SRC 8 Liveblog

SRC 8 liveblog

20.27

The meeting closes. Observer will see you for SRC 1 in 2020, although this author will not.

20.26

Jason speaks to the motion, sitting down because he is “tired and has a headache”. He says he “could explain in detail” all of the provisions and their reasons, but he doesn’t think anyone wants such an explanation. Jason says he sought to consult with the Chair of the ANU Union, but his email did not get a response.

Gen Rep Maddy Lezon speaks against the motion. Maddy is the current delegate on the Union Board. She says she agrees the “delegate should be held accountable”, but that the Union is its own body, and the delegate is bound by confidentiality. Maddy says she spoke to the current Union Chair, and he said “he didn’t realise the SRC was tonight”, but that the motion would not have much effect to the extent it contradicted the Union Constitution.

Jason requests to strike out the provision that would have had the Nominee be obligated to report to the SRC.

Lachy speaks in favour of the motion. He says he is in favour of the principle, but is worried about the constitutional issues. Specifically, he raises concerns that there would be no ANUSA representative on the Union Board in the four months until a new Nominee can be approved. Lachy suggests that instead, he could commit to not nominating a person to the Board until after SRC 1 has had the opportunity to consider this motion.

Jason says the four month gap is not an issue, as Maddy would sit as the representative until then. He says he went for the position this year, and the process was “opaque at best”. However, he says he would not “hold it against” people if they decided not to vote up the motion and instead wait until next year.

The motion passes.

20.18

The next item of other business was previously raised last SRC, and is written by erstwhile “Bastion of Democracy”, Jason Pover. The motion concerns the process for nominating the ANUSA President’s nominee to the ANU Union, which it states is “completely lacking in transparency”. Currently, the nominee is chosen by the President with no oversight or criteria. If passed, this motion would bind the President to nominate a candidate nominated by the SRC, and would have the nominee report to the SRC twice a year. 

Taylor starts reading out the whole thing, but a procedural motion by Henri to cut this short is overwhelmingly supported – probably good, as it’s very lengthy.

20.16

In Other Business is a motion moved by Environment Officer MC. It concerns brutality against students in Chile by their government. If passed, the motion will bind ANUSA to share a statement of solidarity with the students, and to share the details of a solidarity event to be held on Friday. This will be at 4pm in Latin American Plaza, near the Marcus Clarke St bus stop.

Speaking to the motion, MC describes the situation and the history leading up to it. She says she did exchange in Chile and has friends over there. “The State does very little for people, and also there’s violent oppression,” she says. She also encourages people to attend Friday’s event. She emphasises that it’s important to “stand in solidarity” with those facing repression.

Wren seconds the motion. He says the struggle in Chile is “incredible”, with students fighting against a “neoliberal State” and “brutal repression”. He says it is important for ANUSA to “stand with people fighting inequality and injustice”.

The motion passes unanimously.

20.10

Nick speaks in favour of the motion, noting that attacks on civil liberties from the Liberals come as no surprise”, but “particularly reprehensible is the role of the Labor Party”. He says that the role of student unions and other progressive institutions is “to fight against the encroachments on civil liberties”. He also states that it’s “hypocritical” for reps to support this motion if they were in favour of the standing orders reforms discussed at the SGM two weeks ago.

The motion passes with no-one speaking against.

20.03

Motion 7.4 is moved by a Nick Carlton, another member of SAlt. The motion states that “civil liberties are being eroded” and that it is “the role of progressive institutions to oppose infringements on civil liberties when they are under attack”. 

The motion would have ANUSA support the condemnation a number of recent developments in regards to protesters, including the proposed expansion of QLD Police powers to be able to search protesters, condemnation of Peter Dutton’s comments on cutting the welfare payments of protesters, supporting Extinction Rebellion arrestees and condemning the bail conditions imposed on climate protesters.

20.00

The motion fails, with four votes in favour and the rest against.

Grace moves a motion to record in the minutes who voted which way. This fails. Nick tries to move a motion to record who voted which way on that vote, but Taylor does not allow this.

