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June 2, 2007 | by  | in Online Only |
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And the winner is…

Women’s Rights Officer: Gabrielle Stewart
Education Officer: Paul Danger Brown

It was a very, very tight race between all of the candidates.

Voting stats:
WRO Candidates:
Georgina Dickson 282
Gabrielle Stewart 319
Stephenie Williams 183

EO Candidates:
Paul Danger Brown 397
Stephanie Stuteley 387

784 students voted – a huge number by VUWSA standards.

In last March’s by-election, 345 students voted – one-sixtieth of the University population- and 1042 votes were cast in last October’s general election.

Campaigning was minimal this time around – I didn’t see any posters for any of the candidates, and one person running for election commented that if their opposition weren’t campaigning then they had no reason to.

Returning Officer Pippa Strom can be credited with a lot of the voter turnout success, after she put in a huge advertising effort for the election, including heaps of info in Salient and coloured posters around the University featuring Cliff Curtis and a pie (amongst other things) reminding students to vote.

After many issues with online voting last year, the new, easy-to-use online voting system, which took me less than 20 seconds to cast a vote, also appears to have been a winner with students.

And despite Salient being on a five-week publication holiday, I had a dream two nights ago about the by-election. I dreamt that a Salient volunteer ran for President – and won (despite the President’s position not being available in this election). It was a really weird dream, and it reflects that I have well and truly become a VUWSA nerd.

Anyway, congratulations to the new WRO and Education Officer. Their predecessors were wacky and not incredibly effective, particularly at working with other exec members or serving students, so it will be interesting to see what changes take place this time around.

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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 (53)

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  1. Kerry Tankard says:

    How did a woman who said she didn’t know where the Women’s Space on campus is, get that many votes?
    Time to bring in the rule that happens on other campuses, where the WRO ie elected by female students only.

    Is she one of the Act on campus supporters too? You know, the lot that don’t usually vote…. and write misogynist crap all the time…. and say feminism is dead and won’t be neccessary for the future of politics????

    Like the last two Act-supporting WRO’s who basically didn’t do the job (Hannah Collling & Kerry O’Connor, for the hard of memory), and then trashed 30 years worth of archives going back to the 70’s, which were *irreplaceable*, not like a phone bill, which is only accounting to be paid….

    Yeah, go on Mike, call me a lesbian feminazi again, like you’d even recognise one, or that I care!

  2. WROng says:

    Kerry: I’ve got an idea that’s better than letting only female students vote for the WRO – Just get rid of the position. It’s kinda becoming redundent.

    And what campuses use the said voting system?

  3. Mike Heine says:

    Oh Kerry, if you could read you would’ve seen the retraction in Salient that confirmed that letter wasn’t actually written by me.
    I don’t need to call you names, you’re not worth wasting my time on.

  4. sam says:

    Kerry, without ever having the pleasure of meeting you, you remind me of the kind of women who have 6 week long super absorbancy tampon type periods. I’ve met a few of those in my life. BTW, thats not calling you a name, it’s just an impression that is my opinion, so don’t go getting up my ass about it.

    I tend to agree with WROng, WRO is a redundant position. Is there an MRO? What about a tranny RO, there are bound to be a few tran’s on campus that need their representation too.

    And this women’s space thing? In my opinion, thats any toilet with a sanitary bin jammed in the corner. Out in the workforce, most employers wont offer that sort of special treatment, why should it be offered at Uni? Hell, as we’d know from watching Ally McBeal years ago, that OMG some places have UNISEX TOILETS!

    Anyway, congrats to the two newbies. Good luck against the almost stigmas that the previous lot added to it. Know that all eyes are on you because of it.

  5. Chris says:

    Kerry – your attempts to defend the inexcusable with Opie continue to be amusing. However I’m more interested in your statements that “Is she one of the Act on campus supporters too? You know, the lot that don’t usually vote…. and write misogynist crap all the time…. and say feminism is dead and won’t be neccessary for the future of politics????”

    Can you
    a) prove that we don’t vote (I would have thought voting would be important to us, and of the 500-1000 odd people that usually vote in VUWSA elections, we’d be a fairly sizeable minority);
    b) give some examples of “misogynist crap”?

    Also, I have an answer to your rhetorical question “How did a woman who said she didn’t know where the Women’s Space on campus is, get that many votes?”

    Becuase NOBODY CARES.

  6. Exactally … This is why the WRO should be appointed as opposed to elected because even people who obviously care, like the ones posting on this website don’t understand feminist issues enough to even acknowledge that they need to be kept in check.

    Some of you people need to stop talking out of your arse’s change and go read afew books because almost all your arguments as to why their shouldn’t be a WRO are the exact reason why their should be one!

  7. Another Cosgrove/Pratley Crony says:

    Yeah, WRO should be an appointed position. Then we can stack the Exec even more than we already have and get away with doing an even crapper job (if that’s possible). I’m still pissed neither of our friends got voted in last week.

