With the Law Students Society Elections being held from Monday, 12th October, until Wednesday the 14th, ANU students will once again enter the world of student politics.
There are three main parties vying for the student body’s vote – Without Precedent, Under Oath, and Raising the Bar.Raising the Bar has not nominated a Presidential candidate.
With a focus on increasing both the LSS’ services and the way in which they engage with the student body, Raising the Bar brings together a diverse group of students to implement change within LSS. Joey Wong, running for VP Events, states that it is “important in allowing us to reach out to more people who’d like to be involved.”
“I feel like the goals of Raising the Bar really come through in our name – we want to be raising the bar across the board in terms of LSS’ engagement with students”, agrees Social Director candidate, Julian Wan.
Without Precedent’s Presidential candidate, Dan Trevanion, said that this was “a very important time for the LSS”, and that what his team would bring to the LSS was “first-rate student services.”
“Without Precedent can be set apart from other tickets because we are bringing holistic improvement to the LSS.”
He stated that there would be focuses on both internal and external issues, citing the LSS website and Peppercorn publication as critical aspects that needed complete overhauls. Externally, he stated, he intended to “collaboratewith other organisations to bring benefits to law students”, including the ANU College of Law steering committee to “address structural concerns surrounding student wellbeing.”
Nic Bills, running with Without Precedent for Social Justice Director, agreed with these sentiments, commenting that especially in regards to social justice, “everyone should be involved in these programs which give back to those in need throughout their law degree at ANU.”
Under Oath, running with Presidential candidate Em Roberts, also has focus on student wellbeing, in particular promoting mental health awareness.
“We need to change the mentality in law school that mental health issues happen to ‘other people’, and make student wellbeing a priority of the LSS,” she said.
Roberts expressed concerns regarding how the nomination procedures are usually carried out, particularly in regards to the perceptions of eligibility from candidates.
“I’m greatly concerned that the typical path to being involved in the LSS is that you need to firstly be elected as a first year Officer, then the next year you can be a Director, then the year after you can run for VP,” she said.
“I understand that experience and institutional knowledge are valuable, but it is also imperative to ensure that fresh ideas and passion can come through the organisation.”
Anne Kim, candidate for Sponsorship Director, expressed that along with promoting student wellbeing, the “accountability of the LSS as a society and especially the executive”, was a main goal of the ticket.
“We have similar values and aligned visions for LSS, with another main goal including diversifying and making the LSS more inclusive and accessible to students from all years.”
In regards to the absence of a Presidential candidate on their team, Raising the Bar’s Julian Wan states that whilst “we were definitely looking to have a someone run with us [as a presidential candidate], we were interested in an individual who had prior understanding working with the LSS, in particular the Executive.”
“We felt that purposes of completeness shouldn’t be the sole reason for having a President run with us.”
“As we were unable to find an appropriate candidate to pursue the role, we decided to leave this position unfilled in the best interests of the LSS.”