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February 20, 2006 | by  | in Opinion |
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Happy New Year

Welcome to university to all new students, and welcome back to all returning students. I started work as president on January 1st. The VUWSA team has been working hard over summer preparing for an exciting and rewarding academic year for students in 2006.

My first bit of advice to students is get involved with university life. While it is important to do well at your studies and work hard at this, university offers so many other opportunities and life experiences. In the first couple of weeks of classes we have a cracker orientation program lined up for you. Have a look through Salient and keep an eye out for posters and notices to make sure you don’t miss what’s going on. Events range from live concerts to debates, political rallies, comedy, women’s events, pub crawls and so much more. Remember your time at university is what you make of it so get involved and have the time of your life.
So what have your student representatives been up to over summer? Much of our time has been spent preparing for the year ahead. A big thing coming up is that Victoria is hosting the University Games in April. This is the first time that Easter Tourney has been held in Wellington in six years. We are looking forward to a great University games and hoping that we win the shield.
In late January NZUSA had its initial conference for 2006 in Wellington. Here NZUSA started doing some strategic planning for the next few years, particularly looking at how the student movement can win policy victories that benefit students. While this discussion was useful so far it’s only involved student executive members. Any serious strategic direction by NZUSA needs considerable consultation with the student body, both at Victoria and other tertiary institutions that belong to NZUSA for it to be effective.

On campus we have been involved with the campus development planning. This is looking at how we can improve the buildings and design of Victoria University’s four campuses. Related to this I have continued discussions with the university over the long standing Student Union Building dispute. Hopefully some progress will be made in this area soon.

VUWSA has also been active in helping Student Job Search relocate from the Student Union Building to Mount St. Last year the Union decided to increase the rent to SJS making it too expensive for them to stay in the Student Union Building. Luckily the VUWSA Trust owned property on Mount Street that SJS have now moved into with help from us. The team at VUWSA have great plans. This year we want to build our students association into a strong, vibrant, democratic and positive organisation. I look forward to serving students in my role this year.

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