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The Great University Review: Outlets of Democracy




I’m not really a politics sort of a guy. My ideal political system is one in which I sit on a brass throne shaped to look awesome, while hot women in tight leather cat-suits shoot everyone who disagrees with anything I say. But I’m not a total despot – I would appoint a committee of hot women experts to deal with issues about which I take no interest in, or know nothing – education, economics, treating women with respect, that sort of thing. What’s that you say? I’m supposed to be doing a review?
But I’m a merciful old stick, so I’ll tell a joke instead. What’s the difference between VUWSA and the University Council? One of them is totally irrelevant, engaged in pointless backbiting and politicking, and the other one is going to go fucking broke because they can’t manage their way out of a paper bag. I don’t know if the University Council actually counts as a service, but they do this damn good show every year where they pretend they’re going to consider a fee rise and weigh up all the variables, but you know they’re just going to jack it up as high as possible. It’s like how House basically screws around every episode, molesting the girl doctors with his eyes and being a butt to all the man doctors, and you just know that no matter how bad it looks he’s going to pull a cure out of his ass in the last five minutes. It might be formulaic as hell but it’s a damn good show. It’s a shame the University Council only puts it on once a year, because the audience participation is always fantastic.
VUWSA could learn a lot from the University Council, really. For a start, the University isn’t going to run out of money and go bankrupt, and worst of all, prove Nicholas ‘can’t fake being this awkward’ O’Kane right about something. Also, the University Council manages to maintain an air of vague legitimacy despite not really being democratically elected at all, and basically by being a crew of yesmen/ women willing to slobber on the Vice- Chancellor’s dong whenever he decides that the University needs to spend more money on whatever it is the University does with all our cash money (probably something dumb that nobody really appreciates or notices except to comment negatively about in Salient). In a way I suppose they do provide a service: they serve as both a good example of how to get paid to do nothing and they provide a yearly fun show called fee setting. Yeah, I’ll review them.
Basically the Council succeeds at everything that VUWSA fails at. The Council engages in a lot of petty backbiting and sweaty, illicit sex – which is disgusting, because they are old – but unlike VUWSA they don’t let donging each other and calling each other nasty names get in the way of important things, like not running up a fat deficit. Also, when the Council needs more bling they are able to get it off us without too much fuss and without givingNicholas O’Kane and the VSM crowd a chance to inflict their autism, social anxiety and Aspergers on the rest of us. Honestly,why do they even bother? Voluntary membership of student unions might even be a good idea, but nobody’s ever going to find out because nobody wants to be associated with the Young Nats and free agents such as the dreaded O’Kane, who are the only people who ever advocate it. It’s like how motorways turned out to be maybe a good idea, even though they were built by Nazis.
One thing that VUWSA has over the Council is that the VUWSA rag, Salient, is a fine piece of student journalism where you can read the brightest of the bright young things describing in glorious flowing prose how they shat, pissed, drank and fucked their way through university, while the Council’s rag Victorious is a shiny piece of shit not even good for the clichéd ass wiping. Seriously. It will cut you. Cut you in your ASS. Also, a lot more people have heard of VUWSA and difficult as this may be to believe a lot more people probably vote in VUWSA elections than in whatever arcane moon science is used to put people on the Council to manage our university and let the VC tell them what to do all day. On the other hand, VUWSA could make up the cast of the Muppets without too much trouble, so maybe the moral of this story is that democracy doesn’t fucking work. Maybe the moral is that VUWSA sucks. Who knows?
Anyway, this is supposed to be a review, not a thinly disguised diatribe on how I know that objectively my student union going broke is bad, but subjectively I can’t get over how much I hate Nick Kelly. Basically the University Council are the good sort of governing body – the sort that is totally unaccountable and therefore does things that need doing rather than pissing away money like water like VUWSA does in a supposed never-ending circle of corruption that everyone in the know winks at while attempting to bulk out their CVs for the inevitable jump into parliamentary research units (and from there into grownup politics so they can call Don Brash a cheating dumbass at all times). However, they are associated with Victoria University, worst university in the universe, so they get two migraines out of five. VUWSA get five. In your face, Nick Smelly.