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  • Thu 14 Mar 2019 13:48

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown

    Before I go on I just want to say this isn’t going to be a preachy blog post. You’ll have heard that it’s important to vote and to have your say, oodles and although that’s pure truth, whether it be in politics (let’s not discuss Brexit) or in a University election, there can be an instant disconnect when people try and force someone to do something. It can be one of the reasons why some people don’t vote! But another important thing to establish is you don’t have to vote. The campaigns around uni are not allowed to be held in libraries and classes meaning they aren’t allowed to smother you constantly. Throughout history one human forcing their beliefs on another has never gone well. To get people to see your point of view you have to be chill and show they your actual point.

    So with that said! If you don’t want to vote that’s fine but there are reasons you should as it could help not just you but your fellow students too. Previously the officers have helped install the following around the Uni: the 24 hour library, the cash machine at Collegiate campus, the HUBS to Collegiate shuttle bus and microwaves at the library! So they are important and they do improve life around the Uni. The 24 hour library has saved many of our lives many times round deadline week let’s all admit it. In the Hallam Elections you can vote for five full-time student Officers: President, Activities Officer, Welfare and Community Officer, Sports and Physical Activity Officer and a Sports Officer, plus several part-time reps including LGBT+ Rep, Women's Rep, faculty reps, Postgraduate Student Rep and more! There are loads of candidates running and you can choose your favourite here -

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/elections - Voting closes at 12 midday tomorrow!

    But there’s also some possible big changes to how things are going to be run at the Students' Union from here on out. And one of the main possible rejigs would make quite an impact on how everything operates with a new policy submission process, new Officer accountability panels held to ensure that your Officers are doing the best job they possibly can all round.  you've elected are sticking to their manifestos and doing good things for Hallam students. For the first time, Trans students would have their own rep as well as Parent and Carer students, and postgraduate students would have separate PG Taught and PG Research reps. There'll be new committees and those committees that are already going on eg. Welfare, Volunteering and Societies will be officially brought in and would have to go if the changes don't get passed.

    You can find the full details on the referendum you can vote on here:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/referenda/ - Voting closes at 5pm tomorrow!

    I love our Students' Union now but more representation and more accessibility is always positive. More ability for feedback and interaction with actual students across the University buildings would be amazing. Whatever you decided to do, vote or no vote, It’s 2019 and things are changing around us all the time whether we care for it or not. It’s up to us to influence those decisions and we do truly influence them by voting even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like we do.

  • Thu 28 Feb 2019 12:09

    Suitcase

    Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019

    My story by Jess Mell

    “What are you going to eat?”, “how are you going to exercise today?”, “have you gained weight?”; as soon as I opened my eyes the constant cycle of negative thoughts and repetitive questioning would begin. My brain would become filled with doubt, insecurity and obsession, leaving little room for anything else. Walking into the kitchen I would open the cupboard staring at the breakfast options. What did I have yesterday? Would that choice meet the ‘good foods’ list criteria? Is that product going to make me gain weight? 15 minutes later, once the choice was made, I would begin the ritualistic process of selecting the same cutlery and crockery, abiding by the first of many rules that I would adhere to on a daily basis. A considerable amount of time later I would make my way back up the stairs to get ready, clutching onto the bannister, or crawling, to ease the crippling pain in my knees as my weak body struggled with each step. As I took my clothes off to get into the shower, I would take a moment to look at myself, highlighting, analysing and criticising every inch of my being before quickly jumping under the hot water to heat up my cold, shivering body. Whilst applying shampoo, I would feel the build-up of shed hair collecting in the spaces between my fingers and correlate this occurrence with my use of straighteners- just one of the many excuses I had for my wearying, damaged body. The process of getting dressed was not easy either, putting my size 11-12 years old trousers and a loose blouse on, a go-to outfit I wore for months to avoid having to go clothes shopping. Once my poor attempt at a packed lunch was prepared, I would get into the car and drive to work, struggling to concentrate on anything other than the food I had just made, how I could avoid eating it and what else I was going to be eating when I got home. The thoughts were endless and exhausting, but I had no idea that what I was experiencing was a mental illness.

    I had distanced myself from friends, avoided every social event that could potentially involve food and adhered to a strict list of rules that I had developed throughout the progression of my illness over the years, yet I still had no idea that the psychological, physiological and behavioural symptoms I was experiencing were that of an eating disorder. What even was an eating disorder? I had never heard of it before. Surely everyone thinks about food, exercise and hates their body, that’s normal, right? Wrong. My obsessive behaviours had taken over my life. What started as a few thoughts, beliefs and habits, had developed into this fixed way of life and I genuinely assumed that everybody else was experiencing the same things as me. It was only when I watched an episode of Supersize vs. Superskinny that everything made sense. As Ursula Philpot exposed the daily struggles of a few Anorexia Nervosa sufferers I had this immediate moment of realisation- I was one of them.

    The process to finding help had started prior to this realisation, with my parents requesting that I see a private dietitian to help me gain weight. My weight had plummeted since starting university in September 2014 and had continued to decline when I was withdrawn in December 2014. However, with no understanding that what I was experiencing was an eating disorder, there was a general perception amongst my family that I just needed to gain weight and then I would look and feel better. This belief is not uncommon, with many people thinking that if you gain weight it solves everything, and I do not blame my parents for having this mentality, as not one of us had heard of an eating disorder before, or that I was suffering with one. However, after an unsuccessful stint with a private dietitian and the crucial miscalculation of my BMI by the GP, classifying me as a healthy weight, my parents didn’t know what else to do. Then in April 2015 I was assigned a new GP and he immediately identified what was wrong, concluding the appointment with a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa.

    This is where my story gets complicated. Day by day I fluctuated between moments of denial and frustration. I really wanted to get better, but the anorexic voice was so powerful that it controlled my every moment. The negative thoughts got louder, my weight declined even more rapidly, and my self-worth hit rock bottom. Anorexia had become my life and I had no idea, and some days no desire, to change that. To make matters worse, there was no specialist eating disorder support in my local area. Every few weeks I was seeing a gastroenterologist, a care coordinator and an NHS dietitian, but because the care wasn’t coordinated or contained psychological support, it made it very difficult to challenge the real problem- my mental ill health. I endured 6 assessments, each one roughly 2 hours long, detailing my behaviours, completing mood questionnaires, each one reducing me to tears. After every assessment the wait to see if I could get access to psychological help was excruciating, but nothing was more excruciating than the responses I received. “You don’t live in our catchment area”, “your BMI is too low”, “there is a long waiting list”; my family didn’t know what to do. Every option was exhausted, and it was at this point that I begged for a place in hospital because I couldn’t live with the illness anymore.

    Fortunately, 2 weeks later, on 16th July 2015, I was admitted to a specialist eating disorder unit in Grimsby, where I had the opportunity to turn my life around. With access to support workers, a dietitian, nurses, psychologists and much more, I was able to receive the crucial 24/7 care that I needed. When I arrived, I was told that my pulse was so low that I was a few days away from my heart failing, that my blood sugars were critically low and that I had to be put in a wheelchair because I could not afford to expend any of the energy I had. But the sad thing is that I didn’t really care. I had become a shell of a person, with no ownership over who I was or how I had found myself in this position. My self-worth had diminished, and my personality had gone with it. However, my time in hospital was the beginning of the hardest journey I had ever experienced in my life, but also the most rewarding.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that most people assume that treatment for an eating disorder involves consuming lots of food and speaking to a therapist. I assume that because I too believed that hospital was going to be like that. I had no idea that I would have to ask for a glass of water because the kitchen was locked, or that as a 19 year old woman I would have to be taught how to eat ‘normally’ again. It was not uncommon for me to cry at the dining table due to the fear of eating a certain food, or for me to start shouting at the nursing staff because I believed I had been served a bigger portion than the other patients. I dread to think how much time during my time in hospital that I spent staring at a plate of food, shaking at the thought of it entering my body. If you are reading this and thinking how ridiculous that sounds, unfortunately, that was the reality of my situation. Everything that happened in hospital was a challenge and the amount of times I declared that I was being victimised due to having one more new potato on my plate than the person next to me was absurd. However, that time in hospital was the reason that I am the person I am today. Besides all of the work I had to do in confronting my relationship with food, my time in the unit with the heroic team of staff enabled me to confront my relationship with myself. Every day I developed the strength and courage to be kinder to myself, almost allowing me to restart at life. Thanks to the amazing nurses, by the time I was discharged on 20th November 2015, I was completely different person. Although I was just at the start of a long journey towards gaining and maintaining a healthy weight, I was well on the way to being back to myself, without anorexia getting in the way.

