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FRESH THE OFFICIAL STUDENTS’ UNION MAGAZINE

PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE EDITION

HOW TO CUT KEYS TO SUCCESS

We’ve got the inside scoop with one of the UK’s Top Lawyers Graeme Mew, and PR mogul Colin Byrne.

NOTHING BUT BLUE SKIES

Fresh caught up with the skydivers to find out what it’s really like.

THE 2010 ELECTIONS Are you ready to make a change?


EDITORS NOTE

FRESH THE OFFICIAL STUDENTS’ UNION MAGAZINE

Here we go again, a few thousand words later and several late nights down the line we bring you the definition of student voice in the shape of FRESH magazine, helping you start the New Year with a brand new start, we took it all the way to the 1980s & back to future. In the Past, Present & Future edition, we’ve unlocked the secrets of success, taken another shot at romance, jumped out of a plane at 3500 feet and got into the hearts and minds of your SU all stars. So sit back, unwind and enjoy. This issue is jam packed with everything you need to know about the Student Union & beyond, written for students by students, we did it

in A5, so you can fit the whole SU in your back pocket, hand bag, man bag... however you like it. You got it! I want to give a special thanks to all the students & staff who contributed, making this issue of FRESH that much greater! To catch the uncut version of the magazine visit: www.kusu.co.uk/fresh. You can also email us to leave feedback on: kusucomms@kingston.ac.uk. God Bless Editor-in-chief H. Barakat

CONTENTS 02 THE FLASH BACK STORY

24 NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY

40 CHILD EXPLOITATION

14 SUPPORT OUR SPORTS

28 EUROFEST

18 2010 THE MAKE OR BREAK YEAR FOR BRITISH MUSIC

30 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VOLUNTEERING

42 THE EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE

20 WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? 22 THE STUDENT MOVEMENT

32 THE LOWDOWN ON THE MARXIST PERSPECTIVE.

46 IS THE TRUTH OUT THERE? 49 THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAM

34 ART EXHIBITION

50 SPORTS SECTION: RUGBY, NETBALL, SKIING ETC.

38 UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION

60 JOIN THE TEAM!

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a business to campaigns and giving advice that you simply could not get at such a tender age elsewhere. Plus made me learn about team leadership and the value of teams, stakeholder and conflict management.

...OF BEING A SABBATICAL OFFICER AT KINGSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ UNION Taking the lead, whilst thinking of a theme for the winter edition for FRESH magazine, I began to think about the Students’ Union and the experiences of being in office. It got me wondering, where does this job take you? How do you work your way up? Unlike other jobs, when you are elected you are immediately put at the top of the organisation, this is something which is truly unique! Democracy at its best one might say. Although Students’ Unions promote what they do in regards to sports, societies and events. The sabbatical experience is something that has been missed out again and again. So my search

began; I started looking through older SU magazines and newspapers to see how it was for the alumni of Kingston University Students officers. And with the help of a very special lady I got the contact details I needed. I contacted several officers and to my delight, their feedback was amazing. So instead of me summing up the past history of these individuals I thought I’d give you story from their perspective. This article gives you an insight into the history of the Students’ Union as well as its sabbaticals that came and went over the years.

COLIN BYRNE

CEO UK & Europe for Weber & Shandwick Vice President 1980 Colin has had a long history of achievements, from being Labour’s chief press officer 1987 - 1992 and to date is the CEO UK & Europe for Weber & Shandwick. Colin is the first jewel in the Students’ Union crown of sabbatical officers.

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Byrn n i l Co

MADE ME LEARN ABOUT TEAM LEADERSHIP AND THE VALUE OF TEAMS

Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement and how you did you impact on the student community? Helping run a thriving small business with real benefit to students, provide funds on an equitable basis to a range of interest groups from big powerful sports societies to small cultural groups and provide an important welfare resource to students as well. How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? Massively! Gave me a varied level of experience - from running

What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? Taking advice, but we had a great full time professional manager If you could have done something different what would it be? Not be such a populist and publicity tart. If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Maturing, Learning, Unique In your own words what should the Students’ Union encapsulate? Quality services, including

commercial services, strong representation and be a key part of the enriching and fun experience of being at university. What can a sabbatical’s biggest strength and weakness? Listening, deciding, and acting. Arrogance, not taking advice and forgetting who you work for! What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Study good political campaigns, build your brand, listen as well as speak, have a point of view and articulate it, and try and go out with the Entertainments Officer - you might get to meet a contemporary Bono (I met him after Penrhyn Road gig).

GRAEME MEW Partner of NPM President 1980

Mr Mew is recognised as a Leading Practitioner in Litigation Commercial Insurance, Mr Mew is acknowledged by Best Lawyers in Canada in the fields of Insurance Law and International Arbitration, having had a long history of success as Appeals Officer in the Rugby world cup to the president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, to name but a few. Mr Mew is a pearl in the Students’ Union crown of predecessors, read the journey through his eyes. Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? We forced the University administration to reverse a decision to increase residence fees mid-way through the year. The vast majority of students joined a rent strike. Instead of paying their rent to Kingston Council, the money went into a trust fund held by the Union's solicitors. When the first eviction notices were served, I went to court with the students concerned and (more by good fortune than by my advocacy) we got the notices quashed. Not long afterwards the administration relented and we turned the money we'd been holding over to the Council. It was a well-managed and, ultimately, successful piece of direct action by the students.

Gr

aem

eM ew

IT WAS AS DAUNTING AS IT WAS EXHILARATING. IT GAVE ME AN EARLY SENSE OF THE SATISFACTION. www.kusu.co.uk

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS...

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How did you impact on the student community? I think we demonstrated that we were credible representatives of the student body and that we could be agents of change. We worked hard to improve communication so that students knew what we were doing and could let us know what they thought. What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? Apathy. The administration helped to overcome this when they jacked everyone's rent up. There was extensive media coverage of the Union general meeting that decided to go on rent strike and after that we managed to maintain both public and student interest in what was happening.

SHABAZZ NELSON

and getting too caught up in their own (perceived) self-importance. What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Do it for the right reasons (we once had a sabbatical who ran as a joke and got elected - the ensuing year was not a good experience for him or for the Union). By all means have a vision and bring some idealism to the job, but recognise that a lot of being a sabbatical is hard work doing necessary but not always very glamorous things. And listen to your fellow students!

If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Lessons for life How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? Significantly. At the age of 21 I was responsible for the permanent employment of around 20 people and the management of a substantial budget (I forget exactly how much now but it was a seven figure sum even then). It was early in the life of the first Thatcher government and there were all sorts of changes going on in the funding of higher education. This placed a variety of responsibilities on me and the other sabbatical officers in terms of representing students' interests. It was as daunting as it was exhilarating. It gave me an early sense of the satisfaction of public service. I also learned a lot about leadership and working with diverse groups of people.

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Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? That’s easy, when we started our term of office, the guild of students was about £70,000 in the hole, and was haemorrhaging money all over the gaff. When we left, it was a handsome £100,000 in the black and considerably less reliant on the University’s annual handout. Now although this question relates to my biggest achievement, the financial success was more down to the shrewd organisational skills of the finance team and the general and commercial managers, but damn it I was in the room when they came up with the strategies that would alleviate our financial burdens, and a flashy smile and diamond personality have to count for something eh? No? Well screw you. How did you impact on the student community? Have you ever seen that film where the meteorite smazzhazzles the earth in a cataclysmic explosion of fire and chaos? Well my arrival was almost, but not quite entirely dissimilar to that, only more so. Lots of people voted in our election, and these guys were fairly interested as to what would happen over the coming years. People who had issues that the Guild of Students could help with were also interested in what we as an organisation could do. And then there were the rest. So I hassled the rest by drawing attention to their failings via the weekly

In your own words what should the Students' Union encapsulate? Credible but fearless promotion of students' interests and rights.

What can be a sabbatical's biggest weakness? Not learning from others

Having worked as a training consultant for the past 10 years, Shabazz has taken his experience and leadership skills to greater audience by encouraging young people to take control and improve their learning skills through an innovative and inspirational teaching programme. Shabbazz takes us back to the mid 1990s and gives us a flashback of what it was to be an S.U president and what it gave him in the future. “THIS IS A LIFE CHANGING OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOME GOOD, MAKE SOME CONTACTS, MEET SOME PEOPLE, TRAVEL THE COUNTRY, AND MAKE CHANGES”

If you could have done something different what would it be? I would have paid more attention to ensuring that the work my colleagues and I had done would be continued by our successors.

What can be a sabbatical's biggest strength? Learning to lead by listening to others and drawing on their experience.

Managing Director at Storm Training President 1995-1997

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newsletter in a jovial and often sinister manner, that usually ended up with me being dragged before the Vice Chancellor for being too rude or some such trumped up rubbish, anyway it got people talking and laughing, and trying to kill me, so a fair impact I would say. What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? The biggest challenge was the unfortunate situation we found ourselves in with the University. We the Guild of Students saw ourselves as an independent organisation working towards being able to provide the services the students needed without an external influence that appeared to detest the idea of not having control over the Guilds financial independence. I had just finished my law degree, and was in feisty form. I came in as Prez, and saw all these things that were geared to favour the University not the students. There were issues with accommodation, discipline of students, rent, provision of services, so I raised these at a governors meeting. Things pretty much went downhill from there... If you could have done something different what would it be? Got more people to get involved with the issue of the day – The Campaign for a Free Education. Lost that battle to the Labour Students at National Conference. We as a University never had enough people come along to support the idea. Upshot- you owe student loans, the guy who pushed it as an idea to the students of the day, is now a front bencher in the Government. A member of the Cabinet. My man got paid! And good luck to him; we wish him all the best. You can get a loan to pay for the right to learn how he did it. If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Where’s my psychiatrist? How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? Great opportunity to meet and connect with many different people on several levels. People tend to open up a bit more when they are telling you their problems in the hope or belief that you can do something for them, and if you can and do help them, you have at the very least a shared experience with a positive outcome. People need these

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in their lives and the more that you can help manifest them the better. I found this to be an immensely useful and powerful behavioural trait to develop in myself, and I would comfortably say that this is as a direct result of the experiences I shared with hundreds of students as the President. In your own words what should the students’ union encapsulate? An island of calm, in a rolling sea of stupidity. No wait, the tree of knowledge in the forest of scrub weed. Hang on, the beacon of clarity in a miasma of uncertainty. A place where hobo’s meet rabbits and hobbits are born...sorry, when you say encapsulate, you do mean sum up what the students union represents to me right? Or am I just plain stchhuuupid? What can be a sabbatical’s biggest strength? The ability to talk to everyone you meet as though that person is the most important person in the world. No one else matters, just them. It’s as though you have been wandering alone in the desert for months and they are your first contact. They mean the world to you, and they can see it in your eyes. What can be a sabbatical’s biggest weakness?Going on to sleep with that person. I’m kidding! Come on, what do you think this is? That never happened often anymore, so let’s just leave that one alone,

so anyway the thing to watch out for is the belief that it’s all too much, and nobody really cares. That happens a lot. It’s not true though, or at least doesn’t have to be with the right teamwork and support around you. I was lucky enough to have that due to the staff and other Sabbatical officers. I hope you guys are there for each other too.

students. I have chosen this event because it was organised by volunteer students who worked closely with sabbatical officers and staff. It was a real team effort and involved many students who did not have previous experience working with KUSU. So not the ‘usual suspects’ but just ‘ordinary’ students who wanted to play a part.

