ISSUE 1: SURVIVAL
Laura Aston, Kathryn Auger, Roz Bellamy, Sheona Bello, Daniel Carter, Caleb Darwent, Andrew Day, Dilan Fernando, Amy Fitzgerald, Ellen Flach, Liyan Gao, Gossip Goat, Ellen Grant, Tom Green, Paul Harris, Layla Homewood, Ben Knight, Annika McInerney, Zoe Millikan, Gabrielle Mitchelle, Alana Mitchelson, Tim Newport, James O’Donoghue, Matt O’Rourke, Shalaka Parekh, Kashmi Ranasinghe, Catiray Poioni-Cordella, Mali Rea, Jesse Rutiglicano, Anthony Sarian, Edith Shepherd, Ayesha Singh, Sarah Strugnell, Lachlan Siu, Nathalia Tan, Samantha Towler, Lisa Vincent, Fabrice Willman, Rhian Wilson, Amena Ziard, Ben Zocco
When things go wrong….
� Unit Failure (Exclusion) � Discipline � Grievance � Special Consideration And you need to understand your options…
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Editors Amy Fitzgerald Andrew Day Shalaka Parekh Amena Ziard
Art Direction/ Design Lachlan Siu
By pipilongstockings @ flickr http://tinyurl.com/n73qsot
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This paper was made on Aboriginal land. We at Lot’s Wife recognise the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation as the historical and rightful owners and custodians of the lands and waters on which this newspaper was produced. Lot’s Wife Student Newspaper est. 1964. Monash University Clayton, Victoria. Lot’s Wife does not condone – and will not publish – racist, sexist, militaristic, queerphobic, bigoted or hateful material of any nature. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the MSA. All writing and artwork remains the property of the producers and must not be reproduced without their written consent (we’re looking at you, Hijacked!). IMAGE CREDITS alex bellink @ flickr donkeyhotey @ flickr magnusmanshake @ wikimedia commons decafeined @ flickr ohsarahrose @ flickr ePi.Longo @ flickr pipilongstockings@ flickr smokehouse pictures
The vast majority of people believe that change is a scary, horrible thing to be avoided at all costs. I say that because the majority of Australians voted for Tony Abbott in 2013, the man who wants to turn back the clock to 1950. If he had his way, we probably wouldn’t have three women and a gay guy running a newspaper. We’d be back ironing the shirts and Andrew would be hidden firmly in a closet (with the beautifully ironed shirts). But we’re here now and there’s nothing you can do about it, so sit tight, buckle up and hold on. Unlike the majority of the Australian public, we love change. We love new things, old things and things of an indeterminate-but-definitely-legal age. That’s why you’ll notice so many news things in Lot’s Wife this year – we’re running themed sections, more fun stuff, giveaways and a brand new layout to boot. You’ll also notice some of your old favourite sections are coming back, like Current Affairs, Games and OB Reports (just kidding, does anyone actually read those?) Our ascension to this high and holy office last year was not without its fair share of comment and criticism. That unfortunately is just part of life at the MSA – you can’t please (nor fool, for that matter) all people all the time. It’s part of life in the media, too- there is always someone who knows (or thinks they know) better than you, no matter what you’re talking about. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. After working in retail, dealing with all the comments, criticism and “perks” of student politics is a breeze. No one here has ever chased me around a store for twenty minutes to berate me for moving their trolley out of other customers’ way, for example. Nor has anyone here thrown a pumpkin at me after it scanned at a different price to the shelf ticket. The worst
thing that I’ve experienced thus far was being called a “Go! tentacle” which I misread as “testicle” and then insisted on showing everyone I saw that day because I thought it was hilarious.
have been lied to. “Be an editor” they said, “you would be good at it” they said. I should have demanded a contract. But I didn’t, so here I am, editing away among other things.
Editing Lot’s Wife – and all that it entails – isn’t always easy and it isn’t always fun. It’s exhausting and stressful, particularly when I have to find nice ways of delivering criticism to people. But seeing all our hard work in print is exhilarating and makes all the late nights, early mornings and hours chained to a computer worth it.
Given this egregious deception that has been played on me you might think that I am - as the entirely believable tone of the above paragraph amply demonstrates – pretty damn mad about the whole thing. Well no, now it is me who is fooling you. I’m actually pretty happy to be here. There has been a lot of the unexpected happen over the break, spanners thrown into various works and time bombs exploded and what not but nothing that hasn’t been insurmountable with our powers combined.
Thanks Toby for the two-lane racing slip’n’slide, mysterious stranger for the wrestling jelly, Annika for making the Hosts clean the sticky mess off the Lot’s Wife lounge kitchen and my parents & nanna for the constant supply of leftovers No Thanks Special Effects dye for going nearly six months without restocking, Doc Martens for stopping making my size, whichever Host munted on the new Lot’s Wife lounge couches, office roof mould- I hate you”
More than being just an exercise for the inner challenge junkie though, it’s also an opportunity to put into practice the values and ethics that I have honed in response to a sometimes very depressing but always comprehensive education in politics and history. Being a leading partner of a media outlet and working with people who want to resist the comfortable allure of fear and casual bigotry is probably not something I’m going to get to do again. I’m finding myself really driven by this thought, and there is (spoiler alert) a well done article in this edition by Matt O’Rourke that really drove it home for me how important the media can be in society and the penalties we pay when we let it fall into disrepute or into the hands of those that would sooner dismantle it. Thanks Our awesome layout person, our awesome website person, sailor Jesse spiced rum & male figure skaters (for being unexpectedly gorgeous).
Despite the fact that I feel as new to this job as wet paint does to a wall, I can safely say in the 20 minutes that I’ve had this gig I’ve already learned quite a bit. The most important of those things being that ‘editor’ doesn’t really best describe what it is we do here. Granted, there is a bit of editing to do but the job title leaves out all the advertising, client liaising, office bearer wrangling, sub editor hiring, email forwarding, schedule making, InDesign learning and swearing at websites that I have had to do since I got here! Suffice to say gentle reader that I
No Thanks Telstra (just a general fuck you), Scott Morrison (again, another general fuck you), Dinosaurs for dying and becoming expensive fuel.
fridge space in shared houses is a luxury and silence (if any) is a gift. As many of you may be aware, much of this ‘good life’ often leaves an ever-lasting scar on your transcripts and creates more stress in one’s remaining years in an attempt to right these wrongs.
Now, in its 50th year, Lot’s Wife Magazine has remained at the forefront of student media since the 1960s, and I am proud to be one its editors in 2014.
But was it all worthwhile? It gave me independence I needed, along with a wealth of life experience and the love of close friends. But, there is still nothing like taking the laundry home to mum on Saturdays, having a home cooked meal and walking out without doing the dishes. Enjoy our first themed edition and all the O-week shenanigans!
In early December, I remember flicking through a folder and finding two loose hand-written sheets of paper. This was our guide for 2014. Despite the limited direction, the 2014 team of editors have come a long way in the past three months. We have not only learnt to negotiate (at times plead) with our advertisers, but have also recruited an outstanding team of sub-editors!
From the cryptic messages under the office desks passed on from all the ancient editors, to the collection of past magazine covers on the lounge room walls, there was a prominent theme in all the old bound editions. Survival. Living from day-to-day.
My old phone charger for its regular supply of electric shocks; weight gain; SWOTVAC policy change (fuck you Darrel)
Jesse for online advertising and Lachy for the simplistic logo design; Lucy for initiating me to the ‘no bra club’ (apparently underwear is overrated); My parents and close friends for taking in my daily outbursts. No Thanks
What is survival to the average UNI student? Apart from food, companionship, shelter, sex, money for books and occasionally goon and a good night out. A 36hour day thrown in is a must if we are to meet the study requirements. Back in my day when I was a jaffy, when I lived in a share house with 7 others, privacy was a thing of the past. Dietary requirements, after bills were wheat-bix and two min noodles. A night out with friends consisted of two entrees between the six of us and a bottle of (ALDI) wine. A holiday was a camping trip with friends at the local music festival and dozing off in lectures from all of the above was a norm. The realization after year one at Uni was: water is not a “basic human right”, you still have to pay for it; female charms don’t work on myki inspectors; No-doz is not an adequate substitute for sleep;
readers, and advertisers; that editing is really not the main thing an editor does – and it’s not the most glamorous work in the world, but I still think it’s a good idea to go into office with heels; and that I now ask everyone I meet to submit something to Lot’s Wife. This is probably part and parcel of the job, or maybe it’s what editorship does to you. I’m still not sure which one it is but perhaps I don’t have to know. I just need to stick to those deadlines. This year, I’m overseeing travel, culture and creative writing. Three areas I have a profound interest in and hope to grow these sections under my editorship. Travel, culture and creative writing are intersectional sections of Lot’s Wife Magazine. The pieces, sentiments and ideas across these sections work collaboratively to create a healthy reading for the audience. Often perceived to be the more flouncy divisions, it is important to remember the freedom to express one’s observations, social commentary, and artistic drive are the first to be sacrificed in times of crisis and hardship, in times when humanity, or the quality of humanity, is threatened. To nourish these sections, and its subsequent flourishing, is alternatively a sign of prosperity. Sharing these documented snapshots of thoughts and bursts of insight and creativity allows for the celebration and the spread of this prosperity. However, in order for this to remain true, pieces must reflect diversity of expressions, must be accessible to readers and prospective writers alike, and provide equal opportunity for various voices to be represented. In retrospect, it ought to be inclusive. This is what I hope to achieve in these sections this year. Thanks
It’s been a month since I formally started work as Lot’s Wife editor. It’s an interesting role that unfortunately does not come with an instruction manual and no google-based research could have possibly prepared me for this. Nevertheless, I know three things to be true since embarking on this learn-as-you-go experience: that the publication is only as strong as the team that supports it – this includes, but is not limited to, the editors, sub-editors, contributors,
My co-editors, my sub-editors, every contributor, readers new and old. No Thanks Last minute stuff, clashing commitments, staying late at the office without food
The Adventure Awaits BY SHEONA BELLO
Everyone loves an adventure, and despite the fact that you don’t own a compass or cannot read a map, you don’t fool me. I just know, that deep down, you are a Wild Thornberry at heart. So tell me, Dora Explorer/Jack Sparrow/(insert any other amazing adventurer), what adventure did
you experience today, without even knowing it?
Did you drive through a random town and find the best Vanilla Slice? Or, did you take a different route during your morning run? Did you see a flock of birds in perfect sync as you drove to work? Did you simply get out of bed and brave the long haul to the fridge for breakfast, to find left-over cake? Am I opening your mind to a new perception of exploration, and have you considered that this year, if you choose to look at it this way, is in
fact, a 52-week long adventure. If I told you that this article, this academic week, this semester, this year, your entire degree, was one epic journey, I wonder then, if you would bring your trail mix, hiking boots, excitement and optimism. They always fill your backpack on every other escapade, why not this
one? (I will note here, that trail mix is a perfectly suitable and extremely delicious study snack. Get on it!) No doubt the Jaffys of my audience are certainly walking our halls with the anticipation and enthusiasm of a new puppy who has been in the laundry all night, and I’m here to tell you folks, that (well firstly if you don’t know what a Jaffy is, then you most certainly are one, so embrace it) yes, your time at University will be, one of the: biggest, most draining, exciting, memory-fuelled, life-experiencing, stressful, most incredible adventures you may ever have the pleasure of knowing.
BY SHEONA BELLO
I am here to explain that no matter how many different reference systems you need to use, and how many times you are left without a peaceful working space at Matheson, I promise you, you will survive. Not just that, you will flourish. You will look back with glistening eyes and a fond smile as you recall the awkwardness of your first tutorial discussions, and the sleepless nights you endured when all your assignments were due in the same week. You will laugh as you recite the memories of your first camp, and slightly quiver at the thought of how many Messy Pots you single-handedly consumed purely, because they were so cheap, and you were poor. You will remember getting lost, then lost again, spending way too much money on campus food, then finally discovering ‘Wholefoods’ and commencing your hippie life-phase.
lessons far greater than that which was examined in the final weeks of semester. And in your efforts to convince your minion of why they just HAVE to go to Uni., you will understand that articulating your experience isn’t something eloquently imparted with words. You will understand that surviving isn’t something you can describe, it is an odyssey you experience, a pilgrimage that will test, break, challenge and repair you. It is a deed that shatters grandma’s best vase, and makes something profoundly more beautiful and precious, with what is left. With this audacious honour, I welcome you to Monash 2014, and promise that if you are willing to let this year and your time here with us, consume you, to let it become an adventure, you will fulfill it the way it is meant to be fulfilled, and you will chime to the bell I am ringing.
You’re going to sit in lectures discussing the politics of random European countries because you simply want to learn how to speak a sexy language, and you will read more than you have in your entire life. You will stay up late and party later, discover new words and embrace new perspectives. You are going to meet the people who will change your world and stumble upon the opportunities, which alter your journey through life.
So don’t be afraid. Embrace the learning you are fortunate to enjoy, and mix with those that are willing to explain why what you think, and believe is wrong. Be open to shifting your perspective, being curiously observant of new life views, and appreciative of the diversity with which you are submersed.
Best of all, you will be a survivor. You will become the mentor, big sister, cousin, friend-of-a-friend, all-knowing deity who has done it all, and lived to tell the tale with an ecstatic tone. An individual who swears their University experience was nothing short of an adventure filled journey, comprised with
This is a safe ride, you have already bought the ticket and like the attendant, I have effectively buckled you in and checked your height. All you have to do now is throw your hands up in the air, tilt your head back and relish those butterflies.
Because you will survive. And you will never be the same.
The adventure awaits.
Gender BY CALEB DARWENT
It really gets on my tits that gender non-conformity has made me into a walking (or rather, sashaying) freak show. It’s depressing that we live in a world where the arbitrary boundaries of masculinity and femininity are still staunchly policed, and where someone can think it acceptable to photograph me as an object of derision for being ‘dressed like a girl’.
And I doubt he meant ‘gold’ as in completely stunning. His response to my outfit was absurd, largely because the top in question was merely a blue-and-white striped t-shirt from Jay Jays (the boy’s section), and the shoes were simple, flat, and blue (also from the boy’s section). But due to my perceived femininity he saw me as less of a man, as something to be laughed at, photographed, and shared around for everyone’s While riding the train with my partner I noticed a amusement. This reaction is not an unfamiliar one. young tradesman staring at me. I was unsurprised, as it’s something that tradesmen often do – though I carry a handbag, wear boots with considerable unfortunately they never accompany their ogling heels, as well as ‘women’s’ tops jackets and jewwith wolf whistles and catcalls. When the train ellery, and I am looked down upon for doing so. stopped some seats became available and we My own brother once told my mother, in earnest, appropriated them, at which point the boy leaped that because putting up his shelf was a ‘two man into the doorway directly opposite our new posi- job’ he couldn’t ask me to help. Yet with all his
I carry a handbag, wear boots with considerable heels, as well as ‘women’s’ tops jackets and jewelry, and I am looked down upon for doing so. -
tion. I assumed he did so because the next stop was his, but it came and went and he remained where he was. I watched him as he slowly – and he must have thought subtly – raised his phone in my direction and shot my picture. He then laughed quietly and fiddled with his phone. After a pause, he made a call: “Did you get it?.. Doesn’t your mum have the same top?.. No way, I wouldn’t be game enough to. Not ‘til hell froze over… You should see the shoes, they’re gold!”
masculine pretentions, including laughing at men in foreign attire if they ‘look like they’re wearing a dress’, he lacked the confidence to retrieve his drink from between my thighs while I was driving, and worried that if we dined out together we’d look gay. How tiring it must be to constantly worry about your masculinity being compromised by doing something harmless and fun.
BY CALEB DARWENT
It’s not just men who police this boundary. Recently I overheard a discussion between a mother and daughter about how uncomfortable men are (because we’re all the same) with holding their lady’s purse or handbag. The mother told the story of a male friend who had to hold his girlfriend’s pink purse, the sight of which she and her husband found hilarious. Their laughter, and her husband’s declaration that it was a ‘good look’, enabled the pair to wound their friend’s machismo and regulate his behaviour, stigmatizing and shaming him for his brush with femininity while perpetuating stereotypical masculine boundaries. So this is what we’re protecting – a limiting, constraining force that paralyses men everywhere, making brothers unable to interact with brothers, and men unable even to hold a femininely gendered object. The masculine stereotype demands that men fit into a neat category, regulating self-expression and making life difficult for men who aren’t and don’t wish to be hyper-masculine, for gay men, for women, and for the everyday men who feel the need to conform to this harmful image, and spend their whole lives insecure and constantly trying to prove their manliness through sex, violence, homophobia, or misogyny.
And why is it offensive for a man to wear traditionally feminine garments, while women can wear pants and shirts and boots and suits? Why is it okay to look like a boy, but to look like a girl is degrading? Because being a girl is degrading? That’s not a positive message for either sex. Ultimately, men in dresses are as insignificant as women in pants, and while I don’t think that dresses look terribly good on me, I may start wearing them in defiance of bigots everywhere. As for the tradesman, I suppose that I should just look at him as my first run-in with the paparazzi. Hopefully it isn’t the last.
Midnight Express BY MATT O’ROURKE FEATURE
Tony Abbott, as we are by now all aware, considers the ABC unpatriotic. The ABC is likely to pay for this displeasure with budget cuts and the loss of their Asia-Pacific contract. But in the Republic of Turkey,
The evidence for this can be seen group PEN, for calling the arrest of in the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which criminalises “public denigration of the Turkish nation, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly” as well
a Turkish pianist who ‘insult[ed] religious values’ a “fascist development”. This leads back to the earlier point: when the currently-ruling party considers themselves
another secular and First World democracy, the punishment for a lack of patriotism can be far more severe.
as “public denigration of the Government of the Republic of Turkey”. In essence, Article 301 acts as the formal enforcement of patriotism amongst Turkish journalists as well as the citizenry at large. The results, unfortunately, are all too predictable: not content with prosecuting flag-burners and their ilk, the laws are now used to stifle any expression which could be seen to “denigrate” the state and its government.
to be the essence of the nation itself, it is the start of a very dark path where criticism of policy or conduct becomes, in essence, treasonous.
…when the currently-ruling party considers themselves to be the essence of the nation itself, it is the start of a very dark path where criticism of policy or conduct becomes, in essence, treasonous. -
Turkey is the world’s leading jailer of journalists. China, Egypt and Russia all fall far behind, and the country’s overall press freedom is rated behind that of Mali and Afghanistan. But to us, in Australia, the most important aspect of the Turkish republic’s troubled relationship with the free press is the warning it provides: that even our democratic institutions can be twisted to silence us and entrench those in power. And that it’s not partisan to be suspicious of a Prime Minister who speaks as if they and the state are synonymous.
Notable figures charged under Article 301 include Nobel-laureate Orhan Pamuk for writing about the Armenian genocide, Armenian activist Hrant Dink who was later assassinated by someone with ties to a military cabal and the writers’
Another aspect of this journalistic repression – and one which has become extremely newsworthy since it recently became the focus of mass purges – is the infiltration of the judiciary and police force by the religious devotees of the Gülen movement. Prime Minister Erdoğan (pronounced, roughly, er-doe-arn) has until this year had a cosy alliance with this Pennsylvania-based Islamist group, and the Gülenists have been able to entrench themselves within the judicial system without resistance. A police officer wrote, frighteningly, that “I have seen how they started to mistake sins for crimes, both inside and outside the force.” That their alliance
BY MATT O’ROURKE
with Erdoğan has broken down is due to the release of damning evidence of corruption amongst his family and supporters, which many (evidently including the Prime Minister) believe was the work of Gülenists. What this has meant for the free press, until now, is a hostile and biased judiciary which eliminates vocal critics of the movement. Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık was about to release his findings on the Gülenist infiltration of the police force when he was suddenly arrested, charged with membership of an attempted coup, and his manuscript was destroyed. All of this, despite Şık being the man who had uncovered the coup in the first place. Although the recent animosity and resulting purges should have a positive effect for journalists wishing to report on these issues, Şık himself has said that “The attempt to purge Gülenists doesn’t mean that [Erdoğan] is right... We have massive corruption on the one hand, but the investigation against it also violates democratic and judicial principles. It’s a choice between a rock and a hard place, pest and cholera. One is not better, or cleaner, than the other.”
Again, the lesson for Australia is clear. Turkey is like us: they have the democratic institutions and safeguards that we have. But Turkey shows that when undefended, maligned and left in dishonest hands, these become just as repressive and dangerous as if they had not been there at all. This isn’t some veiled reference to Tony Abbott; I’m not saying that his are the dishonest hands. But I do ask you to be wary of a man who, like Erdoğan, considers criticism “unpatriotic”. Cherish your free media and the dissent it offers, Australia.
