STUDENT POLITICS | TALES FROM ABROAD | DARK MOFO | MEDICINAL MARIJUANA
THIS IS FREE
ScavHunt is Coming...
STUDENTS! WE ARE YOUNG! ARE YOU GOING TO STAND IDLY BY AND WATCH DARK MOFO TAKE PRIDE OF PLACE AS THE MOST F$#%ED UP THING TO HAPPEN TO HOBART? NO! SCAVHUNT 2014 IS GOING TO GROW SOME BALLS AGAIN. SCAVHUNT IS KING OF THE FAUX PAS, AND OH BOY ARE WE GOING TO PUT OUR FEET INTO IT THIS YEAR.
“BUT, WHAT’S THE POINT?” THE POINT IS, WE GIVE WINNERS A FAT PRIZE WORTH COMPETING FOR, AND IN RETURN, YOU SURRENDER YOUR DIGNITY UNTO YOUR UNION: ALONE, YOU WILL BE FORGOTTEN. WITH SCAVHUNT, YOU MAKE YOUR STAND. IN THE WORDS OF THE IMMORTAL(ISH) BRAD PI-CHILLIES: “LET NO MAN FORGET HOW MENACING WE ARE, WE ARE LIONS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S WAITING BEYOND THAT BEACH? IMMORTALITY - TAKE IT, IT’S YOURS!”
Registration opens July 16th, closes July 25th. Registration forms will be available from tuu.com.au the contact centre and from the SRC offices 2
THIS IS FREE
Sponsors of Togatus launch party ^ scan QR code for FB event^
6pm July 24 @ Uni Bar
EDITORIAL Welcome to edition 5, kiddies! We hope you enjoy a fine selection of what’s emerged as something of a theme - tales from abroad and of experiencing student exchange in Tasmania. We also have a beautiful range of photography, including a small showcase of great snaps of Dark Mofo, taken by our Digital Editor, Nathan Gillam. The long-awaited re-cap of this year’s student union kerfuffles has also finally materialised, narrated by the loquacious Topher Webster. In other news, a rather big change is creeping into UTAS course structures... a little something known as “Breadth Units”. They’re essentially an interdisciplinary course which is meant to produce “a more well-rounded graduate”. These units will
commence in semester 2, somewhat similar to those which have been introduced at as several other Unis. We’re eager to hear your feedback on how they’re delivered. Any insights are essential now, as UTAS will make these units compulsory for all new enrollments from 2015 onward. Students will need to complete two in the life of their degree - with a only a few degrees excepted. And finally, we’re having a launch party, and you’re all invited! It’s a big thank you to all who’ve given so much to the magazine already this year, a great chance to meet the other contributors from all over, or to find out what we’re all about and how to get involved. There’ll be finger food, live music, and for all our contributors, some free drinks are coming your way! Come around to the Uni Bar from 6pm, Thursday 24th July!
Published by the State Council on behalf of the Tasmania University Union Inc. (hf. â€œthe publishersâ€?). The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Togatus staff or the publishers. The copyright in each piece of work remains with the contributor; however, the publishers reserve the right to reproduce material on the Togatus website (www.togatus.com.au) The copyright in this magazine remains with the publishers. Editor: Tabitha Fletcher email@example.com Deputy Print Editor: Olivia Congdon Deputy Web Editor: Nathan Gillam Design: Jess Curtis, Mahalee Smart Contributors: Comal Sharma Awaari, Essie, Charlotte, Joey Crawford, Brendan Fisher, Cameron Foster, Dipesh Raj Gautram, Jacob George, Nathan Gillam, Ruby Grant, Freya Griffin, Heidi La Paglia, Emma Luimes, Farah Modh Radzi, Molly Turner, Topher Webster, Laura Wilkinson, Milly Yencken. Advertising: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Togatus PO Box 5055 Sandy Bay, Tas 7005 Follow us: Twitter: @TogatusMagazine Facebook: facebook.com/TogatusMagazine www.togatus.com.au | Instagram: @togatusmagazine Togatus welcomes all your contributions. Please email your work or ideas to email@example.com It is understood that any contributions sent to Togatus may be used for publication in either the magazine or the website, and that the final decision on whether to publish resides with the editor and the publishers. The editor reserves the right to make changes to submitted material as required. Togatus is published monthly. Next edition deadline (contributors): 1st August Front cover art by Molly Turner. These and all subsequent illustrations produced and owned by the artist. Snake Illustration by Laura Wilkinson: Instgram 7AURA_ Print: Monotone Art Printers, Hobart
CONTENTS Student Politics & Chekhov’s Gun / 6 Beyond Culture Shock / 8 Namaste
Fight for the Right to Study / 12 Comal Sharma Awaari / 15 Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t
High & Dry
UTAS Response to Federal Budget Cuts / 22 Anti-Discrimination Laws / 23 Dark Mofo / 25 Kingswood Album Review
Passionate Problem Solving / 29 Youth: The Inspiration / 30
STUDENT POLITICS CHEKHOV’S GUN
Topher Webster, Hons in English, Hobart
I have invited you all here for one reason. I’m sick of the questions. “What’s happening with the student union?”, you say, “what’s happened to our champion, democracy? I’m scared!” Well, fear not, friends, everything is okay! As I write this, I’m hunkered down watching exams fly past, enjoying the expressions on the faces of poor suckers with their pens in plastic bags. Eyes stare blankly from the cold windows of the TUU building. People speak as if in code, eyes darting from wall to wall. A noble few remain, hunkered, overlooked. Tumbleweed blows by. This is the aftermath. The vote failed, and the revolution was forgotten. The disgruntled have been forcibly re-gruntled by the gloved hand of The Man: President Isaac Foster, who faced the sack at the hands of a merciless Vote of No Confidence, endures, his defeated opponents left much like Voldemort at the start of the H.P. series - disembodied, ethereal, secretarial...
