In the first few months of my first year of uni, I would pick up every Honi edition and store them in a cluttered filing cabinet beneath my desk. The community of the paper – and student politics in particular – felt like an unfamiliar and intimidating world. Entering university from a comprehensive public school without any real networks, I would never have imagined myself writing for this paper, let alone editing it. For anyone who feels similarly, I encourage you to write, as I wish I had done earlier.
Since learning transitioned online in the past year, attending protests against University management’s cuts to staff and courses, where we witnessed our peers being brutalised by police, became more central to our experience of campus life and education than online lectures (see p.10 for a critique on how Zoom has ominously seeped into our lives). In the past few weeks, the profit-oriented University has taken more draconian measures which stifle any flickering of independent thought on campus, continuing its exploitation of casual staff while managers sit comfortably on piles of wealth (see the entire news section).
In Lia Perkins’ interview with Evelyn Araluen (p.19), the anger Araluen describes toward institutions like the University is poignant. As she says, they “reaffirm the logic of empire, which is a logic of erasure and elimination.” She also speaks on the importance of writing in calling attention to injustice but says that it cannot stop injustice. This struck a chord with me, as it reflects how academia often situates us to write about political issues in a way that doesn’t translate into the kind of action that would threaten the institution itself.
In this edition there are many reflections on place as a carrier of meaning. Thank you to Seth Dias for writing an excellent feature on the momentous reclamation of Djarrbarrgalli for the Indigenous sovereignty movement (p.12), and to Aidan Pollock who writes a somewhat niche article about Eastern Suburbs gardens as an expression of wealth (p.15) which reminded me of the days I would listen to ‘Campus’ (by problematic Vampire Weekend) in-between classes.
Thank you to Deaundre for accomplishing the near-impossible task of creating a fantastic cover artwork on a Sunday night in the office, and to Aman Kapoor for generously providing us with photos every week. I feel incredibly humbled by the voices which have made this edition possible; there are too many to list.
On a less serious note, during this week’s chaotic Honi night the editors were visited by a cat Vivienne has been cat-sitting. Beware, he might be one of Miss Soit’s obedient pets.