IS THE UNIVERSITY TRYING TO PRUNE YOUR EDUCATION?
Volume 81 Edition 2 Editors: Casey Briggs, Stella Crawford and Holly Ritson. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union.
EDITORIAL 2 ON THE WEBSITE
On Dit is produced and printed on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land.
FROM THE PRESIDENTS
The opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of the editors, the University of Adelaide, or the Adelaide University Union. Talk to us: email@example.com lifeoncampus.org.au/ondit facebook.com/onditmagazine twitter.com/onditmagazine
SOCKS AND MEMORIES: EUNICE VUN
LIFE SUCKS BALLS: MICHELLE BAGSTER
REGRESSIVE PROGRESSIVES: RUBY-ROSE NIEMANN
VOTE FOR THE BEST: RUPERT HOGAN-TURNER
MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING NOTHING: SAM YOUNG
iLEARN 2.0: BEN NIELSEN
ROMANTICISED VISIONS OF UNI: REBECCA SHEEDY
MAKING A SCENE: ELLIE PARNELL
WOMEN AT WORK: GEMMA KILLEN
MY SECOND GAP YEAR: RICK SMITH
I FIX IT: GALEN CUTHBERTSON
PATENTLY ABSURD: LEWIS LAURENCE
FREE AND EASY BEATS: ROSS JOBSON
CHOCO-COCONUT CUPCAKES: ELEANOR LUDINGTON
DIVERSIONS 46 AN OPEN LETTER TO NESTLÉ: ALICE BITMEAD
Cover art by Madeleine Karutz. Inside front cover art by Lauren Williams. Inside back cover art by Olivia Di Fabio. Thanks go to: Ungas, for distribution; Daisy, for drawing curtains; everyone who kept us company or introduced their fine selves to us at O’Week; the Union for the jelly beans; all our enthusiastic and talented contributors and copy editors; Mad March for exciting and exhausting us all.
It’s mid-afternoon. I’ve barely slept in days. I’m so tired that my eyelids feel like they’re being pulled down by anvils. Holly just started singing something ridiculous. Now she’s playing it on YouTube. It’s really distracting. There are temptations all over the city trying to coax me out of this basement office. Barrio. The Garden of Unearthly Delights. WOMADelaide. Fuck, just riding up and down the lifts in Renaissance Tower for a few hours is an attractive prospect right now. But no. I’m sitting in this friggin’ office writing this friggin’ editorial for you to read in this friggin’ magazine. Ugh. I’ve been sick for the last fortnight. I don’t remember the last time I saw my family. I’m falling further behind in my study. I’ve got a weird rash on my leg. I’m single, and distributing 2,500 copies of a
magazine across campus declaring that I have a weird rash on my leg is probably not going to change that situation. In short: life is great. I kid, I kid. I love this magazine and I’m not regretting any of my life decisions at all. There’s an issue that keeps coming up in this edition - the value of your education. We take a look at potential tutorial cuts in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, a decision that was made and then reversed after your student representatives met with the Faculty. On top of that, we’re examining the perennial issue of online lecture recordings, and a story about staff (and a whole bunch of students too) at the University of Sydney that went on strike the other week, over workplace conditions. We could well see similar actions in Adelaide before too long, with the new University of Adelaide EBA being negotiated right now.
These are important issues. Yes, they’re sometimes really bureaucratic and boring, but the decisions the university makes today will affect what you learn tomorrow, and the way your degree is valued when you leave this place and enter the ‘real world’ (because apparently when you’re at university you’re in some kind of matrix-style fugue state). In this edition we also go to Taipei (p16), Palestine (p34), Adelaide (p42), the kitchen (p45), the workplace (p30), the stage (p27), and all the way back to your childhood (p15). Remember to be in touch if you want to contribute, want to tip us off on a potential story, or want to go on a date with me. Until next time, Casey (and Holly and Stella) xoxoxo
ON THE WEBSITE
3 WE’RE NOT JUST THE MAGAZINE REVIEWS! OH SO MANY REVIEWS! Dit reviewed over 50 shows at this year’s IN YOUR HANDS. WE’RE ALL On Fringe and Adelaide Festival. That’s a lot OVER THE INTERWEBS TOO, of laughs, uncomfortable plastic chairs KIDS. HERE’S A SAMPLE and hand clapping. Read all about what we what left us wondering if it was OF WHAT’S ONLINE AT loved,and dark enough between scenes to sneak out LIFEONCAMPUS.ORG.AU/ unnoticed. It is, after all, never too late to ONDIT. start planning for 2014!
One of the highlights of the contemporary music shows at the Adelaide Festival this year was the Brassland series. Curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National, it showcased a series of very high quality performances from artists on the Brassland record label over four nights. On Dit attended the series, found it enjoyable, and then wrote some words about it that you can read online.
Want to review for On Dit? We publish reviews online year round. Send us an email or fill out a contributor form at lifeoncampus.org.au/ ondit/contribute and we’ll be in touch!
THE INTERNET IS FOR...
Yes, we know you’re all thinking it - the internet is for reading back editions of On Dit. Nicola Dowland has discovered that the internet is for so many more things, and honestly is helping to make the world a nicer place, a place where an advanced screening of your favourite film is only a social media campaign away.
CRINKLE CUT OR STRAIGHT?
Rhys Nixon has eaten enough chips to be able to tell you exactly why the simple task of crinkle cutting your fried potato makes for a crispier and ‘unique’ chip eating experience. Head online to find out why. We’re happy to test his theories: to the Unibar! Image: flickr. com/photos/scaredykat/
Dear On Dit,
Dear On Dit,
I made the corn fritters as featured in Edition 81.1 today and I can confirm that they are very delicious. I also temporarily experienced elation and forgot any worries in my life, just like the recipe promised! Om nom nom. Thanks On Dit!
We were very happy to see your article on Fair Trade in the latest On Dit. Fair Trade is one of the most effective ways of empowering third-world producers through the existing trade system. We very much agree with you that making the switch to Fairtrade Certified™ products such as coffee, tea and chocolates is a way in which the average first-world consumer can make a difference simply by shopping smarter. If a product is Fairtrade Certified it means the producers have been paid a fair wage, as well as an additional payment to be invested in community development.
Mucho corny love, Laura Greetings, I am not a student at the uni, but a staff member, yet I feel the need to tell you how much I love the ‘Wild Horse!’ comics. It’s my favourite part of each issue and the last comic in issue 81.1 was particularly relevant to me as I had just had a run in with a giant huntsman the night before I read it, and I felt the need to show it around to people I know. Long story short, please never stop printing Wild Horse! comics. (I’m not even joking here). Catherine S Hi Emma Jones, This is a bit weird but I just read your article (Ed 1. pg 38) in On Dit and then looked you up ‘cos I wanted to tell you I thought it was bloody brilliant. I’m sure some interesting guys read it and now want to date you, I would. Keep writing! Eleanor Kay
On Dit would like to send it’s most sincere apologies to a number of people. In Edition 81.1, Madeleine Karutz was not credited as the illustrator for the artwork accompanying ‘That Time I Tried OkCupid’. In the same edition, we neglected to credit Rowan Roff as the writer/illustrator of Wild Horse. Finally, we’d like to apologise to you. In our calendar of events in What’s On in Edition 81.1, we referred to ‘Ol Queeny’s Birthday’ on March 11. Apparently we weren’t clear enough for you, dear reader. Obviously, we weren’t acknowledging the public holiday, for that is in June. Instead, we were wishing a happy birthday to The Lady Chablis, the American drag queen. Apologies for any confusion, we’ll try and be more precise next time.
We would like to clarify to readers that it is actually quite easy to get a Fairtrade coffee in the city. A map put together by the Adelaide City Council lists 56 retailers – see adelaidecitycouncil.com/ community/fair-trade. Small bags of Fairtrade coffee can be purchased from most large supermarket chains. In terms of Fairtrade shoes, clothing, underwear and sports balls, all can be purchased online – see www.fairtradeshop.com.au. Now to the University of Adelaide – did you know that we are actually a Fair Trade Accredited University? While commodities can acquire Fairtrade Certification, organisations can acquire Fair Trade Accreditation which means they show support for the Fairtrade principles and make Fairtrade products available at on-campus outlets and in staff kitchenettes. We achieved this status at the beginning of 2012, and it was something that the Fair Trade Collective of students had been working on for six years. On campus, Fairtrade coffee can be bought from Grassroots, and The General sells Fairtrade chocolate, coffee and tea supermarket items. On March 20 the Union and SRC are running the Fair Trade and Social Justice Expo on the Barr Smith Lawns from 11am 2pm, so be sure to stop by there. If anyone is interested in being part of our Fair Trade Collective, don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kind Regards, Sophie Neubauer, Nick Burton, Bec Taylor and Themis Scanlon of the Fair Trade Collective. On Dit approached the Fair Trade Collective for comment in the article ‘Care Trade’ in Edition 81.1, but did not receive anything until after the edition went to print.
Dear On Dit,
‘Honey, why isn’t there a men’s issue of On Dit?’ ‘Because feminism, darling.’
If we start with your numbers, yes, two of the editors this year are women. And yes, women are well represented in On Dit. Men should indeed do their best to combat inequality. That’s about where we stop agreeing with you though.
This is the tagline for the advertisement for contributions to Elle Dit. A magazine strictly devoted to women’s voices is a wonderful thing, but the tagline does beg the question ‘...why isn’t there a men’s issue?’ In the past, this kick up patriarchy’s arse would have made sense in the context of this university. Today it seems dated and irrational as we don’t have a heinous underrepresentation of women in the student population, nor do we have a problem with a lack of female voices in the uni’s main outlet for opinionated student expression. Two out of the three On Dit editors are female, just for starters. This by no means suggests that there are no other problems facing female students of this institution and this country, i.e. the need for the women’s room as a safe space on campus is still relevant. However, we could be focusing on those issues as a united student population and a wider community, not as a female-identifying group isolating ourselves from the insights of men on gender issues, on principle. Sure, some men can be sexist pigs while some others are ignorant, though fighting fire with fire, even if in a small way, may not be the best way forward and moving forward is surely the aim here, right? Historical dwelling can only hinder that desire for progress I’m certain the majority of us wish to create, in a future where women are not only empowered but where the ‘battle of the sexes’ is put to rest once and for all. The men of today cannot be expected to carry the blame for entrenched patriarchy on their collective shoulders. However, they should try their best to understand women’s issues and do their utmost to help end inequality as their privilege is still pronounced in many areas of life. This requires cooperation in both directions: men being willing to renounce privilege and women being willing to allow male contribution to a femaleconstructed movement without the guilt-trips, because in the end, we are doing this for humanity in general. On Dit is not gender-discriminatory. Thank the feminists of the past and embrace what they fought for. Contribute to a magazine which doesn’t care who you are or how unusual your opinion is, contribute to On Dit, the student magazine. Anonymous
We like getting emails! Email us your thoughts with the subject line ‘Letter to the Editor’ to email@example.com and you might be printed on this page in a future edition.
To begin with, historical context is important. On Dit isn’t clean. On Dit was publishing ‘Bird of the Week’ – a segment about random attractive women on campus – right up to the eighties. Thinking about history is how we get places. Thinking about history is how we move on. If we’re talking about feminism, we can argue for hours about the role of or extent to which men’s voices are appropriate. But we’re not. We’re talking about a space created exclusively by women. The reason that men’s voices don’t belong in Elle Dit isn’t because we’re ‘isolating ourselves from the insights of men on gender issues’. It’s simply because everywhere else a woman goes, she will receive less space. Until that’s not true, we’re going to keep fighting our student-media fight to compensate for the world at large. Feminism, as we joked about in the ad, is simply the reason all this is possible. Like International Women’s Day, and the Women’s Room and every other women’s space ever, we could spend the whole time or space justifying its existence. But we’re not doing that. This, right here, is all you’re going to see from us defending Elle Dit. The Editors In the wake of the slated-but-then-cancelled tutorial cuts, we asked the people of Facebook what value they saw in tutorials... ‘If there were two less I’d rally like it was 2011.’ – Blair Williams ‘I love tutorials more than words can wield the matter, dearer than eyesight, space and liberty. I ardently admire and love tutorials. Tutorials are my sun and stars. The moon of my life. All you need are tutorials.’ – Johanna Alexander ‘I’m happy to have two less tutorials a semester if the university is happy to knock a few hundred dollars off of my tuition fees.’ – Tom Stewart ‘Reversed? I still didn’t have any tutes this week. I feel like an entire week was wasted. I would be okay if I paid 10 per cent less in course fees for the education I’m not getting.’ – Fiona Coles ‘Depends on the tutor. Some are amazing and really facilitate learning, others only hinder it’ – Evelina Katarzynski ‘In the physical sciences, tutorials are essential for solidifying the knowledge accumulated throughout the week. I honestly couldn’t go without tutorials.’ – Jake Clark For more on the Humanities and Social Sciences budget issues see page 18.
