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September 19, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Eye on Exec 12/09/11

Last week, the VUWSA exec met for the first time in a long time—over a month and a half.

Prez Seamus has not been forthcoming as to why so many meetings have failed to eventuate, dodging your correspondents’ eager questioning with excuses like “There isn’t any business to discuss” (even following VUWSA’s AGM) and “Everyone’s away.”

The meeting opened at 5.34pm, with apologies from Queer Officer Tom Reed and Environmental Officer Haley Mortimer. Prez Seamus acknowledged that the last exec meeting was “a very long time ago”, and moved onto the perusal of work reports, compiled from the past two periods. Had I been live-tweeting the discussion, (follow us; @salientmagazine), I’d have broken it down thusly:

“Welfare Officer Ta’ase Vaoga grills Vice-Prez (Welfare) Asher Emanuel on his considerable deficit”

“Vaoga says that the Pasifika Students Council’s fono at the end of last month was “really successful””

“Prez Seamus says that the National Māori Tertiary Students Association’s AGM was “fun””

“Education Officer Jen Fellows reports that the Undergraduate Review is going well”

“Clubs Officer Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Peters announces that ‘Give It A Go Week’ has been cancelled due to lack of interest”

“Peters reveals that just two students attended The Hunter Lounge’s screening of The King’s Speech, much to the amusement of all present”

Campaigns Officer Josh Van Veen, apologised for not having submitted work reports for either of the past two periods. “That’s because I haven’t done anything of note, and so I’ve probably put in zero hours over the last four weeks,” he explained. Incredibly, no one responded to this, and work reports were passed largely without comment.

Seamus then shared some good news: Student Job Search has helped almost 4000 Vic students find work, bringing them just over $8 million in earnings. VUWSA’s levy to SJS is about $22,000, so this is a solid return on its investment. Fellows praised Seamus’ “good work”; Wilson agreed that “snaps for Seamus” were in order; Emanuel clapped. It was a heartwarming scene until Wilson realised that “snaps” is a quote from Legally Blonde; muttered “I’ve made a huge mistake”; and looked to me for recognition of that very obvious Arrested Development reference.

Taking care of business, the exec approved VUWSA’s drafted strategic plan to be attached to election voting (which, as Seamus later explained, will enable students to read and vote on it “referendum styles”).

Vice-President (Administration) Daniel Wilson, looking dapper in a new suit, then spoke about VUWSA’s plan for 2012, when membership will be voluntary. Wilson has identified areas where VUWSA could freeze or slow expenditure for the remainder of ’11, to ensure that the association has “big cash reserves left over so we can at least function next year”. He recommended that VUWSA aim to save between $100,000 and $150,000 on top of its current operating surplus of over $100,000, but pointed out that saving dollars that students intended to be spent on them in ’11 for use in ’12 presents an issue of principle. Prez Seamus mentioned that he had discussed making constitutional changes with the VUWSA Trust about funding next year. The exec decided to freeze spending on all lines that do not affect VUWSA’s day-to-day operations in a bid to save $150,000.

The exec then moved into committee.

Coming out of committee about fifteen minutes later, Vice-President (Education) Bridie Hood recommended that VUWSA contribute a nominal sum towards pizza for ENVIRO 214 and 314’s class functions, which was passed. Seamus followed this up with the welcome news that VUWSA and the University had finalised a policy for responding to students’ grievances “after 18 drafts”. He praised School of Law Dean Tony Smith for his support during the process, “because you don’t really argue with someone like him”.

Wilson then suggested that VUWSA put a further $5000 towards the Blues Awards, which recognise sporting excellence among Vic students, from the Cultural Clubs allocation in the association’s budget. The exec expressed reluctance, especially when Wilson let slip that that $5000 would cover the cost of hiring Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens to speak at the event (“So there are lots of savings that can be made,” retorted the Prez). Wilson’s protest that the provision for beverages has been cut was met with a scandalised response from Emanuel and Salient. Seamus recommended that the exec wait until closer to the time to make a decision in case the University decided to contribute more.

The meeting closed at 6.22pm.

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About the Author ()

Elle started out at Salient reviewing music. In 2010, she wrote features and Animal of The Week, which an informal poll revealed to be 40% of Victoria students' favourite part of the magazine. Alongside Uther Dean, she was co-editor for 2011. In 2012, she is chief features writer.

Comments (2)

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  1. thejackle says:

    What the fuck Josh Van Veen, sort your shit out. Surely with the election coming up there is some sort of campaign you could be organising.

  2. Student body says:

    What he said. You reflect the perception that students are apathetic – but you are just a pathetic campaigns officer.

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