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October 15, 2007 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec 2007: The Year That Was

Upon inspection of the lyrics of the Muppets’ theme song, ‘The Muppet Show’, there are some lyrics that will strike a chord with anyone who has followed Vic’s student politics, or attended an exec meeting, this year.
“Why do we always come here
I guess we’ll never know
It’s like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show”

Bitching, gossiping, self-worship and in-jokes served with an abundance of hummus and crackers were the cornerstones of this year’s exec. However, some people may wonder if they really were that incompetent or if Salient is just a dirty tabloid. I would suggest that the two may not be mutually exclusive. Let’s all huddle together, get cosy and take a trip down memory lane to remember what the exec got right, and laugh as we reminisce about those things they got so, so wrong in ‘07.

Despite several exec members claiming that this year’s exec was “the best exec ever”, Orientation was an early sign that things were not going well. Then-Welfare Vice President Heleyni Pratley got on stage to check if a female student was genuinely willing to bare her breasts to a crowd for a prize. After the crowd laughed at her for being concerned, Pratley condemned President Geoff Hayward for not stepping in. She said Hayward was all about his ego, and that this affected his performance as President. It was not so shocking when she resigned from her position as Welfare Vice President later on in the year to get away from the muppetry and concentrate on her Honours, in a tearful and “difficult” decision.

It was, however, surprising when she ‘got her drink on’ and went berko with a vivid all over VUWSA’s walls and the Wong Sing Tai painting in the VUWSA office with the word ‘Love’. This brief but shining (and very amusing, as far as Salient was concerned) moment of silliness was partly blamed on then-Education Officer Chris Renwick for doing shit-all to help Pratley out. Renwick later resigned because of homework commitments.

Another shock was then-Acting Women’s Rights Officer Clelia Opie being ‘fired’ for making nearly $6000 worth of phone calls to psychic hotlines. We never did find out if she saw that coming. The hotline phone calls also had the exec guessing as to who could have leaked the phone records to Salient as Pratley, Hayward and Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove were the only members with official access to the information. Maybe we just snuck in while you were all arguing?

If the exec was a high school, Hayward was the kid they all picked on. Exec members publicly criticised him for his alleged communication problems and inability to do what his most vocal critic, Pratley, called “putting your arse on the line” for VUWSA. Further chaos ensued when Hayward went against the exec’s wishes and talked to the media about their bizarre conduct – even though as President he stuck up for them, leaving it in the hands of students to roll the exec, if students so wished (and, apparently, students didn’t care enough). The exec accused Hayward of prioritizing his own image over doing his job.

The exec seemed to be coming down with a severe case of ‘the-pot-calling-the kettle-black-itis’ as their own concern over how they were being portrayed by both Salient and the A-Team dominated later exec meetings. They even went so far as to write a letter to Salient publicly hating on news editor Laura McQuillan for allegedly being critical, lazy and a sensationalist. In other words, she informed Salient readers on their disorganisation, bizarre tastes, disputes and affinity for each other’s urine when drunk. Did anyone notice how quiet these exec Muppets were when Salient was being criticised for ‘unfair’ coverage of the A-Team? Some exec members even offered to write McQuillan a glowing reference. It makes you think.

The turnout for Box City and last week’s protest against the fee-rise surprised even the exec themselves. Plenty of students were happy to ‘stick it to the man’ by hanging out in their very own box house situated in the Quad. Although the event did not change student conditions, it is hard to deny that it raised awareness about how poor we all are, and is a credit to Campaigns Officer Tai Neilson and all those who helped out. However, the five percent fee-rise still went ahead despite a heap of noise, some well-rehearsed chants and free sausages last week.

Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara diligently reminded the exec about factoring in the environment into decision-making and was a popular figure amongst campus greenies.

I know he was popular because whenever I criticized him, I would receive texts from several of his angry supporters. My favourite text so far being “I can not believe you made fun of tush…your such a dick” from one his loyal ENVI144 first years. I am unsure of how they all got my personal mobile phone number so it seems the greenies of Victoria are running a covert operation based on complex networks of intelligence – kind of like Al Qaeda.

Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard gets the award for the funniest exec member of 2007 – an award she also would have retrieved the previous two years if s\there was actually such an award. Just when I would think that nothing dramatic would happen she would threaten someone with a plastic fork or call Cosgrove “a cock.” She even listed both the University Shield and the Hunter Building on TradeMe. Top effort, Melissa, for never letting Salient have a slow news day.

This years ‘Study at Vic Day’ was a complete sausage fest, sort of, with 3000 sausages for prospective students to marvel at. Hayward ‘dropped the ball’ by purchasing $1,500 worth of sausages without anyone else’s approval which resulted in exec members being somewhat confused and angry about not being informed of this extreme unbudgeted expenditure. This was just the perfect political fodder for Cosgrove’s triumphant election to the President’s office. Cosgrove’s online campaign blog mentioned he brings little ego to the table. I must have imagined all the self-congratulatory comments he made during meetings.

Much to the dismay of most of the exec members, they were once-again labelled as ‘Muppets’, this time by right-wing election opponents The A-Team. Some exec members such as Acting Welfare Vice President Reverend Paul Danger Brown and Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright insisted the A-Team’s negative campaign pamphlets were amusing rather than something to be taken seriously.

As this academic year comes to an end, so does my residency of hanging with the Muppets.

They may all harp on about the good they have done, but when it comes to the crunch, what are they really going to be remembered for? This Salient journalist has her money on the urine licking. Readers: Thank you for tuning in again to this year’s Muppet Show.

Opinion by Jenna Powell

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Comments (37)

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  1. Chris Renwick says:

    Hooray for Tristan Egarr -being appointed to the post of Salient Editor rather than Laura or her close friend Nicola Kean. My reason for saying that – once again Laura has chosen to say that I “resigned to concentrate on my homework” not once but twice in this particular issue. Given that I am currently doing a Masters of Arts Degree as well as a Law Degree surely at some stage it would have been appropriate to have mentioned that! After all of the 2007 Executive only Tushera is doing something comparable and yes Geoff does have a Masters Degree.
    My other reason for this comment is that I want to apologise to Mary Jane and any other past present or future member of Ngai Tauira or anyone else who like me is offended by that large picture of me on Page 18 of this weeks Salient. Yes I did give permission for the original photo to be taken but not for this one and yes I do think that I have a sense of humour which is why I agreed to the original one but this one?
    PS Steve when’s the Salient Xmas Party? Or don’t book reviewers get invited?

  2. Tristan says:

    dude, if you’re in VUWSA you’re going to get satirised. If you retired to work on your degrees, then you retired to work on your homework, and what Jenna says is perfectly true.

    Secondly, if you’re going to attack the author of an article, shouldn’t you at least bother to check who wrote it? seriously,,,

  3. Lou says:

    Chris: nobody gave a shit why you resigned but I bet there was an awesome party afterwards.

  4. Chris: I have no doubt in my mind that had you not resigned you would have been rolled.
    As for the Christmas party.. I think you’re supposed to be nice to Salient staff if you want an invite

  5. Jenna says:

    Yeah I believe i choose to include your reasons for resigning in this particular article- laura obviously agreed with me tho because it made print. I don’t think what you are studying (regardless of how impressive it is) is relevant in a look back on the year in exec. Eye on Exec is essentially about how the exec are grappling with looking out for student interests-not about their own personal struggles with acadamia. So in short no what you were studying did not need to be mentioned in this article and yes I believe the term homework was suffient enough to explain your reasons for resigning.

  6. Tushara says:

    “Eye on Exec is essentially about how the exec are grappling with looking out for student interests”

    Come on Jenna, you are kidding right? Eye on the exec is a mere piss take of what happens during exec meetings. Eye on exec never comments on the exec work reports, which is the real work we do.

    I have to admit, it is a funny reflection of the goings on during the meeting, and I have no problem with your writing style, but still, it is hardly mentions the amount of work, or the type of work we do. It does not report on how we look at for student interests. However, it is funny.