SO, WHAT HAPPENED? Last you heard (assuming you were listening), Isaac Foster had issued an apology regarding the kerfuffle caused by his ill-advised online comments— unfortunately, this was inadequate, as Foster neglected to address several issues, such as the Salad Days debacle, and the affair regarding the Vote of No Confidence. Picture, if you will, the scene: It’s 2013, still. December. The previous SRC have evaporated in the face of their replacements due to a lack of relevant protocol or whatever. As such, the state of the union is unclear—an annual shake-up, the changeover rips the skin off the face of the TUU and transplants it with a new, shiny, different one. However, this year it went awry. A lack of initiation and coordination meant panic ensued, followed by an inability to communicate said panic, and, eventually, isolation; the “union” floated, adrift in a hazy, holiday-sized cloud of confusion.
Enter Isaac Foster, who took the reins, desperately trying to keep the union on-track, even if it meant publishing the counter-course guide, Salad Days, single-handed in order to beat the deadline. In hindsight, a flawed approach, as some mistakes, misinformation, and editing errors (as occur in every assignment handed in three minutes before cut-off) made it through. At least there is something done, complete—an achievement, of sorts, considering the geographical dissociation of those who should have been held responsible. Getting students to do busywork during holidays is straight up unfair—yet another reason why SRC reps (like myself) are a cut above most average folk. Anyway, the year began, landing like an out-ofcontrol movie jetliner talked out of the sky by a pilot on a telephone. Then came the bitching. Salad Days had problems. Misrepresentation, confusing use of logos next to non-associated quotes, 6
an irreverent comment in the law school’s write up, leaked personal information of non-consenting and otherwise anonymous persons, and, the cherry on top, the centrefold spread: “Let’s Talk About Sex Baby”. Who Sex Baby is, and what they have done, remains a mystery, as the following article had little to do with the exploits of said Baby, and featured instead a cookbook-like guide for maintaining a healthy career as a less-than-discrete adult film-star.
THE LATEST NEWS: WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE SC Cue snowball effect. Despite much hard work, unavoidable inexperience had resulted in a few too many dings in the bodywork to ignore. The face of the TUU now marred, the State Council (staffed by the campus presidents, sports and societies presidents, a general secretary, as well as a miscellaneous one or two others; the council over which the Statewide President presides) opted to throw
Foster to the dogs. Skipping any intermediary step, the State Council held an emergency meeting in which Waqas Durani (General Secretary, and most charming man on campus) moved a vote of no confidence. This was seconded by Olivia Jenkins, Societies President. The motion was passed, which took the issue to the Uni, whose representatives said “Woah now! Kicking him out already? He’s only been in for three months! Geez, you guys, can’t you just chillax and talk it through?” (-direct quote, University Media & Communications Department). And so they talked, but called it “mediation” (in the same way bureaucrats call “majority” “quorum”—uncommon words have far more appeal to the otherwise lovely minds of empty-headed suits). This mediation led to a second vote of no confidence, because the movers had not had their minds changed/mediated. This vote was a rushed affair, and the lack of preparation became evident in the increased abstentions. This vote did not succeed. Some time passed, during which the common folk (distinguished from their office-bearing all-roundsuperiors) found out (this time passes as a montage—flashes of office work, of gossip, of lazy outcry). The third vote came, the conclusion to the trilogy, and finally, it was not anticlimactic. Saraswathy Varatharajullu, Campus President (South), had finally broached the topic officially at a meeting of the SRC (South) (and as far as SRCs go, (South)’s is outstanding— maybe even the best in the world). The SRC supported the vote, at the time. (Personally, I wanted to tell my hypothetical grandkids about the day we pointlessly removed the head from a body of student advocacy, showcasing to them the great power of democracy, how the people threw a coup in the TUU, how every drop of rain raises the sea, et cetera—but, alas, we now live in a bureaucracy...) This third (keep up!) VoNC passed. Subsequently, Foster was summoned before the University Council (a group responsible for maintaining order across
the wide brown lands they call UTAS). Here, they decided that The University had two options: a) to ratify the third vote of no confidence and have Foster removed, thus setting precedent and undermining the democracy of the student body, or b), they could deny the vote, undermine the entirety of the TUU, starting a shit-fight which would leave everybody filthy and stinking. They chose neither, asking instead that the State Council change its mind. Which it did.
SO WHAT’S ALL FUSS ABOUT? Well, after the TUU’s Board of Management convinced the State Council not to go all FrenchRevolution, things went back to normal. Foster issued the first of his apologies, and began working on the list of other things to do. The SRC (of South, at least—I cannot speak for those of the North/North-West) was finally formally informed of the fallout following Foster’s fuck-up/s. (DAT ASSONANCE). Previously (April, 2014), Togatus published Isaac’s apology. As a follow up, last issue (May) was to feature an article much like this one, which was being written by a UTAS student. Interestingly, consequent to his meeting with Foster, the student reneged his promised article, days after deadline. No biggie. However, coupled with the gaping hole into which no information appeared forthcoming, a fire started—a fire fuelled by members of the public during the third vote, in which several “journalists” (read: hacks/students) “reported” (read: live-tweeted) (apparently that’s a thing) goings on: this stank on the internet attracted the twitching nostrils(/avian equivalents) of the state media vultures. This sent the Uni into defence mode. Everybody was told to hush, not talk to the bad men from the newpapers, and generally mind their (our) own business. This highlights a major issue: a ticket which ran (successfully, mind you) on a platform which castigated the previous officials’ lack of “transparency” is now itself finding out just how opaque
reality is. History repeats, and it seems we are doomed never to learn its mysterious lessons. This list of conditions imposed on Isaac Foster has not been made public. The minutes from the meetings wherein the VoNCs occurred have not been made public. The list of conditions for his continued-(as opposed to “re-”) installation has, as far as I am aware, been burned or delayed or otherwise taken away from the limelight. The State Council claims to be “entering into consultation as part of a review of the governance of the TUU” at the time of writing, while Foster has not yet paid the approximately $6k (out of his $40k honorarium) to cover the printing and then recalling of Salad Days. Everything has been hushed, silenced, and forgotten about. (State Council finally sent me a letter saying he’d pay) Which, I think, is for the best. Editorially, Foster is doing his job. Sure, he fucked up, but he’s also young, and ambitious. He’s a human, not a sci-fi/fantasy higher-being of pure consciousness. Foster has, since then, been a diligent and articulate president, taking a hardline stand against the issues of actual importance (like how the government is plotting to make you pay more for a degree than you would for a house). All in all, the result of six months of secretive student political nonsense, is that now *everybody is doing their jobs*. But what about Chekhov’s gun, you demand? It has been mentioned, and therefore must soon be fired— but you can see there aren’t enough words left for an on-stage death! This tension you are feeling is a result of my word-y foreplay, and my analogy is this: you are about to anti-climax. I’ve gotten you this far, but now I’m putting my pants back on and walking out. This narrative of nonsense provided an exposition, added all the momentum, and now, in place of a glorious explosion, what do you get? A fresh start. Isn’t that what we need?
