Issue 4; 2009 - 2010
Feeling Blue Instead of Yellow The Diocesean Synod pass budget, ending Chaplaincy on campus Chaplain ‘Yellow’ to lose his job as Church recession-proofs Carla Bradman
Funding for Southampton University’s Chaplaincy has been cut, as the latest budget plan is passed by the Diocesean Synod (the council that runs the Church of England in the Winchester area), to help decrease the large deficit the Diocese is facing. The posts of Chaplain to the Deaf, Chaplain to Southampton Solent University and the Chaplain to Further Education Colleges in Bournemouth and Poole have been abolished, with Reverend Simon ‘Yellow’ Stevens’ post as Chaplain of the University of Southampton also cut. This will lead to ramifications on the provision of any Chaplaincy on the University of Southampton grounds, as the Anglican community provides the largest part of the financial backing. The Chaplaincy building on University Road is also home to other religious groups that do
not have their own venue. The Christian Union, Student Christian Movement, Catholic Society and Jewish Society will no longer have a suitable location on campus to hold events. The end of the Ecumenical Chaplaincy at the University may also end the growing ministry amongst students at the University. A protest was planned for Thursday 26th November outside Winchester Cathedral, but was cancelled because a law from the 1500s prohibits any protest to take place on Cathedral grounds. A meeting with Reverend Bishop Michael of Winchester was also offered if the protest was cancelled. The Reverend reassured the students and alumni of the University who were present that the vote would not be a yes/no vote, but that there would be various modifications proposed and that there would be much discussion. Despite hope for a change to the budget, on
Saturday 28th November the Synod passed the budget through unamended. This means that the funding for the Chaplain and Chaplaincy will be withdrawn, an obvious disappointment to the Chaplaincy community in Southampton. Many ammendments were tabled, but were all vetoed due to technicalities and so were not voted upon. Those who campaigned against the budget cut are said to feel betrayed by the Diocesan Secretary and by the Bishop of Winchester, due to the continued reassurance they gave in meetings held with them, where they were assured that ammendments could be made and that a full debate would be occuring. Although not explicitly lied to, they feel that the comments made by both the Diocesan Sercretary and the Bishop of Winchester were ‘highly misleading’. The work of the Chaplain and the Chaplaincy is inseparable, and it would be hard for the Chaplaincy to return to the University at this level. Reverend Stevens, widely-known to students on campus as ‘Yellow’, is likely to be made redundant and homeless, with a family of three young children and a wife to support. A friendly face to students and popular with many regardless of religious belief, vulnerable students are often referred to the Chaplaincy as the community is a supportive environment for them, taking pressure off University services like the councelling service and the Students’ Union Advice and Information Centre (SUAIC). Every day during term time students can be found working and socialising inside the Chaplaincy, or using the services of the Chaplains to enhance bible studies or participating in confidential conversations on spiritual or emotional matters. The group behind the protest, who also started a petition to support their argument, will now turn their efforts towards finding alternative funding for the Chaplaincy, as they feel unable to trust the Diocese to keep their word in finding alternative funding. One direction in which they hope to fund the continuation of Chaplaincy is through the financial support of current students and alumni of the University. You can donate by selecting either a one-off or regular donation online. http://www.savesotonchaplaincy.co.uk
Thursday 3rd December 2009
Politics and Features
As the leaders of the ‘free’ world meet in Copenhagen to review the Kyoto Agreement Politics take a closer look at the conference and Features present a framework for the University of Southampton to become sustainable
Page 6 Page 12
Features and Sport
Courageous Castaway Ben Fogle speaks about his extraordinary experiences Features hear of his experiences with flesheating disease Leishmaniasis and Sport report on Ben Fogle’s sporting exploits and exhibitions
Page 10 Page 21
University’s Servers Struggle with Wireless Demands Jessica Fuhl After weeks of unreliable internet access at Hartley library, the University’s has admitted that their servers are unable to cope with the amount of students connecting online every day on campus. A representative of iSolutions, the University’s provider of computing facilities, has admitted that something needs to be done. When asked about when the internet will be consistently working throughout the day at Hartley library, he said: ‘if you’re looking for reliable, stable internet I’m not too sure…I think we might get another server but I don’t know when’. He continued, ‘the system is due to be replaced, we originally weren’t
depending on so many students using it.’ The response will not be appreciated by many students frustrated with the erratic internet connection on campus. Third-year Politics student Jo Shipley explains the difficulties of not being able to access the internet at the library. She said: ‘It’s really awkward to plan your day around working at the library, and lug your laptop and books up to campus to realise that you can’t get most of what you want done because you can’t get online.’ She continued: ‘It’s frustrating because there are a lot of important deadlines in your third year, and a lot of the time I have to work at Hartley instead of home because I need to use short-loan books for my dissertation. Surely being able to
have internet access at the library is something that is imperative for students?’ The university has been experiencing problems with the wireless connection on campus since the end of the last academic year. Most students visiting at peak times have found themselves unable to access the internet. Certain areas – such as the top floor - seem only able to provide a connection at off-peak times. Currently, the university uses six servers to provide internet access across campus, including over 1,400 library seats at Hartley. The representative at iSolutions has recommended that students try using a network cable to reach an internet connection at Hartley, as this uses a
different system to the wireless connections. He also added: ‘the University’s server is split across the campus, only half of which is located on the library side of University road.’ He recommended that if students would like to access a better internet connection on campus, then to use the Murray building or the University’s Student Union. The advice will not reassure students of the University, particularly as end of semester deadlines loom. Furthermore, as exams approach, the Hartley library sees a significant increase in students visiting every day. How will the University’s network cope then? Jo Shipley echoes students’ opinion across the University when she says ‘more needs to be done’.
WessexScene Editor Carla Bradman email@example.com
Design Editor Jacob Deane
Assistant Editor Lydia Teague
News Dominic Falquero Jazmine Sherman firstname.lastname@example.org Politics Peter Apps email@example.com Features Gareth Brading Wendy Oloya firstname.lastname@example.org Arts Caroline Evans arts@ wessexscene.co.uk
Fashion Lucy Austen fashion@ wessexscene.co.uk
Science Emma Stuart science@ wessexscene.co.uk
Travel Polly Bennett travel@ wessexscene.co.uk
Lifestyle Sarah Colah Jenni Palmer email@example.com Sport Daniel Webb Charlotte Woods firstname.lastname@example.org VP Media and Communications Jamie Ings email@example.com
Mike Fisher, Jessica Fuhl, Nicola Stewart.
Marina Ansari, Leila Arshad, Lydia Block, Jake Cruikshank, Ellie Cundy, Natasha Downes, Jessica Fuhl, Ben Good, Christine Koay, David McKay, Tom Sherrington, Lucy Smith, Kathryn Snowdon, Jonathan Speed, Nicola Stewart, Rob Sutton, Garrick Taylor, Aris Leo Tsontzos.
www.facebook.com Search for Wessex Scene group and fan page
Inaugurations. New Media. Guardian Conferences. The weeks leading up to the Christmas holidays are always exciting, hectic and fun, and this year is no exception.
With each issue of the Wessex Scene, the pressure increases. Issue 4 has seen the editorial team really focusing on the students of our University, and we expose the stories that you deserve to know about. Our reports on the top-up fees demonstration, the fate of the Chaplaincy and the plight of the Hazara people all demonstrate our responsibility to delivering the truth on campus. In case you have not noticed, we now have a Wessex Scene Blog. Updated on a regular basis, you should check it frequently to hear all about the gossip on campus, the scandalous lives of the Wessex Scene editorial team and short articles that we just cannot wait until printing deadline to tell you about. www.wessexscene.blogspot.com
Friday 13th November was Breast Cancer Awareness day at Kinki. The hard work of Equal Opportunities Officer Emily Rees paid off as they managed to raise £226.46 for charity. Events throughout the day on the concourse raised awareness amongst students of the illness.
The Guardian Media Conference took place this year in Kings Cross on Wednesday 25 November. Four of us attended some great workshops and hope to implement many of the suggestions that came up during the day. In an investigative journalism masterclass we heard from Paul Lewis, the reporter who broke the story behind Ian Tomlinson’s death
Boogaloo will be axed as a weekly fixture after Saturday 5th December. It may be held monthly in the new year, but this is dependent on whether a better event is created and promoted. If a new event is not introduced then a succession of novelty nights will be implemented. These are likely to include plenty of roller discos, silent discos and the possibility of a murder mystery club night too. Voting begins for JCR elections on Thursday 3 December at 9am. Results will be announced on Friday 4 September at 8pm in the Stags Head, followed by an after party at Kinki. A quick moment of festive slushiness - a thank you to all of the editorial team for all of their hard work this year. They have gone above and beyond any possible expectations, attending long weekly editorial meetings, spending hours in the claustrophobic void that is the Wessex Scene office and putting their all into every issue. Each and every one is fantastic and I hope you enjoy a few weeks off!
We were educated, inspired, amazed and excited. Unfortunately it also became clear that you need to be an Oxbridge graduate to make it in the media though.
On Monday 23rd November the Vice-Chancellor’s Inauguration took place in the Turner Sims. External stakeholders of the University, National MPs and members of the press were invited to hear Professor Donald Nutbeam speak. The speech elaborated on an article written by the Vice-Chancellor regarding the narrow choice of subjects available to students who continue in the education system past the age of 16, which was printed in the Guardian a week prior to the inauguration. They wore their fancy gowns and it was all quite special. Read more about it in news.
Surge attended the Student Radio Awards (SRAs) on Tuesday 24 November. They won a bronze award for technical achievement,
which was presented to Jason Allen. The Surge committee, old and new, partied the night away at the indigO2 arena in Greenwich, London. The awards were presented by Fearne Cotton and Scott Mills.
Fire safety was the theme of the day on Friday 6th November. As part of the Fire Kills government campaign, there was a chip-pan fire demonstration on the union concourse. The point of the day? Fire kills, so be careful you students out there.
Union Council also took place on Monday 23rd November and was the last meeting of term. I would love to be able to tell you lots of interesting information, but unfortunately it was just as boring as you could possibly imagine. A motion was passed that allows President of the Students’ Union Steve O’Reilly to go on a skiing holiday. It was exhilarating.
at the G20 protests in April. The session gave an insight into how new forms of reporting, citizen-journalism and the rise of Twitter and YouTube can all combine to produce breaking news. Lewis answered questions from students throughout, and it was posed whether only an established publication like the Guardian could produce such scoops. Considering that it was a video made by our Politics editor Peter Apps that started Lewis’ investigation, I think it is fair to say that the power of student media can in fact be far more considerable than we originally think.
I would like to wish all our readers a happy and healthy new year. See you in 2010 where we have some amazing plans up our sleeves. February’s issue especially looks set to be unlike anything you have ever seen. No word of a lie.
Blog Poll Results
Should the University be making more of an effort to become a ‘green’ University?
Graduating from University this year? Want to get paid to interview your course mates for The Times Graduate Survey? Send an email with your name and course to: firstname.lastname@example.org The Students’ Union have started recruiting for contestants to represent the University in University Challenge. Now in the second round of auditions, 20 students will be whittled down to 8 before the Christmas holidays. The chosen students will then face preliminary stages at the BBC headquarters in London in the new year.
This month we ask: Should the Union extend it’s licence, so that the Cube is allowed extended opening hours? Place your vote at: www.wessexscene.blogspot.com
Postal Workers Defend Public Service
Recent strike action by Royal Mail employees is emblematic of wider struggles against payment cuts and possible privatisation James Thompson In October, a long-standing dispute between employees and management in Royal Mail erupted into large-scale strike action involving more than 120,000 workers. The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents Royal Mail employees, voted three-to-one for strike action, after management broke many of the promises made in the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement. With Royal Mail managers, politicians and the media all decrying the potential disruption to the nation’s Christmas post, the more fundamental issues surrounding the dispute were barely mentioned. For years, Royal Mail bosses have followed a policy of dismantling vital parts of the public service. Management also wants to limit the inﬂuence of workers in the company’s decisionmaking process, despite having unambiguously agreed to these demands in 2007. Having exhausted all other means of communicating their grievance to their employers, and facing unbearable work increases and pay cuts, Royal Mail employees had no other choice but to walk out from their jobs in coordinated strike action. Despite the fact that Royal Mail is proﬁtable (making £320 million proﬁt in 2008/2009), management describes its policy of cuts and service reductions as “modernisation”.
In 2007, for instance, Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier was paid £1,256,000 for cutting 45,000 jobs and closing around 4,600 post ofﬁces in that year alone. Whilst Crozier received a pay increase amounting to 26% that year, ordinary postal workers were bullied into accepting lower pay, pension cuts, increased workloads and longer working hours. Management’s policy of “modernisation” is, like so many expressions in modern politics, a euphemism. The policy of “modernisation” espoused by Royal Mail bosses and repeated in the press actually refers to shifting the balance of power within the organisation away from postal workers and taxpayers, towards management and
private interests. Royal Mail’s policy is ultimately intended to be a precursor to full-scale privatisation. In fact, it would be accurate to describe Royal Mail as semi-privatised already, since many delivery businesses use the public service infrastructure to get packages to their ﬁnal destination – making proﬁt for shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer. Postal workers are fully aware of the importance of a public postal service. If Royal Mail is completely privatised, then the cost of delivery is likely to increase – especially to areas where there is low demand – meaning that Britain’s proud tradition of having an affordable and universal mail network will be lost. Royal Mail bosses argue that “modernisation” and “restructuring” of the service is necessary to keep the company competitive. Postal workers are not opposed to modernising the service, however, but insist that the current management are less interested in modernising, than they are in giving themselves lavish salaries and selling the service off to private businesses. The managerial culture at Royal Mail meant that workers were deprived of any say in how the public service should be run. But who could have a better idea of how a postal service should be run, other than the postal workers themselves? The outcome of this period of strike action by the CWU has been an interim agreement between workers and Royal Mail management. Although the dispute is far from resolved, a number of concessions were made by the employer, whose proﬁts and reputation were threatened by further strike action in the run-up to Christmas. Although Royal Mail bosses had attempted to marginalise the role of workers in decisionmaking, the strike has halted this attack. Facility time for union representatives, recently cut by management, has once again been reinstated in some areas. Another small victory for workers concerns overtime. Employees will once again be entitled to work overtime, when management had previously wanted to employ cheaper, lower-skilled temporary workers instead. Nonetheless, uncertain times lie ahead for both the Royal Mail workers and the public postal service. The interim agreement is a temporary solution to a fundamental problem: namely, a speciﬁc culture of management at Royal Mail, whose ultimate aim is to dismantle the postal
Students branded ‘out of control’ Jazmin Sherman
The Daily Echo, Southampton’s local newspaper, has recently published various articles on the ‘disorderly behavior’ of students from both Southampton and Solent Universities. The paper has described student conduct as ‘violent’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘disruptive’. Southampton locals and ofﬁcials have branded this year’s student population as the ‘worst the city as ever seen’. Council members and police ofﬁcials are concerned over a rise in ‘alcohol fueled’ violence which has caused a community uproar. The Daily Echo reported that incidents have ‘increased by 66 percent in three months.’
infrastructure for political purposes and ﬁnancial bonuses. It is likely that Royal Mail bosses will resume their policy of “slash and burn” (cutting jobs and services) after the Christmas period. Despite the traditionally close ties between the Labour party and the Communication Workers’ Union, the current government is committed to a policy of privatisation of public services. With the Labour government unwilling to stand up for postal workers’ rights and conditions, it is unsurprising that CWU members voted overwhelmingly to stop providing funds to the Labour party. But with the Conservatives widely predicted to win the general election next year, the full privatisation of Royal Mail is looking increasingly likely. The argument that private companies are more efﬁcient than government - and will pass this beneﬁt to service users - has been demonstrated false time and time again. Recently, for example, price increases of up to 10% have been announced in unregulated fares on the privatised rail network, whilst rail bosses have paid themselves extravagant salaries and bonuses. As the case of Royal Mail has shown, managers like Adam Crozier are rewarded for dismantling public services, so that the most proﬁtable parts can be sold off for private gain. Meanwhile, the taxpayer is left to pick up the bill for the costly parts of essential services. The recent events at Royal Mail are emblematic of a wider struggle between workers and taxpayers and management and private interests.
Police believe that the ‘spike in crime’ is directly related to the booze price drop fuelled by clubs, bars and pubs competing for cheapest prices to lure students. Although students are being labeled as the ‘worst ever’ the focus has been on the source of the problem: cheap booze. It is believed that the increase in bad student behavior can be blamed on the incredibly cheap cost of booze, which Police and council members think has also created a surge in crime. Many are suggesting that a rise in alcohol prices would deter alcohol abuse, and therefore, discourage the ‘anti-social’ behavior issues that are harmful to our society. The Daily Echo notes that health experts have criticized the “pocket money prices” of booze, as they believe it leads to alcohol abuse, which has damaging affects on one’s health. When approached by The Daily Echo Sarah Matthews, from the British Liver Trust, said that:
‘55 people a week in Southampton were admitted to hospital because of alcohol’. She believes that bar and clubs need to take measures into their own hands and promote alcohol responsibly. Matthews goes on to say that, ‘There is no denying that there is a clear link between cheap alcohol and the amount we drink’.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The South African sports ministry has conﬁrmed that Olympic champion Caster Semenya will be able to keep her 800-metre gold medal. Controversy arose after incomplete test results were leaked which brought into question Semenya’s gender. The International Association of Athletics Federations has also permitted the 18-year-old athlete to retain her prize money. Semenya came under scrutiny in Berlin after winning at the World Championships with a two second lead, setting the fastest time of the year. Sports ofﬁcials have condemned the scandal internationally and the IAAF was accused of violating Semenya’s privacy.
This month Cumbria has dealt with the most severe ﬂooding in its history. The county is now facing the aftermath of the ﬂooding and chief constable of Cumbria police, Craig Mackey, has warned it could be “years” before parts of the county recover. The BBC reported that six bridges have been destroyed, 16 bridges have been closed or destroyed and 2 5 roads are out of use. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that emergency funding to help rebuild bridges and roads would be made available to local authorities via the Department of Transport.
