Troy and Roland were in a bit of a rush on Thursday so there was only 20 minutes of recording. In addition to the US election, which Roland is obsessed with, Troy discusses the student election broadsheet and the blackout in South Australia. Continue reading
After we were bragging last week about how much better podcasters we had become, somehow we activated Siri mid discussion and stuffed up the file export to lose the last 5 minutes of the podcast, which is probably for the best because we were padding for time after a super uneventful week of politics.
- 0:30 Updating the acts that govern Western Australian universities
- 7:36 Senate is doing nothing
- 9:45 “Plebishite” Trademarked to Troy
- 16:40 Howard: Gender equity will never happen in parliament.
- 18:00 Except it’s already the case in the Northern Territory election.
- 19:00 And now we’re talking about NSW local elections.
- 19:30 All hail Clover Moore.
- 21:30 Student election season begins in the lesser WA unis.
- 24:00 iPhone 7 announced.
- 24:48 Podcast cuts out!!!
Troy and Roland ramble on about yesterday’s news including the Fremantle firework ban, systemic racism, staff strikes and fossil fuel divestment. Practice makes perfect as most of last week’s technical blips are ironed out and the volume tends to be more even too! We even wrote a few notes down to plan what were going to say but quickly lost them.
What do you want us to talk about? Do you want to come on the show and tell us we’re wrong? Leave a comment below.
- 0:45 Fremantle Australia Day fireworks cancelled.
- 4:15 Kalgoorlie riots after death of Aboriginal child.
- 6:20 Calls to release the footage of Aboriginal woman’s death in custody.
- 8:00 This is what systematic/systemic/structural racism is.
- 9:45 Barnett’s leadership woes.
- 11:00 Implied structural sexism in Liberal party.
- 11:25 Tavern smoking ban.
- 13:15 Rumour: Flipped classroom comes to Murdoch.
- 16:30 Staff union votes to consider industrial action.
- 20:00 Student elections are on!
- 21:00 The fine detail we neglected to check (positions are the new structure!)
- 22:00 Troy’s experience on the uni senate.
- 24:00 Dovetail into divesting from fossil fuels.
- 26:30 China halts new coal mines.
- 28:00 Sam Dastyari, corrupt, treasonous, or both?
- 29:40 Government loses control of house of representatives.
- 33:00 And now we’re just bitching out young libs/ALP youth.
- 34:00 Troy confirms existence of Young Nationals.
- 35:00 R U OK? Day coming to campus.
Welcome to our first attempt at a weekly podcast discussing the last week of news and politics. Troy and I sat down to ramble on but both of us had been watching too much Olympics to provide any well thought out opinions. Next week will be better researched we promise. Also apologies over the sound quality, expect a few glitches, we’re very new to this.
Leave feedback and suggestions, positive and negative, in the comments. Anyone who wants to design a Quenda Files logo is welcome to do so.
iTunes subscription coming soon. But for those of you who are more tech savvy, the RSS link is here.
- 1:00 Nauru Files
- 8:00 New biodiversity laws are crap
- 12:30 Inexplicable volume increase (we’re still learning, sorry)
- 13:30 Guess who’s back
- 14:30 Like
- 14:30 Like
- 16:30 Cynicism burnout
- 16:40 Background buzzing
- 17:30 Upcoming events
by Madura McCormack
Student election season has gone into hyperdrive, with voting now open and the stupollies going hard and fast on Bush Court.
I’d first like to acknowledge that METIOR remains impartial, especially in the wake of contributor and outgoing EVP Roland Belford’s endorsement of the ACTION ticket. Roland recently analysed both TMNT’s and ACTION’s policies. He ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014 and the analysis must be read with that bias in mind.
Tensions have escalated since Monday October 2 when a formal complaint was lodged by ACTION against the TMNT ticket for an alleged breach of election rules. That friendly political animosity/ atmosphere seems to be on the verge of breaking out into some kind of political faction stabbing session. Which is why I say,
Now, let’s talk about this election thing and what’s been going on in simple english.
