Right-wingers to contest VUWSA Election as ‘A-Team’

by / September 10, 2007

$25 refund of levy promised

Young National and ACT on Campus party members and pro-VSM students have begun a united campaign for the VUWSA General Election, including the promise of a $25 refund for each student from their annual VUWSA levy.

The group of 12, who call themselves ‘the A-Team’, are running one candidate for each exec portfolio except Queer Rights Officer.

The unashamedly right-leaning group includes Student Choice member Lukas Schroeter running for President, ACT on Campus President Mike Bridge for Education Vice President and Young Nat Anna Duggan for Welfare Vice President.

Current President Geoff Hayward and Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove are also running for the presidency.

Shroeter told Salient the group had two possible candidates for the Queer Rights Officer position, but had decided against running them as neither had “been able to quite meet the standards.”

Schroeter did not elaborate on these ‘standards’.

“We figured it was more respectful to not run someone for that position than to run someone who wasn’t queer,” says Environmental Officer candidate Cameron Cotter.

Salient understands none of the group has experience on a students’ association executive. Schroeter says many have been involved in other areas of student and national politics and does not believe the lack of VUWSA experience will inhibit the group’s ability to run the Association.

The A-Team’s campaign officially begins today with postering around the University, with poster slogans such as ‘Evict the Muppets’ targeting the 2007 exec’s antics.

According to Duggan, the ‘A’ in A-Team stands for advocacy and accountability – which the group believe the 2007 exec has lacked.

Last Monday, A-Team members handed out pamphlets on campus outlining the antics of the 2007 VUWSA exec. The booklets, titled ‘A Year In Your Rear’, state “it’s time to reflect on a year of antics, atrocities, and abuses from the 2007 Exec.”

VUWSA exec members have since complained that numerous details in the pamphlets were incorrect, including referring to Education Officer (Education) Stefan Tyler as ‘Stephanie’, and suggesting former Welfare Vice President Heleyni Pratley ‘modified’ $300,000 worth of artwork – when the one painting in question was worth around $5000. Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard has also expressed disappointment that Cosgrove and 2006 President Nick Kelly were credited with the attempted Trade Me sale of the University Games shield rather than her.

An A-Team insider told Salient last week that “this is the start of a big, well-financed and well-planned campaign.”

Whilst the campaign may be ‘well-financed’, the group says it will stick to the limit of $100 per candidate as prescribed in the VUWSA Constitution. The group has raised several hundred dollars through their own savings, by taking out overdrafts, and through a donation from Schroeter’s grandmother.

Hayward questions whether the group will stick within the funding limit, likening their campaign to the so-called dirty politics of National’s 2005 election campaign.

“While the pamphlet made me laugh, the question is not whether or not the points made in the article are correct or not, but whether this group of students, who have put their names to the leaflet are breaching the constitution by illegally funding a potential election campaign for themselves. As a VUWSA member, it would be prudent to inform the Returning Officer of these leaflets should these people nominate themselves in the VUWSA General Election,” says Hayward.

“If they are illegally funding their own campaigns, well, I guess that the Right are using the same tactics as the Exclusive Brethren in 2005.”

If elected, the group is also promising, all students would receive a $25 refund from their annual VUWSA levy.

The 2007 VUWSA levy was $120, raised from $99 in previous years. The levy will be adjusted by the Weekly Wage Index for next year to around $125 per year.

The A-Team says students at Vic are being over-charged for their membership of VUWSA, and that a better service can be provided to students at the lower price. The A-Team will manage VUWSA with sensible accounting not levy hikes.

The A-Team’s draft budget, as well as more information about their campaign, is available on their website, www.a-team.org.nz

VUWSA Treasurer Alexander Neilson says the A-Team would “have to budget down” to afford the refund, or they would “be looking at a $300,000 deficit for the Association”.

Former VUWSA Treasurer Graeme Edgeler suggests that removing the approximately $180,000 Building Levy from VUWSA expenses as the easiest way to cut costs.

“One thing that would make it a lot easier (and this is what I’d do if I was promising everyone $25) would be getting rid of the building levy.

Just under $17 from each student’s $120 levy goes straight to the VUWSA Trust, which it essentially banks until it can next decide what big project to spend it on. The last big project was the new top floor in the Union building, and since using the building levy to pay that off in the mid 90s, it’s just been storing up this money – it will have several million dollars basically just earning interest in a bank (and while you should check, it probably has few plans on spending it soon).”

“Without getting rid of the building fund, I just can’t see them doing it without completely screwing VUWSA over,” says Edgeler.

“If you were starting a students’ association from scratch then you could run it on $95 each a year, but with the fixed costs VUWSA’s already got, you can’t cut the budget by 20 percent in a few months – you’d need to spend at least a year, maybe longer, slimming down VUWSA’s operations before you could safely cut the levy. If they’re telling you anything else they either have no clue how VUWSA works, or they’re lying.”

He also says that the Personal Benefit clause of the Constitution means VUWSA, as an incorporated society, cannot simply give money back to students.

Edgeler says the refund is possible, but VUWSA “won’t be able to write every student a cheque – this would breach the Incorporated Societies Act (societies have to be non-profit, and can’t just divide their funds up between members like a company can).

“It will likely have to be an actual refund; that is, if the student paid their VUWSA levy through a student loan, the money will go back to the Government (of course, the student’s student loan will be lower).”

Cosgrove has also pointed out the difficulty of tracking down every student’s details to give them the refund, as this information is not kept by VUWSA, but by the University – which is eternally reluctant to give out any form of private information.

Cotter says that despite the Personal Benefits clause, “the A-Team’s policy of a $25 refund for every student is an interim measure until such time as the fee can be permanently reduced.”

Cotter says the Constitution is “poorly-written and lacking in many key areas”, and that the A-Team is looking to redevelop it if elected – “including a specific financial management policy…we will not condone a clause that stops students’ money going to students.”

Cosgrove later amused Salient with his grammatically-ironic comment on the A-Team’s campaign: “I’ll wait till I see some actual policy by them, I just hope it’s of better than the error laden leaflets put out so far this year.”

Nominations for the election opened last Thursday, and close on Wednesday at 4:30pm. Voting takes place from September 21-27.

About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

Comments (284)

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  1. After this year’s antics I should certainly hope none of us had experience on VUWSA!!!

  2. Michael Oliver says:

    “Student Politics: Serious Business.”

  3. Chris says:

    That’s a pretty unfair comment from Geoff.

  4. Anna Duggan says:

    The A-Team is not an advocate of VSM. While we aim to improve the degree of
    choice available to students in the services provided by VUWSA, we aim to do
    so within existing frameworks.

  5. CJ Hunt says:

    Geoff’s comment is a crackup.
    Ask Geoff (or any current student on VUWSA) for full photocopying receipts for their posters/leaflets etc. I will guarantee you that they photocopy their leaflets etc on the VUWSA photocopier. I’ve been there, and seen the amount they copy. They do account for it, but its about 1/4 the price of retail.
    So Geoff should not be accusing them of overspending, but instead watch all the other candidates, because I am sure that the VUWSA photocopier will be used.

  6. Mike says:

    It’s sad you have to bribe students. What a crock of shit that you haters will probably get voted in.

  7. peteremcc says:

    Yes… bribing students… with there own money.

  8. qwerty says:

    Even there website is full of shit. Interesting that there are only two girls running on the ticket.

    I wonder how much the website cost to set up? Better make sure you include that in your campaign expenses!

  9. peteremcc says:

    It’s drupal, ie: free software. The domain name would be the only expense.

  10. Nick Archer says:

    If they went through Hostica it’d have cost them only US$1 per month for a .com but since they have a .org.nz then they have probably been charged the earth by morons like Xtra…

    Alternatively they could have used a blogspot or wordpress account and that is free, I don’t think you have to declare your IP account! Problem with election spending is that it can get trivial and tedious. But that only happens when losing candidates challenge a result.

    The A-Team website is slick however. Makes for an interesting election…

  11. A-Team says:

    Hi,

    For those who are interested, here is the link to the A-Team website:

    http://www.a-team.org.nz

  12. peteremcc says:

    .org.nz is about $3/month.

    I also forgot hosting costs. that’ll be about another $2-$5/month.

  13. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Ask the returning officer for any clarification if needed.
    All candidates standing for VUWSA get to use the VUWSA photocopier at club rates i.e. 5cents for b/w A4 and 10 cents for b/w A3. VUWSA does not subsidise this, it makes a couple of cents on the sale but much less than commercial providers. 100% of the VUWSA price is the cost that everyone will pay, seems pretty simple for me.

  14. peteremcc says:

    Thanks Joel, that does clarify things well.

    Though to be honest, those rates sound quite expensive to me. *shurg*

  15. Nick Archer says:

    That’s a good deal in regards to printing and no one should bother bitching about it because VUWSA is pretty transparent about this deal! Each candidate should get receipts for EVERYTHING they spend just to be safe and you can’t go wrong…

    The A-Team website is a bit slow refreshing pages by the way…

  16. “Interesting that there are only two girls running on the ticket.”
    Interesting to see you choose to attack the people based on their gender, and not the policies. If you can’t find anything bad about the policies, they must be pretty good.

  17. cijawa says:

    I can’t see any policies that won’t breach the companies act or the VUWSA constitution, Nick.

  18. Felicia Jollygoodfellow says:

    “According to Duggan, the ‘A’ in A-Team stands for advocacy and accountability – which the group believe the 2007 exec has lacked.”

    The ‘A’ really stands for ACT (Party), Anti-democracy and Amputation (of VUWSA services). Nicholas O’Kane should join them.

    “The A-Team is not an advocate of VSM. While we aim to improve the degree of
    choice available to students in the services provided by VUWSA, we aim to do
    so within existing frameworks.”

    Yeah Right!

  19. cijawa says:

    I love it how they claim they don’t stand for VSM, yet Jordan Williams opposed membership and had to re-join VUWSA to stand for election!!

    Talk about integrity!!

  20. “The ‘A’ really stands for ACT (Party), Anti-democracy and Amputation (of VUWSA services). Nicholas O’Kane should join them.”

    “Anti-democracy ” I don’t see anything anti-democracy in their platform. As for me joining them, while I agree with a lot of what they say (though not everything, they make the spending cuts in the wrong places, and it should be administration, not services that should be the main focus) and find their policies poorly thought out,

    ” can’t see any policies that won’t breach the companies act or the VUWSA constitution, Nick”
    OK, I can’t see anything unconstitutional (or illegal) about consolidating expenditure on stationary, photocopying, printing, staff training, staff welfare, taxis, telecommunications into a single fund. I’d love to see whats unconstitutional in that.

    As for me joining them, I’ve only just heared of them, but I am considering it, but they wiull need to make a few policy changes.

    Despite my reputation as a strong right winger, I’m actually not quite as right wing as many people believe, and no-where near as right wing as ACT.

  21. That should really say ‘stationery’. ‘Stationary’ means standing still. It’s been bugging me and I just thought I’d let you know.

  22. SEANN says:

    “Student Politics: Serious Business.” This is great and this would be funny if student politicians weren’t so dishonest, wasteful, self-serving and immature.

  23. Jordan says:

    Hey “Chris” why don’t you leave your student politics days behind you and get on with your day job? No offence but you might be able to give Graham Watson a run for his dosh soon.

  24. Anna Duggan says:

    Given that we ‘The A-team’ are setting the agenda why not check out our website : http://www.a-team.org.nz

    We are open about our political affiliations, we are open about our policy and we are concerned with the disgraceful state of our student association.

  25. cijawa says:

    Anna – you must be really fucking dumb if you think what the A-Team is standing on is policy – there’s nothing there that you can actually do without breaching the companies act or a constitutional amendment.

  26. Michael Oliver says:

    What’s everybody going to spend their $25 on?

  27. peteremcc says:

    cijawa… maybe they’re going to change the constitution…

  28. Peter says:

    The true comes out– ‘Maybe they’re going to change the constitution’.. what the fuck.. ‘they’ can’t… only students can at AMG’s and IGM’s. The A-Team are telling lies to win votes, they haven’t got a clue, they are just a joke, obsessive losers.

  29. Sammie says:

    Peter,

    I think you should read their website. The changes they propose (including any alterations to the VUWSA Constitution) will be put to a referendum so that all students can have a say.

    Seriously, the idiocy and ignorance of some people on here blows me away.

  30. Nick Archer says:

    As for stationary, they should do another spell check on their website, there are still some typos, not end of the world but they should fix them when they have time…

    The chalking in the quad is pretty in your face, effective but risk is whether it will turn some off. Plus their posters about the $250,000 VUWSA artwork is full of factual inaccuracies…

  31. cijawa says:

    Putting these to a vote via referendum would require a constitutional change – a two-thirds majority of 100 present and voting students – maybe YOU should read the constitution “Sammie”?

    While you’re at it, go brush up on the Companies Act, and let me know which clause the ACT-Team are breaching by giving every student a cheque for $25.

  32. Cijawa, maybe you can list policies that involve breeches of the constitution. They will need to change the constitution to give the $25 refund, but not to cut any spending. So the spending cuts are OK, the refund is not.

  33. Nick Archer says:

    Did the A-Team GLUE their chalkings in the Quad onto the ground? Bumped into someone who said they had and you can’t scuff the chalk with your shoe. Is water blasting fees (has to be removed by Thursday night on the 20th) going to be part of their $100 spending limit?

    Pretty colourful though…

  34. cijawa says:

    O’Kane – I said that you can’t change the constitution via an online referenda – it would, ironically, require a constitutional change. Just as lowering the VUWSA levy would, and abolishing the clubs council.

    I love watching people run on things they can’t deliver.

  35. Sammie says:

    cijawa,

    Why do you assume the referendum for these constitutional changes will be electronic? I would assume they would put these constitutional issues to a vote at an SGM.

  36. “abolishing the clubs council. ” Sure, you might need a constitutional amendment to abolish the Clubs council, but you can make it effectively useless by not giving it any money without a constitutional amendment

  37. cijawa says:

    Because they talk about ‘online referendums’ on their website.

    Online tends to imply that they are electronic, doesn’t it?

