Student Stories

Fresher event FestiFAL 2017 cancelled

Alex Hughes : September 19, 2017 3:44 pm : News

The popular event held every year for new students known as FestiFAL has been cancelled due to a lack of sign-ups from local businesses.

This will be the first time the event has not been held since its creation in 2008.

Hanna Brixton, FXU’s Activities Director and Deputy CEO said: “FestiFAL will not be taking place this year due to an insufficient number of bookings from local businesses.

We contacted all previous participating businesses as well as new ones based in Falmouth and Penryn, however there was insufficient response to support the event. We believe that our bringing the booking deadline forward may have been a contributing factor. We have since met with a couple of venues and have a plan in place to work with local businesses with a view to supporting an event in the future. ”

The event was a chance for new students to explore the town’s bars and venues with discounts and special offers and events.

Despite the cancellation, some venues in Falmouth and Penryn will still be putting on events to welcome new students over Freshers.

 

(Image by Jack Matthews)

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Science as a force for evil in WW2

Alex Hughes : September 18, 2017 2:23 pm : Science & Technology

Jordan Healey explores how science was used for evil in the second World War


Science has undoubtedly benefited the human race whether it would be by enabling us to live longer, support a planet with over seven billion people as well as understand nature and reality itself from the quantum state to the birth of stars and even the universe itself. We are immensely privileged to live in a time where we have access to so much knowledge across so many different disciplines that have been discovered, refined and tweaked by many incredible minds over our relatively small amount of time on Earth. Of course, however, since we have always had a tendency to do horrible things to one another this knowledge has got into the wrong hands on many occasions with devastating results. This article will focus on a few of the times science has been used as a weapon to commit some of the worst atrocities we know of either as a result of this knowledge or to further our understanding of science.

World War II instantly springs to many peoples’ minds when discussing science being used as a force for evil. Between 1939 and 1945 weapons were developed to cause as much death and destruction as possible in ways like never before. Nuclear physics, which was developed by the likes of Henri Becquerel, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford had become a damning example of scientific knowledge being used for a different reason – that is – to kill. The atomic bomb was the result of this research and it ushered in a new age of science with its ability to level the entire cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and unleash more than 15 kilotons of energy in an instant. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima alone killed 70,000 people instantly and a further 70,000 from radiation sickness, burns and various other injuries sustained following the blast. Albert Einstein, whose famous equation E=mc² helped inspire the Germans to attempt to develop the first nuclear weapon, is known to have struggled immensely with the use of his work to maim and kill others.

One of the most infamous science related atrocities in modern history concerns the research conducted on live subjects by Nazi physicians during the holocaust. Many of these operations were supervised by Eduard Wirths, the Chief SS doctor at Auschwitz between the years 1942 and 1945. Wirths’ job was to be formally responsible for the research of the 20 doctors at Auschwitz during his time there. This included, perhaps the most well-known Nazi physician, Josef Mengele (nicknamed the angel of death) who decided who was to be sent to the gas chambers and who was fit enough to carry out forced labour. He also carried out his own scientific research, mostly in the field of genetics, with twins being his main focus. During his time at Auschwitz 3000 individual twins were subject to some of Mengele’s sadistic and cruel experiments which included intentionally injecting typhus into victims to monitor its effects, transfusing blood between twins and amputating limbs to treat them hoping to give the Nazis an advantage in the war.

Many of Mengele’s and the other doctors’ experiments were quite worthless in terms of their scientific credibility; they seemed to just be carried out for the sake of it. However, a lot of Nazi experiments actually proved to be ground-breaking and decades ahead of their time. Eduard Wirths, who was mentioned previously, sent pictures and specimens to Dr. Hinselmann, who went on to invent the colposcopy, which is the procedure still used today in order to detect cervical cancer. Nazi science was also able to link smoking to lung cancer decades before it became common knowledge in the rest of the world. Furthermore, our knowledge of hypothermia was believed to be greatly advanced due to human experimentation at the Dachau concentration camp (although this is disputed by many in the scientific community). Scientists after the war argued to enable the reference of these experiments in papers published by Nature (which banned them due to ways in which information was obtained) and by 1984, 45 new publications referenced these studies from Dachau. They’re no longer cited, however, due to the data being inaccurate and possibly even falsified.

All of this abuse of science has undoubtedly left its mark on history and is a stark reminder that science is neither inherently good nor bad since it is, by definition, just knowledge.  We now live in a time where genetic engineering, robotics and technological advances could potentially introduce significant problems if not well regulated by the governments of the world. It is now up to us and future generations not to let history repeat itself in a time where we need to pull together and utilise science for the good.

