‘Critic’ cover features censored letter from uni

The cover of the latest issue of student magazine Critic Te Arohi features a heavily redacted...
The cover of the latest issue of student magazine Critic Te Arohi features a heavily redacted statement from the University of Otago.
Student magazine Critic Te Arohi has hit back at University of Otago "censorship" by redacting a statement from the institution in its latest issue.

It was revealed last week the proctor and university Campus Watch staff had removed and destroyed hundreds of copies of the publication’s "Menstruation Issue", which depicted a cartoon of a naked person menstruating.

At the time, the university said the decision was made in the proctor’s office, but described it as a "regrettable" mistake.In response, the cover of Critic’s latest issue, released last night, featured the university’s lengthy statement with black lines through it.

The magazine, in posting the cover on social media, said it was "censoring the uni right back".

The redactions meant the statement now read: "After copies of Critic magazine were removed from campus, the assumption was made that, rightly or wrongly, the university is a place where many people might be exposed to issues they were initially unaware of.

"No opinion should be removed from campus. This was a mistake."


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If the University we're genuine in the acknowledgement of their error and apology, this is the episode they should be paying for isn't it?

A yes ... Professor Hayne and Mayor Cull ... a real Dunedin powerhouse duo who will, no doubt, go down in the history books as being the supreme defenders of our New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990; above all else, S14 of said Act … The Freedom of Expression.

• Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

You’ll never see these two doing anything “shady” … prior to making ANY decision which may affect their subjects; they give us every scrap of information at their disposal, before asking our valued opinion on what course of action should be taken … and let’s face it, we all enjoy giving them our opinion and know the best course of action for these two, eh ?!

Thank God we live in a city where Democracy is our number one priority … We could be living in a place where you can’t say squat without being silenced; write something without it disappearing; or God forbid, having facial recognition technology checking up on what you're putting in your shopping trolley …

The freedom of the Kiwi … Priceless !!

And..what do you think of the issue concerning 'Critic', or have you just trojan horsed the story to have a go at individuals?

I live in a democracy which grants me freedom of speech ... if you don't want to read what I write, close your eyes !

I support the Proctor 100% in his decision to remove the magazines with offensive covers last week. Thank you, Sir.

If the cover of last week's Critic had been inoffensive, I would have picked it up and taken it away to read. Perhaps I would have learned something. But no, the Editor actively chose to present an inoffensive issue (menstruation) wrapped in an offensive cover (which the ODT had to blur out in its photo last week, lest they cause offense by showing it).

If you goal was to inform me, not offend me, then you failed on both counts.

Some campus protesters on Friday were protesting about censorship of menstruation education. That is not what was being censored. It was not the contents of the magazine that offended me, or the Proctor, it was the cover.

Just because you *can* offend someone when presenting an issue does not mean that you *should* offend them. If you want to be taken seriously, then behave seriously. Present a serious issue with a serious cover, not some crudely drawn crude illustration.

The Critic staff need to grow up.

Interesting that Critic had previously met with the proctor and accepted his apology, and the Critic editor has said that they needed to move on. This cover would contradict that position. They clearly haven't accepted the apology or moved on. It was evident that the decision to remove the copies of Critic from the campus was made by one person, not the university as a whole, and he has admitted his error. So what's the ongoing beef with the university? The current cover suggests unfinished business and ongoing resentment.

Isn't the issue about the availability of sanitary pads, or lack thereof, due to the unreasonable cost of essential product?

A good reply. Most should see the humour in this.

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