SRC President – Week 4, Sem 1, 2019

Jacky He

You are not Alone!
As semester proceeds and increasing amounts of pressure from study kick in, students might find it increasingly difficult to keep up a healthy state of mind. Remember to engage in sporting activities, take plenty of short breaks so that you don’t become overly stressed and burn out before the end of the semester.

Climate Change Strike
On Friday 15th of March, hundreds of students, both international and domestic, took off on a strike to call for actions to stop global warming and raise a communal awareness towards climate change. The climate change march has landmark significance in showing how much the issue concerns our future generations. The council at SRC endorsed this progressive move so that companies and factories may understand how serious this issue is and begin implementing strategies to minimise carbon pollution. We sincerely hope that government and companies would hear our voice and take more progressive approaches to tackle climate change together.

Your Council at Work – March 6, 2019

The second Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on Wednesday 6 March 2019.

The following substantive motions were considered and carried:
R6.  Support the School strike for climate
Moved: Lily Campbell
Seconded: Alev Saracoglu
1) The USYD SRC will advertise the passing of this motion with a press release.
1)  The USYD SRC will co-host the central university contingent Facebook event and will share the event on its social media platforms.
1) The USYD SRC calls on students to leave their classes in the USYD walk off on Friday 15th March and commends the NTEU in their refusal to punish students for doing so.

Q1. We need to support Mental Health
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Nick Forbutt
1)  The President and any student representatives will use all mediums to the University (including on University committees) to advocate for:
1)  Uncapping the total number of counselling sessions it offers each student per year.
1) Bringing counselling and psychological services, or other mental health support, to all satellite campuses by having ‘travelling counsellors’, setting up new facilities or otherwise.
1)  Support mental health awareness and initiatives for all students.
1)  The Council will campaign to create mental health awareness and inform students on how to seek support.
1)  The Council endorses and supports the NUS No Mind Left Behind campaign.
1) The University of Sydney SRC commits to fighting against Government and University cuts to student support services, welfare, attempts to increase student fees and costs and calls on greater public funding to these services and affordable public housing.

Q2. End weekend exams
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Jayesh Joshi
The President and student representatives on the Academic Board and other University Committees shall urge the University to stop holding exams on the weekend and seek alternative arrangements for those exams.

Q3. Cigarette Litter Bins
Moved: Jayesh Joshi
Seconded: Georgia De Mestre
1) The SRC will investigate the cost of these bins and the specifics of where and how they should be installed
1) The SRC shall make infrastructure requests for the university to install the bins

R2.Support the SRC’s action in providing Charitable work towards the homeless
Moved: James Ardouin
Seconded: Annabel De Mestre
1)  The SRC shall create a working group, of anyone interested, that shall organise the SRC’s actions on this.
1)  This group shall contact nearby charities that work with the Homeless and investigate ways that the SRC do its part in providing a program to allow volunteers to give food to these local impoverished people.
1) This group shall create a food/donation bank and organise a campaign to the University to promote student and staff donations to this project.
1)  The groups actions shall be focused on, but not limited to, the alleviation of Student and Youth homelessness, especially that of Students of the University of Sydney.

R3. Defend democracy and free speech in the USYD SRC
Moved: Vinil Kumar
Seconded: Grace Bowskill
1) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms its commitment to democracy, freedom of speech and participation in the political process.
2) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms that all meetings of council are open meetings.
3) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of non-councilors to attend and speak in council meetings.
4) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of student media to attend and report on meeting proceedings.
5) The Sydney University SRC Facebook page will publish public Facebook events for each council meeting within 48 hours of councilors being notified of the meeting.
6) The SRC President will publish a statement on the SRC Facebook page and in Honi Soit conveying the SRC’s above commitment to democracy, free speech, transparency and inviting students to attend and participate in council meetings.
7) SRC councilors commit to encouraging a culture of discussion and debate within council meetings through their own participation and will avoid measures that restrict free speech through bureaucratic or procedural means. This includes, but is not limited to:
a) Removing speaking time by proposing speaking limits equal to zero minutes/seconds
b) Disallowing speakers for and against during discussions of SRC motions and procedural motions

R4. The SRC condemns the removal of historic stickers in the SRC OB room
Moved: Ellie Stephenson
Seconded: Swapnik Sanagavarapu
1)  The council condemns the removal of historically valuable stickers from the SRC OB room
1)  The council seriously questions the judgement and principles of the individuals who removed the stickers
1)  Mourns the loss of the stickers
1)  Commits to preserving other important relics of SRC history carefully.