  38. Nick Archer says:

    Online referendumns will cost money! and if they are done every week (if O’Kane has another motion…) it will cost $$$ Internet companies that would conduct such elections would charge a unit cost of around 50 cents per vote even if they cap the overall cost it would rack up a big I.T. Bill for VUWSA if there are too many online referenda throughout the year…

  39. David says:

    The A-Team are just sad. I have gone over their budget. They are clueless. I can’t wait to see them loss. $1500 for 6 exec positions. Do they even have a clue…

    “Seriously, the idiocy and ignorance of some people on here blows me away.”… I agree Sammie, the A-team are idiots.

  40. Conrad says:

    Its the ‘official’ launch of the A team’s campaign today. Too bad their website is down… not getting a tick for competency just yet…

  41. Roddy Piper says:

    “Yes… bribing students… with there own money.”

    See: Interest Free Loans

  42. Roddy Piper says:

    “Yes… bribing students… with there own money.”

    See also: A dictionary

    I hope you were not one making fun of typos on the A-Team website!

  43. Anna Duggan says:

    Their are no typos on our website. Just reed our poilcies to find out what we our about.

  44. sammie says:

    My apologies cijawa, I think you misunderstand me. My assumption (I may be wrong) is that they will pass their Constitutional changes (which would include the ability to have online referenda) at an SGM.

  45. cijawa says:

    “Their are no typos on our website.”

    I hope that was trying to be ironic, Anna – or else you’ve just shown how dumb you actually are.

    Sammie – yes, possibly talking across each other. Sorry ’bout that.

  46. Anna Duggan says:

    No CJ… I am not ironic.. I am the A Team

  47. This lies about me being a racist hurt. Just because I have my views about the other races, doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the environment. Of course I do, just look at my picture, I love trees.

  48. Potato Zoo says:

    You say you’ll change the constitution,
    Well, you know,
    We all want to change your head,
    You tell me it’s the institution,
    Well, you know,
    You better free your mind instead.

  49. Concerned Socialiser says:

    What I want to know is who they propose to make such radical cut backs? I hear that these guys plan to cut funding to things like Orientation and to the Clubs. Well I for one wont stand for that. A-Team will not be getting my vote

  50. sammie says:

    And why should others be forced to pay for your socialising?

    Surely people are capable of making their own spending choices?

  51. zetetic says:

    Question: Does everyone running in this election want what’s best for students?

    If so, why waste energy riling each other up–taking away all hope of reaching a happy consensus–instead of trying to find out where we disagree?

    The idiom “great minds think alike” has a parallel in Aumann’s Agreement Theorem. Let’s try to think alike, one disagreement at a time. Instead of trying to imagine what the disagreements are, let’s bring them out into the open so we can annihilate them!

  52. Fuck the A-Team says:

    Very few students will actually see their illegal $25 dollar refund as it will just come of their student loan. What a sight! Lukas and his followers advocating handing over tens of thousands of dollars to the State? HAHAHAHAH.

    Personally I’d rather pay that $25 and know that VUWSA can actually still serve the students from welfare to clubs to activities to campaigns instead of providing a platform for Right wing munters to masturbate over themselves in VUWSA offices and Exec meetings.

  53. Concerned Socialiser says:

    So sammie, you would have all the clubs at VUWSA like the language clubs, the young nationals club, all the sports clubs SHUT DOWN? Because they sure as hell wont be getting any funding from other places that means they can run.

    Thats whats gonna happen if the A(sshat) Team gets into power

  54. Z says:

    Believe it or not, students will have to eventually pay back their loans. This means if $25 is returned, via refund (which is not unconstitutional or illegal) you WILL be saving $25. The money may go back to the “State” for now, but at least you wont be paying it back out of your Salary/Wages when you are 40.

    Presumably if the university collects the money and records the details, all VUWSA has to do is give 20% of it back to the university, who will be then legally obligated to return it to the students – easy peasy. If they fail to return any of the money they can and probably will be charged with fraud or embezzlement.

    PS Oh, and don’t forget, not everyone has a student loan.

    PPS I am not a member of A-Team, I don’t vote for student politics and think compulsory membership is bulls**t – but I just had to point this out, because, as previously stated, there are a lot of idiots about and it was annoying me.

  55. peteremcc says:

    Dear Mr Socialiser,

    Can I perhaps suggest that clubs have say a $5 membership fee?

    If a club has someone like you as their president – someone who couldn’t even think of a single income source for clubs, other than stealing money off every Vic student – then maybe they will have to shut down.

    Peter

  56. Anna Duggan says:

    Mr F** the A-Team,

    The $25 will not effect the welfare that can be provided to students. For starters there are still a number of agencies in town that are provided by the Government that can be used to assist students, this helps promote a healthy relationship between students, VUWSA and the Wellington community. There are also community groups that provide food banks, and cheaper clothing. Should I be elected I would make immediate contact with such groups and help students to deal with these agencies.

    My past employments as the Electorate Secretary to the Local MP means that I know all about these avenues which can be taken, as students used to come in to get assistance from me in that role as the VUWSA welfare VP was not helping them out. By having this knowledge and established contacts I am able to ensure that students at Vic get the most out of the different options available to them ensuring that they are getting all the things they need to be able to survive as a student.

    So by giving students back $25, there will be no cuts to welfare funding – essentially if their refund goes back onto their student loan this is giving the state more money to be able to provide students with more efficient and accesible welfare agencies.

  57. Sammie says:

    socialiser,

    The clubs I belonged to at uni received not a single penny from the student union and functioned absolutely fine. From reading the a team material, it seems they are open to giving the $25 refund to the club of your choice, which surely means the problem you suggest (the clubs you like- the Young Nationals etc, falling apart) won’t happen provided students support them. Why should a club exist that nobody supports? The Vic Marxist Club? Milton Friedman Appreciation Society?

  58. cijawa says:

    “From reading the a team material, it seems they are open to giving the $25 refund to the club of your choice, which surely means the problem you suggest (the clubs you like- the Young Nationals etc, falling apart) won’t happen provided students support them.”

    I think, once again, you need to go read the constitution – all clubs funding has to go through the clubs councils. Basically, the ACT-Team have worked out that their campaign pledge is illegal, and have backtracked.

    Oh, and Anna, the $25 going back to the government to spend on welfare services – that is – bar-none – the funniest thing I have ever heard. How the hell did you get into university being that fucking stupid?

    What I can’t work out is why the ACT-Team is not out-and-out advocating VSM – when the vast majority of their candidates and supporters quite obviously believe in it. Instead, they’re campaigning on this watered down tax-cut-like policy. Pathetic.

  59. Justin says:

    cijawa,

    I will be upfront and admit that I am an A-Team supporter and a support the National Party.

    However, if you read what Anna wrote she said “giving the state more money to be able ” she did not however stipulate that they would allocate this money to such services. And I am sure she also probably agrees that it is unlikely but is simply stating that it is an option. (Although Labour will probably keep the money in bureaucracy)

    As for the personal attacks on not only her but the others as well this does not win you any favours if anything it implies you have nothing else to attack them on except personal things which is pathetic but expected.

  60. cijawa says:

    Waw waw waw Justin – can’t handle the heat, don’t play in the kitchen.

  61. cijawa says:

    BTW – Justin, you didn’t answer my question: why are the ACT Team not campaigning for VSM when they so obviously support it.

    I don’t give a fuck if you support the National Party – it wasn’t what I asked.

  62. Paul says:

    Anna – everyone knows that the sole reason you shifted to the Right is because no one in Labour liked you and you realised that they would never select you to be an MP.

    Furthermore, I hope you pay copyright to the Muppet Show producers for misusing their images on your website.

    cijawa – the reason the A-Team don’t come out in support of VSM is the same reason National doesn’t come out and support scrapping the nuclear-free legislation. They both want it so bad, but they know that it is unpopular and stupid.

  63. kate says:

    I’m really not buying the A-team.

  64. Sonny Thomas says:

    Anna & Justin,

    “their refund goes back onto their student loan this is giving the state more money to be able to provide students with more efficient and accesible welfare agencies.”

    So are you telling us Anna that National Party members and Act members support higher taxation? Because higher taxation would also achieve what you say some $450,000 being given back to StudyLink would achieve.

    And the fact that you want to channel students all over town to get food and cheap clothes is just ridiculous! Are you going to give them bus passes? Will you create more hours in the day for the busy student to fit more in? Or should we keep services on campus – and increase them? Hmmm…

    Good to see flip flops happen all over the show in the right, who cannot make up their minds where they stand on anything. Are you VSM, or VSM in drag?

  65. Ex-Vuwsaite says:

    Anna: Should I be elected I would make immediate contact with such groups and help students to deal with these agencies.

    Should you be elected then you will realise very quickly that the agencies downtown are overwhelmed and underfunded. They’re really grateful that VUWSA does what it does, it alliviates some of the demand which makes their job a little bit less overwhelming.
    Are you still supporting a VUWSA subsidised supermarket like you did last year?

  66. Nick Archer says:

    Candidates, if you have video manifestos/campaing videos up to 2 minutes in length then let Salient know and we will put them on the Salient website as part of SalientTV.

    There are several ways you can do this

    1. Produce your own video and bring it to us (on a disc/flash drive) and we will upload it YouTube and send the URL link to our web designer and they will post a window on SalientTV like usual. OR Produce it and upload it to YouTube yourselves and send us the URL to us and we will forward it to our web designer…

    OR

    2. Come up to the Salient office and we will shoot up to 2 minutes of video and post it to YouTube, send URL link to web designer etc…

    We are trying to keep it straight forward and simple as possible for you to do this. If you have any further questions about this then feel free to contact Salient and or the returning officer – she as usual will be able to inform you the campaign deadlines, videos should be posted on SalientTV until voting begins and hopefully unblocked and archived when voting has ended.

    Videos should preferably be under two minutes, any that go over two minutes we cannot guarantee the quality posted as we will compress them down so they don’t take too much bandwidth uploading them to YouTube (if you come up to Salient and get us to video you).

    cheers
    Nick Archer
    New Media Columnist
    Salient

  67. Georgie Glitter...."the lady who ain't shady" says:

    I notice that there is rampant gender inbalance in the candidates standing in the A-team. How on Earth are they going to effectively represent students if one half of them don’t even have a chance to catch the boat?

    I’m really interested in seeing what’s on the A-team website, but it’s been down for a couple of days. What’s going on?

    Just as an aside, I’m running for the position of Women’s Rights Officer. If you wish to check out what I stand for, I encourage you to check my brand sparkly new blog. I stand for no shady policies, just honest and practical hard work. http://georgieglitter.blogspot.com.
    xx

  68. Q-team says:

    Looks like the A-team hasn’t given up on the queer rights officer position, as Sam Archer a part of the A-team, just contacted UniQ and asked to become a member. They must have just realised that to be the queer rights officer you have to be a member of UniQ.
    I highly doubt that they actually care or know anything about queer rights, seeing as the likely candidate, has never been to a UniQ meeting/event, been on the mailing list or involved within the queer community in a support and/or volunteer role.
    It is highly disturbing that the A-team want to push forward someone for this role so they can have more control by taking as many positions as possible, as opposed to actually doing some good for the queer students at Vic and the wider community as a whole. This is underlined by the fact that yesterday another A- teamer confessed they didn’t know what UniQ was.

  69. Dear Readers,

    It appears that certain people are making fictitious comments using A-Team aliases.

    If you would like to know what the A-Team really stands for, please visit us at http://www.a-team.org.nz.

    Kind regards,

    Lukas Schroeter
    A-Team Presidential Candidate
    on behalf of the A-Team

  70. cijawa says:

    Lucas – nice of you to join us. Maybe you’d like to answer my question:

    Why is the ACT team not running on a VSM platform when it is quite obvious that you all support VSM?

  71. Greg says:

    Lukas your website doesn’t work? is that a reflection on your policies?

  72. mike says:

    hahahaha the ACT-team website is still down… bummer….. Lukas, just cos your mates at Pipetea will vote for you, the rest of the students can see past your lies and posters… can’t wait to see you guys lose big time.

  73. The website is working now. Also nominations have closed for the VUWSA elections, and I’ve decided not to stand for anything, so I can finish my studies earlier. All positions are contested, and with 14 candidates for general Exec, this is the most heavily contested VUWSA election for a long time. My prediction for the result would be the A-Team to struggle, and although it may get a respectable number of votes for some positions, will only have 2 or 3 exec posts. Joel Cosgrove will be likely to win the presidency, unless Geof campaigns, which is likely, in which case it may be close. Splitting the anti-A Team vote on the General Exec (and other positions) will help the A-Team, giving Schroeter a chance (although if elected he will have to face a hostile exec, thus becomiong a lame duck president). Paul Brown should win Education, and Barnard Welafre, with neilson getting Treasurer. Mark newton will be likley to get Enviroment. The general exec has too many candidates, many of whom I’ve never heared of, to predict, but those not in the A-Team will pick up anti-A-Team vote, the only problem for Anti-A-Team voters is they have so many candidates to choose from, so their vote will be split, while the A-Team voters will vote for a straight ticket, which should ensure at least one of their candidates ends up on general exec. Their are two big ifs this election, can the A-Teams promise of a $25 refund and big campaign bring up many new voters? (my response is No), and secondly, what impact will the A-Team negative propaganda have on the incumbents? (my response is it will weaken trust in VUWSA, but won’t hurt them too much as most voters won’t know who is and who isn’t a current exec member, and secondly, in many of the positions where incumbents are standing, their only candidate is an A-Team member, and most students will vote for a person who believes in keeping student services, even if that person scribles on artwork, drinks urine of footpaths and steal signs and monster costumes sometimes, over one who wants to abolish all club and rep group funding). Remember that these are my predictions, not who I will vote for (which I haven’t decided).

  74. DS says:

    There seem to be three types of comment against the A-Team on this site:
    1) It’s not practical to return people’s money to them.
    2) The candidates running have affiliations to other political causes.
    3) Personal insults toward A-Team candidates.

    Try going through this list and consider how many of them are credible and how many voters are likely to actually care about.

    Personally I think these attacks smack of desperation and if the commenters could only look past their pig headed idiosyncrasies (ie be normal students) they would probably be voting A-Team too.

  75. CJ Hunt says:

    Has anyone got a list of all candidates running in the election? I cant find a list anywhere.