BY ELLEN FLACH
True Love for The New Age With Morals From The Stone Age Trigger Warnings: Discussions of slut-shaming and apparently thought of this issue and solved it with rape culture. science stuff. As understood by an arts student, this bra won’t open through heart rate elevation exercise or almost being hit by a bus or As a sexy single trying to navigate through whatever because there’s a specific hormone that your way through the uni bar scene, gets released only when you feel all gooey inside, how often do you find yourself think- which creates a specific heart rate signal. A love if you will. And it is this signal, and this ing, “Wow, I wish that I had a bra signal, signal only which that can open the bra. Also, that could tell me who I want to sleep when I use the word ‘open’ I use it for it’s most with”? Probably never, because no explosive meaning, because when the whole love pattern - activate breast exposure process happens one ever thinks that, or so I thought. - the bra doesn’t just unlock, it bursts open in a But as the world works in odd and big way. Seriously, it burst off the mannequin on confusing ways, a Japanese company which it was being demonstrated which is hilarious, but doesn’t by any means negate how problematic called Ravijou has created a bra that this whole thing is.
will only undo when the wearer feels true love, thus filling a non-existent gap in the singles market.
If you’re anything like me, you will have felt some skepticism about the mechanics of such a concept. How could it know who you want to sleep with? Why would you need your bra to tell you anyway? Well, according to Ravijou’s (deeply problematic, but we’ll get to that later) advertisement, in the left cup of the bra is a heart rate monitor, which measures one’s pulse and “other vitals”, before submitting the data via Bluetooth to their phone. An app then does some love-based number crunching and if the recorded heart rate matches the pre-set ‘love rhythm’, the bra opens. Yep, there’s an app for that. My first thought, however, was all the other times my heart rate elevates throughout the day and how I want my boobs to stay well harnessed when I’m running to catch my train. But Ravijou has
First off, from a purely practically point of view, there is the slight problem that is claims to know when you are in true love. I can’t be the only one who has felt the rush of love and had the transpiring relationship be less than perfect. If this Bra actually can tell you when you’ve found the real deal, then it has to be both sentient and psychic, in which case they are really not going in the right direction with their marketing campaign. But let’s look past this. Say this bra works flawlessly and I go out to a bar wearing this (admittedly quite pretty) contraption, and start talking to a guy who gets my heart racing. The bra does it party trick and since it’s pretty hard to stay aloof after your bra has exploded under your shirt, the night doesn’t go to plan and I head home alone. Furthermore, how do I take it off when I want to wriggle out of my dress, put on an oversized teeshirt and go to sleep in a pose that takes up three quarters of the space in my bed? Is there some sort of emergency/ fallback button that will allow
BY ELLEN FLACH
me to open it of my own accord? And does that mean that if I do happen to find a guy at this bar who probably won’t meet me at the altar, but is definitely cute enough to bring back to my boudoir can I just use the button rending the bra sort of useless? Which all brings me to my really big issues with this bra: it works under the very false assumption that women (which is the target audience for this thing) have to be told what they want; that their sexuality should be policed. This isn’t a new idea by any means, but that’s sort of the point: it still exists, it’s still pervasive and now were trying to enforce it with smartphone technology. The first thought I had when I saw this was, “what if she wants to have sex with someone she isn’t in love with?” which lead me to realize how slut-shame-y this concept is. No matter how sexually aroused a woman is and how much she just wants to sex for sex’s sake, she has a chastity belt around her boobs reminding her that that’s not what she’s supposed to do.
But the biggest issue is how Ravijou has chosen to advertise. The video shows dodgy looking men making clearly unwanted advances on women in a bar while a voice over introduces the bra saying it’s time to “save women from these guys” with their “revolutionary bra”. Choosing to advertise it as such instead of a gimmick or romantic gift makes the bra and the discourse around it a contributor to rape culture. Like the anti-rape-ware that’s come before, it doesn’t work and only perpetuates the too commonly held idea that if a women is sexually assaulted or worse it was “sort of her fault because she was or wasn’t blank.” No matter what that blank is, that sentence will never be true. But through making an ad where a woman
should assure her safety by wearing a bra, also asserts that anything that happens to her if she isn’t is partially her fault, which is never ok. And that’s my biggest issue with this bra. It looks funny and ridiculous, but when you look at it closely it plays to the old myths around women and really does far more to hinder them than help. How do I feel about Ravijou’s new engineering ‘marvel’? it’s a gimmicky and ridiculous and, well, just bad. Melissa Barnes put it perfectly when she says it’s “another example of why we truly need more women engineers in the industry”. When a product that claims to know how “women truly feel” is designed by two men, you can tell it’s not a ‘by women, for women’ sort of situation. But beyond that it shows that the claim women still don’t know how to conduct themselves and it’s their job to stop the violence towards them is still alive and well. So no matter how appealing a Mr. Right finder may be, I’d rather stick to my hormones and judgment and decide who I would like to bed all by my self.
The Future of Public Transport In Victoria: Homesafe BY SAMANTHA TOWLER + BEN ZOCCO
It’s just past midnight on a Saturday morning as you say goodbye to your friends and manoeuvre through a crowded inner-city bar, desperate to get to the door. As you hurry down the street, you pull up the train timetable on your phone, praying that the public transport gods have mercifully scheduled the last train half an hour from now. They haven’t. As you quicken your pace, you gaze wistfully at the kebab place on the corner that you sadly won’t be patronising tonight - the two minute detour could be the difference between a $2 train ride or a $60 cab to get home. Descending into the train station, the feeling of dread overcomes you as you come to the realisation that for once, the train network is running perfectly on schedule. This spells bad news for you - and your bank account - as you reach the ticket barrier, you realise it’s all over as you watch the last train home snake its way out of the train station and into the distance.
In January this year, Victorian Labor recognised the seriousness of a modern-day metropolis not having an all-night transport network, and announced its ‘Homesafe’ policy - a commitment to implement a $50 million year-long trial of 24 hour public transport on Friday and Saturday nights if it wins the state election, to be held in November
this year. Homesafe would include services on all lines on the metro transport network, key tram lines and an expansion of the current Nightrider bus network. The policy would also increase services to regional Victoria, with 2am bus service from Southern Cross Station to Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon. Jill Hennessey, Labor’s shadow minister for Transport, is excited about how the policy will specifically benefit students. “Homesafe recognises students do not always have the available cab fare coming home from work, or a night out. Homesafe is about getting home safely and easily across Victoria,” she says. It is a situation that plenty of university students have found themselves in before: having to make the tough call to end a night out on the town early in order to catch public transport home, or take costly private transport options to
get home after a big night out. Shockingly, it is all-too common for young people to reject the option of a costly taxi to get home and instead wait for the train network to commence services the following day, spending hours waiting in unsafe train stations. Even more concerning for young adults is the inadequacy of public transport for those who work late into the night and require an affordable way to get home. The fact is the high cost of taxis and city parking place a heavy financial burden on young people. Many students work part time in hospitality – an industry that often operates outside standard hours. To restrict transport options during these times does a disservice to the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as to its workers. With an estimated 400,000 people going out every weekend, it is understandable that our existing late
BY SAMANTHA TOWLER + BEN ZOCCO
night transport options are becoming over congested. “We want to reduce congestion and increase the number of services available Homesafe is about providing new and improved public transport options available for those who need to use public transport outside the standard hours,” says Ms Hennessey. Melbourne is not alone in considering 24 hour public transport models, with New York, Berlin and Chicago already operating with such systems, and London announcing a similar trial last year. “It’s time we take a step into the modern era. If we want to encourage people to use public transport, then we need to improve its accessibility and reliability,” Hennessey argues.
expense of a commitment to invest in similar public transport projects. With a price-tag of up to $15 billion, Hennessey argues that while roads are important, “the Napthine Government has sunk billions into a dud tunnel project and every other area of Victorian life will suffer because he has chosen the wrong investment priorities.” A cursory glance at the policy document of the Victorian Greens reveals no concrete proposals to extend the hours of public transport offerings in Melbourne, beyond a general commitment to the importance such a policy. With public transport that is available at all hours a priority for young people, voters have a chance this November to support a platform that will enable students - whether they’re heading home from a night out in the city, or finishing a late shift at work - to get home safely. In our opinion, that’s a policy worth voting for.
The policy is in stark contrast to the offerings of the other political parties vying for the votes of Victorians at the upcoming state election. The Liberal Party have sparked controversy with their decision to build the East-West Link as their centrepiece infrastructure pledge ahead of the November poll, at the Ben and Samantha are both members of the Australian Labor Party.
Marking Six Months of Abbott BY ROSALIND GRACE BELLAMY
On 7 March 2014, the first Friday of Semester 1, the Abbott government will have been in power for six months. Whether you will be working hard in your lectures and tutorials or taking yourself on a tour of Sir John’s Bar, it is worth pausing to reflect on Australia’s trajectory in this past half year.
histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia, and Sustainability. The Abbott government could probably benefit from reading and learning from these priorities; they were selected to promote a future of working together, building empathy and understanding difference, creating a shared understanding of Abbott has brought himself a fair share of negative Australian identity and history, and also thinking media attention, particularly in his numerous for- about the environment and science from time to eign policy blunders. Australia’s relationships with time. With no Science Minister, the new governsignificant neighbouring Asian countries have ment could do with a refresher course. deteriorated, and tensions with Indonesia and China have escalated dramatically.
When Morrison was asked whether the student’s death could have been avoided, on ABC’s Insiders on 16th February, he replied “Could he have avoided overstaying his visa? -
The Liberal Party’s struggles with diplomatic relations make their attack on the Australian Curriculum even more curious. The Australian Curriculum was developed over many years of consultation and review by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, and was based on the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. One of Christopher Pyne’s first steps as federal Education Minister was to initiate a federal government review of the curriculum in order to tackle the “partisan bias” that he feels parents want removed from classrooms.
In an article Pyne wrote for The Australian in January, he expressed concerns about the history curriculum “not recognising the legacy of Western civilization”. He appointed two ‘experts’ to conduct a review of the curriculum. One of these experts, Dr Donnelly, has written previously about the declining standards in Australian schools due to “left-wing academics, teacher unions and sympathetic governments”. He further criticised the Australian Education Union for their belief that students should be taught about non-heterosexual relationships and sexuality. He advocates for resources to be allocated to teaching young people Apart from Pyne’s general distaste for the curric- about Australian’s Western heritage and Judeoulum for being so leftist-centric, he questioned Christian tradition. All of these views were the inclusion of the cross-curriculum priorities, published in a book commissioned by the Liberal which are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Party-aligned Menzies Research Centre. The lead
BY ROSALIND GRACE BELLAMY
\ writer of the history curriculum, Professor Stuart Macintyre of the University of Melbourne, described Pyne’s move to review the curriculum as succumbing “to the temptation to go for cheap political points”.
If Pyne isn’t enough to get you angry and ready to talk about politics, perhaps Scott Morrison will. In the past two weeks, there have been a number of distressing and outrageous incidents involving refugees and asylum seekers. An 18 page graphic novel was circulated apparently to dissuade Afghan asylum seekers from coming to Australia. It depicts asylum seekers suffering in an offshore detention centre. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young described the images as “fear-mongering propaganda”. It was first published on the Customs and Border Protection website in November. While a spokesperson for Morrison claimed that the novel had been distributed by the Labor government, the Guardian Australia states that it had been commissioned by the Labor government but was not published or reviewed until the Coalition government came into office. A 27-year-old Indian student hanged himself at Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre on 13th February. He was in detention after overstaying his cancelled visa. When Morrison was asked whether the student’s death could have been
avoided, on ABC’s Insiders on 16th February, he replied “Could he have avoided overstaying his visa?” Most recently, there have been violent clashes on Manus Island. After an incident on Sunday night, in which 35 asylum seekers escaped from Manus Island detention centre, the situation worsened. On Monday, 17th February, there was a more serious incident. Morrison confirmed on 18th February that 77 asylum seekers were treated for injuries and that one person was deceased. Contrasting reports have emerged on the involvement of locals, gangs and PNG police. Refugee rights group, Refugee Rights Action Network, described it as a “massacre” and a “pre-meditated attack on unarmed and defenceless asylum seekers.” Morrison was quick to defend the security of the centre and downplay the events, adding in his statement to the media that “breakfast is being served”. Students are quick to feel jaded and apathetic with the constantly negative news. But with social media, it is now just as easy to pass on information and get involved than it is to switch off and put your head in the sand. Instead of circulating the next Kimye or Miley antic, share news about the government with your friends. Get involved with student, local or wider politics. Let’s see what we can accomplish by the first anniversary of the Abbott government.
WHAT IS THE MONASH STUDENT ASSOCIATION? By Benjamin Knight (President). Most of you reading this probably know what the Monash Student Association is- it’s an organisation dedicated to making sure you get the most out of your time at Uni. But what you might not know is some of the more detailed services we provide. It’s incredibly important- particularly in 2014- to learn more, become more involved and spread the word about the student union.
STUDENT UNION NEWS
If you were to break down what the MSA does in two simple sections, we provide both representation and services. However, for those who have ever been involved in the MSA know that those two key words do not go far enough to explain the MSA’s reach. When you step on campus for the first time, purchasing an MSA Card may not seem like the first thing on your mindbut it should be!. Not only does the card support you on a tight budget with sweet discounts, but when you support your student union, it gives back benefits to students. The more student union members, the greater capacity the MSA has to support students!
Free Food Mondays and many more – which without both engagement and membership support, we would not be able to provide. Not to mention, with an MSA Card, you also get greater access to our services. Finally, in a year where integral services are threatened, your student union defends the things you need most, including: Youth Allowance, start-up scholarships, education funding, health services and much more! So make sure you join the MSA, get involved, and make your time at University a greater and a more diverse experience. MSA Humpday Performances from student-run bands, clubs, and groups on the Lemon Scented Lawns EVERY Wednesday at midday, with free food provided MSA Household Goods Service Free hire of household goods including lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, grass trimmers, steam mops, trolleys, and toolsets MSA Members Week The revamped and bigger than ever MSA Members Week will be during Week 2, with a Moonlight Cinema, Menzies Festival, free breakfast, massive giveaways, a discounted Bar Night, and much more! Weekly HOT Breakfasts The improved Breakfast Club will now feature weekly hot breakfasts on the Menzies Lawn, starting at 8am every Wednesday morning – come and grab some bacon & eggs and the classics that you love Workers’ Rights Advisory Service (WRAS) WRAS is a volunteer program run by students to support unionism in the workforce, but also to provide advice regarding workplace rights and your right to have decent working conditions and awards
Under its representative function, the MSA lobbies and campaigns on issues that students care about. This includes supporting rallies, providing proposals to University administrators, and petitioning on-campus. The broad spectrum of issues covered by the MSA ranges from social justice and environment issues to on-campus issues including public transport, accessibility of libraries, cost of textbooks, the amount of scholarships offered, and much more! Having an MSA Membership means way more than a sweet McDonald’s discount – it gives your elected representatives the traction to get the things that you need during your education. The MSA also provides numerous services –we run Sir John’s Bar, Host Scheme, MSA Activities, Student Theatre (MUST),
MSA Beanbags Watch out for the new MSA beanbags which will feature in all MSA spaces and all of our outdoor events. Feel free to sit down and relax while enjoying a sausage or use them as a study space Host Year Program The Host Year program is in its first year and will allow all students a point of contact with someone in-the-know. This program is free to join and offers awesome benefits. Feel free to come and say ‘hi’ to someone in orange this year!
UTOPIA Daniel Carter (Indigenous) So I recently attended the Melbourne opening of John Pilgers “Utopia”, a relatively modern revisiting of his previous documentary “Welcome to Australia”. The doco opens with some pretty graphic images of Indigenous police brutality that Australia has become accustom to, to whet us with a point he will reiterate throughout the movie: ‘what has changed?’.
STUDENT UNION NEWS
I’m no documentary connoisseur (as I imagine the people who read this probably are) so I’ll start by saying John Pilger’s style of journalism is not the easiest style to watch, kind of like a British Paul Hogan looking guy who doesn’t let his interviewees finish their sentences. After you’ve digested this though, the documentary itself is simply brilliant. It really confronts the issues facing Indigenous Australians that so often get misrepresented in the media or simply ignored all together. If you’ve ever really pondered why Indigenous people are represented negatively in every statistic from health to education to incarceration this documentary fills in a lot of blanks. It really questions what black and white relations really look like in Australia. We often see the same narrative in the media; stolen generation, apology, close the gap and reconciliation, and again, Pilger asks why, after so much policy and spending, are there no results? Are these just empty, symbolic catchphrases to fill the history books? The doco covers a history of failed policy and confronts those liable with facts asking them who is accountable. From slaughters in colonial times to the stolen generation, Indigenous people have been treated as second-class citizens as deaths in custody go unprosecuted. Sometimes we feel ok knowing a Prime Minister gave an apology to Indigenous Australians and thinking we are moving forward. But this film demonstrates racist policy has created a division in 2014 Australia that incarcerates more Indigenous men than that of black South Africans under apartheid. The terms and newspaper headlines might be put in more politically correct language but the actions of our current governments differ in no way from the governments a century ago who thought they knew best for ‘the Aborigines’. Pilger briefly touches on the NT intervention as when he asks Mal Brough how many pedophile rings and petrol drug lords he found when he spent $587 million on the NT intervention. This really makes you think how oblivious we all were to allow this to happen. According to Pilger, the Australian government sent the Army into rural communities with an estimated population of 67,000 indigenous people living in the NT under the pretense of rampant sexual abuse and didn’t prosecute one case. The leading questions and assumptions based on anecdotal evidence of Pilger’s film-making style really rubs me the wrong way but when you look at the coverage of these issues out there you can’t really complain when at least one person had the guts to put this movie together. An interviewee jokingly brings up the idea that government mechanisms are so badly broken here that it would take foreign aid to
help Indigenous people as they suffer from preventable diseases that developing countries have overcome. Ironically, the film itself was entirely internationally funded which really makes you think he might be right. When you sit down to listen to your hottest 100 next year and eat your canned beetroot, beef sausages and cold beer I definitely recommend you watch this movie before you consider how proud you are to call yourself Australian. The MSA will be holding FREE screenings of Utopia during O-week on Wednesday the 26th of February at the Clayton Campus Cinema . Screening will be held at 12pm and 6pm send your RSVP’s for the later show to: Daniel.Carter1@ monash.edu Come visit the Indigenous Department at the O-week stalls for more info. THE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE (OR HOW I LEARNED TO TAKE INITIATVE AND LOVE THE BOMB) Thomas Green (Education (Public Affairs)) In Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Peter Sellers plays three major roles: a well-mannered and proper British military officer, the President of the United States and Dr. Strangelove, an eccentric ex-Nazi scientist advocate for the nation’s leaders hiding out an impending nuclear holocaust by creating a new eugenic subterranean society. Many of you reading this right now will be in your first year of university, armed to the teeth with an optimism as to your university years of sufficient quantity to bring about a civilization-ending nuclear holocaust of optimism. I am guiltier than most of wiling away time and dollars at Sir John’s (in fact you’ll find me there most days), watching Game of Thrones in the Matheson Library and sinking pizza on the Menzies Lawn and while that’s all very important that’s not all that’s important. A versatile actor, Sellers played each role with aplomb and was instrumental in this classic film’s success. There is a lesson to be learned from this dynamic performance in one person’s adoption of such different personalities in the film and here’s the thing: all of us are Peter Sellers right now. At whichever junction of our lives we are, the role we play is a decision we make consciously or otherwise every single day. In the film, Group Colonel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley and Dr. Strangelove all share one thing in common – they are all active and principled people (men, admittedly, Stanley Kubrik not renowned for his feminism) but most significantly they are leaders. Sellers didn’t choose to play the man responsible for the ultimate demise of human civilization, he had a pick and he picked the President. So many at university by unfortunate coincidence never encounter the opportunity to get actively involved or engaged, to find a cause and contribute to it. It can be addressing everyday inconveniences in university life (“why
won’t they install more myki machines at the bus loop!?” – more on this later in the program) or broader policy issues in whichever areas of injustice you are passionate about. This year, I want to address this missed opportunity and invite you to make the most of your time here.
STUDENT UNION NEWS
The Student Representative Network (SRN) is a program in which you will learn the ins-and-outs of campaigns, activism, leadership and advocacy with guests from the National Union of Students, the Monash Student Association and other activist bodies. Besides being a very social program, the skills that you will learn will be invaluable as you enter the second half of the program as the SRN launches a campaign of their choosing under the guidance and assistance of the co-ordinating team of former SRN participants and seasoned student activists. So wind back your Doomsday Clock and cast yourself as Insp. Jacques Clouseau (The Pink Panther, 1963) or Queen Victoria (The Great McGonagall, 1974), just like our friend Sellers. Your university and life experiences are what you choose them to be - come and make some friends, learn some skills and help to make a difference. Come involve yourself in the Student Representative Network! Shoot me an email for more information (below). I look forward to seeing you there! Thomas Green is an Education (Public Affairs) Officer at the Monash Student Association (MSA) for 2014 and co-ordinator the Student Representative Network. You can email him for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org and look out for the SRN stall during O-week! HEALTH AND SAFETY AT CLAYTON Edith Shepherd & Zoe Millikan (Womens) The Women’s Department is a service on campus for women identified and women socialised students. The Women’s Department can be a great resource and referral service, it can be a wonderful place to meet new friends and our Women’s Room is a perfect place to relax. The Women’s Officers are always available to help students by providing support, resources, and can help students deal with issues they may have with the university. We can help with a range of issues. However, there are some times you might need to see a doctor, counsellor or use the security services on campus. This is a quick guide to help you out when you have to deal with these services. In a new renovation, Monash University has consolidated all health providers on Clayton Campus into one location. This move has also seen the addition of some new services. These services are collectively termed ‘Monash Health Services’. Doctors The doctors are open 8.30- 5pm weekdays. You can make appointments in advance, or on the day, in person or over the phone. You can often get an appointment on the day if you call in the morning on 9905 3175.
