SRC 7 Liveblog
We now move on to the final item of Other Business. This is the motion proposed over the break, from Gen Rep elect Jacob Ellis, that would create a working group for Electoral Regulation Review.
There are no speakers against, and Ellis declines his right of reply. The motion passes, and the meeting closes..
Onto Motion 7.4, in support of LGBTI Civil Rights. The motion would have ANUSA oppose the Freedom of Religion bill, and commit to supporting protests like the Equal Love Canberra’s 19 October Protest Religious Exemptions Bill: No Right to Discriminate! Rally.
There is a proposed amendment, taken as friendly, to have a solidarity photo taken at the conclusion of the SRC.
The motion passes.
The mover of this motion cites the strong presence of ANU students at the recent Climate Strikes, and states that there “is a massive appetite” for activism on environmental issues.
No-one speaks against, and the motion passes.
Over the break, we’ve had a submission for another item of Other Buisness, which is as follows:
That the General Secretary creates an electoral review working group for 2019, to convene following the formal conclusion of the General Elections. This working group will be open to all current members, volunteers and staff of ANUSA. The General Secretary, or a speaker nominated by the General Secretary, may present the working group’s recommendations in the form of amendments to ANUSA’s electoral regulations at the next general meeting of the Association.”
We now move to discussion of Motion 7.3, which would have ANUSA endorse the Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Rebellion.
A non-SRC member speaks in favour of the Collective. She states that this is her first SRC, and that this issue has been the issue that has motivated her to get involved. She states that the Collective would allow for more efficient organisation of events and meet-ups, and states that it would be particularly beneficial for first year students who are new to Canberra.
Henri Vickers is back. He acknowledges that he is being an “arsehole”, but states that he thinks that there is a key distinction to be made between the groups that currently have Departments and off-campus students. Instead, he believes that campaigns should be run on issues that concern off-campus students, such as transport.
Thakkar, in his right of reply, notes that this will not make a department, but a collective.
The motion passes.
We now move on to Motion 7.2, which concerns the creation of an Off-Campus Students’ Collective. Harsh Thakkar speaks to the motion, stating that off-campus students have been “historically underrepresented”. “Off-campus students need to be seen, off-campus students need to be heard, off-campus students need to be represented”.
The motion would not create an Officer with voting rights on the SRC, and Thakkar clarifies that this is because such a move requires the vote of an OGM, not just the SRC.
2020 Environment Officer Grace Hill speaks against the motions, and states that the reason that Off-Campus students haven’t been represented by ANUSA is because “ANUSA hasn’t represented much at all this year”. She cites recent surveys of young people, which list the environment and climate change as key issues, and states that getting ANUSA to engage on these issues as being like “pulling teeth”. She also brings it back to the standing orders changes to be discussed at the SGM.
We move to a procedural, adjourning this debate until next SRC. The mover states that this is so there is greater time to read, discuss, and potentially change, the Collective’s Terms of Reference, which were amended shortly before the meeting. Thakkar speaks against this procedural, stating that the majority of needed changes are merely grammatical.
Vickers speaks in favour of the procedural, stating that more time is needed to fully understand the motion.
Clapp speaks in favour, as Thakkar has spent a great deal of time on the motion, and notes that there are safeguards to prevent issues arising with the Terms of Reference. He also states that the creation of the Collective is somewhat time-sensitive, given that there will soon be new off-campus students.
Indigenous Officer Sarah Loynes speaks in favour of the procedural, stating that key members of the department members were unable to attend meetings on the Off-Campus Collective. She feels that Departments need time to figure out how the Collective would fit in within the existing structure.
The procedural does not pass, and debate continues.
The reports are passed on bloc.
We now move on to the controversial report, from Peter Sun. This report does not pass.
Ailsa Schreurs, who is not present tonight, has focused on the environment in her Gen Rep passion project. This included an aluminium can recycling scheme at Friday Night Party and Big Night Out. Schreurs also acknowledges the support of fellow Gen Reps Isabella Keith and Harsh Thakker, and former Environment Officer Nick Blood.
In Harsh Thakkar’s report, he outlines that his election platform was to create an off-campus collective. It states that he is currently “working on a draft constitution” for the collective, has conducted consultation with off campus students, and has “reached out to various stakeholders.
Speaking to his report, Thakkar flags that, in a survey for off-campus students, many off respondents (66%) said that they did not feel supported off campus.
