Western Sydney University (WSU) student elections are just around the corner and Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members Philip Craig, Omar Ismaeel, and Ian Escandor have put their hands up as Bankstown campus student representatives and student editors for the student newspaper W’SUP.
Escandor and Craig are experienced student representatives, having been previously elected to the Student Campus Council and student editors of W'SUP. They are campus activists, who helped organise the Diversity Fest and a panel on student activism and the Bankstown occupation of 1999. This will be Ismaeel’s first time running in the student elections, but it is not the first time he has been involved in student-led activities.
The three are running on a ticket that aims to increase student activism, increase collaboration between student representatives and the student body, support the National Tertiary Education Union and fair working conditions for staff, improve student services and facilities, provide free education, increase support for refugees at WSU, and for the university to divest from fossil fuels.
Craig, Ismaeel and Escandor understand the uphill battle they face if they were to be elected, but the three intend to work with other groups to strengthen their approach. Escandor shared his thoughts on the matter: “The university’s divestment from fossil fuels will be a challenge, however we have already made strides in fostering a relationship between groups such as 350.org to assist us in our role as student representatives if we are elected.”
The WSU Resistance club has a strong presence on Bankstown and Parramatta campuses due to their consistency in running weekly stalls to promote social justice and environmental issues, and helping to establish a Students for Palestine Club and an Education Action Group on campus. The Resistance club has hosted a forum by Indigenous leader Ken Canning, a Black Lives Matter discussion circle, and Socialism 101 workshops.
With a Resistance club member as a student representative, the club will be able to broaden and promote its campaigns on campus to deepen student services and activate a political life at WSU.