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RepsElect 4 2019: Live!

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Honi Presents: RepsElect 4eva
Honi Soit February 6, 201911:29 pm

Censure motion in debate

Julia Kokic (Mod-Lib) speaks in defence of O’Farrell, arguing that more than one councilor is responsible for the SRC’s organisational dramas and the RepsElect saga.
Hartley Dhyon (Students First) speaks against the motion, citing that the calamity of RepsElect was attributable to the flooding in RepsElect 1 and not O’Farrell’s conduct in RepsElect 3.
Ella Finlay (Switchroots) speaks in favour of the censure motion, citing that O’Farrell’s conduct was deplorable and that the purpose of the motion was to specifically condemn O’Farrell and not address the responsibility of every person responsible for delays in the last three RepsElects.
The censure motion is ultimately carried with 14 votes compared to 7 votes against.
Honi Soit February 6, 201911:19 pm

RepsElect 4 over but the drama is never over


We’ve reached agenda item K24 (Report of the Returning Officer) which signifies the formal bookend to the RepsElect 4 and the RepsElect agenda in these proceedings.
As for general business, a procedural motion to accept the Report of the President and Executive en bloc passes.
James Ardouin (Colleges for SRC) moves a motion to censure Zac O’Farrell (Ban the SAlt/Soft Right) for attempting to blackmail the SRC as an organisation when he withheld his attendance at RepsElect 3. This is awkward because O’Farrell is in the room. He speaks to the motion, revealing that he was offered a DSP position in exchange for his attendance at RepsElect 3. O’Farrell lambasts hypocritical right-of-centre politicians.
The censure motion has no practical effect. It only serves to symbolically condemn O’Farrell if it passes.
Honi Soit February 6, 201911:13 pm

Election of two members of Standing Legal Committee


Four nominations received from John-Paul Baladi (Shake Up/Mod-Lib), Prudence Wilkins-Wheat (Switchroots), Amy Brooke Newland (Unity/Reboot) and Daniel Hu (Advance). Wilkins-Wheat and Baladi are duly elected.
Honi Soit February 6, 201911:08 pm

Election of two members of the Intercampus Committee

Four nominations received from John-Paul Baladi (Mod-Lib), Himath Siriniwasa (Grassroots), Ellie Stephenson (Grassroots) and Jingxian Wu.
Baladi and Stephenson are duly elected. Returning Officer Chau indicates that they are “tentatively elected” because of lingering questions over the application of affirmative action requirements in the SRC regulations pending interpretation from the Standing Legal Committee.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:56 pm
The night is not getting any younger

SAlt proxy Vinil Kumar has exited the room along with other members of SAlt from the observer gallery. As Kumar was a proxy of Lily Campbell (SAlt) in tonight’s proceedings, this will not affect quorum, which looks to remain on the knife’s edge of 17 councillors.
Unlike the previous three RepsElects, these proceedings have been comparably dulled with yelling matches occurring few and far between. The councilors gallery is more muted now as we near the end of the RepsElect agenda. It’s possible that after the RepsElect agenda, quorum will be pulled and the agenda for the general meeting which includes the Report of the Executive and President’s Report will be deferred to the next SRC meeting in March.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:47 pm

Election of six Directors of Student Publications (DSPs)


Seven brave nominees have put their hands up to weather early monday mornings in the Honi office to check yours truly for defamatory material before it goes to print every week.
The nominations include Jinwei Luan, Laura Glase, Jingrui Xu, Kelli Zhao (Switchroots), Jiaqi (Abbey) Shi (Advance), Kedar Maddali (Grassroots) and Brandon Hale (Unity). None of them speak to their nomination.
Maddali, Glase, Hale, Luan, Xu and Shi are all elected.
Previous DSPs have historically failed to show up on time, often neglecting their duties. Whether that’s down to an aversion of our company on Monday mornings or sheer laziness remains unclear.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:42 pm