    As I walked out the doors of the hospital, I walked straight into the doors of a day patient service in Hull, realising that this was only the beginning of my recovery journey. Where the hospital offered 24/7 care to stabilise my health, the day patient service allowed me to rebuild my independence and reposition ownership of my health back onto myself. Again, maybe a slightly alien concept for someone nearly at the age of 20 to have to learn how to look after themselves, but this was what my eating disorder had done to my life. Nevertheless, this part of my treatment created just as many challenges as I had experienced in hospital, but just of a slightly different nature. Whether it be learning how to do food shopping again or how to cook a meal, these experiences emotionally distressing, but I knew that I had to do them in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, contrary to my belief that I would get better almost immediately, I had to be kind to myself and recognise that my life was not going to be amazing straight away, I still had a long way to go. The difference is that, at this point, I had received the support and encouragement I needed to maintain the self-motivation required to fight my illness.

    Unfortunately, I was let down by the lack of psychological support services in the East Riding again following the completion of my time at the day patient service, putting me at risk of relapse. However, I was lucky enough to receive support from a local charity, SEED Eating Disorder Support Services. They funded several appointments for me to see a private psychologist, which I was incredibly grateful for. Without this support I would probably still be on the waiting list for support in the East Riding! I get so frustrated by the lack of services available in certain locations and this is what has fuelled my passion to maintain my own recovery and support the recovery of other individuals experiencing the same difficulties. With support of the psychologist, my family and friends, I truly felt that recovery was possible, and I have maintained that positive outlook since the moment I was left to stand on my own 2 feet.

    There is no denying that there are numerous days where I have wanted to give in and succumb to the lure of anorexia, the ease of continuing with a life a knew so well and the satisfaction of pleasing the negative thoughts in my head; but I know that is not the life I want. Recovery has been, and continues to be a challenging process, in which I am having to learn about myself and adapt the coping strategies I have developed to the changes I experience in my life, whether that be socially, professionally or personally. I didn’t ask to suffer with an eating disorder, I didn’t ask to put my mind and body through such turmoil and I definitely didn’t ask for my family to experience all of the pain, frustration and anger that they have. As with any other mental or physical illness I have good days and bad days, fortunately more of the good, but I know that what I have been through and the tools that I have learnt support me to get back up and try again. The hardest part of my journey was acknowledging that there was something wrong and admitting that I needed help, but I am so proud of myself for doing it. I feel angry that in many cases eating disorders are still not taken seriously and that treatment is not provided in the most crucial circumstances, but this is why I decided to share my story, to be a voice for people that do not feel strong enough to speak up about what they have experienced. If you are struggling, please speak to your GP and be persistent in detailing the difficulties you experience. Do not take no for an answer and take ownership of your care. Eating disorders are not about the way you look, and symptoms can present themselves in a variety of forms, but you do not deserve to live your life with the presence of any of them. There is no shame in talking about mental ill health and you have the right to receive support in order to live a fulfilling life.

    I think that having Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the mental illness, but the topic should be discussed all year round. I hope that having read my story you will realise that eating disorders are a serious health issue and require extensive support to enable recovery. Anorexia Nervosa is not about looking like a model or trying to be thin, it is the accumulation of significant mental health difficulties that manifest into seriously unhealthy eating habits and behaviours. Whatever you have gained from this post, whether it be education, awareness or peer support, I hope that you use that knowledge and act on it effectively. Recovery is possible and I am so thankful to myself every single day for asking for help, utilising the support available and transforming my life into what it is now!

    If you would like to find out more about my story, here is a link to my eating disorder recovery blog, and you can also contact me on the email address listed if you have any further questions:

    http://everystepanotherstory.blogspot.com/

    If you want to find out more about eating disorders, or you believe that you need support, here are a few national and local organisations to contact:

    Beat

    https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/

    South Yorkshire Eating Disorder Association

    https://www.syeda.org.uk/

  • Thu 28 Feb 2019 10:25

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown

    As we're getting to the end of LGBT+ History Month, and the theme of this year is Peace, Activism and Reconcilliation. For this to be achieved however, it will take not just the queer community but everyone in society for many generations to come. Some people may think if they’re straight they don’t really have to learn about the history but that’s not true, it’s important to stay as culturally sensitive and aware as possible. What better way to do that and have insight then through cinema! I was asked to do a few light, fun articles around this but the thing about mainstream LGBT+ cinema is that it’s fairly tragic and dark in the storytelling due to the struggles faced by us in the community. With that said here’s six of my favourite films with LGBT+ representation.

    The Handmaiden (2016)

    One of the best films I’ve ever seen, The Handmaiden is a beautifully told, written, acted and directed period piece/ erotic psychological thriller is set in  the early 1900s Korea under Japanese colonial rule. It focuses on the blossoming love between a handmaiden and the Lady she serves. To say anything more about it would be detrimental as its better seen than explained due to its twisty narrative. Park Chan-wook is a master director and you should check out his other work too. Korean cinema is amazing!

    Moonlight (2016)

    A tragic and poignant tale that clicks well with this years themes. To sum the film up would be an injustice to its deep messages and heart but essentially it is set over three defining periods of a young African-American man's life, chronicling his struggles with homosexuality and himself. It’s a beautifully film all round and definitely worth watching to give perspective on a part of the world that’s not often looked at.

    The Favourite (2019)

    I recently watched this dark comedy at the cinema and loved it. The real life historical figures and their relationships it’s based on has been disputed by historians for years but it’s acting, writing and direction is all outstanding. It also features an amazing performance (now Oscar winning!) by the one and only Olivia Colman. Prepare to be disturbed and moved at the same time.

    What Keeps You Alive (2018)

    A horror film that does what more films in every genre should be doing and has its main characters sexuality not be the focus or conflict of the film. They just happen to be a lesbian couple, granted one of them wants to murder the other but… it’s still a good way of just accepting that lesbians and gay people exist. It’s a dark and brutal film but one that is a fine example of how to treat queer characters.

    The Imitation Game (2014)

    This got a lot of flak for how it handled Alan Turing’s sexuality. Many said it downplayed it and I believe it did a bit too however, what it doesn’t downplay is the tragedy that was inflicted upon the guy who effectively saved the world in WWII and is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Alan Turing was chemically castrated by the British Government due to the laws back in the 40s and 50s. Although it came too late after his suicide, he has since been recognized and this film (regardless of how it is played) brought his achievements and the tragedy of his life back into the limelight of his home country. Many people now know his name and not only that, the film brought about a cause led by Stephen Fry that resulted in the ‘Alan Turing Law’ which pardons those homosexual men who fell victim to the government back then due to their sexuality.

