Will VUWSA break its own constitution?

October 15th, 2009 at 12:26 pm by David Farrar

Certain people at are so aghast that their official policy is now to support , they are planning to illegally overturn the result? How do you do that? Well Salient reports:

It has been brought to Salient’s attention that VUWSA will hold another SRC meeting this Friday at 11am in the Mount Street Bar.

Notification of the SRC meeting was placed on the VUWSA noticeboard on Wednesday afternoon. [Photographic evidence to the right. JJW]

The notice says that the meeting will be held “pursuant to part IV s. 2 (3-4) of the VUWSA Constitution.”

However, part IV s. 2 (4) of the VUWSA Constitution says that “such special meeting shall be held no sooner than three (3) office days and not later than ten (10) office days after the date of receipt of a requisition [for a meeting], or resolution by the executive.”

Fewer than 48 hours will have passed between the notification of the SRC, and the meeting actually being held, directly contravening the procedures outlined in the constitution.

So an illegal meeting, in breach of their own constitution, held in a bar at 11 am on a Friday (when all good students are hungover) is the first response of the compulsion lovers.

But it gets even better. After forceful representations about the illegality of the proposed Friday meeting (not that the forces of compulsion did the same thing at WSU – hold a vote with only a day or two’s notice) including a potential injunction, the compulsionaters have come up with an even better plan.

They have simply declared the Wednesday meeting void  on the grounds two VUWSA people declare a quorum count of 45, less than the required 50. Now note the resolution was passed with 80 people voting and a later quorum count (with one independent person) found there to be over 60 people present, and this count was done within the 30 minutes allowed in the constitution.

This is a prime example of how unaccountable some associations are. VUWSA never questioned the legitimacy of the Wednesday meeting, until after they realised they could not legally hold a repeal meeting on Friday.

UPDATE: A student captured the meeting on video, which is now on You Tube.  It is in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. You can easily see there are way way more than 50 people there. In fact I am told it was one of the most well attended SRCs in recent years.

I understand also that signatures are being gathered from around 60 people who will testify they attended the SRC at all times, and put their hand up for all quorum counts.

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31 Responses to “Will VUWSA break its own constitution?”

  1. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Ironic that a union which pretends to represent its members is silencing their freedom of speech by corrupt tactics,

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    The irony is that members of the VUWSA executive seem to think that voiding the motion in favour of VSM is a good thing because it harms the prospects of any VSM legislation passing.

    Of course, the contrary is true. The result of this is either a VUWSA policy in support of VSM, or ammunition in favour of VSM. VSM supporters win either way.

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  3. somewhatthoughtful (472 comments) says:

    Ok, I’ve had many battles over VSM/CSM here and I still support CSM, but maybe just at Otago….This is fucking embarrassing. To be honest if I was at VIC i’d probably be campaigning against these idiots. Otago is very lucky. and 50 people for quorum? are you kidding me?

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  4. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    There were three quorum counts of 62, 64 and 64.

    These numbers exclude all the VUWSA supporters who excluded themselves from the count to deliberately to try to lose quorum.

    Apparently about 20 of the VSM supporters left in exactly the minute while they were doing that quorum count that got 45.

    A disgusting lie, and I have video coming to prove it.

    [DPF: What is amusing is that some VUWSA people have adopted the tactics of Fay Richwhite’s European Pacific before the Winebox Commission. They declared themselves present for some purposes but not for others. Likewise some VUWSA people deem themselves not present for the purpsoes of a quroum yet still able to vote against a motion despite not being present]

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  5. Joely Doe (26 comments) says:

    Is it any wonder that Labour is the party it is, when its young talent gets their start from this arena?

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  6. RRM (10,101 comments) says:

    Thread title “Will VUWSA break its own constitution?”

    You’d love it if they did.

    [DPF: Not at all as I’ll then get asked to donate money towards the court case]

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  7. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    A better question would be “How long can VUWSA go without breaking it’s own constitution?”

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  8. Rhino (19 comments) says:

    By these actions VUWSA is showing a stronger message of support for the bill than any submission they could ever make. Swallow your pride VUWSA it is not like the select committee are going to place much wait on your opinion now anyway.
    I bet the pro-VSM lobby must be thinking “hook….line…. and sinker”

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  9. david (2,194 comments) says:

    I’d like to be in Wellywood on Friday. I reckon you could sell tickets to a fine stoush.

