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February 26, 2007 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA in naughty-corner over Shield auction

Vice-Chancellor calls sale ‘bloody stupid’

A prank by VUWSA on the Trade Me website last year caused a minor inter-university crisis and prompted a stern warning from the Vice-Chancellor.

Former president Nick Kelly, along with vice-presidents Jules van Cruysen and Joel Cosgrove and Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard, listed the University Games Shield on Trade Me, with bidding starting at $1.

The idea was based on that of The Spirit of Adventure Trust auctioning the America’s Cup for funds for Team New Zealand yachting. In an email to Kelly, Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh said: “If this is not a joke…it is potentially serious. I very much doubt that VUWSA has the authority to auction the Shield and, in any event, it would be unwise (this is VC speak for ‘absolutely bloody stupid’) to do so. This is not how I want Team Vic to operate.”

Barnard also received a large number of emails from outside parties, including students’ associations and sporting bodies, ranging from “????” to “you are an idiot”.

Bitter at having lost the Shield to Vic, then-President of Auckland University of Technology Students’ Association Paul Stewart attempted to buy it back for $6 before emailing Trade Me to have the auction removed.

Asked by Trade Me to prove VUWSA’s ownership of the Shield, Barnard says the exec were “too lazy” to get the digital camera and take a photo of it before the listing was taken down. The shield, affectionately known as Shieldy, dates back to 1923 and features the crests of Victoria, Otago, Auckland and Canterbury Universities, along with that of the now-defunct University of New Zealand.

Sale information in the listing read that the Shield “features the engraving ‘Sapere Aude’, Latin for Who Dares Wins. Shieldy…would look great in any flat, would provide inspiration for dinner party conversations and would be an excellent Christmas gift for all sporting enthusiasts.”

VUWSA intended to use the profits from the auction to fund the Vic Uni Games team to Canterbury this coming April.

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About the Author ()

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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