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by Sam Clark (he/him)


Kia ora e te whānau!

The days are slowly getting longer in Aotearoa, but it’s very much still winter. The grey days of Tāmaki Makaurau make it hard to believe that we were ever walking around in t-shirts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Euro summer is in full swing. Even the photos over there have a different colour palette – with turquoise water, music festivals and sun tans, there’s quite a large access to dopamine over in the Northern Hemisphere right now. Sadly, the overhead fluorescent bulbs of AUT don’t quite achieve the same effect. But don’t be dismayed, as we have put together this issue to express some solidarity, and perhaps a silver lining to it all… This issue, our writers explore maramataka, some cheerful pop culture moments, and share two wonderful interviews. We also have some incredible artwork and poetry from the Debate whānau.

I was over at 95bFM last week, which is literally surrounded by the construction of the university’s new state-of-the-art recreation centre, which will include an eight-lane swimming pool and rooftop futsal field. It sucks to gaze up at all the scaffolding, cranes and concrete, considering 95bFM is currently selling their international record collection to keep the lights on. I remember hearing around the time construction began, that the Student Union Building, where 95bFM lives, had qualified for heritage status, meaning it couldn’t be knocked down – but I always wondered what would have happened otherwise. The radio station feels like it’s a physical testament to survival in the face of these big changes happening at universities throughout Aotearoa.

On our side of Albert Park, AUT doesn’t feel like much of a campus either. They’re cramming more and more students into smaller spaces – well, at least onto our floor of WG. Maybe the days of AUT’s small class sizes and hands-on learning are behind us. It’s strange arriving at uni, and being told where to go when there’s a conference on – which these days, seems to happen every other week. That’s not to mention the evangelical church that runs their service here every Sunday in our biggest lecture theatre. If you’d like to read more about this, Debate’s news team reported on it earlier in the year. They also spent a lot of time flipping over copies of Debate’s sex issue (they couldn’t handle seeing two naked wāhine on the cover). David Farrier also discusses the problems with these types of churches regularly in his newsletter, Webworm – and unsurprisingly, it’s in the money. They usually have charismatic leaders, who make sure the basket (or eftpos machine) is passed around after plenty of music and bright lights. At the end of the day, I think it’s important that we keep campus as a student space. Remember, you should be the priority, not another conference.

We can’t promise to cure the effects of winter, but we’ll do our best. In the meantime, stay warm! And why not wrap up with a copy of Debate?


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