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  • Mon 17 Jun 2019 09:56

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    Ever heard of Donate Don’t Waste? It’s a scheme that supports students moving out of their student accommodation. The scheme helps students to recycle and reduce the tonnes of waste that gets left behind each year. At Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, we know how stressful moving out can be, but the Donate Don’t Waste scheme is so easy, you should definitely give it a try this summer.

    So, why should you spend time recycling? Not only is participating in Donate Don’t Waste (DDW) better for the environment, but you could also benefit amazing charities, such as The British Heart Foundation, whilst making moving out easier for you.

    DDW is simple; and covers almost every type of waste you could be leaving this summer. Clothes, shoes, handbags, kitchenware, CDs & DVDs, textiles and small electrical items can be collected in official British Heart Foundation Bags and donated at collection points around Sheffield. Such points are listed on this map.

    Similarly, unopened non-perishable food can be donated to Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. We will then distribute your unwanted food to different charities across Sheffield. Last year, we collected over 3 tonnes of food. It’s also important to use your blue and brown bins to recycle. Plastic boxes, tin cans and glass go in the brown bin, and paper and card go in the blue bin.

    As for kitchenware and other living necessities, have you asked housemates who are continuing on with their studies for another year? Are relatives beginning their university careers and moving into their own accommodation? Ask around and see if your unwanted kitchenware will save someone some money.

    If you are moving out of Halls of Residence, consider talking to reception about recycling facilities and food banks. They may also have helpful information regarding British Heart Foundation Drop off points. As a last resort for non-recyclable items, clear bin sacks can be collected from The HUBS, Accommodation Services and Heart of the Campus reception. These can be filled with rubbish and left out on your street to be collected. Anything in these bags will be incinerated, so please only fill with waste. There will be extra bin collections on certain roads between June 17th and July 5th to collect the clear bags. More information about clear sacks is available here.

    Donate Don’t Waste is a great scheme, and we encourage every student to give it a go. Your actions will make moving easier whilst helping the local community. For more information, leaflets are available from Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union.        

  • Wed 12 Jun 2019 15:51

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    Breathe that sigh of relief as you submit that final piece of coursework and think about how you’d like to spend your summer. Since Coachella and touring America might not be a realistic option for those on a budget, Sheffield has its own hidden gems. The city has many affordable and interesting places to visit, which will surely fill a few days for those staying in the city over the summer. To help, we have compiled a helpful list of places to go and things to do to keep your summer interesting and full of new experiences.

     

    Things to Do in Around Sheffield:

    Graves Park

    Website: https://m.facebook.com/gravesparkanimalfarm/

    Admission Fee: Free

    What It Is: A small interactive farm including rare breeds of sheep and cattle. There is a café and a large field perfect for picnics.

     

    Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre

    Website: https://www.butterflyhouse.co.uk

    Admission Fee: £12.50 (student price)

    What It Is: A large zoo with meerkats, birds of prey, butterflies and prairie dogs. 

     

    Rother Valley Country Park

    Website: http://www.rvcp.co.uk/Home.aspx

    Admission Fee: free entry (£3.00 parking)

    What It Is: A large scenic country park with beautiful views, different walks and a water sports centre and a café. Bikes and boats can all be rented.

     

    Weston Park Museum

    Website: http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/weston-park/home

    Admission Fee: free entry

    What It Is: A small museum close to the city centre with exhibit including ‘Sheffield in the Sixties’ and ‘Nordic by Nature’.

     

    Kelham Island Museum

    Website: http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum

    Admission Fee: £7.50

    What It Is: An interactive gallery which details Sheffield’s history throughout the Victorian Era, two world wars and the Industrial Revolution.

     

    Events in Sheffield:

     

    Tramlines Festival

    Website: https://tramlines.org.uk

    Admission: Day tickets from £40

    What It Is: A weekend long music festival played in Hillsborough Park, with acts such as Two Door Cinema Club, Reverend and the Makers and Lewis Capaldi.

    When: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July.

     

    Comedy Club Night

    Website: http://www.orh.org.uk

    Admission: Tickets can be bought online.

    What It Is:  A fun night with three hilarious comedians with a licensed bar and free nibbles.

    When & Where: The Old Rectory on Friday 6th July.

     

    Sheffield Vegan Festival

    Website: http://www.orh.org.uk

    Admission: Tickets from £2

    What It Is:  A selection of traders and visitors offering a huge selection of vegan foods.

    When & Where: The Megacentre on the 15th September.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Tue 30 Apr 2019 09:35

    Suitcase

    By Jack Underwood 

     

    Hello! My name is Jack Underwood, also known as Chubbs to the members of HSU Theatre...

