Issue 270

Page 1

FRESH.

BY SCENE.

FRESH 07.10.20

YORK’S AWARD-WINNING TABLOID NEWSPAPER

. SCEN

BY

ISSUE 270

COVID-19 RUNDOWN

E.

INSIDE

FINDIN ELLIE T G YOUR PEO PLE AYLO A BOO R INTERVIEW KW YORK’S ORM’S YORK MASTE RCHEF ULTIMA F TE FRE LAT FILM-CL U SHERS ’ PLAYL B IST

What can we expect in the new term?

YORPARTYNETWORK “WORKING WITH” YUSU-CONDEMNED ACCOUNTS

YOR PARTY OUR LIVES EXCLUSIVE: YUSU Offers their Venues to Page which Facilitated Illegal Houseparties

BY IWAN STONE

YORPARTYNETWORK, A SOCIAL media group who have facilitated the organisation of illegal house parties across lockdown, have told Vision that YUSU sabbs are being “very cooperative” as they try to organise events on campus. While the organisation insists that the page “doesn’t exist to bend the rules and get away with stuff despite the pandemic”, on 27 June they created the first of 12 group chats for “anyone living on (or close to) Hull Road”, enabling the organisation of parties between local students.

FULL STORY ON PAGE 5

“I WENT TO JAIL FOR MY GENERATION” PAGE 22


2

NEWS

Wednesday October 7, 2020

News 2 Editor Perkin Amalaraj Deputy Editor Tom Willett Opinion 6 Editor Jasmine Moody Deputy Editor Charlie Cooling Lifestyle 9 Editor Hannah Frost Deputy Editor Emily Whitehouse Science & Tech 19 Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT Features Editor Mya Alghali 20 Deputy Editor Amelia Kelly Climate Editor Joe Irving 22 Deputy Editor Molly Pearce Sport Editor VACANT 23 Deputy Editor VACANT Sex & Relationships Editor Holly Palmer S3 Deputy Editor Sarah Veale Books Editor Hannah Jorgensen S4 Deputy Editor Hannah Rimmington Stage Editor Lucie Jubin S5 Deputy Editor VACANT Food & Drink Editor Georgia Lambert S6 Deputy Editor Lucy Purkis Charters Screen S8 Editor Roshan Shulka Deputy Editor VACANT Music Editor Rory Sanger Deputy Editor VACANT S9 Games Editor VACANT Deputy Editor VACANT S10

Illustrators Holly Palmer Niall McGenity

Editor Brooke Davies Editor Iwan Stone Deputy Editor Will Rowan SCENE Editor Tasha Croager Chief Subeditor Lucy Purkis Charters Subeditor Natasha Brooks Subeditor Hannah Frost Subeditor Georgia Lambert Subeditor Joanne Reed Managing Director Perkin Amalaraj Deputy Managing Director Nick Lunn Social Media Director Jasmine Moody Technical Director Marks Polakovs Opinions expressed in York Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Editorial Team, membership, or advertisers.

BY AMELIA

KELLY

IN THE FACE of a pandemic, the university has adapted and continues to do so, in an attempt to keep both students and staff safe. The guidelines, in line with those released by the government ,are clear: “Washing our hands regularly, wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces, staying two metres away from people not in your household and to selfisolate and ask for a test if you havesymptoms”. These guidelines are, as Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health at City of York Council, put: “our best defence against the virus”. The University have truly taken this on board, utilising it as a basis for their initiative to “stay smart, supportive, and safe” - a clear message to all. With the rise of cases (alongside expectations), the University announced the creation of a walkin facility based on campus. This is sure to offer some clarity in the next few weeks, both in regards to on-campus cases, while providing us a sense of how the University is attempting to look after students, and the wider community. In doing so, the University has introduced a number of measures impacting activities and teaching; students will now find themselves with a mix of both

UNIVERSITY OF YORK’S COVID PLANS : OUTLINED online and face- to-face learning, which, according to the Vice Chancellor, was done with the aim of providing as much in-person learning as possible. Professor Duncan Bruce, Head of York’s chemistry department stated: “I can confirm that lab work is proceeding in Chemistry with a reduced capacity of our teaching labs and various COVID-related operating practices to maintain socialdistancing, sanitisation, occupancies etc”. “Across our courses, this reduced capacity means that our students are currently scheduled to receive between 50-70% of their normal hands-on lab access across the year with the rest of the time devoted to online activities that relate closely to experimental work.”

Students can also expect some normalcy in studying - the library has recently updated their opening times to 8am to midnight every day, with spaces needing to be booked beforehand. All students are however expected to wear a face covering while inside the library and other University teaching buildings, and to maintain a two metre distance apart when moving around. In regards to staff, the University and College Union have reported that York “will now be paying COVID related sick pay to postgraduates who teach this term, and that paid training on face to face and online teaching has been provided to many”. “Other zero hours staff have not, however, been included, so we con-

A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS Tasha Croager, SCENE Editor

Brooke Davies, Co-Editor

WELCOME WEEK MAY be over but we’d like to give you a warm welcome to York Vision, your new source of everything happening in York. For over 30 years, we’ve been a presence on campus. If we were a student, we’d be telling ourselves to move on. However, Vision hasn’t had its time yet. We’re just getting started. In this, our 270th issue, we reaffirm our commitment to providing you with all the latest news, reviews, and ways to drink booze.

Iwan Stone, Co-Editor

Our freshers’ pullout, FRESH includes everything you need to know now you’re at York. Whether it’s the best bars to visit, films to watch, or places to peruse — we have you covered. Should open book exams continue? Are we all being pressured by party culture? In Opinion, our writers give their thoughts. Our Lifestyle section is here to serve up all the best hangover cures and to reassure you that there’s no correct way to be a fresher. In Sport, We’re taking a look at how sport will be affected at York dur-

Will Rowan, Deputy Editor

ing the pandemic. You’ll find an interview with the captain of our brilliant women’s rugby team in the back. FRESH, our SCENE edition made especially for Freshers, offers a range of reading, from an interview with York Alumna Ellie Taylor, to our Editor’s Ultimate Freshers Playlist. Together, we’ve been here for 11 years. It’s a frightening thought and a sobering one. If we can do it then so can you. We’re always looking for new writers, stories, and members to welcome.

tinue to call for adequate sick pay and health and safety training for all”. Outside of academics, students are strictly told to adhere to the governments guidelines banning local gatherings above six in England. That is not to say that all is lost; with education and some sport exempt from this rule, it is possible to make the most out of University life. Nearly all societies are running at some capacity, with plenty of opportunities for students to throw themselves into University life and meet new people, albeit with some COVID measures. Only time will tell how this unravels, but the University have clearly committed to not losing this academic year.

Send us an email, a message, a telegram. Just get in touch and we’ll get you up to speed. We’d like to extend our thanks to alumni who have so generously supported us through YuFund. Without their support, this issue would not be in print and Vision would not be in such a position of strength. We’re forever indebted to all those who have contributed to this edition. Whether it be through scoping out stories, sharing their favourite recipes, or fixing our sometimes questionable grammar. This is our Senior Editorial Team and Committee’s first edition as a group, and we had a great time doing it, especially the trips to the Charles and the Byrons Burger’s delivered to the office. There’s no denying that it’s a difficult time to be joining university. Try to take comfort in the fact that we are all in this together. We know that the University is full of wonderful people who will try to ensure your time here is as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Look after yourself and each other. See you in 271!


NEWS

DON’T JUDGE A UNI BY ITS COVER

BY IWAN

3

Wednesday October 7, 2020

STONE

STUDENTS HAVE LOST MONEY PURCHASING THE CLUBBING CARD

PURCHASED PLATINUM CARDS NOW WORTHLESS

IMAGE: KATHRYN SHARPE

UNIVERSITY OF YORK ranked 2nd for students choosing their university based on their course, despite ranking 13th of 29, five places below Leeds, with students choosing based on reputation. Students are also seen to enjoy their course far more than comparable universities, ranking second in the NatWest survey for students enjoying their course. 56% of those surveyed ranked their enjoyment as 8, 9 or 10, 12% above the national average and 18% above Leeds. This is reflected in the perceived treatment of students by the University during the COVID- 19 Pandemic. While only one in four students surveyed felt supported by the university, with less than one third rating their communication “favourable”, 71% said that they were offered some form of mental health support. The University of York subscribed to Togetherall, formerly Big White Wall, in April, which offers free online mental health support to students. While it is unknown how many students have utilised this service, Stella Elgood Field, a third year Geography student, commented that: “these figures project at least a greater knowledge of University support systems, and how to access these. Whether they have been accessed or not, it shows that the University has been there for us, and done their best to help us through the unimaginable situations we’ve all had to encounter during this pandemic.”

IMAGE: YORK PARTIES

BY

TOM WILLETT

YORK PARTIES HAVE left some students confused, as they struggle to get any genuine compensation for now worthless Platinum Cards. With the government banning nightclubs from operating in March and social gatherings of above six being banned from the 14 September onwards, nightclubs look unlikely to be open for the foreseeable future, leaving students with unusable Platinum cards. Platinum Cards have long been a staple for students at the University of York, granting free access and queue jump to five student club nights a week over the University’s 30-week year. When the was announced as lockdown was enforced, students were offered a £22.85 discount for 2020/21 cards, although York Parties have also confirmed that if they are not able to deliver student club nights this year, then a refund covering term three will be issued to holders of the 2019/20 card. However, instead of a straight refund for the 2019/20 card, York Parties appeared to actively encourage the purchase of 2020/21 Cards un-

til May 2020, more than two months after the UK went into lockdown, by offering a ‘goodwill voucher’ to current Platinum card holders that grants them £22.85 off the price of next year’s card. This discount equates to the value of the six weeks missed in term three (four events in term three are always missed due to the exam period) but only knocks off less than a quarter of the price of the card overall. When asked how many 2020/21 cards York Parties has sold, they declined to comment. Ben Potter, a third year ABFM student and holder of a 2020/21 Platinum Card told Vision that “Since buying the card, I have yet to hear anything from York Parties and there seems to be no effort made to try and find alternatives for the cards. “I feel like York Parties issued these cards too quickly as they had no knowledge about whether clubs would be allowed to reopen”. York Parties told Vision that the option for students to contact them about a 2020/21 card refund or to discuss their options further has “long been in place via email”, and that students

have been making use of this option throughout the summer. However, this appears to contradict accounts that York Vision has heard from students who have tried to email York Parties. 2nd year Sociology student Em Hawick said that she emailed York Parties on three separate occasions to discuss a refund and has not heard back from them. “Having spent £100 on a card, it’s ridiculous that I’ve had no response from them, it makes me feel as though they’re just here to rip us off”, she said. With a summer term’s worth of clubbing missed, students also expected to receive compensation for lost services. Georgia Railton, an Italian and Spanish student at the University of York said: “When clubs closed, there was no way we could use the card. It’s a particularly expensive card for students, so if it’s not something we can make use of, it doesn’t make sense to be paying for it”. Documents submitted to Companies House, the UK’s registrar of companies, show that at the end of 2019, York Parties held £203,702 in net assets, employing “an average of one person”.

YORK HIRES LESS BAME STAFF THAN OTHER UNIVERSITIES

DEPARTMENTS ADMIT THEY NEED TO HIRE MORE BAME STAFF

IMAGE: HARRY CLAY

BY PERKIN

AMALARAJ

PROFESSOR NINA CASPERSON, Head of the Politics Department, told York VIsion: “We are fully aware that we could, and should, do better when it comes to the appointment of BAME staff”. Caspersen told York Vision: “We are fully aware that we could, and should, do better when it comes to the appointment of BAME staff”. According to “preliminary” research undertaken by the politics department, one of the main reasons that BAME people are underrepresented in the department is not that there is bias in the application process for the department. Caspersen argues that they “simply do not attract enough BAME applicants”. In regards to why BAME people aren’t attracted to York, Dr. Indrajit Roy of the Department: “perhaps York is perceived to be a provincial northern white town?”. Roy went on to say that the department “needs to do more to

know why so few BME applicants want to work in York”. Caspersen, Head of the Politics Department at the University, told Vision that the Department of Politics now has a dedicated Equality and Diversity Committee. The department also requires all members of appointment panels to undergo unconscious bias training. Caspersen told York VIsion: “We are fully aware that we could, and should, do better when it comes to the appointment of BAME staff”. In June, York Vision revealed that the proportion of black students admitted to the University of York has been three times lower than the national average for at least five years, despite the University spending £1.9 million on outreach programmes in 2016 alone. Dr Peter Gardner teaches a module called “Division & Inequalities: Race & Ethnicity, Class & Religion” for 2nd year Sociologists at the University.

Gardner spoke to Vision about what he feels are entrenched notions that are keeping academia from being more representative: “Academia and universities are generally imbued with institutional and structural racism, and there are so many things across the board that need to change”. “Conceptions of what makes a person seem ‘intellectual’ remain classed and raced in the UK. The markers of an ‘intellectual’ are often unconsciously connected to upper-middle-class mannerisms, accent, and whiteness”. Professor Helen Smith, Head of the English Department, told York Vision that the English department have changedhow they “approach and review shortlists to combat unconscious bias”, however did not provide examples of this. Smith told VIsion that of the four permanent hires the department has made while she’s been in charge, three of them have been scholars of colour.


Wednesday October 7, 2020

CAC-WHY?

