On a general note, alcohol exacerbates my feelings. For example, if I drink when I’m happy, I’ll be a happy drunk. I remember in the first year, after necking a bottle of Raspberry schnapps and some vodka, I was on my block mates’ floor, laughing and unable to sit up. Alcohol also seems to make me chatty, even a tad gossipy.

year was crucial and I think I put too much pressure on myself at first. I’m not talking about constant all-nighters and emotional breakdowns. What I mean is beating myself up over good marks, but marks not up to my expectations. I’m waiting on my final marks, and I hope not to be overly disappointed in myself if things aren’t 100% up to scratch.

The same applies to negative emotions, unfortunately. I recall at one of our house parties I was overwhelmed by the number of people. This lead me to have a panic attack, made much worse with all the alcohol I consumed. The next day presented me with one of the worst hangovers I have ever experienced. Another incident is when I was watching the YUSU 2021 Election results. Long story short, I came third out of four contestants and tried to drink my sorrows away with a bottle of Sourz. I remember crying in front of my housemates and

Loneliness had become a massive issue in the third year that I have had to deal with, especially with deadline season.

friends, and I thought that drinking Sourz straight would somehow make me seem

People can’t hang out as much and even when I have been surrounded by others, I have felt overwhelming loneliness. I have tried to pick up hobbies to combat this, but to no avail. You would think that being an only child would have prepared me for this but, quite the opposite. Even so, I do think that being lonely has been a valuable experience and I have, slowly, started to combat the negative effects of being lonely. These years have been the best of my life, so far. Of course, I have experienced some struggles with academia and personal issues, but overall, I am going to miss being an undergraduate. I have made some wonderful friends and amazing memories that smother some haunting ones of the past. I have learned valuable skills and I have grown as a person. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for me to develop as a human, but my undergraduate years have set me a solid foundation for preparing for adulthood.

like I wasn’t despairing. Spoiler: I was a mess.

Did somebody say cocktails? IMAGE: PIXABAY

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FEATURES

Friday June 17, 2022

FEATURES

long-term impacts of the pandem

KATIE PRESTON speaks to the Disabled Network and DSO Freya Atkins about the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on students with a disability. COMING OUT OF the two year long pandemic, the mental and physical impacts have been tough on everyone. Wanting to document the negative impacts of COVID-19 on those with a disability, Vision reached out to Disabled Students Officer Freya Atkins and committee member Holly Burdon to discuss their worries and concerns across the lockdown period. Vision first asked Freya about her original worries and concerns when lockdown was first announced back in 2020: “When Covid started, I was finishing my BTEC with hopes of coming to York. I of course had all the ‘normal’ worries of a fresher at that time, but the added worry of getting somehow lost in the system and not getting support I need due to the chaos covid caused was very worrying, as I knew doing my degree without the support would be genuinely nearly impossible” Holly and Freya then discussed the fear surrounding starting her first year in a Covid -19 environment, and potentially not receiving the support they needed due to lockdown: “I was terrified. Despite all my pre-planning, sorting my DSA and SSP in advance, there were still a million things to do and think about, which really ruined my first few weeks sadly. All I wanted was to be able to walk in and talk to someone about all the little practical teething problems I was having, it could have taken minutes but COVID-19 meant it took months in the end.” “Contact early on from the university as a whole was pretty poor overall. Appointments with anyone, such as Open Door, were often over the phone initially, which is really challenging for someone like me with communication difficulties.” Freya and Holly respectively disclosed the impact of the pandemic on their mental health as lockdown measures and social distancing continued: “Millions of people died of Covid-19, but seeing the exponential impact this was having on disabled people makes my blood boil - it might sound extreme but hearing the phrase ‘but they had underlying health conditions’ when someone died of this disease just reinforced to me how easily people see disabled people as some sort of second class citizen, when in reality my life, and the lives of my friends and family, are just as valid as yours. You can’t use our weakness to a disease to make yourself feel safer.” “I felt disconnected from my support network, especially as everything was online and/or with masks. When one of my fellow

patients from my mental health programme took her own life, I was inadequately supported by services – informed only by video call with no follow-up or in-person contact. My mental health deteriorated badly and the lack of face-to-face contact with anyone resulted in a spiral of loneliness, hopelessness, self-destructive behaviour and suicide attempts.” When asking Freya about the support the University provided, she demonstrated the negligence that she received outside of her student support plan: “The University supported me by putting in place an SSP before I arrived, and then I also had my DSA which I sorted myself. Other than that, not a lot. I’ve learnt more now by talking to people, taking part in working groups, a lot of trial and error etc about how to access things other than what the uni provided me, which makes me feel a bit uneasy, but I’m still not entirely sure what could have been done differently, even as DSO.” Online learning was a huge adjustment for many students, so Vision wanted to understand the impact of the change on Holly as a disabled student: “The advantages of online study and meetings were primarily the ability to attend even when feeling unwell or not wanting to have to be in a room full of people. Online recorded materials were useful as I could watch them at my own pace and in my own time when I am feeling at my most focused or productive. The downside is the isolation. I really struggle socially and during the pandemic, I would go weeks without seeing or interacting with anyone in person.” Holly also disclosed the impacts of the pandemic on her physical health: “I was still registered with Unity Health and under the care of several specialties at York Hospital but was unable to attend the in-person clinics that I needed due to the Covid restrictions, pressures on the NHS and spending lockdown over 200 miles away at home. This meant I was often left in pain and on strong medication without the opportunity to get proper investigation and treatment for long periods of time. My academic department was very accommodating with giving me extensions when I was really unwell but I constantly felt guilty that my health wasn’t really getting any better and at some points I thought I couldn’t carry on with my degree.” Vision then asked Freya how the pandemic affected her disability overall, questioning whether she received the support she needed by the university: “My disability itself wasn’t massively impacted, more just how I interacted with the

