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Stand Apart Stands Back Up After Bribery Allegation

A ticket with connections to the ANU Liberal Club is still running general representatives on an anti-National Union of Students platform, after being rocked by bribery allegations levelled against it by a former candidate last week.

Ashish Nagesh, the ticket convener and candidate, who is also treasurer of the ANU Liberal Club, told Woroni the Stand Apart ticket would encompass a ‘broad range of ideologies’ in putting 12 candidates forward to ‘hold the ANUSA executive to account’.

The ticket will seek to lobby the ANUSA departments to give voice to people who feel they have been left out by the collective system.

Nagesh said that the ticket’s core policy was to disaffiliate from the NUS.

‘The end goal is to disaffiliate from the NUS, that’s the only way that reform and changes can be made,’ he said, also criticising the union for becoming increasingly bureaucratic and censored.

The ticket was accused of bribery by the president of the ANU Men’s Network, Sebastian Rossi, who says he was offered money to not run as vice-president on the ticket.

However, despite the spat, Nagesh says that the candidates are still loyal to him and will follow the policies outlined by the ticket.

In contrast to the view of the Men’s Network, Nagesh said Stand Apart felt the formation of a Men’s Department was a ‘viable’ option, which would allow for ‘free speech’.

‘The formation of a Men’s Department, I think, is a completely viable option,’ Nagesh said, noting the controversy which surrounded the Men’s Network when it was formed.

‘I think it only makes sense to have a Men’s Department alongside a Women’s Department,’ he told Woroni.

Nagesh said Stand Apart would seek to reallocate SSAF funding for mental health and sexual assault services, and would seek to better engage with the international student body with a platform of ‘holistic representation’.

‘We are trying to advocate for SSAF funding to be allocated to the counsel- ling centre,’ Nagesh said.

Stand Apart would also seek to implement quotas for international students in the Clubs and Societies Council.

‘We have a very broad range of candidates, and I want our voter base, to not only tap into those people who feel they have been left behind,’

Nagesh initially told Woroni that the ticket would field Labor and Greens candidates alongside independents, but ANU Labor Left confirmed no past or present Labor members were standing on the ticket.

Nagesh later said that he had assumed candidates were ‘formerly active’ Labor members, but on reflection this was an ‘overstatement’.

This comes after Stand Apart tried to field a candidate women’s officer, who was later found to be ineligible to run for the position.

‘We are running a women’s officer who will advocate for people who feel they have been left behind in the Women’s Department,’ Nagesh said.

‘Our women’s officer [candidate] has not been endorsed by the Women’s Department, but is very active in the department,’ he said.

Most department officers are currently elected by the autonomous collective, rather than through general election, as proposed by Stand Apart.

But the ticket’s initial candidate for women’s officer, Thea Linnet, was not eligible for election having not attended enough Department meetings.

Linnet would run as a candidate for general representative and advocate for women, Nagesh said.