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Acknowledgements W’SUP acknowledges the country and people of the Dharug, Wiradjuri, Gandangarra and Tharawal nations and acknowledges their ancestors who have been traditional owners of their country for thousands of years. W’SUP pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student can access the Badanami Centre. Drop in to Badanami anytime to study or relax. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/badanami

EDITORS Emma Del Dot Megha Kalra Michael Wright Nicole Gismondo

PUBLICATIONS OFFICER Mick Hender

DESIGNERS Emma Del Dot Grace Mitchell Rachel Hardie

SUB EDITORS wsup.news

Alley Pullen Courtney Edwards Hannah Gee

wsup@westernsydney.edu.au

wsupnews

wsupnews

W’SUP

Kelly Munro

W’SUP is coordinated by the Student Representation & Participation team at Western Sydney University on behalf of Western SRC. The contents of W’SUP do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors, Publications Officer, printer, Western Sydney University, or Western SRC.


Contents

Editorials

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Student Services Directory

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The Rules of Political (Dis)Engagement

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New Student Incentives: iPad’s vs Free Digital Textbooks

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Pink Carnations

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Lore of the Moon & the Nymphs and Questionable Answers

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More Questionable Answers and Home

Megha Kalra Hello readers! This edition of W’SUP will keep you in between the pages as it is a special edition, throwing a light on the queer community, their ideas and views on various issues. I am certain that you’ll be fascinated by our new introduction, queer corner. This edition is unique in a way that it includes submissions from all kind of diverse group of students. We hope to keep you engaged by bringing attention-grabbing articles at your disposal. We also hope that you enjoy with us through our “queer” ride. It was a privilege for all the editors to put this edition together.

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The Powers of Social Media: Foreseen and Otherwise

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Bangkok

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Clubs Snub

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A Long Way From Home and Yarn Up!

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Trailblazers and Uni My Way

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The Whitlam What?

Nicole Gismondo Hello and welcome to the pages of the W’SUP, your one and only student newspaper, for the second time this year. In this edition, the editors have tried to bring you as much diversity as possible. On the other side of this edition you will find the Queer section for the first time ever. We’ve also introduced regular columns to give a voice to as many as eight disadvantaged equity groups. This edition has been produced by students for students. I sincerely hope you enjoy our little slice of the student voice. It’s been a pleasure working with you all. For more editorials, please see the reverse side of this edition.


STUDENT SERVICES DIRECTORY STUDENT WELFARE

SEXUAL HEALTH

Student Welfare Officers can provide guidance and support with university processes including, exclusion, misconduct, review of grades and special consideration. They also provide info about financial assistance available through the university such as textbook vouchers, grants, loans and food vouchers. Welfare Officers will also provide referral to external services to assist with accommodation, Centrelink and sexual health. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/welfare or email welfareservice@westernsydney.edu.au

Sexually active? Get tested, it’s easy. Many Sexually Transmitted Infections have no obvious symptoms. Sexual Health Clinics at Nepean Hospital in Kingswood and Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba offer FREE confidential testing and treatment, as do Family Planning centres at Clinics in Ashfield, Fairfield, and Penrith. No Medicare card needed. Nepean Hospital Clinic also offers the ‘Men Out West’ Clinic with HIV testing in 10 minutes. Visit nbmlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/sexual-health or fpnsw.org.au for more information and contact details.

