understanding pop psychology
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Volume 81 Edition 11 Editors: Casey Briggs, Stella Crawford and Holly Ritson. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union.
Editorial 2 wild horse!
On Dit is produced and printed on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land.
The opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of the editors, the University of Adelaide, or the Adelaide University Union.
Schrödinger’s Date: Kendra Pratt
Talk to us: email@example.com auu.org.au/ondit facebook.com/onditmagazine twitter.com/onditmagazine
Confessions of a Med Student: Michelle Bagster
From the presidents
square with a tassel on it: Rupert Hogan-Turner
Jobs don’t grow on (gum)trees: Vicki Griffin
Pop (Culture) Psychology: Max Cooper
Law School Royalty: Bridget Atkinson
Behind the rhinestones: Torvill Bolero
pyne-ing for an education: Shadi Aluthwala
barr smith yawns: Alex Stanley
postgrads are people too: Adele Lausberg
#sexcrime: Jodie Guidolin
A life Dedicated to death: Ben Nielsen
A Hearty Meal: Eleanor Ludington
diversions 46 An open letter: Anthony Nocera
Cover art by Adriana Sturman. Inside back cover art by Leah Beilhart. Back cover art by Elizabeth Galanis. Thanks to Andrew from university archives; Kelly for Kake, Koffee, Kompany and Kandy; Kim for the super trolley and being generally awesome; the SRC for the washing up liquid; chocolate covered honeycomb; snapchatted tongues; cheese; mineral water; #hashtags. Unthanks to Angus for injuring Holly’s ankle; everyone who promised to write something for Edition 12 – your deadline was yesterday.
editorial Hello Possums,
We’re mere weeks into the new Abbott government, and already we’ve seen Education Minister Christopher Pyne signal some big changes.
competing on a much more even playing field to get into uni, and it’s working.
Specifically we’re looking at an end to the demand-driven system and a recapping of undergraduate places, an end to the student services and amenities fee, an abandonment of the current targets to get more disadvantaged students into universities, and the redirection of funding for research that the Coalition doesn’t think is useful.
It said that ‘It would be a policy tragedy to recap university places now. It would make Australia’s higher education system less fair, less efficient, and less productive.’
In short: we will decide who comes to this university and the circumstances in which they come. Put simply, this sucks. The basic fact that you don’t attend a well-off high school and therefore on average will have a lower ATAR shouldn’t be a barrier to you attending university. The uncapping of undergraduate places has meant that students are
Disadvantaged students are succeeding once they actually get into university, as shown by the Grattan Institute’s ‘Keep The Caps Off!’ report from earlier this year.
It doesn’t make sense that as a nation we would want to restrict access to tertiary education to those that can afford it. It doesn’t make sense from an economic standpoint, and it’s just not fair. On top of this, Pyne has indicated his wish to see an end to the student services and amenities fee (SSAF). The SSAF is critical for the survival of student services on campus, including the magazine you are holding in your hands. Before the Howard government passed Voluntary Student Unionism legislation in 2005, On
Dit was a weekly paper and Student Radio broadcast across many more hours each week than it does now. After the VSU legislation was passed, funding for student media was cut dramatically and On Dit became fortnightly. I guess we should be relieved that student media didn’t stop existing entirely here, as was the case at Flinders Uni. Currently, the funding for On Dit comes from the Union, who get most of their funding from the SSAF. So if the SSAF were repealed, On Dit would be in a very vulnerable position indeed. Enough politics though (for now). In this edition, we’re diving into some of the many groups and subcultures at university. It can be hard to understand what other students do on a daily basis. Hopefully as you’re reading this edition you’ll learn something about how the law school works (p22), what it is that med students do for fun (p16), or why postgrads always look so stressed (p32). Until next time, Casey (and Holly and Stella)
wild horse! By Rowan Roff
Dear On Dit,
Dear On Dit,
Re: ‘From Russia with love’ (Edition 81.10)
Vivian Kenny’s eloquent article Tarrkarri Tirrka: A future of Indigenous Learning, (Edition 81.10) is right to consider that higher education is central to the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a correct place in Australian society and believe that Australian universities must play a leadership role in the nation’s recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledges and culture.
To tell the truth, the heading itself – ‘From Russia With Love’ from the very beginning hadn’t promised anything good – too wiped out, too banal (sorry). Honestly, it left me exasperated and confused, yes, most of all confused. I still struggling to find the answer to this question (maybe, you can help me with that) – where all these people come from, who have such a hatred for their own countries? I am studying with guys from all over the world and most of them are from developing countries, where economic situation is and was in the same state than that in Russia, but it is absolutely impossible to imagine any of them to have written anything in the lines of this article. Possibly, they have enough integrity and respect to themselves and their countrymen. What is most definitely, they know better than to passively pour dirt (and, what is more, often complete nonsense) on their home countries, while residing in others. Regarding facts, one of the most disturbing is one concerning same-sex relationships. Maybe the author has been living in Australia for too long or from the beginning is not very familiar with the geography of Russia, but there is a huge population of Muslims in Russia, for that my question being – do we expect, for example, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt to legalize same-sex marriage (or even to support them)? The answer is pretty obvious. In Russia it can cause huge offense to people professing the religion of Islam and even civil strives. Unfortunately, being a foreigner it is almost impossible to know such things, especially when mass-media just obediently uses habitual stereotypes, not wanting to dig deeper. Please, don’t get me wrong, it is truly great that everyone can exercise freedom of speech and his/her right to say whatever they like, I’m just ashamed the author having nerve to call herself Russian. Best of luck, Anna Stepanova Dear Anna, We respectfully disagree, especially with your closing remark. Being a patriot doesn’t mean you have to blindly endorse everything your country does. The Eds.
These wise words are the very foundations upon which the Tarrkarri Tirrka University of Adelaide Integrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2013-2023 rest. Unanimously endorsed and commended at Academic Board and Council, the University is committed to the strategy. What Vivian fails to mention in his comparison to UniSA is that the University of Adelaide since 2006 is the only Australian university to fund entirely its own Indigenous Employment Strategy and Project Officer. This year, through this strategy, we reached a major milestone of one per cent of the university workforce being from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. We are well above our yearly targets and are on track to meet two per cent parity by 2023. Another error that needs clarity is that no Indigenous Australian History courses have been deleted. Like other courses some are offered continuously every year while others run once every two years on a course cycle. The Tirrka brings needed change to central areas to build a university wide approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. This new exciting shared responsibility approach to Indigenous Education is core university business to drive change toward achieving desired Indigenous student and staff parity targets. Be rest assured readers that the Tirrka is securely tied to the Beacon of Enlightenment and cannot be unpaired. I support Vivian Kenny’s views that from history change was required. But let it be known now that change is here. Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney PhD Dean, Indigenous Education
Dear On Dit,
In edition 81.10 of On Dit, Stella Crawford reported on a recent Clubs Association meeting in a short piece in the Student News section titled ‘Clubs Controversy’.
Thanks for your comment. Regarding point (1), it’s true it was an estimate based on attendance figures. A more accurate word would have been ‘attendees’, rather than ‘councillors’ as there were a number of visitors. Most of those visitors, however, and a significant number of the councilors present, were there as a result of the controversy surrounding the proposed constitutional changes. Many of those ‘visitors’ were club members, and a number believed that they would have a vote as club representatives before being informed that they were not an official delegate and so could not.
I have two issues to raise with her report: 1) She states that more than twice the normal numbers of ‘councillors’ attended the meeting. I don’t know where she got those numbers from, or who these ‘councillors’ are. There were slightly more club representatives than normal, which in part at least would be because several new clubs, including clubs from the Roseworthy Campus, were applying for fully recognised affiliate status. This always increases the number of club reps who attend. There were a larger number than usual of attendees who were not club representatives present at the meeting; several of those were general club members who were there in support of their clubs seeking full affiliation, and I believe representatives of the AUU and SRC also attended. 2) When discussing proposed changes to the election rules, Ms Crawford included: ‘…changing the position of Women’s Officer to Equity Officer, which could be held by a man.’ (my italics.) I think it should be noted that the Clubs Association does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, and that the position of Women’s Officer has always been open to be held by a man, should one be elected to the position. Whether the office is changed or not, it has always been the situation that no Clubs Association committee position is limited by gender, nor will this change if the position of Women’s Officer is expanded to deal with all issues of equal access and the prevention of discrimination. Moreover, that proposed change would require a change of the Clubs Association’s constitution, not merely its rules on elections. Ms Crawford is no doubt a sincere reporter, but if she is going to label standard working procedures of a student body as controversial, then she really should make more of an effort to present the full and correct facts before publishing. Yours sincerely, Ms Anwyn Davies Do you have thoughts about the magazine this year? Advice for next year? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. au and you might be printed on this page IN OUR LAST EVER EDITION.
RE: (2), it is true that the position of Women’s Officer could be held by a man, and so there was no change in that respect. However, the simple fact that it is called a Women’s Officer makes it very unlikely to be held by a man, and in practice ensured that at least one woman would be elected to the Executive. This is not true of an Equity Officer, and so at the very least, the statement is true in practice. In response to your more general comments, the issue was raised because of the history behind the Women’s Officer position. In the recent history of the CA there have been a number of incidents of varying profile (for an example see On Dit Edition 77.3, pg 3) involving sexual harassment. The position of Women’s Officer was in fact created in order to address some of these complaints. Given this, it is important that the CA remains vigilant in ensuring the voices of women are represented. A move away from having a Women’s Officer challenges the CA’s commitment to this ideal. While representing other minority voices on the Executive is also a positive thing, the pressing issue of women in the CA is not one that can be overcome by gender neutrality. Nevertheless, the piece deliberately steered clear of arguing either point. The issues that you raise were due to the attempt to cover a complex issue in a balanced manner. We’ll endeavour to continue to report (sincerely) as the future of the CA becomes clear in coming weeks, and we appreciate your engagement. Yours, Stella Crawford
student election results
Student elections have come and gone for another year and your student representatives for 2014 have been elected. In total 68 nominations for positions were received from 46 individuals. According to the Returning Officer’s report, ‘Generally, the elections ran smoothly and no serious rules breaches occurred’. There were a number of complaints about students campaigning within the exclusion zones (that is, close to the polling booths) which resulted in some candidates being banned from campaigning for periods of around two hours. Thomas Gilchrist (Left Action) was elected to two positions on the SRC - Social Justice Officer and General Councillor. As it is not possible to hold two positions simultaneously, it is likely that this will create a casual vacancy in the position that Gilchrist does not choose to take up. Casual vacancies on the SRC are filled by appointment, after an application and interview process. The following were elected to positions: Board Directors for 2014/15 Alice BITMEAD (Activate) Renjie DU (Progress) Amelia BRIGGS (IndyGo) Robert KATSAMBIS (forU) Lucy SMALL-PEARCE (IndyGo) On Dit Editors Sharmonie COCKAYNE, Daisy FREEBURN & Yasmin MARTIN
Student Radio Directors Galen CUTHBERTSON & Jenny NGUYEN NUS Delegates Renjie DU (Progress) Catherine STORY (IndyGo) Yiran TAN (Progress) Alice BITMEAD (Activate) Sarah AHERN (Labor Students) Mara THACH (Left Action) Lucy SMALL-PEARCE (IndyGo) SRC Positions President: Lucy SMALL-PEARCE (IndyGo) General Secretary: Amelia BRIGGS (IndyGo) Education Officer: Laura HALE (Progress) Welfare Officer: Alice BITMEAD (Activate) Women’s Officer: Holly RITSON (IndyGo) Queer Officer: Sarah TYNAN (Activate) Postgraduate Officer: Adele LAUSBERG (IndyGo) Social Justice Officer: Thomas GILCHRIST (Left Action) Environment Officer: Gabriel EVANGELISTA (IndyGo) Ethno-cultural Officer: Yiran TAN (Progress) International Student Officer: Wanzhen LI (Progress) Rural Officer: Joel GRIEGER (forU) Mature Age Officer: Andrew CAVE (Activate) Disability Officer: Jarad MCLOUGHLIN (IndyGo) ATSI Officer: Vacant
SRC General Councillors Huaiyuan (Brad) GUO (Progress) Yang WANG (Progress) Thomas GILCHRIST (Left Action) Aaron DELA PAZ (Activate) Sophie WYK (IndyGo) Adi RAI (IndyGo) Fraser ANDREWS (forU) Rachel PHILLIPS (Activate) Casey Briggs
union to disaffiliate Clubs association In the most recent meeting of the Union Board, the first step to disaffiliate the Clubs Association (CA) was passed.