There are two frontrunning tickets, ACTION and TMNT because lets be honest, the independent candidates don’t appear to have enough support or ground presence to be elected into office.
The ACTION team, lead by Troy Treeby is openly a left-leaning party. They can do this because Murdoch University is traditionally leftist, and the student body generally accepts this political idealogy.
Troy is a member of the WA Greens, and has supported Senator Scott Ludlam on his campaign trail. Also a member of the Murdoch University Sustainability Team and organizer of World Student Environment Network [WSEN] 2015, Troy is as green as they come. His autobiography will be titled ’50 Shades of Kale’.
His running partner Gavin Scolaro [General Secretary], is affiliated with the Socialist Alliance, a registered political party that “advocates for a democratic society run by and for working people, not the greedy, destructive capitalist elite that now rules”, according to its website. Scolaro refers to his external pol party as the ‘friendly socialists’, because the other guys, Socialist Alternative are considered slightly… unhinged.
METIOR understands no one else in the ACTION ticket is part of a political party.
Over at The Murdoch Now Team, Guild president candidate Guy McDonald noted during yesterday’s presidential debate that he is a registered member of the WA Greens. Guy, who seems more comfortable working behind the scenes, can be seen here and here with the Greens.
Now to what has been making the online Murdoch community lose its collective shit and initiated the unsavoury mud-slinging that’s going on.
It has become apparent that the ‘Liberal’ brand at Murdoch University is highly toxic. Any mention of the word is met with dirty looks, a frenzied dash for rotten tomatoes and pitchforks.
The Murdoch Now Team has been copping flak for having at least two candidates who are affiliated with the WA Young Liberals. They are Dean Wicken, running for EVP and Darian Whyte, running for Clubs Officer. The general consensus online is that TMNT is a Liberal ticket running under the camouflage of a Green president.
Guy McDonald considers his ticket ‘centrist’. Dean Wicken has come out to defend the ticket, calling TMNT ‘diverse’ and was shutdown about half a second later.
Admittedly, the TMNT Guild Executive is a boys club, something the Guild hasn’t seen in recent memory. In a female majority university where the Guild was helmed by a woman in 2012, 2013 and 2015, this has come back to bite the ticket.
But the bigger question here is, has debate been stiffled at Murdoch because of its long leftist tradition?
This appears to be so, judging from the exchanges happening online and the (arguable) reluctance of Dean and Darian to openly admit that they are members of the WA Young Liberals.
For a previous article on the Women’s Collective fiasco, I sat down to speak with former Women’s rep Bianca Talbot and current candidate for Sports Officer with TMNT. She noted that there is no room for debate at Murdoch, and while she is welcome to her views being challenged, there is no constructive opportunity to do this. Whether this is true is itself up for debate.
I urge all Guild candidates and voters to remember that we are all people and to act in an honourable fashion. Throwing knives at each other is a lot less productive than mature discussion.
Voting remains open until midnight on Thursday, and I implore all students to read ACTION‘s and TMNT‘s policy and vote for whichever candidate you believe will best represent your needs. Thankfully it already looks like the voter turnout will surpass the weak showing of 2014.
Disclaimer: Roland ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014.
Here we go for round two of policy analysis, rules are the same as before, judging policy on how realist they are in my experience with student politics at Murdoch.
I am familiar with most of the Action candidates, I met their executive team of Troy, Brodie and Gavin in 2014 as Guild President as they were all active students in various clubs and Troy and Brodie ran for election as part of the same ticket with me last year. I met Lauren this year volunteering for WSEN, which she co-ordinated and have met Claudia and Rachel who have been very active getting Student for Refugees off the ground this year. Also David, their School Board nominee contacted The Guild this year to begin the petition about services at the library.
I would’ve liked to have written this earlier but Action took awhile to get their policy out there. Maybe something worth considering when you vote. I did find a flyer though today, so I’ll type the dot points in here and give my appraisal. The flyer has greater detail so if I talk about something not inferred in the bullet point, I’m referring to detail provided in their flyer.