CAREERS Service to assist students with jobs, experience and career planning. Call our Career Advice Hotline on 4736 0522 between 10am and 1pm weekdays. Register at CareerHub to access jobs, events, workshops, appointments and other information. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/careers or email careers@westernsydney.edu.au

PASS: PEER ASSISTED STUDY SESSIONS Work with other students to understand the content of your units and develop study strategies to improve your academic performance. Each PASS group is run by a senior student who has excelled in the unit they are supporting. PASS is free and voluntary. Regular attendance of PASS will help improve your grades and make study more rewarding. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/pass

MULTIFAITH CHAPLAINCY The chaplaincy team offers a caring presence to all staff and students. Chaplains come from a variety of spiritual and wisdom traditions. Their presence on campus is an acknowledgment that university can be a time of incredible opportunity and challenge. Chaplaincy fosters spiritual exploration and clarity, offers hospitality, facilitates friendships and community, and works to support each individual in reaching their fullest potential. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/chaplaincy or email chaplaincy@westernsydney.edu.au

DISABILITY Support for students with disabilities and health conditions to reach their academic potential and participate in university life. Disability Advisors develop Academic Integration Plans which outline reasonable adjustments. AIPs involve an assessment, student consultation and medical evidence. The Service provides assistive technology training and disability awareness raising. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/disabilityservice,   call 9852 5199 or mail disability@westernsydney.edu.au

COUNSELLING A team of qualified social workers and psychologists to help you with any issues affecting your study. If you’re not sure that university is for you, a counsellor may be able to offer advice and support or help you improve your study skills. Counselling is free, confidential and you can contact a counsellor via email if you prefer. Visit westernsydney. edu.au/counselling, call 9852 5199 or email counselling@ westernsydney.edu.au

STUDY & LIFE SKILLS Free workshops include academic writing, maths, and life skills such as dealing with exam stress, mastering your memory, and time management. Workshops and resources are available on campus and online. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/workshops PAGE 3


The Rules of Political (Dis)Engagement Oliver Pocock

Photography: Michael Wright

How University Students can change the future of Australia. Following last year’s Federal Election, the Australian Electoral Commission released statistics on voter enrolment that revealed several interesting insights. NSW recorded one of its highest numbers of voter enrolment in over a decade – with a 96 per cent of the state’s eligible population enrolled to vote as of June 30. There was also a dramatic rise in the number of university-aged voters in NSW, with an increase of almost 350,000 voters aged 18-35 when compared with the results from the 2013 Election. Similar increases nationwide resulted in university-aged voters making up 27.11 percent of the national electorate, a figure which is rising annually. We are seeing one of the highest levels of political engagement both through the various platforms of social media and online conversation such as Facebook and Twitter. Student political clubs such as Young Labor and Resistance: The Young Socialist Alliance Club have seen increases in membership from students interested in activism. While all this information may sound fantastic for universityaged voters when viewed on its own, the picture dramatically changes when these figures are placed within the context of the contemporary political landscape of our nation. The reality is this: university-aged voters, whilst more politically active than any previous generation, they remain one of the least represented voices in the parliamentary system. Our society should be fostering an open dialogue between the electorate and their representatives. Instead, we have seen a series of governments (both Liberal and Labor) decide for us rather than actively discuss with us. In our current House of Representatives, of which there are 150 members, there are only two members under the age PAGE 4

of 35. Over 90 percent of our ‘representatives’ grew up in an age where housing was affordable, university was free (or at the very least reasonably priced), and students were not forced to work two jobs simply to meet the rampant cost of living within the capital cities where many universities are situated. It’s time we had a change of strategy. Generations gone by would exercise their right to peacefully assemble, armed with picket signs and their voices. They would protest decisions made by the parliament they did not agree with. University students collaborated during the Vietnam War, in demonstrations against the draft and Australia’s participation. Our generation faces a major crisis as well– not the loss of lives during war, but the loss of our futures during peace. We have at our disposal the right to peacefully protest, it’s time to start using it. Let’s open channels through which our opinions can be heard and our concerns addressed. We may only represent a small section of the electorate at present, yet we are the future of our nation, and we are entering dangerous waters, my friends. We desperately need to have our voices heard, and it needs to happen now . We face the very real threat of becoming a destitute generation, with an ever-increasing debt hung over our heads like a specter of doom and destruction.