    Call Me By Your Name (2017)

    Timothée “Indie cute boy with incredible hair *ahem*” Chalamet and Arnie Hammer lead this gorgeous film set in 1980s rural Italy (which is as lush as it sounds) about discovering and embracing queer identity. It’s quite a simple story and doesn’t touch on anything too heavy which is why I thought I’d save it for last. It’s nice to look at, has an emotionally complex story and its just overall amazing. Check it.
     

    It’s interesting how most of these films have dark subject matter or undertones but the thing is that’s unfortunately still the state of the world today in most places. Most LGBT+ films do focus on the struggle being in that community and that’s more than okay because it shines spotlights on the truth. It is getting more accepted though, through people taking time to learn and respect the culture.

    You can go into more indie territory for chill films that don’t focus on conflict and I’ll try to make another list at another time however, these are some of the mainstream ones that may help set you off on a cinematic journey into LGBT+ history month. Enjoy!

  • Mon 25 Feb 2019 10:11

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    LGBT+ is an acronym which represents different sexual orientations and gender identities. The acronym sands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. According to website My LGBT+, the ‘+’ represents “[…] all identities to make our community feel welcomed and ensure that nobody is left out. We make it a goal to not have a closed focus mind of the continuing ways people define themselves as. And yes, straight allies are included in our LGBT+ acronym!” 

    LGBT+ History Month is held every February, and celebrates LGBT+ activism, peace and reconciliation regarding sexuality. The month proffers the slogan “Outing the Past”, and encourages everyone to review significant events which have affected the LGBT+ community. This year is particularly important, as it marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, which https://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk describes as a “pivotal moment in LGBT+ rights and history”.

    The Stonewall Riots took place in the early hours of June 28th, 1969 in New York City, and saw members of the LGBT+ community violently demonstrate against a police raid. It is shocking that such momentous landmarks occurred only 50 years ago, and it is fair to say that progress has been made to fight discrimination against the LGBT+ community. However, it is important to review the tumultuous fight which has been necessary to get where we are today, and to appreciate how much further we have to go to reach total equality.

    The Stonewall Riots were accompanied by many other events which helped the progress of LGBT+ rights and acceptance. Here is a timeline of some key events in the LGBT+ fight for equality: 

    1951 – Roberta Cowell becomes the first British transgender woman to receive gender reassignment surgery and have her gender legally changed.

    1957 – The Wolfenden Committee publish the ‘Wolfenden Report’ which contained recommendations for laws regarding sexual behaviour. The report attracted a large amount of publicity.

    1967 – The Sexual Offences Act decriminalises sexual activities between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’. However, this did not apply to the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy, Scotland, Northern Island, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

    1969 – North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee attract support from leading figures in the medical profession, the arts and the church, gaining more publicity for the LGBT+ community.

    1969 – The Stonewall Riots.

    1970 – The Corbett vs Corbett Divorce Case ruled that an individual cannot legally change their gender in the United Kingdom.

    1971 – The Nullity of Marriage Act was passed, which forbade same-sex couples marrying in England and Wales.

    1972 – The first Pride celebrations are held in London, with over 2,000 participants.

    1972 - Britain’s first gay newspaper, ‘Gay News’ is published.

    1973 – The first British gay rights conference is held in Lancashire.

    1974 – Support line; ‘London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard’ is founded.

    1975 – The Liberal Party (now known as the Liberal Democrats) became the first political party to fully support LGBT rights.

    1977 – A bill aiming to reduce the age of LGBT+ consent to 18 is defeated in the House of Lords.

    1977 – Gay News Magazine is successfully prosecuted for ‘blasphemy’ by social conservative Mary Whitehouse.

    1981 – A monumental court case discovers that Northern Ireland’s criminalisation of homophobia is a violation of the Human Rights convention.

    1982 – The Homosexual Offence order decriminalises sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ in Nothern Ireland.

    1983 – Homosexual males are asked not to donate to UK blood banks due to the AIDS crisis.

    1988 – Margaret Thatcher introduces Section 28 of the Local Government Act which states that the government will not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”. In response, actor Sir Ian McKellen came out on BBC radio.

    1988 – Denmark becomes the first country to legally recognise same-sex partnerships.

    1992 – The World Health Organisation declassifies homosexuality as a mental illness.

    1999 – Trans Day Of Remembrance is founded in the USA.

    2000- The UK allows lesbians, gay men and bisexual people to serve in the armed forces.

    2000 – Stonewall’s campaign which intended to reduce the age of consent between same sex couples to 16 is successful, alongside the decriminalising of group sex between men.

    2002 – Same sex couples applying for adoption are granted equal rights to straight couples.

    2002 –The Goodwin vs The United Kingdom cases sees judges rule that the UK Government need to accommodate transgender people’s needs by allowing new birth certificates to be issued and allowing a trans individual to marry someone of the opposite gender.

    2003 – Section 28 is repealed in England, Wales, and Northern Island, which means that the ban on schools from teaching the acceptability of homosexuality.

    2003 – Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzringer marry in Canada, but the British Law refuses to recognise their marriage.

    2004 – The Civil Partnership act is passed which allows homosexual couples to have the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples.

    2004 – The Gender Recognition act is passed, allowing trans people to have full legal recognition of their gender and allows them to acquire a new birth certificate.

    2008 -The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act recognises that same -sex couples can be legal parents of children conceived through donated sperm, eggs, or embryos.

    2010 – ‘Incitement of homophobic hatred” becomes a legal offence in the UK.

    2014 – The Marriage (Same Sec Couples) Act comes into force with the first homosexual marriages in England and Wales happening on the 29th March 2014.

    The importance of LGBT+ month is paramount, and although society has progressed so much, many members of the LGBT+ community still face discrimination. Even in 2019 gay conversion therapy is still legal in the UK, despite activists campaigning for its end.

    The Office for National Statistics claims that only 1.5% of individuals identify as gay, lesbian and bisexual in the UK, despite the Kinsey report concluding that the figure is actually 10%. This suggests that there is a preeminent taboo surrounding non-heterosexuality, and that people across the UK ignore their sexuality in order to avoid stigmatisation. These issues particularly affect individuals from older generations, or those who live in more conservative parts of the United Kingdom.  With more than one in five LGBT+ individuals being verbally or physically attacked as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity over the last year, “coming out” can be dangerous.

    Some countries seem to be going in the opposite direction by introducing new laws strengthening existing penalties for members of the LGBT+ community. Last year during a police raid at a hotel in Lagos State in Nigeria, over 40 men were arrested for participating in homosexual acts, facing up to 14 years imprisonment.

    Nigera has also outlawed same-sex marriages, gay groups, and shows of same-sex public affection. Russia has recently introduced a new legislation which aims to prevent anybody under the age of 18 receiving any information about homosexuality. This law sees any adult who disperses such information issued with a fine.

    Even for individuals who live in LGBT+ approving societies, “coming out” is often a monumental milestone. Even though wider society is accepting of this community, coming out can often have adverse effects within the individual’s social and family structure. A national survey of 760 students, indicated that within the microcosm of school, students who are gay, or are thought to be gay are the most likely group to be bullied. In a sample of nearly 3,500 students aged thirteen to eighteen, one-third of students reported that their peers are frequently harassed because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Coming out can also cause issues within families. During an interview with The Colorado Springs Independent, 24-year-old Lewis Hines discussed his fear of coming out as a transgender man to his extended family for fear of emotional abuse (*G).

    At Sheffield Hallam Student’s Union’s LGBT+ Representative, Kirstie Rutter, is available to discuss any of issues surrounding the LGBT+ community with students. Within the Students’ Union, there are many resources made available to you if you need any support regarding your sexuality or homophobia. At the HUBS, the Student Advice Centre provides free, confidential advice and can signpost to a number of relevant organisations in the area for any issues you may be facing. Sheffield Charity, SAYiT also work with young LGBT+ people to provide support around LGBT+ life, sexual health, HIV and mental wellbeing. SAYiT offers one-to-one sessions and group meetings to discuss these issues and help resolve any issues affecting the LGBT+ community.

