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October 8, 2018 | by  | in Eye on Exec | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

It’s the second to last exec meeting of the year. Rhianna, our Academic Vice President, was chairing, as our trusty prez Marlon had some family stuff going down. For the first time this year, a Random Student was also in attendance. VUWSA meetings are public. Did you know that? I didn’t. Anyway tons of shit went down this week so it’s gonna be a long one, buckle your belts kids.
O Week Bags
No one on exec liked having the diaries in there because “it’s a massive waste of paper” and “no one uses them”. The suggestion was to give out something “more practical” i.e. keep-cups, mugs, power banks, playing cards, and bottle openers. In the end they sounded most keen on playing cards, and bottle openers with “don’t guess the yes” written on them.
Your Voice Matters
This is a new website VUWSA’s launching. Basically it’s a place where VUWSA asks for your thoughts about what the University is up to. The first thing they’re getting feedback on is the University’s accommodation review, that’s right, the uni is doing a review on how they run the halls and uni owned flats. So go ahead and tell them just what you think of them halls.
Getting the Uni to Get Fair Trade Certified
Ella, our Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, said that Vic Development Society are trying to get the uni to be Fair Trade Accredited. Vic Dev are doing a letter writing campaign, and want VUWSA to write a letter to the uni as well.
Ella said that last year Vic Dev did so much hard work to try get the uni fair trade but just “got stamped on” at the senior leadership level.
“What’s so different about this time?” asked Jack, our treasurer.

“They think student pressure is the way to go” said Ella.

“Oh like the name change. Right.” said Jack.
Lars, who is from Rostra, the Vic Politics Society magazine, asked why the non-fair trade option was still available. “We believe in choice” said Ella, and the conversation turned to jokes about slavery that made me uncomfortable.

NZUSA Structure Review
VUWSA was originally going to talk about this in committee, which would have meant we couldn’t report on it. But they changed their mind five minutes before the meeting. I call that a win for transparency, and I’m happy to share with you the goss.
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is our “national student voice”.
Now, NZUSA is reviewing their democratic structures and their council. The “option paper” from NZUSA noted that “internally, there has been a greater desire for NZUSA to be more visible, accountable, and member-focused”.
Currently NZUSA consists of all the presidents from student unions around the country. The proposal in the option paper suggested student union representation be increased to two members.
Beth wanted to know how NZUSA plans to increase member engagement. “I just disagree with everything [about that proposal],” she said.
Rhi said she wanted the status quo, but with a revised reporting system.
Ella said the VUWSA president shouldn’t be able to vote on an issue for NZUSA unless VUWSA have voted in favour of it. The conclusion was “we don’t like any of the options, it doesn’t address our concerns”.
Name Change
VUWSA is submitting against it, and Tam said the submission “could be powerful because Chris Hipkins is a former VUWSA president”.
If the name does get changed, VUWSA is trying to decide if they should become UWSA, WUSA, SAW, or stay VUWSA.
They’re gonna ask for student feedback, so stay tuned.
The Random Student was asked to leave because the meeting went into committee. He left, saying “what am I even doing here?”
The meeting ended with a vigorous debate about the Bird of the Year. One person, who shall remain unnamed, stated their support for kerurū. Beth responded “you’re just swayed by the most well-funded media campaign”.


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