President's update – July 2016

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Hope you’ve been having a good break!

The Executive have reached the halfway mark at VUWSA, which means our Half-Year Reports will be available online very shortly. The Half-Year Reports are a form of self-evaluation that each Executive member completes to remain accountable to you. It’s important you know what your student representatives are doing to get the best deal for you.

But even more than an accountability mechanism, our Half-Year Reports are an opportunity to do some good-quality reflection. Like you, the Executive juggles study on top of their VUWSA commitments; and for some, part-time jobs as well. This concoction of busyness can often mean there is very little time to think, and only time to do.

We’re busy, working alongside our committed VUWSA staff, creating real wins for you in the form of projects, events and advocacy.

Some great wins so far this year include ensuring the student experience is front and centre in the planned outsourced Foundation Studies programme (more in Jacinta’s post below), getting some hot air around Fairer Fares (check out Rory’s post below) and delivering a successful OWeek earlier in February.

However, for VUWSA to be successful, we can’t be just about doing.

As the saying goes, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’. For us to deliver on our goal to get the best deal for students, the Executive will be doing some serious planning over this weekend at our mid-year retreat. Our intended outcomes from this retreat includes getting into the nitty gritty of our strategic plan (ready for consultation and a launch of a five-year plan at our AGM in August), planning consultation around the Student Services Levy and tuition fees (more on this in my Salient column next week), as well as planning for our Student Friendly Wellington campaign in the lead up to the local body elections.

We’ve also done some planning around our line-up of other events and projects for the second half of the year. We have our annual classics, such as Re-OWEEK, Faculty Games, the AGM, Blues Awards and the Student Representation Celebration; but we’ve also put together a line-up of new events for 2016, including Arts Week, Mayoral Debate, and the inaugural Golds Awards (which will recognise outstanding clubs and club leaders). Hopefully you can take part in one or two (or all) of our upcoming events!

And hopefully over the break you had some time for reflection and planning.

Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei (that’s all for now) – and all the best for your first week of classes!

Jonathan Gee – President