SRC 8 Liveblog
The meeting closes, having lasted approximately three hours.
The motion fails, with 4 for and 8 against.
Ed Officer Harry Needham speaks against the motion. He argues that the student body “placed their trust in one person to interpret the Constitution”, and so Eden should be trusted when she says the motion is constitutionally invalid.
Maclean speaks in favour of the motion, saying, “My first interaction with the Media Policy when I became a Gen Rep was when [the 2017 President] attempted to gag me.” “The ambiguity has led to perceptions of abuse,” he argues.
Gen Sec Eden Lim argues against. “My interpretation is that this is constitutionally invalid,” she says.
Kathryn Lee asks a point of clarification. “Why is the ANUSA Executive so against changing the Media Policy?” she says. Day rules this not in order. Social Officer Anya Bonan (who ran on the Shake Up ticket which criticised the Media Policy) seeks to clarify that the matter at hand is the motion, not the Media Policy as a whole.
Lee says that this was “the hardest recommendation to put forth”, but one that was requested “by student reps”. She says that she thinks the NUS exception is important because “it’s the only time we as ANUSA reps have diverting views”.
Nagesh says, “I disagree that the SRC is the only way that reps can speak.” He asks the SRC to uphold “the spirit of the consultations” and the SRC 6 motion which established the review committee.
Motion 8.7: The SRC supports this recommendation.
Recommendation 3 (Condensed): We recommend that the President still be the sole representative of the Association but this phrase must not be interpreted strictly. Exceptions must be made to allow representatives to speak their thoughts to media without prior approval in relation to:
- Topic of NUS Affiliation
- Matters which relate to Departments
- Matters which relate to motions that they have put forward at SRCs and CRCs
Moved by: Kathryn Lee
Seconded by: Ashish Nagesh
Lee says, “I think out of all the three recommendations this was the most uncontentious motion … it puts into writing that the Disputes Committee is the final body.” She says this is “just ratifying what is already there”.
Maclean argues, “I do think that disputes is the appropriate body to mediate disputes that arise under the media policy.” “Disputes is a lovely thing,” he says.
Gen Sec Eden lim speaks against the motion. “The first part of this motion is redundant … and if anything it’s only going to cause more confusion,” she says. “I suppose that the second part is a very good thing, but I think it’s better as accepting cultural change, or as part of the handover process,” she continues.
The motion is tied at 7 votes for and 7 against. This gives chair Lachy Day the casting vote. He votes against, so the motion fails.
We move to the second recommendation.
Motion 8.6: The SRC supports this recommendation.
Recommendation 2: We recommend that the final call on disciplinary actions for ANUSA elected representatives vests in the Disputes Committee. Consequences of breach should be outlined better and be explained by the ANUSA President to the incoming SRC members and should be recorded on meeting minutes.
Moved by: Kathryn Lee
Seconded by: Howard Maclean
The motion fails, with (we think) 6 for and 10 against.
International Officer Mina Kim asks if the constitutional problem could be solved by amending the recommendation to replace “elected representatives” to a more explanatory term. Lim says this would not help.
Observer referred to 3(2) of the ANUSA Constitution, wherein a motion can be passed dissenting an interpretation “at a meeting”. We asked Lim whether this includes a SRC meeting.
As we are now approaching the third hour, Howard Maclean successfully moves a procedural motion to allow him to speak on a proposed solution for 30 seconds. He higlights the Disputes Committee as the appropriate forum to resolve the current motion, and says that it doesn’t matter if the motion is valid or not, the SRC should vote on the motion’s merits.
General Secretary Eden lim speaks against the motion. She argues it would be constitutionally invalid. She says she sent out a detailed interpretation to the SRC an hour before the meeting, apologising for the late notice, but saying it was “the result of the time I was given”.
Observer requests this interpretation firstly under the policy which requires documents related to motions to be publicly released, and then under the Freedom of Information clause of the ANUSA Constitution. Lim says she could provide the document later. We break to discuss.
Clubs Council Secretary Howard Maclean speaks for the association. He moves a procedural to extend his speaking time from two minutes to four, which passes despite some objections. “The Clubs Council needs to have a position where it can take a position different to the Executive in regard to Clubs things,” he argues.
