President's Update – March 2016

Kia ora everyone! For those returning to Vic for another year of study, welcome back. For those of you who are new, welcome to Victoria! It's really great having the campus humming again.

By way of an introduction, my name is Jono, your 2016 Student President. I have the exciting role of representing students in everything that I do. I, along with the rest of the VUWSA Executive, have been hard at work over the summer break getting student issues to the forefront of the university and wider public. We've been publicising some of this work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll also be reporting back to you via this regular monthly newsletter.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ve been up to so far:

Warmer, drier and safer flats

In February, Rory (the Welfare VP) and I spoke before Parliament’s Social Services select committee on the Government’s proposed minimum housing standards. We told MPs about the mould crisis in student flats, and made suggestions for how the Bill can be strengthened to make a real difference to student tenants. Check out our submission here, and media reaction here.

Free post-school education announcement

Labour’s free post-school education announcement was welcomed by a number of students’ associations across the country. We said that it's a step in the right direction, and that we’re looking forward to engaging in a national conversation about tertiary education in the lead up to the 2017 General Election.

$15 billion of student debt

While the free tertiary education announcement is a positive one for future students, many of you who I’ve been talking to are asking, ‘what about us?’ As student debt reaches $15 billion this year, we want you to tell your stories about the consequences of your debt, and push for greater support.

Strategic Plan 2016-2020

VUWSA is currently doing work on its strategic plan for the next five years. The Exec are currently thinking hard about the question ‘what is the next chapter of VUWSA?’ and that means for students. If you have any thoughts or ideas on where VUWSA should be heading, flick me an email!

Newtown Festival

We’ve sponsored a stage at Sunday’s Newtown Festival to demonstrate the involvement of students in the wider Wellington community. We are an important part of this city, and collectively, we have the power to push for student-friendly policies like tertiary discounts on buses in October’s local body elections. Drop by the Newtown Ave stage on Sunday and tell us what a student-friendly city means to you.

That's all for now – until next time!

Jonathan Gee
P: 04 463 6986
M: 021 207 4132