What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? This is a life changing opportunity to do some good, make some contacts, meet some people, travel the country, and make changes that enhance the experience of your fellow student’s time at the institution. You get an insight into the workings of a successful business, and also get a chance to meet the “civil service” or the staff that stay even after you are long dead and forgotten. These guys are your secret weapons. The General (Manager) the Capitane (Commercial Manager) Finance and industrial espionage (Pauline) and the one who is only known by her code name The Queen! (Neelam). Use them wisely.

How did you impact on the student community? This is a question for others but I would like to think the impact was mostly positive.

Barrister President 2005-2006

Jona

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Chib

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IT SHOULD BE POLITICAL, RADICAL AND PROGRESSIVE AND NEVER APOLOGETIC.

Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? The Union held a successful annual dinner at Sandown Racecourse attended by hundreds of

If you could have done something different what would it be? Spent more time meeting and speaking to students. If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Learning, Politics, Beer

JONATHAN CHIBAFA Having spent time as Crown Counsel to the office of the Attorney General of the Falkland Islands. Mr Chibafa is a legal specialist in general crime, fraud and related areas. Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Jonathan speaks fluent Shona, Ndebele and Zulu. In 2005 Mr Chibafa won the Queen Mother's Scholar of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. This award, one of a few reserved for 'Outstanding' candidates.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? Apathy. I do not think we really dealt with it. It is the most difficult thing and I think it gets worse as time goes on. The idea of students being a ready-made audience for the union is not a realistic one.

How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? It gave me a great lesson about people, life and the need to compromise

In your own words what should the students’ union encapsulate? It should be political, radical and progressive and never apologetic. Great care must be taken not to be too much any of these three things – because the last thing a union can do is alienate support from either the university or the ‘town’ (local people). In these days of PR and image – unions need to be smart and wary of how they are portrayed. Good relations with the local press are increasingly important. What can be a sabbatical’s biggest strength and weakness? Independence. Self-interest.

What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Be sure about your reasons for choosing to run for office. And stay true to your principles if you are elected. Jonathan’s final thought I really enjoyed my time at Kingston and I really think my 4 years there were the best years of my life… so far.

ARABELLA BECKETT President 1999

I graduated with a 2:1 in Applied English Language and Linguistics in 2002, having taken my Sabbatical year at the end of my first year of study as a mature student. I got married later that same year and had my first child the following October. My next child was born 19 months later and I stayed at home as a full-time Mother for the next three years, returning to work part-time in 2006. I continued with my childcare/work role for another three years and in October 2009 began my Doctoral studies at the Norwich Business School. My research interest is Social Enterprise and Gender. I am now four months into my three year course and am loving being back in the vibrant and stimulating world of academia, carrying out research in an area that I am passionate about. I have had so much support in getting to where I am today from staff at Kingston University - from my former Tutors, Pat Lane and Libby Rothwell, from the former University Secretary, Rafiq Abdullah and also from the Vice Chancellor, Peter Scott. Added to that is the support that I received from the great friends that I made in my years at Kingston, most importantly Mark Daniels (Computer Science, 2002) and Holly Vernalls (English Literature, 2000). My time as President was truly amazing and I am humbled by the ongoing kindness of the staff at Kingston University, who is willing to give of their time and effort on my behalf all these years postgraduation. Thank you all.

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Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? I think that my greatest achievement was securing a 10 year funding plan for new student accommodation designed for the additional students that the university wanted to recruit. That achievement was down to the key skills that I learned during my time in office - research, lobbying, public speaking and gaining people's trust and respect (i.e. the university's governors).

WE ESTABLISHED A FANTASTIC NEW ADVICE CENTRE AND REFURBISHED THE PENRHYN ROAD BAR

How did you impact on the student community? I am not sure that it is possible to leave a lasting legacy for the student community in the space of one year. That said, we (as a team) managed to shrink the Student Union’s debt and to increase sales across our commercial services. We established a fantastic new advice centre and refurbished the Penrhyn road bar (badly!). The biggest impact was probably on individual students whom we represented at university disciplinary hearings etc. And perhaps by raising awareness of my campaigning function (as president) by having a campaign televised.

If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Fantastic, amazing job! How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? I learned so much about myself - my strengths, my weaknesses and my skills. In your own words what should the students’ union encapsulate? The S.U should be about student welfare and representation. What can be a sabbatical’s biggest strength? The ability to work co-operatively and creatively. What can be a sabbatical’s biggest weakness? Not listening and trying to work 'apart' from the rest of the team. What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Be passionate about your reasons for running, make sure that it is student welfare that motivates you (i.e. making things better for the student population) and realistic about the things that you 'promise' to achieve in your manifesto - Rome was not built in a day and you will never get the S.U to lower beer prices!!!

What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? Finding enough hours in the day to do all the work that I wanted to do! For a year I worked 16-18 hour days and survived on what little sleep I could snatch! It was the best job in the world! If you could have done something different what would it be? I think that I would have sought more outside help to plug the gaps in my knowledge and experience. At the time I felt that I should be able to do everything that was asked of me and I didn't have the confidence to ask for help where I needed, from experts. That was probably more about my age and inexperience, but I now feel that I could have done a better job if I had acknowledged my own limits.

CHRIS FORD

VP Support 2005-2006

Chris now works in Student Services and Administration as Student Support & Liaison. His role looks at Student Support across the University working with colleagues, in particular Laura Roberts, who also works within Student Services, to try and integrate student support and improve the Student Experience. Chris is responsible for all of the internal Student Satisfaction Surveys KU runs and the analysis of these. Chris also chairs a meeting with Student Support Officers across the University working closely with KUSU in order to come up with initiatives to improve the Student Experience. Initiatives Chris and Laura have worked on in order to improve the Student Experience include: Welcome Centre for new students, the PG experience, Mature Students Guide/Forum, Parent's Guide, the use of Student Ambassadors, new maps and signage, a new Student Services website, a presence at University open days and organising the Halls Welcome Events. ‘THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT HAS TO BE CAMPAIGNING ON BEHALF OF STUDENTS FOR THINGS THAT MATTER TO THEM!’ Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? As VP Student Support a lot of my role was looking at supporting and representing students at ‘rep cases’ on issues they had with the university - such as being accused of plagiarising, defending them with helping writing appeals letters, making complaints and being there at disciplinary committees to ensure their voice was heard. Over my two years of being a sabbatical it’s very rewarding to know that individually I helped and supported over a 1000 students on a plethora of issues. However, I think the biggest achievement has to be campaigning on behalf of students for things that matter to them! Such as the implementation of a 24 hour library service, double decker bus service and helping with an extremely successful Fresher’s and Summer Ball in 2006 and 2007.

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What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? The biggest challenge was working with and organising such a diverse team of staff and having to try to win them over and prove to them that I wasn’t some young idiot who wrote his manifesto on a beer mat and that I was there to make a difference and do my part in order to enhance the student experience for Kingston students.

If you could have done something different what would it be? Not go out every Wednesday…! In all honesty though – it is easy to say what you could have done differently if you had the opportunity to do it again and I think the only thing I would have done is be more of a leader on behalf of the organisation to bring some of the great initiatives that KUSU came up with and put them more in the spotlight! If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in the three words what would they be? Challenging, rewarding and different! (different – because you will never experience anything like it, ever!) How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? I got to meet some amazing and inspiring staff within KUSU and at the University who I am still in contact with now. It has helped me to develop my key transferable skills and confidence. It has also equipped me with the knowledge within the Higher Education HE) sector! I never thought to this day that I would be working for Kingston University in a job which I find so challenging and rewarding which is all linked to Student Support within HE and now have a strong passion for. I feel it has equipped me with the skills and competencies to further my career. In your own words what should the students’ union encapsulate? Quite simply – representation and developmental opportunities for students. What can be a sabbatical’s biggest strength and weakness? Listening, taking advice and acting. Not being strong enough. What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Read up about what the position really is about and think about how you can really make a difference. Speak to other sabbaticals about their experiences to get a better picture of what it is really like. Really get a sense of what students of today want and need and then go for it! Finally, be yourself, don’t try and be everyone’s best mate, act professionally and always remember that students vote for you, so you owe them! I think. it is important to add how much fun it was as well! It was sometimes the most challenging and tiring job ever – but it was so much fun as well.

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Looking back at your time in office, what was your biggest achievement? I was the Student Union Treasurer working with an excellent and skilled staff team. I think that the greatest achievement was in making sure the book balanced at the end of the year. There were lots of clubs and societies many of whom were really good at spending money, and less good about getting any money in. However this was the second year of the Penrhyn Road Bar and the significant income that came in through the bar contributed to the success of the Student Union in the year I was a sabbatical.

WE HAD TO GROW UP FAST, MAKE THE BEST DEALS FOR OUR STUDENTS AND EXPLAIN THE DECISIONS WE MADE AND WHY.

How did you impact on the student community? Being a sabbatical is a huge privilege and a huge responsibility. I felt that it was my responsibility to make sure the way we allocated and spent money through the Student Union reflected the needs and demands of the student membership. The impact i had was in making sure the campaigns of the day, and back in the 80s many were political, and the health and wellbeing of the student population were looked after. This ranged from buying and distributing 2000 condoms (quite radical back then!) to authorising the paying for buses for sports teams to compete around the country.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it? The biggest challenge I and my fellow sabbaticals had was to work with and negotiate with University leaders over a range of issues; the union members had huge expectations, as did we before we were elected. Once elected, sitting across the table and having to agree to decisions which had far reaching implications was hard. How did we deal with it? We had to grow up fast, make the best deals we could for our students and explain the decisions we made and why. If you could have done something different what would it be? I worked with some amazing people, staff, students and sabbaticals, if I did anything different, it would have been to listen and learn more from others. However, there was nothing much we did, or decisions we made that I regret or would change if I had my time again. If you had to sum up the sabbatical experience in three words what would they be? Fast, empowering, accountable

What advice would you give to up and coming students hoping to run for office this year? Go for it! It will be the most demanding, fun, and exciting year of your life.

More importantly it gave me the self confidence and skills with which to work with senior leaders, Boards and Trustees, these were the most valuable skills and have helped me ever since, getting good jobs with a range of employers and allowing me to move within organisations to senior leadership posts.

THE STUDENTS’ UNION HAS A DUTY TO BRING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES TO THE STUDENT BODY AND TO LEAD THE RESPONSE, BUT NOT DICTATE IT.

In your own words what should the students’ union encapsulate? The student union should encapsulate the views of the students with an eye on the future for young people who will become students in the future. It should represent its membership but be aware of the relative privilege of being a student in England is. The Students’ Union has a duty to bring national and international issues to the Student body and to lead the response, but not dictate it.

Martyn

Cox

IT GAVE ME THE SELF CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS WITH WHICH TO WORK WITH SENIOR LEADERS.

What can be a sabbatical’s biggest strength? Representing students collectively and individually, especially when the students do not feel they have a voice.

