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People on campus

By Maddie Cox

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On Friday 7th October 2016, I had the honour of interviewing Dr Zahi Hawass in anticipation of his Sydney Ideas lecture at the Seymour Centre on Pyramids, Mummies, and Cleopatra held the following day. Having previously studied Egyptology, I was eager to meet the person who inspired me to study Egypt.

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Info Day is a great opportunity to talk to someone before you finalise your course preferences. It's also a great opportunity to have fun. And who doesn't love fun?

The end of school is typically a time of traditions and rites of passages. When I think of my end of high school, I remember a blur of graduations, formals, muck-up days, exams, schoolies and seemingly endless holidays. All these are fun, but without a doubt the most exciting and important summer event on anyone’s calendar should be the University of Sydney Info Day.

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Did you know that the University of Sydney Union has its own impressive art collection? Well, neither did we! That is, until we applied for the amazing opportunity to manage the collection.

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Normally university education and fortune-telling don’t go together, but if you’re interested in finding out what studying at Sydney Uni will be like, then you should definitely be coming to Open Day!

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Student prize winners (from left) Scott, Louise, Andy and Vanessa with ASA president Andrew Hopkins. [Photo: Bryan Gaensler]

The Astronomical Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting is an opportunity for the Australian astronomical community to gather for a series of talks and meetings about all the great astronomy that has happened, is happening, and is going to happen. It's a fantastic experience for a student, because you gain exposure to diverse and pioneering research taking place as well as having the opportunity to network with students and researchers from all over the country. This year I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to present my work, which was a great honour and thrill!

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Breathe in. Blow out – fast as you can, fast as you can. Keep going! Fill your lungs with oxygen – that wonderful chemical compound that binds reversibly with your haemoglobin molecules to drive respiration. To drive your body. And breathe out. Let out all of the carbon dioxide and water that your body has produced as waste products from all the hard work it does just to keep going.

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Yes, it's student election season again. Here are my tips for not being harassed by people in bright t-shirts...

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Popular Masterchef contestant Kylie Millar has just completed her Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, and took time out from her busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with us:

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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.

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What's it like to change countries and careers? Third-year student Audrey Deheinzelin is making the transition from IT to the environment, and represents students on her faculty board and the University’s academic board. She took time out from her busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with us...

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I can distinctly remember the first 20 minutes or so of my very first official day of University. I can't remember the date, but the month was March, and the Year 2001. Phowa. Yep - absolutely ages ago. ipods didn't exist and Noika phones were still way cool.

As is the case now, back then I was quite partial to parental moral support (I was only 17. I'm 20 Holy-Cow 9 now, but feel nearly exactly as I did when I was 17, which may not be a good thing), so I organised for my mum (who is a legend) to walk up from Central Station with me and to drop me off outside the little Gate-House thing next to Parramatta Road. You know the one. We always try and cross the road there against the red-light and risk getting squashed by west-bound cars turning left off Broadway. It's currently the home of the Compass Outreach Programme. Anyway...

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The 2012 Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation (MHRD) course in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is halfway through its first semester.

31 students from 20 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Sweden, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Nepal, Taiwan, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Greece, Iran, Tibet and Mongolia make up the 2012 cohort.

Highlights of the semester so far include drama specialist Peter Harris from Tel Aviv University, who flew into Sydney to facilitate a three-day human rights drama workshop. Peter carefully forged a hugely diverse bunch into a tightly knit group that in fact had some very real talent.

Complementing our dedicated faculty staff led by Dr Susan Banki, we’ve also been fortunate to have highly regarded guest speakers including:

- Professor Jay Winter from Yale University on ‘Human Rights from the Bottom Up’;

- Associate Professor Danielle Celermajer lectured to us on indigenous peoples rights;

- Dr Devorah Wainer on the Midrash Social Research Methodology;

- Dr Nicola Piper on migrant workers rights;

- Dr Wendy Landbourne on transitional justice;

- Professor John Keane (author of ‘Life and Death of Democracy’) on democracy; and

- from the US, Professor Darius Rejali (author of ‘Torture and Democracy’ and Winner of 2009 Lemkin Award) on yes, torture and many other subjects relevant to our program.

Notwithstanding the gravitas of our studies, the 2012 MHRD cohort is a lively (a little kooky sometimes), garrulous gang (outside of class) and most importantly, a bunch of optimists.

Quite a few are already lamenting that our first semester will be coming to a close soon and we’ll be splitting off to our partner universities for our second semester in January 2013.

For more information on the course, visit the website.


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I’m back at uni for the beginning of another semester.

For the past week, I have to be honest, I was dreading it. The memories of study stress and exams have haunted me, but the holidays have worked their magic and I arrived today fresh and surprisingly happy.

Another thing about returning, throughout the day, I saw about a million people I knew. It was like a line of people waiting for me at the gates, just to smile and say hi, and give really good hugs. Even when it was people I don’t talk to and only see, I saw them smiling and walking past with friends. It just made me really happy.

When I think back to this time last year, of course it felt good coming back then too, but there was definitely more walking around alone. I’ve just met so many wonderful people recently, and I’m so glad that we’ve grown closer. Last year they were “these people I know from uni” and now they’re friends.

