INSIDE: WHAT THE BUDGET MEANS FOR STUDENTS | AND MORE
VOLUME EIGHTY-TWO, EDITION SIX.
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EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE WHAT’S ON VOX POP
INTERVIEW FEATURED ARTIST MOVING OUT LET’S GET PHYSICAL POLYGAMY SCIENCE STUDYING VIDEO GAMES
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CREATIVE WRITING COLUMNS REVIEWS DIVERSIONS RECIPE
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Interwebs: auu.org.au/ondit. If it loads. Which it might not because Australia has shit internet. Editors: Sharmonie Cockayne, Daisy Freeburn and Yasmin Martin. Front cover artwork by Jack Lowe. Inside back cover by Yi Ling Gong. Back cover is a collection of images from On Dit of old. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union. On Dit is produced and printed on the traditional country of the Kuarna people of the Adelaide Plains. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. Published 27/5/2014
dear robust consumers, Just like that time Beyoncé and Jay Z woke up in their kitchen, Australia woke up on May 14th saying ‘How the hell did this shit happen?’ Since Budget Night, Treasurer “Big Joe” Hockey’s Budget is all that Australia can think about, talk about and write Facebook statuses about. And quite rightly. The Liberal government flipped on election promises on a level that no one could have predicted. In September of 2013, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised no changes to pensions, and no cuts to education or health. Well, in true Carbon Tax fashion, he’s done a real number on us. Of our Glorious Leader’s character, there are only two possible truths: Either he is oblivious to the
struggles of everyday Australians, or, he is aware but chooses to disengage. Either way, it’s an unfortunate characteristic for the leader of any country to possess. According to a Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Mail on May 18th, only 11 per cent of Australia feels better off because of the Budget, and only 41 per cent think Australia’s economy will actually benefit from the cuts. Australia is in a state of uproar and, for many, there isn’t an excuse in the world that’ll justify Hockey’s harsh health, welfare and education cuts. Australians are marching in front of Parliament House, mobbing Liberal front-benchers at universities, hijacking QandA and singing in Bonython Hall. When the good people of Australia unite behind a cause worth fighting, this country is unstoppable. When John Howard introduced Work Choices
in 2005, Australia said no. And we’re saying no again. This issue we bring you a six page Budget lowdown on what the Budget means for you and for future university students (found on pages 10-16). On the back cover, you’ll also find some inspiring images from On Dit’s of old. (If you need a distraction from politics though, we’ve got you covered. Read Wild Horse then head straight to Diversions on page 46.) There is no better time than now to ask ourselves the following questions, once posed to us by a Queen: Who are we and what do we run? (Answer: Students. We run the world.)
Love from sharmonie (and yasmin and daisy)
by Rowan Roff
Many thanks Thank you Jenny, Sarah, Sam and Anthony for snacks. Angus, Boden and Sarah for distribution fun times. Idris for vox popping. Justin and Fletcher for words. Sarah for proofreading. All of our wonderful wonderful contributors who did things for us very last minute - our love for you makes us weep. Unthanks to the budget for being so distracting.
Why do you feel it is appropriate to prompt students for a “yay or nay” verdict on whether a man has a foreskin or not? Why do you feel that it is okay to casually deem part of a person’s body legitimate? Furthermore, why do you feel it’s appropriate to frame your Vox Pop question around the very assumption that it is, in fact, appropriate to do this? By asking the question, you’re presenting it as an acceptable “issue” on which people are forced to take a stance, despite the fact that they probably hadn’t given it thought prior.
There is a basic flaw in your argument. Foreskins are not simply a body part. They are a body part that, unlike blue or brown eyes, are forcibly removed at infancy in various cultures all around the world. We’re not sure if you read all of SexualiDit. It doesn’t sound like you made it to page 20, where we feature an excellent piece by Blair Williams on the subject of foreskins. If you had read it, you would know that in Australia 32 per cent of people with penises under age 30 are circumcised. Many of them were circumcised in infancy, and so they had no say.
Given your apparent endorsement of the casual judgment and dismissal of certain body types, presumably you’d endorse an identical question regarding women? What about race: brown eyes, yay or nay?
Who decided, then, that these penises should be altered? Why, the parents of course. And who will be deciding whether or not to circumcise their children in the foreseeable futures? Why, the young people of today. That includes the young people that attend the University of Adelaide. Like many other issues we cover in the magazine, we like to hear what students have to say about them from time to time.
I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this to you before, but people shouldn’t be marginalised, made fun of or made to seem somehow illegitimate because of things about themselves they have no control over. I sincerely recommend you address this issue. Ben Smith
Perhaps we should have said “Male Circumcision, yea or nay?” instead, because make no mistake, that’s what the question was about. Our Vox Pop-ees didn’t seem to struggle too much with the concept, though. We’re sorry you did. Love, The Eds
got your knickers in a knot?
Write to us. Our correspondence page is waiting to be filled with your rants and raves. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Letter to the Editor’.
No peeking ‘til you’ve had a go at the diversions on page 46. I haven’t bothered putting them in Basque because they’re all names. It’d be the same.
Apologies to Belinda from Vox Pop in 82.4. We wrote ‘ten,’ but you said ‘one.’ Your understanding of statistics is great. Also to Rachel, whose drawings in the centrefold were slightly pixelated. Daisy’s obsessive-compulsive design side is writhing in pain right now.
1. The Wollemi pine 2. Norfolk Island pine 3. The Allocasuarina, or more commonly, sheoak. 4. Christopher Pyne
We’re indubitably sorry
Submitted to On Dit anonymously.
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hey there, stranger. On this page you’ll find all of the events, info, strange things people say sometimes, news, bake sales, pub crawls, tarp-surfing competitions and anything else you could possibly want to know about the University of Adelaide. Did we miss anything? Let us know at email@example.com.
What: The Student Co-op When: 10am - 4pm Tuesdays and Thursdays Where: Level 4, 230 North Terrace
Adelaide Uni Anime Club Anime screening and social dinner When: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, May 30th Where: Napier building, G03 lecture theatre, Adelaide Uni The following anime being screened in the order below: Nichijou, Space Dandy, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Season 2, Noragami, Tonari no Seki-kun, Samurai Flamenco, Hamatora, Servant x Service, Serial Experiments Lain, Senyuu, Desert Punk.
free brekky What: Weekly free breakfasts to keep our keen eyed students healthy and happy on campus. When: Every Tuesday (excluding holidays), 8.30am – 10am Where: The Fix Lounge (next to Unibooks) Brought to you by Student Care and the SRC.
Adelaide University Union Exam Rescue Station When: 12am, June 21st - July 5th Where: Wayville Showgrounds
Southern Uni Games What: Universities from South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria fight it out to qualify for the Australian University Games. When: July 6th - July 10th Where: Wodonga, Victoria More info: theblacks. com .au
SRC quiz night
The SRC are hosting a fundraising Quiz Night to get $$ to send some members to conferences this year! Their attendance at conferences helps equip them with the skills and knowledge to represent you better. When: 6pm - 10pm, June 5th Where: Rumours Cafe, Adelaide Uni Cost: $10 per person/ 10 per table Contact: andrew.watson@adelaide. edu.au
Free Lorna Jane Pilates Class When: 12.15pm, Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays weekly Where: Lorna Jane, Rundle Street
PSYCROPTIC and ABORTED When: 8pm, June 13th
Free AIF Community Fitness When: 11am - 12pm, June 24th Where: Light Square, Morphett St Free Lululemon Athletica Yoga When: 9.30am - 10.30am, Sundays Where: Lululemon, James Place Free Latino Dancing When: 6pm, Tuesdays Where: The Collins Bar, Hilton Adelaide, Victoria Square Free Nike Run Club When: 6pm - 7pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays Where: Nike, 137 Rundle Mall Free Torrens Parkrun When: 8am - 9am, Saturdays Where: Weir on Torrens Lake Free Organised Group Bike Ride When: 9am, Wednesdays Where: 124 Halifax Street
Art by Laur a
Ge ntg a ll
Dune Rats When: 8pm, June 14th
The Aston Shuffle When: 8.30pm, August 30
Offering glamour and style, song and celebration, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is the most comprehensive cabaret festival in the world! When: June 6th - 21st Where: Adelaide Festival Centre More Info: festivalsadelaide. com.au/festivals/adelaide-cabaret-festival The Cabaret Fringe Festival is an open-access arts festival held in clubs, bars and venues of Adelaide all June. More info: cabaretfringefestival.com
sala artist callouts
The Adelaide University Union and the Student Representative Council are hosting two on-campus exhibitions. They’re all ready and registered, all they need now is ART! Email kristina.noicos@adelaide. edu.au to be a part of the AUU exhibition, or email srcgensec@gmail. com to be a part of the SRC exhibition. Why not? It’s free!
Adelaide University French Club Beginner’s Conversation Group When: 12am-1pm, June 3rd Where: West Side of Hub Central (Art Gallery side) Come along, say bonjour and learn the language!
Desperate for a job? CareerOne not doing it for you? The Union Employment Service will help you out. Head to unione.auu. org.au/Employment/ to get started.
That Dapper Market What: Cute little market When: 3pm - 9pm, May 31st Where: 322 King William St, Adelaide (The old Trims site) Cost: Absolutely free for every single Adelaidean and friends
What: An art exhibition! Called Wonderland by Amy McNamara. When: May 22nd - June 10th Where: Sub Rosa Shop & Gallery, Elizabeth House, 231 North Terrace
‘If there’s one thing I never wanted to see at 11, it was my Mum giving birth to Idris.’ ~ The On Dit office
talk to us. please. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onditmagazine Twitter: @onditmagazine Instagram: @onditmag Snail Mail: On Dit, c/o Adelaide University Union, Level 4 Union House, University of Adelaide, 5005 In Real Life: Pop into our office on the West side of the Barr Smith Lawns. Yep, you’ll have to walk down those gloomy looking stairs. Sorry.
william // 1st year-ish law & international studies
sam // tutor architecture
1. Best: The investment in medical research. Worst: Everything else.
1. Best: An attempt at economic transformation. Worst: University funding and research cuts. The future deregulation of universities.
1. Paying $7 more to visit a GP (worst)!
3. Rise Like a Phoenix.
3. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
4. Rachel Gilbert.
4. Romance Was Born.
5. Kate Bush.
6. Tic Toc.
2. Education resources should be allocated on merit, not wealth. Even then care should be taken to avoid creating disadvantage. Ideally all education should be premium. 3. Na na na na, na na na na, hey goodbye! 4. Politix. 5. Valentino Balboni. 6. Tic Toc. Iâ€™m always thinking about the time.
6. Iced Vovo.
madeline // 3rd year
On Dit popped these students’ voxes and asked: 1. Best and worst thing about the Budget? 2. Should wealthier students have access to premium education services? 3. If you could sing one song to Christopher Pyne, what would it be? 4. Favourite Australian fashion label? (Don’t have one? Can you name one?) 5. If you had the chance to swap your life with anyone in the world, who would it be? 6. If you were a biscuit, what type would you be?
Hamish // 4th year law/arts
emma // 4th year
blanche // 5th year b.a & diploma of language
1. Best: The fighter jets, but only if I get to go.
1. Worst: Education cuts. Best:... 2. Yes and no.
1. Worst: Education, foreign aid, changes to unemployment. Ah, is there anything good?
3. Dear Mr President by P!nk.
2. Ah no!
3. I kind of want to choose Killing In The Name.
2. No in principle, but people should be able to pay for what they want. 3. Anything by Wu-Tang Clan. 4. Can’t name one. 5. Chris Pyne. 6. An inflatable one.
5. The On Dit editors. (Eds: oh, you!) 6. Walnut and Choc Chip.
4. I can name Sass and Bide but my youth allowance budget doesn’t allow me to purchase anything from there. 5. A back up dancer for Beyoncé. 6. Ahh... so hard - for the premium end, a chocolate chip and something else delicious and peanut butter flavour.
Trillion Dollar Debt Bomb In The United states
Christopher Pyne likes to claim that the United States higher education system is something to aspire to, but America’s students are drowing in a sea of debt that looks set to be the next Global Financial Crisis. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a Government agency, reported that student debts in the United States now exceed USD 1.2 trillion – with more than one trillion being Federal Student Loans. These debts mean that students and graduates are ‘sucking the vitality out of the economy’ – and leaving many people trapped in debt cycles they can’t escape. And for all this money being flung at universities, Times Higher Education ranks the United States 14th out of 20 in higher education quality, when economies are adjusted for size.