    To celebrate this month, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union will be hosting film screenings of shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race and Queer Eye. There will be events, gigs, and speakers and even lip sync takeovers! More information can be found here; https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/ents/event/3389/.

     

     

  • Mon 11 Feb 2019 11:15

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    Chinese New Year celebrations began on the 5th February, the 5th - 15th February is the Spring Festival and celebrations conclude with the Lantern Festival from 16th - 19th February and this year is the year of the pig! The festival is over 4,000 years old and is celebrated across the world. Celebrations take many different forms, mainly focusing on family and togetherness. On New Year’s Eve, families gather for a ‘reunion dinner’ which is believed to be the most important meal of the year in Chinese culture.

    So, with the year of the pig approaching, we wanted to find out how Sheffield’s very own Chinatown is coming along. In 2015 it was announced that Sheffield would be getting its own Chinatown and promises of a £65 million development between London Road and Bramall Lane were made. So, how is the building work progressing, and when will Sheffield’s Chinatown, New Era Square, be open?

    The entire project is set to be complete by summer 2019 and will include 300 studio apartments for students along with a KH Oriental supermarket and other retail units. According to Sheffield City Council’s Newsroom, the new Chinatown aims to better integrate the Chinese community into Sheffield with its modern recreation of classic Chinatowns.

    With Sheffield being the sixth most populated city in England, this development is long overdue. With New Era Square’s completion fast approaching, Sheffield will be joining other cities to better celebrate Chinese culture, with London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool all boasting successful Chinatown districts.

    I asked students their opinions on the new Chinatown development:

     

    “I didn’t know that there was a Chinatown coming to Sheffield, but it’ll be interesting to have a look around and learn a little more about Chinese Culture.”

     

    “I can’t wait for it!”

     

    “I think it will do really well, especially being so near to student accommodation.”

    Sheffield's Chinatown development

    New Era Square as it will look on completion

     

  • Thu 31 Jan 2019 13:54

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    The Superbowl has been held annually since 1967 and is the championship game of the National Football League in America. The event is often referred to as ‘the big game’ and is watched widely across America, having gathered a large following over the last 51 years. Last year over 103.4 million people tuned in to watch the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

    Sunday the 3rd February will host the Super Bowl LIII and will see the New England Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams. Whilst the event is being held at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta (which is over 4,000 miles away from Sheffield), there are still ways for you to be involved and feel as though you are there. We are showing the Super Bowl on the big screen in Hideout between 10pm and 4am! If you aren’t a sports fan, the halftime show is an event in itself, with Travis Scott, Maroon 5 and rapper Big Boi set to perform.

    Hideout will be serving American themed food, from mouth-watering burgers, fries and wings to American pancakes. Hideout will also be selling Somersby and Carlsberg pitchers for £10, with great deals on Budweisers (2 for £6.00). There will also be free shots on first touchdown. What’s not to love? Organise something in the group chat for a night at Hideout, better than sitting at home with the TV, right?

  • Tue 29 Jan 2019 16:49

    Suitcase

    Aspiration is a heavy word. It’s easy to forget that an ambition or aspiration doesn’t have to be being the Prime Minister or ruling the world from your secret evil lair. It can be anything; getting up on time for uni, aspiring to join a society, make new friends. Even just dancing more in public! From big to small, personal challenges are very important to staying stimulated in this life.

     

    You’re at uni, which probably means you’re studying a subject you’re passionate about. It’s important to keep these passionate flames lit, and the grind of uni life (and post-uni work life) can sometimes make us lose sight of what we want to do. I Pledge To is a two week campaign run by your Students' Union to try and get you thinking about your goals, aspirations and ambitions, whatever they may be. It’s also here to inform you about the departments within the Students' Union which can help you to overcome these challenges and achieve your goals.

     

    One of the main aspects of the campaign is also a chance to win Give it a Go experiences by submitting your own pledges. By submitting your pledge, not only are you making positive steps to completing these pledges, but also, if your pledge is to try something new, you’re in with the chance of winning an opportunity to achieve this pledge at your Students' Union!

     

    Click here and complete the form to make your pledge:  

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeOMmmUQGqca95wZuDy6XZvMn7_b7cX1EEipAcrTre407beOg/viewform

     

    Here are a few ideas that can help you decide on your pledge!

     

    Societies:

    Joining a society is great fun and can lead to new friendships, personal skill development and deep talks about the subjects you love. Be it a sport, dance class, games or film society, you can meet likeminded people. We not only have Students' Union Officers who you can contact but also a nifty list of the current societies. And if you don’t see one you’re looking for, you have the option here of starting one yourself!

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/societies/

     

    Volunteering:

    Fancy doing something to help others? The volunteering team at the Hubs is here to help you find opportunities in and around Sheffield. The local community can always do with extra hands to help out, and it’s not only personally rewarding but it's something great to add to your CV too.

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/volunteering/

     

    Some examples include volunteering with a charity:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/volunteering/volunteerwithacharity/

     

    Or helping out within schools:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/get_involved/volunteering/volunteerprojects/

     

    Sports and Varsity:

    You can find many different physical activities in the Society pages, but if you are looking for more team based sports you can contact the Students' Union Sports Officer. You may also be interesting in participating or spectating in Varsity which is always oodles of fun!

     

    Here’s an A - Z of the sports clubs and few other helpful links:

    https://www.shu.ac.uk/current-students/sport/team-hallam/sports-and-activities

    https://sheffieldvarsity.com/

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/student_officers/sports-officer/

     

    Representation:

    There are many different ways the University and the Students' Union represent us as students. There are Student Reps for your course and Representation Officers who work in all areas from religion, LGBTQ+ and Women’s Rights. They ensure that everyone is getting fair treatment whilst at uni. Could one of your challenges be learning about the different cultures of your university, or even becoming a Student Rep yourself? If so, learn more here:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/representation/liberation_groups/

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/representation/academicinterests/

     

    Skills and Training:

    Fancy some computer training, yoga or gardening? There are skills and training courses available through the Students' Union, offering advice on everything from how to practise self-care to developing workplace skills, to help you make the most of your time at uni.

     

    There are so many courses you can take part in. The upcoming courses on autism awareness and mental health training are definitely worth checking out:  

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/skills_opportunities/trainingopportunities/

    Digital Skills Drop In - Create Effective Posters:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/ents/event/3312/

    Emergency First Aid at Work:

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/ents/event/3114/

     

    In case this wasn't enough to inspire you to make a pledge, here is a list of fun events that are happening over the next few months in and around Sheffield Hallam Students' Union!

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/whatson/

     

  • Tue 22 Jan 2019 16:11

    Suitcase

    If exams were based on how much we procrastinated, just think how many of us would graduate with 1st class degrees!

    On a more serious note, we are all guilty of procrastinating! Sometimes procrastination can come about as a result of feeling overwhelmed which can lead to you feeling stressed which can then lead to even  bigger problems. The last thing we want is for procrastination to have an impact on your mental wellbeing. According to Student Minds, 82% of students will suffer from stress and anxiety whilst at university.

    There are a number of tips and tricks that you can implement to help you stop procrastinating as much. Things such as identifying the main reason(s) why you procrastinate in the first place and then putting the steps in place to help minimze it.

    Check out our tips below to help you become a procrastination free zone!

