Issue Two 2022









Established since 1967 February 2022




Exclusive: New Light

Shed on the Racist

Graffiti Incident

An anonymous source close to the original investigation

speaking exclusively to SCAN, has shed new light on

the racist graffiti incident at Cartmel College...


Elizabeth Train-Brown | NEWS


47% of students no longer

feel safe on Bowerham Road,

Lancaster after theft crime


Between October and November

2021, there was a surge in attempted

bike thefts and even home invasions

around the Bowerham area.

This was concentrated along



Bowerham Road with 30 incident

reports of burglary and theft to

Lancashire Police.

My house was one such victim of

attempted burglary.

One of my housemates sleeps in

the bedroom downstairs. At around

4 AM, he woke up at the sound of

someone knocking over our recycling

bags which had luckily been left

by the back door. My housemate

listened and heard someone moving

around the kitchen next to his room.

When he opened his bedroom door,

whomever it was bolted out of our

back door, leaving it wide open.

The rest of us found out about

this the next morning. There were

varying reactions. I experienced

extreme anxiety and struggled to

sleep well the next few nights. One of

my other housemates fretted over his

bike, which was accessible from the

kitchen, and considered trying to fit

it in his room.

All of us were feeling unsafe in our

own home.


10 Days of


Walkouts for









LU Pole Fitness

Gear Up For

Pole Dancing





A Letter From The Editor




Arts &









Tabitha Lambie


Elizabeth Train-Brown &

Jonathan Robb


Rhys Wright


Sam Turner


Sophie Tomlinson


Jenny Lee


Emma Blakey


James Wilson


Neve Frost


Neha Gupta


Sam Allport & Thomas Huddleston


Tom Jeffreys


Ryan Yates









The Editorial Committee above is responsible for

all content and production of SCAN. Compliments,

comments and complaints to be addressed to Editor

in Chief in the first instance. VP Societies & Media,

Dom Casoria, is responsible for all legal matters and

significant reputational harm and can be contacted at

(Printed by Mortons)

For the past two weeks, SCAN has been working

hard to produce our second print issue of the

year. Although incredibly proud of our first

issue, this next one has come leaps and bounds

in both quality and appearance.

Fantastic work has been done across all

sections and it’s clear to see the effort that

has been put in by both our writers and

Editorial Team. The sheer breadth of content

is truly remarkable and it’s amazing to see the

commitment given by everyone involved.

Included in this issue of SCAN, we have some

brilliant contributions from the News Team with

articles covering the life of Desmond Tutu, the

recent shop fire in the City Centre, and an exclusive

update on the racist graffiti incident in Cartmel


Our Comment section includes some exclusive

guest pieces on racism at Lancaster University and

a candid account of ableism in connection to Molly

Mae Hague’s recent comment: “we all have the

same 24 hours in a day.”

Arts and Culture brings to life the Manchesterbased

exhibition on the life of Derek Forman and

enough book recommendations to last a lifetime.

If you’re into romance or desperate for a review of

Michelle Obama’s autobiography, don’t worry we’ve

got it all.

Do you think that music can ever be original? Find

out with our Music team.

If you’re a film fanatic, you’ll love our Screen section.

It’s absolutely jam-packed with reviews of Encanto,

opinions on the upcoming release of Batman, and

the disastrous consequences of the Disney-Fox


Lifestyle brings you all those cheeky tips and tricks

to kick start your gym journey, shed light on the

toxicity of #NewYearNewMe, and provide you with

all the best vegan recipes. I can personally guarantee

you’re going to want to write those recipes down.

Next up, it’s the Poetry Showdown. Who doesn’t

love poetry? This issue includes the top 7 from our

Poetry Showdown alongside some great articles on

how to get involved in poetry competitions and why

we should all read and write poetry.

Last, but never least, Sport. This term is already

gearing up to be an exciting time for sport with

societies getting ready for competitions, charity

events, BUCS, and so much more. Check out our

sports section for more about the Strongman

Society and Pole Fitness.

With so much to offer, there’s no time to be dawdling

on the Editor’s Letter.

I hope you enjoy this issue and if you want to read

through more of SCAN, don’t forget to check out our


Tabitha Lambie

Uni News at a Glance




Students To

Come Back

Or Defer

On the Friday before term began,

the University’s Deputy Vice-

Chancellor, Professor Steve

Bradley, sent out an email to all


This reconfirmed the University’s

commitment to delivering inperson

teaching throughout the

Lent term, with online studies being

offered only on a smaller number of


The expectation for international

students is that those who travelled

abroad over the Winter holidays

should be able to return to

Lancaster in-person by the end

of week 12, or in the case of

being unable to do so, defer

their studies till next year.

This is a similar position to

the one the University took

at the start of the academic

year. Students whose course

allowed them to take Michaelmas

term remotely will be

allowed to continue doing so.

Paul Chuckle

Brought The



Why settle for watching the television,

when you can get a real

taste of Chucklevision?

The absolutely brilliant Paul

Chuckle came to Glow for one

night only.

The legendary Chuckle brother

took to the stage on the 31st

January, spreading the love with

his comedy skills in the DJ booth

for a much anticipated mix of

gags and tunes.

Say it with me: To me! To you!

LU Students

Stand In



Racism On


Since the report of racism

by former student Sa’ad

Mustafa, the presence

of racism on campus

has returned to the


After hearing of the

alleged treatment

of Mustafa who

claims to have had

the P slur written on

his door within his first

term at Lancaster University,

students have been quick to act,

declaring their solidarity.

Recognised as a reoccurring issue

at Lancaster University, Mustafa’s

account has led to countless

students coming forward with

similar stories of racism.

“Why is My Curriculum White?”

alongside Fabiha Askari have created

a form for anonymous reports

of racism which will be presented

to the University Management and

The Students’ Union so that they are

able to appreciate and recognise the

extent of racism on campus.


Strike Dates

Released for



Over 50,000 staff


in campus







workloads, pay

inequality, the use of exploitative and

insecure contracts, pay, and working


Week 1: 14th – 18th February

Week 2: 21st – 22nd February

Week 3: 28th February – 2nd March

The final day of strike action in week

3 has been organized to coincide with

the National Union of Students (NUS)

student strike on Wednesday 2nd





Break-ins & Bike Thefts:

Bowerham Burglaries


Elizabeth Train-




Nothing had been

taken that we could see but, had we not had a

bagful of glass bottles and tin cans ready for


we might never have

known someone was in

the house.

And we aren’t the only ones to experience

something like this. On the 9th of November

2021, a second-year Lancaster University student

had a bike stolen from a locked shed.

“I had some friends around for my birthday. I

went outside [about 10 PM] to throw out our

empty pizza boxes and I noticed that the shed

door was open. I was confused but assumed

that perhaps I had just forgotten to lock it or

something. I went over to shut the door when I

realised my bike wasn’t there.

“I started to panic and

that’s when I noticed that

part of the latch had been

ripped off the door and

thrown onto the ground.

“The bike was virtually brand new. I’d had it for

less than 6 months.”

When asked about how the investigation was

going, the second-year explained:

The broken lock discovered on the student’s shed.

“I phoned [the police] in the morning once I had

calmed down. The lady on the phone was pretty

helpful but as it was outside and it had been

raining, there wouldn’t have been any forensics

for them to find so they didn’t come over and the

trail ended there, unfortunately.

“I don’t want to go into [my initial feelings at the

time] too much beyond that it ruined the evening

for everyone as I was very upset.

“I’m a lot more aware

of the crime rates in

Lancaster now. It’s been a

bit of a learning curve.

“We now usually leave a light on when we leave

the house in the hopes that it will deter people

from breaking in and we keep the curtains drawn

nearly all the time now. I got a new bike with

the insurance money and my savings which I

no longer store in the shed. I keep it inside the

house, again with the curtains drawn so people

can’t see it from the street.

“We’re with LU Living and they came out within

a couple of days to fix the latch on the shed, the

back gate, and the outdoor light – all things that

my flatmate and I asked for to help us feel a bit

safer. They even filed down the screws on the new

latch so that it would be much harder to break


“Unfortunately, they don’t insure bikes when

they’re not on campus. It’s probably important

that people know that before renting with them.

Luckily, my parent’s insurance covered it but that

was a bit annoying. It would be nice if they would

update their policy to include bikes.”

Multiple bike thefts have been

reported in the Bowerham

area, including a 3rd-year

Biology with Psychology

student whose friend’s

bike was stolen from their

property while they were the

only one home.

“It was my friend’s bike, and it

was near the winter holidays

last year.

“It wasn’t just

that the bike

was stolen, it

was near to our

kitchen door. So

basically, got us

really scared.

“I told the landlord because

she’s really nice and helps

out but she was like, ‘A lot of

bikes get stolen so it’s no use

reporting it because there’s zero

per cent chance of the police

finding it.”

In November 2021, SCAN

learned of a second attempted

break-in to a house on an offstreet

of Bowerham Road. The

house in question caught the

would-be home invaders on

CCTV which has since been

handed to the police. The

two suspects were reportedly

masculine and wearing puffer


A SCAN reporter on the

scene learned from a PCSO

that there was a suspected

opportunistic burglar in the

area. This is someone who will

try back doors and sheds for any

unlocked entryways into homes

or access areas.

When asked about the progress

of the investigation in November

2021, our reporter was told that:

Lancashire Police

had a suspect they knew

operated in the area.

However, they did not

have enough evidence for

a warrant.

While speaking to the PCSO, a member of the

public approached to report to the officer that

two people matching the same description of

the suspects had attempted to steal his bike from

the back of his house. The bike was reportedly

chained and locked.

Since November 2021, Lancashire Police

have released no

information about

the specific recent

activity of burglars

in the Bowerham

area besides a post

about daylight

savings, warning

homeowners that


burglars are more

active at this time of


Bowerham area

(included in both

Scotforth West

and John O’Gaunt

& Bowerham on

the site), there

were 14 reports of

burglary and other

thefts in October

2021 followed by a

further 16 reports

in November

(counted around

Bowerham Road

and off-streets).

According to

Police.UK, in the

There is no indication in current statistics that

might suggest this is an unexpected increase

compared with previous years but students

are concerned about the rate at which these

The door through which a potential burglar broke into.

incidents have occurred.

Police.UK defines burglary as theft or attempted

theft from “premises where access is not

authorised.” Robbery is “theft with the use of

force or threat of force.” And theft is defined

as “theft from a person, motor vehicle, bikes,

residential or non-residential properties.”

72 students in a survey hosted on SCAN’s

Instagram reported having either experienced

burglary, theft, bike theft, or a break-in while

living in Lancaster or know someone who has.

Furthermore, 47% of those who answered the

poll (62) reported that they did not feel safe in

the Bowerham area. This is a massive increase

compared to the 9% of 134 surveyed students

who reported that they did not feel safe in

Lancaster, as a whole.

Part of this could be due to the actions of

landlords. While some have received immense

help from their landlords:

“The landlord from Mighty

Student Living gave a call

to the local authorities and

as they knew that I was

alone in summer, I always

used to see cop cars go

around until 2 AM.”

3rd-year Biology with Psychology student.

Others are still feeling unsafe and wary in the

Bowerham area:

“My private landlord

never showed an ounce

of concern [after we had a


3rd-year Lancaster University student.

It is perhaps, then, no coincidence that 91% of

students feel safe in Lancaster yet only 53% feel

safe in student-central Bowerham.


N e w s



Sam Turner

Olivier Marie--Considère (Deputy)

Lancaster University Professor Set To Head

New Home Office Scientific Advisory

Sam Turner


Lancaster University

Professor and Pro-


for Engagement,

Dame Sue Black, is set to chair a new

scientific advisory committee discussing

age assessments for asylum seekers.

The introduction of new UK laws for assessing

the age of asylum seekers is set to move UK

policy in line with other European nations like

Finland, Normandy, France and Greece, who use

scientific evaluations including CT-scans, MRI

imaging and x-rays of teeth and bone fusion.

Due to asylum seekers often failing to have any

form of documentation such as birth certificates

or passports, whether destroyed, lost, forged

or never awarded, accurate methods for

determining age are important.

Previously, the UK has followed a policy whereby,

if the age of an asylum seeker is doubted by Home

Office upon the first application for asylum then

they will undergo an analysis based solely on

appearance and demeanour.

If determined to be ‘significantly over the age of

18’ they will then be referred to an in-depth local

authority-led assessment which should follow

guidelines set out by the Association of Directors

of Children’s Services – during which time they

should be treated as a child.

6,066 asylum child


1,530 had their age


50% were revealed to be



The age of asylum seekers, and the classification

as a child, is important with it determining what

social care is provided to an individual, their

education, whether they are detained as an adult

and even their asylum provision.

Equally, it’s important, in a number of cases,

to understand whether an individual is over

or under the age of 16 as it determines their

placement in semi-independent living in

accordance with the Children Act 1989.

However, due to what Home Secretary Priti Patel

described as “blatant abuses” by those with “no

rights to be in our country,” namely “single grown

men, masquerading as children,” inquiries into

new scientific ways of determining age aims to

ensure that asylum seekers

who falsely claim to

be children will be

more accurately



it will

also help

assure that


who are


identified as

adults due to

the visual and



currently used will be

more accurately provided

with the support that they need.

In March 2021 the Court of Appeal highlighted

the damaging effects of children being detained

as adults. describing them as:

“Positively unlawful.”

Court of Appeal

In June, the Refugee Migrants Children

Consortium (RMCC) identified a case study

where a 16 year old asylum seeker was

wrongfully grouped with adults at the

hands of the current assessment

system; psychological trauma was

highlighted as a direct result of

this mistake.

Consequently, the new Home

Office scientific advisory

committee – chaired on an

interim basis by Dame Sue

Black until a permanent

appointment is decided on –

will comprise a range of experts

from medical, academic, scientific

and social working backgrounds.

Reporting directly to the Home Office

Chief Advisor, Professor Jennifer Rubin, the

committee will be considering a range of ways of

determining age, alongside the possible ethical

and medical issues accompanying them.

Sue Black

Photo: Anne Rothwell

Lancaster 93% Club Delighted As Student Beans

Launch Social Impact Programme

Tabitha Lambie


On the 10th January 2022, Student Beans

announced the launch of its first-ever Social

Impact Programme which will provide tools

and opportunities for underrepresented,

unsupported or otherwise disadvantaged


Student Beans are already recognised for

supporting millions of students nationwide with

exclusive discounts throughout the year, whether

that’s clothes, takeaway or even travel. However,

in its continued commitment to students,

Student Beans hopes to provide more students

with the support, tools and opportunities they

need to thrive, work harder to create a more

sustainable and equitable future and provide

students with better mental health advice and


Through its official partnership with the first

and largest network of state-school students, the

93% Club, Student Beans has launched its Social

Impact Programme with the hopes of providing

more public awareness for social inequality

amongst students.

“As a foundation, we are

proud to work alongside

organisations dedicated to

shifting the dial on social


With 93% of the UK population

currently state-school

educated, Student

Beans’ Social Impact

Programme aims

to provide


that may not

always be


to those

in states

c h o o l


As well as



Student Beans will

also be organising

bespoke workshops and

training for the team at The

93% Foundation as part of their student living

initiative, including skill-sharing workshops,

mentoring programmes and awareness


Mike Eder, CEO and Co-Founder of Student Beans

expressed they’re “proud to join forces with The

93% Foundation as its first campaign partner”

and are excited to use their “expertise

in student marketing to develop

creative campaigns to help

break down barriers

for students from



SCAN reached out

to The 93% Club

Lancaster who

expressed their

excitement in

this partnership

with Chloé

H a m p t o n ,

M a r k e t i n g

Director for The 93%

Foundation and VP

Media and Marketing for

The 93% Club Lancaster,

commenting that, “we are

delighted to be working alongside

Student Beans to support their new Social

Impact Programme.”

“We are immensely

excited to be working

with Student Beans to

generate opportunity

and showcase stateeducated

talent, in the

shared belief that stateeducated

students should

be entitled to access the

same opportunities as their

privately educated peers,

on an equal footing.”

Chloé Hampton, Marketing Director for

The 93% Foundation and VP Media and

Marketing for The 93% Club Lancaster

The 93% Foundation

Photo: Chloé Hampton SCANLU SCANLancaster


Desmond Tutu:

Painting Peace For The ‘Rainbow Nation’

Olivier Marie--Considiere


The man who gave a voice to the muted;

Desmond Tutu will be forever remembered as

the painter of the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Desmond Tutu died on the 26th of December

2021 in the Oasis Care Centre in Cape Town: a

particularly peaceful passing when cast against

the extreme violence that he had witnessed

throughout his life.

As one of the leading figures of the anti-Apartheid

struggle in South Africa, Desmond Tutu stood as

a symbol of hope, using his position within the

church to spread messages of protest against

an oppressive and racist regime. He became

Johannesburg’s first Black Anglican bishop in 1985

and the Archbishop of Capetown in 1986.

As a key spokesman for the rights of Black Africans,

he drew international attention to the Apartheid,

encouraging trading nations to apply economic

pressure as a means of nonviolent opposition.

Desmond Tutu became famous worldwide for

his passionate speeches, calling for non-violent

protests against the Apartheid regime and warning

his government officials against the extreme

backlash that could arise from townships in South

Africa, which were densely populated, racially

segregated residential areas during the Apartheid.

He notably wrote a letter in 1976 to John Vorster, the

former South African Prime Minister, petitioning

to secure the rights of Black South Africans and

warning him about the ongoing frustrations in

Black communities that would likely feed popular


The letter captured his hope for the government

to ease its repressive politics against Black South

Africans as a possible first step towards peaceful

unity. However, the ignorance of it proved fatal as

6 weeks later the 1976 Soweto Uprisings erupted.

