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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 7. 11th April 1973

A. G. M. — Students Support Cheating

page 11

A. G. M. — Students Support Cheating

A programme of organised cheating, disruption of the capping ceremonies and organisation of an Exam Resisters' Union was adopted by the Students Association at its Annual General Meeting last week. This policy was advocated by the Education Liberation Front (ELF), one of whose exponents has already started to attack the university structure by disrupting term examinations.

Although much of the meeting was wasted by the Young Socialists' petty fringe politics, students did adopt several important proposals to strengthen their social commitment.

Student Labour

Students spend a quarter of their year away from the university in vacation jobs. They compete for work as individuals, not as an organised group. In key industries like the freezing works, students have often been used by companies as scab labour during disputes. In the public service students are used as a source of cheap labour and paid extremely low wages.

The AGM decided that in future the Association would negotiate with employers and unions to see that students most in need of work get it, and to prevent any future use of student labour by employers to break strikes. Debate on this motion showed up the middle class prejudice of many students towards workers and their ignorance of the fact that co-operation with trade unions would mean more holiday jobs for students.

The Tenants' Protection Association, which has been extremely successful in organising exploited tenants to fight landlords, was granted $200. However few students showed any real interest in actively working for the T.P.A.

Another proposal which attracted little interest was a decision to introduce Equal Pay into the student catering operation in one year instead of the five years allowed under the Equal Pay Act. The AGM did not face up to the question of whether or not it should let a subsidiary of I.T.T., the American monopoly which is notorious for exploiting workers in the Third World, run its cafeteria inefficiently.

The main debate centred around political strategy, and whether money should be given to groups using tactics which have no popular base of support, e.g. marching for the repeal of the abortion laws. A majority of students felt that a march would be a totally inefficient method of agitating against the present laws. One Executive member suggested that a doctor be found to perform an abortion in the Student Union Building and the police invited to stop it. The Executive was given $100 to spend on activities aimed at repeal of the abortion laws.

Confidence in Editors

The highlight of the meeting came about 10.30 when there was still about 120 students present. When the general business came to an end a group of students demanded to know when a motion proposing a $1,000 donation to H.A.R.T. would be discussed. It turned out that they had actually believed a notice in Salient appealing to students to stop a donation to H.A.R.T. The donation was proposed but quickly shelved. A few right-wingers demanded an explanation from the editors of Salient but the meeting concluded, amid much hilarity, by passing a motion of confidence in them.

Photo of Magistrate's Court