And now the last Gen Rep report to be moved on bloc, from Yasmin Poole. Poole has this year focused on advocacy for low income students, using the definition used by the University, “whether your parents had received Centrelink or were eligible for Centrelink growing up”, about 4% of the student population. This has included a survey of these students and the future creation of a low SES committee. Future plans include greater long-term low SES scholarships, and a quota for reduced accommodation costs and some residential halls.
David Harvey is not here to speak to his report, which is taken as read. It focuses on residential hall rent changes over the last few years. A number of rapid rent increases are noted, and it is stated that it is “concerning” that “the affordable options… are being lost”.
Annabelle Nshuti’s report is a short one, at only a little more than one page. It states that Nshuti “overarching project” has been to “engage off campus students”. The report details a number of events and initiatives that Nshuti was involved in organizing, including an O-week off campus student’s picnic, four lunches held in the BKSS, “O-Week in a day”. It also mention Nushti’s plans to “engage with residential students who are thinking of moving off campus” through sessions that she plans to organize.
Jocelyn Abbot’s states that she ran for General Representative with the goal of making it easier for students to be informed about deferred exams and extensions on assignments. It goes on to explain “most of [Abbot’s] work” is currently going towards organizing “Wellness Week” in Week 10, which is oriented around mental health and counseling speakers and workshops. The report also explains her plans to set up “a networking event” for students and academics.
In her speaking time, Abbot “puts in a plug” for the upcoming Wellbeing Week. In response to a question, Abbot states that she is most excited for Wellbeing Week’s “stickers”.
Jade Lin is not here to speak to her report, which comes in at a hefty 14 pages, We’ll be unable to get into all that detail here, so we encourage you to check out the full report on the SRC agenda.
Her work has mainly focused on the residential space, thanks to her role as President of Wright Hall. This has included drug education campaigns, “reinvigorating pastoral care”, increasing underage students’ inclusion at events, and addressing burnout in student leadership.
Isabella Keith’s report, like Lin’s, is too detailed for us to get into here. Again, we encourage you to check out the full report on the SRC agenda.
She provides an update regarding her “passion project”, which was to support students in residential advocacy roles. She also mentions her work on the General Representatives Facebook page, with the ANUSA Wellbeing Committee, and with the Women’s Department.
Disabilities Officer Madhumitha Janagaraja asks if Kieth has advice for future Gen Reps. Kieth particularly stresses “intersectionality consultations” with Department Officers. She is also working on “a sort of Gen Rep handover”, to help incoming Gen Reps “hit the ground running”.
Henri Vickers has served as Deputy Education Officer. In his report, he largely credits Education Officer Tanika Sibal, and organisations Canberra Students for Fair Work and the Young Workers Centre for progress made on “Information and Services”, and flags that “largely no action” has taken place on “organising and action” due to issues in getting underpaid workers to come forward, and that he has done only basic research on “tender contracts and business rules”.
He hopes that he will be able to achieve more in the coming semester as he has a reduced course load.
In response to a question, Vickers states that the current culture of defamation mitigation at student associations is “silly”. We get another question on if the “undemocratic” nature of the standing orders reform. Vickers states that “no”, the reforms are not undemocratic, and notes that, though an SRC member must second the motion of a non-member, it is possible for the member to do so purely for debate, and not because they agree with the motion’s content.
Jason Pover moves that the speaker no longer be heard, and this passes.
Brandon Tan is not here to speak to his report. In it, he states that he does not have a specific major project over his term, but instead did a series of general volunteering events. These included volunteering in O- and Bush-Week, and serving on the first semester’s honoraria committee. Tan also created a guide highlighting important information for first years and has a “secret project” on the way for the last leg of his term.
Madeleine Lezon’s report is quite short, as she presented the bulk of her progress at SRC 5 – she notes that the tenses may be a little messed up now. In addition to her work for regional students, she also contributed to Tan’s first year guide, helped out fellow Gen Rep Yasmin Poole with work with low SES students, and served as ANUSA’s delegate to the ANU Union board.
Gen Rep and Gen Sec-Elect Taylor Heslington has helped out with O-Week and Bush Week events, volunteered on the Electoral Regulations Working Group, and helped draft the Terms of Reference for Wamburun Hall.
The Clubs Council Chair, James Howarth, speaks to his report. He notes that CCM is on this Friday, and encourages people to get “even more involved in student life” and attend. He also notes that Clubs Ball is next Friday, and that tickets are likely to sell out before they run out. The report passes.
A number of procedurals now, to the effect that all Gen Rep reports except that of Peter Sun will be moved on bloc.
