Friday, August 12

Opinion

Cash is King
Opinion, Sports & Socs

Cash is King

Is Formula One an Elitist Sport? At the start of 2020’s season, Lewis Hamilton reminded us that ‘cash is king’ in the world of formula one. The paddock is full of millionaires, each race a glittering spectacle of celebrity, champagne spray and the sound of multi-million pound engines. Each team is vying for sponsorship and the driver that can give them that all important sponsorship deal - if there’s no money, there’s no competitive car out on the race track. Take Haas, for example: with limited money behind them the past few years and a lack of points to go toward a constructor championship, the Haas cars have often been left floundering at the back of the grid.  2021 saw a critique of Haas’s new rookies: Nikita Mazepin, son of Dimitri Mazepin, owner of Urakali, Haas’s former ...
The Privilege Complex
Features, Opinion

The Privilege Complex

University is a space to explore who you are and what you want. It’s a place to embrace change and adopt new identities. If Royal Holloway, and the great metropolis that is Egham, helps you do that, great! If new friends and SU nights help you do that, great! If long rants about how much you’ve changed since Sixth Form help you do that, great! A complex can arise, however, when students shake off their privilege to assume an identity they consider more interesting. What privilege am I talking about? Specifically, those students who have had access to the best money can buy, whether that’s education, holidays and/or material goods. What new identity? The one that some adopt to play down said privilege in order to come across as anti-capitalist and, dare I say, ‘woke’. It is declaring th...
University is No Longer About the Degree Alone
News, Opinion

University is No Longer About the Degree Alone

How to Tackle the State-Private Education Divide, an Interview with the 93% Club. By Accalia Smith At the 1996 Labour Party conference, Tony Blair infamously stated that his three top priorities when coming into office were “education, education, and education”. Indeed, it was a large part of New Labour’s manifesto and although largely adopting the previous Conservative education policies, he did make many changes whilst Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. This included increasing support and teacher training schemes, and crucially “a 50 per cent target for university participation among young adults”. This emphasis on the importance of education caused a huge influx in university attendees. Choosing university was no longer the exception but rather the expectation. Blair’s son, Eau...
Defining Class
News, Opinion

Defining Class

Defining Class: is it about what you earn or how you act?  By Jessica Wood Society is ordered; people, places and possessions are constantly being put into boxes. Have you ever seen a movie and not had the desire to place it into a genre? It is a human instinct to name and sort things, that’s why we have an entire literary category called nouns. But what effect is this having on how we view the people around us? Does it explain why I was once told by a ‘friend’ that they would “only be friends with someone who went to a boarding school”? What defines this elusive term ‘class’? Why am I considered to have a lower status in society than them, even though my household income might actually be higher? This made me think that status in society is much more than what lands in your ba...
Studytube: Helpful or Dangerous
News, Opinion

Studytube: Helpful or Dangerous

By Laura Bloomfield In the last few years, StudyTube has boomed, with videos gaining thousands and thousands of views. However, it’s worth wondering whether StudyTube advertises unhealthy study habits which viewers may feel they have to copy in order to achieve certain grades. The ‘Study with Me’ videos are some of the most potentially damaging videos I’ve seen on YouTube. Content creators post up to 12 hour study sessions. This has the possibility of making students feel like they need to study for equally long to achieve the same grades as these StudyTubers, which is not the case. These long study stints aren’t always healthy. We need breaks. On the flip side, these videos do have the benefit of making viewers feel like they have a study companion which can motivate people to cont...
Dying For Help
News, Opinion

Dying For Help

People are being ignored amidst a mental health pandemic  By Emma Holly There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you hear that the waiting list is eighteen months long. A molten liquid spreads through you, and you think you might vomit. You are the little person waving from their desert island, realising that your S.O.S. message got washed away by the sea.  You don’t quite know if you can make it through today, let alone the next 547 of them. It feels as though you are the sole being on the planet who is experiencing this. Of course, you are not. In the wake of the pandemic, the demand on the NHS for mental health help has been at an all-time high. An estimated ten million more people are predicted to need help within the next three to five years as a result of th...
Strategic Schooling
News, Opinion

Strategic Schooling

It was the first day of sixth form and in they came, an influx of kids from all of the surrounding private schools. One, an all girls school, was only across the street from ours. They arrived in their pre-made cliques, ready to learn and ready to get into Oxbridge. Since acceptance rates are higher for state schools, their parents had moved them to us. Their movement was strategic. To the parents, it was simply a stepping stone. For their children, it was two years of their life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, my state school might as well have been a private one. Sure, we didn’t have the one-on-one attention private schools do but we had some fabulous teachers. I’m tempted to say the best in the country. Situated slightly outside the city centre of Oxford, we all had some connection ...
The Mystery of the Missing Middle Class
News, Opinion

The Mystery of the Missing Middle Class

Erasing middle class identity in modern society. In recent years, the previously referred to ‘middle class’ has been shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. The rising cost of living and salary stagnation have contributed to this, as well as sky-rocketing wages for the upper echelons of the working world. In short, the rich have got richer, and the poor poorer.  This change has happened recently – incredibly recently. It used to be that the descriptor of “middle class” was used as a bit of a put down in certain circles, in response to seemingly frivolous statements made by young people. Now, this has been replaced by the assumption that anyone with any disposable income whatsoever is a member of the 1%. So, how did this happen? There has never been a clear and universally accept...
No Longer Standing: The Monumental Message in What Remains 
News, Opinion

No Longer Standing: The Monumental Message in What Remains 

In the early hours of the 23rd of December 2021, Hong Kong University’s Pillar of Shame statue was removed from the centre of campus. It has stood there at the University of Hong Kong since 1997 and represented the numerous lives lost in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, one of the most delicate topics in Chinese politics. Recently replaced with a new seating area, no remnants of the statue remain onsite. The image of the orange twisted bodies imprinted only in memory.  The Tiananmen Square Massacre has largely been erased from history in Mainland China and Hong Kong is now following suit. The Pillar of Shame stood as a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, highlighting the difference of freedoms between Hong Kong and the Mainland, a gap that is being gradually clos...
One More UCU Strike…
Features, News, Opinion

One More UCU Strike…

How effective is the Strike action in creating the change it seeks? An Interview with James Smith The end of March will see the disappearance of professors from classrooms once again. Not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of industrial strike action from the UCU (University and College Union). As a third-year student my university experience has been impacted by both the strikes and COVID resulting in an unexpected minimal amount of time spent on campus. In my first year there were extensive strikes which some students joined in on. Then COVID struck in March, disrupting the entirety of that year. Now, we are partly back to campus with both covid and strikes interrupting simultaneously. Professor James Smith, the UCU representative within the English department here at...