Emergency Execrable | Issue 11

Referendumb extended

An emergency Executive meeting was called at 4pm last Thursday to finalise details and questions for the upcoming OUSA referendum, which resulted in the entire process being moved back, highlighting the unorganised nature of its planning.

The meeting began with Ruby addressing the Executive, saying that she wanted to push back the date of the referendum to enable the Executive to include a number of “topical” questions to be voted on. The Executive had previously decided on a date for the referendum several weeks ago, thus allowing ample time to publicise and prepare questions for the event. Since then, the only notification to students regarding the referendum was in the Notices section of Critic Issue 10.

The OUSA Constitution requires that the referendum be held in the first semester, and typically includes general agenda items such as receiving and accepting the annual report and the audited annual financial statements of OUSA, as well as appointing the auditors and honorary solicitor for the next financial year.

The Executive agreed amongst themselves to change the date of the referendum, with Henri saying, “if there’s stuff that’s a bit political, that does seem like a solid reason” to move the date. Ryan said that the change was “a bit unorthodox.” Following a general agreement from everyone on the Executive to change the date of the referendum, Ruby turned to Ryan and asked, “Do you agree, Ryan? This is your job.” To which he replied with an overly positive “yes.”

As stated in the Constitution, 10 days must be allowed following the closure of question submission, in order for both student and executive referendum questions to be passed by a mediator and worded appropriately. Submissions will now close at 4pm on 13 May, and the questions will then be decided on at an Executive meeting that same evening, after which the 10-day moderation period will commence. Vaguely, the themes the Executive are considering submitting concern: universal student allowances; marijuana; oil drilling; a student bar; GST-free food; a glass-free North Dunedin; and students’ stance in regard to alcohol.

The emergency meeting concluded with the Executive rescinding the motion for the referendum to be held between 20 and 22 May, as originally decided. A new motion was then passed for the referendum to open at 9am on 27 May and close at 4pm on 29 May.
This article first appeared in Issue 11, 2014.
Posted 3:11pm Sunday 11th May 2014 by Claudia Herron.