What Clubs and Societies really think of proposed AA Provisions
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What Clubs and Societies really think of proposed AA Provisions

What Clubs and Societies really think of proposed AA Provisions

Following our piece yesterday about the radical new proposal to force affirmative action on clubs and societies at Sydney University, we asked current and former Executive of Clubs and Societies at Sydney University for their thoughts. Here’s what they said:


Ancient History and Classics Society (Former President):

“I have deep concern that any AA measure for clubs and societies, however well-intentioned could gut smaller clubs, which simply don’t have enough candidates, male or female, vying for positions on the executive.”


International and Global Studies Society (Former President):

Not only would these reforms cripple the C&S Program, it remains to be seen how they could even be implemented. Is the C&S Office encouraging people to run on tickets [contrary to its past practice], or would it arbitrarily choose people to exclude from positions based on gender if the quota is exceeded by successful candidates at election?”


Flair Society (President):

“Aside from the obvious flaws … that could lead to the collapse of the society, forcing men out of roles is not promoting equality (which I assume is the end goal of this idea). It is promoting the concept that for women to enter a position of leadership they need an advantage, a leg up, over their male colleagues. There is very little to be gained from this idea and a great deal in many areas to be lost. Much better to host a series of workshops aimed at improving people’s leadership skills and encouraging them to take roles on in societies.”


Liberal Club (Vice President):

“These reforms would force students to elect Executive based on gender rather than merit; they are patronising to women and an insult to the University community.”


Movement and Dancing Society (President):

“Personally, I think it’s unnecessary. While I’m all for women’s rights and gender equality, I don’t think it’s really been an issue that I’ve encountered on the three executives I’ve been on or in any of the societies that I have knowledge of. I think it’s much more important to have executives who are passionate about the society and its aims instead of being coerced to fulfil a minimum quota of women. As it is, I know a lot of societies have difficulties even meeting quota for AGMs and it’s restrictive more than anything.”


Catholic Society of St Peter (President):

“The sole criterion in electing members of any society should be merit and individual achievement, such as commitment to the society, accomplishments, involvement and other efforts. Gender, like ethnicity, does not have a place on that list – it is a trait, not an achievement. It would be a disgrace to the democratic will of members of societies, and destroy their identity. An arbitrary rule of disqualification based on gender has no place in the C&S program.”


Christian Students Uniting (President)

“As the president of a society that definitively believes in female leadership and currently happens to contain an all-female executive, Christian Students Uniting wholeheartedly supports these reforms.”


Conservative Club (President):

“‘The sole criteria for selection to executive positions should be a person’s proven commitment to the club or society, regardless of gender. Any moves to force quotas reeks of left wing political grandstanding that will achieve little to enhance the Clubs & Societies program, but will instead impose unnecessary burdens on clubs and societies, as well as being thoroughly patronising to women.”


3D Printing Society (President):

I don’t agree with the reform proposal, since in some area few female are barely participat[ing]. In my club, most of the members are with engineering background…With all due respect, the reform is not thought through.”


You can attend the USU’s Affirmative Action Discussion Forum and voice your thoughts:

5pm, Wednesday 8 October,
Women’s Room, Manning Building

One Comment

  • Kate Bullen says:

    Just to clarify the forum is being held in two sessions: Autonomous and Non-Autonomous.

    The Autonomous session is for all whom identify as or have lived experience as a wom*n. All those whom feel they meet that criteria are welcome to join the discussion and the USU does not believe in gender-policing.
    It is at 5pm in the Wom*n’s Room in Manning House.

    The Non-Autonomous Session is for people of all gender identities and will be at 6.15pm in the McCallum Cullen Room, Holme Building.

    The full discussion paper is available here

    For more info see the Facebook event here

    or feel free to contact Kate Bullen, USU Wom*n’s Portfolio Holder on

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