SRC Elections: Lay of the Land

Two Honi editors with no background whatsoever in student politics here to give you the lay of the land on the upcoming students elections because we, like you, frankly don’t give much of a shit.

There are a total of 68 tickets this year. Switchroots account for almost half with  27 tickets. Unity (Unite) and NLS (Pump) have put forward four tickets each, while campus Liberals have formed 10 different tickets (TIME), which appear to be mere re-namings from last year’s BOOST campaign. International student representation remains strong with Penta (previously Panda) and Phoenix accounting for seven tickets. Who is Phoenix? We have no clue, except that it was founded by our esteemed colleague and multilingual editor at Honi, Lei Yao. Last year’s council saw the seats dominated by Switchroots, Boost and Panda. With a similar proportion of representation in this year’s nominations, we expect little to change this year.

Though most tickets submitted policy statements, one seemingly serious ticket (Equality — End Bias) did not send a policy statement in time for publication, begging the question: why even try? There is a certain level of homogeneity in most policy statements, which are reflective of current issues facing students: staff cuts, the use of ProctorU for online exams and related concerns around student data privacy and fee hikes; racism on campus and BLM issues; making a more environmentally-friendly university; and elevating the interests of international students.

The usual few joke tickets haven’t gone anywhere, serving no other purpose except to give 2 to 3 seconds of fame to USyd’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of genius comedians. Our favourites are Divorced Dads for SRC and Legalise It. Punters would be remiss to overlook these tickets though: Divorced Dads currently have more Facebook likes than Liberal outfit “Time for SRC”.

The CV sections for ticket members are a chance for stu pol enthusiasts to humanise themselves and prove their credentials. Almost all fail miserably. Most read like Tinder bios for which we would certainly swipe left. We notice many people appreciate food, which is, well, a fundamental human trait we all share. There are also many avid dog lovers. Similarly, cherishing your pet is not a cute personality trait but part and parcel of being a normal, functioning human being. 

Multiple ticket members mention either working at a fast food outlet, as if this presents any transferable skills for campus rabble rousing, or adoring fast food meals. Sorry to break it to you all: working at Maccas at 16 and occasionally devouring a Zinger Burger does not make you a member of the working class or give you any street rep. We’ll also add that although some feel it necessary to still talk about their ATARs at university, albeit plummeting their social capital, the same goes for your high school achievements. For those unfortunate enough (us) to read your CVs, please remember that being a Prefect, or even worse, a “Peer Mentor” at your high school doesn’t make you a big shot — we all know it’s just code for “I was a snitch in high school.”

The Engineers tickets (3 in total) unfortunately don’t do much to reform the stereotypes that marr them. In an era where engineers are condemned constantly on USyd rants for their morbid personalities, their CVs can’t convince us otherwise. Isabella Anderssen (Engineers for Equity) advertises that they are “weirdly good at Sudoku” (cool, but like, this isn’t an Australia’s Got Talent audition); Riley Vaughan is proud to have been offered free shirts by Ribs and Burgers (haha nice bro do you eat bulk wings at Hooters as well?); Cole Scott-Curwood says “mastered weeks 4-7 #jchan (what?). Other lowlights across the board include: Kedar Maddali (Grassroots Against Course Cuts) thinking their role as a Pokemon Society Executive has any relevant experience and Xinyi Huang (Phoenix for Well Being) writing that she is “allergic to ALCOHOL”. Our deepest condolences. Try ket instead? 

Unsurprisingly, the CVs that plague the Liberal tickets make us want to cave in the wall of a cop shop with a sledgehammer. James Ardouin (TIME for Student Services), seems to have a disturbingly inflated sense of self, describing himself as a “thorn in Liam Donohoe’s side 2019-present”. Our response: who the fuck are you? Georgia Lowden (TIME for Women) is a “Big fan of SASS, Subski and my dog (Poppy <3)” — are there any three more obvious red flags for a Liberal? Tully O’Regan (TIME for First Years) thinks he’s pretty funny with some stale blokey humour. The end of his CV reads: “Losing it — Fisher (ashamed), King of a late night Yeeros run”. This is the kind of man we imagine walks around campus with egg stains on his shirt and still thinks placing whoopie cushions on the lecturer’s chair is hilarious.

NUS remains relatively generic and uninteresting. It is dominated by tickets from various positions on the left-spectrum, with one Liberal ticket (TIME) and what appears to be a joke ticket, Aladeen (End White Supremacy), whose policy statement opens emphatically by suggesting “Democracy sucks!” Thanks, Naziul. We hope your politics are a little more original than those of your namesake.

All in all, this year’s election promises to be just another election. With the majority of students off campus, expect more vapid and shameless self-plugging to dominate your social media feeds. 

Voting opens 9:00am AEST Tuesday 29th September and closes 6pm AEST, Thursday 1st October.

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