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April 6, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye On Exec

With President Freemantle adding ‘Code of Conduct’ to matters of urgent general business as soon as Robert Latimer (Education Officer B) entered the room, the meeting looked up. He was two minutes late, and someone rumoured that they had seen him at the bar. But before addressing this issue the exec entertained each other with their weekly work reports, and made some very important funding decisions.

The main item of interest this week was an application made by our Maori Students’ Association, Ngai Tauira, for the VUWSA Trust to sponsor them in starting a website. President Freemantle made it clear that the advice of the exec would probably be followed by the Trust. After Freemantle and Administration Vice President Alexander Neilson dictated their opinions on the matter for some time, the members actioned that the “VUWSA executive fully supports applications from Ngai Tauira, however they feel that this is not the most appropriate project.” The decision was made considering both cost and the relevancy of the website.

Neilson noted that “Ngai Tauira at last year’s AGM showed a $61,000 cash surplus, and there is no indication that they have been spending up.” He also pointed out that VUWSA already gives money to Ngai Tauira, and that they are probably in a stronger financial position than VUWSA themselves. One exec predicted that ‘they should probably have about $100K tucked away somewhere.’ The implication was that Ngai Tauira could fund this project themselves. Despite this, Education Vice President Freya Eng expressed concern in their decision-making process, posing the question: “If we are truly recognising Ngai Tauira as equals and the Treaty of Waitangi and all that, then why should they suffer because of our financial position?”

As well as for financial reasons, the executive did not see a Ngai Tauira website as being the most beneficial project that the association could implement for students. Neilson noted that the executive would like to see a proposal which didn’t need ongoing management, and would benefit students for 5-10 years, such as the boat proposals that the Rowing Club makes.

In reviewing his week’s work, Seamus Brady also expressed disappointment in the recent VUWSA campaign encouraging male students to get sexual health checks. He admitted that poorly designed posters depicting G.I. Joes and a message which Freemantle summarised as “if you wanna be a hard man get your tool checked,” missed the point. Freya Eng went so far as to say that the poster “perpetuates stereotypes of what it is to be masculine, which is kind of disgusting.” The executive were upset that the student funds used in this very valid campaign had not been used to best effect.

Finally, matters of Urgent General Business were confronted, and Freemantle confronted Latimer on his lateness. On admitting that he was at the bar having a beer, Freemantle sternly reminded Latimer that “it is not appropriate to drink before exec meetings, though we may like to.” Though Latimer protested that he was not intoxicated, he admitted “I don’t know what is appropriate, I apologise.” He also implicated exec member Seamus Brady in a similar offence. The two members will be spoken to individually by President Freemantle regarding this matter.


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  1. Anony says:

    Kids playing with our money… nothing ever changes!

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