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

VUWSA Presidential Address: VUWSA IGM Draws Tenuous Love Actually Link

Have you ever seen that film Love Actually? It’s brilliant. I love it. It begins so well with a monologue by the adorable Hugh Grant as the film’s bachelor Prime Minister David.

He told us that whenever he got gloomy about the state of affairs in the world, he would think about the arrivals gate
in Heathrow Airport. We begin to see footage of families, friends, and lovers greeting each other at the gate. It’s a story of connection–and with Colin Firth in it, it’s a fantastic film.

Likewise, whenever I get gloomy about the state of affairs of this university, I think about the hustle and bustle throughout our university libraries. I think of the excitement of trimester one as the new students walk these corridors for the first time, looking with optimism at the future that lies ahead of them.

They go on to make new acquaintances, new friends, and new lovers. This is a university that centres itself around academia, but it’s also a space for an experience. It gives us all a space to live our lives.

One reason VUWSA was established was to formally recognise the connection we each have as students. It’s an association of people. We’re here to make your time at Victoria the very best that it can be.

At times, that formal aspect means that we have important student meetings to ensure that our relationship is an open one. That said, I don’t want you to date other students’ associations. I want us to go steady. But our relationship needs to be two way. Sure, the executive can sometimes do it by itself, but we’re so much better when we do it together. By “it”, I mean the work of VUWSA.

That’s why we have student meetings like the VUWSA Initial General Meeting held last week. It provides a space for students to know what VUWSA has been up to and gives an opportunity for you to give your feedback.

It gave us an opportunity to change some things, like when students decided whether to vote for or against constitutional amendments. It gives us an opportunity to sit down and think about our strategic direction. Like, honestly, and peering into each others’ souls. I love you, boo.

But I accept that VUWSA has been a little stifling. Sometimes we just don’t do a very good job of communicating things without sounding a bit boring. So we’ve changed. The “annual report” has been turned into an “impact report”. It’s easier to get your head around. It tells you what we were up to in 2011 when you might have thought we were a bit distant.

The report talks more specifically about the work that VUWSA has done to help students in 2011. Like, for example, when we were late to lunch with your parents that time, it was because we running late after giving out 68,530 bus tickets, overseeing 2,200 student vaccinations, and assisting our mate’s clubs with $65,020 in clubs grants.

That report is kind of like an open love letter… Kind of. It lets you know what we’ve been up to. It’s online if you want
to take a look. The point is, boo, we’re still here for you. We’re constantly trying to think about new ways of staying in touch, like the iPhone and Android app we recently put out. We’re getting all up in the Twitter, too. The point remains: it’s the hustle and bustle that keeps us together. Don’t forget though, whenever you’re feeling gloomy, come and see us.

And remember: Colin Firth is a total babe.


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