CLUBS & SOCIETIES
VICTORIA UNIVERSIT Y OF WELLINGTON STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
2011 IMPACT REPORT OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2011
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
THE 2011 EXECUTIVE
GENERAL MEETINGS ELECTIONS
ASSOCIATION MANAGERS REPORT
ENGAGING STUDENT MEDIA
REPRESENTING AND EMPOWERING STUDENTS AT VICTORIA
VBC 88.3FM SALIENT
CLASS REPRESENTATIVES FACULTY DELEGATES STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE SCHOLARSHIPS REPRESENTATIVE GROUPS SUBMISSIONS NZUSA
7 7 7
SPECIAL FOCUS: VUWSA STRATEGIC PLAN 2012-2015 SPECIAL FOCUS: VOLUNTARY STUDENT MEMBERSHIP
INDISPENSIBLE HELP AND SUPPORT
ADVOCACY AND ADVICE FREE FLU SHOTS SAFE SPACE PROGRAMME FREE FOOD STRESS FREE STUDY WEKK BREAKFASTS BUS TICKETS STUDENT JOB SEARCH
10 10 10 11 11 11 11
SPECIAL FOCUS: REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION SPECIAL FOCUS: VUWSA CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE
AN OUTSTANDING STUDENT EXPERIENCE
SPECIAL FOCUS: CAMPUS HUB PROJECT FINANCIAL STATEMENT
VUWSA CLUBS AND SOCIETIES VUWSA OWEEK 2011 KARORIENTATION RE-ORIENTATION 2011 UNI GAMES BLUES AWARDS
12 13 14 14 14 14
8 8 8
1 THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGT O N S T U D E N T S ’ A S S O C I AT I O N
OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2011 I am pleased to present the 2011 Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) Impact Report. This report aims to highlight and demonstrate how VUWSA has impacted the lives of students and worked to improve the overall student experience at Victoria University of Wellington during 2011.It was incredibly satisfying to see the progress that VUWSA has continued to make in 2011: it has transformed from being an organisation struggling both internally and externally for a number of years, to once again being a respected and vital aspect of the University community with a positive outlook and the organisation and capability to achieve its goals. Achieving this has been consequence of a sustained effort from many people over a number of years; no one person has made the difference or achieved this change on their own — but I am proud to have been a part of it. Some highlights were obvious: the incredible O-Week festival and the opening of the refurbished Student Union Building; the Hunter Lounge; five new meeting rooms, and Mauri Ora – the purpose built health and counselling facilities. Other highlights, though not as obvious but no less significant, include; the numerous student representatives achieving solid wins for individuals or groups through effective advocacy; supporting students with hundreds of food parcels and thousands of study week breakfasts; raising important issues critical to student interests; and facilitating student opinion and input on important work, such as the Review of Undergraduate Education. All of these plus more ensured VUWSA remains true to what it was set up to do in 1899 - to improve the student experience at Victoria. Responding to the ACT Party’s ideological attack on the student movement and the collective voice of students has dominated a lot of VUWSA’s work this year. A main focus of the team was to bring VUWSA into a more sustainable position, given the challenges posed by legislative change. The passage of the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill now means that students are no longer guaranteed an independent student voice. Instead, we must work for it. Good universities, regardless of legislative impediments, have strong students’ associations that give students a strong collective voice that is beneficial to both students and their institution. I know that VUWSA is committed to ensuring that independent student-led services and representation at Victoria are retained, and is looking forward to playing a central role within the new environment that retains a system based on independent student-led representation and services. Thank you to the VUWSA Trust, the VUWSA Executive, VUWSA alumni and staff, and the countless student representatives especially those who went above and beyond what was expected. In addition, thank you to the many University staff who, despite rarely agreeing on things, almost always showed a commitment to partnership and improving the University. But above all, thank you to the students who helped make VUWSA and Vic what it is. After four years serving on the Executive I look forward to watching from afar as VUWSA ends 2011 with close to 70% of students (voluntarily) opting to become VUWSA members in 2012, and as it redefines its position as the legitimate representative body of students at Victoria University of Wellington. Seamus Brady
