Students Representative Council, University of Sydney

USU Board Candidates 2019: Ruolin (Irene) Ma

Honi's profile and full interview with 2019 USU Board Candidate Ruolin (Irene) Ma

IRENE MA WP FINAL

Independent

Economics III

“Rollin’ with Ruolin”.

Quiz Score: 38%

Interviewed by Joseph Verity and Alan Zheng.


Candidate Profile:  
Irene Ma is keen to evade questions pertaining to her political outlook and philosophy, budging not even when Honi asks her of her views on tax, or the free market. She is running as an independent, claiming she refused to run with the backing of Advance. She self-brands as “politically neutral”.

Lamentably for Ma, many of her political positions shine through in offhand comments she makes haphazardly. She says that she supports the USU being in favour of same-sex marriage, that she would vote in favour of policies affecting minorities such as international students, that she admires Tom Raue’s actions in leaking documents pertaining to police and University collaboration, and that she is hesitant to collaborate with the University if elected. All these tidbits paint a picture of a rather left-leaning candidate.

Not much of this is reflected in Ma’s policies, which mostly remain, true to her word, decidedly apolitical – apart from lobbying for international student concession cards, and promoting more affordable food on campus. Other policies amount to services that already exist in some form or another, perhaps with the exception of an intra-campus bus on the Camperdown/Darlington campus.

In terms of experience, Ma’s is sparse. She is unhappy with the new C&S funding model, but does not know how she will improve it. When this was put to her, she claimed her study of BUSS1030: Accounting, Business and Society, alongside her role as the SRC’s Student Housing Officer would assist. Perhaps it is worthwhile to note that the Student Housing Office of the SRC has been mostly inactive this year.

That Ma has a limited range of policies and working knowledge of the USU suggests that she would be better served publicly adopting her political positions, and shaping her campaign around them.