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March 1, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

President’s column

President's column

This week you should join a club, attend as many orientation events as possible, familiarise yourself with the services available to you on Campus, pick your tutorials and figure out whether you have chosen the right courses. You may also have StudyLink to contend with, some readings to do and a new city and Campus to get used to. I hope it is an extraordinary week. Have fun. It only gets more stressful from now.

This week is also a good time to reflect on why you are at University in the first place. To learn, probably. Victoria University likes to say that you are here to ‘develop you critical thinking skills’, so that is a good goal. Have fun and enjoy the whole student experience, is also a good reason to be here. Get a degree and a real job, is a common one.

The degree you end up with is probably not the most important thing you will get from your time at University. The students that get the most out of their time at University are those that get involved in the student community and take advantage of all the opportunities available to them. Your discussions, experience, networks, friendships and ideas you build outside the formal University learning environment are usually more important than the piece of paper you receive at the end of it.

Once you have figured out why you are here, you should ask what you think the University and VUWSA should be doing. The University is owned by the people of New Zealand and students are the key stakeholder in the provision of their own education. That means you have the right to have your say about all aspects of the University. You also have the responsibility to ensure you are getting the most of your own time here.

VUWSA was set up by students at Victoria, who understood that students were the only people who could represent students. They believed that only students could ensure that the University was delivering the education, community and facilities that they wanted out of their time here. This 111 year old idea still holds true.

Feel free to come into the VUWSA offices at any time with any questions relating to anything to do with the University and your experience in Wellington as a student. Also feel free to send me an email –


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