As a sabbatical team I think we had a very positive impact on the student community, we led student action on the cost and quality of meals at the University (or Polytechnic as it was then) which led to

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How did the sabbatical experience impact on your life? The experience of being a sabbatical led directly to my first job. As I was the treasurer I managed to get a job book keeping for a London based charity. I had no idea about how to-do it but I bought a how to book and signed up for a course at the FE college and was away.

Treasurer 1986

change and negotiated hard on the future of courses on offer as well as supporting students more widely who were studying at institutions threaten with closure.

MARTYN COX

M

Cox n y art

What can be a sabbatical’s biggest weakness? Thinking they have to know all the answers and that they are answerable to those that shout the loudest!

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THE TRIALS CONTINUED... I hope this article has given you an insight into the world of Student Union Politics and what the experience entails. As for me, six months into the job, I remain humble yet passionate about fulfilling my role to the best of my ability. The role of Vice President can be challenging yet rewarding at the same time, every problem you face and overcome is a lesson learned. I would like to look back on this experience one day with no regrets just a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that I made a real difference within the student community and beyond! I want to empower the student community and engage with the local community to help them understand the students are a vital asset not only to the area but to society as a whole. Three words to sum up the sabbatical experience would be exciting, memorable and enlightening. I believe a sabbatical’s biggest strength is self belief and determination without being egocentric or self centred; you are only as strong as the people you lead. My advice to anyone who wants to run for office is, understand why you want to do it and believe in yourself regardless of the outcome. Whether you win or lose you will be a stronger person because of it.

Take Control

for attending meetings on your behalf, representing the views of students to the University, managing the future direction of the Union as a business and making sure everything we do is in the best interests of all our students. If you don’t think you can afford to take a year out of your studies, but still want to represent your peers, we will also be electing a number of part time officers (“The Executive”) who are there to mainly represent the views of specific student groups to the Union and the University. The roles available are; • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Women’s Officer LGBT officer International Students’ Officer Unity Officer (this would include additional responsibility for faith) E&E officer Disabled students’ rep Mature students’ rep Part –time students’ rep Post graduate (taught) rep Post graduate research student rep Partner college rep Students’ in professional practice rep Officer without portfolio

On top of all that, you could also have acted on all those things that really annoy you about studying at Kingston and made things better for your fellow students. Unfortunately, such great opportunities are limited – to 4 full time positions a year.

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But every student at Kingston has an equal opportunity to get one of these posts – all you have to do is stand in the 2010 KUSU student elections. There are 4 full time posts, who are the student officers that run the Union for you and are there when you need any help with the University: • • • •

PRESIDENT VP ACTIVITIES VP EDUCATION VP COMMUNICATIONS

The full descriptions of the roles can be found online at www.kusu.co.uk/elections but basically the team is responsible

Full time officers receive £19275 pa for a 52 week, 35 hours a week term of office, whilst part time officers are volunteers who are expected to give up a couple of hours a week during term time.

HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

RHIANNON HISCOCKS VP Activities

PENDING STUDENT APPROVAL AT THE TERMLY STUDENTS MEETING: By the time you graduate, you could have acted as a trustee of a business with a million pound turnover, learnt how to manage a business, been involved in making decisions affecting thousands of people, had practical experience of teamwork, planning and high powered meetings as well as gaining a whole raft of transferable skills for your cv.

So if you are from any of these groups and you can spare a few hours a week in exchange for transferable skills training, practical experience of decision making, planning and campaigning, and overseeing the management of a company, then you should nominate yourself to stand for one of these posts. Full role descriptions are available at: www.kusu.co.uk/elections

HASSAN BARAKAT VP Communication and Campaigns

KAYLEIGH PICKERING VP Support

TJ President

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SUPPORT OUR SPORTS FRESH CAUGHT UP WITH RHIANNON, VP ACTIVITIES Tell us about SOS. What has been the highlight of the campaign so far? Support Our Sports has been the biggest campaign that Kingston University students have gotten involved in for years. I’ve been here for four years and I’ve never seen anything else like this, it’s amazing how passionate everyone is about the lack of basic sports facilities. The highlight of the campaign for me was definitely the first protest because so many people got involved and it was an amazing day, we marched down Kingston Hill and through the town. It was wicked. I wanted to ask you as the student number in Kingston University are growing, how has this impacted on sports clubs and societies? The student population is growing and at the same time so is the student realisation that to succeed as a graduate and impress potential employers you need to offer so much more than you’re degree. More and more students are joining sports clubs, societies and volunteering this puts more pressure on the clubs, especially when it comes to being able to afford to hire facilities. If we had our own indoor sports facilities these could be used by sports clubs, societies and as exam venues. The University, Students’ Union and students themselves spend tens of thousands of pounds every year hiring sports facilities, to me it makes much more sense to invest in our own facilities and save money in the long run.

How can students get more involved with SOS? Any way that you want, join the facebook page ‘SOS – Support Our Sports’ and take part in the protests or contact me: activities@kingston.ac.uk OVERALL AIM OF THE CAMPAIGN: To give students, staff and the wider community more access and opportunities to have a healthy, social and active lifestyle. This can be done by: ENCOURAGING THE UNIVERSITY TO INVEST IN SPORTS FACILITIES, FOCUSING ON INDOOR PROVISION Currently the University only have limited amount of facilities for students to use when participating in an indoor activity or sport. They offer an air conditioned Aerobics and Dance Studio and a 65-station gym. KUSU currently has 13 clubs using 9* different facilities in the surrounding community, e.g. schools and colleges. Times in these venues are being restricted due to KUSU competing with community sports clubs and the venues own recreational/sporting programme.

By KU providing students with their own facility it would: - Increase the amount of opportunities for students to participate in a healthy activity, provide the competitive structure with the appropriate space and times to conduct their activity and would amplify community links with the University. - Increase the opportunities for students and staff to participate in unstructured/informal recreational activities - Provision of facilities that act as student recruitment and retention tools - Aid undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes in FASS & Science Faculties (Sports & Exercise Sciences/Dance etc) - Develop multipurpose non-alcoholic social space - Fall out space and possibly enable exams to be held on campus ENCOURAGING THE UNIVERSITY TO IMPROVE RESOURCES SURROUNDING SPORTS PROVISION

By increased staffing support with the Sport and Recreational Dept will: - Provide organisation for students to become involved in healthy pursuits. - Increase students becoming engaged in the wider community through coach education schemes, club community links; furthering KU’s community engagement through the medium of Sport - Help to develop student participation pathways from FE to HE - Increase links with local businesses and national governing bodies - Supporting all elements of the participation pyramid - recreational participation through to elite level PROMOTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FOR ALL STUDENTS AND STAFF ACROSS ALL CAMPUSES The University promote an annual ‘Healthy Week’ in February and run informational campaigns on the intranet and staff space

At present the University have 11 staff members who upport the promotion of sport at Kingston University.

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SOS CONTINUED... By promoting a healthy lifestyle as a priority for all student and staff, all areas of the University can benefit through linking with one another: - Healthy lifestyle should be promoted through the whole year giving students the education and information for them to develop a healthy lifestyle throughout their university lifecycle and beyond - Increasing healthier options in food areas - Increase schemes linked with sustainability such as cycle to university/work/healthy walks - Increase promotion through other welfare and support streams e.g. health and counselling - Promote the benefits of healthy lifestyle through marketing; linking to national schemes and contemporary research KEEPING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS FREE The University signed an agreement in 2006 ensuring that Wednesday Afternoons were kept free; although due to ongoing building works they haven’t fulfilled this agreement. By keeping Wednesday free it would ensure that all students: - Participate in healthy lifestyle - Represent Kingston University in a national sporting competition - Become involved in promoting the university through volunteering, community and social experiences. - Allow students and staff to develop a campus community by providing students to engage in alternative activities rather than their studies thus giving them an opportunity to enhance their personal development and get the most of their student experience

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PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH FREE TRANSPORT TO SPORTS ACTIVITIES The University have provided a free bus service to Tolworth Court on Monday nights and Wednesday afternoons. - This has allowed competitive clubs easier access to activities and increases other opportunities that could be offered if the resources were available to the broader student community INCREASING RECOGNITION OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE STUDENTS THAT PARTICIPATE IN SPORT ACROSS ALL LEVELS AND THE BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE KUSU’s annual black tie Sports Awards event that is held at Twickenham Stadium covers student’s achievements in sport, fundraising and volunteering. It also promotes the skills students learn from their activities such as leadership, teamwork and time management through the awards criteria. The Sport and Recreational Dept also provides an award ceremony for students and community athletes on their sports performance program:


2010: THE MAKE OR BREAK YEAR OF BRITISH MUSIC STUDENT ARTICLE This has probably been the most interesting and productive year for British music in a long time. Pretty bold statement, but definitely arguable as we’ve seen huge amounts of talent explode from the underground to the mainstream charts. From Chipmunk to Pixie Lott, we’re seeing a new age of English artists. However, next year is really going to be the make or break year to see whether or not these new, talented prospects have staying power or are they just a flash in a pan. It all started when I was a teenager in secondary school. Garage had died, Indie bands like the Libertines and Franz Ferdinand were starting to make waves on radio stations like XFM and Radio 1. However, there wasn’t anything targeted at the young kids who loved rap or were into those hard beats. 50 Cent, Eminem and Jay-Z were the people we looked to give us the hip hop we wanted and as soon as Garage died out, the beats weren’t coming through either. The glaring question that we as teenagers asked was “Where’s our British talent?” We couldn’t relate to what the American rappers were talking about. We didn’t see their cars, we didn’t have their women and the majority of us couldn’t understand their struggle. That all changed because of a man called Wiley. Coming straight out of Bow in E3, he brought about a scene that the kids from all around the UK, especially London could relate to. He wore the same clothes as us, he spoke about things that we understood, places we’ve been or live near. He was speaking to the youth in secondary schools and we all got it. Whether you were Black, White or Asian it didn’t matter. As long as you were true to yourself and how you

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lived your life, then the music would be relatable. Wiley wouldn’t be incredibly successful until 2008, but he brought with him a sound that teenagers who would later on become MC’s ate up. The likes of Dizzee Rascal, Bashy and Kano were all helped by the rapper/producer and now in 2009 they’re flourishing. Now in 2010 we look at the new talent such as Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz, Giggs and Devlin to take advantage of the opportunity that was crafted for them by the people before them. There hasn’t been a better time for British Hip-Hop and now is the time for them to take it to the next level.

UK and were all praised for bringing Dubstep to the mainstream. Recently, they were in the Top 20 with their song for the Harry Brown soundtrack so the masses are certainly listening and are certainly enjoying what they hear. Expect big things from Dubstep acts such as Rusko, Slof man, Nero and my personal favourite Jakwob who did an absolutely amazing remix of Ellie Gouldings song “Under the Sheets”. Even pop music is looking healthier with the likes of Pixie Lott, Little Boots, Florence and the Machine and even though it pains me to say it Cheryl Cole really taking off recently. Although there are many female singers out there including the hugely talented Dionne Broomfield, the girl whose really caught my attention and who I expect big things from in 2010 is Ellie Goulding. Admittedly, she looked a bit nervous while performing on “Later with Joules Holland” but I can promise you that girl is certainly something special and with the proper exposure will blow up a

nuclear bomb. At the end of the day I could be wrong and this could all be a flash in the pan, but then again we could be looking at the new revolution of artists in Britain. Albeit the urban scene has quite a bit of catching up to do as our Indie cousins have fully transitioned from the 90’s Britpop era. Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party and even Babyshambles lead the lines for their scene. However, our artists have gradually crafted a place for themselves to excel and make something of themselves and not just fade away. Although this year was a big for the UK music scene in general, 2010 isn’t the time for the artists to rest and reflect on what they’ve done, but to think look at it, pat themselves on the back and say “This year, let’s do better”. Hopefully, that’s what they do. Article Written by Aundre Jacobs. Photographs sourced from Flickr.

