Monash student elections 2017: 200 candidates want your vote

 

Students vote in the Monsu election last year.

By SIMON KUPERMAN

Two hundred candidates from 25 parties and four independents are vying for positions on the Monash Student Association (MSA), the full list of election candidates reveals.

Go! has been in power for the past 12 years, but the new party Together is seeking to end its long run, and will contest almost all available positions. 

Candidates for key positions

One of the current women’s officers, Shreeya Luthra, is running for president under the Go! ticket. Michael Fisher, last year’s national chairperson of the Australiasian Union of Jewish Students, is running for president under the new Together ticket. Kim Alford – an independent – is the only other candidate running for president.

This is a stark contrast to last year’s election when president, secretary, treasurer, 18 officer positions, and the entire student affairs committee were all elected under the Go! ticket unopposed.

This year only the two positions of Queer Officers will be unopposed: Harry Kennewell and Denise Atzinger from Go!

Grassroots, formerly Switch – the last party to mount a large ticket against Go!, in 2015 – has made a deal with Together to cross-nominate candidates and support each other in the election.

As part of the deal, several Grassroots members, such as Emily Griffith – who was elected last year under Grassroots to be a part of the Women’s Affairs Committee – is this year running under the Together ticket to be disabilities and carers officer.

Similarly, David Power from Grassroots is running under the Together ticket for education public affairs officer and under the Grassroots ticket for National Union of Students (NUS) delegate.

Go! also has an arrangement with Jasmine Duff from Left Action. As in the 2016 election, she will be running under the Go! ticket to be environment and social justice officer, and under the Left Action ticket for NUS delegate.

Another new party this year is The Monash Right, which gained notoriety on the Monash StalkerSpace Facebook group, has put forward four candidates for this year’s election.

Last week returning officer Gavin Ryan ruled that Richmond Colby Graham – Monash Right’s authorising officer and candidate for environment and social justice officer – would be banned from campaigning for the first two hours after polling started during election week. A video uploaded to Monash StalkerSpace showed him campaigning in the MSA space Sir John’s Bar, which is not allowed under the MSA election regulations.

Single-issue parties

As always, there are a number of one-issue parties running only for positions as NUS delegates – and many of them start with the word free. These are: Free Coffee on Campus, Free Palestine, Free Speech on Campus, Free Education Now, Free Fidget Spinners, Ban Fidget Spinners, 420 Blaze It, Equal Marriage Rights, Refugee Rights, Smokers Rights, Students Against Racism and Monash Freedom.

While it won’t be known until preferences are released, it has been suggested in previous elections that many of these single issue/minor parties are feeder tickets or shell parties. This means that candidates or former candidates from the major parties register these parties, but preference the major parties in their voting, thus creating an extra stream of votes.

Mojo will publish a larger breakdown of these parties, the candidates and where there preference are actually going after the preference distribution is released on September 1.

Here’s a breakdown of the parties running and how many positions they’re running for:

Party Ticket

Positions being contested 

Go!

67

Together

64

Left Action

9

Grassroots

6

More Funds For Clubs

6

Support For International Students

6

Free Beer

5

Free Parking

5

Refresh (Your Student Union)

5

The Monash Rig

5

The Monash Right

4

420 Blaze It!

1

Ban Fidget Spinners

1

Equal Marriage Rights

1

Free Coffee On Campus

1

Free Education Now

1

Free Fidget Spinners

1

Free Palestine

1

Free Speech On Campus

1

Monash Freedom

1

Refugee Rights

1

Rejuvenate

1

Sell The Car

1

Smokers Rights

1

Students Against Racism

1

Independent candidates

4

Total

200