Letters – Week 6, Semester 2

LifeChoice is no choice

Dear Editors,

I want to thank Ellen for looking at the choices facing student parents at Sydney Uni. Or, in fact, the lack thereof. Women are the victims of a system that says they have no choice: their baby or their education.

She shared Bridget’s story of being forced to leave university after falling pregnant with her second child.

I see a picture of a society that tells women when it is acceptable for them to have children, and under what circumstances. Governments and universities only support a woman who has made the ‘right’ decision about her reproduction: to have children when it is convenient to them. Not while she is at university.

The parents who keep both their baby and their education are neglected by the system that told them to make a choice. Presenting this as a victory of female autonomy is deceptive.

Before advocating “choice”, they should make sure that a choice actually exists. When the abortion lobby expends as much effort campaigning for an actual choice, as it does protesting a society’s right to exist, I’ll take their claims more seriously.

Students at Sydney University are being presented with two options: either give up their baby, or give up their education. Some choice.

Sophia Fernon BA/BComm IV

 

Some Board directors not on best behaviour

Hi Honi, long time reader, first time indignant complainer.

Last night at the time of writing (Thursday 29th) I had the pleasure of seeing the education revue the same night as a collection of current and former union board directors, and as much as I genuinely enjoyed the show it was topped by the entertainment provided by our union board representatives. With the exception of a sober and mannered Tom Raue, and the absent Karen Chau, Bebe D’Souza and Sophie Stanton, we were provided with endless commentary by the remainder of the board, and previous member Rhys Pogonoski, who attended completely wasted (made clear by audible mid show boasting about how they had started drinking at 3), and continued to yell out their ‘witticisms’ throughout the entirety of the show. While all directors, sans Raue, got into the spirit of contributing to ongoing scenes and sharing the wine bottle inconspicuously left in the audience at the end of the show, of particular note was Union Board President Hannah Morris.

Upon the ending of the show, while leaving the theatre toward the foyer, Morris loudly informed her friends that it was the “worst fucking revue” she had ever seen, having made similar remarks throughout the show, and upon being asked if she should at least wait until exiting the theatre to voice such comments, politely replied that it couldn’t wait- evidently it was that urgent.

I’m glad to see that the students elected to represent the union, explicitly in the role of ‘supporting and fostering student life’, take such a hands-on role in contributing to the student community.

Being the only ones in the theatre to drunkenly heckle, and openly criticise, I wonder why we didn’t see more of this when they were campaigning to be elected, as obviously it is what they consider to be the appropriate action for board directors, elevated as they are above the regular student body. I remember during her campaign, Morris, in her brightly coloured shirt, escorting me to Manning to assist me in voting for her, and actually asking me how my day was in a demonstration of basic human manners that seemed noticeably absent last night. Truth be told, I did end up voting for her, but if I had known how her and the majority of the directors chose to act in support of the students they supposedly represent, as the Education faculty tried (and succeeded) to have fun and put on a show to entertain us, I would have known it would be the ‘worst fucking vote’ I’d ever cast.

I understand that these are individuals and not automatons, and they’re entitled to their opinions and to have questionable lapses in behaviour, but you would hope that they’d still have the common decency- or perhaps the extra decency expected by their position in this directly relevant circumstance- to not put on the rude, self indulgent display that the audience and cast were subject to last night. It seems that all these individuals profess their desires to submerge themselves within the dignity and expectations of the position when campaigning, but then go on to demonstrate a behaviour indicating that, shockingly, they may just be pursuing these positions for their own pragmatic, and egotistical purposes.

I’d like to note that I am in no way involved in student political life, and I don’t align myself with any political group on campus; I’m only writing this letter to point out the disgraceful behaviour that reaffirms my belief that the director gig is not so much caring about students, but more caring about your CV.

Bennett Sheldon, Arts II

 

A message from the President

The Revue season is a highlight of the USU’s calendar and provides a wonderful opportunity for the Board to appreciate the talent and hard work of all students involved (especially for up-and-coming revues such as the Education Revue!).

