Blake Iafeta has announced that they will run for all executive positions aside from Clubs Officer in the upcoming ANUSA election, with a focus on President and Welfare Officers. Executive positions include all specific roles within ANUSA, excluding those in autonomous departments such as the Indigenous Department.
Blake describes themself as coming from a low-income background, having dropped out of high school before coming to university, disabled, having experienced extreme childhood trauma and being an ethnic minority.
The candidate described their main motivation for running, and for running for so many positions, is to “…pressure partisan students and not allow an unopposed election for several Executive positions.” They also believe that ANUSA’s focus should be on “…issues directly affecting students rather than activism for global political issues.”
If elected President, Blake plans to remove the “…cliquishness and elitism that is ever-so-present” within the ANU community. Alternatively, if elected Welfare Officer, Blake believes their background would help them address welfare issues concerning specific demographics of students. The candidate also envisions “…an ANU where people are not ostracised for their beliefs, and where people are more accepting of others.”
Regarding specific policies, Blake’s manifesto outlines the following:
- To not focus on “global issues” but rather “things that students will directly benefit from.”
- To rebuild ANU’s sense of community
- To remove Students’ Service and Amenities Fee for students from low-income backgrounds.
- To push for more psychiatric treatment of students who are sexually assaulted or harassed, and to push for more punishment of perpetrators.
- To increase the number and variety of scholarships for current ANU students
- To “streamline and expand the capacity of the current ANU Counselling.”
- To expand the provision of essential supplies to students in need.
Blake is politically independent and is not running on a ticket.
Blake will be running against numerous other candidates for the roles, including competing with Christian Flynn from Grassroots ANUSA for the role of President. For the position of Welfare Officer, the other candidates are Grace King from Grassroots ANUSA, Sebastian Tierner from Seb for Welfare, and Sinead Winn from Get Sh!t Done for ANUSA.