It’s election season which means one day = one month’s worth of hack drama. We were going to leave you waiting until Tuesday afternoon for the print edition to hit the stands but the chance Cameron Caccamo’s SURG blog would beat us to delivering the goss was a risk we were not willing to take.
FREE TO BE A BIGOT
Screenshots leaked to Honi Soit indicate evidence of sexism, racism, ableism and stacking within the University of Sydney Libertarian Society. The images show Ignite for NUS Candidate and club former President Kerrod Gream calling another member of the club “retarded”, and saying “I am the autist king”. Other screenshots provided show the use of racial slurs like “gook” and sexist comments by various club members.
When questioned by Honi, Gream sidestepped the expected “free speech” response, instead saying, “many of the members of the executive are diagnosed on the autism spectrum and use it as a way to cope with their condition”. “While this may seem odd to outsiders (ed’s note: it does) it’s just one of the ways of dealing with the situation, and I find it concerning that someone would try and use that against us, and would consider it an attack on people struggling with their own disability.”
The screenshots also revealed members asking students for their access card numbers in an attempt to stack elections. When asked by another club member how to obtain access numbers, Gream suggested they imply it was to gain funding for other clubs and societies. Gream told Honi that he was unaware of any stacking taking place.
PREFERENCES DEALS & RESIGNATIONS
All (stupol) hell broke loose last Friday when WET and TIME were seen absent from their stalls. Soon enough, SRC Ed Officer, Liam Carrigan was spreading the scoop of the day: the two tickets were negotiating a preference deal. The passerby might be thinking, but surely it’s normal to negotiate with all opponents to secure the best deal? Oh, how wrong you are.
Despite factions frequently dealing left, right and centre in a matter of two election cycles, there’s a rule: if your opponent is more politically expedient than you, you get the moral high ground!
So, to catch up, there are three tickets contesting the editorship of Honi. SIN are running as an “activist” ticket (whatever that means), WET are pitching themselves as a broad appeal, “I’ll probably end up working at Junkee” kind of group, while TIME are just in it for the mainstream (college kids and libs).
WET have gone for political expediency and are negotiating with TIME and SIN but assure us they “haven’t reached concrete agreements with either group”. Friday’s rumoured deal was second preferences for WET on TIME’s how-to-votes in exchange for WET choosing not to preference anyone.
Whether or not WET will eventually sign is unknown, but their decision to consider a deal has had quite the fall out. Several ~campus identities~ have resigned from their support crew, including a current Honi editor Tom Joyner and one of their campaign managers, USU Board Director Courtney Thompson.
Thompson resigned on Friday. “It was completely non-dramatic, I had been very clear about my unease at the possibility of working with TIME (and Stand Up)… when I heard that a deal was being seriously considered, I felt it only natural for me to resign as manager,” she said. WET assures us “the split was totally amicable” and Thompson confirmed “there’s certainly no bad blood”.
Ever the self-appointed moral centre of the SRC race, Grassroots found themselves in a bind as ‘members’ Siobhan Ryan and Michael Sun of WET are now dealing with the dynamic duo for any GPS graduate: the colleges (TIME) and the Liberals (by virtue of Stand Up’s deal with Ignite).
Ostensibly a non-hierarchical organisation, Grassroots has long been a case study for the tyranny of structurelessness.
Sources say influential figures in the faction instigated the break-up on September 11. “After learning of the deal and it’s associations with the Liberals, Michael and Siobhan were asked to leave Grassroots, which they peacefully agreed to,” Grassroots said in a collective statement. It sounds like it was a bit of a, “it’s not me, it’s you and your moral impurity” situation.
SIN’s not feeling as forgiving. They have also been approached by TIME: on August 24 and again on September 11. They ignored the request to negotiate “on principle” as it “stands in such contrast to our ideals for Honi Soit”. According to SIN, WET agreed “in-principle to a preference swap” with them on August 24. SIN says they will be preferencing WET, with or without a deal.
