The USyd SRC Campaign Begins, Immediately Becomes Terrible
Welcome to what will quickly become the worst blog on the internet. Cameron Caccamo here; with five SRC Elections under my belt (including a not entirely serious run for President) I’ve got a lot of experience, suppressed anger, and free time. I don’t pretend to be totally objective, but objectivity is dead anyway. So, let us set the scene for what will be an objectively terrible three week period.
Every two years, the month of September sees students treated to an electoral nightmare. The regular SRC/Honi mess occupies Eastern Avenue, while voting for Undergrad and Postgrad Fellows of Senate rolls through every hour of the day - and if we learnt something from 2014, it’s that we really do mean every hour. More on that later.
The SRC Election, as Honi Soit has covered over the past several weeks, will be contested by two main alliances. The “Left” Bloc consists of Grassroots and Sydney Labor Students (SLS, Labor Left) running under Power, as well as Socialist Alternative running under Left Action. Both are supporting Grassroots’ Georgia Mantle, current General Secretary and two-time Indigenous Officer, for President. The “Right” Bloc, supporting Welfare Officer and General Executive Isabella Brook for President, consists of the other two Labor factions running on Stand Up, Unity (Labor Right) and National Labor Students (NLS, Labor Left). As they keep on telling us in all of their material, they are working closely with the moderate Liberals, who are running on Ignite.
The campaign formally kicked off on Saturday morning, and it was clear almost immediately that this would not be a nice election. Student Unity convener Michael “Heavy Discipline” Elliott insinuated in a Facebook post that Power candidates “misuse student’s money” whilst campaigning for Stand Up. No evidence was ever produced for this claim.
All through the weekend, battlelines were drawn as fights broke out all over Facebook. The perennially terrible National Banter Action Group, where hacks across the country chat and regularly bully each other, saw dozens of comments from USyd student politicians attempting to… who actually knows, they sure weren’t winning votes. If interstate hacks thought their own elections were tough, they got a lesson in how the champions of horrible elections handle themselves.
One of these conversations saw Power campaign manager Liam Carrigan question why he had been blocked from commenting on Stand Up’s Facebook page, with a response suggesting Carrigan had been harassing the page. Good times, online.
This has all happened before a single shirt has been sighted, or an uncommitted student talked to. Previous years have seen campaigners scream at each other, barge into each other, and even push people down sets of stairs. What will 2016 bring? Strap in folks, this election will be rough.
Got a topic or idea you want covered? Contact me on twitter, @CJCaccamo, or leave a comment. All hate mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org because I’m not going to look at it.
EDIT: As this was published, another, uh, ~~heated discussion~~ broke out in the comment section of Honi Soit's scoop about the USyd Labor Club, a poignant reminder that this election will see Labor Left infighting like never before. There's never been a more exciting time to not be a member of Labor Left.