Key Takeaways from the second last USU board meeting
WORDS BY BIANKA FARMAKIS
In the interest of not doing another listicle, here’s a department by department breakdown of the key things that happened at the second last USU meeting for Semester 1, 2018.
UPDATE ON SAFE SPACES ON CAMPUS
A new policy was passed regarding the Ethno-cultural Space, following the controversial video of students who used the space, despite not identifying as a person of colour, that went viral. The new policy changed the definition and enforcement procedures applicable to the safe space, with the intent to:
“Ensure the Ethno-cultural Space is a safe space, provided for those who identify as Ethno-cultural.”
The policy redefines someone being ethno-cultural as “someone who is a ‘person of colour’, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and/or marginalized by white supremacy or systemic racism.”
The policy looks to create a “warm, supportive and proactive group to address issues of racism, both within the University and beyond, in our greater communities”, while also grants USU Officers with the power to authorize the removal of offenders from the space, record their details and subject them to further consequences by the USU Board.
These procedural changes will also be implemented for the Queer and Wom*n’s space on campus.
CEO REPORT, Andrew Woodward
Speaking to his report, Andrew highlighted in his USU staff workload review, the improvement of student engagement and USU’s financial position are key objectives. The ‘workload review’ looks to reduce USU staff commitments, to allow them to put more thought into their work and produce a greater impact.
President Courtney Thompson reminds us that we can’t use social media in board meetings (guilty).
The USU continues to strive for a cohesive approach across the board in regards to their special branded days – such as “Pride Day” and “International Day”. Strive on for the #solidarity.
Also, the possibility of an ‘80/20’ rule may be imposed for activations on campus, asserting at least 80% of all branded promotions support something ‘healthy’. Uni management is pushing for the change and, if successful, could mean we see way more Nike activations and kiss goodbye to all our free Red Bull at O-Week. Sponsorship and advertising from activations remains one of the most fruitful sources of income for the USU.
Much like everyone else in Sydney University, the USU agrees the Wentworth building desperately needs a renovation.
“Look at Wentworth, ABS Café and Courtyard – where would you rather eat?” commented one of the staff members at the board meeting.
Can’t help but agree on that one.
In addition, as temperature’s drop, USYD Snow globe sales soar, bringing in $4000 in profit.
STUDENT PROGRAMS REPORT
We’re getting a new Art Director for the Verge Gallery! Click here for more info on that lowdown.
Also, a lot of talk about USYD’s Got Talent, and why it didn’t go off. Essentially, it was an awesome event, with atrocious attendance and an area the USU will seek to improve for next year.
GRACE FRANKI (Honorary Secretary) REPORT
Grace discussed a rather confusion constitutional amendment that was lodged by the Indonesians Students Association. As the club seeks to be more charity orientated, the USU agreed to let them incorporate the use of the word “charity” in their club name, however declined to adjust the constitution to let the club change its status to a charity. Very confusing, but the simple breakdown is:
USU funded campus Clubs and Societies can only be clubs or societies – not a charity. This wasn’t enough for the Indonesian Student’s Association. The USU suggested they include the term ‘charity’ in their club name and change the objectives to be more charity orientated in their constitution. They didn't and it still wasn’t enough.
Long story short, there’s a conflict of constitutional proceedings that is about as interesting as any aspect of constitutional law ever is – not at all.
Koko Kong (Honorary Treasurer) & Esther Shim (Vice President) Report
Welcome in the new cohort of USU board members. Hooray!
Grace Franki also issued a welcome to the new board members.
COURTNEY THOMPSON (President) REPORT
The main thing that you need to know here is that President Courtney Thompson thinks there are “lots of exciting changes happening in Pulp”.
Stay tuned to see what they are, and as always, what our USU does next.