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February 21, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Know Your VUWSA

The Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) is the official representative body for students at Vic. Since 1899, it’s been defending our interests as students and ensuring we get the most out of our time at university.

VUWSA’s goals are: quality, student-focused education; an outstanding student experience; adequate student support; accountable use of student money; and fair decision-making.

It achieves these goals by advocating across the university, training student reps, running campaigns and providing services directly to you. There’s heavy emphasis on ensuring you get maximum value for your money, and they operate on the underlying philosophy of students serving students.

Making sure you get the best possible education is one of VUWSA’s core goals. VUWSA has over 800 student representatives across all levels and bodies of the University. From class reps for individual courses, delegates on Faculties to the University Council, you have someone ensuring our voice is heard.

Along with this they publish the Student Charter and the Alternative Student Guide annually, which are all aimed at making sure Victoria provides you with an exceptional learning and teaching environment. Students can also use VUWSA’s free and professional Student Advocate if things go wrong during their study.

You can also access number of services that support you while you study. This includes a daily food bank, free bread, free flu shots, Student Job Search, free bus tickets, and other assistance you may need.

VUWSA also promotes opportunities to expand ourselves socially and culturally. From the 80 affiliated clubs on campus, the 13 representative organisations, Salient, the student radio VBC 88.3FM, annual Orientation Festivals, the University Games and other activities throughout the year, you’ll find something to get involved with. VUWSA is here for you, so make use of it. You can find more information at

Name: Seamus Brady

Position: President

Responsibilities: I’m responsible for the overall effectiveness of VUWSA and that it’s achieving its goals and advocating on behalf of students for quality education, adequate student support, an outstanding student experience and fair decision-making across the University.
Professional goal: My main goal is to build on the considerable changes VUWSA has undergone in recent years to ensure that it remains true to its core purpose of serving students at Victoria. This will see a the growth of stronger, more responsive, and visible organisation at all campuses that helps students have the best possible education and student experience at Victoria.
Personal goal: Use my gym membership more than once a week and complete the takeover of my flat’s deck with my expanding vege gardens.
Words to live by: Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Name: Bridie Hood
Position: Vice President (Education)

Responsibilities: There are several key roles that I have within VUWSA. Firstly, I oversee the Student Representative system and help coordinate class reps, faculty delegates and other student representatives. I also help out education-based rep groups such as Studio and VicCom. Secondly, I oversee education issues at the University, helping to ensure a high level of teaching and learning at Vic. Thirdly, as the Joe Biden of the association, I have a governance role, making sure VUWSA is a transparent and accountable organisation.
Professional goal: To have 80% of class reps trained! (It’’s harder than you may think.) And to work with Student Reps at the Karori campus to set up an Education Rep Group.
Personal goal: Finally learn those Spanish verb tense irregularities!
Words to live by: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”

Name: Asher Emanuel
Position: Vice President (Welfare)

Responsibilities: In my role as head of the welfare team, I work with the Welfare Officer, Student Advocate, and Welfare Organiser to provide welfare services and representation for students. This includes the food bank, flu shots, stress-free study-week, rep groups, welfare-related publications, tax and student loan advice, representing students on a number of University committees, and lobbying the university and government for better living conditions for students, among other things.
Professional goal: My focus for the year is to ensure that the organisation is providing value for money, and services that a wide range of students can benefit from. VUWSA needs to be an organisation of which students can be proud.
Personal goal: Found a church in my name.
Words to live by: Make sure your reach always exceeds
your grasp.

Name: Daniel Wilson
Position: Vice President (Administration)

Responsibilities: Managing the finances of the association to ensure we have the capacity to help student with all their needs.
Professional goal: Help with the development of VUWSA so that it can survive [Voluntary Student Membership], when students will have to choose to join the association.
Personal goal: To not gain the requisite 10kg exec members are meant to gain.
Words to live by: “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”

Name: Josh Van Veen
Position: Campaigns Officer

Responsibilities: Promoting discussion and action around public issues and issues affecting students as citizens.
Professional goal: To make politics interesting.
Personal goal: To get a degree!
Words to live by: “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” (Richard M. Nixon)

Name: Necia Johnston
Position: Women’s Officer

Responsibilities: Woman-y things
Professional goal: Finish the Campus Safety Audit
Personal goal: Make Women’s Fest the best thing ever, and sort through the voluminous box of “cool shit” that Caitlin [Dunham, 2010’s Women’s Office, who is now NZUSA’s National Women’s Rights Officer] left behind.
Words to live by: “I like it like I like a shot of whiskey first thing in the morning: it’s good for about 10 minutes, and then I want my coffee.” Moral: caffeine, not alcohol.

