July 30, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec


“That weird guy was outside the house again today” said Campaign’s officer Adele Redmond to Education officer Sam Vincent. And then a three hour meeting began.

Vice-President Rory McCourt (Academic) asked about the financial cost of the tragic Pyjama Party but President Bridie Hood confirmed that the party had no direct cost as it had been completely outsourced.

The executive then discussed the University instigated Student Forum with McCourt saying it lacked democratic legitimacy, and that the University had not addressed the concerns VUWSA had raised.

A major concern was the fact VUWSA no longer has the authority to appoint student representatives on various boards and committees throughout the University. Those seats will now be elected by the student forum.

McCourt motioned that VUWSA should take a formal position on the issue and support a student referendum on the forum. But some executive members were worried that by voicing their grievances, VUWSA

would be jeopardising the representation contract it has with the University. Under the $130,000 contract, VUWSA must provide operational support to the forum, but also train class representatives and faculty delegates.

Clubs Officer Reed Fleming wondered what the practical implications of the motions would be on VUWSA’s working relationship with the University.

“Would we risk losing more contracts?”

When Hood briefly left the room, McCourt said to the executive “ultimately, we need to decide if we’re a service provider to the university, like a corporation, or whether we are the legitimate voice for students… we’re not University Inc.”

When Hood returned, the executive briefly moved to committee, on which Salient cannot report. When they returned from committee, McCourt’s motions were passed.

At this point, Salient noticed a wrapped prophylactic on the floor between Womens’ Officer Sara Bishop and Treasurer William Guzzo.

McCourt then introduced the possibility of VUWSA support the living wage campaign, which encourages businesses to pay their staff a fairer wage, in line with the true cost of living.

Guzzo wondered if that such a campaign would be supported by the broader student community. He cited a discussion on the Overheard@Vic facebook page where students disagreed with the campaign to raise the minimum wage. Overheard @Vic once again proving it was the most effective student consultative body.

Attention was then turned to the recently governance review. All recommendations were moved on block. Most discussed was replacement of the Womens’ Officer and Queer Officer position with one ‘Equity Officer’. Queer Officer Gen Fowler was concerned the new position would not fully represent all groups.

The executive then discussed their half yearly work reports. Salient will scrutinise the reports in its traditional executive review next week.

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