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September 17, 2012 | by  | in News |
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At the VUWSA SGM on Wednesday, students passed a motion to endorse Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill and voted through the constitutional changes required for VUWSA to enforce the Governance Review’s recommendations.

An SGM was required after VUWSA lost the 100 person quorum required to pass motions when some students left the room at the AGM before the holidays.

However, on Wednesday the room was spilling with students, the overwhelming response a consequence of widespread support for the bill and the proliferation of a rumour that campus Christian group Huge! would be appearing in force to vote against it. The agenda for the AGM did not list a discussion on the bill.

VUWSA had already pledged its support for the LegaliseLove campaign at the AGM last year.

Rory McCourt moved that VUWSA publicly support the bill.

“We want to be able to call MPs and say “Hey, our 13,500 members believe strongly that this is a human rights issue and you should be taking notice of them,’” he said.

Students debated both for and against the motion. Joseph Habgood, one of the co-

founders of the LegaliseLove campaign, said “universities have always been a grounds for social action and they’re a grounds for making the world a better place.”

No one openly opposed marriage equality; those who spoke against the motion said that despite supporting the bill, they feared the motion would marginalise the minority of VUWSA who opposed the bill.

The debate ended when a motion was passed that the issue be voted on immediately. The motion that VUWSA support Louisa Wall’s Definition of Marriage Amendment Bill passed with landslide support.

Most of the constitutional changes were passed without question, only the establishment of an Equity Officer in place of the Women’s and Queer Officers was challenged. However, President Bridie Hood explained that the officer’s role was not to represent, but to liaise with already established representative groups and to communicate their concerns to the executive. To facilitate this process, a motion to create a regularly meeting Equity Committee was also passed.

The main requirement was “a passion for social justice,” said Hood.

The meeting concluded with free pizza for all students in attendance.

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