- Get involved week
- Kick start Education Council
- Supporting Clubs and Societies
- Encouraging student led initiatives
Get involved week is the showpiece here, seems to involve week long activities and promotions to engage with new students. Sounds promising. Sounds like a lot of work but it’s just a bunch of forms for Room Bookings to deal with.
Kick starting Education Council is also something promised by TMNT. Action claim it hasn’t operated in 4 years but the truth is it’s probably been defunct for much longer. Education Council has a better chance of getting up next year no matter who wins though because there is finally a substantial number of students running for school board positions which is encouraging to see.
It was interesting that supporting clubs to obtain external commercial sponsorship came from the more leftwing of the two tickets. I really expected TMNT, with its card carrying Liberals, to come up with that idea but they’re pushing their voucher system instead. Anyway, bringing external sponsors on board would greatly assist a lot of clubs, finding appropriate sponsors is the hard bit. For example MESS (Murdoch Engineering Student Society) probably have a lot more opportunities to make industry links than say the Quidditch team. With some focus though, Action should be able to deliver this idea and it won’t require re-write of Guild procedures.
Encouraging student led initiatives sounds promising and inclusive. A cynic might say that such a statement could read as “we have no ideas” but I’ll take Action at face value and assume they will be open and helpful to students who want to start exciting things on campus. There are caveats though, a big one being that often students don’t have any good ideas. For example a student approached us this year about holding a 4th of July party for American Independence. This is a bad idea because the vast majority of American students are exchange students and only here during semester. They also came to us with their idea on the 2nd of July. That said, The Guild sometimes receives great ideas and I believe that truly engaging activities happen because they have groundswell and drive from the student body. That requires a self motivated and engaged campus atmosphere and that is the harder task.
Standing up for student rights
- No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities
- Cross subsidy of research and teaching
The first point is almost redundant now with deregulation off the agenda but it is nice to see a ticket come out and state their position on federal education policy. The second point is more interesting. It’s an open secret that almost all universities in Australia supplement their research budgets with the tuition fees of students. Convincing the university to open its books and show exactly how they redistribute money is a very big task. I think the students at ANU made some progress to this, but it’s a very big task and I doubt Murdoch will be comfortable with this. It may be as straightforward as the Senate and Academic Council asking which documents they can release to the public but even that doesn’t show the whole story.
Not much to say, Actions accountability policies are simple and achievable. No need to redraft Statute 17.
- Support Sustainability
Divestment from fossil fuels is an interesting issue. Right now the Guild holds no shares but we do deal with plenty of companies that could be seen as evil. Where do you draw the line? Is having a bank account with a bank that has in the past helped finance mining operations too evil to deal with? Action might say it is. The Guild has changed banks twice in the past two years though so it’s not difficult, it will keep the Finance Manager distracted for a few weeks though. As for making the university divest, see my above comments on cross subsidy of fees and university transparency. I spent a year on Senate and I’m not actually sure if Murdoch has any shares, fossils fuel or otherwise. Again ANU announced a partial divestment last year but I suspect all of Murdoch’s money is tied up in the St Ive’s retirement village.
- Assist student activism and awareness clubs on campus
- Collective rights
Much like TMNT, many of Action’s policies lack the procedural detail that outline exactly how they take shape. “Supporting the student activist clubs on campus” could look like funding the Free Syrian Army or it could look like getting the Students for Refugees in the same room as Oaktree and FossilFreeMurdoch. I expect Action will do the latter, which is fine.
Better Study Facilities
- Library and IT Services
The Action team includes two students, Brodie and David, who were heavily involved in petitioning the Library this year. Their policy statement seems to outline that they will continue to engage with the university on these issues and that’s good because I do know the university is slowly working on them.
In my opinion, Actions policies are more firmly grounded in reality than TMNT’s, although Dean Wicken might prefer the language “less ambitious”. I thought Action might’ve bragged more about Troy and Lauren organising an international sustainability conference on campus this year, but like their policy they seem more down to Earth. A few areas could probably do with greater detail and clarity. The lack of event ideas is also a notable omission but I can almost predict their replies will be along the lines of fostering and promoting club led events.
