The ANU Queer* Department has called for the resignation of Jasmine Duff, one of the two National Union of Student (NUS) LGBTI Officers.
The call for resignation follows a motion of no confidence passed at the Queer Collaborations conference in June, where delegates from across Australia cited examples of “transphobia, harassment, bullying and intimidation”.
One such example occurred during the 2017 NUS National Conference, where Duff reportedly misgendered a Queer* student who had expressed dissatisfaction with the NUS. After the student corrected her, Duff reportedly told them to “get fucked”.
In a post to Facebook, the ANU Queer* Department held this behaviour to be “unbecoming of a national representative and, in particular, of one representing a marginalised student body such as the Queer* community.”
Jasmine Duff is one of two NUS LGBTI Officers, along with Kim Stern – both of whom are factionally affiliated with Socialist Alternative (SAlt), represented on campus through Left Action. Despite being enrolled at Monash University from 2015-2017, Stern has been active on the ANU campus this year, organising student protests and, in March, stalling ANUSA’s second SRC.
Reported in Farrago, Duff was also accused of “failure to comply with, or complete a number of her responsibilities” as outlined in the NUS Constitution. The cited responsibilities include a responsibility to liaise with LGBTI groups in the wider community as well as supporting LGBTI officers across campuses and encouraging communication between them.
When contacted by Farrago, Duff claimed such accusations had never been raised with her prior to the motion of no confidence, and that contrary to the motion she had in fact upheld her responsibilities as listed above.
When contacted by Woroni for comment on the length of time it took for the ANU Queer* Department to publicly call for Duff’s resignation, Matthew Mottola, the current Queer* Officer, responded that the motion was passed during the winter holidays and was affirmed “at the first department meeting of the semester”. As such it was affirmed as soon as possible given when teaching periods and meeting dates lined up.
When asked what he would like to see in an NUS LGBTI Officer, Mottola stated that he “would like to see that the candidates who are endorsed by Queer* Collaborations are actually elected at NatCon.” Something he acknowledges is highly unlikely due to factionalism.
To date it appears that Jasmine Duff has not tendered a resignation as she is still listed on the NUS website along with counterpart Kim Stern. While Mottola has a good working relationship with Stern he has acknowledged that there are “a lot of other Queer* Officers across Australia who have expressed their frustrations about a lack of communication and collaboration with the officers.”
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