<strong>The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place on Wednesday 3 April 2019 at 6:00pm at New Law 026.</strong>

Your Council at Work Report – Wednesday 6 March 2019

The second Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on Wednesday 6 March 2019.

The following substantive motions were considered and carried:
R6.  Support the School strike for climate
Moved: Lily Campbell
Seconded: Alev Saracoglu
1) The USYD SRC will advertise the passing of this motion with a press release.
1)  The USYD SRC will co-host the central university contingent Facebook event and will share the event on its social media platforms.
1) The USYD SRC calls on students to leave their classes in the USYD walk off on Friday 15th March and commends the NTEU in their refusal to punish students for doing so.

Q1. We need to support Mental Health
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Nick Forbutt
1)  The President and any student representatives will use all mediums to the University (including on University committees) to advocate for:
1)  Uncapping the total number of counseling sessions it offers each student per year.
1) Bringing counseling and psychological services, or other mental health support, to all satellite campuses by having ‘travelling counsellors’, setting up new facilities or otherwise.
1)  Support mental health awareness and initiatives for all students.
1)  The Council will campaign to create mental health awareness and inform students on how to seek support.
1)  The Council endorses and supports the NUS No Mind Left Behind campaign.
1) The University of Sydney SRC commits to fighting against Government and University cuts to student support services, welfare, attempts to increase student fees and costs and calls on greater public funding to these services and affordable public housing.

Q2. End weekend exams
Moved: Dane Luo
Seconded: Jayesh Joshi
The President and student representatives on the Academic Board and other University Committees shall urge the University to stop holding exams on the weekend and seek alternative arrangements for those exams.

Q3. Cigarette Litter Bins
Moved: Jayesh Joshi
Seconded: Georgia De Mestre
1) The SRC will investigate the cost of these bins and the specifics of where and how they should be installed
1) The SRC shall make infrastructure requests for the university to install the bins

R2.Support the SRC’s action in providing Charitable work towards the homeless
Moved: James Ardouin
Seconded: Annabel De Mestre
1)  The SRC shall create a working group, of anyone interested, that shall organise the SRC’s actions on this.
1)  This group shall contact nearby charities that work with the Homeless and investigate ways that the SRC do its part in providing a program to allow volunteers to give food to these local impoverished people.
1) This group shall create a food/donation bank and organise a campaign to the University to promote student and staff donations to this project.
1)  The groups actions shall be focused on, but not limited to, the alleviation of Student and Youth homelessness, especially that of Students of the University of Sydney.

R3. Defend democracy and free speech in the USYD SRC
Moved: Vinil Kumar
Seconded: Grace Bowskill
1) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms its commitment to democracy, freedom of speech and participation in the political process.
2) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms that all meetings of council are open meetings.
3) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of non-councilors to attend and speak in council meetings.
4) The Sydney University SRC reaffirms the right of student media to attend and report on meeting proceedings.
5) The Sydney University SRC Facebook page will publish public Facebook events for each council meeting within 48 hours of councilors being notified of the meeting.
6) The SRC President will publish a statement on the SRC Facebook page and in Honi Soit conveying the SRC’s above commitment to democracy, free speech, transparency and inviting students to attend and participate in council meetings.
7) SRC councilors commit to encouraging a culture of discussion and debate within council meetings through their own participation and will avoid measures that restrict free speech through bureaucratic or procedural means. This includes, but is not limited to:
a) Removing speaking time by proposing speaking limits equal to zero minutes/seconds
b) Disallowing speakers for and against during discussions of SRC motions and procedural motions

R4. The SRC condemns the removal of historic stickers in the SRC OB room
Moved: Ellie Stephenson
Seconded: Swapnik Sanagavarapu
1)  The council condemns the removal of historically valuable stickers from the SRC OB room
1)  The council seriously questions the judgement and principles of the individuals who removed the stickers
1)  Mourns the loss of the stickers
1)  Commits to preserving other important relics of SRC history carefully.

