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July 13, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Eye on exec 6 July: VUWSA vs. NT

Last week’s exec meeting marked the second joint VUWSA-Ngai Tauira meeting. I was sitting outside the meeting room waiting for people to get there and I suddenly felt a powerful urge to urinate. Like the good potty-trained lad I am, I made my way to the ground floor toilets of the Union Building. When I walked in I knew something was amiss.

Strange noises emanating from a cubicle—the door of which was slightly ajar—lead me to the conclusion that some lucky bastard was getting head. OMFWTFG. Horrified, and unable to piss, I headed back to the meeting.

Ngai Tauira President Victor Manawatu kicked off the meeting with a beautiful karakia and then we—well at least I—got stuck into the beautiful spread of food Ngai Tauira had put on for the meeting.

It wasn’t long before niggling VUWSA woes penetrated into what was otherwise a harmonious meeting. Campaigns Officer Sam Oldham had failed to send his apologies to anyone, despite having time to argue about historical causation of the current Iran situation on one of his Facebook updates with me. Anyway, it was agreed, in the interests of good will, Oldham had extended his apologies.

The first item on the agenda was to ratify the minutes of the last joint VUWSA-NT meeting. This procedural matter was overlooked, in a pleasing change from the strict by-the-book running of usual VUWSA meetings, and a discussion about NT being able to utilise the third and unused council seat which could be used by affiliated groups under the education act.

Manawatu made the point that there is currently no specific Maori representation on the University Council, whereas Canterbury University have given a seat to Ngai Tahu.

At this stage Masha passed me a plastic knife so I could spread some delicious hummus onto the ham bun I was creating.

President Freemantle said the last VUWSA president to try to get NT/Maori representation on the university council was Chris Hipkins in 2001.

By this stage I was on my third bun and suddenly Freemantle’s innate procedural tendencies kicked in, and acceptance of the minutes was bought up. Manawatu countered by saying none of the current NT exec had been at the last meeting due to their elections and handover being held mid-year.

As I ate another pastrami-laden bun and thought about nabbing a slice of some delicious looking quiche, clubs officer Masha exclaimed “this is the friendliest meeting I’ve ever been to.” She had a point. The undercurrents of most VUWSA meetings are tension laden. Politically charged powder kegs of spite and stupidity. Maybe the presence of NT was the difference. Perhaps it was the food. Studies have shown having a bit of a munch while discussing important matters facilitates positive social interaction. I’m inclined to agree.

Discussion then moved to the possibility of sharing office space at the Karori campus and working towards getting some space at Te Aro campus. It was at this point I grabbed a handful of broccoli and cauliflower and dipped it in the most amazing garlic hummus. NOM NOM NOM. I looked awkwardly around the room as my gnashing jaws made a loud crunching noise.

They then discussed some smaller issues, such as NT’s SGM to be held on 20 July because of a vacant position (“I never heard from the media officer”—V. Manawatu) and minor constitutional changes. VP Education Freya Eng broached the possibility of translating the VUWSA constitution into Te Reo and Freemantle asked if NT would like more involvement with the Foodbank. As the discussion moved onto tampons and their inclusion in food parcels I decided it was time for a slice of orange.

The next topic of conversation was the NZUSA conference in Auckland the previous week. Victor talked about the Maori Caucus and Freemantle bought up a rumour that VUW is looking at capping enrolments.

Manawatu on the NZUSA men’s conference: “It was crap, oh no, it was great.” (Followed by his boyishly cheeky smile.)

Freemantle then talked about a paper put forward by four association presidents that looked at restructuring NZUSA. The move would disestablish the current roles of co-president and National Women’s Rights Officer and replace them with President, Vice President and two other positions that I couldn’t write down because I was eating watermelon. The gist behind the restructuring was a focus on “core business” whatever the fuck that means. You can read more about this on page [insert the mother fucking page number here]

The meeting closed off with me eyeing up a delicious bun that Victor had constructed over the course of the meeting and with Masha once again declaring the meeting was good by saying “Everything is grooooovy.”


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The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

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