In the meeting on September 18, the board voted to disaffiliate the CA, and to set up an internal Clubs Committee that will provide the same support to university clubs. The vote must be passed one more time at the next board meeting. Union disaffiliation would strip the CA of almost all of its income, essentially stripping the organisation of its relevance. Additionally, if the motion is successful, the CA will lose its club rooms in the Lady Symon building. Without its funding, the motivation for new clubs to affiliate with the CA would be reduced. Despite this, the current executive of the CA insist that that ‘Clubs Association Incorporated has not and has no intention of winding up, nor shall it stop representing clubs.’ Stella Crawford
campus Book co-op no longer a crazy pIpe dream
The fledgling first-week-of-semester SRC bookshop is set to become a permanent book co-op next year in Elizabeth House. It won’t, however, be SRC-run anymore. The new co-op is an independent initiative, helmed by outgoing SRC General Councillor Lawrence Ben. At their most recent meeting, the SRC voted to transfer the remaining donated books and $1000 of the proceeds of the
temporary bookshop to the new venture. The permanent bookshop was initially an SRC led project, but was prevented by the Union, as it confl icted with their current and proposed future services. The Union owns Unibooks. Aside from the funding provided by the SRC, the book co-op is supported by the University. The money and space has been provided by the Ecoversity Green Loan Fund, a $100,000 initiative from the Office of Sustainability. Ben said that he ‘went to the
University because the Union was opposed to the proposal of having a permanent second hand bookshop’, and ‘It was a matter of coincidence. I noticed that the University was advertising the Green Loan Fund’. ‘This will be the most successful student initiative at the university in more than ten years.’ The new space should be open by the beginning of next year, and will continue providing the second hand textbook service. Stella Crawford
student representative column catherine story
For the past few weeks I’ve felt like I’m both at and in the (very choppy) wake of the recent federal election. I’m mourning the different and new losses that our universities are about to face. The Liberals have just announced that they plan on reintroducing capped places at university, and getting rid of the Student Services and Amenities fee (SSAF). Reintroducing capped university places has the potential to push students with low socio-economic status (SES) out of education. While the previous ALP policy wasn’t the greatest, as base funding for higher education wasn’t raised to cope with increasing student enrolments, no one can deny that this policy created opportunities for many students to access tertiary education. The way to address the problem of reduced quality in education is to increase tertiary funding, not re-cap places. ATARs determine tertiary entrance admission. We know that low SES students are more likely to get lower ATARs. The Grattan Institute has said that lower ATAR scores are not an indicator of success at university, so recapping places has the potential to severely affect the diversity of students in our universities, and merely create elite institutions. Rather than increasing the ‘quality’ of our education as Christopher Pyne has suggested, capping places creates inequality in who has access to university education (and inequality in society because education reduces poverty!).
There’s also the issue of removing the SSAF. The SSAF is a contentious topic for students, but whether or not you agree with paying the SSAF, there is no denying that the SSAF has dramatically increased the amount of student services offered at the University of Adelaide. The Liberals have referred to the SSAF as ‘compulsory student unionism via the back door’ and thus they would like to abolish it. In 2006, the Howard government introduced Voluntary Student Unionism, a policy that prevented universities from charging ‘service fees’ for student services, or as the Liberals saw it, enforcing compulsory student unionism. The SSAF, however, is not ‘compulsory student unionism’. The fee funds services on campus, both student and university run, and senior university administration determines where the money goes. Universities clearly like the SSAF as so many of them have decided to charge it, even though they don’t have to. Most universities see the benefit in giving some of it to their campus student organisations. Student organisations offer essential services on campus and universities recognise the importance of campus culture and welfare services for student retention and engagement. Anyone who has used the Counselling and Disability or the free legal and tax services, has received emergency medical and financial loans this year, has attended events on campus, been a part of a club or sports on campus, or read On Dit (i.e., you, dear reader) has benefitted from the pool of money that the SSAF fee has generated.
This fee provides services that would cost more than what you pay as the SSAF to access privately. While some students have resources to access to these services privately, being able to defer the SSAF on a loan basis means that all students have access. Some services that have been extended under the SSAF are not even available outside the university, such as the Education and Welfare Officers who advocate for students who are struggling academically or personally while at university. Removing the fee will see reduced campus culture welfare services on campus. This will affect the quality of your university experiences. In the next few months there will be student actions against these proposed changes across the country, and I encourage you to get involved. Catherine Story SRC President email@example.com facebook.com/adelaidesrc Twitter: @adelaidesrc
The Everyday Race! This event focuses on disability awareness, and what disabled students experience on campus. Come along alone or in a or a team and win prizes! October 9, Barr Smith Lawns Refugee Policy Forum, October 17 5.30pm, Margaret Murray Room Student BBQ and protest against HumSS cuts, October 24, Walter Young Lawns
quiz your reps
State of the union
Caitlyn Georgeson, SRC QUEER officer
What is the role of the Queer Officer on the SRC? The Queer Officer acts to advocate on behalf of queer students, to promote the rights of queer students on campus and to combat discrimination at university and in the wider community.
What do you bring to the role? Years of experience working on student representative councils and, more recently, with queer youth, as well as a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm and a genuine passion for giving queer students a voice on campus.
What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
I’m planning to run a queer-focused event on campus. I’m also helping to give Adelaide University Pride and the Rainbow Room a re-boot, and beginning to forge ties between the university and the Feast Queer Youth Drop In. Plus, every Wednesday from 12-1pm during semester I’ll be at the SRC desk in Fix Student Lounge, so come say hi!
What is your favourite icecream flavour?
I’m going to go with Baci – anything that tastes like Nutella really. (Sorry it’s not rainbow guys.)
Have you got questions for your student representatives? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back from midsemester break – I hope it treated you well! Since my last column in which I discussed the role of the SSAF, the new Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced the Government’s opposition to the SSAF and suggested they intend to abolish it. While not altogether surprising, it is still extremely concerning. As I mentioned last edition, the SSAF goes towards crucial services at the University of Adelaide (services provided by the University and Adelaide University Sport, as well as the Union), and ensures we have a more vibrant campus life (see Catherine Story’s column opposite for more details of what the SSAF does for you). The Minister also announced an intention to review the uncapping of student places at universities, which was introduced by the previous Government and has allowed 190, 000 students to get a university education, who otherwise would not have been able to. As the proverbial cherry on top, he has announced the removal of equity targets of 40 per cent of Australians aged between 25 to 34 having a university degree by 2025, and 20 per cent of Australians from low socio-economic backgrounds at university by 2020. I urge you to go to myfutureourvoice. com.au/fight-pyne/ and send a message to the Minister that such moves are unacceptable. As we approach the end of the academic year and things get super stressful, don’t forget to take some time out to relax. There are still some great Union and SRC events
coming up, like the SRC Disability Department’s Everyday Race on October 9, the Big Breakfast at Waite Campus on October 15, and the V-Connect Expo on the October 16 at North Terrace. Also remember that there are some fantastic (SSAF-funded!) services available for you to take advantage of if you need assistance. It’s never too late in the year to seek help, whether that help is from the Union’s Student Care service, or the University’s Counselling and Disability Service, or any other service provided by the Union, SRC or University. In other Union news, we are currently seeking student feedback for our new website. If you can spare a couple of minutes of your time, head to www.surveymonkey.com/s/ MLXL8VT and let us know what you’d like to see! Finally, as you may be aware, the Union is considering proposed changes to the way it administers clubs on campus. They will be discussed further and up for final approval at the Union Board meeting on October 16. Please visit our website for more information about these changes, and email me with any questions or feedback at email@example.com. Happy studying! Deanna Taylor Union President firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/auulifeoncampus Twitter: @auulifeoncampus
turns out There are lots of people on campus during the holidays. Who’d have thought? we asked them: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Is it better to be friends with people who study the same thing as you? If you could go back to high school and do one thing different, what would it be? What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you think could be done to improve how we think about mental health? Would you rather be a really good ice-skater or have a lifetime’s supply of icecream? 6. Where is your favourite place to be on campus?
ADRIANA, MUSIC, 4TH YEAR
1. At the moment I’m only really friends with people I study with – uni is my home! But it’s good to have friends outside of uni too. 2. Change school! 3. A nomad. It’s always been my dream to be like Bear Grylls. 4. At the moment there’s not enough funding. Mental health needs to be given more importance, and there needs to be awareness that it’s okay to have mental health difficulties. 5. I’ve always wanted to be a figure skater, but I really love icecream. 6. The Hub. Anywhere that I can sleep without accidentally exposing myself.
NATHAN, PSYCHOLOGY, 2ND YEAR
1. It’d good to have both, but when you’ve got online quizzes and such it’s really good to be able to help each other out. 2. Not drop out, to actually finish high school. And have smaller feet (see below). 3. To be the kind of person who has nice shoes. I have really big feet. 4. We need to reframe it as something that isn’t necessarily a problematic illness. 5. I would love to be a pro-skater. I think it’s a life skill that everyone should have. I can go in a straight line but not turn. It’s difficult. 6. Does the Torrens count as campus? [Eds. yes]. Okay, the Torrens. It’s relaxing and I like birds. Though the swans have become more aggressive lately.
yousef, academic english programme
1. Yes – we can share information with each other 2. I would study harder to change my marks. 3. A doctor. 4. I think people need to talk more. Talk to their friends or someone when they’re feeling stressed. 5. I would love to be a skater. 6. On the first floor of the library – it’s quiet.
nelson, law/arts, 3rd year
1. Not necessarily – sometimes it’s good when you have mutual interests, but you should also expand your horizons. 2. I wish that I actually learnt how to type. 3. An entrepreneur. 4. I’d like to see improvement in the way we think about recreational drugs. 5. Icecream – Golden North giant twins. 6. Room 403, Level 4 Elizabeth House, 231 North Terrace.
kelly, arts (advanced), second year
1. Yes – because you can have conversations in Latin. Classics jokes rock. 2. Not run on 2 hours sleep a night for most of year 12. 3. Rich. Work in a museum. 4. Better education regarding breaking down people’s perception of mental health. 5. Icecream. As long as its Weiss mango sorbet. That’s 99 per cent fat free, so I can eat more butter! 6. Anywhere around Elder Hall, it’s such a pretty building, especially now they’ve cleaned it up.
angus, law/engineering, 3rd year
7. No. Because they’re engineers. 8. Have friends. 9. A tree farmer. As much as I don’t want to do it, it seems inevitable right now. 10. Many things. Having a federal government minister for mental health would be a good start. 11. Both of those things would kill me, so I don’t know. 12. The Mitchell Building. Oh yeah, I’ve been in there.
frankenstein’s monster, genetics, 1st year
1. Yes. It is easier to source replacement limbs from friends when mine fall off. 2. Ask Mary to dance with me at the Monsters’ Ball. 3. Loved. 4. People just need to judge other people less, and help out when their friends are falling apart at the seams. 5. Mmmmm...icecream. 6. Probably the cadaver fridge in the Medical School. It’s got a lovely ambiance. I feel at home.
What’s On. 12 12
Here’s where you’ll find information, gossip, shout-outs, news, events, bake sales, pub crawls and anything else you could possibly want to know about your university. Have something to add? Think you know what’s on? If you’re running an event (pubcrawl or otherwise), let us know at email@example.com
Overheard @ the Uni of Adelaide Person A: ‘Is the Pope a Catholic?’ Person B: ‘I thought he was Jewish?’ – For those playing at home, the Pope is indeed Catholic.
Hannah Kent ♥ s the Barr Smith Library
‘If you collect all the mile-stones along the way, you end up with a big pile of rocks.’ – Wise, wise words kids.
So much that she’s coming to the library on Thursday 31 October (at 6pm for 6:3opm) to talk about her debut novel Burial Rites and how cool Iceland is.
‘My cousins noticed I’d lost weight!! They thought it was ‘cos I was on crack but I’m not! One asked me, ‘ do you have a box gap now?’, but I like clearly don’t. Guys can’t get box gaps can they, because they have dicks?’ – NO ONE CARES ABOUT BOX GAPS.
