SRC Queer Officers court criticism
WORDS BY JOSHUA WOOLLER
The SRC Queer officers have come under criticism following a decision to expel several members allegedly on the basis of political affiliation.
Members of Unity (Labor Right) were deleted from the Queer Action Collective Facebook page following a Young Labor Conference over the weekend. During the conference, members of Unity did not support a motion in favour of a binding vote on marriage-equality, instead preferring a conscience vote. They also noted a motion in support of Safe Schools needed to be reworded.
In a Facebook post, a member of Unity voiced his dissatisfaction with the decision of the Queer Officers to kick him out of the QuAC Facebook page on the basis of his political beliefs:
“What's important here is that people have been banned in a space designed for queer students simply due to the fact that they have different opinions on queer students.”
Following the apparent expulsion from the Facebook page, some members of Unity were invited to join a separate Facebook page for the Queer Space, which is separate from QuAC as it is managed by the USU. The Queer Space is also where meetings of the Queer Collective take place, effectively meaning that the expelled members would be denied access during those meetings.
Pulp contacted Connor Parissis and Will Edwards, the SRC Queer Officers about whether the decision to expel members of Unity was done so out of factionalism. Parissis explained that the Unity members had been expelled because “their actions have suggested an apathy and opposition to our primary organising goals.”
“QuAC expects its members to uphold queer causes and movements, and many members saw this as a step-back, which made many members feel uncomfortable to be in an organizing collective that incorporated members whose very purpose was to hinder the collectives progress.”
In the same Facebook post, the writer expressed his worry that USyd students that are “queer or questioning” may now find it difficult to come out because they do not necessarily “fall into the ideology of the far left”.
The QuAC constitution states that members of the organisation must remain committed to “uphold the core principles of queer organising and activism”, though also states under section 3D that the queer space must remain “apolitical”. Given the meetings of QuAC occur in the space, it is open to debate whether the space is politicised itself.