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April 30, 2012 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

Feeling commercially sensitive.

April has always been a lucky month. Filled with cocoa based indulgence somehow related to religious holidays, though usually forgone for time and a half pay. This year was no exception, with it getting to hold two meetings of the VUWSA executive. Taurus, the planets sure aligned in your favour.

The meeting began with the usual bureaucratic formalities of minutes and work reports, though progress was halted, as rather than being ready for the meeting, trapped “somewhere in the computer [were] the minutes from the 6th meeting.”

Had Salient been in charge, we would have co-opted Julian Assange onto the executive to help aid navigation through Windows XP.

They then moved into the comfort of committee for reasons of commercial sensitivity, which Salient is not allowed to report on. When this decision was questioned, President Bridie Hood explained it was because of the “human resources” (staffing) implications of the topic. Interesting.

Next on the agenda was an update from the Working Party, which was established to facilitate VUWSA’s upcoming Governance Review. Acting Vice-President (Welfare) Rory McCourt passed on the heartbreaking news that the executive could not submit on the review, as it raised a conflict of interest and would detract from the fact that the review was meant to be as student- focused as possible.

As previously reported in Salient, the working party was yet to be filled as only one student had applied to be on it. Since then, another student has been invited in. Though when Salient was introduced to her, it was explained that she had threatened an executive member in the stairwell of the SUB, saying that if she wasn’t able to join the party she would physically harm them. Salient is unsure whether this was a joke.

Next came another discussion of VUWSA’s stance on Victoria University becoming smokefree in 2013. As instructed by a previous executive meeting, a highly scientific gauge of student opinion was run through a Facebook poll. It found that about 80 per cent of the 300 respondents were in favour of the proposal.

The difficulties it would raise for smokers was mentioned, with McCourt saying that they needed to “make sure that smokers don’t get stubbed out.”

Discussion was quickly bogged down by the details of implementation, rather than the broader goals of the policy, and the University and students contributing to the nationwide debate.

Environmental group Generation Zero had asked for VUWSA’s support in a campaign to “protect the rights of future generations” at the next United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. This included supporting a proposal to establish a High Commissioner for Future Generations, by means of endorsing a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, asking him to reconsider his opposition to the idea.

Always suspicious of coincidences, and itching to engage in investigative journalism, Salient was quick to question whether the letter’s author was actually one “Jimmy Green.” Turner confirmed that it was, but reassured Salient that she would double check.

A motion was moved that VUWSA supports the letter, passing with unanimous support as VUWSA delved once more into the world of unmandated political moves on behalf of their loyal students.


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