Do you have an amount of experience in the USU that is by no means expansive, but can make you sound like you know what you’re doing? Do you do a degree that doesn’t require you to actually attend class? Do you have hundreds of dollars to buy materials and sustain yourself as you work a lot less or not at all? Do you have dozens of expedient friends who will give up hours of their time to help you for no material reward? Are you willing to endlessly compromise and back-stab to get what you want?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then congratulations you rich, factional sociopath, you can run for Board.
You too can (under the instruction of apolitical Methuselah) hash together a shopping list of policy ideas, campaign from 8-5 for a fortnight and leverage all of your m8s from Arts Camp or your preferred sect of the Young Fuck Club to become the heir apparent to, or crucial vote for, an imminent Board executive.
If you make it, for two years you will be paid to share the company of ten other similar-tier sociopaths, some of whom you will have shouted at and fought with on the campaign trail yourself. Most of them will be in different political factions, so they’ll stick in little groups and plot to screw you over at some stage in the future. Unless, of course, you’re all together at a USU party, in which case you get a group Instagram shot (#USU #BoardDirectors) then dance on the stage, behind the barricade, in front of everyone, just to show how normal a student you really are.
If you’re really lucky, your first experience on Board will be a heated Executive election where the “best candidate” is the one that can get their faction to offer a great deal for the upcoming SRC elections. This is because, despite the insistent arm’s length at which the organisations keep one another, the USU and SRC both (notionally) represent students and of course they overlap. This definitely won’t affect how everyone works together from thereon.
We mustn’t ignore the benefits, though. You get a meal card to shout your friends/successor $11 of free food every day while you live off meagre pay. You get free tickets to revues which you will definitely not turn up drunk for. (If you show up at all). You get a line on your CV and a preselection in twenty years. I hear there are some travel perks, too.
If you really want to run for Board, run because you don’t want to see your Union reduced to a toxic culture of factionalism, abuse of privilege, and divisive behaviour —because that’s hardly better than the 13 Senate-appointed Directors we’ll have in ten years anyway. So warped and mangled is the process that even the pure of heart who hope to change the system from within will surely be chewed up, spat out and registering for Arts Camp 2016 to sure up their bid for the presidency next year.