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June 5, 2012 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Very Serious Business

Victory for the people

In a departure from tradition, a University Council has stood up to the ever-growing power of a Vice-Chancellor and University senior management. Following a campaign by staff and students at Canterbury University, the Council voted to retain the Theatre and Film Studies and the Cultural Studies programmes.

The decision came after a three-hour debate where staff and students made ‘passionate pleas’ against the Vice-Chancellor’s vision of the University specialising in science and engineering.

Several council members expressed concern about the information provided by management explaining the financial reasons behind the proposed closures, with some saying they were ‘limited’ and ‘difficult to grasp’.

Following the 2011 February earthquake the University has had falling student numbers, increasing insurance costs and a building repair bill likely to rise above $150 million.

NZUSA faces provincial rebellion

NZUSA’s involvement in the ‘Keep Our Assets’ referendum campaign is still ruffling feathers on the dead pigeon that is student politics, with Otago University Students’ Association President Logan Edgar moving a motion that they withdraw support.

The motion was discussed, and the University Sector Council—constituted of students’ association presidents—made some recommendations to the NZUSA Board, which are currently confidential. All comment on the issue has been frozen until the Board makes a decision on how to proceed.

Edgar told Critic that it was inappropriate for NZUSA to get involved with the campaign because it’s “not an education issue” and that “NZUSA has better things to be doing at the moment.” Though he did say that should the assets be partially sold, OUSA would look at investing in shares and were meeting with bank advisers to discuss options.

VUWSA President Bridie Hood wouldn’t comment on whether or not VUWSA or the VUWSA Trust were considering buying shares.

As previously reported in Salient NZUSA claimed to have no stance on the outcome and were just supporting it because it gave students an opportunity to get involved in the political process—a justification that differed from internal correspondences and promotional materials quoting NZUSA Vice-President Arena Williams as advocating the retention of assets. Williams also claimed all students’ association presidents had been consulted prior to supporting the campaign, which all presidents to speak on the issue have disputed.


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.

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