Battleground over the future of Monash student magazine Lot’s Wife

 

Lot’s Wife’s former editor said it was “highly insulting” to allow students involved in the incident to run for editorship positions

By  SELBY STEWART

Together’s presidential candidate Henry Fox has promised to bring Lot’s Wife “into the 21st century” despite controversy around the party’s role in the infamous destruction of the magazines last year. 

Mr Fox said if elected, Together would turn the 54-year-old publication from a university magazine into a “student media outlet”.

“We are looking to make Lot’s Wife more relevant to students. This includes producing writing content, video content, memes, classic print articles and interviews,” he said.

Photos of the incident were posted to social media and sparked demands for an apology.

“It’s about diversifying the output and bringing it into the 21st century.”

But Mr Fox and another Together candidate, Jan Morgiewicz, were part of a controversial “political statement” last year that saw dozens of Lot’s Wife copies destroyed.

In October 2017 Mr Morgiewicz – a nominee for Lot’s Wife editor this year – uploaded photos to Instagram of himself lying naked under dozens of shredded editions of the magazine.

The following day a second photo appeared, this time including Mr Fox and several other students from Mannix College.

The incident was reported by The Herald Sun and now the pair’s MSA nominations have concerned the magazine’s former editors.

“To run Jan Morgiewicz as a candidate for Lot’s Wife editor is highly insulting to all of the hard working students who have made Lot’s Wife the incredible student magazine that it is,” last year’s editor Sophia McNamara said.

Ms McNamara said any suggestions Lot’s Wife had previously been used as Go! propaganda were untrue.

But Mr Morgiewicz has said his actions were in response to Go! using Lot’s Wife as a “political tool” and accused former editors of having “almost irreparably tarnished” the magazine’s reputation.

Mr Morgiewicz also suggested Go! and Activate were the same party, a statement Activate has strongly denied.

“My actions last year were a statement in response to Go!, now known as Activate, using the magazine as a propaganda tool for the elections,” Jan said.

Lot’s Wife has been, historically, the bastion of good student journalism at Monash. Go’s actions almost irreparably tarnished this reputation and I am very keen to be on the team running to continue restoring it.“

Last year’s Returning Officer Gavin Ryan banned members of Lot’s Wife’s 2017 editorial team from campaigning after posting an election update that had not been approved by the Returning Officer.

Returning Officer Gavin Ryan’s ban on several of Lot’s Wife’s editorial team.

Lot’s Wife’s current managing editor Xavier Andueza, who was elected under the 2017 Together ticket, refused to comment on the controversy.

“Due to stringent election regulations, designed to ensure the impartiality of Lot’s Wife, it would be inappropriate to comment,” he said.

“Actions of former Lot’s Wife editors have impeded these regulations in the past and we think it is of the utmost important to abide by the articulated regulations.”

Together presidential nominee Mr Fox said the party was “well aware” of the incident and Mr Morgiewicz’s involvement.

“It was a protest, it was a bit of a political statement and that was his motivation, he was upset with the state of student media,” Nr Fox said.

There will be 14 Lot’s Wife editorial positions contested at this election by more than 50 candidates.