UQU 2011 Financial Statement Released

Click here for the UQU Financial Statement of 2011

Summary:

  • More the 7 million dollars spent on ’employee benefits’
  • The principal activities of the Union are to:

– represent the students of the University in matters which may concern them:
– maintain communication between the students and other sections of the University community, and
– provide a range of services to the student body.

 

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A Comment So Wonderful, I Made It A Post

There is clear evidence now that on the 10th of August, 2012, the UQ Union held an ‘emergency’ meeting in which part of section 105 of their electoral regulations was repealed. This section protected the names of political parties for 10 years – including names such as the former main opposition party ‘Pulse’. [I note that the regulations and constitution for the Union only became available on their website late yesterday afternoon.] After this protection was repealed, the name ‘Pulse’ was taken by a group of students who are closely associated with the current incumbent party ‘Fresh’. For instance, Mr Colin Finke’s (the current UQU ‘Fresh’ President) brother, Mr Kelvin Finke, is registered on the ‘Pulse’ ticket as running for the administrative committee (http://i50.tinypic.com/vxegk.jpg). Further, the UQ Skeptics have shown the close relations on Facebook between Colin Finke and Rohan Watt (the Fresh Presidential candidate for this year): http://i50.tinypic.com/110isy8.jpg.

Notably, almost all of the members of the current ‘Pulse’ (fake) ticket attend either with Cromwell College (with Mr Finke) or St John’s College (with Mr Watt). Further, in an MX article earlier in the week (http://i48.tinypic.com/nl5z83.jpg) Mr Finke stated that he had never heard of one of the other ‘Pulse’ candidates, Mr Zac Draheim, despite Mr Draheim also attending Cromwell College and despite them both being Facebook friends and there being photos of the two together (available on Facebook). Mr Finke has refused to answer questions related to his involvement with the Pulse ticket, as reported by Crikey (http://tinyurl.com/ccc249m).

One student, who was put down on the ticket as ‘Pulse’ Treasurer – Tristan Black of St John’s College – has said that he was tricked into signing up by a Fresh member. You can see a screenshot of his statement on Facebook here: http://i48.tinypic.com/24y91ma.jpg . It is quite clear that Pulse this year is a fake ticket created by students associated with Fresh, after they removed the electoral regulation protection of the name. This is supported by the fact that the people who are on this ticket have not come out and campaigned in the election at all.

‘Fresh’ and the UQ Union are now posting a lot of spin on social media about the decision of the Electoral Tribunal (established under the UQU Constitution) on the evening of Thursday the 23rd of August which held that Fresh had not acted in breach of the regulations. This is 100% true in a legalistic sense. However, contrary to how Fresh and the UQU are portraying the ruling, this does not clear them of wrongdoing. It does not address any of the concerns which I outlined above. The Tribunal found that Fresh had not breached the electoral regulations – but that is because they set the electoral regulations to suit themselves. This does not mean that there will be a free and fair election.

There are also serious concerns about the transparency of the review process. Currently there is no publicly accessible information as to who is on the Electoral Tribunal or how to contact them. There is no information about how one can make a complaint. And there are no details posted about when and where any hearings are held. Further, in relation to the Returning Officer for elections (currently a gym owner from Caboolture), they can be appointed with the approval of only a few of the inner cadre of party members. They are not truly independent, as they should be – given they oversee the conduct of elections.

There are also a lot of false information flyers that have been strewn around the university. One claims to be from a 5th year student who is independent from any of the parties and merely wishes to inform students that the new Pulse ticket (despite the evidence I outlined above) is really just a factional split. The source of these flyers is not identified. There is a real concern that this – and other campaigning activities of the Union – are paid for out of university money. There are currently no publicly available audits of the Union or information as to what it’s money is being spent on. The Union’s current status as an unincorporated body means they are not subject to the same strict accounting measures.

– Rebecca commenting on my ‘How Far Can FRESHs Corruption Go?‘ article.