The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place on Wednesday 3 April 2019 at 6:00pm at New Law 026.

SRC President’s Report – Week 3, Sem 1, 2019

Jacky He

<strong>Updated University Alcohol Policy
</strong>During committee meeting this week, the President Jacky He has taken the opportunity to speak out from a student perspective regarding the University’s updated alcohol policy. To further ensure the safe use of alcohol on campus, Jacky have proposed for a brief alcohol policy module to be created for all students to complete before their commencement at the University. The university should also reach out to colleges on campus and in a collaborative manner, ensure the safe use of alcohol within colleges.
I have also had a chance to meet briefly with the Health Services Unit at the University of Sydney, to discuss strategies on how to improve the mental health state of students – in particular international students. We are currently looking to set up further meetings to raise initiatives that will promote mental health awareness amongst undergraduate students.

<strong>Caseworkers</strong>
One EXCELLENT piece of news that the casework team has informed me about is that within the last week, ALL casework consultation slots have been booked out. We attribute this to the hard work that the caseworkers have committed themselves to handing out wall planners and speaking at orientation events.

SRC Presidents Report – Week 1, Sem 2, 2019

President
Jacky He

Welcome Week ran extremely successfully for the University of Sydney Student Representatives Council last week! Over the three days, we have successfully attracted 1077 distinct followers on our WeChat and Facebook platforms and made a historical record in the amount of traction attracted to SRC’s social media during Welcome Week. Each day we had approximately 50 volunteers / office-bearers at our SRC stalls handing out show bags and SRC flyers, and some collectives have raised over sixty members in the span of the three days!

The international students campus tour also ran very smoothly as well, with 60 students turning up on Monday afternoon (20 more than the registered number of students). We received positive verbal feedbacks from the students expressing their satisfaction towards our service and they also had an opportunity to communicate and bond with some of the student representatives from the SRC.

Welcome Week is finally upon us; we have spent that last few weeks finalising the merchandise, the allocation of stalls, volunteers and packing all the material into the SRC tote bags.

We run out of 2000 SRC bag, including orientation-countercourse handbook, logo pen, SRC help flyer, SRC sticker and so on, and more than 2500 wall planer. We would like to thank the Welcome Week Committee for their assistance in organising Welcome Week, and also all the OBs and Collectives for their enthusiasm, time and energy they have placed into meeting the deadlines for printing and materials for this week. .We are very touched and we would like to great thank to the volunteers, you help us to let more students understand src, let us truly integrate students, understand students, represent students. We look forward to more volunteers joining us.

President’s Report – Welcome Week 2019

President
Jacky He

Welcome everyone to a fresh new start to the first semester of 2019! To students who are new to the University of Sydney, this will be a new chapter to your life. To students who have been living and breathing the air of the University of Sydney for the past few years, welcome back and it is great to see you again.

This year in preparation for Orientation Week, the SRC had devoted an enormous amount of effort into ordering merchandise, organising activities, welcome sessions and parties for the students upcoming arriving at / returning to the University. During the upcoming Welcome Festival, we would have 2,000 gift bags, several thousand discount vouchers, wall planners, and a slushie machine to wash off all the heat.

On top of that the SRC will also be hosting an undergraduate arts student welcome session with the Sydney Arts Students Society, and an undergraduate law student welcome session with the Sydney University Law Society. There will be critical information on how to study for exams, how to get involved, and experiences and tips from third or fourth year students. We encourage all first year arts and law undergraduate students to come along and join us at our welcome sessions.

During the week after Welcome Week, we are also likely to host a welcome party for undergraduate students, revolving around fried chicken and beer. Definitely check out the event when the notice comes around! It would be a great way to enjoy your start to the semester, make some new friends, and listen to some good vibes.

Again, a final sincere welcome to you all stepping into the first semester of 2019, and if you need any help, remember that the SRC would always be here for you..


