Edition Five Content List

Friday, 13 June, 2014

The submission deadline is Sunday 29 June.

When writing, please remember to use the Farrago Style Guide.


Read an article in Farrago you disagree with? Not happy with something going on at uni or within the student union? Or perhaps you want to offer praise to your favourite writers and illustrators? Feel free to send us a letter (we accept anything between 10 and 200 words).


Calendar: Do you know of any key events coming up on campus next month? Let us know and we’ll pop them in our calendar.

Declassified: The University of Melbourne is an institution with a vast and bizarre backstory. Tangled in its folds are stories of East Timorese refugees hiding out in Union House, radio stations concealed in the walls, and eerie basement rooms overflowing with animals. Each issue we want to investigate a new facet of the university’s history. We’re always keen to hear weird Unimelb stories, even if you don’t want to write it.

For & Against: Every issue, we want two writers to face off against each other over a certain issue. We’re happy for this section to cover anything—from deep philosophical or religious questions, to debates about toasted cheese sandwiches.

Infographics: Do you know how to make infographics? If so, please let us know. We want you.


Conference season: The massive season of significant student activist conferences is taking place over the semester break. These events are huge and totally shape student activists’ approach for the year – which in turn can affect tens of thousands of students. Take a look at the NUS National Education Conference, the Network of Women Students Australia Conference, the Queer Collaborations conference and the Students of Sustainability Conference. What happened – what were the ups and downs – and how will it affect students?

UMSU International: UMSU International, UMSU’s overseas students department, had its office-bearer elections take place in early May. The new office-bearers are now taking up their positions? What did the results deliver? What’s student politics like in the internal world of UMSU International? And some UMSU figures have privately suggested that the department is ineffective – while others say it’s doing a good job. Is it? Investigate it and its new team – and talk to students.

Gender equality – university staff: The university has lodged its mandatory annual report into workplace gender equality. Was there anything notable in it? More significantly, what is the situation for gender equality at Melbourne Uni? Do we stack up well – or do we have significant issues? Investigate by talking to staff, students and the university.

ISIS information system changes: The university has an entire “Enhancement Program” dedicated to the ISIS information system for students. It’s just rolled out a new version of ISIS. Take a brief look at what’s happening and what it means for students. Will it actually mean a more efficient university and clearer information for students?

Reconciliation Action Plan: The university is making a major push on Indigenous reconciliation, redrafting its Reconciliation Plan. Will this actually have an effect on indigenous students, staff and communities? What is the university’s record on indigenous issues? Talk to staff, students and the UMSU Indigenous Officers and see what they think.

UMSU membership: UMSU introduced a voluntary membership scheme this year, for a variety of reasons. The scheme was expected to bring in extra revenue – and could also have helped the union prepare for the possibility of VSU. New students – who are generally the most exposed to orientation activities – have now finished their first semester. How did membership scheme sales go with them and existing students? Debate is occurring within the student politics community over the scheme – with some labelling it a massive flop and others saying it’s working. Investigate what’s happening.

New clubs: A bunch of new clubs went through the process of becoming affiliated with UMSU Clubs & Societies – with some clubs failing the requirements. What new clubs have arrived at Melbourne? Why are we seeing such a rapid expansion of clubs? Will funding be stretched because of the explosive growth in new clubs? And what’s the future – will we see even more growth in affiliations?


What’s the deal with Iraq?: Things in Iraq seem to be transforming at an unbelievably fast pace in regards to the extremist militant group ISIS. It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in the next few months, but it looks like this extremely violent group, who have even been denounced by Al-Qaeda, are here to stay. So, what is this group? Who’s in it? Should we be concerned?

America’s Gun Crisis: President Obama publicly despaired of America’s unwillingness to start a real conversation about gun laws following the Isla Vista massacre, and praised the laws we have here in Australia. Write an investigate piece into the crisis. We all know their right to bear arms is embedded in their Constitution and the political power of the NRA, but go into more depth. Why isn’t anything being done? Is the US really still not contemplating any form of change after countless shootings in schools, malls, movie theatres? It would be great to hear some personal experiences on this too, perhaps even from students who have gone on exchange to the US and felt unsafe about the possibility of a shooting.


Orz Escape: A bunch of Melbourne Uni graduates have decided its a good idea to lock up young people in a room. It’s called Orz Escape, and it looks terrifying. Let us know if you’d like to chat to the founders of this Escape Room initiative.

Hello Essay: There’s a new startup in town that connects students with experts who edit and proofread academic essays. Hello Essay claims to be an “effective and ethical writing support” service, filling a hole that university staff do not have the time or energy to fill. Is this the future of essay editing? Let us know if you’d like to get in touch with the organisation’s CEO and founder.

Free Is Better: A former Melbourne student has launched a free bottled water campaign, with the aim of disrupting the Australian water market in a positive way. Chat to the people behind it (we can help you with contacts) and find out their motivations.

A Breadth of Fresh Air: We’re all used to horror stories about breadth subjects, whether they’re completely boring or a huge waste of time. Instead, write about a fantastic experience that you had with a breadth subject!

Blood Types: Rather than star signs, people in Japan believe that your blood type corresponds to certain personality traits. Write about how this practice plays out in Japanese society, and the personalities of each blood group.

The Tram Trade: Interview a tram inspector. What crazy excuses have their heard, what have they seen, and how does it feel to be so feared?

Peak beard: This opinion piece has declared that we have reached “peak beard”. Write a rebuttal to this. That is all.

