SIX Takeaways from the April USU Board Meeting
Words by Alexi Barnstone
The USU had their monthly meeting this Friday to discuss a long list of logistical quirks, ideas and events. Here are some of the main talking points:
ONE Verge Festival Changes
The USU voted in favor of making changes to the name of the arts and culture festival that students love so much. The USU had approached the coordinators of Fringe Festival Sydney, a similar style festival held in the inner west every year, to set up a collaboration between the two organizations. Board representatives had a meeting with Fringe last week and they seemed to have vested interest in creating and then cultivating a partnership with the USU.
Furthermore, the Board passed a motion to create a project team to work on the development of the festival. It was unanimously agreed that the creation of such a team would assist in attracting creative groups to the festival and would operate under a framework designed by the board.
Finally, they voted to rename the festival USU fringe festival to align themselves with the outside organization. There was a little debate about this motion, with some members questioning whether the rebranding should occur irrespective of the actual Fringe organization coming on board or not. Many felt that the name carried a weight and that the renaming should occur no matter what. Others felt that Verge had established itself enough for the name change to be unnecessary. The motion to change the name to “USU Fringe”, regardless of the agreement of Fringe Festival Sydney, eventually passed.
Financial security is the backbone to any organization and the USU seemed confident in their books. Profits were short in April but overall they are still exceeding predictions.
THREE Sales and Marketing
Membership is still the main concern. The USU have commissioned an external research centre to carry out some research into students to try to identify how to tackle this and other problems. Access members still sits at roughly a third of university students. A recent survey sent out found that 25% of people feel they aren’t on campus enough to make use of access, 31% said there was not enough value in it. Board members shivered at the mention of people who use their friends access card.
Reports from O-week came back and it was a huge success this year showing 17% growth from last year.
The ‘Heaps Gay’ Mardi Gras event was a big hitter on campus. The event was hailed as a huge success and board members all agreed Manning was transformed into something “actually like kind of nice” for a day.
FIVE Fake snow for Sydney siders?
USU’s financial successes, in part, may be attributable to the strangest event of the year so far. Sydney Uni snow globes have become the hot topic. And have been selling out fast. After a social media post of the globes went viral the board have sold 350 of the items in what can only be dubbed the biggest snowball effect of the year.
SIX The conservatives strike again
In other news. USU’s installation of sanitary bins for transgender people on campus has been taken up by the catholic conservative media outlet Verum Media as the collapse of the west. Because, you know, god didn’t want you to be trans…. He just made you that way…?