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The Stag |

6th December 2011


Students get wise at NUS Activism 2011

By Anna K. Bernzen, News Team

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have opposing beleifs about the benifits of the HRA

Human Rights Act aids Police officers at work

By Geoffery Pullen, News Team ew Research at the University of Surrey indicates that, as opposed to popular belief, the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 may be aiding the police in their work. The unpopularity of this Act, originating within Europe, has been furthered by repeated debate regarding its effectiveness in Parliament, as well as in the press. One aspect that politicians point out in terms of frustrating criminal justice, is the process in diverse areas and includes voting rights of prisoners, the police uses of samples and prints, and the deportation of illegal immigrants. Much of the debate has been around police officers ability to apprehend criminals, and doing so without acting in contradiction to the HRA. The research, carried out by sociologists at the University, indicates that this is not true, and to the contrary police are increasingly employing the Act in order to help them enforce the law. Authors of the research, Dr Karen Bullock and Dr Paul Johnson found no evidence to suggest that operational police work has fundamentally changed or become compromised by the HRA. And the officers they interviewed could not think of any ways that their work has changed as a result of the HRA. Dr Paul Johnson said: The HRA has frequently been derided in the popular press as a mechanism that affords the guilty too much protection by inhibiting the activities of criminal justice agencies. Unsurprisingly, policing has often been at the centre of

claims that the HRA hinders or prevents apprehension and control of criminals. We found that officers believe that these bureaucratic procedures provide some positive benefits for policing, because they can help clarify and mandate police decisionmaking and ultimately protect officers from potential criticism and blame. In this sense, the HRA has acted to enhance police powers and legitimate officers work on the ground. The research is far from a complete and glowing endorsement of the Human Rights Act, however it has shown that it is becoming increasingly useful, and that the widespread contempt for the Act may be misplaced.

Enternship.com launches micro-site at Surrey

By Jyoti Rambhai, News Editor

he Students Union building at the Goldsmith College in London was bursting with about 1000 students from all over the country as the National Union of Students (NUS) opened its largestever conference on student activism on 19th November. The convention brought together young adults from universities and colleges across the United Kingdom and campaigners from nongovernmental organisations. Its aim was, as the NUS president Liam Burns explained: ...to discuss... the new challenges and new opportunities we face as campaigners. After an opening plenary, which set the scene for lively discussions over the course of the day, the participants attended their respective workshops, which could be chosen from an extensive list of more than 60 topics. The issues debated by the students ranged from financial worries, such as the impact of bursaries and fee waivers on university funding, to equality issues, including gendering, disabled activities and multiculturalism, or health matters, such as sex education and drug policy. Surrey student and Stag Editor Jack White attended a session on the university access agreements on bursaries and fee waivers sure to become a hot topic at Surrey over the next year as well as a feedback session on putting cash in students pockets and a discussion of student apathy and concrete methods to tackle it.

The workshops were led by campaigning organisations such as Oxfam and Save the Children as well as trade unions and student activists. Attending students had the opportunity, for example, to participate in round table discussions and panel debates, take part in training sessions and theatre workshops or visit a film screening. At the end of a day of interactive workshops, the students met again for a rally concerning the next steps for student movement. President Liam Burns urged all interested students: The days of campaigns being run entirely from the centre are in many ways over, if they ever really existed. This event points to a future where students are empowered to put themselves in the driving seat. Students not participating in workshops were able to collect information about campaigning and discuss with activists at a number of stalls on campus. Organisations from all across the social and political spectrum, dealing for example with poverty, climate change and racism, participated in the assembly. On the same day that students gathered in London, campaigning and student activism were focussed on by the first-ever NUS conference in Scotland. Its participants met at the Edinburgh Napier University. Due to a video link between the two conferences, students in London and Edinburgh were able to catch up on the other conferences progress on several occasions throughout the day.

nternship.com is a portal of entrepreneurial work placements for graduates and students seeking a placement. The company plans to launch a specific micro-site for University of Surrey in January 2012, in which students will be able to see all the available entrepreneurial internships, in the local area. Start-ups and SMEs companies can advertise a range of enternships on the site and students can apply for them through the site as well. The site was officially launched in 2009 and since then, over 3000 companies in over more than 20 countries use www.enternship.com to find graduate talent.

Companies include, Groupon, PayPal and celebrities such as James Cann and Peter Jones from Dragons Den and Martha Lane Fox of LastMinute.com. It was started by Rajeeb Dey at Oxford University, who realised that whilst aspiring lawyers, accountants, bankers etc. had the opportunity to do internships within blue-chip co-operates, there wasnt much for aspiring entrepreneurs or students that wanted to work in start-up. Therefore his aim was to connect fellow students with small businesses and start-ups. Mr Dey told The Stag: The very premise of www.enternship. com, is to showcase the vast array of entrepreneurial career opportunities out there to students

and graduates. An Enternship is an internship in fast growing start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses. Mr Dey added: Entrepreneurial companies and people are full of dynamism, ideas and potential. We are passionate about promoting this sector as an exciting and rewarding career path and we hope the site will help Surrey students find placements and work during their degrees and after they graduate. The company are currently looking at taking on an entern over the Christmas break to help them launch the site in January. Down to business: students at the NUS Activism conference at Goldsmiths


The Stag |

6th December 2011


A whistle-stop tour of Christmas

By Sophie Vickery, Features Team


(Too much Christmas Content may damage your health)


ecember 25th is a date eagerly anticipated across different cultures, generations and backgrounds yet it differs greatly between countries, regions, towns and even cul-desacs. So lets take a whistle-stop tour across these boundaries to explore the varying celebrations and meanings of Christmas. Beginning in Guildford, Christmas takes a typically English stance; stacks of mince pies piled high in Tesco, Christmas lights sparkling above heads of chaotic shoppers seeking the latest gift ideas in overcrowded stores repeatedly playing Deck the Halls. Does this seem a little pessimistic? Christmas has undoubtedly become a key element of economic performance in the business world yet fortunately the more traditional aspects of Christmas havent wholly diminished. Surrey University readily demonstrates this with a campus abundant in students of all backgrounds and origins excited to celebrate Christmas in their own unique way. Some English students begin the day by attending church services with family whilst others open stockings in pyjamas; many students admit they still enjoy gathering on their parents bed before heading downstairs to see if hes been! A prominent tradition in the UK seems to be mid-morning champagne and smoked salmon canaps whilst Dad prepares the turkey as King of the Kitchen and Mum tries to remember if shes brought all the presents out of their hiding places.

There are those families who rapidly unwrap all presents by 9am whilst others disperse them throughout the day. Grandparents twitch curtains to see what the latest present is, expecting bikes, scooters or rollerblades but alas children remain inside on Xbox games and Nintendo. Meanwhile Mum sighs as her careful wrapping and labelling lies in a destructed mound of torn paper being scooped into bin liners by Dad. Younger siblings then begin nagging older generations to help battle Barbies packaging which challenges even the most competent unwrappers. Then of course comes lunch where the household cooks concentrate on calculating cooking times so the feast can come together flawlessly. Crackers are pulled, cheesy jokes told and ridiculous hats worn. As usual the bread pudding or cranberry sauce is suddenly remembered half way through and the meal ends with crammed bellies yet one can always find room for Christmas pudding. Families then retire to the lounge for The Queens speech and afternoon films; will it be Shrek or Pirates of The Caribbean this year? Dont forget The Snowman! Soon enough the alcohol takes its toll and afternoon naps are embraced. Later Grandma promptly remembers that the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special is on whilst others play those traditional games which only appear during the festive season; Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo. To finish the day we manage to squeeze in a cold turkey sandwich and perhaps another drink; mulled

wine anyone? Looking further afield Christmas can be very different. Lets stop Down Under where Christmas is part of summer and celebrated with BBQs on the beach! Shrimp replaces turkey and ice cream substitutes Christmas pudding. Christmas lights cannot be enjoyed until late evening after the sunset and whilst the English throw on another scarf the ozzies slap on the sun cream! Moving in a North Westerly direction we arrive in Asia where Western culture has influenced some traditional aspects of Christmas yet therere unique elements such as village feasts and a greater focus on family time rather than commercialism. Japanese Christmas cake is often a white cream cake with strawberries and The Philippines celebrates the worlds longest Christmas season, with Christmas carols heard as early as September 1! Lets return a little closer to home; despite being geographically close France has several differences in their celebration. They similarly display traditional nativity scenes but put Jesus in the manger at midnight on Christmas Eve. The 24th also involves placing socks or shoes (depending on how many presents are expected!) besides the fireplace or Christmas tree. Christmas dinner begins with appetisers of foie gras, salmon or oysters and is followed with turkey and chestnuts and Yule log to finish. For students, Christmas often becomes even more special than previous years

as leaving home commonly provokes a greater appreciation of family time and home comforts. Although our whistle-stop tour shows a variety of meanings, values and celebrations Christmas holds a special ability to suit a familys own style; from those awakening at 6am to those who sleep in, from burnt turkeys to feasts fit for Her Majesty and from the movie watchers to competitive board game players. Christmas is adaptable to all kinds of people so whatever your traditions celebrate in liberation as The Stag wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Spot the santa hats at this Christmas Ozzie BBQ

Yknow what really grinds my gears? Im just joking,

By Bakita Kasadha, Editor-in-Chief

3. 4. 5.

Stacey Hunter

Tad bit ironic considering the articles Im surrounded by. You were excited about chrismtas two months ago and felt the need to tell everyone about it. You may as well write Dear Diary at the start of Facebook statuses; you follow me on Twitter but dont have the balls to add me on Facebook; youre Mark Zuckerberg and have kept me connected to people that should have left my life a long time ago. You wish I was as feisty in real life as I am on paper by you I mean me. I guess I grind my own gears. (For anyone who thought Yeah, mine too why are you still reading this then?) (Insert your own grievance here)

8. 9.