The service is free for domestic students who are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and hold a current Medicare card. For International students who hold a current OSHC Worldcare or Medibank Private card they can direct-bill the cost to your health care provider. Other OSCH insurance holders will have to pay upfront and claim the money back from their insurer. Dentist Scheduled to open on the 24th of February 2014 the dentist on campus will offer all services that any other dentist offers, at discounted rates for students. Counselling The counselling service is now in the same location as the doctors and dentist, on the ground floor of the campus center. You can make an appointment with a counsellor by calling 9905 3175 and if you call before 10am you can often get a same day appointment. This phone number is the same as the one you call for Doctors appointments, just specify that you wish to make a counselling appointment. The counselling service at Monash is free, with your initial appointment running up to 30 minutes. This is an informal discussion so the counsellor can understand what’s going on. At the end of the session the counsellor will either suggest further appointments or refer you on to another service. Counsellors can help work out the cause of the problem you’re having and work with you to develop ways to cope. The service is available to all students, no matter how big or small you feel the issue is. You can also speak to counsellors about getting help for a friend. There is also a counsellor from SECASA (South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault) who provides specialist counselling to victims of sexual assault and/or family violence. This counsellor is available at Clayton on Mondays and at Caulfield on Tuesdays. If you wish to make an appointment to speak with the SECASA counsellor, contact the Monash Health Services on 9905 3175 and ask for an appointment with Joanne Ronalds. Students can also contact SECASA directly on 9928 8741 to request counselling and/or support. For general after-hours counselling help (5pm-9am weekdays, 24 hours weekends) you can call the free help number on 1800 350 359. You can find links to other 24 hour help lines, and online mental health resources on the Monash counselling webpage . Security Another free service you can make use of is Security at Clayton campus. By calling the general enquiries line on 9905 3059 you can request a security escort to your car, bus, or any location at Monash. If you don’t have a phone there are also emergency help points located around the campus - these points are orange circular objects mounted on on long yellow poles. To use the point, press the button
and wait for a response. You will find the emergency points located in front of the admin building, the Matheson Library, the multi-level car park, and at the bus loop. There is also a security bus that runs from 5:30pm- 12am weekdays which leaves every 30 minutes. This bus operates in a loop around campus, and is a perfect way to travel between MRS, and the bus loop or library, late at night. You can download the bus route from the security services webpage.
STUDENT UNION NEWS
For emergencies on campus, call 9905 3333. For urgent police, fire or ambulance help, call 000. Safer Communities Unit The Safer Communities Unit focuses on personal safety, and aims to prevent threatening behaviours on campus. Safer Communities provides advice and support for dealing with inappropriate, concerning, or threatening behaviours. Contact Safer Communities if you feel attacked, harassed, intimidated, stalked, bullied or threatened. You can also contact them if you are concerned about someone else’s behaviour or wellbeing, or you are worried about someone harming themselves or someone else. The Safer Communities Unit works hand in hand with both the security and counselling services on all Monash campuses and can be contacted on 9905 1599 or at safercommunity@monash. edu. If you are still unsure about how to utilise any of the services at Monash don’t hesitate to contact the Monash Health Services, Security, the Safer Communities Unit, or the Women’s Department. The Women’s Department strives to ensure the safety of women students on campus. We are running multiple campaigns this year focusing on issues such as consent and reproductive rights. If you have any questions, or suggestions for the Women’s Department please send as an e-mail on email@example.com, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ msawomensdepartment! Internet Resources Monash Counselling: tinyurl.com/monash-emergency http://tinyurl.com/monash-health-service Monash Security: http://tinyurl.com/monash-security
QC COMES TO MONASH By Ellen Grant (Female Queer) Queer Collaborations (QC) is the biggest queer student conference in the Southern Hemisphere. The conference spans over either 5 or 7 jam packed days and is hosted by a different university each year. The conference is a unique opportunity to engage with political thought on a different level than most students have the chance to. While the conference is largely based around education of queer issues, it’s impossible to say we don’t manage to squeeze some fun in. With social events every night QC is a great chance for networking and meeting a bunch of rad queer friends from all over the country. With past workshops ranging from ‘Civil Disobedience & Direct Action’ to ‘Quick Tips for Fisting’ there is truly something for everyone with all of your social, sexual and political content covered. It’s been in the works for a while and finally it’s happening: Monash is hosting Queer Collaborations for the first time! Monash has never hosted QC despite sending large groups of delegates each year and us having the largest representation in 2013 of 27 delegates. To say this is a long time coming is an understatement. Queer Collaborations is a great chance for people to engage with queer theory in an immersive environment which allows for more critical thinking and often eye opening experiences for many delegates. Through just sending delegates each year we have seen a ripple down effect within the department. Sending delegates is like skipping pebbles and sometimes we are amazed at how far those pebbles reach. When our students come back from the conference they often have a new found energy and passion for queer theory and fighting against discrimination. We see activist ideals being passed from delegates to their friends within the department and outside of it. We have found that attending QC is the most effective way for us to reenergise our department and collective members. It also leads to greater understanding of intersectional issues and more complex political thought. While 101 workshops are great and crucial to educating our community it’s important that we reach beyond that. Spreading awareness and providing a springboard for people’s own learning is a vital action of our department. However we must create pathways for our members to take it a couple of steps further. 101 workshops can only go so far in deconstructing hegemonies and prejudices and this is where more complex issues need to be given the space and time they deserve to be discussed. Now I will admit that I am incredibly biased but the MSA Queer Department has always been the best when it comes to engagement. We have an enthusiastic, politically switched on and sizeable collective. We have no trouble getting volunteers to rock out to our events and help give back to our community. QC is just another chance for us to show Australia how great we are and all the great things we have to offer. Through hosting QC, Monash will be playing its part in supporting the queer fight against discrimination and especially under an Abbott government hosting QC
sends a strong message that queer voices will not be ignored and that we have support from the wider community.
STUDENT UNION NEWS
With QC in Melbourne and so close to home this year we are looking forward to a great turnout of not only Monash queer students but Victorian queer students in general. Closer to the date we will collect expressions of interest through a signup sheet in the Queer lounge and via email. If you want to learn more about QC there will be an information session later in the semester so keep your ear to the ground. The MSA subsidises registration to minimise costs and allow as many Monash queer students to attend as possible. The conference is being organised by the Queer Collaborations Organising Committee and while we have our work cut out for us (organising a nation-wide conference is no joking matter) we have a dedicated bunch of people toiling away to get the job done. If you would like to get involved swing by the Queer Office (down the corridor to the right of the MSA desk in Campus Centre) or come to the next organising committee meeting. Dates and times for meetings will be released through our Twitter or ask one of the Queer Officers to add you to the Facebook group. The Queer Department is always open to queer and questioning students. Come visit our lounge for Queer Morning Tea at 11-1pm Thursdays to break the ice (or any other time!) across from Wholefoods in the Campus Centre. The Queer Officers this year are myself and Freddie Wright and our office door is always open if you need advice or are just up for a chat. Like us at MSA Queer on Facebook to keep up and follow our twitter @MSAQueer to find out about all the other amazing events, get-togethers and workshops planned for this semester. FILLING THE GAP: A DISABILITIES OFFICER FOR THE UNION. By Edith Shepherd & Andrew Day Ever had difficulty accessing a lecture or tutorial? Finding a toilet that accommodates your needs and requirements? Had your body and mind medicalised and stripped of autonomy; poked and prodded by individuals with an air of pity for what you cannot do and who you cannot be? This is how wider society tends to treat those who are disabled. The vocal proponents of “disability activism” tend to approach the matter as a tragedy, and a pitiful existence for anyone so unlucky as to have the infliction.
The onus should not be in the disabled individual to assimilation and accommodate able-bodied and neurotypical society. These people are entitled to be fully participating citizens of the world. At the moment the situation for disabled students at Monash is one that doesn’t offer much security. Currently Monash reserves the right to exclude or suspend students with disabilities if they deem them to be a danger to themselves, other students or staff or Monash property. Rather troublingly, this language isn’t better defined in the Monash Statute papers or the Vice Chancellor Regulations, nor does the deliberation process require any actual medical consultation. The decision to exclude a student for health or safety reasons does not require any professional or informed medical input; it is merely on the recommendation on the Dean of the faculty. Hypocritically though, in order to appeal the decision the student would have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Dean of their faculty that they are medically able to complete or enter their degree. Students require documentation from a related specialist to substantiate their claim. This is a double standard that puts an already vulnerable section of society at risk and somewhat ironically requires that they jump through more administrative hoops to retain the same status as their able bodied peers. Disability services need to extend beyond their current myopic scope. Delivery of content is the most pressing of needs for those with mobility or mental impairment, and fixes are far from the realms of the extraordinary to find. The simplest solution would be for each faculty to implement policy that requires all lecturers to record and film their lecture material to be made available to those in need of this service. Many of you will no doubt have some lectures that are recorded (this was policy pushed from your student reps at the MSA) but recordings from some lecturers are sporadic or non-existent due to some faculty resistance. Some lecturers even deliberately avoid recording their lectures (particularly exam revision) because they think they are only accessed by lazy students who can’t be bothered coming into University. This is an intolerable display of ignorance from University staff as to the needs of some of their students.
But here’s the problem; People with disability are not “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection but “subjects” with rights, capable of claiming those rights, able to make decisions for their own lives based on their free and informed consent and be active members of society.
It is – to be blunt – unacceptable for university management to languidly point to implementation difficulties and the fact that no one has thought to bring these changes up before as an excuse for these short fallings. For a University that seems to desperate to be at the forefront of everything it can be, a lot of the positive innovation has only come from lobbying of the student body through its Student Union. The way forward then is quite clear; the MSA should adopt a Disabilities Officer to advocate for the needs of students with disabilities on and off campus.
Disability activism should not be about denying the reality of neither impairment nor its impacts on the individual. It should challenge the physical, attitudinal, communication and social environment to accommodate impairment as an expected incident of human diversity.
To this end, we are proposing the creation of an autonomous disabilities collective to advocate the creation of a Disabilities Officer within the MSA. If you’re keen to get involved, please do not hesitate in emailing Edie on edith.shepherd@monsah. edu or Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Instigates This Mysterious Sea Star Disease? BY NATHALIA TAN
It sounds like the plot of a weird B-grade horror movie made for starfish, but it is real, horrifying, and happening now. Recently, there has been an increasing number of starfish (or sea stars) on the west coasts of America contracting a disease, named “Sea Star Wasting Syndrome”. Marine biologists fear for our multilegged friends (hopefully not including one pink starfish named Patrick).
Affected starfish may develop lesions, have their arms twist or knot, or have a deflated appearance. These symptoms are not unlike those presented in sea stars stranded in regions not reached by tides, which eventually dry out and die. However, the difference between starfish that are stranded out of water and starfish affected by the disease is that the latter are located in their normal habitat, exactly where they should be. The most bizarre symptom of this disease is that the limbs of the starfish appear to crawl away from the body until the arm tears off, causing the starfish’s innards to spill out. Normal starfish can regenerate lost limbs, but diseased starfish do not and die within days.1 The result is ocean floors littered with the carcasses of sea stars and their limbs. Although the disease currently affects just starfish and from researchonly several species of starfish, the implications of mass deaths amongst these organisms has had a larger ecological impact.2 Starfish are top-level opportunistic predators, feeding on smaller animals, and some are detritivores, feeding on rotting matter and animal waste. An upset in the equilibrium of the delicate prey-predator relationships that
exist amongst animals may cause large-scale problems amongst marine life, in fact affecting more than just starfish. The cause of the disease is not yet known. Starfish are used as the model organism for climate change, and the disease seems to worsen when the water temperatures increase. Hence, some scientists say that Sea Star Wasting Syndrome might be indicative of global warming.3 The causative agent may be a toxin or virus passed on by ingestion, as in a 2013 outbreak, it was found that two types of starfish were affected, both predators of other starfish.4 However, if the ingested toxin hypothesis is true, it seems that some species are resistant. In a Californian marine laboratory, bat stars and leather stars consumed some diseased and deceased stars, but were apparently unaffected by the disease.5 Oil spills, radiation, and chemical waste are amongst other speculative suggestions for the cause of the disease.1 Unfortunately, because little is known about the disease, there is no known cure available. Experiments are being run on the pathology of the disease. From these, marine biologists working to solve the puzzle have concluded from numerous experiments that unaffected individuals in the presence of affected individuals does not cause the rate of infection to change.1 Sea Star Wasting Syndrome has not yet made its way to Australian shores, but Americans are encouraged to use social media to increase awareness of the issue. Gathering data on this syndrome is not exclusive to marine biologists and scientists; this
topic is very much a collaborative project. The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department (EEB) of the University of California strongly encourages everyone to contribute information gathered on areas where sea stars are found, regardless of whether the organisms are infected, healthy, or not present at all. Tracking logs are available for everyone on the EEB website. In a slightly easier and more accessible way, sea life videographer Laura James says that anyone who’s walking or swimming at a beach should take a photo of whatever starfish they can find and tag it #sickstarfish. Ms James believes this could inspire discussion and further research on the disease.
THE NEW VICE CHANCELLOR IN TOWN. By Monash Education Action Group.
In September, Monash University will say goodbye to Vice Chancellor Ed Byrne. Ed has been in the job since 2009, earning one of the highest salaries of any Vice Chancellor in the country ($960,000 in 2012!), and presiding over cuts to student services, ballooning class sizes, and an increasingly casualised workforce. Byrne has run Monash like a giant corporation; posting huge surpluses, spending millions on refurbishing buildings and maintaining the lawns, and giving massive pay rises to executives whilst refusing to negotiate with lecturers and tutors. The Monash Education Action Group (MEAG) looks forward to saying farewell to Mr. Byrne. In September, Margaret Gardner from RMIT will arrive as our new Vice Chancellor. To help students and staff figure out what to expect from Gardner, Liam Parry from the MEAG spoke with Liam Ward, a leading delegate for the National Tertiary Education Union at RMIT and member of Socialist Alternative. LP: How did students and staff fare under Margaret Gardner’s time as vice chancellor at RMIT? Liam Ward: During her time as VC, RMIT became the second most casualised university in the country. Some 37 percent of teaching staff are casual, often for many years on end and with no prospect of job security and no income over the summer holiday period. These casual staff do more than half the teaching at RMIT. Class sizes have also ballooned. In the subjects I teach, tutorial sizes have increased by around 30–40 percent in the last six years. Obviously this all bad news for staff, but for students it creates a scenario where your tutor or even your lecturer may not have a desk, let alone an office and a phone. And it means you are increasingly just one more anonymous face in the crowded class room, making it all the more difficult for us to tailor our teaching to your particular needs. In our recent negotiations for a new collective agreement, Margaret Gardner’s management team refused to address these concerns and even tried to force staff to take a pay cut. They only changed their tune after we took significant industrial action, including three strikes in a five week period. LP: What are the worst or most memorable moments? LW: In 2011 RMIT senior management brought in a bizarre new policy to dictate our behaviour. Essentially, it compelled us to sign up to a commitment to do things like “focus on the positive” and to “go beyond world’s best practice”. Our union argued that since none of this rubbish was in our collective agreement, staff should not sign it. We thought that would be the end of it, but Gardner and her team suddenly hauled us off to Fair Work Australia, accusing us off taking unprotected industrial action! The FWA commissioner found in favour of management,
essentially ruling that management can do whatever they like, whenever they like, regardless of the collective agreement. In other words, Gardner and FWA ordered us to smile, or face the full weight of the legal system. As the meme says: “Punishment will continue until morale improves”. Earlier, around 2008, Gardner and her off-sider Joyce Kirk, the Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), took the disgraceful step of suddenly shutting down the dedicated Muslim Prayer Room on campus. The facility had been there for many years without anyone batting an eyelid, serving hundreds of students and staff, and many other Muslims who work in the CBD. RMIT cynically decided to shut it down with no explanation and a torrent of lies that played into the most racist perceptions of Muslims. Incidentally, some of the most outspoken supporters of RMIT’s actions were the handful of lunatics that make up this city’s fascist fringe groups. Anyway, the RMIT Islamic Society led an amazing and brave campaign, holding weekly protests for over two years in the middle of campus every Friday, until finally they won back their Prayer Room. Earlier still, Gardner had overseen the attempted outsourcing of the University’s Disability Liaison Unit. This body exists to provide services for students with disabilities, for example note-takers to accompany you in your lecture. The RMIT team had won international awards for their work in this area, and were the apple of senior management’s eye until their fair-weather friends decided to sell the whole thing off. Disabled students staged protests for several months, and won a compromise, but the University continues to disregard or flagrantly attack students with disabilities. In 2011 they shut down the Disability Studies course, and in 2012 they briefly made news headlines when a student in wheelchair was left entirely abandoned and unable to evacuate their shiny new multi-million dollar building during a fire drill. During her time, RMIT was posting an annual profit of between $50 million and $80 million, year after year. Outsourcing the Disability Liasion Unit was supposed to save just $98,000. That’s the kind of meanness we’re talking about. LP: What advice do you have for Monash activists who want to fight back against neoliberal cuts to funding?
LW: The message from the fight at RMIT is clear. Monash activists need to organise resistance to whatever Gardner has in store for you, but also for the Abbott Government’s attacks on higher education.
hilarious as political strife routinely flares up over the direction to take the MSA in. MSC is also totally open to students who want to come see what it’s all about, and maybe do
As shown by the RMIT Muslim students and the RMIT disabled students, the key is to get people out on the lawns, in the corridors and on the forecourts, make a noise, don’t put all your hopes in the “proper channels” or the self-appointed bureaucrats. Link up with activists at other campuses, and throw all you can into making the National Days of Action massive. If we learnt one thing from Gardner, it’s that the executives of a modern university are just like the executives of any large corporation, driven by profits above all else. But just like the mightiest and greediest CEO’s they can be forced to act against their own desires by the power of protest. Get moving Monash, give her the welcome she deserves. For students who want to get involved in the fight against cuts, contact the Monash Student Association’s Education (Public Affairs) Officer Declan Murphy on 0400 863 038, or look us up on Facebook. The Monash Education Action Group is a collective of student activists who campaign in support of our educational rights. Australian education in 2014 is under attack. The Liberal Government, led by Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne, have signaled clearly that universities under their reign will become more expensive and less accessible. Implementing $2.3 billion worth of funding cuts, privatising HECS debt, and re-introducing caps on student places are just some of the policy measures they have threatened thus far. On top of that, students at Monash face a university administration who undervalue staff, cut courses, and want to run our university like a corporation. We need to fight on both of these fronts to maintain our rights in a hostile environment. Get involved with MEAG by coming along to one of our meetings on campus, and join us at the National Day of Action protest on 26th March in the city. To learn more, contact MSA Education (Public Affairs) Officer Declan Murphy at declan.murphy@monash. edu or on 0400 863 038. MSA GOSSIP GOAT Unless you were unlucky enough to be doing summer units or get called in for an Academic Progress hearing, you probably didn’t spend a lot of time in between holidaying, working, and slowly broiling during the heat waves thinking about what was happening at Monash. But life at Monash and at the MSA goes on over the summer break. December is the official handover period for the new office bearers and January and February are spent planning for the year ahead. MSC (Monash Student Council - basically the directing board of the MSA) continues to hold meetings throughout the summer period and will continue to do so throughout the year ahead. These meetings are where the key decisions of the MSA are made and are often dull, but sometimes
some shouting if you have a lot of passionate feelings about an issue at hand (please don’t actually shout, it scares the council members). You can contact the secretary (secretary. email@example.com) to be added to the MSC e-list which will get you meeting agendas so you know what’s happening and also information on where and when the meetings will be. The last MSC of the previous year was certainly a doozy of a political shitfight. A fairly standard motion to accept the budget for the next year erupted a long debate due to the proposal to increase the fraction of the Environment and Social Justice and the Education Public affairs departments to 2.0 (80 hours of paid work a week) and 1.6 (64 hours per week) respectively. There was concern that these departments in particular were being targeted for significant fraction raises (to put it in perspective, the fractions for non-executive office bearer positions tend to range from 0.7 to 1.0) due to the deal made between Go! and Left Hook that saw both tickets do rather well in last year’s election. This was vehemently denied by both groups, and the fact that some Go! Members (mostly from the non-National Labor Students aligned part of the group, IndiGo!) were vocally against the increase would suggest that whether or not the accusations are true, not all members of the groups were necessarily aware or involved. The budget was eventually passed, although not before four people had cried, several people had had shouting matches, and last year’s treasurer had called a Switch member ‘Chris Pyne’s wet dream’ (MSC is not often so quotable). The budget also included a slight pay raise for office bearer honorariums across the board, bringing their hourly rate to just over $10, and also a slight increase to the Activities fraction, most likely in order to discourage a single person from taking on the job, as happened last year (it went badly).
