Issue 3 â€˘ JUNE 2012
> what is love? > the power of one > Better Safe Than Sorry: The Changing Face of Security in the Post 9/11 Era
Contents Issue #03 • JUNE 2012
MAGAZINE TEAM CHIEF DIRECTOR Xiaohan Zhang CHIEF EDITOR Louis Appleton Editorial Beverly Parungao Eleanor Harisson-Dengate Matthew Owen Veronica Wong Yuchen Lu General Secretary Michael Lansdown Artistic Designer Michelle Natalie Susanto Yuan Liu Marketing Beau Magloire Charlotte Mitchell Dmitriy Shurapey Jing Zhu Nikki Plunkett Yi He Multimedia Team Beau Magloire Monica Kim Hayden Nelson Email & Facebook email@example.com / www.facebook.com/globemagazine All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmited by any means, eleectronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of Globe Magazine Chief Director Copyright May 2012 Globe Magazine Issue III 2
29 One Day in Busy Beijing by YUCHEN LU
7 What is Love? by MATT OWEN
23 Better Safe Than Sorry: The Changing Face of Security in the Post 9/11 Era by VIRAT NEHRU
12 Poem Compilation by MARK MARUSIC
19 The Price of Education Too High? by BEVERLY PARUNGAO
25 The Brave New World of Aboriginal Apartheid by NATHAN MCDONNELL
MONTHLY ROUTINE 3 Director’s Diary by XIAOHAN ZHANG
14 Mad Hatter in Oz: What it Feels to be Lost and Found at the Same Time by CHRISTIAN BARERRA 17 The Power of One by YUE WANG
5 Editorial by LOUIS APPLETON 31 Notice Board 33 Letters of The Month 3
D by Xiaohan Zhang
Love is…… Love is when you live alone, but know there is always someone there for you. Love is when your parents say to you “be strong” Love is when you feel tired, your friends make you smile, whether they are near or millions of miles away
Note from the President of USU The University of Sydney Union (USU) is very proud to be partnering with Globe Magazine, the open-forum magazine published at the University of Sydney. Globe’s second edition of 2012 is a special one, as it celebrates ‘love’, a theme that is relevant to each and every student on campus, regardless of hometown or nationality. It’s the love that our USU members have for the student experience that causes new ideas to come to life, and the USU is proud to offer support and assistance in helping those passions become a reality. When an ambitious group of students approached the USU with a determination to further the base for all University students to voice their opinions, thoughts and beliefs, the USU saw an ideal opportunity for a cultural partnership. Globe Magazine seeks to promote cross-cultural communication and multicultural understanding on campus. It also encourages all students, both international and domestic, to appreciate the incredibly culturally diverse student cohort at the University of Sydney. At present, The University is home to students from more than 134 countries. I hope that reading this magazine inspires you to do the same as the editors did –they took an idea and made it into something big. If you have a passion to change the student experience at Sydney University, come talk to us at the USU, we’d love to hear from you.
Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends after years and years, who know each other so well Love is an action; it is caring, giving, wishing, inspiring and supporting
Love is when you care about someone, whether their smile or tear, through their joy and pain
Love is when you give someone an apple and don’t want a banana in return.
Love is people hugging, tearing, waving and greeting in the airports.
Love is what makes the human community live happier.
Globe Magazine is a new student magazine established last year. We are concerned with relations between students from overseas with various background (international students, exchange students, students with PR status, etc) and local students. The University of Sydney is a multicultural campus with above 20% of students being overseas students from all around the world. Thus, Globe Magazine exists in a multicultural environment in which we hope it can act as a platform for student to express their personal views and have their voices heard. To name a few things, we hope that Globe Magazine can promote cross-cultural communications and understanding, that it can link students from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Australia etc all together, and above all we hope Globe Magazine becomes the catalyst for friendship growth between students with different backgrounds. Tell a story of living overseas, write about your personal experiences to Globe, express your opinions about happenings around the world! Globe will offer you an inclusive place to express yourself!
Love is when you try to learn to love better; love someone that you dislike or hate.
Send your comments, articles or photographs to Globe:
Love is a belief you hold on to in life; it is an expectation. It is when the morning sun wakes you up and a refreshing and expected feeling arises, making you want to exclaim “what a beautiful day” Love is what inspires you and lifts you up from sadness and despair Love is the passion artists infuse into their works; it is like Vincent van Gogh drawing the stars and sunflowers, whether he was poor or ill, happy or sad.
Love is what brings peace, hope, connections and warmness; it is a light that sheds across the world.
Love is all around.
Join Globe: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/globemagazine/ Express your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to become a reporter, digital media practitioner, photographer, cameraman/woman, video reporter, marketing savvy adviser/PR or an organizer of Globe. Picture from Marie-II in Flickr
Subscribe to Globe and read Globe online: http://issuu.com/globemagazine
n the 23rd of April, at approximately twelve-thirty in the morning, a south-bound train travelled from central Sydney to its outer-suburbs. As it travelled by the familiar sites of Erskineville, St. Peters and Sydenham, an unprovoked crime was taking place. Two Chinese international students travelling home from the city had fallen prey to a vicious pack of adolescent delinquents. In search of money and probably an excuse to be violent, the youths assaulted the two students, breaking the nose of one and leaving the other bloody and bruised. Worst of all, in the midst of the senseless violence not a single passenger on the train volunteered any assistance. There was a not a transit or police officer in sight. The youths had earlier sought to attack another woman on the train, who allegedly responded: ‘[Don’t get me, get the Asians… they have more money].’ I want to use this incident to make a couple of points, not only about the attack, but also about the crime rates in Sydney, the safety of people from violence in this city, and the measures needed to combat the current trends. Fixing Sydney’s problems is more important than ever before: if nothing is done, there is a real chance that people will begin to fear certain parts of the city, and Australia’s international reputation will be sullied.
by Louis Appleton
A Time for Action: The Moment Sydney Needs to Get Serious on Breaking Crime, Changing Attitudes and Protecting the Vulnerable 6
Turning first to the assault on the students, I think it is time that Australia makes it unequivocally clear that such behaviour is completely unacceptable. Although some people might say that the background and life-experiences of the teenagers teaches them nothing better, the reality is that these teenagers mounted an unprovoked and violent assault against two complete strangers, ostensibly for profit and probably because of their race. This behaviour cannot be tolerated under any circumstances, and when it happens swift and effective punishment must follow. There is certainly a time and a place for looking into the causes of juvenile delinquency, but when individuals or groups make the conscious choice to use violence the law must be quick to put an end to their destructiveness. These attacks (as well as earlier incidents such as the Indian-student attacks of 2009) go some way to explaining the most disturbing element of this train-saga: the unwillingness of anyone on the carriage to aid the helpless students. It takes a certain courage and heroism for an ordinary, unconnected person to physically stand in the face of violence done to others, especially when
there is a chance that doing so might invite harm onto them. However, in the train case not only did nobody physically intervene, but nobody made an attempt to contact police or rail officers, or to alert any authority about what was going on. Indeed, one woman who the juveniles had intended to attack first begged them to assail the international students and supposedly cited a racial preconception about their wealth as grounds for doing so. The problems that lead apparently many Sydney -siders to have this mentality are two-fold. Firstly, there is their fear of becoming victims of violence at the hands of thugs, gangsters and other criminals, and their lack of faith in an adequate security presence to protect them. Then there is the problem of the Australian education system, which in my view encourages individuals to more or less think only of themselves, and the legal system, which is often inclined to punish acts of good-Samaritanism. What we need to do is replace the blanket of fear and self-centredness with an ethic of looking out for others in trouble. We should encourage even the simplest of noble acts, such as calling the police or raising a protest. Beyond the train attacks, increasing rates of shootings and gang-related activity across the city is cowing people even further into acquiescence and submission. If young Australians are taught the values of protecting others, and standing up to intimidatory tactics, and the legal system steps up to its protective name, the foothold of thugs and criminals in this city will begin to lessen. As if this weren’t enough, a further consequence of inaction is that Australia’s international standing as an accepting and multicultural country will be tarnished. This could have an adverse impact on Australia’s bilateral relations with other nations, particularly China which is Australia’s largest export buyer. Then of course there is the matter of self-reflection. How can we embrace egalitarianism and multiculturalism ourselves as a nation, when the acts of our own people contradict such principles? There are undoubtedly more reasons why Sydney needs to tighten up security and improve the mentality of native Sydney-siders in the face of threatening and criminal behaviour. It needs to be done soon and it needs to be done properly. Australia needs to now step up and protect the people who come here to enjoy our country, to protect its economy, to protect our name as a good people and to smash the growing criminal elements on Sydney streets.
