By Toby Hawker and Nikki Ulasowski
As part of the campaign against cuts to education funding by the Howard government, Resistance at Wollongong University initiated a meeting of all left activists interested in running in the SRC elections. The Liberals are expected to attempt to gain footholds in SRCs around the country and we thought it important that the left unite in the elections.
Resistance was hoping to initiate an alliance of left forces and independent activists to run a ticket with common political demands and common aims for the SRC, to which those on the ticket and those elected would remain accountable. At the same time, different organisations and activists would be free to run independent campaigns within a broader ticket.
Although there was some support for a united ticket in the form that Resistance was proposing, other left forces on campus organising their own ticket (primarily those involved with the current SRC and Education Action Collective) had reservations about being identified as part of a united left that included Resistance.
At the meeting, it became clear that a united left ticket was not workable. A united ticket would have required compromises from all sides. Resistance, the largest organised left force on campus, was willing to negotiate. However, we were told that all positions in the main left ticket were filled, including all five NUS delegate positions, that this was non-negotiable and we could join only as individual activists not publicly identifying as Resistance.
There will now be two left tickets: a Resistance ticket and an independent ticket. Resistance proposed a non-aggression pact, but this was also declined.
Resistance has made every effort to be flexible and to form the most effective alliance within the student movement to push the campaign forward and stop the election of a Liberal-dominated SRC. Resistance is currently finalising its ticket for SRC and NUS delegate positions.
[Toby Hawker and Nikki Ulasowski are members of Wollongong Resistance.]