IN BETWEEN DANCE OFFS AND HAVING CREAM PIES THROWN AT US DURING O’WEEK, WE ASKED YOU THESE QUESTIONS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Where’s the last place you travelled to? Will you be attending tutorials this year? Why? Finish the sentence: The internet is for... How do you know you exist? What’s your favourite way to forget your own mortality? Would you rather kill a baby kitten or eat a baby kitten?
MADDIE, SOUND ENGINEERING, 2ND YEAR Lorne, for Falls Festival. It was incredible. Yes - because I paid for it. It’s part of my course so I have to. Work, socialising, everything. Literally anything. You can overdo it though. Woah! I have a sense of feeling. If you feel something really strongly, you know you’re alive. I do something positive - go to the beach or for a bike ride. Eat it, but I’m not into funky stuff, so probably neither.
ALEX, OENOLOGY & VITICULTURE, 1ST YEAR The Barossa - to visit cellar doors. Yes - because they take attendance. There’s only 30 people in my course, so they know if I’m not there. Watching YouTube and cat in a cup. Because I have a radio show - Wednesdays, 12am on Radio Adelaide. Watching religious interpretive dance. Eat it - I’d cook it up all delicious like.
NATASHA, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 1ST YEAR Here [University] today. That’s been the most exciting place. Yes - so that I can learn. Learning’s good. Everything these days. Because I can think. By avoiding questions like this one! Eat it - then at least it’s not being killed for no reason.
BLANCHE, ARTS/DIP. SPANISH, 4TH YEAR Peru - I studied there on exchange. It was ¡chevere! Oh yeah! We gotta fight for these arts tutes. I wanted to say porn. But there’s other means of all sorts of things. It’s pretty great and shit. I have a Facebook page. Even though dogs have them. To believe in religion. That’s hard. Maybe kill because I’d like to kill an animal. That sounds weird.
ALISA, ACCOUNTING & QUEENIE, BIOMED, 1ST YEAR A: Brisbane - I like Queensland. Q: Korea - with my family. Both: Yeah. A: To get a good head start, and good grades. A: Knowing everything at school. Q: Studying, sharing, and Facebook! Q: I can breathe. A: You can find me on Facebook. Q: Walking; taking time for myself. A: Watching superhero shows - sometimes I like to imagine I have those powers. Q: Eat. A: Same, it’s less gruesome.
ECO VERSITY, OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY I rode a bike to uni today. No - I’m a lizard. Looking up the most efficient bike route to uni. Temperature - it’s really hot, and I’m cold blooded. Run around and hug people. Oh, and I’m a lizard. I have no concept of my morality. No comment - I’m a vegetarian.
FLETCHER, COMMERCE/MARKETING, 1ST YEAR Tahiti - on a holiday. Yeah - so I don’t fail. Wasting time. People talk to me; people acknowledge I’m here. Drink. That’s really hard. If I have to: eat, as long as I didn’t have to kill it.
STATE OF THE UNION DEANNA TAYLOR
I hope that you all made it to the Barr Smith Lawns for O’Week and enjoyed the shenanigans that the Union put together this year. The hellish experience of buying course materials from the Image and Copy Centre is behind you, lectures and tutorials are well underway now, and you’ve (hopefully) pencilled in deadlines for your assessment pieces. It’s down to srs bsns now. In the new-year-new-start/ O’Week glow, you might have zealously planned your semester and established concrete goals in your mind. You may be starting to feel under pressure, and realising that some of those goals and plans may not be achievable, for many reasons. Just remember that the Union provides plenty of services to assist you through tricky times like these. If you’re finding it hard to work out how you’re going to be able to afford to study this year, call 8313 5430 to make an appointment with Student Care. They can help you organise your finances and give you some basic financial advice. If you’re really struggling, they can even give you a loan or help you apply for an Equal Access Grant if you’re a first-year student. The Union provides services like Student Care to make sure you enjoy your time at university, or at the very least survive it. They’re
STUDENT CARE // STUDENT SERVICES AND AMENITIES // UNION MEETINGS // SRS BSNS free and confidential, so take advantage of these services – I can’t stress it enough! On the service front, I also wanted to let you guys know what the Union has planned for the Student Services and Amenities Fee money that the University has allocated to us for this year. Among other things, in 2013 the Union’s SSAF allocation is funding: Subsidies on the costs of the Employment Service’s accredited training programs, so that we can offer them to students at 50% per cent off (head to lifeoncampus. org.au/employment/ accredited_training/ for more information and to register for a program!). An English language training program, to help international students for whom English is a second language improve their English. Medical grants provided by Student Care to assist students in paying their medical expenses. A bigger and better O’Week, not just at North Terrace Campus, but at Roseworthy and Waite as well. More events for International Students. More Clubs Association grants for clubs and societies
on campus so they can run more events. If you have any questions about the above, feel free to drop me an email. Additionally, don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s something we aren’t offering that you think we should be. Later this year we’ll be talking to the University about what we’d like to spend the SSAF on next year - I want you all to be satisfied that you’re getting your money’s worth! A reminder that meetings of the Union Board of Directors are open to all students, so come along! I can’t guarantee it will be exciting, but if you’re interested in finding out how we work, you’re more than welcome to attend. Our next meeting will be on March 20 at 5:30pm in the Union Boardroom. Until the next Edition! Deanna Taylor Union President firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @auulifeoncampus facebook.com/auulifeoncampus
QUIZ YOUR REPS
STUDENT REP COLUMN CATHERINE STORY
What are your plans for your portfolio in 2013?
I’ll be working towards creating a more sustainable university. Some things you can expect to see are more bikefriendly facilities and a more environmentally friendly Union. - Sam Young, SRC Environment Officer
What are your plans for your portfolio in 2013?
I want continue the work done in 2012 to try to ensure that all women on campus are able to study in a welcoming and safe environment. I will place a particular focus on reaching out to women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to ensure that their interests and concerns are not neglected by the university. I hope to work with other student bodies and organisations to promote women’s spaces, women’s representation and women’s health. - Rebecca McEwen, SRC Women’s Officer
If you’ve got a question for one of your student representatives, email it to us at ondit@ adelaide.edu.au with the subject line ‘I DEMAND ANSWERS’. We’ll put a selection of your questions to the people in the corridors of power and publish the responses.
The SRC had its first meeting of the year on the Friday of Orientation week, and as student representatives we have found ourselves plunged into an issue that really demonstrates why we need to speak loudly and forcefully in the interests of students. This semester the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS) reduced the number of tutorials per semester by two in all schools except in Languages and Music. After members of the SRC and the Humanities and Social Sciences Association met with the Dean of HumSS and Heads of School in HumSS and voiced their opposition to this move, the tutorials have been reinstated. Whatever faculty we come from, we can come together as students to agree that all students deserve a quality education, and cost cutting to classes in any faculty will only affect students pedagogically. It is our responsibility to call on the university to fund faculties adequately so they are not forced to make cuts, as all breadths of knowledge contribute equally to our understanding of the world. With the new strategic plan calling for ‘small group discovery’ it is our job to make sure that student voices are represented adequately. If you see evidence of cost cutting in your courses, please let the SRC know as we are elected to advocate for the quality of your education.
While the SRC has pushed successfully for the HumSS tutorials to be reinstated, such cuts in HumSS speak of a broader problem: the underfunding of universities at a Federal government level. It is not only the SRC’s responsibility to advocate for student voices on a university level, it is also our responsibility to advocate to government. The Bradley Review of Higher Education Funding stated that there needs to be a 10 per cent funding increase in teaching and learning Australia wide for universities to be sustainable. Unfortunately this has not happened. Due to the underfunding of education we have seen cuts in areas of study around Australia that are not pulling large amounts of research funding, particularly evident in cuts to HumSS. The National Union of Students National Day of Action ‘Our Education is Not for Profit’ is happening on March 27. The SRC are organising a rally with the Flinders University Student Association at 5pm at Parliament House to say no to cost cutting and ‘for profit’ universities. If you care about education funding and quality of education I hope to see you there! In other business, the SRC will be helping to run the annual Fair Trade and Social Justice Expo on the 20th March from 11am – 2pm so come along and check it out! Catherine Story SRC President email@example.com Twitter: @adelaidesrc facebook.com/adelaidesrc
The Adelaide Uni Football Club is calling you to arms to play for the World’s Greatest Football Club. Player registrations are being taken now in both men’s and women’s footer. Show your allegiance email firstname.lastname@example.org Training: monday and wednesdays @ uni oval from 6pm. For more information on the club visit bobneil.com
BY ROWAN ROFF
STRIKING CHANGES IN SYDNEY On Thursday, March 7 staff affiliated with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at Sydney – as well as others who support them – went on strike for the first time in a decade. Their action was prompted by proposed changes to the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) that University management offered. The EBA is a document which governs the conditions under which staff members are paid and employed, and generally is only reviewed every three years. Among the major issues that staff have with the proposed changes to the EBA are increased potential for casualisations, reductions in sick leave and entitlements, union representation for future bargains, research opportunities, and most glaringly a huge reduction in pay increases. The proposed 2 per cent annual salary increases do not even keep pace with inflation, resulting in a real terms wage cut. The placement of the strike in the first week of the academic term
Photograph: Emma Horn
Know of a student news story happening now? Send us an email at ondit@adelaide. edu.au with the subject line ‘Pssst. There’s something you should know...’ is no coincidence, as it serves to demonstrate a willingness from the NTEU and staff members to take industrial action against these austere proposals. Additionally, given the results, they clearly have the support of students. Though Adelaide does not face quite so severe a conflict right now this does bring to mind the budget cuts that have taken place across the university, including similar issues with the casualisation of the work force, and cuts to tutorials and word counts to lower course costs.
SRC VACANCIES FILLED While most of the highly sought after positions on the SRC were filled after the student elections last August, at the beginning of this year two officer positions were left empty. No one had nominated for the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer, and elected Women’s Officer, Deanna Taylor, resigned from the role after being elected to be President of the Union. After interviews conducted in late February, these two positions have now been filled. Dwayne Coulthard was the sole applicant for ATSI officer but was nonetheless strongly recommended by the SRC Executive for the position due to his leadership experience and ideas for the position.
The NTEU and university are currently negotiating the EBA at the University of Adelaide that will nominally expire at the end of March.
The SRC received a number of impressive applications for Women’s Officer, but appointed Rebecca McEwen as a standout applicant with extensive experience and passion.
WHAT’S ON. 12
Here’s where you’ll find information, gossip, shoutouts, news, events, bake sales, pub crawls and anything else you could possibly want to know about your university. Have something to add? Think you know what’s on? Let us know at email@example.com
FAIR TRADE & SOCIAL JUSTICE EXPO March 20, 11am-2pm, Barr Smith Lawns.
Aligning with Harmony Day, the national day of cultural respect, the Fair Trade & Social Justice Expo will host over 15 not-for-profit organisations. The Expo also features live music, a drumming workshop, a raffle with great prizes, delicious falafel and much more! Missed the Expo? Get in touch with the SRC’s social justice officer Sarah Swan, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can be the change you wish to see in the world.
OUR EDUCATION IS NOT FOR PROFIT The National Union of Students National Day of Action ‘Our Education is Not for Profit’ is happening on March 27. The Student Representative Council, with their counterparts at Flinders, have organised a rally at 5pm at Parliament House to say NO to cost cutting and ‘for profit’ universities. For more information, contact the SRC: email@example.com.