    14 people running for general exec – it means that people like Chris Renwick wont get elected this year then :)

  76. Nick Archer says:

    O’Kane, the website is still down (or at least it is again!)…

  77. cijawa says:

    DS – I think promising something that is a) illegal and b) not practical is a very big issue. Will the ACT Team resign en mass if they are elected and find out that they can’t actually deliver on their key campaign promise? Not bloody likely – they’ll chip away until VUWSA is dead and buried – mark my words.

    Nick – a remarkably sane and rational comment from you, much of which I agree with.

  78. CJ – The list will be in Salient on Monday (was only confirmed at 4:30pm but people can yet pull out).

    Nick O’Kane – much agreed, good comment.

  79. cijawa says:

    Sorry, that was meant for O’Kane not Nick Archer.

  80. Lukas Schroeter says:

    Dear Readers,

    It appears that certain people are making fictitious comments using A-Team aliases.

    If you would like to know what the A-Team really stands for, please visit us at http://www.a-team.org.nz.

    Kind regards,

    Lukas Schroeter
    A-Team Presidential Candidate
    on behalf of the A-Team

  81. peteremcc says:

    note that the website is http://www.a-team.org.nz

    i can’t tell whether lukas is putting a dot at the end of his sentance, or if it is salient’s comment system that is adding the dot, but this could be why people are having trouble accessing the site.

    Oh and thanks for all the advertising for ACT!
    ACT has nothing to do with the A-Team but i’m sure the A-Team will do very well, be a competent exec and – thanks to all you’re promotion – bring a lot of good press for ACT.

  82. The website hasn’t been working most of the time I’ve been trying it. For some reason it doesn’t work at Salient when it works on student computers (VUWSA conspiracy? Who knows). FYI Lukas – if you keep posting the same comment we might mistake it for spam and ban you..

  83. CJ, heres a list (on the door of the VUWSA office:
    President, Joel Cosgrove, Geoff Hayward, Lucas Schroeter*.
    Vice President (Education): Mike Bridge*, Paul Brown
    Vice President (Welfare): Mellisa Barnard, Anna Duggan*
    Treasurer: Alexander neilson, Josh O’Rourke*
    Queer Officer: Racheal Wright, Mark Wright, Sam Archer*
    WRO: Aimee Saunders*, Nicki Leagarth, Georgina Dickson
    International Students Officer: Bradley Jacques*, someone else (I didn’t write his name down)
    Enviroment: Cameron Cotter*, Mark Newton,
    General Executive: Christopher Foulkes*, Mike Heine*, Joe McClure*, Daniel Parkinson*, Paul Smith*, Steve Taylor, Mellissa Barnard, Sonny Thomas, Chris Smith. Robert Latimer, Bernard galaxy, Seamus Brady, Fiona McDonald, Katie De Roo
    Council Rep: Jordan Williams*, Chris bishop, Tushara Kodikara, Zeb Harland, Sonny Thomas.
    Publications: Matthew Davis, Jordan King, Milan Morgan, Kerry OcConner, Jenna Raeburn.

  84. Now that i’ve posted the list of candidates, I’ll now look at one contentious area, that is the refund, and its legality. Some opponents of the refund, including Paul Brown and Joel Cosgrove have aserted that the refund policy is illegal, because it violates the incorporated societies Act 1908. I have read the Act, and I beleive they are refering to Article 20 of the Act, which is about pecuniary gain. It makes clear that an incorporated society can’t simply divide its money amongst its members. VUWSA is an incorperated society. The penalties are $200 fine for the assosciation (VUWSA) and $40 for the individual. There is no clear definiton of pecuniary gain, but it involves making money and dividing it up amongst the members of the organisation. http://www.legislation.govt.nz has the text of the Incorported societites Act, and http://www.keepingitlegal.net.nz/learn-more/incorporated-societies is also usefull.

    One thing to note is that there is no definition of “pecuniarary gain” in the incorporated societies Act. However, all the information I have obtained indidcates it is making a profit and dividing the profit up amongst its members. Refunding people money they have paid in membership fees may not count as making a profit. However, if VUWSA was to invest in shares and divide the profit made by selling share amongst its members would be a black and white example of pecuniary gain. Section 5 of the Incorporated Societies Act lists things not counted as pecuniary gain, and unfortunately for the A-Team, refunding membership fees isn’t one of them. However , fortunately for the A-Team, there are clauses that the A-Team can exploit, such as clause (e) which states that “any member of the Society derives from the Society any pecuniary gain to which he would be equally entitled if he were not a member of the society”. Under this clause, VUWSA could give evey student enrolled at the university $25 as a gift, regardless of wether they are or are not VUWSA members. As membership of VUWSA is compulsory, the only students who aren’t members are those who are conscience objectors, which is only a tiny number, but the $25 will be given to all VUWSA members (except life members). So it is possible to legally give the $25 refund. I will post more tommorow. I got to go now as I have a train to catch.

  85. dave says:

    Interesting, they are open about their policies, but not so open as to how they will be implemented to cover the cuts. They want to give students $25 refund on their levy – but are telling clubs that they will be encouraging students to donate that refund to the club of their choice. They are also telling rep groups that they are to encourage students to donate their $25 to the rep group of their choice.

    Why? If they dont think it should be levied, why are they encouraging it to be donated?

    No mention of the fact that those who work for the students association have not been budgeted a pay rise. You cant run anincorporated society on user pays and reduced student fees AND keep all services via voluntary donations.

    The A-Team need to make a better case of providing a better service at a lower price.

  86. Peter says:

    You know what is real funny, in the real world, all the A-Team would have is their pathetic blogs, complaining about how wrong the world is, and writing about their ridiculous notions of how it should be. The closest they will come to any power is running for a student association. Even O’Kane knows that they will fail in winning seats. What a joke they are. I hear that they are writing to all clubs, asking for support, and then telling then that they will cut club funding (although they have candidate running for clubs officer, ?????!!!!!??!?!?!?!??! So, will he quit, if LAME-Team win, or will he just pocket student money, solely for being a vote on the exec). The clubs think its an insult, and the LAME-team just don’t get it… thats how deluded they are

  87. Jen says:

    Policies page on A-Team website: you know, I just cannot find women’s rights, environmental and queer officers’ policies.
    Where are they?

    Or do A-Team not really do that information thing?

  88. Georgie Glitter...."the lady who ain't shady" says:

    I just went to the A-team launch party at MVP.
    I had a really lovely chat with their campaigns manager. I know know why they shouldn’t submit someone as queer rights officer..
    …”bisexual? that means they haven’t had the operation yet eh?” is my current favourite quote of the night, closely followed by “so are you all dykes?”
    Boy, what a charmer…

  89. Nick Archer says:

    Their website is up again, FINALLY! Address now seems to be directing to: http://a-team.nfshost.com/ and the site looks different than before too…

  90. Lukas Scrotum says:

    Down at Law School I raised my objection to illiterate people being protected under the contacts act

    i’m a bad widdle boy!

  91. Lukas Schroeter says:

    It appears that certain people are making fictitious comments using my name, in regards to my A-Team making comments. Don’t believe them, I am the real Lukas Schroeter. Please ignore the last comment by the fictitious Lucas Schroeter. Over and out.

  92. Greg says:

    Will the real Lukas Schroeter please stand up please stand up!

  93. It said *cough* Scrotum, actually.

  94. Lukas Schroeter says:

    Fuck! They’re trying to pretend they’re me, pretending they’re me! Don’t believe the pretend, pretend me! Please!

  95. Whomever is pretending to be me, please stop it. If you read the last comment, it makes no sense. “pretend me!” … what does that mean? I am not that stupid, neither is Anna, and Cam is not racist, (well maybe a little, but race and the environment have nothing in common)

  96. Nick Archer says:

    Lukas, just make sure you keep having your email address entered in the field so we know it is you, you know your name in orange that actually links to the A Team website instead of those grey ones where every knows it’s not the real McCoy…

  97. As noted, there are several false accounts pretending to be our candidates so I recommend posts are considered with a grain of salt.

  98. Sammie says:

    Is Sam Archer standing for the A Team?

  99. cijawa says:

    I doubt Nick Archer would stand for exec – especially after he got bitch slapped last time.

  100. Lukas Schroeter says:

    Stop it stop it stop it stop it!! Really this has gone to far. Salient shouldn’t be a place to slander people.

    So stop pretending to be me or i’ll get my friends Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson, and Rodney Hide to come and get all Fiscally Responsible on yo’ arse.

  101. Big Tony says:

    //and Cam is not racist, (well maybe a little, but race and the environment have nothing in common)//

    So you’re condoning your candidate’s racisim because he’s an environmental officer?

  102. No, I am saying that racism and the environmental have nothing in common. I don’t condoning his racist views.

  103. Michael Oliver says:

    Yawn.

    So, will these goons in anyway inhibit my study? No? Well, great! They could all be covert agents for the Project for a New American Century for all I care, just so long as I and the rest of the politically indifferent student population can continue studying.

    I wonder if a third of the student population will care enough to vote this year?

  104. Sammie says:

    “I just went to the A-team launch party at MVP.
    I had a really lovely chat with their campaigns manager. I know know why they shouldn’t submit someone as queer rights officer..
    …”bisexual? that means they haven’t had the operation yet eh?” is my current favourite quote of the night, closely followed by “so are you all dykes?”
    Boy, what a charmer…”

    Lucky he isn’t standing then I guess…

  105. Voter says:

    So you are freely admitting that you are promoting a candidate who is a racist? Well, that’s a big issue.
    And it does affect their ability to do the job – what will they do regarding NT?

  106. I am happy to answer all questions asked of the A-Team. His views will not get in the way of going his job of enviornmental officier, after all, like I said, race has not to do with the environment. He will have nothing to with NT either, as they will have little to do with VUWSA next year.

  107. This is peteremcc publishing a comment pretending to be Lukas to demonstrate just how easy it is to pretend to be someone else.

    All I have to do is enter the a-team website and Lukas’ email address.

    Nick said earlier that Lukas should enter his email address so that they know it is him and don’t remove his comments. That would work great Nick, if Lukas’ email address were secret and nobody else knew what it was.

    The responses to this article (and infact the article itself) demonstrate just how worried the other candidates are. Personal attacks instead of policy discussion – reminds me of Auntie Helen!

  108. Now it’s me being Laura.

    I don’t know Laura’s email address, but that’s ok because it will still show this comment until the Salient guys see this comment and go and check the email address that was posted with it and realise that it isn’t Laura’s real email address.

    Of course, if I really was trying to impersonate Laura, then I wouldn’t be mentioning any of this in the comment which would make it much less likely for Salient to even bother checking the email address attached to this comment.

  109. peteremcc says:

    Have I made my point yet?

    Salient can of course check the IP addresses of comments, but it would be difficult to distinguish between the real person and the imposter.

    This is even further complicated by people simply using different computers, or commenting from the university network.

  110. cijawa says:

    Your point, Peter, is that you’re a fuckwit – we get it.

    Speaking of policy – why have none of the ACT team (racists or not) answered my question: Why don’t you openly support VSM when you and your supporters (such as, I don’t know, Brian Nicholle or Rick Marshall) so obviously advocate it?

  111. peteremcc says:

    Probably because it’s not the ACT team, its a group of students who’ve got together to run for VUWSA on an a-political platform.

    I’m an ACT supporter and I’d be much happier if it was an ACT-Team running on VSM. Then I wouldn’t have to keep giving my money to VUWSA for them to hand it out to idiots like you.

  112. That Boy. says:

    So how about that Laura girl, fucken hot! Can anyone confirm she’s not a dyke?…

  113. It is a sad problem, and a breech of trust, that people should post under a different persons name. I have had on two occasions people post comments on blogs under my name (other than Peters example above), but none were serious. this can be considered more serious because of Lucas is running for VUWSA President, and the comments may be part of a bigger electoral strategy to cost the A-Team votes. In the article above, the A-Team is compared to the Exclusive Brethren, and accused of overspending. I have discovered posters labbeling the A-Team “Rich White Elitism”, talking about “Lucas A-Hole” and other A-Team candidates, full of personal attacks against the A-Team. The posters did not include the identity of who was behind them. What is clear is that there are a very large number of such posters, and were in almost all cases placed deliberately over the A-Team posters, and must have been done last night. It must involve either one person working long hours, or a large number of people. In any case this is a big time smear operation, carefully organised. Students should have a right to know who is behind it, and it should count into that candidates $100 campaign budget.

  114. cijawa says:

    Peter – I’m largely indifferent to VSM – I can live with it either way.

    I just want you guys to be honest with what you’re standing for. Much of the bullshit that they’re spouting on their website indicates that they support VSM.

    And I’ve never got any form of a “hand out” from VUWSA.

  115. peteremcc says:

    I think it just shows how desperate they are Nick.
    The don’t have a clue what to do now that someone sensible is running for exec and they won’t be in control of VUWSA’s $2,500,000 budget anymore.

  116. peteremcc says:

    Alright, fair enough cijawa.

    Note that i’m not running.

    Also note that their website is pretty clear:

    “The A-Team is not an advocate of VSM. While we aim to improve the degree of choice available to students in the services provided by VUWSA, we aim to do so within existing frameworks.”

    Where does it suggest they support VSM?

  117. cijawa says:

    You’re right O’Kane – people should know who is behind the smear campaign. Just like people should know that Senior ACT campaign strategists like Brian Nichole and Rick Marshall are behind the ACT team.

  118. cijawa says:

    Peter – their budget explanations keep bleating on about how students shouldn’t be forced to fund other student’s activities – classic line from the VSM’ers.

    Also, their candidate for Council (Jordan Williams) is a conciousness objector to VUWSA membership and, get this: has rejoined now he’s running for election.

  119. Kerry O'Connor says:

    I think it’s important that people recognise that VUWSA spends a lot of money in unjustified areas. As an example, in the 70s VUWSA bought and donated a tank to the Viet Cong. That’s right, while our NZ soldiers were fighting in Vietnam, our students’ association was backing the other side. I am not saying the current exec have gone to these extremes but student politics should be about representing students and from the sounds of things (particularly the infamous Copiegate saga) I believe the VUWSA exec have been working for themselves.

    I think the student population will be responsive to people who maintain high standards of conduct and who are really dedicated to working for students. I don’t think people can criticise them for thinking they can do better than the current executive – they probably can. I think it’s great that more students are getting involved in student politics because the former apathy of students astounded me. That apathy was probably the reason we always had some rather ‘interesting’ representatives.

