Free food and the other stuff: Your breakdown of the 2017 MSA Election

By MATILDA BOSELEY,
politics editor

The time has finally come for you to cast your ballots in the MSA 2017 election and, to help you make an informed choice, MOJO has put together a highlights reel for each party*. 

Many of Together and Go!’s goals are similar, including to increase awareness on sexual assault, more mental health service, 24-hour study spaces and Wifi, while the Monash Right is advocating for more dramatic changes.

But of course all three are promising lots and lots of free food!

PARTY: GO!

Executive candidates
President: Shreeya Luthra
Treasurer: Sasha Brady
Secretary: Eleanor D’Ambrosio Scott

Who are they? Go! has been running the MSA for 12 years now and in that time have introduced such things as the free intercampus shuttle buses, extra lighting around campus successfully campaigned for a five-day SWOTVAC. One of the major actions by Go! this year was the establishment of SHIFT, their campaign against sexual assault. This was headed up by Shreeya Luthra, the 2017 women’s officer and now candidate for MSA president. Left Action candidates will be running for the two environment and social justice officer positions under the Go! ticket.

POLICY

Wellbeing – Go! has a broad platform to address student health, including pushing for more counselling service and a quota for female doctors. They also wish to establish a Headspace Centre on campus to help address student mental health. Headspace is the national youth mental health foundation and provides services such as free counselling.

Halls – Go! has promised to provide a free dinner once a week to students living on campus, accompanied with entertainment such as music and speakers.

Wifi – Go! has promised to push for and audit and upgrade of the current Wifi system.

Class times: There are plans in the works to extend class times to 9pm on Clayton campus. Go! wants to push for only non-compulsory classes in the 9pm slot, as well as improving lighting at campus and extending public transport services and the operating hours of on campus retail and student services.

Study spaces: Go! has stated they will push for more 24-hour study spaces and longer library hours.

Sexual assault: Go! has promised to continue SHIFT, their sexual assault prevention campaign. The aim is to achieve cultural change and have a sexual misconduct policy introduced.

PARTY: TOGETHER

Executive candidates
President: Michael Fisher  
Treasurer: Grace Rodrigues
Secretary: Caitlin McIvor

Who are they? Together is a new party this year. They are a coalition of many clubs and societies from around Clayton campus including the Law Students’ Society, the Society of Arts Students, the Business and Commerce Students’ Society, the Biomedical Society and the Monash Engineering Students’ Society. They are headed up by Michael Fisher, last year’s national chairperson for the Australasian Union of Jewish Students. Grassroots (previously Switch) will be joining them, running for a number of positions – including disabilities and carers officer, education public affairs officer, environment and social justice officer and Lot’s Wife editor – under the Together ticket name.

POLICY

Wellbeing – Together is also advocating for a Headspace Service on campus to address student mental health issues.

Books – Together will be looking to turn the student dry cleaning service space into a second-hand book shop, which will include a book trade system.

Sleeping spaces – Together promises to push for “snooze lounges” around campus that include pods and couches.

Study spaces – The party promises to push for more 24-hour study spaces and longer library hours.

Wifi – Together promises to push for faster wifi as well as more charging stations around campus.

Sexual assault: Together say it will push the university to comply with the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission into sexual assault on campus.

Campus Entertainment: The group has made campus life a central part of their campaign and promises weekly entertainment such as music and events on the Monash big screen. This will include free food and drinks.

PARTY: THE MONASH RIGHT

Executive candidate
Treasurer: Bryadon Thomas-Collins

Who are they?: The Monash Right are another new group running this year. They describe themselves as a broad collective of students who are right of the extreme left. They are pushing for a less political MSA and the the removal of the MSA from the National Union of Students.

POLICY

The NUS: The Monash Right have promised to withdraw Monash from the National Union of Students, redirecting this money to the welfare and events departments.

MSA in lecture: The group wishes to stop MSA members speaking at the start of lectures, with an emphasis on preventing the Communist manifesto from being promoted.

Student welfare: The Monash Right has promised to provide free food and drinks to students every day and to push for more unisex bathrooms.

Environment: The party also promises to push for electric car charging stations on campus.

NOTE: The Monash Right is only running for the office bearing positions of Treasurer and Environment and Social Justice Officers.

MORE INFORMATION

For information on the myriad minor parties running check out our article : So many parties, but who are you really voting for?

For a deeper look at Together and Go! check out: A Foe for GO!: A look at the new party Together  and Inside the Go! Political juggernaut: Can they win again?

And to see how the on earth the Labor party plays into all this have a look at: Labor Right vs Left battle grabs center stage in campus elections.

Matilda Boseley’s live interview with Monash Right can be found on Mojo’s Facebook page, on June 9.

If you want more detailed information on individual parties and who is standing for what position, go to their Facebook pages or the 2017 MSA Election guide put together by Lot’s Wife.

*We have only included the parties running for office bearing position and not those running only for council or collective positions.