University of Canberra left polls well
By Nick Middleton
CANBERRA — Students at the University of Canberra went to the polls on October 21-23 to elect next year's Students Association. They gave a good vote to left and progressive candidates, including members of the broad left ACTION ticket.
The "Straight Left" ticket (right-wing Labor students) won only one of the four executive positions contested, and six out of 14 general committee positions. The remaining three executive positions were won by progressive candidates supported by ACTION.
Next year's Students Association will include four ACTION general committee members, two United Independent Students, and two other individual candidates, one of whom is an activist from the environment collective.
Darren Perry, ACTION presidential candidate and vice president of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students' Association, lost the position to Daniel Stoll from "Straight Left" by only 40 votes out of 500.
Resistance member and ACTION candidate Nick Soudakoff won one of four National Union of Students delegate positions.
On the last day of polling, a number of candidates from "Straight Left" and United Independent Students attempted to have ACTION disqualified.
They claimed that the use of chalk-ups on the ground was "potentially dangerous" to students, and that non-UC students were canvassing too close to the polling booth (i.e. they were 42 metres away rather than 50). The returning officer dismissed the complaint.
Soudakoff said, "We ran a strong campaign. We had activists from UC and ANU supporting a left activist alternative to the current Labor Right bureaucrats. We got an amazing response. That's why the complaint was lodged."