Saturday, April 13Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Opinion

Opinion

Stop Putin Up With It

In June of last year, Russia passed a law classed as child protection that banned propaganda of any non-traditional sexual relationships among minors. The fact they are still using terminology such as “non traditional” shows how outdated the opinions are that this law stems from. It serves to remind ourselves that homosexual relationships were presumably only decriminalised in 1993 so that Russia could join the European Council. The Russian Orthodox Church and strong Conservative Government encourage views that non-hetero relationships are seen as a decadence; it is people acting purely for pleasure, and against their natural role as reproducers (there is still a strong belief in Russia that women are made to be mothers). On top of this, it's been suggested that around three quarters of Ru...
Opinion

NekVominations

A recent epidemic has left the nation wide-eyed and retching. With sales of Stella Artois, Soy Sauce and baby food at an all time high, biological laws have been challenged regarding how much curdled milk the body can really consume without vomiting. Sound bizarre? Not if you're one of the unlucky few that has had a #NekNomination, the controversial online drinking challenge that has permeated Facebook. On the day of writing this, I have seen eight such nominations on my Facebook Newsfeed. And admittedly, I have watched all of them. I can't work out whether I find them hilarious or repulsive thus far, but I do know that there is a part of me that always hopes that the next one I watch is a little more gross than the last. Twisted I know, but such expectations are obviously acknowledged ...
Opinion

21st Century Rules For Dating

The mobile phone has come a long way since its creation in 1973, creeping in and taking over every aspect of our lives, especially how we now conduct relationships. For me, texting has changed how the modern day romance functions. The use of telephones in relationships is not new. I remember my parents telling me how they racked up huge phone bills in the first few weeks of their relationship, spending hours every night on the phone, in Kent and Hampshire. However the difference between the early 90s and now is that back then, they were talking. They might not have had face-to-face contact but they could at least hear each other, whether they were excited, happy, or sad. And most importantly they received a reply straight away. It has been suggested that young people these days are less p...
Opinion

A Debate over Puppy Therapy at SURHUL.

Mental Health is Important, but Puppies aren't the Answer. (Original Article) Mental Health issues are a complicated, yet common thing within society and I'm glad to see the SU is responding to it through its Mental Health Awareness Week in January. They say mental health problems will affect 1 in 4 people, therefore any efforts to tackle the stigma around talking about such problems are very welcome. However, it is important we get our facts right about what helps and what doesn't. At the end of last term ‘Puppy Therapy' was a hugely successful event at the SU, and why wouldn't it be? Dogs are lovely, and one can't help but feel for the ones at Battersea Dogs home who are without a family to love them. What I do take contention with, however, is the misleading link between this activity ...
Opinion

Depression: Illness, not Weakness

*Trigger Warning: mentions of self harm* Being a student is not always easy. Whilst the common perception of students is that they booze and sleep their way through their degrees, in reality, the workload can pile up and many students, especially those in their first year, can become lonely and homesick. For some students, however, it is not a case of feeling a bit down every now and again; the struggle with these negative emotions can become a part of everyday life. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was seventeen. In my case, this was mostly due to an unsettled upbringing and the death of two family members in only a few years. My problems had started at the age of 14, but I had been discouraged from seeking help by friends and family, passing my behaviour off as “being ...
Opinion

The Tories Must be Stopped from Re-writing History!

2014 marks the centenary of the start of World War One, a travesty that shook the world and claimed millions of lives. For many, it will be a year of mourning or reflection, though for some revisionist historians, being led by key Tory politicians, it is an opportunity to challenge what we remember altogether. In October 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that his government would spend £55 million on commemorating this centenary year, comparing the ‘celebration' he wants to lead to that of the Diamond Jubilee. Michael Gove too recently laid the gauntlet for this commemorative year by condemning ‘left wing myths' about world war one, supposedly spread by programmes like ‘Blackadder' and ‘left wing academics'. He states that those who fought in the war were actually ‘…consc...
Opinion

Volunteering: What you ought to know and what you should be asking

You awaken in your basic room, the sound of cockerels, voices you don't understand and the dust stirring outside your open window as the light and the heat from the sun already surpasses any summer day back home. You slip on your khakis/harem pants, pull your patterned head scarf onto your ruggedly tousled hair and most importantly your array of ethnic-y beaded bracelets. You head off in your pack, laughing, chatting of the day to come and generally looking very cool and adventurous. The smiles you are met with every day seem to allude to the fact that what you're doing feels pretty worthwhile, an amazing experience, great on the CV… Sound familiar? To countless students and young people, this will surely stir memories from that unforgettable volunteering trip they did in -insert name of ...
Opinion

Postman Isaac: Where do you stand?

An acknowledgement: The Orbital would like to acknowledge that Isaac Masih strenuously denies creating the Islamophobic and homophobic tweets in question and, upon believing his Twitter account was hacked, has since disabled it. IN DEFENCE by Antonia King Before I begin, let it be made clear that no one is in defence of the prejudiced views which were allegedly expressed by Postman Isaac, myself included. They are clearly in no way representative of the student body. However, the campaign for him to be banned from the SU or otherwise reprimanded I do not agree with. As many have said on the matter, his supposed views have not been expressed to students at Royal Holloway in person. No students, to my knowledge, have felt personally victimized by Isaac. If this was the case, then of course ...
Opinion

Superficiality or ‘Social Networking’?

In 1917, Eliot wrote of a time “to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet”. Despite Eliot writing just under one hundred years ago, he neatly encapsulates the essence of social media, and the cultural compulsion to convey a specific type of person: a surface, a “face”. Social networking insistently requires us to create this surface – to select our profile pictures, ask us what we're thinking/ how we're feeling, whether we're interested in men or women, where we live. Though we're entitled (and quite rightly) to withhold this information from public display, the fact that we're asked creates an increased self-awareness and the means to categorise ourselves. Social networking engenders an opportunity to technologically emulate society's obsession with “faces”. I finally created a T...
Opinion

ULU: Why its closure isn’t an option

The University of London has announced that its Student Union will close this year. This decision was not put to a student vote; no student was even on the review panel which confirmed the closure. This represents an undemocratic attack on student unionism by University management. Of course it's important that Universities have their own individual unions, but as part of the collective of London Universities, we need a student-lead institution that encompasses all of the involved universities. The University of London Union (ULU) is important in student fights to maintain rent prices around London, and involved in the maintenance of Senate House Library, as well as other London University services. ULU also allows input from all London Universities, not just the most renowned ones. Being...