Your Council at Work.
Report from your Student Council

ELECTIONS
For the 91st Council of the Students’ Representative Council (1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019), the following people have been elected.
PRESIDENT – Jacky He
VICE-PRESIDENT – Wanlin (Caitlyn) Chu, Dane Luo
GENERAL SECRETARY – Niamh Callinan, Yuxuan Yang
EXECUTIVE MEMBERS – Josie Jakovac, Xiaoyu Jin, Juming (Vonnie) Li, Prudence Wilkins-Wheat, Chia-Shuo (Alexander) Yang
REPRESENTATIVES – James Ardouin, JP (John-Paul) Baladi, Lily Campbell, Wanlin (Caitlyn) Chu, Hartley Dhyon, Yiting Feng, Ella Finlay, Nicholas Forbutt, Xiaoxi (Shirley) Hou, Daniel Hu, Josie Jakovac, Guipeng Jiao, Xiaoyu Jin, Jayesh Joshi, Yihe (Victor) Li, Juming (Vonnie) Li, Dane Luo, Layla Mkhayber, Shangyue (Brian) Mu, Amy Newland, Zac O’Farrell, Shaan Patel, Swapnik Sanagavarapu, Jiaqi (Abbey) Shi, Himath Siriniwasa, Ellie Stephenson, Gabi Stricker-Phelps, Manchen Wen, Prudence Wilkins-Wheat, Jingxian (Lois) Wu, Zifan (Crystal) Xu, Chia-shuo (Alexander) Yang, Kelli Zhao

OFFICE BEARERS
Education Officer: James Newbold, Yiting (Eva) Feng
Women’s Officer: Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps, Zifan (Crystal) Xu
Welfare Officer: Madeleine Powell, Ellie Stephenson, Liam Thomas & Mingxiao Tu
Ethno Cultural Officer: Zheng Dingsong, Junjie Shen, Mahek Rawal, Ellie Wilson
Indigenous Students’ Officer: Thomas Harrington, Akala Newman
International Students’ Officer: Jahanzaib Lashary, Yilan Wu, Ken Leung, Janet Lin
Environment Officer: Alev Saracoglu, Alex Vaughan, Georgia de Mestre, Jayesh Joshi
Global Solidarity Officer: Lingxi Li, Jiale Wang, Ella Finlay, Swapnik Sanagavarapu
Intercampus Officer: Manchen Wen, Paul Touma, Shuhan Zhang
Sexual Harrasment Officer: Hang Gao, Charlotte Plashik, Jazzlyn Breen, Layla Mkhayber
Disabilities Officer: Wilson Huang, Hayden Moon
Queer Officer: Peter Burell-Sander, Steff Leinasars
Mature Age Students Officer: Vinil Kumar
Interfaith Officer : Julia Kokic, Keegan Mason, Hongli Wang, Angela Zhang
Social Justice Officer: Joshua Noble, Shikki Wang, Siying He, Olivia-James McKeown
Refugee Rights Officer: Lili Schapiro, Yihe (Victor) Li, Sulainsan Malik
Residential College Officer: Hayley (Luoyu) Zhang, Flora Zhao, James Ardouin, Annabel de Mestre
Student Housing Officer: Irene Ma, Yinfeng Shen, Seamus Kirk, Ziwei Lin
Chair, Standing Legal Committee: Xiaoman Zhu

MEETINGS
The first Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on Wednesday 6 February 2019. The following substantive motions were considered and carried:
R2. Censure Motion
The SRC censures and strongly condemns Zac O’Farrell who attempted to blackmail the organization by preventing the organisation’s democratic process and hypocritically acting against the best interests of the students he claims to represent.
Moved: James Ardouin Seconded: Chanum Torres Co-sponsors: Josie Jakovac
The next Ordinary Meeting of Council will take place on Wednesday 6 March 2019 at 6:00pm at New Law 026.

SRC President’s Report – Week 12, Sem 2, 2018

Imogen Grant

This Wednesday staff and students at Sydney University will join a national day of action across campuses to call on the Morrison government to end offshore detention.

In recent weeks the mental health crisis on Nauru has exploded. Around 20 children still on Nauru have been consumed by despair and are refusing food and water. The situation is growing more and more urgent and the pressure on the government is building. The doctors’ peak body, the AMA, has called for all children to be immediately brought to Australia for medical care.

