ARE WE SPOILT LITTLE BRATS?
Volume 81 Edition 4 Editors: Casey Briggs, Stella Crawford and Holly Ritson. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union. 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.
EDITORIAL 2 ON THE WEBSITE
CORRESPONDENCE 4 VOX POP
FROM YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
lifeoncampus.org.au/ondit facebook.com/onditmagazine twitter.com/onditmagazine
IN PRAISE OF MEDIOCRITY: NICOLA DOWLAND
THE ‘F’ WORD: RUPERT HOGAN-TURNER
CHARITY SHOW OFFS: OLIVER MORRIS
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: GENEVIEVE NOVAK
BOOZING GONE BAD: HOLLY RITSON
FREE THESIS TOPICS: TOM SHELDRICK
UNION HALL VS THE BRAGGS: LAWRENCE BEN AND CASEY BRIGGS
A ROUGH GUIDE TO: VOLUNTOURISM: ELLIE PARNELL
BANNING THE BURQA: YASMIN MARTIN
WHY I CAN NO LONGER DANCE TO SINGLE LADIES: LOUISE SCHULZ
ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE: SAM YOUNG
TUNNELLING UNDERGROUND: BEN NIELSEN
CONSOLE WARS: ZANE DEAN
WINTER WARMERS: MUSIC: STEPHEN GRACE
WINTER WARMERS: FOOD: JESSICA MARTIN
FASHION!: OLIVIA DI FABIO
WILD HORSE!: ROWAN ROFF
Cover art by Jack Lowe. Back inside cover photography by Keiren Mac. Thanks to Sophie, Sam and Angus for helping take On Dit to the masses, Toby for being a poet, Max for his love of Oxford commas, Woroni for being good hosts, and AJ for being the best.
Each edition of On Dit passes somewhat like a baby (or else a stool, but let’s run with baby for now). It’s pretty big from one side, bigger while you’re doing it, and the smallest, most vulnerable thing once it’s done. Nothing comes easy in this job/life/universe, and the selfindulgent things are no exception. And with that one fell swoop, I’ve explained both why this editorial is so hard to write, and why it’s so much work to make a magazine filled with what is, to be honest, best described as the scribblings of students. I do my best to believe, however, that On Dit means something more than just ‘the first place we all get published’. It is a stepping stone for writers and illustrators, and that’s incredibly important. It teaches us how to be the things we want to be – how to make that vague dream
of writing or drawing or not being an accountant solidify a little bit beyond that rant you put up as a Facebook note that one time.
There’s a cute little attitude that crops up all the time these days: that at some point we’ll have to start acting like a ‘real person’.
But it’s also more than that. It’s the only place that’s going to report on what your student representatives are doing. It’s one of the only places that’s going to publish students telling their stories in their own words.
That’s bull. We are real people. More to the point, nobody knows what they’re doing.
So in this edition of On Dit, you can find a lot of reporting. We’re reporting on the Engineering Pub Crawl, the Federal Government’s funding cuts to higher education and the Union’s proposed move to online student elections. We’re telling your stories, be they of marriage or medical testing. We’re also catering to creative students at long last. We’ve launched a creative writing competition, Hearsay, with close to $2000 worth of prizes up for grabs and a chance to get published. The choice is yours: pick what’s important.
It just matters that we remember to do something about the things we already care about. On that note, we’re keeping the promises we made on the lawns at the last student elections: to make it easier for first time contributors to get involved, to keep office hours (12-3pm Tuesday through Thursday, drop by!), and to engage more online. Basically, we’re figuring our shit out. When it comes to it, as one of your humble editors, I get to play with something that means a lot to me, and, maybe, to you. For that, and as always, I remain, Yours, Stella (and Holly and Casey)
ON THE WEBSITE
OI YOU! YEAH, YOU. INTERVIEW: OWL EYES OUR WEBSITE IS NO LONGER Playing at the Gov on May SO RED YOU CAN’T READ IT. 4, Brooke Addamo, the artist behind Owl Eyes PLUS, WE’VE GOT SOME COOL spoke to On Dit about life on STUFF ON IT. OR SOMETHING. tour. new album, Nightswim, LIFEONCAMPUS.ORG.AU/ONDIT Her is almost certainly getting HEARSAY
For all your Hearsay needs, including details, entry forms and prize information, check lifeoncampus.org.au/ondit/ hearsay. Questions, love letters, etc. should be sent to hearsaymag@gmail. com
REVIEW: OI YOU!
The opening night of this urban art festival went off - but the show’s on until June 2. Sure, it features art by Banksy and many others, but is it really worth going to?
Triple J airplay as we, well, type.
UPDATE: ONLINE STUDENT ELECTIONS
On Dit have got you covered for all your livetweeting needs. We’ll let you know this week if you will be voting via your laptop. If you want to join us (virtually) as we sit through the Union Board meeting that decides it (yawn), it’s 5.30pm May 1 and @onditmagazine. NB: This week’s SRC meeting (May 3) is wine and cheese night. BYO (non-alcoholic) wine and cheese.
REVIEW: THE TUNNELS
Treasury storage tunnels cum art gallery, this one’s worth going to for the locale alone. Ben Nielsen tells you all about it.
Dear On Dit,
Dear On Dit,
I’m sick of this dysfunctional Government that has lost its way.
Whenever I see yet another article or listen to someone complaining about tutorial cuts in the HumSS I just laugh. It’s plain ridiculous compared to some others. What’s going to happen, tutes in week one and six may not be run; and so everyone starts jumping up and down complaining about how they’re getting no education. Don’t get me wrong, I value tutorials incredibly highly and attend every one I can but let me just run through my tutorial life as an ECMS (Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences) student.
So focused were they on their own leadership issues that not a single landmark piece of legislation was passed last week (apart for the National Disability Insurance Scheme). And they didn’t even change leaders! How dysfunctional is that? One doesn’t have to look far to find the myriad of ways that the country is falling apart. We’re in recession, unemployment is four times as high as Spain and Italy, The government has wasted the absolute majority with which it was elected, and throws business into uncertainty by threatening to repeal major legislation by the end of the year. Mining companies are moving offshore, Australia is receiving precious little foreign investment, and the value of the dollar has plummeted against the world’s major currencies. They managed to design a mining tax which simultaneously destroyed the economy and raised no money! How is that even possible? Furthermore, public servants haven’t been paid in weeks, martial law shows no sign of abating, and we are being scorned and excluded from international bodies such as the UN Security Council. We pay taxes 50 per cent higher than the OECD average, and we get nothing but waste in return. Other European countries must be looking scornfully at our shambolic economic situation, and scratching their heads over why we haven’t had an election yet. After all, the opposing party want one. Shouldn’t that be enough? This used to be the land of the fair go, but I don’t even know anymore. I am seriously considering moving to a country with a higher standard of living than Australia where there is less to complain about and that hasn’t been destroyed by dysfunctional Governments which have lost their way. Like, well, maybe one of the Scandinavian countries or something. How is this situation allowed to persist? How do the Australian people put up with such an shambolic Government? I couldn’t even find matching socks this morning. Will the torment ever end? Yours sincerely, Lewis Laurence. Dear Laurence, We’ll miss you, sorely. Love, the Eds.
Subject 1: No tutorials at all, just two 2hr lectures a week. Occasionally the lecturer will go through a kind of tutorial during one of the lectures which helps but there is only so much you can do in a lecture with a theoretical class size of 150, although much less turn up. Subject 2: Every second week one of the lectures changes to a tute. So the lecturer stands at the front of the theatre and goes through a tutorial and hence there’s barely any difference to a lecture, they just change the name so we can feel better as we are not learning anything new. Also, this is in the new and rather large Braggs lecture theatre with a class of nearly four hundred students. Subject 3: This tute is weekly and lasts two hours so it seems alright. But once again it crams 100 people into a small room. Here the tutors are actually quite good but there’s only a few of them and are kept busy so everybody just ends up working with mates and asking the tutors for help when needed. Subject 4: Probably the best of the lot and most like the typical tute you would expect at a university. Although to be fair that last point is probably pushing it a fair bit. Here a measly 50-60 people rock up to the tute and the tutor goes through the work we had been given in lead up. The tutor is open to discussion with students but that doesn’t occur all that often due to the material. So what’s needed in a good tutorial? In-class dynamic discussion between tutor and students? Doesn’t exist. Valuable time to talk to someone about any problems you are having with the subject? Minimal. Small sizes to promote individuality and creative thinking? What a joke. Chance to feel like something other than a lemming blindly following the crowd through lectures? Yeah, Andrew Bolt’s more likely to vote green come September. Shaun Fitzgerald
Dear Editors of On Dit,
Dear Ruby Niemann,
First off, I have to say that I really like the new look of the magazine. The cover art is chilled-out and really vibrant (and the artwork everywhere else it, too), the colours and designs are great (the ‘What’s On’ spread for one is very cool), and the white pages with black text is much better (on my eyes especially).
In response to your article in edition 81.2, Regressive Progressives: it seems like you are in the same boat as the majority of people who have responded to Seth McFarlane’s song at this years Oscars by saying it was performed in order to ‘humiliate and demean women for the sake of ratings’ – you missed the point.
In terms of content, the ‘Diversions’ and fun bits are as good as ever, as are the more political/scientific/ factual articles. They are clearly well-researched and well-written mostly. But - there is a but - I have noticed the absence of the creative section that was a big part of the magazine last year.
By singing about the objectification that women in that high pressure industry have to put their bodies under in order to become successful, he just might be hinting at the cash machine that Hollywood has become since its glory days of the 30s, a time of cinematic exploration, when at least some films featured dynamic and interesting female characters who were subjugated by their social surroundings, not their supposedly liberated yet shallow character who just isn’t satisfied with their high paying job and lovely shoes without a man.
I am sure there is a reason it’s not there. I noticed in Edition 2 you mentioned a special creative-pieces-only edition was in the works. I wonder, is the absence of per-edition creative writing because you are saving them up for the creative edition? Or is it going to be an ongoing absence? I hope that it is not permanent, because as much as I like the new look of the magazine, it is a little bit dry. Last year, I would grab a new edition, flick through to the creative section and read the stories and poems and all the rest. They were the highlight for me. They were light and quick, always entertaining, and some of them were really high quality. Anyway, my point is that the creative part was a great thing and I hope its absence is short. The creative guys and girls, I think need somewhere to show off their talent, and you guys are their best bet. I think it would be better to give them more than just one opportunity to submit their stories and things into you guys at On Dit. Yours sincerely, George Dear George, Unfortunately, Hearsay does mean that we won’t be running creative fiction in the general issues this year. We think a creative-only edition is a better way to celebrate the best creative writing this uni has, but we’re sorry you’re missing the section. As to poetry, there may be something later in the year, so keep your eye out. Thanks for getting in touch. Love, the Eds. Dear On Dit, Contrary to the medical girls article written by Michelle Bagster, the Med School is the most patriarchal organisation I have ever been a part of. The boys club puts forward a single candidate for election as President of the AMSS (Adelaide Medical Student Society) and they win even if there is a far better female alternative. Currently six out of seven members of the AMSS executive are male (The female has the position of secretary.) despite roughly 60 per cent of medical students being female. Sincerely, Paul Thorsen - Medical school flunkee
McFarlane just might be mocking what was once an art form turning into products of consumption that are marketed and distributed just like any other product, with no moral consideration being given to anyone involved in the process. How long have rates of body disorders been going up and how many actors have you seen in a healthy shape as a response? How many women have spoken out about the pressures of ‘having work done’ and has it stopped as a result? When was the last time you saw a Hollywood movie that showed boobs without sexualising them? When was the last time you saw a woman in a Hollywood film defined outside of her proximity to a man? Questions I think need to be answered before you can go sticking the ‘sexist’ label on MacFarlane, regardless of how easy to do it might be. I think that when people decide to call themselves ‘feminists’ they need to think about what they are trying to achieve. If you take on feminism as a self respecting woman or man who believes that respect is for everyone regardless of what gender they identify with and intend to reach others in a thought provoking way that encourages open dialogue and illuminating discussion, then chances are that people will have an easier time being receptive to that. Articles that have a rather convincing crux but then run into a tirade of superfluous, immature and shallow name calling and end with ‘I got opinions. And I’ll probably be a dick about it’ have a pretty easy time being written off by me. I’ve noticed the regressive progressives too, and I don’t think I’m gonna get them to be any less regressive by being a dick about it. From, Jodie G.
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.
EVER WONDERED WHAT IT’S LIKE TO FINALLY GRADUATE? WE ASKED SOME OF THIS YEAR’S GRADUATES THESE QUESTIONS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
How do you feel about the $2.3billion cuts to tertiary education? What’s your favourite pub crawl memory? What are you going to do now that you’ve graduated? What do you miss most about being a student? If you can’t get a job, would you submit to medical testing to raise money? 6. What are your pearls of wisdom for current students?
MIRANDA, B. ARTS/B. TEACHING 1. Ridiculous, especially when our fees are so high, and there’s the SSAF. 2. Oh my gosh. Oh okay, there’s a few. Probably when I literally crawled across from Hungry Jack’s to Rundle Mall. 3. Be a teacher. 4. The easy lifestyle. The outside world has 1000s of choices. 5. No. I don’t want needles stuck in me. 6. Enjoy it while it lasts. Make the most of every minute. Study hard, play harder.
DR. NICOLANGELO, GRAD. CERT TEACHING 1. Fucking fuming! If they want the money, they should rip it out of Gina’s pocket. 2. Never been on one. Not that I can remember. 3. Not sure. Continue working probably (at the university). 4. The Studentship, being part of the community. Now I have to be a role model. 5. With the number of bits of paper I have, I’d be upset if I didn’t have a job. 6. Stay focussed, but have fun. Be visionary. Have a passion, and don’t let anybody stop you.