Not one person who was in primary school or secondary school can deny that Garage was on a serious level. I mean the MC’s weren’t amazing but the beats were creative and it’s something we could dance to. Then it just disappeared. No real warning, no last hurrah. It was over. Unless you were old enough to get into clubs (which we weren’t) or unless you were into trance music (which we weren’t – minus Daft Punk who are universally lauded) you were never going to get your satisfaction for beats. Then I heard Dubstep, and my life changed. It was literally like I’d been hit by lightning. All the music I loved from when I was younger but with a new modern feel to it. I didn’t know the names; I just knew that the music gave me the same feeling when I heard “Battle” by Wookie all those years ago. Chase and Status have really hit it big in the last year and a bit. “Eastern Jam” “Running” and “Against all Odds” featuring Kano were all played on radio stations across the

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I am a self professed lovaholic. Yes I am not ashamed to admit it; I have been to the meetings, I have cursed the fates and I have cried whilst listening to Boyz II Men’s “Four Seasons of Love”. If there was a doctorate in Lovopology I would have it. Yet I still don’t know how to really tell what love is. When you ask seasoned couples how they knew their partner was the one, they give you generic responses such as “I just knew”, as though it were agreed in the couples society to keep singles in the dark so that they could “figure” it out for themselves. But are we discovering the true meaning of love for ourselves? I attended a marriage conference on holiday 2 years ago (I was accompanying my aunt) (really). Anyway the speaker informed us that 1 out of every 3 married women cheat and 2 out of every 3 married men cheat. I don’t know how

accurate these results were or if they were limited to the Nigerian population but either way my immediate thought was ‘Why are so many of us getting it wrong?’. The popular wedding vows contain the following: “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.” But has the gold band become no more than a mere fashion statement? A fellow lovaholic once told me the origin of wearing the wedding band came from the Romans. They believed that there's a vein that runs from that finger to your heart. The ring started off as a symbol of unity, connection, immortal love, 2 hearts as 1. “When the butterflies are no longer fluttered away, You will not want to leave your friends’ side” What is this ideal called love that forces people to stand before their family and friends and promise forever; and what happens to make this love crumble? According to Woody Allen: “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.”

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The central theme that I find within the three quotes above is that love is selflessness, that love is hard and awkward and requires commitment. This is contrary to what we are often led to believe, that love is a state of being and that love is a feeling of happiness and light-headedness, if it is not easy then it isn’t love. After years of drowning myself in love poetry, songs, fiction, articles, quotes and experiences I have come to the conclusion that we choose who we love and then we must choose to act with love. By stating that love is a choice I’m not trying to undermine the importance of the butterflies, the irregular heartbeats or the symphony playing in the background of your kiss. The only problem is we are not living in a fairytale. The kiss isn’t the end and we will never really know if Prince Charming left Snow White for Sleeping Beauty. When the honeymoon period has passed we must choose to continue to love that person and not assume because this period has ended so has our connection.

When the butterflies have no longer fluttered away, You will not want to leave your friends side

STUDENT ARTICLE

In the bible it is written (1 Corinthians 13) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love.

WHAT IS LOVE?

My mother’s secret ingredient for a long lasting relationship is friendship. I quote “When the butterflies are no longer fluttered away, you will not want to leave your friends side,” I may be the exact opposite of a love prune (those individuals who are afraid of the magic words) but “I love you” is merely a form of expression. If you actually need your second half to tell you that they love you before you realise that they do- you are either blind or they are lying. We wait for those three words as though they are the oral equivalent of an earthquake. But does it matter if those exact words are not said? Check your thesaurus- love is adoration, affection, devotion, friendship, ardour, tenderness. Love is when he wakes up early in the morning to make you pancakes; it is when she jumps up with excitement because you aced your exams. Love is as love does. The discovery of love in each person is concluded by what each person believes it is to love. This is why it evades an exact definition. Love is not the same for everyone; it can no more be contained than the wind. The act of love, however, is very much within our capabilities and acting with love is the most essential part of being in love. Written by Oyin Braithwaite Creative Writing and Law.

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STUDENT ACTIVISM STUDENT ARTICLE

comrades who see the need to mobilise against the capitalist privatisation of University education. As lecturers are sacked at the University, as the numbers of people able to attend university are reduced and the number of courses available plummet, as free University education disintegrates and quality vanishes. I would like a job when I graduate not to join the dole queue. Unemployment amongst young people in the UK was increasing at an alarming rate under this system even before the “Credit Crunch”. I am concerned three years and thousands of pounds worth of debt won’t amount to much but dole money. This is why I spread the word and refrain from complaining. I work with other students who want the future they went to university for. In many cases this involves not joining the army to go fight in imperialist wars.

When I was given the opportunity of writing an article that would be published in the SU’s magazine, I was overwhelmed with the opportunity to spread propaganda across the whole Student population. For me that is a great opportunity since free speech is vastly limited. But I have decided to spare you the pains of listening to me rant about thing that upset me. Instead I have chosen to let you know about things I am passionate about. I am Joshua and I am a student activist. Right now I would expect you to be moved in your reading. However I can’t help but wonder the number of students wanting to know what ‘activist’ means. It doesn’t mean I like to complain about things. It means I like to take the driving seat to moulding my future. Something most “good students’ are supposed to do.” I know too funny isn’t It? A third year student who takes it upon himself to try push for change, where will he find the time? I often ask myself the same question at times. The answer is simpler than you think. I find it a matter of what I want in relation to what I am doing, and what is available.

“Free education was fought for and paid for by workers who wanted a better life for their children to increase their opportunity and broaden their horizons.” I would like free university education provided at quality standard. This means no tuition fees, no lecturers being sacked & no courses being cut. I believe education should not only be for those who can afford it. It could help improve society far more widely, if it was free. So I see no reason as to why university education is being processed, packaged, and shipped out to the highest bidder. Free education was fought for and paid for by workers who wanted a better life for their children to increase their opportunity and broaden their horizons. It is under this banner of people first before profit that I stand for free education. Generations that preceded us fought to keep this right, not to mention others around the world would rise to arms for the purpose of doing the same. I understand it is no use just complaining and doing nothing and proceed to tilt the odds. I move to organise

My role as a student activist takes me beyond just complaining about what is wrong it pushes me to fight and mobilise for the changes I want. You will see me distributing leaflets on our next meeting. You will see me putting up posters about the injustice of this system. Not forgetting talking to people to come to meetings. That is you seeing me on the frontline fighting for a future. Not only do I want to give you information, I want to aid and recognise the contradiction of our progress and therefore want to change it. That is when you will hear me saying bring down this oppressive capitalist system and bring forth socialism. I am a socialist student activist.

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KINGSTON UNIVERSITY IS CALLING ALL FINAL YEAR UNDERGRADUATES! “At Kingston we listen to our students. Each year we urge final year undergrads to fill in the National Student’s Survey (NSS). Every student’s contribution is vital. Not only are the results used to compile a year on year comparison of universities and courses to help prospective students make the best choices on where to study, but we also use your comments to inform our programme of continual improvements at Kingston. The survey launches on 8 February and students who fill it in will automatically be entered into a prize draw where four £250 cash prizes are up for grabs. To encourage you to fill it in early, two of the prizes will be reserved for students who complete the survey in the first fortnight.” Dr David Mackintosh, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Kingston University Students’ Union appreciates the University’s efforts to make a positive change and after having spoken to the students and conducted research we believe the University should provide: • Better management of the quality of feedback and assessment • Improved facilities and opportunities for students to participate in Sporting & Physical Activity • The introduction of a university wide strategy for student engagement/ experience • Improved support for students from nontraditional routes into HE • A greater LRC facility at Penrhyn Road. • More face to face contact with the lecturers.

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We can put your views and opinions on our website or our magazine.

If you’re eligible, Ipsos MORI, the independent polling company carrying out the survey, will contact you the week of the 8 February. If you have any ideas or recommendations to improve things at Kingston, contact us at: studentunion@kingston.ac.uk.

Take a look at what students told us in previous surveys and the actions we’ve already taken:

YOUR WISHES

WE GRANT

To improve study facilities

• We’ve made huge changes to Penrhyn Road, Kingston Hill, Knights Park and Roehampton Vale. • There are more flat screens to use with laptops, new sofas and coffee tables, more PCs and dual-boot MAC computers • At Roehampton Vale we have completely refurbished and extended the existing LRC.

For more social space

• Roehampton Vale has a new LRC with a landscaped outdoor area • At Penrhyn Road we have upgraded the Foodstore and added comfortable chairs • There’s a new foyer and exhibition space at Knights Park

To improve skills training

• There is a new Maths Cafe and skills centre at Roehampton Vale to support Engineering students. • There’s now a Science Skills drop-in centre at Penrhyn Road • There are more Peer Assisted Learning Schemes where experienced students offer fellow students help and support.

For more general help and support at all the campuses

• New Information Points have been put in at all four LRCs • Signs around the University have been improved and we have produced better maps. • We’ve subscribed to Nightline, a confidential listening and information service in association with KUSU. • There’s a refurbished student support space above Hannafords at Kingston Hill.

To keep the cost of printing down

• At our LRCs you can now get double-sided printing for 5p. That’s the same price single-sided copies used to cost making it better value and more sustainable.

To enhance your final year experience

• As part of our new three-year Outduction project, we held a big event for final year students in October this year. • The project will help us understand, and respond to, the needs of final year students as they complete their studies and prepare for their life beyond Kingston.

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WHO ARE EURO-FEST AND WHAT WE DO?

WHERE CAN EURO-FEST TAKE STUDENTS IN 2010?

Euro-Fest Ltd provides travel tours to European music festivals and events, taking the hassle out of holiday planning and focusing more on mixing together friendship, travel and new experiences.

The question is where we can’t take young people in 2010! We will seriously consider any event that people want to go to. So let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs!

We are a young and forward thinking company; our Founder & MD (Aaran Scott) came up with the idea of Euro-Fest in June 2008 whilst traveling himself. Currently based in Dalston, London, we have a small and friendly team of 3 employees who are working tirelessly towards providing unforgettable experiences in 2010.

Our summer 2010-tour itinerary includes such festivals as Sonar (Spain), Roskilde (Denmark), Benicassim (Spain), Pukkelpop (Belgium) and Oktoberfest (Germany), and I’m sure that list will only scratch the surface.

