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The Manning Files – Week 4, Semester 1, 2014

The Manning Files from Week 4, Semester 1.

manning files

manning files

POLICY, HYPOCRISY AND ONESIES: A CHAT WITH JEREMY ELPHICK

If the Board elects to remove Tom Raue, it is set to open a Pandora’s Box of barely-democratic problems: Jeremy Elphick will be catapulted to the position of Board Director. The Manning Files crew sat down with Raue’s heir apparent to chat policy, hypocrisy and onesies.

Though he may face the sack, Raue’s policy legacy may live on. “I definitely want to continue a lot of the things that Raue was working towards in terms of having a more transparent, environmentally-friendly Union,” Elphick said.

In addition, Elphick noted he would honour his campaign pledge “to implement music policies on campus” and advocate for “extra rehearsal spaces on campus and instruments that could be rented out by students”. His political positions, however, have not all been so steadfast: “I’m not really too keen on the puppy room,” he said.

He made a point of the Board’s bad behaviour at last year’s Education Revue (Waiting for Gonski), in which USU Board President Hannah Morris and a slew of other directors, sans Raue, were accused of heckling.

Elphick also slammed the Board’s current “cliquey, completely beige party culture that’s currently held by the Union”. He did not comment on whether he would attend the upcoming Union 90s party.

I WONDER WHAT OUR BACK PAGE AD WILL BE AFTER THIS

On Wednesday 26 March the National Union of Students will hold the National Day of Protest, an Australia-wide demonstration against a proposed $2.3 billion cut to tertiary education.

“[The protest] is about opposing their proposed funding cuts, which represent the biggest attack on university funding in almost two decades,” said Sarah Garnham, NUS Education Officer.

Addressing Vice-Chancellors last month at a Universities Australia conference dinner, Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne stated that the cuts were unfortunate but necessary. “Given the diabolical fiscal challenge before us, there has been no realistic alternative but to proceed with the other savings measures announced by the previous Government,” he said.

The cuts, which are in a bill currently before the Senate, would see $1.2 billion come from turning the Student Start-up Scholarship into a loan and adding the debt incurred to students’ overall debt. Another $900 million would be taken directly from university funding as an “efficiency dividend”, with the USyd accounting for $50 million.

SHAKING IN YOUR MOOTS

The Sydney University Law Society has been left red-faced after it was revealed that the scenario for its international law moot was plagiarised from a textbook. The society apologised, postponed the moot and issued a new scenario after we raised the allegations last Thursday.

The moot required competitors to debate an international dispute about an ambiguous border and a contested treaty. The original problem question was substantially identical to problem questions published in Stephen Hall’s book Principles of International Law. Except for changes to the dates and names of parties, and a new Game of Thrones theme to the question, the sentences were almost word-for-word the same as the scenario in the book.

The SULS document failed to acknowledge Hall, but featured the name of the student author on every page. Principles of International Law included “suggested answers” for the problem questions, which could give an unfair advantage to any student who happened to find the book. The Law Library has nine copies of the book; all copies available for normal borrowing are currently on loan.