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.”

final lee.JPG

“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.

 

ERASMUS: 30 YEARS OF MOBILITY – Mélanie Gay-Etchart

 

 

Erasmus was created in 1987 by the European Community, to promote student mobility in Europe. This year we are celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

Its name comes from the 16th century humanist, Erasmus, and also means European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. It allows student to study in a foreign university but still getting their diploma from their home university, or achieve a  degree at two universities at the same time.

It is an opportunity that is largely appreciated professionally, and has a big personal impact on each student. The programme has expanded during the last 30 years, and now concerns internship, sports, or even professionals.

Also, it is not only limited to Europe anymore, with the creation of the Erasmus Mundus exchange program few years ago. This expansion resulted in the new name of the programme: Erasmus+. Since 1987, 9 million people have participated in an Erasmus exchange, 4,400,000 of which were higher education students.

Each year, the number of participants increases, and for the academic year of 2017-2018, it is 347,100 people. A lot more compared to the 3,000 in 1987. French students are the first to volunteer for an Erasmus+ exchange. The program remains quite selective but is currently expanding.

With the programme itself, the so-called ‘Erasmus Generation’ born. Indeed, during the last 30 years, young people have developed a special way of thinking due to the impact of the European mobility, which is becoming a common part of their lives and education.

Also, couples were formed and 1 million ‘Erasmus Babies’ were born since 1987 which is a strong testimony of the impact the exchange programme has. During the last 30 years it helped to develop in the last and our generation a feeling of European citizenship.

The programme offers a lot of different destinations, depending on intern universities agreements (yes, not everyone is given the chance to study at SHU). Student’s favourite destination are Spain, followed by Germany and France. Great Britain is at the 4th position. The programme is especially developing and getting in popularity in eastern and northern countries.

Erasmus+ also involves financial aides and scholarships on a European and local levels. The point being to promote this kind of mobility and to make it more accessible to a larger number of students. The amount of the Erasmus scholarships depends only on the living cost estimated in the foreign country against the home country. In 2018, the programme and the European Union are planning to raise those amounts. The budget for the whole program for 2014-2020 is of 14.7 billion euros.

The place of Great Britain in the programme after the Brexit has not been decided for the moment. For now, everything remains as planned.

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary, we can find in the whole Europe different kind of events and exhibitions, involving governments, and even student organisations like ESN (Erasmus Student Network). The points is also to promote the programme especially with the concept of the Erasmus Generation. Many books also came out, summarising several students testimonies.

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

NIB: Sheffield Hallam rises nine places in Good University Guide – Lucy Warren

Sheffield Hallam has risen nine places in The Times and Sunday Times
Good University Guide 2018, climbing to 70 th place down from 79 th in 2016.

Only months previously the university also achieved a place in the top 50
comparable universities in the National Student Survey.

Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Husbands, said: "We view the latest ranking as a sign that we are moving in the right direction.”

Sheffield Hallam University Laboratory Ablaze

A small fire has caused minor damage to the 7th floor of Norfolk building. Around 6 fire engines were spotted outside the front of Sheffield Hallam’s Adsett’s building at midnight March 05 after being alerted by the fire alarm.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue arrived at the situation quickly and well equipped, minimising the damage. They began leaving the scene around 1:30am.

Security guards at the scene originally told students that it had been a false alarm. However, several students and an official Statement by the university have proven this to be wrong.

It is now known that the fire occurred in the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC) where current sources are claiming it was due to an electrical fault.

Possible causes have been identified as an autoclave machine may have been left running without water which would quickly become a fire hazard. These reports are not yet confirmed and we are told investigations are still on going and a student mistake has not yet been ruled out.

Sheffield Hallam University released an official statement on Twitter in the early morning of March 06:

“The fire brigade were called in at 11pm last night to deal with a small fire in our Norfolk building at City Campus. It was quickly extinguished and we are now working to investigate how it happened. We will be open today as usual.”

