02 November 2014


EDIT: The Board unanimously moved all recommendations discussed in this post on 31 October 2014. However, due to incorrect notice provided by the President, the two expulsion motions were rescinded and later re-moved on 28 November 2014.

At the Meeting of the Board of Directors on 28 November 2014, the Board unanimously resolved to expel a Union member for the first time in recent memory.


On October 14, it was reported in Honi Soit that a current Union member had had nude photos disseminated throughout the University community by Alexander Wright (AID: 728288). This was a series of actions that Mr Wright had admitted to both the survivor and her family. She has suffered in public spaces and amongst Union members and events in ways that have been devastating for her welfare. On October 16, Mr Wright then attended a Union event alongside the survivor. Following concerns and reports of intimidation of both the survivor and other Union members, he was requested to exit the venue by Staff.

The conversations that ensued raised questions of the extent to which, by remaining silent, the Union was abrogating its constitutional responsibilities to provide and maintain safe spaces. We are bound to work "at all times towards creating an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment,” and this is a commitment that must extend as much as possible beyond autonomous spaces and events.

Given that, the Board unanimously resolved the following on 31 October:

Recommendation 1: That the Board voice its commitment to maintaining environments that are safe and free from harassment.

Following their rescission due to the abovementioned procedural error, the following recommendations were unanimously approved on 28 November:

Recommendation 2: That, pursuant to section 9.2(f)(ii) of the USU Constitution, the Board expel Alexander Wright (AID: 728288) from Membership of the USU.

Recommendation 3: Following Recommendation 2, and pursuant to section 9.2(f)(iii), that the Board debar Alexander Wright (AID: 728288) from exercising the rights of Membership until it resolve otherwise.


As noted, Recommendations Two and Three were moved according to the following sections of the USU Constitution:

9.2(f) Should any Member neglect to pay any sum to the USU or in the opinion of the Board be guilty of misconduct, the Board may:

(i) take legal action;
(ii) expel such Member from Membership of the USU; or
(iii) debar such Member from exercising the rights of Membership for such time as it thinks fit provided that:

A. such Member of Members shall have the right to an appeal to the University;
B. the Board may not delegate its authority in such a matter;
C. such Member shall be informed of the matters to be raised against that Member;
D. such Member shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard but shall not be represented before a decision is made.

Recommendations Two and Three were moved under an interpretation of the text that subsections (ii) and (iii) were not mutually exclusive. Moreover, the absence of a definition of expulsion was found to require a time period, provided in Recommendation Three.

One week prior to the Meeting, Mr Wright was given notice due under s 9.2(f)(iii)(C), and was offered the opportunity to speak to the Recommendations under s 9.2(f)(iii)(D). He retains the right to appeal to the University Senate under s 9.2(f)(iii)(A).

Towards a safe campus community

These resolutions stand as a crucial reinforcement of the Board’s commitment to protecting the safety and welfare of its Members. Where Members have their welfare jeopardised, it is the duty of the Union to ensure that this is not perpetuated or worsened in its own spheres. We should actively enter debate and tirelessly pursue the avenues available to us to uphold the values we are bound to.

If you or someone you know has either experienced harassment or feels unsure about an unwanted experience and would like to speak with someone, please contact the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on (02) 9515 9040. The University’s Counselling and Psychological Services can also be contacted on (02) 8627 8433. Alternatively, the Board are always available to put you in contact with the relevant resources and service providers.


1 comment :

  1. Being somewhere within the social circles of both of these people I feel the need to comment on this. That day I knew for a fact that he did not attend the event with any knowledge that she was going to be there, there was no ill will. Although there was a lot of emotions regarding this, she was made aware of the misunderstanding later. In my humble opinion, I feel like this cited incident has been blown out of proportion as further revenge seeking. In fact in the past few week, I have witness countless acts of harassment against the male, many of the organised on the university ground. I think worth considering the double standards is in play during in light of all that has happened. Honestly I think all of this had made all the men on campus feel like they are no longer safe. Being a man, I feel like literally anything I do could be framed in the context of some gender related conflict, and I could be punished for everything I do. whats next? have him banned from Unibros because they were in the same line at lunch?