Execrable | Issue 26

Final Critic Exec Meeting: Van Giveaway, Honoraria Payments and Sexism

Colleges Officer James Heath wanted to know why the Executive were not told about OUSA’s ‘Great Silver Bullet Giveaway’ event (OUSA Give Away Van For One Year After Lengthy Competition), in which the association gave away a van for one year to the person who had their hand continuously on the vehicle for the longest period of time. President Hugh Baird responded by saying it “crept up on me” and admitted it was “poorly organised”; Te Roopu Māori Tumuaki Eli Toeke said it “should’ve been offered to Te Roopu Māori”.

The executive each presented their third quarter reports in order for the rest of the group to vote on whether to pay them their honoraria payments. Minor changes were made to some, but all were passed without contention apart from that of Administrative Vice President William Guy who, despite claiming that his third quarter was both busier and better than the last two, ran into a barrage of questions from Finance Officer Cody Kirby, Education Officer Bryn Jenkins, and Colleges Officer James Heath. They were concerned that they were having the same conversation with Guy as they had in the previous two quarters’ reporting periods. Jenkins challenging the focus of Guy’s work, saying, “I don’t think you’ve generally fulfilled your role. That’s being kind. You had an awful first and second quarter,” although Baird came to his defence by saying he has been “working hard in other areas though”. Toeke asked the group whether they “trust Will [Guy] to do his work before the end of the year?” Baird added to the conversation by asking the members to consider whether paying other members or making deductions from their honoraria will build resentment or not and therefore impede their working relationship further for the remainder of the year. Postgraduate Officer Lucy Northwood said that this is “not Will [Guy’s] failing, it’s a team failure. He shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.” Baird reminded the group that, “if they are struggling they should come and speak with me”. When it came to voting for or against paying Guy his full honorarium or not, four voted for and four voted against (Jenkins, Kirby, Heath, and President-elect Caitlin Barlow-Groome). International Officer Max Chan abstained from casting a vote. The four-four tie meant, for the first time this year, Baird had to relinquish the position of Chairperson and cast the deciding vote. He voted for paying Guy his full honoraria.

Just before the meeting ended, Northwood told the executive that she, and other female members of the group, “often feel uncomfortable speaking in these meetings because of ‘mansplaining’ and speaking over me. If you want us to speak then don’t aggressively tell us to speak, ask us why we’re not doing so.” Heath said, “well done Lucy [Northwood] for saying what you just said. It’s something we should all take note of.”

This article first appeared in Issue 26, 2017.
Posted 10:50am Sunday 8th October 2017 by Joe Higham.