We think Hannah’s pretty cool – she’s the cofounder and publishing director of Kill Your Darlings, and in 2011 wont the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.
FYI: one in five of us will experience a mental health problem in the next 12 months. October 6-12 is Mental Health Week.
The event aims to improve community awareness and knowledge about mental health illness and reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems. For more information about activities and mental health in general, head to www.mhcsa.org.au. If you’d like to talk to someone about your mental health, contact the university’s free Counselling Service on 83135663.
RSVP by October 29 to robina.weir@ adelaide.edu.au. Gold coin donation (or two 50c pieces will do) gets you wine and fancy cheese!
The Everyday Race!
This event focuses on disability awareness, and what disabled students experience on campus. Come along alone or in a or a team and win prizes! October 9, Barr Smith Lawns, 11am Brought to you by your friendly SRC!
Need a summer job? Trying to find a way to fund that brilliant indie film project? Have your parents/ hosuemates banned you from making any more lemonade with the lemons from neighbour’s tree? The Union has gathered all the best jobs and listed them right here: lifeoncampus.org.au/ employment. If you’re struggling with that pesky CV/Cover Letter business, the Union employment service can help you out if you book an appointment. If volunteering is more your thing (because warm fuzzies are worth much more than $16.37/hr), well, the Union has got you covered as well! VConnect is (yet another) student hub that provides all your volunteering connections – check it out at vconnect.org.au. If you’re finding the Union’s website a bit tricky to navigate, head to www.surveymonkey.com/s/ MLXL8VT and let them know!
attention Photographers! if you’re even mildly interested in photography, here is a thing that you will quite likely be interested in. Scientific Photography competiton Open to all students. Entries are due October 10. Since this is a scientific competition, all entries should be submitted with a short (50 word) abstract explaining the science. There’s a a chance to win a $100 CASH PRIZE for each prize category including Popular Choice, so make sure you get involved! Head to www.facebook. com/UofAOSAsc or email us UofAOSAsc@gmail.com for more information.
Move over Mad March!
Adelaide Festivals have found a new month to take over – October! Put aside assignment due dates and exam preparation and head along to these: Adelaide Film Festival: 10-20 October All in the name of ‘screen worship’, there’ll be a huge variety of films showing on big screens and very small screens all around Adelaide. Head to adelaidefilmfestival.org for more details and tickets. Adelaide Festival of Ideas: 17-20 October Some of the world’s and Australia’s best thinkers converge in Adelaide for a weekend of sharing thoughts, words, and well, ideas. Head to adelaidefestivalofideas.com.au for programme and ticket information. Festival of unpopular culture: 17-20 October To find out what this is all about head to format.net.au/fuc.
New On Dit Editors: 2014: Mad March begins:
Make your voice heard!
SRC and Union meetings are open to all students. SRC meetings are held fortnightly on Tuesday (October 8 is the next one) in FIX Lounge. Union meetings are held monthly in the Union board room; the next one is October 16.
Have your tutorials been cut? Heard some juicy goss? Got something that you think On Dit should know about? Head to auu.org.au/ondit/ tipoff to send us an anonymous tip off.
Advance Australia Fair?
Australia should be less concerned with stopping the boats and focus their attention to stopping the subsequent intolerance that is flooding on shore. Perhaps a little adherence to our International Treaty obligations and a kind reminder (as we seem to have forgotten) that seeking asylum is legal wouldn’t go to waste under both international and Australian law. Oh, and whilst we’re doing that let’s reflect upon exactly how most of our ancestors arrived here too. Rethink Refugees: You’re seeking light, they’re seeking asylum – a forum hosted by Amnesty International and the SRC When: 5:30pm Thursday October 17 Where: Margaret Murray Room (Level 4, Union House) Who: Guest speakers include Associate Professor Alex Reilly, Refugee Law Lecturer at The University of Adelaide and Naomi Vaughan, Community Organiser at Amnesty International Australia. Eat: Nibbles will be provided. Following the session you are welcome to join the speakers for a drink at Unibar.
in case you want to say hi: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: facebook.com/onditmagazine Twitter: @onditmagazine Snail Mail: On Dit, c/o Adelaide University Union, Level 4 Union House, University of Adelaide, 5005 In person: Pop into our office near the Barr Smith Lawns between 1-3pm, Tuesdays & Wednesdays during term time.
Calendar: Weeks 9 & 10 Tuesdit 8 src meeting Wednesdit 9 The Everyday race Thursdit 10 adelaide film festival opens Fridit 11 absolutely last day to contribute to on dit in 2013!! SAt’dit 12 Sundit 13 Mondit 14 Tuesdit 15 Cake decorating day Wednesdit 16 Auu board meeting Thursdit 17 Refugee forum Fridit 18 adelaide festival of ideas – all weekend! Sat’dit 19 Sundit 20
Square with a tassel on it Rupert Hogan-turner thinks graduating should be fun! art: daisy freeburn
Your heart is pounding, your palms are covered in sweat and you’re wearing an oversized cloak which you’re not entirely sure is on the right way. Your name is called and you step nervously across the stage. Your pace quickens as an overzealous relative screams in admiration from the dimly lit crowd. You mutter an indeterminable ‘thankyou’ as fast as possible while shaking the hand of a man you’ve never seen before. You are mollified to be stepping off stage, returning to the safety of a crowd of your peers. This is just one of the ways graduation has been explained to me by previous graduates. Other favourites include being so bored and listless as to actually begin to nod off, or spending the entirety of the ceremony on a mobile phone. I should disclose at this point that some people did actually enjoy their graduations, but from what I can glean it’s usually because it’s the last time that their entire graduating class are together or they had some ulterior reason, the ceremony has little to nothing to do with enjoyment. I am in no way attempting to belittle the act of graduating or the countless hours of toil and stress that were poured into a degree. Graduation is a celebration of academic achievement; it shows to the world that you are learned, that you’re worldly and that you are employable.
is a huge achievement; it signifies an important stage in life but the ceremony we have to mark it feels stale and out-dated. Furthermore the higher number of graduates now means you’re hardly recognised at all, particularly for an undergraduate degree. Your name gets read, you are pushed across a stage as quickly as possible, pausing only to go outside and buy exorbitantly priced photos before rushing back to return your gown. The ceremony doesn’t reflect your achievements or that of your classmates. Sure, it’s not realistic to assume that each student could be personally graduated. But wouldn’t it be great if they were? You get home, flick on the lights and the Chancellor jumps out from behind your couch, surrounded by your friends and family all yelling ‘Surprise!’ So how could the ceremony could be made appropriate for the modern day? Glitter canon: just how it sounds – a cannon (which represents the past) shoots glitter (which could represent the students? Or their dreams, I’m not picky) into the world. Or maybe you have to twerk the Chancellor, Miley Cyrus style. The graduation ceremony needs to be updated to properly reflect the achievements of completing a degree. It is enigmatic that universities praise themselves on being on luminary characteristics while they continue these traditions unaltered. If I do go, I’ll be wearing a fez.
But isn’t the ceremony just a bit stupid? It just seems weird. I concede we need tradition, we need celebration and I’m sure the Chancellor has a top-notch handshake. But we’re wearing robes and hats that haven’t made sense or had purpose in society for generations. I mean, it’s a square with a tassel on it. Why are we wearing a pizza box with some string on our heads to celebrate mastering physics? Why does dressing like Harry Potter prove that we’re a qualified engineer? Originally the tradition comes from medieval Europe where each different hat, gown and colour scheme reflected the outfits of different professions. So why haven’t we adapted? Why can’t we have a ceremony that reflects the modern process of graduating and the modern disciplines? Why can’t I choose what hat I get to wear? Completing your studies
Rupert Hogan-Turner is a dumpling loving honours student who spends his spare time building blanket forts then tweeting about it.
schrödinger’s date kendra pratt has a quantum of advice for young lovers art: jack lowe
As a member of the secret society known only as The Women1, there are few things more frustrating than men who can’t take a hint. That is, except for maybe one thing: men who ask you out on Schrödinger’s dates. What is a Schrödinger’s date you ask? Well let me answer your questions with another question: is this scenario at all familiar?
you out on Schrödinger dates is that the moment you politely decline you become the object of ridicule: Oh you thought I was asking you out on a date? How ridiculous! No, I wouldn’t dream of doing that, considering the fact that I am an international playboy and you are the after-market girl in a car yard in Medindie. I was merely inviting you out to dinner as friends, so I could share with you my tales of James Bondesque escapades, and shake my head when you don’t know what celeriac is. Silly little girl.
Man You Just Met (MYJM): Hey there, would you like to, maybe, eat food with me…sometime…in a room…together? Woman: Oh thanks, that’s sweet, but I have a boyfriend/am a lesbian/am not really interested touching genitals with you anytime in the future... MYJM: Geez! Calm down, I just meant as friends. Woman: Of course, how idiotic of me to ever think you might be interested in me romantically. Of course you’re asking me out on a friend date. Yeah, because that’s what near-strangers do, they go out to dinner together. That wouldn’t be incredibly awkward at all. I mean why would you sit through an entire meal with someone you barely know if there’s no chance you might share saliva at the end? I understand that asking someone out is really scary and can sometime give you butterflies, or sweaty palms, or even cause you to puke in terror, but that is no excuse for asking people out on Schrödinger dates. If you’re still unsure as to what they are, here’s a definition courtesy of the Official Kendra Dictionary: Schrödinger’s Date (noun) 1. A concept that defies physics by existing in two states at once, similar to Schrödinger’s cat. Until the intended declares their romantic interest/availability, there is no way to determine what state the date exists in. Once the recipient replies, the date either becomes ‘just as friends’ or ‘more than friends’, depending on their response. The most annoying thing about spineless men inviting 1. It’s less of a secret society and more of an entire gender…
It’s a horrible way of making your potential date a scapegoat for your embarrassment. If I don’t want to go on a date with you, it’s not the end of the world, and it shouldn’t undermine your worth as a human being. It just means that, for whatever reason, I am not interested in dating you. Instead of taking it personally and trying to pretend that you didn’t just try to ask me out, why not man up, shrug it off and say ‘Well it was worth a try’. That way we can both share an awkward laugh, and get back to work, study, sacrificing a chicken to the gods, or whatever it was that we were doing before you embarked on this doomed voyage into romance-land. Because you know what the alternative is? Awkward friend dates. Kendra Pratt enjoys sitting in cafes, pretending to write on her laptop while secretly judging innocent passers-by.
confessions of a med student michelle bagster takes us to the other side of frome road
So the folks at On Dit reckon med students are a bit of a mystery. I‘m not really sure why. But I guess we’re holed up in this small old, kinda smelly building across the treacherous Road of Frome, and we rarely come out to play. So I’ve taken it upon myself to unravel the mystery that is the med school, and you may then consider yourselves educated. Don’t blame me if it’s disappointing. Medicine is basically a pressure cooker for insanity. When I started first year I asked a staff member if I could maintain my part-time job. Because, well, I like things. And things cost money. She looked at me (with a thoughtful expression) for about half a second, and then said ‘Probably not. You see your timetable?’ I looked at the printout I had been given. Lectures and tutorials were all in different colours so the happy rainbow would disguise the fact that there were about 24 contact hours there. I nodded. ‘Okay, take the number of hours you see there and double it. That’s how long students usually need to study to keep up with the classes. And the contact hours change every week. So yeah, probably not.’ About 48 hours of uni related thinking a week. Basically, we all go nuts. And what do a bunch of insane, broke, sleep-deprived med students do? We drink. I know that a lot of faculties in the uni like to boast about their alcohol capacity, like engineering and law students. But med students tend to reign supreme here. I think it’s because they genuinely don’t care if they’re alive tomorrow. I’m not a real drinker, but then I’m allegedly not a real med student anyway. We have this event called Pres Keg (it was held this year on the same night as that engineering pub crawl) where we were holed up in some hall (away from the rest of the uni students, as usual), and the President of the med student society had to drink out of a goon
flagon for as long as he possibly could, and everyone would count how long he took. It got to some shocking number before I got bored and left. We have a few fancy events as well. Most of them disintegrate into alcoholism, but some of them start out pretty classy. Such as MedBall and Jazz Night. These are lovely, and we get to dress up in pretty clothes and listen to some of the more talented med students play music. It makes me a bit angry that so many med students are talented at an instrument, or, like, speak five languages. But that’s just me trying to find flaws in people. They’re actually very very good. Speaking of talented, we also have loads of exclusive creative outlets for med students. the actory-types can take part in Med Revue, where we make a lot of med-related jokes and take the piss out of a childhood favourite film or musical. This year it was ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretions’. The musical students gravitate towards AUMO, an orchestra/choir/dance group. There’s debating, charity fundraising opportunities such as Redweek for AIDS, and even a magazine ([Stimulus]) if you’re gifted with words. Or not, I’m really not qualified to comment on the quality of [Stimulus] as compared to On Dit. Oh and I haven’t even mentioned Convention yet! Whoa. Convention. What I can say about that crazy, cray-zay event. I didn’t go. Ask me next year. So basically, Med students are a bit like the absent cousin at the uni’s family reunion, because we are physically removed, and all our extra-curricular activities are pretty much the same as those offered to the rest of the uni, but more exclusive, because they usually have the word ‘med’ in the title, so it’s a bit of a pat on the back and an affirmation that yes, we are med students. And we’re special. And we drink a lot of alcohol. Michelle Bagster thinks life is too short to waste time unnecessarily. So when the toothbrush buzzes, stop brushing.
