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September 22, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Jasmine Freemantle’s complaint to the Returning Officer concerning the VUWSA election

Contained in the next issue of Salient (Issue 22, September 22) will be a news piece regarding (mainly) the election campaigns currently being run by two of the four presidential candidates – Sonny Thomas and Jasmine Freemantle. When I interviewed Jasmine for this article last Thursday afternoon, she made several allegations against Sonny that I could not sufficiently verify as fact. Therefore, Tristan decided that in order to prevent accusations of bias being made against Salient, we exclude these comments in the edited article that appears in tomorrow’s issue.

However, on Friday afternoon, Tristan and I were cc’d into an email Jasmine sent to the Returning Officer that lodged a complaint against Sonny and his running mate, Freya Hill, as copied below:

Dear Roy,

I have a couple of complaints concerning my opponent for VUWSA President, Sonny Thomas and his running mate, Freya, who is running for EVP. They have been consistently postering over my posters en mass – for example, yesterday at Pipitea every single of my posters had one of Sonny’s or Freya’s over the top of it.

I also noticed today that every single leaflet of mine was removed from the main Easterfield lecture, about 2 hours after I had heavily leafleted it. All of the leaflets for Marika Pratley and Sam Oldham (general executive candidates) were also removed.

On Tuesday night, after Sonny found out that I was standing for President, he threatened to run a smear campaign. He announced this to Joel Crosgrove, VUWSA President. He threatened to make false allegations to the student body about my personal life of an extremely serious nature (which, if he does, could be grounds for a complaint under the VUW Statute of Student Conduct).

Today Sonny has been going around lecture theatres and elsewhere at the University, making personal attacks and being highly bullying and aggressive.

This is the fourth VUWSA election that I’ve stood in, and I have never seen a campaign get this dirty. I would like this to be about the direction of VUWSA, not bullying and character assassination.

It would be appreciated if you could take action on this as it is a gross hindrance to student democracy.

Kind regards,
Jasmine Freemantle

Salient asked Sonny for his response:

Jasmine –

This is all hear say – you should at least back up your claims with evidence.

This campaign has been dirty – a dirty smear campaign that you’re ticket started. You claimed that I was trying to sell off clubs. You sent an email and attached my name to it – and you started these dirty tricks.

I have consistently said that I will not draw myself into these pathetic jibes, choosing instead to challenge your record – a record of poor governance that resulted in students voting for “No Confidence” instead of you in 2002.

I have challenged you on your policy, of which you have none.

Your entire campaign has been set up to attack me – and I think this is a bit rich.

Anyway, I trust that students will trust me to run their association where I will accountable for their $2million, I’ll be a strong advocate and I’ll offer leadership that students will trust.


Sonny Thomas


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  1. Jordan King says:

    I will point out that all candidates leaflets were removed from Easterfield, not just those of Marika, Sam, and Jasmine.

    I was the one who discovered they had gone from Easterfield and apprehended the culprit. It was some science student who said he was pissed off with leaflets being everywhere and regarded them as an invasion of space.

    As annoying as it was, it was certaainly not an act of partisan political subterfuge.

    Jordan King

  2. Freya says:


    I refute the term “running mate” – whilst I have worked closely with Sonny for a few months as Campaigns Coordinator, and have a close professional relationship with him, I am running independently for the position of Education Vice President. I am disappointed with your attempt to run some kind of smear campaign against everyone who is outside of the Workers’ Party, and your attempt to draw comparison of those candidates (myself included) to the despicable and infamous “A-Team” from 2007.

    Also, my posters have been consistently covered over by the Workers’ Party ticket, as well as having been removed, and turned over deliberately, which I do not necessarily attribute to you, Jasmine, nor Oldham or Pratley, as I cannot prove this. I have not made a complaint about these issues, as there is only so much space on the poster boards and so it is indeed difficult for us to all fit.

    I apologise if some of my posters have been placed over yours and will do my very best in the next two days to ensure that it does not happen again. However, as a side note, with the amount you seem to be spending on printing I don’t think it’d be an issue for you to cover over mine again, if it did indeed occur once more.

    I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your campaign.

    Freya Eng

  3. Freya says:

    Also, my name is Freya Eng, not Freya Hill.

  4. Rata says:

    Freya your leaflets and sonnys and that Seamus guy’s are all bunched together everywhere, aren’t you doing that shit together? Nothing wrong with that.

