Those of you who study politics may be familiar with the name Haleh Afshar. She is a politics lecturer of not inconsiderable fame, both worldwide and amongst the student population for her lively and often contentious lectures.
I was familiar with the name, so that when I came across this photo during my regular trawl through the Nouse archives, my mind performed a bizarre double-double-take. The caption was eerily prophetic.
“Her name is Haleh Afshar,” it read, “and she comes from Tehran. Came to York as one of the original two hundred but will outlive them…” No kidding! Ah, life must have been good for that original 200 and those that followed immediately after them. The same edition of Nouse that featured the picture of Afshar that stopped me in my tracks is filled with a charming whimsy that is entirely missing in our modern-day cutthroat university world.
I?so want a College scarf. introduced in 1966 for the original three Colleges of Derwent, Langwith and Vanbrugh. Sod a hoodie or a Derwent thong (seriously, you can get those now), I want a ‘60s scarf!
Another story described how a Nouse columnist was recieving death threats from a campus group known as “Petrum Referre (Latin for Bring Back the Rock!) – a society dedicated to the cult of Rock and Roll music”.
Nouse goes on to tell how that sinister group, consisting of “reactionary members of the Football-Rugby set” had previously “pulled down a statue of the god Diana.”
Another news story, about an Evangelical organisation known ambiguously as “The National Young Life Campaign”, featured the bizarre quote: “There is more proof that Jesus Christ rose again than that George Washington ever lived.” The intrepid but cynical reporter ended his story “All those who had been converted were invited to stay behind… I was not convinced.” I?assume that means he was polite enough to leave once informed that in order to stay, a conversion was required.
Opposite that story sat a brilliant column called “Juke of York”, an anarchistic collection of in-jokes and random phrases. “How way out is a wayout party?”?Good question. Pretty damn way out. “Is Phil Harding succeeding?”?Also a good question. Alas for Harding, probably not. “Is Libby York’s Bridge Queen?”?Yes. “Does Vernon look better without it?” I am sure Vernon thinks so. “Where is the old spirit of Mike Cuthbert?” That one mystifies me. Perhaps he is simply depressed? “Will Gillian finally win?”?God, I?hope she did. “Why is Haleh Afshar known in Cambridge as The Drain?” Professor Afshar is cordially invited to enlighten me, emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. “Does anyone else like Mary Lambert’s hat?”?The answer to that one, I’m afraid, we will never know.