Deep Tea Diving: Week 10, Semester 2

It's hot in the kitchen

Artwork by Jess Zlotnick Artwork by Jess Zlotnick

WoCo Autonomy

Panda and the Libs are woke, haven’t you heard? Clearly they want to prove their woke credentials, and they’ll take all the activist SRC office bearer roles to do it. Even if that means seizing the Wom*n’s Officer role in violation of Wom*n’s Collective autonomy. ‘Cos that is woke.

That’s right: this is the latest out of Lib/Panda land. As we’ve reported, the Libs, who contested this year’s SRC elections as Shake Up, are set to form a coalition with Panda ahead of Repselect. Together, Panda and the Libs will control a majority of councillors, meaning they may be able to elect candidates of their choice to important (often paid) positions.

Some of these positions are considered ‘autonomous’; these tend to be office bearers associated with a particular collective, like Queer Collective or the Autonomous Collective Against Racism. By tradition, the collectives preselect a nominee for the office bearer role they are associated with, and then propose that nominee to the full council at Repselect; Repselect historically has respected the collective’s autonomy and chosen the pre-selected candidate. There have, however, been notable exceptions: in 2015, SLS’s Michelle Picone was elected environmental officer, breaching the autonomy of the Enviro Collective.

This year, word is Libs/Panda will be nominating candidates of their own choice for Wom*n’s Officer—candidates who haven’t been preselected by WoCo. The names on everyone’s lips are Gabi Stricker-Phelps (an independent who ran with Shake Up) and Crystal (Zhifan) Xu (who ran with Panda). Neither of the pair is part of WoCo, and the collective is said to be mightily enraged with the attempts to violate its autonomy (see page 2).

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The USU held its annual Glitter Gala last Friday, giving hacks, student journalists and USU staff an opportunity to glam up and rub shoulders, all while celebrating the queer community on campus. But it seems Board directors Jacob Masina and Lachlan Finch were left out in the cold by whoever organised the seating arrangements. While all the other Board directors were seated on the same table, the two Mod Libs were allocated spots at the other end of the hall. Clearly, this was meant to be noticed: whoever did the allocation opted to seat Masina and Finch together with the Honi editors in attendance. One such editor, Liam Donohoe, a member of Grassroots, upped sticks without touching his starter, spending the night at another table.

But Lachlan Finch’s dinner plans don’t always go this poorly. A few days after the SRC election, he and Unity’s Connor Wherrett were invited to a Panda dinner celebrating the group’s election victory. So where do you go if you’re planning a dinner excursion for you and 37 of your friends? It seems like Panda had a craving for Korean BBQ, opting for Seoul Ria restaurant near World Square. At the last council meeting, we invited president-elect and Panda member Jacky He to turn this section into a restaurant review for Seoul Ria. To no avail. Maybe SPICE will have more luck getting He to write a weekly food column.