By Lestari Hairul
Photos by Brian Soong
The 9th MSC meeting, also the final meeting for MUSA 2013, began at 12.31pm on Friday 22nd November 2013. Aside from the usual suspects, the meeting was also attended by the incoming MUSA 2014 office-bearers and Mobashsher Fahad, the ex-President of the now-defunct Comic Club.
Incumbent President, Melvin Shawn D’Silva, began with one of the issues he’d like clarified regarding the Constitution’s decree on who gets to vote during a meeting. After some deliberation, which was mostly pertaining to the semantics of what constitutes a position or who is a member, the Council decided on clarifying the terms in the Constitution. Like many other aspects of the current Constitution which has remained unchanged since the late 90’s, the issue on voting rights needed clearer language that was less convoluted.
The ex-President of Comic Club, Mobashsher Fahad was called upon to present his case, explaining the condition of an asset that was returned to the Clubs & Societies Division in poor condition. The asset returned, bought by C & S funds for the now-defunct club, is a white PS3 that is mouldy and leaking fluids from each port. Called to explain himself, Fahad and the Council members launched into a heated exchanged that lasted well over an hour. The concept of “burden of proof” appeared to be misunderstood by Fahad as he repeatedly asked the Council to present evidence indicating that the asset returned was a) switched by someone in the C & S office b) not the one he returned c) in regards to the comic book assets, requiring proof that he indeed held them.
The Council demanded accounting for the following: serial numbers on the receipt for the purchase of the PS3 did not match up to the PS3 returned; the PS3 was damaged beyond repair; and comic book assets estimated to amount to RM 800 (proof of receipts being gradually unearthed through the course of the meeting) that are still missing. After several angry outbursts from both Fahad and members of the Council, the motion was eventually passed to hand the case off to the Campus Solicitor as these are assets bought using C & S funds, i.e. students’ money.
The vote was unanimous.
The Treasurers presented their report and as of 22nd November 2013, MUSA 2013 has spent RM 873,769.24 not including accounts that have yet to be closed. This would mean that the current Council has effectively under-spent approximately RM 500,000 based off the estimated Budget drafted in the beginning of the year.
Due to the sacking of the 2014 Editors done by the Elections Committee, the Editorial position will be vacant up till the By-Elections stipulated to be held in March 2014. We presented our case, appealing for temporary successors to carry out the Editorial duties that should begin over the Summer Break including the production of the Getting Oriented 2014 booklets. The incoming 2014 MUSA President, Ivan Lim, agreed to appoint temporary Editors to carry out the work.
Incumbent Vice-President Nisshanthan Dhanapalan presented the case for School Reps being the student representatives present at the Campus Level meetings. The current procedure involves either one of the Vice-Presidents to represent the student body, which would be unfair since each VP is only a member of one school each and thus would not be privy to the unique challenges of the different schools.
VP Sheryl Sim also described their experiences during the meet-and-greet with the Vice-Chancellor from Monash Australia and explained the need for a stronger student voice that will ensure that student rights will be at the forefront, especially for the Malaysian campus being so remote from the Australian ones.
The Standard Chartered Run deposits can be collected from the Welfare Office 10-5pm this week. The missing kurta from this year’s Monash Cultural Night has also been recovered; it was found in the Lost & Found but unfortunately the money paid to the supplier cannot be reimbursed as they have closed their accounts.
After discussing further the parts of the MUSA Constitution that needed changing, the meeting finally ended at 6.24pm. The amendments to the Constitution will be presented to the Registrar’s Office by the incumbent MUSA President and further news on the changes will be updated at a later date. Hopefully, with the amendment, the Constitution will also now be presented in a user-friendly ctrl+F searchable document.
As always, Meeting Minutes can be accessed here. The full reckoning of the MUSA 2013 accounts will ideally be available by next year.