EMILY, B. ARTS (PSYCHOLOGY) 1. It’s not great. It’s a good time to support the Union and the National Union of Students. 2. Engineering pub crawl, 2012, Swish, Nothing but 90s. Enough said. 3. Keep studying – finish the law degree and diploma in languages. 4. Having 2 contact hours per week per subject. 5. Yes, absolutely. 6. One for you Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco. [eds. She doesn’t even go here…]
HENRY, B. MUSIC 1. It sucks. Ask my dad, he’s a teacher. 2. I’ve never been on one. 3. Have fun, travel the world, be a bum. 4. Seeing all my friends all the time, just hanging around and having coffee. 5. Yes. 6. Study hard, but don’t forget to have fun.
LAUREN, B. SCIENCE/B. TEACHING 1. I’m a bit swayed, High Schools and Primary schools need more funding too. 2. I organised a few education pub crawls, they were pretty awesome. And the engie pub crawl was great. 3. Work. 4. The lifestyle, socialising, going to pubs. 5. Sure, why not? 6. Make sure you have fun.
WILL, HONOURS (HISTORY) 1. Somewhat annoyed, but relieved that they don’t affect me. 2. Having five people buy me drinks, buying one drink for $10, and finding $10 on my way home. 3. Another degree! A research masters in history. 4. I still am a student, but with more printing, an office, and space for my books. 5. Depends how desperate I am. 6. That’s hard. Always talk to people – academics, other students. Make sure you rock up to classes and talk.
TASH, B. COMMERCE (CORPORATE FINANCE) 1. I’d like to know how the cuts would be spent. I’m not so sure. 2. Oh dear there’s just so many. The flash mob at last year’s engie pub crawl was great. 3. I’m going to finish my other degree! 4. Maths – there’s none of that in my law degree. 5. Yep. I’d submit now anyway – I’d find it interesting. 6. Make friends.
STATE OF THE UNION DEANNA TAYLOR
From pub crawls to funding cuts, universities have made the headlines a number of times in the last month. As you may have heard, the Federal Government has announced that they will be cutting $2.3 billion from higher education funding over the next two years, to pay for the Gonski reforms in primary and secondary schools. $900 million of those cuts will come from cutting the direct grant funding that the government gives to universities by 2 per cent in 2014 and 1.25 per cent in 2015. According to Vice Chancellor Warren Bebbington, that may mean up to $15 million less funding for the University of Adelaide in the next two years. To save $1.2 billion in the higher education budget, students will have to pay back their Student Start-Up Scholarship (used to pay for upfront costs like textbooks) as the money will be added onto students’ HECS debts. For a student doing a single degree over three years, that could mean an extra $6150 of debt at the end of their degree. For a student doing a double degree over 5 years, that could mean an extra $10,250 of debt at the end of their degree. A further $230 million will be cut from the higher education budget from abolishing the 10 per cent discount students can get on fees by paying their student contributions up front. These cuts are massive, and will have a detrimental effect on the quality and accessibility of a university education. Turning
THESE CUTS ARE MASSIVE, AND WILL HAVE A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT Start-Up Scholarships into loans and burdening students, who are already struggling to afford the costs of university, with more debt is appalling. It will most negatively affect students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and flies in the face of the government’s supposed dedication to increasing participation of low socioeconomic status students at university. Ripping $900 million out of universities across the country is a bad move at a time when Australian universities are already crying out for more funding, and have been for years. These funding cuts will force universities to find cost-savings wherever possible. The Union and Student Representative Council will be monitoring the situation to ensure that the University of Adelaide does not make cuts that result in a lower quality of education. While the Gonski reforms to schooling are crucial investment, funding the reforms in one education sector by cutting funding from another education sector is not only unacceptable, it is absurd. The other hot topic (that may not be so hot by the time this issue is released) is undoubtedly the Adelaide University Engineering Society pub crawl. It attracted significant media attention, and
put a spotlight on the role of alcohol in student life. Following the pub crawl, the University is now drafting a policy about responsible use of alcohol at University-sanctioned events. The SRC President Catherine Story and I are involved in the consultation process for this policy, so if you have anything you would like to contribute, drop one or both of us an email. We hope to put forward a realistic picture of student behaviour regarding alcohol, and make sure that the student’s voices are heard clearly and considered. Rest assured though: the University is not banning pub crawls. As always, don’t forget that you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org any time with any questions or concerns you might have about the Union. Bye for now friends. Deanna Taylor Union President email@example.com Twitter: @auulifeoncampus facebook.com/auulifeoncampus
QUIZ YOUR REPS
STUDENT REP COLUMN
CATHERINE STORY, SRC PRESIDENT
What’s the SRC’s position on online elections? The SRC’s position is that online elections compromise the secret ballot, that they compromise the security of elections, and that voter turnout significantly decreases.
How is the SRC stopping the uni from banning pub crawls? We’re working with the university on their alcohol policy to find ways that students can safely have alcohol at events - but no one (not even the university) is banning pub crawls and we will defend your right to wear matching tshirts and drink in multiple bars in one night!
What’s the next step in the fight against cuts?
At the moment we’re trying to build a cross campus movement of students who are passionate about demanding quality publicly funded universities and fighting the government’s $2.3 million in higher education cuts. Watch the SRC’s Facebook page for details of when we call a meeting to discuss what action we’ll take next. We would like to see as many students as possible involved. The next action will most probably be on May 14.
Can you make the vending machine outside Union House less cold? I’ll have to talk to the AUU about that. But who wants warm soft drink? Ew.
My name’s Lucy SmallPearce and I’m the SRC Welfare Officer and I think your health is extremely important! That’s why the SRC and the Union are jointly running the Student Health Expo on May 1. From 10am to 4pm the Student Health Expo will include free health checks and services such as blood pressure checks, free massages, and signing yourself up for a free flu vaccination. And guess what? Because we know students can’t afford much, the expo is totally free – talk about value! Speaking of being a financially restricted student – cue awkward segue – the National Union of Students are running a national Welfare campaign called ‘Support a Student – Support Our Future’. The campaign, among other things, calls for an increase in student support to meet the Henderson Poverty Line. Now I hear some of you say, ‘woah slow down you crazy communist you want to INCREASE student benefits? What is this, Russia!?’ Let’s think about this reasonably. The Henderson Poverty Line is $484 per week while the maximum an average student can receive is $408 per fortnight. If students don’t have to choose between paying rent and eating healthy
food, going to class or working long hours what will we see? We will see marked improvements to student health – both physical and mental. We will see students spending more time learning and studying. We will see happy and relaxed students, rather than students with serious anxiety issues. This cost would be balanced out by spending less on health for young people. I mean really, it’s just good business. For students that are facing these issues already there are free services on campus that you can use. The Union funds our fantastic Education and Welfare Officers who can help you with almost anything. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The university also has runs the Counselling and Disability Service and University Health – on campus, free, and confidential counseling and healthcare services for students. I hope to see you at the Student Health Expo, but if you miss it make sure you schedule a day to consider your health because it isn’t reasonably important, it’s SUPER important. Lucy Small-Pearce SRC Welfare Officer email@example.com Twitter: @adelaidesrc facebook.com/adelaidesrc
YOUR HEALTH AND WELFARE: SUPER IMPORTANT!
STUDENT NEWS PHOTOGRAPH: TONY LOI
HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS
In the past month, the financial position of universities across the country has, well, suffered. The Federal Government have cut $2.3 billion from the tertiary education sector in order to fund the muchtouted Gonski reforms. The SRC organised a snap action in order to protest the cuts. More than 100 students and staff gathered on the lawns in front of Elder Hall. Be it poor timing or a hilarious twist of fate, the protest fell in the first week of the April graduations, and so passersbys were mostly dressed in formal gowns and mortarboards. This was the second time in three weeks students had met to protest higher education funding. The first was the NUS-organised National Day of Action, which aimed to get attention for the issue in the competitive media world of an election year. The cuts include efficiency dividends of 2 per cent and 1.25 per cent over the next two years, and the scrapping of the 10 per cent discount to students who pay their fees upfront. Attracting the most criticism at the snap action, however, were the changes to the student Start-Up Scholarship. Commencing students who are eligible for the scholarship will now have the money they receive added to their HECSHELP debt. It is estimated that this would increase the cost of university for students from low-income families by up to 37 per cent. Stella Crawford
NTEU members are one step closer to striking after Fair Work Australia approved the unions application for a protected action ballot. The ballot will determine if industrial action will be allowed later in in the semester. NTEU members hope that this will speed up the bargaining process for the next Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for University of Adelaide staff. Kevin Rouse, NTEU SA Division Secretary said that ‘members [had given] a clear mandate to negotiators that an expeditious round of bargaining was required.’ The last round of negotiations took two years. ‘A lack of response from management has contributed to the frustration of members.’ The ballot requires a 50 per cent turnout of union members, and a majority of them must vote in favour for industrial action to become allowable. ‘Unless significant progress is made in the very near future it is highly likely that members at the university will be taking industrial action,’ said Rouse. He said a decision on specific actions would be taken at a meeting after the ballot. Staff could take several actions including work stoppages, bans on preparing for and participating in events such as Open Day, and bans on student assessment results being provided to the university. The ballot will be held from 29 April - 13 May. The NTEU will also now begin non-industrial actions.
Pascale Quester, Deputy ViceChancellor and leader of the university negotiation team says that she is bargaining in good faith. ‘From our point of view, we have engaged in a productive and meaningful process of negotiations with the NTEU’, she said. ‘We are still trying to establish the key principles of negotiation to guide the way we should approach this in 2013.’ Quester described the NTEU as belligerent and argued that staff need to embrace the notion of co-creation, as opposed to ‘confrontation and threats of industrial action when we have yet to actually discuss the details of what can or can’t be done’. Casey Briggs
UMSU CELEBRATES THATCHER’S DEATH
Last month, the University of Melbourne Student Union passed a motion to ‘celebrate [Thatcher’s] death unreservedly’ in the days immediately following her death. In the dying minutes of a two-plus hour meeting on April 9, Students’ Councillor Patrick Alves (Left Action) brought the motion, which condemned Thatcher’s legacy as ‘horrific’. Originally met with mirth, the motion passed five votes to three, with four abstentions. Only 12 of 18 voting members of the Council were still in the room. The vote was largely divided by party lines, with Left Action members for and Liberal against. One abstaining Councillor, Sarina Murray (Independent Media), later expressed frustration at the vote and the coverage it received, complaining of ‘the damage this does to the organisation [UMSU],
when there are Office Bearers working very hard to make the University a better place for students’. She added that, once elected, a Councillor’s primary duty was to the organisation, rather than to the ticket they were elected on. Alves, in contrast, told Farrago that Left Action ‘were elected as a left wing party, and we continue to represent the values of left wing students’.
However, the changes may not eventuate.
Farrago, the student magazine at the University of Melbourne, published the story online later that day. After only a few hours, the editors opted to remove names from the article as a result of hate mail directed at some of the Councillors.
Dianne Janes, General Manager of the Union, spoke strongly against the changes, on the grounds that there is limited time to implement them before recruitment of a Returning Officer to run this year’s elections.
Originally reported by Emma Koehn of Farrago Magazine.
One source expressed doubt that University Council would approve such rushed amendments to the rules.
UNION DEBATES ONLINE STUDENT ELECTIONS During the mid-semester break, the Adelaide University Union Board took the first step towards changing its election rules to establish online elections.
This means that when you go to the polls for student elections this year, it may be a simple as firing up your laptop. Online elections of student representatives has been a controversial issue for a long time. Historically, online elections have been favoured by Liberal Factions. Labor Left and left-aligned independents have traditionally opposed the changes as harmful to the democratic nature of the organisation.
For rule changes to take effect, they must be approved by the Board at two separate meetings and then approved at a meeting of University Council. This pressures the Board to approve the changes in time for them to be presented to University Council by early May.
According to Janes, development of a system to cater for the requirements of the Union could require significant unbudgeted funding. Despite this, the Board passed the changes four votes to three. The amendments will now be considered for a second time at the Union meeting on May 1. Katsambis, Thomas, Rillo, Zheng and Saeed attended the latest meeting of the Union Board intending to pass the changes. They began the meeting by promoting the online election rule changes to the top of the agenda, above financial matters such as the 2012 accounts and the 2013 budget. The tense discussion about the motion lasted in excess of two hours.
A Labor Left faction member said that the lower voter turnout observed at universities with online voting ‘reduces the mandate the vote has’.
Left-aligned Directors argued that online elections undermined the principle of the secret ballot and further disenfranchised a large number of students.
The proposed amendments were tabled at the Board meeting by Directors Robert Katsambis (Liberty) and Ben Rillo (Fresh), and supported by Charlotte Thomas (Stop the Slug), Yao Zheng (Multicultural) and Wasim Saeed (Independent).
Katsambis argued that the Board was only required to ‘try’ to achieve a secret ballot, and so the admitted inability to achieve it during online elections was not an issue.
They were passed despite strong objections from sections of the Board.
Rillo argued differently, saying that he ‘could see no detriment to the secret ballot, but a benefit,’ as ‘students can go home and research candidates and policy’ before
voting online. If the changes are passed, it is unclear how SRC elections will be run as the SRC has different rules governing their elections. The SRC has a position opposing online elections (that was approved unanimously), but this was not considered important by supporters of the motion. Katsambis argued that, as the Union controls its funding, the SRC would have no ability to resist the changes. In the push to pass the changes through, Katsambis and his supporters delayed dealing with issues raised about logistics, arguing that they would be investigated before the changes were passed a second time. After a break of the meeting, Rillo, having resolutely argued for the resolution to be passed, did not return to the meeting in order to vote. Later saying this was because had to go to work, Rillo said he was ‘completely aware of how it looked, and the rumours, but they are all completely false.’ He added that he will be supporting the vote on May 1. Katsambis and his supporters declared that Catherine Story (Indygo) had a conflict of interest arising from her role as President of the SRC, and therefore should not vote. Katsambis declined to comment as to why he considered Story to have a conflict. Had she voted, a tie would have resulted, and Taylor’s casting vote as President would have ensured the vote failed. Changes to the election rules will be voted on again at the next Board meeting, as per normal process. Stella Crawford For the full story, visit lifeoncampus. org.au/ondit
Want to join us reporting the news? Send us an email with the subject line ‘Campus News’ at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT’S ON. 12
HEARSAY, YOU SAY?