19.58

Wren exercises hisright of reply, emphasising that “it’s about priorities”. He argues that ANUSA’s priority should be activism in the face of current global and domestic issues, rather than “sucking up to [ANU] management”.

19.57

Campbell speaks against the motion. He disputes a lot of the preamble, saying ANUSA did support these activist campaigns. He also argues that the second element of the motion could be counter to ANUSA’s constitutional objectives, as it could hinder ANUSA’s ability to engage with the University.

Nick argues that ANUSA’s support of activism was only due to intense pressure from activists. He also says that it is in the interests of students to engage in activism and spread information, and therefore not against ANUSA”s constitutional objectives. He emphasises that the information spreading would only be for things which would “seriously harm” students, not every piece of information reps are privy to.

Women’s Officer Nupur says “it’s really insulting for SAlt to come out and say that ANUSA is not doing work”. She says the work done by Department Officers is “taxing, heavy, and burdensome”.

Gen Rep Henri Vickers speaks in favour of the motion. However, he says he disagrees “with a lot of the preamble, especially the belittling of the work of people”. He says he agrees with the “sentiment of cultural change” behind the disclosure provisions, but says that it may create difficulties becuase of legal requirements and the inability of the SRC to know that confidential information exists in the first place to compel disclosure.

19.50

Speaking to the motion, Wren says, “I’m proud to say that I have been participating in activism [this year], unlike some of the office bearers.” He argues that it is important that “ordinary students” can participate in ANUSA, saying that students have been prevented from voicing concerns because they did not fully understand the Standing Orders. He also speaks about the importance of activism, saying ““It’s pretty important that when we have a Liberal government that is planning attacks” on the environment and minority groups “that we have a student union that is ready to fight”.

Environment Officer MC seconds the motion and speaks in favour of it.

Education Officer Tanika speaks against the motion. She says that at the last ANUSA election, only the Education Officer position was contested, and students “voted up” her idea of the get enrolled, get informed, get voting campaign. Tanika quips that some people might not remember this as they “weren’t enrolled students at the time”. She criticises the SAlt  students for their approach to activism.

Grace speaks in favour of the motion, saying “it is not good enough” for ANUSA to continue not being activist. She speaks about the rise of the far right, saying “students and workers all across the world are copping it”, and accuses ANUSA of “cravenness”.

19.41

The next motion was submitted by SAlt member Wren Somerville.

The preamble to the motion is critical of ANUSA, saying, “the approach of ANUSA executives to activism has been hostile”, that the Exec “withheld important information” regarding Kambri booking fees, and that the ‘Get Enrolled, Get Informed, Get Voting’ campaign was not sufficiently political. The preamble is also critical of the Standing Order changes which were considered at the recent SGM.

The motion is for ANUSA to treat activism “as a priority”, and to commit to “defending student interests instead of siding with management”, such as by publicising information about measures which could negatively impact students even if bound by confidentiality.

19.39

Motion 7.2 is moved by Education Officer, Tanika Sibal. It requests that the SRC endorse the developed Terms of Reference for the Education Committee. 

These terms intend to clarify and expand upon sections in the ANUSA Constitution relating to the Education Committee. These terms include protocol regarding the committee, its organising structure, meetings, finances, online space and digital records and a code of conduct.

Tanika explains these terms were originally developed by 2018 Ed Officer Harry Needham, and have been redeveloped and had legal advice. The motion passes.

19.37

Dash moves the motion, saying these amounts are not sufficient payment for everyone’s work, but are a way to recognise contributions. Dom seconds the motion, and it passes. Here are those who will be given honoraria:

Bec Donald-Wilson, for their work as Probity Officer and helping to produce the election running guide this year – AUD125

Ben Wicks, for their high level of volunteer work and efforts as Bush Week Coordinator –  AUD50

Brandon Tan, for their work, their role as Probity Officer and their continued enthusiastic engagement in all elements of ANUSA – AUD225

Cahill Di Donato, for their work drafting and passing a new Clubs Affiliation Policy, and through active engagement in SRC to push for the compulsory delivery of gen rep reports – AUD150

