20: Tertiary Education

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Salient Vol. 74

Sam Northcott

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Like Salient on Facebook ! 18 people can’ 79 t be wrong!


The Team

Editors: Elle Hunt and Uther Dean editor@salient.org.nz Designer: Dan Hutchinson designer@salient.org.nz News Editor: Stella Blake-Kelly news@salient.org.nz Chief Reporter: Natalie Powlesland natalie@salient.org.nz Feature Writer: Selina Powell selina@salient.org.nz Feature Writer: Zoe Reid zoe@salient.org.nz Chief Sub-Editor: Carlo Salizzo carlo@salient.org.nz Arts Editor: Louise Burston arts@salient.org.nz

Contributors

Hayley Adams, Sally Anderson, Auntie Sharon, Michael Boyes, Seamus Brady, David Burr, Rhiannon Buttershaw, Thomas Coughlan, Barney Chunn, Paul Comrie-Thomson, Constance Cravings, Martin Doyle, Ally Garrett, Adam Goodall, Jason Govenlock, Ryan Hammond, Ben Hague, Robyn Holdaway, Bridie Hood, Casper Jensen, Dylan Jauslan, Russ Kale, Robyn Kenealey, Vincent Konrad, Jess Lee, Sarita Lewis, Zoë Lawton, Molly McCarthy, Callum McDougal, Jono McLeod, Sam Northcott, Charles Panic, Sam Phillips, Adam Poulopoulos, Sarah Robson, Fairooz Samy, Geraint Scott, Ihaka Tunui, Ta’ase Vaoga, Ben Volz, Isaac Asimov’s First Law of Flobotics Wilson, Josh Wright, and Ben Wylie-van Eerd.

Contributor of the week

Sarah Robson. Well, looky here who just came crawling right back.

About Us

Salient is produced by independent student journalists, employed by, but editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of, syndicated and supported by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). It is printed by APN Print of Tauranga. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of those of ASPA, VUWSA, Printcorp, or the French, but we of Salient are proud of our beliefs and take full responsibility for them.

Contact

VUWSA Student Media Centre Level 3, Student Union Building Victoria University PO Box 600, Wellington Phone: 04 463 6766 Email: editor@salient.org.nz

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20 Tertiary education

Issue 20 Tertiary education

The Regular Bits Dinocop 2 Editorial 4 Ngai Tauira 7 The News 8 LOL News 12 The Week That Wasn’t

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Overheard @ Vic 13 Faces to Deface 41 Notices 43 Letters 44 Puzzles 46 Therapy with the Vampire Comics

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All Over the Place

The Features In Theory. But in Practice? VUWSA’s role within Victoria University

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An Opinion Piece About The Changes Currently Happening at Vic

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Graduated: Tick. Now what?

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Should I Drop Out of Uni?

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The Value(?) of a University Degree

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Levies: Breaking Whose Bank?

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The Columns VUWSA Prez 5 VUWSA Vice-Prez (Education)

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VUWSA Women’s Rights Officer

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Politics with Paul 14 Youth Law 15 Laying Down the Law

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Student Health Services

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Animal of the Week

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Contact: Howard Pauling Phone: 04 463 6982 Email: sales@vuwsa.org.nz

Peas & Queues 32

Other

I Am Offended Because...

Ask Constance 32 33

Subscriptions: Too lazy to walk to uni to pick up a copy of your favourite mag? We can post them out to you for a nominal fee. $40 for Vic student, $55 for everyone else. Please send an email containing your contact details with ‘subscription’ in the subject line to editor@salient.org.nz

Bent 34

This issue is dedicated to memory of Vera Lingonis’ reign of terror over Overheard @ Vic. We will not miss you. Dear New Zealand playwrights. There are interesting narratives that aren’t parents mourning their dead children, just so you know. No, friends mourning a dead peer is not different enough. Love, Uther.

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The 7th Inning Stretch

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Failure to Communicate

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Beer Will Be Beer

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Lovin’ From the Oven

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The Arts Music 36 Theatre 37 Books 38 Visual Arts 39 Film 40 salient.org.nz


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Editorial Elle went to a school that ranked sportiness as next to godliness, where the principal once remarked, “I don’t see why anyone should study languages. Everyone speaks English overseas”. Uther went to a school that tilted so towards the left that, in Year 13, he effectively took Media Studies twice in parallel—once as Journalism, once as Film & TV. As different as these schools were, they were united in one attitude: if you scraped UE, you would E U. Schooling was presented as an inescapable narrative. Just as high school followed intermediate followed primary, so uni came after those. So, we both dutifully trod our way here to Vic—not because we necessarily wanted to, but because we should have. There is a parallel universe somewhere where we didn’t go to university and, recently, we have been trying to work out whether we would be better or worse off there; whether the thousands of hours and dollars we’ve invested in our tertiary educations have been worth it. Elle thinks that, in all honesty, the most rewarding and valuable work she has completed at university has been for Salient. She now has a portfolio of published work; contacts in the media industry; and a LinkedIn profile. It does seem like this will contribute more to her being able to pay rent in future than whatever mark she got for Media Studies 101. Parallel universe Elle (‘Parallelle’, if you will) has had her investment in tertiary education returned in terms of practical experience that would have not been possible had she not been part of the Vic community.

On the other hand, while Uther does certainly owe his not-living-at-home to Salient, every other bit of his life comes rather directly from within his classes. He formed a theatre company with his closest classmates, and their work is based on practices they first discovered in class. All his paid work in theatre has come directly from his study and the people he met during it. Other Uther (‘Uther’, if you will) would not only miss his experience but most of the constituent parts of his life: he would be someone else entirely. Tertiary education can seem so often to be a burden—to be nothing more than a heavy weight to be borne for three or four years of your life, like a mud mask of lead. But tertiary education is more than just learning, and more than just the stuff you do while at uni. It is more than a moment; it is more than a lifestyle. It is a boulder in the river of your life that diverts it another way entirely. It is true that some people are better off doing apprenticeships, or entering the workforce straight after college, but it needs the addendum that such a decision being ‘better’ or ‘worse’ for someone is, more often than not, a false assertion. If we hadn’t gone to uni, we wouldn’t be better or worse. Just different. We love you all individually, Uther Dean (BA (Hons) in Theatre) & Elle Hunt (Kit-E-Kat Certificate in Beginner Gymnastics)

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Seamus Brady president@vuwsa.org.nz vuwsa.org.nz facebook.com/vuwsa

You have sixteen ticks in the upcoming VUWSA Student Elections at the end of the month. That’s 14 more than the other election in November (12 if you count the referendum!). 2012 is a critical year for students. Your votes will help shape what VUWSA looks like, how Salient is governed and who represents us on University Council—so make sure you use them wisely. But first, there needs to be students standing in all the positions to vote for. I strongly encourage you to stand in the upcoming VUWSA Student Elections. You might not have considered such a move up til now—and you may not know anyone vaguely involved with VUWSA. That doesn’t matter—Ignore the impulse to be apathetic. VUWSA is a great place to be if you care about your University and students at Victoria, and it’s a chance for you to make a big difference. On a personal level, being a student rep and working at the heart of VUWSA for students on a daily basis is incredibly rewarding. The skills you learn, the satisfaction of getting wins for students in University policy changes and developments, the variety of political, educational and community leaders and students you meet and work with, and the opportunities available to you are immense. I should know—I first got involved at the end of my first year in 587BC (or 2008, depending who you ask).

The work VUWSA does impacts on all facets of Victoria from teaching and learning, our student experience, the design and oversight of the Campus Hub Project, to the quality of food and retail on campus, to ensuring our student voice is valued and respected. International research shows that having a strong students’ association providing independent and credible representation also: • Improves our academic outcomes and experiences of students. This, in turn, can include higher retention and success rates; • Strengthens all levels of decision-making within the wider University ensuring that students are considered at each level and that final decisions are fair; • Facilitates the development of quality student-centred learning based on the relationship between academics and students; • Empowers students and encourage the development of leadership, communication and creative and critical thinking; • Leads to more responsive and appropriate student services, which are delivered cost-effectively; • Avoids unnecessary conflict between the student body and the University. You can be a part of this. Nominations close on Wednesday at 4.30pm. You can find out more about what’s involved from the guide about the positions available and how to campaign to get elected on our website. P.S. This column is dedicated to the President of the VUWSA of the Super City (AUSA)—Joe McCrory, and was inspired by his heartfelt and passionate letter about student elections in last week’s issue of Salient. FUN FACT: Joe McCrory legitimately thinks he can taste triangles. He also spells “prunes” with an i. Go figure. Have a great week and think about nominating yourself for election!

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Salient Vol. 74

Vice-Prez (Education)

Women’s Rights Officer Necia Johnston

Bridie Hood

Following the QS World University rankings being published last week, some of you may have heard about current funding and investment issues in New Zealand Tertiary Education. Given that this week’s Salient theme is ‘Tertiary Education’, it seems fitting to discuss this a little bit more. The QS World University rankings are based on a university’s academic reputation, employer reputation, academic citations, staff to student ratio, and proportion of international students and international staff. The QS release last week saw Auckland, Canterbury and Victoria all drop in their international ranking. Victoria, in particular, dropped from 225 to 237. The University of Otago was the only NZ University to improve its standing. So what does this mean for us as students? Well, it is not just politicians in opposition, but QS themselves, who have attributed the fall of NZ universities in international rankings to the relatively low level of public investment in the Tertiary Sector. You see, over the past few years there has been consistent under-investment in tertiary education. This has seen tertiary institutions, such as Vic, restrict entries into courses and programmes. What this means is that doors are shut to able students, fees continue to climb, courses and programmes are closed and resources (including staff) are stretched nearly to breaking point. All of this is happening when more people are wanting to study at a tertiary level and are entering into tertiary study. Universities are in a bind, they have to select students upon entry who they think are ‘suitable’ for study, they also have to increase class size, restrict student-contact time with staff and increase staff to student ratios just to meet the societal demands within a tight budget-climate. On top of this, staff are under even more pressure as they also have to meet their research commitments in a PBRF environment.

So, what are the effects of this continued underfunding and why should it matter to you? • Under-funding threatens the quality of education you receive in your institutions. Less money means fewer resources, fewer tutors, less contact time with lecturers as they focus on research, larger classes—the list goes on. • As the funding gap between NZ and the rest of the world widens, NZ institutions will lose out in attracting international academics and teachers. • Less money spent of vital student services, such as Student Health, Counselling and learning support, all of which contribute to a University retention and completion rate. • A change in the types of students being allowed entry. Just due to current political changes, fewer mature students are entering into tertiary education and refugee and migrant students are finding it harder to get the support they need to enter and complete studies. • Increased pressure to see internal budgets rationalised which, at Vic, has seen programmes and courses of study being cut, most notably Gender and Women’s studies last year. • And upon writing this column, the University has just released a consultation document seeking to disestablish the current structure of the CUP Programme and consequently the CUP Programme itself. This is due to the fact that from 2012, Vic will no longer be funded to provide sub-degree programmes. For the economic and social future of New Zealand it is vitally important that we have a well -funded tertiary sector. This is not an issue to be taken lightly.

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Who likes tertiary education? Me. And hopefully all of you. What’s so great about it? It furthers our education, evident from its name. But the stuff you learn from being at a university or polytech should be much more than just how to pass your courses. I’ve learned how people interact, how they talk to each other, how different their reactions can be, as well as how much of a misogynist Strindberg was. I haven’t just learned about Katherine Mansfield and Rudyard Kipling. I’ve learned about the people around me. It’s something you don’t get so much at school, whether it’s because you’re too young to care or you’re very unobservant. Whatever the case may be, the things that go on at university teach you so much more than just the academic side of life. For instance, this week is Women’s Fest. There’s a full week of events lined up for your enjoyment and education. On Monday at noon sharp, there is a sex toy workshop in Meeting Room 2. You can learn about sex toys! Fun! Go, go, go (this event is for women only, as requested). On Tuesday we’re having a pot-luck luncheon starting at 12:30pm in SU218. I will be making something delicious. After that, Mary O’Regan is speaking about feminism back in the day. Later, the Blow the Whistle Campaign is launching. The campaign is about family violence. On Wednesday, the YWCA and Positive Women are holding a Female Condom/International Paper Dolls workshop, which will be awesome. Time and place to be confirmed. Thursday is super busy, starting with a sexual health speaker at noon, followed by a stencilling workshop from 2-4pm. These will both be in Meeting Room 2, and there will be yummy snacks. The speaker event is open to women only, so people can ask lots of womany questions. Pub quiz in the evening! Then on Friday we’re having a full day of mural painting in the Women’s Room! I’m so excited! I got sparkly paint. Come get your creativity on! We’ll be starting about 11am. For more information, or if you have any questions, you can contact me at wro@vuwsa.org.nz, and check out the Facebook events too!

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Ngāi Tauira

That Maori Kid who went to uni Ihaka Tunui

Coming from a small town that most of the country has no idea exists (other than the times it appears in the media) and moving into a city to attend tertiary is exciting and another experience all together.

with mum and dad. There is so much potential out there in little Maori communities, they may not see it because of the way life is around them, but the truth is, if others from those towns can get out and make something of their life then why not you? Sure, tertiary can be hard sometimes, but so is life in general. There are the good times too. Tertiary study is never beyond anyone, everyone can do it if they put their mind to it, and put in the hours and determination to see it through. It doesn’t matter if you are Maori or not, if you come from a small town or a city, tertiary is there for the taking. So as the story goes, once away from the town you see the world and what it has to offer. Some things will be missed, some not so much, but it is all about a leap of faith, to take charge and walk forward. If you want to make history then you must change history. Change is a word and action that many people are not comfortable with, they fear the difference and what might happen if they take that leap. Will I fail or will I pass? The thing is you will never know if you never try. Sure there may be some real harsh times that test you physically and mentally, but you learn to over-come them and draw strength. Maori were a proud race and still remain to be, some people may have forgotten that, but this Maori kid who went to tertiary holds a dream and the destination.

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A town that is predominantly Maori and is low on the employment scale has little to offer when you are nearing adulthood. Sure it was nice growing up there as a kid, but over time things change and you grow up in need of something more. When high school is nearing its end and the only thing to look forward to is the benefit or New World among other little establishments, Tertiary Education can seem like a far-off destination. Taking Many Maori kids will say that tertiary is a far that first step can be the biggest and defining step in ones life. off dream or that they mostMany Maori kids will say that are too dumb to study, tertiary is a far off dream or that they read or write. A lot will are too dumb to study, read or write. A lot will look to sports, something this look to sports country is really proud of, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some families will push their child to go into the armed forces where you won’t need a student loan and your life is already set for you, and again there is nothing wrong with that. But what happens to the others, the ones that are not in a sport, and don’t want to go to the armed forces? The reality is that they either move to Australia in hopes of a job, get pregnant and live on the benefit or still live

salient.org.nz


the news

Salient Vol. 74

Edited by Stella Blake-kelly

VSM to face the Waitangi Tribunal

Because the government is really gonna listen to what they say Natalie Powlesland

The battle opposing voluntary student membership continues, this time as Māori students’ associations come out against the bill. Te Mana Ākonga, the National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association, attempted to lodge a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, stating that the passage of the VSM Bill has not taken into account Māori interests. The claim was been made by Te Mana Ākonga on behalf of Māori Students’ Associations, including Victoria University’s Ngai Tauira, and all Māori engaged in tertiary education. “We have submitted this claim due to the negative impacts this Bill will have on Maori development and advancement. It highlights the prejudicial effects of this Bill against tauira (students) Maori in the tertiary sector and the impacts it has on the overall framework provided by students’ associations which assist in strengthening the support of tauira,” says Te Mana Akonga Tumuaki Jacqualene Poutu. Te Mana Ākonga claim VSM prejudicially affects Māori students and defies the Treaty of Waitangi. They believe VSM will: diminish the right of Māori at university to form rōpū (a group or association); reduce the right of those rōpū to exercise Tino Rangatiratanga (self-determination); and weaken the right of Māori students to form a national representative entity. They asked for an urgent hearing with the Tribunal and for it to recommend the Bill be abolished, and that provisions be made to protect Māori at university and their national representation. They are also appealing to the Tribunal on the grounds that the government did not act in good faith by

consulting with Māori students and did not conduct any research into the effects this bill would have on Māori students and their associations. NZUSA support the claim and agree that research should have been conducted into the effects VSM will have on students. The disgraceful fact remains that the government has done no analysis or real consideration of what impact this Bill will have on student services, student representation, and the quality of education for students as a whole,” says NZUSA co-President David Do. The claim was presented to Parliament by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell last Wednesday. He asked for the entirety of the Bill to be referred to the Tribunal. However, the motion was not supported by the House so will not be referred. The Waitangi Tribunal was set up in 1975 and is designed to provide redress for actions of the Crown, such as legislation, which breach the Treaty of Waitangi. The Tribunal conducts a series of hearings and makes recommendations to the government who can then decide whether or not to act on them.

