Wednesday last week marked International Women’s Day and on Saturday hundreds of women in Sydney marched in solidarity with women across the globe.
The 2014 Women’s Day March was actually the first SRC event I ever attended as a bright-eyed and bushy tailed first year. I remember being in awe of the sheer empowerment I felt from just being surrounded by women who were demanding that their voices be heard.
Each year on International Women’s Day I’m reminded of how I felt on that day in 2014. I’m reminded of how incredibly lucky and privileged I am to be in the position that I’m in, of all the strong women in my life and of all the women who have fought before me.
However each year I’m also reminded of just how far we have to go and how many women are still fighting to achieve equality. There are still women who face daily discrimination based on their skin colour, their sexual orientation and identity, their bodies and even the work they perform. At a local level we are facing constant cuts to women’s services and shelters, abortion is still illegal and many of us still get taxed for buying essential sanitary products.
This is why I’m so excited to see such a revived and energized women’s movement on this campus and all over the world. Its up to us carry on the work of the women before us – to never remain complacent, to support our sisters and not just our CIS-ters and to smash the patriarchy.
A small thing you can do right now to support women is visit noprofitfromrape.org and sign the petition to stop the privitisation of 1800RESPECT the national telephone and online counseling service for women, men and children experiencing domestic or sexual violence.
As always, if you have any questions, if you want to raise any important student issues with me, or if you just want to send me a cute picture of your dog (pls do) – don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at email@example.com and like our facebook page www.facebook.com/usydsrc to stay up to date !
General Secretaries’ Report
Isabella Pytka and Daniel Ergas
So, you didn’t take our advice from last week, and you’ve found yourselves here, reading this Week 2 edition of Honi, alone, sipping a macchiato and contemplating your Union Board campaign. (Let’s be honest about who reads this.)
Welcome to the first week of tutorials, all of which feature some sort of awkward introductory game. Therefore, we thought we would provide you with a fun fact about ourselves:
Dan: I am fake news.
Bella: An Almond Milk, Double Macchiato is my favourite coffee atm. (Yes i did make fun of myself a couple of paragraphs up.)
O-Week was a great success! We handed out all 1 000 bags to new and returning students. Each calico bag had our own Counter-Course/Orientation Handbook amalgam, a condom (thanks Hero Condoms!), tampons (thanks Moxie!), Cinema Vouchers (thanks Palace Cinemas!), an SRC calendar (thanks Mickie and Amanda!), SRC fliers (thanks Casework team!) and an Honi Soit (thanks Eds!) – and biggest thanks of all to the admin staff, who have printed more handouts, leaflets and posters than we ever thought possible.
We have personally received several texts about “that funny handbook” (see: back page of handbook), so we are hopefully radicalising many youths.
For all you interested Stupol hacks, we have been working with various ‘students’ (read: headkickers) on electoral reforms. This will obviously be part of a longer discussion, but we’re excited to hear your thoughts here.
Got a question? Shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear your ideas on how we can make our elections better.
Indigenous Officer’s Report
G’day to all the Indigenous mob here at the University of Sydney.
Myself, along with the Indigenous support staff and older students are so happy to welcome you! This year will see a shake up to the collective. A re-energised and re-vitalised collective focusing on community. In previous years, many students have been put off by the highly politicised nature of the collective. This has seen a decline in engagement, which I want to see change and I will be working with all Indigenous units across our campuses to ensure this happens.
This year has seen yet another group of bright and talented Indigenous first years come through the university’s successful Cadigal program. This program seeks to set up mob with all the skills to achieve their full potential – and with a drop out rate alarmingly higher than non-Indigenous students, this program is certainly to the betterment of our first years who may come from The Block in Redfern or a remote community in Western Australia.
Stay in tune and look out for e-mails from our ATSI Student Transition and Retention team about further information and about Koori Lunches coming up soon.
If you are Indigenous and haven’t had contact with our teams, and want to be apart of the collective – shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com
Student Housing Officer’s Report
It’s been a slow start to the year for the Student Housing department. We are working towards our 2017 goal of lobbying the university to introduce cheaper accommodation to students but it’s a complex issue, drenched in bureaucracy. Recent student housing news sees a slew of beds become available in Redfern with the Pemulwuy Project. This is a controversial decision that goes against the wishes of the indigenous community of Redfern who understood the project to focus on affordable housing for indigenous people. The Student Housing department stands in solidarity with them. It is also important to note that this newly proposed construction does nothing for students but saturate an already expensive market.