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This week campaigning gets into full swing for the 2016 Executive. Amid the posters, fliers, banners, catchy slogans and election watch Twitter accounts are the actual candidates who are vying to represent you and govern a 116-year-old multi-million dollar organisation.
For VUWSA to be great, it requires excellent Executive members. It needs intelligent people with integrity and a drive to get on and do things. It’s easy to make a poster with catchy slogans, hang a banner in the Hub and say you’ll do things. It’s a lot harder to actually show that you can.
This requires voters to do our research. We need to ask the hard questions and critically analyse their experience and achievements to date. While it can be hard to get that info for some candidates, for those running who are currently on the Exec, I’d encourage you to read the “score cards” that Salient produced a few issues ago.
Head along to the candidates forum this week and hear from them firsthand. Ask questions on their Facebook pages and talk to them if you see them around campus.
After VUWSA’s revenue streams were cut a few years ago after Voluntary Student Membership (VSM), we’ve been steadily building our capacity and improving our operations and building relationships. This has a taken a lot of work from disciplined and dedicated Executives.
VUWSA has a long and colourful history, and Executives can make or break not only the reputation of VUWSA, but of students generally. While we were pushing for student seats on Council this year, people would still raise concerns about incidents involving VUWSA Executive members that happened years or, in some cases, decades ago.
Over the years, people have used their position of power to further their personal political agendas, be actively destructive, or sit there just to build their CVs. We’ve also had some incredibly humble and selfless people who get it and tirelessly work to serve all students.
To ensure that VUWSA continues to head in the right direction, we must elect people who are not only nice and personable, but also have a vision and the skills and competencies to get on and make things happen.
With the right people around the table, VUWSA can be very effective in making Victoria, Wellington and New Zealand a better place for students. The building blocks are there.
The longevity and effectiveness of VUWSA relies on you to look beyond the election sweeteners to who the candidates are as people and whether or not they’ll serve you well on the Executive.