  5. Matthew_Cunningham says:


    Speaking of ‘dirty campaigns’ and ‘student democracy’, would you care to comment on the following issues:

    1.) The large amount of money you have spent thus far on your campaign – in particular, on printing costs – and whether or not this falls within the $100 limit that is required of VUWSA candidates?
    2.) The allegation that some of the costs for this printing have been catered for by Joel Cosgrove and his access to the VUWSA work printers?
    3.) Additional support that you have received from Joel Cosgrove in your campaign, such as his offer to drive you around in the VUWSA van so you can canvass at different locations?
    4.) Your accusation that the VUWSA Change Proposal is an “A-Team-esque” effort to sell off student control of student interests (a core component of your platform), when in fact it is nothing of the sort?

    Perhaps you should look closer to home before you accuse others of underhanded tactics.

  6. Freya says:

    Rata – yup the leafkets are all together. In our capacity as friends, not candidates, Seamus, Sonny and I have agreed to help each other out with leafleting and postering. After all, it’s incredibly difficult to get your name out there alone, and at 7 in the morning. However, the term “running mate” implies that we are running as a ticket – which I vehemently refute.

    I also note that Jasmine seems to be spending a lot of her campaign time trying to discredit all other candidates besides Pratley and Oldham, and not a lot of time advocating some solid, well reasoned policies.

  7. Joel Cosgrove says:

    //3.) Additional support that you have received from Joel Cosgrove in your campaign, such as his offer to drive you around in the VUWSA van so you can canvass at different locations?//

    Sonny. Post under your real name. I booked the van because I was planning on going around to a couple of mates places and calling in favours to make a short clip with the VUWSA Camera that if approved would have encouraged students to vote in the VUWSA elections.
    I didn’t get around to doing that. But seeing as it was you who abused me about it on Friday I assume you’re trying to make shit up.

    P.S. My shampoo and conditioner combo is wella, it works well with my freshly trimeed beard…

  8. Matthew_Cunningham is not Sonny Joel….

  9. sarah palin says:

    “Matthew_Cunningham is not Sonny Joel….”

    How do you know? Are you him?

  10. I can see the IPs of various commentators. Matt’s and Sonny’s differ.

    “On Tuesday night, after Sonny found out that I was standing for President, he threatened to run a smear campaign. He announced this to Joel Crosgrove, VUWSA President. He threatened to make false allegations to the student body about my personal life of an extremely serious nature (which, if he does, could be grounds for a complaint under the VUW Statute of Student Conduct).

    Today Sonny has been going around lecture theatres [sic] and elsewhere at the University, making personal attacks and being highly bullying and aggressive.”

    Jasmine, do you have any evidence what so ever that this occurred? Or are you making things up in an increasingly desperate attempt to assassinate Sonny’s character.

  11. Mr Magoo says:

    Why can the publications committee candidate see IPs? That’s not kosher

  12. Electrum Stardust says:

    I can verify that, on the first couple of days (at least) the posters were up at Rutherford, Freya Eng’s leaflets were conspicuously placed on top of Freemantle’s, almost always just covering the latter’s name. (Given the physical proximity AND the difference in size between the two, I even got the false impression that Eng was running as Miss FREEMANTLE’s VP!)

    Some dirty stuff has definitely been going on. Of course, whose doing it is I cannot say, but Seonah and Salient must keep up the good work, and keep voters informed.

  13. sarah palin says:

    Oh ok. Pretty dirty election, mine is cleaner…

  14. Matthew_Cunningham says:


    I’m not Sonny, nor would I ever criticise you over something as superficial as your beard. I was merely pointing out the apparent hypocricy in Jasmine’s accusations to see whether or not she would respond. The fact that you did it for her does not speak well to the claims of yours and the Workers Parties’ influence over her.

    I’m actually not a big Sonny fan either – whilst I haven’t met him he sounds abrasive and abusive – but overall I agree with his stance in the Change Proposal and feel be is the best candidate for the job.

    So, just to be clear – you are refuting the allegation that you planned to use the van to assist Jasmine in her campaign? Do you also refute the printing claim?


  15. Freya Eng says:

    I’m not running as anyone’s Education VP but the students’. I am not a member of either the Workers’ Party or the Labour Party nor do I have any political affliation. I am dedicated to the association and making it a professional service like it is meant to be, and which I believe it currently is not.

    It has to be said, also, that Jasmine’s campaign (that is, mainly her posters, both large and small) has covered a lot of the space which is available to the candidates, and it is extremely difficult not to cover over other peoples’ posters. It has been done, like I have said, to mine as well. Many of Jasmine’s posters have completely covered mine in fact. I accept that, as there is very little room for us to put our posters and every candidate has a right to a space with which to put their message across.

    That being said, I will make a concerted effort to make sure my posters do not cover Jasmine’s again.

  16. Nick Archer says:

    “1.) The large amount of money you have spent thus far on your campaign – in particular, on printing costs – and whether or not this falls within the $100 limit that is required of VUWSA candidates?”

