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September 8, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Vote for your favourite muppet today!

Nominations for the 2008 VUWSA general elections begin this week, two weeks later than the date allowed under the official constitution.

However, according to a legal loophole discovered by current Administration Vice-President Alexander Neilson, this postponement is permitted if it is intended for the “good management of the organisation.”

All 13 positions on the executive are open for nomination, as well as two positions on the Publications Committee and the position of Council Representative.

While current president Joel Cosgrove is understood not to be running for re-election, Campaigns Officer Sonny Thomas launched his campaign for the VUWSA presidency several weeks ago with a group on Facebook.

Nominations close 4:30 p.m. 16 September, with polls open 26 September. Role descriptions and nominations forms are available at the VUWSA offices, bottom floor of the Student Union Building.


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  1. vuwsa staff member who would know says:

    vote sonny.

  2. Sarah says:

    What about Ihaia Tichbourne’s facebook group? It has far more people in it and was created several weeks ago. Vote Ihaia!

  3. Ben Moore says:


    I think that an unfair preference has been given to incumbent candidates in this Salient article. The Committee to Elect Tichborne has been months in existence, similarly has the ‘Tichborne for President’ facebook group, and currently has more members than Sonny Thomas’ group.
    I feel that Ihaia’s campaign deserves Salient’s attentions, especially considering the number of people who have lent their membership to it.

    Ben Moore

  4. Seonah says:

    Ben: I can assure you that any perceived preference towards Sonny Thomas was not intentional – at the time of writing, he was the only person whose candidacy I was aware of. However long the “Tichborne for President” Facebook group had been in existence for, Salient had not been informed of it, therefore it would be legitimately unreasonable to expect it to have been mentioned in the above article. That said, Ihaia is free to contact Salient if he wishes to further publicise his campaign.

  5. lesbocrat says:

    I thought everyone knew the Titchborne for president page was a joke? Almost all of his supporters are not even Vic Students…

    Salient was probably right to disregard it.

  6. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Who the fuck is this Titchborne guy? If I don’t know him, he must be laaaame

  7. He is possibly the second quietest person in debsoc.

  8. Whose the quietest?

  9. Freya says:

    Incorrect use of ‘whose’, Conrad. I smite you.

  10. Danny the Dog says:

    I don’t think its an adequate excuse in journalism for the reporter to have not been aware of a part of the story at the time of writing?

  11. Seonah says:

    Danny the Dog: No effort has been made to date by Ihaia or his supporters to inform Salient of his campaign. Consequently, I have not been aware of it, therefore I don’t think it is adequate to expect it to be mentioned. For someone running a political campaign, I would think that establishing a two-way relationship with the relevant media would be an obvious thing to do. Furthermore, it is not possible for a reporter to be aware of every conceivable aspect to a story; ultimately I determine what constitutes a “part” of a story, and while I would have paid the same amount of attention to Ihaia’s campaign as I had to Sonny’s in this article, I believe I have a reasonable explanation as to why not.

  12. diddums says:

    sonny is a dickhead

    do we really want another president that is liability?

  13. Adam says:

    Seohan: I think you’ll find that in the letters section of last week’s issue of Salient (the issue with UNICOMM on the cover), there was a letter outlining the growing support for Tichborne as President. I know – I read some of it to DEBSOC during Wednesday’s Regressive Debate. Surely some cursory searching of the name on Facebook or Google would have revealed that Ihaia will run for President once his group reaches 300 members – in fact, a search of Tichborne on Facebook reveals the Tichborne for President group to be the first result in groups and second overall, and a Google search of Ihaia Tichborne has two mentions of his campaign on the first two pages, as well as his extensive DEBSOC experience. Quite frankly, the argument that there has been no effort to contact Salient is fallacious.

    And I would prefer not to have Sonny Thomas as President of VUWSA, due to the fact that he appears to have spent most of this year conspiring against the current ineffective President. A noble goal for some, perhaps, but not conducive to Executive harmony and decision-making, and definitely a bad sign when he appears all too willing to ask Salient to breach “off the record” confidentiality – a maxim sacrosanct in journalism – in order to further his political goals.

