It’s election season in the student union and everyone is going crazy. Even us editors are soon to take leave from our desks and turn into election monsters. You’ll see us, along with hundreds of other students, dressed in campaign shirts and harassing students into voting booths.
It’s easy to look around campus during election week and dismiss it as a circus, a mess, something that has nothing to do with you. Thing is, you’d be wrong.
If you’re a member of a club or society, these elections matter to you. If you go to any campus BBQs, or cocktail parties, or Oktoberfest, these elections matter to you. In fact, you’re reading Farrago, these elections matter to you too. All of these things are provided by the student union. And that’s just the stuff you can see. UMSU representatives also work tirelessly behind the scenes speaking to university staff about things like lecture recordings and unfair assessment. They even lobby the Federal Government in the interest of student causes. The services and representation provided by UMSU make up a huge part of your university experience, whether you’re directly involved with the union or not.
Why does this mean you should vote? Two reasons. For one, voting ensures that you get your say in what your union will look like next year. Often these elections are lost and won by a small handful of votes, so we really mean it when we say that every vote counts. On top of that, the more students who vote, the better the union is able to negotiate with the university. If only 10 per cent of students vote in these elections, it’s much harder for the union to ask the university for the few million dollars they generously give us each year.
Do your bit in keeping our university so great. Put a ballot in a box.
For more information about the elections, head to our comprehensive election guide.
Elections aside, we’ve been pretty busy in the Farrago office lately. This magazine you’re holding is a 100-page edition. As far as we know, that makes this the biggest Farrago ever. Exciting! And it’s no wonder we need so many pages when there’s so much going on.
In week three, Federal Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister for Education Kim Carr came to visit Parkville. While here, they announced their new policy to block all proposed changes to higher education policy in the Senate. The ALP’s backflip on higher education demonstrates the success of the national campaign that student unions have been running to keep higher education affordable and accessible. You can find out more about Shorten and Carr’s visit on page 9.
The Palmer United Party has also been a target of student protests. The Education (Public Affairs) Department ran a widely publicised chicken parmigiana eating contest called ‘Parmas for Palmer’ in week two.
But if politics isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like Prosh Week. The annual event of games, gags and nudity is coming up in week nine, and the pre-Prosh preparations have already begun. If you’ve never Proshed before, it might be hard to wrap your head around Prosh Week and why people love it so much. Emily Weir’s ‘Declassified’ on page 62 might help explain some of that, and if you still don’t understand the appeal, check out Anna Theris’s personal account of her first Prosh on page 67.
Lastly, this might be news to you, but Farrago isn’t the only publication we pump out each year. In association with the Creative Arts Department, we just released a creative writing anthology called Above Water. The annual anthology features some of the best short fiction and creative writing that our students have to offer, as well as artwork by Farrago’s own Jasmin Isobe and Camilla Eustence. This year is Above Water’s 10th birthday, so make sure you pick up a copy from stands in Union House.