By Chilli Pepper
Pepperoni Observational News Corp is a Peppercorn series that delivers satirical news and reporting via Peppercorn’s Facebook page and biannual magazine, and definitely has no affiliation with Woroni or the ANU Observer and any allusions to affiliations with these news outlets are false and misleading and should not be made or considered.
This just in...
ANUSA’s “Bright-R-Future” election ticket really just Labor Right hacks in disguise
ANUSA is a powerful organisation, handling $2.5 million in revenue from their 2022 financials and made even more powerful after swallowing up PARSA’s functions and funding in July 2023. So why do students barely engage in ANUSA elections?
Ken Dollson, 23, is running for ANUSA President on the “Bright-R-Future” ticket for 2023. We asked Ken about the disconnect between student engagement at elections and ANUSA’s powerful role in the ANU student community. “I honestly don’t know,” he said with a slight grin. “I mean, ANUSA is boring so maybe students shouldn’t *ahem* don’t want to engage.”
Low student engagement in student politics has for decades created incentives for the student political party and activist clubs at ANU to jump on ANUSA election tickets together and call themselves “ANU Pool Party” or “You Are The Future” or something else inoffensive and simple. In reality, these tickets run with the resources, support and involvement of those clubs, and the disengaged student community is left unable to make an informed decision about who they are actually voting for.
“Our name Bright-R-Future means that we believe in a brighter future for all ANU students,” Ken, who returns to his parents’ house in Vaucluse every semester break, explained with a slight grin. “We want to enhance the power of tomorrow and ensure all students excel into the future.”
We investigated the “Bright-R-Future” ticket and found all of the members are actually just current and former ANU Labor Right Club bosses. This has not been disclosed in any of their campaign advertising, with their posters and pamphlets just featuring hot pink colours with cartoon logos stars everywhere.
When asked whether “Bright-R-Future” is really just the ANU Labor Right Club running for ANUSA positions, Ken’s grin disappeared. “How dare you,” he exclaimed. “I’ve served my time doing cold calls and doorknocks for ACT Labor Right candidates, so the club should return the favour by putting me in charge of a million-dollar organisation.”
Now that ANUSA is bigger and more powerful than ever, it makes sense that candidates should disclose these substantial conflicts of interest during ANUSA elections. Disclosure will improve trust between ANUSA and the student community, ensure that students are able to make informed decisions, and provide open and competitive access to positions to enable candidates to run without the resources of a local party or activist club.
We also investigated the other ANUSA election tickets and found that:
“Yes, Today” is the ANU Liberal Club
“We Want You” is the ANU Labor Left Club
“Free Smoothies On Fridays” is the ANU Communist Club
“U(s)A” is the ANU Republic Club
“The Crown Season 3” is the ANU Monarchy Club
“Free Parking @ ANU” is the ANU Libertarian Club
“Grow 4 You” is the combined ticket of the ANU Legalise Weed Club and the ANU Capitalist Club
"Unite-E" is the ANU Democratic Club
“Free 4 All” is the ANU Anarchist Club