Disqualified OUSA president Jo Moore listens to debate
during the student meeting. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Disqualified 2009 OUSA president Jo Moore is considering
her options after an attempt to have her disqualification
declared "manifestly unjust" was soundly rejected at an OUSA
student meeting yesterday.
That resolution defeated, meeting chairman Parbal Mishra
ruled a subsequent motion - that the OUSA invalidate her
disqualification and appoint a new arbitrator to rehear an
appeal over whether she broke election rules during her
campaign - should be withdrawn.
It was clear the 270 people at the meeting did not support
her attempts to have her appeal reheard, Miss Moore said
"But I don't think the meeting was representative of the
student body. I've still got people approaching me saying
what happened to me was unfair."
Her brother, Rob Moore, a Wellington law student who flew to
Dunedin to attend the meeting with her, said they and their
father, a lawyer, would decide over the next few days whether
to continue the challenge.
The OUSA executive has said it does not believe it has the
power to overturn the abitrator's decision, so Miss Moore's
only option would appear to be seeking a court injunction.
Yesterday's student meeting was the third this year.
The OUSA is required to hold at least two student meetings
annually but scheduled a third after students drifted away
from the second meeting and attendance dropped below the
quorum of 198.
There were fears students would do the same yesterday, with
25 motions on the agenda instead of the usual three to five,
but those fears proved unfounded.
Almost all the students gathered stayed a full two hours and
participated enthusiastically in what was a generally
Many of the motions dealt with OUSA's relationship with the
cannabis reform group Norml, which has been holding
twice-weekly "smoke-ups" on campus this year to protest New
Zealand's cannabis prohibition laws.
In the main, the students supported the status quo, rejecting
motions including appointing a cannabis law reform
representative to the OUSA executive and demanding the
university proctor and Campus Watch refrain from intervening
in smoke-up protests.
However, the meeting also rejected another motion calling for
current OUSA policy supporting students' right to smoke
cannabis on campus as a protest to be rescinded.
Norml spokesman Abe Gray, whose stance on cannabis reform and
the smoke-up protests has polarised students this year, was
the subject of two motions.
However, Mr Mishra ruled out of order a motion that Mr Gray's
status "be upgraded from irritating to annoying", while the
meeting voted against a motion that OUSA allocate funds and
buy Mr Gray an oversized novelty hat to be worn by him at all
times on campus.
Student Worik Stanton berated the proposers of that motion as
"silly and childish".
Students should be standing up for those "brave and
courageous enough" to protest, he said, rather than resorting
to unnecessary personal attacks.
After the meeting, OUSA president Simon Wilson said he was
pleased with the turnout and the way business was conducted.