  7. Jenna Powell says:

    Your right Tushara it is most likely not a full reflection of the work you all do.
    I try and include things that you do for students although sometimes it is hard as i base it on what happens during meetings and nothing really happens in meetings that is productive. I always include something you are doing eg. box city, food parcels etc or something you are discussing e.g agenda for next year. I think if you take a closer look (lol not that Im expecting you 2)at most of the exec’s i have written I try to make it not “a mere piss take.” It is not my fault that most meetings are unproductive, disorganised and outright ridiculas. I know you were very good at your job and so were a lot of exec members but if the exec (as a whole) want to be taken more seriously they should make it harder for salient to make fun of them and conduct themselves in a more professional way i guess. And I think the exec deserved to have the piss taken out of them this year…they spent heaps money on sausages, they bitched and argued like teenage girls ,their was so much arguing and very little co-operation, the phone calls and the urine incident (lol sorry rachael). Lets not forget eye on exec is supposed to be critical to keep you all on your toes.

    And lets not forget I said how you grappling with looking out for students interests not what you are doing…which when you think about it are entirely different things. Maybe you are right…maybe next year I should include more of what happens outside of meetings. Hmm something to think about.

  8. chris says:

    have to argee with Tush on this one – the statement “Eye on Exec is essentially about how the exec are grappling with looking out for student interests” is a total load of… tosh.

  9. Michael Oliver says:

    Oh fuck, not tosh.

  10. Jenna Powell says:

    I’m sorry chris. I must have neglected this part of my role because of my homework commitments.what!?… Is that not a good enough reason?

    Im not sure if my first comment to tush went through but if it did you obviously missed the point of what I was saying. I also agreed with Tush. But i do TRY to make it not just a ‘mere piss take’ but sometimes its hard because sweet ‘TOSH’ all happens at meetings and everyone argues and its just a circus. I then conceded that yes maybe I should have included more of what happened outside of exec meetings. But haha that could also work aganist the exec (see: urine licking)

  11. Yeah I have to agree with that one. I also didn’t see many exec reports this year (thankfully I didn’t have to go to many meetings). I believe more work goes on during the week in the VUWSA office than in the exec meetings, but that Salient often isn’t given enough information about what’s going on. All we hear is that Joel’s a dick coz he lent the van to Nick Kelly, or whatever.

  12. Phill says:

    MAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaneto is better

  13. tranny mc fanny says:

    As a member of the awesome Massey, i notice we do not have anything in our magazine about our Exec. Could it be that Massey Exec (wellington) are far more porfessional and on the ball with student needs and interests than VUSWA will ever be, that we do not need any such piss take opinion pieces written by second rate wannabe journalists.

  14. Jenna Powell says:

    lol as long as there are second rate wannabe student politicians there will be second rate student journolism.

    And just so you know the reason magneto is not so critical of mawsa is because they work in the same office and mawsa has magneto by the balls….
    or so i have been told. I am sure they all want to take the piss out of you tho.

    Salients funnier.

  15. the rock says this says:

    lmao magneto calling any magazine out on quality why don’t you go fight wolverine rofl

  16. Kate says:

    OMG LMAO…I bet thats nicole…VP from mawsa! haha… no nicole…just no. Seriously that girl does nothing there should be an eye on mawsa…she needs to be exposed!

  17. Kate says:

    comment above talkin about tranny not the rock haha

  18. Dick says:

    You need to try harder than that fucktard.

  19. Jenna Powell says:

    lol you couldn’t think of anything better to call me? Fucktard?

    But fair comment. Next year I’ll try and make it a little more informative but thats not to say it will be any less critical. Eye on Exec isnt meant to be the mouth piece of VUWSA where I harp on about how great the exec is. BUT a little non satrical infomation never hurt anyone.

    Lol I still can’t believe you called me a fucktard. Your a winner.

  20. the rock says this says:

    VUWSA vs. MAWSA steel cage match the rock will referee

  21. Sister in the Hood says:

    Lay of her bitches! Why and how did Nicole get drawn into this? The work Nicole does for Massey Wellington students is amazing and often (as shown here) goes unnoticed. It’s so easy to shout and heckle from the side isn’t it. Do one better and call talkback, or post on Kiwiblog. LIKE LOL LMAO ROFL LOLZ ZOMG HEHEHE TTYL.