world as a visually impaired person got harder, but I’ve adapted somewhat now. In terms of support, I don’t think I was as supported as I could have been, it was tough emotionally and physically, especially as a fresher who was new to the whole uni thing or even what support was available. I still sometimes feel a bit left behind and I’ve just finished my second year.” Finally, Vision ended the interview on a more positive note, asking Freya and Holly what progressions they would like to occur to better support disabled students when in person access is unavailable: “We need to know there are people there to not only support us, but fight in our corner when things aren’t going as they should be. Everything just needs to be clearer, simpler and faster.” “The University should proactively reach out to disabled students when these situations arise, checking in on individuals and their individual needs and circumstances. People can become isolated and vulnerable so it is important to remember that in reality it takes at least two remote check-in meetings to truly make up for one lost in-person”

DAN BENNETT talks to Kelly Balmer abo TWO YEARS ON from the pandemic’s start, the long term effects of lockdown and the move to online teaching still play a large role in the lives of second and third year students who have spent a majority of their higher education in a post-COVID-19 world. ‘University wide, I do not think that the University is signposting its students effectively and to the right places for the right types of support.’ Balmer said regarding these students. ‘I constantly hear from students about how they are feeling parred off from one member of staff or service to another, and this really needs to stop. This is part of the many reasons I rolled out my signposting guide at the start of the year. As a result of me constantly repeating this issue, I do think that the University is really starting to consider the way that they interact with and signpost their students.’ ‘However, I do feel that the University could have gone further with the support they provided, as more than ever I have heard students complaining about the stress of deadlines, mentioning how that they have been struggling to balance their social life and academic life this year as it is something that they have not had to do for the past two academic years.’ The pandemic meant that this year’s Freshers intake faced even more anxiety than before. Balmer criticised the University’s support for these students, saying

‘I think the University tried their best, think it was good enough. A lot of c around COVID-19 in terms of address ieties involved big marketing campai nership with the City Council, and th their place. Open Door did what it cou knowledging and supporting student but as always, it is a service that is ove rather hit and miss in terms of student ‘Reflecting back I think there could more support in terms of more stud within departments. The College team tastic and flexible this year despite be whelmed with the sudden changes, m COVID-19 related restrictions. ‘But something that I heard throu the disparity in their experiences with ing staff, some were supportive and un some really just didn’t care. Equally tho lot of that comes down to the individu institution’s wider response.’ Balmer was more supportive of handling of International students. has been great at responding to Intern when the University has been willing dialogue with them. For example, at Pandemic in February - March 2020 actively worked with the internation


FEATURES

Friday June 17, 2022

25

FEATURES TEAM

VACANT IF INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG

mic on students

Outgoing YUSU President PATRICK O’DONNELL Reflects On His Time In Office Throughout The Pandemic. BEING ELECTED AS the President of your Students’ Union really is a huge honour and something that only a very small number of people have the privilege to do.

IMAGE: IWAN STONE

When I first stood for election in February 2020, nobody had any idea what the following two years would be like. Throw in a pandemic, lockdowns and what happened between then and me taking office in July 2020 and you couldn’t really make it up. One very special part of university life last year that genuinely made a real difference was The Forest - the largest outdoor bar venue at any UK university. It kept students in employment, paying over half a million pounds in wages, and created a space for hundreds of students to socialise safely, and to continue to meet and host events. Aside from our campaigns to cut the cost of living, with £100,000s being put directly back into students’ pockets through hardship funds, or the recent addition of our free period product vending machines, I am so lucky to have had so many opportunities to influence national student agendas too. From briefing opposition MPs on the Government’s problematic Free Speech Bill, to meeting with the Universities Minister to get more support for student finances, I really believe I have shouted about the needs and hopes of York students on the national stage. Aside from these highlights, one of my biggest criticisms is that I am seen to not get angry enough in public. To those who might have said this in the past, I have a couple of thoughts to

share. Firstly, when you’re right in the middle of a lockdown, you’ve got to get in the room, present your case and deliver for the thousands of students that are relying on you to genuinely help move things along to improve people’s lives. Nobody needed to be reminded of how rubbish things were, but everybody absolutely did need to get some sense of how things were gradually going to get better. In all of this, I want you to remember that while you haven’t always seen it, I’ve been challenging those in power by telling your stories and fighting for your interests every single day in this job. Above all this, it isn’t just me that does the lobbying and influencing of decision makers. There is so much that happens at the grassroots and goes unnoticed. Earlier last term, I remember vividly putting out the call to students and staff that we would be taking donations to help those most affected by the war in Ukraine. Even before the email went out, we were completely flooded with boxes of clothes - to this day, I still have no idea how word traveled so quickly, but I was blown away by the generosity of our student community. There is so much more that I look back on over the last two years that has enriched our Students’ Union, our University, the city of York and the wider world we live in, from organising anti-racism events, fundraising over £100,000 last year for charity and supporting one another through University. York students really are bloody brilliant and whatever your contribution, I am so proud of all you have achieved.

out the Community & Wellbeing impacts of the pandemic on students at York.