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LED BY STUDENTS, FOR STUDENTS
– THE 2011 EXECUTIVE
SEAMUS BRADY President
Vice President (Academic)
JEREMY PETERS Clubs Officer
ASHER EMANUEL Vice President (Welfare)
International Students’ Officer
JOSH VAN VEEN
Vice President (Administration)
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ASSOCIATION MANAGERS REPORT 2011 WAS VUWSA’S 112TH YEAR. IT WAS ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR THE ASSOCIATION IN MANY RESPECTS AND WAS FILLED WITH A VARIETY OF EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES. IT WAS ALSO A YEAR THAT BROUGHT FURTHER GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE ORGANISATION. We have continued to build on our progress from last year with a concentrated focus on student engagement levels, quality of service, internal processes and overall business efficiency. Our key focus was to implement and deliver better quality outcomes for all students and to ensure our existence was to provide operational excellence whilst having a strong leadership framework. As part of preparing our road map for the future we completed the process of implementing our Strategic Plan. This involved consultation with the VUWSA Executive, key operational staff, an external facilitator and the wider student community. The strategic plan will be formally adopted in 2012 and will underline our plans for the next three years with the key aim of achieving an inspiring plan and vision for the organisation. Due to the passing of the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill, our strategic plan will assist us in creating a sustainable organisation by ensuring we have a framework for setting priorities for allocating resources so that we will meet the challenges of our students in the years ahead. The VUWSA Events Team were again incredibly busy organising the traditional events including Orientation, Re-Orientation, Clubs Week, University Games, the Snow Games, the Blues Awards and all the weekly ongoing events throughout the year. We delivered 62 events with over 20,000 attendances. It’s a credit to the whole team that assisted with the delivery of our events programme. Our Class Representative Programme continued to grow from strength to strength, with 92% of classes being represented in 2011. Overall the level of representation provided across the University by VUWSA representatives was considerable and received excellent feedback in relation to their value and commitment. Our Advocacy service delivered over 380 successful outcomes for students, most resulting on a wider impact for the student community through changes in University policy, process and decision making. Our support and assistance to Clubs remained as strong as ever, with over 60 Clubs affiliating and many more requesting advice and assistance from the Clubs office. Operationally, 2011 was a difficult year. Inflationary pressures were constant. Much of the price increases were absorbed and we were still able to achieve our targets and deliver our many valuable services, in particular our many welfare services. I would like to thank everybody who assisted VUWSA in making 2011 a very positive year. To all the staff of VUWSA, thank you all for your commitment, enthusiasm and your dedication to excellence. I also wish to recognise the efforts of Seamus Brady (President) and the 2011 Executive, the VUWSA Trust and the many volunteers who often go unnoticed, a special thanks to you all.
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Thanks must also go to VUWSA’s many partners, led by the many staff at Victoria University who showed their appreciation in so many ways. Your commitment to and support of VUWSA is greatly appreciated. I look forward to working with you all again in 2012. Regards,
Mark Maguire Association Manager
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REPRESENTING AND EMPOWERING STUDENTS AT VICTORIA THERE WERE OVER 1,200 STUDENT REPS ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY SUPPORTED BY VUWSA IN 2011, SPEAKING UP FOR STUDENTS AT EVERY LEVEL, AND HELPING TO ENSURE YOU HAVE THE BEST POSSIBLE STUDENT EXPERIENCE. Student representation is essential to the overall student experience at Victoria. Students must always have a say in issues that affect them. This is why VUWSA exists and why student representation at campus and national level is supported – from individual class representatives in lecture theatres, to those on Faculty Boards, University Council and every other working party, board and committee in between.