NEWS IMAGE: D.S. PUGH

4

KOEN AGAIN? KOEN LAMBERTS, THE infamous ex-VC of York, is in trouble again as Forge reports that Shefflield’s furloughed staff believe he has been “turning his back” on them. Lamberts is refusing to meet with trade unions representing workers now earning less than minimum wage, after being petitioned by more than 1,000 staff and supporters demanding the use of University money to pay for 100% furlough. During his time as VC of York, Lamberts was accused of attempted “union busting” and of behaving like “a nineteenth century mill owner” in a 2014 open letter from the UCU after threatening striking York staff with 100% pay docking. He was later revealed by a 2018 Vision investigation to have been among staff spending almost £60,000 on flights over three years. Good to see Forge carrying on Vision’s hard work.

MANCHESTER’S FRESHERS MADNESS MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY’S COVID crisis has filled the news over the last few days - and not least because of The Mancunion’s excellent coverage, focusing both on student raves and the security incapable of stopping them, alongside exposing the real story behind official coronavirus figures. With the Manchester Evening News reporting that the rate of infection for people aged 17 to 21 in Manchester has risen to 745 cases per 100,000, and the University of Manchester revealing 221 staff and students had tested positive on 1 October, the student newspaper spoke to undergraduates who revealed that not only did they have “no idea” they should report symptoms, but one individual said there are “100+ people we personally know” self isolating. This comes among The Mancunion’s footage of student freshers’ raves, with security guards pictured standing off to one side, apparently helpless.

INCITING CHANGE

INCITE JOURNAL, AN offshoot of the University of Surrey’s Politics Society, has taken student media’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement a step further, dedicating their new issue to highlight injustice through a series of Comment and Features articles. One notable Feature was a four-page spread of student profiles, showing students who had displayed “Black Excellence” during their time at the University of Surrey, in a hope to address the celebration they should have achieved in a “lacking” Higher Education system. Although I’m not sure whether this would work for Vision (having been told by many that our readership extends only as far as our editorial teams, you have to wonder how much would be achieved), you can only applaud Incite for their dedication to righting a wrong they have proved to be so plainly apparent in our society.

GLASGOW’S GUARDIANS

GLASGOW’S APPALING COVID situation has been clear for the country to see. With the Glasgow Guardian continuing to report that “cases continue to rise and the conditions for students in halls worsen” (29.9), it is just as clear that student media has never been quite so vital. Stories exposing negligence after an exclusive interview with an SNP MSP, reporting on misinformation pamphlets spreading through the COVID-struck campus, and updating policies from both the University and support systems, the Glasgow Guardian has demonstrated just how a student newspaper can serve its readership. We hope, if York continues to sadly deteriorate, that we can emulate them.

The graduate job with: “long term, frequent and uncontrolled access to SECRET assets and/or occasional supervised access to TOP SECRET assets” BY PERKIN

AMALARAJ

THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK hosted a graduate job on the Careers Gateway for a subsidiary of a company who allegedly committed multiple war crimes during the Iraq War. CACI Ltd. posted the software engineer role on the University’s Careers Gateway in May 2020. According to emails seen exclusively by York Vision, the role would have the graduate “working exclusively within Critical National Infrastructure, Defence and National Security & Intelligence”. The role also required the graduate to be eligible for a “full SC [Security Check] clearance due to the type of information we work with”. According to the Government’s website, this type of clearance is needed by people who are required to have “long term, frequent and uncontrolled access to SECRET assets and/or occasional supervised access to TOP SECRET assets”. Individuals who require an SC clearance also have to be cleared by MI5. The University told Vision that while CACI was registered on the old Careers Gateway. they are not currently registered on the new careers service, known as “Handshake”. A spokesperson from the University of York said: “Employers advertising with us must meet our terms and conditions, which are accessible to employers on our

website. In addition to this, the organisation must be registered with Companies House, have a business email address, and a fully functioning website”. “We aim to allow our students access to a wide variety of opportunities across multiple sectors to give them the best insights into the job market”. CACI Ltd. have a number of offices across the UK, with their York branch based in the Science Park at the University of York. According to their website, York Science Park is a subsidiary company of the University of York. It is not known what work the York branch of CACI undertake. CACI International conducts its international business through its european subsidiaries, which includes CACI Ltd, according to Reuters, According to The Independant, CACI Premier Technology, a subsidiary of CACI Ltd.’s parent company based in the US, was contracted by the Pentagon to provide interrogators for Abu Ghraib, the infamous prison in Iraq where CIA personel and private military contractors committed multiple human rights violations, including rape, torture, and murder. A leaked internal report written by the US military in 2004 told a story of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” inflicted on detainees in Abu Ghraib. The report named both military personnel and CACI employees as being responsible for

the abuse. A spokesperson for CACI told York Vision: “This allegation was not substantiated by any evidence at the time it was made, and the numerous subsequent investigations by both CACI and the U.S. government also failed to confirm it”. “CACI has always taken this allegation extremely seriously. CACI does not condone, tolerate or endorse any illegal behaviour by its employees in any circumstances or at any time. If an employee of CACI had been found to be involved in such behaviour we would have taken swift and appropriate action. We have, and always will, hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards”. In 2004, a group of 256 Iraqis sued CACI International and another corporation, Titan, in US federal court. They alleged that while they were detained at Abu Ghraib they were raped, repeatedly beaten, detained in isolation, urinated on, prevented from praying and forced to watch family members being tortured. It is important to note that CACI International., or any of its subsidiaries, have not been convicted of any of the crimes that they have been accused of. CACI has been able to invoke sovereign immunity, by arguing that they worked as a contractor for the US military. This changed in 2019, when the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals told CACI Premier Technology that they could not invoke this doctrine.


NEWS

Wednesday October 7, 2020

IMAGE: IWAN STONE

YUSU VENUES OFFERED TO PAGE THAT FACILITATED ILLEGAL HOUSEPARIES

POSTED 21/8/2020 BY IWAN

STONE

YORPARTYNETWORK, A SOCIAL media group who facilitated the organisation of illegal house parties across lockdown, have told York Vision that YUSU Sabbs are being “very cooperative” as they try to organise events on campus. While the organisation insists that the page “doesn’t exist to bend the rules and get away with stuff despite the pandemic”, on 27 June they created the first of 12 group chats for “anyone living on (or close to) Hull Road”, enabling the organisation of parties between local students. This followed an announcement the day before, stating: “for anyone wishing to host the next project X (Y) Party, our platform is available for just that!” Project X is a 2012 film, in which a party held by a group of high school students spirals out of control, after an ad online prompts mass crowds of attendees. This post has since been deleted, alongside ones that offered assistance with “organising / aftercare” to anyone “thinking of hosting a party or some kind of event”. Despite the page claiming that “posts published

always followed government guidelines and regulations regarding COVID”, this occurred exactly one week before the first easing of Government lockdown restrictions, which allowed two households to meet in a socially distanced setting. On a story on 22 August, they further said that: “we can’t directly endorse social gatherings, however, there will always be someone sharing content over at @yorfess.ig Facebook page so keep an eye out.” Alongside @Yorfess. ig, YorPartyNetwork have also openly declared themselves to be “working with” YorkMemes, an Instagram page condemned by YUSU for “racism and harassment”, with the University saying they are “absolutely unacceptable” and “offensive and discriminatory” in June. This platform previously received attention for posting COVID-19 misinformation and details of minors. The University threatened “non-compliance” of these regulations with “University disciplinary procedures”, when Vision asked for a comment on YorPartyNetwork in August. “We will not condone behaviour that compromises the health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors. We have put in

POSTED 22/8/2020

place a number of measures to ensure events on campus will take place in safely managed spaces, and we are clearly communicating expectations of behaviour to our students” YUSU, however, have given YorPartyNetwork information on hosting, saying that they “hope this will help you guys if you want to put on events in our spaces,” in an Instagram message leaked to Vision. While Patrick O’Donnell, YUSU President, on 8 September said that: “Should individuals fail to meet these standards to keep themselves and our wider community safe, YUSU and the University will take the appropriate steps to hold students to account through the usual processes”, he also commented that: “where students choose to organise events with groups such as YorPartyNetwork they are free to do, provided they comply with the latest Government guidance.” Citing Activities Officer, Brian Terry’s manifesto, in which he said that he wanted to: “make it easier for students to promote their events and activities, I’ll fight for better advertising spaces and clearer advice”, YorPartyNetwork have also expressed their intention to work with societies who “feel like YUSU don’t do enough for them”,

particularly in promoting and raising awareness of their efforts. Some such societies, with whom YorPartyNetwork say they have had “constructive conversations”, and “sensational feedback”, are the University Swimming and Waterpolo societies. In a comment to Vision, YorPartyNetwork said that they: “personally believe societies will always pressure their students’ union into ‘doing more’ presidents and committee members alike. Despite how hard our students union may be working, I think our sabbs know this fact and appreciate this being fundamental to the development of collective student experience.” President of Swimming and Waterpolo, Stephen Stanley, commented that: “it’s something I’d love to look into”, saying that he “like[s] their enthusiasm,” while he denied that it had anything to do with YUSU. When asked for comment in response to this article in October, O’Donnell said: “YUSU has targeted our work around trying to safely enable on campus venues, activity and services that are COVID-secure, carefully managed and safe for our students. While we do provide access to those spaces for a wide range of

POSTED 17/9/2020 student groups, we always prioritise ratified and student led groups over those groups that operate independently of YUSU, who do so beyond the campus environment and outside of our authority or responsibility. Although we prioritise on-campus spaces for our ratified groups, we have hosted a range of nonratified groups over recent years where we have sufficient capacity and it has been appropriate to do so. YUSU would not endorse any organisation that was running any illegal activity and we would want to support the relevant authorities to make well informed judgements and take proportionate action against any company or group that was putting students and the wider public at risk. If any student believes there may be activity going on which could be a matter of public disorder or a risk to public health, they can raise this with relevant people who have the necessary power to take action, which may include the police in the most extreme cases. The University has guidance and a reporting tool for any member of our University community to raise a concern that a student may be operating outside of the rules”.

5

LIBRARY FINES SLUMP BY PERKIN

AMALARAJ

BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2018 and August 2019, the libraries at the University of York collected less than £20,000 in fines, significantly less than previous years, as shown by data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. This is despite expenditure rising and income falling since 2013. The data shows that since 2013, the amount of money collected in fines by Libraries at the University has been steadily reducing. In 2013, more than £35,000 was collected in fees, despite the University only having three libraries at the time. Interestingly, the number of electronic books available on University servers has been increasing significantly, by more than 100,000 different books since 2013. Max Hinchley, a final year PPE student told Vision: “I’m glad that students aren’t being fined as much for books that they really should have access to”.

PLASTIC BOTTOM WIPED

BY PERKIN

AMALARAJ

Since 2015, the University of York has spent £37,716 cleaning its lakes, as shown by data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act According to the University, lake cleaning is not outsourced, but instead is undertaken internally. The figures revealed are an approximate spend. In 2019/20, the University splashed out and spent a whopping £8,946 to keep its lakes clean, the most money spent since at least 2015 This data dispels the rumours that the University of York refuses to clean the lake, due to fines from DEFRA being lower than the cost to clean the lake. One resident of York seemed particularly happy about this news. Longboi, Campus West’s most famous waterfowl, cheerfully told Vision how happy he was to know that the University is taking care of its lakes: “Quack”


6

OPINION

Wednesday October 7, 2020

Vısıon YORK

SAYS...

YUSU HAVE NOT GIVEN UP ON US YUSU HAVE REFUSED to accept that student life will be drastically different, which we have to commend. Universities across the country have set a depressing tone to their new and returning students, with warnings of strict social distancing measures, and an academic year consisting of cancelled events and early nights. York, however, have not given up hope; the University and YUSU have done well to maintain some sense of excitement. Their quick creation of The Forest, a whole new venue placed at the centre of West Campus, shows that YUSU have not allowed student living to be a forgotten dream. The establishment of YUFund Kickstart proves that student led activities are not an afterthought. These groups and projects are the very centre of many student’s lives and careers while at University, and YUSU have done a good job at showing that they have not forgotten us.

SIX MONTHS LATER

AT THE START of lockdown, student media looked ahead in absolute panic. Isolated from our teams, our support networks, and attempting to keep up to date in a hurricane of updates and misinformation, it was a constant struggle to maintain six months of clear, precise and professional journalism. God, York delivered. URY somehow managed to continue from the presenter’s bedrooms forcing (almost) everyone to concede that they absolutely earned their enormous sweep of the YUSU Media Awards. The Lemon Compressed continued to spread nonsense to the four winds, YSTV adjusted to film through webcams, and even Muse managed to pull off the Weekly Nouse. In student media, we get a lot of bad press - some people see us as easy targets. We just fought through a global pandemic. Try your luck.

MISSING PERSONS: SABBATICAL OFFICERS

BEING AWAY FROM University during lockdown was a panic. The spreading of updates and new information must have been a challenge for both YUSU and the University. However, having been back for quite some time now, it seems the communication from our sabbs has been somewhat minimal. Yes, they share each other’s news on their SU Facebook accounts, but is this enough? Coronavirus measures bring forth a new challenge for them. They will not be able to do their briefly written speeches to the incoming Freshers in a packed Central Hall, which was the only reason I had the faintest idea who they were in my first year. Yes, we can appreciate they do a lot behind the scenes, but the fact that students are unable to name them (I tested my flatmates) is not good enough. The communications of the elected sabbatical team need to be bigger and better, beyond emails no one is persuaded to open, and Facebook posts that are pumped with emojis and image descriptions.