New Student Incentives: iPad’s vs Free Digital Textbooks Harley Bowd

Photography: Erielle Sudario

What are we getting and do we want it? Western Sydney University has recently made several claims regarding their free digital textbook program for new students. This program is a replacement for the popular electronic device program, which originally saw first-year students receive free iPads or similar devices. It is my aim to test these claims and compare the two programs for new students. Several bold claims have been made by the university regarding the implementation and benefits of this digital textbook program. One such claim, found on the Free Digital Textbooks 2017 page, is that the iPad program was replaced due “feedback from students indicating that covering the costs of purchasing textbooks was one of the key challenges they experienced when commencing their studies”. This feedback is, predictably, not available on the program webpage. In a follow-up email regarding the availability of this data, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, responded that “This feedback stemmed from a range of informal channels through to more formal focus groups and surveys to provide input into the initiative and the University’s new digital platform”. With that question avoided, and another claim on the website that “textbooks can cost up to $800 in the first year of study”, I decided to test these claims by performing my own research. I created a survey of seven short two-option questions to gauge students’ opinions and preferences regarding the two incentive programs. These were given out to the students of two level one communication classes and a pass session. Forty-seven students responded to this survey. When given

the choice between free digital textbooks for their first year or a new iPad for the duration of their course, fifty-six percent of students chose the iPad. Although this is a slim margin, it does not indicate a positive reception of this new program compared to the iPad program. To further gauge the opinion and reception of the digital textbook initiative, I included several other questions in this survey, the results of which were surprising. Sixty percent of students indicated that they were unaware that they would only have access to the digital textbooks for only as long as they were enrolled into the corresponding unit. When asked about ease of use, forty-eight percent of students indicated that they had some difficulty accessing their textbooks. The most unforeseen result was the preference for physical textbooks over e-books, with seventy-seven percent of students responding that they would prefer hard copies over e-books. Now we move on to the value proposition, are students saving more money from free digital textbooks when compared to the cost of buying an iPad? To solve this question, at least in part, I decided to look at the cost of the textbooks of an undergraduate course and compare this to the cost of a new iPad. With Apple Australia’s education pricing, an entry level iPad Air 2 will cost a student $539. The course we will analyse is a Bachelor of Art (Pathway to Teaching Primary) with a major in English. Each unit’s textbook list was retrieved from either the current unit guide or that from Spring 2016, accessed from Western Sydney PAGE 5


PINK CARNATIONS

Juvenile thoughts conquered, University’s library website. I then found the costs for these textbooks as listed on Booktopia.com.au. The textbooks come from the eight units: Mathematical Patterns and Relationships, Fundamentals for Working Mathematically, Australia and the World, Contemporary Society, Texts and Traditions, Analytical Reading and Writing, Introduction to Literary Studies and Approaches to Text. An issue that arose during my research is that Introduction to Literary Studies, Approaches to Text and Text and Traditions all have course readers that no longer have listings on the university’s Co-op book store. I have instead assigned each of these three course readers the cost of $80, a fairly high price for a first-year BA course reader. With that in mind, the total cost for a BA (Pathway to Teaching Primary) student’s textbooks for the first year came to $462.20, $76.80 less than an iPad Air 2. Clearly, textbooks don’t cost $800 dollars for all first-year courses. Both of the main claims made by Western Sydney University regarding student preference for a digital textbook program and cost savings have failed to be substantiated in my small sample. Another significant value issue for students is the inability to resell their textbooks at a later date, as this is often done by students to recuperate funds to be used in other areas. I am certain that some student’s first-year textbooks will cost more than a new iPad. However, I ask you to do your own research regarding your course. Check your unit course readers for prescribed textbooks and google the results to see how much money the university is actually saving you. You may be unpleasantly surprised. PAGE 6

And forgotten faces remembered. Immature eyes powdered, And drunken lips covered. Pink carnations offered, And rotten kisses hovered. Grey clouds wandered, And golden tears showered.