In the MSCs of this year, with this year’s crop of MSC members, not a whole lot has happened so far. Significant amounts of money were passed to revamp the Clubs and Societies portion of the MSA website (a new system which should make things easier and more efficient, that I also do not understand), and the council unanimously opposed the proposed axing of Swotvac. The general and divisional representatives to executive committee (also made up of the executive, it has the power to pass up to $5000 without the approval of MSC for day to day and emergency expenses, although the must table their expenses at MSC) were elected, with both coming from Go! (the divisional representative, Ben Zocco, was last year’s secretary). The summer months are also a time for office bearers to write and present their yearly goals, which, in conjunction with reports to MSC, allow greater transparency and accountability within the MSA, and tend to make sure no one does anything terrible. All the yearly goals were accepted, with the exception of the Environment and Social Justice goals (their first MSC report was also not passed), which was deemed to be too vague. Their report and goals are to be submitted at the next MSC. It is hard to tell whether the goals were rejected based only on their vagueness, or whether it signals lingering hard feelings over the big budget debate and associated political distrust. Gossip Goat will aim to keep you abreast of all important developments and/or political shitfights as the year progresses. XOXO MONASH UNIVERSITY: NOW BPA FREE
James O’Donoghue In October last year students undertaking the Bachelor of Performing Arts (the BPA) found out that as of 2014 the course would cease to be offered at the University. News of this spread rapidly through student chatter and social media, with a facebook page entitled “Save the BPA” established and attracting near a thousand members in a matter of days. In this time we received the first official information on the matter from our course coordinators with the calling of the meeting in the final days of October. During this meeting we were told that the BPA was going to be discontinued and absorbed into the Arts degree, with the theatre major already available to those undertaking a BA to remain the same, while the performance major previously only available to those undertaking the BPA was to be reduced to a minor and made available as part of the BA. It was however assured to current students that these changes would not influence those currently enrolled in the degree. This meeting resulted in a clarification of many questions students had about how their degree would change over the next two years as it was phased out. In the time since this meeting however there has been much discussion and misinformation about these changes and how they could affect current students. For instance at the start of February the “Save the BPA” page made a post implying that units in the performance stream would not be available to any
students in 2014. This was quickly clarified by sources within the faculty as untrue but nonetheless it resulted in a document released by the Centre of Theatre and Performance clarifying many issues for those currently enrolled in the degree. It assured that students currently enrolled will graduate with a BPA, that all units currently offered will remain on offer, that the productions that many see as integral to the degree will remain for the current cohorts and that a performance minor will be introduced in 2015. While these responses may put many fears to rest about the future of theatre and performance education at Monash and what sort of education those yet to finish it will receive, some unfortunate realities about how these changes will impact future students need to be considered. Firstly in previous years there was an audition requirement for entry into the course. With the removal of this as the course has been rolled into the Arts degree, the result is the loss of what I think was one of the best aspects of this process. In past years students that have excelled in their auditions, be it through performance or by showing a particular passion that however failed to meet the current ATAR requirements of the BA have still been allowed the enter the BPA. With this change this could result in a situation where an individual who may excel in the field of theatre and performance will find themselves unable to enter the program, and would most likely have excluded many individuals who have excelled in the degree in previous years. Secondly, while it may seem like a minor change the loss of the degree title, “Bachelor of Performing Arts” may have a negative result for future students who end up entering the professional Melbourne theatre scene. Numerous Art’s funding bodies and grants, for example ArtsStart a program through which many BPA graduates have succeeded in applying for, require the completion of a creative arts degree. It is uncertain if someone graduated with an Arts degree with a major in theatre and a minor in performance will be regarded as qualified for this. And lastly that despite assurances that all current units will continue, students entering their second year were recently informed that one second year theatre unit was not to be run in 2014, the reason being low enrolment numbers. While this is an understandable explanation this coupled with the departure of a well liked and respected lecturer of core second year subjects, and as of yet the lack in information regarding who is to replace her has resulted in concerns among those entering their second year. As a student enrolled in a Bachelor of Performing Arts I wish to say that I have benefitted so much from my time undertaking the BPA, contacts I have made while taking the degree have resulted in me finding professional work and the same can be said for many of my colleagues. I don’t doubt that those coordinating the course will do their best to ensure the quality of education received over the next two years as students complete the degree and that of those about to commence a theatre major and performance minor this year. I hope that despite all that has happened students
continue to take part in these programs, as the quickest way theatre and performance at Monash will die is if students that would otherwise undertake it give up on it.
when they have been moved back into Indonesian waters. Ultimately, this policy is just another manifestation of the governments attack upon innocent asylum seekers.
TONY ABBOTT’S WIN: A REFUGEE RIGHTS LOSS
Recently, the first attempt since Howard to forcefully deport a refugee to Afghanistan was made. The 65 year-old Hazara man - an ethnicity commonly persecuted in Afghanistan – was to be deported despite having no connection to Afghanistan for 37 years and his wife and 10 children living in Pakistan. It had been agreed that it was unsafe for him to return to his home province in Afghanistan, but rather than being granted asylum he is being forced to relocate to another area of the war torn country where he has no family, connections, money or chance of survival.
After over a decade of inhumane treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian government, the situation getting worse was almost inconceivable. Yet in the past few months it has become evident that Tony Abbott’s election win is a devastating blow for refugee rights. Under previous governments we have witnessed many human rights atrocities involving refugees and asylum seekers. Notoriously in the era of John Howard we received the ‘Pacific Solution’ that was built off the xenophobic mentality of Howard’s famous declaration of “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”. While briefly dismantled by the Rudd government, soon another era of offshore processing began with Manus Island and Nauru detention centres being reopened by the Gillard government in a policy many dub ‘Pacific Solution 2.0’. With the election of Tony Abbott, the echoing of the ‘Pacific Solution’ became only clearer with Abbott stating “The essential point is, this is our country and we determine who comes here”. It appears that another time of harsh xenophobic refugee policy that is inhumane as it tortures and kills the innocent has begun. The proof of the Liberal government’s inhumanity is not in their words, but in their reprehensible action toward asylum seekers. Previously, detained asylum seekers had to face the ongoing insecurity of not knowing their fate – an emotional torture that could last years while being processed. The Liberal government has escalated this by announcing that refugees that have arrived by boat will never get permanent visas, instead they may only get temporary protection visas. This leaves confirmed refugees in a life of limbo, where they could be imprisoned or deported at any time and must reapply for visas regularly. Furthermore, The Abbott government has moved to end complimentary protection visas. These visas provide safety for many asylum seekers who do not fit the narrow definition of a refugee, but still desperately need asylum. These visas were particularly used to protect women fleeing from honour killings, sexual slavery and female genital mutilation. The Liberal government’s move to scrap these visas will lead to blatant violence against women, making it plainly reprehensible. The government has also implemented “turning back boats” as part of their refugee policy. Given the condition of the boats arriving, this hardly seems to be in the humanitarian vein that governments often use as a façade for their xenophobic policies. Illustrating this fact further is the many reports of excessive force being used upon boat fairing asylum seekers to turn them back around including: guns being shot in an attempt to scare off boats, asylum seekers being handcuffed before return journeys, Navy personnel using unnecessary physical violence and racial slurs, as well as abandoning ships without enough fuel
While this is an atrocious move by the government, it was unable to be completed due to refugee rights supporters protesting, the Afghanistan ambassador speaking out and the high court reviewing the case. It is this success story that encapsulates the importance of a grassroots campaign against the government’s horrid treatment of asylum seekers. With asylum seekers and refugee rights being stripped away and their voices being suppressed under Tony Abbott’s rule, the time for the ordinary citizen to use their power to aid the fight is paramount. By supporting refugee resistance and hitting the streets in protest, we can collectively make a difference. Get involved now to help end the torture of thousands of innocent people. Lisa Vincent is a member of the Monash Refugee Action Collective. MRAC is the club that fights for refugee rights at Monash. To find out more about the upcoming protest actions, or to get involved with MRAC, contact Lisa on lvin4@ student.monash.edu, find us on Facebook, or attend our forum at 2pm 6th March in Wholefoods THEY SAY “CUT BACKS” WE SAY FIGHT BACK!
National Union of Students education officer Sarah Garnham and Monash Student Association Education (Public Affairs) officer Declan Murphy discuss how we can fight back against Abbott’s attacks on students. Abbott’s cabinet is filled with conservative dishonest creeps but none fits the bill quite as well as education minister, Christopher Pyne. Pyne has an unfortunate habit of licking his lips when he gets excited. He seems to be most excited by making funding cuts to public education and student income, expunging women, gays and indigenous people from the high school curriculum, and devising ways to help the corporate sector make a profit out of our education. This year, the National Union of Students (NUS) is running a campaign to fight back against Abbott and Pyne’s attacks on our education. The first National Day of Action (NDA) for the campaign is planned for Wednesday 26th March. There will be demonstrations in every major city. What we’re facing;
Funding cuts Last year the Labor government announced $2.3 billion worth of funding cuts to higher education. Despite rhetorically condemning the cuts at the time, Christopher Pyne has now tabled bills in parliament to enact them all.
Their first agenda is to cut $900 million from university budgets, calling it an ‘efficiency dividend’. This will mean massive funding shortfalls of up to $50 million on some campuses. Such a cut would place further pressure on academic and general staff who are already stretched, and will likely result in a loss of course diversity for many students. As well as cuts to teaching, learning and administration one of the worst aspects of the cuts is the conversion of start-up scholarships to HECS loans. Start-up scholarships are deceptively named. Far from representing a windfall for students they are in actual fact a mere lifeline, a one off payment designed to offset the fact that welfare payments have not been significantly increased for over a decade. Transforming these ‘scholarships’ into loans will mean that students who can’t survive on Centrelink payments alone (which currently languish ~45% below the Henderson poverty line) will now finish university with up to 40% more debt than their wealthy counterparts. Attacks on our curriculum Pyne has already made his reactionary agenda for the high school curriculum clear. He wants to abolish discussions of non-heterosexual sex from schools, a policy which will only increase the disgusting homophobia that exists in high schools across the country. The Liberals also plan to limit academic freedom at universities. In 2004 the Howard government gave the education minister the right to override the Australian Research Council’s grants for university research projects. Pyne intends to use this power; he has already signaled his intent to block funding for politically progressive university projects. The first target for Liberal party censorship is the research being undertaken by the pro-Palestinian academic, Jake Lynch. Professor Lynch is famous for endorsing the academic boycott against Israel, and for his stance has been subject to predictable but no less slanderous accusations of anti-Semitism in the Murdoch press. Pyne wants to limit the ability of staff and students to engage with issues that might confront the racist, imperialist establishment in Australia. Under Pyne’s watch this trend will only increase and students will find it increasingly difficult to avoid enrolling in subjects that do not espouse the virtues of the “Judeo-Christian ethic” or the glories of “Western Civilisation” (sic). More attacks to come Pyne has indicated that he wants to find new and innovative ways to undermine our education. For example, he has suggested that HECS debt may be privatized. This move would inevitably see fees and interest rates increased, as has happened in both the UK and the US.
But Pyne hasn’t left the task of privatizing education and impoverishing students up to his own efforts. He has installed some of the most notorious neoliberal hatchet men and women onto the boards of the commission of audit and the review into the demand driven education system. These bodies have been set up purely to find ways to help out big business and cut spending on public services. Students will inevitably be negatively affected. Why get involved Students have to take a stand against this Abbott government. If Pyne and co. can convince themselves that we are passive and apathetic then they will feel more confident to attack us. We need to organize together to demonstrate our opposition, and pressure the government to back down. This is why we have a national campaign and why the first action scheduled for the campaign is a national day of rallies. Last year, when the Labor government slated the cuts, their top advisers came out confidently asserting that tertiary education was not an election issue and that there would be no backlash from their announcement. But thousands of students did care, and we came out into the streets in numbers not seen in years. Around 3000 protested in Melbourne, with hundreds more across the country. And as a result of this campaign, the Labor party has now come out publicly to oppose the cuts (which they actually introduced). This shows how powerful students can be when we take mass action. We now need to aim our campaign at the Liberal party in power and particularly at the weasel now leading the attack on our education; Christopher Pyne. The first step is coming out to the demonstration on the 26th March. This will be an opportunity for students everywhere to stand up for our education. The demonstration in Melbourne will be held at 2pm at the State Library on Swanston Street and there will be buses available to takeh students from Monash University in. For more information about the NDA or how to get involved in the education campaign contact Declan on: firstname.lastname@example.org; 0400 863 038
PROS AND CONS OF BANNING SMOKING ON CAMPUS
In terms of survival we all know that smoking is not a good idea, for this reason Monash is planning on banning smoking on campus grounds and in halls of residence - as have many other Victorian universities. Swinburne already banned all smoking on campus last August, Melbourne has banned it outside designated areas and RMIT and La Trobe plan to do so this year. Monash also plans to have designated smoking areas during the “transition period”, after which it will be banned entirely. In his recent article on Lot’s Wife online, the current MSA president Ben Knight has expressed some concerns. Weigh up the pros and cons and let us know what you think on Facebook, our website or send a letter to the editor!
Pros -The health of non-smoking people on campus, less second-hand smoke - Healthy image for the university/good PR - Possible incentive for smokers to quit due to isolation and extra effort to find designated smoking areas - By quitting, smokers will save money - Cleaner Air (although if Monash administration were committed to this they not support fossil fuel) - Cleaner appearance of the campus-less litter of cigarette butts - Supported by students- a survey by the MSA last year showed that two thirds of students supported less smoking on campus - If less people are smoking on campus, young students and employees will be less likely to take up smoking - Monash will hopefully follow other Victorian universities and run a program to help smokers quit -
Cons - Unlike other Victorian universities Monash plans to make their transition “smoking areas” deliberately unpleasant by making them unattractive and in decentralized places - Restricts the choices of students, staff and anyone who works on campus - Will force a divide between smokers and non-smokers - Dangerous for students studying into the night, those who live in halls and library staff who work into the night, as they will have to walk in the dark through the campus and/or across Wellington Rd or Prince’s Hwy to smoke - Hard to enforce- especially at night, in concealed areas and during on-campus events involving those who aren’t usually on campus - Could be precedent for the university banning other potentially harmful activities to health, such as drinking or eating unhealthily -Students and staff could face disciplinary actions for smoking outside of designated areas
OFFICE BEARER REPORTS
PRESIDENT: BEN KNIGHT Welcome to 2014! Over the last few months I’ve been working on implementing a new Household Goods Service, where anyone can hire items like vacuum cleaners, grass trimmers, and lawn mowers. We’re also developing weekly performances every Wednesday at the brand new Sound Shell on the Lemon Scented Lawns. Watchout for our weekly HOT breakfasts on the Menzies lawn every Wednesday morning, free BBQs at MSA Tuesdays, MSA Members Week during week 2, and our new outdoor beanbags! The MSA will also be introducing our new Host Year program, where your peers in orange shirts are there for support, guidance and referral – make sure you say ‘hi’ during O-Week! Make sure you buy an MSA Card for $20, which gives you awesome discounts, and supports us to be able to expand and give you greater benefits back. Feel free to contact me for any further infor mation at email@example.com SECRETARY: SARAH CHRISTIE Hello fellow students and welcome to 2014! The MSA has hit the ground running this year! Office bearers have been busy preparing and planning for a great year on campus, hoping to make you the most informed, engaged and fun-loving students in Australia. Much of my time thus far as secretary has been spent attending meetings, planning schedules, taking minutes, assisting the executive and office bearers and generally being of assistance; however this is the less exciting aspect of my role.
ourselves on being incredibly diverse and inclusive of the many student groups at Monash. In short this means that whatever pastimes you enjoy there is a club for you! And if, on the off chance there isn’t one, then get some friends together and start a new club! Welcome to 2014, it’s going to be a great year! TREASURER: SINEAD COLEE Howdy to all of those new and a big welcome back to those who will be returning! After just over a month in the office, the MSA has well and truly kicked into gear and I couldn’t be any more excited for what 2014 will bring. When thinking of these initial few weeks as Treasurer, the words ‘busy’ and ‘hectic’ certainly come to mind. They have been full of learning and preparation for the year ahead and essentially just settling into my role. Much of my time has been spent familiarising myself with budgets, requisitions and reports which have all assisted me in increasing my knowledge around keeping track of the MSA finances. I have also spent some time talking to future students at enrolments about the benefits of getting involved with the MSA and am now looking forward to an enthralling Orientation Week and MSA Members Week to get back into what will be a busy semester. With very little time until it all begins, MSA members have so much to be excited about not only for the next couple of weeks, but the year that awaits. EDUCATION (ACADEMIC AFFAIRS) – NIC KIMBERLY Howdy!
As you read this we will be in the middle of O-week. This is a hugely busy time for the MSA as we attempt to showcase the many talents, clubs, interests and issues that the MSA fosters.
The Education (Academic Affairs) department is responsible for ensuring that the university provides high quality and fair education for all students on campus. The department is also responsible for representing students on university committees and lobbying the university on issues relating to education at Monash.
As an organisation we pride
I am very excited about what is
planned for 2014. This year I will be working on campaigns to have minors recognised on academic transcripts, increase lecture recordings on campus, and I will also be working with the Women’s department to campaign for trigger warnings to be included in all units where content may distress certain students. The department will also be looking into introducing a teaching awards night to recognise the best lecturers and tutors, and a new assessment support service where students can get their work looked through and given advice on how to improve. If you ever have any issues with your classes, faculty or treatment by staff members, feel free to send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. All assistance is free and confidential for students. EDUCATION (PUBLIC AFFAIRS) – TOM GREEN AND DECLAN MURPHY Hello there! The primary focus for our department has been laying the groundwork for a successful National Day of Action protest against the Liberal Government’s agenda in higher education on March 26th. This rally will be the first major action of 2014 as part of the ‘Abbott and Pyne: Get your hands off our education’ campaign, which aims to defeat the federal Government’s massive funding cuts to universities, as well as a host of other regressive policy changes. We have been busy publicising the rally amongst students and staff, and will saturate the campus in the first few weeks of semester. Get involved with this campaign by coming along to the next Monash Education Action Group meeting! The department has also been busy putting together the 2014 Counter Faculty Handbook, which will hopefully be an indispensable source for students who want an insider’s take on campus life and study. Other key activities have included building for and attending the rally against the Liberal Government’s attacks on Medicare, which if passed will
drastically affect students, and getting the Student Representative Network off the ground. We look forward to seeing you all on the ground during our campaigns! ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE – CON KARAVIAS AND YASEMIN SHAMSILI The ESJ Department has launched itself into activism in 2014. One of the major campaigns we have been involved in thus far has been the ‘Abbott and Pyne: Hands off our education’ campaign against the $2.3 billion of higher education funding cuts, which are some of the largest social justice attacks on students in years. These cuts will both undermine student rights and disproportionately affect oppressed student groups. We have been involved in helping publicise the major National Day of Action protest against this policy on March 26th. We have also been highly active in promoting environmental and social justice causes in other ways. Some examples of this are working with the NUW trade union in organising students to attend a picket line in Truganina, coordinating with the Indigenous Department for the Invasion Day protest on 26 January, supporting and publicising an Indigenous walking tour directed by Indigenous activist John Harding, organising a contingent to a protest against Abbott’s moves to dump dredging refuse on the Great Barrier Reef and speaking at the rally, continuing to coordinate and build the Students For Palestine campaign on campus by organising a forum for week five of semester, and facilitating the Monash Refugee Action Collective by convening a number of meetings. We have also contacted progressive faculties and a variety of progressive campus clubs to form stronger networks in the Monash activist community. For o week, we have organised an activism workshop. This has involved procuring materials, T-shirts and designing everything from screen prints to badges. Get ready for a wide array of environmental and social justice activism in the first few weeks
of semester! To get involved in the campaigns mentioned above, or to find out more, contact Contact 0433467771 or email email@example.com
SCIENCE OFFICE BEARER REPORTS
INDIGENOUS OFFICERS – STEPHANIE BRIGGS AND DANIEL CARTER Hi readers! We hope you have all had an amazing break, and all recharged and exited for a new semester. With semester one just around the corner, we have all been busy planning and organising for an exciting year ahead! This year will mark a significant time in Monash history, with the 50th anniversary of Indigenous programs being celebrated. We have many events planned to bring everyone together to recognize this great milestone, those including good ol’ barbeques and a special screening of John Pilger’s Utopia. We are also enthusiastic to support the ‘Recognise campaign this year to raise awareness for the need to support Indigenous constitutional recognition. Keep a look out for our events, as we would love to see as many of you possible helping Monash celebrate this momentous year! If you would like to get involved with any of our events, just shoot us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com We are very proud and excited to be your Indigenous reps for 2014 and look forward to see you around. QUEER OFFICER- FREDDIE WRIGHT The year ahead is already starting to take shape for the Queer Department; it’s been a busy start to what will be an amazing year! We have an array of weekly events planned such as Queer Beers (date TBA) and Queer Morning Tea. As always, we will have an amazing Queer Week with a plethora of fantastic workshops and events. We also have a number of exciting campaigns and projects that are continuing / kicking off this year, such as The Ally Network and a campaign to get more Accessible
and Gender Neutral Bathrooms on campus. The Ally Network is really starting to kick off here at Monash, attracting a number of staff across various faculties to join in on training sessions and become known supports/friendly faces for LGBTIQA* students on campus. This year will see the Network expanding its training and reaching out to different faculties to reach an even broader audience. We will also be aiming to get Gender Neutral fully accessible bathrooms on campus. They will also be family friendly and have baby change facilities. Stay tuned for further developments! FEMALE QUEER OFFICER – ELLE GRANT We have an amazing semester coming up with Queer Morning Tea back again with a day change to Thursdays 11am1pm. Queer Beers is continuing in Sir John’s on Monday at 4-6pm so come by and take a load off in a chill, welcoming environment. There will be bi-weekly queer movie nights held in the lounge so keep your eye out for dates! Queer Week is still a while away but planning is already underway. We are looking forward to a Queer Performance Night in Wholefoods, Coming Out By Candlelight in the lounge and the always fantastic Queer Ball. There will be plenty of amazing workshops on too throughout the week with a variety of interests catered to. Our queer wom*n’s social group is having bi-weekly lunches in the Women’s Lounge as well as a bunch of great activities coming up such as coffee catch-ups, laser tag and group outings. If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, like us on Facebook at MSA Queer or follow @MSAQueer on twitter for updates. WOMEN’S OFFICERS – EDIE SHEPHERD AND ZOE MILLIKAN The Women’s Department has had a busy start to the semester, we have set up a new website
for the Department where you can keep up-to-date with events and read our blog ‘Dissent’, which will culminate in a printed zine in semester two, http://msawomens.weebly.com/.
