Welcome to UEA! (Or welcome back, if you’re not a fresher).

It’s been an eventful summer for the university, thereís no denying. There was an election. Gemma Collins is back to capture the  of our millennial weariness. UEA has had so many breaking news stories since issue 339 that I lost count. Iím sure there will be some we havenít touched on in this edition, but in the next 30 or so pages we made sure to cover the issues that captured your (and our) attention over the last three months.

Midsummer saw the university retract a plan that would have had new freshers (that means you, kiddo!) pay £35 everytime they needed to prove a health problem was affecting their coursework quality or punctuality.

It was a controversial move by the university, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Incoming SU Welfare Community and Diversity Officer India Edwards negotiated a delay to the policy, but not before the story had caught the eye of the regional press, local MP Clive Lewis, and now the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. (Not to mention the hundreds of students who opposed the policy through an online petition). You can read our recap on page 3.

For breaking stories like this that matter to you, check in at concrete-online.co.uk and make sure you’re following us on social media.

Climb-downs and changes of heart seem to be on trend for A/W 17/18. On our front page, Matt Nixon reports the university have decided to halt changes to the fee liability time period. On page six, we cover the university’s adaption to their flag policy, meaning that (after what seems like an age – and I’ve only been here for two years), UEA will fly the LGBT+ flag for all of LGBT+ history month.

We talked about some of these issues in more depth with Professor David Richardson in a big interview on page 10. One thing he focused on was how necessary it is for the university to listen to students on the issues that matter to them.

For those of you staring apprehensively into a three-year long UEA journey, we have got you covered. In Comment, editor Jack Ashton has compiled a ubiquitous set of fresher memories – whatever happens, it’s happened to somebody else in some freshers’ week of years past.

For those of you with just one or two years to go, feeling the anxieties of the Working World start to loom, you can find stories from graduates throughout this issue. Their stories may not totally alleviate your “How do I get a job/be an adult/cope with life outside the boundaries of academic validation?” woes, but nevertheless, we’ve chatted to an inspiring bunch of alumni this issue . In Finance, we’ve covered one recent graduate’s award-winning cosmetics company. We also interviewed the university’s class of 2017 honorary graduates about how to approach being an adult in this, well, messy world.

You most likely came into the possession of this issue because it was thrust into your hands by an eager sticker-wielding member of our editorial team. Throughout the term, though, you can pick up a free issue all across campus, including Unio, the bars, and the library, every second Tuesday.

We’ll be on campus all throughout freshers’ week – move-in weekend, Societies Fair, Media and Gaming Fair, Arts & Humanities Opportunities Fair, Break the Day, INTO Opportunities fair – you name it, we’re there. We’re to ready to chat about why you should get involved in Concrete.

Submitting to a student newspaper can be intimidating, so we’ve heard from writers and editors from year’s past on why you should give it go anyway, on page 15. Concrete share an office with radio-station Livewire 1350 and UEA:TV, just above the Red bar in Union House – we’re quite nice really.

We couldn’t have filled all 32 of these pages without our team of writers, copyeditors, illustrators, section editors, housemates armed with pep-talks…the list goes on and on. Venue is also back (in its glorious printed medium this time) with a new logo and look. So thank you, even if this is the first copy of Concrete you have ever picked up. I hope your time here is wonderful.

What do you think?