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October 9, 2017 | by  | in Editorial |
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Editors’ Letter

This issue is divided, the content split between VUWSA election coverage and our loose theme of utopia. Are the two incompatible?

Is VUWSA, as the key organisational body for students at VUW, committed to the struggle to wrestle a utopia out of an uncertain future?

Though we didn’t explicitly talk about it, current VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin pointed out the organisational possibility of campuses — centralised hubs which bring a huge number of people in contact with each other. Not exactly a new idea, but maybe one that needs to be stressed in the current moment; campuses as the nodes of a network.

A network is what Dan envisages in his ambitious piece; a challenge to the hierarchical structures that frame our existence, and an argument for a politics that facilitates cooperation and care.

“No societal change has ever progressed off a blueprint, as if we could sum up all the surrounding elements and make the ‘right’ choice, each step laid out before us. The world is ripe with chaos, unknown and far from fixed; our circumstances demand much more than any one individual or company can provide.”

Utopia is not prescriptive. That might be the key point of this issue (the second to last!); it’s not about a stable and perfect world, a paradise — such a vision is impossible and likely conceals violence. Rather, utopia is an eternal process, is in constant flux, is the harnessing of possibility and putting it toward a collective good.  

Geum writes: “I would not be happy in the utopia you dream of.”

“It must be a separate garden that exists in a vacuous dream; a land constantly being created, uncontaminated, elusive, protected from strangers. I dream of utopia, a place to come, a no-place, a place that encompasses everything and everything. The place locked up between my brows.”

Consider this editorial a challenge then, to imagine that which is not yet possible…

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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