He also recounts his time as an NUS Delegate. “It was the view, I believe, previously, that NUS delegates were not officers of the Association … the Media Policy didn’t apply,” he says. He raises the possibility of a factional President stifling the views of other factions.
He then moves to a “philosophical” note. “If you’re a member of the SRC you are here to represent, and you should be free to represent,” He says. He speaks to the origins of the policy, saying, “I think it was applied to representatives as an afterthought due to a clash between the 2015 President and General Secretary.”
President Eleanor Kay speaks against the motion. “I disagree that the Clubs Council is different,” she says. She argues that it would put “a significant risk on the Association and the position of President” to allow Clubs Council members to speak freely to media.
Lee and Nagesh speak strongly in favour of the motion. Nagesh emphasises the role of NUS Delegates, saying, “they should not be bound by the President or the majority of the SRC” as they are not members of the SRC.
We’re on to the Media Policy recommendations.
Motion 8.5: The SRC supports this recommendation.
Recommendation 1: The media policy will apply to the elected representatives. Clubs Council executive and NUS delegates does not fall under the interpretation of elected officials of the media policy
Moved by: Kathryn Lee
Seconded by: Ashish Nagesh
Motion 8.4: To endorse the honoraria recommendations made by the Semester 2 Honoraria Committee in their Report. (To be circulated by the Committee before SRC 8)
Moved by: Mariah Chang
Seconded: Eleanor Kay
We’re on to honoraria. ANUSA’s honoraria is decided by a committee made of a number representatives. The following amounts have been recommended:
Evie Sharman – 5
Mali Walker – 5
Janet Zhong – 5
Shoshana Rapley – 5
Simone Richardson – 5
Annabelle Nshuti – 0
Lachy Day – 0
Kathryn Lee –
Mariana Segaram – 0
Naushaan Aumad –
Howard Maclean – 5
Ella Gillespie – 5
Benjamin Donald-Wilson – 5
Molly Folk – 5
This passes, so those people will be getting the recommended amount of money for going ‘above and beyond’.
That the ANU Students’ Association condemns the International Students Officer of the National Union of Students, Ziqi Han, for her failure to meet her responsibilities as an office bearer. The International Student Department is cognisant of Han’s lack of involvement and is frustrated that there has been no nation-wide campaigns and calls upon the SRC to take this into account when deciding on NUS re-affiliation.
Moved by: Mina Kim
Seconded by: Kathryn Lee
This motion notes that Han has failed to attend every NUS National Executive meeting this year, and has only submitted one “poorly drafted” report throughout her term, which is “in no way sufficient to reflect upon Han’s work, or lack thereof”.
Han, a Monash student, was elected at NUS National Conference in December 2017. She is a Student Unity (Labor Right) member.
Mina Kim, the International Students Department (ISD) Officer, moves the motion. She notes the information in the motion, and says that Han has failed to fulfil her constitutional duties by failing to attend meetings without apologies or provide reports. She says that “There has been no communication between me and Han, or any other member of the SRC that I’m aware of”. She says that “It is unfortunate that Han was not afforded the support that other NUS members were, but she did not take advantage of other platforms available to her”.
The motion is seconded by General Representative Kathryn Lee, who notes that “international students play a huge role on campus”, making up 38% of ANU’s student population, and that it is unfair that they have not been well served by their national officer.
The motion passes.
This motion mostly endorses the Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct that has been formulated in Committee meetings during the term. Through the draft documents, the Committee seeks to “promote awareness on campus of education issues” and to engage in activities like ‘political action, educational events, social events, the creation of publications and upskilling of members”. The proposed structure includes introduction of two deputies.
Needham thanks the people who came to the Committee meetings, but concedes that due to legal issues not all recommendations were carried forward to the SRC. This concerns the type of relationship between the Committee and the Officer. The motion passes with a friendly amendment to seek legal advice.
Motion 8.2 [Reference Q] That the SRC:
– Affirms that education advocacy and activism is and always will be core business of the association.
– Recognises that the ANUSA Education Committee has existed in various forms for fifty-five years; applauds the achievements of its members in that time; and commits to doing everything necessary to ensure that ANUSA will continue to be at the forefront of education activism for the next fifty-five years, and beyond.
– Endorses the draft Terms of Reference & Code of Conduct for the Education Committee, conditional on final legal advice.