OPINION

THE PRESSURES OF PARTY CULTURE JASMINE MOODY OPINION EDITOR @Jasmine07404371

EVERYONE LOVES A good night out, including myself. The music, the lights, the people and for many, the alcohol. With all this excitement around you, the main priority should be tokeep safe, yet this thought is sometimes overshadowed by the environment and internal and external pressures. I remember my first clubbing experience as an extremely keen Fresher; the excitement mixed with the slight fear and the 7:30pm predrinks. I am certain that the majority of freshers felt the same way, though much of the night was an alcohol infused blur. After I experienced my first clubbing event, I was keen to do everything. Every clubbing event that was held for Freshers, I went to – not even Freshers Flu and York’s freezing evening temperatures could stop me. The nightlife in my first year was amazing and thankfully I had people around me that looked after me if I went slightly too far. Yet as the year progressed, my motivation for going out, let alone going to pre-drinks, started to fade and I had to be persuaded to go out. Though, when I decided to have a night in, I felt extreme FOMO and internal pressure, therefore almost forcing myself to go out the next time the others would. I do feel that party culture is emphasised to an extreme extent for university students, especially freshers. While this is not a problem at all, more needs to be done about peer and internalised pressure and safety,

especially during these times. So, why is party culture such a big part of life for freshers? For starters, parties and clubbing events are great for helping people become social butterflies, even though their sober selves would rather cocoon themselves up. This is why university culture encourages drinking. All freshers are in the same boateveryone is a stranger to each other, and everyone is placed into this strange new world. Parties and social gatherings help people open up. Small talk about what subjects everyone is studying turns into laughter and blossoming friendships. Thanks to party culture in my first year, I have met some of the best people who I hope will continue to be a big part of my life.

“With all the good memories I carry, some of the unpleasant ones are remembered too ” However, with all the fun in mind, we all need to ensure we stay wary about ours and each other’s wellbeing. Party culture, like all aspects of life, has negative side effects. Having a hangover at your 9am is often satirised and even encouraged but what about the less funny side? With all of the good memories I carry, some of the unpleasant ones are remembered too: the nausea, the cold and ensuring your friends are safe (whilst also being inebriated yourself). Have fun, of course, but keep looking out for yourself and others. This year, party culture will look slightly different. York’s beloved clubs have been shut for the meantime for health and safety reasons

(thanks Corona). Of course, there will be pre-drinks in the kitchens – look out for drinking games such Paranoia and Ring of Fire! Please don’t actively pressure others into drinking and please don’t force yourself- know your limits!

“Thanks to party culture in my first year, I have met some of the best people who I hope will continue to be a big part of my life ” I find that even though we have all been taught not to peer pressure and not to fall for it, it is within our human nature, and certainly rife within party culture. Stay sensible and know when to stop. When clubs do eventually open again it is important to keep the same mindset for safety. Risk taking is found throughout student life, but sometimes, it’s not always worth it. Now, unfortunately, over-drinking is not the only danger of party culture. COVID-19 has forced us to adapt. We now see that pubs have hand sanitizer stations and socially distanced tables. Social distancing will be tough in student kitchens so stay cautious: have a bottle of hand sanitizer on or near you. (Vodka doesn’t count!)

Bottom Line: Have fun, but prioritise yours and your friends wellbeing over a few shots!


OPINION

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Wednesday October 7, 2020

OPINION TEAM JASMINE MOODY CHARLIE COOLING

SCREW OR SCREW YOU IWAN STONE EDITOR @iwanrstone

IN EACH NEW flat, there is always someone who enters believing they’re a BNOC. They will have dominated the group chats with some ultra-cool self-titled nickname, already have penned an anthology of Yorfesses and no doubt have that one friend already at York that they describe as some rugby-playing Barney Stinson. This is the flatmate who will sketch out the “shag chart” on your brand new kitchen whiteboard. No doubt intended to chronicle his sexual crusade through every woman north of Chipping Norton, he crosses out every girl in a relationship with a wink that seems to say: “I’ll have you yet”. He rallies up his well-practiced

cockney accent (he’s from Burford), and talks down from his perch to a group who are too nervous on their first day to tell him that this is not only pathetic, but fucking poisonous. The idea of sexual freedom is one that is welcomed at university - of course, as 18 year olds experience the privacy of their own place for the first time, it is an ideal testing place for new experiences. However, it would be wrong to say that this is the universal state for students: in a 2014 Student Beans survey, 49% never had a one night stand. Sometimes, the pressure of independence can be enough, and this extra factor can be overwhelming. However, with “shag charts” the uni stereotype of “sleeping around” is not only incentivised, but by putting your life on display, it actively judges your choices as failing in the ultimate goal of be-

ing the “legends” modern sit-coms encourage you to aspire towards. Of course, it develops as a double edged sword. Too “successful”, and you are immediately branded a lad (if you’re a guy) or a slut (if you’re a girl). Freshers’ week can be an amped up cocktail of endorphins at the best of times, but with each guy trying to prove his alpha status to his new housemates, the literal competition of sexual conquests ignites an almost predatory instinct. Dr Anna Bull, the founder of sexual misconduct campaigners “The 1752 Group” confirms this, stating that freshers are “more likely to experience sexual violence”. This “boys will be boys” campus culture has been openly recognised and criticised – Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, commented that it is “dangerous, as it fosters the sense of entitle-

ment that men believe they have over women’s space, time, and bodies.” “Shag charts” not only enable this culture, but actively encourage it. Even if a sexual encounter is fulfilled genuinely and kindly, who wants to walk out of someone’s door to be reminded that they are merely a new line added to their tally? But really, who does this addition serve? Because all I can see is one self-professed legend with a smirk, racking up his numbers like a spitfire pilot returning from a dogfight.

Bottom Line: Don’t get caught up with the excitement of shag charts, they are regressive and insulting.

ENJOY YORK WHILE YOU CAN CHARLIE COOLING DEPUTY OPINION EDITOR @Cooling_Charlie

I SPENT MY entire lockdown in York, living alone. It was a strange experience from the get-go, I still remember my housemates all moving back home mid-March and warning me of the forthcoming lockdown with all those WhatsApp screenshots sent to them by someone who “worked in the Civil Service”. It’s funny to look back now and think about how everyone seemed to know the same employee who was part of the neverto-be-heard-of-again, very official sounding ‘COVID-19 Committee’. I decided to not take heed of these warnings and head home like many other students, leaving me stranded in an empty uni house without company for the foreseeable future. With third

year exams looming, this should have been the perfect opportunity for me to knuckle down with revision and smash my final papers out of the park, however, like many, I found the will to revise evading me, no matter how hard I attempted to pin it down via productivity meditations. One thing I did successfully achieve during my lockdown though, was deepening my knowledge of York which I had never previously considered. Soundtracked by David Bowie, I would escape the confines of my bedroom and wander around the city alone. Most students aren’t too familiar with areas of York across Millennium Bridge, such as the Knavesmire and places further afield such as Acomb, which is reached by crossing a stray similar to Walmgate. Acomb has a relaxed vibe and feels as if you are in a 1950s suburban planner’s idea of paradise. Despite this, the walk

there from more familiar areas of York is pleasant and worthwhile.

“The lack of students created a feeling of space which I have never felt” In the daytime, I would frequently trek up and down the river Ouse, reaching concrete-filled Clifton in the North before heading back towards muddy Fulford on the opposite side. The river is the lifeblood of the city, and is incredibly under appreciated, especially by those who live further afield in Tang Hall or Heworth, but who can blame them when it is a 30 minute walk away. I have been very fortunate to live within a few minutes walk of the oftflooded banks of the Ouse in the last two years, and couldn’t imagine a day spent without a quick

stroll alongside it. I took advantage of the emptiness of Campus too, and although the geese remained, the lack of students created a feeling of space which I have never felt when rushing between SLB and the Exhibition Centre on a usual day, it really is worth having a walk around in the dead of night. Before this mutates into a Lonely Planet blog, I will make my point clear: make the most of living in this city while you have the opportunity to do so, York is a wonderful place and although the Campus is fantastic and seeing the city sloshed is fun, there is a lot of it to explore while sober too.

Bottom Line: Lockdown allowed me to see York as the nice city it is. Make the most of it before you graduate.

I MISS EXAM HALLS BY

CHARLIE COOLING

ONLINE ASSESSMENTS WERE the answer to one of the country’s worst nightmares; how to examine students during a global pandemic? The solution York offered was the introduction of 24 hour long, open book exams. Surely everyone has all of the answers? Surely not. The open book nature made every decision you second guessable since the answers were available, meaning unless I felt that I had reached perfection with an answer, tinkering would occur, and tinkering is never fun. Obviously, pros exist such as the ability to form a more structured argument, but for this the answer should be more coursework. The sooner exams are reshaped the better!

FLATCEST CAN BE SUCCESSFUL BY JASMINE

MOODY

BEFORE COMING TO university, one of the main tips I read was not to engage in flatcest. And what did I do? Well, just that! Nearly a year later, I am still with the same guy. I understand why engaging in flatcest is frowned upon – it can be awkward seeing the other person multiple times a day if things go south. Whilst this may be the case for many, it wasn’t for me, or many of my friends… in the same block. Personally, I advocate for flatcest to be less demonised. Why stop a budding romance just because your romantic interest lives in the same flat as you? Whilst I’m not saying actively seek out your romantic partner in your block, if there’s a mutual interest then go for it! It may be one of the best decisions you will make. Take my word for it.


ISSUE 45 OUT NOW

READ IT (AND WEEP) ONLINE

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FRESH. SCENE. BY

INSIDE

FLAT FILM-CLUB YORK’S MASTERCHEF FINDING YOUR PEOPLE ELLIE TAYLOR INTERVIEW GAMES TO GET YOU HAMMERED


RELATIONSHIPS

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EDITOR HOLLY PALMER DEPUTY SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EDITOR SARAH VEALE

Finding Your People

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he prospect of making new friends at university can be daunting. You read about people who met their best friends on day one but it’sactually really common to have difficulty finding ‘your people’; and you shouldn’t feel disheartened if you don’t get along with your flatmates or don’t meet any coursemates straight away. Flatmates Even if you’re not the annoying messy housemate, you might still find it hard to make friends. Try to ask others to do stuff together, explore town, find ALDI for the first time, hang out on campus, bake together etc. Group activities, like movie nights or nights out, can also be fun. But genuinely, if you don’t end up best mates with someone in your flat, that’s perfectly normal and you will find your people somewhere else. Coursemates It can be difficult to make coursemates. For me it always felt like people were rushing off right at the end of seminars and I had no idea how others were actually making friends with coursemates. Seminars and group work are great ways to chat to people and get to know them - you could suggest a library study session together or a chat about an upcoming essay. A good idea is to create a group chat for projects, or to chat about or split the reading, because even though it might not seem like it, everyone else wants to settle in just as badly as you do. Societies & Sports Teams The most common advice to make uni friends is to join a society, and honestly, it’s really good advice. Unlike with your flatmates, where random chance threw you together,

@YVRelationships

Holly Palmer IMAGE: PINTEREST BY deificusArt

STI Mythbusting societies build communities of people with at least one thing in common. Try joining a few different societies and meet a few different groups of people. If you don’t like the society then you don’t have to keep going, but you will have met a bunch of different people you have something in common with with relative ease. Part-time Work Surprisingly, getting a part-time job can be a great way to meet new people. In addition to making some money, you can use your job as a way to get to know your coworkers, which in many part time roles will also be students. This is a really good way to meet people that you wouldn’t have normally run into during your course or at societies. Non-campus Events One thing I don’t see encouraged enough in York is to branch out further than the university and campus. York has an amazing variety of community groups from zine-making, amateur drama, language exchanges, and everything else you can think of. You can meet people from different backgrounds and make friends with people other than fellow freshers. If you don’t find a community event or group in York that you love, try looking in Leeds. Having such a large city so close means that just for a mere 25 minute train journey, you can meet a whole new world of groups and people. In short, don’t worry if you don’t see eye to eye with your flatmates, or if you haven’t had the chance to talk to someone on your course. because there’s so many other groups out there that are the perfect places for meeting people and finding your friends!

I

Sarah Veale

have taught SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) for the past few years and have heard some wild misconceptions when it comes to contracting STIs. Netflix’s Sex Education, The Guilty Feminist podcast, The Sex Clinic programme on Channel 4, and the ‘Unexpected Fluids’ podcast have all helped open a dialogue on STIs. But despite all this coverage, there are still many common misconceptions. Myth no.1: STI tests hurt. The test consists of a swab around the genitals, a urine sample, and a blood test. The blood test only feels like a small scratch. The results are usually sent to you electronically within two weeks and if any further treatment is required, the prescription can be sent to your local pharmacy. Myth no.2: It’s embarrassing and the staff are judgemental. The staff testing you have been trained to give you the best possible treatment and to tailor the appointment to your individual needs; they are there to help and not judge. A typical appointment lasts for 20 minutes, so it’s all over very quickly. The nurse/ sexual health practitioner will ask a variety of questions to help give you the best possible treatment. They may offer alternatives to the contraceptive you had in mind, or may advise starting PreP. You may even get some free lube or condoms. Myth no.3: Only straight people get STI’s, except for HIV which only gay men get. STIs are non-discriminatory when it comes to age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Although some types of unprotected sex can increase your risk, anyone can get an STI. HIV, like many other STIs, is often stigmatised and misconceptions have arisen as a result. Be safe, use protection, and book a test every time you change sexual partners. Myth no.4: You can contract an STI from surfaces, e.g. by sitting on a toilet seat. STIs can not live for long outside the human body, so even if the bacteria/virus got onto the surface, it is practically impossible for you to contract the STI. STIs cannot be transmitted by casual contact like kissing, sharing towels, or toilet seats. Myth no.5: You can’t contract STIs from sex toys STIs can be transmitted by sharing sex toys, so it is vital sex toys are thoroughly cleaned after every use. If multiple people are using the same toy, a different condom must be used each time. If a sex toy is damaged or there are breaks in the surfaces, it is no longer safe to use. For free advice, contraception, and tests, head to YorSexualHealth’s website or York MESMAC’s website. YUSU’s page on sexual health details the weekly on campus sexual health services. STI tests are continuing throughout COVID-19, along with free emergency contraception. However, walk-in appointments are limited so make sure to book in advance by phone or online.

sex-relationships@yorkvision.co.uk


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STAGE EDITOR LUCIE JUBIN DEPUTY STAGE EDITOR POSITION VACANT

STAGE

Dramasoc’s Back!

