Editor Kari Schmidt Head Designer Mark Baxter Cover page image Georgia Class Cover page design Jon Thom Gyro gig poster Rhiannon Steptoe & Nick Guthrie Comics Cody Knox Words Margot Taylor, Kari Schmidt, Rebecca Hohaia, Lesley Smith, Timmy Cooper, Richard Girvan
... Ink page Dave Strydom
www.GYRO.org.nz Editor email@example.com Technical firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising email@example.com Published by Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association www.OPSA.org.nz A member of Aotearoa Student Press Association Copyright (C) OPSA 2012
Music to me is probably like algebra to a number of you guys. So instead of talking to you about the latest musical issues, I’m going to have a chat to you about some things that have hit the Otago community hard.
Dear Reader, Let’s start with logistics. As of the 27th no motorcycles or scooters are allowed to park near doorways or entrances at the Otago Polytechnic, as it’s considered a fire/ health and safety hazard.
As of Thursday 15th March the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) has been granted the ability to stay alive and operational for at least 2012. If you didn’t know the ORFU was in so much debt that they were facing liquidation. However, the DCC has bailed the ORFU out by writing off the $480,000 debt owed to them, which essentially means we will have a team for at least this year’s ITM cup. I am interested to know what student’s opinions are of this bail out, so please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your opinion. Have a good couple of weeks. Rebecca Hohaia OPSA President 2012
Lucky for us, though, the OP will “continue to look for opportunities to improve parking for motorcyclists... aware that motorcycling is a more sustainable form of transport than cars.” Nice. Also good to see such discussions re ‘sustainability’ aren’t just rhetoric with the OP helping to institute Jayride. com - an online ridesharing website. Better for the environment and cheaper for students, so like, let’s get the ball rolling on that. You can share your ride at www.jayride.co.nz/OtagoPolytechnic. Finally, MUSIC. To quote the world’s most amoral philosopher (i.e. Nietzsche), “Without music, life would be an error” The effect of music on our brain chemistry is profound. It consoles us, rouses us, makes us mad, makes us horny and amplifies just about any experience – you can’t beat it. In this issue we have an interview with Katchafire, one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent bands, a mixtape by Timmy Cooper from Dunedin band The Doyleys and an analysis of Dunedin music. PLUS Gyro’s gig this Thursday (29 March) at Refuel - $3 with your Polytechnic ID card. Yeeah experiencing all Dunedin has to offer!! To the dayz. Sincerely, Kari
IT’S ALL HEAR Margot Taylor
The privilege that comes with being an MP is having a voice on the national stage. But what if you lack the ability to hear the voices of the peers with whom you share this arena? New Green MP Mojo Mathers, who is profoundly deaf, has spent weeks facing this dilemma, the Speaker of the House originally ruling that she would have to pay for her own note-taking system. Subsequently it has been decided this system, expected to cost up to $30,000, will no longer come out of her $80,000 office support fund. Thus, her rights as an MP will no longer be compromised as the Green and Labour parties, as well as the New Zealand Deaf Association, worried they could be. Sign Language is recognised as New Zealand’s third language and, according to Kitty Keogh (Otago Polytechnic’s Disability
Support Coordinator), the OP aims to account for its hearing impaired students who can expect to access facilities such as signers, note takers and one on one classes to make sure they can reach their full potential in an accepting environment. Keogh stressed the importance of breaking down misconceptions surrounding hearing impaired people, for example, the idea that because they can’t hear, they won’t be able to learn. Keogh explained that hearingimpaired students are often “very well read and intelligent”. Not only is it crucial to provide all students with facilities to create successful learning environments but as a student body we must educate ourselves that, although not being able to hear makes life different, hearing impaired people have the same communicative needs as anybody else. The Disability and Learning
Support Centre in H block also welcomes any student who feels that something in their life is preventing them from learning to the best of their ability. The week of the 25th- 31st of March is National Hearing Week. The theme of this years hearing week is The Face of Hearing Impairment. In reality there is no one “face”; hearing loss can affect children from birth, ones hearing can diminish over time or an accident can cause it to be lost instantly. So when you turn up your favourite song and dance wildly, hear the voice of a loved one or fall asleep listening to the rain on the roof, don’t take it for granted! Support Hearing Week and the battle won by Mojo Mathers. Learn how to sign your name and donate the money you would’ve spent on your morning coffee, because 700,000 is a number too big to ignore.