  14. Adam says:

    Oh, and just so everyone can join the group and support the mighty Ihaia Tichborne, who would be a fantastic President of VUWSA, the group can be found here – Join for a better 2009.

  15. Seonah says:

    Adam: I do not read the Letters section of the magazine as a source from which I draw my news, and employing such an obscure means of publicising a political campaign would unsurprisingly return minimal results. The bottom line is, Sonny Thomas informed me of his campaign by inviting me to join his Facebook group and therefore I was aware of it. This was not the case with Ihaia’s. I personally find it ridiculous that I am expected to have reported on a campaign by people who have made no discernible effort to inform me of it. It’s simple: if you have something you believe warrants mentioning in the news pages, contact the News Editor. Or in fact, contact Salient through a medium other than the Letters pages.

  16. Cartoony Titiahloo says:

    Miss Thomas looks like a young non-straight version of that Labour Party fatty Parekura Horomia – which is ‘Carcrash Horror Mee Ah’ english. Carcrash is useless and Lil’ Miss Thomas is the same.

  17. Cartoony Titiahloo says:

    Miss Thomas looks like a young non-straight version of that Labour Party fatty Parekura Horomia – which is ‘Carcrash Horror Mee Ah’ in english. Carcrash is useless and Lil’ Miss Thomas is the same.

  18. Cartoony Titiahloo says:

    Vote Cartoony Titiahloo for president!

  19. Michael Oliver says:

    I’m voting for Superman, fuck the rest of ya’ll.

  20. Nigel says:


    I would’ve been willing to buy what you were saying about not knowing the relevant news, until you mentioned your bottom line.

    While both Facebook groups have sent invites to all their friends, because you were a Facebook friend of Sonny and not Ihaia you were aware of one and not the other. When you boil it down, one was mentioned in the article because they were your friend and the other wasn’t.

    Sure, you’re not expected to be omniscient of election issues, but when it comes to politics, I think it’s fair that you didn’t mention either candidate unless you’d done some reasonable investigation of who was running.

  21. Seonah says:

    Nigel: I’m not a friend of Sonny’s on FB. One of his supporters invited me. It is not any reflection of my reporting capabilities who I am friends with on a social networking werbsite – I have no control over who invites me to a join a support group for whichever candidate. Had Ihaia or any of his supporters wished to bring his Facebook group to my attention, it would have been easy enough any of them to have emailed me. They simply didn’t, therefore I was not aware of his candidacy.

  22. Adam says:

    Besides your apparent lack of clarity as to how exactly you found out about Sonny running for VUWSA President (first you say he invited you, now you say one of his supporters – but that is neither here nor there), I will cautiously accept your argument about the Letters page of Salient being a rather obscure way to publicise a campaign (even if most people tend to read the letters page ahead of everything else, because everyone knows hilarity is promised). Nevertheless, as a reporter on the Executive, I would assume it part of your job to be keeping one eye and one ear peeled for such newsworthy bites, even in the Letters section of Salient – after all, isn’t that where letters sent by members of the Exec angry at misrepresentation or at the occasional misconduct of a member? And surely a mentioning of a candidacy for VUWSA President in a Letters section I am sure you read (after all, Salient is a publication you are involved in) is enough to warrant cursory Google/Facebook searching when writing an article of this type?

    I may be being unnecessarily harsh. But I agree with Nigel in that it is expected of a reporter to do some fair research before writing on such matters, rather than waiting for the information to come to you.

  23. Seonah says:

    Adam: I disagree. To an extent, I do agree that part of my job is “keeping one eye and one ear peeled,” but amidst a political campaign, I believe much of the onus is on the candidate to publicise his campaign (after all, it will be of benefit to him) and ensure relevant media outlets are aware of his candidacy rather than expecting media to be meticulously observant. I do acknowledge that a letter was published in a past copy of Salient, but I feel that had Ihaia or any of his supporters been serious about drawing attention to his cause, a far more effective method would have been to inform individual members of the magazine. This is part of running a campaign.