Later, in 1986, Tutu spoke on Vorster’s ignorance:


Desmond Mpilo

Tutu is born

in Klerksdorp,



Ordained as a

minister in the

Anglican Church

1961 1978

1975 1984

Becomes the

Anglican Church’s

first Black Dean of


Becomes general

-secretary of the

South African

Council of


“He did not even

think that I, as a

black person,

could have the


to know the

grievances of

my own people

or the ability if I

did to compose

a letter to express

those grievances.”

Desmond Tutu at a press conference

held at Johannesburg, South Africa, 1986

His braveness against tyranny was constant

throughout his lifetime; in 1984 he spoke in

Washington against the United States’ support of

the Apartheid regime, during which he confronted

Ronald Reagan expressing that:

“Africa’s apartheid is as evil,

as immoral, as unchristian

as Nazism and, in my view,

the Reagan administration’s

support and collaboration

with it is equally immoral,

evil and unchristian.”

The courage needed to confront the major global

power at its peak is unprecedented and stood

as a pillar for his activism; similarly in 1988, he

called for the boycott of the South African general

election despite the risks of being jailed.

However, Tutu also embraced a philosophy of

forgiveness and reconciliation. He coined the

phrase the ‘rainbow nation,’ at the downfall of the

regime following South Africa’s first democratic

election in 1994, showing inclusion for the white

minority, the Afrikaners.

During the post-Apartheid era, he also worked

in conjunction with the election winner, Nelson

Mandela, to investigate the numerous human

Wins Nobel Peace


President Nelson Mandela

appoints Tutu to be

chairman of the country’s

Truth and Reconciliation




rights abuses of the Apartheid.

In 2014, Tutu published “The Book of Forgiving:

The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our

World,” which describes a type of stoicism that

he shared with his humanitarian peer Nelson

Mandela. Following unconsciously the example

of the philosopher Epictetus, he and Mandela

embraced a virtuous way of life with the selfcontrol

of emotions such as anger, resentment, and

revenge at it’s core.

His dedication to defending the oppressed and his

fearlessness in the face of corruption never ceased,

even at times when peace seemed achieved.

Later in his life Tutu strove against the actions

of the African National Congress, ultimately

culminating in his decision not to vote for the

party from 2013 onwards.

Desmond Tutu gave voices to the muted from his

religious desk and was eventually awarded the

Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his commitment.

Desmond Tutu will be remembered amidst the

highest company of 20th-century humanitarian

activists and leaders, always ready to raise his voice

against any form of oppressive authoritarianism.

Receives the

Presidental Medal

of Freedom from

U.S. President Barak




campaign for

LGBTQ rights in

Cape Town


Photo: Niklas Maupoix via Flickr


Urges the British

parliament to

allow assisted


Tutu dies aged

90 in Cape Town




Fire Sees

Shop Up

In Smoke

Tabitha Lambie


In the early hours of the

18 th January, The Exchange

Lancaster was reported to be

in flames after a fire broke

out leaving shop owner


According to The Exchange

Lancaster, who released a post

via Instagram regarding the fire

at 3am this morning, the shop

caught fire and fire engines were

sent to the scene.

Considerable damage was

shown to both the interior

and exterior of the local shop,

located near Common Garden

Street, with the front window

broken and shattered glass on

the pavement.

The owner of The Exchange

Lancaster commented on the

incident expressing that they

were “devastated” and asked

customers to “please bear with

me until the insurance sorts it

all out.”

The Exchange Lancaster has

already seen considerable

support in response to the

incident with numerous

individuals leaving heartfelt

messages on their post.

Lancaster based independent

shops have also reached out

to The Exchange offering their

sympathies with local yarn shop

Ethel and Em commenting, “this

is devastating. So sorry to see


Upon reaching out to The

Exchange Lancaster for further

comment on the incident, it was

confirmed no one was hurt and

the incident occurred due to an

electrical fault and not foul play.



The Sugarhouse


Covid Passes

Will Continue

For The

Immediate Future

Jonathan Robb


Despite the Government announcing that

all Plan B restrictions have been lifted in

England, Lancaster’s Sugarhouse will still

require a Covid Pass.

Today saw the announcement that all Plan B

restrictions are now lifted meaning that face

coverings will no longer be mandatory in indoor

venues and Covid passes no longer necessary for

entry to nightclubs.

However, despite England’s move to Plan A

reassuring the population that the end of the

Pandemic remains in sight, concerns have risen

for the sudden abandonment of Covid passes,

particularly for entry to nightclubs.

Although GLOW has announced it will no longer

require a Covid pass for entry, The Sugarhouse

have decided to retain the requirement of a

Covid Passes/negative LFTs despite the changes

announced by the Government.

“We’re going to retain the

requirements for Covid Passes/

Negative LFT results at Sugarhouse

despite the changes announced

by the Government. We believe

students and our student staff value

the extra measures we have in

place to keep them safe whilst at

our venue.”

Sugarhouse Spokesperson

The initial announcement that The Sugarhouse

would require an NHS Covid pass upon entry

occurred back in December last year in light

of new Government guidance for tackling the

Omicron variant.

Covid passes could be obtained if you had either

been double vaccinated, had a positive PCR test

in the last six months, or received a negative PCR

or LFT test result in the last 48 hours.

With these measures recognized as valued by

both students and staff who appreciate the “extra

measures we have in place to keep them safe

whilst at our venue” they will continue.

However, these measures won’t be permanent

with the Students’ Union expressing that “we are

going to review this decision internally every five


This decision on behalf of The Sugarhouse will also

be enforced at other events including Refresher’s


In regard to face coverings, the University is taking

a similarly cautious approach to the lifting of all

Plan B measures, encouraging the continued use

of face coverings in teaching spaces as well as

regular LFTs whether symptoms are shown or not.

With the unpredictable nature of new variants,

The Sugarhouse’s commitment to five week

reviews should ensure that the measures in place

continue to reflect the current climate for student

health and safety.


10 Days of Campus


for Lancaster University

68 Universities to

Participate in Strike

Tabitha Lambie


As part of the UCU Strikes, over 50,000

staff are expected to participate in campus

walkouts as part of the ‘fight for the future

of higher education’ this February.

The University and College Union (UCU) has

labelled these strikes a “fight for the future of

higher education” with staff at “breaking point”

after a decade of cuts to pensions, falling pay

and worsening working conditions.

Like the UCU Strikes in December last year,

these staff walkouts are in response to pensions,

unmanageable workloads, pay inequality, the

use of exploitative and insecure contracts, pay,

and working conditions.

The February strikes are intended to run across

3 weeks beginning on Monday 14th February. A

full list of dates can be found below:

Week 1:

Monday 14th – Friday 18th

February (USS pension dispute


Week 2:

Monday 21st – Friday 22nd

February (both the pension and

the pay & working conditions


Week 3:

Monday 28th February –

Wednesday 2nd March (pay &

working conditions dispute only)

Further industrial action is still on the cards.

Rolling regional and UK-wide action is planned

in response to pay & working conditions and

preparations are being made for a UK-wide

marking and assessment boycott.

The final day of strike action in week 3 has been

organized to coincide with the National Union

of Students (NUS) student strike on Wednesday

2nd March.

The NUS student strike shares the UCU values,

calling for higher and further education to be

free at the point of use for students, and for

staff to get better working conditions, pay, and


Yesterday, UCU shared proposals that could

avert the pension strike, following the scheme’s

assets jump up to more than £93bn. UCU will

be meeting with employer representatives,

Universities UK, on the 11th February.

To resolve the pension dispute, UCU is

demanding employers revoke the cuts to staff

pensions and formally accept UCU’s counter


To resolve the pay & working conditions

dispute, UCU is demanding a £2.5k pay rise for

all staff as well as action to tackle unmanageable

workloads, pay inequality, and the use of casual


UCU general secretary Jo Grady commented:

“[It is a] damning indictment

of the way our universities are

managed that staff are being left

with no option but to walk out


“For a sector that is worth tens of billions of

pounds and enjoys record levels of student

growth, it is beyond disgraceful that in return

staff get vicious pension cuts, falling pay, and are

pushed to breaking point under deteriorating

working conditions.

“Time is quickly running out for vice chancellors

to avert strike action, but it can be done.

“Staff need a proper pay rise, action to tackle

insecure contracts, unsafe workloads and pay

inequality, and for devastating pension cuts to

be revoked. Any disruption that occurs will be

the clearest indication yet that university bosses

don’t value their staff.

“This wave of strike action is a fight for the

future of higher education and staff are proud

to stand alongside students in the fight for an

education system that treats students and staff

with respect.”

NUS National President, Larissa Kennedy, has

yet again noted:

“Students’ unions and student

organisers have a proud tradition

of standing in solidarity with


Larissa Kennedy, NUS National President

Last December, following the referendum,

Lancaster Students’ Union proudly stood

alongside staff in their fight against University

Management. These strikes will be no

different with LUSU President Oliver Robinson

confirming that “we continue to stand in

support of our colleagues in the UCU.”

“LUSU would like to see a swift

and dignified resolution of this

dispute, that allows all ​our staff

to flourish. Students know how

much their staff do for them

every day, and we call on our

University leaders to ensure

that we are creating a healthy

working environment.

“We know that the staff working

environment is our learning

environment, so benefits to

them are benefits for us. This

particularly applies to our

postgraduate students who often

sit in both categories, and are

distinctly impacted.”

Oliver Robinson, LUSU PresIdent

As well as supporting these upcoming staff

strikes, NUS are calling for students to walk out

in solidarity against the education system that

doesn’t work for anyone on the 2nd March.

“Come together to re-imagine a

new vision for education.”

National Union of Students SCANLU SCANLancaster

N E W S 7


Exclusive: New Light Shed on the Racist

Graffiti Incident at Cartmel College

Tabitha Lambie


An anonymous source close to

the original investigation

speaking exclusively to

SCAN, has shed new

light on the racist

graffiti incident at

Cartmel College.

On the 20th January 2022, Former Lancaster

Student Sa’ad Mustafa revealed in a Tiktok,

which has since gone viral, that after a racist

graffiti incident occurring in 2018, he was

discriminated against by Lancaster University.

When Sa’ad reported the racist graffiti found on

the door to his accommodation he claimed he

was “kicked out of the room, moved to another

room,” charged for the door and required to make

an apology if he wished to continue studying at

Lancaster University. Lancaster University have

denied this and stated that they have no record

of any charge being made for the door. Our

source also casts some doubt on these claims.

Although an investigation was started into

the racist graffiti incident, Sa’ad claims it was

dropped after two weeks and he was allegedly

told not to go to the police.

When Sa’ad eventually went to the police to

file a report in September 2018, he claims to

have been told that the University is known for

advising students not to contact them.

SCAN have contacted Lancaster Police and

received the following statement:

University released a second statement the

following day, revealing that they had “reviewed

an extensive 2018 investigation into a number

of complaints and counter-complaints within a

student flat.”

Upon review, Lancaster University claimed that

“we have not been able to find any evidence

to suggest that the University required this

student pay for damage to their door, pay for

accommodation they did not use, discouraged

them from going to the police, or was requested

to provide an apology.”

Likewise, Lancaster University detailed the 2018

investigation which “examined photographic

and other evidence and took statements from

a number of staff and students” was “completed

in full, a formal outcome letter was provided

alongside an offer of wellbeing support and the

opportunity to appeal.”

Since Sa’ad’s allegations were made public, an

anonymous source has reached out to SCAN to

shed new light on the racist graffiti incident, due

to concerns for individuals identified in Sa’ad’s

Tiktok whom they believe haven’t been properly

supported publicly by the University.

The source revealed that

some details disclosed by

Sa’ad, namely that he had

to pay for a repair to the

door, he was required to

move to another flat, and

he was required to make

an apology were in fact


disturbed that details of these

individuals have been posted

to social media in this way.

“We have not been able

to find any evidence to

suggest that the University

required this student pay for

damage to their door, pay for

accommodation they did not

use, discouraged them go to

the police, or was requested to

provide an apology. If further

evidence is forthcoming we

will investigate.

“We have also contacted the

former student, inviting them to

engage directly with us so we

can understand the full picture,

gather evidence from them

and take action, wherever


SCAN have also contacted Sa’ad for further


Photo: Sa’ad Mustafa

“In September 2018 we

received a report of racially

aggravated criminal damage

in Lancaster. It was reported

racist graffiti had been written

on the door of a room in

Cartmel College at Lancaster

University. An investigation

was conducted and no arrests


However, the source says that Sa’ad’s claim that

these ‘penalties’ were linked to the racist graffiti

incident is not correct.

The source also shed light on the investigation

into the racist graffiti revealing that it began on

the day that Sa’ad made his complaint.

Our source said that it was taken very seriously

and that fellow students were questioned and

required to give handwriting samples.

Lancaster Police

Since these allegations have come to light,

Lancaster University have released statements

detailing examinations of University records.

The source said it was likely true that the

investigation finished after around two weeks

however this would have been due to the

investigation having expended all evidential


The initial statement released on the 24th

January said that “examination of our records

does not support a number of claims that

Sa’ad makes in the videos he posted including

that he was advised not to go to the police,

made to apologise, made to pay for a door or

accommodation he did not use, or that the

university failed to undertake a full investigation

into racist graffiti appearing on his door.”

Lancaster University claim these to be “new

allegations being made which do not appear to

be part of the original investigation.”

Following up on this initial statement, Lancaster

After reaching out to Lancaster University, SCAN

were issued the following statement:

“A number of new allegations

about University staff actions

have been made on social

media and those staff

members’ details have also

been shared.

We have no evidence that

there is basis for these

allegations and are very




When Chickens Are Left

“Panting, Crippled And Resorting To


Are You Still Down For A

Cheeky Nando’s?

Tabitha Lambie


After years of speculation, Nando’s has

finally announced its arrival in Lancaster

this summer but I’ll be honest, “Nando’s,

Nando’s, Let Me Be, Keep Your Animal

Cruelty Far From Me.”

As well as their intended commitments to

chicken welfare, Nando’s have also set targets

to achieve absolute zero emissions and reduce

the carbon footprint for their meals by 2030.

Since 2015, Nando’s have managed to reduce the

carbon footprint for their meals by 40% which

is commendable but still a long way off climate


As a passionate activist against animal cruelty,

I think you can all see why hearing of Nando’s

coming to town with their peri-peri chicken

didn’t fill me with joy. Yet another major chain

that pretends they care about the climate and

animal welfare, despite being so well known

for animal cruelty. Pro-vegan organisation Viva!

has uncovered on several occasions Red Tractor

assured farms used by one of Nando’s suppliers,

Avara Foods, failing to meet the minimum for

animal welfare.

But for those who are unaware of the cruelty and

empty commitments behind food chains like

Nando’s, hopefully I can shed some light on the

absolute monstrosities these capitalist dirtbags

allow behind the scenes.

Firstly, let’s have a quick peruse of their

commitments to both climate change and

animal welfare. After being criticised by ‘World

Animal Protection’ in 2019 for failing to make

any robust commitments to improve chicken

welfare as well as refusing to publish extensive

data on its progress towards better chicken

welfare, Nando’s went on a PR offensive.

Nando’s promptly signed up to the Better Chicken

Commitment in May 2020 as well as releasing a

public commitment to raise chicken standards

across its UK and Ireland supply chains on the

27th July 2020.

Nando’s promised that by 2026 all chickens used

by the chain would be sourced from approved

breeds that have better welfare substrates and

natural light. I just want to add here an emphasis

on natural light; being bred in a

dark and dingy shed

should never be

recognised as


Photo: Luis via


Similarly to the likes of KFC, Nando’s also

advertise its charity partnerships. In this case, it’s

the Kariba Forest Project in Zimbabwe, which

focuses on reducing the impact of deforestation

and improving the lives of over 37,000 people

through better nutrition, health care, and clean

water, as well as donations for the fight against

malaria in Mozambique.

Nando’s is also committed to increasing its plantbased

menu and reducing the carbon footprint

of its chicken feed, having already committed to

exclusive use of free-range eggs, organic milk and


These are certainly steps in the right direction.

I will admit Nando’s initiatives are wonderful

to see, but as I said before, it’s all empty

commitment that could never outweigh the fact

that Nando’s still uses factory farm hens that are

not even given half a life.

Unlike some, including the Global Director of

Food Business, Dr Tracy Jones who revelled in

these commitments, “delighted to see such a

popular brand like Nando’s, famous for their

peri-peri chicken, championing the move for

better chicken welfare,” my views on the brand

haven’t changed. Ethics are ethics and Nando’s

fails to reach my standards.

Gravel Farm is one of the major reasons I

severely doubt the ethics of Nando’s. Concerned

for the welfare of the animals being housed, Viva!

set up numerous hidden cameras on the farm in

November 2019. The captured footage revealed

thousands of turkeys who “never saw the light

of day,” were “mechanically fed and

watered” and slaughtered using

“barbaric” methods.

Gravel Farm had been

recognised as part

of the Red Tractor

scheme but

was thankfully

removed after

the footage

revealed the

clear cruelty

these birds

had been

subjected to.

I should

note that in

response to

this undercover


Avara Foods

declared that they’d

“decided to remove the

farm in question from

our supply chain.” However,

if Avara Foods had been holding

the farm to the high standards it implies all of its

sites are kept to through compulsory audits, then

how was Gravel Farm allowed to operate for as

long as it did?

What’s worse is Gravel Farm wasn’t an

isolated incident, with Open Cages carrying

out undercover operations at farms in

Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in October

2020. The farm in Gloucestershire, owned by

Avara Foods, shows fast-growing chickens in

“chronic pain.”

Avara Foods claimed to have conducted an

internal investigation which they concluded

“didn’t highlight any welfare concerns.”

A spokesperson went even further to insinuate

that “the undercover footage shows the

overwhelming majority of birds are clean, in good

health, moving freely and accessing food and

water as they wish,” suggesting that the “edited

footage” focused on “a handful of atypical birds

that are either ill or have a natural deformity.”

How can there be no welfare concerns when some

birds are left unable to walk and consequently

struggling to reach food and water? It’s truly

horrifying how welfare concerns can be so

blatantly dismissed.

