‘A pretty big fuck up’ – AUTSA ordinary general meeting fails to reach quorum
An AUTSA general meeting on May 30 failed to gather the 30 students required for it to go ahead.
The meeting, in which AUTSA intended to release the association’s audited accounts and a report from the president, was unable to be held as a quorum of students was not present.
AUTSA Vice-President, Kurt Schmidt told Debate that despite providing free pizza and soft drinks at Vesbar, the Student Representative Council (SRC) was unable to convince students to join the meeting.
“It was pretty much just me and three members of the SRC offering them free food and trying to get them in.
“At one stage, we got to 27 students - so we were close,” he said.
Under the rules of AUTSA’s constitution, if quorum is not reached the meeting can be adjourned for one hour. If, after that hour, quorum can still not be met then the meeting must be postponed for within the next two weeks.
“When 30 minutes came to an end, I was like ‘fuck this - fuck the bullshit organising’ and I called it off,” Schmidt said.
The meeting was rescheduled to July 18.
Failing to hold the OGM before the end of May is a breach of the constitution, as is not rescheduling the meeting within two weeks.
The constitution is a document that AUTSA enforces upon itself, so there are no specific penalties for breaching it.
Schmidt said that accountability lies with students.
“Students are the only ones who keep us accountable. If they don’t care we didn’t have an OGM then nothing happens to us.
“Not having it happen is a pretty big fuck up.”
AUTSA is funded from a student services levy that students pay as part of their university fees. OGMs are designed as a way for students to be able to analyse the way the association is spending its money.
Schmidt said when the likes of The Otago University Students’ Association has a general meeting, they have hundreds of students showing up.
He said AUT students either don’t know what a general meeting is or simply don’t care.
“They [AUT students] spend $66 every year to fund us and collectively that comes to about $1.2 million and if they don’t come to these meetings, we’re going to spend it however we feel,” he said.
Schmidt said students should see the re-scheduled meeting on July 18 as a chance to engage in the student community.
“Get involved in the community so you are part of more than just going to lectures,” he said.