You think Dutch courage means never having to say anything when sober. You who decides Tescos deals. Why do I need 3 for 2? Why do I need to buy one tub of Utterly Butterly only to get another free? Why not just give me one for half price? Dont get me started on the aisles, but I cant put it better than Ms. Searle (2011): Does anyone else in Guildford feel like Tesco is intentionally (insert bad word here) with their heads? Cheese, shampoo and beef should not be down the same aisle. (Im still thinking of this one, besides Im already over my word count and by so much that I wont even be able to write the closing sentence, I swear Im not a moany mare all the time; it just really grinds my gears. Shame.)


Youre the A&E receptionist who made me stand whilst I gave you details of how Id broken a bone in my foot... You never know how far The Stag may travel. You moan about things but arent making any efforts to change your environment. You know who you are. So if I happen to knock on your door, kneel down so that when you open it, Im conveniently at a level to punch you in the trouser region, Ill respond in the most appropriate way possible: You know why! (Ive forgotten the film this was in but it was something brilliant.





The Stag |

6th December 2011



Top 10 Things We Love About Christmas

By Alice Perry, Features Team They go up ridiculously early and come down late. They may look tacky in places but they also look beautiful and bring a sense of Christmas cheer, even to the biggest of Scrooges. Christmas brings people together. Planning Christmas dos is always fun and its a great way to get to know colleagues, class mates, friends of friends and forgotten family members a lot better. So crack out the mulled wine and get planning! Whether its the X Factor lovers or the X Factor haters pledging to get someone else in this honoured spot, we all love a bit of competition around Christmas. Everybody loves a good film at Christmas. Shrek is a personal favourite. The choice on offer at Christmas is the best all year, with films jammed packed with action, comedy, romance and festive magic. Christmas is the perfect time to stuff your face as you can put off crazy diet plans and gym sessions until the New Year. The beautiful invention of New Years Resolutions means that we can all stuff our faces as much as we like... and worry about weight shifting in January. Two words: Coca Cola Advert. Everyone went coke advert crazy when it was first spotted, clogging up the facebook news feeds and going out to try and nab a photo of a real life coke advert in action. Its not just the coke ad though. All the lovely, warm adverts that come around Christmas time really make you begin to feel the festive season. Now, Christmas is not about presents. Its about baby Jesus and forgiveness and all of that... although presents are always fun too. Most people prefer giving presents to receiving them anyway, and we all know that warm fuzzy feeling when you give someone a present you know theyll love. Yes we have already mentioned food. But Christmas dinner is THE dinner of the year. Roast potatoes, parsnips, roast beef, turkey, stuffing, brussel sprouts, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables, bread sauce... need I go on? Dodgy paper hats and cheap tat dont stop us loving them. Who really knows what the appeal of Christmas crackers is? Regardless, they are a must. Yes - I know they drive us crazy most of time, and part of the appeal of going away to uni is to get away from nagging parents and annoying siblings. But at the end of the day, bloods thicker than water and Christmas is the ideal time to catch up with loved ones. Regent Street gets festive early this yearas the evenings get darker

10 9 8

Christmas Lights

The bright lights of London at Christmas

By Hannah Wann, Features Team


The Christmas Number One

till feeling like a bit of a Scrooge right now? Not quite had time to get into the Christmas spirit? Among the assignments, deadlines and the chaotic weeks before the end of term, its easy to forget the holiday thats just around the corner. Before you realise it, BAM, its December: Christmas is a just a couple of weeks away. Your flat is the only one without a Christmas tree in the window (guilty) and that you havent even started the military mission of buying your friends and family presents (guilty again). But its not too late to catch up on festive spirit: get into the Christmas mood by making the most of living just forty-minutes away from one of the best cities in the world (especially at Christmas): LONDON. The bright lights twinkling, the vibrant buzz on the streets, limitless places to go and things to do; London at Christmas time is unmissable. Being students, most of us winch at the idea of taking a trip to London, considering it a massive task that will empty our pockets in a day. But there are ways to enjoy the festivities in the big city on a budget... Ice skating: a classic Christmas activity involving looking cool and collected for five minutes, wondering why you never took up professional skating and then spending the rest of your hour on the ice, on your butt. Still, a lot of fun! From November to January, every year Somerset House holds the most glamorous outdoor icerink in London. Its the perfect winter setting, with a giant tree, lights and music. Tickets for students are 8.50 at selected times and days, but you can get an adult ticket for 7.50 if you go off-peak. If youre feeling at little more flush this time of year, there are also Club Nights on Fridays and Saturdays where DJs from the Ministry of Sound and Lovebox take over to give you a unique open-air clubbing experience (tickets 17). So wrap up warm and leave your pride behind you at the ice rink gate. Hyde Park also has an impressive ice rink at this time of year, as it is literally transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Tickets to skate are slightly more expensive than Somerset House, but entry to the amazing site which holds rides, fairground wheel and

a circus - is free. Just walking around the park at night is bound to put you in the festive mood and the Angels Christmas Market is the largest one in London, with handmade gifts and gourmet food galore. If this way of getting your Christmas shopping done is sounding a lot more appealing that attacking chaotic Oxford Street with the thousands, the Southbank Centre may also be the place for you. Again, free to enter, this beautiful market along the river is the ideal destination to find unusual Christmas presents if youre stuck for ideas (who isnt?) and the traditional winter food and drink and atmosphere should not be missed. For all chocoholics, the weekend of the 9th is the time for you to make your way to the Southbank Centre. These three special days hold the event that dreams are made of: The Chocolate Festival. With master chocolatiers showing their skills, chocolate making workshops and an incredible array of products on offer, this weekend will be more delicious than you can ever imagine. And the best bit is, again, ITS FREE. So you have no excuse not to spend a day making yourself sick! Apart from shopping, skating and eating, London is of course one of the best cities for entertainment. Feel like hearing some carols? Trafalgar Square is taken over by choirs from all over the UK from 5-9pm every day until the 22nd, singing your favourite Christmas numbers under the magical lights. The festive tale of The Nutcracker performed by the English National Ballet also comes to the London Coliseum this December if you want to see dance (tickets starting from as little at 10 ), or, if youre more of a theatre-goer, The West End as usual is host to the best musicals in the country. If you havent already, sign up to studentbeans.com and you can get up to 50% off theatre tickets to favourites such as Chicago, Blood Brothers and Priscilla, and it always helps to hunt around sites to find the best deal on the show you want to see. So get on the train and get into London to find your Christmas spirit, its one of the best times of year in the city and there are so many things to do that even your now-considerably-dented student loan will allow! Merry Christmas!





Roast Dinner




The Stag |

6th December 2011


Christmas Adverts Its the thought that counts...

Every Christmas the shops try to lure us in to spend money. What are their approaches this year?
By Clowance Lawton, Features Team

By Becky Powell, Features Team

ittlewoods have created perhaps the most untraditional advert that completes destroys the notion of Father Christmas! The advert shows a musical production by children, singing about all the presents their mothers have purchased for Christmas. Are the days of telling children the story of Father Christmas gone? The advert is bursting with materialistic values: a HTC for Uncle Ken, my mother got a Fuji camera for Ken, my mothers wicked. The list goes on. It seems so wrong to portray that Christmas is all about getting lots of expensive presents. The advert has caused much controversy; many parents have complained to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) as their children have been left distressed after being told that Father Christmas does not exist and its simply their mothers buying all of the presents. Surely it is up to the parents to decide what they tell their children about Christmas? Fathers have also complained that the advert is completely sexist also arguably true. Indeed, it is truly un-festive! A slightly more agreeable advert is the one for John Lewis, reducing many people to tears. The ad stars young actor Lewis McGowan counting down the days until Christmas, with the viewer assuming its the usual childhood excitement for presents. However, when it comes to the big day he runs past his presents and instead is finally able to give his own gift to his parents. The message? Giving is better than receiving. A much nicer idea, I expect many parents will now hope

the message rubs off on their own kids! Other shops decided to go for a different approach. Marks & Spencer features the stars of X Factor (with quick editing to keep up with the change in contestants) singing When You Wish upon a Star and ends with the tagline may all your Christmas dreams come true. This is perhaps a little materialistic, suggesting the need to get everything your heart desires, as the song lyrics state. Although it is a festive advert the message being put across is not so traditional. However, maybe this is just what Christmas is about now. Morrisons and Icelands approach to Christmas is, not surprisingly, about the food. Morrisons is more focused on getting all the good quality produce: theyll come for the fresh British turkey and the British beef. The market featured in the advert has a festive feel to it but one cant help but feel the focus is more on splashing out lots of cash on a great big Christmas dinner. Iceland has a similar approach but feels a bit merrier as Stacey Solomon sings about she cant wait to see those faces whilst driving home to Dagenham. Theres obviously a focus on all the food that we should buy from Iceland but the main thing seems to be the spirit and joy of spending Christmas with your family and friends. Perhaps some of these companies such as Littlewoods are suggesting that this is the modern view of Christmas, that people are only interested in presents now. Perhaps thats how we do view Christmas; we just dont want to admit it! It just seems a shame to drop the traditional notions that make Christmas Christmassy.

s much as we all anticipate Christmas we are faced with the daunting prospect of how much money we will have to spend. I find myself budgeting what little money (*cough* overdraft) I have for various people: 50 on the boyfriend, 30 on the best friend, 40 on the parents, 30 on the siblings - the list goes on and on. Once you have totalled this amount (150), you find yourself a little less cheery than you were before. However, during this process you cannot help but unashamedly try to calculate how much money will be spent on you. Secret Santa is a brilliant idea; you only have to buy one present and for one person. Yet this does not always solve all qualms; there is the universal dilemma of picking a lesser friend out of that hat and still having to spend the agreed amount on them, when you would much rather fork out for another. Of course you can always swap people, but if the original recipient was to discover this... well, I wouldnt want to be you. Homemade gifts are for fantastic for those with emptier wallets. Cooking someone dinner, making cakes or sugary treats, for example truffles and peppermint creams (look on www.bbcgoodfood.com for the recipes) go down very well, especially with the male sex I have found. Also, it transpires that the giver must have put a lot of time and effort into these thoughtful gifts and not just bought the first commercialised product off the shelf. If all else fails, the best solution is to get each member of the friendship group (this can also include family or other halves), to write a list of items that they

would like to receive; each agreeing to a maximum price to be spent, and choose and item off that list to buy. So essentially you will not be bamboozled as to what to buy, the recipient will like the present, and you can actually afford it! It often depends on the nature of your social group, but if they are true friends usually whatever you have purchased or made for them, it will be appreciated. After all, they are your friends, they know you. Whether its a joke present, or a sincere gift, remember: it is the thought that counts.

