Quiz score: 84%
Council Tickets: Switch for SRC, Switch for Equity, Switch for Students Rights, Switch for Radical Education, Switch against Homophobia, Switch for Student Services, Switch for Refugee Rights
Represented by: Lauren Lancaster and Alana Ramshaw
Seizing the top score in this year’s inaugural Council Quiz, Switch was represented by SRC President Lauren Lancaster and General Secretary Alana Ramshaw. Switch is a non-binding faction, initially an alternate brand of Grassroots, but later became a sister faction.
In the interview, Switch assured voters that they could be trusted to enact left-wing outcomes, following Switch University of Sydney Union (USU) Board Directors’ mixed records on strikes and the environment.
“People are autonomous and some of them left the faction. Before [they did], they were one foot out of the door before they did those things,” Lancaster told Honi. “The people who remained in our caucus have consistently been really effective left-wing forces on [the USU] Board and we’re really proud of them for that.”
Switch and Grassroots were rocked by revelations of misogyny and bullying within the factions towards the end of last year. When asked about how Switch has approached the issue, Ramshaw emphasised the problems were not unique to the faction, but StuPol at large, and added that it’s “a lesson learned and they’ve been applied this year in a constructive way.”
When asked what legacy would emerge from the faction’s recent stint in power, the pair cited Switch’s support of the NTEU actions this year, the establishment of Foodhub, the defeat of Pip Pattinson’s 12-week semester proposal in 2021, five-day simple extensions, doubling the stipends of Honi Soit editors, and the creation of the Disabilities Space. It’s certainly true that the faction has delivered on many of their election promises, despite the challenging context of the last few years.
Although Switch must maintain a delicate balance between electoral success, integrity and their left-wing values, Ramshaw and Lancaster are clear about their achievements so far. Switch continues to justify their presence in our student unions.
Disclaimer: Zara Zadro was, until recently, a member of Switch. She was not involved in any of our election coverage.