I lived the coffee wars.

I endured cries of “It’s such a long drive to Rocketfuel!” and “burnt!” and “THIS BARISTA DOESN’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH!”

I watched on as a new corporate coffee overlord was installed on campus, its suave red and black branding adorning every takeaway cup. Its baristas pasty white, their accents distinctly western suburbs. “Machiatto”, they’d slur seductively. “Sorry, no smoothies today, we’ve run out of ice cream.”

And now I watch on once more, as the remnants of the very same party who successfully won a guild election on the singular promise of giving each and every student the right to pay six dollars for a flat white, returns with a new policy platform:

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Sounds great. Do I still get my KeepCup discount?

The official STAR and Liberty LAUNCH websites are now up (with LAUNCH beating out STAR by a good couple of hours), and they are comprehensive. In my opinion, these websites are a way easier and more effective way to communicate party policy than lecture theatre flyer drops, which are universally acknowledged as wasteful, expensive, and ineffective. But sadly, for the fifth year running, nobody has asked me to run their guild political campaign – and the flyers are still bloody everywhere.

So, what are these alleged ‘policies’?

I’d summarise the LAUNCH platform as a rigorous attempt to address every single well-known UWA student pet peeve – it’s basically like they got together one night over a carton and scrolled through the entirety of UWA Confessions, taking note of every comment that got more than 2 likes. Which, to be honest, would have been a totally savvy move. To that end, their policies address all kinds of things – from the unnecessary costs of Academic Transcripts, to microwave availability in guild cafes. These might seem like petty or small issues, but I once went without buying food for at least 3 days after ordering a transcript in order to scrape together the funds to pay my electricity bill. This job does not pay well.

It should probably be mentioned that, as is typical of an opposition party, LAUNCH have made quite a few wild financial promises – the aforementioned $2 coffees, $10 jugs at the Tav, “relaxed” club funding. Still, it’s a slick and well considered website.

What of our friends at STAR?

Well, each STAR candidate has revealed two truths and a lie about themselves by way of introduction. The ol’ first tutorial of semester staple. But they’ve ruined the fun! We don’t get to guess what is truth and what is lie – all is revealed already. Talk about image control. Here’s Jack Looby, who is running for Societies Council President:

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Alienating the campus Manga fan voting bloc – a very brave move.

STAR policies include cheaper vegetarian meals, alchoholic milkshakes at the Tav, and a focus on further renovating guild cafes and the Tav. They have a bunch of non-food related policies, but I’m quite hungry right now, so please bear with my tunnel vision. None of the policies are outlandish or different, but why should they be? The emphasis here is proven experience, and I’m not sure that there are a whole heap of students who would disagree with the assertion that this is a party who have ruled fairly benevolently for the past three years.

Neither major party has mentioned anything about Pelican/student media funding in 2016. We’re waiting.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the LAUNCH promotional videos. I’m loving the vibe. Apparently the STAR videos are on the way (update: apparently one has just been posted to Instagram), but until then, we have no choice but to watch this promo from prospective Welfare Officer Wei Tien Sing over and over again. Is that…an issue of Pelican in the right hand corner? We see what you’re doing, and we like it.

Tips to pelican@guild.uwa.edu.au! Happy Turnbull day!

Words by Kat Gillespie