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September 22, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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Sonny Thomas’ reply to Nick Kelly

The following is a response from Sonny Thomas to Nick Kelly’s previous post regarding the VUWSA Change Proposal:

Kia ora –

I am running for the VUWSA Presidency because VUWSA needs change.

Every four years like clock work VUWSA almost goes bankrupt until it’s bailed out, like an American investment bank by the VUWSA Trust.
The changes that I have put into a proposal for consultation make significant savings which will be spent more effectively on VUWSA’s main purpose, education support and welfare. There is no need to continue to spend $100,000 a year on Orientation and activities that attract very small student numbers. Nor is there any need to continue to provide administration when someone else can do it cheaper – and it’s only data entry.

I fully stand behind student control of student affairs – I just don’t think we need to control who enters the data, or have direct control over who negotiates subsidised tickets to events in the CBD.

Students will under the proposal retain control of what is most important – education support and welfare services. Things that can make a tangible difference to students studies.

I offer a new perspective for students – something fresh and untainted by the actions and inactions of the past.

Students should get more value out of their association and that is why I think people would rather have subsidised events in town that students are already attending – like the International Arts Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Sevens.

Nick Kelly is part of the problem, Joel Cosgrove is part of the problem and Jasmine Freemantle, who has offered nothing new will be part of the problem. Students didn’t trust her on their executive in 2002, opting instead to vote “No Confidence” – nothing has changed about her, why would they trust her now?

Vote for real, tangible change – vote for someone who isn’t part of the problem, or supported by those that reinforce the problem.

Thanks,
Sonny Thomas
for VUWSA President

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Comments (18)

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  1. Jesus Toblerone says:

    I don’t really know what anyone’s standing for in this election. Or anyone personally or anything- but I think it is a bit lame for people to keep bringing up this Jasmine chick losing to No Confidence 6 years ago. Fair enough to criticise her current political affiliations etc. but I mean I seriously doubt anyone who is still around now really knows whatever happened to this chick 6 years ago and I think that over 6 years people are entitled to change.

    Peace out.

  2. Mr Magoo says:

    Sonny Thomas has few other points to make. Don’t take the No Confidence win away from him!

  3. William Bridie says:

    I saw in a crossword that was on the back of Jasmine’s thingy that she’s been elected to six different public positions. WTF is this about Sonny barring another Exec member from entering an exec meeting? I’ve seen nothing from Sonny on this! I’m kinda in the air about where my vote goes. I liked the wordfind though. Why isn’t there one in Salient?

  4. hungry says:

    so you want to replace orientation with a $2 discount to a play or a rugby game…

  5. Lock says:

    Rugby’s sold out…
    I’d have voted for him otherwise. Fucking scalpers.

  6. hungry says:

    why has sonny made his facebook group closed and deleted people and comments?
    jasmine’s facebook group is open despite being full of comments from right wing nut jobs who work for john key and support sonny!

  7. Gibbon says:

    Let’s be honest here guys,
    Orientation fucking sucks
    It fucking sucks.

  8. Nick Kelly says:

    Sonny fails to actually respond to the claims in my letter.

    1) he failed to understand the intention of Team Vic. Instead he strongly advocates for the Change Proposal which claims clubs should be administered by the Universiity. Sonny hasn’t read the Spam survey’s done by VUWSA in the past which show strong support by students for the work VUWSA does in the area of clubs.

    2) As a result of the 2006 VUWSA financial review and the levy increase VUWSA’s deficit went from $300k to $40k. VUWSA only needs minor to moderate changes – whereas the Change Proposal is a slash and burn document.

    3)Clubs administration is not “just data entry”. Basically Sonny doesn’t understand the way that VUWSA and in particular the way that VUWSA’s administration of clubs works. He is too inexperienced to be the leader of the association.

    4)He doesn’t deny that Rainsforth Dix (Student Union manager) helped him write the Change Proposal document. That Sonny got a university manager to write a VUWSA Change Proposal document is a schandel. The whole point of strong Student Associations is to be independant of the institution they work within.

    5) Sonny has lied and told people that I helped write the Change Proposal. Again he doesn’t dispute this. Someone this dishonest is not fit to led the association.