The Ugly Four members of a gang in Peru have been arrested in relation to the disappearances of up to 60 people in the Huanuco and Pasco regions. The gang is reported to have been killing in order to sell the human fat and tissue for use in Europe cosmetically, with the product reaching up to £9000 a litre. At the news conference where the story broke, reporters were shown two bottles containing human body fat. Felix Burga, the head of Peru’s police criminal division, said there were indications that ‘an international network trafﬁcking human fat’ was operating from Peru. The group has been referred to as the Pishtacos, after an ancient Peruvian legend of killers who attacked people on lonely roads, and murdered them for their fat.
New Diploma Causes Stir Issues mount as universities fail to recognise the qualification on its own Natasha Downes The Government has introduced a new Diploma that students can do at school or college, which currently has a choice of up to 10 subjects available. The Diploma’s aim is to give students more vocational skills and knowledge in their profession of interest. The Diploma seeks to give the students a variety of options for both work and further education. The Government has spent millions funding an advertisement campaign, to promote the new Diploma as ‘opening the doors to university and work’. The advertisement has received much critical attention and been ruled misleading by the official watchdog. The advert is suggested to be misleading because of the statement, ‘When you’re thinking about what qualifications to take, have a look at the Diploma…a qualification for 14-19 year olds, that’s accepted by all universities…’.
The Advertising Standards Authority said the adverts were misleading because not all universities accepted all five Diploma courses. However, the Department for Children, Schools and Families rejected this verdict saying that it had worked with universities to make sure that they were happy with the campaign and ‘all universities have said that they will accept an Advanced Diploma for entry onto a degree course’. The new Diploma offers up to 15 lines of learning. The University of Southampton, along with other universities, has accepted the first five diplomas: Construction, Media, Engineering, Information Technology and Society. The popular course choice, Midwifery, accepts
a Diploma in Society, Health and Development but the student must also have one A- Level (General studies not included). Undergraduate Chemistry accepts an Advanced Diploma in Engineering at grade B alongside one A-level in Chemistry at grade A. An English Literature degree accepts all five lines of Diploma as well as a GCSE/ A-level grade B. The new Diploma seeks to widen access to University for students from varied backgrounds. In reference to the emphasis on education as inclusive, the Government has been stressing the importance of the context of each individual: ‘A-levels are not sufficient to identify the aptitude and potential of all those who should benefit from a university education’. The framework for higher education in England is seeking to encourage social mobility, as well as education for mature students. Lord Mandelson, the Innovation and Skills Secretary, states ‘Nobody should be disadvantaged or penalised on the basis of the families that they come from or the schools they attended.’ He argues that this is not a class issue, rather he would like to emphasise (not dictate) that the university admissions consider contextual data about applicants’ backgrounds as well as their academic achievement. It could be suggested that universities should remain ‘open minded’ in their admissions approach, also considering the applicants who have taken Diploma’s over the more traditional A-level route. The number of UK students who took up a place at university this autumn rose 6% on the previous year, according to figures. UCAS, shows that 477, 277 students in the UK started degrees in 2009, compared with 451, 871 in 2008. The recession can be seen as a factor in this, and as a result, the government announced in July that 10,000 extra places would be made available. But, with applications at record levels, many students have been disappointed. With 10% more UK students applying this year, in comparison with last year, many are failing to find a place.
UCAS figures show that 156, 315 students either withdrew their application or were unable to find a place at university.
The Diploma Advert that has caused controversy
Shadow Secretary of State for Universities and Skill, David Willetts said: ‘These figures confirm ministers have completely messed up this year’s university entrance processes’. Westminster put a £10,000 cap on the expansion of universities because of budget restraints. And, more ironically, Westminister warned universities that over-recruitment would be punished with a fine. But it seems that the Government failed to make plans or even to predict the increased demand for university, thus explaining the number of unsuccessful students. Chief executive of the university think-tank million, Pam Tatlow, said: ‘Much more work needs to be done to identify the number of students who could not find a university place on the course of their choice and have deferred their applications until next year’.
Students protest the likely rise in fees with a co-ordinated ‘Flash Freeze’ in town centre Steve O’Reily and Rob Sutton Southampton, Portsmouth and Solent students’ unions took part in the NUS’ “town takeover” on 17 November, in protest at the lifting of the cap on top up fees.
Many university Vice-chancellors have indicated their support for lifting the cap from £3,225 per year to £6,000, or in some cases even higher. A congregation of student ‘flash freezers’ had gathered from all over the region to stand still for a three and a half minute stunt as part of an initiative in-line with other similar events up and down the country as students make their voices heard. On Monday 9 November, the Government announced its panel for the higher education fees review chaired by Lord Browne, the same honourable member of the house of Lords who called for tuition fees to be to be increased by ‘perhaps a factor of four’ in a 2002 speech. The panel has been criticised for having no real representation of students, as the NUS have not been included in it. Criticisms have been levelled at the panel on the grounds that many are already calling for raising the cap, and it is likely that fees will be left to the discretion of the university resulting in large variations between establishments; this has led to concerns that a two-tier university system will emerge, with top universities charging higher fees, whilst other “bargain” universities fill the gap for the remainder of students who cannot afford higher costs. The NUS made a policy change in its campaigning, originally calling for free education, it has since moved to a “keep the cap” stance, most recently producing the “Funding For Our Future Blueprint”, which supports a graduated system where the majority of students would pay more for their education in the form of taxes than they are paying at present under the top-up fees system. This would mean that the poorest students would pay 0.3% of their earnings, and the
richest would pay 2.5%. The vast majority of graduates, with average earnings of £27,000 a year, would not fall into these categories after university, and would be paying on average £1,502 more. James Heywood, NUS National Executive Committee member said, “From my experience, I haven’t met a single student who whole-heartedly embraces the blueprint. Why would any students support a system that asks most of them to pay more?” The Blueprint was written by NUS President Wes Streeting and Vice-President Aaron Porter. Although a small consultation of NUS sabbatical officers took place, numbering in the low hundreds, Wes Streeting says ‘very little of the actual design was based on the consultation.’ He goes on to say that “the vast majority of the general public is against higher fees, and voters in Southampton deserve to know where their candidates stand on this key issue. Today students in Southampton are making it clear to their politicians that if they refuse to speak out against raising the cap on fees, we will hit them where it hurts - at the ballot box.” A debate on the evening of the protest was chaired by Susan Nash of the NUS and included Aaron Porter (NUS), Alan Whitehead (Labour MP for Southampton Test), Sandra Gidley (Liberal Democrat MP for Romsey) and Jeremy Moulton (Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate). However, despite their voting records, New Labour and the Liberal Democrats went against party policy, when faced with a crowd of angry students, and pledged support for the principles of the blueprint. The NUS are not the only group to challenge the current funding system for higher education. Many graduates are no longer part of any students’ union, and instead have joined trade unions, resulting in a national campaign by the RMT, CWU and PCS, as well as over 39 separate organisations. These organisations have supported the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign, which fights against graduate unemployment, cheap labour apprenticeships and for a free education. On November 28th there was a Youth Fight for Jobs national protest in London, which was attended by students from Southampton University.
Calls for the resignation of Chief Executive as many student loans remain delayed Jessica Fuhl
The president of the NUS has called for the resignation of the Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company as a result of the severe delays in the processing of student loans. Presently, over 100,000 students across the country are still waiting for maintenance and tuition loans which were due to be paid at the start of the semester. Ofﬁcial ﬁgures released by the SLC on 1 November show that maintenance payments have not been paid to 119,000 approved applicants. Approximately a third of those have been assessed in the short term until full loan payments can be made, a third are awaiting further information to be supplied, and a third are described as ‘currently being processed’.
The crisis has angered students across the country, with 1 in 10 students still yet to receive loans nationwide, eight weeks after they were due. Here at the University of Southampton, the Finance and Information Assistance Team (FIA) have seen approximately 30 students who have needed emergency loans as a result, signiﬁcantly higher than average for this time of the year. Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company (SLC), Ralph Seymour-Jackson, has said: ‘We are actively doing all we can to work through all applications as quickly as possible. Whilst the vast majority of students have received funding, we apologise that a number of students are still experiencing difﬁculties. We are working very hard to resolve each individual case and deal with every application as fast as we can.’ NUS President, Wes Streeting, however, has said that this is not good enough: ‘The SLC has given students a string of broken promises about when they should expect to receive some or all of their loan repayments.’ He continues to state, ‘Bosses have failed to acknowledge the distress they have caused to students, and have sought to apportion blame anywhere other than their own doorstep. If they had been open about the extent of the problems, universities would have been able to plan contingency funding more effectively. It is time for Ralph Seymour-Jackson to take full responsibility for this shambles and resign immediately.’ Lord Mandleson, newly appointed secretary of business, innovation and skills, which now deals with the UK’s higher education system, added his voice to the complaints earlier this month when he told the House of Lords, ‘The Company’s
service has fallen well short of the expectations of students and their families.’ The calls for action to be taken come in line with the SLC’s recent review of debt recovery, as a result of writing off or cancelling £29m worth of public debt. With worries of writing off almost £30m of student debt, tightening debt recovery and the continued delays on many students’ applicants for loans, many are questioning the effectiveness of the Student Loans Company. Southampton student Neil Saunders was still waiting for both his tuition maintenance loan seven weeks in to the semester. He said: ‘It’s been really inconvenient. I understand that there are sometimes problems, but the SLC need to be more effective in processing students’ applications. It’s made me really angry. I needed a lot of books for my course at the start of the semester that I couldn’t afford, and because the university hadn’t received my tuition fees for the year, my access to SUSSED, the library, and all other student services was suspended. I didn’t know if a lecture was cancelled, and I didn’t even have access to the doors of buildings because my card was inactive.’ Neil is not alone in the situation. Dhivyan Kandiah, a third-year law student, says he is ‘frustrated’ still waiting for his loan.
A spokeswoman for the University said: ‘The Student Fees section in the Finance Department have agreed that providing the student has supplied proof that an application has been made to the SLC (usually a print out from the on line system) they will not send reminders or ask for payment of tuition fees up front Similarly, those students who are due to pay their own accommodation fees to the University and are awaiting maintenance loans from SLC have been allowed to defer the payment of accommodation fees until their loans arrive.’
Student Loans in Numbers •
• • •
Over 100,000 students in the UK are waiting for maintenance and tuition loans Approximately 30 students have needed emergency loans There is almost £30 million of student debt 996,000 students applied for a loan in the 2009/110 academic year 865,000 of those loans were approved by 1 November 2009
Hartley Library Fire - Students Evacuated
Jessica Fuhl The ﬁre alarms of Hartley rang out across the library on Tuesday 24 November, as a small ﬁre was found in the library’s basement. The ﬁre, discovered by a member of the University’s Estates and Facilities Team, is believed to have broken out in a circuit located beneath the ﬁrst ﬂoor. All staff and users of the library had to be evacuated when the alarms went off at about 1.30pm, and the Fire Brigade attended the scene. Deputy Librarian Richard Ware has reassured students that no users of the library or any books were affected by the ﬁre. He said: ‘The ﬁre was spotted immediately and extinguished quickly.’ The ﬁre did, however, affect the battery of the library’s emergency lighting. As a result, Hartley library had to close from 4 o’clock on the evening of the ﬁre, and again on the following day. Mr. Richard Ware, who has been working at the library for seven years, explained that ‘If the power failed in the library then we would’ve had no emergency lighting. When it gets dark some parts of the library which aren’t near to any windows can get extremely dark. We are bound by health and safety regulations to ensure that our emergency power lighting works.’ Mr. Ware, who spoke two days after the ﬁre, said: ‘The Estates and Facilities Team are working around the clock to install a generator to ﬁx the problem. Obviously we don’t want to be closed when we have said that we will be open, if we could have found a way to be open then we would have, but our only option was to close. I am happy
‘Illuminating Future Challenges’ Carla Bradman Professor Donald Nutbeam’s inauguration as Vice-Chancellor at his former alma mater took place on Monday 23rd November as he entered his seventh week in the post. His inauguration lecture, attended by Chancellor Sir John Parker, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chair of Council Dame Valerie Strachan, external stakeholders and local and national MPs was split into two halves. Building on from an article published in The Guardian on x, he spoke ﬁrstly in favour of the creation of more inter-disciplinary opportunities for students at the University. He has plans to widen module options at undergraduate level, with softer educational boundaries between subjects and schools. He also expressed a desire for the education system to keep options open for students at a younger age, in favour of the
it was given the highest priority.’ He continues: ‘I think that the library responded well to the situation. I do appreciate that it was a problem for a lot of people, but in the circumstances we had no alternative. If anybody feels that more could have been done, then by all means, we happy to take students’ suggestions.’ All students were informed about the ﬁre and the closing of Hartley Library through emails sent by the University’s central administration department. Notices were also placed on the Southampton University Library website, and on the entrances to the library. Mr. Ware would like to inform students that no one will be penalised for being unable to return the books as a result of the library’s closure. He also would like to remind users of the library that a letterbox is situated in the right hand side of the building, where books can be posted if they need to be returned when the library is shut. The University’s Library website states that: ‘The University Library considers the health and safety of its staff and its users to be of the utmost importance. The policy of all the site libraries of the University Library is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all its users.’ Simon Higman, Registrar and Chief Operating Ofﬁcer of the University said: ‘I am pleased to conﬁrm that the electrical fault that has affected access to the Hartley Library this week has been rectiﬁed and that normal opening hours have now resumed. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience that the early closure of the library may have caused you.’ International Baccalaureate (IB) that encourages a range of sciences, modern foreign languages and humanities to be studied up to the age of 18. The second part of his lecture focused on the challenges facing a university in the current economic climate. With the external environment changing, the future will be not be generous to universities and innovation will be essential. He also spoke highly of the Government initiative AimHigher, and praised the staff implementing the scheme in Southampton. Having come from a home where the concept of university was unmentioned, he recognises the importance of continuing encouragement and inspiration from schools that is necessary to foster in curiosity and open the minds of young people to the options available to them. Stating that it would be arrogant for him to have a vision for the university after so many years away from it, he has not turned up with ‘a formula for success’. Instead he has brought ideas and objectivity and recognises that if any chances will be made we must be consultative and collegial.
The Copenhagen Climate Crunch David McKay ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ – Shakespeare was right. Between the 7th and 18th of December, representatives of all the countries of the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their objective? To hammer out a replacement for the failed Kyoto Protocol, the original treaty attempting to limit carbon dioxide emissions, which expires in 2012. At these talks, those currently in power will attempt to work out how to stop the looming spectre of climate chaos. It is, however, our generation that will have to implement their decisions, or face the consequences if they get it wrong. Unfortunately, they haven’t made a good start… Many of the ﬂaws of the old Kyoto Protocol look set to be reincluded in the new treaty. One of the main concerns is over reliance on carbon trading, the scheme in which carbon ‘credits’ have to be bought and traded by big carbon dioxide emitters, with the number of credits and theoretically emissions shrinking over time. Sounds good on paper, but the example of the European carbon market does not inspire much conﬁdence in the scheme. Under pressure from corporate lobbying, far too many credits were issued, leading to low prices and therefore minimal costs for emitting carbon. The market eventually crashed, causing prices to plummet and making emissions ridiculously cheap. Do we want to let corporations and stock markets decide our future? Our recent experiences of the ﬁnance industry suggests that we should not trust our fate to unstable markets. Another glaring fault of the Kyoto Protocol is the exclusion of key areas of emissions from cuts – most notably shipping and aviation. So a country could be successfully making ‘cuts’ under the protocol, even if their shipping and aviation emissions could be rising faster than those cuts! The Clean Development Mechanism, which theoretically funds low-carbon transition technologies and projects, also accepts several unproven
practices such as carbon capture (still many years off practical use), as well as nuclear power (whose fuel generation is carbon-intensive even with no emissions at point of generation).
Green Action raising awareness on campus. Come to a meeting at 7pm every Monday in the Stags Head to get involved. The protocol also attempts to reduce emissions by preventing deforestation by paying landowners not to cut the forest down (known as REDD). However, REDD also allows landowners to buy up rainforest, kick out any indigenous peoples, cut it down (releasing all the carbon locked up in the soil), replace it with palm oil plantations, and still receive money for ‘preventing’ deforestation. In short, we’re paying for corporations to destroy the rainforest for proﬁt in the name of climate change.
The whole protocol with these ﬂaws is now up for renegotiation in the replacement treaty. But it seems many western nations are intent on keeping these loopholes open, as are the many lobbyists of the industries most affected by them. The negotiations are also set to be deadlocked between the developed and developing world, with rich western nations unwilling to cut more than developing nations, but developing nations unwilling to start cutting before they do. In short, neither side will cut before the other side does, creating a seemingly insurmountable deadlock. And in the middle, poor nations - despite being the least responsible - are suffering the most from climate change. Within years, the Maldives is set to become one of the ﬁrst countries destroyed by climate chaos through rising sea levels, becoming the ﬁrst of many sources of environmental refugees. These deadlocks are so entrenched that - at the time of writing - many nations are now scaling back their hopes for the talks, instead of making
progress towards a binding treaty. But we do not have the time for such delays – the science is clear that critical tipping points are being reached, meaning that emissions must start falling within a few years, or dangerous levels of climate change will occur. Some temperature rise is already inevitable due to past emissions, but we owe it to future generations to cut them as much as possible to give the best chances of maintaining relatively stable living conditions whilst otherwise adapting. Inaction is not an option – the severity of the consequences if we don’t demands immediate action. To show their opposition to the fake solutions proposed, thousands of protestors, activists and NGOs will be descending on Copenhagen during the talks. Activities will range from charities lobbying for a fair deal within the summit, to demonstrations outside and full-scale invasions of the conference centre and alternative conferences planned by others. Closer to home, thousands plan to march on Westminster on the 5th December to demand that the UK government works for the best deal possible, joined by Southampton University’s very own Green Action society. So what can we do? We need to keep building an international movement of people to demand change of our leaders, and take action independently if they fail. We need to defy the status quo of business as usual, or business will never be able to be usual again. We, as students and therefore representatives of the next generation, need to make sure that the current generation in power see beyond their short political careers and corporate interests. We need real climate justice at Copenhagen, and to keep working towards it beyond Copenhagen whatever its outcome.
How To Get Involved Attend: the Wave Climate Action in London on December 5th. SUGA will be selling coach tickets on the concourse every week day.
