Queer Officer, Womens’ Officer To Become One
Students will be able to give their final feedback on VUWSA’s Governance Review at an Annual General Meeting on August 22.
The review’s Working Party received a total of 91 submissions on its two working papers before writing the Final Report. Its proposed changes would mainly fix technical issues that have not been addressed since 1989.
The report does however recommend the restructuring of the VUWSA executive, cutting the number of Officers from 13 to 11. This includes the replacement of the Women’s, and Queer Officers with one Equity Officer.
Despite the proposal’s significant consequence for officers, the executive itself was forbidden from submitting official feedback to the working party, as VUWSA President Bridie Hood was “wary” that the voice of the executive would overpower that of the student body.
In theory the executive was able to make alterations to the recommendations when
they were presented at the executive meeting by the Working Party last week.
Yet the executive was unable to make any meaningful adjustments as the recommendations were being reviewed on block, and they were under pressure to pass the report so it could go to the AGM.
While the Clubs, Activities, and Campaigns Officers have all expressed difficulty in achieving their strategic goals, all three positions would be retained in some form
if the Final Report is passed at the AGM. The roles of Clubs and Activities would be merged, while Campaigns Officer would remain a distinct position.
Following VSM, VUWSA no longer provides funding to clubs, and the Clubs Officer position has seemed increasingly irrelevant.
While Hood said VUWSA was “still going to be providing a number of services to clubs”,
it remains unclear exactly what these services are.
Many of the recommendations require a constitutional change, which requires the support of at least two thirds of the members present at the AGM. But because the proposed changes will be put forward on block, if students are not happy with just one recommendation then none of the changes will pass, including those that are needed and face no direct opposition.
Hood believes that if this happens, it is likely going to be a reaction to the replacement of the Women’s, and Queer Officers with the Equity Officer.
If it does happen, the final recommendations will be adjusted and a Special General Meeting will be held where students will again vote on the proposed constitutional changes.
The Final Report is available from the VUWSA website, and the AGM will be held at 1pm on August 22 in SU217.