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September 3, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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President Geoff

Welcome back undergrads (and hello again to the postgrads still trudging away). As you approach the final quarter of the year and with exams only a few days off, I wanted to appraise you of a few things coming up over the remaining weeks left in Trimester 2, 2007. First up, the Annual General Meeting of VUWSA is being held on the 19th of September 2007, 1pm at the Mount St Bar and café. Do not miss this meeting, the agenda thus far includes a half year financial report, and the half year reports from the VUWSA executive. If you want to bring up a specific item for general business on the agenda, the deadline is this Wednesday (5th September 2007) by 5pm. Email me ( to declare the item/s for discussion. VUWSA Constitutional amendments can be submitted, so long as they are also in by the deadline above.

Also, the VUWSA general election is fast approaching. Details are coming out very soon, but if you are interested, please contact the VUWSA office for details. VUWSA is run by students, for students, and each year, we need you, the students to run and vote in the VUWSA elections. While in the past, turnout has been pretty bad, even for an optimist like myself, I am confident that at least for this year we can see a need for increased participation. I shall be talking more on this subject in the coming weeks.

Secondly, a shoutout to Victoria’s 2008 Snow Games team: While you may not have come back with gold, you have earned my respect. You deserve to be honoured for the preparation, fundraising and commitment shown by you all, and I would like to especially like to thank Team Manager Mark Davis and Clubs Development Officer Brent Hayward for their work in getting the team to Wanaka and their supporting the team while down at the competition.

Thirdly, I am writing this column from Palmerston North, the venue for this year’s third and final NZUSA conference. These conferences are held by NZUSA, the national body comprising of Student Associations like VUWSA from across New Zealand. Similarly, VUWSA is also a part of SJS (an incorporated society whose student leadership directs Student Job Search for students) and University Sport NZ (who organise the various sporting events like Snow Games and University Games, but also supports developing sport at the Tertiary level, recognises our top athletes, and sends the NZ Team to the World University Summer and Winter Games, this year in Thailand and Italy, respectively).

VUWSA has a local constituency, with over 20,000 students across our four campuses. It’s a large constituency, but in the grand scheme of things, it is nothing compared to the 120,000 (and set to increase to at least 140,000 next year) students that NZUSA indirectly represents. NZUSA is responsible to the collective will of University and ITP’s Student Associations, coordinating national campaigns that highlight student issues at a national level, represent students at Central government level (by meeting regularly with all political parties, compiling submissions, lobbying and briefing Ministers on the impacts of Government policy of students) and being a political body for the wider student movement, and also to assist in the development of Student Associations by training delegates on how to be better representatives. In short, they help student associations like us become better advocates for our constituents. I appreciate the assistance of the NZUSA, and will be compiling my report of the conference for the VUWSA membership, so that the lessons that I learn are shared by all. I am sure that my fellow executive members share that dedication.

So, chins up, not long to go, and still plenty to do at VUWSA. I shall keep you posted.

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