Honi Soit: What’s your name, degree and faction?
Rose Donnelly: So my name is Rose Donnelly. My degree is Arts. I’m an English and History student. And my faction is National Labor Students.
Honi Soit: Why did you nominate for President?
Rose Donnelly: I nominated for President because I have been in the SRC for a while, so I thought that I was qualified enough to do, I’m Vice President this year. And because I think it’s really important to have good advocates for students, especially sometimes older students who have been through the ringer with special cons, etc.
Honi Soit: What are your three most important policy commitments?
Rose Donnelly: My three most important policy commitments, one of them is to contest for funding for another caseworker that speaks Mandarin or Chinese because I think it’s really important that international students are getting proper casework advice and sometimes that’s not possible. It’s not accessible. My second most important is my commitment to run a treaty campaign through the SRC next year. In the event that the Voice gets elected and also that would include Land Back etc. And the third, maybe this is slightly less important, but my commitment to put on the most barbecues of any president in the last five years, because I think they’re a really good way for students to socialize and connect with each other.
Honi Soit: And finally, did you steal the SRC PA system?
Rose Donnelly: I did not, but I can cast aspersions about who did.
Honi Soit: Cool. Are you a member of a political party?
Rose Donnelly: I am, I’m a member of the Labor Party.
Honi Soit: And how would you describe your political beliefs?
Rose Donnelly: My political beliefs before I came to the SRC I would have said I was radically left wing. However, you’re not really supposed to say that if you’re a member of the Labor Party. The reason that I’m in the Labor Party is because I believe that you can do both approaches. Both activism from the outside and then working from within, as well, which is why I think I’m, like, placed to be the President, because I think the role of President requires both working internally in the university and working outside. And really pushing for change in terms of protesting and demonstrating.
Honi Soit: And what is the most important issue facing young people in Australia right now?
Rose Donnelly: Definitely the cost of living crisis is the most pressing issue. It’s getting worse and worse as well.
Honi Soit: Next we’ll ask some general questions before we move into policies. So SRC Presidents generally underload or completely defer during their term. What will your study/work commitments be next year if you are elected?
Rose Donnelly: I will most likely completely defer both semesters. In the event that I am enjoying President I think that I have the capacity in second semester, I might take one subject just because, or even in the first semester one subject just because I think it’s important to stay in the classroom and stay around students to see what the problems are.
Honi Soit: You are the current SRC Vice President. What have you learned in this role and how will it inform your approach to President?
Rose Donnelly: I’ve learned a great deal, especially about the way to organise campaigns. I’ve been working on the Voice campaign this year and I’ve learned a great deal about how to respectfully organise people. It can be very hard when a lot of people have commitments to really have a push. Also, I’ve been organising Food Hub so you organise, we organise volunteers for Food Hub. And so when volunteers don’t show up, for example, you really just have to understand that people have other… I think I’ve learned patience, is what I would say.
Honi Soit: Cool. Describe your relationship with the NTEU, your experience, if any with the usage staff strikes, and how you plan to work with the union as President.
Rose Donnelly: I don’t have a lot of personal experience like with the NTEU, but I have been involved in strikes since 2021. I’ve been at almost all of them bar when I had work at my other workplace and I couldn’t get out of it. I think they were really like, it was a really great thing for people to do. I think the NTEU is an amazing union and I hope to work closely with them.
Honi Soit: So obviously there aren’t any strikes planned at the moment by the NTEU, but that doesn’t mean things will change. How do you think you will still keep being engaged with the NTEU now that sometimes the momentum might be a bit slow, with lack of strikes?
Rose Donnelly: A hundred percent. I think that the NTEU will most likely have to strike again. I completely support a student contingent when and if they decide to. If they’re not able to strike, then we should strike for them as well. I think the continued relationship would just be making sure that we’re consulting with the NTEU, finding out what teachers are going through, and then if there needs to be a push, then all hands on deck.