What is ‘HELP’? The Higher Education Loan Program or “HELP” is the Orwellian phrase that the Howard Government replaced “HECS” with. HECS was originally designed to part-pay for universities, with the understanding that a university degree provides a private benefit. Of course, it can always be counterpoised that higher wages from university are already taxed at a higher rate, but still under HECS and HELP more students are at universities than ever before. You don’t have to pay it back until you reach the average wages and the interest rate is set at the Consumer Price Index. There is a cap on how much a University can charge you.
has the government declared war on words by senior correspondent fletcher o’leary
e was always so coy. The placid, unflappable exterior as he smiled through another interview promising that there would be no surprises, that there would be no funding cuts. Life would continue on as if nothing had changed – just that the wicked witch would be ditched. To the trained eye though, there were tell-tale signs. Scientists call them ‘micro-expressions’ – uncontrollable, subliminal moments when the truth is revealed through small facial twitches. I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. Twitch. Iraq has the capacity to launch a chemical weapons strike within 45 minutes of the order being given. Twitch. There will be no fee increases, there will be no funding cuts in a Government I lead. Twitch.
Of course it served its purpose. Tony and his cronies won the election they so desperately wanted. These are, in the words of Higher Education expert Simon Marginson, ‘anti-modernist populist conservatives’. The ideal of the collegial university, the community of scholars, the pursuit of enlightenment, is anathema. This budget could be viewed as an attack on universities, on students, and on young people. Here is a breakdown of the radical changes that are being proposed in the budget:
20% cut in funding for students
Straight off the bat, the Federal Government has announced that it will reduce its contribution to your studies. At the moment, you pay on average 41 per cent of the total cost of your degree, with the government picking up the remaining 59 per cent. They have flipped that, announcing that they will only contribute 40 per cent to the cost of a degree as of 2016. It is unclear whether this is the initial contribution, and whether it will remain static (meaning as fees go up their contribution does not), or if they plan to tie it to the increase in fees.
Full Deregulation of fees
This is the big one. From 2016, universities will charge whatever they think they can get away with. Your fees at the moment are capped, which while not perfect, means that every Australian could have the opportunity to go to a decent university without leaving with a $200 000 debt. The original architect of HECS, Bruce Chapman, has warned that Group of Eight fees will most likely triple. If you want to see what you will be paying, check out what international students pay: that is what Chapman suggests will be the benchmark. The Abbott Government has said this is a choice for universities to
government on you? make, but then will force them to hike fees to counterbalance the funding cuts at the bare minimum. It is impossible to know what the fees will be, but without a cap an ‘elite’ university like Adelaide will be able to charge what it wants due to its reputation.
Private colleges & unis receive funding There are 39 public universities in Australia. In SA, all three major universities are governed by an Act of the South Australian Parliament. These universities offer Commonwealth Supported Places – that is, all domestic students pay through the HELP system.\
This budget could be viewed as an attack on universities, on students, and on young people.
Commonwealth Supported Places have been strictly controlled, and private universities such as Bond University have struggled to attract funding. Likewise, non-degree granting private colleges have not been able to offer HELP supported places for ‘sub-bachelor’ degrees – such as diplomas. This will change, with for-profit colleges and universities
Different Funding Models Tuition Fees With No Support This is very rare, because of the public benefit from having educated citizens and researchers. Without the HELP system, you would need a massive bank loan or rich parents to get to uni, regardless of your skills.
competing directly with public universities. This will see the rise of predatory marketing, targeting people who wouldn’t normally be eligible for university. How can I be so sure? Well, the private college industry collapsed into a farce in 2009 – 2010, when it was found that most colleges were exploiting international students desperate for visa access to Australia. The Rudd and Gillard governments established a regulatory body to make sure shonky colleges would be found and shut down. Abbott just halved the funding for this body.
Equity Targets Removed
One of the major initiatives of the Gillard Government in Higher Ed was co-ordinating and funding for people who traditionally do not go to university the support they needed to do so. And it was working. People from poor backgrounds have come to universities in record numbers because there was a plan to ensure it. Here at the University of Adelaide, an agreement (“the compact”) was made with the Federal Government to raise participation rates for Indigenous and low-income people. These targets have been completely scrapped. It has also been reported that staff at Wirltu Yarlu, the university’s Indigenous support centre, have been placed on six-month contracts – allowing the University to shut it down on a whim.
Free Education Until 1989, universities were completely free in Australia – and you got paid to do it. Age of Entitlement? Well, not really. Apart from being a right guaranteed by UN treaties to which Australia is a signatory, free higher education is not that expensive, maybe a fighter jet or two. Many developed countries including Ireland, Scotland, and the Nordic countries have it. Even economic basket cases such as Venezuela and Greece(!) have free education. Income Contingent Loan System This is what your HELP debt is. The argument put forward by the Hawke Government was that you could have a big education system, with many more students, or you could have a free education system, with the benefits only felt by the privileged few who could get in. It was never meant to be like this: the economist who designed the original HECS system denounced the proposed deregulation of fees as a disaster for equity in The Age on May 15th. Graduate Tax This is a way of splitting the difference between a completely free system and a tuition system. Essentially, you don’t pay anything until you get the degree, and then for a period of time afterwards you pay an extra few percentage points of income tax. This way, some people will pay more into the education system for their degree, others will pay less, and all based on what they’ve actually done with their skills. This means graduates have a collective responsibility for education, rather than paying their own way. It is likely that the Labour Party in the UK will take this to the next election.
This was established in 2007 as one of the ‘future funds’. Basically, part of that year’s budget surplus was parked in this fund to provide long term support for infrastructure at Universities and TAFEs across the country. This fund provided $30 million dollars for the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, and has been used to upgrade dilapidated campuses to the tune of three billion dollars in total. Its remaining $3.5 billion will instead be used to incentivise the privatisation of state owned assets – utilities such as SA Water.
Rental Affordability Scheme gone Australia’s universities are rare in that they by and large are not residential. This university only has emergency accommodation (and private affiliated colleges), which in
total are a small part of the population. The rest of us live in private rental or, having been priced out of the market, still live with Mum.
For all its flaws, the NRAS had been used successfully by universities interstate to build new accommodation to provide a lower-cost alternative than private rental for students. It has now been axed.
10% cut in funding for Research Students Again, this is a way of forcing universities to raise fees by claiming it is a choice. The University of Adelaide receives more than $31 million from the RTS yearly to fund postgraduate research.
Education Investment Fund gone
A decision now must be made by young Australians.
Postgraduates to start paying fees
Postgraduate research degrees are funded on a tuition free basis, to
A timeline of australian university fees
University fees were decided on a state by state and university by university basis. Many students received scholarships or did bonded work upon graduation, such as teachers.
The Whitlam government assumed full financial responsibility for tertiary education in 1973. From 1974, there were no fees and the Tertiary Education Allowance Scheme (“TEAS”) meant that students could receive payments to gain a qualification. Their aim was to ensure all Australians, not just the upper classes, could afford to undertake higher education.
The Hawke government introduced an upfront service charge of $250: the Higher Education Administration Charge. This was the first step towards user-pays successfully undertaken since the abolition of fees.
encourage the specialisation and advancement of knowledge. Until this budget there was a consensus that the public benefit of highly educated Australians, who essentially forego on average four years of graduate level earnings outweighed the private benefit that might accrue from having such specialisation. Not even the Kemp-Norton Review recommended expanding the HELP system to the Research side of things.
Haha! I’ve finished my degree, this doesn’t affect me!
Jokes on you, fucko. Check out On Dit online for Adelaide University Union President Sam Davis’ breakdown of the welfare changes – which will affect you, considering the high rate of youth and graduate unemployment. It takes about three years to find a steady job after
university, but basically you will not be able to access Newstart (“the dole”) for the first six months of unemployment / being a graduate. You start repaying your HELP debt when your income goes above the average wage. That’s fair enough: the entire premise behind paying for university is that you’ll be earning a higher than average income. And interest rates on your loan (yes there are interest rates) will double, from 2.9 per cent to six per cent. This means your debt will balloon for every year that you haven’t paid it off. The federal government also wants to reduce this figure to 90 per cent of the average wage, and the Commission of Audit recommended repaying at the minimum wage – so expect the repayment threshold to drop.
If I sound angry, I am. I graduated with First Class Honours last year. When I started University, no one in my family had finished a degree. I would not have come to this university, had the experiences I had and received the education I now have if this had been the law of the land, for no other reason than that I could not afford it. And I am not alone.
A decision now must be made by young Australians. Are we a country for the privileged? For those who already have the means to help themselves? OR are we a country that provides opportunities, that respects that not everyone owns a coal mine or has a lobbying firm on retainer?
Fletcher O’Leary has been studying an M Phil. at Adelaide since 2007.
After a four year free education campaign, the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) was introduced, with a flat charge of $1800 per year for all students. This fee could be repaid through the taxation system, once a graduate had started earning above the average wage.
The Howard government introduced the three tier HECS model, which differentiated by discipline how much a student is charged. These are the Bands that are still used today.
The Howard government partially deregulated fees, allowing universities to increase fees by up to 25 per cent. Almost every university increased to the maximum.
Cordoba Student Strike of 1918
The first modern strike by students took place in Argentina, where students walked out of classes and occupied the university from March 31st 1918 with demands of free education, democratic control by staff and students, and autonomy from the government and Catholic Church on academic matters. The so-called ‘Cordoba Reforms’ became the basis for university reform throughout the Americas.
The National Student Strike Of 1976 After Whitlam was deposed in November 1975 Malcolm Fraser, in his more rambunctiously conservative youth, set about attempting to destroy Whitlam’s program of a rights-based welfare state. Universal health care, new social programs, education were all under attack. Sound familiar? However, Fraser’s attempt to destroy the free education system was a bridge too far: the students went out on strike. Not just a few of them. In the tens of thousands, students took to the streets to demand that equity remained at the heart of the university. Ultimately the Fraser Government decided that they couldn’t take on everyone at once and dropped the proposal. Students had continuing skirmishes with the Government up until Fraser lost in 1983 – including memorably when Fraser was forced to hide in a basement at Monash University in 1976 until back up arrived to deal with a thousand angry students.
how to fight
words by senior correspondent
he first thing you need to recognise is that yes, we do live in an age of entitlement. And this is a good thing. Ever since the Great Depression and the horrors of the Second World War there has been a consensus about what you – as a human being – are entitled to. Fundamental to these are that you, a human being, have a right to live. You have a right to shelter, to food, to accessible healthcare, and a right to a decent education. These are rights that lie not only at the base of international covenants like the Declaration of Human Rights, they form the key element of the social contract. We are not animals. Nor is there a divine position in the hierarchy of society determined by whose womb you were ejected from. You, as a human being, are entitled to fulfil your potential. And it is the responsibility of the Government to provide all the support it can for this. But, to paraphrase the brilliant Brando film ‘Burn!’, if someone simply gives you a right, then you don’t actually have it. Rights are won through fighting for them. From here on out, some changes will move quickly and some will move slowly. There are two elements to this Budget. The Supply Bills, which fund Government services, will
in all certainty pass. Labor has never blocked supply, and since the Supply Crisis of 1975, which precipitated the collapse of the Whitlam Government, has on principle never opposed Supply. Other changes, such as the deregulation of fees, will take separate enabling legislation. Labor and most of the Senate cross-bench says it will block this. This leaves universities in a state of crisis at least until the next election. Universities may become so starved of money that they beg Parliament to raise student fees. Students need to find our voice. Not just for ourselves, but for the future generations of students who will look at university and pass on what you have had and what they should be entitled to. The National Union of Students will be co-ordinating protests. The Student Representative Council will be co-ordinating protests. But you cannot rely on someone else to champion your cause. You must be the agent of change that you want to see. You are engaged in the political system, whether you know it or even want it. Budgets proposals like this come from a view that students are too disorganised, disengaged, and passive to commit to opposing them. We need to prove them wrong, and we have a long history of doing just
correspondent fletcher o’leary
You, as a human being, are entitled to fulfil your potential. And it is the responsibility of the Government to provide all the support it can for this.
that. Free education was fought for, and it was won, and then it was defended from the Government that first used the term ‘Razor Gang’ to describe its budget committee, the Fraser Government. HECS was opposed by massive student demonstrations and occupations when it was first proposed: thousands upon thousands of students marching down King William to demand that education remain free. HECS increases were opposed across the country. At the University of Adelaide, the University Council that voted to approve the increases could not meet on University grounds: it simply was not safe for them. The reason why there is a glass security door inside the Wills Building? Student occupations became too much of a hazard. Over at the University of South Australia, a single vote on their council approved their fee hike after passionate opposition from the Student President, and the combined student body. Remember that these things are not etched in stone. You can shape the future.
