By Hayley Hands
After two attempts to hold an OGM this year, ANUSA’s meeting last Thursday met the quorum of 40 allowing it to be held. The 2020 provisional budget was presented, along with the final reports for this year from the ANUSA President and Treasurer.
ANUSA has struggled to meet quorum at meetings this year, with only two SGMs and their AGM meeting the required number of people. Although quorum was met, there have been questions about its constitutionality. Whilst required notice was posted on the door of the ANUSA space within 10 teaching days as is required by the constitution, the Facebook event only provided 7 teaching days’ notice.
General Secretary Lachy Day defended the choice to hold the meeting, as he said the door sign, in addition to mentions of the OGM at a prior meeting, provided adequate notice. He invited members to make a dispute if they disagreed with his interpretation.
The main item on the agenda was the 2020 provisional budget. The budget is reliant on the Association receiving $2,496,525 in SSAF funding, however incoming Treasurer Maddy Wang says this allocation is “unlikely” due to changes in SSAF funding.
In response to a question about changes to SSAF funding, Day stated that the SSAF pool will be “highly contested” as a result of new bidders. Despite potential budget cuts, Wang has allocated 50% of the funding to wages and salaries for representatives. Day was questioned about whether they would still deliver on payment increases, responding that just “because something is difficult you shouldn’t aspire towards it”. Day said they would be looking into “alternate revenue raising” options for events like O-Week and Friday Night Party.
Representative for the College of Asia and the Pacific Dominic Harvey-Taylor asked why College Representatives were not allocated honoraria in 2020. Wang replied that she “didn’t realise how quick the turn around was for the SSAF bid” and that there would be “a review into how we pay reps”. College Reps, in addition to positions, such as Clubs Council Executive members, are currently unpaid volunteers.
The new budget makes changes to first year camps, which incoming Education Officer Skanda Panditharatne explained will now be “single day camps” organised with “assistance from college reps”. This follows the cancellation of this years’ camp, due to issues with “support mechanisms”. There were also questions asked about the bid made separately by the ANU E-Sports club for SSAF funding. Day said they “wrote the bid themselves” and that there was “no harm in it”.
There was allegedly some dissatisfaction with the consultation of Clubs Council for the 2020 ANUSA SSAF bid. Some Clubs Council executives said they received less than 24 hours to review the proposed funding plan. Day stated that “at every single point Clubs Council were able to review the bid” and noted that Ebe Ganon, recently elected Clubs Council Chair, was “in the presentation room” during the bid.
The only other agenda items were reports by President Eden Lim and Treasurer Dash Jose. Lim’s report summarised her prior SRC 8 report, which thanked the executives and student body for her time as president. Jose provided a report of the year’s finances. Jose explained that ANUSA spent $15,748 on various consultancy fees, which had not been budgeted for on its governance review. Jose also clarified that the ‘bad debts’ listed in the report were “outstanding invoices from previous years”.
The OGM marks the final ANUSA meeting this year, with the next expected to be held in the first few weeks of Semester 1 next year.
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