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September 15, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

After running up the Boulcott Street stairs and up the dreaded Mount Street hill in the rain, only to find that the Exec meeting had not even started yet, I was in a particularly sensationalist mood.

Luckily, the good journalist inside me was strong and my alleged (I stress, alleged) bloodlust for tabloid ethics and not doing my job properly were kept at bay for another night.

The meeting opened with the Exec pondering over whether they should accept Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright’s apologies.

President Joel Cosgrove wondered whether supporting the VUWSA-organised and funded Women’s Festival was an acceptable reason for not being at an Exec meeting.

Salient understands that Wright is “protesting against VUWSA” and has not submitted a work report in over two months.

In other developments, Campaigns Officer Sonny Thomas wrote some “sweet as” press releases about how shit Unicomm is.

Thomas also flagged the needs for “tight budgeting” with the University’s Hardship Fund. Apparently 18 years of growth has occurred in the usage of the hardship find over the last three months.

150 submissions are still expected over the next quarter as well as food prices rising by eight per cent by the end of the year. “I do not anticipate there being much money at the end of the year,” Thomas informed the Exec.

Administration Vice-President Alexander Neilson is shaking in his boots over the upcoming VUWSA election, after hearing that staff members believe he will be defeated in his bid for re-election.

VUWSA staff members have allegedly been trying to get everything done before the students make the decision to roll (or not to roll) Neilson. It’s Clubs and Activities time! The Exec gave $300 dollars to the French Club to assist with the costs of their annual French play. $2,000 was allocated to the Victoria Muslim Society to assist with travel expenses for their trip to the South Island. Frankly, I am surprised they have money to give anyone.

Cosgrove, the sly dog, tried to fool me into believing we were in a legally bound “off the record” discussion. This prompted Welfare Vice-President Melissa Barnard to draw an interesting comparison between Cosgrove and Winston Peters.

“Winnie! Winnie!?” she yelled.

“Give me money then I’ll be Winston Peters,” Cosgrove argued.

The Exec went off the record twice “for reasons of commercial sensitivity.” I think I can safely say the 2008 Exec have spent most of their time off public record when in meetings with a member of Salient.

Silent Education Officer B Seamus Brady’s general disdain for everyone there (myself especially) seeped from his pores. Like always, the only thing he did say expressed his extreme distaste for meeting: “Can we do this later???” (Excessive use of question marks intended to reflect his tone).

I got to have a gander at the 2008 Profit Report (Loss Report does seem to be a more appropriate term here). The report itself was riddled with errors thanks to Alexander Neilson’s unusually questionable typing skills, so I can not publicly criticise them – yet.

However, some interesting revelations came out of the report despite its inaccuracies. Firstly, Barnard can sing the whole chorus of Kayne West’s ‘Gold Digger’.

Barnard also revealed that she thinks the security VUWSA hire for student safety during O-week are fiercely inadequate.

“Please don’t tell me we paid money for those useless fucks!?” she exclaimed.

Most importantly Neilson revealed he has no idea how much money VUWSA and the Exec has left. As of July this year, VUWSA had spent well over $1 million. How reassuring!


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Comments (29)

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  1. Chris says:

    Jenna: I hear that you may be running for the VUWSA Publications Committee job. This raises serious issues, and I urge you to stand down. The Publications Committee is there to hold Salient, its budget, and its management to account. It can only do this by having people on it who are relatively impartial, and it is impossible when people who are active student writers/participants in Salient sit on the Committee.

    So, please withdraw your nomination. Salient is not served by having you on the Publications Committee. Get on with your job – two things you could do that I would like:

    a) write features long than two pages;
    b) stop treating Eye on Exec as a massive joke and your own personal glorification exercise – these guys that you laugh with and at, eat pizza with, and drink with, spend over $2million of money taken from students. Most of the time, as you can see, they are poor custodians of that money. It’s your duty to report exec proceedings properly.

  2. Mr. Magoop says:


  3. Michael Oliver says:

    Well, that’s rather presumptuous, Christopher. There’s nothing to suggest Jenna won’t step down from her role at Salient should she be elected to the committee. What evidence do you have that suggests otherwise?

