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October 4, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Students eat and beat it at VUWSA AGM

Meeting ends with a convenient quorum count of 99

The advertised sausage sizzle and ‘giant’ sandwich certainly lured people into VUWSA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last Wednesday in the Memorial Theatre, but once the free food went, so did the students.

Quorum was met with two minutes to spare at 1.28pm with over 100 students in the room.

As per Section 2(1) of Part II of the VUWSA Constitution, general meetings must have quorum of 100 people within 30 minutes of starting in order for the meeting to be held.

Quorum was later lost when the infamous AGM-attendee and Act On Campus President Peter McCaffrey called for a quorum count approximately half an hour later, resulting in the discovery that there were only 99 students left in the room. VUWSA President Max Hardy then immediately ended the meeting.

Many students spoken to by Salient were disappointed with this outcome.

“It’s so annoying, this kind of thing seems to happen every time,” one student said.

Despite its relatively early closure, Hardy was pleased with the meeting.

“The Annual General Meeting was a success.”

VUWSA was able to run through the majority of items on the agenda before the meeting was disbanded, albeit with brief interruptions. At one point, a motion was passed for McCaffrey to not be heard as a result of these interruptions.

The carried motions included the approval of the Half Year Report and Financials, the appointment of VUWSA’s Solicitor and Auditor, and the recognition of the VUW Science Society as a representative group.

The Science Club’s President William Guzzo was excited about the prospect.

“It will help Science students get a life.”

Hardy was also pleased with this outcome.

“The highlight [of the AGM] was certainly the formation of the VUW Science Society as VUWSA’s newest Rep Group. We hope that they will be a major success in the years to come.”
Another motion passed was for VUWSA to investigate the food options on campus, particularly specialty dietary requirements provided for students during the Campus Hub renovations. Hardy said that this was already VUWSA’s agreed role within the Campus Hub contract.

“VUWSA will be on every panel regarding food and beverage decisions, so essentially I agree with this motion.”

More light-hearted motions were passed, namely formal congratulations to the VUW Medieval and Renaissance Society Association for having more members than Vic Labour.

The final motion was for VUWSA to support the Green Party’s Warm Healthy Rentals Bill, which aims to ensure there are mandatory heating requirements in flats.

A quorum count called for by McCaffrey just before this motion was voted on resulted in a total of 99 students, after which Hardy announced that the meeting was over.

When questioned about the convenience of the timing and result of this quorum count, McCaffrey told Salient that he believed it was intentional.

“VUWSA don’t want political statements being made while the VSM bill is going through.

“But I’m not surprised. The quorum count always just happens to be whatever is the most convenient at the time.”

Salient can confirm that McCaffrey was not paid or bribed by VUWSA to call for a quorum count at that time.

“I was really just trying to save the VUWSA lawyer from any extra work having to invalidate the AGM because of a motion being passed supporting a bill at parliament.”

Students Kade Sheely and Tenzin Heatherbell were unimpressed with the meeting.

“There’s a wide belief that VUWSA is a joke, so we came along to see if this was true,” says Sheely, “and apparently it is.”

“It seems to be all the weirdos from every corner of the university in one room,” added Heatherbell.

VUWSA had intended to pass a motion to include the option of ‘No Confidence’ to the positions of University Council Representative and Publications Committee Representatives, effectively changing the constitution so that individuals could not be elected with only one vote.

Due to a failure to propose the motions on the VUWSA noticeboard 14 days before the AGM, this was not allowed.

Hardy had stated this intention at a meeting with Salient recently and it was included in Welfare Vice-President Seamus Brady’s column in last week’s issue.
Hardy says that this issue may be addressed next year.

“I am aware that there are some members that wish to propose amendments at the IGM next year which will provide for no confidence option for the Uni Council Rep and Pub Comms representatives elections.”


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  1. Science Society: helping science students ‘get a life’ since 2010.

    Love you Salient!

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