Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 10. 22nd May 1975
... and Executive
... and Executive
Well, the first term has come to an end, and no doubt various people will be thinking about exams, and other people will be thinking about what they did during the holidays. A few might even be considering the Students Association and wondering what it is doing for them. To help this last group, here is a brief run-down on Exec's activities over the last few months. Individual issues have generally been dealt with in John Henderson's Exec reports (which are by now collectors items according to normally horribly misinformed sources), so this article will deal with the broader items only.
Overall, there has been a lot of greater unity of purpose in this year's Exec and a much greater amount of work than was evident last year. The work has been spread out to involve more people, working harder than was the case last year. It's not possible nor desirable to keep tags on all Exec-type people's activities, but some brief outline can be given.
Lisa Sacksen (President); Lisa's policy last year hoped 'to encourage greater discussion among students on their educational, political and social lives'. From the more informed and involved discussions at SRC, and the high degree of interest in both political and cultural activities certainly something seems to have happened. Lisa's chairing of Execs and SRCs in general has been of a high standard, cutting out much of the waffle present in other places (Craccum reports last Auckland Exec meeting at 8 hours — most of Vic's average four to five). However, one thing Lisa has not yet done is the promised integrated programme for the students association. The piecemeal fashion she criticised is still evident, though much more efficient. Giles Beckford (Man Vice-President): Gyles' primary problem is that he works downtown for STB and while he attends most SRCs etc. this tends to mean he gets out of touch with what students are doing. It also means he has not as much time as other Exec members to carry out his portfolio. He too promised attempts to improve social life in his manifesto, and also striving for a 'better association with participation and contribution from students'. Dianne Hooper (Woman Vice-President); said next to nothing in her manifesto and has proceeded to carry it out. Dianne's English honours course is undoubtedly taking much of her time, but even given that her performance has been poor. Robert Pui (Secretary): Robert has often complained that he doesn't get much to do because people haven't been telling him what to do, and many of his tasks have been taken off him. As a bureaucrat Robert has probably not done very well, but in his role as a spokesman for Malaysian students he has done a lot of work and been a benefit to Exec.
Michael Curtis (Treasurer); widely renown as a money expert, Mike has been running the accounts very smoothly with Mrs. Goodall, the office manager, and looking after the finances of such things as Orientation with the help of Steven Underwood. Treasurer is necessarily a bureaucratic job, but Mike does seem able to get beyond this in Exec and SRC discussions.
Barbara Leishman (Cultural Affairs): Barbara's activities have centred on a very successful Orientation programme, providing unpaid drudge labour for Arts Council promotions and chairing cultural affairs council to distribute moneys to student clubs. Her contributions to Exec meetings have often not been up to this standard, but that's not suprising given its quality.
Kevin Wright (Sports Officer): a most confusing performance. Kevin has done great work in getting a new spirit into clubs such as Diving, etc. but has tended to become somewhat disillusioned recently. Exec meetings he often doesn't seem to understand, and some of his antics at SRC (eg. getting Colin Feslier to drink a yard of ale) have bordered on the ludicrous.
Peter Aagaard (Accommodation): another bureaucratic role, involving long discussions with various people involved in accommodation and welfare services — in the absence of a welfare officer Peter has done much of this work too. In negotiating for the lease of Stuart Williamson (now housing 16 students) Peter did a very good job. Impressive on Exec. Colin Feslier (Publications): Colin has provided some useful ideas in his chosen field (eg. reorganising the Salient office, and taking over Newsheet), but on occasions seems dilatory in carrying them through. He has been criticised over the way he organises Pubs Board, and hopefully will soon make amends for this. One of the strongest supporters of the SRC power ideas at the beginning of the year, his idealism has tempered somewhat. His strained relations with the New Catholic Left add spice to political speculation.
John Roseveare (SRC Co-ordinator): one of the outstanding successes on Exec. John's work in putting out the SRC policy guideline, organising reps, pushing the university over timetables and also individual students cases. If there are criticisms, they are that he has been doing too much work — and in the process isolating himself from students to some extent. This was evident at time at SRC. His work on Exec. has also been good (do I keep my job as PR officer?)
Despite some of the above failings, and one or two disagreements over minor matters. Exec as a body has functioned well — not least because members are prepared to criticise and be criticised. Meetings are rather long, but there is a much livelier atmosphere than last year, and more is getting done. Hopes for the second term are high.