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NZUSA conference “one of the best ever”

Do elected president: More smiles than a cult before Kool Aid time

Former AUSA President David Do will occupy one of the NZUSA’s presidential thrones in 2010, but who’ll sit in the other remains a mystery.

Do was elected almost unanimously to the position during the first round of voting at last month’s NZUSA conference at Lincoln University.

Unfortunately, no other candidate received the requisite two-thirds majority needed to join Do at the head of New Zealand’s top student lobby.

One other co-Presidential hopeful, Pene Delaney of Waikato University, came close but missed out on the role by falling two votes short of the two-thirds majority threshold.

Do said he was humbled by his election, and felt incredibly privileged to be at the forefront of student advocacy.

“There are many things to do, but two main areas will be pushing back against the threat of voluntary student membership, and defending against further cuts to government funding of tertiary education,” he said.

The election of Do’s co-president, a full-time position, and a part-time National Women’s Rights Officer is expected to take place at the association’s next FedEx meeting.

The conference also included panel discussions on improving levels of engagement throughout universities and institutes of technology and polytechs, and also featured a number of key speakers.

Keynote speaker Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker spoke of initiatives taken by the Christchurch City Council in order to make the city more liveable for students, including plans for a light rail between the city and the University of Canterbury.

However, the Mayor managed to ruffle a few feathers when he spoke of some of the difficulties of having a large student constituency in suburban areas.

“After waking up in the afternoon, mostly, [Christchurch] provides a lot of entertainment for tertiary students in the way of letter boxes, street signs and lamp posts,” Parker said.

Despite the teasing taunts of elected officials, NZUSA Co-President Sophia Blair felt the conference was productive.

“The conference went really well. We had some fantastic speakers, interesting debate and the delegates generally enjoyed themselves,” she said.

Blair also said she and the other current NZUSA co-President Jordan King extended their sincerest congratulations to David Do.

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