Angelico D. Aputen


LORE OF THE MOON & THE NYMPHS

Hi, This is a stupid question but can I leave my tute or lecture to go to the bathroom? Do I need to ask permission? What is the correct etiquette? Dear Pee-brain,

Feet in shallow waters, you hold my hand as I lead you in. Unsure of all the darkness ahead you are certain only of the firmness of my grip. We laugh and I try to soothe you as slightly deeper in we slip. Soon you feel just at home as I, the ambience becomes a part of your skin. Something tantalising creeps into you, something I’ve felt all this time, holding it all in. Slowly your hand loosens from mine as you hear the other voices calling. I could warn you of the water nymphs. “Should I not warn him?”, I ask myself. But your eyes glaze as your hand frees itself from mine and I know in this case, I cannot hope to win. The water warms my cooling heart, the ebbing waves comb through my hair. The Moon has cast a glare on me and now I am caught in its white stare. “Who are you to take a lover when your place is here?”, the Moon likes to ask me questions no man has ever dared. I look back and you are gone, embraced by a nymph’s cold touch. Taking my time, I swim back to shore, my mind no longer flummoxed. When my eyes lock onto another’s, I see them more confused than yours. When he reveals a nervous smile, it all begins once more… …Feet in shallow waters, you hold my hand as I lead you in. Unsure of all the darkness ahead you are certain only of the firmness of my grip. We laugh and I try to soothe you as slightly deeper in we slip. When you fall asleep in these unsettled waters, you will hear and come to understand the lore of the love between the Moon and water nymphs…between the Moon and my unwilling core.

Urination during classes is strictly forbidden as general misconduct. As a tertiary student you should be able to manage your fluid intake so as to not need to pee during a lecture or tutorial. I would also like to assure you that your lecturer will notice and will definitely care if you leave a lecture at any point. It WILL affect your final grade. If you find you still need to pee then cross your legs and jiggle a lot. A UTI is a small price to pay for maximising your educational experience. If you absolutely cannot hold on then the correct etiquette is to move to the front of the lecture theatre. Clear your throat repeatedly until the lecturer acknowledges you then, in a clear loud voice explain that you need to "go pee-pee real baaaaaaaad!" Be sure not to mumble or the recorded lecture will not properly document your shame.

Hello, I've seen a lot of 80's movies recently, and realise that playing music outside her window is a great way to woo a girl. Any song recommendations? Dear Stuck in Shermer, What a great idea! For your first date you can go roller skating then watch a John Hughes movie on beta-max. She’ll realise you're never gonna give her up, let her down, run around or desert her. Seriously though, your plan is stupid. No modern girl is going to fall for that. Instead, you should plan and choreograph a huge flash mob set to Strawberry Kisses. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and nothing is sexier than putting someone on the spot in front of a huge crowd of complete strangers. Maybe this time you’ll have more success than your primary school disco.

H. Uddin PAGE 7


HOME Hi, I like this guy that works at my local chemist, we haven’t spoken before but my god he’s beautiful. I don’t know how to approach him or what to say but I want him to be mine. I’ve only gotten his first name by looking at his badge but I can’t find him on social media. He seems like the type of guy that doesn’t talk to girls and keeps his head down but I think I’ve seen him looking at me. What should I do?! Dear Pharmaceuticals with Benefits, When dealing with a shy guy you need to put yourself out there. Next time you see him at work buy a large box of flavoured condoms and loudly state that it's such a shame you don't have anyone to share your dinner with. And wink. A lot. If that doesn’t work, try to buy something with codeine or pseudoephedrine so he'll ask for your licence. So now you smile, look him dead in the eye and suggest that given he knows your address, he can pick you up at seven. Good luck with your date.

To whom it may concern, My girlfriend and I are looking to spice things up a bit. Can you recommend a hot sauce that's both delicious and hypo allergenic, as I have sensitive skin.

Home is wherever you are. My heart will follow you wherever you go, whatever you do. Home is not a building, or four walls It is a feeling of love, of safety, of peace and contentment.

