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March 26, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

VUWSA meets, no one cares

The first VUWSA Student Representative Council (SRC) of 2007 drew a minimal crowd to the Mount Street Bar last Wednesday.

The SRC was held to elect student faculty and Academic Board reps and to debate student debt.

The meeting encountered difficulty early on as it struggled to meet the 50 student quorum required to begin. VUWSA Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove points out, however, that quorum was more easily reached at Mount Street than previous SRCs in the Quad.

Most faculty delegate positions were elected without contest, with two of the five available positions for Humanities and Social Sciences remaining unfilled.

The second item on the agenda was a debate entitled, “The Burden of Debt.” VUWSA President Geoff Hayward announced that student debt is nearing $9 billion, which he called “unacceptable on moral or fiscal grounds.”

The floor was opened up and, after some delay, Student Choice member Peter McCaffrey raised the issue of university entrance standards, arguing that the because the University receives funding based on “the number of seats filled in lectures,” diligent, hard-working students are forced to pay higher fees to cover the cost of attracting incapable students to the University. Motions were also invited from the floor, and VUWSA enthusiast Nicholas O’Kane rose to applause, suggesting VUWSA apply “their own principle of free education”.

When told that the SRC could not compel VUWSA to act upon a motion of a fiscal nature, O’Kane re-phrased his original suggestion to voluntary VUWSA membership. This motion failed, garnering a total of two votes.

O’Kane’s calls for a hand count, reminiscent of his constant hand-count calls at last year’s Annual General Meeting, were ignored as Cosgrove declared his praise for Mount Street Bar’s beer prices decreasing.

Cosgrove later told Salient that despite a low turnout at the SRC, there had been a “decent amount of people talking and debating,” and voiced hope that VUWSA could build upon this in the future.


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