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September 17, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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CounterPoint With VUWSA Staff

“Open letter concerning upcoming VUWSA election”

To all VUWSA members,
From the Permanent Staff Members @ VUWSA

As a result of the impending election, much debate has been made on the role of VUWSA, particularly the Executive. While criticism has been leveled at the behavior of VUWSA this year, little coverage has been made concerning the valuable services provided by VUWSA staff. VUWSA staff include the Education Coordinator, the Clubs Development Officer, the Advertising Manager and administration officers, and work with the VUWSA Executive to provide advocacy, social opportunities, transportation and entertainment.

As VUWSA staff members, we believe we are loyal, hard working people with invaluable institutional knowledge of VUW. We maintain strong committed relationships with VUW students and staff, community groups and businesses. With students as our focus, we are apolitical. We care about the future of VUWSA and as a result we wish to make you aware of the drastic operational changes proposed by the “A-Team” in the upcoming election. We consider that their policies would have considerably negative implications for VUWSA staff members and the services they deliver to students. The budget campaign of the A-Team advocates the removal of several permanent positions and vital student services.

EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY

The full time VUWSA Education Coordinator is a professional position requiring a high level of integrity, trust and confidentiality with VUW staff and students. The EC provides independent Advocacy services and support from low level through to very sensitive matters, including PhD issues through to allegations of serious misconduct, e.g. cheating and plagiarism.

If the A-Team is elected they intend to provide better Advocacy services through the elected executive. Could this mean a move to exec members handling Advocacy for sensitive issues for students? Will this also mean the removal of the Education Coordinator’s position? Would you want the VUWSA executive (A-team or any other) handling your academic grievances or enquiries? A practical example follows.

Sarah (not real name), in her final trimester, came to the Education Coordinator in a stressed state, crying and upset after a “D” for a mandatory assignment she failed to hand in on time, due to not being able contact her lecturer or tutor to ask for an extension. The lecturer was very dismissive and refused to accept Sarah’s legitimate circumstances, and would not accept a medical certificate, as the extension was not prearranged. Other school staff only advised Sarah to refer to the lecturer. Sarah became frustrated because she could not sort it out despite exceptional circumstances, and felt she did not have the opportunity to communicate effectively to the lecturer. The EC helped Sarah resolve the issue. It was a clear misunderstanding by a lecturer who was stressed and dealing with 100 other students. Once the EC and Sarah had a meeting with the lecturer, the stress was dissolved and a happy ending was achieved for the student.

CLUBS

The Clubs Development Officer (CDO) is responsible for assisting clubs in starting up, planning, fundraising, event management, promotion, resource provision, grant applications and general administration support and advice. Over 60 affiliated sports and cultural clubs, with a combined membership of over 3500 Vic students, have directly benefited from the support of this staff member.

In addition, the CDO is responsible for Team VIC competing at the NZ University Games, NZ University Snow Games, NZ University Cricket Champs, NZ University Triathlon Champs and NZ University Sailing Champs. In 2007 Victoria University won the national overall trophy for these events and over the last three years has become the highest performing university at the NZ University Games.

The CDO is also responsible for the coordination of the prestigious annual Victoria University Blues Awards.

If tangible financial and human resources were made unavailable to clubs, it would result in clubs providing considerably less for its members, and increase the likeliness of clubs disappearing. If financial resources were withheld to athletes participating in NZ University sporting events, it would increase the financial constraint to students’ participation, thus impeding the future success of these teams.

ACTIVITIES

Reducing the activities budget can only reduce the amount of pulling power for performers. Sponsorship is already at a premium and proposing to rely fully on sponsorship and ticket sales will have one of two outcomes; expensive tickets or lower quality performers. Neither are viable or fun for students wanting to see good bands at the prices they can afford.

ADMINISTRATION

Since January 2007, the staff Office Administrators on the Kelburn, Karori and Pipitea campuses have given out a total of 5930 bus tickets, sold 279 car parks, 290 lockers and assisted the Welfare Vice President with more than 180 food parcels to students in hardship up to 13 September. Besides these bare statistics there are many services which have been offered, from answering queries to booking BBQs and vans for clubs, along with providing a first stop shop to anyone that has a need or needs. Any reduction in operational budget can only equate in a reduction of the quality of these services.

ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP

This role includes managing the planning, development and implementation and generation of some of the revenue at VUWSA. The advertising responsibilities therein include identifying, pitching and securing new advertising revenue opportunities for Salient, VUWSA, VUWSA Clubs, Student Orientation weeks, ‘VUW Blues Awards’, etc.

