Economics/Advanced Studies II
Quiz Score: 66%
Interviewed by Joseph Verity and Alan Zheng.
Ellie Stephenson, like many a Grassroots-adjacent candidate before her, is running a left-wing campaign targeted towards the little guy on campus. Her policy platform is accessibility-focused, including the subsidising of C&S events, and RSA, First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, and Sexual Assault response training. A self-proclaimed unionist, Stephenson is also spotlighting staff concerns, advocating for pay ratios and encouraging the USU to support staff strikes. This is poignant in an election where the majority of other candidates’ policies are mostly student-centric.
Stephenson told Honi that her status as a student who is not from Sydney who went to public school renders her unique. Though low-SES students are undoubtedly a minority at this University, there is little in these descriptors that distinguish her from, for example, an international student candidate who went to a public school.
Her platform does, along this vein, involve specific policies which address more niche international student issues, such as the further integration of the Mandarin Debating Society into the USU Debates program. Stephenson’s involvement in student organisations spans both the USU and SRC; she is engaged heavily with the USU Debating Society and and is a current SRC Welfare Officer.
Though she lacks heavy involvement with the USU, her quiz score is commendable at 66 per cent, particularly in comparison to other candidates with similar levels of contact with USU mechanisms. Despite her level of experience within the USU, she remains a knowledgeable, and passionate candidate who is acutely aware of the woes of financially disadvantaged students.