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
STUDENT HEALTH EXPO
On Wednesday, May 1 the Barr Smith Lawns will play host to the Union and SRC run Student Health Expo. Get a free flu vaccine, watch healthy cooking demos, measure your BMI, test your cardio fitness and blood pressure, try laughing therapy and enjoy a free massage. There’ll also be healthy food stalls and fitness demonstrations. We’ll see you there! Friday May 10 is the last day to withdraw without failure from your courses, If things aren’t going well, seek help. See your course co-ordinator or book a free and confidential session with the University Counselling Service on 8313 5663.
On Dit is seeking short story submissions of between 1000 and 3000 words from students at the University of Adelaide. Aside from the chance to get your work published in the magazine, there are also some great prizes up for grabs, including SA Writer’s Centre memberships and workshop vouchers, Voiceworks subscriptions and $1250 worth of books from Wakefield Press and Allen&Unwin. Entries will be judged by Adelaide’s own Cath Kenneally, Nicholas Jose and Stephanie Hester. All entries must in some way relate to the theme: ‘Decision.’ How your story relates to the theme is entirely up to you. All submissions should be sent to hearsaymag@ gmail.com with a completed entry form. Deadline for submission is 5pm, Friday May 24 2013.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE CRAZIEST, MOST COLOURFUL 5KM OF YOUR LIFE?
On Sunday May 19, the Swisse Colour Run will take over Victoria Racecourse. Raise funds or just run for fun, this 5km fun run is suitable for everyone, no matter how fit you are. On Dit has a ticket to this event to give away to one lucky reader. Email ondit@ adelaide.edu.au with the subject line ‘Colours of the Win’ by May 10 to go into the draw.
TIPS AND RUMOURS A senior university academic staff member is alleged to have asked at a recent meeting ‘why can’t we have an event where everyone buys a t-shirt and gets a hug?’ Hug crawls, anyone? On Dit is quite partial to the idea of Skullhuggery. We’ve heard the sounds of jungle drums and salsa beats around Union House lately. Rumour has it that the SRC are running secret Zumba parties after hours to keep councillors fit and healthy. Sound like fun – where’s our invite!?
OVERHEARD@ADELAIDE UNI Don’t worry, we’re not going to repeat that post about Elle Dit. Overheard at graduations (Bach Arts): ‘So I just shook hands with the Chancellor, and I wasn’t wearing a bra...’ ‘What an unusual scrotal feature!’ Velta in MLS
Turner at the TATE: Don’t leave it too late! The Art Gallery’s big exhibition ends May 19. Make sure you check out this once in a lifetime exhibition before it heads off to the National Gallery in Canberra. The Gallery has its extended opening hours to give you ample opportunities to see these masterpieces.
DEWEY LIKE IT? Toby Barnfield reviews his favourite book in the Barr Smith Library. Shakespeare: the invention of the human by Harold Bloom 822.33 ZB6554 [Enter Toby, reading a book] Harold, Harold, what do I think of thee? Rather, what do I think of this thy book? Well thy book is smart, and filled with rapture, Though I have only read the eighth chapter. It’s About Time In May, History SA is celebrating the history of South Australia with About Time, the SA History festival. Head to abouttime.sa.gov to find out what’s on.
SEE THE REAL THING
More than 226,000 Australians are now living with Hepatitis C. To raise awareness about and fight the good fight against Hep C, Hepatitis Australia are running a film making competition. To enter, make a short film communicating the importance of seeing the ‘real’ person rather than the infection, a future free from hepatitis C and seeing a doctor about treatment options, and you could win $10 000 cash! Visit www.seetherealthing.com. au for more details and T&Cs. Entries close May 31, so get filming!
Shorts Film Festival is Australia’s only national short film festival and competition. Concession session tickets are $15. Check out this year’s offerings at festival screenings from April 27 – May 4 at the Depot, Franklin St. Head to shortsfilmfestival.com for programme deatils.
DAYS UNTIL: Tax Time:
244 SA State Election: 317 New Year’s Eve:
MISSED CONNECTIONS We bonded over that patented banana-slicing apparatus on amazon.com while I waited around at your radio studio. Someone was eating a sausage roll, which made me think about how hungry I was, but most of all I thought about you, being a dreamboat, much like a film star. Be the radio host/receptionist of my heart... Send us your lonely hearts and we’ll find you your better half.
GET INVOLVED IN YOUR UNI! Happy Birthday Stella! Stella turned 21 on April 27. We hope that she had a lovely day!!
LSS PUB CRAWL
On Friday May 10 the Law Students Society’s pub crawl will take over the pubs of North Adelaide. Find all the event details and where to buy t-shirts on Facebook.
SRC and Union meetings are open for all students SRC meetings are held fortnightly; the next ones are May 3 and 17. Union meetings are held monthly; the next one is May 1. For more information, contact your reps! See p. 8 for details.
On May 7, Franco-Germanic rivalries will come to a head – on the soccer field. Head out to the university playing fields to support your side and enjoy a BBQ, or get in touch with french@auclubs. com.au or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more! On Dit is obliged to say ‘Vive la France!’
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Facebook: facebook.com/onditmagazine Twitter: @onditmagazine Snail Mail: On Dit, c/o Adelaide University Union, Level 4 Union House, University of Adelaide, 5005 In person: Pop into our office on the west side of the Barr Smith Lawns between 12-3pm, Tuesday - Thursday.
CALENDAR: WEEKS 7 & 8 TUESDIT 30 NEW ON DIT DAY! YEAH! WEDNESDIT 1 MAY DAY! MAY DAY! THURSDIT 2 FRIDIT 3 SRC MEETING SAT’DIT 4 THE FORCE BE WITH YOU SUNDIT 5 ¡CINCO DE MAYO! MONDIT 6 ¡SEIS DE MAYO! TUESDIT 7 EURO SOCCER MATCH WEDNESDIT 8 ON DIT ED. 6 DEADLINE THURSDIT 9 PETER PAN DAY FRIDIT 10 DR GEORGE DUNCAN MEMORIAL DAY SAT’DIT 11 SUNDIT 12 MOTHER’S DAY
IN PRAISE OF MEDIOCRITY NICOLA DOWLAND SAYS IT’S OKAY TO BE OKAY ART: KATIE HAMILTION
With mid-term break comes the assignment crunch. Veterans in second or third year are used to this routine and, while they may be forced to forego their regular Friday night entertainment in lieu of study, they know the stress will pass. They will survive the two-week wait while their papers are being graded; they will even endure exams. However, for first year students the onslaught of assignments is often nigh on unbearable. They have not yet learned to balance personal and university life. Writing my first university essay was akin to learning the cha-cha in four inch heels: uncomfortable, ungraceful, and only just passable. Luckily, I had a forgiving tutor who gave constructive comments. Taking his suggestions to heart, I achieved better on my next essay. And isn’t that why we’re here, after all? To pour sweat and blood into assignments that hold no other purpose than to provide us with a satisfactory grade? To become obsessed with a topic chosen by someone else, only to forget every detail after the due date? The hard work is validated when you see the hastily scrawled tick at the end of a particularly wordy paragraph. Or is it? Is it possible that we’re all expecting just a little too much from ourselves? Unless you’re planning to continue studies after your Bachelor degree, there is little benefit in overachieving. Sure, it will impress your family and the lecturers will remember your first name. Most disciplines only require an average grade of Credit for acceptance into honours.
Smith Lawns, treat yourself to a coffee and welcome distractions. Most students would agree that you learn just as much in the Hub with your friends as in the classroom. This advice is relevant off campus, too. One of my new favourite pastimes is plucking away at my ukulele. I will never have the self-confidence to play in public or at the Gov; I have no real talent, but I accept that. When home alone, with no expectations to meet and my sole audience member a dozy cat I feel like a maestro as I clumsily strum ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain.’ My partner loves playing pool with his brother, even though he gets beaten every time. Whenever I go ice-skating with friends, we always fall on our bums. Sometimes it’s just nice to be in the rink. I think mediocrity is underrated, and we could all do with a healthy dose. Despite the message above (which I wholeheartedly believe in) I must admit that I’m an obsessively organised overachiever. Frankly, I’m hoping that writing this column will force me to take my own advice. I will C my way to graduation. This is my new mantra. Take it from a tired third year student: academic success validates only a small part of your life and leaves you utterly exhausted. Maybe if we placed a little less pressure on ourselves we would enjoy the roller coaster ride of tertiary education more.
Academic success is important, but not more so than a healthy, well balanced life and peace of mind. I once cried in the ladies bathroom because I got a lower grade than I expected. I passed, but was still disappointed in myself. Don’t pressure yourself: university is not the be all and end all, but rather the beginning. An intellectual cocoon, our last shelter before entering into a career. You’ve been accepted into one of the top universities in the country. Now celebrate your Pass or Credit score! Don’t waste sunny afternoons hiding in a windowless study room in the bowels of the library researching your next assignment. Read under a tree on the Barr
Nicola Dowland is a book-loving BA student who believes there is a Harry Potter reference for every situation, you just need to find it.
THE ‘F’ WORD RUPERT HOGAN-TURNER THINKS FEMINISM HAS AN ‘E’ FOR EVERYONE ART: STEPHEN GRACE
When used in public, the ‘F’ word garners a certain reaction. Some people stare accusingly, while others dismiss it outright. Most simply ask ‘You’re a feminist? But you’re a man!’ It’s a question I’m often faced with and one I don’t enjoy answering. The question itself implies a dislike of feminism, a dislike that’s linked to an ignorance or misconception of exactly what feminism is. But generally my answer goes something like this...
feminism is mentioned, jump to the stereotype of bra burners. They refuse to identify with an ideology that exists to assist them most of all. Feminism doesn’t mean hatred of men; it also doesn’t mean burning clothing. Radical feminism exists, but to say that all of us are like that is the equivalent of saying that all engineering students are douchebags just because some jumped on a moving car. Everyone wins by embracing feminism. Studies have shown that couples that share the workload around
As a middle class, white male I don’t really face adversity. I am rarely considered an ‘other’ or ‘outsider’. In the vast majority of social situations I enter, I am part of the mainstream, the ‘accepted’. Because I haven’t had to overcome basic adversity to do with my race, gender, or class I am largely ignorant to it. I don’t consciously notice the fact that I’m white, nor that I’m a man because neither of those issues are ever questioned or stressed because they are elements of what is perceived to be the ‘dominant identity’. Mass media perpetuates the idea of the white male as the dominant identity, leaving the remainder of people (which, globally, is obviously the majority) in lower positions of power. The dominant identity is constantly changing, because it’s simply an idea. The catalyst for change is resistance to the idea. By resisting the idea and encouraging others to resist and question the idea we can break the cycle. Being a feminist means resisting that idea. So what happened? At what point did I make the jump to feminism? Read carefully, this is the most important part of my column: I haven’t changed, you don’t have to change, there is no change. Feminism is not a club, and to be a feminist there is no bizarre or outlandish ritual. Nor is there a lengthy education process, a guide book or 10 handy hints you need to know. It is something that is acknowledged not accepted – you wake up one morning and realise you’re a feminist and you have been for years. What shocks me most is the lack of recognition. I look at the majority of my friends and I know that they are feminists, they just don’t like to use the ‘F word.’ They don’t treat people differently because of their gender, they all believe in equality. I’m more concerned by my female friends who, when
the house, get paid the same and who see each others as equals are happier, stress less, and HAVE MORE SEX. I tried thinking of a more persuasive argument for male uni students, but I can’t. I shouldn’t joke, but I worry that many people perceive accepting feminism the same as joining a fanatical cult. You don’t have to do anything differently (assuming you already see women as equal) you don’t have to start hating men or partake in the sacrificing of a lamb. I worry that people need to be convinced to acknowledge something that they already do. You have nothing to lose by not being a feminist. Feminism aims to achieve gender equality. In my understanding, feminism is about the normalization of gender in social settings. If you think equality is a good thing and that men and women should be treated equally, that’s feminism. You are a feminist. Say it out loud; say it to your friends! ‘I am a feminist!’ Rupert Hogan-Turner is a dumpling loving honours student who spends his spare time building blanket forts and then tweeting about it.