Most recently a reciprocal agreement has been brokered and closed with one of Wellington’s largest bars, the Establishment on Courtenay, engendering a five-figure sum deal for Team VIC.

Student Orientation weeks, VUWSA, Team VIC events and the ‘Blues Awards’ etc require skilled management in the planning, organising and co-ordination of sponsorship and so many integral aspects. This staff member also works closely with the VUWSA Campus Activities Coordinator and the Clubs Development Officer in coordination of other VUWSA staff to ensure seamless delivery of events.

When students vote, they are also voting in a new employer for the staff of VUWSA.

Please consider the raised issues when you vote this week,
The permanent staff members at VUWSA.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (44)

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  1. peteremcc says:

    Very disappointing that this was written, never mind that Salient decided to publish this.

    While everyone should be free to have their own views, VUWSA staff members should not be allowed to comment – in their official capacities – on a VUWSA election.

    I’m not paying you guys to interfere with OUR student election.
    Go and do you’re jobs.

  2. I am dissapointed that Salient chose to publish this. I agree with what peter said above. I hope that the A-Team gets in and gives a good telling of to all the staff members who wrote them. Staff are there to serve students, not tell students who to vote for.

    The article appears to be a deliberate attempt to smear the A-Team. I have asked some members of the A-Team about the article, and acording to them, you only gave the A-Team the article after it was going to published. no attempt to engage with the A-Team.

    Going to the specific points raised in the article, The A-Team include no cuts in staff members in their draft budget, although I’m left with the impression from disscussions with A-Team members. Firstly, refering to the Education and Advocacy, the questions asked should have been given to the A-Team before publishing them, and I imagine the answer would be No. sarah is clearly an atempt to bring emotional feelings into the debate. The Clubs part only talks about the effects on students, not them. same with activities. same with administration (dealing with hypothetical policies which the A-Team doesn’t have). I don’t see any issues raised in the advertising and sponsership section. Although the staff are entitled to their views, launching a anti-A-Team smear job is inapropriate. I hope the staff members behind it get told off.

  3. MC says:

    It is absolutely disgusting that this article was printed this week. While the staff may hold these views, it is not their place to attempt to sway students into voting in a particular way. This is a deliberate attempt to scaremonger students into voting against the A-Team.

    Salient editor – shame on you sir. This combined with your editorial leaves no room for anything other than the conclusion that you yourself are trying to influence the result of the election.

    Please provide your readers with an explanation as to why you think it is appropriate to run such articles. While you are at it please also provide your readers with an explanation of why you think Salient should be used as a blatant tool to maintain the status quo.

  4. Clive says:

    Editor, you sir are a CAD!
    Now apologise or you shall feel the full wrath of my sandshoe!

  5. SB says:

    Brilliant! Power to them sister. I wouldn’t sit back if the organisation I work for was under threat from a bunch of flip flopping, hopeless and cynical puppets.

  6. RAWIN JUNE says:

    Good on them!!!! The ATEAM should re-evaluate their policies and priorities!!! Im an Hons student and have been assisted incredibly by the VUWSA Education Co-ordinator. I would never trust any member of the ATEAM given that many of them are 1st, 2nd and 3rd yrs! I dont want just any idiot advocating for my rights! I want someone who is going to BRING IT! Sandra Crews is fucking amazing!! Knows her shit and earns every cent shes paid for. Well spent!! And $25? seriously i couldnt give a fuck about my student loan at this point of time, THE MORE I OWE THE MERRIER!! at least ive been given the opportunity to go to university, fuck the LOAN, ATEAM cant even promise that the $25 in cash will reach my hand, i dont want a fucking voucher! screw you ATEAM

  7. Rawin, a lot of the criticism of the A-Team is attacking policies they don’t have. The A-Team don’t include any cuts to staff salaries in their budget, or cuts to the education office. In fact the A-Team has promised to increase Education advocacy. So lSandra crews work will continue.

  8. Although the A-Team are proposing to take over much of the education and advocacy work Sandra does, despite their inexperience. They also plan to keep the Clubs Development Officer and Activities Officer employed, according to their salaries line, despite neither of those positions having any budget, and therefore perhaps any work to do. Staff pay rises have also not been budgeted for.