Beyond Question Time: Britain’s Far Right Kathryn Snowdon The appearance of Nick Grifﬁn on Question Time last month led to a huge amount of debate as to the legitimacy of airing his thoughts on national and publicly funded television. However, the British National Party did have two MEPs elected in June this year, meaning that there is a growing interest in the policies of the far right.
Nick Grifﬁn, the new poster boy for far-right politics. Can’t see him selling many posters to be honest. Consequently, although it would be thoroughly enjoyable to discuss some of Grifﬁn’s ridiculous one-liners that would have had fans of Mock the Week eagerly awaiting the next show, broader issues need to be addressed, such as why the far right has been receiving greater support and media attention recently and just who is taking an opposing stance?
There has been a growth in the amount of media attention focused on the actions of organisations such as the English Defence League (EDL) and the BNP. Each group claims to be focused on peaceful measures and not based entirely on racial policies (trying desperately not to be branded with the mark of facist or extremist). Although the whole stance of the EDL is centred on protesting peacefully against Muslim extremism, it would appear, shockingly, that perhaps the EDL are not quite as innocent as they would like others to believe. Guardian journalist Jason Parkinson has highlighted the increasing threatening behaviour from the EDL towards media professionals. Following Parkinson’s coverage of the EDL’s demonstrations in Leeds, he received an email death threat, accusing him of proﬁting from EDL’s demonstrations. Furthermore, another journalist, Marc Vallee, received a similar email, and was even posted on the website Redwatch – a site that documents the identity of those who protest at or investigate far-right political groups. There is a wide selection
of reasons why so many people feel the need to look towards extreme parties. Arguably the most prominent reason why some British citizens are turning towards the far right is immigration. Or, perhaps not immigration itself, but the media’s portrayal of its consequences and effect on society. The BNP’s renowned ability to simplifying politics allows them to prey on these concerns. Therefore, false claims such as one in ten state subsidised houses are currently accommodating immigrants, coupled with the competition in the jobs market, means that far-right parties are able to make gains, especially during this economic climate. Consequently, there have been talks of a backlash against Labour, a party that used to receive a majority of its support from the working classes. Inconsistent policies and the MPs’ expenses scandal may well have exacerbated this backlash. On 11 September in Harrow, protesters from Stop the Islamiﬁcation of Europe held a demonstration against the building of a new ﬁve storey Mosque
in the town centre. Local Muslims and members of Unite Against Fascism confronted them, and many students in the area attended. This echoes similar protests that were held by the EDL in Manchester and Leeds. If students really wish to make a difference and combat the seemingly growing support for the far right, then gaining a comprehensive knowledge of party policies in Britain is essential. After all, far-right groups really do attempt to simplify politics, trying to create a black and white picture - almost literally - and an informed argument is needed to defeat this. Alternatively you could join an organisation that campaigns against far right parties, whether that be UAF, Stop the BNP or Searchlight. Referring back to the EDL’s threatening email to Guardian journalist Mr Parkinson, I can only hope that the fact that this article is non-proﬁtable means I shall be safe from the wrath of pseudo-centric ‘peaceful’ demonstrators such as the EDL.
How To Get Involved
Join: Unite Against Fascism at www.uaf.org.uk, or on Facebook for regular updates on action.
News in Brief
Gordon Brown has announced plans to send 5000 more troops to Afghanistan, although he has stated that most of these will come from other NATO countries, not the UK or the US. This comes in the month that Hamid Karzai’s coalition backed government was ranked the second most corrupt in the world. The survey, taken by Transparency International, ranks countries with respect to public sector corruption. Afghanistan, who came 117th in 2005, were second only to Somalia in this years survey. In a further development, Foreign Secretary David Miliband told a NATO conference that Taliban ﬁghters should be invited to take seats in the Afghan government to ensure peace in the country.
Army Abuse Allegations
The British Army is facing allegations of serious abuse in Iraq. The 33 new cases include allegations of mock executions and dog attacks. There is also an accusation of the rape of a 16 year old boy who was ﬁlling sandbags at a British camp. He claims he was raped by two soldiers at knifepoint, kicked, stripped naked and beaten with an electric baton. The abuses are alleged to have occurred in 2003, at around the same time as a civilian, Baha Mousa was hooded and beaten to death by British servicemen. Corporal Donald Payne was caught on camera beating him and pleaded guilty to war crimes, but was jailed for only one and a half years.
Sir David Manning, Tony Blair’s foreign policy adviser at the time of 9/11, has provided evidence for the offcial inquiry into the Iraq War. He has said that George W. Bush spoke to Blair on the 14th, three days after the terroist attacks in New York City, about how he ‘thought there might be evidence that there was some connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida’. Manning has stated that Blair said ‘evidence would have to be very compelling indeed to justify taking any action against Iraq’.
Israeli Settlement Expansion
Israel has begun the construction of 900 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. The constructions are in the Gilo settlement, land captured in the 1967 Six Day War. Under international law, all settlements built on this land are illegal. Washington has stated that it is ‘dismayed’ by the action, and told Israel that it is not helpful to the peace process. However, this comes in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s visit to Israel where she angered Palestinians by softening the stance of the US towards settlement building. Where before the Obama administration had ﬁrmly encouraged Israel to end their projects, she praised Binyamin Netanyahu for slowing down the building of settlements.
Gordon Brown put economic recovery at the heart of the Queen’s speech, where his ﬁnal policy plans in the build up to the general election were announced. He has made it a statutory requirement to halve the budget deﬁcit within four years. He also promised to pass legislation clamping down on bonuses for city bankers. David Cameron called the plans ‘half-baked’, saying Brown was ‘desperately trying a few tricks to save his own skin’.
Politics A Dirty Business: Shell’s Crimes In The Niger Delta page 7
Peter Apps The Royal Dutch/Shell Group, more commonly known as Shell, is one of the largest and best known corporations in the world. Their familiar red and yellow logo is everywhere. In fact, if you live in Glen Eyre halls, you can’t even walk to lectures without taking in the (always increasing) price of a litre of unleaded. But how much do we really know about the corporation? They might offer competitive petrol prices and 2 for 1 on Red Bull, but look beneath the shell (so to speak) and a darker picture emerges. This is a company involved in murder, bribery and criminal levels of environmental damage. Even in the morally bankrupt world of multinational oil businesses, there aren’t many with more blood on their hands than Shell. Oil Spillages and Gas Flaring To see this picture clearly, the place to look is the Niger Delta in Nigeria, one of the most oil rich areas on the planet and also home to a tribal group called the Ogoni. Shell Nigeria has been extracting the oil from this area since 1958, building pipelines through Ogoni homes and farmland. There have been persistent oil spillages due to Shell’s negligence (between 1976 and 1991 there were almost 3,000) which have smothered farmland, poisoned the water and killed the animals and ﬁsh which the Ogoni people rely on to survive. The consequence of this for Ogoni people is unending starvation, poverty and disease; consequences so devastating they have been compared to genocide by some prominent Ogoni leaders.
Ken Saro Wiwa, hung, along with 8 other antiShell activists, in 1995. In June this year, Shell paid $15.5 million dollars compensation to the families of those hung When drilling for oil, carbon dioxide and methane is produced as a waste product. This can be disposed of efﬁciently, or even sold on, but in the Niger Delta, Shell ‘ﬂare’ it. In other words, it is burnt in the open air, creating ﬂames so high they are visible from space. The process of gas ﬂaring has been illegal in Nigeria since 1984, but that hasn’t stopped Shell. Apparently, bringing in approximately eighty per cent of the country’s revenue is enough to put them above the law. The fumes, heat and smell caused by this practice has ruined living standards for the Ogoni people. The constant exposure is also linked to serious illnesses such as cancer. Gas ﬂaring is considered
a signiﬁcant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the Niger Delta, Shell ﬂares over 95% of extracted gas, leading to estimates that Nigerian oil ﬁelds are responsible for more global warming than the rest of the world’s combined. The Rivers State Internal Security Task Force (RSISTF) The Ogoni people have attempted to protest against these atrocities, both through peaceful means and the destruction of pipelines built across their land. However, Shell have their own methods of ensuring these protests do not interfere with proﬁt. They have twice admitted paying the military to go to speciﬁc villages, where the participants of peaceful anti-Shell protests were killed. In 1994 the Niger Delta was permanently occupied by military forces (namely the RSISTF, which both Shell and the Nigerian government admit Shell partially funds). Since then the Ogoni people have been subject to constant survelliance, persecution and a suspected 2000 deaths at the hands of the military. A classiﬁed memo from the leader of this task force stated that “Shell operations are still impossible (in the Niger Delta) unless ruthless military operations are undertaken”. Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8 In November 1995, nine leaders of the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (outspoken environmental and human rights activists who declared that Shell were not welcome in their homeland) were hanged by the Nigerian government. This group included popular journalist, academic and comedian, Ken Saro Wiwa. They were convicted of the murder
of four other Ogoni activists even though they were nowhere near the town where the murders occurred. The trial was internationally condemned for “a stunning lack of evidence”. Two witnesses called by the prosecution later admitted that they were bribed to testify with the promise of money and jobs at Shell. In June this year Shell paid $15.5 million dollars in compensation to the families of the deceased, but still refused to admit any responsibility for their deaths. University Investment The Wessex Scene has learnt that the University of Southampton has investment with Shell. However they have failed to conﬁrm the amount of shares they own in the company. When asked about the ethics of the investment, they replied simply that HSBC are paid to make investment decisions on their behalf. The Ogoni receive no economic beneﬁt from Shell. The proﬁt from the oil that is stolen from their land is distributed between the government, the military and Shell’s bosses. Only 2% of Shell’s Nigerian employees are Ogoni. Shell to them represents only poverty, starvation, execution, military rule and the destruction of the land that for thousands of years has been their home. It begsn the question, what is the use of conferences on global warming and poverty when it is the actions of businesses such as Shell that both created and prolong these problems?
How To Get Involved Boycott Shell: There is no more effective a method to get a big business to listen. And remember that the reason the Ogoni people suffer is because people like us put money in Shell’s pocket. E-mail: ﬁnance@soton.ac.uk to encourage them to drop the investment. Join: Amnesty International, who are currently running a campaign to get Shell to clean up it’s act in Nigeria.
Societies Listings Ballroom & Latin Dance soc Winter Ball 19th -21st Novmber
[Garden Court] 19:30
Celebrate the end of the year at the SUBLDS Winter Ball.
Buddhist Meditation Soc Karate Do Shotokai
Talk and Meditation
[The Bridge Bar] 20:00
Frequency is held every month, presenting two live bands and also DJs. This month to be confirmed. Come along to check out some of the coolest alternative music around.
The Buddhist Meditation gives students and introduction to meditation within the Buddhist tradition.
Christian Union Carol Service 6th December
[Highfield Church] 16:30, 18:00, 21:30
Come join us for carols and readings with a twist, free mulled wine and mince pies and get that Christmassy feeling!
Alternative Music Society Frequency 7th December
[Building 3, 1027]
Christian Union Christians in Sport Quiz 29th November
A quiz with a 10 min talk about what Christians believe.
Christmas Concert [St Michaels Church]
Our annual Christmas concert, we will be singing an assortment of chamber music including pieces by Bach, Byrd and Tallis
[The Mitre] 18:30
Christmas Concert Church]
1st term training
Concert Band’s annual Christmas Concert, featuring a clarinet solo, and some fun twists on some old Christmas classics. Tickets £3.50 students, £7.50 adults
[Shackleton Building L/T A]
Karate Do Shotokai is a great way to keep fit, improve coordination and self confidence.
meeting to discuss and plan the upcoming diving as well as nominate “Anchor of the Week”. We then go to the Crown Inn.
SU Symphony Orchestra
Christmas Boat Party
“Psychology will be cruising the Solent once again, along with a DJ, a raffle & lots of chocolate this is one event not to be missed
SU String Orchestra Concert
Winter Concert 6th December
[Turner Sims] 15:30
SUSO performs: Elgar – Cello Concerto, Elgar – In the South, Sibelius – Symphony No. 1, Nielsen – Aladdin Suite. Come along to see this truely fantstic program!
[Church of imaculaet Conception]
Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Holloway: our winter concert will be a night not to be missed! Student tickets just £3.50!
An exciting mix of music, from powerful swing to driving funk, with a Christmas twist, helping to promote Amnesty International!
SU Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert 6th December
[Turner Sims] 19:30
SUSO performs: Elgar – Cello Concerto, Elgar – In the South, Sibelius – Symphony No. 1, Nielsen – Aladdin Suite. Come along to see this truely fantstic program! The second of two performances in the magnificent Turner Sims
Features ‘We Are Targeted In Broad Daylight... No One Is Prepared To Stop The Killing Of Our People’ Mohammed Ibrahim, Maths Student WessexScene
Peter Apps & Wendy Oloya
‘I support Liverpool, going to Anfield one day, that is my dream!’ Small talk. We are stuck in traffic on a rainy Tuesday night, and the conversation has turned to football. I am a little apprehensive about the upcoming interview. These people are easy to talk to, friendly and welcoming, but I have a feeling that once we get started the mood will change. They are Hazara and look like what I would associate with Chinese, but are actually Afghans. As a result of extreme suffering and persecution at the hands of other ethnic groups in their homeland, their community has been dispersed across the region. A peaceful home they had found in a city called Quetta, in northern Pakistan, has over the last 10 years been rocked by target killings. Killings that the Pakistani government seems reluctant, to say the least, to prevent. Quetta was the former home of Southampton student, and friend of mine, Mohammed Ibrahim. It is because of this that he and his friends have invited us to come and interview them. Once we have made it through the traffic, Mohammed begins to talk about the history of his people and, as expected, the mood changes instantly. We hear about genocide in the nineteenth Century, which began a century of oppression for the Hazara people. Many fled Afghanistan to neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. Those who remained became effectively third class citizens in their homeland, subject to prejudice on account of linguistic, racial and religious differences. And so the story reaches Quetta.
This is a small, local, terrorist gang...allowed to gun down people in broad daylight. For the large part of the twentieth century the communities of Hazara people and the other ethnic groups that occupy the city lived together in peace. There was little of the racial tension Hazara communities experienced in Iran, or their homeland. But in 1999 the attempted assassination of a Hazara leader, Sardar Nisar Ali Khan and the death of his driver, began a series of incidents of target killing. So far around 300 Hazara people have lost their lives and more have been injured. The worst day was 2 March 2004, where a religious procession was attacked and an
A Firsthand Account
Hazara children in Hazarajat, Afghanistan
estimated 45 people killed. These killings are not random. Prominent members of the community are under threat. On 26 January this year, Hussain Ali Yousafi, the chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, was killed in a drive-by shooting in mid-morning on Quetta’s busiest street. More recently a prominent Hazara personality, Talib Agha, champion of human rights and member of the city council was also killed. Recently the terrorists have also targetted prominent lawyers and engineers. However, the real message that they want to get across is not the atrocious levels of violence. It is the stance of the Pakistani government. Quetta is on high alert; there are patrols of soldiers and armed police on the street, yet the terrorists are still able to drive in, commit murder and escape. All the incidents happen regularly within a stretch of one and a half kilometres, yet the perpetrators are almost never caught. Once when they were, the suspects escaped from a high security prison. After the massacre on 2 March 2004, eyewitnesses testified to the Anti-Terrorist Force (ATF) opening fire on the crowd of victims. ‘There is some sort of conspiracy going on,’ Mohammed tells me, ‘a
The Taliban, supported by the CIA, arrive in Afghanistan
Hazaras are persuaded to accept
Usman Saifullah Kurd, accused of master-
installed by the British, a decree is placed upon
democracy and fraternity into the political system. At this
and fill the political vacuum that the Russians have left.
just 10% of seats in government,
minding the attacks on Hazara communities
the Hazara people and they are declared infidels in
time, the Hazara nation formed a close relationship with
The Taliban wage war on the Hazaras; murdering men,
although they are entitled to 19%.
in Quetta, escapes from the highly guarded
the government. This encouraged the migration of the
raping women and sexually abusing children. On one day
the Hazara population being massacred.
sign their petition (http://petitions.number10.gov. uk/HazaraKillings/). With the camera off, the mood lightens perceptibly. Mohammed invites us to stay for some food and rushes down to the pizza shop below their apartment to prepare some for us. We discuss university life, family and world affairs. Mohammed shares his passion for human rights campaigning; one born, perhaps, out of a very real knowledge of their importance. It is a relaxed evening. Despite all they have been through, these people show no trace of bitterness or anger, just a desire to help their friends and family who are still at risk in Pakistan. Eventually I notice how late it has got and so we say our goodbyes. On the way home I ponder what we have heard, and how I would react placed in their shoes. A phrase from earlier comes back to me. Mohammed’s dream, it seems, is not really visit Anfield football ground. It is to go back home.
During the reign of Amir Abdur Rahman, who is
Afghanistan. This results in an estimated 60% of
minister has said, in Government, that they know who is carrying out the killing, but they say it is out of their reach’. I ask if the Pakistani government could stop the killings if they wanted to. All three answer yes without a second’s hesitation. This is a small, local, terrorist gang. They are allowed to gun people down in broad daylight because the government does not care enough to stop them. ‘There is no future for Hazara people if this continues. We’ve giv en everything to the country and now it seems like they want us to go, but we have nowhere to go to and most people aren’t able to leave’. These are people who have already escaped persecution in one country, have lived and made homes in Quetta, opened businesses, contributed to the economy and even the Pakistani army. It is their home. Mohammed tells me he would love to return to Pakistan but unless things change that will be impossible. They are part of the ‘Stop Target Killing Hazara Campaign’ to raise awareness in Britain and also try to get the UK government to put pressure on the Pakistani authorities to properly investigate the killings and bring those responsible to justice. The interview ends with a plea to all our readers to
‘My name is Mohammad Ibrahim and I am a student at Southampton University and I have been living in the UK for four and a half years. My family lives in Pakistan. There is a city called Quetta in Pakistan where most of my community is settled and nowadays the situation is very bad there because of target killings. People from my community are targeted in broad daylight and no one is there to stop the killing of our people. I know my country is fighting terrorism but not in Quetta. Over the last few years hundreds of people from my community have been killed and hundreds injured. No one has been arrested. People from my community live in fear. There is no one to support them, not even the provincial government. When I was in Quetta I witnessed attacks on the police cadets, all of them from my community. A few weeks later the mosque was attacked and the next year on the ‘Ashura’ procession there was another attack, and then even more of the people on the procession were killed by the police. My biggest desire is to complete my education and then go back and work for my country. But it doesn’t seem likely because of the current situation in Quetta.’
