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David Plouffe was the man who spent a lot of time trying to convince people that Barack Obama was going to be president. “And I had a lot of people laugh at me,” he admits.

It’s hard to believe that the architect of President Obama’s two successful political campaigns was so easily dismissed. In both of Obama’s campaign runs, he won the highest percentage of the popular vote of any Democrat since Lyndol Johnson in 1964. And in both campaign runs, David Plouffe was integral to molding Obama’s campaign strategy.




Thinking about studying at Sydney, but not sure if you'll get a high enough ATAR for your chosen course? Come to our Revesby event to find your path to Sydney...



I’m Megan. I’m a third-year Commerce (Liberal Studies) student and intern at IBM and I enjoy living life at an unsustainable pace. I micromanage to do lists, I’m a coffee aficionado and I’m strongly opposed to grammatical incorrectness.



One of the few places on campus to receive a facelift this year is the Tech Lounge, offspring of Microsoft and our university. Gone is the obtrusive wall divider, which frees the space considerably. Populating the lounge are brand new gizmos for all to use. My thoughts below:



You can be forgiven for mistaking the new Learning Hubs for café lounges, what with the bean bags, zigzag sofas, boutique tabletops and whiteboards sharing floor space with the conventional computer desks.

That’s not to say you won’t find any computers around; they’re still readily available for all things research and beating assignment deadlines. But you ought to visit these hubs for the customs emerging outside the computer. Whether it’s the club executives making bulletins of the whiteboards, or the engineers casually dining and playing cards, or the weary first-years enjoying Sydney’s skyline from Carslaw’s windows, there’s a livelihood in these hubs that was sorely missing from the old access labs they replaced. Less than a year after launch, students have made these hubs a wonderfully unique space.

It’s clear these hubs were destined to become that 'third place'. That place you could frequent to get work done, hang with friends or just unwind. The choice is yours. See what these new hubs can do for you.

You can check out the PNR Learning Hub on weekdays between 8AM and 6PM, and Carslaw Learning Hub is now open 24/7.

Learn more about student IT services.


Walking through uni the other day I saw people setting up a multitude of stalls along Eastern Avenue. A giddy sense of excitement welled up inside of me as I braced myself for the fun ball of happiness that’s about to explode on campus: O-Week!

Speed dating in Manning Bar isn't the only way to meet new people during O-Week; you can also get an Access card and join a million clubs and societies. But what exactly are clubs and societies?


transposition of spacesmaller.png

(Left: Victoria Baldwin and Christopher Hay mid-performance, Right: Esther Rolfe, student volunteer at the gallery Photos: Esther Rolfe)

As a student at Sydney University, I’ve had a lot of wonderful opportunities thrown at me. Whether it is space and money to rehearse and put on a comedy show, or exhibit some photographs, there just seems to be endless opportunities for students to express themselves.

Over the summer, classes take a break and Uni students kick back, relax, travel or get creative. I’ve been working fulltime over the summer and working on some challenging creative projects to make sure I don’t go insane.



To most, Lidcombe train station is known as the stop where you change trains to get to the Olympic Park. Life outside the turnstiles is not thought about, not glanced at, not even considered. For a certain group of students, however, this is the last stop before university.

When I tell people that I study health sciences I nearly always get the response "Oh, so you're way over at the other campus then, aren't you?". Always said with a downward inflection, a tone of commiseration and sometimes, if you find someone really negative, a sideways head tilt. The perception that they feel so sorry that you're missing out on the incredibleness that is Camperdown and Darlington.

But Cumberland isn't like Camperdown campus and it seems wrong to compare the two. Camperdown is amazing because of its constant state of liveliness, its culture and its flair. Cumberland is more down to earth, more together and like a pleasant day at the park. Like being at a dinner with close friends rather than a massive rave where you lose your only other contact within the first minute. And because we are all health science students, we're more like-minded - we hang out together, we eat together, we complain about the difficulty of anatomy together and there is always someone near by who knows the answer to your question.

But don’t for a second think that we are quiet, studious and exactly the kind of spouse-in-law every mother would want all the time. Every few weeks there is always some sort of cruise, some sort of ball or some kind of party that makes all the Cumbo kids forget that they are training to be health professionals. These are events that could arguably make Snowball look like a children’s birthday party, the king of which is the annual Lab Coat Pub Crawl, an event that starts somewhere in Kings Cross and ends wherever you find a soft spot to rest your head. We get kicked out of places (it’s not good) (but it is).

So the next time you meet someone from the 'other' campus, remember that we all love it. We may miss out on the hustle and bustle that is the city, but we get the peace and tranquility that lies just outside. We get the livelihood when we want it.

Cruising around Uni, you never know what you're going to find!
This is what happened last week as I was walking through Union Plaza in the Jane Foss Russell Building.


Mondays, for most people, are absolutely horrific. This day usually involves minimal to no breaks, running from one side of campus to the other in the tiny ten minute gap we have (if the lecture hasn’t run late) and attempting to retain concentration after seven hours worth of information has been shoved into your brain. This is not what Mondays are like for me.

I arrive at uni a comfortable 11:30 and casually walk to my English lecture. After that I have my English tutorial. Then a gap. Lovely right? NOT SO.


We are now post mid semester break, and I’ve noticed that the ‘Yay! I can feel my mind working, I love learning new things!’ has turned into: ‘This is giving me a headache.’ This may be brought on by the realisation that I have to actually do work to pass. The next few weeks are chock full for assignments. As I’m writing this, I’m actually sitting in the Sci-Tech Library. It’s loud. I came here to write an essay and am beginning to realise that I may be one of the very few people actually trying to do work here.