  8. I agree with WROng that the WRO should be abolished. The idea of appointment would only serve to reduce accountibility. The fact hardly anyone cares helps give another reason for its abolition. As for the need to sheck up on feminist issues, or female only election, i though feminists were after equal rights for women. Turns out I was wrong, they want more rights thasn other people.
    Heres a good way to see the relevance of these special things to women, like womens space, feminist liabary, womens group etc. there are (asuming a 50/50 gender split amongst uni students) 10 000 women on campus. Why not abolish these things and see if even 100 complain (thats 1%). If 1% complain about the feminist liabary reinstate it, it 1% complain about the womens space bring it back, and if 1% complain about the WRO reinstate it. i doubt many of these services would survive.

  9. I agree with WROng that the WRO should be abolished. The idea of appointment would only serve to reduce accountibility. The fact hardly anyone cares helps give another reason for its abolition. As for the need to sheck up on feminist issues, or female only election, i though feminists were after equal rights for women. Turns out I was wrong, they want more rights thasn other people.
    Heres a good way to see the relevance of these special things to women, like womens space, feminist liabary, womens group etc. there are (asuming a 50/50 gender split amongst uni students) 10 000 women on campus. Why not abolish these things and see if even 100 complain (thats 1%). If 1% complain about the feminist liabary reinstate it, it 1% complain about the womens space bring it back, and if 1% complain about the WRO reinstate it. i doubt many of these services would survive.

  10. I agree with WROng that the WRO should be abolished. The idea of appointment would only serve to reduce accountibility. The fact hardly anyone cares helps give another reason for its abolition. As for the need to sheck up on feminist issues, or female only election, i though feminists were after equal rights for women. Turns out I was wrong, they want more rights thasn other people.
    Heres a good way to see the relevance of these special things to women, like womens space, feminist liabary, womens group etc. there are (asuming a 50/50 gender split amongst uni students) 10 000 women on campus. Why not abolish these things and see if even 100 complain (thats 1%). If 1% complain about the feminist liabary reinstate it, it 1% complain about the womens space bring it back, and if 1% complain about the WRO reinstate it. i doubt many of these services would survive.

  11. I agree with WROng that the WRO should be abolished. The idea of appointment would only serve to reduce accountibility. The fact hardly anyone cares helps give another reason for its abolition. As for the need to sheck up on feminist issues, or female only election, i though feminists were after equal rights for women. Turns out I was wrong, they want more rights thasn other people.
    Heres a good way to see the relevance of these special things to women, like womens space, feminist liabary, womens group etc. there are (asuming a 50/50 gender split amongst uni students) 10 000 women on campus. Why not abolish these things and see if even 100 complain (thats 1%). If 1% complain about the feminist liabary reinstate it, it 1% complain about the womens space bring it back, and if 1% complain about the WRO reinstate it. i doubt many of these services would survive.

  12. I agree with WROng that the WRO should be abolished. The idea of appointment would only serve to reduce accountibility. The fact hardly anyone cares helps give another reason for its abolition. As for the need to sheck up on feminist issues, or female only election, i though feminists were after equal rights for women. Turns out I was wrong, they want more rights thasn other people.
    Heres a good way to see the relevance of these special things to women, like womens space, feminist liabary, womens group etc. there are (asuming a 50/50 gender split amongst uni students) 10 000 women on campus. Why not abolish these things and see if even 100 complain (thats 1% of women). If 1% complain about the feminist liabary reinstate it, it 1% complain about the womens space bring it back, and if 1% complain about the WRO reinstate it. If it was done so the complaints had to be independent of each other, 9ie no feminist group asking students to complain)I doubt many of these services would survive.
    One good way to make VUWSA accountible will be to make it voultary. In that way if you think VUWSA’s doing a bad job, then you can leave. If this principle was applied to the rep groups, which I hope a VSM VUWSA will do, then rep groups will have to ask for donations or set membership fees to survive. In order to encorage people to join and pay membership fee or donate money, they will have to provide something of value to their members. I would like to see how well the womens group does with such accountibility.
    Despite the above, crongratulations Paul and Gabrielle. Hope you both do good jobs.

  13. Brett Davidson says:

    BTW, thats not calling you a name, it’s just an impression that is my opinion, so don’t go getting up my ass about it.

    Translation: “Let me insult you in crassly misogynistic terms, and a few other women for good measure, but it’s not fair for you to counter it -because I can’t take it.”

    Deliberate insinuation has the same intent as as a direct insult, with one difference: Sam (if that’s your name), you are transparently a coward.

    I also find it ironic that critics of the WRO position here have to resort to vulgar, emotive language and multiple postings of to argue that women are inherently irrational. I find it odd also that they assume that they – as men – are the ones to decide whether women need a WRO. Keep it up guys, you’re undermining your own arguments.