  9. Laura, I agree that if the A-Team gets in the role of CDO (Clubs Development Officer) and Activities Officer needs to be reviewed, as there will be less need for them. Contary to asumptions of the A-Teams opponents, the A-Team does paln to still have clubs at Victoria, and they will continue paying the Student union Building fee to allow Clubs to use the Student union building, and will help Clubs find sponsorship to replace VUWSA funding (although i have doubts that the sponsorship will be enough to compensate for the loss of VUWSA funding). They will also encourage students to give their $25 refund to their favourite club or rep group.

    If the A-Team get enough places on the VUWSA exec to implement their Clubs policy (which is unlikely) it will have a big impact on Clubs. The impact will vary greatly from club to Club. Clubs that aren’t affiliated to VUWSA (like Act on Campus, StudentChoice) will obviously remain unaffected. Clubs that provide cheap activities, and don’t get much VUWSA funding, will also remain largely unaffected. The Clubs that will be hit hard are those who play expensive sports, and rely on large amounts of VUWSA money to stay afloat.

    Salient did a reasonable article “Election likely to come down to Clubs after zero funding proposal” on the Club policy. What could have been looked at, and what i would do if I was in lauras shoes, is how much club funding the clubs get from their own members vs. VUWSA, and ask a few club members if they would give any/all of their refund to the Club they belong to, and use the results of this survey and figures to look at the impact. Unfortunately, such an article would require a lot of research which may be diffiult given Salient deadlines for publication.

  10. About the Club assets, on the website http://www.a-team.org.nz/clubs sets out that they will change the constitution to allow Clubs to keep their assets.

  11. Seann4 says:

    1) VUWSA staff write article pressuring students not to vote for the A-Team
    2) Salient Editor writes an editorial pressuring students not to vote for the A-Team
    3) An add is payed for by a local bar owner pressuring students not to vote for the A-Team
    4) A hate campaign on the Salient website is pressuring students not to vote for the A-Team
    5) The A-Team’s posters are being defaced and modified

    These guys have obviously got a lot of people running scared. However, VUWSA is a democratic organisation and should act like one. The A-Team probably now have right to contest an election where they don’t win and possibly have charges laid.

    Have you considered what the VUWSA interference in this election could be compared to? Imagine Rupert Murdoch, the Business Roundtable and the head of treasury all campaigning hard to get who they want into the Beehive. It’s taking it to the nth degree, but you get the picture.

    This perversion of democracy is an embarrassment to student politics.

    Good one.

  12. peteremcc says:

    Absolutely.

    Essentially WE are paying them to interfere in OUR election.

    It’s like the Governor of the Reserve Bank commenting on Labour tax policy a few days out from a national election. They are public servants and meant to remain a-political. Just as VUWSA staff should remain a-political in student elections.

  13. Re: Seann4 – I’m pretty sure Salient’s editorial independence of VUWSA means we can run any content we like. It’s common in the media for editorials/op-eds to reflect a certain political viewpoint.

    You say the pieces in this week’s Salient are ‘pressuring’ students to vote a certain way. What about the further distribution of information necessary for students to make an informed decision before voting? Knowing that clubs and activities, and those at VUWSA who organise them, will take significant cuts is just one part of the information students need to vote smartly.

    In the end it’s up to the students, but Steve and the VUWSA staff are welcome and well within their capacity to have these opinions published, as is anyone with a counter-opinion.

  14. I agree with peter. The staff shouldn’t be paid to interfere in our election.

  15. “With students as our focus, we are apolitical. ” Yeah right.

  16. Tushara says:

    Peteremcc, it is interesting that you are so involved in the A-Team campaign. For someone that campaigns for VSM, and against CSM, I find it hypocritical. You believe in freedom of association, yet you support a group of students that are running for an organisation that is CSM. Students will still be ‘forced’ to join VUWSA, even with the A-Team. They have not come out (yet) in support of VSM. If you really believed in VSM and freedom of association, why are you supporting the A-Team? Is it only because they share your right wing ideas?

    If you really believed what you preach, then you should be against anyone that is running for VUWSA, under CSM. You sir, are a hypocrite.

  17. Nick Archer says:

    Nicholas, I am impressed with your level of analysis on the Salient website in recent days. Sure some people are not a fan of you, but good to see that you are a realist and have thought long and hard about the issues you bring up.
    cheers
    nick a…

  18. Seann4 says:

    Laura: The president is the Salient editor and the staff’s boss. It’s a massive conflict of interest for them to be steering the votes.

    It would be different if you had done a news story or feature on it.

