2022 SRC faction profile: Grassroots

Honi's profile of SRC Council ticket brand, Grassroots.

Art by Sam Randle.

Quiz score: 70%
Council Tickets: Grassroots for Feminism, Grassroots for Free Education, Grassroots for INTL Students, Grassroots for SRC, Grassroots for Unions, Grassroots for Strikes, Grassroots for Socialism, Grassroots for Decolonisation, Grassroots for Student Housing, Grassroots for Climate Action, Grassroots against Cuts, Grassroots for Trans Rights
Represented by: Lia Perkins and Tiger Perkins

In equal second place on the quiz is Switch’s perennial ally, Grassroots. Represented by incoming President Lia Perkins and current SRC Environment Officer Tiger Perkins (no relation), the faction affirmed the agenda pursued by the faction over the last three years, identifying greater visibility for the SRC as a key priority. 

Asked about the drop-off in contestation within the SRC elections, Grassroots suggested that generational gaps in stupol involvement due to COVID-19 was to blame. They rebutted claims from Student Left Alliance that stupol deals undermine campus democracy, saying that the SRC elections still represent an opportunity to make political arguments to students. 

Like Switch, Grassroots was keen to emphasise the cultural change the faction has experienced since revelations of sexism last year. The process has involved “lots of caucusing and accountability processes,” Tiger said. 

They identified accessibility as vital to the continued development of the SRC, pointing to current Women’s Officer Dashie Prasad’s suggestion of the SRC attending high school careers fairs in Western Sydney as a way to bring unionism to a more diverse set of students. 

Asked about whether activism can coexist usefully with service provision, both Perkins’ assured Honi that the two are “mutually supportive.” They expressed pride in the faction’s record in establishing FoodHub. Nevertheless, they maintained the value of a staunch SRC, arguing that the left should resist the temptation to try to negotiate or deal their way into better higher education policy via the universities accord. 

All up, Grassroots is once again presenting an independent, left-wing voice in student politics, bolstered by a number of experienced activists within their ranks. After a comfortable three years, they may lack an intensely novel agenda, but they’re certainly consistent.

Disclaimer: Zara Zadro was, until recently, a member of Switch. She was not involved in any of our election coverage.