  14. Sorry, I wasn’t meant to post so many times. I’ was suprised to see so many posts up there from me. As for the
    “I find it odd also that they assume that they – as men – are the ones to decide whether women need a WRO. Keep it up guys, you’re undermining your own arguments.”
    Ideas should be judged by the arguements for them, not who se ideas they are, so me being male makes no difference. My opposition to the WRO comes from the principle that people should be treated as equals regardless of gender, and thus there should be no special officers on any descison making body, like the VUWSA exec, to represent one particular gender group. there was once a time when femonists claimed they wanted equal rights for women. Now it appears they want more rights than others, similar to other minority rights groups.
    .Another arguement for getting rid of the WRO is money. Having a WRO cost VUWSA $3 500 per year, which can be spent on other services if there was no WRO. Thus the WRO means VUWSA provides fewer services for students.
    Another way to look at the issue is to reverse the situation. Women and men now have equal rights under law, and have done so for a long time (except in VUWSA where men have fewer rights such as smaller mens space, no mens rights liabary, no mens co-ordinator, no VUWSA subsidised activities for mens rights day (if ther is one), no mens rights officer on the exec). This means that ther is just as much need for a mens rights officer as there is for a WRO. Do I think men need a mens rights officer? No. therefore women don’t need a WRO.
    There is also a 1993 Human rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on gender in section 21. The rule saying that only women may stand for election as WRO, if not the existence of a WRO without a mens rights officer, discriminates based on gender. Sections 24-35 of the act list exceptions to the discrimination rule, but there is none for a exception allowing a gender qualification to be imposed on candidacy for postions on student assosciation executives. Thus the rule banning male candidates from standing for the WRO could be illegal, and if a male did try to stand and was refused he could take a complaint to the human rights commission.

  15. Paul Danger Brown says:

    Well I know my campaign was a joke. I didn’t put up a single poster or even go to the candidates’ forum. But I’m still the best person for the job. I have a few issues with the election but I think all and all much was learnt and things look good for future elections under Pippa—provided people campaign we’ll have a good turn out comparatively.

    As for the WRO position, the people have spoken and that’s democracy. I had an interesting conversation with one of the candidates’ who suggested that the VUWSA constitution should be amended so that only members of the women’s group can apply for the role—as the Queer rep has to be a member of UniQ the precedent has been set. This seems like he perfect solution to all arguments to me. As for whether these positions should exist? I believe there’s still much inequality, and sadly in my opinion these positions are still very much required at this university, but hopefully in time they’ll be redundant.

  16. No one cares what you say nick the dick

  17. Nick Archer says:

    Don’t want to sound like Graeme Edgeler but you can’t have an appointed Exec member, not in an Incorporated Society, especially a political one like VUWSA! You can however hire staff that would do such tasks that an elected member does, e.g. like they do with Education, Campaigns and Clubs. But that would depend on the workload of the actual WRO and the rep groups they coordinate with.

    I am uncomfortable with the candidate having to be a member of any rep group as that doesn’t seem very democratic… However if that was even done then any group would have to be an actual rep group and NOT a club/party/lobby group and have some kind of charter/MOU with VUWSA so the prospective candidate would REGISTER for their candidacy in effect by joining the rep group. And the group should be open to anyone of any race, creed, sex and sexual orientation if that is the preresiquitte to be a candidate for the Executive as we are talking about an Executive of an Incorporated Society not a sub committee.

  18. Brett Davidson says:

    Women and men now have equal rights under law

    And there is the point. It would be nice if law were the only factor, but for starters, look at the crime stats and the tendency for men to break the law. Look particularly at crimes of violence and intimidation, look at harassment, look at prejudice and denigration – which we’ve seen plenty of here. Look at your own claim that women advocating rights are to be dismissed out of hand; you have no interest in listening to what they might have to say or how they perceive their situation.

    Instead, you indulge in hyperbolic rhetoric, specious abstractions, invented figures and post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments that carefully remove any consideration of culture and prejudice from consideration. Quoting law as if it were the only possible factor is the last resort of someone ignorant of the circumstances of real life experienced by people other than themselves.

    Look at our foulmouthed, cowardly “Sam”. He thinks women’s space is a lavatory. So women are supposed to breastfeed children in toilets are they? The university assumes that men are the “norm” and that women are the deviation, with the result that they need after-the-fact adjustments such as a place for safe breastfeeding. That is what real life is about, fighting the ignorant, blind assumptions built into the details and daily practices of an institution.

    You are also completely negative in your argument. You have not one positive contribution to make – you do not think that there should be a men’s library, simply that women’s facilities should be closed down without consultation. You seem to see life as a zero-sum game in which women must be actively prevented from winning. The thought that everyone could be disadvantaged from the beginning and could be helped to benefit is beyond you.

    you mention money – why is it your automatic assumption that it is the WRO has to be done away with rather than something else?

