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May 5, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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President’s Column

Contary to popular opinion, most people in Rotovegas were quite fond of Vic students.

First off, big ups to Weir House. You guys crack me up. I got a wad of petitions in the mail and it really lit up my day. So big ups to you guys. I’ve talked to ITS and things are chugging along about free internet. Everyone knows the facts. Everyone knows what needs to happen, it’s just a matter of technical detail and the will to change. I don’t want to be the one pointing out that Vic is the only major university not providing basic internet facilities. Rumblings are going on in the bureaucratic halls of Vic.

A lot of shit’s been said about Rotovegas, the thing right now that I shake my head at is the motelliers trying to make out that students who’d spilt red wine in their rooms and poured salt on said wine, were trying to destroy the place. That shit doesn’t make sense. Having said that WE WON UNI GAMES! Big thanks to Brent, Mark the team managers, everyone who had something to do with the games and most importantly the athletes themselves. We’ve got a good chance at winning it again (there’s been no backto- back win since Otago in 80-81) and it was a real achievement to win it under Auckland’s nose.

NOTE: if you do spill some red on the carpet, put some salt on it, absorbs the colour.

The university has given up on trying to disestablish the film school. They failed in everything they set out to do. I think it’s an insulting attitude by management to try and say that students, staff etc. were essentially stupid/lying by saying that the school was being closed. The plan was to fire the staff and then build the school up again. They may as well have dropped an asteroid on the place. Same end result. The amended change proposal was defiantly empty, defiant in that it still laid the need to fire the staff of Film School, so don’t think it ends there.

University council have recently passed a blank slate radically changing the Faculty of Education into Te Kura Māori; and the weirdly named School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy; and School of Education Policy and Implementation (are they training flying ERO squads?). The only thing approved by council, the ultimate decision making body were the names of the schools. 24 academic staff positions is the figure being bandied about re: redundancies. That’s something around 25% of the academic staff. How this will help students at the college I don’t know, it didn’t help students at Film School and it won’t help in this situation. Staff at the college currently are afraid of getting their jobs cut. It’s very hard to get any clear idea of what’s happening up there. Most students I’ve talked to don’t even know what’s happening.

What we saw with Film School, what we’re seeing here is a university management who do not take the views of staff or students seriously. We are dismissed as irrelevant and time wasting. This university would operate a lot more smoothly if it was just management. Just because the Film School wasn’t disestablished, does not mean that we actually have a say in how things run. The university has not stopped in its tracks and had a good hard look at itself. It’s just temporarily withdrawing from a fight over 7 jobs while continuing to put the screw into over 24 jobs (and no one has even talked about general staff cuts, because no one ever mentions that.).

All this ties within a figure given to council. I won’t write what it is specially (I don’t go looking for trouble unnecessarily), but I’ve noticed it anyway talking with academics and students. This university has cut 100’s of tutoring/tech jobs at the uni in an effort to save money. The problem is we don’t seem to be providing less, we seem to be providing the same if not more services, that gap is filled by those left behind. Made to work harder and faster, a brutal way of lifting productivity that loses in the long-run, just look at New Zealand’s position in the world from the 70’s to now. It might save us money now, but denying jobs to postgrads, stretching the jobs of those still here further and further is not the way that we can sustainably keep the great people we’ve got, on campus.

If you think this is fucked up. Email me at joel (dot) cosgrove (at) vuwsa (dot) org (dot) nz (this column goes on the Internet and I get enough spam as it is.). We’re doing something about this, just like we did something about the Film School. We can win again.

Salient apologises for not printing Joel’s column last week.

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