Moved: Harry Needham
Seconded: Tess Masters
Motion 8.1: That the SRC endorse the recommendations of the Diploma of Languages
Moved by: Evie Sharman
Seconded by: Harry Needham
CAP Rep Evie Sharman and Education Officer Harry Needham put forward a series of recommendations from meetings and consultations over the Semester. This process was in response to the Federal Government’s decision to cut the Diploma of Languages program. The recommendations include having the SRC condemn the cuts, and call on “all political parties to commit to adequately supporting language learning at the tertiary level”. This motion passes.
Ben Lawrence from Woroni suggests a friendly amendment to remove a sentence which he says mischaracterises Woroni’s stance. This is accepted.
Lee is asked whether there is any proof that PARSA or Woroni ever passed thise policies. Lee responds that the respective organisations would have to be asked. President Eleanor Kay says that the policies are also part of the EBA with staff.
Observer asks if passing a new policy which only applies to ANUSA Reps was considered. Lee responds that it was, as part of discussions with the Disputes Committee. However, “it didn’t come to fruition because [of] time”.
We move onto to Media Policy Review Report and Handover document. Kathryn Lee does not take it as read, and will deliver a summary. She recounts that it was brought up on SRC2, and references a student’s comment on Schmidtposting that Shake Up Gen Reps ran on a platform of getting rid of the media policy.
Lee says her work as been across “six months”, and she and other have spoken to student media, reps, PARSA, the ANUSA Executive, and others.
“The purpose of this report is to let you guys know what has been done,” she says. She says the PARSA meeting was a particular “roadblock”. The Media Policy is a joint policy with PARSA and Woroni, so Lee says they would need PARSA’s permission to change the policy. PARSA has estimated this would take four months.
She says she is handing over to Campbell Clapp and Anabelle Nshuti to continue this work next year.
“We’ve tried our very best,” she says, apologising that a new policy could not be passed this year.
And we’re back!
Things get a bit heated as Ramon pushes the point of the failed KPI. Kay replies that “We have noted that there are some things that have not been met. We have reached out to confirm, as a show of respect”. She also says that the amount paid in accreditation will be reflective of the extent to which the NUS meets the KPIs.
The report passes, and we’re having a brief break. This room is very warm.
Observer questioned Kay and Needham on whether the NUS was “serious” when dealing with ANUSA, given some NUS Executives’ seeming confidence in universities’ accreditation. Needham replied that some officer bears have been taking ANUSA seriously, and others haven’t. He also warned against treating NUS as a homogenous organisation culturally.
Gen Rep Lachy Day inquires as to whether SRC2 could be too early in the year for representatives to make an educated decision. Needham responds that keeping KPIs early in the year is good, so that they are not “sprung” on the NUS, because “some of them take a while to achieve”. Eleanor agrees that while the earliness is difficult, “we don’t want to leave the NUS in the lurch”.
Gen Rep Ashish Nagesh raises that the audited financial statements were meant to be available online by the end of June, but they are seemingly not viewable. Kay says, “We’ve contacted the NUS General Secretary for further clarification”. Needham clarifies that “we are not giving them an extension”. Ramon argues, “then why are we discussing accreditation? They’ve failed.” Gen Sec Eden Lim says this line of questioning has gone far enough and closes discussion on that point.
Onto a discussion of the report on NUS KPIs. Some of them have been met, some are in progress, and some have little information available. Recall that ANUSA will only pay accreditation fees to the NUS if it meets the KPIs.
Social Officer Anya Bonan drops her pide again.
Clubs Council Secretary Howard Maclean steps up to speak. No report was received from the Clubs Council Chair.
He reflects on the Clubs Council, noting that it has an “awkward” position within ANUSA, and that this year was a “difficult year”, due to Executive personnel changes and the changing funding models. Mclean also flags that a role on Clubs Council executive’s workload is “unsustainable”, due to the hours and stress involved in the role. Clubs Council Executive roles are not paid.
This is Maclean’s final SRC, and he states that his experience was “tough, but worth it”. He says that it is difficult to achieve things in one-year tems, but says that representatives should take heart in the progress they’ve made, and that their progress may be built upon in the future.