Vincent Konrad

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Issue 20 Tertiary education

Molly McCarthy

By 2051, robots will be the winner on the day, Victoria University Associate Professor Dr Ian Yeoman has predicted. In a press statement released by the university last week, Yeoman claimed that the 2051 Rugby World Cup will feature a significant amount of robotic technology. Players taking to the field will be aided by bionic implants and built-in performance-monitoring chips, and the game will be monitored by robotic referees, linesmen and played with a rugby ball featuring radio frequency chips. “There’ll be no more blaming the ref.” Technology such as genetic engineering and advanced implants is already more widely-used in sports than one may realise, argues Yeoman, pointing to South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius’ London Olympics-qualifying carbon fibre prosthetic running blades as an example. Although a team of half-human, half-robots may seem like the stuff of science-fiction, Yeoman says that the technology necessary to

create these super athletes is already under development. “We are already using antimicrobial technology in shoes to keep them clean and prevent athlete’s foot. “We’re also developing the means to create highly advanced nanobots (microscopic robots) capable of entering the bloodstream to feed cells and extract waste. Humans who have been injected with these nanobots will evolve into cyborgs and would make outstanding athletes.” From athlete’s foot to cyborgs, these technological developments will also ensure a healthier team and less time on the bench for injured players. “New therapies will cut recovery times from injury by up to 300 per cent and we can look forward to individualised pre-match drinks and non-invasive injections to optimise energy levels.” Technology has a few surprises in store for audiences of the game as well. “TV viewers will enjoy lifelike 3D images in their indoor or outdoor home theatre while for really dedicated fans, the ultimate experience will be staying at a hotel that’s part of the stadium complex.” For those worried that these technological changes will make the game lose its ‘edge’, Yeoman points out that a number of games— including rugby—are already very popular as computer games. But Yeoman, a Scotland supporter, is a fan of the game sans-cyborg for now as well. Having purchased tickets to the Scotland vs Argentina match, he’s hoping for a Scotland victory against the All Blacks in the final. “...but that’s a wish rather than a prediction!”

From athlete’s foot to cyborgs, these technological developments will also ensure a healthier team and less time on the bench for injured players.

Martin Doyle

2050: Robots to Dominate World, Rugby —It’s just not footy!

salient.org.nz


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Salient Vol. 74

No Joke Headline for this one. This is Really Important Natalie Powlesland

Students may be left without essential student services under a proposal from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce. The objective of the proposal is to establish a framework for how compulsory fees and student services are administered by universities. This framework aims to create transparency and accountability in decisionmaking on these issues. Part of the proposal states the categories of student services that can be funded by compulsory service fees. These categories exclude a number of services that universities currently offer and are in strong demand. The proposal states that service fees could cover advocacy and legal advice; careers information and guidance; counselling services; employment information; financial support and advice; health services; student media; childcare services; and sports and recreation services. The Student Services Levy at Victoria currently covers most of these categories. However, it also covers accommodation services, Maori mentoring service Te Putahi Atawhai, Student Learning Support Services, new student orientation, and information technology services. These areas are not included in Joyce’s proposal.

services through the Student Services Levy was being floated. However the prescribed categories do not allow for funding of many of VUWSA’s core services—such as representation and welfare—meaning VUWSA will have to find revenue elsewhere. The implementation date of the proposed changes has drawn criticism from NZUSA co-president, Max Hardy. “[Joyce] is expecting associations and institutions to adjust to a massively altered funding environment in just a few short months. They couldn’t have done much more to make this as difficult as possible for the sector to manage,” Hardy says. “We hope that the Government has made an oversight and will be fully engaged in the consultation process.” The Minister is currently seeking submissions from anyone who is concerned about the proposed changes.

The Pasifika Students’ Fono Happened Ta’ase Vaoga

Because these services are not included in the proposal it is conceivable that the university would have to find alternative sources of funding for these or would have to cut them altogether.

Sixty Pacific students from New Zealand tertiary institutions gathered at Victoria University from 29 August to 2 September for their annual fono.

VUWSA President Seamus Brady is concerned that these changes will ultimately lead to a lack of quality student services.

Run in conjunction with NZUSA, the fono (conference) was hosted by Pasifika Students Council (VUW) and VUWSA’s Welfare Officer Ta’ase Vaoga.

“We’re concerned that the categories prescribed by the Minister are too narrow and leave little room for services that students have said they want to be funded,” he says.

The fono aims to discuss the issues and barriers that are faced by Pasifika students in Tertiary Education. It is also an opportunity to network with other Pasifika representative groups from other institutions.

A good example of this is information technology services which provides students with internet, email and printing services. In 2011, $1,660,195 of the funding for this service came from the Student Services Levy. If information technology is excluded from student services fees then this money would have to come from another source. The new restrictions on levy spending will limit how VUWSA could transition into a voluntary membership environment. The option of the University funding some

This year’s fono was a huge success and resulted in some positive discussions, says PSC President Grace Hutton. “The discussions had at the fono meant we were able to put an action plan in place for all of us to work on in our respective institutions, this will help strengthen pathways into tertiary education for younger generations.” The next fono is planned to be held in April next year.


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Issue 20 Tertiary education

VSM LOOMS! Like a dark wave late at night ready to wash the beach clean of the day’s sand castles

Nostalgia Concurs

Ben Hague

Act MP Heather Roy’s Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill passed its committee stage last Wednesday, with it now expected to receive royal assent on 28 September. It was reported without amendment by 63 votes to 56 with the support of National, Act and United Future. Despite multiple amendments being proposed by Labour, all were voted down. Proposed amendments included pushing out the implementation date to give associations and institutions more time to adjust, and reviewing the law post-implementation to monitor Roy said that its effects. students are

looking forward to Voluntary Student Membership

QS: “Vic’s Not What It Once Was”

Roy said that students are looking forward to Voluntary Student Membership.

“They are very keen that they have the democratic choice to decide for themselves whether they want to belong or not. Not for the Labour Party to compel them to do so.”

Natalie Powlesland

Victoria may have slipped in the QS World University Rankings but it is not all doom and gloom, according to the University. Despite Victoria slipping in this year’s rankings, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Rob Rabel, points out that Victoria has been more successful in subject rankings. “It has been heartening to see Victoria ranked in the top 150 in the world in many subject areas in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and commerce.” “Most impressively, our Law Faculty was ranked in the top 20 in the world,” Rabel said. He also points out that each year there are small movements in New Zealand universities’ rankings and that this year Victoria has improved its ranking relative to other New Zealand universities. “While experiencing a slight decline this year, our position relative to Auckland and Canterbury has, in fact, improved slightly.”

Labour MP Chris Hipkins said this was “a lot of puffery” from Roy and she lacked a basic understanding of how Student Associations function.

Rabel also points out that there is an inherent bias in the QS survey towards universities which have medical schools and comprehensive engineering programmes which tends to place Victoria at a disadvantage.

“If the Act Party did believe in democratic process they wouldn’t be afraid of getting out there and campaigning for Voluntary Membership.” Instead they were legislating over students’ wishes, he said.

“In last year’s Times Higher Education World University rankings, which made some allowance for this inherent bias, Victoria was ranked second amongst New Zealand universities,” he said.

NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy said there had been a lack of leadership from the National Party.

Rabel also emphasises that a lack of government funding for universities in New Zealand will likely be a contributing factor in rankings.

“They have not fully fronted up and explained why they support it, and particularly why they are going against the overwhelming evidence and submissions received that showed just how destructive this Bill would be in practice.” Labour had been trying to filibuster the Bill, but it now looks likely to become law and implemented from 1 January 2012.

“As long as public funding for New Zealand universities continues to remain static or decline, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain the current strong representation of our universities in global rankings.”

salient.org.nz


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Salient Vol. 74

VUWSA Experiencing Electile Dysfunction Does no-one want to be the next Jezza Peters?!

with Molly McCarthy

Elle Hunt The annual VUWSA General Election has got off to a slow start, with just five nominations having been received so far.

All Blacks Long in the Face Before Game

At time of writing on Thursday 8 September, five students had put themselves forward for one of the 16 positions on the executive, two weeks since nominations opened in mid-August.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup fever has spread to our livestock too.

But look Stable for World Cup nonetheless

With nominations closing on Wednesday, the upcoming election on Monday 26 September could well be a shambles. But, when grilled by Salient, VUWSA President Seamus Brady displayed a laissez-faire attitude, pointing out that most nominations were received on the last day possible last year.

Lynn Colecutt of Clevedon’s Animal Farm, south of Auckland, has trained a number of ponies and donkies to play rugby, just in time for the World Cup. From September 28 to October 22, the Animal All Blacks will play the four-legged English team in the four-a-side game.

Salient News Editor Stella Blake-Kelly almost managed to convince one student, who she found engaged in a public display of affection on a couch in the Student Union Building, to run. Like former Activities Officer Alan Young before him, the individual expressed interest in the bonuses on offer to members of the executive.

So far the animals have been taught to kick backwards, run in the same direction, and are currently learning the haka.

That’s right, there are executive bonuses! That’s correct! Like, executive bonuses! We’ve been told there are executive bonuses. You have until Wednesday to put yourself forward! How to apply— Check out vuwsa.org.nz for more details!

Islamic Centre Opens Robyn Holdaway Victoria University recently opened a new Student Islamic Centre, where students can pray, study or drop in for a coffee between lectures. Open to all Muslim students, staff members and members of the wider Muslim community, the centre, formerly located in the Kirk Building, has moved to 86 Fairlie Terrace. The new centre has been collaboratively organised by Campus Services and Victoria International with the support of Acting President of the Muslim Students’ Association, Farid Rafie, who welcomes the support the centre will provide Muslim students, especially during Ramadan. There are currently 250 students registered with the Muslim Students’ Association and the new centre includes separate prayer rooms for males and females, a kitchen, common area and internet access.

“You get them in the right way and tell them to kick it,” explains Colecutt. Although the team line-ups have not yet been finalised, the farm is already decked out with a stadium featuring tiered-seating, goalposts, and three cheerleader miniature ponies sporting ruffles. Stars of the field include star-kicker ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Shadow’, whose penchant for forward-passing could earn him some yellow cards. “He doesn't realise he can't forward pass. Shadow can be absolutely fantastic and absolutely terrible...The worst thing is taking him out of the arena. He loves being a star.” But whatever the outcome, rugby will be the winner on the day.

Kebabs say Ke-Bye-bye Haters gon’ hate

It’s no fun to be drunk when you live in Cittadella, Italy. Mayor Massimo Botocci banned all shops selling kebabs in the northern Italian town last month, because he doesn’t like how they smell. Amongst reasons for outlawing the treasured tipsy treat, Botocci said kebabs were unsuitable for the historic centre of the town because of “the way in which the foods are eaten, the smell they give off...” But Botocci recognised that, although he was opposed to the noms, others may enjoy a kebab or two despite their odour. “If someone wants to eat a kebab, he can do it at home or outside of the historic centre. “They aren’t part of our tradition.” For those interested in the early morning kebab scene, check out thekebabblog.tumblr.com where Salient’s own Molly McCarthy rates and reviews the best that Wellington has to offer.


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Issue 20 Tertiary education

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Bla Bla Bla

Ugly Children Cause Traffic Accident, Concerns For World Cup City Councils Facing Ethical Dilemmas Edward Warren

Following two major traffic accidents on the weekend, each one concurrent with the presence of unattractive youths, the Council is considering appearance—on the first occasion of two very ugly toddlers, and on the second by one, slightly older but objectively far more physically displeasing child— as being the primary cause for each accident. The first accident, caused by the ugly toddlers, involved three family sized cars and a motorcycle piling up in the middle of the intersection of Willis St and Lambton Quay when a mother, 37, reached the pedestrian crossing holding the hands of her two unappealing and in no way endearing children. Courier driver Nathan Wilmott, 26, described the sight of the two odd children as “engrossing ... sort of like watching a car crash, where you want to look away but your eyes won’t let you, which is funny, you know, given the circumstances”. Jane Prendergast, mother of the two unfortunate wee things, Kiki and Popo, could not be reached for comment. The children remain quite displeasing. The second incident, a two-car head-on collision on Tinakori Road, appears to have been caused by an “awful” seven-year-old. The child’s age has been confirmed by his father, 33, and quite rightly

offended, but sources report that the child’s frightening appearance “might have tricked [you] into thinking he was some kind of shrunken old man”. While these two traffic accidents suggest that something more might need to be done about road safety provisions such as lowering speed limits in certain areas, inner-city and otherwise. The issue that also comes to light for Parliament to consider in the coming week’s Parliamentary Group Talking Session, is a question of what sort of precautions can be put in place to hide all the ugly people in New Zealand during the World Cup so visiting nations “don’t get the wrong idea”. Labour leader Phil Goff announced a Member’s Bill covering such an issue in a press statement: “The basic concept is to implement some kind of reverse curfew, letting those classed as A or B level: nasty, unsightly and repellent; out only after dark, and during daylight hours, requesting that they remain indoors. The goal of this is to attractive future investors and immigrants to New Zealand with an outwardly beautiful population. In these rocky economic times, drastic measures will sometimes be required and hideous people will sometimes be sacrificed for the greater good.”

Email snippets of life at Vic to editor@salient.org.nz with ‘Overheard’ in the subject line, or find Overheard @ Vic on Facebook

the week that wasn’t

LAND Student: “I like how they are all like little vinegarettes” LAND Lecturer: “Vignettes” Michael Bastin Girl 1: “Maybe you’d look less trampy if you stopped dying your hair” Girl 2: “Which one would you like to be today; pot or kettle?” Girl 1: “I never really got that what do pots and kettles have to do with anything?” Girl 3: “You know the old saying Pot calling a kettle black?” Girl 1: “Yeah but... ohhh.” Rachael Shand Girl 1: “I had a dream about Costa Rica last night!” Girl 2: “I had a dream about nachos. That’s kinda the same thing!” Neesh Smith Lecturer: Are you a woman? No, you’re just a cross dresser.” Student 1: “You know that chick with big tits?” Student 2: “Who, David?” (David is the lecturer) Jepha Krieg Tutor: “So what was first invented in the late 1960s that helped the Women’s Rights movement?” Student: “The washing machine?” Amy Pepper Guy 1: “There are also countries where they drive on the right side of the road.” Guy 2: “Probably all communist countries!” Corinna Welly Over-read in the Men’s toilets, English Dept, level 8 VZ: I have sexual fantasies about Samuel Beckett’s wrinkles. Samuel Philips Girl: “So if you blow hard enough it will turn to liquid in your mouth.” Sean Johnson Guy 1: “Why are you so paranoid about chicken?” Guy 2: “Because it can kill you! You can get swine flu from it and shit” Laura Bruce By the kelburn bus stop Guy 1: “You guys took too long to come out!” Guy 2: “Yeah, took too long to come out of your mum.” Alex Mei Bengree-Tawhara Girl 1: “So, you’re a vegetarian cos you really love animals?” Girl 2: “No, I just hate plants.” Diz-v Rascal salient.org.nz


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Salient Vol. 74

The National Party List Paul comrie-thomson, that is

Released just over a week ago, the National Party list holds few surprises and it makes sense. Even though some complain of complacency, National are clearly onto a winning formula at this point, and as the old adage goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Despite that, there are a couple of elements to the rankings that warrant analysis. Current National list MP Tau Henare is the big loser on the list, dropping from 26 to 40. Granted the drop is likely not enough to see the incumbent turfed out, but is a pretty clear indication from Key and the Party hacks that they’re less than impressed with his performance over the past three years. As Key hinted, “there’s a message there”, although at the same time the Prime Minister said he wouldn’t be drawn into “performance discussions” with the media. The other significant drop is likely to have more profound consequences for its unlucky recipient. Paul Quinn, dropping to a rank of 56, now relies on National capturing approximately 48 per cent of the Party Vote to secure a seat in the next Parliament. That just might happen, but with iPredict currently forecasting slightly less (47.1 per cent), it might be time for Mr Quinn to update the old CV quick smart. Speaker Lockwood Smith, on the other hand, has jumped from twelfth to third place, a consequence of his vacating the seat of Rodney due to the constraints he faces in his role as Speaker. Another apparent winner, new candidate Paul Goldsmith, was awarded number 39 to guarantee him backdoor entry after he agreed to stand in the (relatively) safe Act electorate: Epsom. The two real surprises come with Auckland University lecturer Jian Yang and Pastor Alfred Ngaro at 35 and 36 respectively; neither of whom we’ve heard anything about until now, and selections that reflect an effort to ensure ethnic diversity in the National caucus. The former is a particularly important selection in maintaining National’s links with the Chinese community following Pansy Wong’s exit late last year. As David Farrar extrapolates, National is doing fairly well in the ethnicity stakes. “At 48%, National would have seven MPs of Maori descent, which would

be 12 per cent of Caucus. This is equal to adult Maori population, which is 12 per cent of the country. There would also be two Pacific MPs and three Asian MPs.” While they might be succeeding in achieving ethnic diversity, gender diversity continues to lag; a problem that has always, and clearly continues to plague National. Female candidates comprise only one-quarter of the Party’s list, despite the fact the fairer sex make up more than 50 per cent of the country’s population. The New Zealand Herald has reported that Key has been explicit in wanting to see more women represented under the National banner, and even though a number of current women MPs have been promoted, including Paula Bennett (up to 14 from 41), Hekia Parata (18 from 36), and Amy Adams (28 from 52), only two of the top ten positions are occupied by female candidates: Judith Collins (7), and Anne Tolley (8), with only a further three rounding out the top 20. By comparison, alongside Annette King as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the opposition have three further women represented in their top 10, and a total of eight in their top 20. Perhaps it’s not such a surprise. For, at the same time as the Party releases a list that largely maintains National’s inherent male conservatism, the Prime Minister is promoting a change to our electoral system, despite the fact that MMP has seen the percentage of woman in Parliament rise from 14.4 per cent at the beginning of 1990s to 33.6 per cent in 2010. The Supplementary Member alternative Key advocates will not help the cause; more than likely turning back the clock instead. Therefore, for all the rhetoric, Key and the National Party must start actively approaching and pushing woman candidates to stand in safe National seats thus pushing up the Party’s gender diversity. Granted, it wouldn’t have made a difference in this election, but with any drop in popularity for the Party leader among female constituents, National could be looking down a very different barrel in 2014.