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win. If you don’t fight, you lose. Want to get more involved? Come along to a meeting, join a protest, get angry and get involved! How about you email the ViceChancellor to tell him that you, a fellow scholar and member of the community, want the University of Adelaide to stand up for equal access to higher education? Students have been meeting on a regular basis to discuss education and possible campaigns against the proposed budget cuts. Lucy Small-Pearce is the Student Representative Council President. Get in contact with her at email@example.com to stay in the loop. Be sure to ‘Like’ the National Union of Students Facebook page to find out about national campaigns by visiting www.facebook.com/ NationalUnionofStudentsAU.
Contact On Dit on Twitter or Facebook with questions for Fletcher: @onditmagazine or Facebook.com/OnDitMagazine
Chilean Students Win Free Education When Pinochet and the military junta took control of Chile in 1973, killing and torturing thousands of their enemies, they set about instituting one of the first – and harshest – neoliberal regimes ever seen. University education was largely privatised, and the remaining public universities starved of funding. Alongside this, Pinochet’s campaign against the poor – violent attacks and ‘disappearing’ any who challenged working conditions – kept wages as low as possible. This has led to one of the most unequal societies in the world. The wealthy could pay for the best education at private institutions while the poor had no access to support. Chilean students organised against this – first at a few universities and then across the entire country, with hundreds of thousands taking to the street to demand free and equitable education by 2011. In the 2013 Presidential Election, the Socialist Party coalition won decisively on a platform of free and equitable university education within six years.
Quebec Student Strikes The students of Quebec have a long history of defending the right to equitable education – holding strikes every five to six years and winning the majority of disputes with the Government. Up until 1990, Quebec students paid $540 in tuition a year. Since then, various Governments have increased it. In 2011, the Liberal Government announced another fee hike. Student strikes were organised on campuses throughout the province. The Provincial Government passed legislation severely restricting the right to protest, and there were numerous instances of police violence against student strikers. At the 2013 Quebec election, the nationalist Parti Quebecois won government on a pledge of freezing tuition.
our vice chancellor: all class? Justin Mcarthur wonders what’s up with bebs
Meet Professor Warren Bebbington, your university’s Vice Chancellor, and the man that has been pushing hardest for these changes. On April 18th, Pyne shared an article by Bebbington in Times Higher Education, with the caption ‘Could we have US style Colleges in Australia as proposed by Warren Bebbington?’. And again, on April 19th, Pyne attributed the ideas to Bebbington in the Saturday Telegraph; this time, he argued that ‘Professor Bebbington’s statements are well worth debating’. ‘I don’t think people yet understand the extent to which things are going to change,’ Bebbington explained to Radio Adelaide’s breakfast program on May 15th. He believes that fee deregulation will create a ‘two-tiered’ education system, increasing quality and providing more choice. Students will no longer just ‘go where they get a place’, and they may be required to travel more to get good deals – as, ‘in the new environment, they’ll also go where they can afford’, Bebbington noted in the interview – but with the extension of HECS-HELP to private institutions, the student market will, ideally, reward a combination of better programmes and lower costs. However, the changes are not without criticism. The National Union of Students (NUS) have been critical of the reforms, alongside HECS architect and ANU policy impact director Bruce Chapman, at least two Vice Chancellors (University of Western Sydney’s Barney Glover and UniSA’s David Lloyd), and our own university’s chief advocacy body (the Student Representative Council, or SRC). NUS President (and University of Adelaide alumnus) Deanna Taylor suggests that these changes will likely lead to at least a 20 per cent increase in university costs across the board, making HECS debt ‘unbearable’. Professor Chapman agrees, claiming that ‘the idea fees will go down anywhere is frankly fantasy land’.
More locally, the SRC have also criticised the way in which the changes were announced, in particular, highlighting discrepancies between Bebbington’s email to students and his email to staff. For example, in Bebbington’s email to students on May 14th, he stated:
s a part of this year’s Federal Budget announcements, Federal Education Minister (and Member for Sturt) Christopher Pyne outlined a number of reforms to the Australian higher education system – you can read about most of them on pages 10 - 12. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey described the reforms as a ‘watershed’, according to the Daily Telegraph. But where do these reforms come from?
We are of course all pleased the demand-driven system will remain — its equity and fairness is one of the most admired parts of Australian education. But Commonwealth figures show that, if left as it was for much longer, it would have spiralled out of control. Making it more manageable involves the most controversial and unpopular part of the Budget announcement — the changes to incurring and repaying HELP loans. Yet in Bebbington’s email to staff the same day, he argued: The demand-driven system in its present form contained the seeds of its own destruction: left as it was for much longer, it would have spiralled out of control, becoming an increasing burden for all taxpayers. Bringing it under control involves the most controversial part of the announcement — the changes to incurring and repaying HELP loans.
There is no difference between the facts stated in the two emails, but the difference in tone is significant. For those in support of the changes, it may just be read as an attempt to calm students, but for those against the changes, it may be read as an attempt to pacify them. Of course, this isn’t the first time Warren Bebbington has been accused of being out of touch with students – in the wake of the fiasco that was the 2013 Engineering Society pubcrawl, for example, he suggested replacing pubcrawls with ‘croissant breakfasts’, and he also has a habit of uncomfortably referring to students as ‘consumers’ (including in both of the emails above). But these reforms are far more wide-ranging – in fact, they completely reconfigure the entire Australian higher education system, and many consequences will remain unseen for a time still. As the Vice Chancellor noted at the start of his Radio Adelaide interview, ‘the devil is in the detail, and we don’t have much detail yet’. Hopefully, as we see the federal government’s plans unfold, that devil won’t damn us too harshly.
When Justin McArthur isn’t panicking about assignments, you can hear him on Student Radio’s Left, Right and Centre.
makin’ a cameo
KATHRYN FORTH: from MED STUDENT to WORLD RENOWNED FASHION DESIGNER WORDS BY alice bitmead PhotoS by sharmonie cockayne
’m not ashamed to admit it. Yes, I have seen The Devil Wears Prada more times than Lagerfeld has tried to reinvent pastel tweed. But as much as I love pass-ag dowager fashion queens with perma-frowns and amazing, politically incorrect collections of fur, if I’m going to be alone in a small room interviewing a feted fashion Cool Girl, I’d prefer them to be warm, friendly and accessible. Cameo’s head designer Kathryn Forth is even better. Young, cool and talented, Kathryn is putting little old Adelaide on the fashion map, one innovative collection at a time. Don’t worry you guys, I plumbed her for everything you need to follow in her enviable Acne-shod footsteps.
Can you please spell Gabbana?
I had to ask – was fashion design something one could learn, much like times-tables and the right way to get red wine stains out of carpet? Or did Kathryn simply burst forth from the womb with the innate ability to colour-coordinate and hem slacks? Apparently the latter. ‘My mum and my grandmother always knew how to sew, and they taught me how to at a
really young age. I always loved being crafty and making things, so I always made my own clothes, all my school formal dresses.’ There had to be some Pretty In Pink moments (I don’t care what anyone says, that prom dress was a travesty. TRAVESTY, I say) checkering that well-tailored youth though, surely! Thankfully, not even Kathryn was immune to the lure of poly-blend and experimental hemlines; ‘I remember for my year twelve formal, I made a dress the night before. I was really obsessed with Sass and Bide back then, as heaps of other girls were, and I thought it looked like a Sass and Bide dress, but it didn’t at all. It was a cotton jersey with a halter neck and a handkerchief shirt, and then, like, a bandeau, so there was just all this flesh of my back, with some cowboy boots. It might have been cutting edge, but I’ll never know and now I’m pretty certain it wasn’t.’
Oh, don’t be absurd. Everyone wants to be us.
You would be wrong, however, in thinking that the young Kathryn always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. No, readers, whilst
at University, not only did she manage a boutique and sew her own line of garments, but Kathryn was also a med student. Just, you know, on the side. ‘I did three years [of med] and I was never really sure if it was the path I was meant to go down. I was juggling a few things at the time, and when you’re studying something like medicine, you can’t juggle too many!’ So the most fabulous med student around went to the Dean to defer for a year. And in that year, she was given the opportunity to be Head Designer at Cameo. As you do. How does that even HAPPEN? According to Kathryn, Making Friends And Influencing People is a good start; ‘Melanie Flintoft is the company director, and I knew her for many years before through the store I was managing at the time, so she was popping into the store and seeing the garments I was making and selling and knew a bit about my life and my personality. We caught up and had a chat at the very beginning – Cameo was right in the early stages – and she said ‘come in and try it – we trust you, take it where you want.’ This seems like a pretty impressive amount of trust, and according to Kathryn (not to mention Cameo’s
crazy sales figures), this is what makes the label so great. ‘It’s one of the most successful fashion houses in the country, and I think a lot of that is to do with having this really lovely fashion environment where everyone is nurtured.’ Leave Prada to the devil, I want what she’s having.
Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.
Cameo produces a new line every month. That’s about thirty-five to forty pieces every twenty-eight days. Given I struggle to think of new and exciting topics for conversation when speaking to my neighbours approximately twice a year (I still maintain ‘I see you’ve put your bin out a day early, what excellent foresight’ is compelling and insightful every time), just contemplating this level of creativity makes me feel like a having a quick lie-down in a dark room. ‘When I first started working here, I thought [creative drain] would be a problem, and everyone else who starts seems to say the same thing,’ says Kathryn, ‘but it’s funny, certainly if you’re looking
around globally in terms of inspiration every month, you get dry spells when all of the international catwalks are finished and you feel like you’re moving too quickly, but if anything, it keeps you on your toes and forces you to really sit down and come up with designs that are unique.’ But surely, six months in, you’re going to end up hitting an inspiration drought, possibly involving a decision to wrap all the models in butchers’ paper and old pot noodle containers and telling the retailers that ‘it’s deep fucking art, YOU DON’T OWN ME!’ Apparently not. ‘Creativity is probably one of those things you can’t use up – the more you exercise it, the more there is. So you sit down to make a thirty-five piece range and you end up having seventy pieces and need to cull them back,’ Kathryn promises me. I know. I’m as devastated as you are that the day we can drape ourselves in old CHEAP AS CHIPS catalogues and call it couture will probably never dawn. Their loss.
By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.
When I came to Australian Fashion Labels to do the interview, Kathryn gave me the complete tour, including a look at The Wardrobe. That’s right, we’re talking wall-towall racks bulging with every piece of clothing that your giddy imagination can come up with. So for obvious reasons, I assumed the best part of being Head Designer would be regular intervals spent laying on a pile of outfits roughly the size of a double bed and cackling deliriously. Sadly the truth is considerably more professional. ‘The day after we’ve done our photo-shoot is my favourite part of the job, where you can just have a breather and open that look book and see the imagery. You can appreciate all the work you put in and be really proud of it.’ Being swift like a panther is thus an integral part of Kathryn’s job. ‘You get the samples the day they arrive, you get them pressed, you shoot them the day after, you do
Creativity is probably one of those things you can’t use up – the more you exercise it, the more there is.
the lookbook the day after that, and then they go to print and the clothes go on sale straight away. It’s mayhem, but it’s an awesome energy and really fun, even though it’s stressed.’ Wowee. All I know is it makes my argument that ‘it really DOES take six weeks to do my ironing because in my busy lifestyle of watching Gossip Girl re-runs and seeing how long I can stay in bed without getting bedsores, I just really can’t spare the time’ look a bit shit.
A million girls would kill for this job.
So what does it take to get into the fashion industry, I hear you ask? Strategically distributed sexual favours to anyone associated with a fashion house? A photographic memory of every piece of ‘constructive criticism’ given throughout all twelve seasons of Project Runway? Surgically removing a rib? Calm down, fool! Kathryn has some more pragmatic suggestions. ‘Get as much experience as you can first before you jump out and try
to start your own brand,’ she tells me. ‘There are just so many logistical components like pricing and tax and just things you don’t really think about as a designer, and there’s nothing better than getting work experience at a handful of places and just soaking in as much as you can before you bite the bullet and do it for yourself”. Seems logical. Still, the sexual favours can’t hurt, right?