Election of the Chairperson of the Standing Legal Committee

In uncharacteristically quiet nominations, only one, Xiaoman Zhu, is received for Chairperson of the Standing Legal Committee and they are duly elected.
Previous holders of this office have gone on to other positions on campus including current Secretary to Council Cameron Caccamo and 2019 Honi editor Liam Thorne.
The Chairperson is responsible for resolving and recommending interpretations of the SRC Constitution.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:34 pm

Election of two Student Housing Officers


Seamus Kirk (Shake Up) and Ziwei Lin alongside Irene Ma (Advance) and Yifeng Shen (Advance) are uncontested nominations and duly elected.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:31 pm

Election of two Residential College Officers


Nominations received from James Ardouin and Annabel de Mestre (Colleges for SRC), Hayley Zhang and Flora Zhao (Advance for SRC) and Eliza McKendry and Shangyue Mu.
Ardouin speaks to his nomination, mentioning that he deserves the position because he ran on a ticket aptly titled “Colleges for SRC.” He ends his speech with “up the colleges” to a tired and unresponsive audience.
Ardouin and de Mestre alongside Zhang and Zhao are elected.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:16 pm

Election of Refugee Rights Officers


Major uproar as Zac O’Farrell (Soft Right Liberal) speaks to his nomination for Refugee Rights Officer by crediting the role of the Liberal National Party in ending offshore detention. Shouts and insults from the observer gallery including “Liberal dog” and “refugee killer” cut off O’Farrell’s speaking time.
Only one of the preselected members of the Refugee Action Collective (RAC), Lili Schapiro, is elected, alongside Victor Li and Sulaiman Malik.
7 agenda items are now remaining.
Honi Soit February 6, 201910:09 pm

Tumbleweed blows past


Nominations open for Social Justice Officers. Nominations received from Siyeng He (Panda) and Olivia James-Mckeown alongside Joshua Noble (Unity) and Shikki Wang (Panda).
However, repeated calls for these nominations were left unanswered by the majority of the room. Vinil Kumar (SAlt) disputes that nominations were called at all. Returning Officer Chau tells Kumar that to re-do nominations would force them to break the regulations.
Those nominees are declared elected.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:58 pm

Election of two Interfaith Officers


Nominations received from several Mod-Libs, including Julia Kokic. Kokic speaks to the ‘importance of ideas on campus.’
Julia Kokic (Mod-Lib) and Keegan Mason alongside Angela Zhang (Advance) and Hongli Wang are declared elected.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:49 pm
Election of two Mature Age Students’ Officers

Vinil Kumar (SAlt) speaks to their nomination, citing involvement in the recent Stop Adani movement, Change the Rules and mobilisation against the Ramsay Centre.
Kumar and Hersha Kadkol (SAlt) jointly elected Mature Age Students’ Officers.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:47 pm

Election of two Disabilities and Carer’s Officers


Hayden Moon and Wilson Huang elected Disabilities and Carer’s Officers.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:46 pm

Election of Queer Officers


Peter Burrell-Sanders (Grassroots) and Steff Leinasars elected as Queer Officers. Both were preselected candidates of the Queer Action Collective (QuAC), representing the first instance in which collective autonomy was fully respected tonight.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:42 pm

The end of an era

For those following our live video on Facebook, we regret to inform you that technical difficulties have unfortunately affected our tripod and video stabilisation technology. Tune in to coverage on this live blog for the rest of this riveting night.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:36 pm
Quorum is back
Another quorum count finds that 17 councilors are in the room. By a knife’s edge, quorum is restored. We’re currently on agenda item K11 (election of Sexual Harassment Officers) and 13 agenda items still remain.
The following nominations are received for the position of Sexual Harassment Officers and all are elected. Hang Gao and Charlotte Plashik alongside Layla Mkh and Jazz Breen.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:31 pm

