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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Idiot’s guide to Student Politics

Well, by now you’ve been at University for over half a year. Yes, that’s right, you heard it here first! Well done. It’s a feat that even many smart people can’t manage. You’ve no doubt by now realised that there is more to university than just going to class and writing essays. There are sports, clubs, media (like news and celebrity gossip and stuff), and politics.

University is just like a little real world. If you like to pretend you and your friends are smurfs, or snorks, you are more than justified. University students are smurfs in the eyes of the real world, but this column isn’t about smurfs (stay tuned for that column!). This column is about student life and, most specifically (sorry, most lots), about student politics.

Now, if you read the rest of Salient, you’ll realise much of it is dedicated to student politics. Ever heard of VUWSA? That’s your student organization.

They represent you as students. They have a little club called the ‘executive’ (which is French for ‘little club’) who get together and decide how best to spend the money you give them. Any one of you or your snork buddies can be a part of this club – you just have to convince enough people to vote for you when there is an election on – and, of course, be nominated. They have these once a year and I’m fairly sure there’s one coming up pretty soon. You might be thinking, “I can’t manage that sort of workload on top of all these essays I have to write!” Believe me, I wouldn’t worry too much. In fact, student politics attract more idiots than any other club or group on campus.

Where else do you get to play dress-up and make use of other people’s money? Student politicians make very few actual decisions and spend most of your money on beer. Yeah, I know, a club where you get paid to drink free beer! If only the coach would let you guys have a few beers with the money from the orange quarters fund.

Firstly, though, you have to make an important decision about your political views. Check out this quick survey.

Q1. Do poor people:
(A) Need your help to find financial stability?
(B) Have equal opportunities to the rest of us?
(C) Make you sick?
(D) Live under the sea with the snorks?

Q2. Global warming:
(A) Can only be prevented if I grow dreads and shower less.
(B) Is a problem we need to take seriously before our planet is destroyed.
(C) Is a myth. Burn more fuel! Kill more whales!
(D) Is a wicked film starring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, where one is a cop, and the other is a criminal, and they switch faces using plastic surgery that is way too advanced, considering the film was made in 1997.

Now, results! If you answered A for both, you’re a left wing hippie. That means you vote for the greens and drink foul tasting fair trade coffee. If you answered both B’s, you are slightly left wing, but hover around the middle of the chart. This means you probably used to vote for Labour, but now that Helen Clark is old and gross (and John Key is young and sexy), you might vote National – they have the same policies now, anyway. If you voted both C’s, you are a right wing extremist! This means you support the war in Iraq, and believe Hitler had a good thing going on. If you answered D for both, you’re reading the right column. For any other permutation of letters, for all intents and purposes, you are dead to me.

Now that you know your political flavour, get your mates to vote for you in the upcoming election. No point in campaigning – only about 5 per cent of students vote – so just send a bulk text to everyone you know and, sure enough, you’ll be the next president. You have one advantage over most student politicians – you have friends. If you’ve followed your current executive, you’ll realise that next year you’ll have big shoes to fill. You can’t be afraid to just leap in headfirst and try new and exciting things. Sure, communism may have failed, but you can make it work! You can’t be afraid that licking urine off the street will make you look like a weirdo. Sure, you wouldn’t normally lick up someone else’s urine, or your own urine for that matter. In fact, why you would lick anything off the street in the first place is beyond me. But that’s what being a student politician on a Saturday night in town, on a junket, paid for by students who you are representing, is all about. It may not be pretty but, then again, politics never is.

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  1. Phillip says:

    This shit is pathetic. The least-entertaining thing in Salient, and that’s saying something.

  2. Denny Lamb says:

    Cheers Phil!

    Great to see that something that was published over two weeks ago and written way before that is still having an effect on you.

    If you hated this column you’ll hate all the other ones I’ve written!

    Can’t wait to see you replies on those ones.

    I realise I might be coming across here as less than genuine. But to be honest I’m just relieved that someone is reading this.

