With University of Sydney Union (USU) Board elections coming up in May — wow! So soon! — potential candidates are already signalling their intention to run, presumably so they can start assembling armies of campaigners. We hear the main prerequisite is having an abundance of neutral-coloured pants to match any potential campaign shirt colour.
Here, presented from confirmed to rumoured are the people who may or may not be running — we wonder how many societies they signed up to last week.
Kerrod Gream (a former candidate himself) of the moderate Liberals confirmed his faction would be running Sydney Arts Students Society President Jacob Masina, which is interesting given Masina told Honi he’d be running as an independent. Masina hasn’t chosen a colour yet, but told us “white and black printed always looks good” — somewhat like Ignite, the mod Libs’ SRC campaign perhaps?
Next up is debating personality Liliana Tai, who said, “Yeah, I think I will [run]” when asked by Honi. Tai did not confirm whether she would be running with the backing of a faction or a current board member, but it seems likely she would run as an independent, drawing support from social circles and societies such as debating — much the same base that current board director Grace Franki and USU President Michael Rees boasted of during their respective campaigns. Seems like debating will make it through another year without a substantial budget cut.
No one else is confirmed as yet, though we’ve heard rumours that Claudia Gulbransen-Diaz has been preselected as Unity’s candidate. USyd Unity convenor Adam Boidin told Honi he is “currently in the process of consulting with the caucus to determine who the most deserving candidate for Union Board is,” and that the faction will make a decision in the coming weeks.
USyd National Labor Students (NLS) convenor Adam Torres was also unable to tell Honi anything about his faction’s preselection process, but suggested that he may be interested in running. Torres remarked that “elections are very tolling so I’ve got to consider whether I’m prepared to deal with that”—Torres is certainly aware of the stress of elections: he managed Sin for Honi last year.
General Secretary Bella Pytka confirmed her faction, Sydney Labor Students (SLS), will be running a candidate, but could not tell Honi anything else about their preselection process. However, sources have told Honi that rumoured candidate and founding member of last year’s TIME for Honi ticket John-Patrick Asimakis won’t be running.
Similarly, Honi can confirm that rumoured Grassroots candidate and 2017 OWeek co-Director Natalie Buckett won’t be running; “the rumours really were just rumours”, she said. The collective is currently running its preselection process so they have “nothing concrete to comment as yet”.
The University Senate (its ultimate governing body) has found time to name the Sydney University Boat Club’s new boat shed, which opened on February 16. The Thyne-Reid Boatshed seems to be named for the Thyne Reid Foundation, established by 20th century industrialist Andrew Thyne Reid. As well as being a philanthropist, Thyne Reid was a founder of James Hardie, best known for manufacturing asbestos and doing far too little to help those who contracted mesothelioma after coming into contact with its products. Leadership for good, USyd, leadership for good.