    As much as spent no doubt by each of all the other candidates, printing and photo copying isn’t that expensive (you would be surprised, you can print 4 flyers on one A4 peice of paper and use a guillotine or scissors), the VUWSA constitution, election rules and Returning Officer has processes in place to enforce this spending rule anyway, so no big deal here…

    “2.) The allegation that some of the costs for this printing have been catered for by Joel Cosgrove and his access to the VUWSA work printers?”

    Clubs and students are allowed to use VUWSA’s photocopiers for a small fee…

    “3.) Additional support that you have received from Joel Cosgrove in your campaign, such as his offer to drive you around in the VUWSA van so you can canvass at different locations?”

    Joel doesn’t even have a Drivers Licence so he won’t be driving anyone around in the VUWSA van…

    “4.) Your accusation that the VUWSA Change Proposal is an “A-Team-esque” effort to sell off student control of student interests (a core component of your platform), when in fact it is nothing of the sort?”

    Sonny Thomas is the candidate who is the sponsor of the Change Proposal and it willl have the similar effect that the A-Team would have on clubs; that is University Management control over clubs and their administration…

    This is an even dirtier campaign than last year when there were offensive anti A-Team posters and rumours. There seems to be a similar pattern this year with this campaign, I am not pointing any fingers as it seems people already are doing that.

  17. Jasmine is a member of the Workers Party. She’s never denied that, and the WP has never denied her membership. ZOMFG CONSPIRACY !!!1!!1!!!1!

    At least Jasmine gives a shit about issues and people wider than her own life and immediate surroundings, and has political beliefs and allegiances that reflect that. She’s not just out to become a student buerucrat in order to get a few points on her CV to help her get a cushy job in later life as a public servant or a Labour MP!

  18. Heleyni says:

    No offense Matt, but Joel can’t drive!

    //Additional support that you have received from Joel Cosgrove in your campaign, such as his offer to drive you around in the VUWSA van so you can canvass at different locations//

    WTF? Where did this come from?

  19. Jasmine Freemantle says:

    In reply to allegations put forward:

    “1. The large amount of money you have spent thus far on your campaign – in particular, on printing costs – and whether or not this falls within the $100 limit that is required of VUWSA candidates?”

    My campaign expenses are totally within budget.

    “2. The allegation that some of the costs for this printing have been catered for by Joel Crosgrove and his access to the VUWSA work printers?”

    VUWSA candidates are allowed access to the VUWSA photocopier, with any printing they may do being charged to their election expenses at standard VUWSA photocopying rates.

    “3. Additional support that you have received from Joel Crosgrove in your campaign, such as his offer to drive you around in the VUWSA van so you can canvass at different locations?”

    I have never requested nor has anyone (Joel Crosgrove or anyone else) offered to drive me in the VUWSA van for campaigning purposes. As has already been pointed out, Joel doesn’t even know how to drive! (And for the record, I’m only on my learners!)

    “4. Your accusation that the VUWSA Change Proposal is an “A-Team-esque” effort to sell of student control of student interests (a core component of your platform), when in fact it is nothing of the sort?”

    The VUWSA Change Proposal, authored by Sonny Thomas, strongly recommends handing over student control of clubs to the University. That is a fact.

  20. Jasmine Freemantle says:


  21. Gibbon says:

    Hey Jasmine,
    Isn’t it a bit fucking rich of you to complain about your posters being covered when you are going around postering over the THEA 324 Asian Theatre Production posters? The show begins next week – how are you a fit President if you are not even supportive of your fellow students, and don’t even have the respect to leave their posters alone?
    You’ve been witnessed by SEVERAL people, so don’t deny it.

  22. Gibbon says:

    I should say that “your posters have been witnessed by SEVERAL people” being put over THEA 324 posters. Just to make it clear, I am not saying that you are personally responsible for all of the cases where this has happened, but it can’t be denied that SOMEONE is putting your posters over them.

  23. Jasmine Freemantle says:

    Hi there,

    Sorry about this. When I’ve been postering I’ve checked the dates of shows etc to make sure that I’m only postering over VUWSA and VUW related events that’ve been and gone. I personally have not gone over any THEA 324 posters.

    I’m not sure who is responsible, but I’ll put the word out to my supporters and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.


  24. Matthew_Cunningham says:


    Thankyou for clarifying your budget expenditures.

    The issue with the VUWSA photocopier and printing that I was referring to was not the paid service – I was referring to FREE printing and photocopying provided by Joel on the sly using these facilities. However, you have stated that you are within your budget of $100, and I will take you at your word.

    Regarding the VUWSA van, I mistook ‘driving’ for ‘booking’ – clearly, as Joel does not have a licence – so I apologise. The allegation that this booking was undertaken for canvassing purposes still stands – but again, since you have taken the time to refute this claim, I will take you at your word.

