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Candy, cheap beer lure small audience to forum

Laura McQuillan



Four of five by-election candidates spoke at last Wednesday’s candidates’ forum at Mount Street Bar, campaigning for the roles of Women’s Rights Officer (WRO) and Education Officer (Welfare) (EO).
The forum drew an audience of around 25, comprised of VUWSA staff and exec members, and hecklers.
Acting WRO Georgina Dickson kicked off the speaking in her campaign for the WRO role. Dickson says she will “do anything and everything in my power to make Vic an equitable place for women to get degrees.”
Dickson says her current achievements as Acting WRO, including a successful No Diet Day shortly after filling the WRO role. She says she wants to continue her work thus far, including the Thursdays in Black campaign and the Salient women’s issue.
Dickson also gained popularity with the crowd through cultured references to balls and “divine consultation”. EO candidate Stephanie Stuteley told the crowd that if elected, she will raise the profile of VUWSA’s ‘welfare department’ and make students more aware of the services available.
Stuteley says she will be good at mediating issues within the exec to help prevent fighting and personality clashes.
WRO candidate Stephenie Williams began by saying that WROs “in the past haven’t done that much”, and that issues such as gender pay equity and male:female ratios at Vic still need improvement.
As WRO, she would be available for women to talk about their problems and would promote the Thursdays in Black campaign and Women’s Room, although she admitted not knowing where the Women’s Room is, and not being a part of the Women’s Group. Salient staff were slightly offended by her comments about the lack of feminism in its pages weekly.
Education Officer candidate Gabrielle Stewart arrived a bit late and Salient missed her audience address. Stewart was asked by Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara if she can handle waking up in a cold sweat after nightmares about the exec – something which has plagued him during his time in the portfolio, before refusing to be bribed with votes for beer.
EO candidate Paul Danger Brown was not in attendance.
One audience member, ‘Derek’, was booed and named ‘the new Nick O’Kane’ as he repeatedly questioned the candidates about their campaigns, and continuously asked the candidates to elaborate further on their answers.
Voting is open from May 28 until June 1. Check your student email for details on how to vote.