Hazaras from rural to urban areas.
Anti Terrorist Force Jail.
of violence, 6000 Hazara lives are lost.
2001 After September 11 American and British forces invade Afghanistan. In December, a broad-based interim
This year several prominent members of the Hazara community in Quetta have become
King Ammanullah abolishes the slavery of Hazaras; yet Hazara
Sultan Ali Keshtmand becomes the first
people, although aboriginal inhabitants of Afghanistan, are still
Hazara Prime Minister of Afghanistan.
government comes into power. Consequently, Hazaras are An estimated 45 Hazara people victims of target killing. Among them, Hussain
treated like third class citizens until 1978.
He again serves as Prime Minister from
accepted as one of the four main ethnic groups in Afghanistan and are killed during an attack on the Ali Yusafi, Talib Agha and engineer Ahmed Ali
are given 19% rights to political representation.
Ashura Procession in Quetta.
Najafi and lawyer Wallayar Hussain.
Features WessexScene Wessex Scene Interview: Ben Fogle page 10
Charlotte Woods Ben Fogle is a TV Presenter, writer and adventurer. He has recently taken part in the race to the South Pole with double-gold medal winning Olympian James Cracknell and he and his wife Marina are currently expecting their first child. After speaking at the Turner Sims Theatre on campus, Ben met with Wessex Scene Sport Editor Charlotte Woods, to talk about some of his achievements over the last ten years. CW: What do you relish most about your career? Is it the light-hearted challenges like tin bath racing and working on programmes such as Animal Park and Crufts, or is it the challenges that really test you and push you to the very limits of human ability? BF: I think what I relish most are the opportunities that my job affords. I love the big challenges, but obviously these test me and there’s a lot of discomfort involved! Probably what I have enjoyed the most are things like the series ‘Wild In Africa’ working with wildlife, taking on the World Worm Charming Championship, I absolutely love things like that. I actually really enjoy doing talks and events like this; I like moving around the country, meeting different people and talking about some of my experiences of the last ten years. CW: You recently contracted the flesh eating disease Leishmaniasis whilst filming for your series, Extreme Dreams with Ben Fogle. During the time that you were ill, did you start to lose some of your fearless nature and become more in touch with your own mortality?
BF: Yes, I suppose so. I’m 36 and I still have friends who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. I don’t think that just because you go to university and study a subject that you should necessarily have specific goals for your life in BF: I wouldn’t say so necessarily with the Leish- mind. Obviously if you’re studying Medicine or maniasis. There have certainly been elements with Oceanography then that’s quite a niche vocational other things I have done, like with the rowing [Ben subject. I studied Latin American Studies for rowed across the Atlantic with Olympian James instance and there’s no set career path with that. Cracknell] when we capsized, or when we Hopefully, my tale will show students that it came across a crevice field in the South doesn’t matter if you graduate and don’t If you want Pole. You definitely realise that you’re know what you want to do, that you can to find out more not invincible. I’ve experienced that still make your own destiny. It might information about feeling on a number of occasions Ben Fogle, then check be in a very strange manner like mine and it’s not pleasant. It’s all about out the Sports Section has been, but if it can happen to me being complacent and then having the then it can happen to anyone. on page 24 sudden realisation that, actually, there are far greater powers at work in the world, CW: You took part in the Viking Run ice than your own self. You can reach a stage where skating race and came last! Would you always you feel a sense of immortality, and experiences recommend just having a go at any opportunity like those just serve to remind you that life is very that comes your way? fragile. BF: Well, I had never really ice skated before! CW: As a Student, it’s encouraging to me that But I really believe that if you don’t try then you someone as successful as you who has had don’t stand to gain anything, I would always the opportunities that you have, didn’t start out recommend just getting out there and going for with a clear goal or direction in life. Do you see things, otherwise you will never know what you yourself as an inspiration to University students in could have achieved. I would hate to have regrets particular? that I didn’t try something, didn’t do something.
Overheard in Soton
A girly chat in Cafe SUSU “Do you get flavoured ribbed condoms?” “I don’t know. Why do you want to know?” “I was just thinking how cool that would be! You could have a different flavour on every rib, like a fruit pastel lolly!” Boy talking to his mates in the Bridge Bar “I love how windmill’s are solar powered!”
CW: Finally, Ben, lots of students at Southampton will be desperately jealous of your successful career; do you have any particular tips or advice for students here in Southampton? BF: Well I was a student once so I do know what it’s like. Enjoy your student life and make the most of all the extra-curricular societies and events that are on offer, that’s certainly what I did. Don’t panic if you graduate and you don’t know what to
do, because it will find you one day. Nothing will be handed to you on a plate and unfortunately a University degree no longer guarantees you a job. But don’t get despondent, if you really try hard and push yourself then that’s what is going to shine out; it’s about finding your own personality, being your own person. If you have confidence then you will shine out from the rest and people will pick up on it and that is the key to success.
Ben Fogle Fact File •First appeared on television with Castaway 2000, a BBC reality programme where thirty-six volunteers were recruited to live on the island of Taransay, Outer Hebrides for a year.
•He has written four books including “The Teatime Islands” about the remaining outlying islands of the British Empire.
•He is an ocean yacht-master, and has a sailing world record for the route from Portsmouth-Cork. •In 2008, Ben participated in the World Coal Carrying Championships in West Yorkshire finishing in 22nd place.
Two Surge DJ’s “She hasn’t got a U.S.P!” “Isn’t that what you put in your computer?!” “No stupid, that’s a U.S.B, !”
Monte residents in their kitchen “God, It’s really windy outside!” “No, that’s just my potatoes boiling!”
James Bond wannabe “I had three Martinis tonight!’ “Really?” “Yeah, they were 2 for 1!”
Confused and upset girl “I just wish I could sit on the t.v and watch daytime sofa all day!”
Diary of an Erratic Erasmus Student Almaz Ohene Thursday German words spoken - 7, Bratwursts consumed2, References to The War- 2 Unpacked my meagre collection of possessions and made my bed with one pillow and sleeping bag. Was trying hard to save money so wouldn’t bother buying homeware like duvets, pillows, trinkets and posters for my room. Only had twenty kilos of weight to fly with, so had to really travel light. No box sets of House, no volumes of journalism, and no stacks of travel and fashion magazines that I usually pack. This time my baggage consisted of just enough underwear to last a week (being in the hostel for an entire week had wiped out all my clean stuff) two pairs of jeans and my passport. Whacked my dirty laundry into the washing machine and headed off to campus for the German equivalent of the ‘Bun Fight’ sans lingerie. Collected my bags of free stuff and cocked my ear for any hint of English chatter. “It’s busy innit. Wotcha, I’m being crushed here”. A-ha, an American and her Bangladeshi mate. Have adopted them as my friends. Friday German words spoken - 2, Bratwursts consumed1, References to The War- 0 Came up in a load of bites. Were there bed bugs, ants, or something worse? Stripped the bed and attacked it with the vacuum cleaner. Take that, you dirty little arthropods. Opened a bank account. Was relatively painless. Now, let me get in touch with my UK bank and tell them to transfer money and I’ll be all sorted. But, the course of international banking never did run smooth. Suspension of my telephone and online banking. WTF! “It’s my money, just because I can’t produce some convoluted password system that I set up years ago, doesn’t mean that I’m trying to defraud your bank.” “Oh, just pop into a branch and we’ll reset it all for you.” “But I’m in GERMANY.” Sunday Words of German spoken – 8, Bratwursts consumed- 1, References to The War- 2 Decided my room wasn’t nearly as cluttered enough so asked Mr------ about homeware shops. Frankfurt took my Ikea virginity. And to be honest it did hurt (my pocket) but it was also a very pleasurable experience. Got the usual Ikea fodder of crazy lamps and self-adhesive decorations. Unfortunately they didn’t accept any of my cards, so now running low on cash. Monday German words spoken - 14, Bratwursts consumed2, References to The War- 1
First lecture. Rather incomprehensible, sat in the corner with glasses on, nodding and attempting to look intelligent. Might have understood more if the lecturer hadn’t waffled on in fast German. I could have sworn classes are supposed to be taught in English. Tuesday German words spoken - 7, Bratwursts consumed2, References to The War- 3 Collected my Studienausweis Goethecard from Ms Bauer and can now breathe easy about travelling. Now, to deal with setting up my Uni Internet account. I had to have my wits about me for this one. A message popped up on screen in large bold letters: Altes Passwort war falsch! Zu wenige Zeichen, bitte genau 8 Zeichen setzten. Das neue Passwort muss aus mindestens einer Zahl, Klein- und Grossbuchstaben und einem Sonderzeichen bestehen. My school girl German really wasn’t up to fathoming out this warning, so to my trusty online translators: Old password was wrong! Too few signs, please exactly 8 signs placed. The new password must exist of at least one number, small letter and capital letter and a special character. Fine, I’ll do it again their way. But what’s this? Another warning: Das neue Passwort muss aus mindestens einer Zahl, Klein- und Grossbuchstaben und einem Sonderzeichen bestehen. OK, so I need the new password to contain at least one lower case letter, on capital letter, a special character, oh and be exactly eight characters long. They’re not asking much are they?! Wednesday German words spoken - 7, Bratwursts consumed2, References to The War- 1 Linguistics class. Mind-bogglingly difficult. Glottal stops, Affricates, Syllabic Nasals. Hmmm. “Almaz, is it?’” She squinted to read my name card. “Almaz. You’re a native speaker right? Can you read these words off the board, please.” The lecturer looked shocked as I enunciated the words. Had to explain that because I was brought up in The North I speak differently from how they’d imagine the Queen asking; “Oh, could you paarse me the glaass of water please”, when it’s more a case of, “Oi, gi us, t’glass o’ wa’er, ta.” Excruciatingly embarrassing to find myself with masses of raw egg plastered on my face when non-native speakers, ask me about auxiliary verbs and all I can do is stutter, “Ah. See, auxill… well, auxiliary verbs, they, umm…” Evidently they didn’t teach us anything worth knowing at state school. Courses taught in English at Johann von Goethe Universität: • English & American Literature • Linguistics & Education Studies • International Relations • Theatre, Film and Media Studies • Economics (English models)
A still from 2008 footage of initiations at the University of Gloucestershire.
Secret Rites of Passage Lydia Block & Jessica Fuhl
do not force those to consume excessive amounts of alcohol if the person in question wishes not to. Year after year, Freshers keen to prove One lacrosse player told us that if female lacrosse themselves on the pitch have found themselves ladies become too drunk, a group of male lacrosse proving their worth off it as well. Being forced to players will escort them home. take part in ‘initiation ceremonies’ conducted by Although Wednesday socials do seem to be senior members of the team have become an well within the rules, stories of peer pressure still annual rite of passage. A typical initiation involves filter through. Consequently, it does seem to be copious amounts of alcohol and being forced to the case that this stops people from joining clubs. take part in activities no matter how embarrassing One fresher told us that two freshers on a rugby just to prove something to the rest of the team. A social were “heavily encouraged” to drink a lot and secretly filmed video by the BBC shows students were sick after downing ‘dirty pints’. The Fresher from the University of Gloucestershire lined up on does say though that it was “nothing serious, just a street with bags over their heads, and another a lot of drinking games.” student dressed in Nazi style uniform encouraging Perhaps the only known event at Souththem to drink, despite their frequent vomiting. ampton that runs the risk of being interpreted Thankfully, Southampton was one of the first UK as an initiation is the rugby and lacrosse teams universities to ban initiations trip to the Isle of Wight. This is the after a member of the Rugby “The rugby boys were rugby team’s ‘initiation’, in which Club attempted to drive home made to get naked and the lacrosse ladies oversee the whilst drunk and overturned do shots in each eye.” night’s events. Last year’s trip saw his car. Earlier the same day each rugby player assigned to in November 2001, Rugby Club players streaked lacrosse ladies who were dressed up as Nurses. across the lacrosse pitch while a match was taking It is certain that large amounts of alcohol are place. This received negative publicity in a number consumed; however members of the clubs only of national papers and it is to the university’s credit attend if they chose to, knowing the experience that appropriate action was taken. But given the will not be tame. As a lacrosse member observed, secretive nature of initiations – the ‘what happens the rugby boys were made to get naked and do on tour, stays on tour’ type of mentality, how sure shots in each eye. There were also races where can we be that initiations just haven’t been driven in between each drink the boys had to complete underground? tasks such as consuming raw onion. A third year Wednesday night in Southampton is ruled by the rugby player told of a chilli vodka drinking incident AU. The prospect of an alcohol-fuelled social can where one very unlucky chap got some on his understandably be both exciting and intimidating genitals. Captain of the rugby team Liam Tillett for freshers. “There is definitely a drinking ethos explained however, that the trip is ‘most definitely which is promoted by the club on socials and is not an initiation. The Isle of Wight Pub Crawl is one aimed particularly at freshers who are encouraged of the biggest nights in the rugby social calendar, and at times baited into drinking” our confidential bringing seniors and freshers together at the end source tells us. Speaking about Cricket, they go of the year for a great night’. on to say that sometimes what happens on the It must be remembered that by taking part in pitch directly impacts upon the drinking games such socials, each person is individually responat socials, with a dropped catch during the game sible for the amount they drink. AU President Allen often equating to drinking a jug of alcohol after. Steynor is confident that students at Southampton Freshers are dispensed with ‘Freshers Bibles’ no longer participate in any forms of drinking initianot only containing general information about the tions, explaining ‘the drinking culture in Southworkings of the club, but also the extensive rules ampton has slowly changed’. He says: ‘In the last and regulations. few years we have seen the last dribs and drabs of Whilst there is an expectation to booze with the old school drinking situations. The ban came in the team, it appears that the underlying point of to place almost ten years ago. At first it took a few socials is to bond with other members, creating years for that kind of mentality to become flushed friendships and a real team atmosphere. The out of the system, but now students are drinking first hockey social of the year is a three legged more responsibly. With the current financial pub crawl, where bonding with your fellow club climate, students are placing more emphasis on members is the aim of the game. It is not until their studies.’ the second week that the heavy drinking really The university continues to advocate a healthy starts and senior members coach Freshers in the and safe approach to drinking, with a new AU art of the drinking circle. According to our source, Liaison Officer appointed this year to ensure social the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly; senior secretaries carry out their jobs on an informed members are skilled in judging the situation and basis.
Features WessexScene A Proposal for a Transition University page 12
On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where the Kyoto Protocal will be discussed, how can the University of Southampton turn green?
Carla Bradman Dr. Mark Levene and Dr. David Cromwell, lecturers in History and Oceanography respectively at the University of Southampton, co-founded the Forum for the Study of Crisis in the 21st Century – Crisis Forum – to look at alternative ways of dealing with the problems the 21st Century is already starting to present. In anticipation of Professor Donald Nutbeam’s induction as Vice-Chancellor, Crisis Forum outlined a proposal that suggests an alternative way forward for the University of Southampton. Since anthropogenic climate change is now acknowledged as being the core of the crisis of the 21st century, the University, through its leading academic departments including Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), should realise its responsibility and potential as a centre of excellent research
and act on the information curated in face of the encroaching biospheric emergency. The question that Crisis Forum wish to pose to Vice-Chancellor Donald Nutbeam is thus: ‘Will he pursue the same trajectory as Southampton, and most other universities have done, and in which the pursuit of the economic bottomline has remained primary, or – recognising that business as usual will not only no longer suffice but entirely and wilfully contradicts the climate science data – set out instead of a path which seeks to bring the University into alignment with that data?’ It is essentially the same question that they asked Sir Bill Wakeham when he started as ViceChancellor in 2002, and the difference of seven years also demonstrates the period of time in which the threat of climate change elevated in importance in both the academic world and the public domain. Crisis Forum recognise the major
In an interview with former Vice-Chancellor Sir William Wakeham, when asked his opinions on the buzzword ‘sustainability’ flying around, he stated: ‘Each time a building is renewed, adjustments are made for solar panels and a combined heat and power plant on campus uses wasted energy. When Boldrewood is demolished, it’s single-glazed windows and heating systems half a century old will go too, drastically lowering the total amount of energy used per year on all sites.’ He went on to say how his suggestions ‘for a park and ride system for Southampton are not considered feasible by Southampton City Council’. Food Policy The University would purchase primarily locally grown food, where possible organic, for all of it’s catering requirements. It should aim to create communal gardens and orchards, with the possibility of livestock. This can all be done in conjunction with Southampton City Council and other local organisations, strengthening the University’s link with the wider community. Students would be encouraged to participate and mentored in food production, with rent rebates for monitored participants. The University would also develop a food waste recycling schemes, possibly based on the Greenfinch bio-digester system developed at Ludlow (the Ludlow scheme already has a major Southampton research input). Transport Policy Every effort would have to be taken to drastically reduce the carbon miles produced by those at the University, with specific focus on staff. The University would support staff who tried at all times to hold conferences through tele-conferencing as opposed to air travel, or if this is not possible then they would be supported if they took ‘slow’ travel to events. A car-sharing website, under University auspices, must be developed to promote a greener direction. A project that recycled kitchen wastes and spent cooking fuel for the University’s own transport or a conversion to electric cars would be ‘an early, achievable but high-profile statement of university intent.
institutional, modular and fundamental economic implications that are inherent to their model of change, and they are aware that changes cannot be implemented overnight. Yet if the University go beyond the rhetorical position of only supporting the concept of being ‘green’ they could become recognised on a national and international scale for their innovation with regard to the practice of what the research produced at the University finds. Crisis Forum propose that the University of Southampton could be one of the first universities to seize the transition initiative, in an adaption of the Transition Town movement that fundamentally resolves around a community working together. While the University’s Carbon Management group has made steps in the right direction, maximising energy efficiency, making architectural improvements on campus and demonstrating a drive towards renewables projects like
Want to take this one step further? Write a response for our blog. www.wessexscene.blogspot. com Email: email@example.com to make your own transition. Green University League Table www.independent.co.uk/ news/education/higher/ the-green-league-table-howenvironmentally-friendly-isyour-university-863534.html
Curricula Climate Change would be introduced into all undergraduate School curricula, as appropriate to each School. HIST 2054, In the Face of Humanity, could be used as a prototype, currently in its second year of existence. The module, available to humanities students and taught by a range of lecturers from a wide variety of disciplines, has made many students aware of what is really meant by the future effects of climate change. As a student myself on the course last term, it is impossible and unnecessary to quantify the vast education that I received. Exposed properly for the first time to an inter-disciplinary approach that attempts to inspire action as the problems caused by climate change ferocioulsy multiply, I believe that my initially small understanding of the way the modern world operates increases each day as I stand in the face of humanity. Built Environment As mentioned before, the University currently has a Carbon Management programme, with a remit to reduce energy waste and improve buildings in relation to carbon efficiency. However this is run by a small team who have limited resources, and it is currently not doing enough under a transitions’ framework according to Crisis Forum. ‘Energy descent’ would become a central mission to the University, and again incentives and disincentives would be key to reducing the amount of energy used by staff and students. Not only would there
the use of geo-thermal energy, Southampton University currently does not have the necessary commitment to change to respond to the reality of the abyss that awaits. The Transition initiative can be divided into seven sections when considered against a University framework. Amendments to the Food Policy, Transport Policy, Curricula, Built Environment, Overseas Links, Democratic Deficit and Collaboration with other Universities and the local Community are essential if the principles of Contraction and Convergence, as outlined by the Global Commons Institute, are to met as part of the broad framework wherein the challenge of climate change may be faced. Crisis Forum subscribes to these principles, whereby ‘a trajectory based on transition would begin to marry that principle with practice’, resulting in a genuine Southampton Transition University that takes responsibility for the world around itself.
