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March 11, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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The McCourt Report

I like to escape by playing SimCity, watching dinosaur documentaries and imagining what life would be like if I was the Pope. I feel like parking would be an issue. Popemobiles are wide.

Benedict resigned because he felt that he couldn’t make a difference any more. When I was elected to be your President, not that VUWSA is anything like the global Catholic Church (we have always supported the use of condomz, and the ‘homozexual agenda’), there were clear goals in my mind. There were three ways in which I knew I could make a difference here at vic to make your life better. I wanted VUWSA to introduce a membership card, make Vic a more vibrant campus and win fairer fares for Wellington students.

So two months in, where are those goals at? Well, over 6000 membership cards have been eagerly snapped up by new and returning members in the last fortnight, thanks mainly to the hard work, dedication and determination of our amazing staff and volunteering team. Special mentions go to Ali Allen and
Hate Bevin for their stellar work, and to our amazing volunteers, especially Sophie, Courtney, Shelley, Danielle, Jayden, Lizzie, Catherine, Rashid, Jane, Bex and Xuan. They were a fundamental part of making O-Week happen, and they have shown old hacks like me what a community can be when we
value participation. The card itself shows that VUWSA is more committed than ever to making your students’ association work for you. Did you know the membership card gives you fantastic deals like $10 entry to Zealandia sanctuary and five percent off everything at Thirsty Liquor?

Secondly, I wanted to make Vic a more fun, vibrant place. Beefing up our O-Week, articulating a vision for an O-Week that includes everyone (not just first years) and planning sick events throughout the year is the first step. In the last two weeks, the quad has been absolutely pumping. The presence of knowledgeable Campus Coaches, approachable Rec Centre staff and cuddly pandas has all helped, I’m sure. Clubs Week has been amazing. Full kudos to Karl, Raewyn and their team for this, and to the clubs who kept the hub packed with engaged students. In my Salient column last week I let you know about the issues we’ve been having putting on O-Week events in a VSM environment at vic, and how we could improve the processes around it. Since then, things have progressed, and I can confirm the University is coming to the table and is willing to talk about making O-Week 2014 kick-ass awesome! We really value the robust partnership we have with Victoria that can make improvements like this happen. As for this year’s O-Week, we put had a pretty great lineup of sold-out events and I want to thank Vic for their cooperation. Go team! now let’s make sure those awesome events keep coming and get bigger with time.
Finally, your student Executive, led by Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer Rick Zwaan, has been putting their heart and soul into running the most concerted public-transport campaign Wellington has ever seen around tertiary fares. Many  students are struggling with the cost of rents, textbooks and
transport right now. We could halve one of those costs. It makes no sense to me that Wellington is one of the few major cities in the world without a concession. 2013 is the year that we will make it happen. VUWSA has received growing support from climate groups, community organisations, student groups and a broad array of political figures. Never before has the greenest Mayor and the bluest Katrina in the City been right behind a campaign like this. We’ve been stoked with the support so far, but we need you to speak up if we want this thing to happen. Be sure to sign a Fairer Fares postcard in the next month, and check out our Facebook page for campaign updates. It’s time for a 50% tertiary student discount.

I got involved with VUWSA to make a difference. Our volunteers, Class reps and student Executive: the same. VUWSA and I are here to serve you and make your time here even better. That’s certainly my priority.

Well, that… and getting a Popemobile.
PS Did you know they’re bringing out a SimCity version for
colour-blind people?
PPS I’m colour-blind.


Rory McCourt


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