More recently in July 2021, footage was released

of birds “panting, crippled and resorting to

cannibalism,” according to a vegan charity.

This footage claimed to be taken from three of

the UK’s largest poultry producers who were

approved by the Red Tractor Scheme and supply

to the likes of Nando’s, Tesco and KFC.

“Barbaric” farming practices caught on camera

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur via Unsplash

With the reports of animal cruelty I’ve included,

spanning across at least three years, I fail to

see how any commitment made by Nando’s for

either the climate crisis or animal welfare can be

genuine and I’m not alone on this.

Having spoken to several students as well as

the Veg Society, the opinion that we should be

more focused on campaigning to get existing

restaurants in Lancaster to become more

conscious of animal cruelty rather than having

another massive chain introduced with more of

the same food is certainly shared.

Although it’s great to see chains including plantbased

options on their menus and considering

the climate more, animal welfare will always

remain the most important issue.

Nando’s need to do more to show us that they

really care about animal welfare, until they do,

why should we want them in our city? Ponder

that a moment and then think about how much

that peri-peri chicken really costs.

Nando’s have been contacted for further

comment. SCANLU SCANLancaster


C o m m e n t


Sophie Tomlinson

Philippa Bowers (Deputy)

Molly Mae & Ableism

A Discussion with Lancaster Uni Ex-Women+ Officer

Jonathan Robb


One of the great promises that has been used

to endear the capitalist system throughout

modern history is the belief that it

offers an egalitarian chance for

people to make their own

fortunes, through

the virtues of

hard work and


T h i s

i d e a ,


m o s t


e m b o d i e d

through the promise

of the ‘American Dream’

has of course been subject to

scrutiny since its conception in the

1930s with works such as The Grapes of Wrath

and Death of Salesman exposing the sad reality

for those whom upwards social mobility proves


This ‘dream’ is often perpetuated by the fact

that in our current celebrity-centred culture,

increasingly more exposure is given to the few

people who are able to successfully mobilise

upwards in the economic system, rather than the

majority who remain in place.

Notably, this was recently brought into the

conversation through comments made by

influencer Molly-Mae Hague on the podcast

Diary of a CEO. Hugue, who came to prominence

after taking part in Love Island in 2019 as well

as her recently earned role as Creative Director

for fashion company PrettyLittleThing, implied

that it was up to the individual to try harder and

put in more effort if they wanted to achieve their

dreams in life, claiming that:

“We all have the same 24

hours in a day.”

Hague prefaced her comments by mentioning

that she’d faced backlash

before for



this time

proved to be no


One of the people to speak out in protest was

Lancaster University’s ex-Women+ Officer Charli

Clement, who as a person with disabilities found

Hague’s comments to be deeply ableist, with

them presuming that the disabled have the exact

same opportunities as the abled, despite their

disabilities often effecting day-to-day life.

Speaking to SCAN, Clement was keen to stress

that she doesn’t believe that Hague deserved the

personal hatred that came as a result of these

comments, explaining:

“She’s not the first or only

person who has ever

said it, but she sparked

a conversation in the

mainstream media about

meritocracy and so the

education and discussion

has to happen.”

Clement believes this to stem from a wider

problem in our society, the idea of hustle culture,

where “we put so much pressure on productivity

and work, and so little on rest, mental health,

and self care.” Concepts of worth are too often

reserved for the “contributions” we are seen to be

making to society.

She argues that these standards are toxic:

“Many chronically ill

people have little

energy and struggle

to shower or eat,

meaning they can

often not work or

work limited hours.”

Clement went on to acknowledge

that “many neurodivergent people

also struggle with traits such

as executive dysfunction which

causes work to be harder.”

In regards to Hague’s comment

claiming everyone has the same 24

hours in the day, Clement pointed out

that “we can’t all use those in the same way,”

as “disabled people may have less hours in

which to work due to fatigue and pain, or

spent hours doing appointments, therapies or


It is also as much

a problem of class,

with those “who

have to work three

jobs to survive,

working endless

hours for a tiny

wage” not having

the same 24 hours

as “someone who

has a cleaner, nanny,

chef and secretary.”

Equally, those from

marginalised social

groups will also be

affected by wage

gaps; “a disabled

woman of colour

would not be on the

same wage as Molly

Mae even if they did

the same amount of


Regarding the

backlash that she

and those calling

out the comments

for ableism and classism face, Clement expressed

that “people said chronic illness is no excuse

for not working just because they can, which

is ableist in itself as disability affects everyone


Addressing those who have likened the critiques

to cancel culture, she disagrees: “I don’t believe

it’s cancel culture - I certainly wish her well

with her work and don’t believe she needs to

be “deplatformed” by any stretch - but I think

accountability is important and we should be

dismantling these ideas when they do come into

mainstream media.”

Clement is currently working on a book detailing

her own experiences being both autistic and

chronically ill, which she feels are seldom

discussed in combination.

“I’ve spent a decade trying

to find resources but those

for autism don’t account

for chronic illness and vice

versa, so I’m honoured

to have the opportunity

to provide that. It will

include discussions of

the workplace, education,

navigating diagnosis,

adapting support, and


Charli Clement, Ex-Women + Officer

Left: Tommy Fury and Molly Mae Hague

UKGossip TV via WikiCommons

Right: Charli Clement







At Lancaster



I arrived at Lancaster University in

2018 with high expectations of the

Uni life and all the new and friendly

people I’d meet.

Although I have definitely met some of

the most important people in my life, I

also sadly met a few people who didn’t

quite understand my culture and took this

misunderstanding out on me in the form of

blatant racism.

Growing up as a British

Pakistani, I have always been

insecure, feeling as though I

don’t belong and that I am not

good enough.

Unfortunately, coming to Uni only

heightened these feelings, instilling in me

the idea that I will never be accepted simply

due to the colour of my skin.

Not just one or two, but a total

of 4 boys at my University

called me the P slur ‘as a joke’.


Being A Person of Colour

At Lancaster University


Whilst I have not

experienced racism in the form of slurs

being hurled at me as another student has

experienced, I can definitely vouch that

being a person of colour in the setting of

Lancaster University has come with its


Whether it be having racially motivated

microaggressions aimed at me or feeling

excluded from certain university experiences

due to my visible differences from the majority

of the student body here at Lancaster

I had certainly heard of other racist acts

occurring. For instance, within 24 hours of

arriving at Lancaster University as a student,

fellow freshers had jokingly told me that they

thought that their flatmate of Pakistani origin

had been assembling a bomb in his room, due

to them rarely seeing him. This was an example

of racial profiling that students in Lancaster

University felt they could freely speak out about.

This made me concerned for

the wellbeing of the student

who would be having to share

a flat with these individuals for

an entire year.

It is increasingly isolating knowing of the

unaccountability taken by the staff as brought

to light by Sa’ad Mustafa. As said earlier, I

personally have not experienced any racist acts.

However, in social situations, often being the

only person of colour has meant that I am more

susceptible to certain comments.

Individuals are often

interested in my ethnic

background, as opposed to

me as a person.

This would not happen to a white person from

the UK. I have been consistently asked about

my country of origin several times when it

comes to meeting new people.

As I was born and brought up in the UK, I

tend to respond with the city I grew up with.

However, this doesn’t tend to be the answer

that individuals were hoping for, leading to

more questions being asked like where my

parents are from.

Although I am proud of my heritage,

individuals often characterise me as solely as

my ethnicity without getting to know me as a

person. Leading to me being the token brown

friend of white students to make themselves

appear as ‘woke’, when in reality they are still

attaching themselves to the same stereotyping

tendencies as others.

I have also worked for Lancaster University,

and have seen how fellow colleagues have

treated students of colour and international

students. When serving them in hospitality,

individuals have been disrespectful toward

customers, in that they raised their voice in an

angered manner towards them as ‘they don’t

understand anything anyway’.

My colleague knew nothing about this student

that I had been serving despite the fact that

they were of colour and spoke with a non-

British accent.

This same colleague of mine

had not bothered to learn

my name properly despite

pronouncing correctly and

knowing all of the other

colleagues names.

My experience here at Lancaster University

has still been a good one amongst this so far.

However, I know that if I were a white student,

my university career would not have been

tainted by the microaggressions that I have


The racism present in Lancaster University

has made me feel isolated as a student. There

is a need for desperate change alongside

accountability to be taken by the faculty of this

institution as these racially motivated incidents

have occurred and continue to.

There is a slippery slope when it comes to hate

speech being spread in this manner, making

people of colour feel unsafe and unheard here

at Lancaster University.

When I told 2 of them to stop because I

didn’t find it funny, they laughed and carried

on. One even started recording me saying it

over and over again and then sent this video

to his large group of his white, male friends

I have been told that I am not

worth getting in a relationship

with because

I am not white.

A former friend of mine has also told me I

couldn’t never be viewed as attractive as a

white girl.

I don’t understand what the difference is

between me and a person who is white.

I don’t understand why I am viewed so

differently when I have grown up in the same

country, had the same education, speak the

same language, share the same morals and

values as someone who is white.

My message would be for people to realize

that the only difference between you and me

is that I have slightly different pigmentation

in my skin due to genetics, which is why this

shows up as different in my skin tone.

Apart from this, I promise you

I am no different to you and

wish I had been treated with

more respect, growing up.

My heart hurts for Sa’ad as I can imagine the

pain he went through and long for the day

people of colour are treated with the same

value and respect as white people.

Anti-Hindu Sentiment

At Lancaster University


When I was in first year, I was walking from

the hall in county to Pendle where I lived

after the campus Diwali celebrations.

I was wearing a saree and passed a bunch of football

guys, they followed me almost the full way making

comments calling me things like “mowgli”, “curry

c*nt,” and “Taliban bride.”

They pulled on the back of my pallu

(the bit of the saree that goes over

your shoulder) and I fell back nearly

fully on the floor.

They laughed and said I should have got a forced

marriage sooner so I’d have Apu to protect me.

Images: @wimcwlancuni via Instagram

There were plenty of other times I would wear

traditional clothing or have my bindi on and receive

negative and discriminatory comments from other


Thankfully for me, staff never had issues with me.

But I was a religious studies student so generally the

department are all very culturally aware. SCANLU SCANLancaster




Arts & Culture


Jenny Lee

Lucia Garcia-Figueras Gonzalez (Deputy)

Shadow and Bone

S2 Cast Drops:

A Memorial For The

Fancasts That Never Were

Elizabeth Train-Brown


Fancasting: An age-old practice of choosing who,

in an ideal world, would best portray a character on

the screen.

Since Shadow and Bone hit Netflix in early 2021, the

original books by Leigh Bardugo have grown from a cult

following to a worldwide sensation. This has led many

to discover the fan-favourite ball of sunshine, Wylan


Wylan is due to appear in Season 2 but was as yet unseen in

Season 1. Naturally, this sparked some conversation about

the ideal casting. Since the official cast announcement

dropped on January 13 th , Netflix announced that Jack

Wolfe will be taking on the role.

Fans are hailing the casting choice as another phenomenal

decision on the team’s part after the exceptional casting

of the existing main characters. But, of course, this means

we have to say a farewell to the fancasts that never were…

Tom Holland

One of the more optimistic choices, sure. But Tom Holland

is the right height for Wylan, he’s got a brilliant smile, and

we know that he can play emotion exceptionally. No Way

Home was a triumph for Holland and could have been a

great segue into Wylan’s role.

Timothée Chalamet

A personal favourite of mine: Chalamet. Wylan’s

characteristic feature is his curls and Chalamet certainly

brings them in force.

Troye Sivan

With an ageless face and proven singing voice, Sivan could

have been a great potential for Wylan. And, considering

there is a book scene of Wylan’s character drunkenly

singing the national anthem, I think it’s safe to say we

would all have been excited to see Sivan pull that off.

Miles Heizer

After having shot to fame playing Alex Standall in the

controversial 13 Reasons Why series on Netflix, Heizer

became another fan-favourite for the role of Wylan. One

of the strongest reasons Heizer was due to his candid

account of struggling with internalised homophobia as a

gay man.

Finally, the man

himself: Jack Wolfe

Coming from a

background of

theatre work with

the National Theatre,

Royal Shakespeare

Company, and more,

Jack Wolfe has

appeared in many

shows you might

recognise from BBC’s

Inside No. 9 to Netflix’s

The Witcher.

Kit Young and Jack Wolfe on set.

Photo: Instagram @ShadowandBone

Not only does he have

Wylan’s famous twelve-year-old face and wild hair but

Wolfe is both openly LGBTQ+ and waves at spiders. You

can’t get more Wylan Hendriks than that.

With just a few initial shots from Wolfe and his on-screen

partner, Kit Young, fans are already going wild and it’s

probably safe to say that Season 2 will bear plenty of

Wylan indulgence for fans of the books and the TV show


I made a New Year’s resolution to read more in 2021:

Here are my top 5 books

Tom Culf


At the beginning of January 2021, I

challenged myself to start reading

again, after not really reading many

books since starting university.

At the time, we’d been plunged into another

lockdown a couple of days before Christmas,

and the rest of the year wasn’t looking

promising. In fact, we were looking down the

barrel of another two terms of predominantly

online university and a life of the rule-of-six

and daily LFTs.

Under the circumstances, I found it relatively

easy to get back into reading – and a great

escape from the bleak news of the world –

and with the year starting with the startling

scene of the January 6 th riots in the US and

increasing covid cases, an escape is just what

we all needed. I read a total of 37 books, so

here are my top picks, and with this list, I

hope I can inspire you (or perhaps make you

face the same reality I did) to pick up a book


5. Nineteen Eighty-Four,

George Orwell

The classic George Orwell (maybe one of

his easier books to get into) novel set-in

dystopian London where there’s no way of

knowing what’s true or what is a lie. Our

protagonist works at the Ministry of Truth,

where they ‘correct’ newspapers to reflect

what the Party would like to be the truth. It

is an immense book that has stayed with me

ever since I read it.

The dystopian world in which the protagonist

lives is well-constructed, feeling oppressively

cold-hearted and bleak, although some of

my favourite passages reflect the warmth

of feeling of the human experience and how

this prevails over any political situation. This

is a story that should be read and re-read by

generations to come, as not only a warning

of what could occur in society but also as a

reminder to appreciate what we have.

4. Becoming,

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s memoirs were an excellent

read – it was so interesting to read about the

life of such an influential woman, who was

First Lady of the US for eight years. She talks

about the challenges of growing up as a black

woman in America, whilst acknowledging

her luck in terms of the opportunities she


The things that have stuck with me after

reading this book are when she talks about

her dislike of politics (sorry everyone who

wants her to be president!), and how she

was affected by the death of her college

roommate when she was very young. It is an

inspiring book by an inspiring woman, and I

would recommend it to anyone.

3. Beekeeper of Aleppo,

Christina Lefteri

This is another incredible book – and one

very relevant for our time: putting feelings

of human experience on the media stories

of refugees crossing borders for a better life,

which are too often used to further racist

right-wing agendas. It follows the story of

a refugee family travelling towards the UK

after a friend of theirs successfully claimed

asylum here.

The narrative jumps between the family’s

journey through Turkey, and when they’re

staying in UK accommodation navigating

the bureaucratic nightmare of the officials.

This is a beautifully written story that cannot

help but evoke strong emotion, and have you

hanging onto the story until the very last

page. I recommend this to anyone wishing to

understand the challenge that refugees face

and the dire reasons for which they make the

journey in the first place.

2. Prisoners of


Tim Marshall

This book had been recommended to me

several times, and online reviews said it

was excellent – so I was thrilled that it lived

up to expectations. Marshall explains the

geopolitical situations of 10 regions around

the world, using his journalistic and personal

experience to provide a compelling mix of

political analysis and personal anecdotes

about the places he visited.

If I had not read this work, I think I’d have

more trouble understanding what has been

going on around the world and what is at

the root of the media stories, for example,

about Afghanistan and Korea, and possibly

in the near future, Russia’s obsession with

Ukraine. Additionally, this book is not at all

intimidating – a 300-page paperback (with

maps) – and so is the perfect introduction to

global politics for anyone looking to better

understand the world we live in.

1. Dreamland,

Rosa Rankin-Gee

I bought this book as a wild card – I was

intrigued by the concept of it being set in

near-future Margate, with rising sea levels

and far-right governance, but the level of

feeling and incredible beauty of this book

took me completely by surprise.

The book follows the story of a young girl,

Chance, and her family as they escape a

nightmarish London after receiving a cash

grant to move to Margate for a better life –

but quickly government policies and rising

sea levels make this a life without hope - until

Chance meets the love of her life. A book that

made me laugh and cry, a story of hope and

love in a world spinning out of control, and

a warning letter from the future, this book

has everything. I never wanted it to end, and

neither will you.

Photos: Tom Culf SCANLU SCANLancaster


Manchester’s ‘Derek Jarman

Protest!’ Exhibition:

Will Doe


The Manchester Art

Gallery is currently

displaying an

exhibition showcasing

the life works of queer British experimental

artist Derek Jarman.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to get out of

the house after the dreaded Omicron variant

restricted me to just several square feet for

a week. I was even more excited to finally

have the time – and health – to attend

an exhibition of an artist I had dipped

my toe into: English film designer,

model, director, author, and fine

artist – you name it he’s probably

done it – Derek Jarman.

The exhibition is called ‘Derek

Jarman Protest!’ and is available

to view for free at the Manchester

Art Gallery. The exhibition has

been curated by Fiona Corridan,

Manchester Art Gallery and author/

filmmaker Jon Savage. Like most

exhibitions focused on a single artist, the

layout takes the role of a biography, with each

room showing a different era of Jarman’s life in

the fine arts.

