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£100 cash prize YOU TUBE Careers Video Contest

WHO: All UWE Students and Alumni WHAT: Offer useful, quality advice based on your experience with careers/job search process by uploading a video on MyFUTURE’s YouTube Channel WHERE: UWE MyFUTURE Team - Career Development Unit HOW: Check out a Careers video on YouTube, click on Post a response, fill out the tabs and upload a video with your advice WHY: Help your fellow students in their career journey AND a get a chance to win £100 !!! WHEN: Accepting video entries starting from NOW to mid March Upload a Careers Advice video yourself or contact us for a filming appointment. For self upload instructions and more details on the MyFUTURE’s YouTube Channel. Instructions for Uploads: 1. Register as a member on You Tube 2. Choose the category you want to record for (Interviews, Work Experience, Volunteering, Alumni/Post Grad, International Experience) 3. Click on the ‘instructions’ video 4. Choose ‘Post a video response’ 5. For the title, description and tags, put in brief details that describe your video specifically include UWE MyFUTURE and your name. 6. Follow the You Tube instructions for recording/uploading videos 7. DONE !! Don’t miss this chance to be a UWE star and win £100!!!!!! To view the channel please visit For more information please contact Amber & Mazida via email:

Terms and conditions apply The purpose of student and alumni contributions to the MyFUTURE website is for education only. The idea is to share experiences and advise with current students and alumni so that they may draw upon the guidance and possibly apply it to their particular circumstances. We are looking particularly for bloggers as well as contributions of video and audio clips which will present personal, inspiring stories, journal style entries on work experience, as well as top tips on interviews among other career related topics. All students and alumni making contributions must bear in mind that UWE reserves the right to moderation and will not allow publishing of material that is deemed inappropriate to the site’s educational purposes.

Editor Sarah Pusey Content Selina Orrell Marcus Siddall Tom Pountney Mark Aldis Holly Woolford Design Tom Pountney Selina Orrell Jack Smith Patryjca Cudak Photography Ellie Sanderson Phil Cheung Elodie Barakat

Although spring is just around the corner, this time of year can often feel anything but light and fluffy. The euphoria of the autumn term has long died down and the temptation to bury your head until the summer holidays can seem tempting. Deciding where to live and who to live with, exam results and the heartache and headaches that Valentines Day can incur make for a stressful term. So for this issue, our team have gone incognito and undercover to bring you a magazine with a bit of bite. While we can`t guarantee our features are full of feel-good, heart warming stories, we can promise you a Westworld packed with vigour, venom and vitality. If you have ever considered selling your body or your brains then read on, there are some enlightening articles over leaf. Stuck for a gift for Valentines? Then turn to page 23 for the most luxurious underwear Bristol can offer. And if after all that you think you can do better then get in touch. Without you Westworld is worth nothing - it is your voice, whether your talents lie in your photography, your sketchbooks or your written word. So wherever your voice lies, speak up!

Sarah Pusey Editor

Proof reading Sarah Hopper Liz Tomlinson Emma Brown Anne Gould Chris Anthony Kate Handley Louise O’Brien Clare Clark Modelling Hayley Martin Patrycja Cudak Bianca Hiscock

4. 7. 14. 20. 22. 27. 28.

The Price of Plagiarism Words on War Underneath it all... Sounds of the Underground How much is your body worth? Hidden Gems UWE Events

UWESU Publications Frenchay Campus Tel: 01173282842 Coldharbour Lane Fax: 01173282986 Bristol email: BS16 1QY

