ISSUE ONE | AUTUMN 2016
W’SUP [ ] 404 ERROR: LOGO NOT FOUND
HOLI PRIZES! REBLAND #LETTHEMSTAY SOLAR REVOLUTION COUNCIL AMALGAMATION
CALLING OUT SEXUAL ASSAULT IMAGE: JEN COLLINS
WRITE FOR US Send us your stories, artwork, blurbs, photos, articles, reportage, rants, poems, fiction, recipes, good news, not good news and pet photos. SUBMISSIONS: WSUP@westernsydney.edu.au ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: WSUP@westernsydney.edu.au website: cruWsible facebook: cruWsible twiiter: cruWsible app: cruWsible (Like all things, these will change. But they haven’t yet !)
EDITORS Ian Escandor, Beau Dunne, Melissa Swann, Hikmat Al-Malliki, Jodie Sale, Nicole Gismondo
COVER ART Jen Collins
W’SUP acknowledges the country and People of the Darug, Gandangarra and Tharawal Nations and acknowledges their ancestors who have been Traditional Owners of their country for thousands of years. crUWSible pays respect to their Elders past and present image opposite: arsaytoma
CONTENTS student representatives 6 news from Parramatta and Hawkesbury SCCs 7 congratulating the new Bankstown SCC
campus 8 calling out sexual assault 9 bland rebrand 10 happy times in student land 11 we need a logo 13 language separates us from the animals 14 holi 15 food waste matters
news 16 council amalgamations 17 solar potential 18 #letthemstay
reflect 23 is crying a sign of weakness ?
Campus Health Checks brought to you by your Student Councils By Nicole Gismondo
HAWKESBURY Campus Council Office: Stable Square K4.G.82
CAMPBELLTOWN Campus Council Office: 4.G.10A Student Kitchenette: 4.G.10 (access through 4.G.09) Women’s Room: 2.2.05 (possibly affected by the refurbishment work in this building) Queer Room: 4.G.07 Parents Room: 21.G.39, 4.G.02, 30.G.204 Muslim Prayer Rooms: 2.2.02 Prayer & Meditation Facilities: 2.2.07 Parking: No issues, it’s Campbelltown Current Construction: a lot of refurbishment
Student Kitchenette: G1.G.46A in the Learning Commons, M3.G.02, H7.G.02, K4.1.14 Women’s Room: K4.G.79 Queer Room: K4.G.74 Parents Room: K4.G.20 Muslim Prayer Rooms: P22.G.02 Prayer & Meditation Facilities: P23.G.01 Parking: Next to G block for lectures, not on the grass (snakes). Let’s be real, there’s no major issues; it’s Hawkesbury Current Construction: None! Best Coffee: Shae at Jamaica Blue Best Lunch: Jamaica Blue Gym: K27
Campus Council Office: 1.1.210 Student Kitchenette: 1.G.18, 23.1.17 Women’s Room: 1.1.211 Queer Room: 1.1.212 Parents Room: 1.G.07 Muslim Prayer Rooms: 10.G.19 (Female), 10.G.20 (Male) Prayer & Meditation Facilities: 10.G.13 Parking: No issues, it’s Bankstown Current Construction: None Best Coffee: Café in Building 1 Best Lunch: Also café in Building 1 or trek it to Ashford Ave
Best Coffee: Bobbies Cafe Best Lunch: Jamaica Blue (expensive) or just trek it to Mac Square
Gym: Building 18
WHAT IS A QUEER SPACE ? The University provides safe spaces specifically for staff and students identifying as LGBTIQ and their straight Allies, on our main campuses. These rooms are called Queer Spaces or Rooms and are provided by the University to nurture Western’s LGBTIQ community through provision of resources and a place to meet, discuss and support each other.
PARRAMATTA Campus Council Office: EA.G.35 Student Kitchenette: EG.G.07 (access through the Hub or back of Hub) Women’s Room: EB.G.16
Queer Room: EA.G.37
Campus Council Office: N.G.30
Parents Room: EN.LG.23 (on the silent bottom floor of the library)
Student Kitchenette: K.1.64, K.2.01, P.G.01, WS-BN.G.01
Muslim Prayer Rooms: EA.LG.14A (female) EA.LG.14B (male)
Women’s Room: H.G.03A (inside multi-faith spaces)
Prayer & Meditation Facilities: EF.G.07
Queer Room: N.G.03
Parking: Before 8.30am, after 4-5pm Mon-Thurs South Campus, North generally before 11am, after 3-5pm Mon-Thurs, otherwise expect to be fluking spots first half of semester. No issues expected Fridays.
Parents Room: I.05.D Muslim Prayer Rooms: H.G.04 (male), H.G.04A (female) Prayer & Meditation Facilities: H.G.10 Parking: No issues, it’s Penrith
Current Construction: New Science Facility EHa on South Campus, blocking access past the Auditorium and School of Business, 1 PSQ in Parramatta CBD
Current Construction: Plans for new food court in old library
Best Coffee: Bernie at the Bakehouse, Oliver Brown (expensive)
Gym: Building L
Best Lunch: Upmarket Boilerhouse, also Bakehouse, or trek it back to Parramatta CBD
W’SUP Editor, Women’s Officer, Clubs Representative, Parramatta SCC
Best Coffee: Piccolo Me Best Lunch: Piccolo Me
Compiled by Nicole Gismondo
Gym: Outside *ugh* near shuttle bus stop on the oval
WHAT IS THE WOMEN’S ROOM ? The Women's Room is a safe and friendly place provided by the University, for female identifying staff and students to rest, reflect, discuss, network and study. The Women’s Room also has information available regarding women’s services on campus and in the community.
