Madeleine Clark and Monica McNaught-Lee – Women’s Officers, 94th SRC
Week 3, Semester 2, 2022
The USYD Women collective affirms our support for striking workers at the university, fighting for our learning conditions and their work conditions. Feminists in our collective have been organising their faculties to be out on strike- after all a majority of casual academic staff are women and this undoubtedly contributes to the gender pay gap. Women’s collective is also building solidarity with the Nurses and Midwives Association who will be taking strike action on the 1st of September fighting for nurse-to-patient ratios and a fair pay rise.
In Week 2 we had a successful BBQ survey for the women collective where hundreds of students were asked about what they knew when it sexual violence at uni and in society, as well as their thoughts on ending sexual violence in society for good. In the next month, the collective will compile the data from the day and deliver a report to SRC council. We hope this will be a important first step to reinvigorating a fight back against sexual violence on campus and towards abolishing the colleges.
USU and USyd SRC has set up a grant program for Clubs and Societies to be involved with Radical Pride and Consent week in week 7. An email formally launching Pride and Consent week will be send to C&S presidents in the next week, and we will be launching promotion for Pride and Consent week next week as well. Collective convenors are also encouraged to run an event- we will be in touch across week 3.
Week 1, Semester 2, 2022
Over the Winter break, we have been busy building the foundations for not just campaigns and events we will be running in Semester 2, but for ongoing work that must, and will, be done by the Women’s Collective in the years to come.
We have been meeting with the new USU Board members and SUPRA Officers in order to build connections that reach further across campus and plan potential collaborations. On of our major goals for the latter half of this year is to ensure that we are bringing the radical potential of WoCo further than just Eastern Ave, and Student politics circles. It is vital that we collaborate with faculties like Nursing and Education, C&S and the Post Graduate community. This will be an essential part of the collectives vision for semester 2.
As we continue the years long campaign to Abolish the Colleges, we are introducing a new long term focus and goal. This focus is on the transition from elite college to affordable housing through the abolition of the legislations under which most colleges exist. USyd is a public university and the colleges sit on Crown Land. These spaces should be available to all regardless of their Socio-economic background, they should not be government owned elite clubs. We are working with Jenny Leong’s office to look into the incredible potential that this route of action can have. Though legislation may work to abolish the colleges for good, only collective feminist action can stomp out the epidemic of sexual violence on the streets.
Over the holidays, we have seen public sector workers continue to demand better working conditions and better pay. WoCo members attended and supported the June 28th Nurses strike and the June 30th Teachers strike (which was a historic joint action between the NSW Teacher’s Federation and the Independent Education Union of Australia) and the western Sydney nurses walk out in July. The battle is ongoing and we will continue to fight alongside public sector workers for as long as it takes. WoCo convener, Dashie Prasad, has worked with the Anticolonial Asian Alliance to produce some resources on the demands of Nurses and Midwives demands which can be seen on the WoCo instagram page! Have a read, give it a share.
Come and Get Grill’d by WoCo and QuAc on Wednesday Aug 10th on Gadigal Green! We will be handing out free sausage rolls and conducting an informal survey into what students know about the NSSS and SASH on campus. You can also take this opportunity to meet the Student Liaison Officers who will be hanging out with us on the day. Come along to see what the next steps are for the End Rape on Campus campaign.
Teachers Forum during Rad Ed events! We’ve begun conversation with EDSOC and EAG about a Rad Ed forum on the cross educational sector strikes- from early childhood, primary, secondary & tertiary.
Radcal Pride and Consent Week is coming in Week 7 (12-16 Sept)! USU and SRC are co-hosting Radical Pride and Consent week with a chance for clubs and collectives to get grants to run events on topics surrounding celebrating pride for LGBTQAI+ communities, discussing radical consent, radical pleasure, meaningful connections, care, compassion, love and affection, community building and solidarity.
Week 2 meeting will be on Tuesday at 12pm– we have much to plan so we can’t wait to see you all there!
