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August 17, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

President’s column


Every September you have the opportunity to elect your peers to represent you on the VUWSA Executive. As students at Victoria, you also have the option of standing for the Executive yourself. Nominations are now open for the 2010 Executive.

The Executive governs the Association, and represents students’ interests locally, and as members of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), also at a national level.

The Executive consists of 13 positions—a President, three Vice-Presidents and nine General Executive members. These are:

President: heads the Association, provides overall leadership and policy implementation, and is chief representative responsible for all external relations.

The President is the Association’s Chief Executive, provides overall supervision and direction of all VUWSA staff, and is chair and convenor of Executive and general meetings. The President is student representative on a number of University bodies, such as the University Council (including the Finance Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee) and the Academic Board. They are also VUWSA representative on the Joint Student Union Board (JSUB) and the VUWSA-Student Union Bar Committee, and are an ex-officio member of the VUWSA Trust, the VUWSA Publications Committee, the VUWSA Sports Council Committee and the VUWSA Cultural Council Committee. The President sits on the VUWSA Audit and Finance Committee, and is chair of the Association’s Performance Management Committee. The President communicates with students via a variety of avenues, such as student media, Association meetings and forums, and speaking engagements. This year, the President has a weekly column in Salient, and is interviewed every Wednesday morning on The VBC 88.3FM’s Breakfast show.

Vice-President (Education) (EVP): acts as secretary to the Association, and is responsible for all Association minutes. The EVP oversees the Education Team, which coordinates representation and education-based advocacy services for students. This ranges from management of the Class Representative System to liaison with education-oriented Representative Groups, such as VicCom (for Commerce students). The EVP is Editor of the Association’s annual Alternative Student Guide, and sits on the Academic Board and on VUWSA’s Performance Management Committee.

Vice-President (Welfare) (WVP): oversees VUWSA’s Welfare Team, which coordinates the Association’s student welfare and support services. This includes the Food Bank, the Campus Angels service, and liaison with welfare-orientated Representative Groups such as UniQ (for queer students) and CanDo (for disabled students). They also work collaboratively with the University Student Services such as Student Finance. The WVP is responsible for the production of VUWSA’s welfare publications such as the Cookbook and the Flatting Guide, sits on the University’s Student Hardship Committee and is student representative on the Reduce Harm Committee.  

Vice-President (Administration) (AVP): oversees the finances and business of the Association. They present financial reports to the Executive and other VUWSA meetings, assist with drafting and maintaining the VUWSA annual budget and with financial and administrative planning. The AVP gives financial advice to the Executive, clubs, general meetings, and Representative Groups. They are an ex-officio member of the VUWSA Trust, the VUWSA Sports Council Committee and the Cultural Council Committee. The AVP also chairs VUWSA’s Finance and Audit Committee and VUWSA’s Publications Committee.

Education Officer: works alongside the EVP, and supports the EVP in the functions of the Education Team.

Welfare Officer: works alongside the WVP, and supports the WVP in the functions of the Welfare Team.

Campaigns Officer: promotes discussion and action as appropriate, on issues that concern students as citizens. They also liaise with the Education Action Group (EAG).

Clubs Officer: works closely with VUWSA’s sports and cultural clubs to help support and maintain them. Liaises and assists the VUWSA Sports Council and the VUWSA Cultural Council, and is an ex-officio member of the Association’s Sports Council Committee and the Cultural Council Committee.

Activities Officer: responsible for organising forums and activities for students, including but not limited to those involving VUWSA clubs and/or campaigns.

Queer Officer: is VUWSA representative and advocate for queer students at Victoria. They liaise with queer students on campus and with queer groups at a national level.

Environmental Officer: is VUWSA representative and advocate on issues related to the environment, such as by promoting discussion and action on environmental issues. They liaise with environmental groups on campus and at a national level. They tend to the VUWSA vegetable garden, and work with the University to help make Victoria more sustainable.

Women’s Rights Officer (WRO): is VUWSA representative and advocate on issues and concerns facing women students at Victoria. The WRO also liaises with the campus Women’s Group and with women’s groups at a national level.

International Students’ Officer: is VUWSA representative and advocate for international students at the University. They are also President of the International Students’ Council (ISC).

The President’s job is very full time, and not advisable to combine with study or other paid work. While some Vice-Presidents study full time while they are at VUWSA, I would suggest that part time study makes the most suitable combination. General Executive members are expected to put in a minimum of 10 hours per week; these positions far more suitable to those who still want to undertake full time study while on the Executive.

I am happy to meet with anyone who is interested in standing for the 2010 Executive. You may also wish to meet with another member of the Executive, particularly the member that holds the portfolio you’re thinking about standing for. VUWSA can put you in touch with former Executive members, in order to give you a good understanding of how a variety of different individuals have experienced a given portfolio area in the past. Alternatively, you could check out the current Executive’s work reports at to get an idea of what a week in the life of the average Executive member looks like.

In solidarity and service,


Nomination forms are available at VUWSA’s Kelburn, Pipitea and Karori Offices. Nominations are open from Monday 17 August–Thursday 10 September, with voting scheduled for Thursday 24–Wednesday 30 September.


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