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September 1, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

Last week’s VUWSA exec meeting commenced an hour earlier than usual, with the first unofficial item on the agenda apparently being the exec’s food budget. Auckland University’s Student Association (AUSA) reportedly have $180 to spend on a spread at each meeting, and judging by the rice crackers, potato chips and capsicum that our elected student body had to subside on during a two-hour meeting, their budget is considerably less. That being said, they did also have cheese, so maybe they’re not that hard done by.

On a related note, I recently spoke to David Do, president of AUSA, who wanted to know whether the VUWSA exec were really as big a bunch of muppets (I paraphrase) as they are portrayed. I wearily confirmed this and, probably charitably, he invited me to an AUSA exec meeting if I was ever in Auckland. Knowing now that they spend $180 on food for one of these meetings is a compelling incentive.

Anyway, back to VUWSA – the meeting experienced some delay as exec members deliberated over who would take the minutes in the absence of Education Officer A and longsuffering default note-taker Stefan Tyler. After various excuses, Education Officer B Seamus Brady accepted the task with about as much enthusiasm as I expressed about spending my Wednesday afternoon observing this.

Administration Vice-President Alexander Neilson announced that Queer Rights Officer Rachael Wright had informed him that she would be “boycotting” all exec meetings. President Joel Cosgrove refused to accept this as a formal apology, while Women’s Rights Officer Georgie Dickson scathingly remarked, “How constructive.”

Shortly after this, the exec moved into committee to discuss the long-awaited rebudget, much to the likely excitement of Neilson, who was armed with a formidable stack of A3 paper, four pens emblazoned with the VUWSA logo and two wallets (who carries two wallets?). The re-budget has shown that the exec overestimated their income from student levies by $48,903.03, and this coupled with their overspending during O-Week has resulted in the following cuts: Education, cut by $716.80; Activities, cut by $6,750; Clubs, by $19,750; VUWSA Administration, cut by $19054.10; and Salient, cut by $20,281.79. (Salient’s staff wage cut has been implemented since the start of the year.)

The term “cut” is probably a little misleading – the “cut” in Education is a result of a planned expense being higher than the income (and thus not carried out), while the “cuts” to both Activities and Clubs are only reductions in the core funding that the exec will provide (because this funding is now provided through external sponsorship). The “cut” to Administration is due to costs being lower than projected, therefore the actual expenditure being lower than expected.

In other news, the exec are purchasing a new laminator (after extensive assessments conducted by Neilson on the affordability, reliability and quality of various models), and will be donating $250 to support deaf children on Loud Shirt Day, instead of $300 as suggested by Education Vice-President Paul Danger Brown. “I want it noted that I am incredibly generous,” he said.

The dates of the 2008 VUWSA general elections have also been revised, with polls now opening on 26 September instead of 12 September. Despite the original date being the latest possibly allowed under the VUWSA Constitution, Neilson announced a clause that permits a later date provided it is “for the good management of the association.” That’s really far too easy for me to mock.Eye on Exec


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  1. peteremcc says:

    Oh dear god, there cutting club and salient funding, it’s the end of the world, we’re all going to burn in hell, all the clubs will collapse and nobody will have anything to do.

    Oh wait, no, sorry, i forgot thats only if its right wingers making the cuts!

  2. Michael Oliver says:

    Ah… ha ha…. ha…. haha…ha…. yeah, good one, peteremcc.

    Once again, funniest column in Salient by a considerable margin.

  3. Shitkicker says:

    Fuck you peter, I’m going to push you off a cliff

  4. blogette says:

    Paul Brown: “I want it noted that I am incredibly generous”

    –> Very easy to be generous with other people’s money. Deaf children deserve to be supported, but surely we should all get to make that judgement individually as opposed to having the VUWSA executive decide it for us?

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