It’s VUWSA election time again. As you read this, I, as well as tens of other candidates, will be talking to you before the polls open on September 21. While I agree with the views and policies of some, and vehemently disagree with others, I wish every candidate the best of luck. I also want to remind everyone to make sure that you vote. Do not waste the chance to pick the next VUWSA Executive. This is especially true of those who will be leaving Victoria this year. Imagine, if you will, your first year at Vic, maybe you enjoyed the services, orientations or joined a club. In any case, you never got to pick the Executive then. Maybe you think that was a bad bunch then. Well, consider the vote you have, and next year’s new students.
Another thing is to not just think about yourself, but about what you want VUWSA to be. VUWSA has been around a lot longer than most of us, and it most likely will be for many years to come, what would you expect VUWSA to do – to serve students, or our pockets? The choice has been and shall always be yours.
I’m not here to talk about my candidacy for a second term. This is the VUWSA President’s column, not Geoff the Maori’s.
I will say that Salient this week has made a concerted effort to give you, as students, an informed choice. And good on them for that. But it’s not the only way you can find out. Please come to the Candidate’s forums this week. Write to the candidates, check the Salient blog, or even question them in person. If they are good enough candidates, they will not flinch away from answering your tough questions. I, for my part will not be.
I know that when I come to vote, I am reminded of my conscience. I have a student loan approaching $60,000. I loathe that I have to pay to get a tertiary education. But there’s one thing that I am proud to pay and that is my VUWSA subscription. I have proudly been in clubs, affiliated to VUWSA. I have been a member of Rep Groups that relied on the support of VUWSA, I have enjoyed so many orientation gigs, subsidised by VUWSA. I have volunteered for VUWSA even before I became President, and I have paid my own way to Christchurch, standing in front of hundreds of my peers, cheering at University Games.
After all the good times I have had as a student, thanks to VUWSA, how could I not vote without a clear conscience? It’s been no secret of mine that student turnout in VUWSA elections is appalling.
Whose fault is that? Students’ or VUWSA’s? A little of both maybe. I can say that I am hopeful that the VUWSA election website is finally working properly, and this week it is our responsibility as candidates to inform you of what we stand for, and why it is so important to vote. Come September 21, the duty shifts to you. Will you take up the challenge? Check your email inbox for that invitation to vote.
Finally, I wanted to remind you that the VUWSA Annual General Meeting is on this Wednesday at 1pm in the Mount St Bar. There will be the tabling of the VUWSA Executive half year reports, and a plethora of contentious constitutional amendments for debate. Again you have a vote to exercise: use it!