Leicester students ‘Light the Night’ in awareness of sexual offence victims

By Thomas Carter

Students at De Montfort University took a united stand against sexual offences in a virtual event this month.

The annual event, ‘Light the Night’ saw students design their own homemade signs with messages of support and defiance in regard to crimes of a sexual nature, which were posted online and shared by the Students’ Union social media pages.

Alice Arnold, an Advertising and Public Relations Management student at DMU, said: “What’s great about ‘Light the Night’ is that it’s an easy event to get involved with and is really visible. I think these two combine to make for a great way to raise awareness.

“This year people could be involved with social media. I’m so sad we couldn’t do the walk like normal but showing solidarity on social media and with the SU’s online event was a great substitute.”

Alice Arnold, like many students, posted homemade signs on social media with personal messages.

Last year over 150 DMU students marched through the streets of Leicester City to raise awareness, with the walk beginning at Mill Lane Bridge and culminating in Town Hall Square, where the group stopped and students were invited to give speeches.

‘Light the Night’ also took place as part of the kick-off for DMU Pride, with events taking place throughout the month of February, celebrating diversity and love.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 7.5% of adults aged 18 to 74 years experienced sexual abuse before the age of 16 years (3.1 million people), which includes both adult and child perpetrators, showing the importance of the need to raise awareness.

If you seek help regarding sexual offences and abuse, The Survivors Trust can be called on 08088 010 818, or alternatively Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA) offers online support.

Giant rocket sculptures have landed in Leicester

By Joshua Solomon

Forty rockets have landed in Leicester ready to be turned into the city’s biggest ever art trail.

The art exhibition is scheduled to take place from Monday, July 19, to Sunday, September 26 this year.

The plan is for the public art event to be steered through the city’s streets and open spaces for local people to explore and enjoy.

Each sculpture will be sponsored by a business and individually designed by an artist either well-known or just starting out, from the local area or further afield.

Rocket Round Leicester will be in place for 10 weeks this summer, with the rockets all being painted by different artists. They will then be auctioned to raise money for the Loros Hospice, to help it care for 2,500 terminally ill local people.

Leicester City Council has provided a temporary home for the sculptures.

Photo from last year’s parade.

Anna Shutt, who works as a campaign co-ordinator at Loros Hospice, said: “Looking forward to unwrapping mine on Wednesday.”

Keep updated by following the hashtag #RocketRoundLeicester

If you want to get involved, you can contact Rocket Round Leicester at rocketroundleicester@lororos.co.uk or by phoning 0116 231 8431.

DMU practical students fear being forgotten during lockdown

By Luke Williamson

De Montfort University students studying practical courses fear their degrees will be rendered worthless after lockdown has stopped them from completing their work.

DMU Campus hasn’t had students since November. PICTURE: Luke Williamson

The current national lockdown was announced on Monday, January 4, and students were advised to stay where they spent the Christmas period.

Daisy Hicks, DMU Textiles Design student, said: “I feel like practical students are being cast aside and this means our degrees are going to be worthless compared to degrees of people from previous years.

“It also worries me how I am supposed to go into the third year with the knowledge and skill I have at the moment and still be expected to produce work to a high level.

“Don’t get me wrong, the lecturers are doing really well with what they are doing, but there is only so much they can do.”

The university has made provisions to help aid the students as much as possible, modifying assessments as many do not have the materials necessary at home to complete their projects.

Despite the provisions that have been made, students have to submit their work on a low-resolution PowerPoint with poor quality images, as well as submitting woven paper as final work.

Daisy said: “It affects our chances to get a job after this because our portfolios are going to be embarrassing and we’ll be taken less seriously than other years because we have lost a year of practical time on the looms. 

“They have made the Adobe programmes like Photoshop and Illustrator accessible from home, but the university could improve the learning experience by trying to get the students the resources they need.”

The Government has outlined plans for primary and secondary school students to return to the classrooms on Monday, March 8, but it is yet to be announced when university students will be able to return to campus.

On the way up! Petrol prices on the rise during UK lockdown

by Abigail Beresford

Petrol prices are back on the rise, after a 4p increase since last month – but Leicester has stayed below national levels.

Petrol prices were recorded at 117.32p per litre during January 2021 but have since increased in the early weeks of February reaching 121.32p per litre.

However, petrol prices in Leicester have fallen below the national price levels, averaging at 119.6p per litre, according to Petrol Map.

The increase in petrol prices aims to discourage people from travelling long distances, in keeping with the current national restrictions that are in place.

During the first national lockdown last year, prices of petrol were recorded as low as 106.69p per litre, according to the RAC Foundation.

In comparison with the current average price, there has been as increase of 14.63p, with the last record on February 12, 2021 with 121.32p per litre.

“I rarely use my car at the moment,” said Alex Garner-Woodbury, 19 a second-year student at De Montfort University.

“I mainly use my car to get to-and-from Tesco for the weekly food shop, which is only up the road. I can’t travel back home to Wolverhampton, due to the restrictions so it’s the only run my car gets.”

Back on the open road, petrol prices back on the rise

The UK was put into its third national lockdown on January 4, with restrictions put in place expecting people to avoid travelling long distances and to stay at home, unless it is essential or if they are unable to work from home.

“It’s February, and this is the first time I’ve had to fill my car up since New Year,” added Alex.

“I used to fill my car up on a weekly basis, so it’s saving me money, but the prices of petrol are probably going to jump back up as soon as lockdown is eased”

The Prime Minister is expected to provide the nation with a road map out of the lockdown in the next coming days.

DMU hosts online meeting exploring trans’ participation in sport

by Shantelle Gondo

DMU Sport invited individuals to join an online meeting about trans athletes’ participation in sport this week, with the hope to develop our understanding within the topic.

The DMU Sport’s online meeting was held yesterday (WEDFEB 15), exploring the role and involvement of transgender athletes, led by Professor Martin Polley, director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture.

Last year’s host, transgender football player Chloe Quinn said: “Being trans in sport isn’t great. I’m constantly anxious of how I’m perceived whether that’s how I look or how I sound on the pitch.”

Trans athletes are a sensitive topic within the sports field, DMU will explore how academic research can contribute to the topic, and how sport could become more inclusive towards the transgender community.

Individuals got a chance to listen to some athletes’ personal stories as they shared their journeys and challenges during the meeting.

The event included a panel discussion, speed lectures, and interviews with athletes and leading academics.

Chloe said: “For me being open and honest about my transition is really important as that’s how I found my courage, by following other trans people on social media, knowing its possible to live as my true self.”

The online discussion concluded with showing how academic insights should be explored along with each of the athletes’ personal stories.

For more information or to get involved visit: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/events/events-calendar/2021/february/dmupride-trans-athletes-participation-in-sport.aspx.