2022 SRC faction profile: Student Left Alliance

Honi's profile of SRC Council ticket, Student Left Alliance.

Art by Sam Randle.

Quiz score: 42%
Represented by: James Sherriff and Angus Dermody

Student Left Alliance is a new coalition formed by Trotskyist faction Solidarity, anarchist organisation Black Flag, and an assortment of unaligned far-left students. According to James Sherriff (Black Flag) and Angus Dermody (Solidarity), the coalition aims to provide an approach to the student movement steeped in left unity. Asked how they would navigate the potentially tense politics of such a pluralist coalition, they explained they hoped to engage in productive debate and straightforward majority votes where needed.

Interestingly, they have spent a lot of the campaign levelling critique at fellow hard-left factions Socialist Alternative and Switchroots, for making pre-election deals with Labor factions, which they consider unprincipled (you can read more about this stance here). 

When asked whether, in theory, they would prefer to lose an election in the short-run if it forced the Left to organise more effectively the next year, they agreed they would, emphasising that a key purpose of student elections should be to make political arguments to students.  

Unlike SAlt, the SLA is not outright against service provision like FoodHub, although they did admit it was not their priority, preferring mass movements.

Despite broadly being able to thoughtfully outline their politics — particularly on questions about what revolutionary reforms for students could look like — SLA’s performance on the quiz was woeful. The faction displayed what seemed like an outright disinterest in the recent history of the SRC, the workings of university management, and government education ministers. Lazily, they claimed the President of SUPRA is Benny Shen, reflecting a failure to even distinguish international student representatives on campus. Nor could they cite findings from the National Student Safety Survey with any level of specificity.

Although SLA features a number of experienced activists, their commitment to the SRC is unclear.

Disclaimer: Zara Zadro was, until recently, a member of Switch. She was not involved in any of our election coverage.