Jobs don’t grow on (gum)trees vicki griffin wants to work, but won’t take just any job art: kElly arthur-smith
When we get out of this alcohol and mi-goreng fuelled environment called university, we’re all going to need to find some kind of job. But in this day and age, a university education is not the only path towards employment. Thanks to the Internet there are many paths to follow, for example, Gumtree. Gumtree job search provides a very interesting picture of the options for job seekers. Apparently there is a huge demand for marketing and sales reps. So great a demand that employers will LET YOU PLAY XBOX AND DRINK BEERS WHILE YOU WORK. These jobs are so fun YOUR POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS HAVE TO USE ALL CAPS TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT. But, before you are seduced by the hype, take a second to consider whether the sales rep lifestyle is really for you. You could hate your job just as equally outdoors, in the sunshine, as you trek from doorto-door to convince stay-at-home mums that the best way they could invest the remainder of their hard-earned dollars is on SOME THINGS THEY DON’T REALLY NEED THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO THE CARBON EMISSIONS IN THE WORLD THROUGH THE PROCESS OF BEING MANUFACTURED.
Sorry if I’m sounding cynical. It’s not all bad news though! Gumtree seems to illustrate that the people of South Australia want to relax, because the demand for NON-SEXUAL massage therapy is through the roof. The specification that the massage is NON-SEXUAL is usually in the
very first line, which kind of makes me suspicious about the advertisements that have chosen to omit it. I’m really worried that I am too naïve to try and succeed in an industry where the implication is that you are always sexual unless otherwise specified. Thankfully, there are job advertisements that are more to the point. For instance, a job called ‘bar staff/waitier’, that reads ‘we looking for barstaff and kitchand hand indians welcome’. The greatest thing about Gumtree is many of the jobs are not seeking people with certain training or experience, but simply people with attributes that make them naturally inclined to succeed in certain positions. For instance, a hen’s night party seeking a ‘confident and fun young hottie who can make cocktails and make us laugh’. And serve them cocktails. With no shirt on. Hey, if that’s your area of natural talent, why try conforming yourself to university and be something you’re not when you could go out and work for yourself and make money being who you are? Isn’t that the dream? The final kind of ad you’ll encounter on Gumtree is people directly soliciting employers. In an ad entitled ‘I need a job asap’, David, who is 21 and currently doing his Cert II and III in civil construction plant operations on Mondays and Tuesdays, is seeking employment. Why wouldn’t you hire him? The final approach, which I think is rather clever actually, is to offer to pay other people to find you work. In his advertisement, Simon expresses his thoughts on the current job market in Adelaide: ‘I cannot believe I can’t get a position, so I think its [sic.] who you know in Adelaide, more than what you know.’ In return for his dream job, Simon is offering three payments: ‘three hundred dollars times two in a two week period, and one payment of $400 in the third week, spread over three weeks.’ ‘This is not a joke,’ Simon emphasises, and I do believe he is deadly serious. Most of us are in way too far over our heads in HECS debt to even consider paying someone to hook us up with a job, so I guess it’s back to study… or there’s always that topless waiting job, right?
Psychology Words: Max Cooper Art: Daisy Freeburn
We can experience a lot more through a tiny silver screen than we might ever encounter otherwise. It might sound a bit shallow, but the movies and TV we watch (and, yes, books we read) have an enormous influence on how we think about things. But if we take at face value the things we see it can end badly. We tend to learn this fairly early. The hero didn’t actually kill the villain, animals can’t talk, and no matter how well painted it is you’ll never be able to run into the tunnel someone paints into the side of a mountain. And yet, knowing all this still doesn’t mean we spot the quieter, smaller errors. This mostly doesn’t matter: for the most part, having an iffy understanding of how, say, crime scene investigation works won’t do you much harm. This isn’t as true with medical stuff (I assume. It’s not exactly my forte), or with the sometimes messy world of mental health. There are all sorts of twisted narratives about mental health.
Some of them are fairly obvious: Psycho, fantastic though it is, is pretty obviously a pretty bad idea. But sometimes the narratives of mental health with the smallest grounding in reality are the ones that are most convincing. I just want to have a look at some of the stories I find extra discomforting.
Running the Asylum I’m going to start with a character type: the evil psych. This one’s fairly flexible. They may be a psychologist or a psychiatrist, just a single doctor or running an entire institution, and they may be uninterested and uncaring or actively evil.
Just to give you an idea of a few of the places this character pops up? Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hannibal Lecter in… so much, Dr Walsh in Buffy, Dr Thredson in American Horror Story, The Scarecrow from Batman, and even the asylum owner in Beauty and the Beast. That isn’t even remotely a comprehensive list, but offers an idea of how wide spread this character is. This is partly down to the dramatic potential of having a respected figure of authority (like a doctor…) abuse their power. It makes the good guys look even better, and
sometimes even makes the standard villains look better. The problem in trying to explain where this comes from is that it is so prolific. And as interesting as these characters can be, the problem is that they can make a bad doctor look like the norm. One of the most important parts of an effective treatment plan is a healthy relationship between patient and doctor. People need to know that if a doctor’s not working they can talk about that or change things, and get someone who works well with them. Instead, the danger is someone who has a bad experience will get scared off and defer treatment they really need.
Hitchcock’s Psycho is a decent place to start. Even though things have changed a lot in the roughly half a century since this film came out, there’s a fairly prominent aspect of the plot that is still alive and kicking: the idea that the mentally ill aren’t really capable of being responsible for their actions. Norman Bates, the eponymous psycho, is pretty consistently constructed as naive and childlike. His room looks like a five-yearold’s, he stammers nervously, and
then there’s the famous ‘a boy’s best friend is his mother’ line. In the end the psychologist tells us all about how ‘Norman’ didn’t tell him anything - he heard the whole story from the ‘Mother’ personality Norman constructed. The film closes with the eerie internal monologue of the ‘Mother’ bemoaning what she had to do to Norman. Deus exposition machina, indeed. The problem is that the idea of someone being completely at the mercy of their illness isn’t true in the vast majority of cases. Acting like it is doesn’t do anyone any good, either. The people who get it the worst are those whose agency is completely ignored. There’s a world of difference between the difficulties involved in most mental illnesses and a genuine inability to control your actions. It makes it harder for people to get better if they’re treated like they’re completely at the mercy of their problems.
Tortured Artist Reform
Now, for the tortured artist, there’s the Doctor Who episode ‘Vincent and the Doctor’. Centering on a visit to Vincent Van Gogh, the Doctor and his companion Amy try to help the tragic artist. His mental illness is linked to aliens, and though his two temporal visitors change his life fairly radically he still kills himself. The Doctor and Amy are sad they couldn’t save him, but happy to have brought him some happiness. This isn’t even a particularly grotesque example, and it’s not a cause for outrage that the show took a position on an issue like this. But in general (and here) the
tortured artist is sometimes a bit of a problem. Links between madness and talent go back through the ages, and it’s suggested both that creative lifestyles have some high risk factors for mental health issues and that the trope would be selffulfilling by attracting people with mental health issues to artistic aesthete is sometimes seen as a positive idea. It’s all about their creativity!
didn’t need to take them. But the problem with this story is the way it tends to get… extrapolated. For the most part, people on antidepressants or lithium do not have a father who maliciously prescribed it for them. Yes, some drugs can cause emotional reactions, but generally a better solution to this is to talk about treatment options with a doctor who is not also your abusive parent. This is extra true if you’ve
the idea that the main character needs to save him doesn’t exactly help But the idea that their artistic worth is so entwined with their illness can reduce people to their illness, rather than giving them full scope. The idea that the main character has to save Vincent doesn’t exactly help either.
Let’s turn to Zach Braff’s 2004 cult hit Garden State. Andrew Largeman, the protagonist, is numb to feelings, significantly thanks to incorrectly prescribed psychiatric medications. Through the fantastic combination of deciding to stop taking these medications and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl of his very own, he manages to open up and really experience life. Now, Braff’s character didn’t need his meds. Not even in the sense of it wasn’t helping but instead that his father prescribed them for him knowing they weren’t necessary. He
been taking them for a while. As unfortunate as side effects can be, a doctor can help make sure you don’t get an even worse bout of them from coming off of medication too quickly.
Popping the Bubble
The narrative is one I really struggle with is the last one – the one that hit closest to home for me. When I first found out I had depression, I was too young for meds. It made it easy just to keep up with the plan I’d been following once I was old enough. Somehow I got more terrified of the idea of medication than of crying myself to sleep until I couldn’t hide it anymore. That’s not something I can blame on TV. It’s down to me. But it didn’t help that my first exposure to so much in the way of mental health issues came from TV and movies. It’s not a thing that gets
talked about. And as a result, the first exposure I had was through TV. And I’m not the only one. This wouldn’t be such a problem, but all the issues I discussed above have one fairly important characteristic in common: they’re not about depicting mental health issues accurately; they’re about telling the best stories. Or, in some cases, just stories. And when we’re only seeing stories, it can put people in dire straits. You don’t often get a chance to just see antidepressants helping someone have a chance at fighting their illness. Or the artist whose work improves once they no longer have to struggle through crippling depressive episodes. These stories do exist, and are out there, but they’re not as common because they’re not as dramatic. This isn’t a catalogue of all the different ways mental health can be mischaracterised in pop culture. It doesn’t even come close – if such a thing is even possible, it definitely wouldn’t fit a magazine article. But hopefully it’ll have some people thinking about how they think about mental health. Sometimes we can be influenced by insidious ideas without even knowing it’s happening.
Mental Health Week runs from October 6-12 in South Australia. For more information head to bit.ly/QxMHBp. For free mental health support ring the Counselling Service on 83135663. Between this article and his essays, Max Cooper is counting down the days till he can spend some time curled up with sitcoms and icecream.
LAW SCHOOL 22 words: Bridget Atkinson Art: Kelly Arthur-Smith I’m unsure how many students noticed, but this year there was a distinct lack of Law students campaigning and vying for votes outside the Ligertwood building. Most were probably relieved not to be pestered with how-to-vote cards for a seemingly trifling election of the Law Students’ Society (LSS) committee positions. But to take a critical look at the internal politics of AULSS reveals trouble (and requires a protective gear – don that flak jacket and helmet!). The LSS is responsible for social events and providing assistance to students on matters such as career prospects and clerkship applications. It is sponsored by a specialist legal practice in Adelaide. In theory, the LSS committee should be little more than a simple student representative body – non-political and working to better the experience of law school for students. Ideally, it should be de-politicised entirely. Most students don’t particularly care about the internal politics or the factional warlords of student politics. In other words, to most students, student elections are little more than a popularity contest. However, the Law School is inherently political. There is a presence from many sides of
politics: the ‘dry’ liberals (socially conservative and economically conservative), ‘wet’ liberals (socially apathetic but economically conservative), and the right faction of the Labor Party, Labor Unity (economically liberal and generally more conservative than the Left faction), amongst others.
