Salient plans to purchase it and install it in the atrium as a monument to The Muppets
The infamous window-tinted, mag-wheeled, black-painted VUWSA van remains in storage at a mechanic in Otaki, after it broke down in late January.
However, VUWSA has decided to cut its losses and sell the van, deeming it too old and unnecessarily accessorised to be worthy of repairs.
The van broke down just out of Otaki while it was being used by the VBC. The VBC was traveling to Bulls for the Campus A Low Hum music festival that was held over Wellington Anniversary weekend.
Salient understands that the cam belt broke, causing extensive damage to the van’s engine.
VUWSA President Max Hardy says that by selling the van, they will be trying to recoup as much of the $22,222.22 that was spent upgrading the van as possible.
“I think we can now put the shameful VUWSA van controversy behind us,” Hardy says.
The van upgrade involved numerous modifications, including fitting it out with a sound system, mag wheels and window tinting.
In 2009 the exec apologised to the student body on behalf of VUWSA for the actions of 2007 President Geoff Hayward and Education Vice-President Paul Brown. It was agreed by the exec that it was the actions of Hayward and Brown that led to the misuse of student funds associated with the van’s upgrade, and not the exec as a whole.
That exec also apologised for the subsequent suppression of the van expenditure document by the 2008 exec.
Since the van broke down, it has been stored at a mechanic in Otaki, which has come at a “small cost” to VUWSA, Hardy says.
VUWSA has negotiated for a van owned by the Joint Student Union Board to be available for use by VUWSA organisations such as Salient and the VBC. This van will also available for booking by student groups through VUWSA.
Hardy says VUWSA has negotiated this arrangement “as part of its plan to come up with the most cost-effective way of delivering the service to both students and VUWSA organisations”.
Following the breakdown, Hardy says alternative arrangements were made for student groups needing to use a van through Piggy Packer Rentals. VUWSA has made use of the university’s vans, as well as other forms of transport.
It is not known how much it would cost for the van to be fixed.
Salient will be holding a memorial service for the van next trimester, should its bid to purchase the van fall through.