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he good news? The Drama Barn is going to be open! The bad news? - Not to the audience. In order to respect COVID guidelines, DramaSoc, who were used to giving us four performances a week (a weekend show from Friday to Sunday and an ‘Open Drama Night’ on Monday), has to adapt. Although some plays will go fully online, the general trend is that the performances will be held in the Barn and livestreamed. This might seem disappointing. Theatre is about the magic of a moment and the possibility of spontaneous interaction between the audience and actors. Is theatre really compatible with social distancing? Yes, according to Ella McKeown, chair of DramaSoc. “We will lose interaction with the audience, but there are lots of other things you can gain from live-streaming, such as online animations, graphic designs, Q&A with the audience…”. DramaSoc has invested in high quality cameras to make sure the performances are just as professional as before. “We have learned a lot over the summer” (auditions and rehearsals for the first performances this term have already started), “and are all very excited”, she

“Don’t be a twat”: An Interview with Ellie Taylor

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graduate of the University of York, Ellie Taylor is an incredibly successful comedian, turned actor, turned presenter, turned... anything she puts her mind to it seems. After starting a career in comedy when she was 27, Ellie has taken to innumerable stages and delivered performances that stand-up tall amongst the most renowned comedians and performers. In an interview with her, we asked: York Vision: You’ve performed at some incredible venues throughout your career in comedy, is there a favourite that sticks out to you? Ellie Taylor: “Playing the Apollo for the first time was a real highlight for sheer size alone, but some of my favourite gigs are in tiny rooms in the backs of pubs. Size isn’t everything”. But it seems Ellie didn’t always imagine herself on one of the UK’s biggest comedy stages. She said that “comics go into comedy for one of two reasons. Either they are a comedy obsessive or they want to show off. I am the latter *does jazz hands*”. Truly, size isn’t everything, as Ellie also divulged that during her time at York she was a member of our very own Drama Soc - “I have wonderful memories of performing in the Barn. I think I did three or four plays and I loved every minute.” Although Ellie’s days at the Barn are now a distant

memory, she hasn’t stopped in her pursuit to entertain the masses. Her talent as a comedian and performer are showcased in her upcoming tour ‘Don’t Got This’. YV: Unfortunately you had to postpone the extension of your most recent standup tour due to COVID-19. How do you think live comedy is going to fare as we slowly come out of the pandemic? ET: “God knows. All live entertainment has obviously had a real blow... Countless people have said to me how comedy has been something that really helped ease lockdown anxiety and boredom, you’d hope that means people start to respect that ‘comedy’ is a job like any other with ‘employees’ who have bills to pay too.” Whilst the world of live comedy has suffered during the pandemic, televised comedy has come back with a vengeance. British satire The Mash Report aired its fourth series in April 2020, and we asked Ellie how she found filming during lockdown. “Mash was interesting because I filmed it from home and became a make-up person, camera operator, sound technician as well as performer. A bit stressful when I could hear my kid screaming downstairs, but we all survived”. Ellie also said that “the commute to the kitchen for a sandwich was very short” during lockdown, a perk experienced by many during our days confined inside. Yet

@YorkVisionStage

Lucie Jubin

adds. So what does DramaSoc have planned? Term will start with a New Works festival (weekend of week 2); an opportunity for anyone to submit a piece of theatrical writing, even in its very early stages. They can share it on a Google Drive and benefit from the comments and advice of other participants. It is open to absolutely everyone, including international students who might feel a little less confident with English. DramaSoc is keen to keep working on it’s accessibility for all students at York. As always, this term’s line-up looks fantastic. Tennessee Williams, York Alumnus Simon Stephens, Caryl Churchill, plus classics, comedies, darker plays like Osama the Hero, feminism and isolation... all just a few hints at what you can expect from DramaSoc. Anyone can audition for plays from weeks 5-9. First years might be particularly interested by this year’s freshers play: Lysistrata, a Greek comedy. Every year, one play is produced solely by freshers. They have complete autonomy and freedom to do whatever they like. Don’t be scared of auditioning, get involved in DramaSoc!

Tasha Croager

before the days of the kitchen-commute, Ellie’s varied career was far more fast paced. A testament to her versatility and breadth of experience as an entertainer, her ability to transition between roles is truly astonishing. “I love the variety. I feel so lucky to do such interesting jobs that change daily. I always think teenage-me would be so chuffed to know what I ended up doing. I try not to let her down.” Most students leaving university struggle with the impending doom that is the UK job market, so in the spirit of trying not to let our younger selves down, we asked Ellie if she had any advice for those graduating this year. “Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. I had already had two different careers by the time I started stand-up in my mid twenties… Life’s too short for sitting in a job you hate. But remember if you do end up doing your dream job then even that will sometimes feel like ‘a job’. Work hard and be ready to take an opportunity when it lands in your lap. In summary, don’t be a twat, be kind and try to do things you’ll look back on with pride”. And with those words of wisdom, we must finally say goodbye to our graduates of 2020. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as new freshers are about to join the ranks, and British comedy series Plebs

is rumoured to return to our screens. YV: We can’t do this interview without asking you about one of Britain’s greatest tv shows - Plebs! How did you find joining the show in its fourth season? ET: “Great fun. It’s filmed in Bulgaria so living in a fancy hotel in Sofia was good craic for a few weeks. Highly recommend it for a weekend trip whenever the world’s stopped imploding”. Despite the show’s fifth and final season airing at the end of 2019, fans of the show are left comforted by rumours of a one-off special. Whilst the release date is still to be announced, we turned to Ellie for the inside scoop. When asked if Gloria will be making an appearance in the special episode, Ellie responded: “No idea. Maybe she’s died in an horrific laundry based accident. Mangled to death”. Although such an extraordinary death would be an appropriate homage to Stylax’s crushing exit in the first episode of series four, fans like myself hope to see the whole cast return for what is sure to be an unparalleled comedy experience. In the meantime, you can catch Ellie in previous episodes of Plebs on Britbox, or alternatively you can watch some of her stand-up on Netflix’s Comedians of the World (UK episode four).

stage@yorkvision.co.uk


BOOKS EDITOR HANNAH JORGENSEN DEPUTY BOOKS EDITOR HANNAH RIMMINGTON

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BOOKS

IMAGE: IWAN STONE

Emerging Over Established

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A Bookworm’s Tour of York Hannah Jorgenson

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ork is a haven of literary spots and reading nooks. From a bookshop beside the Minster, to a tea shop with resident dogs, we’ve put together a few of students’ bestloved bookish places in York. Happy exploring! Minster Gate Bookshop Minster Gate Bookshop takes first prize for the most photogenic bookshop. Situated a stone’s throw from the Minster itself (hence the handy name), it’s home to five floors of books for every subject. Minster Gates, formerly known as Bookland Lane, has been selling books since 1580, and specialises in folklore and Arthurian literature. You can’t miss the chance to wind your way through the stacks of books (socially distant, of course). Hebden Tea, 21 The Shambles & 10 Minster Gates If tea is a bookworm’s best friend, then Hebden Tea is a booklover’s heaven. In not one, but two beautiful locations in York, you can buy loose-leaf

@YorkVisionBooks YorkVisionBooks

tea in pretty much any flavour you can think of. (Our special recommendation would be ‘Lady Hebden’, which is orange infused Earl Grey.) Not only can you warm up with the endless free samples they have outside the shops, but if you’re lucky you might meet the resident dogs, Peppa and Dusty. They sit outside the shop on The Shambles like very cute tea-guardians. York Minster Library and Archives If the Minster itself isn’t impressive enough, it boasts the largest cathedral library in the country, with just over 90,000 volumes. It’s manuscript collection spans 1,000 years, yet it still functions as a modern reference and lending library! You can surf their online catalogue via Yorsearch, our university’s very own online system, or you can access the physical archives by appointment (which is free for students). Whatever your interest, especially local history and theology, this treasure trove will be sure to hold your attention. Fossgate (the whole street, because we couldn’t decide) Fossgate is undeniably York’s hidden gem: a beautiful cobbled street with a view of the Minster and plenty of spots for book lovers. Fossgate Books is home to two floors of second hand books, including antique and rare copies. The coffee shops are endless, but Kiosk (the most aesthetically pleasing) and Fossgate Social (the cosiest) are our favourites. Not to mention Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, the 14th Century timber building hidden behind that fancy coat of arms. And did we mention that there’s a spectacular view of the River Foss? You could spend a whole day exploring Fossgate and not even scratch the surface.

Hannah Rimmington

he Booker Prize 2020 longlist has seen eight debut novelists gain a place on the soughtafter esteemed longlist, placing them alongside wellestablished authors such as Hilary Mantel and Anne Tyler. Arguably, this year could be the most important for any authors nominated for the prestigious prize; the beginning of lockdown saw many people, previously too busy, able to rediscover a love for of reading that seems to be continuing past the height of restrictions.

changing for some of these authors and their publishing houses; past winners have seen their sales go up by thousands in the days after the announcement. This year’s longlist might be the most diverse yet, which sees a long-awaited welcome to books with new stories to tell and containing new exciting and original perspectives. Margaret Busby, the chair of the judges, explained that ‘there are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorb-

Longlist dominated by debut novels It is further significant that of the thirteen nominees, nine are women, and four of the nominated novels come from independent publishing houses, showing a further push towards exploring new and unexplored and underrepresented literary sources. Making it onto the longlist for the Booker Prize is life-

ing’. The importance of this cannot be understated when considering the surge of new readers over the past few months – it is time to bring a range of literature to the mainstream, rather than recycling the same authors and publishing houses when selecting nominees.

The 2020 longlist is as follows: The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

Mengiste

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Shuggie Bain by Douglas

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel Apeirogon by Colum McCann The Shadow King by Maaza

Such a Fun Age byKiley Reid Stuart Real Life by Brandon Taylor Redhead by The Side of The Road by Anne Tyler Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

@YorkVisionScene books@yorkvision.co.uk


FOOD

FOOD EDITOR GEORGIA LAMBERT DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR LUCY PURKIS CHARTERS

York’s Italian Masterchef

Sara hosting her Dining Club Culinary shortcuts are appealing to students who may be on a tight schedule, leading Sara to suggest having frozen bags of vegetables in your freezer, whilst also encouraging batch-cooking or freezing any food that can be reheated. The stem of Sara’s enthusiasm is crucial, speaking volumes about her work in the health sector. She said that, “food is an empowering tool; it allows you to be in control of yourself”. As a fresher, try to supress the take away temptations, and in the words of not only a talented cook, but an inspiring nurse, “be in control” of your diet. If you would like to improve your culinary skills or simply learn the basics, sign up to one of Sara’s dining club events at Sara@St John’s Supper Club.

FoodDrinkYork

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IMAGE: LUCY PURKIS CHARTERS

Who’s Who of York’s Food Scene Lucy Purkis Charters Vısıon YORK

VEDGE, The Charles XII, WENTWORTH Heslington

a person, she revealed that “becoming a chef was all about character building”, a comment on the more experienced chefs who expressed frustration towards her in the kitchen. Overcoming any stressful environment or situation is about “believing in yourself” and “doing your best”, whether that applies to a recipe that has gone wrong, or simply a challenging essay. For students, the same ethos of simplicity and confidence applies - Sara maintains that “basic ingredients are essential”. In a culture where ordering takeaways is seen to make up the overwhelming proportion of our culinary skills, she encourages students to apply their creativity to their cooking by “breaking free from traditional recipes”, whilst ensuring that their cupboards are full of staple products, such as “potatoes, pasta, and rice”.

If you’re a fan of classic pub food, The Charles is the place to go. It’s also right on your doorstep. Due to COVID-19, they are only allowing groups of six people maximum, and you’ll

need to arrive together. There will also be a reduced menu, but if you want comfort food without a trek into town I would still recommend it!

Controversial opinion, but this is my favourite on-campus eatery. It’s entirely vegetarian and vegan, and a lot of the options are super healthy. If you’re craving something reason-

ably cheap that’s not cheesy chips or nachos, go here. Due to COVID-19, there is a slightly reduced menu, and a one-way system is in place, along with other precautions to take.

Garden of India, Fawcett St

ara Danesin Medio applied for MasterChef in 2011, thinking she would have little success. Nine years later, after making it to the finals, she is the owner of York’s first dining club, situated on St John Street, near York Minster. To add to the many reasons why Sara remains an inspiration to a future generation of cooks is her dedication as an intensive care nurse, working gruelling hours to save lives during the peak of COVID-19. After becoming frustrated over the lack of progression in her career, Sara decided to apply for MasterChef. Her experience on the renowned culinary contest has permitted her “to share [her] knowledge and passion for food” with aspiring cooks, both during the show and since. Whilst students often feel pressure to settle into a fixed job post-university, Sara’s success suggests this is not the only option; she advises students to “follow your heart and love what you do”. The two ingredients she firmly believes in are “courage” and “passion”, maintaining that young people will achieve success if such qualities are added to the recipe of life. Sara explained that in a maledominated profession “there is the preconception that females cannot be good chefs because of the unsociable hours”, hours in which they are expected to be taking care of their families. Although she has encountered numerous female pastry chefs, Sara said that working in a kitchen can be an “intimidating” environment. For women who want to pursue a career in cooking, Sara advocates “keeping your head down and working hard”, remaining “unprovoked by the misogyny, and having a strong personality”. For freshers, particularly young women, due to enter the working world in which gender inequality still exists, Sara’s advice to remain a “strong person” is quintessential. During the MasterChef competition, Sara stated that she was “very determined”, a quality which is essential if you want to “learn from the bad days…and to keep your feet on the ground”. When asked how her passion for food has shaped her as

Curry is one of my favourite foods, and this is my favourite curry house. Ideally located between campus and town, this is a great place to visit if you’re in need of something spic-

ier. If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your accommodation, they also do takeaways.

