SRC 1 Liveblog
The meeting closes at 8:30pm.
Education Officer Tanika Sibal speaks for the motion, and there are no speakers against. Carlton says it is “disappointing” that the amendment passed, but that it is still “good for ANUSA to support this motion”. He says ANUSA should “encourage students to be a bit disruptive”.
The motion passes with no votes against.
There are multiple speakers for and against the amendment. It ultimately passes, so the sentence is removed.
Speaking for the motion, he says that “we can all agree that climate change is a real and pressing issue”. He praises the courage of the school protesters.
VP Campbell Clap proposes an amendment to remove the sentence which says “ANUSA encourages lecturers and tutors not to penalise ANU students for non-attendance” due to the strike. “We’re already doing so much advocacy on the things people should be allowed to miss class for,” he says, and argues that the sentence could create tension with the University.
This is not accepted as a friendly amendment, so the amendment goes to debate and a vote.
Nick Carlton moves that the SRC has endorse the “Student Strike 4 Climate”, which is an action that follows previous national protests against coal developments in November last year.
The protest will take place on March 15, and an ANU event is being organised by the Environment Collective, AYCC, and Uni Students for Climate Justice.
Gen Sec Lachy Day determines that the motion does not pass. He rules that a motion requires a majority of those present to vote in favour – and so, abstentions essentially count as ‘no’ votes. This is a bit of departure from previous rulings – last year, then-Gen Sec Eden Lim ruled that, for Clubs Council meetings, abstentions did not count as votes either way.
The motion goes to a vote, and it’s close with a number of abstentions. We go to a break so that Gen Sec Lachy Day can determine the result – there’s some uncertainty over the affect of abstentions.
Somerville exercises her right of reply. She says the idea was “that ANUSA would ratify the motion” already passed by the NUS. ““It’s really important that we oppose these attacks on free speech,” she argues.
A non-SRC member speaks against the motion, saying he wants to “refute the notion that this motion is specific”.
Environment Officer Nick Blood speaks for the motion. He says that “perhaps further amendments could be made”, but that it is important to condemn outside intervention in academia.
Another non-SRC member speaks in favour of the motion. “[The claim] that there has been no student consultation is untrue,” he says. He argues that “raising it in the student council meeting” is consultation, and points out that it was discussed by the Education Committee and Environment Collective.
General Representative Maddy Lezon speaks against the motion. “I love free speech,” she says, but claims that the “motion is not well-written”. “Overall, this motion isn’t really actionable,” she says.
The amendment passes, and so the following clause is added to the motion:
“ANUSA understands that hate speech is not included in freedom of expression and should not be tolerated.”
Social Officer Matthew Mottola speaks for the amendment, rejecting that the term ‘hate speech’ could be significantly manipulated. A non-SRC member speaks against the amendment. They say the charter is about “protecting students’ ability to speak truth to power”, and argues that what constitutes hate speech is defined by those in power.
Somerville speaks against the amendment. She says the charter is “not about endorsing or supporting any particular motion or protest”, but rather upholding the right to protest. She also takes issue with the potential interpretation of ‘hate speech’, saying, “people defending Palestine” could have their words “taken as hate speech”.
Women’s Officer Priyanka Tomar and interim Queer* officer Isabel Moss speak for the amendment. Moss mentions a professor making transphobic comments last year, saying such things “should not be tolerated” and academics should face consequences.
An amendment is suggested to explicitly rule out supporting hate speech. This is not accepted as a ‘friendly amendment’, and so it must be debated and voted on before the SRC can vote on the motion as a whole.
Education Officer Tanika Sibal was directed to speak in favour of the motion by the Education Committee. She says that the majority of the committee’s points have been spoken to already.
Kai Clark speaks against the motion. He says the motion is too “broadly worded” and was put forward “without student consultation”. He argues that it could backfire, referencing the University of Sydney academic who was fired for allegedly antisemitic content and saying that it could force ANUSA to support anti-feminist protests.
Somerville, speaking for the motion, says she believes “there has been a really concerted effort” from the “far right” to “suppress freedom of speech”.
The motion is seconded by Henri Vickers. “Important that we respect the right to protest,” he says.
The Charter condemns “disciplining academics for publishing their opinions in a personal or academic context” and disciplining students due to student publications, and states that “laws or rulings which compel protestors to pay fines or security costs for demonstrations are an assault upon freedom of expression”.