    In regards to them being “right-wing”, does it matter? In the past VUWSA has had members from all political parties: ACT, Young Nats, Young Labour, the Anti-Capitalist Alliance, the Greens, etc, etc. Everyone is entitled to their political view and no one should be berated just because they have a different view on life. All students are allowed to run for VUWSA and national politics shouldn’t come into it. This is an election of student representatives, so what matters is their policies not their party affiliations, if they even have any.

    The A-team will most definately get my vote.

  120. Sammie says:

    That Brian Nicolle, he’s behind everything! He must never sleep! Look, he’s even backing some guy with the same name for Council in North Shore!
    http://kiwiwebhost.phage.net.nz/~nickcc/candidates.html

  121. That Guy says:

    sammie is gay!!
    A-Team? more like gAy-Team!!!!

  122. That Guy's brother says:

    Our family official DOES NOT SUPPORT the gAy-Team. Not only can their would-be president make up his mind, THEY ARE GOING TO CUT FUNDING TO THE CLUBS – they very soul of VUWSA.

    I like the posters that have been stuck up over the previous ones. At least they arent telling s**t.

  123. That Guy's brother says:

    Not there are typo’s in my message above. It should read:

    Our family officially DOES NOT SUPPORT the gAy-Team. Not only can would-be president not make up his mind but, THEY ARE GOING TO CUT FUNDING TO THE CLUBS – they very soul of VUWSA.

    I like the posters that have been stuck up over the previous ones. At least they arent telling s**t.

  124. “You’re right O’Kane – people should know who is behind the smear campaign. Just like people should know that Senior ACT campaign strategists like Brian Nichole and Rick Marshall are behind the ACT team.”
    Do you have any evidence that Brian Nichole and Rick Marshall are behind the A-Team. If so, I’d like to see it. I have spoken an to A-Team candidate on this issue and while he knows Rick marshall, has never heared of any involvement of him/her in the campaign, and he doesn’t know Brian Nichole. But his views only represent himself, and says he/her can’t speak to the entire A-Team.

    As for this showing how desperate they are to keep their 2.5 millon income, I believe their desperation is misplaced, but it shows how dirty they are willing to play. It is important to remember that earlier in the year, on Clubs day, I, with mike heine, Lucas Schroeter, Peter McCaufrey, circulated a petition calling for membership of VUWSA to become voluntary. The response was to take the petition of myself and rip it up, with the same being done to the petition of Lucas Schroeter. The stall, amnned by Mike Heine, had all the petitions taken of it. The woman doing these actions is Kerry Tankard. After taking my petition, she refered me to Melissa Barnard, who is standing against the A-team, who told me that three clubs had accused me of harrassment of them to signed the petition, when all I did was tell them what the petition was and merely ask them if they wanted to sign the petition, If I visited any Club twice it was by accident, and some signed, some didn’t. I also recieved no complaints from any of the clubs, but she told me Campus care was on the verge of evicting me from the quad. This is examples of dirty behaviour from the left. Although, to be the right, A-Team, and myself have not been entirely clean, it pales in comparison to what we see from the left. For instance, no member of the A-Team, or StudentChoice has ever riped up a left wing petition. Also all the money we used on our campaign against the levy increase came from our own pocket, as opposed to the campaign for the levy increase, which consisted of possibly $1 000 worth of advertising, and paid for by my compulsory levies. big difference. While we have presented only one side of the arguement with the levy increase, and the A-Team campaign is very negative, and some facts may be incorrect (e.g. Stephanie Taylor, instead of Steve taylor, in the year in your rear pamphlet, and Cosgrove instead of Barnard for putting the university sheild on TradeMe, they are not actual lies like these Anti-A-team posters, which include the A-Team getting rid of salient (it says no-where on the A-Team website that this will happen), Student Job Search (same, and the fact it is largely funded by the Governemnt. Also all our material made it perfectly clear who was behind it, unlike the Anti-A-Team material. And thirdly, at least, unlike soem othe comentators, have the guts to put my own name on this post, and every other post I make, instead of hiding behind pseudonyms.

  125. Legally VUWSA is an incorporated society and as such bound by certain rules. The A TEAM (if they should win) are not legally able to return money to its members even if they wish to.

    I suspect the VUWSA fee is also a sliding scale rate for part-time and full-time students. For example a 0.2 student would only be charged that percentage. Determining the appropriate amount for each student would be a administrative nightmare particularly because Victoria University (not VUWSA) houses this resource and information. Whilst the institution is obligated under the education act to collect the fee they are not required to action any tasks relating to reimbursements (even if it were legal).

    This would mean the A-Team would have to individually determine the amounts owed to each student and issue an individual payments using VUWSA resources. Effectively it would take their accounts staff years to do and cost much more than the flagged amount of $25/EFT

    The only way they could legally implement their policy, not withstanding the logistical problems, would be to issue a voucher of sorts. This happened in the 90′s when the Melbourne student association issued a book voucher and promptly collapsed the association.

    This a side VUWSA is a poor performing association with, at times, some deplorable behavior. It is not difficult to see why such arguments are on the rise. They are currently the only association without a professional management structure in New Zealand and suffer as a result of that lack of expertise. I suspect the A-Team could implement some efficiencies but would only be able to effect the fee for the 2009 year. Hopefully, by then they will be more familiar with the incorporated societies Act.

  126. cijawa says:

    Pseudonyms are a bloggers god-given right, O’Kane – a facet of freedom of speech which you always bleat on about.

    Just to make it perfectly clear – I would like nothing more than seeing Muppets like Cosgrove and Galaxy voted out. It’s just ripping the guts out of VUWSA, which the ACT team are going to do.

    I also have no time for Kerry Tankard – you’re quintessential victim.

  127. I’m aware of the huge logistical problems with the refund, as well as possibly legal ones, although I’m unconvinced it can’t be done legally. The A-Team shoiuld put forward some explanation of how they will give the refund, which will be interesting to see. Also, i’m unconvinced about the A-Teams ability to give the refund. In their budget, most of the refund won’t come through services cuts, but out of the building levy. Problem for A-Team is that the building fund portion of the levy goes striaght to the VUWSA Trust, without the exec ever getting its hands on it. It may be possible for the exec to get their hands on the building fund money, but would be difficult, and may require constitutional amendments.

  128. peteremcc says:

    Dear Though a glass darkly,

    Please read the VUWSA constitution before you comment on what can and can’t be done.

    And THEN consider that the consitution is able to be ammended.

  129. intrigued says:

    Serious question to the A-team.

    If I pay my $125 through a student loan at present, if you give me my $25 back as a refund won’t I have to give that to Studylink in much the same way as if I withdrew from a course that money will go back to Studylink.

    Cheers

  130. I agree with you, intrigued, and all other students interested in the refund, the A-Team should be clear about how the refund wil be given. It hasn’t been. This is a serious issue. however, they are clear that the refund is a temporary measure, with a cut to the levy being the longer term measure.

  131. peteremcc says:

    Again I can’t speak for the A-Team but course costs are different to student association membership fees.

    I will point someone from the A-Team to this thread so they can comment.

  132. I think it was cleared up a bit earlier when Jordan and I debated whether giving money to a student who hasn’t paid the levy yet (because it’s on their student loan) is classed as a refund. A refund would really have to be paid to the government. Giving $25 to the student is just that – giving, not refunding.

  133. intrigued says:

    Thanks peteremcc. Because while i acknowledge that course costs and student association membership fees are different things – to Studylink it is still money being loaned from them to a student for a specific purpose.

    Should the money be refunded it would seem that Studylink would be entitled to the return of that money, hence meaning that students won’t really be $25 better off atleast in the short term.

  134. Well, if you aren’t rich enough to pay for own fees, then you don’t deserve a refund, but you will earn the money back once you work off your loan. Either way, you get $25 back.

  135. intrigued says:

    Thanks for your response Lukas.

    My concern is that most of your campaign material says it doesn’t matter that we’re cutting the funding to clubs and rep groups because people can use that $25 and give it to their clubs.

    If they have to give it back to studylink then i don’t see how they can also give it to their clubs.

  136. peteremcc says:

    Again, that isn’t Lukas… see my comments above for how easy it is to pretend to be someone else here.

    If you are giving your money to a club then there is NO way you would have to give it back to studylink. The issue is only around if you are keeping the money for yourself.

    How about I get them to post a clarification on the website so you know it’s legit.

  137. cijawa says:

    Peter, if you pay your fees via student loan (which 8/10 students do) the $25 refund is going to go back to studylink. It’s how the system works – as Lucas’ impersonator says, only the rich kids are going to get the ACT Team’s cheque for $25…

  138. Kerry O'Connor says:

    What’s wrong with rich kids?

  139. ” like the posters that have been stuck up over the previous ones. At least they arent telling s**t.” They are. The ones for Luca A-Hole and mike A-Hole allege that they will get rid of Salient, Student job Search and orientation. nowhere has the a-Team said this, and Lucas has just personally asured me they won’t cut these things. Clubs and rep groups e.t.c is a fair point, as they will actually cut clubs funding down to zero, but they don’t plan to touch student job search, or salient, and while they will remove the re-orientation, the one at the begining of the year remain the same. These points are lies.

  140. cijawa says:

    There’s nothing wrong with rich kids, Kerry – I am one myself – but the ACT Team literature says that every student will get a cheque for $25, when this quite clearly isn’t true.

  141. blogetteee says:

    One realises just how desperate the left is to win when they have to put up offensive posters all over university calling Anna Duggan a whore, making up lies about the A-Team’s policies, and generally being rude and nasty about people.

  142. Cijawa, the A-Team still has to teal us precisely how they are going to give the refund. It might be given back into a student loan (note: this means you owe less money to the Government, not giving more money to the Government), students might be offered a choice of having it to their student loan, or their club or rep group (this is what the A-Team website implies, saying that the A-Team will encourage students to give $25 to their club or rep group, and can use the $25 to fund clubs, which can compensate for the loss of income by VUWSA in higher membership fees.. Or they might just give everyone a $25 cheque. In any case there are legal and pratical issues involved, and the A-Team owe students an answer.

    Another group owing students answers is the group/candidate/individual behind the anti-A-Team posters. I have counted at least 40 of such posters, and at $2 per poster this is $80. It is also likely a lot of thought and work has gone into them. It appears to a anonymous massive smear campaign that is well organised, clearly by someone who doesn’t like the A-Team. It is this, not the a-Team campaign, that can be compared most accurately to the Exclusive Brethren. And students should know who it is.

    Lastly, as for the A-Team member jordan Williams being unprincipled by become a conscience objector to VUWSA membership, and rejoining to stand in an election, he is standing for University council Rep, not VUWSA. The University council and VUWSA are two seperate organizations. Big Difference.

  143. Sorrips says:

    So if I read you correctly Nick that means the ‘A team’ are you going to give us our money by INCREASING our student loans!?!?! That’s just plain crazy and CORRUPT!!

  144. cijawa says:

    O’Kane – the posters say a cheque for $25. How could you get any less specific than this?

    I want to know if the ACT Team are elected, and then find they can’t deliver – will they resign en mass?

  145. Nick K says:

    Haha, I heard that only like 5 people showed up to their launch last night. If that’s indicative of their support, I don’t think we have too much to worry about! :)

  146. cijawa says:

    There were more there than that, Nick K (I was invited and went), but not much more…

    Yeah, I’d say their campaign was dead in the water.

    (K for Kelly?)

  147. Luke Arse says:

    The thing is, the anit-A Team don’t have to tell how much it is spending on their campiagn. There is nothing in the rules that say that people cannot campiagn against the A -Team. The rules apply to people who are running. I am not part of the poster campiagn, but hey.. its funny.. and the A Team are idiots… and people who know what they are up to, figure it out.

  148. They do have to say how much they’re spending if they’re candidates, and they should tell us who they are. And also, the posters could breech defamation laws. They better tell us who they are, or else the anti A-Team candidates could be implicated.

  149. cijawa says:

    They only breech defamation laws if they’re untrue Nick. I haven’t seen any of the ACT Team jump to prove that they are wrong…

  150. Luke Arse says:

    No.. what is defaming about the posters Nick? They wont tell you.. you are a joke buddy and so are the A Team

  151. By the way, in the FAQ on their website, the A-Team have explictly stated they will not touch the Salient budget or independence. Any more claims about this are lies. I haven’t seen any poster mentioning a cheque specifically, and al their posters are up on their website. I can’t see any logic in the idea that giving people $25 cheques, to refund them for the VUWSA membership fees, increases peoples student loans.

    Also, we probably have a new record for greatest number of comments on a Salient website comment thread.

  152. MC says:

    cijawa why do you insist on calling the A-Team the ACT Team? Looking at the names involved I would say that the majority are not involved with the ACT party. If this is your attempt at being funny well… Whatever makes you laugh I guess.

    Usually this level of vehemence exhibited by opponents shows that there is genuine fear of losing. Basically if no one even bothers to deface posters, slag you off or generally be nasty in every way possible then your campaign is in trouble. By this measure it would appear the A-Team are doing just fine.

    I would be interested to know what “real students” think about the A-Team or for that matter the antics of their opponents and the VUWSA “Muppets”. I would hazard a guess that there would be some good support out there for the A-Team.

    As in big boys politics there is a beltway in student politics. The beltway consists I would say of about 700-1200 students maximum – likely far less. In other words the number that typically vote. These “beltway” people would be typical of the A-Team’s opponents – ie they have a vested interest in maintaining a funding stream of free money for little or no accountability to the masses of students that fund them. Of course that’s not to say that there aren’t “beltway students” who would support the A-Team.

    “Real students” are those who come to uni to get educated. They are not interested in the daily goings on of the things that “beltway students” think are important. I would be willing to bet that if the people in the A-Team weren’t pointing them out, that a good portion of these real students wouldn’t know about the antics that their opponents had been up to this year. Antics funded with their money I might add.

    So anyone who hasn’t got an agenda in supporting either the A-Team or their opponents from VUWSA please answer this question for me if you would be so kind. What effect is the campaign having with “real students”? I understand that the video on the A-Team site is being shown in lecture theatres. What is the honest reaction to this video from “real students”?

