ANUSA held its second ordinary general meeting (OGM) on the 20th of August with quorum attendance, and ended with the passing of a motion to release a survey focusing on student feedback to the newly proposed student residence, as well as the election of Helena Hu to the Grants and Affiliations Committee (GAC).
The proceedings generally followed the agenda posted online, with the executive reports taken largely as read. Not included in the agenda was the report of Vice President James Waugh, who spoke nevertheless and revealed that funding for an ANU Skillup program has been approved, with the intention to provide students with training for casual employment.
ANUSA General Representative Jed Buchanan, from the floor, moved to release a survey studying student feedback and consultation in the planning of the new student residence. He believed that ANUSA should provide feedback on the student consultation process, and that its involvement in the University Administration’s working groups was made clear.
Buchanan described his intentions behind the survey as “two-pronged”. The first half of the survey will be concerned with student opinions on the newly announced college, providing feedback to university authorities. The second half would be dedicated to illustrating ANUSA’s role in the consultation process and student feedback regarding what ANUSA’s role should be in the process.
Also moved was the proposal to elect a new GAC member at the OGM by Social Officer Jack Gaudie, spurred by the recent resignation of Karan Dhamija from the committee. During a Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting earlier this May, Gaudie moved a motion to refer Dhamija to the Disputes Committee after he missed nine GAC meetings without apologies, describing him as “wholly uncommunicative in response to attempts to correct his unsatisfactory attendance record.”
Helena Hu and Nick Wynne were nominated for the position, with the latter submitting in abstention. Hu was given time to speak on the nomination, while no statement came from Wynne.
When asked whether Wynne was aware that he would have an opportunity to speak at the OGM, Gaudie responded that he was not told of the opportunity, nor was he aware himself that candidates would be permitted to speak. Gaudie also withdrew statements he made listing Wynne’s extracurricular experiences when asked by a member of the audience about issues regarding a possible conflict of interest. Nick Wynne is currently standing as a General Representative candidate on Gaudie’s Ready for ANUSA ticket, and Helena Hu is running as Social Officer on Ben Gill’s Let’s ticket.
Throughout the motion’s question period, Gaudie claimed that he was in communication with Wynne, and proposed to call him to speak on his nomination.
According to Gaudie, Wynne told him that he didn’t want to speak at the OGM and eventually withdrew his nomination for the GAC position. Hu was thus elected at the conclusion of the meeting.
“GAC needs the person power to process reports. If this motion didn’t pass, it would be a longer time before GAC could function at full capacity, which is frustrating when you’re passionate about [the committee]” he told Woroni afterwards.
When asked about Wynne’s withdrawal, he said that “anyone’s allowed to withdraw from nominating for a position.”
Gaudie also commented on Wynne’s absence. “You don’t need to be present to nominate; the general secretary accepted it in absentia. But he wasn’t able to be here because of class and that just means he wasn’t able to speak. He withdrew his nomination, so I don’t think it bothered him too much.”
On the general proceedings, Gaudie wished that “it could have been longer, but I’m glad that everything got passed. It’s good for GAC.”