Saturday, April 19, 2014

Special resolution to remove SDC convenor passed

A special resolution to remove the 2014 Student Development Committee Convenor, Andrew Shim, was passed through the SDC on Wednesday night.

The meeting, presided over by Arc Chair, Chris Mann, was over after little more than half an hour, suggesting that most, if not the full 75% of votes required in favour of the resolution were in place prior to the meeting. Mr Shim did not attend.

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Nisa Vinandar enjoying the company of friends at the Roundhouse

Students to rally against looming cuts

“Abbott & Pyne, hands off our education!” is the rallying cry to be heard around the nation this coming Wednesday, the 26th of March, as students and university staff come together to protest the Federal government’s proposed cuts of an estimated $2.3 billion to the tertiary sector. UNSW students will also be making their presence known, with a pre-protest party being held on campus at the Village Green at 11am that morning before heading to join the peers at the rally.

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The Hirst Report: We don’t need no education

We don’t need no education / we don’t need no thought control.

It is unlikely that Pink Floyd’s chorus of disillusioned schoolchildren were singing about Christopher Pyne’s review of the national curriculum, but if they had been, it would have been not only prescient, but entirely appropriate. Not because education is bad – it’s one of the most valuable things that anyone can ever be given, and arguably the most valuable service our state provides its citizens. It’s not that people don’t need it, but an education system that serves as an ideological platform for washed-up conservatives to impotently rebel against society’s progression towards pluralism and tolerance hardly deserves the name “education” at all.

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An Expert’s Guide to Life: How to deal with your hard-earned thirst

VB is a very special type of beer. It is not for everyone, and it is not for everyday. It is for those with a hard-earned thirst.[*] And one day, that could be you.

A hard-earned thirst differs considerably from the conventional instinctual drive to rehydrate. Conventional thirst stems from a desire to avoid a parched throat, bad breath, clammy skin, general discomfort and eventual death. Yawn.

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Left vs. Right: Straw manning Zoe’s Law is disingenuous and unhelpful

The New South Wales Parliament’s lower house voted late last year in favour of legislation that, for the purpose of grievous bodily harm, recognises the personhood of foetuses after a sufficient stage of pregnancy. Despite explicit exclusions for medical procedures, extreme controversy has surrounded the law, which opponents believe could lead to the curtailing of abortion rights.

That the bill was put to a conscience vote and was subsequently voted against by several government ministers, underscoring the fact that it is particularly contentious. Unfortunately, however, the capacity for constructive discourse on the issue has been obfuscated by some of the more draconian opposition to the law.

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Left vs. Right: On Zoe’s Law

As a young woman, I find the thought of Zoe’s Law being passed in NSW alarming, especially while abortion remains in the Crimes Act. To many, that might seem like a shrill and irrational response to a bill merely trying to bring justice to a mother who lost her unborn child. What happened to Brodie Donegan was gut-wrenchingly awful. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child due to the carelessness of another. But is Zoe’s Law – named for Ms Donegan’s unborn daughter – the best way to bring about justice in this situation?

The NSW Bar Association doesn’t think so. It argues that the current law in this area is satisfactory, as concluded by the 2010 Review of Laws Surrounding Criminal Incidents Involving the Death of an Unborn Child. It believes situations like Ms Donegan’s are addressed in the Crimes Act, which states that grievous bodily harm includes “the destruction (other than in the course of a medical procedure) of the foetus of a pregnant woman, whether or not the woman suffers any other harm”.

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Too Young for Wearing Black

Too Young for Wearing Black

Laura Kenny (@LauraRacquel)

Asylum Seeker

I am too young to clothe myself in mourning black.
A little mirror image of he who takes the living from the world.
I’ve hidden away the person that I was -
In a shroud of dark that drifts through streets with
Beagle eyes, ever-edged with tears, I drudge
With nothing to carry but thoughts of you
Like dumb bells that clang and drag me
To keep me in stride with this heavy heaving heart.

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Film Review by Lucia Watson

Ahhhh, O-Week. A chance to kill off a few brain cells before the readings pile up, right? Not necessarily. On the last night of O-Week, Nura Gili hosted a screening of John Pilger’s new documentary Utopia, which was a welcome change from the usual drinking and society events. The film is a reminder of the history we as Australians frequently overlook. Much like the Chinese government has blanked Tiananmen Square from the history books, the true history of Indigenous Australia is barely covered in the syllabus, nor are we really ever taught the true extent of maltreatment and oppression of the first Australians – both in the past and as we speak.

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Sphero 2.0 Review

sphero 2.0 review.issue 3.alex hixon.purple.jpg

On the outside, Sphero is a small, durable, Bluetooth-enabled ball made of plastic that can light itself up and roll itself around. On the inside, there’s a soft, creamy centre… er, I mean, there’s a bunch of accelerometers inside, so it knows where it is and which way it’s pointing – the same stuff that makes your phone screen rotate when you don’t want it to.

You pair Sphero up with your phone and download apps you can use to make it do cool things. This is Sphero’s strong point, but it also makes it feel like it’s a solution in search of a problem.

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Student involvement in Mardi Gras on the rise


When Dean Mattar was one of UNSW’s Queer Officers last year, he was disturbed by accounts of queer students facing violence.

“There have been many times where I had to help fill out apprehension of violence orders, or book taxis for students because they didn’t feel safe going home, and there were many times when I had calls from hospitals…that linked on to issues of bullying on campus,” he says.

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