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The Manning Files – Week 5, Semester 2

All the goss from the acrimonious Honi Soit election.

manning files

EXPLOSIONS FOR HONI

SRC election tensions hit an all time high last week as Honi ticket ‘Swag’ was cobbled together at the last minute in order to provide an opposition to ‘Heist’. The controversial move, allegedly executed by Labor Right (Unity) member and Board Director Alisha Aitken-Radburn, has ensured the battle for Honi will be an acrimonious one.

An anonymous source told The Manning Files that Aitken-Radburn, part of the Stand Up! campaign, organised the Swag ticket as she thought Heist would inevitably pair with the Grassroots campaign on election day for “walking deals” (an unbelievably hacky piece of hackery which involves factions pairing with each other to walk on either side of a voter, physically preventing opposing campaigners from getting to the vote). Walking deals are now one of the few ways SRC and Honi tickets can work together after an SRC regulation was passed earlier this year preventing the two campaigns from swapping preferences and sharing materials. According to our source, Aitken-Radburn believed a second Honi ticket to be in the best interests of the Stand Up! bloc and presidential candidate Amy Knox.

Aitken-Radburn refutes this account, saying she was involved in talks with Swag members until she realised regulations prevented Honi campaigners from holding SRC how-to-votes, at which point she pulled out of negotiations. Aitken-Radburn said that several members of Swag had already made contact with ticket manager and Unity member Patrick Magee at that point, which led to Swag forming. Magee said Aitken-Radburn had not been involved in the formation of the ticket beyond giving “guidance” to Magee. A source told The Manning Files Swag was still seeking members the day before nominations were due.

Swag’s shock entry into the race was met with hostility from their opposing ticket, Heist. Caceda told The Manning Files that Swag had received abuse from Heist members and affiliates via text messages, calls and in person. “It’s been tough handling people swearing at us over the phone, telling us not to run and that we’re ruining their chances,” he said. “I would say we’ve had no friendly contact with the other team whatsoever.”

However, Heist ticket member Dominic Ellis described the interactions between Heist and Swag as “very minimal”. “We haven’t really talked to them at all,” said Ellis.

Aitken-Radburn’s actions have spelled disunity (pardon the pun) within the Stand Up! bloc, which consists of Unity, National Labor Students (NLS), Sydney Labor Students and Socialist Alternative. Georgia Kriz, a junior campaign manager for Knox and member of NLS, screamed “You are scum!” at Aitken-Radburn in the SRC offices after learning of the formation of Swag. We can’t imagine Socialist Alternative is too happy with their new conservative, Catholic, and libertarian bedfellows either.

An NLS spokesperson told The Manning Files that NLS (Knox’s faction) were not involved in forming Swag and do not support it.

WHAT’S IN THE WORKS?

Caceda was restrained on policy details, but did say Swag would run an “apolitical” paper. “We hope to continue what Sex for Honi has done,” he said, noting that the ticket contains both Greens voters and conservatives. Magee also focused on the range of political opinions within the ticket, listing it as a positive for the Swag group.

Ellis said Heist would have a focus on arts and culture coverage, with revue previews as well as reviews. Spruiking an age-old Honi policy that has never quite gotten off the ground, Ellis said Heist believed in “attracting all sorts of students to Honi, so that means looking across all campuses and faculties”. From personal experience, getting Engineering students to regularly write for Honi is only a little easier than turning lead into gold, so we wish him luck in this endeavour should Heist be successful.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

To the surprise of campus fashionistas from all factions, both Heist and Swag are planning to run on the colour orange. Swag have apparently claimed the colour and Heist have appealed their claim, saying they settled on the colour before Swag was even a thing. Stay tuned for more on this exciting tussle.

A VICTORY FOR HONI

You might have heard that the SRC recently passed a motion allowing Honi to report on the SRC elections as they happen – something that was previously restricted due to a media black-out during campaigning. As part of this, we are required to disclose any conflicts to our readers, so here’s the list of editors who will NOT be contributing to coverage of the elections, and who they are campaigning for:

Felix Donovan – Grassroots

Georgia Kriz – Stand Up!

Andrew Passarello – Grassroots

Justin Pen – Grassroots

Michael Rees – Heist

Christina White – Heist

Editors who WILL be writing your coverage are not associated with any campaign or campus faction. The following eds will be signing an affidavit to declare their neutrality:

Georgia Behrens

John Gooding

Lane Sainty

Astha Rajvanshi

(Have literally no idea what the elections are? Head to honisoit.com and check out recent news and our campus dictionary to brush up on your #hacklyf knowledge.)