Week 12, Semester 1, 2022
The main focus of the last fortnight has been showing solidarity with the NTEU and giving support to the SRC and Education officers in the build up to the 48-hour strike and picket by USyd workers. It was very encouraging to see WOCO members be involved in the building process, heading up contingents of their faculties, lecture bashing and stalling.
Women’s Officers were also involved in seeking cross union support for the NTEU strike, securing endorsements and messages of solidarity from many unions. We were also involved in finding media coverage for the strike, which was covered by 7 News, 9 News, SMH, ABC’s The Drum as well as our very own Honi Soit team who did an in-depth coverage of the industrial action.
Congratulations to the Union, the SRC and community members who maintained the pickets with strong militancy. The Women’s Collective sends their undying solidarity with staff in their struggle against university management. The Women’s Collective will continue to support building efforts ahead of a potential second strike on the 24th of May.
On Tuesday the 10th of May, the collective, along with the EAG and feminist activist on campus, organised a speak out against the potential supreme court overturning of abortion rights for people across The United States of America. With the conservative appointment of Judges in the Supreme court (which has a stronger precedence setting/law making capacity in the USA than it does in Australia) could see the overturning of Roe V Wade, which would take away privacy and autonomy of people’s decision over their own bodies regarding their pregnancies.
Many students gathered out the front of Fisher Library to share anger, stories and solidarity with the many women and trans folk in the USA that will suffer if this goes ahead. The fight for a free and accessible abortion as health care in Australia is a long one yet, and jabs from right wing politicians against legal abortion are a continuous threat to women’s right still. WOCO will continue its fight for abortion rights into the year, so get involved if this is an issue you care about!
Week 10, Semester 1, 2022
Our main focus the past few weeks has been on planning and building for the Nursing Power forum we co-hosted with the Sydney Uni Nursing Society on Wednesday the 27th of April. Health sector and other students heard from a current Western Sydney mental health nurse, a former Nurse Educator who is now a research RN and the Public Health Organising manager of the NSWNMA. The panel covered issues such as the importance of union activism, the dire work conditions faced by nurses and midwives, and how we can fight for a better healthcare system (for both patients and staff). In the context of upcoming strikes at our own university and in the public school system, the forum was a great way for students to learn from current healthcare workers and understand the power of industrial action.
In the final third of the semester, we will continue to hold weekly meetings, host reading groups, and several other one-off events. We are currently in the process of organising a Responding With Compassion workshop held by Full Stop Australia for members of the collective to attend. The training will also be open to all other students. We must remember that the action of disclosing an incidence of assault or harassment (whether this is in the context of a family/social group, the workplace, or an academic setting) has the potential to incur additional trauma depending on the response. We hope that by organising this workshop, students will be able to take this training into their personal lives so they can better support anyone who decides to disclose trauma to them.
With the success of our Nursing Power forum, we hope to put on similar panels about union power for students in other areas of study. First up we will be planning a forum for education students!
Last, but not least, love and thank you to Maddie for all she’s done as WoCo convener and Women’s Officer this year and a big, ginormous welcome to Dashie who will be taking over!
Week 6, Semester 1, 2022
This past fortnight the Women’s Collective has been very active. We’ve had meetings, reading groups and protests. In particular we had a speak out on Tuesday the 22nd in preparation for the results of the National Student Safety Survey which were released on the 23rd. We had this protest a day earlier because we knew the results would be bad. We’ve had surveys before and they all tell us the same thing- sexual assault is happening at horrific rates on our campuses. The results of the survey confirmed this. Even though the survey was conducted during the first wave of covid, when students went to online learning, the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault are still too high. Of the USyd students who responded to the survey, 18.5 per cent experienced sexual harassment during their time on campus and 6.7 per cent of respondents have experienced sexual assault. Both higher than the national average. The response of Sydney Uni has been to sweep these results under the carpet. The truth is they don’t care. They can give us consent modules but when it comes to meaningful action like getting rid of the colleges they are silent. It’s up to students and activists to draw attention to these issues and show how the university and government benefit off the same system that perpetuates these conditions of oppression. WoCo is co-hosting a National Day of Action with the National Union of Students Women’s Department on the 5th of April to keep the pressure up after the release of the survey. This will be an important demonstration and will be held at 1pm outside Town Hall. Please follow our facebook page and other socials for more information.
