Tag Archives: Napier University

Napier shreds the best in the UK

Best Student Shredders in UK. Picture courtesy of BUSC.

by Charlotte Workman

Napier University Snow Sports Club were victorious last weekend at the British University Dryslope championships

BUDs took place at Midlothians own Snowsports Centre at Hillend on the 5th and 6th of November.

It was host to over 2000 students from 70 different universities from all over the UK, around 1100 students were competing individually and/or as part of their university team.

With 5 events for skiing and snowboarding – Giant Slalom, Dual Slalom, Team Dual Slalom, Syndicate’s Slopestyle, and Rome’s Big Air competition was rife.

Napier’s team was strong with 20 students competing in all events and ending the two days of competition victoriously with 9 medals and 54 BUCS points (British University College Sports)

Napier results:
Callum Henderson 2nd GS and 3rd slalom
Carla Gardiner 2nd GS and 2nd slalom
Cammy Nicol 1st Slopestyle 2nd Big Air

Amy McFarline 1st GS
Tom Akass 1st GS and 2nd Boarder-X
Team 3rd

Napier were overall winners of BUDs by a clear margin, beating Glasgow University by 3 medals.
The team and the whole club were ecstatic. President Tom Akass, who is in his final year on the committee, where he has been involved for three years, was over-joyed with the result,”BUDs is one of the highlights of the year for me, it’s great to see all my mates from other unis. Gutted its my last one, but what a way to go out!”

The grand finale of the Men’s slopestyle competition on Saturday night was made a monumental moment as the first flakes of snow began to fall on Edinburgh. The 2000 students went wild and it was deemed an awesome way to bring in the new season.
BUDs highlights are available here: http://vimeo.com/16588108

Light Drinkers During Pregnancy “Not at Risk”

by Katy Docherty

Two units or more can harm the baby

Women who enjoy a weekly glass of wine during pregnancy are not putting their child at risk according to the findings of a new study led by University College London. One glass of wine can be equal to 2 units.

This new research conflicts with the Government’s advice that women should avoid alcohol altogether whilst pregnant. This was decided in 2007 after research found that 1 in 10 women were exceeding the recommended limit. The government line will not be changed in light of this study.

Dr. Yvonne Kelly, a lead author of the study, says, “There’s now a growing body of robust evidence that there is no increase in developmental difficulties associated with light drinking during pregnancy”.

A Department of Health spokesperson says, “as a precautionary measure, our advice to pregnant women and women trying to conceive is to avoid alcohol.”

Around 11,500 5 year olds were involved in the study published by The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health which says that children of mothers who drink up to 2 units of alcohol a week during pregnancy are “not at increased risk” of emotional problems or learning difficulties.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance in 2008 admitting that although there is uncertainty over light drinking in pregnancy but that it is safe to drink after the first three months of pregnancy.

Students protest censorship

A protest poster

Students at Edinburgh Napier University are to hold a series of protests this week over the removal of a student newspaper from all campuses.

The protests will be held every day this week, both on campus and at the Scottish Parliament.

The row centres over issues of press censorship and began after independent student newspaper The Journal published an article detailing dissent, and a possible vote of no confidence against the current president Kasia Bylinska, at the Napier Student’s Association.

Current NSA president, Kasia Bylinska
Current NSA President, Kasia Bylinska

The article stated that allegations of six counts of  unconstitutional behaviour had been made against Ms Bylinska and that eight programme representatives had signed a motion for an emergency meeting to enact a vote of no confidence in the president.

The NSA responded by removing all copies of the publication from the university, which has prompted accusations of press censorship by members of the student body.

Rik Carranza, who ran against Ms Bylinska in last year’s election, said: “This action taken by the NSA is disgusting and shares more in common with censorship in China than creating an equal playing field for election candidates which the elections committee is trying to justify.

“I am a proud member of the student union movement and have been for many years now and let me tell you, I have never seen such a flagrant disregard for freedom of speech in my time in NUS. The NSA has infringed basic human rights and they should not be allowed to continue”, he continued.

Edinburgh Napier University said: ” The University does not condone the decision of the NSA to remove copies of The Journal from its campuses.”

Shirley-Anne Sommerville, MSP

The campaign has earned support from SNP MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville. She said: “Freedom of the press is integral to any democratic society. The Journal is a valued resource in the city, keeping students up to date with student issues and wider current affairs – it is a respected paper and provides valuable experience and employment to…… those interested in the field of journalism. I hope that this current dispute is concluded as soon as possible.”

The protesters are also hoping to gain enough signatures on a petition for an emergency meeting for a vote of no confidence in Kasia Bylinska. This would over-ride the need for programme representatives to lend their support. The petition currently has over 200 signatures after just a few hours of campaigning.

Christopher Pilkington with campaign material
Christopher Pilkington with campaign material

Christopher Pilkington, one of the most active members of the protest and a programme representative for the Business Management with Marketing course, said: The idea of a university – a place that is intended to shape young minds – being actively censored is intolerable.