Honi Soit: Clearly you have a very strong belief in the effectiveness of lobbying uni committees. How will you work with management while maintaining an activist student union?
Rose Donnelly: I wouldn’t say I have a strong belief in the effectiveness of committees. Will I sit on the committees? Yes, and I’ll do my absolute best to advocate and basically set out the issues that everyone’s facing. I think that the university has essentially become a profit making entity, so I think that it’s really hard when some committees are set up and then in that particular space, that they’re forced to in that space, then reform’s supposed to happen. To me, it seems difficult. What I’m more interested in in terms of dealing with the uni is that I think that we should be negotiating to get more for students, because I think that complete lack of engagement is actually shooting us in the foot quite a bit at the moment.
Honi Soit: The past four SRC presidents have belonged to Grassroots. Do you think the faction’s time in power has been a success, and what is left to be done?
Rose Donnelly: I think having a Grassroots president for the past four years, honestly, I think that the union has dwindled in terms of people who are actually involved in the union. I’ve definitely spoken to a lot of students who are not sure what it is, and I think that’s because Grassroots has failed to do a lot of outreach. And I think that’s something that I intend to do as President and that’s where we can improve because the strong student union is one where all students feel included and feel like they can come in the door and they don’t feel like there’s just one group of people who are allowed to come in.
Honi Soit: And should the SRC and similar activist student bodies engage in the government’s higher education accords process and why?
Rose Donnelly: I think that we should be engaging in the accords process. I think there’s massive misconceptions about the accords process. I think you are able to essentially negotiate. This year the Grassroots President engaged in the accords process but only submitted just one one piece of paper. I think there needs to be an extended lobbying process if we are going to engage in that process. And I will say if I am President I won’t be making concessions and I won’t be censoring the SRC at all. That wouldn’t be about like a deal that I would be willing to do. But I think that just completely disengaging is not doing any good for students at the moment. And that’s what our main aim has to be.
Honi Soit: How will you criticise the process that takes place, like the bureaucratic process that takes place in the higher education accounts process?
Rose Donnelly: I’ll criticise it as much as it needs to be criticised, which is a lot. I believe in free education for students basically that would be my main demand. However, how would I criticise it would basically depend on what I think is causing problems for students.
Honi Soit: Do you want to elaborate on the ways it is being criticised at the moment and what do you think are the pitfalls?
Rose Donnelly: At the moment, what’s happening is that the accords process is being used as an opportunity to shut down student activists and I think that, I think that’s a really genuine criticism. I think that this government, like the Albanese government, like they just haven’t done anything for students. HECS indexation is like a real shame. And that’s something that I would want to fight against.
Honi Soit: Now we’re going to ask some questions about your policies. So first, you flagged that you want the SRC to be more visible on campus, and that seems to be one of your criticisms of the Groots presidency so far. How would you navigate maintaining the SRC’s fundamental radicalism whilst also expanding its reach?
Rose Donnelly: I think that one of the most radical acts you can do is to basically bring people in to radical spaces. I don’t think that they’re, I don’t think they’re… any different. I think my aim to keep the SRC radical is to make sure there’s a strong movement around it.
Honi Soit: Do you want to elaborate on how you seek to actually make it more visible?
Rose Donnelly: My main aim is barbecues on campus. I think it’s really important for us to get out of the office and come out and, there can still be radical things happening about the barbecues. I think they can be a great space for discussion for students and yeah, like I think that’s probably one of the main ways. Also in terms of visibility, I plan to really spruik up the social media. I think there’s like a lot to be done in terms of making sure that people have information from like TikTok, Instagram, etc. So yeah, that would it would be a twofold approach.
Honi Soit: So a lot of your policies highlight how you want to bolster service provision. So what do you think are the challenges facing service provision at USYD and also the SRC specifically?