  4. Chris says:

    There’s also nothing to suggest she will, Michael. Hence my warning.

  5. Chris says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a more elongated name or else I would have patronisingly extended yours as well.

  6. Kang and Kodos says:

    Isn’t the Publications Committee also comprised of the current editor and a Salient contributor that they appoint – meaning that any (often overvalued) sense of impartiality is already compromised, and could hardly be damaged by having an active contributor on the Committee? I could be wrong about the appointment bit, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  7. spritly says:

    If you’d done some research, youd have realised that Conrad has publicaly distanced himself in order to remain independent. And Conrad is not paid by Salient, all this year hes been a volunteer.

    I quote from his facebook group which anyone can access…

    ” In the interests of impartiality I am no longer writing for Salient, nor would I be a regular contributor if elected.”

  8. Michael Oliver says:

    You could’ve posted a variety of zany shortened versions of my name, Chris, such as “Mick” or “Mikey,” but I guess that idea got lost in the shuffle when you were trolling at 1:36am.

    Still, the question of impartiality is an important one and it’s good to see that Conrad’s taken a step back in the interest of independence.

    As to your concerns regarding the quality of what often is the funniest column in Salient: in spite of the obvious disdain each and every writer who covers this hoard of “muppets,” the column still accurately depicts what happens during their meetings. If your concern lies solely on tone, then I would point out that the take-the-piss style of discourse makes the thoroughly interesting, meaningful and worthwhile world of university student politics more accessible to the average student. Not to mention the fact that it’s almost nigh-on impossible to take this Exec seriously in any way shape or form.

    There’s also nothing to suggest she will, Michael. Hence my warning.

    I realise you’ve got this – phew – thing about condescension which I wouldn’t want to set ablaze or anything, but warning? Oh no sir. This, from the BBC, is a warning:

    “Residents in one area of the Texas coastline have been warned they must evacuate before the arrival of Hurricane Ike or “face certain death”.”

    … annnnnnnnd this is what you coughed up:

    “So, please withdraw your nomination. Salient is not served by having you on the Publications Committee.”

    “Evacuate or die” vs “The right to read Robbie Nelson’s cartooned discussion on the ‘Three Flows of Poo’ would be severely diminished if the Anti-Christ Jenna Powell gets her manicured hands on a much revered and respected publications committee chair.”

    What the fucking hell are you even talking about, man?

  9. blogette says:

    ahh 2 and 2 togehter – oliver and powell are together? yes? no?

  10. Jenna Powell says:

    Hey everyone,
    I am prob gonna stand down from pubs com. Not because of this bollocks but because I am pretty sure im ineligable as im not gonna be a student next year.
    And just for the record chris…If elected or not I was not planning on contributing to salient next year. When i signed the lil nomination form I was thinking “why not!” I have been working at salient for two years now and I know the ins and outs. I also am well aware of VUWSA dire finanical situation and all the odds and ends they have to see 2 so i thought I could provide a happy medium.

    I am not friends with anyone on the exec. I do not eat pizza and drink with them. And make no mistake I laugh AT them. I have no ties with anyone at VUWSA. You actually just made that up chris! I suggest you get your facts right.

    Despite my satrical tone I do take it seriously and i believe i put the issues foward. The issues i can anyway as most of the time the exec pussy out and talk off public record. Did you even read the above eye on exec. I make it very clear how disorganised and in trouble they are. I reported accurately on what they discussed on public record. If the exec insist on not being accountable and going off the record wherever heats starts to set in..theres only so much I can do in a 500 (if that) word column.

    “own personal glorification exercise” – are you serious! I do not even know what to say to that. That is so far from the truth. I’m completely stumped as to why you think that.You urge me to stand down. I urge you take a giant chill pill.

    Blogette: Nope me and Oliver are not together. I have never actually meet him but I am pretty sure he totally rulz! :)

  11. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Yeah I heard Michael and Jenna are madly in love and planning a baby!