At Sydney University, outside Fisher Library on Wednesday 17 October, staff and students will hold a public reading 11am-1pm of Behrouz’s book written from Manus; and at 1pm hold a group photo action with placards reading #NoMoreHarm, #BringThemHere and #EducationNotDetention.

The USYD action will coincide with actions being organised across the country by Academics for Refugees. The USYD action is endorsed and being co-organised by Campus Refugee Action Collective and the National Tertiary Education Union

Secondly, on Saturday 1pm Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and USYD Queer Action Collective (QuAC) will protest against Scott Morrison’s homophobia. The SRC will be attending protest and stand alongside the queer community in their calls for an end to the homophobic rhetoric that has been spurred on by the so called leader of this country.

We demand an end to gay conversion therapy. This is an ongoing practice in Australia that our new PM has described as simply “not an issue for me”. We call bullshit on this. Conversion therapy has been deemed as ‘torture’ by the United Nations. Morrison’s response shows a deep lack of respect and is just one example of his incessant homophobia and contempt for LGBT+ Australians. Even when the postal vote returned an overwhelming Yes for marriage equality he left the room in parliament instead of voting for equality. Now since becoming PM he has re-raised the issue of religious discrimination in an attempt to roll back our rights post marriage equality.

He has also joined the train of inflammatory comments directed at trans young people and the schools who support them. As he tweets “let kids be kids” and “we don’t need gender whisperers in schools” these are genuine statements that we direct back at him, conversion therapists and the government-funded school chaplains that have interfered with trans kids lives. No person should be put through mental torture because of someone else’s bigotry.

Join us to say No to ScoMo. Come protest on the day of the Wentworth by election and march to Oxford Street within their electorate. This protest will be held in conjunction with another taking place in the heart of Canberra that day.

Feel free to email me at president@src.usyd.edu.au if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or help@src.usyd.edu.au.

SRC Presidents Report – Week 8, Sem 2, 2018

On Sunday the Students’ Representative Council, along with the National Union of Students, hosted a rally against the new Scott Morrison prime ministership which I had the honour of speaking at. The right wing coup in the Liberal Party brought down Malcolm Turnbull. But it has failed to elevate its number one candidate, former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, to the prime minister’s office.

We are now seeing the bourgeois media pitch Morrison’s victory as a great triumph of “moderation”. But Morrison built his brand and popularity on the back of years of torturing refugees. During his time as immigration minister, was the architect of the government’s inhuman Sovereign Borders boat turnback policy, and presided over the deaths of Reza Barati and Hamid Khazaei on Manus Island in 2014.

He also led the “It’s okay to say No” brigade in the marriage equality plebiscite and led the push for a “religious freedoms” bill to undercut the result.
The political legacy of Morrison’s term as immigration minister is particularly striking when one remembers the leadership challenge came as a 12 year old girl on Nauru tried to set herself on fire, and another 17 year old girl is in a critical condition after refusing food and water.

Morrison’s far right politics are no better than Dutton or Turnbull’s. The Liberals continue to cut penalty rates, privatise education, screw up our public transport, slash Medicare funding, destroy the climate and give tax cuts to their rich mates, while driving racism to distract us. It’s not refugees or migrants cutting our penalty rates and living standards.

Workers in Australia need a decent living wage and a future we can be proud of, not a far-right fearmonger whose policies gain the support of Trump and Hanson. The far right MPs in the Liberal Party are buoyed by the success of Trump and the far right in Europe. They too want a party that is openly bigoted, sexist, racist and shows a complete contempt for science.

The connections between Trump & Morrison are clear – Morrison famously refused to criticise Trump’s travel ban, instead encouraging countries to “catch up” with Australia’s racism. And just yesterday, the US president, Donald Trump, has tweeted his congratulations to the new Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison.And we shouldn’t forget that, for many in the hard right of politics, US president Donald Trump’s against-the-odds success, driven by unashamed bigotry and take-no-prisoners approach, is considered a model to be emulated.
The solution is not to vote our way out of this, but to reignite the refugee rights movement. Social change happens from action – we cannot vote our way out of it. Just like the way we did in after Abbott’s 2014 budget – calling protests, strikes, direct actions and working with unions is something to be replicated today. We must stand up for ourselves because we cannot rely on the Shorton Government to end offshore processing.