The Law School is an ironic dichotomy with academics on one hand being generally left leaning and progressive as opposed to the generally conservative and wealthy student body that tend to be represented on the LSS committee. In fact, in 2012 a number of senior academics from the Adelaide Law School made
SCHOOL ROYALTY 23 events with distinguished guests and associate with highly distinguished academics, politicians and lawyers is a privileged position to be in. It is also hard work, unpaid and requires dedication. The lack of competition in the recent LSS election enables the continuation of an elitist and narrow monopoly of the same old exclusive ‘establishment’ candidates who hold predominantly Liberal views that don’t necessarily represent the majority of the law student body. The current LSS committee is dominated by Young Liberal ‘wets’ – one of the LSS executive members is the Liberal Candidate for Cheltenham in the upcoming State Election and two executive committee members work for Liberal MPs. No particular political party or group should dominate the executive committee. The LSS should be representative of all, including disadvantaged students – those without wealthy parents and a privileged school background. a submission to the Senate in support of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2013.1 Our Law School has produced many notable alumni, including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and James Crawford SC, Professor of International
Law at the University of Cambridge, who recently graced us with his presence at the 2013 James Crawford Lecture on International Law. The opportunity to serve on the LSS board brings with it tremendous advantage. The opportunity to organise social
The exclusivity of the current LSS makes it difficult for those outside the elitist private school clique to break in, feel welcome and participate. There are definitely exceptions but sadly, they are few. 1. Read it at blogs.adelaide.edu.au/publiclaw-rc/2012/04/04/university-of-adelaidescholars-support-marriage-equality/
24 I, for one, am tired of the elitism. One member of the executive has been overheard to boast they are ‘Law School Royalty.’ As a result of the make up of the LSS, Law school events are dominated by conservative speakers with barely hidden affiliations to the Liberal Party, one of whom even began his address with a suggestion that if you want to make a difference, join the Liberal Party. It was ironic that he was speaking on the topic of refugee law. He then hastily proceeded to suggest the Labor Party as additional option. A few months ago an email was sent out inviting students to an event with George Brandis, pre-emptively referring to him as possibly being Australia’s next Attorney General. This was a clear ploy to advance the interests of the Liberal Party. It was a networking event with the then shadow Attorney General that offered the student body and opportunity to network with likeminded individuals. Additionally, there is an alleged lack of transparency in the way competitions are run within the Law School. An example is this year’s controversy over judging of the mooting competitions and a seeming refusal by the LSS to make changes following widespread criticism. At this point, it would be remiss of me not mention that I have been a card-carrying member of the Australian Labor Party since 2011, and I am an active and proud participant of Labor Unity. I
consider myself socially progressive despite the present perceptions of Labor Unity as more socially conservative than the Left faction. I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum. I don’t object to students being politically affiliated because, in the real world, this is always going to be the case. Nor do I object to prestigious private school education. What really rankles is the attitude of belonging to an exclusive club and the opportunities that arise for a select few. The LSS committee should represent the breadth and variety of the student body, including more country and international students. *
In 2012, I decided to take the plunge and become involved in student politics. I put my name forward for the LSS ticket with a group of students from all sides of the political spectrum and those who had no political affiliation. Our aim was to represent all sides of politics and the relative diversity of the Law School. At times, the election contest descended into hostile interactions, reminiscent of something out of Mean Girls. One could liken this mentality to that of the stereotypical popular group in high school: exclusive and nasty. One day, while putting up posters for our campaign in the Law School foyer, I was accosted by two acquaintances running on the opposing side. ‘Why are you even running?’ they enquired. ‘We totally don’t see you at any of our events.’ The young women were shocked by
the fact that there was actually an opposition. So used to dominating the Law School and passing it down to friend after friend, they could barely believe the election was actually going to be a democratic competition. I had exchanged pleasantries with these two girls in the Law School stairwells in the past but the pleasantries ceased when I put my name forward on the opposing ticket. Throughout the week-long campaign, they continued to harass me and my running mates and dubbed us the ‘Hippie Team’ despite the fact that we were a healthy mix of average students. We had the audacity to challenge the status quo and were a direct threat to their monopoly on the Law School – and while we put up a good fight, we lost the election. I believe the self-proclaimed description of an elitist ‘Royalty’ at the University of Adelaide Law School is unfortunately accurate, and I would like to see the relative diversity of the law school better represented. Ultimately, of course, this is up to law students – who may want to think twice about the importance of their vote the next time a howto-vote card is offered to them.
Bridget Atkinson is a 4th year law student who is a politics tragic, foodie and an aficionado of small fluffy dog.
BehInd the rhInestones
‘Law School Royalty.’
As a result of the make up of the LSS, Law school events are dominated by conservative speakers with barely hidden affi liations to the Liberal Party, one of whom even began his address with a suggestion that if you want to make a difference, join the Liberal Party. It was ironic that he was speaking on the topic of refugee law. He then hastily proceeded to suggest the Labor Party as additional option.
A few months ago an email was sent out inviting students to an event with George Brandis, pre-emptively referring to him as possibly being Australia’s next Attorney General. This to ‘Get was outaofclear my ploy way!’ advance the interests of the Liberal Party. It A skinny five year was a networking event old in a with the then shadow sparkly pink dress stares Attorney General that atered me the with disdain off student bodyand stops right intofront of me, and opportunity network with like-minded spraying my jeans with individuals.
words: torvIll Bolero art: rosemary coleman
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Additionally, there flicker down to my iseyes an alleged lack of blue rentalinskates, transparency the way and she competitions are run snorts before pushing away within the Law School. and starting to spin right An example is this year’s nextcontroversy to me. over judging of the mooting competitions a out of her I quickly stepand aside, seeming refusal the way. Hair up inby a perfect bun,
she’s spinning with one foot pulled high above her head, a show of flexibility. How was I supposed to know I was meant to get out of her way? This was my fi rst time at the exclusive figure skating practice session: I’d been practicing my two foot spin for a while, and could manage three revolutions if I pushed it. Yet little did I know what awaited me. Sure, I was pretty amazed at the start. Glittery practice outfits, multi-rotational jumps, elegant figures and classical music – just like the Olympics, but downsized! But as soon as my blunt rental skates touched the fresh ice, I knew this was something else.
A fat coach stood on the sidelines, jumbo cup of coffee clutched in her hands, yelling ‘Push! PUSH HARDER! You’re so slow! MOVE!’ The girl in question was skating fast, her chest heaving as she executed a perfect double loop. I couldn’t understand this. Where were the helpful training partners and supportive coaches? The graceful swish of blades rasping against the ice to a background of classical music, notes rising to the ceiling? None of that. The music faded, and only stabs of toe-picks and scratches of blades from jumps being landed could be heard. Oh, and the fat coach. This was my fi rst introduction to the real world of figure skating.
26 The image of the graceful nymph on top of the skating podium was shattered forever. As I broke out of the beginner skater mould, and begun to learn more advanced jumps and spins, I was drawn into the world of the rink – and let me tell you, even a little place like an ice rink can have cutthroat politics. While at the rink, I saw many adult skaters left aside. They contributed the same amount, if not more, than the ‘elite’ darlings so praised by the coaches, yet didn’t matter. At the start of every practice sessions, all people who wanted to practice a program with music left a CD at the music box – despite adults having competitions that very weekend, ‘elites’ with competitions in the distant future monopolised the music. At the end of every track, adults would skate up to the music box with hopeful faces, only to be dismissed with a curt shake of the head. Yet not everything was all doom and gloom – the non-competitive skaters soon formed a strong rapport during group lessons that led to long-lasting friendships. Together, we skated and pushed our boundaries, and had fun doing so. We weren’t screamed at for hesitating before a jump, or for performing an inside swing choctaw instead of an outside
swing choctaw. Together with likeminded coaches, recreational skaters thrived, and for some time, lived side by side with the ‘elites’, if not completely comfortably. However, soon it wasn’t just adults that were discriminated against. The skating program that was in place catered to group lessons for beginners to advanced skaters who weren’t Olympic bound, and just wanted to skate and perhaps compete from time to time. With new management came the dawn of a new era – all classes, even ‘recreational ones’ now had to compete and perform a program in order to advance to the next level. Never mind that most recreational skaters didn’t want to compete, and just wanted to skate – ALL of those doing group classes had to perform. And so the price rises at the rink increased as recreational skaters left in flocks and droves. The happy adult morning classes disappeared as adults found there was no place for them anymore, apart from expensive private lessons with coaches booked up to the rim with the next child prodigy. Now you keep your head down and fork out $15 per practice session. And this is for a fi gure skating practice session admission – the average person at a public session now pays around $19 for admission. Add to that private coach costs, now mandatory after a certain level
27 of forced-competition group classes, at around $37 per half an hour, $20 skate sharpening every few weeks, and competition entry fees. The lists grow and grow, and now ‘recreational’ skaters must pay the price after they graduate from the last group class, or give up instruction.
and without instruction now, and others still have swapped sides for political gain. Recreational skating vs. ‘elite’ skating – when will the division stop? It is recreational skating that breeds the future champions – most figure skaters started out as a total beginner at a public session,
gone are the days of Impromptu performances wIth frIends As I stroke around the rink, I am now super careful to stay away from the ‘elites’ and their coaches, quietly practicing in a little corner. Gone are the days of impromptu performances with friends, or trying out new moves. Crackling tension replaces the motivation in the rink now, and coaches talk on mobile phones as those with little talent but lots of motivation try to centre their scratch spin one more time.
grew to like it, progressed through recreational group lessons until they decided this was their future. How can shutting out recreational skaters be justified? Prestige, of course. The battalion of young skaters going out to Australian National championships, winning it all. But who will follow them?
Where has the fun gone? I rarely visit the rink now. Old friends are long gone, shadows of their successes and triumphs playing out in the corner of my eye every time I step onto the ice. Some remain, though skate alone
Torvill Bolero is going so cray over her study right now she just wants to stab her face with an ice skate. Just kidding, she’s done absolutely no work at all – she’s too busy procrastiskating.
Pyne-ing for an 28 education Words: Shadi Aluthwala Art: Kelly Arthur-Smith
Since the election the federal government has wasted no time in making changes to education policy. Less than a week after being sworn in, Minister for Education Christopher Pyne has begun taking action. In particular, there is discussion of reviewing current enrolment numbers, abolishing the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), and how we might go about improving our reputation in the international education arena.
In 2012 the federal Labor government abolished the cap on university places to improve access to higher education, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This resulted in around 190,000 more students enrolling in universities. Pyne believes that this increase has led to a decrease in quality, which could tarnish Australia’s international reputation in higher education. He claims that the department of education will make ‘quality in tertiary education’ their number one priority, and intends to review the demand-driven system of University places. He claims that there is ‘some evidence that quality is suffering to achieve quantity’. This has led the federal opposition to claim that Pyne is breaking the promise that he made last year and reiterated this July on the ABC’s 7:30. ‘We have no plans to restore the cap’ he said; adding, ‘the more students doing University, the better’. Despite recent expressions of views to the contrary, Pyne maintains that the current federal government has no plans to reintroduce the cap. Belinda Robinson, the chief executive of Universities Australia, believes that it is too early to judge whether increased student numbers has impacted quality. This is because none of the students of
the demand-driven system have actually graduated yet (the first students in the new system are set to graduate next year). Pyne has also expressed concern over whether students are choosing the ‘right’ courses – those being ones with a career path. ‘It would be wrong of the Universities and the Commonwealth Government to simply train people for careers that don’t exist,’ he said. Regional Universities Network executive director Caroline Perkins argues the opposite: ‘The uncapped system has enabled universities to put on new courses, particularly in professions where graduates are needed such as in allied health [and] engineering.’ Pyne claims that he does not believe in ‘targets for targets’ sake’. The Coalition government intend on making ‘sensible, methodical reform’ in order to maintain the number of students attending university and encourage those of low socio-economic background, but plan on getting rid of Labor’s targets (to increase participation from those of low socio-economic background to 20 per cent by 2020, and have 40 per cent of 25-34 year olds holding a bachelor degree or higher by 2025). Perkins added ‘The participation in higher education in regional Australia, that is, anywhere outside of a capital city, is about half of that in the capitals.’ Uncapped places help to address this issue. Acting Opposition Leader Chris Bowen says the government’s real goal is lay foundations for future funding cuts. ‘What the government is trying to do is setting up an excuse to cut university funding. If you abolish the demand-driven system, you are cutting University funding.’