And we’re back! The Disabilities Report is passed after a brief discussion of the standing orders reforms and departmental autonomy. The Disabilities Officer, Madhu Janagaraja, states that these discussions should happen within the departments themselves.
We move on to the Ethnocultural Department’s report. Aisha Setipa flags that nominations for 2020 department positions are currently open. The report passes.
And now the Environment Department’s report. MC Woodforde thanks those involved in the Climate Strike, and states that “ANUSA should be very proactive in climate action”. In response to a question on the standing orders reform, Woodforde states that “the whole department needs to have a chat” about the reforms, which she reiterates are “undemocratic”. After a question from the Disabilities Officer, Woodforde acknowledges that this issue “probably has greater significance to other departments”. Her report passes.
The International Department report is presented by Vincent Lee, as a proxy for officer Hazel Ang. It is flagged that the Department’s election is this week. A statement from Ang condemns the report of Gen Rep Peter Sun, and notes that he has not been made a Probity Officer of the ISD election. She states that his report “should not be accepted”, and expresses disappointment in Sun. The report passes, and we move to a five minute break.
This post contains mention of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
The Women’s Department report is delivered by joint Women’s Officers Nupur Apte and Siang Jin Law.
The report opens with details on the Open Day Strike on 31 August, which was run in collaboration with ANUSA and the Interhall Committee. In terms of upcoming events, two SASH panels are currently being organised for this semester. These panels are to cover the issues of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, along with a keynote speech on “the history and current state of defamation law in Australia”. Currently, the Women’s Department is open to suggestions and recommendations for speakers at these events.
At the Respectful Relationships (RR) Student Working Group meeting on 18 September, concerns about the continuity of advocacy between this year’s student representatives and incoming representatives for 2020 was discussed. In particular, Nupur and Jin mentions that ‘it would be a shame if the kind of coordination exhibited in the Open Day strike actions was not maintained for next year’s incoming advocates’.
Concerns were also raised about the way the RR Working Group have been run in terms of the time spent on reports from meeting attendees on actions they took between meetings. As opposed to the Student Working Group, the Working Group is comprised of ANU administrators, staff, along with ANUSA and PARSA student representatives. The Student Working Group is concerned that meetings have been inefficient, as there has been little time to ask questions regarding the reports, as well as taking time out of other important items for discussion in meetings.
This issue, as well as additional concerns about the Online Reporting Tool and the delayed Code of Conduct were discussed at the Working Group meeting on 25 September. Regarding progress on the Code of Conduct, Nupur and Jin said that the response from the RR Unit and university staff has been ‘evasive and unhelpful’. They mentioned that discussions at the meeting of creating a separate code of conduct for students and staff was “incredibly frustrating”, as an existing version applying to the whole ANU community has already been circulated to students, and feedback had been gathered on it.
Responding to a question from the floor, the Officers say that they are “unsure” if there will be a Code of Conduct in time for 2020 – the Respectful Relationships Working Group is looking into separating what was previously a single university-wide CoC.
The Officers state that “bureaucracy” and “institutional gaslighting” have been large problems throughout their term.
A question is asked about the Standing Orders reform to be discussed at the SGM, and how the Officers feel about the possible breaches of departmental autonomy. The Officers state that they do not know enough to comment, and will deliberate within their departments on their response.
The Queer* report is passed without much discussion. The Officer is also asked about the possible breaches of departmental autonomy, and again states that deliberation with the department is needed.
Indigenous Officer Sarah Loynes speaks to her report.The report flags a number of department events, including the Wellbeing Weekends, that have been held since Week Seven, and the Multicultural Party held in Week Eight. She also introduces the Coffee Catch Up event, which are ongoing, an autonomous brunch event that will be held in Week Nine, alongside of which a ‘I’m Not Racist But’ campaign will be launched, and a Karaoke Event that will be held in Week 10. She then describes the National Indigenous Student Conference, which was held at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, and attended by five undergraduate Indigenous students. SLastly, she congratulates the 2020 PARSA Aboritional and Torres Strait Islander Officer for their election.
After a question on the Media Policy Working Group, the General Secretary’s report is passed.
Treasurer Dashveen Jose is not here to speak to his report, but it passes without discussion. The report flags issues with the appointment of the Financial Review Committee (FRC). He notes that the ANUSA Constitutions states that Committee members hold tenure until they are elected, appointed or nominated for positions ‘listed under Schedule 1’ of the ANUSA Constitution. These positions include all of the ANUSA executive, Department officers and Gen Reps. As a result, a number of individuals who nominated themselves for the FRC would now be ineligible for the role.