Key has been explicit in wanting to see more women represented under the National banner

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Issue 20 Tertiary education

YOUTHLAW

TINO RANGATIRATANGA TAITAMARIKI 0800 UTHLAW | youthlaw.co.nz | info@youthlaw.co.nz

ES C I V R AL SE

EG L E E R F FOR UNDER 2

5s

YouthLaw is a free national legal service for under 25s. Contact us for free on 0800 UTHLAW (884 529) or info@youthlaw.co.nz for help with almost any legal problem. Each issue we answer your questions on a particular area of law. This issue: Tertiary Education. What does a student union at university do? A union is a student association which will generally advocate for common goals of the student population. Unions also aim to raise awareness about problems affecting their members. For example, a student union may organise submissions to Parliament when a relevant law is about to be passed, and hold public events/protests. Issues currently include rising student debt in New Zealand, equal access to tertiary education, and the quality of teaching in our universities.

Who represents students at Victoria University? The union at Victoria is called VUWSA (Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association), which was established in 1899. When you enrolled at Victoria, you will have automatically become a member of the union. The association’s core service is to ensure that students are receiving the best standard of education possible, and further to give tertiary students a voice throughout the university. Some of their support services include a food bank, access to Student Job Search, some inter-campus bus services, and other types of assistance for students in need. See vuwsa.org.nz for more information.

What is this new law about student unions? Currently, student union membership is compulsory when you enrol at a university in New Zealand. The University of Auckland is the only exception, as since 1999 membership has been voluntary. At other universities, if students did not wish to belong to the union, they would need to hold a referendum to vote for change. If the Education (Freedom of Association) Bill becomes law, it will be a student’s choice as to whether they want to join the union when they enrol in university. If the Bill is passed, it will also be illegal to put undue pressure on someone enrolling in a university to join a students’ association.

Why is the government attempting to change the law? There is currently much debate surrounding this Bill. Some believe that students must have (a) the right to choose whether to belong to a union and (b) greater transparency of compulsory fees—i.e. you should know exactly what you’re paying for. Others believe that if union membership is not compulsory, that this will result in a decrease in membership and hence mean that unions cannot.

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SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS If you have a legal question, email it to ben@ youthlaw.co.nz. We may not print each question, but we will always reply. Printed questions will be vaguely related to issue themes, as far as possible.

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Salient Vol. 74

Harsh truths Conrad Reyners

It’s difficult to pin down exactly what Universities are and what they do. On the one hand, they provide a place where students can learn new things, gain new knowledge and equip themselves not just with skills, but with a career. On the other, they are the locus of an intellectual community, one that contributes to what we think, feel and care about. Those two objectives are often in competition, but both are a priority. As a consequence Government has always had an odd relationship with its universities. Universities used to be set up by their own Act of Parliament, but now they are Crown Entities. To an extent governments can control what they can or can not do. But they are also functionally independent. While the government pays (most) of the bills, universities still have the power, and some would say the responsibility, to call any government out on its bullshit. Tertiary organisations are set up by the Education Act 1989. Its an incredibly powerful and wide-ranging piece of law. It establishes the rules around universities, NZQA, the Tertiary Education Commission, and even the membership of student associations such as VUWSA. That list is just a snapshot. The Education Act covers a lot, it does a lot, and it’s complicated. The Education Act acts a gatekeeper on when a new university can be created. Section 162(4)(a) outlines the things a university must have in order to be a proper university. The requirements are conceptually powerful. They include: a focus on intellectual independence, the interdependence of research and teaching according to international standards, acting as a repository of knowledge and expertise—and crucially, acting as a critic and conscience of society. Its very difficult to fulfill all these requirements, and as the case of Attorney-General v Unitec Institute of Technology demonstrated, some governments are firmly against the idea of there being any new universities at all. It the requirement that universities act as a critic and conscience of society that has proven to be the most contentious. By law, universities are expected to question controversial things. That, and the enshrinement of academic freedom in section 161 of Act, puts universities in a powerful position to get all up in other people’s business.

Take for example the recent case of Margaret Mutu, head of the University of Auckland’s Maori Studies Department. Last Monday she came out in support of a Department of Labour report, which asserted that Maori are more likely to be anti-immigration than any other racial group. Much of the media reaction to her comments has focused on what she said—and for good reason, her comments were pretty inflammatory. But there has been little attention given to why she could say what she said. Unlike the racist rantings of Kyle Chapman, former head of the New Zealand National Front, Mutu was using her position of academic authority to challenge New Zealand’s view of race relations. Personally I don’t agree with Universities still have the her, but I was intrigued by what power, and some would her comments achieved. In a say the responsibility, to way she was doing exactly what call any government out the Education Act required of her. She was acting as a critic on its bullshit and conscience, and was using her academic freedom to put forward a fairly challenging point of view. The senior management of the University of Auckland couldn’t do much to quiet her and in fact have publicly backed her up. What this demonstrates is that the law actually puts academics in a far more powerful position than students realise, and also perhaps more than some academics realise themselves. Universities have always been the places where radical ideas have been fermented. It was the protests and then massacre of students and academics at the University of Tehran that sparked the Iranian revolution of 1979. The ideas developed at the University of Chicago in the 1980s


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changed the face of global economics and politics. Closer to home, organisation against the Springbok tours was located in and around our universities. Margaret Mutu’s contribution pales in comparison, but is part of the same concept; universities are here to do more than simply churn out the next generation of lawyers, accountants, and Briscoes Managers. But the legal framework that universities operate under creates difficult tensions. Although they are functionally independent from government, the vast majority of a university’s bottom line comes from the taxpayer purse (either through direct funding or student fees). This means that Vice Chancellors must always be walking a tightrope. Part of their mission is to push the boundaries, but push it too much and they may find themselves wanting in the next budget round. However, a university community should never shy away from vocal expression. Margaret Mutu’s statements were brash, but they were also comparatively rare. Self-censorship in any large organisation is perilous, even career-damaging. But academics have a responsibility to air harsh truths. Perhaps they need to take a page from Mutu’s book and remember that according to the law they are expected to speak their minds.

Vice Chancellor’s must always be walking a tightrope. Part of their mission is to push the boundaries

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Salient Vol. 74

In Theory. But in Practice?:

ity s r e iv n U ia r o t ic V in VUWSA’s role with Stella Blake-Kelly & Elle Hunt

Last week, Salient co-editor Elle Hunt and news editor Stella Blake-Kelly concluded that, in theory, the purpose of a students’ association is to provide a combination of representation and services, as determined by their student body. But how does this work in practice? In this, Salient’s Tertiary Education issue, we look at how the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) serves its members, and explore how it could be adapted to suit a voluntary membership environment. For much of its 111-year history, VUWSA has served as a platform for its members to respond to wider social and political issues, such as the Nuclear Free New Zealand Movement and the Vietnam War. In the 2000s, however, students are no longer as concerned with the state of their nation as they are with the state of their time at university. VUWSA has therefore prioritised the provision of representation and services to reflect the more self-interested demands of its membership. So, the association’s principal responsibilities within the Victoria University community is to act as a voice for students, and as a service provider that supports their interests—which, together, are understood to contribute towards that elusive ‘student experience’. VUWSA serves as an advocate for students, both in terms of protecting them as a group from the commercial interests of Victoria University and supporting individuals’ grievances through the institutional process.“[Students’ associations provide] an opportunity for the student voice to be heard,” says Labour Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins, who served as President during 2000 and 2001. “I actually think that’s one of [their] most important functions.” In theory, VUWSA picks its battles on a basis of what its membership highlights as a priority. President Seamus Brady says that the association’s most recent activities have been guided by the results of the Student Survey conducted at the end of last year. This also means that, as the student community becomes more and more diverse, VUWSA has had to expand its forms of representation. It has done so with an increased number and range of representative groups—for example, the recent and much-publicised establishment of the Science Society, which is an example of how a rep group, overseen by a students’ association, can work to foster a sense of community on campus.

“As the student population grew more diverse, we [felt] we should be able to accommodate the changing student profile within our own association, so that we remained a legitimate representational body,” says Brady. Over recent years, VUWSA has managed to build on this authority, adding to the credibility of its academic representation. Thanks largely to the efforts of incumbent Vice-President (Education) Bridie Hood, its class representative system is the best in the country, with 91 per cent of classes this year engaged with the scheme, up from just 44 per cent in 2009. VUWSA also employs several student advocates that help individuals with academic grievances make submissions to the Students’ associations University. Moreover, the also provide services Association’s improved designed to create a relationship with the sense of community and University has further support students’ needs increased its effectiveness: “If you constructively work with [the University], and maintain that independence from it, then you can have an impact on what you are trying to achieve,” says Brady. Victoria University’s Chancellor Ian McKinnon—a former VUWSA executive member himself—sees a strong partnership between a students’ association and a tertiary provider as crucial to ensuring a world-class student experience. Brady agrees with this sentiment: “We often fill the gap that students identify is lacking, when they want something to happen—we built the rec centre back in the day,” he says. “We built the first library.” (It’s important to note, though, that both of these services are now funded by the Student Services Levy, not VUWSA.) Today, VUWSA’s attention to the student experience has been realised on a grander scale with the Campus Hub redevelopment project—a huge undertaking that reflects what can be achieved when a tertiary provider and a students’ association collaborate. This also exemplifies how some of the ‘services’ that students’ associations


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provide are universal, and hard to quantify the value of—after all, even in a voluntary environment, it would be possible to charge non-VUWSA members for using the Student Union Building or developed Campus Hub. Students’ associations also provide services designed to create a sense of community and support students’ needs. In VUWSA’s case, this includes Orientation programmes, clubs, student media (such as Salient and The VBC 88.3 FM), and the food bank. The impact and importance of these services is hard to gauge, as they tend to involve a small but dedicated group of people. For example, with 1979 members, cultural clubs involve only 10 per cent of the student body; sporting clubs, with 822 members, five percent. Having said that, these is less pressure on VUWSA to provide cultural opportunities, as these are widely available in the central city. Moreover, core services, such as the library and recreation centre, are provided by the University. This goes to show how the concept of a students’ association can be adapted to reflect the needs of its student body: the University of Otago Students’ Association, for example, clearly prioritises recreation and entertainment over academic representation. Under universal membership, VUWSA can speak for all students of Victoria University. This legitimises the association’s status as a student voice; as all students are members, it is assumed that VUWSA’s stance extends to that of the entire student community. But students have a wide range of views, and an automatic mandate is an unearned mandate. This argument is often voiced by supporters of Voluntary Student Membership (VSM),

which—due to the persistence of ACT MP Heather Roy— looks likely to affect students’ associations from 2102. VSM will greatly reduce the power of students’ associations, as, in a voluntary environment, they will only be able to speak on behalf of their members. But, argues ACT on Campus president (and vehement supporter of VSM) Peter McCaffrey, this is democratic. “Representation is when one person allows another person to represent their views on their behalf,” says McCaffrey. “In a voluntary organisation, if you believe you are being misrepresented, you can leave so that that person no longer represents you. “Unfortunately, because students’ associations are compulsory, if you think you are being misrepresented you can’t leave the organisation or refuse to join the following year. Voluntary student membership lets everyone decide, for themselves, whether they wish to be represented by their students’ Will Victoria University association.” McCaffrey is exaggeratcontinue to recognise ing. Even under universal it as the voice of membership, it is possible to students, or will it be disassociate oneself from one’s students’ association—it’s reduced to being the just difficult. Under current voice of individuals? legislation, a student can choose to opt out, but the rationale must be ‘conscientious objection’, and their membership fee has to be donated to charity. Moreover, how this loophole is exercised is at the whim of the executive in question: a number of students’ associations nationwide have either conspicuously failed to publicise the option of opting out to their membership, or adopted policies with complicated withdrawal processes. Even acknowledging that the current process of opting out is inadequate, it’s important to recognise voluntary and universal membership as ideological extremes. Universal membership assumes that a students’ association can accurately represent the views of an entire community, but this depends on its being transparent, accountable and engaged; moreover, it is impossible to represent all students’ views. But under voluntary membership, an association can operate only on behalf of its members—meaning that the university no longer has to recognise it as the voice of the student body. This would shift the balance of power in favour of tertiary providers, which has the potential to jeopardise the student experience: supporters of students’ associations often maintain that universities could and would not prioritise this if left to their own devices.

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Voluntary membership presents VUWSA with a great deal of uncertainty. Will Victoria University continue to recognise it as the voice of students, or will it be reduced to being the voice of individuals? Will VUWSA still be able to appoint student representatives on the University Council and various committees? And how will those students who choose not to join VUWSA make their opinions known to the University? Currently, VUWSA depends primarily on membership fees for revenue. Next year, with this certainty removed, VUWSA has two options: it can either be contracted to the University to provide services, or it can focus on soliciting for membership. Either way, the association will have to reflect seriously on its purpose and its goals to ensure that it does not lose sight of its responsibility to the student body, and the Strategic Plan, which was open for consultation in August, is a first step towards this. However, student engagement—which is how VUWSA remains relevant—has been low: for example, voter turn-out to elections and meetings has been consistently low. (In 2009, the meeting to approve the contribution of $12m of student funds to the redevelopment of the Student Union Building failed to reach quorum.) This apathy compromises the validity of VUWSA’s decision-making: if students aren’t letting VUWSA know how to proceed,

how does it know it is making the right decisions? This indifference is particularly concerning in the face of voluntary membership, when VUWSA will, in all likelihood, have to shake students out of their passivity for revenue. But for pro-VSM group Student Choice spokesperson Lauren Brazier, this is part of a democratic society. “Students are smart—if you’ve got a good students’ association, they’re going to realise that,” she says. “I think that’s a problem that underlines the arguments for compulsory membership— there seems to be this assumption that as soon as membership’s voluntary, no-one’s going to join. But contradictorily, [students’ associations] say ‘Hold on, though we provide all these great services, no-one’s going to join us under VSM’. It makes no sense.” More than ever before, under voluntary membership, VUWSA is going to have to be what students want it to be; otherwise, it will not have the authority to speak for the student body. But does VUWSA know what students want? If it did, would voluntary membership seem so devastating a threat? After all, as Brazier points out, VSM doesn’t, by definition, stop students’ associations from fulfilling their role: it will just make it harder. In its current form, VUWSA might not have what it takes to meet the challenge. So will it have to drastically restructure? Will it have to cut all services, sell off Salient, give up representation and their mandate to speak for students as they become reliant on the University for funding? Only time will tell. The environment is changing, and VUWSA—as do all students’ associations—needs to adapt or die.

VSM doesn’t, by definition, stop students’ associations from fulfilling their role: it will just make it harder

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An Opinion Piece About The Changes Currently Happening at Vic

Geraint Scott

As has been covered extensively in Salient, Victoria University’s Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) department is undergoing some very radical changes. These will have wide-ranging implications, not only for the students taking the course, but also for the department’s staff, some of whom have lost their jobs as a result. Victoria University released a Consultation Document on 27 June that outlined the proposed changes to the department. It stated that “the primary objective of the proposal is for PSIR to become the premier postgraduate research destination in New Zealand, and one of the best in Australasia, while also offering an outstanding undergraduate programme”. In a five-and-a-half week consultation period, 18 submissions to the proposal were received, primarily by staff and students of the programme. Three oral submissions were also heard. A consistent theme throughout the submissions was the perception that the course content would be narrowed down to focus on the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China. There was also concern that feminist approaches and Development Studies would no longer be available. In their response, the University stated that they were “disappointed by the amount of misinformation contained in a number of submissions”, and claimed that a Tertiary Education Union (TEU) fact sheet that many submitters cited as a reference contained incorrect information.

The University also said that the changes would see “no overall reduction in the number of courses PSIR offers... but possibly an increase, due to an overall increase in staff [per full-time equivalent student]”. It said that concerns about the loss of a particular paper (INTP 246—International Politics of Development) were unfounded, because the course was still scheduled for 2012 and would continue if a suitable replacement for outgoing lecturer Robbie Shilliam could be found. Shilliam, who offered his resignation effective at the end of the academic year, is an expert in areas such as indigenous peoples, development and gender. Many students have also expressed great satisfaction at his teaching style: a brilliant mix of humour, outstanding intelligence and intriguing insight and understanding of the realities of international politics. He will be sorely missed by the IR department and students. The University also responded to claims that only senior lecturers were being considered for the new roles, saying that “there need be no direct correlation between age and rank”. Finally, on concerns of the scope of the course being narrowed, the University had this to say: “Given that a programme cannot specialise in all aspects of a discipline, it is desirable to try to develop critical mass in areas that have been identified as strategically important and in which it is reasonable to expect to make a distinctive and internationally recognised contribution”. Now for my opinion. That last quote more or less admits outright that the University are indeed trying to develop an IR programme that focuses mainly on Asia-Pacific relations—despite spending the rest of the document claiming that everything will still be the same as before. Saying that the number of courses offered will not change doesn’t guarantee that the same scope of courses will remain. Personally, I believe that the intelligence of the students and staff involved in the department has been insulted given that the negative nature of these changes is obvious to anyone involved. Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh has once again proven that he is not committed to retaining the academic integrity of the school (read: the closure of the gender studies course in 2010) and has left students and staff in the lurch. Although some students are in fact interested in Asia-Pacific relations, many are not and would prefer to learn about such topics as the role of women in war and the nature of global security and governance. Denying us access to these aspects of the course goes against the very nature of university itself, as well as Victoria’s motto: “Wisdom is more to be desired than gold”. This motto is particularly pertinent given that I have heard from sources in the department that these changes are not related in any way to financial hardship, but rather as a chance for certain friends of certain people to have more of their course content offered and therefore benefit financially. I’m already nudging my word limit without even mentioning the job losses resulting from the closure of the Crime and Justice Research Centre, which have angered the TEU. To quickly summarise, a lot of students are very angry about these proposals, and rightly so. They are completely unnecessary; they are resulting in redundancies; and they are an insult to the academic integrity of the school itself. University should never be about money or friends in high places. University is about the students. It’s about developing knowledge of the wider world to better understand how to navigate it. These constant attacks on arts programmes are a sign of things to come. These changes are already locked in but we need to stand up to them anyway and protect the integrity of one of the strongest political science departments in Australasia. Write to Pat Walsh and tell him that you don’t accept these changes. Remind him that, indeed, “wisdom is more to be desired than gold”.