    I’ve taught for well over a decade now and I’ve long lost count of the number of students – some of them literally suicidal – who have been through my office with real problems. Female students of mine have been chased and nearly raped numerous times on the poorly-lit campus where I previously worked (maybe actually, though they didn’t tell me). They’ve had to go home in groups or in taxis after that – at extra expense and at earlier hours, causing their studies to suffer. There is indeed a law against rape, but does that stop rape? So what if there’s a law against discrimination? Do you think that that stops it too? Do you think that some legal abstraction will remove intimidation and harassment?

    The means to counter that and allied behaviour is what you dismiss as “special rights” – and I see that you feel the need to throw in a sneer at “other minority groups” as well.

    Some of my students have had very real problems, some have had made-up problems based on invented ideological slights. I see no evidence that you’d fall into the former category.

    So, yes, I am judging your argument according to who you are, because you’ve made it quite clear that you will not consider a woman’s point of view from the very beginning.

    At a guess, you and I have had broadly similar backgrounds. I have been made aware, meeting people professionally and personally, that I am very, very lucky.

    Go and experience some real life. After about twenty more years of it I may take you seriously.

  19. Brett Davidson says:

    Erratum:

    “The thought that everyone could be disadvantaged…”

    Should be:

    “The thought that anyone could be disadvantaged…”

  20. Brett- I take your point about the law not being everything. there are some people who do break the law, which is why we have a police force, and other law enforcement bodies.
    “Look at your own claim that women advocating rights are to be dismissed out of hand; you have no interest in listening to what they might have to say or how they perceive their situation.” I did not directly state that women advocating rights should be dissmissed out of hand, but unless there is a very good reason, demands for special privelliges for minorities should be dissmised out of hand. Special preferences shouldn’t be given due to cultural reasons or perceved disadvantage or prejudice. Only physical handicap and maybe a few other rare circumstances should be considered for reasons for special privelleges in cases where directly related to the disability, and this should be thing like priority for people in wheelchairs to use lifts as people in wheelchairs can’t use stairs, not disabilities rights officers.
    as for my specious abstractions or invented figures, can you cite which statements I’ve made are specious abstractions, or which figures are invented, because I haven’t invented any figures. As for me ignoring prejudice or culture, I don’t think they should be considered in the special privelleges for minorities arguement. Instead what should be considered is the idea of equally rights and one law for all, which means treating people exactly the same, ragardless of gender, race and religon.

  21. sam says:

    Oh well I would hate anything to think me a coward, she’s welcome to sling the mud back at me. Difference is, I’ve got some of that stuff sprayed on my back that people used to use back in the early 2000’s that made them think that if they followed a cattle truck up SH3 the flecks of bovine excretement wouldn’t stick to their windshield.

  22. Brett Davidson says:

    Nicholas,

    Answer the rape argument, answer the breastfeeding argument.

    I repeat, because it is obvious that it is beyond your cognitive ability, that just because there are laws against rape and discrimination, the police are unable to prevent these happening. Why then, according to your logic, are the police the only institution who must deal with these issues when plainly they do not or cannot?

    I add that they deal with these things (if they do at all) after they have happened, not before. Is it better that a woman be abused and then complain to the police – who may or may not do anything, depending on whether they believe her (or whether a policeman committed the crime) – or that the abuse be pro-actively be prevented?

    This: I take your point about the law not being everything., considered with your later statements, is pure hypocrisy.

    Tell me, what is your opinion on the safety of women on campus after the lights go out? Is it OK if they have a greater risk of rape after dark than large men in black with size ten boots like myself? Do you think that some written statutes in a file far away mean anything in this context?

    If something can be done about that, is it preferable that no money be “wasted” bringing this to the attention of the campus authorities? According to my experience in the real world (have you heard of it?), the administrator of the campus on which I worked did something about it only after it was brought to his attention by a WRO. Before that, his only concern was saving money on the lighting bill.

    Have you seen the results of continual psychological abuse? It does real damage to people and I’ve seen that over and over for years. It could be prevented, not by the police, but by education and codes of conduct that only ever get brought to the attention of authorities by those uppity types who upset the functioning of the perfect legislative machine.

    Define what you think are “special privileges”. Define “good reason”. Then tell me why you are an appropriate judge.

    Special preferences shouldn’t be given due to cultural reasons or perc[i]eved disadvantage or prejudice

    Why should “priveleges” be granted only according to physical disadvantage when it is obvious that prejudice and discrimination occur for reasons that are completely irrational and unconnected to any physical disability?

    Are you so naive as to assume that no such thing as abuse happens – or are you happy for it to continue? It’s OK for someone to be attacked and denigrated and prevented from access to essential services or employment simply because of what some idiot thinks of them? Alright, supposing that the powerful – forgetting how they gained power – have priveleges, or, shall we say, perogatives, should they be permitted to use them to cause malicious harm to others? Power entails responisbility, no despotism, yet without people to hold them to account, people in power tend to abuse it – as was the case of the campus administrator I mentioned above. He was eventually fired, by the way.