  22. Commerce Student says:

    Hahaha bro that would be mean as! Weekly challenges in Salient where you pit the MAWSA exec and VUWSA exec against each other.

    We could make this socially acceptable by raising funds for child cancer or ring worms prevention in Africa or something similar.

  23. the rock says this says:

    we’ll call it exec atteck

    (just pronounce “attack” with a south african accent )

  24. Commerce Student says:

    Perfect, I like it. I say we pit Alexander against their Treasurer in something gratuitously hilarious.

  25. Tristan says:

    Tightrope walking fire-poi battles…. With bassy d’n b. The winner gets to launder money through their opponent’s Association accounts. yussss.

  26. Jenna Powell says:

    too complicated. lets just get alexander drunk and make him fight a bum. if he is defeated we have the mawsa treasurer do the same thing.

  27. Fancy lala says:

    Now, is that because the MAWSA Exec are THAT boring, or because the Magneto journalists are that….. how do I put this delicately?…… useless?

    I’m pretty sure I know which it is.

  28. Fancy lala says:

    My previous comment was in response to someone saying that 2 months ago magneto journalists gave up looking for dirt on mawsa cause they couldn’t find any. the comment has since disapeared.

  29. Tristan says:

    Actually, making anyone fight our exec would be kinda unfair, since we have communists on our exec, and communists have petrol bombs and terroristy yeast-free-bread-making training camps and other dastardly weapons… or at least helmets, in joel’s case.

    Whereas, what is a design school exec going to be armed with? Photoshop and fancy art paper? How are they going to defeat the might of an enraged bum with such trinkets as these? It makes you think…

  30. Actually, Joel misplaced his helmet. So his defence is weak.

    Furthermore, Salient doesn’t really need to dig up dirt on the exec. I think nearly every exec scandal this year came straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Hence the advantage over Magneto at finding exec scandals.

  31. Commerce Student says:

    Come on! do a Exec Survivor or something during O Week or a Exec vs Exec thing to complement Eye on Exec Salienttttt

  32. Commerce Student says:

    Because you Salient have the Exec’s ass

  33. Hey guys and gals

    Don’t be so hard on the design school kiddies. Fancy art paper and photoshop can be potent weapons. I mean come on, Papercuts anyone??!!


  34. Tristan says:

    Paper cuts are, indeed, a dangerous weapons.
    And if we introduce a little meta-narrative into our Exec vs Exec,
    they could potentially draw you out of existence with the
    mystical writing tablet…

  35. Tushara says:

    Hi Jenna,

    Although I know that you have included the things we have done (box city, etc), I do think that for an outsider, it is difficult to understand the true goings on at the meetings. To say that the meetings are unproductive, may seem true on the surface, with all the in-jokes that go on, but on a deeper level, the meetings are productive. Things get done, but the meetings do end up taking longer than they ‘should’, with all these in-jokes. Motions get passed/ failed, and we take our votes seriously.

    Secondly, come on, let’s get real. Of course Eye on exec is a piss take. If it weren’t, then no one would read it. If all you wrote was about the hard work the exec do, such as Gen and Stephan (they aren’t boring, just hard working and quite), the article would be very boring. Why would anyone want to read, Jen and Stephan worked really hard, and did over 10 hours, or that Tai gets up at 6:30, comes to uni to leaflet drop, so that people are aware of the fee rise. It is not as funny. People are more interested in what Melissa has to say, cos that’s funny.

    Come on, the point of media is to get people to read it, not to inform people. People like to read about personalities, not about the nature of the work these personalities do. It’s the nature of the beast. I am not trying to start a fight here; I am just keeping it real

  36. Evee says:

    jus keepin it real

  37. Jenna Powell says:

    lol fair enough.

    Fancy lala: Massey Journalists are really good actually….one of them won best contributor cant remember who but hes pretty rad.

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