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September 23, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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PGSA Statement on VUWSA Elections

The Post Graduate Students’ Association sent us this statement endorsing Barbalich for Council and Freemantle for VUWSA President:

The PGSA totally supports postgraduates Keiran Barbalich standing for University Council and Jasmine Freemantle standing for VUWSA President.

“Keiran has been an outstanding leader on the PGSA, He has been a key person in our negotiations with the University and VUWSA throughout the year. He understands the processes of the University’s political system and knows how to get things done. He’ll be an outstanding representative on Council for all students“, says Wayne Pihema PGSA President.

“Jasmine has had a long involvement in student affairs and the PGSA supports her particularly in light of the alternative, Sonny Thomas”, he says.

“The PGSA has had a long struggle to get a formal relationship recognised with the PGSA. In the last negotiation meeting with VUWSA President and Sonny, Sonny was quite hard-headed about funding for the PGSA and clearly signalled we would be hard-pressed to get extra funding”, says Pihema.

“He even suggested that Ngai Tauira’s budget could also be dramatically cut from its present level. It’s not really the message he is pushing in public. His stated ‘policy’ of increasing club funding doesn’t really match with our experience of him. It’s a matter of trust,” “says Pihema.

“We want students to vote carefully next week and think of who offers experience in getting things done in the university, and who might be able to offer the added benefit of postgraduate experience and the skills that brings. Keiran has been a real great team player and integral to the great progress we have made this year. He is able to grasp key issues quickly and give the issue strong critical analysis. Jasmine has the same skills,” says Annette Bolton.

“Jasmine is both a student and lecturer. She is against the whole change thing going on at the University – particularly within VUWSA. She stands for accountability and will fight for a Universal Student Allowance”, says Pihema.

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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 (19)

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  1. Amazing Race says:

    She take my money, well I’m in need
    Yeah she’s a triflin’ friend indeed
    Oh she’s a gold digger way over time
    That digs on VUWSA

  2. iHola! says:

    If the PGSA is endorsing such a vitriolic and abrasive person like Keiran Barbalich for Council Rep, you’d have to question their commitment to the Victoria’s student body over cheap personal point scoring.

    PGSA’s pontificating candidate’s unfounded, personal, belittling character assassination of his opponent, contempt of the Returning Officer and the forum was disgusting. Barbalich is a disgrace to post grad’s and I’d be ashamed such a person was my President-Elect for 2009.

  3. Robert says:

    Personally, I’d be ashamed to have an absentee council rep like Jordan King, who apparently has only gone to 1 of 4 academic board meetings and only 1 of 7 FHSS board meetings – but that’s just me.

  4. a student says:

    and describing someone as “vitriolic and abrasive” is not an unfounded, personal and belittling character assassination? those terms better describe a certain presidential candidate known for his volatility and irrationality.

    i’d be ashamed if someone who fails to attend nearly all of the meetings of the boards and councils that he was elected to become my council rep. keiran stated the FACTS. one being that jordan has an abysmal attendance record. what kind of council rep would he be if he can’t even regularly turn up to a meeting? jordan’s paltry response was that he was busy protesting and campaigning. during every single one of meetings of the various boards and councils? is he incapable of sending an apology?

    keiran didn’t mention that jordan has a similar attendance record in his position on the publications committee. it probably wasn’t necessary, seeing as though jordan’s incompetence and lack of committment to the job has already been made very apparent.

  5. Adam says:

    “She is against the whole change thing going on at the University – particularly within VUWSA.”

    Anyone see anything wrong with this sentence? You know, like the fact that change is EXACTLY WHAT IS NEEDED to save us from the VUWSA Exec in its current state?

    And why does any candidate think it is a key selling point that they’re going to campaign for a Universal Student Allowance, and moreso, why do people buy into it? A VUWSA President is likely to have about as much singular impact on the government’s reluctance to provide it as a speck of dust has an impact on an elephant’s back problems. They can try, sure, but why make such a big selling point of it?