A Note from Parramatta SCC
NEWS from HAWKESBURY SCC By Stephanie Oliphant
By Nicole Gismondo
Exciting news, the Hawksbury SCC is doing fabulous this year especially after the expression of interest applications. The HSCC will now be a full council of 10 members for the first time ever!
The Student Campus Council exists to represent students of each campus. So what is Parramatta SCC doing for you? EOI Process: We are currently shortlisting and interviewing candidates for our two vacant positions (General Member and Residential Representative), while Richa Mistry was elected the second Clubs Representative.
Stephanie Oliphant - Chair (SRC) Sandra Ozegovic - Vice Chair (SRC) Nick Howson - Secretary Micaela Hogan - SRC representative Helen Dinh - Residential member Jack Brathwaite - Postgraduate member Sweta Mudaliar - Club representative Kristy Bennett - Club representative Emily Baker - General member Soraya Outim - General member
We are also working on campaigns in the following areas • Parking, find our petition here: change.org/p/university-of-western-sydney-it-sabout-time-more-parking-for-parramatta
This will be great to improve the activity of the HSCC on campus. So far this year we have run a few events over O week. We also ran a student kitchen promotion and an Easter Egg Hunt.
• Visibility – watch out for our posters around campus • Promotion of on campus services – watch this space, you can find the campus guide earlier in W’SUP
For the upcoming end of term we will be having Dippin Dots, 21st April, Churros, 12th May and a Stress Less Day on the 25th of May. Make sure you come along!
As always, feel free to get in contact with us if you feel you have an issue that you’d like us to focus on! Facebook: uwspscc Office: EA.G.35 Email: Parramatta_scc@lists.uws.edu.au Members: Michael Wright (Chair) Ash Subhashini (Vice-chair, SRC Rep) Gerard McGookin (Secretary) Jawad Rana (SRC Rep) Nicole Gismondo Chen Zhang Brendon Lloyd Marija Yelavich Richa Mistry
CONTACT YOUR STUDENT CAMPUS COUNCIL
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
By Nicole Gismondo Clubs Representative, Women’s Representative, Parramatta SCC 6
Congratulating the new BankStown Student Campus Council
By Daniel Griffin
Congratulations to our new Bankstown Student Campus Council members! Pictured from left to right are Tommy Ruiqin, Benny Chen, Madison Muller, Rania Matti, [Chair] Grant Murray, Leonard Anderson. Also (not pictured) are Roâ€™ah Hamad, Ayman Awad, Holly Ratajec, Gabe Hall, [Secretary] Daniel Griffin. We hope this will be the best BSCC ever! After a gruelling selection process, the Members of the BSCC have been established. Chair: Grant Murray (Post Grad Member) Vice-Chair: --Secretary: Daniel Griffin (Clubs Representative) Madison Muller (General Member) Holly Ratajec (General Member) Roâ€™Ah Hamad (General Member) Leonard Anderson (Residential Member) Ayman Awad (Clubs Representative) Benny Chen (General Member) Rania Matti (General Member) Gabe Hall (General Member) Miao Ruiqin (International Member) You can contact the council by emailing email@example.com with any issue, complaint, compliment, piece of feedback that you want to be heard by your council. Your Council, Your Voice. facebook.com/BankstownSCC/ facebook.com/uwssrc/ By Daniel Griffin | Secretary, Bankstown Student Campus Council (SCC) Minister for Food on Campus | Student Representative Council (SRC) member 7
Students Call Out Hypocrisy on Cat-calls and Sexual Assault
The Hunting Ground activists Annie Clark and Andrea Pino
Students at Western Sydney University have taken aim at the University’s administration for what they are calling hypocrisy and a lack of action regarding sexual harassment and assaults on campus. Despite numerous press releases announcing WSU’s partnership with the national Respect. Now. Always. campaign, students have raised concerns that the campaign is predominantly focused on creating good PR rather than changing culture, as the university has refused to publish data on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault on its campuses.
By Michael Wright
IMAGE: Thomas Patterson
student representatives, on how to change the culture surrounding sexual assault. The University’s website supports the panels as an “opportunity to open the dialogue about this important issue.” Australian universities are not legally bound to publish and promote statistics relating to oncampus assaults and sexual attacks, meaning that the decision to reveal statistics is at the discretion of university administrators. According to student representative Marija Yelavich, this means that they are “prioritising brand protection over people”, and neglecting the safety and welfare of students. “While it’s an important initiative, it is disappointing that the University won’t follow through and publish these statistics,” she said.
