Tag: university

Sling your hook for the canals

On Thursday 20th June, the Canal and River Trust organised a volunteering day to tidy up the canal running past the University and Selly Oak. Around 30 people from across the community, including University staff, Guild of Students staff, and private accommodation provider Unite Students staff, volunteered their time to what we assumed would be a few hours of litter picking. How wrong we were.

It turns out that litter picking when you’re by the canal is quite the adventure. There were the litter picking grabbers and black bin bags that you might expect, but upon arrival (and after slipping into some very fashionable high visibility vests and protective gloves), we were handed metal grappling hooks on lengths of rope. What ensued was four hours of hurling the hooks into the canal and pulling up all sorts of strange treasures from the depths.

The first person to pull out a car tyre was hailed as Master of the Canal, which was sort-lived as several other tyres soon followed. By throwing the hook into the water and securing the end of the rope under your foot, and then dragging the hook back to the bank along the bottom of the canal, you were able to hook all sorts of things out of the mud.

A cry went up when somebody hooked our first bike – rusty and clearly submerged for months, if not years, the twisted metal was pulled out of the canal and taken away to be suitably disposed of. Then we found another, and another.

Once the muddy treasures started to be unearthed, the mood shifted to one of competition. Everybody wanted to find something they could be proud of, and we threw in our hooks over and over again hoping to find the jackpot.

By the end of the session we had found car tyres, trolleys, fences, goalposts, multiple bikes, a van bumper, and a car door. All of this was sitting below the surface of a mile of canal and would no longer pollute the waterway, no longer damaging animals and narrow boats. Knowing that we had pulled out all we could for the day, and smelling slightly of canal water, we headed back to work or back home.

With one of the most intricate networks in the world, it’s clear that Birmingham’s canals need a bit of looking after from time to time. To make a safe and clean environment for people and wildlife, regular volunteering opportunities to ‘sling your hook’ and get involved in the treasure hunt will be taking place on a regular basis. Keep an eye out and get involved with your community…even if it’s just to compete with your mates as to who can find the most amazing junk.

5 reasons to lock your door at uni

Brought to you by Endsleigh Insurance

When you’re rushing around campus handing in assignments and trying to get to lectures on time, it can be easy to let the simple stuff, like locking the door to your room and house, slip through the cracks.

“It’ll never happen to me”, you think to yourself as you head out for a quick seminar leaving your door unlocked. But according to research* by Endsleigh, 46% of students (or someone close to them), have experienced theft from their home, making it all the more important to take extra steps to make sure you, and your belongings, are safe.

But besides protecting your belongings, here are five other reasons why it might be a good idea to lock your door while you’re away at University!

*Endsleigh Lifestyle Survey 2017-18

1.    You’d lock your front door at home…

… so why do it any different at uni? It can be devastating (and expensive) to have your home or your car broken into, so treat your uni room exactly how you would your parents’ house. It’s also a good habit to get into for when you move out of student accommodation and live alone for the first time, as at that point you may not even have your flat mates there to remind you to lock up as you leave.

2.    To avoid pranks

Everyone’s seen the multitude of photos online showing what can happen when your room is left unlocked at uni. From rooms filled with cups of water to walls plastered with post-its, if you don’t want to be the subject of any number of uni pranks then it’s probably a good idea to lock your door when you leave…

3.    Some space to breathe

Sometimes university life can be pretty hectic and you may feel like you never get a moment’s peace. Going to your room for a couple of hours and locking the door to deter visitors may give you some much needed alone time.

4.    Keeping track of your keys

We’ve all been there – when you’re in a rush to get to your lecture but your keys are suddenly nowhere to be found (and you can’t remember the last time you used them, either). If you’re constantly using your keys as you come and go, then chances are you’ll know exactly where they are at all times.

5.    Peace of mind

The simplest way to ensure that all your valuables are safe and secure is to lock them in your room whenever you go out. The beauty of halls is that there’s an unspoken ‘open door’ policy, but even if you completely trust your flat mates it’s best to keep your door locked just in case someone you don’t know does manage to get in. For everything that could go wrong, it’s really worth that quick turn of the key to put your mind (and your wallet) at ease.

Check your cover here: http://eis.social/uy