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  10. Fisiani (1,052 comments) says:

    Will VUWSA break its own constitution?

    YES YES YES

    Why do you think a constitution would stand in the way of a Marxist clique?

    Full marks to Peter McCaffrey et al for organisational skills but remember that no matter how or how often you win the rules will always be broken by the Left,
    Whether it is this or corruptly buying an election they do not care . They only ever seek POWER over the people.

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  11. Grizz (244 comments) says:

    Is it any wonder now why people want VSM. If organisations like the VUWSA could just pull their heads in for one second, then they would see it is them that is encouraging it.

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  12. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Do they check Student ID’s at these meetings or can the entire Unemployed Workers Union front up.?

    Will the Executive shout the Bar?

    Will anyone do an age check on participants and turf out anyone under-age?

    Aaah so many questions …. so few answers

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  13. Rhino (19 comments) says:

    I had a bit more of a think about this and really VUWSA must be complete tools. There are so many other ways to get around this motion rather than breaking your own constitution.
    You could just send in a submission that supported the legislation provided that…….. {insert conditions that changes completly the foundations on which the legislation is based}.
    DPF does the constitution allow SRC’s to occur outside the semester. Because if not they only have one hour to pass a motion…. and mount st bar is a public place…

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  14. Inventory2 (9,384 comments) says:

    peteremcc – good on you for getting the evidence on video. Doubtless though you’ll now be accused of complicity in the 9/11 conspiracy, and the faked moon landing in the Mojave desert in 1969 (even if you weren’t born then!!). If there’s one thing that lkefties hate more that BEING wrong, it’s being PROVED to be wrong!!!

    BTW – why is it no surprise whatsoever that James Sleep was right there in the thick of the bizarre tactics being employed by the VUWSA?

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  15. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    See if you can count 50 in the video of the 45 quorom count. If so, that will be really really good.

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  16. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    Regarding the Update.

    VUWSA’s argument is that there were more than 50 people in the room, but lots weren’t participating (all the VUWSA supporters deliberately avoided being counted in the quorum count).

    Unfortunately, even excluding them, there were 64 people. Which was confirmed when they finally agreed to do another count (and the VUWSA people again didn’t participate).

    Their argument relies on 20 of our supporters suddenly disappearing while they did the count, and then re-appearing two minutes later.

    Or, they just lied about the count.

    I’ll let you decide which is more likely, given the circumstances.

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  17. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    On the left. To paraphrase Wellington on the French. They are, they always have been, and they always will be pondscum.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  18. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    suck it harder VUWSA!

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  19. bobolukeduke (1 comment) says:

    Hello there, Im on the left and I support VSM as do an increasing number of lefties – keep watching. Perhaps for different reasons to some here on KIWIBLOG but I think we could be working together on this one. There is absolutely no need for compulsory students associations. While the introduction of VSM will be a bit tough in terms of loss of jobs – staff at some SA’s are quite good at what they do considering their enslaved under the control of dimwitted student politicians – on balance VSM is serving a greater good. Real choices will finally be able to be made. Its not the left that’s the problem – its the fake opportunistic autocrat posing as a leftist student (usually a Green/Labour sychophant) whose trifling with all of us – left and right. This era is calling for more cooperation among reasonable people, VSM could provide an opportunity for that.

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  20. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    100% what Graeme Edgeler said.

    The only thing VUWSA can do now is create more ammunition for VSM supporters.

    somewhatthoughtful: did you know that OUSA has a “take it or leave it” clause in their constitution for budget debates (i.e. you can’t make amendments) and that that amendment was illegally introduced at the last minute in a SGM with the comment that it was just “procedural”?

    I quote:
    23.3 The Student Body will consider the proposed budget and either resolve to set or reject it in its entirety.

    I understand that the only exec member who wasn’t ashamed of what they’d done when later contacted now works as a producer for National Radio.

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  21. Clint Heine (1,495 comments) says:

    Otago aint much better somewhatthoughtful. I am especially keen to take down that lot of far left compulsionists.

