Plush Lounge assault defendant pleads not guilty

A teen has denied assaulting Teddy Hall student Jeanne Marie Ryan last March.

Abdulrahman Abdelsalam, 19, of Edgeware, London, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last week. He was arrested in March. 

The charges relate to the attack on Jeanne Marie Ryan in popular nightclub, Plush Lounge, on 22nd March.

The attack on Ryan led to widespread attention on social media after she posted a “#nomakeupselfie” showing the injuries she received.

According to Ryan’s report, she was groped on the dancefloor and when she resisted she was punched in the face. Her assailant then knocked her to the ground and proceeded to hit her a further six times when she attempted to stand back up.

Ryan said she was assaulted “for telling a guy in a club who groped me that it is completely inappropriate to touch a woman without her consent, I was beaten. He told me to “Smile!”, too.”

Ryan told Cosmopolitan: “He seemed really angry that he hadn’t knocked me out straightaway.

“I was bleeding profusely and as he walked off, I was yelling at someone to stop him from getting away but he just walked out of the club.

“We had chosen to go there because it’s an LGBT club and we just wanted to dance with no hassle. Everyone who goes there thinks of it as a safe space – it’s great for dancing and not being bothered by guys.”

After the assault, Ryan set up a Just Giving account and raised £16,000 for the Oxford Rape and Crisis Centre.

Popular Oxford nightclub re-opens as Warehouse

Popular Oxford nightclub Junction is being transformed into a “unique events space” called Warehouse, according to its owner.

Warehouse will continue popular nights such as Itchy Feet, but will also launch several new nights. The biggest change has been to reinvent the club’s interior to make it into a “unique events space”.

A spokesperson for the nightclub, on Park End Street, described how the building has been “transformed”.

“After months of labouring we opened the doors for Oxford Brookes Freshers Week to a rousing reception. The venue has been transformed into a unique events space, it’s [sic] black and blue colour scheme complements the newly fitted LED Live Lighting Show (engineered on the night of the event by our house lighting technician) and the FUNKTION ONE Sound System.”

The improved venue has been the work of different management companies. “What has been created is a club for the people by the people who know best. A heavy focus was put into improving the site’s VIP offering. Eight newly built, 12-person booths have been installed in what is being marketed as the ‘most inclusive VIP area in Oxford’.”

“The area is secluded enough from the main arena to allow for conversation and enjoyment of the venue’s personal waitress service, whilst its open viewing allows for bookings to look onto the dance floor, lighting show and DJs in full swing. There is also a ‘VVIP’ Room which can cater for parties of up to 40,” they added.

Isobel Wilson, a freshers committee rep at Regent’s Park, said she is “so relieved that Oxford clubs are starting to change their style this year”. 

“Much as everyone loves a bit of the cheese, it’s nice to have variety, and to give students the chance to choose from a wide variety of nights, music and venues. Hopefully it will also ring the changes on the freshers week scene! It’s nice to know that being a second-year freshers rep won’t just mean repeating my own freshers week!”

However, some students were more ambivalent to changes. A second-year PPE student at St Hildas said: “To be honest, I don’t know how much I’ll notice the change. A lot of the Oxford clubs are quite similar, and often it’s more who you are with than where you are going.”

Another said: “I hate clubbing, so don’t care about these changes. I go to bed at 8pm and drown my sorrows in hot chocolate.”

On top of the aesthetic changes, the venue is looking to change its music scene. It will continue to host night such as Kandy Fridays, but will now include Thursday night Carwash.


Carfax councillor in by-election controversy

Oxford students have responded angrily to the timing of a recent council by-election in Carfax ward, which saw a turnout of just 8.6%.

The election was held on the 4th of September, when the vast majority of undergraduate students were away from Oxford for the summer vacation. According to the 2011 UK census, full-time students make up 70% of the population in Carfax Ward.

The election was won by Labour candidate Alex Hollingsworth with 168 votes, amounting to only 3.6% of the Carfax electorate. He replaces Ann-Marie Canning, the Labour councillor who resigned from her position in July.

Oxford's Radcliffe Square

Concerns over Oxford University building development

Thames Water has raised concerns over Oxford University’s development plans. A £45m research building may be held back by fears the Headington sewage network won’t be able to function properly under added pressure.