Doner Summer, Spark

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Georgia Lambert

If you find yourself hungry in town, go to Spark on Merchantgate. They have something for everyone there, but my main recommendation, ‘Doner Summer’ is an entirely vegan kebab shop. It is slightly on the pricier side, but well

worth it as the portions are sizable. Spark also have some COVID provisions in place - such as only allowing six people to sit at a table at one time, so please bear these things in mind when you visit.

PICKS...

Prices: £-££ Vegetarian: Yes Vegan: Limited Rating: 3/5

Prices: £-££ Vegetarian: Yes Vegan: Yes Rating: 3.5/5

Prices: ££ Vegetarian: Yes Vegan: No Rating: 4/5

Prices: ££ Vegetarian: Yes Vegan: Yes Rating: 4.5/5

food-drink@yorkvision.co.uk


SCREEN

SCREEN EDITOR ROSHAN SHULKA DEPUTY SCREEN EDITOR POSITION VACANT

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Films To Watch With Your Flatmates

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Will Rowan

ou’ve arrived in York and know at least each other’s names. You’ve strained your brain to think of a single fun fact that actually makes you sound fun and now you just want to kick back for a while. Sit back and relax with these picks of the streaming service crop.

Booksmart (2019, Prime Video): It’s the last day of high school and two teenagers realise that there’s so much they still want to experience before uni. The best comedy of last year, Olivia Wilde’s debut was an instant hit. Heartwarming and hilarious in equal measure, it manages to capture the experiences of the current generation.

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The Blues Brothers (1980, Netflix): They’re on a mission from God and not sponsored by Ray-Ban. Bursting with wit and charm, the hours fly by in spectacular fashion. An impeccable soundtrack makes this perfect if you want lively, good-humoured fun. The best action comedy musical ever made even if that’s not saying much.

Review: The Umbrella Academy (Season 2!)

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Roshan Shulka

etflix was a beacon of light during the dark times we faced this summer. While the outside world was sealed off, many of us took the time to explore new worlds on the small screen. Their best original, The Umbrella Academy, has now released its second season; so crowd around a flatmate’s laptop and enjoy the show. Season one launched last year - it’s the one which looked like a blatant rip-off of X-Men. It’s not! But the trailers and posters suggest otherwise. Based on the popular comics, the story follows seven superhero siblings born to different women on the same day, who are adopted at birth by an eccentric billionaire. His funeral in the pilot episode brings them all together again, as adults, where they must put aside their differences to prevent the apocalypse. It’s set in the current day; a dystopian world where the present seems eerily similar to the 1980s. Season two travels back in time to a few days before the assassination of JFK in Dallas, Texas. All seven family members have accidentally travelled to different parts of the early ’60s, taking three years to find each other. One sibling is a cage fighter for a mob boss, another is in an asylum, another one has joined the civil rights movement, one has lost their memory and is working as a nanny, and another sibling accidentally started a cult. It has a lighter tone than the first season; the chaotic family dynamic means that the siblings argue and bicker as before,

@YVScreen

but this time it’s more comedic. This season also reflects on important events from the presidential assassination to the civil rights march, hippie counterculture, and Jack Ruby. Although sadly, the iconic 80’s soundtrack of the previous season is substituted for several throwbacks to the 60’s - an obvious downgrade.

“I get that they’re not blood-related, but just like flatcest, it’s wrong!” This season does have its flaws - the initial episodes are painstakingly slow, and in parts the show is overwhelmingly predictable. Worst of all is the continued romantic relationship between two of the siblings, which most fans seemed to turn a blind eye to in season one. I get that they’re not blood-related, but just like flatcest, it’s wrong! However, there are many reasons why this show remains distinctive amongst the excessive number of superhero TV shows at the moment. The main one is that almost all the siblings either are unable or unwilling to use their powers. Instead, we see them having to use their initiative, tact, and ultimately each other in order to succeed. That’s why this season was so remarkable, rather than seeing The Avengers arrive and inevitably save the world, we watch a dysfunctional family try to do so. You’ll have to watch to see if they succeed!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1987, Netflix): A classic that needs little introduction. Live out an endless American summer just as the leaves start falling off the trees in York. It’s easy to dip in and out of while Josh mops up the pot noodle he just dropped all over the kitchen. The Big Lebowski (2000, Prime Video): Some guy urinated on a dude’s rug and it’s unclear if it’s covered under his contents insurance. A cult film, this Coen brothers comedy delivers a trio of memorable characters. It’s especially good if any of you are big fans of the directorial duo.

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Bee Movie (2007, Netflix): I’ve watched this quickly and I’ve watched it very slowly. I have no idea what happens or why but it’s great as a late night watch. Just go with the flow and fill in the gaps with outlandish theories. All I remember is that bees live in hives and I think I knew that already.

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Airplane! (1980, NOW TV): Endlessly quotable, Airplane! depressurizes the cabin to cram in more jokes. Leslie Nielsen is on fine form here, pumping out one-liners like he’s paid handsomely do it. The best parody of the 80s. Image:toBBC

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Scooby-Doo (2002, NOW TV): An oft-overlooked classic, Scooby-Doo packs a whole island of spookiness into a brisk 90 minute runtime. The food is plastic and monsters lurk around every corner, welcome to Vanbrugh Dining. If you can get your entire flat to watch this then you’ve been blessed by the algorithm. This film is older than some of you and that thought frightens me.

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Almost Famous (2000, Prime Video): A fantastic coming-of-age story that’ll brighten your evening. A teenager who starts as a journalist for Rolling Stone gets pulled into the world of rock and roll on one wild trip. A group thrown together by chance must adapt to changing environments and circumstances. There are hard times and wonderful times and it’s often hard to tell which one is coming next. It’s a bit like moving to uni...

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screen@yorkvision.co.uk


MUSIC EDITOR RORY SANGER DEPUTY MUSIC EDITOR POSITION VACANT

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MUSIC

Ultimate Fresher’s Playlist

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Tasha Croager

hilst ex-freshers will likely remember these songs during the messy prequel to a wild night out, this year’s freshers can enjoy them as the main event. There’s no need to stagger into town or squeeze yourself onto an overcrowded 66 bus; with the help of Vision’s Ultimate Fresher’s Playlist, you can experience freshers from the comfort of your very own flat. ‘Let’s Get It Started’ (The Black Eyed Peas) This banger of a song is a sure way to kickstart any pre-drinks session, or in the case of the COVID-19 extravaganza that is Freshers 2020, any main-drinks session. Whilst the song reminds us oldies way too vividly of our youth, it never fails to bring high energy.

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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Queen) An all-time favourite in any playlist, this song had to be included. There’s no better way to bond with your flatmates than by exposing your lack of vocal talent amongst the high notes of this prodigious track.

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‘Roxanne’ (The Police) In addition to being a great song, this track excels in its function as a drinking game. Girls drink on “Roxanne”, guys drink on “red light”. If you want to up the ante, spin round each time you drink and try not to throw up.

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‘Let It Happen’ (Tame Impala) A fantastically upbeat song that invites psychedelic-pop vibes. Seven minutes and forty-eight seconds long, this track gives you plenty of time to catch your breath before the next drinking game.

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‘Thunderstruck’ (AC/DC) And…. it’s here. Another classic song/game hybrid. Get yourselves in a circle, the first person drinks on ‘Thunder’ and keeps drinking until it’s heard again. Then the person next to them drinks and so on…

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‘Foundations’ (Kate Nash) A nice, airy reprieve from the heavy guitar and piercing vocals of the previous song. Everyone knows the words, so why don’t you just sing along and have another beer then.

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‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ (Arctic Monkeys) Try not to bang your head to this. I dare you.

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‘Come On Eileen’ (Dexys Midnight Runners) I’m not sure how many people actually know the words to this one, but you can be sure your flatmates will sing it anyway. A throwback to the most exuberant decade of music yet, this cheesy classic will keep the night going strong.

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‘Toxic’ (Britney Spears) Yes, this was suggested by me and yes, it’s because I love Britney. So will you after copious amounts of alcohol.

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‘You’re the Voice’ (John Farnham) This is a song that excels most at the end of the night, when only a few stragglers remain. Hydration is key - both for the lyrics that need to be belted out and the hangover that awaits you in the morning.

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@YorkVisionMusic

Live and Kicking: The Best York Venues

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Rory Sanger

tarting university is a phenomenal change and is daunting enough under normal circumstances. Luckily, with an ideal balance of culture and nightlife in a welcoming atmosphere, York is a wonderful city to live in, and its eclectic live music scene is indicative of its undeniable charm. Of course, the global pandemic has had an adverse effect on the livelihood of countless grassroots music venues. Unable to pay bills and rent, many smaller venues across the country have been forced to close. However, not all hope is lost. On 24 August, the government delivered the first of £3.36m worth of grants to tide over struggling venues until October, known as the Emergency Grassroots Music Venue Fund. Fingers crossed, live music can start to flourish again. For hopeful freshers new to York’s buzzing live music scene, here are a few prime venues hoping to bring fantastic music events back to the city soon. A gem on the independent music scene, The Crescent hosts the most exciting upcoming artists that York has to offer, and at unbeatable ticket prices. For a mere fiver, I visited The Crescent back in May 2019 to see a whole string of promising artists, headlined by indie band the Plastic Palm Trees. The Crescent is an important stepping stone for musicians seeking to make their mark, and its budget gigs are perfect for the impoverished student looking to experience York’s most current artists. Unfortunately, a mixture of ongoing renovations, financial issues, and safety concerns have meant that The Crescent could not reopen on July 4 alongside the majority of UK pubs. Still, we can remain hopeful that with extra funding The Crescent will return soon to host a plethora of live music as it did before. Students can be

rest assured that the venue is highly conscious of audience safety and will offer a low-risk live music experience once they resurface. Closer to home is The Vanbrugh Arms. Commonly known as V-Bar, this homely pub has the most stylish décor of any campus venue. With comfy seating bays, ambient lighting and quaint features like barrel seats and quirky paintings, V-Bar is the perfect backdrop for live gigs. V-Bar’s ideal, on-campus location means that students barely have to leave their doorstep for a night out. The pub is celebrated for hosting a weekly live jazz night, open-mic nights and plenty of gigs. As with The Crescent, much uncertainty surrounds the reopening plans for V-Bar and other on-campus venues. However, YUSU’s brand new outdoor venue, The Forest, will provide freshers with a safe and spacious venue until YUSU bars reopen. The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) hosts all-year-round concerts in jazz, world, and folk music, ideal for students looking to explore their horizons beyond sweaty clubs and pub gigs. Located in the renovated St. Margaret’s Church in Walmgate, the NCEM is just a twentyminute walk from West Campus. Most excitingly, for the first fortnight of September, NCEM collaborated with The Crescent, The Fulford Arms and the York Music Venue Network to present a series of outdoor concerts in its gardens, York’s first major live music events since pre-pandemic times. This collaborative effort demonstrates the strength of York’s music community, and is a promising forerunner to the live music events we can anticipate later this year. Despite these trying times, the return of exciting live music in York is feasibly on the horizon.

music@yorkvision.co.uk


GAMES

GAMES EDITOR POSITION VACANT DEPUTY GAMES EDITOR POSITION VACANT

IF INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG

Drinking Games to Play to get Hammered with your New Flatmates

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ongratulations! You have just moved in with a bunch of strangers. The most logical next step is to get wankered with them. The question is, how? Yes, you could do six shots of tequila in your room on your own, or you could do the same level of drinking with your new best mates while talking about your A-Level results. After all, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Here is a collection of top picks coming from an editorial team who have all lived through awkward pre’s and come out vomiting on the other side. Ring of Fire: A classic. This game can get a bit boring at the beginning but it does get people who have never met talking. If you aren’t already familiar with the game, place a deck of cards facedown in a ring (who’d have thought) around an empty cup. Everyone takes it in turns to pick up a card, with each number instructing a different task (look them up online - I don’t have the word count to go through them all). These tasks involve pouring some of your drink into the empty cup, and whoever picks up the card that breaks the ring, has to down

@YorkVisionGames

whatever concoction was in there. I did it once; it had a heavy mix of vodka and gin and I can’t remember the rest of the night.Apparently I tried to do a pull up on some scaffolding and threw up in Salvos’ toilets. Friends and Enemies: This game is designed to pick on one poor soul. Bless their heart. Everyone is given an even number of cards, the first player puts one of their cards down, and chooses someone (their enemy I guess) to drink the numeric value of that card (so five of clubs would be five gulps). However, a ‘friend’ can protect you; if someone else has a card that number, they may place it down and deflect that number of drinks onto someone else. The catch is, you are not allowed to defend yourself. Have fun losing mates. Psych: This is an app developed by the one and only Ellen Degeneres whilst she physically beat her studio interns. One player must start a game and select ‘The Truth Comes Out Teaser’, and give the code to everyone else. The app will produce questions such as ‘If Brooke released an autobiography

IMAGE: HOLLY PALMER

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Brooke Davies

what would it be called’ and everyone submits an answer and votes for the best one. I recommend you play this game with people who you know aren’t sensitive. My forehead was once targeted and I sulked for the rest of the night out because I am a joy to have around. So go forth and get drunk freshies. Nothing creates lasting bonds better than pretending to enjoy the shot of vodka you’ve just drank together. It certainly beats talking about A-Level’s .