You can visit Benicassim (Spain) or Roskilde (Denmark) Festivals in a comfortable, fully equipped coach, accompanied by our passionate Euro-Fest tour team. All aspects of the tour are provided including the festival ticket, so forget worrying about your tent pegs or forgetting to pack your map as Euro-Fest will do all the organising for you. All you need is your party hat and dancing shoes… and maybe your passport!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED Like what you’ve heard and want to secure yourself a spot on one of our 2010 festival tours? Then contact us today: t. 0845 269 6749 e. sales@euro-fest.co.uk w. www.euro-fest.co.uk

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WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EURO-FEST FOR STUDENTS?

HOW TO WIN THIS AMAZING PRIZE?

We know what it’s like being caught short the month or so before the festival when all your friends are already booked and it’s never an enjoyable experience. For that reason Euro-Fest offers a Student Deposit Scheme. To get the ball rolling, we’ll take a deposit followed by 3 smaller, more manageable payments before departure date.

Easy just visit our website and Sign-Up to our FREE Newsletter. In your email to us you will need to write the words:

Euro-Fest will pick you up from designated pickup points and transfer you straight to the heart of the festival. If your mates weren’t up for it and you are travelling alone, our tour team are with you every step of the way with icebreakers and team games in order to create a fun & friendly group culture that will ensure your trip will be unforgettable for all the right reasons.

STUDENT ROSKILDE COMPETITION Good luck everyone!

IF THERE WAS ONE FESTIVAL TO GO TO, WHICH ONE WOULD THAT BE?

Euro-Fest is giving away 1 pair of Tickets for the Roskilde Festival Tour. Roskilde festival is credited with being continental Europe’s largest festival and provides a platform for a variety of internationally renowned artists; previous acts include Coldplay, Oasis, Kanye West and Deadmau5 to name a few. More competitions to be announced through our news letter & website so make sure you watch this space. We are happy to take group bookings for student clubs; societies or just groups of friends. Alternately we can also provide bespoke tours for private group bookings, in our experience these tours and normally well suited for University Clubs & Societies. So if you and your friends want to get ahead of the game for 2010 contact us today.

Benicassim without a doubt! In recent years they have really raised their game and catered for all tastes...last year saw some huge performances from the likes of Oasis and The Killers, stunning DJ sets from 2ManyDJ’s and Laurent Garnier and some great break-through acts like Friendly Fires and White Lies. The weather really makes a big difference too and with guaranteed sunshine you’re sure to return home with a great tan. Having the beach so close is also great and the best way to spend the day is recovering from the night before and preparing for the night ahead. There is such a friendly atmosphere in the campsites and the actual festival and we’ve met great people from all over the world. If you want great music, a carnival atmosphere and amazing weather Benicassim really is the one for you!

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Sarah Taylor aged 21, Third Year Earth and Planetary Science Student. Volunteer Leader with Thames Ditton Brownies. She was the winner of a Volunteering England Gold Award in 2009 for her Leadership and Dedication.

WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND WORTHWHILE WITH YOUR YEAR?

Why did you decide to get involved in volunteering?

Help regularly with community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations in the local area. You can walk dogs, teach English, support people with learning disabilities, Usher at the Rose theatre… the list goes on.

We have a dedicated member of staff to help you develop your idea and get your project up and running. You’ll be given full support and training and as much as £500 towards your project.

Schools

Deniz Aslan ran a student project last year:

Help in Primary or Special Needs schools giving classroom support, mentoring a vulnerable child, with trips or running a session based on your special skills/interests! One-Off Projects Short on time? Want to try lots of things? One off projects are a great way to help out with a short-term commitment, whatever your interests are. Volunteers looking for experience with children, the environment, music, fundraising and events management will all get the opportunity through our one-off scheme.

I enjoyed every minute of it! Initially I was a little worried the project was going to be really time-consuming, but it really wasn't. There's a great support network via the website and you get loads of guidance from Martin, the Junction49 co-ordinator. We also got other students taking part in my project, so it was a great way to get to know more people in my final year.

I originally started volunteering with Guiding when I was younger and found it fun and rewarding so when I came to university I was keen to continue my Rainbows volunteering and get involved with other volunteer opportunities. How has volunteering influenced and aided your plans for the future? It was mainly my extra-curricular activities such as volunteering which originally allowed me to come to university as it gave me skills and experiences which helped me gain a place on my course. Volunteering has continued to help me develop new skills that will help me in my future such as leadership and communication skills. Winning a Volunteering Gold Award was an unexpected bonus and it is great to get recognition which will help future employers realise what I have gained through volunteering.

Volunteering’s great fun and a brilliant way of making your CV stand out. 2nd year business student.

I love volunteering because you learn loads and you see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Jackie, 3rd year student, Volunteer at Xpression Mencap Youth Group

National Student Volunteering Week 22-28th February Coming up! During the week there’ll be lots of chances to try different types of volunteering, ask questions, and attend one of our group registration sessions with friends. Look out for the KUSU Volunteering Roadshow on campuses the week before, and for details of the week on our website.

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Do it! Even if it is just for a one-off project you will gain so much from it. The response you get from the people you volunteer with is just amazing and gives you the opportunity to do something so rewarding whilst at university.

Community Bureau

If you’ve got a particular passion or have got an idea that can make a difference, volunteering through our Junction49 program is for you.

Volunteering helps you gain great skills for your CV and help people in your community.

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a volunteer?

VOLUNTEERING

CONTACT US NOW! www.kusu.co.uk/volunteering volunteering@kingston.ac.uk 020 8417 2548

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DOES MARX HOLD THE ANSWER? SOCIETIES ARTICLE It’s hardly a secret that life for students is not always easy. With the ongoing economic crisis, the burden of tuition fees, and no guarantees for future employment, many students are looking for answers to problems that sometimes appear insurmountable. Ideas can change the world, and politics can give concrete expression to those ideas as a means for action. Marxism, as in the revolutionary economic, political and philosophical methods espoused by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, is one such means, and a very valid one for the modern world. There are a great many critics of Marxism. Chances are some who read this article will be tempted to dismiss it out of hand on the notion that such ideas are “out of date” or “have been tried and failed.” There is also a very high chance that, remarkably, those who argue as such will never have read a single line of Marxism, or at least very little. There will also be those who will be aware of the bureaucratic dictatorships of the former Soviet Union and feel repelled by anything associated with them. I would ask those who feel this way to humour me by reading further. The failure of capitalism “The economic crisis has cut so deep that now roughly one billion people are chronically malnourished. That’s one in six people out of the entire global population.”

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Not so long ago an entire stratum of politicians and economists were yet again trumpeted that the period of “boom and bust” was behind us. The free market, it was supposed, was a cure for all social ills, and with the correct policy from a well meaning government would soon shed itself of any unpleasant characteristics exhibited in the past. Nobody would dare argue such a thing now. Capitalism is a failure for billions of people. As this article is being written, the economic crisis has cut so deep that now roughly one billion people are chronically malnourished. That’s one in six people out of the entire global population. The system has not become any more equal either. Much of the global economy is controlled via huge trans-national corporations accumulating vast wealth into private hands. Whilst the worlds 691 richest people upped their net value to $2.2 trillion this year, over 2 billion people across the globe were living on 2 dollars or less per day, with 270 million having no access to health care, private or otherwise. In case anyone believes that such phenomena are confined to the so-called “developing” world, even in the industrial powerhouse that is the United States 36 million people are dependent on food stamps: a form of income support for those so poor they cannot afford food. There can be no question that capitalism, as in an economic system where goods are produced for profit, does not satisfy the needs of humanity. Assuming you are not one of those 691 billionaires just mentioned,

it’s fair to say you have an interest in seeing things change. This is where Marxism comes in. Revolutionary method The foundations of socialism have already been developed under capitalism. We have a vast productive potential, for instance the UN Food Program openly admits that we have the capacity to feed everyone on the planet, but due to external factors this does not happen. In the final scheme of things the potential to provide for all is being squandered as long as it remains in private hands whose sole drive is to accumulate profit. The world’s workers, sons and daughters, who in countries like Britain are entering the universities in increasing numbers, essentially produce the world’s wealth. The capitalist class, here made manifest in the form of those 691 billionaires with their 2.2 trillion dollars, labour themselves did not produce such a sum. Socialism is nothing but the development of a society where the means and the product of labour are owned collectively by the labourers themselves. That means democracy at the workplace level and a system of planning that ensures those 2 billion people with their daily two dollars – or perhaps the 16 thousand children who died of hunger today – have their needs met. Unfortunately advocating such a thing seems to have ruffled a few feathers, which explains the constant and bitter attacks on all aspects of Marxism which have been delivered by every conceivable defender of the existing social order - from the Tory to the Liberal Democrat, from the priest to the University professor. From the very spleen of these attacks, to the fact that they have to be kept up continuously despite the fact that every single one of the pundits in turn claims to have "finally disposed" of Marxism, we can deduce two facts.

First, that the defenders of capitalism recognise in Marxism the most dangerous challenge to their system, and thereby also instantly confess the truth in it, despite all their attempts to "disprove" it. Second, that far from disappearing under the heap of abuse, quack "exposures", and flagrant distortions, the theories of Marx and Engels are steadily gaining ground, particularly within the active layers of the students and workers movement, as increasing numbers of people, under the impact of the crisis of capitalism, strive to discover the real meaning of the forces which shape their lives. Capitalism has once again entered a new world economic crisis resulting in mass unemployment on the lines of the 1930s. Only Marxism has been able to expose the contradictions of capitalism which result periodically in depression and slump. Capitalism has now completely exhausted its historical role in developing the productive basis of society. The need for change is self evident, and the workers and students movement has historically risen time and again to try and enact such change. Despite the claims of some, students are not naturally apathetic or “non-political”; in fact we have a vital role to play in ushering in a better society. The Marxist Society set up here at Kingston University recognises this, and sees Marxism as a vital tool for attaining such a society. But we don’t stop at academic study, or blind activism for the sake of activism. By combining theory and practice, we hope to contribute to the wider movement and in doing so take one step closer to a socialist world. All those interested are urged to get in touch. Dan Read KU Marxist Society danreadfreelance@googlemail.com

www.kusu.co.uk

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TRUTH, COMPASION, TOLERANCE. ART EXHIBITON.

On February the 3rd 2010, a beautiful exhibition will be coming to Burgh House, Hampstead for two weeks. It is called the Truth Compassion Tolerance International Art exhibition. Since 2004, the artworks have been displayed in over 200 cities in more than 40 countries worldwide.

WHATS ON ARTICLE

All artists share in common the exercise and meditation discipline Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. Falun Gong is a form of qigong or traditional Chinese exercise for cultivating the mind and body. It consists of five easy-to-learn exercises, including meditation, and the improvement of one’s character by following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. The artworks portray the positive life changes that the artists have experienced through practising Falun Gong. At the same time, the works bring to life the personal accounts of those who have endured the persecution which has been ongoing in China for the last 10 years. Much of what the art depicts is currently unfolding there. In 2004, Professor Zhang Kunlun started to collaborate with artists from around the world who practise Falun Gong to create the artworks for this exhibition. He is a practitioner of Falun Gong and former Director of the Institution of Sculpture at the Shandong Art Institute. He was detained in a re-education through labour camp in China for three months, simply because of his belief. The artists have had similar or parallel experiences, and wanted to voice their concerns, through art, to call for an end to the persecution. The paintings show the steadfast spirit of those who remain compassionate and tolerant under such a harsh persecution. The story is one of beauty, courage, and justice.