What is Love? by Matt Owen
ove. It is the one word that seems to be in every human being’s vocabulary, regardless of colour, race, beliefs or where their home is in the world. It seems to be the one thing that we can agree on in terms of its existence, its benefits and its rightness. But, hang on. What exactly is love? Is this idea of love the same for all people? Does everyone ‘love’? What does it mean to love? What are the features of love? We hate to disappoint you by telling you that your views about this are not exactly the same as everyone else’s; in fact, they may be quite different! But is this necessarily a bad thing? These are some really great questions, so we asked them to students of all cultural backgrounds for their thoughts. Perhaps if we delve into them we can learn more about ourselves, too. So come along! But love itself is such a big concept to define. So where should we start? As it turns out, a great place to begin could be with an answer we gleaned from Filipino-Australian student, Beverly, on campus: “I think love is caring for another person. But love exists in different ways, such as familial and romantic love.” This couldn’t be more concise, or true. When you begin thinking about love, one of the first things that occurs to you is that there are different types of love, as Beverly pointed out with her answer. You wouldn’t feel the same type of love for your dog as you would your mother, and you wouldn’t feel the same type of love for your grandmother as you would your girlfriend (at least we hope not). So, what types of love are there? Generally, love can be broken down into three main types: romantic love, familial/platonic love, and ‘religious love’ for lack of a better phrase.
pictures by Michelle Natalie Susanto 8
Especially here in Australia, many who think of love get visions of a couple being desperately, hopelessly in ‘love’ with each other. Asking Australian students on campus, or anyone from a ‘Western’ or Anglo-Saxon background, we continually got similar replies: “Love is a deep friendship”; or, “Love is a feeling between two people; or, “Love is the same feeling I have for my granddad and my dog.” 9
Joke. And what are the effects of such love? Well, we’re sure you’ve seen enough Hollywood movies to know - not to mention couples kissing each other when you walk past but nevertheless an answer from a Bangladeshi student, Chitra, makes it perfectly clear: “Love is amazing. It is missing someone after just having seen them. It’s thinking about them with everything you do. It’s giving someone most of your French fries without making them give you any theirs. It’s unconditional trust and unwavering faith.” Wow. So, yes, it’s powerful. But how does one go about getting it? Romantic love is based on the concept of intimacy. Indeed, intimacy is the foundation of any romance. But what is intimacy? Intimacy can be defined as the experience of emotional closeness. It occurs when two people are able to be emotionally open with one another, and reveal their true feelings, thoughts, fears and desires. This can only occur when both people are able to genuinely trust one another, and feel able to take the risk of being vulnerable. Intimacy is a universal human need; without it we have the experience of loneliness. Given this, we’ve learned that intimacy and honesty are the ways to achieve romantic love, and its benefits are numerous (so are its drawbacks though, as anyone who’s experienced chaffed lips from too much kissing knows). However, is this the only form of love? If not, is it the greatest form of love? Some would argue no. As we found from many of our students on campus
peoples and cultures around the world.
This generalised statement is supported partly by some research done by anthropologists conducted in 2009 from the University of Toronto. The study asked people from different cultures all over the world what they thought love was. Specifically, the studied focused on notions of romantic love. An interesting finding was this: “In the sample from mainland China, ‘mutual attractionlove’ was neither the first, nor the second, most highly valued characteristic in a potential spouse for either men or women.”
Even atheistic religious traditions such as Buddhism, another widespread faith, regard this type of unconditional love as the type of love most worth striving for. As a Taiwanese PhD student in Buddhist studies, Fashi, explained to me on campus, Buddhists strive for compassion for all sentient beings. In this thought, compassion is the basis of love. And as His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet so famously put it: “Compassion is the basis of human happiness.”
As the study suggests, this is because the ideology of romantic love centres on pursuing personal fulfilment and following one’s personal wishes, even if they oppose those of one’s family and kin. This ideology is less encouraged in collectivistic than in societies where family love is placed above all others. So this might suggest that the love you feel for you family - your mother, your father, your brothers and sisters and even your extended family - is more important and powerful than romantic love. Well, we suppose the reasoning behind that might be there’s more strength in numbers! That brings us onto our last type of love: the poorly termed ‘religious love’. What we mean by that is the type of unbiased, unconditional love extending to everyone that is most often aimed for in religious traditions. In Christianity, for example, this type of love is referred to as “agape” love. Agape love is unconditional love. It is a choice to love another person whether they love you back or not. It means that you choose to love someone even if they perceive themselves to be your enemy. It is caring
“Love is amazing. It is missing someone after just having seen them. It’s thinking about them with everything you do. It’s giving someone most of your French fries without making them give you any theirs. It’s unconditional trust and unwavering faith.” who were relatively new to Australia and from traditional backgrounds of countries like China where the notion of collectivism, as opposed to individualism is of upmost importance, romantic love - based on individualistic desire - is often seen as wrong. Instead, commitment to one’s family and community is seen as a greater form of 10
for the welfare and happiness of everyone. Agape in Christianity, which is the faith of so many people across the world, is considered the purest form of love. Indeed, it is considered to be God’s love. It is considered to lead to the most holy, happy life an individual can strive for. This theme of striving to emulate God’s love is repeated in Judaism and Islam, which again represent so many
This said, however, Fashi made an effort to clarify that romantic love, or familial love, or love you have for friends, is not ‘bad’. He acknowledged that you didn’t have to live in a monastery to be happy, and that, “Not everyone wants to be a monk!” However he did stress the importance of practicing compassion, regardless of how many friends you had or how much you loved your partner, as central to his faith’s thinking. So, that thought is bringing us towards a close. We have described three main types of love and explored how they can mean different things to different people. But after all of that, is there some commonality about love? Is there a common feature throughout our humanity that we can all draw on? To save you the headache, a common link that has appeared during our search is the universally accepted and observed fact that love leads to happiness. Moreover, true love requires one to be selfless, not selfish. Treating others the way you would like to be treated (the ‘Golden Rule’ as laid out by Jesus) seems to be the general aim of all religious traditions, which represent so many different cultures around the world. It can be the aim of those who do not have a religious faith. It could be summarised that true love is integrating; selfishness is divisive.
