"Deal with it" - AUT student on the controversial Critic student magazine

May 25, 2018

AUT students have some thoughts on that infamous Critic cover. Photo: Gabrielle Tutheridge.

Controversial student magazine, Critic, has students up in arms over the cover of the latest issue.

‘Critic Te Arohi’ is University of Otago’s student magazine publication, their recent issue was on the topic of menstruation and their cover displayed this vividly.

AUT students have expressed their views on the issue, with half of them disagreeing with the vivid cartoon imagery.

“It’s informative to say the least, but it doesn’t have to be so graphic,” says Matthew Gielen, 23-year-old AUT student.

Stacey Muir, 20-year-old communications student disagreed. She says, “I think it’s weird but it’s not overly graphic.”

Vice Chancellor of AUT, Derek McCormack, had not yet seen the edition of Critic, although hoped it was made with positive intentions.

Mr McCormack says, “I affirm the freedom of speech and academic freedom to express views and tackle topics which are controversial and sensitive. I would hope and urge that this be done in a genuine and thoughtful way.”

The University of Otago removed the issue from the stands and threw them away. They released in a statement on Twitter, that the cover was “objectionable and degrading to women.”

AUT student, Jack Raynes says the Universities’ action, “was probably the most appropriate thing to do.”

Will Martin, 21-year-old communications student, says “It’s a bit of a subversion on itself then. If they say it’s degrading to women and it was written by men, then you could be like yeah, but because it is written by women- well I’m just confused.”

Mr McCormack did not think confiscating the copies was an “appropriate action to take.”

He says, “Art and visual communication must not be restricted to what is generally acceptable. Amongst their important roles are those which might cause shock and provoke response - again, I would hope with some positive purpose.”

Critic Te Arohi editor Joel MacManus explained in his Spinoff Article that, “It honestly felt like a kick to the guts. We’d worked our asses off making this issue and it was something I was incredibly proud of.”

Arusha Mohammed, 18-year-old AUT student, had some strong views on the issue. She says, “Anything about periods is going to get hate- let’s be honest.”

Ms Mohammed did not think the issue was degrading, nor did her male friend Jazz Perea. He says, “It’s a part of life, you can’t just ignore that.”

You can see an open letter about the issue here: https://www.critic.co.nz/news/article/7575/an-open-letter-on-the-removal-and-destruction-of-l

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