We’re currently collecting some brilliant prizes for our first big event, a fundraising open mic night, with the proceeds helping to subsides the cost of sending delegates to the annual women’s conference, NOWSA. Another project in the works is Rad Sex + Consent week which will run in week 7 of semester one. This will be run in conjunction with other MSAs departments, and other Universities throughout Melbourne. This event will be a cross-campus event, with opening and closing parties, and workshops, discussion groups and panels running throughout the week! This year we’re running weekly Women’s afternoon teas on Tuesdays, and crafternoons every second Wednesday. We’re also running a lunchtime event every second week for Queer and questioning women in conjunction with the Queer department. It would be great to see lots of new faces at our events, and involved in our campaigns! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us on email@example.com or just pop by the office! Don’t forget to ‘like’ us on facebook: http://tinyurl.com/msa-womens
WELFARE OFFICERS – SARAH STRUGNELL AND PAUL HARRIS A big welcome to Monash from your 2014 Welfare Officers Sarah and Paul! For many students, university is a constant balancing act between studying, working and socialising. Students often forgo food and other basic needs to meet ever-growing university and living costs.
In reality, not all students will have the same kind of experience at university; students from different racial and religious backgrounds, of different ages, students with children, students with disabilities and students of different sexual orientations may all feel disadvantaged or isolated at university, or just have different needs. The Welfare Department is always here to help you through your time at Monash. Our programs include; the Survival Centre, MSA Breakfast Club and Free Food Mondays, which are outlined in this handy survival edition of Lot’s. We are looking forward to a year of fantastic services and events. We would particularly like to mention the second hand book fair that kicks off on the 6th of March in the conference room in the campus centre. It is a great chance to purchase a variety of textbooks up to 75% off regular prices. More information on the book fair can be found at this address: http://tinyurl.com/msa-bookfair
ACTIVITIES - ELIZA GALE AND SAM HATELY
At the Activities department, Sam and Eliza have been super busy planning and preparing events for 2014; with O-Week just around the corner, they’ve got the BBQ’s burning, the beers on ice, and events that will blow your mind, but not your wallet. Throughout the week, there’ll be a Moonlight Cinema on Menzies Lawn on Tuesday night, as well as the infamous Activities Trivia in Sir John’s Bar on Thursday. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, O-Week marks the launch of The Ghost Cruise on the 13th of March. A cruise on the Victoria Star, coupled with an afterparty at Room 680 including transfers, entry, an exclusive bar AND a drinkcard will only set you back $40... what could be better? Throughout this year, some old classics are making a comeback, such as Winter Sabbatical, Oktoberfest, and of course, the renowned AXP. Winter Sab will be taking a much different turn this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more information later in the semester. So much room for Activities! So sit back, relax, and stay tuned for more exciting announcements for this coming year, promise it’ll be a good one!
How To Survive Stress: A Brief Guide BY GABRIELLE MITCHELL
Not all stress is bad. According to experts, stress is a burst of energy that tells us what to do. A moderate amount of stress helps us perform tasks more efficiently and improves our memory. We should not eliminate it; instead we should channel it into something productive. Constantly being in fightor-flight mode runs down your body over time, but it is extremely difficult to control an onset of stress hormones. In order to manage stress, we can change the way our brain responds to it – primarily through breathing, meditation, and exercise. Therefore, I have compiled a short list of my tried and true methods I have learnt over the years, unrestricted to interpretation and change- remember, not all coping techniques work on all people.
Express your stress, talk to a friend:
You can buy relaxation tapes to learn basic techniques. Alternatively, do simple exercises for 20-25 I think girls are particularly good at this. Open up minutes (at least try for 10 minutes): to a friend, bitch about your busy and stressful life, or ‘vent’ as I like to call it. However, be careful 1. Find somewhere comfortable to sit or lie not to inflate your problems. Hyperbole can be down, preferably in a peaceful setting. fun to engage in, but it will nothing favourable for your stress. Remember that talking to a friend 2. Try to clear your mind. Imagine your thoughts cannot replace talking to a professional. If your fluttering away into the horizon. stress is too overbearing or you think you would benefit from professional help, I highly recommend 3. Take some slow breaths (five seconds in, hold seeing a counsellor or psychologist. for five, exhale for five). Do something pointless:
4. Become aware of your body. Go through each muscle group, tense and relax until you work You do not have to be brilliant at everything. What your way from your toes to your head. Imagine do you have to prove? If you always run at full all your weight sinking into the earth. steam, you are at risk of burning out. Release some by doing something you are bad at and do not 5. Imagine a neutral figure. It can be anything, feel pressure to perfect. like the number one or a continuous circle. Let your figure fill your mind; give it a colour, Perspective: see all dimensions of it, repeat it to yourself. I once read that in times of overwhelming stress and anxiety, you should put the source of distress 6. Gradually change your thoughts to a quiet into perspective to your whole life. Imagine the place or situation, your ‘happy place’ if you Grand Canyon as your life. Throw the source of will. Notice all the feelings there, see it, feel your stress into the cavernous canyon and see it, hear it, and smell it. how small it is compared to other life events. 7. Go about your day. Relaxation exercises: Play with an animal: The best way to combat stress is to learn how to relax. As with everything, practice makes perfect. Baby animals are adorable. A puppy’s loopy smile,
BY GABRIELLE MITCHELL
wet nose, and sharp teeth are sure to distract you from your stress. If you have no access to an animal, play with a baby. They are also adorable, but if they cry, you should probably leave because that is bound to increase your stress. If you have neither an animal nor a baby, play with your immature friend (everyone has one). Embrace their free-going spirit, love of a good party, and boundless energy. If you cannot replicate it, pretend to. Rest and sleep: I know it sounds counter-productive to a busy schedule, but sometimes you need to take time out. Be it for half a day, an hour or 30 minutes, allow some time without responsibility or pressure. If you insist that you have no time to spare â€“ you have a lecture, then a tutorial, followed by work! â€“ take five minutes from the swirling masses of thoughts and study stretching your mind. Sufficient sleep is incredibly important to function throughout the day and think clearly. Do not skimp on sleep because of your (university) commitments. If you do not re-energise, you will not be able to work as efficiently. Exercise:
Go for a walk and concentrate on what is around you. Focus on the colours of the trees and the cracks in the pavement; crunch all the dry leaves that dare to be in your path. Listen to everything around you: the sound of tires braking, your footsteps missing a beat as you cross the road, the birds, the wind, anything and everything. The purpose of this is to refocus your mind from your day-to-day life. Especially on the days (or weeks) that every responsibility under the sun requires attention. Keep your heart rate up so your body releases endorphins and other good things when you exercise. When you slip back to your life, you should be refreshed and ready to tackle your tasks.
Women of Colour Collective BY LIYAN GAO
This year, a group of women of colour (WOC) have started the Monash Women of Colour collective. The collective exists because, as women of colour, we have been silenced by the dominant white people and white culture. We have either been treated as outsiders, humiliated for our differences, exoticised, or taught to feel ashamed of ourselves and our respective cultures. Thus, it is important that we build a WOC community that is vocal, active and supportive. We believe that the WOC collective should be focused on building friendships and offering support for the needs and concerns of women of colour. Issues that affect WOC will also be addressed through our workshops and campaigns. We love the Wom*n’s Department and we will be working with the wom*n’s officers to build a mindful and inclusive environment for all wom*n.
Activists glorify rejecting the dominant culture but all our lives it is what we’ve been conditioned to want. This complicates things, particularly because no matter how much we ever wanted to fit in to this dominant culture, unlike many of you, we never could.”
Here is an excerpt from on assimilation from the People of Colour Caucus Report Back-ASEN Training Camp 2014:
Facebook Group: Monash Wom*n of Colour
“Many of us have been trying to assimilate our whole lives. We did this because we were made to feel ashamed of everything about our cultures and our differences. Assimilation meant rejecting our cultures, hating our language, hating our food, and even hating our parents. We’ve spent so much time feeling embarrassed and ashamed of these things, and the irony that we are faced with now is a tokenistic approach to certain aspects of our culture. Now, certain cultural foods and practices are suddenly seen as cool by White people. Our foods are the latests fads, from dumplings to dahl, and many go to our countries for spiritual awakenings. They tell us we should be proud, disregarding the pain and shame we have carried around for so long, and carry with us still. When you tell us of your travels as if you know everything about our country, understand that we may not care! We may have never even been there. When you assume that you can speak to us in our grandparents’ native language that you learnt at university and expect us to understand, we often don’t understand a word, as we may have refused to speak it in fear of being an outcast. It is a part of our culture that has long been lost.
How to keep in touch with us: If you are a woman of colour, get active and involved with some fabulous WOCs. We will be crafting, reading bell hooks, listening to Destiny Child, drinking tea and ranting (or as bell hooks calls it, “exacting”) Events to look out for: mixtape party, reading and analysing media groups, ranting sessions and movie screening. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Butt Is It An Unhealthy Obsession? BY CATIRAY POIANI-CORDELLA
My newsfeed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram is filled with fitness blogs and images from various sources. This is partially because I love it and partially because it seems like everybody is obsessed about fitness. I understand using exercise for its physical health benefits, such as increased cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and mobility. I also understand using exercise in order to lose weight, in conjunction with a balanced diet or to reduce stress or train for a specific athletic goal. What I don’t understand, however, is exercising in order to attain an extremely large derrière for the mere intent of increasing sexual appeal.
Jen Selter has recently become the face of tight, perky butts. With over 2 million followers on Instagram, she often posts “selfies” of her behind whilst in workout gear or performing her infamous squat. Although Jen’s images are often not sexualised, many sites across social media contain countless images of women’s behinds in compromising positions such as those seen on the Facebook pages ‘She Squats Bro’ and ‘Yeah She Squats’. Many of the women on these sites embrace a new vogue of femininity, one which is encapsulated by muscularity and fitness. For these women attaining a figure which contemporary men idolised to attain themselves becomes the figure of focus and what is aspired towards. Many of the comments left by other women are both negative and cruel, labelling them as ‘disgusting’ and ‘men’ even though the poses which they uphold are typical of mainstream femininity. Conversely, comments from men are often positive and encouraging; mainly focusing on the sexual appeal of these women with specific focus on their derrieres. From the types of female depiction seen in these photographs it can be said that these sites are geared more towards the male audience emphasising a segmented feature of the female body as the erotic focus of desire. Singling a woman’s bottom above the rest of her body elevates the
erotic significance of this feature above all else, creating a centre of fantasy. However, the aim of using these images did not begin as the sole focus to excite the male mind but to also encourage women to use weights at the gym. By highlighting muscularity as sexy the fitness industry has incidentally created a new idolised version of femininity. These women are depicted in such a way that they are shown to be ‘ladies on the street, beasts in the gym and a freak between the sheets’ all the qualities which supposedly a contemporary man aspires towards having in their partner. Mind you I must say a very shallow man. However, this tactic is working with more women training in order to lose body fat and gain muscle so that they too can possess this sexual appeal desired by a particular group of contemporary men. This emphasis places yet another pressure on young women to negatively judge their bodies, implementing further control in food consumption and regimented exercise. This intense focus has become an unhealthy obsession in many young women’s lives but it does not have to. Although sex sells, we can begin to shift the focus away from sexualisation and towards the health benefits of increased muscular mass. In doing so we will not only have women who are fitter, more agile and energetic but also women advocating a positive activity not merely for its increase in sexual merit.
The Global Impact of Tennis BY FABRICE WILMANN
Tennis stands as the most culturally significant sport in the world today. It is one of the few sports that remains relevant throughout the six major continents, with tournaments and players representing a varied mix of nations and cultures. Furthermore, tennis is unquestionably the most lucrative sport for women, with seven of the top ten highest paid female athletes in 2013 being tennis players. Though it has always been played and supported by a global audience, the universal legacy of tennis seems to be expanding at an exponential rate in recent years due to expanding markets in Asia and South America.
Li Na has been the guiding light of Asian tennis for the better part of a decade. Soon to be 32 years old, Li only seems to improve with age. After becoming the first Asian player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title at the 2010 French Open, Li recently captured her second Grand Slam title last month at the Australian Open and is now ranked as the highest Asian singles player in history at number 2. Her hilariously uninhibited post-match conferences only add to her appeal and endorsement potential. Stacy Allaster, Chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) credits Li Na as “the most influential player this decade for the growth of women’s tennis.” Driven by Li’s continued success and an ever-expanding Chinese economy, Asia is poised to become the next tennis empire. While Li Na was undoubtedly the catalyst that sparked a tennis craze in Asia, economic incentives now play an equally important part in
Asia’s growing influence on the tennis landscape. In addition to hosting sixteen events in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014 (five in China), Singapore will also become the first Asian city to host the WTA Year End Championships. Although there are no Chinese men currently in the top 100 rankings, the success of Li, as well as doubles expert Peng Shuai (who this month became the first Chinese player to ever be ranked number one in either singles or doubles) have been complemented by advances in neighbouring Asian countries. Japan’s Kei Nishikori is currently ranked among the world’s top twenty, having reached a high of eleven last year. Whereas Asia has been in the midst of a tennis revolution for some time, South America is only now emerging as a potential superpower in the tennis world. This month, Brazil will become the first South American country to host an ATP 500 tournament. Tennis writer Jeremy Eckstein recently published an article proposing the implementation of a fifth Grand Slam tournament in Brazil. Though unlikely to occur because of the tradition associated with Grand Slams (the last Grand Slam to emerge was the Australian Open in 1905) and the already jam-packed schedule of the tennis circuit, the idea nonetheless reflects a growing interest surrounding Latin American tennis. Eckstein points out that “Latin America has an underrated tennis heritage; the weather and enthusiasm of sports fans make this an ideal sports scene.” A renewed interest in the underrated tennis haven of South America would strengthen its already rich tennis history (with several French Open
champions and a current Grand Slam champion in del Potro) and add to the overall sporting progression of South America following the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. While tennis is experiencing renewed global prosperity, the original torch holders of the tennis tradition are experiencing comparatively limited success. The downward spiral of American and Australian men’s tennis has been well documented over the past few years, with growing concern over the future state of once prospering and dominant tennis empires. With
Bad Man + A Moment with the Cherry Blossom Tree Bad Man ------------------------------------------
Happiness, friendship, the seeds of loveSoaring up high on the wings of a dove, A sight to see, to live, to breathe, he death of which the whole world grieves.Her smile, her eyes, her gorgeous laugh, I prayed that they’d be mine at last. Alas, my thoughts, were wrong once more, As I lie upon this sandy shore. Her voice, so very soft and pure, Her essence thrumming with allure, My heart was taken, by those beautiful eyes, But that laugh, that smile, cannot be mine. For to another she owes her heart, Whose life hers has long been a part, To spare her the pain that follows my life, As dangerously sharp as the edge of my knife. I make the same choice, Speak with the same voice, As I tell her I’ll leave, To give her reprieve. But as it has been, too little, too late, Once more the futures goes, As if written in slate. The bonds of their love, being broken by me, Unintentional of course, how else may it be? I wish them the best, lying to my soul, Is this what is meant, by having a heart of gold? If so I want it no part of me, A bad man I am, A bad man I’ll be, A bad man in life, A bad man, I’m free
A Moment with the Cherry Blossom Tree -----------------------------------------Cherry blossoms falling through the air, Forming a pink circlet in her sable hair. I’ve never seen a light so bright, As the twinkle in her eyes that night, Those eyes, dark and deep, just like the sea, Stared right at me beneath the tree, The soft and delicate cherry tree. Her skin, soft and smooth, bathed in the moon’s glow, My world illuminated by her very soul alone. Her smile, of warmth, of memories past, My wish be it, be there to last, As she smiled, she set me free, Free to see, the cherry tree, The soft and delicate cherry tree. Her voice, brings joy, even to the birds, The purest I have ever heard, She stands so tall, so elegant, Her beauty has never known no end, Her love, at once, will set me free, Free to love the cherry tree, My love, my cherry blossom tree.
Dunks Retreat BY DILAN FERNANDO
A lumbering brown shuttle rose from behind Gordy Port, its streaked elephantine hull swaying this way and that while a pair of chipped asymmetric wings battled to keep it level. Its navlights were frail behind the smog curtain billowing from the groundside terraformers. A phosphorescent floodlight stationed at the port guided the shuttle’s ascent, bullying its way through swirling fumes to illuminate a path between high rises and the weaving air traffic of Eggtown. Streetside, a balding fat man in a cracked leather overcoat followed the shuttle with fat little eyes. With fat little fingers he wiped a tear from his fat little nose as the craft burst out of Eggtown’s hazy troposphere. Seventy percent chance of safe passage to a civilised planet. He’d have taken those odds. If only. The man turned away, popped his collar against the terraformer vapour and limped across the muddy street, which squelched under his steps and caked over his trench boots. He stopped momentarily to let by a squawking quadshaw before heading towards the crackling neon awning of Dunk’s Retreat. The barkeep smiled a brown-toothed smile. ‘The usual, Officer Jink?’ ‘How many times I have done told you, Cheerful Georj,’ the fat man rumbled, ‘If I come in here after six, I am off duty.’
‘Gosh you’re right, Cynical Jink, I’m sorry,’ grinned Cheerful Georj.
Cynical Jink coughed into a spit bowl that sat, for no particular reason, atop the barstool next to him. ‘The usual,’ he said. Jink’s usual wasn’t a matter of taste or preference. Dunk’s Retreat only stocked two options: watery, flat pale ale and the bitterest Fleck a dollar could buy. He downed his Fleck in one and again reached for the spit bowl. ‘Another exciting day out in Eggtown, Officer Jink?’ Cheerful Georj bubbled while enthusiastically rubbing at a glass that was beyond wiping, using a rag grimier than the glass itself.
Cynical Jink winced, but chose to ignore the barkeep’s forgetfulness. ‘Be all same old.’
‘Oh, things never get old here at Dunk’s Retreat,’ hummed Cheerful Georj. ‘Always colourful people having a gay old time.’ He waved towards the rest of the bar. For a moment Jink expected to look up and see confetti streaming from the walls. ‘That right? What about him?’ Cynical Jink nodded to a corner, where a lone man sat naked on a stool. Red flaked skin gave him a demonic quality, while his legs were lathered in deep brown muck. ‘An Untouchable!’ chirped Cheerful Georj. ‘Enjoying a beautiful privilege, having the time of his life!’ Jink almost believed it. The Untouchable bore an entranced expression and his shoulders twitched in painful excitement.
BY DILAN FERNANDO
‘Be it I remember correctly, Cheerful Georj--you were almost done declared Untouchable. Surely you have sympathy, yet you will not serve him.’
‘No, Officer Jink. That would be unlawful, and I am a lawful man.’
Cynical Jink’s eyes darted towards the red-clothed doorway of the bar’s private parlour. ‘Be that not what you say,’ said Jink, ‘to the illicit shock den your boss operates in this here domain?’ ‘ What are you talking about, Cynical Jink?’ chortled Cheerful Georj; a silver tooth winked from the backmost recesses of his mouth. Jink had never seen that before. ‘Surely, if such a thing existed, a noble officer like you would address it?’ At this point Cynical Jink threw back another glass of Fleck and gasped as it stabbed his throat. He seized Cheerful Georj’s filthy rag, which the barkeep had left on the scratched counter, and wiped his mouth with it. ‘No, Cheerful Georj. That’s where you be wrong.’
