Cut the jokes, or get flushed - SMH Article (1 Viewer)

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xeuyrawp

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Cut the jokes, or get flushed


Out of print ... Speculum's former team, from left, Ben Magro, David Abkiewicz, Ben Landsberry and Cassandra Grant.

Harriet Alexander Higher Education Reporter
August 22, 2008


UNIVERSITY health services, sporting teams and social clubs have disappeared on many campuses as a result of voluntary student union laws. Now it seems undergraduate humour might be flushed down the toilet - as it were - as well.

The editors of Macquarie University's student newspaper, Speculum, have resigned in protest against their financial masters interfering with their editorial independence - sanitising stories and pictures, and mandating that some stories be marked "satire" in case the students take them seriously.

They reached the limit of their endurance over the August issue of the magazine, after the student services organisation, U@MQ, advised them not to describe childbirth as "excruciating" (because many women want to have children), not to use a photo of women with tubas in a bathtub (misogynist because there were no half-naked men) and not to publish a satirical guide to sex by "the Pope".

One editor, David Abkiewicz, said he thought U@MQ would object to the Pope's guide to sex on the grounds it might cause offence to Catholics, but instead the managers were worried it was offensive to women.

"It was mostly because they didn't get the jokes," Mr Abkiewicz said. "They failed to appreciate parody or humour. We were even told that 'by satyriasis, misogynistic or offensive views, you are contributing to them'."

The incident encapsulates the difficulties that have arisen when students have lost financial control of their affairs as a result of reduced funding under voluntary student unionism, and universities have been forced to take over.

Speculum's final editorial said: "Many don't realise that in our former roles as editors of this mystery publication, collecting, editing and laying out articles was only half our job. The other half was fighting an endless tug-of-war with our kind benefactors."
Deirdre Anderson, the chief executive of U@MQ, said students were never forbidden to publish anything, but they were asked on several occasions to reconsider articles that some students might not appreciate.

In future the magazine would be reviewed by a student ethics committee instead of U@MQ managers, she said.

"We haven't got it right but we're working very hard to make sure we do, and we're not going to please everyone along the way," Ms Anderson said.

The Rudd Government is considering reintroducing a compulsory fee for services, but with an opt-out clause so students have the choice of not supporting particular campus activities, the Herald reported yesterday.

The federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, declined to return calls yesterday.
Angus McFarland, the president of the National Union of Students, said he supported a compulsory opt-out system, though some services such as advocacy should be guaranteed funding.

But campus managers said the opt-out clause would be an "administrative nightmare".

Source.
 
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xeuyrawp

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Certainly sad that the magazine was axed (which is a whole other conversation), but to be honest I don't think it can be pinned on VSU as is the implication of the first paragraph.

Macquarie is a horrendous place for student apathy, and I doubt even charging $10,000 a year in student fees would rally up the average student to properly run any sort of club, let alone a paper.
 

AsyLum

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For a second there, I thought I was in the Wild West!
 

ippie

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PwarYuex said:
They reached the limit of their endurance over the August issue of the magazine, after the student services organisation, U@MQ, advised them not to describe childbirth as "excruciating" (because many women want to have children), not to use a photo of women with tubas in a bathtub (misogynist because there were no half-naked men) and not to publish a satirical guide to sex by "the Pope".

One editor, David Abkiewicz, said he thought U@MQ would object to the Pope's guide to sex on the grounds it might cause offence to Catholics, but instead the managers were worried it was offensive to women.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a feminist and all, but I fail to see how that is offensive and misogynistic. *sigh* I liked Speculum.
 
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xeuyrawp

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Also see here

Renegade Editorial Team Fired From Student Paper

Captured here on CCTV security camera footage with menacing misogyny-laden glares, the recently-sacked Speculum editorial team took a frighteningly short time to stake new territory in the middle of busy university thoroughfare, in an attempt to further intimidate and hinder the lives of fellow Macquarie students. Initially a troupe of five, one of their kin appears to have been ritualistically sacrificed and recently eaten by the remaining members.

Following months of ignored reader complaints about the outwardly offensive content of their magazine, administrative staff were at long last forced to step in and expel the reckless editorial team of Speculum from their volunteer posts before any more psychological damage could be done to the general public.

“We’ve had to harness their material down using standard publication procedure since day one,” explained Mrs Cracknell, a refined lady in her golden years, who bore the most brunt of the team’s numerous antics throughout the semester past. “After months and months of weeding out subliminal innuendo or thickly-veiled chauvinistic propaganda from Speculum articles, the straw that broke the camel’s back was being contacted by Clive Owen’s legal representatives who intended to pursue charges of slander against us in court,” Cracknell said.

