Sunday, November 27, 2005

Student Politics Sans Greenbrook

Xavier has written a great piece (thanks largely to sleep deprivation) on his to-do list for 2006, one item of which is
To not be involved in Student Politics in any way, shape or form.
I have known Xavier for some time now, both through student politics and Young Labour. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for him as an intelligent, passionate, talented politician. I know he will succeed in whatever he takes on. I think I first met him during the AUSA compulsory Membership campaign, and have run into each other ever since.

He states that he will not be running for AUSA President in 2007 - I can sort of understand why too. AUSA President is a completely different kettle of fish than almost every other President. For a start, they are not (ex officio) a member of University Council - one of the biggest parts of my job. They also have significant commercial responsibilities, which most other associations (with the exception of UCSA) don't - cafes, bars etc. But, perhaps most importantly, thanks to the wonders of voluntary student membership, they have to waste significant effort (not to mention money and resources) to recruit members. While all the other Presidents are working on Orientation, and getting to know their members, the AUSA President and Executive are pissing around signing members up.

This is not to say that Xavier wouldn't be a good AUSA President - he would a fantastic AUSA President, and - dare I say it - NZUSA Co-President.

He raises an interesting point, something I realized about halfway through last year, and has been re-enforced this year - AUSA (and other associations) are bigger than their current leaders. AUSA demonstrates this best of all: each year there is a gasp as another relative unknown is elected President, several people preach that the end is nigh, - and things turn out all right. Despite all the talk of Muppets, or fuckwits, I know that VUWSA will be just fine next year, and for many years to come. It has great staff, and a history as old as the University.
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