Christmas cupcakes are thoughtful and more importantly money saving gifts

Dont let debt get the better of you this Christmas

By Dave Halls, VP Welfare

The heavily criticised Littlewoods advert

s we look forward to the end of term, with Christmas and New Year just on the horizon, perhaps one of the last things we consider is our finances. This article may come across a little Scrooge-like, but bear with me; the intention is to try and help you stretch out whats left of your student loan into January. Something that is often not considered when leaving at the end of this first semester is that, whilst you may have survived the semester on your first student loan payment, you still have another months rent to pay at the start of January before your next instalment from the Student Loans Company comes through. This is a significant chunk of money that is often not accounted for in our first student loan payment. The stress and uncertainty of debt can be incredibly distracting and damaging to your course performance- I can tell you that one from personal experience. Im sure many of you will be picking up work over the break, and keeping the funds topped up this way; for those who arent, keeping tabs on where youre sitting

Credit crunch Christmases can be avoided financially, and a little budgeting and foresight as to whats youll have to be paying out on over the coming month can make a huge difference. There are other steps you can take to curb hidden spending, you might not realise the extent to which youre spending, such as with Christmas presents; a good way to keep on top of this is not to rely on your credit/debit card to buy presents, but to do so with cash, being strict with yourself on just how much you can afford to spend.

This isnt to say you should spend your break worrying about money, but being aware of where youre sitting with funding can be really beneficial. If you need someone to talk to when it comes to budgeting & finances, either feel free to pop into the Union to see myself, or for free advice from our campus experts- pop in to see the Student Advice team. Well all still be here after term ends, and long before term starts again; and were all here to help, so dont be afraid to ask. Have a fantastic break!



The Stag |

6th December 2011



Six steps to getting that job To study or not to study?

By Surrey Careers Service

urrent headlines may lead you to believe that the hope of securing a graduate job on leaving university is slim, but university careers professionals up and down the country are desperate to convince their students not to despair and importantly not to believe all they read with this article being an exception, of course! Without a doubt, the current market is challenging. But Surrey students have a good track record in meeting that challenge: of our 2010 (UK and EU) leavers from undergraduate courses, 94.8% were either in employment or further study six months after graduation and with effort and application on your part there is no reason to suppose that this will change. There are jobs out there and whilst it may be true that some jobs attract more than 100 applications, this does not in turn mean that there are hundreds of applicants per job. How can that be? The fact is each applicant may put in for 20, 30 or more applications do the maths! Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the market has taken a hit and it is probable that this has happened in the time you have been at university, but there is evidence of green shoots** particularly for graduates. So what should you do? The old saying perfect planning prevents poor performance springs immediately to mind. But where to start? Top of our list would be to recommend a visit to the Careers Service, and then follow these six easy steps: Step 1: Check out the dozens of publications in our library - free to take away and available for reference, they will inspire you and give you a feel for what is out there.

Step 2: Reflect. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and what you may want from your career. You can book an appointment to see a Careers adviser to help you with this or you can attend one of our workshops. Further still, you could use an online resource such as Prospects Planner on www.prospects.ac.uk. Step 3: Take a reality check, look at what is available, it may be that what you would ideally like isnt practical, but you can take steps towards it by thinking creatively. Pick up the graduate job directories, register on the Careers Service vacancy database and, with the Prospects and TargetJobs websites, this will give you a feel for the job market. Step 4: Take advantage of the many employer led and careers staff led workshops covering the whole of the recruitment process from writing your CV to assessment centres and interviews. See the Whats on? section of the Careers Service website. Step 5: Learn to network! Attend one of our many networking sessions, use your own contacts and go to presentations. Remember, dozens of jobs are never advertised, but are filled by word of mouth; we call this the hidden jobs market. Step 6: Practice makes perfect have your CV or application checked by an adviser at one of our Quick Query sessions or an employer participating in our Employer Friday sessions. Also be sure to attend a mock interview or a mock assessment centre workshop. Remember, the Careers Service is here to help at whatever stage you are at in your career journey, so please use us! We are located in the Philip Marchant Building, next to Senate House and our website is www.surrey.ac.uk/careers. Good Luck!

That is the question!

Do not work on Christmas day! (Not that many would, but just in case you were considering it!) Start on some of the less heavy preparation, such as reading, as it breaks you in gently. Plan plenty of outings with your friends and family (cheap ones of course unless the parents want to pay, then thats another matter!) Set aside a few days which will be dedicated study days the sooner you do them the more time you have left for enjoying yourself. Note down your deadlines for the coming year you dont need to be constantly thinking about them, just bearing them in mind so they dont get forgotten.



By Louisa White, Features Team


ts over how quick did that go?! I should have predicted it really seeing as my first two years of University have flown by, a feeling Im sure many other third years can relate to! Across campus, the majority of students will have spent the past eleven weeks working their backsides off and will now be welcoming the much-needed three week break. Friday 16th December is the day we can all breathe a sigh of relief as assignments due that week will have all been handed in and Christmas will be just around the corner. Its difficult to know how much work you are expected to do out of term time, but think of it this way term time is the prime time for learning so anything you do in the holidays could be seen as a bonus! Studying in the holidays will be beneficial to you, as if you do it now you dont have to do so much later. Time off is important though, as it gives you a chance to relax and catch up on non-work related things like seeing family and friends from home. Of course it is a good idea to do some preparation for the second term but dont forget to make the most of your time away from work. Here are some top tips for a balanced Christmas break:



Hop, skip and a jumper into fashion

By Ellis Taylor, Features Team

fter clinging on to memories of weirdly hot weeks in September, its time to let go and embrace the chills around campus. Winter dressing can be tricky, with the initial step out the door tricking you into thinking youre in Antarctica, not Guildford. But then you walk loads, getting hot in layers, paranoid that people are looking at sweat dripping down your forehead (I hope Im not alone in that), but its possible to look stylish whilst being snug! We must look to knitwear; banish ideas of frumpy jumpers made out of scratchy wool, embracing the new breed that is filling our shops, and wardrobes. There are 4 main styles featured on the Autumn/ Winter 11 runways with effortless transitions from catwalk to campus, regardless of budget. Firstly we have my favourite - novelty knits. These jumpers cover everything from tacky prints to amusing words (One I saw said Piste off, classic). The best seem to be lurking in Topshop, but I did find a rather wonderful hedgehog print from River Island, 35. Topman and River Island also have some brilliant examples for guys. If your budget is a little

higher then try Urban Outfitters for some tack-tastic knitwear, but if thats a tad much visit eBay or trawl the charity shops for some cheap but cool styles. Another great style is the classic fairisle. Its an easy look to pull off, team yours with simple pieces, keeping accessories to a minimum and youll look like youre about to hit the slopes. New Look have some great inexpensive options for all, but this 50 beauty from Topman grabs my heart. Next up is a cheeky bit of colour blocking, a trend that has stayed with us since Summer. Perfect for those who disagree that Winter equates to dull shades. Remember the main point of this style is solid colours, no patterns and bright, bright, BRIGHT! Check out Dorothy Perkins for example. Now, Im afraid that this final style is mostly for girls. Im talking sparkles. Ignore the expectation that its reserved for nights out, add a bit of a dazzle to your day! Try something subtle, its not good to be mistaken for a glitter ball. I hope Ive changed your mind on jumpers, now get yours and lets make a jumper appreciation society, and repeat after me...theres nothing better than a novelty sweater. You in?

Girls k



y, Riv


nd 3 5

w Guys



opm am, T

an 5

The Stag |

6th December 2011



Answers in the next edition of The Stag. Send correct answers to letters@thestagsurrey.co.uk to get a mention in the paper.

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Last issues answers

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The Stag |

6th December 2011



Science & Technology

Childhood IQ linked to drug use in later life
By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team

Scientitists investigate the link between IQ and drug use

recent study published in the British Medical Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that drug abuse in adult life is linked to IQ in childhood. Around eight thousand people from a British cohort study which began in 1970 were followed for thirty years. At the ages of five and ten, the children took accredited IQ tests and factors such as parental social class and psychological stress were also recorded. Then at sixteen years old the participants were asked about their psychological well being and which drugs they were taking.

The list comprised of a number of drugs and their alternative names including cocaine, cannabis, LSD, and barbiturates as well as a fictitious drug called Semeron. Any results that showed a participant had taken Semeron were removed from the study due to possible inaccuracies. A similar set of questions were asked when the participants turned thirty with a few additions to the drug list including ketamine and ecstasy. People who had taken three or more of the drugs were labelled as polydrug users. The results of the study showed that overall a higher IQ score as a child led to an

increased likeliness of drug use as a teenager or adult. In particular, it was found that by the age of thirty, women that were in the top third for IQ scores were twice as likely to have used cocaine or cannabis as the lower third, while men showed similar results but to a lesser degree. The higher IQ group were shown to be 83% more likely to take cannabis and 73% for cocaine. Men were 50% more likely to take amphetamines, ecstasy and be polydrug users by the age of thirty if they were in the high IQ third compared with the lowest third. Although cocaine use by sixteen year olds was not high

Nuevo Ando

for any IQ groups, girls were 4.6 times and guys 3 times as likely to take cannabis. A key point of this study was that it took into account other factors that could lead to drug use, such as socio economic status, whether there was any psychological distress in childhood or during the time drugs were taken. However, the study offers no answers as to why there is a link between IQ and drug use but there has been speculation that it may relate to more expendable income or the availability of drugs at university.

Technology and morality: are we all doomed?

