University of Sydney Union President Pat Bateman and Vice-President Courtney Tight have issued their official response to the University’s controversial Green Paper.
The 16-page document contains an in-depth response to several proposals outlined in Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence’s Green Paper, which would greatly affect the student union.
Central concerns outlined by Bateman and Tight include a mooted shift of responsibility for retail and catering operations from the USU to University and a reorganised funding model for the Union, under the University’s broad umbrella.
The USU response reads: “the USU believes very strongly that the wholesale reorganisation of the USU would be unwise,” stating such a shift poses a “fundamental threat to the de facto student control of the USU”.
Student control of the USU and its activities is at the very core of concerns, and was the leading topic at the Green Paper Forum held at Manning Bar last week.
Worried students fired questions at the Vice-Chancellor, demanding guarantees that key USU-run components of student experience and livelihood, such as Clubs and Societies, live entertainment, the bars and other activities, would not suffer under University control.
The Vice-Chancellor’s answers were vague, and many left the forum feeling no less concerned about the University’s motivations.
Bateman and Tight also stressed in their response a desire for co-operation between the USU and the University, rather than wholesale realignment. Bateman has previously pointed out that even before the Green Paper was released, the USU had pushed for joint control of retail tenants between the USU and the University, but was continuously rejected by University without any reason given.
The response concludes: “We believe that the best means of addressing our shared concerns is to make existing arrangements work better, rather than destroying the present basis of co-operation.”
The response was submitted as part of the Green Paper’s consultation window that closed last week. The University will take all responses and use them to shape the White Paper, which will become the definitive strategy blueprint for the University for the next five years.
The White Paper will be issued to the Senate for endorsement in July.
Click here to download the entire USU response.
Click here to download the Green Paper.
Click here to see other responses: SUPRA | SRC