I cry because whenever I say goodbye, It’s like being removed from my home From the place my soul finally feels at rest.

Home is your hand in mine, Your lips pressed warmly against mine, Your head rested on my shoulder. Home is your arms enveloping me in your warmth. Home is you. You are my home.

Dear Posh Spice Love is a burnin' thing. And it makes a fiery ring. I’d start out with something pretty mild, and make sure you have some wipes handy in case it’s a little spicier than expected. You do you, but if anything is heating up in the bedroom, I’d suggest you make sure you've cleaned up all traces of chilli before touching anything below the belt. That being said, unless you’re on a diet, chocolate, whipped cream, and honey all seem like much simpler ways of contracting a UTI.

Disclaimer: This is obviously satire. If you are silly enough to take this advice, you were probably going to do this stuff without us telling you to.

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Don’t tell my love is not real. Don’t you dare tell me what I should feel. My love is as valid and pure as yours, My heart overflows with a feeling of warmth, My stomach fills with the same butterflies. I love Her. Always have and always will.

Sarah Kelly


The Powers of Social Media: Foreseen and Otherwise Zaky Orya, Solicitor Western Sydney University Student Legal Services So another university semester has begun and everyone is settling into the mundane routine that is life. Attending classes, going to work and stressing about assessments and exams. Instagram is no longer blessed with your latest gym selfie, Facebook is not a buzz with your latest adventure story and you are looking over your holiday pictures reminiscing about what now appears to be a distant dream. Social media accounts are a big part of our lives in the current era. We share family pictures, personal achievements and even our daily movements on all platforms. Some of these exposures are to our “friends” in the relevant social media platform and some are to the general public with limited filters for security. This raises questions about safety, security and the overexposure of society on the Internet and how this impacts the law. It is now accepted that once something is uploaded online it basically lives there forever. There may be security features that prevent it from being accessed at a preliminary level but fundamentally once it is uploaded you lose all control. Once control is lost, especially if the information is personal or highly confidential, then the doors of misuse are open. We see this issue arising in the current trend of revenge porn cases and the reaction of governments in introducing legislation to protect “victims” of such crimes. We also see this arising in the tragic suicides of young teenage boys and

girls who face online bullying. The case of Jessica Cleland, a 19 year old from Victoria, who committed suicide after her social media accounts were flooded with horrible sentiments the night before she died. Experts say the ease with which users can gain access to the Internet on their smart phones, laptops and tablets creates an environment of over exposure which then leads to such tragic events Similarly, the case of Brodie Panlock, caused anti-bullying legislation to be introduced in Victoria that applied to online bullying. The crime is punishable by 10 years in jail. However, questions are often raised about the effectiveness of these laws and their application. This does not mean social media is all bad. For instance, the Police and other law enforcement agencies use social media to communicate with the general public in ascertaining information about crimes in their efforts to find and prosecute offenders. This was evident in the tragic Jill Meagher case. The police released the last moments of her life caught on CCTV on several social media platforms. This caused an unprecedented response from the public, which ultimately led to police finding and prosecuting her killer. Social media can also be used as a mechanism to promote and advance notions such as human rights and social reform. Historically, the world has relied mainly on journalists to publish and stir discussions about atrocities happening locally PAGE 9


BANGKOK

This stinking heaving foul and oppressive place has got to me again I walk slowly along Sukumvit, searching for the shadows clenching my anal cheeks to prevent leakage the sun beating me through polluted sky and at a global stage. These days we see the communication of powerful images streamed live across the world in a second, stirring emotion and forcing change to occur. We saw this occur with the image of Alan Kurdi, the 3-year old Syrian refugee boy, who drowned while trying to escape the conflict in Syria with his family. His motionless body lying on the beach caused an outcry around the globe for change and a heightened concern for the plight of refugees. It also caused several nations around the world, such as Canada and Germany, to open their doors to refugees and amend their border protection legislation. The impact of social media is enormous in the current technological age. It gives a voice to the voiceless, promotes business and ideas and reconnects families and friends. However, as with anything, misuse can cause problems. The ultimate responsibility lies with the user as to how much they share and what they use the platform for. So, in summary, don’t be afraid to use social media but respect the power it has. Be careful of what you post and how much you share. Remember that not everyone is your “friend� and that once something has been published online it lives there forever in some form. Should you require legal advice, contact Student Legal Services (02) 8688 7875 or email studentlegalservices@westernsydney.edu. au

