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September 7, 2014 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA | [ssba]

Zwaan Says

Welcome back from your break! As you may have noticed, the poster boards are now devoid of VUWSA candidates and the chalk has been washed off. The VUWSA elections are over and I’m stoked to have been elected as your President of VUWSA for next year. Thanks to all of you for voting (even if it wasn’t for me); we had the largest turnout ever.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, Sonya Clark still keeps her seat until the end of December – which is lucky for me, as I still have a few papers to finish off. But she gave me her column space this week to outline a few things I’ve got planned for next year.

One of my key priorities is to improve life on campus for us students. Last week, I co-MCed the annual Wellbeing Symposium which the Uni runs, and it was alarming to hear the evidence of how stressed out we are compared to the rest of the population. However, there’s plenty of simple things, like having spaces to chill out and have a nap or having cheaper and healthier food open later, which we can do at Vic to improve our wellbeing.

I’m also committed to finishing off campaigns that will make Wellington a more student friendly place to live. We nearly got Fairer Fares for public transport this year, and I’ll continue to work to make it a reality. We’ll also continue to run the campaign for healthier housing so we don’t have to live in cold, damp, expensive flats.

We also need to continue to hold the Uni to account and ensure that we’re receiving a quality education for the fees that we pay. Side note – VUWSA is hosting a forum with our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Grant Guilford, this Tuesday 9 September at 4 pm in SU217, to discuss where our fees go and what they should be for next year. Come along and listen, or use your free speech to have a rant.

Finally, we need to get VUWSA on track. This year, Sonya’s done some fantastic work in sorting out stuff internally and starting to formulate a long-term plan for VUWSA. This is crucial, so we can have the resources to provide great services, run campaigns that actually make a difference, and are able to put on O-Weeks which aren’t crap.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what we make happen next year. If you have ideas, questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime – don’t forget to vote in the general election. We’ve arranged advance voting in the Hub to make it easy.

Rick Zwaan | Welfare Vice-President

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association
| M: 021 188 1705 | DDI: (04) 463 7406
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