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Salient Vol. 74

Graduated: Tick. Now what? Rhiannon Buttenshaw

It’s that time of year again—five weeks left until the freedom of summer. For many of you, it means the countdown to a summer of waking up late and hanging with friends. For others, it means a summer of holiday work. For every student completing their degree, it means the countdown to entering the job market. For the 2011 graduates, it’s time to either commit to postgraduate study or finding a job. Every year almost 30,000 people living in New Zealand complete an undergraduate degree, and over 3000 of those are from Victoria University. That’s a lot of students heading into the job market. It’s easy to feel like a small fish in a tiny pond with thousands of other small fish, fighting for space. Jessica Lee, a third-year Media Studies student, feels like one of those small fish. She is “scared” of going job hunting, because people have told her it is hard to find a job in the media, so Jessica has chosen to do a postgraduate qualification in journalism. “I feel that it will get me into journalism and give me contacts,” she explains. “I need that experience to get a job.” A few years ago, an undergraduate degree was all people needed to differentiate themselves in the job market but now, with more people completing tertiary study, students like Jessica are feeling that it takes a postgraduate degree to secure a job. Walking around Victoria, it’s not hard to find students feeling nervous about the job market, but there are also those who are feeling confident about their chances. Andrew Macdonald, a third-year student of computer science, is “pretty confident” that he will get a job in computer software. “There are a lot of jobs in this industry,” he comments. “It’s an increasing and expanding industry and a lot of the world revolves around computers.” However, the computer science industry is not the only thing that has given Andrew his confidence. He has also worked for his father’s computer company for the past six years and has gained a lot of valuable experience. As students, we hear horror stories of people who end up working at McDonald’s after graduating, but in reality, the success stories far outnumber the bad. Helena Cook works as a lawyer for the Health & Disability Commissioner, after graduating from Victoria University in May. It took her four and a half months to get the job.

Upon leaving university, Helena’s views of the job market quickly changed: “I thought I would walk straight into a job because I knew people, but it took longer than I thought.” Despite it not being how she expected, Helena kept looking. “I was job hunting for four months and applying for anything law-related at all. It was really disheartening putting out your CV and not knowing if people were going to read it and find you lame or really cool.” Helena ended up finding her current position on Seek.co.nz, but was surprised by how long the process took. One of the One of the biggest shocks for students entering the job market biggest shocks is the time the whole application for students takes. Another student entering the job process who experienced this is Dan market is the Green, who graduated in May time the whole with a Bachelor of Commerce. “I was naïve about finding application a job,” he says. “I thought it process takes would be easier than it was. I was under the impression graduates had advantages over other candidates but realised experience is the currency companies work with.” Dan now works in a support role for a communications company. While it did take both Cook and Green a few months, they are both happy in their roles. Both believe that their extracurricular experience bettered their chances in the job market. Helena volunteered at a law firm while studying: “I just rung up and said I was free and would work for free. That made me feel a lot better about the job market because I was getting good experience.” She also established a community justice project that partners senior law students with community legal organizations, and volunteered at Women’s Refuge for four years. Helena believes this helped her in getting the job: “At my job interview they asked me how do


Issue 20 Tertiary education

Sometimes volunteering at a company is the best thing you can do to gain experience and get a job

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they know I’m really passionate, and I said, Well look at the stuff I’ve done. It showed I was not all talk.” Dan Green also volunteered at organizations to gain experience and to help him get a job. As students, there are a few tools available for you that can offer you advice and help you increase your chances of finding a job. Two of these tools are Student Job Search (sjs.co.nz) and Vic Careers (victoria.ac.nz /careers). Vic Careers is a service that offers help with many aspects of your future career. They offer the Career Hub (an area for Victoria University students to find jobs), career seminars, CV help, advice and career expos to name a few things. So far this year over 2000 students have visited the careers office and a further 3000 have been advised by email. Vic Careers manager Liz Medford comments on the job market: “[It’s] has improved since last year, but it is difficult to say how long this will continue. By the end of July, this year 3,627 jobs were advertised on CareerHub, an increase of 55.6 per cent.”

Advice for future graduates “Final year students should make an effort to attend career expos and employer presentations to get good understanding of the job market and what employers look for; they should ensure their CV is the best it can be by attending a workshop and getting it checked by our careers teams. Careers staff can also help them with their job search strategies and interview techniques”—Liz Medford, Manager, Vic Careers “Get involved any way you can in what your passionate about… attend as many functions as you can and work your networks. Get as many business cards as you can… never lie at an interview or exaggerate, your integrity and reputation is paramount”—Helena Cook “It’s not what you know, but who you know. Over 70 per cent of jobs do not get advertised. Start networking early and get a job; the more experience you have the better you look. It’s not personal and remember that you are an investment to them so pitch yourself that way”—Dan Green “Check out internship opportunities, work experience and volunteer work as well as work on identifying skills, interest areas and preferred work environments”—Liz Medford, Manager, Vic Careers

The unemployment rate for people without a degree is double that of those with a degree

The big V word—yes, sometimes volunteering at a company is the best thing you can do to gain experience and get a job. Try volunteering over the summer somewhere that is of interest to you. Also, make sure you don’t have unrealistic expectations of the job market. Realise that it will take time to find a job, and don’t get freaked out by your first rejection. Both Helena and Dan found it took them longer than they expected to find a job. Don’t wait till your summer’s over and the bills are stacking up—start now. And, if you are still afraid of the graduate job market here are some statistics that should make you feel a bit better. According to Statistics New Zealand, the unemployment rate for people without a degree is double that of those with a degree. Technically, your degree has already halved your chances of being unemployed and minimized it to below 2 per cent.

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Salient Vol. 74

Should i drop out of uni? Zoe Reid

Often it seems like opinion falls into one of two camps. Either university is vital for success, or it is irrelevant to it. We’ve all heard the stories of how a business degree didn’t mean that Jimmy had a step ahead in his new job, or how the law graduate still had no working idea of how the law applied. Bachelor of Arts has started to become synonymous with ‘career-less’ to many. On top of this, we have entrepreneurs who barely scraped through primary school, sitting on top of their game—Steve Jobs from Apple dropped out of university, and New Zealand’s second most popular website, TradeMe, was set up entirely by a dropout. So why university at all? Do we need it? Isn’t life, these days, about the connections we have to those already in our chosen lines of business? Well, frankly, university will only get us so far. Even qualifications which seemingly guaranteed work are failing to deliver—in the United States last year, 87.4 per cent of law graduates had any sort of job nine months after graduation, 11 per cent of which were only part-time. Having university qualifications won’t necessarily protect your job from cuts,

nor will it necessarily push you ahead in the field—common feedback from jobseeking graduates is that employers are asking for industry experience, not simply a degree. Most degrees—BA, BSc especially, do not exactly funnel one into a specific, eagerly await jobs. Once we have a job, having a tertiary qualification will improve our starting rate and average income level. OECD data also shows that holding a tertiary qualification will reduce the income gap between men and women—that is, with a degree, a woman is more likely to earn a similar amount to a similarly qualified man, whereas without tertiary qualifications, women earn on average around 30 per cent less. (To some extent, this disparity is a result of 30-44 year old women working part time.) Women specifically are financially better off with a degree than without, as women in the labour market are typically valued less than men. It seems that the more vulnerable a person is, the more likely they are to be discriminated against, and the better their odds of success with a degree. New Zealand, however, has some uncomfortable statistics when it comes to jobseekers with tertiary qualifications. In comparison with much of the developed world, our qualified jobseekers start on rates similar to the unqualified, and do not catch up In comparison to where they globally should be for quite some to much of the developed world, time. Many jobseekers feel they are overqualiour qualified fied—their qualifications jobseekers start and experience are much on rates similar to greater than those required for positions advertised. the unqualified Furthermore, employers can be uncomfortable with hiring someone who will quickly want more money and possibly be trying to hike up the corporate ladder quickly. But what about the Steve Jobs of the world? Those who have little more than a focus, and drive to succeed? Well, do you have a million dollar idea, and the drive to see it through? Go on, try it. Try to go to university with this passionate idea sitting in the back of your mind, buzzing away while you try to write assignments. Put your spare money towards making it work. Don’t have such an idea? Perhaps you should stay at university. One of the reasons that such a drive to succeed is so important, is that not going to university or having similar mentoring and assistance means that there is a whole lot of learning which needs to


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Issue 20 Tertiary education

be done. One cannot simply buy a license to print money— running a business is potholed with legal obligations, loopholes, and problems. Caring about your business enough to go the extra mile and dot all of the ‘i’s is the difference between the Serepisoses and the Forbeses of this worldcutting corners and ignorance will only get you so far, and a lifetime is a long time to deal with mistakes. Relevant university degrees will ensure that you have a depth and breadth of knowledge about your chosen subject, as opposed to cherrypicking the As short a time as interesting parts and ignoring others which ten years ago, one reality are rather could get a bank loan in vital. and take the plunge As short a time towards developing as ten years ago, one could get a bank loan million dollar ideas and take the plunge towards developing million-dollar ideas. Today’s economy, when no credit is as bad as bad credit, many people simply cannot afford to take the risk. While University is expensive, you come out of it with something you will hold for the rest of your life—education, and formal qualifications. While repaying your student loan is a daunting task, every figure I could find showed that the increased income from those qualifications translated to about a 10-15 per cent return on the investment of those years and that expense.

If embarking on a trip up an existing corporate ladder, personal connections may mean much more than a degree. But if you don’t have those connections, the best place to make them is at university, where you are studying alongside the new generation’s greats. You are daily crossing paths with hundreds of students, and any one of them may positively impact your world in ten years (best to not piss a lot of people off ). Your lecturers and tutors often still have a hold in the professional world, and people talk. You may get just the right foothold, having spent a few years picking the brain of your future employer’s friends—your tutors and lecturers. All success involves learning. We can’t start with ignorance and succeed without advancing beyond ignorance. Perhaps evaluating how and why we learn is the first step into becoming successful, as university is not the ideal learning structure for many. If university is not your thing, then look for another way to keep improving as a person and supporting yourself. Most entrepreneurs know that they will never work ‘for’ someone, but rather want to succeed on their own terms. Succeeding without a mentor, again, requires a significant amount of self motivated learning— something we can all learn from our university education. There’s no right answer as to what we, individually, should do. But graduating into a supermarket job, to eventually make something of yourself, is still better than dropping out into a supermarket job, and hoping for the future.

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Those who succeeded without formal qualifications

Thomas Edison stopped homeschooling at age 12, and went on to invent (among other things) the lightbulb and phonograph.

Ashley Qualls founded the whateverlife.com website at age 14, left high school at 15, and became a millionaire by 17.

Abraham Lincoln taught himself law, never receiving formal education beyond the equivalent of primary school.

James Cameron, Oscar-winning filmmaker, dropped out of university before his various movie successes.

DeWitt Wallace attempted University twice—dropping out in the first year, and then the second year on his return. He then founded and published Reader’s Digest.

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Salient Vol. 74

) ? ( e u l a V The e e r g e D ty i s r e v i n of a U


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Issue 20 Tertiary education

At the turn of last century, students at Victoria University were a privileged minority.

ZoË Lawton

Dear Victoria University, One year ago I finished a Bachelor of [insert subject here] and graduated bright-eyed, optimistic and ready to embrace “the world is my oyster” mantra. Finally I could get the job of my dreams, earn lots of cash (i.e. earn enough to pay off my student overdraft and afford to buy clothes from stores other than Glassons/Hallensteins), begin paying off my student loan then maybe go on my OE. But so far, no luck with getting a job. I’ve realized there are so many other graduates with my degree but so few jobs. Or, so many people with other degrees who are stealing jobs I should be able to get. I now spend my days religiously checking seek. co.nz, working for minimum wage at a cafe and can barely make my student loan repayments. Life is pretty av. I have $40,000 worth of debt, no immediate job prospects and next year I will be facing even more competition from the next round of graduates. What was the point of getting a degree? Does it come with a money-back guarantee? Sincerely, Bitter Graduate

A university education was highly regarded, and usually lead to a high-paying and respected career. Fast-forward just over 100 years and much has changed. There is now a strong expectation that the majority of high school leavers will go to university. University enrolments are at an all-time high, almost anyone with UE can get into university so long as they are willing to take on a student loan, and many graduates have come to the harsh realization that a university degree is no longer a ticket to a decent (or even degree-related) job. Is it time to re-evaluate the ‘value’ of a degree? Is it worth tens of thousands of dollars of debt and at least three years of your life? Does it increase your job and earning prospects—and as some have begun to question—can you still do well without one? This re-evaluation of university education is not just taking place in New Zealand. Overseas, particularly western countries such as the UK, a negative sentiment towards university education is growing— especially since fees recently spiked and tripled at some universities. Add the high rates of graduate unemployment to the equation and widespread student anger (and protests) result. British entrepreneur and multi-millionaire Simon Dolan has been a prominent anti-uni spokesman. He left school at 16 and adamantly denies the value of tertiary education. In his new book he comments: “I staunchly believe that for the vast majority, university is completely pointless. I think that three years of ‘further education’ fails to educate the masses about real life and the ways of the world. It’s counterproductive and robs people of learning how the real world works, rendering them brain-dead system surfers.” Strong words. In the United States, the debate on university education heated up when multi-millionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal offered 24 scholarships of US$100,000 to entrepreneurial students under the age of 20. The main requirement was that they had to drop out of university and work on their business ideas instead. Back in New Zealand, students and graduates are beginning to question the value of their degree and are wondering what impact—good and bad—a university degree has on their lives. Answering these questions is not easy, especially since there have been no studies that have tracked university graduates once they have graduated and monitored their earnings, the different —Simon Dolan jobs they were employed in, how long it took them to find employment and so on. The recently announced New Zealand Graduate Longitudinal Study aims to identify the factors that make New Zealand graduates ‘successful’. In the first complex study of its kind, 14,000 final-year students from across New Zealand’s eight universities will be surveyed this year—and again in two, five and 10 years’ time. The overall aim of the study is to answer the very complex question: does a university education influence your life and, if so, how? You might be questioning the value of your degree yourself and want to know whether it will have a more positive or negative effect on your life. In other words, you want to know if you should build a bonfire to burn all your textbooks and book flights for an overseas adventure. Unfortunately, the results of this much-needed study won’t be available to answer your burning questions anytime soon. While this article will not attempt to conclusively define or equate the negative and positive influence of tertiary education, a question deemed so complex a ten-year government-funded study has been set up to answer, it will

I staunchly believe that for the vast majority, university is completely pointless

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attempt to provide you with some food for thought. It will look at why, in 2011, we have begun to question the value of university degrees. Sticky questions inevitably result. Will a degree get me a decent job? Will I earn more with a degree than without? Is a BA a joke? Are the non-financial benefits of university an important consideration? Firstly, many have come to question the value of degrees because there are simply so many graduates who have them. Arguably, the more people who have degrees, the less value they have. The number of university students and graduates has skyrocketed because of the recession and there is a strong expectation on young people to go to university upon leaving high school. It has effectively become the default option for many high school leavers who choose university because all their friends are going, or their parents expect them to, or both. In addition, there seems to be a continuing unjustified stigma of failure if you don’t go to university and instead go to a polytech or go straight into the workforce. This forces many people into universities who aren’t suited to academic study or simply aren’t interested in university but have gone because it seemed like the right or only path to take. In addition to the vast numbers of students, there are vast numbers of students doing the same degree—Bachelor of Arts students take note. This begs the question, are universities under a moral obligation to significantly cap the number of students in certain degree types that currently have a large number of students and that lead to very few jobs? Or give the students the choice, but at least warn them that they may be unlikely if not very unlikely to get a job relating to their degree? Without entering into a debate on which topics are ‘better’ or more ‘useful’ than others there is a strong argument for universities to be obliged to educate students about the ‘value’ of their degrees and encourage students into degrees where there are skills shortages but also to warn them of degrees where there are not. As students are effectively paying customers of universities, they are arguably entitled to ask how much bang they are going to get for their buck. Another reason why the value of a university degree is being questioned is that job prospects for graduates are undoubtedly not as promising as they once were. There are far fewer graduate jobs than there are graduates. While there is are conclusive statistics on the number of graduates compared to the number of graduate jobs, a simple (though admittedly somewhat crude) analysis of the number of graduate jobs on seek.co.nz provide a snapshot of the

current situation. A search of ‘graduate’ in the job title and job description revealed there are at present, approximately 560 graduate jobs in the whole of New Zealand. Compare this with the number of students at the five major universities in New Zealand in 2010—roughly 123,000. Using a conservative estimate, roughly 15 per cent of those students will be graduates. In the job market this year, that’s 18,450. Taking into account the limits of this rough estimate, being that many graduates will already be employed, some may have gone overseas and not every single job ad for graduates will necessarily contain the word graduate, the difference between the number of ‘graduate’ jobs and the number of graduates is still staggering—18,450 graduates for 560 jobs. One has to ask—are universities setting up graduates for a promising future or the dole queue? While the number of jobs may be low at present, those graduates who do manage to get degree related jobs are enjoying positive financial benefits from their degree. In 2009, the Ministry of Education and Statistics New Zealand jointly Those graduates who do published a study that examined the manage to get degree influence of graduate’s related jobs are enjoying education positive financial benefits tertiary on their one-year and three-year post study earnings. The research reassuringly demonstrated that in general, income rises the more qualified you are. The study concluded that young domestic student’s median annual three-year post-study earnings were 51 percent higher for those with a bachelor’s degree compared with those with a level 1 to 3 (upper-secondary level equivalent) certificate and 30 percent higher for those with a bachelor’s degree compared with those with a diploma. The study also highlighted that completing a bachelor’s degree also matters. Young students who completed their degree earned 29 per cent more than those young students who left without completing their degree. So if you’re in your final year and hating university so much that you would rather walk over burning coals than graduate, don’t choose the hot coals. While this research shows that the more qualified a person is the more they will earn, this may not demonstrate that in all cases a degree is value for money. It may be a reflection of the fact that many employers only hire people with degrees, even for relatively mundane jobs, or jobs that are challenging but could be done by someone who doesn’t have a degree but on the job experience who is


