Hail to the chief
Ready for a fresh start to semester two? Feeling enthusiastic about uni? We are too. And to get you pumped for what’s ahead, here’s what you can expect from the stupol side of things. And rest assured—as September’s SRC elections loom, the gossip mills are pumping overtime.
As always, the presidency is shaping up to be the big ticket item, looking set to be split three, if not four, ways. Broad left coalition Grassroots is all but certain to put forward a candidate, who will be preselected sometime in the next few weeks. The two preselection frontrunners are current SRC General Secretary Nina Dillon Britton, who has a reputation as an effective administrator, and Education Officer Lara Sonnenschein, considered a heavier activist.
At this stage, Grassroots seems to have the support of Labor left factions NLS and SLS, as well as far-left socialist grouping SAlt. In return, those factions will receive support for their SRC council and National Union of Student delegate candidates. They will also be well-placed to negotiate for SRC executive positions at the infamous Repselect later in the year.
Apparently, still reeling from their loss in the USU battle, NLS is not running a candidate. Poster child Harry Gregg looks to have had his presidential dreams crushed.
There are then two candidates firming up with links to the international student community. Alex Yang is a confirmed contender: himself a domestic student, Yang managed the USU Board campaign of international student Decheng Sun. Yang and Sun draw support from a grouping of Chinese and Taiwanese international students outside the dominant faction of USU Board director Hengjie Sun. If Decheng’s Board campaign is anything to go by, Yang will likely campaign on progressive issues.
Jacky He is the other name on people’s lips—as yet unconfirmed. He has ties to Hengjie Sun and his set, and is rumoured to be running with Liberal support.
The horse insofar absent from the race is Labor right faction Centre Unity. Adriana Malavisi is said to be eager on a run, though if she were to step forward, Unity would probably have to contest the elections without any other factions’ support, leaving them with dubious chances. On the other hand, there are rumours Unity is tentatively negotiating a deal with Jacky He and the Liberals.
That said, whatever Unity decides, this little mermaid knows it’s Darth Palpitations aka Connor Wherrett who’s really pulling the strings. Word is that, while in recent negotiations with NLS, Wherrett, who is chief Unity head kicker, was asked whether he could secure his caucus’s support. His reply? “I am the caucus.” Whether or not Wherrett will now declare a Galactic Empire remains to be seen.
Honi race no Super Saturday
In a blow to tea merchants campus wide, this year’s Honi race is shaping up to be uncontested.
The underdog ticket, led by Samuel Chu, has dropped out from the race. The team also consisted of Erin Jordan, Katherine O’Chee and Rhea Cai, as we reported last semester.
As it currently stands, only one team wants to be the master of this ship. Captained by Pranay Jha and Joe Verity, the ticket is also made up of Liam Thorne, Bob He, Jessica Syed, Annie Zhang, Eric Gonzales, and Alan Zheng, leaving three slots left to fill. In the holidays, the ticket combined with the Chu team, but it’s understood that Chu and Jordan didn’t make the merge. Cai, O’Chee and Garnet Chan subsequently dropped out.
Punters have speculated that Nell Cohen is in talks to come aboard.
Meanwhile, Liberal-adjacent SRC Councillor Tim Seguna is said to be assembling his own crew. It’ll be a sad day for democracy if Australia’s only weekly student newspaper is handed to a team on an uncontested platter (like yours truly) (kind of).