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5 Takeaways from Today’s USU Board Meeting

5 Takeaways from Today’s USU Board Meeting

Words by Alexi Barnstone

On this lovely Friday the 28th of September the USU Board met for their monthly discussions. Here are 5 takeaways from that meeting:

Finances

The USU Board kicked off by discussing money, and more specifically investments. Apparently for the last few years there have been considerations about divesting current funds and reallocating capital into ethical investment funds. There were a couple utterances of a fear of a potential market correction soon, which would be another reason to divest. Historically the USU has only ever invested in the Australian market, and they did not seem to be looking to consider changing that.

In other financial news the USU missed the budget this month by $175,000 but they are still ahead of the yearly budget to date. Some of the issues for the month seemed to have spurred from mismanagement at venues such as Manning bar, where the USU was paying for too many casual workers. Jacob Masina, a known liberal, suggested a more conservative approach to finances for the future and was pointedly corrected, with other board members stating they would be taking a more ‘rational’ approach from now on.

USU Promotion and Marketing

ODay was a big success despite it raining this semester. The USU sold out all their merchandise and were making good money from sponsorship and advertising money. Website inquiry was up 40%. There were some discussions, predominantly spurred on by Lachlan Finch, about targeting engineering students and business students and trying to get them to join the USU.  

Eastern Avenue Market Successes

There was a lot of positivity about the Eastern Avenue markets that were set up last month. The USU discussed and agreed upon organising markets monthly from here forward. The goal is to try to make them mini festivals to promote the USU. Unfortunately, the big event of the month, Oktoberfest (maybe not this type), was cancelled due to a lack of interest from student organisations and the student body.

Tensions, Part One

Courtney Thompson, former president of the USU, got angry at the announcement that the Radical Sex and Consent Week was being cancelled. The reasons for its cancellation included a lack of student engagement and traction in the student body. Thompson was upset because she felt that no one took the week seriously, and that by diverting the funds and time elsewhere was indicative of the USU giving up on the subject matter. She stated that she believed if just one person believed in the project it might actually go somewhere. The passion behind her objection may have been fuelled by the very recent controversy around Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in the United States.

Tensions, Part Two

Courtney Thompson also expressed severe disappointment about the behaviour of certain Board members during the SRC Council elections. She said that she “hadn’t seen as embarrassing behaviour ever from Board Directors.”  There was mention of a general lack of respect for the SRC. The meeting concluded with Jacob Masina saying “this is a circus” under his breath – something that might be better said after the reporter is out of the room.

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VIDEO: "The Faculties of USYD"

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