The TIME-WET deal will see TIME elected if WET comes in third and enough of the undirected preferences flow to TIME to put the colleges over 50 per cent.
Despite the existence of regulations prohibiting official deals, Honi tickets have been known to make informal support deals with SRC campaigns. It appears WET and SIN are negotiating with both POWER and Stand Up. “We haven’t reached any sort of agreement with either of them,” WET said. “We have not signed any preference deals at this point. We do not intend to have any exclusive deals with any SRC tickets,” SIN said.
Oh, and TIME refused to comment on anything. As is custom.
STOOD UP ON SNAPCHAT
Campus hacks were abuzz with (read: Cameron Caccamo sent one tweet about) the news that Unity/NLS alliance Stand Up had managed to secure a Snapchat geofilter as part of their campaign. This would be a particularly juicy piece of information, as brand geofilters certainly fall outside of the electoral spending cap.
Alas, it appears that – much like a petting zoo appearing on campus during Zoo for Honi’s 2011 run, or the bizarre Ben & Jerry’s PR delivery which may have helped secure current Honi eds SCOOP their 2015 victory – the filter is nothing but a fortunate coincidence. As Unity’s Dylan Williams told Honi, Stand Up had “absolutely no involvement” in the creation of the filter, which appears to belong to international cancer charity, Stand Up for Cancer.
CAMPAI(G)NING IS SOLE DESTROYING
POWER presidential candidate Georgia Mantle is sporting a dashing moon boot this week. Mantle told Honi she’s damaged her Achilles tendon, but said, “I won’t let that stop me from getting out there and talking to students.”
While undeniably committed, this move is potentially ill-advised – Honi’s qualified physiotherapist Alexandros Tsathas said of the injury, “There’s no magic cure – relative rest, and a graded return to activity, with some eccentric loading exercises thrown in for good measure is the best approach. Georgia’s stoicism is admirable, but she needs to consider that if she doesn’t ease up, she risks exacerbating her injury, or it becoming chronic.” POWER supporters are no doubt hoping this won’t be their campaign’s (literal) Achilles heel.
In the interest of journalistic balance, we feel compelled to inform our readership that Stand Up presidential candidate Isabella Brook appears to have two functioning feet. More on this story as it develops.
2016 is THE year for male comedians who infantilise their identity. But don’t take our word for it, if you want to see a university comedy show at the Sydney Fringe Festival search for the word “boy” on the Fringe Comedy website.
You could check out the three shows by USyd comedy collective Baby Boy Bolognaise. Or see past Honi editors in either Boymachine by Patrick Morrow or Just a Small Town Boy by Jack Gow. The Pool Boys and Garden St Boys have shows on too. Then there is Moonboy presents: Musical of Thrones.
You can even see the “good boy” comedian himself, Aaron Chen. “Boy”: the new fabric softener of masculinity in the comedy community.
LABOR-LIBERAL ALLIANCE DODGES A BULLET
Avid readers will know that Isabella Brook (National Labor Students) and Ed McCann (Liberal) have joined forces this SRC election. Isabella is going for president, and nominated Ed as her Vice-President pick (a position that will actually be chosen by elected candidates post-election). There is a remarkable amount of transparency in the deal, as the two stand together in the most awkward election cover photo that this reporter has seen (see: Ignite for SRC to make your own mind up).
The Liberal Club intended to host the CEO of NSW Mining, Stephen Galilee. Galilee is a textbook pro-fossil fuel advocate, and therefore – you would think – champions a cause Isabella and Ed disagree on.
The Liberal Club tends to keep these invitations under wraps, but someone leaked it to the campus activists. They were gearing up for a gatecrashing (and political scandal), only to realise at the last moment Galilee had been quietly subbed out for some generic MP. C’est la vie.
All campaign coverage in this BDM was written by Sam Langford, Subeta Vimalarajah and Mary Ward. They have signed a declaration of neutrality and are not associated with any campaigns or campus factions.