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entrepreneurial, has great people skills and a good dose of common sense. These are attributes that many graduates aren’t guaranteed to learn from completing a degree. Until employers place less of an emphasis on university degrees, and scrap it as a minimum job requirement for applicants, many graduates will be stuck in a strange catch-22. They won’t be able to get a job with a degree, but won’t be able to get a job without one. It is hard to tell when or if this will begin to change and employers will come to value other non-educational attributes to the same (or similar) level as a university degree, but with the debate questioning the value of degrees as a ‘one size All that can be certain fits all’ option, employers will most likely take is that the value of a notice and may become university degree is more open minded. changing so students The final big financial should question effect a university degree will have on graduates is whether university is their old friend, student the only option debt. Without going into detail on the implications of student debt that has been discussed endlessly in the media, the fact is student debt is unavoidable for the majority of students and will take a long time to pay back. It is a further consideration to take into account when deciding whether or not to do a degree that many students don’t take seriously. While it is important to look at whether degrees increase earning potential, job prospects, are value for money and worth getting into debt for, a university education also has other non-financial benefits that should not be ignored. For many students, university provides an opportunity to start a new life, leave behind the small town they couldn’t wait to get out of (Tokoroa, Bulls and Gore spring to mind),

move somewhere completely new but still be in a supported environment. University provides students with the opportunity to make friends, meet like minded people, play cheap subsidized sports and join clubs (at least until student associations are axed by the government), set up networks for when they enter the workforce and also snag themselves a long—or short—term partner(s). Finally, although it is a concept many first year students cannot comprehend, the enjoyment of simply learning is an additional non-financial benefit of a degree. While all this is warm and fluffy, if students predominantly go to university for the social aspect and don’t really care about their degree, it will equate to a $40,000+ social experience, which one could arguably still get (with a bit more effort) by skipping university and going straight into the workforce. There is no easy yes/no answer to the question of whether or not a university degree is value for money and going to make your life better. All that can be certain is that the value of a university degree is changing so students should question whether university is the only option. While it’s unrealistic to think that all high school dropout anti-university advocates become multi-millionaires, such as the previously mentioned Simon Dolan, there is strong case to be made for just getting out there and giving it a go in the workforce and trying to forge a career in a field that does or doesn’t automatically require a degree, or becoming a tradesperson (many of whom earn far more than the typical university graduate) before trying university and getting into vast amounts of debt. University will always be there to return to later in life. That being said, a degree is, and will continue to be, a valuable asset for many graduates. As a student with an LLB, BA and studying towards an LLM, I’m crossing my fingers that it will all be worth it.

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Levies Salient Vol. 74

Levies: breaking whose bank? Sarah Robson

More than a year on from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce’s announcement that he would look into the “excessive” student services levies being charged by some universities, legislation has been passed under urgency that seeks to introduce greater transparency to how these levies are set. The student services levy is the compulsory fee for

non-academic services you paid at the beginning of this year. Check your fees statement—it’s there, all $522 of it, if you’re a full time student. That levy helps fund student support services like health and counselling, the student accommodation service, student creches, career development, financial support and advice, and recreational and social services. Back in 2009, the levy amounted to $275. Despite the protests of VUWSA and student reps on the University Council at the time, it almost doubled to $510 for 2010. Vic’s justification for the rise, reported by Salient, was that without the increase, services would be compromised, or a user-pays system introduced. The Advisory Committee to the Student Services Levy was established last year (they settled on the acronym ACSSL after several name changes) to consult with students and make recommendations on the amount of the levy for the following year. The overwhelming response from students during consultation in 2010 was that the levy should remain as low as possible—the $12 increase in the levy for 2011 reflects the increase in GST. The levy for 2012 is still to be set, but as Salient went to print, government regulations relating to the implementation of new legislation regulating the setting of student services levies had just been released, which may mean the 2012 levy has to be approved at a later than expected date. But how did we get to the point where legislation is being passed in parliament to regulate how universities set their student services levies? In a speech at Vic last year, Joyce said he would be asking universities to justify the fees students were being

charged. The Ministry of Education conducted a review at the request of Joyce, and the recently-passed Education Amendment Bill No. 4 deals with some of the outcomes of this review. While it’s nice of Joyce to show such concern for the financial welfare of students, rising student services levies are a symptom of a far wider problem, one that can’t be solved by this piece of legislation: the chronic under-funding of universities. There’s a couple of things that deserve pointing out. Levies have gone up under the watch of a National government—a National government that has, in real terms, slowly cut back its funding of the tertiary education sector. With the recession there’s been an increase in enrolments as people seek to upskill. There are more students studying, but the government hasn’t coughed up any more money to fund them—universities have been forced to limit enrolments instead, or in the case of student services levies, increase fees. I don’t want to see levies skyrocket, but I don’t want the level or quality of essential services to suffer under the strangling forces of a piece of legislation that thinks it knows what’s best for universities and students. Throw the imminent implementation of VSM into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Universities will be limited to funding certain services as specified in a piece of legislation. Students’ associations will not be able to afford to continue providing the welfare, representation and advocacy services they currently provide in a VSM environment. Universities won’t be able to step in to fill the void, because they’re not allowed to by law. Universities won’t be able to consult with students about levies, because a coherent student representative body won’t exist thanks to VSM. In the end, it’s students who will suffer. The current government’s vision for tertiary education is short-sighted. As a result of two pieces of legislation, universities will be hard pressed to maintain current service levels in a restricted funding environment and students won’t be able to fund services for themselves. What the tertiary education sector really needs is more direct government funding. We might find then that knee-jerk laws passed under urgency will become a thing of the past.

I don’t want to see levies skyrocket, but I don’t want the level or quality of essential services to suffer under the strangling forces of a piece of legislation

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Issue 20 Tertiary education

Animal

Slugs

Fact

evolv hum ed from t an to h ngue e

The following article was prepared by Mr Sargunam Sivaraj, M.Sc (Sp & Hg), CCC-A, FAAA, Team Leader, Audiology Department, Capital & Coast District Health Board. The article provides helpful advice regarding how to protect your hearing. If you have any concerns regarding your hearing contact the Student Health Service and we can arrange appropriate care for you which may include referral to an audiologist.

Personal Stereo Use and Hearing Loss According to experts the massive popularity of portable music players could mean many more people will develop hearing loss, because sound is directly funnelled into your ear unlike environmental sound. If the volume through headphones is too high and if you are listening for long hours, there is a real risk of permanent hearing damage. To determine if you are at risk for music-induced hearing loss from wearing your personal stereo system, it would be necessary to know how loud your particular system is and how long you use it each day. This is very difficult as systems vary in output. It is important to follow these simple steps to protect yourself from a permanent music-induced hearing loss due to personal stereo systems use. • Always follow the 60\60 Rule: Researchers determined that the exposure limit for safe headphone listening is one hour a day with the volume no higher that 60 per cent. If you listen for more than an hour, you should turn the volume down. • Ear muff type headphones are better than Ear buds: Unfortunately, the ear buds preferred by music listeners are even more likely to cause hearing loss than the muff-type earphones that were associated with the older devices. • Turn it Down: Use a well-shielded earphone/earbud and turn the volume down as much as possible. • Take a Break: Avoid prolonged, continuous listening to the systems by taking frequent breaks. • Avoid: using the personal stereo while exercising (you may maintain a high volume as you are exercising) or if your work already involves head phone usage and/or loud noises or music exposure. This means you may exceed the permissible daily noise dosage. • “Automatic Volume Limiter”: Look for personal stereo system with an “Automatic Volume Limiter’ which limits the output of the system to safe levels. • Do not ‘block out’ the noise: Set your system at a comfortable level in a quiet room. Do not turn it up when you are in noisy setting to ‘block out’ the noise

Patagonian hare David Burr

You frequent Salientologists will know how big of a fan I am of animals that seem to be formed from the random features of other animals. This week’s AOTW is no disappointment. My dear friend Dorothy recently returned from a trip to Argentina. Over coffee, she enthusiastically described a “super cute, rabbit-kangaroo hybrid, which has massive long legs, walks round on all fours and has freakin’ horse hooves!” Let me introduce to you the Patagonian hare. This large rodent is in fact not a hare at all and most closely related to the guinea pig. However, they are frequently compared to antelope or deer as they may gallop or even bounce on all fours when running. For a 16kg ball of fluff, Patagonian hares are surprising quick, reaching speeds of 45 kilometres per hour. Patagonian hares show unique social organisation by combining monogamy with communal living. Breeding partners remain together for life but up to 15 families may live together in the same underground burrow. The adults take turns watching over the children in this ‘Patagonian hare kindergarten’. This allows the other adults to feed, frolic in the sun, or whatever else tickles their fancy. Patagonia is very windswept; therefore burrows are highly sought after. Even birds nest underground. The Patagonian hares must be on constant guard from animals trying to take over their home such as burrowing owls (I know, burrowing owls! WTF?). One last mention must go out to the process which Patagonian hares carry out, known as ‘anal digging’. I was too scared to Google it though. Sorry.

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Like Anim al of the Wee ko Faceboo n k!

• Do not interchange headsets with systems: The League for the Hard of Hearing has found that this will increase output and risk to hearing. • Follow this simple rule of thumb: If you cannot hear other people talking when you are wearing headphones or if other people have to shout to you to be heard at one metre away while the headphones are on, it is too loud and could be damaging to your hearing. If you hear ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears or you find speech sounds muffled, discontinue using your personal stereo and get your hearing checked by a qualified audiologist.

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Salient Vol. 74

with Auntie Sharon

CONSTANCE CRAVINGS

Fleeing the scene of a one-night stand Ah, the one-night stand. It’s a Kiwi classic. There’s something about our heady mix of sexual repression and enthusiasm for binge-drinking that makes us ripe for the one-night stand picking. For many in our ranks, it’s even the preferred way of starting what may turn out to be a meaningful relationship*. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s not the beginning of something beautiful. Come the light of day, one can be shocked to find last night’s fox is actually more of a dog, and worse, that you’re no longer the hottest person in the room, just the most in need of a hot shower. In the above conditions, exiting the scene of the one-night stand can be, um, less than dignified. A few tips to make that walk of shame more of an ordinary dawdle home... Your instinct may be to flee the scene without waking the sleeping beauty. I’m not suggesting you rattle them awake and demand they talk about their feelings/intentions, but consider waking them up to have a grown-up conversation. A cup of tea, a debrief on the night’s events, a ‘catch you round’. It’ll make you feel a lot more like you just had sex with a buddy and everyone feels good about it and goes home happier. Ladies. We can tell it’s a walk of shame by your smeared eye make-up and the fact that you’re wearing heels at 8am on a Sunday. It always pays to have a pack of eye make-up removal wipes and a pair of jandals/Chucks in your bag. If you have a really big handbag, and for those boys who aren’t averse to a good man bag, consider packing a fresh pair of undies and a toothbrush as well. It sounds presumptuous, I know, but they can be handy for lots of different reasons. Think of it the way you do condoms—you probably won’t end up using them, but you don’t want to be caught out without. Make sure you have money for the bus before you go out on a Saturday night. That walk of shame will be a whole lot longer if you don’t. Be safe kids, and look out for your friends! *Look, I’m not encouraging it, okay? I’m just acknowledging this cultural quirk of ours. Hopefully you all love and know yourself enough to know that you don’t need to sleep with inappropriate people to be of value. You are a wonderful person who does not need sex with strangers to be validated—say that in the mirror three times before tottling off to El Horno, kay?

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Sticky situation? Auntie Sharon knows best: auntiesharon@salient.org.nz

To add to the list of seemingly endless sex questions, I’ve got one more for you. I’ll just get straight to the point— sometimes when I’m having sex I pee. Not all the time, but definitely enough. And usually through my embarrassment, I try to hold back, which of course makes it tough to orgasm. If there’s a silver lining to be found, it’s that my guy says he’s really ok with it, and I believe him. It still bothers me though, so I did some research and there are two sides to the issue. One, that females can’t pee during sex and that it’s female ejaculate. The other is that it just happens to some exceedingly small percentage of women. What’s your take?

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Oh bebe you’re probably a squirter. If you go wees before sex (which you should, and afterwards too) then it’s likely your bladder is empty and any liquid coming out from your urethra is just the fun stuff. And just to be completely blunt: congratchafuckinglations. As your research has deducted—only some women can do this, so basically woohoo. It is really great that your manfriend is fine with the squirting (and why wouldn’t he be!) but I really hope that you can make peace with it too, because it really is one super skill. If holding back on the squirting is stopping you from coming, then that’s a big sign that your body wants to squirt—it’s part of you and being embarrassed about it isn’t making for good sex or good self-care. Female come is usually clear, sweet/mild tasting and odourless, which is pretty different from urine so that should also help to differentiate the two for you. I can’t stress enough how many non-squirting ladies I know who would pay to be able to squirt, and how many dudes and ladies work with their partners for years to try and elicit even the smallest squirt. I myself have I can’t stress done it once, and like some glimpse of ancient treasure I am trying my enough how fucking hardest to Indiana Jones many nonshit again. We should compare squirting ladies that notes. I know who Seriously though, own it. I’m the would pay to be first person to throw my hands up and acknowledge that it’s patronisable to squirt ing and insensitive to vehemently preach self-love when for some people it’s the hardest thing in the world, but I think if we can start breaking down the fucked standards society has (particularly for ladies and sex) then people’s capacities for self love can truly grow. I bet you a lot of money that the reason why squirting bothers you is because (like the rest of us) you’ve got the message throughout your life that ladies must be immaculately presented during sex: clean, ladylike, hairless and contained. If you come, it’s an added bonus to ‘the main event’ which is the heteronormative male orgasm. God forbid you should make a mess yourself. Gush, even. That’s a glaringly obvious heathen sign of a woman having an amazing time and not giving a fuck about making a mess. Shame on you, etc. Newsflash: sex is messy, it’s delicious, it’s wet and sloppy and fucking amazing. You have something awesome going on that people would kill for, so get to know it. Find a quiet afternoon, buy a dildo, put some towels down, put your favourite song on and go to town. Have some fun with your skill, figure out what makes it work and how it feels when you let go and enjoy yourself. I hope this helps babe x

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Ally Garrett

A Thousand Tiny Little Moments Gender is so weird. Like, so weird. Our world is divided into two halves; people with dangly bits and people with insidey bits. What is with that? The system doesn’t even work in the first place! There are more gender identities than being a man and being a woman! I remember that when I applied to Victoria University, I had to tick a box asking if I was male or female. Mercifully, I haven’t had to wrestle with a university application form in years, but if there are still only two boxes on that form then that is fucked. Victoria University, if you can dig up the Quad surely you can include a tick box that says ‘other’ on your paperwork? Even though our world likes to think in insidey pink and dangly blue there are people who don’t fit into this tidy little binary. More than you might think. And on the whole, our world likes to shit all over these transgender, intersex and genderqueer people. Even though transgender people are often the target of workplace discrimination, violence and Gender identity isn’t even protected against street harassment, gender identity isn’t even protected discrimination under against discrimination under the the Human Rights Act Human Rights Act. I was born with the insidey bits and I love those insidey bits, as regular readers and future employers will know, due to my alacrity for writing about bits on the internet. This ‘identifying with the sex I was born in’ business makes me cisgender, a word which Microsoft Word doesn’t recognise but a word which is helpful in thinking about the privilege that I carry in my daily life. As a cisgender person, my biggest problem with filling in forms is that I have a really long email address. There are toilets for me to use, wherever I go. As a cisgender person, nobody questions my gender identity. Gender identity is complicated and personal and it’s about the minutiae, kind of like how you would construct your ideal sandwich. It isn’t about colours or whether it’s okay to cry in public or which bits of your body you shave or man yoghurt or what box you tick on a form. It’s about what you feel. My girlhood is about a thousand tiny little moments. It’s owning 41 lipsticks and it’s feeling scared on the steps between Aro Park and Abel Smith Street and it’s my abortion. It’s the conversations I have with female friends and it’s my infatuation with Elizabeth Taylor and my admiration for Anne Frank. It’s about girl culture but mostly,and most importantly, it’s about the fact that I identify as a girl. A transgender woman, who was born into a typically male body, is just as much of a woman as I am. A transgender man might have a vagina but he is every bit as manly as Tom Selleck. What people keep beneath their clothes isn’t any of our business anyway. It’s about more than the bits in your undies. In the words of Ronnie from Jersey Shore: “You do you and I’mma do me.”

