The 8th regular meeting of the 91st SRC was held on Wednesday the 4th of September. The meeting opened at 6:51pm after there were 2 resignations, one from councillor Nick Forbutt who resigned to Felix Faber and another from Honi Editor Karishma Luthria, Amelia Mertha was nominated by the Honi editors to take Karishma’s place and was approved by the Council. The minutes of the previous council meetings from May to August were then accepted by the Council.

The standing orders were suspended with a procedural motion to move to general business R2 and the motion on the September 20th Climate strike action was heard. The motion had the following action points:

  • We call on all University of Sydney students to skip class on September 20 to strike for climate justice
    We demand that the University allows all students and staff to participate in the global strike. No student should be penalised for fighting for the future of the planet, all staff both casual and permanent should be fully paid for the strike day
  • We call on the University to cease and desist its harassment of environmental activists and community stalls. Students have the democratic right to petition and stall on campus without the intervention of security. This is a fundamental principle of free speech and political expression.
  • We demand the University of Sydney immediately divest from fossil fuels
  • Honi Soit to advertise the climate strike on the back cover of the issues leading up to September 20
  • Honi Soit to devote an issue before September 20 to the climate strike
  • SRC will provide funding for 10,000 leaflets & 500 posters
  • After discussion of the motion it was put to the Council and carried.

There was another procedural to remain in general business to discuss R1 a motion about the government’s plan to deport a Tamil family back to Sri Lanka from the Queensland town of Biloela. The motion call for the following action points:

  • The Sydney University SRC calls on the Australian government to immediately halt the deportation of Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharunicaa. We call on the government to return the family to their community of Biloela and to grant them permanent residency, so they can continue to live in the community.
  • The Sydney University SRC will publish this motion on its Facebook page.
  • The Sydney University SRC president will write to Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Davic Coleman informing them of the SRC’s opposition to this deportation and conveying the content of this motion.
  • The Sydney University SRC will support and promote refugee rights demonstrations in Sydney, including the upcoming “Rally: Human Rights for Refugees” at 1PM on Saturday the 14th of September at Sydney Town Hall. The Facebook event for this rally (facebook.com/events/439260946682566) will be shared on the SRC’s Facebook page.

After discussion of the motion it was put to Council with a request for a recorded vote and carried, the record of that vote will be available when the Council accepts the minutes at the next meeting.

A procedural motion was put to move to motions on notice Q9 a motion against anti-Semitism on campus. The motion called for the SRC to condemn all forms of racism including anti-Semitism and islamophobia and that the conflation of Jews and the state of Israel or its policies was wrong and inherently anti-Semitic. It contained the following action point: The SRC will support and mobilise for anti-racist and anti-fascist actions whenever they take place.

After discussion the motion was put and carried.

After a failed procedural to move to Q11 there was a successful procedural motion to return to general business to move a motion from the floor. The motion from the floor was on support for the decriminalisation of abortion. The motion called for the following actions:

  • Upon the passing of this motion, the council will take a solidarity photo to express its support for the decriminalisation of abortion.
  • The SRC president will post the photo, along with the text of this motion onto the SRC Facebook page.
  • The University of Sydney SRC will publicly support the work of the University of Sydney Wom*n’s Collective in standing for abortion rights for all.
  • The SRC supports the Trust Women, Support the Bill Rally on Saturday 14th September at 11am at Hyde Park.
  • After discussion the motion was put to the council and carried.

At 10:05 after the motion the council took a 15 minutes break as per the regulations. At 10:20 there was a quorum count the meeting was found inquorate, there was a call to wait another 10 minutes to reach at 10:31 there was a quorum count and the meeting was again found inquorate. There as a request to wait a further 15 minutes. At 10:43 there was another call for a quorum count, the meeting was found quorate and resumed at 10:43pm. There was a procedural to move to motions on notice Q.13 a motion is support of the student protests and strikes in Hong Kong, the procedural carried, and the council moved to discussion of the motion. There was a procedural to ban all video, audio, or photography for the duration the motion would be discussed. The procedural passed. To ensure the motion was upheld the secretary to council required all laptops to be closed or that the screens be visible to her at all times, and that phone be switched off or put in flight mode and left untouched on a desk or the floor in in clear sight all phones were checked by the secretary to council. To allow student media to continue to cover the event they were asked to sit in the front where their screens could be seen to ensure they were not photographing of recording the debate. There was a quorum count called at 11:01, the meeting was found in quorate. There was a call to wait 5 minutes, after 4 more quorum counts at 11:30 the meeting was found quorate and resumed. There was a procedural motion at that Q13 lie on the table, and a foreshadowing motion that the substantive motion be put straight to a vote. The procedural carried and the motion was set aside and the foreshadowing motion lapsed.

There was a motion to accept all reports from agendas items L to O en bloc, it carried. There was a procedural motion to move a motion from the floor, it carried however before the motion could be read out there was a call for a quorum count. The meeting was found inquorate and lapsed at 11:40.

Next Council

The 9th regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 9 October 2019 at 6:00pm in Eastern Avenue Lecture Theatre 315. This is a reminder that the meeting is open to all members of the undergraduate student body at the University of Sydney so if you are interested in learning more about the Council, feel welcome to come along. If have a motion you would like to put forward for the Council’s consideration, email the Secretary to Council Julia Robins at secretary.council@src.usyd.edu.au to have it included on the agenda, or if you have any questions about how to put together a motion.