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It’s Hip to be Square

Laura McQuillan



Welfare Vice-President Jules van Cruysen stooped to a new level of tastelessness at last week’s exec meeting when he suggested “Endorsing The Holocaust” as a topic to boost flagging turnout at Student Representative Councils (SRCs). Van Cruysen believes that if it “is helping us satisfy our constitutional requirements [that a certain number of SRCs must be held] then we have to do it.”
His idea was rejected by the exec, with Women’s Rights Officer Caroline Prendergast labelling it “disgusting” and “hate speech” amid suggestions that Mel Gibson could be a guest speaker. It was also proposed that an SRC Chair be appointed from outside the Exec, with Gareth Robinson as a possible candidate.
In case you’re wondering what an SRC is, VUWSA’s Constitution requires that at least 50 VUWSA members (i.e. any 50 students) must hold a public council twice in each of the first two trimesters to discuss and vote on topics and issues. This is partly because no one votes in VUWSA elections, so they have to try to force politics on unsuspecting lunchers and passers-by. VUWSA has struggled to make quorum to hold SRCs in recent times, except for times when rep groups show up to vote on one issue before leaving again, and wintery conditions in the Quad have forced VUWSA to hunt for new, toasty locations.
Newly-elected exec members Heleyni Pratley and Alexander Neilson were allocated the Activities and Campaigns portfolios respectively at last week’s exec meeting. Neilson produced a self-made copy of the VUWSA Constitution for reference during meetings, and possibly also for bedtime reading-material, with Prendergast calling him a “square”. Right on.
It also arose that a student on campus, marketing himself as Notes Galore Ltd, is selling his lecture notes at $1 a copy, and has the permission of his lecturers to do so. Prendergast contended that the company head, “could be a fucking retard”, prompting the exec to pass a motion “that VUWSA has serious concerns about Notes Galore Ltd. and discourages lecturers from its use.” Kelly abstained from voting, fuelling suspicion that he is a shareholder in the company.
Food also made it back on the agenda, with a $30 weekly food budget being moved. However, the absence of Education Officer CJ Hunt, a staunch anti-foodist, was probably a contributing factor to the motion finding a majority, and it will likely be overturned when he next shows up for an exec meeting.
Kelly’s TradeMe listing for his “Socialist Hair” was sadly removed from auction by TradeMe officials, but not before a $5 bid was offered for the luscious (cough) locks. It was later discovered that a trader under the alias of nick_kelly led the bidding on a separate auction of Socialist Hair, pledging $2 for what he intended to use as a “nice” wall-hanging.
Kelly, obviously bitter about the removal of his TradeMe listing, demanded that Environmental Officer Tushara Kodikara amend his report, as helping “Planeteers defeat the bad guys” is not a constitutional requirement of the Environmental portfolio.
Highlight: Education Vice-President Cosgrove – who bowed to public pressure to remove the profanity from his face, or maybe just decided it was time to shave – telling me he was looking forward to “some punk-rock journalism”, which made me chuckle although I’m not really sure what he was talking about.
Lowlight: Wasting an hour filling in VUWSA’s Surveys, Prizes and Munchies (SPAM) survey (15 minutes, my arse) Anyone else notice the feedback box at the end of the survey where students can “simply tell us how hot we are”? We’re all painfully aware VUWSA won’t be winning any beauty pageants in the near future, so they should really have saved themselves the disappointment.