Entries open for Honi Soit 2021 Writing Competition

USU Board candidates 2021: Du Du

Honi's profile and interview with 2021 USU Board candidate Du Du.

Slogan: Let’s Du It!

Colour: Coral

Quiz score: 17%

Faction: Independent

Du Du is running for USU to “give back” to the clubs and societies which shaped her university life. As an international student (who hasn’t campaigned or run in student elections, but is adjacent to Benny Shen), her platform focuses on supporting international students who “feel like they want to be included” in campus life, and making them aware of the USU’s benefits. One of her flagship policies is to hold online Zoom study sessions for students with local companies.

While she has a strong motivation for running for Board, it’s unclear whether she possesses fundamental knowledge about the institution that would enable her to make the changes she wants. Nor, unfortunately, does she have clarity about her own policies; her awareness-raising is limited to vague “posters and promotion,” and while she wants to revive some initiatives of the International Student Office for international students in Australia, she did not point to any specific programs.

Du demonstrated a strong unwillingness to challenge the USU, even going as far to say that “every decision of the USU is understandable to me.” While she wouldn’t have changed the USU’s decision to cut staff hours, she would have improved “communication” while doing so. She said that Directors’ free meal cards and cab charges were “reasonable” as they “contribute a lot to the USU,” and suggested the USU’s transparency concerns could be solved by students applying to attend USU meetings and prioritised her duty as a Director to “confidentiality rules and regulations.”

Du is highly cognisant of the USU’s role as a corporation, first and foremost (though she would support the USU taking stances on issues that would impact student experience). While she thought the new C&S funding model was fair in principle, with larger clubs getting more funding, she did not demonstrate an understanding of how the model would work, and claimed that without clubs submitting detailed post-event reports, “money would go nowhere.” Du’s platform and suitability for the job is doubtful, but she potentially has a dedicated voter base to propel her onto Board.

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