, but I don’t quite communications sing student anxigns run in parthey certainly had uld in terms of acts with anxieties, ersubscribed and t experience.’ d have been a lot udent-facing staff ms have been faneing a little overmultiple times, to

ugh students was h academic teachnderstanding and ough, I do think a ual, moreover the

the University’s ‘The University national students to have an open t the start of the 0, the University nal student com-

munity to reassure them that they are there to support them with any issues that are facing, specifically the potential for increased hate crimes.’ ‘The University has also done a good job in terms of directing international students to emergency support funding, particularly over summer last year, in terms of supporting them to stay in the UK or travel home. Right now the University is currently supporting international students who are unable to return home due to lockdowns in their home countries, or the cost of flights dramatically increasing, by providing accommodation for them over the summer period, supporting them in applying for jobs and extending their support with the University’s Hardship Funding.’ ‘However, in January 2022, at the start of term two of this academic year, the University was not particularly effective in their response and instead increased anxiety and stress levels amongst many international students. The University essentially twisted international students’ arms, by saying that if they do not return to study in the UK within a month or so, then they would no longer be able to complete their degree as the University would withdraw online teaching.’ ‘This was as a result of a mixture of Government and University Policy, relating to international students’ Visas. But I do feel that the University should have done more to challenge the Government on their decision, instead of failing to actively respond to their students’

open letters and petitions, given the large amounts of distress it was causing their student cohort due to concerns around their personal safety given an increased rise of cases in the UK.’ Lockdown forced many classes and meetings to go online, and the knock-on effects of this are still being felt by students. Balmer said ‘‘Something that still needs to be looked at is why has the University removed online teaching to the same standard, when actually it worked for a lot of disabled students. It would have made sense for the University to return to a more hybrid form of teaching, looking at offering a range of in person and online teaching where possible in order to take an increasingly inclusive approach to education.’ ‘On the other hand, some students are still finding it difficult to go back to simple things such as ‘am I sitting too close to someone?’, felt like a bigger deal when students hadn’t had to think about it for the past two academic years. There has been a real sense of relearning social etiquette which I think has gotten easier, but equally hasn’t quite gotten back to where it was yet.’ Balmer also believes there are lessons to learn should the University be forced to go through another period where in-person contact and communication is extremely limited. ‘First, to try and reduce the amount of emails students received, because I remember as a student that at one point I was getting at least 5 centralised University emails a day.

‘The second, would be for departments to maintain some kind of consistency in their assessments, as there was so much confusion over what an open exam was, how it would be marked and what needs to go in it.’ ‘Third, I think the University should have gone further in terms of expanding its wellbeing support, be that further funding Nightline to train up more volunteers in a tight turn around, or increasing the amount of Open Door practitioners on a temporary basis. ‘ At the end of this month, Balmer shall be handing over her role to incoming Community and Wellbeing Officer Hannah Nimmo. ‘I am hoping that Hannah won’t see much of the pandemic.’ Balmer admitted. ‘I think one of the key things however that she will inherit is still the sense of relearning social behaviors, and managing student expectations. The reactions YUSU and the University made in the pandemic were extremely reactive, but most things can not be done immediately, and that it is important to be polite and patient with each other. ‘I think the University should be looking to support more ad-hoc social events that students want to run, such as cooking classes in the evening, educational events around underrepresented groups, and general activities that keep students socially engaged; in order to help support the development of students’ softer social skills.’


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LIFESTYLE

Friday June 17, 2022

LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE TEAM JASMINE MOODY SHARANYA KUMAR

MIRI HUNTLEY AND MARTI STELLING

BY

INFLATION IS SURGING- 2 million adults cannot afford to eat every day. As living costs surge, a new study found that one in seven UK adults, around 7.3 million people, are facing food insecurity. This means that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. This staggering statistic has increased since January 2022, where the number was close to 4.7 million. What does this mean for students? In recent months, petrol, food, housing, and bills have skyrocketed for most households. People are forced to be more conservative with their spending, and increasingly, look for charitable support. 13.8% of households experienced food insecurity in April, a number which has not been seen since the first two weeks of lockdown- a scarcity which had the factors of supply problems due to hoarding and trade difficulties. UK students often have means-tested maintenance and tuition loans, assessed by parental income. If that income has rapidly changed in the last few months, those in higher education could be having to deal with a lack of funds and a maintenance loan which hasn’t caught up.