Dominic Harvey-Taylor, for their consistency, thorougness and attention to detail in their role as CAP Rep and aspiring to intersectional and inclusive advocacy work – AUD170

Ebe Ganon, for their work in organizing the Clubs Ball, and other Clubs networking and handover events – AUD275

Felix Friedlander, for their work as Probity Officer – AUD100

Harsh Thakkar, for their work in establishing the Off-Campus Students Collective – AUD170

Henri Vickers, for their work on reforming the ANUSA standing orders – AUD170

James Howarth, for their service to Clubs Council above and beyond the expectations of the role – AUD275

Jason Pover, for their role in drafting and passing a new Clubs Affiliations Policy, and work on reforming the ANUSA Standing Orders and other governance projects – AUD250

Jocelyn Abbot, for their comprehensive work on Well Being Week, and active involvement in the Wellbeing Committee – AUD170

Kai Clark, for their leadership in working on standing order reform, engagement – AUD100

Noah Yim, for their leadership and efforts as part of the Probity team this year – AUD100

Ruth Purcell, For their role in coordinating and organizing National Science Week – AUD170

19.33

We now have quorum. Dom moves a procedural to now consider item 3 of Other Business (the honoraria recommendations). This passes.

19.30

Wait, no, turns out we don’t have quorum.

19.30

And we’re back! Now to some motions.

19.24

Time for another break.

19.23

Gen Rep Brandon Tan delivers a report. He thanks a bunch of people, and says he is looking forward to seeing the work of future reps. He also plugs the Off-Campus Collective’s meeting which is 3pm tomorrow (you could go to that and then come to Observer’s General Meeting at 6pm).

In response to a question, Brandon says the DART Party joke ticket was a highlight of his year.

19.21

We now move to the Ethnocultural report. The report notes that Setipa “hit a bit of a wall” in looking into having an ANU African Studies Centre or program, but she will continue to work on this in the coming year. The Department has also amended their online safer space policy, and have extended this policy into the collective meeting and event spaces. 

The report also notes the success of the Department’s Anti-Racism Campaign, and congratulates the incoming Ethnocultural Department Executive, including Officer Zenia Vasaiwalla.

Ethnocultural Officer Aisha Setipa is not here, so the report passes in her absence.

19.18

Environment Officer MC apologises for not submitting a report, saying she “looked at it, and looked at it, and looked at it, and then it was late”. She flags the success of the Spring Rebellion protests. More broadly, MC notes that this year lots of people across the country have got involved with climate activism, and that this has led to increased and different activities from the Environment Collective.

19.12

This motion passes unanimously, with no speakers for or against.

19.09

CAP Rep Dom moves a procedural to go to motion 7.1. This passes.

Motion 7.1 is moved by the Disabilities Officer. The preamble notes that “accessibility” is an important word for the disability movement, and that making events ‘”safe events” does not necessarily make them accessible. If passed, the motion would bind ANUSA to convene an ANUSA Disability Action Plan Committee, to identify any “failures to uphold physical, structural or social accessibility for students at the ANU”, and create strategic plans to address these. The Committee would be chaired by the Disabilities Officer and their Department, and would privilege their decisions, in recognition of their lived experience.

19.07

Now we’re on to the report by Disabilities Officer Madhumitha Janagaraja. In her report, Madhu says her experience in the role has been “bittersweet, filled with overwhelming pressure, constant exhaustion, burnout, countless bureaucratic barriers and a sense of professional isolation”, but that it has also been a “privilege” to lead the Department. The report summarises the DSA’s work throughout the year, and highlights last week’s Spoon Week, in particular the launch of the ‘This Is What I Look Like’ zine. Madhu says that advocating for students with disabilities is particularly difficult, given their diversity and general resistance and ignorance from institutions and individuals.

The report also notes that Emily Glenn will be Disabilities Officer next year.

Speaking to her report, Madhu urges all reps to actively consider accessibility issues moving forward.

