Onwards and upwards: Exeposé Editorial 14/03/16

 

Criticism upon criticism has been thrown at the Wellbeing Centre over the years, and we’ve definitely done our fair share in levelling concern. We thought it was time that we spoke to those leading the Service to see how such complaints are affecting them on a practical level. The response was lengthy and nuanced, but it’s clear that no-one, really, knows what they’re doing. Wellbeing maintain that they’re not the NHS, the NHS are struggling to cope with extra patients and mental health sufferers are unsure where to turn. Somewhat dispelling the myth that Wellbeing is underfunded, the Head of Student Services maintained that the Wellbeing Centre is receiving a guaranteed increase in year-on-year funding from the University. Amid government cuts and enforced efficiency of other departments, this does go some way to convince us that Wellbeing are doing their very best with what they have. With mental health increasingly on the national agenda, a large-scale communication effort is necessary to make sure students know when and where they can access help. We hope this front page will have gone someway to help with that.

In other news, after a seemingly endless wait, the University have finally revealed the cost of accommodation in their halls of residence for next year, and it doesn’t make for great reading. The Guild have expressed their disappointment after it was revealed that just 42 rooms on campus are affordable to students from average household incomes without running up personal debt. Despite the University freezing rents on nearly 800 rooms, affordable housing remains an elusive thing for many poorer students. A yearly rent at Holland Hall for a room with a view will now cost £7,415, a figure that for many is completely impossible to afford. With no student loans available for international students, more could and should be being done.

The University have also come under fire from students this week, as a number of cases came to light in which students have struggled to receive mitigation in circumstances of personal nature. A student at the University of Westminster was forced to produce their father’s death certificate to get out of an exam, and it appears as if the situation is only marginally better here at Exeter, with one student having to send as selfie from their hospital bed just to get extensions on essays and coursework. As mitigation is handled by individual colleges rather than centrally, could the system be improved to ensure students wellbeing does not suffer in times of exceptional hardship? See page 3 for the full story.

Elsewhere in the paper, we’ve managed to bag an interview with Labour heavyweight Hilary Benn. Among the topics up for discussion were his (controversial) decision to back airstrikes in Syria, the shortcomings of labels such as Corbynite and Blairite and his relationship with his late father (page 12). In Lifestyle, Blind Date returns after a depressingly long absence, find out how the date with Izzy and James went on page 17. It’s also the tenth anniversary of Beats & Bass this year, and Music have been chatting to founding member Nick Parkinson about his memories setting up the society. Beats & Bass remains a shining light in an dreary music scene in Exeter, and for the society to still be going strong after a decade is a fantastic achievement. Head to page 18 for the lowdown. Finally, EURFC have gone one better than last year to reach the BUCS final at Twickenham, beating Durham 36-10 despite the best efforts of the Exeter climate. See page 40 for the full report.

Without wanting to get all sentimental on you, this also happens to be our last issue as editors. From biscuits to bouncers, we’ve tried to keep our readers informed on some of what we feel are the biggest issues Exeter students have faced in the last twelve months, and it’s been a hell of a ride. We’d like to thank Gareth, Orlando, Will and the rest of the Guild staff, all our fantastic editors and contributors and most of all Coca Cola and curly fries for getting us through those long nights in the office. Whilst we’re soon to be headed to pastures new, we’re confident that Hannah, Susannah, Jeremy and Ben will continue to take the paper to grand heights, and can’t wait to see what they have planned for next year. Au revior Exeposé!

 

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