    Is it a “privelege” for someone in a wheelchair to be allowed to ascend to an upper floor just like everyone else? Do you think that you are graciously granting favour to the disabled by letting them use a lift?

    One of the subjects that I’ve taught is ergonomics – the meaning of that word is cunningly concealed in every dictionary, so you might just be able to find it out. In any case, the primary lesson of ergonomics is that, at one time or another, everyone is disabled. One of the primary causes of disablement is old age… just wait and find out if what you get in old age is a set of basic human rights or “priveleges”. If you’re true to your word, you’ll never join an organisation like Gray Power or pay a lawyer… but I won’t hold my breath (truth be told, I’ll probably be dead before you anyway). Then again, you might just sprain an ankle. You’ll be grateful that someone years ago actually put in the effort to lobby for the installation of lifts as a basic building code item. Do you think that architects and builders go through the enormous expense of specifying lifts just because they thought that it would be nice?

    You are so naive!

    Why is the WRO specifically a waste of money? VUWSA supports sporting facilities and events. You have not answered. Why is sports not a waste of money? I for one have difficculty thinking of anything more absurd than chasing a ball around a paddock, yet I acknowledge that it has deep significance for a lot of people and teaches important skills in both the physical and social realms. I shrug my shoulders and say to myself, democratic societies support the population’s needs as a whole, and if I perosonally do not benefit from one particular allocation of expenditure, then nonetheless, I receive benefits that others do not need also. It all evens out because it’s based on the assumption that we are a social species, not a random assortment of totally self-interested predators.

    Do you think that discrimination and harassment are trivial? Have you ever been at the receiving end? Have you ever seen the effect on people who have had to endure it day in, day out?

    I’ve seen it. It drives people to try to kill themselves. I’ve seen that, repeatedly. Will you tell me that the weak deserve to die? I think that the real weaklings are those who close their eyes and ears to the world and other people.

    Do you think that it matters? Do you think that something practical should be done about things, or do you think that the person who might be able to do something about the inequalities of the world is redundant? Which is cheaper: prevention or cure (the police, whom you admit are not totally effective)? Or does prevention not matter?

    I did not directly state that… No, you did not. Implications are clear enough. In any case, you go on to say diredtly – in contradiction to this statement – that nearly all complaints should be dismissed out of hand anyway without the least bit of questioning or consideration. Again, since you seem to be illiterate, your arguments exclude consideration of any point of view or experience other than your own.

    Specious arguments: you say that “nobody cares” about the WRO position. There is indeed general – and lamentable – student apathy towards the elections generally, however, what evidence do you have to support your supposition that it is apathy toward feminism specifically? Where is your survey data? Where is the causal link?

    “1%”, “10%” “10,000” Whatever. Mere estimates based on your own prejudice, used to support a hypothetical situtuation. There is no real statistical basis whatsoever.

    Yes, equal rights for one and all regardless of race and gender are all very nice – but the fact is, they exist in law, but they don’t exist in practice. It would be nice if we all had immortality and free chocolate too. You’re just blithering about abstract principles.

    You say “privelege”, but the fact is, you and I are already priveleged in a world that assumes that middle-class born childless white men are the norm.

    You talk about what should be the case. That’s nice. Maybe you’re sincere, maybe I’ll assume that your not some disingenuous misogynistic moron. However, our mutual enemy, reality, has something else to say about that: things are not, in practical terms, as they should be. Haven’t you noticed? No, probably you haven’t, or you don’t care.

    Feminism, believe it or not, is about living in the real world, not in the utopian fantasy of some undergraduate ideologue. You’ve admitted yourself that the law can’t do everything. When reality and fantasy contradict each other, it is not reality that can be adjusted to suit the fantasy unless someone puts the work in, and if no-one else will do it, then a WRO will have to do. Get over yourself and start listening to people who have had to live in the real world.

    Really, there is nothing more ridiculous than a spoilt middle class brat whining about how oppressed he is by feminists.

  23. Brett Davidson says:

    Oh, so now you’re the working class hero, “Sam”? Your point?

  24. Lou says:

    Brett, you’re arguing against a guy who in a tutorial once said that women were stupid because they had smaller brains than men. I wouldn’t waste my time.

  25. Brett Davidson says:

    Sorry Lou, but I seed a large, slow-moving target and I can’t resist taking a few pot shots. Call me a sadistic bastard… >:-)

    As for his brain remark, I hope that he got a good dose of ridicule for it. The brain is not a substance, it’s a structure. Raw volume is irrelevant – it’s the number and complexity of connections that matters and it’s the same in both sexes.

    That’s if you use it of course.

  26. Another point for Brett says:

    I am pretty sure Nick O’Kane has some form of mental illness that slows his brain process down. And he is from the Hutt – enough said.

  27. Brett Davidson says:

    I had a girlfriend from the Hutt, and she’s pretty smart… mind you, she’s gone to live in London, which is about as far away from there as you can get.