By Kate McAtamney, Science & Tech Team

The miracle of penicillin: credit where credit is due

By Lawrence Finn, Science & Tech Team

echnology gets a bad rep sometimes. Television and the internet often get blamed for a myriad of social problems, such as the dumming down of society and the rise in STDs following internet hookups. It may also be making us more individualistic and less concerned with the feelings of others. Patricia Greenfields Theory of Social Change and Human Influence hypothesises that as learning environments turn more to technology and living environments become more urbanised, people turn more individualistic. Uhls and Greenfield (2011) tested this theory by looking at the main messages portrayed by popular television shows aimed at tweens (911 year olds), and how these change over time. They found that fame and the desire for fame had increased, which the authors took as

a measure of individualism, whereas being kind to others dropped markedly. The authors state that the main implication of their findings is that as a result of these programmes tweens may desire fame more than they desire to be kind to others. This is a serious implication for a study where the values of tweens werent even assessed, and it completely denies the impact of parents, peers and wider society on moral development. Studies that argue technology is damaging society, such as this one, are often picked up by the media. Susan Greenfield (no relation to Patricia) is a prominent figure in the media and has linked the rise in autism with the increase in internet usage, but this has been criticised for a lack of evidence. This contributes to a general sense that technology does us no good, usually without evidential backing.

Technologys such as computers and televisions are slowly destroying society

Kemal Y

n WW2, Hitlers forces are said to have killed around sixty million people. Penicillin is believed to have saved a staggering eighty million. Produced by Penicillium fungi, its discovery by Alexander Flemming is considered one of the greatest moments of all time. Yet it is often the way that scientific discovery is not the product of a single moment, but the fruit of many years of research. The story of penicillin is no exception to this. Flemming was the first to recognise penicillins potential but he was not the first to discover its antibacterial effects. It was the Irish physicist John Tyndall in 1875. Yet, Flemming still had little idea of how to produce enough penicillin to benefit the population. Enter: biochemist Ernst Chain and pathologist, Howard Florey, two of the biggest names behind penicillin yet two of the least acclaimed. Most have heard of Flemming but can you say you have ever heard of Chain and Florey? So dedicated were they in developing penicillin that in the heat of the war they even took to smearing Penicillium spores on the insides of their jackets so they might escape and carry on the work elsewhere in the event of a Nazi invasion. Alongside biochemist Norman Heatley, Chain and Florey eventually isolated enough of the drug to begin experiments in mice-with great success. They even discovered its ability to impede bacterial growth the mechanism behind the magic! The next step was to test it on a human patient Mr Albert Alexander, suffering multiple infections from something as trivial as a thorn and on the verge of death. Sadly, Alexander could not be saved.

There simply was not enough penicillin. Only with the aid of two American pharmaceutical companies could Chain and Florey begin mass production in large fermentation tanks. This was key to the success of the first clinical trial in 1942, which saw to its commercialisation a few years later. However, the trial was not led by any man but by Floreys wife. Women played just as big a role as men in the story of penicillin, including one Mary Hodgkin. In 1945, Hodgkin was the first to unveil the structure of penicillin, which fuelled new methods of production and was later awarded the Nobel Prize along with Chain and Florey. So when you think of penicillin, spare a thought for its other pioneers besides Flemming male and female.

Espen Sorvik

The Stag |

6th December 2011



Synthetic genetics reduces infant mortality

By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team

Another one bites the dust...

By Melissa Raske, Science & Tech Team

team at Missouri University have had positive results in reducing the severity of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in mice. SMA is the leading genetic cause of infantile death in the world and is due to a missing gene that when present produces a protein that directs spinal nerves to give instructions to muscles.

The team focussed on using synthetic RNA (similar to DNA), targeted at a partially working back up gene (SMN-2), to make the protein and when inserted into mice it was found that they gained weight, had improved motor skills and an increased life span. The study was published in the October issue of the Journal Molecular Therapy.

How do Brains do it? Introducing Brain Informatics

By Gilbert Cassar, Science & Tech Team

he Western Black Rhino has been declared extinct just weeks after it was reported that the Javan Rhino has disappeared from Vietnam, and a subspecies of White Rhino in central Africa has been classed as possibly extinct. A significant factor in their disappearance is poaching, which is driven by the lucrative selling price of their valuable horns. Rhinos are just one of the many species vulnerable to extinction as the Red List, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), shows. The IUCN has also reported that 25% of the worlds mammals are currently at risk from extinction even with the conservation efforts in place.

Poaching is not the only threat to the existence of a species; habitat destruction is another major factor as is the case for the Sumatran Tiger which is considered critically endangered. With only around five hundred left, one hundred of which live in unprotected wilderness that is likely to be destroyed, coupled with poachers keen to sell tiger products around the world, extinction is a very realistic possibility. One focus this year is on Madagascar where 40% of reptile species are endangered including types of chameleons, geckoes, skinks and snakes. Europe also has an alarming number of at risk groups including 44% of freshwater molluscs, 37% of freshwater fish, 15% of mammals and 13% of birds.

Many species of plants are disappearing too, for instance taxus contorta, a type of yew tree found in Asia and used to produce the chemotherapy drug Taxol has been listed as endangered. More than 75% of seventy nine tropical plants studied in the Indian Ocean archipelago are near extinction. There have been positive outcomes from the conservation efforts including the reintroduction of Przewalskis horse into the wild after being listed extinct, and there are now thought to be more than three hundred. However without more successes like these the Red List, which already appears endless, will increase in length while the worlds biodiversity will shrink.

rain Informatics (BI) is an exciting emerging field of research which focuses on studying the Human Information Processing System (HIPS). Various techniques borrowed from Computer Science can help Neuroscience to better understand essential functions of the brain such as multi-perception, attention, memory, language, computation, heuristic search, reasoning, planning, decisionmaking, problemsolving, learning, discovery, and creativity. You might ask yourself What use do we have for BI other than for satisfying our curiosity of how the brain works? Think about the Information Grid. The data we generate every day is overwhelming: data generated from social media, data generated from mobile devices, data generated from sensors, the list goes on. We have already reached a point where simply searching for data no longer satisfies our needs. What we need is rich information processing that can analyse existing knowledge and provide us with insights for decision making as well as answer our questions where possible. The

distributed problem solving and reasoning required to perform such tasks is beyond the capabilities of traditional Artificial Intelligence research. Efforts in the past have been focused on understanding the behaviour of humans rather than what goes on inside the brain. Understanding the multifaceted nature of intelligence by exploring essential brain functions can be the key trigger for breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom Web.

The Western Black Rhino is officially declared extinct as other subspecies are declares possibly extinct.

Water Parks around Jupiter?

By Shourya Khanna, Science & Tech Team

Neutrinos break the rules again

By Nathanael Roome, Science & Tech Editor

he experiments that demonstrated neutrinos breaking the speed limit have just been repeated, with a slight experimental change; the result was the same. Is there a systematic error in the experiment or something strange happening between Italy and the Swiss/French boarder,

which is causing the neutrinos to defy current rules? We will have a much better idea in a years time, when two more groups at Gran Sasso, where the initial results originated, and the US Minos and Japans T2K experiments report back. Maybe they will give a more palatable conclusion; of course there is still an additional option... Redefine the rules.

ASAs Galileo satellite has suggested underground lakes on Jupiters moon Europa; the smallest of four moons discovered by Galileo in 1610. It is also believed to have a saltwater ocean. In January 2000 the Galileo satellite found that near to Europa, Jupiters magnetic field changes direction rapidly. This indicates that an electric current is flowing through Europa. Since solid ice conducts electricity poorly, salty water (such as seawater on Earth) that conducts well was proposed as an explanation. Europa is unique among the large icy satellites because its ocean is in direct contact with its rocky mantle beneath. The conditions of the mantle could be similar to those on Earths biologically rich sea floor, where hydrothermal fields provide excellent habitats, powered by energy and nutrients that result from reactions between the sea water and silicates. Consequently, Europa is the prime candidate in the search for habitable zones and life in the solar system. However, the details of the processes that shape Europas ice shell, and the fundamental question of its thickness have proved difficult to understand. Now, Britney Schmidt and her team at the University of Austin, Texas have put forward evidence of Europas icy surface communicating with the structure below, hinting at evidence for giant underlying lakes. The team focused on Galileo images of two roughly circular, bumpy features on Europas surface called chaos terrains. Based on similar processes seen on Earth - on ice shelves and under glaciers overlaying volcanoes - they developed a four-step model to explain how the features form. Here, due to geothermal activity, water rises from below the surface and as a lake forms the

icebergs start to float and eventually break up due to collisions, creating matrix material consisting of crushed ice as shown in the diagram. Salt rich water then fills up fractures in the matrix and over time the entire structure refreezes. This explains the dome-like structures observed in topographic studies of the moon. Similar processes have been well documented in the case of Antarctic ice shelves, where Hydrofracture of tidal cracks by melt water allows for the production of large tabular icebergs and granular brash ice with minimal melting of the shelf, a process analogous to chaos formation on Europa. This recent analysis shows that the chaotic features on Europas surface may be formed by exchange between this and the underlying lake. It allows transfer of nutrients and energy between the surface and a possible vast global ocean below the thick ice shell. This is thought to increase the potential for life there.



The Stag |

6th December 2011



Do>More, Be>More, Volunteer
Guildford Action were exceedingly grateful for our time. The rugby club also transformed two local gardens as part of the Society Garden Cleanup; the owners were overjoyed! Still to come? We have a community quiz planned, so if you live out in the local neighbourhoods, keep your eyes out for flyers. We also have a project-led campaign running to fill Christmas Shoeboxes. Items can be delivered to the Union from now and on the 7th and 14th December from midday, you can come and decorate and fill the shoeboxes ready to send to Guildford Action and Shooting Star Chase. Please give as much as you can to the campaign a tin of beans, a toiletry set, a teddy bear... anything will make someones Christmas when this is the only gift they may receive! Thank you to all those who have supported Do>More this semester and keep that support coming. Look out for our events after Christmas: therell be another, bigger and better Speed Match; more microvolunteering; some green fingered volunteers needed to help us with conservation projects and National Volunteering Week (February 20th-26th) which is sure to packed with things to get involved with. Have a fantastic Christmas break! We look forward to you all getting involved in 2012.

