“Lizzie’s in a box, in a box, Lizzie’s in a box!”: May SRC Council Meeting Recap

What do you get when you put a bunch of hacks together in a stuffy lecture room in the dungeons of the Law building? Endless debates, heckling, and bickering that will wear you out. Here’s a recap of all the mischief of May council.

What do you get when you put a bunch of hacks together in a stuffy lecture room in the dungeons of the Law building? Endless debates, heckling, and bickering that will wear you out. Here’s a recap of all the mischief of May council.

The trial of the Honi 9

Loyal Honi readers, and the chronically online, have been quite acquainted with the story that unfolded in early March in regards to a certain previous editor. After the motion had to be rescinded before April Council, a jittery Honi 9 returned to the May Council in hopes of passing their motion to dismiss Christine Lai as an Editor of Honi Soit. After some speeches, heckling, and rude side comments were made, the time for a vote came. It failed. 

Dejected and disappointed editors were left at least a little confused. The Editors figured out that something went wrong with the counts, something noticed by a number of Councillors as well. After another motion and a quick break, a procedural was moved by Grace Porter (Unity) to recount the votes. The Council judged that Christine Lai had engaged in “serious misconduct” and the motion was carried. Caitlin O’Keeffe-White was subsequently instated as the tenth editor of Honi Soit.

What an emotional rollercoaster. 

A submarine bound to sink

Labor students Rose Donnelly (NLS) and Daniel Bowron (Unity) moved a motion to condemn the federal government’s decision to invest in eight new submarines in Adelaide and signing the AUKUS deal. 

Shovan Bhattarai (SAlt) said that the “$368 billion will be rearming Australia’s defence system when there’s a cost of living crisis” and said that this step will feed the imperialist notions of war. Similar sentiments were echoed by Education Officer Ishbel Dunsmore (Grassroots) who talked about the way “universities have tied themselves to militarism with leaders trying to think how to better expand the war machines in place.” 

Freya Leach (Balmain flop/Liberal) defended the investment on the grounds of safety and asked “How many Uyghur Muslims are in concentration camps in China?” Peter Gu (ex-SAlt) said that the Chinese working class must be emancipated but “not through American and Australian defence.” 

The motion passed.

TERFs off our turf

A motion was moved by Honey Christensen (SLA) and Shovan Bhattarai (SAlt) to condemn the transphobic attacks in Belfield against queer communities and hold the religious right to account. 

James Sherriff (SLA) reminded everyone of the “aggressive attack on a small group of protestors” that took place in March when several Community Actions for Rainbow Rights activists were attacked. 

USyd SRC Queer Officer Yasmin Andrews said that “A point that is so often used by these groups is that they are protecting children from thinking critically about gender. It is truly horrific to do so as it has led to increased suicide rates among queer youth.” 

Jamie Bridge focused on the intensity of the issue and said “let’s not sanitise our language. These people are fascists… This is the dying breath of a hateful movement.”

The motion received vehement support from everyone except the Liberals, but passed regardless.

Labor’s Budget Sucks

Harrison Brennan (Grassroots) moved a motion to endorse the ANU Housing Action Collective’s “Disrupt Budget Day” protest on 9 May in Canberra, stating that it is necessary to “continue to critique the government.” Ishbel Dunsmore (Grassroots) added that “it is important to protest the budget which will look like stage three tax cuts, no increase in job seeker… we should stand up and not take this.”

Ella Haid (SAlt) added her support to the motion as the budget “delivers to the rich and gives nothing to the poor,” whilst Liberal Freya Leach opposed, adding that “this budget does enough for regular families and people.”

A similar motion moved by Yasmine Johnson (SAlt) was put forth to recognise that the budget represents an attack on the poor and working class in a cost of living crisis in service of military funding and concessions to the rich. The motion also endorsed a “Protest Labor’s budget for the rich” rally on May 19 at Town Hall. 

Refugee Rights Officer Annabel Pettit (SAlt) added that the Labor government is “responsible for overseeing the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in history.”

Both motions carried.

