Last week Newcastle Liberal Students (NLS) attended the Australian Liberal Students Federation (ALSF) Federal Council and Annual General Meeting, which this year was held in Perth.
It was a great opportunity to meet many solid Liberal citizens from around the country that are taking the fight to the left on Campus and standing up for Liberally minded students every day.
ALSF is a nation organisation that Liberal clubs from across the country affiliate with to work together, share ideas and promote the Liberal cause.
We had a great time networking with other Liberal Clubs across the country and learning from their experiences, it’s safe to say we’ve picked up a few great ideas that we can put into practice on our campus.
We had many people come and talk to us throughout the Council sessions, Josh Manuatu the Young Liberal Federal President, Zac Kirkup MLA for Dawesville and Philip Benwell National Chair of the Australian Monarchist League.
Along with a great campaign workshop session hosted by Lewis Hutton (UWA) and Clark Cooley (UTAS).
We also had a great opportunity to hear from the Leader of the West Australian Liberals Mike Nahan MLA.
He spoke to us about the responsibility we have to restore free speech on our campuses and make them real spaces for debate and expression, not a hard-line imposed leftist agenda.
That’s not why people go to university, they go because they want to learn, they go because they want to be exposed to new ideas and make up their own minds.
We also want to congratulate our club President Blake Keating on being elected as the NSW representative to the executive committee of ALSF.
You may recall that recently The Australian reported that a student fee funded magazine called ‘FARRAGO’ published a “kill list” that joked about killing conservative students and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. ‘FARRAGO’ published the satirical article, “An Exhaustive List of Whom We Shall Kill on the First Day of the Revolution”. The list includes “The Liberal Party Club”, “The Labor Right Club: they gave us Kevin Rudd”, “The Labor Left Club: they stuffed up so badly Kevin Rudd came back”, and “People who lose 30 Newspolls in a row”.
It should come to no surprise to members that ‘FARRAGO’ is operated by the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) at a cost of $143,300 a year, which covers launch parties and audiovisual projects, and is funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee. (SSAF)
The SSAF is a compulsory annual fee charged to all domestic students. Full-time students pay $289 and part-time students $223.
This is one of the clearest examples of the TAX PAYER FUNDED craziness that goes on at Uni campuses, every day, across the country.
ALSF President (at the time) Xavier Boffa said to the Australian the union was failing to represent mainstream conservative students and was instead demonising them for their political views. The Australian printed:
“It’s incredibly disturbing that student union office bearers thought it was a good idea to use SSAF funds to publish an article vilifying mainstream students for their political affiliations and beliefs,” Mr Boffa said.
“Student unions are supposed to represent all students, but have been sadly all too willing to aid and abet a radical minority in perpetrating a broader culture of hateful speech and behaviour towards politically active students on campus.”
It’s examples like this that show why it’s critical for our club to be affiliated with ALSF, our unity provides us an opportunity to be a part of a national debate on the issues that are facing students.
We are proud to be affiliated with ALSF and we are excited to see what opportunities present themselves in the coming months.