AH, what says welcome back better than exam-related chaos and housing panic?
Exam week was a walking disaster, and for once, it wasn’t the students’ fault. With multiple errors and confusion over questions, three exams spanning Politics, Economics and Biology saw disruptions. This affected hundreds of first year students, as well as a final year cohort from Modern Foreign Languages. MERDE! If slaving away at revision over Christmas isn’t horrific enough, students sitting the affected exams suffered even more stress, forced to handle miscommunication and panic-writing answers. You would think that the University could do us the courtesy of checking exam papers before they’re brutally shoved in front of us?
House hunting is never an easy task but our other lead story this week proves it’s becoming harder than ever. While the Guild are intent on keeping students from rushing into contracts, the reality is that there is no alternative in doing so. There were far too few houses available at what was a packed housing fair last week. Both estate agents and students are complaining that January is too late in the day, whilst private landlords are pointing fingers back at the estate agents for releasing houses too early. No-one knows who to blame but it’s certain that this system is completely flawed. Sort it out, Exe.
Elsewhere in News, Sir Steve is officially fifth in the Russell Group’s Vice-Chancellor remuneration rankings (page 5). The more we hear about Sir Steve’s finances – his remuneration package is a whopping £341k – the more cynical we feel. We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: as final year students preparing to leave University with 40 grand’s worth of debt, how can this ludicrous pay packet be justified, regardless of Steve’s achievements?
A chaotic week soon turned into a mournful one with the deaths of two British greats. On Monday we were devastated to hear of the passing of the iconic genius, David Bowie, aged just 69. In a career that spanned fi ve decades and spawned 25 albums, Ziggy Stardust constantly defied expectations, refused to conform to norms and produced some utterly brilliant music. Has there ever been a more significant figure in pop culture? Read Music’s tribute to the Starman over on page 18. Things went from bad to worse on Thursday, as news of acting giant Alan Rickman’s passing, also at the age of 69, reached us. Best known as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, Rickman touched the lives of many with his heartfelt performances, and will be sorely missed. For Screen’s eulogy, see page 22.
On a lighter note, Lifestyle features an interview with Exeter’s latest BNOC. Third year Theology student Louisa Griffith-Jones graced our screens twice last month for Channel 4’s First Dates and the nation fell in love. With attention from Buzzfeed and The Guardian, she now talks exclusively to Exeposé about romance and rollerblading over on page 16.
Elsewhere, Features cover the most pressing political question facing us in 2016: should Britain leave the European Union? Our survey heard the views of 238 students and an overwhelming 73 per cent voted against a Brexit. Of the surveyed masses, 55 per cent chose democracy as the most influential factor in their decision. After Ben Bradshaw’s visit to campus last term, it’s clear that Labour politicians want students intent on preserving the sanctity of the EU. Whether or not our voices will be heard, however, remains to be seen.
A more immediate concern however, are our post-Christmas bods. Science & Tech get appropriately scientific about fitness fads and so-called ‘superfoods’ on pages 28-29. Whilst for those excited about returning to sport, we have yet another BUCS wallchart for all the AU fanatics out there. With an updated home fixture list for this term, there’s no excuse not to bleed green.