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May 22, 2017 | by  | in VUWSA |
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Presidential Address

Last week I had the pleasure of watching more than 2200 VUW students walk across the stage at the Michael Fowler Centre at graduation.

If you were one of them, congratulations! You did it. Graduating is no mean feat.

Although, if you graduated and are reading this it probably means you are still on campus doing further study, so before you’ve had time to say ALOHA UNIVERSITY you’ll be walking back up the Kelburn hill. I salute you, and I hope that you have taken some time to celebrate.

I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with the graduation speakers at each ceremony, and have heard some bloody great speeches. It’s been a reminder of the phenomenal people that make up our student body, and the vastly different and extraordinary things they are doing.

Rebekah Fistonich gave a powerful and compelling speech challenging our institutional spaces to break down what is often a Pākehā male worldview that shapes them, and become more inclusive for all. It was heartening to see truth to power being spoken in a forum like that.

Liam Malone of course was not your usual grad speaker. How he managed five papers while training to win two gold medals, I do not know. Let us just sit and be inspired by that.

For all of you who are scrolling through your feed seeing glamorous photos of gowns, trenchers, and big smiles — graduation can seem like a distant fantasy. It is the glowing gates of heaven while you are currently in the depths of hell — a.k.a. hunched over a laptop in the Hub at 2am crawling your way through an essay.

Although it may seem as though the thousands of students who graduated are superhuman, they’re really not. They found the support they needed to get through to the end, and you will find it too.

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