HOW DOES INFLATION IMPACT STUDENTS? IMAGE: PIXABAY Many students may have to financially support their family and will be looking at financial hardships themselves in the next term due to their rising costs. Another problem are bills, with the government lifting the energy cap threshold. Gas and electricity have increased by up to 54% during April and landlords will have noticed. It is almost inevitable that the price of renting a house in York will increase by an untold degree, even if bills aren’t included. Renting has reached record highs this year. This means that students will be paying more for housing than in previous years and with more students entering the city- the demand in housing may also contribute to this increase. The student’s budget will also be hit by the exponential price of

food, with even essentials skyrocketing and shortages becoming more common, due in part to Brexit and the price of fuel. Students may be forced to economise to budget this into their plans for the new year. I’m no economist, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out the ricochet effect this will have on students’ lives- especially those from low-income backgrounds. Many will have to economise just to afford rent and food, yet alone getting the full ‘uni experience’. Those who are from under-represented groups at university are less likely to even apply, let alone enjoy their time in higher education. It should fall on the university to help these students to feel welcome and encouraged in their studies, which will mean picking up a lot of slack and societal

awareness to help those struggling just to get by. So what practical steps can you take to deal with inflation’s impacts? Whilst it cannot solve every problem, it is beneficial to become more conscious of your spending. Even making a note of what you spend on a night out or for your food shop can make a great difference in your understanding of what you do with your money. This is not saying that enjoying life is a reason for economic difficulties but making yourself aware of your expenditure can make you feel more confident in your budgeting and spending. Buying avocado toast and having Netflix may not be the reason you can’t buy a house but working out where your money is going can help you feel more secure! Help others if you have the

means and ability. The cost-ofliving crisis disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people, so if you find yourself in a situation where you are not struggling, consider donating to local food banks or volunteering for homeless charities. Get involved in campaign work for government and university reform. There are many charities in York which are making real changes. Places such as Safe and Sound Homes (SASH) provide immediate support to young people who would otherwise be homeless and CALM York helps those in mental health crises. If you or someone you know is struggling to afford university for any reason- don’t suffer alone with these anxieties- speak to your supervisor or another trusted professional who can help you to have the right help in place.

GRADUATION ANXIETY Dear Aunty, I’m really scared of my future after graduating, I still have no idea what I want to do in the future and I’m going to miss living with my friends in the uni bubble. Should I apply for a panic

Masters or move back home and work at my old job? Dear fellow panicker, Thank you for writing to me with your question! I can see that you are very stressed so I hope I

am able to calm your nerves. Popping the university bubble to enter the ‘real’ world is an uncomfortable feeling, but one that can be made exciting. The way you feel is a universal one. Indeed, to soften the fall from the university bubble into the ‘real word’ many opt for a panic Masters. However, a panic Masters is still a hefty financial commitment. In addition, you may find yourself in the same position as now, even with a panic Masters. So, if you want to do a panic masters for the sake of doing a panic Masters, with no other motivation behind it, I advise that

you steer away from this. You do still have a few months to think about higher education. If you can justify your reasoning behind doing a Masters (without the panic), then yes, a Masters sounds right for you. The other option that you mention is a common one too. This certainly sounds like a comfortable one, but one that may set you back. You seem to like the idea of university life and I am afraid that if you do move back home, you may become unsatisfied with your choice - unless you really like your old job. As I like

to say, onwards and upwards, so keep aiming higher. I’m afraid you will have to pop many bubbles throughout your life but rest assured, it becomes much easier. To wrap up, I would advise to keep thinking about a masters course. If you can’t, then moving home is not a bad option. In addition, you can always take a gap year to find yourself. This has helped many students in the past. Keep popping those bubbles! Love, Aunty Vi


SCIENCE

SCIENCE BY

OLIVER FISHER

27

Friday June 17, 2022

SCIENCE TEAM

OLIVER FISHER DEPUTY: POSITION VACANT IF INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG

THE SCIENCE OF VAPING

IN RECENT YEARS we have seen an increase in people taking up vaping e-cigarettes and vapes such as elf bars, with the number of e-cigarette users increasing to over 3.6 million last year. There are still a lot of unknowns around the science of vaping and its overall effects but let’s explore what we do know.

In a standard elf bar, there are roughly twenty milligrams of nicotine. This is equivalent to between 48 to 50 cigarettes. As most of you know nicotine is highly addictive, making you crave another hit. This is because upon inhaling nicotine the hormone epinephrine, which we

have receptors for in our brain, are stimulated releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that, in a lack of better words, makes us happy. The hormone beta-endorphin is also produced which inhibits pain. However, nicotine is both a stimulant and depressant, meaning after the high you feel low and want to feel another high,. This can lead to nicotine dependence. Nicotine has further implications. Research suggests that nicotine can increase the chances of developing gum disease, dry mouth, tooth decay and early tooth loss. It can also cause bad breath. So why have we seen an increase in use? It does not come as a surprise to anyone that life can be stressful, and one of the com-

mon reasons people smoke is as a stress reliever/coping mechanism. Vapes do the same thing. The rise in popularity can be attributed not only to their ease of use but their price and taste.