Graduation day is a day of pride, acknowledgment and celebration of years of honest, hard work. The title that succeeds your name from there on after does not reflect which classification you achieved, how hard you worked, how hard you partied, the life experience you gained, or if indeed at some point or another, whether you cheated. Chances are, only you would ever know, but how well can you harbour commendation on the foundations of falsity? Even if you can fool the authorities, you cannot fool your scruples. According to an opinion poll carried out by the market research firm ‘opinionpanel`, one in six students admits to copying friends` work, whilst ten per cent confess to looking online for essays. These are the shocking facts that reveal the prevalence of cheating in higher education today. A fully personalised, qualified answer that claims to be a guide for students can be purchased online. This is becoming a multi-million pound industry for entrepreneurs such as Barclay Littlewood, the owner of Academic Answers Ltd. He claims he is ‘proud` to be offering an ‘additional break` to students. A salesman for Degree Essays UK of Academi c Answer Ltd. denied that their service simply provides essay answers for students to hand in as their own, but claimed: “we offer a guide for students that is unique, plagiarised [checke d for plagiarism] and controlled.” He added: “We don`t condone the action of other companies that provide opportunities for students to cheat.” Companies such as Degree Essay UK claim to have 3,500 essay writers serving over 12,000 customers, all ‘qualified experts`. One of these experts, as investigated in a BBC Five Live report: ‘First Class Cheats` is writing essays whilst lecturing and practising law. On the other side, increasingly competitive league tables demand results, increasing pressure upon institutions, and in turn their teaching staff. Unfortunately, quality is not necessarily reflected by high pass rates. As temptin g as it is for students to use these sites it must be difficu lt for lecturers to avoid the temptation of not working for them. Wages, as often publicised, are not generally astrono mical. The blind marking policy at UWE makes identifying an

anomaly difficult as a lecturer cannot bec ome familiar with a student`s style, and it may be too late whe n the awarded first is logged alongs ide a year of third cla ss essays. As pressures upon lec turers increase, and allocated time per essay plumme ts towards single fig ure minutes, the arduous process of launching an investiga tion into plagiarism tests the integrity of those who should be most scrupulous. Governmen t policy is opening the doors to a wider demographic, inc reasing numbers in hig her education. Proportionally this wil l increase the number of those whose answer is plagiarism. This is one answer to a question that is becoming harder as pressures for the ave rage day student are coming thicker and faster. Fees look set to spiral out of control unless the 2009 government review halts the rocket, but movements such as the governmen t’s decision to cut funding for equiva lent or lower qualifica tions and the possibility of course related fees do not ind icate a bright future for the pocket s of the average studen t. The obvious solution is increasing part tim e, or even in some cases, full time work, which alongside a ful l time degree is sure to be detriment al. Everyone knows stu dent culture and high quality origin al essays do not go han d in hand naturally, but one hop es the fun loving, exp erimental student has some morals undern eath the sleepless, alc ohol induced cloak that dominates their university years. Frustration for some students who fee l either they are not creative enough or that their creativit y is culled can lead to desperate measures, but surely an extension on their already mountainous fees is not the only possible sol ution? Buying essays online is the easy option out for students who are coming under enormo us pressure to succee d in limited time. One student cla imed that buying essays online was just another way of using your brain whilst ano ther suggested that university was about the experience and gro wing as a person, implying that it didn`t matter if you cheat the academic system. It is not hard to gai n access to these org anisations. By simply entering ‘essay ` into a search engine , over two hundred million sites are offered. At the for efront of