When asked the same questions, current ViceChancellor Donald Nutbeam stated: ‘We should do all we can in management to not impact the environment, whilst maintaining our position as a world leader in research. We have recently bought a cutting edge supercomputer which requires a lot of energy, but that was needed if we were to maintain our competitive position globally. So it’s about finding a balance really and I think we have done that so far’. When asked about climate change research, he said: ‘We are trapped in a narrow way of researching. Make the most of our resources and get social science talking with physical science so we can build a bigger picture’.
be a financial incentive as costs would be saved, a key bonus to a business such as our University in the economic downturn, but again there would be links with local community, building relationships and setting an example for the future. Overseas Links Crisis Forum recognise the economic value to the University of students from abroad and research projects that entail foreign collaboration, but if we were to become a transition university alterations would need to be made. The ‘alternative trajectory’ would include distance learning programmes or in situ teaching programmes, and the development of inter-university projects specifically geared towards finding small-scale renewables and micro-generation technology to be used domestically and for third world utility. The reduction and termination of projects centred around increasing fossil fuel based technologies would be essential. ‘The emphasis at each stage would be on how University research could be enlisted to enable and enhance the ability of communities to produce and sustain local energy production, rather than further distancing them from its involvement in capital-intensive, hard technology projects.’ Democratic Deficit As I said earlier, the key to the Transition movement is an emphasis on community, and this would need to be addressed in relation to University politics if Southampton is to remain
a greener yet cutting-edge institution. Firstly, a broader staff and student participation in decision making is essential, if the needs of communities at the grass-roots are to be recognised. Secondly, an appraisal of research priorities at the University must be conducted so that broader objectives not clouded by funding sources can be seen. Crisis Forum re-iterates that ‘the notion of moving towards a transition mode and mission becomes meaningless if all other countervailing interests are shown to be the dominant ones’. A transition university that becomes a sustainable community is not ‘undermined or set off course by institutional, corporate, military, or other top-down interests’. Collaboration with other Universities and the Community Collaboration with other universities moving towards a transition mode can be instigated through the Russell Group network, making connections to lobby government ‘for a broader but genuine green deal at the tertiary sector with government and other agency funding allocated accordingly. Collaboration with the local community allows opportunities for the University to re-establish lost links with the city and it’s people. Crisis Forum’s proposal states that ‘rather than operating in splendid isolation, the University could at last claim its right to be called the University of Southampton’. Each of these sub-headings have been taken from the proposal put forward by Crisis Forum.
p m a C r e m Sum
Camp Counsellor - the hardest job youâ€™ll ever love! * Up to 9 weeks working with kids aged 6-16 * Personal and professional placement * Low up-front costs & competitive in-hand salary * 30 extra days to travel the USA and Canada * CV-enhancing experience
Includes full support from BUNAC - the non-profit work and travel club.
camps @ bunac.org.uk 020 7251 3448
a s u p m a c / g r o . www.bunac
Try Before You Die Ideas For New Year’s Eve Polly Bennett & Gareth Brading
The Moulin Rouge, Paris
Fireworks, The Thames
For an all-out unforgettable New Year’s Eve book a table at the famous Moulin Rouge, Paris, who are celebrating their 120th anniversary this year. The events start at 9pm with a dinner and dance accompanied by the Moulin Rouge Orchestra. At midnight the evening really kicks off with the dazzling and explosive show, ‘Feerie,’ from the Moulin Rouge dancers. This is followed by an all night party starting from 2am. The infamous Moulin Rouge is perched on the hill of Montmartre overlooking Paris. This little town has a vibrant nightlife and is home to the impressive Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur. In the early days of the Moulin Rouge Montemarte was also the home tand playground of artists such as Dali, Monet and Lautrec. Price: €570, or £514. Price includes a bottle of Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne 1998. Visit www.moulinrouge.fr for more information about the event.
Crammed into every available space along the embankment London inhabitants turn out in the thousands to witness the spectacular midnight ﬁreworks over the capital. With Thermos ﬂasks in hand and the occasional waft of onions from the nearby burger van this is the place to bring in the New Year. Music blasting from ﬂoating stages in The Thames and Travel Scrabble with strangers passes the time quickly before the midnight approach. Someone begins the countdown and everyone starts to chant together. Just before the ﬁrst gong of Big Ben there is a pause as the anticipation and expectation of the crowd rises. The bell sounds and people erupt into cheers, kissing and hugging everyone in sight just as the ﬁreworks begin overhead. The ﬁnal gongs of Big Ben are lost in the noise from the patriotic and celebratory rendition of Auld Lang Syne along the river. Get to the Embankment a few hours early as people tend to arrive in plenty of time to bag themselves a space. Also make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes as the bitter December wind often whips down the river. The event is free and worth dedicating a New Year to as the ﬁrework display is one of the best in the world. Visit www.london.gov.uk/newyearseve for more information. This site has a useful map highlighting areas along the Embankment for viewing the ﬁreworks at their best, and roads that will be closed for the duration of the event.
Lake Bled, Slovenia Perhaps you wouldn’t think it at ﬁrst, but Slovenia is a great getaway, ideal for New Year with superb scenery, many excellent restaurants and hotels, as well as a brilliant and bizarre street-party at midnight on December 31st. The town of Bled lies on the shore of its namesake lake, with epic views of the medieval castle perched on a cliff high above, just like something out of a fairytale. Although Bled itself has a hideous 1970’s reinforced concrete shopping centre deposited right at its heart (a monument to its Yugoslav past), if you stick close by the lakeside, you would think nothing could spoil the pristine surroundings. Hotels are mainly cheap and excellent value, with my personal recommendation going to the Garni Hotel Berc, run by the charming Luka and his family, which is just a short walk from the centre of town. There are several brilliant nearby restaurants, including the old favourite haunts of both Linda and Paul McCartney. Slightly further aﬁeld, it is only a relatively brief drive to the town of Kranjska Gora, nestled at the foot of the Julian Alps, which offers several opportunities for skiing, coupled with the majestic beauty of the Triglav National Park. But the highlight must be New Year itself, when the entire population of Bled traipses down to the lakeside Christmas market, and begin to spontaneously set off mountains of ﬁreworks in every direction, dance to the music and generally be merry. When New Year did arrive, there was no “Auld Lang Syne”, but instead the “Blue Danube Waltz”, where everyone suddenly broke into partners and began a giant ballroom-style dance along the shore. It was genuinely quite surreal. Therefore it was with some curiosity afterward that the locals examined our party holding hands and singing “should auld acquaintance be forgot…”
Vienna New Year’s Concerts For culture vultures and classical music buffs the Vienna New Years Concerts are a lifetime dream to attend. Each year the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform the work of the Johann Strauss family and their contemporaries in the Musikverein Hall, Vienna. These concerts are always buzzing with atmosphere and often recorded live for radio. The beautiful Musikverein is decorated lavishly with ﬂowers and almost every seat commands an exceptional view of the orchestra. Registration for tickets takes place at some time from Janaury to March for a 3 week period only. Names are drawn at random for designation of tickets. The New Year’s Eve Concert is always on December 31st at 7.30pm and the New Year’s Day Concert on January 1st at 11.15am. Prices are disclosed at the time of registration. Visit www.wienerphilharmoniker.at for more Hogmanay, information and www.wien.info Edinburgh for Vienna tourist tips. With ever increasing fervour this year’s Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration has a raft of events to choose from throughout the New Year period. The four main events of Hogmanay take place in the city centre and range from classical concerts to rip-roaring knees ups. The world famous ﬁrework will take place as usual at midnight over the city from Edinburgh Castle, followed by a citywide rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party Each year Edinburgh city centre becomes party central with three stages of music and entertainment from musicians across the country. Tickets: £10. Stages are live from 9pm-1am. The Waverley Stage – The Enemy, Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Stanley Odd West End DJ Stage – Mylo DJ set, Gary & Tom (Snow Patrol), Richard Colburn (Belle & Sebastian) The Party Stage – The Cuban Brothers, Glitterbanditz The Keilidh The Mound is a spectacular outdoor venue located beneath Edinburgh Old Town and is the venue for the best of the New Year Celebrations – The Keilidh. Traditional Scottish music from: Ceilidhdonia, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut, Watergaw. Tickets: £30. The stage is live from 9pm – 1am. Concert in the Gardens West Princes Street Gardens this year makes way for Madness, with a special performance from The Noisettes. Tickets £37.50. The stage is live from 9pm – 1am. Candlelit Concert This classical concert will take place in St Giles’ Cathedral, commemorating Handel in the 250th year since his death with a performance of his Coronation Anthem, including Zadok the Priest. Tickets: £16. Starts: 7.30pm. www.edinburghshogmanay.com
A Winter Escape to Beautiful Borocay Christine Koay Situated just off the northern tip of Panay Island in Visayas, surrounded by coral reefs, Boracay glamorously sparkles as one of the premier tourist destinations in the Philippines. Well-known for its sugary beaches, crystal-blue waters and vibrant, exotic atmosphere, Boracay is a butterfly-shaped island that never fails to mesmerize thousands of people worldwide. The beauty of Boracay has been voted as one the world’s beast beaches by the Australian Sun Herald, the Tropical Beach Handbook and the British TV Quick. With a balance between urban comforts and natural wonders, the island offers lively shops and restaurants, a wide variety of beach activities and water sports, and pristine beaches, scenic nature trails and diverse flora and fauna. Being a water-person there is something about beaches that draws me close. Scuba-diving was definitely the priority of my to do list. Starting my day early I hired a dive guide and headed to Friday’s rock and reef. We saw some huge sea bass, emperor fish, clown fish, rock fish, scorpion fish and garden eels. Riding on the Jet Ski later in the day was a blast! I had the throttle fully open and the Jet Ski airborne several times. Apart from the water-sports, another activity that was exciting was riding the ATV, all-terrain vehicle. This is a small quad bike that allows you to drive up the steep road leading to the top of Mt. Luho, the highest point in Boracay. Standing at a height of over 100 metres, Mount Luho offers the best panoramic view of Boracay. Standing there during sunset is spectacular, but is a lot more impressive at sunrise. At this time you can hear the birds chirp and the fresh wind blowing in your face.
A do not miss destination is the Boracay Bat Cave. A walk down a few dirt trails and through bushes leads to a less inhabited part of the Island where three bat species can be found. Though the climb down was only a few hundred feet, it was dark, hot, steep and slippery. At the bottom of the cave, you can hear the bats squeaking. It was a mistake to shine torches up at the bats, as it made them rowdy and start flying around. Before I could make my retreat, I felt some wet drops of what was probably the guano hitting my shirt. By the time I got out of the Bat Cave, I was drenched in sweat and who knows what else. Following another trail led to the crystal cavern. At the end of the cave was a small tunnel that I crawled through where you can exit the cave to see a commanding view of the ocean from the
edge of a cliff over the water. A local dish I tried was balut - duck eggs that have been incubated until the foetus is feathery and beaky. There is a strong smell when the shell has been cracked and with a close look, you can see the head, beak, veins and feathers of the duck. Different part of the egg gives a different taste. The head and the neck tasted like bone marrow while the white part tasted like a normal egg but was very hard. The descriptions I heard beforehand was that it tasted like a normal hardboiled chicken egg and chicken meat. What I ate did not taste anything like that at all. Boracay Island is considered a paradise island, perfect for retreating from the hectic lifestyle of work and home. Just get up, make some coffee and decide whether to go sailing, windsurfing or perhaps diving and swimming with the fishes.
It doesn’t sound appealing to wake from a warm bed to hike up a mountain in the dark, or to stand on an iceberg in the Arctic for an hour just to see the sun rise. There are however some occasions when it is a must to sacrifice early morning comfort in order to witness this daily spectacle. At the other end of the day there are also many places to across the world to experiencedusk. From polar seas to tropical islands dusk comes as a pause before the onset of night.
Dawn & Dusk at Glastonbury Tor, England Steeped in ancient mythology this hill just outside Glastonbury is thought to be the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, King of the Fairies, and a site of
THE BEST TRAVEL WEBSITES TRANSPORT www.seat61.com
– A fantastically detailed website with all the information you will ever need about train travel across the world. It is branching out with masses of new information about ferry travel and hotel bookings.
– The best website for finding cheap hostels and hotels in the major towns and cities of almost every country in the world. Accommodation is rated and reviewed by users of the website so you can avoid any dodgy places. Hostelworld take a small fee if you book through them, which is well worth paying for to avoid any disasters or having to sleep on the street.
www.statravel.co.uk – A comprehensive
A typical sunset on the beaches of Borocay Island
ancient religious importance. The hill sweeps up in a swirl above the farmland of Somerset with its 14th century chapel silhouetted beautifully against the orange sky of dawn and failing sky of dusk. The Tor is the subject of much debate due to its characteristic terracing that is thought to have been artificially created into a 3D labyrinth in Neolithic times. Whatever its origin this hill commands views of the English countryside that are best viewed at the beginning and end of the day. The climb takes around an hour if walking at a gentle pace. Dawn on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysia
Dawn at Glastonbury Tor Photograph courtesy of Lynne Newton
Dawn & Dusk: From the Poles to Tropics Polly Bennett
The early start, bitter cold, high altitude and tearful fatigue are all worth battling through to reach the summits of these two spectacular mountains in time for dawn. The night is gradually swept away by the purples, reds and oranges that streak across the sky as you drag yourself the final distance to peak. The views of African plains and Malaysian jungle are lost beneath blankets of clouds, with instead just the sight of the rising sun. There is just time for a celebratory photograph and moment to absorb the breathtaking scene before the easier task of heading downhill. Dusk at Tromso, Norway
Tromso, a coastal city inside the Arctic Circle is traditionally regarded as the city to visit in order to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Occurring most often near the summer and autumn equinoxes these Lights are named after the Roman Goddess of Dawn. Any website search will result in dozens of weekend or weeklong tours, often with an astronomer to guide you through the snow and provide talks on constellations and history before witnessing the Aurora itself. The immense swathes of ethereal green and red are often described as sheets of colour dancing across the sky, contrasting brilliantly with the black sky and white snow.
Sunrise on Mt. Kilimanjaro
site with booking facilities and search engines for cheap flights, hotels, insurance and transport. STA cater mostly, but not exclusively, for students, and it is difficult to find cheaper flights on any other website. They can organise tourist and work visas, and offer a range of opportunities for Round the World travel with volunteering and work arrangements. STA have a branch in Southampton with extremely helpful and friendly staff who can sort out most travel needs, even at the last minute.
The Aurors Borealis, Norway Photograph courtesy of Mulis Nurhasen
Dawn on Svalbard, Norway Visiting almost any part of northern Norway will give you the chance to see some impressive dawns, but the islands of Svalbard have the scenery the match. Spitsbergen is the largest of the populated islands in this archipelago and a good base for exploring the polar landscape. Cruises provide the best opportunity for exploring, sailing out into the icy seas. This gives an entirely different perspective of this region with impressive views of icebergs and islands stretching into the distance. Wake at dawn and wait on deck, cup of tea in hand, for the sun to appear on the horizon, illuminating the snow and ice in the reds and orange that signal the start of a new day.
Lifestyle ‘Stop Milking It, I’m A Vegan!’ page 16
Aris Leo Tsontzos I am a vegan. I am sure this may strike many of you as odd. Questions I often get asked are: “What can you eat?”, “Are you doing it for ethical reasons?”, and “How do you survive?” The answers to these questions are fairly simple. You can eat a surprising amount and these days there are soya substitutes for most things. Next up, of course I am doing it for ethical reasons. I did not make a conscious decision to exclude myself from two major food groups (meat/protein and dairy) on a whim. In addition to this, I survive mainly
Recipe Of The Month Vegan Fajitas
through a process of breathing through my nose and mouth, eating three meals a day, and popping to the loo occasionally. Just like everyone else then, I guess. It is a harsh stereotype that vegans are underfed and malnourished. This is not necessarily true: it is perfectly possible to be a healthy vegan. Many people feel that veganism cannot possibly provide anyone with the necessary nutrients they need to survive. This is also very far from the truth. It is true that vegans do need to watch their diets more closely than others, as we are restricted in how we can source protein and calcium. There are a
number of soya-based milks, cheeses, yoghurts and spreads that are fortified with calcium. It is also possible to buy protein-enriched hemp powder, which can be used to make delicious protein-rich smoothies. I do find that I have also become a lot more inventive with my cooking since becoming vegan. With a little ingenuity, there is no reason why vegans need be deprived of niceties such as chilli con carne, lasagne, or fajitas. What would bring one to make such a lifestyle choice, then? Well, for me at least, it comes down to a matter of ethics. The meat and dairy industry is largely responsible for what could be considered as animal torture. Now, that is not to say that all meat and dairy producers are subject to these claims, but the vast majority of producers, in adapting to high levels of demand, have sacrificed any and all ethical practices as a result. Indeed, many producers claim to sell ‘free range’ and organic products. What is free range, though? What is a free range egg? It is not my intention to use this article as a platform for preaching, but to inform, so I shall keep my judgements brief. In many cases, free range eggs come from barn hens who are allowed to roam around an outdoor pen for only an hour a day. Furthermore a lot of meat also comes from factories where animals are slaughtered in the most vile, horrible way possible. It is not enough that animals have to be killed for our own consumption, but it also stands that many believe it acceptable for animals to suffer as much as possible, before they are processed. Veganism is not for everyone. However, it remains that we can all give some thought to where our food comes from, no matter what you eat, or choose not to eat. It is only through responsible buying choices that we can try to change things for the better.
