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April 23, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Cracks at Craccum

Students outraged by Dykes.

The future of an Auckland student magazine will be decided on Thursday afternoon, as members of the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) vote on a motion of no confidence in Craccum editor Thomas Dykes.

The twenty students who petitioned for the Special General Meeting claim that the magazine is unrepresentative, irrelevant, humourless and overtly leftist. Some, posting on Facebook, accuse Dykes of bullying tactics against prospective contributors.

Dykes stands by his decision to make the university magazine more political and intellectual, and dismisses his opponents as a vocal minority.

“The fact people think Craccum is left wing is merely a sign of how far right the centre has become.

“Laughing at cock jokes all day while people starve is also a political act. The humour in Craccum these days might not be immediately obvious. A little harder to find than a hairy scrotum or a guide to date rape.”

The controversy threatens the reputation of the publication, which has previously been edited by Jonathon Hunt, Sir Owen Woodhouse, Bomber Bradbury and Tim Shadbolt, and is read by thousands of students every week.

AUSA President Arena Williams says that Craccum is “a democratic platform for the expression of students’ views” and students are “entitled to have their say” on who controls the publication.

Editors are democratically elected each year, and must balance the competing demands for crude parody and serious commentary. The current motion, like a previous motion in 1989, is the result of an editor’s perceived failure to strike that balance.

Petition spokesman Kirk Jacinto describes Dykes as a “friend” but believes he must stand down.

Craccum has become like someone standing on a soap box in the street and shouting at us with a megaphone. There is a complete lack of comedy and no references to student culture.”

Jacinto, who contested Dykes for the editorship last year, will be putting his own name forward again for the by-election if the motion passes. He says whoever is editor of Craccum must “improve it and weather the storm that has come”.

Dykes says he will be happy with any outcome that is the result of a democratic process.

“If people want nothing but a plethora of cock jokes surrounded by inane dribble let them roll me. At least then I can get on with my Masters.”

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