VUWSA’s Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove’s election promise of free printing for students appears to be an issue close to his heart after Salient discovered that Cosgrove has spent the equivalent over $3100 on printing and photocopying on the VUWSA photocopier/printer this year.
Over $1500 was spent on colour printing and over $1600 on black-and-white printing.
“Holy fuck!” said VUWSA Treasurer Alexander Neilson when Salient questioned him about the implications for VUWSA’s budget. He refused to comment further, other than to reveal he himself has spent $251.70.
Cosgrove told Salient that a large amount of his printing and photocopying has been accumulated from allowing clubs, other exec members and students use his account.
Cosgrove says posters and flyers for campaigns, such as Box City, were also printed on his account, as were many exec meeting agendas and minutes.
He sadly denies being a printing fiend. “I would like to have been [a printing fiend],” says Cosgrove.
A VUWSA staff member has alleged Cosgrove also photocopied 800 sheets of mayoral election material for former VUWSA President and mayoral candidate Nick Kelly. Cosgrove says that Kelly, and others who have used his photocopying account, have paid for the use, but that it is yet to be amended on his photocopying budget. Kelly also supplied his own paper.
Meanwhile, Cosgrove’s Presidential candidacy platform of free internet and free printing for students has been debated around the University, with some questioning whether the University management would approve it, and what the environmental implications would be.
At the Election Candidates’ Forum two weeks ago, Cosgrove conceded that rather than the printing and internet being ‘free’, students may have to pay a fee of around $40 on top of their University fees. Some universities include the cost of printing and internet in fees, whilst others charge a fee of around $40 on top of fees.
Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh did not respond to Salient’s query over the likelihood of the University approving Cosgrove’s proposals for internet and printing before time of press last week.
VUWSA Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara says that he knows Cosgrove’s intentions “are to get the best deal for students” but believes the idea hasn’t been thought through fully nothing that “free printing and internet is neither economically or environmentally-sustainable.”
Kodikara has already put an alternative proposal to the University, which he is waiting to hear back on. “If and when VUW gives the go-ahead on my proposal, students will get a deal that is both economically and environmentally-sustainable for all parties concerned,” he says.