Rose Donnelly: 100%. I can speak to one specific service providing that, that’s causing problems. Basically at Food Hub at the moment, we are inundated with students who need food because the cost of living crisis is getting worse and worse. Essentially we have over 500 students coming in sometimes per day. And I think basically the main problem with service provision is that it doesn’t go far enough. And I think that’s why we have to maintain that activist perspective alongside service provision.
Honi Soit: So you said you were hoping to expand online casework services.
Rose Donnelly: Yes.
Honi Soit: We have seen many student services expand to online platforms, often these have been detrimental for workers and students.
Rose Donnelly: I actually did want to say something about this. I recently spoke to one of our caseworkers, Wayne, and I was like, I was talking to him about the chat box because basically I had heard from other caseworkers that they thought that for more minor casework problems, a chat box would be good because you could just send students on their way. I spoke to Wayne, and he basically said that it would be quite hard to implement that. I know this isn’t very common to just take back a policy, but I am reconsidering that particular policy, because I don’t think that it will have a good effect on workers.
Honi Soit: Shifting focus for a moment from the service provision side of things, how do you think you will commit to building rallies for activist causes alongside the service provision and more event focused initiatives?
Rose Donnelly: I think I, with this question, I think that every president should always be doing both and I think they should be doing service provision and activism. The way that I would commit to building rallies would be by obviously delegating to other people. I’d make sure that people were working on things they were really passionate about. I would reach, I would make sure they were reaching out to the student body, and of course I would hope that Grassroots and Socialist Alternative would continue to build with me on the movements that we have been working together on through the year. And then in terms of service provision, the Vice Presidents often take quite an active role in service provision, so I think I’d be able to advise them about, like the best ways. to approach that. What are the needs of students at the moment? For example, potentially introducing, the USU is introducing a free breakfast sort of style, but I think now that Food Hub has been taken, we’re working with Food Hub, the USU and Food Hub, together. Now that they’re doing that, we can move to a new project, potentially.
Honi Soit: I will just follow up to your next policies. So one of your integral policies regarding international students is about a badminton competition or social activity. Given the host of struggles that international student face, like cost of living crisis, the whole Opal Card concession movement and rising student accommodation rates, how does this fit into activism and the broader revival of an international student activist movement on campus?
Rose Donnelly: Totally. Again, I think that the best way to create a massive movement is to make sure everyone’s together, they’re celebrated, they’re connected. So I think that it’s like just one badminton competition isn’t going to take away from the international students Opal Card, Concession Opal Card campaign. I absolutely believe in that campaign. I also think it’s really important for part time students to have concession Opal Cards. I’m currently a part time student. It sucks having to pay $40 a week. Sorry, I think it’s $60 now. I think that, so I didn’t have that in my policy statement. I do intend to support that campaign. But yeah, I don’t think that a badminton competition will take away from that.
Honi Soit: And how do you plan on building the Opal Card concession movement and stuff? Because it is in a limbo at the moment. There’s like some work here and there, but in general.
Rose Donnelly: 100%. I think the main thing is that our international student offices need more support. And I plan to help them build their collective. And I think that it would be really great because obviously we’ve had a lot of international students come to campus, recently because TEQSA has come back. I think that it’s really important that we have both SRC people who are employed or work with the SRC and also just the broader student community of international students involved in that campaign. And also working with SUPRA, of course, on that campaign.
Honi Soit: I want to ask a kind of conceptual follow up to this. You’ve maintained so far, that this role of the radical, SRC’s radical activist role, which is an integral part of its history, is not mutually exclusive with the more inclusive event focused initiatives. The question is, due to the limited time you will have in your year as Prez, and because it’s obviously an incredibly busy job. With the activities you will have to carry out as duty. Do you see that there is potential for opportunity cost here? Where taking up something like a badminton competition and the logistics around it could be weighed up against, say, a campaign, a more campaign focused approach.