“We cannot be brought up to accept a censored press, particularly when the organisation doing the censoring is refusing to be held accountable to the students it claims to represent.”

Following the publication last week, all copies of The Journal have been removed from Napier campuses. The NSA have yet to issue a statement regarding the reasons for the removal and have so far declined to comment on the Journalgate protests.

Kenneth Dale-Risk, Law lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University said he did not believe the original Journal article to be defamatory stating that it was “an article of fact.”

Protesting students outside the NSA building at 12 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh



Wed: 11 – 5 at Craighouse

Thursday: 11 – 5 at the Scottish Parliament

Friday: 4 onwards sit-in at Craighouse Campus

Follow the row on Twitter – just search #journalgate

Sport media pulling off the saves

Sports journalism - the saviour (Photo courtesy of http://www.getreligion.org)

By Myles Edwards and Suhayl Afzal


Newspapers are relying heavily on sports journalism to survive, according to leading journalists and academics.

The latest circulation figures from ABC (an independent auditor on media performance) show that sales of each quality daily and Sunday newspaper have fallen again in the year leading up to October. 

Newspapers such as the The Guardian and The Observer have already ceased distribution of bulks (copies that readers can pick up free of charge from hotels and airlines), with the Times and the Sunday Times set to follow suit in January 2010.

The Sunday Times recorded a relatively low fall in circulation compared to that of other national newspapers, with a 3.37 percent drop in the past 12 months.  This is partly down to the popularity of its comprehensive sports section.

Jonathan Northcroft, Football Correspondent with the Sunday Times, believes that sport is integral to the future of newspapers.

He said: “There has never been a greater interest in top end sport than there is right now.  The Premier League is the most popular in the world, Test Cricket grosses more money than ever before and it’s the same for all the blue riband events such as the Olympics and Wimbledon.”

English Premier League - Global Audience

Mr Northcroft emphasised the importance of newspapers maintaining their high quality so that readership does not drop any further.

He added: “Sports journalism is delivering in a sector where people really want to consume content and will pay for exclusive news or to read a brilliantly written opinion piece.”

It could be argued that newspapers should not be overly dependant on sport in this difficult time for the media due to advertising downturns.  The high profile demise of Setanta in the UK is evidence of this view.

However, Mark Ogden, Northern Football Correspondent with the Telegraph said: “Newspapers still have the greatest impact and set the agenda. 

“If you watch Sky Sports News or listen to Five Live in the morning, their sports bulletins are often led by the big stories in that day’s newspapers.”

Academics also recognise the importance of the sport to the success of print media.

Michael Oriard, Professor of Literature and Culture at Oregon State University said sport both benefits from and contributes to success of newspapers.

He added: “Sport coverage attracts the reader, who in turn looks to daily newspapers to satisfy their growing desire for more and more sport.”

Napier Univeristy Film Shorts Competition

Package created by Rebecca Mackenzie-Smith

Napier festival and event students have organised the first Napier Film Shorts competition. The final is being held in the Dominion Cinema, Morningside on Tuesday 13th January. Follow links below for information on tickets and timing. 


Facebook: Napier Film Shorts Comptition  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=42147749241&ref=mf

Backlash to teenage oral sex plans

By Gary Philp

The Christian Institute have hit out at Scottish Government plans which will legalise oral sex for 13 year olds.

On their website they make it clear they are against the plans.

If it goes ahead, it will legalise over ten types of oral sex scenarios involving teenagers aged between 13 and 16 that are currently considered unlawful.

Dunedin Napier News asked students at Napier University what they thought.

Michelle Green, 19, said: “They can’t do that, it will lead to them having sex at that age. We shouldn’t be encouraging teenagers that young to start having sex.”

Robert McDonald, 24, said: “It shouldn’t happen, but, will making any sex act legal or illegal actually have any impact on what teenagers do? It’s not like they take any notice of the law anyway.”

Veritas releases 100th issue

The 100th issue
The 100th issue

By Paul McCormack

Napier University’s student newspaper, Veritas, will release its 100th issue today ahead of the announcement that Editor-in-chief, Allan Berry has resigned.

The news has prompted the Veritas team to consider re-shaping the conventional management practice to a system where four editors have an equal say in the papers decision making process.

Demian Hobby, Calum D. Liddle, Catie Guitart and Rowan Lear are the four people who will be aiming to take the newspaper forward in this ambitious new proposal.

Editor, Catie Guitart, said: “This semi non-hierarchical arrangement will allow more checks and balances to the dictatorship an editor can sometimes foster. Horizontal decision-making means more voices are heard and taken into account, with the end result being a newspaper that is democratic in its coverage.”

This significant change in management will mark an important week for the newspaper after the milestone of 100 issues was reached today.

The new structure will see Veritas operate under a different outlook as they try to alter the image and content of the paper.

Catie Guitart said, “We are trying to cater for every aspect of a Napier student, rather than condescend to the stereotype of a ‘student’.”

A meeting will commence next Tuesday to confirm these amendments as Veritas looks toward their next 100 issues.