This article has been updated from our initial posting as more information has come forward. We will update this article as more information arises. The Sheffield Star and Telegraph have also not yet commented on the event.

A look back on last week’s Technology Fair…

People flocked to Canter building last Wednesday to see the different stalls and attractions that were put on to promote and encourage careers in digital technology. There was everything from new video game VR headsets to The Ministry of Justice. This also included showcasing computing student’s work progress and work although all Sheffield Hallam students were welcome to attend and participate in the stack event. There were also employers offering graduate, placement and summer internship jobs in the hope that this would create a window into the industry for current SHU students.

The highlight of the Tech Fair was an interactive humanoid robot named Pepper, whose skills included voice and touch response, walking, human face tracking and emotional recognition. Pepper was created by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank, designed to be a robot companion. Pepper costs about $1,700 upfront and an additional $134 a month for 36 months for maintenance and $89 a month for 36 months for insurance. This is worth it since Pepper can also dance to Thriller…

Sheffield Hallam’s Ethical Hacking Society demonstrated an attack with two PC’s, one being the victim and the other performing the attack. With consent, by-standers could log into a website with their username and password on the victim PC and be shown how easy it is for their details to be collected. They explained how this could even occur on wireless networks such as in coffee shops. Despite this being quite intimidating, it was highlighted that this tactic could be used for the greater good.

The large amount of displays, games to try and activities to get involved with made the event a great success, paving the path for those who want get involved in the industry and enlightening those who do not.

BRIT Awards 2017: Bowie dominates as grime loses out.

The late David Bowie, the 1975 and Drake were just some of the winners on at this year’s BRIT Awards. The yearly event honoring some of the best music from the last year returned with performances from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Little Mix and Emeli Sande. The biggest performance of the night though was Katy Perry’s abstract rendition of her new single “Chained to the Rhythm” which saw her surrounded by flouting houses and skeleton mannequins of Theresa May and Donald Trump.

The biggest winner of the night was the late great David Bowie who’s 2016 album Blackstar picked up British Album of the Year. The legendary singer who passed away last January also won the award for Best British Male adding to his Icon Award from last year. Newcomer Rag’n’Bone Man also picked up two awards, the 32-year-old London native won Critic’s Choice and British Breakthrough Artist beating acts such as Anne-Marie, Dua Lipa and Skepta.

This year also highlighted the rise of the UK grime scene with artists such as Kano, Stormzy and Skepta all up for numerous awards. Skepta and Kano were both nominated for Best British Male, Stormzy for British Breakthrough Act and Kano’s Made in the Manor was up for British Album of the Year. However, this year wasn’t the year of grime as all nominees failed to capture the awards.

Chris Martin’s moving performance of “A Different Corner” in tribute to George Michael was another highlight to the show. The Coldplay frontman was joined on stage by Wham! co-member Helen De Macque who said about George: “He understood love, loss, happiness and grief… he lives on in his music and in our hearts, and I will never forget my wonderful friend.”

An unlikely duo of Ed Sheeran and Stormzy also managed to get the O2 Arena moving with their remix of the current UK number one “Shape of You”. The double act will release the single on Friday following rave reviews of the performance.

Adele was recognized with the BRIT Global Achievement Award for her record breaking global sales, which she accepted via video, holding the Zaha Hadid trophy she said: “Have a great night and get a bit swervy, like her.”

This year’s BRIT Awards ended with a bang honoring the Icon Award with Robbie Williams singing his newest singles “The Heavy Entertainment Show”, and “Love My Life” after collecting his record breaking 19th BRIT Award.

The endless rise of more student accommodation being built in Sheffield

Planning permission has been approved for an 11-storey block of student flats at Mayfield Court, West Street.

Former local favourite bar West Street Ale House has been scheduled for demolition to clear way for the construction.

With more and more plans being forwarded and approved by the council Sheffield residents have started to question the supply of accommodation in Sheffield and how there may be too much compared to the students coming in.

