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September 23, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

VUWSA AGM: Election Results, A Cheeky Deficit, and Constitutional Stuff


The 2019 VUWSA AGM was held last Wednesday in a well-filled Hub, more than can be said for the following GWRC forum.


The agenda covered the standard issues: half-yearly reports, an outline of the association’s recent financial position and 2020 budget, a swathe of constitutional changes, the awarding of a life membership—and, of course, the VUWSA election results.


Half-Yearly Reports

2019 President Tamatha Paul started off with her President’s Report, outlining the work of the 2019 exec on issues ranging from mental health to lecture recordings, to Toitū te Ao. 


All of the executive were acknowledged, but special praise was made of Gerard Hoffman, who was granted a life membership. The membership was awarded by 2018 President Marlon Drake, who Hoffman had worked closely with the university’s Manager of Student Counselling, as he had with some 17 other presidents.


Reports were also adopted from other executive positions, again outlining the work that VUWSA took on this year.


Money and Stuff

The AGM saw the 2018 audit, 2019 balance sheet, and 2020 budget presented and accepted. VUWSA itself, not including its subsidiaries, made a net loss of $112,457  in 2018, down from a $5,950 profit in 2017. CEO Matt Tucker informed ^Salient that the 2018 loss was from an unconditional $150,000 payment to the VUWSA Trust, which undertakes some investments and spending on students for VUWSA.  Additionally, VUWSA ended 2018 with $8,611,420 in net assets, down by ‭$72,241 ‬from 2017. 


Salient made up only 5.8% of 2018’s expenses. We hope it didn’t show.


As of June 2019, VUWSA had $711,043.50 in net assets. CEO Matt Tucker put Tamatha to shame on the spending front, with a mighty $2,929.16 racked up on his VISA and Tam with only $1,137.09.


Going into 2020, the budget anticipates a $6,677.53 deficit. Although was careful to point out that this represents a smaller actual deficit than in 2018 ($112,457 for VUWSA, not including accounts from its subsidiaries). A number of changes to income and expenses were listed, which are worth checking out yourself. 


For the benefit of one particular reader, ^Salient will be spending more on more environmentally sustainable ink, the cost of which will be offset by a possible reduction in page count.


Constitutional Changes

VUWSA went hard on the constitution, largely to simplify language. More functional changes included allowing the exec to unanimously appoint one life member a year, as well as making all past presidents life members by default.


The presidential income was changed to be pegged to the living wage, rather than the previous inflation-adjusted salary they received. 


Notably, the Ngāi Tauira President(s) are now to be ex officio members of the executive with normal voting rights, with one vote available to them.


^Salient was also affected: As well as finally being acknowledged as “more than just a newspaper”, the appointment of the editor has been moved out of the constitution and into policy. However, appointments still must have regard to—amongst other things—the ^Salient Charter, which is still in the constitution.


A lot of other changes were made, but these are just the big ones. Check out the proposed amendments online for the rest. 


Election Results

Finally, returning officer Lars Thompson read out the results of the election for the 2020 VUWSA exec. Full results are available through VUWSA. In the meantime, the winners are:


Geo Robrigado as President, Rinaldo Strydom as Academic Vice President (VP), Michael Turnbull as Welfare VP, Joanna Li as Engagement VP, Ralph Zambrano as Treasurer-Secretary, Grace Carr as Campaigns Officer, Tara O’Connor as Clubs and Activities Officer, Taylah Shuker as Education Officer, Parminder Kaur as Equity Officer, and Sophie Dixon as Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer.


The real winners, however, were Janne and Rachel who won ^Salient’s election sweepstakes.





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