The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) failed to pass a 31-page suite of changes to its own regulations tonight after the motion to do so was declared invalid.
Councillor James Ardouin (Lib) proposed a motion for the council to immediately vote on two agenda items, anticipating a Left Bloc attempt to pull quorum. As Ardouin called for the motion, numerous Left Bloc councillors rushed to leave the room.
While members of the Left Bloc were absent from the room, the motion was then apparently carried, before a quorum count was held and the meeting was determined to be lapsed.
Socialist Alternative and Switchroots observers Vinil Kumar and Liam Donohoe then entered into a debate with Acting Secretary Cameron Caccamo as to the validity of the decision. Both asserted that a motion to simultaneously vote on two agenda items was against the regulations of the SRC. The decision was ultimately deferred to the Chair of the meeting and SRC President Jacky He, who after consulting Vice-President Dane Luo declared the motion valid.
Shortly afterwards, the Left Bloc re-entered the room and there were extensive debates and arguments over the decision to allow the motion. During this period, Caccamo made a phone call to Secretary Julia Robins who then arrived at the lapsed meeting. After listening to various versions of events, Robins declared the motion to be invalid, explaining that two votes could not be held simultaneously.
The proposed changes included giving the Electoral Officer the power to censor and suspend editors of Honi Soit during SRC elections.
The changes also proposed the establishment of new polling booths at the Abercrombie Business School, Holme Building and the Charles Perkins Centre, as well as the disestablishment of voting booths at the Sydney College of the Arts and the Conservatorium of Music.
During question time for the Vice President’s report, concerns were raised by the Left Bloc of councillors about the democratic integrity of the proposed changes. Councillors claimed that it was undemocratic to shut down booths at satellite campuses. It was also alleged the attempts at opening booths at the Business School were an attempt to “gerrymander” SRC elections to promote the participation of right-leaning voters.
Vice President Dane Luo dismissed these allegations, arguing that the proposed disestablishment of old voting booths was a purely economical decision, and that postal voting would be promoted as a replacement.
It’s likely that a Special Meeting of the SRC will be called later this month to reattempt the passage of the proposed changes.