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Sydney University Labor Club unregistered following failure to meet financial obligations

Andrew Bell reports.

Labor club piece

The Sydney University Labor club has been unregistered from the University of Sydney Union’s (USU) Clubs and Societies program, a circumstance alternately attributed to factional obstruction of club operations or dereliction of duties.

The club is “unregistered” because it failed to submit its financial documents for annual audit.

USU President Michael Rees told Honi that “being ‘unregistered’ is significantly different to being ‘deregistered’. Being unregistered is simply a recognition that a club has not met the above conditions [of audit and AGM]. Currently, about 20 societies in our program are unregistered. They can easily be re-registered if they hold a valid AGM and submit appropriate financial documentation.”

“The Labor Club is currently unregistered as a result of a failure of the outgoing Treasurer to submit the society’s financial records for the last year. The society’s recent AGM was in order so the C&S office is waiting on these financial records to re-register the Labor Club,” he said.

Appraisals of the cause of this situation radically differ depending on who you speak to (read: which faction you speak to). Members of National Labor Students (NLS), who have traditionally controlled the club, but who lost control at the most recent AGM, claim that Sydney Labor Students (SLS) have obstructed the treasurer from submitting the relevant documents. SLS claims that the treasurer simply didn’t fulfil their duties.

Michelle Picone, of SLS, who was recently elected President of the Club, provided the following statement to Honi:

“The Labor Club is not unregistered as the club’s AGM has been accepted by the C&S office and we have submitted all the required financial documentation. Unfortunately, the 2015-2016 Treasurer, failed in her duties and failed to submit the required financial information to C&S immediately following the AGM. Any delay in the re-registration process following the AGM has purely been the result of the previous Treasurer’s dereliction of her duties. Fortunately, however, the incoming executive has rectified this issue and submitted the required financial documentation and resolved the issue.

The 2016-2017 Executive as elected at the AGM consists of

President – Michelle Picone
Vice President – Matt Campbell
Secretary – James Gibson
Treasurer – Isabella Pytka
Assistant Secretary – Ella Bickley
Women’s Officer – Caitie McMenamin
Publications Officer – Harry Stratton
General Executives – Alice Strauss and Gabe Long

We are excited to continue the left wing activism the club has engaged in for another year, and to continue to build a movement for democratic socialism on campus”

She added on Friday, “The Labor club executive have taken the appropriate steps to get the club registered. The final and single issue that C&S was still requesting has been sent this afternoon. We spoke with C&S in there office and submitted every single requirement of Audit that they requested. I’m assuming that has not been communicated to you yet.”

The treasurer was a former member of SLS. They declined to comment.

Honi understands that the incoming executive submitted relevant documents on Friday 2 September, several hours after Honi‘s inquiries into the unregistered status of the club began.

Update: The Club was re-registered as of the afternoon of Monday, 5 September.