  153. impartial observer says:

    I went along to the A Team launch last night (although I should point out I am not involved with them in ANY way) and can say that when I was there it was more like about 40 people. Didn’t stay for long though (not my scene) so I can’t say if those people stayed the whole night.

  154. Lucas tells me the effect has been very positive, and lots are going to vote them in, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just propaganda. Joel, on his blog, describes that he got a huge round of applause in one theatre responding to the A-Team coments. It appears both cosgrove and the A-Team (not sure what members, but including Lucas Schroeter) are doing a large number of lectre speeches. This could help boost turnout. I’ve spoken to one ‘real student’ about the posters and Anti-A-Team campaign, who isn’t likely to vote, and sees them as both slinging mud at each other, so the effect could be to turn people of VUWSA politics. In any case, the propaganda is bound to get noticed. If there is a bigger than the usual ‘beltway’ turnout, it could have a massive impact. A high turnout will probably help the A-Team, although if its from clubs members and rep group members, it could have the opposite effect.

  155. I might add that many students, who aren’t beltway, won’t know who is and who isn’t a incumbent VUWSA exec memebr, so telling them apart will be difficult. Also, the effect of advertising in bringing out votes is very limited (I’ve seen general meetings struggle to get quorom, and few people turn up to meetings, despite large advertising). this election wil be very decisive in VUWSA history if the A-Team get in.

    As for the campaigning skills, joels pamphlets are excellent. Students are unlikely to read are long wordy pamphlet, and the few sentences, which clearly state the policies, and give a website for those few students who want to know more (even though the website isn’t great), with a picture of him (always a plus), couldn’t have been designed better. Obviosly his campaign is smaler than the A-Team one (as he only has a $100 spending cap, and running for one psoition, vs 14 candidates and $1400 for the A-Team), but is getting noticed.

    The A-Team have run a negative campaign at the current exec, and the impact is likely to be positive so far. The pamphlet last week “a year in your rear” I intially thought would be a failure, being a chore to read it, but I’ve seen a few students look at it, and if the lectures boring gives you something elese to do. The only probelm is that pamphlet would have been expensive, and eat into their (admitedly large) budget and spending cap. The muppet theme, is done well, and labbeling exec mebers muppets is not new. The video I haven’t seen, but putting one up isn’t a bad idea. The website is done well, the only problem being the policies are statements of principle, not policies, which can be better found at the FAQ, and they should put an explanation of how they will give the refund. Putting posts on their blog could also be a help. The pamphlets, are OK, a few are wordy. promoting the campaign launch wasn’t a bright idea, but the pledge to you on the other side is good.

    The other noticible campaign, is Paul Brown, with the “arse” slogan, something that will get sdeen, a little wordy, but good. mark newton has gone after the enviromentalist vote,, and his campaign will resonate in beltway, and he will get many anti-A-Team vote, but I doubt too many new voters (if there are large numbers of new voters, it is likely they will be for the A-Team). More candidates will probably run campaigns in future, and its still early days. If Geoff doesn’t campaign hard, which he doesn’t appear to be doing (to be fair to Geoff its tough when you have a 40 hour job) he will struggle. Split votes will help the A-Team.

    The other big influence on campaigns, is the peices they write for salient. This will have less of an impact this time, because the’d be much more to read. These are just my thoughts, but I’ve proven accurate in VUWSA elections in the past.

  156. Tonka Toy says:

    This Puny Right-Wing Colloquy has at least kindled a good strong spark of interest in these e-pages of e-Salient. It’s nice to see some polemic amidst the potty-talk.

    A little speculation, if I may… Team Rocket is standing on this rather wimpy platform, whereby they trim away everything but the title of “compulsory students’ association” from VUWSA’s sad carcass. Admittedly I am a beetroot-red leftie and cannot claim to possess any insight into the minds of non-socialists, but I would have thought that a good strong advocacy of VSM would have been the bigger and nobler way for the Team to go.

    Might I then note that the requirements for changing the structure of VUWSA, either to or from VSM, have been toughened up in recent months?
    If the A-Team had a set, they might have seen this as a challenge and risen to it. After all, if they did achieve VSM, the Association would stay that way pretty securely.
    Instead, I can’t help but think this: the A-Team cannot find enough supportive students to sign a pro-VSM petition. Ergo, how will they find enough supportive students to vote for and support them?

  157. peteremcc says:

    Nick, the A-Team video is on the homepage of their website if you’d like to see it.

  158. MC says:

    Tonka Toy,

    Firstly let me commend you on not pouring out the vitriol. Bar your opening remark, you are proof that one can oppose an argument without having to resort to nasty attacks or personal slander. I hope others follow your lead.

    I know a couple of members of the A-Team. They (the A-Team) are not pro VSM. They are also not pro CSM. They are a ticket comprising of individuals with differing opinions, some supporting VSM and some not supporting VSM. However when one runs as part of a ticket they then subjugate themselves to the collective policy of that ticket. This policy towards VSM is quite clearly stated on their website – “The A-Team is not standing on a voluntary platform. The A-Team believes that voluntary membership is a matter that students should decide; indeed that is the requirement under the Education Act. ”

    So while everyone agrees it is noble to be transparent about your policies, this does not extend to saying things others want to hear – such as “We support and advocate for VSM”. It is simply not true to suggest otherwise.

    Nick thank you for the update on how others are doing with their campaigns. It is always interesting to see how others campaign and whether any “original” campaign methods are tried. I don’t think there has ever been a campaign launch before for student politics (no doubt someone will inform me that I am wrong). Have to laugh though at those that suggested that only 5 people turned up. I popped in briefly to wish everyone luck. There were about 40-50 there when I left and more were arriving. I would label that a success.

  159. A.J says:

    I dont necessarily agree with A-team spreading all the “evict the muppets” pamphlets, but personally i was horrified when i saw the posters around about Mike, Lukas and Anna. Absolute nastiness and totally unnecessary. A-team is just a bunch of ordinary and quite nice people really, who see (like all us non-political students who read salient and look at stuff.co.nz) that this years exec could have done a better job then they did, and so are taking steps to fill in the shoes. I would sooner run around university naked then take on a act or National political view (thats not political its blimmen common sense) – and yet i see nothing of right wing extremitism coming from A-team. By the way Lukas or Mike i’ll get in contact with my uncle to see if you can borrow his water-blaster. It would be a shame to be illiminated for being slightly too enthisiastic with a piece of chalk! I know that was you Mike…too fond of the pretty colours. “Pretty, pretty colours”. Ahhhh….that would be why you put your money on prancing-dancing pony….i cant remember the rest.

  160. Nick Archer says:

    Peter, you talking to me or O’Kane? Yes Lukas gave me the details for the video, some of the other major candidates going to put videos up on Salient website next week. If you want to produce any more then feel free to upload them to youtube and send the link to Salient and we will put them on SalientTV (any other candidates make sure you take the opportunity to do this also…)

  161. Pseudonym-ius Fowl says:

    Dear Lukas,
    You’re a twat, I’m not saying this as a desperate attempt to sabotage your campaign but because I think you are a twat.
    - I’m pretty sure it says in the “Muppets video” that a $25 cheque will be given to students, I hope you are not lying to your potential voters.
    -Also, I assume you have included the cost of the Muppet royalties in your $1400 budget along with Family Guy and Seinfeld otherwise your image of Integrity will fly out the window like your Clubs Officer’s job once you cut his funding.
    -Are you sure you aren’t just getting in at the “University Level” to prime the Union to be dissolved and make it easier for National and Act to take control of our glorious establishment if [and yes I am concerned here] they get a majority in next years election?

  162. peteremcc says:

    I was talking to O’Kane, he mentioned that he hadn’t see it yet.

    Pseudonym-ius Fowl, I’m interested by what you mean by “National and Act to take control of our glorious establishment”.

  163. Alice Orsman says:

    Why dont you actually put a name behind your foul mouth. Wheres your sense of dignity? This just implies that you dont actually have the guts to say it to his face. Pathetic. Sit there and feel all smug with yourself….plenty of others are doing the same. No one can touch you…right?

  164. Pseudonym-ius Fowl says:

    peter- I was questioning the partys intentions and considering if they would have any involvement with a National/Act coalition should it be formed next year
    alice- that pseudonym was a joke I was taking the piss, my name is Eugene Black I am not hiding and you can touch me (providing you are not a leper).

  165. Alice Orsman says:

    oh good – i dont like putting on my angry face. i sincerely apologise then. And no i am not a leper, so am i in?

  166. Eugene Black- Formerly Pseudonym-ius Fowl says:

    You may well be in ;-) … But I am afraid to say I will not be helping the A-Team get in. Unless they have a radical change in policy which would kinda undermine their already thinning integrity.

  167. Alice Orsman says:

    Ive only been introduced to politics this year therefore im allowed to still run on the principle that it’s the thought that counts. So there. Good people = my vote.

  168. peteremcc says:

    Can I also just add that I would hope that ACT would be utterly against disolving or banning a union. It is everyone’s right to form a group or union or association or whatever, you just shouldn’t be forced to do this.

    ACT supports VSM, where students can choose whether to join VUWSA or not.
    Under VSM, VUWSA could do whatever the hell it and its members wanted because you’re not forcing others to join and fund you.

  169. Michael Oliver says:

    171 comments, and Perigo is nowhere in sight. We’ve come a long way.

  170. Though a glass darkly says:

    Petermcc

    The VUWSA constitution is a body of rules set by its members. However, that body is governed (and trumped) by a the incorporated societies act 1908. You can’t refund the money. Again the Trust is a separate body not obligated to oblige the rules of VUWSA.

    Once the money is in the Trust you need to ask the Trust (which is only partly comprised of VUWSA members) to refund the money which it won’t because it violates its trust deed and likely charitable status.

    I don’t care about which side wins I’m merely pointing out (as a member of a dozen or so trusts and incorporated societies) that you haven’t really thought it through.

    I suspect your only option without paying another $5 in adminstration costs on top of the refund is to reset the levy and building fee at a SGM this year.

    As before this years governance board is certainly wanting. However, what is in desperate need is executive that can make consultative and savvy decisions.

    The A-Team can be legitimate in its criticisms for the current board whilst still being misguided with its knee jerk response about the fee. Good governors need to consider their obligations and responsibilities. Again I have suggested some options to achieve the same goal but am merely pointing out that whilst your one policy has a ‘lowest common denominator’ appeal to it it is as misguided as the people you seek to oust.

  171. Just Pointing Out says:

    Yes Peter,

    ACT does support VSM.

    ACT MP Heather Roy has a draft VSM in the waiting.

    For members of VUWSA wanting to make an informed choice it should be pointed out that:

    - Mike Bridge (A Team EVP Candidate) is the National President of ACT on CAMPUS

    - Lukas Schroeter (A Team Presidential Candidate) is the National Treasurer of ACT on Campus

    - Mike Heine (A Team General Exec) was number 35 on the ACT party list at the 2005 General election

    - Kerry O’Connor (A Team Publications Committee Candidate) was number 36 on the ACT part list at the 2005 General election

    I think this speaks for itself.

    P.s. God bless google. Makes fact finding so easy.

  172. Sammie says:

    I don’t think Kerry is standing as an A Team candidate

  173. peteremcc says:

    Through, you write well, but you have your facts wrong. The VUWSA levy doesn’t go anywhere near the Trust. Refunding the levy has nothing at all to do with the Trust.

    Sammie is right, Kerry isn’t standing with the A-Team.

    I would also like to point out that many of the candidates who are not A-Team candidates are open socialists or communists. The difference is that the A-Team have said they are going to run VUWSA a-politically while many of the other candidates have been clear that they plan to do the opposite. Either is of course fine, students get what they vote for. I’m just pointing it out.

  174. peteremcc says:

    Through = Though a glass darkly

  175. cijawa says:

    Being apolitical is a political stance, Peter. It weakens the voice of students, and basically admits that everything is just fine and dandy for students – which it is not – fees are going up, student debt is going up (15 times faster than the $10 million which the ACT Team claim students associations are contributing to Student Debt), and fuck all students get an allowance.

    Now, this mightn’t affect the rich kids running for the ACT Team (or their Business Round Table backers – by the way, is there any truth in the rumour than Lukas’ grandma is some German supermarket tycoon and is on the rich-list in Germany? And, if so, why is she funding a campaign at Victoria?) but it does affect the 9out of 10 students that have a student loan, or the 60% of students who don’t receive an allowance, or the vast majority of students who are hit with increasing fees.

    Oh, and you say many candidates are openly socialists or communists – that should be a few students – most are significantly more moderate than that. And, while we’re at it, let’s count the Neo-Libs, eh?

    I’m just pointing it out.

  176. peteremcc says:

    Your opinion that everything isn’t fine for students is also a political stance.
    Different students have different opinions and if vuwsa takes a stance on anything then it sides with some students over othrers who disagree.

    While membership is compulsory, vuwsa must represent ALL students and the only way it can do that is by staying out of politics and leaving the lobbying and protests to individual students, clubs, rep groups and youth wings of political parties – ie: groups that ARE voluntary to join.

  177. Peter, I was aware the video was on the A-Team website. It just cost me money on my SCS account to see it. Thanks for telling me anyway.

  178. Gabrielle Stewart says:

    As a relatively new member of the VUWSA exec (elected end of June 07), I am bamboozled by the A-Team’s attacks on the Exec. I did not know any members before running, and have been astounded by the amount of work that goes on. Everybody works above and beyond their allocated hours for no other reason than ‘for the love of it’. I find it very petty to attack members based on antics that happened in personal time, that did not affect their position or work ethic. These personal attacks highlight a lack of knowledge of the context of events and a desire to campaign through dirty tactics rather than strength of your policies. The A-Team is quick to accuse all exec members of “Muppertry”, however has failed to comment on the jobs of Tushara Kodikara, Gen Fontanier, Tai Neilson, Stefan Tyler, Paul Brown or myself. The one’s you do accuse are very committed to their positions and students. To accuse members of offering ‘death threats’ to each other assumes that their is no banter or working relationship within VUWSA. When you take things out of context that you were not around to witness in the first place is, again, petty.

    People here have a real desire to benefit students, and many were involved with their rep groups or student organisations before being elected for exec. Do not insult the hard work of your elected representatives or the VUWSA staff.

