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May 24, 2015 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

The Executive has been busy with assignments

There were three absentees, so the 19 May Executive meeting was very small. President Rick was engaging with Te Aro students in a University Council consultation forum that Salient can’t help suspecting was even smaller than the Executive meeting. By the time of the next meeting, assuming he’s back by then, it will have been over a month since Rick last said “I move that we move into committee for reasons of commercial sensitivity”. Salient hopes that Rick is holding up okay, and for his vicarious pleasure will include a running counter of the number of times the Exec decided to use its favourite invisibility cloak.

Committee of the whole counter: 0.

Campaigns Officer Nathaniel was also away, accompanying Rick to the forum and, between the two of them, probably raising the forum’s attendance by around 50 per cent.* Education Officer Ellen was the third absentee—Ellen is an RA and has a kind of joint custody agreement whereby her hall gets her every second Tuesday. This is partly Salient’s fault so we won’t mock it too much, and also we don’t want to make jokes about broken homes. We’re much too classy for that, so we’ll stick with poos and genitalia.

In the absence of the prez, the meeting was chaired by Jono, the Academic Vice-Rick, who aimed to finish in under an hour. Madness. Good Rory, the Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, announced plans for VUWSA to host a Wellington leg of a kind of global youth COP conference in early June during the runup to the Paris 2015 climate conference. Rory expects a turnout of around 100 and has allocated $2000 to catering—so if you’re hungry and keen to chat about how fucked the Maldives are, head along and score yourself a couple of free meals.**

Committee of the whole counter: 0.

The Exec then gave updates on their work. Treasurer-Secretary Jacinta has been busy with assignments. However, she’s been doing “lots of stuff” on Policy Committee, so “watch this space”.  Salient searched for “tenterhooks” on Wikipedia and learned the following:

“Tenterhooks are hooks in a device called a tenter. Tenters were originally large wooden frames which were used as far back as the 14th century in the process of making woollen cloth… lengths of wet cloth were stretched on the tenter (from Latin tendere, meaning “to stretch”) using tenterhooks (hooked nails driven through the wood) all around the perimeter of the frame to which the cloth’s edges (selvedges) were fixed, so that as it dried the cloth would retain its shape and size. In some manufacturing areas, entire tenter-fields, larger open spaces full of tenters, were once common.”

Welfare Vice-President Madeleine has been busy with assignments. She’s also been working on creating a student wellbeing space in Level 2 of the Student Union Building, where students can go to chill out and not think about study.*** She’s also been doing a lot of work following the flooding, and has been working with Rick on putting together a student volunteer army to help those affected.

Engagement Vice-President Toby has been busy with assignments. He has started planning for Re-Orientation, which will potentially involve interactive events in the Hub.

Good Rory has been busy with assignments. He announced the first inter-hall energy saving competition to be held between Weir House and Te Puni.

Naughty Rory hasn’t been busy with assignments, but he has been busy with sports. The Clubs and Activities Sports Officer reported various sports-field-related disputes, presumably to be resolved by a keg race and a chant-off. Naughty Rory has also been trying to revive the Tertiary Sports Commission, which died in the wake of Voluntary Student membership, but it’s “not looking hopeful”.

Equity Officer Chennoah has been working with rep groups to try to formalise their relationships with VUWSA. Chennoah wants rep groups to be present at Open Day but accused the University of deliberately putting up barriers. Chennoah has also been trying to have students’ preferred names be better available to tutors and lecturers—trans students have been inadvertently outed in tutorials and small lectures by staff incorrectly using their birth names.

Jono has been busy with assignments. He has also been tied up with various committees, including the first meeting of the student academic committee this year. He had also just been to a meeting of the “grownup” Academic Committee, where a “conversation [is] going on about the proliferation of 180-point Master’s [programmes]”. Faculties are continuing to capitalise on the softened standards for Master’s degrees by pushing for new, barely credible programmes, some of which require no prior knowledge of the field.

Jono has also made a “Know Your Rights” pamphlet for students dealing with the University, which will be distributed around campus and in the halls. He also wants to put it on the VUWSA website, despite the fact that nobody will find it on that site because the site is terrible.

Speaking of the website, General Manager Indigo gave an update on the plans to overhaul it. There are two companies competing for the contract: an established company, and a student-run company with relatively little experience. The Exec didn’t want to make a decision while three of its members were away, so they settled for making a decision about who would make the decision. Indigo gently reminded the Exec that in the real world, people need to make decisions and can’t just consult each other forever.

Finally, if you thought the purchase of a new van had brought to an end VUWSA’s van-related dramas, you were wrong. The new van had been fitted with the wrong battery, which died and needed to be replaced. “Unfortunately,” Indigo said, “it cost us a lot of money.”

Committee of the whole counter: 0.


*this is baseless and slanderous speculation.
**this was not necessarily the gist of Rory’s message.
***Victoria already has one of these—it’s called the Business School. Zing!


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