Welcome to our live blog of the 5th regular meeting of the SRC. You can follow all the thrilling developments here.
Word around the room is National Labor Students (NLS) and Socialist Alternative (SAlt) will be voting against a motion allowing Honi Soit to cover future SRC elections. Independent/Grassroots member Liam Carrigan has expressed he will vote in favour of the motion. Grassroots is undecided.
Our argument in favour of the motion here: http://honisoit.com/2014/08/editorial-keeping-the-bastards-honest/
USyd Undergraduate Fellow of the Senate Patrick Massarani now speaking to Council, before the meeting officially begins. Talking about the petition for Convocation. 25th August has been the nominated date for a Town Hall-style meeting and debate on fee deregulation.
Education Officer Eleanor Morley asks Massarani if he will publicly give his word to let Education Officer Ridah Hassan speak at the August 25 meeting.
“I don’t think it’s a genuine debate unless the Education Officer of the SRC can speak,” Massarani says.
August 25 is going to be the first meeting. Massarani says there will be about 15 in total.
Mature Age Students Officer Omar Hassan asks whether a vote will be attached to the Town Hall meeting. He asks whether there will be a neutral/progressive chair – someone who is not in favour of deregulation.
Massarani says he believes the organisers will be fair and reasonable, given they’ve agreed to the meeting in the first place. Considerations as to who will chair have not been thought through yet. Massarani is open to ideas on who will chair.
General Secretary James Leeder asks what will become of Convocation. Massarani replies “We’ve evolved past Convocation.” Also explains Convocation’s root words in Latin. And other Latin words.
Morley asks Massarani about the staff cuts to library staff. She says Massarani made a public statement earlier this year, saying Massarani confirmed there would be no job losses in the library restructure.
Our coverage on Fisher library restructuring: http://honisoit.com/2014/08/fisher-library-up-late/
SRC President Jennifer Light counts 18 councilors present. We’re quorate! Moving rooms, though.
We’re back in the first room. Councilors mumble in frustration.
Light declares the meeting open at 6:50 pm.
SRC Indigenous Officer Kyol Blakeney gives Acknowledgement of Country.
Light’s going through the proxies. About 11 in total.
You can sense it in the room – we’re in for a long night. Some councilors have brought sleeping bags and assorted toiletries.
Honi Soit editor Kriz is playing some sick beats (Miley Cyrus)
Morley highlights that General Secretary Mariana Podesta-Diverio has missed three meetings.
We are wasting a lot of time
Minutes have been circulated. WOOOOOOOO
Environment Officer Amelie Vanderstock has resigned from the portfolio. An election will be held next meeting to fill the position.
Morley noted that General Secretary Mariana Podesta-Diverio is not in attendance
Currently going through minutes of the previous meeting. Sexual Harassment Officer Georgia Carr is identifying a list of corrections.
There are two randoms here. These might be actual non-hack students.
First time normal students show interest in SRC!
We feel like this:
Cameron Caccamo: “I’m not sure if I should be insulted or flattered” – he identifies an error in the minutes where he is called Callum Drake.
SAlt are discussing Left unity.
Hassan accuses “scab behavior” from SRC Executive Council. Hassan says Podesta-Diverio denied April Holcombe refund for legal fees. Morley alleges Podesta-Diverio denied refund based on Holcombe’s membership with Socialist Alternative.
We feel like this:
SRC Pres Jen Light on 2014 EdCon: “Perth is very far away”
SAlt are discussing ~Left unity~
$200,000 has been allocated from the capital sinking fund to the SRC for renovation. The renovations will take 12 weeks. There will be a second period of renovation next year with another $200,000.
Procedural meeting to debate Honi’s motion to report on the SRC election. General show of hands from factions. SAlt keep their arms down.
Editor Christina White: “It’s really important that Honi gets to scrutinise candidate policies.”
Editor Christina White now speaking in favour of the motion. Says SRC coverage would be analogous to USU coverage: candidates’ experience, policies, preference deals, etc.
White says it’s important for non-Hack voters (everyone not in this room) to engage with voters. Question is: “Is Honi coverage better than no coverage at all?”
We feel like this about Eds. Christina White and Michael Rees who are currently speaking to the Honi motion:
White now going through the checks on Honi’s coverage. Returning Officer would have scrutiny over Honi coverage. Honi would have no capacity to back single candidates, or provide biased coverage.
Honi would also have a team of DSPs to monitor and keep a check on coverage. They currently look at the paper before it goes to print – can check for defamatory material OR show coverage to the RO.
White says most people in the room campaigned on platforms of transparency. USU have made in-roads; SRC should follow suit.
Mature Age Students Officer Omar Hassan proposes a procedural motion to limit speaking time to 2 minutes. Motion is defeated.
Councillor Alisha Aitken-Radburn says that Omar’s motion is “rich”, Editor Kriz says he is “on drugs”
Editor Michael Rees now speaking. Motion is consistent with transparency, democracy; principles consistent with progressive groups in the room.
