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September 18, 2017 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA Constitutional Changes

Substantive changes to VUWSA’s constitution were passed at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 10.

The VUWSA constitution is an expansive document, delineating both the structural and administrative form of the association, and their values and goals as an organisation providing the best for students.

At the AGM VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin described the constitution as “a living document” that requires updating to “bring it up to speed” to reflect how VUWSA operates.

This year, VUWSA formed a working group, led by Treasurer Tom Rackley, to review the constitution.

After internal discussion and input from students and lawyers, VUWSA proposed 14 amendments, presented by Rackley at the AGM. All proposed changes were passed by a show-of-hands vote.

Of these, two substantive changes were the restructuring of the Student Media Committee (SMC), and an amendment to how the VUWSA budget is approved.

The SMC, which provided financial oversight to Salient, was disbanded “to better reflect current organisational structure and decrease unnecessary bureaucracy.” Financial advisory and monthly reporting will instead be done directly to the VUWSA Treasurer and CEO.

The role of the existing Publications Editor(s) Appointment Committee would expand from simply choosing the incoming Salient editor(s) to include assembling to “resolve or mediate disputes related to Salient or the Publications Editor(s).” The number of student representatives on the committee would increase, to mitigate the removal of the student voice that was in the SMC.

The changes to VUWSA’s budget approval were proposed to “increase transparency [and] accountability” in regards to VUWSA’s finances.

The amendment provided that VUWSA must provide the proposed budget to the student body at the AGM, to be voted on. The executive may change the budget at the start of the next year, but not by more than five per cent of total expenditure. The changes also removed the constitutional requirement that VUWSA not go into deficit.

Other amendments were mainly administrative and “non-controversial,” including the removal of the restriction for a September VUWSA election, the introduction of a general clubs forum, changing group names, and allowing the VUWSA executive some power to move the time of VUWSA events if it does not unduly affect the event.

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