ON THE RADIO Tune in to Student Radio: 101.5fm or listen online at radio.adelaide.edu.au TUESDAY: 11pm: Musicology O’Clock 12am: Brain Stain WEDNESDAY: 11pm: TV on the Radio 12am: Midnight Static with Ty and Alex THURSDAY: 11pm: Hit Refresh 11:30pm: The Intersection 12am: Midnight Static with Emma and Galen
THE SPORTS CORNER SPORTS ON THE GREEN
It’s a social soccer and volleyball competition aimed at promoting integration between international and local students. It’s not aimed at professional athletes; it’s just a way to have some fun! When: Thursday 28 March 2013 Where: Park 12 Sports Oval (just over the foot bridge) Time: 10am-3pm
IN THE POOL
The Swimming Club took part in a 24 hour Swim raising money for MS at Unley Swimming Pool on February 9. The club raised $1500 which is a great effort for the 8 members who took part. HAS YOUR SPORTING CLUB GOT SOME EXCITING NEWS, BREATHTAKING RESULTS, OR FUN EVENTS THAT YOU WANT TO TELL THE WORLD (ON DIT READERSHIP) ABOUT? EMAIL ONDIT@ADELAIDE.EDU.AU WITH THE SUBJECT LINE ‘THIS SPORTING LIFE’.
HAVE WRITING TALENT? WANT MONEY? APPLY HERE. Monash University in conjunction with the Emerging Writers’ Festival is pleased to present the Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing. First prize: $4000 Closing date: 15 April Visit emergingwriters festival.org.au/ monashprize/ for more information.
Now that classes and assignments have started, you’re starting to realise that to have fun at uni you should
JOIN A CLUB!
Head to lifeoncampus.org.au/clubs to find your new set of best friends, or join the coolest club on campus by heading to lifeoncampus.org.au/ ondit and filling in a contributor form!
LIVE BELOW THE LINE
Oaktree promises that it’s going to be huge. It’s still the same, simple idea: eat on $2 day for 5 days to make an impact overseas. Sign up for Live Below the Line at www.livebelowtheline.com.au. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you one of those talented creative types? Do you know that a good story is so much more than a beginning, a middle and an end? Have you started writing your Nobel prize for literature acceptance speech? If so, On Dit wants your words for HEARSAY - the triennial literary edition of On Dit. Submissions will be due after the midsemester break. If you’d like to know more, send us an email with the subject line ‘Hearsay, you say?’
OVERHEARD@ADELAIDE UNI ‘You know what I’m going to miss about the holidays? Being naked all the time. I was naked all morning and it was amazing.’ ‘Student number? Who’s gonna bother to remember that? It’s probably not even used for anything anyway...’
Each month the Friends of the University of Adelaide Library host public events, mostly to do with books. On April 11, Lance Campell and Mick Bradley will discuss their book City Streets - ‘a catalogue of commerce and a labour of love’ for Adelaide. RSVP: by April 9 to robina.weir@ adelaide.edu.au Gold coin admission
DAYS UNTIL: Tour de France: Summer:
On Dit is 100: 6862
MISSED CONNECTIONS This overly sparkly media type in a blue dress should have offered to buy you, a feminist engineer, a drink. Cosmos all round? I saw you from across the crowded Barr Smith lawns, holding a Union showbag. A shiver went down my spine. Help me overcome my rainbow fear? Missed your soulmate by a moment? Let us play matchmaker by sending us an email...
LOCK ME UP!
Sick of carrying around your books, gym gear, tennis racquet, shopping and pet bunny all day at uni? The Union still has lockers to hire ON CAMPUS for only $30 for the WHOLE YEAR! Head to lifeoncampus.org.au/lockers to sort yo self out. Disclaimer: locker may or may not fit all the listed items above. Also why on earth would you bring your rabbit to uni? That’s just cruel and On Dit does not condone cruelty. On the 27th March, the AUU and the SRC will be holding another post graduate students’ luncheon. Contact email@example.com for more information.
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REGRESSIVE PROGRESSIVES RUBY NIEMANN IS NOT A GIRL BEING NICE
Do you consider yourself progressive, but think that feminism has gone ‘too far’? Are you an engaged member of your global community, but perhaps wear a fedora and complain about the dreaded ‘friend zone’? Are you Richard Dawkins? If so, congratulations! You’re probably a progressive sexist. What do I mean by that? A progressive sexist is a person, usually a dude, and probably white, who is generally a free thinking, educated and insightful person and who also doesn’t really seem to like women all that much. They’re probably atheist, they probably believe in some form of equality, gay rights, anti-racism, etc, and they all have one massive blind spot: women’s rights. They’re the atheists who think that the Church’s stance on gay marriage is absurd and that all men are equal, but who think that women are whores who just want to steal their money. They’re the serious scientists who still believe in evolutionary psychology. They’re people who think that women ‘owe’ them their time, and that any woman who doesn’t want to talk to them/date them/have sex with them is a bitch – and she’s a whore if she’s having sex with anyone else. They’re Richard Dawkins, insulting Rebecca Watson (aka Skepchick) during that whole the ridiculous ‘Elevator-gate’ kerfuffle. They’re men who have respect for science and logic and reasons, but absolutely no respect for the roughly 51 per cent of the population that happens to be rocking the double-X chromosomes. The other day, I was having a discussion on my friend’s Facebook status about the massive clusterfuck that was Seth McFarlane hosting the Oscars. My friend rightly posited that the entire thing was a sexist, racist mess that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. She posted an article that (hyperbolically) referred to it as a black-tie celebration of the male gaze. And then the progressive sexists landed. ‘What about moderate progressives?’, asked one. ‘You militant feminists are ruining feminism!’ cried another.
Because yeah, saying that singing a song about boobs at an event celebrating the supposed cream of the cinematic crop is sexist and stupid is definitely militant feminism. I took them to task, saying that if you couldn’t handle McFarlane’s actions being called out as sexist bullshit, then you weren’t progressive at all and had no place in our movement. I thought that was pretty selfexplanatory, but apparently I was wrong. I got called hostile. One man said I ‘came out swinging like a drunk at party who thinks someone stole her drink’. I was insulted and hassled by men who were selfdescribed progressives who essentially said they would consider themselves feminist – if it wasn’t for women like me. I’m just going to give a heads up to every guy who thinks like this: I don’t want you in my movement. If you can’t handle white men not being king of the mountain, or above ridicule or criticism, you’re not a feminist, and you’re detrimental to our aims. If you think it’s fun to play devil’s advocate about issues that affect my life, or if you think the fact that the Oscars went out of their way to humiliate and demean women for the sake of ratings is okay, then you’re not progressive. You’re sexist, and I feel totally okay with being adversarial towards you. I don’t care what you think of my ‘tone’; I don’t owe it to you to be nice. I owe you nothing but an explanation and a little bit of education, and if you’re still a dick, I’ll call you one. This piece is pretty inflammatory. It’s not a girl being nice. A few weeks ago, I got into an argument with some friends about feminism. I got so worked up I started crying. They treated it like a witty, academic conversation, something intelligent people would discuss over brandy and cigars. And I’m sick of it. If you’re a lady who is also sick of this brand of thinlyveiled misogyny, feel free to follow my lead and be a dick about it. And if you’re a progressive sexist and you meet a short red-head around town, be prepared to have your head bitten off. To quote a phrase from a friend I greatly admire, I got opinions. And I’ll probably be a dick about it.
Ruby Niemann is a twenty-year-old Creative Writing major who spends probably too much time arguing about sexism on the internet.
LIFE SUCKS BALLS MICHELLE BAGSTER ESCAPES TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS ART: KATIE HAMILTON
Simply put, life is an overcooked cabbage, and people are constantly trying to avoid its sulfurous smell for as long as possible. We even have little screens we glue to ourselves because looking at them is better than looking at our miserable lives. But what about when we were kids? I can remember a time when TV was bad for my brain, internet was dial up and god forbid someone might put a mobile in arm’s reach. I might shove the whole thing up my nose and need my face cut open. So what? Did we all just run naked and big-eyed through sprinklers and eat lemonade Icy Poles every day of our tiny life? God no. We wanted out. We just had different escape routes. I’ve been looking at these again, and writing about it makes me all weepy and nostalgic. Excuse me, I need a moment.
Handhelds My own first steps into that world began with a purple Gameboy Colour that had cake or something permanently mashed under the A button. My parents wouldn’t see me for hours, I would be sitting in the bathtub with my legs hanging out over the rim, losing all their circulation. I did turn the shower on and off occasionally as a diversion. Portability: 8 Immersion: 8.5 Social acceptability: 5 Additional features: you can discuss this stuff with people these days! Let’s bond over this! Parental disapproval is guaranteed… it’s not very effective. Books Ah, the ‘healthy’ option. ‘Oh yes, she’s a big reader.’ You’re even allowed to boast about it. But it’s a lottery. I ploughed through the Secret Garden, but as people referred to themselves as ‘one’ and the phrase ‘I dare say’ was bandied about frequently, it was hardly an immersive experience for a six year old. Portability: 7.5 Immersion: 5 Social acceptability: 9 Additional features: like buying a dog, it’s hard to know whether this book you’re going to commit precious hours to is going to blow your mind with awesome, or just pee all over the carpet. Daydreams Wait, sorry, you were talking to me? I was just RIDING A FREAKING DOLPHIN. Daydreams are the ultimate tool. And teachers can’t confiscate ‘vague expressions’. So there’s the reason I never learnt long division. But who even cares. Who. Even. Cares. Portability: 10 Immersion: 10 Social acceptability: 5 (goes up to 10 if no one expects your attention and your face isn’t creepy) Additional features: allegedly some people never enjoyed daydreaming as a kid. I’m still doing research as to whether or not this is in fact evil, but steer clear of these people until I reach my conclusion. Just to be safe.
Michelle Bagster is a firm believer in the phrase ‘If you love something, let it go.’ Which is why she wants to cut her hair off.
TAIPEI: MEMORIES AND SOCKS EUNICE VUN HAS NO REGRETS
In January, I went to Taipei for the first time. Fourteen days of exploration and adventure ended in a long flight home, and only memories of the places I had been. Expecting my suitcase to spill out with the carnage of weeks of shopping, I unzipped, unpacked and was confronted with a sad little hoard. I was stumped. I checked side pockets, hidden compartments and wondered if I’d left something behind. Nope, nothing – that was it. I guess I’m used to family trips back to the motherland and extra suitcases filled with all manner of clothes (‘it looks nice, buy another just in case’) and Chinese New Year paraphernalia (‘it tastes nice, buy another to give away’), but this trip I came back with as much as if I had just gone down two streets to the shops. I handed over a few pairs of socks to my parents and my pile of memories became even more pathetic. Flipping through my phone, I had only a page or two of photos and just the one video taken from a bus window. Spending two weeks in a new place, there is bound to be something to capture in a snapshot every way you look. But here I was, with the majority of those snapshots saved as mental images rather than on my SIM card. I asked myself why I was so frugal, choosing more often to save rather than spend. Was it currencyjetlag, where 100NT didn’t really feel like $3 but somewhere in-between? I bought a cardigan for 300NT and felt the guilt of spending hundreds. Then there was that great jazz bar on the third floor of some lit-up building on the precipice of a busy traffic crossing. They had cocktails named after classic jazz standards, and it would have been worth going
back if only for the novelty of ordering my favourite song. Somehow repeating the experience would have multiplied the magic, and still, I only visited once. Why did I spend a whole day moseying around Danshui, a small seaside town, instead of rushing to see the sights of A, B, C and D – maybe even E if there was enough time? Why was I happy to just browse markets, taking in the visual feast without reaching into my pocket? I asked myself if I had really made the most of my trip, when I had so little to show for it. After all, whenever anyone goes out on a limb to experience something new, the question at the end is always whether it was worth it. So I put away my phone, put away my things, and it was only when I sat down for coffee the next day with a friend that the richness of my experiences spilled out in conversation. In one sense, I had been conservative, and in another, I had been greedy to dwell on each moment. We rush around too much, in such a hurry to see and do things – new things – that we believe the joy of travel is found in ten things wham-bam after another rather than taking time to relish just one. Modern culture makes us fearful that, without physical proof, feelings and memories would just fade, and so we gather experiences like fairy-tale monsters hoarding gold coins instead of cashing in for the real experience. As if lives would be over at 30, we feel the deadline to ‘do’ and ‘experience’ moving closer and closer… but in reality, time is a gift to savour. In Taiwan, I felt each hour, each day was deliciously long. Now that I’ve been back for a while, I remember it with a feeling of fullness – the satisfaction of having a perfect meal. It’s exactly what you craved: not too much or too little, and leaves you wanting more.
