Ah, the dawn of a new year. Always slightly troubling, isn’t it? Whilst we’re all suffering from Christmas hat syndrome (“is there still one on my head? I genuinely can’t tell anymore”), we’re simultaneously shock-stricken that summer wasn’t yesterday… and when did Halloween happen? Did I even have a birthday? Seriously, where did all my memories go?
Perhaps Exeposé News can assist you the recuperation process via our handy 2015 recap. Sabbs, Uni scrutiny, student life, Syria protests and scandals a-plenty all await…
Students may have had a merry Christmas, but a not-so-happy new year awaited, as January brought news that they would be hit with record rent rises the following year.
According to the front-page report, some private properties had increased their prices by as much as £26 per week. Back on campus, it was revealed that the 2015/16 cohort would have to spend almost £7,000 for a 32-week letting period in the most expensive rooms – tough news to swallow following a Huffington Post report published the previous year ranking Exeter as the third most expensive university in the UK in which to live and study.
Meanwhile, a controversial Student Idea that would have changed campus procrastination forever was issued: banning Facebook in the Forum Library. Procrastination won over productivity, however, as the Idea was defeated.
In February, we learned that University staff had claimed £3 million in expenses, with the top 10 earners having claimed up to £12,000 each.
The Freedom of Information request behind the findings also showed that the University had forked out £10,000 on first class rail tickets for the 10 highest paid members of staff. Despite their six-figure salary, however, Exeposé revealed that one person earning £142,800 per year had made a subsistence claim for just 87 pence.
Later in the month, it transpired that perhaps Exe doesn’t bleed as green as originally thought, as the University dropped 23 places in the ‘Green League’.
Finally, a record-breaking Sabbatical election saw Laura-Jane Tiley crowned Guild President, alongside an all-female team. Meanwhile, Jack Bristow was named AU President, beating the competition in the tightest category of the elections.
It wasn’t the first time the sport society’s conduct had been called into question that academic year, as the team had already been sanctioned following revelations of an initiation-style ceremony the previous year. The event, which broke the AU code of conduct, saw freshers forced to drink alcohol and to kiss a dead eel.
Oh, and, er, a man broke into Queen’s Building and covered himself in ink…
Amid the national Tampon Tax controversy, April brought victory for student feminists on campus, with both Guild and University retail outlets agreed to cover the the cost of the five per cent VAT on female sanitary products.
As the #Milifandom came to the fore with election fever running high, one Exeter student came to regret jokily starting the jokey #Cameronettes trend after receiving “appalling” hate mail. Currently run by a group of A-Level Politics students, there is now a Twitter account with over 1,000 followers inspired by the trend, which is blocked by Diane Abbott, George Galloway, Owen Jones and founder of the #Milifandom, Abby Tomlinson.
To round off the rather varied month, Exeter was proudly ranked top of the UK for international student experience in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards, beating off competition from Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews.
In May, the shocking revelation came to light that Exeter bleeds… blue.
Following a University-wide poll, Exeposé discovered that 30.2 per cent of students would vote Conservative in the May elections. Among students, Green party support was found to be more than four times higher than in the national polls.
The investigation also showed links between student voters’ subjects and their voting intentions, with the Business School’s support for Conservatives the highest across campus at 49.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Geoff Pringle stepped down after six years in the role, and a commendable 35-year career.
The man behind the construction of the the Forum, Exeter’s £48 million student services development, Pringle ranked 43rd in the prestigious Out at Work list for being among the most influential LGBT executive role models.
With one in 18 young people in and around Exeter facing homelessness during their youth, Exeposé was proud to lend its support to the University of Exeter’s YMCA society’s #Selfieless campaign to promote awareness of homelessness in the city.
The initiative saw students upload self portrait photos with their faces concealed onto social media, in an effort to raise £5,000 in order to fund nine months of accommodation for one young person.
Ending the month with a literal bang, Exeter was shaken by a bomb scare after two suspicious packages were found on York Road and King William Street.
Following the establishment of a 200-metre cordon around the area and the controlled detonation of the suitcases by the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team, police found the man responsible.
Described as a “local hoarder”, the man who had left the suitcases filled with wires on local streets was said to have “no malicious intent”.