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Grenfell families given break in Cornwall

Alex Hughes : September 15, 2017 6:06 pm : News

Families and Firefighters that were affected by the recent Grenfell fire disaster enjoyed a special week-long holiday in Cornwall.

The holiday was set up by Esme Page through a project she created called Cornwall Hugs Grenfell. She set up the project after watching the news that day and feeling that she needed to help.

 

Page posted to Facebook suggesting a holiday for residents and firefighters and was greeted by over 200 pledges of accommodation, free meals and other donations for the families.

She said in the post:  ‘Imagine if we could put a Cornish holiday on the horizon of every Grenfell resident and firefighter family: a time to rest, a time to let our beautiful county bless these people and work its gentle magic.’

The joint campus of Falmouth University and Exeter Penryn hosted 62 people who were involved in the fire either as residents or workers in key roles fighting the incident. Other families were also hosted in cottages across Cornwall.

While in Cornwall the group experienced 2 days of water sports, trips to the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount and other activities, all with the aim of reflection and therapeutic ease.

Esme Page commented on the success of the trip saying: “The Falmouth holiday was oversubscribed so we’re now looking to put together another group trip in late October, early November.

 

We’re hoping to attract a group provider (perhaps a Cornish Holiday Park or hotel) who is willing to give us 10-12 units (ideally enough accommodation for 10 survivor’s families and CHG leaders).”

Page added that the experience was also very worthwhile for the universities, saying: “The Penryn, Falmouth campus and University of Exeter who sponsored the stay found it a really rewarding experience to host the latest group and said that it was a wonderful team-bonding thing to do for staff and volunteers alike.”

Following the success of the trip, Chatbooks (based in Utah), Graphic Dealers Ltd, Photobox and UK Printed Mugs, are offering to produce physical memories for guests to remember the trip and help replace photos they lost in the fire.

Hannah Wahabi, one of the guests on the trip said in an interview with Channel 4: ‘Within our flat, the biggest loss for me was photos, of my children from when they were born – many years of photos. So coming to Cornwall’s been good, we can create new memories’.

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Curating on the Penryn Campus

Matt Solomons : September 13, 2017 1:37 pm : Arts

By Chelsea Dawe


I’m a recent graduate at Falmouth University and I studied on the BA Photography course however, during the course I started to feel my interest was not really with photography but how it was presented. I was intrigued by the way a piece of work can engage with its audience, art’s interpretation and the way it’s presented offers the spectator a greater experience. I realised my passion was for curating.

Regan Boyce’s (Fine Art BA Third Year) ICOSAHEDRON In the Compass

During my time at Falmouth I worked various jobs around campus, one in particular was as a Student Ambassador (for anyone who isn’t aware of what an ambassador is, they are the bright yellow people on Open Days) and that’s where I met Claire English. Claire was a curatorial intern, following an MA in Curatorial Practice at Falmouth and now runs a programme of contemporary art exhibitions and events with students and artists called Confluence Art Programme. We got chatting about exhibitions and Claire asked me to assist her in curating art works at Penryn Campus and of course without any hesitations I said “yes!”.

Through this project I got to experience curating including drinking lots of coffee, whilst discussing ideas! I helped Claire come up with the title and concept for the exhibition Tipping Points and Chaos, which is currently on display in the Exchange Building, Tremough House and the walled garden. I have worked across both campuses and I have got to know lots of people so it was easy for me to find art work from different courses and disciplines. I really enjoyed placing works that I thought would work well with the theme of the exhibition.

Tim Shaw’s (Fine Art BA Alumni) Parliament In Tremough House

The works on display and the exhibition Tipping Points and Chaos (showing until 10th October) features artists who are inspired by nature and human interaction within the natural world, to continue to highlight climate change. This included commissioning artists outside on the campus grounds. Claire and I worked on a brief and Claire put out a call for proposals. I helped to select two artist projects, ‘Nest’ by Rich White, who reused found wooden objects and bound them together with one continuous piece of yellow string, in the walled garden. ‘Swarm’ by Kate Ogley and Timothy Crowley, who are creating a mass of clay bees made by staff and students, which will be installed on a willow tree at the top of the Elm Drive in the Autumn Term.

I had a lot of fun working on this exhibition and I think it worked out to be a success. Spaces like The Compass are very difficult to fill with artwork, it’s not like a dedicated gallery, but Regan Boyce’s ICOSAHEDRON works brilliantly as does Tim Shaw’s Parliament in Tremough House.

