Letters //

Letters – Week 3, Semester 2

All the gripes, clarifications and arguments from Week 3, Semester 2.

letters 1

Liberté, Egalité, Securité

Dear Honi,

I wish to use this space to give a big shout out to our great campus security, particularly the night staff, who perform services around our university that are all too often undervalued.

As someone who studies in to the dark quiet hours on campus, they ensure that I feel safe on the lonely trek to my car. Many an all-too-frequent study break has seen me share a cigarette with a campus security officer, as we ponder the meaning of life and love, sharing our hopes for a better future
where Gelato Messina delivers
to Carslaw at 1am.

Playing the role of designated driver only last week, I sought to load an intoxicated and more or less unconscious friend into my car. Security, appearing more or less out of thin air, kindly pointed out that in my distress and exhaustion I had neglected to put a seat belt on my inanimate friend. It is this attention to detail that saves lives.

Last semester, in a frenzy of stress as I rushed off to sit an exam I was already five minutes late for,
I managed to leave my car unlocked, with the engine still running. Security were kind enough to switch it off for me, lock my car, and leave a friendly note asking me to swing by campus security and pick up my keys.

This is a team of staff that ensures the safety of all students, while evidently providing assistance as
a valet service when circumstances arise.

They are silent protectors, watchful guardians, dark knights.

My heartfelt gratitude,

Brigid Meney
Masters Nursing II

Rocking that lime-green

Dear Honi,

I read with a mixture of excitement and intrigue Alexandra Pinkham’s response to my article on the under-representation of women in skateboarding (‘She was a sk8r…girl?’ Week 1, Semester 2). Pinkham seems to have missed the point I was trying to make: although there are a significant number of women skateboarders (check my article for precise statistics), they are still underrepresented in comparison to men. This divide becomes interesting when contrasted to other extreme sports like inlining and bmx, where women have higher rates of representation. My argument illustrated the divide between these sports, and ended in a feminist skateboarding manifesto; in no way could it have been construed as disheartening “lady shredders”, as Pinkham calls us. I’m not sure how Pinkham came to that conclusion, but I’m really happy for the response and engagement with my argument.

I thank Pinkham for responding to my article and welcome her to come shred with my (women skater) friends and I on a Saturday. I can be found and messaged on Facebook. Otherwise just stop me when you see me on Eastern Ave.

Globe Bandit deck, lime-green Penny wheels.

Mariana Podesta-Diverio

Arts V

Pathological drunkard claims goon

Dear Honi,

I find myself wholeheartedly unsurprised that you have botched another of your editorial obligations. I refer of course to your promised HackBet prize, with which I remain unacquainted.

75 days. 1,800 hours. 108,000 minutes. 6,480,000 seconds.

That is how long I’ve been waiting for my goon

All I ask is that you make an effort.

Regards,

Dom Ellis
Arts (MECO) II

Better Left unsaid

Dear Honi,

No sooner had my letter regarding the Convocation been printed last week, then I was completely put off my luncheon reading your news that the Senate had ditched the notion of a Convocation in favour of a “mass gathering in the great hall of students, staff and alumni”.

Other than a few throwaway comments made regarding the regulations around timing, I found your explanation of the difference between this vague notion of a “mass gathering” that the Senate has concocted, and the idea of a Convocation, completely and utterly lacking.

Your own inability to adequately highlight the difference between the two, leads me to assume that regardless of whether you call it a “mass gathering” or “Convocation”, it will essentially just be a cluster-fuck of post-federal-budget grievers, wiping one another’s tears as they collectively mourn the fact that Christopher Pyne survived beyond infancy.

Although I’m sure the Senate will think twice before inviting me to voice my opinion again, I shall be in attendance. If anything, to relish the hysterical shrieks and dying breaths of the ideological left on campus as they attempt to block the radical change that tertiary education desperately craves in this country. And I shall have not an ounce of pity for them Honi, for they have sought to shackle this great University to the corpse of mediocrity, when we have been handed the opportunity for growth and greatness on a platter.

To quote Professor Ian Young, the Vice Chancellor of ANU, my message to the Senate is simple: “I urge our senators to give universities the freedom to be brilliant – to rise above point scoring and political trickery,”

See you at the barricades Honi, where we can hopefully take the out-dated and self-destructive concept of over-regulation and lay it to rest with the traditions of a Convocation.

Regards,

Don Hewes
Arts III

Curse those meddling facts

Dear Honi,

Question 9 of your quiz last week asks: “How did the inventor of the Segway die?”

The inventor of the Segway, Dean Kamen, lives in New Hampshire, aged 63. He runs a charity called U.S. First, which encourages kids to pursue careers as scientists and engineers. He is not dead.

You presumably meant to refer to Jimi Heselden, who died in 2010 shortly after purchasing the company which makes Segways. He rode a Segway off a cliff and the death received a lot of media coverage.

Kind Regards,

Tom Gardner
Arts/Law III

Lone wolf

I fondly recall my 35 minute phone interview with your reporter Mr Asimakis which generated his piece ‘Opaque Senate’ (August, 5). Regrettably, little of that interview’s content came to form the finished product – one which labours heavily under the weight of its own self- important bullshit.

As the scent of upcoming Honi Soit elections grows thicker in the air the traditional upsurge of ambitious debaters peddling deluded self-indulgent ‘progressivism’ is as strong as ever.

Of the 34 000 undergraduate students I am their lone representative on Senate. It is a moral duty and statutory responsibility I take incredibly seriously. I would invite Mr Asimakis to speak to any of my Senate colleagues, the Chancellor, the Editors of this newspaper or anyone that has worked alongside me these past 18 months – I suspect that none among them would doubt my engagement or commitment.

Unfortunately for Tim his article accusing my of being unable to ‘intelligibly’ explain Senate decisions appeared alongside two articles where I did just that (‘Fisher library up late’ & ‘Senate decides’).

Far from the remote and distant picture Mr Asimakis paints I note that immediately following last Mondays most recent Senate meeting I sought and secured and a briefing for Christina White with the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor. I understand the Chancellor again made time to speak with Christina over tea late last week. Perhaps Tim might like to come along next time?

Mr Asimakis concludes his article by calling for the election of a candidate who will ‘provide information that is relevant to the student interest, irrespective of its confidential status’. Such a suggestion is paradoxical.

The student interest is best served when their representative has the support and respect of their student constituents and Senate colleagues alike. My influence, and that of students is greatest when I can speak freely with my colleagues and they with me.

I have no intention of adopting the posture of an anarchist ratbag that Mr Asimakis suggests.

I wish your reporter all the best in his future writings with a lingering hesitation that you may be depriving a village somewhere of its idiot.

Warmest regards,

Patrick Massarani
Fellow of Senate

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

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