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September 24, 2007 | by  | in News |
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A-Team cutting rep group funding in interests of ‘normal’ students

The A-Team’s threats of pulling rep group funding have prompted the heads of most rep groups to unite as a group, United Students. United Students is aiming to keep student representation, advocacy and support strong at Vic in the wake of the A-teams policies.

Disabled students’ rep group Can-Do President Rongomaiwahine Higgins called the presidents together, and says, “representative groups often form the basis of student action and communication within Vic. If something is wrong, if something needs to be resisted or done we already have the lines of communication in place and the structures to resist and fight for students.”

The group includes Can-Do, UniQ, PGSA and Ngai Tauira.

Ngai Tauira is speaking out against the A-Team’s policies, despite a recent promise to “not touch their funding.” Tumuaki Maryjane Waru suggests “a little social responsibility” should be added to the A-Team’s campaign.

UniQ president Laressa Donaldson agrees, stating that rep groups “exist for people and groups who need advocacy and support.”

Donaldson believes that taking away VUWSA financial backing for rep groups “shows a lack of respect and little appreciation for diversity.”

When Salient contacted A-Team Council Rep candidate Jordan Williams about United Students, Williams confused the rep groupwith clubs such as Debsoc and the Young Nats.

After some initial confusion over the difference between a rep group and a club, Williams completely disagreed with the criticism of the A-Team’s policies. Williams argues that the A-Team is for rep groups “but we are also looking out for what the normal … uh … sorry, I mean average student thinks.”

Presidential candidate and current Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove says this shows “the A-Team’s whole campaign is built on a lack of understanding of both VUWSA and students.”

Current President Geoff Hayward, who is seeking re-election, agrees that this highlights their lack of understanding and experience, “and students should be concerned.”

Can-Do told Salient identifying with a rep group “is not something you can necessarily choose” whereas membership to a club is completely voluntary. United Students is concerned about the continued existence of rep groups at Victoria if the A-team is elected.

Waru describes the A-Team’s attitudes as “foolish” and “wishful thinking” that students will want to give the A-Team’s proposed $25 refund to rep groups.

Williams argues that the best representative groups in New Zealand “look after themselves” with no funding from students’ associations, and “everyone wants to join them because they are so awesome.”

Donaldson believes that no financial backing from VUWSA will seriously limit the ability of rep groups to serve students. United Students cautions students “to think carefully and explore their options before they vote.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. blogette says:

    I’ll tell you what’s wishful thinking…, VUWSA giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organisation that isn’t even an incorpirate society… and consistently fails in its attempts to be one… that had a treasurer recently indicted for fraud… for ripping off students
    that’s the real disgrace
    i don’t know how waru can show her face in the pages of salient

  2. blogettedaidiot says:

    No Blogette, wishing thinking is that Jordan believes that normal…uh… sorry… average students are rich white males. The Women’s Group represents women on campus, and the campus is comprised of more women than males, therefore, the normal…um… sorry… average student is a woman.

    I am glad that Jordan admits that the A-Team are for rich white males. Although it looks like it’s going down for the A-Team, maybe it’s a sign for all rich white males.

  3. blogette says:

    i’m not even talking about your fucking women’s group
    women’s group gets almost no funding and doesbasically nothing so what are you complaining about

  4. Michael Oliver says:

    “I’m not even talking about your fucking women’s group” would make an awesome album title.

  5. blogette says:

    fuck yeah!

  6. Georgie Dickson says:

    //i’m not even talking about your fucking women’s group
    women’s group gets almost no funding and doesbasically nothing so what are you complaining about//

    Excuuuse me?
    What on earth would you know about the women’s group does or does not do, you ignorant git?
    I don’t believe Gabby or I have received any inquiries from you about what the women’s group has been up to this year. If you wanted an example of some of the stuff that women’s group are up to , you could’ve come to the multitude of women’s fest events last week. (which incidentally had fantastic turnouts for most events and went really smoothly)

  7. Georgie Dickson says:

    …Oh I forgot, all the A-Team care about are rich, able bodied, heterosexual, predominantly white males. Why would they bother asking about women’s group?

    The A-Team can rabbit on about “Free choice” all they like, but I don’t think that you “choose” to be disabled, in an ethnic minority, a woman or queer. Being that most candidates don’t come under any of these labels, I think it’s pretty rich of them to suggest that these groups don’t need representation and support at Uni.

    A-team, How would you ever know what it’s like to deal with coming out or be called a “stupid monkey” in a racial context? Oh, you wouldn’t, that’s why you think these issues aren’t worthy of consideration. The fact that Jordan Williams didn’t even know the difference between a rep group and a club makes this point patently clear.

    Time to branch outside your own little bubble and be a tad more conscious I think.

  8. Sara R says:

    Just remember Georgie, it’s not the A Team who have consistently and viciously labelled Anna Duggan a “whore”.

  9. ” Being that most candidates don’t come under any of these labels, I think it’s pretty rich of them to suggest that these groups don’t need representation and support at Uni.”

    Arguements like this often come up in threads about minority groups. Can it ever be possible to debate the arguements and not the people?

  10. Returning Officer says:

    as per the constitution… It shall be the responsibility of the candidates to remove as far physically possible all election propaganda……
    Submitting a comment to this blog is involving your self and adding to the propaganda. Please don’t break the rules…. It will only open yourself up for a dispute to be laid against you.

  11. Joe says:

    I think it should also be pointed that Anna Duggan is a member of a rep group (Can-Do) as she has both a medical and hearing disability. She is getting my vote because she is the BEST candidate to represent diasbled students because she is one herself.

    Furthermore, Anna is not the person on the A-Team with a disability, two other members also use DSS due to hearing and other disabilities, yet you do not hear them harping on about needing there funding.

  12. doug says:

    Anna said that, if she gets in, all she will do is direct ‘students in need’ into town, and tell them where to find welfare services. So I guess that she will spend a day drawing up a map, and then she won’t do anything else for the rest of the year, but still will get paid.

    How does this represent students, Joe (A-Team)? Using the A-Team argument, a person does not need to be part of the group, to be the best person for the role, most of the A-Team people running for the representative positions are not part of the specific groups.

  13. Joe says:

    No Anna will work with students to get the best from facilities in town. During her campaign she has alread started helping some students better understand Studylink and even has accompanied one girl to studylink who approached her during her campaign.

    Anna is probably the best person to vote for on the A-Team as she is the one who genuinely cares about student welfare and what is best to make sure that they can survive life while at uni.

  14. BlackVault says:

    I’m a current student a vuw and not even close to average realy…..Just a few personal rants. The Womans Group is a healthy voice at Vic some members of the group are passionate and may even have a historic relationship with the negative jive that has happen to them or someone close to them or even feel the female students at Vic have been given a bad rap. The funny thing about rep groups is that they have the ability to find a source for there voice and concern i.e average rich white male students, well that counts me out somehow cause I am a Maori male with a part time job and two beautiful daughters. As for this A-Team thing about funding and confusion by some guy called Williams I believe that there is an accountability and transperincy issue with groups misleading the members, missuse of group funds with some rep groups using group funding for personal gain. I will finish now and look forward to hearing the results of a couple groups being pinged for this.

  15. Gordon from Glasgow says:

    What tha fook arre ewe on a boot? Use some fookin pun’chew’aye’shun!

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