This has been really cheesy I know, but happy blog posts will hopefully pass on some of my immediate happiness. Talk to me in about five weeks and see how I’m doing. I might be a little more stressed, but I’m pretty sure this remnant joy will buffer it.

Oh yeah, and there’s that resuming learning thing about uni, of course… expanding knowledge, etc. I am very excited about that too. Really.

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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Not one to be encumbered by my growing list of not-so-private crushes, I add another Mr Darcy to the fold.

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The lights on the porch were just right, enough to see the glass you are drinking from but not the pores of the person you are talking to. There was a bunch of relaxed looking students enjoying their weekend in the best way possible, with a crispy snag rolled in a fluffy piece of bread. I sidled up to the evening’s host to get some clarification about the guests that I didn’t know.

D: “So who’s that guy?”
H: “Oh he’s the neo-realist.”

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If you had told me in second year that there would be a time in my university life that I would make it through four weeks of semester having only visited Manning Bar twice, I would have laughed in the face of your naivety. Manning was my second home, for lazy lunches in the sunshine, afternoons that drift into evenings on the balcony, or concerts & club events that rock the stage. I knew the tech guys, the bar manager, the Access office crew, and the guy who booked the gigs. You could go alone and know there’d be someone there to talk to. We’d catch up and joke about our growing qualification… a Masters in Manning.

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Sometimes you don't really believe that there are many others who think like you. Then you get 26 applications from fellow law students to join you on the SULS Social Justice and Equity Committee...

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Talk to someone. That’s the best solution. Let’s face it guys, uni can be a tough time. It’s not always going to be easy. Sometimes things will get the better of you – whether it’s paid work, academic work, friends, family, or just not being able to do what you want at times. Unless you have an abnormally sunny disposition, almost all of us go through these kinds of moments, but we don’t have to dwell on them all by ourselves. Problems can be fixed, and there are people to help. Welcome to the world of university counsellors.

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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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Coffee today, is what The Movies were in the 90s: the perfect event for socialising with friends, inviting someone for a casual date or going alone for some "Me time". University life revolves around coffee and the cafe scene.

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The takers of the world. How do they live with themselves?

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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.

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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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Ode to Rod

21 Aug

As an Honours student, I have devoted a sizeable chunk of my year to studying in Fisher Library.

I use the computer labs there, I search for books there, I look up journal articles online, and as an added bonus, I am able to order books from other libraries if the Fish doesn't carry them.

This process is called Document Delivery, and today, I'm going to tell you all about the man who runs the DD show: Rod.

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You meet a lot of new people at uni. A lot. There are so many opportunities to make friends and you may hear this from many of us bloggers. Simon’s post on it is interesting, though I have to say he may be denying himself some opportunities when he rejects outing invitations claiming he’s already scheduled to do work. Homework. On a Monday night. In Week 3. Scheduled.

Nevertheless, to help you begin to understand the vast number of people you meet, get to know, and see, on a regular basis or not, I’ve developed a hierarchy. Here goes...

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#1. I still count on my fingers sometimes. And I get stuck on my 9 times tables.

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I like to think that I am a pretty accepting guy (except when it comes to cockroaches). I hate discrimination and when I see it in society I think it is everyone's duty to bring attention to it, address the cause of the issue and help society heal the wounds of prejudice. That is why I have become a champion for a new cause, for a group of students on campus that have no voice. They walk among us, they are our friends, but to this day they carry a heavy burden of oppression. They are the superheroes of this world, the men and women who carry great power, and with that power comes great responsibility, but without support from the government or a designated space on campus.

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I went to the same school as Ben Lee. Although I cannot claim that I remember him, or even spoke to him, we did indeed walk through the same gates every day for a year and would have attended the same boring school assemblies. That alone is enough of a cause for me to boast. And now I have moved on to someone bigger and better. I can now boast about a Sydney Uni law graduate for whom I have utter admiration – Mr. Tim Freedman.

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For many people out there looking good is important. To achieve their desired look they'll spend hours working on their body; hair face etc., and many more hours shopping, accessorising and the rest of it. Around campus there are people with many different looks and with varying degrees. The easiest, cheapest, laziest most surprising look however, is the couldn't care, couldn't be bothered.

It certainly isn't the most interesting look but recent experience has proven that it gets more head turns than the majority of other looks.
It is however, important to consider the natural enimies of the couldn't care look....

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So you’ve stumbled across my humble blogging site. There are so many different blogging sites to choose from, and I feel honoured that you have chosen mine. Welcome and thank you. But this means I have to stand out from the crowd. I have to be funny, entertaining and dazzle you with my dazzling smile (oh if only you could see me grinning away!)

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Lauren’s Chronicle of the Rich and Famous at Uni has spurred me onto drop names too, so here I go, people I think you should know at Uni!

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Guess who?

25 Jan

My friend, Lucy, is adamant that there are certain people at Sydney Uni whom everyone knows. She calls these people, 'campus identities.' I have been somewhat convinced by her argument: there are certain faces that seem to always be around. While I'm no campus identity myself, I do know a few. And though I can't reveal their names, the descriptions might be enough to get those cogs ticking when you start in first semester....

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