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April 9, 2018 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

VicCom Hit with More Resignations than Trump Administration (Almost)

VUWSA is not the only student body to be hit with a shock resignation. Victoria University of Wellington Commerce Students’ Society (VicCom), Pipitea’s poor cousin of Victoria University of Wellington Law Students’ Society (VUWLSS), has had a change of Treasurer and President. Following in the footsteps of Metiria Turei, Andrew Little, John Key, Bill English, Steven Joyce, and VUWSA’s very own Sarah Yzendoorn, fifth year student Jess Lewis resigned as Treasurer behind closed doors in mid-March, with Alistair Ford stepping down as President later in the month.

To the very small niche of people invested in student body politics of Rutherford House, Jess Lewis’ departure is of no huge surprise. VicCom is in a period of unrest. High-flying former President and now Deloitte graduate Regan Nelson-Clark steadied the ship in 2017; his tenure at the helm was generally seen as a success, building relationships and delivering the core services the society was founded to provide.

Whoever took the reigns in 2018 would have, to quote R&B heartthrob Miguel, among countless others, a “tough act to follow”.

After storming past stiff opposition in the form of a vote of no confidence, that mantle was passed to Alistair Ford. Not much is known of Alistair. The Young Nat extraordinaire and former Massey student flew under the radar in 2017 as VicCom’s School of Economics and Finance Representative.

In some circles, however, his 2018 exploits are a hot topic of conversation. From allegedly storming into a sponsorship meeting unsure of what the sponsor’s three letter acronym name stood for (a claim which Alistair has denied) to installing a new refrigerator in the Society’s office, news of the emeritus President’s so-claimed exploits have been discussed more than Bitcoin was for those two months that it was worth $20k.

Losing its Treasurer and President in such quick succession is a huge blow for VicCom. Considering the Society’s list of achievements under Ford’s tenure is as poorly spun as a press release from National claiming to champion of the poor, VicCom will likely prosper under new leadership.

In an exec meeting held on Thursday 29 March, Patrick Miller has been elected as the new VicCom President. He faces the daunting challenge of saving a floundering society. With their membership list currently unable to be confirmed, and no funding from VUWSA applied for, VicCom has a lot to catch up on.

“Yes, we’ve a few rough weeks with a few bombshells being dropped, but it’s almost a process of weeding out the ones who don’t have the time,” said Miller. He said he looks forward to reinstating VicCom’s cocktail evening.

At the same meeting, Pravin Thayaparan was unanimously elected the new Treasurer, as the only applicant for this role. Fortunately, he fits all of the criteria required of the VicCom Treasurer as outlined in their constitution.

VicCom must be driven to succeed. The representative body for students of any faculty is vital in providing students with advocacy and support. Any current paying member (however many there are) should expect at the bare minimum a continuation of the services provided in previous years, but this should not be the goal. The current Executive were elected on a platform of delivering value, and like any politician, student or otherwise, should be held to account.

While the former Treasurer’s departure is no doubt significant (which aspirational commerce student doesn’t want to be the bean counter?), and Ford stepping aside is a huge blow, the door is now open for the Society to deliver the value that is owed to their students.


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