The cuts and more
Earlier this year the Labor government cut $1 billion from the higher education sector and announced plans to cut a further $2.3 billion over the next 4 years, to fund the Better Schools Plan (also known as the Gonski reforms). This is a plan which the current Coalition government plans to follow through with.
The Better Schools Plan is designed to increase funding for primary and secondary students. The amount given to each student is dependent on their socioeconomic background. Prompted by decreasing education levels in comparison to the rest of the world, the ideology behind the Gonski reforms is that every Australian child should have access to the best possible education, regardless of location, income, or the type of school their parents have chosen for them. Ironically, the new funding for primary and secondary schooling will result in tertiary students not having access to the best possible education when they reach University, as the cuts will result in financial strain for both the students and the Universities themselves. Start-up Scholarships for students will be converted into HECS-style loans (saving the government $1.2 billion), the 10 per cent discount students receive when paying their HECS loan up-front will be abolised (saving $229 million), and $900 million from base university funding will be cut through an ‘efficiency dividend’. This is funding which would go towards teaching, learning and administration. Start-up Scholarships, established by the Labor government in 2010, were introduced to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds with upfront study-related costs like textbooks and course readers that are not covered by HECS or FEE-HELP loans. This year, the scholarships were worth $2050, and were available to all students on Centrelink student income support such as Youth Allowance. According to the National Tertiary Education Union (the trade union that covers staff in universities), the conversion of these scholarships to loans ‘puts already disadvantaged students in a position where they will incur even higher levels of debt’. Larger universities are expecting to experience cuts of up to $50 million each. How individual universities will manage with these cuts is yet to be seen, but the National Union of Students, as noted in their
campaign materials, expects big impacts, inlcuding ‘a mix of: freezes on new staff appointments, cuts to casual teaching staff, shutting down of courses with low enrolments, delays in upgrading lecture theatres and laboratories to deal with new mixed on-line/internal teaching pedagogies, halting the growth of enrolments, cuts to student support services and non-SSAF grants to student representative organisations.’ These cuts come on top of recently announced cuts by the Abbott government to research proposals and programmes. $100 million dollars will be transferred from what the government deem ‘futile’ research, and redistributed to the National Health and Medical Research Council to spend on research into diseases such as dementia.
Since being sworn in Pyne has said that the SSAF is ‘compulsory student unionism by the back door’ and that the Coalition has plans to abolish it. The SSAF has caused controversy for the very reason Pyne mentioned, but it does provide students with important services such as childcare, legal and employment advice, and sports. Pyne later released a statement saying that, though the Coalition is opposed to the SSAF, abolishing it is not a priority. Instead, the federal government aims to focus on reviewing the demand-driven system for student enrolment, as well as exploring the red-tape regarding interactions between Universities and the Government. It’s early days yet. Some of the proposed changes are still in the stages of discussion. Some have been previously designed by the Labor government, and have already been implemented. It’s now only a matter of time before the effects of both of these types of changes become apparent.
BARR SMITH YAWNS 30
Words: Alex Stanley Art: Kelly Arthur-Smith Imagine a time when engineering students hung cars from the Torrens footbridge, rather than jumped on them in flashmobs. A time when University-wide Revues ran riot in Union Hall, complete with an After Party Organiser, whose sole role was to cobble together copious volumes of alcohol and convince a venue to play host to the ensuing carnage. A time when protests were manufactured to disguise the cementing of a toilet to the steps of Parliament House, whilst an MP delivered an impassioned stump speech atop the box containing said toilet and two offending students. (I shit you not) Yep, those were the days, now consigned to family folklore. Let’s
face it: ‘Life on Campus’ is dying, if not already dead, buried and cremated. It seems budding student politicians are the only ones still deluded (or brave) enough to broach the topic of rekindling this spirit. However, their soaring rhetoric is betrayed by their actions; we’d be far better served if they actually engaged in addressing the campus malaise, rather than ‘rolling’ the Board (and re-rolling it, for good measure). But I digress. How did we lose custody of the fun, freewheeling campus culture of our parents’ generation? And whodunnit!? Reflecting a few years ago on the glory days of the gloriously irreverent, now-disbanded Adelaide University Footlights Club, writer Samela Harris pointed to a number of likely causes. Money. Increased study loads. The shift from free, to subsidised, to ‘onloan’ tertiary study. A busier, more complex world. Students simply not being amused anymore…
Photo: A student abseils off the balcony of Union House. Source: On Dit 62.2, 28 Feb 1994 I call bullshit. Before going further, I acknowledge the apocalyptic convergence of cuts to courses, student welfare and general uni funding. Add to that a three year federal forecast of sustained high bureaucratic pressure, let alone the mass campus exodus engendered by all those recently-booked oneway flights out of the country… But no, I think student engagement is the Big One. Without flogging a dead horse, the lack of tutorial attendance and a tendency towards ‘online learning’ were factors cited in justifying HumSS tutorial cuts. There is undeniable momentum in favour of the external, offcampus model of study. After all, who hasn’t resorted to the odd lecture recording? But online learning is not without its problems, as witnessed recently by the University’s commendable support of ‘R U OK? Day’. In the face of an increasingly detached online world, this organisation seeks to ensure we all make time for
regular, meaningful and, crucially, face-to-face conversations. Try and Snapchat that! Nonetheless, a resurgent campus culture would not be viable if it excluded these online networks, of which we’re all a part. On the flipside, they could be transferable and act as the catalyst for a revival of a thriving oncampus university culture. The popular ‘Overheard at the University of Adelaide’ Facebook Group, for example, proves we haven’t lost our sense of humour in migrating online. Further potential is amply demonstrated by the latest viral vid, featuring Auckland Uni Law Revue’s feminist take on ‘Blurred Lines’. Maybe this is the new age online equivalent of hanging a car off a bridge? Meanwhile, on-campus, we could better utilise SSAF spending and, through existing uni clubs and societies, encourage a more diverse range of activities than the ubiquitous BBQ. At the very least, the Bovine Special Interest Group could host a debate between the Live Export Industry and Animals Australia, to determine whether it’d be Bessie or vegan bean burgers set for the grill on a given day. Elsewhere, the German Car Appreciation Society could provide professional driver training for students, whilst simultaneously addressing the mysterious magnetism towards the Hub, through a Come ‘n’ Try Day doing burnouts and doeys on the Barr Smith Lawns. Those Lotharios left languishing on the beanbags of the Hub would be left scratching their heads awaiting participants in
Speed Dating put on by the Imaginary Friends’ Creative Writing Club. This, of course, provided they managed to survive being held hostage, staring down the barrels of the NERF Club. But seriously, we need more life on our campuses. And just as a phoenix rises from the ashes, so this fabled creature, which inhabited the campuses of yesteryear, can be reborn. To this end, and hoping to give my fourth year at this hallowed institution a shot in the arm, I decided to join the tawdry tradition by signing up for the 2013 Adelaide Uni Law Revue, ‘Man! I Feel Like a Lawyer’. Over little more than four weeks, our motley crew of 13 wrote, choreographed, acted and sang our way into a barely respectable troupe. No holds were barred, as we pilloried professors, politicians and Popes, and no rhyme proved too hard, with lyrical improvements to ‘Thrift Shop’, ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’. Best of all, (cliché alert) new friendships were made and some semblance of a bygone campus life was briefly revived across three SOLD OUT nights.
Having said that, as I pranced around Little Theatre in fishnets and a nun’s habit, sporting several months’ worth of untamed beard growth, the thought did briefly occur to me that perhaps it’s a good thing the glory days are indeed over. But for 10 bucks, if we satisfied someone’s transsexual nun fetish and in the process helped spice up student life with some entertainment for students, by students, then we’re all a little bit the better for it. Now, be a sport and help the Law Review put on another great show next year, by voting for their re-jigged ‘Thrift Shop’ video: legalsuperhub.com.au Alex Stanley recently found the secret to a long and happy relationship. You can find him on eHarmony.
Coming to movie theatres this summer
postgrads are PEOPLE too
The story of a first year postgrad who takes on a PhD head-on â€“ and kind of survives.
Written and directed by adele lausberg Official Selection On Dit Film Festival 2013
FADE IN: EXT. NAPIER BUILDING – DAY ‘YOU MAKE MY DREAMS’ BY HALL AND OATES PLAYS NEOPHYTE arrives at the Napier building, ready for the first day of a new PhD life. NEOPHYTE has a meeting scheduled with SUPERVISOR, and is smiling from ear to ear, excited to embark on this adventure. INT. SUPERVISOR’S OFFICE - DAY SUPERVISOR: I think there is promise in your proposed research topic, except you need to reconsider writing on this area, in this way and on this time period. Otherwise, good work. Come; let me show you your office.
INT. SMALL OFFICE SPACE Posters of communist propaganda and Ryan Gosling adorn the office door. Upon opening the door and saying goodbye to SUPERVISOR, NEOPHYTE notices the familiar odour of two-minute noodles and a figure sitting amongst a pile of books stacked high, almost like a defensive wall, hurriedly typing away. NEOPHYTE: Um, hi? I’m your new office mate. My name’s NEOPHYTE. The figure doesn’t respond but continues typing. NEOPHYTE notices their ruffled hair and halfeaten bowl of noodles.
NEOPHYTE sees pillows on the floor and deduces that this student probably slept in the office last night. NEOPHYTE: (continuing) Is that my desk over there? I guess I’ll just put my things down...oh! I thought there’d be a computer for me? I don’t want to be bringing my laptop – MAVEN: 2000 words! That’s a new record for one morning’s work! It probably won’t end up in my thesis, but whatever. Hey sorry, when you get in the zone you just do not stop for anything. I wouldn’t worry about the computer. They’ll sort that out eventually. Besides, there’s a ton of forms and other paperwork you’ll have to fill out before you actually get to researching. Do you plan on doing interviews, or any kind of field research? NEOPHYTE nods. MAVEN:
of public speaking, because even though a lot of people think we are just bookworms we actually have to present our research to get anywhere in the academic profession. Also my name’s MAVEN. MAVEN turns back to the computer, pauses then swears, and logs onto facebook. INT. TEA ROOM – DAY SUPERVISOR: NEOPHYTE, since you seem to be settling into your research well, would you be interested in doing some tutoring work for me? NEOPHYTE notices the other post-grad students slink away as SUPERVISOR speaks. NEOPHYTE: Sure, that would be – SUPERVISOR: Great! To get you into the swing of things, here are some of the students’ papers that I haven’t got around to marking yet. NEOPHYTE is handed a great stack of papers.
Well in that case, prepare yourself! Anything that involves actually talking to people - *shudders* will have to be approved, before you even consider contacting anyone, even via email. That’s why I only study people who are long dead. Also, I hope you’re not afraid
(continuing) I’ll need those back by the end of the week. MONTAGE – NEOPHYTE LEARNS ABOUT TUTORING ‘DON’T GIVE UP’ BY PETER GABRIEL AND KATE BUSH PLAYS A) INT. THE OFFICE – DAY – NEOPHYTE sits at the
34 office desk, drinking sips of coffee in between reading papers and making notes on them. B) INT. TUTORIAL ROOM – DAY – NEOPHYTE is talking to a tutorial group. They look back with blank, uncomprehending expressions. NEOPHYTE frowns. C) INT. THE OFFICE – NIGHT – NEOPHYTE is reading papers again. NEOPHYTE’s expression changes back and forth between exasperation and confusion. D) INT. TUTORIAL ROOM – DAY – NEOPHYTE is obviously dejected, speaking to the students but without putting much effort into the tutorial. One student asks a question and NEOPHYTE sits upright and smiles. E) INT. THE OFFICE – DAY – as the sun rises, NEOPHYTE is reading over one final paper, smiling whilst doing so. END OF MONTAGE EXT. NAPIER BUILDING – DAY NEOPHYTE and MAVEN are sitting outside the Napier building, watching the sun set and undergrad students walk
by. A group of students who are laughing and joking loudly catch their attention. Both NEOPHYTE and MAVEN look wistfully at them. NEOPHYTE sighs. NEOPHYTE: Some of the things I expected about doing a post-grad degree were accurate, but I was never told about the strange sense of limbo you feel, being stuck between a student and an academic. In some ways I miss being an undergraduate, because it was easy in the sense that you didn’t have to worry about what to write, just when you would do it. MAVEN: Maybe. Except doing a post-grad degree means you get to work on whatever you want to. How many times in life do you get to be your own boss? Even though all this reading has ruined my eyes – don’t laugh – I need glasses to read font smaller than size 12 – it’s worth it, even if professors sometimes take advantage of you for their tutorial purposes.
