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April 23, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec

Shake-up or break up

Reminiscent of Obama’s campaign trail, hope was in the air of April’s meeting of the VUWSA Executive, with discussion of making good on President Bridie Hood’s election promise. VUWSA resolved to have a governance review. It will be guided by the principled buzzwords of engagement, accessibility, democracy, accountability and efficiency – all aspects of the association that have received criticism from Salient, though not always fairly, at some point in time.

It is not known when VUWSA last undertook a review of this nature, but questions can surely be asked why it took the introduction of Voluntary Student Membership for VUWSA to take such a good hard look at itself.

The executive meeting saw the passing of the review’s terms of reference outlining the process. Part of which is the establishment of a Working Party, which will critically review and evaluate the current governance structure, and will be seeking feedback from students about their views in a staged consultation process.

Clubs Officer Reed Fleming raised concerns over the composition of the party – which is to include Hood, two VUWSA alumni, two VUWSA Executive members and two students.

Explaining how he was concerned that the composition of the party didn’t have enough representation for VUWSA’s members, Fleming said that students should have “a stronger voice in a grass roots organisation like VUWSA.”

“For a party reviewing something at the very heart of our organisation, our members should have a strong voice,” he said.

With only two executive members expressing a desire to be involved in the Party, Activities Officer Andreas Triandafillidis and acting Vice-President (Welfare) Rory McCourt were appointed.

Only one student applied to be allowed into VUWSA’s exclusive party, but Hood has reassured Salient that there is some other girl that they are in the process of coercing in. Competition is hot.

The first consultation document will be released next week, and should give a good indication whether the executive will seize the opportunity to make progressive change, or just stick with the status quo and orthodoxy. The question remains, will Hood pull the Obama trick, promising change, but delivering only pretty words?

All proposed changes will be put to students at VUWSA’s Annual General Meeting in August, where they will have to be voted on to be accepted.

More information on the review and the stages of student consultation are available at vuwsa.org.nz 

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