search engines, Google claims not to condon e and support such actions but as with much that is immoral, there are ways around this. Some of the bought essays are genuine but many offer tailor-made ess ays to be handed in under the guise of support. Students are paying around £400 for an upper second 2000 word essay that would take five days to be delivered. There are even specia l offers available on some sites. First class essays can be bought on eBay for as little as £2.99. Plagiarism is not a new phenomenon but the flourish of the World Wide Web has off ered many more opport unities and it is suspected that che ating is rapidly inc reasing. Senior Advisor at the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and plagiarism expert at University of Nor thumbria, Fiona Duggan said: “The iss ue of plagiarism has esc alated because of the internet. Stu dents have access to so many electronic sources that there is confusion regarding what plagiarism is.” JISC are curren tly managing electroni c detection software called ‘turn it in`. “We can`t be sure that this is the answer to plagia rism of online source s, but it is a step in the right direction to helping instituti ons clamp down” said Duggan. The confusion over wha t plagiarism is just one of many possible reasons for collusion. Professor Susan Bassnett, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Warwick Universit y suggests the problem lies in the US where the rise of cheating has not been suppressed. She also outlined that the training to write essays at lower levels was failing stu dents when they came to degree level. Boris Johnson, ex-Sha dow Minister for Higher Education sug gested that plagiaris m has occurred due to insufficient funds and teaching to meet the demands of an expanding higher education sector. Careers built on lie s cannot possibly pro sper, but in some fields such as law, it is not only your own future jeopardised, it could be your clients, or even your trusting colleague. There are systems in place to offer alternative options and help you if you feel there is little choice. Even if a cheat gets away with it, the immoralit y will slowly eat the credibility of a degree aided by plagia rism.


movements, powerful time, a upon were rebellions subcultures and musical created as a reaction to the political conflicts of the time. As musical participation now largely seems to consist of voting on X Factor, have we slipped into a slum of pop-fuelled, whimsical music and fads? Marcus Siddall and Selina Orrell investigate...

Karma Police by marcus siddall

Having seen both John Fogarty and Richie Havens give astounding performances on outdoor stages this summer, it would be easy to understate the cultural value of two musicians that made up part of the iconic festival that took part in the beautiful upper New York State. But over 35 years later, the gathering better known as Woodstock is still seen as the pivotal moment in an era when mass protest and music intertwined; not one event since can be seen as having such status amongst popular culture. But why? The nearest thing we have today to such an event is undoubtedly Glastonbury. Heralded by all sections of the media as the place where it`s OK to not wash for a week, and where the stone circle is the meet up place for all token long-haired hippies who are otherwise ignored for the other 51 weeks of the year, unfortunately Banksy`s (another victim of our media-bred culture of token figures) portrayal this year of the site as a circle of portaloos is probably closer to the real truth. After all, is there another festival on earth where you can be systematically marched through lines of sniffer dogs before you’re even on a train in London; where security upon entrance is tighter than at post - 9/11 airports and where your mum can watch all of the events unfold on live interactive coverage, just so she knows that her precious little darling won`t be subject to a liquefied mud siege similar to that seen in ‘97? But at the same time, it must still be considered to be the epitome of music protest culture in the 21st century world. In a world where Sir Bob Geldof`s quest for the settlement of global poverty can equate to not only millions upon millions of

people wearing annoying wrist bands, but for one of the world`s greatest bands to reform, just for one night, it would be a shame to consign it as “a new age Nuremburg for simpletons” as Charlie Brooker did of the similarly disillusioning Pop Idol recently. But unfortunately, I must agree with the comparison. Maybe it`s this new high tech super-skunk I`ve heard of making the country`s student population bone idle, or maybe it`s the distinct lack of acid which is curtailing psychedelic thought at the moment, or the unfortunate new craze for a substance better used to sedate horses rather than kids on dance floors who, by the way, should really know better. I hate to sound so DailyMailed up; but I wouldn`t place your bets on the likes of Amy Winehouse and Thom Yorke spontaneously taking up a bed-in protest soon.

Unfortunately down the country. Whatever its real the real impact cultural impact, it is surely the case of such events that such a rebellion would be nigh has undoubtedly on impossible now, even if a certain been romanticised country`s military ambitions are since, and with realised and the threat of military both Led Zeppelin draft that mobilised so many hundreds and James of thousands of students across North Taylor (and America is set upon them some time Radiohead, in 2019. The truth is that as a sector but let`s not of society we students have never get started had it so easy. Whatever the case, on them in a world where Facebook groups shall we) are frequently referred to as shamelessly committed campaigns” in the press, demanding I wouldn`t expect anything past a further tirade of multi coloured something close to £50 for a ticket, it wrist bands, and another wave of would be silly to say the mentioned era “best of” albums to occur any doesn`t still retain something held very dearly in the hearts of millions up and time soon.

