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June 3, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec

Last week Salient sat through a four-hour meeting of the VUWSA Exec (6-10 pm) which was entirely in committee. This was to be the meeting that they finally passed their budget for the year, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Seeing as issues of fraud aren’t their steez this decade, you have to wonder why something as simple as an Excel sheet is so difficult. Aside from the Environment and Sustainability Officer Rick-triarchy Zwaan taking pedantry to a whole new level of maths—+2 for accountability -1 for self-awareness = one of us finding a grey hair in a bathroom break—VUWSA is just really quite fucked at the moment. And we won’t be at all surprised if McCourt decides never to return from his upcoming US junket. Here are a few reasons why:

1. VUWSA is being contracted by the University to do some of the things that they have decided should be continued, the negotiations of which take ages and is why there hasn’t been a budget set yet.

2. These ‘negotiations’ don’t seem to be working out too well for most of the contracts, as they’re receiving quite a lot less than what it actually costs for them to provide. This creates an operating deficit, which is eating into their reserves. The only possible reasons that jump to mind are a) management are just trying to force VUWSA to be more efficient in their service provision (good), b) that this is an intentional strategy by management to make VUWSA bankrupt and die a gradual death (bad), or c) none of this matters because they’re intending to open up the contracts for tendering next year anyway (probably).

3. On top of this, VUWSA is providing some services that the University doesn’t fund, which they are paying for with either their savings or the miniscule amount of revenue they have coming in from their very few revenue-generating assets.

4. The “well-intentioned” Student Forum (RIP) really threw the cat amongst the student-politician pigeons/started management’s strategy to ‘divide and conquer’/genuinely tried to give a voice to minority groups. Hours and hours and hours of discussions about how unhappy they are with the current situation, and possibilities for moving forward have been taking place since the Forum started to sink, mainly between VUWSA, Ngai Tauira, Pasifika Students’ Council and the Postgraduate Students’ Association. The PGSA were the only group that wanted to keep the Forum alive—why wouldn’t you support a body that props up your new-found relevancy/power?

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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