Dylan Parker wants student associations for students

So normally I try not to stray into the overtly political with my weekly reports especially if we are talking on a topic as introspective as our decision making processes. However, this week a concern I think worth raising is the little problem Council has had meeting quorum this year. Now, I don’t want to name or blame any particular people because at different times we all have good and sometimes impeccable reasons why we can’t come. But when as an organisation we spend nearly $39 000 on elections for President, Honi Soit, and 33 Councillors it’s a little worrying that our meetings have hovered around 17 to 18 Councillors so far.

Last Wednesday for the first time in two years an SRC meeting was inquorate and unable to meet. The requirements are relatively straight forward; you need a majority of Councillors elected to be present, not including proxies in order to hold a meeting. I get that people are busy. I work two jobs, study, and do activism off campus in the evenings and on weekends so I expect others to miss meetings here or there. But when as an organisation we are continually on the brink of being inquorate then something must be up

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if we ran the SRC through its Executive. Having been a Councillor, an Ordinary Executive member and a General Secretary I can honestly say Council is presented with a skewed view of the SRC, missing so much of the service, lobbying, advocacy, and publication sides of our student association. In fact, the other side is why I am still involved in the SRC because our casework services, our publications, our lobbying the university, our second hand bookstore, our free legal service, and emergency loans matter to real students in real ways. The SRC should be for students who are struggling, not those with the means to use the SRC for their own pet political projects and campaigns.

Sadly, Councillors spend too much time arguing over frivolous ideological motions wholly unrelated to our welfare or education. Look, nearly everyone has non-student related politics Left, Right, or in between but if you want to argue over boycotting country X, condemning the Government for Y policy, or pass self congratulatory motion Z intended to somehow dismantle neoliberalism, start a club or join a political party. Our student association should be for students and low SES, Indigenous, queer, international, rural and regional, and female students just to name a few are all missing out because our Councillors may not be seeing the point of meetings they were elected to attend.

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