All 9 entries tagged Warwick

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July 26, 2006

Why Warwick isn't the worst university in the world ever

Sometimes you may feel frustrated with the University of Warwick plc ltd inc. But after completing my teacher training at another university (nee poly) I can assure you that there are worse places to go.

When I got sent a letter in June inviting me for an interview on the 21st April I should have known something was up, but I ploughed on regardless. Alarm bells really started to ring when after being offered a place on the course it took about four hundred and fifty six phone calls – four hundred and fifty five too many in my view – to confirm that, yes, I would be taking it up.

And this set the tone for the rest fo the year. Being sent on placement to a school that had a completely different name to the one they told me – and yes, it was the right one. Trying to hand in an assignment and finding that there was no one in the building to collect it. No one visting me on placements and no explanation being offered for this, leading to severe abandonment issues.

So it was appropriate enough that yesterday I received a letter from the university saying that they hoped to send out my results within the next couple of weeks. These being the same results I got two weeks ago. Even when they get it right they get it wrong.


September 16, 2005

The History of the University of Warwick

Foundation

The University of Warwick was founded in 1965. A common misconception is that the university takes it name from the town of Warwick whose district council put forward funds for the institution at its birth. This a myth put about by those pompous people who like Warwick to sound grand and impressive.

In actual fact the university was founded by four militant candle makers from Coventry with the proximity to Warwick town being a mere coincidence. They invented a special candle wick which when lit reacted with the candle wax and exploded, these wicks were known as War-Wicks and became common place. It was on the back of this success that they founded the university, giving it the name of their invention. The hyphen was dropped and the second "w" made silent to confuse Americans.

Notable moments in Warwick History

When the university was first built it was upside down due to a clerical error. Someone mistakedly ticked the "build upside down" box on the plans. This issue was corrected by getting a few thousand people to stand at one of the far edges of the university and jump up and down, thus causing it to flip over. This caused a big mess at what became the top (previously the bottom) of the university. This mess was named Canley.

Officially no UFOs have ever crashed at the University, however unofficially the story goes like this:

In 1972 a spaceship crashed in the heart of the campus. Rather than attempting the cover up the crash, denying the the incident ever occured in the face of the crashed spaceship clearly being outside the Arts Centre, the powers that be in a rare move of genius unveiled the craft as a piece of modern art known as the Koan – more commonly known as the cone by clever scientists or that bloody weird thing with lights that makes a noise by foolish artists.

Hauntings

Supposedly the Cryfield residences are haunted by the ghosts of people hanged at Gibbet Hill, however more recently a much larger and more sinister spectre has appeared: the ridiculously pointedly mentioned ghost of the British Higher Education system. An entity brutally slaughtered using the money gained from tuition fees.

Also the Union is supposedly inhabited by ghosts. From time to time they possess students on nights out and make them behviour strangely, such as pulling odd people, dancing like a twat and in extreme cases losing the ability to walk.


June 06, 2005

I love the Union…

…and its plethora of events, I really do, but sometimes it's just too tempting. Throughout the year we've had fliers for union events on our noticeboard (admittedly I was the one who put them up) and they've seaped into my brain. I couldn't take it anymore, I think I've snapped.


You might need to have been there for the Week 4 event to get that, but it's kinda true anyway.

I really can't see why no one's contacted me asking me help with the marketing for union events.


January 30, 2005

Hustlings

I just heard that its hustlings on Monday and Tuesday. As far as I can work out this is where the candidates in the union's sabbatical elections hustle the electorate out their hard earned money (it is too, those damn student loan forms are way too complicated). I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I think they plan to stand up in front of everyone looking really dopey. They have friends in the crowd who then offer odds on which one will fall over first from sheer stupidity. People bet alot of money, but of course the candidates were faking it all along and aren't totally useless so they don't fall over, meaning no one wins any money from the bets. It's the oldest trick in the book. So if you go along to the union on Monday and Tuesday and see a load of people on stage looking foolish, don't worry about who's going to run the union, they're only pretending.

January 26, 2005

Extreme Warning: Beware ID cards

University ID cards are rumoured to contain behaviour modification chips, meaning that their holders can be influenced into acting as instructed by some central body. The university was originally blamed but as things stand there is no evidence that indites them.

