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USyd’s newest SUPRAstars elected

Mariana Podesta-Diverio reports on the results of the recent SUPRA Office Bearers’ elections.

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The Sydney University Postgraduate Association (SUPRA) Office Bearers for 2014-2015 have been elected, with Postgrad Action candidate Timothy Scriven winning the Presidency.

Alongside Scriven, Kylee Hartman-Warren was elected as Vice-President, Brigitte Garozzo as Education Officer, Joanne Gad as Secretary, and Doug King as Treasurer. These office bearers were all affiliated with the progressive group Postgrad Action which won the majority of councilor positions (13 of 23) at the recent general election.

“I plan to work [with] the Education Officer to set up a network of SUPRA education activists, the equity officers to expand and create equity networks, the DSP [Director of Student Publications] and Secretary to expand our social media presence, and the Vice-President to continue and expand our wonderful range of events,” said Scriven, who has been involved in SUPRA for several years.

“I would imagine that a lot of my time will taken up by fighting various policy changes from the government, and their implementation on a campus level … I really hope the structures and initiatives we build in this fight will have some permanency.”

A number of non-executive office bearer positions were also elected. Grace Sharkey will serve as Queer Officer, Faisal Sheikh as Disability Officer, Forough Khazerouni as Women’s Officer, Michael Butler as Indigenous Officer, Maral Hosseinpour as International Officer, and Joanne Gad as DSP. Regional and Rural Officers will be elected next week.

Sharkey said she aimed to use her position as Queer Officer to provide a platform for queer students to connect with each other. “I ran for Queer Officer because I’ve been involved in campus politics [and] the queer community on campus for years,” she said. “I wanted to be involved in a more active way.”

“There is a lot of disconnect amongst [queer students] and it would be nice if queer students felt they had a way to meet each other.”

The distribution of office bearer positions fell predominantly amongst the left, with students from the Sydney University Liberal Club (SULC) failing to garner significant support. Zachary Thompson and Alex Dore, two prominent members of SULC, were elected as councilors, but their occupation of only two spots on council had no impact on office-bearer elections.

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