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September 24, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

AGM reaches, retains quorum despite O’Kane’s quorum-counting

Last week’s VUWSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Mount Street Bar and Café began late and finished early, with quorum being met with unusual ease. A hand count reported 123 present, and it is unclear how many of those attending were lured by President Geoff Hayward’s optimistic musings of an AGM “that is fun.”

Among the items on the agenda was a motion by Bevan Callaghan, a former VUWSA Treasurer, to create the position of Representative Organisations Officer to replace the positions of Environmental Officer and Queer Rights Officer on the Executive. Callaghan argued that the motion, if passed, would “allow the Exec to be a number (12) that can work.” The motion was met with resounding boos from the audience.

One of the notable moments of the meeting came when Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara criticised Callaghan’s proposal and added that “Victoria could be the first sustainable campus in five to 10 years.” One audience member commented, “with free printing?” in reference to Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove’s Presidential campaign policy, to which Kodikara replied, “Can you guys shut up? No one likes you guys.”

The motion was defeated, with six supporting votes.

Among the motions that were passed was the formation of a representative group for the School of Geography, Environmental and Earth Sciences called VicEarth, in addition to a constitutional amendment that saw the role of Treasurer replaced by Administration Vice-President.

Proposed by current Treasurer Alexander Neilson, the motion was supported by Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove who credited Neilson with the first budget surplus that VUWSA has seen in five to six years. The proposed amendment passed following a hand-count, called by VUWSA enthusiast Nicholas O’Kane and despite protests from Kodikara, who complained, “Can we ask not to have [a count of hands]? Nick keeps suggesting it.”

Hayward offered to those raising their hands that they could “use [their raised hands] to buy products from the Eastside Bar.”

“2006, $12 jugs – 2007, $3 cans,” he noted. He was corrected by Kodikara, who contended that cans were in fact $2.

Interest at the AGM began to diminish as Cosgrove’s motion about VUWSA and bank policy was proposed – one member from the University’s Flying Disc Team took the microphone under the pretense of commenting on the motion but instead promoted the group’s raffle fundraiser. Perhaps even more amusingly, several audience members later approached the Flying Disc Team member to purchase the raffle tickets.

As the meeting neared its awaited end, Hayward’s calls for general business items were met by O’Kane’s attempt to propose an amendment to the constitution regarding VUWSA and its clubs. He was informed that the motion was required 14 days notice, and, following debate, another quorum-count was called. Most disappointingly, quorum lapsed, which was of relief to those who feared that a VUWSA AGM was finishing without at least one struggle to garner interest.


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  1. blogette says:

    how thta is a “notable moment” is beyond me
    more crap reporting

  2. blogette says:

    cheep beer at eastside has nothing to do with hayward

  3. peteremcc says:

    Both of Nick’s amendments were un-constitutional.

    What has been left un-reported is that Geoff ruled the first one out in a heartbeat when he didn’t like it but when he found out that the second one went something along the lines of “that the 2008 vuwsa exec must give at least $80,000 to the clubs council” he called for a vote. This should have been ruled out as motions cannot be passed that apply to future execs and only another quorum count defeated it.

  4. Graeme Edgeler says:

    Peter – motions can definitely be passed that apply to future execs.

    Amending the constitution needs notice. General motions like the one you mention are definitely in order (but can be overturned at another general meeting, or by amending the constitution).

  5. geoff mates says:

    No Peter, Geoff said the first motion was un-constitutional. The second motion was not un-constitutional, as it was not a constitutional change (requiring 14 days notice). It was a directive from a student (Nick), and Geoff was about to put it to a vote, then someone called a quorum count.

  6. Firstly, relating to the article, I never called for a quorom count, I only called for votes to be done by a show of hands.

    going on to my motions for general business, the first one siad ‘the 2008 executive may not make any changes to the clubs affiliation process without the consent of a General meeting” which according to Geoff was a constitutional motion and thus geoff hayward did not allow it to be moved. The second was “The 2008 executive must give no less than $80 000 in club grants, which are to be distributed among clubs in consultation with the Sports and cultural councils”. Tushara Kodikara called for a quorom count which only found 90 people participating.

  7. peteremcc says:

    Tush called for the quorum count huh. Hahaha

  8. Graeme Edgeler says:

    Obviously you lost quorum, but I’m hard-pressed to find a constitutional issue with either of Nick’s motions.

  9. Pissed Off says:

    I have a question which is not answered by this ‘quality journalism’.

    When does the constitutional amendment that saw the role of Treasurer replaced by Administration Vice-President come into effect? That is to say next year will we have a Treasurer or Administration VP?

  10. peteremcc says:

    Yes we will have an Admin VP next year.

    This will also come with a rise in payment too ofc. :D

  11. The Treasurer position becomes that of Admin VP on January 1st. And the Treasurer elect becomes the Admin VP then. There is a specific clause making this occur this year then the election will be held for the Admin VP rather than treasurer from 2008 onwards.


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