Upon entering the exhibition, I was greeted with

one of Jarman’s most striking paintings: the 6ft

tall 1992 piece ‘Queer’. Using a piece that came

so late into Jarman’s life was a smart choice, as it

also encompasses an incredibly important part

of his identity, not only as a homosexual but also

as a political activist. ‘Queer’ was a response to

the homophobic slander surrounding the Aids


The piece uses the word ‘Queer’, a word that had a

lot of negativities surrounding it at the time, and

reverses its purpose and meaning, to become

a celebration instead of a condemnation. This

piece left me looking forward to finding the

full context of the work towards the end of the

Photos: Will Doe; (Column) Karolina Abornevaite


Vivid, Confident, Iconic

Onto the rooms, of which there are several

covering his many adventures into different

mediums. The exhibition is incredibly open,


allows you to

v i e w


r o o m

in any order you

want. I should note the sounds that come from

various sections using film can clash in quite

an ugly fashion – I was being hit with ominous

electronic sounds coming from one room, and

The Smith’s ‘The Queen is Dead’ from another.

Anyways, the introductory rooms showed

Jarman’s early paintings and did well to convey

his trajectory towards ambience as he began to

expand to other mediums.

I located the eerie echoes that rang around

the exhibition in the 3rd room. The room was

running Jarman’s 1981 film ‘In the Shadow of the

Sun’, a 47-minute long collection of disturbing

but ethereal short films. The images combined

with the futuristic ambient sounds was very

off-putting, and

the exhibition

does great work

to emphasize this,

screening the film

in a dark room

with no chairs for

comfort – or to

hide behind.

The 4th room

progresses the

timeline, revealing

the London born

artist’s work in

film and costume

design through

on-set images

of costumes he

made for the likes

of Nigel Terry and

a young Tilda

Swinton. The room

also opens up

another critical

aspect of his life

through costume

design in his

appearances at the ‘Alternative Miss World’.

The wall is littered with pictures both from

photoshoots and casual snaps of Jarman

alongside his longtime friend – and creator

of ‘Alternative Miss World’ – Andrew Logan. I

feel these images and the accompanying film

of the event help add some personality to the


Derek Jarman was a man who enjoyed life and

the images of him fooling around with his queer

friends show him as a charming, inventive,

but also playful genius. Room 5 explained

why I was hearing The Smiths, Orange Juice,

and Pet Shop Boys as the smaller enclosed

space showcased many music videos

Jarman directed throughout the 80s as the

behemoth that was MTV became what it


Jarman’s political side became apparent in

the final rooms, as the HIV epidemic hit and

Thatcher continued in her quest to become the

most despised British person in modern history;

Jarman’s art turned towards the satirical.

Some of his pieces combined religious aspects

with sex toys in a darkly comedic presentation

of his conservative Christian upbringing, while

other artworks linked thematically to ‘Queer’,

using abusive slogans, and spinning them into

words of empowerment and beauty.

There was also a rather intriguing room playing

his auditory film Blue, featuring a dialogue that

explores the HIV epidemic from the ground,

with the only visual being – you guessed it – a

blue screen. Jarman explains his avoidance of

visuals simply “because the Virus is invisible,”

which gave an unnerving sense of relevance to

his work.

There was also a wonderful video of various talks

he made at his exhibitions/rallies.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 1987, and

even though his health was deteriorating, he

continued in the public eye, using himself as

a reassuring face to a shaken community. As

Derek Jarman’s life drew to an end, he spent

his final years in a cottage off the coast of

Dungeness, where he tended to his beautiful

garden alongside his work.

In his final year the prospect of death was

something he faced, and the exhibition’s final

piece, labelled ‘Death’ was a morbid end to an

exhibition full of life, but one that seemed to fit

his untimely passing.

I would highly recommend a short trip to the

Manchester Art Gallery to experience this

exhibition, which runs until April 10th. It’s

a fascinating look into a man whose talents

seemed to know no bounds, the art is fantastic,

and I had very few complaints about how the

exhibition was curated.

But the most notable thing I took from this

exhibition was that Derek Jarman was a man

who took every step of his life with the fullest

intent; he seemed a genuinely great person at

heart, which makes his death sting just as much

as it would have 27 years ago.

A R T S & C U L T U R E




Novels of 2022

Karolina Abornevaite


With a new year fully in swing, we are

treated to a new batch of romance novels

to sink our teeth into.

The Roughest Draft

Emily Wibberley and Austin


Tipped by Bustle as one of the most anticipated

novels of 2022, The Roughest Draft is a collaboration

between real life couple Emily Wibberley and Austin


The novel follows co-writing lovers Katrina and

Nathan who are reunited after a rocky end to their

partnership when tasked to write one last romance

novel together.

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Ashley Herring Blake

Revolving around a guilt-fueled trip back home,

successful New York City photographer, Delilah, finds

out that love strikes at the oddest moment.

Sparks fly with her sister’s uptight best friend, Claire,

as they are forced together during the planning of

her sister’s nuptials. This queer romantic comedy

discusses pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

and accepting love.

The No-Show

Beth O’Leary

Written by the author of The Flatshare, this upcomer

follows three women who, on the surface have

nothing in common, faced with a dilemma of being

involved with the same man on Valentine’s Day.

The Wedding Crasher: A Novel

Mia Sosa

This novel narrates a story of two strangers and a fake


As Solange and Dean play the part of a typical couple,

they soon realise that some things, including their

feelings, are not just part of the show.

Love & Other Disasters

Anita Kelly

Dahlia is set on a fresh new start as she enters the

Chef ’s Special after a depressing divorce and veering

on bankruptcy.

Whilst Dahlia’s competitor, London, makes history by

announcing their pronouns on the show, declaring

themselves as the first nonbinary contestant, they

find their lives collide and soon Dahlia realises that

she might want a future more than she needs the

prize money.


M u s i c



Emma Blakey

Will Doe (Deputy)

Is Any Piece Of Music Truly

Ben Watts


Behind the scenes,

there’s a great, sprawling

network of musicians

stealing from one another.

There’s a notion surrounding artists that to be

great, they have to be completely original, or

else be written off as a fraud. They stand on their

own and their work simply arrives; it’s a myth.

Nevertheless, it’s a myth upheld by law.

Every few months, there seems to be a new

music copyright case, with the thieving artist

painted as uncreative. Most recently, Taylor Swift

has fallen under such accusations, with ‘Shake It

Off ’ suggested to be stolen from 3LW’s ‘Playas

Gon’ Play’.

This demonisation of influence disregards the

fact that every single creative work, whether it

be a song, novel, or painting, has stolen from

somewhere. It may sound hyperbolic, but it’s

true. Picasso supposedly said:

“Good artists copy.

Great artists steal.”

In 2018, Lana Del Rey settled

a plagiarism case with

Radiohead over the uncanny

similarities between ‘Get

Free’ and ‘Creep’. An

ironic case, considering

Radiohead themselves

were sued over ‘Creep’

being too similar to The

Hollies’ ‘The Air That I

Breathe’. Radiohead’s

‘Karma Police’ also

appears to be clearly

inspired by – or has stolen

from, depending on your

stance – The Beatles’ ‘Sexy


Music’s greatest thief,

however, is most likely Oasis.

Noel Gallagher, often dubbed a

‘magpie’, is famed for his brazenness

in repurposing ideas.

’Don’t Look Back In Anger’ lifts from Lennon’s

‘Imagine’, ‘Half The World Away’ from Burt

Bacharach’s ‘This Guy’s In Love With You’, and

even himself, with the chords of ‘Wonderwall’

being on ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’.

Perhaps the reason Oasis

generally got a pass in the

public eye was that it fit

their image.

They stole, they openly pointed where from,

and they didn’t care. To me at least, it’s become

almost endearing to hear some band from the

‘80s and realise “ah, so that’s where Oasis got it



For a time, I think it made them the ideal band.

Their songs tended to be basic music-wise, not

really covering specific themes in their lyrics.

This meant they could steal from any genre or

style and it would fit the formula, which was

allowed by their laddish attitude. Only thing is, it

stops being endearing when you’re veterans and

not the new kids.

So stealing isn’t uncreative.

In fact, it’s necessary for


Th ere

is, of course, t h e

argument that it devalues the original work.

However, I don’t think that can be true. ‘Imagine’

hasn’t become some quaint, obscure little

number because Oasis overshadowed it. If

anything, they’ve added to its legacy.

As well as stealing musical patterns, artists often

lift in a different, less obvious and therefore less

suable way, which is conceptually.

One of my favourite songs of 2021 was Bo

Burnham’s ‘Welcome To The Internet’, however

something I noticed about that and the whole

of ‘Inside’ was how it borrowed from what came

before. The song shares components with David

Bowie’s ‘Station to Station’, in that it’s multisectioned

and sung by a dark character. For

Bowie, this was the fascist, romantic, cocaineaddicted

Thin White Duke, whilst Burnham

adopts a more sly, cunning and yet alluring

persona, seemingly the internet personified.

The song also delves into the paranoia

surrounding technology, which is perhaps most

famously tackled in Radiohead’s ‘Ok Computer’ -

like I said, it’s a vast network. The back-to-basics,

do-it-yourself style of the special’s production,

which is actually far more tightly put together

than it is made to seem, owes a debt to Bowie’s

‘Hunky Dory’.

I’m not saying Burnham definitely

took directly from these sources,

just that these ideas were

already out there. It’s

probable that Bowie and

Radiohead were both

inspired by the same

work, or maybe they

inspired a work

that would inspire

Burnham. The

network is complex

and hard to read

sometimes, but it’s


There is, however,

an area in music

where the audience

accepts that a song

is a blend of multiple

artists: covers. I don’t

believe there is a better

example of how art is

made than Chris Cornell’s

rendition of ‘One’, which took

advantage of the fact both U2

and Metallica have songs titled

‘One’, putting Metallica’s lyrics over

U2’s chords and melody. The result is

something new without any new elements. Can

Cornell be considered a writer of a song that was

completely stolen?

I think so, as I think what happened with his

version of ‘One’ is essentially what takes place

with any work of art, which is a remix of old


Another favourite cover song of mine is Kurt

Cobain’s version of The Beatles’ ‘And I Love Her’.

With only an alteration of tone and tempo, The

Beatles’ upbeat love song becomes one about a

sick, possessive relationship, as the song lyrics fit

both interpretations:

“A love like ours can never

die as long as I have you

near me.”

Okay, so if stealing is necessary in order to create

new art, then why do we discourage it? Why do

we publicly shame artists who steals when it is

inevitable? Maybe we feel deceived, or perhaps it

breaks our assumption that artists are geniuses.

But then, might it be possible to alter our

perspective so that we accept we require one

another in order to forge art? Isn’t building a

community instead of drawing dividing lines a

pleasanter image? Or maybe it’s even simpler

than that.

All I can say for certain is that it’s worked for me.

This article was inspired by – or stole from – Kirby

Ferguson’s fantastic Ted Talk titled “Creativity Is

A Remix.”

Photos: Roman Lopez & Raphael Lovaski via Unsplash



The Lost Hobby of Record Collecting

Will Doe


The record is the loyal old dog of music consumerism,

and the day the record dies, will

be the day the music dies too.

To find the origin of the record player we

have to go back all the way back to the 19th

century, where Thomas Edison’s creation, the

Phonograph, used the vibrations of sound itself

to engrave its information on a rotating wax disc.

To reproduce the information back as sound

waves, the process was seemingly reversed.

developed into

the bloated giant

that is Spotify,

Tidal, Apple

Music, YouTube

Music, and the list

goes on.

You can now have

thousands of songs at your fingertips, for as little

as £5 a month. So why would anyone spend £20

or more on a single album? And not to mention

spend up to hundreds of pounds on a machine

just to play the damn thing.

‘Making a Comeback’

For Over A Decade

The technology used wasn’t exactly that

advanced, in fact, it would’ve been possible to

make a resemblance of the machine as far back

as the Roman era.

The quality that the Phonograph produced

was horrific; it sounded just like a jump scare

from a bad horror movie. But Edison and his

compatriots wouldn’t have cared as they’d

captured something impossible.

Before the Phonograph and its later, improved

remakes became available to purchase, music

could only be played live, and was seen more as

a social event.

The popularity of the record peaked in the 1970s;

it was the golden age of music. Over 200 million

units were sold per year in the US alone, as vinyl

fever swept the world. Then came the vinyl’s

cheaper, portable, and shinier younger cousin:

the CD. By the time the 90s came around, the

annual sales of vinyl had quartered - although

they still clung to relevance especially in the

blossoming hip-hop community - and by 2007:

1 million records were sold

in the U.S (2007)

It seemed that the CD had all but destroyed its

older cousin, but then something interesting

happened. Since 2007, the sales of vinyl have

been on a continuous climb, to the point where

their annual U.S. sales of 27.2 million in 2020 now

match that of the 90s, not quite the 70s, but not a

number to be laughed at in the slightest.

27.2 million records were

sold in the U.S (2020)

You’ve probably guessed how the record clawed

its way back from its retro grave: it came with

the death of the CD, and the monumental rise

of streaming. It started with the iPod and has

It could be the same reason we buy expensive

clothes, treat ourselves at bougie restaurants,

or go for that pricey cocktail. The record has

something earbuds and a phone screen will

never have: style.

If you own a record, I don’t think it would be

rude to make the assumption you enjoy music,

and not just whatever’s on Radio 1 every week.

What’s a better way to show gratitude to some

of your favourite albums than to have a massive

physical copy of them to worship?

The CD carried that power to an extent, but

it’s metallic glimmer is no match to the classic

look of a jet black record. Not to mention you

can now get snazzy new presses in every colour

combination known to man.

My personal favourites have been the ‘lucky dip’

album presses produced by - the band with the

best name in the world - King Gizzard And The

Lizard Wizard, where the LP could be any of the

primary colours, and punk band IDLES’ limited

edition press of their debut Brutalism, which has

the ashes of the lead singer’s mother embedded

within the clear record itself - now that’s punk!

However, record collecting isn’t all about selfindulgence.

It massively supports the artist - at

least a lot more than streaming services. On

average, record companies pay the artist 10-15%

of the revenue of their record sales.

If an artist sells a vinyl press

at £20, they get £2-£3 in


It may not sound much, but when a local band

like The Lathums sell around 60,000 copies to

claim number 1 on the UK billboard record sale

charts, that turns into an impressive amount of

cash. Alternatively, you could support a band

like The Lathums through Spotify, but you’d have

to listen to the whole album nearly 50 times to

generate the £2 revenue of single vinyl sale.

Now, I know that record collecting, and buying

a record player with all the trimmings, isn’t the

cheapest of hobbies but, it seems more and more

people see it as value for money. Plus, albums

sound better through vinyl - don’t ask me how,

it just does.

I’m glad that the record has made a comeback,

because in an age where everything is digital, it’s

still the physical that gives us the connection we

want. So if you’re thinking of getting a turntable,

and have the money to do so, then I say join the


Nothing will make you look more classy when

you host Friday evening pre-drinks before that

regrettable night out, than whipping out a ‘Best

of Bowie’ record you found at a thrift shop,

and watching the whole house bounce to ‘Let’s


From a family playing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ in the

darkness of World War 2, to 60s hippies spinning

The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ whilst

bugging out on whatever cocktail of drugs they’d

taken that night, to MCs spinning the hottest

tracks from the West Coast 90s.

However, there are always other ways to support

your favourite small time artists: attending gigs,

buying merch, supporting any funding services

they have etc. Even streaming and sharing an

artists’ music can help in ways much more than


Photos: (above) Will Doe; (below) Peter Lamont


S c r e e n



James Wilson

Samuel Wu (Deputy)

Edgy, Insecure, and Done Before

Why I’m Not Excited for Matt Reeves’ The Batman

Joe Hopewell


The other day when loitering (procrastinating)

in the Instagram “Discovery” tab, I stumbled

across an image of Paul Dano’s incarnation

of The Riddler from Matt Reeves’ upcoming

The Batman.

Batman’s nemesis was masked in a tight leather

bondage hood and draped in a binbag; I was

overwhelmed by how pathetic it was. True,

gimps do exist in our world - they are technically

more realistic - but:

Should I pay £5.99 to see

one when I could just walk

down Halifax high street?

In my opinion, this adherence to a perceived

realism has diminished the franchise to such a

dull state that I’d rather put bleach in my eyes

than slog through another insecure Bat-romp.

Viewing the trailer for The Batman and

seeing a myopic Robert Pattinson rasp “I am

vengeance!” cemented my despair; the grim

and gritty approach cinematically popularised

by Christopher Nolan in 2005 has only

stripped the character and his

world of any imagination. I no

longer have any inclination

to see a Batman who

could exist in our world,

especially when he’s an

angry, childish killer

with a silly voice.


regarding Batman’s

character largely stem

from Gen-X insecurity

fuelled by childhood

memories of Adam West

camp and a reactionary fear

of Joel Schumacher’s kitsch,

but above all, I believe it to be a

misinterpretation of Frank Miller’s work

on the character in the 1980s. Zack Snyder’s

joyless and anxiously ultra-masculine Batman

of the 2010s especially embodies this, yet every

filmmaker has credited Miller’s works as a

creative basis.

Many a dilettante see Miller’s The Dark

Knight Returns as the birth of a

gritty Batman. But that text

is anything but dark or

realistic: it’s the operatic

story of an elderly

superhero ascending

to youthful glory and

eventually godhood,

aided by a nuclear

explosion, a gang of

cyclopic mutants, and

an inner monologue

that sounds like a

fourteen-year-old who’s

just discovered Nietzsche

for the first time. It’s

unabashedly daft, appealingly

mythic but never grim.

Yet in 2022, the fallacy remains onscreen.

Batman as a character is now a dark antihero,

with conflicts limited to childhood trauma and

beating up goons in car parks. I’m not asking for

a return to frivolous camp, merely an embracing

of the fantastical and an aspirational protagonist

instead of a pitifully grimdark one. If you can

believe in a billionaire tech CEO concerned with

working-class lives, what’s so ridiculous about

him fighting a giant crocodile occasionally?

“He died saving me. I said,

‘I’m not worth it.’ He said,

‘Everyone’s worth it.”

Thus speaks the villainous Clayface in Neil

Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s comic Whatever

Happened to the Caped Crusader?

