Last week’s meeting was the final meeting before the Exec found out whether they get kicked out of student politics. There was a peculiarly calm atmosphere to the meeting which was like being in the eye of a hurricane… but a really boring hurricane.
Despite pre-election-result jitters, this meeting was another snooze fest. The Exec had very little on the agenda but managed to drag it out for almost two hours. Perhaps they are not ready to let go yet and are treasuring every moment. Maybe they all ran back and hugged the VUWSA Meeting Room walls when I had gone. Judging from the painfully slow pace of the meeting and the spiteful bitching about the A-Team, this Salient journalist would not be surprised.
The meeting began awkwardly. Treasurer Alexander Neilson began chairing the meeting as President Geoff Hayward was missing in action and Education Vice President Joel Cosgrove was still making his way up the hill.
Upon Cosgrove arriving there was a fun minute or so when Cosgrove and Neilson were both trying to be the Chairperson of the meeting. Cosgrove seemed a little sensitive about sharing the spotlight with anyone else.
The Exec moved not to accept apologies from Welfare Vice President Reverend Paul Danger Brown, who, when asked via text message the reason for his absence, replied “I can’t be bothered.”
“This is unacceptable!” Cosgrove exclaimed.
The Exec discussed how unbecoming this was of Brown as he is a Vice President, but when Brown actually turned up, they were all smiles and politeness. Cosgrove, who had whinged the most about Brown’s absence, even managed a friendly “kia ora kiwi.”
For what Brown lacked in punctuality, he made up for in enthusiasm and expressed the urgent need to discuss an A-Team vs Muppets rugby game. Brown made clear that the game would be “tackle rugby”. Cosgrove suggested “maybe a game of paintball”, only for Brown to suggest “tackle paintball”.
Brown then announced that food parcels are getting bigger thanks to him buying budget brands. “They are now a whole three bags worth of parcel!” he said.
Neilson, who’s also the Publications Committee chair, was granted his first trimester Exec bonus of 650 big ones, and managed to hate on Salient in process. When questioned on the “bold claim” of being quoted by Salient as stating he was solely responsible for fixing VUWSA’s financial situation, he did what every fool does when he gets caught out – point the finger at Salient’s “suspect” reporting. Neilson revealed he didn’t think the quotes taken were accurate. “I don’t think they even listened to the recordings,” he said defensively. [Yeah, that’s probably true – News Ed]
Neilson assured the rest of the Exec that he was aware “he only helped” and that his success is really “a testament to the people he works with.”
“I find it very unlikely Salient would misreport anything,” Brown said wryly.
“Sarcasm noted,” Cosgrove said looking like a kid at Christmas.
In my head I yelled abuse at them all and threw some chairs, but sadly I could not defend Salient because as a member of the media I do not have the right to speak at the meeting let alone throw chairs. I consoled myself by quietly pondering the likelihood of a Salient vs Muppets tackle chair-throwing match.
The move of STA travel has prompted the Exec to consider what the leftover space should be used for. The Student Union is considering an extension of the Mount St Bar by making the room a pool hall. The fraternity Beta Omega Chi suggested they might “fit it out” with couches and a TV. The Union has also suggested using the room “to expand VUWSA’s presence.”
The Exec members were angry at not being informed of these options by Hayward and moved that he be put in the naughty corner for not giving the Exec full consultation on what was going on.
A top female Muslim academic is to speak at Victoria about the US war on terror. The Exec agreed to do some advertising for her, as Cosgrove has “talked to a lot of students who are interested.” Cosgrove also highlighted the importance of her speaking as “not many academic Muslims come through Vic” and that it is causing interest throughout the Vic Muslim community.
Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara suggested inviting Lindsay Perigo because “he needs to come” (probably to learn not to be a hater). Cosgrove suggested Perigo is beyond help, but said “he can make his own way there” if he is so inclined.
Unbudgeted expenditure was next on the Exec’s to-do list. International officer International Officer Genevieve Fontanier’s $2,500 double-catering blunder was taken out of the International budget and was largely glossed over. Then, much to Cosgrove’s delight, it was straight on to Hayward’s spending, again.
The three causes of concern were the $1,300 worth of unbudgeted sausages for Study at Vic Day, the $1,600 upgrade to Salient’s website and a $450 legal consultation on whether he needed someone to second his motions in Exec meetings.
Campaigns Officer Tai Neilson called the legal enquiry “trivial and irrelevant.” It was eventually decided the sausages should come out of Activities budget and Cosgrove suggested not BBQing at Study at Vic Day again as he believes it is not the Exec’s responsibility to attract students to study at Victoria.
These muppets could be at the end of their rope come the election results but Cosgrove mentioned on the way out that they would be celebrating no matter. Let’s hope they didn’t get too carried away and end up licking each other’s urine off the ground.
Opinion by Jenna Powell