Sheffield falls silent to remember trans lives lost to hate crime – Casper Burton & Amy Clarke

“There is a lot of positive stuff that’s come out of it, there’s been a lot of people connecting with each other”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November every year to remember the lives lost to transphobic violence. This year in Sheffield it was commemorated with a candlelit vigil in Hallam Square where speakers gave moving tributes to those both living and dead.

The first ever commemorated transperson to be remembered was Rita Hester, who was murdered on November 28th, 1998. It was her memory which spurred the creation of the day, as a way to increase trans visibility and make others aware of the violence and discrimination which the community faces every day.

The event was organised by SAYiT and T-Boys, both of which are charities specialising in supporting young LGBT+ individuals within Sheffield and the surrounding areas. Members of the students’ unions and ASPECS (a support group for LGBT+ people with autism) were also present and made their voices heard- literally, as the event included both a minute of silence to commemorate and respect the dead, and a minute of noise to ensure that transpeople do not go unseen and forgotten in our society.

SAYiT volunteer Lee Lester, 33 said: “We also need to show visibility, we don’t need to be silenced.  We need to be present and be unashamed and by doing that it sends out a message to the community.”

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“There is a lot of positive stuff that’s come out of it, there’s been a lot of people connecting with each other, finding groups they can go to, sharing mutual interests and that’s what community is isn’t it?”

The event went smoothly for the most part, with supporters from across Sheffield gathering to pay their respects. While the occasional transphobic remark could be heard, for their part the speakers all did their best to remain calm and dignified.

“It’s not very nice sometimes to stand in a public space and risk the consequences. You are never quite sure what could happen and tonight proves that. There were a couple of people that did shout some stuff as they went past. It was very well handled but it does prove that it could be quite an intimidating environment for people. To see that many people that were comfortable to be there shows we are doing something right,” said Lee.

T-Boys is a group which specialises in the support of AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals who identify as transgender or questioning in some way, and additionally can also support the families of these individuals. They can be contacted through email or their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tboysyorkshire).

SAYiT (Sheena Amos Youth Trust) run several different projects, including Trans*formers, a group for young transpeople, and Off The Scene, a support group for LGBT+ youth 18-25 years old. Their phone numbers and email address can be found on their website (http://sayouthtrust.org.uk). It runs on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. It is based at Scotia Works on Leadmill road and has been running since 1999.

Lee said: “It is a safe place to come and hangout with people who are a little or lot like you, and just kind of really normalise being LGBT+ because it’s perfectly normal. It’s our job as workers to empower these young people to realise that it’s absolutely fine to be who they are.”

Vicky Laylor, 40, is a black transwoman who became a volunteer for SAYiT after supporting the community through social media. She was one of the many speakers at the remembrance event.

“Sheffield itself is a diverse city. We are quite culturally rich. But there’s one side of Sheffield that is supportive and open minded of LGBT but then you can go to another side of Sheffield and its like little Britain.”

Vicky has also done talks at secondary schools and plans to do more. She says some schools are very supportive but others seem to be afraid of what parents may think.

 

“I think it’s the student community that keeps Sheffield moving in the right direction for LGBT support as we have two big universities’ here.” She said.

 

Remembrance Day: A French Student’s Perspective – Mélanie Gay-Etchart

It is common in Europe, to remember the end of the First World War and the fallen. But all countries have different customs and habits on this day. As a French student living in Great Britain, I notice some of them.

First of all, in France we celebrate the end of the war on the 11th November when here, it is common to commemorate it during on this day and on the following Sunday (Remembrance Sunday).

One of the main and most obvious differences is that, in Britain, already the week before, most people can be seen wearing a Poppy, as a reminder and homage to the war heroes. In France, the 11th is the only moment when we really remember and celebrate the date, and it slowly getting forgotten.

Indeed, the majority of people who  experienced the First World War have passed and our generation sees it as a historic fact that does not have an impact on them. Most of them do not feel concerned by the past happening, and nowadays, patriotic feelings tend to disappear.

