The Honi Race: Profiling Fit for Honi

Fit will be undertaking a campaign with some critical gaps in Honi understanding

Fit candidates, 10 of them in activewear

Editors Pranay Jha and Liam Thorne are not involved in the 2019 coverage of the Honi Soit, NUS and SRC elections.

Quiz Score 79%

Diversity isn’t an explicit selling point for Fit, unlike Cream, but they’re nonetheless the first ticket to discard a 50/50 gender ratio in recent years. Fit are running on a hot pink colour, and their muscular logo bears quite a striking resemblance to past tickets over yonder at UTS – anyone remember that ill-fated albeit visually striking Flex for Vertigo bicep from 2016?

All members of the ticket have written for Honi.  Some members of Fit have familiarity not only with the paper, but with the SRC – with Nina Dillon-Britton, Lara Sonnenschein and Madeline Ward having had paid-office bearer roles in past years. This institutional proximity to University-related bodies has likely led to a focus on investigative journalism on Fit’s policy platform, such as the implementation of a specific investigative reporting group, alongside every establishment ticket’s war-cry of holding “student politicians and University management to account.” Like Cream, Fit are intent on keeping the multilingual section in the paper.

We couldn’t tell you why, but the revival of comedy is also on the Fit bucket list, and they have taken to the age-old method of sourcing a specific SUDS-adjacent comedy editor in the form of Matthew Forbes. They’re also interested in hosting “more live events” – whatever those are, given Honi’s natural budget constraint. One of Fit’s more redundant policies is no doubt the plan for a weekly delivery service for USyd alumni which would see copies of Honi posted to jaded ex-hacks for a small fee. This would be fine, if it weren’t for the fact that this week’s edition of Honi would probably be placed online well before last week’s Honi arrives in your mailbox.

Most of Fit’s policy agenda tread a safe, establishment-oriented line, recycling ideas that are consistently pushed every year on year. Small steps like a “better advertised anonymous tip line” are listed without any clarity on how or in what form. Fit also promise to translate Honi’s biggest news stories into Mandarin, which already happens more than regularly on this year’s new Honi WeChat.

Therein lies Fit’s weakness: Most of their policies revolve around enhancing the paper in its current form, with some tweaks here and there. Rehashing old policies misunderstands the structural barriers which impede some of those ideas.

Fit have evidently outperformed their opponents in the quiz with a score of 79 per cent. They were readily able to answer some of the more complex questions of the quiz, such as the number of board directors on the SUSF company board as of 2019. They managed to name five other student publications of different universities, many of which harbour existing personal relationships with Honi in terms of syndicating content and cross-campus coverage. They showed familiarity with the internal processes of Honi, correctly identifying regular sections, and where liability is found in the case of defamation.

However, and perhaps concerningly, they faltered on more simple points of knowledge, which are arguably essential for prospective editors to have. Fit could neither name the current president of the National Union of Students (NUS), nor their faction. Lamentably, NatCon, the annual conference of the NUS involving student delegates from all over the country, is the first large event covered by new Honi editors.

Beyond this, Fit were also unable to correctly name the current CEO of the USU, the size of the SRC President’s stipend, and the year in which Vice Chancellor Michael Spence’s term ends.

Fit have the requisite writing and editing experience to edit Honi, alongside a feasible policy platform, even if it is a little bit superfluous here and there. Their result in the quiz is commendable, but it nevertheless demonstrates some deficiencies of knowledge.

View the questions from this year’s quizzes here.

Honi is hosting the annual Honi Debate on Monday 16 September from 1pm at Hermanns.

Send Cream and Fit a question here.

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