With University of Sheffield student Holly, 21, stating “There’s too much accommodation in Sheffield and the supply might start outweighing the demand”

And Alice, 24, a resident of Norfolk Park simply saying that “There’s too much student accommodation in Sheffield”

However, not everyone is as opposed to the idea of more student accommodation being added into the city.

Cav, a resident of the neighbouring Broughton House, said “It is a minor issue and as there is already plenty of student buildings nearby I doubt much will change”

And Adam, 19, a student at Sheffield Hallam University, added that “Students are a driving factor for the economy in Sheffield and the more students that are coming in the better it is for the city”

The designs for the new complex will feature three blocks consisting of studios and one bedroom apartments with red brick walls with glass and aluminium on the upper floors.

The location of the new site will be ideal for students of both universities, being close to the city centre as well as within walking distance of both unions.

This construction is in unison with more approved flats to be erected along Ecclesall Road and Hollis Croft with plans also being forwarded for a 550-bed complex on Rockingham Street.

These plans will provide over 1000 new beds for students with more plans already under consultation.

Burglars target Student village

Student accommodation in the Norfolk Park area has recently become victim to a string of supposed ‘sneak in’ burglaries, after multiple incidents were reported to the police last week.

South Yorkshire Police issued a statement saying that their patrols in the local area would increase and they are appealing for people with information regarding potential stolen property to come forward.

Speaking to a resident of Norfolk Student village, who wished to remain unnamed, they described the recent break-ins as a ‘shame’.

“It’s a shame to be honest, I mean, it’s an area supposed to be for students, so you know, you’d think there were enough security measures in place”

“I mean we’ve got the gates locked, but I guess it must just be their fault for not locking their doors and the windows.”

Campbell property, a company which manages student houses in the Sheffield student village said:

“Campbell property was very sorry to hear of the break-ins at 2 of the properties that it manages in Sheffield”

“Unfortunately, both incidents took place via doors or windows that were left unlocked and we have re-iterated previous advice given to all residents in October that opportunistic break-ins are largely preventable by following basic security advice”

In the Autumn, Campbell property hosted a Safety and Security advice day by South Yorkshire Police for all its residents.

Applications to study nursing down 23% at Hallam

Nurses are a key aspect of the medical world, the people you first interact with whilst at a hospital, nurses are the people you create a relationship with whilst ill. So why in 2017 did applications to do nursing degrees 23%? One word, cuts.

The government has cut the bursary that students studying an NHS based course receive completely. Given that student nurses now face paying annual tuition fees of more than £9,000 and resulting in debts of £50,000, the removal of any form of bursary was a step too far for some.

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the biggest nursing schools in the country and our university saw the same drop in applications – 23% – as the national average.  The implementation of the unpopular teaching excellence framework is unfairly affecting our students because Hallam’s students are more often than not from less well-off backgrounds. The year before the maintenance grant was cut, Hallam received the third most grants out of any university in the country, now if you add the additional removal of the bursaries it is easy to see why nursing is becoming less attractive.

When talking to current first-year nurse students, they gave a list of logical reasons in that they believe have contributed to the drop in applicants. One of the key reasons is time: when being a nurse the hours you work whilst on placement are 12-hour shifts, not including the additional 2+ hours you may be expected to travel to your location.

“The travel, as well as hours, are both physically and mentally draining,” stated a first-year student, you are working long shifts and once you’re home, you do not have the energy to do anything other than to sleep, work on assignment’s and get ready for the next shift. The hospital becomes your life and without having a bursary to help with the cost of travel and other expenses, such as washing your uniform, what’s the point? You may be helping others but you’re straining yourself, the only good thing about the course is that you do not have to stress about funding and if that goes that’s another stress that would be added.”

Another student had a different view “you wouldn’t want to do this course if you are young because you may be moving away from home for university, then being at a different location for your hospital that is already a lot of stress. Now adding on to that, we now would have to worry about finances, it makes sense that no one wants to do it.”