Dancers launch group to support protest vigil

By Sophie Sandberg

Students were taking a stand for diversity with the power of dance at De Montfort University’s 24-hour vigil last night.

For the first time, De Montfort University was holding a 24-hour vigil as a part of their #LoveInternational campaign to show support for refugees and other minorities around the world.

The Forward Motion was created by DMU graduate and dance practitioner Darcy Kitchener, 21, who wants to inspire people to be more tolerant and understanding towards each other through dance.

Miss Kitchener has always had the ambition to start her own company to protest and campaign for equality and when she received an e-mail from Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University, she started to organise the movement.

She said: “After watching the women’s’ marches and the protest at JFK I wanted to take a stand and those events are what inspired me when I choreographed the routine for #LoveInternational.”


After posting an appeal on Facebook, a couple of weeks ago, she reached 100 people who were interested in the movement and with only one day of practice 16 dancers came to show their support for the campaign.

Miss Kitchener said she hoped people who saw their performance were able to see that they are against the hatred and prejudice against refugees and that they should be accepted in this society.

One of the dancers, Jordan Parker, 20, a third-year dance student at DMU, said: “I joined the movement because I’ve always been someone to voice my opinion heavily on social media.

“I decided it was time to put my thoughts into action to get people’s attention. This was only the beginning for the Forward Motion.”

University hosts 24hr vigil #LoveInternation24

By Simon Sansome

Students, staff and public performances from different communities across Leicester have come to together for a 24-hour vigil outside Hawthorn House.

The event was organised by DMU Square Mile to show solidarity and support for international relations, following the Brexit vote and US President Donald Trump’s election.

Flags from the seven countries whose citizens have been banned from entering the US by an executive order by the President, were on display blowing in the wind.

Debbie Tinsley from the DMU Square Mile team was at the vigil for 19 hours making sure everything ran smoothly.

She said: “It has been an amazing experience. People from all different walks of life are coming to join oor vigil, we have had poets, singers, dancers and speakers.”

The vigil is on until 12 noon today (Thursday, February 9). There are also free hot drinks and breakfast if you get there early enough.

Leicester anti-Trump protest organisers impressed with turnout

By Max Pearson

Hundreds of people gathered at Leicester’s Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower in the city centre in protest of US President Donald Trump, ahead of his controversial State Visit to the UK.


A young protester showing her disapproval of Donald Trump at the march

The Facebook event, titled ‘Emergency demo against TRUMP Stand Together’, was started by ‘Leicester against Trump’ and saw young and old come together on Monday last week in solidarity against President Trump and his Muslim-ban on 7 countries.

Although they were unable to count the number of people in the crowd, ‘Leicester against Trump’ estimated that between 300 and 600 people attended the demonstration.

The Facebook page said: “We were expecting about 80 people.

“So, when I got there at 6pm and saw that there was already a big crowd around the Clock Tower, I was pretty impressed.”

“Most of the people there hadn’t been on any political demonstration in Leicester before.”

It is believed that the recent worldwide anti-Trump Women’s Marches, which aims were to show support in favour of women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights, were the cause of the increased number of people.

Leicester against Trump said: “I think [more people came to the protest at the Clock Tower because] over the weekend many people had seen the Women’s Marches [take place] in the US and beyond, seeing that a mass protest was an option. So, when Trump [introduced] the travel ban, [the people of Leicester] wanted to make clear that they were opposed to it.”

Although, not every person that opposed Trump and his Muslim-ban believed that protesting was the answer.

Writing for Huffington Post, Former broadcaster, Rabbi Kenneth L. Cohen said: “[Trump] was legitimately elected by the American people through the time honoured constitutional process. Protesting this election is protesting the process.”

County in the green for second season running

By Jack Gabriel

Leicestershire County Cricket Club announced last week that it had recorded a net profit for the second consecutive year.

The Club has shown an overall profit of £8,813, which is a further increase from the 2015 total profit of £4,315.

Such profits have ended Leicestershire’s three year run of financial losses that accumulated to be in excess of £500,000 from 2012-2014.

Chief Executive Officer, Wasim Khan MBE, said: “Our financial performance during 2016 was similar to 2015 in terms of Operating Profit, suggesting that we have stabilised financially.”


He added: “This progressive trend will continue as we are also forecasting a profit for each of the next three financial years based upon current plans.”

The total income for 2016 reached an unprecedented £4million, an increase of £617,000 in comparison with 2015’s figure.

Commercial income accounted for 62% of the increase, with the sponsored renaming of the ground and an Elton John concert contributing greatly.

Match day income rose by £15,000, with £11,000 attributed to sales of NatWest T20 Blast tickets, as well as refreshments and merchandise purchased at the game.

Expenditure increased by £615,000, with just over £300,000 being spent on the rise in player salaries and the increased staff and coaching restructure.

Improving the aesthetic appeal of the ground has also accounted for the greater expenditure, largely due to the installation of floodlights and developments to seating and hospitality areas.

Other areas of growth have also been reported by the Club.

Memberships have steadily risen to 2,181, whilst their social-media presence has grown substantially from 13,199 followers to 60,834 from 2015.

The growth of the Club commercially had been mirrored on the field, with the Club mounting a competitive challenge for Division One promotion, achieving their highest points total since 2010.

“This Girl Can” campaign launches with backing of DSU

By Aidan Thompson 

The #ThisGirlCan campaign has been launched by De Montfort Students’ Union following the national movement to inspire women.

The national “This Girl Can” campaign is based on a formidable idea – that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

This fear covers concerns by women over their appearances and abilities but also that they will be choosing to spend time on themselves rather than on their families.

For the third year running, DSU are backing the campaign after its major success on influencing female DMU students and staff over the years.


#ThisGirlCan pledges by students from clubs and societies


Students from societies and clubs accumulated to sign the pledge at the official DSU #ThisGirlCan campaign launch, at the Campus Centre on Monday last week, which was led by part-time officer Lauren Thomas, DSU’s Women’s Representative.

Crowds were also treated to a performance by DMU Zumba Society in the Campus Centre foyer followed by the DMU Steppers, who also seized the opportunity to show their support for the campaign.

Lauren said: “It is something I feel extremely passionately about and I know that this week the events we hold will have a real bearing on the future involvement of women in sport at DMU.”

She added: “I want to break down the boundaries to participation and make women feel comfortable in being physically active on campus.”

Kate Whitfield, DMU Women’s Rugby Captain, said: “ThisGirlCan is a great campaign that really emphasises the inclusiveness of sport, no matter your size, shape or ability”.

She added: “It’s so important that girls have a constructive outlet for everyday stress and to have a safe environment where they can just have a bit of fun.

“I’ve met some of my closest friends through sport and it’s so great that #ThisGirlCan gives girls the same opportunities I’ve had”.

Last year’s leader of the campaign, DSU President Dan Winney, was also in attendance and spoke to the crowd about his hopes for this year’s campaign.

The #ThisGirlCan week runs from Monday January 30 to Sunday February 5 and not only raises awareness but includes free sports sessions provided by DSU, DMU Leisure Centre and Campus 330.