The enemy of my enemy is my friend… but also still my enemy
For the first time since Belinda Neal’s presidency in 1984, the University of Sydney SRC will be led by a Unity (Labor Right) President. Jennifer Light was 244 votes clear of the Grassroots candidate Amelie Vanderstock after preferences were distributed from the 3rd-placed National Labor Students (NLS) representative Hannah Smith. The historic break in the 13-year reign of NLS can be partially explained by the split between NLS and the new Sydney Labor Students (SLS), reported in Honi earlier this year. The bust-up was so acrimonious that SLS backed Unity presidential candidate Jennifer Light, rather than their former comrades in NLS.
The Pokémon Liberation Front lives on
This year’s election saw unprecedented success for the broad left, with next year’s SRC containing seven Grassroots representatives and three members of Socialist Alternative. From the Activate banner, NLS will control six seats, and the Indies one. The Stand Up brand elected 15 councillors in total: eight from Unity and seven from SLS.
Each year candidates exploit the known tendency for uni students to not give a shit about student politics, running seemingly unaffiliated tickets that support established parties. This year Unity had representatives elected under ‘McDonalds on Campus!’ and ‘YOLO for College’ while ‘SLS had a candidate elected under ‘Monorail for SRC’. None of the policy statements in the election edition indicated any links to the parties with which the candidates will vote. The ticket heads declined to comment.
There was debate in the Gate office about whether ‘F*** Tony Abbott’ could be categorised for a front ticket for the Socialist Alternative. But it seems pretty obvious. Additionally, like the two candidates elected from Honi SRC tickets, there was at least some mention of party affiliation in the bios or policies of the candidates.
Solidarity (and electoral uncertainty) Forever!
The election to the National Union of Students remains uncertain pending a recount of what was a very tight race. At the current count, USYD’s NUS delegation will consist of two representatives from Socialist Alternative, two from Unity, two from NLS and, by the narrowest of margins, one Refresh rep. Omar Hassan from Socialist Alternative has requested a recount “because the first result was that David [Pink] won [the last NUS position] by a fraction of a vote, then on the recount they discovered a bunch of votes that they missed earlier, and David only lost by seven votes.” He believes “it is very likely that an error has happened somewhere”. The recount is expected to cost the SRC $5 000.
Curiously, the 1983 election results were thrown into chaos when an Electoral Officer helpfully opened up the Bosch booth an hour earlier than advertised to allow busy medical students to vote. The entire Council elections were recontested the next April.
Honi soit qui sex-y pense
Congratulations to the Sex team who will edit next year’s Honi Soit. Sex beat the rival ticket Evil by just under 700 votes. More importantly, however, the myth of the single syllable name inside a circular logo is vindicated. Sex now joins the ranks of previous winning tickets since 2009: Jam, Zoo, Boom, Ace, Hype and Ink.