I imagine you didn’t follow Honi Soit’s live blog on the 5th meeting of the 86th Student Representative Council (SRC). Why would you want to when you could inflict serious pain on yourself in several other ways, including grating your face, sticking a toothpick under your toenail and kicking the wall, or flagellating yourself with a cactus?
For us, it was just the former. For your (unviewed) pleasure, Honi Soit launched our first live blog on the night of the meeting to keep up with the exciting events that were about to unfold.
When we first walked into the meeting, a hint of optimism glinted in our eye, for we were about to propose a Very Important Motion: the ability to report on the height of student politics fuckery that is the SRC’s annual elections later this year. Yeah, I dunno, I guess the Freudian theme of the night was sadomasochism.
However, our initial enthusiasm was quickly dampened by the battle that ensued following a motion proposed in solidarity with Palestine, in support of the BDS campaign.
Considering the (copies of) Red Flag that popped up early on in the meeting, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. First of all, there were two completely estranged, unknown students who sat inconspicuously at the back of the room refusing to reveal their identities. For a few minutes, we thought they might have been young, idealistic doe-eyed students who actually just wanted to get involved in the USyd SRC. However, they turned out to be representatives from the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) who were in attendance to speak against the motion.
As soon as this revelation took place, chaos ensued. Insults were hurled across the room, most from the mouth of Socialist Alternative (SAlt) member and Education Officer Eleanor Morley, who accused the AUJS member of being a “genocidal maniac”. Morley’s fellow SAlt member Omar Hassan quite seriously asked them: “Where have we heard the phrase ‘forcible relocation’ before? I think we all know,” to which the AUJS representative Ilya Borecki responded “This is bordering on anti-Semitism”.
Then, the debate was inexplicably halted to congratulate the Queer Officers for their work on the Pride Festival – an announcement that evidently could not have taken place at any other time – while the Honi editors played the fitting tune ‘We can’t stop’ by Miley Cyrus.
Back to the Israel-Palestine debate. More accusations were shouted across the room, the shouts slowly turned into screeches, and then, to genuine screams. We all questioned ourselves “Is that all there is?” We hope for the love of god, no.
Finally, the motion passed, so there’s that. As one council member commented, “Aren’t you glad that we solved the Israel-Palestine situation in that meeting?”
The highlight of the meeting was when SRC President Jen Light named Morley, to which Morley responded in a deep, threatening tone: “There’s NOTHING you can do to stop me”. I absolutely, 100 per cent, believed her.
In summary, not enough comedy, too much tragedy. By the time we left, we had been stripped of any human dignity or, indeed, hope for a better world. One of the editors was even curled up in the foetal position and literally had to be rolled along the floor so that we could vacate the room for the grumpy, overworked cleaner who was waiting to clean up after us.
Anyway, if you’re wondering what happened to our motion, it passed.