The campaign sees the University showing acclaimed documentary The Hunting Ground to promote discussions on university culture and reaffirm its zero-tolerance position on sexual assault. Free screenings at the University’s campuses in Parramatta, Penrith, Campbelltown, Bankstown, Hawkesbury and Nirimba were accompanied by panel discussions including University staff and
University counselling and other support services can be contacted through westernsydney.edu.au/support or phone 9852 5199 8
Open Letter to Marketing: THE BLAND REBRAND
By Nicole Gismondo
There is, from the perspective of the outside observer, a certain appeal to the rebranding of the University of Western Sydney. From that outside perspective it is a university that embraces its demographic and provides a fairly solid education. There is no doubt that the Deng Adut ad is inspirational and a huge success. BUT when you walk into the walls of red at the start of your degree you start to notice the cracks that have persisted. RED. Every single piece of university approved information must be red. Every single piece of marketing material has one of the same black and white sterile approved photos. Every single club logo, university service promotion, and general piece of university sponsored information, is the same boring stylised design. How on earth is a student supposed to sort through all the RED? I’ve seen the marketing brief, I know there are other colours on offer, but it seems that the university is now scared of using them. But how does this affect services? Simple, students ignore information given to them. There is no way when there is such a limited variation in different promotions, that a student will not dismiss the advertising for say, Counselling, which they might really need, because it looks exactly the same as the poster for University Sport. There’s a hidden problem too: many university services do not even have re-branded promotional materials at all. This is more than 6 months into the rebrand! This is the inside toll of the rebrand: It is bland, hard to navigate, and completely unimaginative. We, the students, are incrementally losing interest, and it’s all in the name of attracting more students. Nicole Gismondo W’SUP Editor Clubs Representative | Women’s Officer | Parramatta SCC President | Western Sydney Women’s Collective Competitions Officer | Western Sydney Debating Union
Happy Times in Student Land By Beau Dunne Like many of my fellow students, I face the difficulty of juggling the multiple demands of working, managing relationships, and attending classes. With so many demands on students it is no wonder that there are more and more media reports of slipping academic standards (see link to ABC’s Four Corners Report below). We, as students, seemingly have less time to study than previous generations of students. Housing prices and living costs, in combination with other demands, are increasingly forcing us to consider the difficult decision of buying assignments online from a number of different providers. For students in our situation it is simply cheaper for us to spend the money from a few hours work, than to spend the hours it takes to perfect that hard assignment in that difficult subject. Moreover, it means we can spend more time making money to pay rent, bills, and day to day expenses. It is not surprising in these conditions, that universities across Australia and the world are choosing, more and more, to put their content online in the name of ‘accessibility’. However, students still arguably have less time to study. According to the Department of Educating Training’s most recent Cohort Analysis report, students attending courses from 2005 to 2013 by ‘internal’ mode of attendance had a 76.6% course completion rate over the period. Students attending via ‘external’ mode had a 46.6% completion rate. A critical observer may conclude in this situation that universities moving their content online is simply one of the many manifestations of the institutional apathy towards student issues. These corporate institutions, which claim to be institutions of merit and learning, collect students’ money for Commonwealth supported courses and leave students to scrape together a living. In these conditions we as students should be demanding support from our universities and the government, that enables us to spend more time on our studies and less time worrying about ‘making ends meet’.
Into this mix comes a plethora of websites which sell old assignments, enabling current students to copy and change the work of previous students. These websites give students money for their work, and make accessible some veryhigh-grade past assignments – including from many different courses at Western Sydney University. Not only are these online providers exploiting a failed education system and failed student social welfare system, they are also skewing the results of students by enabling the falsification of assignments. Some detractors may argue that moving content online is a response to student needs, and that it provides an opportunity to be competitive in what has become a pseudo marketplace for higher education. The time when there were classes 5 days a week, lectures and tutorials from 9-5, and living on campus are gone, and detractors will say this is good. They will say that putting content online brings us into the modern world, and that we must be flexible. In response to this we must look at the changes to the quality of education which is provided, and the flow-on effects this has in the wider economy once students complete their degrees. Moreover, we must look at the bare fact that while students still take on large debts for studying degrees via ‘external’ modes of attendance the completion rate is less than 50%. I say this is the wrong attitude. It is the economic pressure that has created this problem, and it is the government and university boards which need to address this problem. Moving content online in response to this is simply a band-aid solution, and is simply a distraction which does nothing to address the ongoing difficulties which students face. But of course it is unsurprising, because despite maxims of ‘student centred’, universities arguably only care about collecting their paycheque from the government for their Commonwealth supported courses. ABC Four Corners Report: http://www.abc.net. au/4corners/stories/2015/04/20/4217741.htm 10
image: Vincent Desplanche
We need a logo and writers and writers for our winter edition W’SUP LOGO NEEDED We need a logo. Your favourite newspaper, formerly known as cruWsible, has been renamed W’SUP So now we need a new logo for W’SUP. The W’SUP logo can be anything at all. There are no limits. It’s Unlimited ! We can offer $100 and glory. Send your ideas to WSUP@westernsydney.edu.au before June.
