‘Deeply undemocratic’: University of Adelaide SRC pushes back against attempts to muzzle student activists


CW: This article contains images of fascist documents.

Funding cuts and a highly restrictive directive from the AUU (Adelaide University Union) board are criticized as ‘undemocratic’ for seeking to cut elected student activists who currently chair the University of Adelaide SRC .

According to A declaration, University of Adelaide SRC President Ana Obradovic has learned that current AUU Board Chair Oscar Ong is circulating a directive prohibiting the payment and distribution of the CBC. The ban included materials “promoting the NUS [National Union of Students]and “all related charges of the SRC Counter Guide” – the latter being equivalent to USyd’s CounterCourse Manual which contains information from students who criticize the University’s corporate messaging.

Returning students were greeted during welcome week with messages ‘white students deserve safety’ and ‘white workers built Australia’ at Adelaide’s North Terrace campus. Orders of anti-fascist material by the SRC have reportedly been blocked by Ong and the Progress/Young Liberals factions.

It is understood that a refusal to reimburse the SRC as per the directive has now left the University of Adelaide SRC in debt of $2,000.

This follows a controversial funding agreement passed on November 30 last year by the Conservative coalition stipulating that the University of Adelaide SRC shall “not bring the AUU into disrepute”, obliging it to provide representation regardless of ” Political Views “. This agreement has drawn anger for having been raised on the last day of the NGO SRC presidency, binding future councils indefinitely.

The agreement effectively prohibits the University of Adelaide SRC from holding political views contrary to the Progress/Young Liberal dominated AUU board. An “overwhelming majority” of RSC representatives backed a motion against the deal at the council’s first meeting in 2022.

Obradovic voiced the SRC’s opposition, arguing that the actions of the AUU Council were an affront to the “mandate of elected representatives” of student activists. In November last year, Adelaide’s left-wing bloc took over the presidency in a tight margin 1211 – 1075upsetting two years of Conservative leadership.

Echoing Obradovic, NUS social services manager Billy Zimmerman called Ong “a political conservative who can’t stand a student union not being under his control.” For him and other elected representatives of the University of Adelaide SRC, this is consistent with the record of conservative factions opposing student unionism, such as disaffiliation from the NUS and refuse to finance AU Women’s Collective.

Additionally, it was revealed this on saidthe University of Adelaide student newspaper, was unable to report on these developments due to a recent constitutional amendment requiring all editorial content to be approved by an “independent committee” – the composition of which is not not disclosed.

In response, on said Editor Habibah Jaghoori called the amendment an ‘imposition of censorship’ and an ‘attack on freedom of expression’ as it effectively means the Council exercises unilateral discretion over what can be published .

In a statement, USyd SRC education officials Lia Perkins and Deaglan Godwin strongly condemned the actions of the young liberal-dominated AUU board.

“This attack on the University of Adelaide SRC is an attack on student democracy. Elected officials must be able to criticize university management without blame because that is the job of a student union. said Perkins and Godwin.

“We condemn Oscar Ong and the Council’s actions and urge students to take action to defend their elected officials.”


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