Rich White’s Nest In the walled Garden http://www.counterwork.co.uk/

My passion may be curating but yours doesn’t have to be, we’re urging any students who are interested in getting involved in writing, exhibiting, designing, photography, events, performing or anything you particularly enjoy – get in contact and to be part of the Confluence Art Programme.

If this sounds pretty cool to you and you’d like to be involved contact Claire English, you can email her at claire.english@fxplus.ac.uk or contact her via Facebook or Instagram @confluenceartprogramme . You could be a part of the next exhibition, which will be starting in October. By helping Claire, I gained the experience I needed to get into Goldsmiths University to study an MFA in Curating.


Confluence Art Programme places contemporary art in the shared spaces, inside and outside on the Penryn Campus in a series of public art exhibitions, events and installations.

Working with students, staff, local people and artists to engage audiences, Confluence aims to offer a platform for students and artists to work across academic disciplines to co-curate or exhibit.

Confluence Art Programme is funded by Falmouth and Exeter Universities through FXPlus and delivered on a continuing basis by Claire English. If you wish to be involved in any aspect of the programme please contact claire.english@fxplus.ac.uk

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Foreign Correspondence: Leaving the Land of the Free

Matt Solomons : September 12, 2017 9:59 pm : Lifestyle

Written by Caitlin Marks
– Edited by Daisy Roberts 


You’re packing your bags, organising your room, deep cleaning everything. As the smell of bleach begins to spread and the stench of student clears, it finally fully dawns on you, you’re moving out. This room, that has housed all your belongings, been privy to all your secrets, comforted you through both emotional and mental breakdowns, is no longer yours. Now empty but for the memories you will take with you when you leave.

Austin, Texas. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dramatic as that might sound, packing up your university abode is a huge moment every year. Not only because you’re finally finished your deadlines, and your exams, and you’re another year closer to finishing your degree, but because things have to change. The majority of people have to fly back to the nest. Going back to your family home after a year of living alone is, on the surface, a dream come true. You may think, finally someone to do my washing for me, to cook for me, I’m going to be so spoiled because they’ve missed me. This may be true for the first week, but then comes the eventual realisation that you have grown up somewhat. The realisation that you enjoy cooking your own meals, or eating when you’re hungry instead of at the designated family dinner time dawns on you. You find that you don’t like having to plan every night out down to the letter, so that you’re able to answer the barrage of questions your parents ask about where you’re going, who you’re going with and how, and when, you will be getting home.

For most people the transition, from the exhilarating freedom of university to the relative lack of independence that moving back home brings, is a frustration to say the least. Now imagine that you moved to a different country, completely on your own, and that you have spent the best part of a year over four thousand miles away from your family. A very long way from their opinions on what you should and should not be doing. You’ve taken less than appetising buses across state lines to spend two weeks with a friend you’ve met a handful of times. Imagine you’ve swam and tubed the rivers, jumped into one of the most dangerous areas of natural water that Texas has to offer, kayaked crocodile infested waters, all without a second thought. All these experiences and adventures, some planned some on a whim, were divulged to parents long after the fact, I watched their faces transition through pride, fear and excitement as they listened.

On a year abroad, everyone tells you to experience everything you can while you have the time, to not waste any opportunity even if it seems a little dangerous. The stark contrast between living this way and resuming normal life at home, where plans are made based on other people’s agendas, jobs and banalities, feels constricting to say the least.

All of these thoughts flittered through my mind as I flew from Austin, Texas to London. Retrospection and post-travelling blues aside, I realise that there is no reason why I, or any student returning from university, should be satisfied with falling back into our pre-university roles in our family. Each year that we spend away from home changes us so much more than we realise. Each time we come home, we have more to offer the world and more to offer our families. We should appreciate this and demonstrate the maturity we’ve gained. You can’t hope that your parents will look after and coddle you, but then also expect them to afford you the level of independence you’re used to at university. If you want your parents to see who you’ve become at university, to see how worldly you have become and how independent you can be, show them who why they should. Cook them your favourite meals, tell them about the things you’ve been participating in and what you’ll be working on in the future. Engage them in politics or newspaper headlines, show them your passions. Allow them to appreciate who you are and see you in a new light. Show them that you have grown as a person and just maybe they’ll treat you differently to how they treated the child they sent out into the big, bad world of university.