Eunice Vun is a bicycle-riding, On Dit-loving dental student from Melbourne who enjoys the simple things in life.
VOTE FOR THE BEST RUPERT HOGAN-TURNER EXPLAINS WHY POLITICIANS CAN’T MAKE IT RAIN
It’s an election year folks. It’s time for the awful seven months when everyone wants to talk about opinion polls and ‘sufficient economic goals’. Ah, I hear you say, if only we lived in Stalin’s Russia! There would be no worrying about elections, economic performance or basic human rights; things would certainly be simpler. Sadly, the Kremlin is a world away and we hold the power to make the dreadful decision of who will be our nation’s leader. To get into the spirit of things this year, I’ve researched the policies of both parties, kept up with the news, and memorised a few of the sayings to be played on repeat until September. While practicing sentences like ‘An economic surplus was an unfeasible goal for this election period,’ I discovered that many people react strangely when politics is mentioned. They evade committing to a party, argument or side. They remain grey and undecided. After analysing the major parties more closely, I can see the grey voters’ point. The two parties are growing closer together, amalgamating. Both sides have some differences but there isn’t a clear choice between them. Neither goes out on a limb and says ‘Hey, we’re going to tax more/spend more/regulate more because we need to fix the economy/human rights abuses/ unemployment rate.’ As far as the public of Stalin’s Russia was concerned, the economy would be running smoothly and there would be no need for elections. I’m just saying it would be a simpler. I remember when politicians made a decision and then defended it, rebutting and arguing for their point. For example, Kim Beazley tried to form an Australian Republic. He did not achieve his goal, but he remained stalwart until his resignation.
Let’s take a look at the most recent of the backflips, one which continues to burden the Federal Government: the Mining Tax. Remember when it was first mentioned? We were a nation on the verge of a detrimental economic downturn, yet our land was filled with some of the most sought after resources on the planet. The Federal Government put forth a plan to tax mining giants, essentially to tax only the highest income earners, but these giants, possibly out of some desperate need to ‘make it rain, Jay-Z style’ formed a massive scare campaign. Unfortunately, the Australian public took the bait! We freaked out! The miners got their way, the tax was made useless as it only applied to a very slim percentage of the money. Now the Australian public have turned on the government and said ‘Hey! You! Why aren’t you making it rain with all the Mining Tax dollars?’ to which the government replies, with bloodshot eyes and through gritted teeth ‘Because you wouldn’t let us.’ I think we forget that the government are our elected representatives. At the end of the day the decisions come down to us and we are responsible. When any Australian Government makes a decision it is based on public opinion, which means that the Government is fickle because we voters are fickle. We complained and took away the power of the Mining Tax and now we are complaining because the Mining Tax has no power. We have no long term memory as an electorate and we refuse to make way for delayed any gratification. We don’t pay attention to the positive results the Government achieve; we just berate them if they turn sour. So vote smart this year. Read and think about the long term outcomes of any policy to be implemented. Don’t vote for a party based on whether their leader maybe got botox or now wears glasses; vote for one that will change Australia for the better; vote for the party of the Glorious Supreme Leader of Australia.
At what point did politicians begin back-flipping? How can we stop it? Should we vote in an all powerful leader with a glorious moustache?
Rupert Hogan-Turner is a dumpling loving Honours student who spends his spare time building blanket forts then tweeting about it.
MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING NOTHING. SAM YOUNG 18 WORDS: ART: MADELEINE KARUTZ
At the time that I started writing this article, there was going to be a major change to the way most humanities courses were being taught. Tutorials in week one and six were essentially being cut from most courses, and there had been almost no student consultation. Since then, this decision has been reversed, which is fantastic, but does somewhat rip a gaping hole in the story. But because similar cuts have been attempted in the past, and, if the broader underlying issues aren’t resolved, then there’s no reason that we won’t see the same thing happen in the future, it’s important to talk about it. During the summer holidays, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS) put together a working group to look at how courses could be changed. The recommendations that came out of this working group included putting more assessment and communication online and changing the way that tutorials in weeks one and six were structured.
Professor Nick Harvey, Executive Dean of HumSS, justified this by explaining that ‘The funding that we get is mostly spent on staffing. If you’ve got more students with same number of staff you need to accommodate that with staff taking on more work, and also to try and adapt teaching so that you can do it in a more efficient way.’ Until 2012, the tutorials in weeks one and six were run in most classes, but course coordinators could opt out of teaching them. From 2013, the norm was to be that these tutes would not be run and coordinators could opt in – the result being that fewer tutes would be run in weeks one and six. This change was initially implemented, but has since been reversed. Students became aware of these changes in early February. Members of the Humanities and Social Sciences Association (HaSSA) and the Student Representative Council (SRC) then met with Professor Harvey. According to Chris Tyson, the Staff-Student Liaison Officer for HaSSA, prior to this meeting, there had been no student consultation. The faculty was determined to go through with the changes, despite opposition from HaSSA and the SRC.
Further meetings were organised and HaSSA started a petition against the changes. In a meeting on March 4, representatives of HaSSA and the SRC were told that the decision had been reversed. It was also suggested that more meetings between the faculty and students would be productive. So there’s an overview of what’s happened. Tutes were going to be cut, but now they’re being run. Well done everybody – pat yourselves on the back and we can all go home. Well, not quite. As the situation unfolded, Tyson explained that one of the most concerning aspects of these changes was that the decision had been made without any consultation with students. HaSSA was created in 2011 after similar changes to HumSS tutorials were proposed, and students organised against them. In part, the Association was conceived as a means for students to be able to communicate with the faculty, and vice-versa. Raffaele Piccolo, who at the time was the Undergraduate Representative on the HumSS committee board and President of the Adelaide University Union, was heavily involved in the student response during
2011. Piccolo explained that ‘The Uni and HumSS Faculty faced budget pressures around hiring of tutors and tutor costs. To rectify this, they proposed to shrink the number of tutes on offer by cutting every second tutorial, and increasing consultation hours. This was to be done on a tutor by tutor basis.’ When students were made aware of the proposed changes in 2011, they raised their concerns with Piccolo. After approaching the University, Piccolo recommended that the faculty talk to students to provide a more holistic perspective. When those concerns were unheeded ‘student action blossomed, as more students became aware of what was happening.’ A forum was held in early semester two of 2011, where students were able to talk to staff and voice their concerns directly. Over 200 HumSS attended students the forum, as did many members of the staff and Pascale Quester, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). When little was achieved, a second forum was organised by students after hours at which the goals of students were fleshed out. This manifesto was taken to staff, and the faculty decided not to go
through with the proposal to cut tutorials. Furthermore, the faculty made an undertaking that any further changes would be done in consultation with students. In a broad-ranging video released on Youtube, Quester responded to these concerns, focussing on the importance of staff-student communication. It’s no surprise that the university is taking the students’ concerns seriously, given the consequences of cuts elsewhere around Australia. Clare Keyes-Liley, the Education Officer of the National Union of Students. She was president of the La Trobe Student Union University last year, where there were substantial cuts made to the budget of the HumSS Faculty. The effects of these cuts, and the ensuing restructure, were the slashing of one third of subjects, and the loss of one hundred full-time equivalent jobs across the faculty. She recalls when ‘In May last year I was sitting on the finance committee talking about staff restructure, and [its] implications for students – this was going to be huge restructure. They hadn’t told
students; I had negotiations with the uni just to get students at the negotiation table’. Two documents were released for consultation. The ‘first document came out in June, and the second in August. It was pretty much a farce. They’d already made the decisions, and then it blew up around open day. Students were very unhappy, and as a result there is a much smaller faculty.’ Keyes-Liley explained that these cuts weren’t just happening in Adelaide and La Trobe, but across the country. ‘We are now in demand driven system,’ she noted, ‘people are choosing degrees to get jobs at the end of their course. Typically gender studies or religion and spirituality aren’t valued in the same way as law or health sciences.’ Piccolo also highlighted that ‘Universities across the sector have been under much pressure, not just Adelaide. However there does appear to be a pushback on the arts, and more [funding] towards engineering, maths, and science’. Furthermore, ‘Cuts aren’t being based on education outcomes or evidence, but rather by looking at
a list of enrolments and numbers, rather than what graduates are doing after courses, or comparison with other OECD countries,’ said Keyes-Liley. ‘It’s creating a hodgy-bodgy higher education system cobbled together by a few people’s ideas of what university education should look like…not what students want.’
Keyes-Liley also highlighted that universities across Australia aren’t looking at what is happening elsewhere in the country. Melbourne dropped the gender studies major in 2008, and is now reintroducing it, whilst Monash sacked 356 full time equivalent staff in 2010/11, and are now rehiring those same staff. Both Piccolo and KeyesLiley were of the opinion that universities need to look at what the rest of the world is doing, as well as what students want, rather than simply looking at the numbers of students in individual courses and making decisions on a purely economic basis. The current changes in Adelaide have been made in front of the
backdrop of the new Strategic Plan. The plan has a focus on small-group discovery. In fact, the plan states that ‘The University will commit to increasing the centrality of small-group learning, in which students address the scholarship of discovery with other students and a staff mentor.’ This summarises what the perfect tutorial is like, so it seems surprising that tutorials would be cut. Professor Harvey explained that ‘The Beacon [of Enlightenment] has some ideas to be implemented starting in 2014, not 2013…what we said [in the second meeting], apart from saying there’s no cuts, was that in 2014 it would be really good if we could meet with the same student representatives and have a discussion about where we’re going.’ Harvey was very aware of the fact that ‘sometimes we don’t communicate things exactly how we would [like to]’ and emphasised that he was keen to see more engagement between staff and students in the future.
The story that I thought I was going to tell may not be here, because the proposed cuts did not go ahead. But there is another story. That’s the story of how universities and HumSS faculties across Australia are trying to do more with less, and how students are suffering – in terms of both quantity and quality of education. Across the country, faculties have had their budgets tightened and broadened over time, dramatically affecting the way that the humanities and social sciences are taught. The other story is that students care about their education. In 2011, tutorials would have been reduced if it weren’t for students protesting against the devaluation of their education. The same thing would have happened again this year, if it weren’t for the fact that students care about the quality of their courses. We want to see even the least valued of degrees given importance and the investment they deserve from their universities. Sam Young spends as much time cycling as attending class. That’s a lot of one, and not much of the other.
iLEARN 2.0 WORDS: BEN NIELSEN
I’m glad I haven’t begun the 2013 university year as I did last year. That is, with a heated argument with a couple of staff members. You see, the faculty in which I study is one of very few that does not provide lecture recordings. At the beginning of last year, I approached my heads of study and a lecturer about this, and they consequently agreed to provide online recordings. A few weeks later, I went in search of the recordings, but had no luck. I contacted my lecturer: Hi [Lecturer], I’m just emailing about the history lecture recordings I requested. I have looked on My Uni but can’t seem to find them. Thanks, Ben. Ben,
ART: MADELEINE KARUTZ
I said that it was OK for lectures to be recorded- but I’m not recording them. [Lecturer].
I could feel my blood boil. Surely this attitude defied the university’s pledge that staff members are ‘passionate about creating engaging, supportive learning environments’.
