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As the 2017 VUWSA elections edge closer, students are being treated (subjected?) to a score of ambitious policies, DIY banners, and idealism for what the coming year could hold.
Academic Vice President Jacinta Gulasekharam, Welfare Vice President Rory Lenihan-Ikin, and president of the VUW Politics Students’ Society Lars Thompson are currently the only candidates running for the role of president.
Thompson—who took over the Politics Society role after a period of instability within the club earlier this year—is campaigning for greater support for clubs and rep groups, for VUW and VUWSA to both be living wage employers by 2018, and a cap on international student fees.
If elected, Lenihan-Ikin has said he will continue with the Fairer Fares campaign, advocate for student involvement in the fee setting process, free dinners across all campuses during Stress Free Study Week, and ongoing support for the Thursdays in Black campaign.
At the time of print, Gulasekharam had announced just two of her three policies. The first will see packs of pads and tampons made available to people at all three campuses for just $2, with a possibility of moon cups being added to the mix.
Gulasekharam’s second policy, in which she promised more student deals for events around Wellington, created the first online storm of the election period, following her declaration that “VUWSA doesn’t have to be political all the time.”
“We can leave that to the local body politicians and political parties—that’s why I have chosen to remain apolitical and not join or campaign for any political party in my 20 years,” she said.
Commenters were quick to criticise this stance, with one saying they were concerned about what the de-politicising of political issues could mean for students and the organisation.
Gulasekharam promptly responded to commenters saying she will fully lay out over the coming week “what I stand for and who I am.”
Current executive members Anya Maule and George Grainger will be seeking re-election, with Maule running for the role of Welfare Vice President, and Grainger seeking to retain his role as Treasurer.
This year’s candidates forum will be held at 1pm, September 15, in the hub.
Polling will take place September 20-22 online, and across all three campuses, with results being announced at 5pm on September 22.
Salient cannot confirm whether there will be free pizza at either of these events.