Thumb wars and heckling aplenty, RepsElect 2021 has finally wrapped up. Here’s Honi’s rundown of what happened at tonight’s six and a half-hour meeting.
What is RepsElect?
RepsElect is the first meeting of the newly-elected SRC Council, where Councillors vote on the people who will hold Executive, Officer Bearer (OB) and other positions. Many of these positions attract a considerable stipend, which comes out of students’ SSAF fees.
The Executive oversees the day-to-day functioning of the SRC. It includes two paid roles — the President ($42,921 this year) and General Secretaries ($28,614 between two people), as well as five unpaid General Executive members. Since 2019, the Vice-Presidents have been paid ($28,614 between two people), as a result of a discretionary decision by each year’s Executive.
OBs are elected to various portfolios within the SRC, with some convening the SRC’s activist collectives. Only two OB positions are paid — Education Officers ($28,614 between two people) and Women’s Officers ($28,614 between two people).
Most of these positions are negotiated between factions prior to RepsElect, while others are pre-selected by the collectives (normally respected by left-wing factions during voting). While this may seem straightforward enough, these negotiations generally involve political tugs-of-war, particularly amongst the left.
Supermajority strikes again!
Save for a few Zoom hiccups, RepsElect 2021 was relatively smooth-sailing, a stark contrast to past meetings which have involved flooded meeting rooms, locked-out observers, and rolled Women’s Officers. There were 39 Councillors voting at this year’s meeting (while you don’t need to be a Councillor to run for most positions, only Councillors can decide who is elected).
During the early stages of negotiations, a simple majority voting bloc formed between left-wing factions Grassroots and Switch (Switchroots), Socialist Alternative (SAlt), NLS (Labor Left), Penta and Engineers. For some time, Labor Right faction Unity’s alignment was up in the air — they were backed by the Moderate Liberals and Colleges during the presidential election — but they eventually joined the coalition.
This led to a left-wing supermajority for the third year in a row. As a result, left-wing factions were free to decide all the positions amongst themselves prior to RepsElect.
At RepsElect 2021, the following positions were elected:
|Vice-Presidents||Mikaela Pappou (NLS) and Emily Storey (Engineers)|
|General Secretaries||Grace Lagan (Unity) and Alana Ramshaw (Switchroots)|
|General Executive||Daniel Bowron (Unity), Yunshu Chen (Penta), Tiger Perkins (Switchroots), Celestia Wang (Penta), and Nicole Yang (Penta)|
|Education Officers||Deaglan Godwin (SAlt) and Lia Perkins (Switchroots)|
|Women’s Officers||Madeleine Clark (Independent) and Monica McNaught-Lee (Independent)|
|Environment Officers||Angus Dermody (Solidarity), Ishbel Dunsmore (Switchroots), and Tiger Perkins (Grassroots)|
|Welfare Officers||Yasmine Johnson (SAlt), Eamonn Murphy (Switchroots), Grace Wallman (Switchroots), and Jason Zhang (Penta)|
|Ethno-Cultural Officers||Misbah Ansari (Switchroots), and Ashrika Paruthi (Switchroots)|
|Queer Officers||Yasmin Andrews, Ira Patole, and Will Stano (Switch)|
|Disabilities Officers||Sarah Korte, Ira Patole, and Holly Haoyi Zhang|
|Global Solidarity||Tengfei Pan (Penta), Julia Tran (Unity), and Yang Tu (Penta)|
|Indigenous Officers||None (held over until the February SRC meeting)|
|International Student Officers||Alice (BoAo) Guo (Penta), Cony (MeiLin) Jin (Penta), Ashrika Paruthi (Switchroots), and Jenna (XuJie) Wu (Penta)|
|Intercampus Officers||Brigitte Holden (Ignite), Jie Lu (Penta), Franklin Pan (Penta), and Alexander Poirer (Ignite)|
|Interfaith Officers||Maria Ge (Penta), Hanwen (Hanna) Xing, Yilin (Elaine) Xu, and Shiyue (Stephanie) Zhang|
|Mature-Aged Officers||None (held over until the February SRC meeting)|
|Refugee-Rights Officers||Lydia Elias (SAlt), Ki Joo (Andy) Park (Switchroots), Annabel Pettit (SAlt), and Danielle Tweedale (Switchroots)|
|Residential Colleges Officers||Charlotte Ainsworth (Unity), Alexis Bundy (Unity), Jiawen Li (Penta), and Nancy Qiao (Penta)|
|Sexual Harassment Officers||Rose Donnelly (NLS), Yuan (Esther) Ren (Penta), Jayfel Tulabing-Lee (Switchroots), and Xiaojie (Janice) Zhao (Penta)|
|Social Justice Officers||Martin O’Flynn (Ignite), Simon Upitis (SAlt), and Yifan Zhang (Penta)|
|Student Housing Officers||Shiyun (Max) Cheng (Penta), Henri Collyer (NLS), Ricky Rangra (Unity), and Silei (Victoria) Wen (Penta)|
|Directors of Student Publications||Mahmoud Al Rifai (Switchroots), Cooper Gannon (Liberal), Michael Grenier (Wave), Sara Kie (Unity), Jinhui Lu (Penta), Emily Mackay (Engineers), and Lily Wei (Penta)|
|Intercampus Committee||James Burgess (Ignite), Maddie Maronese (Unity)|
|Standing Legal Committee||Chairperson: Felix Wood (Switchroots); Cooper Gannon (Liberal) and Hanwen (Hanna) Xing (Penta)|
This year marks the first year in recent memory where all five senior executive positions (President, Vice-Presidents and General Secretaries) are women.
An Engineers Vice-President is a major step forward for the recently-established faction, which holds three seats. By contrast, an NLS Vice-President is perhaps a surprise, considering they only managed to land 1 seat on Council, even though Unity and Penta won six and five seats respectively. International student faction Phoenix, with two seats, was locked out of negotiations.
The night was beset by procedural delays from nominees filling out forms incorrectly. Cooper Gannon (Liberals) and Owen Marsden-Readford (SAlt) had invalid nominations for General Executive as they were not Councillors, while factions incorrectly understanding affirmative action requirements threatened to derail multiple elections.
Similar to previous years, SAlt employed a strategy of nominating for each position to get a two-minute speech, then withdrawing, drawing out the meeting. The left all Zoomed in from a central location, delaying elections by migrating across campus before settling down outside PNR.
Notably, in the coveted Education Officer election, Rory Larkins (Solidarity) was beaten out by the joint ticket of Lia Perkins (Switchroots) and Deaglan Godwin (SAlt), after ongoing tensions between SAlt and Solidarity. In an interesting turn, Cooper Gannon (Liberal) was elected to the prized Standing Legal Committee, which is primarily responsible for interpreting the SRC Constitution and Regulations.
Not everyone got what they wanted during this year’s RepsElect, but overall, the night went smoothly for the left. The 94th SRC Council will next convene at the start of February.