July 13, 2014 | by  |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Sonya Says

When I came in as President, it felt like the dust had settled from the effects of two years of Voluntary Student Membership. We’re embarking on a massive project to map the next stage in VUWSA’s 114-year history. We want you to lead us in completely rethinking what it means to be a member of VUWSA. It is 2014 and Time for a Rethink.

If you’re not aware of VSM, this law shook the foundation of students’ associations in New Zealand. Our role as an independent voice suffered hugely – we lost our right to represent you on University boards and committees to a University-run Student Forum. Funding dropped dramatically as we moved from a universal membership fee to an annual negotiation of funding with the University that didn’t cover core costs. We had to close our satellite offices and cut right back on Orientation, events, Clubs funding and other services. The last two years have been tough.

By the start of 2014, things were on the up. The Student Forum was no more and Victoria once more recognised VUWSA as the representative body of students. We signed a two-year funding agreement that gives a bit of wriggle room for Events and Orientation, and for getting out to satellite campuses. We’re no longer living out of our savings, and have a budget which will break even, rather than the very large deficits of the last two years.

It’s time to smash the roof open and rethink everything.

The first thing we did was get an independent person to interview the people we work with often, especially over the difficult two years. From the Vice-Chancellor to The Hunter Lounge, we asked for the good, the bad, and the ugly, and how we could be of better value to their work. They said: VUWSA tries to do too many things, that our reputation rests too much on who is the President at the time, and that VUWSA doesn’t speak enough for the ‘average’ student. We agreed.

It’s your turn. Its been two years of VSM, and it’s overdue to ask you: What do you want from your membership of VUWSA? If you were to start up an organisation that was to represent students and improve their lives – what is the first thing you would do? What wouldn’t you do? We’re proud of our 114 years, but we’re not afraid to cut off our grey hair and recognise that being a student now is crazy-different to 30 or even ten years ago.

We’re working with the experts because we know we can’t do this ourselves. Beyond our ten Executive-member heads, we’ve got alongside us Kate, our researcher and mentor, who has years of experience turning average organisations into great ones. She’ll be leading in-person and online research with you, and helping us write a professional, sustainable plan for grand lady VUWSA for the years ahead.

We’re excited.

 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

Recent posts

  1. Salient seeks new contributors
  2. Web designer needed
  3. San Cisco—Gracetown
  4. Shovel Knight
  5. NZUSA rides the alimony pony
  6. [Theme not found]
  7. Pink Passion Pop
  8. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less
  9. 80 Years of Penguin
  10. Up and Adam

Most popular

  1. Salient seeks new contributors 97 views
  2. The Übermensch 24 views
  3. I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree 23 views
  4. Web designer needed 17 views
  5. Holy Fuck! Vic Uni Ruled by White Males 16 views
  6. The Bresolin Brothers 14 views
  7. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less 14 views
  8. The Sedulous Recorder 14 views
  9. NZUSA rides the alimony pony 14 views
  10. Ermagherd, rent 12 views
grad

Editor's Pick

I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree

by

For students all across the world, years of study culminate in a perfunctory ritual known as “graduation”. After three years of napping at Victoria’s Te Aro campus, it was my turn to partake in the tradition.

Read more