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September 17, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

VUWSA Presidential Address

A massive, massive thank you to everyone who came to the Special General Meeting last week. I don’t think there have been that many people at a VUWSA General Meeting in a very long time!

For those of you who couldn’t attend, we successfully passed the recommendations of the Governance Review Final Report and the meeting voted in favour of VUWSA supporting Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. The pizza was demolished within minutes of the meeting finishing and it was just a generally great day!

Although John Key may believe interest free student loans are the only thing that is going to get students out of bed before 7pm to vote, last Wednesday really showed me how engaged, eloquent and passionate the student voice is here at Victoria.

But the excitement didn’t end at the SGM last week. We opened nominations for the VUWSA General Election the following morning. Even better: by the end of the day a few nominations were already handed in!

So, this week my president’s column is going to be all about why YOU should run for the VUWSA Executive. I first ran for VUWSA at the end of 2009, to be on the 2010 Executive. I didn’t really know a huge amount about VUWSA, but I knew I wanted to get more involved on campus. Having moved from Hamilton I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet new people and push me out of my comfort zone. I ran for Campaigns Officer and had my first experience of beating No Confidence.

However, within a few months I was co- opted into the position of Academic Vice President (then Education Vice President). Before I even got to terms with the role of Campaigns Officer, I was all of a sudden a Vice President! I won a by-election for the position in mid-2010 and ran again for AVP in 2011. And now I’m sitting in the President’s Office.

Looking back over my time as a student at Vic being involved in VUWSA was the second-best decision I ever made. Second only to my decision to enrol in INTP371—Human Security, because that paper is amazing!

Through my time at VUWSA I’ve been able to meet and work alongside some amazing people. Not just the other Executive members, but VUWSA and VUW staff, Class Reps, Faculty Delegates, Rep Groups and other students.

On a personal level, working for students on a daily basis has been incredibly rewarding. Knowing that the work you do every day, the changes you advocate for and the decisions you make positively impact students, and make their life a bit easier, is fantastic. Nothing beats the satisfaction of getting wins for students in University policy changes and development. Our voices do matter.

So why should you run for VUWSA?

Firstly, because University life is far more than just studying. By getting involved in something like VUWSA, you will help to make sure your time at Victoria is unforgettable.

Secondly, because VUWSA is a great place to be if you care about your University and students at Victoria, and it’s a chance for you to make a big difference.

Thirdly, because VUWSA is changing and it needs good people to make sure the change works. The Governance Review will see the Executive radically restructured, which makes 2013 an exciting time to be an Executive member, operating under a brand new structure.

VUWSA was established because it is only students who can ensure that Victoria is providing the education, experience, community and facilities that students want and need. We have been proudly supporting students at Victoria for over 113 years. VUWSA is here for all of you and every day we work to make sure your students experience is the best it can be.

Nominations close this Friday. You can pick up your form from the VUWSA Kelburn Office in the Student Union Building.


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