DEVELOPING OUR ABILITY TO FULLY ENGAGE STUDENTS THROUGH THE REPRESENTATIVE FUNCTIONS OF VUWSA AND STRENGTHENING THE STUDENT VOICE WAS A KEY FOCUS IN 2011, AND BUILT ON FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IMPLEMENTED IN RECENT YEARS. THIS WAS THE RESULT A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK PUT IN BY THE EXECUTIVE AND STAFF TO ENSURE THAT STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES WERE EMPOWERED IN THEIR ROLES AND THAT THERE WERE CLEAR AND OPEN FEEDBACK CHANNELS BETWEEN STUDENTS AND VUWSA.
FACTS 1262 STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY
29 TRAINING SESSIONS
150+ MEETINGS ATTENDED
50 BRIEFING PAPERS WRITTEN
17 SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
$119,650 IN SUPPORT FOR REPRESENTATIVE GROUPS
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CLASS REPRESENTATIVES In 2011, 91% of Victoria Undergraduate courses had Class Representatives. This is up from 83% in 2010. We restructured our Class Representative training to involve more student workshops and feedback. This gave students an opportunity to talk with one another about how they would react in possible scenarios. We actively involved VUW Student Services in our Advanced Class Rep training so students could gain a better understanding of the support services that are available to students. Class Representatives are now in a better position to help their peers when they need assistance.
FACULTY DELEGATES We involved Senior University Staff in our Faculty Delegate training so students could hear first hand from board and committee convenors about the importance of student feedback. We focused on ensuring that all Faculty Delegates attended pre-meetings so that everyone was aware of any issues that needed to be discussed.
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE SCHOLARSHIPS In 2011, we introduced Student Representative Scholarships to acknowledge the amazing work student representatives do around this University. These scholarships were presented at two events at the end of Trimester 1 and 2, held for Class Representatives as a way to thank them for their hard work. Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic) David Crabbe and Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh spoke at these events.
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REPRESENTATIVE GROUPS During 2011 we continued to support the 10 active Rep Groups on campus and over the year these groups put on a massive range of events and activities from balls, awards dinners, guest lectures, debates, competitions, quiz nights, networking events, Orientation events and education-based activities. Rep Groups are a vitally important part of the student experience at VUW. • Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) • STUDiO (for Architecture and Design students) • VUWLSS (Law Students’ Society) • VicCom (for Commerce students) • Pasifika Students’ Council • International Students’ Council • The Science Society • UniQ • The Women’s Group • Victoria Student Media
SUBMISSIONS VUWSA compiled numerous submissions on behalf of students in 2011, formulated through extensive consultation and research. These included submissions to the University regarding change proposals, programme reviews and the Review of Undergraduate Education. We also made submissions to Parliamentary Select Committees and Government departments on the Alcohol Reform Bill, changes to the Student Loan System, Student Services Levies, and the Annual Maximum Fee Movement. Many of our submissions affected positive change and led to better outcomes for students: the Student Services Levy submission helped lead the Minister for Tertiary Education, Stephen Joyce, to include the provision of club and representation funding in the Ministerial Directive on Student Services Levy. Our submissions and media regarding tertiary discounts on bus travel have helped put pressure on the Greater Wellington Regional Council to run a bus fare review in 2012.
NEW ZEALAND UNION OF STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (NZUSA) This year NZUSA continued to pressure the government to provide adequate funding for Tertiary Education; ensured that the Minister takes into consideration what students want for support services and defended the place of students’ associations by opposing harmful legislative changes. They ensure student representation of national boards and committees such as the SJS board, CUAP, University Sport, Academic Audit Unit, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) learner advisory committee and the TEC Board (non-voting learner participant). NZUSA also has quarterly meetings with the research team at the Ministry of Education, Universities NZ and Studylink. This work ensures that they are on the pulse with decisions that may impact on students, the by-product of that is we are able to act swiftly to protect your rights as students.