  19. Tushara Kodikara says:

    To further my point, Peter, it is much like an anarchist voting in elections for Labour, because they fear ACT/ National getting in, they too would be a hypocrite.

  20. MC says:

    Laura as you appear to be Salient’s spokesperson on this gross breach of journalistic ethics (editor still hasn’t replied to my questions) perhaps you can answer this for me:

    Do you (Salient) not see the priviledged role you have in providing information to students? You are in a unique position to shape the views of students but are also in a position to do so responsibly. Yes editors and op eds traditionally are allowed to and do take positions on issues. However when they do, they generally do so in an environment where they are not the sole source of media. There is competetion between media outlets that keeps these editorials in perspective.

    Salient is the only form of mass media at Victoria and as such should recognise that it holds a priviledged position. All students pay for Salient (no choice there). It is not a mouthpiece for the editor and his staff to push their viewpoints on students. You have done a great disservice to them with this issue. The editorial decisions made in the past week show a blatant favouring of a certain anti A-Team positions. Many critical statements have been made about perceived loopholes and policy problems yet little was done to highlight the very organised campaign and detailed policy positions. Little or no comparison was done to show the lack of relative professionalism from anti A-Team candidates or lack of policy.

    Editorial decisions allowed for the printing of this article and other anti A-Team letters to the editor without corresponding balance. Editorial decisions were taken to “report” others misguided and false apprehensions about A-Team policies (had they bothered to read the website it would have been obvious). Editorial decisions or omissions were taken to avoid highlighting the comparative professionalism of the respective campaigns. This is a factor in that it shows just how much people care for students to prepare a thorough campaign and policy platform. Editorial decisions were taken to provide students with information to “vote smartly”. Yet with the heavy bias exhibited how does this do anything other than encourage students to vote in a certain anti A-Team fashion?

    This was a hatchet job and you know it.

    Tushara. As long as Peter’s money is forcibly taken from him he is allowed to campaign for whoever he wants irrespective of whether he agrees with the system he is campaigning in. Perhaps Peter would prefer a VSM ticket but has decided that he would rather vote to support incremental positive changes than not vote at all and allow a worse option to have control of his forcibly taken money. This does not make him a hypocrite at all.

  21. MC says:

    That was a hypothetical point Jonno. How about addressing any of the key points I made. Or do you think it is ok that Salient abused its priviledged position just because you happen to agree with what was said?

  22. Dave says:

    If leftists act like this, I’m really going to hate the day when the shoe is on the other foot.

  23. I agree with what MC said. Salient are the main source of information on VUWSA and their content will have a heavy influence on how students vote. they have a duty to report on issues in a sensitive way due to this, as salient can have a huge impact on student opinion. In recent years, with the VUWSA levy increase in particular, Salient played a very biased role, and was the main reason for the levy increase passing. A large part of the blame lies on Nicola kean, and Laura McQuillan has continued in her footsteps (although Laura isn’t as bad as nicola) and the eitors have failed to take a tough line on the use of articles to promote their own political views. salient would be well advised to have a person of the opposing politicial viewpoint try and spot bias in articles (particularly those on sensitive political issues) and make recomendations before they go to print. I’d be very happy to play such a role, and if salient wants me they can just flick me an email.

    Having said that, Salient does have a duty tto provide some students with information, ands students deserved to get told about what the A-Team policy’s impact would be on rep groups and clubs. And while it easy to criticise salient for bias, no doubt Steve and other Salient writers work hard on their articles, and oftenm the bias, such as asking all the questions at the A-Team in the interview, is accidental, not deliberate.

  24. Thanks for your comments. I have spoken to someone who is interested in writing an opinion piece as a counterpoint article, regarding the A-Team, and the fact they’ve made people actually care about student politics and want to vote. Although I don’t make the decision as to what op-eds are printed, I believe that that is another important side of the argument which Salient needs to share with students.
    I understand your concerns on the matter, but you’ll probably have to ask Steve about what can go into Salient and why (I don’t have a role in that matter).
    Thanks for your feedback anyway, appreciated.

  25. MC says:

    Thank you very much for replying Laura. It is appreciated. It is good that Salient has approached someone to write an article as you mentioned. It is unfortunate however that this is too late to “balance” the bias.

    In saying that I understand you aren’t the editor. In fact I would appreciate you pointing Steve to my comments. He can reply here or if he would prefer, to email me.

    Please also note Laura that while it’s acknowledged that you don’t make the final call as to what gets printed in Salient, you are in a better position than most to pressure the editor to do what is right.