CHARITY SHOW OFFS OLIVER MORRIS SHUNTS YOU OFF OF YOUR HIGH HORSE ART: KELLY ARTHUR-SMITH
I choose to dedicate this little excerpt of grudgery to those people whose sole pleasure in life is to prove that they are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, morally superior in every conceivable way to myself or any other hapless target of their self-righteousness. They bastardise charity, they laud it over the un-initiated, all in the name of boosting their perpetually ravenous ego. They carry banners, posters and armbands. They are ready and waiting with catchy and meaningless chants in the effort to shame you, so that they may, by comparison, appear to be on the moral high-ground. In my opinion it is one of the lowest forms of blackmail. In annual events such as the 40 Hour Famine or Live Below the Line, there is a disgusting underlying mentality that, because they have given up food for 40 hours or lived on very low income, they know what it’s like to live in severe poverty. What an unspeakably appalling thought. To think that there are so many people who go without food, clean water, shelter, immunisation, loving family or education every day, and these armbandwearing bigots, who enjoy so much of all of these luxuries, would have you believe that they are spending 40 hours in their lack of shoes. It’s quite a sickening kind of joke to see them posed for a photo on an iPhone before it is posted on Facebook with some sort of cringe-worthy caption such as
‘now I know what it’s like, this is like totally sooo bad’. They refuse to even take their pathetic excuse for charity work seriously. They give up the use of one hand (apparently because they want to know ‘how it feels to be an amputee’) and even if they are giving up food, they cheat by eating sweets at certain intervals. I once had a boy approach me and tell me that he was going without television for 40 hours. To him this was apparently a big deal and he asked that I would chip in a couple of dollars. I told him to f*** off; I would give the money to charity myself. Deep problems exist not just with programmes like the 40 Hour Famine, but with so many charitable acts. People are often surprised (not to mention bitter) when a homeless person does not fall on their knees in gratitude at receiving a couple of dollars or a cup of coffee. What have they to be grateful for though? Oscar Wilde asked ‘Why should [the poor] be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table?’ This could not be more apt in the present situation. If you live in the incredibly luxurious and decadent world of middle class Australia, you have no right to expect any gratitude from those who receive your charity. Reading this, you may develop one of two misconceptions that I should like to correct before my editors’ office is flooded with angry letters. Firstly, I do not in any way discourage charitable giving. I think it is one of our most noble attributes as a species. I don’t think, however, that we should feel better about ourselves when we give to charity. We shouldn’t revel in our magnanimity, not when we live in a world that has already gifted us all so much. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I don’t think the aforementioned ‘armband wearing bigots’ are bad people. They want to do good and are caught up in a system that urges them to act in this way, a system that sees charity almost as a way of purchasing morality. This is what must change, not people’s willingness to give. To those who engage themselves in these activities I address you now directly (if you’ve been bothered to read to this point). I urge you: please tone down the large scale banners and posters, research what it is you are supporting, take charity seriously, do not expect gratitude from those on the receiving end of charity and for the love of God, get off your moral high horse, you look like an ass. Oliver Morris enjoys colourful socks, rhubarb and custard flavoured boiled sweets, and playing Monopoly. He is unsettled by hairy forearms and wedgeshaped shoes.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE GENEVIEVE NOVAK IS FLYING SOLO ART: STEPHEN GRACE
I have decided that I am not single anymore. I don’t have a boyfriend or anything, but I am taking myself off the market until further notice.1 For the remainder of the year,2 keep on walking, white knights, I’m wearing both shoes home. I’ll set an alarm to wake up from my 100 year nap, and please stop trying to climb up my hair! I’m flying solo.
Who cares if I get fat? Not me, not my cat. There’s no one there to side-eye me as I unbutton my jeans, reach for another slice of pizza and get excited to watch Embarrassing Bodies. And there’s no one to complain if I just lie there like a dead fish. But really, first dates are awful, one night stands are never actually fun, and having a crush is the absolute worst. Twenty-two is for being a dickhead on the dance floor with my friends, growing out my fringe, and more than anything else, it’s an opportunity to understand myself completely. That’s hard enough to do without dealing with another person on your arm.
Unattached is so much easier. Who wants to care about someone else’s feelings? Who needs a human to cuddle when you can aggressively spoon your pet or pillow? I can kiss my razor goodbye!3 I am now accepting my single status. Future exes need not apply. My pores won’t anymore leak jealousy when I see two people holding hands. Instead, I might even pity them. He probably has a weird sex face, and I bet she never pulls her own hair out of the shower drain. Sure, I won’t have someone sending me cute texts (/unexpected pictures of their genitals) throughout the day, but I’ll take solace in all the money I’m saving on my phone bill. Money I can now spend on more important things, such as myself, and tickets to One Direction concerts. Saturday mornings will no longer be spent trying to politely get the stranger in my bed to go home so I can get on with either dealing with my shame/regret or stalking their Facebook. No more sobbing to love songs! No more throwing The Notebook across the room in an indignant rage! It’s all chick-lit and white wine in the bath from here on out. At brunch with my girlfriends, they’ll all complain about their love lives, and I’ll be smug as hell. While they pick at their soggy fruit salads, I will feel no guilt as I soak my pancakes in maple syrup. 1 Probably until my biological clock starts ticking and I start going baby crazy. 2 More likely: the remainder of this semester. 3 Maybe not the sharp end.
If you have someone and you’re happy, that’s great, but this lonely heart ain’t lonely. You need to be enough for yourself before you can be enough for someone else. I’m not afraid to go to the movies alone, and the other half of my bed isn’t cold. When I decide it’s time to give dating a second chance, I’ll be ready for it. I’ll let you guys know when it happens – I’ll be the one Lucille Bluth winking at everyone, everywhere, all the time. Until then, the only boy I’ll be flirting with is the Dominos delivery guy, for free garlic bread.
Genevieve Novak is a third-year Creative Writing student. She is a gifted Geordie-to-English translator who doesn’t understand her crush on Don Draper.
BOOZING GONE BAD? Photo: Luke Cotter
WORDS: HOLLY RITSON As the most ‘pro-fun club on campus’, the Adelaide University Engineering Society (AUES) has quite a reputation. In 1966, as a charitable stunt, some tech savvy engineering students ‘kidnapped’ a local radio personality to broadcast 24 hours of pirate radio from a boat moored in off of Kangaroo Island. In 1973, engineering students suspended an FJ Holden over the Torrens as a fundraising prank. The reputation of being up for mostly harmless pranks was sorely damaged in 2008, when a scavenger hunt at an AUES event resulted in a woman having her bra forcibly removed. At this year’s AUES pub crawl a flash mob/photo opportunity resulted in damage to a car by a handful of participants. The Sunday Mail front page that weekend declared ‘university ratbags’ to be ‘spoilt little brats’. Ouch. But this article isn’t about the AUES. In fact, it’s hardly about the ‘biggest pub crawl in the southern hemisphere.’ It isn’t even going to be a polemic on the Sunday Mail’s journalism skills. That all happened over a month ago. It’s time to step back and take a look at the bigger issues and broader implications of Boozing Gone Bad. This year’s pub crawl and the reactions to it have raised a set of issues relating to students attitudes towards alcohol, and the role of universities in managing relationships between students and alcohol.
Before discussing what the University has planned, and whether or not the ‘Stop Adelaide Uni Banning Pub Crawls’ Facebook group is at all necessary, let’s take a closer look at some of these issues.
In an ABC radio interview after the pub crawl, Vice Chancellor Warren Bebbington made some comments that elicited strong reactions. In brief, Bebbington declared himself unaware of any ‘pub crawl culture’. He contended that students at the University of Melbourne, his former workplace, apparently prefer croissants to champagne at breakfast, and such events could harm this university’s ability to attract international students and women. Women and international students then took to social media to declare how much they enjoyed the event, and friends across the border confirmed that yes, students in Melbourne drink too. While the role of the Vice Chancellor does not require him to understand and endorse every aspect of students’ lives, such remarks portray the VC as being out of touch with students.
Online news sites were also flooded with reactions to stories about the pub crawl. Given the pervasiveness of the perception of a student drinking culture, and indeed a more broadly acknowledged Australian (binge) drinking culture, it’s no real surprise that many AdelaideNow readers argued that the pub crawl wasn’t that bad. Comparing the behaviour to an average Friday night in the city, commentators were either delighted that something was actually happening in Adelaide, or impressed by the low levels of violence and the general good mood of revellers. Furthermore, there seemed to be an understanding that as hard working students, pub crawlers deserved the opportunity to ‘let their hair down’. Comparisons were made to Schoolies: a weekend where, in the aftermath of year 12 exams, apparently anything goes. In light of this, you can’t help but wonder what the fuss is all about. Where was the harm? If the revellers were mostly well behaved (acknowledging that the few who caused damage didn’t represent the majority), and police were aware of the event, why does the university need to get involved with what adults choose to do on a Friday night?
YOU CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER WHAT THE FUSS IS ALL ABOUT. WHERE WAS THE HARM?
Photo: Luke Cotter
It seems that the reason that the AUES can sell 5000 pub crawl shirts, and that almost every club on campus runs an annual pub crawl is that there’s connection between students and pubs. Heck, I’ll even say that maybe there’s a connection between students and drinking – a drinking culture, perhaps. Bold and daring journalism, I know, but hear me out. A number of tragic events highlight the prevalence and seriousness of excessive drinking by students. The Bond University community was devastated by the death of a 19-year-old student after the ‘End of the World’ pub crawl late last year. The University of Exeter in England has banned all student society initiation ceremonies after a fresher ‘drank himself to death’ on a pub crawl in 2008. In the same year, the University of Canberra reconsidered their
alcohol policies after concerns were raised about alcohol related vandalism and bad behaviour on campus; the University now holds more alcohol free events. In an effort to describe the culture of drinking amongst students, including the existence of problematic drinking, the Faculty of Professions is conducting a comprehensive study into students drinking habits and attitudes towards drinking, called the Student Alcohol Project. Early findings about how much students are drinking are worrying. Dr Emma Miller, one of the researchers involved, considers a student drinking culture to be reflective of broader, embedded social attitudes towards drinking. She regards human beings as ‘hardwired to take consciousaltering substances,’ so while we’re waiting for gradual cultural changes, we need to take steps to minimise the harm caused by ‘over enthusiastic’ drinking behaviours.
PLAYING THE GENDER CARD
‘Engineering is a faculty that’s traditionally dominated by males… I really don’t think this is the kind of event that appeals to young women.’ – Vice Chancellor Warren Bebbington.
Fact: women are traditionally underrepresented in Engineering. Another fact: many women drink alcohol at events such as the AUES pub crawl. To suggest that running events involving alcohol means that less women will want to study engineering is damaging at best, offensive and sexist at worst. Given that the AUES has had a number of troubling encounters incidents regarding the treatment of women in the past, it’s understandable that women may have some trepidation about attending AUES-run events. But that perhaps has less to do with social, organised alcohol consumption, and more with the sexism that defined aspects of past events. I don’t know how simply I need to put this, but restricting the consumption of alcohol at pub crawls will not lead to more women studying engineering. How could we address the gender imbalances in the Faculty? How about more women as leaders or role models in engineering, or more support and encouragement for women interested in pursuing a career in the field. Or just, you know, people not making sexist comments based on outdated gender roles. Dr Miller does note that there is some evidence to suggest that men still drink more dangerously than women. Women, however,
Photo: Tom Graham
are ‘catching up’ – a concerning observation that should not be ignored or dismissed.
Professor Bebbington’s other controversial comment regarded how university related activities are attended by international students, ‘many of whom are from countries where drinking is either forbidden or not encouraged’. It’s objectively good to be open and considerate to international and local students with diverse religious or cultural backgrounds. Practicing awareness and tolerance, by ensuring events are planned with consideration of cultural and religious requirements, creates a more welcoming and enjoyable university community all round. But is severely restricting alcohol related events to achieve inclusivity going too far? Last year, London Metropolitan University moved to ban the sale of alcohol on campus because many of the university’s students don’t drink for religious reasons. Muslim students at the university condemned this idea as divisive and irresponsible. Students said that banning an activity enjoyed by many students would breed resentment, further isolating Muslim students.
Photo: Luke Cotter
Clearly, appealing to individual groups of students on campus risks merely creating division. By framing a change to alcohol policy as a way to attract more, full fee paying, international students, the University fails to consider those students for whom the socialising associated with drinking is an important part of their university experience. The Student Alcohol Project asks international students about their experiences in Australia regarding the pressure to drink and their safety. Initial results show that a surprisingly small proportion of international students feel unsafe or concerned and that many are actually pretty excited by the culture, and enjoy the differences between Adelaide and their home city. Making broad assumptions the experience of international students can lead to further misunderstandings. When developing any future policy, the University should be aware of the problems related to acting on such broad generalisations.
SO WHAT’S A UNIVERSITY TO DO?
Aside from the comments made shortly after the pub crawl, we’ve heard little from the university in terms of plans.
The obvious way to restrict student events is to cut funding, as a post-VSU world is sharply aware of the impact of cutting funding to student organisations. In the case of larger clubs, such as the AUES, there’s no easy way to cut their funding. Deanna Taylor, President of the Union, was quick to point out that the ‘The AUES is an affiliate of the Union’s Clubs Association, but operates independent[ly] of the Union…They also secure their own funding.’ This means that pub crawls would go on regardless, and with even less regulation. To assuage the fears of the 1,090 people who got up in social media arms to ‘Stop Adelaide University Banning Pub Crawls,’ it’s okay – the University has no plans to ban pub crawls. A university spokesperson stated that ‘student welfare and respect for people and property are the University’s first priorities in addressing this issue’. Moreover, Taylor asserts that ‘the Union believes events such as pub crawls can be a positive part of student life when organised and managed correctly’. Instead, initial proposals by the university focus on stronger guidelines for student events, both on and off campus, with more responsibility placed on student club leaders to manage events appropriately.
Guidelines and checklists would be provided to clubs and societies when planning events ensure the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol.
Key to the University’s development process at this stage is further consultation with the student community. Moving away from Professor Bebbington’s initial reactionary comments, the University seems to understand that drinking is an enjoyable part of many students’ (and staff members’) university experience, and that simply banning the activity won’t really address the underlying issues. Dr Miller describes the University’s sense of a duty of care for students – a duty to prevent them from doing harm to themselves, others, and the university. As highlighted above, sometimes there is harm, and that can be tragic. University communities are, and should be, keen to mitigate risk and minimise harm to members of their community. As well as harm avoidance, universities have a reputation to consider and protect. When a group of students represents themselves as University of Adelaide students, regardless of how many are
Photo: Luke Cotter
actually Adelaide students, the University will be involved.
Once we’ve acknowledged that the University has a responsibility to minimise potential harm to students, it’s also worthwhile considering the role of students in improving the safety of University events. While the police seemed to manage the event quite well, the new guidelines will acknowledge that it can’t be up to them to supervise such large events. The guidelines would require a designated event organiser to be responsible for ensuring participant safety, and to stay sober enough to do so. At first this might seem harsh for pub crawl organisers, who often benefit from an event with a to do list that includes ‘buy the organisers a drink’. But if you think about it, what other event with 5000+ attendees would you attend and not expect to see some organised security presence? When attendance is that high, further responsibility should be required. For those of us who prefer to merely enjoy University events, taking stock of and monitoring drinking behaviours from time to time can be an enlightening experience.