You’re in desperate need of Chanel.
Seated as I was in front of The Oracle Of Fashion Wisdom, I was obviously going to plunder Kathryn for style tips (I’m only thinking of you here, readers). Kathryn tells me ‘I don’t feel like anyone should listen to the Trinny and Susannahs of the world who tell you you’ve got to cinch your waist in, and you can’t wear red with pink and things like that. I just think don’t be restricted by it at all. Especially with fashion right now; clashing prints and clashing colours and wearing something baggy over something baggy over something baggy is all cool, and as long as you’re staying true to yourself, I think it radiates.’
Sage words – fingers crossed it’s still true every time I crack out my collection of 80s polyester power-leotards with build in shoulder pads. (I don’t care what any of you say, IF IT WAS CHIC AND SOPHISTICATED DAYWEAR ON DYNASTY IT SHOULD COUNT NOW.) There was, however, one last question to ask, one as old as time itself with the power to ignite debate of almost religious fervor: are leggings ever pants? Kathryn pondered. She chose her words with care. ‘I think for the cameo brand and our customer, leggings probably aren’t pants.’ Preach.
Alice Bitmead wanted a pony, but all she got was this lousy bio.
kickstarter success doesn’t always guarantee success words by justin boden
n February 28, 2014, John Campbell posted a final update to his Kickstarter backers, many of whom were still waiting on their promised reward – the second volume of his webcomic, Picture For Sad Children. ‘It’s Over’, read the title of the post, which went on to explain in four-and-a-half thousand words why none of the remaining books would be shipped, and that refunds would not be granted. Included in the post was a video of a snowy frontyard in Chicago, Illinois, where the unsent books were being burnt down to a pile of ashes. It was the conclusion of what was always a very unconventional Kickstarter campaign. After being heavily over-funded the project spent two years in development, running up against deadline after deadline, before Campbell brought the project to its fiery and terminal end. It was a turn of events that left his backers confused and disappointed, and his close friends worried about his emotional health. Alone, this might just be a story of how a Kickstarter campaign was mismanaged, and why it was probably doomed from the start. But unusual
as this case is, it also has lessons for us, as both creators and backers, about why we need to rethink how we approach crowd-funding.
Sad Pictures for Children
John Campbell first started publishing his webcomic, Pictures For Sad Children, back in August 2007. The darkly funny series followed the character Paul, a ghost whose post-mortem existence is as bleak and meaningless as his former life, and his temp replacement Gary. The webcomic had a strong following, mostly because of Campbell’s passive and curiously subversive brand of cynicism. Within his first year, Campbell’s site was host to guest comics from established comic artists such as Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and Joey Comeau (A Softer World). By 2009 a collection of the first year’s worth of the comics had been published, as a simple paperback, and it sold well enough for Campbell to pay off his student loans. So, in May, 2012, when John Campbell launched a Kickstarter campaign to have a second collection published, he seemed like
a pretty safe bet. The content already existed, he had the necessary experience to self-publish, and he was only requesting a discrete level of funding: $8000 to publish 2000 books. The campaign was radically successful. Campbell hit his target within a few days, and when the dust settled, over $50,000 had been pledged towards his project, and he had over 1000 backers*. And, in light of the unanticipated support, Campbell promised to ‘investigate fun and strange ways to print or alter the book so it will be as nice an object as I can make it.’
Ghost Trains and Faking Depression
Things went pretty weird pretty quickly. The project was expected to ship in July, but Campbell instead posted a whimsical update about how he had been hit by a ghost train which had caused his computer to explode. He ended it on a note that the rewards would be delayed *Disclosure: I was one of the backers who pledged at the $50 level. And I didn’t receive my book. Just last week, however, Max Temkin took over the project and is shipping out the remaining books at his own cost.
a month while he ‘completely reworked the book’. That deadline passed in silence, and then in September Campbell posted a 650 word update titled ‘I’ve been pretending to be depressed for profit and I’m sorry.’ The post, which upset a lot of his backers, included a fresh deadline to have the books sent out by the end of the year. (Campbell followed the update with an apology for ‘pretending to be pretending to have depression for profit.’) It would not be until August 2013 that Campbell started sending books out, well over a year after originally promised. There had been regular updates throughout the period, but not all of them were about the campaign. He shared prototype designs for the book, which included
a cavity for the insertion of a dead wasp, but he also talked unrelated work like his biography of Michael Keaton and a comic he made about his experiences with DMT. This raised the ire of some of his backers, particularly in November when he admitted he’d run out of money for postage. In that update, where he talked about his medical debts and personal issues he was working through – ‘I’ve “figured out” that I’m “transexual,” if that means anything to you’ – Campbell requested more money from his backers to have the remaining books sent out. It would only prove to be a stop-gap solution, and a few months later he ended the campaign, threatening to burn a book for every email he was sent about the project. It was in this final update that he
complained about the absurdity of money, proved his bank accounts were almost empty, and demanded a system where artists are paid their living expenses without being expected to provide anything in return. Then, shortly after, he took all the content off his websites and deleted his email, Twitter and Tumblr accounts. It was by far one of the most public and dramatic crowd-funding failures, but in retrospect it was almost likely.
Costs of Production
On his personal blog, sci-fi author Charles Stross has an article entitled Why I Don’t Self-Publish. In it he details all the labour that goes into the publication of a novel outside of writing the manuscript
Cartoon taken from page 24 of Pictures For Sad Children by John Campbell, 2009.
– overseeing the work of copy editors, proofreaders, typesetters and printers, personally managing the book design and blurb-writing, distributing review copies, negotiating with distributors, pouring over legal contracts and performing all the petty accounting. By outsourcing all this work to a publisher, he argues, they more than justify the cut they take from his book sales. There’s also the matter of efficiency. Stross claims it takes him about six months to write a manuscript, while it takes his publisher another three months to have the book proofed, typeset, illustrated, printed and bound. If he were to undertake that work alone it would take him considerably longer, perhaps as long as the book-writing itself. A webcomic might be easier to collect and publish than a manuscript – there’s less editing involved, for one thing – but there’s still months of work to perform while you’re not getting paid. And in John Campell’s case, this goes a long way towards explaining the pressure he was under in the lead-up to the end of his campaign. $51,615 seems like a lot of money to squander, but it looks a lot less impressive when you break down the production costs. Kickstarter takes a five per cent cut of all successful projects, and Amazon Payments another three - five per cent, which would have immediately left Campbell with the more modest sum of $46,453. And the 2000 books he had printed cost $15 to make each, which works out to a total of $30,000. When we subtract that amount, we’re left with only
$16,500 to cover postage and overheads. Those are slim margins, considering Campbell made a loss on the books at the $25 price point. That implies those costs came to more than $10, on average, and with over a thousand backers that left him with not much of a financial buffer in case things went wrong. For Campbell, it was the success of his campaign that ultimately led to its failure. The unexpected funds meant he was under pressure to deliver a better product, which led to the time delays and overblown costs which, ultimately, sunk the whole thing.
Backers as Both Consumers and Investors
Campbell wasn’t the only one to succumb to the pressure of a successful campaign. When Amanda Palmer raised over a million dollars to fund the production of her latest album, Theatre is Evil, she received a lot of criticism from people who felt as if she’d won the lottery. Palmer was forced to justify her costs and expenditures to the general public, even though she would never have faced such scrutiny if her album was being funded by a record company. The problem is that Kickstarter backers are both investors and customers – like investors, they want constant information on the project, as well as something of a return. For backers this is usually a discounted, ‘backer-exclusive’ product. But, like customers, they want this product to be the
best possible value, which means high production costs and slim profit margins for the creator. Amanda Palmer was able to negotiate these competing forces, but only because she has a wealth of experience on the production side of music-making. She’s long been releasing her music independently and was no stranger to crowd-funding when she sought backers for Theatre is Evil. But, not every artist or creator is going to have that background, or know how to accommodate the conflicting needs of backers. No one forced Campbell to overspend on production costs, but Kickstarter often pressures creators to over-deliver. If he had gone with a more modest design for his books he would have been able to easily cover shipping, and he might now be looking at a significant profit from subsequent sales, but his backers might have felt that they were ripped off. Kickstarter is now being made available to Australians, some of whom will struggle with the same challenges and pitfalls that plagued John Campbell. To succeed, they’ll need to keep their goals manageable and be realistic about what they can achieve without putting themselves in financial dire. But they’ll also need backers who are less demanding about getting the best value from Kickstarter, and more willing to see the project succeed than receive the best rewards. Justin is currently seeking backers to finance a film based on his Sliders fan-fic. (Readers describe it as ‘high concept’ and ‘cutting edge’.)
CALL FOR ARTISTS Do you have any drawings, paintings or photography that need to be seen? The Union are hosting an exhibition for the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival from Wed 20th Aug to Wed 3rd Sept in Hub Central Expressions of interest are due by C.O.B. Thu 31st July. Email your examples to firstname.lastname@example.org
jack lowe â€˜Permanenceâ€™ (white chalk on black paper)
‘A Night at the Opera’ (pen and ink)
ack Lowe has an obsession that creeps into almost every corner of his life. Whether he’s waiting for a lecture to start, in transit, or trawling through assignments, it’s there. Thankfully it’s just drawing, and rather benign. Jack is currently in his second year of a double degree in chemical engineering and biotechnology. He is influenced by a bounty of art genres including surrealism, baroque, renaissance art, art nouveau as well as 19th century illustration and etching. ‘I guess drawing is something that has been important to me since I was very young. There was rarely a blank sheet of paper in any of my exercise books throughout my schooling. Even now I can’t help but fill up blank space when I see it. ‘I’ve always found that being creative is an important part of me as a person. The act, and time, taken to produce a drawing function as a sort of counterweight – to the more restrictive side of my studies, as well as life in general. In engineering there are set rules and methods that must be respected and followed, like gravity. Doing so brings much success in creating a functional and efficient design,
‘Untitled’ (blue pen)
which is definitely something to be marvelled at. However rendering images from my imagination through art facilitates a different side of creativity – a side that may not have such a practical use, but is just as fulfilling all the same. ‘The genesis of a drawing is often a scratch or two on the corner of a dog-eared page or serviette. From this I may create drafts or immediately commence a final copy. Although I do take everything I produce seriously, I’m not someone who creates an image first then tries to attach to it some grandiose philosophical statement. I’ll plan then execute a drawing or painting in a methodical manner if I want it to have a clear meaning, using form and symbolism to make my statement. In contrast, though, I often create something based on a thought that
‘Tea Time’ (wax based coloured pencil)
‘Radioactive Mermaid’ (graphite pencil)
simply amuses me. In this instance the purpose of the drawing is often to entertain myself while I’m creating it and others if they see it. Some might consider such an image to be shallow or lacking in weight. But to me, I think that if I can communicate that idea for even a moment to a viewer then I’ve succeeded, without the image straining to be something more than it is.’ Jack is a regular illustrator for On Dit and his work can also be seen on the front cover of this magazine.
