Amy Fox

Writer. Editor. Bad at blogging.

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Concrete: Anger over plans to demolish Islamic Centre

The lease for the temporary buildings was granted in 2009 with the intention to build a permanent facility once it expired. However, this has not been the case.

While UEA will apply in June for a new lease to build a permanent teaching space to replace the CD annex, this does not include prayer facilities to replace those provided by the Islamic Centre.

The reasons for this decision remain unclear. However, it was made without consultation with the centre’s chaplain, Masoud Gadir, who was only informed of the closure after the decision had been made, or any other members of the Muslim community.

The Islamic centre is integral to the Muslim community of UEA for daily congregational prayers, at which 20-80 people attend, with over 400 for Jum’uah prayers on Fridays. Due to the relatively small Islamic community in Norwich, it is one of the largest centres in the area.

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Concrete: Students’ film on homelessness wins BBC prize

The documentary, entitled 16:01, was created by Guy Wilson, Will Hanford, Nate Dove and Alex Francis, and was originally displayed over five screens at the Forum. This meant that several different shots could be viewed at once, while the main interviews were shown. However, it can be seen in its single-screen form here.

It was shown as part of a series of fifteen films made by students for Campus City in February, a presentation at the Forum which was a collaboration between UEA, BBC Voices and the SeaMedia project. The students were given the opportunity to make a film based on any subject, as long as it was relevant to Norwich and Norfolk.

Speaking to Concrete about the inspiration for the film, Wilson said: “We wanted to tackle it and get a real strong issue, given the platform that we had, the great opportunity that it was. We saw the opportunity to do something important and to make something that could make a difference.”

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Concrete: Students protest outside David Willetts lecture

Words: Amy Adams and Oliver Balaam.

Universities minister David Willetts was met with strong opposition by students when he visited UEA to give a lecture on philosophy and government. A protest, organised by undergraduate Cal Corkery and approved by the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS), gathered outside the lecture theatres half an hour before the event began. Corkery, along with UUEAS officers Meg Evans, Matt Myles, Tash Ross, and postgraduate officer and president of the GSA John Taylor, met with Willetts prior to the event to ask questions directly.

Speaking to Concrete after the event, communications officer Matt Myles said: “It was good. We didn’t expect to change his mind but we did expect to get our points across, which I think we did really well. We informed him of the motion of no confidence and we challenged him on A B margins and bidding systems as well as research frameworks.”

Corkery added: “We obviously understood that we weren’t going to get any concessions or major slip ups from him but we put across the views of UEA students pretty well, which is all we set out to do.”

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Concrete: Survey snubs hubs

The hubs, which were introduced in September 2011, have received mixed feedback throughout the year. Most of the concerns surrounded the lack of receipts in the new system, and the time taken for work to be returned.

The survey revealed that 83.4% of students would prefer a receipt when coursework is handed in to protect against potential losses. While students are able to check receipt of their coursework on E:Vision, for most this does not appear to be enough. Overall, 60.2% said that their study support experience was made either worse or “a lot worse”, with 26.5% saying that it saying it had not changed.

Commenting on the results, UUEAS academic officer Meg Evans told Concrete: “The hub survey has produced some very interesting figures and comments from students. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be analysing the results, writing to the University and lobbying for the changes that students want to see.”

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