UniGate Week 12

All the rumours, hearsay, and downright slander from the world of student politics and culture

The sound of SULS

If you’re reading this, it means UniGate has died. Just kidding – it means that the final vote has been cast on the 2013 Sydney University Law Society election and a result is nigh. Although you could be forgiven for wondering why a simple faculty society election has a two-week campaign period, spending cap and t-shirts, as SULS people seem to hate Honi commenting on, SULS has a pretty epic budget, and an epic election to match. The election hasn’t been all that Drumatic, and indeed the t-shirts of both tickets were certainly very Fetching.

The two tickets, Drum and Fetch, are close together on the rainbow (pink and lavender, what) but yards apart on campaigning techniques. Drum, led by current SULS VP and SRC Exec member James Higgins and managed by arch-hack Alistair Stephenson, has gone down the traditional route of posters, t-shirts (85 of them, which is still less than Fetch’s 100), a Facebook page, a website and a few videos. But Fetch, led by second-year SULS Queer Officer Matt Yeldham, is doing its best to make Fetch happen. In what the Gate believes to be a first for student elections, Fetch has released its very own ringtone, recorded by Law student Meri Amber. Fetch is also promising an app, something the 2013 Honi Soit team can assure them is far easier to promise than to deliver (Eds’ note: our Android app is coming out next week, we promise). And in its final innovation, Fetch put on a ‘Chat with Matt’, where Law students could send in questions to Fetch’s Pres candidate for him to answer via webcam at the awkward time of 8pm on a Saturday night. The Gate was busy doing something fun at the time and only managed to tune in half an hour after the starting time, by which point the Chat was already over. Fetch has also managed to squeeze full-colour posters and glossy flyers into the $750 spending cap.

One area where Fetch hasn’t innovated, however, is its videos, with several online commentators pointing out that Fetch’s flagship video and the 2012 Voice for UNSW SRC video have the same weird cinematography and the exact same song. When asked about it on Twitter, @fetchforsuls responded: “there certainly was some inspiration from other videos already on YouTube. #efficient”. If efficiency was their guiding principle, we’re not sure why they went on to make 17 more videos.

On a more serious note, Electoral Officer Kathleen Heath has confirmed that she received evidence about members of the Fetch ticket soliciting support for their campaign prior to the campaign commencement date. She made a ruling that this was prohibited by the Electoral Regulations and required that members of Fetch contact any students who received such messages and issue a formal acknowledgement of their breach.

USYD students stack UTS elections

A quick look-around UTS this week and you’d be forgiven for thinking it had become a satellite campus for Sydney Uni. UTS is one of the few campuses left in the state that continues to have an ‘open campus’ for their student elections – that is, non-students can campaign.

This makes the campus ripe for the proxy war student factions wage every year. National student factions such as the National Labor Students (Labor Left), Student Unity (Labor Right), and Socialist Alternative have a lot to gain from UTS, with 7 National Union of Students delegates up for grabs.

Discounting the infamous Master Shang and the joke ticket Legion of Spoon, the two major tickets – Elevate and Grassroots – are recruiting campaigners from other campuses, primarily Sydney Uni.

Although Grassroots, headed by presidential hopeful Andy Zephyr, has a few members of Socialist Alternative flown in from other states, it pales in comparison to Elevate, backed by NLS and Unity. Rumours suggest that up to 40 campaigners from interstate, helping out at the Miranda by-election, were asked to stick around to help out the Elevate candidate Alison Whittaker.

In a not-so-surprising twist, members of the breakaway Sydney Labor Students factions are aiding Grassroots at UTS in order to help break NLS’s presidential winning streak, meaning that NLS at their last stronghold in NSW.

Rumours also suggest that Sydney University campaigners will mill around and make snarky comments about the UTS campus. The Gate will report on these incidents from the ground.

Alas, the end has come too soon; the Gate says goodbye to print. For more in the coming weeks, see localhost/honiold

Honi Soit
Honi Soit is the largest and oldest weekly student newspaper in Australia. Our articles, like this one, are made possible by our dedicated student reporters and contributors.
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