    I am currently in third year studying Maths with Education and QTS at Sheffield Hallam University. I joined HSU Theatre in my second year as I missed being on stage and around people who shared the same love for acting. Members of HSU Theatre are remarkably sociable and made me feel welcome and comfortable from the get-go. With my course being a very intense one theatre is a good escape and gives me a creative outlet.

    The first play I performed with HSU Theatre was Young Frankenstein where I landed the main role Dr Frankenstein. The rehearsals were stressful but very rewarded and the shows themselves were amazing. It’s always a great feeling getting off stage and have a wonderful support group cheering you on! I am thankful I joined the society, I have made so many lifelong friends and I have never regretted my decision. 

     

    Want to join a society? Check them out HERE! 

     

     

  • Wed 24 Apr 2019 15:23

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown

    Hey, I don’t know about you but the world descending into a fiery hellscape full of toxic pollution, floods, barren coral reefs and Mad Max-esque chase sequences across the future desert planes of London doesn’t sound so peak. It’s important that we as a species band together and do all we can to save this planet, the environment and all of its animals. We aren’t the only species being affected by this. In 2016 the Bramble Cay melomys, a species of rodents was suspected to have gone extinct due to climate change. They were confirmed to be extinct earlier this year, which sucks and they aren’t the only species who have gone extinct. The WWF website describes it as follows, based on a large scale estimation at how many species there are on the planet (bearing in mind the actual number is unknown):

    There are around 8.7 million species documented by humans. So with that maths you hopefully get the very horrifying picture that around 870 to 8700 species go extinct every year.

    There’s another quote from the website:

    “Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species - ours - appears to be almost wholly responsible.”

    In summary, the ice caps are melting, forests are dying and the coral reefs are being bleached. All of these environments, whether they are on land or sea or literally frozen, are home to thousands, if not millions of different species.

    For more alarming information and statistics, check out NASA's website: https://climate.nasa.gov/

    We all have a responsibility and it's important to recognize that. Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union has made changes to a lot of the catering outlets so that they are more environmentally friendly. Notably, in Coffee Union, plastic cups are vegware which is a 100% compostable material made from plants, not plastic. Wooden cutlery and paper straws are now used, reusable coffee cups are sold, and you get an extra 20p off any drink if someone uses their own mug or reusable cup. You can also buy reusable metal water bottles from The Stall and fill up your water at the newly installed water fountain inside the HUBS. Did you know that the pizza boxes are recyclableand you can recycle your plastic and cans at the recycle points in the HUBS?there are also recycle points for plastic and cans within Coffee Union.

    Here are a few other things that the Students' Union is doing that helps the environment:

    • Every year they take part in the Donate, Don’t Waste scheme which encourages students moving out of their accommodation or student house to donate items they don’t want instead of just throwing them out. This campaign will run from about mid-April to June. More information here: https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/donatedontwaste/
    • The SU’s Union Council (one of the highest decision making bodies in the SU) recently passed a policy to ban plastic water bottles from being sold at the HUBS. For information about policies, see here: https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/representation/democracy/currentpolicies/. The new policy to ban plastic water bottles will be on the website soon (the policy passed on 12 February).
    • This year, the SU are hosting a ‘Green Week’ from 13-17 May. More information coming soon!
    • The Union are working towards improving the impact of their building and have been taking steps towards reducing unnecessary opening hours to further decrease energy consumed. Also, there are five union staff members that are 'Green Champions' and actively encourage staff to think about their impact, such as turning PC's off during non-working hours and when they are out of the office.All printing in the union is automatically double-sided and they have recently swapped to unbleached, recycled printer paper. Using unbleached printer paper ensures that Hallam Union decreases their impact on our waterways and natural environment.

    You can find little ways of being more environmentally friendly too. Every day things such as:

    • If it’s possible for you, walk instead of driving or catching a bus. This decreases your carbon footprint.
    • Recycling is so easy to do. Just throw your glass, plastics and metals in the recycling. There are bins all over Sheffield Hallam University where you can do this as well as in the HUBS.
    • Eating less meat is magical for the environment. You don’t have to become fully vegan but buying even a little less meat provides more funding and focus on sustainable farming instead of factory farming where the production methods used are often barbaric for the animal and terrible for the environment. For more information follow this link:

    https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/factory-farming-and-the-environment/

    For even more tips for every day ways you can help the environment you can follow the official Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union sustainability Twitter account:

    https://twitter.com/sustainableSHU?lang=en-gb

    The official Sheffield Hallam University sustainability account:

    https://twitter.com/sustainhallam

    And you can watch this very interesting video by David Attenborough for the new Netflix Series Our Planet, which gives even more ways you can do your bit.

    https://www.ourplanet.com/en/video/how-to-save-our-planet

    As almost all of these sites and Twitter accounts will tell you, it’s not too late and what you do and buy matters! We still have time and we all have the ability to change things. So let’s change it.  

