From the Editor

Kia Ora e hoa mā,


When I walked into my first week of uni I was ready to turn into a hot bitch who read good books and dropped her former overachieving band kid roots. And while university was a great place for me to discover who I wanted to be, and where my interests were, it wasn’t something that happened overnight. When I first moved into my university halls, I was convinced that everyone on my floor would become my lifelong besties. But after a few nights drinking in the halls and a few trips to town together, I realised that these friendships were surface level at best.


I was confused because I had hyped up this phase of my life so much. I had moved cities and I was ready to indulge in what was meant to be “the best years of my life.” But everything felt so performative. I felt a need to validate my experiences as being fun, even when I found them to be mentally taxing. My Instagram was a complete facade, flourishing with pictures of myself and new floor friends, that I didn’t forget to mention to home friends that “I couldn’t live without.”


O-week is a great time, there are heaps of new opportunities and a whole bunch of new people to meet. But try to refrain from placing such an immense amount of pressure on these first few weeks. One of my earliest memories of university is rocking up to a dingy bar with a couple of girls I had just met in Halls. All five of us sang our hearts out to the Goo Goo Dolls (weird choice, okay), and as we stumbled back home we told each other how much we loved each other, and how this was the beginning of our new girl gang. We never hung out again, and proceeded to exchange half smiles at each other for the remaining year in the dining room.


With that being said, university is great. I met some of my favourite people here, and learnt so much about not only who I am but who I want to be in the long haul. You’ll experience a whirlwind of emotions and learn a thing or two about jazzing up a bowl of mi goreng.


Lastly, whether you're a first year or a “I would rather not say” year, I want you to know that Debate is your fortnightly student magazine. We’re here to represent student concern and report on matters that impact the student body. Last year, when Debate spoke to our Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack, we asked whether the largest stakeholders of AUT were the students (umm the answer is yes, you really scored a D on that one Derek), in which he responded “at the end of the day AUT is a business.” AUT is a money-making entity that uses our student fees as leverage for their wider business plans. Sure, in return we get an education, but that doesn’t mean our voice should be neglected and forgotten in decision making processes.

Debate is editorially independent, which basically means we can spill the truth without AUT or AUTSA firing us for keeping it real. If you would like to contribute to our magazine or have a lil chat feel free to email me at


rzhong@aut.ac.nz


Ngā mihi, Rebecca