A collection of cards made for Make a card for a sick child.

tudents have been more involved in Do>More than ever before this year! So many of you have been getting stuck in. Over 300 people signed up at Freshers Fayre and we were delighted that at our first event of the year, Social volunteer Speed Match saw over one hundred eager volunteers come through the doors to find a charity to match their volunteering needs. With over 15 local charities, along with University and Surrey Sports Park volunteering representatives, how could people fail to find their match? Microvolunteering events have been hugely successful this semester. Paint a Pot for an OAP exceeded everyones expectations with over 120 people painting something beautiful to cheer up an OAPs day. This event was so popular; the committee had to rush to B&Q in the middle of the day to buy their entire stock of pots! volunteers went to the Park Barn Centre later that week to deliver the pots and all the OAPs were delighted. The more recent Make a card for a sick child event was just as big a success; over 70 cards were made for children whore terminally ill. Their Christmas is sure to be cheered up by some of the beautiful cards. CSvs Make a Difference Day (22nd-5th November Yes, despite its name, its actually 2 weeks!) meant Guildford Action also benefited from student volunteers who ran an Arts afternoon. Volunteers helped service users to make cards, draw and paint, as well as having a general natter. The staff at

Do>More, Be>More, Volunteer. Email: Ussu.DoMore@surrey.ac.uk Website: www.surreydomore.co.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/SurreyDoMore

GU2 Radio

U2 Radio has won two prizes at the Student Radio Awards. Your student radio station, GU2, won two silver awards for best marketing and best chart show. The ceremony took place at the IndigO2, inside the O2, on November 9th. The Student Radio Awards were hosted by BBC Radio Ones Scott Mills and Annie Mac. Many celebrities and national radio presenters were amongst the crowd at the ceremony. The annual event judges talent from student radio stations across the nation, and is a great platform into the industry. GU2 plans to enter for the awards again next year and hopefully come away with gold.

Paint-a-pot for an OAP

Your student radio broadcasts 24/7 For more information go to: www.gu2.co.uk

Tofu for thought

By Caroline James, Vegetarian society

Are you...

f you like the idea of trying out new restaurants or pubs, tasting new dishes or even finding out more about the realities of the meat and dairy industries then the Vegetarian and Vegan Society (VegSoc) is the place for you. This society is brand new to Surrey and we aim to gain a wider variety of meatfree meals available on campus, to spread awareness of what a plant-based diet consists of and to be a chance to make new friends, regardless of their

dietary choices. Our up-coming social will be a Christmas meal in Woking (date to be announced during last week of term) but we also plan to have screenings of films relevant to our causes, fancydress themed nights out and any other suggestions for enjoyable activities. So if youre Vegan, Vegetarian or looking for the chance to try something completely different, then please contact society president Maria at mh00233@surrey.ac.uk or look for our group on Facebook. See you soon!


The Stag needs a new Societies Editor. Get great experience as a journalist and meet hundreds of interesting people across the whole range of Surreys student societies. Email editor@thestagsurrey.co.uk


Christmas Lunch Bookings Roast Turkey and trimmings 6.25 Festive Turkey Brie and Cranberry Bacon and Brie Caesar Turkey Burger 3.95 3.95 3.95 5.00

Monday 4 Kopparberg Tuesday Barefoot Wine Wednesday Snakebite Thursday Bulmers Friday 5 WKD for Weekends Carlsberg Sourz Cocktails 10 6.50 2.00 2.50 10.00 2.00 3.50

Costa Festive Coffees and Christmas Cake

Wednesday 14th 8pm - Big Band Playing Christmas Carols Friday Night DJs playing the best of House, Dance, R&B and Hip Hop Live Sport Weekends every Saturday and Sunday

The Stag |

6th December 2011



Essence of Ireland
By Hannah Jelliman, Dance and Theatre Editor

Your fortnightly guide to the Arts at Surrey

t is safe to say I am far from an expert on Irish dance, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I headed to Glive on a Saturday evening to see Essence of Ireland. The show provided an elaborate display of traditional Irish song and dance to an incredibly enthusiastic audience. The production loosely followed the story of an Irish man, forced to emigrate to America to find work in the early 1900s, with readings from letters sent back to his homeland. Although these letters attempted to keep a narrative going, the lack of any particular characters on stage made it often seem a little stopandstart, with random songs and dances occurring throughout. However, the quality of the majority of the performance was outstanding. The dancers performed incredibly fast footwork in perfect unison and had neat transitions between extremely tight formations. Their sense of spatial awareness was outstanding

and the performance quality of the movement electrifying. The musicians equally provided an entertaining addition to the production, performing classic Irish folk songs from Bell of Belfast City to Danny Boy and moving through the ages to more modern Irish music from the likes of Bewitched and Westlife (although this felt slightly out of place amongst the patriotic, traditional numbers that surrounded it). Louise Gale has to be particularly commended for her unique Irish Dolly Partonesque vocals that demonstrated both power and emotion. Overall, the show had a relaxed feel, with audience interaction and participation. It often felt quite cringy with the cast encouraging the audience to join in with the singing of the Irish songs, but perhaps I am just too young (or from the wrong country) to truly appreciate the music. There is also only so much clapping to the beat of the music that one can take, although the incredibly diverse audience remained enthusiastic and active throughout and seemed to have a genuinely enjoyable evening.

he School of Arts Christmas Show will be a celebration of all the art forms under the School of Arts umbrella: music, dance, film and theatre. Join us for an evening of performances ranging from ballet commissioned by dance lecturer Jennifer Jackson, music from bands in the music department, theatre sketches and short film clips as well as stand up comedy and classical music. This show will be a vibrant and colourful depiction of the activities happening in the School of Arts, performed with tenacity and verve. Join us for this fantastic event tickets are available online from www.surrey. ac.uk/arts What: School of Arts Christmas Show When: Friday 16th Dec 7:30pm, Saturday 17th Dec 2.00pm & 7:30pm Where: Ivy Arts Centre How Much: 8 (6 staff & senior, 5 students)

The Nutcracker: New Victoria Theatre, Woking

By Emily Bourne, Dance and Theatre Team

rom January 31st to February 4th, Matthew Bournes The Nutcracker will be coming to Wokings New victoria Theatre to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I was lucky enough to see this production a few years ago at the Royal Opera House and I was blown away by the fresh originality that Bourne could bring to a show that is over one hundred years old. Continuing to use the original score by Tchaikovsky, he re-tells the story of The Nutcracker in a contemporary setting, where young orphan Clara pursues not a prince, but a muscular

man, who looks more like Mr Universe through a magical world full of sugary and sparkly surprises. Matthew Bournes unique approach to dance has been vital in bringing ballet into the 21st century, bringing in choreography and a wit which appeals to the modern audience. Tickets start from 17.50 and for a west-end quality show, I think thats pretty good value. Theres no doubt that The Nutcracker will draw a big crowd: I for one will be getting my ticket early, and I advise you do too to make sure you see this show from one of the best ballet choreographers in Britain.

The (Wo)Men in Black Jellimans

By Tiffany Stoneman, Dance and Theatre Team more shifts to get a real sense of the demands of such a role. It's definitely not just about friendly faces and knowing the directions to the appropriate aisles. It can be an incredibly stressful place to work, dealing with patrons and VIPs, ensuring performers and directors are satisfied, and that the audience know nothing of the problems that may arise. Box office systems are fantastic creations databases are created for regular patrons, marketing questions improve future campaigns, and card machines make life easy for those who don't carry change. Yet for the person behind the desk it is not quite so easy; even when a show is apparently fullybooked, things go awry. Various tickets can remain uncollected just minutes before the performance, so the process of releasing and reselling seats begins. Simple enough in theory, but when faced with a queue of college students and less-than-impressed dance tutors, it can be somewhat daunting worse still, when the box office system refuses to comply with your fairly simple requests. Nevertheless, it is still exhilarating to see so many eager people willing to hang around in the desperate hope for a spare chair in the auditorium. It all boils down to a calm exterior, an accepting nod of the head and a quiet word to the duty manager when people sneak crisps into the auditorium. All will be well, and the audience are none-the-wiser to the threatening storm that was narrowly escaped. So next time you're in the theatre, spare a thought for the people in black. We are generally a happy bunch, proud to be a part of the theatre team and glad of the reward of a free show. But, like any job, it can have its moments and times of incredible pressure. Give us a smile, a 'thank you', and we'll keep doing what we're doing, even if it's just for the free seats.

Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.
Martha Graham

nter any theatre and nine times out of ten you will be greeted by smiling people in black attire, ready to give you tickets, programmes, ice cream and directions to the nearest bar or toilet. But what is it really like being on a Front of House team? For my course, we are required to do a session as FOH at one of the on-campus theatre venues; however, wishing to expand my experience, I volunteered to take on


The Stag |

6th December 2011


The Imagined Lives of the Mystery Portraits

By Emily Smart, Literature Team


The List: what havent you read recently?

By Christina Morman, Literature Team

he National Portrait Gallery has recently been able to restore fourteen Tudor portraits which the gallery obtained in 1858. At the time, no information was found on these sitting in the paintings and therefore this resulted in them being removed from display. However, the gallery has finally decided to bring these portraits back to life by inviting a number of prestigious authors to create imaginary lives for these figures. Authors such as Sir Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope and Minette Walters have written short stories, each depicting the lives in an alternative genre, all with equal brilliance. Pratchett, for example, has written a humorous tale about an explorer who presented Elizabeth I with a skunk. Walters, however, uses the epistolary technique when portraying the despairing life of the wife of the male in the portrait, one which may give the viewer a negative approach to the figure. It is fair to say that this is an extraordinary way to transform an unknown painting into something of fascination, and gives the portraits a new lease of life having a compelling context behind them. Both text and image will be displayed in the National Portrait Gallery from December 3rd 2011 until August 1st 2012: a must for students interested in art, literature and the idea that, combined, they can create something One of the paintings on show as part of the Imagined Lives display, magnificent. thought to be Sir Robert Dudley.

