Take a break, win a prize

Here at CityLibrary we think it’s important to remind all of our students and staff about the importance of self-care during the exams and assessment period. Working hard to achieve excellent results can be tough, both mentally and physically. That’s why we like to encourage everyone to #TakeABreak.

Whether you go for a walk, get some fresh air, switch off your smartphone for half an hour, or go home to get some sleep, it’s crucial to look after yourself and to find of ways of managing the stress you’ll experience as best as you can.

If you want, you can distract yourself for a while with one of our puzzling puzzles or our colourful colouring-in sheets:

Sudoku puzzle sheet.
Samurai Sudoku

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Codebreaker puzzle sheet.
Codebreaker 

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George Daniels clock colouring-in sheet.
Colour-in the George Daniels Clock

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City of London skyline colouring in sheet.
Colour-in the City

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This year we’re running weekly prize draws, so tweet us your artistic achievements or hand-in your completed copies at one of our Help Desks (remembering to include your name and City email) and you could win £10 print credit for your efforts.

We’d also recommend you take advantage of the range of support services and resources available to you:

And please remember: friends, colleagues, staff, there are loads of people around wanting to help you through the process as best they can; try not to let everything overwhelm you, talk to someone, get support, seek advice – you will get there in the end.

Good luck everyone.

Charlton Heston, Vietnam and the NUS Grants Campaign

City has a long tradition of its student publications featuring strong and politically charged editorials stretching right back to its founding as the Northampton Institute in the 1890s.

Take this edition of Beacon from May, 1968 as an example:

Black and white front cover of The Beacon, May 1968, featuring the headline 'Vietnam No'
Beacon Front Cover, May 1968

The front cover features a quote from a Royal Shakespeare Company production of a play called ‘US’, used to help illustrate the publication’s anti-Vietnam War stance: and there is a two-page spread inside on pages 6 and 7 which deals with some of the issues involved in the conflict, including examining some of the facts behind the headlines.

But arguably it’s the Editorial which is most interesting. It talks about the dehumanising aspect of war and how it can be easy to forget that it’s not organisations or countries fighting or being bombed, but people- human beings affecting the lives of others. It also talks about the impact of geography on how we understand and interpret events, suggesting that because a country like Vietnam is so far away people don’t see it as having much impact on their lives and so care less about the war and more about what are, by contrast, trivial matters local to them, commenting that “sometimes we should perhaps remember that there is a world outside.”

The piece concludes with a rather stark assessment of the political climate and a hint at the dangers of apathy which often prevails on such matters:

“Thus we look at the gathering storm of protest. The songs, the speeches, the banners. We try and stir the conscience. Not just because a baby was burnt to a cinder by napalm yesterday, but because we let it happen.”

This powerful statement demonstrates the importance of giving voice to people and facilitating freedom of speech and expression, even during the most challenging of times: and how local journalism, including student newspapers, have often provided such an opportunity.

In the classic tradition of tabloid newspapers and The One Show though, the Beacon did like to offer its readers a lively mix of politics, Union society updates and photos of students being silly. In addition, there was regular content such as these film reviews featuring the Charlton Heston classic Planet of the Apes, although evidently the concept of ‘Spoiler Alert’ wasn’t a thing back then:

 

Film reviews from Beacon including for the film Planet of the Apes, May 1968
Beacon Film Reviews, May 1968

 

Finally, from this edition, there’s some handy guidance on how to write a letter to your local MP to complain about the cost of going to university and advocate to back the proposals of the NUS campaign for better student grants- although it’s not clear if the Secretariat covered the costs of stamps as well…

 

A letter template from Beacon in May 1968
Guide to Writing to Your Local MP, Beacon May 1968