Letters //

OWeek Letters 2016

The things I do for Honi Dear last year’s editors, There’s something you should be aware of regarding your final edition. I travelled to Israel, admittedly in rather peculiar circumstances. I had not slept for a couple of days when in the middle of the night I drained my bank account for the next flight…

Letters

The things I do for Honi

Dear last year’s editors,

There’s something you should be aware of regarding your final edition.

I travelled to Israel, admittedly in rather peculiar circumstances. I had not slept for a couple of days when in the middle of the night I drained my bank account for the next flight to the Middle East. It was one of the more adventurous breakdowns I’ve had. I packed my bags, ventured to campus to pick up the last edition of Honi and made my way to the airport.

At a security checkpoint, my bag was taken to be searched. I was told to wait.

A security official came out the door where my bag had been taken through. He motioned at me, and said “come”. With my bag not in sight, everything that I could have possibly done wrong went through my mind. Had someone slipped drugs into my bag? Am I the next Schappelle Corby?

I followed obediently and was taken to a room that reminded me too much of interrogation rooms in Law and Order.

A lanky security official came through the door we had entered. I was ready to explain my life story and how the drugs in my bag were not mine.

He was holding the copy of Honi Soit. I was confused.

“What is this?”

“It’s Honi Soit.”

“What’s Honi Soit?”

“It’s my student newspaper, I go to University of Sydney, it’s the paper, they put one out each week, it was the las–”

“Why do you have it?”

“To read on the plane, I read it every week, I picked it up before.”

“Who made this?”

“The editors, they’re elected each year, there’s ten of them, they’re on the cover, see. The SRC funds them; I guess they officially own it?”

They opened to the ISIS puzzle page. Yep, ISIS. I was surprised, I had yet to open the paper. You’re not meant to mention bombs or terrorism within ten kilometres of an airport and here I am, having booked a flight to the Middle East ten hours before, with ISIS blaring from my hand luggage.

“It’s a joke I guess. Honi is known for being silly, usually they have this Garter Press at the back…”

Like most people, Israeli security didn’t want to hear about the Garter Press.

“You think this is a joke?!”

“Of course not”

They then flipped to another page and pointed to a photo of one of the 2015 editors, Peter-bloody-Walsh. He was tied up like a hostage in, quote: “2015 Calvin Klein rope”.

They raised their eyebrows, stared into my eyes and pointed, “Is this a threat?”

In the end, the border security accepted my explanation of what Honi is and its jovial intent. I was allowed onto the plane but warned that I had been placed on an international security watch-list.

I know print media is dying, but getting readers arrested will probably speed up the process.

Sincerely,

Katie Thorburn Arts III

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Don’t buy posters

Dear Honi,

The University’s Information Day on January 5 saw members of the SRC’s Education Action Group erect spoof ‘Insipid’ posters over existing ‘Inspired’ posters, in protest of the proposed restructure of faculties. Exclusively featured on the spoof posters were conservative politicians such as former Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, accompanied by fictitious quotes such as ‘I will strive to cut your pay for work on weekends while investing in the Cayman Islands’ (in that poster depicting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull). Identical branding was posted to the SRC’s official Facebook page on the day.

The SRC’s Information Day activism was fiscally irresponsible and politically biased.

Those in the EAG should have known that the posters, paid for by SSAF funds, would be torn down moments after they were erected by the University’s beefed-up security detail. Their decision to proceed with this expensive poster strategy demonstrates either an incredible lack of foresight or a fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes effective activism. How it could be deemed appropriate to spend SRC funds on such petty political point scoring is baffling, especially considering that student services are underfunded and far more worthy of financial support. It is reckless spending like this by student politicians that justifies calls for the SSAF to be scrapped as a compulsory student payment.

The ‘Insipid’ campaign unilaterally and unfairly targets conservative politicians. It is part of the role of the SRC to oppose administrative changes that may negatively affect students. However, it is unfair that one end of the political spectrum should be demonised when the campaign’s gripe lies not with politicians, but with university administrators. The SRC should clarify its adversary and be reminded that it represents all students, of all political persuasions. Campaigns such as ‘Insipid’ only add to the disillusionment of mainstream students regarding the conduct of the SRC.

It is crucial that the SRC and other student organisations spend the SSAF and other student funds productively. The ‘Insipid’ Information Day campaign was poorly executed and politically opportunistic. Students deserve better from their elected representatives.

David Hogan JD I

***

Rats Have Rights!

Dear editor,

I’ve just come across this article, about killing crabs humanely (I hope). It sounds quite shocking, and I hope it’s not a joke. Can you tell me more about it please?

Yours sincerely,

Valerie Milgate (Mrs)

PS: Is that one of the May Gibbs’ storks on the cover? And what does honi soit qui mal y pugs mean?

Rats have rights!