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Your job is pretty full on. What are your top tips for stress relief?
Always have perspective and never lose your cool. Things often don’t go according to plan. Remember that it is usually not the end of the world, no matter how much it feels like it is in the moment. Often when something goes wrong or if you’re feeling stressed, it’s very hard to stop thinking about it. Never underestimate the power of just stepping away from the problem for an hour by doing something you enjoy (i.e. going for a run, watching Netflix). Then come back to it with a clearer mind. Perspective is everything!
Describe your favourite pair of socks:
My favourites are the ones that are talking points in meetings, or those that get lots of likes on Facebook. There’s a sock war going on at the VUWSA office at the moment and I am determined to win!
Rory Lenihan-Ikin—Welfare Vice President
How can students avoid going hungry?
Our Community Pantry service has free food parcels available if your cupboards are looking bare, and we give away free bread every Friday morning at the Kelburn reception. For cheap fruit and veges, the VUWSA market runs on Wednesdays from 10.00am–6.00pm in the Tim Beaglehole courtyard (outside the hub). The Free Store serves free food every weeknight at 6.00pm, and The Soup Kitchen serves free breakfast and dinner six days a week.
What needs to be done to improve student welfare?
HEAPS—here’s a few things:
A universal student allowance would mean less time working and a guarantee to pay for the basics while studying. A rental warrant-of-fitness for all flats would mean we wouldn’t have to put up with cold and mould. We need free, or discounted public transport, throughout the city—high school students get it, why not us? We need more support and prevention around issues that often go unnoticed: sexual violence, suicide and mental health, and accessibility for disabled students, among many others.
Jacinta Gulasekharam—Academic Vice President
Your job involves constantly going to meetings, how do you do it?
I drink good coffee. Also, feeling confident that you know the right questions to ask at the right time. Knowing what I say counts and makes a real difference, like when VUWSA stopped the university taking away a week of trimester two holidays. It’s not how, it’s why that keeps me going. That I’m here for students because VUWSA cares.
What’s your favourite nightclub?
That’s tricky! I’m loyal to Boogie having worked there last summer. However, at third year I’d say Dirty Little Secret rooftop bar.
Nathaniel Manning—Engagement Vice President
What’s the best event you’ve attended while at university?
By the time this goes to print, I will have attended G-Eazy, so I’m going to lock in G-Eazy. I’m writing this at 1.00am after the Toga Party, so I’m gonna go with the Toga Party (despite smelling of stale sweat and other people’s vomit). Jupiter Project and Sweet Mix Kids smashed it—so much better than the Toga Party I half attended in first year before stumbling to Hope Bros.
How much fun is too much fun?
There’s no such thing as too much fun! Anyone who says so either has FOMO, or is better at attending their lectures than me.
How do you stay awake in meetings, such as ‘the Audit and Finance Committee’ meeting?
Deeply held smouldering passion. It might make me the most boring person alive, other than a meninist, but my personal taste for responsible fiscal management, balanced budgets, and transparent reporting sustains me.
How are VUWSA’s finances looking? (It’s just between you and all Salient readers)
There’s organisations that enjoy prosperity, and then there’s VUWSA. We’re keeping our head above water and providing the services students need and deserve. But the reality is everything costs money and we don’t have enough to keep serving an ever-growing student population unless we get more money coming in.
Alice Lyall—Campaigns Officer
What is a campaign? It sounds fun.
It is fun! A campaign is how you get a message across. The best campaigns are creative and original. I have a worryingly large collection of costumes I have worn to campaigns. Last general election I wandered around campus dressed as an elephant (yes, that was the highlight of my first year).
Why should students care about the local body election campaign?
The local body election is a way to get student voices’ heard. It’s an opportunity to make progress on issues like housing and public transport. It only happens once every three years and I’m excited to work on it.
Tori Sellwood—Clubs and Activities Officer
Why should students join a club?
Clubs are one of the best ways to meet like-minded people, make life-long friends, and get a glimpse of life outside of lectures. Vic has a crazy amount of clubs (over 135!), so there is an awesome community and something for everyone!
What is a Faculty Students’ Association, how many are there?
Faculty Students’ Associations are student-led representative groups for their corresponding faculties. There are four well-established Faculty Students’ Associations: STUDiO (Architecture and Design), VUWLSS (Law), VicCom (Commerce), and The Science Society. I highly recommend joining your Faculty Students’ Association, they offer great services that are tailored to what you study!
Anya Maule—Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer
What is the Victoria food co-op?
It was started by Gecko, the Vic environmental group. Dried food is bulk ordered, and then we have ‘pack-outs’ where members come along, weigh up products they want, and pay online afterwards. The idea is to provide access to affordable organic food (and Ecostore products) on campus. Members are encouraged to bring their own bags and containers, to reduce waste.
What can students do to be more eco-friendly?
Bring a KeepCup to uni for your caffeine fix (VicBooks and Louis’ do a discount for this), walk or cycle where possible instead of catching the bus (you’ll save money and get fit), and hang out your washing instead of using the dryer.
Annaliese Wilson—Education Officer
What the heck is a faculty delegate?
Faculty delegates are the next step above class reps. They are student representatives on the governing body of their respective faculty, i.e. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. They help make decisions that affect teaching and learning, research, and the student experience. They ensure that students have a strong voice when decisions are being made. They report back to VUWSA so that key decisions are carried into university-wide committees and boards such as the Academic Board and University Council.
What advice do you have to people who are tutors for the first time?
Tutoring is a great part of the student experience at Victoria, it’s awesome that people are willing to do this. As a tutor you will be supported by the university, they provide a number of courses and workshops for first-time tutors. Also, make sure you’re approachable and create a dialogue with the students. It will make it more enjoyable for you and students.
Chrissy Brown—Equity Officer
What is Thursdays in Black?
A nationwide student campaign lead by Tertiary Women NZ to raise awareness of sexual violence by wearing black on Thursdays! The campaign was popular during the 90s (led by Jan Logie when she was Women’s Rights Officer of NZUSA) and this year we’re back in black—bringing it back! Thursdays in Black is a movement towards changing the rape culture that exists within life at university—we need to make sure universities care about our safety, and provide adequate services to help survivors. We need more research, and better education, about how we can prevent rape and violence in our communities.
Who’s better: Kim, Khloe, Kendall, or Kylie?
Kim. I’m sorry. I love Kim forever and always.