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Gronkwatch: Get Censured or Die Trying

Peter Walsh stole a number of hot chocolate sachets from the Board Meeting Room.

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How Much Does It Cost To Leak To A Degenerate Student Newspaper Nobody Reads? $50,000, apparently

Last Friday, the USU Board voted 8-5 to pursue ex-vice president Tom Raue for $50,000 in costs, via a deed, which would require Raue to consent to periodical payments.

But Honi understands a second motion was also put to the Board, which asked whether to pursue Raue for costs through legal action if he refuses to sign the deed. The motion failed 10 votes to 3, which is problematic given Raue’s subsequent refusal to pay.

The results of the votes, which were held as secret ballots during the confidential ‘in camera’ portion of the meeting, were originally not to be released until 5pm, after the meeting’s conclusion, and well after the audience had gone home. However, armed with trashcan lids and megaphones, a group of student activists occupied the meeting and prevented it from continuing until a procedural motion was passed that allowed the results to be immediately divulged. While the results of the first motion were disclosed, the results of the second were not.

To now, the second motion has been kept secret, presumably to improve the Board’s negotiating position with Raue. When asked by Honi, insiders refused to confirm or deny the existence of the second motion. Another unnamed source, however, was happy to “cop the censure” and confirmed the Board’s decision. Some commenters have suggested that by voting in assent to the first motion and against the second one, the Board has effectively allowed Raue to escape without payment, while still maximising the chances of making some money back. However, it is our understanding that if they wanted to avoid making Raue pay, they could have just voted ‘no’ to both motions.

You Fail 100% Of The Censures You Don’t Propose

In the same meeting, a censure motion was proposed against Vice-President Bebe D’Souza; however, it was subsequently withdrawn in the face of what can only be described as vehement opposition from the Board and a ragtag audience of members from all campus political factions. In a series of emotional addresses, a number of individual Directors outlined the incompetence with which the question of censure was handled, with many highlighting the obvious inconsistency of targeting D’Souza while many directors sat behind tables and set-up A-Frames for candidates during the last election.

But what’s it all for?

Executive elections for the USU are a week away and there’s a wealth of candidates confirmed to be running. Honi can confirm that Independent Liv Ronan and Student Unity’s Alisha Aitken-Radburn will be vying for the top Presidential job, with a number of other names circulated—most notably Kate Bullen for Treasurer. The main uncertainty sits around the numbers. Presumably, Liv Ronan is ahead—as we expect her to receive the support of both Senate Appointed Board Directors, along with Kate Bullen, Michael Rees and Tiffany Alexander. However, the question is how Grassroots and their three votes—held by Ed McMahon, Liam Carrigan, and Marco Avena—factor in. If Alisha were able to leverage that support, in addition to the support we expect her to receive from Shannen Potter, Jack Whitney, and Atia Rahim, things suddenly get interesting. The question of who Grassroots will support is, however, a vexed one, and Honi understands that they quizzed all candidates on their position regarding Raue’s legal costs in a caucus meeting last week, with little resolution as to who they would be supporting. Or if they would run a candidate.

Censorious About Censures

For anyone unlucky enough to follow the #usuboard hashtag last Friday, you would have been inundated with a line-by-line account of everything said during the frackas. If, however, you only follow @ USUAccess, you would get a distinctly different story. Compare below.

USU’s Account Of The Event

Corporate Protest

People’s History of the USU

People's Version of Protest 2

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

Michael Spence

Michael Spence: the fair controller?

The Vice Chancellor has been in the role for almost a decade; his drive to reshape the University seems to have only grown.