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FXU President and RAD Vice President elected onto NaSFA committee

Matt Solomons : September 12, 2017 7:17 pm : News

FXU President Student Welfare, Harry Bishop, and FXU RAD Vice President, Sarah Redman, have been elected onto the National Student Fundraising Association committee at this year’s RAG Conference.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing
From left to right: Sarah Redman, Harry Bishop, Victoria Hoare and Callie Edwards. Credit: Southampton SU

Harry has been re-elected as the Chair of the NaSFA committee having initially taken on the role in April, following the previous Chair stepping down from their duties.

Speaking to the Anchor, Harry told us how he felt about being re-elected and his plans for the year:

“It is always a huge honour to be elected into any role, especially at a national level. It feels very humbling and warming. But being the Chair of the National Student Fundraising Association comes with plentiful amounts of responsibility. This year we’ll be writing a new national strategy, producing new and exciting online resources for RAG groups all over the U.K., and celebrating the successes of those same groups throughout the year.”

Alongside Harry, FXU RAD’s Vice President, Sarah Redman, was also successful in gaining a place on the NaSFA 2017/18 committee. Competing against nominees from Durham and Nottingham Trent universities, Sarah was successfully voted in as Marketing and Communications Officer.

After her election, Sarah spoke of her excitement to get started and her aim to increase the profile of RAGs.

She said: “The huge efforts and contributions that students and RAGs across the country make to fundraising should be recognised more. I can’t wait to work with truly inspirational students nationally to achieve this!”


Following a successful RAG conference, FXU RAD have announced their plans for the 2017 RAD Challenges. These include:

  • Prague Marathon for Meningitis Research
  • Gorilla Trek for East African Playgrounds
  • Guatemala Volcano Trek for Hope for Children
  • Everest Base Camp for Action Against Hunger
  • Skydiving in Cornwall for Worldwide Cancer Research

For more information, email FXU RAD at fxurad@outlook.com or find them at the RAD Challenge Fair on 16 October.

 

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The Falmouth Anchor to become online-only publication

Matt Solomons : August 18, 2017 1:57 pm : News

After many long discussions, we have decided to end the crowdfunding campaign and cease print production of the paper, moving forward as an online-only publication.

We’ve made this decision after realising that even if we did manage to raise our target of £2,000 we wouldn’t be able to sustain the print production of the newspaper beyond the first term. Our initial plan was to use the crowdfund as a way of bridging the gap whilst more long term solutions were found, however accessing sufficient forms of advertising, sponsorship and funding has proven impossible.

As such, we believe that instead of continuing to struggle as a print publication, we should spend the year honing our skills online with less financial pressures and more creative freedom. In terms of donations the we have recieved, our crowdfunding page has been removed and everyone who donated will be refunded. We would like to give a massive thank you to everyone who pledged and gave us hope that the Anchor could continue in print form!

We would also like to extend our gratitude to Gorkana Jobs and FXU, for their ongoing financial support. The money they have kindly given us will go towards the development of a new website and allow us to produce high quality content on a much more consistent basis. We hope to lead an online student publication which the universities and students can be proud of!

We’re all so excited to see what the future brings and hope you can continue supporting us in this new venture for the Falmouth Anchor!

~ The Falmouth Anchor Committee ~

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FXU RAD shortlisted for RAG of the Year

Matt Solomons : August 1, 2017 4:39 pm : News

FXU’s volunteering and fundraising society, RAD, have today been shortlisted for the top prize at this year’s RAG Awards!

The RAG Conference 2017 committee took to Twitter to announce RAD’s place as the fourth team on the shortlist, alongside a host of other universities bidding to be crowned RAG of the Year.

https://twitter.com/RAGConference/status/892363046244503552

FXU RAD will be considered alongside teams from the universities of Hull, Plymouth, Exeter and Birmingham with the winner to be announced at Southampton FC’s St. Mary’s Stadium on August 31st.

The RAG Awards are taken place on the final day of the RAG Conference 2017, the annual weekend which will host keynote speakers and seminars talking all-things fundraising, alongside the AGM to decide this year’s committee.

If you would like to attend, please find ticket information here.


Congratulations to FXU RAD for making the shortlist – we’re with you all the way!

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“Fast Fashion”: Why boycotting sweatshop clothing is not the answer

Matt Solomons : July 21, 2017 12:48 pm : Fashion, Voices

Michelle Greensted


For a lot of us, being a student means living on a budget: maintenance loans, part-time jobs, student discounts, even buying the cheaper own-brand groceries—so the next time you get a bit overzealous on a night out you don’t end up short on two weeks’ worth of food money. As such, when it comes clothes shopping, high street stores that offer fast fashion at affordable prices seem almost too good to be true. And that’s because, in a sense, they are.