The faculty in which I study boasts a 100 per cent attendance and participation policy, and this is encouraged by the absence of lecture recordings. But honestly, having to compulsorily attend university for what is sometimes only one or two hours a day is a massive pain in the arse, especially for those who travel a long distance, have part-time work or other commitments. For years, ensuring all lectures are recorded has been on the agenda for the Student Representative Council (SRC). The SRC claims to represent all Adelaide University students and are ‘charged with taking student perspectives to the
university bigwigs’. During last year’s debacle with my lecturer, I approached the SRC President and Education Officer, but I received no response. Not to worry, I recently spoke to the 2013 President Catherine Story and Education Officer Adam Slobodian about the issue. With their swift response, I could almost forget the concerning detail that the 2012 SRC did not respond to my cries for help. Story seems to have a clear, definite vision for this year’s SRC. Amongst other things, she aims to raise awareness of the organisation and hold a number of campus events and workshops. Following my less than satisfactory experience with staff and SRC last year, it is with open arms that I welcome Catherine’s crusade to facilitate better communication between the student body and faculty.
While the SRC’s efforts are most visible through a number of reasonably decent expos, Story reassures me that they are not ignoring education issues. ‘Efforts to address education issues are less public as they often involve negotiating and meeting with the university’, she says. The university is a large bureaucracy, so this is fair enough I suppose. But what of the pressing issue regarding lecture recordings, and its seemingly eternal position upon the SRC agenda? According to Slobodian, progress has actually been made. While it has been a slow and frustrating campaign, since 2008 lecture recordings have almost quadrupled in the busiest parts of the academic year. Last year the university conducted a project called The Student e-Experience Project to research
the benefits that technology can provide in the delivery of learning services. Strong commitments were made by the university through this initiative. The project noted that students increasingly expect improved online services. In fact, in 2012 the National Union of Students conducted a Quality Survey, and found that students ranked insufficient lecture recordings amongst their highest concerns. The same survey recorded over 70 per cent of students as having part-time employment and thus requiring online resources in addition to traditional teaching methods. Creating an online learning network often causes debate about the provision of learning opportunities versus decline of educational quality. During the project, SRC nominees made sure that online learning and flexibility would not come at the expense of quality traditional teaching methods. ‘We are certainly concerned that
moves towards greater online learning will mean that access to academics will decrease, that there will be less peer-to-peer learning, and a worsening of campus culture. There is also a risk of more casual academic staff’, said Slobodian.
Due to inadequate technology infrastructure or concerns regarding intellectual property, some lectures will remain offline.
Students can expect improved IT and AV facilities, the ability to submit assignments online across ‘At Adelaide there is some reason all courses, improved enrolment to be optimistic though. The and admissions, online SELTS University’s recent strategic plan, and also mentoring resources. In Beacon of Enlightenment, contains addition to these online changes, an assurance that Adelaide ‘will the university will attempt to remain a campus university’ and maintain traditional learning affirms the importance of face-to- methods. face learning supported by digital Things are definitely looking learning resources.’ up. I didn’t manage to acquire As with the digitisation of other recordings for last year’s lectures, areas like journalism or the music but it seems as though a wider industry, there is an overwhelming range of online learning resources negative stigma. Without a doubt will soon become available though, e-learning presents campus wide. It would appear as an opportunity to improve though the university is gradually pedagogical outcomes by providing addressing the dynamic nature of convenience, flexibility, and a modern learning, and who knows, readily available supplemental maybe lecture recordings will learning resource that better suits finally be erased from the SRC’s our modern, dynamic lifestyles. to-do list. The university will implement many improvements during the upcoming academic year.
Ben Nielsen is a fourth year music student. He is a burgeoning blogger and regular contributor to various arts publications.
DURING O’WEEK WE GAVE OUT JUICEBOXES TO PEOPLE THAT MADE POEMS ON OUR FRIDGE. THESE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES.
24 STACI THOMAS
25 STEPHEN GRACE AND NICK BANKS
IN HINDSIGHT, IT MAY HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE TO USE SEXY WORD POETRY.
BY REBECCA SHEEDY
MAKING A SCENE
ELLIE PARNELL DISCOVERS A WORLD WHERE EVERYTHING IS MADE UP AND POINTS DON’T MATTER ART: DAISY FREEBURN
There is a place in Adelaide where people speak only in idioms. It’s a place where someone must die within one minute and it must be justified. It’s place where one person must have their head submerged in a bucket of water at all times. Sound pretty freaky? Let me explain. Improvisational theatre (otherwise known as ‘impro’ or ‘making shit up as you go along’) is where stories are acted out spontaneously, sans-script, on the spot, without
preparation - and it’s rad. These scenes can last anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour, depending on the format of the show. Longer improvisation focuses on character development and complex plots twists, much like a scripted performance. It is hard to pull off, very impressive to watch and goes to the very heart of what it means to improvise theatre. Short-form impro revolves around simpler storylines and more gags. Theatresports, an extension of this form, generally involves competition and lots of LOLs. In Theatresports, teams of three or four people play scenes which adhere to particular game rules like ‘you can’t ask questions’, ‘you
can only ask questions’ and ‘at all times one player must be sitting, one must be standing and one must be kneeling’. As you may imagine, things can get pretty silly, pretty quickly. Theatresports was the brainchild of Canadian drama teacher and all round cool dude Keith Johnstone. Bored with the limits of conventional theatre and looking to liven things up a bit, Johnstone took inspiration from watching professional wrestling and observing how audiences reacted and got involved by heckling, encouraging and (in some cases) even joining in.
His addition of competition to live theatre in the 1970s created a whole new experience for both audience and performer that was akin to watching sport, hence ‘Theatresports’.
to five (that was the best thing of my entire life). This score is then added to that of an expert judge (did the team follow the rules?) and the Hanging Judge (scores like an absolute jerk).
If you’ve seen ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ you’re on the right track. WLIIA’s format ‘where everything is made up and the points don’t matter’ is largely how we do things here in Adelaide.
There’s kind of a good cop/bad cop dynamic between the judges, with the audience remaining fairly onside with the performers – after all, it is a pretty difficult thing to pull off. The team with the most points at the ends wins the night and is presented with a novelty sized foam trophy, which admittedly looks suspiciously similar every show.
The competitive structure is useful for shows as it ties together seemingly random scenes and allows teams to showcase and explore various skills. But these shows are performed in good spirits with the main objectives always being to create strong scenes, have a few laughs and give the crowd something to cheer for. What sets Theatresports apart from other types of performing is the unique relationship between audience and players. Suggestions for locations, objects and relationships to begin and drive the improvised scenes are entirely crowd-sourced. This type of audience involvement creates the ‘I was part of that’ effect. The person who yelled out the location ‘on the bus’ can claim some ownership over the way the scene turned out (and the laughs that resulted). The audience also plays an important role in judging the competition. A fairly rudimentary clapping system is employed at the end of a scene to determine a score between zero (I should have stayed home and watched that paint dry)
The crowd is very much encouraged to support their favourite teams, boo the judges and generally make a tonne of noise. Tracey Davis, treasurer and secretary of SA impro group On The Fly, thinks that the level of audience involvement is like being at a sporting match: ‘the energy can be high and intoxicating as you follow your favourite player or team on stage.’ In the early days of Theatresports things apparently got even more raucous. In one US city, audience members were actively encouraged to bring and throw cream pies at the losing team. Now, let’s take a minute to compare that with a highbrow production of ‘Waiting for Godot’. You’d be peppersprayed and escorted out by a dozen armed guards before you could even finish yelling ‘he’s never going to come!’ Although Theatresports is largely fun and games, there are some really nice ideas that resonate beyond the humour. ‘Dare to fail’
is the motto and it encourages players to step out of their comfort zone and give it a damn good go. If the scene fails, own it. Laugh about it. Learn from it. Part of daring to fail is going with the first idea that pops into your head. No censorship. Ok, maybe some censorship (you do have to think of the children). The ultimate dare to fail in impro is starting the scene. When there are only seconds to think, an empty stage and one hundred expectant faces staring up at you, it is, let’s be honest here, totally nervewracking. But it’s also exhilarating, and unblocks a creative flow that I think is unique to this kind of spontaneous performance. One Adelaide improviser I spoke with reckons this is why audiences are attracted to watching Theatresports. ‘It’s so real, so honest and in the moment’. Similarly, another nice idea is to say ‘yes’ to more things. In a scene, this means accepting any verbal or physical offers your teammates throw at you (even if they’re crap) and being open to change and influence. Think ‘Yes Man’, but with pretend scenarios and a lack of any real-world consequences. ‘Blocking’ an offer, to persist with the sporting analogy, is like kicking an own goal (bad). It’s vital for the development of a scene to say ‘yes’ to the offers your teammates make and seek to empower them. It looks way better for the audience and makes everything run far more smoothly. Yes? YES!
There’s a ‘kind of creative high you get from making stuff up, on the spot and in the moment’ Davis explains. Getting up on stage and improvising draws on that ‘playing and freedom you had as a child’. Now it may sound like Theatresports is a form of theatre that is fairly self-indulgent. Heck, maybe it is. But it is really fucking fun. It’s fun for the players. It’s fun for the audience. It’s probably even fun for the Hanging Judge, although this we can only guess; his creepy hood never ever comes off. I can think of few other things in life that really force you to let go and make a complete fool of yourself in front of a crowd. It’s terrifying, invigorating and damn good for the soul. And as they say, there are no dress rehearsals for life, so why should there be in theatre? Dontcha worry, there’s Theatresports stuff happening all year round in Adelaide. If you’re keen to roll up your sleeves and have a go yourself, check out local groups On The Fly and ImproNOW! There are also plenty of shows and competitions happening at pubs and venues across the city. Maybe just leave those cream pies at home.
Ellie Parnell really wants to try a scotchka.
WOMEN AT WORK WORDS: GEMMA KILLEN ART: SPARK SANDERS
‘You’ll never get a job – you don’t have enough sex appeal.’ These were actual words said to my actual self by someone who considered herself an actual friend. I was 19, miserably unemployed and generally grumpy with the world. Considering the selfloathing banging about in my chest, it was some sort of miracle that I eschewed her request to swap my docs for some lippy and a hair straightener and enrolled in university. I put her advice in the ridiculous bin because my body should have nothing to do with my career, not when I’m so dangerously intelligent and obviously talented. Then I met Prudence1 in a gender studies class and she shrugged as she told me that makeup was written into her contract as a checkout chick at Foodland. She could be fired for not painting her face. I wanted to argue, but my whiney voice was drowned out by the sound of women sympathising and sharing similar stories. 1 Names have been changed to protect the fabulous. Rest assured, I did not only interview posh, English ladies.
Does anyone else think it’s strange that there are surprisingly few female leaders in this country and a lot of gals with eating disorders and body dissatisfaction? I’d like to swap my self-loathing for a higher paying job, thanks Ken! What’s that you say? Confidence is key to climbing the corporate ladder? It’s hard to feel confident when your co-workers and superiors are always taking note of the size of your waist and length of your skirt. Why do you think they do that? Could it be because the media makes a giant fuss when the Prime Minister puts on a pair of glasses? Because I’m a gender nerd and a sucker of punishment, the YWCA asked me to examine the links between female leadership and body esteem. When I invited women to share their experiences of the ways in which their bodies had impacted upon their careers and employment opportunities, they had lots to say. Of the 236 ladies I surveyed, 80 per cent agreed that the bodies of women in positions of power are subject to much more attention than their politics. Once upon a time, it didn’t really matter what women looked like. You baulk, I know, but as long as they did what they were told and
stayed at home, nobody minded the forearm flab or the double chins. Women’s bodies, even the large ones, were inherently unthreatening. For all the strength in their vulvas, our foremothers had no money, no agency, no power. Until feminism. Suddenly, we were everywhere – sticking our large noses into public life, stomping out of the house with our giant feet and grabbing at financial independence with our chubby, stubby fingers. And thus it began. The more power we gained, the more pressure we faced to attain perfection with our bodies. Coincidence? Probs not. According to The National Eating Disorders Collaboration, 15 per cent of Australian women experience an eating disorder during their lifespan. Worryingly, they think a further 20 per cent suffer silently, undiagnosed. It won’t be shocking to you that these figures are getting worse; chances are that you know an astounding number of women who are currently stressed about how they look. As it stands, Australia probably has more women with eating disorders than in positions of power - and that’s just upsetting.