Rees says electors need to know have more information on candidates’ ideologies and experiences.
Light opens the speaking list to speak on the motion.
Morley first to speak. Morley says, “There’s no such thing as a media without bias. Some inclination towards a certain campaign, no matter what. It’ll come through in the writing.”
Education Officer Eleanor Morley says there can’t be “objective media” #MECO1001
Amy Knox speaking in favour of the motion. Says there are sufficient protections in the motion. “Reporting should be more descriptive, less about scrutiny.”
Sexual Harassment Officer Carr now speaking in favour of the motion. Says she has faith in the current editorial team – less so for future editorial teams. Agrees with amendment on editors’ affiliations. Says these checks are great but can, and should, be expanded.
Carr proposes comprehensive reporting procedures: bias emerges in what is reported and what is not reported.
Blakeney is in favour of this motion. Supports transparency underpinning this motion. Candidates and students of the university should have their opinions/perspectives heard. More info is better.
Light says it’s likely current Returning Officer will not adopt regulation changes for this election.
General Secretary James Leeder: “No coverage is by far the worse option.” Says, given the experience and policies candidates claim they have in the year, coverage is important.
Rees replying: Acknowledges issue of bias. Sees the battle as a possibility of slightly-bias coverage versus self-endorsed ‘coverage’ from campaigners. Most self-respecting Honi teams would provide reasonable coverage.
Editor Michael Rees says a wanky quote about a tree – fellow Editor Christina White facepalms him.
White now speaks: There’ll always be some bias. Honi’s scrutiny and coverage would work against current normative modes of bias. Raises the example of gossip about factions from other factions.
USU Board Director Alisha Aitken-Radburn broadly supportive of Honi’s motion.
Qualms: Doesn’t want to see any loopholes. Agrees that any decent Honi team wouldn’t provide biased coverage. Wants to pass the motion tonight – and then look at specifications regarding the RO.
Carr and Knox moving amendments.
Amy Knox’s amendment: “Reporting of Honi Soit elections should be limited to descriptive coverage – ticket members, factions, CVs.”
Now debating the amenability of Knox’s amendment. Editorial team is worried about whether the amendment will make the initial motion toothless.
This is us drowning in red tape:
Liam Carrigan: Against the amendment to the SRC motion. Says Honi elections are inextricably tied to Council/Presidential elections. Says Honi has the best insight into the editorial process/candidates’ editorial and writing experience.
Gluten intolerant editor Kriz now eating a whole lot of gluten in the form of garlic bread
Georgia Carr suggests new amendments. Adds that Council could repeal the entire motion next year.
Coverage will be exhaustive across elections. They’re amenable to Honi. Will be added to the motion.
Knox’s amendment that Honi Soit elections will not be reported is amenable to Honi.
Light moves Council to vote on Honi’s motion.
Amendments to include:
– RO will have power to identify and strike defamatory/biased material
– Honi won’t report on the Honi Soit election
– Coverage will be exhaustive between Council, Presidents and NUS
Kriz is now eating more gluten in the form of pizza. Like really gluteny pizza
Motion is carried! Most factions support, SAlt dissented.
Vice Presidents Report, Max Hall speaking:
Taking submissions for how SRC will contribute to Town Hall-style meeting on fee deregulation.
Omar Hassan wants role of General Secretaries to be reconsidered.
Leeder speaks to creating an Office Bearer handover booklet to help train up incoming OBs. Also handover documents on SSAF negotiations.
Omar Hassan says well-paid Office Bearers should have their stipends reconsidered if they study full-time. Hassan says he has “not seen Mariana in EAG meetings”.
Blakeney gives Indigenous Report. Says he’s disappointed with Council’s attendance at recent Indigenous rallies and Indigenous Collective actions.
Blakeney says Redfern Tent Embassy will stay there until demands for Aboriginal housing are met, or new Aboriginal Housing Company executive is elected. Funding for Indigenous Games has come through.
Some relevant graffiti re: Eds’ feelings right now:
Morley now speaking to Education Report. Talks about Ed Con, upcoming August 20 NDA, Chris Pyne’s “Unhappy Birthday”.
Speakers from Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) here: “We completely agree that 2,000 civilian deaths are not OK.” They say “massacre” is not an appropriate term. Take issue with stats used.
Education Officers/SAlt rebut comments from AUJS reps.
Back to original issue of Education Report.
Omar Hassan asks Ridah Hassan about the state of Gaza.
Ridah Hassan decries bombing of Gaza strip by Israel.
Action and debate on Gaza delayed till general business.
Queer report happening now. Queer Officer David Shakes talks about Queer Collaborations conference. Thanks SRC for support. Now talking about Pride Festival: zines, workshops, events.