arettes. Elf bars also come in a range of flavours from blue raspberry to lychee, meaning that they have a much more pleasant taste than cigarettes. They are also much cheaper than cigarettes. You can get a pack of 20 cigarettes for £10 whereas you can get one elf bar for £4. One elf bar has roughly 600 puffs and because of this you’d think they’d last a lot longer, however, that’s where one of the big problems comes in. Due to the tendency to think IMAGE: PIXABAY they’re healthier than cigarettes, easy to access, and there isn’t as Unlike a cigarette, elf bars use much of a stigma as cigarettes, a self-heating system meaning people tend to get through them you have no need for a lighter or quicker. This means that you extra gadgets. Since there is no can actually be doing a lot more fire in use it means you can use damage with an elf bar than a them in more locations than cig- cigarette, as by you having a sin-

gle cigarette you can sometimes be tricked into feeling satisfied as you can see it being used and can count how many you’ve had. With a vape bar, you easily lose track of how many puffs and thus don’t realise how much you’ve had. There are some benefits by comparison. There are mainly four ingredients in e-liquids, most of them being a form of alcohol, making them “safe” for consumption. Cigarettes are full of harmful substances such as tar, arsenic and carbon monoxide. So by comparison what you’re putting into your body is better. Vaping can also be an effective technique to reduce how much you smoke and potentially quit overall.

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE YEARS BY

OLIVER FISHER

THE GREEK PHYSICIAN Hippocrates once said, “From nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations.” The brain’s function is key to us being us. It allows us to comprehend the world around us and form our own opinions.

At birth, the brain is around a quarter of the size of an adult brain. Within the first five years, it develops to about 90% of the size of an adult brain with it doubling in size in the first

IMAGE: PIXABAY

year. It is within these formative years where our brain develops the most with skills such as walking and talking being developed. The brain is highly affected by outside influences meaning that the choices of a caregiver can be critical at this age as they will have long term effects. The brain will reach its maximum size at different ages for different sexs. For males, it’s around the age of 14 while for females it’s around 11. However, full size doesn’t mean it’s fully developed.

Research shows that most commonly the brain doesn’t stop developing until your mid to late 20s. Certain regions of the brain don’t develop until you’ve reached a certain age, for example, the prefrontal cortex. The role of the prefrontal cortex is to allow us to plan, prioritise and control impulses. It only fully matures during the mid to late 20s which helps explain why kids and teenagers can be much more daring and rasher. Later in life we see that certain areas of the brain start to shrink,

and we can see a decline in effective communication between neurones leading to slower responses, due to the thinning of the cerebral cortex. This shrinkage can start in your 30s and 40s with an increasing rate once you are in your 60s. We particularly see shrinkage in the hippocampus and frontal lobe which are key for learning and memory. This is why we tend to see older people struggle with information recall and having slower reaction times. As mentioned earlier, the

brain can be moulded by outside influences, including substances such as alcohol. When excessively drinking, or drinking a high dosage regularly, your liver isn’t able to filter out all the alcohol in your blood. This means the contaminated blood gets sent around your body to different organs such as your brain. Alcohol is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier ,allowing contact with nerves. Because alcohol is a toxin this candamage or even kill nerves, leading to long term brain damage.


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Friday June 17, 2022

CLIMATE

CLIMATE

CLIMATE TEAM JOE BAKER KAITLYN BEATTIE-ZARB

CELEBRITIES, CROWNS, AND CAKE: UNCONVENTIONAL CLIMATE COMMOTIONS BY

KAITLYN BEATTIE-ZARB

FILMMAKERS, A MARCHING band, and the Mona Lisa. What do all of these seemingly unconnected groups have in common you ask? All three have become targets of disruption for climate activists. Award-nominated filmmakers and celebrities saw the BAFTA red carpet transformed into a real-life version of the film “Don’t Look Up” as Extinction Rebellion protesters lept the fence, set off smoke bombs, banged drums, and cried out “Just Stop Oil”. Inspired by Adam Mckay’s climate commentary film, the three activists glued themselves to the carpet as security constructed a hasty barricade around them. Next up was a crowning achievement - the Platinum Ju-

BY

bilee ‘Trooping of the Colours’ where Animal Rebellion called for an end to hunting on royal land by sending eight protestors onto the mall to sit in the path of the Grenadier Guards marching band. Finally a cake attack on the most famous smile in all of Europe, Leonardo Di Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’. Here a lone wolf climate activist dressed up as an old woman in a wheelchair and speared cake across the bulletproof glass that protects the world-famous painting, shouting “think about the earth” as he was dragged away by security. In all three the aim was simple - attention. A common tactic of unconventional political participation, any and all news is good news, even if it means facing arrests. All three events boasted a large media presence (whether interviewers, BBC coverage or the

mass of civilian iPhones photographing the world’s most famous painting) and an even larger police presence. The risk of arrest was high… the risk of media coverage was even higher. And yet a question remains… Does this type of unconventional, attention-based activism actually work? Despite calling for celebrities to “use their platforms”, the BAFTA protesters were largely overlooked as the busy event whirled ahead around them. And yet when actor Benedict Cumberbatch took the time to ask the protesters what he could do to help - what alternatives could be created instead of fossil fuels - he received a repeated shouting of “Just Stop Oil” in response, creating frustrating the famously climate-aware actor. Do these acts really create meaningful media buzz - or do