Late-night dinner break


Yours truly has been on a dinner break for the last twenty minutes. Yawns all around the room as food deliveries flow into the room.
Motion for a quorum count which finds that only 15 councilors are currently in the room. Acting President Dane Luo motions for an extension of the meeting by 30 minutes which is seconded. The motion passes.
All of tonight’s elected OBs hang in the balance if quorum is not restored. The report of the RO Karen Chau must be completed if tonight’s elections are valid.
Honi Soit February 6, 20199:04 pm

Election of Intercampus Officers


Manchen Wen (Panda) has been elected in addition to Shuhan Zhang (Panda) and Paul Touma.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:53 pm

Election of Global Solidarity Officers

Joint nominations are received from Ella Finlay and Swapnik Sanagavarapu (Grassroots), Ellie Wilson (Grassroots) and Swapnik Sanagavarapu, Vinil Kumar (SAlt), alongside Jaile Wang and Lingxi Li.
All speak to their nominations broadly in support of anti-colonial struggles globally; Sanagavarapu particularly points to the current goings-on in Venezuela.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:44 pm
Enviroment Officers elected

The preselected candidates, Saracoglu and Vaughn, alongside de Mestre and Joshi are jointly elected to the split position of Environment Officer. This amounts to a partial rolling of the collective.

Honi Soit February 6, 20198:41 pm

Election of Environment Offcicers

Nominations are received from Georgia de Mestre (Colleges for SRC) and Jayesh Joshi (Reboot), Jack Mansell (SAlt), and jointly from Alev Saracoglu and Shani Patel, alongside Alev Saracoglu and Alex Vaughn. Saracoglu and Vaughn are the preselected officers of the SRC’s Environment Collective.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:36 pm

Yin and Leung, and Lashany and Wu. are jointly elected

Honi Soit February 6, 20198:31 pm

Election of International Students’ Officers


Four sets of nominations are received between the following:
Jahanzaib Lashany and Yilan Wu
Janet Yin and Flora Zhao
Janet Yin and Ken Leung
Yihei Li and Hayley Zhang
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:23 pm

Indigenous Officers elected

The Indigenous Officers are elected, Thomas Harrington and Akala Newman. The nomination was a joint nomination, not two separate nominations, and so they will have to wait until next meeting to separate them.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:15 pm

Ethnocultural Officers elected

Junjie Shen, Dingsong Zheng, Ellie Wilson and Mahek Rawal are elected. Himath and Swapnik, the preselected candidates by the Autonomous Collective Against Racism, were therefore rolled.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:11 pm

Vote count for Ethnocultural Officers takes a while

“We need a scrutineer!” yells Secretary to Council Cameron Caccamo.
Honi Soit February 6, 20198:03 pm

Ethnocultural Officer nominees speak

Vinil Kumar (SAlt) speaks, saying, “I’ll use my 30 seconds of time to actually celebrate the victories for democracy and free speech that have actually taken place in the last 3 RepsElects”, such as forcing a speaking limit today.
Swapnik Sanagavarapu (Grassroots): “The state apparatus is all built on stolen Aboriginal land, on which sovereignty was never ceded. As a result of the continuation of this settler colonial project, this society and its institutions are deeply hostile to people of colour and their interests. We need a radical collective for all people who are oppressed by white supremacy. Viva Chavismo.”
The other nominees don’t give speeches.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:58 pm

New interpretation of affirmative action

Big discussion going on at the front of the room. There is a new interpretation of affirmative action this year: a joint position can be held by two men as long as the other joint position is held by two non-cis men.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:45 pm
Welfare Officers elected

Mingxiao Tu (Panda), Liam Thomas (Unity), Ellie Stephenson (Grassroots), Maddie Powell (SAlt) are elected.