Name: Andy Gao
Position: International Students’ Officer

Responsibilities: I am concerned with the rights of international students at Victoria University of Wellington, and deal with the relevant issues.
Professional goal: Promote communication with international students and the university. Fighting for international students’ benefits and rights at Vic, and connecting with and supporting the international students’ council.
Personal goal: Read more books. Keep happy everyday.
Words to live by: Nothing is impossible.

Name: Haley Mortimer
Position: Environmental Officer

Responsibilities: To recognise and promote the requirements of our current generation and to ensure a sustainable future for coming generations, within the scope of VUWSA and the University.
Professional goal: I plan to further enhance the ongoing campaign of ‘Warm my Flat’ with aspirations to work towards a Star Rating system for student flatting in Wellington. An underlying goal is the plan to bridge a significant gap that is the lack of student recognition and communication with the Wellington Regional Council.
Personal goal: I aspire to embrace all the challenges the role of Environmental Officer gives me. Through these challenges I hope to achieve personal growth and extend my interpersonal skills by meeting with new people and interacting with different groups.
Words to live by: “Carpe Diem—seize the day”.

Name: Campbell Herbert
Position: Activities Officer

Responsibilities: Activities and events throughout the year, organising things surrounding Re-O Week and O Week. I also sit on the Publications Committee [which oversees Salient].
Professional goal: I want to see a more diverse range of activities and events on campus, both at Kelburn and the satellite campuses.
Personal goal: Actually use my gym membership.
Words to live by: “The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life—by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality… he has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past, and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.” (Ayn Rand)

Name: Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Peters
Position: Clubs Officer

Responsibilities: Clubs.
Professional goal: Winning the Uni Games shield.
Personal goal: To survive.
Words to live by: “How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.” (Emo Philips)

Name: Ta’ase Vaoga
Position: Welfare Officer

Responsibilities: Generally anything that falls under welfare: for instance the food bank, general student wellbeing—i.e. employment, health.
Professional goal: To advocate issues related to Student Welfare to the University and to local, regional, and central government; also, to ensure that welfare services provided through VUWSA will continue beyond 2011 by strengthening current services and implementing new initiatives to support them.
Personal goal: To have more of a work/life/study balance (in other words: more of a LIFE!)
Words to live by: “Your greatest failure will be your biggest success—learn from it and move on!”

Name: Jennifer Fellows
Position: Education Officer

Responsibilities: Helping Bridie and the education team with representation-type things, like class rep training, sitting in on faculty board meetings, talking to students about areas they’re having issues with, and also working to find solutions to issues that students are facing.
Professional goal: To get as many students as possible to vote in the General Election in November—students should exercise their right to have a say in who runs our country! And maintaining and strengthening relationships with the key people at the University; having strong student representation such as class reps and faculty delegates; and making sure students at all campuses know of the great services that VUWSA provides.
Personal goal: Actually do my readings (say it every year!) and improve my grades so I can get into honours.
Words to live by: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” (Dr Seuss)

Name: Tom Reed
Position: Queer Officer

Responsibilities: It is my job to advocate on behalf of all queer students at Victoria Univeristy. I will be fighting against homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and all other forms of oppression, so that queer students are in a safe environment on campus.
Professional goal: To get the Safe Zone programme up and running. The programme will educate staff and students on the effects of homophobia, transphobia
and heterosexism.
Personal goal: To maybe—just maybe—do all my readings
Words to live by: “You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it.” (Charles Buxton)


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (2)

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  1. Claire Cranney says:

    omg asher your such a babe

  2. MR. G says:

    What a great Executive.

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