Ultimately, excessive drinking is unhealthy, and can cause long term damage. While the idea of the University restricting something students enjoy might seem outrageous and interfering, safe and responsible alcohol consumption should be part of students’ social behaviour. ‘Responsibility’ seems to be the most desirable trait these days for both the University and students. Taking on that responsibility might mean more time spent thinking honestly about the consequences of excessive drinking, a degree of realism, and eating a few more croissants. But if that means better health, a stronger community, and not being the target of sensationalist journalism, I’ll drink (responsibly) to that. Holly Ritson doesn’t know how she found the time to write this.
Can’t remember what happened last Saturday? Concerned about your own or a friend’s drinking habits? It’s really important to seek help. Both University Counselling Service (8313 5663) and University Health (8313 5050) offer free and confidential services to students.
you + in barga barga s, r e in hunt s e t h ska unters, p a e h c lers cheapsk & dea on pus ates & ealers cadm
on campu s
= winning 8â€”15 May Thousands of dollars worth of prizes up for grabs. Become a Union member and start winning! Have your Union card handy throughout the week and keep your eyes on our facebook page facebook.com/auulifeoncampus
Not a member yet? Sign up for your Union Membership Card at auu.org.au or at The General in Hub Central. Keep an eye out for our Union stall where you can purchase memberships and get information on prizes and how to win.
WORDS: LAWRENCE BEN
The recent opening of the Bragg building, constructed at the expense of the revered Union Hall, marks an apt moment to reflect on Adelaide University’s downward spiral from a community once brimming with ideas and energy to a hollow and soulless higher education institution. More than ever before, students must act to resist this unfortunate trend. The destruction of Union Hall permanently removed a site that had hosted decades of Australian cultural history – the international debut of three plays by Patrick White (Australia’s only Nobel laureate for literature), the venue for the first ten Adelaide Film Festivals, a foundation venue for Adelaide’s first Festival of the Arts, and an outstanding architectural example of post-war functional theatre design. All of this history took place within a proud building whose walls displayed the works of Norman Lindsay, John Brack, William Dobell and Arthur Boyd. The demise of Union Hall is just one example of how our University fails to properly recognise its rich and unique cultural heritage – the educator of the Angry Penguin and Jindyworobak poets, the other half of the Ern Malley hoax, the instigator of the oldest student radio program in the country and to quote Bob Ellis, home to ‘the small miracles that came out of Adelaide University drama societies’.
I only ever went to Union Hall once; for a 2004 Fringe performance by a young Wil Anderson when I was 12 years old. I’ll never forget the theatre packed with students, many more already enjoying a party that had spilt across the Barr-Smith lawns. I had sat there eating an ice cream on that summer evening, unbeknowingly surrounded by the theatre’s rich cultural history. This early, albeit small, taste of pre-Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) university life has ultimately turned to be but a memory by comparison to university life today. I walk away from O’Week each year lamenting that an event of such infinite potential fails to provide students with events that will engage and excite them. I watch my peers shudder with disdain when the O’Live lineup proudly features ‘Josh Moore of Big Brother fame’. It’s a shame, especially because O’Week falls within Adelaide’s festival period – a time when there is endless opportunity for our campus to engage with local cultural institutions revelling in the excitement running through our city. O’Week 2013 saw the Little Theatre remain closed, Union House largely empty and the Barr-Smith lawns unused after three days. All of this is reflective of the wider problem at our University. Students are being strangled of opportunities to host creative events on campus. Union House has been hijacked by The University of Adelaide Club to accommodate enough ‘function rooms’ to rival the Adelaide Convention Centre. Moreover, student involvement in the decision-making and
organisation of O’Week has rapidly diminished since the implementation of VSU. Regular art displays throughout the campus are close to nonexistent and burgeoning artists within the university exist without an opportunity to exhibit their works. Members of the University’s Art & Heritage Department have explained to me that they haven’t been able to host to a proper exhibition in two years due to inadequate space. Meanwhile, twelve Arthur Boyd paintings, partly owned by the Student Union, remain somewhere out of sight. All of these issues are indicative of an era of abundant but empty function rooms, focus groups, consultancy and endless but empty marketing within a university that is failing to fulfil its status as a ‘cultural beacon’ along Adelaide’s strip of cultural institutions. The culture-deprived state of our University is reflective of the fact that we live in a time when universities increasingly reject the qualitative and too often take refuge in the quantitative. So as we welcome the Bragg Building as the latest science facility to be imposed on our campus, I implore the University of Adelaide to reflect on the words of an eminent man of the sciences for this occasion, ‘not everything that can be counted counts’. Because even Albert Einstein, as the man who spoke these very words, was able to understand that there is much more to life than the quantitative.
Lawrence Ben thinks that the biggest loser in The Biggest Loser is the television audience.
WORDS: CASEY BRIGGS Supporters of Union Hall argue that the building was demolished to make way for yet another soulless university building. But the reality is that The Braggs is far from soulless. Have you ever dreamed about what the future will be like, and thought of the all the crazy cool technology that we’ll have access to? Whether it’s high speed communication, medical technology rivalling that seen on Star Trek, or environmental friendly energy sources, The Braggs is partly responsibly for its development. Union Hall was an icon for many in the artistic community, once being home to a number of theatre companies, festivals, and one-off shows. But over the years, as the university expanded and space on the North Terrace campus became tighter, it was increasingly used for teaching purposes. First years were crammed into the converted lecture theatre, with many sitting in the aisles to learn about mitochondria, Freud, and supply curves. I agree that the university has an important role to play in the culture of the city. We’re in a space where many aspiring performers have a chance to practice their skills, through various courses and clubs, while they pretend to be seriously considering a career in accounting or whatever. But should that role impact on the primary mission of the university? How about a quick refresher. It’s probably been a while since you last looked at The University of Adelaide Act 1971, but just so you
know, it states that ‘the object of the University is the advancement of learning and knowledge, including the provision of university education.’
development. Researchers are able to detect molecules in samples at very low concentration. This could be a huge step forward in medical science.
I would have thought that in order to ‘advance learning and knowledge’ the university needs to be providing students with, say, well-equipped teaching spaces and a place to sit down.
So what would you prefer, the preservation of a specific piece of 1950s architecture or the ability to know if you are in the early stages of a life-threatening disease?
Not to mention, providing resources for academic staff to conduct bleeding edge research. Obviously knowledge takes many forms, and artistic expression is very important. But PRIORITIES, people. Let’s just take a look at what research is now happening in The Braggs. One of the major occupants of the building is the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS). IPAS is a cross-disciplinary research institute across the fields of materials science, chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all a bit abstract, so let’s drill down a bit into the kinds of things researchers in the institute are working on. IPAS has facilities for researching the production of new forms of optical fibres. I’m talking about really long, thin pieces of glass that you shine lasers through to send information and data long distances at the SPEED OF LIGHT. This is the technology underpinning the next generation internet rollout policies of both the Labor and Liberal Parties.
The building also houses researchers in Atmosphere Space and High Energy Astronomy. This research group is working on projects ranging from measuring water vapour in the atmosphere, to monitoring wind pollution and wind speeds for wind farm sites. So what would you prefer, the occasional comedian coming to perform on campus or high tech renewable energy sources? You get my point. Science is useful, central to the goals of the university, and friggin’ awesome to boot. Yes, a building with significant artistic heritage was demolished in order to build The Braggs. Yes, that’s a shame. But that doesn’t mean that the university should’ve kept the dilapidated building. I, for one, say good riddance to that hunk of junk, and welcome the 21st century in with open arms. I can see as much amateur theatre as I want in one of the many other theatres in Adelaide, but I can’t get amazing super thin strands of glass anywhere else.
So what would you prefer, a venue for student theatre productions or a National Broadband Network? IPAS is also involved in developing improved techniques for medical diagnosis, and drug design and
Casey Briggs is. He just is.
A ROUGH GUIDE TO:
WORDS: ELLIE PARNELL ART: DAISY FREEBURN
If you’ve been anywhere on campus over the last couple of weeks you would have struggled to miss those colourful fliers taped to toilet doors and notice boards promoting travel and volunteering packages for young people. Whether you want to visit South East Asia, Africa or South America, these organisations promise ‘a world of new experiences.’ Even better, by combining your desire to do good with your love of travel, you can apparently ‘change the world, one village at a time.’ But is this kind of doing good really doing good? Voluntourism is the term used to describe this practice of combining tourism and volunteering, and is a pretty good portmanteau – what’s not to love! Turns out, lots. Voluntourism has become very popular in recent years, and so has criticising voluntourism. There are countless blogs, debates and articles devoted to debunking the notion that volunteers can waltz into a community in a ‘developing’ nation and make things better. As the saying goes, ‘not all voluntourism projects were born equal’. They vary greatly in length, destination and work so it’s near
impossible to draw conclusions about the whole industry.
waiting for someone tell me how I could help out.
Obviously spending a week monitoring turtles in South Africa has a very different effect to a seven month placement as a teaching assistant in Laos. That said, there are some fundamental issues with this new trend that need to be addressed and discussed openly.
Enter Lattitude Australia, right on cue. Their flashy PowerPoint, glowing volunteer testimonials, and photographs depicting young people doing helpful things in exotic places had me sold pretty much instantly.
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME, ISN’T IT?
Most of the organisations advertised around campus seem to place significant (read: entire) emphasis on the volunteer having a great experience. The glossy brochures speak of opportunities to travel, meet people and practice a new language. You’ll learn, they promise, about yourself, other cultures, and global issues. Oh, and you’ll get to help people too. So when did the focus shift from doing good to feeling good? My own voluntourism experience, I realise now, was very much about feeling good. I was 17, fresh out of high school, and had a Che Guevara poster stuck to my bedroom door that served as a reminder to ‘FIGHT INJUSTICES!’ Looking back, I don’t think I really knew who Guevara was and I certainly didn’t understand the complexities of issues such as poverty. I was young, naïve, and
I jumped at the opportunity to defer my degree and head over to Tanzania to teach English to hundreds of primary school students. Six months, good memories, and a limited grasp of Swahili later I was back home and being congratulated on my incredible and selfless adventure. I remember beginning to feel a little strange about my journey, and slowly as the years went on it grew into a sense I can only describe as guilt. I didn’t walk into the program with anything other than good intentions. I thought volunteering and providing resources to a school would be an invaluable way to help those who are not as privileged as I am. I distinctly remember thinking: why should I simply travel, when I can travel and give something back to the local community? And pretty much every other past volunteer can say the same. But as Oscar Wilde once said, ‘it is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done’. Oh shit. What I realise now is that I
27 hadn’t once considered whether what I was signing up for would be helpful or even wanted by the community. I placed my trust (and a considerable amount of money) in an organisation that I thought was as well-meaning as I was.
Organisations have a responsibility, first and foremost, to the community they are sending volunteers to. That’s overseas volunteering 101. That means considering whether a proposed project is something the community wants, if the local people are involved in design, implementation and longer term strategy, and how the project might undermine existing social or
WHEN DID THE FOCUS SHIFT FROM DOING GOOD TO FEELING GOOD?
employment structures. Adelaide-based World Youth International (WYI) is an organization that sends volunteers overseas to work on short and long term projects. Adam Whitefield, general manager of WYI explains that they work in total collaboration with the local community, who request, oversee, and drive the volunteer projects. On one of their building projects, there will generally be a 50/50 split of local and foreign labour. After the volunteers leave, the projects are then entirely run and managed by the community. A school built by WYI volunteers in Nepal 15 years ago is one of their proudest achievements. Apart from continued funding, it is completely maintained by a local board and staff, and now boasts over 600 students. Unfortunately, organisations like these aren’t the norm, and we seem to have reached a point where actually consulting with the local community is what sets better organisations apart. This is probably representative of the fact that the voluntourism industry is largely focussed on quantity over quality of overseas projects. And because of that, the needs or wants of the community often comes second to the needs of the volunteers.
ARE YOU QUALIFIED?
In most cases of voluntourism the people embarking on these projects are largely unskilled. When armed only with a Lonely Planet and desire to ‘do good’, it’s hard to see how effective they can actually be. Australian workplaces require qualifications for people to work in education, building and healthcare, so why are people who have just finished Year 12 able to work in these fields overseas? Before I went to Tanzania to teach classes of 50+ pupils, I completed a one week course in ESL teaching. This was considered adequate preparation before I flew halfway across the
world to work in a school for six months.
orphanage experience’ that doesn’t quite sit well with me.
In the 80s and 90s, overseas volunteers largely held qualifications in areas such as medicine, law and nursing. There would be language requirements and a stringent application process. Today, it seems that as long as you have the money, you’re in.
Sadly, fraudulent orphanages do exist. One study found that over 70 per cent of children in Cambodian orphanages actually have a living parent, yet they are being housed there to attract and capitalise on the social conscience of visitors.
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? The types of volunteer roles available are almost as diverse as they countries they are completed in. Let’s start by looking at orphanages. There’s something about being able to ‘book your
Now I’m not suggesting orphanages are inherently bad, you just need to be cautious that you’re not propping up a harmful industry. Of course there are plenty of legitimate orphanages that desperately require funds and support. But maybe visiting them isn’t such a great idea either. There is evidence to suggest that short term visits to help feed or
play with young children can be harmful, as children tend to develop strong attachment to volunteers who then leave. Volunteering projects such as building and teaching are subject to one of the main arguments against voluntourism, that is: volunteering takes jobs away from local people. And it’s a valid criticism – affluent students are essentially paying to do the work that local people could be doing. If you’re considering embarking on a building project, a few questions can be asked. Is the building part of a community-run plan for sustainable development? Is your work actually making a meaningful contribution? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘no,’
* Translation: ‘what the fuck is that guy doing?’ ‘Assuaging his first world guilt.’
maybe you’re better off taking your enthusiasm and cash elsewhere. Another good thing to ask of voluntourism programs is whether the money you’re paying to be a part of the project could be better spent employing locally skilled people to do it? If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to roll down those sleeves and consider making a donation instead.