[student loans] will be “[reined in] in a big way]”
STUDENT LOANS… INTEREST-ED? Earlier this month National reaffirmed the interestfree student loan scheme, individuals such as Pete Hodkinson, the President of the New Zealand Unions of Student Associations, applauding the decision. However, John Key has also stated that the scheme will be “[reined in] in a big way]” in future years. Despite National relating this primarily to the repayment of overseas student debt (for example a Bill reducing the repayment holiday period to one year looks set to be implemented in the near future), concerns abound as to how this statement and its underlying intentions will practically affect students. The Green Party are worried this will translate to “bad news for students… [with] moves to restrict access to student loans and allowances [preventing]
potential students from upskilling and retraining, when [that] is exactly what we need them to do in these recessionary times.” Examples of this suggested transition has come in recent years via “restricting access to Training Incentive Allowance, and stopping Permanent Residents from accessing Studylink.” Grant Robertson, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson, also refers to the “restrictions [implemented] around age… completion of courses… [and] the length of time that you can do your courses.” Labour’s concern is that such restrictions may start to become courserelated, Robertson stating that “The next step would seem to be, well okay there are some courses we are not going to fund. That’s a very dangerous road to go down.” Steven Joyce, the Minister for Tertiary Education, states that the Government are “not
necessarily” considering such a link, but that National does “[want] to give an indication to people when they make their decision on their tertiary education that they understand what they’re likely to earn coming out the other end, based on what people who get that degree or diploma are actually doing.” But in terms of Key’s statement, some parties just want more information. Robertson states, “John Key has told a business audience that National would “rein in the student loan scheme big time”. He needs to explain to students exactly what that means. Student loans are the only way of financing study for many New Zealanders and it is irresponsible for the Prime Minister to make big statements off the cuff like this. He now needs to explain to students what changes are being planned.”
Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union
Playing Gyro’s gig 29th March
Dunedin Music Basil Brush Dunedin has a famous history as a thriving and productive music city, and while this is maintained in the current scene, there is friction within this conception of our city. Dunedin’s’ musical history has a positive and inspired affect on local culture and the way we’re portrayed by the media. But some lesser known, perhaps negative, implications have also stemmed from our well documented and influential past, particularly when combined with the Contemporary Music course offered at the Otago University. The effects of our historical popularity are that musicians are unaware of or deliberately rejecting the status quo of “Dunedin Music” (TFF, Six60 etc) or they are strangely aware of the comparisons being made between themselves and the Flying Nun label – and they react to it, deliberately or not. Flying Nun was created in 1981, with the likes of The Clean, The Verlaines, and The 3D’s on the label, as well as many others. There is a huge amount of respect for Flying Nun and the bands associated with it but Dunedin musicians
share a desire to have their music stand on its own, without preconceived ideas about ‘The Dunedin Sound’ being forced onto them (Alizarin Lizard being one such example, see http://canta.co.nz/features/thelizard-rodeo/). Other groups cannot help but manipulate their output due to this preconceived notion of ‘The Dunedin Sound’. The Bachelor of Music at the University is also making more than its’ fair share of impact on the scene. It is a great course which turns out many brilliant musicians, but one of its issues is that it teaches gifted musicians that no matter how strong their musical instincts and skills are, they are nothing without a strong grounding in theoretical and analytical knowledge. This clearly is not the truth in our post-modern musical world. Dunedin music has been undergoing significant changes since the beginning of this decade. The ‘90s kids are now moving into their 20’s and challenging older generations with new ideas about music and the industry, accepting much of the decline of pop in the early 2000’s as completely natural, and working within this format.