Farah Modh Radzi, BA, Journalism, Hobart
Growing up in Malaysia watching The Gilmore Girls, reading Sweet Valley High and listening to 90s western pop songs had always make me super eager to study overseas; where there will be always something happening going on in a university studentsâ€™ life. July 2011, UTAS called my name -I couldnâ€™t contain my excitement! It was on the 3rd July when things started to get -oddly interesting...
U P, U P A N D A W A Y. . . FARAH! I arrived with my family and was greeted by a UTAS representative at the airport. While in the van, she informed me a little bit about the Sandy Bay area. I listened...and listened...and lost her right after we passed Coles and Woolworths. The more the van was moving towards my accommodation, the more panicked I became; because I saw ‘nothing’. Nothing in my ‘before-I-came-toTassie’ dictionary meant ‘I-can’t-see-anyshopping-malls-more-than-two-storey-high’. The population of healthy looking trees terrified me. Well, what does not kill you makes you stronger, right?
FIRST LOVE No! I had not arrived at my destination. Continue reading! The moment the van indicated right I started to have a bad feeling. I called it the moment of ‘Glory’ where I had butterflies and goose-bumps – when I first saw 20 College Road. The more the driver pressed the gas pedal, the louder the inner voice screamed in my head, “Are we there yet?” The three minutes ‘van hiking’ felt like forever. My mind was even more horrified when I visualised myself going up that hill EVERY DAY. You see if you look at me close enough, there is a sign ‘Allergic to Hill and Sweats and Any Types of Forced Exercises’ stamped on my forehead.
THE CLASSY CLASS You know the English traditional clothing that people wore during the Robin Hood series and Shakespeare era? That was my first impression of my Literature class. Except in my imagination the students keep repeating, “Would you like a cup of tea?” while holding the tea cups like the Aristocrats. I had a difficult time trying to understand English in Australian accent (I love to watch the late Steve Irwin shows you see, not because I understand what he talks about but I admired his passion for animals and his energetic presentations!), the lecturer’s jokes (which I pretended to laugh at anyway) and do not get me started on the poetries. If Shakespeare read my poetry, he would let me simplify his, hands down! To conclude all that – I failed. It was unbearable for me. Correction! – It was unbearable for an overconfident, over-expectant and overly sensitive student to handle.
HOW I OVERCOME MY PROBLEMS:-THEN AND NOW I cried the whole day! I lost my appetite and I apologised to my family in Malaysia God knows how many times. Welcome to uni! I decided to pack my things – according to the melodramatic drama in my head. In reality, I decided to see my lecturer with a high hope that the results would change. Fake tears would not work. Have I tried? No. Why? Because my tears were all dried up yesterday. The lecturer flipped the pages and asked me calmly, “Where is your argument?” And there I was sitting there, thinking hard over and over again, “What is there to argue? Can I actually do that? , Who am I to argue? Is that even legal?” It turned out that I not only had a culture shock, but an education system shock too. At UTAS, I learnt many great skills such as critical thinking, presentation skills and writing skills. Most importantly and FMOI (for my own information), failing a 10% assignment did not mean that I failed the whole unit (I passed my Literature class!). After that incident, my motto to survive is to give my very best in every assignment and exam and do not put high expectations on the results. Always pat your back for the efforts that you’ve given. And that is what keeps me going until today – with God’s permits and blessings of course!
NAMASTE Emma Luimes -
MA JMC Grad. Cert. Asian Studies, Journalism Exchange in Nepal
“THE PEOPLE ARE LOVELY” Walking around in a veil of dirt. There it is, now and then, lightness and playfulness.
We are both in on the joke, on my daily commute.
Every day I navigate a path of near-death, avoiding the rocks falling from the sky and the chaos on the road.
I saw a woman get hit by a motorbike yesterday. She didn’t die.
I like your loose attitude towards safety. Or is it just a casual approach to death?
I wonder if that’s the same cow I saw yesterday. If it is, he didn’t recognise me. He should.
