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June 4, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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State of the Nation


If you woke up on 1 January, you’d made it: 2013 was never meant to be according to the Mayan’s and Jason Kerrison, but here we all were.

Despite making it through an apocalyptic 2012, Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh decided that his time was nigh, signalling this would be his last year at the helm of VUW management.

As students in internships and summer school rued the day they decided to make something of their lives, the rest of Wellington was at the beach—we were in for one hot summer!


Just weeks before Uni was to re-start, the construction giant Mainzeal—responsible for the Campus Hub development—went into receivership. We’ve been fucking waiting since 2009. But for those who remember that, the bigger question is: Why are you still here?

The announcement of O-Week was quite disappointing, with the University and VUWSA making it clear for the second year in a row that they can’t co-host a party. The University delayed contract negotiations, which meant that Macklemore bypassed the Hunter Lounge on his way to Otago.

In classic Catholic fashion, the Pope pulled out. Meanwhile in South Africa, athlete Oscar Pistorius made headlines when he was accused of murdering his girlfriend. With sports stars and the Church out of the question, where were we to look for role models?

Closer to home, doctoral candidate Chris Cherry hit the news when he discovered that University cleaner Arana Kenny was using his phone, which had gone missing months earlier. This was to begin a months-long saga, during which Cherry would write over 15,000 angry words on his blog; Kenny would plead guilty, and be discharged without conviction, and the University would do nothing at all…


O-Week: With appropriate amounts of exposed skin and RTDs, first years enjoyed the neon-toga party. We can’t remember what else happened. Oh that’s right, cause almost nothing did happen.

Tommy Ill and Homebrew performed to a pretty sizeable crowd. A member of Homebrew abused a Victoria student and then a Salient staffer via Twitter, and as a result, VUWSA said they wouldn’t book them again. Given that Homebrew are splitting up anyway, this was a pretty empty threat.

The Hub was a long way from being finished, but it had its official opening anyway, and what had opened looked pretty fucking awesome. As a result of the pimped out facilities, this was also the first time in living memory that Clubs Week was actually a ‘thing’.

VUWSA, Ngai Tauira and Pasifika Students’ Council all announced they were withdrawing from the Student Forum. VUWSA led the charge, freeing them all from Forum of which in hindsight was either ill-thought out, or a malicious attempt to ‘divide and conquer’ the student voice. We’ll never know.


The Boston bombings gripped the world, and in an opportunistic moment, John Key attempted to use the terror attacks as a justification for the major GCSB privacy breach, and invasive surveillance legislation.

North Korea threw their weight around.

Every New Zealand politician seemed to forget every single bad thing they had ever done.

Victoria topped the country in the PBRF (research) rankings, but as the bubbles fl owed over in the Hunter Building, Otago and Auckland were quick to take us up on any technicality they could that might make their results look a little bit better.

Thanks to the hacks setting aside their differences and working together to make a change for good, the Marriage Equality Bill passed. For the first time this year it felt like we had a brighter future…

…But just as it became more socially acceptable to be a fag, Victoria’s smokefree policy was introduced.

North Korea threw their weight around.

Every New Zealand politician seemed to forget every single bad thing they had ever done.


Aaron Gilmore shot to fame for all the wrong reasons, and just as quickly, was forgotten again.

In the wake of Gilmore’s departure, the Budget was announced, and journalists around the country tried to pretend they understood what was going on. Everyone wished they were still reporting on a story with a narrative as simple as “Do you know who I am?”

Amanda Bynes made us all feel good about our life decisions.

For the first time in years, VUWSA has made it through the first half of the year without any resignations. Salient holds itself fully responsible.

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About the Author ()

Molly McCarthy and Stella Blake-Kelly are Salient Co-Editors for 2013, AKA Salient Babes.

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