such occurrences create a negative perception amongst the general public and the alienation of climate activists. The BAFTA protest prompted booing and annoyance amongst the crowd, who had hopes of meeting their favourite actors blocked by an influx of security. The Jubilee disruption saw cheering for the police who swiftly dived on the intruders. Mona Lisa’s assailant generated confusion, laughter, and memes across the internet, for its random and unsuccessful premise. The return of widespread unconventional activism in the post-covid world raises prevalent questions regarding potential harms and loss of effectiveness amongst the public. Does it do more harm than good for conventional environmentalists, with disruption protes-

tors alienating those who were on their side, and generating childish perspectives of climate activism amongst policymakers? Will the world become fatigued by these repeated efforts, with the public becoming ignorant of warnings and ultimately lessening widespread climate awareness? I’m still inclined to say that - following the strategy of the Extinction Rebellion themselves - any climate activism is good climate activism. The intentions of such protesters still come from a thoughtful, impassioned, and brave place, and ultimately any action which aims to keep this global priority as just that - a priority - is a beneficial one. But maybe the planet would be safer in the long run if we tried something a little more convincing than letting the Mona Lisa eat cake?

A GREEN SEARCH ENGINE: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

MIRI HUNTLEY

PLANTING TREES WHILST searching the web? Seems too good to be true! After downloading Ecosia, the search engine seems to plant trees without any effort from the user. Helping the environment whilst searching for your favourite cake recipe or a celebrities’ birthday (or if you’re anything like me, the embarrassingly easy maths questions that still plague you years after your GCSEs). But what is Ecosia? And how does it all work? Are we being scammed or is there some real good that could come from frantic searching about conspiracy theories at 3am? Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees every time something is searched on desktop, browser or its mobile app. The money to

plant trees is created by advertising revenue - ads which allow the search engine to make money from sponsors without imposing a subscription fee. This might be a small price to pay for vast environmental benefits, but it could also mean some searches appear more frequently because those companies pay for that to happen. However, UK ad laws mean they must declare this so all of the ads are clearly displayed. It does feel like a very small inconvenience for paying for the planting of thousands of trees, but does it really work that way? Ecosia also made an impassioned (and very public) commitment to not sell data to advertisers or third-party trackers, something that other search engines will not guarantee.

We’ve all heard stories of ‘charities’ that place a majority of their trusting donor’s money, into the CEO’s pocket. Ecosia appears to be different. The company claims “[They] know trust needs to be earned” as a transparent company - releasing their financial reports for the month and year and providing analysis of their expenditure. As of April 2022, their monthly revenue was €2,470,067with over 42.3% going directly to tree planting. According to them, this was enough to finance a whopping 1,940,091 trees! Another 10.5% went to ‘green investments,’ meaning projects such as solar panels farms and restorative agriculture. The other amounts are spent on things like taxes (17.8%), operation expenditure (23.9%),

and advertising (5.4%.) They also promise to remain carbon-neutral as a company and a service, ensuring users a clear conscience. It cannot be denied that Ecosia is a corporation: a for-profit company. However, they are also a B-Lab certified, a nonprofit which works to create better enterprises. These demand “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”; if Ecosia passed this evaluation, they’re the real deal. Ecosia doesn’t plant trees, they just give a large part of their profits to organisations that solely plant trees in places that sorely need them. This system seems incredibly effective, having a huge potential environmental impact. These

projects of tree planting cover the globe, each hoping to tackle different aspects of climate change and deforestation. They range from restoration of Ugandan orangutan habitat, to filling the desert plains of Burkina Faso and restoring wildlife and sustainable culture in those areas. They also use their tree planting for social issues, such as finding alternatives for the destructive palm oil and restoring vulnerable communities. Ecosia does exactly what it says on the tin- they’re a search engine that tells you what they’re going to do, and then does it. There really isn’t a better way to passively help the planet than downloading Ecosia and planting trees whilst subtly googling yourself, or falling down wikipedia wormholes.


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30

SPORT

Friday June 17, 2022

SPORT NETBALL COLLEGE CUP VICTORY JAMES 1s

26

JAMES 2s

10

MEGAN BARTLEY SATURDAY SAW THE College Cup netball finals, an exciting culmination of the summer terms netball college leagues. Both the Vase and College Cup finals saw competitive play, but both with clear winning teams from the start. The Vase game came first with a slightly delayed start. Poor organization meant the ladies had no umpires meaning Vision’s own Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb had to umpire both the matches. Thanks to her hopping off the cameras and on to the court, Alcuin 2s and Derwent 2s could begin their intense game. Derwent had a very strong start, scoring five goals in the first quarter, with Alcuin only

managing to get one in at the end of the first quarter, leaving the score at 5-1 to Derwent. It was still all to play for at this point, and the teams seemed well matched. The next quarter began with an Alcuin center and two goals were quickly conceded by the red team. There were lots of short, sharp passes in the middle third, as the wind was proving to hinder the women’s play. By half time Derwent were the clear stronger team with a 12-3 lead, though spirits remained high for Alcuin. After a relatively strong start to the third quarter from Alcuin with a goal, the third quarter ultimately saw Derwent continue to dominate the court, with the scores at 17-4 by the time the quarter ended. The final eight minutes saw a lot of tense play with really

