Now the elections are over I can firmly say that nothing focuses the mind on the long term health of student associations more than having to stand up in front of people and justify why we exist and they should vote.
While I am both happy with the result and even happier the damn thing is over I have this uneasy feeling that we as students reps are tip-toeing around the elephant in the room. Student associations don’t operate in a vacuum divorced from society or greater politics.
As I’ve mentioned in the past student democracy is vital to healthy organisations, however the choice that matters most for the quality of your support and services may not be one decided by USYD students at all but by everyone else on September 14.
Along with David, as General Secretary it is my role to look after the long-term financial health of this organisation and to make sure that we keep providing amazing services. However, in order to survive we are financially dependent on the University funding us with money levied from the SSAF. The long-term financial reality for the SRC is that if elected Abbott will devastate our income. We know that repealing the SSAF is in the Liberal DNA from Howard taking a pole- axe to student associations with VSU. We survived VSU only because of the beneficence of the University continuing to fund us at historical levels. However, having already seen their cash drive through staff cuts and the EBA negotiations I am not so optimistic about that happening a second time around.
Students appreciate our SRC and the services it provides. However, nothing in life comes for free.
The reality is that deep down the Liberals do not believe in funding student associations. If you care about the long-term health of your SRC then what happens on September 14th should matter to you.