SRC 2 Wrap-Up: ANUSA vs the Tatmadaw and Much More

CW: This article makes explicit reference to the military coup in Myanmar.
An illustration of a blue hat with the letters ANUSA in orange written across it.

In ANUSA’s second SRC of the year, the council voted to support the fight against the Military Coup in Myanmar, established the Terms of Reference for the Ethical Sponsorship Working Group, passed a sponsorship revenue cap, and promoted many future campaigns.  

Upcoming Campaigns 

Both the ANUSA President and Education officers noted in their reports that they would be actively fighting against the dissolution of the CRS grading systems implemented last year. The International Students Department (ISD) will also join them.

Education officer Maddie Chia also emphasised two more upcoming campaigns; one regarding the cuts to neuroscience, and the other tackling racism on campus. 

Environmental Department officer Luca Corby also noted an upcoming campaign, which will focus on environmental justice. 

ANUSA Supports the Fight Against the Military Coup in Myanmar

The SRC voted in favour of supporting the fight against the Myanmar Military coup. Nick Carlton moved the motion, which passed with no objections. 

Carlton invited Kaung Khant, a student living in Myanmar, to speak. Kahnt recalled the brutal scenes in the country, including the military patrolling his neighbourhood each night. 

SRC Isha Singhal raised concerns regarding whether the motion to fight against the military coup could create liability issues for ANUSA. In response to this, General Secretary Meghan Malone said that the motion would present no such problems. Carlton and Grace Hill both agreed that even regardless of the legality of the motion, ANUSA should still pass it in solidarity with students in Myanmar.

Hill further criticised the University for its ties to Woodside Petroleum, that she says “continue to do business” with the military junta in Myanmar. 

Earlier in the year, Woodside was criticised by Human Rights Watch for pressing ahead with a gas development in Myanmar. However, in March, the company announced that it was placing all future developments in the state under review until it sees an improvement in the political situation.

Ethical Sponsorships Working Group Terms of Reference and Ethical Sponsorship Levels of Approval

ANUSA approved the Ethical Sponsorships Working Group Terms of Reference (Motion 5.2) and provided specification of what sponsorships are allowed to occur (Motion 5.4). 

ANUSA President Janagaraja proposed a motion to move 5.2 and 5.4 en bloc. Treasurer Siang Jin Law moved the two motions.

The Ethical Sponsorships Working Group consists of four members of the SRC, who will decide what is considered an “ethical sponsorship” to ANUSA. They will also create and maintain two registers of sponsors- those rejected and those approved. Finally, they will research and investigate sponsors before they place them in each of the two registers.

A New Sponsorship Revenue Cap

The SRC passed a motion moved by General Representative Jaya Ryan, placing a 5% cap on sources of revenue from sponsorships. 

Law argued that it was her preference that the cap is set to 7.5 per cent (motion 5.3.2), as it would create an opportunity to develop Bush Week and O-week. Meanwhile, Ryan argued favouring a 5 per cent cap on revenue from sponsorships (motion 5.3.1). He believed this would minimise the potential impact a sponsor may have upon ANUSA’s annual income, preventing a scenario where ANUSA would have to appease a sponsor for fear of loss of revenue.

Ryan noted that both proposed sponsorship caps are very high, as the highest level ANUSA has received in recent years was 3% in 2019. 

Ultimately, motion 5.3.2 was removed from the agenda, while motion 5.3.1 passed.

Approval of Bus Expenditure

Treasurer Law moved another motion approving the expenditure of $37,990 to purchase a bus for ANUSA. The SRC passed the motion without any objections.