Wom*n’s Collective (affectionately termed “WoCo”) is the SRC’s sanctioned radical feminist space. Although a relatively simple sounding descriptor, “collective”, “radical” and “feminist” are hardly simple words. And herein lies the dilemma with 500 words to describe WoCo – anything we think we’ve defined, inevitably attaches itself to 50 or so other questions that we don’t know, shouldn’t know and can’t know the answer to (or at least not alone). And with this preamble comes the best summation of WoCo – an ideally fluid, discursive space where some people get together and talk about some things that are somewhat related to wom*n. Confused? Don’t worry, so are we.
Disclaimer aside, here’s what we can tell you with certainty: Wom*n’s Collective is funded (quite generously) by the Student Representatives Council and facilitated by us (Xiaoran & Subeta), your Wom*n’s Officers. Wom*n’s Officers are elected at the end of every year by those who have been actively involved in the collective throughout that year. The Wom*n’s Officers are accountable to WoCo first and foremost. We are like your humble, bureaucratic servants. We help WoCo function on a practical level but the ideas, inspiration and momentum are a collaborative effort.
Wom*n’s Collective is open to all those who identify in whole or in part as a wom*n, non-binary or trans person. That is also the reason for the *, to signify an inclusive space. Restricting who wom*n’s collective is open to fits with the principles of autonomous organising – that those who are directly silenced by patriarchy should be central to the fight against it. WoCo has meetings every week, in the wom*n’s room in Manning. The wom*n’s room is open to all those the collective is open to – there’s a microwave, some comfy couches and reading materials, so feel free to check it out if you’re looking for a cis-dude free zone or to add some heat (literally) to last night’s leftovers.
WoCo has some mandatory duties. We run an O-week stall (come visit!), produce an annual publication called “Growing Strong” with a corresponding launch and steal Honi Soit from the editors for a week to produce Wom*n’s Honi. Aside from that however, our agenda is usually defined by the vision that the Wom*n’s Officers are elected on. In the past Wom*n’s Collective has organised Reclaim The Night and events for International Wom*n’s Day. This year we want a radical, intersectional space that prioritises activist organising and creativity. As part of this we’re keen to work with (and have some plans already in the works!) other Collectives, especially our newer friends the Muslim Wom*n’s Collective and Autonomous Collective Against Racism.
As we’ve said though, we’re not captains, but comrades. The next year for WoCo is not set in stone because we need your ideas and help. So please, come along to a meeting (Thursdays, 1pm), join our Facebook group (USyd Wom*n’s Collective) or send us an e-mail(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or just want to meet up and chat. We want fresh faces, ideas and enthusiasm to make 2015 a great year for wom*n’s activism!