The Voice 

Honey Christensen and Women’s Officer Alev Saracoglu (both SLA) moved a motion for the SRC to organise a forum to discuss the future of The Indigenous Voice to Parliament. There were several opposing perspectives on the Voice, with James Sheriff (SLA) arguing for nuanced conversations on the issues as “without a voice to grassroots, working-class Indigenous people, all we’re having is a racist NO campaign.”

First Nations Officer Ben McGrory (Independent) called for conservative leaders like Pauline Hanson, Jacinda Price and Warren Mundineto attend the forum, following dissent from other councillors. Ethnocultural Officer Rand Khatib (Grassroots) stated that she’s “sick of identity politics” and wants to work with First Nations activists for Indigenous sovereignty rather than rightwing politicians.

2022 NUS First Nations Officer Zebadiah Cruickshank (NLS) iterated that there’s “80-90% support for the voice from Indigenous communities” and that the community will not progress if a treaty isn’t passed. This was supported by Brydie Zorz who said that “out of 1000 First Nations people, seven walked out” and added that consultation with Indigenous communities is of utmost importance. 

The motion failed.

From the River to the Sea

Global Solidarity Officers Deaglan Godwin and Jasmine Al-Rawi (both SAlt) moved a motion to support the upcoming events commemorating the 75th anniversary of Al-Nakba which marks the “founding of the Israeli Apartheid state.” These include a forum which will be held 9 May at Carslaw and a rally at Town Hall on 13 May. 

Freya Leach stated that the day celebrates the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence “as the only true democracy in the Middle East.” Which was met with loud resistance from the rest of the council. Honi thinks Leach should pick up a history book in her free time rather than making TikToks for her failed state election campaign.

The motion passed with great support and a group picture was taken. Leach attempted to display the Israeli flag from the back of the room, however she was thankfully covered by other students whilst the room chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Student Exploitation

James Sherriff spoke to a motion to demand fair pay for mandatory student placements, noting that the current system of placements exacerbates inequalities in uni systems. 

Yasmin Andrews highlighted demands from the open letter, from paying students at a rate at or above minimum wage to fair remuneration for student placements, adding that in the current system “you are essentially paying for your own exploitation.”

The motion carried with no dissent. 

If you are a student on placement affected by the current system of unpaid labour, sign on to the open letter linked here.

Accessible activism and classrooms

Disabilities officer Jack Scanlan (NLS) moved a procedural motion to move en bloc motions that support the use of laptops in class, the “we need both” campaign, and the fight against the “Academic integrity” narrative. 

Rose Donnelly added that “Education should be accessible to anyone…There should be no circumstance where we deny access to education. People who work unconventional hours should also be afforded hybrid learning provisions.” The motion carried with no dissent, however SAlt notably abstained — so much for radical activism.

Scanlan also provided non-binding guidelines in a motion to make activism accessible to all, instructing event organisers to consider physical and sensory accessibility during activist events. Examples such as routing marches over flat accessible terrains and the dangers of leaving mobility-impaired marchers at the back of a crowd where they are often over-policed.

The motion carried and once again SAlt abstained. 

Vive la révolution

The final rational motion on notice moved by Welfare Officer Ella Haid (SAlt) and seconded by Social Justice Officer Keira Garland (SAlt) was for the SRC to stand with French workers against the reform. Garland commended the French protests as “they understand that it’s only through strikes and struggle that they can fight back against the Macron government.” The motion carried.

Liberals cockblocked

The last motions considered were those put forward by the Liberals on things such as fixing squeaky doors and sending well wishes to King Charles.

Deaglan Godwin proposed a procedural motion to block all the remaining motions and to limit speaking time to zero seconds, which managed to pass with almost unanimous support (somehow?). 

Liberals Thomas Thorpe and Satvik Sharma attempted to speak, however were drowned out by the entire council breaking into song, “Lizzie’s in a box, in a box, Lizzie’s in a box!”


The meeting adjourned at 12:06am and the Honi Soit Editors ran to their mouldy office to celebrate with some ice cream.

Honi provides live coverage of SRC meetings on our Twitter and Instagram accounts.