  28. sam says:

    Far from a hero, further from wanting to be one. Same goes for the working class comment. And I believe you have a problem with people called Sam, for you to assume it’s a pseudonym. Did one rape you in the quad one night after lights out?

    To support a cause I usually don’t, there’s nothing wrong with being from the Hutt, when you’re young you can’t dictate where your parents chose to raise you. What’s wrong is choosing to stay there after you leave high school. And I guess it’s halfway acceptable to still be in the Hutt at uni, if you’re still living at home….

    And on another note, has Kerry taught ya’ll a new word? I’ve never seen the word misogynist and related forms used so often.

  29. Brett Davidson says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, no, I’ve never been raped, let alone by anyone named Sam. You’ll have to find a new fantasy to get off on.

    It’s your concealment of your surname and use of a common first name that leads me to believe that you want virtual anonymity, along with your disingenuous insistence that you must be exempt from criticism while dishing it out in deliberately offensive terms.

    “Misogynist” is hardly a new word to me, and misogyny is hardly a new practice to a couple of people here. It’s merely a case of calling a spade a spade.

  30. sam says:

    I’d suggest you learn to tell your garden tools apart. Last definition I read, you had to be male to be misogynistic.

  31. Kerry Tankard says:

    And in further breaking news:
    I have my own erratum to publish, having got the two candidates confused, so what I initially said referring to Gabrielle, was meant about Stephanie Williams.
    My apologies to Gabrielle, whom I have now met, and apologised to personally.

    All other comments stand as stated.

    Boys, boys, boys! When will you grow up to become men? And how many of your number will find an attractive young woman who can stomach your so obviously misogynist mutterings, and tediously visible low self-esteem. I shudder to think what outcomes from breeding will result, especially since I’ve seen photo’s of Chris Bishop standing next to his father, as published in the Dominion Post. A third degeneration of that would be unpublishably ugly… Yes, that is deliberately offensive. But then, so is David Farrar, so get used to playing with the grown-ups, Chris.

    You, indeed, are the reason why our campus, 56% of which are female students, so desperately needs good representation from the WRO and the Women’s Group (the rep group for women on campus).

  32. Nicola Kean says:

    I’m sorry Kerry, but that’s just offensive and uncalled for. At no point did the “chris” in question personally insult you. Clelia’s antics are indefensable, and it is not misogynist to say so. Or does that make me a misogynist too?

    Personally, as a woman on campus, I am angered and disgusted by your constant attempts to act as a self-appointed spokesperson for women at Victoria. Taking such an angry and condecending approach to women’s rights will get us nowhere and embarrasses moderate feminists out of being involved. In fact, I would go so far as to say that women like you are the reason women like me don’t want to be involved in the Women’s Group.

    Let’s just hope Gabrielle can bring some much-needed dignity to the WRO position.

  33. Brett Davidson says:

    I’d suggest you learn to tell your garden tools apart

    Astonishing: a perfectly content-free, zero signal/all noise post. You have got the wrong end of the stick me old china plate. You’ve drawn the short straw in the brain department, run a few ants short of a picnic…

    Actually I am still sceptical of your identity. Your purely formal manipulation of sentence fragments, stereotyped reflexive responses, scatological obsession, random repetition and extremely limited semantic database suggest that you might be a crude AI set up by one of the computing science students.

    Somehow, I don’t think that you/it can pass the Turing Test.

    This is sort of fun though. I wonder what else I can make it do?

  34. sam says:

    You may remain sceptical of my identity. I don’t feel the need to be proud of the crap I post on here. Oooh look, another testiment to my “scatological obsession”.

    I value my privacy completely, it’s why you wont find my home address and phone number posted on the internet. Hell, I don’t even have home phone number.

  35. Brett Davidson says:

    Oh dear, it’s crashed or reverted to a default answer.

    Nice try guys/gals, but it’s definitely copped a losing ticket in the sentience sweepstakes. Reboot, or load SAM Version 1.2

  36. Chris says:

    Kerry, are you going to answer my original questions (see above) or just continue with the ad-hom insults?

    Also, what have I done personally to mean that there needs to be a WRO on campus? FWIW I’ve never found my apparent latent (or explicit, according to you) misogynism to be a problem with women. So why don’t you spill the beans and point to some examples?

    You’ll note that I have not reverted to personal attacks in order to make my point (criticising the indefensible actions of Clelia Opie is not a personal attack, a point Nicola rightly notes).

  37. tim says:

    ‘fairly sizeable minority”… ACT on campus!?!?!?!?!!! Come on Chris… all five of you? Apart from that wee comment, what you write is fairly spot on!

  38. Chris says:

    a) I’m not a member of Act on Campus, nor Act. I have never been a member of any political party, or a wing of a political party.

    b) when i referred to the “fairly sizeable minority” I was referring to people who believe in VSM/freedom and who are anti-compulsion generally.