Honi Soit February 6, 20197:40 pm

Election of Welfare Officer

Singular nomination from Holly Hayne (SAlt), who takes the opportunity to talk about how “fucked this whole situation is.” They emphasise that student unions are very important, saying that the fact that there is a 30 second speaking limit is “fucked” and an “attack on democracy and the speaking rights of every person in this room.” Holly is cut off by Cameron Caccamo before she can finish speaking.
Joint nomination from Ellie Stephenson and Maddy Powell. Ellie says we cannot “artificially separate student activism and student services.” She continues, “Students are underpaid, systemically discriminated against. No amount of superficial student services can eve be sufficient. We need an SRC which supports the rights and welfare of students in a radical way.”
Nominee Liam Thomas speaks, saying, “Personal experience using welfare services. They’re not up to scratch. I’d like to help fight for better services, thanks.”
There is another singular nomination from Amy Newland, who is absent.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:32 pm
Gabi Stricker-Phelps and Crystal Xu are elected Wom*n’s Officers

There are 4 abstentions, 13 votes for Jazz and Layla (Grassroots), and 16 for Crystal (Panda) and Gabi (Shake Up).

Crystal and Gabi are elected to cries of “shame.”
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:30 pm

Wom*n’s Officers to be elected

Before voting, speeches are made by the candidates.
Jazz and Layla: “Anyone who doesn’t vote for the preselected candidates are not feminists. They are terrible sexist human beings. I don’t care what you think you are standing for, you are not standing against violence and sexual assault. So fuck you. That’s all for today.”
Maddy Clarke: “It is so easy for the right to take away people’s free speech. Women get paid 18% less than men, rise of the far right, misogyny at the heart of their politics.”
Gabi and Crystal: The speech we just heard from Jazz and Layla is exactly what Crystal and I are trying to fight. We are for female representation and female empowerment.”
Gabi and Crystal’s speech is interrupted and devolves into an argument with Layla and Jazz. Jazz accuses them of taking money from the Wom*n’s Collective, as backpay from the summer would go to them.
“Have you ever been to a single meeting?” someone calls from the crowd.
“We’re all about building a strong wom*n’s cohort. If you are a woman at USyd, you are strong, we want to hear from you,” says Gabi.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:25 pm

Election of one ordinary member of the General Executive

Following Malavisi’s resignation, the council hears the nomination speech of Ella Finlay (Switch). Jiaqi Shi (Advance) has also nominated, but is absent.
Xiaoyu Jin (Panda) is elected as General Executive.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:17 pm

Mansell returns

Mansell has returned to the room but remains quiet.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:13 pm

Speaking time compromise

Niamh Callinan (Unity, General Secretary) proposes a 30 second speaking time. Jazz Breen, preselected Wom*n’s Officer, points out that for positions with four candidates, candidates will be allowed only seven seconds speaking time.
Speaking time is set at 30 seconds. Nick Forbutt (NLS) voted against the 30 second motion, as did Shake Up and Panda councillors.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:09 pm

Impasse

Jack Mansell (SAlt) continues his tirade against councillors with “shit-eating grins on their faces.” It appears that SAlt will not discontinue their occupation and disruption of the meeting until the majority bloc agrees to allow at least a nominal speaking time. Security moves in and Karen Chau threatens to have him removed unless he allows the meeting to proceed.

Honi Soit February 6, 20197:05 pm
Speaking time still at zero minutes
The motion does not carry with votes of 15 in favour and 17 against. The speaking time remains at zero minutes.
Karen Chau expresses concern that the meeting might go the way of RepsElect 2, when observer interruption prevented its continuation.
Breen puts forward a procedural to have a 59 second speaking time. Karen Chau questions the likely success of the procedural, but hopes to come down to a time that is agreeable to both sides.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:03 pm
A motion to amend the speaking time
Karen Chau threatens to remove the observers from the room. “I understand that in some ways what has happened politically is frustrating, but also if we don’t get these positions filled, we are risking the future of the SRC.”