I’ve walked this same road for a month now, and I don’t look like anyone else this far past Balaju. 10
photo: Emma Luimes
FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO STUDY TALES FROM CHILE By Freya Griffin
MBA AG. Innovation, Hobart
BACKPACKING SOLO AROUND SOUTH AMERICA HAS BEEN ONE OF MY LIFE HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE. I’VE TOLD MANY A STORY OF MY TIME SAILING FROM PANAMA TO COLOMBIA, FOLLOWING THE INCA TRAIL THROUGH TO MACHU PICCHU, TANGO DANCING THROUGH THE STREETS OF BUENOS AIRES AND EMBRACING MY INNER CARNIVAL QUEEN IN RIO. THERE IS ONE STORY WHICH TENDS TO TAKE THE CAKE, THOUGH; THE TIME I WAS CAUGHT IN A VIOLENT STUDENT RIOT IN THE HEART OF VALPARAISO, CHILE.
photo: Freya Griffin
Hundreds rioted on the streets against the privatisation of university education. I’ve never published this before I suppose the timing didn’t really feel right to share my experiences with my australian friends back home. How would they understand what I’d witnessed? Would they care? Three years have passed since that day in valparaiso, and considering the new proposed changes for australian higher education I feel like the timing is now right to share the tale. It was mid-November in the Chilean capital, Santiago. I was visiting a friend before making a beeline to Buenos Aires for Creamfields Festival with David Guetta and Groove Armada. My dear amigo advised, “You must detour via Valparaiso and Mendoza first! Valparaiso’s street graffiti is near the best you will see in the world and Mendoza’s vino the best…well, the best red in Argentina. Chile’s is of course the best in the world!” So I took the big, bendy detour with a heart full of wonder and one eye on the clock. Travelling alone can be quite liberating
and unnerving at the same time. I had very little idea of the place I was visiting and was relying on my thirst for exploration to see me through. I had given up on websites and Lonely Planet guides months before and relished the chance to experience South America as unplanned and naturally as possible. A few hours on a semi-cama bus, and I’d arrived at Valparaiso. It was only to be a day trip in town before leaving on an overnight bus, so I hired a locker to stash my backpack and asked the info desk for a map and advice on the “must-see and avoid” areas of the town. In South America (especially travelling solo), I found asking the locals about the danger zones far more effective than anything I’ve read in a book or online. “You’ve come on a bad day,” Señorita help desk attendant told me. “You need to avoid the main street. There are protesters there.” “Okay,” I thought. “That’s fine, I’ll head to the hills and admire the graffiti art in the safer ‘burbs. That’s what I’m here to see after all.” 13
So I took Señorita’s advice and kept well south of the main street. As I walked, I could hear shouting, what sounded like gun shots and smoke arising from buildings a few blocks up. “Shit,” I thought. Señorita help desk attendant had seriously underplayed the situation. My heart started to race as I heard smashing glass and aggressive, intimidating sirens. Within minutes the shouts turned into a roar and I heard large engines revving, getting louder and louder. Like a swarm of bees, hundreds of people were now running around the corner onto my ‘safe street’, straight towards me. “F#*k”, I thought. The smoke I’d noticed was actually tear gas and grenades were being thrown over buildings and onto the bitumen in front of me. Instantly my eyes, nose and throat were burning uncontrollably. The sensation was unbearable. Many of the people looked young, about my age. They had shirts pulled up over their noses, covering their mouths and some were wearing gas masks and goggles. I quickly back-tracked and ducked into a nearby courtyard to pull out my camera
photo: Freya Griffin
“OUR EDUCATION IS NOT FOR SALE” as the crowd charged past. The roar of a large engine fired up again and I was shocked to see an army truck with a water jet aim directly toward the group. The crowd screamed in pain as powerful shots of water connected with the backs of heads. I followed the group, now making the connection with this and the local news I’d read days before about student riots in Santiago. You see, I didn’t know it at the time but the cause of the chaos was an utter state of desperation; of students who had attempted peaceful negotiations with their government to no avail. After capturing the drama on camera, I sat with a group of students involved in the riots a few hours before. Nicholas Ignacio, a student of the local university, shared with me some insights as to why the students were taking such a destructive and violent approach to protesting. I’d witnessed paint bombs, windows smashing, graffiti stencils on shop fronts, tear gas bombs from local army forces to control the crowds and I was curious to know the heart of the issue and why these students felt violence was the answer. “We’re not being listened to through traditional channels,” Ignacio said. “We want an equal opportunity to study. If our government has its way, we will be in debt forever. We will not be able to travel, buy
a house or start a family. We have no choice but to protest in this way now. We need to make a stand.” For years I’ve pondered this insight and now with the Australian Government making its own dramatic changes by deregulating university fees, I fear our own Australian youth might be in a similar situation to which my Chilean acquaintances feared. Chile’s university education is among the most expensive in the world and the Congressional Research Foundation reported in January this year that Chile is the most competitive and fundamentally sound economy in Latin America. Student leader of the 2011 Chilean protests, Georgio Jackson, reported to Berkeley University of California, “The current educational system is effectively undercutting public education by allowing private operators to compete under unfair rules. This system was designed to use the market to drive quality, increase choice and foster innovation, but educational outcomes and access for all academically eligible students is our focus.” Economically, Chile’s results read well on paper but in my mind, and in this day and age, economic performance is not enough; social and environmental factors must be measured and taken into account alongside economic results to assess the true position of a country and its population. 14
I must also caveat that I attended a private university and witnessed firsthand how the privileged can afford the luxury of university education. I put myself through this university by securing a scholarship and holding down a part time job while many of the students I met during my accelerated degree drove BMWs with P-plates and swigged Grey Goose in penthouse apartments. The positives of this private system included flexibility to study three semesters a year (read: graduate a year earlier!) and smaller class sizes, but those full fee paying students will be wearing the HECS premium for many years to come. Is this the future of university culture in Australia? My concern remains for our future generations in Australia; the hope that one day my children can enjoy access to education without the cost pushing them to seek other options. We must also consider the economic impacts of our international student population. Australians universities compete in a global market and perhaps it’s a timely reminder that some students will go elsewhere to receive an affordable yet quality education. By no means am I suggesting violent protests but you can guarantee I’ll be supporting the student voice for equal opportunity to education in Australia.
