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July 18, 2011 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

PREZ COL – tekau mā rima

VUWSA is your students’ association and you’re entitled to expect a lot from us. We believe all students benefit significantly from an independent democratic students’ association.

The representation VUWSA provides supports and facilitates the best academic and social outcomes for all students. We’re proud of what we do to improve the student experience, decision-making, academic quality and fairness for all students at Vic.

While it’s accepted not all students access every service we provide, students have told us that it is important that they are available when needed.
We engage students to ascertain what they think is or is not important in many ways. At the end of 2010 over 4000 students responded to a significant VUWSA survey with their feedback.  Students rated our performance, value for money and how important they thought services were. This provided a wealth of information that has shaped our planning and work for 2011.

The student representation VUWSA provides, from individual papers, on Faculty Boards and University Council are a critical quality control mechanism, enhance decision‐making across the University.

We’re able to pull on all institutional levers on a daily basis to address issues with courses, assessment, student services, campus facilities, lecturers, hall of residences, or anything else affecting students. Despite this we cannot act on issues if we do not know about it. That is why we put so much emphasis on our Class Rep System. They are our eyes and ears across Victoria.

VUWSA speaks out when Vic thinks it’s OK not to give your grades back or when you could be affected by changes proposed to a major or a programme. We advocate in the best interests of students. We’re the only people around the table who are free to do so. We’re the only people who are free to challenge the University without of fear of repercussion.  
The work VUWSA does on behalf of students at a campus level is backed up by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Association. They are our national voice.
Bureaucrats could never do what VUWSA does. The University cannot provide the services VUWSA does at same cost and are restricted in what they can do. This is backed up by independent research. If they did, students wouldn’t have a direct say in how their money is spent. In contrast, VUWSA is directly accountable to students and enjoys intense scrutiny by independent student media.
We also provide service to make things a bit easier. Things like our Advocate, a food bank that about 800 students will use it this year, free flu shots – that’s 3000 less people susceptible to disease in your classes this year and 5000 students will use our free bus travel this year.
If VUWSA didn’t exist, neither would Salient. It’s the (editorially independent) newspaper of VUWSA. Without it being an integral apart of VUWSA for 73 years it would never have survived. Remember Lucid? That’s because VUWSA has been the central organised student body at Vic for the past 111 years and has allowed a continuity and of support representation, student media and, events, and clubs.
A lot of what we do is highlighted in Salient, on our website and in the Executive’s work reports which can be found on our website. Feel free to email or come into the office to discuss more about what we do and what we can do for you.

Seamus Brady


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