Author: Sinclair Davis

Editor-in-Chief | 20-21 Deputy Editor | 19-20 Games Editor | 18-19

What?! Has anybody noticed this? According to local student David Davis, Main Arts is just not there. At all. “I decided to go on a walk and maybe see the university I allegedly still go to. I was having trouble finding it in this big field when I stepped through the charred ribcage of the librarian and realised what had happened,” said Davis. Absolutely baffling. Online lectures have been entirely unaffected, with lecturers working from home fully unaware of the disaster over the past two weeks. With news of the incident spreading fast, a group of undergraduates have formed a…

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In December 2018, Bangor University announced their intentions to close their chemistry department by 2021. Staff and students in the department erupted and the university was soon host to a vigorous student campaign to halt the closure; at one point the then-Vice-Chancellor had to be escorted past a protest by security. But in April 2019, the hammer finally fell, the decision was finalised, and the campaigns quietly faded away. But was has it been like to work and study in the closing department since then? “The analogy is like a terminally ill patient in palliative care.” — Keith Hughes, Senior…

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Since reopening in September, universities have been a very common theme in discussion and coverage around COVID-19, with the blame for their hotspot status repeatedly thrown back and forth between ‘irresponsible’ students and ‘greedy’ universities. But outside of the blame game, it’s true that students have faced unique and fearsome challenges this semester, largely as a result of their unusual living accommodations- halls. The question is: was it, or is it, reasonable to hold students in halls to the same lockdown rules as the average person? According to a survey by the National Union of Students (NUS), 52% of students…

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Bangor Students Against Cuts is a student-driven campaign opposing Bangor University’s plans to cut 200 jobs. Three student leaders from the group agreed to speak with Seren about their campaign. Per the request of the interviewees, they will be referred to solely as spokespersons one, two, and three (SP1, SP2, SP3). How did Bangor Students Against Cuts start? SP1: We are three student reps from Bangor University who were absolutely appalled when we realised the implication of the 200 job cuts to services and teaching, particularly teaching. It started out as a departmental thing for two of us because we…

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Photo by Nick Harris (CC BY-ND 2.0) You may or may not have heard of the YouTube channel Jelle’s Marble Runs, or its various sporting series: The Marble League (AKA the MarbleLympics), Marbula One, or Marbula E. Perhaps you’ve not heard of the O’Rangers, the Savage Speeders, or Team Galactic, veterans in the League since 2016. And perhaps the reason for this is that each of those teams consists solely of inanimate marbles, staged in elaborate spoof sporting events by two Dutch brothers, all voiced over by a lovable American commentator passionately analysing the ‘tactics’ and ‘personalities’ on display in…

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Faced with a £13m hole in the budget, Bangor University has released several business cases detailing their plans to make savings. This includes their controversial decision to cut 200 jobs, which has attracted concern from the student body about damage to Bangor’s quality of education. This summary covers the proposed changes to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Business, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Environmental Sciences and Electronic Engineering, and is intended to give students a handy guide as to how the cuts will directly affect their school. The plans summarised below will remain in consultation…

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Bangor’s UCU (University & College Union) has partnered with two other trade unions, Unite and Unison, to demand talks with the university under threat of strikes. UCU members have also passed a motion of no confidence in the university’s management. These actions have been taken in response to Bangor University’s plans to cut 200 jobs. The three unions yesterday provided the university with a joint letter, laying out proposals which would satisfy their demands. Most significant among the proposals sent to the university management is the potential of pay cuts across the university to avoid job losses. The Unions have…

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Canolfan Brailsford, Bangor University’s sports and leisure facility, is due to remain a temporary NHS hospital until at least March 2021. The facility began conversion into a hospital in April, and has since provided an additional 250 beds for patients suffering respiratory illness as a result of Covid-19. Canolfan Brailsford’s temporary name is Ysbyty Enfys Bangor (Bangor Rainbow Hospital), named in honour of the NHS symbol of hope. There are two other temporary hospitals in North Wales bearing the same title: Ysbyty Enfys Glannau Dyfrdwy (formerly Deeside Leisure Centre) and Ysbyty Enfys Llandudno (formerly Venue Cymru Llandudno). Together, the three…

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Image from www.thoughtcatalog.com (CC BY 2.0) A team from Bangor University has been funded by the UK Government to work on a project aimed at giving citizens more control of their personal data. The project is to be carried out in partnership with Anglesey company Cufflink, an Anglesey company developing tools for users to better control their personal information. The Bangor team, consisting of Prof. Vian Bakir and Prof. Andrew McStay, aims to identify the ethical issues around systems that store personal data, as well as how best to place users on a level footing with those systems. “It’s great…

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Image of the lockdown area from the Welsh Government (© Crown copyright and database right 2020) The Welsh government has confirmed that Bangor will be placed under local lockdown, with new restrictions coming into effect at 6pm Saturday (10th Oct). The additional restrictions, listed below, include prohibiting gatherings between multiple households as well as a cessation of travel in and out of the city. New restrictions: Indoor gatherings between multiple households are now prohibited. Exceptions are made for households with only one person or single parents, who may form an exclusive ‘bubble’ with one other household inside the lockdown area.…

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Photo designed by jcomp / Freepik The Bangor University Writers’ Guild is a society dedicated to inspiring Bangor’s writing talent through activities, workshops, and peer feedback. Collected here are several poetic works that members have chosen to share with the world. Royal by Dylan Finnan Royal-rented tone dances to the song of B flat sustained across silk-sewn ridges to rest on the tip of taste, and coat the air with confectioned dust as the crown settles, not on head but texture. The cold-paned petal lifts to reveal the residue of freshly laid sheets left upon your lips as the word…

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At the onset of a tumultuous academic year, Seren spoke to Welsh Minister of Education Kirsty Williams, to find out more about the ramifications of COVID-19 on higher education in Wales. From the budget cuts in Bangor, to the tuition refund petitions across the UK, we discussed the challenges created by the pandemic, and addressed what plans the Welsh government has prepared to mitigate them. Question: There have been several petitions across the UK expressing student dissatisfaction with the quality of their university education due to online teaching. Several of the most prominent, now debated in the UK parliament, go…

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Photo by Rennett Stowe (CC BY 2.0) The UK government has rejected a recommendation to implement a centralised system to process student loan refunds. The recommendation was made in a July 13th report published by the Petitions Committee, in response to several online petitions for tuition refunds. The largest of these petitions, titled ‘Reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19,’ garnered over 350,000 signatures. The Petitions Committee report, titled ‘The impact of COVID-19 on university students,’ acknowledged huge disruptions to the student experience due to difficulties accessing online materials and the lack of access to…

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The Undeb Bangor Board of Trustees have made the decision to leave the position of Athletic Union President/VP Sports vacant for this academic year. This decision came after the July resignation of former Undeb Bangor President Harry Riley, and his subsequent replacement with then-AU-President, Henry Williams. Among their reasons for forgoing a second by-election, Undeb Bangor cited late timing, which would leave any successful candidate inadequate time to prepare for the role; as well as leaving graduates of the 2019/2020 academic group unable to vote, having been declassified as students in August. They also cited Covid-19’s restrictive effect on sporting…

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Earlier this month, Bangor University announced that new cuts would be necessary to fill a £13m gap in the budget. The university attributes this situation to a dramatic drop in enrolment from international students, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Bangor University and Undeb Bangor, its Students’ Union, stress in statements that the student experience will be protected, and the university hopes to mitigate losses through aid from the Welsh government’s £50m Covid-19 Higher Education Fund. Nonetheless, the university has begun a consultation with staff that could cut up to 200 jobs. “We recognise that the University is…

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