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April 2, 2012 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

The March meeting of the VUWSA general executive quickly saw this Salient reporter transported into an episode of VUWSA: Child Of Our Time.

Maternal President Bridie Hood had the exec number themselves off out loud before the class excursion to Governance Lane could begin. All were present, until Queer Officer Genevieve Fowler suddenly discovered she needed the little girls’ room.

Fortunately, Clubs Officer Reed Fleming had some craft activities to tie them over as they waited. This involved cooperation in handing out parts of the agenda pack that they had to compile themselves. It didn’t take long for Hood to realise she needed to explain how to pick up the pieces of paper.

“I’ve already stuffed up,” lamented Fleming.

Once the mountains of paper were in order, the meeting finally got underway at 5.49pm.

Work reports all passed, with Treasurer William Guzzo commending everyone’s efforts during the busy start to the year, and noting they all were deficit free–much to the envy of Governments worldwide.

Guzzo also informed the exec that the Audit and Finance Committee would next week be releasing a discussion document on what spending areas and services they want to review and cut.

“For example, clubs and student media,” Guzzo explained, leading this underpaid reporter instantly fearful for her year’s whiskey supply.

He said a question which needed to be considered was where VUWSA wanted to be in five years time, and that they needed to think about what they wanted and what they held valuable. Quite a task for an executive with only a one year term.

Soon they moved into the secretive adolescent years, hiding their discussions away in a ‘committee’ diary, with ‘reasons of commercial sensitivity’ locking Salient out from reporting.

What came out of the discussions was something that, for reasons unknown, was not done in 2011 when the issue first arose—VUWSA finally officially taking a position on the less than hotly debated Student Forum. This saw Hood’s recent speech to the Academic Board tabled and a motion to endorse her comments passed.

As previously reported in Salient, her speech resulted in the yet to be established Student Forum being opened up for wider student consultation before being entirely adopted by the University Council. A second motion was passed that the exec welcomed the Board’s decision to do so.

Next topic of discussion saw the VUWSA Executive become responsible (read: puritanical) adults. With Welfare Officer Rory McCourt announcing, “Madame Chair, I would like to have a discussion about VUWSA’s position on a smokefree policy.” Tar tainted lungs around campus could be heard gasping at the thought. Though it was probably unrelated.

McCourt explained that the University was looking at making all of Victoria’s campuses smokefree, and was seeking VUWSA’s position on the matter. Discussion ensued about how the difficulties in policing such a policy would turn it into a ‘token gesture’.

With all campuses being surrounded by Council land, students could still smoke close by, and as a smoking member of the executive noted–many areas on campus are already smoke free, meaning the impacts of the change wouldn’t make a significant difference.

In a moment of innovative spirit, they decided to run a Facebook poll to gauge student opinion before formally adopting a position.

The meeting closed at 7.36pm. At just under two hours long, this week’s exec meeting bore witness to the unsightly transformation of the VUWSA Executive from delinquent children to tamed bureaucrats. This too shall pass.


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