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INDISPENSIBLE HELP AND SUPPORT BEING A STUDENT ISN’T ALWAYS EASY AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A LITTLE BIT OF SUPPORT TO HELP YOU GET THROUGH. IN 2011, VUWSA PROVIDED STUDENTS WITH A QUALITY RANGE OF SUPPORT SERVICES TO MAKE SURE THEIR TIME AT VICTORIA WAS THE BEST IT COULD BE. WHETHER IT WAS A FOOD BUNDLE FROM THE FOODBANK TO HELP STUDENTS THROUGH TO THEIR NEXT PAY DAY, OR AN ADVOCATE TO HELP RESOLVE ISSUES WITH STUDYLINK – VUWSA SUPPORTED STUDENTS IN NUMEROUS WAYS.
FACTS 2200 STUDENTS VACCINATED AGAINST INFLUENZA AT VUWSA’S FREE FLU SHOTS
400 BOXES OF CEREAL MUNCHED THROUGH AT STRESS FREE STUDY WEEK BREAKFASTS
68,530 FREE BUS RIDES GIVEN OUT
761 STUDENTS COLLECTED FREE BREAD
686 FOOD BANKS GIVEN OUT
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ADVOCACY AND ADVICE One of the most important services that VUWSA provides for students is accessed to an independent, confidential and free student advocate. This year our Student Advocate continued to work closely with students who faced a variety of issues – both within and outside the University. We had a total of 2091 contacts in 2011.
FREE FLU SHOTS Following the high demand from students following our 2010 Flu Shot clinic, we doubled the amount budgeted for Flu Shots in 2011, with supply meeting demand. We had a focus on ensuring that halls students were immunised, especially after the Swine Flu scare of 2010. We ran successful clinics at all VUW Halls of Residence. This service continues to be very popular with students and our partnership with Student Health helped make 2011 the most successful year to date.
SAFE SPACE STICKER PROGRAMME 2011 saw VUWSA Queer Officer, Tom Reed roll out a Safe Space Sticker programme. The programme aims to create a visual network of queer-friendly ‘spaces’ throughout campus and beyond. Those involved in the programme attend a number of training sessions which are based on educating people on queer issues. Having completed training, participants get a safe space sticker, identifying them as a queer friendly individual. This programme is being run in co-ordination with the Queer Mentoring Programme.
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FREE FOOD Tough financial times and high unemployment have seen a continuation in the strong use of our food bank and free bread services. It is not unfamiliar to see students return several times a year to utilise our food bank service. Similarly, our free bread is generally gone within a few minutes of our Kelburn Office opening on Wednesday and Friday mornings. We appreciate the continued support we receive from both AroBake and Brumby’s Bakery in Karori that allows us to provide our Free Bread service on a weekly basis.
STRESS-FREE STUDY WEEK BREAKFASTS In 2011 students continued to queue up at Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses for a free breakfast during Trimester 1 and 2 study weeks. This year teamed up with HUGE!, who gave out free coffee at our breakfasts as well as Hubbard’s, who donated a huge amount of cereal. Because of the sizable donation of cereal we were able to provide about 1500 study packs to students, which were also partially sponsored by HUGE! For the first time we also held a Stress Free Study Week breakfast for students at Kaori during Trimester 1 prior to their Teaching Experience.
STUDENT JOB SEARCH Having a job is important for many students in allowing them to study in the first place, providing money for food, utilities, entertainment and rent, and in ensuring they have better employment prospects after they finish. For this reason VUWSA, along with other Students Associations across the country own and support Student Job Search, who deliver a vital service to students. 2011 was another strong year of student income generated through SJS – students at Victoria earned, in total:
With classes spread over four campuses across Wellington, VUWSA continued to help thousands of students get to their classes.
• 3,778 job placements
Trimester 2 saw the successful negotiation of, and transition from a paper card system to integration onto the Snapper card system, which has made intercampus bus travel for students quicker and more streamlined.
