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May 14, 2007 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec: Everyone’s mean to Geoff

Despite Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove’s declaration that this year’s VUWSA Executive is “one of the best we’ve had in a few years,” animosity within the Exec was apparent at last week’s meeting, with President Geoff Hayward coming under fire.

It probably should have been an obvious indicator of things to come when three of the exec members came into the meeting carrying cans of beer – the last time these guys drank in a meeting, they doodled on the office walls and threatened to kill each other.

Hayward, already sounding exasperated (indicator number two: the meeting hadn’t even begun), requested that the members refrain from consuming alcohol, but I spied a half-empty wine glass later in the evening.

Anyway, they served hummus and crackers and after about two and a half painful hours of what I am just going to assume was important business (because it was really boring and I started wondering how much these people must be paid to sit through this kind of stuff), the Exec moved onto some actual, vaguely interesting discussion regarding the recent Sunday Star-Times article about VUWSA.

Hayward was criticised by Welfare Vice-President Heleyni Pratley and other exec members over his handling of the national newspaper’s coverage of VUWSA, which included Pratley’s drunken vandalisation of the Association’s offices, and the fact that Hayward had spoken to Radio New Zealand despite an agreement within the Exec not to speak to media.

Pratley claimed that there was a “serious breakdown in communication,” echoed by Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright, who told Hayward: “you seem to be the one [within the exec] damaging communication.”

Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara mentioned Hayward’s lack of support for Pratley, and accused him of “undermining” her, while Campaigns Officer Tai Neilson alleged that Hayward’s “image” was coming first.

“It comes across to me… as [Geoff] not looking out for members of his own Exec,” said Neilson.

Pratley told Hayward, “I’m moving in distrust of you… You’re jeopardising this organisation by doing what you’re doing.”

Hayward defended his actions, claiming that he had used his discretion in speaking to the media, but in addition to an apology, he conceded that “there are a number of times where my own feelings cloud my judgment.” To ease the animosity within his exec, he suggested mediation, but a resolution was deferred until after the meeting.

Before leaving the meeting, Pratley told Hayward that she was losing patience with him. “You can’t keep saying sorry, it’s frustrating and it’s pissing me off.”

On a lighter note, VUWSA will now be using recycled paper for all its printing and photocopying needs. For every ton they buy, thirteen trees and 31,780 litres of water will be conserved. It remains to be seen if the exec will also use this paper for writing office memos or if they will continue using walls.

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