 

19.00

There was no report from the Queer* Officer, so onto the International Students’ Department report from Hazel Ang.

Hazel apologises for the late submission of her report.

Content Warning: Suicide, Mental Illness

The report begins with an announcement and congratulation of the incoming ISD Executive Team. It also notes that the stepping down of the Pro Vice Chancellor for (University Experience) has “hindered the progress of a lot” of ISD’s advocacy, and that the Department has tried their best in spite of that. This advocacy has included the area of international student deaths by suicide. Though, she is “heartened” to hear that a Mental Health Working Group is now in place and working on a framework for suicide prevention, she thinks that  it is “unfortunate” that international students were not part of the working group. She also finds it “unfortunate” that the ANU Counselling Centre is unable to find a qualified Mandarin-speaking counsellor, and thinks that her successor should follow up on this. 

She also flags a number of new ISD initiatives this year, including the establishment of an international Queer* representative, a ‘Wholesome Fiesta’, a First Year International Camp, and a redesign of the ISD logo. The Department did not run International Students’ Welcome Evening this year, as the Executive “failed to see the benefits of the event, especially given the high cost”.

Speaking to her report, Hazel notes that it is generally difficult to run advocacy campaigns, as international students may not be very “actively vocal”. She also says that the elections were “a bit spicier” this year than last year, with some people not happy with decisions made by the ISD and Probity. She says it was “not her intention to disqualify” any of the candidates with the constitutional changes the ISD made.

18.54

The co-officers thank a bunch of people, and each other.

18.54

CW: sexual assault, sexual harassment, institutional betrayal 

Joint Women’s Officers Siang Jin Law and Nupur Apte are speaking to the Women’s Department’s report. 

The report flags that most of the Department’s plans in surrounding a panel the dynamics and structures in the SASH space have fallen through. They will, however, use the money to give back to the community. One example is through the revamp of the Rapunzel Room, including commissioning a mural.

In terms of the Officers’ advocacy, the report discusses the Respectful Relationships Student Working Group, which has met to discuss the proposed Code of Conduct. They have concluded that it needs a broader scope, and better definition to cover all incidences of sexual violence. The Officers have also been consulting with ANU on the best way to launch the Sexual Violence Strategy to the student body and ANU staff. 

The report also announces and congratulates the election of Queenie Ung-Lam and Miriam Wicks-Wilson as Deputy Officers for 2020. Nupur, as the outgoing officer thanks all those that have been involved this year, especially in the difficult and taxing space of SASH advocacy. Siang Jin will remain on as Women’s Officer for 2020.

18.51

There was no Indigenous Officer’s report submitted, and the Indigenous Officer is not here.

18.50

Henri asks whether Matthew’s Clubs Ball outfit will be making any further appearances. Matthew says he intends to return it.

18.49

In response to a question, Matthew says there were “no repercussions” for leaking the document, beyond a “cheeky comment” at a meeting. However, responding to another question, he says that leaking should be done “strategically” and he has “mixed feelings” about the idea of sharing all information all the time.

18.43

Grace asks about the booking fee issue – specifically why no one else leaked any of the drafts, and why there was “hostility” to the anti-fee campaign. Matthew says he can’t speak for other people. He also says he doesn’t have any further info to leak, saying that the “[ANUSA] Exec knows [he has] super loose lips”.

18.39

Now onto the Social Officer’s report by Matthew Mottola. He says he has been involved in ANUSA for three years, and it’s been “a wild ride”. His report also mentions the success of Clubs Ball.

Speaking to the report, Matthew says they year has been “challenging” but positive. He speaks about highlights from his three years in ANUSA, such as the marriage equality campaign.

Matthew also owns up to being the one who leaked the Kambri Booking Fee draft policy.

18.34

Dashveen Jose is speaking to the Treasurer’s report. It’s mostly numbers, but flags that Dash has met with the Financial Review Committee regarding the scope of their report, and that ANUSA has been paid the third instalment of its SSAF. He has also been working with the Departments to work on a standardised templates for stipends and honoraria. 

He similarly gives some thank yous. It’s getting a lot of laughs.