‘But what do you mean, Officer Jink?’
‘Example—girl over there,’ Jink raised a pinky to the window. She was twenty at most, wearing a chestnut wig and a strapless black corset that beckoned to the man across from her. ‘Guy she be talkin’ to? He has a history. He might well do somethin’ tonight. Somethin’ bad. But I don’t be knowin’ that. I’ll be done drinkin’ long before I know. So I’ll let it slide. I’ll let it slide so I can keep livin’.’
Cheerful Georj merely cocked his head politely, his fawning smile unwavering.
‘There be a whole lotta bad in Eggtown, Cheerful Georj,’ murmured Cynical Jink. ‘Whole lotta bad in this here world. If we don’t stop lookin’ every once in a while, we be chasin’ tails forever and ever. What kinda existence is that? Sometimes… you just gotta stop. For your own sake.’
‘Gosh, you’re right, Cynical Jink,’ smiled Cheerful Georj. ‘You’re always right.’
Cynical Jink reached for the spit bowl once again.
Syria BY JESSE RUTIGLIANO
Seemingly floating, the second his eyes caressed its miniscule body it began to move – slowly – across the thick smoke infused air of his small one room paradise. It had no limits, why should it? Its gentle swaying movements reminded him of the benevolent birds he had so happily befriended in his hometown. Sheer exhaustion forced it to eventually land on the vacant windowsill above his head. The window was locked open at three centimeters, enough to allow fresh air to seep in and keep the room from smelling musky. He often thought about time, it was either passing incredibly fast or insufferably slow. He felt lucky to have been spared this information. Time was linear; he knew this, did others? He let memories flow over him like the shadows of clouds. He wanted to stay with his memories he wanted to relive them. He knew his memory was an elusive, beguiling beast – truth, fact and reality weren’t its strong points. He knew this, but embraced it nonetheless. The fly was now facing the small opening in the window. Mammani Kurdin was facing one of the solid walls of his four-wall prison cell. He had spoken out against the regime and put in one of the many cells littered around Al-Rastan, twenty kilometers north of Homs. He said what he thought was right. He had yelled at the top of his lungs in the presence of one of Batta’s military officers “Down with tyranny, let democracy live!” Those six words – so often uttered in the name of freedom – would be his last in public. The regime would deal with him, as they had to so many before and will to so many more. The fly crept towards the gap in the window, suddenly and vivaciously it sprung itself through into the slight breeze. Mammani turned his head to watch the fly disappear into the sky. He thought about it spinning, dipping and soaring over all of Syria. It was what he wanted to see, it was what he needed to see, it was the freedom he had never felt and now never will…
How To: Survive Title at Uni BY AYESHA SINGH + NATHALIA TAN
Eating well provides numerous benefits and isn’t hard to do if you make small changes over a period of time. Some good things that you can get out of healthy eating: guilt-free meals, energy for your day, feeling physically great, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your immune system up, and avoiding chronic diseases (including heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes). A bad thing that you might get out of healthy eating: lazy friends wanting to eat your well-thought out meals.
Exercise is something that many people let slide once uni starts. However, exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance. You should aim to do some form of exercise every day, whether it is going to the gym (maybe even the Monash gym?), going for a run or a walk, or some type of sport.
Poultry such as chicken and turkey has tryptophan, an essential amino acid that humans cannot synthesise. Tryptophan (in combination with a small amount of carbohydrates) works to increase serotonin levels, which can aid in relaxation and sleep. The Australian Dietary Guidelines strongly suggest that Australians should load up mostly on fruit, vegetables, and wholegrains, and avoid high-energy-low-nutrient foods (“junk food”) as well as refined grains1 (looking at you, white bread).
Of course, we’ve all been there at 11:40pm, 19 minutes before an assignment is due, madly rushing to get an assignment completed. Sometimes we need junk food to get us through, which is fine, as long as it’s taken in moderation and adheres to your energy intake.
The National Health and Medical Research Council implore us to make one third of our meals include vegetables, or one half if weight loss is on the cards. A meal with more vegetables will still satiate, but have a lower kilojoule content.2
Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it also improves your mental health and cognitive function, making it a great study break. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, aids in the synthesis of new neurons, as well as increasing levels of dopamine, glutamate, noradrenaline and serotonin, which all help with mental cognition. Exercise also boosts immunity, meaning that you will be less likely to fall sick. Furthermore, exercise induces euphoria, as it increases the level of opioid peptides, otherwise known as endorphins. So plan exercise into your day, the same way you organise your studies and social life!
BY AYESHA SINGH + NATHALIA TAN
After a full week of attending classes, studying, and hitting the Monash gym, you’d certainly need to weave downtime somewhere in there. Join a club or society that interests you, or if time permits, take up a hobby or sport that you enjoy.
Getting a full night’s sleep is one of the most important factors to having a good year at uni. However, the uni lifestyle of late nights spent out at events, or doing a last minute assignment, means that a good sleep is hard to achieve. That being said, aiming to sleep for seven to nine hours per night will set you up for a good year. You will be more able to get to those early morning tutes, and still be able to concentrate in afternoon lectures. Apart from keeping you alert during the day, sleep also rejuvenates your immune system. This means that even if you are one of those lucky people who can get by on little sleep, you may be more susceptible to falling sick – the last thing you need during the semester. Interestingly, everyone needs a different amount of sleep. Some can survive on six hours every night, while others are cranky unless they get a full nine hours of slumber. This is in part due to the gene ABCC9 – which form of the gene you possess influences how much sleep you need. Since everyone’s expression of the gene varies, make sure you sleep for the amount of time that suits you!
Remember that prevention is better than cure. You can reduce stress by planning ahead, making a study plan around your uni and work timetable, following your plan diligently, and rewarding yourself when you’ve done well! Simply talking with friends and family can be a great way to unwind, and it has been shown that socialising can aid in cognitive function. In 2008, Oscar Ybarra attempted to see if there was a link between the two and found that, in a young and healthy population, there was a positive correlation between social interactions and cognitive function. A secondary study within this research showed that even just ten minutes of social interaction can contribute to an increase of cognitive performance.3 In short, get out there and have a chat with lots of people, if not to make friends and unwind, than to give your brain a little workout!
University will be one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of your life. You are likely to be at uni for more than just classes, so staying in good shape and getting the right amount of rest and relaxation is a must for survival!
Can’t Get Enough of Free Food Mondays? BY PAUL HARRIS + SARAH STRUGNELL
Now you can make your own Free Food favourites! Free Food Mondays is an awesome service provided to students by the MSA Welfare Department. It is a free tasty meal provide every Monday night just for being a student. The only problem is; how do you satisfy those cravings for the awesome Free Food Mondays meals during the rest of the week? Well lucky for you we have decided to share some of the recipes right here! Not only are these famous FFM dishes but they are also cheap and easy, what more could a student want? Oh, that question was rhetorical you didn’t have to answer it, but since you did, there is actually more. The Cheap Eats guide is available at the Welfare Office and also online. In there you will find a heap more cheap recipes and some other tips on where to get cheap food. Happy eating and see you next Monday.
Free Food Mondays: 7:30pm Wholefoods Free vegetarian/vegan dinner each Monday night of semester.
Cheap Eats: The MSA’s Student Guide to Eating on a Budget http://monashstudentassociation.com/News/ Cheap-Eats-now-available-online
Survive: Plain Rice Ingredients: 1 cup rice Water
Method: 1. Place rice in the bottom of a saucepan and add water until there are a few centimeters of water covering the rice (roughly 1.5-2 cups). 2. Stir, bring to the boil, and adjust heat setting to simmer. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Serve.
BY AYESHA SINGH + NATHALIA TAN
Splurge: Mexican Lasagne
Ingredients: 2 cups of red lentils Water ¼ teaspoon turmeric Oil ½ teaspoon coriander powder ½ teaspoon cumin powder ¼ teaspoon garam masala Salt to taste Coriander leaves Rice/pita
Ingredients: 2 packets of tortillas or lasagne sheets 3 chopped onions 2 tsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic 2 jars salsa 2 450g cans four bean mix, drained 3 capsicums (red or green) 1 packet Mexican seasoning 500g grated cheese Method:
Method: 1. Wash the lentils, place in a pot and add water to approximately 10cm above the lentils. 2. Add the turmeric and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Towards the end of the cooking period, add the salt. 3. In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the coriander, cumin and garam masala. 4. Combine with the cooked dahl. 5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or pita.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 2. Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and garlic, stirring until fragrant and translucent. 3. Add drained beans, capscicum and salsa. Gradually add Mexican seasoning whilst stirring. 4. Oil a large baking tray or dish and line with the tortillas or lasagne sheets. 5. Place a layer of bean mix on top, and alternate between tortillas or lasagne sheets until ingredients are all used. Sprinkle the top layer with cheese. 6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes- or until the tortillas are crisp/lasagne sheets are soft.
The Permaculture Title Guide to Surviving Uni BY LAURA ASTON
Need food but can’t afford to buy fresh? Want to make friends at Uni? Interested in the art of sustainable living? Well then, Monash Permaculture Society can help you! We at Monash Permaculture have busied ourselves over summer, maintaining Monash’s two very own food gardens and learning ever more about the art of permanent agriculture (permaculture). While everyone else was partying it up at festivals and full moon parties, we were watering diligently to ensure that our Summer crop survived. Survive it did, and now we are reaping the wonderful harvests of corn, heirloom pumpkins, tomatoes and giant zucchini.
Monash Permaculture is the overarching title for the collective of students who look after Monash Permaculture Garden (MPG), on campus at Clayton, and the Monash University Community Farm (MUC Farm), just across Blackburn Road. Established only a few years ago, the Monash Community Farm was a formerly disused block of land which has now been designated for the multipurpose pursuit of community gardening. The Monash Permaculture Society meets every Wednesday evening at the rear of 700 Blackburn road (Martin
Street) to water, harvest, eat, chat, learn and generally hang out, in what is a stunning setting to relax in. Never have we seen so much activity, now hosting 19 functional garden beds, an apiary and an almost-complete observatory at MUC Farm. And so, we cast a thought to the newbies and the returning heroes, who are looking to make friends, learn a thing or two about permaculture; or simply relax somewhere tranquil and picturesque. Maybe you are looking for a social activity, a new form of exercise, a chance to breathe fresh air, or unashamedly reduce your grocery bill. You’re not alone if you do not have the resources to grow or buy fresh food, which is just another niche that Monash Permaculture Society is equipped to address. Not only can you grow and pick your own food at either the MPG or MUC Farm, we will also be facilitating numerous workshops throughout the year, both on-campus and at MUC Farm, in the skills of growing your own food, so that you can take home the skills and apply them in your own back yard. Alas! You don’t have a backyard? Then just another reason to join us at one of the gardens. For those who are true organics and naturephiles, you will be amongst like-minded company
in the Monash Permaculture Society. Whether the hands-on experience is what you are seeking, or some inspiration to spur you to try a new technique at home, we too relish in such pursuits. In January, a convoy of MUC Farmers drove to the Southern Cross Permaculture Institute in pursuit of new knowledge about food farming and sustainable design. This, the first of many excursions set to take place in 2014, was a taste of the adventure and knowledge-sharing that this year is set to deliver. So, if you are worried about the surviving your first week, let alone first year of university, jump on facebook and find us by searching ‘Monash Permaculture’. We will keep you up to date on the weekly schedule and location for workshops and working bees. MUC Farm and MPG and all their glorious fruits (carrots, zucchini, Vietnamese mint, coriander, raspberries, strawberries, persimmon trees and pumpkin to name but a few), are always open for drop-ins. Join us, so when the zombie apocalypse comes, at least you’ll know how to grow your own food!
7 Tips of the Trade From One Exchange Kid to Another BY ANNIKA MCLNERNEY
Studying in another country was simultaneously the most frightening and exhilarating experience of my life. Trying to cram all your international studying, socialising and sight-seeing into a mere six or twelve months can be a massive challengethat’s why I’ve decided to share with you the top seven lessons I learnt on how to survive exchange. 1. Expect the unexpected both financially and mentally. Make sure you cover all your bases so that when you find yourself struck at Lisbon airport after missing your 7am flight, you can rest easy because you know you have an emergency credit card with you. 2. Be flexible. You know that quote about bamboo never breaking because it’s flexible and bends with the wind? Probably not, but it’s what you need to be. You might be a meticulous planner and have everything scheduled right down to the exact time you want to relieve yourself but sometimes things don’t go to plan. Be flexible otherwise you’ll find yourself having a mid-life crisis at the age of 20.
3. Break the ice early. Exchange is daunting because being alone is daunting. The best thing to do is to try and make friends quickly with your fellow exchange kids and locals. A funny, if slightly creepy, way to introduce yourself to someone is to let them know that you remember seeing them in the customs line at Manchester airport. If they want to be friends with you after that, then you know you’ve found a good one.
4. Set multiple alarms. Always. Seriously though, travelling is way less stressful if you’re prompt and don’t wake up at 8am when your flight was at 7am.
5. Be money savvy. Talk to local students about the cheapest places around university. During semester it’s best to make a weekly budget just so you keep on track of everything. When travelling think ‘free’; free food, free walking tours, free accommodation. Free walking tours give you excellent snapshots of the city you’re in, they only go for a few hours and you tip what you think the tour was worth. 6. Treat university like a 9-5 job. This is a handy tip someone told me before I left for England and it’s a tip that’s useful at Monash too. Trust me, you’re going to want to use your weekends to explore and your nights to go out and party like you did in first year.. Try to get most of your work done between 9-5, Monday – Friday. 7. 10am pizza is a good breakfast. Unfortunately, you won’t be a spritely 17 year old who can recover from a night out like it was nothing, hence the 10am pizza breakfast.
Rugrats: A Guide to Surviving Infancy BY FABRICE WILMANN
First and foremost, create a group of like-minded, yet fundamentally diverse individuals to share the experience of maturation.
Through sheer coincidence or by the mystical hands of fate, Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, and fraternal twins Phil and Lil DeVille were thrust into a shared experience of growing up that came to define their individual personalities and future lives. The indissoluble, perennially constructed ideal of friendship and kinship that is associated with the Rugrats gang stands as a lasting testament to the ideal of communally social infancy – in other words, the perfect example of how to survive the abstract isolation of infancy. Each of these babies possesses traits that both complement and challenge the predisposed antithetical nature of one another, thereby setting the foundation for well-rounded and socially apt individuals of the world. For instance, the instinctive fear that consumes Chuckie is combated by the unrelenting bravery of Tommy. Meanwhile, the earnest nature of Chuckie collides with the carefree existence of Phil and Lil, with each party learning to amalgamate qualities of the other. While their differences are vital towards the maintenance of a dynamic and entertaining group, it is their shared desires, fears, and senses of humour that ensures that the experience of growing up is not only survivable, but also immeasurably enjoyable. Elect a fearless leader that will guide you through the journey of life.
With a diaper full of dreams and a lion’s heart to match, it is no wonder that Tommy Pickles is the unquestioned leader of the Rugrats gang. Despite never being directly elected or chosen by his peers, it is evident from the very first episode that Tommy has the undivided support and confidence of his infant clan. Not only does he exert an undeniable presence that distinguishes him amongst the other babies, but he also has the innate ability to dictate with kindness and inspire others. Similar to his idol Nigel Thornberry, Tommy Pickles embodies all the traits one would identify with a strong charismatic leader: brave, loyal, kind yet firm, and infinitely hopeful. Whether he’s encouraging others to partake in dangerous adventures or coaxing his best-friend Chuckie from the precipice of cowardice, Tommy always has a level head. He often delivers small, convincing speeches that legitimise any plan he has concocted, and although his childlike curiosity may lead his tribe into unknown pits of mischief and mayhem, Tommy always displays an outward persona of indestructibility and perseverance; “a baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do!” Face a narcissistic older adversary to reinforce your own strength of character. “OH NO. IT`S WORSE THAN A MONSTER. IT`S ANGELICA!”
BY FABRICE WILMANN
Angelica Pickles is your typical childhood terrorising villain – an egotistical three-year old only child who makes it her life’s mission to inspire fear and trepidation in the hearts of her victims; “you babies are so dumb, I can’t believe you lived to be one.” Cousin to Tommy, Angelica constantly devises plans and deceptions that lead the babies astray. Her ability to communicate with the adults of the series allows her to manipulate the babies and force them into become her slaves. While Angelica may possess the qualities of a beauty-queen dictator, her presence ensures that the babies are challenged on a consistent basis. The gang must work together to uncover the web of lies that Angelica has spun, overcoming fear and deception along the way. More important however, is what the babies learn by interacting with such an antagonistic figure – the lesson of cohabitation. Despite being aware of Angelica’s manipulative and selfish ways, the babies learn to tolerate her negative behaviour, realising (perhaps on a subconscious level) that she is a human being with the same fears and insecurities as anyone else – something that is evident when she poignantly confesses to wanting a sibling of her own).
Broaden your horizons and dive into the cultural unknown.
The early outlook on the Rugrats series presented a lack of cultural diversity amongst major characters. As the series progressed however, characters from diverse cultural backgrounds were slowly integrated into the show, reflecting the hypothesis that being aware of cultural differences is a vital component in the maturation process. African American character Susie Carmichael was introduced in the second season as a rival to Angelica. Unlike the latter, Susie was characterised as a kind and helpful human being, often guiding the babies through Angelica’s deceptions. Japanese character Kimi was added to the show as stepsister to Chuckie to correct the imbalance of a broken family. The inclusion of Kimi into the Rugrats gang occurred in the foreign land of France, another example of cultural immersion experienced by the babies. For good measure throw in a loyal and loving dog (Spike) to create the perfect conditions for surviving infancy.
Review: August: Osage County BY RHIAN WILSON
Directed by John Wells. Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham.
the eldest who clashes with her mother and is separated from her husband; Ivy (Julianne Nicholson), never married and stuck in Oklahoma tending to her sick mother; and Karen (Juliette Lewis), with the latest of her many ‘fiancés’.
The trailer of August: Osage County gave the impression of a light-hearted film showing the quirks that come alongside every family reunion. This wildly misleading thirty seconds neglects any hint towards the true nature of what is a wonderfully intense and dramatic two hours of cinema. The trailer plays its part in heightening the shock factor of the powerful family tribulations for the viewer in the cinema. However it may have lead some people astray and caused those who sought to avoid another light family movie to miss out on a well-executed and formidably engaging film.
Trailing along with them are their various partners including Barbara’s estranged husband Bill (Ewan McGregor), Barbara and Bill’s fourteen year old daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin), and Violet’s sister Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) along with her husband Charles (Chris Cooper) and adult son, Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch).
John Wells directs this adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning play, while Letts took on the role of transferring his text into a screenplay to retain its authenticity. The piece centres on Violet Weston (Meryl Streep), the matriarch of a disjointed Oklahoma family, of which several members have already taken leave to the cities to escape the trappings of the open plains. Upon her husband’s disappearance and becoming a widow early in the film, Violet calls for her sister and daughters to fill the house for the funeral weekend. So come the three daughters; Barbara (Julia Roberts),
Led by the wayward antics of Violet as she grieves for her husband and pops too many pain pills to deal with her mouth cancer, the rough assortment of characters clash as both new problems and old secrets work to prevent any coming together of the family to deal with their loss. The strength of the film is in the calibre of performances delivered by its all-star cast. Meryl Streep still manages to surprise in the quality of acting impressive even for her standards. She is complemented beautifully by Julia Roberts in a fantastic combination of casting that was previously unseen. However the film is made by the quieter performances of some of
the supporting cast that cannot go unnoticed or unmentioned. Standing out is Julianne Nicholson who displays a brilliant strength in her subtlety as middle daughter Ivy. Along with her are Benedict Cumberbatch as a young boy in an adult’s body who suffers endless emotional abuse from his mother, and Chris Cooper as his father Charles who goes unheard in his attempts to defend those he believes have been wronged, foremost his son. These tragic characters bring the necessary softness and quiet emotion into a piece dominated by extensive, albeit excellent, shouting matches. Wells and Director of Photography Adriano Goldman provide an effective backdrop in their portrayal of the vast open Oklahoma plains that leave the members of the Weston family imprisoned in their enormity. As we watch Barbara drive away down one of these never-ending stretches of road in the final shot, it is satisfying that so many issues and arguments are left unfinished, so many ends untied. It is fitting to the traits and dysfunction of Letts’ characters that we are not given a neat package of resolution with which to walk away, and contributes to round out this effective if somewhat dark drama.
French Film Giveaway Mademoiselles et Messieurs, the French Film Festival is on again from March 5 to March 23. Now in its 25th year, Alliance Française in conjunction with the French Embassy and Citroen are again presenting some of the best French language films of the year, including Les Beaux Jours (which proves that even retirees can act like horny first years) and Les Reines du Ring, the hilarious story of a group of check out chicks who take up wrestling. All films are show with sub-titles so there’s no excuse not to head down to your local Palace cinema, sit back with a croissant and a glass of champagne and catch a few French flicks. Thanks to Alliance Française, we have 10 double passes to give away to 10 lucky readers. Simply tell us which French film star is attending the opening night of the Melbourne season and name the film that they star in, which is also playing at the Festival. Simple, non? Email all your answers to amy.fitzgerald@monash. edu by 5pm, March 1.