Rose Donnelly: I’ll put it this way. I think that if we don’t celebrate international students, they specifically came to me, I was like, what do you guys want? What is going to make this campus better for you? And they specifically said, what we want is a badminton competition. It’s really important to us. I don’t think it’s my place to just tell them, no, you can’t have it because I think that you should be doing X, Y, and Z. I also think that the concession Opal Card movement will not succeed unless we have that connection on campus. You cannot build a movement without incorporating that social side and making sure that everyone’s included. When you talk about opportunity costs, I think that it goes further than that, I think that this badminton competition will help activism because it’s going to increase connection.
Honi Soit: Also just checking say, badminton or some other things, say, for international students, don’t you think there’s also an issue of stereotyping the interests of international students when we think that these are, like, part of the culture or the interests of the students in general? Because surely people you’ve spoken to are one or two international students.
Rose Donnelly: I didn’t just speak to one or two international students. Basically, I consulted with the international student officers. And what we did was basically I said, I want you guys to tell me about everything that you want to do. So they are speaking as representatives. So I’ve consulted with them as representatives. I don’t think that it’s stereotyping. They’re pretty excited about this competition and yeah, like I think that it’s just one day. So I think it’ll be okay.
Honi Soit: So I guess branching on from that onto more activist based questions, because we’ve asked a bit about service provision, what prior experience do you have in building campaigns, and which protests have you attended this year and which movements do you think are most important?
Rose Donnelly: So this year I’ve mainly been focusing on building the Voice campaign, that’s the Voice to Parliament, that’s happening on October 14th, I think it’s incredibly important that the referendum gets up, so I’ve been spending most of my time on that. I of course joined my comrades at, I, I have been, I’ve been to so many protests by the collectives through the year. I think a criticism of me 100 percent is like you haven’t been to, for example, like one movement, etc It’s because in my role as Vice President. I have to work in the SRC. I work at Food Hub. I do the Voice. I honestly don’t have a whole lot of time, but yeah, we’ve got a demonstration happening on Friday 4pm. I don’t know if this video will be out then though.
Honi Soit: Next question is, so a lot of SRC Presidents have prior experience in collectives, so how do you plan on supporting activism on campus since you don’t have experience convening a collective? Do you think this restricts your ability?
Rose Donnelly: Whilst I don’t have experience convening a collective, I have convened my faction. I am in National Labor Students, we often organise in a group space around issues, I 100% think it’s important that the collectives are supported. And I think the way that I would support them is encouraging a really inclusive environment in the SRC. And I don’t think that it’s necessary for me to have been a convener of a collective in order to support them either. As in my role as Vice President, I’ve watched the amazing work that the collectives have done, and I have no intention of stopping that.
Honi Soit: NLS abstained from a motion about Palestine in the August Council. Where do you stand on criticising settler colonialism in Australia and beyond, and on Palestine in general? Is there a reason why your faction abstained during the motion as well?
Rose Donnelly: I’m very sorry, I just want to say, I’m decidedly pro Palestine, that’s my position. The abstention reason, I believe it would have had something to do with the content of the motion usually, but I would have to come back to that. It wouldn’t have been because… we’re not Zionists in this household.
Honi Soit: Since you are a part of the Labor Party, and a lot of Labor leaders can be, or have expressed Zionist sentiments before, how do you think you will criticise that while being a part of the Labor Party if you are a President, and how will you support the ethnocultural officers to build a better movement for Palestine?
Rose Donnelly: 100%. Number one, being a part of the Labor Party doesn’t stop me from saying anything. I’m absolutely capable of criticizing the Labor Party. I think it’s incredibly important. Probably one of the reasons that I’m in the Labor Party is to try to make it more left wing and to just stay in that space. I’ll be able to call out, I will be able to stand in solidarity with Palestinian activists, 100%, and I think going into next year, that’ll be really important. One thing that we did this year was, I was working with Rand and essentially, the Labor councillors in Randwick decided that they were going to put up the Israel flag for Israel Independence Day. Like I thought that was pretty inappropriate. So I was able to like email and be like look I’m a member of the Labor Party, this is wrong and you need to not do this. So it actually is beneficial in some situations, and they ended up not playing the flag. Yeah. Anyways.