EXHIBITION ENTRY IS FREE 34

Inspiring art and a peaceful meditation practise. DATE: TIME: OPEN:

3 - 14 Feb 2010 12 - 5 pm Wed – Sun

PLACE:

Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead. London. NW3 1LT

DIRECTIONS:

Public Transport from Kingston: Train to Waterloo. Northern Line to Hampstead and a 5 minute walk.

WHAT DOES THE KINGSTON FALUN GONG SOCIETY DO? This year, the Kingston Falun Gong Society will be offering free weekly meditation workshops. We currently meet every Thursday from 6:00pm in room KHBS388, in the Kingston Hill Campus. For more information please email: fumi@blue-earth.co.uk or see: www.falundafa.org

www.kusu.co.uk

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THE UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION

foundation that will make the society stronger in years to come. Because we believe that it is vital that the UN society always remain to be a part of Kingston University.

SOCITIES ARTICLE

I heard you won the Society of the Year awards, what do you feel gave your society the edge to win the award? We worked really hard in keeping the society engaged with activities that benefits the members, the community, and the University. We organised a wide range of activities, from fundraising for a number of charities in the local community and internationally to organizing and attending conferences, campaigns and talks on some of the most important issues in the world today. And also our increasing recognition by United Nations - UK our mother board as one of the most active university branch in the UK also played a factor which gave us the edge in winning the society of the year award. I’m also aware that you are using drama to communicate some of the issues facing us today; could you tell us more about that? In collaboration with Junction 49 we aim to create a piece of challenging and powerful theatre with 15 to 20 young people who are currently in full time education, or living in the local community. The play will be about a current global issue of major importance, climate change; it is an attempt to use theatre as a medium to educate ourselves on the issue. This will offer opportunities for us as youth - to not only develop our creative skills, but to also link the idea of creating a piece of theatre to the possibility of social change.

WE CREATE PEACE, NOT ONLY WITHIN OURSELVES BUT ALSO WITHIN OTHERS.

What events do you have lined up for 2010? This year we have a series of events lined up, the first one will be held at the start of term is the human rights festival, an event that we organize with the lecturers at the human rights department to highlight the importance of human rights. After this we have a series 0f fundraising events for refugee action Kingston, WFP, and Save the Children. We also plan to launch an education outreach programme taking human rights education to local schools in the area.

What changes has the UN made this year, and how has this impacted on the student population? I don’t think the United Nations has made changes that have had direct impact on student population, because the focus of the organization has being on ensuring that as young people we inhabit a peaceful , secured and friendly environments where we can learn and grow to reach our fullest potentials in life . By tackling issues such as, climate change, Poverty, Food security, we create peace, not only within ourselves but also within others.

Who would I contact if I wanted to join your society? Visit the student union office at Penrhyn road or Kingston hill and request a form to join a society. You can also email at unakingston@googlemail.com and we can point you to the right direction. It cost just £2 to join the UN society so please feel free to sign up at anytime you will be more than welcome to be a part of us. Please check our facebook group updates on all events. http://www.facebook.com/#/group. php?gid=5987761474

How many members are there in your society? We currently have about 200 registered members.

How do you participate in more global UN issues? I guess we participate in more global UN issues by attending Model United Nation conferences in the UK and abroad. These conferences give us the opportunity to meet like minded young professionals from every corner of the world and to engage with global issues with using the frame work of the UN. This year we plan to attend a many of these conferences starting with the London MUN and travelling across Europe to attend three more conferences in Spain, Germany, and Greece. Where do you see your society heading this year? As most of the current members of the society are graduating this year we are focusing on laying down the necessary

www.kusu.co.uk

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CHILD EXPLOITATION NIGERIA’S WITCH CHILDREN STUDENT ARTICLE

Child exploitation has become a major concern over the years. Different types of exploitation have been enforced upon children in different parts of the world particularly in Asia and Africa. Children are regularly being used in trafficking including sex trafficking, working under poor conditions and not being paid enough money proportionate to the work they have carried out, or being stigmatised and kicked out of the community because of so called religious beliefs, as will be discussed further. In Niger Delta, Nigeria. Numerous numbers of children have been forced out on the streets as well as trafficked as a result of the deep hard belief of child “witches”. Violent conflicts, poverty, abuse, torture, rape, or being abandoned because of HIV/AIDS are all contributors. However this is just one of many issues in this region which play a part and therefore continues to spiral out of control. HIV/ AIDS is a large contributor and because of the lack of resources available to the people of Nigeria, the younger unfortunate generation are suffering as a consequence. According to the United Nations there are 930,000 HIV/AIDS orphans in Nigeria. It is a belief that HIV/AIDS (illnesses), general misfortunes such as divorce or accidents, mental health problems etc are a spread of witchery. A fear of these children who potentially have these troubles is inbred within the community. The community as well as significant people in the society believe the notion that a spiritual spell can be given through the intake of food and drink. The individual who consumes this spell will leave the body to be initiated in a gathering of witches and wizards. The initiated person will then have the power to cause havoc such as causing spread of diseases or bringing bad luck into the society. Suspected witches are treated by various methods of torture including being bathed in acid, abandoned/ discriminated/ ostracized from the community, slaughtered in the forest, poisoned to death, buried alive, chained and tortured in the church. The most common of these is being cast out of the community and as a result many children are sleeping rough on the streets with no food and no one to look after them, bearing in mind these children are as little as 3

42 40

years old. Additionally some of these children are in so much pain because of the torture inflicted on them that forced confessions are made as a result of direct stigmatisation from the community. A recent documentary which aired on Channel 4 in the past year was the Dispatches programme on Channel 4 (Africa’s Witch Children) which investigated these issues in depth. In relation to this, Stepping Stone is a charity set up by Gary Foxcroft the presenter of the Dispatches show named above and is based on the values of protecting vulnerable children in Nigeria. They carry out amazing work to raise funds but more funding from the United Nations and other already developed countries needs to be given in order to prevent and stop this cruel, unkind act against vulnerable children. The Nigerian Government also needs to stop turning a blind eye and support the children and improve resources for the communities. In addition the Human Rights Bill should be implemented for every country to ensure children of all nationalities, races and sexes are to be protected. Remember, children are our future and if we do not do anything now then it will be too late! Article written Lubna Sliti Photography byJean Louis Audebaud (flickr)

www.kusu.co.uk www.kusu.co.uk

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MEET THE EXECUTIVE TEAM! KUSU ARTICLE The part time executive officers are a vital asset to the student union, they represent different groups within the university, thus enhancing the democratic representation within the Students’ Union. The part time execs maintain the student led rhythm which drives the union forward whilst working alongside full time staff members. As part time executive officers, their views and opinions are crucial in the decision making process as well as communicating the students’ unions’ activity to the student population. There are currently 10 part time officer posts, although we are aiming to extend this to 13, also that part of their role is to ensure the union is offering representation and support for the groups they represent.'

Contact details: k0826475@kingston.ac.uk

Subject studying: Business Economics

What inspired you to run for your role?

Contact details: robinus15@gmail.com What inspired you to run for your role? To improve the experience of international students at Kingston University.

What are your goals for the rest of the year? To work on the SOS campaign, attend the International Welcome centre in January (promote the Union and make a warm greeting), help international students with various projects and improve (perhaps run) the International Society. What has been the highlight of your year so far? I’ve been working closely with the Union to promote its values and encourage students to participate in the Annual Students’ Meeting. Worked hard on the SOS campaign. I have also conducted interviews with students to

DANIELA EIGNER Environmental and Ethical Officer

Subject studying: Sustainable Development

DOB: 24/03/1990

Management, leadership, planning, effective communication, diplomacy and organisational skills.

Anyone wishing to take part in the part time execs team should be a committed individual willing to stand and fight for the group he/she is representing. He/she will also need strong time management to partake in meetings and work with students who need help. Finally teamwork and communication are essential, as you must work with large groups and promote the Union’s ideas.

DOB: 22.07.1988

ROBIN BACHOR International Students’ Officer

What skills have you learned from being an executive officer?

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about being a part time exec this year?

r acho

in B

Rob

measure their experience in the university to feedback to the Student Union. What changes would you like to see happen in KUSU this year? • To have more full time/part time officers in the union. • Enhance the training scheme to support and empower part time officers. • To maintain pressure on the university to build a sports hall through stronger campaigns. • Give part time execs the opportunity to attend more university meetings to enhance their knowledge and help them understand the university’s plan of action.

One of the major reasons for running for the position as the Environmental and Ethical Officer was my deep interest in issues connected with environmental sustainability. I am in my second year of studying “Sustainable Development”. In the course of my studies I have been faced with different topics which are helpful in my current role. Being an exec officer, I have the chance to raise awareness about issues which are important for all of us. What skills have you learned from being an executive officer? Teamwork and knowledge about how to get things organised are the major skills everyone learns while working for the Union. Additionally, I have the chance to get a deeper insight into how KUSU works and how it is set up. What are your goals for the rest of the year? For this year, my plans are to co-operate a campaign with the other exec officers but also to carry out my own campaign. During this project, I will try to raise awareness about recycling facilities on and around the halls of residence.

Danie

la Eig ner

What has been the highlight of your year so far?

I always enjoy the exec meetings with all the other members of the Students’ Union. However, the ASM has been the highlight so far. There, I have been able to put through two motions about current environmental issues at University. What changes would you like to see happen in KUSU this year? I am currently taking part in the working group about improvements in the Students’ Union and hope that we will be able to find a good solution for future changes. What would your advice be to anyone thinking about being a part time exec this year? Everyone applying for the role of a part time exec should be enthusiastic about their allocated area. Every exec officer who is willing to put in a significant amount of work for the Union will have a good time and a great experience to use in the future.

www.kusu.co.uk www.kusu.co.uk

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MEETING THE EXECUTIVE TEAM CONTINUED...

Contact details: k0807707@kingston.ac.uk

To be honest, no one else ran for the role, so I thought I would go for it, and profile the role for someone would run for it the following year and make a real difference.

What has been the highlight of your year so far? The highlight of the year for me has been a big blur really! Looking forward to the next elections though, to see someone run for my post that has more experience. I would like to work alongside them to make the post more effective.

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Subject studying: Forensic Science and Criminology

What skills have you learned from being an executive officer?

What inspired you to run for your role?

This year I am going to advertise the role and its importance to us here at Kingston. And get people to care about KUSU come election time; I want to see hundreds, even thousands voting.

My highlight of the year has been having continuous involvement with the ongoing workings of the Students’ Union, including sitting in Exec meetings, the ASM (Annual Students Meeting), campaigns such as the SOS (Support Our Sports) campaign and working with the new Sabbatical team and the Execs.

It would be sad if there was no representation for this minority liberation group in the Union and my predecessor helped me come out and embrace the LGBT community and I wanted to do the same for Kingston University students.

Subject studying: 2nd year Psychology

What are you goals for the rest of the year?

DOB: 30/07/1989

What inspired you to run for your role?

DOB: 15/08/1990

Skills I have learned, time management! It is so important to keep to a schedule, otherwise time flies by before you have had a chance to achieve anything. Further skills I have learned from being a part time executive officer are: planning, teamwork and management.