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Monash Sport Facility Upgrades ALANA MITCHELLSON
Most would agree that fresh starts are one of the best things about the beginning of a new year. So be it new goals, a new job, a new haircut perhaps... and, most importantly for the studious colour-coding types, new stationary to see you through the uni year until you’ve waved the final exam goodbye, it’s out with the old and in with the new. But for those of you who are more sport inclined, the new year has brought with it entirely refurbished stadium change rooms in the Sports and Rec Centre. They’ve undergone a major facelift with a couple of fancy new additions in the works. Among the upgraded facilities which have already been reopened are the female change rooms which were complete as of February 6 as director of Monash Sport Brett Lavale explained. “They were just really old and tired,” Mr Lavale said.
“We’ve retained all the same amount of toilets, showers, basins and lockers, and have added a couple of what we call vanity stations that are basically hair-drying and makeup pods. They’re really innovative.” There is also a new entrance extending from the disabled change rooms to allow for better access. Previously somewhat cramped next to the entrance of the male change rooms, it has been brought out into the corridor making it much more accessible.
Unfortunately for the males, construction has been delayed about three weeks and their change rooms are not expected to be reopened until late February.
The 1980s retro-looking pool was given some modern flair, with new changing facilities and a refurbished concourse area added to the aquatic environment.
“With these types of projects there are a hundred things that can go wrong and I suppose we’ve got a building issue that has to be resolved over the next couple of weeks before they can be reopened. In the scheme of things it’s a pretty minor issue and the builders are already addressing that now,” Mr Lavale reassured.
In addition, the Games Hall has been freshly painted and retractable, glass backboards have been installed along with a new scoreboard and clock.
The developments to the men’s involves the riddance of the old, communal football-type showers which made some students feel less than comfortable when cooling off after a workout. Once complete, the new showering area is to to be fully partitioned and, in the meantime, temporary change rooms have been in place for males to use.
With final touches to these establishments applied around November last year, these facilities are still yet to be enjoyed by the larger part of the student body.
“Having to use the replacement change rooms has been a bit of an inconvenience,” gym member Ben Macisaac said. “I’m definitely looking forward to switching back to the new change rooms, especially after hearing that the showers are now partitioned. No more showering next to creepy old guys!” The excitement of the change room upgrades aside, students will also benefit from the refurbishments to the Doug Ellis swimming pool and Games Hall having taken place late last year.
“It’s nice having new backboards and a clock in the Games Hall. It’s a good space for basketball,” Arts student Yong-Li Zhou said.
BY ALANA MITCHELSON
Profile: Anna Segal Australian freestyle skier
Monash University Arts/Law student and freestyle skier Anna Segal represented Australia earlier this month in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, where she placed fourth in the women’s ski slopestyle event.
Segal experienced her first taste of championship success as far back as 2007 when she won the Women’s US Freeskiing Open at Copper Mountain in the slopestyle category. Since then, she has reaped major victories at the Winter X Games in 2009 as well as the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in 2011. Despite devastating knee injury concerns which threatened her sport performance from early 2013, Segal had her mind and heart dead set on competing in this year’s Games which she had worked so hard towards. While still recovering her form and fitness from the knee surgery which forced her off the slopes just last February, withdrawing was never going to be an option for the ambitious 27-year-old.
“Since recovering from my injury, I have been skiing really well,” Segal told Monash University. “I am yet to land a solid competition run this season, but that’s fine as I know I need to peak at the right time which is the eleventh of February. “The most interesting and fun aspect of slopestyle is that each course is different, there is no standard course. I have no idea what I will be skiing in the Olympics.” Her event specialty was only just recently added to the Winter Olympic Games’ repertoire of events in 2011 and Segal was looking forward to representing her country in the sport she is so passionate about. “Prior to 2011, I was not aiming for the Olympics. Competitions such as the Winter X Games were our sport’s big focus. Within these last few years a lot has changed and it’s exciting to be able to compete with
the Australian Winter Olympic Team,” she said. Unfortunately for Segal, her 77 points fell just outside of placing with a medal as she was handed fourth place. But all points aside, the Australian athlete displayed impeccable execution; especially given her still being in a period of recovery post-surgery. Being the bubbly, vivacious personality that she is, Segal rightly maintained a positive outlook of her experience in Sochi, tweeting her relief not long after the event: “It feels like a dream. Tired, sore and filled with happiness.”
Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST) is an engine room of creativity, a department of the MSA that creates vibrant, innovative theatre by, with and for Monash students and the wider community. Works are diverse, ranging from new text-based and devised works to bold takes on classics, adaptations, events, exhibitions and festivals. Each year we stage productions and events, support student-initiated projects; hold workshops to develop theatrical skills and facilitate students in professional placements. On and off stage roles are open to all students, with necessary training provided. MUST is staffed by a full time Artistic Director, Yvonne Virsik, and Technical Manager, Jason Lehane. (ph) 9905 8173 (email) yvonne. email@example.com MUST Office Ground Floor, Western End, Campus Centre Web site monashstudentassociation.com/Student-Theatre Facebook https://www.facebook.com/musttheatre
How to get involved in 2014 Come along to our offices and check out audition and crew opportunities, sign up to our e bulletin via the web site, check
us out on facebook, visit our table during O week and catch the O show or make an appointment with MUST staff to chat about opportunities.
The MUST 2014 Season The Well
014 Adelaide Fringe Festival 2 Feb 15 – March 1 A reworking of the brilliant MUST / La Mama co production! Directed by Kate Brennan, written and co directed by Robert ReidAn immersive, surreal deconstruction of the apocalypse. “Evocative and Beautiful” Aussie Theatre
SEASON LAUNCH EXTRAVAGANZA! Thursday March 20, 5.30pm till late – in the MUST Space
MUSTBOP MUST B-GRADE MOVIE OVERDUBBING PROJECT April 7 & 8 in the cinema
PRONTO March 31 – April 4 & continuing throughout the year
Take a B-grade film, remove the sound, add a live mix of cheeky new dialogue, music & foley and enjoy the spoofing! Contact creator Callum Dale via MUST if you’re keen to be involved.
Performed Readings of New Theatrical Offerings (PRONTO). New student-written works take to the stage in a series of rehearsed readings followed by discussions with the audience, creatives and the writers.
DOUBLE BILL April 9 - 17
The O Show
Free shows throughout Oweek, Mon 24 - Thurs 27 Feb 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3pm A fun, informative spoof on student life at Monash created anew each year by current students to welcome first years and give them ‘inside info’. THE 2014 O SHOW: GAMES OF THRONES – REIGN OF THE MAD KING! Created by James McGuire & James O’Donoghue, Managed by Zoe Dove, Music by Mateusz Gwizdalla, Sponsored by Campus Community Division
Curator Trelawney Edgar is taking script submissions and expressions of interest from directors, contact MUST. MUST READ READINGS WITH THE CREATIVE WRITING CLUB Throughout the year
PSYCHOPOMP Created by Jason Lehane, written by Penelope Bartlau noun: A guide of souls, one who escorts the soul of a newly-deceased to the afterlife.
Four characters tightly constrained in their own separate worlds join to create a spoken word quartet - slivers of dreams and memory. & DRENCH Created by Caitlyn Barclay and team A site-specific puppetry piece. Emily is a giant that lives alone keeping watch over a land that has no idea she exists. KNIVES IN HENS BY DAVID HARROWER MAY 1 – 10 Directed by MUST Artistic Director Yvonne Virsik. In a pre-industrial landscape, an unsettling love triangle emerges. A young woman journeys from ignorance to knowledge, finding her liberation through language. “I’ll tell you nothing. Not giving you what’s in my head.” Auditions & final crew sourcing from week one, contact MUST. THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR A NEW DEVISED VERSION CREATED BY JAMES JACKSON. May 15 - 24 A radical reworking of Nikola Gogol’s classic; a face-paced explosive commentary of power, ignorance, greed and corruption played through an unusual political crisis. Auditions & final crew sourcing from week one, contact MUST. THE CONTAINER FESTIVAL AUGUST 1 - 17 A huge hit last year, it’s back bigger and brighter, incorporating exciting new work of all shapes and sizes! Shipping containers around campus, a ‘Hub’ located in the MUST space, ‘miniMUST’ and other spaces filled with brilliant new music, dance, short plays, circus, burlesque, hybrid work and exhibitions. MUST will soon begin gathering ideas and EOIs from artists - info will be on the web site.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT August 21 - 30 A devised cabaret adapted from the story “The Velveteen Rabbit” created by Benny Dimas
MINI MUST An on-going initiative. What can you create that will fit into a mere 2m x 2m space? Intimate and innovative works performances, events, conversations, experiences or exhibitions.
A Fairytale for adults. “Once you become real you can never be ugly.” SOFTLY POUTING WHILE WALKING INTO BREEZES September 4 - 12 By Jake Stewart, directed by Jess McLaughlin Cafferty Meet Ben, a gay guy in his early twenties, handling his first big heartbreak – with just a few touches of misery, prejudice, spontaneous musical theatre explosion and barbed witticism thrown in. NIGHTMAREVILLE Sept 18 - 27 By James O’Donoghue, directed by Steph Dimitriou & James O’Donoghue Colin has dreams. Strange dreams. Dreams that nobody likes him to talk about because when he does strange things start to happen. Disappearances, unnatural sounds and whispers of a monster that stalks the streets. ASPIES October 6 - 11 A DEVISED WORK CREATED BY JESS GONSALVEZ, TOM MIDDLEDITCH AND TEAM Asperger’s Syndrome has been removed as a term of clinical diagnosis in favour of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This has led to those who have grown up as ‘Aspies’, a term of self-identity invented and coined by people on the autism spectrum, having their identity medically revoked. What, then, does it mean to be an Aspie now? What did it ever mean?
THE WRAP PARTY AND 2014 AWARDS! Late November / early December THE MONASH SHAKESPEARE COMPANY A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Lauren Jankovskis and Joe Brown @ MUST, May 29 - June 7
ANATOMY TITUS: FALL OF ROME BY HEINER MULLER DIRECTED BY JAMES JACKSON OFF CAMPUS, DATES TBC The Tempest directed by Marty Shlansky @ MUST, October 16 - 25 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
University: A Musical Odyssey BY LAYLA KASHMI
From its prioritisation of alcohol over qualifications, and the overarching need by its students to do anything but work, there’s nothing more hilarious than uni. So much so, it’s hard to anticipate what else to expect during the semester, other than disgusting hangovers and the never ending shame of hooking up with someone absolutely gross (don’t hate the player, hate the game). This is where we, your music sub-editors for 2014, come in. We’re doing a public service by letting you know what to expect in Semester 1, 2014, set to some funky tunes. Any nominations for Good Samaritan of the Year are most definitely welcome, much like a decent cider. So sit back, relax and prepare yourself for an awesome semester at uni. You can thank us later. WEEK ONE “Open Happiness” by Cee-Lo Green, Brendon Urie, Patrick Stump and Janelle Monae
Everyone is just getting into the swing of uni life, whether for you’re a first year or eighth year, you’ll be meeting new people, signing up for events, getting lost on campus, and having a great time doing so, hence the upbeat tune. So sit back, soak up that Melbourne sun, plug your earphones in and ignore the fact that your work load is looking a lot more sinister than last year. WEEK TWO “Little Secrets” by Passion Pit You’ve already given up. We can see it in your eyes, you promised yourself that 2014 would be the year you achieved HDs in all your
subjects, and the Nott would be a thing of the past. How a mere seven days changes everything. Never fear, here’s the ultimate pump-up song, given to us by electro-indie darlings Passion Pit, off their 2009 debut, Manners. Laden with synthy electropop and Michael Angelakos’ enthusiastic delivery, you can’t help but bop along to this song. Don’t worry kid, there’s always next week. Enjoy week 2 and all it has to offerwithout feeling too guilty. WEEK THREE “Buzzcut Season” by Lorde
was released to critical acclaim in 2013, but his song writing focused on himself as a God within society’s peasants, because let’s face it; if Yeezus says so, it’s probably true. So much so, he’s coming down for his Yeezus Tour in April. Australia is so glad to have you back Kanye. We missed you. WEEK FIVE “F For You” by Disclosure Hey remember that essay you had due last week? Nope, me neither. I’ve already accepted the fact that I’m going to end up in hospitality for the rest of my life, and it makes me feel better that Disclosure, or Guy and Howard Lawrence, are 19 and 22. Oh wait, another person younger and more successful than I am? Ugh. Where is my home brand vodka? On a serious note though, Disclosure ripped through 2013 with their debut Settle and their refreshing combination of synth and house was popular the world over. Get down to this funky fresh tune and dance your troubles away.
Your head is inside a dream, akin to Lorde’s song about the ridiculousness of modern life. It’s Week 3, and your enthusiasm for uni is falling flat. Any smidgen of hope you had for this semester is finally gone, and replaced with the hope of free alcohol on Menzies lawn. You live in a dream, ironic also considering your lack of sleep (sometimes catching up on Veronica Mars is more important than that online test worth 5% okay?). Let Lorde’s dreamy vocals and ethereal production take you away, in a song WEEK SIX that is considered one of the high- “Lazy Bones” by Robin Thicke lights from her 2013 debut, Pure Heroine. Before “Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke brought this gem in to the WEEK FOUR world. With the perfect feeling to “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West sum up being half-way through the semester, and a beat that gives you Kanye Omari West. Possibly one of the need to dance, “Lazy Bones” the biggest names in music these begs to be listened to if you want past 10 years. His image as a pro- to feel simply fantastic. Just rememducer/rapper is almost unknown ber that you’re half way there, and when compared to his extreme if you made it through the first six confidence and fame hungry per- weeks, who’s to say you can’t make sona (he named his child North it through the next? West, so bizarre that even Microsoft Word can’t compute that). Yeezus
BY LAYLA KASHMI
WEEK SEVEN “Chocolate” by The 1975 With Easter in Week 7 for all those Catholic people out there, or those who just like to celebrate another day of the week by devouring their weight in chocolate, we’ve got you sorted. This track by The 1975 has the effect of not letting you feel down about gaining twenty kilograms in a day, so it’s essential to listen to this week. WEEK EIGHT “Riptide” by Vance Joy Whether you cursed the fact that it beat Lorde in the Hottest 100 or screamed with elation, you can’t deny the sheer joy (excuse the pun) of this track. Since Vance Joy will undoubtedly be blasting “Riptide” at Groovin’ the Moo this week, we felt it best to prepare you before crossing the threshold of yet another music festival’s buzz-kill security.
WEEK NINE “R U Mine” - Arctic Monkeys Ever since their debut in 2006 with Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, full of catchy riffs and witty lyrics, Arctic Monkeys has been a regular fixture at festivals, concerts and even your iTunes. AM saw a drastic change in image from indie sweethearts to suave and sophisticated rockstars, speeding up heartbeats of both males and females alike. They make their long-awaited return to Australia
with the AM tour, which will sure to be the best thing Melbourne has seen in years.
SWOTVAC “Don’t Stop (Colour On The Walls)” by Foster The People
WEEK TEN “Sun” by Two Door Cinema Club
It’s all there in the title. Just don’t stop. This week is sure to fly by leaving you standing there thinking, “What subjects am I even taking this semester?” But never fear. Foster The People have you covered with two simple words to live this week by, and before you know it, it’ll all be week long benders and extensive hangovers.
By Week 10 it seems as though things are starting to wrap up, and no matter how hard you try to ignore them, exams are poking their heads around the corner. This 2012 song has all the right vibes for you to groove to when submitting that last essay you just got around to finishing just last night. WEEK ELEVEN “Given the Chance” Kite String Tangle You’re starting to lose motivation, but don’t fret. Kite String Tangle’s chilled tune gives you the chance to sit back and have a bit of a break before the pre-exams bulk instant coffee purchasing, and constant reminding that you will pass, and won’t have to repeat this unit on Research and Writing in Law. WEEK TWELVE “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis You may not know the name of it, but trust me, you know this song, and I guarantee it can sum up your last week of semester one. You’re right there; so close to the finish line and you can taste the freedom that the mid-year break will bring, so just power through the week with this track, and it’ll all be over before you know it.
EXAM PERIOD “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates You’ve done it, you’ve annihilated* all your exams and it’s finally time to take that well earned break from uni, at least for another semester. So be like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and strut through campus with an entourage in tow and this song blasting on your phone. You’ve earnt it, kiddo. * annihilated = that one day of study you did, done after that killer 9 hour shift at work. PROUD. OF. YOU. Bonus song “Swimming Pools (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar. Because well, our livers don’t hate us enough already.
Copy. Paste. Download. Save. Copy. Paste. Download. Save. BY LAYLA HOMEWOOD
This is the rhythm so many people find themselves caught in when downloading music files off the internet. It is fast, it is effective, it is easy, and best of all for us struggling students, it is FREE.
from us and have little faith in their how many tweets we send out or own work, it would be unlikely for likes we give them on Facebook, them to continue. the band will not be as well supported as they may have been If you take a look at the iTunes ‘Most otherwise, and the music we have Popular’ list, you will tend to find a come to love may be forced to diswhole lot of songs that you may not continue production. know, but appear to be popular around the group of sixteen year Of course, it is not just the musiolds who still have access to their cian’s fans who buy the music who parent’s credit card. In this case, contribute to the financial support purchasing music does not appear of the artist. In fact, the amount to provide a true representation of from each purchase that goes tothe kinds of music people want to wards the artist is minimal, as the hear. As a result, music producers majority of profits fund studio time, who take these misleading results staff and other expenses. This continue to produce tunes that ap- makes it even more important to peal to the one type of audience, support an artist whose music you who thereby continue to buy it. enjoy. Purchasing an album or a While this benefits the producers, track online is definitely not ‘just as their clients are clearly purchasing money down the drain’. While you their music and funding even more could still argue that CDs and songs production, it is a disadvantage to bought in online stores are a waste artists whose fans are reluctant to of money that could fund a desperbuy music, as the scene becomes ate coffee addiction, I find that the bombarded with the one type of sentiment behind having a physical song. version of an album is worth every cent. In the current music scene, there are an abundance of new musicians with fresh talent and sound. They are the ones we hear once on the radio, Spotify or Shazam with our phones and note their name so we can download that one song later. Admittedly, it may have been a killer track, but how do we expect to hear more from the artist if we do not show our support? You often see on Twitter and Facebook and even in some CD’s cover booklets, artists thanking the fans who buy their music for all their support. This makes it seem like your act comes back to the band in some way, and they become more aware of their fan base. So, if we continue to download music online, no matter
SEEDERS: 33 LEECHERS: 8 But is it morally right?
The general consensus is, of course, no. Whether it’s via YouTube converters, which take the audio from a YouTube link and save it as a separate file, thereby defying copyright infringement, or other, slightly more... erm... illegal means, downloading music from the internet is often frowned upon by the older generations and the law abiding majority in our society.
Downloading music, opposed to buying it in a physical form or from online stores such as iTunes, not only financially affects the musicians, but they are not receiving the recognition they deserve for their creative work. Consequently, they do not receive a lower amount in royalties and require much more help from their producers and managers to continue work and produce music. This is the main reason the illegal downloading of music is discouraged, as all the hard work the artist contributes to their music is not rewarded by those who appreciate it. Aside from not assisting the musician, when their tracks are downloaded instead of being bought, it may discourage them from continuing to write music, thinking that it isn’t what people want to hear. The goal of a musician is to provide as many people as possible with good music as a means of entertainment, but if they do not receive the encouragement
The Struggle To Stay Relevant: How Important Is Controversy? BY KASHMI RANASINGHE
It’s a legitimate issue within the pop music industry. How does one stay relevant within a changing music scene and ensure longevity in their careers? Especially in a domain that is known for their reliance on pushing the norm and stirring controversy. Where is the line? Where is the point where people start to lose interest? How does one survive in an environment full of carefully created personas and actions pre-approved by a marketing panel? 2013 saw a massive shift in the dynamic of pop music from one of pure sexualisation to one that also relied heavily on controversy. It’s now time to think about how we view pop music, and the stars & artists caught up in the battle to stay significant.