Despite the presence of the same idea in France, only a few people, a small minority, might be seen wearing a cornflower on Remembrance Day. Actually, it is often considered by people as a free day more than anything else. Each city has its own memorial and organizes a quite discreet ceremony on the 11th November but people rarely attend it.

There is also a national ceremony with the President of France, in Paris at “l’Arc de Triomphe”, broadcasted on the national television. There are other activities organised by different organisations, regions or city but they are not really popular. In Britain, one minute of silence in the whole country is held every year at the precise moment the war stopped 99 years ago. And on Sunday, like in France, there are several commemorations and ceremonies in the whole Britain.

Despite the fact that Britain was less directly impacted during the war, its way to remember on the 11th November has a deeper meaning and touches the whole nation. I am French but I think that my country should take example of Britain’s Remembrance Day.

Brexit: Do you trust your voting system? – Lizzie McKessy

“We must get to the bottom of people deliberately voting twice”

It’s known that the large majority of students in the UK voted remain in the European Union Referendum, 75% of young people wanted to stay in the EU; to be precise.

But… How many of these students voted twice?

When you vote in Britain, there’s a relaxed feeling towards it as you’re trusted to follow the law and legislations that support it.

But, as Sir Eric Pickles’s review of electoral fraud suggests, the ballot is not nearly as secure as it should be. Most students are registered to vote in their home town AND in their university’s constituency.

Charles Moore, a reporter for The Spectator, followed out an investigation to prove that the voting rules are too lax. He was able to vote in both London, his home-town, and Essex. He voted to leave the EU at his Essex polling station, then caught a train down to London, walked into his local polling station where he presented his polling card and was unchallenged.

Mr Moore walked into the booth and wrote on the ballot paper ‘I am spoiling my ballot because I have voted already. This second vote is my protest at how lax the voting rules are.’

Here in Sheffield, a first year student at The University of Sheffield at the time, William McConnell, was one who came forward stating that he was able to vote twice. He had to vote via a postal vote as he was not in the area at the time of the election, although he phoned up his local constituency criticising the fact that he had the resources and ability to vote twice, meaning many others would of had the opportunity also.

William explained how when he phoned up he mentioned how he had the option to vote twice, the council representative responded with “unless you’re reporting one specific case, this information is unactionable.”

Many Leftwing students have also boasted on social media about voting twice for Jeremy Corbyn in the latest General Election here in the UK. Meaning Corbyn didn’t even do as well as everyone thought.

Corbyn-and-May-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8.png.jpegMore than 1,000 emails were sent to the watchdog by members of the public over the issue, while 38 MPs also complained about the alleged crimes.

Conservative Karl McCartney, who lost his Lincoln seat in the election, told the Daily Mail: “We have screenshots of students on Facebook saying that they voted twice.

“Potentially, this was a factor in my defeat. Of the 3,200 who registered to vote in the last 24 hours, 500 were already registered.”

Meanwhile, Heather Wheeler, Tory MP for South Derbyshire, told the paper that some students had admitted to voting up to four times.

The Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, said: “We must get to the bottom of people deliberately voting twice, which I understand is illegal.”

“We need to investigate that and ensure that parliamentary democracy, for which this country has been famous—this is indeed the mother of all Parliaments—upholds the rights of one person and one vote.”

Although, this was back in June and nothing has been said since. Is it going to be resolved, preventing those who voted twice to do it again?

-Lizzie McKessy

The Street Food Chef: Sheffield’s Bite of Mexico

The sound of guitars and trumpets mix with the smell of sizzling burritos and tacos in the small food outlet on Arundel Street, Sheffield.

Stepping into The Street Food Chef is like crossing the Sheffield/Mexico border. A visit here sees an explosion of Mexican heritage and culture through a fusion of sounds, sights and smells.

With the blend of Mexican music, begging you to stand and dance the salsa (pardon the pun), the pictures of Mexican cuisine and lifestyle on the walls, a visitor here is treated to a unique experience.

Mexican cuisine has grown in popularity in recent years. Across the UK tacos and burritos are becoming regulars on pub menus whilst Mexican fast food chains prosper, Taco Bell and Chiquito being examples of this.

