An Australian student by the name Alex Fitton, a member of the liberal party (Australia’s right wing party), became general secretary of the University of Sydney Students’ Representative Council on Wednesday night after he decided to identify as a woman.
His sudden change in gender was a ploy to win a $12,000 executive position in the student election.
Alex vowed that he was not a cisgender male.
The Sydney morning herald reports that the The 11th-hour deal saw Mr Fitton defect from a rival factional grouping to run on a joint ticket with another student, Dylan Williams, who works for NSW Labor. In a controversial move, Labor factions had already teamed up with moderate Liberals to oppose a left-wing bloc.
The school SRC had recently introduced new laws that stipulate that the coveted council position can be shared by two people, but only if one of them identifies as a woman or a non-cisgender male. Alex and Williams were initially ruled ineligible, due to the new regulation and the fact they they were both male. They decided to do something about it.
In a matter of minutes, Alex said he identified as a woman and run for the position. He was required to sign a letter affirming his identity as a non cis male, and to affirm this with a statutory declaration the next day. His opposition shouted “shame” as he signed the papers, informing him that his opportunistic attempts to win the position would not work.
All of Alex’s friends and family confirmed that he had never identified as female until today.
This is the first time since 2011 that two Liberal students have been elected to paid positions in the SRC, in an election that saw the balance of power held by a single vote.
Alex has been provisionally elected as General Secretary and Edward McCann has been elected as Education Officer.
They will share the position with Dylan Williams (Unity – Labor Right) and Jenna Schroder (NLS – Labor Left) respectively.