‘THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN’
And then there’s the notion of ‘whites in shining armour’ that criticises the very act of going to a community in the global south to build or teach or help. One volunteer I travelled to Tanzania with has become disenchanted with the entire voluntourism industry. ‘It’s ironic that a lot of this stems from ‘white guilt’ about colonisation’, he said, ‘because now trying to ‘help’ these countries has simply been commercialised and once again white people are getting rich at others’ expense.’ One of the early and incidental founders of the voluntourism movement was UK organization Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). They were established in the late 1950s to send recent school-leavers overseas to offer unskilled help on building projects. By 1980 VSO had completely changed tack by only offering placements to skilled volunteers and focusing on projects that achieved longer-term development goals. In 2007, UK director Judith Brodie further distanced VSO from other organisations by stating that ‘while there are many good gap year providers, we are increasingly concerned about the number of badly planned and supported
IF YOU WANT TO GO TREKKING 29 IN VIETNAM, THEN GO TREKKING IN VIETNAM. schemes that are spurious, ultimately benefiting no one apart from the travel companies that organise them’.
VOLUNTOURISM: TO DO, OR NOT TO DO?
Simply put, there’s no easy answer. Advocates argue that the cultural exchange that occurs between community and volunteer is invaluable, and volunteers come back well-rounded and passionate about taking further action. On the other hand, there’s the potential harm it can do to the community, people involved, and local businesses. If you’ve weighed up the benefits and costs and think this kind of project is beneficial to you and the community, go ahead. But instead of picking your project out of a catalogue, really think about your skills and what you can meaningfully contribute. Programmes such as the government’s Youth Ambassador for Development scheme require certain qualifications to participate – the message being that there are good choices out there, they’re just a bit harder to find. And if voluntourism doesn’t float your ‘I really want to make a difference’ boat, there definitely are alternatives. Check out some of the clubs on campus, such as Amnesty International,
the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, or Vision Generation. Get in touch with local charities such as the Hutt Street Centre or the Australian Refugee Association and see if they have any volunteer opportunities for kind souls such as yourself. For those of you for whom the biggest appeal of the advertisement is the whole leaving the country thing, maybe consider studying abroad and doing an overseas internship as part of your degree. Alternatively, travel. If you want to go trekking in Vietnam, then go trekking in Vietnam. You don’t really need to tack it on the end of a two week stint in an orphanage. Judie Brodie of VSO notes that ‘young people want to make a difference through volunteering, but they would be better off travelling and experiencing different cultures, rather than wasting time on projects that have no impact and can leave a big hole in their wallet’. It’s really important to open up a constructive dialogue about voluntourism, particularly as it’s advertised so widely here on our campus. And as Adam Whitefield said, ‘it’s about making informed choices’ to ensure that the difference you’re making is a positive one. Ellie Parnell once spent a whole afternoon trying to learn Kate Bush’s dance to Wuthering Heights.
BANNING THE BURQA In May of 2010, Belgium became the first European country to ban the burqa, and France quickly followed suit. In the same month, South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi initiated a campaign to ban the veil when he published a blog post titled ‘Burka [sic] bandits justify burka ban’. He espoused several reasons he felt the garment should be prohibited in Australia, and his message sparked a nationwide debate. In an appearance on ABC’s Q&A Senator Bernardi declared, ‘Enough is enough’ to the perceived burqa threat. Senator Bernardi is clearly not alone in his concerns. The veil debate is a highly contentious one, filled with good intentions, misinformation, and a good dose of fear. According to the 2011 census, Muslims make up a mere 2.2 per cent of the population of Australia. And yet this 2.2 per cent has been enough to fuel fears that Islam poses a serious threat to the Australian way of life. In all of my research for this article, I was unable to find a statistic on how
many of these Muslims are veiled women, but writers on the topic like Shakira Hussein and Julie Posetti agree that the number is miniscule. A full burqa is a very rare sight in Australia – one that is often greeted with open shock and awe. Rhetoric like ‘ban the burqa’ generally refers to two types of veil, the burqa and the niqab. The burqa is the veil we associate with the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. It is sometimes called the ‘shuttlecock veil’ because of its shape. It covers the whole body loosely, and covers the face with mesh so the eyes cannot be seen. The niqab, like the burqa, covers the whole body but leaves the eyes uncovered, and is the veil commonly associated with societies like Saudi Arabia. The burqa and the niqab are not specifically mentioned in the Quran as a requirement, but a dress-code is prescribed for both men and women. Chapter 24, Verses 30-31 of the Quran say that women should ‘lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof’. Islamic scholars are divided over the last part of that sentence, and only a small minority of scholars interprets this to mean that the face should be veiled. This
minority is then further divided by whether the eyes should be concealed.
VEILING AGAINST THEIR WILL?
The general consensus seems to be that a woman wouldn’t wear a burqa or niqab unless forced to. This is certainly true of some women in societies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, where women are legally required to veil their faces. But in countries like Australia where there is no such legal compulsion, why are some women wearing it? It’s possible that women are under severe pressure to veil by their family and friends. Migrant communities can often feel a sense of disconnect and marginalization from the larger Australian society, which empowers conservative community leaders. In an insular community like this, it’s easy to be bent to the will of others. But what of the women that aren’t forced to veil? According to a report published shortly before enacting the burqa ban in France, the vast majority of veil-wearers wore it voluntarily. As Muslims, these women interpreted the Quran to mean that they must
31 WORDS: YASMIN MARTIN cover their faces. Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Muslim attitudes toward women’s appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channeling – toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home.’ The women that chose to veil did not do so with a sense of repression, but rather a sense of privacy. They chose not to reveal their physical features to the public, and so they conceal them behind a veil. Many women describe this process as liberating. Though the liberation in concealing oneself is not easily understood from a Western perspective, this is the lived experience of some veiled women, and should not be ignored.
LET’S BE PRACTICAL ABOUT THIS
The many practical arguments for a veil-ban are generally security concerns that arise around one’s face being concealed. In his blog
post, Senator Cory Bernardi pointed to a case in New South Wales in which a robber allegedly used a burqa as a disguise. Senator Bernardi claimed that the veil was ‘now emerging as the preferred disguise of bandits and n’er do wells.’ This suggestion immediately cast suspicion onto innocent veiled women, further alienating them in a society that already struggles to accept them. There is no evidence to suggest that the burqa is now a preferred disguise of criminals, nor that banning the burqa will result in fewer armed robberies. Ski masks and stockings are still the traditional disguises of bandits and n’er do wells, yet there is little debate as to whether or not to ban them. Burqas, ski masks, and stockings do not cause armed robberies, and it may be more effective to target the root of the crime rather than the costume. Other practical problems such as entering banks and passing through airport security whilst veiled can be dealt with on a caseby-case basis. In most cases, veiled women would be confortable with removing their veils in the presence of a female security officer instead of a male, which is
not difficult to arrange – especially considering the small number of veiled women in Australia. Then, of course, there is the dramatic scene in the popular film Zero Dark Thirty, which documents the capture of Osama Bin Laden. Several soldiers disguised in niqabs surround a suspected terrorist. The soldiers pull guns out from their loose robes, lending credibility to the fear that burqas and niqabs could be used to conceal bombs, guns, and other terrorism devices. The same could be said of any loose-fitting clothing, so this fear is likely rooted in Islamophobic attitudes that equate all Muslims with terrorists.
The cultural arguments for banning the veil are a little trickier to navigate because of their sensitive nature. These arguments are based on the belief that there is a distinct ‘other’ that threatens Australian culture. Senator Bernardi summed up this fear in his blog post: ‘In my mind, the burka [sic] has no place in Australian society. I would go as far as to say it is un-Australian.’ Classifying an item of clothing as un-Australian is problematic, and relies on stereotypical ideals of an Anglo-Australia. Australia
is hardly a homogenous society with uniform values. No textbook can define Australian culture, as it is too broad and changeable. Our culture is continually growing, with influences that range from across the street to across the globe. Senator Bernardi and other veilban advocates depict the veil as the dress-code of ‘newcomers’ that reject the Australian way of life. In a piece entitled ‘Ban Un-Australian Burqa’, journalist Virginia Haussegger writes that ‘wearing the burka - or niqab - in Australia is an aggressive way of saying “I will not integrate into your society, and I care nothing for the cultural mores and social traditions of this country”.’ In fact, according to studies, the majority of Australian women that veil themselves are converts to Islam, or Australian-born Muslims whose mothers did not veil, contradicting the notion that veilwearers are Muslim migrants that refuse to adapt. These are women that grew up with the ‘cultural mores and social traditions’ of Australia, and still made a choice to conceal their faces. Unfortunately the cultural debate is rife with prejudiced rhetoric and stereotypes, which, as former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr warned, are the first steps towards actual full-blooded racism. These types of conflated nationalist views have the makings of xenophobia – an attitude that does a lot of harm and zero good.
The feminist arguments are far more profound, as they are rooted in genuine concern for veiled women. Veil-ban supporters like Virginia Haussegger argue that
the burqa and niqab undermine gender equality by restricting women’s mobility and denying them a meaningful public existence. This is certainly true in societies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, where the veil is used as a tool of repression. Forcing women to veil themselves is unjustifiable, and most of these women live with severe oppression. But is a blanket ban on veiling the answer? Religious activist Hebah Ahmed wears the niqab herself, and has appeared on television numerous times to argue against banning the veil. In a debate on CNN she said, ‘It’s yet another example of men telling women how to dress, how to live their life. It’s another way to try to control women. And to take it to a government level and to try to legislate the way that a woman dresses is not just wrong and against human rights, but it really violates the whole basis [of] democracy… This is a free choice.’ Whilst there are certainly women that are forced to conceal their faces, is forcing women to unveil very different from denying their self-determination? Veil bans in Western democracies support the claim that governments have the right to regulate women’s dress, directly undermining the campaigns for women in societies like Saudi Arabia to have the right to unveil. Banning the veil would be in direct conflict with the central ideals of women’s liberation: that a woman should have control of her body and her life, and be empowered to do so. The veil is a product of sexism and historic patriarchy, but it should not be confused with the
cause. It is a symbol of oppression, not the root. Banning the veil will not make women more free. If anything, it is likely to make Muslim women feel even more alienated in a country that is already very negative towards Islam. *
Legislating and enforcing a veil ban is problematic legally and logistically, and may not even be constitutional. Section 116 of the Constitution states: ‘The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion...’ Banning the veil will do nothing to address the actual causes of oppression. To make a real difference, legislators must look at making real improvements to Muslim women’s lives. Challenge the policies that marginalize Muslim communities. Work within the communities to combat sexism and racism. Pave the way for women to seek aid safely and with dignity, should they need it. Treat Muslim women as Australian citizens, rather than members of an ethnic or religious group. The way forward is to create an avenue for self-empowerment for women who wear the veil in a way that is respectful of their beliefs, their traditions, their needs, and their lived experiences. Calls to ban the veil do not help. They are patronizing, divisive, and, for many Muslim women, just as oppressive as the veils themselves. Yasmin writes from the comfort of her couch. In her spare time she studies Media, eats cheese, and reps as the SRC Ethno-Cultural Officer.
‘Banning the veil will do nothing to address the actual causes of oppression. To make a real difference, legislators must look at making real improvements to Muslim women’s lives. Challenge the policies that marginalise Muslim communities. Work within the communities to combat sexism and racism. Pave the way for women to seek aid safely and with dignity, should they need it. Treat Muslim women as Australian citizens, rather than members of an ethnic or religious group.’