    Rather than replying to my letter Sonny is trying to deflect the points it makes and makes further stupid claims. Sonny claims he wants VUWSA to save money, yet he wants VUWSA to subsidies events such as “International Arts Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Sevens.” To get Students free or even cheap entry to these events would cost VUWSA an absolute fortune – thus its never going to happen. Maybe Sonny thinks that the University who are currently cost cutting all over the show are going to put money into this?

    Unlike with the Education review VUWSA recently completed this so-called Change Proposal simply hasn’t been researched properly. Sonny is making up things like putting money into the sevens and knows full well this isn’t a goer.

    Nick Kelly

  9. Nick Kelly says:

    The other point I should make is that actually Sonny Thomas is “part of the problem”.
    In both 2006 and 2007 Sonny actively backed Geoff Hayward for VUWSA President, as both are Vic Labour members.
    Last year it was Geoff Hayward who approved spending $22k on painting the VUWSA van black, tinting the windows etc. Given VUWSA made a deficit of $40k half of this was due to this inept decision by Geoff. Sonny has never publically come out critical of his fellow party members decision to waste student money in this way.

    Nick

  10. Lenin says:

    Um Nick, one of Sonny’s policies is to make sums of money over a certain amount only allowable by the exec. He called the van fiasco a “disaster”. Thats pretty critical.

  11. Lenin says:

    “5) Sonny has lied and told people that I helped write the Change Proposal. Again he doesn’t dispute this. Someone this dishonest is not fit to led the association.”

    But a candidate who lies on her campaign posters is?

    Laugh, you’re a joke Kelly. Go back to driving buses.

  12. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Geoff was President. he wasn’t a club. Setting club funding limits doesn’t stop the president spending money.

  13. Chuck Hagel says:

    Sonny’s policies are very credible. The problem is that his rolemodels are Labour MPs and like them he is a bully who does not tolerate dissent.

  14. Chewie says:

    Praise for VUWSA
    September 24th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been critical of VUWSA when members of their executive do stupid or obnoxious things. So it is only fair I should praise them when they do good.

    VUWSA has been somewhat dysfunctional for many years – little reliable budgeting and expenditure control. But his year’s executive have done a change proposal they are consulting on.

    I’ll summarise the proposal below. Ironically it aims to solve many of the issues that a group of centre right students (known as the A-Team) unsucessfully campaigned on last year.

    * Orientation costs of up to $180,000 to be reduced, especially in line with falling participation. Students are more interested in events in the CBD which have greater variety. VUWSA could coat-tail on some of these, negotiating ticket prices. Also look to partner with Cuba Street Carnival, Jazz Festival etc.
    * Reinstate Team Victoria MOU between VUIW and VUWSA to reduce duplication in clubs administration and facilities
    * Relocate IT Support to VUW IT Services
    * All the above are to focus VUWSA on core functions of advocacy
    * Restructure the three full time staff roles of Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Campus Activities Co-ordinator and Clubs Development Officer
    * Recognise the Executive is not well placed to manage staff due to high turnover
    * Proposed that they convert the latter two staff roles to contractors for specific roles such as an Events Organiser.
    * Turn the Advertising and Sponsorship Manager into a Salient Business Manager
    * Negotiate a SLA with VUW Student Union for clubs support

    As I said, I am quite impressed with their analysis of a need to focus on core advocacy, to reduce staffing levels, and use a mixture of contractors and a relationship with VUW itself to provide other services to students.

    I understand Sonny Thomas (VUWSA VP and Young Labour VP) was one of those involved in the plan, and is campaign for 2009 VUWSA President on the basis of implementing it (subject to consultation). I saw him at the Internet Debate last night and joked I was going to endorse him on Kiwiblog, this damning his campaign – he looked truly panicked at the possibility. So I’ll restrict myself to merely endorsing the reform proposal and saying I hope that whoever wins, is willing to implement it.

  15. Yehuda Berkowitz says:

    Nick Kelly – you left university years ago, why don’t you just get over VUWSA. I find you ridiculous. Joel Cosgrove, you are a joke. I have organised a petition to take to the university council, so that you’ll have to shave your coinpurse. Go Sonny Thomas – I voted for you. Glad Joel isn’t standing again – loser.

  16. Gibbon says:

    Hey guess what guys.
    We can never tell Nick Kelly to fuck off anymore, because he’s now a Life Member of VUWSA.
    Great, huh?
    He can continue hanging around like a bad smell for the rest of his life.
    And I imagine he will.

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