    If you would like further support or training please visit our website under Skills and Training

  • Mon 21 Jan 2019 10:39

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown
     

    Don’t hate me fellow students but because i’m on an illustration course I don’t have to do exams… I know that will make some of you possibly throw your phones or laptops in fits of rage, and truly I do understand. Although I will argue we do have a lot of work with the hand ins that we have to do, but we’re not here to debate such things. We’re here because i’ve spoken to my pals who do have exams to try and find some of the best ways to dealing with all this stress you may be experiencing.

     

    Here’s what they had to say followed by a little note from me-

     

    Stephanie: Get someone to quiz you as when you recite it back, it makes the memory stronger.

     

    Did you ever play Dr Kawashima’s brain training on the Nintendo DS? It’s kind of like that. Repetition and quizzing makes the brain take more in, it’s how we learn anything. It also may be productive to just have a mate there who can help you take these things in.

     

    Annabelle: Water!! Hydrate your brain!!!

     

    This is truth! Science says we should have 6 - 8 glasses of water a day. Dehydration can not only make you fatigued and poorly but it can also make you lose focus. 60% of the human body is water and not replenishing these fluids can lead to lack of concentration and even memory and motor functions. Three things vital to exams!

     

    Lauren: Make sure you get enough sleep, staying up too late to study makes you focus less and can be counter productive.

     

    7 - 9 hours is the average amount of sleep humans need to function well. The same negative effects that happen when you’re dehydrated happen when you’re tired too!

     

    Olivia: Don’t stress to much, exams aren’t the end of the world. Most can be resit, if you put too much pressure on yourself the likelihood of you performing your best is slim!

     

    This is great advice. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself over a grade or an exam! Do your best and get some rest.

     

    Daniella: Remember to take time for yourself every now and then. Watch a movie, have a bath. Nothing good can come from overdoing it.

     

    Relaxation is so important. You won’t fail your degree and the world won’t end if you watch a bit of Gavin and Stacey.

     

    Zack: Take a break every 20 minutes or so, that’s what I do when I’m stressed.

     

    Also if you’re using a computer it’s suggested that a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is standard to making sure your eyes don’t go funny and to keep your brain from overloading.

     

    I’ll conclude by just adding that exams, whilst really important can obviously put so much pressure on people and it’s important to try and keep good people around who can support you and keep you relatively level headed. If you are struggling too much it’s also important to try and get help either at the Hallam Union Advice Center or through SHU wellbeing. The links to which you can find here-

     

    https://www.shu.ac.uk/current-students/student-support/student-wellbeing

     

    https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/advice_help/

  • Fri 18 Jan 2019 12:06

    Suitcase

    According to the National Autistic Society there are currently around 700,000 people living with autism in the UK. Autism will affect each of them in a different way.  Ensuring that that they are given the support they need can be instrumental in allowing them to achieve their best with their education and in their daily life.

    It is a well known fact that it can sometimes be hard to know how to approach someone with autism and what you can do to help them. We have put together two infographics based on information from the National Autistic Society to help you gain a better understanding on what to do and what not to do when approaching someone with autism. This is an important life skill to have because you never know when you might need to interact with a person with autism! 

         

    Now you have looked at the infographics and watched Kashmire's autism story video why not take our autism quiz and test your knowledge of autism: https://ispri.ng/n22Mg

    We also have a training session on autism awareness which you can book on to HERE

  • Mon 14 Jan 2019 17:30

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    Everybody is familiar with Australia. I know that many of my own relatives have tales to tell about a trip there in the blistering sun, and spiders bigger than their hands. However, England’s tumultuous history with Australia is lesser known. On the 26th of January each year, Australia Day is celebrated. The occasion offers a chance to showcase Australian culture and celebrate Australian people. However, the date that Australia Day is held marks the first British Ship arriving at Sydney Cove, signalling the start of colonisation. It seems like a pretty strange thing for the nation to celebrate, right?

    After British colonisation of Australia, indigenous people were forced to leave their homes by European settlers, leading to lack of fundamental resources, such as food and water. Alongside the fleet of 11 ships which arrived in Australia in 1788, the British settlers brought diseases which the indigenous population were not immune to, such as smallpox, influenza and tuberculosis. This was followed by prolonged conflict and division between settlers and the indigenous people, which saw lives ruined and many different accounts of violent altercations.

    However, some indigenous people have renamed Australia Day ‘Survival Day’ and ‘Invasion Day’, and protest in masses to raise awareness. These protests often take the form of rallies, and in 2018, a statue of Captain Cook was also vandalised. Captain Cook was credited with the first European contact with Australia in 1770 and was targeted to highlight the macabre origins of the holiday.

    Australia Day is typically celebrated with concerts, parades, barbeques and other public events. Whilst a poll in 2018 found that only 38% of 1,417 Australians could explain the historical origins of Australia Day, over half of those surveyed said that they did not care when the day was celebrated. A mere 37% of the surveyed people agreed that the day was offensive to indigenous people. So, it’s no surprise that indigenous people are not willing to celebrate the beginning of their ancestor’s oppression. Are people simply unaware of the historical significance of Australia Day, or has the meaning of the day evolved into a celebration of Australian culture and being patriotic?

    With so few Australians actually aware of the holiday’s origin, I asked family members who emigrated to Australia over thirty years ago what Australia Day meant to them. Over a pixelated video chat, they mused that the day was good fun, and only partially understood the origins of Australia Day. “I knew that it was something to do with British invasion”, one of my relatives claimed, “I just didn’t really understand the extent of it”. Perhaps this is the problem; people need to hear the awful stories of loss, disruption and damage that this day had on Australia’s indigenous population to become more sensitive and educated to why it may offend some people.

    Despite the history associated with Australia Day, the holiday has evolved into a celebration of Australian lifestyle. It is unsurprising that Australians want to celebrate the beauty of their home and create a sense of community across the 6th largest country in the world. However innocent the celebrations may have become, perhaps a change of date would better convey the ‘new’ meaning behind the celebrations.

    To reflect this, at the Students’ Union we are holding our Australia Day celebrations on 22nd January in Hideout with Aussie décor, kangaroo burgers, drinks deals and an Australia Awareness Day quiz in the evening.

  • Fri 11 Jan 2019 10:47

    By Jess Brown

    Suitcase

    Drynuary? Januadry?

    I don’t know about you but I love a glass (ahem bottle) of wine... And rum and cokes... And cocktails especially the cocktails with supernatural colours that glow and make you look like you’re sipping on plutonium! However, as a species it’s always good to apply a bit of self-control. Alcohol (especially the plutonium looking alcohol) is after all a poison and can be bad for us in excess.

    Dry January is pretty much what it says on the tin, for the whole of this month you just don’t drink booze. Have to clarify booze just in case some of you think that it means you can’t drink ANYTHING. For some that’ll be very simple but for those of us who like a drink that may be a bit difficult. So here’s three recommendations from me about what you can do to keep yourself busy instead of drinking.

    1) Get a hobby!

    There are so many activities you could take up this month to have fun, from reading that book you’ve been putting off for years to writing, drawing, learning Japanese, doing a sport. The possibilities are endless. Go skydiving if you need an adrenaline boost! The Give it a Go programme at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union is perfect for starting a new hobby, you can try something out without commiting to anything longer term. Check out the What's On page for events and pick up a programme next time you head to the Students' Union. 

    2) Go out with friends to somewhere other than a bar

    Did you know that just outside of Sheffield there’s this big nature packed grassy thing called the Peaks? Apparently it’s part of something called a ‘countryside’ but I’m not exactly sure if that’s the right word. Point is, go there! See the sights, have a walk with your pals. Or if not that, go bowling, go out for food, go to the cinema, go to an arcade, go somewhere with your friends other than bars. It costs about the same, often cheaper, and is just as much fun. Going out with friends at night doesn’t always have to be the same pub or bar. Valley Centertainment Leisure Park is also just a tram ride away and has all the above mentioned things and more, aside from the Peaks obviously.

