Election scandals aplenty were in the air last week as nominations closed and campaigning began for the VUWSA General Election.
Two members of right-wing group the A-Team, comprised mostly of Young Nats and ACT On Campus members, joined groups solely to run for election.
Queer Rights Officer candidate Sam Archer joined UniQ last week, as membership is Constitutionally-required for the position. UniQ President Laressa Donaldson said Archer asked to join one hour before nominations closed last Wednesday. He claimed to have just found out about the group and said he was interested in joining.
Donaldson asked if he was an A-Team candidate, and says although she “didn’t believe it would be appropriate to join UniQ on the basis of political purposes”, he was allowed to join.
In the meantime, Donaldson says Archer’s lack of involvement in the queer community will probably inhibit his election success.
She believes if he is not elected that he will leave the group. “I don’t think he has any true interest in the group, and no desire to be involved.” However, his exit from the group may come earlier than expected.
Salient understands the UniQ executive may rescind his membership due to the A-Team’s stance on cutting rep group funding and questions around how queer-friendly he is.
Archer could not be contacted before time of press.
University Council Rep candidate Jordan Williams rejoined VUWSA, having applied for an exemption on the basis of conscientious objection last year.
Williams says that he is not pro-VSM, but rather against the way the students’ association was being run.
Williams also attempted to buy favourable copy in Salient for the A-Team, during a drunken conversation with Salient Editor Steve Nicoll last week. Williams later told Nicoll he hadn’t meant it, being drunk at the time.
The A-Team’s International Officer candidate, Bradley Jacques, is also not an international student, although that is not Constitutionally- required.
VUWSA’s current International Officer Genevieve Fontanier says she “[does not] feel he would be able to adequately represent and promote international students, as he himself has not experienced the hardship [and other difficulties] that international students go through.”
Jacques on the other hand believes his interaction and relationships with international students on a number of levels would assist him in fulfilling the duties of International Officer.