    The core component of your platform is that you intend to “maintain and build student clubs, NOT SELL THEM OFF”. Your use of capital letters seems like a financial sword of damocles dangled over the heads of hapless students. What exactly are VUWSA selling? A club is not a physical entity that can be bartered – it is a collection of people, the direction and purpose of which they themselves establish. This is true regardless of which agency manages it. By using this catch-phrase in your campaign you are misrepresenting the facts.

    Above, you have augmented this position by claiming that the proposal involves “handing over student control of clubs to the University”. The proposal recommends handing over the ADMINISTRATION of the clubs to the SU, not the CONTROL. Control will be dictated by ‘service level agreements with the Student Union’. These SLA’s will be negotiated by VUWSA – meaning that the way in which the SU’s administrative capability is performed will be dictated by VUWSA. VUWSA will dictate the ‘provision of budgeting advice for clubs, support for grants applications, outside sponsorship and other functions to support club development’. In other words, VUWSA will still be able to determine how clubs are managed, funded and controlled, whilst being able to redirect the bulk of its work towards its core functions.

    I feel that this component of your platform is misleading and misrepresentative. You are playing up what the proposal is about and capitalising on student fears.


  25. Mr Magoo – im not sure if you were aware, but i did write for Salient this year. I also blogged quite extensively. That requires having to log in to the blogging system – which, among other things, shows the IPs (not the names, locations, or physical addresses) of commenters.

  26. Mr Magoo says:

    So why are you still logging in?

  27. Reg Regan says:

    Aww, poor baby. Can’t take a bit of criticism. Harden up, sook.

  28. “So why are you still logging in?”

    To see various statistics, what other blogs are linking to salient, to read articles that are qued up to be posted before they are posted because im curious, etc. etc.

    And in this current situation, I was skeptical of Joel’s claim – I know Mathew_Cunningham has posted before, and I highly doubted that he was Sonny Thomas. Checking those basic facts was important to me. And I thought it was important that readers be informed that Sonny was not Matthew_Cunningham, Joel has made an allegation that was baseless, and he deserved to be pulled up on it.

    Are you suggesting that voters be lied to, and people not have an opportunity to see the facts presented? I doubt it.

  29. Mr Magoo says:

    I’m suggesting that as you are no longer contributing to Salient as a blogger, and are running for Pubs Comm, you should leave checking statistics and IPs to Salient.

  30. Mr Magoo – For the sake of ensuring the public that Salient will maintain a non-partisan stance, Conrad is no longer a moderator on this website. However, I have full confidence that, had he remained a moderator, he would not have abused his position, as he did not do so when he was in a position to do so.

  31. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Ummm Conrad. Sonny was in my face in the quad telling me that he would stop me using the van for me evil schemes to electioneer.
    The next time I hear mention of it is on the Salient blog. Sonny has been lying. He has been going into classes and telling people that I go out with Jasmine. I’ve had students asking me if I am in fact going out with her.
    What a way to treat a woman…

  32. Mr Smagooo says:

    psssch ur just mad that joel got bummed magoo. say goodbye to transparency…

  33. Joel: I didn’t accuse you of using the van – Matthew_Cunningham did. Unless you now think that I am Matthew_Cunningham, im not. But this is starting to feel more and more like the movie Spartacus.

    I highly doubt Sonny has been going around saying that – hes got more important things to do than get involved in your sexual dalliances. Why anyone would want to know about them is beyond me. Plus, I thought everyone knew she was going out with Nick Kelly, not yourself. Perhaps you are confusing your communists.

  34. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Sonny has gone into some classes last week saying she was Nick Kelly’s partner. Now that Nick Kelly is not the abusive allusion that he used to be. Sonny is going into the same classes this week using me as the insulting link. On top of that he said in Salient as the reason for my incompetence that I don’t shower and don’t shave my beard (bad call as I trimmed yesterday). He’s up to petty insults.
    It is the students themselves coming up to me and asking, because they can’t make sense of it. They don’t know who Nick Kelly is, because they weren’t here 3 years ago, like most of the university students now.

    Pretty sad.

  35. Mr Magoo says:

    I heard Joel showers but doesn’t wash his clothes. He is pretty smelly.

  36. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Hey! Washed and dried last night. VO5 and Palmolive to make my beard nice and springy, just the way my partner likes it…

  37. So Sonny hasn’t been going around accusing you on going out with Jasmine, so your earlier statement is wrong. I see.

    Also, Its quite funny for you to call Nick Kelly an “abusive allusion”. Im sure that will go down well at the next Workers Party meeting.

