A move successfully preventing students from voting
on a pro-cannabis resolution was deliberate, Otago University
Students Association (OUSA) president Simon Wilson says.
But Mr Wilson said there was nothing he could do to prevent
the student general meeting last Thursday being brought to an
Just before a resolution from student Abe Gray, the leader of
the Otago chapter of the pro-cannabis group National
Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml), could
be voted on, a student called for a quorum count.
The final count was 170 - 27 short of the 197 needed to
enable any formal business to be enacted.
Mr Wilson said yesterday he had no choice but to close the
Asked if he thought the timing of the quorum count was
deliberate, he replied: "Yes."
Mr Gray was arrested earlier this month after complaints
people were smoking cannabis at a Norml information stand
during a student market day.
He has not yet appeared in court.
Last week, he was trespassed from the Union Lawn where Norml
holds twice-weekly "smoke-up" protests.
He had lodged two recommendations with the executive both
along the lines that OUSA "condemn the actions of Campus
Watch and the Campus Cop" for targeting cannabis-using
Mr Wilson said Mr Gray was free to put the resolutions on the
agenda for the next general meeting, to be held in September
But he said he could not guarantee a quorum count would not
be called for at that meeting too.
It was the second general meeting to be abandoned this year
because it lacked a quorum.
Mr Wilson said the quorum required was 1% of the total
student roll, including students at campuses in Invercargill,
Wellington and Christchurch.
It was possible for the executive to propose the quorum
figure be reduced, but Mr Wilson said the executive was "not
Contacted last night, Mr Gray said he was disappointed the
resolutions had not been voted upon but would go for ''top of
the agenda'' for next meeting.
"A couple of people" on the OUSA executive were "maliciously
attempting to undermine the wishes of the student body", he
He named one member whom he said was "following a personal