Is poetry pointless?
By Sophie Vickery, Literature Team

o call poetry pointless is certainly controversial, but how many of us settle down to read a good poem? Does anyone actually pack a poetry book into their holiday hand luggage, along with their sun cream and passport? One of the problems with poetry is that it is often difficult to understand, and can be a struggle for many readers. Therefore, its unsurprising that most of us opt for a novel or newspaper rather than a ballad. Another reason why poetry rarely features in the hands of commuters is that poetry can be frustrating with its elaborate metaphors, images and ideas which are often rather far-fetched. However, its unfair to criticise poets for their efforts: after all, they express their ideologies through profound techniques which require great technical skill. Plus, there is no doubt that many poems address serious issues and matters, from war, to society, to love. Poems can also be highly useful and fitting within


specific situations: an epitaph on a gravestone or a sonnet for wedding vows. As a female journalist, I cant resist but suggest that deep down we all love a good sonnet because, in todays society, men just dont do love poems. Romantic poetry is scarce amongst the lives of most women, and only really appears in a Clintons card, but even here the poems and verses are simply cheesy. Even though Shakespeares mistress had eyes nothing like the sun, do we secretly envy her because she at least had a sonnet written for her? Unfortunately, it seems the poem lacks value in todays bookshelves and Christmas lists, yet we should refuse to merely dismiss the form when it can instantly induce moods; narratives are simply too long to capture and stimulate thoughts and ideas of credible severity and significance. Overall, the poem can be valued as it holds much power: to sweep a woman off her feet, a simple sonnet, moving monologue or benevolent ballad is all it takes!

nyone who cites an interest in literature is asked to justify themselves who do you read? What do you read? Are you really interested, or are you just saying this to appear intellectual, accomplished or cultured? Cue the sweaty palms. What to say that makes you fit in? How to impress them? To the sweaty-palmers out there: do not worry. This person may be about to spout off about how enthralling Thomas Hardy is or how Coleridge has them in raptures, but that does not mean you have to as well. The temptation to prove to ourselves and to others that we belong is pretty strong. And the first step to doing this is supposedly to list off how many of the greats youve read. We all do it to some degree. Think back to your personal statement. Writing mine, I suffered from the fear that I was not good enough, that the amorphous reader on the other end would see this, hence the compulsion to put everything in. I considered including books that Id never finished or even read, just because of their perceived merit. The temptation was Ive read the first few chapters, that counts, right? Even since, the idea of The List has taken root. For some of us this List is a reality, one which were slowly working our way through; for others, it has become The List of works that we must read before we can be considered truly literary. But each new lecture and each new textbook throws up more works that must be added to The List immediately. Its an ever-growing monstrosity, one which has the power to stress and demoralise. Give yourself a break and be practical. Just because you have not read all the

other books or essays written by the authors or critics on your reading list does not mean you arent on par with the rest of your course-mates. Thats not to say that you should be lazy. Theres always the possibility that the novel that doesnt look like your cup of tea might actually induce an epiphany, or that the boring looking Theory Essay might just turn your confusion into comprehension. Dont discount something so quickly; give the first few chapters a try, come back to it later. Literatures ability to take you out of your own lifestyle and culture and show you the world through someone elses eyes should not be underestimated. Similarly, just because your literary idol doesnt match up with the next persons does not make your passion any less valid. Just because you arent reading serious literature in your free time does not mean your enjoyment of these works is worth less. This is University: no one here is the same similar, but not copies. As much as we all want to prove ourselves and do well on our own, its the different voices around us fellow students, tutors, lecturers and the springboard environment that they create that will help us get there. So if at the end of the day youd rather snuggle on the sofa (or considering were mostly students here: bed) with a book which has nothing to do with your course and doesnt tick off one more box on The List, dont berate yourself. Tell cynicism to take a hike for once. We are all here because of a genuine appreciation and a willingness to explore literature in all its forms, and frankly, if you enjoy it who can judge you if you say you prefer Harry Potter to Thomas Hardy? I wont.

National Portrait Gallery, London

The Stag |

6th December 2011



Shout About! Children writers

By Emily Smart, Literature Team

n impressive and inspiring website has been launched this month which is said, by author Beverley Birch, to give children a sense of being part of a world that is taking them seriously. The website, shoutaboutmagazine.com, is run by a group of award winning writers and illustrators. Their aim is to create an online creative writing magazine for children aged sixteen years and younger, who have a talent and a passion for storytelling. Birch stated that children should be encouraged to write, and by seeing your own work published online, could there be any better motivation? The idea for the magazine was founded last November, when members of Childrens Writers and Illustrators in South London (CWISL) set up a three day festival at South Bank University. They worked with children from extremely poor boroughs such as Lambeth and Southwark. The volunteers at the festival announced that it was a huge success, terrific fun and are eagerly planning the next in the series. The response in which they gained

from the event was so impressive that the idea of the online magazine became a definite must. The website contains works from famous children authors such as Nicholas Allen, Paul Bryers and Beverley Birch amongst many others, as well as exciting competitions for the children to enter. There has already been a great response to the site, seen from the Your Shout page which contains short stories, poems and art work from children all over the country. It is highly impressive to see the thoughts of these young individuals expressed through these works. Although many would say that they are extremely dissimilar to the likes of Shakespeare or Joyce, they are still enormously intriguing and powerful. Although the members of CWISL initially planned to only publish three issues online per year, the excellent support from these members changed it to a monthly process: this will hopefully continue to inspire and support young writers across England, as well as being a stepping stone for potential writers in the future.

For the love of Harry Rowlings Formula

By Rebecca Worley, Literature Team

t would seem J.K. Rowling has tapped into some secret formula with the creation of her Harry Potter series. Sitting comfortably in 7th position on the Sunday Times Rice List, Rowling has clearly outstripped any other childrens author of our generation. The films have added impressively to her success, with names such as Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon gracing our screens and drawing people to the cinema in their millions. But why? I will confess myself to be a big Harry Potter

These books dont just contain a coming of age story within their pages, the writing style and content also grows up with the reader. J.K. Rowling has undoubtedly created a vivid world which engulfs readers: so much so that Harry Potter World has been created in coordination with Disney world, with readers desperate to experience a slice of that magical world for themselves. So vibrant is Rowlings world that, as a reader, you feel like you could explore it yourself, in fact you find yourself wanting to, waiting for that letter from Hogwarts to come by Owl Post when you turn eleven.

many people are cynical about Rowlings writing ability

geek; this series of books installed in me my love for reading. I consumed the books the day they arrived after being on pre-order weeks in advance. I cried when Dumbledore died, harboured a hatred for Snape and longed for Ron and Hermione to finally kiss. However, many people are cynical about the books and Rowlings writing ability. True, each of the books follow the same format: Harry goes to Hogwarts, discovers a mystery, gets into danger and triumphs against it. Many also argue that Harry isnt a believable hero character, going as far to declare him whiny or boring. However, of course, I strongly disagree. I will admit that Harry isnt the best character I have ever encountered in a novel. Saying this, I do understand why Rowling wanted a hero who wasnt a stereotypical popular hunk: an anti-hero. Potter is a believable outcast, the underdog who we, the readers, are rooting for throughout. Its almost as if we know a secret, we know that Harry is the true hero and yet few others in the novel understand. This allies the readers with Harry, we sympathise with him and we grow to respect him. This is why Harry Potter is the childrens saga of our generation, whether you personally love him or hate him. Now we have to see if he can stand the test of time. I truly hope so.


The Stag |

6th December 2011



In Time (2011)
By Tiffany Tucker, Film Editor

New years Eve (2011)

By Tiffany Tucker, Film Editor

hy is she running in heels? This was my first thought whilst watching In Time. After I pondered over that question for a while, I had time to realise what a powerful, thought provoking film this actually was. Starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, Andrew Niccol directs a motion picture that examines Capitalist society at its worst. The film centres on a world where you can only live until the age of 25, and then the clock starts ticking. In a world where time is currency, there is a bitter fight for survival and every moment counts. The main character Will Salas (Timberlake) is from the ghetto, where people are dying every day and

unable to work enough to live longer. Meanwhile, the rich are living in an alternate time zone with decades left and remaining essentially immortal. When Will finds himself with a vast amount of time, he goes on the run with the beautiful Sylvia Weis (Seyfried) and together they live minute-to-minute exploiting the system in which they live. In Time basically tells the story of the reality of Capitalist society, the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, dying young because of insufficient means to live any longer. This tragic storyline is made less morbid, however, with a highly attractive cast and fastpaced chase scenes. The plot is easy to follow and the message is simple, although at times unrealistic.

et for release on December 8th 2011, New Years Eve is everyones winter warmer: set to enhance smiles, make us feel closer to those around us and encourage us to realise what is really important on New Years Eve. From the makers of valentines Day and the director of Pretty Woman, Garry Marshall creates a film unlike any other, and this time it seems bigger and better! There is, of course, an all-star cast, selected with such variety that there is something for everyone. With the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher and many more, youll surely be spoilt for choice! The main plot line is fairly simple to follow,

with the intertwining and connected relationships of all of the characters. It follows those who are single and those loved up couples in the Big Apple over the course of New Years Eve. Of course, its not everyones taste; we all know that with a film like this comes a certain level of predictability, so as audiences we forecast whats going to happen and who will inevitably fall in love. The thrill does not lie in the suspense, and there should be no great expectations of deep philosophical story lines. New Years Eve should be enjoyed for what it is: a feel good, entertaining flick that leaves you with a warm feeling inside. Plus, with such a star-studded cast, its hard to find any solid critiques.