WHY I CAN NO LONGER DANCE TO 34 ‘SINGLE LADIES’ WORDS: LOUISE SCHULZ ART: SPARK SANDERS It was my first seminar of the year and we were going around the room saying our name and what we did over the summer holidays. When my turn came, I had to be honest. ‘My name’s Louise Schulz and this summer holidays I got married.’ Cue a series of shocked expressions and murmurs, with possibly a few gasps thrown in there too. No, I’m not a mature age student. I don’t come from a culture where young marriages are arranged or expected and I didn’t get married for the extra Centrelink money (though let’s be honest, I’m not complaining). I’m not even pregnant, much to my mother-inlaw’s disappointment. I, at the ripe old age of 22, stood up in a church wearing a big white dress and promised to love, honour, and respect the same person for as long as we both shall live, for no other reason than wanting to make that promise. Well, it’s probably a little more complex than that. As I’m sure we’ve all heard at weddings,
marriage isn’t to be entered into lightly. Marriage is an immense and imposing institution, deeply rooted in tradition and with significant cultural, religious, personal, and legal importance. For many people, this statement alone would send them running away from the altar, Runaway Bride style, complete with veil flapping in the wind and a getaway horse/ truck/motorbike. But for me, it’s in that statement that the appeal of marriage lies. Sure there’s the obvious appeal of a relationship – love, companionship and all that – but you don’t need marriage to have those. For me, getting married means that I’m entering into something tangible, recognisable, bigger than myself. We have physical symbols of our commitment, like our weddings rings. Our relationship is recognised, not just by us or our family and friends, but by society at large. I can refer to my husband and everyone knows exactly what that means. I don’t know about you, but I love to know where I stand with someone. The problem sometimes with dating and living together is that those conversations don’t always happen. You know the ones I mean. The ‘where is this going’ conversation, the ‘is this even a
relationship or not’ conversation, the ‘I want to get married and have kids one day but I’m scared to bring it up because I don’t want to freak you out’ conversation. Getting married has meant being deliberate in clarifying what our relationship means and how it is defined. I know exactly where I stand because my husband promised to be committed to me for life. This commitment began before we were married and while the promises made between us were profound and sincerely meant, they were private. Now they are public. Admittedly, actually making these promises publicly is nervewracking, a tad invasive and embarrassing when you start bawling your eyes out in front of everyone you know, but for me it was worth it. Not only do we know the parameters of our relationship, but so does everyone else in our lives, and they can encourage, support, and challenge us to keep those promises. If you’re freaking out right now, don’t worry. You’re not the first. I must have witnessed every possible response since we got engaged. The people who barely knew me but were super excited because engagement = wedding = their Pinterest board coming to life in a
kaleidoscope of ribbons, rose petals and mason jars. The people who felt that asking ‘How old are you?’ in shocked tones was an appropriate response to finding out someone is engaged. The people who were just so confused and surprised that they felt compelled to ask if the diamond ring on my ring finger was actually an engagement ring. The whole experience has brought out the arts student in me. I’m super aware of our cultural narratives regarding marriage. For all the hype surrounding weddings, the picture of marriage painted by the various voices around us is ultimately a bleak one. Husbands are either angry and domineering or weak and incompetent. Wives are emasculating nags or funsucking burdens. At best, marriage is portrayed as the done thing, the necessary concession of growing older and settling down. At worst, it’s seen as an instrument of oppression; a tool used by women to trap men into monogamy or by men to gain power over women, financially, physically, and emotionally. It is in no way my intention to say that the above statements are never true. There are far too many examples in our society to argue otherwise. But I would like the opportunity to paint a different picture. A healthy marriage is a relationship of extraordinary intimacy, where all your thoughts, desires, quirks, flaws, and weaknesses are exposed. In many ways, it’s about being vulnerable. Amazingly, this level of vulnerability does not always
weaken people. In many cases, it allows your partner to support you at a deeper level than most other relationships. Not only are they the person who knows you best but they’re also the person who believes in you the most. And they promised to do that, for better and for worse. Many things in life involve risk and having someone by your side to support you emotionally, financially and practically can give you the security and freedom to take those risks, whether it’s moving overseas, quitting the job you hate, having children, pursuing your passions, or even just writing an article for On Dit. Beyond the personal level, I sincerely believe that marriage provides a unique and powerful opportunity for men and women to be unified rather than divided. In a world where sexual and domestic violence are all too common and are primarily perpetrated by men against women, barriers between the genders can seem natural or even necessary. But a good marriage, characterised by intimacy and support, can challenge these barriers.
Husbands and wives can share the struggles of their genders and gain new insights, not just into their partner, but into the realities of their partner’s gender. Through our relationship, I have seen my husband grow in understanding and become increasingly passionate about issues such as gendered violence, in part due to hearing my perspective. Or possibly because he was forced to listen to angry rants about South Australian rape law for a whole semester of criminal law. Marriage in our society is undoubtedly complex and fraught with problems, far beyond my capacities to address. I simply wish to enter a fresh, dissenting voice into our cultural discussion on marriage – one that dares to proclaim the possibilities of marriage as exciting, affirming, and even desirable.
Louise Schulz is a 5th year law student who is unashamedly obsessed with llamas and secretly dreams of campaigning for the forgotten minority: left-handers.
ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE Wanted: Male/Female Aged 18-65, Healthy/Overweight for Clinical Trial. If you look on any message board around Uni, you’ll see advertisements for various clinical trials that are going on across the road in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. At the bottom of the A4 piece of paper, a line of phone number cut-outs hang, untouched, eventually covered up by people seeking housemates (Wanted: Male/Female Aged 18-30, Not Creepy, for sharing bills) and posters warning about the Illuminati or encouraging you to find God. In almost every case, participating in a clinical trial will earn you $18 an hour. It’s not amazing pay, but pretty good for doing nothing more than being an eligible person and letting people do tests on your body, particularly if you’re a starving uni student. It seems as though the hospital/health science department is well aware of this, and a very large proportion of test subjects seem to be students. Often, people who participate in one study will go on to participate in more, and I’ve heard stories of people making a reasonable living just by participating in studies. Anyway, I decide that I’m going to participate in a medical study. What do I have to do? I pick a trial that looked like it wouldn’t be too gross or too dangerous. Or, for that matter, too quick (hey, if I’m doing this for the money,
WORDS: SAM YOUNG I may as well earn a decent amount, and it’s not as though I have many contact hours). Wanted: Male Aged 18-65, Healthy/Diabetic, for gastrointestinal study.
some sensors at the end. First it goes into my nose, and then down the back of my throat and into my stomach. Plenty of local anaesthetic makes sure this doesn’t hurt, and quells the old gag reflex.
I’ll admit, ‘gastro-intestinal’ sounds pretty scary, but it can’t be that bad, right? I send off an email asking for more information, and a couple of hours later get a call from the researcher. She explains that the study involved two parts. They are about how a hydroxycitric acid (HCA) affects the rate of absorption of glucose by the small intestine. As a healthy participant I would be a control test.
Now we have to wait as my stomach, craving food, pushes the tube down past it, into my small intestine. First I jump up and down a little bit, but then I mostly lie down and wait. Diodes on my left arm measure the acidity each centimetre along the tube, telling the researchers how far down the tube has gone.
Did that sound alright to me? I’ll need to come in for a screening on Tuesday; they’ll measure my height and weight, and take a quick blood test. No worries, I say. I’m not scared of needles. At the screening, I’m given a standard meal to eat the night before the test (frozen lasagne–it could be worse) and told I’ll need to fast after that. I really like food, and have a very direct relationship with my stomach, but again, this doesn’t seem too awful, I suppose. On Friday morning, I arrive a little bit late (and a little bit hungry, having eaten my night-before meal the night before) and get slightly lost in the Eleanor Harrald building on the way. It’s like a rat-maze in here, and not all the lifts make it up to the sixth floor. Eventually I find my way, and I’m led to a room that looks like any other private ward room, with a couple more fancy machines. The next part is pretty gross. To make sure that absorption in my small intestine is measured accurately, a nasoduodenal tube needs to be inserted all the way into my small intestine. This is basically a clear plastic tube with
Half an hour passes, and the tube slowly makes its way through my stomach and into my small intestine. The infusion nozzle is in; node one is in. We need to reach eight before we can start. An hour passes. Six is in. Seven is in. Push the tube a little further in, no wait, seven is out. One researcher is a fan of the ‘wait and let my stomach do its thing’ method, the other likes to play with the tube, moving it in a bit, out a bit, to try and hurry up the process. They bicker. An hour and a half has passed, and the tube is in. One hour of HCA infusion, then two hours of glucose infusion. I read a book, and try to ignore the tube at the back of my throat. Eventually I’m offered some more local anaesthetic. It tastes gross, but it’s more comfortable afterwards. My blood is taken every fifteen minutes, and I have to fill out a survey each time. Again, it’s a good thing I don’t mind needles. I respond to questions like ‘how hungry are you?’ and ‘how much food could you eat right now?’. My stomach rumbles. I try to read. I don’t really notice the tube anymore. I fill out surveys. More than anything, I’m a little bored. When time is up, there is
only 2ml of glucose left in the bag. I’m the last subject in the trial, and they have it down to a fine art. Now the tube is slowly pulled out. This is one of the most strange and disgusting sensations I have ever experienced. Up the back of my throat, it tickles, it slithers. The anaesthetic has worn off, and I’m trying not to gag. On my lap is a paper towel, and onto it lands a slimy disgusting looking worm/tube, off to be cleaned and sterilised. But we’re not done. There are two more hours of monitoring, more blood tests, and more surveys. My body reacts quickly to the change, and my blood sugar levels even off. Time is up. There is one more part of the test. I’m taken into another room, where a cold buffet is laid out in front of me. I have half an hour to eat as much as I want. My stomach forgives me for neglecting it these last 18 hours. At the end of half an hour, I’m good to go. I feel a little flat, and I know I have to go through it all again a week later, but on the whole it wasn’t so hard. Being a uni student, I’ll be paid directly into my bank account (as the uni has that on file), within a couple of weeks. I worked about twelve hours all up. I sold my body to science for a day: for $200 and a few meals. I’m not sure whether I’d do it again. I think I probably would. Questions of whether medical departments are abusing the fact that students are often poor aside, the whole procedure felt pretty safe, and wasn’t all that uncomfortable. And hey, it’s 200 bucks. Sam Young spends as much time cycling as attending class. That’s a lot of one, and not much of the other.
WORDS: BEN NEILSEN PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS ARBLASTER Despite their youth, the four arts technicians behind Artsake Productions, Lily PookRyan, Michal Kedem, Sophie Calderbank and Tara Tahmasebi, are building names for themselves in Adelaide’s art scene. They’ve each been around the block, working at major events from the Feast Festival to WOMADelaide. It’s not surprising then that ‘The Tunnels’, Artsake’s highly anticipated first project, sold out almost immediately. ‘The Tunnels’ capitalises upon the trend of urban reinvigoration, becoming yet another initiative that works to revitalise forlorn areas with projects to benefit the community.
open daily as a public art gallery, with artists exhibiting works in response to adjudicated themes. The stories of Adelaide’s subterranean city are certainly alluring, but despite their inherent spookiness, many of the tunnels once had a fairly bland, practical purpose. The chambers below Adina were once used to stow gold, and once housed the Treasury’s photolithographic department. The Artsake team definitely stumbled upon a curious venue and a marketing juggernaut, but the girls explain that there was more to the decision than just that. ‘There is, of course, a movement towards using unexpected spaces in Adelaide to get people excited and interested. Though, the architecture and design [of Adina’s basement] is an avid element to ‘The Tunnels’ experience, and becomes part of the art itself– challenging the way you think.’
‘The Tunnels’ is described as a visual and performing arts experience, and is a fortnight long festival focusing on the talent of emerging South Australian artists.
Indeed, Artsake faced challenges of their own because of the venue’s logistical issues. Capacity and ticket sales were heavily influenced by the three hour oxygen limit, and as the basement is heritage listed, works could not be installed upon the walls. It was at this point that Fascination Street came aboard as co-producers, also designing a free standing internal structure with which to install large artworks.
Along with a subterranean soiree each Friday night, the venue is
A ‘shoe string’ budget made Artsake more determined to
In an unusual move, the Artsake team decided upon a disused subterranean venue – the passages below Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury (formerly the Medina).
ensure ‘The Tunnels’ saw the light of day. An entourage of skilled local artists jumped at the opportunity to be involved, a successful Pozible project raised ample funds, and Splash Adelaide also provided assistance. ‘In South Australia people want to see creative innovation and want to be influenced, so there was a lot of community support. There’s a large grass roots movement, and there’s a lot of commercial arts in Adelaide, but there’s nothing in between. Splash Adelaide is actually making a positive step towards this middle ground, closing the gap and perhaps even building a sub culture.’ Despite full-time employment, each member of Artsake found time to ensure the project’s success. They worked in consultation with some of Adelaide’s more experienced arts workers as well as the various contributing artists and designers. Artsake is clearly a passionate, driven body. ‘The talent is there in South Australia, the spaces are there, it’s just a matter of people coming together and collaborating.’ The team behind ‘The Tunnels’ can surely expect much future success. However, the women of Artsake simply hope that their first project will spawn other courageous arts ventures, more interest in unloved urban areas, and an appreciation of locally grown talent.
CONSOLE WARS WORDS: ZANE DEAN ART: KELLY ARTHUR-SMITH 2013 is the year, kids. The year where new, shiny consoles swoop down to sweep your perfectly functional current ones into obsolescence. Yes, I know. The Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 all feel as though they’ve been around since long before you began disappointing your parents with awful life choices but we are on the cusp of change. The eighth generation of video games – Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s new Xbox – is upon us. Consoles can get pretty tricky to understand, especially for those not hovering eagle-eyed over the internet. So, whether you picked up a controller ten years or ten days ago, let’s get you up to speed with the new generation of video games and what it means for you.
We’ll start with Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, because it’s already out and has been for six months.
I know, I didn’t really register either. And no, this is not a new controller for your Wii. It is an entirely new system. When Nintendo brought out the Wii in 2006, they captured the hearts of families everywhere with simple motion controls and a variety of casual, fun party games. They also attracted the upturned noses of most serious gamers for the exact same reason. Hardcore gamers shunned the Wii, and the Wii U is an attempt to recapture that audience. How do you win over jaded hardcore gamers? By stuffing literally every gaming feature one can possibly implement into one baffling system, of course. I mean, look at the thing. It has a touchscreen, motion controls, a camera, a TV remote, and that’s just one of its three different controllers. The Pros: It can put out HD images and it is incredibly pretty. Much more so than the Wii. It can do just about anything – it accommodates both traditional and totally unique games. It’s more than a gaming
console – Nintendo are trying to make the Wii U the central hub of your living room. It can surf the internet, function as a TV remote and much more. Nintendo games are generally wicked. Those who passed over the Wii missed out on fantastic games. We can be pretty confident that Nintendo will continue this trend, with new Mario, Super Smash Bros. and Zelda games in development. You can play your Wii games on it, although the process is more complicated than it needs to be. Still, it’s something. The Cons: There aren’t many good games currently out yet. Most current games for the Wii U are either ports of games already released for other consoles (Assassin’s Creed III, for example) or party games like Just Dance 4. It’s games that ultimately make a console, and the Wii U just doesn’t have any killer exclusives to justify buying it yet. It might be outdated by the end of the year. The Wii U may be a massive step-up from the Wii in terms of graphics and power, but it’s roughly on
par with the PS3 and Xbox 360. So, it’s fair to predict that when Sony and Microsoft drop their new consoles later in the year, they’ll outclass the Wii U. Released: Last November.
Price: Approx. $350 for the standard console, or $430 for the premium console.