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Salient Vol. 74

Four Reasons Why the ABs Will Win It All

Josh Wright

In accordance with its gnarly prison-like appearance, Victoria University is a place where students come to learn about stuff in order to score hellish buraeucratic jobs that they stagnate in for decades afterwards. Luckily for you, if you dig a bit deeper, it actually does much more than that; it is a social and cultural convergence where personalities are fostered, diverse folk are met, and cultures and ideas are explored. University is, generally speaking, an opportunity to improve yourself and your life. And so you should. Make the most of your time here—go forth and self-improve! But first, take a moment and think of others, you selfish prick. I’m here to give you a whirlwind informing session on giving the minorities a helping hand; let’s call it queer-improvement. Just give me a second to climb up on my soapbox. I mean to address an issue perhaps more damaging and certainly more widespread than blatant homophobia. It’s complacency, and it’s a dangerous affliction—common amongst all people, regardless of sexuality. Don’t sweat it, Bent isn’t here to blame anyone. We’re here to cure the affliction! It’s pretty common to see queer rights movements disregarded as historical artefacts now that homo/lesbo-sex is legal and we have the ‘privilege’ of civil unions. Fact is, many of the problems facing the queer community are deep-rooted social issues, often more so than they are legal ones. Think about it: how many times have you heard “I’m fine with gays/lesbians, just as long as they’re not in your face”? Why is being in your face regarded so adversely? Surely queers need to be ‘in the face’ of a society that shudders at the notion that I take boys to bed. So yeah, we do need passionate queer rights advocates—both queer and straight. I’m one myself. Call me a crybaby and a nit-picker, whatever, but I choose to actively acknowledge societal inequalities when I see them. I don’t like having the door slammed in my face, regardless if it’s the door to the local church or the adoption centre, or any other door for that matter. I don’t want to get looked at scandalously for holding hands with someone of the same sex in public, if

Jono McLeod

that’s what I want to do. Whether this is down to me being a self-serving, attention-seeking killjoy (and I am) or a inexplicable possession of some overarching internalised ethical code is, well, pretty moot. And you should be passionate in these matters, too. For those not concerned with self-preservation, and those who want to remain complacent and ignorant, fine. I hope, for the mean time, you have the moxie to tolerate your straight-acting, discreet, top/bottom, not-out, GSOH, archetype that the mainstream Let’s face it; knuckle-draggers wider society want you to live by. But when you fall isn’t going crazy in love with to cater someone, and you for queers can’t acknowledge out of the them legally the same as everyone goodness else, can’t adopt the of its own children you want hearts together, and you get taunted by a stranger for showing affection to them in public, I pray, for your sake, you can see the humour in it. Because, let’s face it; wider society isn’t going to cater for queers out of the goodness of its own hearts. Majority rules, and all that schtick. We need to make a collective effort to do some queer-improvement. Complacency is dangerous, and queers are merely between being out of the frying pan and into the fire. Remember, rallying for change in social attitudes towards queers isn’t always rallying in a literal sense. Everyone can do positive things for the queer community through getting to know queer people, and actively trying to do more than tolerating through clenched teeth those who the status-quo gatekeepers would rather see pushed to the back. It’s not difficult, and it makes a big difference to the day-to-day people around you. Some wise words from King Beyoncé: “put yo’ love on top!”

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Every four years New Zealand expects the same thing and yet never receives it. The holiest of grails for New Zealand sport: the William Webb Ellis trophy. For the past 24 years, the All Blacks have failed to win the Rugby World Cup since the inaugural competition here in New Zealand in 1987. The country has had to endure failure after failure despite being the favourites in each of the past four tournaments (2003 doesn’t count because Jonny Wilkinson isn’t a team). We have fallen to the Springboks because of food poisoning, the Wallabies because of an intercept pass, and the French twice because we cannot seem to match their desire on the day (although there was a forward pass and they are cheating Frogs). This year is different though. And I know we say this every tournament, but this time it’s true. It has to be. And here are the four reasons: 1) The coaches have been there before. Quite surprisingly the coaching staff didn’t get the sack after our dismal performance against the French four years ago. They apologised for the rotation policy and unprecedentedly we moved on. Now, four years on, this seems to have been a great decision. They have forged the team into the most feared in world rugby and they now have the experience of losing a World Cup to draw upon to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.

2) It is at home. The last (and only) time we won the World Cup was when it was staged right here in New Zealand. Once again, the tournament is right here in our backyard and we don’t like losing here very much. We’re almost unbeatable at home usually and the South Africans for one, who pose one of the most significant dangers, have never really been successful tourists here. Only those Aussies we have to worry about now.


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3) Two maestros named Daniel Carter and Richie McCaw. Four years on, four more years experience, and extended contracts. These two have been the best players in the world since France 2007 and will go down as two of the best in the history of the game. They will be hungry for a World Cup win after the disappointment of four years ago and they won’t let us down this time. Plus, they won’t want to have those extended New Zealand contracts if they lose it again. 4) Two words: Jimmy Cowan. Not always a fan favourite, but in this columnist’s humble opinion, the greatest All Black of all time. You scoff; well don’t. The glue that holds this team together; he has the tenacity, desire and mongrel that New Zealand sport lacks. He has forged a stunning partnership with Piri Weepu and he has the X factor to take this team all the way. Jimmy Cowan will be the difference. Andy Ellis, you’re just a pretender.

Four sure reasons why the All Blacks will win the World Cup. You heard it here first.

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It-that-must-not-be-named. Dare I say it? There is another ‘C’ word than that of Joe’s last week. Ch-ch-choke. What happens if my analysis is wrong? What the fuck happens if we lose the World Cup? This was one of the main topics of Victoria University lecturer Dr. Marc Wilson’s public lecture at Rutherford House last Thursday night that bridged the gap between social psychology and the World Cup. According to him, there are a number of things that could happen. • People CORFing (cut off reflective failing) i.e. people will not walk around wearing All Blacks jerseys and you might hear them say “I never really cared about the World Cup”. • We will externalise the fault. It will be a referee’s bad decision, or the other team cheated. This will be highly specific because we will feel a need to explain and justify this tragedy fully. • Increase in spousal abuse? National lose the election? There is no strong psychological evidence to support these things but Dr. Wilson maintains they are possible. He says that Women’s Refuge claim higher rates of abuse after All Blacks losses and it has been surmised that incumbent governments can gain up to a 5% boost after a favourable sporting victory.

What he is sure of, is that it will be made all the worse because it is at home. Yes, we’re almost unbeatable here, but if the unspeakable happens, the consequences could be horrendous. I don’t think we will be so forgiving of Ted and the boys this time around. Another ’99 much?

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Ben Wylie-van Eerd

Higher education, and growing up Facebook This week, a little more on education and a realisation about growing up in today’s world. One of the other things I noticed about Richard Feynman’s education throughout his college (that’s US for university) days was that he was always surrounded by other scientists. Physicists, mathematicians, chemists, oh my! In the universities he attended, there were always other people around who were enthusiastic about science, and colleagues who wanted to talk about science. Maybe that sounds a little oxymoronic, but let me explain a little more. He was not just surrounded by this community in his classes. But he would go home to his fraternity at nights, and continue talking to scientists there. They would break for tea every day at 4pm at Princeton, and the physicists and the mathematicians would talk to each other. They would bring up interesting new research in their fields and they would discuss it with everyone present. They would even compete with each other about things like who could compute cube roots the fastest! These people would eat, breathe, and sleep science, and they made it interesting by turning it into a game that they all would play. Because of this, they became very successful. Now, I remember in my undergraduate years I had a group of people who I would do very much the same thing with (albeit only while actually at university). Me and the gang would hang out between classes in the LABY common room, and we’d do assignments and make asses of ourselves by getting things wrong on the whiteboards in front of everybody. I know for a fact that I did probably more actual learning there in that room than in most of my time in lectures. Well, everyone in that group passed all their courses, and got pretty good marks. I know that in some of these courses the pass rate was around 50 per cent, so I think the fact that all of us passed the courses is a good indication of how valuable the group was to us all. I know this is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that the people in that group were there because they were interested in science, and therefore probably better at it. But I still think that it was a big part of helping us in our learning.

I hope that with the establishment of the science society, this kind of group will become a constant feature of the science schools at VUW. I also encourage any readers out there to join or start up such a group, I’m confident that your learning and enthusiasm will increase as a result. My second little topic for today is just a small but worrying thought that occurred to me the other day. I was babysitting my younger brother who has just started high school this year. He’s ten years younger than me. He was having a trouble of some sort with his homework, which is all administered through some kind of web portal (which had decided to display his homework in Hungarian for some reason). The students are required to have a little netbook computer so that they can do this stuff, and I think they also use them in classes. I’m not entirely sure how that works. So my little brother has his own netbook computer. Someday, and probably pretty soon he’s bound to get a Facebook account, and he’ll friend me of course. Now, this is a kind of scary thought in a way, because as soon as he does that, he’ll be able to see all of my posts and comments and such. And I don’t really censor myself in any way on Facebook. It never really occurred to me that a young person may be hanging on my every word. To be honest I didn’t care much either, until I thought that the young person might be my own little brother! In the end it was just a passing moment of panic—I’m actually okay with my younger brother reading all my opinions. But it did highlight something interesting for me, which is that a lot of the adult world will suddenly open up to children when they get a Facebook account and start following people older than them. It’s going to be kind of a shock if they start taking it seriously all at once! I’m interested in other people’s experiences with younger siblings and Facebook, or older siblings and Facebook! What has it been like for you?

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Music

Ahhhh, Melbourne. Home to Lord of the Fries, Brunswick Street and a heck of a load of Kiwis who’ve recently mished it over for greener grasses (seriously, is EVERYONE moving there?). And bands. In fact it seems that the number of bands it’s housing currently outweigh their Flo Wilson native koala population. Self-described ‘happy-noise’ act Esc hails from the vast, cultured plains of the Victorian capital. Like a lot of post-post punk bands, Esc has clearly taken on board the 80s guitar twangs brought to us by Joy Division (and The Smiths, alongside the usual suspects)—lead singer and guitarist Max Sheldrake even somewhat physically resembles Ian Curtis. However looks aside, Sheldrake actually sounds a heck of a lot like some Chris Knox and Shayne Carter hybrid love child, his tone and phrasing just screaming from the basement of post-Nun blues. It works well. Guitarist Milo Lou’s musical phrases swirl around the space in reverberant chromaticism, the drums vary from the depressive post-adolescent bass afforded by the toms, to the screeching of the crash cymbals. And they do it oh so well. Now, I tend to get blase when bands/ whoever start screaming over screeching guitars—it can often fall flat in the mix, however track ‘Anastasia’ demonstrates Sheldrake’s vocal ability to avoid cliche and still totally sound prominent in the mix, like a genuine ‘glass case of emotion’, or whatever.

Spotlight:

Esc

Nevernudes Review Barney Chunn

They say never judge a book by its cover. They don’t, however, impart the same sentence on an album cover, and maybe ‘they,’ in their infinite wisdom, left album covers up for scrutiny for a reason. Probably not but, from judging this EP by its cover, I think I was expecting to like this album. Especially when coupled with the fact that it’s called Cereal, cereal being one of the better staples of breakfast, which happens to be one of my favourite activities of all time. So far so irrelevant. From the get go this record was just what I was hoping it would be; melody and musicality buried under the pile of rubble it brought down upon itself in sadistic self deprecation. It’s ballsy and intricate but it has depth that moves it away from being music written for a genre or from any two dimensional inspiration, and that variation carries it for 30 minutes where otherwise it might have gotten a little tiresome. The band sounds tight and enthusiastic; everything sits well with everything else, and they sound like they understand each other musically. It’s also lyrically adventurous, something that’s dangerous, as it can easily turn a good song or album and make it ridiculous. It proves that there is a strong element of honesty that runs through the entirety of this record. While it may not be groundbreaking, or necessarily a cut above others of the same ilk as these guys, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun, and has the polished air of a band that are in that fantastic, hard-to-hold-on-to place where they have been together long enough to really be a band, while still having the enthusiasm of a young bunch of guys enjoying what they’re doing and the music they’re making.

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Read the rest online!

Gig etiquette Murder on the Dance Floor Louise Burston

Music and dancing are a happy couple in most situations. You hear a toe-tapping ditty and decide to tap those toes, right? Well here’s a pickle for you: should we draw a line between a boogie and moves which verge on assault? At the EP release for The Sisters of Saint Rupertsberg, I was nearly knocked senseless by a bastardised version of the Charleston performed by two lassies in the midst of a crowd in San Fran. There just wasn’t enough space for that kind of carry-on, I swear, and a flailing limb caught me square in the left ovary. I didn’t exact retribution because, though I’m sure you find this difficult to believe, I’ve made a tit of myself by inappropriately pulling out my cha-cha routine in the past. I understand the allure of attempting something more advanced than simply shuffling to the beat and, every so often, making a hand gesture which you hope will pass for ironic. For the sake of the unwitting potential victims around me, however, perhaps it’s time to invest in a less energetic appreciation of music.

Top 3 gigs this week Friday 16th, SAN FRANCISCO BATH HOUSE: Cut Off Your Hands w/ Dictaphone Blues, The Eversons & Street Chant 8pm, $20 Friday 16th, SANDWICHES: MC Tiki Taane vs Dick Johnson 11pm, $20 pre, earlybirds $15 Saturday 17th, MEOW: Simon Comber—The Right to Talk to Strangers E.P Release Tour 8pm, $10 door

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Theatre

Slouching Towards Bethlehem Sam Phillips

Rob Muldoon, you bastard. What a rotter! There is a lot of pressure on a play that endeavours to tell the story of New Zealand’s most hated politician (ever) in an election year, but National-bashing to a BATS audience is a bit like preaching to the choir. Thankfully, Slouching Towards Bethlehem doesn’t pick on Muldoon, but rather Dean Parker has done an amazing job telling the story of a man, and capturing a bygone era of political and social relevance. David Lawrence has gifted his audience a real treat. The play is divided into three acts, ‘Pretender’, ‘Prince’, and ‘King’, signifying his ascension to the political throne. We move through Muldoon’s life rapidly; characters and years are introduced with signs held by the cast and are disposed of as fast as they change costume. Personifying political cartoons through boxing matches, song and puppet shows, Lawrence creates delightful images that the audience lap up. Phil Grieve, who stretches his politician muscles even as we enter the theatre, is an impeccable Rob Muldoon. The play opens to “Now is the winter of our discontent...” from Richard III, and indeed we are treated to Muldoon growing into a figure not unlike the unlikeable, manipulating monarch. Grieve plays an unapologetic and confident bully with relish, insulting audience members with minimal effort, and yet is thoroughly engaging, even to one of ‘those university types’. Parker has crafted a Muldoon who thrives in front of an audience; he has a way with words, a confidence, and a self-assurance that deserves our respect (if not our affection) by the play’s end. If Grieve is the leader of the National Party, the young and enthusiastic company are the army of researchers, speechwriters, and makeup artists that make a leader look good. Kitted out in the latest Chuck Taylors, these actors work incredibly hard playing 50-odd characters. Period and character are indicated minimally, but their characterisation is delightful. Jean Sergent is lovable as Jerusha Brown and Kirsty Bruce is particularly memorable as Norma Holyaoke. Set, props and costume adorn the stage and music is seamlessly integrated. The houselights stay on throughout. I am curious why the stage right wall is dominated by a banner advertising The Bacchanals, a bit too much verfremdungseffekt for this reviewer. In an election year political diatribes are inevitable. Facebook statuses, Dom Post headlines, 3 News picking up on every bit of dirty laundry in politicians’ laundry baskets: people have a multitude of ways to convince the fence-sitters of which box to check. Slouching Towards Bethlehem’s political point is to remind us what it is we’re voting for and what leadership is. Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Dean Parker 31 August – 10 September at BATS

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Sketch Michael Boyes

In August of 2007, artist Guillermo Vargas notoriously tied a dog to a gallery wall in Managua, Nicaragua (a Central American state bordered by Honduras and Costa Rica). Allegedly withholding both food and water, news of the canine’s starvation and subsequent death soon spread across the globe, sparking international outrage. Criticism has since stimulated discussion on the controversial extent of conceptualism; simply put, is death ‘art’? Sketch is Kate Morris’ reply. Sasaki, Japanese resident artist in a Wellingtonian gallery, is approached by Nadi, a young dying woman who wishes to have a box built in which she shall spend the remainder of her life*. Meanwhile, money-laundering gallery investor Bernard, accompanied by sidekick in tight white trousers, awaits the birth of a cultural masterpiece. A scathing review Shit goes down—and it involves secrets. of the ‘superficial A scathing review art world’, every of the ‘superficial art aspect of the play world’, every aspect seems to oscillate of the play seems between caricature to oscillate between caricature and emotional and emotional intensity. Sonia Yee, intensity Alex Lodge and Ralph Johnson (Sasaki, Nadi and Bernard respectively), perform heartfelt roles in an otherwise exaggerated satirical environment. Their collective performances are tender but marred by an overwhelming cast of loudmouthed art worldians. However, the tables are soon turned: Nadi, Bernard and Sasaki become increasingly sour, and some of the artsy folk have been secretly lovely all along. Whether this is a decision of direction or text I do not know, but I was left confused as to whom I should pity most. And it doesn’t improve with the stage. Dappled across BATS’ black floor, strips of white tape indicate various rooms within the gallery, names included. Despite my personal longing for Cluedo gags, the actors preferred to cut corners and straddle imaginary walls. In every respect it looked fine, but should one choose to employ such a device I recommend you adhere to it. Lighting, sound, and costume design are clean, but that is where it ends. P.S. It was the girl in the glass box with the disease.