THANKS EVERYONE WHO SHARED THEIR IDEAS FOR OUR NEW NAME Special thanks to Jisna Saji and Jude Everingham who both suggested variations on WSUP
see more suggestions for the new name at cruwsible.com.au
WINTER EDITION WRITING PRIZE We have $100 for the best submisson to the Winter edition of W’SUP. Send your stories/articles/rants to WSUP@westerndsydney.edu.au
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF THE 2015 CRUWSIBLE WRITING PRIZE First: Hunter Mauceri Second: Stephen Brown Third: Bec Foley
UniClinic at Campbelltown campus offers podiatry services to the general public at a reduced rate, including nail surgery, foot pressure analysis, diabetes assessment, orthoses, vascular/neurological/ biomechanical/gait assessments, and muscle rehabilitation. For students most of the services cost just $10. Phone 4620 3700 and visit westernsydney.edu.au/ uniclinic
STUDY & LIFE SKILLS Free workshops include academic writing workshops, library roving, maths, dealing with exam stress, mastering your memory, time management, planning, getting motivated, strategies for stress-free presentations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. au for maths workshops, email@example.com. au for academic literacy workshops and firstname.lastname@example.org for life skills workshopsv
STUDENT WELFARE For assistance from other services, such as a counsellor or a government agency, UWS welfare officers can help you with info and advice about the right services to talk to in relation to accommodation, financial assistance including food vouchers Centrelink support, tax help, textbook vouchers, sexual health, bullying, advocacy on misconduct, review of grades and special consideration and budget meals. Email email@example.com or visit westernsydney.edu.au/askwelfare
CAREERS With CareerHub you may search for jobs, internships, work experience, overseas positions, book in to career expos and access career information and resume advice all in one place. This free service is available to all UWS students and recent graduates. Register with your current MyUWS Account. Email careerhub. westernsydney.edu.au
FAMILY PLANNING Reproductive and sexual health experts on contraception, pregnancy options, STIs, sexuality and sexual function, menstruation, menopause, common gynaecological and vaginal problems, cervical screening, breast awareness and men’s health. Clinics in Ashfield, Fairfield, Penrith targeted to marginalised communities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, refugees, people with disability, young people and same sex attracted people. Visit fpnsw.org.au or call 1300 658 886
Badanami Centre provides support and encouragement for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolled at the University. Students can drop in to Badanami anytime to study or relax Badanami can put you in touch with a range of services across campuses, from study skills courses, careers advice, counselling and medical assistance all the way through to opportunities to study abroad 1800 032 923 or email badanami@westernsydney. edu.au
PASS: PEER-ASSISTED STUDY SESSIONS
Work with other students to understand the content of your units and develop study strategies to improve your academic performance. Each PASS group is run by a student facilitator who has studied the unit previously. PASS is free and voluntary. Regular attendance of PASS will help improve your grades and make study more rewarding. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/ pass
CHAPLAINCY The chaplaincy team offers a caring presence to all staff and students at UWS; encouraging spirituality, offering hospitality and creating community. We do this by embracing our diversity, encouraging conversation and respecting our similarities and differences. Chaplains come from a variety of spiritual traditions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 12
MATES@UWS MATES@UWS is looking for volunteer mentors to help new students settle in and make their first session at UWS a positive one. Being a ‘Mate’ not only gives you the opportunity to help new students with their transition but allows you to meet other students, connect with UWS staff, receive free goodies and most importantly, have lots of fun along the way. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/mates
SEXUAL HEALTH Ever have unprotected sex? Get tested, it’s easy. Many Sexually Transmitted Infections have no obvious symptoms. Sexual Health Clinics at Nepean Hospital in Kingswood and Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba offer FREE confidential testing and treatment. The Nepean Hospital Clinic also offers the ‘Men Out West’ Clinic with HIV testing in 10minutes. No Medicare card needed. Visit nbmlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ Sexual-Health or phone Nepean Sexual Health Clinic 4734 2507 or the Katoomba Sexual Health Clinic 4784 6550.
DISABILITY A team of professionals to assist students with all types of disabilities including chronic illness, mental health conditions and learning disabilities by providing reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments, such as exam provisions, are steps taken to ensure all students have equal access to university. Visit uws. edu.au/disability, call 9852 5199 or email email@example.com
COUNSELLING A team of qualified social workers and psychologists to help you with any issues affecting your study. If you’re not sure that university is for you, a counsellor may be able to offer advice and support or help you improve your study skills. Counselling is free, confidentail and can be carried out as e counselling if preferred. 9852 5199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Language: what separates us from the animals By Daniel Griffin You and I have the ability to use language without even thinking about it, literally. We can understand, speak, (and once we are taught) read and write. Animals, too, can communicate in some ways as well (anyone who has ever watched a nature documentary knows this), but nothing like we do. In the 1960s, there was this linguist by the name of Charles Hockett, who sat down and tried to think about all the things that make human language human language. Taking from his list and others, here’s 5 things about human languages that will blow your mind and/or show you what makes human language different from animal language. I’m not going to use the technical terms, as that would be confusing, rather I’m gunna put things in my own words. 1. Words don’t sound like what they mean Have you seen Carl Barron’s skit where he just says the word ‘one’ repeatedly until everyone cracks up laughing? The man is a genius because he recognises that the sound of the word ‘one’, really, has nothing to do with the meaning of “the number one”. Like, who sat down and thought, “y’know what ‘the number one’ should sound like? One.” ? Spoiler alert: Nobody. <sidenote> How human languages came into being in the first place is another story altogether. Let’s not go down that rabbit hole. Yet. </ sidenote> 2. Talking about the future and stuff You know what I’m going to do in the future? Probably travel overseas and learn Arabic. You know what I did last week? I watched Better Call Saul (Why was Harvey being so mean to Kim? Like what gives?) We can talk about stuff that is not in front of us. I just told you about my past and my plans for the future, both of which I can’t literally see, but I can remember and imagine them respectively. Animals can only ever talk about something in front of their eyes. They might have an imagination, who knows? But they never talk about stuff they don’t see. 3. Words about words, talk about talk Doing English in high school, I don’t remember actually learning about English at all. I was never taught about grammar in any serious way, but I