What has been the highlight of your year so far?

Contact details: christine_daniel@hotmail.co.uk

JODY-LEA GRANT Woman’s Officer

What skills have you learned from being an executive officer?

CHRISTINE DANIEL LGBT Executive Officer

rant

ea G L y Jod

What changes would you like to see happen in KUSU this year? I would like to see more students coming into the Students’ Union and feeding back changes they want to see happen. It should be the students who provoke change and not the board of governors. What would your advice be to anyone thinking about being a part time exec this year? Definitely plan ahead, and really think about what you want to achieve, and when you get the role, stick to your schedule and make sure you do what you set out to achieve! Time goes quick so plan plan plan!

I have learnt that it is difficult to have your opinions voiced, and so I have learnt to speak up and be heard. I have learnt how to communicate better not only with students but with staff. What are you goals for the rest of the year? My goals are to provide more Exec representation around different campuses. Penrhyn Road is the main area of representation for the Students (being that the Students’ Union offices remain there), so it seems that there should be more physical representation over the other campuses.

PART TIME EXECUTIVES NOT ONLY REPRESENT THEIR “GROUPS” BUT THEY ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED AND UPDATED ON THE RUNNING AND WORKS OF THE STUDENTS’ UNION. THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS WHO GIVE UP THEIR TIME AND IF YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN VOLUNTEER FOR YOUR UNION TO MAINTAIN THE ESSENTIAL REPRESENTATION AND ROLE OF THE EXECS, AND THEN I URGE YOU TO RUN IN THE ELECTIONS.

What changes would you like to see happen in KUSU this year? I would like to see KUSU making more of an effort to include and encompass passive students to become more proactive within the Union, whether it’s volunteering or joining another sport, or campaigning, the Union offers so much more than bars and these services need to be used. What would your advice be to anyone thinking about being a part time exec this year? If you believe you can represent your peers actively within the Union and are passionate about politics and democracy, then this role is essential for you.

Ch

ris

tin

eD ani el

www.kusu.co.uk

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STUDENTS FOR THE EXPLORATION OF DEVELOPMENT OF SPACE. KUSEDS is a part of the Kingston University Student Societies and a branch of the UKSEDS (United Kingdom Students for the Exploration of Development of Space). KUSEDS was formed in 1989 right after the UKSEDS was formed and was founded by Dr Chris Welch (Senior Lecturer at Kingston University leading Astronautics Field). ‘I thought a student Space Society seemed like a good idea for the education, inspiration, involvement and achievement of Kingston University students,’ said Dr Welch. KUSEDS celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and chose to do so with an opening lecture by its founder based on Space Electric Propulsion. This society was mainly formed to provide an organized network for the students interested in space related projects and a way to engage with fellow classmates. The society demonstrates social events revolving around Space stream such as lectures from significant figures in space industry and agencies, space and scifi movie nights and Lego Mind storms learning and development. These sessions can be both physical construction as well as virtual development. The society is actively involved with UKSEDS current activities and we highly motivate our members to attend the versatile UKSEDS Annual Conference. Students can also use KUSEDS as a stepping stone to a space-related career. Being actively involved in KUSEDS can put students in touch with many members of the space technology; this will allow them to develop the necessary skills and experience to take leadership roles in their future career.

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7th November 2009 UKSEDS held its annual conference in Surrey and as always, this was a day greatly anticipated by all KUSEDS members. The conference featured lectures by Space scientists as well as companies such as Virgin Galactic, ESA and ASTRIUM. Adam Baker from Virgin Galactic and Dr Dave Parker –Director of ‘Space Science and Exploration’ both were very inspirational lectures, which undoubtedly gave a clear insight into the Space Industry- along with several other lectures presented by other lecturers. The important part of the day included exhibitions of these companies where members were given the opportunity to ask their ‘dream company’ for contact details and most importantly, for graduate job opportunities. 16th December 2009 Sci-Fi Party captivated both space and non-space enthusiasts. It was a great night with lots of music and plenty of drinks to go around. More parties to come.

SPEAKERS LINED UP FOR 2010 TO BE ANNOUNCED!


INTERESTED IN ISLAM? SOCIETIES ARTICLE THEN KU’S ISLAMIC SOCIETY IS HERE FOR YOU! Kingston University is home to many Muslims in the student population and with this in mind, the Islamic Society has been serving them for the past decade. It’s run by students for the students with issues overseen by people of higher Islamic knowledge. We are here for ALL students, regardless of religion, sect, gender or nationality! We have an ISOC in every Kingston Uni campus with the sole purpose of serving the Muslim students as well as promoting the Islamic religion to non Muslim students, clearing up any assumptions made about Islam. We structure our way of working around the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah (example) of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. We’re always at the forefront of student activities with Charity Week October 2009, fundraising just over £6000 for medical aid in Somalia, India and Pakistan on behalf of trusted organisation Ummah Welfare Trust with cake stalls and bucket collections. In addition to that, we recently ran our annual Iman Week, consisting of a week of lectures by prominent Islamic scholars and speakers, with the highlight being ex Bad Boy Records US rapper Loon, who came to KU to talk about his journey to embracing Islam. If attending events and lectures on Islam isn’t your thing, then come to our prayer rooms on campus (such as TH10 on Penrhyn Road), where regular prayer congregations are made and weekly study circles. The prayer room is the first point of call for Muslim students to fulfil their religious obligations alongside studies, in a relaxed and friendly environment.

EVENTS We’re currently gearing up for some important upcoming events, such as: Sisters Week 8-12th February A week dedicated to clarifying misconceptions about the honourable status of women in Islam Discover Islam Week: 8–12th March Whatever floats your boat, the KU ISOC has something for everyone.

WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT, THE KU ISOC HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE SO DROP IN ANYTIME! www.kusu.co.uk

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KINGSTON SPORTS! THIS SECTION CONTAINS: SKYDIVING, TOUCH RUGBY, NETBALL, SKIING,FIVE-A-SIDE FOOTBALL AND CYCLING

CONTACT THE STUDENT SPORTS OFFICE: TEL: 0208 417 2230 EMAIL: KUSU.SPORT@KINGSTON.AC.UK FOR MORE INFORMATION SPORT AT KINGSTON: SUSIE FINNIS SPORTS CO-ORDINATOR KUSU.SPORT@KINGSTON.AC.UK 0208 417 2230 RHIANNON HISCOCKS VP ACTIVITIES ACTIVITIES@KINGSTON.AC.UK 0208 417 8223

STUDENT OFFICERS YOUR STUDENT OFFICERS ARE COMING TO A SITE NEAR YOU! Although the Students’ Union is based on Penrhyn road, we will now be regularly available on every campus, so if you want to come in and have a chat/need advice/ information, please do not hesitate!

9am - 1pm Monday Tuesday

Kingston Hill Roehampton Vale

Knights Park

Kingston Hill

Roehampton Vale

Wednesday

Thursday Penrhyn Road office: Above The Space bar Kingston Hill office: Above Hannaford’s bar Roehampton Vale office: Next to the canteen Friday Knights Park office: Next to the canteen

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1pm - 5pm

Knights Park


THE DIVE OF YOUR LIFE SPORTS ARTICLE At fresher’s fayre: you do everything, join everything, and get as much free stuff as you can get! That’s exactly what I did, which included the Kingston University Skydiving club. Due to a very cheap price for it as well, I bought 5 jumps. The day arrived, and it was an early start to get to a small foggy airfield in the middle of Oxfordshire for 8am. Registration and 6 hours of ground school was going to pay off for my first ever jump, solo at that, so I was jumping on my own, hence the long training earlier in the day. Finally, we were called to jump, 10 of us, the maximum the plane could hold, and it was the last lift of the day, before nightfall, so we were jumping with a picture-perfect sunset. Boarding the plane had to be done in weight order for balance, and I was one of the last to get on, extremely excited by this point. Had a rush to get on the aircraft, as the engines were still running, and the excitement went as soon as the thrust from the engines hit me! Sheer terror from then on feeling the force of just the engines on idle! The door closed and we took off in a plane which wasn’t much more than 2 engines with wings! It was a steep takeoff, just to add to the butterflies making my stomach churn! Then the instructor opened the door, I was 2 inches from 3500 feet without so much as a seatbelt! 2 people jumped before me, to see people jump out of a plane is just unnatural to say the least. Then it was my turn...shuffled forward on my bottom and legs resting out of the plane. I was sitting on the edge of a plane. The wind rushed past, and couldn’t hear anything. I tried to assume the right exit position to exit the aircraft, but when the instructor told me to jump, a slight hesitation washed over me. Forcing that aside, I pushed off the plane with my hand. 6 hours of ground school and what to do was the last thing

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I was thinking about. More like “I have just jumped from a perfectly good plane and I’m now in free-fall at 80mph to the ground below.” Due to the awkward exit I managed, I was falling back first, with the parachute between me and the ground. The canopy automatically opened, but due to the awkward position, my feet got tangled in the lines, forcing me to be turned upside down. “Bother” I thought to myself, only, not in so many words. Ground school taught if limbs were caught in the lines, to cut away the canopy and open the reserve. But because I had the ground school as the last thing on my mind, I did nothing, felt nothing, and experienced nothing. Terror and excitement left me, feeling just acceptance. Somehow, my feet fell out of the lines and I was eventually the right way up. Good, this is when ground school kicked in, check the canopy for malfunctions, see if I could control it as I expected. Everything worked. This had now turned into the best day of my life.

Floating now, nothing below, nothing above, surrounded by white and blue with the Oxfordshire countryside span out in the autumn sunset acting as the backdrop. This was the life. Turning around and having fun whilst parachuting, nothing has ever matched the feeling of that moment. The time came to prepare to land, trying to avoid the busy M40 motorway just meters beyond the drop zone, I looked at my altimeter to check how high I was, manoeuvred to position myself in the drop zone, and the landing was comparable to a feather floating down and settling onto a marshmallow, so soft, so gentle, perfect. It was at that moment, when it all hit me, and I caught ‘the bug.’ Now I want to learn more advanced skydiving from higher altitudes. Since then I have completed 3 more jumps, and I am now training to pull my own parachute myself. I can’t recommend skydiving enough, and I have already talked family and friends into doing it as well. By Stuart Askew

www.kusu.co.uk

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TOUCH RUGBY - TRY IT! SPORTS ARTICLE KINGSTON UNIVERSITY ARE INTRODUCING TOUCH RUGBY TO THEIR SPORTING CALENDAR AND WANT YOU TO BE INVOLVED! Brief Introduction of Touch Rugby The objective of the game is for each team to score ‘tries’ and to prevent the opposition from scoring. The ball may be passed, knocked or handed between on-side players of the attacking team, who may, in turn, run or otherwise move with the ball in an attempt to gain territorial advantage and score. Defending players prevent the attacking team from gaining a territorial advantage by touching the ball carrier. Either defending or attacking players may initiate the touch. Teams can consist of up to a maximum of 14 players, 6 on the field at any one time. A try is awarded when an attacking player places the ball on the ground, on or over the defending teams’ try line. A try is worth 1 point.