Ethnocultural Officer Jharna Chamlagai in her report outlined the Department’s ‘Refugee Rights Campaign’ this semester, and ongoing work towards a recipe book.
From the floor, Chamlagai announced elections within the Department, stating they are looking to have a full team for 2019.
Environment Officer Poppy Perry-Evans’ report passes. She took it as read, saying she posted it as a comment on the agenda. We can’t find it, but we’ll keep looking.
Disabilities Officer Amy Bryan did not submit a report and is not present.
Birthday girl and International Students’ Officer Mina Kim reported on the successes of ISD Week and Ball which took place this term. The ISD is due to have their AGM on Friday, where a series of constitutional changes will be presented and an election for the position of Vice-President.
From the floor, Kim congratulated new directors appointed within the ISD. In regard to the election on Friday, Kim remarked that this marked the “about the fifth” resignation from the ISD Executive this year. Observer asked about this phenomena, with Kim stating that the electoral reforms made this year were aimed at alleviating this problem.
Queer* Officer Matthew Mottola in his report reviewed Department campaigns over the course of the year, including ‘Beyond Marriage Equality’ and ‘Queer* Enough?’. Figures from Pride Party were also released, and reported that the Department won two awards from the Australian Queer* Student’s Network. The Department received Best Community Engagement Event for Pride Party and Best Poster Design for materials made in response to incidents of queerphobia at Ursula Hall earlier this year.
Motola says that his tenure has been “a time”. He thanks members of the Collective, and the broader ANU community.
Responding to a question from Observer regarding the condemnation of NUS Queer* officer Jasmine Duff, Mottola says that he makes “awkward eye contact” with Co-Queer Officer Kim Stern, but is unaware of any movement on the issue.
Women’s Officer Laura Perkov in her report highlighted two SHFPACT workshops, the launch of the Respectful Relationships Engagement Hub and the adoption new Department branding. In a personal capacity, Perkov also commented on ongoing debates surrounding ANU accreditation with the NUS. Drawing from her experiences from EdCon, Perkov states that ‘…we should only vote to accredit if the KPIs are met.’ Perkov stated she would be ‘disappointed’ if a future SRC only accredited to ensure voting rights at NatCon.
From the floor, Perkov says she (lightheartedly) “doesn’t really want to be here” so will be brief. Perkov congratulates newly-elected Deputies Siang Jin Law and Nupur Apte, and says she is “really proud” that next year’s Officer and Deputies are all women of colour.
Indigenous Officer Braedyn Edwards gives his report, which was not included in the agenda. It outlines the last year’s expenditure for the Department. He takes his report as read, and thanks his team within the department, in addition to SRC members and the ANUSA staff. He also thanks Tjabal Centre Director Aunty Anne Martin and Law Professor Uncle Asmi Wood, “without whom I wouldn’t have made it through this year”.
Social Officer Anya Bonan in her report highlighted the sold out Clubs Ball, and officially published the winners of Club award winners.
On the floor, Anya thanks “everyone in the student body” for letting her be their Social Officer for this year. She says that there has been good and bad days, but that she feels she gave the role her all, but has “so much more to give” to the ANU community in the future. She’s “excited about learning more, growing more, and giving more in the future”.
Harry Needham apologises that his report is “not as comprehensive as I would have liked my final report as Education Officer”. His report mentions the planned Education Committee reform, the success of this year’s Pizza with Brian events, and his belief that “it is likely that we will not reaccredit to the NUS this year”. He also writes that “the film High Noon will tell you more about the experience of being an ANUSA office bearer than a hundred Observer or Woroni pieces”.
He begins his speech by thanking “almost everyone” who has been a member of ANUSA in his time. He states that the past few days have been difficult, but that representatives need to remember to take actions that make a tangible difference in students’ lives, rather than drama. He says that he has regrets about his time in office, but has been proud of the things that he’s achieved, including the Education Committee reforms.
He finishes on a lighter note, saying to student media: “if you went to a private school, I don’t trust you.”
Harry Needham begins by beginning a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for International Officer Mina Kim.
General Secretary (and President-elect) Eden Lim delivers her report. This mentions the upcoming OGM on Thursday; last OGM did not make quorum. On the Governance Review, “Steering Committee is finalising documentation from initial consults and organising follow up
Consults.” She thanks and congratulates “ANUSA reps, volunteers, staff and the other members of the ANUSA 2018 Executive”.