  38. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Sonny has been accusing Jasmine of going out with both of us at different times to the same class in the space of a week.
    And by abusive allusion I refer to the way in which he hoped to denigrate Jasmine by association with first Nick then me, when he found that know one remembers who Nick is.
    I think Nick did a great job and it’s out of my control if other people try to make him out to be the Ayatollah. I don’t think Sonny in writing him off can justify at the same time praising and using the reviews that Nick organised.

    He’s also kicked a whole bunch of people off his facebook and deleted their comments. I’m sure I saw something from Sonny’s boss apologising for Sonny’s behaviour. Pattern?

  39. Mr Magoo says:

    Do you find Jasmine that repulsive that you can’t just pretend to be her lover to win her some votes?

  40. Rabid Pragmatic Centrist says:

    Can anyone confirm the rumour that Sonny Thomas was seen in various cyber commons logging in and out on each computer just to vote for himself on the salient poll? I have heard this from 2 different people both of whom said that he smelt awful

  41. Joel Cosgrove says:

    Jasmine is a good friend, I have a lot of respect to her as both an activist and a lecturer. But i’m not going to pretend to go out with her, she’s more than competent enough.
    I mean unlike Sonny i’m not sexist and don’t see Jasmine needing a boyfriend in power to prop her up.

  42. Mr Magoo says:

    Zing. Does Sonny have a bf in power?

  43. Heleyni says:

    Joel washes and he wears clean his clothes! FUCK YOU ALL!
    He is clean!

    Just had to get that out of my system as he is my lover!!!
    And we are in love.

  44. Lenin says:

    Why dont you write how much you love him all over the VUWSA offices in vivid Heleyni…

    Oh wait…

  45. Mr Magoo says:

    Then why does he smell?

  46. anika moa's new girlfriend says:

    My girlfriend smells from time to time. So do I. Doesn’t mean we love each other less, or that we should love each other any less. Joel does smell a bit sometimes. It’s kind of irrelevant to his in/ability as a leader though.

  47. Gibbon says:

    Mr Magoo
    September 22nd, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Then why does he smell?


  48. Mr Magoo says:

    Smell a bit? A BIT? He smells heaps. It means that when he interacts with his constituents, university leaders, co-workers etc, he leaves an unpleasant taste in their nostrils.

  49. I’ve never noticed Joel’s smelliness any of the times I’ve been in his company…

  50. Chris says:

    Prize for funniest comment so far: Lenin (good call)

    Prize for most hilarious cat-fight: Conrad v Joel

    Prize for most insightful/analytical comment: Matt Cunningham

    Prize for greatest contribution to VUWSA election discourse: Matt Cunningham

    Seriously, rather than bitching about who postered over who, who is going out with who, who is the “lover” of someone else, etc… can’t we talk about the issues? I know, I know, novel concept…

    What we have is the first serious centre-left candidate in years and years to put his cards on his table and put forward a proposal that would put VUWSA on a sustainable financial footing. It is a bold and innovative proposal, and one that VUWSA needs. It must be supported by at least some of the current executive because Joel co-wrote it, even if he now argues against it.

    It is surely correct that VUWSA cannot go on the way it is, shedding money left right and centre, without a proper budget, without proper financial control, without proper governance provisions in place to allow the executive to get on with the business of steering VUWSA whilst competent administrators get on with the job of administering.

    As far as I can see Sonny’s proposal is the first time someone on the executive, and someone on the left no less, has acknowledged that VUWSA is fundamentally screwed the way it is currently set up. No other SA in the country is as poorly run as ours – and the answer is not “we need to elect the right people” – people have been saying that for years. Everyone has had a go – Joel, Nick, Geoff, Amanda, Jeremy, etc… and no offence to some of these people, who I regard as mates… they’ve failed.

    It is time to change the structure, to focus VUWSA on its core roles and ensure money is spent properly and reasonably.

  51. Eli Boulton says:

    I think what we should be more worried about is this part of Jasmine’s letter:

    “On Tuesday night, after Sonny found out that I was standing for President, he threatened to run a smear campaign. He announced this to Joel Crosgrove, VUWSA President. He threatened to make false allegations to the student body about my personal life of an extremely serious nature (which, if he does, could be grounds for a complaint under the VUW Statute of Student Conduct).”

  52. articlethethird says:

    Well Eli Boulton, I think if you knew what the allegations were (for which there are witnesses) you wouldn’t be voting for Jasmine.

  53. Gibbon says:

    Say them then.

  54. Mr Magoo says:

    Alastair, that is because you are quite simply a communist nincompoop.

  55. Kurt Sharpe says:

    I think everyone has already associated Joel Cosgrove with Jasmine Freemantle- Sonny Thomas didn’t really have to perpetuate this perception, if he even did. They are often seen together, he is obviously helping her on her campaign and should she become President, VUWSA will carry on just how it was under Joel. Do we need another year of same old, same old in VUWSA. Finally we have a vision and a plan to change the association. I hope students take up such a vision for change.