AWAARI. A RAJASTHAN STORY. Comal Sharma Awaari Med. Research, Menzies Institute, Hobart
I am as nowhere as I can be, Could you add some somewhere to me? - The Avette Brothers, Salina Awaari just means ‘a wanderer’. A wanderer without a purpose. This display was about showing a few things about the colourful Indian state of Rajasthan done in pencil and charcoal. As a kid I was lucky enough to experience the vibrant culture of this state and was left mesmerised by it. I never got the chance to learn art but I decided to draw a few things that fascinate me about this place. The eyes especially are windows, where you can see the spirits, the freedom that exists in every soul. They are the expressive gateways, where emotions are laid bare and they speak freely, without limitation. Likewise, a person’s choice of jewellery is an expression of choice, a physical extension of their spirit. By focusing on these highly emotive subjects in such a colourful region, I hope to give people a renewed sense of self, and remind them that freedom lies within us all. 15
DAMNED IF I DO,
DAMNED DAMNED IF I DON’T.
By Dipesh Raj Gautram, MA AG. Professional Accounting, Hobart
These real life experiences and stories have been told to me with laughter, tears and rage. This has been a great experience so far, a thrilling and unexpected rollercoaster. You never know when it will drop you with extreme adrenaline rush. A foreign student who gets on board to study overseas is practically bewildered by the mystique and bizarre circus of culture and experience. “Australia is the land of opportunities” they said, as I was sipping a cup of coffee, listening to mature talks about career and life almost a year ago. I think it was that dose of caffeine that made me realize that I can achieve something with my life. Nepal is often known to many as the land of Himalayas and natural beauty, but it is also a myth to some groups of foreign people. I used to be a Yeti, not known to many, hiding from the living world. Back home, thoughts often used to haunt me and the question that frequently popped in my head was “what am I going to do with my life? “ I think this question is a déjà vu for a lot of Nepalese like me.
Let me explain to you the frustration that is leading to this familiar trend. Can you imagine an atmosphere with a complete black out? But the thought of darkness engulfing our entire nation is nostalgic for me. People are deprived of their basic needs such as healthy food, drinking water, health care, electricity and gas. More than half of the population is uneducated and unemployment is around the same level. Most of the uneducated migrate to Middle East Asia for employment, and people who completed their higher education degree dream of studying in the United States, Europe or Australia. The youth of my generation are desperate to escape this harsh reality and they normally make a promise to themselves to not return back to that shadow. There literally used to be no power for 18 hours a day, but as soon as they supplied electricity for few precious moments; people had a daily bucket list. Night time television was rarely possible and it was spoiled by the bluffs of some random politician in a fancy, on a flashy stage. Why is the government of my country taking a deep nap and pretending that everything is alright? Almost one third of the population
has already left the country in search of opportunity. There are several local small scale firms who are making money out of people who are willing to do anything to get that Visa stamp in their passport. This whole process is done by hook or crook. For instance, by producing fake documents and phony bank statements. Foreign governments and educational institutions are aware of this scenario, and they also know our demography and socio-economic status. But still, why do they encourage people to plunge into debt and why do they give false hope to people? To be honest, I don’t have a single damn clue.
Picture: Milly Yencken
In recent years, the Nepalese population in Australia has grown in number. This year I was shocked by the arrival volume to UTAS from my country. I had my own experience in first initial phases. I can sense and observe the fear, phobia, doubts and reluctance in the new faces. This happens because most of them don’t do background research about this place and university. It is because so called “fraudulent educational consultancies” are misleading students. We have a huge expectation to sustain our living by engaging in some casual opportunities in Tasmania. In the first weeks, people go through an extreme financial crunch if they do not have a job. Tasmania is often misunderstood by us in
terms of job and career prospects. There were a couple of cases involving students from Nepal who had no idea where to live, how to eat and as they go on with this misery and panic of limited finances, the psychological meltdown starts. Not everyone is lucky enough to receive dollars from a wire transfer and they don’t have monetary backup in their home country. Unfortunately, lots of them leave this state and this university every semester and they move to the mainland being hypothetical about better financial security. For these unlucky students, their few months in Tasmania are exploited by parasites by paying them cruel wages. All of the initial excitement of a new
environment, exploration and culture is shattered due to an undeserving hardship. Their escapism from poverty and depressing economy leads to psychological harassment and anguish in a foreign land. Editor’s note: Students were not willing to give specific examples of being low wages for fear of repercussions, as such we are unable to verify these statements. We do note, however, the recent investigation into several farms which are accused of paying illegal wages to visiting workers.
In Australia the political drive in favour of medicinal grade cannabis has a defenceless history. The risks of recreation have repeatedly overshadowed the context of relief for the terminally ill. But New South Wales could be the first state to progress on the issue, as the story of cancer sufferer Daniel Haslam is forcing police and politicians alike to consider the quality of life that some Australians sincerely need. Dan’s family have been an incredibly public voice this year, calling for the decriminalisation of medicinal marijuana for the terminally ill. If you haven’t heard of his story, Mr Haslam is a 24-year old from Tamworth. He suffers from inoperable stage-4 bowel cancer, and is undergoing some of the most rigorous chemotherapy available.
Smoking cannabis has unique and almost miraculous effects for those undergoing chemotherapy, stopping nausea symptoms and enabling cancer sufferers like Mr Haslam to eat and regain a basic quality of life. Sourcing the substance is criminal, and so are the Haslam family in the eyes of both State and Federal law. Last year in May the first inclination of political legitimacy on the issue of medical marijuana in Australia arose. A NSW parliamentary inquiry released an undeniably positive report on the use of cannabis medicinally. The unanimous support of the senate committee was neglected over issues of security and access by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, who suspended the issue to be reconsidered in 2015.
“A NSW parliamentary inquiry released an undeniably positive report on the use of cannabis medicinally.” But the story of Mr Haslam and his family has managed to trampoline into the peripheral view at least, of some of the nation’s political leaders on all sides of the landscape. Ex-commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mick Palmer - who was renowned for his ‘hard on drugs’ approach while in occupation – had been so moved by the Haslam family story that he wrote to the Sunday Telegraph calling for change in
&DRY Haslam vs Prohibition By Cameron Foster, BA JMC, Hobart
regards to the legality of medicinal marijuana in Australia. From there, the story blew up and the Haslam’s received national coverage. Since, Federal minister for agriculture Barnaby Joyce has changed his prohibitive tune after meeting with Mr Haslam in May; Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and Greens MP John Kaye have both brought to NSW parliament proposed bills respectively regarding drug law reforms; and, Labour MP Melissa Parke, Liberal MP Sharman Stone and Greens MP Richard Di Natale are coconvening with Mr Haslam’s mother, Lucy and President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation Dr Alex Wodak have all taken what has been widely considered the ‘first step’ in drug law reform in Australia by meeting to discuss the rights of doctors to prescribe medicinal grade cannabis.