Hackers: Digital technology is becoming more integrated into everyday items – baby monitors, refrigerators, even toilets. Hackers can also turn on laptop webcams without users knowing. What happens when hackers get ahead of security and safeguards, and what are the IT security guys out there doing about it?

Winter Warmers: Tips on how to stay warm this winter (a guide for poor Uni kids). For example, how to knit your own mittens, how to make a hearty soup for under $2, how to insulate your home & save electricity bills and the environment, how to sew together a quilt out of Farrago magazines, etc.

Things you should have done over your Winter break: A comprehensive guide to all the great things that happened in Melbourne this semester break while you were too busy lying in a bed cocoon marathoning Game of Thrones.

Collectors: Go around uni and ask your fellow students about what they collect and why. You might just learn a thing or two about your peers…

Vitamins: Write an investigative piece about the benefits – or lack of – of vitamins. There is a crazy amount of vitamins available in pharmacies and many of them have wild claims on the label but a miniscule amount in the ingredients. Does anyone actually know what ginko biloba is?

Medical stuff: Research the history of medicine and tell us a story about the beginnings of the stethoscope, the breast pump, the use of leeches or whatever other wonderful things you can think of. Medical stuff is weird and interesting – especially for those of us who know shit all about science.


Potted Potter: We have interview opportunities with the performers and writers of Potted Potter, a live stage parody of the Harry Potter series. The show will be touring Melbourne in October.

AIDS conference: Melbourne is hosting the 20th International AIDS Conference from 20-25 July. A number of groups, including the University of Melbourne, are hosting events in conjunction with the event. If you are interested in covering any of these events, or would like to interview anybody involved, please let us know.

Nite Art 2014: On the night of 23 July, previously hidden city spaces will open for artists to stage a variety of different arts experiences. A number of university locations, including the Percy Grainger Museum and the Dax Centre will be participating in the event. If you’re interested in covering the event for Farrago, please let us know.

Arts within Union House: Interested in interviewing a playwright for Union House Theatre, or an artist behind an exhibit at George Paton Gallery? Perhaps you want to chat to one of the Melbourne Uni-based bands that are playing at North Court? We’re trying to integrate more UMSU arts content into the magazine – let us know if you’re keen to help out.

Hip Hop: There’s been a fair bit of talk about the lack of female hip hop artists around. What do you think? What do you think about Aussie hip hop? Are you embarrassed or proud?

Hillary Clnton: Her book, ‘Hard Choices’, is out. I’d love to read a book review on it with valuable excerpts and insights into the incredible lady herself. Mostly so we don’t have to actually read it ourselves, but still feel like a politically-informed human being.

Simba Lives On: Disney has just announced that both a TV movie and series spinoff of childhood classic The Lion King is in the works. This has blown my mind. Timewarp yourself back to the good ol’ days of the 90s and reminisce about the classic nineties’ Disney movies we all know and love. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Aristocats… Either a light, humorous piece recalling those glory days of animation, or perhaps you could rewatch a few over the holidays. Are they just as good as an adult? What’s changed? 20 years later, is Aladdin still a regulation hottie?


Cut and paste: You will need: 1 x passage of text; 1 x scissors; 1 x glue stick; 1 x blank piece of paper
1.Cut out individual words from the text
2.Arrange words into new orders and sentences
3.Use these new phrases to make a poem

Black out poetry: Op shops are brimming with battered 50 cent books and old magazines that are perfect for making some blackout poetry. Grab a black marker and a newspaper/book/magazine and work through the text, blacking out words and leaving others unmarked. By carefully selecting the ones you want to keep, you can end up with some cool sentences. You may be able to black out a whole poem or even if you just create one sentence you like, that’s a great starting point for your next writing project.

Back to the future: If you enjoy writing now, there’s a high chance the kid you did too. Have a look through those old notebooks or crappy fake locked journals, take those youthful stories and ramblings and reinterpret them using your new adult perspective.


Alternative: Student protests have become a hot topic recently, with protesters at the University of Sydney and University of Technology (Sydney) heckling and surrounding Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop last May, and members of the Socialist Alternative here at Melbourne recently interrupting a lecture by liberal MP Sophie Mirabella. Many believe, what with recent cuts to University funding and Mirabella’s allegedly racist views, that these protests are justified. Others have expressed disgust at the violent nature of these protests, and the Herald Sun has branded student protesters as “ferals” and “delinquents”. Do you think this is fair labelling? Interview some student protesters about their methods, how effective they think they are and why, and what they hope to achieve with them.

Geoff Shaw: Geoff Shaw just avoided expulsion from the Victorian Parliament for misuse of his parliamentary vehicle. What are the worst things that politicians have done over Australia’s history, and how long did they get away with them?

Tony Abbott:  Does it matter that Tony Abbott makes embarrassing gaffes, or would we be able to forgive him for this if his policies weren’t so terrible? Are these sorts of personality factors invalid factors in judging a leader, or should we expect the person representing our nation to be able to hold it together?

Amplifying the ignorant: Is there any merit to allowing airtime and attention to groups such as climate change deniers and anti-vaccination campaigners? Given the scientific consensus that they are full of shit, is there any point in continuing to debate them? Is there benefit in showing that they are wrong, or is it just a waste of time?

The whingeing nation: Has Australia become a bunch of snobs and whingers, and if so, should we do anything about it?

The problem with #activism: First it was #Kony2012, and then it was #YesAllWomen and now #IAmNotGoingToBrazilBecause. Social Media has always been a fantastic platform for everyone to have a voice, and brings news to people quicker than ever. But is #activism really as effective as it claims to be? Are there even potential downfalls to it?