  6. A PostGrad says:

    I think its about time that someone sensible was elected who actually wants to make changes and voice opinions and its about time that the PG’s stepped up and said something. Far too many times VUWSA are out protesting and generally wasting time trying to get noticed than doing anything remotely beneficial for PG’s. Whilst they spend their money giving out free bread and driving around in brand new vans, there are some serious issues going on in the PG community and no-body seems to care. I don’t care which PG gets elected as long as there is some sort of representation. Why isn’t there a permanant seat on the Council for PGs anyway? NT and international have one why not PGs?
    Far too many times these seats are about personal gratification rather than for what they stand for, I’d like to see some ego’s removed and some decent work being done. Pull your fingers out of your @rses and lets see some changes.

    Disgruntled PG

  7. Concerned Student says:

    “keiran didn’t mention that jordan has a similar attendance record in his position on the publications committee. it probably wasn’t necessary, seeing as though jordan’s incompetence and lack of committment to the job has already been made very apparent.”

    Tristan confirmed to me that Jordan has only bothered to turn up to one publications committee meeting this year. That’s a pretty pathetic record. We need a council rep who actually bothers showing up to council, or they’ll just make the entire student body look like a joke.

  8. Chewie says:

    Ummm did you see Jasmine’s manifesto? Positive change not the negative change what kiwiblog has liken as quite close to what the A-Team wanted to achieve.

  9. iHola! says:

    “Far too many times these seats are about personal gratification rather than for what they stand for, I’d like to see some ego’s removed and some decent work being done. Pull your fingers out of your @rses and lets see some changes.”

    From what I saw and everyone can see in the video of Keiran’s performance he is the one seeking personal gratification and massaging his ego. He refused to say what he stood for, what shapes his beliefs, what his vision was for the Council Rep was, what he wants to change if elected and gave no reason why anyone should vote for him, instead claiming he was the best as the others hadn’t graduated yet and has *OOHH WAIT FOR IT* met with the VC and others in the University on occasions.

    Jordan on the other hand has worked for NZUSA for nearly two years, actively engaged with those in the tertiary sector, directly lobbied at least eight cabinet ministers and various other tertiary eduction spokespeople and leaders, represented students on committees, through reports and protests during campaigns against school closures and student debt, in addition to being a full time student.

    Also, why cry a river Kieran whining to the Returning Officer that you told him you wouldn’t be able to make a 4.30 start, when the forum started at least 15 minutes late?

  10. a student says:

    actually what i saw in the video was a competent and prepared candidate who has an indisputably better attendance record than his competitor (by far). if you understood the role of a council rep, you would know that his “beliefs” and his “vision” are irrelevant. it’s all well and good that jordan participates in protests and campaigns but if he can’t be bothered turning up to a meeting, he’s not doing his job. how is he going to oppose fee increase if he ISN’T THERE to vote on anything? everyone can have ideals, but it’s about getting the job done. also, the fact that keiran has both an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree while jordan has neither is worth mentioning because obviously keiran will have a better understanding of the university system as a result.

    p.s. you seem VERY well read on the specifics of jordan’s “accomplishments”…

  11. An Ironic Pseudonym says:

    The council rep doesn’t need a vision but they need to listen. They need to listen to VUWSA, they need to listen to students. What happens if one of Jordan’s beliefs gets in the way of what students want. Especially if that belief is that he doesn’t want to go to the council meeting.

    One of the funny things about this place is that people use pseudonyms to put forward ideas like that. By the sound of iHola’s writing he/she is well acquainted with Jordan (that is, if it isn’t Jordan) so he/she is probably from the Young Labour bloc, as they seem to be the only people who think it matters what people write about them on this shitty site anyway.

    Keiran has every right to complain to the returning officer. He, as a post grad student, is very busy attending classes, taking tutorials, meetings for the PGSA etcetera. He did make time for the meeting, he simply asked that the returning officer not start with council rep. I wasn’t there so don’t know how many other people talked but there are a few candidates so it probably would not have been hard to delay Jordan talking. Keiran was at a disadvantage because he did not hear what King said.

    Stop hiding behind a pseudonym if you’re going to whinge and complain you little bitch. At least Keiran has the guts to get up in front of a room of people and do it.

  12. Wayne Pihema says:

    The thing about visions is that so few of them ever make it into the post election reality. Look at the number of visions so passionately espoused before VUWSA or any elections and see how much of the vision reaches you as something that improves your life as a student.

