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Births, Deaths & Marriages – Week 1, Semester 2

There is just too much of everything.

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NERDS WHO WANT TO BE US

Who is going to be editing your paper next year? Debaters. They’re everywhere, they’re mobilising and they haven’t had the common sense to figure out that splitting the debating vote across three tickets is probably as dumb as asking a Point of Information to your own opening.

Anyways. Here’s how the Honi Soit race developed over the mid-year break.

Honi reporters Siobhan Ryan, Michael Sun and Justine Landis-Handley are still putting together a team to contest the editorship. Since last report, Alex Tighe has left the ticket, however the team has secured three more names: former Australs debating champion and SULS Vice-President Evie Woodforde, Honi reporter and additional debater Nick Bonyhady, and Honi reporter and misc. revue personality Aidan Molins.

From what Honi has heard, the ticket’s approach to gathering members appears to have lacked focus. Rumour has it a relatively well-known revue personality turned the ticket down after suggesting they would be better off with a student journalist not just a person with an entire revue cast to bring to the polling booth. In a move possibly indicating a rupture in time and space, the ticket also asked a member of the Beat for Honi ticket of 2012. They declined.

SRC Wom*n’s Officer Anna Hush is no longer running, but the ticket she had a hand in the formation of is still live and appears to be growing quickly. The group so far includes Honi reporter and USyd Update presenter Eden Faithfull, recently returned Bernie Sanders staffer and former SRC co-vice-president Daniel Ergas, Honi reporter and Queer Revue director Will Edwards, Honi reporters and misc. debating personalities Kevin Lee and Nina Dillon Britton, and Honi reporter and incoming Pulp editor Swetha Das. Outgoing Pulp editor Aparna Balakumar is also on the ticket, however, the reason she is ceding control of the USU’s online publication is because she is on exchange in the US this semester, meaning she will be unable to campaign. With one member out of action in September, expect this team to run with 11 eds.

The ticket appears to be quite advanced in their political prep. They named Pulp contributor Noah Vaz and ACAR officer and member of NLS Adam Ursino as their managers. They self-describe as “a ticket of activists” and say they hope to be supported by left-wing factions, although their claim that their entire ticket are activists is a little dubious. That said, one member did spend a good chunk of last semester campaigning for a political party which supports holding refugee children in offshore detention, and another has written some great content for known activist newspaper, the Australian Women’s Weekly.

We believe Honi reporters and St Paul’s College residents John Patrick Asimakis and Josh Koby Wooller still intend to run for election, however Asimakis, who is – fitting with the theme – a debater, declined to comment. This is a shame, because the rumours around this ticket are easily the most interesting: apparently the group has “two factions” on side (we heard Unity and the Libs, but our sources in both seem to not know anything about it) and their ticket members are far more diverse than the “college ticket” we originally wrote them off as. We have found no evidence for either.

NERDS WHO WANT TO DSP US

The precious time between student elections feels shorter and shorter as the 2016 Students’ Representative Council election approaches. September will likely see a presidential race featuring three politically distinct candidates.

SRC co-General Secretary, Indigenous Officer and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Representative Georgia Mantle will be representing Grassroots, offering a wealth of SRC experience. SRC

Education Officer Liam Carrigan said Grassroots had “met with all left wing groups on campus in the interests of finding common ground and exploring the potential of working together in the election”. However, they are yet to make any official deals.

Honi can also confirm that current Sydney Arts Students Society (SASS) President Ed McCann will be running as an independent. McCann denied affiliation with the moderate Liberals on campus, though noted that “if factions or parties of any kind want to lend support then I’m sure my team would be thankful for the help”.

Finally, National Labor Students (NLS) and Unity are rumoured to be running a joint Labor candidate. At this point, NLS member and SRC co-Welfare officer Isabella Brooks looks to be the most likely, however would only confirm that she was “considering the position” as it is one that “NLS values highly for student representation”.

It is currently unclear which candidate other factions, most notably the Socialist Alternative and Sydney Labor Students, will choose to support.

NON-POKEMON RELATED LAW SCHOOL SHOWDOWN

Contested elections for the Sydney University Law Society (SULS) are hard to come by – the last one was in 2013. But 2016 is shaping up to deliver a contest for one of the largest societies on campus.

First up is a ticket headed by President-hopeful and current SULS Social Director Rohan Barmanray. He is joined by mooter* Tiffany Wu (in the Careers Vice-President portfolio), Law Revue aficionado Sally Kirk (on the ticket as Social Justice Vice-President) and fellow Social Director Liz Sheahan (going for Education Vice-President).

Wu confirmed the existence of the ticket to Honi, but said “obviously nominations have not yet occurred and we’re still just keen and talking”. The formal call for nominations is usually in September.

Second is a ticket headed by current SULS Publications Director and Law Revue Assistant Director Kieran Hoyle**. He is joined by fellow Assistant Director Liz Jones, Competitions Director Maxine Malaney and Wom*n’s collective member Margery Ai, with “a group of other students from all over the law school” according to Hoyle.

The core of each ticket seems to be mostly formed, but it will likely be a while until each sixteen-person ticket is complete.

Since the only eligible voters are those in the law faculty, the proportion of total voters who personally know (or know of) the candidates is extremely high. This means that the proportionate pool of swing or uninformed voters is generally much smaller than in USU or SRC elections.

It’s unclear which ticket has the favour of the Law Revue “establishment” – both tickets seem to have a healthy dose of current SULS executive members and Law Revue members.

Further, as was the case last year, competing tickets usually negotiate until one ticket agrees to drop out. This frequently involves one or more of their members jumping ship. Whether that is on the table this year remains to be seen.

PICASSNO

Recently, Honi became aware of a Picasso painting that was hanging outside the office of Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence. Shocked, we did a bit of digging. As it turns out, the painting is a fake.

The original was a 1935 portrait of Picasso’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, called ‘Jeune fille endormie’. It was donated anonymously to the University so that it could be sold to raise money for scientific research. It ended up going for $20.6 million at auction. And so it seems that art is a friend of the University, even if the University isn’t a friend to the arts.

* A “moot” is a competitive simulated court case. It’s highly recommended for thrill seekers.

** Kieran and Honi editor Natalie Buckett (or “Nat” as she is allegedly known) are currently dating. Nat wasn’t involved in writing or editing this section of Births, Deaths & Marriages.


The print version of this story misidentified Noah Vaz as a Young Lib. Vaz has never campaigned for a Liberal candidate at a local, state or federal level, and we apologise for this error.