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VSM Desperately Needed at Victoria and Canterbury

0 comments | 6:04 pm | top |
Wrote a guest post for the MandM blog,

“Free hamburgers and sausage sizzle, $5 jugs of beer” read the advertisement in the student magazine CANTA, a week or so before the University of Canterbury Student Association’s (UCSA) AGM. The quorum for the AGM is 120 students as established in the constitution, and it was pitiful to read the president pleading in his weekly column for people to come along. Of course they’d already attempted to run the AGM the week before, but hadn’t made the quorum. So out with the bribes and cheap beer and let’s try this one again. And where else to host the AGM than outside the student pub, in the amphitheatre? From a compulsory membership of 18,000 students, the UCSA was struggling to make up this poorly representative quorum by offering cheap alcohol and free food, only it wasn’t free because the students paid for it in their levy – yep, even the ones who didn’t attend the meeting. Oh, but perhaps I’m coming down a bit strong – after all, the agenda for the meeting was seeking to raise the quality of life for students. Ahem. Seeking to raise the quality of life for the students on the Exec, by raising all their salaries, including bumping the president’s salary up over the $50k mark. With a budget close to $9m ($1.2m from student levy in 2008) and aprox $400k expenditure by the Exec on a yearly basis it makes you wonder where all the money is going.

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