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September 24, 2007 | by  | in News |
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RO accuses CDO of crossing the line in Clubs e-mail

VUWSA General Election Returning Officer Andrea Reeves has accused Clubs Development Officer Brent Hayward of “crossing the line” following an email Hayward sent to clubs expressing his concerns that if a “certain group of students” were to be elected to the VUWSA Executive, club funding would be cut.

In the email, he said: “[it]… has come to my attention that a certain group of students running a campaign based around a $25 dollar student reimbursement… are not only hoping to discontinue funding for clubs but want to eliminate the affiliation process altogether.”

Reeves was informed of the matter by the A-Team and e-mailed VUWSA President Geoff Hayward with her concerns.

“This e-mail was sent by a person employed by the students’ association with his student association e-mail address and position,” Reeves wrote.

“It is my belief that the staff employed to run the management side of VUWSA should and do not have responsibilities with the governance side of the Student Association. I think the e- mail in question is crossing the line and it is not, and should not be up to staff of VUWSA to get involved in the campaigning or elections process”.

“As returning officer I feel this needs to be dealt with urgently and staff need to be seen to remain impartial while they are acting as staff. I… would like to have a response on whether or not this sort of behaviour will continue during the election process.”

A-Team candidate Jordan Williams says Hayward’s email was inappropriate. “I feel that bringing these matters into the open and pointing out how unacceptable they are is the only way to prevent such things happening again… I don’t want this to be a precedent for other staff members to buddy up with politicians during an election campaign,” says Williams.

However, the same email was published on the Team Vic page of <em>Salient</em> last week – and made public to a far larger audience than Hayward’s mailing list. The same issue also contained a letter from Andrew Gibson, Managing Director of The Establishment – VUWSA’s major sponsor – regarding ongoing support for clubs if the A-Team were to be elected.

President Geoff Hayward defends Brent Hayward’s actions. “He is being apolitical because he is talking about his role as Clubs Development Officer. That being said, he is entitled to speak on these matters”.

“Brent is passionate about working for clubs… I wonder what would happen if the A-team won the election, Brent would have forty hours a week doing nothing according to the A-team. Do you think he’s going to sit around and tolerate that?”

“As far as I can tell there is nothing in the Constitution that breaches his situation and, as such, she [Reeves] has not put up a formal complaint in an employment dispute … until then I’m not going to respond to it… I don’t overstep my grounds,” says President Hayward.

In an email sent from Reeves to Williams, she said: “I…spoke to Geoff about revoking the e-mail but I don’t think that will happen”.

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  1. MC says:

    ” ” As far as I can tell there is nothing in the Constitution that breaches his situation and, as such, she [Reeves] has not put up a formal complaint in an employment dispute … until then I’m not going to respond to it… I don’t overstep my grounds,” ”

    Well how about Brent’s employment contract? Surely there must be a clause within it that says he is to remain neutral.

    Also Geoff it is entirely within your grounds to hold staff to account for unethical behaviour. Just imagine what would have occured had they written a letter criticising you and saying you’re not fit to be President. Please don’t confuse your roles as President and Presidential candidate. The first requires you to look out for the interests of all students including those that you disagree with.

  2. The Reverend Paul Danger Brown says:

    The staff collective agreement as far as I am aware has nothing in it about the staff having to remain neutral; however I have given this a considerable deal of thought and discussed it with others and I believe Brent was within his rights to send out this email. He is in fact employed to protect the welfare of the clubs and if he had not notified them of a potential threat to their funding he would in my eyes not be doing his job.

    So while some may see it as crossing over the line by sending that letter others see it as Brent effectively doing his job. He is truly a dilignet hard worker and deserves to be commended for the work he does on behalf of Victoria students. Might I add that at this time he is still working for those students and it’s not uncommon to see him late in the office.

  3. Can I also reinforce the fact that the same letter was printed in Salient last Monday, so it’s not as hush hush top secret as some might think – it circulated among over 20,000 people in Salient/on the website just days after Brent emailed it.

  4. I agree the CDO went too far, however its not an issue for the returning officer, unless it involves breeches of electoral rules (which it doesn’t). The e-mail was not neutral designed to inform clubs to potential dangers to their funding as Paul brown suggests, but electioneering. One thing i hope the 2008 exec does is rewrite the staff collective agreement to include a politicial neutrality clause.

  5. blogette@ says:

    thats assuming 20,000 ppl read salient
    – which i highly doubt

  6. werr says:

    I think more of an issue for the Returning Officer is that the A-Team still have posters outside MY631 and Joel Cosgrove still has posters in Laby Prefab Rm 3

  7. Sancho says:

    Don’t know bout the A-Team, but cosgrove doesn’t have a poster in the prefab… Pikkies? Scandal?

  8. harry says:

    I put it there

  9. Sancho says:

    Surf Nazi’s Must Die!

  10. Mike says:

    i KNOW WHAT YOUR PLAN IS JOEL THE DORK

  11. Sancho says:

    i KNOW WHAT YOUR PLAN IS MILHOUSE THE DORK

  12. Rectum says:

    Poooooooooooooo

  13. Mike says:

    Joel, I know that you want to steal money of students, so you can feed your gum ball addiction. I have proof, I have photo’s. I know how you like to rub them over your body, you sick man. I have seen the stains across your face, when you walk past me in the Quad.

  14. Tuiman says:

    Joel is a fuck! He has sex with zombies in the crypt! He will bring about the apocaplyse with his hertic ways!

  15. Felicia Jollygoodfellow says:

    Joel is a fuck! He has sex with zombies in the crypt!
    – Why should he? He has a girlfriend.

    “He will bring about the apocaplyse with his hertic ways!”

    Now “apocaplyse” is a Russian word, which has something to do with stereo speakers.

    Колонки и акустическая система SonicGear Apocaplyse A8 Vaccum Tube, 2*15w+35w RMS, Black
    http://www.neozon.ru/tovar/11463/

    “Hertic” is a brand of briefcase.
    http://tw.page.bid.yahoo.com/tw/auction/1161953885

    Therefore, according to my interpretation, Joel will purchase Russian speakers by selling a briefcase on Trade Me. Interesting… but what does this have to do with the CDO’s emails?

  16. mike says:

    cos Joel will spend all the club money on Russian speakers, to use in the quad. It is all in the last chapter of the good book.. revaluations

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