  24. Adam – at the end of the day, Sonny has announced his candidacy. Ihaia hasn’t announced his and won’t until he gets 300 (or potentially 200) members.

    So, at the moment, only Sonny is actually a candidate. I would love to see Ihaia running, and we’re certainly not trying to hide his campaign to support Sonny, but until Ihaia actually announces his candidacy there’s not really much to report, other than printing letters from people who want him to run.

    I hope you do get 300 members so that we can announce the campaign soon. Good luck.

  25. Tickidy Boo says:

    You Debsoc people really have no idea. Explaining is losing and by the looks of it this “Campaign” is going too. And betedubs, it’s not Seonah’s job to fossick around letters to find other candidates. A good campaign aiming to raise the porifle of their candidate would probably want to do more than write smarmy letters to the editor.

    Who care if Ihaia’s group is the biggest? Does he piss the furthest too? On the face of it he does have more members, but probably nearly half of them are not Victoria students, so cant vote. Sonny’s has way more Victoria students so in reality, has the biggest relevant group.

    Nominations close in six days. Good luck getting 150 more people in that amount to join your group so Ihaia runs. Its taken you nearly three months to limp to 160.

  26. Adam says:

    Seonah and Tristan: Good points, both. I will concede reluctantly on this argument, though I still believe my point stands. Here’s hoping 300 members can be mustered up so Ihaia can run. And at least you two have had the good grace to argue in a professional manner, unlike Mr. Boo underneath (whose gross generalisations, unfounded facts and insults will henceforth be ignored by myself). ‘Til next time.

    As a side note, could this be considered as informing you so that an article may be published in next week’s Salient? After all, when it goes out, there will still be at least a day and a half left before nominations close. :)

  27. Michael Oliver says:

    Christ almighty, I hope this snoozefest isn’t indicative of what we can expect on here during our annual pillage into fucktardery that is the VUWSA elections. The A-Team probably set an unreachable benchmark last year with their unique stylings, and to be honest, “WHY DIDN’T YOU CITE THE IRREFUTABLE PILLAR OF UNABASHED INTELLECTUALISM AND COMMON SENSE THAT IS THE SALIENT LETTERS PAGE, WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF JOURNALIST ARE YOU?” doesn’t really stack up.

    Someone better throw a cream pie at someone this year because fucking hell…

  28. Confused says:

    Why would Salient announce the presidency of a candidate who hasn’t said he is going to run yet. Seems like these commentators are a nought but a crazy bunch of fanboys with an Ihia fetish. That shit is just wack yo’

  29. Bebo says:

    Conrad Reyners is Sonny’s best mate

  30. Shitkicker McGee says:

    Bebo is lame.

  31. Sorry Bebo, I don’t do favorites. You’re still in with a shot.

  32. lame says:

    Dear Salient,

    I was just walking past the Union Building, when what do I see, Seamus Brady and Conrad Reyners sitting side by side in the VUWSA computer room. On further investigation through mutual friends I have ascertained that Conrad is not only really good friends with Seamus and Sonny, but a member of Young Labour. How does Salient reconcile sending someone who is buddy buddy on many levels with the exec members to report on them? I understand that some of you have your biases, but isn’t this a massive conflict of interest?

    It is also interesting to note that at the same time Rachael Wright, who is boycotting VUWSA Exec meetings, and is probably still getting paid, seemingly has no qualms about using the VUWSA facilities, as she was also in the computer room with Seamus and Conrad.

  33. bobsy says:

    Conrad is blatantly biased and has written biased reports about the exec on numerous occasions. There’s no way he would criticise his friends’ shortcomings. It’s a total conflict of interest.

  34. Wee Hamish says:

    oh god nobody fucking cares

  35. junk yard dog says:

    bobsy’s a garbage man, throw him in the bin

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