Above: ‘Untitled’ (pen and ink wash); Below: ‘Left Behind’ (pen and Indian ink on watercolour paper)
‘Lady Gillingham’ (black pen)
moving out words by victoria montandon
he fateful day had arrived. I had packed up 23 years of cat memorabilia, hopes and dreams and catapulted myself into adulthood. That’s right: I finally moved out. My Mum dabbed at a few token tears as she, perhaps too eagerly, offered me every surplus item of home ware she could set her eyes on (read: unwanted gifts, including novelty “50th Birthday” shotglasses). Dad seemed extremely keen that I ‘get on the road’ as soon as possible to beat the traffic. It was 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning. I got the message. It was time to high tail it out of the nest. With that, I set sail into the next, inevitably poverty-stricken chapter of my life. There was a 1970’s red brick castle with a charming, plastic flamingo-dotted Astro Turf lawn in the fringe suburbs of the city that I could now call home. With every miniature feline figurine lovingly unpacked, I took in my new surroundings. The lounge room featured what appeared to
be a collection of torture apparatus masquerading as Pilates exercise equipment. Angry looking ribbed foam tubes and pulley-operated balancing devices with safety warning labels lay scattered on the floor. I noticed a copy of 50 Shades of Grey on the coffee table, along with Kim Kardashian’s Ultimate Ab Workout Vol. 3 on DVD. Either object could explain the excessive quantity of pain-inducing contraptions. My mind raced as I frantically reconsidered the sanity of my newfound housemates. Sexual deviants or wannabe Michelle Bridges types? I didn’t know what was worse. A peek into the kitchen cupboard revealed a lonely packet of out-ofdate Mi Goreng, juxtaposed behind a far more impressive stash of chia seeds, goji berries, dehydrated organic mango, quinoa flakes and agave syrup. This pantry was full of so many superfoods it could wear its own cape. My eyes scanned an impressive array of food processors, blenders, steamers, beaters and overhyped
coffee machine. But something simple was missing. Come breakfast time, with Vegemite in hand, I asked where the toaster was, noting that the bread bin was suspiciously empty. I was given a withering look and told that bread ‘isn’t allowed’ because the whole house is on the Paleo Diet. My heart sank. For the uninitiated, the Paleo Diet is a depressing eating regime that sees its followers only eat foods that they can be hunted or gathered. This in effect means that they deny themselves all the very best foods in life: pasta, white rice and delicious, carb-loaded, crusty bread… Unsurprisingly, the Paleo Diet also has the auspicious honour of being named in the top three of 2013’s worst fad diets. I immediately felt a pang of loss, given that white, processed carbohydrates are my favourite and most trusted food group. I started to think that moving here was the worst decision I’d ever made. Conscious that I was very much the new kid
on the block, I decided to play it cool and join in on bemoaning the evils of sour dough. Meanwhile, I was secretly concocting elaborate bread-smuggling schemes in my head. I felt like I was living a lie. Little did I know that prehistoric dietary preferences were only a teaser of the many confronting quirks of human nature I would experience in the months ahead. For example, in any sharehouse there are things that you expect to be points of contention, such as the Tetris-like precision apparently required in order to stack the dishwasher, or the eternal Biggest Loser vs My Kitchen Rules primetime TV battle. Then there’s the downright alarming aspects, such as the slightly creepy quantity of neglected children’s plush toys in the garage that no-one will admit is theirs, or the daily rigmarole of the shower flooding due to an unidentified human hairball physically blocking the drain. Having said that, communal living gives you the opportunity, however unflattering, to assess your own idiosyncrasies, or as I prefer to call them, charms. In fact, I didn’t even realize that my penchant for saving the planet had me labeled early on by my housemates as the resident eco-warrior. Later, when I caught myself furiously rooting through the kitchen bin to dig out misplaced recyclables like they were little nuggets of earth-conscious gold, I did start to wonder if perhaps they had a point. When you share a living space with others, you can often end up baring your soul, however unintentionally. Eventually, at some point or another, you will start to wonder, are you the token “weird one”? Are your newfound buddies having a titter at your expense when they
catch you dutifully colour coding your sock collection, or bust you taking a shameless bathroom selfie, complete with non-ironic duckface? My advice is, go with it and embrace all yours, and your housemates’, quirks and oddities. Also, on a side note, recycling really is important. Think of that 10 cent refund on all those empties! My experience of self-discovery and an imposed ban on bagels has taught me many things. For starters, if there’s one way to break down barriers of social norms and learn to accept your fellow human, it’s to move in with two people you once considered normal and just wait for the weird shit to start. On day one, the dinner table conversation will consist of pleasantries about the weather and benign moans about that mature age student. By day three, it’s cool to start approaching each other with moral quandaries and expect in-depth, sensitively considered answers (‘Is it okay to Facebook stalk my partner’s ex/ sister-in-law/old school teacher?’ Deep.) By day five, the whole house will know the intricacies of your digestion and the proverbial “line” will have been irrevocably crossed.
If you can afford to move out before you finish your studies, do it. The opportunity to live with friends while you all struggle through university is a priceless experience. You’ll get really good at division if you are all chipping in for stuff. You’ll have to take care of yourself, and negotiate bin night without parental supervision. Most importantly, you’ll have the chance to have a lot of fun before you tie yourself down to your illustrious professional career. Even if I have since been politely asked to restrict my cat ornament collection to my own quarters, I still feel more liberated than ever before. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?
Victoria’s spirit animal is the naked mole rat.
5 reasons you should start 29 exercising this afternoon PAGE
words by ben drogemuller art by madeleine karutz
ecently I read an article decrying the state of architecture students’ mental and physical health, which got me thinking about not just architecture students, but those belonging to all schools in tertiary education. It’s all too easy to get lost in your constant stream of assignments and workshops, leaving your healthy lifestyle by the wayside to focus on your intellectual strength. I was labouring under the impression that there just weren’t enough hours in the day to work on physical strength too. While I’m conscious that I may be sounding a
little preachy, I maintain that it’s quite easy to add some exercise into busy study routines. I began exercising properly a few months back in an attempt to justify my many Friday nights of working on my night cheese. While there’s nothing wrong with keeping university study a priority, there is a problem with letting it override everything else. Those who do are doing so at their own peril. So, to kick start the new you (preachy I know, but I’m only half sorry), I’m presenting to you five reasons, based on my own experience, to start exercising this afternoon.
1) YOU GET FITTER
It’s a no brainer. Sustained exercise allows the body to function efficiently and effectively for work and leisure activities. Point being, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Start going for a quick walk and then next time, try jogging for a bit. If you need to stop running and walk again, go for it. No one is behind you with a stop watch. It’s not high school PE (I’m still carrying physiological scars from all those beep tests), so there’s no need to pressure yourself to the extreme. Next time, you’ll probably find you can go a little further, after which you’ll probably feel pretty good about yourself. After a few weeks of doing a 30-minute run every few days, I noticed myself feeling less tired during the day and taking far fewer naps. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good post-food nap (usually after dumplings, when I actually feel like a giant dumpling), but naps mess with your internal body clock and usually do more harm then good.
2) TAKE A BREAK FROM STUDY
Quite often when working on projects I find myself staring at the wall, completely devoid of decent ideas. After about the third game of noughts and crosses against myself (it’s as thrilling as it sounds), it’s usually time to do something else and go for a walk. Upon returning to my desk, I draw up a new sheet of paper, refreshed and filled with enough endorphins and fresh oxygen to keep me going for a few more hours. I won’t go into the deeper science of brain function, mostly because I don’t know anything about neuroscience, but it does make sense that prolonged concentration without a proper mental and physical break can have a negative affect on your study. And, who knows, the solution to a problem you’re grappling with may stroll into your mind just as you’re taking the dog for a walk.
To put it bluntly, exercise burns fat. While it’d be silly if you expected abs to pop up after a 30 minute run, it would definitely help to make you feel comfortable in your carefully planned General Pants approved university outfit. There’s a confidence in yourself and in your body that comes from consistent exercise that is difficult to emulate (though bless them, Woman’s Day tries). Realising that you can affect the way you look is a powerful idea, a notion that can be dangerous when fully exploited. Be healthy with your body, not destructive. Whilst being healthy is sexy in its self, feeling healthy can increase your self-esteem. If you genuinely feel sexy, chances are, other people think you’re sexy too. Also, gents, the fitter you are the longer and more sustained you can last in the bedroom, a lack of which can definitely be a deal breaker, amirite ladies.
4) SELF DISCOVERY
There’s a certain satisfaction to speeding past those waddling nine-to-five office folk as I, unbeknownst to them, blast Rage Against the Machine, FLUME or Vanessa Carlton in my headphones. You’re in your own little world, left entirely to your own thoughts and ideas. I more or less planned my entire 21st birthday party while on my bi-weekly run. If you’re lucky enough to live near a park or some expanse of vegetation, take advantage of it. Although, be careful at night. I have always enjoyed being in the natural environment, and the city of Adelaide has some of the best park systems in the country. Knowing that his descendants would be utilising and enjoying his carefully laid out parklands would have made my urban design buddy Colonel Light proud as punch. Or absynthe. Not sure what they were drinking back then.
5) COUNTER BALANCE ALL THOSE BURRITOS
I can’t remember the last time I entered the Zambero’s premises sober. My Saturday night alterego, whom we shall name Samantha, is a notoriously hungry entity. Every other day of the week I am relatively okay with keeping my food intake healthy (apart from those damned Cheese Breads at Taste Baguette in the Hub. Man, those things are delish) but the amount of utter rubbish I eat when I’ve had a few drinks is staggering. I generally have no control over Samantha, so I play my part by counterbalancing with some good ole Kath And Kim-style powerwalking. Not that there’s anything wrong with every now and again spending a night sitting on your couch eating a wheel of Camembert with a knife, but sometimes it’s also sensible to take control and try to reverse all those Mi Goreng dinners. As people around us grow older, we begin to see the effects that bad lifestyle choices have later on in life. There’s no better time than the present to start attempting to change that. I would love to see Australia remove itself from the top of the world obesity list, and this can only happen with changes in generational perceptions. The amount of cynicism that gets loaded on the healthy living movement is just so overwhelming, I hope it’s been refreshing and relatable to hear from a fellow student about the ease with which it is to begin these changes. So, there you have it. If you’re feeling adventurous, chuck on some tights (kidding) and contact me if you want to go for a walk together. Up and at ‘em students of Radelaide!
Ben thinks they should re-write the fourth season of The OC to include Marissa’s death every episode a la Kenny in South Park.
32 three isn’t a crowd PAGE
being the other woman words by Melanie Bradshaw
Let me tell you a little story. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy. A series of adorable coffee dates and twilight strolls in gardens ensue. The pair chat about every topic under the sun; their shared loves and their pet peeves. Eventually the boy decides that he would like to kiss the girl, but first he has to ask a very important question. First he has to run it by his wife. Not your typical love story? No, it’s not. But it’s a beautiful one nonetheless. People tend to share the view that relationships are for two people, and two alone. This is evident in our definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman (though we’re working on changing that), and even in the word we use to describe them; a couple. But what happens when there are other parties involved? Obviously friends and family can factor into it; there’s always the issue of balancing
your boyfriend’s bromance or your overbearing mother-in-law. The other party that we usually don’t welcome into our relationships is another lover. In fact, most people’s immediate reaction is something along the lines of “you cheating bastard” or “you adulterous slut”. However, I believe that cheating is better defined by deception, than by the sexual acts you commit with people outside your relationship. For example, sending sexual messages or images to another person while deliberately hiding it from your partner would be viewed as cheating by most standards. Even though there is nothing physical going on, you are being emotionally unfaithful. But what about sleeping with another person with your partner’s full knowledge and acceptance? Is that cheating? Obviously we’ve wandered into a serious gray zone in our definition of what it means to be faithful.
The man I’m seeing at the moment is absolutely wonderful; I don’t think he could be more perfect. Except that he’s married. This poses a little bit of a speed bump in the rocky road to a relationship. When I first met Edward, he was honest with me from the very start. He told me he was married, but he also explained that they were experimenting with their relationship, by making it more open, and seeing other people. The two of them, upon occasion, chose to take other lovers with the full knowledge and permission of the other person. As an experiment, it was something that had to be talked about, and evaluated constantly, to make sure both of them were comfortable with the situation. I was intrigued, mostly because I wasn’t in a position to begin a relationship, and this seemed like an ideal arrangement for me. I could have all of the physical perks of a boyfriend, with none of the commitment. Not to mention, I was very attracted to him.