Week 4, Semester 1, 2022
This past couple of weeks have been busy for the Women’s Collective and politics more generally. It’s clear that we are in a new stage of catastrophe and crisis for capitalism. Politicians can no longer deny the impacts of climate change and it is devastating to see the human cost of their inaction. With this in mind WoCo is supporting the Climate Strike on the 25th of March. The new sub variant of omicron is also the result of the government’s inaction and we will see more lives lost and severely impacted because of this.
The Women’s Collective has been active discussing these issues and we also have been busy organising. We’ve attended the Mardi Gras rally, had meetings and banner paints and we have a suite of events and actions lined up for the next couple of weeks. Of note is our annual ‘Counter-protest the Day of the Unborn’ rally which will be on the 27th of March. We are organising this with the UTS Women’s Collective and as the participants of this day not only represent an anti-abortion stance but also reflect the far right more broadly, it makes coming out and fighting them more necessary. To prepare for this rally we are hosting a training session on the 17th of March which will be open to all students to attend. We are also organising actions around the release of the National Student Safety Survey which will show us new statistics on the rates of sexual violence on campus. To stay in touch with these events you can find us on Instagram and Facebook @usydwoco.
Week 2, Semester 1, 2022
The first two weeks of uni have flown by! We saw new students (and old) sign up to join the Women’s Collective at Welcome Week and it was encouraging to see students enthusiastic about the year to come.
It was also full of activism and we had our first protest on the second day of Welcome Week stalls. This was an essential protest to draw attention to the rates of sexual violence on campus. Particularly with the rates of sexual assault during Welcome Week. Raising awareness around the sexual violence rampant in the colleges, we had an open mic at the end where we heard from survivors and students who have seen first hand the impacts of these institutions.
We also heard from NTEU member Finola Laughren, who spoke more broadly on the sexism in the university as a casual worker, Misbah Ansari, who spoke on the cuts to Gender and Cultural Studies and Lauren Lancaster who spoke on the damage of the colleges and the university at large. The university pretends to care about these issues but it was glaringly obvious, with the millions they spent on Welcome Week, that they only care about their reputation. When it comes to meaningful change and support, they are silent.
Going into the next week we had our first meeting where we discussed the Mardi Gras protest, drawing attention to the Religious Discrimination Bill, having a reading group on ‘Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement”, organising a counter protest for Day of the Unborn Child and meeting logistics. Apart from what we have organised there is a lot going on at a campus activist level and in national and world politics.
It’s an important time to be left wing and if you would like to be involved please join USYD WoCo 2022 Facebook group.
Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2022
The Women’s Collective (WoCo) has had a busy holiday break. It’s been very encouraging to see so many people turn up even during this period. In our first meeting we discussed our perspective going into this year. We particularly focused on the COVID situation and wrote a statement condemning the government’s handling of the pandemic. It is an outrage that the government has let COVID cases get away from us and spread in the community. Lives have been lost and permanently impacted because of the choices of our politicians.
We also discussed the campaigns we want to focus on going into this year. We want to organise around the “Burn the Colleges” demands and immediate release of the NSSS results but we also want to organise in other areas too. The Nurses and Midwives Union community protest and the GMAR rally are two campaigns that we want to give solidarity and support to.
Welcome Week is the most important week for getting new students involved in activism. This year we really want to grow the Women’s Collective. For the stalls we have organised a roster and are printing merchandise. On the stalls we will also be handing out leaflets that explain the Colleges, a zine that was organised last year, tote bags and stickers (as well as Growing Strong copies).
