Week 2, Semester 1, 2024
Hope we had a great first week of university for 2024. Here what I’ve been up to last week:
In committees this week I’ve raised the serious problems students are facing with finding safe and affordable accommodation as the rental crisis continues. Many students right now are experiencing housing stress, in no way helped by the universities historic approach to housing, namely how they have historically sold-off affordable accommodation on campus, approved extreme price increases at university owned accommodation, and have kept International House in limbo, a building which could house over 200 students.
I attended the Students for Palestine (SFP) open meeting on Tuesday to plan for the upcoming national student strike on Thursday February 29th, and have since been flyering for the rally on Eastern Avenue and at the Scholarship Welcome. ACAR in collaboration with BDS Youth and SFP have also been planning events for Israeli Apartheid Week, so watch this space!
On Wednesday at 2pm student activists and myself headed down to the Families for Palestine Camp For Ceasefire community picket outside of Anthony Albanese’s electoral office in Marrickville. Families for Palestine is looking for people to help man the picket throughout the week. If you are interested in lending a hand, visit their instagram at @familiesforpalestine.
I have been continuing to work with other student unions across NSW on the Fair Fares Now campaign to give international and part-time students access to concession opal cards. If you haven’t yet signed the petition, check out the linktree at @src_usyd to sign!
From Week 2, the SRC will be stalling and flyering on Eastern Avenue every Wednesday at 12pm. If you have any questions, queries or concerns, come visit us in person and grab a handy 2024 wall-planner if you haven’t yet!
Week 1, Semester 1, 2024
Weeks of preparation culminated in a truly spectacular welcome week, the size of which was so exciting to see, a recovery from covid-times. I had an excellent time greeting new students and old faces, and explaining the work the SRC does alongside our brilliant caseworkers and student activists. A massive thank you to everyone involved in organizing this massive week.
During welcome week I attended the Women’s Collective (WoCo’s) annual rally to end sexual violence on campus. During welcome week, a shocking number of college residents experience sexual assault, harrassment or hazing, a culture that has no place on our campus. I also flyered with the women’s collective promoting their ongoing Abolish the Colleges campaign assisted by Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong.
Throughout this week and next I will be flyering for the myriad of upcoming Palestine actions as the genocide continues. Our Labor government refuses to take action despite the massive dispossession and death Israel has wrought on Palestinians in Gaza and the settler-violence they have endorsed in the West-Bank. We must hold them to account. I want to call attention to the militant community picket in Marrickville outside Anthony Albanese’s electoral office which has been ongoing for several days. This scale of effort is required to combat our government’s complicity in genocide. On Thursday February 29th there is a student strike for Palestine timed for 2pm at Town Hall, but USyd students will begin their march from Eastern Avenue at 1pm.
I will be flyering, handing out the SRC tote bags with our orientation handbook/countercourse and 2024 wall planners every Wednesday throughout the semester. Come say hello and bring with you any questions you might have about the SRC. I wish you all good luck with your studies for semester one.
Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2024
Welcome (or welcome back) to the University of Sydney. My name is Harrison Brennan and I’m 96th President of the Students’ Representative Council.
The SRC is the peak representative body for undergraduate students at the university. We are independent from USyd but we rely on your Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) to operate. We offer a range of free services you may use throughout your academic journey that can assist with anything from USyd’s bureaucratic systems, such as special considerations, centrelink applications, tenancy and accommodation problems, and can help with varying legal matters including encounters with dodgy police or issues with
immigration and employment.
Beyond our casework and legal services lies the very soul of the SRC - its activism and advocacy. As a student union, we are committed to championing the interests of students, agitating for a better education here at USyd and a just world off our campus. Our rich history of activism includes fervent opposition to the Vietnam War, facilitating campaigns for First Nations justice, and our militant response to the corporatising decay of higher education under neoliberal governments and private sector interests. The SRC runs a myriad of activist collectives focused on a variety of political campaigns who hold meetings, forums, and rallies throughout the year. These collectives, both autonomous and non-autonomous, are the best way for students to get involved in activism whilst at university. I am heavily involved in these collectives, and as the President, also sit on multiple committees to raise problems students are facing in their studies.
The SRC is a bastion of activism and resistance. Now more than ever it’s imperative that students unite against the structures of oppression to pave the way for an education untainted by commercial interest, and a future that is just and emancipatory. In 2024, I implore you to check out our collectives, to immerse yourself in activism, to join the struggle and fight for the world that you want to see.
If you want to get involved, have any questions, or need some help, simply reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you around!