Quiz Score: 53%
Interviewed by Carrie Wen and Alan Zheng
Benny Shen comes across as earnest, and open to making mistakes. Involved with Advance in the past, he was asked to run for Board by their former SRC Director Decheng Sun (Advance) for the USU Presidency. He is nonetheless running as an independent, with a view of supporting whatever he deems “sensible.” His policies lack an explicit ideological grounding beyond the notion of helping students — he is enthused by the provision of “free stuff”, for example — and most policies are not entirely developed.
Shen nevertheless adopts a gung-ho approach. He ardently cites a specific concern for the lack of transparency on the board, and laments that there is no existing forum to consult with the board despite the existence of question time, which is open to students at monthly board meetings.
The specificity of some of his policies in other areas appears extreme, but the vast amount of students affected by things such as an exorbitant minimum charge on Alipay payments, or the lack of Access at SCA food outlets mitigates this view. These particular policies align with Shen’s vision of the USU as being service-centric, but their feasibility remains up in the air — it’s unlikely that the USU has any jurisdiction over the mechanisms of Alipay, for example.
Other policies such as the development of a ‘Humans of USyd’ page are futile, and demonstrate a lack of engagement with the USU: its media outlet Pulp already publish something akin to Shen’s idea. Though scattered, some of Shen’s policies fill the potholes otherwise overlooked by other candidates. With a score of 53 per cent on the quiz, one could christen him a somewhat promising candidate.