• $2,272 average job income
• $ 8,583,826 in income • 18,250 worker weeks
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AN OUTSTANDING STUDENT EXPERIENCE THERE IS A LOT MORE TO UNIVERSITY THAN JUST GOING TO CLASS. OUTSIDE THE LECTURES, TUTORIALS AND LABS THERE IS AN AMAZING VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS FOR STUDENTS TO GET INVOLVED IN. DURING YOUR TIME AT UNIVERSITY WHAT YOU LEARN OUTSIDE THE CLASS, WILL BE JUST AS IMPORTANT WAS WHAT YOU LEARN INSIDE.
FACTS 14,500+ PEOPLE ATTENDED O-WEEK 2011
VUWSA CLUBS AND SOCIETIES
VIEWS OF THE VUWSA O-WEEK PROMOTIONAL VIMEO
Clubs are a vitally important part of the student experience at Victoria. Joining a club while studying is a great way to meet new people, get involved in activities outside the classroom, and learn new skills and gain knowledge. VUWSA supports clubs because we think it is vitally important to have a strong and active student community on campus. A strong student community helps people to achieve, builds camaraderie and helps ensure that everyone has a great time at university! This year we held a Clubs meet and greet at the start of Trimester 1 for clubs to network with one another and find areas where they could work in partnership together. Our Clubs Officer and Clubs and Events Manager also attended the event to talk about how VUWSA could help support them and their initiatives in 2011. We opened the brand new Clubs Lounge HQ and 5 new meeting rooms on Level 2 of the Student Union Building. This included new storage lockers and mail boxes for club use. We worked alongside Religion-based Clubs on campus to run a ‘Faith Fest’ in Trimester 2. In 2011, we have seen a 15% increase in Cultural Clubs and 5% increase in Sports Clubs on campus from 2010.
$65,020 IN CLUBS GRANTS
$13,250 IN INDIVIDUAL GRANTS
4086 CLUB MEMBERS
... WE HAVE SEEN A 15% INCREASE IN CULTURAL CLUBS AND A 5% INCREASE IN SPORTS CLUBS...
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VUWSA OWEEK 2011 OWEEK 2011 was massive – the biggest Orientation VUWSA has put on in a number of years and the biggest in the country. OWEEK 2011 featured: a Neon Toga Party in the Hunter Lounge; De La Soul, with support from Home Brew; a sold-out comedy evening with Jeremy Elwood, Justine Smith and Steve Wrigley; the Ministry of Sound’s Tom Piper and Clubber’s Guide to 2011 event; as well as a wildly successful show from renowned Hypnotist Guy Carter. OWeek 2011 got the academic year off the brilliant start. Throughout this, the annual Clubs Week and the Sounds in the Sun events were held at all satellite campuses. The party was rounded off by the main act of OWEEK, MGMT, who played 2 brilliant shows at the Hunter Lounge.
OWEEK 2011 WAS MASSIVE
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KARORIENTATION Karoriorientation 2011 consisted of a 3-day event held in the quad at Karori Campus. We put on lunch for the three days, handed out freebies, and recruited music students to play live acoustic music, which was well-received by the students at Karori. It was a relaxed and laid-back event, and we received positive feedback from students.
The 2011 Uni Games were held in Auckland and we had a 156-strong student contingent attend. Although we did didn’t win the shield, we managed a 3rd place, behind Auckland University and Auckland University of Technology. All students in attendance had a positive experience. We look forward to taking back the shield in 2012, when Uni Games will be held in Wellington!
RE-ORIENTATION 2011 Re-Orientation saw two of New Zealand’s top comedians, Dai Henwood and Simon McKinney, bring down the house in a fit of laughter and Wellington’s very own Black Seeds return to play a one-off event at the Hunter Lounge. These events were held alongside a Clubs Week and mid-winter feasts at Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.
EVENTS, ACTIVITIES AND WEEK-LONG EVENTS VUWSA supported and/or hosted 3 week-long events, including Women’s Fest, Environment Week and Faith Fest.
