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UniGate Week 7

Board candidates announced and racism in WA student paper

Literally every single student running for Union Board

Seventeen. Seventeen Union Board candidates this year. Seven-fucking-teen. Just when it looked like USYD elections couldn’t get any more overwhelming, we present to you the biggest Union Board field since 2004. Thankfully, this means candidates will be so busy negotiating shirt colours they won’t have time to develop the dizzying array of unfeasible, unaffordable, and agonisingly unoriginal ‘policies’ that Union elections throw up every year. “Can’t we just put them all in a cooking contest and decide that way?” Joseph Wang asked on the Honi Soit Facebook page. At least this way, one of them might actually improve Union food.

Wait, did we say seventeen? Make that sixteen. Alexandra Brown has become this year’s first candidate to fall off the Board-wagon after she resigned her candidacy. Brown told the Gate she no longer had the support of the people she needed, including the Sydney University Liberal Club (SULC). As far as the Gate can discern, eliminated candidates are not forced to undergo any Gladiatoresque crowd-pleasing rituals of humiliation. We are lobbying hard to change this.

Among the swag of new candidates  who are sill on the ballot are at least five with ties either to SULC, or the Conservative Club (to the right of SULC). We’re not saying they’re running all these candidates to try to maximise their allowed resources then funnel those resources into one candidate. But what we are saying is that no other even vaguely distinctive group are running more than three.  The conservatives running for Board this year are either very clever or very disorganised.


WA proves it is rich, but not very Prosh

The University of Western Australia Student Guild is under fire this week for the … questionable content of Prosh. Prosh, short for ‘procession’, is a satirical newspaper published by the guild every year to raise money for charity. Students get drunk, finish the paper in a night, print 130 000 copies, get drunker, and then cause havoc throughout the city begging people to pick up a copy and donate some money. The writers of the Gate can sympathise. However, unlike our pre-deadline walks of shame to Thai La-Ong, Prosh tends to raise ~$140 000 a year. Good for them.

Unfortunately, this year their good ends were undone after they published a fake Aboriginal horoscope, casting Indigenous people as alcoholics, petrol sniffers, and accusing them of misusing their land after the Mabo decision. Eugh. The Gate doesn’t want to stereotype Western Australians as racist, bigoted, privileged thugs, but heck, what can the Gate do when a student guild decides to prove the rumours true? Things got sticky after one of their charities, the Indigenous Communities Education & Awareness Foundation found out, and refused to accept the funds.

Yep. It's pretty damn racist.
Yep. It’s pretty damn racist.

WA Legislative Assembly Opposition Aboriginal Affairs Spokesperson, and former UWA student, Ben Wyatt condemned the paper. The President of the Guild and contributor to Prosh, Cameron Barnes, apologised profusely. But the future of Prosh is now in doubt; The Gate has also learnt that this may also exacerbate the existing tensions between the Guild and the University. Oh boy.

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