Touch rugby is a minimal contact sport that is played throughout the world by men, women and children of all ages and skill levels. The game emphasizes running, agility and ball handling skills such as passing and catching. Touch is similar to rugby (union and league) but without the tackling, scrumming, rucking, mauling, lineouts and kicking. Touch is easy to learn and a great way to get in shape!

FREE TASTER SESSION FOR ALL ABILITIES AND GENDERS 18TH FEB 2010 TOLWORTH COURT 6PM – 8PM GRAB A FRIEND AND TRY A NEW FUN AND INTERESTING ACTIVITY! For more information please contact the Sports Co-ordinator on 0208 417 2230 or email kusu.sport@kingston.ac.uk

NETBALL CLUB PARTY TO RAISE MONEY FOR RIGHT TO PLAY! SPORTS ARTICLE On Wednesday 2nd December 2009, the Kingston University Netball Club invited the rest of the student body to be entertained at local club Ama-gi for a night of fun and excitement. The girls worked hard in promoting the night and organising special deals and events within the club. This special event was arranged by the girls to raise money for their chosen charity ‘Right To Play’. All their hard work paid off and they managed to raise an enormous £910. Nicole ‘Jobbo’ Borg, President of Kingston University Netball Club, commented “I am really proud of all the effort and hard work of the club committee and members in organising such an event. ‘Right To Play’ is a great charity and we really hope the money we raise can make a difference.” The Netball Club are arranging more events in the coming year and hope to raise lots more money and to get as many students involved as possible, so watch this space. ‘Right To Play’ is an international humanitarian organisation that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, ‘Right To Play’ trains local community leaders as Coaches to deliver it’s programs in more than 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Right To Play programs target the most marginalized including girls, the disabled, children affected by HIV and AIDS, street children, former child combatants and refugees.

If you would like to get more information or wish to be involved in fundraising activities please contact kusu.sport@kingston.ac.uk or alternatively pop up to the Students’ Union and speak to a student representative.

www.kusu.co.uk

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KU SNOWSPORTS WINTER HOLIDAY REPORT SPORTS ARTICLE What is KUSS? KUSS stands for Kingston University Snow Sports, and it is one of the biggest and most active clubs at Kingston. KUSS is open to everyone, from complete beginners through to the freestyle team. We tend to host weekly events - whether it’s a trip to the indoor snow dome at Milton Keynes, an inter university competition, or just enjoying a laid back beverage at Woody’s bar, KUSS always has something on the cards. It is never too late to get involved, so to find out more, visit our website www.kuss.me and be sure to follow the links to our facebook group to be kept up to date with the latest info! KUSS Winter Holiday Report Almost one hundred KUSS members have recently returned from one of the biggest and best ski holidays the club has ever run - it really was an unforgettable week. The busses departed from Penrhyn Road on the 1st January. After a short eighteen-hour journey, the coaches rolled into a very snowy Les Arcs, located high in the French Alps. The panoramic view of snow-capped peaks all around was breath-taking, even for a seasoned vet! After

retiring to their rooms for a well deserved sleep, everyone awoke to glorious sunshine and fantastic snow conditions. It couldn’t get any better! After a long day of skiing, it was time for the first of many big nights out. The theme was fancy dress, fancy dress. What is this you ask? I think the picture says it all. One of the best things about ski a resort is you can dress up in ways most would never dream of in Kingston, because most people there are students out to have fun; the more ridiculous the better! That night the snow was heavy. When it was all said and done, there was around 50cm of fresh snow! I said conditions couldn’t get much better, but they just had! The skiing and après ski continued to be phenomenal all week. On Wednesday night everyone stayed on the slopes all night for the infamous Les Arcs mountain meal. It couldn’t have been a better evening for it; the sun set behind Mont Blanc turning the mountains fuchsia, and the valley was blanketed in a duvet of white fluffy clouds. It was the perfect back drop for some really cheesy holiday snaps! (Jess shown below) By the time the sun had sunk the festivities were well underway, and after a bottle of wine or two, the impressive Raclette dinner was brought out. Soon after, the lights went down, turning the restaurant into a premiere nightclub. Everyone clambered onto the tables and stomped around in their ski boots, having a toe tapping knee slapping alpine romp! When everyone was all danced out, we made our way outside to don our snow sliding equipment of choice and make the seemingly treacherous decent. Despite being pitch black and the copious amounts of alcohol, everyone made it down in one piece! It was such an unforgettable experience. On the final night there was an awards ceremony at The Red Hot Saloon, one of the most frequented bars on the trip. The awards kicked off with one hundred Jager Bombs

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lining the bar, and everyone drinking to the week. Those who had excelled in a wide variety of disciplines were then awarded some great prizes and the party commenced for the last time of the week. Everyone celebrated late into the night, struggling to believe that we would be on the short coach journey home that time the following night. But before that there was one more treat in store. The final morning saw a KUSS first; a “Peak to Creek” style race from the top of the mountain, all the way down to The Mont Blanc bar and restaurant for a full English breakfast - the perfect cure for the previous night’s debauchery! In the words of Gordon Ramsey... Les Arcs, DONE!

Upcoming Easter Holiday! If any of that sounded appealing you will be pleased to know you don’t have to wait a year for your next KUSS foreign escapades. We are heading back to France on the 27th March for another week of fun. This week is known as BUSC Main Event and students from all over the UK will be in attendance. It has a festival atmosphere and is stupidly fun. Go to www.kuss.me and follow the link to book onto this trip. It is only £350 so there is no cheaper way to spend a week in the Alps. I look forward to seeing some new faces this semester, our chilled out socials at our sponsor bar Woody’s are a great place to come and meet members and get involved. Richard Brendon

www.kusu.co.uk

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INTRAMURAL 5-ASIDE FOOTBALL LEAGUE AUTUMN 2009

NOVICE AND EXPERT RIDERS WELCOME! SPORTS ARTICLE

SPORTS ARTICLE On the evening of Tuesday the 8th December, this season’s KU Intramural 5-a-side football league competition reached its climax! The reigning champions Compensated Pass made it to finals night for the fourth consecutive season and were joined by two new sides the Outsiders and Dynamo Kingston to face off in a Round Robin style eliminator followed by the final itself. The first three matches of the round robin prelim were all very close, with no game to be settled by more than a two goal advantage. Outsiders took the advantage by beating their fellow newcomers Dynamo Kingston by a single goal to nil. The Outsiders went on to secure their place in the final by following up with another closely fought 2-1 win over the current champions Compensated Pass. This made for an exciting penultimate match between Compensated Pass and Dynamo Kingston, with the winners earning a place

in the final and the losers being knocked out. Despite a brave effort from Dynamo Kingston, Compensated Pass prevailed and headed into a final of which no-one could pick a winner, the current champions against the very impressive qualifying league winners the Outsiders. In a fantastically close and entertaining final which provided 7 goals, the Outsiders just managed to make themselves the third name engraved on the trophy after edging it 4-3. The next competition will begin on March 2nd 2009, for further information on entries – please either pop in to the Fitness Centre, call on 020 8417 2414, email j.heath@kingston.ac.uk or visit the Sport & Recreation pages on Staff / Studentspace. PLAYERS: DIMITAR VALEV, STEFAN ENGLEDER, SLAVCHO BARZIYSKI, MICHAEL OMMEGANCK, AGNEEL GOGNA, AHMED HARFOVF, JAMES ABOV

YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN OTHER UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Support the charity Right to Play! 5th July - 7th July This is the charity’s BIG event for the year, the target is for 300 riders, and the aim is to benefit over 16,000 children around the world. Simply this is the biggest event Right to Play has ever undertaken and is an event that is mass participatory fun, challenging, an experience of a lifetime and you have the chance to take part.

THE OUTSIDERS CELEBRATE THEIR FIRST KU INTRAMURAL TITLE!

Kingston University's team is going to be made up mainly of novices but if you are an expert cyclist don't let that put you off, there'll be plenty to challenge you too! We'll train together and raise our money together over the next 6 months and aim to have the best coordinated University team there! Check out the details on the link below: www.students4righttoplay.org.uk If you want to get involved or want more details email Rhiannon VP Activities in the Students' Union on: activities@kingston.ac.uk

www.kusu.co.uk

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WANT TO BE PART OF THE TEAM?

SUB-EDITOR

POLITICS EDITOR

The editor’s right hand man. You would be second in command. The Sub Editor has to be passionate, with strong time management, impeccable communication skills and understanding of a wide array of issues which effect Students today.

Should have a strong interest in politics, in particular how politics affects students. You will focus on political issues both on an internal as well as a national level. You will cover breaking stories which have an impact on students.

ONLINE EDITOR

MUSIC EDITOR

LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Will be in charge of the online version of the magazine. You must be up to date with changes in media with knowledge regarding online communication,eg: video interviews, pod casts, music and new media.

To cover upcoming events. with excellent research skills and know where to find out about music events/albums that will be released in the future.

Someone who is well cultured with a good communication skills. You will find stories on fashion, student life, food and nightlife.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

FILM EDITOR

PROOF READERS

Must have a passion for photography, pictures can tell stories. You will work closely with the Creative Director to capture pictures which are relevant to current issues and featured stories. You must have your own access to a high quality camera.

Must have a great passion and understanding of film, you will write in depth reviews about and up and coming films and cover developments in the industry. You will need strong writing and communication skills.

A basic yet vital role in maintaining the calibre of writing by eliminating any spelling or grammatical errors. You will proof read the articles in the magazine before it is sent to print.

AVAILABLE POSITIONS: TO APPLY CONTACT:

kusucomms@kingston.ac.uk

www.kusu.co.uk/fresh FRESH magazine is the official Students’ Union magazine, it is your bridge to the Students’ Union and beyond. Written by students for students, FRESHmag is an expression of truth & creativity to satisfy your curiosity & understanding. Fresh magazine was launched in 2008. In 2008-2009 there were two issues, autumn & winter. This year there shall be 3, autumn, winter & spring. The magazine is aimed at a student population of 23,000 students in Kingston University, with up to 10,000 copies printed each year as well as an online facility designed to enhance online readership. FRESH is the definition of Student expression. If you feel you have what it takes to become a member of the publishing team apply by sending us a cover letter to: kusucomms@kingston.ac.uk (300-700) words long telling us about yourself, which role you are applying for and what makes you ideal for the role. If you have a blogspot, word press, or my space profile do not hesitate to feature the link in the cover letter. Although none of these positions are paid, you have an opportunity to engage with your fellow students and express yourself in a way which is truly unique. It also gives great experience if you’re looking to pursue a career in media from publishing to journalism, communication or creative writing, FRESH is your platform! 59

SPORT EDITOR In charge of covering all major sports events within Kingston as well as national developments in sports such as the olympics. Applicants must have a passion for sports and will have to keep themselves up to date with any relevant sports news.

CURRENT TEAM EDITOR

Hassan Barakat

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hannah Springett

APPLY BY THE 19TH FEB!

www.kusu.co.uk

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STOP, NO. STOP PLEASE, NO, PLEASE. PLEASE STOP TAKING UNBOOKED MINICABS.

Whether you approach the driver, or they approach you, there’s no record of the journey and you’re putting yourself in danger. Text CAB to 60835 and we’ll use GPS to text your three nearest cab numbers.


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