An Otago University Students Association student general
meeting next week could turn into a marathon - or descend
Instead of the usual four or five items up for debate, there
They range from the serious - the organisation's 2009 budget
and student levies - to the ridiculous - that cannabis law
reform activist and student Abe Gray's status be upgraded
"from irritating to annoying".
Mr Gray comes in for further attention, with another motion
requesting the OUSA buy him an outsized novelty hat which he
is required to wear at all times on campus.
The OUSA must hold at least two student general meetings each
year but has scheduled a third for Thursday at 1pm after the
second meeting was abruptly terminated.
A quorum of 198 members (1% of the membership) must be
present for a meeting to continue, and numbers at the second
meeting dwindled to less than that after about an hour.
OUSA president Simon Wilson said yesterday general meetings
were a chance for members to raise any issues on their mind
and all motions had to be put on the agenda.
The budget would be debated first, then the proposals in the
order in which they were submitted.
A series of motions from Abe Gray seeking further support for
cannabis law reform protests on campus would come immediately
after the budget debate, followed later by motions requesting
the OUSA repeal past support for cannabis law reform and
Five motions had also been lodged supporting Jo Moore's
challenge to a finding she broke election campaign rules.
Miss Moore was the OUSA's 2009 president-elect until she was
disqualified almost two weeks ago by an independent
arbitrator who upheld a complaint against her.
Among the motions is one that the OUSA executive invalidate
her disqualification as "manifestly unjust" and appoint a new
Mr Wilson said he would be surprised if the meeting could get
through the agenda.
If it could not, the executive had the option to call a
further meeting on another date.
Students could also call for another meeting by gathering a
petition signed by more than 198 members.
It was possible some of the motions would be ruled out of
order by the meeting chairman, former OUSA executive member
Prabal Mishra, he said.
"Some of the motions are frivolous. For example, Abe Gray
currently does not have a status of irritating, so the motion
that his status be upgraded to annoying doesn't mean