    Ciao,

  3. Henry Jane Windsor says:

    Like a Lamb to the slaughter. Now who has the mint sauce?

  4. Evee says:

    Give him a break it’s not that bad.. ok I didn’t read all of it

  5. Phillip says:

    Oh, sorry. It was a comment on the whole ‘Idiot’ series in general – not this particular article. I didn’t realise I had to express my views on any specific column for it to be considered valid.

  6. Michael says:

    I read the phrase “snork buddies”, and almost threw my laptop across the room in rage.

  7. Evee says:

    Not really understanding the point of that post but yeah, clean up your act

  8. Michael says:

    Come along with the snorks
    Have some fun with the snorks
    So much to see
    Living under the sea
    Come along with the
    Have some fun with the
    Play along with the snorks!

  9. “Student politicians make very few actual decisions and spend most of your money on beer.”
    – VUWSA actually has an alcohol policy, which should be called an anti-alcohol policy, meaning student money doesn’t get spent on alcohol, unless it’s like a bottle of wine as a koha or the like. You can probably find out more about the policy by getting in touch with Alexander Neilson, the VUWSA Treasurer, who knows a lot about VUWSA policy.
    They also make numerous actualy decisions (do you even read Eye On Exec??).
    Just though I’d point that out.

  10. Tristan says:

    In defence of Denny, his religion column is pretty rad..
    “Jesus was just a normal kid. He liked the things normal kids did, like Carpentry, and eating fish and wine which he made from ordinary household materials.”
    yussss

    So nya.
    p.s. I pick 1)d and 2)a, which makes me an under-the-sea hippy.

  11. Denny Lamb says:

    Dear Laura,

    I’ve socialised with the Vuwsa exec in my time, I know that they spend a lot of their weekly allowance on beer or other alcoholic beverages. I’m not suggesting that VUWSA is personally investing in beer. Jog on.

    You know as well as I do that Student Execs actually make bugger all important decisions. If you don’t believe me then try being a student politician sometime. It seems that they give the positions away fairly easily here. I look forward to socialising with you at the ASPA awards. Perhaps over a sip of mulled wine. I’ll be the guy off my face on VUWSA sponsored beer. I will probably not liase with Alexander Neilson about it but may read Eye on Exec- as I do every week- often more than once a day. Great stuff.

    To the Snork Haters-
    I too almost threw my laptop across the room in rage when I wrote about the Snorks but some things just have to be written.

    Also to anyone who is perplexed by question 2- Part D is actually about the movie Face Off and not global warming.

    Have a great weekend everybody! Especially Michael and Tristan.

  12. Evee says:

    hey WOW i didn’t pick the face/off reference

    don’t tell me you won an aspa

  13. Michael says:

    As president of the International Fraternity for the Love and Preservation of All Things Snork, I just feel that the snorks have suffered a bad rapt as of late. Do you people know how many snorks died on 9/11? None – they were too busy rearranging the coral reefs in the shape of an American flag, and now their sweet, gentle name is thrown about all willy nilly by the student media.

    I can’t stand to live in this world anymore. This is… goodbye.

  14. SEANN says:

    Ever heard of VUWSA? That’s your student organization.
    They represent you as students.

    NO. THEY HAVEN’T DONE MUCH FOR YEARS. THEY SHOULD NOT EXIST AT ALL. THEY ARE WASTING MONEY THAT COULD GO TO CREATING A PROPER SOCIAL AND CULTURAL LIFE ON CAMPUS – FOR ALL STUDENTS – NOT JUST A FEW.

    You might be thinking, “I can’t manage that sort of workload on top of all these essays I have to write!” Believe me, I wouldn’t worry too much. In fact, student politics attract more idiots than any other club or group on campus.

    SEE THAT’S THE PROBLEM – YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED – STUDENT MONIES ARE BEING MISMANAGED BY A FEW THEIVES.

    Where else do you get to play dress-up and make use of other people’s money? Student politicians make very few actual decisions and spend most of your money on beer. Yeah, I know, a club where you get paid to drink free beer! If only the coach would let you guys have a few beers with the money from the orange quarters fund.

    WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT? ARE YOU PLAYING?

    Firstly, though, you have to make an important decision about your political views. Check out this quick survey.

    Q1. Do poor people:
    (A) Need your help to find financial stability? NO, THEY SHOULD TAKE IT FROM STUDENTS IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE
    (B) Have equal opportunities to the rest of us? NO, AND THE IDEA OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MYTHS IN THIS CUNTRY.
    (C) Make you sick? NO, RICH CUNTS DO THOUGH.
    (D) Live under the sea with the snorks? YOU’RE A FUCKIN IDIOT.

    Q2. Global warming:
    (A) Can only be prevented if I grow dreads and shower less. IDIOT.
    (B) Is a problem we need to take seriously before our planet is destroyed. PERHAPS
    (C) Is a myth. Burn more fuel! Kill more whales! IDIOT.
    (D) Is a wicked film starring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, where one is a cop, and the other is a criminal, and they switch faces using plastic surgery that is way too advanced, considering the film was made in 1997. NOT SURE.

    Now, results! If you answered A for both, you’re a left wing hippie.

    WHAT A CRETIN.

    That means you vote for the greens and drink foul tasting fair trade coffee.

    YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT, FUCKWIT, THE GREENS AREN’T A LEFT PARTY.

    If you answered both B’s, you are slightly left wing, but hover around the middle of the chart.

    YOU’RE A PREDICTABLE PUPPET AREN’T YOU?

    This means you probably used to vote for Labour, but now that Helen Clark is old and gross (and John Key is young and sexy), you might vote National – they have the same policies now, anyway.

    YOU’RE IDEA OF WHAT COUNTS AS LEFT-RIGHT IS PRETTY DATED MATE. AND YOUR DISCUSSION IS THIN AT BEST. I CAN’T BE BOTHERED, I THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE AT LEAST PSEUDO-SERIOUS. WHILE HELEN CLARK IS CERTAINLY AN UNDER-HANDED RIGHT-WING LYING MUTT, JOHN KEY IS ONLY WORTH SUCKING OFF FOR THE $$$. HE’S NO PRIZE PIG IN THE LOOKS DEPARTMENT.

    If you voted both C’s, you are a right wing extremist!

    NAH BULLSHIT, THERE’S NO ONE COOL ENOUGH IN THIS DEAD-BEAT, ONE HORSE HAMLET TO BE AN EXTREMIST – RIGHT OR LEFT.

    This means you support the war in Iraq (NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT), and believe Hitler had a good thing going on (MAYBE…).

    Now that you know your political flavour, get your mates to vote for you in the upcoming election. No point in campaigning – only about 5 per cent of students vote – so just send a bulk text to everyone you know and, sure enough, you’ll be the next president. You have one advantage over most student politicians – you have friends. If you’ve followed your current executive, you’ll realise that next year you’ll have big shoes to fill. You can’t be afraid to just leap in headfirst and try new and exciting things. Sure, communism may have failed, but you can make it work! You can’t be afraid that licking urine off the street will make you look like a weirdo. Sure, you wouldn’t normally lick up someone else’s urine, or your own urine for that matter. In fact, why you would lick anything off the street in the first place is beyond me. But that’s what being a student politician on a Saturday night in town, on a junket, paid for by students who you are representing, is all about. It may not be pretty but, then again, politics never is.

    I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE UNIVERSITY AND GO AND WORK AS A BUNG-HOLE AT THE HOUSE OF PAIN. YOU’RE CLEARLY INCAPABLE OF INTELLECTUAL WORK AND FULLY LAME AS A COMEDIAN.

    ps. i don’t mean it, i don’t even know you so i can’t be sure – i like to have fun though.

  15. Michael says:

    what the fuck was that

  16. Phillip says:

    I too like to have fun!

  17. Denny Lamb says:

    Nice one Seann. Thanks for your input. I’ve often been concerned that people take my column too light-heartedly- its good that someone finally takes it seriously. You are Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes.