big questions. Is love bigger than us? Are we all interconnected? Is love an expression or recognition of this truth? Is love part of our fundamental human nature? Even as we walked around campus, interviewing people from all walks of life, laughing at how hard this seemingly simple concept was to define, we felt a feeling of warmness, affection and sameness to toward the people across from us, regardless of their skin colour, accent, or religious beliefs. We felt human. So it can be noted that love leaves us more capable of embracing differences and discovering new things about people. Also, being skilled at true love on many levels helps you figure out problems and issues in life and helps people understand each other more deeply. Perhaps most importantly, the notion of love is universal, and a dominant belief seems to be that the more loving you are, the less need you have to meet the right person. One useful aspect of this study was discovering the fact that, whilst nearly all cultures value romantic love, the notion is most prevalent in Western culture. There is a strong tendency in Western countries, like Australia, to believe that waiting for ‘the one’ to arrive will solve all of your problems. Why would this be? To go on a brief but relevant tangent, pioneering sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the term conscience collective (or collective conscience) as one way of explaining this phenomenon. This can be defined as the solidarity of different societies according to their degree of cohesion around shared moral values and norms. Religion is an example of a conscience collective. For Durkheim, a conscience collective could be either overregulating or under-regulating for individuals, leading to pathologies of many kinds. Over-regulation can be seen, for example, in overprotective parents who give their children little chance for integration in society. This is observed as having many negative effects on the child.
Even romantic love requires one to be selfless, to recognise the other person as the same as oneself, yet uniquely different at the same time. This begs Illustrations by Tom Harvey
Perhaps the relentless consumer culture and breakdown of traditional values characterising the modern, capitalist world is also to blame for this phenomenon. Indeed, many companies seem to exploit this hole in all of us, this need for intimacy, by forever pushing this notion of ‘the one’ being the solution to all our problems. You see this in movies and magazines again and again, almost as if these companies are profiting off a cruel trap most people can’t seem to see. At any rate, perhaps if the West disregarded its condescension of 12
less ‘advanced’ cultures around the world for a moment, we could learn that sources of love and fulfilment, and hence happiness, surround us everyday. They are there in the form of our families, whatever you define that to be, or in our friends, or in service to our community, or in the passer-by on the street, or in a simple smile extended to a stranger. Perhaps Westerners still have to learn that love is truly everywhere. As our interviews revealed, it was apparent that there were many people on campus who believed that love could be understood as part of the survival instinct, a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species; in other words, love is a simple chemical by-product of the brain. Many ‘objective’ science students seemed to have this view. And there were also many who argued that selfishness, hatred and violence were fundamental parts of human nature. Yet these assumptions are so deterministic and pessimistic. One can immediately feel the disappointment or sadness in their chest when they hear this repeated by someone. Surely if it has been shown that love, although differing
somewhat in its expression across the world, is universal and results in happiness for all, if love is the only thing in this world that makes people truly feel good, then surely our underlying human nature is that of gentleness, kindness and compassion. It is exactly this deviation from our basic nature, into hatred and violence, that makes us feel so bad and inhuman. You don’t have to have read this article to know we all have the desire to love, to be loved, to belong, to be supported and to be cared for. Perhaps at the end of all this rambling, all we have discovered (or reaffirmed) is that love, although it takes many forms, is the underlying, universal fabric of existence.
by MARK MARUSIC
Interestingly, according to Durkheim, our modern society is distinctly under-regulated, suffering from a state of anomie. Such underregulation means that people increasing cling to institutions to provide moral integration. Some are totally enveloped in their jobs, the measure of which is indicated by how lonely they feel when they retire. Durkheim theorised that the general state of anomie in society can lead people to invest far too much of their need for recognition and reciprocity in a single relationship. The dramatic rise of relationship and individual counselling is a testament to such a theory.
Pictures by Lawrence OP, sxc.hu and Michelle Natalie Susanto
Violet curlicues, scarlet petals, turquoise arabesques, dancing on her blouse; flowing over her tiger stripe tights, op shop chic, few other chicks could lend it such aplomb; her eyes for details of delight shine behind her tortoiseshell-framed butterfly-winged lenses, her russet wavy locks dangle over. She chooses shoes that help her sense the ground as she floats, yet full of bounce; orange coral mala round her milky neck, she draws each bead reciting ‘om mani padme om’, evoking bodhisattva of compassion.
Oh lovely lotus lady, as you grow into your middle age your beauty blossoms even fuller, so does my affection for you; our hearts entwine in loving kindness meditation, the air we breathe flows in and out of each other, oh, that more of our being could so enmesh; but perhaps it’s like our clothing, nothing suits or fits all types, and clinging clouds our vision of fate of all things – transience; we both know this, so could that render my attachment for you all the sweeter? 13
LEVANTINE LADY When her eyes alight on mine I light up, deeper I’m drawn into her olive pools, into her Levant world, zither playing on my heart strings, syrup of baklava cursing through my veins, my belly’s dancing in Turkish Delight, as she opens her Dardanelles I’m drawn into her Black Sea, glowing with the phosphorous of her Bosporus, baking in her pide, leavened by heavenly rays of Rumi’s luscious verse; oh to be of your sweet and savoury being!
Mad Hatter in Oz: AT ONENESS As I lie with you I feel your breath is mine, and so your senses, thoughts and feelings, your being permeates me, our borders dissolved, there is no you and me; how sweet if this could last after we’ve arisen from our bed; can only rest content that this will be again tonight . . .
What it Feels Like to be Lost and Found at the Same Time by Christian Barrera (Chile) Postgraduate student Cross-Cultural Communication
Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” “Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. “No, I give it up,” Alice replied. “What’s the answer?” “I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 14
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Picture from Michelle Natalie Susanto
If I could tell you how my life was five weeks ago and how it is now it would be related to the riddle you just read: I haven’t the slightest idea -- although it feels awesome! But my question is: what is it that makes us feel lost and found all at once? I am from the wonderful country of Chile and now am an international postgraduate student in the strange land of Australia. The Land of Oz is unique, strange and unknown to me; it has something that I can’t put my finger on, but I feel it wherever I go.
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But let’s be honest, too. The Land of Oz has something. It is odd. I have felt lost, but I have felt found at the same time. It is hard to explain; maybe other international students or people who have lived abroad understand what I mean.
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I can feel it in the air. New things are coming up and new adventures to live. Journeys to be taken and new Oz creatures to meet. New friends to make.
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Maybe next time I could write something clearer and better structured. But something is happening to me here. I think perhaps many of you can relate to this feeling.
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It’s a bit scary, but I have found some unexpected courage in me. I feel different. I have not been homesick either. And I want to figure out what this something in the land is. I have not been here that long, so I need more time. One thing I can tell you though: I am not the same person I was yesterday.