The Changes Were NOT Made 12 Months Ago, FRESH.

The sneaky changes made to the Regulations were not done twelve months ago. The changes documented earlier in my blog between the old and new Regulations were done through my own copies, the ‘old’ copy I received on the 27th February 2012. If the changes weren’t made by then, then that’s not 12 months, FRESH. Why would you believe FRESH when they lie about these things? Why would FRESH need to lie if they were telling the truth and were honest politicians? Enjoy the following evidence.

‘Old’ Regulations, received 27-02-12:

‘New’ Regulations, received 20-08-12 after original email conveniently lacked attachment of Regulations, a document all candidates were supposed to recieve, I had to ask the Returning Officer specifically for it:

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Finally, The University of Queensland Makes An Official Report on The Situation. Not Good Enough, UQ.

This news article distributed by the University of Queensland itself claims to rectify its policies to ensure transparency. Yes, the University claims to publish the UQ Constitution and Regulations on the UQU website, but does not specify whether these documents will be up-to-date. They may offer ‘evidence of any recent changes to these’, but they will not specify exactly which parts of the Constitution or Regulations have been altered and/or in what way. The report also claims that ‘UQU Annual Reports, including financial summaries’ will exist, but UQ does not specify whether these will be complete and correct when they are released!

At least we can be thankful for the promise of an ‘appropriate, publicised UQU general complaints and appeals procedure is in operation’. However, it leaves me wondering; how come this kind of procedure was not in place before now? If an engineer builds a bridge, she doesn’t wait for it to collapse before she assesses the issues with its construction.

This report also claims there to be an Electoral Tribunal hearing tomorrow (Thursday 23rd August). I know I’m excited to hear the proceedings.

If the University was really intending to pull the Union together, it would not be making these loose claims that could easily be manipulated – just to get us exactly where we were before this incident occurred. I’m looking for a total analysis of the Constitution and Regulations. I want all systems of the UQ Union to be audited and validated. I want there to be absolutely no room for misconduct whatsoever in future elections or any other Union associated activity. These claims from the University offer security in none of these points, and its students deserve more.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH, UQ.

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A Message from UQU

In the past few days there have been a lot of comments posted on our wall regarding the current student elections and we would like to take this chance to clarify a couple of things and remind you why UQU is here and what we aim to provide for all UQ students.

Firstly, we would like to make it clear that UQU is an entirely separate entity to FRESH. The only connection being that the current student executive is made up of FRESH representatives, as FRESH was the winning ticket in the 2011 election. An independent returning officer is brought in to manage the elections each year and UQU has no role in the process.

The only agenda UQU has is ensuring that the university experience for UQ students is an amazing one. We focus heavily on the commercial operations of the organisation to ensure that the Union is sustainable long term and can continue to provide the services, activities and events that we do. We employ nearly 300 professional staff who work hard to guarantee that the UQ student experience is one of the best university experiences available.

UQU does not rely on student contributions to maintain the services we provide and as a UQ student you are automatically a member of UQU with full access to all of our services, a point we pride ourselves on as the vast majority of Student Guilds/Unions/Associations around Australia require members to pay an annual membership fee.

We ask that all students take on board the information that we have provided here and keep in mind that UQU staff have no part to play in the student elections and should be treated with respect at all times, as they are simply trying to improve your time at university.

This was received via the UQ Union Facebook page.

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The New PULSE Has Connections with FRESH Candidates

Check out these words from Robert Kelly.