And so a great friendship was born. One of unflinching honesty and absolute trust, sugar-coated with a healthy helping of desire. It took us a while to build up to our first kiss, he had to make sure his wife was comfortable with us being together first, but when we finally did it was pretty amazing. Edward and I intend to be friends for a long time, even after the physical side of our friendship fades. There are not many other friends I could claim to be so completely honest with, and trusting of. But it’s necessary for our relationship, because as soon as we start keeping secrets from each other, someone will get hurt. He continues to tell his wife exactly what is going on (sometimes even on the phone while we’re together), and how he feels towards me. So there is no deception, no lies and therefore, no unfaithfulness. Half of me wants to hide Edward away, and not let anyone pry into our idyllic little world, for fear or judgement and condemnation. The other half of me wishes I could shout it from the rooftops, and happily show off this amazing man. But unfortunately the former always wins, because I don’t feel that we live in a society that is accepting of alternative relationships, and I don’t want to open myself, or Edward up to the scrutiny of the general public. While I can understand why people might be initially apprehensive to support a relationship with a married man, I also wish that we could learn not to judge things before we understand them, and not to give our opinion where it is not needed
or wanted. Relationships are an intensely personal thing, and nobody except the two (or three) people inside them can truly understand how that particular relationship feels. If a relationship is working well for the people involved, and everybody is content with it, why should it matter whether they are male, female, or whether there are two or three, or even five people together? Obviously a line should be drawn with age, but when it comes to relationships between consenting adults, the only people who get to decide what is right, are the people who are participating in them. Keep in mind I am talking about relationships in general, not marriage specifically. I don’t think that marriage needs to be legally redefined (unless we’re talking about equal rights for homosexual partners), just that we should be more open to the idea that some people’s relationships might not fit our idea of what is ‘normal’. My experience with Edward has taught me a lot; mostly patience, understanding and the ability to share well with others. Strangely, I don’t feel jealous of his wife, as I understand that she comes first and foremost, and that’s the way it should be. But if a waitress in a café, or a cute girl on the street looks at him sideways, my hackles are up faster than you can say “how you doing?” Jealousy is a funny thing. Even though I could be considered his mistress (if you want to be dramatic) or his ‘bit on the side’ (if you want to be crass), Edward never makes me feel any less special than I
would if I were the only one. It takes a lot of effort to juggle two different relationships at once, and also a lot of honesty and trust. I know I’ve used those words a lot, but I can’t stress enough how important it is not to lie (even through omission) to anyone in this situation. Another thing I have learned is that an open relationship is not a band-aid for an already broken marriage, as this can only lead to more pain and confusion. There needs to be a solid foundation to work with, before you can think of branching out. So here we are, Edward, his wife and I, a happy trio. Actually I haven’t met her yet, and I’m not sure how I would feel if I did. I like the idea of her, she seems like a lovely woman, and she lets me sleep with her husband. However, no amount of etiquette classes could teach me how to act when meeting my lover’s wife. Regardless of how this relationship turns out, I know it has changed me for the better, so I have no regrets. After seeing how in-love and honest Edward and his wife are, and how much work they put into their marriage, I hope that one day I can have that same kind of relationship. Although I still prefer the idea of being monogamous, perhaps the physical aspects of your relationship aren’t as important as the honesty and trust it’s built on.
Bradshaw was born in 1437, and invented the printing press at the tender age of 13. She has been writing pithy articles for student magazines ever since.
the stars Lauren Fuge’s MUSINGS ON HOW MYTHOLOGY INFORMS ASTRONOMY art by anthony nocera
stronomy and mythology have been intimately intertwined ever since humans first looked to the night sky and saw their gods there. The earliest efforts to catalogue the stars and the constellations people saw date back 6,000 years ago. Cuneiform texts found in the valley of the Euphrates River in ancient Mesopotamia show that our ancestors saw a lion, a bull and a scorpion in the stars. In fact, almost every ancient culture projected scenes from their mythology onto the heavens, which is unsurprising considering our brain’s tendency to make patterns out of nothingness.
To our ancestors, the planets were known as “wandering stars”, moving in their own individual paths against the fixed pattern of the constellations. They were believed by the Romans to be representatives of the gods, and so were given special names: Mercury, messenger of the gods; Venus, goddess of love and beauty; Mars, god of war; Jupiter, king of the gods; and Saturn, father of Jupiter.
Modern constellations are derived from those of ancient cultures, and are officially defined and standardised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Since 1922, the IAU has been responsible for naming all celestial bodies, including constellations, planets, moons, and their surface features.
After the rise of modern astronomy in the 17th century, two more planets were discovered and given names to match: Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, and Uranus, the ancient Greek god of the sky. At first, asteroids were considered to be small planets and given grand names like Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta — until we realised how tiny they are and stripped them of their planetary status, just like we did with Pluto (which, incidentally, is named for the Greek and Roman god of the Underworld — I didn’t think it could be demoted any lower).
They draw most astronomical names from mythology: you might be familiar with the Andromeda galaxy, the zodiacal constellations like Aries, Cancer and Leo, other constellations like Orion the Hunter and Ursa Major… And, of course, the planets.
It’s strange that when we look out into the universe, towards places we have yet to explore, places we know so little about, we also reach back in history, holding the hands of our ancestors and naming the sky after their half-forgotten gods.
But we’re only reaching back to some of them. As you’ve probably noticed, all these names are almost exclusively influenced by Greco-Roman mythology. I’m sure it began with good intentions — after the names of the planets were adopted from Western history, all new names had to match, and the richness of GrecoRoman mythology meant there were plenty to go around. But hundreds of other cultures have histories and mythologies just as rich. The IAU is an international association and these names are globally recognised: for all intents and purposes, they’re the “official” human view of the universe. So where’s all the diversity at? Take the constellation of Orion. Western mythology calls it Orion the Hunter, named for a Greek hunter of myth, but the Lakota Indians see it as a huge hand that is a symbol for peace between gods and humans. To ancient Egyptians, it was the god of the sun; to Hindus, it is an arrowed stag; to the Chinese, it is a White Tiger; and to the Yolngu people of Arnhem land, it depicts two brothers carrying their canoe up into the sky. In India, the Big Dipper is seven wise sages whose wives were slandered and sent to the Pleiades in a different
part of the sky, while across much of Europe it is a king’s chariot. Torres Straight Islander people see the Big Dipper as a great shark; when it rises in the sky above New Guinea, they know it is time to plant sugar cane, sweet potato and banana. The stars making up the constellation are mainly the same, but different cultures connect the dots in entirely different ways. Sometimes, though, different cultures see similiar things in the stars. In both ancient Greece and the Navajo nation in North America, Ursa Major is seen as a huge bear, and their mythologies are closely related too, with a recurring theme of bears and humans being kin. The IAU has recently begun to draw some inspiration from other cultures — for example, an icy body in the Kuiper belt (right on the fringes of the solar system) is named “Quaoar” after a creation god of the Tongva, a Native American tribe. A lot of star names are also drawn from Arabic astronomy, but the heavens are far from evenly distributed across cultures. Indigenous Australians, for example, have projected their mythological figures into the sky for thousands of
years. A range of diverse astronomical traditions exist across regions — but where’s their representation? One of the most well-known Indigenous constellations is the ‘Emu in the Sky’. It represents different things in different regions: some see it as the neck of a wedge-tailed eagle, or a deep hole in the river of the Milky Way, or a giant pine tree that can be climbed to the stars. Technically it’s not a constellation but a dark, prominent nebula — an enormous cloud of gas and dust left over from supernova explosions. Its head is next to the Southern Cross and its legs trail out towards Scorpius, and what’s especially interesting is that the emu’s orientation is an indicator of seasonal foods. In the Kuringai National Park just north of Sydney, an engraving of the emu is carved into rock, and in autumn the constellation lines up directly above and signals that it’s time to gather emu eggs. To Indigenous Australians, the stars are more than just stories. Indigenous mythology is deeply intertwined with a scientific worldview — for thousands of years, the stars have been used to navigate and follow seasonal food, and mythology has been used to pass on understanding of how the world works. While Galileo was still denying that the Moon influenced the tides, Yolngu people understood the relationship well. Their mythology explains that water fills
the Moon as it rises in position in the sky, and thus the tides rise, and when this water drains from the Moon, the tides fall and the cycle begins over again. A myth of the Warlpiri people explain the mechanics of eclipses: a solar eclipses is when the Moon-man covers the Sun-woman as he makes love to her, and a lunar eclipse is when the Sun-woman threatens the Moon-man and he flees from her. It’s clear they understood the most significant concepts: that eclipses are interactions between the Sun and the Moon in their paths across the sky. Astronomical knowledge runs deep across Indigenous cultures, but unsurprisingly, their intellectual and scientific achievements aren’t common knowledge in Western culture. By westernising the names of the stars, astronomy has the potential become alienating, which is the exact opposite of what it should be. If we project the gods of indigenous cultures out into the universe, perhaps we can open wider dialogue with those cultures down here on Earth.
Regrettably, Lauren is not named for a figure of ancient Roman myth, but for a Roman plant.
Is it time to start studying video games in English Studies? Words by Amanda Li Art by Katie Hamilton
nglish studies is no longer the sole province of highbrow literary classics. The range of texts in the university curriculum has expanded over the years, so we can now study popular books and even mainstream films like Inception. But could it expand even further to include video games? Some people might question whether games are worthy of serious study. In response, I will point out that there is already an academic body of work on games. Our very own University of Adelaide ran a media course last year entitled ‘Digital Games, Culture and Co-creation’ (a worthwhile course, in my opinion). However, it focused on the cultural and communal factors surrounding the production and consumption of games, rather than honing in on the stories and textual elements of individual games themselves. This is where the field of English could step in. Studying English usually means picking texts apart: exploring themes and deeper meanings, techniques, character development, and so on. Why couldn’t this sort of dissection be applied to games too? I’m not suggesting that all games would be suitable. It might be a little difficult to talk about plot and character development in 2048 (although I suppose you could spin some wild story about the teleological journey of the humble ‘2’ tile, rising to the glorious heights of a 2048 tile). More likely candidates for English studies could be, for example, role-playing games (RPGs), which are centred on narrative progression and character growth. It would also be interesting to analyse games that straddle more than genre, like Bioshock Infinite, which is a shooter with strong RPG components. In Bioshock Infinite, you play as a man named Booker, who infiltrates the floating city of Columbia to retrieve Elizabeth, a savvy and enigmatic young woman. As the story unfolds, Booker and Elizabeth are thrust into the middle of a revolution, whilst skipping through
space and time. Critically acclaimed and often described in reviews as ‘art-house’, this game offers up a plethora of elements for textual analysis. The dynamics of race and class, for instance. The themes of choice and predestination. The symbolic significance of the bird and cage motifs. The – no, I should stop there. I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you. The point is, in many ways, games have the same potential for analysis and interpretation as books, poems, or films. There are, of course, differences — elements which make video games considerably different from conventional books, poems, or films. And this is where it gets interesting. Games bestow the player with agency. You decide how to go about playing a game, and so your experience of it depends — at least partly — on you. This is most apparent in games which force you to make decisions. Some of these decisions will be relatively insignificant —like determining how your character looks — while others will have an enormous impact on the storyline. Take the Mass Effect trilogy. A few poor choices and characters start dying left and right, until it starts looking worse than Game of Thrones. This sort of agency may make it harder to give a thorough, all-bases-covered analysis, and it piles a lot of weight on subjective experience — but hey, that’s what postmodernism is all about, right? Games could add whole new dimensions to English studies. However, introducing video games to English courses presents a slight problem: time. Some games, like Portal, can take under six hours to complete, but others, like Final Fantasy VII, can consume more than forty hours. (If you’re like me and enjoy dawdling on side-quests, it can take a lot longer.) As busy uni students, most of us simply don’t have forty (or more) hours to spare. A possible solution might be choosing shorter games to study, or resorting to watching playthroughs, or even just cutscenes, on YouTube. The setback is that you’d lose the lustre and immediacy of first-hand playing experience, which may be crucial for proper analysis. Maybe this problem is insurmountable. Maybe the thought of games entering the English curriculum is just a flight of fancy. But if there’s a way to get around these doubts, the study of video games could certainly bring something intriguing and fresh to the English discipline.
Amanda is an English and Philosophy major. She refuses to believe the cake is a lie.
A Slice of home in Copenhagen Words by Pia Gaardboe image by daisy freeburn
t’s four PM, but it’s dark – well, the sun has long been down at any rate. Garlands of fairy lights bridge the street while shops spill their welcoming golden glow onto the piles of snow swept up along the walls. Christmas trees – the traditional European kind, not the cone-shaped Australian ones – stand in windows proudly displaying candles on their boughs. Normally, tall, flat-faced buildings like the ones lining this street would feel ominous on a dark night, but at this time of year they block the biting wind out and trap in the smell of roasting almonds beckoning from the little stalls that stand at regular intervals all the way down the street. Snippets of English, Danish, German and French drift past me as an assortment of people continue on with their Christmas shopping. No matter the nationality though, everyone is wrapped from head to toe in scarves, coats, beanies, boots and mittens, and most people have red noses from the cold.