Here, we see the superhero’s funeral and every

villain or sidekick gets a chance to speak of their

responsibility for his death. These two panels of a

gooey monster crying epitomise the appeal of the

Batman myth, and simultaneously, everything

lacking from its live-action adaptations: a

compassionate character that never gives up

on others - even in the face of a world both

whimsical and terrifying.

Photo: Instagram @TheBatman

Disney’s Acquisition of 21st Century

Fox Forbodes Industry Oligopoly

Rhys Wright


A string of box office bombs, including The

Call of the Wild, The Last Duel, and West

Side Story, have one thing in common:

they’re all holdovers Disney inherited when

they acquired 21st Century Fox.

While the changes wrought on the film industry

by COVID-19 haven’t helped, could it be that

A still from Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Photo: Instagram @TomHolland2013

the underperformance of these films is a

consequence of the Disney-Fox deal?

The acquisition of Fox’s film and television

divisions has had multiple casualties since

the deal was finalised in March 2019. Among

them was Blue Sky Studios, Fox’s animation

studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises,

which was officially shut down by Disney

last April. The reason? Disney considered it

unsustainable to be running three animation

studios (including Disney Animation and Pixar)

in the current climate. Blue Sky’s upcoming

projects were scrapped and its staff laid off, but

the Ice Age franchise is being continued with a

Disney+ spinoff. Disney has effectively bought

out its competitor, stripped its most valuable

intellectual property to bolster its own streaming

service, and dismantled it.

The second casualty came

just a month later when

Disney announced they’d be

closing Fox 2000 Pictures

This specialised in films for underserved

demographics, producing such classics as

The Thin Red Line, Fight Club, and Life of Pi.

Their final film, The Woman in the Window,

had its distribution rights sold to Netflix with

no theatrical release. In a landscape where

franchises and IP are king, this studio catering

to under-represented groups has, unfortunately,

had its life cut short.

20 th Century Studios’ streak of box office bombs

began when the ink was barely dry on the Disney-

Fox deal.

2019’s Dark Phoenix

underperformed so badly

that Fox was operating at a

$170 million loss in the first

quarter after the deal was


In response, Disney axed a majority of Fox’s

upcoming projects in order to “focus on a select

group of properties,” according to then Disney

CEO Bob Iger. These select properties include the

four Avatar sequels, as well as resurrecting Fox’s

established franchises, such as Home Alone, Night

at the Museum, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with

direct to Disney+ sequels.

Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel continued Fox’s

financial flops, grossing less than half its

budget after playing exclusively in cinemas for

45 days. While Scott blamed this on apathetic

young people who “do not ever want to be

taught anything unless you’re told it on a cell

phone,” contending that “Disney did a fantastic

promotion job,” the many people who hadn’t even

heard of The Last Duel before Scott’s comments

would beg to differ.

The recent underperformance of Guillermo

Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley begs the question

of whether non-franchise properties are being

adequately promoted before being sent out to

pasture. While the business strategy of collecting

competitors and IP like infinity stones isn’t

unique to Disney (Amazon is currently in the

process of buying MGM) it’s a troubling sign

of corporate consolidation and oligopoly that

could lead to the same handful of conglomerates

controlling the entire industry.



The Reason Why Disney

Has, Once Again, Become

Amy Brook


To the general public, animated films are

made to inspire. But to the studios behind

them, they’re made to produce money

— and a lot of it. In trying to find the most

effective way to make both parties happy,

one has seemingly been sacrificed in more

recent years.

For too long, Walt Disney Studios have descended

into the blatantly corporate tactic of live-action

remakes, sequels and spin-off franchises without

putting their bygone charm and soul into

anything original.

For someone with a lifelong adoration for

the studio’s ingenious creativity and laudable

filmography, I feel that the recent lack of new

storylines, messages and characters has left a

void in our culture. I don’t know about you, but

I’ve found it difficult to find inspiration when

a company behind some of our most beloved

animated classics has ceased to produce

anything to get excited about.

It’s because of this that when I saw that Disney

had released a new film, I wasn’t rushing to buy

my cinema ticket. But after a bit of motivation

from my friends on a weekend away, I walked into

Bournemouth Odeon to watch Encanto without

any expectations. And I walked out astonished

— in a way I hadn’t experienced since watching

Inside Out all the way back in 2015. As supporting

character Abuela says in the trailer,

“This candle blessed our

family with a miracle.”

For those who haven’t seen it yet, Encanto is

set in Colombia, combining the typical Latino

family culture with Disney’s signature fusion of

magic, music, bursts of colour and phenomenal


Characters live in a house

— their “casita” — which is

very much alive as its own


Each individual in the Madrigal family is blessed

by a magical candle which grants them a unique

gift: a power that allows them to help out the

residents in the conjoining village, and each

other. Our protagonist, Mirabel, however, is the

only one who did not get granted a gift and has

been virtually cast out of the family and banished

to the nursery room. She is left powerless

and longing to be accepted by the ones she

loves the most.

However, we find that it isn’t just Mirabel

who is struggling under the family’s strict,

ritualistic ways. Her two sisters also begin

to suffer: Luisa begins to lose her powers,

and Isabela announces that the man she

is due to marry is not at all to her liking.

We discover that her uncle Bruno was cast

out of the family many years ago for the

distress his gift caused the family, and Pepa,

My Casita

would have liked

to see one of

these characters

come out openly

at the end of the

film, they kept

them single and

who can control the weather with her mood, has

allowed their

difficulties with her emotional regulation which

means that the house literally begins to thunder

as the family descends into turmoil.

stories to focus more on self-discovery, which is

a unique and important part of life for anyone

on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. I believe this is a step

forward for Disney, giving us hope that we can

We see the Madrigal family crack under the

intense pressure of Abuela — the lonesome

grandmother whose previous trauma of losing

her partner has caused her to stop believing in

expect a queer storyline in the near future. And

my goodness — on Encanto’s resurgent evidence

it seems that they’re not going to let us down

when they finally do!

the miracle and has caused her to become blind

to the love she has for her family. Ultimately,

we discover that this seemingly flawless family

(with a fantastical gift to boot) is, contradictorily,

broken, but has a hope to cling onto in the form

of the message that, through rekindling their

love and ability to accommodate each of their

insecurities, they can create a sense of perfection

on their own terms.

Disney certainly has

blessed us with a miracle of

their own — this film!

Encanto is particularly special as it focuses on the

oxymoronic relationship between familial unity

and dysfunction — an unusually heavy topic

for Disney to deal with as a corporation whose

filmography has strayed away from the “adult”

in more recent years in spite of their previous

resonation within that market in Finding Nemo

and Up. They make the effort to include a

variety of characters that, albeit without explicit

clarification, realistically represent minority

groups, such as Pepa standing in as a figure for

people experiencing emotional challenges.

Similarly, as a neurodiverse person, I found

myself relating to Mirabel on a deeper level.

Of course, they’ve fused this taboo, yet beautiful

subject matter with their signature musical score

and astonishing visuals. I was, without any form

of scepticism, transported into the world which

hundreds of creators have worked tirelessly on

for a year. I enjoyed every minute and, truth be

told, it is exceptionally hard to find flaws within


Confidently addressing a story of family, grief and

inadequacy which can inspire those around the

globe to feel a very necessary sense of identity,

Encanto gives me hope that Disney has returned

to creating content that addresses what it means

to be human, just like the good old days. I’m

proud to let myself say that they have returned to

a place close to my heart.

As someone who has felt unable to please her

family and the people she loves the most due

to simply being different, Mirabel represents .

Despite Disney having (STILL!) not made the

plunge into the addition of an openly queer

character, the coding within the film was very

evident within the characters of Mirabel, Isabela

and Luisa whom I believed represented three very

different kinds of queer women. In fact, my friend

pointed out that Mirabel was wearing a butterfly

brooch containing the bisexual flag colours

on it for a large segment of the film. Although I


Photo: Jayme McColgan via Unsplash





Another Step Forward

For Adult Animation

Tasha Ford


Over the last few years,

adult animated shows

such as Invincible

(2021) and Harley

Quinn (2020)

have spearheaded

the movement towards progress in the

recognition of adult animation as a lens

through which serious art can be produced.

Netflix and League of Legends show Arcane (2021)

exploded onto the scene in November, managing

to topple the streaming platform’s recently

dominant show Squid Game from the plinth of a

#1 debut in 37 countries (IGN).

Does Arcane’s global

success mean the curse of

painfully bad video game

to series adaptations is

finally broken?

From both its global viewing figures and

considered approach to character and

worldbuilding, it’s safe to say that we can look

forward to more animated masterpieces made

for adult consumption in the future.

Based on the lore of the hugely popular video

game League of Legends, Arcane acts as a

backstory for some of the most beloved ‘League’

characters. Set and staged amongst the

boiling of building tensions

between the idyllic city

of Piltover and the

social unrest of the

underground city

of Zaun, Arcane


the harsh


of Zaun

and their



by Piltover


The gorgeously

detailed, stylised

animation lends an

unspoken, visually capable hand

to this division, with Piltover’s soaring, bright,

modern architecture drastically contrasting the

Don’t Look Up

dilapidated and dingy backstreets of Zaun.

Arcane’s most appealing (and refreshing) aspect

is its ability to incorporate horrible flaws

within each character. You’ll find

yourself rooting for the

stereotypical heroic

characters for a while,

but the writers

are happy to

throw you for

a loop when

they steer

them into


s o m e


act or


decision that

leaves you

questioning the

moral constitution

of their heroism.

Silco was a major stand out

for me; whilst being an obvious

antagonist from his first introduction,

his genuine anger and heartbreak for the plight

of Zaun, combined with his attempts to be a

good father within a bloodthirsty society left a

huge personal impression, as he’s not a villain for

the sake of being a villain. His aphorism “There’s

a monster inside all of us” heartbreakingly

encapsulates the arcs of every character within


Whilst League of Legends is universally renowned

for amazing songs, I was similarly blown away by

the sheer spectacle that is Arcane’s soundtrack.

Combining voices such as Sting, Woodkid,

PVRIS, and Imagine Dragons created a rather

unique concoction of genres.

Admittedly, it was very strange to see animated

avatars of Imagine Dragons directly in the show,

which elicits interesting implications of Dan

Reynolds being from Zaun. Especially notable is

Sting’s haunting rendition of ‘What Could Have

Been’ accompanying one of the most emotional

scenes in the show and closing the series (no

spoilers of course, but it’s safe to say tears were


The combination of these factors means that

Arcane successfully breaks the sequence of

horrendous game to show adaptations and,

crucially, provides evidence of further steps

in the right direction for adult animation as a

valuable pursuit.

Photo: Instagram @ArcaneShow

Star-Power Not Enough to

Save McKay’s Satirical Mess

James Wilson


Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, with its

Christmas Eve release date, Oscar-studded

cast and promise of mainstream climate

change discourse, represented one of

2021’s most keenly anticipated releases.

It comes as a great shame, then, to say that it is a

mess barely saved by its cast. McKay’s signature

style of interjectional comedic direction (played

perfectly in his career-high The Big Short) instead

jams its foot relentlessly onto the pedal from

the off, revving up to the infantile max with an

obnoxious brand of satire that takes the wheel

and steers the premise off a cliff.

Don’t Look Up substitutes global warming for

the arrival of an Everest-sized comet which

gives Earth six months to plan a response, a

microcosmic representation of our own timebound

rage against impending climate change

disaster. Where The Big Short succeeded in

simplifying the complexities of the devastating

financial crash with left-field techniques, thus

allowing an easier translation of the human

cost, Don’t Look Up drowns the more obvious

humanity of global extinction in a sea of visual

and plot-related distractions.

of fear and realisation at the real possibility

of our planet’s death, often provided by the

acting prowess of Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo

DiCaprio or the standout Timothée Chalamet,

there is an abundance of overpowering satire on

hand to drown the moment.

Satire has serious

filmic potential, but the

deficiencies of Don’t

Look Up are greatly

exaggerated by its misuse.

Not only does McKay only lazily parody such

targets as Donald Trump and Elon Musk in an

easily seen-through manner, nullifying the razorsharp

potential of this branch of comedy, but

through it, he also creates a version of reality

entirely populated by inconceivably vapid

morons and insufferable wrecks that the ultimate

result is a portrayal of a world not worth saving.

Watching Don’t Look Up

is akin to sitting in a room

full of your least favourite

people with no means of

escape and the added

insult of a post-credit

scene to boot.

the film’s final, and only, satisfying scene, which

plays as a melancholic meditation on human life,

providing a glimpse of Don’t Look Up’s potential,

only too little and too late.

McKay is guilty of numerous cinematic

peccadilloes, but his primary transgression is a

fundamental failure of storytelling. Suggestions

of interesting ideas and jumping off points are

introduced and then swiftly snatched away

before being developed. Characters don’t

progress and neither does the story, turning a

potential hit into one long take of its director

screaming “We’re all going to die!” over fellow


And, well, maybe that’s the truth. But sorry, that’s

just not a movie.

Photo: Instagram @DontLookUpFilm

Marital affairs, multiple kidnappings and

humourless jibes at social media infatuation

(including an excruciatingly bad replication of

meme culture) bloat the runtime with needless

segues and detractions. For every rare moment

Its characters’ intolerabilities turn large

segments into a chore, redeemed only by

the seemingly accidental moments of peace

afforded by considered acting and sporadic

cinematographic stillness, which reach a peak in SCANLU SCANLancaster


L i f e s t y l e

Dry January

Sacrificing A Month For Enduring Benefits

Tom Huddleston



After all the


we gave

ourselves during Michaelmas –

and the few more we may have

scraped out of the barrel during

the holidays – I’m sure many of us

are entering this term with a light

wallet and a tapered hangover.

The commitment we have to an

alcoholic lifestyle is something I’ve

commented on before, but I continue

to find ever more absurd angles with

which to illustrate it. The UK was the

only nation in Europe where alcohol

use increased over lockdowns in

2020 and 2021.

With Covid continuing to loom over

us and threatening to send us once

again into a “day drinking in your

favourite mug at home” dark age – I

think we’re subconsciously playing

catch up with ourselves. Returning to

University, however, I am pleasantly

surprised to see that we aren’t so

Living Abroad In The New Normal:

Lucy Whalen


Studying abroad is one of the

most exciting opportunities a

student can have.

I’m five months into my own year

abroad in France and I can’t praise

it enough: it’s been an unforgettable

experience for which I’ll always be

incredibly grateful. I even started a

blog so I can keep talking about it!

However, with Covid having thrust

us into what seems to be a whole

new world at times, there have been

some changes from previous years.


Ever since the Pandemic began,

travelling has come with an entourage

of ever-changing restrictions. Going

to France in the summer wasn’t too

tricky but the spread of the omicron

variant across the UK led to the

French government banning British

entrenched in our ways as I thought.

Dry January asks a simple but

enduring task of its devotees: give

up alcohol for the first month of the

year. Year on year, those undertaking

such an outlandish mission begin to

initiate a genuine question over our

relationship with alcohol: are there

benefits to not drinking? Would we

continue to drink less after taking

a month off? Can the human mind

tolerate this increasingly hellish

world, while withstanding all social

pressure to drink, for a month?

Apparently so.

Riffing off several published research

papers about the social, physical,

and mental benefits of drinking is

informative but also rather abstract.

I think we should focus on what

really matters in January – what can

alcoholic abstinence do for you?

1. Sleep, glorious


Being well-rested when going into

another term of late-night library

sessions and dissertation write-ups

tourists in December.

Luckily, thanks to my study visa, I

was allowed to travel back in early

January under the condition that I

isolate for 48 hours after my arrival,

at which point a negative antigen

test would let me back outside.

All this was a bit


especially since

these rules

were lifted

the day I

came out of


but at the

time it felt

like a small

price to pay

to be back in

the country.

Proof of


In terms of living abroad, there are

is a valuable commodity. With an


70% of Dry-Jan


fall into better



This isn’t a benefit to snooze on.

2. Money! Money!


Forgive the ABBA pun and instead

focus on the financial aspect of a

drinks tab. With Christmas-presentbuying

and New Year’s parties

pushing many well over budget,

Dry January can assist with the

recouping of those losses, thanks to

some prudent saving.

86% of


report savings

during Dry-


certainly some big differences when

compared to the covid rules back

home. Back in the summer, when the

UK was shaking off every restriction

that had previously been in place,

the rules in France seemed to be

getting tighter.

Although everything from

cafés to nightclubs still

re-opened at around

the same time, entry

to these places

now required a

pass sanitaire

(a health pass)

with proof of

vaccination or a

recent negative


Whilst this took

some adjusting

to, it ended up being

something I much prefer

having around. When I go into a

bar in France, I know everyone is

vaccinated or negative. Even with

Some estimates predict anywhere

from £65 to over £200 can be saved

in a single month.

3. Wellbeing. At last.

Forgive the repetition, but it can’t

be understated that you will see a

general improvement in your health

and wellbeing. Your health should

be the priority of the month – and

ideally, beyond. Whether it’s clearer

skin or lower cholesterol that you’re

after, there’s a shopping list of health

benefits we can all afford to enjoy.

Quitting drinking is not easy.

Whether we drink like it’s a morning

cup of coffee or once in a blue

moon – we can all get caught out.

Wetherspoon’s making Becks 99p

got me, but I’ve taken the hit and

returned to not drinking since.

I believe that actively making a move

in the right direction is the real

achievement during January. And

if you missed the month of January,

go wild and try again in February!

Progress isn’t linear or absolute, so

why should being alcohol-free?

the new variant floating around I feel

much safer than at home.

Mask Wearing

The laws around mask-wearing were

never removed in France. This is great

for people like me who need to use

public transport to get to university

every day. As all of my lectures are inperson,

it’s nice to know that every

student (besides those exempt) in

the lecture theatre is required to

wear a mask to keep each other safe.

If you go on a year abroad, you’ll

hopefully have a great time with or

without covid restrictions.