But The Street Food Chef stands out, for the sole reason Richard and Abi Gollard started the Mexican food company, because of its emphasis on fresh and healthy ingredients.

Whilst the menu offers a range of tacos, quesadillas [tortillas filled with cheese and meat] and Mexican platters, the primary reason for visiting The Street Food Chef is for the burritos.

You choose from five fillings: chicken in tomato sauce, chicken guacamole, pulled pork, beef brisket or a vegetarian option of chili beans, peppers and onion. My go-to is the chicken in tomato sauce burrito.

The Street Food Chef provide a unique ordering experience. Behind a warming yellow counter is an open kitchen, busy with the flipping of tortillas and the aroma of Mexican spices. This excitement and style is no doubt reflected in the food.

Here, you choose your burrito’s filling, then size: regular, large or ‘grande’.

There are five choices of salsa ‘Verde’ (mild), ‘Picante’ (medium) and Habanero (extra hot). On top of this are a choice of extras: streaky bacon, cheese or guacamole. Whilst these extras sound tantalizing, I often find there’s no need as the burrito is always packed to the extreme, almost exploding in your hands. What a joyous explosion this would be.

Once ordered, you take a seat at a rustic looking table and enjoy the feeling of being in a Mexican favela.

If the size of the burrito doesn’t shock you, then the succulent flavours should. In one mouthful you are treated to a Mexican blast of pan fried chicken, smoky tomato sauce, accompanied by black beans, rice, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. This combination of ingredients is not excessive or ‘too much’. Instead, in your hands is a seamless balance of food that fills you up but without that greasy feeling a fast food chain would.

This summarises The Street Food Chef, simplicity and authenticity delivered with a touch of class.

The Street Food Chef, in just one step, shifts you from a cold street in Sheffield to a warm and lively Mexico, I challenge you to name another food outlet that delivers this with such style and flavor.

HMedia on Mental Health – Lizzie McKessy

Mental Health Issues Among Students

“But also, the whole topic of mental health is a lot less taboo than it used to be and many more people are coming forward”

‘Mental health’ means state of an individual’s mind, it is regarding a person’s condition with their psychological and emotional well-being.

It tends to be the case that if your mental health is good, you feel confident and capable of dealing with life and other people around you. However, if your mental health is not so good, your life can seem so much more difficult making you feel as though you are not coping very well.

Although, it is normal to have your ups and downs in life and many people have mental health issues every now and again. But, if you feel like your grass never gets any greener, which ends up making you feel hopeless and as though there is nothing you can do then it’s plausible that you may be suffering with a mental illness. This could be anything ranging from anxiety and panic disorders to substance abuse and addiction.

Among students and teenagers the more common mental illnesses are; depression, anxiety and eating disorders. These impact the way you think and behave and these illnesses need treatment, just like any other illness.

Alarmingly, mental health issues have risen by 70% among teenagers and young adults in the last 25 years.

I spoke with a 2nd year student who struggles with severe anxiety and she said: “There is an increase of pressure on young people to get good grades at school because, more importantly now, it’s more difficult to get into university and get a job with there being a smaller job market and more people seeking for jobs.”

“But also, the whole topic of mental health is a lot less taboo than it used to be and many more people are coming forward which I think has contributed to the increase of people being diagnosed.”

“My anxiety makes certain situations more difficult. When I’m in a tutorial or something that involves participation and they pick on me to voice an opinion or answer a question I freeze up because I don’t want to speak in front of people. This makes me avoid many social situations and university has definitely made me notice how bad my anxiety actually is.”

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Ian Maher, Sheffield Hallam’s University Chaplain and a member of the Student Wellbeing Team, one of their practitioners, helps students and staff who are struggling with mental health issues and stresses. Mr Maher believes that the reason behind mental health issues being on a steep increase is due to: “huge pressures on students in this generation, probably more so than any other time in human history.”

Mr Maher’s advice to anyone who is struggling is to: “never bottle your feelings up and to always talk to someone, anyone, talk to a friend or family member if you don’t feel comfortable seeking help within the university.”