The Shining (1980)

By Caroline James, Film Team

My Week With Marilyn (2011)

By Kristie Marchant, Film Team

his is a film for all the Marilyn Monroe lovers out there! Based on the diary extracts of the 3rd Directors Assistant for The Prince and the Showgirl, this film documents the troubled life of Marilyn at the peak of her career in the 1950s. Constantly harassed by fans and hounded by the paparazzi, plied with drugs and alcohol and faced with her turbulent relationship with Arthur Miller, Marilyn turns to Colin as someone she can trust and help her to experience momentarily what it would be like to lead a normal life. Funny and enjoyable, yet heart-breaking and sad, this film beautifully portrays what life was like for the real Marilyn Monroe underneath her starry persona, and for the adorable young man that ends up falling in love with her.

know the Halloween film season has come and gone, but if you are still craving something creepy or are a fan of Stanley Kubrick films, then I highly recommend The Shining (1980), undoubtedly the best horror film Ive seen so far. The plot seems simple at first, focusing around Jack (Jack Nicholson) who stays at the remote Overlook Hotel during its closed winter season as the care taker, with his wife and son. However, after only a month of living there, paranormal and disturbing apparitions begin to appear before each character, which catalyses Jacks descent into madness. I think what makes this one of the best films of the Horror genre is the fact that rather than relying on suspense or shock tactics, The Shining creates a spine chilling atmosphere from the moment the opening credits begin to roll. This is achieved through the potent film score composed by Wendy Carlos; its distorted electronic sounds make even the aerial shots of Jack driving through the woods on a sunny day creepy. Furthermore, it would be a crime to ignore the fantastic performances given in this film. Despite the fact that Jack Nicholson is renowned for naturally being over the top, his insane bloodthirsty character is truly terrifying, particularly in the famous concluding scene of Jack chasing his son through a hedge-maze with an axe. Similarly, Shelly Duvall gave a brilliant performance as Jacks wife,

Wendy. Arguably, her constant tearful pleads to be freed from Jacks madness and submissive nature could be seen as irritating. However, its her fear for whats going on around her that, adding to ours, makes her role a pivotal one in this horror film. In summary, although The Shining does bear some of the clichs of its genre (ghosts, murder and madness), what makes it stand out as a horror film is undoubtedly the pure sense of horror the viewer experiences from beginning to end.

The Stag |

6th December 2011



Top ten films due in 2012

By Tiffany Tucker, Film Editor

The Devil Inside

Set for release in late January 2012 this horror/thriller follows a young woman (Fernanda Andrade) on a quest to save her deranged mother. She travels to Italy and becomes enthralled into the world of exorcisms of troubled victims. Directed by William Brent Bell, it blurs the boundaries between science and religion. This film is perfect for those lovers of Paranormal Activity and The Ring.

Baltasar Kormkur directs this 2012 action drama, starring Mark Wahlberg. He plays the main character of a security guard who is forced to return to his dangerous ways of living, which results in his partners (Kate Beckinsale) life being put in grave danger. This action-packed, dangerous, edgeofyourseat movie is perfect for action film lovers everywhere.


Joyful Noise
Joyful Noise is a musical comedy which focuses on a small town choir who set aside their differences to win a national choir competition. Starring the great Dolly Parton and Queen Latifa, Joyful Noise is sure to put some soulful music into every viewers hearts and leave you with a smile. Released in January and directed by Todd Graff, this gleeesque film is full of musical talents and scenes of great comedy.

This means War

This action rom-com follows two handsome protagonists, played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. They are two top CIA operatives who find themselves head to head in an epic action-packed battle, after discovering that they are both dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Set for release in February 2012, Director McG creates the perfect balance between laughs and explosions. Those who loved The Bounty Hunter and Mr and Mrs Smith will love this.

Young Adult
From the director of Up in the Air and Thank You For Not Smoking, Jason Reitman explores the life of a fiction writer who returns home to small town Minnesota, with her sights set to reawaken a romance with her high school boyfriend, who is now married with children. From the writers of Juno, this film reveals a womans insecurities, which are masked by her pretty face and witty ways.

The Divide
Directed by Xavier Gens, this Sci-Fi Thriller takes the apocalyptic film genre and focuses on a small groups bid to stay alive. Survivors of a nuclear attack are bound together for days, with supplies rapidly running out. The Divide, which will be released in early 2012, examines the characters change of behaviour in a world of seclusion and insanity.

One for The Money

This film, set for release in February 2012, is directed by Julie Anne Robinson. It stars main character Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) as a newlydivorced woman who finds a job in a bail-bonds business, where the boundaries between love and crime are blurred, whilst falling for wanted Joe Morelli (Jason OMara). One For The Money appears to have it all, with comedy, crime and action all intertwined to make a humorous yet sharp viewing.

This emotional midlife exploration is set for a big screen release in early January 2012. After spending years on the road with Blue Oyster Cult, main character Jimmy Testagros (Ron Eldard) moves back to his home-town, and is reunited with a childhood love (Jill Hennessy). Although this film appears to be for an older generation, it brings to life true feelings of heartbreak and memory in a journey towards happiness. Director Michael Cuesta does a fine job in bringing these issues to light.

Red Tails
Inspired by true events, Red Tails tells the story of a crew of African American pilots within the Tuskegee training programme, who are given the chance to shine after being called into action as pilots of the war. As well as being an action-packed war film, it tells a particular emotional history about segregation in a wartime setting, shedding a light on racism and inequality. Anthony Hemingway directs this fast-paced film, and those who are a fan of any war film will surely be in for a treat when it is released in January 2012.

Channing Tatum stars in this action blockbuster in which a black ops soldier hunts for revenge after being betrayed during a previous mission. Steven Soderblergh directs this chaotic masterpiece, and if you loved Salt, then youll love this.


The Stag |

6th December 2011


BUCS Sports Results

Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Mens 2nd Surrey Womens 1st
2 6

vs vs vs
6 2

Royal Holloway Mens 1st Kingston Mens 1st Royal Holloway Womens 1st

Surrey 1st Surrey 2nd Surrey 1st

39 36 25

vs vs vs

58 Brunel 2nd 12 Kingston 2nd 34 Reading 3rd

Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Mens 2nd Surrey Womens 1st 112 89 121 vs vs vs 96 Kent Mens 1st 124 Royal Holloway Mens 1st 115 Sussex Womens 1st

Rugby Union
Surrey Mens 1st 18 vs 10 Reading Mens 2nd

Squash Tennis
Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Mens 2nd Surrey Mens 3rd Surrey Womens 1st 6 12 8 6 vs vs vs vs 6 0 4 6 Chichester Mens 1st Roehampton Mens 2nd Royal Free (RUMS) Mens 2nd Roehampton Womens 1st Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Womens 1st 4 2 vs vs 1 2 Essex Mens 1st Reading Womens 1st

In this game Reading won on points

Table Tennis
Surrey Mens 1st 8 vs 9 Portsmouth Mens 1st

Surrey 1st 3.5 vs 2.5 Brunel 1st

Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Mens 2nd Surrey Mens 3rd Surrey Mens 4th Surrey Mens 5th Surrey Womens 1st 2 4 3 0 3 1 vs vs vs vs vs vs 0 0 2 1 5 2 Reading Mens 1st West London Mens 1st Royal Holloway Mens 2nd Kingston Mens 4th Roehampton Mens A Roehampton Womens 1st

Surrey Mens 1st Surrey Mens 2nd Surrey Womens 1st 4 1 9 vs vs vs 4 2 1 Royal Free (RUMS) Mens 1st Reading Mens 2nd LSE Mens 2nd

All is going swimmingly at the water polo club

By Robert Van Tromp (Social Secretary), Sports Team

Surrey Water Polo Club

Steve Allen

s a level 2 student at the University, its always nice to see younger, fitter swimmers coming through the ranks at the Swimming and Water Polo club, making lasting impressions on our current members. Our most recent BUCS weekend, up in Sheffield, marked our third successive BUCS. The weekend up north never fails to disappoint, with all swimmers pulling out some fantastic swims and some monumental dance moves on the Saturday evening, dressed in pink florescent tights and girls 11-12 year old pants saying chase me. Special praise goes out to Josh Wreford who showed that anything is possible with a bit of red bull and a pork scratching, and to Katie Chapple and Georgina Roughsedge who braved a weekend away with ten lads, with banter flying from all angles. Its

important not to forget the anorak that is James Godwin, who continues to organise these brilliant weekends away as a team. Big shout out to Godwin. With the University Water Polo team continuing to go from strength to strength, things are looking up for the remaining fixtures of 2011. The fresh input of Luke Woodman, Dave Seber, Ben Jarman and Elliot Thompson has only provided positives for the boys Polo team, with each individual showing their value to the team in the first few games of the season. With a much anticipated away game to UEA in Norwich this coming Friday, theres every reason to feel jolly! The third Swimming/Polo social beckons with only two days left until the union is painted red and white by our clubs most committed individuals. Our hunky social secretary, Robert Van Tromp, continues to hold these outstanding

socials, and expects the Wheres Wally themed night to follow suit. Even if youre a friend, or sister, or the granddad of a student on the team, dont be afraid to get involved in our free social, taking place on the 7th December. With the remarkable facilities we have, and the flexible coaches we possess, we continue to encourage more and more people to try out the sessions provided by the coaches, whether it is in Water Polo or Swimming. Our coaches cater for all levels of ability from national standard to the basics of Swimming. Our Club days are from 2pm4pm on Wednesday afternoons and 5.30pm7.30pm on Sunday evenings. If you fancy trying something different and this particularly takes your fancy then come on down for a session and try it out. For any questions regarding getting involved with Swimming or Water Polo, get in touch ASAP rv00027@surrey.ac.uk

The Stag |

6th December 2011



A look at mental illness in football

By Oliver Deed, Union Chair

lot has been written about the untimely death of Gary Speed since his suicide was announced by Cheshire Police. Some of it rightly dedicate to celebrating an exception footballer and a widely respected man, but much of it dedicated to the problem of depression in sport. None of us know whether Gary Speed was depressed, although it is fair to assume that he was in an extraordinarily poor state of mind when he decided to take his own life. His death highlights the problem of mental illness in football and sport. We have been here before. Justin Fashanu, who played for a plethora of clubs, including Norwich and Notts County, committed suicide in 1998. Fashanu was the first openly gay professional footballer and had been accused of sexual assault before his suicide. He suffered from depression, as did Robert Enke. The German goalkeeper stood in front of a train at a level crossing after suffering from depression for six years. The reality is that the culture surrounding football has tended to exacerbate the problem. Football has a macho culture in which individuals are not encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings. This permeates the whole of football; from the governing

authorities who lack the structures in place to support a footballer with problems to fans on the terraces who exploit any sign of weakness in an opponent. Some of the chants associate with Justin Fashanu is testament to that. We need to foster an environment where footballers can come forward with their problems and receive the necessary support without being exposed to the harsh realities of the media environment and the culture on the terraces. The FA, Premier League and Football League need to sit down and respond to the problem of mental illness in football. To be fair, the FA have made a start by sending pamphlets to thousands of ex-professionals. However, this just isnt enough. First and foremost, they should look to establish a support structure for footballers with mental illness. This may take the form of a joint organisation or an organisation led by the FA. Irrespective of how it is constituted, it should aim to bring together experts in mental health issues and players representatives to fashion a support structure that can be of real benefit to players, managers and ex-professionals. Secondly the FA should launch a campaign highlighting the issue of mental health in football, along the lines of the Kick Racism out

of Football campaign which has been a huge success. Whilst we can never kick mental health issues out of football, we can highlight the support structures open to players, managers and officials alike. This is a serious issue that all stakeholders in football should take seriously and this campaign should be designed to highlight that. Lastly, football clubs should ensure that young players coming through youth academies should be educated in the issues of mental health and aware of the support structures within the club and the footballing authorities if they feel they have problems. Some football clubs do this already, but we should look towards a national standard of education to ensure that all kids coming through the ranks know theyre not alone in coping with mental health issues, if they arise. The death of Gary Speed will hopefully open up the debate on depression in football and result in the footballing authorities creating support structures for players who suffer with mental illness. Football fans up and down the country will paid tribute to Gary Speed by participating in a minutes applause for a footballing legend, however, the most fitting tribute would be for football as a whole to address the issue of mental illness within the game.