In fact, almost all of the people who took part in my study had stories to tell of moments when they had been harassed, belittled or made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome because of the size and shape of their bodies. Half of these women thought their appearance played a significant role in their success at work and almost all were more likely to feel anxious about their bodies in job interviews and important meetings. Regina confided that she was certain she would lose her job if she lost her good looks, even though she knew she was talented. Agatha felt she was ‘denied access to a great number of things including job offers and advancement’ because she refused to perform a socially sanctioned version of femininity. Saffy’s shame over her weight had her hesitating before even looking for a job. This is not surprising, considering that a third of the women that took my survey thought that their weight was a hefty part of the way that they were viewed at work. During the course of their SheSpeaks survey another YWCA initiative - researchers found that qualities such as motivation, initiative and interpersonal skills were integral to successful leadership. This is interesting because these skills appear to be gender neutral. If qualities we often attribute to masculinity – aggression, assertiveness
32 – are not the cornerstones of leadership, then why do we have such a gendered power gap? I wonder if it’s because it can be difficult to hone your interpersonal skills when you feel like everyone is judging the size of your thighs and questioning whether your turtleneck with the picture of the cat on it is really appropriate professional attire. But even if I stick to a diet and convince everyone at work that I’m straight (not sure which would be harder, actually), I probably still wouldn’t be the boss someday. The situation is not that simple. Being attractive, feminine and appearing heterosexual may help you get your foot in the door but it can also damage your credibility in the long run. Nigella put it perfectly when she told me that ‘It helps that I’m white, and also that I’m blonde and slim. This helps with job interviews, but sometimes it is detrimental in terms of receiving respect and trust in my abilities from employers and coworkers once I’m already employed.’ No wonder female representation in management positions is so low even though we are increasingly present in the workforce. We do ourselves up to get a job and
WHY RISK YOUR HARD-WON FINANCIAL AGENCY OVER A LITTLE OBJECTIFICATION? then face ridicule for that same behaviour. We starve ourselves so that we can fit in the window of opportunity available to women and then, like Mariella, find ourselves exhausted with eating disorders, without the energy or enthusiasm required to do our jobs effectively.
The SheSpeaks study also asked women what they thought would encourage female leadership. The answer, unsurprisingly, was better representation in the media. Ladies want to see their wibblywobbly breasts and huge clown feet reflected back at them.
Dorabella thought about quitting or filing suit against her employer when he asked her to speak to a female co-worker about her grooming habits, but then decided the situation probably wasn’t any better elsewhere. All about us, people shrug and agree that this is just the way things are. Why risk your livelihood - your hardwon financial agency - over a little objectification?
They want to hear their own politics and opinions echoed in the voices of women they admire, without someone interrupting with an inane question about where they buy their makeup.
This isn’t just a case of a few stupid men making a few stupid comments either – if it were, we might be able to punch a few faces and be done with it. This is a cultural problem; one that I’m sure affects men as well, though that’s a different study for a different, stressful semester. We, as women, police each other and allow our bodies to be scrutinised by anyone, everyone.
Julie Bishop saying ‘women can’t have it all’ was a monumentally depressing moment in the history of women in politics and Perth Now even ended the story with a quip about how she styles her own hair. So, what do we do? Chatting about my research, someone asked if I thought things would ever change. I sighed. At this moment in history, it sometimes feels like things are only getting worse. Certainly, the younger women in my survey felt more pressure to appear in gender restrictive ways than their older counterparts.
I wouldn’t be asking these questions if I thought all was hopeless though. There would be no point. Change can be difficult, sure, but it usually starts with a conversation, with someone listening to someone else (may involve beer) and deciding to alter their behaviour. Australian women are so far from silent on the topic. They are gushing, overflowing with ideas and culture changing conversations waiting to be had. We know that we’re better workers when we’re comfortable in our skin - that we’re nicer to our colleagues when our jobs don’t hinge on our hairstyles. And do you know, if there were more leadership positions available to women, we might not feel as competitive. We might even be less inclined to belittle or reduce each other to a pile of deficient body parts. Imagine a world where the way I treat my body hair doesn’t speak louder than my voice about my talents and my intelligence. There is nothing wrong with lipstick or straightened hair; I just shouldn’t need them to be employed or to get a promotion. And if I do – they should damn well be tax deductible. To hear more horror stories about how much our bodies matter at work, check out the results of the SheSpeaks survey or read Gemma’s full report on Body Image and Leadership at ywca.com.au Gemma Killen is passionate about feminism and research - particularly feminist research – and generally thinks that women are pretty awesome. She also really likes cats.
PALESTINE: MY SECOND GAP YEAR WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: RICK SMITH
So you’re a final year student. It’s the beginning of Semester one, you’ve reduced your shifts at the café, resolved to do all the readings (before every tutorial) and you’re thinking about careers fairs, placements and internships. But what if, thanks to summer school (or repeats), you finish midyear? What if you can’t get a job straight away, but don’t want to do Honours or a Masters? You’ll apply for grad positions, but they won’t start till February. What about taking a year off before signing up to a lifetime of 9-5? How can you fill that time with something that will look good on your resume? I went to Palestine with the volunteer organisation World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and spent three months doing human rights monitoring in Palestine. Around 30 volunteers (aged 19 to 72 in my group) from about 15 countries live with Palestinians around the West Bank and learn about the conflict. Our mission was to help Palestinians and Israelis find a just peace
through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of United Nations resolutions. I guess an obvious question is, ‘What got me interested in this?’ I first heard about the programme when the priest at my church pushed a flyer into my hand. I scoffed at the idea initially, but by Christmas it had grown on me. I thought I would at least approach them about it. One thing led to another: I flew to Sydney for an interview and before I knew it, I was on my way. My motivations were many. Some selfish – it filled some time before my graduate job (which I didn’t get) started, and looks fantastic on my resume. I also had an academic interest in the conflict: I have relatives heavily involved in human rights work with Oxfam and the Red Cross, and my international studies degree touched on it occasionally. As a Christian, I was excited for an opportunity to go to the Holy Land. Because Palestine is virtually undeveloped, I was able to experience life almost as Jesus had – only wine was missing in the now predominantly Muslim society. I struggled with the thought that I was just letting the Church pay for something I wanted to do, but convinced myself that I was doing the right thing.
WHILE I WAS THERE IN MY EAPPI UNIFORM VEST, NO BULLETS WOULD BE FIRED
The training was pretty varied. A week in country Victoria covered some of the theory, but it was only when we arrived in Jerusalem and spent a week talking to all kinds of experts that I really started to grasp the situation. Diakonia, a faith based Swedish development organization, spoke to us about the limited power of international law to affect states’ behaviour. The Norwegian Refugee Council explained why they consider Palestinians living on their own property to be refugees, and spend resources to help them. We travelled to visit a displaced Bedouin tribe living on the side of the Jericho highway, whom the Israeli government intends to move to a rubbish dump. A tour to the United Nations Office of Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs gave us an overview of the situation, and helped us understand our place in the scheme of things. We heard from Breaking the Silence, a group of ex-conscripts, about the routine of army life in ‘Judea and Samaria’, the Israeli term for the West Bank. Some of the things these former soldiers have (anonymously) admitted to doing amount to war crimes. Our job was to provide protective presence. When my father heard this, he thought that this meant that I was supposed to take a bullet for a Palestinian. This is not the case; it was more that while I was there in my EAPPI uniform vest, no bullets would be fired. EAPPI’s seven placements are all very different, with each one emphasising different aspects of Palestinian deprivation. I spent some time in The South Hebron Hills. These hills are a wild
rural region and my team of four spent time shepherding, olive picking and ploughing fields with Palestinians who were afraid to do these basic tasks alone. One man often called us to walk with him and his sheep on a hillside he owned which faced the settlement of Suseya. When he was alone, he told us, several men would almost invariably drive over and harass him. We were called to pick olives one day because the orchard was inside the Suseya security buffer - an unmarked zone around the settlement where Palestinians are forbidden from going. In coordination with the army, for one day a year, farmers can access their trees to pick the fruit. That is, of course, assuming anything has grown on the neglected trees, and that what little may have developed has
not been stolen by the settlers. While there, a large group of youth attempted to prevent the farmers from getting their olives. Probably in part because of a heavy international presence, the army resisted them. In general, we spent a lot of time in Susiya - the Palestinian village from which the settlement takes its name. The whole village lies under a demolition order, and Regavim, a settler organisation, is suing the government to quit pussy footing around and raze the place already. That represents a red line that would set a precedent which could lead to Israel annexing virtually the whole South Hebron Hills and demolish entire villages all over the West Bank. One morning we rushed to the village of Jinba in the proposed Firing Zone 918 to prevent, or at least witness, the demolition of a school there. We managed to
preserve the school that day, but the army spent the afternoon training with live rounds in the valley. Firing Zone 918 is a controversial space because it would require the evacuation of twelve villages, including some cave-dwellers whose way of life would be lost forever. Although not yet confirmed by the High Court, the Israeli army has already started to use it, with the Palestinian residents still around. Halfway through our time in Palestine, the whole group had another weekâ€™s training: a road trip. We drove to the border with Gaza, and heard from a British Jew who had lived for 30 years with the threat of rockets, but longed for an opportunity to sit down and talk it out with her neighbours. Bob Lang, head of the Efrat
religious council, was very certain that his house just outside Bethlehem was built on land that God had given to Jews, and if an Arab had happened to be there before him, that was their problem. In Haifa, the poster-city for ArabJewish harmony, we heard about the plight of Israeli Arabs. No new Arab towns have been proclaimed since 1948; every year someone introduces a bill to the Israeli parliament to remove Arabic as a national language; broken play equipment is painted and then relocated to Arab neighbourhoods, while the Jewish suburbs purchase brand new ones. Travel around Israel was noticeably different from Palestine. In Palestine roads are frequently closed which results in tedious detours across fields, in Israel highways and by-ways are equal to anything in Australia. Even within Jerusalem, where Arabs make up half the population and pay half the taxes, they receive only 10 per cent of services and
their streets were dirtier than in affluent Jewish neighbourhoods. Jaffa Street might be in Europe with its sparkling new tram line, ornate lighting and exciting café culture. Salah Ad-Din Street, however, is grimy, crowded and deserted at night. But it wasn’t all bad for us volunteers in Yatta. We were given plenty of holidays, in which I visited everywhere from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, from Tel Aviv to Jericho. I spent several nights in Jerusalem being a tourist, and in my travels met many inspirational people. One man in Jericho offered to show me the city and would not hear of accepting payment. A boy in Hebron took me to his favourite café and we smoked shisha together. The two rotation visits to other placements (Jerusalem and Yanun) were as interesting as they were harrowing. The fact that the reports I was writing for the UN were contributing to the
body of knowledge which just six months before I had been using to write undergraduate essays was immensely satisfying, if mildly terrifying. I am convinced that I contributed in some small way to the Palestinians’ quality of life, and grateful for the opportunity I have had to travel somewhere few people can. Rick Smith is proudly a former student, although he still hangs around to mooch off the university’s computers while looking for a job.
Find out more about EAPPI at www.eappi.org, and apply to go. You don’t need to be Christian or even religious. There are four three-month stints each year. The (Adelaide-based) Australian Friends of Palestine Association are always pleased to take new members at www. afopa.com.au.
My thumb hurts. I look down: it’s bleeding. And, yep, what with the rookie mistake of me looking at it, now it really fucking hurts. Moments ago, I jammed it – hard and by accident – between the pump and the shed wall. I was trying to loosen a valve or something, I don’t know. The whole thing seems a lot less important now, as I’m looking down at my second-favourite finger. It’s just sitting there, staring back at me, being all ‘injured’ and ‘mortal’ and ‘increasingly-bloodied’.