Importantly, our protest will be on the second day of stalls. This is an important event to show that WoCo is an activist group and that the way we win our demands is through the streets. It will also be important as Welcome Week’s are known to have the highest rates of sexual assault and violence. Women should be safe on campus and our protest will shed light on these issues.
Amelia Mertha and Kimberley Dibben – Women’s Officers, 93rd SRC
Week 9, Semester 2, 2021
Rad Sex and Consent Week
Rad Sex and Consent Week 2021 has cum and gone! A huge thank you is in order for the many people in our collective who pulled this together. And whether you attended a live event, listened to a podcast or watched a video, thank you for your support over the week. We hope you bring these conversations, skills, knowledge and a radical love for community into your own spaces. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.
But the gift keeps on giving! You can access all our online resources from the week from the drive linked on our Facebook page (University of Sydney Women’s Collective). We also have some hot new Rad Sex printed zines, new tote bags, and stickers to share when the SRC is open again.
Hands off Gender and Cultural Studies!
As two Gender Studies students, we feel it is imperative to retain the radical and autonomous nature of Gender and Cultural Studies (GCST) at USyd. Many of our members, and to some extent we ourselves, have been called to action in the very classes on the chopping block. These GCST units at risk are critical to leftist feminist organising, such as the work of WoCo. The existence of Gender and Cultural Studies at USyd is itself a product of feminist organising of the 1970s (to read more, see Maddie Clark’s article in Women’s Honi 2021).
We will continue this legacy in the upcoming fight against management to keep the truly crucial department from losing its radical autonomy.
Week 7, Semester 2, 2021
Two weeks until Radical Sex and Consent Week
Only two weeks to go until WoCo’s very exciting Radical Sex and Consent Week in week 8!! Follow this link to be taken to our Facebook event, click going, and share with your mates! Look forward to topics such as sex work, dating and race, relationships, queerness, and more to be discussed over many online events, podcasts, zines, and more! Full schedule out soon. Follow #radsexandconsentweek and the University of Sydney Women’s Collective page and instagram (@usydwoco) for updates!
National Student Safety Survey
Have you gotten the survey? Remember to check your junk mail and spam inboxes to see if you are one of the 10,000 USyd students chosen to complete the National Student Safety Survey. This survey will collate important new data on sexual violence and the behaviours and context which prelude it. We really encourage every person selected to participate to help us fight against sexual violence on campus. There will also be an concurrently-run anonymous online form that any current student or student who has been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years can use to share more about their experiences. This can be completed at nsss.edu.au.
This survey can be quite confronting and re-traumatising for many. A reminder that sexual assault and sexual harassment support is available via the Safer Communities Office. The Safer Communities Office is a team of specialist student liaison officers (SLOs) that provides trauma informed support and case management for survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Safer Communities Office also provides support for staff seeking advice on supporting students. Contact: 8627 6808 (Available 8.30am-5.30pm Mon- Fri), firstname.lastname@example.org. The SRC caseworkers are also available for practical support on 9660 5222 during regular office hours (9am – 5pm Mon – Fri).
Joining the fight against sexual violence can help so many survivors, including many WoCo members, in the process of healing from harm. WoCo is a place of collective healing as well as a staunch leader of anti-sexual violence activism. We encourage all (non-cis men) to join in our fight together. Survivors are stronger when we are together.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2021
National Student Safety Survey
From this week until early October, 10,000 randomly selected students from every uni nationwide will receive a link via email to participate in the Universities Australia National Safety Survey. This survey will collate important new data on sexual violence and the behaviours and context which prelude it. We really encourage every person selected to participate. There will also be an concurrently-run anonymous online form that any current student or student who has been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years can use to share more about their experiences. This can be completed at nsss.edu.au.
The data received in this coming report will help activists like those in WoCo to fight against sexual violence on university campuses, pushing for greater support for survivors, accountability for perpetrators, and fighting the structural sexism which encourages gendered violence.