    Where is this House of Pain? Ever since Beevis and Butthead (early Nineties Reality TV series) I have wanted to know what a Bunghole is. If you’re talking about going to Carisbrook I’m not going to though.

    Hope you guys are still having fun. But then again anyone who’s up early on a Saturday morning writing a rant like that one before obviously does know how to have fun.

    I’ll probably see you in town later,
    TTFN

  18. Henry Jane Windsor says:

    ” If you like to pretend you and your friends are smurfs, or snorks, you are more than justified.”
    Why use the terminology of two bland ’90s cartoons to explain student politics? How many 2007 students identify with this, or even know who the the snorks or the smurfs were?

    “Now, if you read the rest of Salient, you’ll realise much of it is dedicated to student politics.”

    How much content of Salient has anything to do with student politics?

    “If you answered A for both, you’re a left wing hippie. That means you vote for the greens and drink foul tasting fair trade coffee.”

    Partially true. Former hippies (no hippies exist today) probably vote Green and drink fair trade, but they are NOT left-wing. The Green Party is a centrist party, try reading any of their recent press releases.

    ” If you answered both B’s, you are slightly left wing, but hover around the middle of the chart. This means you probably used to vote for Labour, but now that Helen Clark is old and gross (and John Key is young and sexy), you might vote National – they have the same policies now, anyway.”

    How is voting National or Labour even remotely left-wing? National’s policies, especially concerning employment and social welfare, are now to the right of Labour. So they are not the same at all. Key and Clark are both fugly, old and unsexy.

    “Ever since Beevis and Butthead (early Nineties Reality TV series) I have wanted to know what a Bunghole is.”

    It’s ‘Beavis’ not Beevis and Butthead, a cartoon about two bogans watching MTV, for bogans who watched MTV (not a reality tv series).

    ‘Bunghole’ has two meanings:
    1.a hole drilled in a liquor barrel or keg so that a tap can be later attached.
    2. a bunghole (as in: “I am the Great Cornholio and I need TP for my Bunghole”).

    “I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE UNIVERSITY AND GO AND WORK AS A BUNG-HOLE AT THE HOUSE OF PAIN. YOU’RE CLEARLY INCAPABLE OF INTELLECTUAL WORK AND FULLY LAME AS A COMEDIAN.”

    Even this is beyond Denny Lamb. I would suggest the abattoir, but your meat would probably be mostly gristle and fat, hence inedible.

  19. Michael says:

    These insults are fucking terrible.

  20. spamarama says:

    ” If you like to pretend you and your friends are smurfs, or snorks, you are more than justified.”
    Why use the terminology of two bland ’90s cartoons to explain student politics? How many 2007 students identify with this, or even know who the the snorks or the smurfs were?

    Well, to be fair, the Smurfs were originally a 1960s (I think, maybe 70s?) comic book published in Belgium. Also, they were pretty neat; “Le Schtroumpf Noir/The Black Smurf” was actually kind of scary as a kid.

    The Snorks were just a stylistic ripoff, though.

  21. Michael says:

    The biggest misconception about the smurfs is that there was only one female smurf – Smurfette. There was at least two other female smurfs, and what’s more, they smurfs themselves fucking MADE THEM.

    Smurfs aren’t born, man, they’re fucking built

  22. Denny Lamb says:

    Yeah I always thought that was a little chauvinistic how Azrael created Smurfette to be a bitch but then she turned good. Can remember the other little Smurfette who wore the pink and had the brown/red hair. Can’t remember the other one.

    Snorks were a bit of a rip-off obviously but All Star was still pretty cool.

    Henry Jane Windsor- No Beavis and Butthead definitely was a reality TV series obviously. You must have it confused with King of the Hill or something. I know its a reality show because Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were involved with the production of it.

    Also I don’t think you understand what Left and Right wing politics is. And you obviously struggle with anything vaguely satirical so there really is no hope for you. I suggest you watch Facelift on Mondays its the sort of comedy that might take your fancy.

