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April 6, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Posting Pat a Petition Walsh Out

In the largest attendance seen at a Student Representative Council meeting (SRC), Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association and the Victoria University of Wellington Law Students’ Society passed two motions challenging Victoria’s stringent campus alcohol policies.

Presided over by VUWLSS President Amelia Keene and VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle, the required 50 person quorum was reached with consummate ease.

“The SRC had an excellent turnout, which demonstrates how strongly students feel about this issue,” Freemantle said.

Keene—assisted by Freemantle—set out two motions: 1) That the University should carry out a full review of their alcohol policy, and 2) that the University should not seek to make profit from student-run events.

After admitting trickery by offering free sausages, Keene took students back to early March, where the annual ‘Welcome Back to Law School’ Barbeque remained a dry affair due to the prices alcohol prices offered by Vic Venues.

At a 400% markup, sponsors of the event had been unwilling to cover the costs, and VUWLSS was forced to reject the idea of having any alcohol whatsoever at the annual ‘meet-and greet’ event.

In addition to the motions, both presidents rallied their constituents to sign a petition requesting “…Vic Venues lose its monopoly over the supply of alcohol at the University,” which in turn would give student representative groups the freedom to provide their own cost-price alcohol at events.

The petition, sporting 188 signatures, was presented to Victoria Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh. The Vice-Chancellor expressed surprise with the 400% mark up and promised he would investigate the matter further. Freemantle reassured him that they would not settle until the new motions became formal policy.

“I made it clear to Pat that aspects of these motions have implications for the JSUB, which is a Board that has no policy despite having been created in 2006. I also made it very clear to him VUWSA would not endorse the expenditure of any funds, related to the Campus Hub or otherwise, unless these mat-ters, and others, such as the recent removal of a club from the quad, are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner,” Freemantle said.

“I am meeting with the President of LSS again shortly in order to ensure progress on these matters,” Salient reported last week about an incident where the Greens@Vic were evicted from the quad for hosting an unsolicited petition.

Student Union Complex Manager Rainsforth Dix said the Greens@Vic “…did not follow a process that was put in place to ensure fair and equitable access to University facilities by student clubs.” Under another university policy regarding the consumption of alcohol on campus, the answer to a commonly asked question, “Can my School or Business Unit provide our own alcohol?” the answer states, “Yes, Schools and Business Units can provide their own alcohol for each event as long as a Licensed Staff Person is responsible for the environment and supply of alcohol.”

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