Kia ora koutou, Massey family, this will be my last post to you through the Massive Magazine President’s Address so bear with me if it’s a long one.
I’ve been wrestling with what to write for a few days now; how do you summarise a year of so many brand new experiences? So many highs and lows... I turn 28 next week and in my time before this role I’ve not experienced anything like my time in MUSA. I’ve thought about listing the things I’ve achieved. I’ve thought about detailing where I’m going from here and what I hope to do. I’ve thought about writing “Thanks for the memories” and leaving it at that. But, at the end of the day, none of those things would mean much to you, the students.
This year one or two people have called me inspirational. One person even told me they look up to me after I decided to step back from running for council to look after my mental health. I wish I could feel inspirational or like someone worth looking up to but unfortunately I really don’t. All I am, all I’ve ever been as your President, is someone trying to do what he thinks is right. The majority of things I’ve been involved in this year are well outside of my knowledge and skill set. Who am I to speak on how Massey can genuinely engage in Tiriti obligations? Who am I to contribute to policy around academic freedom of speech? On sexual assault policy? On climate action? Winning an election this time last year didn’t make me an expert. I had the same knowledge the day I became MUSA President as I had the day before but suddenly people wanted to hear what I had to say on topics I had little to no knowledge on. In every interaction, all I want to do is the right thing. Not what’s easy, not what’s popular, just what is right.
I see the same struggle in many people; the desire to do the right thing despite the difficulty. I see it in Massey staff wanting to make change for the better but knowing internal politics can threaten their job if they do so. I see it in my exec team when we have hard choices to make that, one way or another, will end up leaving someone not getting what they need or what they deserve. I see it in students trying desperately to fit in work, study, a social life, and a myriad of other activities whilst caring for themselves and those close to them. I don’t have a golden bullet solution, I don’t feel like a wise man who can solve all of the issues, but I have found three things that have helped me throughout the year and that I will carry forward wherever I go.
Shoulder the burdens you can,
Be kind to others,
Be kind to yourself.
This year I’ve cried, I’ve been angry, I’ve been anxious, but in some precious moments between it all I’ve been calm and I’ve been happy. Those are the moments I will hold onto and remember this time by. I’ve got more love than I know what to do with and I plan on sending the rest of my life putting that into the world as best as I can.
It’s been an honour serving the students of Massey University this past year.
I hope I’ve done a good job.
For the last time as your president, sincerely,