At present, 12 out of the 25 members of Macquarie University’s SRC are not elected by the student body. They are appointed by an Independent Selection Panel – the members of which are hand-picked by the university.
“It’s a travesty. This body will be guided and directed at every stage by senior employees of the university. Independent voices will continue to be quashed.”
Grapeshot critiqued this selection process yesterday, questioning why the University felt it was in a superior position to decide who could best represent Equity and Diversity groups on campus. The appointed positions include representitives for women, LGBTQI+ people, Indigenous students, people with a disability, students from a culturally and linguistically diverse backgroud, regional and remote students, as well as three postgraduate positions and two students from Major Student Organisations.
In the wake of the article, biographies of the panel members and the list of nominees have been released; in the past, this information has not been made public.
Prior to the publishing of the article, Grapeshot’s Editor-in-Chief, Angela Heathcote, corresponded with Governance Services who informed Grapeshot of the following:
“Whilst the notice of candidates elected and election details must be published on the University website, the SRC Election Rules does not prescribe that this is the case for appointed candidates as they go through an interview process with the Independent Selection Panel members instead of gaining student votes. As such, we only publish the successful appointed candidates on the website at a later stage.”
Today, Head of Governance Services, Zoe Williams has confirmed that they have obtained the consent of all members of the Independent Selection Panel to publish their bio details on the SRC website. Additionally, Williams stated that the university’s Marketing department would be publishing the list of nominees for appointed positions. Grapeshot will be pursuing details regarding the extent of Marketing’s involvement in the SRC elections.
While the publishing of the biographies of the panel members is a step forward in regards to transparency, Heathcote notes:
“There’s a unanimous agreement amongst almost every ticket that Equity and Diversity positions should be elected. While such a move will suffice for this election, we have to be clear that this is not enough and in the future necessary changes must be made so that these groups can be well represented by their elected peers.”
Read the list of nominated students and the biographies of the people who will be selecting the successful candidates here – click the ‘Nominations and appointed candidates’ tab.
Note: Grapeshot will be analysing the four members of the selection panel in the coming days.