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September 11, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Money for Nothing – Dorks for Free

A VUWSA Special General Meeting (SGM) on a proposed levy rise held last Wednesday reached quorum, but no motions were passed before the quorum lapsed.

VUWSA President Nick Kelly’s motion to increase the Students’ Association Annual Subscription from $99 to $120 was the sole motion to be mooted before quorum dropped below the required 100. Kelly says eight years have passed since the levy was last adjusted for inflation, and the increase of services provided by VUWSA cannot be sustained on the Association’s stagnant income. “If this doesn’t go up, we will need to make fundamental cuts,” Kelly said.

Several students spoke against the motion, saying that it was “hypocrisy” for VUWSA to propose an increase to the subscription whilst campaigning against fee-rises. VUWSA Constitution enthusiast Nicholas O’Kane was also against the motion, giving an impassioned speech, during which he shouted “(Vice- Chancellor) Pat Walsh would be proud of you, Nick Kelly!”

A majority of 53 to 42 students voted in favour of the increase, failing to reach the required two-thirds majority. Kelly said the result of the SGM was “pretty frustrating and worrying”.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled to follow the SGM and propose several amendments to the VUWSA Constitution also failed to reach quorum, with only 24 students raising their hands to partake. The AGM has been rescheduled until next Wednesday, making it impossible for VUWSA to pass the increase and have it approved by the Companies Office in time for University fee-setting on September 18. Kelly urges more clubs to attend the next meeting. “Basically all club members should be getting in and supporting the motion to raise the levy because it will mean the clubs are secure into the next few years, otherwise they could be facing cuts.”

Former VUWSA Treasurer Graeme Edgeler told Salient that if VUWSA is unable to increase the subscription, it will be in a very difficult financial situation next year. Edgeler also believes the lack of support for the subscription increase is due to a lack of student knowledge about its importance. “My guess would be that they haven’t really explained to anyone why this needs to happen,” he says. Kelly was unwilling to predict the outcome of voting on the motion at thenext AGM, but remained hopeful that the motion would pass. “I hope students make the correct choice, because in the end if it doesn’t go up, a lot of very important services are going to get cut,” Kelly said. A rescheduled AGM will be held at noon on September 20 at the Mount Street Bar and Cafe.

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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