Serves 2-3 people 1 large onion 2 peppers 3 carrots 4 mushrooms 3 stalks celery 1 clove garlic 1 tin chopped tomatoes 1 tin kidney beans 1 pack smoked tofu (available from Waitrose) ½ tbsp cumin ½ tbsp coriander ½ tbsp garam masala Add chilli powder to taste 6 tortillas 1) Before beginning, place a couple of sheets of kitchen towel on a flat surface. Chop the tofu into slices, and place on kitchen towel. Cover with more kitchen towel, then rest a baking tray weighted with tins on top. 2) Dice the onion, and add to a preheated pan with some oil. 3) Peel and chop carrots, and add to the onion as soon as it starts to turn translucent. Stir occasionally. 4) Chop the celery, peppers, and mushrooms. Add the celery to the pan, followed by the peppers, and then mushrooms, when the celery and carrots start to soften. 5) Press the garlic and add to the pan, then add seasonings. Keep stirring. 6) Chop the tofu into cubes, and add to the pan. 7) When all of the vegetables have softened, add the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans. 8) Microwave the tortillas for 10-20 seconds. 9) Transfer mixture immediately to tortillas, roll, then serve.
two days are snatched away from their mothers and sent to market, and over 70% of cows in the UK are reared under intense, and arguably inhumane conditions. Is all this unnecessary cruelty really worth a serving of meat on a dinner plate? Some would argue that meat is essential for a healthy diet, claiming that meat is a vital source of protein, a nutrient essential for healthy bodily growth and repair. However, this misinformed opinion fails to take into account the protein that can be obtained through vegetarian sources, such as eggs. Plant sources of protein, such as nuts and seeds, if eaten in variety, can also add up
to the equivalent value of animal-source protein. This means that a vegetarian diet can be just as nutritious as that of a meat-eater, and could even be healthier, due to the elimination of animal fats. Other reasons for being a vegetarian are that it can work out to be cheaper and also better for the environment. There is clearly ample evidence pointing towards eliminating meat from the diet, but many find this new eating habit confusing to begin with. A key rule that many forget is to check for gelatine, a jelly-like substance derived from meat, which can be found in jelly sweets, mousse, certain jams and even certain cheeses, so always check the
ingredients first. Also, if you find yourself craving meat in the early stages of the transition, there are lots of meat substitutes that are available in supermarkets, and are so authentic that I managed to fool a relative into thinking that he was eating meat! Meat substitutes come in many forms, Quorn and tofu to name but a few. So if you want to save money, and play your part in standing against the inhumane rearing and slaughter of animals, consider a vegetarian option instead of a traditional turkey dish this year. This way, hopefully the shocking statistic of 15 million slaughtered turkeys will be reduced in future years.
‘Tis The Season To Be Veggie Nicola Stewart Christmas is upon us and although shopping and decorations are likely to be on your mind, have you thought about where your seasonal food comes from? Last year, almost 15 million turkeys were slaughtered, and nearly 90 per cent are intensely reared for their meat, before being crammed like objects into crates to be taken to their deaths. This is a good reason to adopt a meat-free diet, but if you are still unconvinced, read on to learn the surprising reasons behind ditching the meat and adopting a potentially healthier lifestyle. According to the Vegetarian Society, the most popular reason for a meat-free diet is related to disagreeing with the idea of killing animals for meat, and keeping them under cruel conditions. Broiler chickens are those that are raised only for their meat, and up to 17 chickens are kept indoors per square metre. This is approximately 24 kg of chicken, though this will shockingly increase to 42 kg as of 2010. Lambs sometimes as young as just
Do They Know It’s (Not Yet) ‘Chilly’ You Know Christmas Time At All? Chocolate When You’ve Been Mangoed
It is that time of the year again. Trees in the local town square are alight with sparkling fairy lights, shops are decorated with cardboard cut-outs of mistletoe and Christmas puddings, delicate Christmas ornaments are available to buy in shops, as are crackers, tinsel and turkey. Hang on a second: it is only November! Year after year, it seems that the festive season is beginning earlier and earlier, mainly due to the numerous shops which think it is wise to start selling Christmas crackers and decorations before all the pumpkins have been sold off at the end of October. However, they may have a point. The wellknown ‘Christmas rush’ gets hold of the majority of us each year. Despite the fact that we saw that awesome Transformers ﬁgurine set that we know our nephew would love two months before Christmas, we ﬁnd ourselves wildly running
about the high street shops on the 24th December, madly trying to look for all those gifts that we had made a note in our heads to buy. But they are not there anymore. Why? Because everyone else is in the same state and people are settling for gifts that they did not initially plan to buy, and are therefore unwittingly depriving others of gifts that they really did want to buy. So perhaps, bearing this in mind, shops are wise to start selling Christmas goods even earlier each year, in the hopes that some people will do their Christmas shopping before December, and thus avoid the hassle and disappointment of losing out on the perfect gift for that special someone just because they did not get it on time. On the other hand, is it really necessary to decorate every shop and restaurant with Christmas paraphernalia in November? Does this not take away the festivity, the excitement, the real feeling of Christmas when the time ﬁnally comes? One of the most exciting things about Christmas, some might argue, is the atmosphere created by cafés selling mistletoe-shaped cookies and chocolate Yule logs; by excitable children visiting Santa’s grottos all over the country; by the lights that some semi-famous person might turn on on your nearest large, public Christmas tree; by the Christmas-style gift-wrapping paper and ornaments sold in shops. If these things happen in early November, surely the excitement would have dulled down come December 25th? After all, spending your autumn days surrounded by offers on tinsel, fairy lights and wreaths might bore you so much that by the time you usually decorate the tree in December, you do not really want to do it since all the sparkly ornaments have been stuck in your mind’s eye for such a while that you are getting quite tired of them. Another thing is carols – with shops playing traditional Christmas songs almost two months before Christmas, whenever carol singers come to your door, you will be very likely to just slam it shut in their faces (due to being downright sick and tired of the festive, cheery jingles!).
can be bought in advance and also in bulk. If you are inventive you will be able to cobble together a good meal or side dish out of various offer items and the staples you have at home. A good way to lessen the amount of work involved is to delegate who cooks what, or cooking in shifts, in your house or halls. This ensures that everybody gets at least one thing that they enjoy eating. Even a bring-a-dish dinner might help create a more casual and varied atmosphere than your traditional sit-down dinner. For those of you wanting a Christmas dinner without any fuss, The Highﬁeld pub is serving a festive menu. This will include classic starters; a turkey, salmon or nut roast main; vegetarian options and a small selection of delicious desserts priced per head at £7.95 for two courses and £9.45 for three. Call ahead to book on 023 8055 5985. The Gordon Arms is serving its usual ﬂexible
selection of Christmas fare, but it is the pub’s best kept secret because they do not advertise the fact! Pricing is negotiable if you make a group booking with a few days notice and there are plenty of exciting veggie options, for a more tailored affair. 023 8055 4205. The Mitre in Portswood has the most options for however you want to freestyle your celebrations. The menu boasts traditional starters, and a turkey, beef or salmon main and a veggie loaf and a range of desserts including raspberry triﬂe, cheesecake and proﬁteroles. Two courses are priced at £10.95 and three courses at £12.95. Bookings are required: 023 8055 4410. Or if you are feeling lazy and do not want to move from Campus, Cafesusu are offering the full works for just £3.95 on Wednesday 25th November and Wednesday 2nd December. They even have a vegetarian option and for an extra £1 you can have mince pies with cream!
Lydia Teague One would expect that, faced with an entire team of remarkable, skilled and candid journalists, any independent restaurant would balk at the thought of hosting their social meal. Mango however were unafraid to welcome in the whole group of shrewd and critical Wessex Scene editors. As always, the Mango staff were friendly and the restaurant was busy and relaxed. Once we had sorted out drinks (try the new cocktails!) and stopped chatting for long enough to look at the menus, we all ordered. Being such a big group meant that the food was not all delivered at the same time, but if you want freshly cooked food then this is to be expected. Once everything had arrived there was a huge array of dishes on the table. The Wessex Scene highly recommends the Vegetable Spring Rolls and the new Crispy Beef for tapas, while the Panang Curry, the Beef Thai Salad and the Pad Thai were popular larger dishes. Two brave souls attempted the Jungle Curry: unless you have a mouth coated in steel or are desperate to show off just how manly you really are, then this is a foolhardy meal choice. Some of the sauces that Mango use can even be rivalled with the hottest in the world! Nobody had room for dessert, though the choice was tempting and if puddings are your thing then it would be worth saving some room. I ﬁnd the tapas choice is so appealing that I prefer to order more of these and forget dessert. Mango is busy even on weekdays, so it is always worth ringing ahead to book, even just for a table for two. Their number is 023 8067 8877. If you can wait then any bookings after 9.30pm get 20% off their meal. This restaurant is always highly praised and is the perfect place to go for a meal with your ﬂatmates or on a social. It is also great to support small, local restaurants.
A Student Christmas On A Shoestring
Leila Arshad If you are planning to stay in Southampton for Christmas this year and craving a Christmas dinner then the key is to shop around locally for the best deal on fresh vegetables. You can pre-prepare the vegetables by boiling and then freezing them. Remember to follow the instructions for your meat and to defrost it in plenty of time before you prepare it for cooking. Use Tupperware boxes to refrigerate or freeze food for a later date. Heat everything thoroughly after defrosting. For food bargains nearer the time try late-night shopping, or shopping on a Monday night as the previous week’s food is knocked down in price. If you’re not going all-out for a turkey this year, or inviting vegetarians then stocking up on tinned foods (ﬁsh, kidney-beans etc) is a good idea for a bean salad or a warm soup starter. Dry-goods
1)Take one chilli per person, slice it down the middle, scoop out the seeds but be careful to leave the chilli in one piece. 2) Add it to a glass of milk and put the whole thing in a saucepan on the hob, and heat over a medium heat making sure it does not boil (or you will get horrible scum). Simmer for ﬁve minutes or so. 3) Whilst simmering, take some chocolate (I use one square of dark and one square of white per person, but feel free to mix it up) and grate it on the middle sized holes on the grater. 4) Put most of the chocolate into the milk, leaving a little bit aside for later. 5) Once all the chocolate is melted, ﬁsh out the chilli, and pour into a cup. 6) If you have got a milk frother, use that to make a frothy top, but if not heat a small amount of milk in a saucepan and froth it using a whisk. You will have to whisk it really quite hard. 7) Spoon the froth onto the chocolate and sprinkle with the last bit of chocolate. It looks and tastes awesome!
Sometimes It’s Not Cool To Be Hot! Marianne Ward - Chip-pan ﬁres may not seem like a modern day cause of ﬁre but statistically ﬁres caused by cooking are one of the biggest ﬁre threats. - If you were to put a small amount of water on burning oil it would turn into a deathly ﬁreball. - Fires caused by cigarettes are the most common ﬁres reported to the ﬁre station. - Make sure you have ﬁtted and working smoke alarms around your accommodation and remember that you are more than twice as likely to die in a ﬁre if you do not have a working smoke alarm. - 55% of 18-24 year olds deaths in ﬁres occur through misuse of cooking appliances and careless handling of hot substances.
If a ﬁre starts, get out, stay out and call 999’ Jim Wilson
Fashion WessexScene Dear Father Crimbo Luella joins Lacroix page 18
I have been very good this year and so would like...
...Some Jimmy Choo for H&M heels. When else are you going to be able to get me some Choos for just £69.99?
...A green D i e s e l cardigan for my brother. He hasn’t been as good as I have been this year but at £90 I think he deserves a treat.
...A Mulberry holder for my iPhone. Okay, I know it’s a little bit pricey at £150 but I have been very good!
So please leave these treats under the Christmas tree and I will leave you mince pies, some sherry and a carrot for Rudolph.
says that the aim of this experiment is to show how the trench has evolved. Modern photographs are displayed beside an archive of Burberry’s creations dating back to 1910, illustrating how South Pole explorers set out with nothing but their Burberry trenches to shield them against the elements. Of Burberry’s new foray into social networking, Bailey says “everybody has a different story related to their coat. I love the idea that people from all over the world can share those stories and images with each other and all the different attitudes and expressions of the Burberry trench coat and the people who wear it.” Bailey describes it as “a natural extension of everything we’re doing on the digital front, and a way for our fans to interact with the culture of the brand and with the emotional aspects of the trenchcoat.” You can log in to the site using your Facebook details and then your activity features on your proﬁle. Go to http://artofthetrench.com/submit_ your_trench to submit your trench now.
The Art of Burberry In our technologically motivated society it seems that the future of fashion lays in media outlets, most notably the internet. Whilst you have been able to shop online and read fashion blogs for years, 2009 is seeing a new type of direction being taken by leading fashion houses in tapping into new audiences. artofthetrench.com is a brand new online forum on which famed street photographer The Satorialist posts up pictures of ordinary people in their Burberry trench coats. Burberry is inviting internet users to leave their comments on each outﬁt, via Facebook or Twitter, vote for their favourites and even upload their own photographs. The powers that be then pick the best photographs and post them up next to those taken by The Satorialist. The hundreds of pictures already up on the site can be browsed according to category: weather, colour, style, gender or popularity. Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey
H&M have unveiled their S/S 2010 menswear collection and it contains alot of kilts, parachute trousers and pink, similar to those seen in the Prada and Marc Jacobs collections. REM frontman Michael Stipe has unveiled a limited edition of microcassettes he’s designed for Maison Martin Margiela that can be styled in at least 32 ways including being made into an eye patch.
The future of British designer brand Luella is in doubt as its main ﬁnancial backers Club 21 have terminated their contract with the label. Luella follows Christian Lacroix as a victim of the economic climate after his label folded earlier this year. It has come as a shock to the fashion world, especially considering Luella’s prominence and the critical acclaim that the brand’s designer, Luella Bartley, receives for her designs. Questions are now being asked as to what the fashion world is doing to combat the recession. Club 21 is part of the COMO Group, a company that focuses on luxury retail and describes itself as engaged in ‘wholesale distribution, sourcing, brand guardianship and vertical retail.’ For its clients, which include Emporio Armani and DKNY Jeans, Club 21 comes up with a strategy that ‘pairs the correct retailers with brands and its products.’ Essentially what this means is that Club 21 works as a go-between, linking the fashion house to the shop ﬂoor. Club 21 say that it was their collaboration with Luella in becoming its global licensee and distributor in 2003 that saw the brand’s meteoric rise to the fashion fore. No reason has been given as to why the contract ended but the recession is being blamed with Club 21 no longer able to support Luella. This follows the manufacturers of Luella’s ready to wear collection closing due to lack of ﬁnances. Earlier this year, Bartley was known t o have been looking for a n e w ﬁnancial backer and of t h e recent parting of ways she said, “this is a very disappointing situation for everyone involved with the brand. I very much appreciate the support that (Club 21 subsidiary) VSQ has given me, but it is upsetting not to be able to protect jobs in this difﬁcult economic climate.” The fact that they have ceased trading with Luella in essence means that although you can still buy Luella clothes online, customers will no longer be able to ﬁnd their eclectic, English-eccentric pieces on the shop ﬂoor. Hailing from Stratford-Upon-Avon, Luella Bartley started her career in fashion journalism writing for the Evening Standard, Vogue, The Face and Dazed & Confused. She then returned to her passion for design and made Giuseppe Zanotti has been unveiled as Shoe Designer of the Year. Louise Goldin has designed a range of shoes for Topshop that critics say are copied from the Louboutin for Rodarte range. Tributes were paid to model Daul Kim (pictured above for Luella) after she was found to have committed suicide at her apartment in Paris.
catwalk debut in 2000 with the ﬁnancial backing of a friend. After showing in Milan, New York and London, her preppy English school girl designs drew the who’s-who of the fashion glitterati with fans including Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexa Chung and Stevie Nicks. Even the ice queen herself Anna Wintour insisted on having a front row seat at Luella’s S/S 2010 catwalk show in September. Bartley’s most famous collections; Daddy, I Want a Pony; Daddy, Who Are the Clash and Dial F for Fluro include her staple bows, ribbons and frills all staying true to her mantra, ‘pink is the only true rock and roll colour.’ It seems that if Luella Bartley, who just last year won the prestigious British Fashion Council’s Designer of the Year Award, can succumb to the recession then any designer can. However, innovative measures have been taken to ensure that buyers keep buying and designers keep designing all in the name of sustaining the fashionable economy. Marc Jacobs is the ﬁrst major designer to appreciate the strain on our purse strings and has launched a capsule collection called ‘Don’t Miss the Marc.’ It sees the super cute repertoire we associate with Marc by Marc Jacobs but at a fraction of the price. Enlisting the talents of artist William Broome has seen the return of our favourite Miss Marc character that adorns the collection’s t-shirts, bags, umbrellas and jewellery. The prices of the collection range from the not unreasonable £40-£180 in recognition of the hard times our worn out wallets are taking. This novel step forward is not only kind on the bank balance to us mere mortals but also ensures that people keep buying Marc by Marc in their droves. Thus the brand is saved from suffereing the same fate as Luella. Go to www.twitter.com/SaveLuella to leave your messages of support for the brand or join the Facebook group, www.facebook. com/saveluella
Kate Moss has drawn criticism from the media after she was quoted as saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” The newest craze from America: lingerie equipped with GPS so you can check up on your girlfriend’s/wife’s whereabouts whenever you want. Feminists are outraged at what they are calling the “modern day chastity belt.”