    Were the other Smurfs built as well? I never knew how they were made. Lousy Belgians and French- for a while their they really dominated Cartoons/comics didn’t they with TinTin,Asterix and Smurfs. They could have ruled the world.

    Kinda reminds me of the Dozers in Fraggle Rock I guess. In some versions the Dozers who give up working become Fraggles.

    Oh back to work this week, good times,

  23. SEANN says:

    SORRY FOR THE LATE REPLY

    Nice one Seann. Thanks for your input. I’ve often been concerned that people take my column too light-heartedly- its good that someone finally takes it seriously. You are Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes.

    Where is this House of Pain?

    ITS IN BALTIMORE, DEXTER FISHPAW WAS THREATENED BY TODD TOMORROW AT 538 WYMAN WAY TO BE SENT TO THE HOUSE OF PAIN TO ENTERTAIN SOME VERY DIRTY OLD MEN – DEXTER FISHPAW IS THE BUNGHOLE THAT TODD TOMORROW IS REFERRING TO – TODD TOMORROW ROOTS HIS TRANSVESTITE MOTHER – FRANCINE FISHPAW

    Ever since Beevis and Butthead (early Nineties Reality TV series) I have wanted to know what a Bunghole is. If you’re talking about going to Carisbrook I’m not going to though.

    YES, THAT’S RIGHT – YOU ARE CORRECT IN A TWIN PEAKSESQUE WAY – CARISBROOK HAS A WIDE VARIETY OF TASTY YOUNG BUNGHOLES IM SURE. BUT IM TALKING ABOUT URANUS TO BE BLUNT. NOT NECESSARILY YOURS BUT – YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN AAY?

    Hope you guys are still having fun. But then again anyone who’s up early on a Saturday morning writing a rant like that one before obviously does know how to have fun.

    I’ll probably see you in town later,

    OH, I’D LOVE TO.
    TTFN

    TT!

  24. SEANN says:

    ACHTUNG! HENARE HEENI WINARA [HENRY JANE WINDSOR]

    LEAVE MY RIGHT WING COMPADRE ALONE!

    Partially true. Former hippies (no hippies exist today) probably vote Green and drink fair trade, but they are NOT left-wing. The Green Party is a centrist party, try reading any of their recent press releases.

    WRONG HENARE, THE GREENS ARE “OUT IN FRONT” — PRETENSIOUS WANKERS

    How is voting National or Labour even remotely left-wing? National’s policies, especially concerning employment and social welfare, are now to the right of Labour. So they are not the same at all. Key and Clark are both fugly, old and unsexy.

    YES, I AM EMBARRASSED TO BE “LEFT” IN NZ.. BASICALLY BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING.

  25. SEANN says:

    “i can’t stand to live in this world anymore. This is… goodbye”

    OK choices:

    1. Make sure your funeral arrangements are paid for before you go – don’t leave the taxpayer in the lurch. No funeral grant from WINZ for you Mister.

    2. Go live in the USA and raise the average IQ of both countries (NZ and USA)

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  26. seann says:

    I LOVE anal. It’s SO yummy.

    Especially when Nicola does it.

    Keen for it!

    (shhhhhhh)

  27. Phillip says:

    Dude, you’re way funnier in these posts. Why can’t you write like that in Salient?

  28. SEANN says:

    which ‘seann’ is this?? I want the editor to tell me his contact details.

  29. SEANN says:

    RE: “I LOVE anal. It’s SO yummy. Especially when Nicola does it. Keen for it! (shhhhhhh)”

    WHEN U SAY “NICOLA” – YOU TALKING ABOUT A BIRD? OR A BLOKE? I KNOW LOTS OF HETERO MALES LOVE GETTING FUCKED IN THE ARSE BY THEIR HOES. SO YOU A FAG OR WHAT? WHAT’S YOUR REAL NAME? BY THE WAY?

  30. Evee says:

    press the caps lock key to turn off caps lock

  31. Michael says:

    seann “gets” it.

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