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March 2014

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There’s never been a better time to play any code of football at UNSW. According to some of the university’s sporting higher-ups, clubs are working towards being more inclusive across the board, with participation and development at an all-time high.

UNSW Rugby club president John Sciberras said he’s excited that 40 – 50 more players seem to be turning up to his club’s pre-season training.

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Several students have recently made complaints about Goldstein College’s “El Dorado Week”, held during O-Week this year. Goldstein College students were seen dressed up as Mexicans throughout the week in the celebrations. Common costume items included sombreros, moustaches, ponchos and face paint in tribal styles. All 150 student residents at Goldstein College have been given signs for their rooms with their names on it, decorated with pictures of sugar skulls or caricatures in sombreros.

Other students from The Kensington Colleges were also seen dressed up as Native Americans throughout O-Week. Cassie Harris, Queer Officer on the SRC, observed a group of students in Randwick dressed in sombreros carrying rakes.

“[The students] were dressed as ‘Mexican gardeners’. It’s absolutely disgusting that such a racist party was allowed to happen on campus,” Harris said.

Democracy is fun. Participating in the democratic process is fun. And there is a lot to be said about controlling the democratic process. In factional politics, controlling such a process becomes the lifeblood of politics. So from the time the likes of Richo, Clarke and Gramoski put on their Huggies First Stack, the democratic process becomes a beautifully orchestrated event. Here, strings are plucked and pulled to create an election, which on paper looks like rules and regulations were followed.

 And how does one do this? In my time, I have found that three key things are needed to run a great guided democracy: The numbers, respect, and a grain of truth to what you promise. With these three things, you should be able to rock and not be rolled.

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As Board nominations close this week, Arc’s Board and management will be watching closely to see whether their decision to support a marketing strategy over a quota will successfully encourage women to nominate.

In March last year, Tharunka reported that attempts to implement affirmative action policies had stalled, despite strong support from both the Board, and amongst the SRC and women’s activists. At the time, just three of the fourteen Board members were women; this year, there are five.


New academic withdrawal procedure set to ‘out’ students with disabilities

Under a new procedure for academic withdrawals from courses, applications made after the census and academic withdrawal dates, but prior to the final day of teaching, will elicit an ‘Academic Withdrawal’ grade on students’ academic transcripts. A second ‘Permitted Withdrawal’ grade will apply to all successful post-census date withdrawals. While the new process will now allow students to withdraw from courses before the end of the teaching period without affecting WAMs, the attempted course will count towards academic standing calculations and be visible on academic transcripts.

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“Not to say I don’t trust you or anything,” high schooler LJ Margeit asks the Prime Minister, “But I was just wondering, why is a man the Minister for Women?”

Her question was the last in an impromptu meet-and greet between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Year 9 students of Newtown High School of Performing Arts. It followed a range of questions centring on the issues of gay marriage, the carbon tax and asylum seekers. The questions prompted stuttering non-answers from the current PM, who at one point even called out in desperation “Let’s have a bloke’s question!”