Week 5, Semester 1, 2023
On Wednesday morning I attended a protest supporting Violet Coco’s appeal, urging that charges against her are dropped. It was fantastic to hear that serious punishment was lifted, particularly on the news that the police had falsified their testimony. On Thursday, we hosted a forum on Free Speech and the Right to Protest. It was great to hear from student activists, as well as Wendy Bacon and David Shoebridge on this important topic.
I helped out at the WoCo bake sale on Wednesday - talking to students about the left-wing, intersectional feminist organising that WoCo does, and helping raise money for an Indigenous activist. It was also lovely to meet students and staff at the Gadigal Centre on Thursday for lunch. I’m looking forward to future conversations and the work that the SRC Indigenous collective does this year.
The SRC has put out an ad for a Social Media Intern
, which is a short term, paid position with the SRC, which I encourage you to apply if you are interested in working at the SRC creating social media content.
This week I attended the Academic Quality Committee and Safer Communities Advisory Group. At Safer Communities, myself and other SRC Officebearers asked questions about the plans for more student safety measures in placements, and what the University plans to do about the sorry, unsafe state of student accommodation.
This week, around the 20 year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the Labor government announced their re-commitment to the AUKUS submarine deal. The AUKUS deal is not about defending Australia, rather, it is about an increase of imperial power - which is a political and environmental disaster costing $368 billion. Instead of AUKUS we need an increase in government spending on public education and welfare.
Next week, come along to the housing protest on Friday evening, and the Women’s Collective counter-protest to the day of the unborn child on Sunday - more events posted online!!
Week 4, Semester 1, 2023
Hi! Last week was fantastic. Congratulations to the NTEU branch at USyd and everyone who went on strike and attended the picket lines. It was significant to see strong support for staff and a complete campus shutdown after months of bargaining. We hope management takes this as a strong message about the importance of this campaign. I spent most of my morning at the small entrance behind the Law school near Victoria park, and visited the well attended City Rd picket, where dozens of staff and students were gathered. The SRC is in support of further strike action to force the hand of University management. I spent time earlier in the week building the strike campaign with the Education Action Group. The University’s Future FASS program is being implemented, with a recent announcement that FASS honours programs may be significantly scaled back for ‘curriculum sustainability’. We are opposed to these changes, which aren’t as dire as originally proposed (due to an amazing student and staff campaign), though they represent a significant degradation of our education. Next week, the SRC is hosting a forum: Free Speech and the Right to Protest, with guest speakers including Wendy Bacon and David Shoebridge, on the University’s crackdown on free speech on campus, and the repressive anti-protest laws used against activists. I encourage students concerned about the suspension of two students to attend in New Law Annex LT024 at 3pm on Thursday 16th. At 8:30am that day there will be an action outside the Downing Centre in support of Violet CoCo, to drop the prison sentence against the climate activist. This week I am also working on the SSAF acquittal with the General Secretaries, we welcome two new Caseworkers, and President Consultation hours are running Mon & Weds. As part of the campaign run by the NUS, and SRC Welfare Action Group @ USyd, the SRC has released a survey on student housing, to gather information and data to use in our campaigning. We want you to fill it out!
Week 3, Semester 1, 2023
Hello! Here’s what I’ve been up to – join the pickets or don’t come onto campus on March 9th!
The SRC stands in full solidarity with the NTEU on strike this Thursday. Staff working conditions are student learning conditions. Students have a crucial role to play showing their solidarity with the people who really run this university - the academic and professional staff who teach and support us. To contribute to the fight for a better education system, it’s essential to come and join staff on the picket lines - from 7am on March 9th.
On Friday the SRC joined the Enviro Collective and the National Union of Students to demand no new coal and gas mines, and a just transition to 100% publicly owned renewables. We marched from Fisher Library to Town Hall to join School Strike for Climate. On the 1 year anniversary of the floods, it’s important to remember the devastation and destruction that climate change continues to cause - and the lack of action from our government.
I wholly condemn the University’s move to suspend Maddie Clark and Deaglan Godwin, and the SRC has posted a statement and open letter in support. I’d encourage students, staff and alumni to sign this letter demanding that the University drop the suspension and defend free speech on campus. Council passed a motion to support Cherish Kuhlemann, UNSW Education officer, in her campaign to drop the draconian charges against her. Cherish’s charges represent the repression of the fundamental right to protest.
This week, I also attended my first Academic Board meeting. One thing I raised was the major problem students seeking support from the SRC are having at the moment, which is that the University’s centralised system is causing enormous problems for enrolment because they are not resourced to support their own students.
