Petition Closed

The QUT Student Guild recently published an article in thier magazine 'Universe' in Issue 1 2013. The article, disturbingly titled "Crazy wackjobs (sic) on your campus" written by Jay’Kwon Curry (allegedly a pseudonym used by Tasmin Trezise, by his own admission) was accompanied by the following blurb “There will always be people trying to sell/steal/guilt/shove/yell/demand/force their ideas/money/agenda/petition/revolution down your throat. Here’s what to look out for on campus”.


The magazine also credits Tasmin Trezise and Jake Phillpot as editors.
The article (which targets select student groups as well as singling a particular student) is appalling due to the blatant and direct discrimination, harassment and bullying.


The article is rife with content that is disgraceful and discriminatory (which is not only against university policy but also a violation of peoples fundamental human rights).


Discrimination is when a person or group of people is singled out, excluded, restricted or treated less favourably because of factors that are irrelevant to their ability to study, work or access services at QUT.


These factors may include:


• trade union activity
• political belief or activity.


Direct discrimination is unfair treatment that:


• is based on a personal attribute (such as those listed above)
• would not occur if the person did not have that attribute


The Student Guild is not a club.

It is a “not for profit organisation which is owned and operated by students for students. The Student Guild fosters the welfare of all QUT students, protects their rights and advocates for students who experience difficulties during their time at QUT”. (Copied from the Guilds website)

This behaviour is neither transparent nor welcome as a representation of the wider campus community.


We ask the Guild to issue a retraction/apology for discriminatory articles contained in Issue 1 2013, with clear and visible repercussions for the writers and editors.

Furthermore students seek greater diversity within the Guild and its publications and transparency on how to submit articles and make complaints about the magazine content and associated Student Guild publications and advertisements. Please see the atached open letter addressed to the Guild and sign.

Letter to
Tasmin Trezise & Jake Phillpot Editors of Universe QUT Student Guild and its publication 'Universe'
QUT Student Guild President Chris Rose
An open letter to the Guild

I would like to call your attention to an article in the most recent issue of the ‘universe’ magazine (Issue 01, 2013). The article, disturbingly titled ‘Crazy wackjobs (sic) on your campus’ written by the Jay’Kwon Curry (allegedly a pseudonym used by Tasmin Trezise, by his own admission) was accompanied by the following blurb “There will always be people trying to sell/steal/guilt/shove/yell/demand/force their ideas/money/agenda/petition/revolution down your throat. Here’s what to look out for on campus”. The magazine also credits Tasmin Trezise and Jake Phillpot as editors. Upon reading this article I was appalled by the blatant and direct discrimination, harassment and bullying.

The first item “Charity Muggers” denotes individuals and groups involved in social justice and charitable/non-for profit organisations as “crazies” who are embarking on their work and activism “not because they are nice and caring... because they get paid a commission for every person they get to sign up through their payroll”. I am curious as to what evidence “Mr Curry” has to support this claim. Considering that the article is supposedly about the “annoying” and “wacky” people on campus, it would be reasonable to assume that people reading this will associate these accusations with the few welfare orientated student groups on campus. I can assure “Mr Curry” that the student groups and their members involved in these associated activism and action groups do not get paid for gathering signatures for petitions and promoting equitable social welfare. The description of and insinuations about these people is insulting and misleading.

Of most concern however, are items two and three “Lunatic Socialists” and “Australian National Union of Students (ANUS)”. It is here where direct discrimination and harassment is so repulsively documented. The first paragraphs of the former and later items are as follows: “They’re easy to identify because they usually don’t shower. They care so much about protected rain forests they have made their armpits habitable. These people are impossible to argue with. If you try, they’re likely to say something like, “You’re going to be the first one lynched in the revolution.””.

“From time to time, a bunch of circus looking kids (also sand eaters) come to campus and ask you to sign petitions about all sorts of supposedly student related issues. They don’t really want your signature, they are just desperate for someone to talk to.”

Not only is it not left at that disparaging and bullying statement, the article is accompanied a photo of a particular well known student (whom the Guild have had numerous altercations with). Whilst the face is replaced with a ‘troll like’ caricature, the accompanying reference to the “raving crazy cat lady” as well as the still easily identifiable photo is clearly an additional attack on a certain individual.

I am not affiliated with any particular political or social party however as a student (the kind that the Guild supposedly stands for regardless of political persuasion, gender, sexual orientation and so on) and decent human being, I find all of the aforementioned disgraceful and discriminatory (which by the way is not only against university policy but also a violation of peoples fundamental human rights).

For example:
Discrimination is when a person or group of people is singled out, excluded, restricted or treated less favourably because of factors that are irrelevant to their ability to study, work or access services at QUT.
These factors may include:
• trade union activity
• political belief or activity.

Direct discrimination is unfair treatment that:
• is based on a personal attribute (such as those listed above)
• would not occur if the person did not have that attribute

Harassment is offensive, humiliating or distressing behaviour. It may occur on one occasion or be part of a pattern. Behaviour that some people see as harmless, trivial or a joke may be seen as harassment by other people.
Harassment often occurs in, but is not restricted to, situations where one person has power or authority over another.
Harassment is a form of discrimination. It may be based on one of the factors listed for discrimination, or it may be motivated by other factors.
Harassment may include:
• making denigrating oral, written or e-mail comments, name-calling, or jokes
• displaying or distributing denigrating written or pictorial material, graffiti, clothing or badges
• threatening, bullying, intimidating or excluding a person
• expressing stereotypes, that is assumptions about a person
• using university facilities to recruit students or staff to organisations or groups which advocate unlawful discrimination or harassment
• downloading hate sites, pornography or offensive screensavers from the internet
• advocating or inciting hatred towards, physical attacks upon, or discrimination against people.

Bullying is when a person is repeatedly treated less favourably in an unreasonable and inappropriate way, possibly in front of colleagues or clients. It includes behaviour that is intimidating, offensive, degrading or humiliating.
Bullying may include:
• belittling opinions or constant criticism
• undermining performance, deliberately withholding information or resources, or supplying incorrect information
• teasing or regularly being made the target of pranks/practical jokes
• displaying written or pictorial material which degrades or offends

All students and staff have individual rights
• to be treated fairly by the University and by each other; and
• to study and work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.
(QUT Student Code of Conduct, 2010)

I would also like to inform you that I am not alone in this opinion and outrage. I and others will be informing, you, the Guild of their disappointment and will also be contacting the Student Ombudsman. Perhaps the members of the Guild who are partaking in this offensive and exclusionary behaviour should remind themselves that the Student Guild is not a club. It is a “not for profit organisation which is owned and operated by students for students. The Student Guild fosters the welfare of all QUT students, protects their rights and advocates for students who experience difficulties during their time at QUT”.

I can assure you that this behaviour is neither transparent nor welcome as a representation of the wider campus community.