SRC Presidents Report – Week 5, Sem 1, 2017

Isabella Brook

It’s week 5 and that most likely means that you’re reading this reports section of Honi as a very desperate attempt of procrastination from assessments with looming deadlines. So, to alleviate the feeling of total doom as you pull an all nighter, I’m going to focus on two pieces of good news that have come out of the last week.

First, regular readers of this reports section (there’s probably two of you) might recall that last week I wrote about the University’s proposal to alter semester dates. This proposal was put before a meeting of the University’s Academic Board last Tuesday and was successfully voted down by a number of students and academics. This is a great result for students, especially considering the large number of you that emailed me concerned about how this proposal would affect your studies. I don’t think this is the last time we will hear about this issue and I’m sure the university will try and implement it in one way or another in the future. However, what is obviously clear is that students want to be informed of changes that will affect them, they’re unhappy with the lack of consultation, and they want their voices heard.

Second, is the incredible news that the proposed changes to 18C in the Racial Discrimination Act were defeated in the Senate. The proposed watering down of the Act would have been a serious threat to the multiculturalism and diversity that our nation prides itself on. With racism and islamophobia on the rise across the country and even on our campus, it’s up to us as community to stand in solidarity with those affected and fight back against hate speech. And let me be very clear, 18C is not a limitation on free speech. It is a limitation on hate speech that aims to deliberately and directly offend, insult and humiliate on the basis of race, colour, religion, national and ethnic origin.

As always, if you have any concerns, issues or enquiries don’t hesitate to drop me a line at president@src.usyd.edu.au and don’t forget to like our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/usydsrc to stay up to date with your SRC.