The contest for next year’s ANUSA Executive is heating up with the announcement of the Stand Up! ticket, featuring candidates from Labor Right, Labor Left, and Socialist Alternative. The ticket will contest a full executive, as well as Environment Officer and the newly created position of Parents and Carers Officer. The ticket states they are “running together to offer ANU students a strong, capable and fresh perspective,” in their union. The ticket has invited interested students to view their website, accessible here.
This collaboration between Labor Right, Labor Left, and Socialist Alternative extends upon last year’s joint Labor ticket, in the trend towards executive tickets that bridge party divides. It also makes for an unlikely alliance between a radical socialist faction and the two Labor-aligned factions.
The ticket includes candidate Brandon Lee (he/him) for President, currently an ANUSA General Representative, who was elected on last year’s Labor Action! For ANUSA ticket. Brandon is also currently the Men’s* Representative at Wamburun Hall.
Other candidates with ANUSA experience include Lara Johnson, running for Vice President, a current College of Arts and Social Sciences Representative; Will Burfoot (he/him), candidate for Treasurer, a current College of Business and Economics Representative; and Max Marland, running for Clubs Officer, who is currently a General Representative. All of these candidates ran on last year’s Action! For ANUSA ticket.
The ticket’s pitch is that it will fight for students on a range of policy issues. The first is free education, with a promise to fight for free tertiary education on a national level with a campaign. The second continues on from a similar commitment of last year’s joint Labor ticket which is “rights for residents.” The ticket is aiming to overturn current occupancy agreements and form a new agreement that meets basic tenancy rights including the right to terminate a contract and an obligation for colleges to maintain basic amenities – including sandwich presses. The last goal is “building an activist union” which reflects a common talking point of SAlt. Arguing that “student unions need to be fighting bodies” the ticket wants ANUSA to be a leading body in student activism, “not one that relegates to cozying up with management and the status quo.”
The policies of the ticket represent the melting point of the political factions behind them. In advocating for free tertiary education, both Labor Left and Right are breaking from the Australian Labor Party’s platform. But, this is not unexpected as other equivalent student wings have done a similar thing across the country – Labor officers at the University of Sydney’s union voting just last night against AUKUS and the ALP’s climate change policies.
The ticket also cites its experience in organising activism on campus, with Carter Chryse, candidate for Education Officer, emphasising their involvement in the Posie Parker rally, and protests against AUKUS and course cuts at the ANU. Wren Somerville, running for Environment Officer, similarly highlights involvement in environmental protests on campus, including the 2019 ‘School Strikes for Climate’ ANU contingent. Both Carter and Wren ran on the Climate Action for ANUSA ticket last year, for the same positions.
Stand Up! also features students involved in clubs and residential halls, including a Vice President of the Dining Society, Max Marland, an IB Nav and Fenner SR, Will Burfoot, and a UniLodge Women’s Representative and Law Students Society Director, Milli McDonald. The ticket also features students involved in the ANUSA Departments and Committees, including Fariba Halim Aurin, candidate for Parents and Carers Officer, who is currently ISD representative, and Lata Warner, a Deputy Education Officer, who is running for the position of Welfare Officer. The Parents and Carers Officer is a new position created following ANUSA’s assumption of postgraduate students, with this election marking the first time a student will be elected as the Officer. Stand Up! are the first ticket to announce a candidate for this position.
Below is a list of the candidates for each position:
Brandon Lee – President
Lara Johnson – Vice-President
Carter Chryse – Education Officer
Will Burfoot – Treasurer
Milli McDonald – General Secretary
Lata Warner – Welfare Officer
Max Marland – Clubs Officer
Wren Somerville – Environment Officer
Fariba Halim Aurin – Parents and Carers Officer
Last year, the two Labor factions allied themselves to run against Power in Community, the incumbent ticket, and against SAlt’s own ticket. This new alliance, which bridges across a stark political divide, could reflect a growing concern from previously unsuccessful candidates about the continued success of incumbent tickets, who have stayed in power for a number of years now. Whether this broad alliance will prove successful, remains up to the student population, all of whom can vote in this year’s election.
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