BLUES AWARDS This year we deviated from the sit down, 3 course dinner that we generally have at Blues awards and instead held a drinks and nibbles style event in the Hunter Building and Council Chambers. We gave out 21 Blues awards, with the vast majority of students either competing in Debating or Ultimate Frisbee. Sebastian Templeton (Debating) was named Sports Administrator of the Year and Samantha Lee (Surf Life Saving) was named Sportsperson of the Year.
We put on one-off events such as a ‘Poach My Eggs’ Easter-egg hut; a Pink Ribbon Breakfast; a Placement Party for Education-based students due to start their Teaching Experiences; soup kitchens, and an End of Trimester and End of Year Party. In the spirit of the upcoming General Election and Electoral Referendum we held a Wellington Central Candidates Forum and MMP debate in Trimester Two.
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DEMOCRACY IN ACTION RUN ON A PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENTS SERVING STUDENTS, VUWSA IS A BOTTOM-UP ORGANISATION, WHICH MEANS THAT VUWSA MEMBERS HAVE THE ULTIMATE GOVERNING ROLE OVER VUWSA. IT IS STUDENTS WHO HAVE THE POWER TO SAY WHAT VUWSA SHOULD BE DOING AND IN WHAT DIRECTION IT SHOULD BE GOING.
GENERAL MEETINGS 2011 saw 3 General Meetings (Initial, Annual and Special) held. For the first time in a number of years the IGM, AGM and an SGM were all held very successfully. After being passed at their 2012 equivalents, minutes for these meetings will be available on the VUWSA Website. Although many motions were passed at these three meetings the most important of these was a motion passed at the SGM which removed the VUWSA Membership Fee – making VUWSA free to join from 2012. This was a measure taken due to the introduction of Voluntary Student Membership. Former Salient editor and Men’s Vice-President Hugh Rennie QC, former Women’s Vice-President and current Pro-Chancellor Helen Sutch and former President and current VUWSA Trust Chair Dave Guerin were awarded life membership of VUWSA.
FACTS 82.7% INCREASE IN VOTER TURNOUT IN 2011 VUWSA GENERAL ELECTIONS FROM 2012
21 STUDENTS RAN IN THE 2011 VUWSA ELECTIONS
1200 SLICES OF PIZZA GIVEN OUT AT GENERAL MEETINGS
3 GENERAL MEETINGS MOVE TO ONLINE SRCS TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT
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Elections Held in Trimester 2, the 2011 VUWSA elections was one of the most competitive elections seen in recent years for the 13 VUWSA Executive positions. Increasing awareness of all aspects of the general election was a key goal in 2011. The production of specific material produced for the first time helped encourage students to stand for an executive position, alerted them as to what to expect, and advised on how to campaign.
POSITION PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT (WELFARE)
VICE PRESIDENT (ACADEMIC)
CAMPAIGNS OFFICER CLUBS OFFICER ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER
INTERNATIONAL OFFICER QUEER OFFICER WELFARE OFFICER
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WOMEN’S RIGHTS OFFICER STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE ON UNIVERSITY COUNCIL PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE
OF ALL ASPECTS OF THE GENERAL ELECTION WAS A KEY GOAL IN 2011
THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGT O N S T U D E N T S ’ A S S O C I AT I O N
ENGAGING STUDENT MEDIA STUDENT MEDIA IS A VITALLY IMPORTANT PART OF THE UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE. SALIENT AND THE VBC OFFER INVALUABLE OPPORTUNITIES AND EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY WHILE ALSO ENSURING THAT STUDENTS ARE KEPT INFORMED OF THE MOST RECENT NEWS WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY.
