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May 28, 2007 | by  | in News |
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We Report, You Decide…

…or something. This week a small proportion of the university population will head to the polls to vote in people to two positions on the VUWSA exec.

Education Officer (Welfare) Candidates

Paul Danger Brown

Paul Danger Brown

What’s the poorest you’ve ever been?
The poorest I’ve ever been? Well that’s none of your business, is it! I can tell you that I cry myself to sleep whenever I check out my bank balance these days.

How do you improve student welfare in three easy steps?
The key thing for me is to add some stability to the position for the rest of the year. Team work’s key to improving the welfare of students through VUWSA as well and I’m sure Heleyni and I will achieve some good results. It’s not just the job of the Education Officer to lobby for better student welfare on campus but the entire executive; however I will lay the smack down on any sorry mo-fo who ignores the need of students now and in future planning—and there are some big projects underway at Victoria, such as the Campus Hub project and I know this is important to the welfare of all students. I know I will fit in on the current team.

Do you think you can handle the muppetry of the exec?
At six dollars an hour what do you expect of the executive? I believe everyone on the exec is giving it their all and results are being achieved by a good team this year. The question should be if you were a muppet which one would you be? And for this I’ll answer Gonzo minus the beastility.

Stephanie Stuteley

Stephanie Stuteley

What’s the poorest you’ve ever been?
Earning $2 over rent and living in Newtown, having to walk an hour to school each day.

How do you improve student welfare in three easy steps?
1) Raise the profile of the services VUWSA provides, through postering, stalls in the quad, involving the VBC, targeting students new to University. One of my friends who is now halfway through her second year wasn’t even aware that VUWSA provided free food parcels in times of need, until I mentioned it yesterday. This should not be the case. If students don’t know about welfare services, they won’t be able to use them!

2) Getting more free shit for students! If elected, I aim to work with Heleyni and the rest of the exec to ensure that we can give students free bread everyday. Bakeries get rid of bread at the end of the day, every day, just because they cannot sell it the next day. Getting this bread, for free, and giving it to students so that no-one has to go to hungry for lack of lunch is something that’s important to me, coz being hungry sucks.

3) Working with other executive members. Co-operating without conflict is a skill of mine, and I intend to use this to work with members of the exec in areas that are relevant to them. Things such as campus safety (eg Campus Angels), freedom from sexual violence, anti-homophobia, increasing support for clubs, international student welfare, lobbying against disproportionate fee increases, and making sure all of our activities a safe and discrimination-free as well as a lot of fun! I reckon co-operating in all of these areas would make exec work a lot more productive.

Do you think you can handle the muppetry of the exec?
I think exec antics are often the only thing that students hear about, so in addition to raising the profile of the good that the exec does for students, I’m a very laid-back person. I see myself in more of a mediation role in the face of any exec conflict.

Women’s Rights Officer Candidates

Georgina Dickson

Georgina Dickson

Is feminism dead?
To me, that’s like asking, “are all women dead?” Seeing as “feminism is the radical notion that women are people”, I would certainly hope not! Many people, women included, think that feminism is irrelevant in today’s society, confusing the legal equality that we have achieved with other notions of equality. I think that as long as women continue to be raped, objectified, taken less seriously in the workplace, paid less, have unfair body expectations imposed upon them, suffer sexual harassment, find themselves victims of domestic violence, have questionable control over their reproductive rights and suffer many other injustices, we will are not equal to men and feminism continues to be relevant to the majority of our population (Approximately 51%. Or 100% depending on how you look at it. In my opinion, feminism is also highly relevant to men. See the article in the women’s column of last week’s Salient for more!)

What are the biggest issues facing women on campus?
Barriers women face to getting a tertiary education are the same as the barriers facing them in many other spheres of life. To me, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be a lot harder to get your degree if you don’t start on equal ground in the first place. That’s why we have a women’s rights officer, to try and ameliorate some of the strains women have while they’re at University. The WRO is responsible for the provision a safe space women, campaigning for women’s issues, fundraising for women’s groups, education and awareness raising about what people can do to help bridge the gender gap!

This position has been filled by some interesting characters in recent years. How do you hope to continue this legacy?
I would hope that anyone going for this position would be “doing it for the love” rather than with the aim in mind of going down in VUWSA politics history (this phrase makes me shudder for some reason). As for being an interesting character…wellllll…I guess you’ll have to come and meet me at the candidates’ forum, befriend me and make your own mind up! Bear in mind that I’m obsessed with playing guitar, trying to have rap battles with people, vegan baking, crafts, grrrl music…oh, and staring at the sky and screaming…

Stephenie Williams

Stephenie Williams

Is feminism dead?
No, it’s just hiding.

What are the biggest issues facing women on campus?
The university being male dominant with mostly male lecturers and mostly males in positions of power within the uni, the lack of information on the womens room, and the idea that women are paying just as much as men for their degrees yet when they get to the workforce they will be paid 20% less than their male equivalent.

This position has been filled by some interesting characters in recent years. How do you hope to continue this legacy?
By being interesting.

Gabrielle Stewart

Gabrielle Stewart

Is feminism dead?
I believe feminism has evolved. While equity is yet to be achieved, women now have the benefit of positive reinforcement from their peers, leaders and government. I feel that feminism today is about positive identity, and therefore every woman with self confidence is a feminist in some way.

What are the biggest issues facing women on campus?
Safety, getting home from university or town is an issue for female students. Lack of time and over commitment to our studies, part time or full time jobs and personal life results in stressed and overworked students.

This position has been filled by some interesting characters in recent years. How do you hope to continue this legacy?
I hope to provide some balance to the role of WRO. My aim is to improve student’s representation by being more accessible. I am open-minded, enthusiastic and will provide a fresh voice on the exec. My goals are to be approachable, empathetic and passionate in the role.

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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.

Comments (2)

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  1. Gabrielle Stewart would make a consummately professional and compassionate Women’s Rights Officer. I know because I took her to my seventh form ball and got nothing.

    Best of luck Gabbie. :D

  2. Theophilus Q. Wittgenstein, it sounds like she wasn’t “approachable and passionate in the role” as your date!

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