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I am living the adventure at the moment, from the Wonderland to the Land of Oz. I like to see it that way. I have felt lost in translation I have to admit. I have met strange creatures here who tell you goodnight at 6.p.m. for instance. This a place in which if you are five minutes late to catch a bus it means you are going to be thirty
minutes late for very important dates. There is very little human contact here when greeting someone. No hugs or kisses on the cheeks. People shake hands instead. People seem to be so well-mannered and it looks like they choose their words carefully before talking. People are hard for me to read here. Strange creatures… that’s all I can say right now.
Right now I feel like one of the characters from the book Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps you wonder why I make this comparison. Well, in the darkest period of my life in which I had no direction whatsoever I began reading a lot so that time would pass by faster. One of the books I read was Alice in Wonderland. It was not my first time reading the book, but this time all the nonsense of it made sense to me. The lack of sense made sense. And that’s what I’m feeling right now. Reading it has encouraged me to grab my hat and my suitcases and jump through the rabbit hole and now here I am!
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had thought about writing something for The Globe when it was released last year, but I couldn’t pick up my pen... I thought I’m far from becoming a writer who is confident enough to have my article sent to a formal publication. But thankfully I suddenly wanted to try, and I am grateful to The Globe for
radio reading practice. Nerves, bad voice, awkward pace. I knew I could do much better, but the confidence I was hoping for seemed to hate me at that moment. Often like a bird flying blindly forward, I bumble around people and wonder if my appearance
And isn’t there always a price to be paid for any decision in life? Therefore, if you’re waiting for others to take that first step to make you feel confident, then you’re blocking yourself! It’s fine if you think it’s okay to just keep living in your shell, but if you start to feel unhappy with it, it’s time to make a change!
The Power of One
with being a MECO lecturer. Life is an unpredictable maze, and there are always changes that ruin the best-laid plans. But this insight into Dr Brennan’s life showed me that we need to explore the future, and take up the challenge without looking back (unless you want to write autobiography). I wonder if he too had felt
providing me with a space to confess my feelings.
him, and I guess I’ll get the same sort of answers if I ask anyone else. To me, Marc Brennan’s experience tells me not to despise other people if you’re unsatisfied with your own life, nor to ever despise yourself; after all, a caterpillar might turn into a butterfly someday. So there it is, I’m not different to anyone else on this planet. Humans are emotional, so accept
Yue Wang examines what is needed to triumph I’m one of the thousands of over one’s insecurities
international students studying at Sydney University doing a challenging course in my second language. In saying so, I do not intend to use this as an excuse for not trying my best to be as confident as I was back in my home country. But, when you are taken out of your comfort-zone, and you set foot in a place you find fascinating yet overwhelming at the same time, insignificant things can propel you forwards, so that you can always wear a big smile when you walk across the campus. One day, I was constantly sighing away. I felt like I had no direction, like I was disconnected, and too emotional. But every emotion has to have some kind of reason, whether positive or negative, conscious or subconscious. The feelings of being withdrawn and lacking confidence had been dogging me for a long time, so I guess they finally triggered my fail grade in 18
try to impress anyone but myself? If you look at other people’s experiences and hardships, you’ll understand. You can always turn a negative into a positive, but only when you’re seeking for it. A friend said to me “ you deserve to regain your confidence”, and anyone who felt like I did deserves to as well. I know it is difficult to put words into actions even though now I know what I need to do. But why not give it a go? At least I know I have tried my best. After all, we’re not stuck in a shell!
looks strange...if I have spoken to people about something that makes me sound like a weirdo, or like a stupid English as a second language speaker who has no idea about how Australians communicate. These things sometimes make me stressed or pissed off, and then I let myself get into a state that I absolutely hate. It’s not who I am and it’s not what I would have felt in the past. I don’t blame the local students for not trying to understand our difficulties in trying to merge with their culture. It’s not their job to take the initiative and try to intergrate after all. In fact, we the international students should make the first step because it is we who have chosen to come into this community, to experience this fresh student environment.
But the big question is how? I started to realise how when I saw a post on Facebook saying that Dr Marc Brennan is leaving the MECO course and I found something a fellow student posted. It was inspiring: “Marc Brennan was a former truck driver and financial planner - this guy is amazing”. Hmm... A former truck driver.... financial planner.... these professions had nothing to do
lost? dislocated? confused? Lacking confidence? I think I’ll get a yes if I get a chance to ask
whatever comes into your mind. But, why bite your fingernails and say “I hate myself” and allow yourself to be stuck in the shell you built? Why
“Not to despise other people if you’re unsatified with your own life, nor to ever despise yourself. Afterall, a caterpillar might turn into a butterfly someday.” Picture from vivekchugh in sxc.hu
The Price of Education Too High?
Pictures from Yuan Liu
Globe reporter Beverly Parungao takes to Eastern Avenue to Find out the truth behind the University’s fInancial priorities
ASTERN AVENUE at this time of the year should be peaceful. Student elections have yet to yield eager student politicians donning brightly coloured shirts and campaigning behind bad puns. The start of semester marks a short-lived but well deserved cease-fire from our perennial war against unsolicited fliers and all too happy campaigners. But alas, a stroll down Eastern Avenue suggests not all things are harmonious. A poster reading, NO STAFF CUTS, draped across a flimsy table catches my eye. And before I am aware of it I am handed a leaflet. Despite my inclination to dispose of the flier I decide against it, intrigued by the number of students already hunched over the petition. 20
Admittedly I knew nothing of the issue, and it was only in my quest to discover what was going on that I found the actions of these students were not unwarranted. For those that have been living under a rock and have failed to notice the countless fliers that litter lecture theatres desks, the No Staff Cuts Campaign has united students and staff against the Vice Chancellor’s ‘Formal Change Proposal’. As part of a broader strategic plan the proposal outlines the need to reduce academic staffing costs by 7.5%. The rationale for these changes lies in a shortfall in student fee income amidst pressing infrastructure investments. The University states it urgently needs $37 million dollars for repairs, a sum that belongs to a
whopping backlog of $385 million in building maintenance costs. This urgency was captured when on 20th of February, 100 academics received notice of redundancies and 64 were offered teaching only positions. The University maintains that staff cuts are a necessary course of action because it currently spends 56% of its revenue on staff, a figure that is high relative to other Go8 universities. In an interview with ABC Radio, Vice Chancellor Michael Spence said the cuts were good for morale: “I think that staff want to see that the university is being managed responsibly and that people are providing for their future,” Far from heightening morale, Dr Damien Cahill, Vice President
of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), believes the proposal has led to a decrease in productivity among staff. When asked how many staff members were opposed to these cuts, he estimated “at least 90%.” “Talking to people it’s clear that there’s a real depth of feeling about this issue amongst staff, it’s clear that there’s a widespread lack of support for the leadership of the university,” Dr Cahill said.
actively leading the campaign since rumours of staff cuts surfaced in October last year. At the end of last year approximately 500 staff members attended a full capacity meeting, and the campaign has since gathered momentum with a successful appeal from Fair Work Australia and a protest uniting more than 1500 students and staff. At
The crowd captured this sentiment, chanting, “Staff and students say no cuts, no way” as they waved placards and marched from Masden to the Quadrangle. But it did not stop there; the University met further resistance when 50 students conducted a sit in at the Dean of Arts’ Office.
“The plans have got more to do with the big end of town and capital than what we as a University need and want.”
