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SRC fails to pass regulation changes after filibuster leads to meeting being adjourned

Three secret ballots and a impassioned thirty minute speech dominated the meeting.

Vinil Kumar in the middle of his speech. Vinil Kumar in the middle of his speech.

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) once again failed to pass regulation changes regarding Honi Soit due to the special meeting on Tuesday being adjourned after a filibuster from Vinil Kumar of Socialist Alternative.

The meeting was held to discuss proposed amendments to the regulations which were reached after a consultation process between Honi and the SRC. The regulation changes, as they stand, seek to provide the electoral officer with more power over Honi Soit during SRC elections and abolish satellite campus voting booths.  They have been met with bipartisan disapproval.

While reaching quorum on the first count, the meeting quickly descended into a protracted and heated discussion on who the deputy chairperson would be. The deputy chairperson chairs the meeting when the President delivers their report, and is normally selected by the President at each meeting without contention. As SRC President Jacky He did not have a report to deliver this meeting, the role was purely a formality.

He’s nomination of General Secretary Niamh Callinan was quickly met with dissent from the Left Bloc. After a 30 minute wait for quorum to be regained after it was lost, the meeting was obligated to hear reasons for dissent . Explaining his dissent Kumar delivered an impassioned speech that touched on topics ranging from student unions to critical race theory. 30 minutes into his speech, a motion that he no longer be heard was successfully passed through a secret ballot.

The results of this secret ballot was then contested by Grassroots councillor Jazz Breen. While the results were ruled legitimate by the acting chair Julia Robins, Breen then requested another secret ballot, determining whether Robins’ ruling on the first secret ballot was valid or not.  After the vote showed a majority in favour of Robins’ ruling, a third secret ballot was conducted regarding the original problem of whether He’s deputy chairperson nomination could stand. The vote decided that He’s original nomination was valid, allowing Callinan to be declared as deputy chairperson –almost three hours after the meeting had begun.

Before discussion on the regulations could start, Breen successfully moved to adjourn the meeting, ending it at around 9:30pm.

Speaking to the filibuster, Vice-President Dane Luo was “disappointed” at how the meeting unfolded, stressing that he had negotiated for free and uncapped discussion on the regulation changes. However, with the second failure of SRC to pass them, the future of the regulation changes is uncertain.