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April 3, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Three more lambs for the slaughter – VUWSA gets extra representation

The VUWSA Executive gained three new members in last week’s by-election, with a grand total of 345 students – approximately one sixtieth of the student population – voting for Queer, Environmental and International Students Officers.

Tushara Kodikara won the position of Environmental Officer with a majority of 36 votes, Fiona Shi won International Officer with a majority of 78 votes and Will Howell became the new Queer Officer with a 70-vote majority.

Howell described his feelings on winning as “slightly daunted, but really pleased and excited” and is looking forward to using his exec position to influence political opinion on queer matters, whereas Kodikara was looking to make “environmental gains that may otherwise not happen” in what he imagined would be “a very frustrating role, due to the bureaucratic nature of such an institution.”

Shi says although she needed to get “more familiar with the University and this job”, she was keen to get to work arranging “more social and cultural activities for both international students and Kiwis” as “both groups will benefit from knowing each other.”

Returning Officer Andrew Wilford says the voting turn-out was to be expected, with VUWSA voting always “characteristically low,” and with little campaigning or advertising to inform students that an election was taking place. “My hopes are that, in the future, a greater emphasis is placed on publicising the elections, which are conducted online, and more forums where students can ascertain the policies of those running for election.”

Shijun Li, the candidate for International Officer mistakenly left off the online voting form, believed that the slip-up had cost him a chance at a VUWSA exec position. “Of course it impacted the final result. It is absolutely unfair. But I do not criticize the election process itself. I do believe it still ran very well under Nick’s leadership.” Wilford, on the other hand, assured Salient that in the one-and-a-quarter hours between the opening of voting and the discovery of the voting form error, Li’s chances would not have been affected.

No Confidence ran for all three positions again this year but was once again unsuccessful. Better luck next time, buddy.

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With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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