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April 23, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Women’s Rights Officer fired!

Psychic hotline didn’t see that coming

A VUWSA exec member has been removed from her post and another has resigned in less than two weeks.

Former Acting Women’s Rights Officer (WRO) Clelia Opie had her co-option rescinded after threatening to hurt and kill exec members, and making over $4000 worth of phone calls to what VUWSA Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard describes as “psychic hotlines” over the course of approximately two weeks.

The VUWSA exec is currently working with the University to have the full cost of the phone calls added to Opie’s student records, and to prohibit her from adding or changing courses or graduating until the money is repaid to VUWSA.

Opie was co-opted into the position after Amy Mitchell, elected as WRO in the VUWSA general election last October, resigned before the University year began.

VUWSA was required to use its “constitutional powers of interpretation,” which are nothing whatsoever like superpowers, to interpret the VUWSA Constitution to rescind the co-option, as, constitutionally, a co-opted exec member must be removed by election.

Opie could not be contacted for comment.

Education Officer (Welfare) Chris Renwick resigned on April 11, informing the exec that he wanted to focus on his study.

His resignation came a week after an exec motion to withhold his honorarium (pay) until he apologized to the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations Maori Caucus for misconduct earlier this year, and until his exec work report could be accepted, due to his lack of help and support for Welfare Vice-President Heleyni Pratley and other exec members.

Renwick told Salient that he has been contemplating his resignation for “over a month,” but declined to comment on the withholding of his honorarium or on whether this affected his decision.

Two new exec members have been co-opted to fill the portfolios: Jenna Butt (Education Officer) and Georgina Dickson (WRO).


About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

Comments (12)

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  1. Michael says:

    Please tell me this a joke .What the fuck.

  2. Hehe says:

    So the new people are Ms Butt and Ms Dickson… what a crack up!

    Celia was walking around the uni the other day crying like the bucket fountain on crack.

  3. sally says:

    I heard that she made a verbal resignation.

  4. nicole says:

    Fo reals, how on earth do you spend FOUR THOUSAND bucks? I wish I had 4000 bucks. I wish I hadn’t maxed out my overdraft.
    But seriously. Does anyone know Celia personally to know what was up with all that?!

  5. sarah says:

    I laugherd out loud when I read the news about Clelia. Being a former flatmate of mine, I’m not suprised at all.! She called the same hot-line when she was living in my flat and racked up hundreds of dollars on the phone bill. Eventually she was told to leave and to my knowledge still (after several months) owes the former flatmates a great deal of money. ‘What goes around comes around’ Clelia. Haven’t the psychic lady clued you in on that yet?

  6. Michael says:

    Prediction for an upcoming Salient headline:

    “Normal Person Elected to VUSA; Genuine Lack of Fucktardery Surprising, Welcomed.”

  7. Funny. says:

    I was at a wedding and this one girl was telling me about how her and her friends played a game at school called throw the ball at Clelia’s head.

    And I laughed.

  8. Clint Heine says:

    Another excellent case study for VSM. Every student will be paying for this and theres nothing you can do about it. Looks like VUWSA is falling apart, and quickly.

  9. Max Douch says:

    Haha I threw her out of my flat for exactly the same thing. Clelia you still owe Tony a couple of hundred for you calls still! I think she deserves everything that she gets.

  10. Graeme Edgeler says:

    I’m somewhat appalled/laughing a lot at Clelia’s reported actions, but am aghast at VUWSA’s proposed solution.

    VUWSA is not the university, and the university is not a debt collector – Critic and OUSA have spent recent years opposing proposals to increase Otago University’s power over students and VUWSA should be doing the same.

    Will it support the university withholding degrees and course changes from those with unpaid power bills or rent arrears? I certainly hope not.

    VUWSA has a right to be peeved off, but it shouldn’t seek to vastly increase the power of the university for a few thousand dollars. If VUWSA wants its money back it should file a claim in the disputes tribunal (it’ll cost them $50) and/or engage a debt collection agency.

    And I’ll be just as annoyed with the university if it agrees to this.

    Oh – and pay Chris Renwick his honorarium. The honorarium may have been foolishly raised a number of years ago, but it’s his right and he should be paid – if people within VUWSA think he’s not doing enough to be paid, or don’t like him or his actions enough to pay him they have two options:

    1) If they don’t think it impacts on his continuing to hold office, then lower or refuse his bonus(es); or
    2) If it’s more serious, file a petition for an SGM to move a motion of no confidence.

    Like it or not, Renwick was elected. His election may have been guarenteed when Alexander Nielson won Treasurer, but people voted for him and have left him in office for the 3~4 months he served. And they voted and haven’t sought his removal knowing he’s entitled to be paid – however little work he does and however much he annoys anyone else.

    And if these options are considered insufficient then try to change the rules.

  11. Joely Doe says:

    The case for Compulsory Student Membership is still strong. After all, without all students being forced to pay for these continuing mismanagement’s, how would VUWSA pay its bills? Imagine how many would still join, if they could vote with their feet?

  12. Laura says:

    – “Another excellent case study for VSM. Every student will be paying for this and theres nothing you can do about it. Looks like VUWSA is falling apart, and quickly.”

    If the money is retrieved from Clelia, as this article states is the VUWSA executive’s intention, “every student” could not possibly be paying for this – just one.

    Graeme: There is more information on this topic in this week’s Eye On Exec

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