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Cleaning up cups and discarded togas at 2am; reading stacks of papers for an academic committee meeting; spending a whole weekend building a website for a student campaign. And the meetings, oh the meetings.
This column is dedicated to my incredible, tireless, executive. It’s about them being under-recognised and what I hope to do about it.
It’s often said of those who run for an executive position, most have no idea what they are getting themselves in for. This couldn’t be more true.
VUWSA executive members do a number of things. Firstly you are on the governance board of a multi-million dollar organisation which comes with significant legal responsibility and authority. Secondly you have a portfolio to look after (whether it be education or student wellbeing etc.) and you need to be able to work with the team to see projects through from start to finish.
Thirdly you are a representative, and provide a voice to students in many different forums, within the university and beyond. Lastly, you are a volunteer doing everything that needs doing from cleaning dishes in the kitchen, to setting up for an event, to getting cups of water for the first year who had too many Cindy’s at O-Week.
Currently, six of the ten executive members at VUWSA get an annual honorarium of $2000 per year. This can work out to less than a dollar an hour for some weeks when there is a big event on. In short, it’s a joke. As an organisation that values fairness and inclusiveness, we should be providing remuneration that allows any student to run for a position regardless of their financial position.
The six who I mentioned above are required to work ten hours per week minimum. At the upcoming General Meeting I will be proposing an amendment to the constitution to allow them to be paid minimum wage for these ten hours.
Join me and support this change. Support fairness and equity for your student organisation.