strong efforts by Alcuin 2s to fight back but ultimately Derwent dominated the game with the final score at 26-5. The positive Alcuin captain told Vision that it was “not the result we wanted but we’re happy with how we played” she was clearly proud of her team and how far they had come. The College Cup final seemed somewhat odd as it was James 1s versus James 2s, which you may think would detract from the competitive play, but it actually made for a good watch. Technically and skillfully the teams were fairly evenly matched, meaning the end of the first quarter saw the score at 1-3 to James 1s. This was somewhat shocking as they seemed of a very similar standard, but the real strength of the James 1s began to show in the second quarter as their speed, agility, and stamina be-

came increasingly evident. By the end of the second quarter, the score had skyrocketed to 5-14 for the 1s, with a notable word to Saskia Lister for scoring countless seemingly effortless goals for the James firsts. The second half began with a goal for the 1s but the 2s began to make a comeback, scoring three goals in two minutes, and the atmosphere began to intensify. The seconds were gaining tract, and the end of the quarter saw the scores at 19-9 with the seconds looking stronger than they had earlier. However, it did not last. In the first three minutes of the final quarter the 1s scored five goals with nothing back from the 2s, putting the score at 25-9. The speed of the 1s must be noted, they were rapid up and down the court, showing incredible skill. Their excellent communication

also ought to be credited as they worked as a very slick team. The 2s managed to score one more, as did the 1s, meaning the final score was 26-10, putting the James 1s as the very worthy winners of this year’s college cup. The James first captain sentimentally told vision that it was a “really competitive match, everyone was quite aggressive. It was a lot of the third years last game, with lots of our thirds playing up for the twos, its so good to see how far everyone has come.” It was clear how close the James College are, and even if not the same competitivity as inter-college games may be, the friendly competition within James was nice to see. It was victory for James either way, but they played it out until the end maintaining the friendly spirit of college sport.

IMAGE: AMY LAUDER

NEW FORMULA ONE PODCAST IMAGE:

BY KATIE PRESTON

NOT ALL UNIVERSITY of York sports fans have the luxury of being able to enjoy their favourite sport live from the sidelines. Three of those fans are Ellie Ledwell, Harry Mckay and Mitchell Mennell, Formula 1 fans who started their own F1 podcast on URY this term. Vision interviewed them on the inspiration behind their podcast, why they love racing so much, and their experiences of recording. With the idea forming during lockdown, Harry explained the process of coming together to start the podcast: “It started during the first

lockdown. Once we were at uni we had a million ideas for podcasts and we really wanted to start one but we couldn’t find anything that we really agreed on. But during lockdown we started watching [Formula 1] races together and we’re all fans, so once someone mentioned “F1” and “podcast” together we thought “that’s it, that’s our idea”. Fellow presenter Ellie Ledwell reiterated the eureka moment of starting the podcast, stating that “[they] were annoying everyone else talking about F1 in the kitchen! And then we decided to talk about it as a podcast.” More niche than mainstream sports such as football and rugby, Vision asked the presenters

why they enjoyed Formula 1 so much: Mitchell highlighted the exciting nature of the sport, stating that “[he knows] it’s just cars going around a track, but it’s thrilling, high-paced, dangerous! I get an adrenaline rush from it.” Ellie described the sport as “multi-layered. Whereas football is just people kicking a ball, with F1 you have the strategy, the tires, the pit-stops. There’s so much more to it than just the cars.” Harry also emphasised the technical aspect behind the sport, stating that he really “[likes] the engineering and the development of the cars themselves. There’s a huge amount of money and teams that go on be-

hind the scenes, what you don’t see on a race weekend is amazing so being able to delve into that a bit more on the podcast is great. With Formula 1 a very specialist sport that does not occur in York, Vision asked the presenters about the impact of this on the creation of the podcast: “A lot of it, having being watching it for six years, when you grow up with that influence, all that knowledge builds and builds. Watching a race live is very different and that gives a whole new experience but being able to recount the stuff about it. Obviously it would help if we could go to every race and interview people ourselves though!” Finally, Vision asked the preseters for their suggestions on

how sports fans can become immersed in Formula 1. “If you want to start watching it, Sky Sports is quite expensive. We criticise this show a lot but for fans coming into the sport “Drive to Survive” on Netflix allows people to go back a few years, get to know the drivers, get to know the sport.” Ellie suggested watching the sport in a group setting, arguing that “[Drive to Survive] is quite entry level. If you’ve not seen it before it can and it has boosted the popularity of the sport. I’d also say to watch it with people if you’ve not watched it before.” “You can just get into F1 by watching the races on your own! It does work.”

