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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 18. 27th July 1972

President ~ "Not Guilty"

page 5

President ~ "Not Guilty"

The semi-fascist tacties employed by a small sector of the defeated minority at the Medical Aid SGM is one of the most depressing and sisillusioning experiences I have ever undergone. Never before have persons blatently cheated by double voting as the minority did. Never before has a minority en masse refused to vote, as the "noes" initially did, in an attempt to subvert a decision being taken. Foolishly perhaps, I expected the leaders of this grouping to act responsibly.

I was not given the assistance I expected in running the meeting by Vice President McKinley. Matters were made worse when McKinley moved that my raling that Stubbs/ timmins motion was lost, be disagreed with. This procedural motion was unconstitutional not only because the Chairman's decision on voting is final, but also because we were by then discussing another motion.

It has been alleged by some that I did not maintain control of the meeting. Although control was only just maintained the blame for disruption does not I believe rest with the Chair, but squarely on the shoulders of those disrupting the meeting.

Short of having a vigilante squad to deal with the determined rabble of disrupters, the Chairman can only properly control the meeting if people show some respect for meeting proceedure. Sadly, a group of sore losers lacked this respect.

Tribute must be paid to Messrs Stubbs and Timmins — The original callers of the meeting to stop the donation being sent. They both dissociated themeselves from the rabblerousers among their supporters, and implored them to behave responsibly. John Timmins claims however that he was denied his right to speak as seconder of the motion to preevent the funds going. Although Mr Timmins reseryed his right to speak. I was only aware of his intention in to do so after the procedural motion" That the motion be now put" had been passed. My interpretation of the Constitution (Ref. Schedule 1 Sect. 22) was that only Mr Stubbs could speak using his right of reply.

When it became clear that the motion to grant the $2000 would be passed, a group within the minority began calling for a referendum. if the meeting had been called to propose the holding of a referendum on the Medical Aid issue then debate on this issue would of course be quite in order. It however had not been so called: The question was to be decided there and then and not by referendum.

A careful observer of student affairs would be shocked to see the hypocrisy of some of the most disruptive of the dissenters. Only a few months ago these very disrupters were spitting venom over the disruptive tactics of others at the PBEC Conference. So much for integrity!

I hope that those responsible for the disruption at the SGM will in fact rethink their behaviour and agree that such a display must never happen again.

Peter Cullen.