Ah, the PlayStation 3. It’s one of the two more traditional gaming consoles of the current generation, catering to the crowd interested more in COD, Mass Effect and, y’know, games that aren’t called ‘Carnival Family Party 6!’ or something. The PS3 has probably stolen a partner or two from you with its allure, leaving you sympathising with Lana Del Rey more than anyone has any right to. The PlayStation 4 was officially revealed by Sony in February. Well, sort of. We know it exists, we know some hardware specifications and features, we know about the controller. Much of the rest is shrouded in mystery: nobody even knows what the console looks like. All is expected to be revealed later in the year, but for now, here’s what we do know, and what we can speculate: The Pros: It’s going to be a very beautiful, powerful machine. People who’ve seen the console in action describe it as breathtaking, and the screenshots and videos floating around suggest as much. It has a lot of cool new social features, like a share button on the controller allowing
you to share footage of what you’re playing with others. The PS4 will be a much more social playing experience than any of the current generation consoles provide. There is comfort in familiarity. The PS4 doesn’t look as though it’s going to shake things up too much; it’s an upgrade, not an overhaul. You’re not going to have to adjust too much, you’ll just get to marvel at the new graphics and features. The Cons: Do you need to upgrade to the PS4 right away? If you’re really into games and need the newest technology to play the newest games as soon as possible then yes, but for the average consumer, is there a pressing need to upgrade? Your PS3 probably works fine and there are still plenty of new games being released for the system. It’s not backwards compatible, meaning it can’t play games from any of the other PlayStations. You’ll need to hang onto your PS3 if you want to go back and play the other games you’ve bought. We don’t yet know many of the games that will come out with it. There are a couple of good ones on the horizon, like Assassin’s Creed IV and Battlefield 4, but whether they’ll be available at launch isn’t clear. The PS4 may face a Wii U situation, where there aren’t any killer games available to justify purchasing the system at launch, but hopefully the wait for some truly great games won’t be as long. Released: Fourth quarter of the year, probably. Price: No official word yet, but the PS3 was at least $700 at launch, so I
wouldn’t expect anything cheap.
Last and, in a way least, is the new Xbox. I say least, because this is the console we know the least about. It doesn’t even have a name yet, but everyone has taken to calling it the ‘Xbox 720’. I’m just going to keep referring to it as the ‘new Xbox’. Various rumours have circulated surrounding the new Xbox, from developers and ‘inside sources’. An official reveal is tipped for May, but until then, all we have is speculation and a few rumours, some of which are actually kind of worrying. The Pros: As with the PS3, it’s a safe bet that the new Xbox is going to be a powerful and beautiful machine. Word on the grapevine is that its specs will sit somewhere near the PS4’s. The new Xbox is tipped to cast its net a bit wider than the PS4, with a stronger focus on its motion sensing Kinect technology and on multimedia. However, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft are not going to alienate its current audience completely, and it’ll still be dedicated to hardcore gaming. The Cons: Most signs point towards there being no backwards compatibility, a flaw it shares with the PS3 One of the strongest rumours surrounding the new Xbox is that, to play it, you need to be connected to the internet. Like, at all times. It’s possibly the worst idea I’ve ever heard. There’s no solid proof of how far the ‘always-on’ requirement extends or if it
truly exists; many developers have said it does, but let’s hope for our sakes that that’s not true, because this is Australia and pretty much everyone has to deal with shoddy connections now and then. Perhaps if Labor’s NBN takes off this would be alright but whoa #politics let’s not go into that. Another strong rumour surrounding the console is that you won’t be able to play secondhand games on it. Yep. No preowned games, no borrowing games from your mate and ‘forgetting’ to give it back. On behalf all of us poor students with dodgy ethics, I’m fervently praying that this isn’t true. Released: Most signs point to the new Xbox being released before Christmas this year, but we’re ultimately not sure. Price: Well, the Xbox 360 launched at around $500$650, so expect it to be significant.
SO, WHAT DO I BUY?
Which next-generation console you buy, and whether you buy one at all, is ultimately your own decision. Hopefully, I’ve given you some information to help you make an informed decision – but as two of these consoles aren’t released yet, things could change a fair bit over the next 12 months. The current generation of consoles, however, is perfectly fine (well, the Wii is kind of dead, but the PS3 and 360 still have some life in them left) so don’t feel too much pressure to upgrade. No matter what console you’re playing on, happy gaming! Zane Dean is a petulant twelve year old capable of downing an entire bag of cheese and onion chips at an ungodly speed
WINTER WARMERS: MUSIC STEPHEN GRACE KEEPS YOUR EARS COMFY DURING THE COLD MONTHS PHOTOGRAPH: ALICIA STROUS
I get it – it’s tiring pretending you’re into cool things. Between loitering in alleyway coffee shops sipping your fair trade Ethiopian blend, reading Hemingway and popping tags at thrift shops, there is barely any time left for finding music that will make you seem sophisticated.
head-turning brass riffs. Lemoine’s French accent particularly adds to the originality of the album. His smooth vocals conjure a brooding atmosphere that’s hard to stop listening to. If you’re in the mood for something experimental but totally captivating, Woodkid is your man.
Well don’t worry, I am here to shortcut your search for aural pleasure. Here are three new albums you probably have not heard of (flicks hair) to keep you warm this winter.
Daughter - If You Leave
Woodkid - The Golden Age Yoann Lemoine is a talented dude. This Frenchman has a finger in many creative pies: he’s a director, graphic designer, and performs as Woodkid. But perhaps most surprising is his ability to translate an immersive epic style across mediums; Lemoine produced the album art and film clips for this debut. The Golden Age is a fresh take on baroque pop with huge orchestral sounds, knee-bopping percussion and
If you like: The National, Antony and the Johnsons Song to start with: I Love You www.woodkid.com
When listening to Daughter there is an unmistakable tension brimming under the surface. She strings you along with the expectation it will all erupt. Daughter layers Florence Welch-esque vocals over minimal ambience that grows into a beautiful mess of guitars in tracks like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Youth’. There is almost a contradiction between Daughter’s sweet voice and the morose lyrics, but the marriage of the opposites creates a bittersweet harmony. If You Leave focuses on loss, nostalgia and family. The record opens with ‘Winter’, which lulls you you into a false sense of security, but leaves you feeling heart broken about things you’ve never even experienced. Anyone else? No? Okay If you like: Florence + the Machine, Feist, Wye Oak Song to start with: Smother www.ohdaughter.com Atu - Pictures on Silence Now is a great time for independently releasing music. Never before have artists been so able to directly distribute music to their fans. And that is exactly how Atu is getting it done. The 20-year old from Michigan has managed to gain significant traction from services like Soundcloud and Bandcamp. He now has a loyal following drawn to his bass-driven instrumentals and taunting use of silence. Atu’s R&B influences are obvious as he pulls apart samples and distorts them into ethereal downtempo experiences. Those familiar with The Weeknd will appreciate the dark emptiness you cannot help but feel when listening to Atu. Pictures on Silence is a beautiful debut release. Call it ‘future beats’ or ‘2-step’ or whatever, I want more of what he is making. If you like: The Weeknd, Burial, XXYYXX Song to start with: Can Do It picturesonsilence.com
WINTER WARMERS: NUTRIENTS JESSICA MARTIN HAS VEGETABLE SOUP FOR YOUR SOUL PHOTOGRAPH: JESSICA MARTIN
As the Big Cold approaches, you should probably be gathering supplies like fruit & nut chocolate and various teas to keep you warm and slightly pudgy until spring. More likely though, all you’ve squirrelled away is a nice list of sources for the end of term essay. Normally this would spell disaster for you and the rest of the pack as little by little you stop venturing out of the den, and soon the only food to be found is mi goreng and soft drinks from The General. But lo! Here is a recipe for all the cheap soup to keep you at least nominally sustained until the thaw. A good vegetable soup can last you 4-5 days. The secret is to freeze it into portions. The good news is you can use almost anything and it’ll taste good. You want to end up with all the soup, so don’t worry about how much of each vegetable, just add in what’s at hand. Vegetables such as… Eggplant Zucchini Onion Mushroom Soupy broth type things: Water Olive Oil Tinned/Fresh Tomatoes Liquid Stock Wine Leftover from House Parties Herbs and Flavourings: Rosemary (forage for it) Vegetable Stock Powder (or liquid if you prefer) Salt and Pepper Thyme Extra Credit: Barley Celery Greens Crusty Bread for Dipping The how-to of Vegetable Soup is much more important than the ingredients. That said, there are only two steps.
Firstly identify the vegetables that need frying, and fry them in your stockpot/saucepan. If in doubt, poke the vegetable. Slight sponginess generally means you should fry it. So chop up your frying veggies, small enough not to choke on, and fry them. Fry for about 2 minutes – until they look glossy and warm, but are still recognisable shapes. Step two is to add all the other things. Add water first to cover the vegetables and stop them frying, then just keep putting things in until your fridge is tidy and the soup smells nice. It should be pretty gloopy with all the veg, but the perfect soupy consistency is up to you. If you’re feeling confident you can add some barley and let it soften, then serve the soup with a garnish of celery greens or parsley. Ideally, the soup should mature. Tend to its needs as it does yours. Let it be your constant study companion. Take a bowl into your blanket burrow while you finish those readings, or put some in a thermos for the bus to those 9am tutes. The soup will always be there for you.
Spend your Youth Allowance in the best way possible â€“ on items that will become your best friends in the wardrobe. Layer them, customise them, thrash them; these staples were made for wearing. Say goodbye to nothing-to-wear days, and hello to failsafe outfits. (P.S: each garment was specially selected so that everything you see can be mixed and matched!)
BY ROWAN ROFF
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
List the following products in order from least expensive to most expensive. Send your answers to email@example.com and we’ll give you one of them! A Tea Bag Adobe Creative Suite 6 Easy Off Bam bathroom cleaner (500mL) Leggos Tomato Paste (280g) Sakata Ricecrackers (Chicken) (100g) Bostick Gluestick (21g) (2 pack) Apple iPad mini 32G (Wi-Fi + 3G) House, 2/139 Devonport Tce, Prospect, SA 5082
HOROSCOPES ARIES You decide to save tens of dollars by going to that Korean-language hairdresser/convenience store. That bowl cut really brings out your eyes. TAURUS A family reunion becomes the perfect setting for soliloquising on disbanding the patriarchy after an ‘uncle’ squeezes you inappropriately. GEMINI Spurred on by Pizza Hut’s all-youcan-eat buffet, you will consume more than twice your body weight in ham and pineapple pizza. Wear elasticised pants. CANCER You realise that, when including both seasonings, barbeque shapes represent at least three food groups. Goodbye, clinical malnourishment! LEO The ‘missed connection’ you sent in last edition leads to a surprise Facebook message complete with winky face – get in there, my son! VIRGO After defaulting on rent for the third week in a row, you take to secretly living in Fix. Remember to thank the Union for all that stolen Mi Goreng.
BY CLARE VOYANT LIBRA You will design and manufacture a smart dinner jacket out of all the ‘Free Upsize!’ cards you’ve hoarded from Gelatissimo. SCORPIO After a gag horoscope came true, you will find yourself suspicious of all psychics, alternative therapies, and women with balls. This is probably for the best. SAGITTARIUS Despite the mockery from your peers, that small-business idea about mobile cat-grooming vans has real potential. Dream big. CAPRICORN You will actually do your required readings this week, and actively participate in tutes. This is more shocking than any other horoscope here. AQUARIUS In a bid to impress your hipster peers, you will attempt to grow an ironic beard. For ladies, this is a mistake. For gents, this is still a mistake. PISCES You will find an unattended stash of Entertainment Book vouchers on the bus – is this a blessing or a curse?
PEOPLE ‘N’ THEIR PETS Match the humans with their pets. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Clue: Rhonda is scared of fish.
WOULD YOU RATHER? Be the best raquetball player in the world or find $65? Murder your first born child, or have George W Bush granted immortality and reinstated as the president of America for the rest of eternity?
Have a wonderful relationship but the sex is bad, or have an awful relationship with amazing sex?
Meet Justin Bieber in person, or save 1000 kittens from dying? Have to say everything you think, or never speak again?
Have the power to teleport 15 metres in a random direction everytime you sneezed, or every 10 days be able to shoot 6 cotton balls from your mouth at 67 km/hour? Have endless amounts of tea or be the god of cats?
TARGEDAWKU 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, hence finding this edition’s Awkword (normal Sudoku rules apply).
WHY THE AWKWORD GROSSES US OUT: You’ve got a rash on your arm. It’s spreading. In a gross way.
H H L
FREE THESIS TOPICS TOM SHELDRICK HAS IDEAS FOR POSTGRADS THAT NEED TO SUBMIT TOPICS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS
Dictionary Revisited: The Entire Collection of English Words in a Better Order. Dogs Cannot Mate With Cats: Three Years of Unsuccessful Experiments. Epidermis Exposure Effects: An Exhaustive Summary of All Leaked Celebrity Nudes and Their Public Reception. Tasting Defeat, Smelling Fear, Hitting Rock Bottom and Other Sensory Idioms Explored. Determining Why Some People Still Say ‘Punk’D’. I Wrote This Thesis the Night Before it was Due and it’s Actually Not That Bad. Clutching At Straws: A Flawed Experiment Comparing Gay Marriage to Bestiality to Further My Bigoted Agenda. Jamaican Me Crazy: To What Extent Are Pick-Up Lines Successful In Human Interactions? Desensitisation: How An Entire Generation Can Know ‘Two Girls One Cup Exists and Continue Living in the Society That Created It. The Correlation Between imdb.com ‘User Reviews’ and Clinical Depression. Same Obsession, Different Reason: Do Atheists or Christians Know the Bible Better? Global Productivity: Examining How Much Better the World Would Have Been Without Facebook. Comparing Humans Who Were Good Boys and Finished Their Vegies with Those Who Did Not. A Historical Perspective On Why I Got Beat Up So Often In High School.