Last Wednesday saw UEA teams victorious for the sixth year in a row, taking the Derby Day trophy back to Norwich once more. It was a tense day, with some fiercely contested matches, not to mention pitch-side rivalries sometimes slipping from friendly banter into physical scraps. The Media Collective also went to Colchester – working out of one of the SU bars to report wins and losses back to UEA, with almost fifty members covering different matches, filming for UEA:TV, presenting on Livewire 1350, or updating the Concrete live-blog. A few changes in the day means that, though UEA were the clear victors by seven points, the day wasn’t as set in stone as previous years, which have seen Essex end the day with only a handful of points.
You can read some of the Concrete team’s highlights inside our special eight-page Derby Day supplement, with Sport reporters taking you through some of the most energetic and surprising matches of the day. Thank you to the following for their hard work despite the rain and long day: Amy Atkinson, Chris Matthews, Caitlin Rogers-Peckham, Sophie Clayton, Daniel Cook, Charlotte Manning, Tom Bedford, Jack Ashton, and Sophie.
In Travel this issue, Beverly writes on a topic personal to her that readers may sadly recognise, many readers will not have considered. “You’re in a new place, trying to get around without getting lost, unaware of the way this foreign city works, and worrying about the threat of hate crimes on top of all of that isn’t fun at all,” she writes on page 22.
In News this week, there is an examination of campus hate crimes, (page 4), and our front page addresses student concerns towards our local MP’s stance in an anti-Semitism case. It is worrying to see students feel so disillusioned with their representative, particularly with local elections around the corner. On page 17, however, Sean Bennett praises the value of local democracy.
Articles like this, which challenge our conceptions or hold those prominent in the student community to accountable, are one of the things I have enjoyed about editing Concrete most. On page 10, Features writer Bryony Barker writes candidly about her experiences facing an investigation of academic plagiarism. “No one wants to be known as having gone through a plagiarism accusation but I feel like the taboo needs to be removed. It is not okay to plagiarise, but it is okay to talk about it,” she says.
As I write this, the office is packed, with members of the Media Collective apparently not feeling up to venturing out into a grey and drizzly Square, and Soul Train tickets, scattered across desks alongside copy-edits, old issues, and pieces of paper with my and Sophie’s frantic scribbles of page plans and to-do lists. It’s this image of slight chaos that has been my home, sometimes almost too literally, for the past two years. Concrete’s chief copy-editors, Hannah and Sophie, deserve a Derby-Day-sized trophy all for themselves for their patience and eagle-eyed proof-reading this year, so thank you to them for sacrificing their weekends to spot silly mistakes and prevent disastrous ones. Applications for a new team are open now and I would encourage anyone interested to apply. A final thank you to Sophie, Kate, and Tom, who have been my partners-in-Concrete for the past year, I couldn’t have done it without them.