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Joshua Preece named as interim Postgrad Senate Fellow

Andrew Bell reports

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Joshua Preece has been named as the successful candidate to fill a casual vacancy for the postgraduate fellow of the University of Sydney Senate. He beat out eight other candidates for the position.

The Senate is the peak governing body of the University. Preece will vote alongside the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor on the governance of the University at the highest level.

This has been announced a full two months after the creation of the vacancy, when previous postgraduate fellow, Simon Hill, graduated and became ineligible to hold the position.

Preece’s tenure will be extremely brief – a little under three months. There are only two full meetings scheduled for that time period. One is a reserve meeting, and may not need to go ahead (as was the case in 2015).

Preece is affiliated with Student Unity, the right wing faction of the Labor Party.

“I’ve been a member of Unity for 4 or 5 years and am proud to call myself a progressive. However, I believe that roles like this one require a dedication to cross-factional politics and representing a wide swathe of interests. I hope that over the past few years I have proven myself to be someone who puts student outcomes over factional tribalism,” he told Honi.

“I’m very much looking forward to continuing to vigorously advocate for the interests of postgrads, as I have over the past year as the Treasurer of SUPRA.”

He indicated that he would focus on clarification of the state of play for the Sydney College of the Arts: “My first priority as Postgraduate Fellow of the Senate will be to get across the detail of the SCA merger proposal which I know is of deep concern to many postgrads.”

Since the vacancy arose so late in Hill’s two year term, Preece was chosen by the Senate rather than through a by-election.

“Representatives draw their legitimacy from the people they serve, and I know some postgrads may be disappointed that they didn’t get a chance to cast a ballot for the casual vacancy,” Preece said.

Elections for new undergraduate and postgraduate fellows will be held next semester for the following two-year cycle.

Illustration: Max Hall