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LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE Hangover Cures to use During Fresher’s Week and Beyond BY

HANNAH FROST

WE’VE ALL BEEN there. Last night was what can only be described as a heavy night out. You stayed out ‘till 3am and danced to Dua Lipa, drank too many shots, and screamed the lyrics of “All Star” by Smash Mouth with your mates, although really you think it’s a bit overrated and you don’t understand people’s obsession with it over 20 years later?! Anyway, I digress, the point is, last night you had a phenomenal time, which you wouldn’t change for the world, except for one teensy little thing - the dreaded hangover the morning after. The morning AFTER the night before is when you feel like you’ve been hit with a sledgehammer, and like you want to kill your flatmates for having the audacity to make noise in the kitchen before midday. So, while I can’t guarantee that it will Get some sleep! cure your hangover, I gathered some advice from previous freshers who have been there, done that. This is what they recommend as a hangover cure. So, I quizzed my friends and also random people who would answer my question- what’s your go-to hangover cure? These are their answers: Tasha, a Masters student, who has lived through many fresher’s weeks, recommends “An Alka Seltzer (also known as aspirin), two pints of water, and as much sleep as you can fit in around lectures” Francesca, who is in third year and has had hangovers that last more than two days, says “don’t do it, don’t’ go out- that’s it.” Not sure if that’s the most helpful advice there, if I’m being honest. Chloe, a PhD student recommends “jumping into cold water,” and while this is great if you can find a nice clean fountain or something, I definitely do not condone jumping into the campus lake. Even if it is the largest plastic bottomed lake in Europe, and you’d definitely end up feeling worse, what with all the goose poo. Joel, a third year, recommends: “Sprite, because it has a special enzyme in it that helps with hangovers. And Berocca.” Researchers in China did a whole experiment on the most effective beverage, and said Sprite was the best who knew? Well, Joel obviously, but you get my point. There are, of course, also the classic hangover cures that are universally known, such as a full English breakfast (if you can stomach anything other than some toast) or hair of the dog. I do not recommend trying to cure a hangover you have as a result of drinking alcohol by drinking more alcohol (how did that become a thing?) but you’re welcome to try. But generally staying hydrated and making sure you get plenty of rest is never a bad thing, and maybe, just maybe, not drinking so much in the first place..? Nah, you’re right, what a silly thought. Please note: if these do not work York Vision will not be held liable for any subsequent vomiting, headaches, dizziness, or lack of appetite as a result of your previous alcohol consumption. We also do not recommend drinking to excess.

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Wednesday October 7, 2020

LIFESTYLE TEAM HANNAH FROST EM WHITEHOUSE

FRESHERS WEEK WILL NOT BE THE BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE

BY

EM WHITEHOUSE

WHEN RECEIVING THE news on A-level results day that your place at the University of York has been confirmed, your mind automatically sings Hugh Jackman’s famous lines: “Ladies and gents this is the moment you’ve waited for”. But when you actually arrive at uni and find that fresher’s wasn’t, in fact, the greatest week of your life, you feel more like how Zendaya looks when she rejects Zac Efron. Let’s be honest, being made to live with complete strangers, having to socialise every day, and having to learn how to work a washing machine was never going to be easy. Don’t get me wrong, fresher’s week definitely has it’s perks: the free, hangover lunches in Alcuin College meant that I was at least getting one decent meal a day. But freshers week also has some major down moments. I’m here to tell you that these are completely normal to feel, and assure you that everyone probably feels the same.

“freshers week also has some major down moments” Now, I’m not a massive drinker, and to be living in an environment where alcohol is frequently con-

sumed terrified me! However, because university is commonly associated with the idea of partying, I pushed my fears to the back of my mind and forced myself to join in. This was a HUGE mistake. If we fast-forward to the fourth club night, I had started to panic so much that I fainted on the dancefloor, meaning one of my STYCs had to take me home. I urge EVERYONE, who is made to feel anxious or nervous by alcohol, to not be afraid to just participate in the sober activities. York provides hundreds of them! During the week of never-endingclub-nights, there are also alternative activities such as cinema nights, or the infamous Fresher’s Fair. These are even useful if you’re just too hungover to continue your drinking streak!

on time, it can really send you on a downward spiral. So, if buying the fresher’s band would mean missing out on buying your weekly shop, then there are cheaper alternatives of what you could do. Often, freshers don’t tend to leave the University campus during freshers week, but not only is a cute walk around York free, it also means that you’ll get to know the city you’re about to live in for the next three years. And finally, making friends at uni is potentially the biggest stress of all. However, when you first move into halls, you’ll probably find that most of your housemates come across a little more confident than they really are. I mean, fake it till you make it right? IMAGE CREDIT: LEE BROWN

Freshers Welcome Event IMAGE CREDIT: YUSU

Fresher’s Fair The freshers club nights are also really expensive. Moving away from home is stressful enough, but when you run into complications with your student loan and it doesn’t arrive

Although, after a week of partying and when the degree finally starts, that’s when you get to know your housemates true personalities. This is the period that, in the word’s of Fleabag’s sister Claire, you find the people that you would genuinely ‘’run through airports’’ for.


COLUMNS

Wednesday October 7, 2020

TWO ROWANS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT

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@WillRowan3

WILL ROWAN

AM I TRAPPED IN DANTE’S SEVENTH CIRCLE OR DO I JUST LIKE IT HERE? HOW TO BECOME AN EXPERT STUDENT, GET RICH SLOWLY, AND FULFILL THE AMERICAN DREAM

I JUST PUT the phone down on an investor who was ready to invest £250,000 to own 5% of my brand new business idea: a stationary elevator. It’s the kind of high-powered thinking you can pull off with two university degrees and a sleep schedule that would make Rip Van Winkle cry himself to sleep. I had to put Deborah Meadon on hold as if I don’t write this column quickly, the editors are going to ‘boil me alive like a lobster’. Their words, not mine. Student journalism is a tricky business but not so tricky as being a student. We are, after all, experts here. So, Will, owner of a PS2 and more than one identical pair of trousers, how do I become an expert student? Firstly, it requires commitment. Commitment to what? Well, just about anything.

Getting up early to go rowing, getting up late as you’ve been rowing the night before... getting up is a good place to start. You’re up. There’s a twinkle in your eye and a spring in your step. Just keep moving. When it comes to being a student there’s no surefire way to do it right. No recipe, no instruction manual, no cheat code scribbled on the back of your hand. Being a student means many things to many people. For some it’s a discount card, for others a ticket to a career, for many it’s a chance at a fresh start. That’s the wonderful and sometimes daunting thing about uni: you decide on the experience you have. This will be my fifth year at York as I start a PhD. When I first came to an open day all those years ago, I could never have imagined that I’d choose to stay here so long. York’s

small enough to find your way around quickly but large enough that you can still discover new places after you graduate. Even after all

Coming away from uni after first term I was shocked to discover places in the country where a student isn’t always within sight. You

Dazed fan poses with world-renouned success and Dragon’s Den star Will Rowan that time, York and the University still offer plenty of new experiences to surprise you.

begin to appreciate these aspects of student life when you take a step back. There’s always something

happening and somewhere to be, no matter how niche your interests may be. There will be times when you’re unsure and question yourself. Did I pick the right subject? Do I fit in? Did Green Book even deserve to be nominated Best Picture? It’s perfectly normal, especially in your first term. Don’t push these aside but explore them. Talk to your coursemates, flatmates, and tutors; they’ll likely have had the same thoughts. It’s going to be an odd year to be a fresher, there’s no avoiding it. It may have far more Zoom calls than you’d hope for, especially on “the best week of your life”. In all likelihood, it won’t be the best week of your life, pandemic or not. I’ve had plenty of better weeks in every term since freshers week. Just make the most of it and stay safe.

UNEXPECTED PERKS PERKIN AMALARAJ

@Perkin_Amalaraj

LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER AND I’M JUST A SCREAMING TODDLER WHO JUST WANTS TO GET OFF I TURNED 20 in the summer, right in the middle of our national lockdown. I had this vivid, beautiful idea about what my 20th would look like. I’d be surrounded by all my friends, I’d have a bottle of wine in one hand, and maybe I’d have a boy or girl in the other. Boris had other plans for me though. Instead, I spent the last few hours of my youth, solemnly getting pissed with three of my mates at The Quiet Place, thinking about where it all went wrong. I know how important it was for the UK to go into lockdown. I know that I’m legally an adult, and I shouldn’t be complaining about my birthday. I’ve got more important things to worry about, like taxes, or how inevitable it is that I’m going to be alone at the end of my life.

But I can’t help but feel disillusioned. It’s a cliche to say that 2020 has been a shitshow. But I genuinely can’t think of a better way to put it. I think what exacerbates all of this is how powerless and small I feel in the face of the calamities that

Wistfully watching the destruction

this sodding year has brought. Whether it be the wildfires in Australia, the horrific concentration camps holding Uigur Muslims in China, the constant looming threat that in about ten years we’ll all be up to our knees in seawater, Facebook’s handling of the very notion of truth, or the big C word that has both highlighted and deepened the inequality that exists in nations who are meant to be Champions of Democracy(™), there certainly isn’t a shortage of reasons to abandon all hope for the future. Short of a global Leninist revolution against the oligarchs of the world, the Jeff Bezoses and the Warren Buffetts, there isn’t much we as the pawns of this long, drawn out game can really do. We tried voting. Look what that gave us. A government full of Oxbridge twats that, despite all the money that mummy and daddy

spent on their education, managed to fuck up a pandemic which our neighbours managed to sort out with a level head. We can’t even stop the people from representing us from spreading COVID-19 across the country on a train. We tried protesting. Peacefully, and not so peacefully. Still, nothing has changed. The system begets the system. It has this almost impressive refusal to change, because that would mean admitting that it doesn’t work. And that doesn’t help anyone in charge, because it means admitting that they were wrong. Maybe I’m being too short sighted. Maybe it’s a case of constantly working, and working and working towards a goal, and eventually good things will happen. At this point, I don’t think “eventually” is enough. “Eventually” allows these horrible abuses of power to continue. “Eventually”

lets the guilty walk free, and let’s the innocent suffer. “Eventually” is a free pass for the powerful. But no one can do anything now. So what can we actually do? I wish I could take the car, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over. I really do. But it won’t just blow over. We’ll have to live with the consequences of all of this. And that does scare me a lot. You know when you ride a rollercoaster, and the sudden drops hit and you feel that potent mix of terror, excitement and fear. This all feels like a ten month long drop, with no end. Where your seat is on fire. And your identity’s being stolen. And you can see people being tortured. And your lungs don’t work.


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SCIENCE & TECH

Wednesday October 7, 2020

SCIENCE LIFE WITH THE CANCER GENE SCIENCE TEAM

BY

BROOKE DAVIES

LIVING WITH THE cancer gene affects your life in countless ways, but early testing can help manage the risk. Inheriting a faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is life altering, even if you don’t develop cancer. With these genes, the risk of developing breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers increase significantly. This increases the need for preventative treatments. If just one of your parents has it, there is a 50% chance it has been passed onto you. According to the National Cancer Institute, 72% of women who inherit the mutated BRCA1 gene and 69% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 gene will develop breast cancer before the age of 80. These chances impact the lives of those who have inherited the gene, whether they have developed cancer yet or not. The faulty genes in question are the ones that actively fight

BY

TASHA CROAGER

FIX YOURSELF UP with these simple remedies. I grant you, paracetamol is still our best and cheapest weapon against most injuries and ailments, but in an age where people are becoming more concerned about what they put into their bodies, maybe it’s time to mix things up. Instead of relying on shop-bought remedies, why not turn to your kitchen cupboards for all of your first aid needs? Certain natural ingredients, when combined with some readily available chemical ingredients, can form some of the staple items in any student’s first aid kit. Why spend money on overpriced pharmaceuticals when you can play the chemist yourself? In addition to feeling a god-like sense of satisfaction at your own healing capabilities, you can rest assured that you’ve saved thousands of pounds on student fees and medical supplies. Here are some first aid essentials that you can concoct with relative ease in your very own at-home lab: Gel Ice Pack: A great gotoo if an injury involves any

against cancerous cells from forming, through correcting DNA damage that occurs naturally as cells divide. Without these healthy genes, cells can begin to grow at an abnormal rate, making this the most common cause of hereditary breast cancer. This leaves people who may have inherited the gene with some important decisions, starting from

“The first and argubaly biggest hurdle is asking to be tested ” whether to be tested for the gene, to choosing to go through major preventative treatments. The first and arguably the biggest hurdle, is asking to be tested. The NHS only tests those who present strong evidence of having the gene in their family history; this can include having a parent or

sibling who are confirmed to have the gene, or a high volume of fam-

It can be daunting but treatment is available ily members who have developed breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer at relatively young ages. If you are young, you can only do so much if your test comes back positive. You may be too young to undergo any of the surgery, which at this stage in medicine is unfortunately the entire removal of the breasts and ovaries, or prostate glands. These are all serious surgeries that require extensive recov-

ery periods. The pressure of making such life-altering decisions can not be underestimated. The removal of the breasts is the biggest of the three surgeries, with it taking up to a few months to feel “back to normal”. A mastectomy can impact your mental health and body self esteem. Thankfully, the NHS do offer a reconstruction surgery but their abilities are limited. Surgically removing the prostate gland also has negative impacts on the body; according to the NHS website, only 12% of men who had undergone the surgery within the last six months stated they could achieve an erection during intercourse. Being tested and finding out you can’t do anything about the ticking time bomb inside of you is an unnecessary mental toll. Yes, there are some benefits to knowing you have it, with the main one being you can keep a closer eye to signs of cancer developing. But if you can’t do anything for at least

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the next ten years, is it worth the constant worry? All of this tends to mean young people do not choose to get treatments, or tested, until a later stage in life. This doesn’t mean that there are no active precautions to take. For example, in regards to female contraception, GPs will limit the range of birth control for you, as contraception containing oestrogen has been linked to breast cancer in women. The whole process of deciding to be tested, and the steps after, can be mentally and physically exhausting. The drive to put your body and mind through the surgeries and mental stress is driven only by a survival instinct - to avoid cancer. Despite the difficulties in discovering the mutation in your genetic history, finding out you may have the gene before developing cancer is a lifeline. You have the opportunity to avoid everything cancer brings, from losing your hair, to death.