FACTS ASPA AWARDED BEST STUDENT MAGAZINE IN THE COUNTRY
100,000 ISSUES OF SALIENT PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED
255,311 HITS ON SALIENT.ORG.NZ
234+ STUDENT VOLUNTEERS AT SALIENT AND THE VBC
1440 OF SHOWS ON THE VBC
VBC 88.3FM 2011 saw the hiring of a new station manager for the VBC. Under new management and with new DJ’s, new shows and a whole new buzz; the VBC is focussing on creating fresh radio, supporting good N.Z music, plugging local bands and championing underground heroes
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The co-editorship of Elle Hunt and Uther Dean 2011 proved to an award-winning combination, with Salient winning ‘Best Publication’ at the 2011 Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards. Salient also won Best Cartoonist as well as placing in Best Unpaid News, Best Reviewer, Best Feature, Best Education Series and Best Design categories.
SALIENT IS WITTY, INTENSELY
SELF-INVOLVED IN A RATHER ENDEARINGLY SELF-DEPRECATORY WAY — Simon Wilson, Editor Metro Magazine
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VUWSA STRATEGIC PLAN 2012-2015 A big focus for VUWSA in 2011 was the development of a Strategic Plan to help guide our activities over the next several years. The Strategic Plan is a key aspect of our ongoing programme of professionalisation and invigoration of VUWSA. It will ensure that students always receive an outstanding level of service and a strong student voice across Victoria year-to-year. Through initial meetings with the VUWSA Executive, staff, and students, we gathered basic ideas and principals that set the foundation for the Strategic Plan. With the help of VUWSA Trustee James Shaw, we developed a draft which was then opened up for student consultation. President Seamus Brady and Vice-President (Academic) Bridie Hood met with Ngai Tauira and all Representative Groups to discuss the draft and gather their feedback.
FACTS 2 WORKSHOPS
3 ROUNDS OF CONSULTATION
Incorporating the valuable feedback received, a draft Strategic Plan went out for its final round of consultation as a referendum question alongside the VUWSA General Election.
FEEDBACK SESSIONS WITH REPRESENTATIVE GROUPS ACROSS ALL CAMPUSES
We’d like to thank everyone for the time they put in providing feedback on the Strategic Plan.
VUWSA is your students’ association and it is important that students take all available opportunities to engage in feedback and consultation processes.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED
The Strategic Plan will be formally adopted at the 2012 Initial General Meeting.
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VOLUNTARY STUDENT MEMBERSHIP In recent years, one of the most controversial issues in the Tertiary Sector has been the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Act. More commonly known as Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) the bill has significant implications for the structure of Students’ Associations in New Zealand and changes the way in which we engage with Universities. This passed into law late 2011 and came into effect from 1 January 2012. Throughout the last several years we campaigned against the legislation, alongside NZUSA and other students’ associations across the country. We strongly opposed the bill and the premise that it was built on: that universal membership limits students’ freedom. We argued that VSM would damage the quality of education, student experience, student welfare and support students receive as well as the fairness and effectiveness of institutional decision-making. While VSM has now passed, we are not by any means defeated. VUWSA will continue to be an independent, strong and responsive association, working in the best interest of students at Victoria University. We will strive to retain many of our services and in late 2011 we entered into negotiations with the University to ensure that those services and events that we know are important to you continue. The 2012 Executive will be focussing on moving VUWSA into a more financially sustainable framework for the future.
WHILE VSM HAS NOW PASSED,
WE ARE NOT BY ANY MEANS
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REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION In April 2011, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Penny Boumelha announced that the University would undergo a review of Undergraduate Education at Victoria. This unprecedented review has put the entire undergraduate experience under review – not only are they University concerned about teaching and learning, but there has also been considerable focus on ensuring that there is a suitable raft of extra-curricular programmes that students can get involved in. VUWSA facilitated student consultation and representation during this review. While students were able to put in individual submissions to the review’s sub-committees, VUWSA also put in a student submission, which was informed through feedback from 409 student submissions. We held a student forum to discuss the review and it’s possible impacts and we kept students up to date about the review’s process through our website, facebook and Salient. Overall, the student response indicated a need for flexibility within the degree structure. Students do support many of the proposed ideas but also point out that for every student the reason that they are at University is different. Yes, there is a need to develop research skills but this should not happen at the cost of flexibility and ‘real world’ application. Students are in strong support of good feedback in assessment but also have stressed the need to look at how deeper thinking is developed within a timetable that often allows no space for thinking. With the review and implementation continuing into 2012 we have ensured that there is student representation on the review’s Steering Committee and that students will have a strong voice in this very important process. You can find the VUWSA Submission on the Review of Undergraduate Education on the VUWSA website.