According to the Oxford Mail, Thames Water has argued that the Big Data Institute may be too much. It has said Oxford must ensure the sewage system can cope with the added impact of the development project prior to any work beginning. (more…)


Investigation: Oxford students speak out about porn habits

At the beginning of 2014, Pornhub, one of the world’s largest porn websites, released statistics that revealed the most popular search terms countries and cities within the United Kingdom.

These search terms reflect what users actively search for, giving the general population an insight into the porn habits of the country as a whole, as well as the habits of inhabitants of specific English cities.

Within England, the most popular search terms were “British”, “Lisa Ann” (an American pornstar particularly renowned for her role as Sarah Palin in the porn film ‘Who’s Nailin’ Palin?’), “lesbian”, “MILF” (informal, stands for ‘Mother I’d Like to F**k) and “Indian”.

As compared to the majority of cities in England, “MILF” was more popular than “lesbian”, while “British” and “Lisa Ann” remained among the top search terms. Interestingly, Oxford was the only place in England where “casting”, a type of porn depicting an audition for an adult film, was in the top searched-for terms.

The Preview Show decided to conduct a survey of Oxford students, in order to see how many students say that they watch porn, but more specifically to investigate the popularity of Oxford’s top five search terms amongst the student population.

In our survey of 248 Oxford students, conducted via ‘Survey Monkey’, 71.8% of all students said that they watched porn. Broken down, this amounted to 90.2% of male self-identifying students saying they did so, against 51.2% of female self-identifying students.

Rank Pornhub’s Oxford Stats Oxford Students (Overall) Male-identifying Female-identifying
1 British Lesbian (56.8%) Lesbian (59%) Lesbian (52%)
2 Lisa Ann MILF (32%) MILF (43%) MILF (9%)
3 MILF British (26.4%) British (36%) British (7%)
4 Lesbian Lisa Ann (13.6%) Lisa Ann (18%) Casting (7%)
5 Casting Casting (12.8%) Casting (16%) Lisa Ann (4%)

–        Note: the percentages refer to the amount of porn-watching students who said they had searched for each term specifically and individually

“Lesbian” was the most popular search term amongst both genders individually, in contrast with its 4th place position within the city. However, this term was overwhelmingly popular with females when compared to the other search terms – almost 6 times as many of our participants had searched for “lesbian” compared to “MILF”.

Similar percentages of students had searched for “lesbian” –a 7% difference – between genders, yet this was not the case for the rest of the search terms.

“MILF” was more frequently searched by the student population than by the city as a whole, with the city’s most popular term “British” coming third in student searches.

“Lisa Ann” was also less popular, but “casting” remained, with Oxford students, the least searched of the five most popular Pornhub terms.

Students also searched for other specific terms – 47.6% of females said that they search for topics outside the top five, as did 50.6% of males. Further investigation into these searches would, possibly, reveal the top five search terms for the University as a whole, as its apparent that terms such as “Lisa Ann” and “casting” are less popular with the student body than with the city.

The Preview Show decided to do a documentary on these findings. Here is the link to the video:


Google maps your punt

Google Maps has this week introduced punting as a recommended mode of transport around certain areas of Oxford.

The move comes as part of a larger “Easter Egg” initiative, recently launched by the company to spice up the morning commute. These eggs are little navigational surprises, offering quirky ways to get to work.

When someone searched for directions from Magdalen College to Wolfson College, Google suggests a mode of transport deeply steeped in Oxford tradition – punting.

The site estimates that the trip would take the average punter one and a half hours, winding up the River Cherwell, along Uni Parks and into the back-waters of Worcester.

Hector Penny, a third year Classicist from Univ said: “This is great! I’ve always loved punting, now a computer program is literally telling me to do it (lolololol). But really I think this is great – the nine to five can be tough, and I’m happy to see Google doing something to brighten it up!”

Speaking about the development, one Magdalen student said: “It would certainly make my journey home from Bridge more interesting”.

Another student lamented the laziness of youth, saying: “Punting is a great form of transport for twats – get off the boat and on a bike do some exercise!”

Other suggestions include taking a royal carriage from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace (one hour and 16 minutes) and hitching a ride on the Loch Ness Monster from Fort Augustus to Uruquart Castle on either side of the Scottish loch.  Google Maps estimates that this would be four times faster than taking a bus – the monster would get you there under 30 minutes

The initiative comes as part of the Californian company’s decision to introduce an upgraded version of Google Maps, which allows users to plan a trip on any form of public transport.

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