Dylan Parker tells you why independence matters

Oddly of all the things to think about, this week’s controversy around ‘VaginaSoit’ made me think about the value and colour of independent student associations.
Now wherever you stand on the content of the cover, the fact is I am proud that it was democratically elected student representatives that got to make the call as to whether we did or didn’t publish rather than Uni Bureaucrats or paid professional editor-in-chiefs like at other student associations.

Our SRC has a proud history of independence from the University since day one. I love our editorial independence so Honi Soit can say what students want to say rather than what the Administration thinks we want to hear.

I love the independence of our casework service because it is a no-brainer.  A student isn’t going to go for help to a service they think is part and parcel with the people they are having problems with. As a 21 year old whose been screwed over in one of his classes, I get that lecturers are more likely to side with an unscrupulous tutor they have to work with than a student they’re never going to see again.

I love the fact we have a free and independent legal service so that students have the option to get help if they get in trouble with the law. The beauty is, its confidential and intended for you so your parents don’t need to know, your boss doesn’t need to know, and neither does the uni if you get into trouble.
However, obviously there is another side to it as independence comes with responsibility. I can tell you being involved in running a one and a half million dollar organization is a big ask. Independence means we ask undergraduates to make the big calls on whether we stay in the black or go into the red, whether we put freedom of speech above potential legal action, or whether we stretch our legal service defending our activists out fighting for your education. Students aren’t always going to make the right decisions. However, the truth is, it is your money and at least you’ll know the decisions are being made by people who actually live in your world.


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