GOSS: Last Night's SRC Council Really Was the Peak of Stupol Cookery
By Pulp Goss
Though Pulp Goss is more Omniscient Gossip Narrator than actual real life person, Pulp nonetheless acknowledges that editor Madeline Ward is a current member of Grassroots and former SRC Women’s Officer, and that editors Haydn Hickson and Alexander Barnstone have their own political views.
Last night’s SRC council was more dramatic than a late season MAFS episode, with an agenda stacked with controversy and scandal. It took a whole ass two hours to get through a grand total of THREE agenda items, which was honestly? Probably the least shocking part of the whole evening.
Sorry, But Who Are You?
SRC meetings are open to the general public, though councillors can vote to close the meetings to all but members of the student body. An unknown older gentleman in a suit, who arrived with and was friendly to a number of Young Liberals, nonetheless caused a small stir by announcing that he was a certain Dr Jeremy Sammut from the Centre for Independent Studies. Secretary to Council Julia Robbins called a vote on allowing him to stay or go, which ultimately ruled in the favour of Dr Sammut. Dr Sammut is a regular voice on the Bolt Report and in the Daily Telegraph, and is also (interestingly) Moderate Liberal councillor JP Baladi’s employer.
Repselect Part 5
Education Officers Yiting Feng (Panda) and James Newbold (NLS) resigned, and James Newbold re-nominated with Jingrui Xu (Panda). Lily Campbell (Socialist Alternative) also nominated, stating in her speech that she knew she wouldn’t be getting the opinion, but rather wanted to take the opportunity to explain why the role was best filled by a socialist student. Campbell stated that “there needs to be more of an activist orientation in the position” because “The university invests double what we thought in the fossil fuels industry” and “No matter who comes into the next government it’s going to be dire for students.” James spoke to his renomination by outlining the work he has been doing over the past few months, and Jingrui Xu declined to speak at all. The Education Office Bearer role comes with a $12,000 annual stipend, which seems like enough money to (at the very least) warrant a speech when nominating for it. James and Jingrui won by 4 votes.
Even Adults Love to Facepaint
The President’s report took an hour to get through, most of which was preoccupied by questions from members of Advance, Grassroots and Socialist Alternative. These questions included, but were not limited to: why the SRC spent $950 on beer and pizza for an event at Courtyard, how much money was spent on face-painting at an event, why the SRC Executive had not followed up on funding requests from over 6 months ago, why the Sexual Harassment Officers were not contacted in relation to a meeting about Consent Matters, why Jacky He did not attend an SRC organised vigil for Christchurch and why the SRC never responded to an event co-host request from ACAR. The latter question caused the most controversy, with Jacky He denying that he had ever received such a request, despite the fact that there was evidence in the form of multiple screenshots from the ACAR and Sexual Harassment Officers that he in fact had.
Sexist is a Slur!
Soft Right councillor Zac O’Farrell spoke against abortion at multiple points throughout the evening, most memorably saying that “sexist is a slur!” after being called a sexist, a misogynist, and a whole host of decidedly meaner things by SA and Grassroots. In perhaps the most curious example of Identity Politics seen in recent times, “Moderate” Liberal councillor Laura Glase denied any misogyny in the pro-life movement, saying that “human rights begin in the womb” and explaining that as a woman, she couldn’t possibly be oppressing herself. Really?
Moderate Liberal Councillor and Residential Colleges Officer James Ardouin proved himself to be a bit of a dark horse, speaking in favour of not one, but two motions put forward by the left over the course of the evening. James moved to allow unlimited speaking time for agenda item Q5 (Free, Safe Abortion on Demand), before telling the room that he “implores anyone who is part of the pro-life rhetoric to consider that we are part of a secular state.” James also spoke in favour of Q1 (Condemnation of Bettina Arndt’s Attack on University Students) by saying that the colleges were working to ensure those that trespassed on college grounds to hand out misogynistic material would be dealt with appropriately, though it was rather prudently pointed out by members of SA that “misogyny is bred in the colleges.” Is James Ardouin the only moderate liberal in the Moderate Liberals?
This Was Just Objectively Gronky
Panda pulled quorum mere seconds before the council was due to vote on agenda item Q6 (No to Islamophobia! Solidarity with the Muslim Community in Christchurch). Vinil Kumar (SA) had successfully moved a procedural to move straight to a vote beforehand, so the motion passed regardless. Pulp Goss spoke to President Jacky He immediately afterwards, who told us that “he didn’t know why” quorum was pulled, but that “international students sometimes have to go home early.” We’re not sure if we buy this excuse, given that Yuxuan Yang (Panda) was (very ardently) calling for a quorum count in the midst of voting. The meeting lapsed at 10:58 pm, leaving around half of the agenda untouched.