got through the HSC just fine. So what’s going on in these “English” lessons? Well, turned out it was about like talking about metaphors and analysing texts and that. Which is something language can do. Talk about itself. We can use words to describe words, use language to talk about language, but at the same time, we only ever come to know about language through language itself. 4. English language DNA: file not found Not everyone speaks the same language. You can chuck a baby anywhere in the world and they will grow up to be a fluent speaker of whatever language they hear around them. That means there’s nothing in your DNA to say which language you will speak. It depends on your environment and the people around you. However, if you chuck a cat anywhere in the world, it’s going to meow the same whether it’s in Beijing or Bankstown, London or Lakemba, Sicily or Sydney. Disclaimer: I do not and have never endorsed, supported or encouraged the chucking of babies or cats. 5. Sentence level: infinity Remember when ‘purple monkey dishwasher’ was first said? Yeah, that’s right, the Simpsons did it. But I could say, right now “people never eat pickled goat brains while reading about German bluegreen cheese ball throwing competitions” and I can guarantee you, I am the first person in the history of the world to say that sentence. But, if you look at the words I used, most likely you’ve heard them all before, only never like that. All the words of any language are indeed limited. You could count them all, if you really wanted to. But you can produce an unlimited number of combinations of those words in ways that have never been done before and still make sense. Whereas animals have a limited number of meanings they could make. I mean, there’s only so many ways dogs can bark. Daniel Griffin Bankstown Student Campus Council (SCC) Student Representative Council (SRC) member 13
HOLI ! The Festival Of Colours
By Ishan Karanjit
It’s that one religious day of the year where you can play with unlimited colours. It’s that huge day when we celebrate the beautiful occasion of Holi – the Festival of Colours. Yes, Holi. It is one of the greatest festivals of the Hindus, celebrated all over the world and now equally famous among non-Hindus. It falls on the Full Moon day in the month of Falgun (March, in the English calendar). The environment becomes “Holiaddicted” as shops are decorated with colourful banners and items that symbolize the essence of the great festival. Water guns, water squeezers (Pichkari) and water balloons are abundantly available. A three-tiered umbrella-like flagpole, called “Chir”, is erected at Basantapur (a historical city of Nepal) at the commencement of Holi. In Hindu mythology there was once a demon king named Hiranyakashyap, who demanded everyone worship him. His own son Prahlad was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu and the demon king didn’t like it at
all, so he ordered his sister Holika, who couldn’t be harmed by fire, to step in it with his son on her lap. Amazingly, Prahlad was saved by Lord Vishnu and Holika was burnt to ashes instead. To remember this triumph of goodness over evil, we celebrate Holi. People in some parts of the world celebrate by burning a bonfire which symbolizes the burning of Holika. Holi has some bad influences in the name of festivity too. People sometimes use harmful chemicals which adversely affect the skin. Some may forcefully impose colours and even pour buckets of water on people who are not interested in celebrating. The excessive drinking of an alcoholic drink called “bhaang” has made people lose consciousness and behave unsociably. These activities should be totally banned and an ecofriendly Holi should be put into play. Reminiscing about Holi back home in Nepal, it has always been my favourite festival. With a feeling of excitement, I visit temples early morning. Neighbours pour buckets of water on me. Celebrating with my family is the best part of Holi for me. Holi is religious, joyful and entertaining, and celebrated with eco-friendly activities, religious tolerance and a feeling of brotherhood all over the world.
Did you know that Western Sydney students can receive discounts on a variety of products and services? All you need is a valid student ID number to access vUWS or a valid Student ID card. Student discounts are offered in a huge range of areas including entertainment and travel, dining, retail, online shopping, health, fitness, beauty and more. Visit uws.edu.au/studentdiscounts for the full list of participating businesses. DISCLAIMER
The University does not endorse the product/services being sold and gives no warranties regarding the discounts and/or products/services.
WESTERNSYDNEY.EDU.AU/STUDENTDISCOUNTS The Joan*1Cover Travel Insurance*FlashMe
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Why food waste matters and what you can do about it By Megan Hounslow
Food waste has been making headlines for good reason in recent years. Collectively, over a third of all food produced for human consumption never makes it to our mouths! That effectively means that a third of all farms and farmers across the world used precious resources such as water, nutrients and energy, for nothing. Harsh words, but it’s hard to argue with the facts. Not to mention that globally, if the greenhouse gas emissions from rotting food was a country, it would be the third biggest contributor to climate change (after China and the United States). Plus, your parents really were right when they said “think of all the hungry people out there” when you pushed your dinner around on your plate (although now we know they probs should have served you less). All in all, a pretty crappy situation.
though, we compost a lot of our food scraps, I’ve been a food waste nazi for some time, and I have a teenage brother. So not much is wasted in this household. So how do we manage to rack up so much food waste? Studies have shown that often because of the abundance and availability of food, coupled with decreasing prices and a general lack of knowledge, food waste has become ‘normalised’. In the average Australian household food comprises 40% of our bin’s content. Often food is wasted because we just don’t know what to do with it. Bought on a whim (‘it was on special!’), we only used part of it, so it sits in our fridge/pantry, waiting for us to eat it, as it slowly wilts or succumbs to the hairy scourge of mould. The story of the baked beans that ended up my bin started like this: my dad had a little for lunch one day. He and mum used up a bit more of it the day after. But then the last little bit got shoved back into the fridge and forgotten about, before it was ‘found’ a week later and with a whiff from mum was swiftly thrown into the bin. It probably wasn’t safe anymore to eat, but it could have been if it was frozen or repurposed, before it got gory.