Hissing at the sight of a rival a media source other than their own, the ex-Speculum brood refused to comment when approached by SMH reporters, but rather appeared disoriented and hostile having been so efficiently removed from their usual haunts. Indeed, the spacious editorial office which had been provided to them by the university at the beginning of the year was soon transformed into a shady den of salacious independent film posters, lewd postcards and mounds of accumulated samizdat detritus.

Until the previous office has been fumigated and analysed by the authorities, the future of the Macquarie University student paper remains unknown.
 
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xeuyrawp

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ippie said:
Don't get me wrong, I'm a feminist and all, but I fail to see how that is offensive and misogynistic. *sigh* I liked Speculum.
Why be a feminist? :-S Why not just strive for equality with everyone?

Anyway, what you said is the whole point... U@MQ's really shit and has no fucking idea. And I like it too. =(
 

Jagermeister.

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lets be honest. after about issue 2, the content in Speculum went downhill faster than a pig on rollerskates.
 
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xeuyrawp

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Jagermeister. said:
lets be honest. after about issue 2, the content in Speculum went downhill faster than a pig on rollerskates.
Um are you serious? Everybody I've spoken with says the opposite. But anyway...

And it's Jäger- or Jaegermeister, not what you've got.
 
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If opt-out student contributions is what it will take to get some sort of union again, I'm for it. Obviously measures would have to be taken to keep it transparent-ish, but I'd like to see the opportunity for a fair, pro-active student union up again.

I wonder what could be done about apathy.
 
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xeuyrawp

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glitterfairy said:
I wonder what could be done about apathy.
Well you need to ask "what makes up the student population?", and more importantly "what dilutes the sympathetic students?"
 

P_Dilemma

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PwarYuex said:
Well you need to ask "what makes up the student population?", and more importantly "what dilutes the sympathetic students?"
1/ Bunch of 18-25 year olds worried about their own futures, plus a handful of older and supposedly more "educated" people taking the role as their educators

2/ The education system

What's my score?

p__D
 
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xeuyrawp

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P_Dilemma said:
1/ Bunch of 18-25 year olds worried about their own futures, plus a handful of older and supposedly more "educated" people taking the role as their educators

2/ The education system

What's my score?

p__D
...?

I would answer: 1) Many students who have no vested future in the university, so don't give a shit.

2) These students.

So I'd give you about a 0/2.
 

Cyan_phoeniX

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Students care don't they? We have the more important services around, with good backing (Transition Program, Student Reps, Counselling services). Just wondering what areas you feel are not being represented that well.
 
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xeuyrawp

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Cyan_phoeniX said:
Students care don't they? We have the more important services around, with good backing (Transition Program, Student Reps, Counselling services). Just wondering what areas you feel are not being represented that well.
Transition's only got momentum through the staff.

The current student reps (I assume you mean Senate and Council) are far left whores who took power through market saturation and by simply amassing the campus with their lackies. I also think that McKew was a total cunt for supporting them and not Unity. That being said, the Unity candidates were shit. So... *shrug*

If you mean other reps, you'd shudder to realise what other ones are out there. The MUSRWG (or whatever the hell it's called) is absolute trash. Bunch of unmandated people running around pushing their own petty agendas. The group itself is just a token, anyway, to be used at the university's convenience.

Counselling's run by the university. Not sure why that has anything to do with students?
 

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PwarYuex said:
...?

I would answer: 1) Many students who have no vested future in the university, so don't give a shit.

2) These students.

So I'd give you about a 0/2.
I find the apathy so frustrating, people don't seem to care about anything even if it does affect them. The law school for example is having more and more money sucked out, the academics are shit because they can research but cannot teach and the course is so philosophical that there are no elements of a practical nature at all in which will mean the law school will have a crap rep yet no one cares!
 

IhasaFlavaFlav

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PwarYuex said:
If you mean other reps, you'd shudder to realise what other ones are out there. The MUSRWG (or whatever the hell it's called) is absolute trash. Bunch of unmandated people running around pushing their own petty agendas. The group itself is just a token, anyway, to be used at the university's convenience.
What has MUSRWG done? Nothing...

How long has it taken to do nothing? Forever...


There is one thing that brings students together more than anything else, the poster sale.
 
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xeuyrawp

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IhasaFlavaFlav said:
What has MUSRWG done? Nothing...

How long has it taken to do nothing? Forever...


There is one thing that brings students together more than anything else, the poster sale.
I laughed so fucking hard, and was then happy that there was actually a funny MQer out there. Then I saw the username ;D
 

P_Dilemma

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So the problem is student apathy... I don't disagree, i walk around and see a lot of it. So what can we do about it?

p__D
 

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