    OUSAs meetings are usually made quorate by the lunch crowds inside or outside. Just like VUWSA it depends entirely on numbers of uninterested students who don’t speak up over the screaching voices on the microphone. Their budget debates are a farce – we almost got them to reduce the levy to $0 at one SGM only to find out the budget was already set.
    Their SGM last week was inquorate as soon as the anti VSM crowd buggered off to their Socialist Workers meetings :)

    VUWSA and OUSA are being very helpful with the VSM cause. More please!

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  22. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    bobolukeduke, thanks for the comments.

    do please speak up more so people realise this isn’t just a crazy right wing issue.

    and submit to the select committee too!

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  23. Grizz (244 comments) says:

    My Student days are over. After taking time to watch the video I was aghast at the infantile behaviour of the VUWSA to try to prevent passing the motion on the floor. The words “power corrupts” come to mind. As a common sense person, I would not want to belong to an organisation that behaves in this way. They see themselves losing power and control over this cushy little world they have created for themselves at the expense of the student body and they hate it. Unless Student Associations remain compulsory then they will continue to be the lame duck, micky mouse, “I know what is good for you so shut the fuck up you fuckwit” organisations that they are.

    After seeing this video my mind is clear. VSM is the way to go.

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  24. somewhatthoughtful (472 comments) says:

    Sigh, I was waiting for this. Yes, OUSA are better because the exec don’t try and pull stupid stunts like this. There were VSM motions at the last SGM (I’ve heard attendence was around 300 or so, it looked pretty big from where I was eating lunch) and they were unanimously voted against. The crowd from what I saw was certainly not just left-wing student activist types. Were you there? I feel like you were observing a different meeting? Unless you were the ones who tried to call quorum when your motions came up then ran away?

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  25. WilliamPitt (25 comments) says:

    Hmm I support VSM.. but if the meeting is announced closed then the VUWSA constitution states that the SRC meeting must end. It makes sense that if it is closed, and people leave, you should not be able to re-open the meeting as people are under the impression it was over.

    I also don’t have much sympathy for those seeking the motion if they passed motions to remove speaking rights and not allow students to speak to the motions and hear the convincing argument for VSM. They are becoming the very evil they are fighting against. Shame on them.

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  26. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    Hey Sam Konkin,

    Can you email me?

    peteremcc@gmail.com

    Thanks!

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,360 comments) says:

    Of course, the general point you make is correct. SRCs are necessarily not representative of the wishes of all students. That’s why we need voluntary unionism.

    That’s a strange pronunciation of mandatory SRC attendance.

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  28. WilliamPitt (25 comments) says:

    Actually Sam, that was not my general point at all. Speaking rights were removed from one speaker, which although being constitutional does not make it right. Student were prevented from being able to hear all sides of the debate. Yes, I believe it is a flaw with VUWSA, but I can not support a group, well mainly Peter McCaffrey, exploiting that flaw to make a political point. I also understand Peter’s speaking rights were removed at another VUWSA meeting earlier this year- I don’t support that either.

    Although it is not representative, the students who did take the time to show up and be involved in the process (because we are sick of student apathy) deserve to all have a chance to speak to the motions if they had liked to, and hear from all speakers. It may have allowed time for more people to arrive- and thereby the stunt would have failed- but hey thats the trouble with taking the higher moral ground.

    The bill is about freedom of association, it is about fundamental rights- it would have been good to see us walking the talk for once.

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  29. Clint Heine (1,495 comments) says:

    somewhatoneeyed.. mate, OUSA is as biased as the other student unions. Granted they have softened up a little in the last few years, but you still have the same career students hanging round.
    My sources tell me that once the VSM motion was finished with the usual lefties dispersed and the meeting was inquorate.

    VSM always brings all the freaks to the yard :) 300 was probably the best SGM turnout all year I bet!

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  30. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    Hi William

    If you’re going to criticise me, fine, but please at least get your facts right,

    We didn’t remove anyone’s speaking rights, there isn’t even a provision for that in the VUWSA constitution.

    VUWSA were deliberately delaying for as long as possible while they ran around trying to find more people to drag to the meeting.

    That’s why we had about 6 quorum counts, why they made me put the motion about 7 times and why it took 40 minutes to vote on one motion.

    We moved “that the speaker be no longer heard” because it was a deliberate delaying tactic and we wanted to move to a vote.

    -Peter McCaffrey

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