How would you categorise yourself?...

words by selina orrell

Indie? Emo? Nu-Rave? Punk? Metal? Rock? Goth? Chav? None of the above?... With so many subcultures that stereotype people in society by the way they dress, style their hair, make-up, and especially by what music they listen to, it is hard to identify their political identity.

In 1971 Marvin Gaye released his anti-war and drugs ‘What`s Going On`, which addressed the political and social troubles of the world and black-onblack crime in a soulful, Think about the 1960`s; the Vietnam War, hippies, introspective way. In 1983 drugs, sex, and rock ‘n` roll, when lyrics offered U2`s overtly political a political message to their contemporaries and song, ‘Sunday Bloody musicians rallied against the war. Barry McGuire`s Sunday`, explained poignant ‘Eve of Destruction` in 1965 was against the horror felt by drafting young men into the military who at the time an observer of the were not eligible to vote. Anti-war rock music troubles in Northern was in its prime, but alongside this there Ireland at the time. was the folk-ballad revival, such as Bob Moving to the Dylan`s pacifistic Masters of War` whilst twenty-first century Barry Sadler used music as a support it is becoming mechanism for US soldiers in 1964 increasingly with ‘The Ballad of the Green difficult to find a Berets. musician who truly has the urge to voice their political views. Then you set back and

watch When the death count gets higher.” Bob Dylan 1963

Does music mean anything anymore or is it just a fad? With stupidly popular generic music constantly being shoved in our faces such as Leona bleeding Lewis from X Factor, who`s debut album ‘Spirit` was the fastest selling debut album ever in the UK and Ireland, creating the sense that the future of music lies in the hands of Simon Cowell, it leaves me feeling very bitter towards twenty first century music and its future.

currently worrying about how their forthcoming tour is going to effect the environment as they fly around the world. It is reassuring to know that there are musicians out there who give a shit. A year ago Coldplay front man Chris Martin satirically stated that their

For a sense of reassurance maybe I should look towards Bono, Bob Geldof, Chris Martin, Thom Yorke or Ian Brown? Surely they create some stance within today`s music? I will give Bob Geldof his due, it is clear he is using music for a specific purpose; Live Aid and the more recent Live 8, were used to help the attempt to reduce world debt. However, when the iconic Madonna was interviewed after performing at Live 8 and questioned about her concern on increasing and improving aid, it was quite clear that she did not know much about her concern. Is it possible that she used Live 8 to increase her status as a “good” and caring” person? Bono tends to hang around on a yacht with Tony and Cherie Blair these days, and U2 have not released any political rebellions Bloody ‘Sunday since Sunday`. However, as Bono was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, maybe there is hope for him yet. and Yorke Thom the of rest the Radiohead gang have made a big comeback selling their new album online for the price any purchaser chooses, are they and

songs weren`t worth listening to as they meant nothing, perhaps mocking those who genuinely do produce music that serves no point, yet seem to earn a great deal of money from it.

Perhaps it isn`t the music that has changed; as some musicians are trying to use their talents to prove something about society. Instead, perhaps it`s the listeners who seem to grab generic music by the hand and give it a big high five, and who are far too welcoming to the reforming of bands, thus making it seem impossible for good musicians to shine. In order to do this I believe Simon Cowell should retire to one of his big houses, and shut up so good music can begin to take control again.

As with every medium of popular culture, music can play the compass to guide us through the jungle of history. It can bellow the feelings of time; of politics, of war or whatever latest fad has sufficiently concerned someone to express their feelings. It can go down in the annuals of time or it can pass quicker than Pete Docherty``s ‘‘clean up`` but as with the butterfly of chaos theory, the very sound waves upon which it lays affect someone, somewhere...

1910s Boy scouts established, Halley`s comet makes an appearance, the Tango catches on, World War One, the rise of communism, Charlie Chaplin and the Easter Rising leads to Irish independence

1940s World War Two dominated the headlines whilst Jazz took off with the likes of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Monroe, Crosby and Sinatra

1930s Pluto Discovered, George VI is crowned king, The Great depression, Nuclear fission discovered, Volkswagens and the first BBC broadcast

1920s First Commercial Radio Broadcast Aired. The first film with dialogue is shown in Britain. Folk music is all the rave and the Jazz age kicks off

1950s Elizabeth II becomes queen. Film icons James Dean and Marlon Brando led the revolt of the teenager. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash

1960s Folk music revival, Vietnam War, Top of the Pops and that little known band, ‘The Beatles. -Mods, Rockers and Woodstock

1980s Rebellious decade featuring punk, Maggie Thatcher, unemployment, shoulder pads, skinny jeans, power suits and material girl Madonna

1990s The Stone Roses laid the way for Oasis and Britpop to stamp its mark whilst the first Gulf War ripped through Iraq and communism fell

1970s Drug abuse, all-night dancing at discotheques and swinging parties kept the hippies busy whilst Black Sabbath, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Blondie and The Sex Pistols dominated the ever diversifying music scene

Noughties Mobile technology boom, The Spice Girls, a second Gulf War and George W. Blair, I mean Bush...!

Underneath it all....

Stylists: Sarah Pusey & Natalie Burns. Photography by Ellie Sanderson All underwear courtesy of Clifton`s boudoir boutique, Oyster:me.

Madame V black silk bra, £78.00, Madame V black silk culotte, £35.00, Madame V black silk eye mask, £22.00, oyster:me black evening gloves £20.00.

Black culottes, as before. Too Fleur T purple triangle bra and tieside panty ÂŁ75.00 set, Blouse, stylists own.

Emporiana ivory silk tunic with crystal brooch ÂŁ45.00, Emporiana ivory silk panties with crystal brooch detail on back ÂŁ65.00. Shoes, stylists own.




knicker set, as before, Pink fan ÂŁ40.00.

Pearl necklace,



Sounds of the

Underground Words by Mark Aldis

Raves have, as far as I know, been going on for a couple of decades among music and drug hungry Brits in the late 1980s bringing this euphoric cocktail to Britain from club crazy Ibiza. For years now many raves have been arranged illegally on plots of open land along with the use of vacant warehouses and property of sorts. However, raves can also be legal affairs with clubs now opening up nights, playing out the same type of music that would be heard at the illegal raves. Raves, also known as free parties, have received a lot of negative coverage in recent years. Invariably, police try to shut them down for a number of reasons; trespassing, theft, violence, drugs, and vandalism. Raves popularly take the form of outside parties in the summer, being hosted in open fields scattered across the UK, with some lasting quite a few nights, depending on whether they get shut down or not, and if there are enough ravers remaining to keep the party going. Numbers can range from hundreds to the lower thousands which can cause vast damage to the land, especially if it is agriculturally utilised, potentially threatening the farmer’s livelihood. Police are often forced to try and stop the raves as they are seen as a public nuisance due to noise or road congestion. The police are sometimes successful, however when there are vast numbers of ravers (in the thousands) there are just too many to move out so they have to wait until the party


organisers pack up or wait for numbers to drop. Damaged land is obviously a problem but police are also worried about the drug scene with many people making money through the sale of drugs. Whilst many attendees would argue that they are just there to have a good time, some ravers go there looking for fights, thieving, and vandalising, which the police want to stop. During the winter months, the parties move inside, being hosted in warehouses, old derelict buildings, and squats, again also causing problems, with some warehouses having equipment lying around or being located near building sites that leave machinery on site. This becomes an issue as some ravers tend to find appeal to these and often try to operate them whilst in a bad state of mind. But why do people choose to party hard in uncouth derelict buildings and squats rather than among the alcopop downing class in neon light saturated, fancy clubs, where drugs, glow sticks, and psychedelic music all hold a place in the epicentre of every clubber`s night? Many frequent ravers claim the trouble at the free parties only starts when the police show their faces, and that most partygoers are house proud of their squats, cleaning and tidying similar to after a house party. Others explain, “you walk into an old warehouse full of free party folk and the first thing you hear is good music and people enjoying themselves. You walk into a club and hear glasses breaking and pissed people fighting. What would your prefer?� With the police attempting to track and shut down illegal parties before they build up the numbers, only the organisers who have the equipment will know the location before the night itself. The ravers will only know of the location when the organisers are close to the site, to prevent the police from tracking down the location and stopping the rave. The secrecy also prevents the landowners such as farmers, from blockading the entrance to the proposed site for the party. Word travels fast on the night of a rave, with many internet sites created to chat to fellow ravers. Organisers also usually have a separate, untraceable mobile phone number that you call on the night to get directions to the site. This means that every raver can get directions to the site within an hour of it being posted. The drug culture has always existed at illegal parties and in my opinion will never disappear due to the type of music people are listening to, but also that is who they are.


I Illustrations by Sarah Waldock Words by Sarah Pusey

Shit. My pulse is racing, my hands are gently shaking and all I have done is put a few (not entirely truthful) personal details into an online application form. Five minutes and that`s it, off they are sent while I sit and nervously await a phone call. All of a sudden I feel rather stupid. Not all of my details are entirely false and perhaps I should have told someone what I was doing BEFORE signing up for an online escort service. Rewind four weeks to a discussion about the nature of this issue. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll... a few days of reading the current news and attending a journalism conference and all of a sudden I think I`m Fiona Bruce. Captivated by news stories of students working in the sex industry, I`m convinced we should go undercover, in an attempt to understand where (if at all) the sex industry fits in with the lives of UWE students.

Women of the night have been popularised with the recent boom in online blogging and the disintegration of social taboos, with characters such as the mysterious Belle de Jour leaping from the internet and published diaries to television, portrayed by a rather glamorous Bille Piper. The lines that separate the job roles within the sex industry are becoming increasingly blurred and glamorised by such shows and films. Both men and women can profit from such lucrative lines of work including glamour modelling, working as an escort, lap dancing and in some cases, prostitution. Whether they intend to spend that money on rent and food or shopping and socialising, for poor students the idea of making large sums of money in a short space of time is tempting. Why work all hours

stacking shelves or pulling pints for minimum wage when you can make one months rent in a few hours? The figures of students working within the sex industry have dramatically increased in the last five years to coincide with the introduction of top-up fees and the reduction in government grants and bursaries. National media have long been discussing the lengths some students will go to pay off their loans with some politicians and academics blaming the current government for forcing loans onto students that are simply not in a position to pay them back.

explains that the most common ‘outcalls` will last for a couple of hours at a hotel, where I will chat and entertain the client before moving to the bedroom. I am told that if, at any point I don`t feel comfortable with the client or the situation, I am to say I feel unwell, make my excuses and leave “obviously without taking their money”.

As all the information begins to sink in, I start wistfully thinking of clearing my overdraft, spending more time studying instead of working at my part time job and not feeling guilty for occasionally Two days after treating myself at submitting the Topshop instead of application I Primark. I come get a call from a down to earth with pleasant sounding the realisation woman called that I would Elaine. My boybe putting both my friend is sat next safety and my health to me and as I have at risk unnecessarily, yet to mention my lying to my friends and secret mission I family, and ultimately, hurry off to take not being taken out to the call in another swanky restaurants and room. Elaine glamorous parties but makes small being used for sex by talk before complete strangers. asking me if I While I can see why the sex understand the industry is a viable and alluring job description. prospect to the student population “ “This isn`t I know that life as a lady of the just going out for night is not for me. Many students dinner and being are discriminated or looked down wined and dined, do on for choosing jobs that, from an you understand?” outside perspective seem degrading I nod nervously and then realise she and ….. I say why not? So long as can`t see me so I pipe up, and she students aren`t pushed into the deep goes on to explain how the agency end where is the harm in using your, runs, how the girls are treated erm, assets to ease the financial and of course, how much I will hardship that attending university get paid (roughly £100 per hour). I can present? Surely being able to begin to relax as she tells me how be in control of your overdraft and my safety is her upmost priority, tuition fees and spending more time with communication between the studying than working is better two of us and the client vital. Pop than tossing and turning thinking go my visions of being wined and about the endless debt and slaving dined, Pretty Woman style, as Elaine away at a part time job.