There you have it. If there is demand, I’ll try to scape together some thoughts on the independent candidates. The comments are open.
Disclaimer: Roland ran under the ACTION ticket in 2014.
Welcome to the first installment of election policy analysis, where I will dissect and evaluate the policies of the major tickets contesting the 2015 Murdoch Student Elections. As a paid staffer of the Guild in 2012, Guild President in 2014 and Education Vice President this year, I feel suitably qualified to pass judgement on how achievable policies are, with an occasional comment thrown in. Candidates have the right to leave a comment below.
Teenage Mutant Ni The Murdoch Now Team, or TMNT for short. I have had less interaction with TMNT than Action but their squad isn’t unknown to me. I have been friends with Presidential candidate Leonar Guy McDonald for several years, first meeting him through my partner, and I approached him to be General Secretary on Guild Council this year. I have worked with Bianca Talbot on Council in the past and have a lot of respect for her. I have also met Andy Hunter and had a number of polite conversations with him. The other candidates are unknown to me but I did find Tay Alers on my friends list on Facebook. I’m not sure when I added him.
Let’s go through their ten point plan and break down each point.
These are admirable goals but I’m afraid to say these are not new ideas. Since opening in 2007 there have been endless attempts at getting food into the Tavern. According to 2006 Guild President Reece Harley, the University constructed the venue without a kitchen to appease lease holders in the Refectory, scared of the competition. The Tavern is a victim of the Guild not having control over any commercial leases on campus other than their own.
They can explore options but The Guild has no control over the former Bankwest lease and a suggestion to put METIOR offices there was already flatly refused. The whole area, including senate, bookshop and refectory is earmarked for redevelopment but I expect plans will be stalled and delayed. Murdoch has a terrible track record of consulting with students over common spaces and I have only seen a reduction in common spaces since I enrolled.
These all sound like pretty fun events. Except for the Colour Run, that can get fucked. Anyone who finds excitement over corn starch shot at them after completing a 4km jog all while supporting a for-profit company that masquerades as a charity needs to get out more. Anyway, otherwise, yeah cool, events but execution is the key and I haven’t seen or heard of TMNT’s event’s officer delivering any great events before. Not like the MUEnSA or MVSA events, which go off.
Alright wow. So this is a big one and what I’m guessing will be a main point of differentiation between the main tickets. This is possible, however it is such a huge task for such minimal gain that I don’t know why they’d bother. To install a paid Treasurer onto the Guild Executive they’ll need to rewrite the Guild Regulations, the Guild Election Regulations and Statute 17 of the University Act. All three of these require approval by two-thirds of Guild Council (hard enough to two-thirds attendance to meetings) scrutinised by the University’s Legal and Governance Department, approved by the University Senate and then the Statute then has to go to the WA State Parliament for approval. This isn’t impossible, but it is an enormous, year-long task. All this, and the Guild has a professional Finance Manager. I really have to question whether this will actually offer better governance.
It is also worth pointing out that currently financial oversight responsibilities are shared between the President and the General Secretary. At the beginning of the year it was moved to the Gen Sec entirely due to the President’s study commitments. If TMNT are hinting that The Guild has issues around financial transparency, then is it the current Gen Sec, their own Presidential candidate Guy McDonald, who is responsible.
I think these are great policies, and I’d really like to congratulate Action’s Brodie Skalko and David Giang for their leadership on these issues. David initially wrote to the Guild and began circulating his petition to increase library opening hours and the size of the Library, with Brodie facilitating from the Guild side all the way. Eventually Guy and myself sat down with the interim Library Director who had heard the call and was already planning to expand Library services. Frustratingly, many of the changes will take some time to implement, due to logistical and security reasons, but the Library has already extended its hours on weekends this semester compared to last. Putting a coffee machine and microwave in the 24 Common Area could happen, but it took about 3 years for the Guild to get microwaves in the refectory.