Ok, who’s getting wasted? Erm…turns out us And guess who the biggest food wasters are? Surprise surprise, it’s industrialised nations. In Australia, we throw away around 20% of our food, which translates to over a grand a year – we don’t even want to know how many coffees this could have translated to. The worst bit? Young people aged 1824 are one of the most wasteful groups (gulp). You might be screwing your face up in indignation at that figure right now, thinking something along the lines of ‘Oh I surely can’t waste that much!’. I challenge you to go right now (or when you get home) and rummage through your bin (yes!). It’s actually quite interesting/surprising/stinky/shocking at the amount of food that we throw into our bins everyday. In my own bin, which I gingerly pawed through, I found mostly food packaging, along with the remaining quarter can of baked beans, a small amount of fetta, and some oily-tuna dregs. To be fair
What are we all doing about it? If you’re looking for a crew who care about food as much as you do on campus, join the Western Sydneychapter of Youth Food Movement as a volunteer for more ongoing opportunities to lead the change. Visit http://www.youthfoodmovement.org.au/gwschapter 15
Council Amalgamations: Joining Forces Always Increases Strength ? By Alexandra Laki According to the NSW Government the current system of local councils needs an overhaul. In its $1 billion ‘Fit for the future’ initiative, the State Government plans to amalgamate 152 Sydney and regional councils into 112. These new larger councils will, as the NSW Government states, “be stronger, improve performance and deliver substantial benefits and savings to communities’’. Looking specifically at my local council of Marrickville, there will be a merger between Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield councils. This unification was unanimously agreed upon by the Mayors of all three regions, albeit under duress. Here is an overview of the current council stats in these three heavily populated areas in the Inner-West. MARRICKVILLE COUNCIL Servicing: Marrickville, Newtown, Camperdown, Dulwich Hill, Enmore, Lewisham, Petersham, St Peters, Stanmore, Sydenham, Tempe. A population of 86,370 largely made up of an ethnically diverse community. The 2011 Census revealed 34.1% of Marrickville’s population was born overseas and 30.7% speak a language other than English at home. These languages are predominately Vietnamese, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and Portuguese. Marrickville also has one of the highest percentages of artists and people working in creative arts industries in the country. Marrickville has 10 councillors, one Mayor and one Deputy Mayor over four wards. LEICHHARDT COUNCIL Servicing: Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Balmain, Birchgrove, Rozelle, Annandale. Leichhardt has a population of approximately 58,140 people, with a medium income significantly higher than the national average and double the national and state averages of people who speak Italian at home. Leichhardt also has 10 councillors across four wards alongside their Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
ASHFIELD COUNCIL Servicing: Ashfield, Summer Hill, Haberfield, Hurlstone Park, Ashbury, Parts of Croydon. A population of approximately 44,500 reside in Ashfield with residents of Chinese ancestry four times the state and national averages and an Asian language spoken at home six times higher than the national average. Ashfield council has 12 councillors working alongside the Mayor and Deputy Mayor across four wards. All three councils have a mixed representation from the Labor party, the Liberal party, the Greens and Independents. When combined, this ‘super council’ will encompass 23 suburbs, servicing approximately 185, 990 residents within 35 square kilometres. Despite the significant increase in residents belonging within the new council, the number of elected councillors will remain at 12 taking the number of residents per councillor to 15,500. The region will again be split into four ward areas within the mega council’s area. After four years of internal and independent research, the State Government is pursuing the plan to amalgamate local councils. In their Marrickville/Leichhardt/ Ashfield merger proposal, the State Government listed the following benefits: financial benefit of $113 million over a 20 year period, projected 61% improvement in annual operating results, potentially reducing the reliance on rate increases to fund local infrastructure, greater capacity to effectively manage and reduce the infrastructure backlog across the three councils, improved strategic planning and economic development to better respond to the changing needs of the community, effective representation by a council with the required scale and capacity to meet the future needs of the community and providing a more effective voice for the area’s interests and better able to deliver on priorities in partnership with the NSW and Australian governments. Supporting this is my close friend who resides in the Marrickville suburb of Stanmore, who is a hydraulic engineer. When asked her thoughts regarding amalgamation she said working with local councils can be difficult as different councils 16
NEWS have differing requirements for infrastructure and services. Stringent policies in one and lax processes in another can burden not only the contractors, but also council staff and residents. The current council Mayors’ decision to merge the councils has been described by one as a decision with ‘a gun to the head’. In what could be described as a ‘bribing’ manoeuvre by the State Government, councils who voluntarily amalgamate are being offered a $25 million grant. The councils who elect not to merge will receive no funding at all and may be forcibly joined with another council regardless. This is a dangerous precedent by the State for the councils who decide that it is in the residents not to amalgamate, or for the residents themselves who believe that amalgamation will not serve their community. Both the NSW Government, councils and residents need to consider the mixed success of Queensland’s council amalgamations in 2008 where a small number of councils de-amalgamated after a few years at great cost; coerced amalgamations for the sake of the grant may cause more harm than good for the council’s future. The council’s main opposition to amalgamation as stated on Leichhardt’s website includes: more competition for local services, an increase in rates for some residents, less visibility of expenditure, more red tape, more difficulty in communication between residents and councillors, loss of advocacy, loss of accountability and loss of local independence. Arguably less local councils mean larger State Government control on a grassroots level, eliminating the local council’s direct management and involvement in community issues on a micro scale. Less councillors also has the knock-on effect of less party members cutting their teeth in smaller scale politics, resulting in less choice for the residents to observe and elect party representatives into larger-scale government. Having adequate representation of your demographic on your local council can greatly affect your experience of belonging within your community, considering the differentials in age, life status, ethnicity, wealth and sexualities within Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield municipalities. Whilst the amalgamation seems to be steamrolling ahead regardless, consideration of unifying some but not all council systems, processes and communications may be a more viable option for councils and residents. Fewer representatives with more responsibility can damage productivity, as overwhelmed and overworked councillors spread themselves and their resources too thin. The NSW Government and local councils need to question if joining councils will really benefit residents and communities, and if so, to commit to making the new system work long into the future.