Honi Soit: So you mentioned you want to create a radical chic week which is also like a proposal this year. Are you aware of the definition of this term? It’s like more towards upper class people associating with politically radical causes , and invested in the cause of choice so far as it is advances their social standing. And do you identify with this definition?
Rose Donnelly: So I think the SRC lacks a lot of self awareness sometimes, and I think the reason why myself and my sister came up with the term “radical chic” was essentially to bring some irony to the fact that a lot of people who are working around the SRC are really well off, and tend to grandstand on issues that don’t necessarily affect them. However, in saying that, I do think it’s, it is everyone’s role in society, but it is the role of privileged people in society to call out injustices. So it’s more about the radical chic element is more about having some self awareness about our privilege, more than anything else. And do I identify with radical chic? I, it’s interesting, like I, I don’t think I identify with it. I don’t engage in activism in any sort of ironic way, but I just think it’s important to check your privilege, essentially.
Honi Soit: On the whole like, branding of radical chic and therefore sensationalising of activism, do you think this will make the movement that the SRC is currently involved in less accessible for more and more people? Because sometimes people just do not associate with…
Rose Donnelly: I think that I don’t associate with the black and red sensationalized protests that are currently going on at the moment. It’s scaring the students. We’ve consulted with students. They do not like the way, I think that the movements that we have going now are far more dramatized than simply putting purple on a flyer. And I also think that “radical chic” is something that has been, embraced by not just the NLS faction, but other factions as a way to invite students into the SRC. Of course, we will remain absolutely radical. I don’t think it’ll disenfranchise people. I think it’ll make things a hundred percent better.
Honi Soit: And what do you mean by the black and red branding?
Rose Donnelly: The black and red branding I’m referring to, like, Socialist Alternative and Grassroots protests. That’s usually their style. Radical chic that I refer to is like a purple, it’s a fun, it’s like a fun style that incorporates like a lot of different parts of the uni. When you say fashion, that’s because one of the one of the parts of radical chic is involving USyd Fashion Revolution potentially in some activism, and that’s just a way to outreach more than anything. Yes, so yeah, that’s the black and red.
Honi Soit: Last question about this. Black and red is one of the colors for the anarchist flag, which was also taken by the Indigenous flag later. Do you think by directly criticizing it, are you being insensitive towards a few current, very well involved and well thought political movements at the moment?
Rose Donnelly: I think that the Aboriginal flag is beautiful, and I think that the Aboriginal flag’s a hundred percent radical chic. As for the anarchist flag, I’m a democratic socialist, so I honestly couldn’t comment.
Honi Soit: So I think we’re going to ask a few more questions about Radical Chic week . It seems to be maybe a larger policy points, so more substantively, could you elaborate on the campus life initiatives that you’ve outlined in this, as part of this week? For example, there are some vague commitments such as “restore fashion” and there are other events such as a rave in the graffiti tunnel and paid student gigs, which appear to be ambitious. So we just, I want you to elaborate on that if you have some time to talk about it.
Rose Donnelly: Paying Indigenous students for gigs, I think, is super important. I think that it’s one of the better ways to encourage like the preservation of culture and the celebration of culture on our campus. Can you please repeat just a little bit of the start of that question?
Honi Soit: Yeah, of course. I think we just want
Rose Donnelly: Oh, sorry. The restoration of fashion. The restoration of fashion is about is just an outcome. It was more about what we’re gonna do, and the outcome of that would be this. We think that the restoration of fashion to the SRC will be what culminates when Radical Chic, it happens. As for the money question, we have $6,000 currently going into Radical Education Week. They never hit the budget on that, and we have very low attendance on Radical Education Week. And this week has been going on through the Grassroots presidency, and it has gotten almost no traction. I know Honi Soit criticized me for not going to a particular event, and my question in regards to that is that we hosted two events, I don’t think that it’s necessarily the role of SRC office bearers to be stacking out events, I think our role is to invite students in, and put on events that students want to go to.
