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July 15, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec

Monday 10 June

As Victoria ended its first trimester of the year, Salient was proven right on one count but wrong on another; Vice-President (Welfare) Simon Tapp was indeed the first Exec member to resign, which meant that VUWSA had not in fact made it through a half-year without any resignations. Tapp, offered a job with the Green Party, had jumped at the chance to leave VUWSA once and for all, proving—just as everybody had expected—that real politics > student politics.

This meant that leading business for this meeting of the Executive was how to fill Simon’s role in the interim. Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer Rick Zwaan, who has already put in significant overtime this year for the Fairer Fares campaign, was the only member of the Exec to throw his hat into the ring for the vacant position.

“[He is] incredibly able and incredibly willing… the only willing, really,” said one Exec member in support of co-opting Zwaan.

Without many other options left to them, the Exec voted unanimously (Zwaan abstaining) to co-opt. After a brief burst of applause, Tapp was quick to dampen Zwaan’s spirits: “It’s hell, it’s absolute hell!”

When quizzed by Salient as to the likelihood of a by-election for both roles, the Exec said that it was ‘likely, but undecided’. The Exec have since revised this position to ‘unlikely, but undecided’. In the mean time, the rest of the already overworked Executive will simply absorb the work of the now vacant Wellbeing-and-Sustainability-Officer role.

Next up on the agenda was a request from the Samoan Students’ Association (VUSSA) for VUWSA to provide financial support to assist in hosting an upcoming conference. Specifically, “further sponsorship” to assist with costs associated with hiring the VUWSA van. This put VUWSA in a somewhat tight position, as they were stuck between a rock (a promise to the Pasifika Students’ Council that they would assist them where PSC lost funds following withdrawal from the Student Forum) and a hard place (VUWSA’s huge—I cannot stress this enough, huge—deficit).

The Exec discussed several options and outcomes: that the University was likely to give them money anyway; that they could hire the van pro bono; that giving VUSSA any financial assistance at all would set a dangerous precedent; that maybe the Exec should just allocate some of the $2000 that they set aside in a Rep Group fund at the start of the year.

In the end it was decided that $500 from the Rep Group fund was the most appropriate solution. Other rep groups, you’ve been warned: there’s only $1500 left in the honey pot.

Vice-President (Engagement) Mica Moore took the Exec through her plans for Re-Orientation Week, and her pièce de résistance: a ‘House Party’ at Hope Bros, the idea being that first-years can get a taste of the greener pastures that is flat life six months before they leave the comfort of their halls.

“We’re going to be doing drinking games, but ones that don’t mess with the alcohol policy.”

As the Exec tossed around ideas of what such games could entail: “non-skulling”, “alcohol and food”, “one drink… or something”, Salient knew one thing to be true: anything’s better than a pyjama party.

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