HAIL MARIE: CURIE YOURSELF WITH THESE EASY REMEDIES swelling or inflammation. Fill a large freezer bag with 2 cups of water (H2O) and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol (C3H8O). Squeeze the air out of the bag and place it in another bag to prevent leaking. Freeze it (for 1hr+) and take out when needed. Bee/Wasp Sting Treatment: Whilst it may seem that geese are the biggest non-human threat on campus, bees and wasps are also ready to attack. Grab

some baking soda (NaHCO3) and mix it with some water (H2O) to form a paste. Rub this onto the affected area and bam! Hopefully it should sting a little less. Swimmer’s Ear Treatment/Drops: More of a preventative measure than a cure, swimmer’s ear treatment can be made at home with just two ingredients - rubbing alcohol (C3H8O) and vinegar (CH3COOH). Use equal parts of both ingredients, and

pour 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each ear before letting it drain out again. Sore Throat: When suffering from a sore-throat, honey (C6H12O6) is your best friend. You can mix it was some hot water (H2O), and even add some lemon juice, but the ingredient will suffice on its own. Eat a spoonful and let it coat your throat; it’s natural antibacterial qualities will get to work and ease your throat in no

time. Mouth Ulcer Treatment: Add 1 teaspoon of salt (NaCl) and ½ teaspoon of baking soda (NaHCO3) to a glass of water. Swill round your mouth a few times to cover the ulcer but make sure not to swallow it. This remedy is not instant but should help to keep the ulcer clean whilst it heals. York Vision does not take responsibility for any medical mishaps, explosions, or injuries...


20

FEATURES

Wednesday October 7, 2020

FEATURES

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? STUDEN MIA ALGHALI talks us through how COVID-19 will affect students as they return to York THE EMERGENCE OF the COVID-19 Pandemic in December 2019 caused an abrupt halt in almost all activity across the globe, presenting significant challenges for the entire world. In the United Kingdom, the vast majority of university students experienced yet another disruption to their studies following the series of strikes over Christmas and Easter. As lockdown restrictions ease and tighten, one can only wonder what exactly studying will look like for us at York as we return. The University’s aim is to “deliver as much face-to-face teaching as possible and to deliver online teaching when needed”, as stated on the COVID-19 Updates page. By now, we should have all received emails from Vice Chancellor Charlie Jeffrey and from our

Fresh air routes installed across campus respective academic departments detailing the ways in which they wish to move forward with the academic year. While some things are clear, such as the fact that during the autumn term, all large lectures will be solely delivered online, questions such as “will study spaces other than the library be ready and open for use” and “will the University change its COVID-19 policy alongside government policy” remain largely unanswered. One key area of worry for many students across the UK is finance and tuition fees. £9,250 is already a lot of money to pay for higher education, and now that learning at many UK universities is moving online for at least a term, many students feel that it is unreasonable to charge the same price for what is undeniably less. Various petitions circulated throughout lockdown prompting government responses, with one receiving over 100,000 signatures. However, much to the dismay of the petitioners, the government held firm, stating that: ‘university students in England still have to pay their full tuition fees even if their courses are taught online in the autumn’. In the eyes of the government and universities, the quality of learning will remain of the same high standard, therefore there is no need to lower fees. Despite this, universities like York are working to provide affected students with financial aid, such as those who experience financial difficulties and those whose parents or carers may have

been furloughed.

Langwith College move in The shift to online learning as a result of COVID-19 risks promoting further inequalities amongst students and has raised serious concerns about equal access to learning. With talk in societies as senior as the World Economic Forum of digital learning possibly “persisting post pandemic”, one has to properly consider the implications of this for disadvantaged and disabled students. Despite the fact that it may seem like a given to have a laptop, access to the internet and a place to study efficiently when attending university, this is not always the case. These things are a privilege that many of us are incredibly lucky to have. Inequality amongst university students in the UK is already rampant and the “relationship between higher education and social inequalities” only continues to grow more and more complex and difficult to navigate for underprivileged students. Disadvantaged students under the age of 21 in full time education are already at a higher risk of dropping out of university 8.8% compared with their more “well off”counterparts at 6%, a government study from 2016-17 showed. Figures such as these are only set to get worse as learning moves online in universities across the country due to the virus. According to a study titled: “Promises and Pitfalls of Online Education”, students from disadvantaged backgrounds “consistently perform worse in an online setting compared to face-to-face classroom learning.” Access to learning under COVID-19 restrictions also poses concerns for students with disabilities and long term health conditions. Issues already faced by such students risk being further exacerbated under new university conditions. With universities unable to deliver face-to-face provisions due to the pandemic, many disabled students will undoubtedly be worried about what university holds for them at the beginning of the new academic year. Section 91(9) of the Equality Act 2010 “requires that higher and further education providers make reasonable adjustments for disabled applicants and students”. With COVID-19, further adjustments will need to be made, posing difficulties for both the education providers and students. As stated by Dyslexia and Disability coordinator at Leeds Trinity University, Stephen Campbell, often

the problem with “reasonable adjustments” can mean placing universities in a sort of Catch-22 ethical paradox.” This is because the term “disabled student … encompasses students with a vast array of different impair-

Social distancing absent as crowds gather at Merchantgate bus stop ments and needs”. Therefore, whereas students experiencing mental health issues may find large lecture halls difficult to deal with and panic inducing, students with physical impairments and medical conditions may find their energy lessened by limited teaching activities. Although the University of York offers extensive support for disabled students, there are legitimate concerns surrounding what can be done to provide every single bit of support they may need under COVID-19. As always, it is impossible to know what the following academic year holds. However, throughout the emergence of COVID-19, there is undoubtedly an added layer of un-

certainty and concern. Despite huge scientific developments surrounding the virus being made each day, little remains known amongst the scientific community surrounding the new disease. With some governments choosing to follow scientific advice and others choosing to take things into their own hands, and with new government restrictions affecting different parts of the country and globe, one can only wonder what the following year at Universities such as York will hold. Especially for the large number of international students.

Committees proved college pride persists One thing that remains known is that the emergence of COVID-19 has brought forward unforeseen challenges. Now more than ever, clarity, guidance, and support from universities to their students is needed.


FEATURES

Wednesday October 7, 2020

21

FEATURES TEAM MIA ALGHALI AMELIA KELLY

NTS RETURN AFTER COVID nightmare YORK COUNCIL’S plea for students to “take personal responsibility” A PLEA FOR students at the University of York to “take personal responsibility”, “keep people safe”, and “reduce the risk of death” has been issued to York Vision from the Director of Public Health at York City Council, Sharon Stoltz, as our firt term gets underway. They said: “There has been considerable effort by people across the city to contain the spread of the virus and we’d like to encourage you to help keep yourselves and the other people in your local community safe by taking personal responsibility. Whist COVID-19 is a virus that is more impactful on those who have underlying health conditions and who are older, your part in help-

ing to keep those people and yourselves safe is expected.” While they say this in itself is “fairly simple”, if you do need to get tested, it can be difficult to get a test at the University, and you need access to a car to reach the next nearest testing site in Poppleton. Students therefore will have to rely on home testing kits, which can be posted at request. “We realise that we are asking you to make some changes to how you live and socialise and want to thank you in advance for doing what you can to keep people safe and to reduce the risk of death from Covid-19. Even when out in pubs or clubs, you still need to maintain social distance from those you don’t live with.”

IMAGE: IWAN STONE

CHARLIE JEFFERY, the UoY Vice Chancellor, addresses new students FIRSTLY, LET ME say hello and a warm welcome to both our new starters and those resuming their studies at the University of York. As I write this, term has just started, new friendships are being formed and courses are underway. It goes without saying this new term will be like no other. The situation we have all found ourselves in during this global pandemic means we are all living our lives in ways that are far from normal. But I am sure this will, nonetheless, be a stimulating, rewarding and enjoyable year. The experience you have as students is at the heart of everything we do, but we all have our part to play, individually and collectively, to make this term a success. We have been preparing for the start of term in detail for months, implementing and, at times, going beyond government guidance. We are determined to deliver teaching that is as safe as possible. That has meant moving some of our learning to a digital space in order to allow for social distancing in our physical classrooms and labs. Our digital learning is being led by the same world-class academic experts as our on-campus classes students will still have opportunities to share ideas and participate in intellectually challenging discus-

sions with their peers, just as they would in the physical classroom. While some social activities are online, we’ve constructed covered areas across campus, to give students opportunities for recreational activity in a safe environment – we’d rather you socialise in those managed settings than elsewhere. We know from experience in the US, and in recent weeks in the UK, that COVID transmission on campus has been driven by activity in student social settings, not teaching settings. My message to you is very clear: if we do not all play our part and follow the guidelines, there is a risk that COVID rates will rise and restrictions could be increased. This could then impact on elements of your experience, such as the amount of face-to-face teaching we can deliver, sport, campusbased events, and socialising. We know the vast majority of our students are responsible, supportive, and are playing their part. This is a central theme in our “Stay smart, supportive and safe” campaign, our online induction module for students, and our new COVID-19 Charter, so that everyone understands and appreciates the importance of working together to keep each other safe. But we are also working with our student unions to ensure that

students are aware of the consequences within the University and in law - including penalties, such as police fines - of not following COVID restrictions. As you may know, we have a new walk-in COVID testing facility - available on an appointment-only basis, and this forms an important part of our efforts to minimise the spread of COVID-19. We know that some students will need to self-isolate in the coming weeks, either because they have COVID symptoms and are awaiting a test, or have tested positive themselves or someone in their household has. We recognise this will be an additional challenge, and have put arrangements in place for those self-isolating to make sure they can get essential provisions and support. Self-isolation is a communityspirited act intended to safeguard others, not a punishment, and we are committed to taking a supportive and compassionate approach. Finally, I want to thank you for your patience and tolerance. By working together to ensure that we comply with the new restrictions, we are well-placed to do all that we can to make sure York remains a safe place to live, study, and enjoy.

MIA ALGHALI and IWAN STONE talk to York’s Refugee charities on why our support is more valuable than ever WHEN DID YOU last hear about the refugee crisis? I’m not talking about panicked headlines of migrants at Dover or journalists filming sinking ships, but when did we last talk about what we can do to aid refugees, fleeing to a life they hope will be more bearable? This has been a severe problem for Student Action for Refugees (STAR) and White Rose Refugee Aid – two of the campus’ leading charitable organisations to aid migrants. The former fundraises in order to support the education of refugees at York, covering six students last year, while White Rose favours more direct action, organising student trips to volunteer in resource redistribution centres and food banks. “Finances are being diverted from international aid to more national efforts due

to Coronavirus,” says co-founder Kaitlyn Barnes, who, alongside Morrison Wilson, created White Rose having worked together in a Calais community kitchen in 2019. The COVID crisis “is affecting refugees both directly and indirectly,” adds Morrison. “They are not receiving any support from volunteers. You cannot socially distance in a refugee camp. It’s hitting these places very hard.” This was concurred by Anna Rousso, the co-president of UoY STAR. “Refugees have no access to tests and no money for testing, and with volunteers unable to work as closely with the refugees as they once were preCOVID, things are getting worse”. This has particularly been the case as it coincides with Brexit – a changing attitude that is “making refugees’ ability to enter the UK harder and harder”. This is added to by an unlikely conse-

quence of the pandemic: Morrison describes how “a lot of refugee distribution centres rely heavily on tents that people leave behind at events such as Glastonbury”. With the cancellation of music events and festivals, Kaitlyn says that: “there is a very pressing need for tents for refugees. As it gets colder and colder in the winter months, they’ll be needed. Tents are also vital for social distancing within the camps as often refugees are crammed together in tight unsanitary spaces. It is mind blowing to think about how many issues arise from not having adequate shelter.” Battling miseducation and the inability to “directly communicate” with students as a result of the pandemic, Anna concedes that the new form of fundraising has been “really hard”. However, she remains adamant that STAR will continue to help refugees, whether

through smaller events or online. Morrison and Kaitlyn are looking into similar alternatives, having held virtual quiz nights and discussions to mark World Refugee Day, highlighting the “personal, emotional and social aspect of being a refugee”. They are currently looking into the possibility of sourcing speakers, particularly on the topic of child refugees. “Students looking out for students should be a thing,” Anna asserts. “The fact that we have houses to quarantine in and have masks and access to healthcare and hand sanitisers should remind us of those who do not. We are privileged to have these things. We have to protect others. It is really important.” Mia Alghali’s interviews with STAR and White Rose Refugee Aid can be found in full at www.yorkvision.co.uk


22

CLIMATE

Wednesday October 7, 2020

CLIMATE

CLIMATE TEAM JOE IRVING MOLLY PEARCE

“IStanding WENT TO JAIL FOR MY GENERATION” up to Britain’s Most Powerful: the York Student Arrested for XR Newspaper Blockades BY JOE

IRVING AND IWAN STONE

ON THE MORNING of

3 September, the nation awoke to empty spaces where newspaper stacks should have towered. Our country’s most dominant papers, including The Sun, The Mail, The Times and The Telegraph were halted after NewsCorp Print Presses were blockaded by Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists “to expose the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate and ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulation of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas”. Vision sat down with one activist, who spent 19 hours in police custody after 12 hours on a boat emblazoned with a sign: “Fuck Murdoch, Fuck Rothermere, Ref-

ugees are Welcome Here”. “You can view how good an action is by who it pisses off,” they said. “This action managed to annoy Rupert Murdoch, the Viscount Rothermere, Priti Patel, Boris Johnson, and Jeremy Clarkson, who are all people who - ideologically speaking - are entirely against what I stand for.” They have indeed received a lot of criticism for the protests: Priti Patel herself claimed it was “an attack on our free press, society and democracy”. The XR rebel found these comments “incredibly ironic”: “the ‘free press’ in this country is defined by profit. It is five billionaires that control 70% of the print news; that’s not free. That is not how a democratic process works and that is not how a free process works”.