    Here’s some events happening through the Students' Union you may be interested in going to:

    Open Mic Night (Every Thursday in Hideout!)

    Gardening for Your Wellbeing

    Happiness Bootcamp - Pop Pilates

    Hallam Bingo (Every Tuesday in Hideout)

    Glow in the Dark Badmington
     

    3) Stay in or talk to someone

    Dramatic shift in tone here but a lot of us get drunk or go out to escape our issues. This is obviously not the healthiest coping mechanism. Possibly take this month to focus on you and your mental health, take a breather from the pressure society can put on us and just spend some time watching Netflix on your own or with a friend. It’s healthy for us to try and talk about our issues too so if you can find someone or need to go to the doctors, this month is a perfect time to start that and possibly  get in a better mindset for the rest of the year. For Christmas my friend got a copy of What a Time to Be Alone by The Slumflower AKA Chidera Eggerue. I read a few pages and I’m going to get it too. It’s a book about loving yourself and knowing your worth with very relatable messages about body positivity and why it’s okay to be alone and focus on yourself. I’m hoping it helps me and it may help you too.

  • Mon 07 Jan 2019 15:09

    Suitcase

    “And shavasana…” I feel super stretched out and relaxed. As I lay down on the mat, I focus on my breath, the subtle movement of my chest up and down. I slowly scan down my body. Neck, shoulders and lower back no longer tense and sore. My attention comes back to my breath as I close my eyes and feel like I’m melting into the floor.

    Who Am I?

    My name is Lewis Pontremoli. I come from a small town just outside Brighton, on the south coast of England. I’m in my second year at Hallam, studying International Business. If you asked me a few years ago “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I would definitely not have described my life as it is now. Going to Uni wasn’t even on my radar.

    Then I found Climbing

    I visited my local climbing centre with a friend and was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve made weekly trips to various climbing centres and had many trips outdoors. Typically I boulder, a style of climbing using no ropes often requiring masses of power and flexibility. When I first started, this usually involved a lot of aches and pains for days after a session. This is how I found yoga.

    For years, I’ve used Yoga to warm-up, cool down and improve my flexibility. But it can also be a great way to relax and forget about life for a little while. At any class I’ve been to, there is always a great mix of people from elite athletes to office workers. This is because it is such an easy activity to get into – can’t get your leg behind your head? It doesn’t matter, you’ll be able to change the pose to suit you.

    Since moving to Sheffield, I’ve not taken a Yoga class. I normally just find some space, grab a mat and stretch my body in some weird positions. But over this summer I decided I’d like to go to some classes and meet up with other people who wanted to do the same. “I’ll join Yoga Society” I thought and headed over to the student’s union website… Only to discover there wasn’t one!

    Starting my society

    I was instantly decided on creating my own society, what an achievement that would be! So I sent some emails and got some opinions from my friends, and everyone was psyched! I held a meeting with Sally the Societies lady, she saw the potential in my idea too. Then I held elections to form the committee for the rest of the year (super easy, it was just some polls on a Facebook group). I think We’ve got a really strong team, who can work together to make a great start.

    We’ve worked hard to get more people excited about the society and the group now has over 80 potential members. We want this to be an inclusive society, suitable for all abilities. In a standard week, we plan to hold 2 hour-long sessions for mixed abilities with fully qualified instructors. As the year progresses and we build a strong membership base, we may add extra sessions or run specialist classes. We also look forward to working with other societies who would like to hold occasional yoga sessions.

  • Fri 21 Dec 2018 12:43

    Suitcase

    By Katy Johnson

    Hello, I am a recent 2:1 marketing graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, it has been 5 months now since I’ve finished my degree. I completed the Hallam Award during my final year of studies, it was a stressful time but also so rewarding!

    Originally, I undertook a business studies degree but changed to marketing after my first year of study. I enjoyed the creative aspect of marketing but also was still interested in the business side of marketing so this was the correct choice for me personally.

    At Hallam I believe I was surrounded by support and there were lots of things to be involved with. I value that Hallam specifically supports their pupils throughout their studies. For me personally, I work better with hands on experience rather than writing essays. I was so pleased with the support I was given towards my academic development as I am dyslexic. The system Hallam has to offer for my dyslexic supported me so much with my academic writing, organisation and time management. Especially, within my final year of study I would meet with my 1 to 1 study skills support officer every week to ensure I was on track with my deadlines and keeping in mind the end goal. Without my study skills support officer, I highly believe I wouldn’t have achieved the grade I have now which will make such an impact on my future.

    Within my first year of study I wasn’t particularly interested in extracurricular activities as everything was so new, moving out, living with friends and getting used to the university way of working. However, as time went on, I began to get involved with other projects. I initially volunteered for a week marketing experience at Sheffield Doc/Fest, then progressed into completing a summer marketing internship at DW Graphic Design Ltd. These experiences inspired me to find out more about the university’s opportunities at the employability centre. I realised these extra less demanding positions would support my future prospects after university life and make me stand out. I undertook a Marketing Student Assistant role for two years alongside my studies.

    I volunteered as a course representative and progressed onto a Department representative role. I completed a summer role at the university as an IT Assistant. Also, during my studies I completed two leadership courses with common purpose. As I reflected upon all of my achievements over the past year outside of my degree this is what drove me to apply for the Hallam Award!

    I met the criteria for the Hallam Award without realising initially because I would have completed all of these extracurricular activities regardless. I would highly recommend students evaluate on their personal achievements throughout their studies as you may be eligible for the Hallam Award without realising! It’s an excellent attribute to add to your CV, highlighting that you haven’t just achieved skills academically but in other areas as well. Since graduating, I have completed a 2-month Hallam internship with Gradcore. This provided me with more experience within the marketing field and boosted my confidence. I began this just a month after finishing university I think this really helped me.

    It’s highly overwhelming time finishing university and thinking what to do next?! There are so many choices and opportunities it’s hard to know where to begin. Luckily, I worked with a very supportive group of people which really helped me at this point in my life. I have done a little traveling since uni, I went to Barcelona and Venice which was a really nice relief after all of the university stresses. I have been searching for a longer-term marketing graduate job for the last 2 months, I’ve had 8 interviews but the competition is high so not successful yet. However, I’m about to begin a temporary bar job and will still look for marketing related roles alongside it.

     

     

  • Fri 14 Dec 2018 10:19

     

    SuitcaseTraditionally a time for giving, many people end up over-spending and paying for Christmas well into the New Year. Students often feel especially skint at this time of year. Your student loan has probably just about run out and you won't get the next instalment until January.

    So this year, think about what you are spending and why. Is that Secret Santa gift going to end up in the bin on Boxing Day? Do you need to send cards?  A donation to a charity could save time and money!

    Perhaps you can think about a No Unnecessary Presents Pact with friends or family? https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/nupp/

    You can save money on gifts by giving time, making, upcycling or recycling. And you can reduce the environmental impact into the bargain!

  • Fri 30 Nov 2018 15:58

    Suitcase

    This year, we have a brand new Content Team on hand to provide you with everything you need to know about what we're up to and the things that affect you whilst at Hallam. Meet the team...

    Jess Brown - Student Blogger

    I'm Jess Brown, an artist and writer studying second-year illustration at Sheffield Hallam Universty. I'm extremely passionate about creating and spend most of my time playing with words or drawing whatever is on my mind. I'd say I'm your typical art student, so you'll probably find me walking around Sheffield with wild hair, ridiculously flamboyant clothing and my head in the clouds. Most of my work revolves around social issues, helping people or generally trying to make them laugh by being absurd and weird.