Hi guys, my name’s Robert Kelly and I WAS running for the Vice President of the well known Pulse party. However, as many of you already know, we were disqualified from running under the name ‘Pulse’ as another party had already registered under this name. What you don’t know is that the President running for this fake Pulse party is Zac ‘Dexter’ Draheim – who is Colin Finke’s best friend from Cromwell College. Ben ‘Husky’ Durance is running as Secretary of the party, and is also a close friend of Colin’s, and the rest of the executive positions in this fake party are Cromwell College residents. No doubt Fresh will remove these boys from these positions after this post goes out and replace them with new ones, but please do not be fooled as they will only be replaced by other secret Fresh supporters. Party nominations have now closed, so when you see ‘Pulse’ on the ballot sheet, just know that it is a fake Pulse and if you tick that box, or any other box that appears on the ballot sheet, you are in reality, supporting Fresh.

Here is an image of the notice on the UQU Notice boards for evidence. Zach Daheim is actually listed under ‘Union Newspaper’ for PULSE, not President.

P.S. How confident are you in the competance of our Returning Officer that she misspells ‘candidate’ on this public document?

 

Here’s another document drawn from a good old Facebook stalk, if you can read it.

 

 

 

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More Propaganda from FRESH

I don’t know if everyone has seen these flyers, but it is quite obvious they are either a candidate for or personally aligned with FRESH. The information about PULSE is entirely untrue. PULSE actually formed an alliance with the three other lefty tickets to make a stand against the arguably corrupt UQU, we are not separated but united.

It was great for me to see a random unidentified student walk past the FRESH stall area and knock down all three FRESH campaign boards in an act of protest. It was also interesting to hear the FRESH campaigners afterwards exclaim how PULSE was being ‘so dishonest and violent’ about the situation, despite the fact that the unidentified student was unaffiliated with PULSE in any way as far as any surrounding PULSE former candidates were aware.

There was also a picture taken of a PULSE affiliate standing on the fallen campaign board, sticking a notice of disqualification on to the tree behind it. I would like to put a warning out to all people campaigning for democracy; do not take this too far. There’s no need for unruly behaviour, we have the power of the truth behind us and soon the media. Keep it calm, keep it casj. We don’t want our behaviour to undermine our message.

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Precise Changes in the Regulations

Below has listed some changes between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ UQU Regulations. Document appraisal courtesy of Joshua Inglis.

Want access to the Regulations? Here are the new UQU Regulations pertaining to elections.

Summary of changes to the Election regulations, as released by Joshua Inglis:

tl;dr —> I would argue that In all cases, the changes favour the incumbents (those with pre-knowledge of the changes). All Preparation times have been significantly shortened, and pre-existing name protection removed.

If these changes were only released at the time of the calling of the election, then all candidates running against the incumbents were put at a significant disadvantage.

R94 Opening Of Nominations

94.1

OLD: nominations open on the Monday twenty (20) days before polling commences for the Annual Elections.

NEW: nominations open on the Monday ten (10) days before polling commences for the Annual Elections.

R95 Notice of Election

95.1

OLD: The Returning Officer must give notice of the Election at least five days before the opening of nominations by placing a notice on the Union Noticeboard.

NEW: The Returning Officer shall open nominations at the time of giving notice of the Election, which shall be by way of placing a notice on the Union Noticeboard.

R97 Form of Nomination

97.1

OLD: Nominations must be in the form of Schedule Five.

NEW: Nominations must be in the form of Schedule Twenty. Any nomination by way of Schedule Five shall be invalid.

97.2 a)

OLD: All nominations must be personally signed by the candidate, their nominator, and their seconder.

NEW: All nominations must be personally signed by the candidate, their nominator, and their two seconders.

97.3

OLD: The Returning Officer must make nomination forms available:

a) from Administration services

b) from the Union office at Ipswich Campus

c) from the Union office at Gatton Campus

d) from the primary non-St Lucia campus for medical students

e) from the Union’s Website

f) by mail or email if requested by an individual student.

At least 3 Academic Days before the opening of nominations

NEW: The Returning Officer must make nomination forms available:

a) from Administration Services;

b) by mail or email if requested by an individual student.

from the opening of nominations.

