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April 28, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

SRC meeting proves to be a major pull for students

The Student Representative Council (SRC) meeting held on the last Wednesday before the mid-semester break kicked off by scraping past the required 50-person quorum: 57 hands amongst the patrons of Mount Street were badgered into rising for the count.

President Joel Cosgrove, Administrative Vice-President Alexander Neilson and Campaigns Officer Sonny Thomas manned the microphone, running through of a list of the missing exec members: Education Vice- President Rev. Paul Danger Brown was given condolences for being in the Hutt, Welfare Vice-President Melissa Barnard was hard at work handing out flu shots, Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright is in Australia, and most of the rest of them were in class; Activities Officer Fiona McDonald arrived later. Besides the three MCs and McDonald, the only other Exec member present was Environmental Officer Mark Newton, who helped prepare the first two motions.

Motion One: “That students of VUW support VUW committing to carbon neutrality.” This means attaining carbon sinks, such as forests, to offset any emissions. Last year’s Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara spoke to the motion, explaining that VUW becoming carbon neutral was the subject of his recent thesis, and pointing out that over 500 US campuses are committed to carbon neutrality. Kodikara argued that VUW should take practical steps to gradually attaining carbon neutrality without destroying its finances or operational ability. Kodikara said he believed carbon neutrality could be achieved within a decade. The motion was overwhelmingly passed.

Motion Two: “That students of VUW do not support free printing.” Moved by Environmental Officer Mark Newton. Given that President Cosgrove ran on a platform of free printing and internet, this motion would effectively take away half of his policy mandate. Speaking against the motion, Cosgrove argued that VUW is wasting paper by passing on the responsibility for payment to students, and noted that 10c per page is “way above cost.” Cosgrove agreed that having a ‘paper-free’ university might be nice, but said that in the meantime VUW should bear the cost of “fair use,” which he defined as 500 free pages of printing per student, per year.

Kodikara joined his successor in opposing free printing. He declared that since university management have refused to give a discount of 15c for a double-sided print (as opposed to 10c each for two single sides), they are unlikely to agree to free printing. Cosgrove then asked if the motion could be amended to oppose free unlimited printing, but Newton reconfirmed that the motion would be put to a vote as originally worded. It passed by 32 votes for to 3 against, with 4 abstentions.

Motion Three: “That students of VUW support the principles of fair trade, and that VUWSA work towards making VUW a fair trade campus.”

The motion was moved by Caleb Gordon, who argued that equitable trading partnerships are a better way to help countries develop than “big-brother style” aid handouts. Another speaker argued that we all need to increase the demand for fair trade products. The motion was passed unanimously.

Next up VUWSA had to elect seventeen faculty board delegates. Realising this would be an overly-tedious process, Sonny Thomas ran through the list of nominated names, asking “all those in favour say I”; after receiving a positive response, he would then call out “opposed abstentions carried” and move onto the next name. In this way the SRC was brought to a swift conclusion. Cosgrove talked briefly about the following day’s $10 [billion] student debt protest march, and the meeting finished at 12:38, roughly half an hour after it opened.


About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

Comments (2)

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  1. Graeme says:

    “Those in favour say aye

  2. Gibbon says:

    Graeme, don’t waste your time…
    This year’s Salient is pretty sloppy with its use of phrases and, I guess, spelling in general.

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