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October 14, 2013 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Year in News


The year actually began, providing the final nail in the coffin for the Mayan calendar. The final nail in the coffin of Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh was readied as he signalled he would not re-stand after eight years in the job.


Everyone got a day off for Waitangi Day, but Mainzeal employees got even more: the construction company folded, and work stopped on the Hub. Students dodged a bullet as VUWSA fucked up O-Week, meaning we missed out on Macklemore. The Pope took time off too, with a shock resignation. Another person getting off: university caretaker Arana Kenny, who kept his job after stealing a PhD student’s phone from a bathroom. Also in February, murder allegations saw Oscar Pistorius, the fastest man on no legs, become the fastest man with no girlfriend.


Home Brew headlined O-Week, and threatened to beat up a student on Twitter, to the ire of VUWSA who responded by banning the group from future O-Weeks. The Hub had its official opening, with construction still visible in the background. VUWSA and other student representative groups pulled out of the Student Forum to make a point to the University, burning multiple bridges. Seven months later, and it remains to be seen whether this stunt worked as its replacement is still TBC, but for most of the rest of the year, student representation was left running on an empty tank.


Marriage Equality passed, to the delight of many and to the despair of Colin Craig, but people weren’t happy about all of Parliament’s work. Anger against the GCSB legislation got more and more shrill, to the point where John Key used the recent Boston bombings as an excuse for why the legislation was necessary. North Korea threw their toys, and Victoria threw a party after being announced the best research university in New Zealand. We weren’t allowed to smoke, though, with smoke-free changes implemented at the end of the month.


Remember Aaron Gilmore? Unfortunately, so does everyone else. The Government’s Budget cut some fat from the student-loan scheme, and threatened serious defaulters with arrest at the border. Repayments shot up by over ten per cent. Amanda Bynes ruined everyone’s memories of The Amanda Show, and All That really happened at VUWSA was no one resigning.


The honeymoon didn’t last long, though, as Simon Tapp resigned from VUWSA over the mid-year break. The University decided it would get another student representative on the Council, and also that each letter-grade would go up by five per cent each. Students later revolted, and the University listened. Edward Snowden leaks documents about PRISM: “You promised not to tell!”, says the US.


Education Officer Gemma Swan canned VUWSA to be the second resignation of the year, Egypt canned their President for the first time in 20-odd years, and Andy Murray won Wimbledon—the first Brit to do so in 77 years, unless you count female champions. Re-O Week was dire, but better than 2012’s Pyjama Party. Parliament decided to ban synthetic drugs until proven safe and the gods reacted with a large earthquake, shutting the University for days and, for some campuses, up to a week.


The Waikato Students’ Union President threatened to leave NZUSA, and Massey students threatened their extramural President after finding out she was being paid $53,000 a year for the part-time job. The new Pope said he wouldn’t judge gay people, but Vlad Putin wasn’t listening as the Kremlin cracked down on “gay propaganda” to “protect the children”. Fonterra became Fon-terror as China cried over spoilt milk.


VUWSA members got to say whether or not they’d like to be paying $45,000 a year to NZUSA, and $30,000 a year to the VBC. VUWSA presidential candidate Thomas Maharaj’s campaign stuttered as it turned out his dad didn’t own Snapper despite what he’d been telling students. Vic decided to put up fees for the umpteenth year in a row, and mayoral candidate John Morrison decided he didn’t really want students to vote, and then he did—what a misunderstanding. Kanye West got very angry at Jimmy Kimmel after the latter made fun of the former in a TV skit. Ye’s Twitter rant included the phrase, ‘PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES … OH NO THAT MEANS YOU WOULD HAVE GOTTEN TOO MUCH GOOD PUSSY IN YOUR LIFE”.


And now here we are in October. Already, the Government has moved to allow universities to cut out students from top-level governance. Students have said they’d like Sonya Clark to be VUWSA President, and that they didn’t mind spending thousands on radio stations or ineffective national students’ associations. The US Government shut down amid a budgetary stalemate, and Rihanna called New Zealand paparazzi “Nazis” on Instagram.


People are still talking about the Beyoncé concert.

Rory McCourt is elected NZUSA President, rolls David Cunliffe one month later.

Kimye have another baby, call it ‘South’.

Miley has sex on stage at the VMAs.

Encarta makes a comeback.

Netscape navigator launches porn-only service.

You see your dad on Tinder.

Kim Dotcom and The Civilian Party form a coalition government.

Salient transitions to CD-Rom format.

Conflict in the Middle East.

Beards fall out of style.

Community fans launch a renewal campaign.

Moviegoers are still watching the second Hobbit film.


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