We need to kick out the Liberal Government – yes – but we also need to kick the racist policies out & build a movement based on attacking state racism such that such policies become untenable for any party to enact. We have more in common with the workers, activists and unionists locked up in detention than we do with the parasitic Australian ruling class torturing people indefinitely in camps.
Reflecting on this, we don’t want a “stable” Liberal Party. The dominant party of the Australian capitalist class is now in deep crisis because of this factional schism and we want to see the party topple – along with the far-right policies within it!

And there is a role the student movement can play here. There’s a long history of students – no matter their colour – standing up and mobilising against the state’s racism, see the 1965 Freedom Rides. And I am going to make sure that we build we build this movement against the Liberal Government at the University of Sydney and across campuses in this state.

Feel free to email me at president@src.usyd.edu.au if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or help@src.usyd.edu.au.

SRC Presidents Report – Week 7, Sem 2, 2018

Imogen Grant

As I am writing this, a final memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Ramsay Centre CEO Simon Haynes and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence. Annamarie Jagose, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, is currently reviewing the MOU and will take it to the FASS Board Meeting on Monday for discussion.

At the next FASS Board Meeting on 10 September, FASS staff & students will be leafleting members to vote against the proposed degree in Western Civilisation. It is normal for Academic Board to look to the decision at a faculty board humanities experts in FASS and consequently decide approve or reject the Ramsay curriculum. If it gets through the FASS Board then Academic Board is more likely to just rubber stamp it – or at least very unlikely to vote against it. As a result, the decision at Faculty Board is crucial in the fight against the Ramsay Centre on campus. We have cohered a strong student opposition to the Centre and are currently in contact with the student members of the Board.

On another note, the Academic Board and University Executive are currently conducting a review into safety and wellbeing. This is an issue that has become the subject of regulatory attention from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Association (TEQSA).

The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HES Framework) includes Section 2.3, on wellbeing and safety, that requires providers to provide timely and accurate advice on access to student support services and to promote and foster a safe environment on campus and online.

We will be ascertaining as to whether the University is or is not compliant with these standards and making recommendations for improvements on the availability, provision and communication of services and processes to ensure the wellbeing and safety of specific cohorts of students.

Interviews will be conducted over the next few weeks with students. If you receive an invitation, I encourage you to take up the offer and have your voice heard on the topic. If you have any feedback on the state of student safety and wellbeing you wish for me to know or relay to the committee, always feel free to email me at president@src.usyd.edu.au.
Finally, last week the SRC sent a contingent of students to the early childhood educators walk off & protest, as part of the Big Steps campaign, outside the NSW Parliament. We heard speeches from childhood educator Gwen Alcock, ACTU President Michele O’Neil, Labor MP Tanya Plibersek and a parent Emily Mayo.

Childhood education is a booming industry and many of these educators attend university for years to be qualified. With diploma-level or university-level training the wage is only $23 per hour, about half the the national average wage – childhood educators are the working poor.

Childhood educators also earn 30% less than people with equivalent qualifications in male-dominated fields. 97 percent of childhood educators are women and society undervalues these skills because they are seen as “soft,” just an extension of the unpaid work performed by mothers at home.

The SRC has made a solid commitment this year to become activated around workplace issues – both as student-workers and in solidarity with workers from a range of different industries. As a part of that we are organising a ‘Union Day’ on September 17 on Eastern Avenue.

Majority of students work full-time alongside full-time study and as a result the distinction between student and worker is becoming increasingly blurred. 60 percent of international students living in Sydney are paid below the the minimum wage of $17.29 per hour. It gets worse in retail, where 90 percent of international student workers being paid below minimum wage. This day will provide a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about their rights in the workplace & potentially join a union.

Feel free to email me at president@src.usyd.edu.au if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or help@src.usyd.edu.au.

