Transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf set to give talk at #DMUpride

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#DMUpride organisers will ensure Rainbow colours will be prominent 

Transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf will be talking at De Montfort University (DMU) as part of the #DMUpride events.

Named the first ever University of the Year for Social Inclusion by the Sunday Times, DMU is holding a series of month-long events to celebrate LGBTQ+ history.

A spokesperson for DMU said: “We define ourselves as diverse, international and open to all. Our free-thinking equality, diversity and inclusion charter, DMUFreedom, puts inclusivity at the heart of everything we do.”

#DMUpride will be launched on Monday between midday and 4pm at DMU’s Campus Centre and will include handouts of free rainbow lanyards and #DMUpride T-shirts, alongside refreshments and the details of up-coming events.

A series of workshops, performances and film screenings will be put on throughout the month alongside talks from prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community, including Bergdorf.

Now the face of a new lingerie campaign promoting diversity for all women, Bergdorf was on Good Morning Britain yesterdayTHUJAN31 to discuss diversity in the fashion industry.

She said: “I’m speaking about my experience all the way from before I transitioned and my sexuality to how I view the industry.”

Her #DMUpride talk, ‘In Conversation’, will be held in the university’s Clephan Building from 7 to 8pm on Wednesday, February 27.

It will be one of the final events for #DMUpride but also one of the first for the Cultural eXchanges Festival which celebrates its 18th year.

Cultural eXchanges will run from February 25 to March 1 with a host of creatives from the industry delivering talks in the Clephan building.

For more information on #DMUpride view the online brochure https://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/events/dmu-pride-brochure.pdf

For more information on Bergdorf’s talk and the Cultural eXchanges Festival visit https://www.dmu.ac.uk/cultural-exchanges-festival/index.aspx

De Montfort musicians preparing for band battle

by Ollie Heppenstall

Student musicians are tuning up for the yearly battle of the bands as part of the Varsity contest between De Montfort University and the University of Leicester.

Dryden street

Theatre of Dreams: Dryden Street Social, the venue for this year’s varsity

The battle, scheduled to take place on Friday, March 9, at the Dryden Street Social, will feature four acts from the DMU Music Society and four acts from UoL’s Band and Gig Society before being closed out by music from both the DMU and UoL DJ societies.

Matt Coll, DMU Music Society Chairman, said: “This year’s battle is the fourth we’ve held, with last year’s being the biggest. Filling out Firebug on a Monday night was a bit special, and this year we’ve been able to double the potential capacity by booking Dryden Street.

“The venue’s been booked since September, so this has been in the pipeline for months.”

Acts from DMU include 5-piece band The Excellent Adventures, of whom Coll is a member, 4-piece indie rock outfit Sweatbox, William Bartholemew and the reason we can’t have nice things, and Brian.

Coll also said: “The format is much the same as last year.

“The bands will alternate, playing 25-minute sets each, before a winner being voted and the DJ societies closing out the show with music all through the night.

“The atmosphere last year was electric, it only got bigger and better as the night went on and led to a decisive De Montfort victory.”

“Hopefully we can pull off the same result this year, we’re definitely taking it as seriously as the sports teams take their own varsity fixtures.”

Pun championships returning to Leicester

The UK pun championships will be bringing the ‘funny’ to De Montfort Hall.

De Montfort Hall will be hosting the UK pun championships 2018, run as part of Leicester Comedy Festival, for the fourth year running.

The championships, taking place on Monday, February 12, and featuring eight comics will take the form of a rap battle.

With the crowd voting for the winner of each round by cheering, the final two will battle it out to be crowned UK pun champion.

Tickets cost between £10 and £20, and can be booked by visiting http://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/the-uk-pun-championships/.

Video game tournament makes a smashing come-back

By Mickey Evans

The ‘Smash’ video game tournament triumphantly returned to O’Neill’s pub on Monday night after a two-month hiatus.

Smash tournament photo

The tournament was put on hold whilst O’Neill’s went under a full renovation, until the Leicester pub re-opened at the end of October.

The tournament draws its name from the 1999 Nintendo 64 game ‘Super Smash Bros.’

The evening event featured two games from the franchise; ‘Smash Bros Melee’, and the more recent ‘Super Smash Bros 4.’

Monday night’s event winners not only received a cash prize raised from entry fees, but were also entered into Smashzilla 7, a Nottingham based fighting game tournament, featuring games from Tekken to Street Fighter.

Organiser Will Savage said: “We’ve been doing this every Monday for the past two years, but we’ve recently come off a two-month hiatus due to O’Neill’s renovations.”

The turnout of 34 tournament combatants put to bed any doubts that the event would suffer from the temporary closure.

‘Jam’, a contestant, said: “I come here to compete, to meet friends from around the country, but most importantly, to drink beer and play smash.”

Connor Mackinnon, who travelled from Birmingham to compete, said: “If you don’t play (Captain) Falcon, you’re not playing it right.”

However, the success of the event would not have been possible without help.

Will said: “A lot of people help out, we try to get things moving as quickly as possible because we only really have three hours.”

Tom MacPherson, co-organiser, said: “We all help run the brackets.

“Will plays a lot so we help out, plenty of volunteers make things run smoothly.”

The regular events are warmly welcomed by O’Neill’s.

Andy Anderson, assistant manager of O’Neill’s, said: “We get a lot of retro-gaming events here, like the smash bros one.

“We usually put offers on, like 10% off food and drink.

“These events bring in more people every week, it’s really good considering it’s a Monday, usually the deadest night of the week.”

Smashzilla is hosted by Leicester Crew and GeekZilla, and sponsored by Pro-Comfi, Brook, Team Heir and, Green Shell Media and will run from November 18 to 19.

Tournaments are scheduled to be held every Monday night from 6 to 11pm.