I shuffle through the snow, watching its drifting course to earth highlighted by each passing shop window – like dust spots in a ray of sun. I emerge at the end of Strøjet, next to a McDonald’s polluting the air with the smell of fries, and look over to Raadhusplasen, the town square, and its gigantic Christmas tree decked with cheerful lights. Somehow this vast square manages to look busy and cheerful all year ‘round. I empty the last couple of honey roasted almonds into my mouth and put the paper cone in a bin as I head away from Raadhusplasen and towards my Copenhagen home. There are fewer lights in the back streets, but the tall, flat, colourful buildings still provide shelter in a friendly manner, and the odd café or store along my way still emanates warmth as I half-heartedly try to hurry through the building snow that will be knee-deep by tomorrow. I turn on to my particularly narrow
street and have to squeeze myself between parked cars and shop signs and other pedestrians, as everyone is twice their normal size from layers of clothes. I don’t notice the shop I’m looking for until I’m just about in front of it, but the golden light from Tracks is more welcoming than from any other shop. I glance at the mannequins dressed in Australian boots and fur scarves and stamp the snow off my shoes as I push through the door. A slice of home in a foreign place. ‘Pia!’ Uncle Erik’s voice fills the little shop and makes my cold, stiff cheeks work to grin. ‘Birgitte is upstairs, I sink you should go and get yourself some kaffe to warm up!’ I nod vigorously and pass through the shop to the door that will take me up to the house, unravelling my layers and relaxing into the warmth as I go.
“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another ‘til I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except an article to On Dit. I contributed and it was great for my evening blues.”
CONTRIBUTE TO ON DIT, KEROUAC’S PREFERRED MAGAZINE. email@example.com auu.org.au/ondit We’re also real people. We inhabit the basement on the western side of the Barr Smith Lawns, and we always welcome visits.
Crohns disease Brooke Meakin wants her best friend to get better soon art by laura gentgall
As I sit down in the overcrowded lunchroom eating my reheated chicken and brown rice from the previous nights dinner, I begin to think. I think about how much I’ve been procrastinating writing my English essay, due at the end of the week. I think about how I need to upgrade my winter wardrobe, as I own nothing warm enough for extremely cold days. I think about my friends and how amazing they are. Everyone says it, but I do have amazingly strong friends. One in particular. My best friend is courageous, gorgeous and, sadly, living with Crohns disease. Everyday this little light of mine shines all her happiness onto the world but inside is faced with horrible pain. You’re probably wondering what Crohns disease is. I did too when she told me. I made many Wikipedia searches and read many WebMD.com pages to grasp the seriousness and sadness of her illness. I learned that this is the one thing in life I can’t help her with. Crohns disease affects the bowel, causing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It is caused by the interaction of each of the immunological, bacterial and environmental factors in genetically susceptible individuals. Sufferers experience severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and sometimes weight loss. It lays dormant during daily activities, like going to the gym, going to uni or eating out with
friends. But it comes on suddenly and painfully. Nutritionists have found that high-fat, greasy and fried foods are hard to digest in 1/3 of Crohns suffers, and everyday condiments such as butter and margarine also are hard to digest. In worst case scenarios, doctors may suggest that sufferers are put on a feeding tube to help counter balance what the body is lacking. Everyday of a Crohns victim is hard, and they are always faced with the uncertainty of what tomorrow may bring. Crohns disease affects an estimate of 75,000 Australians, most of them the same age as you and me. They live with crippling pain that can strike at anytime and make even the simplest task, like attending an 11am lecture, next to impossible. There is still no known cure for Crohns disease but during the chilly month of May, people who are affected either with Crohns or supporting someone with Crohns come together to help raise awareness. May is Crohns Awareness Month, so what better time to broaden your horizons with learning something new and spread awareness. Awareness can be raised in many ways, from donating the change from your morning bus money, to just reading this page and learning something new, brightening your winter wardrobe with something purple, or just by word of mouth. By telling your best friend, you’ve already done your part in helping people just like my best friend.
Brooke loves pina coladas and getting caught rain, as long as there’s an umbrella involved.
20 things Things I didn’t need to hear before 7am on a Saturday morning don’t talk to anthony nocera about your gluten allergy art by laura gentgall
I work at a supermarket on checkout and, every Saturday, I open the store and get the service department ready for the day. I count all the drawers, clean, print out tickets for other departments and do anything that needs doing or wasn’t done the night before. It means that I start at 5am and finish at 10am. The shift has it’s benefits: the store is quieter, I get to use gumption to clean things (and that is one of my favourite things to do), and I have a whole Saturday free afterwards. But it also means that you get a larger-than-usual portion of the weird customers; Undesirables. Lately, the Undesirables have been getting more undesirable and I think that’s something worth commemorating… NOT celebrating. I’m not condoning this. But people who manage to be especially unpleasant before it’s light outside? That’s an achievement. That deserves recognition. This is their recognition. Here are 20 Things I didn’t need to hear before 7am on Saturday: 1. Can you tell me where the soymilk is? Apparently soymilk is really good for your sperm count and I’m trying to get mine up. I’m not trying to have a baby; I just want to be potent. Just in case. You get me? 2. With arms full of groceries. WHERE ARE ALL THE TROLLEYS? 3.Can I return these condoms? They’re too small. Winks/licks lips. 4. Have you seen my dog? She’s about five foot tall and I’ve been married to her for forty years? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAA (NOTE: Still to this day not sure if he talking about woman or animal. I hope woman but, in saying that, I also feel a little bad for that woman) 5. Can I return these condoms? They’re too big. Hides face, looks away ashamed. 6.Runs back inside: I CANT FIND THE TROLLEYS! ARE MY GROCERIES OKAY? TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE AGAIN. 7. Do you have any bathrooms? Because I am about to shit on the shopfloor if you don’t! HA HAAHA HAHAHA, seriously I need to poo. 8. I have a gluten allergy. 9. Customer: Can I return these 2Litre Pepsi’s?
Me: Sure! Was there a problem with them or arCustomer: Yeah, if you listen closely, you can hear them going flat. Listen. I press my ear up to the bottle. Customer: Can you hear it? Me: No, but I’ll just do the refuCustomer: YOU HAVE TO HEAR IT! I CAN’T BE THE ONLY ONE HEARING THIS. Runs away. 10. Do you sell anything to lighten nipple colour? 11. No, I’m allergic to gluten, not intolerant. If I eat it, I could die. Is there gluten in this, do you know? 12. THIS TROLLEY HAS A BAD WHEEL! 13. As I try to jam two baguettes into a shopping bag, Hah! This reminds me of last night with my wife. 14. Customer: How old are you? Me: I’m 20. Customer: 20? Good age. That’s when I first had anal! 15. Toddler screaming. 16. Oh, you charge for bags? Oh, I’m from Victoria so technically that should mean I get them for free, it’s the law. 17. Like, it’s just really insensitive when people call it an intolerance when it’s an allergy. 18. You had the movie Frozen in your catalogue. I really love that movie, have you seen it? I sing it all the time LET IT GOOOOO... 19. Can you explain coconut water to me? 20. Customer breathing.
Anthony is probably catching up on sleep right now. Do not wake him.
the remedy for lonely Amelia Howell isn’t lonely anymore Art by anthony nocera
Today, amidst one of my weekly emotional breakdowns, I realised why I was so unhappy: I had been watching everyone around me thrive creatively over the past few years and it made me want to thrive. It made me want to find a hole in the world in the shape of me and just fill it up. Then I realised that it was actually Hannah on Girls who said that and Lena Dunham was apparently narrating my life. Then I realised it was true: I’m trying to find my place in the world. I know, right? Big revelation. ‘I seem to know who I am, I just don’t know where I fit,’ I posted to my Tumblr, feeling all revelation-y. I don’t have many friends. I think its possible that ants feel more of a sense of purpose than I do at times, while other days I feel that I could possibly be the voice of my generation (Wait, that’s Girls again). Generally, in times of strife, we are encouraged to “reach out” and even “ask for help.” Sometimes this is really fucking hard. Its really fucking hard to admit we’re struggling when we like to act like we have it all together and everyone around you is succeeding at something: starting their own kitschy online boutique, writing witty feminist blog posts, going vegan, or even graduating with a degree in fucking Space Science (you’re all the coolest, hats off to you). Shit, even becoming a Black Market regular is probably more productive than what I do. So, ask for help I did. During a long heart-to-logical-mind chat with my mother, she revealed to me that I was obviously anti-social because I’m a Virgo and I feel things too intensely with my Moonin-Scorpio-conjunct-Pluto. I wasn’t sure that was it. With furrowed eyebrows she told me I should probably talk to a counsellor. The counsellor told me it was clear I had “unresolved childhood issues” that stemmed from my mother’s “restricted emotional availability” (Hello, Leonard Hofstadter). I talked to my friend, Phil. He linked me to a bunch of hilarious gifs, proclaiming ‘The internet is a wonderland!’ What was happening? I had a boyfriend and he was wonderful but I still felt alone. I thought relationships solved everything, TV? I spent nights dancing around my house belting Katy Perry’s Firework, but it just wasn’t doing it. Eventually, I got down to business. I purchased Masterworks of Philosophy,
threw out mementos of past lovers, and made a vision board ‘to live the life of my dreams!’ Of course, however, happiness doesn’t come in a package with yellow Ferraris and silk gowns. Lastly, I googled ‘how to nurture yourself ’ and baking was suggested. So, I sat in bed and cried into my raw apple pie. On top of all this dramatic desperation, I was utterly confused. Was Lorna Jane the key, or was the Law of Attraction? How do I practise ‘self love’? Did it really all come down to my mother’s perceived lack of maternal affection? Or was it because she’s a double-Aquarius with her Moon in the eighth house? I didn’t know. So, I sat down and wrote about it. In fact, I wrote this. I felt as if a metaphorical, cliche weight had been lifted, and my brain no longer felt like scrambled tofu, if only for a little while. I’m not sure where I fit, still, and I’m sure there will be plenty of times in the future where I feel like a cat in a bath and I’ll ponder becoming a female rapper. I’m also not sure if writing will help everyone. All I know is it helps to find something you actually love, and to do a tonne of it.
Amelia hates word limits but likes Allday, the fat fuck superstar, and running her virtual restaurant.
dumpster diving miriam crosby is okay with eating from a bin
Hi, my name is Miriam Crosby and I’m a dumpster diver. No. Don’t judge. You would have considered it too if you’d been subject to a shockingly delicious pizza covered with a maple glaze over blue cheese, rocket and pumpkin, only to find out it was all reclaimed food mid-way through your last euphoric bite. The thrill of dumpster diving is a well-kept secret, hidden behind layers of pride, our mother’s judgement and a faint whiff of compost. Nothing moving out and a clothes peg on your nose won’t fix. There I was, doing the deed that was so thoroughly against every middle-class life lesson my mother had ever taught me. Somehow I’d convinced a couple of friends into my dastardly plan to rob the Haighs factory of their rubbish. Twisting our bodies through metal poles, never before had I silently wished that I’d tried on more corsets or could amputate limbs as required. We ran in single file, tiptoeing across ash felt. Panic and adrenaline flooded my system at the sight of a car parked in the moonlight, and a small light flickering in a nearby window. Though there was not turning back; three large metal treasure chests loomed before us. In true goldilocks fashion, the first two revealed a disappointing amount of pink marshmallow and melted chocolate, but the last one was overflowing with of gold- pure chocolate honeycomb gold. As challenging as commando rolls and resisting immediate consumption of chocolate are, the hardest part of dumpster diving is convincing your disgusted friends and family that you aren’t crazy.
Stop. Fact time. An average soliloquy to justify our actions sounded something like this: ‘No. It’s not illegal, Australia’s Law doesn’t actually forbid scavenging trash.’ No. Dumpster diving does not make me a hippy. But it does make me feel like I’m doing my bit for the Earth. Food waste is Australia’s second biggest polluter after power stations, creating a lovely little greenhouse gas
called methane, which is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. With 100,000 tonnes of food thrown away by food supply chains per year, that’s 23 percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Before you label me as a cheapskate, know that 42 percent of South Australia’s total waste is food wastethat’s roughly 8 billion dollars a year that our state just throws away. I can think of a lot of better ways to spend 8 billion dollars.
