ANUSA Election: Independent Candidate Wrap-Up

Thumbnails of each of the independent candidates

Content warning: this article contains mention of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

By Samuel Wright

With the ANUSA election fast approaching, and your workload ramping up, many independent candidates may have slipped under your radar. Following changes to the Electoral Regulations at ANUSA’s AGM last semester, the term “independent” no longer exists in the electoral regulations. Instead, any person running alone is incentivised to form a single-person ticket. Any candidate that does not do this will be listed on the ballot as “Group Unspecified”. There are a number of candidates running this year using both approaches. 

Madhu for ANU

Madhumitha Janagaraja is the current ANUSA Disabilities Officer and is running for Vice President. She is the only independent candidate running for an Executive position this election. Jananagaraja’s ticket, ‘Madhu for ANU’, is seeking to address “overburdened mental health services” within the ANU, “institutional betrayal of SASH [sexual assault and sexual harassment] survivors”, and the “erasure of student spaces”, according to a statement on her Facebook page. Janagaraja says that her experience as the Disabilities Officer allows her to “navigate bureaucracy” and “deliver active reform that addresses student needs”. She concludes by highlighting her focus on SASH and mental health services, flexible learning environments, and “facilities and services” including campus transport and less disruptive construction work. 

Michael Brewer for ANUSA

Michael Brewer, the current ANU Greens convenor and the Secretary of Wamburun Hall’s Residents’ Committee, is running for General Representative on the one-person ‘Michael Brewer for ANUSA’ ticket. In his launching statement, Brewer says he is “passionate about housing policy on campus”, and thinks that “students need greater transparency in housing decisions”. Brewer goes on to say that, if elected, he will be a “strong voice on ANUSA” for “all the issues that matter” to students. 

Count on Cahill for ANUSA

Cahill di Donato is currently the Clubs Council Affiliations Officer and is running for General Representative, on his one-person ticket “Count on Cahill”. At the time of writing, di Donato has two policies, including the creation of a “more student oriented approach” to issues of wage theft and student exploitation, and enforcing compulsory reports from General Representatives each quarter. This policy is similar to a motion he moved at SRC 5, which requiring all 14 General Representatives to submit a written report at the next SRC.

Undergraduate Voice

Running on the one-person ‘Undergraduate Voice’ is Benjamin Chesler, who is hoping to be the Undergraduate Representative on the ANU Council. This position was separated from that of ANUSA President in 2017, but has yet to be held by anyone other than the President. In a statement, Chesler says that he is politically unaligned, with “two clear goals”: accountability and responsibility. Undergraduate Voice hopes to make the decision process on the ANU council more “transparent” and “open to suggestion” from the student body. 

Ungrouped Candidates

The following is a list of ungrouped candidates and the positions they are running for:

  • Ryan Clough: Presidential candidate. Running under the slogan “Dismantle ANUSA, Revitalise Tobacco”, Clough also states on his Facebook page that he had a successful visit to Beijing and is glad he can “increase ties both politically and culturally over the love for cigarettes”.
  • William Fletcher: General Representative. His election-season profile picture is him with bikes, saying he supports “‘wheel’ change”.

All candidates for Queer* Officer are also running without a ticket. Only students identifying as Queer* are able to vote for this position. The candidates are:

  • Beatrice Ciblis
  • Amalia Edevane
  • Leslie Tao
  • Shivali Trivedi
  • Aisling Arnould

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