Friends of Wholefoods is now gathering signatures for an official petition to call a mass student meeting, in addition to the online petition at change.org.
A Student General Meeting (SGM) is the highest decision making body of the Monash Student Association (apart from a referendum). It has the constitutional power overrule the Monash Student Council (MSC) and the MSA’s Executive; the current predominant decision making bodies. This means that any decision made in this forum is legally and constitutionally binding on the MSA’s Executive.
Unlike the MSC, each student has a vote at an SGM, which ensures direct participation and direct democracy in the MSA. Unfortunately, the last SGM was held 7 years ago in 2005. Traditionally SGMs have played a larger role in the MSA, and they were a vital decision making mechanism which made the MSA accountable.
Sign the SGM petition and come to the SGM and regain student control over Wholefoods. The SGM petition can be found every lunch-time at Wholefoods.
This motion rejuvenates Wholefoods through reversing changes by the Monash Student Council Executive that have restricted volunteering and collective management.
Further, the motion puts a layer of protection around future decisions by calling for structural changes that give Wholefoods more autonomy.
The motion achieves this vision by asking for a referendum to make Wholefoods a division of the MSA, which have their own autonomous governance and constitution.
Specifically, this motion will direct the MSC to:
1. reinstate the progressive aims of the Wholefoods Restaurant (as defined in clause 19 in the MSA constitution);
2. reinstate the volunteer system and encourage broad participation in the daily running of the restaurant,
a. at all levels of all operation, in all areas of the restaurant,
b. including enabling the provision of a free meal as acknowledgement for each hour volunteered in all major aspects of the restaurant (i.e. cooking, serving etc), subject to a disclaimer that it does not create an employment relationship;
3. reinstate the Wholefoods Collective as the decision making body of the restaurant. As a matter of mutual respect and cooperation, and in an attempt to present a viable alternative to a hierarchical organisation as per (subclauses 19(2) and 19(3) of the MSA Constitution);
4. return Wholefoods to being a not-for-profit operation (as defined in clause 19 of the MSA constitution);
5. call a referendum for the 2012 MSA election period to make Wholefoods a division of the MSA.
Image: A Student General Meeting, 1969.