This is all too little too late for Tony Bower of Mullaways Medical. The 58-year-old has recently been charged with cultivation after it was revealed he had developed and distributed his own marijuana tincture recipe. Taken orally, the tincture, dubbed ‘cleverman’, has demonstrated remarkable results for sufferers of epilepsy, particularly in children prone to chronic and severe epileptic seizures. The tincture had undergone university testing and at the time of arrest, was a medicinal requirement for 150 people alleged to be on Mr Bower’s logbooks.
Australia’s policy on legislation does not seem destined to create anything like the trend spreading across in an increasing number of countries, and 22 US States who have legalised and de-criminalised. Australia even has tight restrictions around hemp, the “drug free” cousin of marijuana. We are the only other country besides New Zealand, which makes it illegal to even consume hemp-based health products. Hemp is one of the most versatile plants in the world; easy to grow, highly nutritious and makes very strong materials, like boat sails.
If you find it in any way unusual that there’s no mention here that Tasmania has played no part in this ‘budding’ controversy, you’re bang on the money. Tasmanian company Tasman Health Cannabinoids (THC) has taken the potential for reform and run with it, applying for a cannabis cultivation licence in order to commence clinical studies in conjunction with the University of Tasmania. THC CEO Troy Langman has projected that, with application approval, the company could be producing high-grade medicinal cannabis within four months.
The idea of medical marijuana is still a taboo subject in the public sphere, it seems. But things are starting to heat up again, and more and more public personalities and individual stories are coming out in favour of what is actually being proposed in Australia: the heavily restricted use of extracted medical cannabinoids for the terminally ill.
UTAS OBJECTIFYING THE STUDENT BODY
Like similar pages from other universities, the recently established ‘UTAS Hotties’ Facebook page features images of all the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes studying at a UTAS campus near you! You can peruse the student body to your heart’s content. You can even nominate an image of one of your attractive friends, as a compliment, I guess. You can also nominate an image of yourself, if selfies just aren’t narcissistic enough. I’m unimpressed by the existence of ‘Hotties of UTAS’ for a number of reasons. While I recognise that the whole thing is intended to be just one big cute gesture towards your hot friends and for the shameless appreciation of nice people, there is something unsettling about giving your friends the gift of objectification. In nominating your friend’s picture to the page you’re sharing an image of them, often without their consent, so that others, mostly strangers, can rate them on their physical appearance.
You could argue that UTAS Hotties at least tries to circumvent this by including the featured individuals’ areas of study, but I am not convinced. No one is on there saying “PHHWORR! Take a look at that Journalism Major!” In response to the inevitable counterargument that people nominate themselves, or their like-minded friends, as an act of free choice and expression, even a liberation, I take the rather “radical” feminist stance that the freedom of choice exerted by these individuals is actually an internalisation of the system of objectification. Time and time again, studies have shown that when exposed to constant sexualisation and objectification of women, both men and women begin to accept and internalise these messages. I’m not shaming or implying that the women students featured on this page are blind dupes of The Patriarchy, but I am suggesting that our culture is to blame for the saturation of sexualised representations of femininity to the point
where a conventional image of what is “hot” is repackaged and embodied as a “choice” of intelligent women. UTAS Hotties is not only about the ladies. Men are equally represented on the page as potential sex objects. Yet for every muscle man, there is a weedy guy nominated ironically by his mates, perhaps not conventionally “hot,” but possibly with a quirky personality. There is no equivalent for women. As in culture more broadly, women are rated for their bodies and appearances, while men are often admired for what they do or what they are like as a person. Men act and women appear. It’s come to my attention that posts to the page also result in numerous friend requests from appreciative strangers. If you want to peruse the local ‘talent’, that’s what Tinder is for. But don’t get me started on that.
By Ruby Grant
Hons. Sociology, Hobart
The objectification of women is a significant social and cultural issue that I would hope any university-educated person would be aware of. By constructing and representing women-identifying students as objects of the hetero-normative male gaze, appraised and ranked by their perceived attractiveness, determined through generic physical attributes such as thinness, tits and arse, their worth as active subjects is diminished. “Dat Thigh Gap Tho” is not an articulate response to that person as an individual. While I make no claim that women students should not actively and happily participate in heterosexuality, beauty and sexiness, we should be aware that the systematic sexual objectification of women students holds the capacity to diminish our worth as academics, intellectuals and professionals.
Picture: Milly Yencken
HOTTIES THE HOT NEW TREND
The national trend for students of higher education institutions to create a social media page to recognise “hotties” appears to be a growing sensation. Many universities now have a Facebook page run by one or several students, to boast their uni’s “talent”. The concern this creates is that the pages promote objectification of not just females, but also of males. Free discrimination for everyone! A “hottie” page could be likened to the profiles of those seeking to become models, however, this is arguably not the case. The page has chosen not to discriminate based on a set of judge’s opinions and scores, or an audience vote. Rather, any individual who wishes to send a photograph of a hottie they know from the university is permitted to do so. There appears to be no judge and most of the images would seem to be taken in a nice light with friends tagging their hottie friend in their own photo. Many would agree and oppose such a page; arguing objectification, cyber abuse, or anything of that nature. However, in most
circumstances, and from what I have seen, I would have tooppose that argument in most respects. The majority of the “hottie” population seem to get a laugh out of their photo being posted and some would, arguably, be given a confidence boost. Whether or not the stated boost is needed is irrelevant. I or any others were to take issue with the If page, it would most likely be on the lines of the comments posted on the photos and that it opens a line to stalking. Most pictures are submitted by friends with an admin adding potentially derogatory hashtags and titles, regardless of gender, such as; “dat box gap tho”, or “Bachelor of Business, majoring in Jewish Hats” and “Master of Business, majoring in Strip Shows”. A page post does recommend considering feelings and that anyone may have their photo removed. Is it too late if it is already up?
