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October 1, 2012 | by  | in News |
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Take Me To Your Leader


Presidential candidates Rory McCourt and Jackson Freeman went head to head at the VUWSA Candidates’ Forum on Wednesday. The two debated VUWSA’s financial position, personal politics and Freeman’s facebook profile.

About 70 students were in attendance.

The other positions on the VUWSA executive were also contested. Each candidate was given five minutes to give a speech and answer questions from the audience. The candidates campaigned on support for healthy flats, to lower bus fares, and sustainability on campus.

Of the two presidential candidates, McCourt was the first to give his speech.

“It is because of the potential of VUWSA that I am running for President. It is because I know I can lead this association to give you a better deal,” he said.

He cited his experience as Vice-President (Welfare) as his qualification for the job, and expressed concern that the Student Services Levy review, due to take place next year, would be “squandered” if the President “doesn’t know what’s up”.

Freeman claimed to be the “the average student here to cater for the average student.” He went on to emphasise the importance of being financially independent, and moving VUWSA away from its reliance on service contracts with the University.

McCourt and Freeman both had strong support from the audience. Although Freeman’s online presence was brought into question. Freeman’s Facebook profile lists “jousting sluts in the face” and “tooting at fat chicks to boost their self-esteem” as two of his ‘likes’.

McCourt stood by his claims that Freeman was a bigot and woman-hater, accusations he had made in an email to VicLabour.

“No, I am not a woman-hater,” said Freeman who said his Facebook page had been ‘hacked’ “like ninety percent of the people in this room.”

In the same email, McCourt asked VicLabour to “keep VUWSA red”. When queried about the statement, he said there was a consistency between Labour and VUWSA’s values, but promised to make sure he was “always wearing the right hat, at the right time.”

Freeman is a member of the Young Nats, but did not support their cuts to the tertiary education budget.

He was unaware of this years’ clubs review, but “so were some of the clubs,” he said. He also confessed ignorance as to what the student forum was.

Video from the candidates’ forum can be found at

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