Shakes now talking about issues with Blackboard on queer students at University. Difficulty on changing legal name/gender. Acknowledges Sydney Student allows students to change their gender, but notes gender options are still binary.
Sydney Student requires passport, declaration of sex-affirmation procedure. Officer sees this as “hugely transphobic” and a “cop out”.
Meeting is temporarily inquorate. Waiting on the return of a few NLS councilors.
Palestine Solidarity motion to be moved by April Holcombe.
Room cheers as Light announces we have quorum.
Vice President Max Hall informs Honi not a single member of Sydney Labor Students (SLS) is present. Also clarifies that SLS is currently, entirely, exhaustively Harry Stratton.
Editors play Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” because we can’t, and won’t, stop.
Ridah Hassan: motion of solidarity to Freya Newman, UTS member who allegedly leaked documents to New Matilda re: Whitehouse scholarship story. More info here: https://newmatilda.com/2014/08/06/student-charged-over-whitehouse-scholarship-leak
Eds Kriz and Behrens share a dog. Her face in this picture encapsulates how the Eds feel about all the yelling at this meeting.
Carr moves a motion on Wom*n’s-only refuges and services. Motion of solidarity for Students for Wom*n’s Only Services (SWOS).
For more info and coverage on the issue:
Recent rally in support http://honisoit.com/2014/07/hundreds-protest-closure-of-womens-refuges/
Motion is uncontroversially carried.
Ridah Hassan moves to debate the Palestine motion.
Holcombe on the Palestine solidarity motion: details series of Israeli attacks on Gaza. Wants SRC to reaffirm commitment to Palestinian cause and support of BDS. Says Palestine has every right to exist and resist in any way they choose.
Motion also compels NUS Office Bearers to cancel fully-paid trip to Israeli to visit an “Apartheid state.” Motion also condemns recent AUJS campaign of postering university campuses with “What Would You Do?” materials.
Tala Barakat, secular Palestinian, seconding the motion. Speaks in support of BDS, an ordinary way to combat Israeli apartheid. Says Monash University, British universities, Victorian Trades Council and others currently in support of BDS.
Says USyd SRC should join these groups and compel NUS Office Bearers to refuse paid junket to Israel.
Pres Jen Light moves meeting to formal debate.
Omar Hassan now speaking in favour of motion. Says it’s important to reaffirm old commitments and reflect on recent events. Says AUJS representatives reflect Israeli talking points. Says Israel is up against a refugee population, armed with PVC rockets and “hand-me-downs from Iran.”
Says: “This is not a conflict or a war. It is an occupation.” Quotes Israeli politicians and mainstream media: “Genocide is permissible”; “Death to Arabs”; “Death to Leftists”.
Omar Hassan to AUJS: “Where have we heard the phrase ‘forcible relocation’ before? I think we all know.”
Omar Hassan hopes NLS and Unity representatives refuse to “participate in junkets paid for by countries committing genocide.”
Ed Officer Eleanor Morley accuses AUJS speaker Adam Kaye of being a “genocidal maniac”.
AUJS Representative now speaking: BDS campaign is “one fundamentally based on hate.” Says student politicians should engage in debate. Says Israel is facing “constant threat” from outside forces and Hamas.
Asks the question: “How would you feel if Australia were bombarded by Indonesia?” Says Israel has “no choice” where Israel is under the threat of “annihilation”.
Morley now speaking: Murder of Palestinians by Israeli state has been going on for far longer than Hamas’ presence. “That you think the murder of 2,000 people is not massacre or not genocide is delusional.” Israel has the technology to pinpoint targets. Raises example of murder of Palestinian children on beach.
AUJS representative Ilya Borecki: “This is bordering on anti-Semitism”
AUJS representative: Says BDS is not about bringing “real peace”. Accuses BDS of antisemitism. Says Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, where multiple faiths live side-by-side without the threat of religious persecution. Says partial-BDS policy is against tolerance and healthy debate.
Pete Landi now speaking: Talks about student from Gaza now living Student Housing cooperative. Says it’s outrageous this student will be be handed pamphlets delegitimizing violence he, and people they know, have experienced.
Alisha Aitken-Radburn: Singles out AUJS posters as outrageous. Says she won’t support the motion due to language of the motion. Says she does not believe twenty-somethings can be complicit in ethnic cleansing.
Motion to close the speaking list narrowly carried, security man at door saying he has to lock up.
Light: “I think what’s happening is horrible.” Asserts she is for a Two-State solution. Advocates for a ceasefire/peaceful solution for both parties. Says there are much larger problems than what is being stated in the motion.
Motion is passed. Aitken-Radburn, Light and Matthew Woolaston dissenting.
And we’re done. Meeting wrapped up on account of the fact that the security man has to lock up SOMEONE DIDN’T BOOK THE ROOM FOR LONG ENOUGH
We are off to party like these pugs. #honiout. Your live-bloggers have been Andrew Passarello, Justin Pen, Georgia Kriz and Christina White.