    I take performance over vision any day. But to perform, particularly on Council demands presence, in mind and body. That’s the bottomline starting position. Experience at the highest levels of University, previous knowledge not only of the systems but also of the people at that level might also be considered an attribute. As might the reputation you have at that level from previous experience. Keiran has all of these. He has experience at Academic Board and Academic Committee. He has taken lead roles in meetings and negotiations with the Office of Research and Postgraduate Studies, including discussions with the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research). He has a strong working relationship with these people. To my knowledge none of them consider him vitriolic, abrasive or seeking personal gratification. Keiran has been a valuable member of the PGSA since our AGM in March. He has represented the PGSA in the positions above and has shown great ability and acumen representing and advocating for postgraduate students.

    At Tueday’s meeting of the PGSA Executive Keiran was confirmed as President elect. He will take up the Presidency in early November when I step down. I am sure I can state quite categorically that the PGSA is very pleased and proud to have Keiran as President elect for 2008 and 2009. In elections all kinds of people say all kinds of things. But the attack by iHola is extreme and unfounded as anyone who knows Kieran. They say that you know someone by their work not by their words. Visions are words and performance is work. Unfortunately iHola, the person you so strongly support was unable to do the work because he was hardly there, on both committees. Keiran has maintained an almost perfect attendance record in Academic Committee while simultaneously working hard developing skills, experience and relationships in several other areas identified above. I am the PGSA President and readers need to know this. However I make this statement as a personal response and not as President to an attack on the reputation of a friend and colleague whose commitment and energy to postgraduates I and many others have witnessed over a sustained period. Keiran’s work and reputation deserves to be both acknowledged, and defended from unfounded attack.

  13. tara says:

    yer, how the hell can jordan stand if he doesn’t go to meetings for his existing responsibilities??? scummy labour try hard. in order to climb through student politics onto (I imagine) Jordan’s dream job of labour mp, he may actually need to do some work. blimey, what a concept. in the meantime, i don’t want this position to be one that merely looks good on his cv. I want students to be ably and properly represented. Keiran seems to have done his research, good luck to him.

  14. youaretheonlyonesmokingthiscigarette says:

    you’re a uninformed fuckwit tara. just so you know.

  15. youaretheonlyonesmokingthiscigarette says:

    ahem. an an an

    damn it.

    still, you’re the dumbfuck here. i cant belive you are buying the acerbic hating on jordan king that kieran relishes.

  16. Concerned Student says:

    Hang on here youaretheonlyonesmokingthiscigarette… “uninformed”?

    Keiran brought proof to the forum – in the form of board minutes – that Jordan never bothers to attend the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences board, nor offers his apologies. We’ve also cited evidence from the Salient editor that Jordan doesn’t bother to attend publications committee.

    So, no. We’re informed. All you can offer in response are poorly constructed strings of expletives. It will be a sad day for students if this is the representation they get on Council.

    So Jordan, given that you’ve already clearly demonstrated that you don’t bother carrying out the functions of the jobs you stand for, how dare you stand for an even more significant function. You are an absolute disgrace to the student body, and no amount of your cronies spouting expletives will change this.

  17. Michael Oliver says:

    So glad I’m finishing this year. Ya’ll are fucking maniacs.

  18. youaretheonlyonesmokingthiscigarette says:

    um it wasn’t a poorly constructed string actually… that was perfect grammar. my finger just didn’t hit the ‘n’ key properly.

    you’re all insane. I have no idea how you could support a man who has this sort of attitude towards his fellow candidates, let alone life in general. he’s so aggressive… daddy must have hit him.

  19. a student says:

    do you even know keiran? i certainly doubt you do enough to assert what his “attitude” to life is. most likely you are just a pathetic young labourite determined to make something of your otherwise sad existence by turning to student politics for legitimisation and remaining oblivious to how tragic you are. it’s a perfect reflection of you that you support a candidate who is incapable of showing up to the meetings and performing the job he has been elected to over a competent and qualified candidate. keiran is standing for council rep because he wants to get the job done, rather than pad out his CV to become a career politician.

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