The quick and the Grassroots
The beginning of the week saw some classic stupol drama. Electoral Officer Paulene Graham declined to accept the nominations of 17 Grassroots tickets for students hoping to become councillors on the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). The facts are disputed, with Grassroots alleging that they submitted their online forms fifteen minutes early and handed their physical forms to Graham as the clock struck 4:30. According to Graham, the forms were only given over after 4:30 and in any case, ought to have been placed on the SRC reception desk. Other tickets, including the Honi tickets, have supported Graham’s ruling on the basis that “rules is rules”, voter choice be damned.
For more gripping desk, clock, and form drama, see our full rundown in the news section.
Honi gets more political
HEAT and MINT, the two tickets running for the editorship of Honi this year, have both indicated that they will not require members to leave their political factions if elected.
Dominic McDonald, MINT’s campaign manager, told Honi, “Factionally aligned members of MINT will not be primarily responsible for Stupol related articles”. McDonald’s statement leaves open the possibility that factionally aligned MINT editors would have the chance to edit, or block, unfavourable articles about their own factions.
As noted last week, MINT members Iman Farrar, Michelle Picone and Alan Zheng are from NLS, SLS and Unity respectively. Patrick Hendy is aligned with the Liberal party.
HEAT manager Adam Torres told Honi that Lamya Rahman of NLS was the only HEAT candidate who formally belonged to a faction. Other HEAT members, including Janek Drevikovsky and Cameron Gooley, are former Labor faction members on campus.
In contrast to MINT, Torres said that HEAT’s Rahman would conflict off all SRC, SUPRA and USU news reporting, in addition to stories relating to Labor groups on campus. Rahman would remain able to write opinion or analysis pieces, but with a disclaimer about her allegiance. This is similar to the arrangement that SEX for Honi established with editor Georgia Kriz, who was also a member of NLS.
Defending his ticket’s unorthodox position, McDonald said, “because we have a ticket that is genuinely diverse, we will end up with thoroughly impartial coverage that can present a wide range of views, at times even challenging each other.”
In other words, McDonald seems to claim that MINT ticket members’ different ideologies will balance each other out over the course of their editing year. That might be true at a macro level, but given that most pieces are written by one or two editors at most, it is unclear how it would operate in practice.
Similarly, MINT’s ideological diversity does not span the whole political spectrum. Despite counting members aligned with several Labor factions and the Liberals, MINT does not have any editors who are associated with Grassroots.
For the record, Brendan Ma is being managed by Young Liberal members Tim Berney-Gibson, Madison Hemphill-Kingston, and USU Board Director Jacob Masina. The two came to USyd knowing each other through United Nations Youth Australia and co-operated closely in Masina’s Board race.
Imogen Grant is being managed by SRC co-General Secretary Daniel Ergas, Georgia Mantle and Liam Donohoe. It just wouldn’t be a Grassroots leadership team without at least one person called ‘Liam’ involved.
Isabella Pytka’s managers are Adam Boidin, Caitie McMenamin, Zac Gilles-Palmer and current SRC President Isabella Brook — the managers represent all of the three Labor factions backing her.
More Moaty McMoatface
Last week we hinted that a “moat” had at some point — a point that we cannot pin down to a specific time or date — sprung up around the appropriately castle-like Old Darlington School building, located on the Cadigal Green.
Our first guess was that the University of Sydney Symphony Orchestra students, who often practice in the building, finally got sick of warring nations attempting to charge their practice during their rendition of Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’.
But according to University management, the “moat” is in fact nothing more than a “bioretention basin used for irrigation” that was constructed in 2010. Sounds fake, but OK.
A scan of Google Earth supports the University’s story, however. Looking up close, it is evident that the infrastructure was already in place. The watery depths were the watery depths were covered with tall plants, which have since been removed, revealing the “moat” to passerbys.
The real joke, then, was the fact we sent an email to University management demanding that they explain the existence of a medieval warfare defence.