Welcome to Catalyst’s guide to RMIT Student Union elections. Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing the what, the who, the why, the where, the how, the umm huh of election season at RMIT. Keep tuned as we unveil the best darn guide to student democracy in action you’re ever likely to read.
What is an election without candidates? At this year’s RUSU Elections we have three teams running for your vote. Here, Catalyst outlines their policies, their visions, their secret desires for RMIT and its student body. Don’t let anyone say you went into the booth not knowing what these student pollies want to do for – and want from – you.
Connect are the current rulers of the RUSU empire. They’ve been ruling the roost for seven years now and their whole shtick is “student services”. There’s no madcap political agenda here, just BBQs, beer and fun breakfasts.
And they have done a lot of good work advocating for students over the years: increasing student spaces, counselling services, first year orientation etc. But not everyone feels Connect has been doing enough to fight the Federal Government’s university reforms.
Despite their objections, you will find more than one of them are members of the Labor Party’s Unity faction. The future’s faceless men need to get their training somewhere.
Most likely to say: “Come to our free Chill ‘N’ Grill Boozy Funfest 3000!” Unlikely to say: “Yes, I’m wearing a Paul Keating t-shirt. What of it?”
Do you want to take down the establishment? Do you want to change the world? Do you want to buy a subscription to Red Flag at a very good price? Then Stand Up are the gang for you.
Stand Up are your far-left political activist sorts. They want your union to get down and dirty to make life better for all Australians (bar the one per cent obvs). Protests and pamphlets and righteous action are their means. Freeing Palestine and taking down Abbott are their ends.
But parties and barbeques? Meh. Stand Up knows students want a better world over a better uni experience.
Most likely to say: “Do you hate Tony Abbott?” Unlikely to say: Anything about student services.
On Point are the new kids of the election block. They were once a grouping of Young Liberals but they’ve rebranded, they’ve expanded their base, they’re – well – on point.
Going on their previous positions, expect On Point to be all about the money. They feel students pay too much for the union and far too much for the National Union of Students which they’d like to disaffilate from. Plus they are all for fee deregulation to the ire of many left-wing students.
But you can’t accuse On Point (or any Young Lib) of not knowing how to party. Expect On Point to be as much for parties and getting cray-cray as their Labor Right buddies.
Most likely to say: “Do you know how much SSAF you’re paying?”
Unlikely to say: “Do you know how much HECS you’re soon going to be paying?”
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!