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August 3, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec

VUWSA was overdue for a nice long Exec meeting, and at three-and-a-half hours, last Tuesday’s certainly provided. The first half-hour of the meeting was largely taken up by reading the stack of papers provided, and then some time was spent going around the table discussing how each member of the Exec was feeling and what they had been up to. The effervescent Toby Cooper was appointed devil’s advocate, a new idea for Exec meetings where one member is responsible for presenting opposing views.

The meeting officially opened with the Exec still not yet having set their office hours for the trimester, to the frustration of some members. Sonya quickly moved the meeting on to her President’s report, discussing the interim general manager Leisel Griffiths, the reputational audit VUWSA is undergoing, and the creation of a budget line for focus-group food – the last at surprising length.

The issue of VUWSA spending and budget lines became a focus of the meeting, with discussion of whether to funnel spending through existing budget lines even if the categories didn’t quite fit, or to create new budget lines. Devil’s advocate Cooper and Treasurer Jordan Lipski argued that VUWSA should know where its money was going, while Sonya said she didn’t want to have to create new budget lines all the time. Caroline Thirsk brought up the idea of a sundry budget line for small amounts of spending. The Executive eventually approved allocation of $1000.

Discussion then turned to VUWSA half-year reports, following Salient’s reviews last week. Stephanie Gregor asked if Exec reports could in future be processed by the Executive before being sent to Salient. The Exec then discussed reviewing each other’s reports and approving them before they are presented at the VUWSA AGM.

In the ongoing VBC Trust saga, the Exec approved $300 spending from their travel line to fly one of the Trust members down from Auckland to wind up the Trust, with Sonya saying she wanted to meet the member in person to be sure the VBC was finally, properly dealt with. We’ll keep you updated.

With SSL increases on the horizon, discussion turned to the Advisory Committee on the Student Services Levy (ACSSL). The idea of tying ACSSL levy increases to a tangible outcome, as happened last year with the two per cent raise being directed to the overworked counselling service, was floated. VUWSA was undecided as to the best way to allocate SSL raises.

Rāwinia Thompson said she had been concerned at the number of surplus hours some Exec members were working, and encouraged Exec members to look after themselves. There was then a reasonable amount of discussion about ordering VUWSA branding, and the relative merits of teardrops and stencils, in the course of planning for the student-rep branding to be held later in the year.

Madeleine Ashton-Martyn then brought up a conference being held by the Tertiary Women’s Focus Group and the University of Canterbury’s feminist society, FemSoc, at the end of August. The Exec agreed to fund three places, one of which will be taken by Ashton-Martyn, for the conference, at a cost of $600. Sonya again stressed that VUWSA was significantly below budget at this point in the year.

The meeting then moved into committee, where it remained for nearly an hour. It was pretty interesting, but we can’t tell you about anything that happened – ain’t that always the way?

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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