Honi Soit: So we understand that Restore Fashion is a goal, but as part of this policy statement, you’ve also said “celebrate the creative history of student fashion”, so is that also a specific policy initiative as well as an outcome?
Rose Donnelly: I think celebrate is also more of, more trying to explain the vibe around the week. The week will be made up, like, when we, if we’re allowed to do Radical Chic Week next year, we will have basically, a lot of people working on it from different areas. It describes an ethos, and it describes an improvement upon the existing Radical Education Week. It will incorporate parts of Radical Education Week, because we think it’s really important to maintain that educative aspect. When we say a rave in the graffiti tunnel, that’s something that will go alongside an educational aspect. Yeah. If that answers your question.
Honi Soit: I guess to make it straightforward so does that mean… There won’t be anything about fashion itself in this week .
Rose Donnelly: A hundred percent there’ll be stuff about fashion, but it’ll be about the historical celebration of fashion as it pertains to culture.
Honi Soit: Could you be more specific?
Rose Donnelly: So for example, like we’d celebrate traditional dress. We would celebrate, like it’s a celebration that can only be described by those who build it. I don’t really want to set out the terms of what we do with Radical Chic because it will be at the end of next year but I want to create a vision.
Honi Soit: Okay. And how will you ensure that the fashion and a lot of traditional dressing is not appropriated, and doesn’t create like a harmful environment for people who are from a minority group and actually celebrate their culture and there’s a good sense of boundary in that sense ?
Rose Donnelly: 100%. This would require me to consult for example, with the Ethnocultural Collective. I think that it would be, it would not be me going and doing X, Y, and Z, whilst maybe there’ll be some celebration of Irish outfits, who knows. But yeah, like I would always maintain that commitment to consult with students, and I would make sure that everyone was comfortable in that situation.
Honi Soit: I think this comes back to something we’ve asked previously. You’ve maintained that we can do activism and student outreach simultaneously, they’re not mutually exclusive, and I think that’s a valiant cause, but in this case, there seems to be a clear opportunity. Because in order to do stuff like a rave in the graffiti tunnel or paid student live music gigs in radical chic week, it seems that at the very least you have to sacrifice a considerable amount of education forums. So are you going to find a way to strike that balance or will we have to trade off the education forums? Because as you said, you think students don’t attend them.
Rose Donnelly: Yes, so I think that firstly, we need to acknowledge the fact that Radical Education Week has been a failure, and it has failed to reach students. So I won’t measure Radical Chic up to the number of sessions that have been educational in that week, because I don’t think that they are well attended enough to continue essentially. So say one session goes away, but then we get like 50 students at the Rave in the Graffiti Tunnel, and then, we’re handing out pamphlets, we’re having discussions after that, like about particular issues, for example, next point… for example, if we have a gig with an Indigenous artist, then that would also be educational. What we’re thinking is having an art exhibition around it, people can come in and out, that sort of thing. So maybe there’d be, like, slightly longer sessions. Maybe three hours, something like that, rather than sitting in a classroom, whiteboard, just like hearing about a particular historical event. So yeah, I, again I will not concede that it won’t be educational as well. It’s just a different format of learning.
Honi Soit: Just one more question. I think even if you are able to reach more students through something like a rave in the graffiti tunnel, don’t you think there still is necessarily an educational trade off? Isn’t there a solution where you could create more access and more ability for students and access to such educational forums? For example, a forum about Palestine, where there are speakers who are prominent Palestine activists in this country. I guess the simple way of putting that question…
Rose Donnelly: We can celebrate with… I think it needs to be more of a holistic education. So yeah, the rave in the graffiti tunnel, who knows what music is playing? And I think that yeah, that’s my answer.
