With the failed motion to censure ANUSA President Cam Wilson at the last Wednesday’s Ordinary General Meeting fading into the distance, new allegations have emerged surrounding Wilson & Treasurer Nick Barry’s conduct in early 2014.
Sources familiar with the operation of the Grants and Affiliation’s Committee (GAC) have alleged that Wilson & Barry violated the ANUSA constitution when they affiliated multiple clubs & societies in February 2014.
Woroni has obtained documents showing that Wilson & Barry approved the applications for affiliation made by numerous clubs & societies on ANU Campus Life, also known as ‘OrgSync’. The approvals made by Wilson & Barry have been visible to all members of GAC & many members of the ANUSA Executive and Staff.
Under the ANUSA Constitution the Grants and Affiliations Committee (GAC) is the only body allowed to affiliate student clubs and societies. ANUSA Social Officer & Committee Chair Henry Ladd confirmed that neither Wilson or Barry are members of the Committee.
Speaking on the behalf of the ANUSA Executive, Barry told Woroni that numerous applications were approved on the 3rd & 4th of February as part of training sessions held by ANUSA for clubs & societies. He alleged that those organisations were informed that they would need to apply again with the proper documents at a later date.
The only application known by Woroni to have been approved on the 3rd or 4th of February was the application made by the Law Students Society (LSS). This application did not include a copy of the LSS’s constitution, a membership list, or bank account details. Under Section 3.1.2A of the Grants and Affiliations Regulations in the Constitution, those documents are required in order to renew the affiliation of a club or society with ANUSA. Barry admitted that in February some clubs were affiliated on ANU Campus Life “without the proper documentation.”
LSS President Alexa Milosevic told Woroni that she was aware that their application was incomplete & had attempted to find out whether the LSS has been affiliated by GAC only to receive no response. Neither the LSS or the ANU Gridiron Football Fan Club (GFFC) submitted a bank statement alongside the online applications forms obtained by Woroni. The President of the GFFC Ashwin Rajesh told Woroni that they had submitted a statement earlier in the year but it was invalid and they only successfully affiliated in recent weeks.
A source familiar with the operation of GAC in 2014 confirmed that a bank statement must be submitted for an affiliation request to be approved. When asked why this was the case, Ladd replied that “if a club or society folds ANUSA gets the job of cleaning up” and that by having a bank statement which has ANUSA’s address on it they can “more easily prove that we have the authority to take over the account and sort out the finances.”
The only circumstances where Wilson or Barry would have been allowed to affiliate clubs/societies would be when they were directed by GAC to do so, or if the power to do so had been formally delegated to them. A source intimately involved with the operation of GAC in 2014 informed Woroni that “GAC never ceded it’s power to any member of the executive to make decisions on affiliation.”
Woroni attempted to verify the allegations made against Wilson & Barry, and attempted to get minutes from GAC meetings in 2014 in order to do so. It was hoped that these minutes would include details of club/society affiliations, whether GAC had delegated its power to affiliate clubs or if they had directed Wilson or Barry to approve the applications. At the time this article was sent to print, the Committee had not responded to multiple requests for minutes made over several weeks. Numerous sources familiar with the operation of GAC in 2014 told Woroni that no minutes have been taken at GAC meetings in 2014. By the time this article was sent to print, Committee Chair Ladd had not responded when asked to confirm whether this was true.
In April 2014 Woroni attempted to obtain an official list of affiliated clubs & societies, yet were directed by ANUSA to view the list on ANU Campus Life. Wilson & Barry’s approvals placed numerous clubs & societies on this list.
Due to the unavailability of any minutes from GAC meetings, Woroni is unable to verify which clubs or societies have been affiliated in 2014. If no minutes have been taken at GAC meetings this year, then the key documents that should detail the official decisions of the committee do not exist.
Editor’s Note (20th August): The earlier version of this article had the headline “ANUSA Executive Flouts Constitution.” This has since been corrected to clarify that Woroni was unable to confirm or deny the allegations made against members of the ANUSA Executive.
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