Criticisms reached further heights as it came to light that the blockade had prevented the distribution of articles highlighting the impact of the climate crisis, including one by David Attenborough in The Sun, and an environmental investigation by ex-Vision editor Helena Horton for The Telegraph.

Decimated shelves 3/9/2020 XR remain resolute over the success of their action.

They claim that whilst a “handful of billionaires … have realised they need to performatively cover the climate and ecological emergency on occasion ... they still act as a blockade. They stop us from achieving a free democracy. They stop us from hearing the truth. They have downplayed the climate and ecological emergency and that will be our undoing.” The rebel was further keen to highlight other key issues that were brought up in the protests, including their own, personal motivation. “I acted largely out of self defence. In July 1993 there was an article posted in the Daily Mail entitled “Abortion Hope after “Gay Genes” findings” and this was an article which was directly trying to stop gay people from existing. I was protesting to make sure that

I was able to fight back against these people that so clearly just want me to not exist”. However, this remained a topic that has been missed out in media coverage of the actions. Were they pleased with the blockade’s final results? “Of all those messages that people were going into this action to try and get across: the climate and ecological emergency one came front and foremost, which, again, I think is a very, very important message that needs to come across. I am concerned that the other messages that came across weren’t picked up by the mainstream press as much as they likely should have been. In that sense, I don’t think the message got across in the way it probably should have done, but this is only the beginning.”

IMAGE: EXTINCTION REBELLION YORK

INTRODUCING THE ECO SCENE IN YORK BY

MOLLY PEARCE

SO YOU’RE NEW to the university, new to the city, and just as concerned as usual about the climate crisis? Here are some things to keep your eyes and ears peeled for in York! The university has several societies for the climate-conscious student to join - all of whom would be more than happy to have you join their ranks. An easy place to start is Scoop, for small, climate-friendly changes. This student-run food co-op is a great place to try zero-waste shopping. Located in Wentworth college nucleus and open on Wednesdays

and Fridays, Scoop is a convenient (and cheap!) way to be kinder to the planet. Anyone can use the shop, or alternatively join the society to become a scoop shopkeeper volunteer. Another society to look out for is the Vegetarian and Vegan society. While not for everyone, changing your diet is a great way to make small changes to support the greater cause, and the society is great for anyone looking for like-minded pals. York also has a People and Planet society, a Green Party society and many others to keep your eye out for at freshers fair and on social media.

While not a university society, Extinction Rebellion York is the local branch of the international group; they meet, over Zoom for now, at 7:30pm on Tuesdays. Always glad to see new mem-

Divestation strikes; Image: Chay Quinn

bers, you can contact them at xryork@gmail.com or find them online. If you have any burning ideas for making campus more climatefriendly, you can run them past YUSU’s Environment and Ethics officer; currently this position is held by Charlotte Ingrey who you can find at environment@yusu. org. Last year, a successful student-led campaign and protests led to the university announcing divestation from companies associated with the fossil fuel industry. Change is possible! Lastly, the Environment Department’s guest lectures. These

happen weekly and are always interesting, but there are occasionally some more high-profile guests; Ann Pettifor, one of the creators of the Green New Deal, gave a guest lecture earlier this year about the GND and the economics behind it. It was informative, engaging and thought provoking. While lectures might seem a long way off, hopefully these are something to keep an eye out for in the future as they are definitely worth your time. However you want to get involved in making a fairer, greener society happen, there is undoubtedly something for you to find in York.


SPORT

Wednesday October 7, 2020

SPORT WHAT A RUCK-ING SHAME SPORT TEAM

WOMEN’S RUGBY ON THEIR RETURN AFTER RECORD-BREAKING SEASON So how will they return after COVID? A contact sport reliant on mauls, scrummaging, rucks, and tackling, the start of their league has been postponed until at least January, with “integral” pre-season arrangements forced to be discarded. However, Briggs is “really optimistic” for the new term, saying that “everyone is so looking forward to it”. Training in bubbles of six, according to YUSU and RFU guidelines, they can do “breakdowns of skills, drills and just go back to basics”. While they can currently tackle one on

one and research into the safety of problematic areas like scrummaging looks promising, Briggs admits that: “we’ve got to anticipate that it’s not going to be the same as last year”. However, according to Briggs, one of the main threats women’s rugby faces is through the transformation of Freshers’ Fair – a key source of exposure, as well as advertising revenue from handing out flyers. In a year when “we’ve lost a lot of old girls that were quite crucial to our teams”, they were eager to “meet new freshers and seeing how the teams are

going to look next year”. However, Briggs is resolute that UYWRUFC will maintain the team spirit they conjured over lockdown; in Virtual Roses, they ran a staggering 170 km in a day, raising £796. In their aim “to try and increase accessibility to all women at York”, UYWRUFC have made immense efforts in advancing women’s rugby for York. Combined with the recent creation of women’s rugby teams at college level, we can only hope that this success is not held up on the try line by the incalculable chaos of the last six months.

IMAGE: GEORGIA BRIGGS

individual Loughborough player would receive more WOMEN’S RUGBY IS in sponsorship than our currently the most noto- entire team did last year.” rious club at York – the A club used to playhighest ranking BUCS ing against international team at the University hav- players, with the help of a ing only lost two league Students Projects Fund, games in the last two years, Women’s Rugby have also it became York Sport Club started a development of the Year in 2020, having2 team for the new season. won Team of the Year the Joining such a successful 1 year before. club can be “intimidatHaving achieved pro- ing”, says Briggs. “The demotion to the Northern velopment team really is Premiership from North our chance to bring rugby Division One, the team right down to the very only lost to Loughborough basics. We’ve got a really University. “To put it in good coach that’s going to perspective,” their “im- run through this in each mensely proud” President, session, each part of the Georgia Briggs said: “one game”. BY IWAN STONE

EXPERIENCES IN A MIXED CONTACT TEAM BY KAMILA OSTROGA

I STARTED AMERICAN Football in my second year of university when I found out that it’s a mixed sport rather than just men’s. To be honest, I first signed up as a joke as I lost an odds on, but then decided to give it a go anyway since I followed a lot of NFL. I was a little bit intimidated at first when I real65 ised I was the only female who actually turned up to 0 the first training sessions, but that feeling quickly went away. All the guys were really welcoming and funny. One of them didn’t go easy on me on one of the first exercises, which is the opposite of what I expected. That really made me feel respected and like I belonged, just like anyone else. It made me try hard and by the end I knew I wanted to be part of

the team. At first, some of the guys weren’t willing to go as hard against me, which to be honest I don’t blame them. I am a lot smaller and it must have felt weird for them to see a single girl trying to play against only big guys. I was asked to play defensive back at first which I didn’t really enjoy but once one of the coaches asked me to play linebacker things began to change. Because I wasn’t afraid to sweat, join in with the jokes, and just go for it I gained respect pretty quickly. It was the socials that really did it. I made the effort to turn up to most of them and really put myself out there. Also, being able to tackle a guy who is twice your size is a huge ego boost. It was great seeing the guys not hold back by the end of the year, even with other teams

who recognized me by 3rd year. At the same time I feel like it’s a lot easier to respect a girl who joined a male team as it is so unique. In that sense I feel like some

a shame as a lot of girls get intimidated by the idea of playing a contact sport with the lads so they tend to stay away from it. I didn’t even know there were female teams until

Kamila at the Jaguars Playing Academy; Image: Jaguars UK of the guys had it harder to gain respect on the field as they didn’t stand out in the same way. They had to compete against each other. American Football will most likely remain male dominated. It’s a lot easier to find a mixed team than a women’s one unless you are willing to travel far. It’s

much later when I went to Jaguars camp and that was a year after I joined. I wish it was a lot more promoted. I played linebacker. It’s a defensive role - the linebacker has to prevent the offensive team from scoring. They can do this by tackling the person who holds the football or by intercepting

the ball. Being promoted to Division 1 felt absolutely fucking amazing. Never felt more proud of the team! Finally no more Scottish division and no more 5-6 hour drives, although I will miss the drive back and all the rap battles we played to pass the time! I hated when girls would approach me and ask how I did it and that they couldn’t do it. There is this stereotype that the guys are the ones who might push the girl away but honestly I never felt that. They are some of the loveliest people in the world and once they see that you care about the sport they don’t care what you have between your legs. You just have to show that you’re willing to be part of the team and the rest will come naturally. At least that’s how I feel.

23

POSITION VACANT IF INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL VISION@YUSU.ORG

DIVERSITY IN SPORT INITIATIVE BY IWAN STONE

THE WOMEN’S FOOTBALL Club has set up a Diversity in Sport Initiative to gain a “better understanding, as sports clubs, on things such as barriers to sport, and implicit bias, and how we can overcome these challenges.” They are supported in the endeavour by diversity-focused societies such as ACS, YUSU BAME, and BAS, and will begin with a workshop during freshers week, attended by 11 University sports teams. Maddi Cannell, York Sport President, commented to Vision that: “York Sport Union supports clubs to become more diverse through our Equal Opportunities programme. This year we are looking to celebrate Black History Month, develop our training modules ahead of the Sport Leaders conference, and do more around diversity and inclusion. We are always looking to expand our programme of activity and welcome student led projects such as the Diversity in Sport Workshop.” They have also expressed the intention to create videos addressing previous raciallysensitive situations, and to publicise what teams are doing to “constantly learn and move forward”. Speaking to Vision, York’s Women’s Football Club commented: “We were motivated to start this initiative as we feel diversity breeds diversity. As a sports club, we feel it is our responsibility to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed, included, and respected, and this initiative is the first step in doing so.”


WE ARE

ısıon VSport YORK

ENOUGH Wednesday October 7, 2020

LEFT TO RIGHT: RACHEL NAPIER: PRESIDENT BADMINTON SOC; HARRIET CHADWICK: PRESIDENT WOMEN’S FOOTBALL; GEORGIA BRIGGS: PRESIDENT WOMEN’S RUGBY; HOLLY CHAMBERS: PRESIDENT WOMEN’S CRICKET; ELLIE LEDWITH: CO-PRESIDENT DANCE SOC

INSIDE: WOMEN’S FOOTBALL’S DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

“INFURIATED”: SPORTSWOMEN REACT TO #WEAREENOUGH BY IWAN STONE

WHEN CANTERBURY LAUNCHED the new Ireland Rugby kit, they used the Men’s team as models. This is pretty standard – if you’re a fan of the sport, you iconise the players, and naturally want to wear the jersey that represents the highs and lows you’ll experience together throughout the coming season. And yet this wasn’t the case for the women’s team kit – their hive of talent was shoved aside to make way for three air-brushed models. This sparked outrage across social media; Florence Williams, the Wasps Fly Half, furiously noted that it was “THEIR OWN KIT”, with the move robbing the team of an “opportunity to build recognition, fan bases & creating role models”. Across the country, athletes united under the hashtag: “WeAreEnough”, with

Canterbury quickly apologising for “getting it wrong”. Maddi Cannell, YUSU Sport President, concurred with this in a comment to Vision: “The #weareenough campaign hits home, that although progress has been made in sport with regards to the sexism and discrimination which female identifying athletes face, there is still much work to be done. Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated by the sporting community, and York Sport Union are actively seeking to be part of the positive change.” As a University, we certainly like to think that we are ‘over’ this blatant and embarrassing sexist attitude to sport – our women’s rugby team (UYWRUFC) won the York Sport Union Club of the Year last year, bagging Team of the Year the year before, and remains the highest ranked

BUCS team on campus. Cannell continued, highlighting the endeavours of the university to hasten this change: “Our York Girls Can campaign runs yearly as a result of the national This Girl Can initiative and seeks to highlight and celebrate the diverse ways female identifying students can get involved with sport at York. As a Sports Union we are also planning a Body Image Campaign later in the year.” However, in our society there is clearly far more to be done. Georgia Briggs, President of the notorious UYWRUFC, was “infuriated” by the scandal, and is further insistent that “double standards for female rugby players are still alive and kicking.” She notes that this was particularly in those trying to justify Canterbury’s decision, which “opened a can of worms” – one even went as far as to

say “real women / athletes are a turn off to female buyers”. We at York Vision have decided to reflect the importance of the women in our sporting society. When we have needed a quote or perspective we have endeavoured to highlight the incredible talent of the women’s teams storming ahead across our campus. The sports women at our University are not simply enough - they deserve our utmost respect, and we need to do more to recognise this.

IMAGE: YUSU