Synergy’s welfare waste

31 July 2010

Dear Farrago,

I would like to draw your attention to the gross level of waste that has been occurring in the UMSU Welfare Department at the hands of the Synergy (Liberal and Labor Right) office bearers.

At the end of last semester the Welfare Committee passed $1,000 of unnecessary spending in an undemocratic fashion. $750 was passed for an online book exchange to be set up by the Welfare Officers. As was repeatedly stated in committee to the office bearers, such a website already exists in the form of textbookexchange.com.au—not to mention the MUOSS book fair that runs at the start of every semester. Additionally, $250 was passed by the committee to run a campaign advertising the university’s “Tax Help Program”. Such an unnecessary expense of union money to promote a university services was a cynical ploy to “fulfil” a false campaign promise that Synergy made in last year’s elections.

As a committee member who opposed these examples of waste, I also witnessed the scrupulously undemocratic tactics used by the Welfare Officers. The motions were moved as one, “en bloc”, to prevent discussion around each individual motion. Not only that, but the motions were passed two minutes before quorum lapsed when the meeting would have been invalid.

With cuts of 60% to the Environment, Indigenous, Wom*n’s and Queer departments, these expenses represent a gross misuse of student’s money merely to pad Synergy’s election material.

This behaviour by student-elected representatives makes a joke of Synergy’s “promise” of accountability and transparency, and brings our union into disrepute.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Kettle

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