By Joey Crawford
BA Business, Launceston
Heidi La Paglia BA, Hobart
UTAS DISAPPOINTS IN RESPONSE TO UNI BUDGET CUTS
On the evening of the 12th June, the Vice-Chancellor and the Chancellor of the University of Tasmania hosted a public lecture addressing the challenges that will be faced by UTAS in the immediate future.
in this lecture, the Chancellor, Michael Field, would discuss the challenges and future opportunities for the University of Tasmania. Eager to hear some answers; staff, students, and public officials filled the Stanley Burbury theatre on the night of the lecture.
In response to a question towards the end on how the University plans to increase and maintain university participation among the low-socioeconomic population in Tasmania, the Vice Chancellor gave a somewhat disheartening answer.
This came after the release of the Federal Budget, which rightly concerned many people. In the area of tertiary education, the Budget outlined many changes. Among other things, the Federal Government plans to deregulate university fees, increase interest rates on HECS and HELP debts and cut funding to Universities by $1.1 billion over three years from 2015. Fundamentally, what this means is that students will be paying significantly more for university degrees, and university participation of low socioeconomic populations will decrease.
Upon commencement of the lecture however, I seriously doubt that anyone felt they got what they came for. On the way out I ran into one of my Sociology professors and asked how he found it. He sighed and said: “Nothing I didn’t already know.”
“It is not the role of the university to take over the state education system nor to compensate for failures,” he said.
This is particularly worrying for Tasmania, where there is only one university, and large proportion of people living on low incomes. According to the University Chancellor, the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) policies, “if passed, will have a profound effect on the operation of the tertiary education sector, and of the University of Tasmania.” On the 30th May 2014, Peter Rathjen, the University Vice-Chancellor bulk emailed staff and students informing them of the changes and inviting them to the Inaugural Vice Chancellor lecture. It was documented that
To me, and pretty much everyone, the lecture was simply a reiteration of the disastrous circumstances we are facing in Tasmania. The Chancellor reinforced that prices will go up while funding will go down. He said the University of Tasmania has to make “unspeakable” decisions. The theme of the lecture continuously stated by the University Chancellor was that the university must undergo “adaptive change” in response to the challenges it is facing. The Chancellor made clear that changes would take place; but he refrained from making any statement about detailing the changes. It was only after audience questions prompted them, that the lecture any kind of answers; and the answers that WERE given were less than satisfactory.
“We are trying to combine a teaching system which is about breadth of access with being as good as anyone in the world when it comes to teaching and research.” To put it simply, the Vice-Chancellor hinted that the University will not do anything to help out Tasmanians who will be most disadvantaged. As a result of the federal budget changes, university fees are set to increase and funding is set to decrease. As a result, the University of Tasmania will see a decline in participation among low socioeconomic populations – THE MAJORITY OF TASMANIA. If you missed the lecture on the 12th, the live stream can be viewed online here: http://new.livestream.com/ UniversityofTasmania/events/3044120
Anti-Discrimination Laws The Alternate Argument
In Issue 3 Stephen Mazza, BA Law argued for the government's proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. This issue Jacob George, MA Comms offers a counter-argument.
In a “move towards restoring free speech”, which will change the definition of racial vilification, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis will introduce legislation to repeal a section of Racial Discrimination Act. The repeal of the current laws that make it ‘unlawful to offend and insult people because of their race’ will be the first legislation Senator Brandis will introduce to Parliament. Brandis says; “you cannot have a situation in a liberal democracy in which the expression of an opinion is rendered unlawful because somebody else finds it offensive or insulting”. Brandis intends to enact the government’s decision to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination by removing the words, to “offend, insult or humiliate”. Under the changes, the term ‘intimidate’ would be retained and a new provision against racial ‘vilification’ will be introduced. A controversial example of the use of our current laws occurred when News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt sparked criticism when he penned a column about ‘light-
skinned’ indigenous Australians and their apparent lack of a right to the identity the identify with. The column was found to be in infraction of Section 18C, which makes it unlawful to publish material that causes resentment to a person or group because “of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the person or of some or all of the people in the group”. This is the section Senator Brandis intends to wind back. Another example of use of the law is the case of Holocaust denier Frederick Tobin who was ordered by the Federal court to remove material from his website in 2008. If his situation were to be tested by the government’s new exposure draft Tobin’s comments would be acceptable in Australia. The repeal is viewed by some as the government effectively condoning racist behaviour, there has been backlash. The proposed changes have seen vocal unrest from religious and community groups and also the Coalition backbench including Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek. Warren Mundine, the head of the Prime 23
Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is continuing to pressure the government over the proposed changes and avers he will not stand down from his position. He labelled Brandis’ “right to be bigots” comment as damaging to the people in the larger sense. “There shouldn’t be any room in any society for proliferating racial odium and irrepressible anti-vilification laws should thwart and curtail it.” All democracies safeguard and embolden freedom of speech, some adding caveats that can range from specific exclusions for racial hatred to restrictions on inciting violence. There shouldn’t be any room in any society for proliferating racial odium and irrepressible anti-vilification laws should thwart and curtail it. In Australia’s multicultural society everyone should have the right to feel welcome and safe. This isn’t about restricting free speech – this is about protecting vulnerable Australians from being unfairly discriminated against based on their race.
