It must have been quite a sight for the janitor. Tables and chairs were strewn carelessly around the room. Empty beer bottles littered the floor, concealing little patches of damp carpet. Crumbs, scraps, papers: it was the stuff of a raucous housewarming, except that it was not hello, but farewell.
The 84th SRC met its Waterloo on a hot spring night in the Quad Refectory. It was not the most anticipated meeting of the year but it was by far the most convivial. As custom has it, the year’s final gathering is free of the shackles of enforced sobriety, and that fact alone sets proceedings on a rather inevitable course from the beginning.
Instructions for a drinking game were circulated. Imbibing was to be done, among other things, whenever the esteemed President begged for order, whenever independents were accused of being Liberals, and whenever a certain nameless editor on this paper insulted a racial minority.
Apologies were taken, and truly sorry they must have been to miss this installment of student politics at its finest. As is the inexplicable custom of these things, reports were accepted: what’s done is done, as it turns out.
To business, if that’s what you can call it. A motion was passed extolling the virtues of social media and calling on the SRC to make better use of it. The hash tag “#usydsrc” trends nationally during meetings but is conspicuously mute for the rest of the month. The recommendation passed and there was much ironic tweeting about it.
A motion yet again confirming the SRC’s commitment to activism and defending student activists, even when engaged in direct action and non-violent confrontation, was put and passed. There was a long motion about registration costs, media passes, and attendance at National Union of Students’ conferences. Somewhere, Cameron Caccamo finished his six-pack and fell off a chair. Even if I could remember the details it wouldn’t really matter. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.
This being the SRC we couldn’t dwell too long on the irrelevant minutiae of student issues. So instead we agreed to take a photo of ourselves after the meeting and then moved to condemn Alan Jones for his remark that the Prime Minister’s dad “died of shame”. In what seemed a tired and predictable partisan jab, the council also condemned the Sydney University Liberal Club for hosting and not totally regretting the whole thing. Alasdair Cameron vowed to establish a Tory Collective to fight this debilitating oppression and good on him.
Councillors drifted in and out as the balmy evening progressed, leaving for smokos, drink breaks, and private corridor consultations at their leisure. Relentless rechecks of quorum showed we maintained the minimum number of actual Councillors required until shortly after the recess, when the meeting became inquorate and all control was lost.
From that point it was pandemonium, and as “Gangnam Style” became “What Makes You Beautiful” became “Solidarity Forever”, wine glasses were discarded in favour of the bottle itself, and – with several motions still to be discussed – the wheels fell off entirely, and the 84th SRC disbanded, too far gone to preserve ourselves in photography.
We were young, as was the night.