SRC Presidents Report – Week 5, Sem 2, 2018

Imogen Grant

Last week I was incredibly proud to organise, along with our President, Radical Education Week: a week of free workshops accessible to all that covered everything from drug law reform in Australia to the history of political economy movement to legal skills for activists.
Community leaders, academics, politicians and students themselves led these workshops, breaking down the usual constraints around education and its accessible and providing a vision for education free, accessible and liberating. It is only through these peoples’ generosity in their time, resources and knowledge that we were able to organise this at all, and we saw more than 250 students attend workshops that ranged from intimate chats to packed panel discussions throughout the week. If you’re interested in being involved with organising Radical Education Week next year, please either shoot me a message at general.secretary@src.usyd.edu.au or message the Radical Education Week 2018 Facebook page.

Last weekend we also organised the SRC’s presence at Open Day, letting incoming students know about the SRC’s services, opportunities to become involved in collectives and the Council’s work and some of the campaigns we are working on at the moment. We also were able to distribute several hundred copies of the Counter-Course I edited at the beginning of the year. Hopefully this will be able to provide a useful insight to people considering attending Sydney University from students attending University themselves, counter-balancing the University’s slick advertising.

Good luck to everyone going with their upcoming assignments, and please feel free to shoot me an email with any questions about the SRC or this report at general.secretary@src.usyd.edu.au.
On Sunday the Students’ Representative Council, along with the National Union of Students, hosted a rally against the new Scott Morrison prime ministership which I had the honour of speaking at. The right wing coup in the Liberal Party brought down Malcolm Turnbull. But it has failed to elevate its number one candidate, former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, to the prime minister’s office.

We are now seeing the bourgeois media pitch Morrison’s victory as a great triumph of “moderation”. But Morrison built his brand and popularity on the back of years of torturing refugees. During his time as immigration minister, was the architect of the government’s inhuman Sovereign Borders boat turnback policy, and presided over the deaths of Reza Barati and Hamid Khazaei on Manus Island in 2014.

He also led the “It’s okay to say No” brigade in the marriage equality plebiscite and led the push for a “religious freedoms” bill to undercut the result.
The political legacy of Morrison’s term as immigration minister is particularly striking when one remembers the leadership challenge came as a 12 year old girl on Nauru tried to set herself on fire, and another 17 year old girl is in a critical condition after refusing food and water.

Morrison’s far right politics are no better than Dutton or Turnbull’s. The Liberals continue to cut penalty rates, privatise education, screw up our public transport, slash Medicare funding, destroy the climate and give tax cuts to their rich mates, while driving racism to distract us. It’s not refugees or migrants cutting our penalty rates and living standards.

Workers in Australia need a decent living wage and a future we can be proud of, not a far-right fearmonger whose policies gain the support of Trump and Hanson. The far right MPs in the Liberal Party are buoyed by the success of Trump and the far right in Europe. They too want a party that is openly bigoted, sexist, racist and shows a complete contempt for science.

The connections between Trump & Morrison are clear – Morrison famously refused to criticise Trump’s travel ban, instead encouraging countries to “catch up” with Australia’s racism. And just yesterday, the US president, Donald Trump, has tweeted his congratulations to the new Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison.And we shouldn’t forget that, for many in the hard right of politics, US president Donald Trump’s against-the-odds success, driven by unashamed bigotry and take-no-prisoners approach, is considered a model to be emulated.
The solution is not to vote our way out of this, but to reignite the refugee rights movement. Social change happens from action – we cannot vote our way out of it. Just like the way we did in after Abbott’s 2014 budget – calling protests, strikes, direct actions and working with unions is something to be replicated today. We must stand up for ourselves because we cannot rely on the Shorton Government to end offshore processing.

We need to kick out the Liberal Government – yes – but we also need to kick the racist policies out & build a movement based on attacking state racism such that such policies become untenable for any party to enact. We have more in common with the workers, activists and unionists locked up in detention than we do with the parasitic Australian ruling class torturing people indefinitely in camps.

Reflecting on this, we don’t want a “stable” Liberal Party. The dominant party of the Australian capitalist class is now in deep crisis because of this factional schism and we want to see the party topple – along with the far-right policies within it!
And there is a role the student movement can play here. There’s a long history of students – no matter their colour – standing up and mobilising against the state’s racism, see the 1965 Freedom Rides. And I am going to make sure that we build we build this movement against the Liberal Government at the University of Sydney and across campuses in this state.

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