The seemingly unthinkable has happened at University of Newcastle; the ubiquitous Festival of Autonomy has been cancelled for 2015.
Since separating from the University of New South Wales in 1965, UON students and staff have been celebrating their independence annually, culminating in the (in)famous Autonomy Day. Revelry and joyful merriment abounds during the festivities, and countless past and current students can attest to its importance on the social calendar, whether they remember it clearly or not.
The uni has issued a statement about the cancellation; “The University of Newcastle will not be holding Autonomy Day celebrations in 2015 due to scheduling conflicts. Bar on the Hill is long overdue for a fumigation to cope with our notorious mosquito problem, and pest control services are unable to accommodate a different date for this important appointment. We encourage students to use this opportunity to focus on their studies.”
However, not all hope is lost. Though favourites like billy cart races and live entertainment aren’t on the cards, other Autonomy Week activities are still planned for August, including free knitting classes, library tours and a Quidditch tournament.
This writer questions the uni’s reasoning, particularly in consideration of this year’s eminent 50th anniversary celebrations, for which there surely would have been great things already in the works. Godfrey Tanner would be rolling in his grave if he heard about this.
Students will undoubtedly be surprised, confused and frustrated by this announcement, but Yak promises to update on details as they are released.
Edit: Yes, this is a joke article for April Fools. Congrats if you picked up on the “subtle” humour. Read Mel’s follow-up with a short history of April Fools here.
Image: Auto Day 2014, Yak at UON