The Chicks Project has been developed by Volunteer Otago and the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust to mentor young musicians and has been truly successful. Two new and much needed venues have been created; The Attic, a collective of musicians and artists that have been putting on shows in a studio space at 140 George St, and The National, located at 1 Queens Gardens, which has just opened with packed out gigs. Stalwarts such as Refuel and Sammy’s have just been refurbished, and are continuing to provide quality venues for local and international musicians to perform in. There are thriving art gallery shows, small venue gigs, a growing list of international acts coming to the city, and more quality venues and exciting bands than this city has seen in over a decade. The history of Dunedin music is something we can and perhaps even should readily appreciate. But regardless of our past and other influences (again, such as the Otago University Music course) this is an exciting time for Dunedin music to carve out its own future, which is looking bright indeed.
Every few weeks we’ll include a piece by a Head of School from the Otago Polytechnic, where they will essentially write a letter to their past selves – the student version of themselves, so to speak. This week starts with Lesley Smith, the Head of School for the IT Department.
DEAR STUDENT VERSION OF ME Dear Lesley,
are developing your ongoing personal support network.
I hear you have decided to take the bold step of returning to study. It has been a few years since you were in formal learning so this must have been a tough decision. As a mature student remember that you have a lot to offer to your fellow students. Be confident in sharing your ideas and value your own learning and experience. Remain open to learning from others and enjoy the different understandings that you will notice in the younger students. Computing is an exciting study path but not an easy one. Programming in particular draws on skills that you might not have used before – though if you have a background in music (or mathematics) you are likely to appreciate the patterns and logic of the code. There is a huge body of IT knowledge which is continuously evolving so you will be committed to lifelong learning in the field. The approach in the BIT is all about applied, hands on learning. You’ll be given real problems to solve, supported by examples from the IT
Remember that your lecturers want to see you succeed, even if it doesn’t feel that way when they give you huge assignments and the deadline is looming. Working all night then missing the 8am lectures is a recipe for failure –I’ve seen this too many times. There is a huge amount of support available for you, just ask! business world. There will be opportunities for developing your skills on client work outside the study schedules. Take on every chance you can to build your experience. Participate in blogs and online communities in ways that demonstrate both your computing and people skills. Ask for help from the online community and offer help to others where you can. Don’t forget to spend time with your classmates – your offline world. You will make friends for life as you spend the next three years within the confines of D Block. Value the time you have together, you
By the time you graduate you’ll have met many of the local IT industry employers through networking events, class projects and internships. You will have worked on a final year project with a real client and you will have done formal presentations until you could do them in your sleep (though we prefer if you are awake for the actual presentations). You’ll have a professional CV, great electronic portfolio of work and will be ready to work on day one of your new job. Finally, make the most of a very exciting time of your life.
MIX-TAPE Timmy Cooper of The Doyleys
1. Servo - Brain Jonestown Massacre 2. Outa Space - The 3ds 3. Dancing with Mr. D - The Rolling Stones 4. Electric Relaxation - Tribe Called Quest 5. Mohamrd - The Dandy Warhols 6. Cold Son - Tephen Mulkmus 7. Point That Somewhere Else - The Clean 8. How Soon is Now - The Smiths
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Dunedin City Council
2012/13 â€“ 2021/22
Draft Long Term Plan Have your say This is your chance to see the Councilâ€™s plans for the next ten years and to discuss your priorities for Dunedin. For more information 477 4000