    Abbie Dodson - Student Journalist

    I’m Abbie Dodson, and I’m the student staff journalist at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. Alongside my work here, I am in my second year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. I am a passionate animal rights advocate, and have been described as a “dog enthusiast” by people who know me too well. I enjoy writing about prominent social issues, including gender discrimination and situations that affect university students. I believe that journalism should be honest, unbiased, and factual, and hope that these values are evident in my writing.

    Lauren O'Donoghue - Student Podcaster

    I'm Lauren, the podcaster for Sheffield Hallam Students' Union. I'm a second year Creative Writing student and audio enthusiast. My goal is to produce interesting and engaging podcasts for students which will keep them updated about the variety of opportunities available to them through the Students' Union.

  • Fri 30 Nov 2018 15:25

     

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown

    There’s a lot of fear around HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), and since the early tribes we started out as, fear has caused humans to run chaotically wild with their imaginations. Just look at the witch hunts hundreds of years ago. It’s probably best to avoid such moral panic and look at facts. The way the media presents HIV is as an extremely contagious disease that is going to come and get you whilst you sleep. In the 80s at the height of the AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) crisis it became the boogie man for the right wing to try and attack gay people with false information. Some of those myths have unfortunately stuck around. As it’s World AIDS Day on 1st December, I think it’s important to address some of these and help disprove them.

    HIV can be transmitted by touching a person with HIV

    The myth of how HIV is contracted is perhaps one of the biggest myths perpetuated. The truth is, you can’t catch HIV from any of the following:

    • Mosquito or any other insect bites
    • Urine or sweat
    • Public toilets, saunas, showers, gym equipment, swimming pools or water fountains
    • Going to school with, socialising or working with HIV-positive people
    • Sharing cutlery or crockery
    • Sneezes or coughs
    • Animals
    • Touching, hugging, shaking hands with or kissing a person with HIV
      Breathing the same air as someone who has HIV

    The most common way of contracting HIV in the UK is through vaginal or anal sex without a condom or by sharing needles. HIV can also be transmitted from a mother to their baby through pregnany, birth or breastfeeding. 

    HIV is a death sentence

    Thankfully, this is no longer true. Thanks to developments in antiretroviral treatment (ART) and medication that helps to keep opportunistic infections (diseases that occur in people with suppressed immune systems) under control, people with HIV now have more chances of living long and productive lives. In fact, recent studies have found that if a person diagnosed with HIV early on and takes correct medication, then theiraverage life expectancy is almost no different to that of a person without HIV. 

    HIV is AIDS

    Wrong, HIV isn’t AIDS but if it isn't managed through medication, it can progress into AIDS which can be life-threatening. With the help of drugs, a person with HIV can lead a normal life and in many cases, treatment can make a person have an undetectable viral load, meaning they can't pass it on. In fact, 87% of people in the UK with HIV are estimated to have an undetectable viral load.

    Only certain types of people can get HIV

    It’s common for people to think that you can only catch HIV if you are a gay man or an IV drug user. However, there was a study done in 2015 which found stats on modes of transmission eg “Of those receiving HIV care in 2015, 41,945 (48%) were exposed through sex between a man and a woman, 41,016 (47%) were exposed through sex between men, 1,909 (2%) were exposed from injecting drug use, 1,383 (less than 2%) were exposed before or shortly after birth and 753 were exposed from blood/receiving blood products”

    Here’s some information from the official World AIDS Day website “Over 101,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS”.

    ---

    No one is immune from HIV, if you're sexually active or you have ever shared a needle with somebody you should get tested, it's a simple finger prick test and you can have the results within minutes or you can see your GP on local sexual health services for a blood test. Chances are, you don't have it but it's always good to have peace of mind. You can find out where you can get tested in Sheffield here… http://www.sexualhealthsheffield.nhs.uk/services/sti-screening-and-treatment/hiv-services/

    For more information about HIV and AIDs, head to the NHS website - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv-and-aids/

    SAYiT is a charity in Sheffield that works with young people aged 12-25 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or affected by HIV. They are holding an Open Day on 1st December to mark World AIDS Day and to give you a chance to find out more about the charity. 

  • Fri 30 Nov 2018 13:12

    Suitcase

    It's no secret that university is expensive and a lot of us have to live on very tight budgets. With so many costs associated with being at uni like books, food and other living expenses it can be somewhat of a struggle. For first years it can be particularly hard because it's your first time away from home and you most likely have no idea where to start.

    Fear not! As a self-confessed cheapskate I’m constantly looking for ways to pinch a penny and I’m going to share them with you.

    1) Vintage/charity shops - I know it may not be to everyone's taste, but just give it a try you will be surprised what you can find in charity and vintage shops . Sheffield has some great vintage shops, my personal favourites are Thrifty Store and Vulgar. You can get all sorts of amazing and unique pieces at bargain prices! I mean where else can you buy Levi jeans for £14!!! Being thrifty is definitely the way to go!

    2) Buy in bulk - When you go shopping for your groceries, it is way cheaper to buy in bulk. Buying your meat from a butchers shop is cheaper than buying small portions from a supermarket. Instead of buying 1 bottle of water, buy a multipack instead. You get the hang of it right? You could even, if you lived with friends, share the cost which would make it even cheaper!

    3) Meal prep - Doing this can save you so much money! When you get home after a long day of work the last thing you want to do is start cooking, so of course you just reach for your phone and dial in a take away, and we all know that this is a very expensive and unhealthy habit. The best thing you could do for yourself is to prepare your meals for the week on a Sunday so you literally just take it out the fridge when you need it, heat it up and enjoy! It will free up so much of your time and save you a fortune!

    4) Make your course work for you - If you've got a course that requires a lot of spending on books, materials etc, why not ask those in the years above you if they have any old books and bits that they no longer use that they could sell or maybe even donate to you . If they don't have anything they can give you, they may still be able to advise you on the best place to get the things you need without having to pay an arm and a leg. 

    5) Budgeting - This might sound long, but if you are really not good with money, budgeting with an excel spreadsheet could be your saving grace. You can put your monthly income on their and then allocate money to all your various expenses. This way you can always keep on top of your spending and of how much you actually have at any given time. There are also loads of different budgeting apps out there that you could also try out!

    If you are ever struggling with your finance or need some support/guidance on budgeting or anything money related, the Student Advice Centre staff are great and will help to get you sorted!

  • Wed 28 Nov 2018 14:32

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    Islamophobia has been defined as “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force” by the Oxford dictionary. Whilst anti-Islam prejudice was formally acknowledged almost a century ago, it is still a prominent social issue, with many reports suggesting it's on the increase. 

    The Casey Review was carried out December 2016, and found that over 55% of the general British public surveyed agreed that there was a “clash” between Islam and the values of British society. In this research, 46% of British Muslims felt that being a Muslim in Britain was difficult due to prejudice against Islam. This research was compiled before the panic caused by the London Bridge attack and the Manchester Arena bombing of 2017. After the Manchester bombing, Greater Manchester Police said that they saw a 505% increase in Islamophobic incidents.  

    Statistics released by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, reflect Tell Mama’s conclusion, showing that Islamophobic attacks have increased fivefold since the London Bridge attack. The figures show a 40% increase in racist incidents compared to last year’s daily average.

    With Islamophobia increasing across the UK, there have also been incidents recorded within some universities across the country, despite the progressive ideology of the institutions. Islamophobic graffiti has been found on the campuses of several universities, including the University of Birmingham, where “Kill Islam before it kills you”, and “Islam must die” was spray painted on site. 22-year-old Fatima studies History at the SOAS University of London, and claims that after last year’s terrorist attacks, she feels the need to be ‘friendlier’ when on campus to make sure that everybody around her feels safe. Fatima also expresses her concern surrounding peoples’ reactions to her during the commute to university.

