– Workers Party Media Release
Workers’ Party member Jasmine Freemantle was elected President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) for 2009 last Wednesday night.
Freemantle was elected by a comfortable majority over her Labour Party rival Sonny Thomas, after a heated campaign that fuelled the highest voter turn out in a VUWSA election since the early 1990s.
Thomas is the author of a controversial VUWSA ‘Change Proposal’ document, which aims at introducing Rogernomic-style reforms to VUWSA. These include the contracting out of Orientation, handing clubs administration to the University, and turning student magazine Salient into a business unit.
Freemantle stood on a platform of opposition to the Change Proposal document. Her campaign also highlighted the lack of living support for students, which continues after nine years of a Labour-led government.
“As the Vic Labour candidate Sonny Thomas was advocating reforms like those his party inflicted upon students and workers in the 1980s” says President elect Jasmine Freemantle.
“This election was in part a referendum on this ‘Change Proposal’ and students have resoundingly shown what they think of Labour’s right wing agenda at both campus and government level.”
Freemantle is the third Workers’ Party member to be elected VUWSA President, the first being current Wgtn Tramways Union President Nick Kelly, and the second being current VUWSA President Joel Cosgrove.
In 2009 Freemantle will be joined by two other Workers’ Party members on her student executive, Marika Pratley and Sam Oldham – the two highest polling candidates running for the five general executive positions.
Freemantle last served on the VUWSA executive as Women’s Rights Officer in 2002. She is currently Assistant Lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies at Victoria University, a discipline currently under attack by University management.