“The fact that we had to had to turn people away from a staff meeting because there wasn’t enough room is just indicative of that depth of feeling,” he added. The NTEU and the SRC’s Education Action Group has been
the rally, held on the 4th of April, NTEU University of Sydney Branch President Michael Thompson addressed the uproarious crowd, stating, “…the plans have got more to do with the big end of town and capital than what we as a University need and want.”
Dr Damien Cahill says the protest was unprecedented in scale, “I haven’t seen anything that big on a single university campus,” he said.
But perhaps the magnitude of these protests only hints at the perceived unfairness of the staff cuts. The lack of fairness in the University’s proposals is entrenched in the measurements used to determine which staff would be offered redundancies. Staff who 21
failed to publish three ‘Excellence in Research Australia’ (ERA) outputs between January 2009 November 2011 were those targeted for redundancies. Dr Cahill states that the ERA criteria were applied retrospectively. “People were subject to performance criteria that they essentially didn’t know they were working under,” he said. Dr Cahill explains that each faculty at the University has a set of key performance indicators for determining which staff are research active. At the University level there also exists another set of indicators, which set out the minimum requirements. But he says that
policy,” he said. But it doesn’t stop there. Dr Cahill says that the second level of unfairness is the way the process was “completely under the discretion of the Dean and centre management.” It was this lack of due process and consultation with staff that essentially prompted the NTEU’s decision to bring the case to Fair Work Australia. The case yielded a success for the campaign, as Fair Work Australia outlined the need for an additional step in the University’s process to allow for further consultation with directly affected staff. The University, however, released a Budget and Staffing Q&A stating that this was not the case. As a research-intensive university, the University argues it is reasonable to
staff has been largely laborious and time consuming. And considering the University recorded a surplus of $113 million it even seems unnecessary. Whilst a quick fix solution seems to be to tap into the surplus, the University maintains this surplus primarily consists of donations and funds that have been reserved for specific purposes. There thus remains the need to fund projects high on the agenda, which include the Charles Perkins Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research and the Abercrombie Precinct, a new building designated for the University’s Business School. But at the rally students consistently put forth the case that the University was putting buildings ahead of their education. VC, Dr Michael Spence told ABC Radio, “It’s a completely false dichotomy to say staff or buildings because staff need buildings to do their work and research and students need buildings in which to learn.”
The process “has been designed to be transparent, impartial and intelligent in its approach...”
overnight those deemed research active under the original criteria were suddenly on a list of redundancies. What is possibly even more disconcerting is the viability of such measures. Grahame McCulloch, National General Secretary of the NTEU, criticised the usefulness of these measurements during the public rally. “The ERA Journal Rankings have been junked and they are no longer a feature of the government’s research funding 22
expect staff to spend 40% of their time on research. The University also took into account factors such as leave, health, heavy teaching or administrative loads that would allow individuals to be removed from consideration. The University also maintains the process “has been designed to be transparent, impartial and intelligent in its approach…” Indeed the process based on relative performance is “consistent with the requirements of the Enterprise Agreement to have fair and objective selection criteria for redundancy.” It appears the struggle to retain
Student Representative Council President, Phoebe Drake also agrees that the University is in desperate need of repair. But she says the University needs to assess their priorities and “ask whether all buildings are completely necessary in 2012 or if they can wait.” Dr Cahill certainly believes the University can defer these projects, which he believes are not essential and shouldn’t be prioritised at the expense of staff. He points to how approximately 45% of the university’s capital expenditure will be directed towards these projects, and cites that the proportion of capital expenditure is set to be even greater in the coming years. At best, Dr Cahill says the University can defer expenditure on Abercrombie precinct where $20 million is scheduled this year for the concept alone. But he remains critical of the University’s current actions and intentions. Dr Cahill says, “It’s essentially a sham process… it’s portrayed as a budgetary crisis and portrayed as a need to invest in infrastructure, [but] in reality they
are pursuing an agenda of cutting staff in order to improve their ERA ranking and performance without publicly acknowledging this.” Ironically in these attempts to improve rankings and reputations, Dr Cahill believes the reputation of the university has suffered owing to the issue’s coverage in the media. More significantly the damage spills into the very foundations of a good university: the quality of its education. The University maintains the budget cuts will not affect the education of students, but Phoebe Drake says there is a real concern for the quality of teaching and learning for students on campus. Phoebe points to the already overcrowded lecture theatres and how the quality of learning is being compromised by an ‘economies of scale’ approach, “which takes money from one faculty and redirects it to another.” The staff cuts will only exacerbate these problems as the University looks to increasing student enrolments next year. Dr Cahill predicts the teaching
shortfall will be met by increasing casualisation of staff members and reducing unit of study offerings. How students respond to the issue staff cuts over time is a matter of guesswork. Whether the staff cuts campaign will intensify or fade all together as the University decides against the staff cuts, remains unclear. But there are already broader implications that students and staff of the university must think about. The possibility of applying retroactive criteria to research performance has severe repercussions in the long term, not only for the University but also at other universities. As the Australian National University is looking to cut up to 150 academic and general jobs, Dr Cahill points to the University’s status as a leader and competitor to other universities. “If the University of Sydney can get away with this, other universities will follow the leader,” he said.
I’m sure we can all recall having numb buttocks after enduring a two-hour lecture at Carslaw, or perhaps you’ve ventured to Bosch only to leave irate at the crookedness of your lecture chair desk. Dr Cahill does not dispute this. “There’s no doubt that the university infrastructure in some places is in disrepair and is in chronic need of investment but that speaks to years of mismanagement at the top and poor priorities from the leadership of this university”, he says. 23
a metropolitan city in India, there is a high likelihood that you will be subjected to a random security check. All these changes in a very short space of time.
