I used to be scared that Honi would change me. I knew it would be inevitable to some degree, of course – it’s a challenging commitment, where you’re always aware of people’s perceptions of the paper, and of the procession of editors that came before you. Mainly, I was deathly worried that I’d have to change what the paper meant to me to please other people. Like a tidal wave, I thought that the experience would sweep me away and change some core part of me or what I believe, and I’d have no say in it.
But as I sit in the office on Halloween night, watching Hocus Pocus with the lights off, I’m glad to report that the reality isn’t as scary as I thought.
Honi has allowed me to be privy to major issues in higher education. This week, you’ll hear from Roisin Murphy on Arts students fighting against education cuts (p. 3), Claire Ollivain on job cuts at Macquarie Uni (p. 4), Amelia Koen on gender diversity in STEM student societies (p. 6), and Shani Patel and Reham Zughair on the lack of care for psychology students (p. 7).
Alongside hard-hitting pieces, Honi has also taught me (a wizened fifth-year) to appreciate the spaces I inhabit in a more magical light. With Marlow Hurst on USyd’s fanfiction (p. 7), Samuel Garrett on the adorable swallows of the Quad (p. 9), Alice Trenoweth-Creswell and Shania O’Brien on Wendy Whiteley’s vibrant secret garden (p. 10), Andy Park on Sydney’s vexed flag (p. 11), Robert Hoang on the closing of Rewind Photo Lab (p. 15) and a Halloween special on spooky happenings around campus (p. 8), I hope this edition encourages you to look up at the wonders around you.
Finally, Honi has allowed me to share my passions with you. For one, I love writing and reading about food as a way to connect with culture, history and memory, which is why I love pieces like Nandini Dhir on cultural remedies for exams (p. 12) and Rhea Thomas on her experience of Indian food (p. 13). I want to massively thank Vivienne Davies, who designed this week’s gorgeous cover of Eastwood town centre, where I grew up. It means the world to have this little corner of home on the front cover.
So how has Honi changed me? I think it’s been for the better. I do wish I didn’t spend so much of my term feeling scared of people’s perceptions. Our primary responsibility is not to the past, because that can be interpreted however you like. It’s also not to political interests who would use this paper as their pulpit. It’s to the student body today, to keep them informed and be relevant to their passions.
As editors, we don’t own the paper, we merely take care of it for a year. Nevertheless, I feel proud of us for fostering one of the largest, most active Honi communities. I think Honi is now more accessible and approachable for more people; above all, as the saying goes, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. That is something which will never change.