Racism – it's never ok
Here at UNSW, we are lucky enough to have one of the most diverse populations of any university in the country. People come from all over the country and internationally to attend our uni and fight about which is better – Matthews Food Court or Time for Thai.
And while the vast majority of us have friends from all different cultural and racial backgrounds, without even knowing it, we all have some inherent biases about race, culture and linguistic difference that we’ve picked up from years of ‘living in a society’.
Ask yourself: when you go into a classroom in the first week of class, who do you sit next to? People that look like you? How many students do you chat to that speak a different first language to you?
You’re not a bad person if you’re just now realising that you spend a lot of time with people that look like you. We’re all creatures of habit and it can be hard to break out of that. But next time you’re in a group of people you don’t know, don’t be afraid to have a chat to someone that looks a little different to you.
Buuuut, while you’re doing it don’t fall into any of the following faux pas:
Don’t ask: “But where are you really from?”
Don’t ask intrusive questions about their backgrounds
If they have linguistic difference, don’t speak to them like they’re hard of hearing
And if you have any questions, GOOGLE IT
If you see or hear someone saying something inappropriate on or offline about someone’s race – notice, identify, assess and STEP UP. Whether the person intended it as an insult or a meaningless joke, if it offends someone on the basis of race, it is simply not ok. Call it out.
During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to support your friends and loved ones particularly those from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Since the beginning of the outbreak, many Australians of Asian descent have reported discrimination of a sometimes violentnature.
Racism will NOT be tolerated at UNSW or at Arc. If you or someone you know has experience racism on or off campus, there are a couple of places you can go to get support.
To report experiences of racism, you can make a complaint through the UNSW Complaints portal found here. This complaint can be made anonymously if you would prefer not to identify yourself.
Before you make a complaint, feel free to contact Arc Legal & Advocacy via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Arc Legal & Advocacy can step you through the process for reporting.
If you need/want to access psychological support, you can contact UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services via email at email@example.com or phone by calling + 61 2 9385 5418.
Make a complaint with the Human Rights Commission - the Human Rights Commission will investigate any form of human right abuse and/or discrimination. The service is free, impartial, and informal.
Racism, it stops with me – provides resources about how to respond when you see or hear racism
Responding to every day bigotry – for more information about to stand up to casual racism in every day situations, the Southern Poverty Law Centre has put together this guide.
Online Dating – The Good, The Bad & The Fuckboys
Whether good or bad, dating apps are changing the way we communicate and well... date. The fact that we need to specify to friends that we met someone IRL, not online, speaks volumes. Andunfortunately while many experiences of dating online can be extremely positive, a lot of us feel that if we are sent another unasked for picture of a penis we’re going to lose it.
Example: Skylar is browsing Tinder and has been chatting to a nice person for a little while. Suddenly, *ping* Skylar has received an image of that person’s genitals. Skylar never asked for that image and feels very uncomfortable. What should Skylar do?
Report the person to Tinder and/or submit a confidential report of the incident (by clicking the “...” icon)
Ask that person to not contact them again and remind them that it is not appropriate to send content like this to someone without consent
Unmatch the person and talk to a friend/confidant about the experience
Report the incident to the police
The answer is, that Skylar could pursue any or all of these options. Whatever they feel comfortable doing is totally the right thing in this situation.
Get to know the inner workings of your dating app or website of choice and how the reporting feature works. In situations where you feel your welfare is in danger (1) take screenshots of the conversation, and (2) call the police directly.
But what about isolation dating?
If you are currently on the apps looking for love, don’t worry you are not alone! According to Bumble, there has been a 23% rise in the number of messages on the platform and a 31% rise in in-app calls.
So what are some positives of dating online during a pandemic:
Most dating apps are moving to disable geo-location restrictions – so you can chat to cool people from all around the world!
Many are enabling new features in-app to allow users to have video call dates instead of in-person meet ups
Say goodbye to the awkward ‘hey’ - what’s a better ice-breaker than ‘how many times have you seen the sun today?’
Ever wanted to go on a date but also be able to stay home in the comfort of your own bed? Well finally, your prayers have been answered. You can chat for hours with an interesting person and never have to change out of your pyjamas.
But let’s set a couple of ground rules:
Do NOT meet up with your new-found boos (no matter how many times they say they’re corona free) - this could have the potential to save a life so don’t let your libido override your brain
Sexy time needs to be over the phone or messenger NOT in person
Consent is everything, even online – check and see if your new boo is down with the technology assisted dating steps you are going through. Are they ok with raunchy messages? Do they get anxious in video calls and therefore, may want another type of online connection? Are you sure they are comfortable with phone sex?
So head out into the virtual world and get yourself some – consensually
Dealing with household conflict
Content warning: domestic violence
Not leaving the house may be good for public health but it may not be the best for mental health or household dynamics. Never before have we been in so much close proximity with those we live with. And all that closeness is bound to create a little tension. So how do we deal with it?
Make sure you communicate boundaries – whether you’re at home with family, roommates or someone else, it is important to establish with each other what sort of contact you want in this time. If you need space during the day – let them know.
Try to communicate if problems do arise – so someone’s not washing up their dishes and it’s driving you around the bend. Try to let the anger go and just have an honest conversation about how it frustrates you and you’d like them to stop. Communicating calmly and honestly can prevent so many conflicts.
Cut people as much slack as you can – it's a very strange time we’re living in and everyone is going to react differently. If your loved one wants a lot of attention when you want space or vice versa, just remember that we’re all trying to get through this in some way. Be kind and understanding.
There is a difference between general conflict however and abuse/violence. How to recognise domestic abuse/violence:
Controlling behaviour such as requiring phone passwords, and monitoring movements
Constant belittling and humiliating
Exposure to physical violence of other household members
Discouraging from seeing/talking to others
If you feel that you are experiencing domestic abuse or domestic violence, there are people that can help.
1800RESPECT – A 24 hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault. Call 1800 737 732.
Lifeline – A national number who can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your State. Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can call. Call 13 11 14.
Men’s Referral Service - This service from No to Violence offers assistance, information and counselling to help men who use family violence. Call 1300 766 491
Mensline Australia - Supports men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties. 24/7 telephone and online support an information service for Australian men. Call 1300 789 978.