Stop Undemocratic Changes to the Curtin Guild
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In the most recent Curtin Student Guild council meeting, a series of undemocratic election regulation changes were passed. These changes, if put into effect, will sideline the voice of ordinary students in the Guild election process, and leave Curtin with one of the most undemocratic student unions in the country.
Some of the worst changes include:
1. The lengthening of Guild Councillor terms to two years.
Currently Guild Councillors are elected for one year terms at the annual Guild Elections. The new proposal seeks to increase their terms to two years. This ultimately gives students less of a say over the direction of their Guild, and provides fewer opportunities for new students to get involved in the Guild. It is also particularly unjustifiable given the length of the average degree is only three years.
2. The removal of the WA Electoral Commission’s role in facilitating elections. The WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) is an independent and professional organisation that currently oversees the running of the annual elections. The new proposal seeks to remove the WAEC from this role, and replace it with an unspecified body or person as decided by the Guild’s managing director. The removal of the WAEC as an independent body in the electoral process opens up the possibility for bias to have a major impact on future elections.
3. The Guild Council's role will be divided by establishing a separate "Representation Board", delegating matters of students representation to this committee. It will be made up of paid office bearers only. This will mean that students from minority or oppositional parties, who were democratically elected to guild councillor positions will not have a say over policy relating to education, welfare or equity.
In the interests of maintaining the proud tradition of student control over student affairs, we the undersigned demand these changes be abandoned. This is not a standard that should be set for other university Guilds. Ordinary students should have more say over the direction of the Guild that represents them, not less!
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