Rad Sex and Consent Week
WoCo is so thrilled with the way that the Rad Sex and Consent Week program is shaping up. Collective members will spend the next several weeks producing videos, podcasts, live panels and interactive written resources that will be available from Week 8. We are packing in as much as we can into the seven days: sex toys, kink and BDSM, dating with a disability, interracial dating, an “Ask a Mum” Q&A, transformative justice, smut reading, sexual health, healthy relationship green flags, red flags, sex worker rights, religion, being a non-binary drag artist. Also watch this space for the raffle prize list featuring lots of sexy goodies.
Student Liaison Officers
A reminder that sexual assault and sexual harassment support is available via the Safer Communities Office. The Safer Communities Office is a team of specialist student liaison officers (SLOs) that provides trauma informed support and case management for survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Safer Communities Office also provides support for staff seeking advice on supporting students. Contact: 8627 6808 (Available 8.30am-5.30pm Mon- Fri), email@example.com
Week 1, Semester 2, 2021
Over the winter break, the Women’s Collective has been busy reading, learning, writing, and planning for an online but still exciting semester! Throughout the holidays, we ran a reading group to discuss Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis. This reading group allowed us to draw similarities and comparisons between the experience of First Nations women and Black American women through an intersectional class lens whilst also reflecting on the politics and activism of WoCo. (Look out for more events like this soon!)
Due to pandemic restrictions, we have had to quickly and creatively transform our original plans for Radical Sex and Consent Week into an online program — videos (live and recorded), podcasts and written resources. As we’ll need more time to make these changes, Radical Sex and Consent Week will now fall in Week 8 after the mid-semester break. To help us plan and run these events, come along to one of our weekly organising meetings! Together, we hope to run a successful week of radical, engaging, and holistic sex education that is everything you wish you had in high school.
We’ve also been working hard with our collective on the autonomous edition of Honi Soit! Women’s Honi will be out next week for the Week 2 edition – check it out! The issue covers prison abolition, artificial intelligence, sexism in the music industry, mutual aid, and so much more!
To organise left-wing feminist activism with us, join the Women’s Collective! Join the closed Facebook group USYD WoCo 2021, answer a few questions, and come along to our weekly meetings. We welcome people from all levels of political education and experience!
Week 12, Semester 1, 2021
Join the Women’s Collective and Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) at an important Sorry Day rally and march, 1pm Wednesday 26 May at Town Hall. As we always should, but especially on this particular date, we acknowledge the forced removals of First Nations children from their families and communities — a policy in so-called “Australia’’ that existed over many decades and generations. This date also commemorates the release of the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997. We acknowledge the grief and trauma of the Stolen Generations, and condemn the violent settler-colonial project that mandated this and continues to mandate this.
Decolonisation and land back mean nothing if we don’t also fight for the freedom, survival and autonomy of First Nations families. We are still seeing First Nations children taken from their communities. The racist foster care system and the racist prison system have only perpetuated the genocidal removal of Bla(c)k children. Instead, more First Nations children today are stolen from their families than before Rudd’s hollow apology. Instead, Bla(c)k kids are disproportionately criminalised and imprisoned in juvenile detention.
KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.
KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.
KIDS NEED FAMILY AND COMMUNITY NOT INTERVENTION. STOP THE STOLEN GENERATIONS. SORRY MEANS YOU DON’T DO IT AGAIN.
More event info here: facebook.com/events/229180735629625
Follow the critical work of GMAR here: facebook.com/GMAR.GrandmothersAgainstRemovals
Week 10, Semester 1, 2021
THE WEEK 10 COMMANDMENTS
1. Thou shalt honour and demand justice for Indigenous people. Stop the Stolen Generation. Stop deaths in custody.
2. Thou shalt get cops off campus.
3. Thou shalt dismantle the colleges because St Paul’s going co-ed will not solve the issue of rampant sexual violence at this university.
4. Thou shalt honour and demand justice for survivors.
5. Thou shalt honour thy right to body autonomy.
6. Thou shalt not take the name “pro-woman” in vain for your anti-abortion agenda. (To our dearest CathSoc: any attempt to pit disabled peoples and pro-choice advocates against each other (as if the two are mutually exclusive) has, and always will, fail.
