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Pratley resigns, claims to be ‘returning to home planet’

Laura McQuillan



VUWSA lost yet another exec member during the mid-semester break, with Welfare Vice President Heleyni Pratley resigning to concentrate on schoolwork.

Paul Danger Brown, formerly Education Officer (Welfare), has been co-opted into the Vice Presidency. His former position is yet to be filled.
In an email to VUWSA staff and exec members on August 14, Pratley resigned effective from August 17. Her resignation was accepted by President Geoff Hayward, but later deferred to Sunday, August 26 following an urgent exec meeting to set a date for the VUWSA General Election.
Pratley’s email said “due to my school work load and my health, I have made the tough decision, which is to resign from VUWSA.”
Pratley was co-opted to the exec last June as Activities Officer and was later elected to the position in a July by-election. She was elected Welfare Vice-President by a narrow margin in the 2006 General Election.
Pratley came under fire after a drunken scribbling incident in the VUWSA Kelburn office earlier this year where she doodled on the walls and on an artwork. Pratley started the free soup on Wednesdays and free bread on Fridays initiatives, founded the Welfare Van and expanded stress-free study week.
Pratley says she’s been feeling “a bit depressed” since leaving the exec. “I guess coz I put so much energy into it, and I guess it was a really hard decision and I didn’t want to make the decision, but eventually it was like, okay, I’ve got this 20 per cent assignment and if I do pass it, then, you know.”
The exec had initially suggested that Pratley be co-opted into the Education Officer position after Brown was co-opted as Vice President, but Pratley says she does not intend to return to student politics.
“If I was Education Officer, I’d still be as concerned about everything and I don’t think much would change. I’d probably still be there all the time and feel like I had to do like 60 hours a week,” she says.
Both Pratley and Hayward have confidence in Brown’s ability to fill the position.
Brown says “it feels no different being the [Education Officer], I simply have more work to do. I love the office though. Seriously, it’s a catch-up game now, but I’m so up to it!”
A by-election for the positions of Welfare Vice President and Education Officer (Welfare) will be held alongside September’s General Election to elect two exec members to fill the positions for the remainder of 2007.