The majority of popular clothing retailers in the UK—from a price spectrum of Primark to Nike— have been criticized at some point for the human rights violations in their sweatshops. These include terrible wages, physical conditions, and safety protocols. One well-known example is the Bangladesh textile factory fire in 2012, which killed over a hundred workers who were unable to escape through the building’s narrow exits. Many such factories which supply European clothing companies also employ child workers as young as five. The ILO estimates that almost 170 million children are in child labour worldwide, the majority of these being in the fashion industry.

In light of this information, many of us who are concerned about ethical shopping are looking for a solution. Some anti-sweatshop groups advocate boycotting sweatshop clothing as a means of combating the situation. However, economic studies have found evidence that boycotting may do more harm than good for those living in developing countries. Data collected on third world living standards suggests that sweatshop work is often the lesser of other evils in poor countries, with sweatshop wages exceeding average income in at least eight out of ten countries surveyed.

In Bangladesh, garment factories contribute 75% of its exports, making them a foundation of its economy. Getting factories shut down will only lead to workers going from a poor job to no job at all, or toward more dangerous working conditions. According to Oxfam, when Bangladeshi factories were forced to fire 30,000 child workers in the 1990s, those children simply ended up living on the streets or going into worse jobs, such as prostitution.

Consequently, getting rid of sweatshops won’t improve the quality of life for anyone—it simply shifts the suffering elsewhere, without addressing the root of the problem: workplace standards. It would surely be better in the long term to keep the beneficial aspects of sweatshops (such as reducing poverty by providing higher wages and creating affordable clothing) while trying to solve the less favourable ones. Organisations such as Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International and the Fair Wear Foundation have people working on the ground in various countries to permanently improve those standards, which will allow workers to keep their jobs but lose the hazards that come with it.

As such, if you are looking for a way to help, keep buying from those cheaper clothing stores, and use the extra money to donate to those charities. Even if you can’t afford to donate, raising awareness can still have a big impact. Share the information with your friends and family, and let the companies you shop from know your concerns. If you would rather avoid unethical clothing brands all the same, try looking at Fairtrade brands such as People Tree that still use artisans in the developing world, but with fair wages and conditions. These also tend to have the added plus of being more environmentally sustainable. While ethical stores like this may be in much lower supply and demand, they are becoming increasingly popular increasingly quickly.

While changes might not happen all at once, a safer, fairer universal working environment is definitely possible to achieve in the future.

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The art of Kendrick Lamar’s music videos

Alex Hughes : July 14, 2017 6:28 pm : Arts

Alex Hughes looks at how Kendrick Lamar achieves artistic music videos and pushes the medium to different levels.


Kendrick Lamar is by far one of the biggest rappers in the world right now and although his lyrics stand him out from the crowd, something that really makes him great is the artistry of his music videos.

To Pimp A Butterfly produced a set of visuals to match the imagination and ambition of Kendrick but when his fourth album DAMN rolled around he completely blew it out the water with next level visuals.

Two music videos from his new album really stand out, these two songs are HUMBLE and ELEMENT. HUMBLE was the first music video from the album to drop, directed by Dave-Meyers, it features rapidly changing shots ranging from Lamar as a young pope, the last supper and him playing golf on top of a car. The thing that really stands out about this music video in my eyes is the creativity of every shot, there is no boring scene, every section carries a meaning and pushes the boundaries of the common music video.

The other video that stands out is ELEMENT which is Directed by Jonas Lindstroem.  It is a lot like a video previously created by Lindstroem called ‘Truth or Dare’ which is a short video featuring rapidly changing shots trying to show a story in a single scene lasting only a few seconds. In Element this ability to show a story in a shot is swapped out to show the story of violence, each image in Element depicts a story of violence in some way through a single shot lasting only a few seconds. Violence is a theme Lamar has explored throughout his career from every angle but never has he explored it so artistically like he does here.

A few of the shots from ELEMENT are direct references to the work of a photojournalist known as Gordon Parks. Parks was one of the first well-known photographers to capture life as a black person in America for a wider audience. Parks was celebrated for his ability to get close to his subjects and show their story in a single image, something that Lamar has replicated here. This alignment in the images and the ideas demonstrates a shared goal between their work, highlighting his community with clearness, highlighting issues of violence and racism in America.

Element exceeds the level of what most music videos do, it is not a story to accompany the song or even just shots of the artist rapping, it is an art form used to express his message and a lens into the world of violence and racism.

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