Adjustments to club funding are all well within the remit of The Guild. Promises to double expenditure sound exciting but it’s worth remembering that the clubs themselves actually need to spend the money and this year we’ve had less funding requests from clubs than last year.
TMNT are going to have to provide more detail on their club voucher policy. I’m guessing it’s something along the lines of supplying normie students with vouchers that they can donate to a registered club who can exchange that for cash from the Guild. It could be a great idea but it might raise a few eyebrows legally as club funding comes from SSAF. There will need guidelines around who gets vouchers, how they’re redeemed, what they’re worth etc.
I confess, I am suspicious of these policies. They don’t explicitly mention METIOR, The Guild supported publication since time immemorial which is deemed so historically important that the State Library archives it. Considering that The Student Canon has effectively endorsed TMNT it feels like an attempt to supplant METIOR with its rebel cousin. I would also argue that METIOR has flourished since moving online, receiving over 100 hits a day despite being just two months old. Also, if TMNT had a few media arts students on their ticket they might know that bookable student space is available with all the facilities to produce media content.
Editors Note: An interview with TMNT notes this policy plans to involve The Student Canon, METIOR and Radio Murdoch under an umbrella of print, web and radio.
These transparency measures are all reasonable. I particularly like number 4. However, it’s worth pointing out that Guild Council meetings are now open to the public and minutes are (usually) posted on Facebook where they go largely ignored. The writing and circulation of minutes for approval is the responsibility of the General Secretary, so if TMNT are suggesting minutes aren’t published in a timely manner well…
These ideas all sound decent at first but a few things need to be considered. Lecture bashes are not an effective way of communicating with students. Many students don’t show up to lectures and those who do are often late or asleep most of the time. If a councillor lecture bashed say, 5 lectures, from 8:30 to 12:30, they might reach 600 students if they’re lucky but they’ve spent half the day doing it and are relying on students to remember with their brains what was said before they sat through a 1 to 3 hour lecture on something they’re actually interested in. As a comparison, the last post on the Guild Facebook page right now has been viewed 763 times in 5 hours and we can measure the engagement it has had. Alternatively we can mail out G-News to 12,000 students (of whom 10,000 will no doubt ignore it, but you get the idea.) I won’t deny that the Guild has an engagement and outreach problem but 20th century ideas are unlikely to solve them.
So far we’ve seen some achievable policies, often already being implemented, and some very difficult to achieve ideas. However, installing a Guild Treasurer whose duties include cooking food at the Tavern would pale in comparison to getting puppies and kittens on campus. Murdoch’s animal ethics policies are among the strictest in the country, tirelessly enforced by the vigilant Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). The AEC and vet College would flip at this. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but yeah it’s pretty much impossible. Last year I wanted to have a puppy parade on Bush Court as part of a ‘dogs against deregulation’ media stunt. I was presented with a five point plan for why it couldn’t happen. It didn’t happen.
The other three points sound fine, although I’m not sure halal microwaves are a thing. Are they a thing? The counselling and welfare map is already in progress.
First year engagement is important. As written, these policies feel like an overreach with The Guild telling clubs and societies how to run themselves. From my experience I would advise they don’t do this or at least provide more detail.
Orientation is a mess and seems to be getting worse. However, it hasn’t been Guild space since 2006 and at the moment the Guild is merely offered 5 minutes of presentation to some schools and the right to host a few activities on Bush Court. I really hope whatever candidates get elected can push improvements to orientation hard but expect resistance from the University.
Overall I think TMNT have a fairly uncontroversial suite of policies but a number of them are extremely difficult to achieve or are underway already. That isn’t unusual coming from an outsider ticket but TMNT have the current General Secretary and former Women’s Officer on board, which reeks of blatant populism. There is also a severe shortcoming in education policy. The Guild’s Education officer is elevated to the rank of Vice President, higher than sustainability or Indigenous or events, because education is absolute core of the Guild’s purpose. What is EVP candidate Dean Wicken’s position on breadth units? What does he think about the Liberal party’s proposed deregulation of fees? What about the cross subsidy of research and teaching? What about the availability of lecture recordings, of the flipped classroom, MOOCs etc. They don’t need positions on all these but TMNT need more education policy than “we will reboot Education Council.”
