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Editors letter

Kia Ora e hoa mā,

Since graduating I’ve gone a happy nine months avoiding the excruciating pain of icebreakers and introductions. I guess today is the day I break this hiatus and tell you all a little bit about myself. So, my name is Rebecca Zhong and I am your new editor!

In an effort to shake off all my teenage angst and avoid working at my mum’s fish’n’chip shop, I doubled the amount of student debt I would subsequently inherit in order to move to Wellington in 2016. Here I spent what could have been three, but for some daft reason I made four, years at Victoria University (don’t be like me. Visit your course advisor please). Despite jumping around a variety of courses and racking up the debt, I loved my time at Victoria University (am I still allowed to call it that?). The 20 cent coin I found in my student hall ambrosia was a highlight. It not only provided my nutrient deprived body with a healthy boost of zinc but made an inconsequential dent in that loan. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature and Development Studies, with a minor in Māori Studies and Creative Writing. Basically, I spent 30k to awaken a lot of anti-colonial rage. I then jumped on a plane to Seoul and spent eight months working a series of odd jobs in editing, content curation and writing. This was all cut short due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (read all about it on page 22) and now I have been fortunate enough to find myself here.

I plan to recommence my studies in semester two, and am both nervous and excited to see how the new block learning module will- hang on- wait, no- I’m just being told we are no longer doing that (read the tea on page 4).

I am incredibly lucky to be able to sit and write this in a time where so many of us face uncertainty, whether that be with our studies, work, finances, or even our health and safety

It’s needless to say that this issue comes at a strange time for us all. We decided to focus on Serenity, as we thought in a time of crisis, whilst important to stay informed and involved, it’s also important to breathe and reflect.

On page 6, our sex columnist Casta answers all our questions on sex and relationships. This week her answers centre around how we can navigate the grey areas of our love life. Casta labels herself as “the all wise and knowing hoe,” and we here at Debate are thankful for her services.

On page 28 Andy aims to alleviate some of the uncertainty as businesses return to work and on page 24 David runs you through some ways to manage your stress

Lastly, I want to remind all of you that Debate is a student magazine. Although part of AUT, we are completely independently run, and will always put matters of the students at the forefront of what we do. As part of that, we would love to hear more thoughts from more students. Anyone is welcome to submit. For your words, Debate will be offering some very real $$$ so whether you have poetry, hard hitting journalism or some good old shitposting you are willing to share, feel free to contact In a time where media, much like many other industries, is facing massive job losses and cuts, we believe it is important to ensure voices are still heard. The media industry needs writers, and writers need the industry.

Ngā Mihi, Rebecca


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