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The stench from the drains is making me gag home to the millions of rodents their playground amongst this madness as I wallow in self pity

I try and learn a language of a culture that is so alien to me and which I will never understand but fascinates me no end

the bane of all travellers that which afflicts me in such a lonely living hades

J. F. Sebastian


WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY - STUDENT CLUBS

CLUBS SNUB ISSUES SEVERAL || SUCH DESIGN || MUCH DISAPPOINT Inside this issue: • Over 100 articles that weren’t published in 2016 • An exclusive interview with Best Club Leader Gemma Dell. • Poor design that makes certain columns illegible. • Logos that make no sense. Are ducks scary animals? Who gives a duck? • Photos taken on a potato. At least we don’t need photo consent now? • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur quis malesuada diam. • Student clubs that no longer exist (and may never had). • At least 4 different fonts (could be more, who knows?) • Name disconnect? You had to rebrand, but we’re still UWSCONNECT

Welcome to Student Clubs at Western in 2017 As you start uni, you’ll hear about all of the fun your dad had hanging out at the Uni bar. How he met your mother over a couple of cold ones after class. And how they conceived you on the beanbags in the library. Well lucky for you, we’ve decided that any sort of social life must be engineered by our staff. We’ll ensure that anyone interested in running a club spends weeks, even months, in debt to let you

have fun. Do you love useless paperwork? Do you want do die under a mountain of bureaucratic forms? Now you can, with our new Risk Assessment Forms. We won’t do one if a helicopter is landing at Kingswood, but you’ll need one for a quiet hang-out with friends. And don’t get us started on our patented OrgStink. This fantastic system will ensure

you miss the one button that will lead to being reimbursed. And you’ll have to ask all your members to sign up on here, despite them never logging in after O-Week. Enjoy your uni experience. If you need to contact us, especially regarding this publication, you can struggle to find our emails on OrgSync, or shoot us an email at noreply@UWSCONNECT.uws. edu.au

Student Clubs Awards Night Originally we’d planned a cruise, but none of you RSVPed for it, so we decided to take that funding and hold a super cringey “awards ceremony”. It was great for our staff, who managed to get home at least an hour earlier than they would have if they were in the city. Congratulations to Mickie Nesqik, the Editor en Chef of Snacky Audit. As the Best Student Club Leader, Mickie is taking home a lovely certificate to show

future employers. Snacky Audit is the on campus eateries review, which publishes an annual breakdown of the food on-campus. The magazine is annual due to the tiny number of food options on each campus. RIP those of you with dietary requirements.

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YOU THOUGH IT WAS OVER YOU THOUGHT WRONG

Unpublished: The Year that Wasn’t Error 404: Clubs Hub not found

2016 was a fantastic year for Student Clubs communication. We went an entire year without publishing clubs hub. Now we're back, and shitter than ever! Gone is the full page photos. Gone is the gloss cardstock. Gone is the more than 4 A4 pages. Instead, we’ve

Commoners Complaints

decided to print on mum’s laser printer. Unfortunately a non-existent fonts policy caused issues with every draft of the 2016 paper. So we decided to include every font available. Eventually one was bound to meet iMedia’s rigorous standards.

