On the 22nd of September ANUSA held the seventh Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting of the year, addressing recent election controversies and student concerns.
The agenda and executive reports were to be taken largely as read, with no report or presence from the ANUSA Social Officer.
President Ben Gill presented his report, highlighting student dissatisfaction with the vision and organisation of the School of Music (SoM). He noted that while the Music Students Association (MSA) generally fills ANUSA’s role with regards to student advocacy efforts at the SoM, the two bodies will cooperate to expedite a comprehensive review of the Bachelors of Music degree. The desire to create representatives for the SoM within ANUSA was also expressed.
Education Officer, Jock Webb, also mentioned the recent rise of Malcolm Turnbull to the Prime Ministership, stating that it “could be a win” in regards to the government’s possible withdrawal from university deregulation. Therefore, in protesting fee deregulation he was “not looking to have another rally” but a “more low-key event” to raise awareness.
It was also announced that a new Indigenous Officer, Simon O’Toole, has been found.
Women’s Department Officer Loren Ovens opened her report by addressing controversies about the election process for next year’s officer position. She maintained that in dismissing one of the nominees according to their constitution “[they] followed all policies in place.”
Following allegations of internal pre-selection of candidates for the role within the Department, Ovens stated that the process was “very informal, very casual” and consisted mainly of asking Department members if they were running.
She also expressed concern that the meeting minutes were leaked to Woroni, and that it was “extremely disappointing that [the article] was published”, especially given that it was “without [the Women’s Department’s] consent.”
Afterwards, she notified the SRC of planned projects exploring alternative menstrual products to pads and tampons, aiming to “smash the stigma around periods.” The Women of Colour collective was also recapped after its August 7 launch.
Disabilities Officer, Ana Stuart, also presented her report, and highlighted issues facing her department members during the ANUSA elections, and expressed desire to make next year’s elections more comfortable and accessible to students with disabilities. She particularly noted that online voting would be crucial for people with mobility difficulties.
International Officer, Arabelle Zhang, was also present to announce that a by-election would be held for the positions of ISD executives from the 5th-7th October, after a misunderstanding with ACT Elections and the ANUSA Returning Officer left the ISD without a president. This echoed sentiments from ANUSA General Secretary Monique Langley-Freeman’s report, which indicated a large amount of governance issues with ACT Elections more generally.
The SRC meeting concluded with the passing of motions that resulted in the establishment of an Ethno-Cultural Committee and the awarding of $500 in total honoraria to the probity officers of the recent ANUSA elections.