WORDS: GALEN CUTHBERTSON ART: CHLOE MCGREGOR PART 1: WOE IS ME. I swear, I’m only exaggerating a little: my thumb really is gushing harder than the wound of a Tarantino starlet. I’m bleeding out. I’m pretty sure that I’m bleeding to death from my thumb1. I’m going to die. Soon, and right here: in my backyard, in the sun, covered in a fine mixture of possum shit, dirt, and greyish-black water. Oh, also, it’s my birthday. I’m gonna die on my birthday. All I wanted to do was fix the pump. PART 2: THAT FUCKING PUMP. I carry duct-tape around in my bag. And a multi-tool, sometimes. I don’t really know what I’d use them for, honestly. Multi-tools are kind of confusing to me. But I carry them anyway. They make me feel as though, at any moment, I could throw down. I’m prepared, at any moment, to make something or fix something. Most of the time, this attitude serves me well. It’s kind of cheerful. But when I woke up this morning, stumbled into the shower, and discovered that the water was a coughing, spluttering, greyish-black sludge2, I thought, ‘Yes, yes, I can fix this. It’s my birthday, but I’m MacGuyver. Yeah, I can fix things.’. PART 3: CANNONS SEEM LIKE MAGIC When I was young, I spent most summers in Port Lincoln: a messy coastal town, at the time little more than a knot in the road, eight hours distant by family van. It was here, in the shed, maybe seven years old, that I have my first real memories of The Cannon. We 1 Read: forced metaphor for my wounded ego. 2 I live in the hills. It’s an old house; we don’t have mains water, just rainwater tanks. It’s like the apocalypse every day or something. Yeah, I know, right? I know. Your life in the city must really rock.
built it: my father, our friends, and I. By the end of the summer, it was five feet of PVC piping, a piezo igniter, not much else. We made it with our hands, fixed it together, and then – sitting in a boat with the blue sky above – fired it. I remember the stink of cheap hairspray (our cannon’s unreliable propellant) as we sprayed it in the chamber, screwed on the cap, and click, boom, fired. On a good day, we’d shoot it far enough to lose even the splash of the tennis ball hitting the water. I remember the sting of fear, every time. And I remember the wonder of building something so big and amazing. I think most of us remember this feeling as a child. This feeling that, although the world was big and terrifying and confusing, we could – sometimes, generally with the help of a friend – change it. They say tool use is one of those things that makes us human. PART 4: EULAs If I could, I’d have ‘Get Excited And Make Things ‘ tattooed on my body in a hundred different places. [eds. You could, just sayin’] Making things makes me happy. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Amateurly, unironically, unselfconsciously. It’s fun. Actual fun. Taking things apart, seeing how they work, and building new things from the pieces is one of life’s more basic, non-sex-related pleasures. Brewing beer, writing songs, binding books, plaiting leather; it’s properly wonderful. But it’s not, you know, lacking in obstacles. Firstly, let’s be real here, if you’re privileged enough to be at university and reading On Dit, you’ve got enough free time to dick around making things. Not everyone has that option. Certain jobs are class-coded, sure, but so is
the free time (and free resources) necessary to, say, make a computer from scratch. And secondly, there’s EULAs. End User Licence Agreements: the thing you passively agree to when you buy a product, and the bane of the compulsive-maker’s life. Often, opening the thing you want to open has legal implications. This, for the record, is one of my pet-peeves. If I open my iPhone, just to see what it looks like inside, Apple won’t help me anymore… even if it breaks from something entirely unrelated. If I try to fix my washing machine myself, chances are I’ve voided the warranty. There’s an idea that gets thrown about quite a bit in maker-y, hacker-y circles: you don’t own something unless you can take it apart and fix it. PART 5: DIY, BRO I don’t know where this makingthings-by-hand-and-ourselves compulsion comes from, exactly. Maybe it’s nostalgia; just the shadow of a half-remembered childhood spent building tennis ball cannons, mis-wiring computers, and eating homemade pasta. But wherever it’s from, it’s a real thing, and not a bad one. Just last week, I spent a day making blackberry jam with my girlfriend. We were sober, and fully clothed. It was freaking fun. So you know what? Build things. Sure, things might go wrong. You might be mud-covered, angry. And your thumb might get all bleedy. But it’s worth it for that childish feeling. The one that says, ‘I’m human; I fix things; I did this.’ Also, fuck EULAs.
Galen Cuthbertson’s spirit animal is a goat.
40 WORDS: LEWIS LAURENCE My knowledge of first year biology has made me cry twice this year. The first was with relief while listening to serious-faced news reporters talk about growing instances of peptide use by footballers. Since polypeptide chains make up all proteins in the human body, I was very glad to hear that more and more footballers are taking up eating as a way to obtain nutrition. As for performanceenhancing peptides, since we’d wither and die without eating protein I’d say they’re pretty damn performance-enhancing.
thrown down the toilet in Europe nearly ten years ago, by the way. The golden egg responsible for all the fuss is a pair of genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The reason to care about BRCA is that women with a mutation in the genes have a very high chance of developing breast cancer (87 per cent by age 70, according to Myriad). The Australian patent states that any isolated section of the BRCA gene, which is a part of the genetic code in every human being, is an ‘invention’ of Myriad Technology. That means that anybody who isolates the gene is automatically committing copyright infringement, and consequently that only Myriad is allowed to test an individual for the mutation.
THIS PATENT WAS THROWN DOWN THE TOILET IN EUROPE NEARLY TEN YEARS AGO The second time was with frustration when Australian Federal court Justice John ‘The Wombat’ Nicholson ruled against some folk challenging an outrageous patent on a gene held by US biotech company Myriad Technologies. This patent was
It is this testing monopoly which was the motivation for the legal challenge. It’s worth looking first at the American version of the patent, which is so atrocious that it’s almost amusing. One of the patents includes:
‘An isolated DNA having at least 15 nucleotides of the DNA of claim 1 [BRCA1]’ That is, they’ve patented any piece of DNA that contains at least 15 bases from Myriad Technology’s gene. Since the BRCA1 gene has 80,000 bases and the whole human genome has 3 billion, you might not be surprised to learn that when a couple of biologists looked into it1, it turns out that chromosome one in humans (which doesn’t even contain the gene under patent) has over 300,000 sets of 15 bases in common with the patented gene. In fact 80 per cent of all human genes that have ever been sequenced have at least one 15-base sequence in common with BRCA1. The authors of the study say that it probably extends to most genes in nature as well. Is this patent some kind of joke? In biology last year we isolated some DNA from a worm, c. elegans. If our classroom had have accidentally quantum-tunnelled its way to America, we’d have infringed Myriad’s copyright. How this patent can have appeared before half a dozen American courts without being struck down in the first five minutes of the hearing is incomprehensible. A single patent on most of the genes that occur in the entire natural 1. Thomas B. Kepler, Colin Crossman, Robert Cook-Deegan, ‘Metastasizing patent claims on BRCA1, Genomics (2010)
41 world? This is the state of patent law in the United States. The Australian patent only relates to isolated versions of the whole gene, which is less ridiculous but just as dangerous. Isolating something that has existed in nature for as long as humans themselves clearly falls short of being an invention. If it takes me fifty years and a hundred million dollars to isolate a lizard that lives in my backyard, I don’t own its genetic code or its children. And don’t feed me that ‘Myriad worked hard to find this gene so they should be rewarded’ bullshit. The existence of the jewel-encrusted gene in question was discovered by university researchers in 1990. Four years later there was a race to locate the gene, which was won by researchers from another university in partnership with Myriad Technology. All this work comes on the back of many years of publicly funded research, work done by scientists who themselves were educated for eighteen to twenty years using their own and government funds. Did Myriad fund the human genome project? Did they breed the scientists in illegal labs run out of their garages? Were they the only ones working on the problem? Was searching for the gene their idea? No, no, no and no. They just put up the cash for the scientists
to work their mathemagic. Now Myriad can charge $2,300 for a test because they hold the patent. They jumped in at the end, cherry picked the results of everybody’s work and claimed all the profits. If we just cut out the middleman and instead funded universities properly so that there was money to muck around on things like, I don’t know, curing cancer, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this ridiculous position. But that isn’t even the point. Even if Myriad had solely identified, located and isolated the gene, they still shouldn’t be allowed exclusive access. If scientists are conducting research with patents in mind, there would be zero incentive to share and collaborate. Take for example those researchers who first discovered that there was such a gene in the first place. On a patent-crazy planet, they might’ve just kept that information to themselves. When Myriad charge two grand per test, they’d have had a pretty strong incentive to keep it in house. In the end, we have to pay – if these tests are to be available to the public, it’s the government who pays in the end. But perhaps more importantly, discouraging openness hampers research and is bad for all of us, as any scientist or researcher knows. Trouble is, it’s not the scientists who make the rules around here.
That a gene that occurs a trillion times inside my body can be classified as an invention is appalling, and if our current laws cannot prevent it then they need to be fixed. With genetic manipulations and studies likely to play a much larger role in medicine and, like it or not, our food supply, our legal system needs to be prepared.
Lewis Laurence has tried and given up on alcohol, arts, cricket, dairy, driving, friends, God, law, other languages, meat, Melbourne, and the piano. Only maths remains.
CROWDSOURCING THE QUIET
42A Jason Sweeney and Martin Potter are the brains behind Stereopublic, and the large white umbrellas you may have seen walking around campus in the last few weeks. On Dit spoke to them about what ‘Crowdsourcing the Quiet’ actually means. To read the rest of the interview, head to www.lifeoncampus.org.au/ondit. Look around you. You’re on the bus, or the lawns, or on a garish couch in the Hub. You’ve found a quiet moment to sit and read a magazine, and doesn’t it feel nice? That feeling of finding a sense of calm amongst the chaos of a city is precisely what Jason Sweeney, Director of Stereopublic, loves. Part of the Adelaide Festival, Stereopublic was a crowd sourced art project that invited ‘earwitnesses’ to seek out quiet spaces in cities. You can still download the free Stereopublic app, find a quiet place in the city, and mark it on the map. If you visit the project’s website – stereopublic.net. During the Festival season, Sweeney also ran walking tours of some of his favourite quiet places – they were the white umbrellas you might have seen around campus in the past couple of weeks. The project raises some interesting questions about how we use space, and what constitutes a quiet space. When we make noise simply by being in a quiet space, is it still quiet? Maybe go download that app.
Stella: So, the Adelaide Festival – you’re on their program, how did that happen? Jason: Well, we asked, really. Martin: We asked, we got a meeting with David [Sefton], the Director, and he and Jason just connected. It was a beautiful thing. Jason: He’s absolutely fantastic. Musically, he and I are really connected – both massive Severed Heads fans. And yeah, he was just very generous. We talked to him about the project. Because it was about sound and the city and this festival is really about making noise, I think the contrast that our project offered was very attractive to him. Just the faith that he put in us was really quite lovely. Martin: We hope his faith pays off – because he’s extended that faith to 2014 at the moment. Holly: What kind of projects have you worked on before – together or separately. What’s the lead up to this point? Jason: My background is in mostly performance art, and contemporary theatre, but mostly sound and music – I’ve played in bands, worked in sound and radio, but also I spent about ten years working on online audio and experimental sound
projects. I made my way slowly to experimental film making, which Martin and I have worked on together. The Stereopublic project actually started back in 1999, as an idea. Stella: What did you think Stereopublic was going to be, if it wasn’t going to be an app? Jason: It was media recording, like an ambient hour of sound in a public space on Rundle Street. I used to record these outside broadcast shows, and upload them to the web, and people could download them there, and then we got into realplayer, and realplayer streaming. Working a lot online sort of led to making participatory app projects, which is interesting. Not a simple thing to do – it’s expensive. Stella: Working with Apple at all is not simple, is it? Jason: No, no, it’s been really... a learning curve. Martin: And other diplomatic terms. We really would like to open this up, so it’s a global community of quiet seekers. That’s looking like it’s going to be a relatively technically simple thing to do, and the cost will not be enormous, so fingers crossed, sometime in the next year or so, we’ll be able to expand the reach of
the project. It’ll be interesting to see what happens then: how those quiet maps unfold in different places, if people use the tools in different ways. As we refine and tweak it, it will hopefully become more intuitive to use. Holly: Because you don’t need to find all the quiet places all over the world – it’s all user uploaded? Jason: That’s why it needs to be participatory - because essentially you need knowledge of your own city to be able to find those places and I guess what we’re trying to create is the structure so people can actually enter into it and maybe conduct walks of their own city. Martin: Another core part of the component that we haven’t talked about, one of the most engaging for me – and this is where Jason’s artistry is at the forefront – it’s the quiet soundscapes – the compositions – that Jason makes in exchange for every contribution that’s made to the map via app or website. Stella: so basically you go to a quiet spot, you take a photo, you record it… Martin: You go to a quiet space, you record 30 seconds of sound, and you can colour your mood.