Christmas always sees the release of some of the year’s best books and I’ve selected a few gems that should produce smiles all around on Christmas Day! A mu new M st buy for yo a u Star in rian Keyes r Mum is th e bran b ook, t h e S d Star S treet, ky. The occ The Brightes D but no t upants ublin, reside one is awar are being w of 66 nts are e of it atched and o - yet.. , faced t . everyt hers have with love dil Some hing h e m id den s mas is bro when ecre u F Marian ate pays a ght into q ts but v u this n Keyes nev isit to Star estion ovel w er dis one m appoin Street. ill hav e a non inute and la your Mum ts and Basica stop emot ughing the crying ional ll next in r flick – y a really good, oller-coaste what M r. cla um wo uldn’t ssy, chicklove it ?
Arts in the City
26th November-9th January, The Wind in the Willows, The Nuffield Theatre. 3rd-5th December: A Midsummer Night’s Dream,The Annex Performed by SUSU’s Theatre Group. 4th December-14th February: Howard Hodgkin: As Time Goes By, Southampton City Art Gallery. 6th December: SU Brass Band, St Michael and All Angels Church Until 11th December: France 1755- 1860, Special Collections Gallery, Level 4 of the Hartley Library. 11th December-16th January: Santa Claus and the return of Jack Frost, The Mayflower Theatre.
r you for Andy y u the o b but lt t eral, from nd u c a diffi gen ken nt e ays en in Spo poigna ten th t, w l t k a i x o r m e It’s and w bo for a has w the t er, nt e ne d Dad ab’s l mak McNab edite k is i men o l N i s c o . c i M nt w read d ha he b serv e g on Fro erent on an e of t itish servin cked, diff oducti remis of Br o are on-pa rous intr the p ories ff wh r acti humo nterbut en st ort sta Thei often ugh i and wov supp line. g and thro emails the and front movine told and ed by the matic, es ar letters es fac tan. dra imoni ries, fficulti hanis a t tes s, di he di in Afg view unt t onflict o rec oing c ong
to seempire e r e vam ywh f ever ith the lease o s l r i s e w i r g e e e e v n th lo ag yo Teen allen in nd with n, ever ampire f a v oo have Twilight , New M p with ister the u s m t r l m l t by h u fi fi new ain caug t get yo ? Twiligh wan the o S d g n a lla y rte once . So, whit all sta ws Isabe n where r o w e l e l o v r o ary. t fe whe yer f ordin new book hanie Me s to a r from strange a Step he move es are f velops a d as the n as s lassmat Bella de ullen a arns the C c , e r l r d his a r l e n a h rticu to Edw lla soo dness. T nd a p a e l In ction ps B ance ’s co attra develo Edward ith rom y young story ns for harged wtract an o reas tale is c d to dis or days. y sf x tee e s aran aydream u g is ith d girl w
Theatre: The Shawshank Redemption
The film version of Stephen King’s novella gleaned Oscar nods in seven of the top categories. It is an epic, classic and beautifully poignant demonstration of the human condition. It depicts the need for freedom and justice and the road to it that either leaves men crumpled or empowered. The best thing about this film gaining such accolades, is that the new stage adaptation beats it. The Shawshank Redemption is a story that has been crying out for a stage version; it warrants audience participation and total encapsulation which cannot be achieved in the same way on the big screen. Shawshank comes with a warning tag, that of ‘nudity and strong language’. This label does not however warn of the frequent and graphic ‘dropping the soap in the shower’ scenes that have become synonymous with prison films and dramas. It’s a very sad fact that at least five people left the theatre after the first of these scenes, whilst a number of others waited until the interval to make their exit. What they missed is no doubt one of the greatest masterpieces of modern theatre. Set in the American Shawshank Prison
between the 1940s and 1970s, The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Kevin Anderson–Sleeping with the Enemy) who has been imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover. He always maintains his innocence,
but does not protest it until the second half of this play, when he has become relatively settled at Shawshank. The other central protagonist is Red, (Reg Cathey – of U.S drama The Wire), who is the “guy who gets stuff” at Shawshank. Andy and Red develop a friendship throughout the course of the play; it is the interchanges between the two alongside the consistent narration from Red that bring an extra dimension of poignancy to the play. By far the most striking moment of the production is the inmates’ discovery of a friend, who has apparently committed suicide in his cell. Andy and the audience know better and it is this feeling of injustice and helplessness, enveloped by one of a number of musical moments in the play that makes for Shawshank‘s piece de resistance. The song sung a cappella by the inmates as they mourn the loss of their companion takes the form of the most haunting of spirituals. Its effect is difficult to explain but anyone who has heard it will get goosebumps just thinking about it. The Shawshank Redemption is a raw yet pristine production conjured from magnificent acting prowess and gritty, heart-rending sorrow and triumph in equal measure.
And finally… The perfect treat for your young brother is the brand new Who’s Horrible in History by Terry Deary and Martin Brown. We all know boys love horrible things and this brand new title will not disappoint. Fifty foul people from history have been selected for their beastly behaviour and the text details their lives in ten different sections including: Awful Assassins, Rotten Rebels, Wicked Women etc. Each section follows a different format - stories, newspaper articles, diary entries, fact files and it even comes with a free dreadful door poster! If you’re lucky, it should keep them occupied for hours.
Science Britain Set to Suffer Major Power Cuts
Polly Bennett The recent shelving of plans for a new coal-fired power plant at Kingsnorth in Kent comes as a blow for the development of new carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS). The new plant was to be fitted with the latest in CCS technologies that are set to revolutionise coal power. Current EU rules will force Britain to close its most polluting plants from 2015 onwards, with the existing plant at Kingsnorth being one of them. If plans to replace these sources of ‘dirty’ power are not established within the next few years Britain could suffer major power cuts from 2017. The aim of CCS is to directly remove CO2 from industrial or utility plants and store it in secure reservoirs, a process often termed as carbon sequestration. This allows the continued use of fossil fuels while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions. Carbon can be sourced from three types of anthropogenic processes: industry, such as in ammonia manufacturing; power production, such as that from fossil fuels; and fuel decarbonisation such as the production of hydrogen fuels from biomass. There are three categories of carbon capture from these sources and these are described in more detail to the right. Thousands of gigatons of CO2 can be successfully stored for hundreds to thousands of years in geologic and ocean sinks. One major advantage of the storage process is that CO2 injection is already a well established technology. There are three types of geologic storage: unminable coal seams, deep saline formations and depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Storage in unminable coal seams consists of the CO2 being absorbed by the coal as it diffuses through its porous structure. Using this method there is a potential for 7.2 billion tons of CO2 storage worldwide. Deep saline formation storage is where the CO2 can be injected below 800m into subterranean and subseabed reservoirs to force the gas into a dense, or liquid, phase where it can be safely stored without diffusion back up through rock to the surface. In depleted oil and gas reservoirs the CO2 can be injected into old fuel reservoirs and aid in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) to maximise efficieny of oil fields. Oceans are the largest potential sink for CO2 storage. Liquid CO2 is injected into the water column at depths of 1000-3000m, or at depths greater than 3000m. At these depths CO2 becomes heavier than seawater and therefore drops to the bottom of the ocean to form a “CO2 lake.”
Flue Gas Separation - The Principle: chemical absorption of CO2 – this can then be used commercially for e.g. carbonating beverages The Process: 1. CO2 is removed from emissions by bubbling the flue gas through a liquid solvent in an absorber column. CO2 is absorbed in the solvent. 2. The solvent passes through a regenerator unit where a conterflow of steam at 100-120oC strips CO2 from the solvent. 3. The water vapour condenses leaving a stream of highly concentrated CO2. This can be siphoned off and sold for commercial processes. 4. The liquid solvent can be recycled after cooling to 40-65oC. Disadvantage: the entire process requires a thermal input from the power plant, thus reducing thermal efficiency of the plant. Oxyfuel Combustion - The Principle: burning fossil fuels in pure or enriched oxygen rather than air. This reduces the presence of excess air gases leaving mostly CO2 and H2O. The Process: 1. Oxygen is separated from nitrogen in an Air Separation Unit (ASU) to form liquid oxygen, gas nitrogen and gas argon. 2. Flue gas is combusted in this pure or enriched oxygen. 3. The resulting water vapour can be compressed and piped directly to the storage site. Disadvantage: The ASU alone can cosume up to 15% of the electrical input of a power plant. Precombustion Capture - The Principle: the efficiency of CO2 separation is greatly increased when captured at high pressure before combustion and subsequent dilution in air. The Process: 1. Coal is gasified to produce a gas composed of carbon monoxide, CO, and hydrogen, H2. 2. CO is reacted with water to produce CO2 and H2. 3. CO2 can be captured while the H2 can be sent to turbines to produce electricity. Disadvantage: electricity generation is cheaper by conventional coal power than coal gasification providing little incentive to further the investment in this technology.
Fact or Fiction?
The question: “Do we inherit our IQ?” is a key part of the nature vs. nurture debate and has been a topic of controversy between scientists, philosophers, anthropologists and psychologists for many years. Heritability is defined as ‘the proportion of phenotypic variation in a population that is attributable to genetic variation among individuals’ and a value between zero and one can be determined to indicate how heritable IQ is. A value of one indicates that intelligence is heritable and a value of zero indicates it is not. Research by Bouchard and McGue found that the correlation of IQ increased as the degree to which two individuals were related increased, for example, the correlation between monozygotic twins was 0.86 whilst the correlation between cousins was 0.15. The results indicate that the difference between the IQ of one person to the next is due to genetics. However, it is important to consider that a high heritability does not mean that the environment an individual grows up in will not be a contributing factor to their IQ scores and that even monozygotic twins will not be exposed to identical environments.
Bill Gates Facilitates the Opening of a New Window in Vaccine Research Ben Good The School of Biological Sciences has just been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the designing of new vaccines at the university. The grant is for the microbiologist Dr Jeremy Webb and his team who are trying to design a vaccine that will provide protection from pneumonia and meningitis. During infection the bacteria assemble together to form what is known as a biofilm, this acts as a defence mechanism against antibiotics and the host’s immune system. Dr Webb and his colleagues are seeking to identify proteins that allow the biofilms to form in humans with the aim of finding a possible target for vaccines. “People often think of bacteria as single organisms, but in reality most bacteria cooperate to form complex communities” explained Dr Webb. “Vaccines in use today are generally based on the properties of single-celled bacteria. Our
approach is new because we will target properties of the protective biofilms in order to design new vaccines.” The Southampton team is working in conjunction with researchers from the University of Liverpool and University of Bristol. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest privately owned charitable organisation in the world and each year donates around $1.5 billion to a variety of causes worldwide. Dr Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation’s ‘Global Health Program’ says: “The winners of these grants show the bold thinking we need to tackle some of the world’s greatest health challenges. I’m excited about their ideas and look forward to seeing some of these exploratory projects turn into life-saving breakthroughs.” This article is from the University’s biological newspaper ‘The Nerve’. For more information about The Nerve please contact: nervepaper@ googlemail.com or go online at: www.nervepaper. co.uk
The School of Physics and Astronomy hold colloquia every Wednesday at 2:30pm in the Physics Seminar Room on Level 5 in the Physics Building (Building 46). Forthcoming colloquia are listed below: 27th Nov: Current and future power generation, Jonathon May, E-on, UK 4th Dec: Cold atoms, Ed Hinds, Imperial College, London 9th Dec: Our Future Energy Needs - Climate Change Lecture at 3:45pm in the Nightingale Building in room 1027. Aimed at staff, researchers and anyone interested in the challenges involved in the UK’s future energy needs. 11th Dec: LUCID (Langton Ultimate Cosmic-ray Intensity Detector)- putting a CERN detector in space and in schools, Becky Parker, Langton Star Centre and Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys. 7th Jan: School of Psychology Seminar - Serial versus parallel lexical processing in eye movements during reading. This lecture will be held in the Shackleton Building in room 3095 at 4:00pm. 3rd Feb: School of Engineering Sciences Seminar - Effective Poisson’s ratio of random callular material. This event will be held in the Lanchester Building in room 3031 at 4:00pm.
Ben Fogle at the Turner Sims Ben Fogle meets Wessex Sport Editors to talk rowing, skiing, running and TV presenting in some of the world’s most hostile environments
Since entering into the world as the son of vet, Bruce Fogle and actress, Julia Foster, Ben Fogle’s life has followed an extraordinary path. After attending public school in Dorset, Ben found himself moving around the world in an attempt to find his niche. He took two gap years; the first of which he spent working in an orphanage in Ecuador and the second, he spent on the Mosquito Coast of Central America. He studied for a degree in Latin-American Studies at the University of Portsmouth and during this time, he became a Royal Naval recruit in Southampton, so being here at the Turner Sims is particularly meaningful to Ben. After graduating, he considered becoming a writer and duly found work experience on a high end magazine in London. However, it was not until 1999, when he picked up an advert seeking men and women to spend a year as part of a self-sufficient island community in the outerHebrides that Ben’s life was to change forever. The year-long social experiment served as a serendipitous springboard for Ben’s career. He refers to the experience as the best year of his life and of leaving the Island as like a bereavement, but little did he know, that that year would prove to secure his position as one of the most popular and best known presenters in Britain over the next ten years. With Ben Fogle on the Autumn bill of events at the Turner Sims, there was no argument as to his featuring in this issue of the Wessex Scene. Where he should go, however caused some tension in the Wessex Scene office. Politics, Features, Sport? With presenting and writing, amongst his talents, Ben is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an ambassador for WWF and has recently raced to the South Pole with double Gold medal winning Olympic athlete James Cracknell. Ben’s work has been so diverse in the last ten years, that it's difficult to know which achievements to showcase. After listening to and chatting with Ben, it was clear to us that his sporting feats needed the same exposure as his other achievements and for this reason, you can read our full interview with Ben in the fetaures section, but here, we are very happy to showcase Ben as the extraordinary sportsman that he is. Ben Fogle's claim to being the last person picked for the football team at school is one that doesn't quite ring true with his audience at the Turner Sims. His sporting feats of the last ten years have been of such magnitude that it's hard to believe that he wasn't running and jumping before he could walk. This year, Ben's most outstanding sporting achievement has been his race to the South Pole with James Cracknell and Bristol Doctor, Ed Coates, a feat that others have died attempting to complete. The team came second to a team of Norwegians, beating many hardened cross-country skiers to the finish line at the South Pole. The race was not the first time that Ben had teamed up with Olympian, James Cracknell. In 2005, the pair took part in the 3000 mile ‘Atlantic Rowing Race’ and managed to achieve second place in the pairs competition, despite Ben's never having rowed competitively before. In the follow up television series, Through
Hell and High Water, the strain of this race on Ben's mental and physical health was clear to see, yet the pair did not think twice about risking their lives together for a second time in 2008-2009 for the race to the South Pole. Ben entered into the Marathon des Sables in 2004 in a similarly underprepared manner. He mentions in his talk, that when he began training for the infamous 160 mile, 6-day race across the Sahara, the personal trainer at his gym refused to work with him, for fear that Ben could die during the race. Undeterred by this, he continued to train for two hours averaging 20 miles of running each day, for two months and managed to complete the race. Aside from these epic sporting feats that Ben has conquered, he has also harnessed a number of other sporting achievements that are little known to those who know him best as the lovable presenter of wildlife and conservation programmes. Ben won a boxing match for BBC Sport Relief against former amateur boxer Sid Owen (Eastenders' Ricky Butcher,) and has recently completed a 450 mile rickshaw ride (again with James Cracknell) from Edinburgh to London, in aid of wounded war heroes. Ben has
also set a world record breaking time of 49 hours for sailing between Portsmouth and Cork, with his wife Marina, raising money for the Everyman Male Testicular and Prostate Cancer as he went. Ben Fogle’s sporting achievements are just a drop in the ocean when considering his wealth of talents. No other television personality has pushed themselves to the very limits of human ability in the way that Ben has and each new adventure that he takes on is followed intensely by the nation. It's not just these achievements that make us proud to feature Ben on our back cover this issue, but as we have learned through chatting to him this week, we have come to agree with every Mum, Auntie and Granny across the country, that Ben really is "a very, very nice man," and it was a pleasure to have met and talked sport with him. Wessex Sport would like to thank Ben for taking the time to talk to us. We also send all good wishes to Ben and his wife Marina, as they await the imminent birth of their first child.
Read the full interview with Ben Fogle in the Features Section
David Haye Inspires first ‘Student Fight Night,’ at The Cube Ellie Cundy
Likened to the biblical tale of ‘David and Goliath,’ this year’s WBA Heavyweight title fight between David Haye and Nikolai Valuev was subject to an epic media storm. At 7ft 2in, defending champion NIkolai Valuev is nine inches taller than Haye and eight stone heavier. Despite Valuev’s giant proportions, Haye went ahead and met him in a fight for the title on November 7th, with the fight lasting a full 12 rounds. Comprehensively out-boxing and out-thinking Valuev throughout, Haye went on to win the match with a majority verdict of 114-114, 116-112, 116-112, despite finsihing the fight with a broken hand. Haye even came close to knocking Valuev down in the 11th round, where he delivered a swinging left hook, leaving his opponent stumbling and struggling to maintain his stature. After his victory, Haye revealed that it was at the end of the 11th round that he realised he was only three minutes away from fulfilling a childhood dream, claiming that “it was easy tactically, but draining mentally. If I’d had a couple more rounds I’d have knocked him out.” Haye has become the first British fighter to hold the heavyweight title since Lennox Lewis, who retired as champion in 2004. He joins four other Britons, including Frank Bruno, who have held the world heavyweight crown. His next fight is against John Ruiz and is due to take place in 2010. Unsurprisingly, Haye is already the favourite to win. The Southampton University Amateur Boxing Club are holding their own ‘Fight Night’ on Thursday 3rd of December at The Cube. There are eight fully refereed fights scheduled for the evening, in a professional ring, with ring girls included! Tickets are £5 and are available from the Box Office. Please visit the ‘Fight Night at the CUBE’ facebook page for full details.
