Of all the issues we’ve worked on so far, this has been the most tough. Perhaps the Sex and Drugs Survey is to blame: an extra 24 pages of juicy (yes) content to lay up. Or maybe it was Storm Ciara: a depressingly damp finish to what I thought may have been the beginnings of spring. In any case, it’s been a hellish week. But from the flames we can present you with not only a brilliant issue of Concrete and Venue but also the widely anticipated 2020 Sex and Drugs Survey.

I’m immensely proud of the work the team has put into it. Side note though – some were less than pleased with it. In fact, it’s so hot our printers’ suppliers refused to print it! Too much ankle shown, perhaps?

Joking aside, this really is a fantastic issue. Our front page story, ‘UEA may go bust “in a few years”’ is something we’ve been quietly working on since November last year. It’s a relief to see it finally in print. The byline says it all – it was a real team effort. As it happens the Vice Chancellor will be taking questions at the next meeting of Union Council, so it’ll be interesting to get his personal take on the matter. (Remember you can follow our live tweeting of Union Council via the Media Collective @uea_media.) 

On page 6 News Editor Bryan Mfhaladi keeps the Concrete Mental Health Crisis campaign up to date with two stories on the subject, while on page 8 Global Writer Marco Rizzo gives you the low-down on Britain’s exit from the EU in his article ‘Brexit: what happens now?’

Moving on to Features, Sam Gordon Webb has written a stunning long read on his experience of having an eating disorder. Don’t forget to have a read of his full article online at concrete-online.co.uk/features.

This issue is teeming with fascinating stories, from Rosie Matthews’ (no relation) article about the surface of the sun on page 18 to Travel Editor Sam Hewitson’s piece ‘The ‘Game of Thrones Effect’ in travel’.

In Comment, Thomas Gymer makes the argument for TERF ideas being “a faux feminism”, while in Sport Senior Writer Luke Saward writes about the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

Speaking of Senior Writers, I’m delighted to announce another addition to the Concrete team. From next issue Henry Webb will be joining us as News Senior Reporter. 

As I write this I have to confess, it’s about 2.30am. (I included the 30 just to use up a few more words, in case you wondered.) For some of you, summatives may be looming, your workload is increasing, and you still haven’t been to the gym even though you still pay a monthly subscription. For many of us, Reading Week is also coming up. Of course, at UEA we call it Do Something Different Festival, because UEA is, umm… wonderful? So many slogans to keep up with. Anyway, whether the week is actually meant for reading or meant for trying something new, I think I’m going to try something old and traditional. I’m going to focus on regaining a sensible sleeping pattern. I failed Dry January, Veganuary was never a realistic option, and I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions. At least not any I can remember. 

So this is it. I’m going to focus my energy on early nights and long lie-ins. You may think this is just laziness. But no. It will be a considered, and perhaps even an academic idleness. (Can you tell I’m playing to the word count?)

Take care of yourselves this month. In any case, if you don’t enjoy sleeping you can always write a few articles for Concrete. 


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