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I hope you had a decent break or managed to catch up on assignments. Over the break we had a significant win.
After months of campaigning to ensure University Council retained democratically elected student seats, we finally got them. On Monday 24 August, Council finalised its new constitution and membership statute which enshrines two seats for elected academics and two for elected students, as well as key clauses which will ensure the future council has at least five (out of 12) women members and two Māori. Another change was to extend the term of student seats to two years to help improve their effectiveness.
These changes mean that Victoria will have the most democratic and diverse council in the country.
The significant shift from the initial proposal and the final one is largely thanks to all of those that submitted and participated in the process. Submissions from students ended up making up about 95 per cent of all of those received and this meant that Stella and I, your current reps on Council, had a good basis of support for improving the proposal. So a big thank you to everyone who contributed!
Having democratic processes is one thing, but to make them work effectively requires people to participate.
Nominations for elections to next year’s VUWSA Executive are open this week and so now is your chance put your name forward and make VUWSA better. Any member can run for any (or all) positions on the Exec. The commitment required varies between positions (President is full time, Vice Presidents are 20 hours a week, all others are 10 hours), and different positions allow you to focus on particular areas, yet everyone has equal ultimate responsibility for the running of the association.
Having been on the Exec for nearly three years now, I can you tell you that it’s one of the most challenging but rewarding things I’ve ever done. You have the opportunity to make tangible differences in the lives of fellow students, influence decision makers, run or go to sweet events and gigs, see the University from a totally different perspective, get experience in managing multi million dollar budgets, and having a dedicated desk on campus and free printing makes doing assignments way better.
Details of all the positions and election process are available on the VUWSA website; if you’re keen to know more, feel free to get in touch with me or any of the current members. The key thing is to get your nomination in by the 13 September. Voting is from Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 September.