“I’ve been out of pocket at least $25 for a week, this is ridiculous!” -Sheldon Einstein, Luna Yacht Project Manager

“What do you mean we don’t have enough SSAF funding for every student to take a European holiday?” -Unidentified Law Student

“We tried to claim the Cottage as our base camp but security said we aren’t allowed to exclude people from events held in common areas” -Gemma Dell. Geek Bashers Supreme Leader

“I didn’t even know we had speed limits on campus! I mean the Uni wants the Luna Yacht to go faster each year!” -Redacted by court order

"Best" Clubs on Campus: DUCKS. UNLIMITED.

Geek Bashers

Overview: We don’t give a duck.

Overview: We bash geeks, it’s pretty self explanatory. Overview: We wear tiny shorts and tackle each other in the mud. Activities: Regular beatings of No homo, man. geeks and geek sacrifice nights.

Activities: Quacking. Water-sports. Home ground: That carpark that floods at Parramatta. Entry Requirements: Must be an anthropomorphic bird. No exceptions.

Entry requirements: Deep set hatred of geek movies, geek shows, geek games, geek merchandise and the geeks that continue to ensure those industries thrive.

testosterone. unlimited.

Activities: Some derivative of sports ball. Do you really care? If you like sports, you’ll come along, if not then you’ll find a different club. Entry Requirements: Must be a lad. Lads only. YEAH THE BOYS!

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Reza Alam

Lynette Brown

It was a cold and dark afternoon when I was getting out of the Sydney International Airport for the first time. I picked Australia as my destination for its beautiful weather. While I was heading to my new home, I thought I would be surprised to see everything, sadly, I was not at all. I was kind of disappointed.

The first day of Spring Semester at Western Sydney University was a special day for most students, particularly, first years on their first day at uni. However, this day was made even more special for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff, Elders and community members who gathered at Bankstown Campus to celebrate the official re-opening of the recently redeveloped Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education.

I have had a genuinely hard time. When I got lost in the Central station within a week, my phone was dead, I didn’t have any clue about which platform or train, among the hundreds to take, to return home. The most unpleasant shock I’ve encountered so far was when I started working some odd jobs. However, there are a number of places where I feel safe. Whenever I come to University, it feels like home. I am in love with the campuses of Western Sydney University. And Sydney is indeed spectacular; from the breath-taking Opera House, lit by New Year’s Eve fireworks to the aweinspiring beaches where one can scrunch one’s toes and feel the softness of sand. The more you look, you will see the clear blue sky and all the waves passionately overlapping each other in the ocean. My favorite places are the book-stores in Newtown. This is the only place where I never feel odd. I want to ask you to please be kind to the international students. They are trying to adopt a new culture and language while fighting homesickness. They may not have been born in this country, but they have chosen it as their new home.

To celebrate the commencement of a new year and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity, a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony was held, including a traditional smoking and a flag raising ceremony. Josh Sly, a Bachelor of Education (Primary) Student, played the didgeridoo at the ceremony. He described it as “an incredible honour” to be part of such a moving ceremony. During this event, the University also launched the temporary photographic exhibition, ‘Too Dark To See’, which commemorates the lives and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have served, and continue to serve, in the Australian Defence Forces. We encourage all students and staff members to pay a visit to Building 12 at the Bankstown Campus to view this amazing exhibition. Badanami Centre provides support and encouragement for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolled at the University. Students can drop in to Badanami anytime to study or relax. Badanami can put you in touch with a range of services across campuses, including study skills courses, careers advice, and counselling. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/ badanami Locations: Bankstown - Building 12 Campbelltown - Building 3 Hawkesbury- Building K8 Parramatta - Building EY Penrith (Kingswood) - Building N

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Uni is hard enough but when your family can’t relate, it’s even more so. Trailblazers is a column for students who are the first in their family to attend university and we’re looking for a writer. Are you interested? If so send us an email at wsup@westernsydney.edu.au