Medics Victorious in First Jesters Cup
Wessex Men’s Rugby team withdraw from tournament, allowing Medics to steal the win Women’s Football: Wessex 2-1 Medics Tom Sherrington
The Wessex side enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, frequently launching attacks down their right wing. Emily Mitchinson squandered two good early opportunities, shooting just wide of the right post on both occasions from the right side of the penalty area. The Medics did begin to become imposing as the game progressed, although they were unable to create any significant opportunities and the match became slightly stale. The Medics did have a half-chance midway through the half, when a shot from range was struck wide, whilst the Wessex team exerted pressure through the form of corner kicks. It was the Wessex side who succeeded in breaking the deadlock; their goal coming just two minutes shy of half-time. The move had a certain familiarity about it, with the attacking side again exploiting the opposition down the right. It was Mitchinson once more who had the chance and this time, she took full advantage, shooting skilfully right-footed across the Medics’ goalkeeper. The Medics, however, deserve credit for the improvement they displayed after the break. They succeeded in curbing the attacking threat presented by the Wessex Ladies and this enabled them to be more assertive when pushing forward. The Medics reaped their rewards when, 12 minutes into the second half, Kate Gomes pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area and powerfully drove in the equaliser. The period that followed was the most even of the game, as both sides aimed at securing victory. The decisive moment was to come in the 75th minute and it went in the Wessex side’s favour. The attack was again created down the right flank and it was, again, Mitchinson on the score sheet, placing her low effort confidently into the net. Despite the best efforts of the Medics, the Wessex team were able to maintain their advantage with relative comfort for the remainder of the game and thus emerged victorious.
Men’s Football: Wessex 6-2 Medics Tom Sherrington
The Wessex side produced a classy performance to triumph in the Men’s football at the Jesters Cup, earning a victory which was every bit as emphatic as the score line suggests. The match might have taken a rather different course if goalkeeper Liam Murphy hadn’t brilliantly thwarted an early Medics attempt, blocking the left-footed goal-bound effort with an instinctive save. The Wessex team took the lead after profiting on a weak Medics goal kick with 15 minutes of the game played. The kick was intercepted by a Wessex striker and the ball was subsequently passed to the Wessex no. 9, who competently despatched his low shot past the goalkeeper. The goal resulted in the leading side dominating the rest of the first half. Ten minutes after scoring their first goal, they scored a second. A corner from the right led to a goalmouth scramble and the ball was eventually forced over the line. Despite the protestations of the Medics about a possible handball, the goal was allowed to stand. The Medics’ goalkeeper atoned for his earlier error with a fine save shortly after, but the Wessex did soon have a third. On this occasion the scorer of their first goal created the opportunity, providing the no. 10 with a simple finish. Any remote hopes of a Medics comeback were stifled by three further goals from Wessex within the first 15 minutes of the second half. The fourth was poked home from close range after 50 minutes, the fifth, a clinical right-footed shot into the far corner from 12 yards out, followed three minutes later and the sixth was the outcome of a dangerous cross a minute before the hour mark. The Medics did give their supporters something to cheer about late on, when Tom Bell scrambled the ball in from a corner after 77 minutes and then Rami Radwan scored a header, 60 seconds later. However, the goals proved to be scant consolation and the Wessex side deservedly ended up comprehensive winners.
Women’s Rugby: Wessex 5-20 Medics Jake Cruickshank
This was the one fixture where the Medics were clear favourites. The Woodpeckers have an undefeated record against the University team. Many of the girls play for both sides, but this didn’t prevent the rivalry from rearing its head and a great game of rugby resulted. The opening 15 minutes looked promising for Wessex, with the uni team keeping possession and field position. Unfortunately, they were unable to convert this into an early lead as many opportunities were missed due to poor hands on a very wet day. This allowed the Woodpeckers to counter-attack and it soon became clear that they were the better side on the day. The Woodpeckers continued to make breaks through the Wessex defensive line and were able to score four tries on the day. Credit to the Wessex girls who kept their heads in the game and were able to score a consolation try before the end of time.
Mixed Hockey: Wessex 1-3 Medics Jake Cruickshank
After the Medics had taken both rugby fixtures and Wessex responded with two wins in the football, it set the day up for a dramatic finish in the last match of the day, winner takes all. In a match that is always a heated contest, Wessex were favourites after beating the Medics 4-2 earlier in the year, but the Gophers were determined to lead the Medics to the first annual Jesters Cup! A physical match, which saw the true rivalry come out between the Medics and Wessex was unfortunately tarnished, with cards shown to players from both sides. The Medics were in a determined mood and with the wind and rain at their backs, the Gophers took the lead to a deserved 3-0 at half time. With the game all but wrapped up, Wessex pushed themselves to try to steal the victory and did manage to win the second half, but were only able to find a way past the Medics once, to make the final result 3-1, giving the Medics victory in the Jesters Cup.
Soton Skydivers are Floating on Air after Spectacular Success in Regional and National Leagues Garrick Taylor - Skydiving Captain
Every year, approximately 30 universities compete in two national skydiving leagues run by the British Collegiate Parachute Association (BCPA). Competitive skydiving is a relatively unknown, up and coming sport. University level competitions consist of three main disciplines; accuracy, formation and freefly. Accuracy is arguably the easiest to access for non-skydiviners. It involves jumping from the plane at approximately 5000 ft, deploying canopies almost immediately and then attempting to land on a given target on the ground. Many people will have seen the infamous Honda advert and believe skydiving to be an easy sport. The advert does not accurately depict some of the more difficult and dangerous
aspects of skydiving. For instance, competitive skydiving includes an element of performance. Put more simply, this generally requires jumping from the plane at around 13000 feet with two other teammates and then attempting to peform a set routine of formations and points. In addition, competitive skydivers fall at approximately 120 mph, in close proximity to their teammates The freefly element to competitive skydiving is an artistic discipline. It is considered to be extremely beautiful and involves a huge amount of skill. Instead of flying in the most stable, flat position that formation skydivers fly in, freefliers then perform a series of sitting, standing and head down positions. Doing this, they reach speeds of around 180 mph and perform particularly complex manouveres, including upside down, spinning splits. Southampton’s skydiving team has improved
immensely this year, finishing second nationally in the Achievements League. This league is dependent on the number of different qualifications that have been acquired by a club. Southampton’s skydivers were beaten to the top spot by Warwick, who have been dubbed the Manchester United of the skydiving world. In the Competitive league, which is based on how many points are won at competitions, Southampton have this year finished in a respectable fourth place, robbed of 3rd position after a somewhat dubious decision to allow a late entry by Warwick. Southampton have, however, achieved the title of Southern Champions, in both leagues. The new season has now started and Southampton are currently 1st in both of the national leagues, 1st in the Southern regional league and have just won their 1st national competition of the year.
Wessex Sport Interview: Mike Perham
Mike Perham has become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe. We speak exclusively to him about his nine month trip Daniel Webb
On Thursday 27 August 2009, Mike Perham became the youngest person at 17 ever to sail, single-handed, 30,000 miles around the world. As he crossed the line between Lizard Point and Ushant in France, which traditionally represents the start and finish point of the journey, Mike was greeted by the Royal Navy’s very own HMS Mersey, a helicopter from 771 squadron and a small fleet of press boats that had been awaiting his arrival on his 50ft yacht, ‘Totallymoney.com’ Since achieving this epic feat, life has changed considerably for Mike, who now spends his time delivering speeches and giving interviews across the world, from Southampton to Hong Kong. Despite this new hectic life, Mike has spared the Wessex Scene a few moments to answer some questions and has even managed to converse with us over Facebook chat. Mike, who also set the record for the youngest person ever to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, aged 14, said of holding two world records; “It feels fantastic. If I could bottle up the feeling I got when I crossed the finish line and open it up every now and again I’d be wearing a smile 24/7.” Mike set off on his circumnavigation from Portsmouth, after unveiling his 50ft yacht at the Southampton Boat Show earlier this year, despite many experienced sailors advising him that the expedition was too dangerous for such a young sailor to undertake. On this subject, Mike remarks: “I wanted an adventure and I knew I could do it. I’m not stupid, I wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t think I was up to the job.” Mike’s parents were also unsure about his undertaking the challenge; “Of course my parents were apprehensive at first, but they knew I had what it took and so they let me live my dream.” Mike’s family has strong maritime associations; his father was a merchant naval officer, his grandfather served with the Navy during World War 2, and his great-grandfather served during the Crimean War as a Royal Marine.
Top Ten Moments in British Sporting History
Mike’s nine-month odyssey was featured on Channel 4 as The Schoolboy that Sailed the World, with the idea to make a programme coming from Mike himself. “I wanted to document the trip really well. I wanted the public to see what being alone out on the ocean was really like. I approached production companies a long time before I set off and we teamed up [with Channel 4] and made a cracking documentary, which I am very proud of.” Mike shot all the footage for the programme whilst at sea and as a result, was forced to overcome a series of technical and navigational challenges. Throughout his journey, the autopilot was erratic and Mike had to be ready to take to the helm at moment’s notice. Dramatically, the documentary showed Mike leaving the boat for the first time to enter the sea, something all sailors know is to be avoided at all costs. We asked Mike what he was
feeling at this point, entering such a dangerous situation; “One of my ropes had jammed itself under the boat and around my two rudders. This caused me to lose all steering so I had no choice but to enter the water. In a situation like that, you simply have to think, sod it, and get on with the job at hand.” Viewers watched intently as Mike experienced the highs and lows of his expedition. He said, “the Southern Ocean was the hardest part of the trip, but at the same time, it was the most fun. It’s cold, wet and miserable down there, but its totally amazing.” For Mike’s next adventure he plans to re-enact the mutiny on the Bounty, which we look forward to with great anticipation! He is due to start on the 28th of April 2010. To find out more, visit www. bountyboat.com.
Top Ten Moments in British Sporting History: a 2-Part Special What:
Hamilton becomes F1 Champion
2 November, 2008
Sao Paulo, Brazil
It was to be one of the tightest finales in F1 history; Lewis Hamilton was sitting in sixth position knowing that Felipe Massa had just won the season ending race, in front of his home fans in Interlagos. Massa had done all he could and could only watch and wait to see if Hamilton was to scupper his chances of being crowned F1 champion. It looked as though Hamilton was going to be disappointed for a second year, on the same track on which he fell at the final hurdle in the previous year. However, as Timo Glock slipped from fourth
position, due to Toyota’s decision not to call him in to take on wet tyres, Hamilton’s fortune instantly changed. Hamilton passed Glock one kilometer from the finish line of the Brazilian Grand Prix, on the penultimate corner, to claim fifth place. This was enough for him to secure the Championship and become the youngest F1 Champion in history. The previous record-holder was two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Renault, who was 24 years, one month and 27 days old when he won the Championship in 2005. Hamilton was 23 years, nine months and 26 days old when he crossed the finish line in Brazil. Aside from this, Hamilton had also just become the first black champion. This was made considerably more important after Hamilton received a great deal of racial abuse from crowds in Barcelona earlier in the year. ‘Fans’ with blackedout faces taunted Hamilton, wearing t-shirts with the words ‘Hamilton’s family’ written on them. As Hamilton and Button prepare to race alongside each other next season, we look forward to seeing if Hamilton can be victorious for a second time.
Summer 1981 Headingley
Australia dominated the early proceedings and were in the comfortable position of 1-0 up after the first two Tests. At the third Test in Headingly, Australia bowled England out for 174, a target that nobody, commentator, player or spectator believed they wouldn’t achieve. One commentator remarked “The question is not ‘can England save the game’, not even ‘can they hold the game’, but ‘can they last till lunch time?’. They are 91 runs behind with three wickets remaining”. Botham came to the crease with England on 105 for five, requiring 122 runs to avoid defeat. He played an incredible, unbelievable innings of 149 not out, setting Australia a target of 130. Bob Willis was switched to bowl downhill and did so superbly, achieving eight for 43 to dismiss Australia for 111. These late actions from Botham and Willis meant that England became only the second team in history to win a match after being made to follow on.This test match is widely viewed as one of the greatest innings of test cricket of all time, due to the back and forth nature of both of the games and of the series as a whole. Botham would go on to achieve the impossible and inspire England fans in the fourth Test at Edgbaston, this time with the ball in his hand. With Australia only needing 151 runs in the fourth innings, Botham took five for 11, including a spell of five wickets for a solitary run, to give England the victory by 29 runs. England also went on to win the fifth Test at Old Trafford to retain The Ashes. Botham hit 118 from 102 balls, including 6 sixes. This was an Ashes record until the 2005 series, where Kevin Pietersen hit 158 at the Oval. Botham had begun the Ashes as team captain but after losing form in the second test, he resigned the captaincy. Despite much controversy and negative press, for the remainder of the series, Botham let his cricket do the talking and finished being named man of the series. He scored three man of the match performances, 399 runs and took 34 wickets.
Issue 4; 2009 - 2010
Are They Sports Stars or Movie Stars? Tristan Carlyle
Film can serve as a great form of expression for the power of sports, but is by no means a suitable medium for sports stars themselves. Sports ﬁlms can provide a great amount of comedy, drama and inspirational moments of triumph over adversity. The genre has produced some incredibly captivating movies; The Jamaican bobsleigh team’s plight in Cool Runnings, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull with one of Robert De Niro’s best performances and Jerry Maguire, for which the enigmatic Cuba Gooding Junior won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. These ﬁlms all have one thing in common; they feature no sports stars acting in any of the main roles. The reason for this being, that, as a rule, sportsmen and sportswomen cannot act. They may be at the peak of their physical ﬁtness and possess immense talent in their given ﬁelds, but they are not made for the big screen. For instance; he may well be the greatest ever basketball player, but Michael Jordan’s acting is appalling. Even as a six-year-old watching Space Jam, a small part of my soul was crushed watching Jordan, NBA hall of famer, sharing tactical advice with Daffy Duck. Jordan’s co-starring with the Looney tunes aside, he is not the only successful sports star to turn their hand to cinema. Dan Marino, NFL hall of famer and Serena Williams, who at the time of writing is ranked as the number one Women’s tennis player, have both had ﬁlm cameos that have thankfully not led to bigger billings. Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as ‘The Rock,’ has gone down in history as receiving the highest salary for an actor’s ﬁrst starring role: $5.5 million for playing Mathayus in The Scorpion King. Whilst his sporting achievements in the world of wrestling may have prepared him more for acting than Michael Jordan, the ﬁlm is still mediocre at best and it is hard to see how that salary is justiﬁed. Perhaps the exception to the bad acting rule is Vinnie Jones. His roles may not be that diverse; Jones is continually cast as a ‘hard man’, but he has given several convincing performances in ﬁlms including Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X Men 2 and Mean Machine. As a footballer, he was renowned for his no-holdsbarred style of play, a style which earned him 12 red cards over the course of his career and this has translated well onto the big screen. After all,
Southampton Skunks, the university’s Ultimate Frisbee team, are celebrating one of their most successful starts to the season in recent history, having ﬁnished in the top 3 in both Open and Women’s Regionals and qualifying for both divisions of Indoor Nationals. The Open squad took a ﬁrst team of 8 to Plymouth to compete against other BUCS Western teams and after narrowly losing to eventual runners-up Bath, thrashed Bristol in the qualiﬁcation ﬁnal, to take third place and
A Word From Your AU President
It is great to see that BUCS results are improving at the moment and this semester’s sporting calendar is proving to be one of the busiest the AU has ever seen! As has been the trend in recent years, clubs are looking to host fundraisers to help with the costs of running an AU club, with many of the larger clubs selling tickets to Jesters and Orange Rooms for themed nights. Buying tickets is a great way to support the clubs; the themed events are always good laughs and usually include something a little extra than your standard night out! Keep an eye out for tickets on sale at the box ofﬁce and on the concourse, plus keep checking sport.susu. org for upcoming events. We are also working with the smaller clubs to try to help them to host such events and we are looking at other ways to raise funds for their clubs. In the last issue of the Wessex Scene, I pledged to abstain from alcohol throughout November. I am pleased to say that my body has now been alcohol free for over a month and I have raised over £50 for prostate cancer. Come to the Sabbatical ofﬁce if you would like to sponsor me.
how big a step up can it be from grabbing Paul Gascoigne by his testicles to slamming a car door on someone’s head? Documentaries can prove to be a better alternative. Once constrained to end of season reviews, bad presenting and titles like Vinnie Jones’ own Great Balls of Fire which featured the tagline: ‘If you thought I was a bit of a hard nut when I was doing my stuff as a footballer, take a look at what some of these geezers get up to and you'll realise I was just an old pussycat! ,’ they have recently become a more respectable vehicle by which to view sports. Instead of putting talented players in contrived situations which demonstrate their (lack of) acting ability, documentaries can showcase their sporting skills in their far more natural surroundings.
Productions such as Zidane: a 21st century portrait and Tyson allow a much greater insight into their subjects than if they were to try their hand at acting. The former tracks the movements of one footballer, Zinedine Zidane, during a match between Real Madrid and Villarreal. The cameras are trained solely on Zidane as he runs tirelessly for 90 minutes and the viewer is given an insight into what makes him such a brilliant player. Disregarding the fact that Zidane was sent off in the ﬁnal minutes of the game for a brawl, of course. Spike Lee was so inspired by the concept, that he made his own version based on the L.A Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and has been commissioned to make a second featuring archive footage of Michael Jordan. Let’s just hope it’s better than Space Jam.
Soton Skunks’ Ultimate Frisbee Spirit Brings Ultimate Success Lauren Bryant
Thursday 3rd December 2009
secure a spot at Nationals in Manchester at the end of the month. The Women’s squad had a great weekend here in Southampton. After losing a hard-fought semiﬁnal against Chichester they went on to beat a strong UWE/Portsmouth combined team to land in the top 3, and proved the club’s strength and depth. Skunks Women also won the ‘Spirit of the Game’ prize for the best fair play and sportsmanship, a fantastic achievement. They will be competing in Women’s Nationals in December. Well Done Skunks!
Vixens’ Share their Cheer Spirit with Local Community
The Southampton Vixens have always been a community driven team. They have supported various causes and been included in many different charitable events since the team was formed. This semester, the Vixens have made considerable contribution to two events. An amazing thirty Vixens turned up in Portsmouth on Sunday 25th October, to cheer on those participating in the Great South Run. The Vixens were particularly supporting runners who were competing in support of Cancer Research UK. Whilst this event was happening, other members of the Vixens were participating in the Southampton Oxjam Music Festival. Throughout the day the Vixens performed four routines to help promote the event.