“The worst thing anyone can do if they are suffering is to feel as though you have to carry it on your own.”

If you think you (or someone you know) might have a mental disorder, it is best to consult a professional as soon as possible. Early identification and effective intervention is the key to successfully treating the disorder.

You can register with the Sheffield Hallam Student Wellbeing Service where recommendations can be made to help you, such as; self-help resources, a wellbeing group session, an appointment or external support.

Email: student.wellbeing@shu.ac.uk

Tel: 0114 225 2136

Liz McKessy

 

Opinion: Homelessness in Sheffield – Adam Hagan 

“They are human beings and they are struggling to live”

Sheffield is a hard place to be homeless. I’m not the only person who sees six or seven rough sleepers every day without fail, while walking through the city centre.

Shamefully I admit that the suffering of these people, who have very little to their name, was often pushed to the back of my mind and forgotten, up until recently.

As part of my University course, areas of study include writing news articles. For one of my news pieces, I chose to write about the homeless in the local area.

In gathering information I spoke to those who experience first-hand rough sleeping, former homeless people who are now in work and to University researchers who have spent many years studying this area. This really opened my eyes to the intricacies of daily hardships felt by those living on our city’s streets.

Speaking to David Smith, a rough sleeper from South Yorkshire, he said that because he hasn’t got a ‘local connection’ to the Sheffield area, the council cannot class him as ‘Statutory homeless’, which is whom they give priority to. All David was told by the council is that he would have to return to Doncaster.

Being stuck in a situation where the council do not owe him a housing duty, a three day bedsit from The Archer Project was the best that David could get. In his words ‘that was it’.

It’s widely known that yes, some homeless people cause their own downfall, be it through alcohol or gambling abuse and many people are less than sympathetic to their often self- inflicted problems.

But they are human beings and they are struggling to live.

The closure of Park Hill flat’s ‘Tent City’ was a shame to read about. The camp provided homeless people with security and allowed charity aid to reach them easier. It was a safe place for them, instead of sleeping in the city centre where all sorts of danger may lurk. We forget that being homeless doesn’t just mean sleeping on a rough surface and having little money.

It also means danger, whether that be aggressive drunks late at night or danger of being arrested. My friend David told me once of a now septic cut he’d gained from climbing a carpark fence to find a safe sleeping area.

The current housing system employed in the UK, is just not fair. In England, Scotland and Wales, in order to be classed as ‘Statutory homeless’, you must tick each box of a certain criteria, which in my view, is rather stringent. You must prove you are eligible for public funds (which relates to your immigration status), prove you have a ‘local connection’ to the area, prove you are ‘unintentionally homeless’ and show yourself to be in ‘priority need’.

Yhdatabank.com figures show that Sheffield Council rejected 75% of housing applications in 2015/16, meaning only a few applicants were given ‘Statutory homeless’ status.

For someone like David, who cannot prove he has a local connection to the area and therefore isn’t a council priority, he will continue to live on the streets. There’s no disputing the council’s procedure on giving housing priority to more at risk groups such as pregnant women, or those with mental illnesses or vulnerable young people. But with rough sleeping up 8% in the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2016 the local authority should be doing more to take people off our streets in Sheffield and into some form of accommodation.

Dr Kesia Reeves, a principal research fellow at the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social research at Sheffield Hallam University said that national legislation prioritises certain groups of people who are deemed the most in need. However, this

Beer For The 43rd Year: HMedia covers Sheffield’s beloved beer festival

The atmosphere was great and the staff couldn’t be faulted with how they tried their darndest to find you the perfect tipple

This week Sheffield held its 43rd annual beer and cider festival at Kelham Island industrial museum. From the 18th to the 21st October, the grounds of the museum were filled with quirky beers and ciders from across the country. Also, there were gluten and lactose free options allowing everyone’s needs to be fulfilled.

Personally, I’m not a beer person and only like really fruity cider so I was sceptical about going to the festival at first. Although, as soon as we, my housemates and I, got there my opinion was instantly swayed.

The place was packed with people laugh and enjoying themselves when we got inside. The atmosphere was great and the staff couldn’t be faulted with how they tried their darndest to find you the perfect tipple.