  26. Alice says:

    As i understand it Tushara, the theory (correct me Peter if im wrong) behind presenting the A-team ticket is to have a well organised, efficient Executive elected (A-Team) that students will feel advocate their needs respectively, and therefore want to voluntarily give money to when/if vm is adopted. Please note that this is my personal opinion and not that of any members of A-team.

  27. MC – I’ll let Steve know tomorrow that you’d like to get in touch with him.

  28. Tushara- There is no hypocrisy in voting for the lesser of the two evils. By your standards a enviromentalist politician would be a hypocrit if they supported giving $50 millon to protect the enviroment if that was the best deal they could get, when $100 millon would have achieved more.

    Thanks for the reply, Laura. A general rule that I would take is that opp edds should either have one from each side, or be very cautious in taking a stand on an isue, giving plenty of space for the group attacked to respond (for instance an opp edd on university fees being too high should include a brief response from the Vice Chancelor, or a few quotes as to why the high fee levels are needed. In my opinion this op edd shouldn’t have been printed, partly because the staff shouldn’t interfere in VUWSA elections, and partly because of the concerns appear to be more abpout attacking the A-Team than real concerns, as indicated by the fact none ever tried to organise a meeting with the A-Team to disscuss their concerns first. instead going to Salient was seen as a first resort, not a last one. the editorial, while informative, could have (8if I wrote it I would) briefly introduce the A-Team, talk about the refund and what they plan to cut, and what impact the policy would have, before concluding saying the VUWSA election is important, that their vote may have serious consequences, and to think carefully before they vote. The Salient pices on Clubs funding, and Sam Archers relationship with UniQ, were perfectly appropriate for salient.

  29. Alice says:

    If you think that voting for the lesser of two evils is a bad thing Tushara, then call me a hypocrite – because that is what im going to have to do at the next election, voting Labour over National. unless of course i throw all that in and vote Greens and Roland Sapsford. Off the topic, but what the hell is going on with Future New Zealand and Destiny!!!! I thought the whole point of Future New Zealand was to come across as a more secular Party (hence the change from Christian Democrats to FNZ) and thus pull away from ties with the exclusive Christian Heritage to attract a wider demographic. What – do they think Destiny is any less extreme?! hello?!

  30. Rog says:

    How much money have the A-Team spent?

  31. blogete says:

    i heard it was $40000

  32. blogete says:

    kidding

  33. dave says:

    Salient has editorial control. It is not directed ty anyone at VUWSA – or Vic what – or what not – to publish. Thats appropriate. If VUWSA want to comment on an election thats up to them. If Salient decides to publish it thats up to us. Some of you guys , if you`re so interested, should look at the A-Teams budget and see how much pay increase VUWSA staff are budgeted for – and then look at the VUWSA collective contract and see how it does not measure up.

    It is too late to do a counter-opinion in Salient. However If a well written cournterpiece was sent asap as a letter to the editor Im sure Steve will look at including it in the issue out Monday. I understand we can run letters next week but not formal opinion pieces or articles due to the election.

  34. Tushara says:

    The reason why I call Peter a hypocrite is because on one hand, if I campaigned last year saying that I would represent all students, he would jump up and down (his logic, not mine), going on about… you cannot represent all students, only under VSM would you come close to representing students.

    On the other hand, he is ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING for the A-Team. They are saying that they will represent ALL students. So, it is fine and dandy that the A-Team can say this, with help from old Peter. Peter doesn’t say anything about the A-Team not being able to represent ALL students. He never mentions that (his logic, not mine) only under VSM can you get true representation of students. This is one of the key arguments that VSM supporters use. So, how come it’s cool for Peter that the A-Team says this? It’s so cool, that Peter is helping them campaign. This makes him a hypocrite.

    The A-Team will not represent ALL students. In fact, if they get in (I hope not), most students will probably disagree with them. I admit, it is a fact that under CSM, not all students get represented, although the majority of students benefit from our work. It is fact that in any system, not all people will be truly represented, including VSM. At some point, someone will disagree.

