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April 27, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on Exec

Last week was one of both wins and losses for our Executive. Though President Jasmine Freemantle may have been on a high from Vic’s second victory in a row at the Uni Games, no doubt she was also feeling the blow of receiving resignations from three executive members in just seven days.

Administration Vice President Alexander Neilson, Activities Officer Marika Pratley and Environmental Officer Georgina Hart will all be resigning their positions on the executive. A by-election will be held in the first week of the second trimester to replace them. All three are leaving due to personal reasons.

In a goodbye address to the executive, Neilson noted that he was pretty happy with the job he had done, taking the budget from a $300,000 deficit to approximately $50,000 surplus in just 3 years. Campaigns Officer Sam Oldham suggested a group hug, which unfortunately did not eventuate.

Neilson also advised the executive that his position as Administration Vice President may be disestablished and replaced with that of ‘Treasurer.’ Apart from the name change, the replacement role would only work half the amount of hours per week, with Nielson claiming that much of his old job will be done by the newly introduced Association Manager.

With ANZAC day on Saturday, VUWSA were sent their yearly invitation from the Wellington City Council to lay a wreath. The decision was contentious considering VUWSA’s history has seen wreaths placed explicitly against commemorating the dead. VUWSA has a policy against promoting war, and the implications of placing a wreath sparked much debate.

One member argued that “if we go out and lay a wreath, we will be somehow in someone’s mind condoning war, which we have a policy against,” while Alexander Neilson moderated that we could lay “a small commemorative wreath for our members who have died and leave it at that”. After some discussion the executive decided not to do anything this year as it was too contentious an issue on too short notice.

Next on the agenda was a bright idea for replacing the 2009 Graduation Ball, which was canned in last year’s budget setting. President Freemantle said that the 2009 Ball was ousted from the budget due to low ticket sales, being too long after students have left university, and generally losing VUWSA a lot of money.

As a free alternative, VUWSA will be proposing a champagne and bacon sandwich brunch before the start of the May parades. This would ideally be funded through a collection from Wellington businesses which students have heartily supported over their years at university. Donations over $50 would be accepted from student supported businesses such as Satay Village, Patel’s Dairy and Mighty Mighty, in return for their names appearing on the posters and banners.

The executive was enthusiastic about the proposal, especially Freemantle who stated that the idea will be “a great way for Wellington to give back to students. It’s way cute, I love it”. The proposal will be made to VUW and awaits approval.


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  1. Just a note, the “$600,000” surplus reported in this week’s printed edition is incorrect. It has been fixed in the online version.

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