We’re now onto a motion ratify a Free Speech Charter passed by the National Union of Students (NUS). The motion is currently being moved by Wren Sommerville, who ran on the Socialist Alternative-aligned ticket Left Action for ANUSA in last year’s ANUSA elections.
The NUS passed a ‘free speech charter’ at its national conference in November last year. It aims to “uphold freedom of speech and expression on campus as an important right for students, staff and members of the public”. The charter states that “protesting is a key form of freedom of expression”. It says this is especially important in light of increased political pressures on academicians and students.
Lachy Day moves to confirm departmental officers that were elected autonomously at various stages last year. He says it is “largely procedural” and that not passing the motion would create something of a “constitutional crisis”. It passes unanimously.
Eden Lim presents a report on the NUS Presidents’ Summit. She says that at the Summit she discussed affordable student accommodation. The report passes.
Both Sibal and Day advocate for ANUSA to re-accredit with the NUS, but subject to Key Performance Indicators. This occurred in both 2017 and 2018, and ANUSA did no accredit after the NUS failed to meet these KPIs. Day suggests that the KPIs should not dictate whether or not ANUSA accredits, but rather how much money it gives the organisation. He says this would “reward the NUS for making positive change while also making it certain that ANU carries votes to the conference”.
Reports from the delegates to the National Union of Students are up next. A motion passes to consider all three reports together.
General Representative Taylor Heslington presents a report. Gen Reps don’t have to present reports, but sometimes do if they have been involved in a particular project. Heslington’s report is about her drafting of Terms of Reference for the residents’ committee of Wamburun Hall. This has the excellent name of Combined Residents of Wamburun, or CROW for short.
Clubs’ Council Chair James Howarth presents a report. It mentions that there was a “slightly rocky start with handovers”, but that the Council has overall been “highly productive”. 67 of 105 re-affiliation requests have so far been successful, with the other clubs needing to make changes to be compliant with Clubs’ Council policy.
Howarth says that a Clubs’ Council logo will be revealed this week, after protracted and “rocky” negotiations with ANUSA.
Ethnocultural Officer Aisha Setipa presents her report, which announces recent changes to the Department’s constitution. Callouts for producer and two directors for the Ethnocultural Revue went up on Monday of O-week. Setipa hopes to run Ethno week in the second half of Semester 1.
Blood clarifies that the money raised by the Farmer’s Market was originally intended to go to Slow Food Canberra, which helped organise the event. Due to the success of the event, the Department and other organisers then reconsidered, and are planning to give Slow Food 30% of the takings and keep the rest for future markets.
ANUSA Environment Officer Nick Blood presents his report, with a link to the new ANU Sustainable Food Guide. Blood highlights the success of ANU’s first ever Farmers Market which raised almost 0 to go towards local community organisations and to help fund potential future farmers markets. The report also mentions a desire to work with ACT NoWaste which provides “free educational tours” of the Mugga Lane Materials Recovery Facility.
Joint Disabilities Officers Madhumitha Janagaraja and Clare Bricknell deliver their report. They highlight that they are involved with a number of committees. Janagaraja says O-Week was a “bit of a mixed bag” in terms of accessibility, though emphasises that this was not any individual’s fault. There were apparently issues due to uncertainty over Kambri, and that the Department are “working with ANU” to make a web page about accessibility.
They also mention that they had difficulties securing a marquee at Market Day, and that they are campaigning to save the number 3 bus and/or implement alternative transport around campus.
International Students’ Officer Hazel Ang presents her report with news of a new logo for the Department. She says that some members had expressed that the old logo was “not aesthetically pleasing”.
Interim Queer* Officer Isabel Moss delivers her report. The previous Queer* Officer resigned over the summer break, with elections for a new Officer to occur next Tuesday.
Women’s Officer Priyanka Tomar delivers her report. Speaking to her report, she talks about the success of O-Week, and particular praises the merchandise which was designed by Department members. She flags that this week is Women’s Week and there are a number of events planned.
Indigenous Officer Sarah Loynes delivers her report with focus on the success of the Invasion Day rally. The Indigenous Department held a stall on market day which achieved more attention than in previous years. Constitutional revisions will be discussed in the first department meeting of 2019.