Photos: Nathan Gillam
KINGSWOOD | Melbourne quartet Kingswood have been gracing the Australian airwaves for quite some time, yet 2014 sees the release of their debut album. Microscopic Wars mixes the freshness of a band popping their long-playing cherry and the seasoned confidence and maturity of an act well into their career. Album opener “All Too Much” comes out with all guns blazing, shifting seamlessly through one note punk to half time wailing. The band seems to mirror the stylistic ambitions of US giants QOTSA, which is also exhibited in “I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me”. The mellow blues here is perfectly matched with the sexiest guitar solo you’re likely to hear this year. The rollicking anthem “Ohio” is a perfect example of how to tread the lines of cliché
MICROSCOPIC WARS ALBUM REVEIW
while sounding entirely original. It’s a shame however that the vocalist’s falsetto belting sounds less like Jeff Buckley and more like Andrew Stockdale. The band makes up for this by continually showing off their innate ability to harmonise throughout the album, going so far as to include an almost barbershop quartet style filler track to break up the album. The lyrics throughout are nothing to provoke a thought, merely fodder to carry the melody and song to the end. One of the obvious stand-outs on this album is certainly the musicianship, particularly that of the guitarists. Any moment that your attention may be drifting, the most intricate licks are spun in to suck you right back in. “So Long” is a prime example of this, being a more sombre track enlightened by another fantastic, almost Zappa-channelling guitar frenzy. 28
The back half of the album opens up a bit more to experimentation, with “Tremor” exhibiting everything from honky tonk piano to chaotic slide guitar. Album closer “Chronos” is the most disappointing moment on the album; certainly not for lack of quality, but quantity. The track screams into a staggering stoner rock groove, promising the ultimate reward to see out the album. However the track ends all too abruptly without even reaching the 3 minute mark. The album’s tracking perfectly tethers the lengthy listen, and the production teases between a little too much and just right. Microscopic Wars is essentially a fun listen with only a few dull moments, and Kingswood fly the banner for the future of Australian rock, with plenty of room to grow.
Brendan Fisher, Hons. Science, Hobart
THE INSPIRATION Life can hurt with age-old conceit Curse, lies, and bitter defeat When life decides to judge you, prove it wrong Just keep flying, just be strong... Life can belittle you, make you feel small Even when you stand 6 foot tall. But when the time comes, sooner or long, You'll shine like a halo, golden and strong... There will be hatred, tears of disgrace Grief, regret and moving of place Play life as a show, a hymn or a song The call of the cue, your lead character strong... There will be madness, in fortune or fame You can't have pleasure without the pain The moment you want it the moment it's gone The need of content is the need to be strong... I know I am strong Even when life is a mess. You need to pick yourself up In order to progress... I know I am strong But I am not the best... If I learn to be better Then I will be the strongest...
PASSIONATE PROBLEM SOLVING The Solution is Death
Picture: Milly Yencken
It is crazy how quickly something can become too much; the tedious moment when a mere thorn in my back becomes a rosebush against my heart. I wanted help. I needed help, and help was what she gave. “I am telling you these things in confidence, I assume. No matter what I say, you are sworn by oath to the privacy between shrink and patient?” I asked. “That is right,” she replied. Was she lying? Surely it was I who should know better than most if this was true. Did she have an obligation to break the sacred vow I, as an occasional psychologist, held dear? Only if I threatened to harm myself or another, surely? “What if I say I will kill again?” Her face faltered. She questioned in her mind the oath she had sworn to me, against that which was sworn to her country’s highest of courts. It was too late to renege on the deal, she did not want to become a problem.
In my hand I held a tri-folded ivory letter which rested in a watermarked envelope; ensuring she would never expose the crux of my very existence. She would never consider such a heartless act. “It may be best if we speak in hypotheticals, Doug. But I am not paid top dollar to disclose your darkest secrets. As agreed, I will not divulge regardless of what is mentioned.” I could tell she regretted writing that letter, she could not have known what she was getting herself into. Not at all. She continued into the session, “So far you have killed two women, and one man; have you not?” “Yes,” I stated bluntly. The way she said it was unnerving. “How does that make you feel?” Feel? I was not sure whether I considered it an achievement or a weight on my weary shoulders. “Like I did what needed to be done.”
She paused and wrote something down. “And you intend to murder another?” “I don’t know. If I need too.” “Do you feel a need to kill?” “No.” “Why do you kill then?” “I’m a… problem-solver.” “How so?” “If there is a problem that can be solved, then the logical option is to resolve it. Murder is an easy solution.” “And there are no other solutions to the problem?” “Probably. Does it matter?” “One should always undertake that which provides the greatest benefit to the greatest number,” she quoted John Stuart Mill’s theory. There was no thought process necessary to answer the proposed maxim. It was obvious. “Death,” I replied.
Joey Crawford, B. Business, Launceston
14 - 18 JULY
THURSDAY SRC FREE BREAKFAST REF STEPS, 8AM
WEDNESDAY REGOBARREL REF STEPS, 5-9PM
MONDAY SRC SCRIBBLE BARREL
RegoBarrel is ScavHunt Ground Zero: it begins here. Take a tinny or two off the hands of our partners in crime: TULS, TARTS, GEO, and TUBS! But beware! ScavHunt advertising can get a little too in-yo-face...
REF STEPS, 3PM
We will be chucking an SRC BARREL so hard Donkey Kong will be sending his resignation via first post. WORLD CUP FINAL SCREENING UNIBAR, 4:30PM
TUESDAY WINTER NIGHT MARKET LAZENBY’S PROMENADE, 2-7PM
Boogie down if you wanna get funk’d up!
AACA BATTLE OF THE BANDS UNIBAR, 7PM
We’ve saved the best ‘til last! Part of the nation wide Australian Association of Campus Activities initiative, the eventual winner will be flown to Sydney to compete in the national final (a concert held at the end of the UniGames)! This comp is wicked big: previous winners include Grinspoon, Eskimo Joe, Jebediah, and The Vines!
DISCO-WEEK 14 - 18 JULY
Let us take the edge off your gloomy Thursdayitis! EDUCATION FORUM COMING IN WEEK 2