The chips were first suspected by Professor Nickety Nick Nickot of Warwick's Behaviour alteration department. "For a long time I have wondered why students chose to spend money in university outlets such as Bar Food or Library Cafe, they're so expensive for the amount of food available." From here he began to wonder if something was controlling the students' behaviour patterns. His first thought was water contamination, but he soon ruled out the idea "Well it couldn't be the water, its already so full of fluoride and strains of right wing politics, there really isn't room for anything else."

However in a stroke of good fortune Nickot's friend Professor Tom Tynold of the psychology department was investigating the high number of students who suffered from what is technically known as "Going into a room for some reason, but once you get there forgetting why it was you went in." After discussing each other's work over dinner they pondered upon a link between the two topics. Tynold takes up the story, "Many students choose to walk through the Arts Centre on their way to the bus stop or their halls of residence. Our studies showed that whilst in there they forget why they went in, but until I spoke to Nickety I didn't suspect anything sinister."

Once the ideas merged it became clear that indeed something sinister was going on, "We did some more research and found that those students forgetting why they were in the Arts Centre assumed they'd gone in there to get a cup of coffee or a snack, something no rational minded person would ever do." says Tynold. This was followed up by researching the Library Cafe and Bar Food, which gave similar results.

Whilst the possibility of a capitalist conspiracy is disturbing enough, it is feared that the cards have other affects too, which are thought may explain the alarming amounts of student apathy and the disproportionately high number of extreme right wing articles appearing in The Boar.

"We're quite concerned" says Tynold, "It would explain alot though, well meaning students who plan to take a stand often find themselves somehow unable to get out of bed in the mornings." One extreme case saw a whole corridor of first years in Rootes unable to get out of bed for a whole week. The corridor below just thought they'd got really drunk and were suffering from the ultimate collective hangover. However it turns out that they were planning on protesting about the lack of on campus recycling facilities, which after becoming bed struck they were unable to do.

Nickot is now working on a way to disarm the cards if indeed they are responsible, but for now his advice is that all students should minimise contact with them, he does not reccomend melting them, if indeed it is possible to do so. "It's quite possible that the cards, or whoever is controlling them, will not allow that to happen. We've had trial runs, but students attempting to melt them have suddenly found themselves unable to light a match." It is worth stressing that evidence currently is slightly tenuous so students should not concern themselves too much, however they should be cautious about overusing the cards.


January 24, 2005

University in name change

The University of Warwick is set be renamed as the University of the South Farthing [of the Shire]. The move comes after high ranking movie officials took a walk near the lakes on the way to Gibbet Hill. After performing a survey of the land they discovered that the area is in fact an exact replica of Hobbiton as used in their little known film "The Lord of the Rings", something they considered a breach of copyright laws. They also found a number of other irregularities. Initially it was thought the University might be sued, but a comprimise was reached whereby the university could continue as it is but with some minor alterations.

The name change is the most immediate and will take affect in time for the start of the next academic year. Aside from this, University House will become known as Barad-Dur, security will be called the Rohirrin and ride on horseback, Cryfield Pavillion will be called Edoras, Tocil Woods shall become Fangorn Forest and Westwood should be refered to as Mordor. "We could have forgiven the Hobbiton similarity, but after exploring the area further we found that the place is littered with copies of places from our film. Those residences, Rootes, they're so white, its such a rip off of Minas Tirith – the white city," says film spokesperson Jabby Proudfoot.

The university has assured students that this will not cause them any major problems. "We've had many orcs coming into Barad-Dur concerned with how this may affect their studies, but really it doesn't make much difference." said the Mouth of Sauron. When asked if orcs was the new name for students, he said "No, we've always called them that."

As part of this raft of changes, a number of new courses shall be offered: History of the One Ring, The Smoking of Pipeweed and Very, very, very long Film Studies. Also, freshers will be forced to live underground in holes, however this was a planned move anyway and has nothing to do with the other changes. The university is keen to stress that students must not take advantage of the alterations, any student caught smoking "Old Toby" in their halls of residence will not be allowed to live on campus and will have to fight for survival in the Misty Mountains.

Students are divided over the move. "I'm delighted" says Third Year Mark Shrubbery, "At last I can attack people who spill purple on me in the union. I bought a sword before coming here not realising that sort of thing wasn't allowed." Polly Yetinewt disagrees, "Its not the direction the university should be going in, they now have to accept Uruk Hai if they meet the entry conditions, its going to cause all sorts of problems with such aggressive people here. Every night at the union is going to be like Score."

