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August 2, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Candidates Forum Fails to Attract a Crowd


Where in the world is Alan Young?

Voting for the upcoming VUWSA by-election opened last week and those standing were given the opportunity to speak at a Candidates Forum at Mount Street Bar on Wednesday.

However, only four of the nine candidates running in the by-election showed up to speak to an audience of just six students. No microphone was provided.

Advertising for the forum has been minimal. An advertisement featured in last week’s Salient was provided shortly before deadline and featured a significant typo.

“Candidates Forum. Here what they have to say!” read the promotion.

Missing in action from the forum were Bridie Hood, candidate for Vice-President Education; Kerry Brown, candidate for Queer Rights Officer; Paul Zhong, candidate for International Officer; Timothy Parker, candidate for Publications Committee Representative; and Alan Young, candidate for Vice-President Administration.

Speaking at the bar for the position of Queer Rights Officer, Cruz Johnson said he was concerned with making Victoria a safer community for people who identify within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Fellow candidate Tom Reed argued subliminal homophobia would not be tolerated at Victoria should he be elected.

Both nominees for the Queer Rights Officer felt that should the VSM Bill pass, the future of groups like UniQ would be jeopardised.

Running for Vice-President of Administration, Richard Carr reiterated the need for a sustainable VUWSA and, after explaining the organisation shares the same birthday as Tui beer, felt students would be bereft without alcohol.

“The VSM Bill is currently in parliament. Is it going to pass? We don’t know. But imagine no more beer. Students would think it was horrible if VSM happened to Tui.”

After dedicating himself to ridding computer labs of Facebook lurkers, Carr agreed there was a need to reassess the current spending of VUWSA.

“The current spending isn’t working. It’s important to look at the services VUWSA currently offers students and ask ourselves if they’re economical. We want things to be more cost-effective. For example, Campus Angels employs volunteers on-call. To cut back costs, I propose taking Victoria Plus volunteers and redirecting them to Victoria-related services, rather than outside organisations.”

His opponent Thomas Horrobin pushed for VSM to pass, arguing it would make Victoria a financially sound environment.

“I think cutting funding to the New Zealand University Students’ Associations is also a good idea. It’s just a waste of money. If we cut back on the less useful students’ services it would be better for the more important ones.”

When asked about specific examples, Horrobin referred to Carr’s previous notion of Campus Angels.

“There are some more, but I’ve just lost them in my brain.”


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