  35. Random says:

    Tushura while your point is a good one on the reason why he is a hypocrite, he still has the problem of not being able to choose the option of VSM at this election and is going with the group who is not ruling it out as “never going to happen” regardless of whether or not they support this they are the only option which gets even remotely close to his goal.
    To use the example of elections, many people will still vote National regardless of their help in passing the anti smacking law, the fact that in general they agree with their policies over shadows this. the same can be said of any support for political parties they never fit totally, but unfortunately they have to take the ‘near enough is good enough’ route which is not ideal but much better than nothing.
    To use a real non political quote “5% visibility is better than no visibility at all”

  36. Candidates Forum 12-2 tomorrow at Union Hall. Chur.

  37. MC says:

    VSM will happen. It will be legislated for with the impending change of government. Perhaps people who support VSM know this so aren’t overly concerned about campaigning for it.

    With this in mind here is another hypothetical point. Suppose someone like Peter does support voluntary unionism but also supports a strong student association. Under current structures VUWSA would not be viable under VSM. It would need to be reconfigured/restructured to be an organisation that attracts members rather than relying on silent majorities forcibly funding minorities. Clubs anyone? It would need to be an organisation very focused on defining its objectives and achieving them. It would not be able to be wasteful – it just would not be able to afford it.

    Getting VUWSA ready for VSM is important if you want it to be around when it arrives. Perhaps someone like Peter can see this and supports the A-Team because the steps they are proposing will help prepare VUWSA for the inevitable VSM to come.

    Just because people support VSM it doesn’t mean they support having a void where a students association was. It is entirely rational and reasonable for someone like Peter to support VSM and also actively campaign for a group with policies that will assist his students association to survive and thrive when it happens – which could be as early as 2009.

    Now I don’t know whether Peter thinks this way – it may be purely hypothetical. You would need to ask him or perhaps he would be kind enough to post his thoughts to clarify. I use him as an example because others have accused him of being a hypocrite. This is what I would say if someone were accusing me of being a hypocrite for getting involved in student politics while believing in the right to freedom of association.

    And Tushara you write “I admit, it is a fact that under CSM, not all students get represented, although the majority of students benefit from our work.” This is an incredibly arrogant statement. If you really believed this you would have nothing to fear from VSM – students would be queuing up to join. You may say that they can’t see the benefits so may not join. If you were to say this it would be an even more arrogant and elitist position. You would effectively be saying that you know what is best for others too blinded to see for themselves. You might also say that despite the benefits to them they still may not join. Well so what. People make cost benefit analyses everyday in choosing to join or not join thousands of eligible organisations in this country. There would be some benefits to me joining the AA – however not enough to justify the cost. It is not for anyone else however to tell me that benefits outweigh costs. That is my decision to make along the values that I place on such things.

    The thing is with VUWSA there are a few for whom benefits outweigh the costs significantly. However there are a majority for whom the costs outweigh the benefits if even only slightly.

  38. good post MC, I fully support VSM as well. Just wouldn’t keep my hopes of a National government introducing it next year too high.

    As for the Waikato arguement, clearly, the Waikato student Union completely failed to provide students with any value for money services. Hence why only 124 people joined.

  39. Meh says:

    it seems like a lot of people think that salient is going to unfairly influence the elections. to be absolutely honest, nothing in my four years at vic has given me any reason to take salient seriously. I’m not voting for the a-team because their politics go against mine, and i personally know several of their members to be incompetent sleazebags. but anyway. it seems highly unlikely that too many people are going to take salient as gospel–80% of the readers don’t get past the top five and pecking order pages, and the other 20% are supposedly highly educated, analytically thinking, 20-something university students with every resource available to them–if they do blindly follow salient, we have far bigger problems than who runs VUWSA.

  40. Random says:

    I suppose the point is not whether or not this will unduly affect the election, rather that it is not appropriate for staff to comment on their future employers. Take for example Council or government staff expressing opinions about candidates for local body or national elections, The fact that they are staff for these bodies means they have a level of authority gained from the position which can skew peoples opinions rather easily. And have access to information which which others aren’t, making them and their opinions rather more effective whether right or not. Not to mention the conflict of interest involved, most staff are understandably concerned for their jobs but there is protections in place for that set down in employment law.
    Lastly if the A team does win the election then they will be already wary of the staff and what they say or do, this breakdown in trust can drastically affect their ability to do their jobs and could lead to more serious consequences.

  41. molly may says:

    Well not a student of Vic , i find this rather disapointing especially during election week.

  42. Question? says:

    Isn’t Anna Duggan friends with the VUWSA staff – she gets on the piss with them if you look at her Bebo page and photos on it

  43. Mike says:

    Do you guys really think that even if Salient wasn’t Biased (which it wasn’t), that the A-TEam stands a chance. Students aren’t stupid, and can see right thru the A-Teams bribes and lies.

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