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VUWSA CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE New Zealanders will never forget the disastrous events of February 22, 2011. The Christchurch Earthquake has forever changed the city of Christchurch and has drastically altered the lives of many. In the wake of the earthquake VUWSA was quick to organise an appeal to provide support for the work of the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army. VUWSA and over 40 amazing student volunteers were out in force during Orientation and Clubs week to raise funds for the SVA. Thanks to the generous donations of Victoria students and staff we donated over $8000 in our appeal to help out the amazing work of the VSA. “It’s been extremely inspiring to see the incredible solidarity and energy of students in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. From the phenomenal work of the UC Student Volunteer Army, to the relief efforts being run by students’ associations and their members around the country. It’s great to see students getting out helping each other and their community in times like these” - Seamus Brady, VUWSA President 2011 During the mid-year break VUWSA organised a team of student volunteers to head down to Christchurch for four days to help with local recovery and clean up efforts after another series of large earthquakes. The group helped local MPs Ruth Dyson (Labour, Port Hills) and Nicky Wagner (National, List) in their respective electorates checking and also joined forces with the Student Volunteer Army to help remove liquefaction from residents’ properties. VUWSA would like to thank Strait Shipping’s Bluebridge for providing the VUWSA volunteers with free travel. In addition to this VUWSA, with the help of NZUSA, ensured that Victoria and other tertiary institutions around the country supported students from Canterbury wishing to transfer their studies to Victoria.
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CAMPUS HUB PROJECT One of the highlights of 2011 was the opening of the refurbished Student Union Building. This refurbishment included many upgrades and purpose-built spaces for students. VUWSA and the VUWSA Trust, in partnership with the University, have ensured that the Student Union Building will be a highly usable, valuable and accessible asset for students not just in the short term, but for decades to come. Upgrades included Mauri Ora, a purpose built Facility for Health and Counselling on the ground floor of the SUB, four brand new club meetings rooms and a ‘Clubs Lounge’, with in-built kitchen facilities that students can utilise while relaxing and having their lunch. The Hunter Lounge a new café, bar and 1000-person capacity gig venue (the only one of it’s type in Wellington) also opened, just in time for OWeek 2011. The refurbishment also saw VUWSA get a brand new front office – which means that we are now more accessible and easy to find for students. These SUB upgrades are all part of the wider Campus Hub upgrade that is currently underway at Kelburn Campus. This upgrade has seen the opening of two new cafes on campus, Milk and Honey, the new staff and postgraduate café, and the Louis’ kiosk. The HUB is set to be finished and open for students in early 2013 with the library refurbishment set to be complete in 2014.
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FINANCIAL STATEMENT VUWSA is a not for profit organisation. We use our income to fund services, events and activities for our members. Any profit at the end of the financial year is gifted to the VUWSA Trust, who invests the money to be used for large capital expenditure projects that benefit students, such as part-funding the Campus Hub Project.
VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION INC STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2011 NOTE
CURRENT ASSETS CASH & BANK
NON CURRENT ASSETS CLUB LOANS
CURRENT LIABILITIES ACCOUNTS PAYABLE FUNDS HELD ON BEHALF OF CLUBS ACCRUED EXPENSES
TOTAL FUNDS EMPLOYED
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W W W. V U W S A . O RG.NZ
This report highlights how VUWSA made a difference to the lives of students studying at Victoria University of Wellington and to our communi...