  56. Mickey Savages says:

    What vision? Sounds like the vague fluff was spouted a couple years ago by Geoff da Maori and also of his ginga handler Jeremy Greenbrook who ran the association into the ground financially…

  57. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Now now Mr Magoo, simply being a communist is not enough grounds to accuse someone of nincompoopism… :)

  58. articlethethird says:

    Gibbon – It wouldn’t be right of me to say them, because I am not the complainant. But they’re pretty serious, indeed.

    Mickey Savages – Yes Sonny is maori and a labour hack, but he is not Geoff. They’re actually two different people. I know. Weird. A lot of people make that mistake.

  59. Electrum Stardust says:

    Reminds me of those Taiwanese-style eve-of-the election bombshells…

    Stay cool – this may not have to be the end of the campaign.
    Honesty is always the best policy.
    Given the timing of this allegation – it may be a good idea to go ahead and contest the election anyway, and then determine what appropriate action should be taken afterwards.

    Would really hate to see this decided by something like this!

  60. Seonah Choi says:

    A comment containing a personal attack against Jasmine Freemantle has been removed from this post. Please refrain from making personal attacks on any of the candidates, including phrasing such in the form of a question.

  61. Rachael says:

    Without making any more “allegations”, I do think we should question the wisdom of electing yet another Workers’ Party candidate who seems to think that the way Joel Cosgrove behaved earlier this year, resulting in an official complaint of sexual harassment, was not homophobic.

    I think this is especially relevant considering she seems to think that Joel Cosgrove’s behaviour at NZUSA conference in supporting a blatantly misogynistic “Men’s network” (reeking of backlash), was not sexist, despite the fact that he blatantly lied to and manipulated the executive to undermine our efforts, when he was the only one in support of the network.

    I personally feel these concerns are ESPECIALLY intensified in the face of rumours of Jasmine’s unprofessional breaches of academic integrity and professional standards of teaching conduct.

    I for one do not think she has enough integrity to be President, and speaking as a staunch queer feminist and an anarchist who harbours little affinity with the Labour Party, I do think that Sonny will be a more accountable and much more competent president.

  62. Corin says:

    With all due respect,
    fuck all you candidates who leave your crap at every single seat in a huge lecture theater, the coloured paper is not helping.

  63. Eli Boulton says:

    articlethethird – To the contrary, I am well aware of what the allegations are. One claims there are “outstanding complaints” against Jasmine, when there are in fact none. Another is because of who she is in a relationship with and that is a complete low-blow.

  64. Mr Magoo says:

    Well she IS going out with Nick Kelly. And he’s a communist with Cousin It hair!

  65. Michael Oliver says:

    Tristan, if any of these pieces of civilised discourse are to be published in Salient, could we perhaps give them the headline “Student Politics lol,” because they really don’t deserve anything more.

    Also, the real casualty in all this is one Peter Manglethwaite. He, like John Keys before him, was brutally denied the right to lend his unique blend of love and understanding to a campaign that needs it.

    Kia Ora, Peter. You’re still on my “A” team.

  66. Eli Boulton says:

    Mr Magoo – Yes she is going out with Nick Kelly. I don’t think that’s much of a smear, and I think it’s completely reprehensible to actually even threaten to use that as a smear. It seems to me that Sonny isn’t confident enough to think he can gain the support of students by raising the actual issues, as if they’re too stupid to understand or something, so he has to resort to the lowest of the low smears as humanly possible. It strikes me as the action of someone who will resort to anything to get into power, as opposed to someone who wants to be elected to serve the students. It’s very Nixonesque.

  67. Mr Magoo says:

    Cry me a river, Eli

  68. articlethethird says:

    Eli Boulton – mm yes I have heard of those allegations but the ones I refer to are different and much more serious. But whatever.

  69. Eli Boulton says:

    Mr Magoo – Very good and in-depth response there, Mr. Magoo. You have completely justified the use of an opponent’s significant other as a smear tactic. Are you mates with Sonny Thomas by any chance?

  70. Mr Magoo says:

    You said my name twice in one go you egghead. But thanks for your positive feedback.

    Are you a die-hard member of the Workers Party per chance? Who unlike Cosgrove is unable to think for himself, but toes the party line (as Cosgrove did on the change proposal, which he supported, until your commy pals spoke out against it)?

    It’s so cute that you’re, what, 16 and are getting ‘involved’ in VUWSA affairs/backing up your smelly friend. Truly precious.

    And the answer to your question is no.

  71. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    If you go back to the post about Joel at graduation earlier in the year, I think you’ll find some comments from Eli (who was rabidly defending Joel). He got magnanimously bumchumalumed… good to see nothing has changed.