If you want to know more about what

it’s like living abroad, take a look at

my blog:

Lucy in Lyon


Photo: Lucy Whalen

How Covid Has Changed The Study Abroad Experience


Neha Gupta

Rebecca Newman (Deputy)

New Year,

Same Me?

I’m Okay With


Neha Gupta


Despite the festivities,

the New Year period

can often force

unwanted reflection

on the year gone by and increase

pressure on resolutions to magically

transform our lives.

This time of introspection is hard enough, but

throw a Pandemic in the mix and it’s almost

impossible to feel entirely positive about the

past 12 months. Yet, for some inexplicable

reason, the expectation to abide by the

tradition of creating new year’s resolutions

and leaning into the “new year, new me” trope

still persists.

Year in and year out, we joke about making

changes that we’ll never stick to, and

whilst the concept can be discussed lightly

amongst friends, it’s easy to let breaking your

resolutions get you down.

If we know that resolutions are essentially

made to be broken, and if we know that

setting these goals is largely unrealistic, then

why do we continue to pressure ourselves?

Following the comedown of the busiest

calendar month, and entering such a cold,

dreary and joyless time, January actually

seems like the worst month of the year to try

and magically transform your life.

Who wants to realistically trek to the gym

every morning or evening when the days

are still so short and it’s almost always dark

outside? Who has the savings after a month

of present-buying and celebrating to be

able to invest in a brand-new wardrobe full

of clothes to upgrade your style? Who has

the ability, especially within a still raging

Pandemic, to be able to travel more and see

the world right now?

I think self-improvement is, at its core, an

amazing concept but it has also become

increasingly demanding to the point where,

if we’re not constantly wanting to change

something or reinvent ourselves in some way,

life feels too stationary.

This pressure is on us all year round but is

perceptibly heightened in the new year to a

toxic level. Many of the desires to create a new

version of ourselves stem from growing media

consumption where we’re encouraged to feed

into trends and fads that are advertised to

make us feel better about ourselves but in

reality, do the complete opposite.

A lot of the time, our perception of the term

‘self-improvement’ ends up being shaped by

social media influencers and subsequently

becomes less about what we individually

want to do to improve our lives, and more

about what society is telling us a perfect life

looks like.

I suggest we take a second to acknowledge

the toxicity of trying to change up our lives

every 12 months and making ourselves feel

like we’ve failed when we inevitably break our


Instead of trying to suddenly reinvent

ourselves for 2022, we should instead learn

to appreciate where we’re at right now and

take small steps towards self-improvement

throughout the year.




We Are The Vegans,

Tabitha Lambie


Before I begin let me say: Veganism is

not the be-all or end-all.

You don’t need to go vegan to save the

planet from global warming. Veganism isn’t

a cult. Vegans can still live very happily with

a high protein diet.

For many, veganism can seem quite

daunting, especially the athletes among us.

There’s always the worry that a vegan diet

may not have everything meat or vegetarian

diets provide. But if we step back and give it

a little think, there isn’t much that you can’t

get from a vegan diet that you can from

eating meat.

Protein, check.

There’s so much protein in soya alternatives

to meat: chickpeas, lentils, nutritional yeast.

Calcium, check.

Soya milk has the same amount of calcium

as cow’s milk. This is because soya is

naturally high in calcium and vitamin B.

Carbs, check.

Don’t worry, you can still binge eat your

pasta and midnight choco pillows – just

check they’re the vegan ones.

Snacks, check.

Ok, so you will need to give up some of the

good stuff (like those Katsu Curry Pringles)

but there are plenty of awesome vegan

alternatives. And even so many accidentally

vegan treats! For all you essay biscuit eaters,

you can get a pack of vegan bourbons

from Aldi for just 22p. And party rings are

accidentally vegan too.

Life doesn’t get much better than that, does


So, in reality, going vegan isn’t as bad as you

might think. It’s definitely an idea to go on a

trial run first. It’s all good at the start when

you go on a £60 shopping haul for all those

cool vegan alternatives that you keep seeing

but, especially for us students, it needs to be


To help you on your way, here are some of

my favourite affordable vegan recipes:

• 200g block firm tofu- recommend the

@tofoo Company

• 2 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tbsp maple syrup – you can also use

golden syrup

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp smoky paprika

• Lettuce, tomato, vegan cheese, and

ketchup (optional; for sandwich



1. Mix together the soy sauce, maple

syrup, black pepper, salt, and paprika in

a bow. Add thinly sliced tofu and leave

to marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Once marinated, whack the tofu in a

frying pan with a little oil and cook for

3-5 minutes on each side.

3. Now assemble your sandwich; lettuce,

tomato, tofu bacon, vegan cauliflower

cheese, and (optional) ketchup.

Lentil, Chickpea and

Potato Soup

(serves two)


• 1 tbsp mustard seeds (optional)

• 2 knorr vegetable stock cubes

• 300ml + 200ml boiling water

• Fresh basil leaves

• 1 tbsp Oatly single cream – found in

Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc…


1. Add 200ml boiling water to a saucepan

along with the lentils and chopped

potatoes, then cook for 15-20 minutes

until soft.

Vegan BLT sandwich with tofu bacon

2. Add the chickpeas and continue to

cook for 5 minutes then drain.

3. Add the paprika, onion, salt, black

pepper, turmeric, and mustard seeds to

the pan and combine.

4. Pour the mixture into a food processor

and blend until smooth whilst adding

300ml vegetable stock as you go.

5. Now heat the soup in a saucepan and

you’re ready to go.

6. Pour into a bowl, drizzle with oat

cream, and add the basil leaf on top.

Vegan BLT Sandwich –

Tofu Bacon

(makes 10)


• 1 can of chickpeas

• 60g red lentils

• 60g potatoes

• 3 tbsp paprika

• 1 tsp onion salt

• 2 tbsp black pepper

• 2 tbsp turmeric

Vegan raspberry gingerbread slices SCANLU SCANLancaster


Vegan Raspberry

Gingerbread Slices

(makes 20)


• 100g @yumandyay milled mixed

seeds & raspberries – found in


• 250g plain flour – or gluten-free flour

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 0.5 tsp xanthan gum – for gluten-free

• 2 tsp ground ginger

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 120g dairy-free butter or margarine

• 175g sugar

• 1 tbsp flaxseeds + 3 tbsp water

• 200g raspberry jam

• 200g dairy-free chocolate –

recommend @thefreekitchenco

Dark Chocolate

• 10g walnuts


1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking

powder, xanthan gum, ginger, and

cinnamon into a bowl.

2. Add the dairy-free butter to the

bowl, using your fingers to make


3. In a separate bowl, mix the flaxseed

and water together then let set in the

fridge for 15 minutes.

4. Once set, add to the dry ingredients

and combine to make a dough.

5. Once combined, wrap in cling film

and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

6. After chilling, roll out the dough to

approximately 3cm thick and place

in a 30cm by 20 cm baking tray lined

with baking paper.

7. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes

at 180°C.

8. Once baked, leave to cool for 10

minutes before spreading raspberry

jam evenly.

9. Melt the chocolate and pour evenly

on top of the jam (this can be messy

but it’s all fun).

10. Final touches: sprinkle some crushed

walnuts on top and leave them in the

fridge for a couple of hours to set.

Vegan and Gluten-

Free Double Chocolate


(makes 6)


• @creativenature Carrot Cake Mix –

can be found in Tesco or Aldi

• 150ml vegetable oil

• 130ml cold water

• 30g dairy-free white chocolate, cut

into chunks

• 30g dairy-free dark chocolate, cut

into chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a

cupcake tray with cupcake cases.

2. Add the cake mix to a mixing bowl

with the water and oi, mixing for 5

minutes until combined.

3. Now add the dairy-free dark and

white chocolate chunks and mix.

4. Using two spoons, evenly distribute

the mix into 6 cupcake cases then

place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.


Make The Most Of

Wintry Lancaster

5 Things To Do

Before Spring Hits

Elizabeth Train-Brown


It may be cold and miserable but winter also brings

snow, festivities, and early nightfall perfect for a

not-too-late evening party.

Spring is due to start with the equinox on 20th March

this year. That gives you several weeks to make the most

of winter and all it has to offer in Lancaster.

1. Huddle up in The Herbarium

with a vegan hot chocolate

Found near Dalton Square, this vegan café is home to

original gourmet dishes and the most aesthetic interior

design you’ll find in Lancaster.

Curl up with a book and a mug of vegan hot chocolate

with coconut whipped cream.

2. Take a blanket to Williamson

Park and try stargazing

One of the best things about winter is the clear night

skies:. Take some snacks and a blanket (and some bin

bags to lay down underneath if the ground is wet).

Then, lie back and enjoy the stars in the sky. Where

better than Ashton Memorial Hill?

3. Host a sparkler night with

your flat

Find environmentally-friendly sparklers, find a safe

open place outside after dark, and channel your inner

child. Use the light painting settings on your phone’s

camera to get some great shots, too.

4. Stroll around the high street

Chinese New Year lanterns

Stroll down Lancaster’s high street and enjoy the

bunting up for Chinese New Year in February.

Take a camera for some great photos and visit some of

Lancaster’s Chinese businesses to bring in the new year.

5. Say goodbye to the winter

solstice with a (safe) bonfire

Most bonfire laws are about how much of a disturbance

they cause. You cannot burn household waste, allow

smoke to drift across a road, or cause a nuisance.

Build a safe bonfire (check for hedgehogs!), research

the how to light and douse, and get some vegan


Vegan and gluten-free double chocolate muffins

Say goodbye to winter the fun way.

The All-Powerful Soya






Your Guide To Using Your New Gym Membership

Yana Pentcheva


I’ve been going to the gym for 2 months,

with nothing but my Vans and my notes app

to join me in achieving my ‘gains’.

I can’t say I’m an expert – there are still a lot of

things that I have to learn about machinery,

etiquette, nutrition, and form. But as a 20-yearold

too stubborn to ask for help, I’ve figured out

a lot on my own.

Here are my top tips to help you overcome that

daunting first trip to the gym this year:

Ask for help

Rather contradictory to my intro, ask for help if

you’re unsure about something. The staff at the

gym are there to help – it’s literally their job.

Gym-goers are generally friendly and glad to help

you lift the bar into place for squats, carry that

heavy dumbbell across the room, or check your


Focus on health, not


There’s an overwhelming amount of information

on the internet about different workout plans

and diets to try out. While it’s a good thing to

know what’s good for your body, it can lead you

into a wormhole of calorie tracking and food


The basic thing you need to know is that food is

your fuel. If there’s not enough of it, there is no

way you’ll reach your goals. Not eating is NEVER

the answer.

Don’t go without

a plan

There’s no point

in going to the

gym to pick up

some weights

and do a few





talk to a



(if that’s

within your

budget) on

how to reach

your fitness

goals or do some

research into a

quality workout plan.

If you choose the latter,

make sure this plan is legit and

has come from a trained professional

– whatever you do, don’t just go for one that

has been promoted by the aesthetically toned

Instagram influencer!

Heavy lifting is your new

best friend

Whether your goal is to gain muscle mass or

achieve a healthy weight for your

body type, lifting heavy

weights will help you

to achieve both.

Nutrition is the

main difference

b e t w e e n


t h e



L i f t i n g

h e a v y

w o n ’ t

m a k e

you look


Trust me

– there’s

no better

feeling than

beating your

personal best

each week.

You need sleep

This is tightly connected to #2. Nutrition, sleep,

and hydration are key to achieving the best

results in the gym.

Absolutely take those

progress pictures

It’s not cringy and they don’t need to be seen

by anybody but yourself. But you won’t regret

seeing how far you’ve come on your fitness

journey. Progress pictures are a great motivator

to continue doing what you’re doing. In the same

way, they can show what to stop doing, if you’re

not satisfied.

However, if this negatively impacts your selfesteem

then stop immediately. Going to the gym

should always be about feeling good in yourself.

No one is judging you

Everyone is there to do their own thing and

unless your form is atrocious and you’re in

danger of hurting yourself or you’ve pulled up to

the gym naked, no one cares about what you’re


All you need is a little push from yourself to get

up and go to the gym. It’s not that scary. Trust


Don’t Wait For Monday To Start

Olatz Ocáriz De Frutos


If I could choose my addiction,

I would exercise every day.

Torturing Yourself

A year ago, the idea of running

for more than 2 minutes seemed

like a suicide mission. I would rather miss my

bus than run a few meters.

However, fast-forward to today: it’s difficult to

see myself missing out on the opportunity to


I would love to say that my obsession with

exercise came from within but I would be

lying. For me, getting healthy began as a way

of following a trend. I felt like everyone around

me was getting fit and so, as a naïve yet faithful

believer that I could do anything, I began my

own journey.

In order to understand

this madness of physical

torture, we need to talk

first about serotonin.

To put it simply, serotonin is known as the

happiness hormone. It is released after doing

physical activities. This explains why after

we run, for instance, we feel encouraged and

accomplished – or at least I do.

But enough about the biological explanation,

let us really get into what no one tells you when

going into the world of exercise: You want to give

up every day.

Despite the ability to make you feel better,

it’s difficult to make regular exercise a habit.

I wish I was exaggerating but sadly I’m

not. The first weeks – and you are reading

correctly, ‘weeks’ in the plural – are hell. Yes, you

feel good about yourself but you won’t be able

to see any changes or feel like it has become any

easier to put yourself out there.

Being healthy feels more

like an obligation than a


And so, the questioning stage begins. Should I

just give up? Why do I put myself through this? Is

it really worth it? Am I even doing it right? Why

do my muscles feel sore all the time?

I wish I had the answers for you. No one will

know what’s going on inside your head except

for you and so the answers to these questions

are entirely yours to decide. (Except for the one

about sore muscles, you should stretch before

and after you exercise.)

All in all, exercising is a

hard process.

For some people, it’s worth it. For others it’s

torture. But maybe it is time to face reality:

nothing good ever comes easy. Sure, not every

day will be fun, yet I see no reason why this

would be a bad thing. Isn’t life a bit of a roller

coaster in itself ?

Maybe exercising is just a reflection of what we

should expect from life.

Photo: Olatz Ocariz De Frutos SCANLU SCANLancaster


Creative Writing



Tom Huddleston

Sam Allport

How to





For The



Elizabeth Train-Brown


2021 marked my 40th

publication as a writer

and came with two

shortlisted Poet of the

Year awards.

Only a few years ago, I

had never shown another

person my creative writing

– and now, I’ve been offered

a publishing contract for

an entire poetry collection

and I’m beginning to

approach literary agents

for my novel.

What is the key to

succeeding in the

professional writing

world? How do you take

the leap from writing in the

comfort of your own home

to having your writing

published in print and

shared with the world?

1. Understand that editing

needs to be ruthless to


Try the staggered method

for the most effective edit

of your work: start with the

macro (plots, character

arcs, poetic extended

images), then go into the

structure and scenes, and

finally word choices and

copy editing.

2. Go through lists of

magazines, anthologies,

and journals accepting


Neon Books, Curiosity

Never Killed the Writer,

and Authors Publish all

host regularly updated lists

of organisations actively

seeking submissions in

creative writing.

The general acceptance

rate ( for both emerging

writers and established

award-winners) can be as

low as 20-30%. The more

you submit, the better your


3. Draft up a short

template submission cover


Start each letter with the

editor’s name or ‘Editor’.

Introduce yourself in a line.

Why You Should Read & Write

Maria Hill


Some people argue that

poetry is dull. Dreary. Dead.

Why should you pick up a

collection by Carol Ann Duffy

when you can scroll through

TikTok or watch Netflix?

GCSE English Literature has undoubtedly

snuffed out potential flames of poetic

passion for many – I am yet to meet a fellow

OCR Conflict studier who hasn’t been

traumatized by studying The Charge of the

Light Brigade.

‘Sometimes the moon

is missing and beyond

the windows the low,

grey ceiling seems


Claudia Rankine (Citizen, p5)

This article intends to reignite any fleeting

embers that may remain for those people, to

prove that poetry can be pleasurable, that

it serves a purpose beyond being analyzed

and picked apart for the sake of a good


Poetry makes us feel

less lonely

At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt it:

the pang of numbing loneliness. It’s hard

not to occasionally feel isolated in our joys,

miseries, hopes, and disappointments.

When you read poetry, sometimes you’ll

stumble upon a line that resonates with

your knotted neurons, a stanza that

expresses something you’ve never been able

to articulate.

‘Loneliness clarifies.

Here silence stands

Like heat. Here leaves

unnoticed thicken,

Hidden weeds flower,

neglected waters


Philip Larkin, ‘Here’ (The Whitsun

Weddings, p3)

As Alain de Botton states: “Artists and

philosophers not only show us what we

have felt, they present our experiences

more poignantly and intelligently than we

have been able [to].” Poetry conglomerates

two of the most beautiful forms of human

expression: music and language. It allows

us to connect with others in a uniquely

poignant way.

Poetry as a source of

education and change


In a powerful recitation of her poem, ‘The

Hill We Climb’ at Joe Biden’s US presidential

inauguration ceremony, Amanda Gorman

proved that poetry can be a powerful form

of activism. She used poetry to inspire

social change and replace ignorance with

the truth.

In Claudia Rankin’s poetry collection,

Citizen, she presents the experience of what

it’s like to be an African American person

in the 21st century, deepening the reader’s

understanding of the social structures

perpetuating systemic racism. Poetry is a

medium that forces us to be thoughtful, to

step into someone else’s shoes, to reflect

upon things that we haven’t considered


‘These eight-legged


And the webs they

weave with lies

Each thread a broken

promise –

We’re all but blinded


Maria Hill, ‘British Pride’

The first poem I fell in love with was

‘Half-caste’ by John Agard. Suddenly, the

whitewashed bubble of my hometown

was popped and my privileged ignorance


Open that poetry book: you might learn

something. And pick up that pen: you might

educate others.

Poetry as a medium of


Many people have, at least once in their

lives, grabbed a ball-point in high emotion

and scribbled out an assemblage of words.

