The VUWSA constitution is our backbone. It’s easy to forget that it’s there, and it’s not the most exciting document to read, but we rely on it every day to ensure the organisation stays true to its values and goals.

It’s also a living document, and needs regular work to ensure it stays relevant and can support our activities. So at the beginning of the year, with new team members on the Executive and a bunch of new staff, we turned to the constitution with fresh eyes.

We formed a working group, worked through the constitution, highlighted some key areas for review, had an internal discussion and conducted research, opened to the student body for submissions, held a small open forum for student input, had further internal refinement before finalising a draft and sending it off for legal review. And now we're here.

Below you will find the summary of the changes VUWSA will bring to its AGM this year as a result of the constitutional review. Most of these are relatively minor changes being made in order to keep the constitution up to date.

There are two major substantive changes. The first is in relation to the restructuring of the Student Media Committee, which has been done to better reflect the current organisational structure and decrease unnecessary bureaucracy. The second was an amendment to how the VUWSA budget is approved, increasing transparency and accountability surrounding our finances, and allow you guys to have more say over how VUWSA spends its money.

Thank you for taking the time to read the amendments and we look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Tom Rackley
Treasurer-Secretary

For a printer-friendly copy of these amendments, click here
To view the original/current constitution in its entirety, click here


Amendment 1

THAT s 2(6) of Part VII - Finance be relocated to s 1(7) of Part II - General Meetings of the Student Body and Referenda. 

The Association shall at each Initial General Meeting appoint an auditor to hold office until the next Initial General meeting.

Explanatory note: This provision is much better suited to live in this part of the Constitution. No material changes were made to the wording.


Amendment 2

THAT s 1(2)(a) of Part III - The Executive be amended from; 

(2) The President is a full time position and shall receive a salary in 2012 of $34,500 gross.

(a) In subsequent years the salary shall be automatically adjusted by the CPI for the year preceding the year for which the President takes office.

to;

(2) The President is a full time position and shall receive a salary in 2017 of $42,028 gross.

(a) In subsequent years the salary shall be automatically adjusted by the CPI for the year preceding the year for which the President takes office.

Explanatory note: The only material change here was updating the salary to the most recent data we have as it was previously the 2012 salary.


Amendment 3

THAT s 2(3)(a) of Part III - The Executive be amended from; 

(3) The Executive shall be elected annually in accordance with Part V of this Constitution and no later than the third week of September.

(a) The Executive takes office on 1 January of the following year.

to; 

(3) The Executive shall be elected annually in accordance with Part V of this Constitution.

(a) The executive takes office on the 1st of January the following year.

Explanatory note: This removes the September deadline, as Part V already specifies elections are to be held in Trimester 2.

This gives VUWSA flexibility to time the VUWSA election around events such as the national General Election.


Amendment 4

THAT s 3(5) of Part III - The Executive be amended from; 

(5) The Executive shall have power to interpret this Constitution, to vary time or date specified therein, in accordance with Section 9 of Part IX of this Constitution, and to make such policy to regulate all aspects of building management, finance, cultural events, employees and sports awards.

to; 

(5) The Executive shall have the power to interpret this Constitution, to vary time or date specified within and to make subsequent policy to regulate all aspects of building management, finance, cultural events, employees and sports awards, so long as this change does not unduly inhibit the intended function, purpose or outreach of the subject at hand.

Explanatory note: 

- Section 9 of Part IX doesn’t exist in our current or several iterations of previous constitutions.

 - It is important that VUWSA flexible enough to avoid conflicts with other events and initiatives, making sure each has the space to succeed.

 - This provision allows minor time movements but restricts the executive from making changes which would unduly affect the event. An example of a time movement that would unduly affect the event would be moving elections to Trimester 3.


Amendment 5

THAT s 4 (The Student Media Committee) of Part IV - Committees be replaced with the following; 

Section 4 - Publications Editor(s) Appointment Committee

(1) The committee shall consist of:

(a) The President

(b) The Treasurer Secretary

(c) Current Publications Editor(s)

(d) A Previous Publications Editor(s)

(e) A Representative from Ngai Tauira

(f) A Representative from Pasifika Students Council

(g) A Representative from Post-Graduates Student Association

(2) If any of the above are candidates for the position, their places shall be taken by the following persons in order:

(a) For the President: Academic Vice President, Welfare Vice President, Engagement Vice President, any other Executive Member (appointed by the Executive)

(b) For Editor(s): A Journalist, another Salient staff member chosen by the organisation.

(3) A member from a Victoria University Representative Group listed in this constitution may also be invited to join the committee at the committee’s discretion.

(4) The committee will be chaired by the Treasurer Secretary

(5) Quorum for the committee will be a simple majority.

(6) The committee:

(a) Shall advertise the position of the Publications Editor for the following year.

(b) Shall set and advertise the closing date for applications.

(c) Shall consider the candidates.

(d) May appoint a candidate to the position for the following year.

(7) In the event that an appointment is not made at that time the committee shall determine how the appointment shall be made.

(8) In the event of the position becoming vacant during the year of appointment, the committee shall appoint a new Publications Editor for the remainder of the year, provided that if the Editor has been dismissed from office, they shall not form part of the committee.

(9) This appointment shall be made subject to the provisions of a contract of employment approved by the Executive between the Executive and the appointee(s).

(10) The Publications Editor(s) employment shall be terminated in case of death or resignation or termination by the employer.

(11) Should the need arise, the committee may be assembled to resolve or mediate disputes related to Salient or the Publications Editor(s). 

Explanatory note: The SMC was once an oversight committee for Salient. However it has subsequently become a purely financial oversight committee. Since the addition of a CEO to the VUWSA management structure, the continued relevance of the SMC is doubtful.

In reference to its disbandment two issues were raised; student representation in the selection of the Salient Editor(s), and the need for a mediation structure for any issues that may arise in Salient’s management.

To see the original/current section 4, click here. 

 

 

Issue One: Under subs (1) - (3), we have increased the membership to also include a representative from PSC and PGSA, as well as the ability to add members from representative groups. Together with the elected executive members and previous Salient editors we believe that no student representation is lost from the removal of the Student Media Representatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue Two: Under subs (11), should mediation be required then this committee has a wide range of students and opinions represented. 

 


Amendment 6

THAT s 2(2)(d) of Part IV - Committees be amended to read;

(d) The Publication Editor(s) Appointment Committee

AND THAT paragraph (e) be removed.

 

 

Explanatory note: This removes the Student Media Committee in favour of the Publications Editor(s) Appointment Committee, as discussed above.  

 

 

 

Continue to Page 2