Heckling at revues is an old revue tradition and the Board came to the Education Revue to enthusiastically support our friends in the cast, crew and band. I have personally contacted members from the Revue and they assured me that they found the Board’s conduct was all in good fun and that it did not distract from their performance.

To those members of the audience we may have caused offence to however, we sincerely apologise. The USU Board will continue to support the passion of students that has kept the Revue program running strong for many years.

Hannah Morris, JD II

USU President

Ps. On a personal note, I would like to clarify that the worst Revue experience of my life was actually Law Revue 2011 when I saw my best friend naked for the first time. Nothing could be more scarring than that.

 

Far left groups not so utopian

Rafi Alam’s article, ‘Rape apologism and the far left’ raises many issues and I have several disagreements with it, but I’ll address one of the main ones. Rafi argues left groups, “aim to reflect the structures and values they want to see in the world within their groups.” But that is utopian. Left groups should recognise that we are products of a system that teaches us from birth that women are inferior. We must overturn that system and build a new world of equality in its place. Fighting sexism is central to the struggle against the system and that means taking it seriously.

No serious left organisation can tolerate rape or sexual assault. No organisation should proscribe whether someone should report to the police. But women do not get justice from the courts. Rarely does reporting rape lead to charges and convictions. Instead, women become the victims of the sexist prejudices that prevail inside the police and the legal system. This is why organisations must address all sexist behaviour, including rape.

Understanding the circumstances that create rape and sexual violence, and what it means victims, is crucial to the fight against it. Fighting all manifestations of sexism is a necessary part of building an organisation capable of fighting for women’s liberation. This also means educating ourselves about sexism and oppression, addressing the gender socialisation that undermines women’s confidence, and building women leaders in every fight against the system.

Amy Thomas, Solidarity

 

Jesus sausage no laughing matter

Dear Honi,

To briefly respond to whoever wrote the piece on the apparition of Jesus in a sausage (in what can only be a loosely-defined “Humour” article – if you’re going to mock us, please, at least make it innovative or vaguely entertaining):

1. By way of clarification, Evangelical Christians don’t “do” the whole apparition-in-kooky-everyday-inanimate-objects-of-a-fabricated-hypothetical-Western-profile-of-what-Jesus-probably-didn’t-look-like thing. It’s unbiblical, and, frankly, weird. #somethingsomethingREFORMATIONsomethingsomething

2. In the unlikely event that you actually wanted a sincere answer to your implied question (“Why does the EU throw free BBQs all the time?”), here’s an answer: We’re the Evangelical Union. Evangelical means ‘of the gospel’. Gospel means ‘grand announcement’. The grand announcement (NB: not ‘private conviction’) we’re on about is specifically the one that Jesus of Nazareth died to reconcile humanity back to right relationship with God, and was raised again to life, defeating death – and is now risen & reigning Lord of all (not just those who believe in him), holding out the promise of bringing restoration to everything that has been broken. So, yes, we kind of do want people to know about Him, and if free food is what it takes, is that really a problem? We wanted to give you free food the past month of Your God events, at the expense of our own students (yes, we pool our resources to pay for free food for you), is (a) that we want to show you something of the same grace that God has extended to us in Jesus, the same free gift, and (b) that we want as many people as possible to come to know the life, hope, joy and freedom that they were made to know in relationship with their Creator. We believe this Jesus is legit, and we want you to know Him.

3. Given the misconceptions you evidently have about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, you are absolutely welcome to come alone to any of our Public Meetings at 1pm on Tues to Thurs, or join a Bible study to see whether there’s more to Jesus than watered-down pop-cultural appropriations. Locations at sueu.org.au. Would love to see you there, if only for a bit of banter!

4. Oh – the food is free for everyone, not just Access card holders.

Steph Judd

Arts/Law VI

VP of the EU

 

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