KATCHAFIRE So we caught up with Logan Bell from Katchafire at the University of Technology’s Orientation in Auckland. If you haven’t heard of them, GET ON IT. Although I found them a bit staid as a live act, you can’t deny the joy and positive energy their music elicits. Also, a fab Orientation organised by Unitech’s Student Association. Bangin’ in fact! GYRO: What are you guys up to at the moment? Logan: Feasting! This is our only show we’ve had in the last two weeks before we go to America, then taking off to America for about five weeks. G: Why did you decide to do this Orientation? Logan: They wanted us and we always love doing the Orientation gigs, they’re always a fun thing on the calendar. Real nice energy, students come out in force. Anytime we can be a part of that energy, all over New Zealand, we’re in. G: Have you been to an Orientation in Otago? Logan: Love Otago! It’s one of my favourites. It’s been too long. We haven’t played Dunedin in so long. Tell the student body to give us a ring! G: How does it feel to be New Zealand icons? New Zealand icons aye? Just
living the dream I guess, just living the dream. It’s cool. Bit taken aback by being referred to like that. But we’ll take it. G: Do you consider this a job? Logan: Yep. All the boys are pretty much professional musos. This is what brings in the income for everyone. We’re still slogging it [touring] around 40 weeks. G: How do you stay motivated when you’re touring so much? Think about the job you had before this. You do have to do that every now and then, realise ‘fuck I do love my job, this is the job of all jobs, get into it, you know.’ It can get monotonous but when you think about what I was doing before this… brick laying. This is a great job. Getting in front of the crowd can snap you out of that too. G: Are you all still into Bob Marley? Logan: How could you not
be? He still gets a lot of play in the van on tour. G: One reviewer has stated about Katchafire that, “Although as a Maori band, they could easily deliver socially relevant, racially tinged messages, they prefer to provide escapist, universal messages of joy and love.” Do you agree with this assessment? Logan: It is an accurate account – we’re about love. G: So what does the future hold? Logan: Straight after USA we’re starting a new album; we have a goal to get a new album out by the end of this year, which is pretty quick for us historically. Looking at a worldwide deal with a big label, which is motivating that and other than we’re touring Brazil in May and back to the States in July, possibly a few gigs in Europe and then in New Zealand, Australia… business as usual. Image: Renee Stamatis
Yeah, so what’s on?
ID Fashion Week, 27 March, www. idfashion.co.nz
Sinate ‘To the Death’ NZ Tour, Refuel, 30 March, 9.00, $15
Gyro Launch Gig, Refuel, Thurs 29 March, 8.30, $5/$3 with OP ID card
Six60, Sammy’s Entertainment Venue, 30 March, 9.00, $37.95/$32.85
Beauty of Baroque, City of Dunedin Choir & Southern Sinfonia, Knox Church, 30 March, 7.30, $30/$20/$10
Regent Theatre ‘Anything But Book’ Sale, 31 March, www. regenttheatre.co.nz
FEASTOCK, 3 Fea St, 31 March, 12.00, $30, feastock@gmail. com for ticket info Daylight savings starts, clocks back 1 hour, 1 April Boys from the Black Stuff exhibition, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, ongoing
beyond the rainbow
STEREOTYPES Richard Girvan Stereotypes are an interesting thing. They enable us to identify the groups we and others belong to, give us a sense of belonging, and allow us to refer succinctly to otherwise complex structures of human society. They are also, however, a bad thing: they oversimplify things, don’t account for differences and idiosyncrasies, and are often used to mock and belittle vulnerable peoples. They can also often make it difficult for people to feel they fit in when they don’t quite match up. Many gay men, for example, find themselves not wanting to come out because they don’t fit into the ‘camp’ stereotype and don’t want their sexuality to become their sole attribute. But in a way, it sort of does; for
a short time, at least.
When I came out being gay became everything about me, everything on my mind, everything I talked about—to the point that I was sure my friends were sick to death of it. But that passed, the novelty wore off. Nowadays, I feel more in tune with camp gays than anyone else, but not in all things—it’s very hard to lump me into a stereotype, every though a lot of them fit.
There’s not a lot we can do about this — society is hardwired this way by necessity — other than figure out what works best, albeit imperfectly, for us.
Unfortunately, it’s how many others treat us, and part of being in society is fitting in with a particular group. Society is complex, and we have to get a large amount of data about ourselves across to others in a very short amount of time. So we pick symbolic proxies (such as wearing a business suit to
However, you’ll find that no matter who you hang out with, be it gays or straights, after the initial novelty everyone will go back to thinking about it the same way they think about lefthandedness or red hair. So pick and choose. Society is a rich tapestry of stereotypes and idioms. Play with them, see what fits. Eventually you’ll figure out what works best for you, and you’ll find stereotypes aren’t as rigid as you think they are.