IMAGE: MITCHELL MENNELL


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Friday June 17, 2022

SPORT

SPORT TEAM VACANT

IF INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG

GETTING INVOLVED IN SPORT 1 1

BY MARTI STELLING

UNIVERSITY IS A fresh start: an opportunity to learn new things, make friends, and discover your hobbies. Even if you didn’t enjoy sports at school, getting involved in a sports club or activity at university can be a great way to boost your mental and physical health while meeting new people. Many university clubs have developmental or beginner clubs which are designed for people with no experience who want to take part in sport for fun. There are also huge benefits: according

to the charity Mind, physical activity can help with improving sleep quality, managing stress, and reducing the risk of depression. From dance to parkour, there are lots of ways to get your body moving in ways which don’t feel like exercise. First year student Philippa told us: “I did ballet for years when I was younger but ended up giving it up to pursue other extracurriculars. However, when I came to university and saw they offered relaxed student ballet classes with Dance Society, I decided to give it a go again and was pleasantly surprised by how

much I enjoyed it! The Intermediate and Advanced classes at York Sport Village on a Sunday afternoon are the perfect way to get some exercise in at the end of my week, and I’ve enjoyed how much it’s physically challenged me.” “I’ve also joined SwingSoc, the university swing dance society, and the Wednesday night classes are honestly one of the highlights of my week. It’s such a friendly and relaxed environment, and totally beginner-friendly; I’d never done swing dance before February and now I’m lindy-hopping away my Wednesdays with ease!”

Megan, our Chief Sub Editor, told us: “I would highly recommend college sport, it’s such amazing value for money. I play netball for Vanbrugh and it is so relaxed, meaning it is super easy to fit around a student schedule. I tried out for university teams, but I found the commitment they expected quite overwhelming, especially as a confused fresher. I have really found my home in college netball and have enjoyed playing rounders and squash as well. The college sport system is one of the most accessible forms of sport, and a great way to meet people. I cannot

imagine my university experience this year without it.” Scene Editor Emily said: “My love for the gym has returned since being at university as I enjoy structuring my workouts around my time. I have found exercise is vital in maintaining my mental health providing an outlet for my stress as well as majorly increasing my happiness and physical strength. “Since being at university I have tried a few of the exercise classes such as a regular Pilates class or Yoga break. Varying my exercise and trying new classes with friends has been really fun.” IMAGE: PIXABAY

UNPREDICTED SUCCESS FOR JAMES FOOTBALL 2S IMAGE: JAMES COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BY KATIE PRESTON

DURING THE COLLEGE Cup final, James 2s triumphed against their fellow teammates James 1s in a last minute victory for the underdogs. Despite playing against friends and colleagues, the two teams made for a feisty game as both squads wanted to bring home the win. With the wind picking up leading to the ball blowing to the 1s left and the 2s right hand side, the James 1s dominated possession during the game’s first half.

A fairly uneventful game, the first half was characterised by miscontrols and miskicks from both James teams, with a shot on target by James 1s player number 9 going over the bar. Despite having no real chances at a goal for either side, the game was still scrappy and competitive, with the James 1s having more territory and greater possession of the ball during the first half. With the score resting at 0-0 at half time, the game saw an even skillset between the teams, with

speculation that the game might go to penalties. At the start of the second half, some brilliant combination play from the James 1s down the pitch’s left hand side saw a further increase of possession during the half’s early minutes. However, the James 2s’ defensive play also increased, with the underdogs constantly attempting to prevent the 1s from advancing up the pitch and more frequently trying to intercept possession. Following an unsuccessful free kick attempt from the James 2s, the free kick was retaken but

the team were unable to achieve a goal after a brilliant save from the James 1s goalkeeper. Resulting in a brief injury for the James 1s goalkeeper, the end of the second half drew nearer as the possibility of penalties became apparent. However, in a blinkand-you’ll-miss-it-goal, the James 1s keeper came to collect the ball and was unable, causing James Richardson, a James 2s striker, to sneak through and score. With the brilliant last minute goal arising from a mistake, there was joy and anguish across the

pitch for the James 2s and James 1s respectively, with the winners evidently growing in confidence as the game continued at nil nil. Following the end of the game, the score rested at an unpredictable 1 - 0 to the James 2s underdogs. Speaking to YSTV after the match, the James 2s captain reiterated the shock of the win: “[It was a] big surprise. We played in the league last year and we lost… just shocked. I was kind of looking forward to penalties to be honest! But to win it like that is just as sweet”

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ısıon VSport YORK

VISION INTERVIEWS REAR WINGING IT PODCAST

Friday June 17 2022

PAGE 30

GETTING INTO SPORT AT UNIVERSITY

WINS ALL ROUND James College wins both Netball and Football College Cups BY MEGAN BARTLEY SATURDAY SAW THE College Cup netball finals, an exciting culmination of the summer terms netball college leagues. Both the Vase and College Cup finals saw competitive play, but both with clear winning teams from the start. The Vase game came first with a slightly delayed start. Poor organization

meant the ladies had no umpires meaning Vision’s own Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb had to umpire both the matches. Thanks to her hopping off the cameras and on to the court, Alcuin 2s and Derwent 2s could begin their intense game. Derwent had a very strong start, scoring five goals in the first quarter, with Alcuin only managing to get one in at the end of the first quarter, leaving the score at 5-1 to Derwent.

FULL STORY ON PAGE 30

IMAGE: CAITLIN ALLISON


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