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March 15, 2015 | by  | in VUWSA |
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Academic Vice President

Welcome to Week 3. Chances are you’re reading this in your Monday morning lecture, packed with 100+ students (probably more like 50, seeing as it is week 3), intermittently scrolling through Facebook while jotting down lecture notes. I can’t talk—I’m writing this piece while in an Art History lecture.

But behind every 50-minute lecture you attend (or not), the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is huge. From the writing of the lecture, to making sure that assessments fit with university policy, a crazy long process takes place to ensure that Vic is providing you with a quality education.

But sometimes, things fall through the cracks. Lecturers may go through their slides too quickly, compulsory tutorials may be overly harsh on students juggling study with other commitments, or a piece of assessment may be way too difficult for its year level.

So that’s where VUWSA comes in. As Academic VP, I represent you on Vic’s Academic Board and Committee. These committees discuss both major and minor changes to your courses, degrees and academic policies. Whether it’s introducing a new one-year Master of Political Science, or changing the Major requirements for a BA in Education, VUWSA is your student voice. We make sure that Vic’s goal of providing you with a quality education is a student friendly one.

But student representation doesn’t stop there. We support faculty delegates who are your voice at Faculty Boards, and we facilitate and train your wonderful class representatives. In fact, class reps are your best first port of call when you have an academic issue. We train class reps and equip them with a snazzy handbook so that they can effectively represent your class, in asking a lecturer not to go through his slides too quickly, or direct you to the VUWSA Student Advocate if you feel that the university hasn’t treated you right.

So, at your next lecture, have a chat to your class rep. Tell them what you think about your course (and tell them to sign up for a class rep training session at ASAP!!). And if your class doesn’t have a class rep yet, chase up your lecturer to make sure you have one.

At VUWSA, we want you to value your education. If ever you want a chat, my door is always open—drop by our office, flick me an email ( or send me a tweet (@JonathanPWGee)—I’m here to help!

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Ten things I wish my friends knew about being Māori

: 1). I wish my friends knew that when they ask me what “percentage” of Māori I am—half, quarter, or eighth—they make me feel like a human pie chart. I don’t know how people can ask this so nonchalantly, but they do. So I want to let you know: this is a very threatening