By Virat Nehru
Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Laws (II)
Better Safe than Sorry
The changing face of security in the post 9/11 era
ollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan was detained for about two hours by US immigration officials at White Plains airport in New York. He was due to address students, academics and other members of the Indian American community at Yale University after having conferred on him the Chubb fellowship. This is becoming routine for Khan, who was also detained at Newark airport in New Jersey back in 2009. When Khan didn’t turn up in time for his press conference at 2 pm before the address at 4 pm, Yale officials had to contact the Department of Homeland Security and Department of US Immigration and Customs in Washington to get Khan a security clearance when they were informed that he was being held up at the airport. As a result, Khan’s address did not start until 6 pm, where he could not resist taking a tongue in cheek dig about his ordeal. Referring to his ordeal as routine he said that he was detained at the airport “as always”. Khan went on to state that
“they (immigration official) always ask me how tall I am and I always say 5 feet and 10 inches. Next time I’m going to be more adventurous. (If they ask me) what colour are you, I’m going to say white”. In saying this, he suggested perhaps that there may be a hint of racial profiling at play considering that his surname is ‘Khan’. It is easy to see where Shah Rukh is coming from and even be disgruntled and disillusioned with the changing nature of security in a post 9/11 world. However, any such suggestion of racial profiling can only be speculated upon. The truth is, racial profiling, if it can be proven, is one of the harsh realities of a global world that is becoming more paranoid about national security. Terrorism, if it has accomplished anything, has made us all a bit more parochially protective and in terms of national security, reinforced the philosophy of utilitarian good . Perhaps, when something like this happens to a celebrity like Shah Rukh Khan,
there is more uproar and a lot more curiosity. Yet, the fact remains, Khans of lesser significance in popular culture have gone through the same ordeal in the past and most likely, will go through it again in the future – and it is all for the utilitarian good. This ‘better safe than sorry’ philosophy is not just limited to the US. If you have the misfortune of possessing a passport with as many immigration stamps and clearances as I do, it doesn’t take long for the realisation to dawn upon you that this is a global phenomenon. Taking India, for example, there has been a radical change in security measures after the 2008 Mumbai bomb blasts, especially in the metropolitan areas. You cannot enter shopping malls or grocery supermarkets without being subjected to metal detectors and a physical search. If you wish to travel on the Delhi metro (local train service), get ready to have your baggage screened along with metal detectors and physical searches. In fact, if you are in a public area in
Recalling 2009, there was a huge outcry when the UK introduced the X-ray scanners at their airports. They were notoriously labelled ‘naked’ scanners due to the extensive silhouette of the person the machines provided. They were introduced amid fears of the ‘underwear bomb’ which was considered a significant threat at the time. Shortly thereafter, the devices were scrapped at Heathrow airport amidst fears of privacy. They have now been banned by the European Union as there is found to be a health risk caused by low radiation emitted by the machines. However, if you happened to be at Manchester airport, which still has 16 of these machines installed, you might be refused boarding if you didn’t go through the scanner! Manchester airport has a clearance to use the X-ray scanners until late 2012, before it must phase them out. Kip Hawley, who served as the head of Transport Security Administration for three and a half years until early 2009, talked to the Wall Street Journal about the need to balance the reasonableness of airport and general security measures with concerns of the public over sycophantic witch hunts, and increasing infringements of individual rights. Talking about his kin, Hawley quipped, “You know the TSA. We’re the ones who make you take off your shoes before padding through a metal detector in your socks (hopefully without holes in them). We’re the ones who make
you throw out your water bottles. We’re the ones who end up on the evening news when someone’s grandma gets patted down or a child’s toy gets confiscated as a security risk. If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably hate us”. Hawley is spot on. Airport security for most travelers is just another hassle to get through. Hawley goes on to state the crux of the problem in a very eloquent manner – “More than a decade after 9/11, it is a national embarrassment that our airport security system remains so hopelessly bureaucratic and disconnected from the people whom it is meant to protect. Preventing terrorist attacks on air travel demands flexibility and the constant reassessment of threats. It also demands strong public support, which the current system has plainly failed to achieve.
same – as a mass of orange! It is quite a conundrum – the fear of missing a thing of the smallest significance compared to missing the big picture if you focus too much on specifics. Hence, we end up where we began. Perhaps, it’s become an integral part of living in the post 9/11 era; the acceptance that individual rights will be sacrificed for the greater good of safer borders. The Patriot Act in the US and the Anti-Terrorism Act in Australia are both concrete legislative steps that substantiate this line of thinking. “War on terror” and other similar metaphorical phrases are only effective in political propaganda. The truth is, right now we are fighting an invisible enemy. Whether this changing face of national security adopts a more sinister or benign quality is a question that only time can answer.
The crux of the problem, as I learned in my years at the helm, is our wrongheaded approach to risk. In attempting to eliminate all risk from flying, we have made air travel an unending nightmare for U.S. passengers and visitors from overseas, while at the same time creating a security system that is brittle where it needs to be supple.” Now that’s all well and good, and perhaps sounds flowery in a theoretical sense, however, pragmatic application is another story; especially when anything organic registers as just a mass of orange during baggage screening. To these machines, a C4 explosive and a block of cheddar cheese appear exactly the Pictures from Stephan Bouman and Troy Huynh in Flickr
The Brave New World of Aboriginal Apartheid
“For five years, 73 Aboriginal peoples in the NT have suffered under the totalitarian bureaucratic control of their communities... they have been humiliated by depictions of them as horny paedophiles and lazy, unemployed alcoholics stinging off Government welfare.” being used in courts. For these absurdly discriminatory laws to be enacted, it was necessary to suspend the Racial Discrimination Act, prompting the UN’s finest international human rights lawyer to declare that racism was structurally embedded in the Australian way of life. The legislating of systematic discrimination against people from different ethnic backgrounds has a name; whether it is in South Africa or in the Stolen Generations or today’s Australia (though better shrouded), we use the Dutch word for separateness: ‘Apartheid’.
Picture from deetrak in Flickr
For five years, 73 Aboriginal peoples in the NT have suffered under the totalitarian bureaucratic control of their communities. For five years they have been humiliated by depictions of them as horny paedophiles and lazy, unemployed alcoholics stinging off Government welfare. Now, more than ever, communities feel dislocated from decision making and feel also that the world’s oldest living culture, their culture, is finally facing its end. Incarceration rates have skyrocketed by 40% (mainly over traffic fines) and female suicide rates have now increased to the highest in the Western World
I Nathan McDonnell reviews the facts to uncover the ugly truth behind the Northern Territory Intervention
t’s mid-2007, the legitimacy of the Liberal Party is at its lowest, the Work Choices campaign is at its peak and a Federal Election is only a few months away. This is the scene for the Howard Government’s launching of the now infamous Northern Territory Intervention. The deed was done amidst the emotional cover generated by vicious lies about rampant drunkenness and paedophile rings. Indigenous communities saw their land invaded by the army, alcohol and pornography were banned and the Government unilaterally acquired legal control of town camps. All welfare recipients in target communities had half of their Centrelink payments quarantined onto a demeaning and restrictive BASICS Card. From an enforcement perspective, police were granted the extraordinary power of treating violence against Aboriginal people on par with terrorism, Canberra’s Government Business Managers controlled communities and Aboriginal law was banned from
And, just in case we’d hoped the ALP would be a little less efficient than the Howard-era assimilationists at legislating for Apartheid, they have given the Intervention a fresh top-up with a new serving of controlling policies. In a further instance of Canberra’s inability to understand the Aboriginal situation, the demeaning ‘income management’ system (which mandatorily quarantines welfare onto a BASICS Card) will be expanded to five new ‘trial sites’, including Bankstown in Western Sydney. It will target those such as the young, the unemployed, poorer rent payers, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, gamblers and alcoholics. Society’s down and out will get a good kick in the ribs from Australia’s
