Guild Elections: Everyone just chill the f#ck out

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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,

lemur-meme-generator-everybody-just-calm-down-1c5a00

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.

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

ACTION Logo. Source: Facebook

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.

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

TMNT Logo. Source: Facebook

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.

EDITORIAL

So, I’ve been staring at this blank page for a few days now that it’s becoming a bit of a joke. As I’m sure you can imagine, with every other stress that comes around this time of year like ‘oh shit, that assignment is due this week?’ or ‘really, its end of semester already… I have to find a job, w-w-what?’ finding a little inspiration and motivation can be difficult, I can tell ya that for free.

So being in a little bit of an inspirational slump I decided, ‘hey, what better way to be inspired than to check in with the internet’. (Yeah right Liv, like peering in the toilet bowl of the universe is going to help). But I did it anyway…  Do you know what happens when you google ‘something inspiring’? Basically nothing, just a bunch of random websites with entirely uninspiring inspirational quotes over muted images of children’s hands or chess boards and butterflies – nowhere near as many cats as I was hoping for – although there was a photo of a cassette made out of salami which, I’m not going to lie, was pretty inspiring.

I clicked on a link that read 15 quotes to inspire you to do something meaningful today (I was going to shuffle one in right about here to make fun of it) but as I scrolled lower and lower down the page, pausing briefly on a particularly quizzical quote by Kanya West about believing in what you believe in if you’re the only one who believes, I realised how particularly un-funny this attempt at inspiration had become and how inspiration truly requires something more.

It really had me thinking, who or what inspires me, have I really become that damned apathetic? Then I remembered an article that I read the other day about a woman in Africa, Fatu Kekula. Not only was it a refreshingly happy story to come out of a news media saturated with tales of death and fear mongering that has come hand in hand with the Ebola crisis, it was a truly remarkable story about a 22 year old woman who had successfully cared for numerous members of her family who had contracted the disease without the protective gear of healthcare professionals, practically just using gloves and garbage bags. I couldn’t even imagine, however, it did remind me that everyday people are capable of achieving such profound outcomes in the most unfathomable circumstances when they put their minds to it, and that in itself was uniquely inspiring.

So on that note, this particular Metior goes out to all the ladies. It’s our annual women’s edition for 2014, that special time of year when the magazine opens its doors to all manner of discourse of the female persuasion. And so within these pages you will find a plethora of fascinating fiction, photography, and factual debate from our team of contributors who are ever brimming with inspiration.

Prez Sez

And so we close the curtain on another year at uni. You’ll be happy to know that the experience as Guild President is also as hectic and overwhelming towards the end of semester as study is. I imagined it would be winding down by now but now I have to produce all this evidence of doing work, organise all my files and help ease my successor Raeesah Khan into the role. It really has been an honour representing Murdoch students all year and I encourage everyone reading to get involved with their university life as much as they can, be it volunteering with events, contributing to Metior or serving on a club committee there are lots of ways to get involved. My path to Guild Presidency all started with signing up to play hockey. We don’t even have a hockey club on campus anymore, maybe I’ll try and get that going next year before I eventually graduate.

I’m just rambling but this is my last chance to drop all these feels.

A lot of people see university as this one final obstacle they have to overcome before their life truly begins. People constantly ask me “why haven’t you finished yet?” As though I’m holding them back as well. That’s the wrong approach. University is as much a part of your life as any other part of it and if we embrace that, and aim to contribute as much as we can we’ll all have a better experience for it. This campus has never been worse off for a students involvement in it.

Prez Sez

I write this today on the announcement of the Guild elections for next year. Record low voter turnout, although I suspect, but they’ll never admit, that the University forgot to update the voter roll this year effectively leaving all first years and newly transferred students without a vote. Expect the rest of this column to be full of other wild accusations and flippant remarks too because I don’t have many more of these left to write and might as well run my mouth since student engagement seems to be at an all time low.

So what else has been annoying me that you should know about? Well I picked up Metior editor 2, from 1991 and read through President Juddy O’Malley’s editorial. Wow. He opens “this will be as brief as possible” and then proceeds to fill one and a half A4 pages bragging about how terribly he managed the Guild’s finances. In 1991, despite having $400k in the bank, the Guild went about borrowing $300k (interest rates in 1991 were over 13%) to contribute towards the construction of the Sports and Rec centre on campus. Fast forward a decade later and The Guild has sold off it’s remaining stake in sports and recreation for $1. So I think we got ripped off there and, judging from the amount of club grant requests from sports clubs this year, it looks like under the Uni’s management sports has been run into the fucking ground.

What else? Oh yeah, how about that Rockingham decision? In the likely event that you don’t read student announcements; Rockingham undergraduate courses have been cancelled, saving Murdoch $5 million over 3 years. Now I managed to procure the original master plan for the Rockingham campus recently. It wasn’t found in the University archives, which probably explains why the state of the campus appears to have been frozen since 1996. According to the original blueprint, by 2015 Rockingham was meant to be a full fledged campus with on-site student accommodation and over 2000 students. Funnily enough, 2000 students was cited by Murdoch as the number of students they would need to have enrolled at Rockingham for it to be financially sustainable while justifying its decision to reduce the number of students to zero.

In spite of all this, thank you to the handful of students who gave a shit and came along to protest the government’s plans to make student life even worse. There was great solidarity from the Murdoch students who put aside differences in ideology and approach to come together in opposition to the government. I saw everyone from Socialist Alliance to Young Liberals there. It’s a shame the factions of other universities decided to be all sectarian about it and use it as an opportunity to attack each other instead of unifying for two whole hours against a common foe.

President Notes

Halfway through semester. How did that happen?

With one study break down, and another soon upon us, how are you tracking? On top of studies? Behind (I am!)?

The Guild’s had a great start to the year. Thanks to all of you, we’ve had some amazing events, but one I really want to thank you all for is Club Carnivale.

We had over 60 clubs register with us for 2011, and over half of those applied for start-up grants to get the ball rolling. We were completely amazed with both the number and the enthusiasm of these clubs.

But better than that is how many of them were out and about at Club Carnivale and since, with events and activities being launched all over campus – really makes the place feel alive.

I’m super excited about what’s still to come around the place this semester – keep your eyes on G News for more info!

Much Love Brodie Lewis

President Notes

Hey Ya’ll. Welcome to 2011.

I’m Brodie, the 2011 Murdoch University Guild President. This year is going to be huge for The Guild (but everyone says that) with stuff like the new Student Services Fees; the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor; refurbishment of a number of Guild Outlets and a brand spanking new Club Handbook.

We’ve already undergone some pretty big changes, and we’re off and racing for the year. We’ve a heap of seriously awesome plans for 2011, and we’ll be launching a brand new initiative for Clubs in semester one, along with an even more exciting project planned for semester two (but I’m not telling you about that yet, it’s a secret…). Continue reading