Adelaide Business Students Society AGM hits boiling point.

words by On Dit

Earlier, On Dit reported on the Adelaide Business Students Society (ABSS) amending their Constitution so that it would hinder the ability of International Students contesting positions on the committee.

These amendments were:

Allowing all ‘Faculty of Professions students’ to vote instead of just ‘business students’ and forbidding election material and instructions to be printed in languages other than English.

The latter was passed and was to be embedded into the constitution. However, since the ABSS incident was discussed on ABC’s Radio National earlier this month, On Dit has learned that the Dean of the Adelaide Business School, Mark Gabbott, has stepped in to resolve issues around the club’s lack of transparency.

As a result, The Dean has asked the ABSS to disaffiliate from the Adelaide Business School and proposed that the Constitutional amendments be voted upon by the broader business student body at their Annual General Meeting.

There were issues with the manner in which business students were informed about nominations opening. Usually, the ABSS would inform the Faculty of Professions to send out a notification to its mailing list. This had been performed in most years except for this year. A quick search on the Faculty website revealed that there was no content relating to this year’s AGM.

Notice of ABSS election and AGM from 2013.

The ABSS Constitution also specifies that a notice of an AGM must be put out 14 days prior.

On Dit understands that there will be two tickets contesting positions in the AGM.

As a Chartered Accountants Student Representative, it comes as no surprise that Nick Bachmatiuk’s connections with industry has seen the club’s bills footed by a notable list of corporate sponsors under his presidency. He has groomed his star-pupil and first year ABSS general member George Pagonis to take over the reigns in 2018.

Pagonis will be going up against campus-power broker, Ali Amin who is the incumbent Secretary and a notable name in his own right. The fourth year Law/Commerce student has spearheaded the rapid rise of the Adelaide University Economics Club hosting high profile economists at their events and boosting the club’s membership to 300 in just under a year.

On Dit reached out to a member of AUU Clubs Committee, to which the situation was originally referred to, Patrick Imaysay, for a comment on the ABSS conduct.

“Clubs, regardless of membership size, purpose or capability, should first and foremost foster inclusiveness, not at the detriment of any group within any club. ‘Banning’ specific languages as to ‘level the playing field’ should never be an option, regardless of motivations.
Secondly, Clubs should seek to practice good governance and democratic processes to the best of their ability. Amending constitutional articles outside of committee scrutiny is unacceptable and should not be encouraged.
I personally have zero tolerance for any who attempt to use non-political clubs as their little ‘House of Cards’ fantasy.”

The ABSS AGM will take place in Horace Lamb, on Friday 27 October at 9:00 am. Minutes and a transcript of the last committee meeting can be viewed here and here, respectively.


Disclaimer: a member of the On Dit editorial team was formerly on the student committee

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