A new independent has entered the competition for President, with independent James Donnelly (he/him) announcing his candidacy for President, NUS Delegate and General Representative earlier today. Donnelly’s Facebook post identifies key policies of Progress, Independence, No-nonsense… and Kenergy. Donnelly compares his pink branding to the successful teal campaign in the last federal election, asking students to “ride the Pink Wave” with him.

Donnelly emphasises that his motivation to run “does not come from a place of political agenda or personal ambition.” Instead, the independent highlights “poor experiences as a working student,” and a concern that the incumbent ticket is “out of touch with the majority of students.” Donnelly’s policy expands on his experiences as a working student, mentioning his time serving students at Dickson Woolies and cleaning up after them at infamous nightclub Mooseheads. The independent declares he will “demand greater accessibility for working students, including more online learning options, classes outside of working hours, and greater leniency with attendance grades.”

Donnelly’s policy extends his criticism of the incumbent ticket, labelling the Night Cafe a “grand but empty promise.” He also critiques the recently announced joint Labor Left, Labor Right and Socialist Alternative ticket, Stand Up!, stating his disappointment to see that “a mainstream alternative, ANU’s Labor students, have joined forces with extremists to advance their own political ambition.” Donnelly states that while socialist factions on campus “may have a genuine commitment to activism and equality,” he believes that they employ “harassment, intimidation and intolerance.” 

The independent also cements his desire to support AUKUS scholarships at the ANU, stating that the opposition to the scholarship by student politicians, “sidelines many of our talented STEM students and loses vital funding towards education.” Finally, Donnelly says he will “fight for a university environment which is tolerant of diverse identities and diverse ideas,” while also campaigning for “investment in our university.”

Donnelly concludes with the sentiment that it is “time for an ANUSA focused on action rather than activism, and progress rather than protest.”

Woroni will continue to cover the student election, with the student election debate being held Monday of Week 7 in the Gould Building, opposite Burton and Garran Hall.

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