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Union Board candidates revealed

Andrew Bell and Joanita Wibowo report

Nine students will contest the upcoming University of Sydney Union (USU) Board Director election, Honi Soit can reveal.

The candidates attended a compulsory election ethics training meeting this evening, after nominations closed at 5pm on Tuesday.

After the meeting, candidates gathered on the middle level of Manning bar to negotiate the colours and slogans they will be using for the election.

Here’s the breakdown:

Grace Franki (Independent) will be managed primarily by Will Khun under the slogan “Embrace Grace”. Grace nominated hot pink as her preferred colour, which directly conflicted with the preference of Vanessa Song (Student Unity). It’s not the first time these two have clashed, since both managed competing Honi tickets last year.*

Their discussion was by far and away the most heated. A two-person Unity entourage accompanied Vanessa to negotiate against Will and Grace (a coincidental name combination we assume). It broke into private meetings several times before a resolution.

The colour-wheel-style conclusion was that neither will be running on hot pink. Vanessa will be running on red, and Grace will be running on “light pink”.

Vanessa will be running under the slogan “V for Vanessa”.

USU Vice President Olivia Ronan, who ran on hot pink in 2014, expressed disappointment that her services as mediator were not called upon.

“It was still fun to see them fight from afar,” she said.

James Gibson’s (Sydney Labor Students) slogan was slightly belatedly announced to be “No more games, just vote James”. His colour was alternately described as “Galapagos blue” and teal.

Cameron Hawkins (independent) has employed the eponymous  “Captain Hawkins”. Cameron has nominated Beige, which was perhaps the most apt colour for the evening.

He described the choice as an “ode to Sailor Jerry rum” and will be using a logo inspired by the design of that same brand. He will be managed by Cameron Caccamo.

Koko Kong (independent) is an international student running under on sky blue. She is being managed by SRC International Students Office-Bearer Hannah Elten and her slogan is yet to be announced.

Sam Kwon (National Labor Students) has chosen “Give a damn, vote Sam”. He will be running on purple, in line with previous NLS election choices (Jack Whitney chose the colour in 2015, and Kate Bullen was the purple candidate the year before that).

Esther Shim (independent) has chosen “Shimmy on board” as her slogan. Esther had initially nominated white as her preferred colour, but changed her preference to grey after a brief discussion with Courtney Thompson (Grassroots).

Courtney will be using “Count on Courtney” and running on white.

Dom Bondar (Liberal) did not attend the negotiation session at Manning but subsequently indicated to Honi his slogan will be, “Is Dom. Is Good”. He expressed a preference for the colour white, which conflicts with the earlier agreement between Esther and Courtney.

The candidates are competing for five spots, two of which must go to wom*n identifying candidates. There are five wom*n identifying candidates this year, comprising the majority of the nine.

The election campaigning period will begin on May 2, with main campus election day on May 18.

*Disclosure: Grace managed the current editing ticket Scoop for Honi in last year’s election. One writer of this article is a member of that ticket.