  72. Miss Dickson, to you. says:

    Um, Rachael, as you’ll recall- Jasmine was not the only person to contest that Joel was “misogynist” and “homophobic”. I myself happen to believe that this is a rather disproportionate and severe character assassination, given whatever stupid offhand comment he made was rather trivial and Joel later apologised for it. When will you stop flogging an old, dead, bloated and zombie-fied horse? That’s what I would like to know…

    Indeed, the fact that I questioned this “witch hunt” later resulted in Sonny going completely off the deep end and trying to bar me from entering an exec meeting. What does that say about Sonny’s ability to handle working with others? Jasmine hasn’t had any similar experiences with others…

    You seem to think that Jasmine questioning your rather biased assessment of Joel’s character would affect her ability to do her job, but I can attest that it hasn’t adversely affected my ability to do mine. Maybe being on the constant offensive has affected the ability to do yours? I suggest you go away right now and write a work report with all the wonderful contributions you’ve made to VUWSA this year instead, because I can’t think of any of the top of my head. Or at least find a hobby other than whinging…

    Automatically criticising the “Men’s Network” as a “blatant anti-feminist backlash” shows how you have an inability to assess any given factual situation for what it is and you merely display your all-consuming dogmatism. I don’t think whether or not you have a penis should determine who if you’re licensed to start a group combat combating gender-based oppression. A gender issues focussed group is not anti-feminist simply by virtue of it being primarily composed of men. I’ll give you an example: (this website makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside…)
    Patriarchy affects men in negative ways too!

    You know- without making any “allegations”- perhaps if you’d come to Women’s Conference earlier on the year instead of lying in bed hungover, you might have realised that we all agreed that a separate Men’s gender issues group was a positive thing.

    Quite frankly, Joel deserves to be acknowledged displayed a remarkable sensitivity and genuine interest in gender issues, which is far more than what can be said for Sonny- who seems to think that Jasmine is inextricably connected to Nick Kelly because he is her boyfriend.

  73. Eli Boulton says:

    Mr. Magoo – No need to get hostile, Mr. Magoo (Hey I did it again, remember to point this out in the next reply for some more brownie points). It’s funny to see you have to resort to personal attacks rather than address the questionable ethics involved with Sonny’s smear tactics. And I don’t exactly see how “I’m toeing the party line” by pointing this out, I haven’t even mentioned Jasmine or Joel’s policies at all. If this election was only on the issues and didn’t involve all these petty smear attacks, I wouldn’t really be commenting. Also cheers for mentioning my age, as it shows to everyone reading this that you can’t even hold an argument with someone who is most likely 2 to 5 years younger than you without petty namecalling. (P.S. I’m actually 17 now and entering Uni in a few months, the article saying I was 16 is from a year ago)

    Peter Manglethwaite – Good to see nothing has changed? So you actually think Mr. Magoo presents a good argument about Sonny’s questionable smear tactics? You are declaring Mr. Magoo the victor for being able to call people “eggheads”. :P

    Well, seeing the intellectual level of the responses to my comments so far, I’m pretty sure the next response is going to be something along the lines of “Cry more” or pointing out how I’m in the Workers Party ad naseum (Yes, I’m defending her because we’re in the same party, good spotting). Good to see student politics is as petty as people say it is. It prepares me for University. :)

  74. Mr Magoo says:

    Don’t you have a baking soda and vinegar volcano to get back to?

    You are launching personal attacks on Sonny, with your only argument being ‘read the change proposal’ (yes, that same proposal Joel Cosgrove supports).

    How about you leave this to the grown ups?

  75. Wee Hamish says:

    Hahaha, wait, Eli isn’t trolling everybody and he really is 17-years-old? A 17-year-old member of the Workers Party who has a vested interest in the politics of a university he doesn’t even attend yet and celebrates the pettiness of online mudslinging as adequate preparation for life post high school?

    Jesus fucking Christ..

  76. Eli Boulton says:

    Mr Magoo – Aha! My prediction was correct after all. Petty name-calling and insults to distract from the actual issue at hand. My only argument being ‘read the Change proposal’? I haven’t mentioned the ‘Change Proposal’ at all. Did you make a typo? I am not lauching personal attacks against Sonny, on the contrary, I am simply concerned with the *personal attacks* on Jasmine, the fact Sonny threatened to use who she was going out with as a smear. That is just vile. I was told of this by Joel in private, and considering I’m mates with Joel I’m a bit hard-pressed to find a reason why exactly he’d be lying. I didn’t just read Jasmine’s letter on this blog and assume it was true.