    In 2016, the British Public voted to leave the European Union in a political referendum which lead to Brexit. Police figures obtained through Freedom of Information have shown that 11 months after the referendum, religious and racially motivated hate crimes have increased by 23%. The rising amount of discrimination makes minority groups feel “more vulnerable than ever”, according to Sufyan Ismail, founder of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND). Ismail urges the government to “[...] urgently review incitement to religious hatred legislation.” Ismail states that “[...] the far-right and elements of right-wing press continually demonise Muslims and stir up intense hatred against them.”  

    In July this year, Police Watchdog warned that Brexit would increase the amount of Islamophobia and hate crimes. A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services concluded that there were significant failings in the way these racially motivated hate crimes were dealt with, and concluded that hate crimes were becoming much more frequent.

    Equalities campaigner, Akeela Ahmed states that “[…] these findings reflect the fact that since 2016, a growing minority of people with far-right sympathies have felt emboldened by Brexit and the 2016 US elections.” A study conducted by the NUS found that Islamophobia is a prominent issue in some universities, with 79% of Muslim students surveyed believing that they have been treated differently because of their religion. 

    The NUS report also concluded that Muslim women were more likely to be victims of these racial attacks due to wearing items of religious garment, such as a hijab, niqab or jilbab. One female student claimed that she was made to feel very uncomfortable after two students drew a sexualised image of her wearing her religious garment. The Muslim Students Survey interviewed 578 Muslim students in higher or further education in 2017. The research revealed that women who wear Islamic religious garments were concerned about being victims of Islamophobia.

    According to a different survey conducted by NUS, over 1/3 of British Muslims have experienced abuse or crime during their studies. Most victims believe that the attacks were motivated by Islamophobia, with a third of the respondents claiming to be ‘fairly or very worried’ about experiencing verbal and physical abuse alongside vandalism and theft at their accommodation due to their religion.

    Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told The Independent that “[…] universities are failing miserably in their ability to communicate to students effectively on these issues. Universities have a lot more to do.” (*E) Mr Mughal also said that Muslim students feel the need to isolate themselves due to Prevent, feeling as though the campaign clamps down on all free speech.

    The government made counter terrorism campaign, Prevent, a legal duty for universities in July 2015 . Prevent was created to prevent violent extremism through the four strands; Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare, and was widely discredited and accused of perpetuating Islamophobia.

    A survey surrounding Prevent revealed that 1/3 of respondents felt negatively affected by the campaign, with some students even being referred to the authorities due to the campaign. 43% of those reported to have been negatively affected by Prevent say they felt unable to express their views and be themselves, as Muslim students were constantly reported for being vulnerable to radicalisation.

    Jacqueline Stevenson, Head of Research Sheffield Institute of Education, and Professor at Sheffield Hallam University, advises that “engaging with discussions around religion is a key step to achieving greater equality in the UK.”

    Whilst Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union acknowledges issues with the Prevent campaign, there are many places that any students experiencing Islamophobia can turn to. The advice centre is a confidential place to seek help and advice, and the Student Unions’ Welfare Officer, Nabeela Mowlana, can be contacted by anyone in need of support. Nabeela recommends the charity, MEND, for those who have experienced Islamophobia, and also urges victims or witnesses to go directly to the police with their cases.

    Abdullah Okud is the President at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, and has advised that even though Islamophobia is not explicitly obvious, it does still happen. Abdullah pledges to tackle any racism within Sheffield Hallam University, and expresses the importance of an upcoming campaign, which aims “[…] to highlight racist incidents and tackle racism as a Students' Union, and to do so independently for students.”

    The Students' Union is currently running an Islamophobia Awareness Campaign, with events to highlight gendered Islamophobia and an exhibition of Muslim contribution to Britain, and aims to start discussions on Islamophobia prevention as a Students’ Union.

    There have been multiple events throughout the month for this and to conclude it, there is a screening of Four Lions at The Stage in the HUBS on 29th November from 5pm including an introduction from the CEO of Warp Films, Mark Herbert. The screening will take place on Thursday the 29th of November, follow this link to secure a ticket.

     

  • Tue 20 Nov 2018 14:29

    Suitcase

    Written by Hallam students Jess Brown

    *trigger warning for trans people, people with gender dysphoria and mental health issues*

    Gender is complicated. I feel like if I explain mine it may give you better context to the point of this article. Mine used to be set as a boy, although to be quite honest I was never too certain on that. I didn’t really vibe with any boys in the typical “boy way”. I was different, like something caught in between. Emotionally intelligent and sensitive but also in tune with girls in a way that not even the most feminine of boys are. Around two years ago I got diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The pain I’ve had of not fitting in suddenly had a focal point. It was magnified and explained to me in simplified terms of me not feeling right in a boy’s body. But what do you do with that information? When you are already dealing with another serious mental illness and general life stuff, how do you juggle that? How do you cope?

    I coped by adapting which isn’t what everyone gets to do so I count myself very lucky. I didn’t get over it but being on a waiting list that could potentially be up to five years, made me impatient. Something had to happen or change, I don’t stay in cocoons for that long. So my mind, being the tricky little thing it is, managed to pull a wonder off for me and make me relatively content with not being physically a girl but somewhat spiritually one. I don’t know what I am now. Gender doesn’t really matter to me anymore. I’m just, Jess. That’s what matters. My actions and how I influence the world matter. If I can output positivity then I will be happy. But it’s more difficult for some and it’s important to be mindful of that.

    I use this argument when it comes to defending the existence of mental health issues, invisible disabilities or racism, “just because your house isn’t on fire it doesn’t mean someone else’s isn’t”.  The same applies to people who are trans. You can’t discredit them by simply pretending they don’t have an issue with the gender they were born in. You can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist because it’s not happening to you. Gender dysphoria does exist. I was going to do a list of things not to say to trans people but that’s been covered by BBC 3

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvBwWeG4Rpc

    So I think I’ll make the point of this to be about fighting Transphobia. Transphobia can take form in many shapes. It can be little jokes or harmful jokes. It can be denying that someone exists or that they aren’t a man or a woman if they aren’t originally born one. Lots of other things that make people small minded and ignorant to the actual reality around them.  It’s a priviledge of anyone born into the right body to not have to experience the pain of feeling like you are in the wrong skin. Of feeling like your body doesn’t work or fit right. It’s a pain I have never felt before and one that feels so inescapable. Again, just because you don’t have it it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    There are lots of stereotypes around gender. Let me put on a small minded persona for a second, please meet Old Man Jenkins; *in a gruff deep cockney voice* “Boys play football, like cars, have beards, like beer, chase birds. Nuff said. And only gay boys like girly things. Girly things are you know... pink stuff. Cocktails. Flowers. Gay stuff. Rainbows. Dolls. Makeup. Only lesbians like boy stuff”. Ahem. This attitude is clearly wrong and is dying out thankfully due to our generation’s open minded approach to both gender and sexuality. Also sexuality doesn’t really effect someone’s gender. I’m bi and I would be bi if I one day do go through a change. These kinda myths should be dispelled. Gender is slowly dissolving in society it’s more becoming a biological term than a societal one which is for the better. If girls can play sports and videogames and boys can wear makeup and dresses in peace there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn't hurt anyone apart from people brainwashed by constructs of society that mean nothing.

    Everyone deserves their right to be comfortable in their own skin. Trans day of remembrance is about remembering those who have lost their lives due to transphobia. I think if we all do our part to remember these people by battling transphobia that'll be a good way of paying respect.

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