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May 7, 2007 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Council

YOU PAY UNIVERSITY COUNCIL MEMBERS!

Hopefully that capitalized opening line got your attention.

I didn’t realise that University Council members get paid until last week, when Chancellor Tim Beaglehole tabled a bunch of motions, like “that the maximum rate of $320 per day be payable for attendance at any one or more meetings on any one day” and “that the Chancellor’s honorarium be increased to the maximum rate permitted by the Minister of Tertiary Education, namely $25,350 (gross) per annum”.

Some Council members have to take the afternoon off unpaid to attend the meetings, whereas others, including University staff, make up for their missed work hours at other times. But if a Council meeting takes four hours, then that’s like $80 an hour. They make the same in four hours as I do in a week! I don’t know if you care, but that’s quite a lot of money.

They have the option of not accepting the money though, or accepting a lesser amount. There are a whole bunch of other rules and stuff which I can’t be bothered typing out but if you really care, come up to the Salient office and read my Council book.

On a happier note, I last week discovered that at least one person reads Salient’s news section. It sort of my news, because obviously no one reads the news.

However, I was at the University Council meeting last week and once again fought the urge to close my eyes for a wee nap (VUWSA President Geoff Hayward wasn’t so strong-willed, although my text message “Wake up Geoff!………That’s a Wiggles song! :)” gave him the inspiration he needed).

I sat through around two hours of something about nothing, although there was some fee rise business (you’d know that if you read the news) and then, once we finally reached the end of the ‘public’ part of the meeting, I packed up my pen and my notepad and prepared to leave.

And then Public Affairs Director Gillian Boyes dropped a bombshell.

“You’ll be pleased to know there’s cake,” she said.

Now, anyone who reads Salient’s news, or at least these monthly Eye On Council shitkicker columns, knows that my Council highlight is cake. I mean, sure, it’s only fruitcake (although last week there were two different types of fruitcake) but cake is cake and makes one Salient reporter a happy lady.

And Gillian Boyes knew that I like cake at Council meetings, therefore she must read Salient news (or my mind…).

My goal as Salient news editor has been achieved.

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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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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this