The Board of the University of Sydney Union (USU) rejected an application for a new student society put forth by the Brotherhood, Recreation and Outreach Society (BROSoc). The Board voted against allowing BROSoc to formally join the C&S program, with many directors apparently “voicing concerns regarding the fledgling society’s arguably narrow focus on traditional masculinity.”
BROSoc’s constitution states that the society’s main aim is to provide a safe space for men on campus and address mental health issues specific to men, through the establishment of a Men’s Shed. The Men’s Shed is a not for profit mental health program for men and boys that has been broadly successful since it was founded in 2007.
At the monthly Board meeting, Queer Portfolio holder and USU Board Director Liam Carrigan “argued that allowing the formation of BROSoc could cause ‘significant damage’ to the queer community, especially amongst trans and genderqueer members.”
Kate Bullen, Women’s Portfolio holder and Board Director, took a similar line, stating that BROSoc was “clearly not about breaking down gender roles”, and would be potentially exclusionary towards women.
This is a bad decision; Men have a right to form their own clubs on a university campus and exclude Women, just as Women do.