President consultation hours continue! Foodhub is open! See more of what we’re up to on the SRC Facebook
Students support strikes!
Week 2, Semester 1, 2023
This week we’ve been around campus holding SRC stalls,handing out the remaining tote bags, telling students about the SRC and upcoming rallies organised by SRC collectives. These have been great and we’ll continue them next week. I held my first consultation hours, weekly on Monday 11-1 and Wednesday 1-3. The re-opening of Foodhub this week has gone swimmingly, and I congratulate the SRC Vice Presidents for their work. I attended the Education Action Group’s fantastic protest demanding the University cut ties with weapons manufacturer Thales. With a 24 hour strike called in Week 3 the SRC will be mobilising and encouraging students to join staff on the picket lines. We must oppose management’s consistent attack on our education and fight for the rights of staff who really make this university run. We co-hosted the ‘Students For Affordable Housing’ protest on Friday. A range of speakers addressed the intensity of the housing crisis. We need state and federal governments to take serious action to address the complete unaffordability of housing in NSW. The SRC will share updates as this campaign escalates. The crackdown on the right to protest with the arrest of the UNSW Education Officer is concerning, and I extend solidarity to Cherish. The discussion paper for the Universities Accord was released last week. I feel the need to repeat consistent arguments the SRC has made: the Job-Ready Graduates package needs to be repealed immediately, and students should have access to FREE, quality higher education. There is a housing crisis, the age of independence and rate of Youth Allowance is too low, and sexual violence occurs on campus at extreme rates. We campaign around these demands and more, as they should be addressed immediately. This week, get along to the Climate Strike on Friday! Meeting at Fisher Library at 11am.
Week 1, Semester 1, 2023
Welcome Week is done! Phew. Thanks to everyone who helped out at the SRC stall and well done to all Collectives for your hard work. It was awesome to meet so many new students who are passionate about making a better world and a better university. Clearly, this year USyd spent a lot of money marketing themselves to new students, but let’s not forget the punitive systems they use against their own students, complete contempt towards staff in enterprise bargaining, and the way management made a surplus by selling essential student housing.
It was a lot of fun to speak with Weihong, President of SUPRA, at the Welcome Ceremony on the main stage on the first day, and to fill half an hour of time introducing the SRC shortly after. Last week I spoke at many other Welcomes, including International Students, the Con, FASS and New to Sydney.
I attended the Women’s Collective protest to end sexual violence on campus, particularly important during Welcome Week which is the most significant time this culture is perpetuated. Some important activist work coming soon includes the snap action on Friday 24th of February to demand affordable housing now! This is a campaign wholly supported by the SRC as the housing crisis in Sydney is particularly awful right now. At the SRC stall we told lots of students about the Climate Strike on March 3rd, and are keen for the big day. I’m excited for the Mardi Gras rally on Sunday 19th, when we march against the corporate version of pride. There is also an EAG rally to demand Thales off campus on Feb 23rd.
I had lots of fun at the Welcome Party organised by General Secretary Jasmine! I’ve recently been attending committee meetings, such as UE Education, where I identified the need for improved wait times for students with Special Considerations, because the advent of 5-day simple extensions hasn’t improved this system. Myself and SUPRA also raised difficulties that domestic students are having accessing hybrid learning, where disabled students have identified their need.
Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2023
Welcome to, or welcome back to, the bureaucratic-corporate nightmare that makes up the University of Sydney. If you’ve managed to enrol in classes, log into your email and access your timetable, you’re off to a great start! The SRC is the representative body for ALL undergraduate students, offering free casework help and a legal service – in case you run into trouble and need independent support. The SRC also firmly sharpens itself as a thorn in University management’s side, offering an alternative to their brand of “student life”. We run a range of activist collectives – currently our focus is on the crisis students are facing in housing. USyd has sold off a huge mass of its affordable housing, and rents in student accommodation and their nearby suburbs is dramatically more than youth allowance or any part time job can cover. We want the University to invest in student accommodation, guaranteeing a place for all students at a price range we can afford. In the reports below you can see a range of campaigns our Office Bearers are running! All of them are fighting for a better world, and a University education that is free, and puts the interests of staff and students before the interests of corporate donors and Vice Chancellors. We seek change in broader society, particularly as the Labor Government continues to open new coal and gas projects, jeopardising our future and making no chang to their broken higher education system. My name is Lia, I’m a 4th year Arts student who will be your SRC President this year. You’re always welcome to shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and find my consultation hours on the ‘contact’ section of our website. In future reports I’ll tell you more about what I’ve been up to, for now the focus is WELCOME!