7. Thou shalt protest the cuts to SLAM. Resist the attack on Arts. Abolish the neoliberal university – free, accessible education for all.
8. Thou shalt de-stigmatise sex work. Sex work is work.
9. Thou shalt protect trans kids.
10. Thou shalt keep each other safe.
– THURS 13 MAY 1pm @ Women’s Room | WoCo Week 10 meeting
– WED 26 MAY 1pm @ Town Hall | Sorry Day Rally co-organised with Grandmothers Against Removals
– FRI 4 JUNE 7:30PM @ TBA | WoCo End of Sem Party and Fundraiser
Join USyd Women’s Collective
New members are always welcome to our meetings and events. Find our autonomous Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/218882649839471 / ‘USYD WoCo 2021’ and just answer a few questions.
Week 8, Semester 1, 2021
This week we have shared our criticism on the Liberal government’s ridiculous attempt at consent education called the Good Society. The main videos under scrutiny were three which aimed to cover the topics of consent, STI prevention, and sexual violence. Notably, no explicit mention of these terms was to be heard. Instead, these videos were heavily censored, using confusing examples and silly euphemisms that failed to clearly explain the topics at hand and trivialised sexual violence. Trivialising and censoring these conversations only further stigmatises sexual violence and survivors
Once again, we see how crucial Radical Sex and Consent Week is when students do not get proper sex and consent education from experienced, informed and well-resourced teachers. Look out for us early next semester for actually nuanced and interesting conversations about sex, sexuality, consent, gender, and more!
In preparation for Radical Sex and Consent Week, the Women’s Collective will be working on a zine inspired by the sealed section ‘Dolly Doctor’ that we all used to read in secret from our mum. It will include information on lesbian sex, whether virginity is real, sex toy reviews, what to do if you need an abortion, and more.
Next month, we have a rally for ‘Sorry Day’ with Grandmothers Against Removals to fight for the end of the Stolen Generation, which continues through the racist foster care system and the criminalisation of First Nations children. Kids belong on Country with community!
To help write our sexy zine, organise Radical Sex and Consent Week, or to get involved in our other feminist activist projects: join the Women’s Collective! Just join the Facebook group USYD WOCO 2021 and answer the few questions.
Week 6, Semester 1, 2021
Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody – Stop Black Deaths in Custody –
JUSTICE FOR ALL FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED
BURN THE FUCKING PRISONS DOWN
Week 4, Semester 1, 2021
At our snap rally on 17th March, we continued the demand for justice for survivors and an end to rape culture, this time also calling on the USU to fund a re-instated Radical Sex and Consent Week. Chanel Contos’ petition and the sexual violence crisis we face makes it clear that holistic, engaging consent education is wanted and needed. This kind of education is ongoing, and we want it to be part of all students’ university experience. Rad Sex and Consent Week WILL be back, so look out for us soon!
Day of the Unborn Child
On Sunday the 21st we held a counter-protest to the ridiculous “Day of the Unborn Child”, fighting for abortion access, reproductive justice and bodily autonomy outside of St Mary’s Cathedral. Whilst we have fought hard to win legal abortion across Australia, it remains still inaccessible and stigmatised. What comes next in the pro-choice movement, is a turn towards holistic reproductive justice. Reproductive justice means encompassing safe access to all aspects of reproduction, particularly centering those often forgotten in the mainstream reproductive rights movement who are at the forefront of gendered colonial violence. It means the end of First Nations child removals and the racist foster care system, and the end of disparities in First Nations health care. It means disability justice and gender-affirming surgeries. Not the Church, not the State, we will decide our fate! Fuck pro-lifers!