Three and a half years ago I paid for sex with a prostitute. It was something that I wanted to experience but it`s not something that I feel the need to repeat now that I have done it. In my home town there is a well known brothel, so I went there. I paid ÂŁ60 pounds and I wouldn`t pay more than that unless something more than just sex is on offer.

When you think of the kind of people who pay for sex, what comes into your mind? Are they all seedy, middle-aged men that the stereotypes would have us believe? Westworld talks to a young, popular Economics student about his experience...

Compared to having sex within a relationship, the experience was horrible, it felt so impersonal. It made me appreciate sex with someone I know a lot more. With the prostitute it was sexual intercourse, nothing more. It`s more worthwhile going out trying to pull someone on a night out. I don``t see women as objects. Paying for sex hasn``t affected my relationships, I have used women for sex before but it’`s not the same when there``s money involved. I`m in a relationship now, but I wasn`t at the time. If I had been in a relationship then I wouldn``t have gone to the prostitute. I don``t know if any of my mates have slept with a prostitute, I haven`t asked. A lap dance is a bit of fun, you go with your friends for a laugh, but prostitution is different there``s not really any control. You can say what you want but she wasn`t really that interested. I wouldn``t pay for sex again. I think a man paying for sex reflects a different attitude towards sex. Older couples are less willing to talk about sex and maybe that pushes men in to using prostitutes to get what they want. If you``re feeling lonely paying a prostitute won`t help you.

following account is from a UWE student who has been working in the sex industry as a lap dancer since starting university two years ago.

I work in a club in Bristol and get paid to do private lap dances and stage shows as well as pole dancing. Lap dances and stage shows are done topless but full nudity isn`t allowed at the club that I work in. I also have a part-time admin job. Dancing was something I had always wanted to do from quite a young age but never had the opportunity to before I came to uni, as I lived in a smallish town where there were no lap dancing clubs. Although I work solely in one venue, I am not paid to work there all the girls pay a set fee each night (the house fee) and then make money from people paying them for private dances. If you don`t do any private dances then you don`t earn any money, so you can potentially lose money if it`s a really quiet night or if you`re in a bad mood! In my first year I was working 10-15 hours a week which is about

average for a part-time student job. I was doing two or three nights a week during term time, sometimes more if I was short of cash, or less if I was busy with exams and coursework. Now I have a regular income from the admin job, I just work in the university holidays. How much I earn varies depending on how busy the club is, how hard I work, and there`s definitely an element of luck involved! It can be anything from under £50 (after paying the house fee) to over £400 in a night. Although I dance because I enjoy making lots of money and don`t like to work too hard for it, during my first year I had to do it because the University halls were so expensive I couldn`t afford to live off my student loan. Now I have moved into private accommodation I am saving all the money I earn to fund holidays abroad! The hours I work are very flexible so if I have exams or coursework deadlines you can always just work less. It is actually quite mentally exhausting in that you have to be cheerful and bubbly the whole time you are at work, or it`s unlikely you will make much money, so it`s important not

to try and work too many hours when you are studying as well. My line of work allows me more time to spend socialising rather than on my studies! I spend the same amount of time on my studies whether I`m working or not, because I want to get a first, my studies will always have to take priority over paid work. My friends know that I work as a pole dancer and they are all very supportive of what I do. The most common response I get when I tell people what I do is ‘Wow! I wish I could do that!’ regardless of whether they are male or female! My family don`t know what I do because I know they wouldn`t approve, and I don`t believe it`s necessary to tell them every single detail of my life, especially if it would cause a fuss! When meeting new people I don`t lie about what I do if it comes up in conversation but generally I think it is best to keep it separate from my uni work and my future career. Sometimes my friends will come in for a few drinks if they are out in town but I have never had to serve anyone I know from uni - I think they would be more embarrassed than I would, especially if it was a member of staff!