After buying our tokens, we headed to one of the three bars, that was lined with 200 different types of beer and ciders. I took the advice from the staff behind the bar and started with mango cider. My housemates and myself went on to sample all sorts of different drinks such as a stout called Nutty Ambassador that tasted like Nutella and coffee. If I were you, I’d give that one a miss. However, my favourite drinks of the night were; Pilgrim, which was a pumpkin spice beer, very fitting for the season and Peach Ice Tea pale ale.

Across the festival there was plenty to do such as traditional pub games, such as; bottle cap throwing and table skittles. Raffles, quizzes and live bands were running throughout the day. A variety of food stalls could also be found across the courtyard.  

My housemates and I cannot wait to go again next year. I recommend this everyone, even if you’re not a big drinker there is something there for you to enjoy yourself.

The festival will return next October at the Kelham Island Industrial Museum.

Emily Pinder

 

HMedia’s Guide To Freshers Flu – Amy Clarke

Freshers flu is a broad term used to describe the sickness you tend to get in the first few weeks of university as a fresher, but it’s not uncommon for it to hit second and third years too. It is not a myth. It’s hard to avoid, harder to get rid of and horrible to experience.

With so many different people coming from various places it is inevitable that germs we are unfamiliar with will spread. The combination of filthy student halls, unhealthy eating and immune systems wrecked by alcohol means that it’s easy to often end up feeling under the weather, not just at the beginning of the year.

Symptoms often include fever, sore throat, severe headache, vomiting and discomfort. These can be similar to meningitis traits. If you notice blotchy skin, muscle pain or a stiff neck it is important to get medical advice as soon as possible.

As much as it’s almost impossible to avoid it, it’s a good idea to try and take precautions at uni to stop yourself dropping ill too often.

First of all, stop saying yes to that half-finished food your flatmate has offered you, especially when you know they are already sick. Make sure you are cleaning your surfaces and keep hygienic. It might be worth while carrying some hand sanitizer with you.

Make sure you are eating well. It’s easy enough to be caught up in all the takeaways and the freedom of buying your own foods but it’s well worth having lots of vitamin C and keeping hydrated. Berocca’s could be an alternative boost towards recovery.

Sleep is another big issue. You might want to try and form your summer sleep pattern into something a little more timetable friendly. You won’t thank yourself in your 9am lecture if you decided to be up until 3am or give in to the calling of a sesh.

Gross as it is, sweating it out is the fastest way for some people. Rolling yourself into a blanket burrito and getting lots of sleep is a great idea.

Freshers flu isn’t just made up of physical factors. The combination of the sickness and all the stress and excitement of starting or returning to university has a strain on your mental health. It doesn’t hurt to take a break from it all and give yourself some TLC with some Netflix.

The most important thing is to stop drinking when you start to feel unwell. It’s the advice you don’t want to hear or listen to but the only way to get better is to get your immune system to fight whatever it is your suffering from. A typical fresher’s week will cause your body to only work at a quarter of the rate to recovery than it normally does.

Taking a lot of painkillers can pull you through these dark times and will help you ignore the flu and get on with your university work. It’s not a good idea to take a lot of them of mix them with alcohol though.

Signing up for the university GP means you’ll always have help nearby if you need it. You can do this at the Student Health centre at SHU Room 5110, Surrey Building, Pond Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB. 0114 225 2134.

Amy Clarke 

The Benefits Of Speaking Several Languages – Mélanie Gay

“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”

Because this week, on the 26th September, we celebrated the “European Day of Languages”, I am going to tell you why you should start learning a new language…right now! Well… at least after reading this article!

In the European Union, only 23 languages are officially recognised, when you can actually hear more than 200 just on the continent! Such an opportunity! But only 54% of Europeans are able to have a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue. Moreover, every year, more and more languages disappear and it is a part of our culture that dies with it. Looking from this point of view, learning is also a duty.

