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UniGate: S1 W4 2013

A new Board candidate emerges, an offensive USU stall, and an angry phone call from the St John’s Rector. It’s all in this week’s UniGate

A phone call from the Rector

The Gate has learned that the Acting Rector and Senior Student of the venerable St John’s College last week teamed up to engage in a little bit of old-fashioned student intimidation. An Honi Soit reporter contacted the college for a comment on a news story and was told by the college’s media officer that she would provide a comment from the Rector. Instead, our story-hungry reporter was phoned directly by the Acting Rector, Adrian Diethelm, while Senior Student Angela Meers was also present. The Acting Rector then proceeded to tell our reporter that the story was completely incorrect, defamatory, and that their source, one of the college’s tutors, was completely misguided. The bizarre phone call included Diethelm holding the phone to Meers’ face so she could also refute all the reporter’s claims. Our reporter told the Gate they felt “incredibly intimidated” by the whole experience.  We now calmly await the defamation lawsuit. Sadly, we’re skeptical it will come.

USU lacking in dress sense

The University of Sydney Union (USU) has received complaints about a stallholder selling Native American headdresses. The headdress is considered a restricted item in some Native American cultures and only certain members of the community are permitted to wear it. It is thought to be insulting when an outsider does so without seeking permission.

Several members wrote to the USU to complain that the stallholder was enabling an inappropriate and condescending form of cultural appropriation. Bizarrely, two students received a reply stating that the USU had “received no other complaints.” The responses continued that the stallholder “will not be removed from participating in the markets as we do not see his products to be racist nor offensive.” Read: sorry you were offended, but we weren’t #sorrynotsorry. The Board will meet this week to discuss the stallholder’s continued tenure with the markets.

Another week, another Union Board candidate

Sarah Marriott’s name has been popping up about campus more frequently than a Socialist Alternative poster in the past week. Marriott is currently an SRC Councillor and one of the SRC Disability Officers. She is also a producer of this year’s Commerce Revue. Marriott told the Gate she was considering a run but refused to give a definitive answer. Aside from the revue scene, Marriott would likely approach one of the factions or societies associated with the Liberals on campus for support. The Gate understands she may be able to gain the support of some of the ‘wet’ (moderate) Libs. This may lead her to overlap with Sydney University Liberal Club (SULC) member Alexandra Brown, who is also considering a run and is likely better positioned to take a substantial portion of the more conservative SULC members.