Everyone knows in life that people can exploit the way they look to their advantage, whether it`s socially, for career progression, or for money, it makes absolutely no difference in my opinion. I think working as a lap dancer is becoming more and more socially acceptable. There is still an element of seediness associated with it, although in reality the extent of this depends on which club you work for. I think some people do still see it as degrading, but for me it is much less degrading than working as a dish washer for minimum wage (a job I have had the misfortune of experiencing!) Dancing has definitely made me much more confident about my body and my appearance. It has also given me a lot of confidence in my ability to sell myself to other people, a vital skill when it comes to creating a good first impression in interviews. It has taught me to be able to hold

interesting conversations with any type of person, however dull they may be, which again is very useful for networking both socially and career wise! Customers are incredibly rude sometimes and you have to develop a thick skin and not let that affect your confidence in your day to day life. But this is a really important life lesson in general, and I don`t think there`s anywhere else you`d learn it quicker! I don`t really see myself continuing with the dancing after I graduate. Maybe if I wanted to earn some extra money for travelling or something, but for me it`s not a long term career choice, it`s just preferable to the other job opportunities available to me now without any useful qualifications. When it`s a choice between being up to my elbows in dirty dishes or swanning about in an evening dress with a glass of wine, I know which one I`d choose every time!

So you`ve heard of the regular nights at the Students` Union, the Carling Academy and the Thekla, but what about the underbelly of Bristol? There is a whole host of other venues, many whom don`t count students amongst their regular clientele. Being that bit more diligent to see more of Bristol than they want you to means next time your friends come visit, you won`t be short of places to take them. Each issue Hidden Gems digs deep into the nooks and crannies of Bristol to show you a collection of bars, pubs, shops, labels, clubs and designers that can be counted as being some of the most unique, interesting and downright quirky in the wild, wild West. Words by Marcus Siddall | Photos by Phil Cheung , Elodie Barakat

Oldbury Court Estate is located within throwing distance of St Matthias`s library, and boasts its own pond to suit. The steep chunks of concrete leading down to the gorge itself are partly covered by a moss which makes one`s step more of a hesitant plod than anything. A brisk walk through here doesn`t only count as that obligatory once-a-day pulse raiser that heart disease charities are always banging on about, but also provides the student`s mind with what is usually (or hopefully) a wellearned rest, time for reflection, and an opportunity to relax. Those wanting that special brand of early morning loneliness are highly recommended to set out before eight, when the park lands by all counts becomes not only a through fare for commuters making their way into town from the far reaches of Fishponds, but also for the army of dog walkers whose worrying stares have so far done nothing to quiet my love for sitting in the middle of the woods, very much on my own.

Bristol Sausage Company St Nic`s market must already be well known to those that live just across from the indoor cobblestone market behind Baldwin Street. Anyone who comes from similar university towns will sadly know how it is all too easy for your local covered market to become gradually gentrified; when the butchers and greasy spoons gradually disappear due to massive overhead fees, whilst the overpriced coffee shops have no qualms about filling the empty places in their droves. The Bristol Sausage Company`s little shop off Corn Street boasts locally sourced meat, organic sausages, and a selection of over 20 different flavours - although it`s easier to just ask for a random selection, if you find the choice a hassle - and it`s all the more surprising for doing so when you take that first bite, your mouth erupts with flavour and you can only hazard a guess that you got lamb and mint!

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Westworld Spring 2008  

The Undercover Issue

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