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September 3, 2007 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec Bonanza!: VUWSA hits a snag

This week Salient brings you an Eye On Exe bonanza, with four meetings for the price of one (woop, woop).

MEETINGS 1 AND 2 – Laura McQuillan

The first meeting began with riveting election action – and disagreement over how the exec could overcome the Constitutional requirement that a Returning Officer be appointed 21 ‘office days’ before the election. President Geoff Hayward made the amusing and roundabout suggestion that VUWSA open the Kelburn office for one hour on weekends so they could be counted as office days, before some clever dick suggested using interpretive powers to construe it simply as ‘days’. The date was then tentatively reset for September 21-27 at the second exec meeting of the holidays.

The exec moved onto discussing how the Constitution is a bit poo, and Treasurer Alexander Neilson was action-pointed to rewrite it, before it was suggested that an expert could take six months to fix the entire document.

A tearful Welfare Vice President Heleyni Pratley spoke on her letter of resignation – which had its date of effect postponed a week to Sunday 26 August, due to the need for the exec to hurriedly sort out a Returning Officer Job Description. Pratley said it was “a difficult decision to make, but I had to make it.” Which is fair enough, because she’s an Honours student working way too many hours a week.

Pratley promised to help out then-Education Officer (Welfare) Paul Danger Brown with carrying on her duties. He was later co-opted into the VP position and the exec thought that maybe Pratley could be Education Officer – but she has decided to leave student politics behind her entirely. She hopes to continue free soup in the Quad on Wednesdays, however.

The exec moved a motion to thank her for her hard work, and Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright also moved a motion that the exec loves Heleyni – passed with two abstentions by Hayward and Activities Officer Bernard Galaxy, Pratley’s bandmate.

Pratley was advised by Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard to raid the VUWSA stationery cupboard before giving back her key. “Steal everything. We’ll blame Bernie,” Barnard said.

The exec’s musings on ‘love’ soon vanished when a funding application for the Undie 500 led to a heated argument between Hayward and Barnard. Hayward had submitted the funding application along with a motion that the exec not give any funding, which Barnard said prejudiced any possibility of the students getting support. She alleged that Hayward was stepping on her toes as Clubs Officer (and the exec’s Team Vic grants pool liaison), yelling: “If you want to do my job, I’ll quit!”

Some amount of screaming ensued. Salient felt a bit frightened that something might be thrown. But, in the end, no funding was given – although the exec said they could perhaps help get other parties to give sponsorship, and maybe sort out some food parcels, non-alcoholic drinks and a couch (a joke).

MEETING 3 – Nick Archer

At the exec meeting halfway through the break, seven exec members were in attendance to rate the two NZUSA Co-President candidates – MAWSA President Sean Gillespie and MUSA President Paul Falloon.

Gillespie visited and made a presentation before Falloon was teleconferenced in to give his pitch for VUWSA votes. Falloon got 11 out of a possible 12 votes, whilst Gillespie for none, with Galaxy abstaining because he didn’t care.

Usually only one candidate gets through in the first round and Hayward had announced his preference for there to be no split voting, so candidates would either get 11 or 0 votes. It was to be either an 11 or a 0 for the candidates.

Despite his detailed presentation, what counted against Gillespie for garnering VUWSA votes was his lack of experience in student politics.

One thing murmured about Falloon however was his lack of a prepared CV and his tendency to really talk. Both candidates endorsed NZUSA’s ‘Fund the Future’ campaign.

This campaign caused the exec consternation considering that the campaign posters had not yet arrived after several months. Following a recess a motion was passed for an NZUSA membership committee to be set up (consisting of Hayward, Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove and Campaigns Officer Tai Neilson) looking at the available options available including the possibility of associate membership. Another motion for Hayward’s kayak paddle to be taken to NZUSA conference to give them a spanking failed 4-2.

Barnard then had her birthday celebrations interrupted as Cosgrove rang her to ask what several acronyms meant, as a series of clubs were affiliated and grants duly approved as recommended by the Cultural Clubs Council. Brown was co-opted as Welfare Vice President until the by-election later this month, and Salient helped Pratley finish eating her roti.

MEETING 4 – Laura McQuillan

Salient wasn’t actually at this meeting, but got the low-down the next day from minute-taker Brown.

A working party was set up to investigate the viability of an online class reps database, where class reps will enter their details straight into the interweb to cut out all the pesky paper and data entry currently involved.

The exec also created working parties to look at the VUWSA alcohol policy, harassment policy, and the wishy-washy agreement between PGSA and VUWSA.

VUWSA will investigate selling drinks (like V) from the Kelburn Office (which to Salient seems like a silly idea when there are vending machines and cafes in the building). A memo from Hayward to the exec reads: “While there is a possibility of an alternate source of revenue being generated, it must be taken in the wider context of the association’s goals and aims. As VUWSA is also a representative organization, it must also serve the interests of students, not only in terms of their immediate refreshment.”

A motion of sausage censure was also passed against Hayward for ‘conduct unbecoming of an executive officer’ after no purchase order was received by VUWSA for the 3000 sausages which sizzled at Study at Vic Day. VUWSA apparently has no idea whose budget they’re coming out of, and according to Cosgrove, Hayward signed off on the sausages without the required secondary signatory.

Hayward was absent from the meeting and wasn’t impressed about not having a right of reply, later telling Salient, “a censure passed without even following natural justice and the right of me to reply is no censure. The censure would perhaps have carried more weight if those who had moved and voted on it had taken time to even inform me of the allegation and those who [voted for it] are silly sausages.”

Opinion by Laura McQuillan and Nick Archer


About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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