Tapping the potential of solar energy By Sunila Dixit
There is no denying the fact that the world is already heading towards global warming and climate change owing to the exploitation of non-renewable resources. While there is no instant solution for this, there is certainly a way to slow down the process of global warming and climate change. The potential of solar energy, highly ignored before, is starting to gain a foothold in the energy business lately. The world has started to see it as a permanent replacement to the energy generated by fossil fuels. Many nations have started to focus on solar power production. The government of India has taken up big solar projects recently, expecting to replace the coal produced electricity with a cleaner version. Currently ranked 11th in the world for its solar power generation, these big solar projects are expected to bring India into the top five solar producing countries. Recently Pakistan became the first nation in the world to run its parliament completely on solar power. Funded by the top solar power producing country, China, the Pakistan parliament has set an example by using clean and green energy. Australia has great potential for solar power production due to its geographic location and its climate. It has taken steps in this direction by installing photovoltaic panels in many of its major public buildings. Solar energy has become a game-changing element in the energy business. Initially it was expensive. However, looking at its long term gains, investors have started supporting solar energy ventures. Besides commercial production, people have also started using it on a domestic level. The carbon by-product of energy created from fossil fuels is harmful. Fossil fuels are polluting and carry health risks. Solar power is the cleanest possible form of energy and its of-late large scale production will make it the cheapest source as well. It is high time we started caring about the environment and promoting solar energy. 17
#LetThemStay: Western Sydney U could take the lead By Ian Escandor
On February 3 the High Court ruled that the Coalition government had the right to deport babies and women – who had been sexually assaulted – back to offshore detention in Nauru. This cruel government policy has sparked an important new wave of opposition. The doctors and nurses at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane, who refused to discharge baby Asha until they were satisfied she would not be deported back to Nauru, have inspired so many. This form of defiance resonated with the public, as it is known that the government policy towards refugees and asylum seekers is objectively one of the worst in the world. In many ways, the movement for justice for refugees has been a slow and difficult one. From the dark days of John Howard (“We will decide who should come to this country”) to the Labor Party’s decision last year to make turning back the boats at sea policy, it has been hard to build a movement for refugee rights due to the similarity of policy between the two parties. The plight of baby Aylan – or Alan – washed up on the shores of Turkey – has also served as a reminder that desperate
people need our help and Australia, a rich country, is not doing nearly enough. ‘Aylan’ and ‘Asha’ have helped humanise the refugees’ plight: The hundreds of people who went to the vigil outside the Lady Cilento hospital in Brisbane to make sure that Baby Asha was going to remain safe, have helped people think differently about refugees and asylum seekers. The #LetThemStay campaign has now spread across campuses, including our own, with the medical students at Campbelltown campus and others doing photoshoots. The terrible clips of babies being born in the muddy tents at the border of Greece and Macedonia because they have been stopped from entering Germany are so heart wrenching — they force us to examine why this is happening. More people are asking why, if wars are started with Australian government support, the government has the audacity to look away when the refugees that wars inevitably produce ask for help. That’s why the case of Baby Asha has become so important: It has “humanised” refugees and led to 18
NEWS more questioning about Australian government policy. Baby Asha is now in community detention with her parents in Brisbane. However, she and the other 267 asylum seekers who are currently living in the community could still be deported back to Nauru or Manus Island. This is why we need to keep protesting and organising, to force the government to abandon its inhumane policies. WSU — where so many former refugees study — could take a lead. Since the release of the video retelling Deng Adut’s experience as a refugee in Australia has gone viral, public expectations are high and must be met by the university to deliver on substantial initiatives that support refugees. The university has done well so far with the existing Joan Reid Scholarships for Refugee Women, the WSU College Refugee Scholarships and facilitating an accumulation of more funds for future programs. However, the university has the capacity to do much more in supporting refugee rights, especially as it frequently claims to be a university that caters for those marginalised in our community. Why doesn’t the university offer free English courses to those Syrian refugees who are coming to live in Sydney? Even better, why doesn’t WSU provide free bridging courses for those people who want to go into higher education? If you are interested in exploring some practical ways in which WSU can take a stand in support of refugees, please get in touch with Resistance member and campaign organiser Ian Escandor at email@example.com
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Is a picture really worth a thousand words? By Mitchell Flack
photos: Mitchell Flack
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? When reflecting on this old idiom in what many consider a new century of technological revolution, one can see the changing nature of visual experience through the lens of the smartphone camera. It is quickly becoming the primary habit or impulse of the millennial generation to respond to visual stimuli with their smartphones; capturing and saving a moment at the click of a button and sharing it all over the world through an invisible and interconnected web of digital mediums, almost as if we’re creating a portfolio of sensory experience. The modern preoccupation with selfies, snapchatting and instagramming every aspect of our lives, has confused me until recently; be it the 30 obligatory minutes trudging through a session at the gym or framing a café lunch through filters and exposure adjustments. Being someone who frequently goes to live music shows, the concept of watching and experiencing a performance through a camera phone has always baffled me. Although, admittedly and unashamedly, I am a serial poster on Catspotting, because who can resist taking a snapshot of an elusive fluff-ball when presented the opportunity.
But it took a trip overseas to really change my perception about smartphones and their value in capturing quick snapshots or moments in time in a way that a regular camera seems to lack. The value appears to lie in its immediacy. Before you’ve taken the time to remove your lens cap and adjust your focus, the moment has passed. And the person standing next to you has captured that moment, relished it and moved on to the next with the ease of a few flicks of the finger. I’ve also come to the understanding that there is nothing wrong with stopping in a moment, enjoying the experience and taking the time to capture it. So long as you’re taking the time to look up from the screen and experience life without a technological filter. Memories fade, but the physical remnants and digital afterimage that we can capture at any time can last as a reminder, a snapshot in time. So perhaps in this modern age, with the immediacy of the smartphone camera, the memories we are so eager and obsessed to capture are worth more than we give them credit. I don’t see it as an obstruction of experience, merely an enhancement. 21
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Is crying a sign of emotional weakness?