  12. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    Actually Michael is locked in my basement. He’s my precious.

  13. Michael Oliver says:

    The great thing about being locked down in Peter Manglewaite’s basement (aside from the two-dozen or so industrial-sized jars of mayonnaise left over from the Gulf War) is the sub-par WiFi connection which allows me to peruse this website and none other – at 56 kb/s, mind you. Despite filtering university finances into a $200 100gig data cap, Manglewaite’s penchant for 4chan image macros and online ham radio slices through it in about a week.

  14. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Peter’s gonna beat you with a paddle when he sees you misspelt his surname!

  15. Michael Oliver says:

    What do you mean? I quite clearly spelt it W-O-O—arrcckk….breathing… difficult….

  16. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    Wow. I now have a nice suit made out of the finest flesh. I call it my Michael Oliver suit. I look like him when I wear it. It is very comfortable

  17. Robert Addison says:

    Chris Bishop,

    It concerns me that you have raised this potential conflict of interest given your existing positions as University Council Rep and National Party Research Officer in Parliament House, which also potentially conflict. In future, please consider your own situation before you decide to throw dirt at others.

    Having said this, I await a convoluted explanation for the difference in circumstances between you and Jenna Powell.

  18. Gibbon says:

    has anyone considered that “chris” does not neccessarily equal “chris bishop”?
    or is there only one chris at vuw?

  19. Michael Oliver says:

    Pretty sure Chris Bishop bought the ownership rights to the name “Chris” in late 2006.

  20. Gibbon says:

    that wacky bishop
    I hear he only moves diagonally

  21. Chris says:

    I can confirm this is true.

  22. concerned student says:

    conrad sure has a funy way of distancin himself frm salient. according a certain someone in the office he has hanging around trying to find out whats been written bout his young labor buddies & still contributing to the games section. also im pretty sure its not impartial when someone pressures staff members to change a news story in the upcoming issue because he thinks it makes his buddy sonny thomas look bad..but oh wait, that’s exactly like conrad has done.!!!

  23. Michael Oliver says:

    Warriors by 12 and under, imo.

  24. concerned student – I have absolute confidence in conrad as our games editor and, since this role has Nothing to do with the politics of VUWSA, I cannot for the life of me see why it would create conflict of interest. Furthermore, there is a difference between him giving us his opinion on a story and “pressuring” us to make changes. I assure you I do not allow such pressure, whereas I do appreciate opinions.

  25. Thanks Tristan,

    Concerned Student – the Salient office works in a very commutarian way, people read articles written by others, and provide feedback. I have provided that on other contributors work, and they have often provided it on mine.

    Your allegation also assumes that staff members (and i assume you mean Seonah Choi the news editor) are susceptible to such pressure. This is downright offensive. Seonah is an intelligent, resourceful, hard working and strong staff member. All decisions pertaining to the news section are made by her. I severely doubt I would have any ability what so ever to influence or pressure her writing.

    I, like subeditors, have over the course of the year commented on some stories and provided opinions, but the ultimate decision is hers. To suggest that I can pressure her is a offensive slur on her own ability to manage her news section. Which I can assure you, and Im sure Tristan will agree – she can manage quite well on her own.

    And finally, as Tristan has so rightly put – if he thinks any funny business is going down, he will jump on it straight away. I have every confidence that he’d do this if he felt that one of his staff was being unduly cajoled. To date, he hasn’t.

  26. Arman says:

    Hello …my frineds
    my name is Arman
    I am Iranian – khoozestan
    I am at your service in any research project or research of eastward .

    my good soul ، to make a friend of you is excellent so that we are kin ،
    And ta ta for now ، I remain yours truly / Arman
    keep in touch . I am thankful to god And bye bye for now .

  27. cuntmuncher says:

    and anyway, if conrad was trying to influence seonah, he’s doing a fucking useless job of it. her loathing for sonny seeps out of her pores.

  28. Michael Oliver says:


  29. cuntmuncher says:

    Cheers Michael. Good input.

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