This might have been a journal entry, a

private letter, or even song lyrics but each of

these, in their own way, was poetry.

You should consider doing the same. Nobody

expects you to be the next Shakespeare and

you don’t have to show anyone if you do not

wish to. However, being able to disentangle

the messy ball of wool that is the human

brain will help you communicate with and

understand yourself better.

‘Some days, although we

cannot pray, a prayer

utters itself. So, a woman

will lift

her head from the sieve

of her hands and stare

at the minims sung

by a tree, a sudden


Carol Ann Duffy, ‘Prayer’

This will aid you in the gift of

communicating with and understanding

others, thereby strengthening your

relationships. Psychology Today declares

that the first steps to healing are acceptance

and insight – poetry can assist with both.

Just as writing poetry heals, so does reading

it. Certain poets and poems embody hope

so beautifully that one cannot help but

be lifted. As Carol Ann Duffy states in the

preface to Sylvia Plath Poems, “Poets are

ultimately celebrators, of life and poetry

itself.” We often forget to appreciate or even

notice life’s small beauties, yet some poets

and poems can remind us of these details.

Poetry as an

examination of the

world through a

different lens

Life loses its luster if we do not continue to

see it in new, extraordinary ways. Below, we

can see how a raven takes on a symbol of

grief in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’:

‘And the Raven, never flitting, still

is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just

above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming

of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o’er him thrown

his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow

that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted – nevermore!’

Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Raven‘

Stepping into someone’s shoes means

looking through their eyes. With just a

couple of syllables, the way we view the

world can be permanently shifted. Poetry

enables us to look at things in refreshing

ways: suddenly, the lights of a city on the

night-shrouded horizon become a golden

bracelet glistening in the sun. Autumn trees

morph into grieving widows longing for

their dead husband, Summer.

A last note

There is no better way to appreciate life, to

educate others, to heal, to connect, than

by picking up your notebook and favourite

biro, investing in that poetry collection

with the pretty cover you keep passing in

Waterstones freeing those metaphors and

similes caged inside each and every one of

us. Ignite those poetic embers longing for


There is nothing to lose. There is so much to


Mine reads:

“My name is Elizabeth

Train-Brown. I’m a circus

performer, tarot reader,

and award- winning

journalist, studying

Creative Writing at

Lancaster University.”

Then write about any

previous publications or

awards. If you’ve never

been published, I suggest

something like this:

“I am an emerging writer

as yet unpublished.” (And

include a note about how

long you’ve been writing

or any relevant hobbies/


4. Excel spreadsheets are

your new best friend

Track all of your submissions.

I have a goliath spreadsheet

that has been tracking my

creative writing submissions

for nearly four years. It helps

you track where you’ve

already submitted, what

you’ve submitted, and when

you need to chase up late


My columns: Issue/

Competition, Organisation,

Sent Date, Response

Expected, Response, Title of

Work Sent, Notes, Contact

Details, Link to Published


5. Develop and engage your

greatest asset: social media

Literary agents and

publishers put considerable

weight on the social media

presence of writers. It

demonstrates that you

have a good presence, you

engage with the community,

and you already have an


To build your social media,

focus on Instagram,

TikTok, and Twitter. Post

engaging content with

relevant writing hashtags

such as: #AmWriting and


Post all of your writing




Use interaction stickers on

stories, follow other writers,

ask for shout-outs and offer

shout-outs in return.

Breaking into the

professional writing world

can feel daunting. Going in

with a healthy balance of

confidence and humility in

your writing will serve you


Kick the imposter syndrome

and get your writing out



Poetry Showdown

24 C R E A T I V E W R I T I N G



Creative Writing hosted the

issue’s first ever Poetry Showdown

where our team asked the public vote

for their favourite poem.

With the competition whittled down

from 14, we can now declare the top

7 poems of Lancaster University, as

voted by you, and our first winner of

the Poetry Showdown.

To take part in future public votes,

follow SCAN on Instagram:



And suddenly, the young flower turned her

back to the sun

Sold her piece of land, her carefully cared

for green grass

Chasing old illusions of blissful reveries

She put on the blindfold and started


Who would have thought, fortune favours

the bold

But too much of a good thing can make

Your misery unfold along.

Run away from happiness

But love is paid in gold.

The flower that turned

Her back to love

Is only



Felipe Sanchez


the snow doesn’t give a

soft white damn whom it


(e.e. cummings)

we lie in the tracks of angels

peering out from under hoarfrost

– like the creatures of the labyrinth

after the walls fall down.

our hands spider between us

to find each other

until I can’t feel the blood in my veins

until we’ve finger-painted ourselves

in ice.

the snow doesn’t give a soft white damn

whom it touches

and neither does the cold

and neither did you.

Elizabeth Train-Brown



Bodies die, yet their patterns persist

Legacies left behind in the midst

Longing to connect with something old

and lasting

Bound to a realm masked by laughing

Once warmth and comfort prevailed in

your sanctuary

Turned to sacrilege hidden within icecold


Everything we are is a reflection

Loves numbing flair always seemed an


Eager to please easy to wound

Senses drowning simply feeling


Life is a design and its purpose unfulfilled

Now is the time to begin to rebuild.

Faisal Mumtaz

All illustrations by SCAN’s official illustrator, Amy Brook

We Need To Go

To Bed

Rolling head and empty glasses,

Circle stains like high school dances.

It’s always safe until it’s not,

Never past 9 O’Clock.

Under blankets, living lies,

We hear each strike and what it buys.

Bedtime, now we’re left to beg,

Silent steps we’re made to tread.

“Don’t be like that,” he always cries,

Cold hands land upon my thighs.

Deep inside, I begin to bleed.

TAG, I turn and fear I’ll freeze.

Tabitha Lambie SCANLU SCANLancaster

C R E A T I V E W R I T I N G25


She is cold and calculating, feral and cruel

With skin of ice, cracked.

While the world is coated in frosted glass

She grips hands and nails to the ground, shattering it, pulling herself


with the force of a tsunami

As She travels on all fours,

She isn’t as silent as one would think, snow falls quietly, but hailstones


She screeches as she moves, a piercing warning cry as She rips

through the earth.

She tears through homes, families, limbs, while leaving a trail of frost

as She goes,

looming with the height of a mountain, cloaked in snow

Her hair is of a thousand icicles, pointing, ripping

with eyes like glaciers, hollow.

She is unforgiving and dangerous, wild and brutal

Reminding us that hell isn’t just fire, the ninth circle is ice.

Isobel O’Connor

The Cold Beneath your Shadow

Oh it seems, you have finally locked me into your cage,

Drink the milk from my soul and I will thank u for loving me.

The only warmth has melted into ice,

I fear there is no way out for you except to hit me.

You froze my fingertips off and melted them back into the shape of


You are my blanket and you are my warmth and you are the man who

took everything.

And I am the ice to your eyes,

I understand that you’re hurting,

However I’m beginning to understand the innocence you took from


I finally cut off my limbs for the fire,

I know that you want what’s best for me but why has my blood turned


Frozen dust echoed whilst your pale skin sliced open my body,

The winter has finally beaten me; you have finally killed me.

It’s cold down here. Please don’t leave me.

Izzi Bartlett


In the midst of desperation

Howling artic winds

Everyone is hiding

Nobody is standing still.

The rabbit’s in the foxhole

The bullets cut the air

They go back to the shadows

Shallow is the river that awaits.

Rest ye merry men

The snow is raging still

Yet my heart is beating


Felipe Sanchez Burgos

Where To Publish

On Campus

When it comes to publishing your creative writing as a student, it can feel daunting to

understand and research where is currently accepting new writing. Luckily, one of the

great things about being a student is the opportunities it affords emerging writers.

SCAN’s Creative Writing section is always accepting submissions of creative writing and

articles about creative writing. We also host regular competitions and events like this

issue’s Poetry Showdown.

For more informatuon about SCAN’s Creative Writing section, get in touch with our team:

Sam Allport and Tom Huddleston or message the SCAN Instagram, @SCANLancaster.

Other creative writing opportunities on campus:

• Flash Literary Journal (@LancasterFlash) - Currently accepting submissions of flash

fiction for Flash Issue 33.

• Cut / To Film Journal (@CutToJournal) - Accepts creative critical academic essays

about film.

• LU Theatre Group (@TheatreGroup) - Encourages emerging playwrights to submit

original scripts that could be produced as a live theatre production.




The Nightmare



The woman’s eyes didn’t blink as the rain fell into


them. They just filled up with water as it dripped

from the slatey sky.

Every dream was like being back there. On that

beach. In the rain. Five years ago. With that dead

As the little girl stood, watching, a tiny crab appeared

body lying crooked on the rocks like a discarded

from a crack in the rocks the woman was lying on. It


scuttled onto her shoulder, up her cheek, and into

her mouth. A few seconds later, it shuffled out again.

Sometimes, in the darkest nights, her subconscious

would wonder how it would feel, to have someone

Looking down, the girl saw that the woman’s sodden

– she could never guess who – squeeze the life from

black hair splayed out like the rays of a rotten sun,

her with the strap around her neck.

ending just inches from the toes of her pink wellies.

She stepped back as if the hair was crawling towards

She snapped the cold tap on full and hurled water on


her face, trying to scrub away the nightmare.

There were no bloodstains on the grey sand, but the woman was covered in slashes and cuts. They sliced As she dried herself, she remembered that she would have to ask Karla to let her take her Prazosin dose

her white skin, livid like sores around the edges. Some could be glimpsed through the rips in her clothes. before they all left for town.

The flesh of her neck had been mangled by the Kevlar strap wound repeatedly around her throat. The noise, as she stepped out of her room, redoubled: laughing and music blaring through a Bluetooth

speaker. Penny padded down the corridor and into the kitchen.

Every time a small wave rose high enough to rush over the shelf of rocks that fringed the beach, the

woman’s body writhed with the movement of the water. Her unmoving shoulders would lift as if she was

taking a deep, ragged breath, and then settle back as the sea flowed away. The slow, undulating motions

made the girl feel sick to the pit of her stomach.

A hard, knocking wind blasted across the huge beach, buffeting the small girl where she stood. It rippled

the tattered fleece and trousers the woman wore. Her bent anti-shock walking pole rattled on the rocks

every time the breeze rolled it, or the waves jostled it.

The child had no idea how long she stood, staring. She only knew that the first conscious movement she’d

made since finding the woman came when a gull, the size of an eagle, flapped down and landed beside

the motionless figure. At that, she gasped and jumped as if an electric current had been channelled into

the base of her skull.

The bird glanced at the girl, dismissed her, and bent over the woman’s colourless face. Its pitiless yellow

eye blinked, and its dagger-like beak clicked.

It pecked at one of the rubbery blue lips.


Penny hadn’t fully awoken when she sat bolt upright. How long had she been holding her breath in her

sleep? She gasped and spluttered for air, her chest and shoulders heaving as she drank oxygen into her

lungs and tried to steady her hammering heart.

Even after she got her eyes open, she took a moment to work out where she was. She clutched at the

bedclothes to convince herself they were real, and that she wasn’t asleep. It didn’t help that, when she’d

lain down on the bed, a grey afternoon sun had shone through the window, and it was now pitch dark

with only an orange streetlamp beaming outside.

Gradually, the overwhelming fear subsided, leaving a shaken emptiness behind – the way you feel after

being sick for hours. Penny’s breath steadied.

She went to stand up and felt something crumple in her lap. It was her copy of Mrs McGinty’s Dead, by

Agatha Christie.

Of course. She’d taken a break from revision to read and had made the mistake of lying on the bed to do

it. The comfortable duvet over her, and the warmth of her room, had lulled her into sleep.

Penny’s head was full of that strange, jetlagged haziness that comes with napping for too long. Placing

the book on the shelf above the pillow, she got up and went to the window.

Edward Robert’s Court was like a quarry below her building – a deep, round well full of glowing lights

from the takeaways. As always, the queue outside Sultan’s stretched beyond the door. The babble of

voices glided up to Penny’s window. Low conversations, loud laughter, occasional troops of bellowing

lads. Penny glanced at her watch. Ten o’clock on Friday night. The campus was teeming with the built-up

energy that came before busloads of students descended on town, and the clubs.

Ten o’clock? Penny thought. She had been asleep for hours! She flicked on her desk lamp and look at the

research materials strewn across the surface – half-completed mind-maps in pastel highlighter, books

borrowed from the library and renewed twice already, her laptop displaying a slideshow of images.

Penny sighed, dragging a hand over her face, which felt tight and tender after being pushed into her

pillow. She sighed at the dress hanging on a hook on her bookshelf.

If she’d been working these last three hours, she could’ve finished her essay, had a quick shower, put it

on, and gone into town with her flatmates, who she realised she could hear talking and laughing in the

kitchen on the other side of her wall.

Now, she’d have to stay behind.

Penny went into the bathroom – a tiny

square cubicle in the corner of her room

with a shower, a toilet, and a sink – and

clicked on the light. She leaned on the

sink, staring at herself in the mirror. Her

long brown hair was tousled and knotted.

The creases on her pillowcase were

imprinted into her face. Her jeans were

twisted from tossing and turning.

Penny reached forward to run cold

water, and noticed her hands were still

Three of her flatmates, Chris, Velda and Karla, sat around the table, Karla perched on her boyfriend,

Ross’s, lap, while Welcome sat on the countertop. They all swung round as Penny came in and cheered

when they saw her.

‘Here she is!’ cried Welcome. ‘Where’ve you been?’

‘Sorry, everyone. I fell asleep,’ said Penny, crossing over to Welcome. Welcome planted a kiss on top of

her head – her usual affectionate drunk self.

‘Well, you’ve still got time to change and stuff before we go out,’ said Karla.

Penny grimaced regretfully.

‘I can’t come tonight I’m afraid,’ she said.

There were several groans of disappointment, which Penny knew had more to do with the fact that

someone had decided not to go clubbing that night, than the fact that that someonewas her.

‘I overslept so I need to catch up on work.’

‘Work?’ said Chris incredulously through a huge mouthful of crisps. ‘It’s just psychology. How long do

you have revise only to tell people to just get on with it?’

Penny resisted the urge to scowl and changed the subject.

‘Where are Dalil and Lucien?’ They were the only flatmates missing.

‘They’ve both got late shifts, so they’re gonna meet us at the club,’ Velda told her.

As Penny nodded understanding, she spotted the days of unwashed crockery stacked around the sink.

Lucien’s plates, Karla’s cutlery, Dalil’s bowls and Velda’s mortar and pestle.

‘Oh, come on guys,’ she groaned. ‘Would it hurt to get some of this washing up done?’

Chris burped.

‘None of it’s mine.’

‘Well, it’s your turn to take the bin out, anyway,’ Velda chimed in, pointing to the white bin in the

corner. The hinged plastic lid sitting on top of the overflowing mound of waste underneath. All of

them had taken to holding their breath as they came through the door.

‘Yeah, yeah,’ said Chris, slopping Coke onto the three measures of vodka in his stolen pint glass. ‘Now,

what are we playing?’

‘Truth or Drink!’ shouted Karla.

by Joe Dodd



As everyone leaned in to refill their glasses and cups, Penny glanced around at her flatmates.

Chris’s sheer presence dominated the room. He was one of those young men who you could easily

imagine being Prime Minister, although you’d never vote for him. Handsome, built like a wrestler, with

dark eyes that flared when he laughed aggressively. Every movement was huge, exaggerated, designed

to draw attention, especially when he was drunk, like now. Penny thought he was the archetypal ‘lad’,

in that way that men call friends who they regret being friends with ‘lads’.

Velda was refilling her drink. Penny noticed with faint amusement how sporty that side of the table

was, from Chris, to Ross, to Velda. A maths student, she never seemed to be out of sports leggings

and Lycra tank tops – she was wearing both right now. Penny had seen her play football, and even

someone as un-sporty as her could tell she was gifted. Always incredibly health-conscious, she never

drank – even during this drinking game, her cup was full of a disgustingly healthy-looking green

smoothie she’d made earlier.

Beside her, Karla swung her legs on Ross’s lap. Karla reminded Penny of a springer spaniel – small,

but with enough energy and life to account for three people. She was a beautiful, buoyant girl with

bouncing waves of golden hair, who looked incredible whatever she wore and whose resting face

seemed to be a radiant smile.

Her boyfriend, Ross, was tall and athletic, with an aristocratic sort of face, but also happened to be the

most down-to-earth person Penny had ever met. He was a second-year who had met Karla through

mutual friends. He studied Medicine, and Penny could absolutely see him as a kind and reassuring GP.

Karla adored him, and he adored her.

Finally, there was Welcome, sitting at Penny’s shoulder on the counter, stroking her hair. Before she

came to uni, Penny had never expected to have a friendship that had started on day one and lasted

ever since.

On Arrivals Day, right after Penny had collected her keys and been shown to Slaidburn House, her dad

had received an urgent phone call about the campsite, which he and Penny’s mum ran. He had had to

leave right away, and Penny would have had to move all her boxes in by herself. As they stood in the

car park, dithering about what to do, another new first year girl came over, smiling, and said: ‘Do you

need a hand?’

That was how she’d met Welcome Haruna.

While Penny’s dad left to deal with the business, Welcome and her unbelievably friendly and

encouraging Nigerian parents had helped her move her stuff in. The two girls hadn’t stopped talking

once in the time it took them to ferry boxes back and forth. Once Welcome’s family had hugged her

(and Penny herself !) goodbye and left, they both felt that they already had a foothold in this strange

new place – each other. The talking had continued as they unpacked their things and occupied their

chosen kitchen cupboards and fridge shelves. Penny had never got to know someone so well in so little

time, and even though two whole terms had passed since, talking to Welcome was every bit as freeing

and easy as that first time.

Welcome had an inherent likeability and compassion that invited you to open up to her. She could

make you laugh and tell a wonderful story. She was an amazing actor, singer and dancer, an icon of

the Theatre Society. Penny went to see Welcome’s every performance. This was not a one-sided pact.