But then again, at least theirs is out. I look forward to TMNT elaborations on policy and Action to release theirs outside the broadsheet.
By Caris Horton
A talk on sex work law reform will see controversial lobby group Collective Shout on campus after their previous event was cancelled by the Murdoch Student Guild.
Organised by the School of Law, the event will feature Caitlin Roper, a member of Collective Shout, who was scheduled to speak during SHAG [Sexual Health Awareness Guidance] week about the objectification of women in the media.
This previous event was cancelled after students, including former Women’s Representative Rebecca Leighton, voiced their opposition to Collective Shout’s views including the anti-abortion stance of its founder.
The talk, to be held on Thursday September 24, will discuss the Nordic model of law reform and also feature Simone Watson and Peter Abetz, who is a current MP and former pastor who, in March, condemned a primary school anti-bullying program for secretly being a ‘gay lifestyle promotion program’.
Sex workers not asked for their views
In WA, prostitution is legal while brothels are not. The Nordic model calls for paid sex to be criminalised, with pimps and buyers being targeted.
Adopt Nordic WA ensure on their website that sex workers wouldn’t be punished under the law but some people within the sex work community disagree with this approach.
“Under this model, a lot of sex workers have ended up homeless because the police will ring landlords and say that if you don’t evict them [sex workers] then you will be charged with pimping,” says Rebecca Davies, current sex worker and member of People for Sex Worker Rights in WA.
“Basically they are the sort of laws that force us to work in isolation. They cut us off from everyone because anyone who has contact with us could be charged with pimping.”
Davies also condemns the event for not allowing debate to take place and for not providing sex workers a chance to speak about issues concerning them.
“We have representative organisations in every state that are made up of current sex workers. Why have they not been contacted to speak?” says Davies.
Not all happy with choice of venue
The event is not guild-affiliated and Dean of Law, Jürgen Bröhmer, states that neither the University nor the Law School are giving money to the speakers.
“The event is an event by Adopt Nordic WA and they (Peter Abetz) approached us [to see] if we were willing to host it,” says Brohmer.
Guild President, Raeesah Khan, did not respond to a request for a statement on this matter but the comment left on the School of Law’s Facebook page spoke of her disapproval.
“It’s pretty shocking that a university faculty would use their platform to further political agenda instead of creating a space for intellectual debate,” Khan wrote.
The event will be held in the ECL1 lecture theatre on the September 24 from 6pm to 9pm but Davies assures that members from the People for Sex Worker Rights group will be standing out the front of the venue with information about their organisation and how this Nordic model may do more harm than good.
Students who are interested in learning more can get in contact with the People for Sex Worker Rights group and the Scarlet Alliance to find out more about the battle for sex worker rights however only current or past female, male, intersex and transgender sex workers can officially join the groups.
There’s less than a week to go until nominations close and #MUpol kicks into high gear. Which means campaigning and sledging and all that fun politics stuff. Onions anyone?
Unlike our brethren in UWA, Curtin and everyone else who actually rank in some chart somewhere, Murdoch tends to not give a shit. Last year, 73 per cent of student representatives were elected unopposed. That is a Distinction for the unit of zero fucks given.
But what is stopping Murkids from being MurPollies and running for office? Probably because no one knows it’s bloody happening and what the positions entail.
So here’s a breakdown of who does what, and where they stand in the hierarchy of things.
The Big 4
There are four major divisions in the Murdoch StuPol [Student Politics] world; Academic Council, Senate, Guild Council and the Murdoch Uni Post Graduate Student Association [MUPSA].
In total there are 46 positions that need to be filled this year [including student reps on School Boards], and like a game of chess, certain people will wield more power than others.