Observer asked Lim how long it takes to change a policy, considering consultations with the ANUSA media policy have been continuing for some months now. She stated that “it depends on the nature of the policy”, because “consultation with reps takes time”. She then deferred further comment on this topic to discussion of the media policy later tonight.
Speaking to her report, Mariah says that she “forgot” that this was last SRC of the year, and thus forgot to thank those who have supported her over the year. She confirms that she is both “mushy and thankful”, and calls on Gen Reps to use their funding before it expires on the 30th of November.
Observer asked whether switching banks may require a motion, rather than a mere endorsement of executive action. Mariah says that ANUSA has not switched banks before, but believes that endorsement should be fine.
Responding to a question regarding on-demand tutoring company Vygo, Mariah says that discussions are ongoing, with VP Tess Masters and 2019 Treasurer Dash Jose taking the lead in continuing discussions.
It looks like we might have a break later to sort out whether a separate motion is required to switch banks.
Mariah Chang’s Treasurer’s report discusses potentially changing banks. ANUSA currently banks with Commonwealth Bank, but Chang recommends changing to Bank Australia as that is the “best option”. “I’m hoping to seek SRC endorsement for ANUSA to switch to banking with Bank Australia through the passing of this report,” she writes – unsure how that would work as a single motion, but we shall see.
She also mentions SSAF, ANUSA’s Tax Help Program, and opportunities for Gen Reps and College Reps to obtain funding for projects.
Onto the Vice President’s report from Tess Masters.She says she is proud of the Skill Up program, the survey into peer support at halls of residence, and her and others’ work on respectful relationship. She thanks all staff and students, and in particular the ANUSA Executive.
From the floor, Masters recounts her involvement with ANUSA, emphasising her previous work in the Women’s Department. She said she only recently realised that she had come into the campaign on the back of the work of “women advocating for ten years” and “made some cupcakes”. The Hon Charles Smith MLA made it to her shoutouts for the year.
Her report finishes thusly: “Don’t forget: eat the rich. Don’t make fun of trigger warnings. Get free breakfast at the BKSS from 8-10am every week day of semester. Learn about restorative justice. Respect people’s pronouns. Abolish prisons.” She concluded her time on the floor by saying “if nothing else, I have stuck to my values this year.”
Ramon Bouckhaert, former president of the ANU Liberals and young lib heavyweight, asks about NUS President Mark Pace has actually met with her the times he has billed NUS for travel to Canberra. She says that they have met multiple times but that there were sometimes other reasons he was in Canberra, such as meeting with federal politicians.
Gen Rep Ashish Nagesh asks a question about the Media Policy, which will be discussed later tonight. Eleanor says that there is “nothing substantially wrong with it, although changes can be made”, with her proposed adjustments emphasising the policy’s informal language. She says that the Policy’s “substance is workable”.
Observer asked Eleanor whether the SRC and CRC allow a sufficient forum, given that many reps are not able to speak on contentious issues, due to time constraints. She responds that she thinks that the Association has had “fruitful” discussions this year. She believes that debates, “especially on spicy topics” need to come to a point of conclusion, even if not everyone gets to say everything that they want.
President Eleanor Kay presents her last ever SRC report. This covers highlights from the year, including the Ramsay Centre advocacy, Kambri, and Counselling Centre resourcing. She also mentions she has particularly face as a woman candidate and president, saying, “We have much to learn still as a community about how to respect women in leadership.”
Kay’s report thanks staff of ANUSA and the University, Department Officers, and the Executive.
She also gives her thoughts on the Media Policy. That will be discussed later, so we’ll address it more then, but for now, let’s appreciate the line “I love student media”. Thanks Eleanor, ily.
Additionally, she flags that she will be working “all the way up to December 1st”, and reflects on her three years as President. She says that she is especially proud of ANUSA’s work on SASH advocacy, and their advocacy on the Ramsay Centre and ANU Counselling.
The agenda for today’s SRC can be found here.
Welcome to our SRC 8 Liveblog! There are a number of interesting things up for discussion and decision today, including honoraria, the Media Policy, and NUS accreditation. Something tells us this won’t be like last SRC, which finished in well under an hour.