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A few of weeks ago the power trio (Emma, Jayne, and I) attended the second University Council meeting of the year.
University what? I hear you asking.
Let me elaborate.
The University Council is the governing body of the university. The members are very ‘important’, and make lots of grown-up decisions at a fancy grown-up table.
Taking place in the beautiful council chamber (much swag, very class), the public part of the meeting was kept to a civilised 45 minutes.
Upon arrival, uncle Grant (Vice Chancellor) was the only council member to greet us. Chancellor Nev didn’t say hello, but it was noted that he seemed in a significantly chirpier mood than last time.
True to form, we spent most of the meeting live tweeting and playing on our phones like the naughty school kids we are, but we did walk away with some fun facts for you all that prove we are at least trying to fulfill our role as the Fourth Estate on campus.
- The crazy microphones council members speak into sometimes drop a sick beat when turned on, as demoed by DJ Rog (Roger Taylor).
- The university had a $19.1 million surplus last year, generating a return of just over 4%.
- The Victoria University foundation received a very generous $7 million donation at the end of 2015 which helped.
- There was less debt than anticipated.
- Just as we BA grads were starting to drown in a sea of numbers, budgets, and seven digit figures, Neil (just a dude) came out with the quote of the meeting, reminding those getting into incredibly fine detail about businessy things that “some of us are newer to financial reporting than others.” Thx Neil.
- The number of students enrolling overall has decreased, but international student enrollment has increased.
- An underwhelming motion was passed awarding degrees to graduates in absentia.
- Nev went to an International Women’s Day breakfast at parliament.
- At said breakfast the university council was praised for their gender balance (half women, half men), a first, apparently, in all its history.
- The Chancellor had several MPs and mayoral candidates wanting to “get in his diary.”
- Editor in Chief of the Dominion Post, Bernadette Courtenay, was appointed as a trustee of the Victoria University Foundation.
- The interior of the Hunter Building (for the peasants who haven’t ventured there) is like Hogwarts, and the council chamber has a fantastic stained glass window.
- A motion was passed to “exclude the public,” so we left and took selfies on the steps of Hunter building.
- The meeting then continued for, as sources have confirmed, over three hours. What happened in the secret chamber? We’ll never know.
*At time of print minutes had not been uploaded to the university website so we can neither confirm nor deny any of these fun facts are wholly truthful and/or accurate.