    I maintain we are a sizeable minority. Hardly anyone comes to the IGM and AGMs. They barely get quorum. Hardly anyone votes. We turn up, we speak, we care. We vote.

  39. Lala says:

    All that means Chris is you are a vocal minority. You still haven’t provided evidence that there are more than 10 of you.
    I would say CM supporters are also a minority.

    The majority don’t give a fuck.

  40. Chris says:

    Lala – do you remember in 2004 when we hijacked a SRC (which needs at least 50 members to have quorum) and passed motions calling for flat tax, tax cuts, and for the VUWSA President to congratulate Richard Prebble? There were about 60-70 of us there, IIRC.

  41. tim says:

    That’s three years ago Chris, BET YOU CAN’T DO IT AGAIN!!!

  42. Brett and other readers, sorry its taken so long to reply. I don’t have internet acceess at home, only at university, and from where I like its a long trip.
    Ok, yes, I admit the Police can not prevent or solve all rapes. But I doubt 10 000 WROs will be able to either. The Police can prevent rape by having rapists arrested and imprisoned in the hope it will deter other potential rapists.The hope is that if rapists are seen to be punished harshly for their crimes, a potential rapist might think ‘I want to rape that girl, but I wont because I might get caught by the police and end up in prison for a long time’. The sad fact of society is that there wull always be some crime, and the police can provide a big help in reducing it, but will never be able to get it to zero. However I doubt that any number of WROs will be able to reduce the number of rape cases to zero, or even stop one rape from occuring, though a WRO could asist in raising awareness of the problem.
    As for the safety of women at night, according to US stats quoted on Wikipedia most rapes are not stranger leaping out of the dark to attack a girl walking home type rapes, but instead done by someone the girl already knows (eg date rape). the stats show 38% of rapes were done by a friend or aquitance, 7% by a reltive of the victim and another 28% by an intimate, with only 26% done by a stranger. As for the location, only 10% were outside, with 40% taking place inside the victims home. The statistics originate from RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network). Any disscussion about rape should keep these stats in mind. Note: I’m not trying to say that stranger rapes in the dark don’t occur, just that other types of rape are more common. VUWSA has the campus angels programme which may help.
    As for the case of “According to my experience in the real world (have you heard of it?), the administrator of the campus on which I worked did something about it only after it was brought to his attention by a WRO. Before that, his only concern was saving money on the lighting bill.” Good on that WRO for helping with the problem, although a different exec member or a petition by a group of women or other means could have also been used to bring attention to the matter if there was no WRO.
    asa for the breastfeeding arguement, i am aware that there was a prosal by David cassidy (campaigns officer, not WRO) to set up a parents room for this purpose (although Cassidy wanted to get rid of the womens room for this purpose). In the event VUWSA decided to keep the womens room and lobby the university to give a womens room, and i don’t know what the university decided to do.
    As for cases of discrimination due to prejudice (eg an employer deciding not to employ someone because they are black or female or gay) there is a human rights commision that people who are the victims of such can go to.
    “Is it a “privelege” for someone in a wheelchair to be allowed to ascend to an upper floor just like everyone else? Do you think that you are graciously granting favour to the disabled by letting them use a lift?’ What I had in mind was if there was a que to use the lift the wheelchair should go first. There is currently a equity in action card for disabled people for thing like this, and it didn’t come because of there being a disablities officer. ‘different treatment’ may be a better word than “privellege”.
    “Define what you think are “special privileges”. Define “good reason”. Then tell me why you are an appropriate judge.”
    “Special privelleges” are when a group is given different treatment to other people (eg having a WRO, as it involves treating women differently to men). I can’t define “good reason” as it is largely subjective, but I wopuld tend to go down the lines of where someone deserves special treatment because they were born or through a great act of misfortune ended up different to other people, which means they can not do the things that other people can do, or suffer in ways other people don’t. Physical disablity, mental disability, old age, pregnancy all fall into cases where one class of people are different to other people in a way that the pregnant, elderly, physically or mentally disabled people can’t do things normal people can, so thus they can be entitled to special privelleges such as the equity in action card, old age pensions, or maternity leave. in comparison sometimes people claim they are disadvantaged due to skin clolour. A black person can do all the same things a white person can, and has the same intellectual potential, so thus does not deserve any employment quotas or different treatment than whites for being black.
    Talking of the world as I think it should be, all people should be born with equal rights under law. They should not be discriminated against for who they are, or what their skin colour or gender is. They should be able to obtain jobs based on merit,not quotas and in a dream world there would be no discrimination based on sex or race.

  43. As for the numbers of those who believe in VSM/freedom and are generallly anti-compulsion, In my opinon its not the numbers of people who support VSM that counts but the principle that no-one should be forced to join a student assosciation. At the VUWSA levy increaseSGM studentchoice managed to get 47 people including myself to vote against the levy increase, which may give you an idea of the size. the number of ACT on campus and young nats members (at least 20 for the young nats as they need that to be a VUWSA affiliated club) would also give an idea. There are also those who hold right wing political views but aren’t part of any political group. I would estimate around 50, which is a tiny minority of all students but a not insignificent one of those who engage in politics.