R98 Receipt of Nominations

98.2

OLD: The Returning Officer must give or send the student nominating:

a) an acknowledgement in the form of Schedule Six; and

b) a copy of this Part of the Regulations,

within six Academic Day of the close of nominations.

NEW: The Returning Officer must give or send the student nominating:

a) an acknowledgement in the form of Schedule Six; and

b) a copy of this Part of the Regulations,

within one Academic Day of the close of nominations.

98.3

OLD: If the nomination is rejected, the Returning Officer must notify the person concerned or have sent notification to the person by 5:00pm five Academic Days following the close of nominations.

NEW: If the nomination is rejected, the Returning Officer must notify the person concerned or have sent notification to the person by 9:00am one Academic Day following the close of nominations.

98.4

OLD: No decision of the Returning Officer to reject a nomination may be appealed to the Electoral Tribunal more than five Academic Days after the close of nominations.

NEW: No decision of the Returning Officer to reject a nomination may be appealed to the Electoral Tribunal more than two Academic Days after the close of nominations.

R100 Verification of Signatures and Eligibility to Stand

100.1

OLD: The Returning Officer must verify that each person standing as a candidate, or nominating or seconding a person to stand, is eligible to stand or nominate or second a person to stand.

a) for Annual Elections, no later than 5:00pm five Academic days after the day nominations close;

b) for By-elections, no later than 4:00pm one Academic Day after the day nominations close.

NEW: The Returning Officer must verify that each person standing as a candidate, or nominating or seconding a person to stand, is eligible to stand or nominate or second a person to stand.

a) for Annual Elections, no later than 5:00pm two days after the day nominations close;

b) for By-elections, no later than 4:00pm one Academic Day after the day nominations close.

103.1

OLD: For Annual Elections, the Returning Officer must, by 5:00pm eight Academic Days after the day nominations close, place on the Union Noticeboard a list of candidates in the order they will appear on the Ballot Paper.

NEW: For Annual Elections, the Returning Officer must, by 5:00pm five Academic Days after the day nominations close, place on the Union Noticeboard a list of candidates in the order they will appear on the Ballot Paper.

R105 Electoral Groups

This entire section has been heavily altered to the extent that doing a simple comparison becomes useless. But important changes will be highlighted.

105.4

OLD: Candidates cannot register the name of an Electoral Group that has been registered in the last ten years, without the written agreement of ten of the candidates who nominated as part of that group.

NEW: Removed

Added to NEW Regulations that did not exist in OLD Regulations:

105.14

The name of an Electoral Group must not include any words that are or are a substantial part of:

a) a registered trademark of the University;

b) the names of businesses at the University;

c) the names of any University College or reference to University Colleges in general; or

d) the names of the University’s faculties or schools.

105.15

The name of an Electoral Group must not:

a) be one that a reasonable person would think suggests that the Electoral Group can or cannot provide a good or service, or a thing by which a person may obtain a good of service, free of charge or at a significant discount;

b) be one that a reasonable person would think suggests that the Electoral Group can or cannot provide a means by which students do not have to pay, or incur a debt with respect to, some or all of the costs of attending the University;

c) be one that a reasonable person would think suggests that the Electoral Group supports or opposes a means by which students do not have to pay, or incur a debt with respect to, some or all of the costs of attending the University;

d) include the name, or an abbreviation, variation or derivative of the name, of another Electoral Group;

e) include a word that so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation, variation or derivative of the name, of another Electoral Group, that it is likely to be confused with or mistaken for that name;

f) be one that a reasonable person would think suggests that a connection or relationship exists between the Electoral Group and another Electoral Group, or between the Electoral Group and any of the items referred to in R105.14 or R118; or

g) include the word “independent” or “voucher”.

R136 Appeals Against Decisions of the Returning Officer

136.4

Where an appeal relates to the eligibility of a candidate, or an electoral ticket, the Electoral Tribunal must make a determination by no later than one Academic Day before the commencement of polling.

 
 
 
 
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