The most shining example of the changing face of pop music in 2013 was Miley Cyrus. What started as a harmless twerking video in early 2013 turned Miley Cyrus into 2013 biggest’s star. In fact, the reinvention of Miley Cyrus undeniably was one of the most successful transformations in recent years. Whether you like her or not, her grasp on 2013 was extremely successful, crossing over in to the world of hip hop and almost singlehandedly adding the word “twerk” into our vernacular. Add a #1 album, two of the year’s biggest selling singles, a TIME’s Person of the Year nomination and that particular VMAs performance and you’ve got 2013’s biggest star. This new image was unfaltering, and often persistent. It was raw, unmanufactured and it was her. The new Miley went against the standard mould of the quintessential popstar and rebelled against her peers. Especially against the
Selenas, the Katys and more importantly the Arianas who approach their careers in a more demure way. Miley sparked controversy to keep the conversation on her, and to stay relevant as the new ratchet queen for the millennials, and consequently push album sales. However, the star that shone so bright for 9 whole months is starting to fade. Even after a commercially successful album and a tight grasp on pop culture, the Grammys refused to nominate her for any awards, let alone have her as a guest. Snubbed by the most important music award ceremony, Miley did not take to the news lightly. The most visible celebrity of 2013 posted numerous passive aggressive messages on her social media accounts and shot down the industry that made her who she is today. Why? Her controversial persona who blazed through the pop ranks (pun intended) is now considered a liability. Her faltering sales and weakening popularity also indicate that people are losing interest in her as quickly as it was gained. The challenge is staying relevant and popular, how much does public perception influence their success? It’s the case with Miley, but what about other celebrities? 2013 saw the rise of other personalities that stirred controversy to maintain their careers, and even support it. Take Justin Bieber for example. He debuted back in 2009 whilst in the midst of puberty, and with an unflattering haircut. And. The. World. Went. Crazy. The love he received from screaming 13 year olds was nothing compared to the hate he received; criticising his appearance, his vocals, the brand of music he
released. So relentless in fact, that his image changed from twee pretty boy to “serious” R&B star rather drastically. Nowadays, you can’t escape him. His presence in tabloid magazines is almost as prevalent as his new penchant for “bitches”. You have to wonder how much of this image was influenced by the backlash he received for being his teenage self, and how much of it was actually from his own creative “5-year plan”. If the hate he received almost 4 years ago seemed enough to jeapordise his career as Usher’s protégé and send him into a downwards spiral. It’s almost concerning, and you hope their welfare isn’t compromised in their quest for celebrity. Rihanna is also another celebrity that relies on shock tactics to remain relevant in the music industry. However, her key to longevity is a lot more sinister than aimlessly getting high. After her 2009 assault at the hands of Chris Brown, the world watched in horror as she returned to him not once, but numerous times. It seems as though she is reliant on her domestic assault case to reinvent her image as one to push boundaries. This to me is so damaging, and I wonder how it affects her – if at all. Examples of such include her 2011 video clip for “We Found Love” which featured a Chris Brown lookalike, and her 2013 duet with Chris Brown, aptly titled “Nobody’s Business.” This image overrides the fact she releases a new album yearly, and has become a dominant fixture on the fashion scene. It seems controversy is the only way to maintain longevity.
Fancy - IGGY AZALEA FEAT. CHARLI XCX BY KASHMI RANASINGHE
Iggy Azalea is the antithesis of Australian hip-hop. With her perfectly manicured image, her focus and drive and more importantly, the Southern drawl she adopts when performing her music is something that is so unique (especially compared to other Australian hip-hop acts). It screams perseverance and hard work, backed up by her international success. In 2013, Iggy powered through seamlessly by releasing three commercially successful singles, opening for Beyoncé on her Ms Carter World Tour, performing with Robin Thicke at the 2013 European MTV Music Awards and featuring as the soundtrack to my best friend’s numerous twerking videos (okay, maybe not that last one). Her star shone bright in 2013, and if her new release is anything to go by, 2014 will be just as equally successful for Iggy. Fancy is a track filled with sparse production. There are only 3 noticeable layers to this song: a hypnotic beat, rhythmic clicks and intermittent human production, all staggered and co-existing within the song. This emphasis on the melody and lyrics is no doubt an attempt by Iggy to direct all of the listener’s attention to her delivery and prowess as a rapper in an environment which
may not always take her seriously.
However, the attention that Iggy commands is not due to her song writing, but rather to her aggressive delivery. Fierce and shameless, she vocalises about the privilege and opulence of her new life. You can almost feel the confidence and the attitude she exudes as she delivers “Fancy”. Nevertheless, the lyricism isn’t as clever as her previous tracks. Such as 2013’s Work (“Girls giving blow jobs for Louboutins. What do you call that? Head over heels), but it is fun to listen to. The kind of pump up music to boost your confidence, and make you truly feel you are in the murda bid-nezz and holding people down like you’re giving lessons in physics. Iggy’s ferocious delivery is complemented perfectly by Charli XCX’s vocals. Her vocals are smooth and nonchalant, blended together perfectly with the electronic backdrop of the track. Her vocals are very reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s, which adds an extra edge to the already stellar track.
With the release of The New Classic in March this year, it is uncertain if this track will feature on her long awaited debut. However, if this song is any indication of the new album, it seems we have a lot to look forward to from this rapper, obviously destined for bigger and better things. I-G-G-Y put her name in bold. Get ready for another powerhouse year by Iggy.
“FTL: Faster Than Light” and Videogame stories BY ANTHONY SARIAN
If you have a Steam account I suggest you stop reading this and pick up “FTL: Faster Than Light” right now. No, really. I picked up FTL in a Steam sale, and after 2 years and 150 hours of gameplay I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the single best example of storytelling in videogames. Sceptical? You should be. There are many contenders for that title including games from the likes of Bioware and Telltale, however FTL does a few things that their contenders don’t that makes it truly unique and special. “An unidentified ship is badly damaged and still being assaulted by a space pirate. The victim begins a distress message until the pirate cuts in and offers to split the bounty if you sit tight. 1. Accept their bribe. 2. Try to be a hero. Attack the pirate.”
FTL’s greatest strength is its ability to let stories develop organically through interaction with the game world, rather than relying on flashy graphics, voice acting, and explosions. The above text is taken from an encounter in FTL. Notice its simplicity? A situation and a decision. One option leads to a small reward, the other to combat. Then it’s over. The game is littered with sequences like this, and your decisions will affect your path through the galaxy, leading to combat, a quest, a reward, or information. The advantage
of using these procedural micro-narratives, rather than one large and detailed narrative, is that the player experiences an endless variety of endings and scenarios. There is, of course, a very “videogame” story arc: to go to the end of the galaxy and destroy the mothership. It seems simple compared to the series of deeper moral dilemmas you encounter, but it provides the perfect framework in which the real meat of the game – the tiny micro-narratives – can take place and evolve. FTL expertly explores the possibilities of narrative choices having gameplay consequences. For one, FTL is a “roguelike” and thus features permanent death. If you die – you lose, and must start over from scratch, providing an avenue for storytelling few games share. Many games provide the player with choices, but because these games are working from pre-planned narratives, the consequences can feel superficial. Mass Effect 3’s ending controversy was a perfect example of this. Rather than deferring the consequences to future events in the story, FTL translates narrative decisions into gameplay consequences. Your decisions directly influence your ability to accumulate resources, and with permanent death, good decisions are essential to survival. The events are randomly generated, and consequences for the same decisions vary across playthroughs. This uncertainty adds a level of realism, and with no pre-destined consequence for your actions, each encounter will be another turn in the complicated road
leading to either your victory or death. The effects of gameplay decisions on the narrative takes centre stage in FTL. The game is littered with special decisions you can make provided you have a special weapon, upgrade or crew member, which yield extra rewards upon completion. Similar mechanics are used in other games, but FTL uses it liberally to add some narrative flavour to your decisions. Suddenly, you aren’t just taking part in combat, you’re intimidating an enemy to surrender. The player is also quickly compelled to create elaborate backstories for their crew, and imagine their interactions and fictive relationships onboard. Those Mantis fighters who always travel together are soon imagined to be brothers and sisters in arms, and the time your entire crew died except that one alien repairwoman who only just joined up isn’t just an unfortunate gameplay consequence, but an amusing story of its own. Therein lies the genius, tying the story into the gameplay in a way that makes both more meaningful. FTL: Faster Than Light is greater than the sum of its parts. It effectively employs a number of story-telling tropes seen in games in order to break down the boundaries between gameplay and story until they can no longer be appreciated as separate concepts. Not bad for game told entirely through simple graphics and text. I’ve spent over 150 hours playing FTL, so for only ten dollars on Steam, I suggest you see what kind of stories you can create too.
January’s Heart-Throb: A Question of Principles BY KATHRYN AUGER
The summer heat was intense. Did anybody else find the coolest room in the house to live in for a while? I stole away for a few days with my laptop and mouse and searched for an adventure that would remove me from the stifling Melbournian temperatures. I found Arstotzka, a 1982 Soviet-style state that needed a new Immigrations Officer. And whaddya know? I was that lucky candidate. Papers, Please sets an ambient scene right from the get-go. 8-bit graphics and a repetitive, introductory mono-march throw you in to a world that is far from colourful and inspired. Get used to the lack of pomp and flash that big-name games herald: Papers, Please looks dull and feels dull because it wants you to think it’s dull.
And the mechanics are dull. Papers, Please is a point-and-click adventure with little interaction beyond your Immigration booth. As an Immigrations Officer, your job is to crosscheck legal documents with a rulebook for twelve in-game hours a day. Your reward is money. Your objective is, well… entirely up to you. See, the game may be dull; it may even feel dull. But the point of this game is to stir something in you, the gamer. It invokes a multitude of feelings and thoughts on matters that many games tend to no longer openly address. How do you feel about immigrants seeking refuge from wars? Looking for better
quality of life? What would you do if you could help or stop people arriving in your country? How about if someone was afraid for their life, and asked for your help? What lines are you willing to cross? The game constructs a believable world by making it banal, and in doing so, it allows you to cultivate and explore different ideas and theories.
you don’t have enough money to justify them; unless you think your family is okay without food and heating. There’s an easy mode that grants you an extra twenty credits every day, so that’s a small bonus for those who aren’t too sure of what they’re doing but still want the freedom to make their own decisions.
There are a few points to remember whilst playing the game. You have a family to provide for, although they only exist as names. You will not be offered a pay rise at any point throughout the game. Your job is hard, and it will only get harder; you will also be faced with a certain sense of dehumanisation. Your superiors don’t care about you. Welcome to the real world.
Papers, Please offers twenty different endings. At time of writing, I’ve discovered four of them. I found the game to be immersive, and I lost myself for hours in its monotonous clicking (not recommended for productivity). Despite this, I needed to create a persona so that my in-game decisions were consistent. I want to discover each ending, and I know I’ll have to be a bit more flexible in taking bribes and working with secret organisations.
I struggled at the start. It took me a while to find a flow when it came to cross-referencing different documents. During my first play through, my whole family died because of sickness. I was sad, and struggled to ignore the overwhelming sense of failure. There’s something surreal about having your faceless family die that is quite unlike other gaming experiences. Sure, I’ve witnessed family members die in various Assassin’s Creed games, but then I took revenge by air-assassinating lots of guards and Templars. In Papers, Please, all I could do was go back to work. The better you perform, the more money you earn. That’s easier said than done, because a single mistake results in an infringement notice. After two infringements, they start to dock your pay. Moral choices can be hard to make when you know
The amount you learn and how much you grow from this game depends on how willing you are to embrace both its qualities and shortcomings. Papers, Please was not a popular game amongst my like-minded gaming friends, and I was often confronted with comments that it is both “boring and repetitive”. It is boring and repetitive, but it has rustic charm and a great deal of emotional reward and satisfaction. If that’s not what you’re craving in your gaming experience, stay away from this indie game. Papers, Please was developed in November 2012 by Lucas Pope, and is available through Steam, Humble Bundle store, GOG and on Pope’s website.
SATIRE Students. Staff. As night falls, the distinction between the two starts to blur. Those who previously were up all night marking papers now struggle in the library, and those who spent their days drinking in Sir John’s now frequent the staff lounges. The day fades, the stars come out, and all is cast into doubt… Welcome… to Monash Clayton.
TECHNOLOGY my.monash, your online student services portal, has been readjusted this year. Previously, the portal was two-way, allowing students to travel between cyberspace and reality freely. The current configuration means that students or semi-conscious AIs traversing the digital barrier will be trapped in cyberspace. Students who attempt this will be required to undertake their studies by distance education.
BY TIMOTHY NEWPORT
It’s another fantastic year here on campus, and a hearty hello to those of you joining us again for another year! If this is only the start of your adventure in our friendly university community, don’t be scared: we’re all very nice people, with no dark, horrifying secrets whatsoever!
The Student ID card system has been upgraded!
a passkey for authorised doors,
Just a few things to remember:
as an identifier for campus vending machines,
• Do not approach the Jock Marshal Reserve, or indeed acknowledge its existence. What Reserve?
a remote for campus televisions,
a recorder and note-taker for lectures,
a coffee strainer and sugar dispenser, and
a flotation device in case of emergency
• If your classes are in the Menzies building, note that the 4th floor and the 7th floor swap places every fortnight. The 5th floor is closed due to radiation danger, until further notice. • Science students; don’t forget to pick up your anti-possession badges before entering labs. Demons have been spotted in Buildings 42, 9 ¾, and √-1. • Blue Parking Permits are now available for purchase. Your payment options include family pets, functional limbs, or your firstborn child. Concession card holders may use their second born. •
No ball games on the Menzies lawn.
NEWS In campus news this month, the Vice-Chancellor has announced that the construction of the new Green Chemical Futures building will run slightly over schedule, due to discovery of ancient alien burial grounds in the foundations. He says that this was the cause of the strange voices and glowing lights across the Science precinct, discrediting the Monash Science Society’s claim that it was their idea. If you’ve got classes in the Rotunda (Building 8) this semester, why not swing by and check out the Shrine of Fees Remembrance? Pay homage and your fees at the same time! All donations count against both your HECS debt and your blood debt, and are tax-deductable. In the interests of public safety, Monash Security Services will be patrolling the Campus Centre, randomly checking for both your Student ID and your Proof of Humanity, as time-travellers and extra-terrestrials have been known to blend in during O-week. If you are non-human or temporally displaced, contact Student Services. Those found to be not from this planet or time will be given ample opportunity to explain themselves, and financial and legal assistance if needed.
Your Student ID card will now work as
Please visit Monash Connect to obtain your new card. No new photos will be taken. CLUBS Monash Underwater Basket-Weaving Club (MUB-WeC) has reported its biggest O-Week recruitment ever, with over 500 students signing up. They hope the increased funding with allow for more diving trips, better reeds, and SCUBA gear for extended tournaments. Expect to see them weaving next time the Menzies basement floods! The Ego Club will be having its annual bake-sale on the Menzies lawns this week, so come on down! This year, they’re planning to make even bigger tributes to their own self-importance, attempting to out-do the giant robot that graced our campus in 2013. Buy a cookie, inflate their heads! The Just Plain Ol’ Loud Music Club welcomes the construction of the Soundshell on the Lemon-Scented Lawns. It is their sincere hope that the Monash Caulfield campus will soon be able to enjoy their Clayton concerts at full volume. In related news, their membership cost has been increased to $5, to cover their rising broken glass costs. LOT’S WIFE Has nothing to hide. Honest. Why would we print this otherwise? Go about your business, student.
A View From the Kingdom BY AMENA ZIARD
I am constantly asked about my life in Saudi Arabia. There is no way to fully express the bitterness I have for some aspects of this society or the profound affinity I have for the land that is my birthplace but not my home. In this piece, I hope to answer this question as sincerely as I can; an intimate account of a young woman of color growing up in the Kingdom, but before I begin… AHLAN WA SAHLAN Welcome to Saudi Arabia, the largest nation in the Middle Eastern region; home to over 22 million people and a host to many expatriate and contract workers. Among them were my parents – a Sri Lankan business owner and a Filipino registered nurse – who have lived in the Kingdom for over twenty-five years, most of which were spent in Riyadh.
It is where my siblings and I were born, where we went to school, and where I graduated from High School. I do not hold a Saudi passport though I was born there; I am effectively Sri Lankan and Filipino by descent. This is the case for many children born to non-Saudi parents in KSA. It is both a blessing and a headache, particularly if you choose to be a long-term resident. When I was a schoolgirl, opportunities to mix and mingle with Saudis my age were minimal. Saudis and non-Saudis attend separate schools: the local schools, the community or “embassy” schools, and what is known as an international school. This type of school is not always
subject to the rules imposed by the Ministry of Education. Local schools and embassy schools generally are. A non-Saudi student who wishes to study in a Saudi school requires special permission from the government and vice versa. The royal family are not immune to this either. It’s standard procedure. Schooling in Saudi Arabia was strange. I attended a Filipino school from Kindergarten to third grade. Almost everyone was Filipino, Roman Catholic, spoke Tagalog and even preserved a Filipino accent. There was little interest in learning more about the land they occupied and their education revolved strongly around their Filipino identity and little else. Ignorance and stereotypes of other people were readily accepted and unchallenged. Being partly Sri Lankan and Muslim was difficult in such a school. I distinctively remember being disallowed from learning Filipino culture and civics because of my background. Ignorance was so rife, my geography teacher used to say Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were the same country. A fellow student thought Sri Lanka was a place in Saudi Arabia. As the token Muslim student, I was expected to speak on behalf of my people. I was seven years old at the time. I later went on to study at international schools, one under the wing of the Ministry and the other was granted more leniencies – an example of the diverse spectrum of how schools in the Kingdom were managed and regulated. Such schools could replicate education systems overseas. The school I graduated from followed a British
education system, offering IGCSE and A levels from various boards including AQA, Edexcel and Cambridge. Indian schools offered CBSE. Some international schools offered students a choice between IB and A levels. In spite of its conservative demeanour, remember Riyadh is a desert city marked by mirages: many Western expatriates and employees of large corporations reside in compounds. Barred and patrolled by security guards, compounds provide a means of escape, a break from the many restrictions of the Kingdom. Within their parameters, alcohol is permissibly consumed; genders mix freely; abayas are not mandatory and in some compounds, it is prohibited. There are cinemas, bowling alleys, restaurants and other entertainment spaces. Some compounds go as far as replicating life outside the Kingdom by services such as having newspapers delivered on your doorstep. Within the parameters, women can even drive. One such compound was situated right next to my high school. Although, I never lived in a compound, many of my friends did. By the time I neared the end of high school, many of my friends had their minds set to studying in the United States, the United Kingdom and several neighboring Middle Eastern countries. My twin and I were probably the first graduates of the British International School, Riyadh to fly off to Australia – and I’m glad that I did.
History of Lot’s Wife BY ANDREW DAY
Some 50 years ago, at the 15th meeting of the Fourth Monash S.R.C., editors Ross Cooper and Ross Fitzgerald were relieved of their roles as editors of Monash student paper Chaos following continuing strife between the student body and the publication. The legend claims that following the mediocre and offensive material that was want to frequent the pages of Chaos, students at Monash stormed the office and installed themselves as editors of a new student paper. Very much in keeping with the radical student credentials that seems to be much of Monashs’ image, but also in keeping with much of the reality at Monash, the truth is much more bureaucratic. For reasons of incompetence, disorganization and overall poor quality, the Ross duo were shuffled off their student office coil along with their staff and replaced with Tony Schauble, John Blakeley and Damien Broderick at the 4th meeting of the Student Representative Council and in the attendance of one of the editors of Farrago - who was available to chirp in with criticisms and assertions of Farrago’s superiority (“’Farrago is not God’ exclaimed Mr. Cooper”, one point Chaos). Nevertheless the unassuming trio of Schauble, Blakeley and Broderick would create a publication that would last for - at present count - 50 years in the majestic surroundings of Clayton, Lot’s Wife. With the 50th anniversary on the horizon, this presents me with two exciting opportunities. Number one; as a history nerd go digging through archives and old smelling books and Number two; as an editor
of Lot’s Wife, to once and for all explain the name. As it has surprised many people to learn, Lot’s Wife is actually a biblical reference and not an entirely straightforward one. The story of Lot’s Wife starts in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, cities so debased with lust, greed and all manner excesses that God (Old Testament angry God) scheduled it for demolition. Nice guy that he was though, he warned the one righteous man of both cities to flee before he and his wrath came in like a wrecking ball. This man was Lot. Lot was an odd fellow, revered as a relative of Jesus himself, during his stay in Sodom, locals demanded that he send out the male visitors in his house so they might “know” them (wink wink fuck fuck). Horrified by this he offered them his virgin daughters to “know” instead which they promptly turned down, so he’s got solid family value credentials. Getting back on track though, after angels abducted Lot and his family (in a nice way) and transported them away from the danger zone they were told to run, and not to look back on the destruction of the cities that was about to take place behind them. As the family fled, Lot’s wife was about to make a name for herself with a single gesture. Much like Eve before her, she ignored the advice from the helpful glowing strangers and turned around to gaze at the horror unfolding behind them. As soon as she did, God’s wrath for breaking his command visited her and turned her into a pillar of salt.
Now the first editors of Lot’s Wife weren’t big into salt or transfiguration, the reason for the name is a bit more nuanced than that. Having been so utterly unhappy with the quality of Chaos and the culture surrounding the publication, they wanted to bury it and forget it ever existed. The story of Lot’s wife to them served as a warning and an ethic for the new publication and became its tag line -don’t look back. In direct contravention to this policy though, I have elected to make the history of Lot’s Wife public knowledge in celebration of 50 years of operation. I hope you’ll join me and learn a little something about your student paper and hopefully get inspired to get involved. To 50 more wonderful years.
HEY, YOU! Want to write for Lotâ€™s Wife, the only completely student owned and run magazine on campus? Shoot us an email at
or swing by our office on level 1 of campus centre. Weâ€™re always on the hunt for fresh faces - no experience necessary!