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*Find this interesting? Check out Cornelia Parker’s 1995 The Maybe in partnership with actress Tilda Swinton and/or Antony Gormley’s Blind Light installation, 2007. Sketch By Kate Morris 6 – 17 September at BATS salient.org.nz


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Books The one where we give you reviews because we know you’ve secretly missed them

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby Ben Volz

‘The best football book ever written’ proclaims the cover. Initially I was sceptical, especially given the quote on the cover was unattributed, which gives rise to the real possibility that it had been proclaimed by some drab middle-aged Englishmen whose idea of excitement, in the absence of having any paint to watch dry, is to watch old replays of Geoffrey Boycott at Lords scoring ten runs in two sessions. Happily, though, it is an essential read for any sporting fan, even for soccer hating Origin diehards. Fever Pitch outlines author Nick Hornby’s lifetime of football obsession supporting Arsenal, the team everyone loves to hate. A common misconception among many New Zealanders is associating hardcore football fandom with hooliganism, a misconception possibly created by films like Green Street Hooligans. Rather Hornby’s 1994 work provides the reader with a cynically witty insight into the heart of a true football fan. He writes of a game which at first served only the purpose of providing him with a surrogate father, an ideal replacement for his emotionally distant original. However, by the ‘80s football had become so profoundly important to him that Arsenal’s poor performances in the league resulted in a spell of depression so severe that he was referred to a psychiatrist, The Heysel and only for such chemical imbalances Hillsbrough disasters, to quickly subside when Arsenal wins the league in ’89. Another racist cultures, compliment for Hornby must football broadcasting undoubtedly be his coverage politics, and violence of a diverse range of footballing on the underground issues, and especially those arising are all on the agenda from the game’s relationship with modernity. The Heysel and Hillsborough disasters, racist cultures, football broadcasting politics, and violence on the underground are all on the agenda. The book also highlights some wider sporting themes (hence why every sports fan should read this). Why is it that sporting fanatics choose to invest their lives following teams who inflict such emotional harm on them? Hornby’s answer is that there is no choice. Like the needle addict, choices may have been made long ago—something to fill in the time on a long Saturday perhaps. But now there are no choices, only brainwaves ordering the captured body to soldier along in the pouring rain to watch Arsenal play out nil-all draws against Wimbledon. No longer is chasing the high about fun, a view well summarised by former Stoke City coach Alan Durban (who Hornby quotes) who famously proclaimed ‘if you want entertainment go and watch clowns’. All in all, Fever Pitch is, despite its somewhat depressing and pessimistic tone, undoubtedly an excellent read.

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Outcast:

The Plight of Black African Refugees Fairooz Samy

While attending university, our student dream is to finish our degrees and find a good job that’ll pay the bills and maybe leave a little extra for decent food before the loan payments kick in. In the meantime, we get by on minimum wage-paying side jobs and try to doge the leaks in our draughty side-street flats. We layer on the thermals and soldier on because we know that our situation is temporary, and one that we’ll look back on someday with a rosy nostalgic gaze. At least that’s what this distressed student is telling herself. The point is, we’re lucky. Unfathomably more so than many of the African refugees that seek asylum within our borders. Terrible segues aside, Yilma Tafere Tasew’s latest non-fiction Outcast balances offering, Outcast: The Plight of Black African Refugees, political debate presents a rounded account with emotional of refugee issues both here testimony, and internationally. The book covering the contains essays from VUW’s own Ramon Das and the practicalities of the resettlement infamous Chris LaMonica, as well as a range of experts, process academics, refugees, and activists. With articulate yet understandable content, Outcast balances political debate with emotional testimony, covering the practicalities of the resettlement process in New Zealand, the ethics of humanitarian intervention, and the roles that religion, representation, and HIV/AIDS play. Tasew is an Ethiopian-born teacher, author, poet, and public speaker. After fleeing from unjust imprisonment and political persecution, he spent eight years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to New Zealand in 1999. He is also a graduate of VUW and Outcast marks his fifth publication.

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Outcast: The Plight of Black African Refugees The Red Sea Press $39


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The Pick of the Bunch Sally Anderson

The title may read Auckland Art Gallery but New Zealand finally has a national art gallery. With the re-opening of the Auckland Art Gallery to the public on the 3rd of September 2011, a national institution that meets global standards has been introduced to our cultural environment. This bold statement may cause some disagreement within the art world and beyond. After all, our national collection officially comes under the banner of Te Papa. We have other great regional galleries, museums and other collections that showcase our heritage and history of art. However, the AAG is unquestionably the largest and most significant collection of art to be on display in New Zealand. This is not just a question of quantity either. The AAG presents jewels of New Zealand art in a building that can only be described as spectacular, but also showcases these pieces in a way that had the crowds at the opening night buzzing right until 10pm. It is not every day that you are greeted at the door by a director of such an institution but I was lucky enough to be handed the gallery catalogue by none other than Chris Saines. Other members of the crowd passed him oblivious to the contribution that this man has made to the project that started over eight years ago. The gallery has increased its display capabilities by at least 50 per cent. In the past it was only able to display 3 to 4 per cent of its collection of over 15,000 items and was forced to turn down large exhibitions. The opening also provides a sneak-peek of the astronomical gift that the gallery will receive from Julian and Josie Robertson, which will be the largest ever made to an art gallery in Australasia. The collection will be on show for eight weeks and will not be seen again in the gallery until the gift is finally given under the deeds of the will agreement. The professional security guards that occupy the rooms of the Robertson collection are a clear indicator to the public of the significance of the works that they are about to inherit. For that is what the minds behind the huge renovation want the public to understand. This is their gallery, their space, their heritage. They want to contribute to the cultural development of New Zealand, encourage curatorial excellence and maintain an international standard. However they also want to engage the audience and invite those who are intimidated

by the art world and all the elitist attitudes that have traditionally gone along with such an institution, to feel welcome in this building, to ask questions and connect with the art works. If opening night is any indication, this goal is achievable in the new space. The place was packed all day long and was a hive of activity. Music constantly wove in and out of different rooms, from a string quartet in the Victorian room to a jazz band wafting down the main atrium. This perfectly accompanied the clear crowd favourite, the installation that dominates the forefront of the building, a sculpture by Choi Jeong Hwa titled Flower Chandelier, 2011 which was commissioned for the space. The chandelier is made up of magnificent flowers that come alive in all their falsity, as the bright colourful fabric and metal rustle while the blooms open and close. It is really something that needs to be seen, and the postcard I picked up in the gift shop does not do it justice. Colin McCahon was slightly over-represented, something to be expected in a New Zealand institution that once employed the infamous artist. The more traditional pieces in the collection, largely seen in the Victorian rooms and the upper galleries, pale in comparison to the modern collections but again that may just be a matter of taste. The majority of the works that were gifted by the Robertsons did not blow me away, other than in their impressive price tag and journey that they took to New Zealand in a private jet. These are really minor criticisms and I am scraping the barrel to find them. I’m sure that a great amount will be said about the re-opening, at least amongst academics, and more criticisms will be found and the missed possibilities for this space will be discussed at great length. Nevertheless, I was absolutely blown away by this re-opening. It is a treasure trove to be explored and truly something to be proud of. Blooming fantastic, one might say.

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Film

Love Story Thomas Coughlan

Is it a little extreme to begin a review by emphatically stating that Florian Habicht’s Love Story is the most interesting development in New Zealand cinema in over a decade? The film, though ostensibly a simple love story, casts its light on the role of cinema in the 21st century and the power of people. Florian Habicht (documenting and acting himself) is a New Zealander living in New York. After encountering a beautiful woman on the subway, he decides to film their love story. The film, or at least the first two acts, can be divided into two distinct parts—those in which Florian the filmmaker takes his handycam walking round the streets of New York, asking ordinary New Yorkers for ideas on what to film next, and the scenes in which these suggestions are movingly or comically interpreted to create the dreamlike love It’s (at least initially) story of Florian and gloriously simple; a love Masha. It sounds story written and filmed complicated, but it’s (at least initially) simultaneously, on the gloriously simple; a streets of New York love story written and filmed simultaneously, on the streets of New York. This balance is so wonderfully simple and seductive, it lulls both the audience and filmmaker Florian into believing it might possibly be permanent. Then Masha, still ‘acting’, pauses and tells Florian, ‘you know I’m still acting’. Galatea leaves her podium, Pygmalion is bereft; Florian and his audience seem equally shocked that they could have been so gullible as to believe this state of self-perpetuating filmmaking could sustain the dream forever, but that’s the point. For both love and cinema, it is all too easy for us to get caught in self-perpetuating dreams of illusion, trapped within ourselves rather than communicating with each other. Habicht’s film is successful because it eloquently and emotionally serves us these dreams while subtly undermining them, reminding us they can never be sustainable or true. His simple formula articulates the painful truth, that all love stories are part documentary and part fiction. This perfect dichotomy, both within the film and in real life, can never last forever.

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Habemus Papam Adam Goodall

The Roman Catholic Church is a pretty easy target for satire these days, what with the numerous scandals plaguing the Vatican and their futile attempts at covering them up. Given that, it’s to Nanni Moretti’s credit that his latest film doesn’t go with the easy targets—the satire at the heart of Habemus Papam is far more nuanced and intelligent than taking broad pot-shots at the church’s paedophilic priests and damaging stance on condoms in Africa. Indeed, it’s all the better for not dwelling on the problems we already know. With Habemus Papam, Moretti, an ardent left-wing activist and one of Italy’s most popular filmmakers, tells the story of Cardinal Melville (played by veteran Italian actor Michel Piccoli), an old, genial Italian voted to the Papacy by his peers, all of whom don’t want the job. Terrified by the gravity of his new office, Melville refuses to take to the balcony and greet his flock, leaving it to his fellow Cardinals to try and help him out of his rut. The film’s greatest asset is Piccoli, who gives an outstanding performance as the doubt-ridden Pope. Piccoli gets to the heart of Melville’s anxieties with warmth and good humour, presenting a portrait of a man struggling to reconcile the demands of his office with the knowledge that he is no different from the millions of Catholics he’s been elected to lead. Piccoli’s performance, in many ways, ties the film together, but it isn’t strong enough to hold together an increasingly meandering second half. Moretti splits the story in two, dedicating equal time to Melville’s adventures on the streets of Rome as he tries to resolve his issues and to the travails of a psychoanalyst (played with altogether too much bluster by Moretti) trapped in the Vatican after being brought in to treat Melville. While there is light comedy and good-natured satire to be had in the image of cardinals playing volleyball like schoolchildren, it feels like a diversion from the main event and goes on for far too long in the scheme of things. Ultimately, however, Habemus Papam is a well-measured and astute dramedy that manages to undermine the Vatican by making the Pope and his cardinals seem human.

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Habemus Papam will be screening at the Italian Film Festival. The Festival will be running from 12 October until 30 October at the Paramount Cinema. For more details, see italianfilmfestival. co.nz


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Little Beer Quarter Dylan Jauslan

Hi, my name is Dylan: beer-geek, former Victoria student and barguy at Hashigo Zake. Brendon was busy making beer so I’m pitching in a column this week. Late on a stormy night in July, Dave the Beer Guy and I met in an obscure alleyway. We had one purpose: a new bar was opening and we were thirsty. It seems that for Wellington, 2011 is the year of the beer bar. Starting in February with that most excellent establishment The Hop Garden, this year has seen the opening of four new venues devoted to craft beer, with a fifth due to open in a matter of weeks (watch this space). The latest player on the field is Little Beer Quarter, and they’ve hit the nail on the head. Like many good beer bars LBQ is a bit difficult to find. It’s tucked away from the Tui drinking crowds on Edward St, an obscure lane just off Victoria St. This site has a proud beer history already. Formerly Watusi and before that Tupelo, it was the place where both Yeastie Boy’s Brewer Stu McKinlay and fellow columnist Dave the Beer Guy had their first craft beer experiences. Upon entering you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in a cool little cocktail lounge. They have upside-down plants and a cabinet full of eclectic things. However, once you reach the bar (under possibly the best lampshades ever), you’ll find twelve taps all pouring good beer (and one cider). Behind the bar they have three big fridges and although there are a few mainstream beers sneaking in, they hold a good selection of both local and international bottles. They also have plans to install a handpump in the future for those of the real-ale disposition. LBQ is the creation of the four ladies behind Beach Babylon Café (take THAT, gender stereotypes). I’ve had the opportunity for a little chat with Co-Founder Stacey Walsh on a couple of occasions. Although allegedly a hop-hater, she’s beer-geek through and through and can usually be found somewhere near the bar. The staff are friendly and the food, sometimes the Achilles’ heel of beer bars, is good, especially the pizzas. On top of this they offer a 10% discount to SOBA members. My one snag with LBQ is that they only open from Tuesday to Sunday. As a fan of the Monday afternoon pint, I’ve been thwarted several times by them being shut. On balance however, this place is awesome. Check it out sometime.

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Lovin’ Lessons Hayley Adams

Occasionally things don’t go as planned in the kitchen, it happens to the best of us. THIS EVENING WAS one of those times. An apple ginger upsidedown cake from a beautiful Aunt Daisy cookbook my grandma gave me defeated me. I am not too sure quite what went wrong, but when I get it right, I’ll be sure to share the recipe I have always loved the hilarious ‘beaut brainwaves’ in That’s Life magazine, so instead this week we have a list of hints that have helped me get by in the kitchen. Let’s call them ‘Lovin’ Lessons’. • If you’re pitting olives, the quickest and easiest way to do it is to squish the olive with the flat side of a knife and then rip the stone out with your hands. After squishing it, it’s a million times easier to get the stone out. • Yoghurt which has passed it use by date is top notch for baking, don’t throw it out, throw it in a yummy lemon yoghurt cake! • If you don’t have a sieve, never fear! Either give your dry ingredients a really good going-over with a fork, or if you are making a recipe that doesn’t risk over mixing, use an electric beater, too easy. • If you’re into cooking with a bit of mince and want to make it go a little further, add grated carrot or courgette to your bolognaise/shepherds’ pie/burger patties to bulk them out and make them just that little bit healthier. • If you make a roast chicken, make it go further by making a stock with the carcass. Simply pop in a pot with a litre of cold water, a carrot and an onion (leave skin on) both chopped in half, two bay leaves and some pepper. Boil for about an hour, let cool and strain. Now you have a cheap stock with no nasties to use as a base for soup. • And my newest trick I discovered just this week to help with making bread at home in colder weather. It says to let it rise somewhere warm, but a toasty spot is hard to come by at this time of year, especially in a student flat. Heat a wheat-bag and set the bowl/tray on top of this when leaving your dough to rise. It works at treat.

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Notices Film Society Do you want a chance to watch a vast range of weekly movies with fellow students? Do you want to eat homemade popcorn while doing so? Do you want to pay dirt cheap prices for it? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then come along to Film Society. Thursday Night 6:30pm Room 203, 83 Fairlie Terrace

March to Save Factory Farming On Saturday the 10th of September, 12pm, the Campaign to Save Factory Farming will be marching from the Civic Square to parliament. We will arrive at parliament at 1pm. With the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee about to release their new welfare code for layer hens it is important that we prevent the introduction of colony cages. Many crazy animal welfare, and rights, groups have said that colony cages are just replacing a cage with a cage. But these nutters are wrong. The introduction of colony cages at some point this century is replacing a cage with a slightly bigger cage. This could see the price of eggs skyrocket by possibly a few dollars. This would make it even harder to afford to eat obscene amounts of eggs and meat. Campaign members will be marching to defend our right to eat dirt cheap eggs and meat at the expense of all other animals. However, campaign scientitians will also be releasing the results of a recent study proving conclusively that hens are masochists. We look forward to revealing these results to New Zealand.

This week, pay only $15 for a year’s worth of films (carrying through semester 1, 2012) or $2 for a single non-membership screening and watch Michael Haneke’s twisted period piece The White Ribbon. Film Society: All the cool kids are doing it.

CAREERS AND JOBS 2011/12 Internships and 2012 Graduate Jobs: Applications Closing Soon (details on CareerHub http://careerhub.victoria.ac.nz): 16/9 – NZ Defence Force; Duncan Cotterill Lawyers 18/9 – Fonterra 19/9 – AIESEC 23/9 – Aviat Networks 26/9 – Solid Energy 30/9 – Parliamentary Counsel Office; TaxTeam 1/10 – Telogis; Provoke Solutions 30/11 – Asia NZ Foundation; JET Programme Employer Presentations - check details/book on CareerHub: 28/9 – Walt Disney World, 5.40pm

27/9 – FHSS – Careers with a BA, 5.30pm Get expert advice from Vic Careers on: - what to do with your degree - how to put together a CV - what to expect at an interview - how to get a job Vic Careers: 463-5393, careers-service@vuw. ac.nz, 14 Kelburn Parade

Generation Zero invites you to Cheer up Ralph! Dr Ralph Chapman is an Associate Professor in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Vic. Ralph isn’t hopeful about the future. He thinks that with climate change and peak oil upon us, the view looks rather dim. In fact, he thinks we’re screwed.

Sick of mould, dirty dishes and crappy flatmates?

We’re going to let him share his dreary vision, but we can’t leave poor Ralph wallowing in the depths of despair!

Stop thinking this is the best it’s going to get and come live with us! Northland Rd, easy 15 minutes walk to Uni, central to both Kelburn and Northland shops. 2 minutes walk to bus stop. Three bedroom, sunny location with brillant natural surroundings, recently renovated with large windows, high ceilings and awesome balcony. No leaking, no musty smell! Room available is unfurnished large double. Rest of flat fully furnished, includes washer, dryer and dishwasher. Current flatmates are one couple and single lady, all

We’d like to cheer Ralph up. We’ll talk about things happening in New Zealand and beyond to create a brighter future, and show Ralph that us young people aren’t gonna take this lying down.

respectable and easygoing. Txt 027 788 2117.

AA Student Meeting Every Thursday Student Union Building Room SU219 Noon email: aameetingstudent@gmail.com

Vic OE – Study on Exchange Exhibition! All this Week! Maclaurin Foyer, Kelburn Campus

So come along on to the Memorial Theatre in the Student Union building on Tuesday, September 13 · 5:30pm - 8:00pm, and help us cheer up Ralph!

Drinking getting you down?

Come check out Vic exchange student stories & travel photo exhibition! Why not study overseas as part of your degree?! Earn Vic credit, get Studylink & grants, explore the world! Weekly seminars on Wednesdays, Level 2, Easterfield Building, 12.55pm - 1.05pm

We hope to see you there.