Speaking to his report, Gen Sec Lachy Day thanks his fellow representatives for holding him to account in the past few weeks.
Responding to a question, Day states that he felt it would be inappropriate for him to serve as the Returning Officer for Clubs Council, given that he will be the ANUSA President next year. Incoming Gen Sec Taylor Heslington will be the RO, and Day feels that this will be a good handover process, and will familiarise Heslington with the role of the Clubs Council.
We have another question that returns to the earlier motion on the SGM. He again reiterates that he feels allowing all members of the Association to vote is democratic. Another non-member of the SRC asks Day to justify his actions throughout the year, including in camera discussions, and “support” of incoming Chancellor Julie Bishop. Day states that if anyone has an issue with his interpretations throughout the year, they can take them up with the Disputes Committee. He invites arguments regarding the proposed amendments to the standing orders to be presented at the SGM.
The Vice President’s report passes.
The Education Officer’s report is also passed with little commentary.
Campbell apologises for his brief report. It provides an update on Committee meetings, and University and ANUSA projects. There was an Academic Quality and Assurance Committee (AQAC) meeting last week, while Teaching and Learning Development Committee (TLDC) meeting is set to happen on Thursday this week.
Speaking to his report, he flags the upcoming Sex and Consent and Wellbeing Weeks, and congratulates those involved in the ‘Do Better ANU’ Open Day Strike.
Responding to a question from the floor, Campbell clarifies that that, on an earlier motion, he voted in favour for an SGM, and not for the reforms that will be debated at that SGM. He also says that he is looking forward to “finally” hearing last year’s Probity Report.
President Eden Lim is not present, but her report is passed in her absence. In it, thanks the Women’s Department and Interhall Council for collaborating on the Open Day strike, and commits ANUSA to further advocacy in this area. She then provides an update regarding the Number 3 Bus Committee’s progress, stating that they have met multiple times and continue to advocate for its reintroduction. Then, she thanks those who participated in the Climate Strike and informs students that they can currently provide feedback regarding the SAFF bidding process. Lastly, she presents the new Student Partnership Agreement, stating that it can be found on the ANUSA website.
Another procedural to discuss a motion, this time 8.3, to call for an SGM on Standing Orders Reform. This follows the cancellation of last week’s OGM for “unforeseen circumstances“.
We get some debate this time. A non-SRC member speaks against, stating that the reforms are “completely undemocratic in their character”, and “will remove ordinary people from having a say”, “increasing the power of a small minority of people”.
Clubs Council Secretary Jason Pover speaks in favour, stating the the reforms are “not perfect”, but “they’ll deal with the fundamental issue”. He states that “you can criticise [the SRC] without derailing meetings”.
Environment Officer MC speaks against, reiterating that the reforms are “undemocratic”, and that there are “far better ways of making a safer space”. She also claims that the reforms would “most likely” make for “one of the most undemocratic constitutions of a student union in this country”.
Vice President Campbell Clapp speaks for, stating that “the most democratic way” for these changes to be discussed is at an SGM, where every member has the right to speak and vote.
Another non-SRC member, 2020 Environment Officer Grace Hill, speaks against, again reiterating that the motion is “undemocratic”, and is “an effort to make sure anyone with a left wing opinion can be shut down”.
CAP Rep Kai Clark exercises his right of reply. He states that the representatives behind this motion and the reforms were democratically elected, and that if next year’s representatives want to change it back, they can.
The motion passes. Gen Sec Lachy Day is bound to call an SGM within the next 7 days, with a minimum of 5 day’s notice.
Another procedural – this time, Motion 7.1 will be discussed. This Motion discusses the appointment of the President’s Representative to the ANU Union Board. Currently, the President is able to appoint the representative with complete discretion, while this motion would have this representative elected instead. The representative would also have to report to the nominee twice a year.
The mover, Jason Pover, speaks to the motion, but says that more discussion is needed. The motion will instead be discussed at SRC 8.
We move to have Motions 8.1 and 8.2 discussed now, and not at the end of the meeting. These motions move money around the budget – 8.1 authorises 000 to be transferred from the ‘Training’ line item, to pay for Clubs Ball, will move 000 to transfer from ‘Student Leadership Development Program’ to Clubs Council Grants Committee.
They both pass without much debate.
Welcome to SRC 7! After the dramatic end to the last meeting, we have a lot to get through tonight, including reports from the thirteen Gen Reps, and seven motions, in addition to the usual Executive and Department reports.
We look forward to having you on our liveblog, and will also be livestreaming to our Facebook page.