BY TROY SAXBY
NEWCASTLE — Two independent candidates have been elected as President and Women's Officer of the Newcastle University Students Association (NUSA) under electoral regulations designed to discriminate against political parties.
Melinda Nunn and Renee Williamson, were elected joint president and Lisa Ronneberg was elected Women's Officer on August 16. Although thirteen thousand students were eligible to vote, only 130 did.
Under electoral rules instituted in the mid '90s, candidates are provided with free and equal photocopying. However, they are not allowed to spend more than $5 on their campaign. In the last year these rules have been interpreted by the returning officer as preventing political parties standing candidates from conducting any activity involving goods worth more than $5 during election week.
In September Resistance member and candidate for president Peter Robson was disqualified because Resistance held a stall with unrelated pamphlets.
This year, the returning officer again decided that because Robson and fellow Resistance member Mel Sadler were running jointly for President, Resistance was not allowed to have its usual stall.
Robson told Green Left Weekly that "the ban is frustrating because if a Resistance member wants to run for a position we have to suspend Resistance's normal political activity on campus."