For years Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) has pushed on two main issues Fairer Fares and a Rental Warrant of Fitness – among other student-related issues.
And on Monday 18 July VUWSA centralised these issues as part of a powerful campaign, Student Friendly Wellington.
‘Our Student Friendly Wellington campaign is about creating real change in the lives of students,’ says VUWSA’s President, Jonathan Gee.
‘We’ve had a lot of students saying our commitments are common sense. For them to succeed at Victoria, they need a Rental Warrant of Fitness so their flats don’t make them sick, and a 50% tertiary discount on public transport so they can afford the bus to class.’
Since the campaign launch, VUWSA has worked tirelessly encouraging students to enrol in the upcoming elections.
‘We wanted to make the Student Friendly Wellington campaign as easy for students as possible. One of the issues that keep students from voting, is not knowing who to vote for,’ says Rory Lenihan-Ikin, VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President.
‘That’s why we contacted all candidates and asked them if they’d pledge to our student friendly policies. We also created the www.studentfriendlywellington.nz website, and are constantly updating who’s pledged for what – making it easier for students to know who to vote for.’
That’s not all that VUWSA have done to encourage students to vote though. They’ve advertised several times in Salient, Victoria’s student magazine; plastered posters around Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses; dedicated sections in their monthly e-newsletter; visited several halls of residence and various lectures; organised for enrolment form drop-off points at Kelburn and Te Aro campuses; organised candidates to talk at a Fairer Fares Forum this Wednesday 10 August at 1pm in The Hub, and a Mayoral Debate in September.
‘We’re passionate about getting the word out there to students. Before the enrolment deadline we will have contacted 2,500 students from seven Victoria halls encouraging them to enrol. It's really important that everyone who is eligible to vote must be correctly enrolled at their current address so that their vote will count, says Lenihan-Ikin.
The 40,000 students in Wellington have more power to vote than they realise. If even a small portion of the students voted, we could push these issues over the line and really make some improvements for students.
With enrolments closing 12 August, VUWSA has been connecting with students and student groups as part of their strategy of making voting easy. For more information on enrolments visit www.elections.org.nz.
Join VUWSA at their AGM and Fairer Fares Forum where they’ll be asking candidates to discuss their stance on student-friendly public transport fares this Wednesday 10 August at 1pm in The Hub, Victoria University, Kelburn.