  44. Hohumm... surf says:

    Hey Nick, a lot of people read these posts – could you please make an effort to be concise and interesting. You’re typical post is long winded and boring (though, admittedly, you do make good points sometimes).

    Thanks

  45. Kerry says:

    Chris:
    I’ve been busy. I don’t have time to read every blog post in the universe, I have work to do to pay my own way in the world. And I *don’t* get $10, 000 grants to travel for “research” related to the Debating Society, so that I can have a holiday in Japan with a friend, and then say that VUWSA does “nothing for me as a student”, as some kind of justification of a position on Voluntary Student Membership.

    Nicola:
    Chris Bishop is posting under the name on his birth certificate,as are you and I. As we have had a long and ususally unpublished correspondence on these issues in the past, nothing that I said had a random nature to it at all. If you had any idea how offensive our conversations have been in the past, you would be grateful for the way I have maintained my composure in this comments thred. Unfortuinately, you have no idea what you’re referring to here. I’ve filled in some of the gaps above, but basically my view of Chris Bishop involves his past practices of scamming dosh for the debsoc crew (not the debaters, just the chosen few) and slagging off people who actually put some effort into runnning the services available here on campus.
    BTW, I *can* provide proof!

    And the rest of you:
    I realise all of you belong to a generation who do not see voluntary work as anything to be proud of . Your loss.
    Your schools, kindergartens and student services are often run by volunteers, because there is no funding to pay for all the hours of work required to keep the organisations running.
    VUWSA is just another one of those desperately underfunded groups, who rely on the goodness of heart of their volunteers, and sometimes when I read of the total waste of effort I’m putting in for selfish little brats, who claim they “don’t know what the services are because we don’t need them”, I despair of intelligence ever coming out of this generation. May you drown under the debt of the user-pays world you want to inhabit.

  46. Chris says:

    Well I think this post takes the cake as the most stupid, inaccurate, and offensive Kerry has ever written. I am going to enjoy replying to it.

    Let’s start with the errors. These are actually fairly serious allegations Kerry is putting about, so I’ll rebut them:

    I didn’t receive $10,000 from VUWSA. The Debating Society was sponsored by VUWSA in its organisation of the Australasian Debating Champs in 2006. I organised that sponsorship in totally transparent manner (anyone who would like a copy of the 32 page sponsorship document is more than welcome to email me).

    No overseas travel was involved in the organisation of Australs. Nor was any funding given for “research”.

    I have never in my life been to Japan. And definitely not with a friend – so I have no idea where that allegation comes from.

    Kerry alleges I “scam dosh” for the Debsoc crew. If you call going through to the normal sports council grant application process (as Debsoc does, along with most sports clubs, every year) “scamming”, then okay. Or transparent sponsorship arrangements “scamming”, then okay. I don’t, and I suggest most people wouldn’t either.

    She also alleges this money is for “the chosen few”. Utter rubbish. The sponsorship arrangement with VUWSA for Australs benefited 40 Debating Society members, along with 320 people from around Australasia. Sports grants each year go towards subsidising tournament costs for many people. Just the other day we applied for money for a development tournament at Massey in late July – specifically for amateur debaters, hardly “the elite”.

    Kerry says she *can* provide proof of the above allegations. I for one would like to see it – so front up, Kerry.

    I note Kerry can still not point to examples of my apparent misogynism, other than to make veiled comments about “unpublished correspondence” and “offensive conversations”. I, along with other readers, await with interest any proof you can provide, particularly since your first comment referred to stuff being written.

    Just on volunteers – a couple of comments:

    All VUWSA staff are paid Kerry, so where are these hordes of “volunteers” that you mention? Apart from you, who?

    I find your assertions about volunteer work offensive. I spend most of my free time engaged in volunteer work. I run interschool debating in Wellington (150 teams around the region), run the Debating Society at Vic, organise national level schools debating, give regular workshops, administer intervarsity debating across Asia, and sit on the Law Students’ Society and the Publications Committee. I do all of that for no money, and at considerable personal cost to myself. I do it because I think its important to give back to the community which has given me a lot, particularly through debating.

  47. Phillip says:

    yeeee go Chris come on Kerry you fool in the words of Jerry MacQuire SHOW US THE PROOF

  48. Chris says:

    Come on Kerry… we’re all waiting.

  49. Nintendo says:

    We all know Kerry won’t front up, Chris. Surely you expect that by now. Sigh.

  50. serious paragraph argument says:

    change my pitch up, smack my bish up

  51. Phillip says:

    I’m surprised Kerry’s defamatory comments have not been removed yet – or does Nicoll have a double standard for people he likes?

  52. Sieve says:

    I’m not convinced Steve knows the definition of defamatory.

  53. Chris says:

    We’re still waiting, Kerry.

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