  179. MG- I did talk to 5 of your “real students” about the A-Team video and campaign. The students didn’t mind the video, although they said it could be done better, not having time to read the words, and red words against a red background in one scene was criticised. No-one said it was likely to make them vote for the a-Team, with many saying they would be unlikely to vote at all. Tha anti-A-Team posters don’t appear to have made much impact either. I think that should dispell any idea that the a-Tean is getting students out in droves to vote for them. 5 is a small sample, but so far it is not looking good for the A-Team.

    As for the A-Political issue, if you feel passionate about student debt, you can always give your $25 refund to a group that will campaign against it.

  180. blogette says:

    let’s face it O’Kane you’re just jealous the A-Team knew you would be a political liability and completely ignored you, even though you would be the first person to sign up to their manifesto and be a candidate

  181. Tushara Kodikara says:

    I find it offensive that the entire exec are branded as Muppets. I am not a Muppet. For the last two years, I have worked extremely hard as an exec member, working beyond my constitutional requirements.

    For example, the A-Team say that “education advocacy … has been sorely missing under recent Executives”

    This is a lie, and the A-Team cannot back this up. Although, not part of the environmental exec role, I sit on the Board of Studies in Environmental Studies, the Geography Board of Studies, and as a VUWSA rep on the Faculty of Science. I am not paid for any of these, but I certainly advocate for student education.

    The fact that I, as Environmental Officer, work with the university to make it more sustainable, is political in itself. I expect the next Environmental Officer to work with the university, to carry on the work I have done in the last two years. Therefore, my position is a political role. Cameron Cotter said he will lobby for better public transport for students, is this not political?

    I am really sick and tried of the A-Team label the entire exec as Muppets. I dare any of the A-Team and tell me to my face that I don’t do a good job. If you do, you will have nothing to back it up. I might be passionate in my role (as I have apparently been accused of being rude towards certain members of the A-Team, but hey, they accuse me of being a Muppet), but I care about VUWSA and the students and more importantly, the environment.

  182. Phillip says:

    I am not a member of the A-Team mr Kodikara but you don’t do a good job. No one gives a shit about the environment and you have done nothing in your role. You are not making the university more sustainable.

    what happened to your run for council rep btw? did the competition scare you off?

  183. Gabrielle Stewart says:

    Mr Phillip

    I would advise you to come to VUWSA offices to meet Tush to discuss what steps he is taking towards sustanibility. He is here pretty much every morning and afternoon, and in between he works on his thesis, which is centred on University Sustainability. Arrogance and ignorance are not acceptable tools to attack someone.

  184. S-Team says:

    Well said Gabrielle. I am not a member of the A-Team, VUWSA Exec or Young Labour and am not a friend of Tush’s but I can say he is doing a particularly good job.

    However, Gabrielle, it would be nice if your colleagues felt the same way as you do about ignorance and arrogance. VUWSA has lacked in professionalism for a long time and the anti A-Team crowd deserve the run for their money that they are currently getting.

  185. I will drink piss for votes,

    Before you fob it off as disgusting you filthy right wingers have a read of this….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine_therapy

    oh and I suggest you read the upcoming sailent for my campain stance as I’m to busy doing my job to fool around pandering to you lot on the internet…

    oh yeah and just to let you know I do things other than lick piss heres just a quick plug of the events VUWSA is putting on in the next 2 weeks!

    oh yeah and BTW all this stuff would go according to the a-teams budget next year…..

    Women’s Fest 17th – 21st september

    10 workshops
    2 shows

    VAFTAS (Victoria Film Awards)

    at least 2 Quiz nights

    International week and more… :D

    la la la…

    this is lame

    Luv Bernard-Bernard (vice ) Galaxy

  186. Phillip says:

    You are lame, galaxy man.

  187. Tristan Egarr says:

    hmmm… two thoughts.
    Phillip: “Kodikara but you don’t do a good job. No one gives a shit about the environment and you have done nothing in your role.”
    erm… if no-one cares about the environment, is it actually possiblt for Tush to do a bad job?

    Secondly and perhaps more importantly, this is a call to whoever is defacing A-Team posters. Please stop. Personally I disagree with most of the A-Team’s policies, but I think it is important not to destroy people’s campaign material since this is, you know, not only undemocratic but demonstrates a lack of actual policy opposition. If the A-Team is wrong it is because their policies are bad. Is it at all possible to run a student political campaign via policy debate rather than personal attacks and vandalism? No?

    Now, the A-Team have some good posters (“what the hell was the question” is clever) and one bad personal-attack based one (which claims that urine drinking is somehow amoral and bad behaviour). However this poster is relatively mild compared to the anti A-Team stuff. Even so, at least these anti A-Team posters largely work on the basis of “revealing info people need to know”. Defacing their stuff does not even have this grace.

    Anyhu, that’s just my two cents. Y’all have fun now y’hear.

    p.s. wasn’t Lukas appearance at UniQ hilarious? I can’t believe he stayed around to take all that criticism from people who were obviously never going to vote for him anyway. That either show guts and commitment, or the inability to walk away. Classic.

  188. My message to the exec if you don’t want to be branded as muppets, if you don’t want to be criticised, then maybe you shouldn’t urinatein public, and worse drink it, maybe you shouldn’t lay communist wreats at ANZAC Day, maybe you shouldn’t steal cricket mantainence signs, confuse them for a “large floor tile” and give it as a gift to a staff member. I know this comment and the A-Team campaign is harsh, and not all the exec are involved in the actions, but it is no surprise that they should be attacked this way. If it wasn’t the A-Team, someone else would be likely to do the same. Imagine the media sensation if Helen Clark, in Sydney at the APEC confrence (even if it was in her spare time) urinated in public, and had Winston peters drink her urine of the ground, in front of TV cameras. It would be all over the news. I know a lot of the exec are hard working, but that doesn’t excuse things like this.

    The harsh reality that VUWSA has to face, is that many students don’t get their $120 worth from it. A simple test of this is why are the exec so against VSM? answer, because if students had a choice of joining, they know the vast majority of students would choose not to join. If they really believed that if VSM came all students would que up in large numbers to join, they would have nothing to fear. VUWSA needs to be significently reformed, if it is to provide value for money to students, and the A-Team look like the only ones this election that are attempting the job.

  189. The REAL Phillip says:

    Yo…
    I’m the guy who usually posts as Phillip. I quit using this site because people were hijacking my name. Steve, would you please stop playing around with stuff like Salient TV and get a secure way of posting comments? That would be great.

    Anyway Tush, you’re doing a fine job, in my opinion. Probably the best Exec Member of the last year, maybe two.

    I won’t be back – anyone else posting from Phillip isn’t me.

  190. wendy ng says:

    I’d like to know why are they putting forward a candidate for Club’s Officer (as on their website), when they want to eliminate VUWSA’s endorsement for clubs? Under an ACT-team representing university students there is no opportunity for student engagement to be supported or subsidised.

    Sounds like a flip flop to me. Campaigning for a position they propose shouldn’t exist.

    And here’s a FlipFlopMeter:

    Dear VUWSA Members,

    Your $25 CHEQUE is in the mail. In the meantime, please enjoy graduating. Otherwise I can fund it from my grandma.

    Right Fascism Forever,
    Lukas

    And here’s another:

    Dear VUWSA Members,

    I care about your welfare. So we’ll go on a march down to the Salvation Army and Food Bank. Because it’s charities that keep the world running without VUWSA.

    Right Fascism Forever,
    Anna

  191. Phillip says:

    I think the point is that the new Clubs Officer will help the existing clubs seek existing funding other than VUWSA. So, a real point.

  192. peteremcc says:

    The Clubs Officer will have to organise the Clubs usage of VUWSA facilities too as the A-Team will still be fuding and allowing access to facilities for clubs.

  193. cijawa says:

    You guys are talking about external funding for clubs as though it doesn’t already occur. It does, and most (if not all) still require VUWSA funding.

  194. How exactly would the A-Team fund Clubs with a zero budget for Clubs funding? I’m no mathematician, so I apologise if that seems a foolish question, but with a plan to completely scrap the Clubs funding and get a Clubs Officer, who is paid for 10 hours a week, to find $90,000 to replace Clubs funding, I really can’t see how the A-Team will be funding clubs in any way.

    Or do you mean they’ll still pay the $175,000ish per annum for JSUB spaces? Because the JSUB is expected to affirm exclusivity for these spaces for VUWSA-affiliated clubs ONLY at its next meeting. No affiliations, no club spaces.

    Not to mention that if affiliations went, VUWSA would seize over $1,000,000 in clubs’ assets after a year, meaning they have no funds or assets whatsoever.

    Like I said, I can’t do maths, but please explain how the A-Team can justify their statement to clubs in an email last week which read “The A-Team likes clubs” when it appears they’re looking to completely destroy them?

  195. Laura, from your comment above its cleay you disagree with the A-Team Club policy (i have to admit I’m not keen on it either, I don’t mined the idea of making some cuts to club funding, but cutting it to zero is a bit too extreme for me. Also, given they don’t include removing the clubs development Officer from the VUWSA staff, and removing the $30 000 VUWSA spends on Team Vic Sponsorship and clubs administration from their budget, it indicates the policy is poorly thought out.). I am interested if you are going to put an article in Salient next week about it, or an anti-A-Team article. iIhope any article next week is fair and balanced, as in recent yearts Salient has shown a left wing biased. the latest example being how you interview kodikara about Bevan callaghans motion to fuse the Enviroment officer and Queer officer positions on the exec with a single rep group Officer, but never interview callaghan, or allow him to respond to Kodikara’s criticism. Any comment about the A-Team from a critic, in order to be fair to the A-Team, must include some response from the A-Team, to be balanced.

  196. Nicholas: I still haven’t heard from Bevan and have no means of contacting him. Perhaps you could put him in touch with me.

    I can guarantee any news on the election over the next weeks will be fair and balanced (although it may not appear that way, but some candidates have been making more headlines than others). I spoke to A-Team candidates numerous times last week, and was still calling Lukas at 10pm last night for last minute checks.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the policy of any candidate standing in the election, as I’m sure is the case with many other students. I feel that the A-Team’s policies have been contradictory (particularly their refund and Clubs budget), but as they are the only group who have released any real policy, I’m unable to give an opinion on any others.

  197. cijawa says:

    It’s a great big left wing conspiracy O’Kane. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Hang on, weren’t you on the publications committee that hired the current socialist editor? Really dropped the ball there, didn’t you?

  198. My allegations of left wing biased might be going a bit too far, sorry if it was, as I was unaware you couldn’t contact Bevan. cijawa, never on the publications comittee did I do anything to influence Salient content.

    I fail to see any contradictions in the A-Team clubs and refund policy, just think the A-Team should be much clearer about the precise means they will give the refund, and look more at the serious legal and logistical problems involved. As for the clubs policy, it is their achilles heel, and makes them unelectable. I can see the principled arguements over it, but it will cost a lot of votes, and is one of the few areas where students actually do get value for money from VUWSA. $90 000 is only a small portion of the VUWSA budget, and one would expect them to find something else to cut instead. Even more interesting, is that they, in their 2008 budget, don’t include removing the $13 200 in Clubs administration, or $17 000 on team Vic sponsorship. And I don’t see why they cut all rep groups to zero, but keep NT at $160 000. They appear to have put much more effort into their campaign than policy development.

  199. Laura McQuillan says:

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED – Laura McQuillan, Salient News Editor

  200. Anna is dead?
    Serious?!?

  201. Lukas Schroeter says:

    Dear Family,

    Friend. Would you please be able to urgently call me on 021 150 1531.

    Lukas Schroeter

  202. Can someone confirm if its true or not?

  203. Lukas Schroeter says:

    The post suggesting Anna has died was a hoax. We’ve spoken to Anna at her home, she is still living, and I am completely sickened by the efforts to suggest otherwise.
    I request that the person who posted the ‘Family Friend’ announcement contact me in person as soon as possible to resolve the issues concerned.

  204. cijawa says:

    That’s a pretty sick joke, claiming someone was dead.

    I think an IP ban for that person would be in order, don’t you all?

  205. Anna called me to confirm that yes she is alright, and I have talked to her sister as well. I am appalled by the recent hoaxes. As if this has not been stressful enough on her. Obviously, as a close friend, I am appalled to find her in such a state and although we sit on opposing sides of the campaign, this has never affected or altered our friendship.

    In this regard, I stand with Lukas in mutual sickness of this situation.

    Geoff Hayward
    VUWSA Presidential Candidate 2008

  206. SB says:

    That is a excellent idea. Extremely sick and unnecessary thing to do. Hope she gets better fast.

  207. I share in the disgust at the very sick joke, if not deliberate election campaign tactic.

  208. James says:

    Fuck off Geoff. Using this as a campaign tool is putrid.

  209. M says:

    Hello,

    Ok, so it seems that this entire campaign will be focused upon the A-team and anything that they do or responses to the A-team.

    I have briefly met a few of the A-team candidates and they are indeed very hardworking. The setting up of a website in advance of elections is part of the proof.

    I like the fact that they intend to raise the academic level and status of the university, more so than a $25 refund. Getting great lecturers into the school and having a good reputation is essential and what university is all about.

    However, I’m not a fan of your marketing techniques. Yes you got my attention and that’s what advertising does but, it’s also very annoying to be constantly bombarded by your large chalk writing everywhere in Kelburn. I also don’t think you need to keep referring to the past members as ‘muppets.’ I get the fact that you don’t like the past VUWSA members, you don’t have to keep repeating it.

    I am also worried by your apolitical stance. Does this mean that VUWSA as a whole will not protest on some topic in the future? I also don’t think it’s fair to say that you are apolitical because your whole campaign is really based upon the Act Partys ideology. That is, less government and less tax essentially.

    If you want my vote, stress the importance of a good university education.

  210. I had a call from Anna earlier this evening asking for the comment to be removed, and I referred her to Steve. As the comment has been deleted, I’m not sure we have any way of tracing it, but we’ll look into it next week. Cheers, and apologies to anyone who was upset by what was posted.

  211. Through a glass darkly says:

    It’s curious as an external to view the level of debate. There seem to be very few arguments and even less practical policies. Speaking as a previous student president ,at another institution, I find the political positions of the candidates disturbing. Down South candidates and executive were pro student and non partisan. We had to work with all governments as the association was over a hundred years old and was no doubt looking to be around for another hundred years.

