Adelaide Business Students’ Society makes it harder for international students to vote

Words by On Dit

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On Dit has obtained minutes from the Adelaide Business Students Society’s (ABSS) most recent meeting, from 8 August 2017, documenting attempted constitutional changes that aimed to constrict the voting powers of international students.

Specifically, the motions pertain to restructuring the election process that currently sees students enrolled in business degrees elected to the committee.

The motion in question reads:

“Allow all ‘Faculty of Professions students’ to vote instead of just ‘Business students’. This will mean Law and Architecture students are eligible to vote.”

Currently, as per the rules, only students enrolled in a business degree can vote in the business students’ annual general meeting. The proposed constitutional ammendments would have enabled any student from the Faculty of Professions, which includes Architecture & Built Environment and Law, to vote in the ABSS annual general meeting. To quote the President, this wold have “levelled the playing field” between domestic and international students.

It is understood that the Adelaide Law School has a lower international student enrolment when compared to other schools within Professions.

In the minutes, ABSS President Nick Bachmatiuk stated that he wants to make it harder for international students, because when they sat on the committee in previous years, they did “nothing”.

“It’s in the best interest of the committee that they be locked out”, he said.

While this motion was narrowly voted down, the ABSS managed to pass a motion that would only permit students contesting in elections to publish material, such as how-to-vote cards, in English language only.

The ABSS has been a launchpad for many of Adelaide’s business leaders with former members going on to secure prestigious positions in the South Australian business community.

On their website, the ABSS describes themselves as “The representative body for all business students at The University of Adelaide…[we want] to establish ourselves as one of Adelaide University’s premier student bodies. We aim to meet the needs and interests of all business students.”

On Dit contacted the Dean of the Business School for clarification. The reply stated that the matter has been referred to the Adelaide University Clubs admin, the peak body within the student union that deals with campus societies.

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

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