The fact that UEA has announced it may use livestreams for lectures in the future is a very exciting prospect. Soon people from all around the world will be able to learn from experts at UEA without actually having to be on the Norwich campus. Our front page exclusive highlights that UEA is currently at the forefront of technological advancements in teaching, and could very quickly find itself being able to properly compete with the Open University and other long-distance learning institutions.
However, this news must be treated cautiously. While there are many benefits to this new method of teaching, it is vital that students who are studying at the campus itself do not get penalised. For some nursing students to have turned up at a welcome lecture only to be told that there was no space for them to be in same room as their teacher is simply unacceptable. University is not cheap, and it is not fair that two students studying the same course could find themselves being delivered lectures in two different styles due to teaching space shortages.
Our article on page four reports on the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) banning of sombreros being handed out by local TexMex restaurant Pedro’s at Welcome Week due to cultural appropriation. The news made national headlines and made UEA something of a laughing stock around the country. Given the potential spacing shortages around the university I’m sure that many students would rather that UUEAS focused more on tackling the university regarding these more important issues than banning students from wearing sombreros.
However, while there are certain issues that UUEAS can be criticised for appearing to go too far on, we should not forget that UUEAS also does an awful lot of good. In our Comment section Penny Carter has written an article about experiencing sexual assault while at UEA. This is something that no student should have to endure but unfortunately as Carter states, many students do. UUEAS has an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault, and it is these sort of campaigns that the union must be praised for running. All students have a right to feel safe while on campus.
Human rights are the focus of our feature article in Global, as Caitlin Doherty highlights the details of a new report that was released last week revealing the large abuse of human rights by the Turkish government. Denial of the rights to liberty are unacceptable for any civilised nation in the 21st century and it is vital that these issues are addressed.
The timing of this report comes just after the United Nations International Peace Day 2015, an event held annually by the organisation in the aim of observing world peace. One of the articles on our centre-spread considers whether the world has become a more peaceful place since the UN’s formation. With the ongoing civil war in Syria there is already enough conflict in the world without countries who are members of the UN such as Turkey adding to the havoc by using police forces on citizens.
While our front page looks at UEA’s technological advancements and its effects on studying at university, on page 21 of Concrete travel writer Alys Barr looks at the consequences that technological advances such as Instagram have on our life and whether there are cases of going too far in advancing technologies. Our Science and Environment section of the paper has a great example of advancement for the sake of advancement: a new car is being made that can travel at 1000 mph. There are no plans for the car to ever travel on an actual road due to the phenomenal speed at which it will move. In which case some could be forgiven for wondering: what is the point?
Nevertheless, at the same time there is something undeniably cool about the idea of a car that can travel 240 mph faster than a bullet fired from a gun; we all love fast cars. Fast cars are the subject of one of our back page articles in Sport. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton appears unstoppable in this year’s Grand Prix and is practically running away with the Drivers’ Championship. Sports writer Esther Veas has written a brilliant summary of the Japanese race which took place at the end of September.
This is our first issue of the year that new students have had the opportunity to write for, and as I hope this editorial highlights, every section of this issue of Concrete is full of fantastic articles that are well worth a read. Content has been made up from a large number of students studying a large variety of subjects. We always welcome new contributors to get involved, so feel free to get in contact should you wish to write an article.