30/9 – JET Programme (Teach English in Japan), 1.00pm

crueltctsff@hotmail.co.nz ctsff.wordpress.com

Careers in Focus Seminar - check details/book on CareerHub:

Website: victoria.ac.nz/exchange

14/9 – Accounting – Working in SME Firms, 5.30pm

Drop-in hours: Mon & Tues 9-12, Wed-Fri 10-12

Email: exchangestudents@vuw.ac.nz Visit us: Level 2, Easterfield Building

jason govenlock

Salient provides a free notice service for all Victoria University of Wellington students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs and not-for-profit organisations. Notices should be received by 5pm Tuesday the week before publication. Notices should be fewer than 100 words. For-profit organisations will be charged $10 per notice. Send notices to editor@salient.org.nz, with ‘Notice’ in the subject line.

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Letters

Woah... you had me until ‘The World’s Enemy.’ Hi Salient,

Salient Letters Policy 2011 Salient welcomes, encourages and thrives on public debate—be it serious or otherwise—through the letters pages. Write about what inspires you, enrages you, makes you laugh, makes you cry. Send us feedback, send us abuse. Anything. Letters must be received before 5pm Tuesday, for publication the following week. Letters must be no more than 250 words. Pseudonyms are fine, but all letters must include your real name, address and telephone number. These will not be printed. Please note that letters will not be corrected for spelling or grammar. The Editors reserve the right to edit, abridge or decline any letters without explanation. Letters can be sent to letters@ salient.org.nz, posted to Salient, c/- Victoria University, PO Box 600, Wellington or dropped into the Salient office on the third floor of the Student Union Building.

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Sen

.nz nt.org @salie letters / tc Salien ity nivers U ia r Victo 0 x 60 PO Bo ton

g Wellin

I totally agreed on what you say about SquareEnix thing. In fact, I was practically screaming (in my head) “Someone sees the light!”. But there’s is one thing I find quite disagreable. You should change Reno’s picture to Sepiroth. Why? Because when the world is ending, his background music (The World’s Enemy) gonna be played while he slashes people around. Not that I don’t like Reno; he’s a red-headed Turkey--just thought people should be forewarned :P Sincerely, Jenova-ed by Sepiroth.

Be nice to Craccum! One of this year’s editors has won a Billy T Award! Being a good magazine editor is, like, one of their criteria (as well as doing a good Steve Wrigley impression, apparently). Dear AUSA President, Joe McCrory, 1. You are not “stuck” with voluntary student membership. You’ve had years to hold a referendum, and go back to universal membership. It’s AUSA’s fault, and the executives - for not providing an association that students want, and feel best served under universal membership. Don’t blame the membership system, don’t blame the students, don’t blame the university, blame yourselves for failing to adapt to succeed in a voluntary environment and be what the student body needs you to be. Your attacks are just Clare Curran-esque, and show little self reflection or respect for students.

2. “students’ associations have been fighting this, ad nauseum, for the last two years.” exactly. Students’ associations have - not students. Has there ever been a survey asking students what they want? No. Why? Scared of what you might find? 3. Thank you for encouraging Vic students to vote in the VUWSA elections. It is important to care. Because otherwise the students’ association will be run into the ground by execs with a misunderstanding of students, a lack of adaptability and a mindset that voluntary = apocalypse. Not saying that you’re like that Joe. You seemed like a cool guy on Hindsight. Blame your predecessors. 4. “Auckland has half as many student services” - and yet Auckland Uni is ranked way higher in the QS rankings... You would have more (AUSA provided) services if you structured your association to serve what students need, and was in touch with your student body. Incentives mate. 5. Crappum. Regards, Soon to be Freeda Carlo

Men, Women Not That Different (Allegedly) Dear Caitlin Dunham, c/o Genderedlient How exactly are female students disadvantaged? And why do they need a ‘women’s rights officer’ on the VUWSA executive? Let alone, why do we need a ‘national women’s rights officer’? The only difference evident between male and female students, are biological - periods and babies. You may see the student community as one that is gendered - but does everyone else? If there were issues of inequality across male and female students, then surely there would be more involvement in that portfolio, and more work to do.? Under what principle is the ‘women’s rights officer’ there? EQUITY. Surely an equity officer would suit the wider student community better, and a real difference for students who are prejudiced against for any reason. Why do female students need extra attention - evidence please, not assumptions from your gendered goggles. Regards, Not Alasdair Thompson

Short and sweet Seamus Brady STFU

Is VUWSA Holding Pizza in Captivity?! Hey Salient, I hereby nominate Adam Smith’s invisible hand for the role of Campaigns Officer in VUWSA’s elections. Perhaps if it were in your self-interest to, and you actually got some benefit from, voting in the election VUWSA would get a turnout that was actually more than 5%. In the interests of a better student democracy and more student participation and gourmandising funtimes, I suggest that VUWSA offer free pizza, at polling places, to

everybody who actually turns up to vote. And then you might actually have a mandate to speak for us. Tyrone

Bit of a Shit Metaphor Dear Salient, The new Wellington wifi CBD free service is as useful as treating diarrhea with laxatives. With runny love, Rup

Psych Student Doesn’t Like Jock, Implied to be Having Wedgie Flashbacks To the brainless “Jock” who sits in my Psych 235 class, who my friends and I have so aptly nicknamed “douche-bag.” Stop yelling out obscene things in class for attention. How low is your self-esteem that you feel the need to constantly seek approval of the 200-odd students around you. Did your Dad never hug you? Does your mum drink herself stupid just so she can handle your poisonous personality? God knows how your friends deal with you. Shouting out “wohoo!” when we were discussing the rise in domestic violence was seriously the nail in the coffin. I have been in the same class as you all year and this trimester I’m in the same room as you 6 hours a week. My friends and I actively avoid sitting near you, yet you can still be heard, constantly talking and making comments that disrupt the class. How can someone as barbaric, immature, egocentric and annoying as you be seriously pursuing a degree in psychology? Your supposed to be an open minded, empathetic and intelligent. If there is any justice in this world I hope a patient snaps and kills you because no one deserves to be treated by you. So in summary, shut your mouth, change your degree, try being nice to someone, and apologize to your mum for ruining her life. Yours truly Pissed-0ff-in-Psych

Woman “Enjoys” Sex To the Victorian Gentleman who does not wish to discuss sex, I’m going to call you Victor. I’m normally a nice, placid little lesbian who enjoys simple things, like braiding my hair and cunnilingus. But I find your letter and your hush-hush attitude towards sex is exactly the type of mindset we are trying to dispel. You see, I believe sex should be open and freely discussed, and I am constantly baffled by the idea it should never openly talked about. It’s depressing how much young men and women learn about sex from film and television, where ratings are harsh and cruel against same-sex relations. It’s incredibly difficult for a young person questioning their sexuality to find a reliable, gentle, and open form of communication where they can learn about sex, their bodies, what feels good, and even something as simple as self-pleasure. I mean really Victor, how else are people going to feel comfortable saying to partner ‘’actually, you know what feels good for me...?’’


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Not discrimination my ass. What’s this talk of tradition all about? Salient has traditionally openly talked about sex. Is it possible to not have noticed there is a weekly column about it? And OF COURSE it should be discussed openly. Some people need to be told how to sex.

In fact, thinking about it, those two articles you insist are inappropriate are hardly smut either. Not that I’m an expert on writing erotica, but I’m fairly sure ‘smut’ is ‘writing intended to arouse’. And sorry to the authors, but neither piece turned me on. I found them to be a brief but educational window into how two people of the same gender sleep together...

~Whys? BTWs: The editorials last week were cool. :3

...And to be fair, it really only skims the surface of possibilities. But the point I’m trying to make, Victor, is that sex should not be keep in some crate in a wine cellar, only cranked open for special occasions. I’m not about to go on a dykey rampage and tell everyone I take my orgasms shaken and not stirred, but at the same time, I’m not about to hide the fact I am a woman and I enjoy sex. Sex is beautiful, and I don’t believe something like that should be kept a secret from the masses. Sincerely, Do I Get My Toaster Oven Now?

Hey... Remember when we printed that porn? That was awesome. Dear you, What’s your name? When did we start this crazy game? Pull up a chair. Grab a drink. I need something not to make me think~ I found your title for Zach’s letter quite appropriate. The assertion that Salient doesn’t need smut to be interesting, while hilarious, is indeed true. It would be a scary world if interest and smut were directly related.

Actually, I think -most- people need to be told how to sex. If you’re going to say otherwise, you might as well just come out and say, “I endorse bad sex.”

**** I would like to commend you Salient for your interesting rebuttal to the letter regarding the discussion of sex within this year’s Gaylient. Substituting a title for a vaguely pornographic photo is an odd, yet effective way to champion the cause of the open discussion of sex. For too long the media have shied away from the discussion of sex, due to the fear of retribution from a bunch of puritanical prudes who shudder at the mention of the “disgusting” act which defines human nature. Too often they are given a platform in the popular press to crow about their concerns about the “moral degradation” of our society, a trend which I hope continues just so they can despair and look increasingly idiotic. We should celebrate an act which, let’s face it, is damn enjoyable, unless you are drunk and cannot recall who or what you slept with. Open and full discourse is a means to normalising sexual discussions, although it is arguable whether college students need assistance in this regard. Nonetheless continue to push the boundaries Salient, and those of us who live in the modern world and are not bound by 19th century Christian values will vocally support you. Yours Sincerely, Gerald Lee P.S. This is just a rant prompted by the letter I mentioned. It is not however an attack on the individual who wrote that letter, I just needed an excuse to go mad. All other offense is absolutely intended.

I really hope that we don’t have to start a ‘Superfical Judgements of Fellow Students For No Real Reason’ section. That would be annoying. Because, really, beyond offending your personal taste, what has this girl done to harm you? As long as she feels comfortable in her appearance and is doing it on her own terms, who are we to judge? I mean, within reason obviously, but she isn’t naked or wearing a t-shirt with Jesus pissing on a Qu’ran so, let’s just let her live her life, all right? To the first year girl with the white blonde hair and the fake tan, It has come to mine and many others attention that your clothing choice is severely problematic. On a cold winters day last semester you were seen sporting a very short skirt and a singlet top, i’m pretty sure everyone coming up the stairs was very aware that you were wearing white underwear. I have also heard many stories of your short skirts and dresses and i think it’s time someone says something. So to the girl with the white blonde hair and fake tan, pretty please know that no one wants to see your bum around uni anymore, seriously. Sincerely, A modest dresser

So, Uther turned out to not be the stupid stupid useless idiot he has always suspected himself to be Dear Sadlient. I just wanna say thanks to Uther for opening up about his depression, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Students suffering from depression are made to wait weeks for an appointment with a school councillor and are not offered ideas for support in student notices; it can be incredibly lonely. Opening up a dialogue about depression is certainly reassuring and much appreciated. Cheers, Been there.

Dear Salient, Was it really neccessary to publish gay porn in this week’s Salient in response to someone expressing his dislike of sex-related articles? I’ve got nothing against gays but that wasn’t even funny. You don’t need to be crass or offensive to get a laugh. It’s called wit. It’s a shame to see it so sparingly used in Salient these days. Sincerely, WayToBeDicks **** Dear Not-worth-my-time-to-think-of-a-goodinsult-lient, Salient is really really fucking shit. Name one good thing you have done this year. If ‘Uther’ (is that even your real name?) and Elle weren’t so busy wanking over their self indulgent emotional crap, maybe you would produce something worth the copious amount of trees you waste with your garbage. Hey, Uther, wanna know why you’re sad? BECAUSE YOU EXCRETE SHIT ON TO PAPER ON THE STUDENT FUCKING DIME AND STINK THE UNI UP WITH IT. FUCK THE FUCK UP OR FUCK THE FUCK OFF. Also, Elle, we get it. You grew up on a boat. Well, the real question is why didn’t your family drown you? I WOULD HAVE. I hope VUWSA sells you. Into white slavery. You cunts. I wish that you are both dead by the time this letter is printed, Stella Blake-Kelly News Editor - Salient 2011 PS – I know that you’re eating all of my blueberries

charles panic

Regardless of sexuality or gender, if we continue to keep sex in some dark corner and hide it from our minds eye, then what separates us from the Victorian London? I assure you they were totally all boning each other back then, but the difference? Sex was an act of depravity, never discussed and scorned by Upper Middle Class twits. And don’t even get me started on erotic literature of this time. It is seriously messed up. You want smut? You go read Fanny Hill.

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answers

Puzzles Sudoku B-MOVIE

Each entry in the grid has an extra letter, spelling out the unwelcome intruder.

COCOONS DEAD PLANET

F

H

I

R

G

I

G

S

N

O

O

H

C

O

C

E

N

A

R

N

T

S

I

A

E

B

R

A

T

S

T

H

E

O

FEMALE LEAD

C

A

S

L

E

I

I

E

N

Y

D

S

E

C

I

F

I

H. R. GIGER

E

E

T

N

S

E

N

G

E

G

E

E

H

T

I

G

S

INCUBATION

H

N

P

E

O

R

N

N

R

E

F

U

S

T

E

P

T

'IN SPACE...'

U

D

A

T

M I

A

A

O

F

L

Y

S

O

A

O

A

JOHN HURT

G

Y

C

D

O

R

T

I

L

R

E

C

S

C

T

T

B

C

E

E

O

U

R

U

C

R

P

I

D

E

S

L

R

U

G

L

E

O

R

Y

Y

S

E

C

D

J

Q

Y

O

U

C

E

P

G

E

T

T

D

T

H

R

O

A

U

E

A

H

N

R

I

D

I

S

T

N

O

G

C

R

O

E

L

T

N

I

S

T

O

V

O

S

A

W K

I

T

U

L

D

Z

B

E

R

R

L

T

N

A

L

E

N

D

I

N

R

I

O

H

R

D

E

R

O

T

O

Y

S

E

E

G

I

S

S

G

O

E

STAR BEAST

R

F

E

M A

L

E

L

H

E

A

D

S

R

E

J

D

THE EGG

R

A

W B

N

W G

S

R

E

G

I

E

G

R

H

WEYLAND-YUTANI

I

FACEHUGGER

NOSTROMO RESURRECTION RIDLEY SCOTT RIPLEY SCI-FI SEQUELS SIGOURNEY SPACE JOCKEY

ACROSS: 3. Grimy (3) 7. Adaptable (8) 8. Toad noise (5) 9. Response (6) 11. Imitation (7) 12. Hint (4) 15. Avaricious (5) 17. Rest (5) 18. Enclose (7) 21. Agony (7) 23. Skulk (5) 24. Counsel (6) 27. Gaol (4) 30. Preliminary (7) 31. To give back (6) 33. Winged guardian (5) 34. Allure (8) 35. To call in on (5) CRYPTIC ACROSS: 3. Darkness under shiny tables, you amount to being filthy (3) 7. Lithe white-faced black cat and a painless elbow (8) 8. Raspy voice from Costa Rican acorn’s tree (5) 9. The solution is a pecan, sir! (6) 11. Rip lace from the copy (7) 12. Thank Lou for the evidence (4) 15. The editor in grey is gluttonous (5) 17. Loosen up the king around Angel City (5) 18. Tell them to be quiet and eat before he will cover it (7) 21. The rut rotates in suffering (7) 23. I’m a weirdo, what the hell am I doing here to tiptoe? (5) 24. Suggestion for something to describe an action on the rocks (6) 27. Yes German, I will be in confinement (4) 30. Begin it, I allow the first (7) 31. Come back to make a mistake with a crazy seed (6) 33. Glean a twisted cherub (5) 34. To singe is mother with an attractive personality (8) 35. After six, take a seat for your stopover (5)

DOWN: 2. NAIVE 3. INSIPID 4. ETERNITY 5. TREAD 6. ROUND 7. PERTURBED 8. JUDGE 12. ROUTINE 14. BUDDY 16. APOLOGY 18. MAGMA 19. PLENTIFUL 21. SPECTRUM 23. ARCHAIC 25. PERCH 27. TOKEN 28. VAGUE 30. BRAVE

DOWN: 1. Level surface (5) 2. To veil (4) 3. To humiliate (7) 4. To steal (5) 5. To contravene (6) 6. To conquer (8) 10. Permit (7) 13. Rupture (5) 14. Spiritualist (6) 16. Rescind (6) 19. Gymnast (7) 20. To banish (5) 22. An accessory (8) 25. To wreak (7) 26. A flake (6) 28. Devout (5) 29. Superior (5) 32. Gain (4)

CRYPTIC DOWN: 1. Paper aero flat (5) 2. Conceal a friendly salutation with a Doctor of Engineering (4) 3. Belittle 49% (7) 4. Nick is I in the church seats! (5) 5. Violate the red head in the beach (6) 6. Defeat the wish after the very bank (8) 10. To call for a battle tirade (7) 13. Break out from bratwurst! (5) 14. My little piece of would is magical (6) 16. Retract to harvest snakelike fish (6) 19. Reader programme from a black bird and baseball club (7) 20. Drive out experience points by electronic litres (5) 22. Diamante man rolls in decoration (8) 25. After not being out, sounds like you flung something into the air to impose (7) 26. A fragment like gold (6) 28. Religious filled pastry and us! (5) 29. Pull me away from Optimus (5) 32. Deserve every action reaching notice (4)

Romany Tasker-Poland

Intruder Alert

ACROSS: 1. FANTASIZE 5. THROW 9. OBSCENE 10. USHER 11. DWELL 13. VIVID 15. EXACT 17. SUCCUMB 19. PROCLAIM 20. MODIFIED 22. ECONOMY 24. CHEAP 26. WEARY 29. SOBER 31. FRANK 32. GARBAGE 33. CANOE 34. MACHINERY


47 Robyn Kenealey

Issue 20 Tertiary education

salient.org.nz


48

Salient Vol. 74

Victoria is now offering more than 100 courses in Trimester Three 2011. A full list of courses is available at www.victoria.ac.nz/tri3 Most courses start on November 14, talk to your faculty about how to enrol.