One day my friend Tom said to me “Hey Winey, wouldn’t it be great if we played Indiana Jones on a giant screen here on engineering lawns?”
I thought about it.
Then I said “You know what would be better than Indiana Jones on Engo lawns?
Indiana Jones on Engo lawns.jpg

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It was regular sunny March afternoon.
I was walking from Fisher Library to the Sports and Aquatic centre.
Suddenly, I was greeted by my friend Abhinav – my loyal engineering friend, Young Vinnies supporter and immediate past president of the Sydney Uni Hindu Society – Om.

Abhinav: “Hey Winey! Happy Holi!”
Me: “Abi! Why do you look like you have been playing a non-painful version of paintball?

Abi Holi.JPG

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So many cool things about Canadian campus life that are very different to Aus.

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I know I'm supposed to be writing about honours, but in the spirit of photojournalism...check out the dust this morning!

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This last weekend was Cornell's Homecoming weekend, and despite the rain, the crowds came through. While I confess a limited understanding of the concept of Homecoming, it seems to be the time of the year when all the alumni of the university come back for a day of 'tailgating', formals, and good old-fashioned American football.


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Herein are my tips on coffee around campus. If the availability of good coffee and snack-holes near campus is important to you, Sydney Uni is the place to go. Quick Disclaimer: only one of these places are actually on campus. There are other places, like the USU-run coffee carts, but they aren’t renowned for their culinary standards. They are more about getting snack-food for studying, like Pods. Pods ....

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Given the previous blog you would probably be surprised that I actually have time to write blogs at all. I am surprised I have time to write blogs. In fact, I should be in a pre-exam fit right now, but procrastination is a calming ailment. So here it is, the second-half of my long, long days on campus


At the moment I live in a world of chalk dust and footpath art. It is a lovely yet hectic land which I like to think I stroll through with the air of a flâneur, enjoying the smell of fresh paint in the Graffiti Tunnel and watching piles of printed propaganda float by in the breeze.

Oh yes, it is Union election time again.

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Alarm clock goes off. Radio starts singing, in counter-point falsetto, some heinous opera in German. In the semi-conscious haze, with a hint of disbelief that it’s morning already, I wonder why they always play that stuff so early in the morning. Is it someone’s twisted idea of a joke? Is it too much to ask for a GENTLE wakeup call from a CLASSICAL station? Grudgingly, I slam the snooze button. I slam again and having not missed this time, the Radio shuts up.

The battle with the Radio has always been a lost cause. After several bloody skirmishes I concede defeat. I toss my doona aside, blindly feel for my glasses from the nightstand, and reach for my towel.


So. When I was in Canada I was forced by the inflexible nature of the country's snow problem to buy a pair of warm boots.


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Attempting to scale the sandstone walls of the Quadrangle and being caught by security probably isn't the smartest thing to do after a night at Manning. Before you jump to any conclusions, it wasn't me (the guy will remain anonymous). But I do understand why you'd want to climb onto the other side because I've recently contributed to the growing list of inanimate objects that people seem to fall in love with.

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You've made it. You've got your offer. You've enrolled. Now you're ready to start uni. There is a simple list of to do's to get ready for uni.

Oh, and by the way, welcome to the University of Sydney!

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February is a very gay month in Sydney. It is Mardi Gras season again, which features a month-long festival of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer cultures in Sydney. And this year, Mardi Gras Festival sprinkles its rainbow glitter all over Sydney University...

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After three weeks of great events, the Verge Arts Festival comes to a close.

With faculty reviews, concerts, exhibitions, awards, radio broadcasting and a screening of Harry Potter in the main quad, Verge has become an unmissable event in the student calendar.


Hop to uni

12 Sep

Last week I did something I haven’t done since November last year….I went back to the Cumberland Campus at Lidcombe for uni. After 20 weeks of prac work in the hospitals and 9 weeks of glorious holiday, it was finally time to start the last 7 weeks of my undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy.

I can’t really complain. I only have 4 days of uni , not the usual 5, plus I am learning how to manipulate backs and best of all I get to visit the famous Cumberland lolly shop (where students get to stock up on their favourite lollies to help get them through long lectures!)

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Sydney Uni LIVE! A fun filled day of frollicking amongst the sandstone. It's actually the only day of the year where I don't feel a twinge of guilt walking on the grass in the Main Quad. Then again, I am mildly obsessive compulsive.

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Some of you may be aware that Sydney Uni has received some unwelcome media attention lately. Apparently, Jewish members of the student community have been physically and verbally abused on campus. Nothing, and I repeat this, NOTHING, could be more utterly reprehensible than this, and the actions of these students in no way reflect the values of the University of Sydney.

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unearthed tales.gif

Just like Joni Mitchell said, you don't know what you've got til it's gone.
I'm due to finish my studies here in less than three months, and I have only just realised that my weekly visits to the Nicholson Museum will have to wind up, too.

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Whooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pretty much sums it up.


Dr Condoleeza Rice, the first African-American female US Secretary of State, is a facinating public person and an enigma to most. I've heard her referred to as "The Most Powerful Woman in the World", "The Neo-Wicked Witch of the West" and "The Right-Wing Oprah". See what happened when she came to speak to 300 students at Sydney University's Conservatorium of Music...

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The statue is a rare and mythical beast whose long and magnificent history is the envy of less hardy and interior based objects such as bars of soap. Come, gentle reader as I take you on a tour of some of the most interesting specimens in their natural habitat.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about uni but were too afraid to ask....