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Elie El-Khoury Antonios Well students, the semester is back in full swing and the assignments are starting to flow in! A key message to stay on top of your assessments is to find what works best for you. For me it has been practising good habits overtime, planning my assessments out early, having a balance and socialising with others, which will serve you very well throughout your degree. Remember, you’re at University because you deserve to be here and to have the chance to establish a career for yourself, irrespective of your disability. So, what can you do practically do to stay on top of all those assessments? Firstly, read each of your units learning guides, familiarise yourself with the disability support service and find best ways to prepare for class. For me, it has always been drafting my assignments and then coming to class with lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as it will make your experience at University much easier and much more enjoyable. Secondly, staying on top of things, not only means dealing with adversity but also channelling it in a positive way. Every student comes to University in different circumstances. It is how you approach any challenge or circumstance you face, that makes the biggest difference. Embrace any challenge, whether it be academic or non-academic, it’s all part of the University experience. The ones who are able to thrive on difficulties they endure, are the ones who ultimately succeed.


The Whitlam What? Nicole Gismondo

If you’ve never ventured as far as the river on Parramatta South Campus, chances are you’ve never heard of the Whitlam Institute. Situated in the historic Female Orphan School, the institute houses the Whitlam collection, an art gallery and conference spaces. The Whitlam collection holds many items of national significance donated by Margaret and Gough Whitlam. The university even holds the original copy of the GovernorGeneral’s letter of dismissal to Gough Whitlam from 1975. The rest of the collection extends to letters from both Margaret and Gough, correspondence with speech writers, and many more items of interest. The Institute also holds regular exhibitions at its very own art gallery, in addition to its permanent Whitlam exhibition. Another important part of the Institute is promoting citizenship. Part of this is showcasing Whitlam’s legacy, and his influence on Western Sydney. One of its main citizenship programs is the “What Matters?” essay competition for high school students, which last year received over 3,800 entries. The program is also set to have an exciting new patron this year, Channel Nine's Lisa Wilkinson. The institute’s policy research arm gathers important scholars from around the globe who are interested in all areas of public policy. The institute has a growing international scholars network, and has held events on topics including indigenous incarceration. The network also maintains various publications. The institute maintains its spiritual home, the Female Orphan School. However, the Whitlam Institute hasn’t always been in this historic location, moving across the university since it was established in the year 2000. Eric

Sidoti has been director of the Whitlam Institute since 2007, and has seen the institute through many different cottages on campus. In 2012, the Whitlam institute became involved with the restoration of the Female Orphan School, and it’s been there ever since. the complex history of the building. Completed in 1818, the building is older than the city’s colonial Hyde Park Barracks. It was at first a respectable female orphan school, where many sent their daughters to get an education while they could not take care of them. In due course, the building then became a mental institution, before eventually falling into disrepair. Amy Sambrooke, Communications Manager, said the Female Orphan School has a “dark history” but ultimately it’s good that the building does not hide it, highlighting that the solitary cells from the building’s mental asylum phase that have been turned into offices. The connection between the building and the Whitlam Institutes purpose is hidden in the public policy reflected within the building. As Gough Whitlam was a change maker in public policy, so this building has seen the policy change within both child and institutional care. Eric Sidoti said that the Institute is “open to ideas” on how to involve more students in the Whitlam Institute’s programs. The Whitlam Institute is always looking for students to come along to its events, and there are also student volunteering opportunities. You can find the Institute in building EZ at Parramatta South Campus, and entry is free for students. Opening hours 10am-4pm Thursday and Friday, plus advertised Saturdays. The institute also holds occasional public policy events that students may attend for minimal cost. PAGE 15


WESTERN SYDNEY U AGAINST HUMANITY Need something to do with your friends in-between (or during) classes? Fashion yourself a set of Western Sydney U Against Humanity cards by cutting them out, folding them in half and gluing them together. You and your friends will be provided with some quality laughs whilst taking the piss out of the University. Think you could do better? Send your card suggestions/"dank memes" to wsup@westernsydney.edu.au. If we get enough submissions we’ll publish a deck on our website.


W'SUP Edition 2, April 2017 (split with Queer Edition)  

W'SUP is the student publication of Western Sydney University.

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