Honi Soit: Question on this, sorry, just to super clarify. Rad Chic Week will replace Rad Ed Week, if you are elected?
Rose Donnelly: Yes yes.
Honi Soit: Okay, cool, that’s all good. So obviously this is a bit different, but things are interrelated in your work, like policy. A lot of office bearers have been asking for a stipend this year for their activism. What will you do to ensure that student activism is compensated better and receives the right funding for all the work that they do?
Rose Donnelly: I will use those contestable funding applications like nothing else. I think it’s important that students are paid for the work they do. I think that most office bearers or all office bearers should have stipends. I do think we’ve got a problem at the moment where we don’t receive enough SSAF . I will fight for 50% SSAF as well in, in conjunction with the National Union of Students. That’s what I’ll do to address the problem of underfunding. But again, like I think it is really important that OB s are paid for their work and labor.
Honi Soit: Why do you think you’re not able to at the moment, because you said you’re going to use the contestable funding? How do you plan to ? Did you want to give us like a bit more detail about it?
Rose Donnelly: I would just contest for funding for stipends for OBs . So essentially what that means is, I would outline why it’s important and one of the reasons why it is important we make sure that people have funding. Sorry, make sure that students have funding. It’s because students who have to work jobs, who have to study, that kind of thing, can’t engage unless they get paid. So that’s why I think it’s important. The contestable funding application would outline something like that as well.
Honi Soit: Yeah, and say for things, there’s an existing budget of $6,000 for radical chic week, and obviously more money will be used, say, for things an exhibition or like gigs or raving in a graffiti tunnel. Do you think bits of those money could be used to compensate the obese who are actually going to also help organize a lot of their events, or do you just want that money to be used for Radical Chic Week?
Rose Donnelly: I think that OBs who have stipends should be the main organizers of these events. Of course unpaid OBS do have a role, but I would make sure that not too much work was falling on them. I don’t think that the stipends should come out of the radical chic budget. And I think that they need to come out of contestable funding.
Honi Soit: You proposed an SRC NAIDOC week How would you ensure that Indigenous creatives and activists would be at the forefront of this event?
Rose Donnelly: I would make sure that the Indigenous officer the SRC’s Indigenous officer next year would be working like side by side with either me, or the General Secretaries, who would most likely put this event on. And I would also just, I would consult with the Gadigal Center. I I want to be a very consultative President in all respects. We’ve actually already done this during Radical Education Week. There was a forum and a gig. I’ve been consulting with Ben McGrory, our Indigenous Officer, all year about these kinds of things. I don’t think that I can just make the calls.
Honi Soit: And what do you think have been the pitfalls in the current collaboration with the Indigenous community on campus, and what could be done better in the year forward?
Rose Donnelly: The problem is, like a problem that continuously comes up is the council, is our SRC council. It’s quite an uninviting space where people yell all the time. I’ve had some of my friends come from UTS. My friend Zeb came, he’s Indigenous, he wanted to speak about the Uluru Statement. And he was essentially yelled down from the lectern. So I think that’s been a problem, because essentially Indigenous students don’t really feel very safe. And that’s something that really needs to change, and we need to make that a priority, and I think, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about, activism during this interview, and I think that at the moment, there’s a bit of a tension going on, because there’s not a lot of respect being given to those people.
Honi Soit: Could you now expand on your health policies? For instance, if you want to put free nail clippers in USyd bathrooms, can you address the hygiene concerns and the cost of such a measure?
Rose Donnelly: Yes, I think the cost would be low and I think we’d be able to put alcohol wipes on the side. Just a tiny wipe. I don’t think it’s too unhygienic.
Honi Soit: What are some other health policies that you’re quite passionate about in the coming year?
