This week’s exec meeting reminded me of the baboons at Wellington Zoo when they get angry and beat each other up. Now, in defence of the baboons, they fight over food, women and status. And, despite their aggressive nature, baboons generally respect each other. The exec were fighting over what seemed like nothing.
The meeting gradually declined after a dramatic and early departure by Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara. After working a stressful 40-hour week, Kodikara was fed up when Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove refused to change Welfare Vice President Heleyni Pratley’s report from ‘manned’ to a more gender-neutral term.
When Cosgrove suggested Kodikara take it up with Pratley after the meeting, he stormed out exclaiming, “I have worked over 40 hours this week!”
Kodikara’s thoughts seemed to be shared by Clubs Officer Melissa Barnard, who announced that “Joel is a cock”. She didn’t have patience for Kodikara’s behaviour either though, referring to him as “a motherfucker.”
An explosive showdown proceeded between Cosgrove and Barnard, with Cosgrove simply suggesting that Barnard leave gossip for after the meeting. “Joel! Shut up!” she yelled, condemning him for wasting her time. “That’s 30 seconds of my life I will never get back!”
After disturbing the meeting and threatening to leave, she simmered down – but only for a while. After her episode with Joel, she appeared to have hijacked the meeting – all protocol, sense and logical thinking got thrown out of the window. For someone who was concerned about time management, she sure was wasting a lot of it.
Penises and strap-ons were a hot topic for Barnard during the meeting, also recommending the exec use the statement “in accordance with the prophecy” more often.
She also suggested that they should sell the Wong Sing Tai artwork Pratley “modified” earlier this year on Trade Me, prompting Education Officer (Welfare) Paul Brown to suggest buying the exec mini choppers. The other exec members cringed as I wrote all this down.
“We’re in for it,” Treasurer Alexander Neilson said with a deep sigh.
Barnard was undeterred by obvious opposition to her antics and she continued to frequently call Joel “a cock”.
The health of VUWSA depends on co-operation – meaning sometimes you have to talk to people you don’t like without acting like spoilt teenager. Cosgrove could very well be “a cock” but Barnard’s personal feelings shouldn’t get in the way of thoughtful decision-making and acting like an adult.
In the interests of balanced reporting, I should probably include some good points of the meeting, or the exec might label me a dirty tabloid journalist. However, the only positive thing I can say about the exec right now is they have good taste in pizza, and that I have never seen a group of people consume pizza so quickly. Surprisingly, they managed to finish them with only a small squabble over pizza tokens, and without flinging it at each other.
Opinion by Jenna Powell