NEOPHYTE: Yeah, writing on something that I actually care about and being able to work from home whenever I feel like it... they’re probably the best things about this whole experience. That, and taking extended coffee or wine breaks in the middle of the afternoon. A voice calls out from inside the Napier building. MAVEN: Did you hear that? A post-grad student is presenting a conference paper in the Stretton Room! NEOPHYTE: So? MAVEN: That means wine and snacks! NEOPHYTE: Fuck yeah! Free food! CREDITS ROLL ‘HIP TO BE SQUARE’ BY HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS PLAYS
Adele Lausberg’s office overlooks most of the campus. She is watching you. Right now.
#SExcri words: Jodie guidolin Art: Gavin Lane
‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society’ – Jiddu Krishnamurti There was a fair bit of controversy surrounding Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs this year, and that’s okay, controversy seems to be what she wants, otherwise she might put her tongue back in her mouth and stop fucking with the whole race/ privilege dichotomy. Miley’s move into ‘black culture’ is asking questions regarding colour, privilege and freedom of expression that aren’t usually asked quite so starkly by the types of artists you see on the VMAs. Yeah, she sing pop songs, and for that she is a bit of a dickhead, but she’s on her path to becoming self-aware and for that, power to her. I mean her Dad is Billy Ray Cyrus for God’s sake – just think about how hard that might be to deal with before you go rolling your eyes next time she’s on the TV embarrassing herself again. Regardless, the one thing that
really gets my goat about all this Miley controversy is the fact that she seems to be being blamed for ‘twerking’1 on the pathetic-excusefor-an-artist Robin Thicke while he is singing his song ‘Blurred Lines’. This atrocious assault on art, that is a part of/encourages rape culture, is being sung on live television, and somehow she’s a bad person for dancing to it... um, wrong. He sings the fucking song, and what’s more is his record label distributes the song, and what’s fucking more than that is that he and his label are making money from the song because people in the street are giving it to them. That’s where the blame really lies in this whole debacle. I’ll assume that you haven’t been living under a rock where no feminists exist in news feeds, but for those of you that have, you might need a few terms defined here. Rape culture exists in societies, such as our own, that have 1 If we can forgive her skinny assed attempts for a second and just call it that out of pity – Clive Palmer does a way better job actually and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then you really need to go to YouTube, now.
developed cultural practices and attitudes that tolerate, excuse and even condone rape and sexual violence; a common instance of this is victim blaming. Rape culture robs women of their right to consent and trivialises rape. There are people who argue about exactly what this means: some of them are people at kitchen tables but a lot of them are academics in universities who write books and really know their shit, and some of those think that what we have in Western society does not emulate rape culture as they think its more tantamount 7 o something like a situation where rape is used as a weapon of war. I don’t wish to detract from this atrocious form of violent rape, but the culture we have in places like America and here is important too. The problem here at home is that a lot of people don’t even realise that what is going on is a problem, and the problem with that is that they are unable to recognise their own role in it. ‘Blurred Lines’ is, in a nutshell, a song condoning rape. Not violent, ‘I’m going to jump out
me from behind the bushes and hold a knife to your throat’ type rape, but ‘party rape’, ‘date rape’ – the kind of rape that happens too often without either party really realising it is rape. And if you don’t think that rape can happen without someone knowing it, think of Steubenville. Those boys said they didn’t realise they were raping their victim because she
didn’t say no. She was passed out at the time, but still, no no, not rape. This is wrong for a tonne of reasons, and its occurrence is reinforced by rape culture. When you live in a nation where ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two’ and ‘Do it, like it hurt/ What you don’t like work?’
That’s not a blurred line; that’s harassment
are acceptable pop song lyrics then we have a significant problem. The song implies that, even though the girl has made it clear with her words that she is not interested, the fact that she has a hot body has confused the singer because, well, why the hell else would a girl have a hot body unless it was to make him want to tear her ass in two? It implies that this ‘bitch’s’ job is to be ‘liberated’ by his ‘smacking her ass’ and ‘pulling her hair’ (getting kind of confused at this point as I didn’t think that violence was liberating). This might be fine in the privacy of
your own home with your partner after a lengthy discussion about boundaries and trust but it’s not okay to say to a stranger. So what are these ‘blurred lines’ that he hates so much? The ‘lines’ that exist when someone hasn’t asked for your attention verbally but seem to be asking for it by having a body that you happen to find attractive? That’s not a blurred line; that’s harassment. If you touch her, that’s assault, and if you have sex with her without obtaining verbal and physical consent, or you obtain it but she is so intoxicated that you think if she weren’t it would be a different story, then guess what mate? That’s rape. Now, I know that the intoxication one gets to some people – they chose to get drunk and so they can deal with it. Um, wrong. Someone doesn’t give up their right to consent to decisions regarding their own body just because they’re drunk. Sex isn’t just about one party; it’s an act that is shared between two or more consenting people. It has nothing to do with one person getting what they want and the other regretting their decision later. Consent and safety is the responsibility of both parties. It’s not just up to the person who might be having second thoughts to pipe up, it’s also the responsibility of the ‘let’s go for it’ person to make sure that the other person/people involved are just as into it. If there’s a good possibility that the person you are thinking of going to bed might regret or hate their decision in the morning should turn you off. If it doesn’t, then maybe you need to reassess, cause that’s kind of rapey.
So what has this to do with Miley Cyrus? A lot more than I’d like to admit. Pop culture and rape culture and porn culture kind of have, well, blurred lines. A great deal of mainstream porn depicts what would be considered in the court of law as rape if it were carried out in a private home rather than in front of a camera.
Miley Cyrus’s racey performance resulted in a huge tonne of media coverage. Seth Rogen’s role was controversial (or more, literally illegal) because advertising costs money, but publicity is free. Robin Thicke’s song is so degrading and riddled with rape culture because it will get people talking. He’s loving the press (he’s actually said so).
It’s concerning that a lot of young people learn their ‘how to’ from porn, porn that depicts sexual violence as enjoyable and female orgasms as as rare as a rainy day in December.
And so it goes, and will keep going on until this type of crap becomes unpopular. If we as consumers stand up and say ‘no, I don’t want to buy your media, it has the moralistic thinking of a sociopathic rapist’ then guess what? They will stop making it.
In a film released this year a character played by Seth Rogen’s has sex with a woman who passes out halfway through. She has consumed a large amount of alcohol and drugs and clearly doesn’t consent and this is meant to be funny. Thing is, it’s not funny – it’s rape, and it’s being normalised by the mainstream media. His comments on it were that it was hilarious, because the audience are made uncomfortable yet want to laugh. Um, uncomfortable? They should be outraged, not only at what they are seeing, but at themselves for watching it, and everyone else for allowing things like this to slide. So what is the individual to do? Well, for one, media products such as songs and films that are distributed by big companies like Universal and Sony are only going to market you things that you will conceivably buy. They have no interest in making lovely moralistic tales about empowered women and considerate men in going about normal activities and have loving relationships as this, unfortunately, creates no controversy and therefore no cash.
The system works on cash; it doesn’t necessarily intend to create rape culture and degrade women, it just so happens that by doing so they make more money. So they do it. But it’s no use blaming them and crying out for a revolution that is just not forthcoming. Capitalism is here to stay and so we’d best get to making it work for us – working for it just doesn’t need to be the case. We don’t need to let our respect for ourselves and others be degraded by a culture that we didn’t consciously ask for. Switching your brain on and standing up against something that you conceive of as wrong is the first step.
Jodie Guidolin is still surprised at Australia re: Abbott’s leadership. If you suffered Murdochian delusion and actually voted for his party, she hopes you’re sorry.
A LIFE DEDICATED TO DEATH WORDS: BEN NIELSEN PHOTOGRAPHY: Dennis Grauel
As they drove past a funeral home, young Neville Edwards would often point out the car window, announcing to his parents, ‘one day, when I’m grown up, I’ll work there’. Having come from a family of publicans and farmers, his parents may have thought this to be a bizarre career aspiration. But Neville was consumed by his self-proclaimed ‘morbid curiosity’. It soon inspired a high school project, and a subsequent traineeship at the local funeral home. The twelve-month traineeship in small-town Yorke Peninsula became five years worth of employment. And then, upon relocation to metropolitan Adelaide, Neville joined Alfred James as a Funeral Consultant and Embalmer.
Those passing him on the street would struggle to determine Neville’s true profession. He is an ordinary looking, quietly spoken man who occasionally erupts into a bout of chuckles. His neat suit may suggest a mundane office job, but instead, Neville arrives to work each day at the Unley Road funeral home. A quick glance at his timesheet provides an order of duty, and then depending on the list of priorities, it’s straight into the day’s embalming. Many cultures have practiced the art of embalming, but none more famously than the Ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians believed that the preservation of a body through mummification would empower the soul. Through this process, the body would become a suitable vessel for the soul to return in the afterlife. Dating back to 3500 BC, these early techniques of human preservation involved resin, salt, spices and linen wrappings. While it was originally
undertaken for purely cultural or religious purposes, embalming is now performed in order to adequately present, preserve and sanitise the deceased. As Neville explains, aside from advancements in technology, embalming hasn’t changed all that much. It’s a straightforward process in which a chemical cocktail is injected into the body, while existing bodily fluids are drained and disposed. Depending on the condition of the client, the procedure can take between two to four hours. Those who have received post-mortems are often more time consuming because of the absence of many organs. ‘Because we usually embalm through the vascular system, when I’m out and I see a really fit person with a good jugular vein, I think “you’d have good drainage”. Every embalmer probably thinks about that,’ laughs Neville. Besides his qualifications in mortuary science, Neville has also studied a variety of cosmetics courses. Foundation, blush, and
a bit of lipstick - there is hardly any mystery to this process. Sometimes a client may require specialised makeup or wax reconstruction, but the standard rule is to keep everything light and natural. Neville spends much of his day in a mortuary no larger than an average dining room. Benches and equipment surround the room, clinical posters are stuck to the walls, and nestled in the corner is a large steel bench. The speckled terrazzo floor sweeps towards a central drain, because ‘it can often get quite messy’. This is the smallest and oldest of Alfred James’ facilities, but even still, the formidable fridge door guards at least thirty clients. The mortuary team itself is a tight knit group of five. From nursing to graphic design, each worker has arrived in the industry from a very different background. Ian Milne, who has clocked up twenty-five years in the business, trains and oversees the team. The job might be unique, but the workplace dynamics are not. The mortuary workers still have a good laugh and a joke.