Rose Donnelly: For example, I think it’s really important that we have more period products on campus. I also think that we need better period products. I Like look, I know people obviously use the period products on campus. They’re very scratchy and bad quality. I think we need to improve that for women. Like we shouldn’t have to, we shouldn’t have to use products that are subpar just because they’re free. I think as well like in terms of my policies for next year, I think it’s just more free resources that are scattered around the SRC. Free HIV tests in Food Hub is something I really want to lobby for. I’m currently in the working group on Food Hub, and I’ve been trying to get the USU to come around, so that’s something that I’d like to continue on, in conjunction with the QUAC offices, of course. Yeah.
Honi Soit: And what are some new spaces that you want, that you think should have, say, HIV testing products and period products in general, like some new spaces on campus that you think could do better with it?
Rose Donnelly: For example, the International Students Lounge. It’d be good to have some there, maybe it could be like a t Courtyard as well, like just places that are highly populated by students just so we can holistically improve. These projects would be done in conjunction with the USU and the University , I don’t intend to dip in to SRC money, except on the period products, potentially yes on that, otherwise no.
Honi Soit: If you’re elected as President, how will you ensure that Honi’s journalistic autonomy is respected and there’s a good sense of communication between the President and the paper?
Rose Donnelly: Maybe a weekly brunch. I don’t know. So the way that I would ensure it’s respected, I don’t intend to censure Honi at all. I want it to remain independent, radically left wing. I think it’s incredibly important for the SRC to be held accountable. I think we need to be a really transparent organisation because there’s SSAF money coming in. I think it’s like there’s $2.3 million dollars of SSAF money coming into this organization. So Honi has a really important role in making sure that it’s spent wisely.
Honi Soit: Just a few more policy things, because we want to give you time to elaborate and the students deserve to hear. I think the health initiatives are always good, and expanding our sanitary products on campus. Specifically, in your policy statement, you said free period and pill products in the SRC.
Rose Donnelly: Oh yes.
Honi Soit: And HIV tests in Food Hub. Do you want to expand on these? How they would be implemented ?
Rose Donnelly: Oh, okay. How they would be implemented with the HIV tests? I’ve already done some research. There’s a site called Atomo. It’s like in all capital letters, and they’ve given us a deal so we can get one HIV test for it’s about $12. Which obviously is expensive. Hopefully we can do some sort of deal with the University. I think sexual health is incredibly important, and overlooked by students. So that’s the way that I would do that Atomo specifically. And they would just be available just in the front office, Tuesday to Thursday, you’d be able to come in and… sorry, period products the second? There’s a company called Pixie that the USU has an ongoing deal with. So I would try to get on board with that. I actually called them earlier this year just about Food Hub, and getting some period products in there. And they were like, oh so excited to hear from the SRC. So there are definitely places who are willing to offer us things at a discounted rate for students if they are free.
Honi Soit: Finally, You said, you mentioned in this interview as well, you will hold the most sausage sizzles out of any SRC president in the past five years. I think you’ve already outlined your intention, but I just wanted to ask you, what’s your intention behind this and how many do you wish to hold?
Rose Donnelly: How many do I wish to hold? The golden question. I don’t think there have been that many barbecues over the past five years, number one. I think maybe, I think fortnightly would be a good aim. And… why do I want to hold them, is because students love sausage sizzles and I want the students to love the SRC, and feel like the SRC is doing stuff for them on a day to day basis. Also, it would be a great opportunity to make visibility for our SRC Legal Service and our SRC Casework Service as well. So those would be clouted out at the event. We’d give out pamphlets. So yeah, that’s what I would do.
Honi Soit: And the last thing, why should students vote for you?
Rose Donnelly: I think they should vote for me because I believe in advocacy, I believe in student services, and I believe in campus life. I think I’m qualified, I’ve spent a lot of time in the SRC, and I will always make sure they’re included in decisions, and I think that I will be able to, I will be able to have bigger and better movements to improve students lives.
Honi Soit: Thank you so much Rose, and feel free to take another chocolate bar. Thank you.
Rose Donnelly: Thank you so much.