Editor's column

Talking panic, peer pressure, and pay gaps

Welcome back to the last term of the academic year! Entering into my final term at UEA is a scary, as well as exhausting and exciting, prospect. If you’re a third year like me then your Easter break will have been filled with dissertation writing, job applications, and a general sense of existential dread that your time as a StudentTM is nearly to its end.

A personal highlight this fortnight can be found on page 17, with Comment editor Jack Ashton’s reflections on turning 21. It’s ok to not have everything figured out, he concludes, after reflecting the anxiety of most third years I know (“Panic. Panic. Panic”). In a similar vein, Features writer Dorothy Reddin debates work or travel, on page 10. It’s ultimately fine to not have a plan for what you’re doing after graduation, and even though it may seem like everyone else has already received 32 job offers and found the perfect post-uni life for them, the majority of people are in exactly the same boat. (The “Panic. Panic. Panic boat, that is).

In our front page story this week, News editor Matt Nixon spoke to UEA staff and students for their views on the university’s gender pay gap situation. It can be an elusive issue to get to the root of. Some argue that if women aren’t being paid the same it’s because women don’t want to work the same. Women want families and children and Nectar cards. It’s obviously not that simple.

UEA are rightly the first to admit in this case that they have a problem when it comes to the distribution of top jobs. The gender pay gap issue is one that has stirred campus conversation across the country, and so hopefully UEA will join other universities in leading the way in examining the complicated reasons behind such alarming statistics.

If talking about graduation and societal inequalities is enough to make you want to hide under your duvet for the foreseeable future, our Sport editors are looking ahead to brighter days. On pages 21 and 22, they have looked at a few of the teams eager to play against Essex on Derby Day next fortnight. UEA are playing to win for the sixth time in a row. This year the event will be at Essex. I’ll leave speculation about sport to section co-editor Soph’e Christian, who gives her analysis and predictions for the day on page 21.

One thing that’s certain is that UEA’s Media Collective will be covering the day from start till finish, dawn to dusk (literally). Concrete’s reporters will be live-blogging scores from 9am on Wednesday 25th April, on our website concrete-online.co.uk. We’re working with UEA:TV and Livewire to report all the excitement of the day back to campus: if you see a roving reporter on the day, say hi! If you’ll be in Norwich, perhaps stuck in the Library frantically typing a summative or job application, you can keep up to date by following the Concrete liveblog and the UEA Media Collective’s social media throughout the day.

Unfortunately, university sport clubs in the UK have faced a litany of allegations about hazing and peer pressure. Stories of incidents, such as our front page this week, are not the way anyone wants to think about university sport, especially at UEA.

Finally, I’d like to say well done to the Concrete writers shortlisted for Student Publication Association awards a few weeks ago. Concrete made it onto the shortlist for ten awards overall, including Best Publication and Best Design. This is a testament to the hard work and enthusiasm student volunteers put in every fortnight. (Thank you also to the lovely Gair Rhydd for hosting the team at the SPA’s national conference in Cardiff!).


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October 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on Concrete.Editor@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.