Whether the changes are welcome are not, they look likely to stay. The university has already invested in building a black gate to replace the welcoming blue signs and are placing Fiery cracks in the Koan. Its too late to turn back now, Mellon.


January 23, 2005

Exclusive: The manifesto they tried to ban

One of the candidates for union presidency – Dave Zevige – has had his manifesto removed from the union's website. The election committee described it as "A threat to civilisation as we know it, quite possibly the most abhorent piece of piffle since Jeffrey Archer's Prison Diaries." In order to counteract this undemocratic act I am publishing Zevige's manifesto on my blog:

About Me

I am running for Union President because I believe I can do the best job for you, the good students of Warwick. I have much applicable experience:

  • I have attended Union Council since my first year. However as I have never been elected they usually call security to "remove me from the premises".

  • I am good at getting the root of a problem, when someone in our halls broke the oven and we got fined, I tortured them all until the culprit 'fessed up.

Reforming Union Democracy

Last term's referendum didn't go far enough, to quote one of the great thinkers of our time, "When will people learn? Democracy just doesn't work." I propose that all power should be handed to the sabbatical officers, who can rule the university with a reign of terror. If elected president I will make the following changes to the sabbatical roles:

  • We will have a Re-education Officer in place of the current role of Education Officer. This is to ensure that any dissenters will not threaten our supremacy.

  • Welfare and Equal Opportunities will be replaced by Warfare and Unequal Opportunities. Warwick ranks highly in university league tables, yet the emphasis remains on Oxford and Cambridge. This can be changed by hoping our university overtakes them, or we can take matters into our own hands and declare war on Oxbridge and crush them. Their puny punting boats would be no match for a fleet of mighty warships.

  • Finance and Internal Affairs, will become Finance and Personal Gain. I intend to give myself and the other sabbatical officers a huge pay-rise.

  • In place of a CDCO we will have a Propaganda Minister. This is to manipulate apathetic students into believing that any money they spend in the union goes back to them, rather than simply lining our pockets after the pay-rise.

  • Warwick has a vast array of sports clubs, resulting in the average fitness level being 50% higher than the national average for students. This won't do at all, fit and healthy students pose a greater threat to the Sabbaticals totalitarian power. I propose we have a Blood Sports Officer. It will mean less students partaking in strenuous activity, solving the fitness problem. All you fox lovers out there don't worry though, we will be hunting maths students, its not like anyone likes them anyway.

  • What the union currently lacks is a good torture chamber, I will build one and responsibility for torture will rest with the new position of Societies and Student Dismemberment Officer.

Other Aims

  • Banning all students whose surname begins with a G, H, or D from the union and all societies and sports clubs. I've done some research and found the union's filing cabinet only has twenty-three slots. To combat this problem we must effectively reduce the alphabet to twenty-three letters. The only alternative is to purchase a new filing cabinet stretching already thin union resources.

  • Pressure the university into giving the library more funding as it desparately lacks books on guerilla warfare.

Please only vote in the elections if you intend to vote for me, otherwise its just not worth it.


January 19, 2005

Mistake made at the Boar

Whilst in Union North this week I overheard a conversation between high-ranking boar officials. It would seem that a mistake was made and the wrong article was published on the front page this week. In the middle of the night I broke in to the Boar office and stole a copy of the intended article. In the interests of truth, here is what I found:

China article provokes widespread outrage

Backlash against Boar sweeps across campus leaving student's body divided and tendons severed

The Warwick Boar has come under fire after an experiment last week in printing the paper on plates, teacups and other crockery turned to disaster. Twenty-three students were rushed to hospital in Coventry after injuring themselves because of the offending items. All are now recovering, but the Boar continues to suffer from the backlash.

The experiment was the brainchild of editor – and eco-warrior – Rachael Editorson. Editorson was concerned about the effect on the environment student newspapers were having. "It's not like anyone really cares what we write anyway" she claims, "I was worried that it was all just a big waste of paper, so thought we should try to use other materials to print on".

Noble though her intentions may have been, needless to say the twenty-three students who ended up in hospital think the idea was a mistake. Jessica Jessjess was one of the injured students. Whilst attempting to read a soup bowl it slipped from her hands and broke on the floor. She then tried to pick it up and piece together the fragments, unfortunately she was unable to do so and burst a blood vessel in her frustration. "I guess I was silly to try, I was useless at jigsaws when I was a child so I should have just given up. Even so I think the idea was crucially flawed, my ineptitude at jigsaws was never a problem with paper copies of the boar."

