The editor of Craccum has survived a motion to end his editorship in a special meeting called today at Auckland University.

A motion of no confidence was called against Thomas Dykes who was accused of poor editorship of the Auckland University student magazine.

As per the AUSA constitution, 20 people had petitioned to call the Special General Meeting (SGM) at 1pm, and 200 needed to attend it for the meeting to go ahead, which it did, after a nervous wait on 199 for a short time this afternoon.

The petition claimed that Craccum had become overtly political - specifically left wing - and offensive.

The hour-long meeting allowed students the forum to have their say on the issue, and there were allegations that Dykes hadn't published articles that were slanted to the right.


Dykes disputed that.

"I'm not going to write your right wing articles for you, you write them I'll publish them, If you think it's one sided you need to contribute, send it in," he said.

A member of the AUSA told The Aucklander that the meeting was democracy at work but it was interesting that no one had actually complained about Craccum through the official media complaints process.

He said there was a media complaints board, that people could write to if they felt Craccum was out of line.

When the vote time came just before 2pm this afternoon, 144 people voted to keep Dykes as editor, and 88 wanted him gone. Ten people abstained on the basis that they did not have enough information about whether Dykes was choosing not to publish contradictory views to his own.

AUSA president Arena Williams said while the AUSA has taken a neutral stance in the matter, she felt that Craccum content had been improving.

"I've been here for five years, and this week's issue would be the best I've ever read in that time," she said.

She said the concerns seemed to stem from the change in direction Craccum had taken since Dykes had taken over as editor. Whereas last year the magazine was full of jokes and humour, Dykes had taken it in a different direction.

The direction has been more political than in recent years but some students at today's meeting said Dykes needed to address an imbalance in stance. They said the job of the editor was to ensure there was a balance of opinion and he needed to seek that.

Williams said she has spoken to Dykes since the vote and he was very happy.

"He has the mandate now and there have been real improvements under his editorship. He's the type of person who will be spurred on by the interest in this... he is genuinely passionate about people being more involved in it.

"He is now able to start from a platform that he didn't have before, and that is that he had the support of the majority of students at this meeting."

The meeting ended with a handshake between Dykes and Kirk Jacinto, who had organised the petition. Jacinto had stood against Dykes for the editorship last year.

The Craccum editor is elected each year by the AUSA and receives an honorarium for the position.  The magazine was first published in 1914, and has had a number of high profile editors including Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt.

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