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The look of Victoria University of Wellington’s Students Association is set to undergo a significant change following the resignation of three members from the 2009 Exec.
Vice President of Administration Alexander Neilson, Environment Officer Georgina Hart and Activities Officer Marika Prately all tended their resignations from their respective roles, citing a number of personal reasons.
By-elections to replace Neilson and Pratley are set to be held at the beginning of the second trimester, once the roles have been formally vacated.
The resignations come at a particularly pertinent time for VUWSA, with the spectre of an association manager looming large over the association. It is understood that the arrival of the manager was one of the main impetuses for the future disestablishment of Neilson’s Vice President of Administration position.
VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle had discussed the possibility of disestablishing the VP Admin role with Neilson over the course of the past few months.
“I’ve spoken about this with Alexander since last year,” Freemantle said.
“Most probably in the last week or two of the first trimester we’ll hold special general meeting where there will be a motion saying the role of VP Admin be disestablished.”
With regards to Activities Officer position, Freemantle the role could be filled in the interim by herself and VUWSA Campus Activities Coordinator Dusty McLoughlin.
“Because activities have been planned out between myself and Dusty for the first trimester, there’s really no pressing need to have an activities officer. So we’re going to keep that position vacant until the rest of the trimester, and we’ll hold a joint by-election then,” she said.
Neilson, who has been a member of the VUWSA Exec for almost 3 years, felt that the time was appropriate for his departure.
“When I came onto VUWSA, I campaigned on one issue: returning VUWSA to an association that ran surpluses rather than deficits. In my almost three years I have worked alongside staff and executive to try and achieve that aim, and in 2008 I believe the final accounts will show a $50k surplus that I campaigned on,” Neilson said.
“I had no other plans or ideas for VUWSA, and now with my promise completed, I think it is time for someone else with more ideas to take the association forward and for me to bow out and concentrate on my studies.”
With the disestablishment of Neilson’s role imminent, Freemantle proposed a return of the role of treasurer to the Exec, a move Neilson favoured.
“I am happy with it and will be supporting the change,” he said.
“I proposed the change to a VP, because at that time the huge amount of work needed from the person in that position meant that the person would need to be paid more by VUWSA to allow them to also complete their studies. However the new association manager and new accounting procedures and systems we have put in place and the new support staff that have been hired will allow the Treasurer to concentrate on the governance side of the show.”
Hart’s resignation, which was announced during last Thursday’s weekly Exec meeting, was understood to be because of her recently announced pregnancy.
No timetable has been set for a by-election for the Environmental Officer role