    At the end of the day the executive is a governing board of a significant organisation that is primarily tasked with providing services that students want and protecting the quality of education provision inside the institution. To prep the way for a political career is self centred and disappointing.

    What is terrible is the comments ‘facist’ and ‘muppets’. I have watched the VUWSA executive with much disappointment this year and understand the frustration of the A Team. However, the election is the quest to find leadership. To complain about the previous/current executive is legitimate. However, the true test of leadership is to provide away forward and concrete policies and ideas. Slash and burn ideas are no ideas at all.

  212. peteremcc says:

    Laura, it may be sensible to remove a few of the other comments from around that time as well that refer to the original comment.

    Through a glass darkly, There is still almost a week of campaigning to go – i’m sure all the different candidates will have more policies and ideas to announce/more widely advertise as the election gets closer.

  213. peteremcc says:

    Oh and M, I’d recommend Mike Bridge’s candidate profile page for information about education policies (since he is the Education VP candidate):

    http://www.a-team.org.nz/mike_bridge

  214. Through a glass darkly says:

    Petermcc

    I looked at your site and was actually impressed.

  215. Evee says:

    Does the mcc stand for mon chi chi?

  216. cijawa says:

    So if you refresh your cookies you can vote over and over and over and over in the poll up the side of this page. Which I imagine is exactly what techno-nerds like Petermcc are doing.

    Online polls are not worth the paper they’re printed on.

  217. Adamm says:

    I was wondering how Geoffs votes went up so much

  218. Jonno says:

    And why Lukass’s votes went up so much

  219. peteremcc says:

    And why Joel’s vote went up so much.

    I’m sure all three have been spammed and cijawa is right, this poll is worthless – though that doesn’t mean online polls have to be worthless, you just have to put some effort into making them secure.

  220. Nick Archer says:

    It seems to me that there are people who sit in front of their computers all day on the Salient website yet complain about the new media side of things we are doing (The REAL Phillip : Steve, would you please stop playing around with stuff like SalientTV and get a secure way of posting comments? – The REAL Phillip Steve hasn’t been playing around on SalientTV, I HAVE!) yet they are posting comments on a comment thread on a website (sometimes all day).

    In regards to the new media, it is a living and breathing entity that we are all driving by using the Internet, as soon as you are used to blogging, YouTube
    comes along and now Face Book all of a sudden has taken over last week as the social site EVERY ONE is using…

    As for the poll, it will be funny to compare the votes in the poll with the real voting when that happens as it will be several times larger!

    I have noticed that there aren’t a lot of candidates websites there are of course http://www.a-team.org.nz

    and also http://www.joel4president.blogspot.com/
    Geoff Hayward has a profile on on Face Book type in Geoff Hayward for VUWSA President 2008

    and finally there is only Georgie “Glitter” Dickson’s site (http://georgieglitter.blogspot.com/) as the other site that has come to my attention.

    Does anyone know of any other candidates sites?

  221. peteremcc says:

    Anyone else notice that Joel got an extra 500 votes in the last 2 hours?
    He must have been out campaigning hard tonight!

  222. Nick Archer says:

    Yeah like the other 2 candidates petermcc…

    Like I said less people will vote for real… Polls are just a PR exercise…

    also add : http://www.bebo.com/rev-bdp which is Reverand Paul Danger Brown’s site, it’s his regular bebo page which is refreshing as he hasn’t set up a specific site for the election, he is blogging a bit on it but not a lot of election stuff as of yet, but you do get a feel for what the BOOBs (Brotherhood of Ordained Bogan Students) dude is like…

  223. Sorry about the poll. I suggested that the same mechanisms introduced partway through Academic Idol voting last year be put on the poll (namely to stop the same IP voting more than once, and to have the extras removed). This obviously hasn’t happened, and it is up in the air whether we’ll get it fixed next week. It’s kind of pointless to have a poll with hundreds and hundreds of illegitimate votes on it though.

  224. peteremcc says:

    why not just get everyone to enter their email address and have to confirm the vote by clicking a link in an email they receive. even better it could be their vuw address to ensure that no-one uses more than one address.

    people could still use friends accounts etc, but it would be at least a bit more accurate.

  225. peteremcc says:

    why not just get everyone to enter their email address and have to confirm the vote by clicking a link in an email they receive. even better it could be their vuw address to ensure that no-one uses more than one address.

    people could still use friends accounts etc, but it would be at least a bit more accurate.

    the problem with ip checks is that that can quite easily be beaten too by changing computers, using a proxy etc etc etc…

  226. peteremcc says:

    has comment moderation been turned on.
    i submitted a comment and it didn’t show up, then when i tried to submit again it said i’d already submitted (meaning it did work the first time)

  227. peteremcc says:

    wow, that’s even wierder, oh well…

  228. Craig D says:

    From the current VUWSA Budget, I see that salaries are by far the greatest expense – around 34% of all VUWSA expenses and more than two times greater than the next highest expense.

    As far as I’m concerned, VUWSA is mainly a tool of extortion, which takes a whole lot of money involuntarily, gives most of it to a cabal that no-one votes for or cares about and spends the rest on crap that most people don’t want/need. The rest of the time it spouts left wing crap that represents the exec, not students. But to my point…

    A-Team: Your budget proposal plans to whittle away some small VUWSA expenses but says nothing about salaries. You talk about a refund, is this a one-off or are you going to reduce the levy permanently? Furthermore, you have said you will not promote VSM. Why should I think you’re anything different than another bunch of self-important idiots looking to earn some easy cash and have a big purse to play with?

  229. A-Team says:

    Craig

    We appreciate your point, however it would be irresponsible to touch the administration and/or salary budget until we are in the organisation. We simply do not have the information to be able to know what is waste and what is meaningful expenditure. As for your last point re: whether we are self-important idiots after quick buck – given our professional campaign in comparison to the exec’s remuneration we could hardly be after this ‘easy cash’ you talk about.

    Regards.

  230. My brother had competitive races with some of his mates on who could add the most votes in a particular time frame, cheap entertainment apparently.
    When we sat down and watched Lukas’s count increasing every second it was pretty obvious that the poll was a joke…
    This whole thing is stupid and should be shut down, it gives an artificial indication of how student(s) feel.
    It’s as if the regular Labour party stacking of the Stuff Polls was the only poll available at all to judge the campaign by…
    http://peteremcc.wordpress.com/2007/05/28/helen-cracking-the-whip-again/

  231. Craig D says:

    Thanks for your response.

    I would be interested in your answer regarding whether this refund is a one-off or if you plan to reduce levies permanently?

    Despite knowing that you would almost certainly be more professional than previous exec’s, I find it hard to get enthusiastic about your election platform so far, considering there would be no change to the forced nature of our participation and that your proposed budget changes do not seem to address the largest VUWSA expenditure by far.

  232. Jonno says:

    Mike: “This whole thing is stupid and should be shut down”

    On par with shutting down club funding eh? What a bunch of dumb arses the A-Team are.. sending letters to all clubs, saying that they will cut all club funding, and would the clubs please vote for us. They don’t get it, how stupid are they… A new slogan.. The A-Team, the real muppets

  233. Craig D says:

    Jonno,

    Club funding is just redistribution of wealth – all students subsidising the leisure activities of a few.

    It’s also another example of how compulsory membership violates freedom of association; I am forced to indirectly support Greens @ Vic, several religions and a number of other political movements I don’t agree with. Likewise, lefties have to support Nats on Campus.

    I have a number of interests, none of which have VUWSA clubs attached – so I fund my own leisure activities. I don’t see why I should be paying for other people for theirs.

  234. //“This whole thing is stupid and should be shut down”
    Yes Joel, shut down dissent, the usual tactic of the far left a la Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.//

    I mean the poll! I’m more than happy to duke it out with all comers but the poll is even more pointless and destructive than the Stuff polls, due to the fact there is nothing else to measure the campaign by…

  235. jonno says:

    Who wants to make a bet, how much the A-Team lose by, I bet they have spent more dollars on their campaign, than the total votes they will get. They will spend not more than $1300, and I bet they will get less than 500 votes. Ha hah ahahha

  236. Piglet says:

    I think recent events may win them sympathy

  237. jonno says:

    Yer, i factored that in, when I predicted them getting 500 votes

  238. peteremcc says:

    Lukas tells me that the A-Team will be reducing the levy permenantly.
    The refund for next year is because the levy will have already been set by the time they are the exec. Details on the website soon.

  239. Nick Archer says:

    The poll will have to wait until at least tomorrow to sort out when people are actually back at work! (Editor and comapany that designs the site). I think what Laura suggested i.e. removing all extra votes by I.P. addresses like they did last year for Academic Idol will fix things… At least then it will be one vote per IP address, you would have to be a real sad git to go from computer to computer to vote in an online poll…

    The poll was designed for people who visit the Salient website, there will be many who have lodged just one vote and I think it is fair they are able to be polled fairly.

    Visting students to the Salient website who deserve to be able to get one vote on the poll are being outvoted by some taking advantage of the poll. As I said earlier it will be interesting to see if there are more votes lodged on the poll instead of the actual ballot (if poll stays set up the way it is).

    I think having a poll is fair (if it has controls to stop abuse) because I asked a friend last week who he thought would win and he said he didn’t know because there was no way to measure how things were panning out. And he added “Well I haven’t seen any polls…”

    Polls have a place in the media and online polls are fine, Salient is not trying to compete with Stuff, the fact that Stuff’s polls are worth a grain of salt is an inditement on Stuff and it’s credibility even though it’s the biggest website in the country of it’s kind.

    There is a real poll and that runs from Friday for a week, and good luck to all of the candidates. Lets hope the cynicsm for fairness that has been displayed on this comments thread isn’t reflected in the campaigning next week…

  240. cijawa says:

    Once again I ask, why doesn’t the ACT Team come clean and say they want voluntary membership, instead of this watered down bullshit that they’re lapdog (yes Petermcc, I’m referring to you) seems to be trying to sell to us?

    I don’t think there’s been a serious VSM campaign since I’ve been at Vic. There hasn’t even been a candidate that stood on such a platform. Would be interesting to see it tested.

  241. I suspect the a-Team vote will vary slightly from position to position, but many A-Team voters wil cast a straight ticket. The A-Team vote will probably be lowest where there is another right wing person standing (who might get some of the A-Team vote, such as Chris Bishop for university council) and highest where is only one person standing agaisnt the A-Team (everyone who hates Mellisa Barnard or Paul Brown or Alexander Neilson will have A-Team as the only other choice), even thouh the A-Team will stand the best chance of getting elected when there are lots of competitiors to split the anti-A-Team vote. This is why Lucas has a much better chance of winning the Presidency than Mike Bridge or Anna Duggan at the VPs, because Joel Cosgrove and geoff hayward can split the Anti-A-Team vote, and in a close race Lucas could just slip ahead. The problem for Lucas is Geoff has doen no campaigning (that i’ve seen) and thus there will be no vote splitting. As a result the A-Team stands little chance of getting any of the top positions. The best prospects for the A-Team are general Exec, where there are plenty of candidates to split the anti-A-Team vote, and few voters have cast 5 votes in previous elections. Theres still a good chance they won’t get any people in, but getting one or two is more likely. i’d be very surprised if they get 4 or more General exec positions. the other posts are slightly easier targets than the top ones for the A-Team, largely because their opponents are largely unknown, and with the exception of Mark Newton (enviroment) have ran no campiagn. still, picking up these posts will be a difficult challenge, but not impossible.

    As for the total vote, 400-500 will be a good figure., but it might be a bit less than that. they will get the entire right wing vote (around 300) plus a few first time voters who are bribed by the $25 refund or don’t like the current exec actions, and maybe a few more centrist voters who are keen to restore a bit of professionalism to the exec (I will be most likely to fall into the last category). the gvandalism of their posters and recent events and their hard effort campaigning might gain some sympathy, but many students will find it difficult feeling sympathy for, or even voting for candidates who want to cut cubs funding to zero.In normal VUWSA elections, this will be enough to win many positions, but I suspect it won’t be this time, as there are indications that turnout is on the rise (it went up 10% last year, and there was 700 votes in a byelection earlier on this year), many people from clubs and rep groups who won’t usually vote will cast votes against the A-Team, and the amount of campaigning will make the lection seem more important, thus bringing out as few extra voters. A realistic figure for total turnout will be in the 1200-1400 range.

    The one (politically) stupid descison (which basically makes them unelectable) the A-Team have made is to cut clubs funding to zero. This will bring out a lot of club members to vote against the A-Team, and will cost them very heavily. The A-Team is right in pointing out that many students don’t belong to clubs, but that doesn’t mean students are happy to see clubs go, and clubs have more members than the a-Team might think. What makes this all the more unenesecary is the fact that they can potentially give the $25 refund without any cuts to club funding. If they hadn’t made this promise, they could have got an extra 10 votes, and 100-200 fewer people coming out to vote for the opponents. I did sugest to Lucas and other A-Team candidates in an e-mail that they should sack several VUWSA staff members (like Womens co-ordinator, campaigns co-ordinator, and clubs development officer), close down VUWSA offices at satelite campuses, and turn ngai tauria into a rep group, with it being given the same funding as other rep groups, and the total rep group funding being capped at $100 000, and keep most clubs funding, re-orientation, and the $10 000 activities budget. Unfortuantely they chose to ignore this advice and this is likely to cost them the election.

  242. blogette says:

    Yes, if only the A-Team ahd listened to O’Kane they would win!!

    come on man…

  243. cijawa says:

    No Mike, go back and read – Anna said the ACT Team is not an advocate of VSM. She said nothing of her own views.

    Actually, none of them have said anything about their own views, except their bitch, Petermcc. So on the off chance that they get elected, they find out that their political philosophies vary greatly, how are they going to work together?

  244. cijawa says:

    Who you calling “mate” mike?

    They’ve flip flopped on the issue. It used to be:
    “The A-Team is not an advocate of VSM. While we aim to improve the degree of
    choice available to students in the services provided by VUWSA, we aim to do
    so within existing frameworks.”

    Now it’s
    “The A-Team is not standing on a voluntary platform. The A-Team believes that voluntary membership is a matter that students should decide; indeed that is the requirement under the Education Act.”

