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

Eye on Exec

After a by-election forum where candidates advertised themselves as removed from “petty-politicking and ridiculous power struggles,” last week’s meeting did nothing for the exec’s image. With the full executive present (yes, Bobby Latimer was there), underlying tensions bubbled to the surface with raised voices, points of order and even inter-exec sexual harassment claims.

After a slow start, president of VicCom Darnell O’Neill presented their amended budget to the exec. Earlier in the year the budget had come in to question, though with a few simple changes the exec accepted the new budget before moving on.

Latimer was on the attack, beginning with an opposition to the rumour that he was “drinking at the bar” during the previous meeting, and its subsequent tabling in the minutes.

He requested that the exec go into committee for personal reasons. “Drinking at the bar” was eventually struck from the minutes in favour of merely “at the bar”.

Sam Oldham also took offence to the minutes of the previous meeting, which were written by Freya Eng. He felt that the section which recorded the reasons for him not receiving a bonus was “blatantly biased” and that it noted all of the exec’s criticisms and none of his self-defence. The main point of contention lay in the recording of Freemantle’s claim that she had largely coordinated the SRCs (VUWSA-run meetings for students) this year, an area that Oldham was meant to be in running. This was rejected by Oldham as “grade-A bulls**t,” especially the addition in the minutes that he had felt “too embarrassed” to hold the SRCs.

Argument ensued between Freemantle and Oldham, with the president yelling that though she had never made a poster for the SRC she didn’t believe that Oldham had fully coordinated the meetings. At this moment Latimer raised a point of order for “being snarky,” Oldham contested that the minutes make him look like “a f**kwit”, and Eng thankfully stepped in to say that it was all petty and she would happily strike the point.

As though not wanting to create further conflict, the exec breezed through the work reports. Latimer again was unable to submit a report for this week, Freemantle noting that “we should now be expecting 3 [work reports].”

Next was a point on the agenda called ‘Executive Responsibilities’, which would have been more aptly titled ‘Tim Wang’s responsibilities’ as it mainly consisted of Freemantle telling off Wang for forgetting his meeting with a new staff member. Wang replied “I’m totally sorry.”

After this humble apology, shit got crazy. The first point addressed under urgent general business: a Sexual Harassment Policy breach brought by Freya Eng against Robert Latimer. The policy, new as of last week, was brought against Latimer for heckling “If the couple in the corner could please quieten down,” as Eng and Freemantle spoke during the Candidate’s Forum. Eng found the remark homophobic, stating that “just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m dating Jasmine.”

Surprised, Latimer argued that he wasn’t implying that the two were romantically involved, just that there was two of them. The exec debated the common usage of the word ‘couple’ in the English language. Latimer made a roundabout apology. Eng will not be advancing the complaint.

But wait, folks, there’s more! Next point on the agenda: Conflict of Interest. Jasmine yawns suspiciously (you know it’s gonna be good when she acts nonchalant).

Latimer begins by reminding members of their agreement to raise any issue that might bring the exec into disrepute, through lack of transparency, before dropping the bombshell: “Are there exec members having an intimate relationship, and is it romantic?”

The probing question, directed at Eng and Freemantle’s relationship (whether intimate or professional), was met with outrage by the pair. Latimer was accused of being both irrelevant, and of again breaching the Sexual Harassment Policy.

Despite this, he was adamant that students should know if Eng and Freemantle are in fact a couple, (in the romantic sense of the word). He argued “when one person’s backing another one, there may be other reasons behind it” which students have a right to know about.

When pressed by Oldham for a straight answer, Freemantle refused, stating that it was irrelevant. When asked by her executive if there was anything in the Code of Conduct saying that members could not be together, she said that there is not, at which point it dawned on members that they could “all hook up.” Mariya Kupriyenko agreed that “we should. It’s been really tense.”

At this point, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had all started pashing on top of the Sexual Harassment policy document. But they went on to discuss the relevance or otherwise of SRC meetings, and how they can better address student issues. Just another day in the life of VUWSA’s exec, huh?


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  1. Hank Scorpio says:

    So, Latimer fails to submit a work report again? For fuck sakes, will you at least do the decent thing and resign, you useless drunken fuck?

    *drools* “Duhh i wasn’t ‘drinking’ at the bar i was ‘at’ the bar hur hur big difference guys robert wins this round”

    pathetic. thank god there’s some new blood coming in, because Jasmine, this exec is as embarassing and tragic as the ones that proceded it. sort it the fuck out

  2. Ralph Fiennes says:

    I heard Jasmine and Freya ARE dating. Is it true?

  3. gordon says:

    Who the fuck cares?

  4. Ralph Fiennes says:

    Me. Obviously. Knobface.

  5. Hank Scorpio says: ask her yourself bud

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