In a high-profile incident, Warwick's BUSA tiddly-winks champion Sid Littleyellowbutton hurt his tiddlying thumb, it is hoped that he will recover in time to defend his championship in April. Other injuries included deep cuts from broken plates, cups and other assorted china. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, had to have his right arm amputated after it became infected with pasta sauce. Someone had been eating off his boar prior to him reading it.

Both the student’s union and the university have also condemned the experiment. The ubiquitous university spokesperson had this to say, "We take the injury of students very seriously indeed. If the Boar had wanted to injure students they should have filled in the appropriate form and returned it to university house." Meanwhile the union issued this statement, "We are against bad things happening."

The student body at large supports such views. Second year Histrionics student Alice McLaffalot was reading an article in a tea pot when to her annoyance she found she could not finish it because the ending was in the spout, "I think they should go back to printing on paper" she said, "I missed finding out the ending to an article on student housing, now I don't know what to do and am living on the streets."

This week sees at least a temporary return to paper editions of the boar, though its editor has not made clear whether this will be permanent, "I'd quite like to experiment with using other items, possibly we will raid landfill sites and just print on any junk that we find. I think it’s a shame that people are so narrow-minded to think that newspapers must only be made of paper, what are a few injured students compared to the problems with the environment?" Whilst the outspoken editor may be a fan of such innovation it is thought that most students will be glad to be able to read from a paper. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the injured students a speedy recovery.


January 16, 2005

Guide to the Laundrette

Sunday morning's mean only one thing for me. Rather than going to church to cleanse my soul I go to the laundrette and clean my clothes. It's a slightly tedious but necessary job, I find its best to get there early before it gets busy. For anyone who's not sure how to use the laundrette this is what you should do:

1)Get everything ready the night before, but make sure you forget at least one item otherwise its no fun.

2)Forget to set your alarm and lie in well past when you intended, grumble something about the alarm turning itself off again.

3)Go to the kitchen and have breakfast whilst wondering why no one else seems to be up, its Sunday morning where can they be? Wash up but leave your tea towel behind so that it never gets cleaned and ends up all crusty.

4)Shower, brush your teeth, shave, put on make-up or whatever else you need to do in the morning to make yourself look pretty, I find a paper bag helps best on Sundays.

5)Set off for the laundrette, get halfway there and remember you left your money behind.

6) Go back home and pick up wallet, discover you have no twenty pence pieces for the drier. Moan to yourself about the stupid university trying to con us.

7)Head off to the laundrette again, get halfway there and remember you forgot to bring your pyjamas, think "screw it".

8)Get to the laundrette and find an empty machine, put your clothes in, discover that the bit where you put the detergent is all scummy.

9)Take clothes out of machine and put in a different one, after checking the detergent hole.

10)Try to put money into machine – discover it won't take it. Swear and curse under your breath. Aggresively throw your clothes back into your bag and make sure you slam the door to the machine so everyone knows how annoyed you are.

11)Find another machine, check the detergent hole, put your money in first, if everything works put clothes in and select cycle.

12)Leave to laundrette to wait at home, forget to check your watch so you don't know what time to go back for.

13)Go back to the laundrette find your machine and discover it still has 11 mins left. Stand around looking like a pleb.

14)Wait for the requisite 11 mins and then remember you left your bag at home, run home looking rather silly, pick up bag and run back to the laundrette.

15)Separate clothes that can de dried and put in machine, follow a similar procedure to that which meant you had to try three washing machines.

16)Remember the lack of twenty p's, ask sommeone if they have change, they don't and look at you like pondlife for asking, the fact that you're sweating after the run supports this view.

17)Accept defeat and put a pound in the drier, get overexcited with the buttons and set your machine to dry for 70 mins, make a note to yourself to be back after 45 so your clothes don't get cooked.

18)Go home and hang up the washing that won't go in the drier, get distracted and only make it back to the drier after an hour.

19)Take clothes out and put into the bag – if you remembered it this time, good for you. Burn yourself on any metal buttons on your jeans.

20)Go home for the last time with good intentions of folding your clothes immediately so they'll iron easier. Put bag on bed and can't be bothered.

21)Go into the kitchen for lunch, afterwards wash up and find that the only use your tea towel is to unclean your plate, sigh and promise yourself you'll remember it next week.


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