Despite furious criticisms, the Labor Party, under the authoritarian tendencies of Indigenous Minister Jenny Macklin, has teamed up with Tony Abbot and the Coalition to steam ahead with a Bill (depressingly titled ‘Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory’) that will extend the Intervention for a further ten years. The Intervention has been extended in a way that has negated genuine consultation and democratic process. A human rights Bill was deliberately delayed so that the extension of the Intervention could be rammed through Parliament without extra human rights scrutiny. The Bill extending the Intervention was then slipped through in an empty session of Parliament, before a Senate Committee could report back to Canberra about its findings from discussions with NT communities. Most seriously, the whole process does not have the consent of Aboriginal communities; the forcible nature of these developments is painstakingly documented in the excellent work of the NGO ‘Concerned Australians’. Picture from mikecogh in Flickr
neoliberal technocratic state. The Government claimed that it first implemented income management as a way of ensuring that welfare funds were spent on essential items like food and clothing (rather than booze and smokes), a move designed to improve childrens’ nutrition and reduce harassment associated with street begging. However, research has shown that not only is it racially discriminatory, paternalistic, humiliating and restrictive, but, according to a 2011 report from the Menzies School of Health, it doesn't even work in improving spending practices; instead, this report suggests bankrolling further tried and tested rehabilitation programs, as well as transport subsidises to reduce food costs. In the NT, Centrelink totalitarianism is indeed the new black, this time in regard to childrens’ school attendance. Parents of children who miss five days of school per term can be starved of welfare payments for three months, under the expectation that they survive the good old Aboriginal way on grubs and roots. The Government
rationalises this as a neat strategy to improve school attendance. Why, then, only target parents on Centrelink? The reason, a new and fancy little concept called 'mutual responsibility': ‘if you blacks are going to bludge off the dole, you better keep your side of the bargain and send your kids to school’. Yet even the Government's own research has shown that such welfare cuts serve only to alienate families further. Who cares that community Elders have proposed a range of far more important suggestions to improve school attendance, such as reinstating bilingual learning to make curriculums more relevant? Inspired by the puritanical, 1830’s Prohibitionism of the USA , the total bans on alcohol in prescribed areas will continue, with penalties being worsened so that a bottle of beer can land 6 months in jail and a six-pack 18 months. The Government claims this is about preventing alcoholism and protecting children. Yet what is needed is more funding for rehabilitation programs as well as a return to communities autonomously developing their own plans to overcome alcoholism, a policy that had a 95% success rate in the communities pre-intervention. Where once Aborigines living in remote and sacred Homelands had the right for essential services to be provided, the Government is now cutting off funding for the homelands and centralising it in 21 ‘hubs’. The Government claims that this is about improving the delivery of infrastructure and services. In fact, however, it will only lead to us seeing social problems of unemployment, violence, crime and substance abuse explode in ghettoes drowning under rapid urbanisation. Explaining Neo-Apartheid
Picture from electricnerve in Flickr
But the most important question is ‘Why?’ Why is the Government blazing ahead in this crusade of control? A key element of the Intervention is about repressing the autonomy of the strong and flourishing NT Aboriginal community organisations so as to assimilate Aboriginal people under the authority of the technocratic neoliberal Australian state. Free market fundamentalism is also playing a big part in this assault as it is increasingly the neoliberal logic of the market being accepted as the only hope for Aboriginal people, rather than the once
popular cause (circa 1970s and 80s) of advancing Aboriginal rights and sel f- deter m i nat ion. Embedded in the market logic are harsh policies of Centrelink control designed to stigmatise welfare and so force more people to enter the workforce to increase productivity. T here is also definitely a psychological dimension to the Intervention. In a post modern Australian age that worships cosmopolitan globalisation, techno-optimism and individualistic careerism, images of Aboriginal Australia and its often Third World conditions are images that reveal the terrifying dark underbelly of the materialistic suburban Australian dream. The Intervention, then, can be understood to be a psychological defence of the irrational Australian state as it tries to cope with what such dark images reveal about its central role in the dispossession, suffering and control of Aboriginal Australia. To keep the conversation civil, the collective Australian consciousness mutters something about the failure of Aboriginal culture and turns its back on the realities of Aboriginal dispossession and disenfranchisement.
Picture from Rusty Stewart in Flickr
“Why, then, only target parents on Centrelink? The reason, a new and fancy little concept called ‘mutual responsibility’: ‘if you blacks are going to bludge off the dole, you better keep your side of the bargain and send your kids to school.’”
supposed to speak truth to power and be a voice for the voiceless is instead little more than the scribe of the ruling managerial classes of Government and big business? It is a great irony that the Intervention continues unheard of at the same time as a fervent and triumphant media discussion emerges, about recognising indigenous Australians in the Constitution. But “toilet paper” was how indigenous ladies at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra described this Constitutional reform when I asked them; for them, the real question always has been, and always will be, self-determination.
As the Labor Party walks hand in hand with the Liberal Party in assaulting Aboriginal communities with humanitarian-faced Apartheid, I still have a great faith that the common sense moral sanity of Australians would be revolted at what is being done by the political parties apparently acting in their name – if only they knew. Yet this great shame of 21st Century Australia is unheard of in mainstream Australian society, where our obsequious media increasingly functions as a tool of mass distraction in its infatuation with Craig Thomson, bikie murders and soft porn. Indeed, our media is entirely complicit in how we are perpetually checkmated by the cult of individualism and progress, and in how we are totally disciplined by the imperatives of obedient production and consumption: to work, work, work, and buy, buy, buy. What has journalism become when the profession 29
Each year in October and November, the red leaves fall in their masses and the number of tourists in Fragrance Hill will reach its highest point. During this time, tourists can see red leaves scattered uphill and down-dale as relaxing temperatures make the journey a memorable experience. When people come to this place, the first thing they should do is climb to the top of the Hill. Standing atop its peak, they will see the whole sight of the surrounding mountains and get a long-range view of the city of Beijing. The mountains consist of red color, generating a romantic and natural atmosphere for lovers and families to enjoy together, with autumn wind soaring all around. If the Summer Palace gives tourists a merry heart, the red leaves in Fragrance Hill will make people steep themselves in a romantic and refreshing environment far away from the vehicle exhaust of the city.
One Day in Busy Beijing A place where you will rediscover romanticism and nature
or most “foreigners” who first come to the capital city of the People’s Republic of China, the first impressions they have of this place will come to them through the magnificence of the Great Wall, the historical significance of the Forbidden City and the solemn presence of Tiananmen Square. However, apart from these world-famous places Beijing has also become attractive to tourists, both domestic and international, because of its scenic spots with romantic emotional appeal. In Beijing, tourists are able to remove themselves from the commotion of the city centre and enter an environment consisting of natural landscapes which they can enjoy with family and friends. Summer Palace Located in Haidian district, 15 kilometers from the city centre of Beijing, the Summer Palace is the largest existing royal garden in China. Built during the Golden Age of Qing Dynasty, it has become a significant monument in the history of Chinese classical gardens. This unique historical place gathers the essence of Chinese classical architecture and contains different building styles from different places in China. In this place, people will not find the noises and activity that confront them in the 30
by Yuchen Lu city; instead, they are given a great opportunity to deeply engage with the beautiful natural landscape and relax with relatives and loved ones. The two most famous sight spots in Summer Palace are Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. Sitting on a boat with close friends and floating along Kunming Lake will give people the kind of tranquility that takes them away from working and study pressures. Standing on Longevity Hill and enjoying the surrounding views is yet another break with urban bustle. Placing themselves in the midst of mountain and water, tourists have only to think about the beautiful environment and the people they love. This comfortable environment shows tourists an introspective and artistic side to Beijing, one that may not be so visible in the city centre.
Nowadays, both the Summer Palace and Fragrance Hill have already opened the gate to people from other parts of the world. This action provides those from other nations the opportunity to have an unforgettable journey with their friends. On 14 February, 2012, Louis Appleton, chief editor of Globe Magazine, took his first journey to the city of Beijing. After his 6-day-trip in the capital city of China, Louis admitted that the significant development of tourist cultures within Beijing impressed him and he is looking forward to coming back to this place. “I think it is really good for people from different places with different cultural backgrounds to come to these places and feel the great cultural legacy of Chinese history.” For most people in the world, the romantic experiences they encounter in this city will truly belong to them, no matter their different culture and languages.
