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April 3, 2017 | by  | in Editorial |
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Editors’ Letter

Thank you all for your kind messages on Facebook, via email, and in person regarding our last issue. There is strength found in leaning on each other during hard times, and the innumerable amount of people around the world offering each other support and comfort has shown how many lives Teresia impacted. Her work has a phenomenal scope and depth, but she also championed self-care: “I hope you feel supported and take time to refill your own tank.”

This is the time of the trimester filled with assignments and tests, when all you want is to do is reach the glorious two week “break.” Trinity brings a timely pep-talk for those needing an encouraging reminder to help you reach the end (of at least this half of the trimester). Ali writes about the very awkward but normal experience of crying in public and reminds us that “a puffy face is still a brave face.”

Crying is something we all do; it’s awkward, but talking about it and normalising discussions of emotions are important for fostering an environment supportive of our mental health.

***

Last week the Victoria University Feminist Organisation ran a koha bake sale in which donations were exchanged for sweet goods and all proceeds went directly to the Annual Wellington Rape Crisis Appeal. The work of the Wellington Rape Crisis is made necessary and urgent due to our society’s failure to address systemic rape culture.

Rape culture is a term thrown around a lot, often imprecisely, and to help clarify what it means and what we can do about it we interviewed PhD student Samantha Keene who has researched rape culture, sexual assault, and pornography. We won’t attempt to recount her words here, but we implore you read the interview.

In an opinion piece, second year student Marlon reflects on his experiences of the discomfort around discussions of rape culture, and raises the need to engage without shame or guilt. His piece is targeted towards men, the ‘boys’ — those who need to start engaging, who need to start listening, and who need to take action within their circles to stamp out this noxious part of our culture.

 

Look after yourselves,

Tuioleloto Laura Toailoa and Tim Manktelow

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this