LTSA suspends Bundoora Student Council

The LTSA has suspended the Bundoora Student Representative Council (SRC) for unknown reasons following secret meetings excluding SRC members.

Governing Board of Director, Jenna Boyd, released a statement on behalf of the Board regarding the suspension of the SRC. The statement said that the LTSA is in the process of reviewing the situation but due to a need to protect the privacy of students involved would not be commenting on the reason for the councils’ suspension.

“A number of issues have been raised and are being reviewed by the Governing Board. As has been previously indicated to the Bundoora SRC, all positions remain intact until the review has been concluded, at which time the resumption of duties will occur,” Boyd said.

Members of the Bundoora SRC are presently unaware of the specific issues the LTSA has mentioned as a result of being prohibited from joining all meetings regarding the suspension. Elected President of the Bundoora SRC Joel Blanch said that he has been shocked by the way members have been treated in response to the LTSA’s actions.

“The recent suspension of the Council, with little reasons is a shocking misuse of power by the Interim and Elected Board Directors. The Bundoora Council represents the vast majority of students (22,000+) and the board has attempted to silence those students’ voice,” Blanch said.

Other members from the Bundoora SRC expressed similar views on how the current situation is being handled. Skye Griffiths said that the LTSA should handle this situation more appropriately in order to improve student representation at La Trobe.  

“I find it appalling that student representation means so little to an organisation that claims to ‘make student lives better’. After COVID-19 and its impact on tertiary education, how can students expect any improvement around campus?” Griffiths said.

“Elected representatives are now silenced because of an apparent vendetta the Interim Board has against CHANGE candidates, it’s simply ludicrous. The LTSA Board must do better.”

The full suspension came following a confidential meeting held in early May which excluded Blanch and other Student Council presidents. At first, the LTSA verbally announced that the meeting could not continue due to technical difficulties over Zoom. It was later revealed that the meeting had actually proceeded with specific members being excluded.

A meeting was then held by the Bundoora SRC to reaffirm the support for all members in response to LTSA after they decided not to validate the election of executive members of the SRC.

Later, the LTSA sent an email to the Bundoora SRC stating that as a result of an investigation being launched, the SRC are not allowed to have any further meetings. The investigation was launched following complaints made by the LTSA Secretary. 

All members of the Bundoora SRC continue to work towards advocating for improved student representation at La Trobe. The LTSA has remained tight lipped about the suspension of the council and continues their investigation.