     

     

  • Wed 10 Apr 2019 11:33

    Suitcase

    By Abbie Dodson

    The National Student Survey, often abbreviated to ‘NSS’, has been held annually since 2005, and asks final year undergraduate students to provide answers to questions about their university or college. The survey is anonymous and is open between 7th January to the 30th of April this year. The survey asks respondents 27 questions about their time in higher education. Each question is linked with one of eight aspects of the student experience. The NSS is a widely recognised survey, with more than 7/10 of final year students completing it last year. That means almost 4 million students have participated!

    So, with deadlines and exams fast approaching, is it really worth you taking time away from your studies to complete this survey? In short, yes, and here’s why. The results from the NSS are published, and the feedback given helps to improve student services at Universities and Students' Unions. It's your chance to say what you really thought about your University experience.

    In the past, feedback from the NSS has helped to improve services within Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. For example, following previous feedback, current Students' Union Education Officer, Sheriff, was able to get late fees for laptop rentals waived. Sheriff also managed to increase the rental period for laptops in the HUBS, raising this from 3 hours to 24. At the Students' Union, we also support Course Reps who are often the first port of call for students wanting to raise an issue about their course, and we have a free, independent Advice Centre in the HUBS to assist with any academic issues that students might be facing.

    Other feedback from the NSS helped the Students' Union to improve our relationship with the local community through different volunteering and community action projects. We also host child-friendly cinema screenings and organise gigs and events which are open to the local public. It is important, as a Union, that we are integrated into the local community and offer local people access to fun, well-priced events. Other responses have helped us focus on life skills, leading to a Skills and Training Programme, and a Leadership Programme. These are run alongside the Hallam Award, which aims to credit students for their achievements and acknowledge them formally. The Hallam Award is also recognised by many employers so is beneficial for students after they finish university!

    Past students told the SU that they wanted more opportunities to find where they belond at Hallam, so we helped to increase the number of societies, and put on a range of activities to help people meet others like them such as the commuters breakfast. At the Students’ Union, we are keen to promote this sense of belonging, and offer students places to meet up either for a cuppa at Coffee Union, or a delicious dinner at Hideout. Alongside this, we offer different spaces for students to hang out between lectures and host a wide array of different events celebrating the varied student community. We also support different liberation groups including disabled students, LGBT+ students, women students and BME students and campaigns, which amplify the voices of student groups across our campus.  

    So, will you be responding to the NSS this year? Will you be leaving feedback on Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union services? It can only benefit future students, and all information is anonymous. Why not? You’ve got nothing to lose.

     

     

     

     

  • Mon 25 Mar 2019 11:58

    Suitcase

    By Jess Brown

    Disclaimer: I personally don’t really vibe well with sports, I just don’t have that competitive trait in me. In fact even when playing Monopoly, whilst everyone around me is scheming and fighting what I like to do is assume I’ve already lost, buy any random places I land on and then sell everything I have at the end, claim I’m moving away from Monopoly town to my own private island and throw all my money into free parking as a cash prize. Yes, my friends hate me when we play monopoly. Iit’s been varsity at the University this past week and the week upcoming, with the final big ice hockey event happening on the 27th so of course you will have been hearing a lot of sports related news and chants around the university which is cool if you’re into that. Team Hallam and Team Uni of are heating up their friendly rivalry but if that, and sports in general aren’t your thing, that’s also cool! Here are some fun events you can get involved with that are separate from varsity.

    • The Big Pub Quiz is held every Monday at Hideout in HUBS with bar tab prizes to be won every week! It starts from around 8:30pm but they recommend you get down there for 7pm as it can get quite busy due to its popularity.
    • Sheffield Hallam Students' Union holds Give it a Go events so people can try free things like Zumba! Zumba’s always fun right? At  the HUBS on the 26th just before the screening of Baby Driver which we will get to in a second, you can attend this session. So if you’re into the physical aspect of sports but not the competition this one may be for you!
    • Through Give it a Go there’s also screening of the excellent Edgar Wright film, Baby Driver at the HUBS just after Zumba. It’s a fun film with intense action and driving sequences alongside Wright’s trademark witty style and script.
    • It’s actually after Varsity but on the 28th, there’ll be an Open Mic Night at Hideout in the HUBS. So if you want to flex your creative muscles or even support local acts and your fellow students in music poetry, comedy and more then head down there for 7pm.

    You can find a full list of events going around the Students' Union here incase none of those pique your interest but it’s also okay if you just want to stay in and chill out or do none of these. There should be no pressure on you to do anything you don’t want to and the general spirit of varsity is all about embracing what you love, be that a sport or just chilling out. That being said, we're all still cheering on Team Hallam and hoping they can do it this year!

     

  • 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.

     

     

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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