AUJS Elects

AUJS Elects is a project to assist Jewish students in being better informed during student elections.

The ANU Students’ Association Elections will be held from Monday 24 August to Thursday 27 August 2020.
TICKET RESPONDED
Kai for Council
Dominic HT for ANUSA General Secretary
Go the Distance with ANUSA
Refocus your ANUSA
Benjamin Chesler - Undergraduate Voice for ANU Council
Proud! Of Our ANUSA
You! For ANUSA
Spice Up – Diversify Your NUS
Fight the Liberals
A New Way Forward
Brighter Together ANUSA

Kai for Council

1. How do you think clubs and societies, like AUJS, could be better supported on campus?

While there are numerous ways to support clubs on campus, one way that I could help through my role on Council will be ensuring SSAF Allocations are fully transparent and fair. One concern is that university departments bid for these allocations without disclosing how they're spent. By bringing this to light I'm hoping this can help shift the balance in favor of the student association, and hence bring back more money towards clubs and societies. In more specific cases, like last year when Hong Kong students tried to organise speakers at a talk and faced intimidation, I would very much publicly take the side of any students facing intimidation and oppression on campus and ensure due process according to University policy.

2. How do you believe antisemitism can be more effectively tackled on campus?

I don't know any specific case of antisemitism to base my response on, but I will use previous examples from 2016. Where hate symbols begin appearing on campus, I would not only support students by ensuring proper processes are fulfilled, but also follow up on Council or through more appropriate channels to ensure that a proper security investigation is taken and that any perpetrators are brought to justice. My latter response also covers potential responses.

3. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism is the internationally recognised definition on antisemitism and has been adopted by 12 campuses across Australia as well as the National Union of Students. Do you support this definition and its associated examples as best practice?

I must state that if elected to Council, a commitment like this would be considered representative of the university's stance. Hence, I cannot unilaterally accept or deny any definition for now. The same standard would apply for any other views others might ask me to hold in a professional capacity. As for my own personal thoughts on the matter, I am broadly in support of the definition, but take a narrow reading of it that allows for fair and considered criticism of Israel and its policies as a state.


Dominic HT for ANUSA General Secretary

1. How do you think clubs and societies, like AUJS, could be better supported on campus?

I would be happy to hear from you in regard to what specific areas of support you believe AUJS would benefit from. I know different clubs and societies require different types of support, whether that be financial support, training or promotional opportunities.

Generally, the primary point of contact for support is the ANU Clubs Council, which manages funding for affiliated Clubs and Societies. As a candidate for the role of General Secretary my focus on providing support for Clubs and Societies is through maximising student engagement. As some background context, my main exposure to supporting clubs and societies previously has been through my work as an ANUSA College Rep for the College of Asia and the Pacific in 2019.

Last year I helped organise an O-Week event for a bunch of CAP related societies, created a Facebook group for these Clubs, and also a created list of ‘CAP’ related Clubs Societies which I shared with administrators and lecturers within the College of Asia and the Pacific. This was useful I think for raising the awareness for both clubs and ANU to create more opportunities for collaboration.

I realise this may not be as applicable to AUJS, and that this is not necessarily part of my role if elected as General Secretary, however its something that I will try to encourage other relevant office holders to consider.

A more specific thing that I want to do is get in contact with Clubs and Societies when ANUSA is promoting opportunities, events or campaigns which would be of direct interest to the members of a particular Club or Society. For example in my policy document I refer to the fact that I would like to promote opportunities like the ANUSA Financial Review Committee via CBE based Clubs like the Actuarial, Finance, Economics and Commerce Students' Society.

I am less familiar with the work that the AUJS does at ANU, so would be keen to hear more from you about the sort of work you do on campus to better answer this particular question.

2. How do you believe antisemitism can be more effectively tackled on campus?

I think ANUSA is most effective when it communicates with affected groups about these kinds of issues, so would be interested to know your organisations thoughts on this issue. I know that ANUSA previously has supported strong statements condemning antisemitism, including Holocaust denial in the past and certainly should continue to do so.

I think as General Secretary a focus of mine in particular is making sure ANUSA meetings are safe environments, where violence and harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.

If the AUJS is interested in running an antisemitism campaign, similar to the anti-racist campaigns that ANUSA Departments have run in previous years that may be an area where ANUSA can provide support.

3. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism is the internationally recognised definition on antisemitism and has been adopted by 12 campuses across Australia as well as the National Union of Students. Do you support this definition and its associated examples as best practice?

If elected as General Secretary part of my role will be to interpret the ANUSA Constitution, Regulations and related Policy. In that capacity I am unable to unilaterally ‘accept’ a definition put forward by an organisation outside of ANUSA. That applies to any definition, not just a definition of ‘antisemitism’.

I do want to clearly state that I do stand by the 2016 motion of the AUJS passed at the ANUSA SRC which stated that ANUSA:

1. Condemns the publication of any materials which deny the Holocaust and create division in our student community based on race and ethnicity.

2. Reinforces the importance of Holocaust awareness and education.

3. Reinforces the need to work together to prevent further instances of ethnic discrimination and vilification on campus.

4. Is committed to building an inclusive, accepting and diverse Australian National University student community.


Go the Distance with ANUSA

1. How do you think clubs and societies, like AUJS, could be better supported on campus?

Clubs and societies are an important part of ANUSA's work and the lifeblood of social life at ANU. One of our General Representative candidates, Elijah Smith, is running on a platform specifically targeted at ensuring ANUSA supports clubs and societies to the fullest. While we are an independent ticket and have no official position on the Governance Review, our Presidential candidate Skanda Panditharatne supports the addition of a Clubs and Societies representative on the ANUSA Executive. This will help ensure that the interests of clubs and societies are represented at SRC and throughout the Association's work. In cases where the missions of ANUSA and societies such as the AUJS align, we would be happy to work collaboratively on campaigns and social events.

2. How do you believe antisemitism can be more effectively tackled on campus?

We stand firmly opposed to bigotry and racism in all their forms, including antisemitism. We believe that antisemitism can only be effectively tackled when Jewish students are actively involved in the conversation, and their lived experiences honoured and upheld. To this end, we would seek to work with Jewish students and their organisations firstly to identify the ways in which antisemitism is present at ANU, and then to co-develop targeted strategies to deal with these incidences. ANUSA can always do better at making sure its official spaces are free of prejudice and bigotry, and reforming ANUSA spaces (such as the Education Committee) to make them more accessible is a core part of our platform. During these reforms, we would make sure the voices of marginalised groups are listened to and taken onboard.

In the meantime, if any student has experienced antisemitism at ANU, we would advise them to seek support via the Ethnocultural Department and report any offences to the relevant University bodies.

3. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism is the internationally recognised definition on antisemitism and has been adopted by 12 campuses across Australia as well as the National Union of Students. Do you support this definition and its associated examples as best practice?

We accept the IHRA's definition of antisemitism insofar as it does not prevent or condemn legitimate criticism of governments and their policies. We believe that our student union has equal priorities to both protect our students from hate speech, and protect our students' right to free speech. We look forward to working together with Jewish student groups to identify antisemitic speech when it occurs, and develop strategies to combat it.


You! For ANUSA

This ticket did not provide a response.


Refocus your ANUSA

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Benjamin Chesler - Undergraduate Voice for ANU Council

This ticket did not provide a response.


Proud! Of Our ANUSA

This ticket did not provide a response.


Spice Up – Diversify Your NUS

This ticket did not provide a response.


Fight the Liberals

This ticket did not provide a response.


A New Way Forward

This ticket did not provide a response.


Brighter Together ANUSA

This ticket did not provide a response.