“If the University were a company, the Senate would be its board,” says Returning Officer, Trudi McGlade.
Basically the Senate is the Big Boss, the Supreme Overlord of decision-making that takes advice from Academic Council.
Two students are elected to this role, and their main task is to make sure shit doesn’t hit the fan when people with power make all encompassing decisions.
When asked what Senate members achieved last year, outgoing Education Vice President and 2014 Senate rep Roland Belford says, “Uhhh… we sacked the VC?”
Damn straight. Senate members are involved in the appointment and performance management of the Vice-Chancellor. Murdoch is currently looking for one after the last guy was reported to the Corruption and Crime Commission.
The Senate governs, but the Academic Council is where all the action is. These guys deal with academic matters, which in a University, is basically what makes it function.
Kind of like the butter on Vegemite toast, student representation is spread thick on Academic Council because it’s needed.
Apart from the one undergrad and one regional student that is elected straight into Academic Council, Murkids can get on it by being:
- Guild President
- Education Vice President
- General Secretary
- MUPSA Pres
- MUPSA Vice Pres 1
- MUPSA Vice Pres 2
Which brings us to the next lot in the mob, who juggle the never-ending list of students needs and 50 per cent of the entire SSAF budget. [Note: The Guild has a whole fleet of permanent staffers who deal with those touchy corporate things, Student Politicians don’t actually move money around, they allocate.]
Within Guild Council live its slightly more powerful head-honchos called the Guild Executive.
By and large these positions are the most sought after and are arguably the most visible MurPollies on campus. Fun fact: Federal MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt was Murdoch Guild President in 1994.
The Guild President, Education Vice President and General Secretary are the only 3 paid positions in the whole Murdoch StuPol universe.
Belford, who was Guild President in 2014, says the pay rate is equivalent to the “people cleaning toilets in Parliament House”.
Students who are elected into these positions need not do any units, but that’s not a rule or anything. Basically it’s hard work that takes up a lot of time outside of the maximum hours you can actually get paid for each week.
METIOR understands there is no such thing as a ‘Guild Executive Pension’.
Joining them is a motley crew of student representatives and officers, each with their own portfolio.
There’s the Guild Officers;
- Social Justice
- Clubs and Societies
Together, they form SECSS. But don’t forget the Reps;
- Rural, Remote and Interstate
BUT WAIT, there’s more. The Murdoch International Students Association President, currently Ferhan Siddiqi, also sits on Guild Council. As does the MUPSA President we previously met on Academic Council and their not-at-South Street friends Rockingham Student Association President and Mandurah Student Association President.
Due to the dwindling student numbers at Rockingham Campus — student Population: 7– there is talk of removing the position altogether.
No. Sit down and be still. There are also 16 positions to be filled on the 8 School Boards.
These are the positions that go unfilled year after year after year. Apart from the School of Law, who actually has its shit together, no one nominates themselves for the 1 undergrad, 1 postgrad position.
School Board Student Representatives, or SchoBoStuReps as they are now called, are the ones responsible for recommending units and courses to be offered within the School and have academic oversight of the units.
They are the ones who can actually do something about the shithouse unit that has three essays with no actual direction and a lecture at 8:30am.
Damn son, I better do something
Hells yeah you should. Nominations close 4pm September 23 and campaigning will begin at 10am the same day.
To nominate yourself, grab the forms online or in person and hand them in with a 400 word bio and a snazzy headshot of your gorgeous face.
If being in a leadership position does not sound enticing at all, remember that voting is still muy bueno.
In order to vote or nominate, you must be a Murdoch University student and cannot be an employee of the University. Anyone going for a spot on Guild Council must be a Guild member.
Congrats you made it to the bottom of the post, go grab a cookie.
by Caris Horton
Most of us have now seen the images of the Syrian refugees trying to cross the Hungarian border as they plead for freedom and help.
I’m also sure that most of us have seen the articles documenting the numerous refugee boats that have capsized off our shores including the infamous and heart-breaking photo of a young refugee washed up on a Turkish beach.
