The University of Sydney’s perpetual Vice-Chancellor has angrily hit back at critics who have accused him of using the threat of funding cuts to reign over student organisations and rule them like a king.
In the face of growing criticism, the VC said he had been keeping a close eye on student groups to make sure the University was not doing anything to jeopardise their independence.
“Look, as a Board Director, holder of all SRC Office Bearer positions, and Seeker of the USYD Quidditch team, I think I would notice if the University was trying to take over student groups,” the VC commented after coaching the University of Sydney water polo team to victory against UNSW.
Some students have begged to disagree however, claiming that the VC now occupies not only every leadership position, but literally every last post of employment in the USU, SRC, and SUPRA.
In his monthly BULL column, the VC said his suspicious recent adventures into student culture and politics were sparked by a newfound desire to get involved and live up the social side of University.
“For the first 33 years I was Vice-Chancellor I felt like I didn’t have any friends at University and was isolated from the staff. But the USU really helped me find my voice which, as it turned out, was louder than the combined screams of the 60 000-strong student body,” the VC wrote.
But not everyone is convinced, and some students have said that since voluntary student unionism was introduced in 2005, and the SSAF fee was abolished in 2014, the University has been able to leverage control over student organisations by becoming their sole source of funding.
“Have you noticed how when you order a cider now they just give you a schooner of tepid soda water? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t always like that,” noted third year architecture student Ethan Bailey.
But Hermanns and Manning Bar manager Michael Spence assured Honi that this had always been the case.