Nowadays, social exchanges are the central part of our society, especially with the rapid expansion of globalisation. The economic aspects of it, are the one we all hear about, but there is much more to the topic. Indeed, it is also about humans, the exchanges we all have with each other, that is why languages are so important. They are an essential phase in the first understanding of others – without it, nothing else would be possible.

English is the easiest way for all of us, it is international, it is safe. That is why, it is the most learnt language in the world. Moreover, did you know that many countries consider anglophone people as being lazy for choosing the easy way? Studies have shown that England is the country with the weakest percentage (40%) in Europe of people being able to speak foreign languages. In 2004, even BBC described British people as “language barbarians”.

Speaking several languages provides you with many opportunities and advantages. Among the benefits, we cannot forget that on the job market it makes you more valuable. The abilities that you might have, developed like being able to adapt yourself and to understand, speak, or have access to things not everyone has or to another culture; are a real wealth. Indeed, studies revealed that when we speak an another language than our own, we think differently.

It also allows you to travel to a lot of destinations, to discover things in a completely different way, and to make friends while doing it. Going on a student exchange is also a possibility, and myself being an Erasmus student, I can assure you that I am grateful to speak another language. These exchanges are a real opportunity, not only for your future career, but also for yourself.

I asked some students from different countries what it brought them, and here is what they told me. Yoshiharu from Japan, who lives and studies now in France explained to me that, it allows him to ‘establish a relationship with whom he was not supposed to be able to’. But for Maciej from Poland who lived in Paris and in Vienna, it is also about meeting people: ”It is very much true, speaking French created the opportunity to go live in France where I made a lot of friends and where I met the love of my life!” What they said, is that learning a new language, is mostly a social and a human experience.

We have plenty of opportunities to discover and learn, especially at the SHU. You can directly go to the university services providing classes in many languages that you can add to your modules and sometimes you can even switch with one that you already have.

At the SHU, there are more than 4,000 international students, which provides all of us many opportunities to learn and practice our skills while making new friends from all around the world. Every week, there is even the Conversation Club to practice your skills or try something new. Even outside of the classroom, with websites like Duolingo, learning new languages is much easier, more accessible and convenient than ever before. We all need to find what is the best way for us, no matter if it is a book, an Internet site or a traditional language course. This is something you can do for you the way you want to.

Fashion: Supreme and Andres Serrano Collaboration – Mia Durk

BLOOD AND SEMEN ON TREND

We’ve witnessed the all white fender box logo guitar, a collab with legendary rapper Nas and let’s not forget Supreme chopsticks (because how else would we eat our sushi?); yet looking like a Rorschach inkblot test we haven’t witnessed anything till now. Till Serrano.

It is a collab that arguably was inevitable; Supreme and Andres Serrano fit like peas in a pod. Or blood and semen. The collection, released as Supreme’s third featured collab this season, comprises of hoodies, t shirts, hats, and a vans creation featuring work from Blood and Semen 2. This design is both convoluted and enigmatic, with punk and street influences that would truly disconcert your grandmother.

Although all this begs the question, who exactly is Serrano?

Born in 1950 and raised a strict Roman Catholic, Serrano later became a controversial photographer, incorporating religious imagery with blood, breast milk and other bodily fluids. One such example is the Piss Christ (1987), a photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in his own urine, which in 1999 was sold for $277,000 (around £205,000).

Moreover, Serrano has also previously collaborated with heavy metal band Metallica the abstraction Blood and Semen 3 is used as album artwork for Load and Piss and Blood for Reload.

Despite being most hyped, Supreme’s Andres Serrano collab was not the first to sell out. Supreme’s Mustard Plant tee sold out in 10 seconds and Supreme/ Vans Blood and Semen Old Skool in 16 seconds. The latter retailed at £88 and resale is around £200 – typical of such Supreme release.

From a personal perspective, I find the Serrano collab akin to an intergalactic lava eruption that is equally disturbing and striking. As a student, I did not splash the cash and buy them, yet I know few who did. Walking round Freshers Fair however, I did see Bape clothing and other equally recognisable labels, which seems relevant given that freshers are trying to impress. Although none sported any Piss Christ tees – maybe Hallam is just too cool.

Mia Durk