From our final issue of this academic year, here are Wessex Scene’s top stories of 2014-15.
The marking boycott at the university was pivotal news for all students. This article, which was awarded Highly Commended for Best News Story at the Media Ball this year, outlines how staff who belong to the University College Union (UCU) stopped marking any assessments in protest against the proposals made to alter their current pensions. As students, it is important to be constantly updated on important issues that affect us directly, and a marking boycott like this, which affected 69 universities in total, is something that directly affects the progression of degrees, thereby making this a top story this year. Luckily, the boycott was eventually suspended.
Christmas is always a very busy time for students with exams looming and imminent deadlines, and it is always difficult to find a nice, relaxing outlet for inevitable stress. The Wessex Scene responded to this this with the ‘12 Bakes of Christmas’, providing delicious, easy-to-follow recipes for some special Christmas treats, which not only make great revision snacks, but also provide students with guidance on how to cook something half decent! The Festive Loaf encapsulates all things Christmas, and would be even tastier accompanied by a nice cup of tea.
As a student publication, it is always with pride that we are able to write about the successes and achievements of our university. This article shows just how creative and innovative the students at the University of Southampton are. This year, post-graduate aeronautical design students, Amrith Surendra, Chris Dodd and David Cooper, designed the world’s first-ever 3D-printed, rocket-powered space plane. The space plane itself, named Vulture 2, will be launched on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission, rising to an estimated launch altitude of 20,000m.
This year, our friends over at Surge Radio attempted a 48 hour marathon on the Redbrick to raise money for charity. However, half way through the broadcast they were forced to abandon their marathon due to being drowned out by an ‘American Freshman’ bus. This attracted a lot of attention and Surge filed an official complaint to SUSU, accusing the Union of valuing the external company over the charitable efforts of its own students. This article, which won The Wessex Scene Best News Story at the Media Ball this year and was one of the highest read articles on the website.
It isn’t every day that Hollywood knocks on your doorstep. However, in October, University of Southampton students were given an exclusive chance to appear as paid extras in a new Hollywood feature film which was to start shooting in the Southampton area the following month. Nearly 300 students were screened at the open casting held in the students’ union and The Wessex Scene we even went along and tried our luck – our very own Editor managing to gain a spot on the set of the top secret film, later revealed to be Mission Impossible 5.
This is a heart-warming success story. In December, University of Southampton student Corinne Dugdale was horrified after seeing the inappropriate living conditions of the Pacu fish, which had been living in Southampton nightclub Orange Rooms. Following this discovery, Corinne launched an online petition to relocate the fish that had been living for years in cramped water tanks and used inappropriately as a source of entertainment for the nightclub. The Wessex Scene tracked Corinne’s journey: after receiving over 100 signatures on the petition and attracting attention from the press, the fish were eventually rehomed a month later.
Feature image by Sam Bailey.