Dash also points out that ANUSA was overpaid for its third instalment of SSAF, and while he was “tempted” to not report this, he ultimately decided to raise the issue.

Campbell asks Dash if he knows what “Reply All” means. This appears to be a bit of an in joke. Eden moves that the question now be put, but retracts this for us to ask a question.

We ask about the difference between Treasurer and Financial Controller. Dash says it’s a case of role sharing.

18.29

And we’re back!

18.22

Update: there is no pide left. Devastating.

18.22

5 minute break time. Hopefully there’s still pide.

18.21

Cap Rep Kai moves that the question now be put.

This attracts some criticism from the table of SAlt-aligned students. Taylor issues “warnings” and clarifies that this is not the same as naming.

The procedural passes, and the report passes.

18.19

Question from a SAlt-aligned student again on the constitutionality of the next OGM. Lachy responds by refusing to give a constitutional interpretation on the spot. He sees that no one has anything to lose by attending, even if they are worried about the possible unconstitutional nature of the next meeting.

18.18

We ask about the Governance Review – it’s not mentioned in Lachy’s report. Lachy says ANUSA is still waiting for more detailed recommendations from the consultants.

18.16

Gen Rep Issy Keith asks about Lachy’s electoral promise from last year to provide more of a framework for the Gen Rep role. Lachy says this was “difficult”, due to ANUSA’s structure, wherein Gen Reps are equal members of the “board” (SRC), but in a practical sense work under the Executive. He says he tried to overcome the Gen Rep issues on his ticket, New Leaf, by having Gen Rep candidates run under portfolios.

18.11

In response to a question, Lachy says he agrees that the notice process should be standardised.

Grace pushes the point about the notice, saying the meeting is unconstitutional. She argues that the “only reason” to proceed with the meeting was “out of embarrassment”. Lachy responds that she can get the Executive to overrule his interpretation.

18.07

Gen Rep Henri Vickers raises concerns about notice for the OGM not being put up online in the requisite time. Lachy says he mentioned the meeting a lot, including in his SRC report and at the SGM. Lachy says he thinks the notice given was “to the spirit” of the requirements.

18.03

General Secretary Lachy Day’s report welcomes members to the final SRC of the year, stating that it has “certainly been a time!” He thanks the SRC, executive and student media for their work this year. He states that “although definitely tired,” he is “ready to hit the ground (still) running” for the beginning of his term as President on December 1.

Day’s report says working groups have been held for the electoral regulations and media policy, but proposed changes will be passed on with next year’s executive. 

The report also touches on the topic of safety at meetings this year, which Day notes “has been a consistent talking point for both the SRC and student media”. He says that democracy requires people to feel comfortable getting up and saying their opinions, and it is “horrific” that members of the ANU community have “tried to weaponise student safety this year to achieve political ends and ridiculed attempts to right this wrong”. He says he is “incredibly proud of the resolve and commitment” of SRC members to “change meeting environments to be more positive experiences for everyone”, and pledges to “continue the fight” next year. 

Speaking to his report, Lachy apologises for not being able to make SRC meetings safe and accessible. He does the usual litany of thank yous. Notably, he thanks SAlt, saying they have “backbone” and “stand by their convictions”, but laughingly says he may regret this next year. We get a shout out, thanks Lachy.

Lachy says he is “incredibly excited” for next year (when he’ll be President).

17.59

Education Officer Tanika Sibal will now speak to her report. The report highlights new terms of reference for the Education Committee, to be passed later on tonight, in addition to progress on a survey for low-SES students. Her report also outlines the NUS’s progress against the Key Performance Indicators set by ANUSA for re-accreditation.

Tanika similarly does thank yous. In response to a question, she says that the NUS seems to intend to meet those KPIs labelled “yet to come”. She also responds to a question about First Year Camps by saying that next year’s Ed Officer will instead run two one-day events.

17.56

Campbell is asked why he didn’t attend the Kambri Forum. He says he can’t remember the exact day, but would have had something else on, and also that he advocated for students directly with ANU Administration. There are a few follow-up questions on this same topic.

