LAST WEEK’S VUWSA exec meeting began 26 minutes late, with Women’s Rights Officer Caroline Prendergast alleging that the absence of President Nick Kelly and Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove was because they were masturbating in Kelly’s office. She was wrong, in so many ways.
I ignored warnings that the meeting would be boring and that I could leave early if I wanted, and endured the profanity, arguments over pizza tokens, and unfortunate facial hair (not my own) which dominated the two-and-a-half hour meeting.
A new-look Cosgrove had traded his army helmet for beard-topiary, a trend not likely to catch on around campus (one would hope). His beard was manicured to read “FUCK YOU”, a bold statement that he claims, “externalizes how I feel inside”. Cosgrove’s report was the most invigorating part of the meeting, with his ‘font-of-the-week’ (“Adventure”) detailing that he spent last week soliciting class reps and helping out on Clubs Day with his “labouring skills”. And, of course, his skills with the mechanical bull.
Towards the end of the meeting, Cosgrove produced a nomination for the current VUWSA by-election that had apparently been missed by the Returning Officer when emptying the nominations box over a week earlier. Kelly, appearing quite harassed at this point, dismissed the importance of the discovery, saying that the nominee obviously didn’t care a great deal about being left off the voting form as they were yet to come forward.
However, the situation was later cleared up when it was revealed that the nomination was not only late, but had failed to provide the required information.
Cosgrove’s big aspirations for the EVP role are questionable after only two class reps attended training sessions last week, which he admits was due to him not telling anyone they were taking place. The effectiveness of using posters to advertise training sessions was debated briefly, with Welfare Vice-President Jules van Cruysen claiming that well-designed posters could “make people want to kill babies”.
The exec passed several motions. They decided to give the Victoria Broadcasting Club $40 to register www.vbc.org.nz, that food would no longer be provided at exec meetings, that Vic students oppose a domestic students’ fee-increase, that Treasurer Hu Jia would receive a $450 performance bonus, and, most importantly, that Kelly would write a sarcastic letter congratulating Canterbury University Vice-Chancellor Roy Sharp on the transparency of their fee-setting scheme (which is pretty transparent, after Canterbury students were given four days notice of changes to fees).
Something I found concerning during the meeting was how little input there was from some Exec members, and that despite myself having voted in every election and by-election that I could have, I didn’t know who the majority of these people were. It made me wonder if, like me, students are electing candidates because they’ve heard their name somewhere before (with Gareth Robinson as an exception), and whether the exec is being made accountable to students when they contribute so little to meetings. Regardless of whether students take an interest in student politics, we pay these people (admittedly not very much, but the principle remains) to represent us, and last week’s exec meeting forced me to question if we’re getting our money’s worth.
Highlight: Being made to leave the room for ten minutes for making Delia Timms feel “uncomfortable”. Although this was due to a top-secret committee and not my frightening appearance, Kelly was forced to apologise on the exec’s behalf, as the Salient charter states that the reporter may remain in the room as long as the contents of the committee are not reported. Apparently once I left they all started pissing on each other or something.
Lowlight: Witnessing Timms stroking CJ Hunt’s thigh under the table. Err.