Independent student media elections: who’s for it & who’s against it?

Just how independent are your student media directors?

Does your team support the idea of independent student media elections? Meaning that political factions putting candidates up for SRC/Board/NUS positions agree to not endorse student media candidates during or before student elections.

We received some very nuanced responses, but in a nutshell these are the binary answers we got:

  • Activate
  • Swipe-Right
  • Weatherill, Dolan and Hawke-Nesbitt for Student Radio
  • Bemmer, Denney, Burnet for On Dit
  • Frequency for Student Radio
  • Unite
  • Left Action
  • Diversify your On Dit (though they do support the “de-politicisation” of student media)
  • Progress
  • Fi, Nick, Prasanna & Liberty for On Dit

Why does this matter?

Within the last three years, a precedent has been set that tickets running for student media elections at Adelaide will need to sell their soul to various factions in order to secure an endorsement. These endorsements almost always come in the form of having their student media ticket outlined on factional how-to-vote cards. However, this often means that the individual student media how-to-vote cards will endorse certain SRC, Board, or NUS candidates in return for this ever-powerful factional endorsement.

What should be done?

From the answers we received, we could see three models for how student media elections should be conducted. These are as follows:

Editorship by appointment

There have been whispers this year that a push to scrap student media elections altogether is being made by certain media tickets and factions. This will lead to only one alternative — editorship by appointment. This is the model favoured by Frequency for Student Radio. Tim Whiffen from Frequency told us that “we don’t even support student media being elected, we would rather it be applied for and appointed by staff and old directors/editors”.

Independent student media elections

Just like a solar eclipse, some things seemingly occur only once in a lifetime. Perhaps the most fleeting natural phenomenon of our time is Labor Left (Activate) and the Liberals (Swipe-Right) actually reaching a consensus on something. Speaking to On Dit, Leighton McDonald-Stuart of Swipe Right said

The Status Quo

And, of course, there is what we already have: politically endorsed student media tickets. Of the teams we spoke to, Left Action and Unite were very much in favour of this model. Diversify for On Dit were less enthusiastic about it, but were still in favour of keeping things the same.

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On Dit Magazine

On Dit Magazine

Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Grace Atta, Habibah Jaghoori, Jenny Jung & Chanel Trezise. Get in touch: onditmag@gmail.com