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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 11. 22 July 1970

Confidence in Executive

page 3

Confidence in Executive

At a Special General Meeting of the Students' Association on Monday 13 July, a motion "that the Executive no longer enjoys the confidence of the members of the Victoria University Students' Association" was lost by 122 votes to 219.

Photo of R. Green

R. Green, seconder of the no-confidence motion.

Photo of Peter Barker

Peter Barker supporting the no-confidence motion.

Photo of Margaret Bryson

Association President Margaret Bryson at the SGM

The motion was proposed by Mr McCaffery who said the main point of dissatisfaction with the Executive was that it was too Left-wing. Miss Bryson was accused of swearing at SRC meeting, and the Executive criticised for making political statements (as over the All Black Tour of South Africa, for example), and for its Left-wing sex campaign. Mr. emphasised that it was not "a frivolous or vexatious motion".

Other criticisms were those of biased reporting about the Executive's nominee on the Publications Board (Simon Arnold was appointed when the Treasurer was not present), and that the results of the questionnaires put out in the Executive were loaded to give favourable left-wing results. "The decisions of the Executive should represent a cross-section of the whole community rather than being an instrument of personal opinion", said Mr Beswick.

There was criticism of the Executive's action over the "student strike" held at the end of last term. They were alleged to have said it was held it was held because of the invasion of Cambodia in American troops, not because of the deaths of four students at Kent State University. Mr Phelps was criticised for the disciplinary regulations he has proposed to the Management Committee.

Mr. Neil Wright was given speaking rights. He said that the financial policy of the Executive was totally disproportionate, as regards spending on sports as opposed to cultural affairs. Mr Anastasiou objected to the Executive's action during Capping week (in condoning the placing of a car in (able Car Lane). He then accused the Executive of being "hypocritical, mediocre, sly, guileful, conniving".

Mr Wright said he was dissatisfied with the way the Executive handled finance, but he did not consider there was justification for electing a new Executive. Other grounds for criticism were the Miss Victoria Contest and the charity campaign during Procesh.

Mr Owen Gager, when asked to speak for the motion, likened the situation to that of the Russian Resolution. He said there was much revolutionary speech but no revolutionary action. A temporary compromise, under Miss Bryson's Presidency, would make for an easier transition to the Resolution.

Mr Peter Barker, who was instrumental in suggesting the motion simply said that it was a statement of what people wanted from the University.

There were speakers who supported the Executive, most of whom complained that the reasons given were insufficient for throwing them out. One speaker said, "the I Executive has acted with complete sincerity and integrity for the best for student at Victoria. Small disagreements are inevitable." Mr Buller pointed out that only twice before had a motion of no confidence in the Executive gone through. "Rarely has an Executive enjoyed such good public relations," he said. "There are overwhelming reasons for their continuity and support."

Certain members of the Executive spoke. "I've never heard such a load of shit in all my life," said Denis Phelps, Secertary, when criticised for the disciplinary regulations. Mr Nesbitt said that policies were made by the Student Representative Council, not the Executive. "You're too damn lazy to come along here and vote." he said; "No one here has substantiated an argument against the Executive and I challenge anyone to get up and say why we shouldn't have your confidence."

"I am not trying to make any excuses for what we've done," said Miss Bryson, President of the Students' Association. "I believe in everything that I and the Executive base done this year."

In his right of reply, Mr McCaffery again emphasised the seriousness of the motion. He said, "If a vote of no confidence were passed for such trivial reasons it would not be in the best interests of the students."

About 600 people attended.