Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 8. 1965.
Rule By Haggis — Lincoln College
Rule By Haggis
Recently, in place of the Constitution, an old Scottish adage has been used as the basis for running a Special General Meeting of the Lincoln College Students' Association.
It would appear that a quorum is no longer necessary to formulate policies at Lincoln.
On the night of June 9 a Special General Meeting was held to discuss Constitutional amendments and the running of the mid-year formal dinners.
A quarter of an hour elapsed before a quorum was at last present and the meeting could begin.
After the passing of one motion, later in the evening, an amendment to it was immediately proposed. The Chairman, however, was at a loss as to the correct procedure, but this was soon pointed out.
After the voting it was pointed out that the sum of the votes did not add up to a quorum.
To put this "straight," a substantial number of abstentions were recorded without any count having been taken.
The vice-president at this stage expounded his "old Scottish adage" which apparently states that "a quorum is only necessary for a meeting to begin, but once underway is not essential for its valid continuation."
When the next motion was due to be put, the question of the quorum was again raised from the floor. The vice-president, who was now in the chair, over-ruled the point-of-order, referring once again to his Scottish adage, amid howls and general student commotion.
After his ruling it was demanded that the Constitution be referred to. There followed a rapid perusal of this document by an impartial member, and eventually the relevant section was found. This, however, was misquoted to the meeting to back up the Scottish adage.
The member who raised the question of the validity of the meeting was then threatened with eviction, but this action was not necessary, for the member concerned and one other, both being among the most senior present, walked out in disgust.
Prior to this, several counts had been taken by certain members, each count revealing that the meeting was short of a quorum. Notwithstanding this, the meeting continued.
The constitutional amendments were supposedly designed to make the Executive offices more attractive to senior students. Obviously this is a good move, when one considers the fiasco described above.