Often we see these images and stories online, on TV and in print but we may feel that we are powerless to help or to make any real changes.
Fortunately, there are some practical ways we can all help with the current refugee crisis, regardless of budget or time, so here are some of the most obvious but perhaps best ways to do so.
Donating is an easy way to give money quickly in times of emergency as a lot of charities have monthly and one-off donation models so you can give according to your finances at the time.
Charity donations over $2 are always tax deductible too for those who haven’t got around to putting their taxes in yet.
Often people worry how much of their donation will actually go towards the cause, which is a fair concern, so I’ve compiled a handy chart here so you can tell just what percentage of your money is going directly to the cause. The remaining percentage of donations usually goes to further fundraising efforts and towards administration costs, according to the charities’ websites.
Here are just a few fantastic charities working to help refugees in Syria and all over the world.
This charity works within Syria and in countries that host Syrian refugees, like Jordan and Egypt, to provide support to children and their families.
Save the Children also work to help children who are faced with poverty and families that are badly affected by natural disasters.
The UN Refugee Agency’s branch in Australia currently have appeals going the emergency refugee situations in Syria and elsewhere where money donated will go towards things like medicine, clothing, shelter and education for parents and children to give them new start and help with the emergency assistance they need.
This organisation works to send out medical assistance to many third world countries, like Jordan, Cambodia and Afghanistan.
They are currently working in Syria to start up health facilities in refugee transit camps and run mobile clinics across the Syrian border.
This centre, based in Footscray, offers multiple services for newly arrived refugees including help with accessing legal aid and health services.
You can donate to keep the centre running or you can buy much needed groceries online and get it delivered to them which goes towards the Foodbank that the centre provides for refugees who have just arrived and need a helping hand.
If you have more time on your hands but your budget is tight then volunteering is still a great option.
Volunteering can also be great thing to put on your resume if you don’t have any work experience in your field.
You can also tailor the volunteering role you choose to your expertise. For example, the Red Cross is currently looking for an English Tutor Volunteer to teach english to newly arrived migrants which can be a very rewarding experience if you are studying to become a teacher.
Other organisations like The Humanitarian Group work on giving legal aid and getting visa protection for refugees as well as working to reunite families, which is perfect for the aspiring human rights lawyer.
3. SIGN PETITIONS
A lot of people may think signing a petition won’t amount to anything but, if enough people can get together, it can produce real change. Signing a petition only takes a few seconds too.
From getting domestic violence education into NSW schools to saving an autistic boy from being deported, petitions can at least help influence government decisions.
Various petitions for refugee issues exist including Oxfam’s petition to get our intake of refugees up from 12,000 to 30,000 as well as a call to increase peace agreements efforts to end the Syrian conflict.
GetUp’s plea to shut down the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres is another petition that may stir our government to make changes to our current asylum seeker policies.
Websites like GetUp and Change.org always have great petitions for every type of social issue and, in the case of refugee issues, they can hopefully make politicians sit up and pay attention if enough people sign.
4. TAKE ACTION LOCALLY
For something closer to home, there are plenty of groups in Perth that are dedicated to improving the lives of refugees and fighting for policy changes.
The Refugee Rights Action Network WA is a group dedicated to bringing attention to the issues with mandatory detention. From organising bus trips to detention centers to sending multi-lingual dictionaries to incarcerated aslyum seekers, this group is a great option if you really want to get involved and create change. The group meets every Monday at 6:30pm at the Activist Center in the CBD so swing by if you are interested.
There is also an Amnesty International Group on campus too if you would like to join in with like-minded students to discuss social justice issues and campaign for change. Amnesty International also urge our federal government to change their increasingly negative social issue policies with rallying, letter-writing campaigns, and petitions.
If you want to stay informed, the Refugee Council of Australia also has great fact sheets on refugee issues as well as research papers on asylum seeker policies and federal budget summaries focusing on refugee-related spending.
No matter what you decide to do, any action will help.