    Wee Hamish – In regards to the pettiness/preparation thing: Sarcasm obviously isn’t your strongpoint. I was not saying petty student politics would prepare me for my life past high school, I was jokingly referring to what I should be expecting in my own student association in the future, pettiness, smear attacks and putting words in people’s mouths like you did just a moment ago. I have no “vested interest”. If it wasn’t for the low-blow smear tactics I’m seeing being employed against Jasmine, I would not be here. As you said, I don’t attend Vic Uni and I’m probably not going to attend Vic Uni. I have no real stake in this election. I’m just mates with Joel, saw this and thought it was a bit dickish. That’s all.

    I’ll prepare myself for more stupid soda and vinegar volcano jokes now. :)

  77. Wee Hamish says:

    You posted two long-winded responses to a couple of pseudonyms on the internet.

    That’s all.

  78. Adam says:

    I swear to the gods, this is possibly one of the most silly elections I’ve ever witnessed. And I’ve witnessed high school elections where the winner achieved success by giving out stolen jellybeans.

    I care not for Jasmine or Sonny. Their divisive exchange detracts from everything and anything that could possibly matter, and it scares that, as Jackson pointed out, a man in a panda suit is looking like the most sensible candidate (especially given that photos on his Facebook page show the other candidates like him, and it is an awesome panda suit). I’m not adverse to the Change Proposal, but the fact that nobody cares to discuss it because the main candidates are too busy engaging in primary school warfare to address the issues means I’m becoming apathetic about it rapidly.

    But of course, nobody’s going to read this, because we’ve long since abandoned the calls for reasonable and intelligent debate in favour of flame wars and arguing over which Worker’s Party member Jasmine’s going out with (I DON’T CARE). So WAHEY, LETZ FLAME OLOLOLOLOL!!!!11!


  79. Peter Manglethwaite says:

    Wee Hamish – I am not a pseudonym! I am a real person with real feelings upon which you have trodden.

    Eli – I never said anything about anyone presenting anything resembling an argument. What I did however observe was that your appearances on this website occur when a Workers Party member puts up their wand and sends out red sparks. And just like in the Goblet of Fire, communism, Marxism blahdy blahdy blah is all a fictional tale told to children to make them hope for a better future.

    So I, in my far superior intelligence to you, have decided that I shall join in the communal piss taking of you.

    “My prediction was correct after all.”
    Eli claims he is a clairvoyant. As proven by Raybon Kahn in the Sunday Star times, clairvoyants are in breach of the consumer guarantees act and are all petty thieves playing off peoples’ stupidity.

    “I am not lauching [sic] personal attacks against Sonny”
    I personally saw Eli launch one earlier in the day. It was shaped like a paper plane and on the side was emblazoned the legend “Sonny smellz like plopz”. Sorry. Wrong again Mr. Boulton. It is YOU who smells like plopz.

    “I’m mates with Joel”
    Nothing to brag about sweet cheeks.

    “Sarcasm obviously isn’t your strongpoint [sic].”
    This is Wee Hamish, who cried all the way from Aberdeen to Auckland. He is a fucking baby. The reason he doesn’t get sarcasm is because of the oxygen deprivation caused by his dad shoving him in the overhead compartment. Have some sensitivity dude.

    “If it wasn’t for the low-blow smear”
    Then more women would die from cervical cancer. You fiend! denying women the right to live. You patriarchal cunt. Ladies don’t listen to this monster. Smear tests are ok. Trust me. I’ve tried to preform one before.

    “I have no “vest..”
    Wise choice. It is coming into spring so a vest is probably not necessary. You may want to pack it for when you get up here to Wellington though. The cold winds of becoming an adult cut straight to the bone.

    “I don’t attend Vic Uni and I’m probably not going to attend Vic Uni.”
    YAY! The peasants rejoice.

    Anyhow.. is it not past your bed time young man?

  80. Richard says:

    Look at the scoreboard

  81. Adam says:

    @Mr. Manglethwaite

    That comment wins this blog.

  82. Mr Magoo says:

    Mangelthmaite, you’re a fucking legend.

    PS Eli you racist cunt, you pick on a Scottish toddler for his lack of understanding of sarcasm. The fact that you admit to friendship with Cosgrove sums you up.

  83. Wee Hamish says:

    Just wait until I’m Big Hamish, Eli. I’ll haggis yer noodle until it’s tartan red, you dunebug eatin’ wittler’s skirt.

  84. George says:

    All I can say is that if Sonny gets elected, except the mud slinging to continue well after the election, because that’s how he rolls…

  85. Portsmith the Lonely Turtle says:

    Uh, hello? Excuse me? I’m down here… I’m very small, you probably wouldn’t have seen me. Nobody ever sees me :(

    My name’s Portsmith and I’m a lonely turtle. I lost my family in Flurry Forest when we were attacked by the screech owls :(

    Which one of you will be able to help me find my family? I miss them so much :(

    Love, Portsmith.

  86. ggunit says:


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