Last Wednesday (10th August) witnessed a lightning fast edition of the ANUSA Ordinary General Meeting.
The ANUSA budget was the biggest item at the meeting, followed by amendments to various pieces of student union legislation, and a motion calling for greater openness from the academic colleges in their communication around course cuts.
The brief session kicked off with treasurer Jaya Ryan’s announcement that, due to overspending on line items, ANUSA is projected to run a deficit of around $100,000, a figure that Ryan admitted that would normally make him “very concerned.”
The major overspends were $12,000 for BKSS consumables and Student Assistance Grants twice running over their allotment, adding up to $197,000.
Some of the largest expenses were: salaries, student grants, clubs funding, and a quarter of a million towards the night café, all significant increases from this time last semester.
Nonetheless, the Treasurer is confident that the deficit will be remedied by picking up a large proportion of the funding that would have gone to the now discontinued PARSA next year. He noted that ANUSA already provides services, such as legal advice, for post-graduates and hopes to continue doing so.
However, the ANU has not guaranteed that the money normally allocated to PARSA will be allocated to other student organisations. It is unclear then if ANUSA will get the money it needs.
The other major item was a demand that the ANU academic colleges consult the student body and not just student representatives when discussing issues that concern students.
The motion asserted that solely “meeting with elected representatives is a political strategy to contain student discontent”, citing recent course cuts as an example of material that was buried in these conversations. Many of the educational officers in attendance echoed the sentiment.
The meeting also added a requirement that SSAF branding be included in the marketing for events financed by that fund. While objections were raised around how the proposed branding would affect the image of certain clubs, the motion passed easily.
Two procedural motions rounded out the meeting, which lasted around half an hour. The first allowed for the General-Secretary to make spelling corrections to regulations; the second reintroduced the $20 membership club fee which was left out of a recent clubs regulation rewrite. This latter motion only affects clubs affiliated with the Clubs Council, and excludes sports clubs like ANU Snowsports or ANU Fencing, as they are managed under ANU Sport.
OGM 3 will be held on the 9th of Oct. Watch this space for more coverage from Woroni.
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