In the tiny and strange world of Guild politics, very little has happened today, apart from this screenshot. I didn’t actually know who Jess Porter-Langson was until I got this email but I assume it is hilarious? A light chuckle at least? Lord.
In the wider world however, something bigger is afoot.
You might have heard that earlier this afternoon, Vice Chancellor Paul Johnston announced he would be retiring from the Vice Chancellorship, leaving the university just as it goes through the process of restructuring itself. This changes the context of the elections quite a bit, specifically, how will the elected representatives respond to any further cuts, restructures or staff redundancies enacted by the new VC? The current representatives were supportive of the restructure, voting not to oppose it nigh-unanimously, but with both a different Vice Chancellor and different student representatives, it is possible that aspects of the restructure could be opposed in future.
Paul Johnson’s tenure has been tumultuous to say the least, and while it’s not clear whether many of the PR disasters of the last few years were his idea or whether he was simply scapegoated, it’s certainly true that UWA took a turn towards being an institution hungry for prestige even when courses were declining in quality. Ironically, this emphasis on prestige only saw UWA slip lower in the University rankings, like a shiny gold boat filled with holes (again, bad at analogies). Whether a new Vice Chancellor would continue this direction remains to be seen, but it’s important that the student reps we elect are able to oppose cuts to a University still recovering from the last round.
Goodbye Paul, we’ll miss using your impressively high definition portrait.
Words by Hayden Dalziel
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