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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 25. 2nd October 1975

An open letter to VUWSA

An open letter to VUWSA

This letter is a strong protest note against the manner in which the Wellington Malaysian Singapore Students Association held its so called 'Annual General Meeting' on the evening of September 23, 1975. The meeting was called to order by the President of WMSSA and Mr Bernard Randall was nominated to chair the meeting. A point of order was immediately raised, questioning the quorum for the meeting. According to its amended constitution, no annual general meeting of the Association can be held unless there are 20 financial members present in the meeting or half the number of the financial members whichever is the greater. The Association has 34 financial members and only 13 of them attended the meeting. An extended discussion followed and then the Chairman ruled that the meeting cannot be held as there was no quorum. This ruling was objected to by Mr David Tan and as such the Chairman has to vacate the Chair. Then the President moved that non-financial members are not allowed to vote and fresh nominations for a Chairman were called. This time a Chairperson was nominated and she ruled that the constitution of the Association need not be followed and the meeting can go on even though there was no quorum.

Objections were raised to this ruling. To this the President replied: "Don't you know that we have taken the laws to our own hands?" David Tan has a more ingenious answer: "Who cares about the constitution and the shit-stirrers who raised all these objections can get out of this meeting." On wonders who the shit-stirrers are. The same state of affairs existed in the last AGM.

The matter does not rest here. There was no one standing for the election of committee members and then it was moved by David Tan again that the present committee retain their positions for the next financial year.

The core of this complaint is that WMSSA is an affiliated member of VUWSA and each year valuable funds from the students' pockets were made as grants to subsidise the activities of this Association. WMSSA is an unconstitutional body and its very existence is very much to be doubted. The students of this university could rightfully demand an answer from VUW Students Association as to why they continue to affiliate this association and waste valuable students funds to support the activities of a few renegades who seem to run the affairs of WMSSA according to their whims and fancy. To them the constitution of the Association is a dead letter and it is their wishes that remain the rule of the day.

It is submitted that these matters should not be easily dismissed and they should be considered by VUWSA in their next meeting. An explanation is needed from VUWSA as to why they continue to affiliate WMSSA this year when there was no quorum in their last AGM and if such an explanation is not forthcoming then one should seriously question the actions of VUWSA in continuing to affiliate WMSSA. Every student has a right to see that their funds are properly used.

Yours faithfully,

W. Chang.