Footballer and Manager Gary Speed committed suicide on Sunday 27th November

Horsing around in the equestrian society

By Rachel Thomason, Sports Team

Surrey Equestrian Society

we nervously watched our riders complete their dressage tests. Genevieve Kirk, Elizabeth Ward, Emily Chomicz and Penina Kahtan all rode brilliantly and the dressage results alone brought Surrey into first place. But we didnt stop there. After a lovely lunch prepared by the Equestrian Society President, Caitlin Kretzschmar, we went to set up the jumping course. Both riders and helpers had numb hands, chattering teeth and nerves had thoroughly kicked in. We wished them good luck and by the time it came to their round, the A Team were completely focused. Whilst we heard that Portsmouths horses had been refusing fences, the horses at Silvermere were giving it their all. With only a few fences down between all of our four riders, the results looked promising. By the time the horses were damp with sweat and exhausted from completing five rounds each,

ight oclock on the very misty morning of Wednesday 23rd November saw the Equestrian club - eyes half closed and bundled in hats, scarves and gloves- meet at the GSA for the first Equestrian competition of this year. Whilst the B Team, comprising of Marisa Wisniewska, Emily Kitson, Sarah Grimshaw and Amit Grinvald, headed off to Portsmouth for their away competition, the A Team drove to Silvermere Equestrian Centre to prepare for our home competition. After the horses manes and tails had been plaited, the letters in the arena had been put up and the rosettes arranged, the four other teams eventually arrived Brighton, Royal Holloway and LSE and the competition began. Louisa OCallaghan and Kiera Farrelly perfected their timekeeping skills for the warm ups and, with constant updates from the B Team,

apprehension rose as we waited for the remaining results. Once again in the lead with the jumping results was the University of Surrey and as we all exchanged excited glances, we knew the news could only get better! But of course, the results didnt come without their drama. Concerns were raised over the wearing of gloves with some competitors suggesting that points should be deducted for the absence of gloves since it is compulsory in the competitions. Luckily, Surrey wasnt involved and since nothing could be proven, the judge and the teams agreed to let it go. That meant that Emily Chomicz, who had been calculating the results, could finally announce that the A Team winners were the University of Surrey with Brighton in second, followed by Royal Holloway and then LSE. We then heard that the B Team had finished in fourth place but only narrowly missing out on third! Individual

placings saw Emily Chomicz take first place, Penina Kahtan take second and Genevieve Kirk take sixth, a brilliant result. We were equally pleased with the B Teams results with Sarah Grimshaw coming fourth and Emily Kitson only just missing out on placings! A huge congratulations is in

order for both teams who have been so committed to these competitions over the last few weeks. But an even bigger thanks must go to our President, Caitlin Kretzschmar, for organising a great day, and Silvermere Equestrian Centre and their horses for making it run smoothly!

The Equestrian club rakes in the awards at the first competition of the year

Allan England


The Stag |

6th December 2011


Sport Olympic spirit comes to Guildford

by David Pugh, Sports Team

very four years the world descends on one country; one city; where athletes from all nations compete for the ultimate accolade: an Olympic gold medal. A burning torch will leave Athens and travel through every competing nation before a tour of Britain. The world will follow this torch, journalists will camp out to get a glimpse of its fiery shell and the likes of Konnie Huq and Amy Childs will parade with it through their home towns to the cheers of thousands. The Olympic Torch arrives at Lands End on 19th May and will begin a seventy day tour to all four corners of the British Isles, before completing its journey at the opening ceremony in Stratford on 27th July. July 20th is when Guildford takes its turn. The one day where the worlds focus will be on the burning shaft making its way down the high street, past Wagamamma and ShakeAway, turning left at Wetherspoons and on past campus towards the Olympic park. But who will represent us? Who will stand up and show the world what Guildford stands for, its morals, its

style, and its heart? As a resident of this beautiful town for many years, I can think of only one person who fosters the spirit of us all: no you wont see her on the side of a bus advertising trainers, she doesnt have a fancy sponsorship deal with a high street bank, and she wont be parading around on the X factor. Her name is Brenda, but you will know her better as the Bearded Lady of Guildford. The Bearded Lady of Guildford, the B.L.O.G if you will, is a Guildford institution. Freshers you probably wont have seen her yet, but give it time and she will reveal herself to you. She wanders the Friary, sometimes venturing out as far as Sainsburys, in her trademark leopard print coat and silver nose ring. Little is known about her, only that she has a soft spot for Shepherds pie and visited Austria once in 1978. She is a celebrity among the local townsfolk, the peoples choice to be our Olympic champion. The Bearded Lady of Guildford is a celebrity in her own right, she has been featured by LA blogger Perez Hilton, has fan pages on Myspace, Twitter and a Facebook

campaign with more than ten thousand followers, all backing her to represent Guildford in the torch relay. Lewis Shaw, one of the campaigners and founder of the Bearded Lady for Olympic Torch Bearer Facebook page said: The story of Brenda Hughes is a strange, compelling, and wholly marvellous one. Brenda, or the Bearded Lady of Guildford has been a local, national, and recently international superhero/celebrity/do-gooder,

with reports of sightings going back to 2004-5. Not much is known about her life or occupation, but what we do know is that her beard and unusual dress sense has afforded her much hardship and respect. Brenda has inspired the world and reminded us that we can all be what we want to be. Brenda Hughes is an icon of national pride, and a reminder of the prevailing pride in uniqueness that has kept this nations metaphorical chin up. So, it is with great respect and happiness,

that I nominate Brenda Hughes to run the Olympic Torch through Guildford. Guildford resident Callum Morgan added: Lets pray she keeps the torch away from the beard. You can find information on how to nominate Brenda at: www.london2012.com and like; Bearded Lady of Guildford for Olympic Torch Bearer on Facebook.

Reasons to be cheerful as Team Surrey goes on Christmas break

By Douglas Elder, Sports Team

he 2011-2012 season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Team Surrey. They have won almost as many games as they have lost, the joy of victory and the despair of defeat having gone hand-in-hand on many occasions. As The Stag prepares to close its production factories, its beleaguered writers give their stinging typing fingers a well-earned rest and the readers prepare to weep in the absence of their favourite University of Surreybased fortnightly paper, Team Surrey can approach the festive season in good spirits but with some lessons to be learnt. For many, this year has been a baptism of fire, a first taste of the often overlooked world of competitive university sport, but

for others they will simply want 2011 to go on and on. Surrey sits an encouraging 11th in the standings for the South-East region in the BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) league, with the opportunity to climb higher in the coming weeks and in the New Year. At time of writing, Surrey have five teams which remain unbeaten: Rugby Union Mens 1st - Six wins from six matches Hockey Womens 1st - Four wins from five matches Fencing Womens 1st - Five wins from five matches Badminton Womens 1st - Two wins and two draws from four matches to top their league volleyball Mens 1st - Three wins from three matches

As a result of this, these teams sit at or near the top of their respective divisions, and I wanted to find out why they have been so successful. If you read my article in the last issue of The Stag (and why wouldnt you?!), then youll know that Surreys women fencers had enjoyed a fine start to their debut season, winning all of their first three games. They have since stretched that record to five with victories over UCL and previous table-toppers Sussex. Captain Rebecca Smethurst continues to praise her hardworking team and the guidance of their coaches, but emphasises that they must be ready to train hard for the next set of matches to stay top. Meanwhile, the Mens Rugby Union first Xv continue to go from strength to strength. It is a clich that you can only beat whats put in front of you, but Surrey have done this with such style that they have stormed clear in their division, often winning by handsome margins,

including their 640 victory over Imperial College London Medics in mid-November. They attribute their success to their professional attitude towards training and playing and that is clearly coming through in their impressive results. They will be aiming for promotion in the New Year and on current form that is likely to be achieved sooner rather than later. Continuing the success stories, the Womens 1st XI Hockey have won their first five games, crushing nearly every team in their path. In their last three games, they have scored a staggering twentyseven (yes, twenty-seven) goals, conceding just one in the process. They are another team for whom promotion is as obviously necessary as it is surely inevitable. The club boasts a very good social scene, but the girls also take their hockey very seriously and it is this attitude which has seen them soar to the top. Although the Mens 1st XI side are struggling in a very

high division, hopefully the women can serve as inspiration to turn their season around. In order to perform my duties for The Stag, my brilliant journalism skills need to be coupled with knowledge from the games I cover. Although I have often been to the Surrey Sports Park on miserable days, it is still a magnificent complex. I believe these facilities have contributed significantly to Team Surreys success so far, offering an abundance of football and hockey pitches, there are also netball and tennis courts, and much, much more inside. This, coupled with a newly-found professionalism in many of the universitys sports teams has led to a resurgence in fortunes. I cant wait to go back next semester, hopefully to oversee Surrey continue to impress. Wishing a happy holiday to Team Surrey and to you all!