Loynes takes the report as read and it passes with no questions asked.
Mottola says that he will give more financial details about O-Week at next SRC. On Friday Night Party, he says, “I can tell you we made at least a dollar.” However, ANUSA is still awaiting final invoices so he cannot provide more details.
Mottola says that “a decision was made” to spend less on Friday Night Party this year, resulting in less toilets being ordered. By the time ticket sales proved strong, he says, it was too late to “scale up” the event.
Social Officer Matthew Mottola presents his report. His report highlights ANUSA’s success throughout O-week, saying 2992 Euphoria tickets were sold. However, he concedes that “a few things could have gone better” regarding the Friday Night party.
While speaking, Mottola says he is “really proud” of the success of Market Day. He hails Euphoria as “a safe and successful event”, and at worst it was “inconvenient”. He also thanks everyone who contributed to the Survival Guide. His next project is ‘O-Week in a Day’ on Thursday.
Jose is asked about his mention of using the Science Society’s Square account for Friday Night Party. He says this was “my fault” as there was an issue with trying to get an account for ANUSA, and that using a Square account saved “thousands of dollars”.
Treasurer Dashveen Jose presents report. He says that Bank Australia will become the new bank for ANUSA, instead of the previous Commbank. This decision was made last year but the transition is still occurring.
Day reminds everyone about Queer* Officer elections. He says his favourite O-Week event was Friday Night Party.
General Secretary Lachy Day delivers his report. He congratulates the O-Week team, and says he has completed a Policy Register – a compendium of all policies passed by the ANUSA SRC. He mentions that in doing this, he noticed that a number of old policies name specific students; he will be seeking to change this.
Back to First Year Camp, Sibal says that the debrief issue was “unforseen”. Although her election platform included running a second Camp in Semester 2, Sibal says that this is not certain as there are fewer new enrolments in Semester 2.
Speaking about the federal election campaign, Sibal says that ANUSA may “collab with other unis” as a number of other Student Associations are planning to prepare a “policy book” for students.
Education Officer Tanika Sibal delivers her report. She will be discussing the Free Speech Charter in the latter of the meeting. EdComm are currently finalising their logo. The committee is running a federal election this year with the campaign for the election is called ‘Get Enrolled, Get Informed, Get Voting’.
She says NUSA is “in the process of planning an alternate event” to the First Year Camp.
Clapp responds to a question about First Year Camps. He says that the safety issue was that there was no one available to “debrief” the mentors.
Now we’re onto Vice President Campbell Clapp’s report. He says that his priorities will include the SkillUp! Program, implementing a Wellbeing Committee (in place of the Mental Health Committee), and election reform. Clapp sits on a number of University committees and his report discusses some of the projects these are undertaking.
Speaking to his report, he says it was a “bit of a rush job” and that he plans to restructure it in future. He also congratulates everyone who was part of O-Week.
Lim says she will be appointing a representative to the Union Board rather than sitting on it herself.
Lim is asked about her meeting with the NUS Welfare Officer, specifically why she did not mention the meeting in her report or respond to correspondence. She responds that O-Week and the lead-up to it was a “busy” and “difficult” time.
ANUSA President Eden Lim delivers her report. In it, she says that ANUSA will be moving into the Di Riddell Student Centre in April, and she thanks those involved in organising O-Week.
Speaking to her report, she says this will “be a year of challenges”. She gives particular thanks to the O-Week coordinators and Social Officer. “O-Week is truly a team effort,” she says.
Lim also encourages everyone to “go take a look” at Kambri.
Notable things up for discussion at this meeting: a number of Executives will be reporting back on O-Week; there’s a motion up for vote about free speech and academic autonomy; and we’ll hear from ANU’s delegates to the National Conference of the National Union of Students.
The meeting opens at 6:23pm.
We’ll be liveblogging this meeting, so you can follow along from home. Note that we plan to return to livestreaming (after not doing so in 2018) at the next SRC – ANUSA has requested we not livestream this meetings so that representatives have fair warning. However, if there’s enough interest in our liveblog (it’s a lot of work), we’ll both liveblog and livestream future meetings.
Hello and welcome to the first Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting of 2019! The SRC is where elected representatives in the ANU Students’ Association (ANUSA) meet and make decisions – see our explainer for more info. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:15pm.