Is crying a sign of emotional weakness? By Erika Moncada We’ve all been in situations where we’ve cried unexpectedly. But is it a sign of emotional weakness? As human beings, it is natural to cry. It allows us to express a state of sadness, vulnerability, or on the other side of the spectrum, to express pure happiness and joy. I was once told that I was ‘silly’, that my intentions weren’t right in a certain situation. I was told that I was persistent where I didn’t need to be, that I questioned the wrong things at the wrong time. Dealing with individuals with strong and tenacious characteristics, as opposed to my unassertive and gentle nature, guarantees an undesirable dispute. Despite their arguments, and my attempted retaliation, I expressed my concern by, evidently, crying. But isn’t this normal when getting into a heated argument? Washington Irvine states that, ‘There is sadness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love’. If we dissect this quote,
it essentially dictates that crying may not only delineate the side of weakness, but can emphasise the sense of affliction, remorse or inconceivable love. Crying expresses what we may not be able to say with words. Being an emotional being, I find that crying may be an impediment or a restraint in any person’s day-to-day activities. I slowly convinced myself that it is for the ‘weak-minded’, that it exhibits excessive vulnerability. I convinced myself of all the possible negative aspects of crying. However, is it really an indication that I am emotionally weak? Or is it an indication that I am just emotionally expressive? There is a constant reminder in my mind that I should seize the action of crying when necessary. Although it helps, a fraction, it just may be in my nature that crying exhibits my emotions. It is a manifestation of how much things matter to me. Psychologically and intellectually, I have gained an understanding of crying. It is a topic that many people avoid due to initial connotations of weakness and vulnerability. However, crying is an expression. It is an indication that we are all in fact, human.
IMAGE: SIMON ROBERTS
Half past Wednesday
By Joseph Thompson Imagine if there was half past Wednesday Or Tuesday and three quarters A secret half day in the middle of the night With dusk and dawn as its boarders A land lit by an unknown sun Radiating milky white light The sun against a sky of moon and stars Illuminating this strange world of night Imagine if within this sun’s rays Was vitamin D and a half A celestial chemical with properties divine Giving all people the impulse to laugh But who’d arise for this daintily dayling, And forgo their renewing rest? The child, youth or spritely of heart With vigour not easily depressed? Or a special people of nocturnal persuasion? A unique race for a unique hour Whose fair features and eyes of Viridian Are not suited to the sun’s burning power And what of these unheard of people, What would be their purpose or plight? Would they work, wander, wonder or wail? Would they be bold or cower with fright? Would they live in houses like day folk, Or bury beneath the ground? Would they pitch tents wherever they wandered And guard them with a trusted hound? Would there be peace between the two peoples, Those of the night and those of the day? Would they bear with one another in friendship? Or separately go their own way? Imagination begs many questions Of a world which will never be I suppose the answers lie, though Half way between Wednesday and me
cognitive Dissonance By Winnie Dunn In my chest there is a spider wrapped in a leaf, curled in on its single silver message to God. I do not know what it says. The sun makes everything too warm and too white. One word looks like distance, but I cannot be certain. Not about Him anyway. Out of the dry foliage, the spider continues to spool out, a prophecy no one can hear: “Thou shall have no other Gods before Me.” I was once told sound travels forever. That if we had the right machine, we would be able to hear art being made in the lips and hands of – “Thou shall not make false idols.” and the screams within His own mind, over and over and over again. I know about creature fear, whether or not I know the message in my chest. My fear looks like goblin men ripe with fruit. “Eat me, Drink me, Love me – Make much of me.” Does touch travel forever? “Thou shall not commit adultery.” His fear is His all-consuming mouth. My web is set in stone upon His alter. I have “squeez’d from the goblin’s fruit for you.” He simply commands: “Thou shall not steal.”
The Weather By N T L Clugston The weather is warming, and sharks are entering the harbour, cockroaches climbing the mountains, bushfires burning down suburbs. The skies are troubled, the seas are rising, but Atlantis and Ninevah laze in the sun. Their priests say ritual prayers at the smoking altars of fossil idols. Their cities bustle in a fog of their own making. Their ships come and go as though thereâ€™s no tomorrow.
The Garden By Michael Flack
That my heart may be a secret garden A place for my weary soul to retreat. With gentle winds and drifting clouds And flowers that reflect the Sons light. Let me seek the soft voice of the Holy Spirit As a dove that coos a message of Grace. May I ever journey to this secluded place Where I can meet with my Lord and Saviour There I may find rest and blessed assurance From my daily trials and endless routines. Let the seasons come and go in poetic rhythms Each moving to the tempo of the Lords love.
In A Name By Melissa Swann
In our beginning, my name was something formally spoken in greeting: tentatively spoken when introducing me to your friends and, eventually, your parents. You would call it across the street when you spotted me in town, or speak it stiffly down the phone line when you asked my mother if I was home. Your mouth formed the syllables like the names of foreign places; discovering the sounds as they settled between your teeth. But now I often wonder how much time has passed since you last said my name. I try to recall the point at which the word became irrelevant; our names replaced with knowing looks and quick kisses. So tell me. When was the last time you felt the need to call my name down the hallway? When did you last greet me by name as you arrived home? I think of the future and wonder if when we part - whether it be by time or old age or disagreement you will need to use my name at all.
FInity By Jemimah McMurray The night begs attention silent, bold unfraid of stillness unafraid to hold the fierceness, fragility of breath the finity of death & behold her blackness the darkness, and in the void to rest to wait for what is left and for the sun.
By Alby Davidow Willing wives will wallow once; What wandering wolves wonder; When pouncing placid, peaceful doe; Why would wolves wish to wither wonder?
What piece of purpose first pierced peace; and planted panting pride? Was it found in firâ€™s first flutter? Frightened flight prodding prying prowl? Furry fist finding pallid plunder? Practiced pounce flinging feathers? Filled with Pleasure. Passion. Which white witch would wilt wild wolves will?
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