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March 29, 2010 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA to act on ANZAC

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VUWSA President Max Hardy has told Salient that VUWSA has accepted an invitation to lay a wreath to commemorate ANZAC day.

“VUWSA will be joining with others in laying a wreath on ANZAC Day.”

Last year, VUWSA’s decision to not lay a wreath made national news.

The 2009 exec agreed to reject an invitation from Wellington City Council to lay a wreath during the city’s ANZAC Day commemorations.

The decision, made during a weekly VUWSA exec meeting, was borne out of a desire not to “arbitrarily” observe events for which there was no formal VUWSA policy.

At the time, VUWSA did not have a formal position on officially commemorating ANZAC Day, and this lack of formal position was considered the “overarching” reason for the rejection.

Former VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle said there was no “official mandate from students” to recognise ANZAC Day, despite the association being present during the last five ANZAC Day ceremonies.

Hardy said that this year’s exec believe there is a strong mandate from students to support the event.

“For VUWSA, we will be especially remembering the hundreds of Victoria University students who have served and lost their lives.

“At least 435 Victoria students lost their lives in both World Wars. These conflicts had a profound impact on the student body and we will remember that on ANZAC Day.

“While there was a diversity of opinion on last year’s exec, in the end they made the wrong decision,” says Hardy.

“This year, the executive is unanimous in deciding that VUWSA will observe ANZAC day.

“Some students do not support laying a wreath, but most students do not wish to see ANZAC Day politicised and instead see it as an important day to remember those who lost their lives.”

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