Every time Penny held a fundraiser for one of the charity societies she was in, Welcome came along

and donated. Whenever she plucked up courage to give a speech at an event, Welcome cheered the

loudest. If she was handing out leaflets on the Spine, Welcome made sure to take one. They trusted

and supported each other completely.

Welcome was the only person in Lancaster who Penny had told about her nightmare.

Speaking of which…

‘Karla?’ said Penny.


‘Could I… y’know?’ Penny jerked her thumb over her shoulder, indicating the rooms down the hall,

and made a drinking motion with one hand.

‘What?’ demanded Chris. ‘What?’

‘Nothing,’ said Penny quickly. ‘Just need to get something.’

‘Oh yeah, sure,’ said Karla. She hopped down from Ross’s knee and beckoned. Penny followed her from

the kitchen and down the corridor, to her room, second from the end. Karla unlocked the door.

Inside was a blizzard of fairy lights and photos. The walls were covered with them; some which Karla’s

family had packed her off with to remind her of home, but most taken by Karla over the course of the

year so far. There would be more from tonight, Penny was sure.

On Karla’s bookshelf, in front of all her Law textbooks, was a small white plastic tub with a childproof

lid. On the side, it said: Prazosin.

‘Um, do you want the bottle back tonight?’ asked Karla.

Penny hesitated. She did.

‘Well… if you’re okay with…’

‘It’s just… Ross said I should take one tonight, just to be safe.’

‘Oh, okay,’ said Penny. ‘Well, that’s fine.’

‘I’ll obviously give ‘em back tomorrow morning,’ Karla promised, taking the tub down from the shelf

and opening it. She tipped one of the white capsules inside into Penny’s hand.

Prazosin was the medication Penny took for her bad dream, one tablet a night. However, recently, the

dreams had been few and far between – the one she’d had this afternoon was the first in almost a week.

Because of that, when Karla had complained yesterday about being unable to sleep for a few nights

and asked Penny if she could borrow her pills, Penny had said yes.

Hindsight, wonderful thing that it is, only later told her that it wasn’t a good idea. But she had

instructed Karla very carefully on how much to take and trusted her. After all, the side effects would

only result from taking too much, and it wasn’t like Prazosin was a drug that made you feel good, so

there was no need to misuse it. And if Ross, medical genius that he was, had advised Karla to take it

for one more night just to be safe, she was prepared to go along with what he said.

‘There you go,’ said Karla, returning the bottle to the shelf. ‘I’ll hang onto it, so I don’t have to disturb

you when we get back tonight.’ She smiled awkwardly. ‘I’m really sorry. I know I probably shouldn’t’ve


Penny remembered that when she first met Karla, she had considered her to be a shallow person

who lived to party and make a noise, but she had since learned that was not true. Karla considered

everyone’s feelings, and that was all Penny had to know to like someone.

‘That’s okay. As long as you’re feeling alright.’

‘Yeah, I’m fine. No side effects,’ Karla assured.


Penny went back to her room and put the tablet by her sink for later. Then, she and Karla returned to

the kitchen.

As they came in, Velda was asking Chris: ‘Truth or drink?’

‘Truth,’ Chris replied.

Velda grinned mischievously, leaning across the table.

‘What happened at the hearing today?’

An awkward quiet fell, broken momentarily when Chris started to laugh.

‘It was a caution,’ he said. ‘And rugby gave me a suspension. But that’s it. I’ll be playing again in three


The quiet was taking a while to shake itself off. No one really knew what to say.

‘Bunch of snowflakes,’ Chris muttered with grim amusement.

Chris had recently caused something of a sensation – something that Penny knew he enjoyed. He’d

taken a gap year before joining Lancaster this year, and a group of friends he’d made in that time had

come up to see him. They’d gone out on a ‘white T-shirt social’, wearing blank tops which they could

write or doodle on. Chris and his friends had covered themselves in the most offensive, crude pictures

and slogans they could think of, and descended on the town.

Photos had done the rounds online, which had led to an outpouring of contempt. It had made local

tabloids, and even The Independent. Before long, several people had reported their behaviour to the

university, and action had been taken. As to what action, Chris had just explained.

Penny felt flushed with annoyance. She guessed that, because Chris had done this with a group of

friends from outside the university, proper punishment couldn’t be given to the group as one. The

others had all gone home. She supposed rugby had given Chris the strictest punishment they could

for a first-time offense, but it felt like he was getting away with it. More than that, Chris clearly thought

he was getting away with it, and that made her even angrier.

A Penny Godwin Mystery





S p o r t s



Tom Jeffreys

Henry Williams (Deputy)

Meet LU Strongman Society

One of Lancaster’s Newest Sports Societies

Tom Jeffreys


SCAN interviews co-founder and president

of Lancaster University Strongman Society

(LUSMS), Jacob O’Brien.

LUSMS is not just one of Lancaster’s newest

societies, as Jacob explains, “We are one of the

UK’s first university strongman societies. As a

society, we train both general strength and more

specific strongman lifts.”

The discipline of Strongman lifting in the gym is

fairly new but, as with many other societies on

campus, LUSMS is aiming to reach out to a wider

audience and help students enjoy the gym in a

more social environment.

They are open to everyone who would like to

try out Strongman, whether for general fitness,

socialising, or in a more competitive manner.

Alongside these training sessions, LUSMS also

hosts social events every Wednesday for their


Despite having started less than two years ago,

LUSMS has seen their membership “quadruple”

since the start of the last term, allowing the

society to buy their own specialist Strongman

equipment now in use during meets every


This new equipment includes atlas stones, a

yoke, farmer’s carry, and a log. This specialist

equipment is very rare in UK gyms, especially the

likes of atlas stones which are spherical stones

weighing above 100kg. For LUSMS to be able

to offer these resources, the society presents a

unique challenge for Lancaster gym-goers.

It is indeed the peculiarity of Strongman

equipment that inspired the inception of LUSMS.

Co-founder, Jacob O’Brien, explained, “During

lockdown, a group of us that lived together

decided to start working out outside. Without

any equipment, we used anything we could find

from logs to bungee cords.”

As similarities between these workouts and the

exercises within Strongman emerged, so did

LUSMS. An Instagram account was imminently

set up with photos of the founding members

lifting weighty tree logs found along Lancaster

University’s woodland trail. As soon as gyms

reopened in March 2021, more concrete plans

were put in place.

“Once Lockdown

ended, we found a local

Strongman gym [Lean

Body Systems Gym in

Morecambe] that offered

everything and more.

They welcomed us and

helped us with the society,

including coaching and

contacts within the sport.”

Jacob O’Brien, Co-Founder

Since March 2021, LUSMS has evidently taken off,

allowing members with no previous experience

of Strongman to compete. Jacob noted that all

of their members have competed in Strongman

competitions in the past year and were all eager

to compete again.

A club competition is currently in the works

and LUSMS is also hoping to hold an open

competition for all categories.

To find out more about the society and how

you might be able to participate or even

compete in it, visit their Instagram page:


LU Pole Fitness Gear Up For

Pole Dancing Championships

Tabitha Lambie


Can Lancaster’s polers bring home

another podium performance in

this year’s Championships?

Despite being hosted by Edinburgh

University, this year’s Inter-University

Pole Dancing Championships

(IUPDC) will be held in Central Hall at

the University of York on the 26th

of February.

This will be the

Northern Regional

round, made

up of nine



Lancaster, York,




Newcastle, Dundee,

West Scotland, Teesside,

and Glasgow. Out of the

nine, only two of these universities will

progress to the next round in April.

The competition is split between

individual performances and group

performances. Individuals can

compete as beginner, intermediate,

advanced, or semi-pro. Groups can

include a maximum of six individuals.

Competing for Lancaster is Holly

Hughes in the beginner category,

Emily De Naeyer in the intermediates,

and a team of six in the group

performance. Everyone is incredibly

excited to perform especially on the

back of the Pandemic which stopped

the competition from going ahead last


The inspiration behind the

group performance


to Hedwig and

the Angry Itch’s

‘Origin of Love’)

has been drawn

from Plato’s

depiction of

the origin of

love in his play,


Rather than

focusing on dance

choreo, the route will

be more theatrical with the

dancers acting out the story.

In 2019, LU Pole Fitness finished 3rd in

the group performances and hope to

return to the podium this year.

During an interview with SCAN, Zac

Hall noted that LU Pole Fitness isn’t

interested in an overall win, just that

each performance goes well and the

dancers can show off all their skills.

It’s been almost two years since any LU

Pole Fitness members have competed

so clean performances would be a win

for them.

In light of this and the reduced

amount of hours they’ve been able to

practice in, Zac also discussed plans

for LU Pole Fitness to run a showcase

the week before the Championships to

allow dancers to practice performing

in front of a live audience.

Zac hopes this will be a ticketed event

to raise some funds for the society.

They also hope that this will take the

edge off performing live as the IUPDC

will be some of the dancers’ first

time in the spotlight. LU Pole Fitness

intends to release details on this event

closer to the time.

With Edinburgh University

dominating the competition up until

now, it will certainly be tough but

Lancaster’s Pole Fitness team is ready

to rise to the challenge and show up in


(left) LUPF’s 2019 IUPDC group competitors

Photo: Instagram @LUGotPole

(right) LUPF’s 2021 IUPDC group competitors

Photo: Holly Hughes SCANLU SCANLancaster


Discrimination in Sport 2021:

Felix Rogers


Even through the

Pandemic, Racism and

Sexism in sport has still

been a constant issue.

Fierce competitions were held

behind closed doors, whilst

the Olympics and Men’s European Championships

bore ‘2020’ on their logos. There was the proposed

European Super League, and, for the first time since

2016, Lewis Hamilton didn’t win the Men’s World

Drivers’ Championship.

The past year has also been alarmingly problematic.

Whilst sports should unify people through setting

positive examples and providing equal opportunities

to all, we have seen many instances of racism and

other despicable behaviours across

the sporting world.

Infamously, English football

fans sent racist slurs and threats

towards Marcus Rashford, Jadon

Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, who

each missed a penalty in the Men’s

Euro 2020 final. These events came

less than four months after Rangers’

Glen Kamara suffered racial abuse

by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela.

Whilst the offender was banned for

ten matches, Kamara himself was

given a three-game suspension,

a decision reminiscent of Sulley

Muntari’s ban for protesting racist

chants that were directed his way

in Italy in 2017.

2021’s Tokyo Olympics were also

marred. Serbian volleyball player,

Sanja Djurdevic, made racist

gestures towards the Thai team,

pulling on the corner of her eyes.

The Serbian team evidently haven’t

educated themselves because just

four years ago, they came under fire

for the exact same gesture.

This speaks volumes about the

authorities’ failure to punish


Tokyo silver-medallist, Christine

Mboma, was subjected to sexist

accusations by former athlete,

Marcin Urbaś. According to

a Spanish newspaper, Urbaś

requested testing to determine “if

[Mboma] definitely is a woman”,

after she beat his personal best in

the 200-metres.

Why is her victory not celebrated?

Why is it, instead, met with sexist

and transphobic demands?

Furthermore, German Cycling

Federation director, Patrick Moster,

was filmed making derogatory

remarks about Algerian athlete,

Azzedine Lagab, and Eritrean

cyclist, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier,

adding further bigotry to an event

that should have been celebrated

by every nation and their athletes.

It is also worth considering the

vulnerability of young sportspeople

on the global stage.

Perhaps we are already accustomed to their youth.

Compared to Kokona Hiraki and Sky Brown,

who won silver and bronze in the women’s park

skateboarding event at ages 12 and 13 respectively,

18-year-old sprinters such as Mboma somehow

don’t seem so young. But the Namibian star noted

that she “was very scared” upon reaching the final:

“I just pretended I was okay, smiling and waving at

people, cameras and all that stuff ”.

The last year has seen young athletes exceeding in

various fields but this has clearly exposed them to

the sporting community’s harmful depths.


This is perhaps most apparent in the cases of

Rashford, Sancho, and Saka, who were 23, 21, and

19 at the time of the Men’s Euro 2020 Final. They

helped carry England to their second major final

with Saka, in particular, impressing throughout the

tournament. Yet these players were subjected to

horrendous abuse after the team’s loss to Italy.

Nobody should receive death threats for anything,

much less three young people who bore the burden

Bukayo Saka and Men’s England football manager, Gareth Southgate | Photo: Instagram @England

of England’s colossal expectations, whipped into a

media frenzy by public speculation in the months

preceding every major tournament. If anything, it

indicates a lack of careful reporting, particularly

during these politically divided times.

Indeed, inadequate professional discussion

surrounding these events only seems to encourage

more hatred: the media’s pressure on athletes is

immense and, when it inevitably devolves into

abuse, the response consists of isolated reactions to

each incident.

It fails to provide an organised defence against

those who would marginalise these people.

Formula One drivers Latifi (26) and

Verstappen (then 23) each received

death threats in 2021 after crashes that

threatened Hamilton’s title hopes, whilst

Hamilton himself faced racist abuse after

a controversial collision at Silverstone.

These acts were surely spurred on by

the media’s careless exploitation of the

intense rivalry that ran until the final lap

of the season but their reports on the abuse refused

to accept any responsibility.

This is especially important when considering how

these stories of bigotry break on Twitter and other

social media platforms where misinformation can

reign and less reputable sources forge their own

narrative. The tabloids infamously vilified Raheem

Sterling over his tattoos back in 2018, using the

internet’s echo chamber to incite far greater outrage

than when he was assaulted

and racially abused just half a

year previously.

equality in sports.

Here, the obligation lies with

trusted publications to set the

record straight and provide

a structured and accurate

campaign that challenges the

clickbait of socially regressive

online sensations. Yet they

still pass the buck, relying

upon athletes to take the first

steps as sporting figures of

moral integrity, even with such

inarguably positive stances

as Rashford’s call upon the

government to feed starving

children. If the most influential

figures in sports journalism

would proactively cultivate a

constructive atmosphere, we

might not rely so heavily upon

the good faith of a handful of


Similarly, we must promote

increased diversity in sports


In 2016, The Guardian

reported that 94% of British

journalists are white, whilst

only 0.2% are black. It seems

unlikely that those numbers

are significantly more

proportional today and the

rarity of endorsed reporting

by those who experience this

abuse is evidenced by the lack

of meaningful discussion in

the mainstream.

In the Men’s Championship,

the second tier of English men’s

football, Millwall fans booed

Fulham players for taking

the knee to oppose racial

inequality. When Sky Sports

pundit, Jobi McAnuff, spoke

eloquently after the game

about racism in football and

why such gestures matter, it

was a powerful analysis of the

issues plaguing the industry

to this day. Unfortunately, it

stands prominently as one of

few examples of large news

organisations platforming

proactive attempts to foster

We need to see more this year when the world is

watching the men’s FIFA World Cup, the biggest

sporting event until the Olympics return in

2024. Should it be another farcical summer of

discriminatory behaviour, we cannot defend the

failure to promote an inclusive atmosphere in one

of the world’s most beloved events.

However, if the major players in the press corps

successfully encourage an active rejection of recent

years’ unacceptable behaviour, it would be a major

step towards bringing the realities of the fight for

equality into the homes of the billions watching.

Ayesha Valli





Premier League

Title Within



They didn’t get the start they expected

after a surprise loss against Tottenham

but, in true City fashion, the switch has


For Manchester City, Men’s Premier

League titles often happen this way. Past

trends show the club is a silent assassin.

The season starts with blinding goals and

incredible victories. By November, the pace

picks up and a few losses creep in just for

New Year to hit and the competition left in

the dust.

This season is looking no different. Since

their 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace in late

October, Manchester City has won every

game, accumulating a total of 33 points.

With relatively straight forward fixtures,

they’ve been able to burn down their

competition and soar to the top of the

League. Once the pace has been set, it’s a

tough challenge to knock them out of their


The surprising recent underperformance of

rival clubs has certainly helped Manchester

City in asserting their dominance. In

recent games, both Liverpool and Chelsea

have missed out on essential points with

Liverpool having only gained two points

in their last three matches and Chelsea

drawing at Brighton in late December.

With rival clubs showing signs of fatigue

and media drama, Lukaku’s interview

with Sky Italia has been the focal point

of Chelsea news, Manchester City are

stronger than ever.

The management and coaching of the club

definitely helps. Pep Guardiola’s style of

play since his arrival in 2016 has undergone

little change; his persistent strategy of play

is finally paying off.

Manchester City is rooted within every

player with Pep being apprehensive to

start players until they can display their

adherence to his system. Pep trains his

players to become winning machines; a

winning mentality is essential to his style

of play.

João Cancelo’s excellent season so far is a

direct result of Pep’s methods. Joining in

2019, Cancelo found initial adjustments to

the Manchester City style difficult. Yet now,

he is one of the best attacking fullbacks in

the League and is often found on the left

flank despite having spent the majority of

his career on the right.

There is no question that the management

of the club is a cornerstone to its success.

But what does all this mean for Manchester

City’s chances of a sixth title win? The short

answer is that they have the persistence,

management, pace, and quality to dominate

the League. The squad has endless pools of

talent. Every player is aware of the club’s

targets. Every goal is sublime either in its

buildup, finishing or both.

Manchester City never rests. Their hunger

for victory doesn’t seem to be running dry

anytime soon. To lose the title this year

would come as a massive surprise not only

to the club and its fans, but to the wider

football community.

It’s going to take a miracle to push

Manchester City off its pedestal.



Society Resolutions

for 2022

“We plan to continue progressing

as a team and heading into


Women’s Rugby Union

“We want to increase

inclusivity and the

number of women in


Women’s Water Polo

“We want

to establish


over all


martial art


Muay Thai

“We aim to fundraise for smaller dog

charities and local dogs in need of


Dog Society

“We’re excited to

welcome new members

and host pole classes

run by SWs.”

Pole Fitness

“We have








nights to


Taylor Swift


“Uh...getting access to the

bank account would be pretty


Film Society

“We want to have more

friendly matches.”

-Underwater Hockey

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