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October 2, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Prez Col 24

Welcome to the best student magazine in the country!

Congratulations to Elle and Uther and everyone else who has been involved this year for their triumph at the ASPAs. As VUWSA’s ‘official newspaper’, you can understand how delightfully chuffed we are with the achievements of Salient.

Last week Parliament passed the ACT Party’s VSM legislation. This should not have happened. Unfortunately students no longer have the ability to ensure that there is a mandated students’ association on their campus. There will be no choice for students on campuses where the institution decides it doesn’t want a students’ association holding them to account.

Vic students are however fortunate, because VUWSA will survive and will remain a strong voice for students here. It will be challenging, but we will continue to work to improve your academic experience and continue to provide you with great things here at Vic. VUWSA is working hard to ensure our sustainability in the new environment.

We have been working solidly with our Trust and the University for the last year to ensure that when VSM does arrive we will have positive, sustainable students’ association at Vic. It is not all sorted yet though, and we have been given very little time to prepare for reasons beyond our control. We will be looking to confirm both a new representative structure and a new funding model in the very near future – both of which you will be able to have your say on.

This would have happened soon, except the Government’s recently announced Student Services Levy regulations have put a spanner in the works. This will see a new round of consultation with students on what services should be funded. More details of this will be known in the coming week or two.

The VSM law passed last week will have to change. It ignores the views of students, institutions, NGOs and other groups of civil society. It does not understand the special nature of students’ associations and does not protect the interests of students. Every party except ACT and National have committed to repeal it and replace it with a more fair and rational alternative. NZUSA, the national students’ association, has begun its work ensuring the law is fixed in the future.

On a happier note, congratulations to Bridie Hood and the rest of the team elected for 2012. Bridie has performed exceptionally and achieved many things as Vice-President (Education) over the past two years and I have huge confidence that she do a brilliant job as President. She will also be supported by an extremely capable and talented Executive who will help guide VUWSA through what will be a challenging year. And thank you to everyone who took the time to give their thoughts on the proposed 2012-2015 Strategic Plan—this alongside plans for VUWSA in the new environment will put VUWSA in a strong position to continue to advance the interests of students for another 112 years.

Seamus Brady

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