USU Board Candidate Profile 2023: K. Philips

Honi’s profile and interview with 2023 USU Board candidate K. Philips

Slogan: K for K-Pop!

Colour: Purple

Quiz Score: 16%


Favourite USU Outlet: Courtyard

After external circumstances impacted K. Philips’ first run at USU, Philip is back again for another go. With a policy statement featuring a focus on providing K-Pop dance classes, photocards, and elevator music, Philips freely admits that their campaign began as a joke, but that they have since reconsidered and are now campaigning seriously. 

When asked what their current policies were, given that the USU website still contains joke policies, they directed us to their policy platform from last year. Philips summarised their key points as being focused on international student welfare and using social media to connect to students. They stated that their experience from previously studying a degree in marketing and their social media management makes them qualified to oversee this.  

When asked if they would support a motion to pay the USU’s student volunteers, Philips said they would — quoting Rick and Morty to characterise the current V-team program as sounding “like exploitation with extra steps.”

Philips also supported reforms relating to transparency within the USU, indicating that they supported the concept of Board Directors being able to comment on matters relating to the USU, as opposed to only the President, which is the current system.

While they still identify as a political centrist, Philips said that they support the recent NTEU staff strikes at USyd, and believed that the USU should play a role in educating students on why staff were on strike. They said they believed that this would help students be “empathetic towards the [NTEU] cause” and therefore “give more support to the movement, which would lead to better action taken.”

Although well-intentioned, Philips possesses a serious lack of institutional knowledge required of a Board Director. They failed to name a single member of the current USU executive, or the current or any former USU presidents; they were unable to define what Voluntary Student Unionism was, give the minimum wage or how much the HECS indexation rate will rise this year. They added that if they were elected to the board, they “would definitely do better research.”

K. Philips is a candidate who boasts a wide variety of C&S experience which would be useful on board. Unfortunately, their lack of coherence on policy and minimal knowledge of issues relating to the USU makes them one of the least competent candidates running this year. Time will tell if their core message of utilising social media and international student support will resonate with students.