Vinil Kumar moves a motion to change the speaking time to one minute.
This could devolve into an occupation similar to the one seen in RepsElect 2, which stalled the meeting entirely.
Honi Soit February 6, 20197:00 pm
Meeting interrupted by a rant from an observer

Jack Mansell (SAlt) stands up from the observers’ side of the room and calls the zero minute speaking time “pretty fucking disgraceful.” He says, “no one can put forward what they want to do as office bearers, why they’re running, what they’re doing. What are you here for? if you’re not willing to get up and defend the politics that you’re here for and the position you’re running for, then are you really here for us? This is essentially silencing the entire meeting, going back to an age when there was no democracy at all… voting for a zero minute speaking time, what does this say to the other students who think the SRC should be somewhat representative?”

“Students have the right to hear about what you want to do.”
Karen Chau attempts to move the meeting on. Jack continues to rant, to applause from the crowd.
Other observers join Jack’s rant.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:53 pm

Discussion on speaking times: zero minutes

Vinil Kumar (SAlt): “There have been concerning precedents in the SRC attacking free speech and democracy, and a recurring pattern of people trying to shut down councillors and people trying to speak. If people are standing for political positions, they should be able to say why they are standing for that position, and others should not be able to take that right away from other students.”
Jazzlyn Breen (Grassroots) echoes Kumar’s concerns, noting the fact that the SRC has been going in camera.
Breen moves a procedural motion to have one minute of speaking time. This motion does not carry with 15 votes.
A motion to have zero minutes of speaking time, moved by Acting President Dane Luo, carries with 18 votes.
Observers cry “shame.”
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:45 pm
Motion to accept the Electoral Officer’s report passes
The SRC executive passed an interpretation of s3(a) and s3(b) of the SRC constitution, which states that if the recommendation of the Returning Officer to increase councillors to 35 is not accepted, the number of councillors is to remain as is.
Karen Chau states that census data forecasts an increase in students, and that the constitutional requirement for proportional representation mandates an increase of councillors.
Chanum Torres (Mod-Lib) suggests that councillors need more time to consider the proposal.
Peter Burrell-Sanders (Grassroots) moves to accept the report in full, including all the recommendations, seconded by Jazzlyn Breen (Grassroots). 15 are in support, 14 are against, and there is 1 abstention. The motion passes.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:36 pm

Resignations

Former presidential candidate Adriana Malavisi (Reboot) resigns her position on Council to Amy Newland. Pulp Editor Madeline Ward (Grassroots) resigns her position on Council to Layla Mkh, one of the preselected candidates for Wom*n’s Officer. Former presidential candidate Lara Sonnenschein (Grassroots) resigns her position on council to Ellie Stephenson.
Malavisi also resigns her position on the General Executive.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:31 pm

Meeting opened

The meeting is opened at 6:29. Dane Luo is elected chair and Karen Chau is elected deputy chair.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:30 pm

Quorum count

A quorum count is called at 6:28 – 19 councillors are counted. We are quorate.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:22 pm

Awaiting quorum

It’s 6:22pm and we’re currently awaiting quorum.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:18 pm

Apologies received

Thirteen apologies have been received from the following factions:
SAlt: Lily Campbell
Panda: Wanlin Chu, Yiting Feng, Guipeng Jiao, Shangyue Mu, Manchen Wen
Switch: Shani Patel, Kelli Zhao
Grassroots: Himath Siriniwasa
Advance: Jiaqi Shi
Reboot: Adriana Malavisi, Amy Newland
Shake Up: Josie Jakovac
In addition, President Jacky He is also absent. Vice President Dane Luo, who was recently awarded a stipend for taking on the work of under-performing colleagues, is Acting President in his place.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:06 pm

Back room dealings?

Crystal Xu (Panda), candidate for Wom*n’s Officer, enters the theatre via a back entrance, avoiding security arrangements at the front door. She rushed to Secretary to Council Cameron Caccamo to sign in by another Panda councillor. Acting President Dane Luo closes the door.
Honi Soit February 6, 20196:04 pm

We’re here

Honi is here in Wallace Theatre covering the fourth attempt at what was meant to be RepsElect 2018. Join us here on the live blog and on Twitter @honi_soit for updates throughout the night.
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