    They’ve also flip flopped on NZUSA:

    It used to read:
    “Why is VUWSA better off without NZUSA?
    NZUSA (The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations) charged VUWSA $81,000 for membership this year. The A-Team sees NZUSA as a major drain of resources or which we receive little in return. Also, VUWSA cannot call itself a-political while it remains a member of NZUSA – a body established to lobby government.”

    Now it reads:
    “What is the A-Team’s position on NZUSA?
    We see a number of benefits that stem from VUWSA’s membership of NZUSA, including networking and training opportunities. However, we are also aware that members of the current Executive feel that VUWSA is not getting value for money from the $75,000 levy it pays to NZUSA. Accordingly, we will re-evaluate VUWSA’s relationship with NZUSA once elected, to make sure students are getting a good deal.”

    (don’t believe me? The previous version is google cached:
    http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:NyMb1aBJq7UJ:www.a-team.org.nz/faq+A-team+nzusa&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=nz)

  245. cijawa, the answer has been given in the FAQ of the A-Team website, by Mike above, and I think by Peter McCaffrey (who posts here as peteremcc). The team has no official view on VSM, and some people hold different opinions (Anna duggan spoke in favour of continuing compulsory membership at the IGM, and I know david radish, who helps withtheir campaign, is also in favour of compulsory membership), and lstly, even if they all get elected, they can’t make VUWSA voluntary. And Cijawa, in not one of your comments (correct me if I’m wrong) have you said anything nice about the A-Team (or ACT-Team as you prefer to call it), despite a large number of comments. Are you posting here only to attack the A-Team? As for Peteremcc, caloling him a bitch adds nothing to the quality of debate, and he is (to the best of my knowledge) part of the a-Team, and helps with their website. You have also made some unsubstantiated claims that the A-Team is supported by ACT strategists Brian Nicolle and Rick Marshall (Septemebr 13, 2:09 PM) and the Business round table (Sept 14, 11:48 AM). I’d like to see proof of these connections.

  246. Sprigg says:

    How can you be apolitical while being members of a political lobby group that will be campaigning heavily next year?

  247. cijawa says:

    Go fuck yourself O’Kane. As a student at Victoria University, I have a right to say *whatever* the fuck I want about candidates standing for election. I’m not going to say anything ‘nice’ about the ACT Team, because if I did, I would be lying.

    As I said to Justin, if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  248. jonno says:

    That is the thing.. the A-Team wont be campaigning to get the students a better deal from the politicians, even though its the election year. They say they will be advocates for ‘all students’, I can’t believe that they actually believe what they say, and this time the crowds see that wanta be emperors are in fact naked. (Yuk, what a thought)

  249. cijawa says:

    Oh, and for the record – I personally think it’s up to the candidates to deny the claims I have made – and, to date, none of them have.

  250. No, if you make accusations its your job to prove them. Innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. Anyway, lets go by your standards.

    All the candidates standing against the A-Team in this VUWSA election, are rapists and murderers, who if elected will not only to cut Clubs and rep group funding down to zero, but get rid of Salient, and will give $1 000 000 of VUWSA money to the ACT party to help it with its election campaign next year.

    By your standards this allegation is true until the candidates deny it. So if you don’t want to see Salient abolished, and $1 000 000 of VUWSA money being given to the ACT party, you should vote for the A-Team.

  251. cijawa says:

    If they are rapists and murderers then they should be in prison. My allogations are not that the ACT Team have done anything illegal, just immoral and deceitful – let’s deal with this at least in the same ballpark, shell we?

    Forget about proving it wrong, O’Kane – a simple “that’s not true – this is who’s advising/funding us” (ie a denial) from at least one of the candidates on the ACT Team would satisfy me. But, as I said in the previous post, none of them have. Another question: why do the ACT Team need funding from Lukas’ grandma in Germany?

    Elections are not about candidates, they’re about voters – the voters can say and believe whatever they want (within reason – I certainly wouldn’t go around accusing the ACT Team of being rapists and murderers). It’s how the candidates react to what is said that separates the electable from the also-rans, and to be perfectly honest, the way the ACT Team have dealt with criticism has basically consisted of Petermcc rewriting the FAQ section of their website.

  252. jonno says:

    I think that is the funnest thing, the FAQ constantly gets rewritten, when they figure out that what they say is bullshit. They are on ice ground. I think they should give up now.

    I haven’t seen any of the ACT-Team say that they are in it for the students, all they tak about is The Muppets and themselves. What will happen if only one of them gets in? All they do is sitting on the A-Team platform, but have offered nothing on their individual qualities (possible because they have none) They would be nothing but a weak pain in the student butt. But, Eye on exec was really funny this year, next year it will be pee in your pants funny, if only one of the A-Team Muppets get in

  253. peteremcc says:

    Is it so shocking that a FAQ page gets changed?
    It’s a page consisting of questions that candidates are frequently asked.
    As the campaign goes on, they get asked different questions and they get added to the site.

    And cijawa, doesn’t the fact that Lukas’ Grandma donated some money to the campaign negate all the trash talking you’ve been doing about spolied rich kids that all support ACT?

  254. The A-Team has posted personal profiles of themselves in the candidates section of their website.

  255. cijawa says:

    It’s shocking that the answers to the questions are getting dramatically changed, Peter. Are the ACT Team going to withdraw VUWSA from NZUSA or not? One day they were tough little boys with big talk, and now “they can see the benefit of membership” and would “review” their position.

    Fucking cop-out.

  256. JAFA says:

    I’m joining the debate pretty late but felt that someone needed to comment on this:

    “Anna – everyone knows that the sole reason you shifted to the Right is because no one in Labour liked you and you realised that they would never select you to be an MP.”

    This is untrue. Let me give you my synopsis:

    Anna disagreed with the way Young Labour was being run. Since different opinions aren’t tolerated there, a few bitchy individuals have taken the mature path of holding a grudge against her. I suspect they are jealous, as I regard Anna as someone with high leadership abilities. The way I see it, Anna has always placed herself on the right of the party anyway. And Labour and National are broad churches. What is important is that Anna gives enough of a damn to get involved.

    Good on Anna for having the personal strength to stay in politics, and the integrity to not return any of the personal attacks. National are lucky to have her.

    And I can personally vouch that many people in Labour do in fact, like Anna.

    So enough of the anonymous chicken shit, get the fuck over it.

    You rock gurl
    xx

  257. cijawa says:

    Of course I have evidence, Mike – I wouldn’t say it unless I did. But I’m not stupid enough to make that public with a full 4 days to go until polling day.

    Wait and see a little closer, ok? I figure that’s when I can do the most damage to the ACT Team campaign.

  258. Fred says:

    To whoever family friend is I just want you to know that you must have low self morals.
    How could you lower yourself to such a demeanour whereby you think it is appropriate to pronounce someone dead tto the whole internet world and then turn around and call yourself a “family friend” YOU ARE SICK!
    You failed to recognise the repercussions that your comment would have… it caused a ripple effect that not only reached Anna, but her immediate and extended family, friends and acquaintances. You wouldn’t even be able to imagine what her little sister went through when she had to answer the phone to Anna’s emotional friends who then went on to ask her if her sister was deceased… she was shocked and is now having professional help herself to get over this.
    You have obviously never heard the statement that “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!!!”
    The least that you can now do is make an apology and then leave Anna and her friends alone!
    I stand with Lukas and Geoff in saying that this hoax was in no way funny but indeed it was highly offence and sick!
    So all I have to say to you is grow up, get a life and stop bringing others down to make yourself feel better!

    And to Anna, I love you and there are many others out there who feel the same way too.

    From FRED
    A true family friend to Anna!

  259. Craig D says:

    cijawa,

    Such tactics sound familiar, you’re not in the current Labour government are you?

    I sure hope it’s nothing you’ve pulled out of Investigate “Magazine” or the New Zealand “Truth”

    ;-)

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to think that the current bunch of communist idiots would do a better job than this lot.

  260. Craig D says:

    Joel,

    “Anna is dead?
    Serious?!?”

    Is this an example of the kind of intelligent statement I could expect of you if you were elected?

  261. cijawa says:

    Craig, I would like nothing more than to see the back of the “current bunch of communist idiots”, but replacing them with something slightly more moderate than the ACT Team?

    Mike; have patience ‘mate’.

  262. Cijawa, I’m intrigued about the evidence. You’ve also made it clear that you are delibrately out to damage the A-Team, not debate policy rationally. Also, since you think we should have a right to know who is running their campaign, how about you reveal your real name, and how you got this influence, and if you know, who is vandalising all the A-Team posters, and put up the anti-A-Team ones.

  263. cijawa says:

    I have no idea who is vandalising the ACT Team posters and putting up anti ACT Team posters – not a campaign tactic I would have taken, to be honest.

    As long as Salient lets me post under a fake name, I will. And, seeing as I’m not running for election or assisting anyone who is, I don’t feel the need to reveal myself.

    Mike, Anna may very well get my vote – I voted for her last year.

  264. cijawa says:

    Kate S – unlike Hager’s book, my evidence isn’t fiction.

  265. T Wilson says:

    Check out the A-Team’s new blog… http://www.a-team.org.nz/blog

  266. FYI the ‘personal profiles’ on the A-Team website are their Salient candidate profiles, which appear in the magazine tomorrow.

  267. Nick Archer says:

    “As long as Salient lets me post under a fake name, I will. And, seeing as I’m not running for election or assisting anyone who is, I don’t feel the need to reveal myself.” – Cijawa

    But you are happy to hurl abuse at others behind a pseudonymn…

  268. Nick Archer says:

    I checked out the A-Team blog, about time there was one, Joel Cosgrove and Geoff Hayward both have sites/blogs, I expect a pretty frenetic campaign next week, seems to get more frenetic each year with more and more Internet/New Media developments allowing debate, just look at this comments thread with like 280 comments!

  269. Michael Oliver says:

    Theoretically, the A-Team’s policies will only be enacted if they’re all elected, correct?

    So, I can’t be the only person who’s dying to see a Cosgrove-lead exec filled with A-Team members, purely for comedy’s sake, right?

    Now THAT would make some solid Salient TV.

  270. They will need 7 exec psoitions to implement their poicies, so they can outvote the other 6. They might implement some policies with fewer, if non-A-Team exec members agree with them. This of course, ignores those policies which involve constitutional ammnedmnet.

    If they get 4 or under, while they may make a difference in their portfolio, they will implement few policies. With 5 or 6, although they don’t have a exec majority, they can win votes when non-A-Team exec members are absent, and in any case will be have a significent influence on VUWSA policy, although they probably won’t get the refund. 7 to 8 will give tem a slim majority, which could be used to implement important parts of their platform, but will face significent opposition from within the exec. 9 or more, including some of the senior posts will probably be needed to dominate. Remember that for the A-Team to implement much of the policy, they will face obstacles even if they get all 13 exec positions, as parts of their policy involve constitutional changes, and you can safely bet that General meetings will be held to prevent some policy coming into effect. I can easily imagine a special general meeting to stop the clubs funding being cut to zero if they try to do so, and a motion to stop the clubs policy could pass if it gets quorom.

    If we end up with exec which is closely balanced between A-Team and non-A-Team members, there maybe plenty of conflict. Perhaps current or former exec members (who will know more than i do about this) can give their vews on the possibilities.

    A Cosgrove led exec filled with A-Team members (or vice versa, Schroeter being the only A-Team member) will certainly be entertaining, but in the Cosgrove case, the A-Team will dominate and Cosgrove could be forced to resign, or face lots of conflict with his exec. If you want real entertainment try Cosgrove president, Brown and Barnard as VPs, Neilson as Treasurer, and the rest A-Team.

  271. Nick Archer says:

    nicola- Geoff’s site is Geoff Hayward for VUWSA President 2008 on Facebook

  272. Adamm says:

    Nick: If you want entertainment, try Geoff as president and Joel as VP. It’s been pretty funny (and embarrassing) this year. I haven’t read the constitution but I’d expect that to make policy changes (or other major changes), they’d need a two third vote. Do you know?

    cijawa: seriously, have the balls to put your name behind what you’re saying. You make some good points but its shrouded in your bitter attacks. You obviously have Labour affiliations which is pretty suggestive that you’re a Geoff supporter. If so, don’t pretend otherwise. If Geoff is worth another year as president, you shouldn’t need to fight dirty to get him there. Student politics is already severely lacking in credibility, please don’t make it worse.

  273. CJ Hunt says:

    O’Kane – I was thinking along the lines you are. One possibility I thought of is if Alex gets treasurer (which I think he should, since he is probably the most capable treasurer VUWSA has had in years), and the A-Team has a majority – as Alex will basically be working against his policies in order to reduce the budget to fit in the levy refund.

    If there is a close split then the biggest issue will be passing the budget, as it could end up with a 7-6 vote on the budget. It could also end up with some debate on things like staff numbers, NZUSA membership, and grants for events like the debating competition in 2006.

  274. peteremcc says:

    cijawa, you seem so confident in you’re evidence.
    surely if it were true, and proveable, having it out all week would be much more beneficial – many more people would see it throughout the week.

    of course, that would leave time for it to be proven incorrect and make you look like a muppet yourself.

    *shurg*

  275. haha says:

    Nicholas O’Kane you are fucking stupid, clean your ass hole first, bitch

  276. haha says:

    vote for A-team

  277. blogete says:

    cjawa is clearly bullshitting. put up or shutup, loser

  278. //Joel,

    “Anna is dead?
    Serious?!?”

    Is this an example of the kind of intelligent statement I could expect of you if you were elected?//

    When taken by surprise by someone saying that a candidate had died then yes. Fuck, did you expect me to NOT be surprised and shocked when I read that?
    Otherwise take me up on my blog.

  279. Craig D says:

    No, but a four word reply basically saying “Real?” seems like an odd response.

  280. cijawa says:

    Also, which member of the ACT Team was on the Young Council in Nelson, but had to resign because he was arrested for selling drugs to minors?

  281. Eugene says:

    Is Cijawa not allowed to have an opinion? What is the A-Team’s policy on free speech? Because it seems that those who support them [god bless their webbed feet] are not too keen to let people share their opinion of a political group that stands to destroy a VUWSA that will positively serve students if elected?