For goods sake! Seeing as all that remains of that chocolate is now crumbs, all I can offer you by way of free food now is the University of Adelaide’s Sutdent Representative Council’s (SRC) free weekly breakfast bar. Their smorgasbord comes directly from the Food Bank- an organisation that feeds about 88, 000 people daily, from students to the destitute (though there’s not always such a difference). It’s not only the SRC who have forgone the binny business; there are a great many others who have jumped on the recycled food bandwagon. without the slightest desire to go rummaging about. To those who work in hospitality, or just eat at restaurants, or just eat in general (so yes, all of you), be the kid in class who asks persistently irritating questions. Be Hermione. Ask yourself where your leftovers are going. Better yet, ask your mum, your manager, your boss. If you find they’re literally going to the dump, get your nag on and suggest they give OzHarvest a call. OzHarvest collects businesses’ leftover food and deliver it, meals-onwheels style, to people who need it most. Or, at the very least, be a martyr for the dreaded chore of compost. Before the wind changes, alter that look of disgust on your face and do your bit to help the Earth. After all, its the only one with chocolate.
Miriam has a severe case of inter-textual referencing that she refuses to get medication for.
the new classic by iggy azalea Reviewed by emma doherty
north terrace Reviewed by tori hyland Those classic clubs just are not doing it for you anymore, and you’re seeking something new. Something fresh. Something exciting. Say hello to Viva! Adelaide’s newest club, open every Friday and Saturday night, located where Swish used to be on North Terrace. Though Swish was popular for it’s 90s music, it’s furnishings were very outdated. Though Viva looks a whole lot nicer than Swish ever did, you can rest assured that the 90s music remains a key feature. In my experience, Viva doesn’t typically have a large line up, which is great for the customer, but maybe not so great for the club.. Inside club goers are welcomed to a large dark room with a busy dance floor, with tables to the side and a large bar at the back of the room. Also there are a large number of unique wood log decorations around the place – maybe they ran out of place to store firewood? The club seems to attract an older crowd (think 21+). At the tender age of 18, I think I was the youngest person in the club. Unfortunately the club winds down pretty early. One night I went, there were only two very drunk people left in the club at 2am. I feel like, at heart, Viva is just Swish with a prettier face. A feel good 90s bar for people to just let loose and dance. The perfect starting point to a big night out. Image by Kenneth Koh.
I mistakenly agreed to review The New Classic under the misapprehension that it was an album by Azealia Banks (whose song ‘212’ can be heard playing in the background of that Youtube video with the girl eating her tampon). There are pockets of good in this album, such as Fancy, which features Charli XCX on vocals and has a thudding bass line to counterbalance Iggy’s slick rap, 100 with its 90s RNB feel, and Goddess with its hints of Kanye’s Power. It’s not that Iggy Azalea is a bad rapper. She sometimes makes great wordplay, like ‘Blowjobs for loubitins/what you call that/ head over heels?’. But she uses a lot of the same imagery track after track. The imagery of walking on a road alone is used in Walk the Line, Don’t Need Y’All and Work. At this point I was like OKAY WE GET IT SHE HAS BEEN THROUGH THINGS AND IS WALKING A LONG ROAD ALONE CAN WE GET ON WITH IT PLEASE. All in all, I would recommend the bulk of the songs on this album for times when you need something fairly generic to work out to, or if you are in need of some post-breakup ‘I am a strong independent woman’ feels.
by Jon Favreau Reviewed by alicia strous
rundle mall reviewed by taylah minchington
Do not see this movie on an empty stomach. It is crammed full of food. Steaming tender meat, crisp vegetables and glistening sauces ooze out of every shot. The film’s beautiful cinematography and attention to detail will cause even the fullest stomach to grumble in eager anticipation.
After being a vegan for the past month, I was more than a little excited about consuming some chocolate when my super-cool mother received an invitation to the VIP opening night of Koko Black in Rundle Mall. When we entered the salon, I nearly cracked it because the Cold Play song, ‘Paradise’ was playing. The person who made the playlist has a great sense of humor.
Jon Favreau, the driving force behind the film, wrote and directed this comedy He also plays the main character, Carl Casper, who struggles to balance his job as a renowned chef and family life – especially spending time with his young son Percy (Emjay Anthony). Father and son get to know each other while starting up and travelling in a food truck, doling out Cuban food to eager followers. The somewhat over-enthusiastic friend, Martin (John Leguizamo), joins them, adding charisma and rhythm to the story. The cast are supported by Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Junior, but don’t wait with baited breath, as their roles are relatively small. Overall, the movie is very entertaining and deeply funny. Sensitive moments are carefully heartwarming and don’t go anywhere near the territory of soppy. I give it four stars and recommend it for anyone that loves a good laugh, interesting characters and above all, great food.
Throughout all of the exquisite dishes we were served throughout the night, I was totally fist pumping in chocolate town. The last course, a layered chocolate and espresso cake was my favorite and possibly the best thing I have ever tasted. The hand crafted chocolates on display could be considered art. Initially I thought I couldn’t eat one because of its beauty but honestly, I could down ten of them and feel pretty awesome. After we gave thanks to the owner and his team, we received a beautiful goodie bag to take home full of Koko Black goodness. The customer service was above and beyond, which is so hard to find these days. Most importantly, their chocolates are delicious and addictive. I would absolutely recommend it for a study break, cute date, emotional binge or simply a tasty catch up with friends.
diversions 46 PAGE
Name the australian pine answers on page 5!
This one was recently discovered after being thought extinct... Know what it is?
These are commonly used as popular coastal town landscaping elements.
This pine says ‘whoooshhhhooo’ in the wind, and sounds like a ghost. It is a...?
A native to the Adelaide plains, this one says ‘You’re such a cunt’ in parliament, among other things.
Life advice from someone who probably needs to see a therapist
Yo Emma, I was riding home and thinking about the city Buenos Aires and about how I say it. Then I was like why does it sound different? And then I realised I was saying it in a Spanish accent rather than an Australian one. I pondered whether I sounded wanky, and still have yet to come to a conclusion. Can you clear this up? I mean I kinda speak Spanish – does that give me more of an ability to get away with the wankyness of it? – Blanche First of all – and let this be a lesson to all of you – do not address me with ‘yo’. Let me make this very clear Blanche: we are not friends. I don’t know you. I am here to help you with your mediocre life problems, and that’s it. I am not one of the foulmouthed, marijuana-smoking youths among whom you spend your time. I am your superior, SHOW SOME RESPECT. Vis-a-vis the problem: if you pronounce it correctly in front of non-Spanish speakers, in their eyes you will become one of those people who are all ‘Oh yah, I am fluent in like five different languages’, who in reality can count to ten in four of them, and have seen a mildly erotic film in the other. However if you are in Buenos Aires and make absolutely no effort at correct pronunciation, the locals might think you are American, and hate you. Basically, when at home, don’t, as people will think you are a notorious wanker. When in Rome (read: Buenos Aires), do, or else you will become an even more obvious target for pickpockets than you undoubtedly already are.
I am a third year mechanical engineering student, but am having trouble keeping up with the workload as I suffer from traumatic recurring nightmares. The nightmares usually are about the end of the world but lately I’ve been dreaming of my homework killing me in different ways. I don’t want to see a therapist because they are for crazy people, but it’s really stressing me out. - Lauren, 22 If you don’t want to see a therapist that’s fine – you will simply be joining the legions of other people in this world who are also in denial about their precarious state of mental health. Regarding the workload, you should either a) Devise a detailed study plan to provide yourself with the comforting illusion of efficiency-make sure to highlight things even when the actual purpose of highlighting them is not actually apparent to you; or b) realise that the workload is not your entire existence, you are not the workload’s entire existence, and be at one with the Earth and this world. (Even I don’t understand what I just wrote.) But Lauren, you should really just see a psychologist. Or at least wheedle your way into getting a sleeping pill prescription. For Jesus Christ fucking sakes, you’re an adult. You should know this shit by now.
Got a question you’d like Emma to answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Agony Emma’.
with Mystic Marge
Aries After bemoaning your single status for the umpteenth time, you decide to take proactive action in the form of a tub of home brand chocolate ice-cream (such value for money!) and the complete BBC Pride and Prejudice. Dates, come at you! Taurus In the aftermath of the Budget, you will decide to ditch your tertiary qualifications to pursue a career as a ballerina. Don’t let your lack of formal training stop you: you’ve always got chaplaincy as a fall-back plan. Gemini You will deliver a deeply moving soliloquy on the societal ramifications of pet insurance during an amateur debate club heat. The year twelves you were up against will be annihilated and the sought-after post-competition scotch fingers will be yours. Cancer The continuous stream of mail you get for “Serenity Paws”, “Mary Smith” and “Xixin Chun” inspires you to create an instillation artwork titled ‘Identity Fraud: A
targedoku Find as many words as you can using the letters on the Sudoku grid. Words must be four letters or more and include the highlighted letter. Use the letters to solve the Sudoku (normal Sudoku rules apply). There are no repeated letters. Clue: We all gotta work together in this big, big world, you know? Yin and Yang. World peace, man. World. Peace.
M E N
Scorpio You attempts to seduce your lecturer will continue without success after they willfully ignore the winky face you drew at the end of your last assignment and give you a 59%. Time to initiate phase two: more winky faces. Sagittarius You will experience a moment of awkwardness during your next sexual encounter after you ask if your partner has a preference between cola and banana flavoured condoms. The dodgy free uni condoms strike again!
Libra You will begin listing your share-house on a timeshare holiday website for some sneaky extra income. This will be short-lived when your applicants discover ‘cosy twin share’ means having to spoon in your king single.
Aquarius You will be banned from DJ duty after you insist on only playing Kate Bush songs on repeat at your last house party. It’s okay, they just don’t understand her genius. Philistines.
Virgo In an attempt to dazzle your peers with hitherto undiscovered intellect and emotional depth, you will take up spoken word. Unfortunately, the world is not ready for your innovative iambic-pentameter-acrostics-and-interpretative-dance combo. Their loss.
Leo In a bid to avoid the microwave queues in the Hub, you will begin a raw foods diet. Your newfound love of #cleaneating #rawvegan will lose you friends and alienate people, but at least you got to feel smug doing it, right?
Capricorn After breaking into the Sexpo, you will be inspired to develop your own homemade line of organic, gluten free lubricants. Your goals are noble, but your choice of storage (reused Leggos jars) will garner criticism.
Suburban Exploration Collage’. You will receive critical acclaim, as well as a visit from ASIO.
Pisces In an attempt to make setting up an internet connection bearable, you will start a drinking game while on the phone to Telstra. Unfortunately, the ‘drink until you’re not on hold’ rule will result in permanent liver damage and a lack of ADSL.
eleanor’s kitchen! a taste of mexico words and image by eleanor ludington
Dinner parties have always been one of my favourite ways to catch up with friends. Not only do they provide motivation to tidy the house, they also provide a reason to eat a lot of yummy food, show off pets (my dog is always quite a novelty), drink a bit of wine, and catch up on gossip. My favourite dinner parties are always those with Mexican food (well, Australian-Mexican) on the menu. Anyone who knows me knows it’s my absolute favourite sort of food and so it’s no wonder that I will jump at any chance to make it or eat it. I find that it’s generally very easy to prepare, even for a novice student cook, and always comes with very positive feedback from both vegetarians and omnivores alike. How could it not? Hearty beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, fresh salads and, if you’re feeling really fancy, some tomato rice. It doesn’t get any better than that. Have a go at this delicious recipe for Mexican Beans. It’s adapted from an old Tex-Mex cookbook we have at home, and it hasn’t let me down yet!
Ingredients: •1 onion, diced •1 small red chilli, sliced (you can add more if you like heat) •4 tins of beans of your choice, drained (I use a mix of kidney beans and lentils) •750mL vegetable stock •2tbsp of Worcestershire sauce (look for vegan-friendly versions if vegetarian) •1 dessert spoon of sugar (optional) Method: 1. Fry onion in olive oil on low heat for 5-10 minutes until softened. 2. Add chilli and cook for a further minute. 3. Add beans, stock, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Mix to combine ingredients. 4. Bring to the boil and then turn down heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 1 hour to reduce liquid until you reach a consistency you are happy with. Stir every 10 -15 minutes to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot. NB: if it reduces too quickly or becomes too thick you can always dilute a little with more stock. If after an hour it is still too runny, turn the heat up and allow to boil off. 5. When ready serve with fresh salads and condiments of your choice. I like to eat these in a tortilla with salad, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Yum!
INSIDE: What the 2014 Federal Budget means for students.