Dozens of ECU guild members were left disappointed and angered today as the Guild’s scheduled AGM, Annual General Meeting, was cancelled due to poor senator attendance.
The meeting opened at 11 am with 6 out of 11 senators in attendance. To make quorum 75% of senators needed to be in attendance, which rounded up needs 9 senators.
Apologies for not attending were made by; Postgraduate Officer, Diane Smith, for medical reasons, Environmental Sustainability Officer, Kelsey Fields, for Personal Reasons and General Senator, Lauren Thomas, for reasons unspecified.
Both Fields and Thomas gave their notice that morning that they would not be in attendance. General Secretary, Caitlin Gibbs, was also not in attendance however she had given her vote to proxy.
Several minutes after the meeting opened, Vice-President (Academic), Lewis Todman, entered the meeting on the Mount Lawley campus (meeting was video linked across all ECU campuses) making the senator attendance 7 out of 11.
After a compulsory thirty-minute waiting period for absent senators the meeting was adjourned to the 26th of April.
The meeting Chairman, Simon Waddilove, expressed his disappointment in the absent senators, acknowledging a month notice period that the senators were given in preparation for the AGM.
He also told the meeting that if the AGM is not conducted by the 30th of April that the guild enters into a breach of the constitution and members can call an SGM to prompt an early election.
On the agenda for the meeting was the removal of Lewis Todman as Vice President (Academic), moved by Cecilia Carlisle and seconded by Steven Gregory Warren. The reason for his removal being “repeated failure of Lewis Todman to respond to emails and offer support to our academic Societies and, failure to undertake the duties of his role.”
A move to remove Kelsey Field (one of the senators not in attendance) as the Environment Sustainability Officer was also on the agenda, to be moved by Rebecca Buck and seconded by Samantha Jane Rose. Reason being, a lack of commitment to her responsibilities and duties to the Student Garden, “there has been no effort by the Environment Sustainability Officer to appropriately make arrangements for watering or looking after the Student Garden. It has largely been left to students… and help from Guild staff to appropriately look after the garden.”
Other issues to be discussed on the agenda involved a Retraction of Misconduct in relation to the CEO and Financial Controller being “intimidated and bullied by some Senators to undertake unauthorised (and in some cases unlawful) actions in direct contravention of the Constitution, policy and procedures.”
To many in attendance today, this failure by certain senators does not come as a surprise. The guild has been riddled with issues since the last election; including the disputed presidency of Vineet Chawla who recently resigned from the position.
A by-election is now underway to fill the position of president, with nominations closing Thursday the 4th of May 2017. http://www.ecuguild.org.au/bielection.html
You can find the agenda here, http://www.ecuguild.org.au/uploads/6/2/8/2/62820695/20170419_04_agm_agenda.pdf if you would like to read more.