Disabilities Officer Madhu moves that the question now be put, to cut off questions. This passes. The report passes.

17.50

Vice President Campbell Clapp is speaking to his report. In it, he states that he has begun handover to incoming VP, Madhumitha Janagaraja. He also follows up on the evergreen topic of the thirteen-week semester, stating that the plan “at least for now” is to remain with the 12-week semester, despite “some desire” from staff and students to revert back to 13 weeks.

Campbell says that the Honours Roll event had “quite a few people” attend, and that Wellbeing Week incorporated a lot of feedback from previous years.

Like Eden, Campbell goes on to list a number of things he is proud of. These include advocacy, ANUSA’s successful SSAF bid to provide increased services, and the work of the members of the SRC.

In misc things that have come out in this speech, apparently the BKSS staff at one point covered Campbell’s desk in aluminium foil, and he had a seizure at retreat.

Campbell gets a bit teary as he thanks lots of people, especially emphasising Eden’s support.

17.44

The report passes.

17.43

Eden is asked about Kambri booking fees, and accused of having to be “dragged” into the anti-fee campaign. Eden says she is proud of the achievements of student activists in this space, but says that more work is needed especially regarding theatre spaces.

17.42

Speaking to her report, President Eden Lim says goodbye and thanks all those involved during two year involvement with ANUSA, saying that without the continued ‘behind the scenes work, the Association could not be what it is today’.

ANUSA is currently in the middle of the SSAF bidding process which will inform the 2020 budget. Students will be given an opportunity to comment on the bids and give their opinion of where they feel the money should be allocated.

In regard to the Number 3 bus, Eden’s report notes the promised shuttle bus in 2020, but says that Facilities and Services has not got back to ANUSA about its other requests.

CW: sexual assault, sexual harassment, institutional betrayal

Eden says she is proud of ANUSA’s advocacy and achievements in the SASH space, such as working with the IHC to get improvements in res hall pastoral care.

The report notes Respectful Relationships Student Working Group attended a Senior Management Group to discuss advocacy around the Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy, but that this was “extremely disheartening”.

17.35

Incoming Gen Sec Taylor Heslington has taken over as Chair. Food has arrived.

17.34

The report does not pass. Again, this is quite unusual – usually these reports are passed with minimal fuss.

17.34

Clubs Council Secretary Jason Pover moves a motion to debate whether to pass the report. This is very unusual. The motion passes.

James speaks in favour of passing the report. He says he is confused about the motion. He speaks more about the content of the report, including the financial information. He repeats that he stands by the accusations in the report.

Jason speaks against passing the report, saying he has “five reasons” it should not be passed. Firstly, he says it’s vulgar – its language would not be able to be said in person in a meeting. Secondly, he argues it brings ANUSA and the Clubs Council into disrepute. Thirdly, he says, it does not represent the views of most of the Clubs Council Executive. He argues that fourthly it addresses a matter currently before the Disputes Committee, and that fifthly, it is defamatory.

In reply, James says the report was resubmitted late upon request, and the new report doesn’t have the defamation and Disputes issues. He says people in the meeting “should be grown ups” and be OK with coarse language as long as it isn’t directed at individuals.

17.28

We move to the report by Clubs Council President James Howarth. This is happening early because it’s James’ birthday. According to the report, the Clubs Council has “faced some dramatic highs and lows”. His report also speaks against the motion of no confidence passed against him in August, stating that it occurred “with zero procedural fairness and zero consideration of its impact on [his] mental health”. He attributes the “noticeably uncontested” Clubs Council election down to “the lack of incentive to participate”, including the unpaid nature of the roles and the lack of clarity as to what they actually entail. 

James says he has “really enjoyed” his time on the Clubs Council. He says he “stands by” the colourful language used in his report, but acknowledges that his actions played a role in the interpersonal issues that occurred.

17.22

The meeting opens at 6:22pm. Gen Sec Lachy Day asks everyone to “treat everyone in this space respectfully”, and delivers and acknowledgement of country.