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Unfortunately, Salient had missed the last Executive meeting in June, although that time it was deliberate—we’re pretty sure that attending VUWSA meetings during the break is a new circle of Hell that Dante forgot about, probably because it was really boring. We’re gutted, though, to have missed the (apparently very robust) debate over whether VUWSA should note the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, whether it should refuse to note it because of the document’s colonialist and pro-aristocracy overtones, or whether the whole debate was moot because of some arcane VUWSA policy in favour of republicanism. We should also point out that whether or not VUWSA chooses to note the Magna Carta’s anniversary has absolutely no effect on anything whatsoever.
As for the meeting before that—where VUWSA secretly changed the meeting time then decided to spunk a whole load of cash into NZUSA’s gaping maw—well, the less said about VUWSA’s devilish, devious and immediately detectable deception, the better. So it had been some time since Salient had seen the Exec’s shiny, happy faces, and we were quietly confident that they were just as pleased to see us as we were to not only see them, laugh with them, be joyous and celebrate the student voice with them, but also to sit in a room with them for two hours and listen to Rick.
Before the meeting, some of the Execcies grumbled about OUSA not only ripping off VUWSA’s cool anti-establishment slogan—“Democratic Election Not Council Selection”—but misspelling it during one of their quaint southern protests. Apparently, nothing says “elect more of us to the governing body of your multi-billion-dollar institution please” like a stack of A4 signs with “council” spelled “counsel”. Rick gave us a glimpse into his mind—“the way I remember the difference,” quoth he, “is ‘C for city, S for sadness’.” Interesting; we remember Rick’s name because we only know one Rick and that’s what he looks like.
Jacinta, the Secretary of the Treasure, gave a report on the last policy committee meeting. She proposed that the Exec each be entitled to between $10 and $20 in cellphone remuneration per month depending on position (which the Exec approved), and that the VUWSA credit card limit be reduced from $3000 to $1000. “I trust everyone on this year’s Executive,” she said, “but this is a potential source of liability.” Rick, who earlier this year used the credit card to buy $1840 of holographic stickers*, was worried about the practical implications and the Exec decided to send the proposal back to policy committee for more work.
The University will hold “consultation” forums on its proposed changes to University Council, during which it will “listen” to students and “take their views into account”. There will be one at Kelburn on Monday, and one each at Pipitea and Te Aro on Wednesday. Karori doesn’t get one, lol. VUWSA is putting together a submission based on the views it collected during the first round of consultation, which seems pretty pointless since they’ll just be reheating the same ideas that the University ignored last time around. However, submissions close at the end of the week so they didn’t really have a choice. There’s also a petition, though, so if this whole thing pisses you off then sign it.
We apologise for the joke-free nature of the previous paragraph. For a proper joke, see the University’s proposed changes to Council.
The Executive has recently received a letter from NZUSA, as part of Rick’s ongoing pissing contest with NZUSA President Rory McCourt over the future of the national student movement. Jono and Ellen will draft a response, and there will be another referendum on VUWSA’s membership to NZUSA. Rick doesn’t want to become the NZUSA President, so the referendum question will be drafted properly this time. See the 2013 referendum, and its author, for context. See page 7 for more on this story.
The VUWSA Annual General Meeting will be held at 1pm on Wednesday 19 August in the Hub. For those of you who don’t like to be microphoned at while eating your lunch, consider this an early warning.
The Exec then moved into committee to discuss clubs. We can tell you it was talking about clubs, because earlier in the meeting someone said, out of committee, “let’s talk about clubs in committee”. HA! I WONDER WHAT THE SECRET CLUBS DISCUSSION IN COMMITTEE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABOUT? Incidentally, the University took the management of clubs away from VUWSA a couple of years ago, and has been doing a piss-poor job at it ever since. SO I WONDER WHAT THE DISCUSSION COULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT. I WONDER WHAT VUWSA MIGHT BE TRYING TO DO ABOUT CLUBS? But of course we have no way of knowing what the Exec were talking about, because it was in committee. BUT I WONDER IF THERE MIGHT BE CHANGES AFOOT, THAT WOULD BE COOL HUH.
The rest of committee was dominated by an outpouring of empathy for fictional cows. Salient wishes it were joking. For a proper joke, see the University’s proposed changes to Council—it never gets old.
*In fairness to Rick, the holographic stickers were a cheaper replacement for last year’s VUWSA membership cards. However, Salient would also question whether anything that can be adequately replaced by a holographic sticker could not also be replaced by a non-holographic sticker, or whether it really qualifies as essential expenditure at all.