The final step is that you choose whether to make it a quiet space, or if would you like a composition – and you request a composition from Jason. Stella: So that’s the difference between the filled in circle and the non filled in circle on the map? Martin: Yes! If it’s filled in, it’s a composition. We’re hoping to get it to the point where it’s really self explanatory and we know that we’re not there yet. This walk is a teaser, a tester. We want others to go out, even if they just seek one space, and autonomously use the app. From all of the feedback, and all of these contributions, we start to be cable to make a better project – a more functional tool. Jason: Over the next few weeks we’ve also got permission to start marking spaces with quiet stickers. It’ll tell you if it’s an open circle or a closed circle, and you can then go to the site and find that space on the map. Holly: If someone’s already been there, you can’t go there again and decide that it should be a compositional space? Jason: No, you can. Martin: Fill it in, make him work!
Stella: So, the quiet stickers are with the help of the Adelaide City Council? Jason: They’ve been really collaborative and cooperative about this – they really see the benefit of it. Part of this project is that it goes beyond an artistic project and has some sort of real application in the city – that people think about quiet, levels of noise and traffic, even in a city like Adelaide that people think is a quiet city. That’s also why it has to be maintained within the CBD. It’s really easy to find quiet spaces outside of the CBD - it’s the challenge of saying what is it between the buildings and on the streets. Even on the walk today, at the Professions Hub, normally it’s really beautifully quiet, and today there was a jazz band. Holly: Yeah, we were quite surprised on that as well. Stella: We were thinking ‘pretty sure you guys didn’t plan this’. Martin: We staged everything – you know that big green heart that floated past at the end? Holly: That was poetic. Martin: That was us as well.
FREE AND EASY BEATS ROSS JOBSON HAS MORE MUSIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHEAPSKATES PHOTOGRAPHY: ALICIA STROUS
EMPHEMETRY – A LULLABY HUM FOR TIRED STREETS Genre: Alternative, Shoegaze, Post folk.
I found this album by chance. Someone, somewhere, was linking to this album they really liked. I saw it was free to download if I wished, so I went right ahead. This is the sort of discovery free music facilitates, and I think it’s just amazing. The album starts with a track called ‘After Catalunya’, an ethereal cacophony of guitars, synths and strings. It definitely reminds me of a Sigur Rós track, for those of you out there who are fans. The next tracks progressively build up energy. As the vocals start in ‘Four Million Silhouettes’, you get a feeling of Jeff Mangum, and some Neutral Milk Hotel influences, which sounds really cool. There are little interludes between tracks, such as ‘A Lullaby Hum’, which set the listener up for the coming tracks. More percussion comes through as the album progresses, creating a build up over the entirety of the release, if you discount the interlude tracks. This build up is not something you would hear in highly energetic music. A kind of emotional amplification, by the end of the album, it feels like you have listened to something quite intense. Listen if you like: Sigur Rós, Neutral Milk Hotel, Tame Impala. www.emphemetry.bandcamp.com/album/alullaby-hum-for-tired-streets
SECHERON PEAK – SLOW GRAVITY Genre: Post Electro
Secheron Peak are a band that have an amazingly fresh take on several genres. There are electro synths and filters with beats and phrasings that definitely take from post rock and similar genres. The album starts with ‘Cyan’, a clean track that has some floating guitars over a steadily increasing beat. It eventually turns from a rockier track into a predominantly electro track, which flows into the second track ‘MK2’. These fast paced tracks are interspersed with some of the finest slow post electro songs I have ever heard. The song ‘Hydraulic Crawl’ imparts a sense of despair and tension that very few artists seem to be able to communicate these days. My favourite track on the album, ‘Heavyweight Earth’ seems like something from the future. I get a glimpse of things like space travel and planet habitation - but perhaps that’s just me. I would wholeheartedly recommend this amalgamation of many styles to anyone who is willing to invest the time in listening to all the tracks. It can really take your mind away to some different places. Listen if you like: The idea of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Pendulum having a baby. www.secheronpeak.bandcamp.com/album/ slow-gravity
TRIXIE’S VEGAN CHOCO-COCONUT CUPCAKES ELEANOR LUDINGTON WHIPS UP SOMETHING DELICIOUS PHOTOGRAPHY: ELEANOR LUDINGTON
I have a lot of special friends in my life. When thinking about this column, one friend in particular stood out. This friend simply loves her tucker, and will go to all sorts of lengths to get her paws on the best food around. Her name is Trixie and she is my very sneaky six year old curly coated retriever. Trixie has been described by more than one person as a ‘barrel on legs’ and, while it’s funny and also a little bit sad, it’s really no surprise. I’m sure all you dogowners out there have cheeky food-stealing stories, but Trixie has accrued more than most. My personal favourite is when she knocked off 12 freshly baked chocolate-coconut cupcakes off the kitchen counter and eating all of them! She carelessly gave herself up by leaving two patty pans on her bed under the table. Silly girl, she’s since mastered the art of covering her tracks! As Trixie’s seventh birthday is coming up, I thought it would be nice to reminisce and remake the chocolatecoconut cupcakes for old-time’s sake. This time though I might actually get to eat one before they all go! And don’t worry, Trixie won’t be having any, I’ll make her something chocolate-free but equally special instead. Please note, Trixie miraculously has remained healthy despite eating all these not-so-healthy foods. Don’t worry!
Makes approximately 10 cupcakes NB: I think if you want a stronger coconut flavour a couple of drops of coconut essence wouldn’t go astray. Ingredients: 1 cup wholemeal flour 1 1/4 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1/4 cup dessicated coconut ~1/2 can of coconut milk or cream 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil (if you have it) 1 tbsp honey (or more to taste) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 banana Icing sugar (optional, for decoration) Method: Preheat fan forced oven to 180C. Place 10 patty pans in muffin tray Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder and coconut in a large bowl. Place coconut milk/cream, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar and banana in a blender and blend until creamy (you can do this by hand with a whisk or with beaters). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into patty pans and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your cupcakes and how hot your oven is, this may need to be adjusted to a few minutes more or less. To check whether cupcakes are done, insert a skewer into the middle of one, if it comes out clean the cupcake is cooked. Take cupcakes out of the oven and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar Eat and enjoy!
AWKWORD: SECRETION WHAT IT MEANS: A process by which substances are produced and discharged from a cell, gland, or organ for a particular function in the organism or for excretion. WHY IT GROSSES US OUT: Think sweat dripping from pores, glistening on the skin of your lecturer in Horace Lamb on a 38 degree day. More generally, try to avoid visualising body juices oozing from body parts.
HOROSCOPES ARIES On a quest to find the (probably non-existent) Flentje lecture theatre, you will stumble upon a storeroom filled with leftover O’Week mi goreng. Win! TAURUS After buying all five ‘required’ textbooks at once, you take a tumble down the Barr Smith stairs. It’s your own fault, should’ve just gotten the spark notes. GEMINI Avoid wearing yellow this week – looking jaundiced is so 2008, darling.
BY CLARE VOYANT LIBRA Stay away from men with beards this week: it just means they’ve got something to hide. SCORPIO While riding your fixie to a philosophy tute, you will become distracted by a pressing existential crisis and collide with a stobie pole. SAGITTARIUS You will be sprung in the act of stealing your housemate’s blueberry yogurt. In a battle of attrition over the communal fridge, one of you will not survive.
CANCER In your bi-monthly search for change underneath the couch cushions, you will stumble across most of a snickers bar.
CAPRICORN After spending this month’s rent on $1 fro-cos, you will be forced to live on the Rymill Park island. Whatever doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.
LEO A chance encounter will lead to a wild night at the Unibar and fumbling, tuaca-induced intimacy. Remember to pack those O’Week condoms.
AQUARIUS You will discover an ingenious method of cheating parking meters involving five-cent pieces and glue, and your friends will hail you as a god.
VIRGO You will discover hitherto unknown emotional depth in an S-Club-7 song and the world will never be the same again. Embrace it and wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
PISCES A judgemental look from a pigeon stops you from surreptitiously picking up the Vietnamese roll someone left on a bench. The dynamic struggle between scurvy and food poisoning continues.
MUSIC VIDEO MATCH UP Match up the songs with the plot summaries of their videos. A daggy looking cult gathers in a public space to practice their ritual. Hands are clasped to breasts and the group starts moving in union. Onlookers (also daggy) walk past on their way to the cinema, puzzled by this performance. The cult forms a snakelike procession, followed by an imitation of flying. Most people don’t seem to get the significance of this moment.
OUTKAST – HEY YA!
Four men stand in a room. They step left, then right. The two men at the front leap forward; the men at the back raise their hands in the air and do a star jump. They all start sliding from side to side and switching positions. They all face each other, lean forward and start jogging on the spot. Like magic, they glide towards the camera.
OK GO – HERE IT GOES AGAIN
Set in a warehouse, a group of women all dressed in black start to move slowly. A single man stands at a piano. A dinner table is set all in white. Everyone toasts, except one woman who can’t take her eyes off of the pianist. It’s all a bit intense. We can see the pain in these women’s faces.
FATBOY SLIM – PRAISE YOU
Scene 1: a dressing room. Two men dressed in green are receiving a pep talk. Scene 2: Man in green with super glossy hair is standing centre stage. Cut to screaming fan girl. We see the rest of the band, and some more screaming fan girls. The television set takes us to a family living room, where a family are dancing. More screaming fan girls.
KANYE WEST – RUNAWAY
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). Hint: Pink and bizzare. Allegedly elegant.
AN OPEN LETTER TO... ART: LAUREN WILLIAMS
Dear Nestlé, I am writing to you today in regard to your product, the KitKat Chunky Caramel, or rather, its conspicuous absence amongst confectionary aisles nationwide. Nestlé, we’ve always got on well. A little too well, some might argue, but I’ve never held you responsible for any sugar-based dependency issues I may or may not have. You’ve always been there for me for the long-haul international flight, the eight-hour retail shift, or the cheap Tuesday evening at the local cinema. Recently, however, this has changed. I speak to you, of course, about the phasing out of the original KitKat Chunky Caramel bar. After its supermarket debut, the KitKat Chunky was always my Achilles’ heel: for me, it sat at the apex of the hierarchy of its chocolatey peers, being the perfect combination of wafer and compound cooking chocolate. The addition of caramel rendered this bar untouchable against its fellows – the George Clooney of confectionary amidst a sea of Charlie Sheens, if you will. What I’m trying to say here is that I really, really liked KitKat Chunky Caramels. And I was not alone in this devotion: family and friends across the board shared in this love. And then came the introduction of a new line of flavour-trio bars, whereupon you decided that the need for the original Chunky Caramel had been eclipsed by more ‘exciting’ or ‘diverse’ flavour choices. Nestlé, I understand that change is not only an important facet of life, but also an inevitable one. I
do not want your product to stagnate in the ideals of bygone times, indeed, I want nothing but public approval for the KitKat in all its many forms. However, I do not believe that the presence of new flavour combinations should come at the expense of older, much loved products. I come to you with a simple plea: please, PLEASE reinstate the KitKat Chunky Caramel as a confectionery aisle mainstay! It is not hyperbole to state that it would make my, and many, many others’, year if we could go back to the heady days of the past where hours of back-to-back lectures and tutorials, or shifts packed to the brim with obnoxious customers, could be forgotten with the tearing back of a foil Chunky Caramel wrapper. I am more than willing to begin some kind of petition, but I hope it won’t have to come to that. Your product brings so much joy to so many – please, help a brother out. Thank you for your time.
Yours sincerely, Alice Bitmead, devoted consumer.
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Published on Mar 19, 2013
The second edition of the year. Inside: Is the uni trying to prune your education, the state of gene patents, an introduction to improvisati...