Neville says that it is sometimes hard to just come to work, do the job, and go home. ‘Everyone’s human and you do get a bit upset every now and then, but you learn to keep it in and bottle it up a little bit. We have a counselor here if we need, but generally the staff just all sit at lunch and have a bit of a debrief. That comes in all forms; laughter, anger or just getting things off our chest. Although, we’re never disrespectful to families, clients, or the deceased.’ Respect, dignity and professionalism are a significant part to all areas of the funeral industry. The Australian Institute of Embalmers may enforce a code of ethics, but these standards of behavior go beyond any legislation. ‘We give our clients the dignity they deserve. We might still have the radio on or be talking normally, but we always keep in mind who we’re working with and on. We treat them like we want to be treated, or as if it was our loved one,’ says Neville. ‘I don’t have [supernatural] beliefs,
because I’ve never experienced anything to make me believe it. But sometimes you do feel a presence, probably more in the way that I’ve got to show them the dignity because they could be standing behind me. When I used to work a lot more by myself, I’d stand there and talk to the person and I would just feel like they were watching. It doesn’t really worry me at all.’ Neville and his colleagues have committed their lives to making sure everything is right for their clients’ death. After all, a funeral is a person’s last big occasion, so it needs to be as pleasant and comfortable as possible – especially for the loved ones who remain. ‘It all stems from that curiosity you really have to be interested in it. But you also have to have a passion and a desire to help people.’ Despite the many hours he has had to reflect upon the inevitability of death, Neville has given little thought to his own. Ben Nielsen is a fourth year music student. He spends his spare time writing, and has contributed to a variety of publications
‘Lots of people ask me: burial or cremation? I have never really thought or know what I want. Neither probably. It’s just a process that happens, and it’s all just to benefit the family and make their experience more pleasant. That’s the only reason I’d ever like it to happen to myself.’
tuning in our writers share their favourite free podcasts
44 the Memory Palace
‘I found real power in shortness,’ says Nate DiMeo, the writer/producer of The Memory Palace, ‘It’s a simple thing, but I think most things go on too long; most things overstay their welcome.’ This is, I think, the greatest strength of The Memory Palace: it never overstays its welcome. The longest episode clocks in at a little over 14 minutes, but the shortest is less than 2 minutes. In each episode, DiMeo tells a story from history. There’s generally a little background music and sounds, but he never interviews anyone. It’s always done in his own voice. Sometimes he describes a moment; sometimes he just talks about a fact. Every episode is a compressed, perfectly-crafted piece of audio: musical and meaningful and exactly as long as it needs to be. They’re all thick with a gorgeous, unironic sense of wonder at the world. They all make me feel a little bit more excited to be alive. Find it online at thememorypalace.us Galen Cuthbertson
Good design is said to be 99% invisible (hey, that’s the name of this show, what a coincidence!) because when it works, you just don’t notice it. That’s the basis for this podcast, hosted by San Franciscan Roman Mars. 99% Invisible explores that hidden element of architecture and design. Mars (aka my newest hero) takes you through the decisions that were made in the design of things as diverse as the I heart NY logo, political campaigns, banknotes, and modern day Warsaw. The show is designed incredibly carefully (funnily enough), paced just right and oftentimes feels musical in its approach storytelling. It will satisfy everyone from inquisitive casual listeners interested in a good yarn, to full-blown design nerds. I am never disappointed after listening to an episode. If you take anything out of the show, let it be this: always read the plaque. Find it online at 99percentinvisible.org Casey Briggs
Love and Other Catastrophes
As far as I can tell, a big part of growing up is doing grown up things like drinking tea, being open about ‘problems’ and listening to the radio. Love and Other Catastrophes allows me to do all three simultaneously. Love and Other Catastrophes is a drive time radio segment on ABC Melbourne on which Professor Jane Fisher, the Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Mental Health at Monash University, talks life and love, family and friendships. From the very relevant (friend break-ups, managing stress, and compulsive hoarding) to the slightly less relevant (talking to your kids about sex, or empty nest syndrome), Professor Fisher and her callers provides very useful advice for navigating ‘adult relationships’ – you know, those things we’re meant to be nurturing these days. The podcast feels a bit like Christmas lunch: everyone has their own opinion on your Aunty’s latest break up, and your mum’s gently explaining to your cousin that actually it’s okay that you’re single. It’s confronting at times, but leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy without having to consume a year’s worth of brandy in the space of two hours. Find it online at abc.net.au/local/ stories/2013/02/25/3697872.htm Holly Ritson
welcome to night vale
This podcast is a brilliant mix of idyllic, dystopic, and completely amazing. The Night Vale Community Radio’s fortnightly broadcasts are 20-minute glimpses of local news and events, as well as the actions of secret conspiracies and things man was not meant to know, all from the point of view of the smooth-voiced Cecil. They also feature a weather update in the form of a featured song. The song choices don’t have too much in common except a uniformly high level of quality, and that of the writing talent showcased by Commonplace Books showcases is, if possible, even higher. Find it online at commonplacebooks.com/ welcome-to-night-vale Max Cooper
argh! It’s a hearty meal! Eleanor ludington doesn’t want you to get scurvy Photography: eleanor ludington
At last, some sunshine! The first few sunny days of spring are always such a treat after the end of a bleak and cold winter. Temperatures might only reach 23°C and the wind might be blowing a gale, but who cares? I don’t know about you, but I love the sun and any excuse to be outside soaking up some vitamin D. While the weather hasn’t been too warm yet, I’m already noticing a shift in the kinds of foods I want to eat. Light pastas, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, homemade icecream, and, salads. No, no, no, I don’t mean boring, old ‘green salads’ that make you feel like you’re on a diet when you’re not and never really leave you feeling that full (yeah mum, you can say what you like, I disagree). I’m talking about salads filled with all kinds of different vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and flavours. Salads are a great option for students who want to pack a few more nutrients into their diet. I think this is really important, as I heard recently (and you might have too) about a student who presented to hospital with scurvy (severe deficiency of vitamin C) after eating predominantly Mi Goreng for the past few months/years. Don’t laugh at this sad story, the unfortunate truth is that the combination of poverty and an inability to cook has resulted in an extremely preventable disease making a resurgence. Don’t worry guys, here’s a nutrient-dense salad you can make and enjoy on a pretty tight budget. I can’t guarantee that
it alone will prevent scurvy, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction!
Roast Vegetable and Bulghur wheat Salad: Ingredients: 1 zucchini, diced (NB: don’t dice any of the vegetables in this recipe too small!) 1 red capsicum, diced 1 eggplant, diced 1 tbsp olive oil for drizzling (if you think you need more you can add a little more, but don’t drown the vegetables!) 150g bulghur wheat (check the couscous area of your supermarket) 2 spring onions, thinly sliced ground cumin paprika 1tbsp lemon juice finely chopped herbs (parsley, mint etc.) salt and pepper Method: Preheat your oven to 180˚C Place vegetables on a roasting tin, drizzle olive oil over veggies and roast until very soft (20-25 minutes, but may vary depending on your oven) Cook the bulghur according to the packet instructions (they often suggest cooking it in water, you could substitute stock for more flavour if you want, and add a little butter if you’re feeling extra indulgent!) Combine the cooked bulghur and roasted vegetables in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients (spices and herbs should be to your taste) and mix well. Serve straight away or store in the fridge (cover bowl with gladwrap) for up to a couple of days Note: You could try subbing couscous, or quinoa (if you’re classy and rich!) instead of bulghur wheat. Eleanor Ludington studies medicine. More than anything she loves her dog, Trixie. She pretends to have ‘runner’ status, and enjoys baking chocolatechip biscuits in her spare time.
Di v e r s i o n s
Horoscopes Virgo You will decide to splash out and buy some new novelty socks. No one will notice them, but you will take comfort in the fact that your feet look like those of a children’sentertainer/paedophile from the late 1980s.
By Clare voyant Pisces In a bid to recapture your faded youth, you will spend a Sunday afternoon listening to the Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack on repeat. Have no shame: this is what dreams are made of.
Libra You will attempt to use your own star sign to instigate a threesome with a pair of intoxicated twins at the Unibar. Sadly there are not enough $12 jugs of cider in the world that could facilitate your success.
Aries Being too scared to commit to getting a fringe, you will buy several second hand wigs from a passing gypsy. These lustrous, synthetic manes will trigger a renewed love affair with Cher and excessively applied eyeliner.
Scorpio In an attempt to remedy your woeful GPA, you will try to SEEK LIGHT by purchasing two dozen IKEA desk lamps. A lack of adequate power points will perpetuate your hope that Ps really do get degrees.
Taurus After your hand drifts south during a solo Friday night viewing of Under The Tuscan Sun, you will discover two pieces of Lego and some Singaporean currency in the folds of your y-fronts. This mystery will never be solved.
Sagittarius After consuming the last third of two glasses of beer, part of a vodka raspberry and the remains of some Baileys foolishly left on a table at the Exeter, you will regale several strangers with tales of your own romantic misadventures. You will forget that you are lactose intolerant and vomit on one of their shoes.
Gemini This is the week for new experiences – try brewing your own perfume. Possible scents include roses, fabric softener, or barbeque shapes.
Capricorn Your parents will begin leaving pamphlets for counselling services in the bathroom after walking in on you attempting to teach the family retriever how to waltz. You’re not crazy, Lucky just really likes Strictly Ballroom. Aquarius After injuring your leg in a freak clog accident, you will develop a temporary limp. The sympathy this will garner will result in you attempting to pretend it’s permanent. You’ll be found out when spotted running after the River Torrens swan that stole your lunch.
Cancer You will develop paranoia that you’re being followed by cars with misspelt personalised numberplates such as ‘WIKID 100’ and ‘CHEEKEE’. Whilst your personal safety is not in danger, their presence will be a constant reminder that democracy is flawed. Leo Left alone for an evening, you will drink two bottles of aging moscato and bid for and win a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Stevie Nicks and a two kilo bag of Tazos on Ebay. I say regret nothing – they’re investment pieces.
where In the unI Is... If youâ€™ve spent nearly as much time on campus as we have, identifying these iconic places will be a cinch. Email email@example.com with your answers and you might win a lollipop! 2.
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an Open Letter to...
Dear Friends from High School,
48 There was this time when I was a kid (I
want to say aged three, but it could’ve well been around five or six ) and I was sitting in the backseat of my mum’s car after a really long day and I pissed myself. Not laughing, but actually urinated on myself. And there was nothing anyone could really do about it. But I just have this very vivid memory of having to come to terms with the irrevocable fact that I had pissed myself. I remember just sitting there, covered in piss. And I remember thinking, ‘Well this is shit.’ Now, ignoring the (incredibly troubling) fact that me sitting uncomfortably in my own urine is something that I consider to be one of the defining moments of my childhood, there is only one time in recent memory where I’ve felt as completely helpless and nonplussed as I did when I was in that car so long ago. It was a couple of weeks ago, a Saturday night. I was celebrating my best-friend Caitlin’s birthday with you guys. It’s a great night, we’re all getting along, the adolescent high-school-to-university relationship dramas that have been bubbling under the surface of our group for a while have been veiled with the gauzy film of a whole bottle of wine (sipped directly from the bottle). But I remember ending the night peeved. You see, we were on our way to maccas and I was beyond excited. The opportunity to eat a mountain of guilt-free McNuggets and Zambreros at 3am is probably the only reason I go to town. The ridiculous amounts of effort people go to stand in various dirty sweaty rooms around the city becomes automatically justified by late night McDonalds. On our way to get food, however, one of you (I don’t remember who. Because drinking.) turned to me and said, ‘Anthony, we really want you to find someone. You’ve been single for ages, you deserve to be happy! I’m gonna do it! I’ll find you someone!’
I suddenly felt incredibly uncomfortable and thought, ‘Well this is shit’ and, for an insane second, I frantically grabbed at my thighs to check for moisture. I was pissed, and not just at the massive line at Maccas. I was pissed at the fact one of you said ‘we’. It means that everyone – or at least two people – in my friendship group (most of whom aren’t even in relationships themselves may I bloody add) have come to the collective decision that I’m an unhappy single person. But you’re right. I am unhappy, but not because I’m single. I’m unhappy because my friends have decided to make me their new DIY project, because – clearly – they’ve finished re-reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and need a new mind-numbing hobby to occupy themselves with. But it made me feel exposed and, well, worthless. I don’t know about everyone else, but – until that night – my singleness hadn’t been something that I’d obsessed over or worried about. I don’t feel a pressing need to be loved, and not only because my personality and face are not things that lend themselves to the adjectives ‘nice’ or ‘loveable (For the record, the adjectives that they do lend themselves to are ‘make it stop’ and ‘what else have you got?’) I really couldn’t give two fucks about being single. Someone who eats as many Kit-Kats and falls off the treadmill as much as I do is too busy wondering how they’re still alive to even worry about being single. Also my standards are incredibly high. Maybe I’m overreacting. After all, we’d been drinking and it was just a passing comment… and I do want to fall in love someday. I want to find someone that will watch me eat burritos into oblivion and perhaps even join me in doing so. It doesn’t actually involve any of you. It annoys me that everyone is meddling in my business, or thinks that I want them to. I didn’t even enjoy my nuggets that night; I was too annoyed, which is kind of ridiculous considering how much I love drunken McDonald’s. I guess what I’m saying is: fuck off. Stop ruining my McNuggets. Because that’s the real love story here. I’ve stopped pissing my pants; I’d like to stop feeling like I have.
Lots of love from a solitary (and decidedly dry) bed, Anthony Nocera
Pop psychology, Law School royalty, the politics of ice-skating, how to make a career in embalming and proof that post-grads are people too.
Published on Oct 8, 2013
Pop psychology, Law School royalty, the politics of ice-skating, how to make a career in embalming and proof that post-grads are people too.