Students fear city violence
Student leaders in Glasgow and Paisley are taking measures to safeguard students from a wave of late-night violence. As a new academic term begins, newcomers are being warned to avoid certain areas following eleven murders in Paisley and Renfrew this year alone.
Over the past few weeks, Strathclyde Police have carried out a number of high profile operations to curb weekend violence, most notably Operation Dove in Paisley. But despite an increase in town centre patrols and several arrests for breach of the peace, police assault and carrying offensive weapons, five stabbings — one of which proved fatal — occurred over the first weekend of September. While claiming that the more recent stages of the crackdown have been successful, police chiefs have warned that serious violent crimes will continue in Strathclyde for some time to come. Chief
Constable Leslie Sharp, making a call for increased manpower and funding, indicated that this year the murder total in the region could exceed 100.
This has brought fears that students, particularly those moving to Glasgow and Paisley from quieter, more rural areas, could unwittingly become victims of the current spate of attacks. Given the present climate, the University of Paisley Students Association (UPSA) is advising students to use their union building for leisure and welfare needs. The Buroo, as it is known, operates as a private club, giving access only to members and guests. ‘The Association has always taken the safety of students and the public seriously,‘ said Kirsty Davie. President of UPSA. ‘It has been campaigning for security improvements to University-owned properties and on issues of public concern such as improved street lighting, for several years.‘
Meanwhile at Glasgow University, Freshers’ Week includes two talks by local police outlining late night safety measures. These will be held in the Boyd Orr Building on Wed 30 at 1pm and on Fri 2 at 10am. Anyone with worries about personal safety should approach their Student Association’s welfare officer.
Successful new developments but a lack of secure funding are the main points to be drawn from the Scottish Film Council's Annual Review for 1991/92, published this week. Dverthe iastyear, the SFC has placed emphasis on its role to encourage Scotland’s young people to appreciate film culture. A series oi media education initiatives, including the Strathclyde Tapes and the Television and Young People scheme, brought Scotland’s teenagers into contact with professional film and television programme-makers, while the launch oi First Reels - co-sponsored by Scottish Television - was an important
production initiative which allowed several young and first-time film and video makers to complete projects. '
However, SFC Director David Bruce sounded a note of warning. ‘The SFC's second year of independence should have been characterised by a steady growth in resources to match a substantial increase in its range and number of activities,’ he said. ‘lnstead the Council experienced a widening and debilitating gap between its necessary roles in Scotland’s moving-image culture and the finance available to carry out the work.’ To this end, the SFC is continuing to lobby the European Community’s audio-visual support scheme, arguing that Scotland, with its distinct cultural and economic needs, must be recognised as a “small country’ in its own right. (AM)
Drivers are exposed to higher levels of health-damaging pollutants than those experienced by cyclists or pedestrians, according to a new report from the environmental campaigners Greenpeace. Levels of benzene, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide were examined both inside cars and in the air around them. All three pollutants are detrimental to health and all three were found to reach levels higher than the World Health Organisation recommended safety limits.
The report comes as Friends of the
III/Ally illcCoist goes green
Earth Scotland are getting ready for Fight the Fumes Week, a national campaign to draw attention to air pollution. Money raised on Green Mask Day will go towards specific anti-pollution activities. (See Open listing, page 61). (Thom Dibdin)
:- New CCA chief
Alter a turbulent and uncertain year at the old Third Eye Centre, Glasgow’s home of Innovative performance and visual art, the outlook is more settled now Jo Beddoe has been appointed Director. The re-christened Centre for Contemporary Arts (a name that could change again before the company is formally registered in December) has survived with a skeleton stall under the guidance of a steering group since the Third Eye was liquidated last year. Beddoe has been working with that steering group, and her appointment
. vindicates the four-year business plan
she devised which helped to persuade the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow District Council to award revenue grants.
Before moving to the CCA, Deddoe was General Manager of the largely post-McGrath 7:84 for four years,
lollowing managerial roles with Black Theatre Co-op, the Liverpool Playhouse and London’s Royal Court. Working with Nikki Milican, Performance Director, and Andrew liaim, Visual Arts Director, Deddoe’s job will be to co-ordinate the artistic - programme and to ensure that there is no repetition of the trading deficit that crippled the Third Eye. Between now and December, the steering group will be reconstituted as a board which will be made up of people with heads for money and for creativity. ‘You need a mix of both sharp linanclal eyes and artistic eyes,’ says Nikki Mlllcan, confident that the centre’s strength was always in its programme, “and obviously from the funders' point of view, it’s necessary to have a more effective board than we had before.’ Beddoe is likewise confident that the Centre is well placed for a rosy future thanks to the support of both artists and funding bodies. The CCA’s Young Spain season opens next issue. (Mark Fisher)
_ _ City lights
The already remarkable skyline of Scotland’s capital city will be set ablaze by almost 50 outdoor installations when Edinburgh celebrates the UK’s six-month presidency of the European Community. In all, the city will host 22 of the 600 events taking place across the country, including the first exhibition at the newly refurbished City Arts Centre. This will be Spirit of the Ukraine, a celebration of 500 years of painting in Edinburgh’s twin city of Kiev.
Of the European Arts Festival events still to take place, Lux
Europae will undoubtedly be the one that catches the eye of the Edinburgh inhabitant who doesn’t know his Maastricht from his Mitterand. The installations embrace the twin themes of light and celebration and have been designed by artists from eleven countries. Working in neon, halogen, laser and fluorescent, they will vary in size and seriousness. George Wylie’s ‘The Maastricht Velocipede’ consists of a Euro cycling pack fronted by a huge bicycle lamp; Adrian Wiszniewski’s neon fairies will be added to the traditional Princes Street Christmas display; and a 4-kilowatt laser ‘skytracker’ planned by Holland’s Titus Nolte will illuminate the city from Calton Hill. The entire Lux Europae package has funding of £750,000. (AM)
I Scots students: According to a new batch of statistics released by the Scottish Office, the number of Scottish students entering Scotland’s oldest universities dropped by over ten percentage points during the 19805. The Scots’ share of places began the decade at 76 per cent, but by 1990 this had declined to only 65 per cent, fuelling fears that the country’s older institutions are increasingly geared towards the English A-level system. While Glasgow and Strathclyde attract an intake made up of80 per cent home-based students, Edinburgh saw its Scottish contingent drop 18 per cent to a mere 53 per cent at the end of the 805. However, more than one in four young Scots go on to some form of higher education, with the proportion of female students continuing to rise. The effect of the universities’ recent drive to increase student numbers generally has not yet been taken into account. I Fringe Film Festival: The 8th Edinburgh Fringe Film and Video Festival has been saved, thanks to a last minute grant from Edinburgh
District Council. After two previous applications had failed to reach even committee stage, the council’s recreation committee has decided to award the festival a grant of £3,500. The organisers now have only three months to assemble an international programme of short works from outside the mainstream, but hope to draw packages from other European avant-garde film and video festivals, given that the Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival takes place in December, one week before the city holds the European Summit.
I Book Prize List: Three volumes of short stories and three novels make up the short list for the Herald/Scottish Library Association run People’s Prize. Fighting it out for this year’s £5,000 award are William McIllvaney (Strange Loyalties), James Kelman (The Barn), Elspeth Barker (0 Caledonia), Janice Galloway (Blood), Allan Massie (Tiberius) and Alistair MacLeod (The Lost Salt Gift of Blood). Readers are invited to read the six books, then vote using ballot forms in local libraries. Last year’s winner, Alan Spence’s The Magic Flute, came top of a total poll of 4374.
4 The List 25 September — 8 October 1992