The experiences brought by the Summer Palace and Fragrance Hill are entirely different from the traditional impression which tourists have of Beijing. Floating on Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace or standing on the top of Fragrance Hill, people can holiday in a world preserved over hundreds of years. As Beijing becomes a more attractive place for international tourists, it is certain that more and more people from overseas will come to these romantic and pleasant places with their families and friends to experience an entire different situation.
“This comfortable environment shows tourists an introspective and artistic side to Beijing, one that may not be so visible in the city centre.”
Fragrance Hill Another famous forest park lies in the countryside of Beijing. Fragrance Hill was named as the best place for lovers to go in Beijing, mostly because of the sea of red leaves that fall from Fragrance Hill’s Maples in autumn.
Pictures from Michael McDonough and drnantu in Flickr
The University of Sydney’s United Nations Society Travels to Canada
| By Daniel Barabas
This year, 2,000 students from around the world congregated in the chilly city of Vancouver, Canada for the 20th Harvard Model United Nations Conference. From the 11th – 15th of March, students gathered to diplomatically debate topics from counterfeit pharmaceuticals and the militarisation of the Arctic to the European debt crisis – along with a multitude of other international relations concerns. Every year, the University’s United Nations Society sends a delegation of high achieving and passionate students of international affairs to represent it at the world’s largest intercollegiate Model United Nations Conference, WorldMUN. Although debate and competition are fierce, honourable delegates are expected to diplomatically and candidly espouse the cultural and political views of their states to reach consensus and a common resolution. This year the representative of the United States of America, Alexandra Brown, walked away with a prestigious Diplomacy Award for her eloquent discourse and collaboration in the Berlin Conference. The purpose of the conference is to train students in the art of diplomacy and collaboration. Unlike debating, the ultimate objective is not to aggressively win the argument, but to reach consensus and progress on both sides of the debate. In our globalised world today, nation states cannot afford to act in isolation or without cordial relations. Thus, the diplomatic debate learnt and exhibited by students
serves a pertinent role in highlighting the importance of collaboration.
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Apart from daily committee hearings, delegates are treated to a week filled with social extravaganzas ranging from a Masquerade Ball in Whistler, a hippie night in Woodstock, cabaret by the seashore, and a night dressed in tight and bright at the University of British Columbia. This doesn’t even include the breadth of travels made by delegates before and after the conference.
This year, the organisation skills of the University of Sydney’s Head Delegates, Cindy Chen and Kerry Chen, made sure that all students were proximately located to the conference hall in Vancouver, while being able to tackle the complexities of debate through informative pre-conference training sessions. Unlike any other student conference, the Model United Nations brings together a truly diverse group of students from all cultural and political persuasions. By the end of the conference, many committees solidify life-long relationships among their delegates regardless of the intense debate that may have occurred beforehand. The conference, held annually by Harvard in a different global city, attracts students
having just entered their first year, to those completing their Masters in a variety of fields such as Arts, Economics and Engineering. Unlike the United States, Australia’s collegiate Model United Nations culture is relatively still in it’s infantile stages, with Universities such as the University of Technology Sydney and Australian National University having only started their own Model United Nations Society within the last year. Regardless of this fact, combined Australian Universities consistently rank in the top 10 based on the number of prestigious ‘Diplomacy Awards’ collected. Traditionally, delegates from Belgium, Venezuela and America’s College of William and Mary dominate the awards ceremonies. Within the national context, Australian Universities offer a number of local, state and national conferences to engage United Nations enthusiasts. This July 8th – 13th, the University of Sydney will be sending a delegation of students to the annual Asia
Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) to be held this year at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Similarly, Sydney University holds it’s own national conference every year on campus in the first week of December. To offset the financial barriers that come along with conference and travel to WorldMUN, this year students were fortunate to be sponsored individually by a variety of benefactors including the United States Studies Centre, and tthe University of Sydney’s Faculties of Arts, Business, Law and Medicine. Currently a number of different Australian universities are bidding to host the conference in 2013. To get involved on campus with the United Nations Society and the conferences provided nationally and internationally throughout the year, please contact the society at: www.usydunsociety.org
of the Month I am a d n a , a vi An e t t de a My name is Bern ternational & In g in dy u st nt de u second year st of Manning ut o y a w y m On . D Y Global Studies at US t my eye, and I gh u a c e in z a g a m r u yesterday yo it w as like. t ha w e e s d n a p u decided to pick it and I have e iv ss re p im y l gh hi What I found w as a group of uni t ha t d e s a le p y l gh hi to say, I w as itiative to in he t e k a t o t d de students had deci hopefu lly make ill w t ha t e in z a g a produce a m opolitan . m s o c re o m n ve e D students at USY
Just read the 2 nd edition and I thought it was great :) really top stuf f. the layout was pro fessional, inter esting and entertaining, a nd the articles were good too :) so yep, that ’s my feedback :) lets keep doing what we’r e doing! - Matt Owen
Dear GLOBE, Congratulations on an excellent seco nd issue that main the superior publ tains you to be ication on USYD’s by far campus, particular ly in the addres Fisher Library; Ho sing of ni Soint’s articl e by Theodora Chan wrote what in my was a condescendin opinion g, emotive piece ending with ‘let’s drag Fisher Librar the 21st century. Make your objectio y into ns rational and of fer solutions. Ot this will just be herwise, another case of un iversity students have nothing bett protesting becaus er to do. Or stud e they y to avoid.’ In co ntrast, Yuan Liu’ had interesting in s article sights and was wr itten in a balanc ed and fair tone. thought provoking It was about the reading habits; it was an not think of befo interesting angle re. As a person I did who was protesting the cuts, I just proffer a commen t in response to hu mbly her ending questi on ‘Protesters ma to consider what y need they really need to “save”: the li braries or the re – for me, I thin k, (my own person aders?’ al luddite-ish te ndencies aside); undoubtedly an el there was ement of saving readers, because in order to be access books from able to storage, you need a ‘log in’ ID – to be a library Fisher Library is member. not only for studen ts but for the co mmunity at large. membership is not Library the cheapest (for community borrower membership, $80.00 s: “$40.00 for 3 mo for6 months member nths ship or $160.00 fo r 12 months member therefore removing ship”) those 500,000 book s makes the librar the ability of peop y less public, hi ndering le to freely access these. I furtherm more study space ore object to putt into a library wh ing in en Carslaw has op ened up an area de for that very purp signated ose. Indeed a prof essor expressed ‘r eplacing the stac a social space is ks with insulting to stud ents and incredib ly short-sighted.’ it is a pity that I think the campaign agai nst the library cu ts has dissolved because of ideolo - partly gical argu ments (s hould it be target ed as a sy mptom of neo-liberal tenden cies etc, or would wider this alienate peop discussing what to le) with many comm ittees do, when individu als could have ac tively done to st borrowing books et op it by c.. For this reas on too I found th e article refreshi took a very practi ng as it cal approach whic h did not get bogg ed down by ideolo focused on the is gies and sue at hand. Sincerely, with ki nd regards,
Zuzana Kocourkova , BA.III