Australia

Ethnocultural Policy – UNSW SRC Election 2016

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Ethnocultural Policies can seem relevant to many of us, studying at UNSW. I have met many new people from various backgrounds since I began studying here and it seems like in general the student body interacts very well amongst each other. So, I decided to look into the necessity of an ethnocultural officer.

Regardless of the Party in question, majority of the presented policies are based on improving communication between the SRC and different cultural and religious groups. The SRC is elected annually and is given a substantial amount of time to implement short-term policies and lay the foundation for long-term action plans. It is almost embarrassing to read that since the establishment of the first SRC, they are yet to form stead-fast connections with cultural and religious based clubs and societies.

Further Strengthening of the Ethnocultural Collective, Facilitating discussions and increasing the number of Ethnocultural based Social Events are similarly brought about by both parties. Needless to say, unless the public relations between the elected SRC and the student body improves significantly as opposed to this year; Increasing the number of social events and scheduled meetings will not realise greater engagement from CALD individuals and PoC. Perhaps, Activate’s presented policy to establish an Ethnocultural zine or Ignite’s Ethnocultural Mural may contribute positively towards that undeniable necessity to boost awareness regarding the Ethnocultural collective’s existence.

Activate did present the probable bringing about of a ‘PoC Speak Series’ along with joint-speaker events and skill based training workshops to further awareness regarding the Ethnocultural Collective. They also proposed the increase of Collective room resources to include more books from CALD Authors and PoC., as well as film viewing, bettering rafts Corner etcetera. Ignite too presented their own ideas to achieve the same; by organising an ethnocultural conference in 2017, allowing more journals and written discussion forums to be established.

So amongst these similar policies, you may be wondering if there is any uniquely suggested policies. Both parties did present a few unique policies. Ignite for example mentioned the necessity of an extra prayer space on Upper Campus. They also hope to establish a fairer and simpler reporting system for Racism, provide and improve training modules for staff and students about sensitive related topics as well as to autonomies the voting process for the ethnocultural position. The latter of which seems subtly impractical, considering majority of the population are either born abroad or has a parent or both parents who were born abroad. Activate on the other hand pushed for more political engagement by the student body highlighting that the effective implementation of policies is well -supported with political standing.

I have only presented very short summary, subtly mentioning policies that has been presented. If by any chance you wish to inquire further into the above matters, you may access the facebook pages for Activate and Ignite to obtain more information. If you do suddenly find yourself voting, hopefully you will now have a small idea of what you are casting your vote for.

Image credits: BuzzfeedOz (Anna Mendoza & Tanya Safi)

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