On Tuesday the 20th of October, ANUSA held it’s 8th and final Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting for the year. With the executive starting off the meeting by thanking the representatives for their immense contributions this year, ANUSA President Ben Gill stated that the increase of student support services had been one of the highlights of the year.
After discussion surrounding the new initiative, the ANU Safety Group, and possible future expansion and integration with the ANUSA Safety on Campus Committee, attention was turned to the discussion items. This included a controversial request from the Grants and Affiliations Committee (GAC) for an extra $30,000, to make sure students involved in Clubs and Societies (C&S) were not out of pocket – potentially until December 1st.
As the second budget change of the year, with an extra $50,000 allocated earlier this year, Helena Hu, a member of the committee, moved a motion within the SRC for extra funds to be shifted to GAC from other budget line items.
With the ANUSA constitution stating that an SRC can only pass motions to grant no more than 1% of the Annual Budget of expected expenses in any calendar month., the most prominent question appeared to be whether this addition of more than 1% would count as a change to the budget.
If this indeed changed the budget, it would only be able to be changed at an Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) or Special General Meeting (SGM), however if it was considered movement within the budget, the motion could be passed at the SRC.
With the main discussion surrounding the decision reaching over an hour in length, concerns about the members of the SRC being put on the spot, and thus in a tough position were raised.
The decision was ultimately made to pass an amended version of the original motion, stating that pending legal advice, the money would be granted from other budget line items at the discretion of the treasurer, Sophia Woo. If legal advice did not observe the actions of the SRC as in line with the constitution, an SGM would be called to pass the motion.
Vice-President, James Waugh, also raised a proposed sponsorship deal with the ride-sharing service Uber, with a special code for ANU students, distributed through ANUSA, providing $20 off, with ANUSA getting a $5 finders fee.
Whilst concerns raised by members of the SRC about the accessibility of Uber and the need to protect students who would also be drivers, were acknowledged as valid and constructive, future partnership with Uber, such as in assisting with safety on campus were presented as a positive to the sponsorship deal.
A motion was also moved in ‘Other Business’ to refer Jack Gaudie, ANUSA Social Officer, to the Disputes Panel, for allegedly not performing in his role.
With 3 abstentions, the motion was passed with 15 votes in favour and 0 against.
The meeting was ended with a touching tribute to Jacky Sutton, a Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies scholar who passed away in Istanbul over the weekend of the 17th-18th of October.