Solidarity with Communities in Atlanta
WoCo sends solidarity and love for the families and communities grieving after the shootings at Asian massage parlours in Atlanta last week. This was a horrific act of white supremacist violence by a white man, targeting specifically Asian sex workers. We must resist the dehumanisation of sex workers. Asian sex workers are part of our community. The majority of sex workers in NSW are Asian. Sex work is still criminalised in many states in Australia and made dangerous by the carceral state that continues to expand its power by punishing body and sexual autonomy. We must decriminalise sex work, end the detention of refugees and, especially, stand in solidarity with First Nations justice. To echo May Jeong, we fight for us by fighting against oppression everywhere. Police, as agents of colonial power, cannot be the answer to keeping our or any community safe. Through community care and mutual aid, we keep each other safe.
Week 2, Semester 1, 2021
The Women’s Collective called our first rally of the year last week, kicking off our year-round campaign against sexual violence, which is most prominent during Welcome Week. 1 in 8 incidents of sexual violence occur during Welcome Week, for which the violent rape culture and hazing stemming from the residential colleges is to blame. The Broderick Review, the Red Zone, and numerous other investigations make it clear that there is no safe campus whilst the colleges stand. The colleges cannot be reformed. Students need safe, affordable housing, not old ivory towers of misogyny. Now more than ever we ask: how many testimonies must there be before survivors are actually heard?
END RAPE CULTURE – ON CAMPUS, IN SCHOOLS, AND AT WORK
JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS
EARLIER, MORE HOLISTIC AND EFFECTIVE CONSENT EDUCATION
DISMANTLE THE COLLEGES, BUILD AFFORDABLE STUDENT HOUSING
REFORM REPORTING PROCEDURES
COPS OFF CAMPUS – COPS DON’T KEEP US SAFE, STRONG COMMUNITIES DO
While the safety and wellbeing of fellow USyd students is central to our demands, speakers and statements read at this rally emphasised the private school to college to workplace pipeline of rape culture, recently highlighted in events such as the online petition to demand better consent education in schools by Chanel Contos, and the emerging cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment by Liberal party staff-members. Students and workers alike deserve a campus and workplace free from sexual violence.
To all survivors of sexual violence: we believe you, your assault was not your fault, and WoCo will fight with you for the justice you deserve.
If you want to join the fight, look out for our events on our Facebook page (University of Sydney Women’s Collective) or become a member by joining our closed Facebook group (USYD WOCO 2021).
Welcome Week, Semester 1, 2021
Welcome back to The Red Zone.
Students are most at risk of sexual violence during Welcome Week than any other time of the year. Welcome Week is the most dangerous time of the university calendar.
Back to campus means back to ‘normal’ but what does ‘normal’ look like?
This looks like rampant sexual violence. This looks like sexist, racist, violent college hazing rituals.
This looks like predatory cis men taking advantage of first year 17-18 year old students.
This looks like Wesley College students being ‘awarded’ categories such as “Best Ass”, “Biggest Pornstar”, “Best Cleavage”, and “Kinkiest Collegian”.
This looks like predatory ‘Bone Room’ parties at St Paul’s that prey on first year students in a practice known as ‘fresher grooming’.
This looks like the annual St John’s revenge porn event called ‘the purge’.
This looks like men masturbating into shampoo bottles belonging to women, and defecating in their college rooms and hallways as part of hazing rituals.
This looks like St Paul’s pro-rape Facebook Group called ‘Define Statutory’, promoting itself as ‘pro-rape’ and ‘anti-consent’.
This looks like the burning of the LGBTQ+ pride flag at St Andrew’s.
This looks like white supremacist graffiti on a deceased student’s memorial at St Andrew’s and “they can’t say no with a cock in their mouth” and “any hole is a goal” graffiti at St Paul’s.
Each of these examples are from The Red Zone Report or recent findings from Honi Soit last year and show what we already know is true: that sexual violence, misogyny, elitism, and racism is rampant within all of the residential colleges.
FUCK BACK TO NORMAL. A SAFE CAMPUS IS A COLLEGE FREE CAMPUS
Read more about the ‘rich culture’ that the USYD residential colleges bring to our community: