The formation of the Brotherhood, Recreation and Outreach Society (BroSoc) was today blocked by the University of Sydney Union (USU) Board.
The Board passed a supplementary motion, which will see Honourary Secretary Eve Radunz consult with the Clubs and Society (CNS) Office about the society’s future.
All Board Directors voted to delay the society’s registration, bar Kade Denton, who voted against the motion, and Tim Matthews and Robby Magyar, who had both left the meeting before the vote was taken.
Several directors spoke out against the society’s ratification, highlighting the dangers of BroSoc’s ostensibly narrow focus on traditional masculinity.
Queer Portfolio Holder Liam Carrigan said the society’s existence could cause “significant damage” to the queer community and called for the Board to consult with on campus Queer Collectives.
Wom*n’s Portfolio holder Kate Bullen concurred with Carrigan and said the society’s objectives were “clearly not about breaking down oppressive gender roles”.
Board Director Alisha Aitken-Radburn voted against the club’s formation, but suggested the society could be salvaged following consultation with its founders.
She slammed the BroSoc’s name as “insulting” and “inflammatory”, but said the society had “good underlying intentions”.
Board Director Kade Denton, the only director to explicitly support BroSoc’s formation, said the society should not be seen as a “men’s rights club”, but rather a “men’s shed program”.
“Students from rural and regional Australia just aren’t going to use traditional mental health services”, he said.
However, Denton conceded the society should change its name as well as some “problematic clauses in [its] constitution”.
Denton doesn’t believe BroSoc will prosper, even with additional consultation.
“There are a number of directors who believe that any group that serves to cater primarily to men inherently reinforces the patriarchy and oppresses queer people,” Denton told Honi.
“If we want to be a union that represents all members we need to be able to construct systems and structures that allow differing groups to exist side by side in the way we have multiple political groups exist on campus with each having equal levels of validity in their existence.”