Where Are They Now: A look back on the biggest stories

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This being the final edition of SCAN, it seemed adept to look back on our biggest stories throughout the year and ask: “what happened next?”.

In this article we will take a look back at some iconic SCAN stories from the 2016/17 academic year, and bring you up to date on what happened next, and how things stand today.

“Lancaster cannot rule out further fee rise – while 47% of academics remain on “precarious” contracts”

12th October, 2016: A University spokesperson told SCAN that the University was “not ruling out” an increase in tuition fees. UCU shared data that suggested nearly half of staff were on ‘precarious’ contracts.

Today: In January, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor confirmed to SCAN that there would be a £250 increase in tuition fees for UK and EU students (though Brexit will likely affect EU students’ fees), and that based on Lancaster’s position in the Teaching Excellence Framework’s university rankings, fees are likely to continue to rise. International students’ fees will rise by no more than 4%, but there is no other clarification for them. Despite guaranteeing an increase in percentage of money from fees being spent on scholarships and bursaries, in actual fact this will not as great an increase as the fees.

“A Proposal For The Books”

24th October, 2016: SCAN interviewed Connor Monaghon, who proposed to his girlfriend Alice Callaghan on C Floor of the Library.

Today: When asked about their family’s reaction to the proposal, Connor told SCAN “It was a mixed reaction, mainly because I hadn’t told my mum or dad that I was planning on proposing. The only people that knew was Alice’s mum and dad as I asked their permission to ask, and then told her um my plans. But my family found out through the power of Facebook and the amount of shares the video got. But both were very very excited. And have been pretty involved in our wedding plans.”

The wedding planning itself is “going brilliant. We have booked our Church (Bride’s church in Manchester), and booked our reception venue at Victoria Baths in Manchester. All planned for the end of September 2018. We are using the same photographer, Harry McGill, which is great. Then we have booked our band, the wedding food everything! We are doing a round the world theme since we both love travelling and Alice has always worked abroad travelling, since within a week of knowing each other we booked to go travelling around Australia for a couple of months. We are using one of our Lancaster friends to make our invites etc, so we are keeping it local etc so it is really good.”

“Debate over housing near Sugarhouse continues”

22nd November, 2016: Debates continued into a controversial planned housing development near the Sugarhouse. The Students’ Union released a petition to block the planning.

Today: LUSU recieved almost 1,000 objections to the last proposed development.

Vice President Sophie Tarif said: “”The developers start stripping the buildings in August, and main construction begins in Janurary. They have honored their agreement to put 20,000 towards soundproofing the venue. We are working closely with the developers to ensure that Sugarhouse will continue to be a great and profitable venue for the Union.”

“Lancaster student injured in ear-biting attack”

27th January, 2017: Andrew Roberts, a psychology student at the University, had part of his ear bitten off when he was attacked by three strangers after a night out in the Sugarhouse.

Today: Andrew Roberts told SCAN: “the ear was alright after I went into surgery. The doctors had to cut back cartilage so that the skin could heal back over because of the shape of the bite. It looks a bit weird though.

“The police managed to get a partial DNA match on the piece of ear that was recovered from the scene of the incident, however the culprit appears to have gone to ground and they can’t find him, so his name is on the national police wanted list.”

“Apart from that there’s nothing new.”

“SCAN Investigates: Fake Facebook Events”

7th February, 2017: A fake ‘puppy petting day’, purporting to take place at Lancaster University, was collecting students’ data with unclear intentions. An investigation by SCAN revealed that the events could be traced back to Jonny Ransome, an events manager based in Manchester. When approached by SCAN, he refused to issue a comment.

Today: The event has been deleted from Facebook. SCAN has made eight requests for comment: 4 to the Facebook pages behind the event, and four to Jonny Ransome between January 25th and May 25th. All have been ignored.

“Dean of University mishandles sexual assault case”

19th February, 2017: SCAN told the story of a student who had been failed by the University processes for dealing with sexual assault. The student’s e-mails were repeatedly ignored by the Dean appointed to deal with the case. The University said that new policy was being formulated to prevent such failures in the future.

Today: A new policy is set to go into effect for next academic year, incorporating the new government gold standards and setting up pilot programs to address issues of assault of all kinds across campus.

“Lonsdale memorial bench missing”

27th February, 2017: A Lonsdale memorial bench, placed in memory of a student who died in 2008, disappeared without a trace from the College. Julie Shurrock, college manager, appealed to students who knew of its whereabouts to contact her confidentially.

Today: Sadly, the bench was never returned.

“Pizzetta loses 70% of business due to Spine developments, says proprietor”

28th February, 2017: The proprietor of Pizzetta Republic, the on campus pizza restaurant, told SCAN that Spine developments outside his establishment were hitting his business hard. He estimated losses of 60-70%, and pointed out that the University had not offered any compensation or rent discounts for the significant loss of business.

Today: SCAN had an extensive meeting with the heads of Design the Spine. They reported that only one tenant attended a consultation meeting before the project started. They said that Pizzetta had not complained to them of any loss in revenue and had not produced any evidence of a loss in revenue. They said that they had offered to help Pizzetta with social media and signage. Spine developments continue.

“Lancaster campus is parrot-dise for lost pet”

16 March, 2017: A distressed parrot was rescued from a tree on Lancaster University campus. The parrot – identified as a Macaw – was spotted by Tim Wardle, from Security, and rescued by a passing tree surgeon. Michelle Greenwood, of A1 Parrot Rescue, took the parrot home and attempted to locate its owner.

Today: The Macaw’s owner was never identified. Despite attempts, only one person came forward to enquire. The bird was not microchipped and it is still a mystery as to how it arrived on Lancaster Campus. Nonetheless, Michelle Greenwood  kept the bird – adding to her collection – and named him “Luni” – as in Lancaster Uni. She says that Luni has settled in really well and she is now hoping to keep him indefinitely.