Hello everyone, what is good?
Welcome to the Zeitgeist Issue. Given that I’m woefully unqualified to write an editorial about what’s hip and happening with the young folks today (except for Mr. Robot, which is outrageously good and you should watch it immediately), I’m going to talk instead about the HOTTEST EVENT RIGHT NOW: the VUWSA elections.
If you’re an aspiring Labour backbencher, if your CV’s looking threadbare, or if you love the sweet taste of (hardly any) power, get amongst it. There are five 10 hour a week positions (the Officers), three 20 hour positions (Vice Presidents), and, of course, the Big One—Publications Committee Rep. For the born-to-rule silver-spooners out there, the campaign spending limit has been more than doubled to $250, although the rules around Super PACs are yet to be clarified. Either way, that’s a lot of chalk.
Snark aside, serving on Exec is a hugely rewarding experience (unless you’re one of the ones who end up quitting partway through). Also, next year’s Salient editor is highly unlikely to be as bitchy as I am, so you’ll get a much easier ride from the press.
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There’s also been a serious problem with VUWSA elections over the past few years, and you can help fix it. Last year, there were 16 candidates for 11 positions. Half of this year’s Executive were elected unopposed. While they’ve all done a good job, that’s kind of a fluke—there needs to be more competition otherwise the Exec’s mandate to represent you is shaky.
Speaking of mandate—if you’re not interested in running, you should at least vote. When next year’s Exec call out the uni during Academic Board meetings, or decorate the Hub with weed mat, or do whatever else it is that they do, it would be helpful if they could fall back on something a bit more substantial than “almost 12 per cent of students voted for me!”
Anyway, there’s a lot that needs to happen at VUWSA next year, so if you’re looking to build a policy platform here are some things that are likely to gain the media’s (Salient’s) approval:
A new VUWSA flag. Clearly, VUWSA needs a new flag, both to show its burgeoning independence from NZUSA, and to distract students from the underwhelming Service Level Agreement that VUWSA’s negotiating with the University. One caveat: unless I have the option of voting for original, non-sucky designs like “Te Pepe” or “Fire the Laser!” or “Eggsplosion”, I pretty much cbf. Anybody who commits to holding a binding referendum on a new VUWSA flag in which ALL submissions are open to public vote will receive a glowing writeup.
Annual music video awards. This kind of utterly meaningless event is the perfect way to arbitrarily raise VUWSA’s profile. Chuck in some race-baiting and watch the inevitable Guardian, Atlantic and Washington Post thinkpieces pour in.
More funding for Salient. Obviously. Like, what else does VUWSA do?
Equipment for DIY nap rooms. Okay, so actual nap rooms didn’t happen. But with a pillow and some VUWSA-provided antihistamines, the world is your sleep lab.
Build a slide into town. At the Technical University of Munich, students can slide their way to class. Unlike those stereotypically studious Germans, the impulse for those of us at Kelburn is slide somewhere a bit less grim. VUWSA will probably have a spare $45,000 next year, so why not?